The Ivory Staff: A Dark Fairy Tale of Kings and War by M Lachi — book excerpt



Book Synopsis-

Samiyah, a young peasant girl on a quest to find love and honor, wins a chance to attend the royal ball. Beyond her wildest dreams, she finds herself dancing in the arms of Prince Chad, heir to the throne. Yet because there brews a violent struggle between the brutal ruling-class and the oppressed peasantry, Chad and Samiyah’s growing, talk-of-the-town love spawns whispers of bloody uprisings and plots of swift usurpation.

Book Excerpt-

As I made my way to my master’s chambers, I paused from a top outer hallway and peered down to the open space of the main greeting hall. Never had the palace been under such duress. Men with slings and arrows hanging from chandeliers; men fighting with degas, boughs, bloody axes, stones and large branches, using dead bodies as shields; men with severed limbs using whips and chains; men with torches on horseback in the dining rooms; men fighting with wheelbarrows, baby carriers and kitchen cutleries; everyone fighting desperately until they fell upon their ill-fated destination: death.

One of the sling-shooting chandelier dwellers, a young Moudera boy, struck every guard or defenseman he targeted. He couldn’t have been any more than eight years old. He’d been taught Davidian shooting tactics, for he targeted big men and struck them directly between the eyes. Like finger-snapping, the boy decimated ten to twelve unsuspecting victims in a row, using bits of chandelier glass, killing his victims upon impact. He easily claimed more lives than anyone else in the palace, and he could have attained legendary numbers if the young assassin hadn’t died by his own tactics. As blood dripped from his eyes, he pulled out a gory piercing arrow from his back before falling from the ceiling to the floor.

M. Lachi is an author, songwriter and composer. She lives in New York City and enjoys reading, composing and catching live performances.

Girl of Myth and Legend by Giselle Simlett: Author Interview


Genre: Fantasy / Romance

What inspired your latest work?

My inspiration was fairy tales. I loved fairy tales, but wanted something gritty. I didn’t want a princess who existed purely to show how brave the prince was. I didn’t really want a princess at all. I wanted a character who seemed real and who could mirror the reader. That’s when the main character, Leonie, kind of burst into my head and said, ‘FINALLY! Are you going to be the one to tell my story?’ I honestly had no choice but to write it then.
Another inspiration was the theme of immortality. It’s always been perceived as something exciting and wonderful, but what if yo spend your forever in a cage, obeying a master who thought you were nothing but dirt? That wouldn’t be so much fun, would it?
I also wanted to explore loss and grief, but also hope within it. Loss and grief are horrible but necessary feelings. You’re truly alive when you have known them. But one thing a lot of people forget is that in those feelings, you can find hope, you can find light, and I think this is the building blocks between the two main characters.

Tell us about this story.

A girl with a past she tries to forget, and a future she can’t even imagine.

Leonie Woodville wants to live an unremarkable life. She wants routine, she wants repetition, she wants predictability. So when she explodes in a blaze of light one morning on the way to her college, it’s enough to put a real crimp in her day.

And things only get weirder…

Leonie learns from her father that she is last of the Pulsar, a phenomenally powerful member of a magical species called the Chosen. It will be her sole duty to protect the Imperium, a governing hierarchy, from all enemies, and to exceed the reputation of the Pulsar before her. So – no pressure there, then.


Leonie is swept away from her rigorous normality and taken to a world of magic. There, she is forced into a ceremony to join her soul to a guardian, Korren, who is both incredibly handsome and intensely troubled, a relationship for which ‘it’s complicated’ just really doesn’t cut it.

But Leonie is soon to learn that this ancient world is no paradise. With violent dissidents intent to overthrow the Imperium, and dark entities with their own agenda, she and Korren find themselves caught in a war where they will have to overcome their differences if they are to survive.

What living person do you most admire?

I really admire Queen Elizabeth II. I know that may seem strange, but look at everything she has done! She puts her country before anything else, and she is a symbol for women across the world. Long live the Queen!

What is your most prized possession?

I won’t count my family in that (hah). My freaking USB that has my entire life on it. I’ve lost it more times than you know but I always manage to find it. It has my stories on it, too!

Who is your favorite fictional character of all time?

Tough choice. I’d say Lyra from His Dark Materials. She is one of a kind. There is so much passion and love in her heart that it fills the whole trilogy. I will never forget her.

Who’s the favorite character that you created?

Leonie, the main character of GIRL OF MYTH AND LEGEND. She is by far the most inspirational person to me. She can be annoying, rude, and such a teenager, but she has a rare kindness and a rare hope that things will get better. She may not be strong physically, but she has a stronger heart than any other characters I’ve known.

What’s your idea of perfect happiness?

Laughing, crying, making pancakes, getting angry at stupid things, getting excited at stupid things … basically, living is the great happiness. Experiencing all kinds of emotions, even bad ones. Fully living!

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

My reluctance to accept myself. I have many self-confidence issues, especially regarding my personality. Sometimes I feel like I don’t know myself, and sometimes I feel like I do. But I have these moments when I hate who I am and want to change, but you know what? I don’t have to change, not unless I’m some evil jerk trying to destroy the world. Like a lot of people, the journey to loving who you are is a long and stressful one, but I figure, just shrug your shoulders. You don’t need to love yourself. Just be yourself.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

The complete and utter loss of hope. When you had hope, held it in your hand like a star cradled in your palm, and then had it ripped away from you forever. When there is no reaching hand to pull you out of the darkness.

On that happy note, thanks for having me here!

Giselle Simlett was born and raised in England. She has studied Creative Writing at both Gloucestershire University and the Open University. She has a diploma in Creative Writing, Language and Literature and will soon complete her BA Hons Open Degree.

She does not as yet have a degree in the power and responsible use of magic, but she does have a young son, which amounts to the same thing. She currently lives in Australia with her husband and son.