Carillu Series

Release Announcement

Froggie and Friends, the first book in the Carillu series, is now available on Amazon.

Co-authored with my daughter Amber Stevens and dedicated to my two special needs grandchildren.

Success is a choice. When we focus on the outcome of success, rather than the fear of failure, we choose to succeed by our actions.

Level 60 - Excerpt from Sphere 369

Today I reached level 60. Sixty years into my life's journey. It is an awe inspiring feeling to step into this level. I've never felt more confident about entering this phase of my life, than I am as I enter this next decade. I do not know what lies ahead of me, but I do know I have the strength to overcome what is placed before me. I am filled with hope and peace, surrounded by my children who all decided to move closer together. We end this year celebrating together what we've all been able to overcome.

As an author, I felt the best birthday present I can give you, as one of my readers, it to write an excerpt which came to my mind on my birthday for my book Sphere 369. It is my gift to you. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing the draft.

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In a darkened mist a figure could be seen on the mountain peak. A lone woman kneeling down on one knee with her long hair flowing in the wind. Her weight of her body leaning on a sword dug into the earth to help her hold herself up. Next to the sword a blue flame emblem faintly glowed on the shield which lay on the ground. With eyes closed, a tear escaped and slid down her cheek. Her lips slightly parted and she began to whisper. Words which no earthly form could hear. Her lips pursed and she gently began to blow. A thin stream of blue smoke escaped from her lips and swirls around her causing a misty glow to surround her. In exhaustion she finally collapsed onto the ground. A lifeless body laying in the blue mist.

A low growl could be heard as heavy paws padded towards her. A large animal appeared from the forest and walked towards the still form growling in a low rumble. It sniffed her hair and nudged her as if to encourage her to awake. Finally it lay down beside her and placed its head upon her shoulder. It's warm breath added to the blue mist as it danced around her. It nudged her again, this time a bit harder. When she didn't respond, it stood up and circled her before standing over her and lifting it's head to howl.

A deep piercing howl filled the sky and caused the leaves of the trees to tremble as if in fear. Claws extended from the beast paws, readying for an attack. Another deep growl and nudge from the beast didn't stir the woman laying on the ground. A sound was heard from within the forest and the beast turned it's head as its eyes began to glow. Its growl became more fierce to warn away any who would step out of the forest. The smooth coat of its fur began to transform into shimmering scales to cover it's body as its growl became more threatening.

Lifting its head once more towards the sky, it let out a howl so deep it shook the hearth and caused shards of blue lightening to fall from the sky. As each lightening struck the earth a warrior appeared carrying a tall shield with the same blue flame emblem as the woman's laying on the ground. Each warrior immediately thrust the pointed end of the shield into the ground and raised their sword into the air. The lightning strikes quickly formed a circle around the woman and the beast. 

With their swords raised above their heads a dome of encircled the group. Grabbing their shields, they unitedly began to pound them onto the group causing a low thundering rumble. All eyes remained on the woman who lay beneath the beast whose armored body stood over her in a protective stance, warning anyone to not step closer. It's eyes scanned the army and then gave a nod. The beating of the shields stopped. Unitedly they turned their back and placed their shields side by side to form an impenetrable circle around the beast and woman.

The beast began to transform and a man appeared. The man took off his long black coat and laid it on the ground. Picking up the woman he placed her on his coat. He gently brushed her hair off her face and let his thumb trail down her cheek. "If I heal you now, I'm afraid I'll transfer my anger with you into you."

As he stood up, he looked down upon her in sadness. "The truth is, I need you to heal me so I have the strength to heal you. Your journey isn't over yet. I know you're tired, so rest my love. It's our turn to watch over you."

The man squatted back down and ran his thumb across his lips. His dark penetrating eyes deepened. "There has to be a better way. We need more time. She isn't strong enough... yet." He silently mumbled. 

Standing again, he walked to the the blue army and tapped one of the soldiers on the shoulder. "Sebastian, we need to talk." The wall of shields opened up and allowed him to step through. He motioned for the soldier to follow him. As he broke out of the circle, it immediately tightened back up. The two men began to walk a slight distance away from the group before the soldier spoke up. "Will she be okay? Damion why aren't you healing her?"

Damion ran his fingers through his hair and turned away from Sebastian, "Yes she'll be okay, but I can't heal her in my state of anger with her. If I did, she wouldn't be the same. My anger would transfer to her... it would destroy who she is. She pushed herself to hard. She dangerously drained all her energy and it will take some time for her to recover by herself. I need to go and get some help before I can heal her."

The soldier shook his head, "You need to get this figured out. We'll be here to watch over her, but you need to get your shit together so you can heal her. She heals all of us, but she draws her strength from you. If you're not whole, she's not whole." His eyes narrowed and he looked straight into the man's eyes, "You're our weakest link right now. If you're not able to give her the strength she needs, step aside."

Damion turned slightly away, before turning back and stepping towards Sebastian. "Out of respect for her wishes, I'll not transform and tear you apart in front of the men. But be warned Sebastian, this will be your only warning. You two may have grown up together, but she didn't choose you. Remember that. You're here only because you add strength to her."

With that the Damion turned and walked towards the wall of shields. They immediately parted and let him in. Sebastian immediately stepped back into rank.

Walking over to her, Damion extended his hands and began to form a red flaming sphere. He released the sphere and let it drift upward. the flame warmed the area. Casting his eyes back down upon her, he knelt back down and felt the pulse of her neck. Leaning in he listened to her breathing before gently brushing his lips against hers and then trailing them down her cheek as he tucked her hair behind her ear. "Reena I am leaving you in good hands. I'll be back shortly. Please don't do anything stupid while I'm gone and just wait for me. I'll not be long."

Kissing her cheek, he transformed back into the beast and leaped above the circle of men and tore into the forest. Sebastian watched him go to make sure he was gone before turning into the circle and stepping towards Reena. Kneeling down he began to spin his hands to form and blue sphere. "I don't know why you chose him, but you did. I gave you my word I'd honor your choice. But, I also gave you my word I wouldn't stand idly by if I saw you suffering. I know you'll be angry with me. Damian will be furious. I'll deal with him later. Right now, you need more than what Damion can offer you. I just hope when you're finished being angry with me, you'll listen."

As the blue ball of light grew a deeper blue, Sebastian squeezed it into a small circle and popped it into his mouth. "Sorry love, but I don't know any other way to heal you."

Gently he squeezed her cheeks to open her mouth, pressing his against hers he blew the sphere out of his mouth and into hers. Immediately her eyes flew open restored with a bright flaming blue light. She arched her back and let out a screaming moan. The red sphere above her shattered as slivers of red light rain down around her like flaming rain. Sebastian raised his shield above them both to protect them from the raining fire.

Taking a deep breath, Reena threw her arms around Sebastian before releasing them and giving him a slap on the shoulder. "I don't know if I should kiss you or slap you across the face. You knew exactly what I needed, but you broke your promise to never do that again."

Sebastian mischievously grinned and winked at her. "You've never complained. I'm always here when you need me." Extending his hand to help her up, "I don't know if you could hear him, but Damion wants you to wait until he returns. He went to be healed. He had too much anger to heal you."

Reena shook her head, "We aren't waiting. There isn't time." Stepping closer to Sebastian, tell the men this is my last time, then I'm leaving. I can't do this anymore." 

Sebastian frowned and nodded as he went to walk back into rank. Reena grabbed his arm, "No Sebastian, I need you stay close. I'm not at full strength without Damion. I may need you to boost my healing."

Sebastian shook his head. "I'm a dead man once Damion finds out. When you leave, I'm going with you... at least until he cools down."

Reena nodded her head in agreement as Sebastian began to gently pound his shield into the ground. The blue flame army turned back around and followed Sebastian's lead. Reena pickup up her sword and shield and began to walk the perimeter looking each soldier in the eye. "I unite with you in hope and strength. Together we press forward as one." 

Each soldier nodded and began to pound their shields harder into the ground causing a ripple effect of sound and light.

Reena raised her shield and sword to the sky, causing a blue dome of light to encase the army and her. A tear fell from her eye. She knew what was ahead of them. She questioned if she had the strength to watch the slaughter one more time. Billions would be saved by what she did. Millions would die.

The last battle still played in her head. From a distant they only ever saw a lone woman walking towards them in a flowing blue dress. They never saw her sword or shield. They never saw the blue dome light. They never saw her army of light. They just saw her... alone... vulnerable... ready to be taken.

The reaction to her was always bitter sweet. She seem to bring out the best and worst in others. For those with a heart filled with hope and peace they ran towards her, entering her shield unharmed and were protected. They would pass through her shield with renewed hope and strength to continue their journey. For those who hearts were filled with hate, they couldn't penetrate the shield. As she continue to step towards them, her shield increased their hatred and their desire to destroy her, which only empowered her soldiers commitment to slay them. 

Damion was always there by her side. He seemed to understand their darkness and somehow could reach out and gather a few in. When these few entered her sphere they drained her strength. Damion's love for her healed her and strengthened her so she could instill hope and peace into these darkened souls. Without him, there would be no hope for those who Damion could help save.

Tears began to stream down her face. She hated each step forward she took. She looked down on what she wore. Underneath her flowing blue cloak was a uniform of warrior. With one sweep of her arm, she could use the cloak as an invisible shield or a weapon of blue flaming fire. There had been those who had found a way to pass through her shield, only to attack her when they became too close. Damion had always fought by her side, when several had stepped into her dome and attacked her. Back to back, they would fight those who had for some reason been able to step into her protected dome.

Today, Damion wouldn't be there. It would be Sebastian who would stand by her side. She didn't know if he had the instinctive ability to see an attack coming from within, but she had no other choice but to trust he did.

The distant screams drew her from her thoughts. There before them were people screaming and running in fear away from a group who were pursuing them. The battle had begun. Each individuals choice would determine their life or death. To choose peace or to choose hate. 

Deep into the forest the beast stopped and looked back to the increasing glowing blue dome. A growl escaped the beast as it turned and raced deeper into the darkness.

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