Jessica is Infected with Bloodlune

The following is an excerpt from LadyStar: No Savage Under This Moon

illustration-2Shannon arrived at Jessica’s side only a moment before Talitha did. Neither had to say a word. Jessica’s left leg told the story. An eight-inch dessicated gash traveled lengthwise from her ankle up the side of her calf. The blood was already turning white.

The Huntress pulled the latch at the center of her harness. Her quiver, pack and bow fell to the ground. Shannon could hear and smell the foul burning decay of lycanthropic ichor. The essence of the unliving. The bane of all wilderness.

It was the Bloodlune.

They had moments, if that. The Huntress better than any other knew the terrible dilemma that awaited her if there was but a single failure among her next urgent actions.

If Jessica turned, and became a creature like that which had attacked and infected her, the Warrior of the Night would have no choice.

“Shannon…”

The Night Warrior closed her eyes and caught her breath. She tried to ignore the voice of her best friend, and the panic welling inside her throat. Jessica put her hand on Shannon’s arm.

“Make sure Teko–” A convulsion wracked Jessica’s body, and her shoulders and back arched off the ground. She turned to one side, revealing the sheets of foaming discharge covering the wound to her leg. Her skin was beginning to darken, and pustules were forming around the ragged edges of torn skin and muscle.

“How far is the river?” Shannon hissed.

Talitha was desperately trying to take inventory of her healing powers. Ranko arrived a moment later, casting her Hammer to one side. Despite her destructive might, Ranko felt powerless in the face of what she did not understand.

“How far?!”

Talitha shrank back, startled by the Huntress’ sharp voice.

“A-about a mile.”

“Not enough time,” Shannon growled.

Jessica inhaled and her head bent back. She wailed at the top of her lungs until her voice broke at the lack of breath. She rolled to one side and Shannon pulled her back so her shoulders were flat. She slid a wide chunk of rolled cershay hide between Jessica’s teeth and pushed her chin up until she bit it.

“Can’t we heal her?” Ranko asked, grasping at any possibility.

Shannon shook her head as Talitha’s formidable imagination cast itself into the blackness of the impossible looking for any scrap of hope.

“This isn’t a natural toxin,” Talitha said almost inaudibly. “I can’t neutralize undeath.”

Shannon pounded a small pile of black roots with her fist. Her motions were heedless and rash. Ranko could see the gathering tears in the Night Warrior’s eyes.

“Reina,” Ranko offered, now concerned for Shannon as well.

“Look at her eyes…” Talitha whispered. Jessica’s irises were becoming pallid. The blue color was slowly fading to a sickly pale white.

“There are no shortcuts,” Shannon exhaled through clenched teeth, wincing at the sudden strength of the gauntleted hand on her arm. Jessica’s fingers were growing thinner and sharper.

Jessica keened a rasping howl-like sound through the hide bit.

“This is a demon contagion. Death with a purpose,” Shannon finished.

“But, Reina’s powers are all based on–”

“Healing the living!” Shannon shouted. “You can’t take the powers of life and use them to nourish death!” The Huntress returned to gathering the small quantity of herbs in front of her. “Reina’s healing power would dissolve half of Jessica’s blood, and we’d be forced to fight the soulless thing left behind.”

“We can’t fight one of our own!” Ranko exclaimed, horrified at the mere suggestion.

“Oh yes we can,” Shannon replied. “There’s no way I’m going to allow this blight one foot closer to Escator and all those people. Those children.”

“Shannon, we can’t just–” Talitha’s soothing voice was overwhelmed by the Huntress’ icy, piercing glare.

“I will not abide another savage loose under this moon. So help me, if she turns–” Shannon choked on her next breath. She blinked back tears and opened her mouth, holding her duty back as long as she could. Her face reddened and her eyelids swelled. She inhaled deeply and used all of her breath to utter the words.

“I’ll kill her.”

Talitha Finds Her Way Home

The following is an excerpt from LadyStar: Storyteller, Book Two in W. Scott’s Seven Rings of Ajanel Series.

illustration-4Cerys had said he would return, but by now Talitha was pretty sure he had fled with tales to tell that nobody would believe. In fact, Talitha had been there and she wasn’t entirely sure she believed them either.

She and her little glimmerkin companion had discovered a well concealed copse of leafy mint sprouts and she was gently feeding him one tiny green morsel at a time. The tiny dragon devoured each one and eagerly waited while Talitha picked another. She sat with her legs crossed and her new pet perched on her shoe. The light he gave off was enough for both of them to see as far as they needed.

It wasn’t until some time later that Talitha noticed it was well and truly dark overhead. She could still sense everything around her, with or without the light. The growth of the tiny roots and flowers around her wrist had all combined together into a beautiful ring of white flowers that was even better than the world’s greatest corsage. Talitha felt as if she could coax pretty much any kind of leafy plant or bloom from her ring to wear around her wrist. The possibilities were pleasantly exciting. Talitha knew she could come up with some rather pretty combinations.

Her glimmerkin fluttered back to her shoulder as she stood and began to wonder what to do next. The feeling she was struggling with was both comforting and unfamiliar to her. It was a sensation she didn’t understand. On the one hand, she was alone in a completely unfamiliar place in the middle of the night with no food and no shelter. On the other hand, she felt as if the entire forest were gathered around her like a queen’s castle. She could feel the power in every leaf and every branch. The combined energy of all the life around her threatened to overwhelm her, but the care she sensed in them also made her feel completely safe.

She took particular notice of the bosk around the mint she had been picking. She knew the plants were sugarblossoms. They smelled like bubblegum and grew twice as rapidly as the most aggressive weeds. Just underneath them was a tangle of helico roots. They were bitter plants with anti-toxic properties. Right next to them was a twisted little slitherweed plant. Talitha knew instinctively it was deadly poisonous, even to touch. She knew it would draw a painful rash from her skin.

Talitha Casey also knew she had never seen, heard of or read about any of these plants before in her life. There was no way she could know what raeflowers, helico roots or slitherweeds were. They didn’t exist anywhere but here in this strange forest.

She stared at her ring. It was the cause of all of this. She was sure of it. She finally concluded it would do her no good to wonder why. Her only concern now was to find a way to wield whatever power she had been granted, and to do it consistently enough so she could find her way back to Jessica and Enken.

But then again, she thought, I already know my way back to Jessica and Enken. They’re in Parsim just beyond that stand of juniper–

She shook her head, as if trying to silence a voice only she could hear. How can I possibly know how to get from here to there? I’ve never been here or there before!

Talitha took the little glimmerkin off her shoulder. It perched happily on the edge of her hand. The sharp little claws on its feet felt like tiny little toothpicks on her skin. It smiled at her again.

“Do you know what’s going on here?”

It cocked its head to one side. Suddenly her face was bathed in soothing green light. She sensed something as the familiar soft orb of brightness appeared around the glimmerkin’s wings. It wasn’t really a word as much as a conscious perception. Everything felt more peaceful. It was as if the tiny dragon’s subtle change caused her to see everything around her through a different lens. There really was nothing to worry about. She would be together with Jessica and Enken soon. And she knew she could call on that huge shield if she needed it to defend herself.

All I have to do is go this way.

She set off across the forest in a new direction. Her little dragon followed, bobbing and circling around her, changing from green to pink. Talitha wasn’t entirely sure how she knew where to go. She was pretty sure the pink light meant “happy,” though

For reasons she could not explain, she was certain when she got there she would find her friends.

Shannon Protects An Injured Animal

The following is an excerpt from LadyStar: The Obsidian Star, Book Four in W. Scott’s Seven Rings of Ajanel Series.

illustration-5The sound that awakened Shannon was sharp, like a firecracker going off. In an instant, she was awake. The combination of adrenalin and the chilly air made her shiver as she leaned back against the tree.

As unwise as it had been to sleep outdoors with absolutely nothing even as meager as a windbreaker to add to her sweatshirt for warmth, Shannon’s mind was focused on something far more concerning.

The men she and the big cat had escaped from were back, and they were getting closer.

As quietly as she could possibly manage, Shannon crept around the tree and into the undergrowth, crawling on her hands and knees. She needed to move about five yards to get to the animal, and she hoped when she got there she would be able to keep it from making too much noise.

The murmur of voices made Shannon duck lower to the ground as she crawled bit by bit to make sure she made no noise at all. Even the slightest sound might draw their attention.

The ghostly flicker of torchlight cast smoldering shadows through the leaves, making the trees appear much larger and more forbidding. The voices got louder, then seemed to drift away, then got louder still.

A few more feet, and she would be there. She could see the great cat’s back paws lying in the leaves next to the largest of the three trees on Shannon’s side of the glen. The animal’s breathing was a strained sound, but it did seem a little stronger than before.

“Stupid hair,” Shannon whispered to herself as she pulled it back over her ear so she could see in both directions. I wish I had brought something to tie it with, she thought.

She crept behind the big cat, hiding behind his immensely powerful shoulders. She wished he could sleep, but the heavy, quick sound of his breathing made it sound as if sleeping would be difficult. She put her hands across his side.

“Shhhhh.. shhhh… don’t let them hear us..”

Then she froze. Torchlight was visible over the bushes only a few yards away. She lowered her head so her eyes were just above the black fur of the big cat’s side. Her heart beat like a trip-hammer and the tension in her arms and legs made her fingers ache.

How dare they hurt him and then chase him down!

Shannon scowled in the darkness, following the light of the torch and the small band of men along the edge of the glen with intense hatred in her eyes. She hoped beyond all hope they wouldn’t hear the big cat breathing, or the rattling in his throat. Shannon wasn’t sure what she might do if they hurt him.

But the heat in her face told her she was prepared to fight.

Was It A Dream?

The following is an excerpt from LadyStar: With This Ring, Book One in W. Scott’s Seven Rings of Ajanel Series.

illustration-1Morning was cloaked in a heavy mist. Rays of sunlight were visible. The beams angled down towards the ground.

Jessica Halloran felt the warmth on her face. She looked past the shimmering leaves at the lustrous clouds drifting overhead.

A breeze caught her light yellow gown as she danced under the brightening sky. It was not cold. Her reddish hair flew.

She looked towards the emerging sunrise. A sliver of brightness crested the trees. The world was alight with pink and yellow hues. Glory unfolded among the clouds.

Jessica squinted through the glare from the mist. A shape was visible in the soft fiery glow. It was moving towards her. The burning light surged across the sky. He walked out of the haze, hands outstretched. Jessica backed away.

His mouth moved like he was speaking, but he made no sound. He looked strange. The color of his clothing and face were faded, as if he were not quite there. He tried to speak again, but Jessica still couldn’t hear him.

He was slender with an unkempt shock of sandy hair and sincere blue eyes. He waited. His expression was hard, like he was close to anger. He looked to be about Jessica’s age, maybe a little older. She was suddenly self-conscious. Even though she thought it was pretty, the sheer yellow gown she was wearing wouldn’t be her first choice when meeting new people.

Again he spoke. But there was no sound.

“What are you trying to say?” Jessica asked out loud, still anxious about his sudden appearance. She was becoming more curious than afraid. He didn’t seem threatening. It was more like he was desperately trying to deliver a message. He looked like a ghost.

Jessica moved closer to him. She wondered if it would make it easier to hear what he was trying to say. The ghostly boy looked encouraged by her approach. He nodded and beckoned her. He held out his hands, inviting Jessica to take them.

She stepped still closer. The grass felt soft against her bare feet. She reached out for him and took his hands. He seemed to solidify more at her touch. He looked into her questioning green eyes, gathering his strength. He noticed a pink ribbon had fallen from Jessica’s hair. He picked it up and offered it to her. She closed his fingers over it. It seemed like the right thing to do.

A moment passed between them. The boy reached into a pouch on his belt and produced a shining golden ring. It was set with a gleaming fiery red stone accented with tiny white diamonds.

It was breathtaking. It caught the morning sunlight and the glow lit up Jessica’s astonished face. His eyes looked as if he were begging her not to leave. His expression was still sincere. It had an edge of weariness to it.

He took her firmly by the wrist and Jessica held her breath. He was stronger than he looked. He placed the ring on her finger. It fit perfectly. Jessica felt as if she could take flight if she wished.

She explored his eyes once again for some kind of clue as to why he would give something so beautiful to someone he had never met. All she could think of was how tall he was and how closely he held her by the hands. She noticed he no longer looked quite as ghostly as before. Then she finally heard his voice.

“Help us.”

Jessica sat up, gasping for breath. It was still dark outside. She reached down frantically and felt the familiar softness of her bed with both hands.

A dream.

She heard crickets outside. It was chilly in her room. The soft glow of her phone told her it wasn’t quite 4AM.

She rested herself again, gathering her pillows and pulling her long strawberry blond hair back out of the way. The memory of the ghostly boy was fresh. Jessica always had dreams like this, but she almost never remembered them with much clarity. She wished he were real.

Jessica smiled. She could still remember that little curl of hair that hung down across his forehead. She couldn’t wait to tell her friend Talitha how handsome he was.

Then she noticed she was still wearing the ring.

The Beautiful Snow Spirit Girl Who Fell In Love With a Human Boy

first-bloom-2
First Bloom is Lily Carwyn’s 11th First Kiss Romance

Now you might think ’cause I’m a magical warrior and I got my own stories that I don’t know about all the other stories we got.

But being the Ajan Warrior of the Sunrise gots its benefits!  I’ve met Kai-Lynn and she’s one of my friends.  Even though she’s a snow spirit and normally wouldn’t get to talk to regular human people like me, I have a few magic powers too, so I know all about how she fell in love with a human boy one day.

Believe me, I know how tough it is to deal with boys and relationships when there’s all kinds of weird mysterious magical monster stuff going on too!

This is one of the best fairy tales you’ll ever read and the best part is it’s brand new to The Official LadyStar Bookstore. You get Gold Monarchs for purchases and we’ve always got specials too. Are you ready to learn the secrets of the snow spirits?

Just What Exactly Is Lexicon Hollow?

lexicon-hollowFar beyond the verdant living gardens of Goldenwood, on a mountaintop higher than the Aerie of Ultan, in a cave deeper than the Crystal Terrane and hidden behind a shining silver Lockvern gate is the enchanted land of Lexicon Hollow.

There, thirteen-and-a-half quills with feathers of emerald green circle and dance, marking letters and glyphs upon painted pages that tell of heroes, hallows and haints, and sunset lands guarded by dragons, applebats and sleepy cats.

It is where pretty girls fight for honor and handsome boys discover courage.  Where animals become pirates and three wheels are better than four.  It is where zombies drive haunted dragsters and fleets of tiny spaceships join in epic battle.  It is where strange beasts prowl, and feathered wings high carry owls.  Where priceless gems are hidden, and adventures are bidden.  This is where our writers roam.  It is the greatest realm of all.

It is the realm of imagination.

Hi! You Can Still Call Me Jessie!

600-0042a-wI’m Jessica Halloran. I’m 16 years old and I have a really big story to tell.

I was dreaming one night while I was asleep and I met this ghostly boy who gave me a golden ring with a red heartstone in it. I thought it was a nightmare but when I woke up I was still wearing the ring!

Me and my friend Talitha walked through a portal called the Lockvern and found a hidden world inside called Ajanel. That boy I met was there and we found him just before he got into this huge battle.

Now I’m a warrior in a fantasy realm called Ajanel. I have a pet Sha-Ri that you might think was a white owl if you first saw him, but he’s pretty different from an owl. His name is Teko and he can make magical flowers appear in his beak! I have an enchanted sword called Aria. It has a golden blade and it’s made of a super-rare metal called celestium.

This is gonna be our site where we talk about all kinds of LadyStar stuff. We used to have lots of other sites that were kinda the same as this one except they were different too. Most of our story stuff had pictures and drawings and animation and things, but we don’t have that any more.

See, LadyStar was a game first. Me and Talitha and all of my other friends were in a video game that was released as a series of episodes. Can you believe that was almost fifteen years ago? It’s almost as long ago as I’ve been alive! Anyway, lots of people liked our game, so our story became a manga. Then LadyStar was a visual novel and some web sites and a comic and now we’re a book series. Of all the things we’ve done, people liked our books the best.

My story and my friends’ story is a pretty big one. We fight tons of monsters and go on tons of adventures. It’s almost too much to fit on one web site, so we decided the best way to tell our story was to make it a book series and build our own bookstore. We have LadyStar books and other stories too, like romances and science fiction and a huge amount of other stuff.

But then we found out some of what you want to know about our books and about our warrior powers and weapons are the kinds of things we should put on a web site. That way you can learn all about us and see if you like our adventures before you join in. (I think you’re going to love our adventures!)

The best part about a site like Seven Rings of Ajanel is we can update whenever we want, and we don’t have to worry about videos and music and all kinds of extra stuff.

Me and Teko got a Twitter that has zillions of followers, and if you read our site you should also follow us on Twitter because we’re going to put stuff there too. This site is all about our books and all about our story world. If you want to know everything about LadyStar, this is where we’re going to publish it.

Be sure to check back often, because sometimes we might even update more than once in the same day! See ya!