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Posts Tagged ‘epic fantasy’

This show, of course, is the Amazon entry among many adaptations of J. R. R. Tolkein’s seminal creation, Middle Earth. Different pieces of the Middle Earth mythos have been licensed by different entities over decades, leading to quite a patchwork of success or failure. Amazon wants to get in on the enduring popularity in a narrow sliver of time that someone else hadn’t already licensed.

As I understand it, this little sliver of time deals with the initial rise of Sauron and how the Rings of Power were created. We see younger versions of several familiar characters, and there’s early development of relationships that will play out later.

The cinematography and music are wonderful. I am finding the writing also excellent. Two main themes that stick out are race relations and political complacency. Both of these are worth exploring in our modern world, where a tide of fascism seems to be rising everywhere.

For the latter, we see Galadriel as a hot-headed young warrior who refuses to believe the evil of Morgoth is truly gone. Her king, Gil-Galad, orders her to return to the mythic West. It’s a well deserved reward, yet also a convenient way to silence Galadriel’s warnings.

For the former, there are many illustrations of racial tension. Humans regard the Elves as an occupying force and are glad to see them leave. At least, until goblins start to turn up. Another Elf and Dwarf, longtime friends, find themselves at odds as the Dwarves are keeping a secret. And the Harfoot people, Hobbit ancestors, seem to be hiding from races bigger than themselves — which is just about everyone. It’s ripe ground for story, and I look forward to seeing what the writers make of it.

If you’ve been watching Rings of Power, I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Near the end of last month I got the nice e-mail from Amazon that I had funds coming in. Checking back, I was happy to see that the sale came in during or after my summer book event, Queen Titania’s Court. That’s a nice reward for all the work it is.

I’m also having a great time pushing forward with The Tale of the Drakanox. I cannot of course give spoilers. The whole novel has been exploration and development, but now I tighten the screws. Piyaro has to make a decision, Ar-Lizelle’s great plan blew up in her face, and Duessa may not find what she’s looking for in the Hornwood. Fun times!

I hope you’re all having a fun time, too.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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I got a bit of good news earlier this week. My short story, “There Gold Grows on Trees,” has been accepted for the October issue of Lorelei Signal. Woot!

Now to a teaser on one of the “stealth characters” who popped up in Tale of the Drakanox. Elldri was a minor actor in Prisoners of the Wailing Tower, but with this novel her destiny comes to the fore.


“Meditation again?” Duessa raised a sarcastic brow.

“You remember that we were trying to communicate through the tower, right?” Alemin said. “If we get to know each other well, we can hear each other over longer distances.”
Lorrah nodded. “That’s how I knew where Alemin was, and it’s how we’re trying to find Tisha.” When they all didn’t jump at the chance to meditate, she got irritated. “Well, if they don’t want to,” she complained to Alemin. He laid a calming hand on her shoulder and looked to Duessa with compassion.
“It’s all right if you need more time. We have to start building trust somehow. What if you just watch, for now?”
“That sounds pointless,” Bettain said.
“Maybe I’d try it,” Duessa said after a moment. Bettain groaned again, but Elldri was scooting a bit away on the bench. When she saw Duessa looking at her, she shook her head vigorously.
Bettain was immediately concerned. “What’s wrong?”
“No, I can’t,” Elldri whispered between the fingers that covered her mouth.
“Casting? Sure you can,” Bettain scolded fondly. “I know we weren’t supposed to, back in the Larder, but everybody did. Sneaking it in was part of the fun.”
Elldri shook her head again, her gaze focused inward. What she saw there must have been terrifying.
“I never saw her work a spell,” Alemin said.
“Just go slowly and build your strength,” Bettain advised.
“Sure.” Lorrah jerked a thumb over at the guardswomen. “They’ll tell you how many times I tried to summon fire and only made this vile fume appear.”
At the stove, Razeet laughed. “It was pretty bad.”
Zathi called sternly, “I don’t want her casting wild spells around here, if she’s out of practice.”
“We’ll only be meditating,” Lorrah called back.
Elldri’s arms were trembling. “I don’t want to.”
“Well, then how do you plan to defend yourself?” Bettain’s worry made her voice harsher even than usual.
Duessa watched them for a moment. Except for that worst day in the Larder, when the former warden tried to slaughter them all, Elldri had never been this closed in. Duessa didn’t understand it, but she wouldn’t let her friend be bullied.
“She said no, Bettain,” Duessa spoke firmly. “That’s that.”


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Hey, it’s my book anniversary! It was three years ago, on May 15, 2019, that I self-published The Tower in the mist, which turned out to be the first Minstrels of Skaythe novella.

At that time, I had only an inkling of a series taking shape. That there would be a group of mages exploring non-violent resistance to an overlord’s cruel regime. That each adventure would stand alone, yet build into something greater.

Now it’s been three years, and I’m working on the series finale. Happy anniversary to me!


The Tower in the Mist

Mages vs. Amazons vs. Giant Badgers 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.



Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Mother’s Day is here (or will be by the time some of you see this). It’s made me think about how, in my own work, family is so often a major factor.

This might not be surprising. We humans are social, and we grow up in families. When we’re writing, a character’s family and upbringing has a major impact, no mater what external stuff is going on in the plot. “Found family” is a major trope in all sorts of fiction, because it resonates with something we all know and need.

In my current series, Minstrels of Skaythe, there is one book that involves motherhood more than the others. That’s The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh. Meven (the ice witch) is not looking for a family. She is only trying to save herself. Then she gets targeted by a street kid, both of them unaware that family is about to find them.

I hope you’ll take a look at The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh. And, happy Mother’s Day!


The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh

Meven is a renegade, hunted by the cruel regime of master mage Dar-Gothull. Her desperate desire is to lose herself in the treacherous Fang Marsh. Only there can she live the life she wants, in freedom and safety. To reach the marsh, Meven must sneak through the town of Eshur, where her old enemy, the wicked Countess Ar-Torix, commands dozens of spies and guards. It should be no problem!

What Meven doesn’t know is that she’s already being tracked. Ozlin was thrown out because of his emerging magic. Now he’s starving on the streets of Eshur. Caught stealing, he’s about to be imprisoned in the brutal temple school.

Until Meven recognizes his power and intervenes. Suddenly she has a new, desperate desire — to save this mageling boy, and maybe save herself as well.



Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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With my latest e-book out, this is where I appeal to all of you friends to show a little love for Prisoners of the Wailing Tower.

Have you read it? A review on Goodreads of Amazon would be great. Or, just tell your friends who also read high fantasy.

Do you have a blog? I would love a chance to visit and spread the word.

Are you interested but want to know more? I’m always happy to answer reader questions.

Help a lady out?



Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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The latest Minstrels of Skaythe novella!

At long last, Prisoners of the Wailing Tower is up for sale. Check it out! Want a different format? Try here.


Prisoners of the Wailing Tower

Alemin only wanted to help an innocent. Instead, he was caught by the dreaded hunter-guards. Now he finds himself flung into the Larder, where the very walls are steeped in nightmares and his fellow inmates are vicious killers. Worse, Warden Ar-Lizelle seems intent on tracking down his friends, the Minstrels, who have devoted their lives to undermining Skaythe’s tyrannical regime.

On the outside, the renegade mage Lorrah receives a premonition of Alemin’s plight. She’s desperate to save a man she cares for, but the Larder is commanded by someone she has hated for years and can’t bear to face: her cruel sister, Ar-Lizelle. Luckily, Lorrah is not alone. She has help from the fierce women warriors of Badger Squad. Yet even their combined forces might not be enough to get Alemin free from Dar-Gothull’s Larder!

Many thanks to anyone who would be inclined to share the news, post a review, and otherwise shine some light.



Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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ISBN 978-1-7339227-8-4

Yes, the latest e-book in my Minstrels of Skaythe series is now available for pre-order! I’m really excited to bring you this installment. Final tweaks are still going on, but the e-book will be out on November 20th.

All this time, it seemed like the Minstrels were getting away with their stealthy resistance. But even a light-bearing mage’s luck can run out…


Prisoners of the Wailing Tower

Alemin only wanted to help an innocent. Instead, he was caught by the dreaded hunter-guards. Now he finds himself flung into the Larder, where the very walls are steeped in nightmares and his fellow inmates are vicious killers. Worse, Warden Ar-Lizelle seems intent on tracking down his friends, the Minstrels, who have devoted their lives to undermining Skaythe’s tyrannical regime.

On the outside, the renegade mage Lorrah receives a premonition of Alemin’s plight. She’s desperate to save a man she cares for, but the Larder is commanded by someone she has hated for years and can’t bear to face: her cruel sister, Ar-Lizelle. Luckily, Lorrah is not alone. She has help from the fierce women warriors of Badger Squad. Yet even their combined forces might not be enough to get Alemin free from Dar-Gothull’s Larder!

What are you waiting for? Pre-order now for just 4.99 from Amazon or Books2Read.



Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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You know what they say… Two steps forward, one step back? The Renegade Count is feeling a bit like that. I work on some stuff, then I think of something I hadn’t before. After which, I have to go back and account for whatever it is.

The knot I’m currently picking at is about revealing too much of Yamaya’s background, too soon. Not that I want to deceive the readers in an unfair way, but holding back a little can be a very effective technique. Give them a few pieces of information and let them try to figure it out before I come out with it. If they guessed right, they’ll be pleased with themselves. If they guessed wrong, they’ll be delightfully surprised.

In her initial POV section, Yamaya told major pieces of her back story right away. My task of the moment is to snip some of that out and work it into a conversation with Berisan slightly later in the story. I’ve always found conversations a really effective means of revealing character while also giving back story. So I need to avoid tipping my hand too soon.

That’s the approach I’ll be taking tonight — as soon as I finish this blog!



Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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The Renegade Count is up to 2,000 words after three or so days. That’s great progress, the plot has lots of energy, and the characters are coming to life. I’m really happy with it. But, I need to reassess.

The issue is that Yamaya is at the point of knifing Huld. The tension might build up to that by the end of the novella, but I’m only 4 pages in. This wasn’t meant to be my starting point. Besides which, my original intention was that Berisan make allies — first with Yamaya and later with the village where Huld lives. Having this level of antagonism at the outset will eliminate that possibility.

What’s happening, I think, is my fury at the attempted coup in Washington D.C. and the shameful non-apology from those who supported it. Real as the situation and emotions are, the story I’m writing needs to be separated from them.

Possibly, however, my muse is telling me that the novella is not really about Berisan making allies. It’s about Yamaya holding onto her farm. As I cool down that first conversation, more new ideas are already starting to pop.

So my job today is to step Huld back from his most inflammatory words, not trigger Yamaya’s rage, and let the plot build on a stronger framework.



Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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