Book Spotlight – Tales of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse – Fantasy/Bundle

Here Be Monsters

Title: Tales of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse

Author: A. L. Butcher

Genre: Fantasy/Mythic/Dark Fantasy/Short Stories

Main character description (short).

“I am Saelth and I have come to slay your monster,” he announced. His words were bold and his demeanour bolder. Behind him rode the fiercest of his band, axemen and archers, trackers and swordsmen. A mean crew indeed and feared about the land; fur-clad and blooded, they were blades for hire.

Synopsis: He who bargains with monsters beware! A hero forges an unholy bargain with a witch and learns magic never forgets.

In a land of forbidden magic, a mysterious cave holds both riches and danger for three adventurers who discover a mighty treasure and a terrible secret.

 

Tales of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse Excerpt

© A. L. Butcher

On the nights when the moon rose to its fullest, its light a silver sheen upon the roof of the Great Hall, a terrible monster came. His voice was like the rasping of flesh on a blade, his countenance blighted and ugly, twisted like melted flesh with great weeping sores and a putrid smell. Many warriors had tried to vanquish this foul creature, and now their bones lay with the prince’s in the barrow to the east of Eadsham, the settlement that had been forged by blood and toil by the first king, Aedwin. Widows were aplenty and many children made fatherless from this awful beast. Doors were bolted and barred, and not even the lord himself dared to face it. Such was his shame.

The king grew ever older and wishing to marry a man of bravery and honour to his daughter messengers once more rode out north, south, east and west in search of a hero, one with the fortitude to face this cursed beast, as they had done so many times before. On a night when clouds covered the moon’s light and rain fell in drops the size of marbles, the sky was rent with lightning as a great human warrior rode to the gates of the village. “I am Saelth and I have come to slay your monster,” he announced. His words were bold and his demeanour bolder. Behind him rode the fiercest of his band, axemen and archers, trackers and swordsmen. A mean crew indeed and feared about the land; fur-clad and blooded, they were blades for hire.

“We have slain creatures from nightmare and beasts that made grown men piss their drawers. Your curse will be lifted if the price is right!” His band nodded, for their rates were high indeed so that only lords and kings could afford their blades.

“No weapon forged by man can vanquish it! You’ll simply earn your place in the Hall of the Dead,” someone called.

Saelth looked around for the one who had spoken. “Then I shall go to the Halls of the Dead a hero, not one who cowers behind the table, or beneath the bed. I am no coward, nor simpering woman. Nothing is all powerful, or unable to be vanquished, save the gods.”

Why should readers buy this book?

The Warrior’s Curse is a tale of greed, adventure, monsters and the price of magic, set in a dark fantasy world. But it’s also a tale of people, their weaknesses and what some will do for power. It is a story within a story, as we start with a group of adventurers plundering a cave and learn of dark deeds and unholy bargains.

If you like mythic style fantasy, fast-paced adventure with a twist then you’ll love this.

Warriors Curse

Links etc.

Universal Link – all the major e-book stores)  https://www.books2read.com/WarriorsCurse

Amazon.com audio http://amzn.to/2Ei0EGe

 

Print

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1534782052/

The Warrior’s Curse also appears in Here Be Monsters

books2read.com/HereBeMonstersBundle

boxset Monsters

Here Be Monsters Bundle – Now on Preorder

I am delighted to announce the latest in the Myth, Monsters and Mayhem series of fantasy bundles. Here Be Monsters is now available on preorder.

Here Be Monsters

boxset Monsters.png

We love to fear them and fight them. Monsters come in many forms, from the monsters within to the monsters outside and under the bed. Dare you venture into the caverns and the castles? Dare you enter the darkness of an accursed soul?

An eclectic collection of dark creatures and those who fight them. You have been warned.

Here Be Monsters features 19 tales of myths, monsters, and mayhem.

coverfan Monsters.png

Universal Link books2read.com/HereBeMonstersBundle

Amazon https://amzn.to/2JKTGrX

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/here-be-monsters-10

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

I-books https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1397846083

Bundlerabbit https://bundlerabbit.com/b/here-be-monsters

Featuring

  1. Monster Town” by Steven Savile
  2. “The Magic of Fabulous” by Michele Lang
  3. “A Murder of Crows” by DeAnna Knippling
  4. “Minotaur” by DJ Chamberlain
  5. “Tales of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse” by A. L. Butcher
  6. “Blackbeard’s Aliens” by Robert Jeschonek
  7. “Caught Between Monsters” by Stefon Mears
  8. “Night Terrors” by J.A. Pitts
  9. “Beasts of Tabat” by Cat Rambo
  10. “Demon Daze” by Deb Logan
  11. “A Knot of Trolls” by J.M. Ney-Grimm
  12. “The Stolen Tower” by A. L. Butcher
  13. “The Maker, the Teacher, and the Monster” by Leah Cutter
  14. “One Red Shoe” by Russ Crossley
  15. “Dawn of the Chupacabra” by Kyle Bergersen
  16. “To Be a Monster” by Jamie Ferguson
  17. “The Beast of Talesend” by Kyle Robert Shultz
  18. “Children of the Monster” by Russ Crossley
  19. “The Genie’s Secret” by Robert Jeschonek

Monsters bundle cover (2).jpg

Boo! Fore! Horror Anthology #Halloween

I’m pleased to share Boo! Fore! Amazon link

A mixed bag of tricks and treats, this Halloween anthology is sure to have something for everyone.

Moving On – Leland Dirks
Beneath a Bloated Yellow Moon – Nicole Storey
Floating – Laurie Boris
Miss Clemency Fisher – Mark Morris
Letter From the Road – Erin McGowan
Masquerade – LB Clark
Dead Broke – Jen Daniele
A Tricky Treat – Ann Cathey
Full Moon Rising – Nancy DeCilio Gauthier
Ghost Ship – Kristina Jackson
Hiding – Joshua Lay
Sensitive Skin – JD Mader
The Watcher – AL Butcher
Blood Brothers – Erin McGowan
Robin Hood – Laurie Boris
Smoke on the Wind – Ann Cathey
Hitchhiker- Leland Dirks
Untitled – Rich Meyer
Cautionary Tale – LB Clark
Clown Harvest – Jen Daniele

Personally I’ll be avoiding the clown one as I don’t want nightmares but the others are a great mix.

All the profits go to a veterans’ charity to help soldiers and ex soldiers deal with mental health issues such as PTSD.

Boot Campaign’s reboot: http://www.bootcampaign.org/reboot/

Over the next week or so I’ll be interviewing the various authors involved.

#Horror #Halloween #Indieauthors

Review – Victor Frankenstein movie

So the most recent adaptation of Mary Shelley’s classic, and one of the first and greatest science fiction books was, I have to say, a let down.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Frankenstein_(film)

Spoiler alert***

The casting is pretty hot – Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy but the plot was weak. Yes, it’s Frankenstein in that genius and obsessed doctor creates monster which promptly goes on the rampage. No it’s not Frankenstein in that there is not really any of the tragedy, the vision, the emotion, the sheer awesomeness of the original story. It’s a story of life, death and everything in between; of hope and despair; and of obsession and the descent into madness.

One feels a lot of sympathy with both Frankenstein and Adam (the creature), in the original tale, and many of the screen adaptations (Boris Karloff, Kenneth Brannagh/RobertDe Niro).  Both are misunderstood, rejected and feared but both, in essence are good men turned bad through circumstance, and seeking the answer of what is life, and the soul.

This particular movie seems to be a ‘who is the biggest crazy head?’ competition. We have crazy doctors, crazy policemen, crazy friends, crazy circus people….

To start with we see Daniel Radcliffe as the hunchback clown with no name. He’s also the circus doctor (obviously…) So this is someone whose basically been raised in the circus, is bottom of the pecking order and has quite a severe disability. Remember this is the 18th Century when many people were illiterate. Apparently he steals the books but it’s not clear where from. So this nameless clown/freak teaches himself to read and write, is a talented anatomist (in a time when such things were, if not illegal, then certainly pretty taboo.

The love interest (a trapeze artist) goes splat (bad health and safety from the circus) and guess who comes to her aid? Yep you guessed it. Oh and Victor Frankenstein (medical student) who happens to be in the circus trying to buy bits of dead animals from his ‘research’.

OK, so pretty girl is rescued from death and a life in the circus and hunchback becomes Igor.  That’s another thing. So we see Radcliffe at the start with a serious deformity, difficulty walking, and running, breathlessness etc., which he’s had for 18 years. Now I’m not a doctor but I know a bit and you can’t just fix a condition like that overnight. Muscles and tendons would be misaligned, the spinal column is bent, there may be nerve damage. The bow legs the character has and the strange way of walking would likely take months of physio to fix…

He is ‘rescued’ by Dr F, they leg it from the angry circus folk and trash the circus. Apparently someone is killed in the escape but that only comes to light after.

Anyway as it happens Igor is not a ‘real hunchback’. The hunch is a cyst, not a true curvature and so with a syringe, a bucket of goo and a home-made backbrace our sidekick is cured…

Igor is not his real name – that’s actually the alcoholic opium fiend who sometimes shares the bloody massive apartment Frankenstein lives in – we never met the real Igor except as a frozen eye-less corpse. But all of his clothes just happen to fit our cured hunchback/clown/would-be doctor. Convenient. So Mr Was-Hunchback is now Igor if someone comes asking awkward questions.

Religious obsessed widower policeman Roderick Turpin (Andrew Scott) who wavers between the carnies are all mean and picked on said hunchback and locked him in a cage (how does he know? It’s pure guesswork) to everyone is working for Satan.  The copper puts two and two together and works out the weirdo whose buying/stealing animal body parts is the same person who ‘attacked’ the circus. He then embarks on a crusade against the atheist Frankenstein.

The monster when we first see him is a chimp/lion/homunculous which stinks of death and on resurrections goes nuts and savages everyone. Good start….

We then meet Finnegan – a ‘friend’ of Victor’s who is rather one dimensional. He’s the unpleasant aristocrat who wants all the glory and none of the gory. He’s obnoxious, but I assume is meant to be.

Mr Policeman gets too close, raiding Frankenstein’s lodging and asking awkward questions – mostly about God. F and Igor leg it, Policeman gets caught in one of the machines and his hand gets crushed. Dismissed from the force for entering the premises of the rich and threatening the powerful (including Finnegan), suffering the loss of a hand and eye, mental illness and religious obsession. Of course this doesn’t stop him pestering the doctor and Igor.

Finnegan smuggles the duo out to somewhere really obvious and now insane copper, plus assorted minions take on Victor, Igor, Finnegan and assorted minions. Big monster wakes up, might pissed off. Bad guys (whichever they are) beat up good guys and some people get squished, throttled, or roasted.  Hero escapes, monster we have seen for maybe 2 minutes, gets whacked, evil/insane policemen is roasted, evil friend is gone. Igor goes off with the acro – who somehow managed to find a rich patron, and Dr F is free and working on his next project.

Problems:

Too many plot holes/conveniences

Terrible adaptation

Misses the point – the monster is supposed to be a character who evokes sympathy not a mindless killer. Frankenstein is supposed to be genius/troubled but overall tragic. He’s not.

Weak characterisations. I found it hard to care about the characters – perhaps Igor a bit as he’s just a pawn in a much bigger game, but not anyone else. The characters are rather flat. There’s little emotion (except obsession and self pity).

There’s very little suspense and it’s not a horror by any definition. It’s not sci-fi, it’s not fantasy, it’s not historical, it’s not a costume drama.

Good Things:

Erm… special effects are OK

McAvoy and Radcliffe are easy on the eye.

Sorry they are all I can think of…

Rating One Star. Would I watch it again – nope.

There are much better adaptations, and much cleverer ones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monsters and Myth – part 1 – Cyclopes

Fantastical creatures have featured in mythology and storytelling since people first sat around the fire and told of great beasts and wicked monsters. They are at the core of our cultures, from great dragons, to hydra, to sea monsters, mermaids, fairies and pretty much everything you can think of and some you wish you hadn’t.  Many  were humanoid, some carrying more arms, legs or eyes and some less. Some weren’t – lizards,  half birds, half lions, creatures which look they they are made up of left over bits of other animals. The unnatural zoology was vast.

Of course many still feature in modern fantasy – dragons, fairies/feyfolk, unicorns, shapechangers and more.  Paranormal fiction is extremely popular – with the vampires/werecreatures etc as the heroes. But what of the lesser known creatures? The nightmare of our ancestors?

The ancient Greek heroes fought and slayed everything from Medusa, the snake-haired woman whose gaze was petrifying, to one eyed Cyclopes – the offspring of mighty Poseidon and the sea nymph Thoosa, (Homeric tradition) or second generation gods – the spawn of Gaea and Uranus (Hesiod). They were giants, builders and liked to snack on mortals (and demi-gods) who strayed into their path. Some were famed for working for the lame god Hephaestus, and some such as Polyphemus were shepherds. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyphemus).  Today I am going to focus on these creatures.

The Greek deities were a paranoid lot (with good reason for the most part) and the Cyclopes were imprisoned by Uranus who was afraid of their power. To be released again by the Titans and Chronos in order to defeat Uranus they were later imprisoned again as their power increased, only to be released by Zeus so they could help him overthrow the Titans. (Yes intrigue and double crossing was the staple diet of the Greek immortals.)

One eye had been traded in order that they may see into the future – but as such bargains often turn out – the small print was overlooked and all they could foresee was the day of their death.

Odysseus blinded and tricked Polyphemus, who had it must be admitted eaten several of the trickster’s friends – who in turn were trying to steal some of the giant’s provisions and had found their way into the cyclop’s den.

Getting the cyclops tipsy Odysseus thrust a burning, sharpened stake into the monster’s eye – then cried out his name was ‘No one’ or ‘Nobody’ (depending on the translation) so when the cyclops staggered outside crying ‘Nobody’ blinded him the other giants thought him mad.

Of course Odysseus being Odysseus couldn’t resist letting Polyphemus know who it really was once he was safely back at sea. Telling him it was ‘Odysseus, son of Laertes of Ithica who has blinded you’. This was not among Odysseus smarter plans as this particular cyclops was the son of Poseidon who was rather annoyed and send the great hero’s boat in a rather roundabout way home…

The story reappears in later myths – Virgil tells the story from the perspective of a seaman of Odysseus’ crew left behind (Aeneid) and Aeneas and his crew see the blinded giant and his companions and beat a hasty retreat.

Later mythological writers, including Ovid, speak of the love affair between Polyphemus and the sea-nymph Galataea – with a greater or lesser tragic ending (she loved another).  And Wilhem Grimm collected tales and retelling of one-eyed giants from Serbia, German, Finnish, Romanian and Russian mythology.

In the Renaissance composers brought the tales to opera. Giovanni Bononcini, Jean-Baptiste LullyJoseph Haydn  and George Frideric Handel composed works around the story of Polyphemus, Galataea and Acis, her lover (whom Polyphemus kills). Artists and sculptors too have used the cyclops and his tale as a basis for their work. Interestingly too the Scottish Rite Freemasons have Polyphemus as a symbol for civilisation that harms itself using ill-directed blind force.

Origins – Othenio Abel in 1914 argues the origins maybe from prehistorical dwarf elephant skulls – with a big central hole for the trunk, which of course would be gone by the time the fossil was found.

Cyclopia – is an uncommon but real condition is a ‘rare form of holoprosencephaly and is a congenital disorder (birth defect) characterized by the failure of the embryonic prosencephalon to properly divide the orbits of the eye into two cavities’. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclopia

Often the nose is missing or is non-functioning and appears ABOVE the single eye-socket. The foetuses usually abort or are still-born, however some living cyclopic animals have been recorded, although they rarely survive for long. Causes can include toxins such as cornlily or false hellebore Veratrum californicum – which resembles Hellebore, which is given as a natural remedy for vomiting, cramps and poor circulation. White Hellebore, which was cited by Hippocrates, also contains teratogens  which can cause the deformity. Genetics too can cause the condition – the Sonic the Hedgehog gene regulator (yes really) can suppress a particular protein needed in eye development in early embryos and cause the mutation.

So misunderstood fossils or deformities could have created a myth, which in turn became the story of one-eyed giants.

Sources:

http://www.theoi.com/Gigante/GigantePolyphemos.html

http://www.greekmythology.com/Myths/Creatures/Cyclopes/cyclopes.html

http://www.greek-gods.info/greek-heroes/odysseus/myths/odysseus-polyphemus/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclopia

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyphemus)

Mutants: On the form, varieties and errors of the human body. (c) Armand Marie Leroi 2003

The Odyssey of Homer (various translations)

 

 

Author Interview Number Ninety-Seven – E.M. Nelson – Horror/Apocalyptic

Welcome to E. M. Nelson

Where are you from and where do you live now? I’m originally from the great state of Utah, but for now I call Bavaria, Germany home.

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. My debut piece is a short story in the apocalyptic horror genre titled Dark Assent. It is published in the anthology Nation of the Moon. I don’t generally stick to that genre though- preferring coming of age and dystopian themes more.

Where do you find inspiration? Google. Ha, only partly joking. I actually draw most of my inspiration from everyday life- how could I not living in the lands where the Grimm brothers got their stories from? My husband enjoys talking about how cool it’d be if… fill in the blank here with any number of out of the box ideas. His suggestions get the juices flowing and the next thing I know, I have a full story built up waiting to come out.

Are your characters based on real people? Some of my characters are based on real people- I have one character in each of the pieces I work on who is based completely off my best friend. We are close enough to be sisters and I feel it’s only fitting to include her in the stories since she is a huge part in my motivation to write. I also used my youngest daughter as part of the inspiration for Dark Assent.

Have you ever used a person you don’t/didn’t like as a character then killed them off? Ha ha, not yet, but don’t put it past me. That’s a warning to all of my enemies- if I had any… darn, guess I’ll have to stick to my imagination.

Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? Do you enjoy this aspect of creating a novel and what are your favourite resources? Research is my favourite part! There’s something so thrilling to me to figure out what a place would look like, how a certain scene will play out based on the natural way things happen in the world, or what to name that pesky character who insists on being in the story but doesn’t provide the name they wish to be called. Seriously, if you ever need to relax while you’re on the computer try searching for abandoned theme parks… probably one of the most amazing  things you’ll ever see.

Is there a message conveyed within your writing?  Do you feel this is important in a book? Dark Assent does have an underlying theme of preservation, determination, and love, but I also hope that the reader will take away from it the idea that no matter how dark and dismal our destiny proves to be, it is ours alone and we should embrace it and accept it as shuch.

In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason? Nation of the Moon is offered in both print and digital format.

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? I think all authors do to an extent. It helps us realize just what needs to be improved. I also think every book needs professional help because after so many hours of talking to yourself, you tend to become a little stiff and a good editor can take that and help you massage your work until it flows the way it should.

Do you read work by self-published authors? I love indy authors! There’s something great about someone who doesn’t just give up when others say no and instead choose to take their destiny into their own hands and run with it. Don’t get me wrong though, there is a ton of crap out there by those too lazy to put the effort in to polishing their piece, but overall I do believe the self-published author is a great asset to the industry.

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews? Reviews are the lifeblood of the market- especially the indy market. I don’t think authors should respond to the reviews directly though. I’ve seen this go badly on one too many occasions. A general thank you to the readers for their reviews and for simply giving them the time of day is awesome, but when the author starts the trend of commenting on each review, it can lead to trouble when the inevitable bad review arises.

When buying a book do you read the reviews? I graze them. I enjoy seeing the good and bad, but I find that reading the full reviews before reading a book tends to spoil the experience of discovering the book on my own.

What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? World building. Our brains are way more efficient at taking a sentence and turning it into a magical experience than any movie out there. Besides in a book you are forced to connect with the characters, feeling like you are almost living the story while in a movie you are merely along for a ride.

What three pieces of advice would you give to new writers? Don’t stop until you finish. I mean at all. Make it a daily challenge to make the words come out.

Editing is for the second draft, not while you’re writing the first- I struggle with this one daily.

Write for you because if you are writing for the money, the fame, or to appease the masses, you will only fail and hate yourself while doing it.

What are your views on authors offering free books? Is this even a question? If you are writing for the love of writing and you want to put all that work and dedication into something and hand it out freely, be my guest! I love many a free book that I have read- I’ve hated equally as many but we’ve already discussed the why behind that.

Do you have any pets? I have 5 children. There is no time for pets.

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I can lick my nose. It’s a talent really. Most people can’t even get close, but me? I can lick the top of that bad boy!

TEASER

As we begin pulling out of the parking lot, there is a flurry of movement in the building across the street. In an instant, a group of raggedly dressed people come rushing out, waving weapons and yelling loudly. The hair on the back of my neck stands on end. It isn’t words but howls, like those a wolf would make.

Book links, website/blog and author links:

www.figidpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorE.M.Nelson

https://twitter.com/emnelsonauthor

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14431001.E_M_Nelson

notm cover

Tales of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse – Free on Kindle

Until 19th July Tales of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse is free on all the Kindle sites.

This short tale within a tale is a mythic story of monsters, revenge and unwise bargains.

Tales of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse.

http://www.amazon.com/Tales-Erana-Warriors-Alexandra-Butcher-ebook/dp/B00QZ7PVWY

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tales-Erana-Warriors-Alexandra-Butcher-ebook/dp/B00QZ7PVWY

http://www.amazon.de/Tales-Erana-Warriors-Alexandra-Butcher-ebook/dp/B00QZ7PVWY/

http://www.amazon.fr/Tales-Erana-Warriors-Alexandra-Butcher-ebook/dp/B00QZ7PVWY/

http://www.amazon.it/Tales-Erana-Warriors-Alexandra-Butcher-ebook/dp/B00QZ7PVWY/

http://www.amazon.es/Tales-Erana-Warriors-Alexandra-Butcher-ebook/dp/B00QZ7PVWY/

http://www.amazon.nl/Tales-Erana-Warriors-Alexandra-Butcher-ebook/dp/B00QZ7PVWY/

http://www.amazon.in/Tales-Erana-Warriors-Alexandra-Butcher-ebook/dp/B00QZ7PVWY/

http://www.amazon.co.jp/Tales-Erana-Warriors-Alexandra-Butcher-ebook/dp/B00QZ7PVWY/

http://www.amazon.ca/Tales-Erana-Warriors-Alexandra-Butcher-ebook/dp/B00QZ7PVWY/

New Release – The Stolen Tower – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles III

I am delighted to announce the release on pre-order of The Stolen Tower – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles Book III. 

http://www.amazon.com/Stolen-Tower-Light-Beyond-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00U8A9044/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stolen-Tower-Light-Beyond-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00U8A9044/

This one has been a pesky blighter, if I am honest but now it’s here! So what is it about? Courage, sex and sorcery, monsters and mayhem with a goodly helping of love and loss thrown in.

In a dark world where magic is forbidden Mirandra Var, heiress to Varris, must endure her Proving, save her kin and defeat the strange and impossible monsters which stalk the Emerald Valley. She is not alone, and others seek answers to questions as yet unasked. The options are success or death, not just for Mirandra but her companions, her allies and her people.

The search for the missing kin take the adventurers toward Khar’atuk – the mysterious tower labyrinth far from home, where allies must be found and decisions made. On the run mages, elementals, humans with their own agenda, elves, monsters, Witch-Hunters, and a shadowy past – many elements fill this roaring adventure.

So – you may ask how does this link into the previous books? Archos and Dii feature, although not as main characters and Talfor and M’alia from book II accompany Mirandra on her quest. This is a book of new characters and old, pooling their knowledge and skills and finding more questions than answers. Events from Book II have a wider implication, but that would be SPOILERS….

Archos, Dii and their friends will be back soon as primary characters.

Synopsis

What stalks the land cannot be, but is.

Where magic is outlawed a troll Shaman calls from her deathbed to her heiress, Mirandra Var, daughter of the storm. Mirandra vows to find her missing kin, sort friend from foe, and claim the dangerous secrets guarded by unthinkable creatures. If she succeeds, she will become the leader of her tribe. If she fails there will be no tribe to lead.

The Preorder is currently available on Amazon, to go live on April 3rd 2015.

Interviews with some of the characters will follow.

 

 

 

 

 

Tales of Erana – Volume One

I’m pleased to announce the release of Tales of Erana – Volume One.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1508403538

Available exclusively on Amazon and only in print it comprises the short fantasy stories set in the world of Erana, which are available in assorted anthologies. This is the first time the stories have been featured as one collection.

Lonely gods, errant mortals, monsters, magic and mayhem, love and loss, romance and revenge all set in a dark fantasy mythic world – The world of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles.

Featuring:

The Moon on the Water – a tale of greed, magic, love and loss and the lore of the Trollkind.

The Tale of Treyna the Beloved – the desire of a lusty god for a mortal has terrible consequences, and the sky will never be the same.

Storm Born – a lonely mage creates a companion but has he unleashed more than he knows?

The Blue Phial – a crafty apothecary recounts how important it is to read the label when dabbling with potions.

The Legend of Oeliana – A guardian of the forest keeps a secret, until the magic returns.

The Warrior’s Curse – when three adventurers stumble into a mysterious cave will their greed get the better of them, or will they too fall to the monster’s curse?

Just One Mistake – Reluctant hero Coel must right a wrong.

 

Tales of Erana PB Cover I

Cover art by Atelier Sommerland – Fotolia

 

Character Interview – Victor Frankenstein (Heroes in Hell)

As a special treat this All Hallows Eve I have been invited back to Hell as a guest interviewer.  My next guest is one of the better known denizens of Hell, and perhaps one who deserves much sympathy. 

Welcome to the Hell Interview Channel, brought to you infernally hour after hour.

 

Name (s): Herr Victor Frankenstein, MD.

Age (before death and after you ended up in HSM’s domain): I cannot remember. Perhaps in my 30s.

Please tell us a little about yourself.  I am a doctor, a damned fine doctor, if I may say so myself, even though I did not practice medicine in the manner of most doctors.

Who were you in life?  I was a brilliant physician and chemist, dedicated to research, and tortured by an obsession to conquer death – to bring life to the dead. That obsession will haunt me forever: it has followed me to Hell and will never release me, never let me know peace or whatever may pass for peace in Hell.

How do you think you ended up in Hell? What sins have you committed? Not to sound flippant or sarcastic, but if you read Shelley’s novel you will know that I perished on the ice with Adam, my creation, the thing that damned me for eternity. I committed many of the 613 or so sins, my friend. But let us just say that my one great sin was of pride: I dared to play God.

Describe your appearance in 10 words or less. You’re kidding, right? In ten words or less?  I cannot.

My appearance? Now?  Well, Merlin, that Caliban of mischief and wickedness, built a very special, magical hideout for Adam and me. But as payment, he wanted to see what would happen if he switched brains. So we allowed him to do so; we had no choice. My brain now resides in the skull of the so-called monster I built with my own two hands, built from the bodies of cadavers, and brought to life. Bolts, clamps, scars, nearly-translucent skin, and poor eyesight; I needs must wear spectacles.  The doctor who created a monster, the doctor who was more monstrous than his creation is now, ironically, the creature and to which he gave life – defying God and Nature.

Where do you live in Hell? Tell us about your residence and area. I now live in Goblin Manor, on the Golem Heights, in New Hell.  I worked for Doctor. Faustus for a while, earned and saved my diablos, and designed and built the Manor in a grand style, my new Castle of Frankenstein, where I now reside with my hunchback assistant, Quasimodo, who once rang the bells at Notre Dame Cathedral.

Do you have a moral code? If so what is it? Is your moral code the same as it was in life? Ha! You ask me that? Me? Who has robbed graves, who blasphemed, who committed sacrilege and was declared anathema by every church and denomination in Europe – a thing most people still living do not know.  I gave life to the dead; I was the instrument of mayhem and murder. If I have a moral code it is this: I will sacrifice everything, go to any lengths to help those I love and to do whatever I can to undo the damage, the crimes and the sins I was responsible for in life. Here, in Hell, where there is no escape, where there is no hope, no relief, no peace . . . here in Hell I have dedicated my afterlife in the pursuit to helping the Damned find whatever peace can be found in this grim infernity of madness and despair.

Would you kill for those you love? After all sending someone to the Undertaker is not very nice! I have killed and will kill for those I love. I took that essence-of-soul sucking vampire, Lemuel Gulliver, with me into the lava pool, when he tried to destroy Mary Shelley, the chronicler of my infamous and ill-fated deeds.  And there I “died,” and then woke again on the Undertaker’s table, at his merciless hands and the incompetent claws of Gorgonous, his assistant.  Those two . . . what butchers, what quacks, what sadists! I could certainly teach them a thing or two! But I digress. Whatever became of Gulliver, I have no idea.  Remember: death in Hell is not as you know it in life. In Hell, we are all dead. There is no death in Hell, only reassignment, which is in a way a twisted, sick and perverted form of reincarnation.

Would you die for those you love? Die, being a relative term….As stated above, my lovely lady . . . I have, and would gladly do so again. I may be damned and in Hell, but I am not totally without heart, without feelings. I am not so insane and evil as one might imagine, not in the manner in which so many of the movies made of Mary’s novelized version of my life and work have portrayed me. Oh, yes – I have seen those films. We can view them, in Hell.

Do you have any phobias? Are you plagued by anything particular in Hell? I am plagued by Erra and his Seven Sibitti henchmen, and the plagues he brings down upon us by the wrath and will of the Almighty. I am plagued by flies, the buzzing and nagging of those unhealthy little bastards. And I obsessed with finding a cure for those plagues, and most of all, obsessed with finding the Get Out of Hell Free card.

What do you think Satan’s most creative punishment is here? I am not sure what punishments are to be credited to Satan or to the Almighty. It is God who punishes. Satan, in my humble opinion, toys with us, makes fools of us, and I believe he wants to prove to God that the Damned are unworthy of damnation or salvation. He wants us out of Hell; His Satanic Majesty wants Hell for only him and his. He would love to see Heaven send down its angels to cast each and every one of us damned souls into the nothingness of Oblivion.  He is a trickster, that Satan, master of many guises and duplicities. But he is not the personification of evil that history has made of him. No – men are far more evil. He may influence, he may bribe, he may make false promise, but in the end, Mankind has a choice, and more often than not, Mankind chooses evil over good. Ah, but then, there are 613 sins, and breaking just one of them can land you in Hell. Perhaps God and Satan are one and the same. Sort of like celestial and infernal versions of Jekyll and Hyde.

Who are your friends here? Adam Frankenstein, of course, my creation and my son in all but flesh and blood. Then there are Galatea, the love of his afterlife, and Johnny Fortune, one-time Chicago gangster who now works for Frank Nitti; dear Johnny, the only lost and damned soul I ever met in Hell who actually likes it here and would not trade it for Heaven.  Of course there is my dear Mary Shelley, who so beautifully told my story, with few embellishments. And now, Quasimodo, who serves as both butler and lab assistant, although he drives me crazy with his constant display of acrobatics and quoting passages from Victor Hugo’s novel.

Who are your enemies? Hopelessness, despair, treachery, dishonesty, and disloyalty.

If I recall relationships are… difficult, is this the side of humanity you miss the most? I am a man of science. Yes, once I was married. But while I loved my dear wife, Elizabeth, I loved my work even more. Sex was never important to me. Thus, in my afterlife, I have been able to concentrate on my work, and I have even forgiven Adam for murdering her. Yes, in Hell I have found the capacity for mercy and forgiveness.  Ironic, isn’t it?

Please give us an interesting and unusual fact about yourself. Most people do not realize that I based my work on that of Johann Konrad Dippel, who was a German physician and vivisectionist, who was actually born in Castle Frankenstein, near Darmstadt, in 1673; he died in 1734, and I have no idea where in Hell he might be.  As for me, I was born in Naples and raised in Geneva. My family often referred to their home as Castle or House of Frankenstein.  There are many castles with that name in parts of Europe, and many Frankensteins.  For all I know, Dippel might have been, might be a distant ancestor.

If you ever get to Hell, and I pray that you do not, look me up.  I am working on many things, and one of them is a way to keep the Damned from ending up on Slab A in the Mortuary, at the mercilessness of the Undertaker. I doubt I will ever succeed, but one must never give up, never lose hope, especially in Hell.

 

Author notes:

Book(s) in which this character appears plus links:

POETS IN HELL, copyright (c) 2014, Janet Morris, in the story We The Furious. (Joe Bonadonna)

http://amzn.to/1nqb6Z3

 

Author name: Joe Bonadonna

Website/Blog/Author pages etc.

www.dorgoland.blogspot.com

 

http://www.amazon.com/Joe-Bonadonna/e/B009I1KYIK