Kayelle Allen Reveals Cover for Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire

 

Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire

The Sempervian Saga (Book 2)

by Kayelle Allen

 

 

BLURB:

Humans created the Ultras, a genetically enhanced race, to defend mankind. Instead, Ultras became their greatest
threat. With the help of traitors, humans captured half a million of the immortal warriors.

 

Exiled to an alien world with no tech, no tools, and no resources, their leader, Pietas, must protect his people, find food
and shelter and unite them. But before he can, he must regain command from a ruthless adversary he’s fought for centuries–his brutal, merciless father.

 

Ultras are immortal, and no matter how they die, they come back. Reviving after death isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Some wounds heal instantly and a few take time, but battered and broken trust? Immortals may heal, but a wound of the heart lasts forever.

 

Genre: Science Fiction with romantic elements

Rating: PG13 for violence, no profanity or explicit content

 

 

 

Excerpt:

 

 

In this scene, Pietas performs a ritual with the help of his friend, Six.

Pietas’s long hair, full of static electricity from the wind and storm, settled over his shoulders and adhered to his neck.
He could not lift his arms to gather it himself but he did not want the others to see he needed help nor did he want Six fretting over it.

The man blamed himself for the injury. Yes, Six had bound Pietas. It had been Six’s duty to do so. In truth, those who had placed Pietas inside the pod and refused to release him were to blame, but no matter how often he reminded Six of that, the ghost refused to relinquish his guilt.

Six dug into his pockets. “I think I have another strip.” They had torn several from a ragged shirt. Six wore the biggest piece around his neck. He set down his pack and opened it.

“Six,” Pietas hissed. He did not turn his head, but looked toward the others. “Leave it!”

The ghost glanced up at him, then the immortals, waiting ahead. “You want the women messing with your hair? Is that it?”

He closed his eyes, counting to ten. To a hundred would not erase this embarrassment. “No.” When he beheld Six, the man had the discourtesy to smirk. “Don’t look at me in that tone of voice.”

The man chuckled. “We should have cut your hair before we set out.” He rummaged through his kit, which held all Six owned when he’d been abandoned on this world. Little more than survival gear.

“I never cut it except in ritual.”

“I know.” Six withdrew a boning knife used for it.

Before every battle, Pietas performed the solemn rite to affirm superior strength and prowess. The ghost had been the first human to see it carried out, albeit the first half from a distance while hiding.

Six stood. “Maybe you could perform it now.”

“How like you to see the easy solution. But there are a few elements missing. No fire. No water. No mask.” He gestured toward the oncoming storm. “No time.”

“Haven’t you ever heard of pretending?”

“One cannot ‘pretend’ a ritual.”

“What a boring childhood you must’ve had. Why not?”

Pietas opened his mouth to answer. Shut it again.

Six lifted one eyebrow. “Do you want to go into that dark hole and meet up with your people without performing it?”

“No, but there’s no time.”

“Rain’s coming.” Six jerked a thumb toward the forest. “Like I said, you have to go in there or you won’t reunite with your people. Are you going to stand out here making excuses, or do this?”

“Ghost, this ritual is important. It deserves respect.”

Blah, blah, blah. That storm is bearing down on us.” A few drops of rain splattered them both. “See? Or maybe you’d rather have your sister help you with your hair every morning.”

“Fine!” With a resigned sigh, Pietas capitulated. “How do you propose we ‘pretend’ my ritual?”

Six tucked the knife into his belt and held out his cupped hands. “This is fire.”

Pietas hesitated.

“Come on, Pi.” Six wagged his cupped hands. “This stuff is hot.”

“Of course it is.” A smile slipped onto his face and refused to leave. “It’s pretend fire. That’s the hottest kind.”

“Remember, you do this naked. Unzip your robe or whatever it is you’d wear.”

Pietas mimed removing his silk robe. He plucked one hair and laid it across Six’s hands, feeding it to the fire. “As fire has victory over life, so I have victory over my enemies.” He passed a hand through the imaginary flame. As he had in the real ritual, he hissed at the scorching heat. He cupped his hands over Six’s, a symbolic end to the flames. “I am
powerful, as fire is powerful.”

“Next is air, right?”

“Yes.” He lifted both hands, made fists, and yanked them back. “I own the wind. I prevail over the breath of my enemies.”

Again, Six cupped his hands. “Water.”

“Water submits to my presence the way enemies submit to my will.” He scooped his hands into the bowl, lifted his arms and pictured the liquid dripping down them. “The blood of my enemies trickles into the pool of time, is absorbed, and forgotten.” He bent and pushed both hands through his hair. “My mind is clear. I do not waver.”

Six held his hands flat, waist high. “The pond.”

Pietas ducked as if to submerse himself, then rose, throwing back his head. “My body submits to my will. No pain defeats me. No fear touches me.” He brushed his hands down the length of his body. “My will is absolute. I am bigger than any fear. I prevail in every circumstance. I face every foe. I vanquish every enemy. I overcome. I am indomitable. I am invincible.”

“Black face paint for the mask.” Six held out his hands.

The ceremonial mask represented a splash of blood across his face received during battle. Dipping two fingers of each hand into the bowl, Pietas outlined a bandit’s mask up over his dark eyebrows to the area beneath his eyes. He brushed his fingertips over his eyelids and met Six’s gaze.

Finding a mixture of awe and respect threw him out of the moment. He faltered, unable to recall what came next.

Six offered the knife hilt first.

The man had seen the ritual performed once, from a distance, yet he’d remembered each step. Six wouldn’t have known the next part was performed by Pietas’s sister if no trusted partner or friend was at hand. The time Six had seen it done, Pietas had not yet considered him either one.

How wrong he had been. The man was more than both.

 

 

Bringer of Chaos: The Origin of Pietas

The Sempervian Saga (Book 1)

 

Why should Pietas end the war with humans?

His people are winning, yet they insist on peace talks. The Ultra people want to grant humans a seat on the Council. Pietas ap Lorectic, Chancellor of the High Council, War Leader and First Conqueror, disagrees. What’s best for mortals is oppression, control, and if necessary, elimination.

Pietas seethes with rage at the idea of human equality. Humans might have created Ultras, but the creation has far surpassed the creator. Humans die. Ultras are reborn, no matter how grievous the injury. They have no equals.

His people permit him no choice. He must attend these insipid peace talks on Enderium Six and what’s worse, be polite. To humans.

When a human special ops warrior is killed in battle, he’s resurrected in a secret process and inducted into the Ghost Corps. He’s given enough strength to perma-kill immortal Ultras. Ghosts are the most hated and feared of warriors.

When the ghost entraps and captures Pietas at the peace talks, the two begin a long journey toward Sempervia, an isolated and forgotten world. Once there, Pietas is marooned and the ghost abandoned alongside him. The two must either fight to perma-death, or join forces to survive.

As Pietas comes to trust the human, an unlikely and awkward friendship begins. Until he discovers how ghosts are resurrected…

Amazon Buy Link

 

 

Giveaway – Free Download

 

Free — download Endure, Illustrated Quotes by Pietas (as told to Kayelle Allen). Enjoy an exclusive collection of quotes on the concept of endurance by the man known to other immortals as the Bringer of Chaos. https://kayelleallen.com/media/30-days-endure.pdf

 

Download a free adult coloring book you can print and share. Relax and color with friends. It’s fun! https://kayelleallen.com/media/pietas-coloring-book.pdf

 


 

Mythic Heroes and Misbehaving Robots:

 

 

 

Kayelle Allen writes Sci Fi with mythic heroes, misbehaving robots, role playing immortal gamers, and warriors who
purr. She’s a US Navy veteran and has been married so long she’s tenured.

https://kayelleallen.com

Twitter https://twitter.com/kayelleallen

Facebook https://facebook.com/kayelleallen.author

Join the Romance Lives Forever Reader Group Download four free books and get news about books coming soon. You can unsubscribe at any time.

 

 

 

Instant Replay

When I lived in Croatia a hundred years ago, I spent three weeks every summer camping on the Adriatic near Pula. At the campsite where I stayed, there was a small store and a restaurant that had live music every night. There were several buildings with showers and toilets. That was the extent of the place.

 

One of the shower blocks not far, from where I set up my tent, was a narrow concrete pre-fab with a row of cubicles, each containing a shower, each with a door leading right out onto the main path through the camp. One year one of the six cubicles was missing a door. That meant more congestion for the remaining shower units, which were in high demand in August. There was almost always a queue.

 

Early one evening on my way back from the grocery store, I noticed two very fit German blokes I’d seen wind surfing earlier in the day queuing for the shower, but they got tired of waiting, so they stripped off their Speedos and waltzed right on in to the cubicle without the door.

 

I happened to be with a friend who was a bit more prudish than I, and she averted her eyes and dragged me away in a huff, me nearly breaking my neck for one last glance over my shoulder at naked, wet maleness. The whole incident couldn’t have lasted more than a minute. What I saw was fleeting. But what I imagined – over and over and over again – was most definitely not!

 

Sometimes it takes nothing more than an image to capture our imaginations, to inspire us. An image can inspire us because once we’ve seen it, processed it – especially if it’s a little scenario like mine with the shower and the naked wind surfers, our glorious, super-high-tech instant replay brains take over. Not only can we replay that image over and over again, but we can change it simply by imaging what might have happened IF … It’s were our fantasies come from, it’s where a writer’s story ideas come from, it’s built-in entertainment.

 

My voyeuristic encounter at the showers stands out to me as outrageously erotic, and yet nothing happened. Two blokes got tired of waiting in queue for the shower, probably anxious to get to dinner and a cold beer, so they chose to shower in full view of hundreds of people they didn’t know, hundreds of people who would never see them again. BUT, they were wrong, I’ve seen them countless times in my imagination – sometimes sun bleached and golden in the late afternoon light, sometimes dark, tattooed and dangerous just before dusk, beckoning me to come join them, speaking softly to me in German — words I don’t understand, though I completely get their meaning. I know exactly what those boys want, as they leer at me and I leer right back. Well, in my imagination at least.

 

In some of those instant replays, I meet them on the beach at midnight to share a bottle of wine and a naked swim in the warm moonlit waters. In some of those instant replays, I shoo my prudish friend back to her tent, then strip off shamelessly and join them, letting them soap me and rinse me and protect me with their naked, glistening bodies from gaping onlookers. In other versions, they come to the shower late at night when everyone else is asleep, and only I’m there to watch them lather and bathe each other, thorough in their efforts to get clean, more thorough in their efforts to relieve the tensions of the day.

 

Our delicious instant replay allows us to rewind, slo-mo, enhance, zoom in on any part of any experience or image that catches their fancy, and then enjoy it a second or even a 50th time around. We can take that experience and totally change it if we choose. We do it all the time; in our heads, we rewrite the ending of an interview that didn’t go so well or an argument with a lover so that we can take back what we wish we hadn’t said. Sometimes we imagine what would have happened next if things had been allowed to unfold to the end, if I had been allowed to linger a little longer in front of the showers. In fact, we can be really neurotic about it, playing the same scenes over and over and obsessing on them, for good or for ill.

 

Writers are especially adept at using this instant replay to inspire, to arouse, to tease out and focus on details we might otherwise have missed, details that might have totally intrigued us the first time around, even details that weren’t really there. Then we write those details into whole new scenarios, sometimes even whole novels.

I know, I know! It’s all a part of memory. Anyone can hit the ole instant replay button at any time and experience the

past all over again. We all do that. But there’s nothing ordinary about the ability to relive our experiences and imagine ourselves in a different life – perhaps even as different people who make a different decision; perhaps the decision to strip off and shower with the German wind-surfers. The creative process of a writer quite often depends on the exploitation of that instant replay button. I can’t think of anything I’ve written that isn’t grounded in some way, no matter how miniscule, in my recalling of an experience, my reimagining of a moment, or my reworking of an image that intrigues me. In a very real sense, we are what we write as we wind back the video in the editing room of our brain and hit replay, then hit slo-mo, then zoom in real nice and tight-like so that we can enhance and recreate every detail to tell a brand new story.

 

A Pole, a Photographer and … Me?

I just signed up for a photo shoot. That’s no biggie. Most novelists have PR photos taken from time to time. But this is different. This shoot scares me as much as it excites me. It challenges me as much as it intimidates me. This shoot is for pole dance.

 

 

I started a beginning pole dance class six months ago when Polerocks opened a studio just up the road from my gym – first lesson free. I wanted to give my workouts and my fitness routines another dimension. I’ve always thought pole dancing was incredibly beautiful and powerful. I knew that it would take my fitness to the next level. IF I could even do it at all. I am, after all, an old fart. Though I try to keep that fact a secret whenever possible, I think some people are beginning to suspect.

 

For the past six months I’ve come home from class bruised and battered and sore as hell. The pole is not a very forgiving dance partner. It has no consideration whatsoever for my delicate dainty body parts. And for the past six months, I’ve loved every minute of it. I’ve never done anything that has made me feel more challenged, or more empowered. On the pole I’m awkward and weak at worst, while I’m getting a grip on a few Spins and holds at best. But, wow! I’m stronger, more flexible and leaner than I’ve ever been. I’m discovering muscles I didn’t know existed. They usually introduce themselves to me in some way that involves pain.

 

 

Another benefit that’s worth a lot to an introverted writer who’s quite often only slightly less than a hermit is the wonderful community of women I’ve discovered in pole class – women of all ages and all skill levels, and every one of them laughing and joking and encouraging one another.

 

Me on the pole — well it’s not a pretty sight. So it’s quite possible that I may have lost my mind signing up for a photo shoot, but I did it anyway. Besides the shoot is seven months away.

 

You see where I’m going with this? I love a good challenge. And a good challenge often involves a bit of blood, sweat and flat out fear. And yet, now that I’ve signed up for it, I have to admit, I’m more than a little bit excited about the wild ride ahead.

 

 

SO today I’m posting the earliest photos I have of me and my new best friend, the Pole. Gird your loins, my lovely readers, because you’re gonna be seeing a lot more of the two of us as I record my progress for the next seven months.

 

And you’ll be seeing a lot more “Fit to Write “ posts in the future because my fitness journey has gone hand in hand with my writing journey for the past five years. It’s not only helps inspire me, but I’m pretty sure it helps keep me sane.

 

The combination of writing stories and getting and staying fit has led me into uncharted territory and I have no doubt it will continue to do so. The place where the two come together is a place of creativity and a place of personal power that I didn’t expect to find in the midst of the sweat and the gasping for breath and the sore muscles. Perhaps the most important lesson that I’ve learned and continue to learn anew every day is that I am capable of way more that I imagined. And I have a good imagination. I’m pretty sure that great revelation in the midst of sweating and grunting and writing is true for everybody in one way or another. I find that fact outrageously exciting. It gives me courage. It gives me hope.

 

It’s been a wild ride, and it’s just beginning. I’m glad to be sharing it with you.

 

 

Procrastination for Fun and Order

I sat in a coffee shop for over an hour yesterday, and I wasn’t writing. I was reading a novel and eating raspberry lemon
drizzle cake. I had only two items to pick up at the supermarket, but I wandered up and down every isle. I took a long walk in the crisp November sunshine. We don’t get a lot of sunshine in the UK in November. I vacuumed the living room carpet … I mean really vacuumed the living room carpet — you know what I mean – even behind the furniture. I dusted too. I lingered in a decadent bubbly bath until I was I was waterlogged and wrinkled. I drank more coffee and read more novel. The one thing I didn’t do yesterday was anything writing related.

 

The whole drawn-out process of not doing what I’m supposed to be doing got me thinking that maybe, just maybe, there are times when not doing what I should is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. There are times when I feel overwhelmed by the weight of what needs to be done. I woke up in the middle of the night a few weeks ago feeling that sense of panic, tossing and turning with my heart racing. And then it hit me, a Eureka moment. While all those things may need to be done – writing related and otherwise – I’m not going to get any of them done at two o’clock in the morning lying in bed angsting over them.

 

There’s no magic formula to ordering our world, though there certainly are enough books, websites, Facebook and Pinterest pages that would lead us to believe otherwise. While it is possible I might be just saying that because my life is messy and not well ordered, the truth is that all I have, all any of us has is this moment. And I would be the last person to say planning isn’t important, Believe me, I’m majorly anal about a lot of things. But I am slowly and painfully coming to the conclusion that what happens in the moment, what that moment leads to, where it might take me is far more important than a well-ordered world. I know, I know … spoken like a person whose world isn’t in any kind of order, right?

 

In the roller coaster ride that’s been my writing career so far, I’ve noticed something very important, though it certainly took me awhile. The times I’ve been most controlling, most tunnel-visioned about my work, the times when deadlines have kept me tossing and turning at night, the times when the need to produce has kept me from seeing the November sunshine right outside my window, are far less productive than the grinding joyless amount of effort I put into them would suggest. I don’t get those moments back – ever. Creativity should never be mistaken for productivity, and productivity is so very often a misnomer. Can I really call work accomplished “being productive” if it’s cheerless, drudgery?

 

It seems to me that if I am to be both productive and creative, if I am to sleep soundly at night and avoid those two am panic attacks, then I’ve got to find balance. Sometimes that balance involves doing nothing in particular. Sometimes that balance involves just being. And guess what I’ve discovered? Stuff gets done, even when I’m procrastinating. Stuff gets done. My living room looks great! And time for reading, well that’s always a treasure. Today I write. Today my head is clear and my inside world feels very well ordered indeed. All because of a little procrastination.

 

Redeeming the Villain

I don’t know about you but there are few things I find more boring than a villain who is just flat out evil. You know the kind I mean, the kind who would pull wings off butterflies just for the fun of it, the kind who would kill for no reason. Therein lies the problem. What makes a villain boring is when I have no idea why he’s such an evil bastard, when I can find, in the story no motivation for such despicable villainy, no driving force. I need motivation! I need to be able to identify on some level with what make him who he is.

 

The best villains are the ones you sort of have the hots for, the ones you can’t help but like. Even as you hate them, you still “get” them, you still understand that they, like everyone else, have baggage. They’re complicated. They have histories, they have quirks and neuroses that sometimes make them do horrific things and at other times make them surprise us with their humanity. They’re the ones you think of almost as much as you do the hero in a story. The best villains are the ones who, in spite of every horrible thing they do, you still want to see them redeemed.

 

What I hope I’ve created in Blindsided’s villain, Cyrus, is a character so twisted that he will at times make readers’ skin crawl, but a character so complex that he will, at other times make readers wonder how he might have turned out differently under different circumstances.

 

On the other hand, Blindsided has given me the chance to bring back the villain from In the Flesh — The Guardian,and toy with another fascinating story trope – what is it that makes us human, and how do we redeem ourselves and live in community? How do we care for one another when we’ve never been taught?

 

Can a villain be redeemed? Should a villain be redeemed? Let’s face it, what makes a villain interesting is that he is dangerous and unpredictable. Is the taming of a villain akin to de-fanging a vampire?

 

The one thing the Guardian will never be is tame or safe. The one thing Cyrus will never be is free of his history, the history he despises, free of the baggage that goes along with. Working with two such delicious villains in the same novel and pitting them against each other has been a real treat for me. I hope it will be for you too.

 

Here is a little excerpt of the Guardian’s observations about Susan and Reese’ first encounter with Cyrus. They have been kept in the dark, unable to get a good view of Cyrus’ face, but the Guardian is very observant. Enjoy.

 

 

Blindsided – Villainous Descriptions:

 

“He has one eye,” Reese said once they were tucked safely back into the limo and fighting the traffic out of Midtown. Neither of them had spoken before out of fear they might be overheard, but Desiree was deeply paranoid, so her limos were pretty much invasion-proof tanks.

“What?” Susan said. “How do you know?”

“I had my phone camera on selfie. Oh, I didn’t use it. I didn’t dare, but I had the angle just right that I got enough of a look at him to see that he wore an eye patch.”

“I love you, Reese Chambers,” she said, giving his hand a hard squeeze.

He forced a smile. “I couldn’t see much else. What about the Guardian? Did you enlist his help?”

She shifted uncomfortably in her seat. “Not intentionally, but he felt we were under enough of a threat that he made his presence known.”

“And?”

“Mr. Chambers is right, Susan. This Cyrus wears an eye patch. He is very much not human.”

“What else?” Reese asked, scooting to the front of his seat as she conveyed the demon’s words.

The Guardian didn’t wait for her to ask. His voice felt like an intimate whisper in her ear. “While he was very well dressed in a bespoke suit, he smelled of something more earthy.”

“More earthy? What do you mean, more earthy?” she asked, raising her hand to silence Reese when he opened his mouth to speak.

“Like sheep? Seriously?” She responded to the words only she could hear.

“Sheep? Here in New York City?” Reese said. “What else?”

“Susan, if you would just let me speak through your voice, I could—”

“No,” she said out loud. “I don’t trust you.” Then she blushed at Reese’s raised eyebrow.

“You don’t have to speak out loud. I can hear your thoughts just fine, remember?”

“I know that! I fucking know that!” This time she only thought her words, but she still felt the heat of embarrassment rise to her cheeks.

“What’s he saying?” Reese asked.

Fighting back a flood of memories, she listened as the Guardian spoke in what felt way too much like a lover’s voice—way more sensual than a voice inside her head should have been, and God help her, it felt good, even as it terrified her. But he was her prisoner, she reminded herself, and she would not lose control again. She focused on his words, and her translation became almost simultaneous.

“Cyrus is big, the Guardian says. I sensed that too just in the space he occupied,” she added. Then she continued relaying the Guardian’s thoughts. “He’s Michael’s height, but heavier built, though not fat. His hair is very blond, and while he’s flawed—that’s what the Guardian says—he’d still be considered handsome if he were to walk the streets of Manhattan, though he doubts that he often does that. He says that Cyrus is not a cosmopolitan man. In fact, while his clothing is bespoke, it lacks subtlety, as though he isn’t quite familiar with the way a man in this day and age should dress.”

“In this day and age?” Reese asked.

“He has the distinct feel about him of a being out of time, of not knowing quite how to act here in this age and place. I got that too. And also it was in the way he spoke.”

“I wondered about that,” Reese commented. “Though I forget sometimes because I’m used to it around Alonso. Magda and Talia seem to have adapted to the modern use of language a little better, but then they’ve not made the effort to isolate themselves that Alonso has.”

The Guardian chuckled softly, and Susan felt the sensation inside her chest. “Having experience of such isolation myself, perhaps I am quicker to pick up on his discomfort.”

Susan didn’t translate that. It was meant for her ears only, and it was meant conversationally, as though he spoke to a friend. But she wasn’t his friend. She fucking wasn’t his friend! As though he’d read her thoughts, which no doubt, he
had, he withdrew slightly. This time he spoke more formally, and Susan resumed the translation. “He’s not working for himself.”

“Then who?” both she and Reese asked at the same time.

“I do not know,” came the Guardian’s response. “But whoever it is, this Cyrus fears him a great deal.”

Susan translated this to Reese and the Guardian’s voice became close and personal again.

“His fear of whomever he serves makes him both dangerous and unpredictable, Susan. You must be very careful.”

 
© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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