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Posts Tagged ‘Masters of Air & Fire’

First, I want to thank David and Craig for responding to my initial call for feedback on what exactly my genre is.

When I reflect on the things my stories have in common, it comes down to two concepts: family and magic. Almost every one of my books has had some kind of family issue at its heart. After all, who knows you better than family? Who can hurt you with a word, or lift you up? In Too Many Princes, the brothers Brastigan and Lottres go on a quest, but the story is really about how their relationship is threatened by conflicting goals in adulthood. In Masters of Air & Fire, a sibling group of young dragons struggles to stay together after the death of their mother.

I get a lot into the magic with my world-building. If magic was real, how would that shape society? In The Gellboar and The Seven Exalted Orders, mages are separate from other people and there are restrictions on magic for the public good. In The Magister’s Mask and The Necromancer’s Bones, magic is common and well understood. They use it for things like preserving food, where we would use refrigeration technology.

In both of these, perhaps, I do follow more closely to High Fantasy than Low. Grapping with ideas and consequences around magic is High Fantasy. Family might not be as obvious at first, but you can’t deny the importance of family drama in series like A Game of Thrones.

So maybe that’s where I land — but I’d still like to hear from more of you. And if you’ve read my books, why not take a minute to leave a review? It will really make a difference!


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In the online game Flight Rising (see my last post) one of your chores is to gather food for your dragon clan. Flight Rising provides four types of food — vegetation, insects, meat and seafood. You need to collect some of each, because every dragon breed likes different foods.

As I’ve clicked my way through this, various dragons from past stories* began to knock on the door to my brain. They’d say things like, “Vegetation. Really? What fool thinks a dragon could survive on vegetation?”

Out of respect for their opinions, here are five statements on what dragons eat.

Carnisha, from the Cragmaw Mountains, was blunt. “Dragons eat whatever we want. But not salad.”

According to Cazarluun, Spectral Guardian of Venge Hill, “Dragons are spiritual beings. As such, we may partake of food or drink for our own pleasure, but we do not actually have to eat.”

Lythiskar, Mystik of Yabble, agrees in part. “We dragons are learned creatures. Our taste in foods should be equally refined. This is why so many dragons prefer Virgins — no musty, gamy odors there. By the way, did you know a Virgin doesn’t have to be female? Many priests and the nerdier young men can be equally choice fare.”

From Shoredance Island, the sea dragon Tetheus said, “Whatever it is, it has to be big enough to satisfy a dragon’s appetite. Large sharks and whales are good. On land, there are horses, moose, water buffalo… I just don’t see insects as a substantial meal.”

Wrotha, the Great Wyrm of Hot Mountain, reported, “Whatever comes too close to my eggs, I eat it.”

*  Wrotha is a featured character in my middle-grade fantasy, Masters of Air & Fire. Carnisha appears in the anthology The Dragon’s Hoard. Tales of Cazarluun, Lythiskar, and Tetheus are as yet unpublished.

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Pardon this brief commercial announcement. My publisher, Sky Warrior Books, is having a summer e-book sale, now til Friday, July 31st. All E-Books are half-off.

Dragon's Hoard cover

Dragon’s Hoard cover


I have a story in this anthology, which is all about dragons and treasure.

Cover to the MG fantasy novel, Masters of Air & Fire

Cover to the MG fantasy novel, Masters of Air & Fire


Here’s my juvenile fantasy novel, Masters of Air & Fire, a family drama where the family are dragons.

The Grimhold Wolf low res
Another recent release is The Grimhold Wolf, a Gothic-style werewolf novel.

7Orders
And don’t forget The Seven Exalted Orders, my best selling book for Sky Warrior!

Follow this link to get the code: https://www.facebook.com/events/486968021477427/

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To close this thread, I can’t pass up the chance to tout my own book. Masters of Air & Fire is a fantasy for middle graders featuring a trio of young wyrmlings who are cast adrift due to the sudden death of their parent.

My wyrmlings have chameleon-like patches of skin in their crests and underwings. These change colors and patterns to show emotions. Their crests may turn black (fear), striped black/yellow or black/white (anger, aggression), and green or blue (friendship, affection, humor). When Wrotha is lost, all of their scales show gray and white, and their crests droop with despair.

Each of the wyrmlings have a different emotional reaction, as well. Romik, the gentlest of the three, holds onto Wrotha’s memory and insists on searching for her even when there’s no hope. When they encounter humans, Romik cultivates a surrogate-parent relationship with an older woman, Hanani. Yazka, the aggressive one, tries to take leadership of the group. It’s her way to regain a sense of control, and also plays out a sibling rivalry with Orlik. She also makes friends with a human, the village chief Taksepu. However, her motives for this are suspect. Finally, Orlik is the responsible one. He becomes so focused on taking care of the others that he sometimes seems to feel nothing at all.

If you’re interested, please check out Masters of Air & Fire for Kindle or Nook.

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Here’s a preview of the cover for the fantasy anthology, The Dragon’s Hoard. It’s coming out sometime this summer, from Sky Warrior Books. Yes, I have a story in it! As you might guess, it is told from the dragon’s point of view.

Dragon's Hoard cover

Dragon’s Hoard cover

This has been a really good year for me, publication-wise. Not only did my middle grade dragon fantasy Masters of Air & Fire come out on February 2nd. Not only did my gothic werewolf novel, The Grimhold Wolf, come out February 13th. The Dragon’s Hoard will be the second anthology issued within 8 months months that includes one of my stories. This brings me to four publications within twelve months.

For some of you, it may not sound like much, but for me this is outstanding productivity. The only thing that would make it better is if a few of you could help me out with reviews, tweets, shares, and any other way you can think of to boost my signal. I can provide review copies.

If you’d like to find out more about my books, just click here. E-books and paper are available from Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords.

Regardless how much or how little you can do, know that I appreciate the friendship and support I get from all of you bloggers out there. You are the best!

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Forgive my tardiness. My computer has become very slothful of late. However, I do have a consolation prize: the trailer for my latest novel, Masters of Air & Fire! I can’t wait to share it with all of you first.

Just click here, and enjoy!

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Before I get to my next Favorites Flashback, I have a request for help. My middle-grade high fantasy, Masters of Air & Fire, will be out February 1, 2015, and I’m looking for friends who will give honest reviews on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, blogs and any other places of your choice. If you can help, please e-mail me, CAT09tales at hotmail.com, and let me know what formats you prefer. (It’s e-book only, at this point.)

Now to another of my most popular posts, “Eight Immortals Cross The Sea,” from October, 2013.

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The Eight Immortals were a legendary a group of Taoist sorcerers from Chinese mythology. This group traveled ancient China defeating monsters and helping the needy. Eventually their good deeds came to the attention of Xi Wangmu (Queen Mother of the West) an ancient deity who considerably predates Tao but was incorporated into Tao teaching.

Xi Wangmu was celebrating her birthday with a banquet on Mount Kunlun, a paradise of Chinese foklore. As part of the festivities, she would bestow Peaches of Immortality on the guests. Although the Eight had already achieved immortality on their own, this was a great honor and they set out at once to attend the banquet.

Soon they came to the Eastern Sea. The usual mode of transport for divine beings in Chinese myth was to summon a cloud and ride on it, but Lu Tung-pin cried out that they should challenge themselves to cross together, using all their diverse talents. So each of the Eight threw down their personal tools/talismans and transformed them. Chiang Kuo used his paper mule, Li T’ieh-kuai used his iron crutch, and so on. Together they set off across the sea.

Unknown to them, the son of the Dragon King of the Eastern Sea was watching from the deeps. He saw Lan Ts’ai-ho, the jester/minstrel, crossing the sea with his/her flute. (Lan is sometimes depicted as a woman, sometimes as a teenaged boy, and sometimes as hermaphrodite. Cultural concepts can be difficult to translate.) The Dragon King’s son was overcome by greed. He seized Lan T’sai-ho and his/her flute, and swept them down to his father’s kingdom.

The stories don’t say if the son was infatuated with Lan or desired the flute’s power. In either case, the remaining Immortals were outraged. They descended into the sea and attacked the Eastern Dragon King’s palace. It was a long war, full of twists and turns. Several sources I’ve read say the details are recounted in many songs and stories, but I couldn’t find any. And here I thought you could find absolutely anything on the Internet!

In the end, the Eastern Dragon King’s forces were defeated. Lan was freed, the flute recovered, and the re-united Eight Immortals continued on their way to the banquet.

As with every such legend, there are variations. The principal one is that the Eight had too much wine and just decided to explore the deep sea. Lan accidentally dropped his flute, which was found by the Dragon King’s sons, and the tale went on from there.

Two main metaphors come to us from the legend of the Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea. One is the shrimp and crabs who serve as the Dragon King’s army. Today they are symbols of any bumbling military force. More important is that the Eight Immortals combine their skills and work together for a common goal.

In modern China, and wherever in the world the Chinese have migrated, the Eight Immortals remain one of the most beloved myths. They appear in books and manga, in art of all sorts, in video games, and much more. Because they are a diverse group (old and young, male and female, noble and peasant, rich and poor) they offer the essential Taoist message that anyone can aspire to wisdom.

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