TALES OF THE GOLDEN MASK: AN INITIATE’S TALE BY @GOLDENMASK17
I am delighted to announce the forthcoming release of Tales of Erana: Just One Mistake on Kindle pre-release. The final release date is 6th May 2017.
(Adult rated for a sexy scene, some themes, and mild violence).
Coel, the bard, thinks his life has taken a turn for the worst, but he hasn’t met the Thiefmaster yet. An ill-conceived notion of earning more money to pay off his debt and escape a dark past leaves the minstrel in a situation he can’t escape and with a deadly bargain. Will he survive his mistake? Who is this mysterious patron?
You might have seen the first incarnation of this tale in Nine Heroes: Tales of Heroic Fantasy but it has been expanded, revised and generally made a whole lot more spiffy:)
Our hero, Coel, is a charming young chap with a talent for music and bedding the ladies (and sometimes the fellas too – no prejudice in Erana, at least not of that sort.) Unfortunately, he has got himself into a bit of a pickle – with a surprise corpse, another man’s wife and an innocent man being punished. Quite some pickle. On the run, living in hiding in the slums of the city of Varlek – a jaded old crone – he thinks life could not get much worse, or more complicated. Oh, how wrong can he be?
Thus our intrepid bard must extricate himself from an impossible situation, understand the rules of another man’s deadly game, redeem himself and generally live to see the dawn.
Currently, the novella is only on Amazon pre-release but should be arriving on Smashwords and hence the associated stores in the next couple of week.
And I’ll let you into a secret…. there might be a combined collection of Erana tales comprising all the stories to date appearing on Bundle Rabbit. More to follow on that.
In the meantime, do order Tales of Erana: Just One Mistake and tell your friends.
Oh and Tales of Erana: Myths and Legends will now be only 99c (77p).
Arrgh! Shiver me timbers *whatever the hell that means….
The latest Heroes in Hell anthology has been blown by a Hellish Maelstrom onto these shores. Hell Week 2017 will be along in good time but for now here’s a taster.
Perdition Goes Viral As Floods Overrun Infernity!
From Perseid Press:
Avast, ye readers! Here be Pyrates! Feast yer eyes on the cursed treasures before you! Hoist the skull ‘n’ crossbones! Walk the plank with hell’s sorest losers! Join the damnedest buccaneers and privateers ever to sail infernal seas. The depths of hell chill the boldest sinner as damned souls learn why the deeper in hell you go, the colder it gets.
Come on down: Join us in the depths of hell where a few of our damnedest writers break every rule of perdition, resulting in longer stories overflowing with torment. Amid more horrific punishments than ever, only a few survive Satan’s cruellest purges, while hell’s bowels runneth over.
Janet Morris, Chris Morris, Nancy Asire, Paul Freeman, Rob Hinkle, Michael H. Hanson, Joe Bonadonna, Andrew P. Weston, S. E. Lindberg, Jack William Finley come together to bring us piratical hellish adventures.
Shakespeare denounces plagiarism but learns what’s in a name when Marlowe takes the blame, as Satan pronounces a penance built for two. Not even eleven flayed Rameses have a dry place to stand when blood overruns the Vile’s banks and Hatshepsut confronts history’s worst pirates, while Howard Carter seeks to loot yet another tomb before Germany’s Haeckel can take the credit.
Attila the Hun and Admiral Nelson square off until the Iron Duke and Napoleon brave an expanding lake to take the tide at its flood.
Daemon Grim, The devil’s Reaper, heads for Skull Island on His Satanic Majesty’s most infernal service to quench his taste for blood money, hell’s truest treasure.
Jason and the Argonauts find that piracy in hell isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, as Medea proves you can’t teach an old witch new tricks.
Elliott Ness and Frank Nitti tangle with Hell’s Demon Minister of Copyright Enforcement, who insists that the price for musical copyright violation be paid in severed heads, including the head of King James I of England, but not even decapitation can still those wagging tongues. Doctor Frankenstein and Quasimodo swashbuckle on a voyage through Hades, searching for a way out of hell, while the Fairbanks boys and Errol Flynn capture a real vampire on film, showing that hell’s damnedest actors are never ready for their close-ups. Fleet Admiral Ogle and his nemesis Bartholomew Roberts quest for a mythical bottle of wine which may prove once and for all that damnation is just a test of faith. Kit Marlowe loses his Rose while Shakespeare finds out that a cold day in hell isn’t merely a turn of phrase. Grace O’Malley, pirate queen, and Strongbow, 2nd Earl of Pembroke confront the Vilekings with the help of Shaka Zulu, but not even Brendan the Navigator can help the ghostly Children of Lir.
I’m pleased to welcome back author Tamara Lakomy, who visited us in February and March with her new book.
Author name: T.M Lakomy (Tamara Lakomy)
What first prompted you to publish your work? The characters have been germinating in my mind for years, I was always enamoured with ancient religions, specifically how they mirrored each other. The insatiable desire of humanity for a messiah has influenced civilisation to a much larger extent than we believe. The desire to believe we are god’s children and precious souls is the core of our religious identity, and I wanted to challenge the blind dogma.
What have you found the most challenging part of the process? Not getting carried away with delving deep into the characters back stories and anecdotes, it is difficult not to fall so far in love with your characters that you could abandon the plot just to discover them further.
What are your views on authors commenting on reviews? I think it is very important for authors to support each other, because authors understand how hard the process is, and how much love and labour we have bled into the process.
Sort these into order of importance:
How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at? I have immersed myself since I was young in the old folklore and my academic archaeology studies merely furthered my curiosity.
At the wilder ends of my studies, the process of decomposition of a body, as in my second book I tackle necromancy magic.
How influential is storytelling to our culture? In my culture storytelling has been the backbone of our society. It has been the passed down wisdom and storytelling that has kept the spirit of my people alive through conflict, colonialism and revolutions. Stories bear the collective memory and moral code of a people.
If you could be any fantasy/mythical or legendary person/creature what would you be and why? Galadriel. I would have done more to mitigate against Sauron in the early stages. To be the voice of reason in Feanor’s life.
What is your writing space like? Cats lounging around happily, plenty of white wine, fluffy cushions and a view onto our garden. A desk littered with books and all sorts of random stuff.
Tell us about your latest piece? Sol Invictus – The power struggle between the Cult of the Sun King, seeking Apotheosis; man becoming God, aided by his faithful followers the Silver Brigade, to find his soul a vessel and the Shrine; the indigenous tribal magicians whose hoarded relics hold djinns powerful enough to thin the veil between life and death, holding the key to the forbidden necromantic Arts.
The impediment to the Sun King’s plan is the enigmatic Narya, a crime lord who forsook her guild education and the Shrine’s protection, shrouding her identity in mystery, and Maxilan the deadliest lieutenant called also the “White Devil”. Maxilan discovers his draw to Narya to be the fulfilment of his destiny; also his demise, resulting in him facing the reality of his purpose, the eugenics program that created him.
What’s your next writing adventure? Voice of the gods. As a writer I have pushed myself to my limits. I think it will be the most controversial work I have written.
Is there a message in your books? To encourage people to delve into their subconscious. I am questioning the roots of people’s beliefs and the identities that are predicated on those dogmas. Institutions and morality codes are built around creeds that have evolved from far more ancient sources.
How important is writing to you? It keeps my sanity in a world that does not make sense to me.
I am T. M Lakomy (Tamara Lakomy). I was born in London, but grew up as a tribal girl in a North African repressive regime. I spent my childhood between the slums of Mellasine and the affluent neighbourhoods in Tunis.
I studied archaeology and became enamoured with the shamanistic practices of indigenous people.
I am an author and poet who seeks to challenge our notions of reality, and see life with a different perspective.
I work in East Africa with indigenous tribes studying the origins of mankind and the salient golden thread in the tapestry of humanity’s beliefs.
Here’s the first of one of the new-style interviews – Good cop/bad cop. These feature enemies, or even a couple of protagonists that don’t get on. So you get to meet the good guys AND the bad guys:) I thought I’d try it out on two of my own characters.
Names: M’alia Erlis – elven sorceress of Ilthendra.
You may call me Commander Hendrick – Order of Witch-Hunters
Q1 Why are you on this adventure?
M’alia: We left Ilthendra to find the heir to the House of Light; the ring of light had been returned and the Mirror of Watching sang. We could not believe the prophecy had come to be.
It was supposed to be an honour. Our grandfather was the last Eltenda to the Shining Citadel of Lor Ar’thinis and we thought we could find it with the heir’s help. We thought we could regain what had been taken from us. The City of Light has been lost for centuries – but magic is complex, it is mysterious and it has its own path and way. Just perhaps the Shining Citadel could be returned, perhaps the Lady of the Light could bring us freedom.
We are elves – we are nothing but slaves and we have no rights, our history is nothing, our culture is in ruins. We bring the Plague and the magic that corrupts goodly folk. At least that is the official line.
The elves of Ilthendra believed we were remote, we were safe. Complacency kills. Ignorance kills. But hope, now hope keeps you alive. It’s all I have now. It’s all any elf has.
From the group who left Ilthendra only myself and my sister remain. Our companions were tortured and executed. I will never forget their screams. I am a prisoner in this fort, and my twin, Th’alia, has been sent with the Witch-Hunter to trap the heir and deliver the whereabouts Citadel to the Order of Witch-Hunters. I fear for my sister’s safety, she is not strong and I do not know if either of us will survive this.
Hendrick: This adventure as you call it is my duty! I am a Commander in the Order of Witch-Hunters and my word is law in this land. These elves dare to think they have rights, they wish to seek this magic town, and regain their riches and their filthy magic. Elves are nothing more than slaves and magic must be eradicated! This city and its wealth will fill my coffers, um the Order’s coffers. That elven witch is wrong – the elves have no hope.
And then, of course, there is the defeat of the Archmage Lord Archos of Tremellic. He is the lover of this elven sorceress they seek. His demise will ensure my promotion. That bastard has been trouble to the Order for years; yet he wields power and influence, one cannot simply walk into his domain and arrest such a man on rumours. That man is clever and rich he pays bribes and sweeteners; no one dares touch him. I know my duty – he does not frighten me like he frightens the rank and file. He is just a man and men can be killed. He’s a filthy mage and all mages will fall to my magebane sword.
Q2 who is your nemesis? Why is this?
M’alia: I am a forest elf, therefore in the eyes of the Order I am a slave. I am a mage too and my existence is forbidden. Here and now I am a pawn. The Order is my nemesis…
Hendrick: Mages. Everyone knows magic brings the Plague. The elves almost brought mankind down, with war, disease and magic. The price they paid was high but well-deserved. Humans are the rulers now – and magic will be tamed.
M’alia: Magic will never be tamed; you’re like the others – you do not understand. Magic is everywhere, it is wild and will not be enslaved. The Order has ruled for centuries but still magic finds a way.
Q3 at your final showdown what are your plans (promise we won’t tell).
M’alia: if by some blessings of the gods I still draw breath I will fry that evil bastard. I will not forget my treatment, what I have been forced to do, or the death of Elfkind at his hands. I will not go quietly. If I must burn this place and all in it I shall.
Hendrick: Pah! You think I fear an elven mage half my age? I have killed far greater than you, witch. Soon you will cease to be of use or entertainment to me.
As for that bloody Magelord Archos of Tremellic, I look forward to the day I can sink my Baneblade in his vile hide. All mages fall to Banecrystal – he will do the same. I have a whip studded with it; there is little more satisfying than flaying the magic from a mage.
Q4 define a hero.
M’alia: A hero is one who will put themselves before others, no matter the cost. One who will do what others will not, dare not. A hero will free others even if that freedom costs him all.
Hendrick: A hero is a man who sticks to his duty, who will sacrifice popularity for doing what he thinks is right. Reluctantly I agree with the witch – a hero is one who will do what others will not.
Witch-Hunters are not popular, those who rule by arms rarely are. We protect the greater populace from the perfidy of magic, from the risk of the Plague, and from themselves. Freedom is not a commodity peasants and elves can be trusted with. The Order brings peace – there have been border wars, and occasional rebellions but the Great Wars of Old are a mere history lesson. A hero brings peace whether it is wanted or not.
M’alia: It is not peace, it is tyranny. What value is peace if it beneath an iron fist? What value has peace to the slave?
Q5 define a villain.
M’alia: *Looks at Hendrick. A villain is someone who uses others for his own ends, who takes away the rights of another, and who causes harm simply because he can.
Hendrick: A villain is one who defies the law, who harms innocents and threatens the peace.
Q6 why do you think the other person is on the path he or she is?
M’alia: Hendrick is greedy and cruel. He wishes to subjugate the elves and take what remains of our culture. He wants the wealth and honour. He believes he is right. He is wrong.
Hendrick: *Shrugs. Why should I give a damn what motivates elves? They have hope, apparently, but like all elven filth that will come to nothing. They have nothing, they are nothing. Let the elves and mages find this magic city – then it will belong to me, to the Order. I am the Order.
Q7 what are your feelings about the other person?
M’alia: You need to ask me that? How do you think I feel about him?
Hendrick: I do not care what witches think of me. I am their scourge. Do I care for this elf? Don’t be ridiculous, I care no more for this one than any other piece of property. She serves to satisfy my lust, and is a means to get the Archmage and his friends. She has knowledge that I require – beyond that she is nothing. If I want a woman I can take one – I have no time or inclination for the burdens of marriage. One elf is much the same as another.
Q8 where will you be 10 years from now?
M’alia: Most likely dead. If I am not perhaps at home in Ilthendra, with my sister and my friends.
Hendrick: I will be promoted to High-Commander. I will have power, wealth and glory for serving my land.
Q9 do you have anything you’d like to say to your nemesis, that you may not get the chance to say when you meet?
M’alia: My nemesis is all Witch-Hunters. I will say this: Elves are not property, magic is not a creature to be tamed. Both are free, both exist despite the Order. The more magic is subjugated the wilder and craftier it will become. Magic is, has been and always shall be. The elves were once great and can be again. Freedom is relative.
Hendrick: When I meet the Archmage I will ensure he knows the might of the Order and the right of the Order.
Q10 why should readers believe YOU are right?
M’alia: Why am I right? I did not claim to be right, I simply say elves and mages are not ‘wrong’ simply for who and what they are.
Hendrick: The Order of Witch-Hunters uphold the law, the peace and the safety of the people. It is our right to remove those deemed a threat. Elves brought the Plague which almost destroyed the human kingdom, and still they bring their nefarious ways. Magic is dangerous! It’s perfidy creeps in good people and turns them bad.
M’alia: That’s a lie! Magic is like any other skill or weapon – if the user is bad then it will be used for evil. Magic heals, it sees what others cannot, it brings learning and joy. If it is hidden, and it’s practitioners have to live as outlaws it’s no surprise they must commit a crime. One whose very existence is forbidden has no recourse to law to protect them.
Hendrick: The law is right, it cannot be other.
M’alia and Hendrick appear here:
The Shining Citadel – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book II
Who rules in this game of intrigue where magic is forbidden and elves enslaved? Journey where beliefs shatter like glass, truth is unwelcome and monsters from ancient times abound: share the romance and revenge, magic and passion, and the wages of greed in a world of darkest fantasy. (18 age rated).
Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2iqOXkr
Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2hHRv9K
Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2iOOWoB
Audible UK http://adbl.co/2iSW5GF
Title: The Carnelian Throne
Author: Janet Morris
Genre: allegorical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, political fiction
Main character description (short).
In a far and dystopian future, three rulers seeking to make truth of prophecy explore the “shores of which none are empowered to speak,” a forbidden continent where humanity no longer rules.
Brief Excerpt 250 words:
“Gate!” he bellowed over the storm, his dripping lips at my ear. The deluge had made us sparing of words. Under leathers soaked to thrice their weight, I shivered in spasms. Arms clutched to my sides, I stared into the rain. The driven sheets slashed me for my audacity. Lightning flared, illuminating the riverbank white. A moment later, the bright noise cracked through my head. The hillock trembled.
Over the gate danced the lightning. Its crackling fingers quested down thick-crossed slabs of iron, seared flesh. Emblazoned as they tumbled were those six-legged amphibians, their streamered tails lashing, scaled, fangful heads thrown back in dismay. I saw their afterimage: beryl and cinnabar, aglow upon the storm. Then their charred remains splashed into oblivion, spun away on the fast current.
“Down!” One man shouted, the other shoved me, and as I staggered to kneel in the sedges, the god that washed this land shook it, grumbling. I crouched on my hands and knees on the bucking sod, between them. Little protection could they offer up against shaking earth and searing sky, not even for themselves, without divorcing themselves from the reality they had come here to explore. And that they would not do.
Somewhere far off the weather struck earth again. We knelt on a fast-declining shore. On our right and left, steeps ascended, cresting in a plume of dense rain forest. In that moment of illumination the whole river valley and the gate set into the river stood bared of shadow. Six times the height of a man was that gate.
Why should readers buy this book (50 words max)?
The Carnelian Throne makes you think as it explores the revenge of nature upon humanity once we have despoiled land and sea, and what our manipulation of genetics may mean for the future as the three foretold seek truth in prophecy where men no longer rule.
Kindle On Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XDC8Y4K/
Hardcover on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Carnelian-Throne-Silistra-Quartet/dp/099775835X/
Trade paper on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Carnelian-Throne-Silistra-Quartet/dp/0997758341/
The Silistra Quartet on Black Gate Magazine: https://www.blackgate.com/2016/03/19/vintage-treasures-the-silistra-quartet-by-janet-morris/
About the Author: Best selling author Janet Morris began writing in 1976 and has since published more than 30 novels. She wrote the bestselling Silistra Quartet in the 1970s, including High Couch of Silistra, The Golden Sword, Wind from the Abyss, and The Carnelian Throne. This quartet had more than four million copies in Bantam print alone, and was translated into German, French, Italian, Russian and other languages. In the 1980s, Baen Books released a second edition of this landmark series. This third edition is the Author’s Cut edition, newly revised by the author for Perseid Press. Most of her fiction work has been in the fantasy and science fiction genres, although she has also written historical and other novels. Morris has written, contributed to, or edited several book-length works of nonfiction, as well as papers and articles on nonlethal weapons, developmental military technology and other defense and national security topics.
Name: Thomas Barczak
What attracts you to the genre in which you write?
I am a dreamer. I have always had a great love for fantasy. My mind, it wanders constantly. I guess fantasy is just far enough away that when I get there, I can actually stay there awhile and find rest. I grew up playing D&D so I’m pretty sure that plays a lot into it as well. But mostly I think it goes back to its deep roots in mythology, to something more primitive, to a time when there were fewer distractions.
Fantasy is often criticized for being too black and white, and I think that’s a fair criticism, but I’m also not sure that’s entirely a bad thing. I think fantasy is at its best when it leaves our moral insecurities exposed yet still asks us to make a choice and actually take responsibility about which direction we want to go.
What piece of writing advice do you wish you’d known when you started your writing adventures?
It’s ok to fail. That’s how you get better. You can take your time. That and you actually have a lot of choices about what success actually means to you.
I think that is probably the single most important question an aspiring author should ask themselves: What am I trying to do and where am I trying to go. Then don’t settle for the first answer and dig deep. There is a purpose for what you do. Otherwise you wouldn’t have been given the ability to do it. Not everybody gets to be a writer. Take responsibility for it.
If you could have dinner with any famous person or character who would you chose?
J.R.R. Tolkien. He wrote myth from a place of deep personal belief. He didn’t write to preach. He wrote what he wrote because at the end of the day, that’s who and what he was. Honestly his writing at times is really not very good, certainly by contemporary standards. But it is this: It’s honest.
Who has been the greatest influence on your own work?
J.R.R. Tolkien, mostly for the reason above. He shaped the genre a helped shape the fundamental core of who I am. I’m not even talking about being a geek. I’m referring to the deeper allegory he prescribed – That there is always great hope still to be found in the greatest of losses.
Do you think the e-book revolution will do away with print?
Not at all, at least I certainly hope not. I would like to think that paper books are a little more resilient than 8-tracks. They certainly have a longer track record. And you don’t need any devices to read them, except for maybe glasses.
Which 3 books would you take to a desert island and why?
The Hobbit – So that I never forget that life is an adventure, even if you’re stuck somewhere.
A spiritual text – So that I have something to remember what I believe in.
A sketchbook – So that I have something to write and draw in.
Author bio and book synopsis
Please introduce yourself (250 words or so):
I am an artist, turned architect, turned writer, who finally got around to actually writing the stories I started dreaming about as a kid.
My work includes the dark epic fantasy, Mouth of the Dragon, the illustrated epic, Veil of the Dragon, the Kindle serials, Awakening Evarun (Parts I-VI) and Wolfbane (Parts 1-2 of 3), along with numerous short stories and flash fiction, including those published in “Heroika 1 – Dragon Eaters”, “Nine Heroes”, “Terror by Gaslight”, and “What Scares the Boogeyman”, as well as two volumes of the award-winning “Heroes in Hell” series, “Dreamers in Hell”, and “Poets in Hell”.
I write because I can’t not. I write because I need to tell the stories I already started on way before, in my painting, in my poetry, and even before that, when I was sitting around a table with friends, slaying dragons.
Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short)
Mouth of the Dragon, Prophecy of the Evarun, published by Perseid Press is a dark, epic and redemptive fantasy, which I sincerely hope challenges and presents anew everything a hero’s journey can be.
Smashwords are having a sale for Read an E-book Week 5th – 11th March
To celebrate some of my books are in the sale. This is for the SMASHWORDS copies only.
The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book I is now available for half price (1.50) with code RAE50
The Shining Citadel is now available for half price (1.75) with code RAE50
The Stolen Tower is now available for half price (1.63) with code RAE50
Shattered Mirror – A Poetry Collection is now FREE with code RAE7
The Kitchen Imps is FREE with code RAE25
Outside the Walls is FREE with code RAE75
Click on the link and it will take you to the bookpage – click on BUY WITH COUPON and this will add the relevant discount.
All my books except The Stolen Tower are also available in audio – so if you enjoy the book please check those out. And don’t forget to leave a review.
There are also hundreds of other books on offer until 11th March, and to check out some others from authors in the Goodreads Smashwords author group please look here Smashwords Read an E Book 2017
Swift Six Character Interview
Character Name: Estella Delcour
Which book/world do you live in? The Shadow Crucible, set in medieval London.
Tell us about yourself
I am the person you least suspect, they deem me holy yet I am not. I inspire love and hatred in equal measure. My manor is empty of guests, it is a court for demonic fiends you will never see. I hold audiences with demons more than the living. I delight in walking among the Templars, the Clergy, and the Royal Courts hearing their barren truths; for those who speak do not know, whilst those who know do not speak. How they would love to burn me at the stake. A dark trail follows me and it will follow you, if you betray my name or the words I now share with you. I am a seer, not the mediocre kind, I see beyond the heavens into the macabre game between Samael and the Throne. I have been hither to an unsuspected spectator, until the blind one finds out I have been watching all along. I am hunted, to be a precious cog in his dark machinations
What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses? My greatest strength is my magic, I am strong enough to hold back from giving into the demons that plagued me all my life, and stubborn enough to stand up to Lucifer. I am my own person and I do not let society dictate to me. I am very resourceful and know how to play the social games that allow me to hide in plain sight. I am ready to sacrifice everything not to give in to an evil master, I am determined to break free of the chessboard of the Gods.
My greatest weakness is my confusion of the meaning of my life; the fact that I feel that I am a pawn in other people’s game renders me bitter and unpredictable, prone to rash decisions. Anything that threatens my sense of identity makes me flee.
Name three important people/creatures/institutions in your world (such as lovers, pets, government institutions, leaders, gods etc).
The Crone is dear to me, she is the facet of the Goddess that I cherish the most, comforting and austere, she is the strength I seek to emulate.
The Horned God: who gave me a higher purpose and my freedom.
Mikhail, I knew he was a product of his upbringing but he has the same spirit as me, the same need to defy the establishment on earth and heaven.
What does ‘heroism’ mean to you?
Making the tough decisions that no one else wants to make, often forcing their hand for the greater good. It’s the ability to foresee the outcomes and make sacrifices for the sake of humanity. But it is also overrated; people are dying for meaning and would often throw their lives away for recognition. Heroism is a form of leadership, where you take the initiative and forge the destiny of others. But for me it also means taking the blame and the risks that nobody wants to undertake.
What do you think of your ‘creator’?
I think she sees the world around her as a dark place and if she could, she would disappear into the worlds she creates. She is disenchanted with humanity and seeks the sublime truths and answers to ancient enigmas. The lack of magic in her world saddens her and she wishes she could pull back the veil and see what lies beyond, for she believes the ancient myths and stories hold a grain of truth and there is more to the universe than everyone sees.
Give us your favourite piece of advice: Everyone is seeking recognition and a sense of purpose, you take that away from them, you undo them and make of them an enemy, the meaningless of life terrifies people. So, if you want to make friends with them, attune your purpose to theirs and suddenly they are your best friend.
Links to book
CHARACTER NAME: I’ve had so many names–Ahearn, Pandaros, Darhour, Sigurd . . . You can call me The Ghost. It will due.
Tell us a little about yourself. Which self do you mean? The son of a whore whose mother threw him out when he was a child? The royal stable groom who had an affair with the queen? The exile starving in the streets of a foreign land? The mercenary soldier fighting a war he never bothered to understand? The infamous assassin whose taken more lives than he can count? The king’s Master of the Horse? The chief bodyguard of the crown princess? The oath-breaker who is bound for hell? I’ve been too many people to know which is myself.
Do you have a moral code? If so what might it be? I had one once, but I’ve broken the vow I made at the goddess’s holy altar. If I’d do that, what wouldn’t I do?
Would you kill for those you love? I have, repeatedly, and I’d do so again without hesitation. You threaten my daughter, and you will learn how I earned the name, The Ghost.
Would you die for those you love? I’ve done that too. I ripped my heart out of chest when I left my daughter. I couldn’t risk corrupting her with my darkness or of anyone noticing a resemblance between us. If the court learned she is a bastard, it could cost her her throne or even her life. But without her, I might as well be dead.
How do you define ‘heroism?’ Heroism is a pretty word people use to justify killing others. As Phelix once taught me, whether you kill someone in battle or slit their throat while they sleep, dead is dead, and all end up in Hades together.
Tell us about your family? My mother sent me to her brother when I was seven because her latest man demanded she get rid of me. Whether my mother or any of my brothers and sisters are still alive, I don’t know. I don’t even know how many siblings I have. I went to visit my mother was I was fifteen, and she didn’t recognize me. I told her who I was, and she made it clear I wasn’t welcome and closed the door in my face. I haven’t heard from her since. Still, being sent to my uncle was probably the best thing that ever happened to me. Uncle Barris worked in the royal stables, and he not only took me in with no questions, he treated me like a son and taught me everything I know about horses. I loved him completely. He died when I was fifteen in an epidemic that swept through the capital. I still grieve his death, but I think it fortunately he didn’t live to see what I have become. The only relative that matters to me now is my daughter, the result of an affair with the queen, which caused my exile. My daughter is now queen of Korthlundia and has only recently discovered that the king wasn’t truly her father. For awhile, I served as the captain of her personal guard, but that couldn’t last. She is far too good of a person to be my daughter.
What is your greatest skill/asset? I think you’ve probably guessed by now. My skills as an assassin have made me infamous throughout the known world. I’m so good at getting into my victim’s rooms, some believe I can walk through walls. That’s why they called me, The Ghost. When I worked for the Saloynan king, it was known that if The Ghost was on your tail, it was time to start making funeral plans. I’ve never missed my target.
Do you believe in god(s)? How could I not? I accompanied my daughter to Sulis’s holy shrine on an island that cannot be found without the goddess’s blessing. I knelt there in the presence of Sulis’s holy priestess who knew every secret in my soul. My entire being shook with the Holy Mother’s presence as the priestess pronounced my daughter the goddess’s choice to rule Korthlundia even thought the king isn’t truly her father. Oh, yes, Sulis is the Mother of us all. But not even she can forgive what I’ve done.
What is your greatest fear? That someone will discover that instead of the king, I am Samantha’s father. I deserve anything bad that happens to me, but she must be safe.
What do you think of your author/creator? She’s cruel. But she better not treat my daughter in her next book like the way she treated me in this one, or she’ll wish I really was a ghost.
Do you believe in magic? That’s like asking if I believe in air. Magic is a part of this world. You can’t escape it.
Tell us about your greatest achievement. Fathering my daughter is the only good I’ve ever accomplished in the world. Samantha will be a wonderful queen, but that is only because I had no hand in her rearing.
For the author
Books in which this character appears:
The Goddess’s Choice and The Ghost in Exile
Links, short author bio…
The Goddess’s Choice Links
The Ghost in Exile
Jamie began writing stories about the man from Mars when she was six, and she never remembers wanting to be anything other than a writer. Everyone told her she needed a back up plan, so she pursued a Ph.D. in American literature, which she received in 1998. She started teaching writing and literature at Auburn University. One day in the midst of writing a piece of literary criticism, she realized she’d put her true passion on the backburner and neglected her muse. The literary article went into the trash, and she began the book that was to become The Goddess’s Choice, which was published in April 2012. Her other novels include The Soul Stone and The Ghost in Exile. In addition, she has published a novella, Demons in the Big Easy, and a collection of short stories, Blood Cursed and Other Tales of the Fantastic. Her short fiction has also appeared in the anthologies–Urban Fantasy and Of Dragons & Magic: Tales of the Lost Worlds—and in Bards & Sages, The World of Myth, A Writer’s Haven, and Short-story.me. She claims she writes about the fantastic . . . and the tortured soul. Her poor characters have hard lives. She lives in Auburn, Alabama, with her husband and four cats, which (or so she’s been told) officially makes her a cat lady. She still teaches writing and literature at Auburn University. She is the mother of a grown son.