A Literary Legacy

At the end of November 2019 my father passed away after a long illness. When discussing what to put in the Eulogy with my sisters we all agreed on the legacy he’d left us – a legacy far more valuable and less easy to quantify than money or a house. A love of reading and storytelling.

Dad left school at 16 with a basic education – he was, apparently, rubbish at art, woodwork and behaving himself but excelled at English, maths and history. He was a born storyteller. Times were different then, and even had he wanted to continue in education it would have not been possible financially. He joined the army at 19, was wounded in action and left partially sighted after being hit by a roadside bomb. (Not much changes in war).

Despite this he still loved to read – mostly westerns and historical books – but struggled with the print size to the end of his days. Both parents encouraged us to read, and both read avidly. Often the sitting room would be filled with people – noses buried in books and there were always books in the house. A trip to the local library was a treat.

Dad told stories about runaway pork pies and mischievous sausages, not to mention household implements which rose up against their masters. I vividly remember the wicked saucepan that hit its owner when it was replaced, and a hosepipe that went on the rampage. All told with my father’s wicked wit and gleaming eyes.

He loved poetry, particularly Kipling, and even a week before his death was able to recite one of his favourites word perfectly (even though his memory was going, he was confused about most things, in pain and on a whole raft of meds). His whole face was aglow when he spoke poetry.

Cargoes – by John Masefield was one of his favourites. The first verses would be read with wonder and then the final verse – well that was read very fast and loud. Reflecting the beauty of the old, fine ships and the somewhat less elegant British ships…

Of all the things Daddy gave us – love, a sense of humour, a belief in ourselves, not taking crap from anyone, to me the love of the written word was the finest – and the most ensuring.

I’m a writer and a poet, both my nieces write, my sister teaches English and drama, and the other sister is an artist and loves history. We all love books, and have FAR too many in the house.  The love of reading and storytelling will live on, and so it should. Storytelling is what makes us human, and it brings us freedom, adventure and emotion.

Thanks Dad, we will miss you.

This is one of Dad’s (and my) favourite poems Twenty Bridges from Tower to Kew

 

Audiobook Narrator Interview – Emma Thorpe

*Name: Emma Thorpe

*Tell us a bit about yourself:

How did you become involved with audiobook narration and production?  I was listening to an audiobook one day on my commute to work and I found myself wondering how you became an audiobook narrator, so I decided to search on the internet and find out for myself. I have always enjoyed reading (I read a lot to my two children) and I’ve been involved in amateur dramatics from a very young age (I was 8 when I first went on stage). Audiobook narration seemed to be a perfect way to combine my love of reading and performing. I took a free course with Krystal Wascher to learn about the process and just went for it. Within 5 minutes of submitting my first audition, I had an offer.

Is this your day job? I also run my own handmade jewellery business (Atlantic Rose), designing and making sterling silver jewellery.

Tell us about some of the titles you’ve narrated. Do you have a favourite amongst these? I’m still very new to the audiobook world (I only started back in March 2019), but I now have produced 10 titles. I have enjoyed narrating each one of them so it’s hard to pick a favourite, as I have a few. I loved narrating Ann Carroll’s adaptation of “The Children of Lir” as this is a story I would listen to my grandfather tell when I was little and coming from Northern Ireland, it is a story that is very close to my heart. I recently finished narrating a childrens’ trilogy- “Magical Chapters Trilogy” by Victoria Zigler, which I really loved. The characters were such a joy to read (Daisy the Dragon being my favourite) and Victoria was kind enough to allow me to determine the accents for each of the characters.

Do you have a preferred genre? I love narrating children’s books

Do you have a genre you do not produce? I tend to narrate books that I myself would be interested in reading

What are you working on at present/Just finished? I recently just finished narrating my first novel for adults – “December Girl” by Nicola Cassidy.

Tell us about your process for narrating?  (Be as elaborate as you like.) I always start by reading the book cover to cover. If it’s a book with multiple characters, I’ll make notes on each, to help me ‘find their voice’. If no directive has been given by the author regarding a character’s accent, I’ll use this process to determine what their accent may be. Depending on how the book is written, I’ll either record the book, in sequence, chapter by chapter, or, as in the case of “December Girl” were each chapter focused on a different character, I’ll record all the chapters featuring one character first, then all the chapters featuring another character next and so on, until the book is recorded. I find narrating this way really helps me maintain a character’s ‘voice’.

What aspects do you find most enjoyable? Interpreting the characters and bringing them to life is my favourite part of narrating.

What do you find least enjoyable? Submitting the finished files. But only because it makes me feel as though I’m back at school and waiting for exam results 🙂

Have you ever found an author you couldn’t continue to work with? This hasn’t happened to me yet.

Do you consider royalty share when looking for books to narrate? I tend to look at the book and decide if it’s something I want to narrate, irrespective of whether its Royalty Share or not.

Do you listen to audiobooks? Yes I do. I usually listen to them when I’m in my workshop working on a piece, or if I’m travelling on my own.

With many people owning MP3 players do you think this is the future of storytelling? I think that audiobooks will play a big part in how people enjoy books and storytelling, especially adults, who don’t tend to have books read to them by others.

Why do you think audiobooks are becoming so popular? I think that in a world where everything is becoming faster and faster, where many people have very little time to just sit down, relax and read, audiobooks are a wonderful way to keep enjoying books. As I mentioned earlier, I often listen to audiobooks while I work.

Can you remember the first audiobook you owned? Stephen Fry’s “Mythos”

Has ACX/Audible fulfilled your expectations? (such as earnings, ease of use, workload etc.?) So far, yes it has. I love that I’m not obliged to produce X number of books in X number of months, so it’s really up to me how much work I take on.

Have you ever had a negative experience producing a book?  Not so far

What is the best piece of advice you’ve had? She who risks nothing, has nothing. I’m planning on making that the family motto 😀

If you could narrate any book you wanted which would it be and why? I would love to narrate any of Enid Blyton’s “The Faraway Tree” books. I loved reading these books as a child and I loved reading them to my own children and bringing the characters to life or them.

Please tell us a silly fact about yourself. I talk to myself…. a lot. Even when there are other people in the room with me.

Check out Emma’s narration of Victoria Zigler’s books on the links below:

 

Witchlet Audiobook Cover.jpg

Book 1 – Witchlet
Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Witchlet-Audiobook/B07SW9RGYY
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/167766
Barnes & Noble:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/witchlet-victoria-zigler/1111650082
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/witchlet
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/witchlet/id540402721
iTunes: https://books.apple.com/gb/audiobook/witchlet-magical-chapters-trilogy-book-1-unabridged/id1468691085
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Witchlet-1-Magical-Chapters-Trilogy/dp/1512358533/
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Witchlet-1-Magical-Chapters-Trilogy/dp/1512358533/
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Witchlet-1-Magical-Chapters-Trilogy/dp/1512358533/
Book Depository:
https://www.bookdepository.com/Witchlet-Victoria-Zigler/9781512358537

The Pineapple Loving Dragon Audiobook Cover.jpg

Book 2 – The Pineapple Loving Dragon
Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Pineapple-Loving-Dragon-Audiobook/B07T14QJW3
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/260695
Barnes & Noble:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-pineapple-loving-dragon-victoria-zigler/1114043058
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-pineapple-loving-dragon
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-pineapple-loving-dragon/id585949046
iTunes: https://books.apple.com/gb/audiobook/pineapple-loving-dragon-magical-chapters-trilogy-volume/id1468684612
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pineapple-Loving-Dragon-Magical-Chapters/dp/1512358622/
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Pineapple-Loving-Dragon-Magical-Chapters/dp/1512358622/
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Pineapple-Loving-Dragon-Magical-Chapters/dp/1512358622/
Book Depository:
https://www.bookdepository.com/Pineapple-Loving-Dragon-Victoria-Zigler/9781512358629
A Magical Storm Audiobook Cover.jpg
Book 3 – A Magical Storm
Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/A-Magical-Storm-Audiobook/B07SZ3FVQH
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/303746
Barnes & Noble:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-magical-storm-victoria-zigler/1115113126
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-magical-storm
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-magical-storm/id634577504
iTunes: https://books.apple.com/gb/audiobook/magical-storm-magical-chapters-trilogy-volume-3-unabridged/id1468692149
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Magical-Storm-Chapters-Trilogy-x/dp/1512358681/
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Magical-Storm-Chapters-Trilogy-x/dp/1512358681/
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Magical-Storm-Chapters-Trilogy-x/dp/1512358681/
Book Depository:
https://www.bookdepository.com/Magical-Storm-Victoria-Zigler/9781512358681

You can also find the books on Goodreads.

Book 1: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14743914-witchlet
Book 2: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16192834-the-pineapple-loving-dragon
Book 3: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17736387-a-magical-storm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lord of the Flies – audio edition – review

Lord of the Flies by William Golding was written in the 1950s – but this haunting coming-of-age story is dark, thought-provoking and unnervingly timeless.

I first read this as a child at school, I think it was on the English syllabus but it is not just a story for kids – in fact I probably got even more from it, as the cynical adult I have become, than I did all those years ago.

For those of you unfamiliar with the story – here’s a brief synospis.

After a plane crash a group of British schoolboys are left castaway on an island – the boys range from ‘littleuns’ to ‘biguns’ – approximately 4 or 5 to young teen. There are no adults let alive. At first, it’s an adventure – and the older more sensible kids begin to make plans to await rescue. Power struggles soon emerge – from the sensible Ralph, the bullied, overweight and myopic but intelligent Piggy, to the nasty Jack.

The kids are innocent, for the most part, but it doesn’t take long for this innocence to be lost, and the kids begin to reflect the darkness within humanity, within power and petty politics.

Part of the synopsis reads; ‘The boys’ struggle to find a way of existing in a community with no fixed boundaries invites readers to evaluate the concepts involved in social and political constructs and moral frameworks. Symbolism is strong throughout, revealing both the boys’ capacity for empathy and hope, as well as illuminating the darkest corners of the human spirit. Ideas of community, leadership, and the rule of law are called into question as the reader has to consider who has a right to power, why, and what the consequences of the acquisition of power may be.’

The audio edition is especially powerful, and the narrator builds the suspense, and the brewing tragedy excellently. It’s a tale which the reader (or listener) at once wants to end, and not to end – because one must find out what happens, but at the same time one fears one knows.

Awesome, awesome story, expertly written and expertly told. Highly recommended.

 

 

Kitchen Imps – Best Fantasy Book of 2018

I am very pleased to announce the Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales has been voted Best Fantasy read for 2018 on the following popular blogging/website.

I am happy-dancing all around the house!

https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/

Winner announcement

NN Light Book Award Winner

N. N. Light Book Award Winners (1)KitchenImps cover.jpg

If you’d like to know the winning books in the other categories then check out the list below for some awesome reads.

Contemporary Romance

Betting on Cinderella by Petie McCarty

Paranormal

The Cauldron Stirred (Guardians of Erin, #1) by Judith Sterling

Fantasy

Kitchen Imps by A. L. Butcher

Historical Romance

When the Marquess Returns by Alanna Lucas

Historical Fiction

The Du Lac Prophecy by Mary Anne Yarde

Thriller

Game Six by Judy Bruce

Suspense

Malthus Revisited (Lindsey McCall #4) by Lin Wilder

Romantic Suspense (tie)

Gray’s Promise by Anni Fife

The Haunting of Hillwood Farm by Kathryn Knight

Nonfiction

Everyday Enchantments by Maria F. DeBlassie

Young Adult

The Broken Branches by Becky Villareal

Erotic Romance

In Deep by Stacy Gold

Paranormal Romance

Haunted Hearts by Kimberly Dean

Science Fiction/Science Fiction Romance

The IX: Prelude to Sorrow by Andrew P. Weston

Women’s Fiction

Once Broken by D.M. Hamblin

Children’s Fiction

Hockey Wars by Ben Jackson and Sam Lawrence

Holiday Romance

Dante’s Gift (A Chicago Christmas #1) by Aubrey Wynne

Review – The Day of the Triffids – audio

The Day of the Triffids – Audible UK

I’d forgotten what a great book this is, and the radio adaptation was splendid. This post-apocalyptic tale of plants, the destruction of civilisation and the human spirit is told in a series of episodes. The cast was well-chosen – and I especially liked the lady playing Josella. There is a good deal of suspense and fear. As civilisation rapidly crumbles the hero (Masen) questions everything.

The book – although written in the 1950s this tale is also (as they so often are) a tale for today. Genetically modified plants – the titular Triffids – are bred from an assortment of other plants (and it hints not just plants) and produce oil which surpasses other types of oil. Of course, humans need this oil and merrily breed these plants – which not only are rather aggressive but also mobile. When a comet (is it a comet or something brought about by the Triffids?) brings world blindness to anyone or anything who saw the impressive light show the triffids now have the advantage. They are tough, mobile, poisonous, aggressive, can communicate and are ruthless.

As with many of the sci-fi books written around that time, there is a good deal of classic horror – expect a body-count, and the majority of humans don’t come out so well. Civilisation is only a veneer – and as soon as the comforts and safety of it disappear the fighting, the looting, the backward steps start. Our heroes have to review their moral code. Decent folks who would not, under normal circumstances steal, or cause harm, are now looting, shooting and uprooting.

There are many facets – GM crops (as we would call them today), bio-warfare, the fall of civilisation and a good deal of survival of the fittest. But of course, the human spirit, and brain will find a way to survive.

It’s a great book and a great audio rendition.
5 stars

A. L. Butcher – Interview

Here’s my latest author interview – yay!

T. R. Robinson Publications

Version 2
Welcome A. L. Butcher

Author of Tales of Erana and many others.

(Links to where books may be found are at the end of this interview.)

Note: Alexandra prefers to utilise a mix of her book cover images etc. in place of an actual profile photograph. (She is not alone.)

Please tell us a little about yourself.

British-born Alexandra Butcher (a/k/a A. L. Butcher) is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet, and a dreamer, a lover of science, natural history, history, and monkeys. Her prose has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as evocative. She writes with a sure and sometimes erotic sensibility of things that might have been, never were, but could be.

Alex is the author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles and the Tales of Erana lyrical fantasy series. She also has several short stories in the fantasy, fantasy romance genres with…

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Swift Six Character Interview – Oeliana #Fantasy #ImmortalsBundle

Custom Image Immortals

 

Tell us about yourself: (Name, race/species, etc.)

Oeliana, Nymph of the Shimmering Forest, Guardian of the Maiden’s Grove, Keeper of the Sacred Pools. I am a nymph – what you would call a forest spirit. I am born of the forest, and it cannot die whilst I live… but creatures of magic like myself are hunted and destroyed, so I live in seclusion.

I have skin the colour of polish oak, and hair as green as ivy. To you I’d look like a tall humanoid, to an elf I appear more Elvish, I can be the wind in the trees, or the bubbling springs.

Which book/world do you live in?  

My home is the Shimmering Forest, which is located in the land of Erana. Once the Great Forest covered all the land but then the gods, in their wisdom, gave life to the elves and trolls – who honour the forest, and the humans and fae – who do not. The Shimmering Forest is not live your forests, it is the Primal Forest, the Mother of All. It is magical; primal, raw and wild magic, like the days when the land was young, and the gods still walked here. My Glade is a Sacred Glade, of the old times, now the magic is fading, dying.

My story? My legend is told in The Legend of Oeliana, a short tale (I wanted more – one cannot recount a life of centuries in a few pages) and this, in turn, features in larger works, so I am told. I also feature in The Shining Citadel, when I assist the Lady of the Light, and the Lord of the Storm, with their quest to find the Shining Citadel of Lor’Arthinis. For when the Blood that Flows with Light again walks among us the magic will rise again! It will either save us or curse us to oblivion.

The Legend of Oeliana – Single https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/legend-oeliana

3d computer graphics of a  forest elf with lantern

How do you see your world?

My world is dying. Magic sustains it and once it was everywhere and in all things to some extent. But the races warred, and the Plague came, and the magic began to die or hide.  Some say magic is alive, and yes if the wind is alive, or fire, or water. It does not think as you or I think; it knows, it senses and it gives sentience when it chooses. It wants to live, and to replicate. It wants to flow through the land, circle in the sky and pour through the rivers. But the Plague fed on magic, sometimes corrupting, sometimes destroying after the Plague hit the Elven Kingdoms worst of all, and their civilisation fell to dust the Civilisation of Men arose on the ashes. And they blamed the elves for the Plague and the wars, and as the elves wielded the greatest magic all who were magical were hunted. The land wept, and is weeping still.

What part do you play in this tale?

I am the Keeper of the Heart of the Maiden – one of the Items of Power needed to unlock the spell on the Citadel. But in my own tale I saved an elven prince from the mighty Indis the Fierce – the lord of the forest. I see you think him a man of some sort? Humans are weak, their lives are fleeting like a summer breeze in the trees. No Indis was and is a Dire Boar and even the Great Cats walk in fear of the Tusked Lord. People, generally, are more foolish than beasts and thus this prince, Rii’Athellan – the Morning Star, took into his head to hunt the great Indis.

Perhaps I should have let Indis have his victory, I should not have interfered. This prince was handsome, and I was lonely, you see. Even a creature of magic craves a mate, and offspring.

I knew not that this prince had a wife-in-waiting and for the outcome to that dilemma you must read.

Do you consider yourself a good person/creature?

What are good and evil? That depends on one’s point of view. I do not kill without necessity, but I often do not save when I could. I have taken life and preserved it. I do not abide by the laws of men or elves, for they are not my laws and mean nothing to me. I do not think myself cruel – for cruelty serves no purpose except for its own sake.

The destruction of the forest, and the ruination of magic are wicked, and I will protect both my forest and my magic how best I may.

Do you follow any religion?

I have seen the gods, long ago, and I have consulted with the Lady of the Skies when the drought, or the snow comes. But I am not ‘religious’. I do not have to ‘believe’ in what I know to be real. Things either are or they aren’t. If they are then respect them, if they aren’t then there is no bother. The gods are not evil, nor are they good. They are the gods and do as they please.

What is your favourite colour/food/music (pick one)?

My favourite colour is green, my favourite food is the wild mushrooms which grow near to my cottage, and my favourite music is the bubbling of my pool in the full moon.

Excerpt

When the world was young, and the wild magic flowed like the Great River, there lived a nymph, a spirit of the forest. Such beings once walked beneath the sun and moon; they were creatures of magic, incarnation of tree, of water, and the very essence of life itself. Oeliana was the nymph’s name, for this was also the name of the pool, deep, still and silver, from which she had been born when first the sun caressed the land. Fish swam among bright green fronds, scales of silver and azure, frogs and toads rested on dark grey rocks, long tongues feeding on the hovering flies and dragon-flies which darted above, seeking even smaller creatures for their dinner. Deer, wild goats and boar fed upon fallen apples and the widespread fungi; the Shimmering Forest was bountiful to its inhabitants, animal and person alike. Herbs grew there, thick and tall, even in winter. The herbs of the forest provided medicine for those who knew their power. Wild-goats, now tamed, provided both milk and a substitute for the companionship she lacked.

Hers was a life of duty, she was custodian of the trees, the forest creatures and pools, and so her time passed, timeless as she was. Even the common elves visited Oeliana, seeking guidance and the wisdom of the forest, and occasionally healing when their own healers had failed. They would bring gifts of food and polished stones or shells and the pool slowly filled with the gifts, for what use were trinkets to a nymph? Yet she was lonely for those who came and did not stay, they came for their own ends, and left with no further thought of the nymph. The spirit of the forest craved the touch of another, for she had seen the lovers who sometimes came to her glade and heard their words of love and their cries of pleasure. Never had she been loved nor experienced the passion which fascinated her as the lovers moved together on beds of moss and leaves. Magic demanded a high price and Oeliana was a creature of magic, and loneliness was the price she paid. So she watched, longing for a companion, and she prayed to the ancient gods, for even immortals need the favour of higher beings on occasion.

Rii’Athellan, the Morning Star, was a hunter, magic showed itself in many ways and the elven princeling was graced with a goodly portion. This day he had given his entourage the slip. The forest contained many dangers, even for one of his bloodline, but he preferred to hunt alone; the larger and fiercer the beast the more it pleased the elven prince. As silent as the grey fox and confident as an eagle, Rii’Athellan crept towards the clearing on the trail of a huge dire-boar. His father thought him reckless, but the young man craved danger, bored as he was from the politics of court and wishing he was allowed a little more excitement. He was not the heir, and he had not yet found his place in the world; he cared not for diplomacy and was jealous of his brother. He knew the Grove of the Maiden; oft before had he brought the girls whom he also liked to hunt and capture, although they were more willing prey and his favoured weapon was not a bow. These passions were conducted, if not in secret then with discretion, for this lord of the elves had been promised long since to Almethea, the daughter of the house of Il’thricken, a house both powerful and magical. This bride he cared not for, but duty-bound he would suffer the marriage. Such a one had little choice; alliances were all when elves made war.

This particular beast was Indis the Fierce, large, ill-tempered and canny; even the Great Cats walked in fear of Indis and the boar himself feared nothing, for he had never yet met his match. As tall as the elf at the shoulder, the hooked tusks of the boar were as long as his forearm. The elf murmured a prayer to his gods and nocked his bow as the boar snuffled among the trees, gobbling orange fungus and fallen apples. Occupied with filling his mighty jaws, the boar did not hear the elf, nor perceive the threat.

 immortals-fb-banner

Links to book etc.

And as part of 

Immortals Bundle

Monsters, Myth and Mayhem Vol 2

Universal Link https://books2read.com/Immortalsbundle

Bundle Rabbit https://bundlerabbit.com/b/immortals

Also features in Tales of Erana: Myths and Legends

Universal Link https://www.books2read.com/talesoferanaMyths

And The Shining Citadel 

Universal Link  https://www.books2read.com/ShiningCitadel

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Swift Six Character Interview – Acionna #Fantasy #Mythictales

#Swiftsix #fantasy #talesoferana #Meetacharacter

mythic-fb-bannerName: Acionna

Which book/world do you live in?

I live in the Jagged Peak mountains, they are in the world called Erana by those who live there. I am in a book? I know of books and lore. Then am I not real? – I feel real, and the mountains around me seem real. Is it, perhaps, that I am real here, and you are the myth, you are the imaginary?

Tell us about yourself: (Name, race/species, etc.)

I am an ancient elemental, a Goddess to some. Born of the mountain, and the pounding waterfalls when the world was young and the magic free. It was so long past I could not tell you how many years or centuries of your time. Once there were many of my kind – creatures of magic and wild places but the magic was chased away, corrupted and sickened and many of us fell, or hid, or faded. Now I am a myth, a legend told around the fire and a drop of blood here and there in lineages old and noble. The Plague came and everything changed. The land changed, the magic changed.

My myths say:

‘Many creatures were born when the magic was wild and free. Guardians of the wild places they would become, and when there were mortals to believe they would become gods; for those whose lives end often seek out those who endure. Acionna had been born of the rock, the water and the snow. She was a child of all and none, a child of the raw magic of the earth and streams. So it was the elemental walked among the rock and water, a goddess of sorts.’

 My hair is white like the fresh-fallen snow, and my skin blue-black like the beloved mountain which spawned me. To you I would appear naked. Elementals feel no shame of their bodies, nor a need to cover themselves. Shame is a mortal emotion. But even elementals may love, and experience loneliness. For everything which lives craves company of some sort. I do not fear death, but I do fear this awful loneliness lasting until the mountain falls to dust.

I’m an adventurer – why should I recruit you to accompany me?

I have had my adventures, I have warred, and lost all save myself. I have walked the mountain paths and fought with monsters and men who would seek to kill every last trace of magic. Why should I wish to adventure again?

If I were to consent I would bring you elemental magic, of the oldest sort. The Power of the elementals, the Power of nature and the furious waters and mighty peaks.

Tell us about your companions?  How do they see you?

I have none. My mate is long dead, now nothing but a statue and even I cannot undo the curse. My daughter is gone, fallen to wicked magic and I walk these peaks alone. Sometimes the trolls come and bring offerings but they see me not. For I know now that mortals and immortals should not mix.

What’s your most heroic exploit to date?

We fought the Sal tribe, with their wicked fae-bought magic. There were no winners in that war, but I cleansed the mountain of its taint of stolen and bargained dark sorcery. No more did the trolls bargain with the fae.

What’s your greatest failure?

We lost the war. The Plague came anyway and the land was blighted. My mate was killed, by allied tribe scattered and the Relic of the Moon was lost.

Where do you think you’ll be in a decade?

To an immortal time is nothing. I was born of magic and mountains, and with luck, I will fade when they do. The magic is hunted, it is purged, and it is tormented but magic cares not. Magic is and always shall be wild and free. The Order of Witch-Hunters are mortals, they rose and they will fall sooner or later. I have seen the tribes of men come and go like the seasons, but through them, magic remains. I concede it hides and shows itself in places of mystery and crafty ways but the magic is as old as the land and will not die completely.

Do you have a great love? (This could be a person/trait/item)

Talin Var – Hirik prince of the Var tribe of trolls. Is it wise for an elemental to love a mortal? No, usually it ends in tragedy, but love is a sister to magic and she finds her way when one expects or desires it not. Love cannot be controlled or denied. Talin was brave, strong and honourable and he gave his life for his people.

My love for Talin persists, even after so many years.

Links to book etc

 The Moon on the Water appears in the Tales of Erana: Myths and Legends – this appears in Mythic Tales Box Set.

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TalesErana cover

Mythic Tales Montage

Mythic Tales can be found at the following stores:

Mythic Tales on Bundle Rabbit https://bundlerabbit.com/b/mythic-tales

Mythic Tales on Kobo http://bit.ly/2fI2Ons

Mythic Tales on Amazon http://amzn.to/2fFWnkI

Mythic Tales on Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2xLbdLi

Mythic Tales on I-tunes http://apple.co/2xMaolH

 

 

 

Tales of Erana: Myths and Legends

In a world where magic is illegal, and elves enslaved dare you hear the tales of old? Five tales of myth, magic, and monsters from the world of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles.

Audio editions narrated by Michael Legate

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2j0yyEh

Amazon audio http://amzn.to/2hKoUoZ

Audible.com http://adbl.co/2hKOKHP

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2j0DJnK

Amazon UK audio http://amzn.to/2iBbmM8

Audible UK http://adbl.co/2bxgVrw

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2i31N56

I -books http://apple.co/2hKO19z

Kobo http://bit.ly/2i2W0MR

The Watcher – A Jack the Ripper Story – New Release #Horror #Short Stories

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As some of you may know I have always been rather fascinated by the legend of Jack the Ripper. (Don’t look at my browsing history – I’m a writer so it’s a bit weird!). For anyone unfamiliar with him Jack the Ripper stalked the London streets in the Autumn of 1888 and left at least five women dead and mutilated. These poor women were prostitutes of the lowest class; it was a dangerous profession.  In many ways the killings highlighted the plight of the Victorian poor, particularly for females. Who did not have much choice in how they supported themselves if a husband was not around, or the family was very poor.

 

There are hundreds of theories about who he (or she) was – ranging from the grandson of the Queen Victoria (Eddie – Duke of Clarence who might have had some rather dubious doings but was several hundred miles away in Scotland at the time of one of the killings), to a mad doctor, to a Jewish slaughterman, to a midwife, to a wealthy Liverpool businessman (who himself was (possibly murdered by his wife Florence Maybrick ).  

George Chapman, another unpleasant woman-killer of the time was also mentioned, as was the artist Walter Sickert.  Any or none of these could have been the killer.

Who was this person who left London in the grip of terror? This new murderer more wicked than any before him? Who knows? That is part of the enduring legend. Jack the Ripper was never caught and his legacy is such that writers and historians aplenty have fielded proof, disproof, and stories for over a hundred years.

Anyway enough background…. The story is from the point of view of the killer – and recounts his last known murder – that of Mary Jane Kelly.  I am not putting forward names – other than Jack but there is a twist at the end of his identity.

This was previously published as an anthology piece for Tales from Darker Places and Boo Fore! but has been updated and revised for this version.

Welcome to the darkness of Victorian London….

The Watcher – A Jack the Ripper Story

The year is 1888, and the place is Whitechapel, in the very heart of London. But the heart is bleeding. A mysterious killer is stalking women of the streets – his true name is unknown but his legend will go down in history. This is a short tale of Jack the Ripper.

18 rated for scenes of violence.

Universal Link The Watcher – A Jack the Ripper Story

Bundle Rabbit https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/the-watcher

Background reading for those interested.

 

 

 

Jack the Ripper – a rundown

Florence Maybrick – Did she kill him? 

The Florence Maybrick case is fascinating in itself, tragic for all concerned and showed the morals of the time well enough.  Mrs Maybrick was tried more for the fact she’d had affairs (including with her husband’s brother) than anything else. Her husband had a mistress, was a hypochondriac who took arsenic as a tonic, and in more than one case had struck his wife.

Walter Sickert – Casebook review

New Release – Tears and Crimson Velvet #Phantom #shortstory #horrorfantasy

Here’s today’s news:) I am delighted to announce the release of my latest short story – Tears and Crimson Velvet – a short story based (loosely) on the characters and events in Phantom of the Opera.

The latest Legacy of the Mask Tale features Madam Giry, a much underrated and misunderstood character.

Giry finds herself embroiled in the tragedy unfolding at the Opera house; mystery and murder stalk the corridors and, it is said, a ghost haunts the place. Giry knows the truth, for she recalls the caged man she met so many years ago. This is her story, their story.

When murder and mystery begin at the Opera House one woman knows who is behind it, and what really lies beneath the mask. Secrets, lies and tragedy sing a powerful song in this ‘might have been’ tale.
A short, tragic tale based on characters from Phantom of the Opera.

Amazon UK

Amazon.com

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https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B073TMFF9M/

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073TMFF9M/