QUEST FOR THE RED SAPPHIRE
By Rival Gates
Former General Linvin Grithinshield is summoned home from the Goblin Wars after his father’s disappearance to run the family trading empire. Soon his mother is murdered and he is on the run with a price on his head. As a faceless enemy pursues him he must seek out the mythical Red Sapphire. In a world with enemies from without and within, he must set out with dragons in the sky and cutthroats all around to fulfill his destiny or die in the attempt.
EXCERPT “And you are avoiding my question!” stormed Linvin. “Answer me! Answer me! Is this what my father wanted?”
Anvar recalled the promise he made to Jelena. He sat down and rocked while biting the end if his pipe. Linvin sat down in the chair next to him and placed his head in his hands.
The rhythmic sound of Anvar’s rocking came to an abrupt halt. Anvar stroked his nephew’s hair and whispered a word in his ear, “No.”
Linvin’s head popped up and stared at his uncle. “Then what is this all about?”
Anvar returned to his rocking and puffing. After a few moments he formulated his words and spoke, “Your mother was absolutely set against your leaving. What you have been experiencing tonight is the life your mother has envisioned for you since you were born.”
“And my father’s plan?”
“I can only hope his plan died with him. It was reckless and dangerous. With any luck at all, it would never bear fruit.”
“Just tell me, Anvar, what was his plan?”
“It is not for me to say,” Anvar answered. “It was not my plan.”
“So what am I supposed to do?” Linvin demanded.
Anvar looked up at the sky. Only a few clouds obscured the view. At that moment, one of the clouds had hidden the reflection of the moon. “Look at the sky Linvin. Tell me, is the moon out tonight?”
Linvin leaned back and took in the sky. “Yes,” he answered simply.
“How do you know?” asked Anvar. “I do not see the moon anywhere.”
“It is right there,” pointed Linvin. “There are just some clouds blocking it from view.”
“But you are sure it is there?” asked Anvar. “Prove it to me. How can you prove that the moon is there?”
“Well,” Linvin said as he rubbed his chin, “We can just wait here until it comes out from behind that cloud. Then you will see it.”
“So even though the answer may be there all along, I will not be able to see it until the time is right?” Anvar asked.
“Well, of course,” Linvin stated. “Unless you believe it is there all the time, then your only choice is to wait for it to reveal itself.”
“So you are telling me that I must just believe the moon is there until it appears and proves it? You seem quite confident in the outcome. How do you know that the moon will appear again?”
“I do not know,” said Linvin. “I guess it just always comes out sooner or later.”
Anvar smiled and remarked, “And so will the answer to your question, my boy. The answer is out there. What you must do, is wait for it to present itself; just like your moon. Until then, you must believe the answer will appear.”
~Add it on Goodreads.
INTERVIEW WITH ASSASSIN ONE
The Fraylic Herald reporter Gildore Codus is on the dangerous side of the capitol city this evening where he sees half a dozen silhouettes leave an alley in haste. As a good reporter, he rushes up to one of them and makes an inquiry.
Gildore: Sir…Sir, if you don’t mind. Would you do me the honor of answering a few questions?
Stranger: It’s your life. Ask what you feel safe asking.
Giltore: Thank you Sir. What is your name?
Stranger: I go by the name One. That should be good enough for you.
Giltore: Very well, One. What are you doing in such a disreputable part of town in the middle of the night?
One: I was meeting up with my comrades and discussing today’s action.
Giltore: What action was there to discuss?
One: We have just successfully assassinated Jelena Grithinshield.
Giltore: Mrs. Grithinshield was not even involved in the family merchant empire. Her son Linvin runs it. Why would you kill her?
One: She had something we wanted.
Giltore: Was it money?
One: Such a reward is not worthy of our skills. We sought something much more valuable. Money is of little consequence as our employer sees to our needs most handsomely.
Giltore: If you did not seek money than what were you after?
One: We sought the prize that leads to the ultimate prize. Unfortunately, it was gone from its hiding place when we went to retrieve it.
Giltore: Do you have any idea where the prize went?
One: I have it on good authority that it was taken by the lady’s brother to her son in Missandor.
Giltore: Is that where you are heading now?
One: After checking one other place we will pay Linvin a visit. He will meet a much more painful fate than his mother. That half elf is said to be a great warrior so we must dispose of him harshly.
Giltore: What will you do after you have killed him?
One: I will make it look like an accident and then take the prize to my master.
Giltore: Who is your master?
One: He is the person most deserving of the ultimate prize. After we produce our findings, he will become all-powerful and take this wretched world for his own.
Giltore: Well thank you for answering my questions, Mr. One.
One: Think of it more as your last words as I cannot allow you to live. You should have stayed on your own side of the street.
Ouch…tough luck, there. Maybe next time, don’t interview an assassin.
Rival Gates grew up as the son of an editor and a high school teacher. He wrote his series as a hobby and published it as a promise fulfilled to his dying mother. Rival lives in Nebraska and loves spending time with his wife and children. When not working, he dreams of more adventures with bone crushing fights and epic battles.
LET’S GET TO KNOW RIVAL A BIT MORE
-What inspired you to become a writer?
I was picked on mercilessly at school and was very depressed. My mother suggested I stop dwelling on the negatives in my life and work on something positive. I loved to tell stories and write. Then there was the immense feeling of pride I felt when I would read my father’s magazine and read his editorials with his name alongside. I decided right then and there that I was going to write a story. At first it was something just for me to use in order to escape my life. I had my own world and characters. If I wanted something to be a certain way, I made it happen. Then the story grew into a book and the book grew into a series. Every night my mother would come to check on me after I had finished my homework and I would regale her with a part of one of the stories. As a teacher, she would point out when the story didn’t make sense or something was out of place with a character. When the first draft was complete (hand written) I was only 15 years old and brought it to my father for review. He read the first page and crumpled the entire work into a ball, depositing it on the ground. Dad told me my writing was inferior and abysmal. If I wanted to be taken seriously, I would need to improve immensely. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that stung. He was right, however. I could tell a story, but I needed to fine tune my writing style. I read a wide variety of authors and learned through them and school. Years later I bought my first computer and started revising the story in print. Sample chapters I gave my mother were secretly leant to friends. The responses were very positive and I was encouraged. I cannot tell you how many times I rewrote the first book, but it was several. When Mom came down with terminal cancer she shared that my father had worked on a book for years but kept rewriting the first chapter and never moved beyond. She said my book was ready and it was time to share it. So she made me promise to have it published and I agreed. She was always in my corner. I could not break my vow.
-What draws you to fantasy?
I am drawn to fantasy by the ability to slip into a whole different world of my choosing. In that world I can make anything possible or impossible.
-Give us a fun or interesting fact you learned researching this book.
Giant Redwood trees can have a section carved out of the middle and still thrive.
Way cool. And I’ll probably remember that for the rest of my life now for no apparent reason other than it’s cool.
-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?
That would definitely be Newminor, the gnome. He never had a drink he didn’t like and he is always fun and quotable.
-For aspiring writers, any tips?
Never ever give up. When you decide your work is ready, stand by your conviction. Not everyone will like your work. It is a fact. That doesn’t mean someone else won’t find it wonderful. You only fail when you give up.
-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?
I would never write erotica. If I wouldn’t let my child read it, why would I make another person’s child read it?
Thank you for joining us today, Rival. It’s been great having you!
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