Secrets of the House of Beauty

Hello Friends and Fans,

I thought I’d give everyone a little sneak peek into Hunter, Legend of the Silver Hunter, book three. This little unedited snapshot will give you a look at one of the reason’s Grandmother Belle is the cold-hearted woman you’ve seen in Tracker and Witch.

I have discovered a terrible secret regarding great-grandmother’s pact with the shifters of the forest. She gave her youngest sister to the leader of the pack as mate. From what I have been able to discover great-great aunt Ophelia was totally without the gift of Silver magic, a very rare thing only three generations removed from the first of our family. The most terrifying part of this pact is that it must continue each time a new huntress takes over the family. She must give a non-magical sister or cousin of the same generation to the leader of the forest pack as mate or the compact between these dark shifters and the House of Beauty will be broken. I am afraid for my twin sister for neither of us were born with the gift of Silver magic. Our eldest sister goes for the test tomorrow night and if she becomes the huntress then I fear my sweet sister is doomed to this horrid fate.

From the Second Chronicle of the House of Beauty, translated into English in the 21st century.

Interlude: The Belle Estate Fifty Years Ago

Theresa Belle stood with her oldest sister Camille, the new huntress of the House of Beauty, at the edge of a clearing deep in the dark forest on the family estate. In the center of the clearing stood a cottage, which looked like it had been built using plans from a fairy tale. Why is this here in the forest and why did Camille bring me here? Theresa wondered as her sister led her deeper into the clearing. For a brief moment, she thought she felt a tingle on her skin but it was gone before she could be certain. The door to the cottage opened and a tall, broad-shouldered man stepped out and stood waiting. Theresa felt Camille move to stand behind her and gently urging her forward.

“Camille, what’s going on? I don’t understand why you brought me out here. Please tell me what’s going on. I’m scared.”

They’d moved to within handshake distance of the man before Camille answered her sister’s questions.

“Theresa, this is Eugene leader of the forest shifters. I brought you here today to honor our family’s obligation to the compact. You will be Eugene’s mate, although you will never bare his children. This arrangement will last so long as I am the huntress or Eugene is leader of this pack.”

“What? Why? Camille, I don’t understand what you’re talking about.”

“I’m sorry Theresa, this is the way it has to be. We must all serve our function to the House of Beauty. You were born without even the potential to pass on our gift of Silver magic. When you were five, your appendix became inflamed and had to be removed, but that wasn’t all that was done. Mother ordered your ovaries removed as well. You are barren. She knew you would be the one to take, Aunt Mildred’s place.”

“Why, Camille? Why do you have to give me to a filthy shifter? Who is Aunt Mildred and why can’t she stay on doing whatever it is she’s been doing out here?”

“Aunt Mildred was mother’s eldest sister. Like you, she was born without the gift for magic. She can’t continue serving because when mother died and I came to test, Eugene snapped her neck after I killed the previous leader of the pack.”

“And this is the fate you condemn me to? So long as you live as huntress, I live as a whore for this abomination. Why don’t you kill all the shifters in this forest? Why do they exist at all, when our family is dedicated to killing their kind?”

“Because we must train against their kind if we are to kill them so that the rest of humanity doesn’t have to face their threat. Because you were born useless for any other duty, a woman not destined to be the huntress can serve. This is your fate sister. All your needs will be met and as long as you live here in this cottage the Belle side of the compact is honored and the shifters of the forest must honor their side of the bargain and leave the rest of the family in peace.”

“I may be a dark shifter but I still honor my word. I you will not have me willingly as mate, I promise I will never force you and you may live out your days a virgin.”

“What’s to keep me from just running away from here?” Theresa asked her sister.

“Magic, for starters. I know you felt it when you crossed the boundary of this clearing. The spell that guards this place prevents all shifters save the pack leader from entering but in exchange, it prevents those without magic from leaving. Get to know Eugene, sister he will be your only contact with the outside world from this day forth.”

Camille turned and strode out of the clearing hardening her heart to the pleas, cries, and screams of her baby sister. She knew the sounds of Theresa’s screams and curses would haunt her for the rest of her life.

Don’t forget that Tracker and Witch will be on sale in the US and UK  during the last week of October through the first week of November on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

If you’ve read Tracker and/or Witch, leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads. I want to hear from you.

A legendary sale is coming for Halloween

Tracker Print Cover Witch Cover V2

Great News Tracker and Witch Fans!

Both books will be on sale in the US and the UK for $0.99 and £0.99.

Witch goes on sale October 25 through October 30 and Tracker will be on sale October 30 through November 4. Halloween is the perfect time of the year to pick up a paranormal romance.

If you’re a Tracker fan who loved the story even with all of the formatting and grammatical errors, you’ll be happy to know you can update your copy to the newly re-edited version. I sent Tracker off to Shannon A Thompson, who edited Witch to perfection, so that Tracker could become the perfect introduction to the World of the Silver Hunter. There’s a bonus for updating your copy as well, new content in the form of a new chapter.

I have book three, Hunter on track and the chapters outlined (something new for me), so keep watching this space for more information on pre-order and release dates.

The Buy links for Tracker are:

US – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00V5B3SXE?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00V5B3SXE?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

The Buy links for Witch are:

US – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B012BO02CS?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B012BO02CS?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Update on Hunter: Legend of the Silver Hunter, Book Three

I’m not sure how more seasoned writers maintain their focus when writing the third, fourth, or sixteenth book in a series. I’m trying hard to focus on Hunter, the third and final book in my Legend of the Silver Hunter series, but I keep getting distracted by ideas for other stories. I try and just jot down notes on these other stories while drafting chapters for Hunter. Maybe, I got overly ambitious in striving to write two books in one year. I read all the articles about authors getting slammed or praised for putting out multiple books in a year and wonder where do I fall on the spectrum. I new to the field of self-publishing authors, I still work a 40 hour a week regular job, take a few freelance graphic design jobs on the side, and cram in an hour or two of writing a day.

Sometimes, I marvel at writing 3K words (my personal record is 5K in one day) and other times I think I’ve done a fantastic job if I managed to turn on the computer, open up my MS Word document and type in 100 words. I’ve been doing creative writing since I was in high school back in the early 1980s. It’s always been either for myself, for a role-playing gaming group, or a class assignment for English class. My writing, my worlds and the people who live in them have never been for anyone besides myself, other than those assignments in either high school or college.

I don’t know how many other authors feel that their writing is as much a chance to escape reality as reading a book someone else has written. I get lost in my worlds, even the ones based on our reality because there is a twist in the fabric that creates a difference, an escape from the mundane into the magical. For me characters, like my own Kieran and Cory are real people, I get to visit with and call friends or family. When I was a kid, I dreamed of exploring magical realms like Piers Anthony’s Xanth, or fighting the forces of Boscone with Kimball Kinnison of E.E. Doc Smith’s Lensmen.

While my own books are too mature in nature for children, I hope that those who have read my books found a moment of escape into a world where magic works and Happily Ever After seems like a real possibility.

From the Desk of Kethric Wilcox

Tracker Print Cover No author ever wants to read review after review of how wonderful their book would have been if it hadn’t been for all the typos, or grammatical errors, or bad formatting. My fans have been very kind in loving Tracker despite all of these rookie author mistakes. So I had Tracker edited by a revised second version to catch grammar and typos, and sadly I didn’t research questions to ask an editor before shelling out major money to get back a manuscript in worse shape than before. Several people commented that it was easy to tell I was a new author and hoped I’d get mentored by someone with more experience. I was lucky to start getting advice from Elizabeth Llewellyn, author of the Suicide Ride series, and support from her fan base “The Riders.”

Witch Cover V2 I went to work on Witch the sequel to Tracker, taking my hard-earned lessons with me. I asked for Beta Readers, I read articles on things to ask an editor before turning over your manuscript. I submitted a test chapter to a couple different editors to see if they would do a free sample edit. I wanted to gauge if we could work together or if our styles were to far apart. One wouldn’t do a sample edit, another didn’t really give it much effort, but the third editor not only edited for bad grammar she offered suggestions for content and asked questions about what she was editing. Can you guess which one I chose? Yes, i went with the editor behind door number three. So what was my prize, Johnny? Well, Kethric Wilcox, you’ve won a beautiful book, filled with flowing story lines and multidimensional characters. Well, the sophomore book is a hit, not a Number One Bestseller but it did spend some time in the top 50 getting as high a #25 in LGBT Fantasy. So those lessons from the school of spilled ink paid off. With encouragement from my little support group, I submitted my first book to this magical editor and let her work her wonders. This week, I’ve been hard at work making changes to Tracker, to give more back story on how magic in the world works, give my characters more emotions, stretch out the falling in love between the main characters, because insta-love is for the fairy tales of our youth, not the hard-core lives we have as adults. I was happy with Tracker when I started writing it as a creative challenge to myself over a year ago. Now, Tracker will be as magical a story on paper or tablet as it has been in my head. I sent my editor, my revisions to Tracker today, so that she can go through and proofread to clean up my crazy grammar, comma abuse, weird capitalization’s, mixed use of British and American spellings (grey vs gray – I grew up in New England in an area that preferred the British spelling on many words), all bad habits of someone who was an indifferent student at best in subjects he didn’t like.

Hunter Cover So now I’m working on book three, Hunter to close out my version of Beauty and the Beast, with a major dash of Romeo and Juliet, while trying not to force the story to flow. I’m not one of those authors who creates massive outlines and structure before ever sitting down to get to know their characters. I fully admit to being a pantser. I love to get to know my characters and let them speak to me and through me. Kieran and Cory have been telling me their story for almost two years now and I’ll miss them when the story is done. But other characters are talking to me about their stories and I can’t wait to introduce you to more of my world.

The Curse cover copy Among those characters speaking to me are the vampires of the world led by their reluctant leader, Richard St. Martin. My fans know him as a hunter of shifters, the owner of an antique store, and an ally of Kieran Belle. They’ve been given a brief glimpse of Richard the vampire. Hang on to your scarves there’s more to come. Before I release Richard’s two part story, I will be offering a shorter work featuring Cain, the very first vampire. This story is a change for me, it will be in first person POV. So keep following me and watch for news on The Curse: Origin of the the Vampires coming in 2016.

Updates on Legend of the Silver Hunter series and future plans

Hello Tracker Fans,

I know you’re all waiting patiently for the release of Witch, book two in the Legend of the Silver Hunter series, so I wanted to give you an update on its status. I’m waiting on pins and needles for the manuscript to return from my wonderful new editor, Shannon A. Thompson, who is currently proofreading and fixing my crazy changes of verb tense and other grammatical oops. She did a marvelous job with content editing in the first round of edits, which spawned a couple of new scenes and changed a few others. Because I had to take time to write the new scenes and re-write several other scenes, I threw my own schedule off track. I originally intended to have Witch out by the end of July, but now so that Shannon has the time to carefully proofread and I have time to carefully read and make her corrections and then format Witch for both Kindle and paperback publishing, Witch will release in mid-August. I’m hoping to be able to have enough time to do a pre-order before the release day.

Witch Darker Cover

I haven’t been idle while waiting for Shannon to return my edited manuscript to me. Hunter, book three of the series is well underway in first draft form both on the computer and in my had written notes because scenes aren’t flowing in a given order. Also in the works are draft chapters for the first spin-off series which will feature Richard St. Martin and the vampires of the World of the Silver Hunter. This will be a two book series for release in 2016. Book One is entitled Lord Hunter, and Book Two is entitled Lord Slayer. I’m also gathering research material for an alternate history novel set in an world where Venice retained control of Constantinople after the Fourth Crusade. I also have some rough plans for a trilogy featuring Kieran’s Uncle Brom and Professor John Mason.

So watch here, on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter @KethricW for more updates.

Missing Magic in the World of the Silver Hunter

In chatting with fans of Tracker, I’ve been asked about the magic of the setting and I’ve ended up adjusting some parts of the magic system since I originally detailed it here https://kethricwilcox.com/2015/01/. 

Here’s the original chart of magic by color:

Gold – Miracles, true Creation (Legendary magic)
Silver – Offensive Combat magic/adapted to defense
Ebony – Defensive magic/Corrupted into Offensive
Ruby – Fire magic
Sapphire – Cold or snow magic noted for healing
Emerald – plant magic/life energy limited healing

What has changed since then is the addition of Amethyst magic and some adjustments to the powers of Sapphire and Emerald magic. So the new chart of magic looks like this:

Gold – Miracles, true Creation (Legendary magic) – No living mages of this color.
Silver – Offensive Combat magic/adapted to defense
Ebony – Defensive magic/Corrupted into Offensive                                             Amethyst – Air magic – the power to lift and move objects – Mages of this color are though to be lost.                                                                                                                   Ruby – Fire magic
Sapphire – Water magic – noted for limited healing
Emerald – Earth magic – using the life energy of the world a mage can heal most injuries.

Amethyst mages/witches are very rare during the time of the stories in the Silver Hunter Trilogy and the talent is thought to have been lost during the last great mage war along with Gold magic. Amethyst magic will make an appearance in book three of the trilogy, Hunter.

Look for book two, Witch to be released in July and for book three, Hunter to be released in December.

Happy Tracking,

Kethric Wilcox

Professor John Mason, Emerald mage and his sister Vivian Mason, Amethyst witch.
Professor John Mason, Emerald mage and his sister Vivian Mason, Amethyst witch.

Love blooms in the House of Beauty

Young love in the halls of the House of Beauty.
Young love in the halls of the House of Beauty.

The Oisín family arrived at the Belle estate a few hours after Kieran was discharged from the hospital to finish his recovery from his injuries. Despite his complaints, Cory refused to let Kieran attempt to walk in to the house. He loaded his lover into the wheelchair they’d purchased to keep Kieran from straining the still knitting bones in his legs. As Cory pushed Kieran in through the massive double doors of the log mansion, Billy instantly pushed himself through the family to pad alongside the chair. A mob scene waited for Kieran inside the huge entrance hall, with it’s massive timber support columns reaching up to the roof three stories overhead. The members of the Matriarchs’ Council jostled each other, with the exception of Kieran’s grandmother and his great-aunt, Desdemona who stood waiting to the forefront of the chaos. Around the perimeter of the great hall Kieran caught sight of his young cousins both male and female peeking out around columns for a look at the first male to become a hunter-candidate in living memory. Four young boys stepped forward from the sidelines and stopped when they were directly in front of Kieran’s party. In unison the boys bowed to Kieran.

“Welcome home, Hunter-candidate Kieran. We await your recovery to resume our training so we might aide you as your trackers.”

“Greetings my tracker-candidates. I look forward to continuing your training when you reach the appropriate age to begin the full training. Until such time you will resume your regular duties and return to school. When you enter high school, I will retest each of you as a potential tracker-candidate. Go and be boys for a while longer.”

Beside Kieran’s chair Billy sniffed and whined as the oldest of the candidates approached and knelt at Kieran’s feet. The black wolf edged closer to the kneeling boy and sniffed his scent. A huge pink tongue lashed out and licked the boy’s face. The boy taken completely by surprise fell backwards onto his ass and looked up into the glowing amber eyes of the wolf. Billy nudged the young boy trying to get him to pet him, but the boy cowered in fear, until Kieran spoke up.

“It appears that Billy likes you, cousin. You have nothing to fear from my nephew. Now, I feel bad for not remembering your name cousin but you boys have all sprouted in the year I’ve been gone from this house. Tell me your name.”

“I am probationary tracker-candidate Ian Belle – O’Connell, Hunter-candidate Kieran.”

“And how old are you, cousin Ian?”

“I just turned thirteen last week, Sir.”

“Well Ian, you and Billy are the same age. Perhaps you might even convince my nephew to become a boy again instead of remaining a wolf.”

“He’s a shifter?” came the startled cry from one of the Matriarchs. “You brought a shifter into the House of Beauty?”

“Do not question my actions. I may not look the part right now but I am the salvation of this house. I don’t enjoy it but I am the Silver Hunter. I have already passed the test of the Huntress on my father’s family estate and survived. I lead the House of Beauty as Hunter and my word is law in this house.”

Cory’s hand on Kieran’s shoulder stopped his tirade at his great-aunts. His grandmother, still proud in her heritage came forward from the gaggle of women to meet Kieran.

“Forgive me for not getting up to greet you properly, Huntress-emeritus, but my keepers and the doctors don’t want me putting weight on my legs at the moment.” Kieran said extending his hand to his grandmother.

The old woman took his hand and stiffened for a moment before bowing as best as she could given her bad leg. Rising she spoke.

“Forgive me for not being able to give you the proper courtesy due your rank, Hunter Kieran.” There were gasps from the crowd in the hall. “The matriarchs and I are at your service, honored grandson.”

Kieran was glad he was sitting down. Never had he heard such respect in his grandmother’s voice. The woman was sincere in her new found respect. Before he could reply she turned and stood at his side and addressed the gathered family.

“Know this all members of the House of Beauty, this day I acknowledge a new Hunter and leader of the House of Beauty. I present to you my grandson, a Hunter who in his test has slain a dozen shifters and retains his magic. Kieran Samuel Belle, I acknowledge you this day as Hunter and head of the House of Beauty. We are yours to command.”

“Thank you grandmother. The time has come to clean out the forest of the shifter pack and to put an end to the lineage of the Beast. Go about your regular duties and rest tonight. Tomorrow the House of Beauty prepares for war.” Kieran said before turning his chair to face Cory, Billy and Ian. The young boy had his arms wrapped around the wolf’s neck and his face buried in Billy’s fur. Cory stood over them looking proudly at Kieran.

Sensing eyes on him Ian lifted his head from Billy’s fur but kept a tight hold on the wolf as if afraid he would vanish.

“You two seem to have become fast friends, cousin.” Kieran said to the boy.

“He’s wonderful, Sir. We’ve never had animals in the house before. Is he really a shifter?”

Billy gently pulled loose from the young boy and padded over to Kieran and rubbed his collar against Kieran’s hand. Kieran looked down at the wolf and silver eyes met amber ones before the man nodded and unfastened the clasp on the collar. With a howl, Billy the wolf returned to being Billy the boy. Billy the naked boy, whom Kieran quickly wrapped in the blanket, which had been covering the casts on his legs. Billy rose on shaky legs and walked over to Ian, then wrapped the startled boy in a hug. Kieran and Cory glanced at each other with huge grins on their faces as the two boys hugged.

“I think you’re about the same size as cousin Henry. Lets go see if any of his clothes fit you.” Ian said to Billy.

Billy glanced over his shoulder at his uncles, who nodded their approval, before allowing Ian to drag him off to find clothes. For being the same age Ian was smaller than Billy both in height and body mass, Kieran noted. Some time later when dinner for the main family was being called Cory wandered the halls of the cousins’ living quarters looking for Billy so the boy could eat with them. He found Billy and Ian sitting in the strangest position. Billy was on wedged in the narrow hallway with his bare feet pressed to one wall and his shoulders and upper back pressed against the opposite wall. On his legs seated in a lotus position was Ian who was bent over and kissing Billy. Wow, thought Cory these two move fast. Wonder if Billy sensed a potential mate. They look so cute like this. I have to get a picture for Kieran to see.  Cory took out his cell phone and snapped a picture of the two boys before he disturbed them.

“It’s time for dinner, guys. Kieran wants you both at our table tonight.”

Ian looked up with eyes grass green eyes as wide as saucers, Billy merely grinned at his uncle. He’d known Cory was there the entire time and had kept Ian unaware of his approaching uncle. He liked Ian a lot, there was something special between them and he knew that after Uncle Kieran dealt with the evil shifters in the woods, Billy would be asking for his collar back so he could remain in human form.