Muhulda Urswyk – The Truth Behind the Bile

Muhulda Urswyk VintageMuhulda Urswyk is a reporter in the Xaggarene Empire, usually from Sangeron. She claims to have an inside path to the emperor and has a hatred for the Shadow Walkers. She owns and runs The Lock and Key, a publication that spews her particular form of bile (though I haven’t put one out in a while).

I’d meant for Muhulda to put out an edition every month, but time has gotten away from me, and, for some reason, my ability to organize my time has gone the way of the dodo.

I was in the process of creating another edition of The Lock and Key when it dawned on me that I had no idea why Muhulda hated the Shadow Walkers so much. Sure, there are plenty of people in the Xaggarene Empire with prejudice against those of magical blood, but that, alone, didn’t explain it. Not to the extent that she hates this group.

The solution?

Write a story about why Muhulda hates Shadow Walkers.

Below is a snippet from the story. Feel free to comment and make suggestions.

Best wishes!

Lissa Dobbs

http://www.lissadobbs.com

 

The tavern was loud, as usual. I carried yet another tray of Melon Peckers to yet another group of reprobates who had nothing better to do than drink and smoke and pump Crying Smoke into their brains. If they had brains, that is. I wasn’t sure. They surely didn’t act like it.

“Hey, beautiful, wanna let me show you the town?” His words tangled in his mouth and came out in a mush that I only understood because I’d heard it so often.

“Not tonight, darling. I’ve got to fill the generator.” A classic, cliched line, I knew, but, hell, even if he wasn’t scruffy, half biotic, and drunk off his ass, I still wouldn’t want to let him touch me.

“Aw, come now. Give my buddy a break. He’s done had his heart broke.” This one wasn’t any better. A metal plate covered one side of his head, and a lens had replaced his left eye. I could see wires running from the back of his head down into his shirt, and I wondered what other parts he’d had replaced with metal. He was more human than his friend—whose entire right side appeared to be mechanical—but I’d already brought him three hits of Crying Smoke, and that was since middle night.

“I wish I could, but the mister’s waiting at home, and he wouldn’t take too kindly to it.” This was a lie, of course. There was no mister, and there wasn’t likely to be one, but I couldn’t let him know that.

“Leave her alone, guys.” This was the third one of the bunch. He’d consumed far less than his buddies, and his only alteration was a ring in his nose that connected by chain to a stud in his ear. He had a tattoo on his bicep of some kind of symbol, I wasn’t sure what, but, otherwise, he looked nearly respectable.

I mouthed a thank you and high-tailed myself back to the bar. It was almost quitting time, and I was ready to leave. Heck, I was always ready to get out of the place, and I hated myself for having to be there to start with. It wasn’t what I’d wanted to do, and it sure as hell wasn’t what I had spent four years in University for.

I set my tray on the bar and gave the place a look. The brazier still glowed a healthy orange, so I knew it had plenty of coal. The floors were mostly clean, and the oil lamps on the tables still flickered. No one had knocked the armor off the wall tonight. Even the sword, supposedly dating back to the days of the first emperor, Arronax Billinghurst, had been left alone. A good night in the eyes of the Steam Whisper.

“Muhulda, you stayin’ or goin’?” asked the barkeep, who also happened to be the owner. He was an ass most of the time, but, every once in a while, some vestige of a decent person shone through.

“I’m going,” I replied. I glanced back at the table I had just served. “I’ve had enough for one night.”

Bramwell nodded once and didn’t say more, and I took my chance and skedaddled before he had a chance to change his mind.

 

Lethatu…Oops.

Ravyn's LetterI’m one of those people who loves to create worlds, and when I create a world, I want to create all of it. I want maps of everything, cultures to inhabit it, stories, history, religion, magic, and language. And I was well on my way to having all of that.

Then I moved.

Somehow, in the process of moving, the notebook I had written the grammar rules and such in disappeared. It’s a loss, I’ll agree, but it also gives me the opportunity to make some changes to the language and make it more in line with what I want it to be. To that effect, I’m not mourning the loss of the notebook. Instead, I’m going to begin at the beginning and make something that was better than the original. The only down side I can see is that the letter Ravyn Grimsbane left to her daughter Gwennyth will have to be a dialect not spoken anywhere else. But that’s okay, too.

What aspects of world-building are your favorite? Do you relish the opportunity to make changes? Feel free to comment.

Best wishes!

Lissa Dobbs

http://www.lissadobbs.com

I Finally Found It

One of the joys of packing to move, the only one, is finding things you thought you’d lost. Those who’ve read my interviews know that I got hooked on writing because of a fourth grade project. Well, I finally found the book, as pathetic as it is. I still can’t draw, but I’d like to think my writing has improved since then. 

Best wishes!

http://www.lissadobbs.com

Excerpt from a YA WIP

northern-corleonThings have been a bit hectic lately with my youngest graduating and my move coming up next week, so I haven’t been able to get as much writing done as usual. However, I have been editing a children’s story, and I’m working a bit at a time on the trilogy. I’m also working some on a YA book I’ve been working on for a while. This is the one I’ll probably focus on the rest of this week since everything else is in boxes (so, of course, now all the stuff I thought I didn’t need is necessary).

Here’s a look at the YA WIP. I’m hoping to have this one out by the end of the summer, but I’m not promising. This is the unedited form.

Theo’s call from the front of the house snatched Jess from her reverie. She grabbed the books, all three of them, and shoved them into her pack. She hurried to the front of the house where Theo was motioning for her to be quiet.

“What is it?” Jess whispered.

“Guards,” Theo returned. “They’re searching everywhere. Father sent almost all of the household guard.” Theo’s eyes got wide. “He’s not gonna let us go.”

“Shh,” Jess said. “Calm down. This place had been abandoned for years. We can hide here until they pass us by.”

Writing Update

E'ma Thalas and the Xaggarene Empire VintageWell, I’m not getting a lot done in the writing department. It’s coming up on graduation, and my youngest is leaving high school. I am, however, getting some world building done. I’ve just about completed the history of E’ma Thalas and will soon start on the Xaggarene Empire.

1486 AOP: Tavrinth of the Moonchaser dragon clan carries King Oberon to a forested land. Oberon approves this as the home of the elves and names it E’ma Thalas, which means ‘sacred refuge’ in the original language of the elves. Oberon petitions the Moonchaser clan to transport the rest of the Fair Folk to their new home.

1487 AOP: Letallatos is established as the capital of E’ma Thalas, and the palace is built.

1500 AOP: Oberon sends an expedition under the leadership of Ashiri Cornflower south of the Borderland Mountains. They discover the human tribes.

1520 AOP: Ashiri, angry that Oberon only has scant patrols along the Borderland Mountains, heads east with a group of like-minded elves. They form a small community at the edge of the land, called O’ntheas, which means ‘escape’. This town later becomes Tradespire. The elves there raise bocearc in the plainland south of O’ntheas and heavily guard the path at the end of the Borderland Mountains.

1768 AOP:  A band of humans crosses the Borderland Mountains and attacks the pixie conclave headed by Odile Snowdrop. The conclave is destroyed, and Oberon leads an army of elves and fairies over the mountains. Oberon is killed, and Oberon’s son Ethalar becomes the new Oberon. Titania helps him choose a new Titania before she dies.

I’m in the process of adding all these to the website, which I’ve redesigned. Check it out at http://www.lissadobbs.com.

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/

 

 

 

 

Book Review – The End of the Game

IMG_20170404_093346Book Reviews contain spoilers!

The End of the Game is actually a trilogy by Sherri S. Tepper. It tells the story of Jinian from the time she is nine until she is in her late teens or early twenties.
The land of the True Game is a place of loose government and changing alliances where people have Talents.  Some can fly, some can move objects, some can see the future. Many of the people use these talents for Games, which are nothing more than battles of some kind perpetuated for the sake of gaining power and prestige.
We begin with Jinian as an unloved child of Stoneflight Demesne. She is tortured by her older brother until she decides she’s no longer going to allow herself to be afraid. It is then that one of the Pawns realizes Jinian is a Wize-ard, someone who can learn magic. Thus begins Jinian’s initiation into the world of the True Game.
Jinian’s adventures don’t end there. Her brother betroths her to a man she’s never met, one who has a living wife, to form an alliance. However, Jinian uses her age to bargain for schooling in the distant town of Xammer. On the way, she is kidnapped and held as part of Game, but she escapes and makes her way to Chimmerdong Forest. She befriends the forest, and it asks for her help. It is while helping the forest that Jinian learns her first real lesson – there are tasks for each of us, and no one is going to do them for us. We can’t sit around whining and crying and waiting for someone to come along and rescue us from life. We have to live it.
Jinian’s adventures continue through three short books. She is the only one who understands the significance of the yellow death crystals, and she’s the first to convince others to help her save their world. She is taught by Ganver, one of the old ones, and learns the meaning of the Star-Eye, a lesson that most never learn.
My Thoughts
I first read Dervish Daughter, the middle book of the trilogy, as a teenager. I loved the story, but it was several years before I was able to get the complete set. I wasn’t disappointed.
Even as a young adult, the lessons of Ganver spoke to me, particularly his repetition of ‘watch and learn’. I won’t go into detail here because I think knowing what the lessons are in advance would take away any meaning a new reader would draw from them. I will say, however, that what Ganver taught Jinian makes a lot of sense.
Overall, I love the trilogy. Some of the names are a bit weird, and this has thrown off some I’ve recommended the books to, but they fit the world, one of magic with odd bits of technology thrown in here and there. The characters are loveable, and the story moves along at a decent pace.
 
My Rating
SMXLL