Guest Post: Courtney Cantrell @courtcan and “Rethana’s Tower” !!!

“Rethana’s Tower” has been waiting nearly 12 years to see the light of day.

It was Christmas 2002, and my husband and I were living in Germany. As one does, we braved the cold and snow to go visit various Christmas markets with friends — and if you’ve never been to a German Weihnachtsmarkt, dearies, you are really missing out. I gotta tell ya. So. We’re traipsing around the town of Annaberg-Buchholz (Annamountain-Bookwood, if you must know) in bitter cold, warming our hands on ceramic mugs of Glühwein (hot, spiced wine), when somebody says, “Hey! Let’s go visit the church building!”

So, we go visit the church building. It’s Lutheran, it’s big, it’s got a bell tower. We climb said tower, and what do we find but a tour group onto which we latch. Or rather, my friends latched onto them. Me, I stood back and watched and listened. Wheels were turning.

You see, there was an apartment up there. It’s where the bell ringers had lived since medieval times. They moved goods up and down the well of the tower not via the wooden staircase but via lifts made of platforms, ropes, and pulleys. The tour guide handed out ear plugs, but I was barely there anymore. I was in another time and place, where a magical Someone was hiding in the bell tower apartment with her family while soldiers scoured the town for them. I was watching her sneak out into the tower well at night, intent on magical mischief against intruders. Just in time, I stuffed the ear plugs into my ears.

And then somebody rang Anna.

Anna was the biggest bell. Anna was the loudest bell. And we were standing right under her.

I stuck out a hand and touched the stone wall. I felt Anna’s mighty song through my fingertips, in my arm, and all the way up to my shoulder. Her music set off a reverberation in my soul that hasn’t stopped since. Anna’s music gave me Rethana, my magical Someone who insists that I tell all of her stories. I took Anna’s tower and gave it to Rethana for keeps.

“Rethana’s Tower” began as the prologue to two Legends of the Light-Walkers novels, Rethana’s Trial and Rethana’s Surrender. The tone of this story is so different from the novels, it’s quite clear that it needs to stand on its own…just like that tower I climbed one snowy Christmas. And Rethana’s mischief is the music at its heart.

Enjoy. I hope the melody reaches you the way it did me.

“Rethana’s Tower”:

Before the rumors of war and conscription by vengeful clerics destroyed her idyllic life in Rethana’s Surrender, Rethana Chosardal lived comfortably as a bellringer’s daughter. With dark times far behind her family and the darker times of future unknown to her, Rethana plays with the magical powers that are her birthright.

And like any willful girl with more power than sense, she gets up to mischief.

A nighttime intruder to her bell tower, intent on mischief of his own, has Rethana more than confident she can stop him. Not just stop him, buthumiliate him. Like any proper mischief, though, it won’t be easy. After all, dodging her crotchety great-grandmother and nearly falling to her death aren’t exactly her idea of fun.

But without this one night of magical pranks, the events of Rethana’s Surrender and Rethana’s Trial might never have happened. Read the light-hearted tale that started it all during one moonlit, roguish climb up Rethana’s Tower.

Approximately 5100 words. Buy “Rethana’s Tower” for $0.99 on Kindle or check it out from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library for free (with an Amazon Prime account).

Visit Courtney’s blog, Court Can Write or find her on Twitter.

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