Dark Tales and Twisted Verses
A Fire-Side Tales Collection
Available in e-book, coming soon in print.
Dark tales of ghosts of war, blood from the Autumn of Terror, the wrath of nature, an unusual murder and a cynical vampire. Twisted poetry of loss and mayhem.
Some adult themes and language.
The Secret of Blossom Rise – A Ghost Story
The Watcher – A Tale of Jack the Ripper
The Last Forest – A Tale of the Wrath of Nature
The Last Dance – An Autumnal Flash Fiction
The Sleeper – A Yoyo Murder
So Many Nights, So Many Sins – A Vampire’s Tale
We Must Remember
Giving It All
End of Days
The Glass-Eyed Monster
Author name: L. L. Thomsen
*Please tell us about your publications.
I write character-led high medieval fantasy with a good slash of epic. I am working on a series titled, The Missing Shield – originally one large book that has been split into 11 episodes in order to make the workload more manageable. The 8th book (titled: All in a Day’s Work) is out now, and I am currently working on book 9. What you get in my books is lots of flawed characters that you may not feel quite sure about in the beginning. There’s magic, mystery, darkness, crime, plots, romance, backstabbing, manoeuvring, different races, and an end-of-the-world kinda deadline & quest. I enjoy painting an immersive picture of the world I write about, so expect lots of depth and world-building. I try not to hold back and I try to write as close to real life as I can get. I also wanted to write something a little different from the mainstream so the story has quite the lyrical slant, but it is written with an adult/mature market in mind. This is not YA.
What first prompted you to publish your work? To begin with I wasn’t really sure that I would publish. I started writing my high fantasy book as I somehow got inspired – but it was always just something I considered a pastime whilst the kids were babies and I was at home anyway. Then I realised that I was getting more and more passionate about the job and I felt that I ought to publish at the end of the day because I wanted to share my work with an audience and I wanted to award myself by proving that I could complete the process.
What have you found the most challenging part of the process? Going it alone. Everything was a learning curve. Particularly when it came to figuring out the Amazon instructions and uploading my manuscript. Formatting is not as straight forward as I always imagined it to be. Furthermore, once you’re on the other side, and have successfully published your book, I cannot believe how difficult it is to get anyone to even look your way. I guess I never really got the ‘build yourself a social media following’ – I’m a little too private and old school.
What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you started your publishing journey? Be tenacious! I knew it would not be easy, but I gave up on finding myself an agent way too soon and in return, it left me literally on my own with the whole load. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a freedom in being your own boss and maybe that’s partly why I went my own way so soon, but having said that, I think there’s lots to be said for getting yourself aligned with someone who’s on your side, has your best interest at heart and who knows the business: where to go, how to do it, and when.
If you could have dinner with any literary character who would you choose, and what would you eat. I’d love to treat my character Solancei to a meal – she’s in for a bumpy ride and I think she deserves some TLC. I’d also love to quiz her about everything that happens and the world she lives in. I know a lot (wink – of course) but there are always secrets! I think we’d have pizza and wine, and I’d try and stop her from killing me for writing her such a hard, complicated destiny.
Sort these into order of importance:
For me there is no question of ranking these in order. They are each an integral part of the book you write and I feel that the author should pay equal attention to each. Since I write fantasy – and epic at that – I’m very much for world building because that’s a must for the genre, but that in itself is nothing if it’s not backed by the other three. What’s a good plot with flat/un-inspiring characters and vice versa? A technically perfect book is what we all strive for (as in a professional end-product) but I do believe that the interpretation of ‘perfection’ may vary depending on who you ask. Also, it may be technically perfect, but what good is that if the readers cannot engage with the story or the characters. It’s the snake that bites its own tail. It must come full circle.
How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at? I research as and when. It may be just a small thing like the components of a saddle or the belief system of various ethnic groups. I try and keep it factually correct even though I write fantasy – this means that even if the herb is made up, I’ll still look up how to brew tinctures for headaches, for example – or I might watch a YouTube video on sword fights. The most extreme I’ve looked up will probably be stuff to do with injuries and the effects of various weapons/conditions.
How influential is storytelling to our culture? I think it’s hugely influential but maybe not through the original media anymore. I do feel that we love a good tale, whether it be a story is reported in the papers, or how TV channels adapt historical events to create entertainment. We are always looking for something to catch and hold our interest – particularly after the rise of social media – and stories speak to us. They help us feel part of society and may sometimes even give us a sense of belonging too.
What’s the best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? Keep at it. Keep growing and developing.
What’s the worst piece best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? Don’t write your story like that – write it like this.
If you could be any fantasy/mythical or legendary person/creature what would you be and why? Maybe a phoenix. I like the idea that you can rise from the ashes and be reborn. That you can try again.
Tell us about your latest piece? Around 6 weeks ago I released my 8th book in The Missing Shield series. It carries on from number 7, where one of my main characters – the rather naive and slightly annoying Princess Iambre – has decided to try and locate her missing friend and bodyguard despite her security chief and beau having told her that she must take heed and leave it to them. In book 8 she finds herself alone and lost after a string of unfortunate events almost killed her and worse – but as luck would have it, she finds the very place she’d been looking for. She wants to attend a clandestine meeting that might shed light upon her missing friend and now follows a series on incidents that has the Princess quaking in her boots. Nevertheless she is reunited with certain other characters only to learn some devastating news. However, before she can process this, she and her group are betrayed and they must flee or fall into the very hands of the enemy they are investigating and fear.
Are indie/self-published authors viewed with scepticism or wariness by readers? Why is this?
I’ve found that indies are very much considered ‘the second-hand citizen’ of the author world. It’s unfair but I guess that the indie route has given rise to many poorly executed books – and unfortunately people remember the bad ones far longer than the good ones. I’ve talked to readers who do not consider indie books ‘real’ works of writing. Fortunately, there are also those who have delved into the fray and have found gold, so swings and roundabouts. The common reason that readers list for not wanting indie works are: poorly formatted, bad grammar, no edits or badly edited, homemade, cheap covers, poor storylines, rip off storylines, over-priced, they should be free…
I think it worth mentioning that it’s not always because the indie books are not worthy that they have not been traditionally published. Agents are very fickle with what they are looking for (and rightly so). In 9:10 times you need an agent to approach a publishing house, so it does mean that some decent manuscripts may be overlooked because the agent may feel that they are in the market for ‘something else’. It cannot be helped, but readers rarely see that side of the industry.
Armed with a love of fantasy, a slightly geeky mindset, and an unleashed wild muse, L. L. began the new journey into writing relatively late in life but was inspired by her long-repressed urges to write ‘something’ – and once she began, she never looked back.
“I regret I took so long to find my ‘calling’. The truth is that when you have an idea it just has to be set free,” she says, adding, “My somewhat unorthodox approach to style and flow has been a way for me to test my personal, individual voice. It’s a fluid thing, however. In the future, it might alter to match the shape of new projects.”
Linda currently lives in the UK, Nottinghamshire, with her husband, two kids, a cats and one dog. As with her writing, she approaches life with a nod to the saying: ‘fear nothing, respect everything’. She enjoys horse riding, sci-fi movies, travelling, reading fantasy (but not exclusively), Pilates, and has a strange fascination with swords.
Her first published fantasy novel, ‘A Change of Rules’, kick-starts the 11 ‘episodes’ of The Missing Shield – a new adult high fantasy series, with a touch of mystery, intrigue, romance and darkness. ‘The Missing Shield’ is the forerunner to ‘The Veil Keepers Quest’ series.
Calling all readers! Fill your library with N. N. Light’s Book Heaven Snuggle Up With These Books Readathon picks. 56 books from multiple genres featured plus a chance to win one of the following:
Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $25 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $15 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $10 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
I’m thrilled to be a part of this event. My book, The Shining Citadel, will be featured on 14th November. I even talk about what I’m thankful for this year. You won’t want to miss it.
Bookmark this bookish party and tell your friends:
Now on Preorder – Blood Moon Bundle – Out 1st October (Already released on Amazon).
Amazon, Kobo, I-books, Nook and Bundlerabbit.
When the sun has set, when the moon is full, the shapeshifters gather—wolves, cats and totemic creatures, nightmares and revelations.
Seeking answers, seeking revenge, seeking a cure to affliction, seeking blood, seeking answers or seeking love—a gathering of beasts abounds. Dare you walk beneath the moonlight?
By Howl and Claw – Rebecca M Senese
Spirit Dancer – Douglas Smith
Big Bad Wolf- Annie Reed
Badlands – Michelle Lang
Family, Pack – Michael Jasper
Serpent’s Foe – J.M. Ney-Grimm
The Night Mischief Became a Real Cat – Annie Reed
Silver Light – Rita Schulz
Wolf Warlock – Meyari McFarland
Stolen By The Werewolf – AJ Tipton
Beware the Easter Moon -De Kenyon
Moon Spell – Rita Schulz
Which book/world do you live in? Chronicles of the Mages’ Guild
Tell us about yourself: (Name, race/species, etc.) My name is Teneyros and I am a human wizard in the world and the Wilds.
I’m an adventurer – why should I recruit you to accompany me? I have text tattooed onto my body so I can ready-cast spells more easily. Rather than needing to scramble for a book to grab words to apply my Will to.
Tell us about your companions? How do they see you? It depends on who you ask. Other wizards think I’m too chatty and probably not serious enough. Possibly lacking in focus. But, my best friend Mac, she’s the Guild Master for the Mages’ Guild still keeps my company. Even though she thinks that I enjoy causing trouble. It’s not so much that I enjoy causing it, it’s more that I tend to find trouble around every corner whether or not I’m looking to cause it.
What’s your most heroic exploit to date? I’m not anyone’s hero.
What’s your greatest failure? I failed to become the Elder of Scrolls and in the process…well. I may or may not have cursed my brother William into a map.
Where do you think you’ll be in a decade? I have no clue. Doing something interesting, I hope.
Do you have a great love? (This could be a person/trait/item) I love my leather jacket. I spelled it so that it is linked to my apartment in London. Easy access to my books.
Link to Bundle
Chronicles of the Mages’ Guild:
About the author:
Karen C. Klein is a disabled non-binary writer who writes across speculative fiction sub-genres. She is the author of Torin’s Legacy, which is the first book in her series Chronicles of the Mages’ Guild. She also enjoys writing short fiction and novellas.
Here Be Magic Bundle – available 4th August 2019
Magic invites . . .
Curses and blessing, sorcerous time travel, shape-shifters, hidden enchantment and corrupted blood.
Magic demands . . .
Saving those you love, courage, betrayal and fights against unspeakable forces.
Magic promises . . .
Last best hopes, reluctant and desperate heroes, ancient power unleashed and the compulsion to overcome death itself.
Magic risks . . .
Forbidden spells and deadly bargains.
Here be magic!
From life to death, from realm to realm, from past to future and in between—dare you adventure with wizards?
A friend of mine shared the article below – which talks about the pleasure and freedom a disabled young man got from online gaming, in this case World of Warcraft.
Gaming has a bad rep – it’s nerdy, it’s antisocial, it’s played by sad lonely folks with no real friends. Wrong. Whilst it’s true there are online games which can be played solo there are also plenty which can be, and are, played by millions, and generate real and lasting friendships.
Someone, please tell me why playing an online game alone is so frowned up by non-gamers. Why is this different from reading a book by oneself or watching a movie? It’s not. Most of the games have complex worlds, plots and themes. They bring adventure, skills one could not hope to have in reality, and enjoyment. Yes, there are some violent games, but there is very little evidence to state there is a correlation between playing violent games and actual violence. There have been episodes of shooters who played games acting them out – but there are far more who don’t – they have other, multifarious reasons for doing what they do. People don’t say reading or movies are sad… to me gaming is even richer.
Anyway I digress… I played World of Warcraft for many years, and I don’t regret a single day, a single hour, or a single session. Not one. That particular game brought me a lot of enjoyment and lasting friendships. I met folks I’d never have met before, and had (usually fairly silly) conversations with them. We laughed, we co-operated, we grumbled, we yelled at the screen, we joked and we supported one another.
Games like this are so much more than just killing monsters. They are social, engaging, exciting and world-broadening. My guild had people from a range of nations, speaking English mostly but multilingual. We had male and female, gay and straight, old and young. And no one gave a damn about things like that. Many people think gaming is sad, or for losers. It’s not. Really it isn’t. It’s a way of finding friendship, new worlds and experiences, new realities.
For a long time it was part of my life, and part of my social life. I am still in contact with people I met through that game, and my guild Frozen Legion, was a small and close guild – like Starlight mentioned in the article. There is far more to a social game than running around as an elf (or in my case an undead mage) poking monsters. The guild supports it’s members in the way any club would. People form bonds – and I know within our guild and our alliances with other guilds there were relationships. Why is friendship formed in such a way less worthy than friendships formed at, say the pub, or football, or chess? It’s not. Of course, it isn’t.
I met my best friend through an online game – and we’ve had nearly a decade of deep friendship. I can tell her anything, and we support one another. We speak every day, or at least every other day but we have never physically met as we live thousands of miles apart. Yet that friendship is as dear to me as any of my more local friends.
The young man mentioned in the article was disabled, and could not participate in sports, or various other activities. In WoW he was free, he could run about and have adventures, he was a valued and respected member of that particular community. A few members knew his health issues – but as with many communities online – no one much cared that he was ‘different’. His gaming friends pooled their money so some could attend his funeral, and his friends sent his family touching messages. He’ll be remembered by people who never met him, but nonetheless cared about and respected him. Mat touched hearts, brought joy to others and lived a life of adventure – even it was not ‘real’. That’s not a bad legacy for anyone.
Another example of this touching and respectful communities amongst gamers –
Star Trek Online – when Leonard Nimoy passed away there were several in-game memorials to the legendary actor, who was, of course, Mr Spock. Players gathered their avatars on the world of Vulcan to pay their respects.
For those of you out there who disparage gaming and online communities – please think again. It’s rich, caring, society where there is far less prejudice and far more freedom.
Dedicated to my friend Zherevox – I miss you buddy – Mats Steen and his family, Starlight and Frozen Legion.
Author name: Linda Maye Adams
*Please tell us about your publications, specifically the story in this bundle:
My story is “Dark, From the Sea.” It was part of a Writing in Public feature I ran on my blog—I wrote a scene each day and posted it until the story was finished. It was partially inspired by Japanese pearl divers, and also by some research I did on lighthouses.
I’m also the writer of the GALCOM Universe series, which is about a woman who leaves Earth for the first time because the military pays her to deal with alien ghosts. There are three books in the series, and a fourth coming that’s got a lot of action. I get to blow things up!
What other bundles are you involved with?
I was in the 2018 Military Science Story Bundle curated by Kevin J. Anderson with the first book in my GALCOM series, Crying Planet. My short story “Watcher” Ghost is in the BundleRabbit Short Flights (of the Imagination), and my Desert Storm memoir, Soldier, Storyteller was in the Remembering Warriors BundleRabbit.
Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’?
I’m a pantser, though I don’t particularly like the term. I just don’t plan anything out for my stories. I don’t even know how it ends until I get there. It’s sort of like taking a road trip without a planned destination. You hop on the road and follow it. There’s this sign…looks interesting. You pull in and it isn’t quite what you thought, so you pull out of the rabbit hole until you find something else—and that one you spend a lot of time following. It’s a lot of fun writing like this because it makes the story unpredictable.
What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you started your publishing journey?
That description is not a bad thing. That gets mispresented a lot in writing books and shows up on top ten lists for “don’t do a lot,” instead of learning how to do it.
How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at?
I start with subjects I’m already familiar with, so I don’t have as much research to do. My GALCOM series came out of my military experience. I’m also working on a mystery in 1940s Hollywood. I grew up in Los Angeles in the 1970s and devoured everything on Hollywood I could find. So the majority of my research tends to be on the spot—how cold is it in space (over 450 below zero)? What is it like in zero-g? What causes an aurora?
What’s the best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing?
It’s to have fun (which is from Dean Wesley Smith). Writers can get so focused on getting published that they forget that writing has to be fun.
What’s the worst piece best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing?
That you must outline. I started out writing when I was eight, and it was natural to me to put pen to paper and simply write. Everyone around me thought I was doing it wrong because I wasn’t outlining. There’s such a lot of pressure on pantsers—everyone looks at how we write and they don’t understand how it can be done like that. It scares everyone, and they try to convert the pantsers over to outlining. I always cringe when I see “I’m a reformed pantser,” because it makes me wonder if that person is still writing.
Tell us about your latest piece?
I just finished Last Stand, the fourth book in my GALCOM Universe series. Colonel Graul catches a contagious flu and ends up in quarantine on a space station. Then disaster happens and the space station is attacked! So it’s a lot of action, and I blow up spaceships. The aliens look like creepy bugs I saw when I was growing up, potato bugs. Fitting that they are aliens. We never thought they looked real.
What’s your next writing adventure?
Non-fiction: Writers Toolkit: Research on the Go For the Fiction Writer. This book blends my experience as a travel administrator and how to research when you travel.
Golden Lies: The first book in my Al Travers Mystery series. He’s a private eye in 1947 Hollywood, at the point where the studio system was about to collapse. He’s also a veteran of World War II, and his secretary was a nurse over there. So they both have the effects of the war as they try to find a missing actress.
With the influx of indie authors do you think this is the future of storytelling?
It has to be. Traditional publishing is going to run out of writers. When they gutted the mid-list writers, they cut off the water supply. Those writers could be developing the skills to become best sellers in the future, and they’re either indie or no longer writing. That only leaves the current best sellers. One day, those writers going to start dying off. There’s a lot of disruption, and traditional publishing is pretending like it’s 1980 and everyone will go back to the way it was. By the time they come around, it’s going to be too late.
Are indie/self-published authors viewed with scepticism or wariness by readers? Why is this?
While I still hear from a few people who think of the old days when you self-published a book because you couldn’t get published, I think most readers just want good books to read. They don’t care where it comes from.
Is there a message in your books?
I don’t do message stories. As a reader, I don’t want to be lectured to. If I smell it from the description, I won’t even buy it. I’m all about escapist fiction…grab the popcorn and sit down for a good read.
Linda Maye Adams was probably the least likely person to be in the Army—even the Army thought so! She was an enlisted soldier and served for twelve years and was one of the women who deployed to Desert Storm. But she’d much prefer her adventures to be in books. She is the author of the military-based GALCOM Universe series, including the novel Crying Planet, featured in the 2018 Military Science Fiction StoryBundle.
Connect with Linda Online:
Linda’s fiction site: https://lindamayeadams.com/
Dark, From the Sea features in Here Be Merfolk
Part of the Here Be Bundle Series
Spawn of Dyscrasia is the second book in the Dyscrasia world fiction – a reader doesn’t have to have read the previous book, but I think it helps. I shall be reading the others soon.
This world is dark, corrupted and filled with monsters – giant insectoids, twisted humans, bird-creatures and hybrids. Sickness has left its mark on the world, and most of the humans live in fear, ignorance or semi-enslavement to magic, monsters and dark forces. There are, of course, good people – Helen is a curer – an artist who uses her craft to heal the strange lords, who protect the lands from the disease and dark forces. That, I think was the most fascinating aspect of this unique world. Art is power and magic. It heals and gives strength to Lysis – the skeletal necromancer lord who rules. I loved this idea – Helen’s art is her power, her salvation and, in many ways, her curse. Helen is young, naive, afraid, confused but brave, loyal and the hero of the piece. She has her burgeoning magic and strength of will which keeps her alive. Helen is awesome!
The narrator for the audio is well chosen, her voice is powerful, yet easy to listen to. I was captivated.
I am definitely going to read the other books – I want to know more of this world, and it’s history – and listen to other audiobooks by this narrator.