Tag Archives: sword and sorcery

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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Why Windemere needs Champions, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Don’t touch that dial. No, seriously, it may be cursed now. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you the characters from the books you love.

We’ve had our share of evil warlords, fallen angels, and general baddies on the show before, but never one the gods took a direct involvement in. My special guest today is none other than Baron Arthuru Kernaghan. “Welcome to the show, Baron.”

“My pleasure to be here. It’s nice to interact with non-demons for even a little while.”

“My research provided me with a little bio, and it says here that you have an on-again slash off-again relationship with a woman named Zaria. What’s that all about?”

“To say my marriage to the Goddess of Purity is complicated would be an understatement, so I will try my best to explain the situation. We were both mortals and worked in a traveling circus. I was a beast tamer and she was the resident swordswoman, which was fairly unique during that time. She was chosen to save the gods and I, being her friend and eventual husband, fought alongside her. At the end of our travels, she joined their ranks and I was left behind with a broken heart.”

“So how does one go from human to becoming a god?”

“When the gods have openings in their ranks, they may choose a mortal with the properties to replace them. Other times, they will find a mortal who becomes so powerful that it is better to have them ascend. In most cases, it involves being chosen, which is a system that I have never truly understood. I prefer the exceptions where a mortal gains godhood by their own hand.”

“That probably put a damper in your relationship with Zaria.”

“I supported her rise until she helped create what is known as the Law of Influence. This states that the gods cannot get physically involved in the lives of mortals. I was now a mortal and my wife was a goddess, which meant we could no longer be together. My petitions fell on deaf ears and I was basically cast aside after sacrificing so much. Zaria did try to find a place for me among the gods, but nothing happened.”

“Okay, so off again. But you had a plan to undo the Law of Influence.”

“More or less. At first, I sought to create such an imbalance in Windemere that the gods would have to get involved. I became the greatest warlord in history with the hopes of proving that the Law of Influence was a mistake. As the years progressed and my plan did not, I turned towards conquering everything. If the gods have no followers then they have no true power and I would make worshipping them punishable by death. Unless I found a way to ascend myself and then I could make the gods pay in person. It helps to be flexible and change your goals as situations evolve.”

I dunno, Brain. What do you want to do tonight?”

“Pardon me?”

“So did that plan work out?”

“Not the way I intended, but isn’t that always the case? I had discovered a way to become the new God of Destiny, but the object I needed was lost. My forces were searching for it, including a young man named Gabriel. He came to me in the hopes of earning greatness and warned me of these champions destined to destroy me. Perhaps I was still a little naïve back then because I never realized that his true goal was to kill me himself and prove that destiny could be undermined. As much as I hate that man for targeting me and eliminating many of my children, I will admit that I like his ambition and goals.

“To continue the story, Gabriel did find me the Ring of Destiny and I took it before he could don it himself. That made me a god and I attempted to make the others suffer. At least, I went to Ambervale intending to do that, but my reunion with Zaria took precedence. She had a point that I could finally be with her and I enjoyed my brief time, but I was still far too angry that I had been left to suffer for so many years. After all, I’d promised my soul revenge.

“That was my mistake. I wasted too much time trying to live a life with Zaria that I had given up on and I was cast out of history before I could reach my goals. Some may say the conceiving of our daughter makes the experience worthwhile, but we’ve never had a close relationship. I do fear that the Law of Influence has hurt Dariana just as much, if not more, than me.”

“Seems like a strange path, but happy ever after, right?”

Not in the least. As some may realize, Gabriel is the current God of Destiny, which means he stole my title and power. He was angry about me trapping him in the Chaos Void and his mood soured even more when he realized the Law of Influence prevented him from killing me. I was only an immortal and not a god. His decision was to trap me in the Chaos Void and erase my existence from history. Imagine living forever and being locked in a cage where nobody can find you. It was worse than that.”

“Come on, Baron. They wouldn’t just arbitrarily decide to do that. What did you do?”

“Gabriel can be such an angry and immature child when he is wronged. He lashed out at me because I tried to kill him. I feel he also wished to show his power in front of the other gods in order to prove he was stronger than them. Do not think I am trying to say I am a good man or even a victim. I did horrible things that earned the proper amount of wrath. Torture became a hobby of mine and I sought to improve upon the trade as often as I could. Quite frankly, I have to be honest and say that I’d have been destroyed if that insufferable Law of Influence didn’t exist, but then I wouldn’t have turned to evil in the first place either.”

“So you’re making another play at getting on-again with Zaria. You do realize she’s the goddess of purity, right?”

“Sadly, I think I’ve run out of chances and we’ve both gone too far down our different paths. I do take some joy from knowing we had a daughter. Dariana may have been made into a champion and sent against me, but she is still a symbol of the life I could have had.”

“So how’s that going to work into your plan? Do you have to turn Dariana to the dark side or something?”

“Dariana is free to do as she wishes. I would like for her to join my side, but destiny is difficult to destroy. Free will does play a role, which means I must leave the final decision to her. That is not to say I will go out of my way to kill her like the other champions or even fight her at full strength if I must. Perhaps I can defeat my enemies and destroy Gabriel’s plans before Dariana and I are forced to fight to the death. Sadly, we’ve been put at opposite sides of the chess board.”

“Baron, I usually wish people the best of luck at the end of these interviews, but this time not so much. I hope you can reunite with Zaria and reconcile your differences with Dariana. She’s nice, I’ve met her before. I can’t wish you luck in battle against the Champions. That’s the best I can do. Any closing comments for our listeners today?”

“Thank you for your kind words and I understand why you would wish for me to fail. I seek the conquering of an entire world, but I assure everyone that I will only be cruel to those who stand against me. Ruling entirely by fear will lead to revolts and failure. I’d much rather lead through a strong grip alongside an air of kindness.”

“You can read all about The Baron in the Legends of Windemere series, by Charles Yallowitz. The final book is out now, and it’s called Warlord of the Forgotten Age. I’ll post all the deets on the website after I go off the air.

“Help your favorite robot girl out, and use those sharing buttons too. I think the Baron would do it for you, and Charles has shared and reblogged many of these episodes for his fellow authors.

“I’m always looking for guests, so if you have a new release, or a promo push, contact me and get your character on the show. For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton.”

***

Whether in darkness or light, every path inevitably comes to an end.

As Gabriel, the Destiny God, determined centuries ago, his chosen will face Baron Kernaghan for the fate of Windemere. Through many victories and losses, the champions have stood together and prepared for this great battle. Now that the Baron’s influence stirs those with evil hearts, they have run out of time and must travel to Shayd. Yet, there are more secrets for them to uncover before entering a battle where the only way to survive is surpassing limits and putting everything they have on the line. Through it all, Gabriel’s statement that he made them destined to fight, but winning was not set in stone rings in their minds.

Will the champions usher in an Age of Heroes or become the sacrifices for an Age of Darkness?

Book link-  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078KHZFSS/

 

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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Warlord of the Forgotten Age

Charles Yallowitz is a good friend of mine. He has appeared on my blog many times, and me on his. If you are the kind who read comments, you’ll find us getting into some fairly deep topics on one site or the other. Charles has what I see as a major accomplishment. He’s completed the final volume of his Legends of Windemere series. As a writer of stand-alone books I am in awe. This series is epic fantasy, and epic in proportion at fifteen volumes.

Many months ago, we got into a discussion about writing characters of the opposite gender. This isn’t something that comes easy to every writer. Our discussion morphed into the following post, and it’s part of his blast to announce Warlord of the Forgotten Age to the world. Read the post, join in the discussion, and get your copy of the book. I’ll also note that if you’re one who likes to wait for completion before starting a series, this is the time to jump on the Windermere train.

Oh, and if you would use those sharing buttons, we would both appreciate it. I’ve released enough books to know that spreading the word is super important.

Thank you to Craig for helping me promote Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age, which is also the last of the series.  That works for the necessary sales pitch because I want to get to the fun.

A while back, Craig wrote a guest post for my blog about how he writes female characters.  This is a question I’ve seen come up a lot in forums with people asking members of one group how they write characters from another.  It’s almost like readers are surprised when a man writes a strong, interesting female character or a woman comes up with a great male character.  Although, more the former than the latter because many female authors admitted that they find heroes and villains easier to write than heroines and villainesses. By the way, ‘villainesses’ is a word that doesn’t get used nearly enough   So, where do I stand on this?

Honestly, I never really thought about it until now.  Since I was a teenager, I focused more on how the characters acted and evolved.  The gender was important only to denote romantic interests, pronouns, clothing, and physical appearance, but the core of my characters was to make them human.  My heroines had to be able to pull their weight on teams and have unique skills that made them stand out.  In my earliest stories, I gave all of my characters roles and the female protagonists did tend to fall into caster and healer roles.  Only recently did I revisit these characters and redesign all of them to flush them out more.  To be honest, the males weren’t any better, but I think most of us have started out with flat characters.

In regards to the women of Windemere specifically, I started with a character that was introduced in the connected D&D game.  Selenia Hamilton isn’t the best example of how I write female characters.  The reason is because she’s a tough, legendary mercenary who now runs a warrior school, but has eliminated her femininity to the point where she’s very masculine.  A lot of authors seem to think this is the way to go for a ‘strong, female’ character.  I considered changing her, but realized she’s one of Windemere’s pioneers in terms of proving women can be strong warriors.  So, it would make sense that she went this route and paved the road for characters like Nyx, Sari, Kira Grasdon, and Dariana. Does this mean Selenia Hamilton is a bad character?  Not in the least, but it does show one way I used to think when it came to creating tough heroines. The thing is that you do have people like this in the real world, so I don’t see why it would be a problem to have fictional versions.  I’ve met plenty of women who decided that the only way to get ahead is to act more like a man. So, here we have me observing different types of women (men too to be fair) and using the variety.  After all, not every character of the same gender has to be the same.

That’s really the biggest thing that’s helped me write female characters in general.  I look around to see how women respond to things, listen to what they would like to see in heroines, and watch for various personality traits.  This really began because of Nyx, who is easily the most powerful hero in Legends of Windemere.  Seriously, who’s going to try and tell her that she’s not?  Nyx started as my wife’s first D&D character and I worked with her to do the transition from game to book.  I had to keep the personality the same while making it deeper and more flexible since she was going to be facing monsters instead of finals.  It wasn’t easy because the game Nyx wasn’t nearly as powerful, but still ran into battle and tended to get knocked out in the first round.  Mages are NOT supposed to rush into hand-to-hand, which is why the book version knows how to fight and has a massive defiance streak.  This experience led to me doing the same thing, but it gets difficult with characters that don’t have a real-life counterpart.  For those, I paid attention to heroines and villainesses from movies, shows, games, books, and whatever else I could find. I was looking at how other creators handled female characters and went on forums to see what people thought.  Usually, I found more complaints than praise, but it helped me figure out the details.

After all of that, I still came up with one important fact that I use for all of my characters.  It doesn’t matter if they’re male or female.  I write about heroes who stand for good and villains who wish to do bad.  They’re motivations, personalities, and abilities might be different, but all of them stand for something more than what’s between their legs.  I want all of my characters to be seen as strong and flawed, which is why I pay more attention to the core than the fleshy coating.  Personally, I think that should be the goal.  Make a strong character of either gender that everyone can enjoy and you’ve done something special.  Thanks again to Craig and hope people check out Warlord of the Forgotten Age to see how Nyx, Sari, and Dariana do against the Baron.  Oh, I guess the guys will be there too.

Author Bio & Social Media

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.

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All cover art done by JASON PEDERSEN

Catch the rest of the LEGENDS OF WINDEMERE on Amazon!

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Back to Windemere

On the eve of destiny, the fate of the champions are in the hands of those they once called Enemy.

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Hated and distrusted, Queen Trinity must leave the shadows and reach for redemption.

With their final battle on the horizon, the champions are faced with a long-lost piece of the prophecy. Unable to search for the crests that are rumored to be the key to survival, they must turn to a band of their former enemies for help. Sinister desires and hopes for redemption collide as Queen Trinity of the Chaos Elves leads the hunt and struggles to keep her companions on the path of heroism. Monsters, traps, mysteries, and their own pasts will rise up to stand in the way of these people who have spent their entire lives committing sins. Throughout it all, another old enemy is lurking in the shadows and determined to claim her own delicious prize.

By the end of their journey, those who survive will learn that being a hero is more than simply stepping into the light.

Dive into the adventure on Amazon for $2.99!
Find it on Goodreads!

Excerpt: The Aura Syphon

A gurgling causes the two women to pause and look into the pit where the shadows are swirling among the jagged stones. Two black tentacles lance out of the ground and wrap around Yola’s waist, the ooze-dripping projections turning silver at the taste of her magic. Attracted to the stronger energy, the aura syphon yanks the immortal into its slime-covered maw and becomes a metallic beast. With its armored skin, the camouflaged predator is now visible and resembles a sea anemone with the body of a beetle. The jagged rocks are fused to the animal’s exoskeleton and there are six jointed legs that help it scurry out of the pit. Standing over Trinity, the creature opens a faint crease on its body to reveal a bulbous eye with a star-shaped pupil. It pauses to shove a few tentacles into its mouth and hit Yola with pulses of electricity to stop her from struggling. It changes from silver to gold when she attempts to break free, her efforts being quickly drained by the monster.

“Let the crazy woman go before you get killed,” Trinity whispers to the aura syphon. She creates a fireball in the hopes of getting its mouth open, but her spell is ignored. “No reason to have a snack when you have an eternal meal in your belly. Maybe we can have a trade. Can’t believe I’m trying to bargain with this thing. Well, I gave you a chance, so I’m going to blow you up before things get worse. Hope you heard that Yola and are bracing yourself.”

The beast gurgles before releasing a blast of sticky strands that lock Trinity in place. Instead of going after the trapped chaos elf, the creature turns its attention to the helpless army. Having had its fill of magic, the aura syphon is ready to gorge on fresh meat and opens a second mouth that is filled with knife-like teeth. Heading for Sir Harbiss, it is stopped when a chunk of earth erupts beneath it and flips it back into the pit. Unsure of where the attack came from, the aura syphon leaps out and reveals several eye stalks that search for an unseen enemy. A cutting wind lops off half of the projections, but Yola’s potent energy revives them and protects the crystalline armor plates. When the spell comes back around, it bounces off the new defense and bursts against a hill. Blasts of fire strike the beast from behind, so it sprouts a fan-shaped tail of water that douses the flames.

Looking around, the aura syphon stops when it sees that Trinity is nowhere to be seen and there is a hole where she once stood. Spikes grow from the predator’s belly and it slams against the ground in the hopes of impaling the chaos elf. The hiss of escaping gas is heard an instant before an explosion sends the shrieking animal into the sky. Careening towards a solitary cloud that is very low to the ground, the beast catches the scent of an aura that revives the one currently in its gut. Passing through the cloud, it finds its legs caught in a net that runs down to where Trinity is hiding behind a hill. With enhanced strength, the channeler slams the aura syphon into the ground and delivers a leaping stomp to its soft upper body. Instead of ejecting Yola, the creature opens its skin to swallow the chaos elf’s leg up the knee.

“Fine. Backup plan it is,” Trinity mutters, synching her aura to that of the imprisoned immortal.

Releasing as much magic as she can without killing herself, the channeler creates a power surge within the aura syphon. Unable to absorb or redirect so much energy at once, the predator tries to reject the grinning chaos elf. Plunging her fingers into its flesh, Trinity refuses to be thrown off and continues her assault. Blisters appear on the hard exoskeleton and the metallic color flakes off to reveal the natural black of the tentacles. Without warning, the gold returns and the animal explodes with enough force to collapse the ground. Before she can escape, the channeler falls into the pit and is buried beneath the icy dirt.

Need to catch Legends of Windemere from the beginning? Then click on the picture below! First book, ‘Beginning of a Hero’ is free!

Ready for the newest adventure in Windemere? Find out if Queen Trinity earns redemption or will return to the Baron’s side!

About 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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