A.L. Butcher is the British author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles fantasy series, and several short stories in the fantasy and fantasy romance genres. She is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet and a dreamer. When she is grounded in the real world she likes science, natural history, history and monkeys. Her work has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as evocative.
The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles series – an adult fantasy/fantasy romance series, with a touch of erotica.
The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book I
In a dark world where magic is illegal and elves are enslaved a young elven sorceress runs for her life from the house of her evil Keeper. Pursued by his men and the corrupt Order of Witch-Hunters she must find sanctuary. As the slavers roll across the lands stealing elves from what remains of their ancestral home the Witch-Hunters turn a blind eye to the tragedy and a story of power, love and a terrible revenge unfolds.
Available as an e-book in all the Amazon stores, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Apple, and the Smashwords associate stores.
Also available as a paperback on Createspace and Amazon.
The Shining Citadel – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles –Book II
Who rules in this game of intrigue where magic is forbidden and elves enslaved? Journey where beliefs shatter like glass, truth is unwelcome and monsters from ancient times abound: share the romance and revenge, magic and passion, and the wages of greed in a world of darkest fantasy. (Please note the 18+ rating.)
Available as an e-book in all the Amazon Stores, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Apple, and the Smashwords associate stores, and in print on Amazon.
Available as a paperback on Amazon and Createspace.
The Stolen Tower – the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book III
What stalks the land cannot be, but is.
Where magic is outlawed a troll Shaman calls from her deathbed to her heiress, Mirandra Var, daughter of the storm. Mirandra vows to find her missing kin, sort friend from foe, and claim the dangerous secrets guarded by unthinkable creatures. If she succeeds, she will become the leader of her tribe. If she fails there will be no tribe to lead.
Tales of Erana series
Tales of Erana: Myths and Legends
In a world where magic is illegal and elves enslaved dare you hear the tales of old?
Five tales of myth, magic and monsters from the world of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles.
The Blue Phial – An apprentice herbalist receives a special gift from her mistress and learns the real wisdom of life.
The Tale of Treyna the Beloved – the sun and moon over the love of a mortal with disastrous results.
The Legend of Oeliana – jealousy exacts a terrible revenge in this tale of love and loss
Storm Born – a lonely mage does not appreciate what he has until it’s gone.
The Moon on the Water – A tale of greed, war and powerful magic from a time long past.
Audio Book – Narrated by Mike Legate
Tales of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse.
He who bargains with monsters beware! A hero forges an unholy bargain with a witch and learns magic never forgets.
Audio book – Narrated by Rob Goll
Tales of Erana – Volume One.
Containing all the Tales of Erana short stories to date, collected in one place.
Paperback only. http://www.amazon.com/Tales-Erana-I-Alexandra-Butcher/dp/1508403538
The Fire-Side Side Tales Collection
The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales – six short tales of mayhem and mischief.
Naughty imps, missing socks, cunning thieves and baffled gods feature in this collection of short fantasy fiction.
Outside the Walls
Co-authored with Diana L. Wicker
When the tide of war flows who will be caught in its wake? A short fantasy tale of a woman’s determination in time of war.
Audio – Narrated by Melanie Fraser
Of Blood and Scales - in Heroika: Dragon Eaters
The fate of the Kingdom of Ilmar rests on a dying child. Only the truly courageous dare to face the ultimate foe and save the realm.
Paperback UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/HEROIKA-1-Dragon-Eaters/dp/0986414034/
Audio – narrated by Rob Goll
Anthology pieces in the following:
A Splendid Salmagundi, which won the Indie Book Bargains Award for Anthologies in 2012
(free speculative fiction anthology)
Wyrd Worlds II
No Sleeves and Short Dresses
(A summer anthology)
Just One Mistake in Nine Heroes (heroic fantasy anthology) (original version)
Outside the Walls Co-authored with Diana L. Wicker in Bellator
With the Indie Collaboration
Kisses and Tales
Tales from Darker Places
Excerpts Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles - Book I
Shivering, Dii pulled her old wool cloak around her and looked at the sky, the stars now fading into the grey dawn. Mages could sense the weather, so Dii knew that more rain would follow this day; even now she could sense the pressure in the air. Hunger made her belly grumble, and as she looked at the thin tent, she knew it would not protect her from the late autumn weather much longer, or indeed the many other dangers which stalked the night. Dangers which were very real for one such as her; an elf, a woman and a mage, for as such, she was not free. Freedom in the land of Erana was rare. It could be bought and sold for some, although many did not have that luxury.
Pulling a very stale half loaf of bread from her cloak pocket, the elf toasted it and poured a little water from her water-skin into the metal pot to boil. Food was food after all. Luxury was another rare commodity. Tossing in a handful of dried leaves and herbs, she sweetened the tea with the few berries she had scavenged. The smell of the toast and herb tea revived the young elf’s spirits and suddenly the dawn did not seem so cold, or the future so uncertain. The small wooden box she carried contained a few herbs from her previous store, both for healing and refreshment, the land around providing much if a body knew where to look. Such plants could heal and fortify and often were of more value than coin, which one could not eat, nor would fight infection.
Dii was a skilled herbalist, surprising for one of her station, but she was clever and had an enquiring mind that searched until it found answers… She considered for a moment. The only good thing about her Keeper Joset's estate was Malana’s herb garden, which was by far the finest in the area and the most bountiful. Regretful for a moment, she thought about the woman she considered her mother, the only one she had ever known: a kind human woman, also a mage and a Kept, or slave, of Lord Joset Tremayne. Malana had taught her a little when she could, including the herb-lore, and loved her a good deal. Education was not the norm in Erana, especially for elves, but somehow it had suited her Keeper to allow her to learn, perhaps it increased her price. Sighing at that thought, Dii returned to her tasks.
Pulling the small purse from her cloak, she examined the meagre coins therein. Dii knew those few coins would not last long, and an elf with a bulging purse would certainly draw attention. She had spent the best part of the small amount she had been able to acquire on the tent and camping equipment, and that had drawn more notice than she had been comfortable with. Dii knew she had been overcharged, but also knew there was little she could do, she had handed over the coins and made her way swiftly from the stallholder’s sight.
Dii was well aware her Keeper was a nobleman, and thus rich and powerful. He was a man of influence, but she was also acutely aware of where a lot of that money had come from. So she had taken the few coins she had managed to hide unseen from her Keeper. Dii could have taken more; she knew she had more than earned it, but somehow felt wrong taking the gold of her Keeper, although after all he had forced her to do, she could not understand why she felt that way. Perhaps, she thought, it was simply self-preservation: half of her hoped he would not seek her, but were she a thief, he might be more inclined to do so. The young elf was many things, but a thief she was not. So Dii had left with a few meagre possessions and a small bag of coins. Everything else remained in her Keeper's house. More afraid of what lay within than without, she had risked her life to flee, both in physically doing so and to be out in these lands alone. So far she had been lucky not to have been spotted by anyone unfriendly to her kind, and she thanked the gods for that. Not knowing the trails and roads well, she had nothing to trust but her luck and her skills.
A Kept owned nothing by right, but Dii knew her favours paid well. Her lovers would sometimes give her coin or trinket if she had pleased them, or a grateful villager would pass on a few copper coins for the potions or herb-lore she distributed. Most of the common people had little healing knowledge beyond basic remedies passed generation to generation, and many communities did not have an apothecary. People often turned a blind eye to the local “wise folk,” although this was not always the case and many a mage had found themselves in the “hospitality of the Order of Witch-Hunters” due to a failure to heal someone, or from mere spite or fear. To be in possession of magic was illegal and, in many cases, meant imprisonment or even death.
The staff hovered nearby; Archos muttered something as it floated to his command. He tossed it across his back, where it was easy to reach and he could release it with a word. Gently, he wrapped Dii in the blanket and lifted her in his arms. For a moment, his vision swam again and he breathed heavily, gasping in air to try and clear his head. Glancing down, he smiled at the soft form and felt her Power, weak as she was, flutter around him. Never had he felt such an attraction and longing for any creature; nor quite such a resolute Power and strength in one so young and untrained.
“Do you wish me to take her?” Olek said with concern, noting Archos' pale countenance.
“No… No, I have her now,” Archos replied softly and motioned him towards the door. Olek saw the look on his face, which said nothing would part them now.
Olek stepped into the passage, relieved to be out of the cell. Moving quickly, he led them back towards the door. Archos followed with only a fraction of his attention on where they were going. He was tired and knew he needed his magic for a while longer. As he walked, he trailed the storm behind him and slowly unravelled. Out in the darkness, he let it go and suddenly the full fury of the storm was allowed to rage.
“Run,” he breathed. “Run now!” Although by now his muscles ached and were not too obliged to respond without protestation.
They ran as the clouds raged in the sky and released rain in huge drops that froze. Whipping water determined to soak everything it could find, it was a rain that obscured the vision and chilled the bone. Wind roared in from the south, battering the banners and slamming the casements of the upper windows, raining glass in shards. The storm twisted in a tempest in the courtyard, sucking up stones and wood and slamming them into walls, ground and people without prejudice. Angry clouds spat forked lightning, cleaving the sky like the vengeance of the gods and grounded within the walls of the fort and on the roof, splitting tiles and bringing fire even in the driving rain.
As they reached the coach, the horses skittered in fear and Olek pulled the door open and jumped up, almost dragging Archos and the girl inside. He hastily pulled one of the soft rugs onto the floor, then leapt out and up to the seat as the thunder rolled and lightning sliced the air just behind them. Archos would trust no one else to drive in such a situation, and besides Simon had business elsewhere. The horses began to run in fear and it took all Olek’s skill to bring them under control enough to steer. Looking behind him, he saw mayhem. The roof burned and he could hear the sounds of panicked men and terrified horses, even at this distance. Three mounted riders rode out of the fort towards them. As the carriage picked up speed, he steered it to the forest trail.
Archos heard the storm rage and the frail breathing of the girl beside him. He flipped up the window and grinned when he saw the chaos of the storm unleashed. He felt a little hollow for having held the storm for so long and he saw the horses panic as thunder rolled close. The hoof beats behind them grew closer and he knew Olek was struggling to control the carriage as it rocked and bucked around him. As they approached the forest path, he looked down at Dii and gently he touched her, feeling her Power even now and it gave him strength.
“I bloody well hope you have a plan, my lord, those riders are gaining on us, our horses are terrified and your storm seems bent on killing everything!” Olek screamed back to him.
Closing his eyes, Archos tried to calm himself and summon the Power he needed. “Just drive for the gap in the trees, off the road,” he yelled back.
Olek looked around in the darkness and the mayhem of the storm. “Gap? What gap? Oh gods, if it was any man but you I would think you mad. I hope you have Power enough left for this.”
“So do I, my friend,” muttered the Archmage.
As the trees rapidly approached, Archos drew his Power and slammed his staff into the floor. “Wood to my will, let us pass where there is no gateway. Wood to my will, hide us from sight!” he cried into the darkness and the rapidly approaching trees.
As the spell ended, a gap appeared as branches turned and trees bent aside. The carriage plunged into the dark wood as the greenery slammed back behind them.
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