cover of Season of Sacrifice

“I know four things about the Taoiseach, and only one is true. He’s the most powerful Dihkai. He’s immortal. He killed my parents. And he will inevitably die by my hand.” ~ Jaymes McLarin

“Jaymes is the only family I have remaining after our parents died. My life is devoted to her protection. But how do I protect my sister when she constantly steps in harm’s way.” ~ Stone McLarin

“I’m destined for greatness. Renown waits for me to journey forth and claim it. There’s just one problem. I teamed with the McLarin siblings and the Taoiseach wants them dead.” ~ Goose Greyson

The Taoiseach rules Azure with unending ire and the power of decay at his fingertips. After four years in hiding, these three fugitives quickly learn he has not forgotten them and will stop at nothing to see them destroyed. An assassination may be their only path to freedom. And their failure will curtail Azure’s potential forever. Jaymes, Stone, and Goose are about to uncover the lies Azure is built upon and how much the Taoiseach will sacrifice to hide the truth.

In a world ruled by decay, what chance does life stand?

An Excerpt from Goose in Season of Sacrifice


With only a faint amount of sunlight remaining, I shine the thunder torch around the area, searching for more clues. Footprints, the tiniest drop of blood, flattened grass—anything will help. It could be the wound began to clot.

At a closer look, I notice disturbed soil, as though something has been uprooting the plants. No beast would do this. Then I see a vibrant blue flower radiating from behind a leaf on an undisturbed plant. “Remarkable!” I mutter under my breath. “Everweed.” I’ve sought them out on my own before, traveling leagues throughout this forest without any luck, and here they are right under my nose. Jay has been here. But where is she now? And how did she acquire a wound so severe she couldn’t wait for Stone to heal it? I probably know the answer to that.

“Jay?” I call, but not so loud to bring unwanted attention. “Jay!” No response. There has to be some trace of where she ran off to next. Maybe we crossed paths and she’s already back home. I do a onceover of the area with the thunder torch to ensure I’m not missing anything. There’s a faint sign of flattened ground coverings. I’ve been prudent with my step, as all trackers are, so it must have been Jay or some wildlife, which leaves a wide array of possibilities. It’s a weak clue at best, but I follow it any-how.

There are far too many disturbances in the vegetation for a smaller beast to be the culprit. In fact, these prints are larger than any human.

My heart beats heavier. I inhale and, with the back of my hand, brush a drop of sweat that has found its way down my forehead. I know what these tracks belong to. But why now? Am I projecting my ambitions—to slay a Creature of the Night? I grab a handful of Everweed from the ground and reluctantly head in the direction of the trampled vegetation.

My experience with these beasts is nonexistent, but then again, there isn’t another who can claim otherwise. They’re the type of animal man stays far away from, which was the primary reason for choosing this location as a refuge. We chose to risk being mauled by the Creatures of the Night over the public execution we would have inevitably encountered by hiding in a small village. Some would consider us the biggest halfwits in all of Vedora, all of Azure even, for making the decision we made, but I know Harris Martelli personally, and the fact he is capable of persuading a strong-willed and morally sound man like my father to do what he did is far more threatening than any beast living in the wood.

About Jonathan Michael

Jonathan J Michael was born and raised in the greater Seattle area in the scenic state of Washington. Jonathan is an advocate of science, nature, and exploration, which has a heavy influence in his debut novel, Season of Sacrifice. He maintains a balanced life of family, health, and the great outdoors when he’s not busy exploring a world of wonder and possibilities in his writing.

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