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Sacrifices

After all those guest posts, it seems like time for me to write something new just for this blog. We went to see Avengers End Game over the weekend and enjoyed it a lot. There is one time paradox that wasn’t resolved, and I felt in many cases that they lingered too long on the emotional shots. The editors could have trimmed a good 15 minutes by controlling those better. Still, these quibbles weren’t enough to interfere with my pleasure in the story.

One thing I had heard in advance was that all the women characters were sacrificed to make the plot go. For a long time, activists have been pointing out that characters in movies/TV who represent an outsider — gays, women, minorities — very often are killed or suffer some other grievous harm, such as a rape. This spurs the hero — almost always a white guy — to seek revenge or whatever the plot entails.

Having seen the movie, I must partly disagree. Not ALL the women were sacrificed to push a man’s plot. Several were, but at least one of them completed her own arc rather than merely dying to propel her male comrade forward. Also, there was a gay character who was not killed off. It was a small part, but significant, I think.

And that, actually, is about all I can say without giving anything away. If you saw Avengers End Game, I’m interested in whether you spotted the same time paradox that I did, and what else stood out for you. Tell me your thoughts in the comments!


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I’m honored to visit the blog of my friend, and sometimes editor, David Lee Summers. Sometimes you set out to write a story and every character turns out to be some sort of negative stereotype. This is how I re-imagined The Tower in the Mist and made the story much stronger.

David Lee Summers' Web Journal

Today, I’d like to welcome author Deby Fredericks to my blog. I’ve had the honor of editing her novels The Grimhold Wolf and Seven Exalted Orders. I enjoy her writing and she has a new book out called The Tower in the Mist. In it, she presents a group of non-traditional warriors. Presenting characters in non-traditional gender roles is something I have done as well, and I thought it would be interesting to hear Deby’s take on this subject. Without further ado, I’ll turn it over to Deby.


When I began writing The
Tower in the Mist
, I did not plan to include a group of Amazonian
warrior-women. A woman mage had been captured by warriors who served an evil
wizard. But the more I worked on that setting, in the Land of Skaythe, the more
I realized that the minions of an evil wizard were also…

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Hello, everyone! Today I’m visiting Charles E. Yallowitz on his blog, Legends of Windemere. I’m talking about how the Tower in the Mist has its roots in a video game. I hope you’ll come by and check it out.

Legends of Windemere

The Tower in the Mist

Mages vs. Amazons 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.

Pre-Order it on Amazon!

Charles often tells us how his Legends of Windemere series got its start as a role-playing game while he was in college. I am here to confess that I, too, wrote my book because of a game.

In my case, it was the video game Dragon Age. I have all three of the series, and I played them back-to-back-to-back-to…

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Here’s a big cheer for Craig Boyack and his blog Entertaining Stories. Check out my character interview on Lisa Burton Radio!

Entertaining Stories

Lisa Burton

Hey there all you sell-swords and spell-slingers, you heroes and wizards of every stripe. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you interviews with the characters you love.

I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and my special guest today is Zathi from the land of Skaythe. My bio says she works for the ruling mage, named Dar-Gothull. “Welcome to the show, Zathi.”

“Well met.”

“So what exactly do you do for Dar-Gothull?”

“I am a Hunter-Guard, part of Dar-Gothull’s army. Our task is to move among the people and stamp out all who would rebel against our master. Bandits who ambush the tax collectors, scholars who speak or write against Dar-Gothull’s way, mages who would try to rival the great Dar-Gothull.

“In addition, we are a visible symbol. We remind them that no one can escape Dar-Gothull’s reach.”

“Wait a minute, that sounds a lot…

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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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My presentation to Idaho Writers League went really well. We filled the room. Okay, it was a small room. But still! I spoke for an hour and a half on Readings, Signings, and Book Parties. They were attentive and asked great questions, and I signed a couple of people up for my newsletter. Plus, I got to catch up on news with an old friend. What could be better?

Before I get back to writing posts for my blog tour, I’d like to share a bit of what I presented. First, I made that case that book tables are not a self-created torture and that you can sell some books while having fun. It all comes down to salesmanship, and salesmanship involves a lot of preparation.

Preparation involves asking the right bookstore at the right time. Book stores are best because you know the people are into books. Look for a local book store that already has a calendar of readings and similar events. For a date, I always liked Christmas, but you can look for times on the calendar that coordinate with your book. For instance, a patriotic book around the Fourth of July. Call about 3 months before your date and ask to talk with the book manager. If you’re self-published, you might have to show them copies of your book so they know your book will look good on their shelves.

Preparation also involves pushing the signing table in the same way you push your books. Put it on arts calendars, create a Facebook event if the store doesn’t, tweet it, post it, blog it. Plan some fun table decorations that have a connection to your book. Check your supply of books and order more if you need them.

Pack everything in advance so you don’t stress on the day of the signing. A cute book bag is better than a cardboard box. Show up early, check in your books, and set up your table. Try to get pictures — I always forget. When you’re ready, ask the store to announce you are there. That’s your cue!

Tempting as it is to huddle at the table with your cel phone, you can’t do that. You have to be friendly and approachable, say hi to everyone who comes near. Basic salesmanship, remember? Have a line you can bring out if anyone seems interested. My basic one is “Do you like to read fantasy?” If they say no, “Okay, thanks.” If they pause, “I’m a local author, and these are my books!”

Ask follow-up questions. “What authors do you like to read?” Always agree with them. You know that elevator pitch where you describe your book in one sentence? If the person picks up one of your books, bring that out.
Another tactic I like is to share my table with a friend so I have someone to talk to and if I need a walking break there will be someone to watch things. Also, it you’re having a fun conversation, that’s something that can draw people in.

This is not a lazy day at the bookstore. I takes energy and focus. I usually make my signings 2 or 3 hours, because after that I can’t keep it up. In that time, I usually sell between 2 and 5 books. A drop at a time fills the bucket, right?

At the end, you pack up everything you brought with you. Leave it looking nice. If the bookstore is keeping your books on consignment, they as if you can put down a few bookmarks, too. If they have computerized inventory, they should know how many books you sold and see if they will pay out then or want you to come back. The next day, go back to their Facebook event page and post how you had such a great time and thank them for the opportunity

There’s more to it, of course. A lot of it is your personal style. You practice, you get better, your develop your confidence. I hope this helps, and that you all make book tables a part of your sales strategy.


Did you know I have an author newsletter? You can join! I’ll even give you a free e-book for signing up. Just click here.

The Mad Rush

The Tower in the Mist is basically set up as an e-book. The pre-order link is active. But there’s still a mad rush before publication. Currently, I’m writing a handful of blog posts to publicize The Tower in the Mist, making bookmarks, and so forth.

At the same time, I’m preparing for an in-person presentation to Idaho Writers League, which will be tomorrow at 6:30 pm, at the Lutheran Church of the Master in Coeur d’Alene, ID. My topic is “Readings, Signings, and Book Parties.” I’ll cover how to set them up, the planning and preparation. If time allows, people will have a chance to read in front of the group and practice their technique.

Honestly, I didn’t plan to be doing this presentation in the middle of the pre-publication rush. I requested a date in March, but it didn’t work out. At least I’ll have my bookmarks and such to show off at Idaho Writers League. I know that most of you are not near North Idaho, so you can’t attend. But if you want the address in Coeur d’Alene, please drop me a comment!


Did you know I have an author newsletter? You can join! I’ll even give you a free e-book for signing up. Just click here.