Thursday, 28 February 2013

Introducing ...


Name: Jipp
Story: Dragon
Status: Midling of Mountain Hall

I could darn near do a short story, or maybe a novella, on Jipp and all the back-story that never made it into the actual book. Maybe one day.
He started out as a minor character. Very minor. A bit part. Then somewhere along the way, he turned into this secondary character with quite an interesting back-story which does involve one of the Main Characters, to a point.
Jaimin - the Main Character in question - doesn't get on with him, not as much as he doesn't with Teero, and part of that was because they were once rivals, but mostly it's because of Jipp's fascination with human women. Or at least one. His knight, Aaluna.
Yes, he's more into human females than his own kind. He's a scrawny-ass dragon, not much bigger than your average pony. When the species is dying, the little guys tend to lose out over the bigger, stronger boys.
Just not this little guy. ^_^

I so want to do a dragon version of him, all feathery and lean with his twin crests. Maybe I will at a later date. But here's him in the lesser-seen human form.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Level Up! Blogfest

Yes, come join me in the Level Up! Blogfest - hosted by Allison at Geek Banter and Jamie at Mithril Wisdom - and, for the while, let's talk about games instead of books. Be sure to pop over and check out what games other people are talking about.

I've always been a gamer. Not the hard core, sit in front of the computer/gaming console all day type (not often, anyways), although, I can go through the Hidden Object games on my computer in one go (takes me about three hours each time).
My favourite types of games, the ones that can drag me away from the writing, are the RPG and adventure types. So long as there's a screen and a console. I tried playing some on the laptop, but ... ugh! Crazy hard without a mouse!

So here's a few of the titles on my adored list:
Most of the Star Wars games, like Knights of the Old Republic. Yes, the old original and its sequel, both with horrible graphics. I still like them. ^_^
Viking: Battle for Asgard. Ah, I wished he would've talked. And I need to replay it. I missed the ending because everyone came home just as the cutscene happened!
Overlord 2 ... go, looky the minions! How could you say no to them? Oddly enough, the idea for Dark One's Mistress crackled to life while playing this. Yet the story I wrote is nothing like the game, it has more in common with Beauty and the Beast ... don't ask me what's up with that.
And then there's my dear Assassin's Creed series. In fact, Assassin's Creed has to be my most favourite game. I've got them all and have played most of them out, I can't quite bring myself to finish the last ... mostly because I don't want it to end.

My love for Assassin's Creed started back in 2007, since I've always been attracted to the games that let me wander about however I choose and fight however I want. That it had 'assassin' in the title was an added bonus (guess which character type I prefer when playing? ^_^). That I was stuck playing a guy (Altaïr) meant nothing to me (in fact, I found him a little cute, despite his inability to swim). I was an assassin! I'd played that sucker out! And the storyline! *fan self* Oh dear, the storyline is so adorable!
Then Assassin's Creed 2 came along in 2009. And I was all over it. Only this time, my guy had become a sweet Italian dude (Ezio). And I was okay with that. I was also cool that he stuck around for a couple more games. Although, I did take on a bit of an accent after playing one for two days straight (it was a rental, okay?). I also cried at the end of 'Revelations'. Not sniffles. I mean, seriously cried. I'd gotten so attached to my Ezio. Thank goodness I've still got the books to read. Ha! Yes, there are books. I did some major squeeing when I found them.
My last one, the one I was so eager to get, yet hesitant to finish has dear Connor. *sigh* Is it right that I got a crush on three men, all of whom run about wearing a hood and killing people (bad people, I may add. People who killed their families)? I know none of them are real and yet ... a gal can dream, right? ^_^

Thursday, 14 February 2013

INDIE-kissing blogfest!

Seems fitting to be participating in a kissing bloghop on Valentines Day. I simply had to join this one hosted by the wonderful group over at The Indelibles.

But then *gasp* I've posted so many kissing scenes throughout my bloggy years and have few left ... most of which I wouldn't feel right posting here without a warning, >_> and one that's in the end chapter. So what was I going to post this time? *panic mode*

Oh yeah ... I'm rewriting Golden Dawn. It has a kissing scene ... Head meet desk. Desk, head.

This piece comes from my paranormal novel, Golden Dawn. And is the first 1000 words of Chapter Fourteen, just after Herald, my 1100-year-old vampire-like unborn, says those three little words to Acarna ...

Acarna took a small step back, her face blank. Not an instant dismissal, more than he expected, but the crushing ache in his chest pierced deeper all the same. Herald fought the constricting swell as it made a bid for his throat. He turned from her before she did or said something to necessitate it.

His sword still lay beside the window where he'd discarded it. He calmly collected the weapon. Deliberate in his movements as he inspected the blade's length before sheathing it. The door stood open. Jaw set, he marched towards it. He could not bring himself to linger a moment longer. He wanted to stay. So desperately ached to remain with her.

She already gave him more than he deserved by not laughing to his face. No one can love a demon. Was his mother and her rejection of Ștefan, after everything his father had done to keep them together, not proof of that?

"Herald," she whispered.

By the monster that'd spawned him, the way she spoke. So sweet. It hummed through him, plucking at something deep inside his very being. That one word rooting him where he stood. How could his name, gifted to him by a monster, sound so delectable upon her lips? It wasn't fair. Nor the way it pulled at him. Unbidden, he faced her. At his back, the door clicked shut. It took all his willpower not to rush back to her side.

Acarna leant against her crystalline cage with such care, as if the fragile walls might shatter under her weight. She peered at him, those glorious eyes swirling from blue to grey and back. Did she think he spoke falsely? He'd bared the sole part of him he had long since thought vanished with his brother's death. But to stand there, to think of it from her point of view ... to have heard such a declaration from one such as him. He could believe that she thought his words a lie.

And yet, no repulsion lurked upon her face. Nothing at all to give away what she truly believed. Perhaps ... perhaps she felt some small measure of affection for him. Dare he hope that was so? "Say it again," she breathed.

"I love you." The words spilled from his lips. Thick on his tongue and muffled by the tears his pride would not let him shed. No less strong in his belief that he spoke truthfully. He glared at her, waiting for her denial. Ready for the rebuke he deserved.

Those soft pink lips curved into a smile. Her eyes slid close, cheeks reddening as if his voice caressed more than her ears. He hadn't expected such a reaction. She'd confessed that angels spoke differently; had no need for words. Was she still capable registering such speech from one not of the heavens? Did she sense more of him than he originally believed?

Herald stumbled across the room and pressed his palms against the crystal, mirroring where her hands still lay upon the quartz. A small amount of heat radiated through the stone. He pressed his forehead on the cold surface. She mimicked him, her lips close enough to brush the crystal; where his mouth would have otherwise been waiting. He kissed the surface while her lips still lingered on the other side. If he could but claim this one piece of her and soothe the ache in his heart.

Her gaze - mostly blue with flecks of grey - dropped to his lips, then back up to meet his eyes. She copied him, responding with the same soft understanding of one who now knew what they were missing. The cold of the crystal melted way to her warmth, allowing him to believe that, just for this one moment, he touched flesh.

A single tear slid down his cheek, brushing his lip on the way. It wasn't fair. Why couldn't his heart have been captured by an obtainable woman? Or possess the same amount of debauchery in his soul as his brother or father to have no care as to what he laid with. Perhaps then his heart would not be writhing in its self-imposed agony for an angel's kiss.

His father once believed in love. He'd given up his soul and become strigoi for that very reason, but no one in the valley spoke of it anymore. The unseen minders who'd raised Herald alongside his siblings believed such emotion to be a thing of tales. Lust existed. They were eager to accept that. But love? Why it was no more than an illusion conjured by weak men - men who lacked the strength to take a woman any other way - to woo the ladies of the courts.

Acarna let forth with a yelp, shying from the crystal's edge as if he'd bitten her, a quivering hand raised to her lips. "I felt ... something." She stared at him, incredulous eyes wide. "I felt." Bringing her other hand up to where her mouth had been a second ago, she caressed the stone. "I felt you."

Herald watched her trace the crystal, his breath rasping as her delicate fingertips dipped in and out of the cracks. Me? She'd sensed him? It couldn't be possible. He licked his lips, tasting only salt. What could she feel on other side? Heat. But he must seem so cold against her warmth.

"I ... I'm a fool." Her arm fell back to her side. She collapsed to sit in what space the crystal now gave her. Such a small area now. Requiring her to scrunch herself against the surface. "A foolish child with stupid little fancies."

"You're no more foolish than I." Herald joined her on the floor, brushing away the dust and shards coating the wooden planks. He was the fool. Pining after a woman he could never touch. How pathetic. How weak he had become to fall so easily. Someone had to be laughing at his life, he was certain of it. His brother no doubt would've done so. And his father .... Ștefan was going to be furious.

***

Sorry about being a bit of a downer, but I'm running out of good, clean kisses ... guess that's a cue for me to write some more stories. ^_^


Friday, 8 February 2013

Review of Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett


Title: Wee Free Men
Author: Terry Pratchett
Rating: 5/5


I loved the Nac Mac Feegles when they appeared in Carpe Jugulum. Though they were a little tough to understand then. They're better in this, though not laughing while reading this book in public is a problem. They are certainly a gung-ho lot.

But of course, this book (bar a few scenes in the beginning) is from the viewpoint of Tiffany Aching. I sort of see her as how Granny Weatherwax would've been as a young girl, Tiffany certainly has the same determinedness as she sets off to rescue her baby brother (à la the film Labyrinth). Of course, it's the Quin - I mean, Queen - who has him and that means fairyland with all the monsters and the dreams and the nightmares. All of which the Nac Mac Feegles face head on, literally.

I quite liked the ending to this, a nice rounded conclusion that still speaks of more to come. I'll be looking forward to it.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Introducing ...

Name: Gol Ea
Story: The Rogue King Saga - The Shadow Prince
Status: Serpent God of Earth

If there was ever a god - sorry, goddess - for contradictions, it is Ea.
Technically, since she is ... well ... a she, it should be Kak Ea. If you really want to get technical about it, kak is only used in reference to one minor goddess (there's also no plural for goddess) but I digress. Short reason, no one bothered to ask her gender.
Also, with four limbs, she's most definitely not a serpent in any definition. Yet, she was created alongside the rest of the Serpent Gods: Foron, Shilar and her brother, Wea.

Looks somewhat like a wingless dragon, doesn't she? A marked improvement on the old, drawn image, if I do say so myself. I do wish I could redo this, just to get the sheen off, but the computer ate the original files. -_-

Old image:

I've no idea why she's got a drill on her face.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Review of Death and What Comes Next by Terry Pratchett


Title: Death and What Comes Next
Author: Terry Pratchett
Rating: 5/5


This is an amusing short story (very short, actually) in which a philosopher tries to outwit Death. Worth a read.

Can be got here: http://www.au.lspace.org/books/dawcn/dawcn-english.html

Friday, 1 February 2013

Worldbuilding Blogfest - An Excerpt


Here we are at the last day of the Worldbuilding Blogfest. I hope these last few days haven't been a complete bore and that you have learnt a little bit about my dear Thardrandia.

Now, for the final day I am to post an excerpt of my story that highlights some of my worldbuilding. Only spits and spats of what I've been posting here gets into the story. There are mentions, but often it is not of great depth.

But I shall leave you with a piece out of chapter fourteen of The Rogue King where Kael and his newly-made friends meet their magic teacher. Yes, it's a school that teaches magic. No, that does not make it a magic school. It's a subject ... like history!
*ahem* (998 words)

***


The young wolena seemed keen to integrate Kael into his large group of friends, most of whom were young girls or slightly older women. He didn't mind that either, but he wasn't used to one person talking enough words for two or three people. Through picking out the occasional piece of information while listening to Frisk's excessive yammering, he learnt where quite a few places could be found and what lurked behind otherwise shut doors. Of the things divulged about their new home was the discovery that only two of the academy's teachers weren't raptereon. And now one stood on the field before him.

In the term of her own people, Eltina was a shiquin, a feathery-winged equinea of the air herd. Like many of her kind, she preferred her four-legged form with a lower body similar to a vampire horse's, her torso sprouting from where the sleek neck should be. That sight alone made it difficult enough not to stare. He refused to be rude. Although the task became easy when the woman looked his way. And the only way Kael could tell precisely what, or who, the woman stared at was by her tiny pupils. The rest of her eyes were completely white.

"Shifting to an animalistic form is one of the most basic of the magical abilities," she said. Her hooves gave off soft little thuds as she marched across the front line of students standing before her. "Can anyone tell me the four intelligent species unable to shift?"

The class was silent, the sound of people shuffling where they stood loud against such a backdrop. Kael toyed with answering, but couldn't bring himself to become the sole attention of those, near colourless, eyes.

"No one knows? I find that hard to believe." She stamped a back hoof and flicked her thin tail, tufted with the same vibrant purple as the hair curling round large, conical ears. A slim, white finger pointed out into the group. "Joina."

Kael didn't dare move his head to put a face to the name. Relief washed over him at not being the first person to speak.

"D-defe-jacol?" the girl stammered.

Kael grimaced. He'd hardly classify the defe as intelligent. Clever pets, maybe. Most of them were unable to talk and spent their lives feeding off the oasis flowers or the plants in the sole canyon that cleft the centre of the desert. Unless she spoke of those who'd been born in the Wish Tree.

"Good. Someone else ..." Again the finger moved, silently prowling the herd before it and singling out its prey. "Kael."

His eyes could not look away from her pointing finger. He cursed the mind that had suddenly become vacant. He knew the name of every species. His father had taught him each one until he could recite them without thinking. There were only three others to say. Why couldn't he come up with just one?

"Mistress," Frisk said into the silence. "One's the mesa-malol and another is the mezans."

"And the fourth, Kael?" she demanded, her voice as cool as the frost-white eyes that kept staring at him, glittering in anticipation. Was that a hint of sneer forming on her long face?
He mentally rifled through what he knew, instantly skipping over wolena, katess, raptereon and sssstamne. Certainly not prewania-tofua, they were the ultimate shifters and their very name meant 'great changer'. Which species did it leave? Who did it leave? Of course, they who were no more. Those of the empire, the ones who'd ruled before. The ... "Trexens," he blurted.

"Adequate," Eltina said. "But I demand my students to be quicker in their replies." Eyes narrowed. "No exceptions, young Ro'is."

Kael swallowed hard. Frisk warned that the woman was reputed to have an atrocious temper. He hadn't believed him until now. Looking into those eyes, he saw only ice. What punishment could be dealt by a person who could control the very air, as all shiquin were reputedly capable of doing? He wasn't foolish enough to believe air couldn't hurt him. Not when he heard of the damage done by sandstorms. Just a whip of wind could be capable of harm, especially when there was no mercy behind the blows.

"The trick in shifting one's shape is a simple one to master and some of you may've already been taught to do so by your parents. Such teaching can leave a young mind open to bad habits and, regardless of what they've taught you or how well you think you've mastered the skill, you shall all shift before me." She closed her eyes and Kael, along with the rest of the class, stared as the woman's pale torso melted into a long neck with a brilliant purple mane. Her head grew even longer, the muzzle stretching out, her eyes pushed further apart by the broad forehead. She looked like a white version of Klif, only with feathers for wings instead of the webbing of skin and bones his vampire horse possessed.

"When I give you the order, I want each of you to breathe slowly and deeply." The longer face and difference in the shape of her mouth altered her voice, making it softer. "Think about your body becoming that base form. Do not try to concentrate too hard or it will not happen." Her form blurred and she once again became a six-limbed equinea, clothes reforming along with the rest of her. Eltina picked up a board and quill hidden in the grass at her feet. "But before we begin, I shall not have hybrids hurting themselves trying to shift when they should know they cannot." She flipped through the pages attached to the board. "Joina, Qucin. Stand over there." The cruel hand that singled out the pair indicated somewhere to Eltina's left.

Kael watched them go, unable to tell which girl was which. It didn't seem fair that they'd be shoved aside just because their parents hadn't been the same species.

***

I don't like breaking up my scenes and I was going to post the whole chapter ... except MS Words tells me it's 3886 words long. Still, would be a medium-sized chapter for this story (it's over 200k remember).