Black Jewel of Sarnariel

Published August 11, 2014 by darksilvertree

She dropped down from the air duct. Her knife opened with a click. She made quick work of the two nearest guards. The blade slid from between one’s shoulder blades. She pulled her knife out of the other’s ribs. As the elf fell to the ground a gasp escaped. She stood slowly; the others momentarily stunned.

“Get her quick” someone squeaked.

They jumped suddenly into motion. She danced around them. Her blade flashed, a trail of sparks flying from the bodies. An arrow, it’s tip smelled of sweet poison, flew over her face as she ducked backwards. It was followed closely by others and an arrow that glowed a dark green. She deflected most, dodging the last. An explosion blasted a hole in the wall behind her. The doorway destroyed. Before she could stand the elves surrounded her. With arrows pointing at her head, she pressed a tiny button on her thigh. The slot where she kept her pistol opened. In a blur of motion, she drew it and sent a laser through four of them. The last three were coughing blood before they realized they’re throats were slit.


“Who are you?” The elf looked at her With opal eyes, wide with innocence. She stepped forward. The slot clicked back into place, echoing like the pistol’s shot. “You know who I am. You have since I entered.”

Now the woman stood erect. Two thick silver braids fell over her shoulders and ended at her waist. Her eyes narrowed. “If this is how death comes for me, so be it. But don’t attack me with these inferior weapons.”

She dashed forward, appearing before the woman. Her blade pushed in to the hilt. As the elf died she said, “Magic requires a price I will not pay for a slaver.” Instead of letting her fall she dragged her to a short metal box. A laser scanned her face and the top swung open.

From inside there was a whimper. The young girl looked up through dark hair. Amber eyes shone bright with unshed tears. Only the golden snake with Onyx eyes wrapped around a pointed ear gave a clue to who she was.

“It is time for you to return home Princess Raejiisa.”

The Collective

Published July 31, 2014 by Dia Tucker

One city is a screech of grinding gears, rusted metal, and despair. The other is a song of paranormal defiance. Both co-exist in the same time and space. Whether humans live above the magical world or the magical world lives above humans doesn’t matter. One group is charged with protection of these cities. A secret collective of witches granted stronger powers than the others. Their identities must remain secret, for in both worlds knowing a name is power.



Tamara Becke followed stealthily behind the troll blundering ahead of her. His wide body stretched the black trench coat he wore. Most eyes were on him, so even her hair that was dyed bright red didn’t draw much attention. The troll stopped suddenly, ears swiveling, and she leaned against a halodeck that was displaying the day’s news. Nonchalantly she checked her nails and tried to ignore the thin stand’s creaking. When he finally started walking again she waited before darting through the crowd to catch up.  Instead of turning into an alley she knew led to underground caves, he remained on a steady path forward. She soon realized he was going towards the docks. During this time of day there would be a crowd as ships came in with new supplies or ferried people out. And she had a good idea which he intended to do. She waited until he entered the docking station, and then created a small light that distracted him and led him towards a dark corridor. Just as his fingers closed around the ball of light, she pulled out her dagger and drew the titanium blade across the back of his knees. It was spelled to withstand the impact and created deep gashes. She rolled between his legs to avoid being crushed. His angry roar shook the walls around them. Hopefully they were far enough from the check points any guards would write it off.

“Cannot stop me.” His words came out as a rough imitation of English.

“You are in violation of our treaty by being above ground. Add the selling of illegal magical weapons….Well, I can do what I please.”


He swiped a crooked hand at her and Tamara just barely avoided the claws. Even without full use of his legs, the troll was still a dangerous enemy. She leaped over his arm and aimed for his throat. Before she could he grabbed her arm and slammed her into the wall. Her dagger fell to the floor. She let her body go limp. He drew her towards him, dangling her above his head. Tamara whispered a spell that sharpened her nails just enough to prick his skin. He released her with a surprised gasp. She swung and her feet connected with his chin, toppling him over.

“Come.” Her dagger flew towards her and she closed her fingers around the hilt. Standing on the troll’s chest she traced flaming symbols in the air; one for his head, two for his arms, two more his legs. Sheathing her dagger she began to mumble a spell that had become routine for her. “The gods demand justice, may your body serve.”

The symbols flared and lines appeared over his body. He let out one howl of agony before being separated, his body parts sent to different realms.

Bowing her head she whispered, “Forgive me for the blood I spill.”

The last thing she did before leaving was leave a ‘marker’ on the security camera. By the time anyone viewed the tape there would be no evidence of the fight.

Her earcom buzzed and she clicked it. “Tamara here.”


“How is my little amsel?”

The sound of her husband’s voice made her remember it was her turn to cook dinner. Checking her watch she realized he’d be on his way home. She stumbled a little as she began running.

“Lonely.” Her voice was light with only a hint of whining.

Jörg chuckled. “I’ll be there soon.”

She could imagine the smirk he’d have on his face.

“I can’t wait!”

“Be good until I’m there. I love you.”

She felt her cheeks heat up, but she knew he was just teasing her. Ending the connection she took off at a full run. Jumping over a rail, she slid into a cab just before the door slid closed.

Ignoring the driver’s grimace she took out her cred stick and paid him extra to speed.

“Building 315 in Sector One.”

He gave her an incredulous look but accepted the money. She accepted his silence.



Tamara dashed from the cab pass the tidy yards. In this sector, there was the illusion of a green suburb but just beyond the gate was the true iron jungle the city had become. But there was no time to dwell on this. She had less than three minutes before Jörg came home. Once she reached her building she wasted no time getting inside, almost forgetting to lock the door behind her. Tamara used magic to have dinner to start itself. The stove turned on high, to appear as if it’d been on longer, and pans floated out of the cabinets; rice packets were torn open and poured in. It didn’t take long for the small house to heat up, with extra help, to add to the illusion. With another flick of her wrists she’d defrosted the ham she’d been saving and cut it, the slices fell into the pan. Satisfied she slipped into the laundry room and changed out of her sleeveless black jumpsuit into a short, pink dress. She hid her boots under a pile of dirty clothes. Tamara heard the door opening and, sneaking around the corner, got back to the kitchen just in time to cancel her magic. When Jörg saw her she was stirring the rice. He knocked on the wall and she pretended to be surprised. She ran and jumped into his arms, enjoying the feel of his arms tightening around her. It wasn’t all faked; she needed the normalcy he provided. Not every day went so smoothly. Looking into his warm brown eyes and seeing his smile, she could forget what she was. What she did. Love wasn’t forbidden by the collective but she feared the day work would follow her home.

“Dinner smells delicious.” His voice snapped her out of her thoughts.

“It’s not much, sorry.” She smiled shyly.

“It’s perfect.”

She rolled her eyes. Tapping his arm she said, “Put me down and I’ll make you a plate.”


“Why is it always so hot when you cook?”

She laughed nervously. “You’re imagining things.”

Tamara turned just in time to see him pull of his work shirt and a cold feeling spread through her body. There was a scar that started at the bottom of his rib cage and curved around his left shoulder blade. It hadn’t been there this morning, she was sure of that. She had a flashback to demon she’d tracked down the night before. Its scythe-like claws had wounded her, but before it could land a fatal blow someone had jumped in the way. Shadows had swirled around the person like a second skin, masking them from identification. Could he be another agent or something else? The thought left her nauseated. But she had checked for magic, he had none. She was only half aware of him taking the plate from her and making a joke. She mustered up a small smile. He sat on the couch and switched on the television. Tamara hurried into the bedroom. She picked up the picture they’d taken on their wedding day. Sitting on the bed, she held it to her chest.

Stars in the Girl Updates & Excerpt

Published July 9, 2014 by Dia Tucker

I can’t log back into my Camp NaNoWriMo account, but here’s some updates and another excerpt from the first chapter.

Stars In The Girl: 2,641 words

I’ve finished the first chapter and started chapter two. Most characters have been introduced but I’m not entirely sure which characters I’m going to use.

List of characters, in order of appearance:

Samiyah Zamora (of course)

Kailani Monterroso

Jaeger Richter

Sereno Monterroso

High Priestess Dijonae

I still have to bring Santiago into the story. Some more background will be revealed about him and it makes him, along with Kailani, one of the pivotal characters.


Samiyah was walking home when a voice whispered over her shoulder, “You must hurry!”

She spun around but if any of the people walking by had spoken they gave no signs. Instead they gave her confused looks or glares. Hesitantly she began walking again but took frequent looks behind her.

“He’ll get her. You can’t let that happen.” This time the voice hissed in her ear.

“Or what, the world will end? I guess it’s just that kinda day.” She shot back ignoring any looks. This wouldn’t be the first time some lovesick sot came to her to fix their relationship troubles. And if he was a magical creature, not just a nearby witch, she wanted even less to do with it. Their romantic interest had a way of rubbing off on others.

There was a sudden burst of energy and things around her slowed down. As she was looking around she bumped into what felt like a wall. A strong hand caught her before she could fall but when she looked, all she saw a figure obscured by mist and shadow.

“This is no matter to joke about.”

“Alright, easy. No need to mess with physics.”

With a wave of his hand things resumed their normal pace. “Heed my warning. It is the only help I can give.”

Of course. She nodded. “I don’t suppose you can let me in on what you’re talking about?”

For an answer, he disappeared. She sighed and kept walking.

Add that to the list of shit that doesn’t surprise me.



Queen’s Poison

Published July 7, 2014 by Dia Tucker

Quick disclaimer: I changed Ocarin to Drahem when I edited “Wulf”. It’s still the same character.


Bonfire rode atop Stormbringer, the mare had been a gift from King Kalaya Gadi. His country was an old alley and it did not take much persuading to give aid. Originally she’d been named Dove, a symbol of peace, but after seeing them tear through the fields Stenwulf renamed her. As her hooves pounded the ground Bonfire found the name fitting, struggling to stay seated as she suddenly lunged over a narrow stream. Her hair came loose as the pins she’d hastily arranged fell out. A passerby would’ve seen a sleek brown mare and a rider with wild red-brown hair flashing though the trees. She enjoyed these moments of anonymity. When they reached a secluded pond she finally brought Stormbringer to a halt. Quickly dismounting she took in the view. A rock jutted out and a stream tumbled over into the pond and its surface sparkled with reflected sunlight. A soft breeze blew, bringing with it soft breeze blew, bringing with it sweet fragrances of flowers lining the banks. Dieni butted Bonfire’s hip. Kneeling she scratched the two small horns Dieni had begun to grow.

“Yes, you can go play.” She chuckled as she softly headbutted her before running off.

Turning, she took off her mare’s bridle so she could graze in peace. As she gently petted the mare’s soft mane it occurred to her this was a gift to a queen, an adult queen. The realization bought memories of Kathil excitedly preparing for Bonfire’s twenty-first birthday. She felt as if she were viewing someone else’s life. An adult? She felt too small for that to be true. Following a sudden urge Bonfire ran over to the rock, stopping only to take off her riding boots. Spreading her arms wide and turning her face to the sun, she let the cool water run over her naked feet as she opened herself to Ordona’s returning magic.


When she finally opened her eyes, Stenwulf stood watching her. His mount, Morningstar, grazed beside her mare. He strode over to her and put his arm around her shoulders. Neither spoke; content to leave the other to their thoughts. Peeking at him through her lashes she wondered, had it really been a year?

Before she could stop herself she blurted out, “Thank you for staying.”

He chuckled, then grew serious. Looking down at her, “It was a decision that required courage, yes, but not idolization. I was not the one strong enough to keep their hope alive.”

She pulled away from him, wringing her hands. “But-“

“You did your best. Never forget that.”

She let his words calm her, taking his hand and stepping out of the brook.

“We should get back. I don’t want to be on Seer Alani’s bad side.”

She nodded, though she’d rather stay here with him. Enjoying nature and away from their social trappings.



Councilman Drahem watched the king and queen ride through the gate. He didn’t miss the shy smile Bonfire quickly covered. His stomach twisted as she took on a regal attitude and walked up the grand steps with her head held high.

“She walks as if there is gold beneath her feet. As if she hasn’t forsaken her people.” He spoke to his assistant. He saw the way Stenwulf looked after her with adoring eyes. “She would rather this outsider, ignorant to our ways, over me. A man raised in our lore, our magic!”

The young boy glanced around nervously. He didn’t disagree but he had no desire to be punished for his ideas. To his relief, Councilman Drahem stopped for a moment.

Just as he was relaxing Drahem said, sharply, “Come. I have an errand for you.”

Camp NaNoWriMo!!!

Published June 30, 2014 by Dia Tucker

If you don’t follow me on Twitter here’s the link to my profile:

I’ll be working on Stars in the Girl this month and I’ll try to post daily updates. (Unless no one wants to see those) For anyone not familiar with the characters from this novel check out “Seven Bays” and “Ever’s Gate”. Both are urban fantasy short stories on this blog set in a near future, alternate timeline. The first story begins after a supernatural island appears in 2014 but this isn’t a prequel.

Since SitG is a full novel I’m gonna try explaining more of how the world works, mainly the other witches besides Samiyah. A lot of it will probably be for word count, then get cut later. And I’m gonna delve more into the character relationships. I imagined Samiyah as an adopted grand/daughter to Santiago and Jaeger. Not entirely sure that carried over in the short stories.

If there’s anything you’d like to see explained, any characters you’d like to make an appearance, just leave a comment. I’m always open to feedback. If you also have a page leave a link and I’ll try to follow you. This is my first year doing it and I haven’t really looked at the website yet. So I don’t know how it works. I’m also going to be doing NaNoWriMo in November and you can add me here:

Witch in the Shadows

Published June 10, 2014 by Dia Tucker

Latanya Carter stood outside the Religious Studies building staring wistfully at the night sky. She’d come to work at Highcraft University fifteen years ago much to the astonishment, and jealousy, of the other professors. After all, she was a child in their eyes. Though she was tall even then and her weight appeared in pleasant curves. Kinky brown hair fell to her chest; dark eyes stared at them with elderly wisdom and more than a little contempt. Just recently she’d turned thirty-five and earned some semblance of respect from the others. But they’re opinions were irrelevant. The reasons for her being here were simple. Remain hidden. Survival at all costs. Latanya’s thoughts were interrupted by one of her students and she had to paste a smile on her face.

“Good evening, Professor Carter.” Greg Oakly grinned, his loping walk coming to a sudden half. “It’s nice out tonight.”

“Indeed. But class is about to begin.” She gave a curt nod and turned around.

“Professor, wait! Do you really believe this stuff?”

She bit back an annoyed response and forced her face into a neutral expression. “Will that be a problem?” A hardness crept inadvertently into her voice.

“No. Just curious” but his lips twitched at the corners as he tried not to smirk.

Once again, she wondered why he bothered to come at all. To call him a nuisance was a disservice to the word. With her mask still in place she slipped inside, only holding the door because she remembered to.


The night dragged on as she discussed human witchcraft. Of course, she didn’t call it that out loud. During her classes she’d talked of its history within different cultures but when she could she taught them spells under the guise of examples. A few had secretly tried it. She could tell from the magical tracks following them. Inwardly she’d frowned. Not only was it sloppy and opening doors for things they scoffed at, it risked revealing her. Tonight she made a point of spiritual cleanliness and its importance to the practice. Doing everything in her power not to glare at the group of boys talking in whispers that were clearly audible to her. No doubt they expected the spells to help in their bar hops. They’d be lucky if they weren’t dragged off by a starving succubus since the spells they used called for a supernatural hunger. She wanted to pull aside the group of girls who tried attracting a werewolf. Latanya was so dumbfounded by their attempt she almost assisted them, instead of making the magic go awry. If only werewolves weren’t so hard to clean up after. As she moved onto the subject of Wicca, she had to resist a chuckle. It’s creed reminded her of the Valyne witch houses. They were the first to fall.

“And it harm none, do what ye will.” Her voice sounded far away.

Priestess Rhelomeer with silver hair streaming behind her and blue silk dress waving elegantly in the wind. On one dark hand a sapphire jeweled-ring glowed with their combined power. The other houses called for retribution against the invaders; she used her strength for cleansing. And her magic was pulled into their shadow until nothing remained.

“What do you think of this class? Naïve, idealogic? Does it call to you?” It is hindrance to necessary action.


“What about protecting yourself?” asked Adriana Williams, a girl who’s persona was a high class courtesan. Her red mascara and pink lipstick complimented her bronze skin. Her eyeliner ended in winged-tips.

Latanya gave a noncommittal shrug. “That’s for you to decide. If there is one thing I admire of this religion, it’s choice. And the consequences of that choice lay solely on the shoulders of the individual witch.” She moved from the board to sit on her table; Long legs crossed and straight-backed in a regal pose. “Of course, harm is still harm. Does an action justified by your perspective fit into the rede?”

Her students looked at each other, waiting for someone else to answer. Just as she opened her mouth to call on someone, a deep baritone boomed from the back of the classroom.

“The hypocrisy must make a nice breeze as it flies over you. Why don’t you tell us if your actions were justified when you scattered your house.”

She made a show of thinking as she discreetly called up magic. Finally, she looked up to meet the silver blue eyes she’d been running from. The body Prince A’Nkafa wore was a man named Kahlil Howard, whether he remained alive or not she didn’t know.

“No answer, Ms. Carter?” His voice shook with suppressed laughter.

“We were right.” Her voice sent a blast of cold air through the room.

Looks of confusion and the beginnings of panic were frozen on the students face.

“You are archaic. You and all who belonged to the ruling houses.” He jumped, leaving behind Kahlil’s body and taking his true form before landing before her.

Her eyebrow arched and her lips pressed together in a knowing smile.


With barely a flick of her wrists, she had bands of golden light tied around him slithering over his armor; red and black, made of reptilian scales it glowed. Hopping off her desk she walked over to him, one finger tapping one of the curved teeth that stuck out of each shoulder.

“Oh, you poor fool. You think you’ve cornered our priestess?” Her laughter echoed around them. “You think you’re that strong? No. You’ve made a terrible mistake.” She now faced him, her eyes changed from dark brown to opal.

His eyes widened as she changed, towering above him when she’d been looking up at him moments before. Her frame became thinner and her fingers stretched; growing talons. Her feet resembled a raptor’s. Smoky black wings unfurled to reveal mouths full of razor sharp teeth. Only her face remained vaguely humanoid.

“The Zerin are incomplete shadows.” She flapped her wings to make her point. Rapping her knuckles to show her skin had hardened, she had no need for armor. “Do you know my name prince?”

The shake in his voice was barely perceptible as he said, “House Xyria’s assassin, Kaarja.”

Her grin was malicious. “Good. Your soul will tell the others who has slain you.” And she removed his bonds.


He formed a sword with a rock hilt and a flame blade, electricity crackled around it, and lunged towards her. Kaarja easily dodged the attack. A blur of movement followed as she dived and slashed. A plate of armor fell. Then, another. What remained was heavily bruised. There was no time to gloat as he charged again. She lept to the side only to throw herself backwards as a smoky figure brought down its blade. A move that would’ve hacked through one of her wings. Her breathe caught as memories of these creatures coming through her bedroom walls forced themselves to the surface. Like ink stains they’d spread. Rage built, slowing everything down. She sent out silver hooks that wrapped the shadow creature and pulled it towards her. She folded her wings around it and the mouths opened. Purple energy flowed into them until only a wisp remained. Except for the creature’s screeching, she would appear to have it in a gentle embrace. Her heart ached as she remembered fallen warriors, her students. A’Nkaffa was there as she opened her wings. He thrust his sword forward. He had every intention of running it through her chest. Instead a dark cloud exploded from her encasing the entire classroom. He tried stilling his movements, but she could see the magic at his core. Bright red; full of his determination to live though he was outmatched and passion for the cause. He had been there; led the attack. The greatest of the houses had fallen. Survivors forced to flee to planets so far behind them it was a wonder the inhabitants could speak. She attacked him from behind, her talons digging into his skin. He sent her flying with a pulse of energy and turned, his sword held up. His eyes darted around. Barely flapping her wings she glided past him, watching the wind ruffle black hair. He swung blindly and she grabbed his wrist. Squeezing until she felt the bones in his hand break. Guessing what she meant to do he began to struggle wildly, letting out a piercing scream meant to disorient her. Jerking her towards him, he head-butted her. Giving him just enough slack to break free. He was gathering energy for a counter spell when she tackled him, one hand around his throat and one knee in his stomach to hold him down.

“As if I would be so kind.”

She drove her talons into him, paying no attention to his screams or twitching as the mouths tore away at him. His magic slammed into her, his last attempt, but it soon sputtered out as she absorbed it. Standing, she turned back into Latanya Carter. Not a hair out of place. She snapped her fingers and the cloud disappeared. Tracing a line around him she whispered a spell that would hide his remains for now. Then, she unfroze the students and picked up where she left off.

Rave Reviews Spotlight Authors Tour – Dangled Carat by Hillary Grossman

Published May 26, 2014 by Dia Tucker



headshot 1 -not shrunk

“No, we need to talk.”  I took a deep breath, trying to regain my composure, as he continued.  “You know I don’t put my feelings into words very often, right?” Marc asked.

“Right,” I whispered.

“And you know how hard it is for me to say certain words, right? That is why I try to show you how I feel instead.  And I do, right?”

“Yeah, you try.”  He really did.  In my heart I knew that it is much better to have someone treat you right, rather than make empty declarations about their love and be unkind or unfaithful to you.  Normally I didn’t mind the fact that he didn’t accurately articulate his feelings. It was a male characteristic I was used to.  My father had the same difficulty with words.   He hardly ever expressed his feelings. He kept everything bottled up. While he did show both my mom and I his heart and his love for us, he couldn’t utter the words.  If he did try to say “I love you,” it sounded foreign rolling off his tongue.  Marc has always reminded me of my father in this way.

But sometimes actions aren’t enough.  Sometimes a girl needs to be told what a guy feels, rather than trying to decipher the signs.

As if reading my mind, Marc continued, “So this should mean even more to you then.  I know I don’t tell you often enough, but I want you to know just how much I love you. Hilary, I really do.  I never thought I would love someone this much.”


Hilary Grossman dated a guy so commitment-phobic that she was able to write a book about their relationship. She is currently the CFO of a beverage alcohol importer and lives on Long Island.


Dangled Carat is available on Amazon  and Barnes & Noble


You can connect with Hilary on her blog on Twitter @feelingbeachie or on Facebook




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