Today I have the pleasure of helping another author with the release of her fantasy novel: The Call of Elespen. This is the fifth book in the Keepers of the Wellsprings series, and I have to tell you, it looks amazing! In addition to being a writer, Missy Sheldrake does her own illustrations, which are absolutely beautiful.
This epic fantasy series tells the sweeping tale of a time when ruthless Sorcerers threatened the delicate balance of the Wellsprings–secret pools of magic revered and fiercely protected by fairy-kind for decades.
Today, November 29th, Missy is offering ALL FOUR of the previous novels for FREE in celebration of Book 5′s release! You can find them HERE
About the The Call of Elespen
“Four offerings claimed. Two left. One, I can easily get. Ceras’lain. The other, Elespen. I don’t know much about that place. Only what I saw from the ship while I escaped from Sunteri. A jungle on either side of a wide river. A city I was forbidden to enter. Forbidden, even though I didn’t even realize it at the time…” -Tib, Dreamstalker, escaped slave
“They know our victory is nearing. They know we’re the Champions of Light. They’d rather keep us here, trapped in their lair, distracted from our quest to restore Brindelier and claim the Wellsprings.” -Flitt, fairy companion to Sir Azi Hammerfel
A vindictive Sorcerer King with a century-old grudge has spent decades gathering an army obsessed with claiming what their master feels he’s owed. Threatened by his dark dealings and sinister followers, will the Champions of Light succeed in claiming Brindelier’s Wellspring for the Dawn, or will its vast power fall forever into the hands of the unforgiving Dusk?
Who will triumph, Dawn or Dusk? Ally yourself with dragons, fairies, mages, knights, and muses in the epic conclusion to the Keepers of the Wellsprings series.
A word from the author
When I started writing and illustrating this series, I really wanted to tell a story that was rich with fantasy, but not overly dark or mired with war and violence. I wanted to show the light side of fantasy: the cheerful, magical, uplifting side which I always drink up whenever it emerges in a story, and which always seems to be so fleeting in fantasy tales. I wanted to tell a story that would capture the hearts of young and old alike. Don’t get me wrong, my books aren’t void of conflict and evil. There is mild violence and not-so-mild wickedness, but it’s those moments in my stories which are the fleeting ones. In the pages of my books, you will find fairies, Mages, Paladins, Elves, Dreamwalkers, Princes and Princesses, and even dragons. You’ll travel through a world rich with magic and wonder. You’ll make new, unforgettable friends.
The Call of Elespen: An Excerpt
(In this excerpt, Azi is rudely awakened by her overly excited fairy companion, Flitt.)
After a long day of meetings, planning, and preparing for the Dawn’s next steps, I fall into my bed and bury my face in my pillow. The sweet, familiar lavender and rose fragrance of Mouli’s laundering soap soothes me to sleep almost instantly. I dream of pleasant, fleeting things as I burrow deep into my soft, downy bed.
“Azi,” tiny hands pat the side of my nose and Flitt’s light dances behind my eyelids as she raps on my brow. “Azi,” she whispers again, this time a little more insistently.
I groan and burrow deeper into my bed in protest, and she tugs at the unraveling strands of my braid.
“Azi, wake up!” she squeaks just above a whisper. “It’s urgent!”
My eyes fly open. I bolt upright in my bed. My heart races. Across the room, Mercy jumps in its stand. “What is it?” I gasp, flinging my warm, downy blanket away. “Is it the Dusk? Are they attacking?”
One bare foot touches the cold floor as my sword lands in my outstretched hand. I’m halfway to my armor stand before Flitt darts into my face.
“Shh, shh, shh!” she hisses, pressing her surprisingly non-sticky hands to my lips. “It isn’t anything like that! You’re out of sugar cubes again! It’s like Mouli’s forgotten all about me!”
I stare in disbelief at the bright fairy, blinking the sleep from my eyes. Mercy slides from my loosening grasp and floats to set itself in place on its stand. With a groan, I fall back into bed and pull the blankets up over my head.
“You said it was urgent,” I say thickly through a yawn.
“Well, it is. I’m hungry!” Her squeaky voice, muffled by the comforter, drifts closer. I feel her feet on the side of my head and pull the blankets tighter around myself. “I can’t help it if I’ve been up dancing all night while you were being lazy. A fairy has things to do, you know. Important things.”
“Sure, important things,” I yawn again.
“You don’t believe me,” Flitt huffs. I feel her land by my arm. There’s the sound of a scuffle and a tug on the blanket. She manages to get an edge pulled out of my grasp, and she peeks inside. Light bursts from her face, blinding me with sudden, twinkling rainbows. I screw my eyes shut in protest.
“Of course I believe you,” I say, poking my head out into the cold in surrender. “Could you tone it down a little, maybe?”
“Sorry,” she whispers, giggling, and dims her glow. “But you’re awake now! Hurrah!”
“Hurrah,” I mumble, scooting back to prop myself against my pillow. I glance to my shuttered window as I reach for the cup on my bedside table to take a sip of water. The light of the waning moon spills through the slats, competing with Flitt’s colors as it stretches across the floorboards.
I set the mug back on the table and open the drawer, revealing the stash of sugar cubes I’d grabbed earlier on the way back to my room.
“There,” I say, utterly annoyed.
“Yes!” Flitt squeaks. “You’re the best, Azi. Really.” She dives into the drawer and shoves several cubes into her belt pouch. To my surprise, as hungry as she claimed to be, she doesn’t eat any.
“Do you want to know who I was dancing with?” she asks, now that she’s sure I’m fully awake. She keeps her voice much quieter than usual and glances over her shoulder toward the circle hatch. The ribbons of her skirt rise and fall as she sighs dreamily, twirling in place. “Bet you can’t guess.”
My mood shifts. Maybe it’s because I was just dreaming, or maybe it’s because I’m overly anxious over the looming battle, but something about her here in my room, dancing and glowing in the moonlight, makes my heart swell with love for the little fae. My irritation over being woken up in the middle of the night is easily pushed aside by my affection for her. Just a few short years ago, I never would have imagined a scene like this could be real. If I’d told someone there was a fairy in my bedroom, Uncle most definitely would have had my head examined.
“Hey, Dreamy,” Flitt whispers, diving toward my face. She stops short of my nose and taps it with her finger. “You’re supposed to guess!”
“Oh,” I say. “Um, Twig?”
She shushes me again, clinging to my cheek, and glances toward Rian’s room.
“Not Twig,” she whispers. “And can you keep your voice down?”
“Why?” I ask.
“You can’t answer a question with a question!” she whispers.
“I didn’t know we were play—”
“For the ever-loving—” I start to growl, and Flitt squeaks and darts to my ear.
“I don’t want to wake up Stinky,” she whispers. “When was the last time we had a talk, just you and me, huh? If he comes in here, he’ll stick himself to your face all the way ‘til morning, and I just want to talk to you without him around because you’re mine and I’m yours and just this once I don’t want to share!”
Slowly, I turn my head to face her. She hovers in the air, even with my eyes, her fists clenched at her sides, her cheeks red, her eyes narrowed.
“Flitt,” I whisper, trying hard to keep the bemusement out of my voice, “are you jealous of Rian?”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” she huffs, crossing her arms. She purses her lips. Her nostrils flare out. This close, I can see the beautiful shift of color in her eyes: fuchsia, orange, violet.
“You are,” I say, biting my lip to keep myself from smiling.
–Excerpt from Call of Elespen, Keepers of the Wellsprings, Book Five, by Missy Sheldrake
About the Author
Missy Sheldrake is an author/illustrator who has been conjuring images of fairies in one form or another for as long as she can remember. The wind in the trees and the rich scent of forest earth are her most treasured sources of inspiration, and on most mornings you will find her wandering the wooded paths of her neighborhood, dreaming of the next adventure she hopes to put to the page. She published her first novel, Call of Kythshire, in March of 2015 and intends to keep writing as long as the fairies in her dreams allow it.