Title: Curse of the Sea
Author: Joni Parker
Genre: Urban Fantasy
A NATO training exercise goes terribly wrong when five warships from different countries are mysteriously transported to Eledon, the Realm of the Elves. The warrior, Lady Alexin, is charged to escort the troops back home to London in the year 2031 with the aid of the Wizard Ecstasy and a magic shrinking potion. Yet, when the authorities question her story, Alex is detained and imprisoned under suspicion of terrorism. Caught in a web of politics, betrayal and bungling bureaucracy, the confusing world of the future will push her magical gifts to their limit, and her own future will hang in the balance, caught between “justice” and the place she calls home.
The next morning, the sailors stood in ranks on the dock near the little red ship. They wore the uniforms of their home countries—the United States, Great Britain, France, Canada, and Italy. Alex came up from behind with the Commandant, Lord Odin, Colonel Jeffrey, Prince Darin, and the Elf healer, Canfis. She wore her brown uniform as she would have worn if she were reporting to her foster father, Colonel Penser. This was official business. Her brown cloak fluttered in the breeze as the group converged at the ship. Ecstasy stepped out on deck.
Captain Jonas stepped forward. “Ecstasy, we’re ready to begin. Are you?”
“Yes, sir!” He saluted and stomped his foot. “How do you want to do this?”
Lord Odin went up to him. “We’ll bring ten people on board at a time and administer the potion. Once that group is finished, the next ten will board. Alex, pay attention. You’ll have to do this on the other end.”
The first ten people filed onto the ship with Lord Odin, Alex, and Canfis. They gave each person a cup of water with the shrinking potion. Once they shrank in size, Alex and Canfis placed them in a bin. The next group came in and the same procedure was followed until the final group. One last cup of water remained and Captain Jonas stood beside it.
“I want to monitor the situation, so I’d like to remain as I am. I’d be more than happy to administer the counter-potion.”
“Alex will do it, Captain. There’s no need to worry,” Lord Odin said.
“May I ask, why send your granddaughter?”
“As I told you before, Alex has experience doing this. Well, if you wish to remain as you are, I believe the ship can handle the extra weight.” Lord Odin turned to Alex and held her in his arms. “Have a safe trip and come back right away. You have several more trips to make.” He released her and stepped back. “Oh, give me your weapons, Alex. You’d better not take them.”
Alex took off her sword belt and wrapped it around her sword. Then she undid the buckles that held her Elfin Blade in place on her right thigh, removed a knife blade from each boot, and gave him the cuffs around her wrists that held her assassin’s blades in place. “I’ll probably need my eating knife.” She patted the knife on her belt. “I think that’s all. What about the keys?”
“I’ll hold them until you get back. Canfis, give me a hand with this.” Lord Odin handed him some of her weapons and took the leather pouch with the keys.
Captain Jonas bit his lip as he watched her remove her weapons. She’d been armed all this time with several hidden weapons. What else could she be carrying that no one could see? What about that blue light?
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Fantasy novels are Joni Parker’s writing passion. Thus far, she’s written two series—“The Seaward Isle Saga,” a trilogy, and “The Chronicles of Eledon,” the award-winning four-book series. Her latest project, “Curse of the Sea” is her eighth book and begins a new trilogy. Her work extends beyond novels into short stories with two appearing in an anthology, “Tucson and Beyond” by the Tucson Science Fiction Fantasy writers’ group. Joni’s retired from military and federal government service and devotes her time to writing. She currently resides in Tucson, Arizona.
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