Bonus Read!

If you like gunslingers and Westerns.  If you like dystopian fiction- then my short-story  They is a must read.  Enjoy!


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Book Four Bonus!





Chapter 1

The Lady caught him just as he passed over- from the bitter cold, into summertime warmth.

Darkness into light.

“You made it,” the Lady cried, cradling him in her arms. Errant strands of platinum-blond hair tickle his face.

The Lady smelled of lavender and rose.

On ‘this side’- wherever ‘this side’ was -the Finger resembled a pillar of rose-colored stone about ten feet tall. It looked like something the Romans would have built back in the day. Ivy crawled its length, from tip to base, like a bushy green serpent.

Jake cried out, remembering what brought him here- how they had just barely escaped the sibilant. His blood turned to ice. “Are we safe,” he asked, struggling to set up. Snow and ice slide from his hair to become tears on his cheeks. “Where’s everyone else?” He couldn’t see anyone but the Lady!

The Lady, smile on her face, leaned back, letting him go.

Gaining his feet, Jake began turning in ever-widening circles, sword banging against his shins. “Where’s Merwin,” he asked. The last time he’d seen the Russian, the man had been holding his own against overwhelming odds- four sibilant and their wolves!

The Lady remained quiet, her sky-blue eyes watching him, hands folded serenely in her lap.

Jake stopped spinning, but his mind didn’t. “I asked you a question,” he said, feeling anger rise. One minute he had been scared to death, now, he just wanted answers. He was about to continue his rant when he realized it was no longer winter, more like spring, or late summer-

It was true! He and the Lady were somewhere else.

But where? The sky and air around him seemed filled with radiant light full of warmth.

“Where are we,” he asked, voice screechy. He needed answers, because the last time the sky looked like this, he was at the Renaissance Festival in White Sulphur Springs, where he and his mom ‘bumped’ into the Lady, and sibilant, for the first time.

“You’re safe,” the Lady replied. The lowering sun caught a glint off one of her earrings, setting her hair afire. “Ash was able to bring you here safely.”

Here. As in no longer ‘there!’

The thought bothered him. Not as much as the thought of Ash being in danger- which she had been.

They all had been!

He came to a standstill, one hand on the hilt of his sword, the other held out before him as if struggling for balance.

Taking a moment to catch his breath, he studied the Lady kneeling before him.

At first glance, it appeared the Lady was wearing the same dress as before when he first ran into her sitting on the steps of her wagon. The dress then, and now, was antique, white, and lacy.

But it was different, too. Every time she moved or straightened the pleats on her skirt, the dress would turn black as ash-cloth.

Sometimes white, sometimes ash-cloth- like she was in mourning or something!

Just one more thing to wonder about! Ever since meeting the Twins, his life had become one big question, followed by a hundred thousand others.

Before he could say or do anything more, a familiar cry cut the air. “Jake! Jake! You’re safe!” It was Ash, running from behind the pillar and towards him. Melanie appeared next, as if riding the coattails of the blond girl’s heels. Both appeared to be out of breath. Ash was in tears.

“You made it,” Melanie cried, falling to her knees. She glanced over at the Lady, then at Jake. She gripped his hand, “There for a moment, I thought- we thought…”


Before Melanie could finish, Ash was all over him, wrapping her arms around him like he was going to fly away. “Oh, thank goodness you’re safe,” she said. “I was so scared! I thought I’d lost you!”

“How could you lose me,” Jake asked, hugging her back. Suddenly walking widdershins seemed very dangerous indeed.

“I see how it is.” This time it was Eli, followed by Alex. They too stepped from behind the pillar, like it was a giant elevator letting everyone off. Alex was brushing ice from his hair, Eli holding his injured arm.

“I don’t see why we can’t get a welcome like that as well,” the older brother said.

“You could,” Ash added, “If you weren’t my brother! And you weren’t always such a pain!”

“Guys…” Jake was looking at the three of them, trying to draw their attention to the Lady.

Ash took time enough to glare at her brother, before burying her face in Jake’s neck.

Eli made a face. “Maybe I don’t want all that attention after all,” he said. He was about to say more when he finally saw the Lady. “It’s you,” he said.

“It is wonderful to see everyone,” the Lady intoned. “Please, find your rest here, with me.”

Jake tried to step back from Ash, “I don’t know how you did it,” he said. “And I probably don’t want to know how- but thank you.”

“For what,” Ash murmured, holding on tight.

“For saving us!”

“You’re welcome,” she said, cheeks coloring. “It wasn’t all me though.” She turned a glance first to the Lady, then her mom. She looked like she was about to say more, when Merwin made his entrance, stumbling from behind the pillar-like a drunk, huffing and puffing like a freight train, face as pale as snow.

Upon seeing the Russian, Jake rushed forward, barely catching the old man before he collapsed completely. Alex and Eli were quick on his heels. “Are you hurt,” Jake asked. The old man looked horrible.

“I fine,” Merwin managed, struggling to gain his feet. “I’m just a bit winded, is all.”

“That’s all,” Melanie replied, looking stern and concerned at the same time. “You manage to hold off four sibilant, buying us the time we needed to get away, and all you are is a bit winded?”

Merwin looked at her and shrugged.

“I… I don’t know what to say,” Melanie replied.

“You can say it was a close one,” Merwin added. He almost appeared embarrassed. Inclining his head, he touched Melanie on the arm before making his way over to the Lady. He stopped just in front of her.

The Lady smiled and extended her hand.

The Russian kissed it before sheathing his blade and kneeling.

No one said anything, all eyes on the old man and the Lady.

“I’ve never seen him kneel before anyone,” Ash hissed. Even Eli seemed stunned.

“Are we safe,” the Lady asked. She was looking past Merwin, to Ash. “If four have arrived, then perhaps more may follow?”

Ash seemed hesitant; “I don’t know,” she began. She took a moment, lowered her eyes. “At least I don’t think so,” she added, glancing over at Merwin.

“You don’t think so what,” Jake asked. What was the Lady asking her about, ‘if four, then how many more?’

“Then we need to move,” Melanie said, almost as embarrassed as Ash. “Just in case they can follow us here.”

“Follow us here? Are you telling me those… things might follow us,” Jake cried?

The Lady inclined her head.

“This is crazy,” he added. His world felt so out of control. “This feels like a nightmare I can’t get away from,” he mumbled. Ash grabbed his hand and squeezed it.

“We’ll figure it out,” she said. Nodding towards Merwin and the Lady. “They will figure it out. It’s what they do. You gotta believe me!”

Believe you, I don’t think I even know you anymore! Jake wanted to say.


Breaking News

Update July 2019

Recent Review:
5 out of 5 stars- Visually gripping!
March 15, 2019 Format: Paperback
From page one this book grabs you and refuse to let you loose! The scenic descriptions rival any other. I honestly felt like I was dropped into the world of Jake, Ash and Eli taking part in their adventure. I can’t wait for the next part of this amazing tale!

Click Here for Paperback!

Click Here for eBook!

But wait, there’s more! During the beta trials, etc. I was contacted by no less than (4) audio book narrators to turn this little beauty, into an Audible Book! (And it doesn’t even have any ratings yet- it’s so new to the world.) All this in less than a day of it’s ‘non-official’ eBook release! As such, I am pleased to announce I have signed a contract with the amazingly talented Rachael Sparrow to produce The Summer People- Book One. (Currently, it looks like late March or early April 2019 for the Audible Release!)

Rachael Sparrow is a voice actor whose voice has been heard on a variety of national commercials, video games, educational training videos and podcasts, from Amazon, Amazon Alexa, Xfinity and Google, to the Video Game Fairy, Cross of Redemption. Voicing “The Summer People” will mark her debut, full-length audio book.

As a Platinum member of, Rachael’s work was recently spotlighted, and she was interviewed as a mentor for new voice artists.  Rachael is also the proud director of Sing! Voice Studio, where she trains and coaches young singers and actors. Rachael lives with her husband and two children in Bucks County, PA.

I am honored to have her tackle this project, and cannot wait to hear the final product.

Book Description:

Leave it to the Serpent people to steal everything, including Jake’s parents. Determined to find them, he seeks out his next-door neighbors, the Twin’s Ashley and Elijah. Together with Merwin, a mysterious stranger of the Order of Rasputin, they begin a journey of discovery and fear, of a people called the Summer People and their age-old enemies, the sibilant. 
“To create peace the Summer People basically gave up their king,” Ashley said. “put in him shackles and chains, carried him off to the Sibilant homeland, a dark and terrible place with lots of screaming and pain. That’s the only way the Sibilant would stop fighting.” She leaned in then, began whispering. “According to stories, he’s still there today, waiting to be freed. Waiting for a hero to be born.” Eyes narrowing, “Waiting times such as these.”
“Time such as these?” he asked. “What’s so special about these times?”
“You,” Ash replied, eyes narrowing. Grabbing his hand. “It’s you, Jake! He’s been waiting all this time for you!”

Book One- The Summer People!


About Us



Bestselling author S.M Muse writes, fun, action-packed adventures full of everyday magic, and darker than Mid-night foes. His characters are clever, fearless, and resilient, but in real life, S.M. is afraid of spiders, things that go bump in the night, and roughing it in the great outdoors. Let’s face it. S.M. wouldn’t last ten minutes in one of his books.

S.M Muse is best known for his Heir of Nostalgia fantasy series, and soon to be Urban Contemporary thriller, The Summer People.

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