Swords & Stones
A continuing series
The door closed but still the distant sirens penetrate while the wall hardly muffles the anger and yelling and screams from a nearby TV. The small screen glows softly before me and two fingers hunt letters on the keyboard. Slowly the words grow and I find myself sitting around the glowing embers of the cooking fire, watching the crimson glow shimmer as the gentle breeze plays over the coals, while the first stars begin to shine above and the tall pines rustle behind. Sara is making the only loud sound, stories of today's events made epic as only she can. The other women half listening, the horses close behind them waiting their turn at the fire.
The words grow and grow. Story after story. Adventure after adventure.
My refuge is a dream realm where the modern world can no longer intrude. A man can create a life there where risk and reward are fairly balanced so that with effort and thought, anything becomes possible. Freedom from regulations that prohibit and a government that keeps a distance. Of course that means that life is simple, but that become its own reward.
That world became the world of Cal and his women. A world of travel through an Empire that was Ancient Rome at the cusp of its peak. Exploring new places. Finding new friends. Gaining wealth and power, but with it the growing threat from those seeking power themselves.
I lived with these characters in my dreams for months before starting to write them down. Write their stories to re-read and enjoy on a rainy day. Those first stories were too bland to publish, but when the first book in this series starts, the crew are ready to find out their true destiny and make change in their life, as though the first steps they made were all guiding them to this point. Now they have purpose in their life and reasons to venture beyond the safe world they'd inhabited.
Alchemy and Ancient Mysteries have been passions of mine since I was a teen. My stories needed a sense of mysticism and very quickly megalithic stones entered to fulfil part of that need. In fact, nearly all the stories revolve around stone circles of some form. Alchemy is still waiting in the wings, ready to enter in a direct way, and it will eventually.
The one who started the whole adventure when she found Cal and convinced him that she would be a great wife for him. Loud and bossy and competitive, she lives every bit of life she can. Never quiet when she can yell. Never behind when she can lead, but for all her bravado, she yearns to be loved and held tight. Even with all the other women, Sara always drives the story. Leading from the front, she draws everyone behind her, and while she might make mistakes and rush in where she shouldn’t, others will always be behind to make things right and leave her to recount a version of the event where she always succeeds.
The story starts with Sara’s point of view as she races to be first at their warehouse, only to find when she gets there that their warehouse manager is very sick, having just had her first baby. That’s the catalyst to send for help with that help coming in the form of an old healer women, and it’s that woman who introduces them all into the world of ancient gods and sacred stones.
Ever since she got her first chariot, Sara has wanted a sword. Cal arranged for Maxim, their chariot maker to produce some wooden swords and the crew spent hours charging around their farm waving wooden swords and playing at battle, but that didn’t stop Sara pestering for real swords some day. This is the time and this is the book where that happens. Both Sara and Ava end up with swords, and holders that fit on their backs hidden under clothes. The rest of the crew get knives of various sorts.
The joy of having swords turns to fear late in the book when the time comes to use them for real. Once again, Sara takes charge, but without the total enthusiasm she usually has, but her and Ava win and grow their confidence for future trouble.