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Thursday, July 27, 2023

Excerpt: Enchanted Realms: Tales of Fantasy in Light and Shadow + giveaway

For the first time, these 13 award-winning authors collaborate on fantastic novellas of adventure, magic, dragons, quests, fae, and war! 
Enchanted Realms: Tales of Fantasy in Light and Shadow

with stories by
Richard Fierce, R. Kyle Hannah, Jeanne Hardt, William Heinzen, Kenyon T. Henry, Abigail Keam,
J.L. Lawrence, Sandy Lender, Philip Ligon, Carl R. Moore, E.G. Rowley, Steven L. Shrewsbury, Stephen Zimmer
For the first time, these award-winning authors collaborate on fantastic novellas of adventure, magic, dragons, quests, fae, and war!

Find your next favorite fantasy world among these enchanted tales--from dragons to fairies to creatures you’d never dream of. Fantasy has been re-imagined for your reading pleasure in this boxed set of original novellas. Let them carry you to lands you won’t want to leave with fully fleshed—and sometimes scaled—characters you can’t help but cheer for--on adventures you may not survive…

If you like reading J.R.R. Tolkien, Terry Goodkind, and Ursula K. Le Guin, you will love Enchanted Realms. No matter your typical fantasy flavor, Enchanted Realms offers a tantalizing feast for your senses.
** Preorder now for only .99cents! **

Della and the Dragon's Sword
by Sandy Lender
The clever Della Smithieson returns to a dragon’s lair not knowing if the beast will help her—or roast her for her audacity. She’s on a quest to retrieve a cursed sword for a wizard, unaware of the trap the ancient dragon set for her two winters ago, unaware of the covetous evil lurking in the fetid fields around her old home. This psychological horror story of dragon manipulation and #GirlPower is set in Sandy Lender’s fantasy world of Onweald and appears for the first time in Enchanted Realms: Tales of Fantasy in Light and Shadow, from Jumpmaster Press.

Excerpt from Della and the Dragon’s Sword, by Sandy Lender
The Demon Fight Scene, from chapter 1

A beast clicked its claws along the Anthelk Mountain pass in pursuit of her—the dragging hit of thick nails against stone gaining ground behind her with each step she took. It was time to make her stand against the threat, before she found herself fighting a demon that could see more clearly in the dark than she.

Grasping the hilt of a too-short dagger at her belt, Della struggled to soften her breath. Tried to listen over her blood sloshing in her brain to hear from where the creature approached. She glanced up.


The chasm where she sought shelter gave way to a ledge where any number of monsters could stand. Then drop onto her. She mouthed a prayer to the gods, hoping at least one in Mahriket was paying attention.

Good luck, girl, she told herself.

She pulled the knife clear of its leather sheath and put its tip to the wall near the deflated satchel resting against her hip. With a calculated arc, she swirled her wrist, so the forged iron dragged in a metallic scrape for the space of a breath.

The creature grunted nearby.

In fact, the vile thing had crept close enough that she heard the bones in its neck snap toward her position. It gurgled deeply, lowly—a growl of anticipation. Its rotting-flesh stink wafted in her direction, along with the whine of tiny, winged insects seeking flesh to aggravate.

She fought her gag reflex, holding her open hand to her stomach.

Instead of giving in to sickness, she tightened her grip on the weapon—holding it pointed backward as Trume had taught her at the conclave.

I need a longer blade.

She glanced furtively around her feet for a rock, a stone, any jagged shard from the path that she could grab to bludgeon the creature’s mouth if it should rush her. She had to keep its teeth and claws at bay. If this was an edras—which is what it smelled like—she had to keep its venom off her skin.

I should’ve demanded a sword before I left.

She bent her knees, lowering her torso vertically down the rock face—momentarily catching the satchel strap on some blasted outcropping that probably bruised her flesh—to reach for a fist-sized rock about a hand’s width from her boot. Curling her long geasa’n fingers around it, she shifted it in her grip, so the smoothest surface positioned in her palm and the most jagged edge jutted out from between her thumb and splayed digits.

It’s my own fault. I should’ve picked up a sword on the way here. I had a full turn of the moons to change this insipid plan.

That’s when time slipped away for Della. Crouched close to the ground, basic weapons in each hand, she cringed at the putrid heap of flesh-covered bone landing not six feet from her. An edras demon hit the stone-and-earth path on all fours, powdering dust clouds around its feet and claws. Its alopecic head brought its snake-slit eyes level with hers. Slime-lined vocal cords vibrated a slippery, alto growl. “I know who you are, Della Sssmithiessson.”

Her whole body shuddered. No one in the world of Onweald wanted an edras singling him out; it meant someone in a position of power had called on this foul-smelling beast, summoning it from the dark spirit realm to find her specifically.

“Fight for your life,” it commanded lowly. “One who will not be named wantsss your valuable carcassss.”

The urge to run sent the geasa coursing through her. Blood thundered violently to her brain like the Wepanchiele River in flood. If I stand, I expose too much of myself. She could lunge to the left from her crouched position, could dive and dart away from this menace.

Except now the familiar hit-click of thick nails sounded from the left.

By the gods, there are two of them.

About the Author

Website-TwitterSandy Lender is a construction magazine editor by day and author of #GirlPower fantasy novels by night, living in Florida to help with sea turtle conservation and parrot rescue. You can follow her author page on Amazon, check her website at, or subscribe to her newsletter at

ith a four-year degree in English and thirty-year career in publishing, Sandy’s successes include traditionally and self-published novels, hundreds of magazine articles, multiple short stories in competitive anthologies, a handful of technical writing awards, and a handful of creative writing awards and nominations. Sandy’s been writing stories since she was knee-high to a grasshopper when her great-grandmother shared her odd little tales of squeaky ghost-spiders around an apartment complex in Southern Illinois. The stories have developed to include strong young ladies working with dragons to save worlds from terrible fates, but those pesky spiders still show up from time to time.

There’s always something brewing at Sandy Lender Ink headquarters where some days, you just want the dragon to win.

$10 Amazon
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  1. So very cool to be on your blog today! TY for sharing the news about Enchanted Realms annnnnnd my offering, Della and the Dragon's Sword! I don't think any other bloggers shared the quick video we filmed at the Imaginarium convention so you have something unique and coo-el here! ;) Man, that was a fun conference...thank you for the reminder of awesome!

    1. Thanks for stopping by to say hello!