Draft

Below is a draft of the prologue for the next novel.

Does it work as a prologue? Should it be changed? How?

Your opinions are always valuable.

JMac

Prologue

A symphony of clangs echoes along the walls as it carries itself through the cave’s multitude of tunnels. Its source, a pair of clashing armoured warriors. Garbed in burnished bronze and wielding the finest blades forged by human artificers, there was nought to differentiate the two, not even their skill at arms.

Champions of their respective nations, any imperfections had been beaten and tempered from them after two decades of war. They were at the height of human perfection and across the vast realms of Mankind, there would be found no equals. Only those of divine birth would have been their betters.

Thrust, swish, clang, slash, the hectic sounds of battle continue, with neither side weakening or relenting. Both had been blessed by a plethora of Gods, each with a different stake in the war. Such fickle patrons would never allow their champions to parley, to surrender, to live and die peacefully.

Since the moment their respective fathers had allowed them to playfully swing a wooden sword, they had been chosen and destined to be enemies. And now that long foreshadowed moment had come to pass.

Snap. The sound of spear shafts shattering concludes the first act as both combatants fall to their knees, their chests heaving as they gasp for breath. No words are spoken, nor are they needed, for both had come to respect the other. In another, more peaceful age, they would have been friends, or at least friendly rivals.

But despite the far reaching consequences of the battle, there was but one mortal witness, all others having been slain or banished. In the corner, far from the reach of a careless thrust or swing was a young woman, garbed in noble attire.

Though their facial features were hidden by a silk shawl with floral designs, it did little to conceal their obvious nymph-like beauty. But it would have been clear to even a casual observer that they were not here willingly, for they were gagged and their hands and feet bound by thick rope.

Clang, the drum-like drone of shields bashing against each other announces the end of the second act, the two sweat drenched actors staggering back from each other, with their muscular limbs near lifeless after an uncountable barrage of blows.

Knowing the end was near, they raise their swords and stand straight whilst wetting their now dry lips.

For Ares!

For Enyalius!

Roaring the names of their patron deities, the champions surge forward, emptying what little reserves they had remaining, seeking to end the fight with a single strike.

But they had unknowingly called to the same God, who had equally blessed them both, satisfied by whatever the result. As their swords clash in the middle, one bends and warps before shattering, having weakened first despite the care it had been shown by its wielder.

A surprise gasp escapes the lips of one as they watch the shards of bronze scatter in front of them, but it does not last long. Carried by the momentum of the swing, the still whole blade soon finds itself embedded in their chest.

Falling into each other’s embrace, the two champions, one with a plume of white feathers, the other with black, stare into each other’s eyes. With a wry smile on both of their lips, one soon falls to the ground, the look of satisfaction etched onto their face.

Now alone, the victor stands silent, the only movement coming from their eyes as they continue to linger on the fallen. Kneeling, they reach for coins contained within the slain’s garments, placing them atop their now closed eyes and whisper a prayer.

Having performed the victor’s duty, they wrench free their weapon, turn and stagger towards the still bound observer. With a pair of deft swings, they cut them loose before staggering back and slide down the damp cave wall.

Unclasping the straps, they throw aside their black plumed helmet, exposing their sweat drenched face and hair to the cold air. Weary, they turn their bright blue eyes to the woman sat next to them, and wait.

And they continue to wait, but the woman does not move, nor speak, instead remaining silent, staring almost aimlessly at the far cave wall. The warrior reaches out, but the movement causes a gut wrenching pain to form in their side and they begin to cough. A layer of red forms on their fingers as they taste copper.

Fearfully, they look down and notice, finally, the remnants of their foe’s sword which had pierced their side. They had lived their life by the sword and knew the nature of the wound. Choosing not to waste time on pointless treatments, they decide to ask the woman the only question that truly mattered.

“Oh, all knowing Oracle, tell me, did we win?”

As if roused from a dream, the woman turns and reaches out, touching the warrior’s face. The warrior finds their warm touch soothing. Pulling back their veil, the woman allows the warrior to look upon their face for the first time. Mesmerised, the warrior stares into the woman’s glowing golden eyes.

“Not yet.”

As the cryptic whisper leaves their lips, an earth shattering roar is heard in the distance, followed by a series of tremors. As shards of rock and thick slabs fall from the roof and walls of the cave, the warrior pushes the woman away into a hollow. Raising their shield above their head, they shelter the woman from the debris, knowing this would be their final act.

As more and more rocks fall around them, the warrior’s vision grows dark, but before it claims them, they hear a final whisper.

“But we will.”

Publishing

Hello all

Thank you for returning to this site.

I have some great news following the last post. The first book of the Praetor’s Blood series is getting published and the first of these, Shattered Peace, has a release date of the 22nd March 2022.

As you can see from the latest pages on the website, there are links to the first 10 pages which were originally submitted to the Page Turner Awards in 2021, the writing competition which began this adventure.

A handy little link to these extracts can be found here.

Global Publishing Solutions based in Illinois have given me this amazing opportunity for my work to be brought into the public domain. I can express no amount of gratitude to Gloria Foster and her team for this.

The journey has been long, with many diversions but I have finally completed the first step. I can only hope that the work is enjoyed by others and they too wish to know how the adventures of the main characters continue in subsequent novels of the series.

Praetor’s Blood: Shattered Peace is currently available with most book sellers in both Paperback and in e-book including Kindle and Nook formats at time of writing.

The novel can be bought directly from the publisher:

Global Publishing Solutions here.

Amazon across their various sites and many more.

Please search using the following references for your home book sellers:

ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8985389203

Thank you for your continued support. As always, please comment, share and subscribe. I would love to hear your reviews of the novel and your suggestions on what you might want to see in future novels, as well as questions about this series.

Jeffrey MacSporran

2022 and the future of JMacNovels

Hello all.

It has been a while since my last update and this is sadly due to the many pressures which exist in the world beyond the screen.

A few updates since September 2021, it is now January 2022. If you have returned to this page and reading this, I thank you for your continued interest and hopefully support of this page. Praetor’s Blood: Shattered Peace which is the working name of the 1st novel of the series as indicated in earlier blog posts was submitted to the Page Turner Awards in the Writing competition.

As a full manuscript, it managed to reach the finalist and eventually the longlist stages. The fact that my first attempt at a competition lead to this result was something I had never anticipated, especially due to the subsequent attention and feedback that I received.

Due to the confidence boost, I have decided to make a proper effort in getting this novel released. As such I have begun a review of the various social media platforms to ensure their content is appropriate and whether it is still relevant.

Due to this review, I will be making many changes, this includes the contents of this writing blog and website. The draft pages have sadly been taken down for now, though the first 10 pages of Shattered Peace are available as part of my 2021 entry in the Page Turner Award, linked below:

https://pageturnerawards.com/writing-award-2021/praetors-blood/award-submission

My plans also include registered an appropriate domain name, updating or replacing the website entirely.

I am not sure where the future leads, but I am certainly planning to follow the path for as long as it allows me to.

I hope to update you all in the near future.

JMac

Page Turner and Synopsis

Hello All

It has been a while since my last post, so I thought it would be prudent to keep everyone updated. The Page Turner competition is coming to a close and the results will be released soon. Though the sample pages which I submitted are no longer available on the link previously provided, I was pleasantly surprised by the positive comments given from it. Those words have given me hope that the months and years of work, on and off, have been worth it and that the vision I have in my head could be something which others might enjoy.

I thank everyone who had a read and supported me with ideas and comments during this journey in the writing of Book 1. On other news, it is amazing what happens when you go away for long periods of time, you find mistakes and typos which you and others have missed from initial reads. I have also come to the conclusion that I am kind of hopeless with Microsoft Word.

In other news. I was trying my hand at writing a synopsis. The example is below, please give suggestions on how it could be better.

Premise

In Praetor’s Blood, God’s would use mortal souls as pieces for their games, but their final game, set during the Age of Heroes is interrupted by the sinking of the Island of Atlantis. Now, millennia later, two mortals, unknowingly bound by ancient prophecy, but separated by time and space are chosen as the latest pieces.

Synopsis

SELESIA THEAOLUS, the nineteen year old protagonist is the physically weak, but gifted in magic Crown Princess of Artlars. Forced to flee her home and go into hiding with a handful of bodyguards, her sister and lady in waiting after the murder of her father by her uncle, the Usurper of the throne. Seeking a solution to the ongoing civil war raging on the island, she is drawn north by the message that the Oracle, a messenger of the Gods, wishes for a meeting with her.

But upon arriving at her destination, she finds the Oracle absent and she is now caught in a siege by an enemy who seek to win by any means. Barely able to escape whilst pursued by assassins, she heads further into the untamed north, following a series of visions and dreams containing a woman in a green dress who promises her salvation if she find the “Heir of Europa”.

Slowly, Selesia is forced to confront her weaknesses whilst coming to understand that there are other kinds of strengths than the purely physical and that her choices affects more than just the lives of those around her and who sits on the throne of Artlars.

JAMES ARCHEAN is the deuteragonist. A war-weary officer who has lived for more than a century. Having survived a nuclear war, he is forced into politics, to which he is ill-suited, whilst governing a district of the “Britannic Confederation”, the last beacon of civilisation.

But when he is caught in a terrorist attack on the anniversary of the nation’s founding, he discovers a plot to overthrow the government from those within it. Now wary of enemies within and without, he tries to complete his final mission, to save the remnants of humanity whilst burdened by the guilt of the decisions he was forced to make during the wars of the past and the dreams of a female stranger in green who seeks his aid whilst seemingly knowing the secrets of his lost memories.

Praetor’s Blood is a story told from the separate perspectives of Selesia and James as they begin their journeys, with Shattered Peace detailing their individual struggles before their eventual meeting which commences the game they have unknowingly become parts of. Subsequent novels would details James’s arrival in the world of myths, their prophesised meeting and journey as James assists Selesia’s efforts to overthrow her uncle and end the civil war whilst seeking a means of returning to his own world. With the series concluding with the God game’s conclusions and the revelation of James’s hidden heritage and why he was chosen despite the separation of worlds.

Initially set on two separate worlds, the first is the world of myths and legends detailed in Greek mythology, inhabited by Gods and mythical beasts, whilst the other is the post-apocalyptic world set a century and half into our future. Forcibly separated into the “world of myths” and the “world of mortals” during the events of the sinking of Atlantis, both are still bound by an ancient prophecy which could decide their mutual survival or destruction.

Thank you all

JMac