Charles Yallowitz–Legends of Windemere

Warlord of the Forgotten Age 2Thank you to Lissa for letting me write a post for her blog and helping to promote Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age. With this being the final volume of my fantasy adventure series, I’ve looked back at some of the influences.

One of the biggest ones has been mythologies and folklore, which I went to when it came to designing the Windemere pantheon and monsters. A few minor characters took names from mythology that I liked and it helped forge their personalities, but it had a bigger impact on the world building side of things. This is fairly common in fantasy too with some authors being more blatant than others. I’d put myself in the middle since I always tried to put my own twist on certain things. Still, I can’t deny that mythology had a hand in the creation of Windemere, so I’ll fess up and explain the major areas.

Gods

When I was creating the gods and goddess of Windemere, I looked to Greek mythology to get ideas on how they should act. Fantasy stories tend to have either a multitude of deities for each race that have a clear influence or talk about a small amount that people aren’t sure ever existed. When I saw how often the Olympians got involved in mortal affairs, I wanted to go for that type of world. The gods and goddesses clearly exist because people have seen them and they show up at times. Yet, there was still one really big problem. What’s the point of having heroes and villains if gods are mucking about and can get things done themselves?

The answer came from other stories where mortals turned against the gods and threatened or even killed them. I imagined that happening to the scale where these powerful immortals that control the world are made to feel vulnerable and weak for the first time in their existence. Those who survived would think about how it came about and new gods that ascended from the ranks of mortals would implement the Law of Influence. Now, they have to work through mortal agents and visions. Getting physically involved is a risk and punishable by being sealed for whatever time is deemed necessary. In this case, I looked at what mythology did and created an answer to the problem of gods getting involved in everything.

History

Mythology is filled with large events that explain the creation of the world and various natural occurrences. I wondered if ancient people looked at these as history instead of fiction like we do today. Okay, I didn’t get struck by a lightning bolt, so we can continue. This thought led me to create several big events that changed the world and are talked about by the characters in the same way we discuss our history. These have a magical taste to it like the Great Cataclysm that altered the entire face of Windemere or the ancient Race War where the 8 great dragons pitted the lesser species against each other. Every major event required that I take at least a peek at mythology to see if there was anything I could work with to give me some extra inspiration.

Monsters

This is actually the big one because mythology is chock full of beasties that can suit every fantasy author’s need. I did design my own creatures for some scenes, but those are typically throwing animal parts together until you get something functional. I have this sudden hunger for hot dogs now. Weird. Anyway, I have a book called ‘The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures’ and I crack that open whenever I’m having trouble with a monster. Sometimes I take the whole thing while other times I use the name and design around it. The thing with mythology is that it isn’t as detailed here as your audience might want you to be. You really only get the appearance, eating habits, and a few other tidbits. Even then, you could run into multiple versions of the same critter.

The best example is one of my favorite monsters to use. I didn’t have to do much research for the Griffin/Griffon/Gryphon because it’s fairly popular. People always know that these monsters have the head/front body/rear body of an eagle and the head/front body/rear body of a lion. I mean, they’re the size of a lion/small horse/mini-van/it’s carrying an elephant, so they’re hard to miss. Think there’s even a type that has a serpentine tail, which might be someone getting it mixed up with a manticore. That’s another thing with monsters in mythology. You get a lot of overlapping of appearances and themes. Just look at how similar manticores, griffins, hippogriffs, and the chimera. After all the physical decisions, I give my griffins a few magical abilities and released them into the world. Just another altered addition to an already confusing stable of flying cats with extra parts.

Just to sum stuff up in case I rambled too much, mythology is a great resource and not only for fantasy stories. It’s a fairly popular topic, which you can connect to characters in other genres through names, conversations, and comparisons to situations that they’re in. You can also get some inspiration for dysfunctional families because many pantheons have some messed up relations. One could say mythology is the ancestor of fiction, so we might as well treat it like a resource.

Again, I’d like to thank Lissa for letting me write a post for her blog. Please feel free to check out Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age and enjoy the adventure.

 

Author Bio & Social Media

Author PhotoCharles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

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All cover art done by JASON PEDERSEN

 

Catch the rest of the LEGENDS OF WINDEMERE on Amazon!

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Author Spotlight – S. A. Hoag

Renegades: Book 2 of The Wildblood

by S. A. Hoag

 

They made you strong, and smart. We kept you safe, and in the shadows. It took them damned near twenty years to find you. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Uncontrollable. Unpredictable. Dangerous. The Wildblood. Now, Team Three know what they are. Renegades: Book 2 of The Wildblood – Autumn 2016

 

M3

 

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Excerpt

“This is one of three air bursts,” Vance said, indicating the video monitor. It was recording as the airplane banked around to give them a clear view. “It happened early that morning, just before nine. It was a Tuesday. The other detonations were east and south, one directly over downtown Denver, the third at the airport, all within minutes a few minutes.”  He remembered clearly, but recited it like he was reading from a textbook. None of the others were old enough to remember.

 

The first group of buildings were isolated and more than that, destroyed. Melted, irradiated, and nothing that remained looked like it had ever been occupied by a human being. They were twisted and misshapen, matte gray against the distant blue mountains.

 

“Rocky Flats,” Shannon said carefully, concentrating. There were no ghosts, no impressions of the past, crowding into her thoughts. She was glad for that. Being Gen En, genetically enhanced, she could see things not so obvious to others. This place was empty, it was. . . null. The war had been twenty years ago, the voices faded. Now civilization consisted of tiny enclaves, hidden away and carefully guarded against other remnants of humanity. Her home, The Vista, was one of those places.   Vance’s city, Estes Park, was another.

 

“Anything?” Green asked, aware of the possible consequences if she sensed something unusual. He’d been her second, her backup, for years. Today he was piloting, as well.

 

She wrinkled her nose, distracted. “No, nothing that merits mention.”  Flying was an aversion, one she hadn’t been able to avoid recently. They were far from home, wary guests of Vance’s these past few months.

 

“What does that mean?” Cooper asked, the first thing he’d actually had to say during the journey. He’d taken the seat behind Vance and kept to himself. That was his job, to make sure Vance stayed safe and out of trouble. The Vistans were trouble. There were only a few of them, but they were a dangerous few.

 

“It means, she doesn’t see anything we can’t see,” Green offered. He wasn’t Gen En. He was Siksika, a Blackfoot, and a misplaced Vista Security officer, like her. Being her bodyguard, at least for a couple hours, was a duty Green didn’t mind. Capt. Allen, Shannon, was younger, more adept at controlling tricky situations, and his senior officer. Their relationship was far less complicated than most people believed.

 

Vance nodded. He’d been in charge of Estes Park for a decade. The areas south could be troublesome. Most of what had been central Colorado was under his protection, but there was a large and empty landscape where Denver had been. Even the scavengers kept clear. The Vistans and his people weren’t friends, and it wasn’t something he could foresee at any point soon. They might be able to work out a trade agreement despite some stark differences.

 

The Vista was far to the north, past his influence. Having them show up on his doorstep a few months earlier hadn’t entirely been a surprise. They’d been hunting Rafe, Vance’s former partner-in-crime and fellow Gen En. Rafe had proven to be extremely violent, volatile and unpredictable. After years at odds with each other, Vance was resigned to his presence nearby, raiding and ransacking villages. Young, brash, and looking for revenge, the Vistans had accomplished in weeks what he hadn’t been able to do in a decade

 

 

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Renegades: Book 2 of The Wildblood

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LYNY774

Available now at Amazon.

 

Author Info

  1. A. Hoag is an author, lapidary artist, very amateur astronomer (“I just look at the stars, I can’t tell you their names.”), hockey fan, and accidental desert-dweller. Born in the middle of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, she has lived in a number of cities, in a number of states, before crash-landing in the New Mexico desert. Not Roswell, however. Science Fiction has always been her first interest in reading and writing; many other genres sneak into the novels and that’s alright with her.

http://www.topaz08.com

 

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Other Books

 

The Wildblood Series

 

No one remembers what started the war, the big one. It happened too fast, and there were too many lies, for the truth to be known. Civilization stopped, and what came next was fueled by rage and fear.

Twenty years on, a tiny refuge, a place called The Vista, may be one of the last vestiges of humanity. Isolated, guarded, and hiding a dark secret, the people have survived World War Last, and they are content with that. Their children, however, are not. The search for others will send them out into a world they know nothing about, where the line between enemy and ally is blurred. The war may not be over.

 

Backlash, prequel to The Wildblood series. Before Team Three, there was the Blackout. Set on a near-future Earth mostly devoid of humans, this reveals some of the harsh realities facing people of The Vista, and how Team Three began.

When Security faces an unknown adversary that threatens to wreak havoc across what little civilization there is left, they must rely on the unusual abilities of a new team, and hope it’s enough to stop the chaos.

 

 

Before Team Three, there was The Blackout. Backlash, prequel to The Wildblood. Available in paperback now!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0104VMFI4

 

The Vista: Book 1 of The Wildblood introduces Team Three – Allen, MacKenzie and Wade. An elite team of security officers, they’re young, ambitious, and at the forefront of a movement to discover what is beyond The Vista. They also believe they are genetically enhanced, Gen En, a practice outlawed long before they were born. Venturing beyond their valley draws the attention of someone dangerous, someone that shares their past and wants to control their future, or destroy them because of what they might be. The team decide to take the fight away from their home and end up finding new allies – and new enemies.

 

What happens, after the end of civilization? The Vista: Book 1 of The Wildblood. Also available in paperback.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00W6R8WNM

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Hunters Moon: An Urban Mythos Novella

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DMCJ0LM

Lyra Alexander considers herself an archeologist, a job that normally wouldn’t be very dramatic or dangerous. The problem with her job, however, is that she studies vampires. And they aren’t too keen on being studied.

In this world, there are all kinds of creatures prowling in the night . . . Humans are no longer at the top of the food chain.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

Author links – S. A. Hoag

Website – www.topaz08.com

FB Author’s Page – https://www.facebook.com/thewildbloodseries/

Amazon Author’s Page – http://www.amazon.com/S.-A.-Hoag/e/B00WARWIHY/

Blog – https://topaz08.wordpress.com/

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/topaz08/

 

Author Spotlight – Jesper Schmidt

wUfyOMQj_400x400About the Author

I have always loved creating and I suppose that if I was only allowed to choose two words to describe myself they would be, “Focused ambition.” Yet, the art of writing was something that lived a quiet life, in the back of my mind, for many years. It was a dormant desire and, like so many of our dreams, it was placed on a list of things to do later; you know, when time would allow it. And there I left it. Half-forgotten. For a long time.

I have a Finnish sauna to thank for eventually picking it up from that dusted corner and beginning to pour my focused ambition over it. Every summer my wife, two boys and I go to Finland and spend a couple of weeks trying to do as little as possible. In that cottage it is all about slowing down and recharging our batteries. The atmosphere is perfect for it. What it was exactly that sparked my authorship I cannot say for sure – maybe it was just slowing down that gave another perspective? Maybe I was just ready for it? Whatever it was, I am ever thankful that it happened when it did back in 2015. Why wait when you can act today?

Follow me on social media.
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Learn more about me and my work at www.jesperschmidt.com.

Desolation

2016-580-3d-render-book-transparent-background-181x300“Desolation” is the first book in the fantasy trilogy, “The Keystone Bone”. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but if you like fast-paced fantasy, with dragons, demons, and magic, then you will love “Desolation”.

About This Book

Just as Aea had finally found happiness in her troubled life, everything starts to fall apart. When she discovers that her sister, Isota, is still alive, Aea ventures to save her, well aware that every Duian who leaves the forest realm of Thaduin will inevitably catch a deadly disease, the Field Blight. Aea finds herself in a race against time.

Arkum’Sul really wants nothing but to be left alone. Being the sole survivor of his race, and the son of a dragon god, makes such desires difficult to fulfill.

Meanwhile, Ayida, another Duian, resides in the Bronze Tower, far north of Thaduin, where she has grown to become a powerful spellcaster. However, it requires all of her skills to heal herself of the Field Blight daily. This place is the heart of the Magio Order, a dominant organization of female magic-wielders, where Ayida has tried for decades to ascend from Apprentice to the rank of Sienna… and failed every time. As she makes another attempt, all goes horribly wrong.

Will the world of Erisdün survive as ancient myths and reality become one?

Get it today and experience a struggle like no other.

Fantasy Map Making

3d-render-book-transparent_altHave you ever struggled with map making? To make it compliant with the laws of nature? Or spent countless hours trying to understand geography?

About This Book

In this book we will cover:

Whether maps are important or not and tackle some of the common excuses for not developing one.

What you need to think about before you start your map in order not to make mistakes in later steps.

Discuss your different options for creating the map: from hand drawn over software to hiring a professional.

Sketching your map and making sure that we get the size of the world just right.

Adding continents by understanding how tectonic plates work.
Terraforming your world with the knowledge of how winds and the equator affect the climate.

After having added mountains and deserts, we will include islands and lakes.

And then we make sure that rivers are not breaking the laws of nature.

We add trees, before moving into understanding how the lands will affect the people who live on them and vice versa.
It is then time for countries, borders, and roads.

We then finish up with optional fantasy elements and include the last touches.

Get it today, and design your own world.

 

Author Spotlight – L.J. Clarkson

received_10158017008460431LJ Clarkson has done many things in her time. Making mud pies as an Environmental Engineer. Bossing people around as a project manager. Reducing flood risk to residents affected by floods. But her all time favorite job is telling stories and making others laugh.

 

She counts the following as very special talents: singing out of tune, laughing at her own jokes, reciting useless, but very fascinating facts, and a magical habit of magnetizing food to her clothes. If she were a Mastermind, she’d uninvent early mornings, grammar, broccoli, cleaning and her dog’s fussy eating habits.

 

 LJ is the author of the Mastermind Academy and Heaven and Hound series, and the brains behind Author Resources Database, a promotional site for authors. You can find out more at www.mastermindacademy.net or www.authorresourcesdatabase.com.

 

The Silver Skull by L. J. Clarkson

received_10158014987180431Just when Isabelle thinks things are settling down at Mastermind Academy, they blow up again. The headmaster’s hot on her tail with an investigation that might see her expelled from school. She’s trying to please one friend by staying away from another. Then Lemuria kidnaps her family, and he will kill them, unless she hands over the crystal skull within five days. Getting the skull will not be easy when the one she entrusted it to will not return it. Time is a ticking so she must team up with her new friend to help track it down.

 

Poor Boldrick has had the day from hell. Ridiculed, disrespected, and attacked with a broom, he decides it is time to find a cure to become human again. Nothing he tries works for him, and somehow he’s inherited a spirit from a shaman he visited. In exchange for delivering the spirit’s messages, Boldrick receives a gibberish clue for his quest. But unraveling each clue leads him and his friends deeper into danger. The kind of danger he’s not sure they can get out of.

 THE SILVER SKULL, a young adult fantasy adventure, is book 3 in the Mastermind Academy series.

 Here is the Amazon link https://www.amazon.com/Silver-Skull-Mastermind-Academy-adventure-ebook/dp/B01N0XRVWW/

 

 

 

 

Author Spotlight – Olivia Savage

Olivia Savage - HeadshotOlivia’s stories follow their own path and are filled with real characters, extremely hot men (of course), addicting storylines, and vivid sex scenes. Olivia has been an avid reader since she was knee-high to a grasshopper and writes the kind of books she likes to read.  She has a degree in Fine Art and spent her early years with a paintbrush in her hand more often than a pen. After graduating college and getting a “real job,” Olivia spent ten years in the business world before realizing that she wasn’t happy. She and her husband fired their jobs, sold their house, and bought a travel trailer to wander around the USA in search of a life they wanted to live. On a dusty back road, in the middle of nowhere, she started writing her first story… and hasn’t stopped.  She loves backpacking, SCUBA diving, hanging out in backyards with friends (preferably with a glass of red wine) and dancing like a maniac in the privacy of her bedroom. Most days she runs on caffeine and inappropriate thoughts. She does not like: underwire, people who tear you down, bad coffee (blah!), or raisins in her cookies.
To grab a copy of her FREE Adult-only coloring book made for the saucy romance reader, go to http://oliviasavage.com/free/

The Art of Hanky Panky by Olivia Savage

What would you do if a hot, rich, famous artist asked you to pose for one of his painting? 

… And, by the way, did I mention you’d have to be naked?   Completely, 100%, nothing to hide those love handles, nude.

Honestly, it’s mortifying enough to stand naked in front of my own mirror, but to do it in the same room with my mind-blowingly hot, totally off-limits art instructor?  This is so not something that I, June Cooper, had planned for this college semester. What I should be focusing on is working my butt off to pull in awesome grades and get into my choice of law schools.

No distractions allowed.

Especially if they come with male parts attached. Not when things are finally starting to come together. Aside from just being dumped, a waistline that inexplicably keeps growing (damn you, chocolate cake!), and a highly developed caffeine addiction, my life is pretty much on track. Just how I like it.  Then, he showed up.

Ryan Carter.

Famous painter. Artist. And one giant, smoldering, red-hot distraction.

Available on Kindle and in Paperback on Amazon.com

 

 

 

The Art of Seduction by Olivia Savage

In your wildest dreams, have you ever imagined you’d end up flying to Paris to break into an expensive, swanky, uber-exclusive sex club because, inside those doors, you might have a second chance with the lost love of your life?

Me either.  If you told me last semester that I would be standing here, trying to convince my shaky foot to take that step across the threshold, I would have thought you were a few fries short of a happy meal.  But a lot can change in six months. And in that time, my life has been tipped haphazardly on-end. Despite all that, there is one thing I’m almost positive about… Love isn’t supposed to go this way.

Available on Kindle and in Paperback on Amazon.com