Sunday, May 27, 2012

Magical Redemption - the Cover

It's what you've all been waiting for... well, really what I've been waiting for. My incredible cover artist Dawne Dominique at EP has worked her magic once again, and here is the gorgeous, wonderful cover for the third and final in the Magic Series "Magical Redemption."

Magical Redemption
1st November 2012!

And here's a wee sneak peak....
It was Lucian who broke the silence, as he took a step closer to the bed. “Why were you made into a Genie?” he asked suddenly, his eyes scurrying over her face with a strange intensity.
A spasm of horror rocked her body and whooshed the air from her lungs. It wasn’t an unexpected question, and she had many lies prepped to give as an answer – but something about Lucian’s intensity, stalled the lies before she could speak them. Mortified, Jinx stared at him. “I...don’t want to tell you.” She replied weakly.
Lucian’s brow furrowed, and the insolent arrogance replaced his curious gaze.  “Then I command you,” his voice held that sharp, icy edge, she’d grown to loathe.
(this excerpt is subject to change during the editing process)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dark Faeries - Glaistig and the Dockalfar...

[image courtesy: C. Shy (Phantastic faeries)]
There are lots of them, from many different countries, but for the sake of this post I will refer to them collectively as the the Dark Fae.

In recent years there has been a rise in the popularity of the Fae in paranormal romance, particularly the Seelie and the Unseelie, but of course, there are many more different creatures of legend that fit the category of the Dark Fae.

The first interesting one I'd like to introduce to you is the  Dökkálfar, the dark elves in Norse Mythology (also known as the Dockalfar). These fae, in a manner similar to the Seelie and Unseelie, have a lighter counterpart, known as the Ljósálfar (who are apparently fairer than the sun and seem to be linked somewhat with the anglicized "Angel").
The Dokkalfar however, have a more intimidating appearance, sometimes depicted with red eyes. They are said to dislike daylight, but there is some contention as to whether they lived under ground. There is yet another Norse Fae creature called the Svartálfar which literally means "black elf" and they do apparently live completely under ground. The Dockalfar, it seems, are frequently confused with dwarves and the Svartalfar. However, general concensus indicates that the Dockalfar's skin is dark, but not black. The Dockalfar's abilities are fairly standard as far as mythology goes. They are powerful beings, capable of malevolence but are kind when the mood strikes them. Interestingly enough, legend has it that a human male could be transformed into a Dark Elf after death.
[image courtesy: 30 Characters]
The next very interesting Fae-like creature I'm posting about today is the Glaistig, a mythological creature that hails from Scottish legend. The Glaistig is a female solitary creature, commonly described as the upper body of a woman with the lower half of a goat... yep, a Scottish female Satyr! But wait, there's more! The Glaistig is a shape shifter, and a stunningly beautiful one at that. She is capable of enchanting any man she chooses. If the whim strikes her, she may lead the man to highland cave with sexy songs and dances. When she gets him there, what does she do? Sorry to disappoint you, but she does not have sex with them. Instead, she drains their blood just like a vampire. Indeed, some versions of the Glaistig have drawn her has a sexy Scottish Vampire Satyr. What a combination!

Having told you all that, the Glaistig can also be quite kind, watching over women's children as they worked.

[image courtesty: Candra]
As with all mythological creatures, there are a number of interpretations of the Glaistig. The other interesting one is that of the Glaistig as the Green Maiden. The Glaistig is regularly portrayed as a Satyr-like but wearing a long green dress to hide her legs. Yet, another legend has it that she was once a noble woman, who was turned into a fairy/given goat legs/made immortal and was thereafter called "The Green Lady". In this incarnation, the Glaistig seems to be consistently benign, watching over houses and looking after the weak of mind. In this form, there appears to be several legends surrounding her in several places in Scotlnd, namely Ardnacaillich, Donolly Castle, Loch Fyne, Crathes Castle and in Wales at Caerphilly.

Anyway, I hope you found these creatures interesting, I certainly did.

Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Interview with Sonnet O'Dell

Interested in finding a new author? I'm happy to introduce fellow EP Author - Sonnet O'Dell, author of the very cool Urban fantasy, Cassandra Farbanks Series.

      Can you give us the lo-down on your books?

My upcoming title is called Silent Doll. It’ll be the fifth instalment in the Cassandra Farbanks series that is set here in my hometown of Worcester. Cassandra lives a double life hopping between two different realities, one that’s fairly normal and another where magic and monsters are all out in the open. The last book dealt Cassandra some heavy truths about her past and where her powers come from. In this book she is learning to deal with that, rebuild frayed friendships and solves a number of grisly murders.

What drives you to write what you write about?

I have a muse. I call him Ned. He pokes me in the ear – something I find very annoying- if I don’t write stuff. I guess I’ve always liked these sorts of settings and character because I believe there should be more mystery and magic in the world.

How do you write? Do you plot? Are you a panster?

Mostly I write while listening to music. I have created soundtracks to a lot of my books. I would never have thought of myself as a planner until someone pointed out to me how many sheets of things that must happen in each book. I tend to do a chapter by chapter outline, but I leave them very lose so the general feel of what happens is there but the precise way in which is done is completely as it comes.

Is your background reflected in your writing?

No, I wouldn’t think so. I mean to some degree things I’ve learnt, watched and read influence my character and I know compared to some I do this a hell of a lot more than them. I had to explain to my cousin once why a book was better than a movie of that book but with my characters they come from all over. I tend to write a lot of characters with absentee parents where as mine are present constantly and I love them very much...even when they are trying to slowly drive me mad.

Are you characters based on anyone?

Sometimes I base characters on friends. I usually let them know who is based on them...eventually after much playing of Guess Who.

Do you see yourself in Cassandra or any of your other characters?

My father is absolutely convinced that Cassandra is me. I suppose to a degree some of my basic personality is in there because I was always told “write what you know”. On the other hand (and there’s always another hand) Cassandra does, says and thinks things that I wouldn’t. She’s far braver than me and why shouldn’t she be when she deals with vampires, werewolves and magic on a daily basis.

What do you like drink when you write?

Drink? I have a tendency to favour blue vodka. Just because it’s blue. There should be more blue good in my opinion.

Where do you do your writing?

Actually I do most of my writing in bed. Does that sound lazy? lol. I pile the cushions behind me and sit with my laptop typing away to the wee hours. I don’t know what it is about bed that makes the ideas just flow more easily. I guess it’s because it’s a relaxing safe place.

Sonnet's new release is called "Silent Doll" here's the blurb.

Life is tough when you’re learning to control newly obtained supernatural powers and your vampire ex- lover is on a no holds barred campaign to lure you back into his arms.

Swearing off men, Cassandra embarks on a journey of self-discovery and mending fences until her plans are derailed when she stumbles over a nasty murder. Now she'll have to unravel dark magic inorder to prevent another girl from losing her heart to the killer...literally.

The men in her life won't let her be, a murderer is on the loose and a mysterious living doll named Trinket is desperately trying to communicate with her. Is Cassandra strong enough? Or will she too lose her heart, to a man or a murderer?

And here is an excerpt;
It was a shoe that led me in the right direction, it looked like the owner had broken the heel and instead of stopping to assess the damage, she kept going, perhaps running scared. It was a navy blue pump and was pointed, toe twisted towards an alley up a head that ran between two building leading to a mainroad.
I picked up the shoe with a terrible sense of foreboding and walked slowly towards the alley. Alleys don’t smell good at the best of times but the coppery smell of blood was over powering as I walked further into the gloom. The woman’s body was illuminated by a security light over the fire exit of the building on the left, the neon glow lit over her terrified face as she now stared at nothing. Her other shoe was half on her foot and half off at an angle like she'd fallen or been pushed over. Her shirt had been torn open, buttons lay scattered like snowdrops across the rest of her.

I've always found the idea of living dolls particularly horrifying, so Silent Doll promises to be to be a gripping read! Thanks for sharing Sonnet!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Manticores Pride - an introduction

My apologies for the lack of posts. In between assignments, study, family commitments, and writing there has been remarkably little time for blogging! However, I've started getting some words down for "Able as Cain" and have been working on "A Manticore's Pride".

[Phil the Manticore, by me]
"A Manticore's Pride" will be a short novella following Phil, the manticore, who raises his head in everyone of my "Magic Series". I'm writing this one just for fun, simply because I like Phil, and think he deserves his own happily ever after...

Here's an introduction for you;
It was a commonly held belief that Phil Manticore had no pride – which was, quite frankly, untrue. As a paying member of the Kuching Free Zone Manticore Pride he could directly refute the argument. However, in public opinion, Phil did seem to be lacking some of the more austere qualities a Manticore should possess.
A few things at this point, should be clarified. A Manticore is a mythological beast, relatively common in this dimension, with a large humanoid head, set atop a massive leonine body. They possess no magic, but are very strong and incredibly long lived. Their mouths are wide, and filled with several rows of razor sharp teeth. As the Manticore ages, the tail develops sharp spines at its tip used like a mace in fights. It is these characteristics that ensure the Manticore is universally feared. Their society, unlike that of the more humanoid species is a very close knit community. Often living in compounds, they are loud, frequently aggressive and rarely have a sense of humour.
Phil Manticore in contrast, does not live with his Pride and his sense of humour borders at the obscene end of toilet. He is one of the largest male Manticores in written history though this is not necessarily due to his height and length but mostly width. Phil has an unhealthy obsession with mamak stall fried foods and his impressive weight gain is evidence of this.  Additionally, he lacks the feline love of grooming, so although his coat, a glossy burnished gold, looks quite fine - the odour is less so.
So it is little surprise that at the somewhat generous age of 98 – Phil is noticeably single.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ups and Downs in the microcosm of my existance.

Definition: mi·cro·cosm

[mahy-kruh-koz-uhm]  (noun)
a little world; a world in miniature ( opposed to macrocosm).
We all live in our little microcosms, the situations, the places that we move about in throughout our regular day. Here is a little look in to my microcosm this morning...

You know some days you just wake up and know it's going to be a trying day? Today was like that for me. I have a University English Assessment due, my child's assembly item was today  so we had to be at school early, and to make matters more awkward the mums were kindly invited up to dance with their children... in front of the school, and of course I was emotionally blackmailed to do just that! Then to top the icing on the proverbial cake... my very fluffy cat appeared to have an attack of diarrhoea during the night and plastered my bathroom with her feces.

When faced with dilemma upon dilemma (as insignificant, large or shitty as they may be) how would you deal with it?
This is what I did... first things first, I washed my fluffy cat, and cut off all the soiled hair... she's going to look a little odd for a while, I'm afraid.  Then I nuked my bathroom with copious amounts of bleach and disinfectant to clean it. This unfortunately left me with absolutely no time to dress appropriately for my debut dancing performance at my child's assembly, so we rushed from the house with my hair akimbo, unfortunate pimple blatantly displayed without time for make-up -  in a rather creased looking tee-shirt and jeans.

For the record, I did do the dancing with my son, twice in fact. Even my son seemed somewhat embarrassed by my gauche, inept attempt at the dance. I'm sure the other parents were wondering if I had lost my mind. Scruffily dressed, uncoordinated and writhing in time to the music as I was in front of several hundred parents and students... It was too much to hope that no one would recognise me... It's not a particularly large school and I'm friends with a lot of the other parents. I did however hope I didn't look that bad... Alas, a comment from another mother confirmed that I had. "You were very brave going up there....a bit uncoordinated, but brave..." Thank you! I hurriedly explained that my son had insisted I dance with him and I simply couldn't refuse. Her reply was "Oh so did my daughter... but there was no way I'd go up and embarrass myself dancing like that..." Cheers.
[this isn't my cat, but Whimsy looks very similar]
I then remarked that, I wasn't exactly dancing anyway, and we had a laugh. Then I went on my way, only to return to the house which reeked like chlorinated swimming pool , my sodden cat and the looming presence of my unfinished assignment.

So here I now sit, in my study, gagging for another cup of strong brewed coffee waiting for inspiration for my assignment. It's not happening (as you see).
So I shall stroll to my kitchen, make another coffee, trying to find my sodden cat in order to brush her (something she isn't overly fond of) and perhaps after, I will attempt some assignment in the hope I will finish it early and get some much neglected writing done.

Enjoy your weekend everyone, I hope your day began better than mine!