Working Title: The Orion Chronicles, Book 2: The Gastwick Witch
This Book Is In Development
Ship’s Captain, Sir Geoffrey Matheson III, and the crew of the H.M.R.S. Orion, are six-months into their ongoing mission to recover lost pieces of the alien entity they refer to as the Keeper. The missing parts resemble stones but contain residual energy, power capable of sustaining a world running out of fossil fuels. While in Mobile Bay on the eve before the Civil War naval battle, Matheson retrieves a lost stone only to discover it is different from others they have recovered. It is one of seven malefactor stones, scattered in time when the Keeper’s vessel crashed onto earth millennia ago. These malefactors had been contained—imprisoned—by the Elders for attempting to overthrow the Elders. Their power equals that of the Keeper, promising any who come into contact with them the desires of their hearts. Moira, a seventy-three-year-old Irish witch, recovers one of the malefactor stones buried in a peat bog near her small home. In exchange for her help locating the remaining malefactor stones, Moira is restored to her twenty-three-year-old body and given enhanced magic. She uses her new powers to take revenge on the ones responsible for the death of her younger sister, Téadora, drowned as a witch. She takes an apprentice, Ciara—a young woman from 1995 Ireland who resembles Téadora—to help Moira find more stones. Matheson and crew discover Moira’s plan and intercept her and Ciara in Northern Ireland. Using tranquilizing darts, they capture Ciara, but not Moira. Nor do they recover the two stones she now has. She wakes and promises to rescue her apprentice. Ciara betrays and is killed by Moira. As Moira gathers more stones, her powers increase, and old memories arise regarding the truth of her sister’s death. Moira was responsible. Matheson is tasked with investigating the anomaly known as the Point Zero Event, a place on the prime timeline where some cataclysm altered the world’s environment, affecting all timelines. When they pass beyond the event horizon, they discover the larger portion of the Keeper’s vessel, which has intersected the prime timeline and caused the creation of the multiverse—the myriad alternate timelines, of which Matheson and the Orion are part. Moira collects six of the seven malefactor stones and seeks the seventh, which resides in the Keeper’s small hive on Vanubiti Island’s extinct volcano. When all seven stones are reunited, the hive attempts to overthrow the larger piece of the hive. The conflict between the two causes the failure of alternate timelines. Matheson and several of his crew and friends vanish as if they never were. The remaining four crewmembers decide to go back at various dates in Moira’s life to correct events that made her the evil witch she became. They hope that by doing so, they can undo the damage to the multiverse, and their companions returned. After a series of successful time jumps, the multiverse is repaired, and Matheson and his ship are restored. Moira, her vengeance slaked by the time repairs done by Orion’s crew, sacrifices herself to subdue the malefactors and return them to the Elders for confinement. The Elders depart, taking the larger hive from the prime timeline and replacing it with the smaller hive from Vanubiti to maintain the multiverse's stability. In gratitude for his help, Matheson is given a surrogate to aid with the continued recovery of lost elements of the Keeper’s hive. Using her memories and imbuing her with the necessary power, the Elders merge Moira’s consciousness with one of the robotic servants aboard Orion, where she becomes one of the crew. Matheson reluctantly agrees to this, and Orion continues its ongoing mission.
The primary antagonist of the story is an 18th-century Irish witch - Moira Murray - a seventy-three-year-old practitioner of the Craft. She will have quite the adventure throughout the story.
My time-traveling ship's captain is on another mission to recover lost power stones described in Book 1 - The God Stones. However, this time he discovers a new threat, one that will affect the multiverse and the lives of billions.
A modern-day pirate must sacrifice everything to save the daughter he never knew he had - problem is, she lives two hundred years in the past.
The Orion Chronicles was awarded the Silver in the Published Fantasy category in Florida's Royal Palm Literary Awards for 2020. It also received Honorable Mention in Writer's Digest's Self Published Book Contest for Genre Fiction.
Having been a sailor for twenty-two years, I've seen my share of rough weather on the ocean. When I began imagining this story I thought why not begin with a rescue during a typhoon. How would a ship manage in heavy seas? The technology of the Orion is only glimpsed, or hinted at in Chapter One. This is a special ship with an amazing crew.
Successful in retrieving the promised talisman that will drive Malik’s spirit from Midgard, Torval, Ästa, and their friends return to the Northlands to prepare for the final confrontation with the Outworld dǽmon. Along the way, old acquaintances are reunited, while others are lost, requiring those remaining to band together and complete the quest demanded by the gods: return the splinter of Yggdrasil to the Rainbow Bridge and heal the tree of life. The final miles test the travelers as never before. Ästa struggles to understand and control the fearsome magic passed on to her by the white witch and dark faeries. Torval, free from the doubt that crippled his use of the staff’s magic, discovers a frightening aspect of being the bearer of the splinter of Yggdrasil. All discover hidden strengths as yet untapped, but whether enough to stand against the coming conflict remains to be determined. The dǽmon awaits, the final obstacle that must be overcome if they are to be victorious. But Malik will not easily be defeated. The cost will be high for all, but some will pay the ultimate price. Can the fellowship withstand what is required to succeed? In this final arena, the combatants gather. Will their struggle satisfy the whims of the gods? Will the righteous struggle our travelers have endured be rewarded, or ignored? In these days of blood and magic, our friends must pull together, stand as one, and fight for all.
Enamored with the beauty, Windancer, Orik sacrifices himself to save her and her escort from the Forest Gnomes.
While sailing from the Westlands toward Bear Island, Magnus and crew come upon a strange three-masted ship, and its equally strange captain, Sir Geoffrey Matheson. We shall see more of him and his ship, Orion...later.
Asta learns of her inheritance - the Seer Stone - from her father. It wields powerful magic, and she must learn to understand its power. She will come to need it soon.
Successful in driving the dǽmon, Malik from his mortal shell, though at great personal cost, Torval and his cousin, Ästa and their friends learn they must travel to the Western Lands and retrieve a magic talisman with which they can destroy Malik once and for all. Leaving their homeland – and new friends, the travelers brave unpleasant conditions and deadly confrontations as they make their way west; but for one, the Western Lands hold no allure, for a debt is owed and payment – long overdue – is required. Continuing their quest to return the Splinter of Yggdrasil to the Rainbow Bridge, Torval, tortured by dreams of loss and failure, struggles with controlling magic that is becoming less dependable, while Ästa uncovers secrets about her connection to the Lupanora that leave her wondering: can I do what is expected? The Western Lands hold the answers for both, and unbelievable power for one, but at what cost?
They knew they shouldn't venture into the caves - bears and other dangerous things lived there. But Asta was compelled to render assistance to the bear cubs and their mother. It would cost them all.
Irenia, the long-lived witch of the Westlands, has foreseen the coming of the Wolf Queen and is prepared to destroy her. But the White Witch has not anticipated the depth of Asta's power and must rethink her methods. Asta is coming.
Asta has her first meeting with the spirit of the she-bear inhabiting Urso's Shrine. She discovers several things about herself and her mother. Things that will help her later.
Splinter of Asgard is the story of Torval, a Norse youth of sixteen who dreams of the high-seas adventurous Viking life of his father, brother, and uncle – but fate has limited him to being an apprentice shipwright. That all changes when Torval awakens an age-old magic and must accept the responsibility for returning a lost relic to Asgard – home of the gods, from where it came. Together with his younger cousin, Ästa, Torval must not only brave the hazards encountered during their travels, but they must also stay one step ahead of Malik, a dǽmon of Outworld, who has perceived the magic and would have it for his own. As Torval and Ästa try to evade their pursuers they meet up with others who join their company and lend their unique strengths to the growing band of travelers. Torval must learn to control the wakened magic with which he has been entrusted, while his cousin attempts to understand a dormant power of her own that is beginning to stir – one that is beyond her imagination. Nearly disabled by feelings of doubt and inadequacy, Torval must overcome these personal weaknesses and lead his friends across a forbidding landscape that tests them at every turn as they seek to fulfill their quest: return the Splinter of Asgard to the Rainbow Bridge. Theirs is a tale of how love, hope, and trust struggle against hate, despair, and betrayal to heal an age old wound and protect the world in which they live.
Knowing his power to be less than that of Malik, Grafeldr opens a portal and travels through the emptiness of the void. He has a destination in mind and an old friend to visit.
During his magic apprenticeship, Torval faces several challenges manifested by Grafeldr - his mentor. One such is Ingemar, Torval's father, the image of whom causes Torval's use of the magic to falter. Grafeldr counsels Torval about the use of magic and controlling his fear and self-doubt. These are difficult lessons for the boy.
I have long been a fan of Japanese history, especially the feudal period with its lords and samurai protectors. In this case, I wondered what would happen if a young girl had been allowed to train and carry the katana - the curved sword of the samurai. I decided to create Haruka, daughter of a high-class samurai who is slain while she on his protection detail. Her perceived loss of face at the death of her father fills her with a need for vengeance. She will satisfy that need when she meets up with our other travelers soon.
After a storm on the North Sea in 1991, the peace of a routine spring morning is shattered when a secret German World War II chemical weapon washes up on the shore of a small Scottish fishing village, killing scores of inhabitants in a gruesome, painful manner. Retired U.S. Navy Bomb Disposal technician Mack Turner and his newly organized GREEN Team are dispatched to discover the cause of this mass murder and remove the threat before it can create additional destruction. While in Scotland, the team discovers the depth of the German plot and the imminent threat to New York City. Before they can mitigate the situation in Scotland and return to the United States to stop another disaster, a dangerous man from Mack’s past hijacks the chemical weapon from its resting place in the United States to use in his own twisted plot of revenge. In a heart-pounding race against time, the GREEN Team must utilize all their resources to outthink the chemical terrorist and deal with his dangerous physical and psychological impediments. Can they stop the madman in time, or do the citizens of New York City face certain death?
A major character in this series, E.J. appears on the eve of a rescue operation, one he is not happy about once he learns who is joining his team - an EOD Tech with no combat experience.
This scene is anecdotal in that while deployed in the Persian Gulf during Desert Shield/Storm, my detachment participated in many operations just like the one described here. In fact, I actually experienced the confrontation with the large grouper and the underwater detonation. The Navy's EOD teams are all highly trained professionals who routinely conduct dangerous missions on land or underwater. That was another life ago for me, but I still remember the thrill.
When members of the GREEN Team are kidnapped by a Colombian drug cartel during a routine chemical cleanup in Brazil, Mack Turner must travel to the Amazonian city of Manaus to try and salvage the team and rescue the hostages. Turner must also deal with the drug lord who wishes to eliminate the American soldiers who have been harassing his cocaine operations. If he is to succeed, Mack will have to trust E. J. Lonetree, the team leader whose skills are special but whose bruised ego gnaws at his tenets of honor and duty and imperils the chances of rescuing the teammates lost under his watch. Lonetree struggles to overcome self-doubt and to resist the urge for swift vengeance that could trigger disaster, while Mack faces a daunting two-fold mission: recover his people and stop a madman from wiping out the soldiers in horrific fashion. The action is vivid, the suspense is relentless, and the details read true in this the second GREEN Team novel from R. L. Keck, a former navy bomb disposal technician. Bound by Honor is the story of a mission in which those who sign on must commit to flawless execution and accept the stark truth that some may pay the ultimate price.
Carlos and Esteban have kidnapped Nikki and Shaura and are holding them captive at Carlos' Colombian compound. But not all is as it seems.
E.J. has occasional flashes of insight or visions that he inherited from his grandmother. This 'second sight' as he thinks of it, helps him to stay one step ahead of his enemies or, in this case, know when his friends are in danger. Since joining the GREEN Team he has quietly observed Nikki from a distance, his feelings for her kept locked away. Now, however, with her safety in jeopardy, his mind alerts him with a vivid message. He will go to her.
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