New Excerpt to Tide You Over Until the Release of Book Two!

Hello my wonderful readers, who I’m sure have been patiently waiting for me to climb back out of my hole with an update on Book Two.  So here we go.  Remember when I said that I would release book two at the end of August, OR early September?  Well, I have good and bad news.  The bad news: it’s going to be early September (hopefully) because LIFE people…because life.  I’ve been swamped with new job/family/friend events the past several weeks (all of which are good things…but really take away from the precious little free time I possess).  But there is good news!  The book IS coming (I promise) and it’s coming SOON!!  Really, this is just more time for those of you who haven’t finished Book One to catch up.  Until then, however, here is another excerpt from The Guardians of Light, Book Two: The Land of Sand and Sea to hold you over until the full thing is done…

When Kandin finally woke, Andreena was looking down at him.

“How long have I been out?” he yawned.

She shrugged.  “A couple of hours.”

“The others will probably be wondering where we are,” he groaned as he sat up.

Andreena shook her head.  “They know we’re down here, and they know where to go to reach the bottom of the cliff.  We’ll meet them there.”

Kandin frowned at her.  “How do you know that?”

“Arnes spoke to me.”  She pointed to her head.

“Isn’t she…?”

Andreena shrugged.  “Her mind is powerful, and she can tap into her powers even in her present state.”

Kandin nodded, pretending to understand.  He was tired of looking like an idiot in front of her.  With another quick stretch, he stood.

“Shall we go then?”

Andreena smiled.  Grabbing her hands, Kandin helped her stand.  It was then he noticed the dry blood coating her left palm.

“Are you okay?” he asked, turning both of her hands carefully to see the extent of the damage.

“It’s fine,” she said with a blush.  She pulled her hands away and began moving.  Kandin blinked, surprised by her strange reaction to his concern.  He quickly followed after her.  After a short time of walking, however, he began to grow tired.  The further they went, the more exhausted he became.  After about an hour, he stumbled and dropped to his knees.

“Kandin!”  Andreena knelt next to him, and when he started falling forward, she reached out and grabbed his shoulders to hold him up.  “What’s wrong?”     

“I’m…so…tired,” he gasped.

“I was afraid of this,” she sighed.

“Afraid of what?” he panted.

“That blast you emitted to save us was too powerful.  With your limited training, there was little chance you could control it.  It drained you…could have killed you!  You need more time to rest.”

“Good to know that now.”  He still struggled to catch his breath.

“Are you going to be okay?  You’re not going to pass out again, are you?”  Andreena put her hand on Kandin’s cheek to hold his head up so she could study him.  Her other hand stayed on his shoulder, keeping him upright.

His heart skipped a beat as he met Andreena’s eyes.  Her face was so close to his, he could have leaned forward and kissed her.  The thought didn’t help his breathing at all.

“I’m fine,” he murmured.  “We can keep going.”

Instead of scolding him as he expected her to, Andreena smiled and softly said, “You amaze me sometimes, Kandin.”

He couldn’t fight a grin, but didn’t say anything.  He kept his eyes locked on hers.  Her hand was still on his cheek.  As if pulled by an invisible tether, they began to lean in closer to each other.  Just as Kandin began to close his eyes, hers went wide.  She quickly turned her face away and shot backwards, removing her hands from his face and shoulder as well.  Without her supporting him, he slumped forward onto the ground.  Kandin groaned into the dirt.

Excerpt from "The Guardians of Light, Book Two: The Land of Sand and Sea" and New Character Reveal!

Hey all!  A deal’s a deal.  In celebration of reaching 100 Facebook likes, here is an exciting new excerpt from The Guardians of Light, Book Two: The Land of Sand and Sea!  But first, a little intro to the awesome new character revealed within…
His name is Mirfio, and he’s unlike anything Anoera has ever seen before.  His eerie yellow eyes, fangs, and claws are the only things that indicate he is more than human.  But what is he exactly?  What does he want?  And what kind of history do he and Andreena share?  Find out in The Guardians of Light, Book Two, but in the meantime, here’s a little sneak peek at the newest threat to Kandin and his friends…  
When the sun was directly above them, and hunger was gnawing at their bellies, Andreena would not let them stop.
“Do you plan on starving us to death?” Bandin snapped.
Andreena ignored him, continuing to walk at the front of the group.  Kandin was following directly behind her…and nearly ran into her back when she came to a sudden stop.
“Hey, careful!” he growled.
She didn’t seem to hear him.  Her body had gone rigid, and she was as still as stone.
“Andreena?  Are you okay?” Kandin frowned, moving around so he could see her face.  Her eyes were wide, her mouth was gaping, and her cheeks had turned white.  “Andreena?”  He reached out a hand to touch her shoulder, but she was gone before he even realized she had moved.
“Where did she go?” Kandin cried, frantically searching the area for her.  How could she have simply vanished like that?  Had something taken her?  She had been right in front of him seconds ago…
“Up there!” Shaena exclaimed, pointing towards the treetops.  Kandin gazed up, and spotted Andreena crouched low on a large branch high above him.
“How in the world…?” Bandin gasped, craning his neck to gawk up at her.
“She’s been holding back…hiding her abilities from us.  She doesn’t have to anymore now that we know she’s an Immortal,” Shaena muttered, stunned.
“You mean she jumped up there?” Kandin breathed in awe.  Andreena, like a cat, peered off into the distance, and then suddenly disappeared again.
“Come on!” Shaena shouted, breaking into a run.  “We need to follow her!”
Kandin briefly wondered how they’d even findher, but then saw her blurry figure appear on another branch before disappearing again.
At that moment, Andreena had completely forgotten about the others.  Something was in the air.  A scent, a power she recognized…but it couldn’t be right.
This dark power, she thought.  It can’t be him…it’s impossible.  She continued to race towards the source of the power she sensed, anxiety and dread making her stomach queasy.
Andreena came to a halt when she was directly above the cause of the disturbance she felt.  Jumping out of the trees, she did one flip, and landed neatly on the ground.  She slowly raised her head, and then stumbled back in shock.
Within seconds, Kandin and the others burst from the trees behind her.  Kandin came to a sliding stop when he spotted what had startled Andreena.  Nearly twenty large demons stood before them in a line, snarling at them.  A giant black warhorse pawed the ground impatiently in front of the demons, but it was the beast’s rider that proved the most menacing sight.  It appeared to be a man, not much older than Kandin himself, but he wasn’t a man…not really…but he also didn’t appear to be a demon.  He was something else, something Kandin had never seen before.
He was cloaked in blood red and was handsome, but in an inhumane, almost frightening way.  He had yellow eyes, slitted like a cat, and wild black hair that had undertones of deep red.  His ears were pointed, and small fangs glinted between his lips as he smirked at them.  No, he definitely wasn’t human…but Kandin wasn’t sure what he was.
Kandin looked from the rider to Andreena.  She was staring, wide-eyed, at the strange creature.
“Mir…Mirfio?” she finally stammered.
“Hello Andreena,” the man said in a cool, deep voice.  “It’s been a long time.”
“Wait…you know this guy?” Kandin blurted.
Andreena ignored him.  “Mirfio…is it…is it really you?”  Her voice was a hesitant whisper.  She took a step forward.
“It’s me, Andreena,” Mirfio nodded, dropping from his horse.  He began walking towards them…his eerie yellow eyes locked on her.  Kandin, Shaena, and Bandin each stepped back, but Andreena stepped forward again.
“Mirfio,” she breathed his name.
            “Andreena, what are you doing?” Kandin demanded to know when she took yet another step towards Mirfio.  What is going on? Kandin thought, his heart racing.  Why won’t she move away?  He didn’t know what to do.
Mirfio walked right up to Andreena and stopped when he was directly in front of her.  She had to tilt her head back to meet his gaze.  They stood silently, staring at each other.
“Mirfio…I thought…I thought you were…thought you were dead!”
“Dead?  How could I be dead, when you are still alive?” the creature murmured.
“What do you…?” Andreena began.  Suddenly, Mirfio’s hands shot out and he grasped her shoulders, cutting off her question.
“Andreena!” Kandin cried in alarm, lurching towards them.  Before he could reach the pair, however, Mirfio slowly leaned in to Andreena…and kissed her.  Her eyes went wide in surprise, but then she closed them and returned the kiss, reaching up to clutch his shoulders with her fingers.
“An…Andreena?” Kandin gasped in disbelief.  Pain seared his chest, and it felt as if his heart was being ripped apart.  His legs all of the sudden felt weak, and he slowly crumpled to his knees as he watched the two embrace.
“What…what is she doing?” he heard Shaena ask in shock.
“She’s lost her mind,” came Bandin’s dumbfounded reply.
Finally, after what seemed like eons to Kandin, Mirfio broke the kiss and stared down at Andreena.  He wrapped one arm around her shoulders, pressing her tightly to his chest, and let his other hand drop to his side.
“Mirfio, I’ve missed you so much,” Andreena admitted in a pained voice.  Her eyes shimmered with tears, and she gazed up at him looking very much like she was…in love.  Kandin felt like he was going to vomit.
“I’m here now, Andreena…after all this time, I finally have you.”
Something in Mirfio’s tone raised the hairs on the back of Kandin’s neck.  He fought back his crushing disappointment to try and understand what it was that seemed so off about the creature’s words…
Mirfio squeezed Andreena tighter, and she buried her face against his chest.
“I was afraid I would never see you again!” she sobbed.  “All these years, I’ve wanted so desperately for you to be alive…to find you.  I’ve wanted to apologize to you so badly for…”
“Betraying me?” Mirfio finished in a cold, flat voice.
Andreena’s head shot up, and she gaped at him.  Then she screamed.
“ANDREENA!” Kandin roared, shoving to his feet as her arms fell away from Mirfio.  The creature released his hold on her and shoved her backwards, yanking a long, bloody dagger from her belly.
She flew back, slamming into Kandin, who caught her in his arms.  The impact threw him off balance, and he stumbled, falling to the ground.  He twisted so his body absorbed the impact, and clutched Andreena to him protectively.
“Andreena!” Shaena cried, and he heard her and Bandin run towards them.  The demons watched, snarling and growling in excitement over the bloodshed.
Kandin sat up, gently cradling Andreena in his lap.  Her eyes were closed, and her torso was soaked with her blood.  Frantically, but attempting not to hurt her in his panic, Kandin laid a hand over her wound to try and staunch the flow.
“Andreena?  Please, wake up,” he whispered, terrified that her eyes remained closed.  “You’re gong to be okay.  Please…just wake up.”  Her heartbeat was weak, and his hand was soon drenched.
Finally, with a tiny gasp, she cracked open her eyelids.  Kandin’s relief was short-lived, however, when her gaze landed, not on him, but on Mirfio.
“Wh…why?” she stuttered weakly, tears running down her cheeks.
Mirfio smirked as he sheathed the dagger.  It was still covered in her blood.
“Idiot,” he hissed.  Then, he clenched his jaw and his eyes turned fiery with fury.  He bellowed, “It’s your own fault!  You are the one who turned your back on me!”
            “I…I said…I was…sorry,” Andreena moaned.
Mirfio glared at her.  “Sorry?  That’s all you can say to me?  When I needed you most, you betrayed me!  The only thing that has kept me going, that has given me any sort of will to live, has been the thought of killing you.  We are far beyond sorry.”
“Don’t you dare talk to her like that,” Kandin spoke with quiet ferocity.  Rage burned in him like a wildfire, scorching his insides and blocking all but one thought from his mind…making Mirfio pay.  Andreena peered up at Kandin, and was shocked to see the fierceness of his expression.  He glanced down at her briefly, but then focused all of his attention back on Mirfio.  “I swear to you, if she dies, New Opitimass will seem more merciful than me.”
Mirfio appeared momentarily taken aback, but then shrugged Kandin’s threat away.  “What’s this?” he grinned evilly at Andreena.  “Have you already snared another’s heart?”  He looked away from her and addressed Kandin with a sneer.  “I would be careful of her if I were you,” the creature warned mockingly.  “She will rip it right out of your chest if you give her the opportunity.”
“I’ll take my chances,” Kandin growled.  Andreena tried to turn her head back to look up at Kandin, but she was too weak.  She slumped over, her eyes closing.
            Kandin felt her body grow heavier.  He shook her gently, then slightly harder when she made no response.  “Andreena?  Andreena!”
Mirfio’s look of satisfaction broke the last of Kandin’s control over his fury.  “I hope she dies and rots in…”
Kandin suddenly appeared inches from Mirfio’s face.  Andreena lay on the ground behind him.  The creature was too stunned to immediately react.  Kandin grabbed his collar, and lifted Mirfio off of his feet.  “If she dies, I will tear you apart.”
Instead of appearing afraid, Mirfio smiled savagely.  “Then start tearing.  She’s as good as dead, and if you kill me, Andreena and I can live together in oblivion forever.”
Kandin’s grip on Mirfio tightened.  His rage was all-consuming, and in that moment, something snapped inside of him.  His power shifted…grew heavier…darker…stronger
            “What’s this?” Mirfio calmly observed, sensing the change.  Kandin clenched his teeth, and tightened his grip further.
            “If she dies…” His eyes turned bright red, and his power swirled around them like a wind.
“What’s happening to Kandin?” Shaena asked, bewildered.  Bandin shook his head, and stared at his best friend wide-eyed…and fearful.
Kandin relished the familiar sensation of power pusling through his body, but that wasn’t all he was feeling.  Something was happening.  Something new.  It started as a soft thumping in his chest, but the beat slowly increased until his heart pounded against his ribs so hard, he thought his chest would burst.  It was as if something inside was breaking, and some strange substance was leaking out to mix with the power soaring though him.  It burned differently, and felt toxic, but strangely glorious at the same time.     
            “Look!” Shaena exclaimed.  “Look at Kandin’s eyes!  They’re turning black!”
Apparently, his internal transformation was becoming a physical one as well.
“What are you?” Mirfio asked with curioustiy.  There was still no trace of fear in his voice…which only angered Kandin more.
An excrutiating pain suddenly shot through his whole body, and he dropped Mirfio with a cry.  He clutched his head in his hands as his skull began to throb, feeling like it would split in two.  Shaena and Bandin helplessly watched in horror as Kandin began to scream in agony.  He pulled his hands away, and saw his fingernails start to lengthen and sharpen into…claws.  His teeth pierced his lips as they grew into small, sharp fangs.  He threw his head back and roared.  The demons, in a frenzy, answered it with roars of their own.  They quickly took to flight, panicked and terrified, leaving Mirfio alone.
“What’s happening?” Bandin cried.
“I don’t know!” Shaena replied, horrified.  “But whatever it is, I don’t think Kandin can fight it!”
“Is he even trying to?” Bandin shouted.
Growing overwhelmed, Kandin tried to control the change, but it was too powerful.  Why is this happening?  Where is this coming from? he thought desperately.  He felt something tugging at his mind, trying to pull him towards a darkness that he knew he would never escape…  

Hope you enjoyed it!  Keep an eye on the Facebook page for more updates and news!

E.K. Broich

The Guardians of Light, Book One: The Betrayer (Second Edition)

Hello my very patient and understanding readers!  I know it has been WAY to long since I last posted, but I promise, the long absence has been a productive one.  To start with, though, I unfortunately did not finish the first book of The Fire Crystal Chronicles like I was hoping I would.  Between graduation, moving, and preparing for my new job, the time just wasn’t there.  HOWEVER, I was not completely idle during the past few weeks.  I received a jolt of motivation to work on The Guardians.  It happened when I found out that a kid I used to babysit for, who goes to my old middle school, found my first book in the library.  He didn’t know I wrote it, but he saw the title, was interested, and started reading it.  Apparently, he LOVED it, and told his mom (who then told him it was my book…really, though, I don’t always look at the author of what I’m reading).  That really brought my attention back to the trilogy, which I have been diligently working on ever since.  And, I am happy to announce, everything is on track for the release of the second book in late August, early September.  In the meantime, though, in anticipation of the rest of the trilogy coming out, I am happy to announce the release of the SECOND EDITION of The Guardians of Light, Book One: The Betrayer.  The whole book has been re-edited and updated, with a lot of rewriting in Part One (the story ends up the same place, but the journey is a little different).  It even has a brand new cover!

I’m very excited about the new release, and hope you all enjoy the changes!  A Kindle edition will be available soon as well, and I will keep you all posted as to when that is ready.  Also, if you want a copy of the First Edition of The Betrayer, get it while you still can, because they will be going out of circulation soon!  All right, that’s all for now, but I’ll be back soon with more updates and more exciting stuff (perhaps an excerpt of Book Two?)  So stay tuned!!
E.K. Broich 

Get your copy of The Betrayer, 2nd Edition here! The Betrayer, 2nd Edition

Introducing "To Anoera and Beyond…"

When I was fourteen years old, I was watching my cousin play a video game…and I was bored (I wanted to play).  It was one of those tournament fighting games that doesn’t have a real storyline, so, in my boredom, I made one up for some of the characters.  As the story began developing in my head, I began to write down some of the details.  Then I started typing it out.  Eventually, I was planning a whole trilogy, and so The Guardians of Light was born.  I finished the first book, The Betrayer, in a year (Christmas break to Christmas break), and then had kind of a “now what?” moment.  I knew I wanted to publish it, but didn’t know how to do that, so I started doing some research.  What I found out was I had pretty much no chance of publication without an agent…and at the time, I was to impatient to find an agent (I’m still pretty impatient).  And then I discovered self-publishing.  It was a lot more work, but I thought it would be worth it.  So, I set about preparing the first book for publishing.  I edited it, and had others edit it as well.  I found a print-on-demand company that I thought would solve all my publishing problems (they had a dog for a mascot at the time, which really drew me).  I learned how to draw (kind of) so that I could design the cover and illustrations myself.  I did all this while maintaining a very busy high school career (volleyball, speech, mock trial, drama, 4-H, golf…the list goes on).  In the end, it took me four years before the book was
ready, and I finally self-published it when I was eighteen.  I thought that would be the hardest part, and the rest would just fall into place.  I was very, VERY wrong.

I had no marketing skills, and had no platform from which to launch any kind of marketing strategy.  I was young, inexperienced, and had entered into a world I wasn’t really prepared for.  I went to some book talks, and had a signing at my school, but I was basically flailing around in the dark.  Then I just kind of…gave up.  College started, and life became more demanding.  I continued writing, continued working on the other two books, but the fire that had led me to publishing the first one died a bit.  The print on demand method was expensive, and I wasn’t making any money.  It was another four years before I came to my next big decision…I was going to look for an agent.

I started my agent hunt in the fall of 2013, after going through the first book and editing everything again.  I’m still looking, and have done extensive updates to the original manuscript, filling in some plot-holes, and maturing the story.  I’ve done a lot of growing up since I first wrote The Betrayer, so it needed to grow up a bit too.  I’ve learned a lot more in the ten years I’ve been doing this, and have even considered giving self-publishing another chance if an agent doesn’t respond (it’s proving difficult to get someone to represent a high-fantasy book in a dystopian saturated market).  This blog will be my outlet and my platform.  Hopefully, through this, I am able to share the world of The Guardians with a wider audience, and to receive feedback from the people interested in exploring it.  So, I hope you stick around for the journey.  It’s been a long one already, but now it’s really going to get interesting.

E. K. Broich