Grim's Fall: Part II
Dead? It wasn’t possible. “Pluto,” she called, ignoring Hades, who stared at her, his craggy face having sunk into deep pockets of rage and despair. “As the former queen of Abbadon and head council member, I implore you to reveal yourself.” Normally, the reminder that she had once ruled the underworld would have sent Hades into a fit of rage, where he’d wax on about the offset of power among the deities. But not this time. Instead, he continued to stare at her from the face the two deities shared. They were counterparts, deities that shared such a common history and personification that when they’d come into existence, it was as two deities in one body. Pluto had been the good one.
Had? What was she thinking? Shaking her head, she met Hades’s gaze calmly. “You’re blocking him.”
Glowering at her, Hades straightened up and flipped his long hair over his shoulder, a common gesture from him that never failed to induce a low chuckle from her. But the way he’d done it just then had seemed menacing. His dark eyes glinted with stone and she couldn’t tell if it was from newfound malice or just because he generally disliked her. “When you hit me, it was him you hit. You killed him.”
“That’s ridiculous,” she seethed. “I did not strike a killing blow.” It had been hard, but not enough to kill a deity. The scythe would have to draw blood to kill …
Rising to his feet, he towered above her, fury seeping from him. And some other emotion she couldn’t name that mingled with his rage and seemed like triumph. “My brother is gone.”
It wasn’t possible that she’d killed Pluto. It wasn’t. If she had, that would mean … “And I am to take your word for it, Hades? After all of this?” She spread her hands, gesturing to the teenagers surrounding them. “Eighteen years ago I said no. I turned you down. And now you have an army of bastard hybrid children, spawned from mortal women. What makes you think I’ll believe anything you have to say when you brought your hoard to our home and demanded leadership of the council.”
“You killed my brother!” he growled, his face creased in a mask of sorrow. “And why would I not bring my children here? This is their home too.” Even under his mask of pain, his rational words, she didn’t believe him. There was something off. He was playacting at pain, like he often did when he crossed souls over. And it wasn’t a good performance. By the nature of death deities, being in touch with humanity was what essentially kept death deities in touch with human emotion, and mortal empathy and compassion was a big part of that. Hades had always seemed unaffected, a sociopath within the death deity society.
Grim paused, gazing at him for a moment, the dawning of awareness coming quickly and chasing her uncertainty away. All the moments he’d demanded she turn over the scythe to the council and the countless times he’d spoken about opening the doors between realms flashed through her mind. Pluto was not dead, she was sure of it. Her sudden conviction eased the pain in her chest, and she sighed with a momentary pang of relief. It was the scythe, she thought, following the smooth, sharp curve of the tool—the instrument that allowed her to pass the dead over into Abbadon, the underworld. He’d wanted the scythe all along.
“You know,” she said, glancing up at him once more. “All these years I thought it was really me you were after. I thought you were angry that I was not some lesser deity to be forced into a disgusting relationship with you. Not some poor Persephone. After all, I was already queen, with no need for a king …”
Hunched slightly over, Hades took a menacing step towards her, his gaze a fury of hate and desire. But the desire wasn’t for her, it was for the gleaming tool she held in her hands, capable of destruction, of life. “You killed my brother.”
Grim ignored him. The truth was, Hades had been the stronger one of the two brothers for as long as he’d existed. The two deities shared a body, but more often than not, it was Hades calling the shots. Pluto could be trapped within him. “Pluto wouldn’t interfere.”
“He—I wanted to give you a message.” Hades stopped talking abruptly, his expression twisting, and he slammed his hands to his head. “I … I … It’s so quiet in here,” Hades moaned, clutching his head in his hands.
Rolling her eyes, Grim gazed unseeingly beyond him. There had been a moment when she’d thought, for just a split second, that a different expression, much more like Pluto, had surfaced on his face. Shaking her head, she blew air out and glanced at Hades again. She was certain he was lying, she just wasn’t sure why. “What are you going for here, Hades? Do you think to see me banished?”
A smile seemed to flash across his face, but it was so fleeting she couldn’t be sure. “I only want retribution for my brother.” He moaned again, and then the council flooded the chamber, surrounding Hades’s hybrid children.
“What madness is this?” It was Osiris, his thin, angular face set severely as he turned his gaze from Grim to Hades, pausing on the Greek deity of death. “Why have you brought discord to our realm, Hades?”
“He is after the scythe,” Grim said. Osiris seemed unaffected by her comment, turning his bony features to her.
“I am certain I asked Hades the question.”
Grim nodded, disliking the suspicion that hung in the cavern air. She was the oldest of the deities and at one time she had ruled Abbadon, but hundreds of years before she had relinquished that control and formed a council, and Osiris had long been one of her most senior members. She respected him. He was a shrewd deity. Surely he would not believe Hades’s lies.
Hades raked a hand through his long hair, tears streaming down his face. She would have laughed if the situation didn’t seem suddenly dire. A sense of loss washed over her, and she glanced to the council, catching Sebastiana’s gaze, her sister’s warm brown eyes glowing with concern. Her sister clutched her own scythe, the only other one in existence. Before the council turned their focus from Hades to her, she caught Seba’s gaze hard, willing her to understand. The two had always had a strong bond, so she felt a flush of relief when Seba glanced at her scythe and then back at Grim, nodding. Ducking her head, Seba slipped off silently into the cavern halls, the rest of the council members so intent on Hades they’d failed to notice anyone escape.
When Grim glanced at the council once again, they were sliding their gazes to her. “Hades has made the grievous claim that you have killed Pluto. As you well know, it is against deity law to take the life of another death deity,” Osiris said.
“He lies,” Grim said, trying to catch Kali’s eye, who had been staring at her beseechingly only moments before, but the Hindu goddess slid her gaze away quickly. A rumble of unease shivered through Grim, an emotion she was mostly unfamiliar with. Kali was a strong deity, and she had always backed Grim when it came to opposing Hades’s machinations. Something was very wrong within the council’s ranks, she thought, watching as Osiris held her eyes for only a moment before quickly glancing away. They’re afraid. But of what?
“He appears to be grieving true,” Mors said softly, her pale face drawn in grief. She’d been close to Pluto, but did she think him truly dead? The hybrids shuffled, and Grim felt the intensity of their gazes on her, ready to wage war on her at Hades’s word. Was the council afraid of these children? Surely not, she scoffed inwardly. There were many, but not enough to take the council, she was—the ground shook beneath her feet, and her attention flew to Hades, who was staring at her with a small smile tucked within the harsh planes of his face, his eyes glittering with victory. But what that victory was, Grim wasn’t yet sure.
“What was that?” she asked quietly, glancing at the council and noticing for the first time that several members were missing. “Where is Seker? Persephone?”
“Unavailable,” Hades murmured, never taking his eyes off her, all the grief he’d previously worn gone like a mask, but only she was seeing his true face. “And that sound was the rest of my children, coming to grieve their uncle and offer support to me in this darkest of hours …”
“You have more children?” Grim asked, feeling pity for the mortal women who’d bedded down with him. She shuddered. “How many women did you copulate with? The entire planet?”
Hades grinned slowly. “I’ve been making children for a while now. You’ll find that they are more than willing to—“
“Enough!” Grim’s voice boomed from the cavern walls, resonating against the stalagmites dripping with water and bringing the world to silence. “Surely, you must know he has planned all of this,” she said to Osiris. But resignation had settled on the ancient Egyptian god’s face.
“To kill a fellow death deity means banishment. We will meet at sunrise to give judgment on the murder of Pluto at the hands of Grim.”
“I did not strike a killing blow,” she said icily, trying her best to bring rationality back to the council.
“Is it true the scythe is the only means known to us to kill a deity?” Osiris asked.
“Yes, only the scythes have the power to deal a death blow. But I did not.”
“Have you killed a death deity before?
“No,” Grim said stiffly, the movement of more hybrid deity children filtering into the cavern filling her with a sense of dread. In the history of the council, no deity had ever killed another because only she and Seba held the power. What would banishment even mean? For the souls? For her?
“Then how do you know that you did not deal a killing blow?” Osiris asked, arching his prominent brow.
Silence hung heavy, like in the wake of death among loved ones. It was a sound she was very familiar with. They were already grieving her departure. “I suppose I do not know for sure,” Grim finally said, meeting Osiris’s gaze with her own.
“We meet at sunrise,” he said, turning. The remaining council members followed him, exchanging uneasy glances as they filed past the thousands of death deity hybrid children Hades had spawned, which were now taking over the underworld. Her home.
“Don’t forget to bring the scythe,” Hades said.
Smiling slowly, Grim nodded. “Oh don’t worry. If all else fails, I’ll level you with it. To Tartarus with the consequences.”
The smirk that had lit Hades’s face vanished, and she smiled to herself, turning and exiting the cavern. Hopefully, Seba had been successful hiding her scythe far from Hades and his legions of children. Regardless of what happened next, the underworld would never be the same.
* * *
Stay tuned for the conclusion to this short, which will be featured later this week!
Grim's Fall: Part I
As part of the October Frights Blog Hop, I'm posting a short story from the world of my YA Paranormal novel, The Reaper's Daughter. You don't have to have read my book to follow this, because this story stands on its own. It's more like the beginning, a prequel, so to speak. This is the story of the Grim Reaper's banishment from the underworld.
* * *
“I dare you.” His rough, hard face creased with a taunting smirk, his narrow dark eyes flickering with challenge. From his hand hung a sword, the whistle of steel meeting air still echoing from where he’d only moments before tried to slice off her arm—the one that held the scythe.
Grim laughed, the sound bouncing off the glittering crystals and craggy rock of the caverns. They had come to the walkway of the dead, near where Styx guarded the doorway between the underworld and the land of the living. The guardian deity hadn’t intervened yet, and for that Grim was thankful. She was ready to end the death deity war Hades had set in motion.
Hefting the scythe she so easily held in her hand over her shoulder, she shook her head, gazing at him imperiously although he dwarfed her by the mass of his bulk, his shadow almost vanquishing hers. “I will not kill my brethren, and you are that, even if I find you … well, I’ll be honest, repulsive,” she said dryly, arching a dark brow.
He smiled, and Grim stared at him impassively, eyeing the sweat clinging to his long hair and glistening against the pale of his skin with an inward distaste. She had always disliked the deity and his brutish ways, never felt he carried with him the compassion for those he crossed, and she didn't respect his need for power. Now, his eyes glittered black and he held her gaze, his focus only wavering away from hers for a moment to focus on the gleam of the silver scythe she held. He gestured beyond himself. “If you are to stop me, you will have to kill me.” From the shadows stepped his army, more than she could count.
“Your devil’s spawn,” she said, inclining her head in acknowledgement.
“Oh, well I’m hurt you would refer to innocent children so,” he said calmly, a mocking thread running through his tone.
“Innocent? I could say the living are happy when they see me, but that doesn’t make it true.” She smiled humorlessly, glancing to the figures of Hades’s children standing behind him, around her, with weapons in their hands and ambition in their souls. Glancing back to Hades, she caught the gleam of his sword slicing through the air, sending her into motion, her hands folding securely around the scythe and swinging it, the clang of metal reverberating off stone pierced the night with death.
“War then,” he said.
“You and yours began this,” she said, gritting her teeth and shoving him back with the force of her weapon, making him stumble back, a grimace of surprise flashing across his face.
Grim grinned, the power from the scythe crackling within her. How could he think he’d beat—a wind slapped her, and from the corner of her eye she caught the mass that was Hades barreling toward her, his hybrid goons closing in on her.
Thought wasn’t an option, and she swiveled, instinctively putting the power of the scythe into physical action by stepping forward and slamming the blunt part of the weapon into his chest. A crack of bone shattering filled the cavern, and Hades was sent flying back into a part of the wall that jutted out, his body hitting it with a slap. A strange expression flickered across his face, his black eyes losing the steel twist of corruption for the briefest of moments, and then he slid down to the ground, his eyes closing.
That must have hurt, she thought, glancing dismissively at the deity. He was immortal, so he’d heal fast enough, and he would be punished for his crimes, she would see to it. Grim eyed the kids moving in on her and sighed softly. Indoctrinated by Hades with his hate and misdirected power grab, and as many as there were, they’d be a challenge, but ultimately, they’d be no match for her.
A moan drew her attention back to Hades, who sat up slowly from his spot on the ground and rubbed a large knuckled hand over his chest. “Feeling under the weather?” she asked, wondering when the council would show and provide her the support to bring him and his brood to justice. But when he looked at her, she was startled by the creases of pain that worried his face. “He’s quiet … I can’t hear him … You-you killed him!” he growled.
“Killed who?” she asked slowly, watching him carefully, the scythe still clutched in her hands. He couldn’t possibly mean--
“You killed my brother. Pluto’s dead.”
* * *
Stay tuned for Part II, which I'll post on Sunday.
2015 October Frights Blog Hop Giveaway!
From the world of The Reaper's Daughter comes the short, The Grim's Fall, which will be featured right here. Coming Soon! (like later today or tomorrow)
Until then, let's do a giveaway!
Spooky Crafts & Decor for Halloween
It may be no secret at this point that Halloween is one of my favorite times of year, and my son has gotten into the spirit with me. We love to do Halloween crafts, so I wanted to share a couple of decor ideas I've crafted with him, and my favorite repurposing from last year.
This fun project is as easy as they come, and they make for fun crafts and sparkly decorations. All you need is a standard birthday party hat, paper plate, tape, scissors, glue, paint (black or any color you prefer), glitter, stickers, or confetti. I used star confetti to decorate mine and my son used spooky Halloween stickers. The cool thing about these is the little ones can actually wear them since the elastic band from the party hat can go right under their chin. We elected to make them a part of our Halloween decor and they now sit in glittery witchiness upon a table and bookshelf. Source: https://www.parentmap.com/article/15-halloween-crafts-for-kids?page=3
A Glittery, Black Decoupage Vase.
Next we took some black streamers, which I had laying around the house from previous Halloween parties, and cut glue with a little bit of water in a bowl. I took a wine bottle that I'd cleaned of labels and sticky paper, and we laid pieces of streamer on the bottle one by one and painted over it with the glue. I love using the sparkly Elmer's glue because it makes the decoupage all sparkly and much more festive. I let it dry and then voila, a spooky Halloween vase was ready for some black roses. I made my wine rack into an alter with a black tablecloth, and added the vase, and it's one of my favorite Halloween locations in the house.
Ouija Board Decor
When I was a teenager I loved horror books and movies, and I loved anything having to do with the paranormal and supernatural so I've had my old Ouija Board sitting in a closet out of pure nostalgia. Last year I decided to put it to good use and repurposed it as a Halloween decoration. All I did was super-glue the planket to the board and then buy velcro wall adhesive strips from Michael's, and it worked like a charm.
If anyone has Halloween decorating ideas or pictures to share, post them below because I'd love to see them. <3
99 Cent Sale: The Reaper's Daughter
Starting today, The Reaper's Daughter is on sale for 99 cents until Sept. 30. Get it while it's hot. <3
"I feel like teen stories have exhausted every original paranormal thought ... until this one. KM Randall takes the concept of the Grim Reaper and adds a really interesting and energetic teen flair to it. The result is quite clever, and I enjoyed reading further into the story to see how Blake grows and responds to her new-found abilities."
Here's a the synopsis:
The Reaper needs her and the dead want her ...
I’ve always felt like an average girl ... except for my strange relationship with death. You could say I like to court it. Whether I’m soaring through the air as a flyer for Specter University’s cheer squad, or speeding down the steepest mountain with only grace and balance keeping me from an icy end, I’ve always needed to feel a rush. But now Death is courting me―in more ways than one. First, there’s Rishi, a rogue death deity who has a penchant for annoying me nearly to my grave and whose intense gaze has the power to see right through me. Then there’s Hades, who I’d rather had stayed just a myth. Now that he knows I exist, he’s not going to leave me alone until I meet the same end as my mother.
Oh yeah, did I forget to mention her? I spent my whole life thinking she had died when I was a baby, but now I’ve found out she’s much more than dead. Fifty years ago, Hades banished my mother from the underworld and took away her ability to cross over souls―souls that have wandered lost through the world ever since. Now she wants me to clean up the mess. You may have heard of her before ...
They call her the Grim Reaper.
The Friendship Fade: Letting the Gold Go
Since my latest book, The Reaper's Daughter, was released, I've noticed a theme among reviewers who enjoyed it. They seem to like the friendship between the main character, Blake, and her best friend, Shelby. I noticed this in Fractured Dream as well. Many reviewers and readers have commented that they wished they had those amazing friends, or they really just enjoyed the healthy relationships between the characters. It's made me pause at times as somewhat ironically, since I've come to an age in my life when friendships have begun to fade or wear out, while making truly deep connections is harder for some reason.
I first noticed the fading after I gave birth to my son. A couple of friends of mine without children no longer seemed as interested in me as I was in them. I'd become a mom, a worrier, a helicopter buzzing around my baby. Perhaps because my free spirit was now connected to the precious life of my child, my soul's anchor, I was no longer as fun, I worried. As a singleton, I'd been accessible, as a married woman with a child, not as much. I was hurt. So I grieved for the dear friends who suddenly became acquaintances. There were others, of course, those who faded because of time away, years spent missing calls or not having time to make them, on both sides. Carrying on the friendships once had in youth no longer seems possible, and it isn't, because dynamics have changed.
Friendships change and warp, sometimes we lose those we loved, sometimes we're brought together again years later, maybe sometimes never. There's many reasons why, and sometimes I think there's no reason at all except time and growth. And I've come to accept this. I saw a quote on Facebook the other day that was rather poignant: "If you have to force it. Leave it. Relationships. Friendships. Yoga Poses. Perfect Pony Tails. Let That Shit Go." We can't hold onto them all for forever, nor do we always want to, I've learned.
It's the friendships that have braved the test of time, the ones who show up to your book signing on a rainy day with kids in tow, the one you can sit and have as much fun over a cup of coffee with as over a bottle of wine. And I have that. And I'm thankful.
So perhaps those friendships my readers love so much in my books is reminiscent of my youth, I do write YA/NA after all, so my characters are young, but I think it's also a reflection of what I've learned being a good friend truly means in the years since. Mutual respect, love, and laughter, and a willingness and desire to keep room in your heart and life for that person. <3
“Growing apart doesn't change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I'm glad for that.”
― Ally Condie, Matched
I'm participating in a couple of really cool online book events this fall. The first is the 2015 October Frights Blog Hop, which is happening Oct. 1-10. I'll be running a series of posts during those days and at the end of it all, I'll be giving stuff away! There will also be a list at the end of the post directing readers to all the other authors taking part in the hop. It should be some fangtastic fun. Honestly, Halloween is a delicious time of year for me, so bear with me. I love decorating, I love the spooky atmosphere, the crisp air and hint of something powerful in the air.
Then November 1-8, I'll be an author at the first ever Virtual Fantasy-Con. Each day will have a theme such as Epic Wednesday, Fairytale Thursday, and YA Fantasy Sunday, which are the events I'll be a part of. This event takes place on Facebook, and the link is posted above. I'll give further details, but I'll definitely be giving away some books then too. If you any questions, feel free to post in the comments below.
Facebook will soon be launching a "dislike" button, at least according to CNN Money, which reported that Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement in a Town Hall meeting earlier today:
"The company had hesitated to launch a dislike button, but it has realized that people want to 'express empathy' on posts about unpleasant news. 'Not every moment is a good moment,' he [Zuckerberg] added."
I totally, totally get that. Who wants to "like" a post when a friend on Facebook posts about a death, an illness, or catastrophe. I've run into this issue many times myself. It's hard to know what to do since sometimes you might want to offer support such as a virtual hand on the shoulder, but "liking" such a dark, grief-stricken post just doesn't seem right, you know? So I get it. That all said, I think this button is going to set the proverbial shit flying. Because people will use and abuse it, I have no doubt.
If we're going to be honest about what we don't like or what's annoying, we might as well give an array of buttons. My friend and I had a little text message fun with it today, so I thought I would make some of you laugh (while some will probably grind their teeth at me) and share some of the new buttons we came up with.
You're Bragging Again Button
Passive-Aggressive Alert Button
Vague-Booking Alert Button
I'm Sorry You Feel the Need to Paint a Brighter Picture Button
I Don't Give a Shit About Your Culinary Skills Button
I Can Grocery Shop, Do Dishes, Fold Laundry, Cook a Gourmet
Dinner, Bathe the Kids, Walk the Dog in One Day Too Button
Please Show Me Another Picture of a Road Sign on Your Amazing Vacation, I Always Wanted to See One of Those Button
It's a Pyramid Scheme Button
Awesome, You Sweated While Working Out, Didn't Know That Happened Button
The Stop Posting Wine Pics, All Kids Drive Their Parents Crazy Button
The I Can't Deal With Your Politics So I'm Unfollowing You, At Least Until the End of Election Season Button
We're sarcastic often, but it's all in good fun, since I am definitely guilty of the Posting Quite a "Few Pics of Your Kid, Huh? Button."
I do know one thing, it would have been nice to have a dislike button the other day when someone's bigotry and hate-comments entered my stream, making me unfollow a certain narrow-minded individual I went to school with.
Love, peace, and snark, but never hate.
The Sounds of a Silent Blog
Silent. That's how I feel I've been as an author lately. So I just wanted to give an update. This summer, I've been working on a large freelance project (because that's how I pay the bills), and it's been overwhelming. I'm actually putting together a coffee table book of 125 years of history for a nearby college, but you can imagine how much time 125 years can take, more than I even thought. Anyway, this project is winding to a close and when that happens I'll be back on that horse, louder than ever, I hope, because I've made some choices recently professionally that will allow writing and all the fun engaging and launch takeovers to become more central in my professional and creative life. And I'm so looking forward to it. That, and making tons and tons of Halloween crafts with my four-year-old. Yes, always, always that.
I'm excited to finish Shattered World, the second book in the Dreamer Saga trilogy and delve back into these worlds I'm creating. Until then, my bloodstream is coffee and back into history I go. See ya on the flip-side of September!
'Pretty Little Liars' Anonymous
I have a secret. Well ... it's probably not much of a secret to people who know me, but I am ridiculously obsessed with the show, Pretty Little Liars. So much that after each episode I Google theories and the latest recaps, just in case I missed something. And yet, I don't have a theory of my own. Which is totally messing with me. Because I always have theories. Who is A???????
And if you're thinking, like, aren't you in your 30s with a husband and child? I say listen to what I say: You are never too old to love teen dramas that are steeped in mystery and unbelievable circumstances. I am never too old. I watch the Disney channel, for fun. Like seriously, I unabashedly am waiting for the release of The Descendants. Pablo Picasso said, "It takes a long time to become young." And I say, true that.
Maybe it's because I read a lot and I'm a writer myself, but figuring out story lines usually isn't too hard for me when I watch movies or TV shows. I'm usually the person logically telling my husband/sister/friend what's going to happen next (maybe shouting it), if not completely, then pretty close. Take Criminal Minds, a show I find almost painful to watch because of the gruesomeness of its content. And yet, I have presence of mind enough to have figured out plenty of cases. Yet, I cannot for the life of me figure out Pretty Little Liars. Give me my life back, show!
This is what I have noticed: Johnny from Season 1 was actually shown in the shadows watching Spencer when she was outside at a party. At first glance, he looked like a freaky Toby, on second glance, it's definitely Johnny. Does that mean anything? I've seen nothing of it in other theories. Also, stop saying that Aria is A! Toby is not A either. Maybe it's Wren?
I don't follow "Marlene" as so many fans casually call her by her first name as if they're best pals. A friend of mine once jokingly complained how annoyed he was by the masses of people who used to talk about seeing "Dave" in concert, as if they were BFFs with Dave Matthews. Whenever I hear someone say "Marlene" I always think of "Dave." And it always makes me smile how these two eras are converging on me. (Mindless rant OVER). BUT, people who do follow her have the best clues and theories. I just let other people inform me of these clues and then I think about it and still come up with nothing.
Still, why haven't I figured this out? This show has kept people guessing for five years, so it must mean it's good and I can stop doing the Pretty Little Liars walk of shame. Between blind Jenna, Sarah Harvey, Jason, Ian, Sydney, Wren, Johnny, Spencer's rehab guy, I just don't know. I DON'T KNOW.
Rehab guy, help me stop thinking about Pretty Little Liars. And in the meantime, check out this chick's blog ... She's got memes and pictures and recaps and THE 15 MOST UNBELIEVABLE THINGS ABOUT PRETTY LITTLE LIARS
K.M. Randall writes fantasy and paranormal for both a general and young adult audience. Her debut novel, an epic fantasy called Fractured Dream, launched in June 2014, and her second book, The Reaper's Daughter, launched May 2015. Randall also published Fairytale Lost, a prequel to Fractured Dream, as an exclusive on Wattpad. She blogs about dreams, female heroines, and activism and its relevancy to the literary and fictional world. And when in the season, sometimes she just likes to talk about Halloween. She is currently hard at work on the second book in the Dreamer Saga series, Shattered World.