The Sarkany Warrior in Battle

Still hard at work on “Ice Phoenix” and thought I’d share a bit of something I’ve recently written. Enjoy!


Raw Bone stretched his leathery wings and lifted his muzzle to the thunderheads above with a roar that carried over the din of the battlefield and the storm. Lightning crackled overhead, the ultraviolet light making his cerulean scales flash in the gloom, highlighting the rivulets of dark red blood coursing down the lines of his hard muscles from gaping wounds.

The scales of a Sarkany in beast form never hardened over time as a true dragon’s. They remained supple and smooth and easily subject to bullets and canon fire. It was only their incredible stamina that allowed them to not only survive, but continue fighting despite bullet holes, gashes, and stabs. On the edges of his consciousness, Raw Bone was aware of the injuries he’d sustained, the blood loss and fatigue setting in. A part of his mind that shut down in order to focus on the battle at hand.

His thick neck coiling down, he turned his gaze to the last of the human tanks still valiantly trying to find traction in the rapidly deepening mud in the hope of escaping the Draycyn and Sarkany ambush. Powerful legs working in tandem, he charged into the muck and seized the metal monster by its turret. Crushing it in his maw, he threw it into the wall of the ravine.

All around him the human infantry clashed with Draycyn dragonryders and Sarkany warriors, the colors of the various tribes brilliant in the stormy half-light. Gunfire mingled with explosions of thunder, the screams of the dying, and the roars of dragons and Sarkany in beast-form under the constant downpour of rain.

Raw Bone released the primal power flowing in his veins, the current that connected him to the Sacred Rainforest, and a cerulean light pulsed from his core, echoing out in concentric rings that rose around him, changing his shape. The light burst in a flash of blue and vanished, leaving him in his form as a man in its wake. His roan blue mane of hair wet and heavy against his back. The thin cerulean lines tattooed on his beardless face glowed brightly against his dark golden skin.

Straightening to his full eight feet, the yellow of his eyes glowing fiercely against the blackened sclera, he whipped his spear free of its catch across his back and stormed the infantry. With his strength behind it, the impossibly sharp blade at the end easily impaled four men with a single throw. Running in behind, Raw Bone snatched the haft and tore it free, turning to engage a handful of humans seeking opening at his back. Some he sliced through, others he stabbed, and some needed only to make skin contact with the blade. Like an oil, the poison of the deadly rainbow frogs coating it went through the skin despite the rain, reducing the unfortunate to a seizing, foaming at the mouth wreck that eventually choked to death on its own tongue.


~Excerpt from “Ice Phoenix” copyright AJ Culpepper 2017
~ Image courtesy of Sorry, artist unknown 😦




In the middle of writing and someone decided to wedge herself under my arm. Made for some awkward typing, let me tell you!



Actions Speak Louder

Hey, guys! As proof that I am still hard at work on my present novel, “Ice Phoenix”, I thought I’d share an excerpt. Please, enjoy 🙂


“But why are you here? You’re the begleiter to Major General Syro.”

“Take a look at the high table.”

Ayyn’s gaze moved past R’Shyl. The Imperial Princess, Okaryn, and the chancellor were all sitting as they had been with the addition of Rysyn now sitting to her highness’ right between her and his fellow major general and the Imperial Commander on her left between her and L’Sar. Her cheek resting on her hand as she spoke with the major generals, her posture purposely put her back to the chancellor. When she turned to her father, she spoke to him without acknowledging the woman beyond him.

All of which made it perfectly clear to anyone paying attention that Chancellor Aylrysha L’Sar held very little if any of the Imperial Princess’ favor.

“So you’re seated here because Major General Syro enjoys Her Highness’ favor.”

“It isn’t so bad. By extension, I enjoy her favor as well. Just like you.”

“Me? But I’m just a cadet.”

“You’re still Major General Kree’s begleiter and he’s sitting at Her Highness’ right hand.” R’Shyl chuckled darkly and glibly waved a hand. “Must be eating L’Sar alive.”


~ Excerpt from “Ice Phoenix”, copyright AJ Culpepper 2017
Scene from “The Banquet” 2016 courtesy of




THANK YOU, everyone, for your kind wishes, prayers, and good vibes! They are much appreciated! Hubby is back home and the medication seems to be working more or less. He will have to go in for another procedure in a few months – so I will probably be vanishing for a bit then, too. But for now, things are back to normal. Or at least our home’s version of it 😀