THE FALCONS SAGA, Book 1
The kingdoms of the Northwest were once unified under a single crown, but treachery split ancient Westervael in twain. Now, in a land long-divided by war, two kings chase different dreams for their people. The Black Falcon seeks compromise, independence, and loyalty to tradition. The White Falcon longs for reunification of the Brother Realms, no matter the cost.
An attack by assassins shatters a fragile peace, and caught up in the maelstrom are twin brothers:
Kieryn: awkward, absentminded, bookish. When voices in his head begin to whisper of murder, Kieryn fears he's going mad. He soon discovers, however, that he is a vessel for powers that have lain dormant in his family for generations. While his family marches to war, Kieryn must turn his back on those he loves and muster the courage to enter a forbidden world. Crossing beyond the Veil, he encounters the Elarion, the Goddess's proud, enigmatic First Children. Among them, Kieryn is a spark that awakens ancient memory and smoldering hatred. Yet only the Elarion can help him uncover his family's past and his hidden gift, though his efforts may cost him his sanity and his soul.
Kelyn: a charming knight-in-training and his father's ideal. Yearning to follow in his father's footsteps, Kelyn is put to the test when war breaks between the Brother Realms. He soon finds himself an invader on foreign soil, where his preternatural foresight in battle earns him the king's favor and a reputation as the Swiftblade. But a knight's vows are easier spoken than kept. As the armies of the Falcon Kings meet blade to blade, lines blur between courage and madness, honor and self-delusion. In this war-torn realm where bard song seals a man's reputation for all time, Kelyn must choose between personal glory and the lives of his countrymen. Can he become the knight his father hopes he can be, or will his actions threaten his family's honor and the lives of thousands?
THE FALCONS SAGA, Book 2
The war between the Brother Realms reaches its bloody climax as the Falcon kings race to secure allies and vie for dominance of the Northwest.
As the Black Falcon's army pushes deeper into Fieran territory, Kelyn must learn to bear the weight of the War Commander's helm. Victory - and the lives of thousands - depend on his word alone. While he presses against the relentless tide of his enemies, he harbors a dark secret, one that may spell of the destruction of his family. Wounds of the flesh matter little when a man must battle his conscience and his own desires to reclaim his honor.
Deep within Avidan Wood, Lothiar remembers a time when his people roamed free. Chafing inside the prison that his people call a refuge, he dreams of a new era, in which the Mother's First Children rise again to dominate the breadth of Dwinovia. In his loathing for the Sons of Ilswythe, he unleashes an ancient terror. But tampering with the forces of the Abyss brings about disastrous consequences he does not foresee.
Meanwhile, Kieryn is torn between the woman he loves and his pursuit of the forces seething inside him. The secrets he is sworn to protect drive a wedge between him and his betrothed, and Rhoslyn turns to another. Shattered by betrayal and pursued by a soul-thirsty shadow, Kieryn must harness the fires of his rage and forge a new identity. One that will earn him a song in legend—or infamy as a madman.
(previously published as Blood of the Falcon, Volume 2)
THE FALCONS SAGA, Book 3
As the kingdoms of the Northwest recover from a devastating war, Kelyn of Ilswythe is trying to put his life back in order. Adjusting to peacetime and life at home with a new wife and son is difficult enough, but he soon learns that all is not as idyllic as it appears. He receives troubling news of children disappearing, of dwarves locked in frenzied war against an unnamed foe, of travelers slaughtered by unseen monsters. To Kelyn, these disturbing events appear unrelated, but evidence soon proves that sinister magic is at work.
His twin brother, the avedra Thorn Kingshield, begins to unravel these tangled threads, and finds that the answer comes straight out his nightmares. Lothiar, the enemy he believes to be dead, works from the shadows, training his vast army and scheming among the courts of men in an effort to save his own kind from a tragic, inglorious demise.
Ghosts from a long-forgotten age are rising for revenge, and the Sons of Ilswythe find that their greatest battle is bearing down on them. A monstrous horde is poised to cleanse the lands of Dwinovia of the taint of humanity and avedra alike. The world of flesh and the world of magic must fight side by side if either are to survive.
THE FALCONS SAGA, Book 4
The lands of the Northwest are laid waste, the people scattered. In the wake of devastating betrayal, the Sons of Ilswythe reel to find a foothold. With his home in ruins, Kelyn must learn fast how to fight a foe he does not understand. Refugees from across Aralorr flee Lothiar's atrocities and gather to Kelyn's banner, desperate for a leader willing to make a stand. But is his ragtag army enough to hold back Lothiar's bloodthirsty horde?
In secret, Thorn Kingshield experiments with perilous energies in an attempt to develop a new kind of magic. Success will supply him with a new weapon that may enable him to decimate the ogre hordes. Failure may cost him the very thing that makes him avedra—and unleash the evils of the Abyss.
Meanwhile, Carah struggles with the heartache that comes with being a healer. While she tends to the wounds of the dying, she is torn between the love of a pearl fisher and the hopes of a king. An arduous search for his family leads Laral into the ogre-infested fastnesses of the Drakhan Mountains. And Lothiar is haunted by the whispers of a dragon...
...as the Falcons Saga continues in Cry of the Falcon.
Not all stories end happily ever after, and not all stories only happen once upon a time. Sometimes Beauty is the only hope to save the Beast—not from a curse, but something darker. Other times, there's a reason why Sleeping Beauty is slumbering—and waking her could quite possibly be the worst thing the Prince could have done...
Join Joshua Allen Mercier and The Bearded Scribe Press as they bring you on a whirlwind ride through fairytale and folklore, myth and majick. Treasured stories from your childhood are revisited and remastered into newly-treasured tales of hope and heartache, of adversity and adventure.
Find it at Amazon
"Death knows not the Grave."
When young Joss Tanner moves with her mother and sister into their ancestral home, she overhears terrifying rumors of dark family secrets: debutantes flung from balconies, drownings, and the devil himself locked in a box on the mantelpiece.
"Curiosity killed the cat," Joss replied. "Everybody knows that."
"Oh, no, child," said Gramma Johns. "It was the swan."
But what inquisitive girl can ignore poking around Westermere's dusty cupboards, its hidden attics? Joss's investigations soon unearth clues about crimes a century old--and a curse captured on a tintype.
Can Joss convince her mother and sister to leave Westermere before family history repeats itself?
"...a first class read..." --Dorothy Davies, author of The Skullface Chronicles.
In this tale of lost faith and redemption, an outbreak of restless spirits threatens the safety of the bog-dwellers. Imaen, a disillusioned, bitter priestess, is forced to accompany her mentor into the icy swamps to learn why the spirits walk and to help put them to rest again. But when her mentor is attacked and slain by one of these spirits, Imaen must find the courage and the faith she needs to solve the mystery on her own. If she fails, the evil behind the outbreak could claim her soul as well, leaving her a forlorn spirit wandering through the mists of Blackfen Bog.
The Kindle version may be found HERE
When Mother Mirrah becomes the new warden of the New Hope prison for extraplanar delinquents, she meets Derinzan, a half-human creature whom she is convinced has been wrongly imprisoned for over a century. Is her struggle to free him a just one, or has she made a grave error in judgment?
First published in Midnight Times in 2007, then again in Kaleidotrope, Issue #9 in 2010, "Fire Eater" met a round of positive reviews:
"a very well-written story" --Sam Tomaino, SFRevu
"superior craftswoman . . . deeply affecting" --Kimberly Todd Wade, author of Thrall
Available only for the Kindle: HERE
My novelette, "The Witch of Mistletoe Lane," is available in Past the Patch, a FREE anthology of Halloween stories by Dark Red Press and edited by Brian Fatah Steele. The product description:
Halloween - a holiday that evokes so much. Some say itâ€™s a time when the space between worlds is too thin to bear the weight, and outer things spill over for a bit of Trick Or Treating. The stories found inside this e-anthology echo that idea, reporting back from a corner where the mirror has reflected a distorted image of this season.
Inside weâ€™ll find a young manâ€™s madness has driven him down a bloody path and the brutal folklore of the early 19th century clawed to life. Weâ€™ll see domestic bliss marred only by suburban lycanthropy and retail employees devoured by cosmic malevolence. Witches, monsters, and maniacs as written by authors of fantasy, adventure, mystery, poetry, romance and horror. Weâ€™ll dig deeper into a celebration now known for masks, candy and pumpkins while immersing ourselves in this anthology. Here, weâ€™ll go past the patch and discover what tales lurk on the other side.
Available for FREE download at Smashwords
Read samples of my published fiction at the links below:
THE FALCONS SAGA:
Book 1: Blood of the Falcon
Book 2: Sword of the Falcon
Book 3: Sons of the Falcon
Book 4: Cry of the Falcon
Book 5: Fury of the Falcon, upcoming
Gatekeeper: The Memoir of Carah Swiftblade, upcoming