MasterKoda is happy to spotlight Bruce Blake today. Bruce is a popular author of fantasy novels. If you are a fan of fantasy you will not want to miss his upcoming new release, When Shadows Fall, due out Oct 1st.

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WHEN-SHADOWS-FALL-FULLA hundred hundred seasons have turned since the Goddess banished the Small Gods to the sky, leaving the land to mankind alone.

For Prince Teryk, life behind the castle walls is boring and uneventful until he stumbles upon an arcane scroll in a long-forgotten chamber. The parchment speaks of Small Gods, the fall of man, and the kingdom’s savior—the firstborn child of the rightful king. It’s his opportunity to prove himself to his father, the king, and assure his place in history. All he needs to do is find the man from across the sea—a man who can’t possibly exist—and save mankind.

But ancient magic has been put in motion by a mysterious cult determined to see the Small Gods reborn. Powerful forces clash, uncaring for the lives of mortals in their struggle to prevent the return of the banished ones, or aid in their rebirth.

Named in a prophecy or not, what chance does a cocky prince who barely understands the task laid before him stand in a battle with the gods?

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“Quiet,” Teryk snapped and raised his hand. A hurt expression on her brow, Danya opened her mouth to protest, but didn’t. “Do you hear that?”

A tiny sound—completely unnoticeable when either of them spoke, lost amongst their footsteps when they moved, hardly there compared to their heartbeats—but he heard it. The faintest of hums masquerading as a buzz, pretending to be a breath. He took another step toward the lectern.

The sound emanated from the roll of parchment.

“I don’t hear anything.”


Teryk crept closer. The noise didn’t grow any louder, but it became more distinct—not a hum or a buzz or an exhalation, but a susurrant tangle of whispers, each indistinct on their own, but together combining to the softest of murmurs.

“It’s saying something,” he said, near enough now to reach out and touch the scroll if he wanted. He leaned his head closer still, listening, straining to perceive a recognizable word. “You can’t hear that?”

The pad of Danya’s bare feet on the stone floor sounded a cacophony in comparison, assaulting the prince’s ears and making him want to press his hands to the sides of his head, but then she stood beside him and the tumult ended. They both held their breath, the only sounds in the room the beat of their hearts and, hidden beneath, the whispers of the scroll.

Teryk counted twenty heartbeats pass before Danya shook her head and parted her lips, but he raised his finger, stopping her. Ten more beats, the scroll murmuring to him, talking to him. If only he understood it.

Why can’t she hear it?

A feeling easily mistaken for satisfaction settled into the prince at knowing a thing she didn’t, but it disappeared in an instant. Danya understood languages better than he, as she was better at most things. He wished she could tell him what language it spoke, what it said, what it wanted from him. He leaned closer, his sister leaning with him, his ear a handspan away from the edge of the rostrum, and then he understood.

“It wants me to take it with us.”

“What?” Danya straightened and put her hand on his arm. “No, Teryk. We can’t. We don’t even know how to get out of here.”

“I have to.”

He shrugged her off and took the last step to the lectern, raised his hand toward the scroll. Before he stretched his fingers out to touch it, before Danya did or said anything to stop him, the roll of parchment leaped into his hand and the whispering ended.

I was right.

Teryk held it up, staring, sensing his sister’s eyes on it, too. The parchment was rough against his fingers and smelled old—two qualities one might reasonably expect of a ancient paper. A spot of blue wax pressed with an unfamiliar seal held the scroll from unrolling. When the prince rubbed his thumb across it, chunks of the brittle material flaked away.

“We have to find a way out, Teryk,” Danya said.

“What’s your hurry?” He didn’t move his gaze from the roll in his hand.

“Trenan will be looking for us, remember? You have pike training.”

Teryk redirected his gaze from the scroll to his sister, his eyes moving lazily, as though mired in the royal cook’s version of oatmeal. They crossed the void between them, seeing the dust dancing in the light, the gleaming stone floor, the red with white pillars soaring toward the ceiling.

And the battle suits crossing the floor in silence behind her.

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[title color=”blue-vibrant” align=”scmgcleft” font=”arial” style=”normal” size=”scmgc-1em”]Biography[/title]

Bruce BlakeBruce Blake lives on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. When pressing issues like shovelling snow and building igloos don’t take up his spare time, Bruce can be found taking the dog sled to the nearest coffee shop to work on his short stories and novels.

Actually, Victoria, B.C. is only a couple hours north of Seattle, Wash., where more rain is seen than snow, and the dog is too small to pull a sled. Since snow isn’t really a pressing issue, Bruce spends more time trying to remember to leave the “u” out of words like “colour” and “neighbour” then he does shovelling (and darn those double l’s). The father of two, Bruce is also the trophy husband of a burlesque diva.

Bruce has been writing since grade school but it wasn’t until a few years ago he set his sights on becoming a full-time writer. Since then, his first short story, “Another Man’s Shoes” was published in the Winter 2008 edition of Cemetery Moon, another short, “Yardwork”, was made into a podcast in Oct., 2011 by Pseudopod and his first Icarus Fell novel, On Unfaithful Wings, was published to Kindle in Dec., 2011. The second Icarus Fell novel, All Who Wander Are Lost, was released in July, 2012, and the third, Secrets of the Hanged Man, in July 2013. Sept., 2013 saw the publication of Blood of the King, the first book in the Khirro’s Journey epic fantasy trilogy, followed by second book, Spirit of the King, in Dec., 2012, and the third, Heart of the King in Jan., 2013. He has plans for more Icarus novels, several stand alones, and several more books in the Small Gods series.

Twitter: @bruceablake