Wintercrest Chronicles: Turning of the Hourglass

The Wintercrest Chronicles: Turning of the Hourglass – Lianne Willowmoon

4 Star read from first page to last….

Turning of the Hourglass grabs you and takes you on a twisting adventure of lies, mystery, and magic. Through the story the Author proves more than once honor, loyalty, and friendship prove to win out in the end. Following the adventure of the main character, Rayven Damyriah, as she learns of her fate the Author takes you into a world that not unlike our own holds secrets and surprises.

Well written and a plot that grabs you and won’t let go made for a quick read for me. One I will be enjoying again. It takes great talent to let a character grow as they story progresses and Lianne Willowmoon possesses that talent in spades.

Will love win out in the end? I eagerly await my next journey into her realm to see.

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A Review – Storm Front – Jim Butcher

4 Star Opening to a Series

Jim Butcher lets us tag along with Harry Dresden – Wizard through the mean streets of Chicago as he battles the things most people explain away. The things that go bump in the night and scare the crud out of us in our nightmares.

Working with the Chicago PD makes things a bit dicey for him as he must keep secret things that would help solved the cases. But all in all at the end the day the cases are solved, people are saved and friendships though tested remain strong.

Jim Butcher forges a world out of the reality that is Chicago and wraps it in the mystery of the unknown. Doing so with a mastery that any writer would envy. I strongly recommend joining Mr. Dresden on his adventures.

He Doesn’t Know

The sound of the drop sheeting down on the metal roof should have been calming, but all it did was serve to get on Terence’s nerves. He was tired of the rain, tired of everything he owned being wet. All he wanted was to get through the rainy season and get back to the days of heat and sunshine. But those days were at least two months away. Nothing he could do now, other than find a place to park his house and hide from as much of the rain as he could.

The music cranked as loud as he could it. Pounding bass and guttural words echoing off the walls of the van. Anger boiling in him at life, at the broken system he felt was keeping him down. Nothing seemed to go right and he was being pushed to the very end of his rope. The pounding beat of the music gave him some relief, not that he understood how or why. But at least he could manage to get his temper under control.

Back to the people of the system he found himself. Asking the same questions expecting the same answers, but still trying to find hope of a miracle in all of the depression. Just one little break, that was all he wanted. If he could just get one step forward and stay there maybe things would get better. Maybe he found find his way back to believing in the world. Back to be being kind to everyone he meets. Back to loving himself as much as he, even through it all loved her.

The music quiets, the rain fades and her voice fills his memory. The sobs of that last night together. Her begging him to stop. To give up the dream. But he couldn’t find a way to release his monster. He couldn’t let go of the dream, even now he can’t. Even now as her cries fill his mind he can hear the man say. “It will happen someday.”

He turns on the engine. The van roars to life. It sounds as angry as he is. Nothing will ever be the same. She left, the dream died, and his world shattered. Now all that is left is emptiness. A nothing that holds him captive. She was here and he longs to find her.

To tell her he left the dream behind and can start again. He doesn’t notice the people as they walk though him. He doesn’t know he’s gone.

Choices

The creature – more demon than human – stands in the darkness cast by the storm. He waits for the sun to return. Their battle paused by time. His choice was made eons ago.

When time began he was given a choice, he could stay and fight in the battle between the gods and demons or he could fall to Earth. He chose humans without a moment of hesitation. It wasn’t so much because he thought they were better, but because he didn’t agree with either the Gods or the demons. So he spent eternity trying to make the world better. Trying to save the humans from not only the battle they didn’t know raged around them, but also from themselves. Now as time was coming to an end there was nothing more he could do. He couldn’t save them. Not from the battle between Gods and Demons, but more painfully not from the destruction they had brought upon themselves.

Too much pain, too much loss, and too much death at the hands of one another that he was forced to admit he had lost. He had failed. Now he was waiting for the time to face his masters, the demons, to see what price he would pay for what he had tried to do. The storm raged, the water boiled, yet nothing surfaced. No demon came to summon him home.

A sound, that of one rock hitting another caught him attention. It told him that he wasn’t alone any longer. No voice came to follow the sound. He turned toward it needing to know who had followed him. Who was crazy enough to risk a walk to the water’s edge on a night like this. Where the storm was trying to take control of the beach and take its pound of flesh from anything it could find. Standing there no more than a few small steps away was a child. They couldn’t have been more than ten or eleven years old. There was fear in their eyes and their little body was shaking. He wanted to yell, to tell the child to run back off the beach. To save it. But nothing came when he opened his mouth.

He thought for only a second as a deafening clap of thunder shattered the air. He felt the rumble under his feet. Without another thought for himself or the punishment he was waiting on he raced to the child. Scooped them up and continued up toward dry land as fast as his feet would carry him. Across the boardwalk and into one of the abandoned buildings he ran his feet pounding the ground. Curling the small Fram against his own body in a hope of using what was left of his body heat to keep them warm he tucked the two of them into a closet space toward the center of the building. Holding the child tightly he rocked and waited for the storm to blow over. IT had to blow over. He had to find where this child belonged and get them home.

The demon held the child close for hours. Long after the sun should have risen and burned away the storm. Still he could hear it raging outside the building. The wind screaming and the rain slashing into the building’s walls. He was growing cold now so he knew the child must be. He opened his eyes to look around as the little light would allow him. He saw a thin blanket laying in the far corner of the closet. Moving to get it he wrapped it around the child. He still feared for their life, but he knew he had to find a way to get them warmer. He tucked the child tightly into he corner and motioned for them to stay put. His words still refused to come and he knew the demons were punishing him.

He searched the building, trying to stay close enough to hear if the child called out, for anything that would help keep them warm or anything else that would help them. He found a kitchen and grabbed some small things for the child. In the next room he found a pile of heavy moving blankets and picked up as many as he could carry. Making his way back to the child he took careful time to build a cosy little cave that would surround the child. It would keep them warm and he would stand guard to keep them safe.

As he picked the child up to move them into the blanket cave a voice, soft and almost musical slipped from her lips. “Why are you helping me? I thought you had given up?” She asked letting him settle her in the blankets.

He tried to answer her, but still no words would form. He shook his head. She continued. “Just answer yes or no please. Have you given up?”

He shook his head no.

“Will you stay here and protect me until the storm is over?”

He nodded.

“No matter the cost to you?”

Again he nodded.

“Do you fear what will come from who you were waiting for out there because you helped me?”

This time he had to think, but in the end he shook his head. He didn’t fear the demons or the Gods. This child, this lone little girl was all that was important to him.

“Come closer and give me your hand.” She told him.

He did as she said and stepped back over to her putting out his hand. She took it in her smaller ones and within the blink of an eye everything about her and around them changed. No longer were they in an abandoned building, but kneeling on the ground in the center of a grassy field with sunlight pouring down over them. No longer was it a young girl holding his hand but a beautiful woman with a radiant smile. “You did well child. You are free.” He stared at her. Feeling strange. Everything was different and he was afraid now. As much as he should have been running from the storm. “You choose humans a long time ago and even in the face of everything ending you still decided to try and save me instead of face your creators. That single choice earned you notice of the highest of powers. Of the most important of Gods. He has decided that human’s will get another chance and this time they will have you walking among them as one of them. You are relieved of the mantle of demonborn. You will return to a golden world as the human you long to be.” She touched his forehead and the light faded away.

When again he opened his eyes he lay on the sand of the beach the sky above him bright with a sunrise. Looking down at his body he saw that of a full human man. He smiled. Now he could do more to save them. He would live a holy life and his works would be remembered.

Don’t try to forget

They claimed we were ready

That everything was in place

No one would get hurt

They were wrong

The storm hit

Buildings fell

People trapped as the water rose

No help came

They acted as if we weren’t there

Life went on outside our city

The trapped died

The living faced the unknown

The country detoured the roads

They ignored us

They let die

They lied

In time the country forgot

The little town on the edge of the ocean

Nature took the houses and streets back

Those of us left became a little more than wild

But we planned and plotted

We hijacked their radio signals

We learned, we waited

One day our time came

Their leader had to pass down the road

We waited in the trees

They remember us now

He lays dead in the road

And we control the guns.

Too Late to Save Them

I was once special. At one time the world and everyone in it knew my name. They felt fear at the sound of it. Now I walk through the bones of the world alone. I tried to tell them what they were doing, to show them it wrong. But no one would listen. Everyone of them thought they knew better. Each one though they were smarter, more clever. Some of them even thought they were more dangerous near the end. They were wrong. Now it’s just me. Walking through the bones of their world. I tell myself I’m just passing the time. It’s a lie and when I’m feeling more myself I can admit it. I walk because I’m hoping to find one. Just one soul that wasn’t taken by evil that swept across the land. A soul that still commands its own destiny.

With that one soul, if I can find it, I can put the world back to right. I can give it back the blood and spirit the evil snatched away in the night. All it takes is one soul that still believes in the good in people. One soul that believes not everyone is lost to the drama and lies covering our world.

The problem is I have been walking for years. Everyone I met is hollow. They know nothing but the drivel fed to the by the voices on the television and radio. They have no thoughts of their own. I can feel myself fading. My time to save this place is coming to end. There is not one heart left. I feel a tear slip down my face as the darkness sweeps over me.

The Guardian

He stood there watching her – never close enough to speak – but always close enough to make sure she was safe. He took care of the bullies when they bothered her. He kept the boys in check when they started to come calling. He watched as she fell in love the first time. Standing back far enough to let her choose her own path even though he saw the pain to come.

He knew to grow she would have to know pain. But he did his best to keep her from knowing too much of it. Yet, in his heart he knew that even his love would be known to her as pain. So he kept vigil over her. Defending her when he could, protecting her when he should, and cutting with revenge when it was the only option left.

There were others in her life. They never saw him of that he made sure. But her—her he wasn’t as careful—and one night when she was hurting she saw him. He was just a shadow in that moment. Not clear enough for her to know who she saw, but sight of him touched her, colored her from that moment on.

She seemed to search for him everywhere. She couldn’t find him. He wouldn’t let her. There were things she needed to do, people she needed to meet, places she needed to go. He couldn’t be with her. Everything would fall apart if ever she found him. So he stepped back again and watched. She found love, made a family and lived.

He watched each moment greedy to see her smiles even if they weren’t for him. They were all he had ever wanted. But in watching her he missed something. He didn’t see the monster hiding in the man she married. Not until it was too late. He only saw him when she did. The night that monster took her life.

It was the he stepped out of the shadows and at last took her hand. She sighed, relaxed, and give him a full wattage smile. “At last it’s you. I’ve waited so long.” He said nothing just took her into the light where they would have an eternity to ask and answer all the questions.