I am finishing up the last pages of my OldEarth Melchior Encounterrewrite. I’ve enjoyed the characters more than ever, though creating the science fiction chapters—bridging the OldEarth world and setting the stage for the Newearth universe—has been bittersweet. It is a poignant process—especially for me. I hate letting go of friends, even if they move on to a better place…
In the first century AD, Aram’s descendant, Georgios, must battle a world of dark secrets, deceptive promises, and hope renewed to discover the true meaning of fatherhood.
Seanan jerked awake, stiff with fear, his heart hammering violently in his chest. Shadowy evil lurked as he peered around the cold, dark room. He patted the thick coverings until he felt his wife’s soft form resting peacefully.
Seanan pursed his lips. “Go ahead, rest easy while the rest of us are being murdered in our beds!”
Fiona shifted her head onto her other arm but quickly drifted back into a deep slumber.
Seanan snorted. “He’s your son, too. The least you could do is lose a little sleep over him. I am!”
Fiona sighed, stretched, and slept on.
Seanan leaned backward against the wall, propping his head on his clasped hands. He peered into the black pit that surrounded him. Only the sharp edges of a few objects shone in the faint moonlight.
He shivered. Was he being watched? His mind returned to his nightmare. He sucked in a deep breath. Ian was being chased by attacking warriors. His eyes were wide with fierce determination but also traced with grief. He could not outrun his enemy.
Historical Fiction & Science Fiction Blend
In ancient history, humanity struggled for survival and grappled with the purpose of our existence. One extended family traverses the course of history through ARAM, Ishtar, and Neb in a world of wild beasts, craven spirits, and noble souls. Generations later, in the first century AD, Aram’s descendant, Georgios must battle a world of dark secrets, deceptive promises, and hope renewed. Four hundred years later, Georgios’ descendant, Melchior, discovers that his vengeance is not as powerful as God’s plans in Melchior—Vengeance Is Mine.
Aram must lead his clan to safety, protect an innocent man, forgive his wayward wife, and challenge a curse that haunts his soul. As Aram encounters both good and evil, an alien world watches and waits for their part to play in humanity’s future hope or despair.
“I must bow to her writing skills because it was simply magic!” ~Charlotte
“The author has a wonderful talent for putting the reader in the midst of the story.” ~Ellen
“The author draws you in and keeps you there.” ~Michael
“The book was action-packed, not a dull page. Keen insight by the author.” ~Linda
“While set in the past, the human emotions and experiences speak to any generation…” ~Lindens
Peering back at Gem, Zuri shook his head. “They’re practically naked—without any techno-armor at all. Amazing they’ve survived! They must be brighter than they look.” After stepping back, he sent a low-power beam searing through the foliage near the stalking cat, frightening the beast into the thick woods.
Gem scowled. “What’d you do that for? Let the whole planet know we’re here, why don’t you.”
Zuri pointed the Dustbuster at Gem. “Is there anything left of you—on the inside, I mean? We were once naked and helpless too. If the Cresta’s hadn’t taught us—”
“They used us in their studies. They weren’t being generous.”
“But we learned from them! That’s what counts.”
Gem stared at the Dustbuster in Zuri’s hand. “So, what’s your point?”
Shoving the weapon into his armor holster, Zuri shrugged. “I’m just giving them a chance to live and learn.” He stalked back toward the ship. “It’s time we left. I’ve got enough data to make up for the time we’ve lost.” He grinned as he swiped a branch out of his way. “The Cresta will pay for both the cargo and the information.”
Gem marched behind. “And the Ingilium Supreme Command? What’ll they say?”
Forced to leave his clan and his children behind, Ishtar staggers into a vast wilderness and encounters a desert nomad who loves him as a son. When foreign raiders approach, Ishtar must discover if he can move beyond madness, protect his people, and reclaim his family. Eager to know the source of Ishtar’s strength, a watching Universe must learn if humanity can save them from a spreading darkness.
“Enjoyed the second book of the trilogy even more than the first.” ~Ellen
“The story was wonderful and well written.” ~Culver
“Five Stars.” ~David
“…its characters walk in the sort of uncertainty that characterizes real life and real people trying to make our way in a big, complex world.” ~Pam
“Frailey has once again done a splendid job of tying together mankind’s past with its future!” ~NickofTime
Teal peered into Sienna’s eyes as they lay on a grassy plain before a mighty cliff. A hot sun beat down on them from a clear sky. Propped on his arms and knees, he hovered over the length of her body.
Sienna waited, grinning.
Teal lowered himself.
A flash of fear rippled over Sienna’s face.
With a groan, Teal tipped his head back and plopped onto the grass beside her, sprawling out like a broken toy. Sienna jerked up, pouting. “What’s wrong?”
Teal rubbed his eyes. “You still don’t trust me.” Yanking herself to her feet, Sienna brushed grass and dirt from her tan leggings. Her long-sleeved tunic rippled to the ground. “You don’t trust me—rather.”
Rolling to his side, Teal peered at her. “I’d like to. By all that is good and holy, I want to.” Rising, he slapped dry stems from his gray tunic.
Sienna’s lips quivered.
Exhaling a long breath, Teal stepped closer and caressed her arms. He tilted his head to meet her downturned gaze. “I’ve never wanted a woman as much as I want you.”
Swallowing and batting back tears, Sienna shook her head. “I’ve never been this—”
Raised in a world of wild beasts, craven spirits, and noble souls, Neb dominates everyone around him. His mother feeds his lies, his father falls before him, and his brothers flee. Only in love does he meet a force he cannot resist. His wife bears two sons who take opposite paths. Neb’s curse follows both. Heaven and hell await their answer. Through the eyes of three alien worlds, so does the watching universe.
“There are a multitude of interesting types of people in this series and I loved their life stories.” ~Nancy
“Neb… provides the background to the events in the first two books of the set. It does much more than just satisfy the curiosity, it gives depth and increased meaning to the thoughts and hearts of the characters. The characters become even more alive in this final installation.” ~Ann
“I loved the book. I found it very thought-provoking about the characters and how they deal with life around them.” ~Amazon Customer
After snorting a storm of bubbles through his breathing helm, Ark turned his attention to the Ingot and frowned. “We don’t want to be conspicuous, remember?” He grasped Zuri’s arm and led him into a busy intersection where a uniformed Uanyi traffic guard waved them across the street with a stoic I’ll-be-doing-this-forever expression.
His fingers flying, Zuri tapped another message and scowled. He halted in the middle of the street.
The guard blinked his huge eyes. His chest expanded as if preparing for a serious challenge to his pedestrian authority.
Croaking, Ark tugged Zuri safely across the busy intersection. “What? Trying to get us killed?”
Zuri’s attention stayed glued to his datapad. He tapped a third message. He waited and tapped again. Alarm zipped through his synapsis. “She cut me off right in the middle of—” He peered at Ark’s frowning face. “Something must’ve happened…or she’s—”
Ark shook his head. “You’re obsessed with that Bhuaci. Forget about that shapeshifter and focus on our mission. Think about Teal, Sterling, and all the humanoids who are counting on us—”
With a shake, Zuri pocketed his datapad and chewed his lip, irritation replacing his alarm. “First of all, Kelesta isn’t just a Bhuaci shapeshifter, second, Teal is meeting with Queen Tcesni right now, and third, humanity doesn’t even know—”
Britain in the fifth century was a land torn by war, while Melchior was a man torn by choice. His son is accused of murder, his daughter is forced to marry a brutal king, and his sister is driving him mad, but a prophetic vision saves him from despair. A father will endure great trials to keep his children safe.
“Murder, mayhem, and mystery make for the perfect Medieval tale. Stir in love, passion, compassion, and the story of the burgeoning Christian Church in ancient times, and you have a book that is hard to put down…transports you back to the days of kings, castles, and common folk.” ~Amanda Lauer
“If you’re a fan of Ann Frailey’s sweeping historical epics, her newest book Melchior, Vengeance is Mine, will not disappoint. The author has a rare talent of immersing readers in the past. With stunning description, realistic characters, and a humorous touch in just the right places…sure to inspire and entertain.” ~Susan Peek
“A.K. Frailey paints an elaborate tapestry of breathing, bleeding characters who show us both the work of God’s hand and the far-reaching consequences of our choices, despite our perceived limitations…a sweeping historical saga, beautifully-written.” ~Carolyn Astfalk
Sterling let Nova and Cerulean lead the way across the dark terrain, his hands clasped behind his back, a frown exasperating his throbbing headache. These infants will soon drive me mad!
Nova seemed unable to stop talking. A child endowed with hyper-sensitivity who actually thought he cared how she felt and was taking the long road through her emotional state.
He glanced up. Cerulean had his head bowed low. Probably trying not to trip over this blasted uneven ground.
Melchior’s abode was silhouetted against the moonlight like a child’s toy left upon the landscape.
Sterling shivered. Mauve would certainly be waiting with open arms. So ready to embrace. His thoughts tripped over themselves, and he grimaced. Pretty much anyone.
Did that bother him? Of course not. He wasn’t possessive. Or territorial. Like one of these human barbarians. Though, the King’s nonchalance toward his own son did seem a bit too detached. Surely, it would be upsetting to murder one’s own offspring, even by accident. Especially—one would think—the son of the woman he professed to love.
Nova stopped in her tracks, slapping one hand into the other. “That’s it!” She grinned at Cerulean and then shouted, “They don’t mean to control me—it’s just that they have invested so much of themselves that if something happens to me, it happens to them!”
Cerulean peered over his shoulder and met Sterling’s direct gaze. Took her long enough. He cleared his throat and pointed ahead. “We should find them in Selby’s old home. It’s beyond the main house by—”
A group of horsemen exited the barn and sped into the valley.
Ducking into a ditch, Cerulean dragged Sterling by the arm.
Nova scuttled up close behind.
The murmuring voices faded, and Sterling shook himself free. He straightened and pursed his lips. “You forget yourself, Cerulean. I am the leader here. I tell you what to do. You don’t drag me out of the way of stupid animals.”
Nova smirked. “You’d have hated being trampled, even if it didn’t kill you.”
Cerulean faced his superior, ever the proper guardian. “I apologize. I was out of order, sir.”
With a huff, Sterling waved toward Selby’s hut. “Hurry up! I hope Mauve has arranged some decent comfort for us. I’m completely drained.”
Nova laughed. “She’s never cared for anyone’s comfort before. Why would she start now?”
Cerulean shot the mixed-breed a warning glance.
Sterling’s nerves tingled. He wiped his brow. She’s two for two. I’m beginning to hate this—
A figure pelted out of the hut and raced across the hard-packed earth; his arms outstretched. With the muscular build and pounding steps, it definitely wasn’t Mauve.
Zuri caught Nova in his robust arms and swung her in a circle.
At first, she yelped and struggled, then she plunged her head onto his shoulder and hugged back.
By the Divide! They’ll hurt each other holding on that hard. He rubbed his upper arm where Mauve had left bruises. Sadness pressed on his shoulders like a heavy weight. This is nothing like that.
The outline of a Cresta blocked the doorway. “Hurry and get inside!”
Being jostled along by Cerulean, Sterling followed Nova who clung to her father’s arm as if she had been lost at sea for a week rather than in his competent care for two days.
As his gaze swept the interior, Sterling’s insides dropped to nether regions. Where is she? He gritted his teeth. Not with another man, surely. Not now! After I explicitly told her—
“Sterling.” Zuri stared at him, beckoning to a chair beside a rickety table. His gaze had gone from ecstatic to pathetic in a remarkably short time.
Sterling blinked in the wavering light. A fire flickered in the tiny hearth. Exhaustion seeped over him. “Won’t someone investigate?”
Zuri glanced at Tarragon. “We dressed like beggars and I was given the night to rest with my sick friend.”
Tarragon swept two dirty cloaks in the air. “Amazing what humans will believe when given by a glimpse of off-colored flesh.”
Nova plopped down on the waiting chair. “Well, it’s good to stop stomping all over the kingdom. I thought we’d never get here.” She spoke to her father, jerking her thumb backward. “These two could’ve blinked here in a second, but they were nice enough go with me every step of the way.”
Shocked by this true—but kind—assessment, Sterling wouldn’t be left behind in generosity. “She’s a good companion. Shared lots of personal insights as we traveled.” He shot a glance at Cerulean who kept his gaze focused straight ahead. Rubbing his hands together, Sterling was ready to move on. “So, what’s next? I assume that Mauve has prepared proper accommodations and perhaps even a few refreshing—”
“Mauve is dead.” Tarragon stared fixedly at Sterling. It was an announcement. A fact. The moon is high. The floor is dry. Nothing more.
Nova gasped, her hand flying to her mouth in perfect imitation of shocked human grief.
Cerulean dropped his gaze, shaking his head. Another legitimate sign of grief.
Zuri gripped Tarragon’s shoulder above his right tentacle. “You don’t tell someone that the love of their life is dead like—”
“She wasn’t!” Sterling heard the words but wasn’t sure they had come from his mouth. But they must have. Everyone was staring at him. He shook himself. He was still here. In this shabby hut. On Earth. With these idiots. “She wasn’t the love of my life.”
Silence dragged on.
An owl hooted.
Nova shuffled her feet, staring at him with those perfect almond eyes of hers.
Cerulean looked up but said nothing, his expression properly grave.
Another owl hooted back. Nature was having a polite conversation in the night.
Zuri stomped up and gripped Sterling’s arm much too hard.
To his surprise, Sterling let the Ingot lead him out the door and back into the night.
Once they had wandered into a barn where a cow and calf lifted their heads in mild interest, Zuri leaned against the wall and crossed his arms.
Moon beams slanted into the room, highlighting the mama cow’s eyes, making them glitter.
“She thought that she could bargain with the mystery boy—even blackmail him. I guess he played a trick on her. Dropped her into the Cresta’s ship with barely any clothes on. So, she planned revenge. But he didn’t appreciate her attempts to allure him into her embrace.”
Is this nausea? Sickness? What humans are always ranting and raving about? Before he knew what was happening, Sterling vomited the bread and ale he had eaten at mid-day. It didn’t taste any better the second time around.
He felt Zuri’s hand on his shoulder. The instinctual desire to brush any gentle touch aside was halted by the mere fact that he felt too weak to brush a fly aside. Once he was certain that he could manage it, he straightened and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. Then he instantly changed into fresh clothes.
Zuri stepped aside and leaned on the wall again. “I thought I lost Kelesta, remember? The worst hell I could imagine. Not having a chance to tell her that I loved her before she departed.”
Sterling sucked in a deep breath. “But she didn’t die. And she loved you without being told anything.” Something deep inside broke—free. “You have a remarkable daughter. I thought all mixed breeds were doomed to narcissism. But she shows true spirit. She actually cares about her parents. She just didn’t know it.”
Zuri shook his head. “I thought I was helping you deal with your loss.”
Sterling stood in the doorway and stared at the moonlight. “I can’t lose what I never had.”
Abbas dressed in a long white tunic in his human form paced before a shimmering essence in a brilliantly lit space. Rainbows glinted from a million facets surrounding them.
The shimmering form expanded as it spoke in a high dulcet tone, “You take these experiences too seriously. He’ll outgrow his mischievous nature. Just give him time.”
Halting, Abbas turned and faced the light. “You’re his mother, and you see nothing ominous in his murdering an innocent being without thought or repentance?”
A charming laugh tinkled like a small bell. “I was watching—everything! I saw the creature Mauve, and she is no loss to anyone. No caring parent, fond sibling, adoring lover, or needy child will miss her one bit. Even the Luxonian who kept her company cares little. Don’t worry.”
The tolling bells of doom rang in Abbas’ mind. “It was still wrong. He must not murder other beings.”
“You will teach him all he needs to know in time. Now come and rest with me. I’ve placed him into the care of others for now. Humanity won’t change a whit before you return.”
Against his better judgement, which he could not explain even to himself, Abbas let himself be drawn into her brilliant embrace.
His human figure dissolved, and the two beings shimmered like raindrops on a spring morning.
She cajoled him in merriment. “Stop brooding. No one will be upset. She was always thrusting herself into every experience to satiate her covetous desire for whatever pleasure she saw others having. She thought only of herself, a complete narcist.”
In an unprecedented move, Abbas buried his next thought deep in his interior. For if she knew the truth, it would destroy her happiness. You just described your son.