Today, All Authors Blog welcomes S.L. Dearing!
S. L. Dearing was raised in Westlake Village, California and grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. She attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and then spent several years studying at Los Angeles City College’s renowned Television/ Film program. She has worked on several film projects in many capacities: directing, writing, First Asst. Director, Etc. Shannon has been writing since grade school. Over the years she has written several screenplays, poems and short stories.
She currently works in an administrative capacity in Century City when she is not writing. Writing since grade school, Shannon only discovered her passion for writing years later and over the years she has written several screenplays, poems and short stories as well as her current published work.
Her first series (The Lia Fail Chronicles) has several books available at most retail outlets - The Gathering and From The Gathering to The Bridging. In addition, several of her short stories are currently available at Amazon. Several of those stories are from these anthologies: Apocalypse: An Anthology by Readers and Authors, Paranormal Anthology with a TWIST, & Stalkers (Published by Cynthia Shepp and Rene Folsom) and All Our Love (published by Novel Grounds). She also has a piece in Love Potions, Lotion and Lore (Published by Karen Pierce-Gonzalez).
Shannon is a multi-genre and mash-up author, unrestricted by content, only interested in telling the story that is screaming to be told. She currently lives in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, CA with her two cats.
Blurb from "The Gathering"
Another world war has happened and everything we knew is now gone. There are no more countries. No more governments of old... only survivors who have created a new world made up of small colonies. It has been thirteen years and the village of Lia Fail sits peacefully above the old Hollywood Reservoir in the Santa Monica Mountains. The settlement is making ready
to host the fall Gathering, a time where every six months the other colonies from various parts of what was once Southern California visit for ten days of fun and reminiscence. The Gathering begins as any other party. A time for new loves, old friends, family, dancing and fun, but all too soon that changes. The people in Lia Fail begin to experience strange goings on they can't explain, unseen forces attack several guests and friends begin to distrust friends. When they receive news of a horrific massacre, they realize they must face an impending dark evil that threatens to descend on the tranquil village.
Alia Stark, the queen of Lia Fail, must face this darkness. But she will face the evil along side her oldest and dearest friends, as well as an amazing new ally. The fate of her people, the lives of her children and freedom itself rests in her hands. Will she have the courage to do what must be done?
This is the beginning of a journey that will change all of their lives forever.
The Gathering: Book One of the Lia Fail Chronicles is the first in a new Paranormal, Fantasy, and Adventure Series.
This book contains adult situations and is intended for a mature audience.
Excerpt from "The Gathering"
The early morning silence of the village was heavy in the cool autumn air, but that would soon change as it was the third Sunday of November, the Gathering.
This was the time when all of the villages gathered at the chosen colony to trade goods and tales, and when families and friends were re-united. The last Gathering of the year would be in Lia Fail, the great pagan village, resting tall on top of the Santa Monica Mountains, just above the ruins of the old Hollywood sign.
The quiet of the morning was as yet undisturbed, save for the few sentinels at their posts, occasionally shifting their gaze from one end of the horizon to the other in bored observation.
A giant stone wall surrounded the town, allowing the sentinels to see over both valleys. Every two hundred feet sat a giant tower. A walkway extended the entire length of the wall, running through each tower. The village was a fortress.
There were some gardens in the settlement, but most of the crops were outside the wall, as were many of the herding animals that grazed among the chaparral, and were being tended to before the sun rose. A creek running along the edge of the village supplied water for the community. In addition to the creek, an underground spring ran through the center of the town, where several wells had been placed to benefit the settlement.
The giant stone wall was eight feet thick and secured by steel, and two main gates at the front and rear of the colony had been fortified by giant metal portcullises.
The entire area was reminiscent of a medieval castle, save for bits of technology like the windmills that grew from behind homes and parapets, and solar panels that were attached to the highest roofs and turrets. The rays of the sun rose higher in the sky and began to reflect off the panels, causing the light to dance and sparkle.
Sean Lantry, the captain of the guard, appeared from the lower hall of the barracks and moved steadily across the courtyard to the stairs of the eastern wall. His lean, muscular build advanced easily up the steps. As he approached the battlement, his gaze was turned to the rising sun. The light reflected against his long, wavy brown hair, blowing gently around his stubble-strewn, darkly tanned face. He closed his eyes to a squint in an attempt to make out the figures riding from the edge of the valley.
"Creegan! Jones!" He pointed towards the moving figures.
The two guards glanced in the direction their captain had indicated. Molly Creegan, a tall, thin woman in her mid-twenties with short black hair and almond-shaped gray eyes, grabbed a pair of binoculars and looked to the east, positioning them to get the best angle without being blinded by the ever-increasing light of the sun.
There, in the distance, she saw six riders approaching the village. No banner was waving, but they rode in a familiar fashion. The other guard, Arthur Jones, then adjusted his eyeglass and recognized the lead figure.
"It's her, Captain," he shouted.
Sean grinned and called to the soldiers by the entrance.
"Open the gate!"
Sean turned back to Molly.
"Did she catch anything?"
Molly stared back through the binoculars and began to smile, then pulled the binoculars down and looked slyly at her partner. Arthur Jones was a short, stocky young man, with a head full of short, strawberry-blond hair; he too began to smile as if in anticipation of what she was going to say.
"Well, she appears to have a hell of a catch on her horse, Sir, but my gut tells me that it isn't hers," Molly said.
Sean smiled and waved Jones and Molly back to their posts. The two soldiers laughed and turned as Sean trotted down the winding steps, back to the courtyard.
The first signs of activity began to fill the village as the soldiers moved to the front of the parapet where several more guards were pulling the gates open. Despite the early hour, several faces peered out their windows into the courtyard as the soldiers' shouts echoed against the stone.
As Sean approached the bottom step, Vivian Shorely, chancellor to the queen, was waiting in anticipation.
"What is she doing out there unattended, Captain?"
Sean gazed at the thin, pinched face of the middle-aged woman and smiled slowly, cocking his head.
"I have no idea, Chancellor, I wasn't invited."
He moved around Vivian and continued towards the gate. Vivian's mouth dropped open at the obvious dismissal. She shook her head and spun on her heel in pursuit.
"See here, Captain! It is your responsibility to look after the safety of the queen, is it not?"
Sean turned to the woman, who had to stop suddenly so as not to run into him.
"I beg your pardon?" he asked.
"I said," she began sarcastically, "is she or is she not your responsibility?"
Vivian folded her arms in front of her as she smugly completed her sentence. Sean took a step up to her and put his face to hers.
"See here, Woman…"
She gasped, "Woman?"
"I realize to some it might be hard to tell, but you are a woman, right?”
Vivian scrunched her little face into a frown as Sean continued.
“Yeah, here's the deal… it’s my job to make sure everyone in this village is protected and if the queen should choose to leave the safety of these walls, which is her prerogative, then I have no control over that."
Vivian's tight face became even more pinched as she tried to respond, but was once again rebuffed as Sean turned and walked in the direction of the approaching riders.
From the wall above, a young sentry called out, "Here they come!"
Through the gates, the horses pounded into the quad, led by the queen. Her auburn hair resembled spiral flames as it flowed behind her. She wore a small leather top and long leather pants. The sun glistened off her tanned and muscled body as steam rose from her skin, while she reigned in the giant animal.
Several stable hands came forward and grabbed the horses' reins as the riders dismounted. The queen jumped down from the left side of her horse and began to walk towards Sean, and he watched her with wonder and pride.
She was the queen of Lia Fail, Alia Stark. She demanded respect and her people gladly gave it. Not one person in Lia Fail could gaze into those mysterious gold eyes and help but pledge their loyalty. Sean marveled at the round soft features of her face, a contradiction to the strength of this lady. She was forty-eight, he knew that, but she didn’t look a day over thirty.