Something Dark Lurks Herein

You know, I spend way too much time checking my statistics. It doesn’t even matter to me anymore how often I sell a book. This is good because not more than a handful of my books pass into people’s hands any given month (online anyway. I do well in person). Don’t get me wrong, I would love readers, I just don’t have the time or energy to beg for them.

Instead, I’m having a lot of fun spending time in the worlds I’ve created. It makes living so much richer. I’m loving the suspense and tension coming out of my stories. Like tonight for instance I’ve been writing about Anna. If you’ve read Darkness Holds the Son you’ll know that Anna is hopelessly in love with King Barin, but she’s sort of ruined it for herself having been her father’s accomplice during his time of insurrection. She tried to redeem herself in the last book, but we’re not sure if it was all that successful. Barin still hasn’t made up his mind about Anna.

Picking up where we left off, Anna returned to Kolada and found her home burnt to the ground and all her and her family’s things distributed among the villagers. They figured the baron owed it to them. One good soul, the blacksmith Benjamin, invited her to stay with him and his two daughters. Rose is hospitable to her, but Siera is full of spite and has much influence in the local pub. Needless to say, the beginning of this chapter has been a joy to write.

Something Dark Lurks Herein

Siera set a hot mug of mulled wine in front of Anna and sat at the table across from her

“Why do you stare?” Anna asked.

“Can’t help it. I remember what you were, and I’m baffled by the change. Who would have thought a courtesan who once wore velvet dresses and feathers in her caps would be living like a blacksmith’s daughter, sleeping on a pile of hay in the old storeroom?”

“You’re jealous I took your place.”

Siera let out one curt laugh. “Jealous? Of you?”

“I’m just wondering why you came back to torment me.” Anna sat back in her chair and stared at the woman.

“It’s a proper thing to do under the circumstances. Someone has to keep you accountable.”

If Anna weren’t in Siera’s father’s house, she’d leave. She never meant to be here this long anyway. She took a drink and spat the liquid into her napkin repulsed by the numbing taste of cloves.

“I see you have your riding outfit on,” Siera said softly. “Again.”

“I didn’t have many outfits left after the fire,” Anna glanced up at her, all bitterness gone. “And of course, no money to purchase more. I don’t blame the people of your village for raiding my family’s belongings, but it would have been nice to have some of my clothes back. Not that they’d fit me anymore.”

“You’ve slimmed down like the rest of us,” Siera laughed. “When in Kolada, live like the peasants!” She lifted her mug and offered a toast.

Anna snickered.

“You ought to visit the pub more often, that’ll fatten you up,” Siera said.

“I have no taste for ale.”

“I sure would, if they’d have done to me what they did to you.”

“We’ve been through this how many years, now, Siera? Can’t you stop looking at me as if I’m some sort of freak?”

Siera shook her head and took another swill. “I just see you as foolish, is all. Why don’t you give in and become one of us? Marry and be done with your quest. You aren’t going to find your father’s herd. They’re most like halfway to the Casdamia Wildlands by now. Horses want to be free.”

“I’ll find them someday. For what else do I have to live?” Anna asked. “I did have an inheritance at one time.”

“From what I heard, you’re the one that made sure you had no inheritance—killing your father as you did.”

“He kidnaped the children of your village. I felt responsible. How could I let him continue with his malicious plans?”

“Come now, you’re no hero. You did what you did to impress the king.”

“I impressed no one, sadly,” Anna stared at the steaming liquid in her mug. Maybe drinking would help to forget the aspirations she had of one day being King Barin’s wife. Foolish, yes, but not for the reasons of which Siera accused her. She played the fool thinking Barin would lower himself to her level. She, the daughter of a tyrant, an accomplice to an insurrection, and an abductor of innocent children.

“Hurts, don’t it?” Siera asked but there was no pity in her voice. Anna didn’t answer. “His gift to you was to not hang you for murder. And your mother? What about her? Drowned in the river, overcome by grief.”

“My mother knew everything my father was doing. If she took her own life it was because she couldn’t live with herself knowing she had blood on her hands.”

Siera clicked her tongue, that cold stare pierced Anna as if it were a knife.

Curious? I’m serializing it right now on Patreon for a while. You’re welcome to check it out.[tag]=Tea

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Windy and Sunny

Isn’t this a lovely time of year? The air is warm and fresh, at least here in the PNW we’re blessed with really fresh air. It’s breezy, sometimes windy, but big beautiful thunderheads float above from time to time against a cerulean blue sky. Yellow buttercups dot the overgrown grass (overgrown because it’s been too wet to mow and besides our mower was broken for a bit). I love the tall grass. It makes everything seem so wild and lovely. I suspect too soon the grass will go to seed and then my allergies will take over, but for now it’s gorgeous.

In a world that seems to be shaking itself upside down, it’s easy to lose these moments of beauty, so I challenge you to take a deep breath and step outside and try to find some pretty things about the earth. Take a photo or two and enjoy life.

My book signing schedule is now on my website. I’ll post it here as well. I hope to see you at one of these. Should be fun. More might be added so keep an eye on my website.

May 21 Spring Fairy Magic Market 10 – 7 – 6901 6th Ave Tacoma, WA. I’ll be downstairs.

​July 16, 17 Gig Harbor Arts Festival – I’ll be up the stairs by Timberline Bank

August 20 Olalla Music Festival all day. Look for my banner.

​August 24th – 28 Kitsap County Fair with KLAW, Kitsap Literary Artists and Writers. I’ll be there every day. Bremerton WA

​September 3 – 5 The Blackberry Festival again with KLAW down by the ferry terminal. On the waterfront Bremerton, WA

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Awakening of the Apprentice

Last year I had a Kickstarter for the Sword of Cho Nisi saga. One of the rewards was a short story written for the person who pledge a certain amount of money…with a character, friend, family, or themselves written in it. I had one person take the challenge, and so I wrote this story Awakening of the Apprentice. He loved the story, and up until now I hadn’t shown it to anyone. But now you can download it for free (it’s downloadable from my website too) so please do take a look and enjoy the story!

Awakening of the Apprentice

Kairos is the wizard in Sword of Cho Nisi, a rather comical fellow with a good heart and clumsy hand. Find out what happens when an apprentice from the University comes to study with him.

Artwork by Mario Teosodio
Home page of D.L. Gardner
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Looking for Healing?

The world of man has been spinning like a top lately. So many emotions flying through the roof over injustices and silly things as well. It makes me wonder why. It also makes me want to separate myself from the frenzy.

So as I find my own peace, I can’t help but scan through social media and see all these remedies from eating healthy (good choice), meditating, practicing all sorts of man-made experiments and such, that I pause to think…you know the Good Lord gave us all we need to have peace. Even my husband noticed it yesterday as we walked the beach. There’s something constant and mesmerizing, the great natural OM of the sound of the surf. A gentle rumble of nature that takes away the troubles of the world and strokes the roughness right out of you, breaking your hardness just as it breaks the shells on the beach into sand and the coarse rocks into smooth pebbles. Sit on the beach and listen, breathe in the salty air.

There have been times when I wasn’t near the ocean, but a river, a creek, or a lake can have the same effect. Water is life-giving. Not just to drink, but to heal and to bring you to a place of peace in a world that so dearly needs it.

Posted in casues, challenge, Current Affairs, earth, Free, inspiration, life, Love, musing, musings, nature, spring | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

When Times are Tough

I’ve heard it said that when times are tough, people turn to the things that they take great comfort in. Alcohol, food, intimacy with a spouse or partner. I’ve also heard it said that fantasy stories become more popular during unsettled times. It seems there has been an awakening of the genre again. Shows such as Game of Thrones, Wheel of Time, and Fantastic Beasts are bringing a new wave of otherworldly entertainment, perhaps because the real world’s drama is overwhelming. Indeed, being powerless over so many obstacles that we see on the news can turn us inside out.

I’ve always found comfort in fantasy stories. Ever since I was a child I loved reading books like Through the Looking Glass, The Wizard of Oz, and Dr. Doolittle. Reading fantasy stories seemed to have helped in the development of my imagination, and imagination is the foundation of all things creative.

Today I offer you a host of imaginative stories by independent authors. I hope you take a look at some of these. My own book Darkness Holds the Son is included with them. Take a look and enjoy them. Authors work hard to write a book and bring it to publication. I’m thrilled to be included in this list!

Posted in Books, casues, Ebooks, fantasy, inspiration, musing, New Release, Stories, Sword of Cho Nisi, writers, writing | Leave a comment

Trying Something New | Vella

So I’m trying my hand at Kindle Vella…just to see if I can find some new readers, and for a place to publish my short story add-ons…let me know what you think. The Awakening of the Apprentice doesn’t take any coins at all. It will be 3 episodes and will be free…unless I decide to write more…we’ll see.

Artwork by Mario Teosodio

The story came from one of my Kickstarter rewards and that was to have me write a story about you, your friends or relatives, or a character you have in mind. I was thrilled to have one person send me a request and so he got this story on parchment and I hadn’t published it anywhere else before.

It’s about Kairos the Wizard from Sword of Cho Nisi, and a young man who just graduated from the University seeking to find his place with the most legendary king of all time, King Tobias. If you’ve read the Cho Nisi Saga, you’ll know that Kairos is somewhat inept as a wizard, so for him to teach an ambitious young wizard his tricks is what we might conclude as awkward!

Here’s the link to the story.

Posted in authors, Books, Darkness Holds the Son, fantasy, musings, New Release, Patreon, Short stories, Sword of Cho Nisi, Vella, wizards, writers, writing | Leave a comment

And the Book is Launched!

Darkness Holds the Son. New video and first chapter!

The Mercenary: An excerpt from Chapter 1

Jareth followed his son into the common room, leaned against the wall near the hearth, and watched Crispin tend the fire.

“You’re a young man, now,” Jareth whispered. The boy’s sandy curls fell over his shoulders when he blew on the coals. As much as Crispin looked like his father, he had his mother’s dark brows and her deep brown eyes. He was growing up too soon. The thought of Crispin becoming a man left Jareth edgy. The reason for being in this settlement, for goat herding, for homesteading with Lorica, was to raise his family. What would he do when his children were grown? What roots would Jareth claim, then?

“If I’m a young man, why can I not go with you?” Crispin asked, his gaze set on the fire.

“Because your mother needs you.”

Crispin spat in the hearth and warmed his hands. “Mother needs you, as well,” he countered.

“And I need to provide for her. Don’t argue with me. This is the plan—for now. Soon enough you’ll be a warrior and can fight wars. Maybe someday you’ll have the responsibility of paying the lord’s duties. Be grateful you don’t have those worries, yet.”

He wished his son would look him in the eye when they had conversations like this, but Crispin had a stubborn streak.

“You know I love you. I’m proud of you, Son,” Jareth assured him.

Crispin rose and dusted his hands, but when their eyes met, he scowled, and then, wide-eyed, he shuddered. Jareth knew that look, and a cold chill raced up his spine.

“What’s wrong?” Jareth asked, and his heart skipped a beat. “No, not again?”

Crispin’s face paled, and a mist seeped out of his pores. The boy trembled, and his lips quivered. Jareth reached for him, but Crispin recoiled, and for a moment, Jareth could see through his body—as if he were a ghost.

“Don’t tell me it’s begun again, that you’re seeing that spirit again?”

“I told him to leave, Father, but he snuck in last night and has been…talking to me…”

The vapor engulfed Crispin and a shadowy form appeared.

“Get out!” Jareth yelled as another boy’s image took shape in the haze. “Dodge, Crispin!” Jareth drew his dagger and swung at the vapor as Crispin ducked and fell to the ground. With a loud sucking sound, the haze left Crispin’s body. It paused in the form of an adolescent boy, locked eyes with Jareth, then vanished through the walls into the night.

Jareth grabbed his crossbow.

“You all right?” he asked.

“Yes,” Crispin answered. Though ashen and breathless, the boy sat up on his own. Lorica ran from the kitchen and hurried to his side.

“I’ll be back!” Jareth flung open the door.

This was not the first time sorcery had seized his son, but Jareth swore it would be the last. The magic slid down the road like an eel snaking through seaweed. No longer was it the image of a strange boy but appeared as a blue mass fringed by lightning and traveling like the wind. Jareth ran, determined to find its source, and annihilate it.

Avoiding a cluster of homes, the light spun past the fields into the woods, staying on a course that led deep into the forest. Jareth knew this route for it led to the old widow’s shack. The Tuluva residents avoided that homestead, claiming the ruins were haunted by the old woman’s spirit and that it was a gateway to an even more evil place. Some told tales of an abyss—the Neverworld they called it. They borrowed the term from travelers who referenced mysterious caves and tunnels where sorcery had its roots. Jareth hadn’t lived in Tuluva when the widow was alive, and he disregarded such rumors as superstitions, but after his son’s ailment, he was prepared to believe anything.

No moonlight lit his way, and the canopy of the woods grew dense. Had Jareth not been a seasoned soldier skilled at navigating in the dark, he would have stumbled. But his surefootedness kept him moving steadily toward his prey, and soon the remains of a cottage came into view. The front of the structure stood solid, the porch intact, but the roof had partially collapsed under wet and moldy straw, and the back rooms had been burned. Rotten beams leaned precariously under the weight of what thatching remained. The smell of lye from wood ash and mulch lingered, even after years of abandonment.

As though this was its final destination, the magic slithered through the walls of the house and disappeared.

Jareth drew a bolt from his quiver and nocked his bow, stepping cautiously, peering in the window, and seeing nothing. As softly as he trod, the porch boards creaked, frightening a rat that scurried under the steps. Jareth paused and caught his breath, uncertain as to what awaited him inside this hovel. He pushed against the door, and it swung on broken hinges. Starlight illuminated an ornately woven spider web hanging across the threshold. Jareth ducked under it and entered.

No furniture decorated the house, having been pilfered long ago. The rooms were bare aside for dirt mixed with pine needles, tree limbs, and rot from the floorboards. He stepped carefully with wide eyes. Alert. Not a sound came to his ears, but a faint blue shimmer drew his attention to another room. Not the eel-like magic he had chased through the woods, this vapor came from the floor, escaping through a trap door that had been propped open. Jareth drew near, holding both his breath and his crossbow. When he came upon the wooden door rattled by flashes of light and energy, he knelt and peered into the dark chasm. Therein, he eyed his prey making its way through the void.

His heart galloped and cold sweat dripped from his brow. This abyss could be the Neverworld—the dark chasm alluded to in folklore and tall tales. Stories which, up until his son’s affliction, he had refused to believe.

With the crossbow in one hand, he jiggled the wooden rail with the other, assessing the sturdiness of the ladder. Cautiously he placed his foot on the first rung.

“Dare I? For Crispin,” he whispered. With a breath of courage, Jareth descended the stairs. The wood groaned under his weight but the hatch above him remained open. A thick haze hovered over the entry, though, threatening to slam it shut.

Once his feet touched solid ground, and Jareth’s eyes became accustomed to the dark, he moved through the void. His prey had disappeared leaving clouds of putrid mist hovering behind, clinging to the walls. Forms of unidentifiable creatures appeared in those clouds—figures neither living nor dead but somewhere in-between. They mumbled and growled as he passed. With slimy, bony fingers, they reached out, itching to take hold of him, yet their bodies remained adhered to the walls as if some unforeseen force held them back. They cried with mournful voices, some in a language he couldn’t understand, but others spoke words that gave him chills.

“Let us take him,” they begged. To whom was a mystery.

Their vaporous bodies illuminated the space around him and even though he was thankful for the light, he ran toward the dark, partly to avoid the creatures, and partly to keep pace with his racing heart. The light diminished as he traveled away from the ghostly chamber. When he came to a curvature in the tunnel he stopped to catch his breath and focus, for his surroundings were now completely black.

“It’s a trap, you know,” someone said. Jareth spun around wide-eyed. As his eyes adjusted to the dark, he deciphered the figure of a man. Jareth raised his bow.

“They will imprison you if they find you. Tie you to a post, as they did me. Torture you. You should leave before that hatch closes.”

Jareth stepped cautiously toward the voice, bumping into the iron bars of a cage wherein a scraggly, pitiful human stood, bound to a post by thick cords of rope. He wore a gray robe, a garment of the eastern regions—Casdamia perhaps. He had light hair that hung in strings to his shoulders and a strong jaw. Steel-blue eyes peered at Jareth.

“Who are you?”

The man snickered. “Not one of them. If you kill me you’ll be doing me a favor.”

Jareth lowered his weapon.

“Flee from here!” the man hissed angrily. “That threshold will not stay open forever and only magic has the key.”

Jareth regarded the tunnel he had come through and its glowing walls. “What is this place?”

 “The Neverworld. The place where demons devise hexes and invocations. They will use you for their bewitchments.”

“What more do you know?”

“More than I have time to say. Alas, what I know will be the end of me. Go!”

The dim light of the portal in the distance pulsated with vapor. If what this man said was true, once the hatch closed Jareth would be trapped inside. It appeared he had little time. He faced the man again, slung his bow over his back, and rattled the bars.

“What are you doing?” the man asked.

“I can’t leave you.”

“You don’t even know me.”

“Do I need to know you to save you?”

A chain held the door shut, but the chain was corroded with rust. Jareth wrenched the links apart by jostling the door and snapped the chain loose.

“How long have you been in here?” he asked as he pulled the iron gate open and rushed into the chamber, drew his knife from his belt, and sawed at the rope that bound the man.

“Look, the hatch closes, fool! Save yourself before it’s too late.”

Jareth glanced only once at the portal. The mist engulfed the trapdoor and was slowly pulling it shut.


The rope frayed, but it was thick and coarse and difficult to slice. Jareth tried a different angle.

“Go!” the man urged.

The rope busted apart freeing the man’s hands. He rubbed his wrists and nudged Jareth out of the chamber.


The two raced through the hall. The vaporous creatures screeched at them as they flew by.

“What are they?” Jareth panted.

“Influencers,” the stranger answered, close on his heels.

“Can they attack?”

“Oh yes! But they won’t at the moment. Their master hasn’t released them. Yet. They’re young ones, still growing.”

A thick vapor swirled around the ladder as the trap door closed over them. The man pushed Jareth aside, and climbed, growling an incantation as he ascended. The hatch strained as if being pulled in two directions at once, quaking, yet it remained open long enough for the two to crawl into the widow’s shed and then slammed shut nearly catching Jareth’s boot heels. He rolled away as the sounds, the smells, and the gloom of the Neverworld vanished.

Magic no longer illuminated the shack, and silence hung heavy in the air. Only rays from the rising moon filtered into the room. Jareth stumbled away from the trap door, and leaned against the wall.

The stranger collapsed on the floor. “You saved my life,” he said between breaths. “Or perhaps you saved the lives of many. You have no idea what they were planning down there.” A luminous aura of blue and gold shimmered around the fellow when he spoke, as if part of the Neverworld seeped out of his pores.

 A thousand questions stormed through Jareth’s mind, but he shook the dust from his cap and stared at the stranger. The man’s heavy breathing was all that disturbed the silence.

“Who are you?” Jareth finally asked.

“They call me Chase,” the man said and gave him a grin that Jareth couldn’t read. The lines in Chase’s face smoothed, his smile softened—not at all the same torturous expression he had seen in the prison below.

“And why were you down there?”

Chase pushed the hood off his head. Beads of sweat trickled down the side of his face, but his smile remained. “I have been both the master’s fox and his vexation. The Neverworld provides refuge on the day of a chase.”

“You’re a criminal?”

“I commit no crime that hasn’t already been committed by the very men that would seek to capture me.”

“And you were bound in the Neverworld because?”

“A private matter.”

Jareth snickered and decided he wanted nothing more to do with a man who spoke in riddles, nor whose appearance changed like moon rays dancing between the shadows in the forest. He offered a hand and helped Chase to stand. “Then I will leave you to your privacy and bid farewell. I wish you good fortune and a hasty escape from the fox hunters.” Jareth strapped his crossbow on his back and headed for the door.

“I owe you my life.”

“You owe me nothing.”

“On the contrary, I am your humble servant.”

Jareth turned and faced him. Chase bowed.

“No,” Jareth insisted. “Consider the debt paid. You saved my life. I would have gone further into that chasm and been killed, but you warned me to flee.”

“Then we are indebted to each other,” Chase said.

“I prefer we call our debt even. You go your way and I’ll go mine.”

“You’ll regret leaving me, I assure you.”

“It will be my loss then. I would appreciate it if you didn’t follow me.”

“As you wish. That is if you do one more thing for me.”

Jareth clenched his jaw and waited. There was no reason to make a deal with this man.

“Tell me why you entered the Neverworld.”

“It’s a private matter,” Jareth returned.

“It’s a dangerous matter.”

“A danger I gladly accept. A just cause.”

Chase laughed quietly and leaned against the crumbling hearth. “Ah yes, a just cause. Tell me, did you know this woman? The widow who lived here?”

Jareth didn’t answer. He was ready to go home and rest. He had a long trip come morning, and a late visit to a decaying house with a mysterious stranger had not been on his agenda. He turned to the door.

“Some say the devil possessed her. They say she disappeared many times right before their eyes. A cloud of vapor would consume her. They say it was a form of magic.”

Jareth froze.

“I don’t mean to be presumptuous, but I think there’s someone you know, maybe someone you love, that has the same affliction.”

“Why do you think that?”

Chase’s annoying laughter stung, and Jareth glared at him.

“The object of your pursuit sped by me before you entered the Neverworld. I know what that spell was. I’ve seen it before. You don’t have long before this person you care about will be consumed by it.”

Jareth held his breath as Chase walked up to him. The man’s eyes were gentle, concerning, almost too kind.

“Let me help you.”

“I don’t even know you.”

“No. And you know nothing about the Neverworld. I do. And there is nothing I want more than to stop this new curse that’s plaguing our world.”

Jareth searched the man’s eyes. What form of being had he run into this night? Could anything come out of the Neverworld that could be trusted?

“What are you?” Jareth whispered.

“A sorcerer,” Chase answered just as softly. “Let me help you. We can save your loved one, but it will require entering the Neverworld again with an army, and if you want to do it safely you’ll need magic. Lots of it.”

When Jareth didn’t answer, Chase bowed again.

“Think about it. I’ll be here on these steps waiting for you.”

Jareth nodded and walked out the door. He moved slowly, contemplating what Chase had said and everything that had happened. He looked back once. It might have been the late hour or the terrorizing experience that affected his eyesight, but when he glanced over his shoulder at Chase, the man was gone. In his place, a woman stood clothed in the same gray cloak, and when she lifted her hand as a gesture of farewell, Jareth shuddered.


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In Just a Few Hours

The launch of Darkness Holds the Son is about to take place. You can get it now as a pre-order, or maybe by the time you read this, it will already be available. On the 14th of April 2022, I’m going to post the new video and the opening chapter so come take a look. Right now I’m posting the full editorial review by Independent Review

“Book Review: Darkness Holds the Son”
Reviewed by Manik Chaturmutha

An engaging tale filled with magic and parental love

An engaging tale filled with magic and parental love

Darkness Holds the Son is first the story of a father struggling to save his kids and second
that of a king hell-bent on saving his kingdom’s future. Jareth’s twelve-year-old son, Crispin, is suffering from an unknown curse. The curse comes in the form of seizures and a ghostly form that fills his son’s mind with hatred toward his parents.

While chasing this ghostly form, Jareth encounters a wizard who informs Jareth that
Crispin’s disease might be more fatal than they had imagined. So, along with the wizard,
Jareth starts his journey. This journey makes him realize that his son is not the only one suffering from the affliction. Other children are also under this curse and are turning against their parents and disappearing.

On the other side, King Baron finds the revolt in his kingdom troubling. He tries to find
the reason, but instead, he finds something more sinister. The youth of his kingdom is in
grave danger, and as their king, he must protect the future of the youth. In his quest, his
path collides with Jareth and his wife, and together they set out to save the children.

This plotline is unique and executed well. Important events keep happening, and at no
point does the story stall. Along with the engaging plotline, it also has a fast pace all the
way through.

This book has an uncomplicated writing style. It is easy to read, and the plot is not as
convoluted as in some high fantasy novels. Its subject is particularly great for younger readers.

This novel acutely portrays a parent’s struggle and heartbreaks. But amidst that, there is
also a strong storyline about a king struggling to choose between his duty for his kingdom
and his love. This storyline fills the novel with angst and tension.

The characters are well-developed as well. They each stand on their own and have fully
developed characteristics. Their actions, choices, and dialogues make their characteristics
shine. And King Barin’s thought process as he grapples with the circumstances shows his
righteousness distinctly.

However, I do wonder if the relationship between parent and child could have been explored
more, giving us a deeper emotional layer to the story, and if we could have gotten more of the children’s thought processes. What were they thinking when this happened, and how did they cope?

There is a lot to love in the story and character here. It has a quest to save the world, a magical
sword, and a place where darkness resides. Readers who enjoy magical quests stories
will be satisfied with this one.


Author’s Note:: The book was revised after this review and I did flesh out the children’s experiences and their relationships more.

Posted in authors, Book Covers, Book Reviewers, challenge, Ebooks, fantasy, inspiration, interviews, musing, musings, New Release, Reviews, Stories, wizards, writers, writing | Leave a comment

Author Spotlight: D. L. Gardner

What a lovely write up and interview! Thanks so much for the spotlight.

Morgan Hazelwood: Writer In Progress

  • an artist, author, screenwriter, and lover of ocean breezes and mountain wildflowers

Readers, let’s give a good, hearty welcome to this week’s guest!

Walking in the woods is her favorite pastime and yes she talks to trees and they talk back, telling her tall tales of faraway places and ancient times. Dianne writes fantasy as you might guess, and she loves tinkering with real history while stirring ethnic legends and mythology into the mix.

With a passion for a good wholesome story, D.L. Gardner also (Dianne Lynn Gardner) dives into the adult and young adult fantasy genres. She is both a best-selling author and an award-winning illustrator who lives in the Pacific Northwest, USA. Dianne loves a book that ignites the imagination, strengthens friendships, spurs courage, and applauds honor. Though she targets her stories for young adults, her books are enjoyed by all ages.

Dianne Gardner is an accomplished…

View original post 1,105 more words

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A New Interview

It’s really fun to do author interviews. You never know what questions people are going to ask, and often I have no idea how I’m going to answer. But there are quite a few interviews I’m participating in and in return for the generosity these bloggers offer, I’m going to return the favor, posting a little something from their blog.

So please read the interview from VAP, and take a look at her blog, see her services (she’s an editor!) and browse through her site. I’m sure you’ll find something of interest!

While we’re on the subject of other authors…check out these Epic books. Darkness Holds the Son is part of this promotion and it’s ON SALE marked down from $6.99 to $3.99 for a limited time to celebrate its launch.
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All Things Victorian

The Victorian and Edwardian eras were times of great innovation, incredible artistic endeavors, and filled with mystery and superstition. The world seemed to have switched gears with the industrial revolution, women discovering their worth, and the world getting closer together than it ever had before. Is it a wonder some of our best literary pieces are from and about the Victorian eras? Even today Indie writers set their stories in the 1800s and early 1900s.

Hoarfrost to Roses takes place in 1879, out west where women were still not allowed to own land, much less find a career in a man’s world. This historical mystery-romance is on sale, along with some other Indie authors’ books. Come take a look and let yourself go back in time with this great Victorian-only promotional!
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Fantasy and the Political Arena

What if fantasy authors were the ones facilitating the world’s political arena?

When I take books like Game of Thrones, Mistborn, Wheel of Time, Shattered Seas… with a worldview and regard the rich political ingenuity they hold, I often wonder how much more intelligent some aspects of politics would be handled by men and women authors who have analyzed the games world leaders play with each other.

Oftentimes history lends a hand to the making of these fantasy stories, and what’s best is that the authors realize the consequences of the games people play. Nations fall, people die, cities are destroyed, youth are held prisoners within the confines of a broken world.

This is one reason I’m such an advocate of epic fantasy. I believe these tales hold a solid pillar in the makeup of humanity. These are the ‘what ifs’ of today’s events. One only needs to pick up a novel written by a discerning author…one who has weighed decisions against consequences…to understand the road map of the human condition.

Will we, as humans, pursue Grimdark or Noblebright? Two opposite plates holding weights on the scales of time. If there is an end, then our fate is already written. Not on the wall, but in the saga.

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Amazing true story

I just read this book!

What a debut novel for Ms Stricklin!

I had the pleasure of reading an advance copy and must say for a first-time author, this book stole my heart. The story is gritty, heartbreaking, and tear jerking and left me wanting to mend these people’s lives somehow (if only I could time-travel …not that I would know how to fix things.)

What Lies in Truth is so appropriately titled…the fate of a man and woman trying to live by impossible rules, their lives so delicately severed. Not just a book, a look into the lives of two people wrestling with something they shouldn’t have to struggle with…i.e. Love.

It makes me wonder why people put each other through such vicious constraints. This story, and others like it have been waiting to be told for too long.

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Another Mile Stone

It feels so good to accomplish something, doesn’t it? To work toward a goal and get things done, especially when that accomplishment is a creative endeavor. The milestones I reach for are the ones when my books are not only written, edited, designed, and published…but when they are in the hands of a reader. To me, that’s the end goal!

So I can breathe a sigh of relief now that Darkness Holds the Son paperback is not only finished but on its way to the many wonderful people who believed in it and supported the project on Kickstarter!

Life takes its twists and turns and at the moment I wonder if I’ll be able to write the next book since I have a three-year-old grandchild needing my attention at the moment. But I’m jotting ideas down and there are two books I’d love to Kickstart this next year if I have the time to write. s

As it is, grab a copy of Darkness Holds the Son, and let me know what you think!

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Nerds and Friends Podcast!

I just love talking about my books, and Josh Linquist and his friends gave me the opportunity to share today on their podcast Nerds and Friends. If you’ve got a moment come and listen!

Visit them on Patreon

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The End of Eye of the World

I have to admit I had forgotten how Eye of the World ended and I’m really confused about what they did with the film. Mostly because they didn’t give Rand the credit he deserved! I mean lying on Moriaine’s lap with a knife to his throat? Seriously?

The Fall of Manetheren by Jonas Hassibi

In the book we see Rand fighting Aginor with everything within him. Yes, it was an inner struggle, but he wasn’t unconscious lying on Moraine’s lap dreaming. It was a physical, emotional, and spiritual struggle and he succeeded, even if he was upset after the fact. And when the battle was over he traveled to find the others. He ran, exhausted, panic-stricken.

If you read the entire story you’ll know that the women…yes all the women in Wheel of Time hold a lot of weight. They are the power that rules the world. They keep men at bay to the point where they can hardly be men anymore. So why take what little triumph Rand has in the story and give it to the ladies? Moraine did not hold a knife to Rand’s throat. No. He didn’t need to be threatened by Aes Sedai. Rand fought every temptation he had and even though he didn’t know he was channeling, it was his willpower to defeat the evil that won that battle.

He wasn’t unconscious, he knew what he was doing. He wanted to do what he was doing despite the consequences. And yes. There will be many consequences. But we leave book 1 victorious.

Aside from a few losses, of course.

I look forward to reading the book The Great Hunt again (book 2), but for now, I’ve picked up Dune and will be commenting on both the film and book.

Thanks for following and putting up with my opinions. I’d love to know yours!
And while we’re at it, here’s a little Wheel of Time giveaway!

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Color a Fable!

I have a new book out. I got bored waiting for my edits to come back for Darkness Holds the Son, so I thought I’d publish two of my short stories.

The Magic Plum and The Cobbler’s Daughter.

The book was originally going to be a flipbook where one of the stories would face one way, and the other upside down. Well, neither Amazon nor Draft2Digital could print them that way so I had to compromise. BUT the good news is…

Ka-Blam is going to make the flipbook. It will be larger than the ones on Amazon and Books2Read…magazine style, and the pages will be made specifically for coloring.

All of these books are going to be fun books for young and old, though and I have mine from Amazon coming in the mail soon. I’ll take a photo when they arrive.

I did the pages myself. Here are a few samples. The print is large print (18 Garamond font) and the size of the book is 8.5 X 11 in. Ka-Blam’s version is larger than that.

The Magic Plum is about a little boy who visits a fruit stand in a marketplace and is just about to bite into a plum when an old hag tells him a story about a faraway place where dragons live and if he eats the plum he will be stolen away. She takes the fruit from him before he can discover the truth and from then on he sets his mind to get that magic plum.

The Cobbler’s Daughter is a story of a young lady who makes a pair of magic shoes that will make the wearer dance, and the boy who steals them.

You can get the Amazon edition now.

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Wheel of Time | Capturing Fear | Chapter 40 The Web Tightens

There are moments in a book that you wish you didn’t have to read. Moments that go beyond sadness, regret, or even fear. I’m not sure what the correct word is for the moment Rand stands before Queen Morgase and the Aes Sedai Elaida looks into his eyes and gives a half-prophecy of Rand’s affiliation with the dreaded end times.

He’s told them the truth – that he’s a shepherd from Two Rivers and his father gave him the heron-marked blade. They are ready to behead him, or at least imprison him when all he did was fall off a wall he wasn’t supposed to be on. Rand is still innocent, still a boy, and this encounter becomes more than a coming-of-age experience. It is a rude awakening. Worse than being chased by Trollocs, worse than having to hide from dark friends, Rand learns here in this scene in chapter 40, that the strongest forces of the world seek his ruin.

Artist unknown, if you know who the artist is please contact me.

How could one take this all in?

It’s moments like these that I can appreciate the strength of Jordan’s writing. The process of developing Rand is a journey intricately planned by the author and carried out by the characters Rand meets, every one of them a critical thread in the tapestry of the wheel of time.

I don’t think these moments can really be portrayed in a film. I think they are too intimate. They are for the reader to experience in the quiet of their reading den, where the words invade the silence of their minds. Where the emotions fester, stirring the heart and prodding the fingers to turn the page, or to set the book down to absorb those feelings.

I said when I first started reviewing the book and the film that the film is an elaborate book trailer at best, and I stand by those words. The film has its moments that are intriguing and though they stray plot-wise from Jordan’s work, they’re okay for a TV show. I like them. But they in no way tell the story the way the author intended, they only hint at it.

Let’s hope this scene shows up in season 2 and that it has at least a hint of power it does in the books.

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A Writing Adventure

One thing that I’m enjoying about putting my novels up on Substack with the audiobooks is reading over them and making minor edits (Minor since they can’t be altered too much from the audiobook as the format is a read-along.)

I wrote the mermaid story Pouraka, (Poor-ah-kah means cradle in Maori) in 2015. I can see where I started out way too slow. The real story doesn’t happen until chapter 15 and builds up speed there. If I were going to write the book over again, which I might someday, I’d probably do less introduction of characters and build from the part of the story where the mermaids are discovered by the fishermen.

You can read and listen to Pouraka on Substack for free!


The same is true with the adventure fantasy Ian’s Realm Saga, which has gained popularity over the years, and we’re still working on the screenplay and will hopefully be successful this year in pitching it to a producer. I’ve half a mind to go back over the book because I’m making some adjustments in the script that creates stronger characters in both Ian and his father.

I guess what I’m trying to say, is these stories, for me, are never really finished. I know a lot of writers edit and edit and revise over and over again and have to come to a point where they say the novel is done.

But then if you go back to that book seven years later after honing your skills you want to touch things up again. I do, anyway. I find my mistakes are now a misrepresentation of me.

Maybe that’s why I decided to give away some of my backlists in the form of serialized work in my newsletter.

You can read the comedy about a dysfunctional vampire family, An Unconventional Mr. Peadlebody on Substack also, but it’s a paid subscription for $2.50 a month or $15 a year. You’ll get the audio and the novel, and in the latter part of the year, I’m thinking of putting the historical fiction novel based on letters written during WWII Where the Yellow Violets Grow with the audio in Substack too. So you can’t really lose with that deal. Plus you’ll be getting Pouraka for free.

And I may be releasing the dystopia novel I wrote, Altered, on Substack, although I don’t have audio for that book unless I read it myself. Haven’t decided.

Anyway, these are just some things on my mind. I’m inviting you to join me in my new newsletter adventures.

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Fantastical Sale

Every so often I collaborate with other authors in a Book Funnel promo. This month I’ve joined the authors of the SPFBO blog-off competition which I was part of last year. There are some pretty awesome Indie books here and I encourage you to take a look. Both Rise of the Tobian Princess and Fall of the Kings are included and on sale.

While you’re checking things out why don’t you come by my Substack Newsletter Tuesday’s Tellings and Fantasy Fridays and read and listen to the stories I have serialized?

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Traveling the hard road | Wheel of Time | Chapters 17 on to 34

My apologies. I couldn’t stop reading. I have read this book before but I didn’t remember all of this. No wonder people like to read these sagas more than once!

One thing about Robert Jordan’s writing, and about this series in particular, for me is that I am completely invested in the characters. Rand and Mat, in particular, and especially this difficult journey on the road to Caemlyn.

They start out as hesitant young men after having been separated from someone they aren’t sure they can trust, and in the midst of their suffering from horrendous dreams, attacks by Trollocs, Fade, and the dark lord himself, they find themselves wishing they were once again united with the untrustworthy Aes Sedai woman and her fearless warder.

These sweet boys from Two Rivers, now sick, cold, wet from sleeping in the rain and hiding in the woods, would give their fate to the Red Ajah if it only meant they could have a warm bed, a hot meal, and a goodnight’s sleep without the Tormentor knocking on the windows of their minds.

We’ve lost Thom, but Rand holds onto the gleeman’s coat and his flute, just like Rand holds on to his father’s sword, for Thom had become their best friend. These are the only securities they have in a brutal world where they don’t know who is against them. It seems like everyone is. Thom taught them to sing and juggle for a meal. They still wonder about his advice to be wary of Tar Valon. Advice that confuses them because Moraine and Lan saved them from the Trollocs and the Fade and promised to keep them safe from a destiny they’re fearful to fulfill.

As I read, I too am suspicious of anyone that crosses Rand and Mat’s path. And I can tell you, it gets worse. But alas, we’ve a long journey ahead.

The Wheel of Time - FilmsZilla - Stream & Download TV Series

You can’t just read one book. No. You have to read fourteen books, because you’ll be on this road until it ends, or until it loops back around to that quiet town which they may never see again.

Yes, I’m on chapter 34 and I will probably not post again until the end of book 1.

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To the River! Wheel of Time review chapters 17 – 22

A continuation of a book/film review of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time, in collaboration with my reading partner Gwen Whiting, whose post I will reblog as soon as it’s up.

There are spoilers galore in these reviews so if you haven’t read the books, you might want to pass. Some of what I cover is not in the TV series and I think it is well worth mentioning these scenes. It’s a shame some of them didn’t make the screen.

Artist : Vance Kovacks

Thom Merrilin, the gleeman, is an integral part of Robert Jordan’s story, especially in Eye of the World. Granted he’s not seen enough in the TV series. But in the books, not only is he a strong right-hand man for the boys but he’s got an amusing personality and brings a bit of comic relief to otherwise tense situations. I’m thinking in particular when Rand and Mat meet up with him at the river as they escape the hair-raising experience of Shadar Logoth, are first separated from Moraine and Lan, and again from Egwene and Perrin. Rand, Mat charge on. It’s every man (woman and Aes Sedai) for themselves when they meet Thom unexpectantly at the river just as the trollocs are about to massacre them.

They jump on Captain Domon’s boat. The poor crewmen are awoken at night, stepped on, and threatened by the two-horned monsters, having to hack away at their lines to get them to deep waters. There’s no time to go back, and Rand mourns that he might have left Egwene to her death.

The captain is angry at these three vagabonds jumping his boat, the trollocs destroying his ship, and strangers seeking passage with no money. Of course, he asks who they are, where they come from, and where they’re going. Rand and Mat (especially Mat) are so shaken up over Domon’s threat to throw them overboard that they are just about to spill the beans of a very secret course when good old Thom interrupts with a tip of his gleeman’s hat preventing some vital information from being leaked.

“Now that is a story…” Thom says and begins to unfold the most colorful tall tale ever you did hear! A complete yarn, co-starring Rand and Mat as gleeman apprentices looking for buried treasure that belongs to the dark lord.

“The way Thom told it (the danger) seemed to be aimed at him personally, and to have been handled by him with the greatest adroitness. With much derring-do mostly by Thom…” Wheel of Time, Eye of the World Robert Jordan.

Even Rand and Mat listen with mouths open. Thom ends by assuring Domon any treasure they made away with remained with the horses that took off before they came aboard the ship.

Enough to calm everyone’s nerves and get a chuckle from the reader. Who can’t love the gleeman?

This is the storytelling that I love. And though the TV series is well and fun, there is so much more.

Here’s Captain Domon by

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Eye of the World Re-read | Trouble Brewing.

I’m a bit late for this post as I was waiting on my partner in crime-or critique-(Gwen Whiting‘s blog) and she’s been ill. But now that I’ve read what she has to say, I’m comfortable voicing my own opinion on these next few chapters.

I actually love the slower pace of Jordan’s work. I agree the pacing with the TV show is way too fast. I wonder if they had done better making a movie series instead of a tv show so that they can fit all the wonderful details that Jordan puts into his writing. (Well, “all” would be impossible, more would be nice.)

In these chapters, 11 – 17 we have the Two Rivers folk trailing behind Moraine much against their will across Taren Ferry chased by Trollocs and then into what they think is a big city (which Jordan constantly reminds us is nothing compared to what’s to come.) But the TV show passes Baerlon where Jordan made a pit stop to show us some relationships, and introduce the Dark One and all the drama that goes with that encounter.

One of the relationships I picked up more in the book was that of Rand and Nynaeve, and I think it’s important here because, having read the whole series once already, we need to know that there’s a give and take between the Wisdom, and the innocent yet coming-of-age Rand. It’s almost as though she wants to be kind to him, kind like a concerned (and nagging) mother. She has little patience. Still, they converse, and they converse often.

Friction develops between all the Two Rivers folks, in fact. Between Egwene and Rand especially. He despises that she has her heart set on being an Aes Sedai instead of on him. And you get a good sense of the bitterness developing between Lan and the Two River boys, even though Moraine tries to ignore them all.

My favorite part of any story is character interaction, and Jordan does well with this, giving everyone their good sides and their cranky sides. I especially love that Thom has been traveling with the group all this time because he plays the part of the eagle eye, the fellow involved and yet not involved: the guy who can take off if he wants because he’s not committed to any of it but who sees with a bird’s eye view what is going on. And he acts as a counselor to the trio.

Even at this point of the book, I find myself pulling for Rand, Mat, and Perrin because the heaviness of trouble is beginning to burden them. They have dreams that affect them physically and emotionally. They are anxious about what they are getting into. Headed for Tar Valon where women use their powers against men? They have little to no guidance aside from an encouraging word of the gleeman who seems worried about them but won’t actually come out and tell them why.

Moraine might be leading them, but into what? And Lan is protecting Moraine. The girls don’t seem to understand because they aren’t seeing the Dark One. They think the threat is merely physical. Rand, Perrin, and Mat are learning it’s more than what a quick sword and ax, or accurate arrow can handle. They know where they’re going could be the end to life…their’s and everyone else’s.

I am enjoying this book once again. Now’s a good time to pick it up before season two comes out!

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan - 1990

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How Fantastical is Fantasy?

I don’t often write with anything political in mind. And when I do, I try to not throw in my opinion. But just like any other writer, you can’t stop putting some of yourself in your books. And if that part of you sees an injustice…well for me, I show it somehow even if it’s an opinion of one of my characters or an event that happens that magnifies the consequences of wrong actions.

One of my stories, ALTERED is a story about a family in the very near future who are targeted by a government re-designing the food supply in order to control what people think, how they act, and how the government can use them. Each member of the family is affected in different ways and the story follows the youngest member, a 12-year-old girl, and her fight to change things for the better. I was inspired by things that were happening in the world, and said to myself, what would happen if control of the food supply really got out of hand? I think I did pretty good keeping my opinion out of it. In fact, one reviewer commended me for keeping it a dystopia adventure story rather than a political rant.

Well, DARKNESS HOLDS THE SON touches on something that’s been happening in our world too. And it was also inspired by current events and hopefully, it will open eyes because it focuses on our children and how necessary we are as parents to look out for them and their well-being. No one can do as well as we who brought them into this world! That’s all I’m going to say unless people want to discuss the story after it’s published.

I just sent it to the editors. I’m excited to clean it up and get it to you. In the meantime, enjoy a little excerpt word art. I love making these.

Darkness Holds the Son takes us to a small village named Tuluva where Jareth, an unemployed mercenary, and his wife and two children are raising goats to sustain themselves. Things go well for them until the land-baron of Ogress raises their taxes, forcing Jareth to pick up his crossbow and return to the battlefield. Jareth has an even more pressing problem than keeping his family out of debtor’s prison, though. His son Crispin has seizures that are caused by magic and if Jareth doesn’t find the source soon, it could be fatal as the boy hears voices instructing him to kill his father. On Jareth’s quest, he discovers that the same affliction is haunting all the children in the kingdom.

Join Jareth, his wife, and King Barin in this new adventure as they search the Neverworld and half of Casdamia to find and destroy that which has taken the youth of their world captive.

FYI the book can be pre-ordered at retailers now.

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The Last Chapter!

Darkness Holds the Son

So I have one more chapter to go. Does anyone procrastinate like I am to get this finished? Is there some psychological reason behind wrapping up a one hundred thousand word novel? I swear I must finish it today because I already paid an editor to get this done.

I think the major reason I’m putting it off is that it’s a battle scene and those are my hardest events to write. But I have the strategy planned out so it should be easy, right? My issue is I want it to be awesome and I guess I’m questioning whether I can live up to my own expectations. In any case, it’s 7:47 in the morning and I have plenty of time today to get on it. Wish me well!

For anyone interested, the work-in-progress is on Patreon. Join me there!

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Wheel of Time: A Tale of Three Boys

Screen capture of Wheel of Time Sony Pictures and Amazon Studios

A Commentary

Gwen Whiting and I are reading Wheel of Time again, with hopes to better understand what the TV show is actually doing and to express our thoughts as we go through the chapters. We began with the first ten chapters and you can see her thoughts here.

Reflections on The Eye of the World/WOT (1-10)

She is concentrating on the women and the White Tower and all the politics behind those elements of the story. Elements she found intriguing.

Our thoughts of the story are pretty much Ying/Yang. So, I’m going to write about the fellas, because that’s what drew me into the world from the beginning.


Unlike Gwen, I don’t have the YA version of the novel with that new prologue. The story starts with the aftermath of the breaking of the world, setting the stage for what’s to come. Also setting Robert Jordan’s incredible voice. I love how he put words together to draw us, the reader into this world and to keep us there.

My first impression of TV WOT was not a good one. The rumor was they were going to create the story from Moraine’s point of view. Whereas that’s a creative way to tell the story, it pushed my favorite player backstage. Because Rand is the character who drew me into the series in the first place since the author created him as the main character from the beginning.

His youth, his quest, his obstacles, his hopes unfulfilled, his dreams cut short, his coming of age, and his part in the wheel of time —all necessary elements for the story. Moraine was a supporting character. Probably his most faithful and able supporting character, but still a supporting character. So I trembled at the rumor, which was somewhat pacified with the casting of Moraine. She’s the epitome of how I visualized her to be. That helped appease my disappointment, somewhat.

Whereas the women pulled the strings to the politics in these worldwide societies, we see three young men going through trials and errors trying to deal with a matriarchy. I must emphasize the word ‘young’ because the boys are young in the book, adolescents just entering manhood, still up to (very amusing) pranks, easy-going lifestyles, and when something like an Aes Sedai comes around they are actually paranoid. Their innocence is important because it magnifies how the women of the Tower are even more abusive, and how that same attitude comes across through both Egwene and Nynaeve.

No matter who is in control, power corrupts, and complete power corrupts completely. For Lews to lose it and kill his wife and break the world, is no different than what the women of the Tower do. But that comes much later.

Regardless of what I say about the characters, Don’t get me wrong. I think Joshua Stradowski, Barney Harris (will miss him) and Marcus Rutherford are well cast and engaging actors!

Chapters 1 – 10 deal with our boys in the Two Rivers, when they first lay eyes on a dreaded Aes Sedai, and their resistance to leaving home regardless of it having been destroyed by Trollocs. They are still boys. This is one reason giving Perrin a wife threw a red flag at me. No. Just no.

They still have parents to help, chores to do, and dreams to build on. The only reason Rand trusts Moraine one time is because his father is dying and Nynaeve won’t help.

Our boys are afraid and awed by any magic that happens.

And why wasn’t Thom with them from the beginning? He was a confidant for the boys. When they couldn’t tell anyone about the rat-dream (sorry, the movie said bats but it was rats) they told Thom. They needed him. He’s an amazing character!

And one of the most impressive parts of the book is when Moriaine tells the legend of the Manetheren to the entire Two Rivers community to instill courage in a town of cowards. Goodness knows those people will need it later on! Change that and one has to wonder where their courage will come from!

With all their fears, though, our boys aren’t above some mudslinging when the White Cloaks come into town on a rainy day…and then laugh about it. Oh yes. My favorites in the stories are Rand, Mat, and if I must Perrin. I say to the producers, keep the innocence in the story for as long as you can! It pulls at the heart, and gives us a few chuckles along the way!

Yinza from devianart

If you are enjoying the show I promise you if you like to read you will love the books!

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Clean Sweet Fantasy Books


Start your new year right! Enjoy some sweet romance and loving fantasy stories to read while bundled up next to the fire on a cold winter’s day. Rise of the Tobian Princess is just the book for you, but there are other wonderful stories here as well! Try Lorri Moulton’s book Spell Bound, she’s a good friend of mine. The others look awesome too though I haven’t read them yet!

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After Wheel of Time

Season 1 Book and Show review

Cover Art | The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (E-book ...

My good friend and blogger-partner Gwen Whiting and I have been discussing Wheel of Time.

See her post here

The show has left some unsettled questions, questions we can’t even ask until we go back and review the book. I just don’t have the memory it takes to recall the series of events in the story. So after episode 8, you’ll find us talking about the books, and comparing them somewhat to the show.

We aren’t going to do this to be highly critical of the adaption, but rather to add our own opinions because, like I said before, the series leaves the reader with a certain possessiveness. These characters are ours, you know. They played upon our emotions, our hearts, for so long they became ours.

Light and bloody ashes, you’re talking at least three months of abduction!

I’ve already started reading again and had forgotten how rich Jordan’s writing is. It was this series that made me want to start writing epic fantasy, and not just fantasy in itself. I wanted to learn how to dig deeply into the world I’m creating, from the very road we walk on, to the blazing sun or stormy wind. I want to see every detail and learn to write it.

I’m still not there. I still don’t create my world as richly as Jordan does, so that there’s no stone left uncovered, or detail ignored. But it’s a goal. Reading his words, and there are many, again will help me enrich mine, and for that I’m thrilled.

I’ve found reviewers have in the past criticized my own work for being too descriptive, and here I am complaining they aren’t enough! I think there’s something to be said about fantasy lovers and their need to touch, taste, and smell the world they step into. We’re a breed of our own!

And so next week, come back and read what we have to say about The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan.

Wheel of Time release date | TV series' cast, trailer ...
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Episode #7 and Time keeps Wheeling

I have to say, “FINALLY!”

You know, if you’ve read all 14 books in the series of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time, you’ve become invested in the world and the characters. The books take up a complete shelf and a half on my bookshelf. And I think it took me 3 months to read all the words. And when I read I was there in every magnificent city enjoying the wonders, experiencing the terrors, feeling the pain, and I must admit, getting angry at some of the characters and absolutely loving others.

Like many other readers, I wanted this TV series to work. I’ve set my mind and heart to enjoy it because I know nothing would ever mirror the things I saw in my mind while reading the series, so that’s ok. Needless to say, when the show started playing on a sort of mystery (WHO IS THE DRAGON REBORN) I was a bit perturbed.

Wheel of Time is a fantasy, a journey, a quest, a thriller, a story that grabs your emotions and makes mincemeat out of them. What it’s not is a mystery…sorry. Maybe after 13 books, you wonder how it’s going to end, maybe that kind of mystery…but I don’t remember wondering who the dragon reborn is.

So now that that part of the show is over in episode 7 we can get on to the story. Unfortunately, there’s only one more episode to this season…so…

Rand al’Thorn is the one I was rooting for from the very beginning, and he has to be the hero or it just isn’t the right story. So thank you. Thank you for that! I can breathe now!

The Wheel of Time HD Wallpaper | Background Image ...
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Cocoa, Firelight, and Sweet Romance

Where we live the power goes out. A lot. It doesn’t even have to be winter. The wind doesn’t have to be blowing. There doesn’t have to be lightning. Sometimes it just poofs*it’s out. No Internet, no fan on the propane heater, no well pumping (that’s the worse)…and everything goes silent.

At our house, we never know how long it’s going to last. Maybe a few minutes. Maybe a couple of hours. Maybe a full day or two. My husband is happy with just roughing it, so we don’t have a generator. We just have water stored away. (We’re on a well and someday I’m going to get a hand pump.) Sometimes, if we think it’s going to go out we fill the bathtub so we can flush the toilet. We don’t open the fridge or freezer and if it’s cold out and we expect the power to be out a long time we’ll push the freezer out the back door. Yes, that’ how rustic we are. One thing I’ve always made sure of, though, is that we have a gas heater and a gas cookstove so we aren’t depending on electric for heat or hot food.

So what do we do when the power goes out? Read. Read. And read again. It makes the day worth living. I love to read books that take me to other places and of course, sitting in the dark by candle or lantern or one of those heavy-duty Costco battery operated lamps, other places sure look good!

That’s another reason I like paperback books best, because I don’t have to depend on a battery for my travels.

And that’s why sales like this one, these sweet romance books, are so enjoyable. Take a look and put some on your TBR list and plan on some cozy reading when the world is blanketed in white and frost peeks into your window with thousands of crystal eyes.
Posted in authors, bloggers, Book Covers, Books, Ebooks, fantasy, folk story, Free, historical romance, inspiration, life, Love, musing, musings, newsletters, Romance, sale, Stories, weather, writers, writing | Leave a comment

A little update about Tuesday’s Tellings!

You’ll get some special TLC if you subscribe to Tuesday’s Tellings FREE newsletter. There are 28 more chapters in this story Pouraka, which, if you subscribe now, you can catch up with both the book and audio together…which I will deliver faithfully!

I remember when I was little and my mom would get me those Disney books and audiobook combinations and how I loved them! It was so much fun listening to the audio and reading along at the same time. Well, that’s one reason I’m so excited about Substack. Because with that platform I can bring the same experience to you. And even though these aren’t little kids’ stories, I’m thinking there’s a place in everyone’s hearts for that kind of storytelling! So enjoy!

I wanted to also tell you a little about the next audiobook/novel I’m offering for paid subscribers on Substack.

I’ll be delivering An Unconventional Mr. Peadlebody on the first of the year for paid subscribers only. This is a comedy about a dysfunctional vampire family one of whom is trying to solve a murder mystery, the other two are doing their best to become not-vampires. The book is funny but the narrator Brad Wills is hilarious. There will be audio, a few video clips of some filming we did as well as a trailer we made, and illustrations. I think you’ll enjoy it!

Subscribe Now

And if you like epic fantasy, just a few more days are left for Darkness Holds the Son’s Kickstarter campaign. Perks start at $5 and ebook and paperbacks, maps, and hardcover copies are offered in different tiers as well.

Posted in audio, authors, bloggers, Books, Ebooks, folk story, Free, inspiration, KickStarter, mini series, newsletters, Patreon, Pouraka, serialized novels, Stories, Underwater Romance, writers, writing | Leave a comment

Fantasy Titles to Keep you Warm this Winter!

What a great lineup of Indie Fantasy!

I don’t know about you, but I love to read and I love to read books that take me somewhere special. Winter is the best time to be snuggled up to a warm fire at home while traveling to another world, a different land, through a portal, on the salty sea, or even in the heavens. It’s time to wrap up and forget politics, forget the weather, forget the grueling mania of icy roads, and overcrowded shopping malls.It’s time to READ!

Let someone else solve the problems…like authors!

Take a peek at these stories and grab some for your kindles or ebooks or even a paperback or two! These authors are inviting you to journey with them (us) to make your days just a little bit more relaxing!

Posted in authors, blog hop, bloggers, Book Covers, Books, Ebooks, fantasy, historical fantasy, Ian's Realm Saga, inspiration, musing, musings, Patreon, sale, Stories, writers, writing | Leave a comment

A Thanksgiving Gift for Bloggers and Readers!

After a long season of working hard in the fields, farmers chose a day to feast and enjoy their harvest, being thankful for the bounty that would see them through the winter months.

It’s true that thankfulness is a virtue helping us through life… to see the good outweigh the bad, the plenty overwhelm the little, the cup half full instead of half empty. It’s a time when we can look around us and see all the beautiful things in life that we’ve been granted.

I’m thankful there are people that read my blog! So enjoy this coupon for any books on my website! Buy 1 get 1 free! until Nov 30. Use the promo code Bloggers


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Wheel of Time | An extravagant book trailer.

I’m just wondering who is out there watching Wheel of Time? You know I am. I read all the books. What an adventure that was! My daughter is actually the one that told me about the story and at first, I wasn’t interested. Then my husband read them. And then I tried, put it down, and tried again. The second time I was hooked. We have all the books, some purchased as seconds, most my daughter gave me. I have one hardcover that was autographed by Robert Jordan!

I’m reading so much positive and negative about Amazon’s film adaption already and of course, everyone has an opinion. Personally, having done some screenwriting myself I know you can’t take 14 books, each 1,000s of pages long, and expect to condense it all into a TV series without skipping parts.

What you can do, and what Sony and Amazon have done, is compile the important plot points and condense them into a pretty exciting story.

I’m not here to give spoilers, although the heated debate over whether Egwene is going to be the dragon is pretty much resolved by episode three when Moraine suggests the girl become Aes Sedai, which follows the book in thought. I also see that to provide all the book details would be extremely difficult because Jordan takes his multitude of characters and puts them in all different places throughout the series. Try doing that in a 1-hour movie!

I see this series as more of a summary of Jordan’s story. I’m watching it for what it is. A well-done fantasy tale with extremely good acting, good direction, fantastic locations, well-thought-out cinematography, and epic music. Not to mention the amazing opening credits.

You might even call it an extravagant book trailer, because if you want to know the details…read the books!

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Darkness Holds the Son

The Kickstarter is LAUNCHED.

An epic fantasy, one full novel from beginning to end (no series), Darkness Holds the Son is a story about manipulation of the worse kind, that which would instill impure thoughts in the minds of children, and the sacrifice a parent makes to protect them.

In a world where children become pawns in a political arena, this story might hit home to some of you in different ways, from different perspectives. I’m certain we all find it necessary to nurture and protect the innocence of our children. In this complicated world of Cho Nisi, the characters risk everything, even their lives, to sacrifice for the sanctity of childhood.

I believe there are nuggets that anyone can walk away with by reading this adventure.

If you like my writing, I must tell you I’m pouring my all into this one. The story should be completed by March, and I would love backers on the Kickstarter.

There are a lot of perks available when you back including the eBook, a paperback, and a hardback copy and also maps, and short stories that complement the novel.

Please consider backing this project on Kickstarter. I promise not to disappoint you! Who is in?

Work in progress art by illustrator Ömer Burak Önal

Posted in authors, blog hop, bloggers, Books, casues, challenge, Current Affairs, Ebooks, fantasy, folk story, inspiration, KickStarter, life, musing, musings, New Release, newsletters, Patreon, sale, Stories, writers, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fulfillment of an Author

I have to say my latest decision to publish my backlist in a newsletter is bringing back that spark of life I’d been missing. It makes me wonder what exactly is the ultimate fulfillment of an author?

Is fulfillment in sales and making a good amount of money? I can’t deny that making an income on your work is fulfilling, but that’s only a sign, not a goal. For me, anyway. A sign that people are interested in your work, that they are willing to pay money to read your stories, that you are “bonafide”!

But what if we aren’t bonafide as authors? What if we are so indie published that we’ve never been tributed by the New York Times? What if our reach out there is so tiny that only close friends know about our stories? Does that make us any less of a storyteller?

I think not.

So money isn’t my fulfillment, though it does help to pay a cover artist or an editor.

What fulfills me, personally, as a writer, author…creative…is putting my stories on paper, adding images, audio, video mixing it all up to make an experience and then…and this is the important part…and then SHARING it the way you mean it to be shared!

Because there’s so little cash to be made for a small indie author like myself going through a middle man who will pay me pennies on the dollar, and then forbid me from creating the full potential of my stories, I’ve been frustrated.

Until now! Now, with this new-to-me forum called Substack, I can send out newsletters that include all those things I just mentioned. In my next issue of Pouraka, I will have the audio, imagery, and the story all on one page for my readers, and I’m anxious to see their response. If I can do this, then I can surely reach people with the story I want them to have on my own terms. I’m even considering taking all my books down from the giant retailers one by one and offering them myself in this format. I love it and I think you will too!

Read Pouraka and listen to the audio in one experience. Subscribe to Tuesday’s Telling and Fantasy Friday.


Posted in art, audio, authors, bloggers, Book Covers, Books, casues, Current Affairs, Ebooks, fantasy, folk story, Free, inspiration, life, Mermaids, musing, musings, New Release, Patreon, Pouraka, Romance, Stories, Underwater Romance, writers, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Change of plans for Fantasy Friday

I’ve decided to hold off on publishing Darkness Holds the Son for Fantasy Friday newsletter subscription since the serialized novel is available on Patreon, and the book will be available as pre-order on Kickstarter on the 15th of November. Instead, I’m going to be publishing some of the short fables I’ve been writing as a bi-weekly offering until the newsletter takes off. Because of that, I’ll offer the subscription at a discount as soon as I figure out how.

Image by Smim Bipi from Pixabay


I think you will enjoy the stories. They are all fantasy fables. I’ve included a little preview for you on the link.

The first story is The Magic Plum. Come check it out!

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Introducing Tuesday’s Telling

2021 Special! on Tuesday Tellings
50% off for 12 months with an annual subscription

I’m excited to bring you 2 new offerings! 2 newsletters filled with stories of wonder and curiosities. For the free subscription on Tuesdays, the publication Tuesday’s Tellings will bring you some of my back-listed novels in the serialized form free for the reading with four chapters a month sent on Tuesdays. The first novel you’ll receive is my now unpublished story Pouraka.

To subscribe to the free newsletter, click the button below and choose “free”. To subscribe to Fantasy Friday choose how you want to pay and a payment method. Thanks!

The life of a dolphin as seen thrugh the eyes of a mermaid.

Tuesday’s paid subscription will be Pouraka and the audio together with illustrations and a short video.

To subscribe to the free newsletter, click the button below and choose “free”. To subscribe to Fantasy Friday choose how you want to pay and a payment method. Thanks!

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Old Ghosts in New Times

Not to rob the grave or anything…

But I’ve been thinking about Grai’s spirit in Hoarfrost to Roses, and how human beings are so intricately made, with the bad and ugly trying to overcome what is inherently good in us. Not that we’re all that bad, but like Grai, when life circumstances come against us, when we think there’s nothing left for us but death, or when we see the world bullying us into our grave, sometimes the only thing that can save us is our spirit — our life.

I so enjoyed writing this story because I got to explore my own complicated essence. How negative musings can be jolted 180 degrees simply by connecting to the part of me that wants to live, and live in peace. The part of me that wants to turn winter’s hoarfrost into colorful blooms that brighten the day.

Grai stretched out and leaned his head on the masonry wall, whereupon his grandfather’s favorite dog had been immortalized as a statue. He shivered as he surveyed what was once a patio, but now only a clearing of broken stone and rubble separated from the courtyard by an arbor of twisted wisteria. The wound in his side pulsated and still bled, though he’d wrapped it with a torn shirt he found in the root cellar. His waistcoat, blood-soaked and stiff, he’d taken off that morning and discarded.

With half-closed eyes, he watched his spirit move about the garden, bringing life into the heirloom roses that had once made his grandfather proud—something he had dreamed to accomplish in reality. A useless gesture now in the winter. Pulling his coat tighter over his shoulders, he groaned as a spasm of pain passed through him. If he lived long enough to fulfill his dreams of rebuilding this place, it would surprise him. He assumed his death would come in a matter of days, and then his stepfather would celebrate by selling the estate. The man who, no doubt, paid to have him murdered.

The work of his spirit brought him solace, though, and he enjoyed observing the transformation of dead plants into blooming heirloom roses. He guessed his spirit was performing these minor miracles to please him, to get his mind off death. If nothing else—through his spirit—he could imagine his dreams being fulfilled. For that, he could die in peace.

His spirit slid under the wisteria to the courtyard where the colorful lights of budding roses filtered through the mildewed branches. Grai opened his eyes with a start, surprised that the spirit’s work ended abruptly, and the quivering image returned to his side.

“Why did you stop?”
“A trespasser is here in the garden.”
Grai moaned. They were after him, still? He tried to move, the pain too unbearable. He swallowed. “How many?” he whispered.
“I saw only one. A woman. A very pretty woman.”
“A woman? A spy.”
“Perhaps,” his spirit answered and looked back the way he had come as if he wanted to return to where he’d been. “She’s gone now.”
He seemed disappointed.

In 1879, somewhere near Port Townsend, WA, there was a mystery, a romance…and a ghost. Here, and today it’s on sale. I hope you enjoy the read!

Purchase now!

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Lost in the Middle of a Saga

Beginning Saturday on the Short Story Tier in Patreon, I’ll be posting chapters to Lost on Taikus, and will continue with a story that has never been published and hasn’t ultimately been finished. While doing this, perhaps I’ll continue where I left off!

Lost on Taikus is a continuation of the Tale of the Four Wizards, and follows Reuben’s son, Abbott. The story it leads into I’ve never published and is named after this boy as he grows into manhood. Abbott is the bridge between the wizard tales and the climactic conclusion of Ian’s Realm, which no one knows about. I’ve waited years to resolve these issues. If you’ve read Cassandra’s Castle, you know that Martim is in possession of Cassie’s cell phone, the portal between the worlds, that Alex remains in the Realm with the Kaermperns, and that Cassie is back home with her parents Ian and Abbi, and that she’s mournfully in love with Martim, now the king of Alisubbo.

You must also know that Ivar is on the Taikan throne, and is preparing war with Alisubbo for how many years now? Ever since I wrote Cassandra’s Castle….so things have to change. Someday I must write the final book(s). I’m thinking by putting these stories up on Patreon I will have to!

So if you’ve been reading a Tale of the Four Wizards (available on Patreon) and Ian’s Realm, I think you’ll enjoy Lost on Taikus and what’s to come after. I’ve even made some videos for each chapter.

If you’re new to my Patreon page, and like my writing, and love the world of the Realm, please consider pledging the $5 a month for the short story tier. I’ll make it worth your while!

Those in higher tiers will have access to these stories.

Posted in authors, Books, Ebooks, fantasy, Ian's Realm Saga, musing, musings, Patreon, Short stories, Stories, writers, writing | 2 Comments

Something New & Fun

I started a Patreon page. I’m offering 4 tiers. One is for random writings, and gifts. One is for short stories, a lot of them haven’t been published yet. One is for my new novel work in progress. I’m attempting to write a chapter a week for that one and as soon as I find a title I will hire out some artwork for it. And the last one is for artwork.

I’ve been posting printable bookmarks, but today in the Art Only tier I posted a high res PDF file of my Poppies painting…and a license that gives you the right to print it for your own enjoyment! I think it’s well worth the $11 a month if you get a painting every month to print out. You can even print them on canvas if you like. I’ll be posting greeting card PDFs too. Please consider!

As far as the work in progress tier ($10 a month) you’ll come out of it with free digital downloads AND a signed paperback of the story I’m working on. The short stories tier ($5 a month) has stories that I’m not sure I will ever publish but I’m proud of them none the same.

Please do take a look!

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Checks and Balances

I’ve been binge watching the Vikings. I know, it’s a brutal show, but I find it a very thought provoking one as well. I can’t get it off my mind concerning the subject of envy and jealousy. Two emotions that plague the world constantly and as a writer and artist I’m seeing the need to mention a check and balance.

We all know not to compare ourselves, our talents and skills to others, but we do. And the consequences of jealousy don’t only affect the guilty party, they affect the recipient.

Think how much Rollo’s envy affected Ragnar personally, not withstanding the wars that were fought. Grief was not the Viking King’s only emotion, having lost a brother, but there was a lack of self-confidence in Ragnar that arose from Rollo’s spite.

If someone is envious of you, how do you feel? If they don’t rejoice in your triumphs, but rather despise them or wish you unwell, it takes something of your joy away, doesn’t it? It hurts, and that’s the intention, it seems. I find that I slip away into the shadows if I sense someone envious of me.

We can’t fix how we feel in those moments other than to continually tell ourselves that other’s opinions don’t matter. But on the other hand, we can fix our own jealousies. We can cheer each other on…and mean it…instead of wishing we were in that person’s place. When we do, the world becomes a much kinder environment.

Famous quotes about 'Envy' - Sualci Quotes 2019
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10 years and still going strong.

Film and book signing tomorrow

Ian’s Realm, after 10 years of being on the market is STILL going strong, delighting families, and making its mark. Having been on Amazon’s best seller’s list twice, ranking next to Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, I’m thrilled that it’s still on track. Traditional publishing would have retired these books after 3 years.

The advantage of being self-published keeps it popular, and at the reception today in Lakewood, I know the screening of our short little Indie film tomorrow will boost it in popularity even more.

I hope you can come and celebrate with us if you’re in the Lakewood, WA area tomorrow, Sunday Oct 9. We’ll be showing Ian’s Realm Concept Film at the Lakewood film/book/ and art festival.

The concept film has been in 21 film festival, and won 14 awards internationally.

Come watch the film at 3 PM, see the 9 ft dragon, and get your copies of the autographed books! Sunday October 9th. See you there!

Posted in authors, bloggers, Books, Cassandra's Castle, Current Affairs, fantasy, film, filmmaking, Ian's Realm Saga, inspiration, movie making, writers, writing | 2 Comments

War as an Employer

This post has little to do with today’s world, but since my new main character in this story I’m writing (Sorry no title yet) is a mercenary, I’ve been thinking hard about what it must be like to depend on war to put food on the table, a roof over the family’s head, and of course, to pay the taxes and keep everyone out of jail.

I started wondering about this as I was writing and had to put myself in this character’s (Jareth’s) place, and in the time and situation he lives which is mostly fantasy but fashioned somewhere in the middle ages. Back then, mercenaries didn’t have a good reputation. And when there wasn’t a war to fight, many of them resorted to thievery and extortion. Jareth, having a family and being the protagonist in this story, wavers in his attempt to live a normal life in time of peace, but it’s nothing he’s cut out to do. He’s a warrior. I had to play with this idea in the opening chapter while he’s talking with his wife and children.

You think you’ll find work that quickly?” Lorica asked as she set the cast iron pot back on the coals.

 “There’s been rumor of war in Ogress,” Jareth answered as he chewed. “If I get there soon enough, the baron’s militia will hire me.”

“I thought you were against the baron,” Crispin (his son) commented.

I’m against his taxes, but I have to think of my family first. Joining an army who pays will put food on our table.” He smiled at his son. “By doing so I pay the tax and have a measure more to live on. It works out for us in the end.”

“But the common folk?”

“Son, So long as the baron has money to buy an army, the common folk will lose.”

“Father, if the war came to Tulva, would you still fight for the baron–against our friends?” Kandi asked.

The war will come to Tulva. It’s just a matter of time. I hope to have our finances in order by then. Perhaps I will be rich enough to pay my own army.”

I guess the moral question here is, how far will you go to help the ones you love?

Having mapped out this story loosely, there are still some questions I’ll have to answer for Jareth’s sake, and discover exactly what his character arc will be. Because there’s pressure on him not only to pay his taxes, but to pursue the deviltry that is haunting his son. This story is going to take us on an extensive trip through a mysterious empire and the abyss of the Underworld. I’m looking forward to the journey!

The joys of writing. I hope I can entice you to come along for the ride!

Posted in authors, bloggers, Books, challenge, fantasy, inspiration, life, musing, musings, Stories, writers, writing | Leave a comment

Catching up!

I’ve been writing and am about 10,000 words into my next novel. It’s a spin-off novel that takes place in the Potamia kingdom. (the Sword of Cho Nisi world). We have a new main character, Jareth. He’s a family man but also a mercenary looking for employment, i.e. a war. But there’s some other issues going on with him and his family that make up the plot line. Needless to say, he wants to join up with King Barin’s army so he can make enough money to pay his taxes. In order for that to happen, the Potamians will have to be fighting someone. I wonder who! In any case, we’ll see if Jareth and his family can stay out of prison or not!

Other news, I was thrilled to find out that KDP is doing hardcover books. With Christmas coming, hard cover books make the most beautiful Christmas presents so I have an offer for my fans. I’m in the process of making hardcovers for the Cho Nisi series.

If you buy them, send me the confirmation number and your address and I will send you copies on parchment of the three maps of the world…signed with a personal thank you note addressed to whomever you choose. Curse of Mount Ream hardcover will be available in the next few days.

Events coming up:

I’ll be at the Bellevue Hilton Hotel this weekend joining some great authors on panels that address honing our writing skills at RustyCon. But that’s not all RustyCon is about. There’s gaming, art, costumes, and dance and some guest speakers. I hope to see you there.

FYI I will be signing paperbacks of the Cho Nisi series, and the Ian’s Realm trilogy at 11 am on Saturday in the corridor.

If you missed seeing our concept film Ian’s Realm in 2019, we’re making a complementary screening at the Lakewood Film, Art, and Book Fest on Oct 8 & 9. I’ll have my book series there too for signing.

Posted in bloggers, Book Covers, Book Reviewers, Books, fantasy, folk story, Ian's Realm Saga, inspiration, musing, musings, New Release, writers, writing | Leave a comment

Just a little inspiration

A good friend tagged me with this quote and I thought it very fitting to go with my “On Fantasy” page!

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Just so you know

Rise of the Tobian Princess, ebook, is FREE to celebrate the release of Curse of Mount Ream. To add to that, book 2 Fall of the Kings is on sale for $3.99.

Enjoy the series!! And don’t forget about Silver Threads, the short story companion collection!

Posted in bloggers, Book Reviewers, Books, Ebooks, fantasy, Free, Giveaway | Leave a comment

Epic! Both the Sale and the Books!

This month book 3, the final conclusion of Sword of Cho Nisi will be launched. (August 30th to be exact), and to celebrate its launch I’m offering books 1 and 2 at a low sale price of only $3.99.

The last and final installment of an epic adventure, Curse of Mount Ream is on pre-order now and will be available August 30. The prequels Rise of a Tobian Princess and Fall of the Kings are both on sale this month only!

Click the Epic banner to find them and a collection of other great fantasy reads.

What’s fun, is that I’ve pooled with other epic fantasy writers and we’re doing a BookFunnel Promo for all our books. There are some really great ones on this list, and beautiful covers! Come take a look!

Epic Fantasy SALE

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Lessons learned in Fantasy

If you’re following my page with SPFBO author guest posts you’ll find some wonderful books by authors and their posts on the fantasy genre. I wanted to add a post of my own just for the record.


One of my favorite sub-genres to write is historical fantasy. It’s also one of the most difficult because it requires so much research and if you don’t get the history right, you’ll either lose folks or get negative reviews. That’s why I spent so much time on Thread of a Spider, a historical fantasy that takes us to 1920 Ireland when the IRA was newly formed and the people of southern Ireland said enough is enough! No more British oppression on their island. Because the Irish have deep family roots, and watched their ancestors suffer through so many tears and atrocities, they finally decided to end the oppression.

Books like Paddy’s Lament, Guerrilla Warfare in Ireland, and On Another Man’s Wounds became my resources for this novel as well as video interviews of men like Tom Barry who led the Irish Volunteers. Some may ask why didn’t I just write a historical fiction story instead of a fantasy story?

Because there was something greater in these broken people than force of arms -they had none when they began. What guns they had they stole from the British encampments.

What they did have was spirit, an Irish spirit that came from their culture, a strength of will, a common legacy that had been passed from one generation to the next that set them apart from others and bound them together as a nation. In Thread of a Spider I personify that spirit as the Fae Folk.

You see, even if the Fae aren’t real, even if the legends that the Irish hold dear are make-believe, something stronger was with those people and that entity helped them to win that final battle because the odds were against them.

By all rights, they shouldn’t have won.

I like to think it was their strong commitment to those who suffered before them that gave them courage. Culture, a sense of belonging, the beauty of a people, ethnicity, these elements have value that a fantasy story can shine its light on.

Thread of a Spider is on Kindle Unlimited for the summer months only.

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Instants of beauty

Today I had to take a breath and pause. Three times I was in awe of the beauty of nature and whispered gratitude for being in such a remarkable and beautiful place.

I didn’t have my camera with me. I wish I had, but I was walking to our mail box on our dirt road that meanders through the grass, dandelions and buttercups dotted the lawn with blooms, fruit trees hung heavy with apples and pears and plums on one side, blueberries peeking from the bushes on the other and near them, a lovely twisted willow.

Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fir veiled the street. The sky shimmered blue with just a hint of clouds. I had to slow down and consume it. I honestly think moments like that, when you stop and realize how lovely your surroundings are – those moments are life giving.

Later I sat on the bench outside and watched the honey bees and bumble bees dance from one bright yellow flower to the next, some of them bouncing clear to the ground on wobbly stems as the little bees rummaged for nectar. What fun it was to watch!

And finally this evening I found joy as the big bright summer moon appeared on the horizon when I was driving home…a yellow globe resting against a sunset background.

How I love to be alive.

Posted in angels, art, Current Affairs, earth, Garden, grass, green, inspiration, life, Love, mountain top, musing, musings | 5 Comments

Swift Six – Character Interview – Barte #Fantasy

So Barte son of Moshere stepped out of the palace to speak to us. We should feel honored!

Library of Erana

Character Name

My name is Barte son of Moshere. And no, there are no commas. That name, my friend is my title, though I believe my guardians should have included more surnames just to make it difficult for the common people to remember.

Which book/world do you live in?

I live in the books the author titles Sword of Cho Nisi. She really should have called it Sword of Casdamia as my empire is larger, stronger, and much more fitting than that tiny little island in the middle of the Nisi Sea. Did you know the natives walk barefoot on that island? I was there once but I don’t remember much. I was blind at the time—under the curse of that evil wizard Skotádi, the murderer of my parents. I’d rather not talk about it.

*Fiddles with his falcon’s breast feathers and kisses the leather helm over its head.


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