Book Teaser: Revenge is Just a Word

“I promise, you promise too?” Fiona couldn’t help but to smile at her son as he questioned her. She brought her hand over her heart to mimic his actions. He was growing fast and one day soon he would be gone from her. It was a depressing thought but that is how life circles around for everyone. “Moothheerr…” Her attention was brought back to her bouncing six year old son who was wide awake and surely not ready for bed.

“A promise is a promise, that much is true, and this I promise you William Elliot.” She would keep his secrets, although a bit childish but fun all the same. She watched the boy give a curt nod as his shaggy brunette hair bounced about in a mess on top his head. Just like his father. She couldn’t help the line of thought but it was true, he had the dark hair and piercing blue eyes that seemed to haunt every generation of the Elliot clan. “Alright, time for bed Laird Elliot. The hour grows late and we have a big day tomorrow.” Agatha snatched the boy up in her arms and gave him a tight hug before stepping over to his bed and depositing him in it. She saw the creases line his face as he brought his mouth into a pout as he often did.

“Now no fuss, just settle in and tomorrow will come before you know it my sweet. I will see you in the morning. Dream well, William.” Fiona leaned over and tucked him in before blowing the candles out near the old wooden oak door, making her exit quietly as she was greeted by her lady in waiting.

“Oh come quick mi lady, the capt’n wishes to speak to ye, it is very important.” Fiona couldn’t help but frown at hearing the words. It couldn’t be encouraging news. Not when things were going downhill rapidly between the two clans. The Elliots and Millburns had been on unsteady ground for centuries and the treaty that was implemented thirty years ago had always been so fragile. Anything could break it by just simply slapping a horse the wrong way. She clung to the wood railing as she took the stone stairs rapidly, staying on the heels of her maid who was dressed in her usual blue and red plaid. They soon were scurrying across the grand hall, their heels echoing against the stone walls that felt so cold and empty to her right now even though every fireplace was lit in the keep.

They turned this way and that, Fiona felt she would be ill from anticipation and wished the captain had just met them in the hall. Soon enough they made a final turn into the back gardens of the estate and Captain Daniel Armstrong greeted her with the sight of him and his men mounted on their steeds. She took a deep breath of the cold winter air that wrapped around them all in a breeze. The horses were jittery as they pranced about the area in a nervous manner.
“Mi lady, the Millburns are on our south entrance and I’ve heard from a reliable source that they hae made a pact with the Scotts. Ye and the young laird should leave tonight. Whit men we have left won’t be able to take on both clans. Stogs will likely fall before morrow night; go back to yer family mi lady, go home and take yer son. He is the only heir left to our clan he must live. Be gone by dawn before it is too late, Johnathan will stay behind and make sure ye get out safely, we are returnin’ to the rest of our lads. God speed mi lady.” She watched the group of men turn their horses around and ride off into the darkness. Her gaze shifted to her maid, Katherine. The younger female was already looking at her as they both headed back inside the dimly lit stone structure they called home.

They both released the breath neither realized they had been holding, but both could hear the other’s exhale. “We must pack lightly, gather those who are left in residence, we all must flee this place.” Fiona was the one who broke the silence although she’d prefer it to all be a dream. She heard the response of ‘aye, mi lady’ from Katherine but it was drowned out in the back of her mind as her thoughts continued to race as she listened to her maid’s footsteps fade out in the distance. She wanted to scream, cry, and just be held for a while, but there was no time for any of it. They only had tonight at most before the enemy would arrive and sack Stog. Oh how she wished her husband, Laird James Elliot were still here.

Though she never found out what became of him weeks ago at the last battle, no body was ever found. Rumor was the place was coated in so much blood and mud hardly any bodies could be returned for fear of the other men sinking into the earth themselves. She found herself hurrying upstairs to where her son’s and her own chambers connected. They had to pack light, one bag each. Her husband’s words echoed in her mind as he had told her what to do if the place ever came under siege. She repeated the words to herself out loud. “Pack light, move swiftly under darkness, leave no trace. Go to yer family and live well.” She found a tear chasing down her cheek as she finished the haunting words that were coming true tonight.

Taking an unsteady breath, she stepped into her own room and went to the storage cupboard. She pulled out her smaller of the two leather traveling bags, she also pulled the dresses from the same area stuffing them into the bag. She also collected her husband’s daggers that she could barter with at some point if need be. She went to her vanity wash table and gathered the few pieces of jewelry she owned. She couldn’t help the tears that were streaming down her face as she packed what little of her life she could in a single carry bag. She allowed a few moments to cry as she worked, and then cry no more for all she was losing and had lost thus far in the short time she had been on this earth.

Her feet moved steady, and swiftly as she soon finished in her own room and then tip-toed into her only child’s room. Her son, whom she would leave sleeping for a while longer; she would not turn his world upside even more so yet. Locating his bag in his own storage area she began tossing things inside of it that he would need and things she could not replace. She had one more room to go into before she’d wake her son. Her legs took her down the hall after she finished packing her son’s belongings and into a small room few were allowed into. She took the key from her neck and opened her husband’s library, where he had often worked into the long hours of the night, the same room where they had both found out she had been pregnant, the same room he proposed to her. She took a deep breath as she neared stumbled into the study. Her hands landed on the back of a chair as her gaze fell onto the bracelet that she wore. It has a trick latch that only her husband knew how to undo. She shook her head trying to rid the memories as she grabbed the hall torch to walk into the library room. Moving to the far wall and she removed a wooden plank that was loose on the floor. She pulled out two small leather bags. One she knew was gold, the other was the regular currency of the English crown.

She took a deep breath as she replaced the floorboard and sat at his desk. One he’d likely never sit at again, one which had been in the Elliot family for six generations. She slid a crudely made piece of paper before herself which would suit just fine for this person. She had two letters to write, one to her son just in case and one to her relatives. The one to her relatives would be secure she often wrote to her sister by pigeon, the other she would slip into her son’s bag and retrieve it later if all went well. Her hand was shaking as she jotted out line after line. She folded each carefully as she finished them and then stood once they were complete. She quickly took a last look around the room, at all the books thinking back of all the times she was with her husband here. She then closed the door and said a silent goodbye to him and this place.

Fiona returned to her son’s room where he was still sleeping and in the dim light of a candle, she took a dagger to the thick leather of his bag, causing a small incision and pocket into the leather itself. It would never be easily seen by any, but she would tell her son of it, and only him. She folded the letter into a small piece and stuffed it and the two small pouches she had retrieved from the library into the pocket. Quickly going to work she was glad she had always been decent at stitching, even though her fingers were numb and her whole body was shaking out of fear, she completed her task within minutes. She examined it closely making sure it only looked like a barely noticeable repair to the bag itself. It was so bulky no one would question its weight.

This book is available on kindle/paper free on kindle until 3/23/21

Poem: Weeping Willow

Oh why does the willow weep? When the sun so gladly bathes it’s tender
leaves within in it’s warm rays. Though why does the willow creak? When
the gentle breeze blows caressing and drying willows tears and yet it still
harbors secrets of the unknown beneath it’s bowing bows of arms that
reach down surrendering to its own weight. It still whispers sweet nothings
of the past and as those slender branches dance and groan it takes me to a
place long lost of the memories one can’t escape, so weeping willow your
secrets remain safe with the silence of the passing breeze.

Writing a book part 2

Hey everyone thanks for joining me. I hope you are doing well. Continuing on my blog from book part 1. I covered a bit about starting a novel and how it can be a daunting task. Well it can be, and as I stated before if your heart isn’t in finishing chances are you won’t get a novel completed. You must decide on a topic or plot line that continues to inspire you throughout the whole story. It can be scary but exciting journey to take on. It took me over two months to decide what type of book I wanted to write, and again I didn’t start out just saying oh I want to write a novel. I wrote a novel after writing several short stories and poetry.

Each small project of writing, even a journal is a great step toward polishing a particular style. It can help expand your vocabulary, express yourself, and ignite your imagination to whole a new level. It gives you the challenge of figuring out how to twists your words to keep a reader glued to a page and making them walk through all the emotions of a character. There is so many positive things about writing, and a novel is no different even if you don’t get a million fans from a book, if you can touch the lives of a handful and maybe inspire them to change their life some how. That is the gift of any artist.

So once you start with an idea and you can picture your future characters doing all sorts of wild things across each page you manage to write, that is the first great step. It doesn’t matter if there is a few errors or things don’t read just right. It is the point of you enjoying what you are doing and it is benefitting you in some way. If you have an idea and you are feeling stuck on how to start there is no rush to feel pressured to dive right in. Try jotting out a few possible scenarios of how you want your story to start. Do you want action to capture the reader on the first page? Or just a gentle subtle loving feeling? Just consider how you want your characters and plot to be introduced.

From there just take it one day at a time, some writers take a year others take weeks to finish a project. It isn’t a race or competition if you don’t make it one. How did I start my own projects typically? It depends on the story or book. I often considered what type of plot I wanted, how many characters I wanted or want. What I wanted my characters to be like, how many chapters I want to try to push for. Some books require research if you want them to be more realistic, even a fiction book. Such as my latest book was based in Scotland and so I made sure to add a more realistic dialect to fit the culture. It all depends on what you want to write about, where , when and how. You can break your book into sections to help make the task less daunting. Such as breaking a 20 chapter book into five chapters each and deciding what exactly will happen in each section. Or if you have a short story that is twenty pages you can do the same. Decide what characters go in each section, what will happen to and around the characters. You can be as meticulous as you like and jot out every major scene of a story if you desire that. Or some writers completely wing their writing projects. It is all what you want to do with YOUR project. If it takes you six months or six years that is alright, you might end up with a best seller. Just take each step at a time and don’t let it overwhelm you no matter what.

If you are feeling like it is stressful or crowding you, that your words aren’t flowing freely then take a break go for a walk or take a break for a couple days to realign and focus. Rushing and forcing a project won’t typically end well, so just enjoy the journey and process let it flow and don’t worry about the outcome as you write. Editing comes after the final project and you can always change aspects and parts of a story then.

Take care and see you next time.

  • Sterling

Poem: Night Shift

As daylight kisses the earth it triggers a raging fire. The tendrils of sunlight wrap the rays about every darkened soul. The warmth chases the chills from the bones that set in from night’s slumber. With gentle caresses from the mused wind it nudges and tickles breath into every crevice and crease across the land.

The twinkling silver diamonds above yawn and turn from the new day,as sun graces moon to send her into her caccoon.Every cloud is blinded by this marvelous display as they are painted with the array of hues of pink and blue. The whole of nature falls in tune as daylight calls to greet his moon.

Photo by Olha Ruskykh on Pexels.com

My writing experience

Hello everyone, hope you are doing well. Thanks for passing by. I wrote my first short story at 8, my first lyrics at 15 and my first novel at 18. I’ve improved since that first novel that is still sitting in a folder, and I may go back one day and rewrite it, but I plan to always keep the original as a reminder of how I’ve grown, improved and polished my craft as a writer. As we age , change situations, and relationships we learn and expand to properly keep nourishing all aspects of our existence.

Writing and art in general is an extension of our souls and emotions. It can help heal wounds of all kinds. No one reaches perfection in any aspect of life and writing is no exception. Styles change, perceptions, views, and emotions. You might write one poem or story one day and six months later you likely couldn’t capture that exact emotion again that first inspired it. That is the glory of human expression, we have so much depth and potential in each of us that we can turn the ordinary into extraordinary. My writing experiences have been growing pains, especially spiritual and emotional. Challenges come to us all to help us expand our horizons and finding the right set of words to help place the reader in the shoes of the characters is a challenge, but also a satisfying moment to know the words on a page you or I create can possibly help or inspire someone we don’t even know.

So no matter the skill you are chasing to improve, the obstacles are just stepping stones to better polishing the talent you possess. Never give up on the things you enjoy doing.

-Sterling

Writing a book part 1

Well, welcome to my blog and posts. Thank you for stopping in. I will write a few posts on how writing a book impacts me and how you might want to start your own book journey. So far I’ve written three finished novels and a poetry book. Each book is a journey of it’s own and there is several ways to start a book idea. Everyone has their own method of writing and even if you aren’t good at writing doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write a book if you want to. Anyone can improve at writing as most skills can be improved. Writing is a very expressive way to help relieve emotions and situations that go on in your life. Even a journal is helpful to your emotional, spiritual and mental well being.

It can help clear your thoughts to sleep and relieve stress. I know toxic situations are sometimes hard to get out of and I often looked to my artistic side to help keep going. So how do I write my novels? I try to first make sure I find an idea I enjoy a lot, because that love and desire of the idea is what will drive you to finish the project. Some people use outlines to plot out the book and others just write it on a whim. It is up to you on how you precede. So how about my ideas? I find them in my dreams sometimes, or something else might inspire me like a particular time in history and a particular headline. Inspiration can strike at any moment so always have a doc app on your phone or a small notepad to write on. Some ideas you will keep and others you won’t ever use. If a novel seems like a daunting task start with a small hundred page book as a first project just to get the feel of the craft. Just don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it right the first time or even the fifth. Everything takes time and practice. So don’t rush it and if you have a problem finding an idea or inspiration just step away and do other hobbies.

Until next time take care

  • Sterling
Photo by Keira Burton on Pexels.com

My newest book

Revenge is Just a Word is my latest book release on kindle and in paperback. It takes you into the ancient world of Scotland’s clan wars with adventure and action. It involves the two main characters and many others that are in depth with the twisty plots and danger that lurks about every corner. With sword fights and horseback journey’s there is something for everyone in this book. It is also a series and could possibly have up to five books. The thieves, forced engagements, family turmoil’s, evil schemes and a impossible love, line these pages. I hope you give it a look see. Thanks for joining me.

-Sterling

Introduction

Hello all, a bit about myself. I am living in the southern USA. I am an artist of many talents and will post about all sorts. The following things I often do: write, draw, paint, photography, music, crafts and even sewing. I hope you are all doing well in your corner of the world and thanks for stopping by. I hope you find some of my posts enjoyable and you find a bit of inspiration for creativity.

Cheaslar Castle Project : N.K. Sterling

In towering grace and mountainous strength standing the weathering test of time, there stands Chesalear Castle; seeming to rise from the bed of rock and soil, for which it slumbers for eternity- With hauntingly, magnanimous looming walls that stretch into the endless glittering skies of golden rays, it holds the secrets of all the past lives betrayed- What wicked deceits and stories untold are withheld in this stronghold? With its lushes green carpets lacing the hills abound that whispers no tales of past glories or defeats on these grounds- What ghostly ghouls do lurk in the shadows of the stony structure that sinks deeper within the murky bottomless depths of the earth each year? For one day it will all disappear – What scandalous affairs and gossipy maids came and went through this monstrous maze of halls and chambers? Those that are counted two by two that now lay empty from a moment in time now forgotten to the human mind- What fires have laid in the hearths that now reveal no existence but soot and ash? What mysteries and magic has been lost with this foreboding luminous creation of man that lingers upon the horizon?- Sanctuary now only to the spirits of the past and the shadows of memories that did not last; though as your steps do click against the echoing stone under foot, you may be blessed to capture a look of the antiquity in a glimmering shimmer of sun or moon beam, for nothing at Chesalear castle is ever as it seems.-
  1. Cheaslar Castle
  2. Introduction/Greetings