Tag Archives: elves

Ritual of the Lost Lamb

Dark times are waiting for the champions in
RITUAL OF THE LOST LAMB!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Death is a blessing that the Baron is not ready to bestow upon his new toy.

In the chaos surrounding the Spirit Well, Luke Callindor has disappeared and the only clue the psychic scream of agony that Dariana cannot ignore. Knowing that a journey to Shayd will result in their ultimate battle, the champions have devised another way to rescue their friend. With permission from the gods, Nyx has begun the Ritual of the Lost Lamb. It is a long and exhausting spell, which is made even more difficult by a new threat that is out to make all of the Baron’s enemies suffer.

It is a race against time where every minute lost brings Luke Callindor one step closer to a fate worse than oblivion.

Grab it on Amazon!

Add it to your Goodreads ‘To Read’ List!

Excerpt: Audience Granted

Having said her piece, Nyx gnaws on a hunk of jerky and sips at a waterskin while the others discuss her idea. She refuses to admit that she is having second thoughts about breaking a god seal even with permission. The last time she accomplished such a feat was by accident and resulted in her magic being sealed for days. Nyx shudders at the memory of feeling so many lives ending at her hands and takes a sloppy drink of leathery water to steady her nerves. The result is a full body convulsion of disgust and a hacking cough as the liquid goes down her windpipe. Flicking a green beetle off her shoulder, the channeler impatiently paces in a circle and wonders why the others are taking so long.

The hairs on the back of Nyx’s neck rise and her arms become covered in goosebumps as a pulse of energy ripples through the clearing. She is about to ask her friends if they feel anything, but stops when she sees that they are frozen in time. The half-elf’s heart pounds in her chest as she fears that the Baron is about to attack. More terror seeps into her mind when she expects to turn around and find Luke’s tortured body dangling before her eyes. Not wanting to be caught by surprise, a flaming disc appears in her palm and hums as she searches for the source of the powerful spell. The snap of a twig to her left causes Nyx to hurl the fiery circle, which splits into a swarm of deadly copies that would destroy any normal enemy. Against the ebony platemail of Gabriel, the discs puff into balls of harmless smoke that remain hovering in place.

“Your friends have agreed to your idea,” the Destiny God states, ignoring the mortal’s amusing attack. He removes his black cape, which becomes a vague chair for the nervously bowing channeler. “Now, this is unique. In fact, it is quite unheard of, which is why I am granting you an audience. The Law of Influence says I cannot get involved, but nobody has ever asked for permission to do something like this. Needless to say, all of us are very curious to see how all of this plays out.”

“I want to unseal the Ritual of the Lost Lamb,” Nyx politely requests while she takes a seat on the cape. An enchanting warmth rises from the cloth and she nearly falls asleep from the blissful energy that infects her body. “This is the only way to save Luke without marching into the Baron’s territory. We both know that is what he wants. With the forbidden ritual, I can gather my little brother’s residual energy and bring him home. None of us will be at risk since it’s a combination of a summoning and teleportation spell.”

“Strange that you know about a spell designed by channelers. Especially since it has not been used since the ancient Race War,” Gabriel says with a nod of his head. Urging voices in the back of his head causes the god to hum with his mouth closed, the spell jolting the sources of his rising irritation. “The Ritual of the Lost Lamb was taken from mortals before my time, but I understand the reason it made the gods worry. Such a thing could be the first step into summoning a deity against his or her will. Possibly even stealing immortality. Though I believe times have changed and we should reconsider the sealing.”

“Time is also running out,” the channeler replies, shying away when the powerful deity stares at her. A flickering realization that the Baron’s power might be on the same level of Gabriel gives her the courage to meet the man’s piercing eyes. “I apologize for sounding like I’m rushing you. Yet, it has been said that the gods and goddesses have no concept of time since you exist forever. That means I have to push even though I want to speak with respect.”

“In other words, you want a decision now.”

“That would be best, sir.”

“Sadly, I cannot agree to your terms.”

“I haven’t made any terms.”

“Exactly.”

Need to catch Legends of Windemere from the beginning? Then click on the covers below!

You can start for FREE . . .

Cover art by Jason Pedersen

Or grab the $4.99 ‘3 in 1’ bundles!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen 3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

 

Also Available in Single eBooks:

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover art by Jason Pedersen

Cover art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Interested in a new adventure? Then grab your Kindle & dive back into the world of Windemere! Don’t forget an apple for Fizzle.

Author PhotoAbout the Author:

Charles 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: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

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Galactic Cruise Lines, on Lisa Burton Radio

Hold on to your hats everyone. You've found Lisa Burton Radio, the only show in the universe that interviews the characters from the books you love. I'm your host, Lisa the robot girl, and with me in the studio today is Henri, the Executive Chef on Galactic Cruise Lines' ship the SS Malpais.

What you can't see, is that Henri is an Alturan. He's nearly seven feet tall, and is a cephalopod type lifeform. I'm talking tentacles all over the place, and three eye-stalks. We've been enjoying a cup of Alturan tea before the broadcast, and he's really an interesting person. “Welcome to the show, Henri.”

“Hello, Lisa. It’s good to be here. I hope you enjoyed the Bascula tea I brought. It can cause hallucinations in some species, but not Alturans. I hope it doesn’t affect you adversely.”

“Oh, don't worry about that. I don't think robot girls can get hallucinations. Now, my bio says that one of your best friends is in security for the cruise line, and that he's an Elf. I find that fascinating. How did you two meet?”

“Baudwin Llewellyn isn’t just in security, he’s Galactic Cruise Lines Chief Sleuthhound. He’s a top notch investigator. We’ve been friends for years. I’m not sure I can even remember exactly where we met. I think some friends introduced us when we were all hanging out at a suit fighting match.”

“That sounds fascinating, Henri. What's a suit fighting competition, and do you hold those on the ship too?”

“We haven’t yet hosted a suit fighting competition on the Malpais, but I may suggest that to Kat when I get back to the ship. Suit fighting features two competitors remotely controlling robots that fight each other. It used to be popular mostly with young men in the robotics community, but recently Retired General Marta Aymar, the wife of Prince Lucien of the Ventos Prime elves, made it to the league finals. Since then, the sport has become much more popular and has attracted a lot of young female fans and participants.”

“That's terrible. Those poor robots. You did get the memo that say's I'm a robot didn't you?”

“I don't believe those robots are sentient like you. They are merely remote controlled equipment.”

“Alright, back to the interview. My bio says you met in the Elf Marines, an organization similar to the French Foreign Legion. Are you sure you don't remember?”

“As I said, Chief Llewellyn and I have been friends a long time. Did you have questions about what it’s like to be a chef on a cruise ship?”

“Sorry, Henri. Let me make it up to you with this Nutribar. I picked up the anchovy flavor, I hope it's alright.”

“Thanks Lisa. We Alturans love our nutribars. This is delicious.”

“There, all better. Well if it wasn't the Elf Marines, maybe you met Chief Llewellyn at Zed23, during your spy days.”

“Zed23. Right. Do I look like James Bond to you? I’m a chef not a spy, definitely not a spy. I’m famous for my wombat stew and triple chocolate cake. Those are two of the most popular dishes on the Malpais.”

“That's part of what makes you so interesting. With all your diverse background, you still had the time to work up a five star recipe for wombat stew. I'd think wombats are hard to come by in space.”

“Not really. I can use either Mathusian or Malturan wombats in my stew. I’m not sure which is better. I’m happy to use either. Well truth be told I’m happy cooking. It doesn’t matter what or where.”

“Every boy needs a hobby, and it looks like you found a way to make yours pay the bills. Here, have another Nutribar and tell us about the murders that occurred aboard the Malpais.”

“It is dreadful to think about, isn’t it? Sometimes people die on the ship just because their time has come, but if it was murder then that’s a whole different level of awful. I’m not aware of any incidents like that on the Malpais.”

“You might find this interesting, but I reached out to Baldwin Llewelyn and Ren Listripan, both deeply involved in cruise line security, and they don't seem to know anything about murders on the Malpais either. Somehow, these passengers turned up dead, but that seems to be the only available fact.”

“The Malpais has been hosting these competition cruises this year. They’ve been great fun. We had a ballroom dance one, an acapella singing one, and my favorite the baking competition. We’ve had some excitement during the competitions, but everyone has enjoyed them. Of course, not everyone agrees on who should win in any competition. I certainly had my favorites during the baking, but you know what they say, one species’ dessert is another’s poison.”

“When I spoke with Baudwin Llewellyn he mentioned that you’re cooking all the food for his upcoming wedding. He’s marrying the Malpais’ associate cruise director Kat Mitchell, right?”

“That's right, Lisa. I’m very excited. Both Baudwin and Kat are dear friends and I’m glad to play a role in their bonding.”

“I’ve heard that there will be royalty at the wedding.”

“General Royce Aymar of the EMEF is going to be Baudwin’s best elf for the ceremony and his wife is Queen Losira. It should be a wonderful celebration.”

“It's been an honor having you here, Henri. Let's have another cup of that wonderful tea, and maybe another Nutribar. Any last thoughts for our listeners?”

“Being a chef on a Galactic Cruise Lines ship is exciting. I’ve made good friends on the ship and I enjoy cooking for so many different species.”

“Henri is a recurring character in Jo Carey’s Galactic Cruise Lines series.

“Don't forget to click those sharing links on your way out. I know Henri will appreciate it, and you will too when your character appears on a future Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

Galactic Cruise Lines – This series is basically the Love Boat in space. Set on a galactic cruise line spaceship, this series will follow assistant cruise director Kat Mitchell and other crew members, like Alturan Chef Henri, as they travel the League of Planetary Systems on themed cruises where murder is afoot (or a tentacle, or a paw…) Cruises feature various competitions in the style of Earth reality shows circa 2005.
Category: Space Cozy Mystery

Jo Carey writes faced-paced, character-driven stories in a variety of genres from medical thrillers to space operas and cozy mysteries. Her novels are action-packed tales that often feature strong female leads surrounded by plenty of hunky male heroes. Jo's stories always include healthy doses of humor and romance.

Quote from Jo: “I write what I like to read–stories with happy endings and appealing heroes and heroines.”

Some of Jo's books are set in the League of Planetary Systems, a universe created by Frank and Jo Carey as the setting for many of their books. Each Book in the League can be read as a standalone novel, but if you'd like to read all of the LPS books in order you can find the sequence at

 

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My Birthday Gift to You

That’s right, today marks one more orbit around the sun for me. I’ve been hitting it hard on the promotional front, and am about out of paranormal stories to push. Will O’ the Wisp is on an extensive blog tour, but that doesn’t leave much to do around here.

That means I need to stretch a bit to fit this into the Halloween theme. It’s actually an epic fantasy, but it contains lots of things that could be considered monsters. (If you look at them with your peripheral vision.)

Regular followers know I like to mash things up. This is a Greco-Roman fantasy with some of the traditional Germanic characters thrown in too. Elves, dwarves, and goblins are European in nature, so I decided they must have existed further south too.

They are in the mix with cyclops, satyrs, Amazons, and centaurs. In this world, Remus killed Romulus and the Remsians are the power instead of the Romans.

This is the story of Cobby, a Southern Dwarf. He loses his human family in an attack by some people who look suspiciously like Atlanteans. This sends him on a journey to discover his true heritage. He meets other downtrodden races along the way and seems to collect them all. Eventually it becomes a sizeable band.

It’s like Homer included Exodus in some kind of, well, mashup. I think it’s a fun story, and for my birthday it’s absolutely free. One day only. Hope you enjoy it.

Hail Cobby

This is one of Lisa’s paper doll outfits. You can download your own under the Look Free Stuff page up at the top of this site.

You can get your free copy of The Cock of the South at this link. (LINK)

I don’t know what time Amazon starts these things, and the international date line may come into play in your location.

***

Update: One of my followers said the link didn’t work for him. I used the universal link generator, but he suggested this alternate https://www.amazon.com/Cock-South-C-S-Boyack-ebook/dp/B00P4H37WC

Also this happened:

Product Details

 

 

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Royalty and Chaos on Lisa Burton Radio

 

Welcome to another edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I'm your host, Lisa Burton, the robot girl. This is the show where we interview the characters that make our stories come to life.

We have a very special guest today. Waiting on the telephone is Queen Trinity of the Chaos Elves.

“Welcome, your majesty. It's an honor to have you here today.”

“Thank you for having me. Majesty is definitely a new one from someone outside of my people. Most aren't very happy to see me. Whole assassin and prankster reputation tends to precede me.”

“So the continent of Shayd doesn't sound like a very nice place. Lots of storms, undead creatures, and only a few edible roots. I always thought of elves as being from beautiful places. Why stay there?”

“The simple answer is that it's our home. Long ago, the original elves were evil and conquered the world. Some fought their demonic nature and helped overthrow the others, but there were some who simply stayed out of the fight. That is where the chaos elves come from. We were not cured entirely of the demon taint and were punished to live in the most inhospitable region of Windemere. Still, the region has made us tougher than the other elf races and only the orcs are more vicious.

“There’s also an issue of being the slaves of an immortal warlord who was cursed by the gods to be forgotten by history. His cage was supposed to be the land of demons, but a global disaster warped the borders. So the ‘great and benevolent’ Baron Kernaghan claimed us as his dear, expendable agents. I’m working on fixing that, but it isn’t like I can fight a being that challenged a god. Better to be a good soldier to keep my people alive.”

“About the Baron. If you work for him, does that make you a minion? I love the minions.”

“I prefer the term agent, but I get the sense you’re talking about something cute. Not really sure how to take that. So I have a question. You’re some kind of intelligent golem that looks and acts like a person. Trying not to make this sound offensive, but the closest thing my world has to someone like you are creatures of stone that have no thought of their own. You like some kind of super golem? What kind of enchantments were used to make you independent and be so sentient?”

“Enchanting maybe, but enchanted, no. It's all advanced hardware and software.”

“Never heard of that. Sounds like gnome gibberish. If you’re ever in Windemere then I’d avoid them. At the very least, don’t let your guard down. They’d want to tinker and see if they could either copy or improve. Crazy gnomes always think they can make stuff better or blow it up trying.”

“It might be like that, if they're master builders. I suppose that means Windemere has some pretty fantastic things in it.”

“Chaos elves don’t get to see a lot of the gnome-made stuff. Sadly, we live among zombies and occasional demons. Windemere does have plenty of odd creatures and powerful artifacts due to its potent magic. It’s definitely more of a world of magic than technology, but the latter is making an impact with plumbing and flying cities. Kind of hard to rationalize some inventions when you have people like me flinging fireballs around a battlefield. Though I’ve heard that some people are trying to tame various monsters to do their fighting. Mostly flying beasts to combat those that already use griffins.”

“I like the idea that the women in Windemere are just as capable as the men. Too many girls sit around and wait for someone to rescue them, or get abused only to drive the hero to new recklessness.”

“It’s a rough and tumble world we live in, especially if you take a path that involves combat magic or swords. Not sure how it works in your world, but once you step onto a battlefield here, your gender no longer matters. Honestly, it’s even worse for adventurers because they don’t have an army behind them and find more dangerous obstacles. You really need to be able to endure physical and mental punishment if you want to survive. Though I’m not beneath using some feminine wiles and manipulation to throw off weaker enemies. Whatever works to get the job done.”

“We're going to pause here to mention that today's program is sponsored by The Legends of Windemere series. This is where you'll find Trinity and more characters like her. The new book is called Tribe of the Snow Tiger and it's available right now.

“We've had a run on antagonists on this program lately. You seem more complicated than that. Your motivations seem to be coming from the right place. Care to expand on this?”

“As I said, we’re slaves to an evil being and follow orders to avoid being wiped out. Until recently, we weren’t treated very well, but I’ve made sure that my people have a future. I claimed the throne at a young age and have used my position to be a shield between my master and my people. I share in their punishments, chores, and victories. To them, I’m a hero even though I do bad things to keep myself and them alive. That’s perfectly fine by me.”

“Trinity, it's been a pleasure having you visit with us today. Any last words for our listeners?”

“Thank you for having me. I hope the people listening become curious about my plight and see what happens to me. Maybe also the champions who are the real heroes while I’m forced to be on the wrong side. Still, I’m a lot more interesting, especially in the story that’s about to come to your world. You people have an issue with spoilers, which a chaos elf would normally indulge in spilling, but this deals with me. I'd rather everyone be surprised by what I’m about to do. Let’s just say, I’m through playing nice.”

***

Charles is the author of the long running Legends of Windemere series, as well as other titles. He's running a couple of pretty sweet bundle deals right now to help get people started. We have limited space here, but you can find them on his Amazon Author Page, and I encourage you to check them out.

Tribe of the Snow Tiger

Timoran Wrath has a shameful secret that is about to see the light of day.

The noble barbarian has always been a constant source of strength and wisdom for his beloved friends. His loyalty has been unwavering and they know that he would never hesitate to lay down his life for them. Even in their darkest hour, the champions know that Timoran will come through and fight to the bitter end. Now they must return the favor as he reunites with his tribe and willingly faces the executioner’s blade.

Is it possible that the honorable Timoran was nothing more than an illusion?

 

Prodigy of Rainbow Tower

Luke Callindor and his friends are about to learn that the life of an adventurer can be brutally unforgiving.

Hungering for another adventure, Luke agrees to escort the heir of Serab along the L’dandrin River and into the safety of Gods’ Voice. A deadly gauntlet of cunning traps and savage creatures lay before the young warrior and his companions. Lacking the powerful magic needed to combat his enemies, Luke’s survival and victory may be in the hands of his newest ally. That’s if the temperamental Nyx doesn’t set him on fire first.

Luke will bravely face everything that is thrown at him, but how can he defend himself when he’s ignorant of the truth behind his mission?

Beginning of a Hero

Every hero must take the first courageous step into adventure. For Luke Callindor, it’s more of a blind stumble.

Depending more on bravery than common sense, Luke sets out to protect a royal heir who is attending the prestigious Hamilton Military Academy. With a demonic assassin in the shadows, the determined warrior will have to think on his feet to defend his charge. If only he waited long enough to find out which student is the hidden noble.

With Luke’s dream on the horizon and a deadly enemy on his path, how will he transform from a reckless adventurer to a true hero of Windemere?

Special Note: This title is now free to help you get started.

Charles 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.

 

You can keep up with Charles at the following locations:

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com

Twitter: @cyallowitz

Facebook: Charles Yallowitz

Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

 

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It’s time for a new Windemere story

Charles Yallowitz has a new volume in his popular Legends of Windemere series. He’s here today to tell us all about it. Take it away Charles.

 

Now Available on Amazon for Pre-Order!
Coming to your Kindle on June 1st!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Timoran Wrath has a shameful secret that is about to see the light of day.

The noble barbarian has always been a constant source of strength and wisdom for his beloved friends. His loyalty has been unwavering and they know that he would never hesitate to lay down his life for them. Even in their darkest hour, the champions know that Timoran will come through and fight to the bitter end. Now they must return the favor as he reunites with his tribe and willingly faces the executioner’s blade.

Is it possible that the honorable Timoran was nothing more than an illusion?

Don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads ‘To Read’ List too!

Excerpt: The Snow Tiger

Yahoo Image Search

Yahoo Image Search

“The snow is too bright and level for me to see anything clearly,” the barbarian growls. The sound of shuffling and mild cursing draws his attention to Nyx who has sunk up to her nose in snow. “What are you doing, fire sprite?”

Nyx shivers while squinting into the distance, her eyes coated in bronze energy. “The reason you can’t see anything might be because you’re too tall. I’m trying to see if there’s anything that breaks the level ground. My eyes are enhanced right now, but I don’t . . . wait a second . . . I think there’s something buried out there. A beast of some kind? It’s a very subtle up and down motion that reminds me of something breathing. It just stopped moving, but I don’t know what that means. I’ll lead the way.”

Not waiting for a response, Nyx pushes through the thick snow and uses wind magic to gradually shift the powder out of her path. She does her best to move quietly and avoid disturbing whatever they are approaching, but the crunch of frozen grass beneath her boots makes the half-elf cringe with every step. A violent sneeze threatens to erupt from her nose, stifled quickly by a silence spell around her nostrils. Rubbing at her cold legs, Nyx is thankful when Timoran puts a vest made of black fur over her. The Ifrit hair warms her body and drives away the looming cold that has been brewing in her chest for the last few minutes. With renewed energy, the channeler walks a little faster and adds a simple heat spell to the wind that is steadily clearing the path.

“Wow. Such a beautiful creature,” she whispers when she steps into a circular clearing that surrounds the dead beast.

The enormous snow tiger’s blue and black fur is thick, the hairs sparkling when touched by direct sunlight. It has long incisors of glistening white that jut out of its mouth due to their size and sharpness. A slender tail lies limp in the exposed grass and still twitches as the muscles continue to lose their tension. Powerful legs and massive paws are splayed on the ground, giving the body the appearance of having peacefully died in its sleep. The gaping wound in the gorgeous snow tiger’s side is the only sign of an attack, the surrounding fur matted with aromatic blood.

Timoran’s rage boils when he spots the three cubs that are mewling and pushing against their dead mother. Judging from their size and faint, black stripes, he assumes they are no older than three months. Rusty manacles are attached to their back legs, the chains running to a stake that has been driven into the muddy earth. Restraining his anger, the barbarian moves within reach of the animals and gently breaks the metal bindings that are bruising their ankles. Scared and confused, the cubs cower against the still warm corpse and hiss whenever one of the adventurers comes close. One of the snow tigers bravely charges at Timoran and bites his boot, proudly returning to the others when the towering figure moves away.

Need to catch Legends of Windemere from the beginning? Then click on the covers below!

You can start for FREE . . .

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Or grab the $4.99 ‘3 in 1’ bundles!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen 3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

 

Also Available:

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Interested in a new adventure? Then grab your Kindle & dive back into the world of Windemere! Don’t forget an apple for Fizzle.

Author PhotoAbout the Author:

Charles 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: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

 

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Take a chance on Legends of Windemere

Charles Yallowitz is here to tell us about a cool new marketing technique he’s trying out. He’s reached a point in his Windemere series that I think this is a great move.

 

Take a chance on Legends of Windemere, and the first one’s on Charles.

Thank you to C.S. Boyack for letting me promote my secret project. I recently made the choice to make Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero permanently free. This is the first book of my series, which I published in February 2013 for 99 cents. This is what started it all for me and now I’m giving it away for nothing. So, what brought me to a choice I never thought I’d make?

To be completely honest, a friend kicked me in the butt a few times. This isn’t the first time I considered the idea, but I always stopped myself. As an author, I worry that going free will come off as desperate and do more harm than good. Free has a strange history with the indie scene since you have authors who churn out freebies left and right. The stigma is that such an act equates to terrible quality and these books should be avoided. Needless to say, this gave me pause until a friend pointed out my situation.

 

Being a series author, I can use the permanently free book to my advantage. Early on this might not have worked out too well, but now I have 9 Windemere volumes out. Soon to be 10 if you want to get technical. This is where I can turn the first book into a ‘loss leader’. I’d heard of this during one of my retail jobs, but it had a different meaning. The term was used for whatever had the highest rate of getting shoplifted. Apparently, that definition isn’t common. In fact, it might only be used by that one manager and I’ve been wrong all along.

 

For those that don’t know, a ‘loss leader’ is the item that you give away for either free or cheap to get people interested in associated items. In this case, it’s the first book a series that will hopefully get readers into the rest. Beginning of a Hero has always been cheap, so I don’t lose much in terms of royalties. This can also open up the marketing venues that cater specifically to free books.

 

Needless to say, a lot of option weighing and heavy thinking was done before I came to this course of action. Two things came to mind during this period. The first is that I had to get over my ego and pride to give the concept a true consideration. Somewhere along the line, I decided that going perma-free was beneath me instead of it simply being a bad fit for me. So when my situation changed, I didn’t change along with it and take another look at the pros and cons of this path.

 

The second thing that came to my mind was that change. I’ve been doing this for just over 3 years, which seems to be a long time in indie author time. I remember when KDP gave you money by the borrow and then the 10% rule. There were tons of marketing sites and new ones popping up every month. Getting into the subcategories wasn’t common knowledge. All of this changed and I stayed the course, which felt right until I realized it made me part of the scenery as well. I took a risk becoming an indie author, especially since I went full time. Then I stopped taking risks and played it safe. Now I’m trying to step out of that comfort zone and see if it pays off. Fingers crossed that it does.

 

Links

Legends of Windemere

Twitter

Facebook

Grab Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero for Free!

 

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Advice about writing a series

A big thanks to Craig for hosting a guest post to celebrate the release of the newest volume in the Legends of Windemere saga. The topic he tossed my way is a real head-scratcher too. Being the author of a long series, I have to keep the final book in mind when I write. Everything needs to be tied up and continuity has to be retained for the end to make sense. If you’re ending with a giant battle then you have to at least consider killing characters off. Not only the villains, but the heroes too. In fact this topic stems from J.K. Rowling’s teasing of character deaths and closure before the release of Deathly Hallows. The real trick here is to tackle this topic without revealing a bunch of spoilers. Fingers crossed there.

Going by how popular series have ended, I would say that the first thing to accept is that some people won’t be happy. Yet this is probably a sign that you did a good job. If you wrote every character with depth and relatability then each one will have fans who want them to get a happy ending. There are also those who think certain couples should be created by the end and those who believe some of the survivors should be dead. In other words, don’t drive yourself crazy trying to please everyone or you’ll end up in a padded room eating tapioca pudding without a spoon. Follow where you want the story to go and make sure that the finale makes sense from your perspective. That’s really the only one you can trust without fail.


Now for myself, I have a 15 book series, which means I have to put a lot of ups and downs in there. With an ensemble cast that has a 7 protagonist core and several high profile supporting characters, I can actually do multiple ending types. Some of my heroes will get happy endings while others won’t be walking out of the final battle. There’s more variety than live and die if you think about it. Those are the basic categories, but what condition the character is in determines part of what I do. For example, a hero who survives to find that they have nothing left doesn’t really get happiness. They claimed victory at such a cost that they having become broken and isolated. Will I be doing this? Not sure yet, but it’s a possibility.


One of the ‘complaints’ I get is that my fantasy series lacks a high body count, but I do enjoy battering my characters and having them grow through the hardship. Once they’re dead then that’s the end of their evolution even if they appear as a ghost. Yet I did add a piece into the story that has been gnawing on the heroes and might be a slight spoiler. Destiny and free will get brought up a lot. The champions are chosen to face a great evil, but their actions determine how they get there and in what condition. Also if they win, which is where the little wrinkle came up due to the God of Destiny being a jerk.


Since Legends of Windemere: The Compass Key, my heroes have known that at least one of them will die in the final battle. It could be all of them and the Baron wins or one who simply has terrible luck. They don’t know and the worry comes up from time to time. Some characters are worried that they will die, but they carry on because leaving would mean abandoning their friends. Others are determined to use their free will to prevent this from happening or sacrifice themselves to save the others. The point of this revelation is to show that these heroes all know that they could be walking to their demise. From my own reading experience, most heroes are told they will survive the final battle or never have any doubt that they will. So it’s fun to keep this needle of fear in all of them.


Returning to the original topic, I do think a final battle requires at least one death and for there to be some scars. Especially when you put the world at stake, it’s rather unbelievable for the good guys to win unscathed. It doesn’t even have to be death, but there needs to be a sense that the heroes lost something to make the final hurdle. Just so happens that offing a character in a violent battle is the easiest and most expected path. Even wiping the memory of everyone involved so that they don’t realize they’re the champions wouldn’t sit well with some people because that can be undone. You do need some level of permanency in your finale because that’s what closure is about. Leaving a few openings for future stories or appearances is fine and recommended if you plan on continuing to write in the same world. Yet you need a limit and have to bring home the fact that the heroes’ journey is complete. That’s really the central part of finishing off a long series. Alive, dead, or whatever, you need to make sure the readers know that this is the end. Hopefully I can pull that off when the time comes.


Then again, maybe I’ve already done it for a character or two in the latest volume. Mwahaha!

Check out my newest book

LEGENDS OF WINDEMERE: THE MERCENARY PRINCE



And visit me at

LEGENDS OF WINDEMERE

@cyallowitz

 

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