• Winter’s Heart: Pillager’s Moon (Part 1)

    “Don’t let that gutless swine off the deck!” Shi’ma’s shout was almost lost in the cash of steel on steel and the stampede of boots on wet wood. Salt cut the frigid, thrown into the air as two ships crashed through the storm-tossed sea. This is the life crossed her mind as she wrestled with the big, cold wheel of the Violet Delight, her crew trying to repel Shi’ma and her pirates from the cargo ship. Someone stumbled into her back and her chest slammed up against the unyielding wheel. The wince didn’t show on her face, but shit, she could only imagine the bruises that’d blossom across the tops of her tits tomorrow.

    A scream erupted behind her, louder than the waves against the sides of both ships. It didn’t sound like her trusted Second, Danima, the voice too high for him. Powers witness her because this battle had dragged on too long already.

    The tip she had received from the Crown, well King-Consort Solna, had said it was a soft merchant ship with a habit of carrying passengers who weren’t there by choice. Some had been sold by parents to lecherous people looking for spouses they could use and abuse. Others had been lied to and were on there way to be sold in the far North as slaves. Shi’ma couldn’t allow that. The Crown couldn’t either, but no one was as fast on the seas and so the King would send her when there were no other options.

    A flicker of light caught the corner of her eye. Her ship, the fast little flat-bottomed Winter’s Heart, danced on the large sea swells. Joriran tilted the little mirror in her hands again in three rapid beats of light. The Heart’s crew were about to finish the job and Shi’ma relaxed her grip in the wheel. No one from the Delight would take over. All that was left was the clean up.

    A heavy hand settled with a squeeze on her shoulder and Shi’ma glanced back at her grinning Second, spots of blood at the corner of his mouth and his nose starting to purple. Her old friend loved a good fight and by the glitter in his storm gray eyes, this one hadn’t disappointed.

    “What should we do with the crew?” Danima’s voice easily rivaled the ocean’s. Deep and loud, the crash of the waves on shore. Shi’ma had thought, the first time she met him in the Osairan Navy, that he might have simply walked out of the deep to live another the world. There was no trace of magic or power in him, though.

    The last rays of daylight were dying in the water far to the west and Shi’ma stared at the fiery reflection scattered among the waves for a moment. “Throw them to Larion,” Shi’ma said with the slow malice in her heart. “Let Them decide their fate.” Scum such as the ones on the Delight didn’t deserve mercy. The number they had destroyed through their gruesome little business was probably uncountable. King Vius would imprison them, and while that was far from a good life, the kingdom’s people shouldn’t be tasked with paying for them. Let the sea have these cretins.

    Besides, she had more important work to do. As the first scream echoed across the water, the splash at the end of it giving her a grim satisfaction, Shi’ma marched her way down to the fore-deck in search of her crew. Bodies littered the soaked wood and blood washed across the deck in diluted rivers under her boots. Two of hers were among the many dead, and more sported rent clothes and bloody tears in their skin. The three medics, Healer Hita and his two assistants, were already at work on the worst.

    None of her crew bowed, some were too caught up in their own tasks to even acknowledge her. Shi’ma was pleased to see she didn’t really need to direct the next steps of securing the Delight and stripping it of its treasure. Happy there was no reason to delay, Shi’ma made a beeline for the opening that lead down into the cargo hold. Lanterns had been lit thanks to a little Trawok, their resident Fire Mage. Shi’ma gave the small teenager a pat on the back as she walked by and got a quick nod of thanks in turn.

    These kinds of ships, the ones with illegal cargo, were usually the same. The Delight was no exception. Standard wares were stacked up to the rafters, boxes and crates full to the brim with crockery and books, sometimes produce for a short run. Some clever little weasel would rig up and bespell a barrier of fabric or thin wood to hide the sounds of those trapped behind it.

    Amateurs. The ocean under the keel heaved and surged as she pulled on it, the blue of her magic a glimmer in the dim space. Salt water trickled along the barrier first in drops, then as a sheet until the faint stain of power on the cheap wood was washed clean.

    Shi’ma sighed and smacked the wood standing between her and whatever was behind it. Not a sound came out, no gasp of surprised or stifled shriek of fright. Maybe there was no captive, or they had been put to sleep. She retraced her steps and unhooked one of the lanterns from the ceiling. Best to check.

    As the light crept its way forward, the bars came into focus first. Shi’ma lifted the burning light higher, above her eyes. Silver hair tumbled in disarray to hide a dark face, delicate and serene amidst the dankness of the tiny holding area.

    Those eyes though. Crystalline and pure, somewhere between silver and white.

    They looked right through her.

    ~*~*~*~

    I hope you enjoy the first installment of Winter’s Heart! If you’re feeling generous, my Ko-Fi link is in the sidebar. Thanks for reading!

    T.A. Creech

  • Winter’s Heart

    Work In Progress!

    Winter’s Heart is a web novel I’m working on and the first part will be posted here on 01-15-2021. I will add posts as they’re finished, posted as soon as I finish them.

    This will be a story about pirates and magic, love and safety, a captain who is not as fearsome as her reputation suggests. Set in the high seas of Osaire, come follow our stalwart captain and the eclectic crew that have sworn their loyalty until the end.

    -T.A. Creech

  • Dandelion

    ISBN: 9781646562770

    Release Date: 2-22-20

    Ezekiel knew he should’ve paid better attention to his mom. If he had, maybe finding himself in the unfathomable Abaddon might have been a little easier to deal with. Zeke might have understood what he was about to face.

    Instead he’s faced with the angel Haziel at the end of a sword, stuck in an existence he doesn’t know how to navigate, heading toward a war humanity had no knowledge of.

    Haziel promises to see him safely through the battlefield. Along the way Zeke finds purpose and courage, grace and depravity. At his journey’s end, Zeke might find his reasons to stay. If only he had the choice.

     

  • Dandelion

    I couldn’t save my old notes before I had to rebuild my site. Irritating. Well, I guess I’ll have to begin a whole new set.

    For a hot minute, I was working on A Scorpion’s Game, but it wasn’t catching my attention the way I wanted to. Then I tried writing a magical realism story called Silver Star. That wasn’t going well either. I’ve set them both aside and went back to a favorite topic.

    Angels. I love writing about angels. This particular story isn’t anything like the series I did, nor is it sweet, fluffy fun. Haziel is a soldier, like all angels are. Abaddon isn’t Earth though, or anything like it. Zeke really shouldn’t be stuck in Abaddon, but he is.

    This story is about a human pulled out of the pocket universe God shoved Earth in to keep it safe when the good side started losing the Apocalypse. Of course humans have no idea and Zeke didn’t either until a demon tried to save its own ass by pulling a human through the veil to use as a power source in a fight. Shenanigans continue on from there. It’s a big world setting, because I like the epic adventures, but also a small setting of an army camp. I’m having a lot of fun with this one.

  • A Soldier’s Horizon

    ISBN: 9781634868501

    Release Date: 2-16-19

    Selati, a big construct forced to work in the cobalt mines of Ilmare, is terrified of the overseers. Danger dogs his every breath, somehow the leader of his ragged work crew, and he finally has enough when the mine itself almost kills him. Humans or no humans, he refuses to let his crew die down in the dark. As his crew takes their stand in their bid for freedom, rescue comes. Freedom in the light and a whole new life awaits.

    It’s a duty Aleledai takes great pride in, saving his fellow Caniean. Humans might have created them to mine and nothing more, but like all things, the Caniean are not the mindless beasts humans intended to work to death for resources. Selati’s rescue is probably his greatest accomplishment, because something about this one becomes everything Aleledai was missing, that made freedom perfect.

    Humans don’t let go of their things easily, though and war is coming, no matter what the Caniean want. The price of freedom is always high. Aleledai only hopes the price isn’t everything he’s found worth living for.

    JMS Books Amazon  B&N  Bookstrand  iBooks  Smashwords  Kobo

  • Artificial Heart

    ISBN: 9781634863063

    Release Date: 12-31-16

    In a future where the United States is slowly rebuilding itself, Omega Travis Danten is a big city cop sent to a seemingly desolate city on the edge of the Waste. This desert is full of undesirables, and it’s only a matter of time before they wreak havoc. But, Omegas are always assigned Alphas, and his new partner’s job is to protect him.

    But SdAI Alpha Virgil is not at all amused with the partner who chose him. Travis is willful and naive to the dangers a homicide detective faces here, and it makes Virgil’s job that much harder. And Travis, of course, is human and develops feelings, feelings that go beyond the rules about Omega/Alpha partnerships.

    Travis and Virgil have to find common ground, find a killer, and find space for each other in their own hearts, even if one is artificial.

    JMS Books Amazon  B&N  Bookstrand  iBooks  Smashwords Kobo

  • Carolina Burning

    ISBN: 9781611527247

    Release Date: 1-4-15

     

    Justin Nesbit, soldier turned prospector, crash lands on a planet in a star system that doesn’t exist on any map. He’s taken prisoner by the natives, and finds himself thrust into a strange new culture, a strange new language … and strange new feelings. From the start, Sajah, the alien leading the natives, is intensely interested in him.

    Sajah is a big and strange alien, unlike anyone Justin has ever encountered in his life. Fumbling through cultural and language barriers, they become friends. But one crucial moment of misunderstanding changes Justin’s entire situation and leads him down a path to a choice he never imagined in his wildest dreams.

    JMS Books  Amazon  B&N  Bookstrand  Smashwords  Kobo

  • Slither

    ISBN: 9781611526813

    Release Date: 9-11-14

    War awaits on Ilmare, between the humans and the constructs they created. Considered flawed designs by their creators, Selati and his other sentient comrades live the life of refugees on the run, hiding and fighting in Ilmare’s vast jungles. They want only the freedom to pursue their newly awakened sentience away from human interference.

    Aleledai taught Selati all he knows of a life without chains and suffering. Neither can know what tomorrow will bring, rather all too well what it could take from them both. On the cusp of war, Selati returns to his lover to spend one last night in the peaceful world that only exists in Aleledai’s arms.

     

    JMS Books Amazon  B&N  Bookstrand  iBooks  Smashwords  Kobo