Monster

Duty_with_HonorBelow is another sketch a fan sent me. It portrays Monster from the fourth story in the Duty Series (Duty with Honor). In DwH, a wardog puppy was frequently addressed (read that as yelled at) as  ‘you little monster’ by the soldiers of the Caralok Levy in the Vladeshan army because of the pup’s tendency to chew on their leather gear (shield straps, tent ties, boots, etc.). This was shortened to simply Monster. This is her interpretation of Monster’s appearance (she pictured him with much longer fur than I do). Thank you, Kathy. (You can see more of her fan art here.)Monster Puppy

The concept of the ‘wardog’ came from the real dogs used for war in Roman times and later.

Monster was inspired by my son’s English Mastiff. We dog-sat him while our son was deployed to Afghanistan. It was an interesting learning experience.

I grew up with dogs that I considered large dogs (hunting dogs: blue tick and black & tans. There was a beagle–not large dog–that I named Lucky.) When I met the English Mastiff, I discovered the true meaning of a ‘large dog’ and what was meant by a ‘sight hound.’ 

Before he was one year old, he weighed more than I did, and was much stronger. From the back of the kitchen counter to the center of the kitchen table, nothing was out of his reach.  For the table he just stood on all fours and stretched his neck, without even having to jump. Luckily he was a well-behaved dog and didn’t disturb items on either counter or table once he had inspected them to make sure they were safe for his humans. (He treated our cats the same way: a couple of sniffs and all was good.)

The Mastiff would walk out onto the patio each morning and freeze. Only his head moved in a slow semi-circle as he surveyed everything. Nothing escaped his notice. If he saw something new, his hackles would rise and he would stalk toward it. If he decided it was harmless to his humans, the hackles would lower. If he remained unsure, he would continue stalking stiff-legged. If it ran away (got out of his yard or didn’t rush forward toward the human), he would relax.

And so Monster was born. 🙂

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New Release: Duty’s Price

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Duty’s Price

(3rd story in the Duty Series)

Dutys_PriceJatham Draben is ordered to search undercover for the Chorkan Red. All of his friends and fellow Stormhawk Rangers believe he has been thrown out of their organization.

Duty’s path is frequently difficult. What will it demand Jatham pay? [Set in a period generations after all the previous Tales of Aldura, this is the third story in the Duty Series.]

[You can see a list of all the Tales of Aldura here]

©2010-2015 – susan-stuckey.storytellersinn.com – All Rights Reserved

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Duty’s Call – Free today!!

In honor of my son’s retirement from the Army, the first story in the Duty Series is Free today on amazon!  🙂  Hope you enjoy!

Duty’s Call

(1st story in the Duty Series)

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Jatham Draben follows his dream of becoming a Stormhawk Ranger. On his first mission he discovers a plot by one of the Dark God’s followers, a Chorkan he calls Red. This enemy intends to conquer the Kingdom of Klatinan. Will Jatham be able to block Red’s activities and preserve those he’s sworn to protect? [Set in a period generations after all the previous Tales of Aldura, this is the first story in the ‘Duty Series’.]

[You can see a list of all the Tales of Aldura here]

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Trivia Tidbit: Nothing like writing a series backward … which is what happened with the “Duty” series. This first story was the last one written.

©2010-2015 – susan-stuckey.storytellersinn.com – All Rights Reserved

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