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.

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Website

 

All cover art done by JASON PEDERSEN

 

Catch the rest of the LEGENDS OF WINDEMERE on Amazon!

Advertisements

New Stuff Coming Soon!

Sir Klaus CoverHowdy, All!

I’ve been playing around with book trailers and have redone the ones for Aradia’s Secret and The Chronicles of Ethan Grimley III: A Walker is Born. Check them out and tell me what you think. I’d like to hope my skills are improving somewhat.

In other news, I have a new book releasing November 21, 2017. It’s a children’s story, A Gift from Sir Klaus, but I’ve done it as a Draw Your Own Illustrations book. I was thinking about reading comprehension and ways I used to have my students practice. One thing we did was to draw scenes from the story. It’s the same principle. The text is at the top of the page, so budding artists have plenty of room to draw. Look for it on Amazon on Tuesday.

As always,

Best Wishes!

Update: A Gift from Sir Klaus was ready sooner than I thought it would be. It’s available on Amazon.

I also updated another trailer. This one is for Wolf in the Shadow.

New Releases!

Howdy, all!

I finally got off my duff and released a couple of stories I’ve been sitting on for a while.

3D bookJerrung and the Kwaad Cavern

This is a chapter book for ages 6-8 and follows the adventures of a young dwarf named Jerrung. Jerrung’s friends have their own adventures, which can be read for free on my website at http://www.lissadobbs.com.

At almost eight years old, Jerrung is sure he’s old enough to be a warrior, to have a real sword. His parents, on the other hand, disagree. They think he’s just a child.

But when Jerrung’s sister is kidnapped by the Kwaad, Jerrung knows his time has come. Jerrung isn’t going to wait for the rest of the village to make plans. He and his friends head into the mountains to rescue the prisoners.

Can the dwarves find their way through the tunnels before the Kwaad find them?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074VC2721

 

Windows to the Soul

3D coverThis is a short story.

True horror isn’t found on the silver screen or in the pages of books. True horror is found in the mind, in the depths of the soul, the places where light is a distant memory.

​So Amy discovers in the halls of the nursing home where her mother works, and, later, in the eyes of her peers. Horror follows her everywhere until she learns the truth…eyes are truly the windows to the soul.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074WHZJSJ

 

In other news, for the next month, I’m offering free chapter and short story edits, up to 2,500 words. If you have a story you need critiqued or edited, just use the contact form on my Contact the Author page or the contact form on my website at http://www.lissadobbs.com/editorialservices.

 

Best wishes!

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/

 

 

 

 

Book Release – Daisy Chain by Mark Montgomery

41c2rldy7BLAlexandra ‘Alex’ Holman-Hunt and Dr. Oliver Kane live in worlds, poles apart. Alex lives and breathes the new—fashion. She hopes to influence a modern generation of women. Help them shape the way they dress—a new look to take them away from the austerity of the Fifties and the excesses of the Sixties. A new look to better place them in a man’s world. Oliver Kane is very much buried in the past—the study of human history. He lives for what lies under the ground, sharing his passion with best friends; Linnet ‘Lunar’ Moon, a ‘hippy digger’, and a small black and white dog called Hector. He lives and works in academia, teaching his discipline, but also works with new enlightened Law and Order— new techniques to uncover bones and bodies—a new science; forensic archaeology.

Their story, set in Britain, France and West Germany, is played out to the rich sounds and sights of the Seventies; in a world shaped by a terrible world war, and a new world order dictated by new freedoms and new constraints, as communism and democracy fight a new cold war. The world holds its breath. London holds it breath too—a killer stalks, and Oliver is drawn into the intrigue surrounding a serial murderer. Alex is stalked too, by a shadow intent on harm. She fears for her life—who will help her?

Five lives collide. Secrets are uncovered—death and discovery—murder and mutilation. A string of events unfold—a daisy chain.

Daisy Chain is a powerful, complex erotic thriller from the masterly pen of Mark Montgomery, author of the popular Borderer Chronicles. A tale full of rich characters, gripping story telling, profound thought and an affectionate nod to a different time—when innocence still existed in a pre-internet world.

Daisy Chain – an erotic thriller from the masterly pen of Mark Montgomery.
Check out Daisy Chain here.
 https://www.amazon.com/DAISY-CHAIN-Mark-Montgomery-ebook/dp/B01N2B4470/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1491318355&sr=1-1&keywords=daisy+chain+mark+montgomery

It’s Release Day!!!!

Aradia's SecretWell, today’s the day Aradia’s Secret releases on all channels. Fingers crossed.

This story was one that was originally a blog story. I wrote it a little at a time over several months when I first started this blog. I decided to pull it and do some reworking to make it more readable. I hope I’ve done well with it.

Gwennyth Grimsbane is the daughter of Ravyn Grimsbane, the leader of the witches and wizards of Crowrest in E’ma Thalas. When Ravyn transposes forms at nearly 900 years of age, Gwennyth finds a letter telling her to seek out the goddess Aradia. Gwennyth dismisses this as nothing more than her mother’s usual melodrama, for Ravyn was known to be cryptic, even when plain speaking would better serve. It is only when her best friend Vonner shows her their magic is failing that Gwennyth realizes she must do as her mother instructed. For the first time in more than 150 years, Gwennyth must leave the safety of Crowrest Keep and venture into the lands of Grevared.

I hope you enjoy it.

Lissa Dobbs

http://www.lissadobbs.com

Amazon

Smashwords

Meet the Characters – Vonner Calerook

vonner
Image courtesy of the good folks at Pixabay.

Name: Vonner Calerook

 

Age: 160

Species: Human Wizard

Home: Crowrest, E’ma Thalas

Personality: Vonner is a kind and caring person, and he’s a hard worker. He likes to keep to himself and work with the animals in Crowrest Keep. He’s not a big fan of going out into the forest, though he does enjoy standing on the battlements and looking at it.

Magic: Vonner’s magic usually shows as orange, and his strength is in battle magic, though most would never know that because of his personality. There is an additional dimension to his magic, one that comes from his parentage and of which he’s unaware.

Favorites: Vonner loves animals and spends his work time in Crowrest Keep taking care of the horses. He doesn’t care much for sweets, though he loves large meals.

Friends: Vonner’s best friend is Gwennyth Grimsbane. The two of them have been together since they were small children. Other than that, Vonner is a bit of an outcast, or was as a child. Even as an adult, he tends to stay to himself.

Goals: Vonner doesn’t have a lot of personal goals. He’s content with his life in Crowrest and prefers peace to anything else.

Faults: Vonner can be whiny and dependent. He clings to Gwennyth and relies on her for any sense of self-esteem he possesses. When put to the test, however, he will step up and take charge.

Excerpt:

“But the only clue your mother left was ‘look not in the places of the gods’. What’s that supposed to mean?”

I sighed and rolled my eyes and continued to make my way through the woods of E’ma Thalas. Vonner had talked incessantly for five days, and his chatter was beginning to wear on me…

I tried to answer, but my tongue flapped uselessly in my mouth, and my lips tingled. I pulled up the hem of my robe and pointed to where the infant asing sat attached to my ankle.

“Oh, gods. Here. Sit down.”

Vonner took me by the shoulders and eased me onto the mossy bed of the forest floor. My mind entered a fog of pain as Vonner pried the creature from my leg. White-hot flares of agony shot from each point the asing’s teeth penetrated my skin and tore through nerves to seep into blood and bone. I don’t know how long this continued, though surely it was only moments, before the cooling salve chased away the anguish and left me in a haze of relief.

“Better?” Vonner asked.

I nodded but couldn’t speak. Vonner made camp, and we rested until the following morning.

Now, though, his chatter and doubt did nothing but make me long for solitude.

The Slave’s Caress – Excerpt

rise-of-the-mad-gods-cover-2When the Catastrophe destroyed the universe, all were impacted, including the gods. In the battles that followed, many were killed or driven mad. The mad gods are those who resisted the new world and seek to destroy it and the humans who caused it. Below is an excerpt from “The Slave’s Caress”, a short story I’m currently working on. I’m hoping to release it in the next week or so.

 

Violetta Redsmith breathed a sigh of relief as the airship docked in the port city of Grimview. She’d been running for months, dodging the demon trackers that had been on her tail since Pistofficle, and considered herself lucky to have found berth on the airship from Flameport in the Kingdom of Emerell to Grimview in Riverland Pearlrest. She didn’t particularly want to spend the rest of her life in the cold near the Shizzuria Wasteland, but it beat being a slave.

Violetta looked around the port and noted the long wooden piers and the bustle of those embarking from the ship. The town before her was small, especially for a port, with one story buildings and copious amounts of smoke coming from chimneys. There was no market square as there was in Pistofficle. Instead, all shops had signs hanging from them, and people entered them instead of shopping out in front.

“What do I do now?”

Violetta had no idea. She’d left Pistofficle with no thoughts other than escape, and planning her future had played no part in her thought processes. Now she had to figure out what to do with the rest of her life, and she had little coin to use to sustain herself.

You will find what you need.

His voice had been a constant source of reassurance and guidance throughout her journey, and she was grateful for his companionship.

A chuckle. You still think me no more than a figment of your imagination.

That was true. The voice in her head and the image that manifested to her all seemed no more than a dream born of desperation, a safety valve for her sanity.

Be on the lookout for Rise of the Mad Gods 1, which will contain “The Slave’s Caress” and “For Love of Her”.

Best wishes!

Lissa Dobbs

http://www.lissadobbs.com

Rise of the Mad Gods

rise-of-the-mad-gods-cover-2I’ve been doing some thinking about what I can do once I ever complete the ‘story that never ends’, which I’m actually working on, by the way. It’s dawned on me that, aside from the antagonists in that story and random creatures, the Shadow Walkers haven’t had any real adversaries, except for themselves, of course.

At the time of the Catastrophe that created Grevared, the universe and all the planes were thrown into a state of turmoil. Needless to say, those who survived did not do so unscathed, and this includes beings we call gods. It seemed obvious to me that some of them would be vengeful against humans, so I decided to work on some who definitely weren’t interested in fighting evil.

I have two short stories that should be ready in the next couple of weeks showing how two of these gods went about making their mark, so to speak. These stories definitely won’t be child-friendly, nor will they be appropriate for those with tender sensibilities. These are beings bent on destruction, after all, and there are no redeeming qualities to them at all. The ultimate question, though, is will the humans they possess be able to redeem themselves?

Best wishes!

Lissa Dobbs

http://www.lissadobbs.com