The Town by the Rough Edges of the Sea


Who is the one with the gray hair?

The snow keeps calm in the alpine air

That lacks the brimming stars so bright

And why does the green-eyed dream of white?

If freedom is dealt solely by the sky

Power is boundless for those who fly

A secret washes up in the fingertips

And soon the tide sees lips cross lips

But love alone in the winter brings only strife

Wounds left unhealed until granted life

And granted life by five parts of a whole

An orb of glass, a sword of bone.

The Cadivel Poem, part 1. Each line accompanies a chapter from my novel, Cadivel: A Town by the Rough Edges of the Sea, soon to be available on Kindle. The mysterious narrator, known only as “S”, tells a tale of the passion of the sea, the curses and blessings of the winds, the illumination brought by thunder, the blaze of fire, the glint of gold. Above all the tale is one of survival, resistance, resilience.

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Just to show you that it’s real. It’ll look different on Kindle.

The idealistic Samuel and his lazy but curious younger brother Owen escape a war-torn land. They flee north, drawn by a dilapidated carriage bought by their mother’s last coins. North they go, through the scorched and blackened farmlands and into a coniferous forest. All the way to the crown of Borrigan. There rests Cadivel.

Surrounded by heavy exhales of the sea. Lively red-brick and blue-roof shops wash in oil lamp glow in the shimmering dusk, casks of fish and barrows of oats and barrels of beer roll in the morning markets. Cadivel: Samuel and Owen’s chance for a new home. A safe home. Samuel realizes they can find a new life in Cadivel, one that could unite their family for the first time in years. Cadivel, where Samuel falls head over heels for a certain girl. If there is one place that would be safe from the fires of war, it would be Cadivel, protected by the pulsing hills of salty water, the rearing heads of waves. And yet the war grows, and passions blaze for blood and gold…

No, Cadivel is not safe.

And if Cadivel is not safe, how could Samuel and Owen survive? They are not fighters, only wanderers, explorers; yet they have will, and they have heart. Samuel and Owen may possess the qualities that can save Cadivel from greater threats than war alone.

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Cadivel is a young-adult epic fantasy, best for ages 14+, but I hope that anyone between 12 and 97 can enjoy at least parts of it and hopefully most of it. Two plus years in the making, Cadivel started as a simple story that I wanted to pursue. I wanted to write about two boys who move into an idyllic seaside town with their wealthy uncle, and discover he holds a dark secret. I wanted there to be some romance. Some political intrigue. A sprinkle of magic (though as the story evolved that ended up being a lot of magic).

Cadivel is the product of two years of my growth as a writer, and a reader. It draws influences from fantasy books I read as a kid: Harry Potter, Charlie Bone, Bartimaeus. It draws from books I was reading at the time as I wrote it: On the Road, Sirens of Titan, the Lord of the Rings series. It even draws a bit from what I was reading as I revised it: the A Song of Ice and Fire series, Dune, Blood Meridian, so on and so forth. Cadivel focuses on character, on imagery, on emotion, but there’s certainly action: frightened searches, birds (or men?) on the wing, fiery spells, bloody battles… and even more action will come in the sequel.

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Sequel? That’s right. Cadivel is a two-part story. What will be available on Kindle any day now is the first part, and I have big plans, exciting plans, including some unreleased, secret chapters, previews, and much more! For now just await my blog announcement for when it’s available and buy it on Kindle (I promise it will be less than five dollars). Then sit back, relax, and read.

Later, we can chat about the poem, about the world, about the influences, about the sequel… more blog posts will come, undoubtedly. Please share the work with your friends and family, especially if you know any young teens looking for something to read (and I know it’s only my word, but the writing is good! The whole thing has been carefully critiqued by an MFA out of Warren Wilson’s famous creative writing program). But remember, I think people of all ages will enjoy. Unless you really hate fantasy. Then don’t read it.

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Stay tuned for how to get… I’m thinking late next week.


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