Tag Archives: fantasy

Pre-Order Kindle version of The Halley Branch!

The Halley Branch is available for pre-order on Amazon!  Well, at least the Kindle version is ready.  The book will be released on July 24, 2018 – 11 days from now.  At that time the paperback version will be available and all Kindle pre-orders will be “shipped”.

Here are a few places you can pre-order:

US
UK
France
Canada
Australia

If you want to try from another country, just go to Amazon and search my name “Trent McDonald” or the title “The Halley Branch”.  Hint, using the title will bring it up as the number one choice. Continue reading

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Crossing – #writephoto

crossing

Photo by Sue Vincent

Note – this is the fifteenth exciting episode of The Mad Quest!  You can start at the beginning, go to the previous chapter or to the table of contents.

A little after noon Merla called Silriend over.

“I want you to make our army invisible,” she said.

“What!” said the king of the little people.

“I know they won’t be invisible, but I want it so our enemies ignore them and only see each other.  I know you can do that with others, for you make Warph disappear all of the time.  This time, however, I want you to stay visible with me and Lorunce.”

“That might be impossible.”

“If you notice, I have asked them to hide.  Or at least stay out of sight.  I want them to be prepared for an attack, but I want them to not be seen.” Continue reading

The Halley Branch – Launch Date!

The Halley Branch Cover

I am pleased to announce a launch date for The Halley Branch!  Unless something changes, it will be published on Tuesday, July 24, 2018.  That is exactly three weeks from today!

An evil 300 years in the making.  A trap set 150 years in the past.

The day should have been a normal “family day” at the Hawkins’ Mausoleum, but a premonition followed Trevor into the crypt. To make matters worse, he couldn’t shake his morning vision of a dead woman draped in a funeral-shroud.

After rescuing a girl trapped in the tomb, repressed memories forced him to reevaluate everything. Was his extended family a cult with roots going back to America’s colonial past?  Was the evil Benjamin Halley still stalking his tomb after 150 years? Was there any truth to the Power described by the family’s patriarch, Miles Hawkins?

Trevor realized that he was being manipulated and drawn into a trap set in the 19th century, and feared that everyone around him had already been ensnared.  Who could he trust?  The members of his own family’s Branch, The Bradford’s, like his cousins Bill or Stan?  Perhaps members of the Hawkins Branch, such as the beautiful but jaded Amelie?  The one Branch he knew not to trust was the extinct Halley Branch.

But the Halley’s were the ones who were welcoming him with open, if dead, arms.

 

Wave – #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

Note – this is the fifteenth exciting episode of The Mad Quest!  You can start at the beginning, go to the previous chapter or to the table of contents.

We had walked a just a couple of dozen yards and I glanced back over my shoulder.  The queen saw me and waved.  Without thinking I waved back.  Merla hit me.

“What?” I asked.

“You need to keep your attention on what is to come.”

“I will.”  I glanced back.  I could still see the queen.

“No, you don’t understand, it is super important.  Here, let’s go over here for a minute so I can brief you.  I checked this out last night and it is impossible for anyone to eavesdrop on us here.”

She pointed to an open area filled with make-shift soldiers milling about.  I gave her a questioning look.

“You’ll see.  There are patterns in the fabric of space around here, waves in reality.”

I knew better than to argue. Continue reading

Wings – #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

Note – this is the fourteenth exciting episode of The Mad Quest!  You can start at the beginning, go to the previous chapter or to the table of contents.

After breakfast I could still not shake the sleep from my eyes.  I walked to a field at the edge of camp and sat down.  My mind was as close to blank as I ever let it get.  I stared at the weeds and wildflowers around me, not comprehending what was happening.  I knew there was movement as the camp got ready for breakfast and glanced nervously at the armies on either side of us, but it didn’t register.

What did get through were the wings.  I didn’t really see them, just felt them, or guessed as the shadows passed.  There were more birds than just Soe-Ar, many more.  And though they were all big, not all were eagles.  I frowned at the flowers in front of me, but the wings still filled my mind.  They were ever present in the background.

“We are late,” a voice said.  I turned.  Warph had been sitting with me the entire time, yet I just became aware.

“So we are, my friend.”  I got up and went to the center of camp.

Merla was already in the middle of a speech.  It was odd.  She was able to shape her voice so all in our camp could hear, yet it didn’t carry beyond. I began to concentrate on the words.

“That is correct, we hope to win without lifting a weapon.  Not only are we far outnumbered, but do we really want to kill our foes?”

There were murmurs of “snow demons” and “the evil of Slore”.  Merla just shook her head, then held out a hand. Continue reading

Benjamin – The Halley Branch

Benjamin Halley was born on February 19, 1827, Jeremiah and Susan’s first and only child.  Susan Halley died just a few days after Benjamin was born.  His father was sympathetic.  Jeremiah’s own mother, Rebecca, died when he was only one.  And his own father, George Halley, was only three when his mother passed away.  The Halley men were all only children raised by single fathers, and Benjamin was going to continue this trend.

As a young man Benjamin was shy and sensitive.  But, like most of the Halleys, he was brilliant and driven.  He attended Harvard and had his own businesses by the time he was 22.  His father, Jeremiah, passed away when Benjamin was only 25, leaving his vast holdings and business to his only son.

It wasn’t just the huge Halley wealth that Benjamin inherited.  He grew even more like his father. Continue reading

The Halley Branch – Tweaked Cover

The Halley Branch Cover

When I did my cover reveal for The Halley Branch, I had one person ask me if it was an alien.  What?  “The skull just seems flat to me, but what do I know?”  I checked by putting a photo of a skull in the same position over it as a layer in Photoshop.  Actually it was pretty close, but yeah, slightly too flat.  I wasn’t going to do anything about it, but then, you know, there will always be someone out there who will say, “I bought your book thinking it was about aliens!  That skull is so misleading!!”   It took me about 5 minutes in Photoshop to get a little closer to the photo of a human skull I had imported.  Not exact, but closer.

What do you think?  A little less like an alien?

An evil 300 years in the making.  A trap set 150 years in the past.

The day should have been a normal “family day” at the Hawkins’ Mausoleum, but a premonition followed Trevor into the crypt. To make matters worse, he couldn’t shake his morning vision of a dead woman draped in a funeral-shroud.

After rescuing a girl trapped in the tomb, repressed memories forced him to reevaluate everything. Was his extended family a cult with roots going back to America’s colonial past?  Was the evil Benjamin Halley still stalking his tomb after 150 years? Was there any truth to the Power described by the family’s patriarch, Miles Hawkins?

Trevor realized that he was being manipulated and drawn into a trap set in the 19th century, and feared that everyone around him had already been ensnared.  Who could he trust?  The members of his own family’s Branch, The Bradford’s, like his cousins Bill or Stan?  Perhaps members of the Hawkins Branch, such as the beautiful but jaded Amelie?  The one Branch he knew not to trust was the extinct Halley Branch.

But the Halley’s were the ones who were welcoming him with open, if dead, arms.

Beginnings – #writephoto

dawn

Photo by Sue Vincent

Note – this is the thirteenth exciting episode of The Mad Quest!  You can start at the beginning, go to the previous chapter or to the table of contents.

Out of King Brinwald’s castle for a moment I thought the dragon had broken its promise.  The entire sky was glowing red as if an enormous fire was destroying everything.  I was about to say something but realized that it was just the dawn.

“Red in the morning, Snow Demons take warning,” I said.

“A new day a new beginning,” a voice said.  I spun.  It was Sirlriend.  “I think the poor people you call ‘Snow Demons’ will be happy with this new beginning we are going to offer them.”

“Where have you been?” I asked.

“Here, with you.”

“Were you invisible?”

“No, that is physically impossible.  Light still reflected off of me and Warph.  Confusing people, on the other hand, is simple.  People just chose not to see us.” Continue reading

Remains – #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

Note – this is the twelfth exciting episode of The Mad Quest!  You can start at the beginning, go to the previous chapter or to the table of contents.

We came to the top of a hill.  The stream of refugees had trickled down to nothing, making me believe not a person remained in the west lands.

The horse riders stopped at the crest and allowed us to catch up.

I stood in disbelief.  Although the entire horizon had glowed as if from a great conflagration, the actual fire was burning only around a lone castle on a hilltop.  The flames were blindingly bright, yet seemed to not burn any of the land around.

We went down into the valley and headed towards the fire.  Perhaps it would be much easier than we thought.

The ground shook and a dragon appeared before us. Continue reading

Conflagration – #writephoto

conflagration

Photo by Sue Vincent

Note – this is the eleventh exciting episode of The Mad Quest!  You can start at the beginning, go to the previous chapter or to the table of contents.

Queen Marfascence led us into the royal audience room, usually reserved for visiting dignitaries.  She sat in the throne usually reserved for the King.

“Scribe, dictation,” the queen said.  “As follows, ‘Your Highness, my Beloved Husband,’ new line, ‘Our son, Branfel Blarfgold Bringlstone, has died.  In your present state of incapacitation, I am taking all royal power.  With the heir out of the way, I will be free to pick an heir of my choice.  As of now, since my great-great-great-grandmother lived to 175 years old and all other ancestors after her, up to and including my mother, are still alive, I choose to put off this decision for at least a century.  Please affix your seal as royal approval.’  New line.  ‘Yours Royally,’ new line.  ‘Queen Marfascence Bringlestone, nee Malrod, Ruler of all Branland.’  Scribe, take this to the King for his Royal Seal.”

After the scribe left, the queen turned towards us. Continue reading