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One of my good friends, Charles E. Yallowitz, has kindly agreed to let me do a guest spot on his blog, Legends of Windemere, about my brand new novella, The Tower in the Mist. But it’s only fair I return the favor, so here is Charles with his own new book, War of Nytefall: Rivalry. With a full cast of vampires, this book is sure to please all you goths out there.

Welcome, Charles, and take it away!


Clyde & the Dawn Fangs return to face a new enemy: The Vampire Queen!

Cover Art by Alison Hunt

Seeking the pleasure of revenge,

an ancient rumor will reveal herself to be a deadly legend.

Lurking within the shadows for centuries, the Vampire Queen has been drawn to the conflict that surrounds Clyde. Only whispers have been spread about this elusive figure, who has amassed a kingdom that can rival Nyte and Nytefall. All that she is missing is the strongest vampire to crown as her king. In one fell swoop, she has taken the most powerful of her kind, including Clyde and Xavier Tempest. Hosting a tournament where the rules seem to change at her whim, the Vampire Queen threatens to shatter the already strained world that lurks beneath Windemere’s surface. Yet, there is more to her desires, which seep from a soul that is pulsing with fury. For her kingdom can never be complete until she holds the head of the one who wronged her centuries ago.

Can Mab stand against her ancient rival and save her monstrous partner?


Excerpt: Party Crashers

Among the well-dressed vampires, the pair are obviously out of place, but they are not approached thanks to everyone seeing them enter with the beautiful desserts. The lack of suspicion allows them to move around the room and mingle with the waitstaff, who they talk to about the other dishes. Clyde makes sure to stay as far away from Xavier and Nadia as possible, but not appear too obvious. He watches the couple talk with their new council, all of them standing atop the dais where the thrones of Nyte have been placed. There are a set of nine smaller chairs being set up at the base of the steps, each one adorned with its owner’s house symbol. The Dawn Fang notes that they are all some kind of flower, which mimics the fanged orchid crest of the Tempest family. Meeting Lady Sylvan’s blue and yellow eyes, Clyde politely bows his head and is relieved to see that she ignores his presence. He chuckles at how her sparrow pendant does not match her black and red dress, the wooden bauble still on the leather strap it came with centuries ago. A gentle elbow to the ribs from Mab stops him from smirking at his own thoughts and reminds him that he is dressed like a woman, so he tries to walk with more of a sway in his hips. The exaggerated motion causes his partner to put an arm around his waist and end the horrible imitation that is earning a lustful leer from Archillious.

“Thank you to everyone for attending!” Xavier declares, his voice rising above the music and conversations. Taking his wife’s hand in his, he directs Nadia to her throne and waves for the council to

take their seats. “On this day, the vampire nobility has been reborn. There will be no infighting or schemes to overthrow each other like with our predecessors. All of us have agreed that the only way for our kind to survive is to work together and form a global society with Nyte at its center. Many say that I have done this in order to call myself the Vampire King, but I assure you that this is a lie. Not that I would say no to the title, but my goals are not so vain and simplistic. Windemere is still changing and we need to be united under one flag. Otherwise, we will go the way of those who were lost in the Great Cataclysm. With these wise and powerful nobles at my side, I will make sure that our people will live and thrive. Extinction is not the destiny for vampires as long as I draw breath . . . so to speak.”

“We move as soon as he finishes the toast,” Clyde whispers to Mab.

The Lord of Nyte raises his drink over his head and says, “I am honored to present to all of you-”

“A real king requires the true queen!” a voice shouts from the back of the crowd. A vampiric halfling dressed in a bejeweled suit jumps onto one of the tables and shivers even though he is sweating. “This ceremony is a farce because it does not carry the favor of the Vampire Queen. It has been centuries, but now she is ready to assume the throne. As her emissary, I have come to warn all who would dare to deny her that they will be crushed. I also come with an invitation to those who have been granted permission to compete for the Vampire Queen’s hand. It is only through her blessing may you claim to rule our people. Do not accept forgeries who wish to draw you off the path!”

The halfling stops when a fang strikes him between the eyes, the shot from Archillious having very little effect. Stepping out from behind the tapestry on the back wall, Lou charges at the intruder. The hairy ogre knocks guests out of the way and lowers his head to display his horns, one of which is adorned with a colorful bow. He leaps for the smaller vampire, which he can easily crush in one hand. Decker is not far behind the bodyguard, his keen senses screaming that they are in danger. Crossbow bolts soar over the dwarf’s head to strike the halfling in the knees, but he does not buckle. The advancing warriors skid to a stop when Clyde, still wearing his dress, appears above the emissary and rears back to deliver a full-strength punch. His fist is about to make contact when the halfling suddenly bloats and the jewels on his suit begin to crack. The entire castle is rocked by a violent explosion, which fills the ballroom with a crystalline dust that hangs in the air like an immovable curtain.

Get War of Nytefall: Rivalry on Amazon for $2.99! Add it to your Goodreads To-Read Lists!


Start the adventure from the beginning with War of Nytefall: Loyalty!

Cover Art by Alison Hunt

Then, continue the vampire-filled fun with War of Nytefall: Lost!

Cover art by Alison Hunt

Interested in more Windemere? Then don’t forget to check out Charles E. Yallowitz’s first series: Legends of Windemere

All Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

About the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After spending many years fiddling with his thoughts and notebooks, he decided that it was time to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house with only pizza and seltzer to sustain him, Charles brings you tales from the world of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and drawing you into a world of magic.

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com

Twitter: @cyallowitz

Facebook: Charles Yallowitz

Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com


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Here it is — the cover you all helped me fine-tune! The Tower in the Mist is getting closer to its publication date, on May 1st. There’s even a pre-order link if you are so inclined.

Mages vs. Warriors vs. Giant Badger vs. Tyranny! Zathi’s job is to capture renegade mages, but Keilos isn’t like any other mage she’s dealt with. Her drive to bring him in only leads them deeper into a cursed forest. Together, warrior and mage will face deadly beasts and grapple with decisions that compromise every principle. Until they stumble upon a place of ancient, forgotten magic. Zathi must choose — allow Keilos to claim it, or kill him once and for all.

Next step? I need to set up publicity and blog visits, and so I once again call on you friends for help. Some of you will soon receive e-mails asking about a visit to your blog, but I’d also love any ideas you have about other blogs I could approach. All suggestions are welcome.

I hope you’re all as excited as I am to visit the deep, dark Hornwood. Here’s that pre-order link again.


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I invite you all the take a break from your writing struggle and think about the other end of the process: the reader! David Lee Summers posted a great reflection on the PBS show, “Reading Rainbow,” and how it helps build our society when so many other forces seem bent on tearing it down. I’m happy to share David’s thoughts here.


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David Lee Summers' Web Journal

El Paso Comic Con happens this weekend, and one of the people I’m most excited to meet is LeVar Burton. I’m excited to meet him because of his role as Geordi LaForge on Star Trek: The Next Generation, but I’m perhaps even more excited to meet him because of his role as the host of the PBS TV series, Reading Rainbow.

Reading Rainbow ran from 1983 until 2006 and not only depicted books as fun in their own right, but showed the real world adventures books can lead you to. The series suggested many books for my wife and I to share with our daughters. What’s more, I enjoyed watching the show with my daughters. I find it frustrating when I come across a review of a book or movie that claims something to the effect that adults won’t enjoy it, but kids will love it. To me…

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Thanks so much to everyone who commented on my cover choices! I’m pretty much settled on Option 1, with perhaps the subtitles moved around.

This brings me to the cover copy, and here’s what I have so far: “As a hunter-guard, it’s Zathi’s job to capture renegade mages, but Keilos isn’t like any other mage she’s dealt with. Her drive to bring him in only leads them deeper into the accursed Hornwood. Together, warrior and mage will battle deadly beasts and face decisions that compromise every principle. Until they stumble upon a place of ancient, forgotten power. Zathi must choose — allow Keilos to claim it, or kill him once and for all.”

This description packs a lot in, but it may go on too long. My question, bluntly put: would you want to read this book? If not, what would tip the balance? As ever, I look forward to your advice.

One of you sharp-eyed readers also noticed that I’m still trying out variations on the series title. The gist is that these people live in a world after the evil overlord, Dar-Gothull, has triumphed. The mages are trying to bring back hope, and this makes them renegades.

Their powers are based around light, hence I’ve been calling them Light-Bringers, but that title has already been used for a couple of recent series. They travel in disguise as a troupe of minstrels. The name of their land is Skaythe. They spend a lot of time in a dark forest called the Hornwood. So I’m boiling it down to Minstrels of Skaythe or Minstrels of the Light.

What do you think? I really like Minstrels of Light, but I have a hunch it’s already been used by a Christian band somewhere. I also like The Hornwood Series, but I understand there is a Hornwood character in Game of Thrones, and I don’t want to create confusion. More searching to follow…


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Option 1

Here I am with a couple of fairly firm concepts for the cover of The Tower in the Mist. I’d love to hear what you think!

Which font style do you like better? Which color works with the art? Should the sub-headers be placed somewhere else?

I really appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.

Option 2

In other news, I’m being interviewed! Dave Koster has invited me to visit his blog, On Writing Dragons. I get these invitations from time to time, and it’s always a ton of fun. It should go live within the next weeks, so watch this space for a link to that.


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I mentioned that I’m searching for key words and phrases in The Tower in the Mist and The Bitternut Grove. I was thinking of using something like “light bearers” or “light bringers” as a series title, but it turns out there’s some folklore there. Who knew that Lucifer (a.k.a. Satan) is sometimes called a “light bringer?” Doesn’t that seem like the opposite?

Anyway, those have both already been used. In fact, “Light Bringers” or “lightbringers” has been used a couple of times. So that’s still in progress. I may just call it the “Skaythe” series, after the setting, and leave it at that.

Mostly, I’ve been working on my cover layout using Canva. I usually make between three and five designs, to try and find the perfect image. The Tower in the Mist will be the first of a series, so I hope to come up with something that will readily be adapted. Then each e-book will look like part of a whole.

I’m finding a limitation with Canva, though. I can’t seem to make those really big, dimensional titles that will pop from the cover. I’d love any advice you have about other programs that can make that big title for me. Something I can save and then upload to Canva would be perfect.

Thanks for all your ideas, and thanks for reading my blog!


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As I type this, I’m beginning the preliminary process for publishing my novella, The Tower in the Mist. My plan is to get it out by early May. I have a month to put it together, more or less.

Step One will be to design the cover. After much eye strain, I’ve picked the art I want for both this and The Bitternut Grove. In spare moments, I’m browsing the fantasy category on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble to see what kind of cover layouts are popular right now. This should give me ideas as I begin playing with layouts on Canva.

Step Two is to search for unique words and names. It would be awful if one of my titles had already been used! So far I’ve found a book called Towers in the Mist from 1938, and a D&D module from the ’80s. I feel confident there won’t be confusion between these books and mine, so The Tower in the Mist can keep its name.

Unfortunately, The Bitternut Grove may be in trouble. Although I created a fictional bitternut tree for my novella, it turns out there’s a real-world bitternut tree related to pecan and hickory trees. I need to research them. If I can’t say, “yeah, those are my trees,” then I will have to call my trees something else. This would require renaming the book, as well. Win some, lose some, I suppose.

Step Three will be to come up with catchy slogans, tag lines, and gripping cover copy. This novella is complex, and the description will take some boiling-down. At the same time I’m working on Step Four, which is the final revision. I’m hoping these revisions will help me focus my cover copy. Maybe I’ll try out a few ideas here, and see what you all think!


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