Posts Tagged With: fantasy

Check out my new short story!

51wmn-ncklExciting news! A while back I wrote a short story for the Arcane Arts Anthology, and today it was officially published on Amazon! Woo! Click here to check it out.

I had the privilege of proofreading the collection, and I had a blast reading all the fantasy/sci-fi shorts. One of my particular favorites is The Dark Siren by Danielle E. Shipley and Tirzah Duncan, about a cigar-loving skeleton lady tele-marketer who gets dragged into saving the world.

My own contribution, Escape!, is about Rhapsody Swansong, a teenage bard-in-training who has to take her end-of-year exam at the Ascalon Academy of Arcane Arts and Adventuring in the form of an “escape room”. Unfortunately, her group members are an atheist cleric, a clumsy rogue, and a mage who can’t control her magic–and Rhapsody herself is a bard without an instrument. Battles are fought, friendships are formed, lessons are learned, and hilarity–of course!–ensues.

The anthologist, Kai Herbertz, is hard at work on the print version, as well as a German language edition.

Anyway, just thought I’d share the awesome news! If you’d care to grab yourself a copy, we would be eternally grateful for your support of the anthology. Or if you have a spare moment to share the anthology on your social media, that would be much appreciated as well.

Hope everyone’s having an excellent week! #SHWOOP

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Categories: My Works | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Writing Prompt Wednesday!

Today’s writing prompt is a photo of some super cool rocks in Valle de la Luna, Chile:

Ready? Set? Write!

“Have you ever seen anything like it?” Lucille enthused, pressing her hands against the warm rock. It was impossibly smooth and spherical, like a ball of gray dough rolled between the palms of a giant.

“If there was just one of these things, I’d say it was a freak occurrence,” Bobby said. His words were punctuated by the clicking of his camera shutter as he captured the field of stone balls from all possible angles. “But with this many … I mean, they have to be man-made, right? Some ancient tribe carved these to worship their fat little god, or something.”

“Except there are no markings that would indicate the use of tools.”

“Well, how did they get here, then?”

“Water erosion, probably. Tumbling around in a current for millions of years smooths away the rough edges.”

“But we’re nowhere near the ocean. Or even a river.”

Lucille tilted her head east. “There’s a dried up lake only half a kilometer thataway. We passed it on the hike in, remember? Water levels change. This whole place could have been flooded a few hundred thousand years ago.”

“I guess. But what about–”

Lucille and Bobby abandoned their conversation and stared up into the sky as something whistled toward them. At first the sound was faint, but then it grew louder and louder as a black dot appeared on the horizon.

“What is that?” Bobby demanded, as the dot grew larger.

“I don’t know,” Lucille said. “But it’s headed our way. Run!”

They sprinted between the stone balls, racing away from the impact site. Once they were out of range, they crouched behind a rocky outcropping at the top of a small hill and watched as the black dot — now revealed to be a stone ball — zoomed toward the ground.

The ball hit the cracked earth hard, but rather than exploding on impact, it bounced. Back up into the air, almost twenty meters high, and then back down to bounce again. It bounced three more times, then rolled along the ground for a few meters before coming to a stop, just at the edge of the dried up lake.

“How …?” Bobby gasped.

Lucille gaped at the now-stationary, entirely intact rock sphere. “That’s not possible. It should have shattered.”

“We need to tell someone about this!”

“Who?” Lucille countered. “No one would ever believe us.”

Bobby glanced down at the camera around his neck, and uttered an expletive. “I didn’t even get a picture of the damned thing bouncing. Stupid!” He took a deep breath. “So … what? We just pretend it didn’t happen?”

“Unless you can think of an explanation that makes sense?”

Bobby shook his head.

“Then it’s settled,” Lucille said. “We’re obviously delirious from sunstroke and dehydration. This never happened.”

“Works for me.”

~~~

Four kilometers away, atop a craggy mountain peak, an ancient stone giant roared in frustration. “I was so close!” he bellowed, gripping his giant golf club so tightly that the metal warped under his mighty fingers. “A few more meters and I would have finally gotten a hole in one! Noooooooooo!”

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Feel free to share your own creations in the comments below!

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Cover Reveal for “The Sky-Child and Other Stories” (Danielle E Shipley)

Today is the cover reveal for The Sky Child and Other Stories by Danielle E. Shipley. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours.

Sky-Child CoverThe Sky-Child and Other Stories (The Wilderhark Tales #6.5)
By Danielle E. Shipley
Genre: Fairytale Fantasy
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: July 7, 2015

Blurb:
Born into a world his heart knows as beneath him, an extraordinary boy becomes a man of music, hopeful that someday he’ll find a way higher.

As the first day dawns, a world comes awake, order and disorder striking a dangerous balance.

Under the stars, a princess and tailor trade age-old lore, little dreaming of the future that could trap them in the past.

All of it in, around, and far above the timeless trees of Wilderhark, the forest whose secrets reveal themselves slowly, if ever at all.

Tales of beginnings. Tales of quests for belonging. Most of all, tales of true love.

Once upon a time, you knew something of Wilderhark’s tales. Now for the stories that fall in between.

The Sky-Child and Other Stories
A Wilderhark Tales Collection

You can find The Sky-Child and Other Stories on Goodreads

About the Author:
Danielle E. Shipley’s first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself. …Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof. When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: Packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them. She’s also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble. When she’s not living the highs and lows of writing, publishing, and all that authorial jazz, she’s probably blogging about it.

Writing credits include: “Inspired” (a novel); short stories in paranormal, fantasy, and Steampunk anthologies via Xchyler Publishing; and, of course, her series of fairytale retelling mash-ups, “The Wilderhark Tales”.

You can find and contact Danielle here:
Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Pinterest
Amazon


Lola's Blog Tours

Categories: Self Publishing | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Assorted Swag from Andrew Toynbee and Danielle E Shipley

Before Christmas, I received assorted swag in the mail from Andrew Toynbee, author of A Construct of Angels, and from Danielle E Shipley, authoress of The Wilderhark Tales.

Then I went home for the holidays and totally forgot about said swag. But now I’m back! And I wanted to share my ill-gotten loot with you all, so we can all marvel at how shiny it is.

Thus, without further ado …

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Signed copies of Andrew Toynbee’s fantasy series! Wooooooooo!

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A sweet bonus keychain! Wooooooooooo!

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Last but not least, a gorgeous bookmark from Danielle E Shipley. Wooooooooooo!

 

Thank you so much to Andrew and Danielle for the awesome swag!

 

Unrelated media of the day:

 

Categories: Random | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Curse of the Dark Wind – Cover Reveal!

Debuting December 12th on Amazon Kindle!

 

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

After their battles in Gaia and surviving the Island of Pallice, the champions of Windemere are off on their next adventure.

In his quest to be a hero and help others, Luke Callindor has jumped into danger countless times and would do so again without hesitation. So when he is infected by the toxic Dark Wind, it is up to his friends to find a cure and keep his courage alive. With time running out and their enemies in the shadows, one ally will make the decision to share in Luke’s suffering and forge a bond that runs thicker than blood. Such a sacrifice might not be enough when the truth behind this living curse comes to light.

Will Luke find the strength to defeat the Dark Wind? What ghosts from his past will appear during his weakest hour?

About the Author:

Charles author photo B&WCharles 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.

Blog: Legends of Windemere
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz

Read the Previous Volumes of Legends of Windemere!!!

COVER ART BY JASON PEDERSEN (CLICK COVER FOR AMAZON SITE)

COVER ART BY JASON PEDERSEN (CLICK COVER FOR AMAZON SITE)

COVER ART BY JASON PEDERSEN (CLICK COVER FOR AMAZON SITE)

COVER ART BY JASON PEDERSEN (CLICK COVER FOR AMAZON SITE)

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COVER ART BY JASON PEDERSEN (CLICK COVER FOR AMAZON SITE)

COVER ART BY JASON PEDERSEN (CLICK COVER FOR AMAZON SITE).

COVER ART BY JASON PEDERSEN (CLICK COVER FOR AMAZON SITE)

COVER ART BY JASON PEDERSEN (CLICK COVER FOR AMAZON SITE)

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Art by Jason Pedersen (CLICK COVER FOR AMAZON SITE)

Art by Jason Pedersen (CLICK COVER FOR AMAZON SITE)

Categories: Blog-related | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Blog Hop for Danielle E. Shipley’s New Novella — The Sun’s Rival!

Today I’m happy to be a part of Danielle E. Shipley’s blog hop to promote her new novella, The Sun’s Rival. This is Book Five of the Wilderhark Tales — and having read several others in the series, I can tell you they’re a quick, fun, romantic read. So check it out!

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Spot Danielle E. Shipley in the wild: Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

suns rival 5

Danielle’s running a Rafflecopter giveaway — click the image below to access it!
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Categories: Blog-related | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Book Review: The Seventh Spell (Danielle E. Shipley)

Note: I won this novella as part of a contest on the lovely Danielle E. Shipley’s blog — not only did I get a signed copy of the novella, I also got some truly excellent artwork based on the novella, done by the author herself! Thanks so much, Danielle!!!

The Bookseventh-spell-cover-front

The Seventh Spell (Book 3 of the Wilderhark Tales)

The Genre

Fantasy / Fairy tale Novella

The Author

Danielle E. Shipley

The Plot

A witch’s attempt to cast one spell too many casts everyone touched by her previous spells into chaos. Scattered throughout each other’s pasts, Sula and Edgwyn, Villem and Rosalba, and the rest of the magic’s affected have a single chance to break this last enchant- ment before their “happily-ever-after”-s cease to have ever been.

The Review

I really enjoyed this fairy tale! I’ve read the second book in the Wilderhark Tales series, so it was really fun to see many of the same characters in this story — not to mention some new and intriguing faces! I loved the concept of the seventh spell re-setting all the witch’s prior spells and having all the characters revert to their pre-happily-ever-after states. It was such a fun twist, and something you don’t come across a lot in fantasy series. The writing itself is charming, and there are lots of unexpectedly funny laugh-out-loud lines.

I was also a huge fan of the storyline between the enchanted harp princess and the wandering minstrel — which is great, because I’m pretty sure the next Wilderhark Tale is about them! Speaking of the characters, I’d suggest reading the other Wilderhark Tales before you read this one — having missed the first one myself (soon to be corrected!), I felt I was missing a couple of important story elements, although the author does a great job of filling in the gaps for those of us who may not have had a chance to read all the prior books in the series.

A quick, cute, romantic read — check it out!

The Rating

Five out of five stars

 

Links:

Danielle E. Shipley’s blog

Buy the novella on Amazon

Check out the novella on Goodreads

 

Unrelated media of the day:

I may have shared this already, but it’s tons of fun, so why not give it another shot?

http://en.akinator.com/

It’s “Akinator, the Web Genius”, which is basically a website that plays 20 questions with you to guess which person/character you’re thinking of. I’ve played it a bunch, and it’s fairly alarming how quickly it can guess some extremely esoteric characters.

Categories: Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Writing Process Blog Hop

It’s been awhile since I participated in a Blog Hop, so I figured, no time like the present!

So let’s start off with a big thank you to Andrew Toynbee, who tagged me for this blog hop and wrote some really sweet words about me. You, sir, are a class act.

On to the blog hop!

1) What are you working on?

So I have two projects in the works right now:

  1. Chasing Nonconformity (sequel to Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It) — I’ve finished the rewrite, and have now set the book aside for a few weeks to give it time to mature (books are like wine/cheese, right?). Once the maturing process is finished, I will go back through the manuscript and rip it apart, in the hopes that the beta readers I eventually give it to won’t be too disgusted when they read it.
  2. The Elemental Guard — This is a fantasy novel I’ve been working on for a couple of years now, and I am in the process of figuring out how I want to rewrite it. I do technically have a first draft, but it’s suffering from an extreme case of “Not enough happens-itis”. So I’m going to rework the story from the ground up and make it awesome.

2) How does your work differ from others in the genre?

Well, Imminent Danger and Chasing Nonconformity are different from mainstream YA novels in that they’re not entirely focused on a love triangle. I know that’s generalizing a bit, but it’s also a fact that the vast majority of YA novels currently on the market are just obsessed with doom and gloom and tragic love triangles. The Imminent Danger series does not have love triangles, and I don’t think it ever will — well, it might, but the love triangle would be extremely nonviable, and more in there for comic relief than anything else. I also try to put a lot of humor in my stories, because A) I enjoy laughing and making people laugh, and B) whenever I write dark, dramatic things, I get kind of depressed.

3) Why do you write what you write?

I’ve loved fantasy and sci-fi since I was a kid. My parents indoctrinated me young — technically from the moment I was born, actually, as my middle name is Lothlorien (the Elvish woodlands from Lord of the Rings). So I tend to write a lot of fantasy and sci-fi because those are just the kind of stories I enjoy. I’m currently dabbling in a darker, slightly anarchic story, but even that still has some sci-fi/fantasy elements to keep it interesting. For me, I get enough of reality from living in it day to day — when I pick up a book, or sit down to write, I want to go somewhere new!

4) How does your writing process work?

Oh, it’s a complete mess. Sometimes I get an idea and immediately sit down and start banging out words. Sometimes I’ll get an idea, write it down, and then forget about it for years. Sometimes I’ll do elaborate planning for a story, with character backgrounds and histories and so on, and then get bored and never look at it again. My writing process is really just about what’s working for me at the time. Right now, I’m in a “do some high-level planning first, write the first draft from start to finish, and then re-write until you go completely batty and have to take up tai chi as a calming exercise” type phase.

——–

Nailed it! Okay, moving on to part 2 of the blog hop — tagging four authors to follow in my glorious footsteps. I’m not going to give them advanced warning on this because, quite frankly, I don’t have the patience to send out emails and wait for responses. So they’ll just have to deal with the free advertising, and decide for themselves if they want to participate in the blog hop.

Audrey Driscoll — This wonderful lady is the author of one of the best self-published books I’ve ever read, The Friendship of MortalsIt’s haunting, and beautiful, and thought-provoking, and has a dash of Lovecraftian horror that will absolutely blow you away. Also, the book has a fancy new purple cover!

Danielle E. Shipley — Aside from being a sweetheart, Danielle blogs all about writing and fairytales, and occasionally even about writing fairytales (gasp!). She has a great little series of novellas out called The Wilderhark Tales.

Kate Sparks — First of all, Kate reads all my posts and leaves awesome comments, so that alone makes her one of my favorite bloggers! Her blog is also quite excellent — all about writing, publishing, etc. She’s also recently posted a few pictures of Loki and his adventures with a pink pony, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Celeste DeWolfe — You know her as the talented artist behind all the Imminent Danger fan art I keep posting, but Celeste has many other talents! Her blog is really fun, with a huge variety of topics — ranging from web comics to music to books. And she’s currently posting her first novel, Life of Gaiaon Jukepop Serials (i.e., she posts it chapter by chapter, and you can read for free and leave comments).

Thanks for reading, everyone! Have a fabulous Friday!

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Unrelated media of the day:

Two sentence horror stories! It’s a thing! Check out more here: http://imgur.com/gallery/aHrf8

 

Categories: Blog-related, My Works, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Book Review: The Amber Ring (A.L. Walton)

The Booktheamberring

The Amber Ring

The Genre

Fantasy Novella

The Author

A former network administrator and software developer for the U.S. Department of Defense, A.L. Walton (otherwise known as Piscis – or simply “the fish”) currently resides in Boise, Idaho, where he spends a good chunk of his time making stuff up and putting it on paper. And writing music. But mostly the other thing.

The Plot

At the age of ten, Sofia Corona saved the Fairwoods from the malevolent grasp of the Cedar Witch and her goblin army.

Two years later, she drowned unceremoniously in the lake behind her Oregon home.

In the months following the Heroine’s death, when the Fairwoods face a resurgence of goblin attacks, they are forced to turn to Sofia’s cynical twin sister, Maya, for help. Although she wants nothing more to do with her sister’s fanciful adventures, Maya comes to realize that this one last favor could give her the closure she needs to put Sofia’s memory to rest and move on with her life.

With her twin’s magic ring and faithful gryphon companion, Maya embarks on a reluctant journey of whimsical antics and unwitting self-discovery in this stark but humorous fairy tale.

The Review

I loved this novella. It’s short, it’s sweet, and it does a glorious job of turning the traditional “hero” story on its head. One of the things I loved about this book is that there’s your classic heroine destined by fate to save a magical world of zany fantasy creatures … except that she drowns in a pool, and suddenly it’s up to her emotionally detached sister to save the day instead. 

The character of Maya is so fun, precisely because she is so far removed from what a heroine is supposed to be. She’s rational and cynical, so rather than reacting to a whimsical forest creature with delight, she gives it this “you’ve got to be kidding me” look and then tries very hard to be polite while inwardly bemoaning the ridiculous situation she’s in.

The novella is packed with a variety of whimsical forest creatures, my personal favorite being a tribe of trolls who consider themselves expert hat makers (they’re not), and are convinced the rest of the world are set on stealing their hats (they’re not). Sometimes the “whimsical encounters”, as I like to call them, seemed a bit tightly packed together, but it’s a novella, not a rambling 100k word fantasy novel, so allowances must be made!

All in all, a delightful little read!

The Rating

Five out of five stars

 

Links:

A.L. Walton’s blog

Buy the book on Amazon

Check out the book on Goodreads

 

Unrelated media of the day:

Categories: Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Opinion time! Near-invulnerability in a protagonist?

I’ve been kicking around a new story idea for a while, and while I won’t give too much away, I can reveal that it’s going to be a middle-grade fantasy story with lots of comedy, adventure, etc.

Right now, I’m working on fleshing out the main character – who we will call MC for ease, as I haven’t worked out a name yet. The concept with MC is that his father is a sorcerer, but MC himself is absolutely incapable of doing magic — not just that he has no talent for it, but he literally has no access to magic whatsoever.

Now, MC needs a “shtick” — you know, that one element that makes him special, that gives him the edge he needs to be a hero. For example, Harry Potter may not have been a very good wizard (at least in the first books), but he was an excellent flyer, which he uses to navigate many obstacles through his various adventures.

The first “shtick” I thought up was invulnerability. MC’s father is called the “dragon sorcerer” — not because he’s a dragon, but because he just really, really likes dragons. My thought is that the sorcerer did some dragon-magic-funtimes to MC when he was a wee babby, and this ended up burning the magic out of MC, but in return gave him skin as hard as dragon scales. Note that his skin doesn’t actually look like dragon scales — it’s just magically tough.

Now, near-invulnerability … that has some serious pros and cons. The main con, of course, is that he’ll be invulnerable (or close enough) — which means that, whilst on his adventures, readers will never really worry about his safety, due to the aforementioned invulnerability. On the pro side, though, there’s lots of fun stuff going on here — he’ll be reckless, because he knows he can’t be hurt, which will get him into all sorts of sticky situations. He’ll have a hard time connecting with other people, because his dragon-scale-strong skin has always made him different, singled him out from his peers, and they might even resent him. And he’ll also have a sort of superiority complex — an aloofness, if you will — because on some level he knows he’s superior to others, at least in that one aspect, and that’s a dangerous thing for a 12/13 year old to think.

So I guess my question is — do you think that fairly major con outweighs all the pros?

 

Unrelated media of the day:

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 45 Comments

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