Nick F. Stanley

Ramblings of a New Author

The Shadowheart Legend Released Today (Plus a Free Sample)

I’ve been writing my next eBook, The Shadowheart Legend, since shortly after I published The Cookbook. I have to say, though it took more work to write, I had a lot more fun with The Shadowheart Legend.

And it released today, for the amazing price of free (regular price $2.99) until July 15th so you can enjoy the tale of Eclipse and Aurora Shadowheart too!

Here’s a brief summary to get you started: Aurora and Eclipse have been raised as powerful wizards since they were born. Having grown apart due to a difference in ideals, they rarely interact unless it is in opposition to each other. However, when Aurora overextends herself, she not only reveals the extent of her power, but also brings the anger of the gods upon herself and her unsuspecting brother.

And because I appreciate you guys, two more pieces of good news: The Cookbook: Easy Recipes and Cooking Tips for those who aren’t a Master Chef has been reduced to 99 cents so the price is more in line with what it offers compared to other cookbooks, and I have a free sample of The Shadowheart Legend below:

Aurora Shadowheart walked into town unannounced, dressed well below her station. Simple cotton robes indicated her as nothing more than a minor priestess, not worthy of attention. Her fire red hair was hidden beneath the hood of her robes, the tattoos of sword and flame upon her cheeks covered with makeup. What she saw pleased her. Her people were industrious, working hard, and the leaders cracking the whip when the occasional slacker appeared. All was well here.

Walking further into town, she came upon a tavern and stepped inside for a drink. She bought a watered down ale, the best that one dressed as her could likely afford. Nursing the brew, she surveyed her surroundings. A few people in for a quick lunch, a single beer, and back to the fields or the forge, exactly as expected. And the one drunk asshole that always seems to show up. She’d have to speak to the sergeants about that later, make sure they keep their men in line. For now though, said drunkard was approaching her.

“Well hello there, my fair lady,” he began. “Bet you’d like to come home with a young, handsome man like myself before going back to the temple. Have a little fun, know what I’m sayin’? I won’t tell no one if you don’t.”

“You’d best not tell anyone anything about me,” Aurora snapped back. “I wouldn’t consider entertaining conversation with you beyond telling you to sober up and get back to work!”

“Now, now, don’t be like that. Just want a little fun,” he pressed. Then he reached for her arm. Aurora knew, of course, that she could handle this if need be. But she waited. Another man darted across the room to grab the arm of the drunkard.

“The lady said no, good sir. She also suggested you do as the rest of us, and pull your damn weight around here,” the intervening man told him. “Now, leave her alone and-”

He never got to finish what he was saying, because the drunkard took a swing at him, and took him clear off his feet with punch straight between the eyes. As the room was swimming around him, the drunkard leaped atop him and landed blow after solid blow on his face and torso. Try as he might, he couldn’t mount any sort of defense against the enraged drunkard, and knew he would surely die here.

“Enough!” Aurora shouted. The drunkard disintegrated to ash. The tavern fell silent. Aurora pulled back her hood and revealed her tattoos. “I’ll not have my people behaving like savages! We have real work to do, and if you can’t control yourself with booze, you will wind up like this pile of ash at my feet! Am I clear?”

“Yes, my lady!” responded the tavern as one.

“Good. Finish your lunch and drinks, and get back to work.” Aurora then turned to the man that took a beating on her behalf. “You did the right thing today, but you are weak. If you continue on like that, you’re going to die out here.”

“Yes, milady. I understand,” he replied. “Please forgive my impertinence, but I have never been a strong man, even with training. Would you suggest a good place to start? Perhaps something I’ve missed?”

“Yes, but only on the condition you make good use of it. I will come back to check on you, and if you’re still weak, you will suffer the same fate as this man. Go speak with Commander Kaiser. Tell him I sent you. He will know it to be true. He will whip you into shape, or you’ll die trying.”

“Thank you, Lady Aurora. I will speak with him at once.” The man immediately ran off to find the commander.


A couple weeks later, Aurora walked past the training ground at night. She stuck to the shadows, enjoying the peace and quiet. It could be a chore keeping people in line around here, but she would do it. It was demanded of her. The sound of raspy breathing caught her attention. She stepped backward melding with the tree she had taken a moment to lean against. The man she had saved in the tavern ran past her. He did not stop running until he reached the training dummies. Here, he picked up his sword and began practicing the forms the soldiers were trained in. Aurora sat watching him for an hour. His form was terrible. She did not speak to him, but instead tugged at the ether within him to make subtle suggestions as to how he could improve his form and make more effective attacks. He, of course, had no idea she was there, but his form gradually improved as her suggestions took hold within him and became one with him. After about an hour training with the sword, he hit the ground and began doing pushups, and did not stop until he hit 50, no small feat after beating on the dummy for the past hour. After that, he began running again, back in the direction of the barracks. Aurora thought to herself that she had been right. He really would be whipped into shape or die trying.


“All right you maggots!” Commander Kaiser yelled. “Fall in line! You’re the sorriest bunch of new recruits I’ve seen yet! If you can’t figure out how your sword works, maybe we should send you into the mines! Might be all you’re good for! Or maybe, just maybe, you could do the drills right for a change!”

Aurora walked onto the training ground. “Having some trouble with the new recruits, are we? Perhaps I can show them how it’s done. A sword, please?”

“Of course, Lady Aurora.” Kaiser pulled a sword from the rack and handed it over to her.

“Now then, who wants to volunteer? Hmm?” Aurora looked out over the crowd, and saw the group cower. No one wanted to volunteer for this, of course. Who knew if she really was going to just show them how it’s done, or if she may actually kill the volunteer?

“I volunteer.” The man she had rescued in the tavern that day a couple weeks back stepped forward.“Very good. And pray tell this assembled group your name before we begin sparring,” Aurora asked of him.

“I have discarded my old name,” he replied. “After the training I have received, I have taken the name Yang. A new name for a new life.”

“Very well, Yang. Come at me with the intent to kill,” Aurora demanded. “If you don’t fight me seriously, I will kill you.”

Liked what you read above? Get the whole book for free before July 15th.

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