Thursday, 17 April 2014

"O" is for Outlines

I seem to be doing a lot of outlining lately. I didn't used to, but it has become an enormous help when juggling stories. At the moment, I'm a little nervous that Aelfah will morph itself into a duology, but I plan to type the whole story first and worry about that later.
When my internet died three weeks ago, I sort of wandered aimlessly for a while. Then my muse kicked into overdrive and I began tearing Aelfah apart. I've since put it aside to finalise the outline for Dark One's Bride, but not before adding 8,000 new words to the Aelfah tale. In fact, I also seem to be jumping from one to the other.

For now Aelfah is going through some major changes, much like I did when I rewrote Dragon. A lot of the alterations are minor ones: how my Heroine's family interacted, what they both do for a crust. She's left the university setting, going straight into the workforce. On the flip-side, his job didn't change, just twisted slightly.
The bigger changes relate to how the two Main Characters meet and wind up together. It makes their relationship slower, probably more plausible if I'm honest, but it also means the big reveal takes longer. I've a feeling I'm going to need to sprinkle a few hints here and there.
The biggest change is uplifting the whole story to my homeland. Well ... the south island, anyway. Yeah, I have a story based in New Zealand (the first half, anyway). I guess it had to happen eventually. At least Aelfah fits quite nicely amongst the ferns and the tuis.

So while I'm hippity-hopping between worlds, I leave you with the couple from Aelfah.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

"N" is for Names

More specifically, the names in my books. One of my stories doesn't even name where they are. Another one just names the cities. And my epic? Well, just look at this...

For The Rogue King Saga there are a lot of names. I've even named places that, to my knowledge, don't actually appear in the book. And, if they do, they never actually went there.

You've got your two continents: Cynati and Zan. Four islands: Tepol, Jepol, Japek and Loudan. Seas: Kravin Sea, Uncharted Sea and Tymordian Sea. Let's not forget the two main lakes: Teron and Mystic.
You've got your three kingdoms: Mora, Maxia, and Predonia. Then there are the cities: Prewa, Catsckin, Wolka, Contra, Biry, Cyahai, Maxia City, Port Eag, Rapton, Predonia City, Ssstrad and, finally, Mezan.
And the other landmarks: Nomad Camp, Rogue Rise, Meeting Hill, Kamorn Ania (Death Forest), Eternal Storm, Mount Taruthinthe, Flower Canyon, Tooth of Defora.

That's a lot of places. Thank goodness I'm planning on doing two series and a few novellas there.

Now the Dark One’s Trilogy is an interesting beast. I'm not sure what I was on when I decided the names, but I like 'em. The kingdoms themselves do not have names. Purely because I haven't thought of one I like.

In one kingdom you have Everdark, Endlight, Neardim, Darkwood and Port Dank. At its centre is Mount Winding and from there you can see the mighty Murkwater River as well as the Pillars of Endlight. It was meant to sound gloomy.
Whereas their rival kingdom is ruled by the Ebony Court at Ne’ermore with the closest city to their enemy being Q'oth (and I chuckle to myself every time I write that).

Of my Works in Progress ... sometimes they sprout names when I need them, other times, the idea comes fully formed with names attached. Sometimes these get wipes and reattached.

The Mirror Witch Duology has a few still clinging to the plot. Morthin and Awthern have always been what I've called the kingdoms as is The Isles have always been known as The Isles, whereas Pannis, Angur and Fid are a few of the villages sprinkled along the path.

Dragon is set entirely in the kingdom of Kalon. Most of the names mentioned are dragon related, such as Mountain Hall, Great Tree and Hroff Cavern. But the humans have Byron’s Peak and imaginatively named the high mountain range the Dragon’s Spine.

Now Aelfah is set in our time and in my home country, New Zealand, and stays in that town for its time on Earth. But the tale also goes to outer space where we deal in planets with called Kicttik and Falorcan, as well as blackmarket spacecrafts like the infamous Spectre City. Of course, like the kingdoms of the Dark One's Trilogy, I've not settled on a name for the Aelfahian homeworld.

If you're wondering how I keep all these names together... I've several files scattered about the place in various folders. Not very orderly, but I'm keeping them it together, so it must be working.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

BLOGTOUR - Legends of Windemere: Family of the Tri-Rune

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Legends of Windemere: Family of the Tri-Rune has Arrived!!!

Buy it Here for $2.99!

Book Blurb: The magical adventure continues after Luke Callindor and his friends recover from their battles in Haven. Nyx still has nightmares about casting the genocide spell in Hero’s Gate. Every night her heart is gripped by the sensation of hundreds of goblins dying by her magic. By the request of Lord Highrider and Duke Solomon, she is returning to fix the damage she caused. With Luke Callindor and Sari by her side, Nyx is ready to face the vengeful goblins and opportunistic thieves that plague Hero’s Gate. Yet, there is a darker threat that was born from her violated magic: The Krypters. It is another action-packed, character driven story that will reveal one of our heroes has been lied to for their entire life.

Wondering what you’re in for? Check out the praise earned by the first three installments of this high fantasy series...

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
 Review Excerpts for Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero: “I greatly enjoyed the vivid characters, the gripping plot, and the refreshingly unique writing style (present tense). ” – kdillmanjones “One of the things that won me over was the bouts of humor. Especially in the beginning. "This is not possible! I am a Paladin!" I thought I was going to die with delight.” – C.N. Faust

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Review Excerpts for Legends of Windemere: Prodigy of Rainbow Tower: “Nyx is such a strong personality. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her and more of the other characters, new and already known, with the rich tapestry of Windemere unfolding in between intense actions scenes and moments of kindness and budding friendships.” – Danielle Taylor “Almost like the Harry Potter series. The books start out so young and innocent, but by the last book - watch out!” -- Momto4Booklover

Cover by Jason Pedersen
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Review Excerpts for Legends of Windemere: Allure of the Gypsies: “One of the things I love most about this series are all the characters! They are developed so well that I feel like I know them personally. Even the newly introduced characters fit in immediately.” – BarbBookWorm “Let's talk about action. The author creates interesting action sequences with believable use of fantasy elements. He is very creative. There are also good sections where the characters stretch out and we get to know them better.” – Donald L. Mitchell “Music Lover”

Charles author photo B&W
Author Biography: 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 his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

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"M" is for Introducing...

Name: Ma'at
Story: Anubis' Handmaiden
Status: Goddess

This is the feather of truth, the one Ancient Egyptians believed their Ka was weighed against. Depending on the text the Ka had to be lighter than the feather, whilst others believed it had to be level to grant entry.
Seeing that she's supposed to be the embodiment of all the good things that gets a person into Aaru, I imagine she would have quite the pleasant demeanour. And because she does this task with Anpu and watches Ammut destroy those who don't pass muster, I believed the two would have a friendly, if not downright sibling-like, relationship.

Typically, Ma'at is shown with a white feather sticking into the side of her head (or as her head). I opted to make the feather part of her hair, erect only when doing the weighing and, thus, also wanted to show her upon the scales.

Monday, 14 April 2014

"L" is for a Lucky Mama

She's actually happy here...
Mama came to us eight years ago. She was the lost-looking cat who'd been dumped on the side of the road with her two little boys. I'm not sure what would've come of the three had we not spied her. I've seen some strays around here, mostly kittens and their mothers snacking on road kill who vanish at the sight of us, and I hate to think our trio could've turned out just like them...

As I mentioned last week, Mama has been through some bad times. We seriously thought we were going to lose her a few weeks back. She went through a terrible scary patch involving face swelling, x-rays, blood tests and, ultimately, the removal of an infected tooth. She's still undergoing treatments, but responding well so it seems we're beating the bugger.

*fingers crossed*

Saturday, 12 April 2014

"K" is for Kitten

So out household has six cats and I've already introduced you to three: FizzyWhip, Charlie & Crumble. The youngest of that trio is the Fizz. He turned four in January ... much to my surprise.
But Cinnamon, our youngest addition, isn't even old enough to be spayed (and will be under house arrest until then).

I is a potato now

Unlike the others, she doesn't have a rescue story. This kitty wasn't a side of the road save or from somewhere like the SPCA. This baby was a pet store kitten, bought in a moment of awws. Well, that and several days of thinking about her before cracking and bringing her home.
She's buddied-up with Fizzy. Seeing the pair play is ... funny considering he's twice her size and generally just flips her which annoys the heck out of her.

See, my daughter and I both go to cat shows. We've been going for a few years now. She loves helping out, even if we only go to the shows that take domestic entries. In the past, I've taken my Fizz and she takes Mama.
But we're retiring Mama. The girl's ten now, has been enjoying the shows less and less (unlike Fizzy, who lets himself be admired, then goes to sleep in the cage) and, to top it off, she's just been through some bad times.

So Cinnamon will be replacing her for my daughter. Hopefully, this little kitten will do as well as her predecessor. Either way, she's sure to enjoy the spoils.

Oh, shows = new toys

Friday, 11 April 2014

"J" is for Jessie (and his doggie friend)

Seriously, you've even got a stick in the photo
Along with our six cats, we shared our home with two of the most brainless Border Collies I've ever come across. On paper, they're my father's dogs, but they spend more time with my aunt and myself. Both of them are afraid of our neighbour's sheep and are routinely chased by the kitten.
The oldest is Jessie, and generally mistaken for being female. He is obsessed with sticks and fetch (or as
knows it 'get the stick'). He will actually offer you twigs no wider than his mouth to throw. Twigs!

His playmate is Benji (even though, he's often called Benny). He's
... I suppose you could call it cunning.
Often, when we play fetch, he'll let Jessie go and get the stick, waylay him when he's on his way back, and then runs off only to drop the stick somewhere for Jessie to bring back to the thrower.

On the flipside, if Ben actually gets it first, then Jessie waits nearby for him to drop it.