2017-February’s Spotlight

Friends

Thumbnail_Friends_AlduraJaelyn, a city born and raised Healer, is assigned to a post in the ‘back of beyond’. With her twentieth natal-day approaching, Jaelyn is feeling lonely because Fenwood Valley is a close-knit community, and they don’t readily welcome strangers, especially not a young, inexperienced female. On her trudge home after helping deliver a baby, Jaelyn discovers unexpected friends when she is kidnapped.

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

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Trivia Tidbit: This story is another which sprang from a writing prompt: “Someone important goes missing.” I had recently finished reading a story about a very powerful mage who seemed a complete air-head most of the time–until she (and yes it was a female mage) needed to act. I really enjoyed that character. I figured out the “missing person” but also wanted to include a character who appeared scatterbrained but wasn’t,  and I wanted a story about one of the simple pleasures and biggest treasures of life: Friendship.

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2016-January’s Spotlight

Thumbnail_OTT_AlduraOn Treason’s Trail

Guardian Mage Glason Telmar disguises himself as a pauper to track a band of ruthless killers. During his investigation, he uncovers a sinister, deeply laid plot threatening all of the followers of the Twin Gods. Glason must face the menace alone, but will his magic and Guardian training prove sufficient to pass this ultimate test?

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

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Trivia Tidbit:  The character Glason Telmar was created to be the “wise, older person” to go along with Clovis (in a story that is still steeping on a back-burner on the story-stove). Glason had other ideas about being a foil or minor character to his nephew. I certainly was NOT going to say no to an insistent Guardian Mage, so Glason  became the MC in his own tale. 

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Roaring in …

Card_Bug_eyed animal_YoureKiddingIf you’ve wondered where I’ve been since I haven’t posted since the beginning of January, this will catch you up on my adventures since January 1st.

Suffice it to say that 2016 has definitely roared into my life. It started with the common malaise I call “writer’s doubt” where everything you’ve ever written and/or write is drek.

Apparently that wasn’t enough and the year doubled-down on its efforts to make itself memorable. It succeeded!!

I broke my arm. Which arm you ask? Well my right arm. (Yes I’m right handed.)

But it is just a broken arm, no big deal, right?

To make a long story short after 1 surgery, 3 plates, 23 pins and multiple weeks – I can once again (kinda) use my right hand and type for short periods.

So that is 2016 so far 🙂

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November’s Spotlight

Stormhawk’s Warning

StormhawksWarning_AlduraThe cruel and ruthless Chorkan, servants of the Dark God, have one obstacle in their path to conquest: a young noble in the Kingdom of Kier, Prince Kaden. Pursued by enemies and friends alike, while under a death sentence for a crime he didn’t commit, Kaden seeks sanctuary with his old weapons master.

He must find a missing princess, save his family, prevent a war and protect his kingdom, all while avoiding the executioner’s block.

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

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Trivia Tidbit: The original Kingdoms of Alarel (the Twin Gods’ land) were: Galdona, Alliandrae, Klatinan, Vladesh, and Ryland. Although there have been numerous wars/battles between the followers of the Dark God and those of the Twin Gods, in the time of Stormhawk’s Warning of the original five kingdoms only Galdona and Vladesh have ever lost part of their territory to the Chorkan through conquest.

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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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