Sue Owen was born and raised on the west coast having move to Oregon when she was 11. She raised three kids on her own and has been writing and reading since she was old enough to hold a book.
Although only recently published Sue has edited many published novels including Pursuit of Midnight by Sharon Nelson as well as her other book, Lexi Maeheart released last month. Sue has been editing and doing rewrites for several authors for a number of years. Sue’s own works include many technical journal articles as well as three unpublished manuscripts including a couple of children’s book.
Having recently joined Pink Phoenix Press, Sue hopes that her unique style of editing will fit in with the Pink Phoenix expectations. She is always up front about her evaluations drawing from her many real-world experiences as well as writing achievements to salt her book reviews. She is critical but fair, honest but constructive in her critiques.
If you have a book you’d like reviewed or are interested in Sue’s editing expertise, email her through the Pink Phoenix web site at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Sword’s Journey
Have you ever wondered what happened to the things that made history history? Where did Paul Revere’s lantern go when someone took it out of the window the morning after? Or the flag that George Washington held crossing the Delaware? Did he even have a flag? What would have happened had those items never been there in the first place???
The adventure begins with three people being ripped from their time and plopped down in 6508. The Wizard has discovered that someone has been stealing history. He needs someone to steal it back and replace it before its missed and messes with the future timelines. The trick is finding the right way to return history and not let anyone know things aren’t the way they were supposed to be.
Oh and yeah. There’s the little matter of the people wanting to stop them. And not caring if that is a permanent stop or not.
Josh, Meri and Digger have their work cut out for them. Along with their companions they have to fight bad guys, fight magic, learn about their own magic and use their skills, cunning and wits to chase history and put it back where it belongs.
“Umm. Thanks but I think you have me confused with someone else, Sir,” Josh said, trying to look confused and feeling apprehensive.
The little man giggled, a startling sound coming from his mature, slightly weathered face. Shaking his head slightly he mumbled slightly under his breath, “You said you would probably say that.” He handed the pile of books to Damion, “Please, kind prince. Could you hold these for me for just a slight minute? I have something that belongs to Master Josh.” He searched first one pocket than another mumbling, “I know I had it here. I always carry it just in case. Where can it be now?”
Louder. “Ah. Found it!” He took a few steps with his hand out, clearly wanting to give something to Josh. Josh backed up slightly, “I don’t know what ….” He started to stammer but then stopped and reached out and took what the small wizard was offering.
It was a small, round rubber ball with a smiley face on it. The face was a faded yellow and seemed to be worn with time but was still, clearly a smiley face. Josh looked at the wizard now really confused. “Where did you …” he started to say. The wizard had turned back to Damion, taking the books from his arms. “Thank you, kind sir. Now I’ll be on my way,” completely ignoring Josh who was still standing with his hand slightly out, holding the ball.
“Perhaps Master Josh would like to come visit me in my laboratory tomorrow, say 10 of the o’clock? Could you give him directions, kind prince?” When the prince heartily agreed, looking from Josh to Merlin, Merlin bowed slightly to both men, turned and hurried away.
“What was that all about,” Damion asked, turning to Josh. Josh’s face had gone very white. Turning, dazed, to the prince, he realized he was still holding the ball. He quickly stuffed it into the pocket of his pants and said “I don’t know. I guess I’ll find out tomorrow. Shall we go eat?” The last thing he wanted to do was try to explain anything to this man, let alone something that he was just now realizing might not be easy to explain.
Josh and Damion found themselves in a small tavern off the main street. The food was excellent, much to Josh’s surprise. The steak was huge and very well cooked served with some kind of vegetable and potato mix and the customary bread and brew. The two men found they had a lot of interests in common and were soon fast friends. Josh passed the time trying not to grill Damion on events and happenings around the area but found the man fully informed of what was going on in the neighboring farms and providences. Damion was more than happy to talk about what he laughingly called his “kingdom-to-be” as he was second or third regent set to inherit the crown. In his words, “that’ll happen when dragons learn to talk,” giving Josh the impression it wasn’t something that would happen anytime soon.
The men talked of women and hunting and Damion was quick to share local gossip with Josh, Josh telling him it had been a while since he’d passed this way which was his explanation for the incident with Merlin.
After more than several pints, the men started exchanging ghost stories and things from their childhood. Josh was careful even drunk telling Damion of things keeping to stories he knew could have happened any time. But one thing that Josh found rather interesting in Damion’s ramblings was a story about a local lake that Damion claims was haunted. Ghosts were a fairly normal occurrence according to Damion but this particular ghost seemed to be haunting his family specifically. In Damion’s story, he was out hunting with his uncle, the King, when he was perhaps seven or eight and they happened on the lake just as it was getting sundown. His uncle was shooting a grouse that had sprung up and was heading out over the water. Damion was getting ready to fire should his uncle miss, which he rarely did, and was standing slightly behind him.
His uncle fired, and the bird went down into the water; the dogs heading to get it as they were trained to do. Two of the dogs stopped at the water, baying and refusing to go further. One dog went into the water up to his chest then abruptly turned and, barking hysterically, ran back onto shore and to the king’s feet, stopped barking and lay shaking against his boots. The other dogs, followed at full run.
Out on the lake, the two men could see a shimmering on the water’s surface. It was twilight so very hard to see details. The water appeared to be rippling but the ripples weren’t reaching the edges of the lake where the two men were standing. Then a haze began to form along the edges of the rippling water. In a few seconds the haze turned into the form of a woman but not like any woman Damion had ever seen. She was wispy and urethral with flowing hair and clothing. She wasn’t wearing a dress but it was more like draped across her body which was in constant movement.
She made a dreamy, echoing cry like the sound a pigeon makes when he catches wind of his mark but it was very faint; Damion could barely hear it. She sighed a few more times then slowly dissipated.
Damion looked at his uncle with wide eyes. His uncle didn’t look startled at all but pensive, as if he was thinking very deeply about something of paramount proportions. “Uncle?” he said, but his uncle ignored him, turned and started back to the castle, calling the dogs. When they had reached the castle bridge, Arthur turned to Damion and said, “Forget you saw her, son. She only appears in moments of great tragedy but her warning will not go unheeded. I will consider it carefully, I assure you.” He patted Damion on his head and swiftly went into the castle and his rooms.
Damion was confused because he didn’t hear words from the lady, only sounds. He called her the Lady of the Lake for lack of a name. To this day, he didn’t have a clue who she was or what she said to his uncle and he’d not been back to the lake.
After the meal, the two men walked to Josh’s inn, parting with plans to meet in the morning for the trip to the castle and Merlin.
The next morning, Meri woke Josh up early to join her and Digger for breakfast. Josh’s head was slightly pounding and he was surprised considering the amount of alcohol he had consumed the night before. During breakfast, he filled Meri and Digger in on his encounter with Merlin. He held out the ball for them to see. Meri asked puzzled “I don’t get it.”
“This ball was given to me by my mother when I was 6 or so. She had it made for me at a local fair so I know it is unique. I don’t know why I kept it all those years but it is and was always in my pocket. However, the day the Wizard came to get me, I didn’t have it. I had emptied out my pockets the night before and didn’t put it back in. It was or should be at home in 2007 where I left.” Meri and Digger were in shock. Finally, Meri said what they were all thinking, “How’d it get to Merlin?”
“We are back in time,” he said with a shrug. “What’s to say this is the only time we are going to do this? What if this isn’t our only trip. What if we come back again only next time in an earlier time. At some point, we have to go back to 2007 so I can get my ball. I don’t know. This is all new to me, too,” he said with a frustrated sigh. He turned the ball over and over. It was worn as if it had been around for a long time. The yellow was faded and almost gone but still visible. “Its faded a lot since I last saw it,” he continued musing to himself, “but it’s definitely the same ball.”