Today I am so pleased to welcome Nicole Dennis to Joyfully Jay. Nicole has come to talk to us about her latest release, McShayne’s Elf. She has also brought along an exclusive excerpt and great giveaway. Please join me in giving Nicole a big welcome!
Inspiration for McShayne’s Elf
With the third book, I wanted to venture deeper into the Lands and explore it more with the readers. There would need to be a journey, but it ended up being multiple tangents.
The first is a journey for Braedyn of the Dark to learn about the heritage of his magical bloodlines.
The second concerns the Elven Prince Conchobar Ó Díomasaigh. A brief introduction at the very end of McShayne’s Fae revealed he’s been through something. And there is more to the warrior captain that is his constant shadow.
The third is the actual journey from their home realm through the Lands. Now… this is where I don’t want to give things away since it’s the heart of the story. This is also where the main inspiration comes into play.
The heart of the story is inspired by my love for the Shannara series by Terry Brooks. I pulled a couple of pieces from the original trilogy and twisted them to fill out my Elven Realm and kickstart the adventure that sends Braedyn and Conchobar into the Lands. I hope readers can recognize those pieces, but appreciate them.
Here is an exclusive excerpt that showcases one of the inspirational pieces.
“Are the dual Heartstone Trees protected?”
“Aye, Captain, by the Heart Keepers and a company of guards,” Geraint said.
“Excellent. They’ll collect the sacred pair of acorns if the Heartstone Trees decides it is time for us to leave this land and rebuild again. Until then, we remain on guard and defend the Realm and the civilians.” Braedyn knew the sacred center and lifeblood of their Realm would be protected. “Find and speak to all of the civilians. We need all fire and water wielders to the walls. Even if they have no miliary experience, we need their magical gifts. Fire. Water.”
“Fire and water.”
“Those are our most powerful weapons right now. Perhaps we can use that combination to push these creatures back into the night.”
“They do seem to steer clear of the burning parts.”
“Good information. I’ll pass that knowledge on to the others.”
“What else can we do, Captain?” another guard asked. “What do we tell the civilians?”
“All remaining civilians will pack their necessities and foodstuff and go to the necropolis. They are to remain there unless the city falls. If that happens, everyone can escape the city through the tunnels. An earth and stone wielder will collapse all the tunnels to protect our escape.” Braedyn looked at all of them. “Can you remember all of this?”
“We can remember and do this for you, Captain,” Geraint said and motioned to the others. As a group, they finished the say, “For the Realm!”
“For the Realm,” Braedyn repeated. “Good. Go. Off with all of you.”
The elves scattered into the night, now with a purpose to their motions and actions.
Pushing through the dangerous areas, Braedyn reached the defenders closest to the faltering southern wall. Everyone remained within the inner wall, using the towers and barriers to send their volleys and attacks. A moat filled with protective and defensive measures held between the two walls. The outer barrier wall was thicker stone built and reinforced by stone and earth wielders.
Along the wall, he found a grizzled old captain holding down an area by a tower.
Captain Rychell Loraleth turned to see who called for him. Exhaustion and determination filled his dark brown eyes that widened when he recognized the one who called. He shoved a hand through his braided deep brown hair. Some gray and silver hairs reflected the firelight. “Braedyn. What are you doing down here?” He lifted an eye to the sky for a brief check. “Where’s your bird?”
“The King wanted an update on our defenses. Left my hawk back in the palace. Too dangerous out here, even for a swift wing bird such as Cerin.”
::Not fair. I fly fast. Fast. Free. Swift wing is me.::
Braedyn groaned when Cerin’s voice popped into his head. He should have known his familiar was listening. ::Not now, Cerin. Keep eye on the palace.::
::Nothing going on. Captains arguing. No watch. Some want to flee.::
:: What would the Captains be arguing about? They have their roles to protect the royal family and the palace.::
::No know why. I want free. Fly to you. Fly above. See all.::
::And get hit by an arrow? Nay. Stay there.::
::Boring! I preen. Preen and clean.::
He kept hoping Cerin’s vocabulary will get better with time, but he highly doubt it since they’ve been connected for a couple centuries. Braedyn watched another defensive hail of arrows being shot by their bowmen. It was difficult to tell whether any hit their targets. He spun his bow and placed the end down on the stone in a tapping motion that captured their attention.
A Realm falls to the darkness.
An outcast because of his mixed heritage, Braedyn of the Dark, Captain of the Royal Shields and protector of the Prince of the Southern Woodland Realm, maintains his position through sheer grit and skill. Connected to a hawk familiar, Cerin, his magic is a mixture of Arcane and wielding. At the High King’s orders, he remains by his Prince’s side through a treacherous journey through the Lands to discover answers and a new home.
Losing his Realm, his parents, and his position in one-night, High Prince Conchobar Ó Díomasaigh is completely out of his familiarity. Running for his life, relying only on his protector and Captain, he digs deep to survive their trials, the growing darkness, and go wherever they must to save their Realm. At the same time, he sees his Captain in a different light and the deepening connection between them.
Strange adventures. New allies. Growing connections. Can they survive this wild journey to save the elves, the Realm, and their lives?
Magic passed through ancient bloodlines for generations. A powerful family gifted with a blend of Elf, Fae, and Human magic, the McShaynes watched over the balance of nature. While the Otherkin receded from any mortal connection, the McShaynes refuse to leave their ancestral lands. Until the humans turn against magic.
Four McShayne sons spread across the Lands. Each one fears he is the last. They fight to survive the harsh atmosphere, maintain their bloodline gifts, and discover love and the true meaning of family.
Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BQR68W71
A quiet one, Nicole Dennis is the penname of an asexual author of different genres of fiction – both LGBT+ and hetero. Lots of characters, worlds, and stories build up in her head until she must get them down on the screen – anything from romance to fantasy to paranormal.
During the day, she works in a quiet office in Central Florida, where she makes her home, and enjoys the down time to slip into her imagination. She is owned by a new feline companion – a house panther, affectionately known as Brat Cat.
- Author Website: http://nicoledennis.net
- Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/NicoleDennis.Author
- Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/NicoleDennis.Musings/
- Author Mastadon: https://mastodon.lol/@nicoledennis
- Author Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/2791975.Nicole_Dennis
- Author QueeRomance Ink: www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/nicole-dennis/
- Author Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/nicoledennis
Nicole is giving away an $10 Amazon gift card with this tour:
- By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
- By entering you are agreeing to the Terms and Conditions set out by Rafflecopter for entries.
- Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
- Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize. In order to facilitate prize distribution, the winner name’s and email may be provided to a third party awarding the prize.
- By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
- Void where prohibited by law.
Welcome, Nicole, and best wishes for the success of McShayne’s Elf!