If there’s one thing I love more than writing, it’s reading Brandon Sanderson. The man’s a genius and this quote more than sums up how I feel when reading his work
5 Ways to Worldbuild Without the Infodump
A fantastic post on worldbuilding and how to avoid the infamous ‘info dump’
A thrilling Arthurian-style adventure
by Mike Shelton
Today, I am featuring a fantastic Arthurian teen and young adult book by Mike Shelton.
It is a brand new release and priced at only $3.99. It’s too good to miss!
How much wizard power is too much?
Some people are born with magical powers.
Others are not.
It’s that simple.
Roland Tyre, High Wizard of the Citadel, has always wanted to be the most powerful wizard in the land and adored by all. But there is already someone else that vies for that title – Bakari, the Dragon King; one of his best friends.
While Bakari and the dragon riders race off to find the lost dragon artifacts and the mythical golden dragon, Roland discovers his own magical artifact that gives him the opportunity to increase his own powers and influence in the land.
Can friendships survive greed for power? And who will emerge as the most powerful wizard in the land?
A grand adventure awaits with powerful wizards, kidnappings, traitors, kingdoms changing hands, and of course dragons and other magical creatures.
Is the Golden Dragon real and if so, who will find him first?
This is a follow-on series to The Alaris Chronicles, but can be read as a stand-alone series also.
Grab your copy here today!
Mike Shelton is the author of the YA/Teen fantasy series The Cremelino Prophecy, The Alaris Chronicles, and The TruthSeer Archives. Follow Mike’s work here:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/MikeSheltonAuthor/ (facebook group)
https://www.facebook.com/mikesheltonbooks/ (facebook page)
The Phoenix Project is a story that is very close to my heart. I had the original idea in 2002 and it has slowly grown with the input of a variety of influences and inspiration.
Inspiration #1: Raven Kennedy:
Raven began as the villain, Vincent, in my first novel “Dead End” (an idea which never came to fruition). The plot didn’t work, but I adored his character so I kept him and developed him as the antagonist in the fantasy world of ‘The Light and Shadow Chronicles’ (You may have met him in A Chronicle of Chaos or The Shield of Soren).
I loved the character so much that I took the idea of him and developed it in another direction—into the dark and depressed Raven in my next novel, The Phoenix Project.
Having worked with Raven for so long, I am very emotionally attached to him. Even though he is fictional, I feel that he is a part of my heart and soul. Hence this tattoo:
Raven also features as a major character in The Light and Shadow Chronicles. I don’t think I will ever write a book that doesn’t have Raven in it in some way. He is my muse and my access to my creativity.Continue reading “Inspiration for The Phoenix Project”
Coalville Writes Literary Festival
This Saturday I will be appearing alongside Stewart Bint at the Pop-Up book fair as part of the Coalville Writes literary festival in Leicestershire (10.30am – 4.30pm) Why not pop along and see us? You can buy signed books, get some free goodies and enter a competition to win something cool (prize yet to be decided!)
Talented author Anita Kovacevic is featured on my blog today to showcase her new book, a dark fairy tale entitled The Forest of Trees
THE FOREST OF TREES BLURB:
When a family of four faces the brutal reality of their city life, they readily embrace a complete change. Emma and David Stone, with their kids Jeremy and Dot, move to a small town with their big hopes. However, small towns have their own secrets – from urban legends about The Forest of Trees to family skeletons in closets everyone knows about.
Gradually, Jeremy and Dot make some new and unusual friends, whereas Emma and David start working again, and things seem to be going for the better. But evil never rests. The Jacksons, a bigoted and brutal family of pig farmers, however scary, are not the only ones leaning towards malice. The more new friendships grow, the more villains will struggle to retain power. Will the arrival of the newcomers tip the scales in favour of the good or the evil? And how can The Forest of Trees play its part in the solution?
The life between the legendary Forest of Trees and the small town of Tillsworth is separated only by a road. All it takes to reconnect is to take that path.
‘This is not a fairy tale for children, but an adult examination of the way belief in oneself can change the course of lives. It is lovely, frightening, joyous, and painful. Anita Kovacevic can put another notch in her author’s belt with this brilliantly written book.’
By Elizabeth Newton, from Between the Beats (https://elizabethnnewton.com/2017/12/28/the-forest-of-trees-by-anita-kovacevic/)
‘Some of the parts were like the fairytale, happy and carefree, but other parts were nothing but the harsh reality.
The ability of the author to jump from one to another was so easy. I loved the beautiful description of the forest creatures, but I also loved the other side of the coin…’
Irena Cacic, on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36407464-the-forest-of-trees )
From the author’s foreword:
Our lives always consist of beauty and ugliness, and if we are lucky, we get to keep the balance of the two. The good and the bad start from within us, and spread all around us. It is what weaves this world, and, I believe, all worlds everywhere and everywhen.
All fairytales consist of magic and horror. Not everyone is always good, and not everyone is always bad. Snow White faced the evil Witch Queen, Cinderella her step-family, the children and parents the Pied Piper…
In a way, this story is also a horror fairytale, but it is not for children. You may feel like reading some parts to your children, but those were the parts told by my own inner child, the one who still hopes and believes in magic. The horror in the story has nothing magical about it – it brings out the harsh reality I hated to write, but had to write out of me.
To paraphrase the words of two fascinating authors, we must write even that which we don’t want to write, because it must be said (S. King). And it is up to us which side we choose – the good or the easy (J. K. Rowling).
For myself, I admit to having both sides, but I intend to always feed the good in me – always.
CHAPTER 11 – READY?
Jeremy felt as if a gigantic troll with spiky teeth and heavy hands was pounding with a rock hammer against the insides of Jeremy’s skull. The noise of his bloodstream, the rhythm of his rage, the tremor of his fear, all were so strong that not even the school bus, hitting every single bump on the road, could shake them off. It was like his heart had been mauled from his chest by a monster claw, as flashes of the ruined canvas blinded his eyes like electricity coming on and off. Unconscious of his own actions, he reached for his chest to check, but there was no blood gushing, although it felt hot and excruciating just the same.
He wasn’t wiping off any tears, for there were none to dry. He wished there had been. He wished he could still cry about it, the way he had with his dad that day in the bathroom, and wash away the feeling of shame, guilt, filth, ruin and fury. But his eyes were as dry as the desert sand, and he stared through the bus window, aimlessly observing the scenery without actually seeing anything. He was almost numb to the outside world and the people around him.
CHAPTER 12 – A CHANGE IN THE WEATHER
“I hope nobody is still out there,” Miss Pagiotti said.
The rain shower had turned into a thick curtain, masking most outer events. For a second, Miss Pagiotti thought she could see something or someone still there, so she grabbed Mr Jones by the wrist, and they both rose to their feet and walked even closer to the window.
They froze at the image they saw.
Angel’s family was walking outside in the rain, from the direction of a nearby supermarket to their lorry, parked further down the street. The group was led by the grandpa, his grey jacket drenched, steel-framed boots threading the puddles. His dark hat was tucked on his forehead, hiding his wrinkled face, as his eyes fixated on the lorry; the weather never swaying his stride, despite his limp. He walked as if the storm was merely an annoying fly to swat, and ignoring everybody behind him. Angel’s dad followed, copying his father, almost tripping as he forced his legs to adjust the pace and remain behind the pack leader. His yellow fisherman raincoat protected his body, but raindrops blinded him. His two teenage sons walked each on one side of their dad, trying not to stay behind. The two dark-haired adolescents were shaking from the cold, their hands in their jacket pockets, all wet through, skinny, grim and unhappy, faces freshly scarred from fighting or getting beaten. Angel dragged his baby brother behind the trio, annoyed at being left behind as the designated babysitter, his bald wet head glowing in the street light.
As the Jackson procession passed the restaurant, Ben’s dad opened the door ajar.
“Come inside. Get warm,” he said.
“Mind your own business, you blithering idiot. The Jacksons need no charity,” Old Jackson barked above the noise of the storm, not even looking at the man.
OTHER BOOKS BY ANITA KOVACEVIC:
Adult books: The Threshold – paranormal novella; Average Daydreamer – light romance; Versus Verses – Feel – poetry; Versus Verses – Love – poetry
Children’s books: Winky’s Colours: A Penguin’s Story; The Good Pirate; Mimi Finds Her Magic; Spikes for Hank
Contributions to anthologies:
Teaching Children from the Heart & Inner Giant; Awethology Light & December Awethology Light Volume; Twisted Tales & Crooked Tales; Looking into the Abyss; A Treasure Chest of Children’s Stories
Anita Kovacevic is multi-genre author of both children’s and adult fiction. Her belief in the power of storytelling has been strengthened through her years of teaching and teacher training. Anita enjoys writing stories which come to her on her ‘dreamstep’, blending reality and magic, and has a quirky fondness for writing limerick stories. You can read her reviews, book news and author interviews on her WordPress blog Anita’s Haven. She lives with her husband and children in Croatia, where she graduated from university with a degree in English and Spanish Literature.
(find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as Anita’s Haven; WordPress blog https://anitashaven.wordpress.com/)
This is an outstanding article about types of endings to books and the importance of carefully tailoring an ending to the story (with tips from Pixar too!)
So, I’ve been out of the loop for a while now (thanks to my gorgeous new arrival <3) but I am pleased to say that this year I am back with two new titles in the Light and Shadow Chronicles series!
Two novellas – ‘Genesis of Light’ and ‘Origin of Shadow’ will be released in 2018 and I will begin edits on the recently completed full length novel ‘The Sins of Silas’. How exciting!
Today I am delighted to hand my blog over to the wonderful L.G. Surgeson who has just relaunched her stunning Black River Chronicles series. She’s here to tell us a bit about it:
About the Chronicles
The Black River Chronicles is a series of the tales that follows the exploits of The Aberddu Guild of Adventurers – a rag-gag collection of mercenaries, thieves, priests and misguided hero-types that seem to wonder into the path of fate with worrying frequency. It’s an odd life as an adventurer, particularly when you joined up for fame and fortune but find yourself up to your knees in the middens of history. In the first three stories, the adventurers take on ancient evils, wicked demon-worshippers and a maniacal God in the full knowledge that unless they rob someone on the way home they won’t get paid. Some of them will live, some will die and some will last forever. Join the adventure and follow the Black River to see where it leads.
Praise for the Chronicles
The Summer of Fire:
“… the characters carry the day. I loved the characters and there are plenty of them.”
“This was a good book, very captivating”
The Winter That Follows:
“The characters are rich and deep, and give the feeling of having lived. I look forward to the next in the series.”
The Freetown Bridge:
“The story moves on quickly and brought me to genuine laughter and even a heartfelt tear. I am surprised that this is the first book by Surgeson; with a start like this I expect great things to come!!”
“An excellent first edition of a novel to rival the current fantasy fiction favourites.”
About the Author
LG Surgeson is a writer and teacher who lives in a cottage by a river in a little Welsh village with her long-suffering partner and their two cats. She writes novels and articles in the spare time she creates by avoiding the housework and pretending to be a hermit. She likes to write fantasy adventure stories and quasi-autobiographical tales about teaching, which are equally fantastical and no less adventurous but have fewer elves. She also writes articles and blog posts about subjects close to her heart, normally education and mental health. When she’s not writing, she likes to poke about in her garden, pretending to grow things and disturbing the fairies. Her cats like to help. They aren’t good at it.
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