Friday, July 31, 2015

The King's Challenge #3


The boy who brought my meal last night sits on the step outside as I leave the inn. He grins at me, which is a marked change from his previous reaction. I ask if he knows how to get to the lower city.

“Why do you want to go there?” he asks. “Folk get killed there.”

He eyes my pack, which I have slung forward to hang from my shoulders against my stomach. The traveller I met on the road suggested I do so. Safer, he said. Pickpockets will clean you out from the back. It is a decent pack, of quality leather and shiny clasps. My brother made it and suggested I use it. Weatherproof, he said, and strong enough to handle any travel. Clearly the boy sees it has value and obviously he now wonders why I need to enter the lower city. I seem to have coin, in his mind; why leave this inn unless I am to take to my travels again.

“I am looking for someone,” I tell him.

The boy nods as if he is life’s greatest sage. “I can take you,” he says. “A silver for my troubles.”

The phrase sounds like something he heard someone else use, for it is too adult. I smile at him. “Two bronze. One now and one when we arrive.”

He squints against the grey light. “Fine.” He holds his hand out.

I find a bronze and hand it over. “What is your name?”

“Attis,” he mumbles as he gets to his feet.

He is scruffy in the sense that his clothes need mending, but he is clean and well fed. Working at an inn has its advantages, I assume. Perhaps he is the son of the owner.

“Let’s go,” he says and steps into the cobbled street. I follow.

9 Woes of the Writing Life

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The King's Challenge #2


After spending the night restless upon a hard bed and enduring dark hours punctuated with too much noise, I am up with the first of dawn’s light. It is overcast out, but a country girl knows when the new day has arrived.

Opening the shutters I closed the night before to shut out the intrusive lights from the city, I gaze into a dreary landscape. It occurs to me the lights of night make this place pretty, for by day it is ugly. Buildings many storeys high create alleys of only shadow, and the grey, filthy stone has little appeal. Roof tiles are all encrusted with decades of grime. Smoke weaves out from chimneys to choke oxygen from the air.

The spread of this place is even larger than the lights had me believe. A maze of alleys and streets lie before me, and so many buildings I have never seen together in one space. How do these people all eat? There must be many thousands.

It will be hard to find Damin in this cesspit of humanity.

I do have a clue, though. This inn was recommended to me by a traveller I met on the road four days ago. Thank the stars, for upon looking down I realise how hard it will be to make informed choices here. What do I know about cities? The traveller also told me to start my search for someone lost in the lower city. Apparently all newcomers land up there, for rent is cheap while one waits for employment. Where this lower part is, though, I cannot say.

Today I need to talk to people or I go exactly nowhere. It is my hope I do not frighten them off. Most folk are wary of a girl with a blue and a green eye.

Books are beautiful, reading is inspiring

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The King's Challenge #1


Night’s city lights have removed the stars from clear view and I am saddened by this. I miss the countryside with its silver spangles and cosmic spirals. Out there in the silence I am able to know myself; here I feel lost.

This is my choice, though, for duty has summoned me to this press of people. Somewhere out there I will find him. He came here to lose himself deliberately, I know this, but the time for selfishness has now passed. He needs to come home, as I need to return there. Together we can convince the others of escape, for I cannot do so alone. They do not listen to me, but they will at least come to hear his words and I may then speak through him. The trouble now is trying to convince him of my words when I do find him.

By the light of stars, I hope the others will hear also. Our time is now short.

Hearing the door open behind me, I turn. My meal has arrived. Striding forward to pay, I search for my purse in my pocket. I think my forceful actions scares the boy, for he steps back swiftly, his eyes growing bigger. Mother always said I need to control my movements, because I tend to frighten people with my personality. Too much like a man, Lyra, use your femininity more! Already they think you strange; don’t give them more reason to whisper about you behind your back.

Slowing my movements, I smile at the boy as I hand over the required coin, with an extra one for him. He swallows, nods, and makes himself rapidly scarce. Sighing, I sit to eat.

Potatoes coated in spice, with slivers of venison. Damin would love it. How do I find him?

Writing Challenge: 300 x 365

I saw a meme about Steven King saying if you write 300 words a day for a year, at the end of that year you have a book. 300 x 365 = 109 500 words.

Having nearly completed Justine’s Journal 52 Weeks 500 Words challenge, this felt familiar and I thought I would give it a try.

I will attempt to post daily … whatever comes to mind! No planning ahead. It will be impulse driven. I am already intrigued to see what happens. Where will this lead? What will the story be about? How will it change as the weeks go by? Who will become the characters?

Let’s call it The King’s Challenge. It will be the WIP title until all the days are done and the final product is ready for editing and naming. Comments along the way will be most helpful and anything you suggest and I use in this daily challenge will be acknowledged in the actual book.

Are you with me?

Let us begin …

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Justine's Journal #49

52 Weeks 500 Words

This is how it began: Justine (not her real name) decided to write 500 words (or as near as), anything goes, per week for 52 weeks. She would then submit it for anonymous posting, via me, her friend. Perhaps a pattern will emerge from her words, but at this stage it’s more an experiment I have agreed to share in. I’ll attempt to draw conclusions at the end of this. Stay tuned if this resonates with you.

Week 49

"Do you feel alone? I know I sometimes do, despite having others in the vicinity. Feeling alone has little to do with people, after all, for it’s a state of mind, not a state of being. You can be surrounded by others and still feel alone.

I thought about this concept this week and I now realise it’s because  belonging comes from  real connection. This is about being able to talk to another about soul stuff. Even when we don’t make sense to ourselves, we know that other gets us. You can bounce ideas off them, you can discuss issues without judgement and you can laugh at things you took too seriously before. Suddenly you realise you belong to a connection, one that makes you feel okay about yourself. You are no longer alone.

These connections are not about proximity. In our technological age we can chat to someone across the world and find someone who thinks as we do and actually make a connection with value to who we are inside. On the flip side, the neighbour two doors down could be your go to person when you feel alone. You and this person may not share social time and events, but your connection may be such that, when you are feeling alone, there is the person who will get you, and that door is ever open to you.

Yes, this week I felt alone. I felt as if no one understood me, as if no one ‘got’ me, as if I was all alone in a big bad world of misunderstanding and misinterpretation. Try and tell those usually closest to you how you feel … and watch their eyes lose focus. Too much sharing! They don’t need the burden of your feelings! They don’t get you. And therefore you feel alone.

I’ve said this before, but really we are very strange. One day we’re up, the next day we’re down. Today we feel valued, tomorrow we feel worthless. Yesterday we were on top of the world, today we wonder what’s the point to anything. Strange. How does it change so fast? What causes such waves in how we see ourselves? There’s no right answer to that, other than to suggest our souls are continuously searching for real connections.

When we find a connection, those up and down waves are still there, make no mistake, but we deal better with them. If it gets too much, we can unload our fears into that connection and then go forth unburdened.

I hope this makes sense to you. To put it simply. I felt alone and then I received an email from someone many thousands of km’s from where I am, and know what? She told me of her struggle and I totally ‘got’ her, because her struggle spoke directly to my feeling of aloneness. By the end of a flurry of emails both of us felt not only better, but empowered! We were no longer alone.

It put a massive smile on my face, I tell you."

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Things happen when walking through realms

Realm Walker is the companion compilation to end off the Lore of Reaume series, and is now available.


In Realm Walker peer into the depths of a large tale to discover the insights hidden from plain view, for always there is more to a story.

Every sage saying from the Lore of Reaume series is gathered in one place, along with an analysis of the realms beyond death, what happened to Vannis and Raken in their Afterlife, the science and sorcery of the Forbidden Zone, character interviews, and other surprises.

Realm Walker (Reaume) gifts the reader greater insight into the Lore tales and what causes the main players to endure in a universe on the brink of annihilation, as well as being a companion work for future reference.

Dreamer is 'another classic'

"Loving the new book ... it's another classic ..." - Chris D Brown

Thank you, Chris!

Review: Draykon

Sunday, July 19, 2015

For our souls - an excellent book

I would like to share something with you. Recently I was in frightened state of mind and a friend suggested I read this ...

I was blown away by how much this helped me. I feel stronger and more able to cope, because I now better understand how we function as humans, and I have discovered some pertinent advice about how to look at matters and how to protect myself when the way becomes a little dark.

Usually I don't bother much with 'self-help' books (there are exceptions, of course!) but this isn't so much about self-help as it is about understanding. We are ever seeking energy as souls in order to function and this tells us how it works and how we deal with it.

An eye-opener indeed! A soul opener, actually!

My review posted on Amazon, because I wanted to tell other potential readers to have a look. This book deserves it!

We all have our issues and most of us are afraid to confront them. Whether we are into new age stuff or belong to a formal religion, whether we profess no belief or every belief, we all have our issues.

This book opened my eyes. Not only does it discuss in a logical and readable way the spirit world and the beings inhabiting it, but it’s also to the point about those issues we struggle to deal with. The author logically explains how we are all connected, how we create both our negative and positive environments and inner selves, following it up with practical solutions and advice. This aids our relationships with our spouses, our children and others, explaining how our souls require energy in order to function. Often this energy is negative and we need to teach ourselves how to project and accept only positive energy.

What I took away from this was awareness. I now better understand myself and those around me. I also took away that love heals all, if only we will allow it to.

You need to read this. Please read this. We do not all believe the same, and yet there is so much common ground here, for we are all human and all of us need love in our lives. You do need to read this. Go on, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Justine's Journal #48

52 Weeks 500 Words

This is how it began: Justine (not her real name) decided to write 500 words (or as near as), anything goes, per week for 52 weeks. She would then submit it for anonymous posting, via me, her friend. Perhaps a pattern will emerge from her words, but at this stage it’s more an experiment I have agreed to share in. I’ll attempt to draw conclusions at the end of this. Stay tuned if this resonates with you.

Week 48

"Recently I went back and read a few of my old entries; trying to see how they would look in the book we are planning.
I must tell you I was really negative when this began. It is as clear as daylight to me now that I have really grown over the weeks that followed those initial entries. Wow. Isn’t it fantastic how we are able to let go of what burdens us and, in doing so, we start moving forward? I have moved forward!
In fact, my go-to position now is to write about something positive (for the most part) rather than focus on the negative, and that wasn’t the case in the past. Then I would record the bad, rather than focus on the good. I’m liking the new me. I feel more comfortable in her skin.
We are like this, you know.
Given a conscious choice, most of us would prefer focusing on the side of us that makes us smile and feel good about ourselves.
Unfortunately, it’s in the sub-conscious where the negative tends to swirl and when asked how we are, we blurt out what is wrong with us instead of what is going right. We really are strange creatures.
The trick, I believe, is to bring our sub-conscious in line with our conscious selves, so that out automatic response is ever positive. Of course this is the ideal and of course we are human and sometimes fail, but I have found that writing the negative out of my system has really helped. I know I have mentioned before that a journal aids this, that releasing the feelings to paper (or digital) will lessen the impact negative thoughts have, but this is my way of coping.
My way is only a suggestion. Do find what works for you.
As this session of self-analysis draws to a close (four to go after this one) I begin to see how much it has helped me. I am so glad I have an actual journal under my pillow to continue this, for this is how I now focus my thoughts and feelings. In a way, I’m less impulsive about my reactions as well, for I tend now to consider something from more than one angle before diving into a situation. This has prevented me going off the deep end on more than one occasion.
Still, there is a place for impulsive. We cannot always think everything through. But, if we succeed in bringing our sub-conscious in line with our conscious selves, our reactions would insert the positive into impulsivity.
Yes, I’m still learning how to do so and the learning won’t end when these journal entries do. We are ever a work in progress, aren’t we? But I’m thinking it will become easier and easier as practice becomes perfect(ish)!
Keep smiling! Allow your sunny nature the upper hand as often as you can manage it!"

77 000+!

Thank you for visiting!


Friday, July 17, 2015

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The blame game in The Dreamer Stones

The Dreamer Stones is now available in paperback!
The ebook will be live tomorrow :)

Here's an excerpt for you:

Marcus Campian, Electan of Valaris, sat hunched over his desk, feeling old beyond his years.
First it was the Mayor of Galilan, then Farinwood. A coincidence, but no longer so. The mayors of Tetwan, Saswan, Two Town, Winnish, Gasmoor, Barrier, Luan, Actar, Mintor, and Linmoor were all dead. One after the other and still the reports came. The smaller towns, the northern cities. By morning Valaris would be leaderless.
By morning he himself could be dead.
Now they railed against the Enchanter for his absence. First he was blamed for the disasters, and now that it was known he was offworld, he was blamed for inaction, as a coward, untrustworthy. The man could not win, no matter what he did, what stance he did or did not take, Marcus thought.
He heard the raised voices of the crowd on the road, come to protest the murders, demanding justice. Wives and kids were fatherless tonight, they shouted and he could do nothing. The television was full of sensationalist reports, creating more havoc, stirring the populace to what amounted to revolution, and considering they were almost leaderless, who would reason with them? Himself? Before he too succumbed? He did not know what to think, never mind do.
His trustworthy companion of many campaigns, Mr Jackson, entered. In his hands, another report. “Moor,” he said, placing the news face down on Marcus’s desk.
He moved to the door, but Marcus stopped him.
“Stay, MJ. There’s no need to monitor - we know what’s happening.” Marcus sighed, rose, and pointed to a chair. “Sit, old friend, and let us pass this terrible night together.”
He turned to a hidden cabinet in the bookshelves behind his desk, drew a bottle of expensive brandy from its dark depths, and poured liberal measures.
“You know, I never thought any of this would happen. I heard tell of an old legend that the Enchanter would return, but it wasn’t to be in my lifetime. Peace was good, wasn’t it?”
“We only realise what we had when it’s gone. And now no one remembers peace was due to the one they now blame.” MJ sipped at his drink, savouring it. Good brandy.
Marcus tossed his back, tasting nothing. “You sound as if you admire the Enchanter.”
“I do, and he also frightens me. He has an aura of raw power about him, like he could walk through fire - I suppose he could at that.”
“He’s the reason we’re sitting here like this,” Marcus said, refilling his glass.
“Maybe, but he’s also the reason there was peace for two thousand years. Do we take that away from him? It’s unfair.”
“You’re too much the romantic, my friend.”
“Have you seen the Valleur recently? They’re everywhere, doing everything in their power to help those dispossessed and hurting. Good people, Mr Campian. I can’t believe they are the lie others believe the Enchanter to be. How can they think one thing, he another? No, it’s that other who is the lie and someone should come out and say so. The Enchanter needs us behind him and we need to know who the true enemy is.”
“For months now there’ve been hints …”
“And hints guised himself as Torrullin and did evil in his name. That’s wrong. The father should not now be blamed for the son. It needs to be spelled out, Electan. Someone should go on air and tell our people Tymall is the enemy and his father seeks a way to end it.”
“They will still blame Torrullin.”
“Will they? Or will they look inside and know how hard it is for a father? Even if the son is evil? I think we don’t give our people enough credit.”
Marcus smiled. “You have strong views.”
“It needs done.”
“He asked that we say little about his son.”
“That was then.”
Marcus inclined his head. “Maybe you’re right, and maybe we make it worse. Whatever, proactive is better than waiting. Set it up. Full news coverage. I’ll speak to the nation.”

MJ nodded, set his glass down, and hastened to his own office.


Monday, July 13, 2015

From Infinity to Dreaming

Hello everyone! The Lore saga (years of writing) has now culminated in seeing the first eight books available in both digital and print formats. We can now read from The Infinity Mantle to The Dreamer Stones!

The Dreamer Stones will be live for download on Friday, 17 July. The paperback has beaten it to the finish line, though, and I'll post links as soon as they become available :)

I hope you will be ready for Lore of Sanctum once you've read these. Sanctum is darker and more adult, and comprises four books as well. Not for the faint-hearted!
More on Lore of Sanctum soon. Meanwhile shout YAY with me as i celebrate the completion of Lore of Reaume at last :)

Writing problems = psychological problems

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Justine's Journal #47

52 Weeks 500 Words

This is how it began: Justine (not her real name) decided to write 500 words (or as near as), anything goes, per week for 52 weeks. She would then submit it for anonymous posting, via me, her friend. Perhaps a pattern will emerge from her words, but at this stage it’s more an experiment I have agreed to share in. I’ll attempt to draw conclusions at the end of this. Stay tuned if this resonates with you.

Week 47

"This past week ended up being pretty hectic and I didn’t even get the chance to write properly in my private under-my-pillow journal. There are a few functions happening in my area, with loads of charities getting involved, and as I like to volunteer for good causes, I found myself a little harassed by day’s end, and a lot tired.

So I did this: I wrote one word in my journal to describe the day.

Looking back over five entries like that, I am surprised by how much one word can describe so much. In that one word is a full day of action, of emotion, of how I felt as the day ended.

Monday – frazzled
Tuesday – bone-tired
Wednesday – contented
Thursday – weary-happy
Friday – laughing

Okay, so some were two words J But do you see the progression? It began with loads of set-up work and ended in the culmination events last night, which went smoothly and everyone had fun. Later this evening, we will pack it all up and I think my word then will be ‘exhausted’!

It was a good week. I made new friends and learned much about people and their willingness to help others without expecting payment other than the satisfaction of a job well done. This fills me with a glow. To me, this means we are still good as humankind and we still use our humanity. This is very special. If all of us would do something ‘extra’ no matter how small, we can change the world.

A smile can change the world! Try it. As you do your weekly shopping, pushing your trolley around crowded aisles, smile at someone. In most cases that someone will actually smile back and both your worlds suddenly feel brighter. This is very special also.

The one word entries led to a form of enlightenment, for me. I realised we do not need loads of words to describe an emotion, that a word can say so much even in singular. We do trip ourselves up, don’t we, when we try too hard to say something. Too many words can lead to misunderstanding. On the flipside, one word may say too little, so we need a happy compromise. And this is what I will try in future, use my happy compromise. When busy, it’s one word, but if I feel afterwards it needs more explanation, I’ll add something more. At the very least, that one word serves as a reminder and becomes something to build on.

I am so pleased life teaches us new ways all the time. And I am so pleased to know we are able to make new connections simply by smiling and lending a helping hand. Sometimes we live in an okay world!"

Friday, July 10, 2015

Elaina's World of Writing

So far, with the first half of the year behind us, this is what happened for this writer in 2015 :)

Republished ebooks after Thorstruck Press closed, now with Tirgearr Publishing (3)

The Tinsal Deck
A Tear in the Cloud

Republished ebooks and paperbacks (2)

The Kallanon Scales
The Nemisin Star

Paperbacks published for the first time (4)

The Infinity Mantle
The Kinfire Tree
The Drowned Throne
The Dragon Circle

New books (ebooks and paperback) (2)

The Sleeper Sword
The Dreamer Stones (currently on pre-order)

New ebooks (3)

FingerNale Tales
Ancient Illumination
Secret Remedies

Updated (1)

Our Friend Thomas Henson

Coming still in 2015 (8)

Realm Walker
Lore of Arcana Omnibus
Town Thomas
Lore of Reaume Omnibus
The Nemesis Blade
Justine's Journal
Travelling Thomas
The Echolone Mine

Foreseen for 2016

Thomas Henson's Mansion
The Nowhere Sphere
The Master Mechanism
Mark of the Kalion
Circles of Civilisation
Sacred Space
Lore of Sanctum Omnibus


Small Talk

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Our Friend Thomas Henson

Thomas has had a face lift! 

New cover, and a few internal tweaks also. Our Friend Thomas Henson is now part of a series of four short stories - the Thomas H series. Look out for Town Thomas, coming soon!

Thomas Henson has issues, thirteen of them, and, indeed, one of them is superstition. When his life of luxury ends and he is dumped into an impoverished state, all these issues come home to roost, making it impossible for Thomas to stand up and take responsibility for his life. He even despises his name! Most all, however, he hates his neighbour, the ever laughing Ethan Danwick-Blythe, who has a perfect name and a perfect garden. Thomas is being lied to, however, and those lies will upset everything our Thomas hopes for. As he plots revenge on his neighbour, the time for all lies to be exposed approaches. This amusing little tale of self-delusion is Thomas Henson’s debut into real life.