I’ve been silent for a bit because I’ve been working on the next book in the Magorian & Jones series, The Rivers Ran Red.
It’s going very well, so far. Last night, I finished writing the big finale, and today I’ll start the wrap up and set up for the last book in the series, The Divine and Deadly.
Here’s a little snippet from the book.
EXCERPT FROM THE RIVERS RAN RED
COPYRIGHT (C) STORIES RULE PRESS
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
When the two nurses worked and spoke to each other as if I wasn’t there, I didn’t get upset. But I did find myself listening as they finished processing the last of the clipboards.
“And this one is for…oh, another suicide.” Dilwin’s voice dropped a little. “Isn’t that the fifth, this week?” The nurses’ station overlooked the one general ward, and the nearest bed wasn’t all that far away.
“Is it? I wouldn’t know,” Siana replied, her tone remote. “I don’t keep track of such things.”
I felt a dull ache in my chest. The suicide rate had increased in the last three years, once humans who had recovered from Tutu had realized they faced becoming one of the poor, unfortunate Old Races. Some people found death a more appealing option.
It was too late to tell them they were fundamentally, categorically wrong in that assessment.
But I was also the Old Races-obsessed doctor, so I turned my attention to the bottles and boxes on the glass shelf, sorting through them. I’d quite forgotten what it was I was looking for, and had to pause to recollect why I was here—which was to return the remains of a bottle of Theophylline to the cabinet.
“So,” Siana said, her fingers quickly tapping on the keyboard of the laptop in front of her. “Death by Seppuku. Age?”
I spun to face them. “What did you just call it?” I demanded, my throat and face flushing with the sudden spike in my blood pressure…and my temper.
Both nurses jumped. They were so used to ignoring me they’d forgotten I was right there behind them.
I moved closer. “You said death by Seppuku,” I said heavily, fighting to keep my voice down just as they were.
Siana looked confused and self-conscious. “Did I?”
“Means the same thing. She put suicide in the database, doctor. I watched her.” Dilwin’s tone was defensive and wary.
I turned to Dilwin, who was standing, while Siana sat on the folding chair in front of the laptop. “It isn’t anything close to the same thing. If it was, then I could call you a Taffy or a woolyback.”
Siana sucked in a quick, shocked breath, while Dilwin’s face turned brick red.
“Seppuku,” I railed at both of them, “means to suicide to restore honor.”
They stared at me. I was the doctor, and no matter how weird or obsessed I was, they wouldn’t argue back. I knew that, and it didn’t make me any happier. “Look it up,” I ground out. “And while you’re looking it up, let the meaning sink into your brains, because no Old One who suicides and no human who suicides before they transition has lost any honor. Not even a teaspoon’s worth.” I drew in a deep, deep breath, just barely reining in my anger. “Call it Prevailing, if you must use a term. At least that doesn’t imply anything than they’ve taken control of their own fate. Or you might simply stay professional and use the medical terminology we’ve been using since the Victorian era.”
I made myself halt. It took hard effort.
“Yes, doctor,” they both muttered, when my silence told them I had finished.
I nodded. It was a stiff gesture. I glanced at my watch. “It’s well past seven. I’m going home for the evening. Mark me out, please.”
“Yes, doctor,” Siana replied, in the same stiff tone.
I strode back to the lockers at the back of the tent, retrieved my coat, shrugged off the white one and hung it on the same hook, slammed my locker closed and left. I had some anger to pound into the footpaths.
The house I was renting I had chosen for a few special reasons, one of them being its close location to the Saint David’s grounds and the clinic, if I didn’t mind cutting across country. Today had been a clear, sunny day, despite the low temperature, so I had walked, this morning. I was glad of that decision, now.
The Saint David’s grounds, which were often called a park, contained a number of pubic buildings, including a Public Health facility on the southwest side, which had been utterly overwhelmed by the public health crisis. Our temporary clinic had been set up on the opposite side of the grounds, in a clear space between buildings, close by Ffordd Pendre. Missing boards in the tall fence that closed off the ground from the busy road allowed me the short cut, and I took my luck crossing the Ffordd—a fact that grimly reminded me of traversing the highway that cut through the La Mancha Forest.
I raced across the Ffordd, into shrubs and bushes, using a faint trail I had made simply by coming this way most days. Then into the green open space beyond, and the backs of the houses on Maes Y Wennol. My house was one of them, and had a conveniently placed gate in the back fence—which had been another feature I liked.
I went through into the small yard, already shaking off the bad day, and looking forward to a quiet evening. I stopped halfway along the narrow garden path, for there was a silhouette sitting in one of the old plastic chairs, hands moving in the dark night, with white shapes flicking between them. The soft but sharp riffle of cards fanning and falling, slicing together and jumping in waterfalls, brought back memories of Toledo that hadn’t faded in the slightest.
Magorian, who I’d left in Toledo, was now here in Wales.
And I had thought two ignorant nurses were what had ruined my day.
Magorian and Jones have one chance left to save the world, if only they can find a way to work together.
Michael Jones, MD, left Toledo months ago to avoid Jamie, the woman he loves but cannot have, for she is with his best friend, the world’s first modern wizard, Benjamin Magorian. Michael hides in Wales, burying himself in the work generated by a health system in crisis, as Britain deals with the fallout from multiple volcanic eruptions in Scotland…until Magorian finds him there.
They’re down to the wire in their efforts to save the fractured world of humans and Old Ones from Aurelius’ scheme to summon the old gods and avoid the destruction the gods would hail down upon every mortal, no matter what their race. They must find a way to permanently halt Aurelius, and Magorian thinks he might know how.
The only problem? Magorian brought Jamie with him…
The Rivers Ran Red is part of the urban fantasy series, Magorian & Jones, by Taylen Carver.
1.0: The Memory of Water
2.0: The Triumph of Felix
3.0: The Shield of Agrona
4.0: The Rivers Ran Red
5.0: The Divine and Deadly
Urban Fantasy Novel
Praise for the Magorian & Jones series:
Plenty of exciting twists and turns.
Feel the tingling of danger, the aha’s of escaping death, and the excitement of magic.
I loved this and will continue on with the series.
I’m a sucker for wounded, conflicted heroes, and Jones was just that.
I loved it; a magnificent first book in this really different new series.
Will definitely look for further books by this author and series.
Fast paced, exciting reads you won’t want to put down!
I’m overjoyed to be back in this amazing world building series
I highly recommend this series to all who love fantasy with a twist, adventure, surprises, and the occasional human, aside from one of our human heroes of course
Oh, and there’s some interesting news about this release.
It won’t be available for retail sale for several months. Instead, my publisher, Stories Rule Press, chose the book to be the focus of the very first Kickstarter campaign they will be doing.
So instead of buying the book at the bookstore, you can buy the book through the Kickstarter campaign, plus pick up some cool bonuses and other goodies, depending on what level you chose to back the project. There is also a bonus novelette, The Wizard Must Be Stopped! that is up for grabs. (More about that story next week.)
The Kickstarter campaign is up, but not yet open. If you head over to the project’s page on Kickstarter — here — you can register to be notified when the campaign is live.
The campaign will run until late December and The Rivers Ran Red will be distributed after that.
Watch this space for more about the book and the campaign.