Tag Archives: fantasy

The Tower in the Mist, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Hey there all you sell-swords and spell-slingers, you heroes and wizards of every stripe. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you interviews with the characters you love.

I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and my special guest today is Zathi from the land of Skaythe. My bio says she works for the ruling mage, named Dar-Gothull. “Welcome to the show, Zathi.”

“Well met.”

“So what exactly do you do for Dar-Gothull?”

“I am a Hunter-Guard, part of Dar-Gothull’s army. Our task is to move among the people and stamp out all who would rebel against our master. Bandits who ambush the tax collectors, scholars who speak or write against Dar-Gothull’s way, mages who would try to rival the great Dar-Gothull.

“In addition, we are a visible symbol. We remind them that no one can escape Dar-Gothull’s reach.”

“Wait a minute, that sounds a lot like an Imperial Stormtrooper. What exactly is Dar-Gothull’s way?”

“Dar-Gothull’s way is that the strong should rule over the weak. Their strength gives them that right. It doesn’t mean the weak can’t defend themselves. If they fight for what they have, then they deserve to keep it. Most people understand this. They send their mageborn children to Dar-Gothull’s temple for training, knowing that their whole family will one day profit from the mage’s status.

“Among the mages, there is a herarchy. They rise in power by fighting for what they want. But many of them develop a false sense of their own might and become corrupted by greed. Some even conspire to seize power from Dar-Gothull himself. We Hunter-Guards track them down and bring them to the master for his judgment.”

“That sounds… gladiatorial. But I suppose every leader lashes out at rebels. What does your boss’s justice look like?”

“He devours their souls to fuel his own power. Thus, any mage who seeks to overthrow Dar-Gothull only makes him stronger.”

“Um, I just––”

“Does that shock you? I am no mage, but I too have fought to achieve my desires. As a young woman, I was forcibly conscripted into the Hunter-Guards. I could have wept and wailed for my home. I could have stuck to nursing the wounded. Instead, I chose to follow orders and fight as hard as I could. Now I am a Sergeant, leader of my own squad. We are all women, so we don’t have to put up with guardsmen who can’t keep their hands to themselves.”

“Are there many female Sergeants?”

“There is one — me. The other Sergeants aren’t fond of it. They do what they can to drag us down. My guardswomen watch out for each other. Every bounty we bring in improves our gear and our reputation.

“Only, this latest mage has been… difficult. He may be more than we can hold onto.”

“Sounds like a tough guy. What makes him different?”

“We heard there was a group of them, traveling around in disguise as minstrels. They do funny plays and make people dance, even sing love songs. Gah!

🎼 “You’d think that people would have had enough of silly love songs” 🎶

“They make people weak. They tell them they deserve to have an easy life. But that’s not all. They take news around where it isn’t wanted. People who were sick suddenly get better. Sometimes the commoners start to make demands about cutting taxes. These renegades want people to be happy, but they’re less happy because of their ridiculous new ideas.

“Take Keilos. He was singing some sappy thing in a tavern. We knew he was a mage, but he didn’t even try to resist when we took him down. The others all ranted and made threats, or they tried to bribe us with money and power. Keilos just keeps smiling. He flatters the guardswomen with little jokes. No matter how rough we are, he doesn’t complain. It’s just unnatural.”

“Sounds like he isn’t as bad as Dar-Gothull thinks.”

“Lisa, he’s worse. He makes my guardswomen question their purpose. If he weakens our resolve, it will be the death of us all. I’ve sworn to take him in, just like all the others. But now there are problems. In order to reach the capital, we had to go through the Hornwood. It’s a cursed forest, full of dark magic and monsters like that giant badger —”

“Wait a minute. Giant badger? Regular sized ones have a bad enough attitude. What did you do?”

“We fought it, of course, but it was so huge that it hardly felt our blades. Keilos had been tied up, but he got loose somehow and came to help us. He made a light that blinded it, then pulled its feet out from under it. The beast even had me in its jaws, but I stabbed it hard enough to make it let go. It finally ran off.

“It was just good luck nobody was killed, but now we’re stuck in the Hornwood. The horses and oxen ran from it, and we have to find them or push our wagon the rest of the way. Somehow we have to keep control of Keilos all that time.”

“What’s your master plan?”

“I have a job to do. I’m going to do it, but there’s a whole lot of cursed forest between here and there. I hope I won’t need any more help from Keilos. I already owe him, and Hunter-Guards can’t make friends with mages. Not even the nice ones who sing pretty songs.”

“I wish we could all just get along, but since you’re my guest today I wish you good luck. Any closing remarks for our listeners today?”

“When you have a goal, fight for it and never give up.”

“You can learn all about Zathi and her mission in the book, The Tower in the Mist, by Deborah Fredericks. I’ll put all the details on the website after I go off the air.

“Don’t forget to tip your waitress today. By that, I mean use those sharing buttons. We want as many people as possible to know about this new story. Deborah and Zathi would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

The Tower in the Mist

Zathi’s job is to capture renegade mages, but Keilos isn’t like any other mage she’s dealt with. Her drive to bring him in only leads them deeper into a cursed forest. Together, warrior and mage will face deadly beasts and grapple with decisions that compromise every principle. Until they stumble upon a place of ancient, forgotten magic. Zathi must choose — allow Keilos to claim it, or kill him once and for all.

Pre-Order Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QL476BJ?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QL476BJ?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420

Other Formats: https://books2read.com/u/3nK1Mo

Author Bio

Deby Fredericks has been a writer all her life, but thought of it as just a fun hobby until the late 1990s. She made her first sale, a children’s poem, in 2000.

Fredericks has six fantasy novels out through two small presses. The latest is The Grimhold Wolf, released by Sky Warrior in 2015. Her children’s stories and poems have appeared in magazines such as Boys’ Life, Babybug, Ladybug, and a few anthologies. In the past, she served as Regional Advisor for the Inland Northwest Region of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, International (SCBWI).

Web site: http://www.debyfredericks.com

Blog: http://wyrmflight.wordpress.com

Newsletter: http//eepurl.com/geV_nX

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The Idea Mill #36

It’s been about six months since we visited the old Idea Mill. I’ve save a few articles over that time, but they don’t seem to be showing up as fast as they used to. Then there’s the other fact: I’ve been busy. It’s time to put some of the fun things back into this blog, so we’re returning to the Idea Mill today.

My basis for posting these is that I write speculative fiction. I know many of you do too. This kind of fiction always requires a leap of faith. Because of that, it’s important to base much of what we do on fact. It makes that leap easier to make for our readers. These articles are to kick your Muse, but also ground your story elements in a bit of reality.

Our first one involves how muggles used to protect themselves from witches. They looked upon their homes as defensible spaces. I guess if you were out shopping you were on your own. They did this by building various items into their homes, behind walls, under the threshold, that kind of thing. They hid worn out shoes, which includes an interesting theory about the devil. Desiccated animals were popular, cats being a major target. There is even a tutorial about making your own witch bottle. Hint: Drink a lot of coffee before you start. Read the article here.

You could make a neat character who is kind of an anti-witch. He or she makes things to protect against witchcraft. Of course, eventually, someone figures out this is also witchcraft and turns people against your heroine. I still have those con artists who sell curses and counter curses on the back burner somewhere. They are actually a married couple and work to get people spending with them. They might fit into a future volume of Lanternfish now that I think about it.

Our next article is about an archeological site that is a graveyard of sorts. There are a couple of intriguing graves, including one that appears to have been buried with live horses still harnessed to a chariot. The most interesting one is a young warrior who appears to have died of natural causes. However, he was “killed” again before burial by stabbing him repeatedly and bashing his head in. Here is the link.

I’m sure we can come up with all kinds of undead stories for the young warrior. Maybe he did pass from natural causes, but rose from his grave as something else requiring the re-killing.

The charioteer is just as interesting. What if he volunteered to go to the other side and wage war against the zombie hoard, or vampire uprising?

Obviously, these monster tales take a leap of faith, but it’s cool knowing about the real burial practices that could fit into your story.

Finally, we have the world’s first 3-D printed human heart from the donor’s own genetic material. We’ve known this was coming for a long time. It seem to me I posted once before about this, and it was based upon growing the heart muscle on a framework of spider silk. This one is tiny, but it proves a lot of the science to make it a real thing. Read the article here.

This one screams science fiction, particularly that ten-minutes-into-the-future kind I love. It makes some neat scenery for your Dr. McCoy kind of characters.

I like the idea of people being people, and may be able to work with this to a degree myself. We stop taking care of ourselves, because insurance allows us to grow our own spare parts and store them at the hospital. Go ahead and destroy your liver, there’s a brand new one when you need it. Lung cancer, Ha! I already have the cure in the freezer. Maybe every teenage sports star has a jar of replacement ulnar collateral ligaments in dad’s freezer.

I like to make up my own corny outline for these posts, so here goes nothing:

A young soldier returns from Afghanistan, but dies suddenly of natural causes. He rises from the grave as a vampire and starts giving all the local girls hickeys.

Terrified townies start dehydrating their cats and making witch bottles from a YouTube tutorial to keep him out of their homes. They’re safe, but don’t dare go outside. Resources are running out.

A hero arises, and volunteers to fight the vampire in the netherworld. To do this, he has to die and be buried with the weapons he needs on the other side. The only way to bring him back after the battle is by placing a fresh beating heart in his chest. Fortunately, he has good insurance and one is waiting for him at the hospital.

They bury him alive, but instead of a living horse, he gets a Humvee with the motor running, and a .50 caliber machine-gun.

The only way the locals can tell if the job is finished is to watch the vampire’s body for signs of damage. Once he’s thoroughly mangled in the afterlife, they plant him, dig up the hero and stitch in his brand new heart. Happy ever after with some kind of diatribe about how growing the heart was covered, replacing it wasn’t covered, medical bankruptcy etc.

***

I hope something here inspired you with a new story idea, some kind of setting, or scenery you can make use of.

I gave the Idea Mill posts their own category to make for simple surfing. Lookit, right over there in the sidebar.

All you have to do is click the Idea Mill category and the posts will filter down to more of these.

I’d love to hear from you guys. What would you do with one (or more) of these? Have I given you any ideas for your stories. Maybe a line for your notebooks somewhere for future use? Talk to me.

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War of Nytefall, Rivalry on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Hey there, all you night-stalkers and day-walkers. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio. The only show that brings you interviews with characters from the books you love.

I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and my special guest today is Mab. Mab is a new kind of vampire called a Dawn Fang. I know what that is, but our listeners might not. “Welcome to the show, Mab. Let’s start with the Dawn Fangs.”

“Thanks for having me. Although, I admit that I’m not comfortable being so exposed. Dawn Fangs are a new breed of vampire in Windemere. There are a lot of differences such as us having a heartbeat, being able to eat regular food, and not being able to use magic. We still have abilities, but their closer to natural talents than spells. The biggest change, and what causes a lot of trouble, is that Dawn Fangs don’t lose their powers in sunlight. Your world believes vampires get destroyed by the sun, but in Windemere, they used to only grow very weak. It’s pretty handy, but it does come with some complications.”

“It sounds to me like you’re missing the old ways. Would you rather return to the days of vampire one-point-oh?”

“Yes and no. Don’t get me wrong because I really like my new abilities and I get to work with Clyde again. Been decades since we were running our small gang. It’s the situation that I’m not a big fan of right now. I expected him to come back and we’d go back to taking whatever we wanted. Now, he has to think about the future of the Dawn Fangs and that doesn’t leave much time for the fun stuff. I mean, he’s turning out to be a pretty good ruler, but I’m not really sure where I fit in.”

“Sounds like we need to talk about Clyde. You two had a relationship once.”

“Long ago, Clyde and I were partners in crime then partners in everything else. It was love and respect that kept us together. Honestly, us being romantic partners wasn’t that different than anything else. Just more kissing and bed antics. Felt like a natural progression to what we already had. Feel like an idiot being so clinical here. That was a long time ago. Then I caught him in bed with Chastity who had used her magic to look like me in an attempt to help our relationship. That caused a lot of fighting and nearly broke the gang up, but Clyde and I managed to settle things.”

“My bio says Chastity was trying to help you. Seems like an odd way to help, but vampires are a bit different.”

“Vampires are different, but we were all mortal at some point. Even after centuries, most of us remember the emotions that once controlled our actions. As angry as I was at Chastity, I can’t say I was innocent. I went to her for help in spicing up my love life and made a joke about her impersonating me to do the things I didn’t feel comfortable doing. She thought that was a request and tried to help. Chastity and I get along now, but I did try to fight her a lot after that incident. Never won because she’s a master of charm magic, which she’s gotten better at since becoming a Dawn Fang. One spell and I do whatever she wants because I just cannot find a way around that. It’s pretty frustrating.”

“Keep fighting, I suppose. Besides, I don’t think robot girls can be charmed out of their pants. Not that way, anyhow.”

“Like I said, we got over it. Immortality means you really shouldn’t hold grudges, especially when you might have to work with the other person. Chastity is still a great source of information and, now that I can eat real food, she runs a popular bakery. I mean, the Scrumptious Siren has other things like the bar and brothel, but I’m a sucker for chocolate. Not like she charges me . . . or knows I snatch things from the shadows.

“Besides, we all took Clyde’s disappearance pretty badly. There was an event in my world called the Great Cataclysm, which changed the face of Windemere. Clyde had been swallowed up by the ground along with a city dedicated to the Durag the Sun God. Took me fifty years to get permission to look for him since we had a war going on in the aftermath and everyone else thought he was dead. I was the only one who thought he was still alive. Although, I didn’t realize what I was unleashing when I went to free him. To be fair, he was just waiting for me to turn up before he busted out and slaughtered a lot of Duragians before they could kill me.

“How do I explain this? Clyde came back very different. He’s the first Dawn Fang, so he turned all of us. It was an accident with me, but everyone else drank his blood willingly. Chastity was the first actually, which made it hard to keep hating her. When you think there’s only three of your kind, you tend to reconsider your issues with them. I wish that was the extent of the complications that my life would take. Should have seen what was coming, especially since being a Dawn Fang meant our old way of life was long over.”

“How so, Mab?”

“It’s hard to remain a carefree thief when you’re involved in politics and a civil war. Our enemies don’t really like that we exist because they think we’re going to try to wipe them out first. Well, Clyde is probably going to do that out of spite, but they really should have tried to leave us alone. It hurts to have old friends now be enemies and not being able to go back to your old home. We all worked out of the city of Nyte, but we can’t step foot in there without a battle. Then, the womb-born showed up and that threw a new wrinkle into our lives. Who would have thought Dawn Fangs could get pregnant and give birth to actual children? Once we got through that mess, this Vampire Queen steps out of rumors that are a couple centuries old and takes Clyde away. We have no idea where he is. I only have a vague idea of who and if that harpy is calling herself a Queen then I’m a friggin’ Goddess.”

“Sounds like you need to bail him out – again.”

“I can’t let someone have Clyde when they don’t deserve him . . . I mean, he’s my partner and I refuse to let him down. The biggest challenge is finding the Vampire Queen’s hideout and then it’s all about battling our way there. She’s going to make it difficult since we’ve heard that she has an army of assassins and followers. Clyde should be able to hold out until I can get there, but it’s going to take time. I have the ability to travel through shadows, all of which are connected by this monster-filled void. Only problem is that I need to know where I’m going and that requires time. A lot of time. Why couldn’t that idiot just punch and murder his way out of trouble instead of leaving me to save his ass? Strongest of the Dawn Fangs and he gets himself kidnapped without a trace. He better have a good reason for putting me through all this worrying and anger.”

“Will you use some of the Vengeance Hounds to help out?”

“My friends are definitely onboard. Doesn’t matter if I want them to stay behind. The Vampire Queen took one of our enemies too, so we have to work with a few of them. That whole enemy of my enemy is my friend. There’s going to be some friction, especially between those who never got along in the first place. I’m not really in the mood to play peacekeeper, so they better settle things themselves. Too much trouble and I’m leaving all of them behind. My brother can lecture me about teamwork and how I can’t take on an entire army by myself when I get back. Not like I have to fight since I can just sneak in, grab Clyde, and get out. That is unless the Vampire Queen is expecting that. Guess having a team does mean I can focus on saving Clyde instead of wasting time with everything else.”

“While it all seems pretty complicated, it sounds to me like you’re going to dive back in. I’m a sucker for a good love story, even if it’s kind of sick and twisted. I wish you all the possible luck, and I’m sure our listeners do too.”

“Love story? What do you mean love story? I didn’t say I was still in love with Clyde. We’re partners and protect each other. I’m sure he would be just as angry and worried if I was the one kidnapped. Love is a pretty strong word anyway and comes with a lot of weight to it. No, Lost, that isn’t the signal to stop! Don’t you dare cut off your psychic powers before I can-”

“You can read all about Mab and Clyde in the War of Nytefall series by Charles Yallowitz. The newest book is called War of Nytefall: Rivalry. I’ll post all the pertinents online after I log off.

“Charles has always been a great supporter of this broadcast. I don’t believe there is a single episode he didn’t reblog, tweet, and share somehow. Let’s return some of that support today and share my interview with Mab all across the internet. If your character appeared on Lisa Burton Radio, Charles was there for you.

“For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton.”

***

Blurb-

Seeking the pleasure of revenge, an ancient rumor will reveal herself to be a deadly legend.

Lurking within the shadows for centuries, the Vampire Queen has been drawn to the conflict that surrounds Clyde. Only whispers have been spread about this elusive figure, who has amassed a kingdom that can rival Nyte and Nytefall. All that she is missing is the strongest vampire to crown as her king. In one fell swoop, she has taken the most powerful of her kind, including Clyde and Xavier Tempest. Hosting a tournament where the rules seem to change at her whim, the Vampire Queen threatens to shatter the already strained world that lurks beneath Windemere’s surface. Yet, there is more to her desires, which seep from a soul that is pulsing with fury. For her kingdom can never be complete until she holds the head of the one who wronged her centuries ago.

Can Mab stand against her ancient rival and save her beloved partner?

Sales link-  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07QHLW76N/

 

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 spending many years fiddling with his thoughts and notebooks, he decided that it was time to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house with only pizza and seltzer to sustain him, Charles brings you tales from the world of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and drawing you into a world of magic.

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com

Twitter: @cyallowitz

Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

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Breaking for a moment…

I really threw myself into writing today. It’s fun when you can see the end in sight, and know everything is coming together. I woke up fairly early, and managed 4600 words before lunchtime. Then I took a break.

I’m at 5450 on the day right now, and decided I needed another break. I’m going to see if my game is televised in about an hour, and if it is, I’m likely done. If not, I’ll probably keep going. I don’t get this kind of opportunity every weekend.

Serang and her master broke off from the caravan. They avoided a conflict with a huge baboon troop over the water hole, by riding around them. Have you seen the teeth on those guys, and the muscles. A few flintlock muskets wouldn’t be enough to stave off an entire troop of them. Since it’s fantasy, I can ramp up their abilities a little without concern.

They spent an extra day at the next waterhole, but the caravan is long gone now. Finally they went looking for an ancient trail that her master said was used by “wild men.” He’s referring to ancient people before civilization took hold.

They found bits and pieces of it, and something I never planned for happened. This is called an inukshuk.

The trail may be long gone, but the ancient markers are mostly still there. It gave the desert crossing a bit of a treasure hunt feel, and I really like it. I even played with shadows and light to reveal some of them and it turned out cool.

I saw inukshuk when I was in arctic Canada many years ago. The Inuit told me people made them because they were lonely, and that way they had a friend. Sounds like BS to me, but that’s what they said. The Basque sheepherders made rock monuments to mark the path they moved the sheep on every summer where I grew up. Eh, I stole a little from both of them.

I kept my monuments pretty primitive, and used desert sandstone to make them instead of glacial rubble.

Just before this post, they finally spotted the Temple of Wind in the distance. I’m excited for this part too, and don’t have any real plans for what happens as they pass through. I’m excited to see what happens myself. As a storyboarder, my index cards only hit the high points. The Temple of Wind is on an index card, but how I deal with this will be revealed as I write.

I should probably keep going, but if the game is on, I’m watching it. We’re dropping the Extra Innings package this year. I watched nearly every game last year, but it’s too damned expensive to keep up with. I’ll catch what few games I can, and check scores in the morning. We’re even talking about going with Hulu and getting rid of the whole satellite system entirely.

Maybe there’s something more to the statement about being a starving artist. Sometimes the only entertainment you can afford is your art. I’ve dedicated a lot of time to mine this weekend, and intend to spend more.

Hope you’re all having a great weekend whatever you’re doing.

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The Idea Mill #35

We haven’t been down to the Idea Mill for about seven months. To be honest, I’ve been to busy in other areas to do the research. I still have my feeds, but there hasn’t been a lot to get excited about. There was the vampire burial of a baby, but we’ve had vampire burials on here before.

For those who are new to the Idea Mill, I believe speculative fiction needs a strong dose of reality behind it. We’re going to ask for a leap of faith, but we don’t want to ask for too many. These items are creepy on their own, and can add an air of realism to the stories we might write.

Let’s jump into our first topic. I won’t call it an article, because I never found a specific one. I’ve been researching what is called the Third Man Factor, or Syndrome. In a nutshell, there are many stories of someone being near death describing someone who helped them out. Later it was revealed that nobody was ever there.

These tales date all through history, from Arctic exploration to the Twin Towers. It’s actually kind of a stupid name, because human plus apparition equals two, but there it is. Here is the Wikipedia Entry for Third Man Syndrome.

This works really well for our paranormal tales. If I were to write it, I’d probably write it from the apparition’s point of view, only revealing that fact as my twist ending. How about a werewolf who is tormented by his human self while in lycanthrope form? You could play it for laughs almost like Play It Again Sam. What would you do with Third Man Syndrome?

Our next article is about Giant Hogweed. This is an invasive species that makes a few stinging nettles or even poison ivy look like amateurs. It causes “painful burns, permanent scarring, and even blindness.” It removes something from your skin that allows the sun to cook you like bacon. There are some graphic photos in the article, so I know you’ll want to look. Read the article here. This stuff even destroys the soil where it grows.

I see this as hazardous background to a story, any kind of story actually. Stress, tension, and pressure add something to every story. Why not have your detectives recover a body from a grove of this stuff. Even a temporary loss of vision could put your cop in a bad position when the bad guy comes looking for him.

Moving into the speculative arena, how about planting this stuff outside the treasure cave? Weapons tipped with Giant Hogweed sap, etc. Like I said, maybe not a main player, but useful just the same. Maybe you want to rub it all over someone’s jockstrap. What ideas do you have?

Finally, we have wifi being used to see behind closed doors. Let’s face it, wifi is everywhere now. Apparently, it can be used to spy on people, but not like you might think. This isn’t about your computer camera. It involves observing the radio waves and seeing how they distort around movement.

The article gives a neat depiction about a glass house with a wifi lightbulb inside. It seems as though they need to read the wifi signal from several different angles, kind of like triangulation. After that, they can map your house and determine if you are inside. Read the article here.

Obviously, in speculative fiction we can ramp this up. I have an idea of some kind of infrared vision with more detail. Imagine using drones to take a reading on the building, then the stalker can watch what happens inside. Maybe he sells the fact that you aren’t home to thieves. Maybe he has more nefarious things in mind. Maybe your private moments become the next internet viral video.

What kind of science fiction based horror can you make out of this one?

We usually end these with some kind of corny story outline based upon all of the elements I’ve presented. Here goes nothing.

Our main character is the number one suspect in the disappearance of an underage girl. His workplace told him to stop coming in until further notice. He spots a sequence of drones circling his house. When he looks outside, the police are taking up positions based upon what they learn from wifi spying.

He slips into the cellar and out into the dark before they bash down the door. If he can only find the girl it will clear his name. He wanders into the woods, where he gets tangled up with a patch of Giant Hogweed.

Burning from the sap, and in danger of losing his vision, he wanders deeper while calling out the girl’s name. His skin blisters and bleeds in the sunlight of the following day. His vision is nearly gone, and he’s near death.

The girl shows up and leads him out of the woods to a medical facility. It turns out the girl was never there and he imagined her the whole time.

At this point, I could turn this into an arrest and struggle tale, or have him return to the Giant Pigweed, rewounding himself so he can ask the girl where she is. This would be a tale of madness and mental anguish.

Think you can come up with something better? Be my guest. Use one, or all of them. Tell me about it in the comments. The more the merrier.

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The Bow of Hart Saga, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Welcome all you arrow slingers and adventurers, Withlings and casters of every stripe. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you the characters from the books you love. With me in the studio today is Tordug, and he’s a dwarven adventurer. “Welcome to the show, Tordug.”

“Wonderful to be here, Lisa. May I call you Lisa? Yes? Good! It’s always a pleasure to get off the back-lot of the fiction set and make some visits. You have no idea how boring it is these days. Oh, by the way, thanks for that little gift of, what do you call it? Whiskey? That guy you work with was generous to offer a sample from his supply. Warmed my toes!”

“You’ve brought along a friend today. You know I’m a sucker for a fluffy dog. Who’s this?”

“This old whelp? That’s none other than Spark, himself. He’s around in all of the books when I have to act like I don’t see him. Spark’s been great on the set. He glows some so he makes a great light on the walk home from the local pub. He talks with his tail – you know, wags for yes and everything else is no – so he’s a good listener while I’m having a pint or eight. Hee, hee. Spark hands out his advice with my help, if you know what I mean.”

“Well aren’t you a handsome doggie?”

“Judging by that big tail wag, you’ve won him over without even scratching behind his ears!”

“Let’s get down to business. My bio says you were a pretty respected fellow in Chokkran society, but then you wind up on the road running from trolls. What the heck happened?”

“Er, yes, I was pretty big back then. But that was a long time ago when some mistakes were made, uh, around some of my decisions. Those dirty Rokans tricked us! Oh, sorry, didn’t mean to knock that, uh microphone around. Is that what it’s called? Anyway, I’m helping find the Bow of Hart in the saga, me and Makwi, that is. You need good dwarves along to keep things lighthearted, focused and find your way in dark, underground places. Finding the bow will fix a lot of things, even for us Chokkran dwarves.”

“Seems like a desperate play, but I’ll bet it was interesting.”

” Well, Lisa, it got off to a right surprising start when we helped Hastra’s bunch on the road to Marston’s Station. That’s when we met Limbreth and found out she was an ax-maid of the death-grip, no less. Couldn’t get a sword out of her hands. High honor in our society, especially for those who are her companions if you know what I mean. Me and Makwi, well mostly me, started training Limbreth about her honors in dwarven society. I had high hopes for her, just knew she’d, uh, help when the time arrived.”

“Wait a minute here. Did you use Limbreth as a pawn to get back into the good graces of Chokkra society?”

“I wouldn’t say that! I mean it can be an advantage to regaining, no, no, that wasn’t the purpose though. She deserved that honor, and more than once for her courage, mind you. Opps, sorry I slapped that microphone around again. Let me get that. Anyway, that training was very useful. She teamed up with me to get us some much-needed assistance from dwarves when they would have denied me out of hand. But an ax-maid? With the death-grip? That’s something special, cause for celebration and all. I just needed her help is all. She’s like a daughter to me!”

“Okay, Spark seems to agree with that statement. Sounds like Limbreth is quite the lady.”

“Oh, Limbreth’s all that and much more, isn’t she, Spark? Ha ha, by that tail-wag Spark definitely agrees! Limbreth fights like a dwarf champion. Too bad she had that little disagreement with Athson and left Auguron. But there was still lots to do for me and Makwi with the trolls coming. Captain Sarneth, he’s the leader of the elven rangers of Auguron, asked my help when he realized who I was and how much experience I had fighting trolls and all. I jumped at that and hoped the scattered remnants of Chokkrans would flock to help. But they’d already left for less dangerous lands. Someone needed to rally them but they just mind their own business these days. I did hope my stand – and Makwi’s might – get some attention. I just didn’t know what was going to happen next but we’ll leave that to the readers to discover, eh?”

“That sounds like a slim chance to recover a bit of honor. I really hope that is the case.”

“It was, Lisa, and a dim set of days for me and Makwi. But we decided we’d fight for our people even if they had not fight left and left like refugees. Can’t blame them, all they’ve had for years is a wandering life. They just needed some inspiration and we hoped, Makwi and me, that they’d hear and honor our effort on behalf of Chokkra. Right, Spark? See! Even he agrees with me.”

“It sounds like you got an interesting call-back recently. What can you tell us about that?”

“Oh yes, we did, didn’t we, Spark? PH, that’s the author of the books, got a message from this Podium Publishing bunch and they wanted the saga for audiobooks. Once the agreement was signed there were all these questions about accents from the narrator, fella named Tim Bruce. We all got called in again and helped teach him, that voice actor, on all the correct pronunciations. He got it right with Spark to tell him when he was on the correct path. Right, Spark. Yes, you did all that so just keep wagging your tail!”

“Audiobooks are awesome. I know my author would love to release one someday. How did that all fall together?”

“Your author should if he gets that chance! You’d do well, yourself. I hear tell he’s got a book about dwarves too. I like your author, uh, uh, what’s his name? Boyack, right? Anyway, I heard about the talking hat and the talking yak, whatever that is. Sound like interesting stories for the campfire, so why not audio?

“Well, these Podium people came around, humans, you know? They were snooping around the back-lot when we were still working through An Arrow Against the Wind and The White Arrow. I thought they were extras for the fights, dressed kinda funny, for business or something. Anyway, we were practicing our fight scenes with some trolls and I tossed one of them an ax and told him to get busy and he looked at me like I was the biggest, ugliest ogre, which I’m not. They started asking questions like some of those reporters I keep having to talk with. Turns out they wanted to do this audio thing once we finished with the series. Well, I was glad for the offer of more work, Lisa, and that’s a fact.”

“That had to do great things for the Bow of Hart series.”

“That it does. There’s this Audible where the audio is published and it links to the book somehow. People who buy the ebook can get the audio and use it with this Whispersync stuff. It picks up where someone’s reading and goes on telling the story, perfect for traveling.

“Anyway, it’s one more way for the books to be seen and working with Podium is a big deal. Their first audiobook was something called The Martian which made it pretty famous as I hear. So, it’s good to work with this bunch. This Tim Bruce fellow is busy and pretty well-known in his circles, won some awards for his work too. Ha, ha, having an award-winning book, like The Bow of Destiny with and award-winning narrator is kinda like having an ax-maid with the death-grip on your side, right? See? Spark agrees!”

“Tordug, we wish you all the best with that lost honor thing. Any closing remarks for our listeners, while I hug this big old doggie?”

“Thanks for having me and Spark on the set today, Lisa. The Bow of Destiny is already out in audio so anyone interested can listen to a sample. An Arrow Against the Wind arrives in audio on 10/23/18 and The White Arrow releases to audio on 11/27/18. I never thought this series would get this far but it’s been quite a ride for Spark, me and all these others. I have to thank the readers for all their support. We wouldn’t have made it to the awards for the series and audio without them. Oh, sorry I bumped the microphone again. I just can’t get used to the thing and I talk with my hands.”

“I’ll post all the details on the website after we log off today. For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton.

***

 

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Current Titles

 

Book 1 of The Bow of Hart Saga: The Bow of Destiny can be found at these online retailers: Amazon – Kindle | Audible.

The Bow of Destiny Blurb

 

Haunted by his past. Hunted in the present. Uncertain what is real.

Athson has seen things that aren’t there and suffered fits since being tragically orphaned as a child at the hands of trolls and Corgren the wizard. When a strange will mentioning a mysterious bow comes into his possession, he’s not sure it’s real. But the trolls that soon pursue him are all too real and dangerous. And what’s worse, these raiders serve Corgren and his master, the hidden dragon, Magdronu, who are responsible for the destruction of his childhood home. Athson is drawn into a quest for the concealed Bow of Hart by the mystic Withling, Hastra, but Athson isn’t always sure what’s real and who his enemies are. With Corgren and Magdronu involved, Athson must face not only frequent danger but his grasp on reality and the reasons behind his tragic past.

Book Trailer on YouTube

 

Book 2 of The Bow of Hart Saga: An Arrow against the Wind: Amazon | Audible

An Arrow Against the Wind Blurb

Haunted by his past. Hunted in the present. Buffeted like an arrow in the wind.

The hunt for the Bow of Hart continues for Athson and his companions. They have escaped the clutches of Magdronu and Corgren, but they are still pursued. In need of answers to deep mysteries revealed in Chokkra, Athson must gain possession of the mythic bow to face both his enemies and his tragic past. But Magdronu’s reach stretches among Athson’s companions, endangering Limbreth and even Hastra in schemes to entrap them all. With each turn of the search for the Bow of Hart, long hidden secrets surface that threaten to destroy Athson. Will he falter like an arrow against the wind?

Book Trailer on YouTube

Book 3 of The Bow of Hart Saga: The White Arrow: Amazon

The White Arrow Blurb

Bound to prophecy, his destiny balanced on an arrow’s tip.

Athson has found the Bow of Hart and is being pursued by his enemies as well as haunted by both his past and his failures. But according to Hastra the Withling, the prophecy of the bow indicates Eloch will send an arrow for its use. Magdronu watches for the appearance of the arrow and sets his plans in motion to regain control of his magic. With his sights set on Auguron, the dragon sends his forces on the attack while waiting for his chance to steal both prophesied elements that stand in the way of his ultimate goal. But when the arrow arrives, it is from a most unexpected source and lands in unforeseen hands, so that events twist like an arrow in flight. Can Athson overcome his past and his failures to use the Bow of Hart as intended against Magdronu? The archer and the bow await the coming arrow…

Book Trailer on YouTube

 

Prequel short stories to The Bow of Hart Saga:

Trading KnivesKobo | iBooks | Barnes & NobleSmashwords | Amazon | AudFans

What Is Needed Barnes & Noble| Kobo| iBooks | Smashwords | Amazon | AudFans

Additional Titles:

The Black Bag Amazon |

 

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Talk Like a Pirate Day

I just realized today is Talk Like a Pirate Day. I love this, and wondered what I could do about it on my blog. Writing out an entire post in “Pirate” probably isn’t going to impress anyone, so I’ll spare you that.

Truth is, I have a pirate tie in. I’ve finished Voyage of the Lanternfish, but it won’t publish until this winter sometime. Could be 2018, could be 2019, but winter just the same.

I’ve been working on posts for a blog tour to introduce the story to people. I’ve been working on getting my artwork together too. There is a lot that happens to pull off a successful release.

Normally, I just hold stuff back and spring it on people when I’m ready, but this is Talk Like a Pirate day. How could I avoid that? Check out this cover and see if you might want to read my pirate fantasy/adventure tale.

Voyage of the Lanternfish

Meanwhile, Lisa is hanging out with Sean Harrington again. Who knows what they get up to when I’m not around, but I have a hunch they’ll be talking like pirates in some tavern tonight. Lisa sent me this advance picture to let me know she’s actually working and needs to stay on the payroll.

Lisa Burton

I hope they leave the root monsters home tonight. I don’t think I have bail money to spare. Have a great day, mates.

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