Thursday, 30 August 2012

Introducing ...

Name: Gol Foron
Story: The Rogue King Saga - The Shadow Prince
Status: Serpent God of Fire (Like you can't tell)

Deities play a big part in The Rogue King. It's where much of the planet get its magic. But most of them tend to only be mentioned in the first story. It's not until the sequel that more of them (there are around twenty) come into the foreground.
This particular god is Foron, which literally means 'fire' in the native tongue. He's one of the eight living Serpent Gods - Gol in their language - and patron god to a quarter of the equinean population.

I straight up love this image. It's everything I imagined him to be, right down to the bitty wings. To say it's better than the original doesn't even cut it. I first drew his picture (along with his a large chunk of his family) way back. Fourteen years, or so.

He used to look like this:
My drawing skills haven't gotten any better

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Introducing ...

Name: Crafter of the Winter Children of the Sun
Story: The Unborn Trilogy - Crimson Night
Status: Crafter of the Winter Children of the Sun

Wait, am I saying his name is his status? Yup! And dig the shortness. I mean, really, at least it's not as long as what he calls his 'daughter'. Still, can you imagine yelling that? Thank goodness they don't speak words, that's all I can say.
There are just some people you just don't want to find standing behind you after a long night out hunting. I imagine that, for a demon, a Crafter of the very light that can kill you would be one of those people. Not to mention there'd be a serious "daddy's protective of his little girl" vibe going on.

Despite thinking his robe could do with being a shade lighter (and, while I'm on the subject, a different cut altogether) I quite like this. Chilly.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Magic 8 Ball - Query Critique MishMash

A little white back, Crystal over at The Heart Of A Writer gifted me with the Magic 8 Ball Meme.

The rules are
1. Post the button and link to Jaycee deLorenzo, the creator of the Magic 8 Ball MeMe
2. Share an excerpt from your current WIP, perhaps something you're struggling with, are stuck on, or just can't "get right."
3. Ask a question about your excerpt. It can be something easy such as "What do you think?" or something more in-depth, such as "Can you suggest a better way to word such-and-such," or "How can I make the emotions in this scene more realistic?"
4. Tag 8 people. (I won't be doing this, but I invite anyone who is having trouble with a piece to snaffle this baby.)

I don't tend to have a lot of trouble with my writing. Hitting a bump often makes me step back, do something unimportant and let it simmer. Or I'll end up ranting at my other half until his attempts to understand what I'm on about creates an epiphany.
So let's go with my query for my Paranormal Novella, Golden Dawn. I'm not the best on queries, it's on par with my ability to write a coherent synopsis (it tends to get away from me), and go through so many attempts.
Due to my constant tinkering, this is version ... seven.

Herald, eldest son of a bloodthirsty strigoi, endured two centuries of hell before escaping into the human world. He watched, helpless, as his twin brother was murdered by the very villagers his father insists on raiding. Though he has reservations about his father's human-only diet, Herald has nevertheless devoted all of his 1100 years towards protecting his family from outsiders.

Bewildered by his orders to guard the giant crystal held within the castle, Herald doesn’t expect it to hold the spirit of an angel. She is his father's failed attempt to gain true immortality. One he cannot be rid of. Breaking the crystal would free her, but the uncontained magic would level their sheltered valley. Herald's deranged sister doesn't care. She'd rather risk destruction than let the angel influence another sibling.

When the angel's continued existence becomes more important to Herald than his siblings, it results in that sister's death and his banishment. But the angel has taken mortal form in preparation to leave this world and her immortal-gifting blood is free for the taking. Now Herald must decide whether his true loyalty lies with his family or his heart. Either choice will demand death. Only the right path will ensure the life taken is not his.

GOLDEN DAWN, complete at 33,000 words and the first in a trilogy of novellas, is a Paranormal with romantic elements, loosely set in the 1500’s.

I want to make it plain that I am after opinions, so don't hesitate in giving your thoughts, I shall be taking them all in.
On the flip-side, if you're also struggling with your query, Unicorn Bell is dealing with them all week long.

Monday, 13 August 2012

WHAT IF ...? Fairytale Madness BlogFest!

(Otherwise Known as the "I am Evil!" Blogfest)

Have you ever noticed that by changing one detail; one event, one character trait, one thought ... you can completely alter the rest of the story?

That "what if ...?" factor is what's being utilized for this bloghop. From the 13th to the 17th, participants are to think of a well known fairytale and ask "what if…!" From there, they were to write a 300 word max Flash Fiction illustrating this new detail of the fairytale that changes everything.
It also has to fall into one of the following four categories:
Plot Twist - Judged by Cassie Mae
Love Story - Judged by Morgan Shamy
Tragedy - Judged by Leigh Covington
Comic Relief - Judged by Mark Koopmans

Now most of the fairy tales I've ever watched or read generally fall under the heading of 'Disney adaptation' or 'parody'. For this tale, at least in all the versions I've seen, the young woman in question always tends to be racing to the ball. It seemed to me that was quite a dangerous thing to do, especially if it happens to be in what used to be a pumpkin.
So here's my 'What if ...' of Cinderella. 300 words exactly and I'd say definitely falls in the Tragedy section. You didn't really expect anything else from me, did you?

The carriage bounced along the road, rushing to reach the castle in time. Sweat stained the horses' flanks, though the sun had set some time ago. Midnight would come sooner than expected. The driver cracked his whip high over their heads. Screaming, the horses took the slope at a dead run.
A wheel struck an uneven stone among the cobbles, jolting the lone woman within. She braced herself, the soles of her slippers squeaking along the floor in the struggle, and mused on how she should've known better than to ask for speed from something that'd been growing in the garden ten minutes ago.
Something under her feet gave with a bang. The carriage rose into the air. Her head smacked the roof. An elbow whacked the heavy frame of the door. They slammed back onto the road and she hit seat just as gracefully. The sharp crack of glass bespoke of a slipper breaking.
Rubbing and shaking her head, she became aware of movement being more sideways and downhill than forwards. The clatter of hooves seemed too faint. She stared out the window. The wide trunk of a tree filled her view. As she watched, helpless to stop her leisurely slide, she knew she would not live to meet her prince.
As with all nights, it gave itself up to the dawn, allowing warm light to be thrown over the land. People crowded round the tree to take in the peculiar, though nevertheless gory, aftermath. Slumped like a discarded doll and cradled in the shattered bits of a pumpkin laid the broken form of a young woman all clothed in rags and wearing a pair of delicately-crafted, though terribly fractured, glass slippers. The cry went up, circling to all those who cared for whatever reason.
Little Ella was dead.

Told you I was evil.
So who else is joining in the fairytale derailment? These people!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Review of The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett

Title: The Fifth Elephant
Author: Terry Pratchett
Rating: 5/5

From vampires in Carpe Jugulum to werewolves. This time it's a trip to Uberwald to see the new dwarf king being crowned and, with Vimes playing ambassador to Ankh-Morpork I knew this wasn't going to be a cut-and-dry event. Especially when he's bringing Detritus and Cherry into the fray. So I was all geared up for a good read.
I wasn't disappointed.
As so often with the Watchman books, there's a heavy mystery going on underneath (literally in this case, we are dealing with dwarves here). Somebody's stealing stone scones that are big enough to serve as a chair. Wait ... no they aren't. In fact, we're not even having this conversation. How foolish to suggest it. People are certainly not stealing scones. And they most definitely aren't trying to start a war amongst the dwarf factions.
But as I said, there are werewolves. Angry werewolves. Spearheaded by Angua's family, most notably, her insane brother. To say the boy's got a serious problem is putting it mildly.
Of course, there's stuff going on at the home front of good old Ankh-Morepork, but as the mystery gets on, the 'little stuff' they were dealing with back there seemed rather dull and I completely forgot about it (as you would when dealing with werewolves) until the end whomped me with the 'little problem'.
On the other hand, I'm starting to see Carrot in a different light.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Introducing ...

Name: Jamoyia
Story: Dragon
Status: Ancient of Mountain Hall

Mother to Jaimin – the Main Character – and at least a couple of thousand other dragons during the course of her life, as well as being one of the kidnapped females of Dragon.
Being just over three centuries old, she’s lived through a lot of strife and fought in many battles by the time the story begins and Maayin – the other Main Character – comes along, so she’s a bit set in her ways. But they’re rather motherly ways. ^_^
Still, I feel a bit sorry for her. Why do my good characters always have so many cruel things happen to them?

I caught a little of the icy, crystalline shade she is meant to be (more in the gown than her skin, granted), so I’m really pleased with this one.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Childhood Monsters Blogfest

The paranormal romance novella, Fearless by Christine Rains has been let loose on the world. Here's the blurb to tell you more:
Abby White was seven years old when she killed the monster under her bed. Now she slays creatures spawned by the fertile imaginations of children, and the number of these nightmares are on the rise. Neither she nor her guide - a stuffed hippo named Tawa - know why.
When she rescues Demetrius from an iron prison, he pledges his life to protect hers until he can return the favor. She doesn't want the help. And how can she concentrate on her job when the gorgeous wild fae throws himself in front of her during every fight? No matter how tempting, she can't take the time to lose herself to him.
To save the children and all she loves, Abby must be truly Fearless.

You can grab a copy at Smashwords, where it's free in all eBook formats. Or, if you'd prefer a print copy, then you can get it at Createspace.

Now Christine is also hosting a blogfest asking one question: What Was Your Childhood Monster?
From now until the 9th, those participating will let the blogverse know.

So what was my childhood monster?
Yes, the little alien who wanted to 'phone home'. Seems silly now, but back then I was terrified of him.
It's actually quite a simple story. When I was around three years old, my parents, for whatever reason seemed to believe it was an okay idea to have a poster of him above my bed. That was fine, until they turned the lights off at night and I had mega-freaking-huge eyeballs staring at me.
The poster, you see ... it glowed.

Looky me!

Whee! It's the new craze going round. The "Look" meme. Here's what it's all about:

If you are tagged, do a search for the word "look" in your work in progress. Copy that paragraph, along with surrounding paragraphs, to your blog, to keep the game afloat. Don't forget to tag others.

Well I wasn't tagged. Laura over at Writing the Bad Things Out of My Head was looking for volunteers. I couldn't pass it up! Plus, it's an excuse to show some of Anubis' Handmaiden (a WiP so WiP that it has a mere 5k on it). And looky here, it comes straight from the prologue.

He opened his mouth to object. Not judge fairly? Countless souls had passed through here and he'd treated them all with the same measure of care. Amisi didn't require special treatment. His jaw slammed shut. Teeth ground against each other. For him to judge whether she'd continued to Aaru would be giving her special treatment. "Then who has been entrusted with her fate?"
"I have." Thoth stepped out from the shadows. In his cupped hands sat a small ball of pale blue light. Amisi's heart. It pulsed as he neared the scales, shining upon the god's long beak and throbbing in time to a heartbeat that no longer did.
He shook, his hands balling. How he ached to tear that light from the man's hands. It was placed on the bare plate. The scales wobbled, lifting Ma'at. His chest constricted. My sweet Amisi, forgive me. This shouldn't have been happening now.
Delicate fingers brushed the curve of his muzzle. "My lord, It pains me to see you so distraught." She turned his head from the weighing. "Do not look."
Looking was unnecessary. Already he could hear the eager snuffle of Ammut, could picture the crocodilian snout opening to engulf those who did not follow the way of Ma'at. She's failed. It was his fault. All of it. I've condemned her! And for what? He should've predicted his affections would bring only death.
Shaking himself free of her grasp, he took up her hand and held it tight. He had to know. To see.
The scales stood perfectly balanced. Not so much as a hairsbreadth between Amisi's heart and the measure of truth.

Whoo! There you go. No, I don't reveal who 'he' is during the prologue.
Now because I volunteered. You are welcomed to join in. All I ask is to let me know so I can read it. ^_^

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Buccaneer Blogfest - Giveaway

## This post was dictated by Niaja, my lizard-man pirate. ##
It do be time to be adigging that hole and breaking open them locks.
Yes, me lads and lasses. It do be booty time.

Below you do finding the shared giveaway that them folks over at Curiosity Quills.
And what a haul it does be. Books galore, critique and interviews by our dear cap'ains Sharon and Courtney.
Ye'd be a fool to pass this up. And I know ye do be no fool.

a Rafflecopter giveaway