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Prudence MacLeod's love affair with sci-fi/fantasy began over 50 years ago. She has been an avid reader since childhood and always found a welcomed escape from the harsh reality of everyday life in the worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs, H.G. Wells and others.
Awakened was the first novel she ever wrote over twenty years ago. This year, she pulled out that old manuscript and worked through it again, honing the story and getting it ready for publishing. She realized it was a story in the same vein as Dragonae, so decided to release it under her own name, J.L. Crandall.
Here's a sneak peek:
Warrick stood on the battlements of Darkwood Keep, gazing out over the king’s army which surrounded the ancient castle. The king, even that weakling, at the urging of the Priesthood of Taratoth,
had found his courage and turned against him at the last.
As the dawn drew nigh, Warrick thought back to that fateful night ten years past. He could still feel
the stab of the assassin’s blade as they fought. He had won that battle, but had lost that which was
most dear to him in life, his young mistress and their son. Again he saw the torn and broken body of the
boy and the battered face of the woman. She had been like a part of him, and when the priests
murdered her, they had killed him as well. Warrick was just taking longer to die.
He looked up as Galen the elf hurried toward him. Galen was the last of his kind still alive, so it was
said, and a powerful mage. “News have I, my lord,” breathed Galen.
“What care I for news?” rumbled the huge warrior. “She is dead, Galen, long since, as will I be soon
“She is reborn, my lord,” hissed Galen. “To an elf woman, has she been born. Find her again in this
life, I fear you will not.”
“This I do know,” growled Warrick. He seized Galen by the cloak and shook him violently. “I would
have a spell on me, elf, to help me find her in the next life.”
“It has been prophesied, my friend,” replied Galen as he pried the old warrior’s hand from his cloak
and gently squeezed his shoulder, “and so it shall be.” He turned and fled the wall.
When the morning sun broke over the ridge, the attack came. Within the hour, the gate was down
and the enemy within the walls. Warrick stood with his back to the towering stone battlements,
swinging his huge broadsword back and forth like a scythe of death. He was bleeding from a dozen
wounds or more, any one of which could have been fatal.
As he slowly sank to one knee Warrick was heard to gasp, “Now Galen, damn you, now.” As he
spoke, a mist of golden light surrounded him for a few seconds.
When the golden mist was gone, Lord Warrick, terror of the Priesthood of Taratoth, lay dead in a
pool of his own blood. Far to the north, in a camp of the wild clansmen, a newborn child was suddenly
surrounded with silvery light. The midwife had thought him unlikely to survive, but in that light, he
began to scream lustily.
South of Darkwood Keep, deep within a cavern, an old elf mage smiled to himself. “It is done,” he
sighed to his tall companion, “but she is now elf-born and will have a very long life indeed. He is only
“His life will be as long as hers, I guarantee it,” avowed a cold voice beside him. “Then this time they will find each other, and the prophecy will be fulfilled.” The one-eyed god just nodded his agreement and vanished.
Awakened is a story about the endurance of true love and the magic it inspires. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Ordinary people are capable of remarkable feats given the right set of circumstances and these days, maybe more than ever, we all need more everyday heroes.
I believe good fiction should entertain and have a momentum of its own that will transport readers away from the stresses of their daily lives. In an age of rampant sexualization and violence across entertainment media, I offer an alternative: satisfying stories to sweep you up into a different world where people, much like you, overcome challenges and have remarkable adventures.
My goal is to write stories that inspire people to be their own everyday hero; to imagine new possibilities for themselves and perhaps change the course of their own story. I invite you to join me on the adventure.