So you can read my books

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

SECRETS OF THE ASH TREE_ a quest for treasure hidden in its cover!

I sat at my table at Meilori's typing on my laptop.  It was a feistier night than usual.

Husky laughter mingled with death gurgles all around me.  I fought to keep my face calm.

None of my friends were here tonight:

not Sam, Alice, Victor, or Renfield -- not even Elu's face looked out at me from the mirror to my left.

I was alone among monsters.

Three spectral women in flimsy robes shimmered in the seats around me.  A hag, a mature woman, a faceless girl.  I recognized them:

Urðr (Fate) -

Verðandi (the dubious Present) -

Skuld (the debt of the Future).

As Victor would say: "I was in deep sh-t."

{This image is in the public domain in the United States because it was first published outside the United States prior to January 1, 1923.}

They proceeded to scare the snot out of me by speaking one after another, one word only:

"The - cover - to - SECRETS - OF - THE - ASH - TREE - has - been - entrusted - to - you.  A - treasure - is - hidden -within - its - art."

The Nazi vampire, Major Strasser, sat down opposite me.  "Give me that cover done by Michael di Gesu, scribbler, or I will drain you of all your blood."

I frowned, "Siv Maria will do the cover reveal next Monday.  You can have it then."

"I would have it now," snapped Strasser, "and get a head start on those who seek the treasure also!"

"Cheat!" snapped a foul-smelling monstrosity, towering over the startled Strasser.

"Brunnmigi (Old Norse "well-pisser")!" hissed Skuld.  "Be off with thee! Down wind!"

And with that, the young faceless Norn girl snipped a smelly thread in her hand with razored scissors.  Brunnmigi evaported.  Sadly, his stink remained.

{This image  is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.}

A bearded giant with sea-green eyes and seaweed all over him suddenly sat beside Strasser who rasped, " Njörðr!"

Njörðr studied me steadily.  "All the treasures of my oceans wilt I give thee for that cover, poet."

"Can you give me back my honor should I so betray a friend?" I asked softly.

He slapped me so hard on the back, my head jumped forward into another time-zone.  "Well spoken, lad!  Siv chose well."

And with that, he, too, disappeared.

Strasser barked a laugh, "Swine, Hel has granted me her dog, Garmr, the dog that shall herald Ragnarok."

He gestured to my left, "See?  Garmr even now is here!"

I looked down hesitantly and stared for a long moment ... then I smiled at Sam's own hellhound.

"Hello, Piecefull.  Sam left me protection after all."

Piecefull turned slowly to Strasser, growling low.  The Nazi vampire yelped, his body flowing into a bat which took to the air.  Piecefull gave chase.

Urðr stretched out her skeletal hand.  "Now, thou art alone.  Give us that cover!"

{This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.}

A skittering bark of a voice chippered beside me as a large green squirrel scampered to the seat vacated by Njörðr.  

The Norn, Verðandi, snarled, "Ratatoskr!"

(For those of you who do not speak Viking, he is the squirrel who runs up and down the world tree Yggdrasil to carry insults between the unnamed eagle, perched atop Yggdrasil, and the wyrm Níðhöggr, who dwells beneath one of the three roots of the tree. )

Ratatoskr laughed, "Give the cover to you DreamSinger cannot."

"Why not?" glowered Skuld.

  Ratatoskr snickered, "I ate it!"

"What!?" screamed the Norns as one.

And with the three spectral Norns at his furry heels, Ratatoskr scampered away into the bronze mists of Meilori's.

One thing about this haunted jazz club -- it's never boring!

If you want to see that fabled cover to discover those clues to that fabulous hidden treasure,

Siv's cover reveal for SECRETS OF THE ASH TREE will be all across the blogverse July 29th!

And don't miss the publication of the book this September --

In the realm of the gods and fairy tales, the mystery of life is an endless path with many secrets to be discovered.

Some secrets are like dreams, just waiting in darkness hoping to get into the light.

SECRETS OF THE ASH TREE is such a dream:

Liv, a young woman who discovers her true nature through the unraveling of hidden secrets.


  1. Yay, ME FIRST!!!

    Hi, Roland,

    EXCELLENT piece. YOU are certainly giving me a run for my money on this intro! WELL DONE!

    Thanks so much, it's FANTASTIC! Your knowledge is unending... Even Norse mythology... IMPRESSIVE to say the least!

    The reveal should be quite fun. I haven't written my intro yet, so I must top this one... Hmmmm. TOUGH ASSIGNMENT. The cover illustrations were probably easier to create than this intro. LOL.

    Siv's an amazing writer. I was privileged to read the novel already... LUCKY ME!

    Thanks again, for your kindness and support. What would we do without you!

  2. Michael:
    Better question: what are you going to do WITH me? LOL.

    I used my knowledge of Norse mythology in END OF DAYS (Alice's solo adventure) that in but a day or two will be released as an audiobook. How cool is that?

    Your intro's are always excellent. I have no doubt that yours for Siv will be riveting.

    Siv is, indeed, an amazing writer. I was priviledged to be in the same anthology with her twice now. And it was an honor.

    I have also been priviledged to see your awesome cover which is getting me into all kinds of trouble as you read! Lucky for me that Piecefull will eat anything! :-)

    May your days ahead be healing and happy!

  3. Thank you Roland!You wrote a wonderful teaser for the book cover. Michael did a fantastic job and I could not be more pleased!

    Working on projects with my blogging family like you and Michael is a privalige. I truely feel blessed.

    My book will most likely be available in September but I want to start it's launch on our birthday...How cool is that? Alex, Mr Ninja himself is going to help throw a party! I hope you, Sam, Alice and all your ghosts will be there.

    Together Roland, we are helping to spread some Norse Mythology into the spotlight...End of Days? Nope this is just the beginning :)

  4. my response will be simple... yeah! Norse Mythology...Yes.

  5. Way to hold on to that cover! Can't reveal it yet.

  6. Haha, my roommate saw that Loki video and about died :) We're big fans. Great post!

    Sarah Allen
    (From Sarah, with Joy)

  7. Siv:
    Yes, between your SECRETS OF THE ASH TREE and my END OF DAYS ... OUCH! All right, Alice's END OF DAYS audiobook, Norse Mythology will be front and center these next days!

    It was an honor and a pleasure to write this for you! :-)

    Yes, Norse Mythology!! What with THOR 2: THE DARK WORLD and Siv and me -- Norse mythology will be all the rage now. :-)

    Piecefull helped me keep hold of that cover! I wait for your Siv party with great anticipation!

    I'm so glad Tom Hiddleston did that for us fans. He was a great guy to do it, wasn't he? I hope they keep him around for AVENGERS 2!!

  8. This was so cool! Now I'm intrigued!

    Have you had a day off yet? I'm crazy busy and just want a nap....

  9. Words Crafter:
    Siv has written a wonderful book filled with Norse mythology as my soon to be released audiobook, END OF DAYS, does.

    I've had 2 days off and slept through most of them. My body needed to heal! My mind is beyond hope! LOL.

    May you soon get that nap!!

  10. That was fun! I can't wait for the cover reveal :)


  11. Donna:
    I certainly had fun writing it. I'm you enjoyed it. Yes, the cover lies before us, and the treasure hunters are anxiously waiting for the reveal, too! :-)