Monday, November 3, 2014

Who's Your Hero Blogfest - Abraham Lincoln

Everyone has a hero, someone they admire. Michelle Wallace and J.L. Campbell know it's true. They're sponsoring a blogfest highlighting our personal heroes. Go here to find out more.

My hero? Easy. Abraham Lincoln. Always and forever.

I admire his ambition to better himself, to learn to read and write when so many of the population did not. To overcome the loss of his mother at an early age and bond so readily with his stepmother. When his ambition led him to run for office and eventually the Presidency, the country could not have picked a better man during the worst time in this country’s history. It was a place in time that required someone exactly like him. 

Providence maybe?

Feb 1861
In four years, from 1861 to 1865, he aged from a hearty, mature man in his best years to a bent scarecrow. Worries ate at him until his bones showed through his skin. Too many decisions, too many against him. Vitriol lashed him from political enemies and sometimes his generals. The deaths of his sons, the loss of so many on the battlefields. How could it not weigh on his mind?
March 1865

In the end, he might have felt the approach of death. Other assassination attempts on his life had failed but Hate can manifest into something almost visceral, an indescribably horrible burden.

Yet, he continued. Only by his will did he stand erect. Because surely the ambition of his younger days was long gone.

Abraham Lincoln gritted his teeth and continued. Prevailed. 

And when he was killed, he truly “...Now belongs to the Ages.”

Friday, October 31, 2014

Cephalopod Coffeehouse Chat - The Slow Regard of Silent Things

From the ArmChair Squid: “The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you've finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same. In this way, we'll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers.”

Join the club here.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things - Patrick Rothfuss

The author says, “Don’t buy this book”. Yep. Right out loud, he says it. Well, in print anyway. And—shockingly—I can see
his point.

No matter what the pundits say about “don’t buy a book by its cover”, good designs kick derrieres when it comes to marketing. If the cover to Slow Regard entrances a reader who buys it without knowing Kvothe and his story, this book will disappoint. If the blurb grabs your interest, for Pete’s sake, don’t start with this book. Find Name of the Wind and “do things proper”.

If you think you can barge your way into a museum filled with perfect artifacts and expect to understand it, oh, how wrong you are. The best comparison I have is The Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion. If you’ve walked Middle Earth behind hobbits and Gandalf, you know who they are. They need no introduction. But to jump feet first into Silmarillion without that knowledge is like diving into a pool without knowing the depth. And the shock might keep you from trying it again.

For those acquainted with Kvothe, who have read every line and hold the story dear, Slow Regard is like holding a long-lost present from a beloved grandmother. I can see her gnarled hands stretched out to me, giving me a teacup for my very own. There is no value to the cup. No antique dealer would want the chipped thing. But to experience again the memories is to bring my grandma back to life.

The Slow Regard for Silent Things is just that precious. Priceless. For those who hold the memories of The Kingkiller Chronicles and want more.

The definition of epic fantasy: The Kingkiller Chronicles, a series made up of Name of the Wind, The Wise Man's Fear, and the third and yet-to-be released, Doors of Stone.

Start with these and you'll experience some of the best fantasy reading ever.

Leave Slow Regard for after.

Monday, October 27, 2014

I Do It

When my little brother was three or so, his favorite phrase was “I do it.” 

Our parents would try to help him set up a game and he’d brush them off with I do it. Someone would put a
plate of food in front of him and start to cut up his sandwich into smaller bites. “I do it” and he’d push their helping hands away. Or hold him going down a slide, guide him around a ditch, follow him out the door. I do it, I do it, I do it.

In other words, he hated asking for help.

In that trait, we are very similar. I cringe from asking for assistance. It’s not that I don’t need it on occasion but it goes against my willful nature, I reckon.

  • And so I use an axe to chop the ice from a blocked sewer on my own without asking for help. (hey, after tentatively hitting the stinky stuff trying not to get the crud on me, one splat in the face made me say, “Oh well,” and swing mightily to get the job done)
  • Plaster and tape 20 by 30 foot room alone.
  • Face down a charging bull.

Yes, I am the independent sort. Sometimes stupid but definitely independent.

This leads me to today and my release of Mage Revealed. I swallowed my reluctant nature and asked several of my highly valued blogger friends to assist me in the announcement. Their response made my “allergies” kick in. 

At least that’s the excuse I give when confronted while holding a tissue.

Thank you:
Alex, my uber blogger, who told me the stress never gets even better after the second book. He should know since his fourth novel is in edits and he can’t stop writing.

Marcy – an amazing and humbling post. Truly my rock and friend, beyond priceless

Angela Brown, author of Neverlove and has one of the coolest pen names, Rayven Godchild for her self-pub series. I blush even looking at the covers.

Ellie. One of my all-time, most favorite humans on Earth. I mean she met Shaun (of the Dead) aka Scotty for Goodness sake.

Christine Rains – one of the most delightful (and talented) authors I know, author of The Thirteenth Floor series.

Heather, author of Maguire’s Corner. Her next book in the series, One Good Catch is humming along and should be out next year.

Thank you one and all. My appreciation knows no bounds.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Mage Revealed Released

Mage Revealed

Book Two of The Magic Withheld series

Struck with enough malevolent Spirit to turn him into a raving beast of a man, Bert Reese fights to remain human. Alone, he walks a slender path between sanity and madness. Then, an unlikely source enters his life to help—one of the now-hated mages.

But Ashleigh is different and calms his butchered senses. Her fierce nature is the only rock that stands between him and the crevasse that is beast. In all ways, she walks beside him toward a new beginning. But at the end of their journey lies the one who used Spirit against him. Questions arise; did Tiarra, head of the Imperium, lose her magic, die, or simply give way to the new order? Or, like a spider, does she wait for a mage to blunder into her web?

Forced on him without a care for his humanity, Bert is the mage who should not exist, born with a different kind of magic. 

And the gates of Hell are no match for the magic he wields.

Bert whirled her around, gripped in the circle of his arms. Ash squealed and laughed as her feet left the ground.

Still the lightning crashed, deafening and brilliant.

“So you’re a mage now. Full blown and no walls,” he said after setting her on her feet. He stepped back and released her to look her up and down as if assessing her. “I don’t see a difference. Just the same Ash as before.” He wrapped his arms around her tight and kissed her mightily.

Strange how close she seemed to him. Even when she broke from his grasp, it was as if he was still touching her.

Skertttt…boom. Boom. BOOM.

Three quick strikes hit the earth only missing the house.
Ash flinched. She held up one hand to the sky. “Ack. Okay, stop now. Stop. GAH.”

Another bolt arrowed into a maple tree. Sparks bloomed like a flower from the trunk.

“Stop,” Ash yelled. “Why can’t I control it?”

Fear shot through Bert. Why couldn’t she stop it? Wasn’t it hers to control?

He took a step. Then another and another until he stood in the grassy lawn in the open. He held up his shaking hands, limbs that quivered as if in palsy.

“Stop,” he murmured.

Deathly quiet reigned over the back yard of the McIntyres’ house. Ash licked her dry lips. After the second try, she finally spoke, her voice cracked and low in wonder.

“You’re a wizard.”

Bert stared at her like a man who had lost all hope. 

I am the Huntress of fantasy on, Facebook, Twitter, and the writer’s critique site,

Find Wilder Mage and the sequel, Mage Revealed at Amazon

Note: My apologies. The link did not go live until 1 pm CST. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Day Before

Tomorrow is release day for Mage Revealed and I feel kinda funny about it. 

Anticipation? Yes. Worry? Always. 

I question if it will achieve the measure of success that Wilder Mage did. I hope so.

Someone asked how that “success” has affected me. Folks must gauge it differently than I do, I reckon. I was just happy so many read and enjoyed my debut novel. 

The journey from Wannabe to Published had speed bumps that resulted in dents in the chassis. And occasions of what we call black ice, slick spots in the road that you don’t see until you hit them. 

Then it's Hold on Nellie, cuz suddenly you're going sideways headed for the ditch.

If arriving at Published Author can be labeled success, it's due to research, luck, and Providence. 

Research: of writing techniques, blogging, critique partners, hook sentences, agents, and publishers. 

Luck: due to writing a genre people like.

And Providence, because there can be no other way.

In addition to the above, I also list other writers as the reason for my achievement. Is there a business like this, made up of established authors, ready and willing to give of their time and expertise to aid the newbies? It still astounds me to no end. But, like I said last year, it’s got to be because they only want to feed their own reading needs. 

Got to be, *grin*.

So tomorrow is the big day and Mage Revealed is going into the hands of many people.

As it says in my acknowledgements, 
To my Once and Future Readers, always and forever my gratitude.

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