Posts Tagged With: fantasy

Don’t Like it? Write it Again…

At this point, I have changed the synopsis for my novel Among the Shadows numerous times. Not to mention that there are different versions on various sites. Nor was I happy with the current one. I didn’t want to give away too much detail, but maybe it didn’t hint at the elements of the story enough: The contemporary time setting, a little more on two of the central characters and time travel (cool, right?). The premise of myth and legend not being so mythical is still there, as it is a core theme. So, at any rate, here is the latest iteration (and probably not the last):

Ethan and Milena Dietrich are two of the rare ones among us, gifted in using their supernatural self — their soul — to reach through the veil. After years of rooting out evil around the world, they attempt to live a normal life, all the while realizing they are meant for more. Their part in the Story is unfinished.

Now, what was locked in shadow stirs, and where darkness has laid dormant, evil awakes.

Once, when the world was new, the Fallen battled the Light for control over humankind. Civilization was left in flames, the Scourges turned back by the Watchers in the last hour. The Darkness, though, was not defeated. Malice not seen since ancient times, far worse than anything on the evening news, is preparing for a new Scourge across the Earth.

They seek lost relics that surge with power. Nightmarish creatures thought only to be myth and legend will leave the shadows once more. The Dark One’s Followers will travel through time and history, obtaining all they need to propel mankind into collapse and ruin.

There is one problem with their plan. Watchers like Ethan and Milena are not afraid to bring the Light to dark places. Nor are they alone.

A war of the worst sort that could end the age of man is about to begin.

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Fairy Tales Illuminate What we Forget

If you read older versions of common fairy tales, they were often darker and more adult. They were made more kid friendly at some point, because children cannot always determine fact from fantasy, as Tolkien would argue. However, they do want something rooted in reality that didn’t have to be all cutesie. Tolkien’s first book, The Hobbit would attempt this. He was concerned about some of its more darker moments, but witness its success, and depth that exceeds what often passes for “children” books. And so Tolkien, and later C.S. Lewis with The Chronicles of Narnia, would bring fairy tales out of the nursery and gave something that would drive a child’s imagination and be sophisticated enough for an adult. Then, Lord of the Rings would take this further, bringing fantasy to maturity.

Bradley J. Birzer writes in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Sanctifying Myth, that fantasy — or fairy stories as Tolkien would often call them — is worth “the effort of entering” in spite of “its many perils and the great possibilities of misunderstanding” because:

…fairy stories illuminate the vast inheritance our ancestors have bequeathed to us…[they] give us a new sense of wonder about things we have taken for granted or which have become commonplace…[and] provide humans with a means to escape the darkness, conformity, and mechanization of modernity…this is not the same thing as escaping from reality. We still deal with life and death, comfort and discomfort. We merely escape progressivism and the progressive dream, which reduces all of complex reality to a mere shadow of creation’s true wonders

Middle-Earth was much more than elves, orcs and trolls. Of course, what do you expect from an author who was an Oxford scholar who created an entire history, new languages and new races for his mythos? And those things were not even what made it great.

The very human stories were.

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Join Your Side, the War has Begun!


Among the Shadows now on Kindle!


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Revolt Against Captivity

I have occasionally examined the appeal of speculative fiction such as sci-fi and fantasy. Here is what astronomer Fred Hoyle, in the Introduction to the 1963 edition of Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, wrote on the subject:

…the potentiality for the highest form of writing lies also in science fiction…When most men had little chance to travel, distant lands on Earth still gave a setting for stories that could be exotic, mysterious and exciting. Nowadays our lives resemble one another perhaps too much…Man as a person has never materially had it so good. Yet the technical world that makes us affluent also holds us captive. Our existence is ruled by the clocks, whose ticks subdivide the days into dull monotony. We revolt against this pattern of existence. The storyteller is here, and those who listen escape to new horizons.

So now, 53 years later, has our captivity decreased, or exponentially multiplied?

Fiction reminds us to wake up before it’s too late.

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Take a Look Inside!

The Look Inside feature has been activated on the Amazon listing of Among the Shadows. Take a peak at part of the Prologue (it be nice if they cut the excerpts off where the chapter ends…maybe the rest will appear here) and see how it all begins…fullcvnewwbs

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The Veil has Broken, The War has Begun

The world forgets evil exists even as it creeps over the land. You must stand firm. You do not have to wait for the day evil is to come. That day has already passed.

The war has begun! Among the Shadows: Watchers of the Light Book 1 is now available. Book trailer here:

Paperback at


And, of course, the e-book for Kindles is here.

What was locked in shadow now stirs, and where darkness has laid dormant, evil awakes.

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Character Profile: Rajnai

Eigen 2 Where I was born, only dust remains. My home was put to the fire, thousands of years ago. Mound of the Dead, that is what they call it now.

Since the age of the Scourges, I have served the Darkness and my master, Ahriman. A shadowmancer of the Dark One, his servant on this broken world.

In the shadows we have seethed; crafted malice that people believe to be only myth. It is to our advantage that they don’t see the rot and decay around them. Once they realize, it will be too late for all of them. What lays dormant, now awakes.

I am Rajnai. I am darkness and all in the Light will fall before me. This is their end.

Among the Shadows: Watchers of the Light Book 1 now available!

[Photo used under license from]

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Character Profile: Milena

Eigen 2 No other species approaches what man has done. While the dolphins were still swimming in the sea, man was building pyramids. When the monkeys still hid in the treetops, man was landing on the Moon. And yet it is said we have forgotten our full potential. In a age long past, man could see further. The veil was not so dark. What he could do became legend. What he saw became myth. There are those, however, who have remembered who they are and what exists around them.

Some have embraced the Light. Others, the Darkness.

I have walked among the ruins, seen the shades and fought the horrors that lurk in the shadows. I control life around me. The blades surge with power. A mother, a wife. A defender, a warrior. Loving, lethal.

I am Milena. An Arc Maiden. A Watcher. The Darkness will flee from me.

Among the Shadows: Watchers of the Light Book 1 now available!

[Photo used under license from]

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Kat Bloodmayne is Tainted

Kat Bloodmayne has a secret. She has the power within her to use nature as a weapon. Problem is that she doesn’t know where the power came from or how to control it all that well. People around her are getting hurt, and worse now that she is being hunted for her power.

Hunted by someone she knows well, protected by a man who may not be on her side and running in a world where the darkness is far more sinister than she she could have imagined.

This is Morgan L. Busse‘s new book Tainted. Set in a dystopian steampunk world — think Victorian with airships where science and the old world clash and converge.

Also think fantasy with a bit of Frankenstein simmering in the background.

I was very impressed with Morgan’s new page turner. There have many repetitive attempts at dystopia in book and film, and many failures or not-quite-there steampunk attempts. Morgan doesn’t succumb to these pitfalls and creates an original story in a well-realized world. I could see this story playing out on the big screen and Morgan has certainly established herself as a storyteller to pay attention to.

And Kat Bloodmayne is not a heroine to be trifled with.

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First-look: Among the Shadows

And now, a first-look excerpt from Among the Shadows:

The Righteous One unsheathed a blackened dagger that Solana swore had a subtle red glow. This wasn’t time to sit by like a distressed princess. These men had almost killed her and still intended to do so. No time like the present to stir things up a bit. Their drug had all but left her body as she drew the ripples of energy through her body to her fingertips. Dust began to spin on the floor beneath each hand, rising to them in a swirling column. Soon torrents of air tore through the doorway, forming a cyclone around her. Her hair whirled; her eyes burned green. One man tried to shoot as Solana approached them, but she sent the bullets back into his chest by blasts of air she commanded. Her opponents had never imagined such a terror as they shouted and cursed in their native tongue. They turned to run, but the vortexes of air she threw reached them first, lifting each off the ground and crushing them against the wall. Falling into a crumpled heap, they didn’t move.

Ethan attached an octagonal beacon to the wall and pressed a button on the device. A red light began to flash. He looked at the man on the floor. His breathing was labored. “A little something to hurry you on your way to the Dark One.”

The final moments of the Righteous One’s life were about to slip away. No inkling of remorse could be found in the dying man’s eyes, no longer veiled. In a final moment of clarity, he spoke carefully and slowly.

“The worst evil you can imagine is but a shadow of what lies conspiring, hidden and unseen, waiting patiently to emerge and spread its suffocating malice. I am nothing compared to what is to come.” His eyes froze, vacant and still, and the last breath left him

Darkness fled from the room.

“That was a bit disconcerting,” Solana said, with a shiver. The weight of oppression had vanished. A crossing through the veil.

Now Ethan was quiet; his gaze didn’t flinch from the vaguely outlined road. What he had done – what they had done – no doubt ran through his mind. In hers, it made her feel alive, but would it always? She could see that Ethan had been through so much more.

“Here it comes,” he said in a whisper.

Solana looked through the broken rear window of the truck. A streak of fire fell from above. An explosion reached into the sky and a rumble moved across the desert. Poetic justice it was.

No one could hide from the Light.

Among the Shadows breaks through the veil August 2016.

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