GreyWarden

Guest Post: Seven Superbly Ensorcelled Swords by Jim Hardison, author of Fish Wielder

[caption id="attachment_12998" align="alignnone" width="5200"]KM_284e-20160815162841 Blurmflard- Thoral's Unbelievably Magical Sword... trust me, this thing is wicked cool![/caption]  

 

Seven Superbly Ensorcelled Swords He took out his sword again and it flashed in the dark by itself. It burned with a rage that made it gleam if goblins were about; now it was bright as blue flame for delight in the killing of the great lord of the cave. —J.R.R. Tolkien  

 

Ever since I first read those words about Glamdring the Foe-Hammer in The Hobbit, back when I was about ten years old, I’ve been in love with magic swords. Since then, every time I’ve come across one in the pages of a fantasy novel, I’ve compared it with those excellent blades, Glamdring, Orcist and Sting that Bilbo and his companions recovered from the Troll cave in the chapter Roast Mutton.  For your reading pleasure, and with a few, hopefully minor spoilers, here’s a list of seven superbly ensorcelled swords that I had in mind when crafting the magic sword Blurmflard for my epically silly epic fantasy novel, Fish Wielder.  

 

  1. The Barrow Blade of Westernesse: This is the blade Meriadoc, the hobbit, uses to stab the Witch King of Angmar in the back of the knee in L.O.T.R. I’m starting with this blade because it doesn’t get nearly the credit it deserves. Yes, Éowyn delivered the killing blow, but her strike wouldn’t have made the slightest bit of difference if Merry hadn’t stabbed the Witch King first. Tolkien clearly states, “No other blade, not though mightier hands had wielded it, would have dealt that foe a wound so bitter, cleaving the undead flesh, breaking the spell that knit his unseen sinews to his will.” I was very upset when the whole Barrow-Downs scene was left out of the movies—and consequently the finding of the excellent magic Barrow swords never happened. Without that ensorcelled sword and Merry’s blow, the whole War of the Ring might have ended differently.

 

  1. Dyrnwyn: While we’re on barrow swords, my favorite is the flaming sword discovered by Taran and Eilonwy in the barrow under Spiral Castle in The Book of Three, the first book of the Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander. Removing Dyrnwyn from the tomb destroyed the entire castle. The black blade had jewels studding its hilt and pommel, and an inscription was entwined around the hilt and scabbard (much of which had been scratched away) but which read, "Draw Dyrnwyn, only those of noble worth, to rule with justice, to strike down evil. Who wields it in good cause shall slay even the lord of death." The blade was the most powerful in Prydain and when drawn, glowed with fire. It would, however, kill anyone unworthy who tried to draw it. So, there’s that.

 

  1. Excalibur (Caliburn/Caledfwlch): And while we’re on swords that can only be drawn by a chosen few, what list of magic blades would be complete without Excalibur? Actually, there’s pretty solid agreement amongst experts on magic swords that Excalibur was not the sword from the stone, as Arthur was actually given Excalibur by the Lady of the Lake. You can read about Excalibur in literally tons of books, but I personally recommend Arthur Rex: A Legendary Novel by Thomas Berger.
  2. According to legend, Excalibur's blade was engraved on one side with, "Take me up" and on the other with, "Cast me away". Its flashing metal could blind the wielder’s enemies and its scabbard prevented the wearer’s wounds from bleeding. It was supposedly able to cut through iron like it was wood and conferred the holy right to rule on whoever could draw it (not a bad deal, if you can get it). The Excalibur legend was based on a blade from Welsh myth called Caledfwlch which is a compound of the Welsh words caled "hard" and bwlch "cleft" or “breach”. Don’t ask me how that got translated into Excalibur. I’m a sword enthusiast, not a linguist.

 

  1. Caladbolg: As long as we’re kicking around legendary Welsh blades (figuratively! Never kick a sword!), let’s not forget Ireland and the two-handed sword of Fergus mac Róich. When swung, it was said to make a circle like an arc of rainbows, and to have the power to cleave the tops from the hills. Some people have suggested that Caledfwlch and Caladbolg were the same blade, but I don’t believe that for a second. You should read about this sword in The Táin translated by Thomas Kinsella.

 

  1. The Vorpal Blade: This is one of my favorites, although probably the most mysterious of the magic swords. It is mentioned in the poem Jabberwocky in Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll and is used to slay the mighty Jabberwock. There’s really very little detail about it except this:

“One, two! One, two! And through and through The vorpal blade went snicker-snack! He left it dead, and with its head He went galumphing back.” So, apart from being able to chop off the head of a Jabberwock, it also clearly invented the Snickers bar as a tasty snack. Tons of people have borrowed the Vorpal blade for other stories, as in Ready Player One by Ernest Cline  

 

  1. Stormbringer: Another black blade, but unlike Dyrnwyn, this one is as evil as they come. Stormbringer is actually a demon that has taken the form of a sword. Its edge can cut through pretty much anything not protected by powerful magic, and it has the nasty habit of drinking the soul from whomever it wounds, even if it just scratches them. Its wielder, Elric, loathes the sword but he’s such a wimp on his own that he wouldn’t survive long without it. Unfortunately, the sword has a mind of its own and it’s an evil jerk. It often betrays Elric by blinding him with bloodlust so that he accidentally kills his lovers and friends. You can read all about this wicked, wicked blade in Elric of Melniboné (and its sequels) by Michael Moorcock.

 

  1. Anaklusmos (Riptide): There are so many great swords from fantasy fiction that it’s hard to end this with only one more, but I’ll finish up with Anaklusmos from Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson & the Olympians series because my older daughter would kill me if I left this one out. Anaklusmos was originally the sword of Heracles (that’s Hercules for you Romans out there), given to him by a daughter of the god Atlas.
  2. The sword is made of celestial bronze, which means it can harm gods, demigods and monsters, but will just pass through mortal flesh without damaging it. Anaklusmos also has the power to change shape, so that when it’s not in use, it appears as a ballpoint pen (although whether the pen is mightier than the sword, I can’t say). It also magically reappears in Percy’s pocket whenever it’s lost—which is really handy. The sword was given to Percy by Chiron the centaur, on the instructions of the god Poseidon. Read the books to find out why.

 

30168029   2893010 Fish Wielder is J.R.R.R. (Jim) Hardison's first novel novel (He wrote a graphic novel, The Helm, for Dark Horse Comics). Jim has worked as a writer, screen writer, animator and film director. He started his professional career by producing a low-budget direct-to-video feature film, The Creature From Lake Michigan. Making a bad movie can be a crash course in the essential elements of good character and story, and The Creature From Lake Michigan was a tremendously bad movie. Shifting his focus entirely to animation, Jim joined Will Vinton Studios where he directed animated commercials for M&M’s and on the stop-motion TV series Gary and Mike. While working at Vinton, he also co-wrote the television special Popeye's Voyage: The Quest for Pappy with actor Paul Reiser. Jim has appeared on NBC's The Apprentice as an expert advisor on brand characters, developed characters and wrote the pilot episode for the PBS children's television series SeeMore's Playhouse and authored the previously mentioned graphic novel, The Helm, named one of 2010's top ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens by YALSA, a branch of the American Library Association. These days, Jim is the creative director and co-owner of Character LLC, a company that does story-analysis for brands and entertainment properties. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his lovely wife, two amazing kids, one smart dog and one stupid dog.  

Water Tossing Boulders

Just picked this one up via Amazon Vine.  Can't wait to get into it.

 

 

Water Tossing Boulders: How a Family of Chinese Immigrants Led the First Fight to Desegregate Schools in the Jim Crow South.

 

A generation before Brown v. Board of Education struck down America s separate but equal doctrine, one Chinese family and an eccentric Mississippi lawyer fought for desegregation in one of the greatest legal battles never told.


On September 15, 1924, Martha Lum and her older sister Berda were barred from attending middle school in Rosedale, Mississippi. The girls were Chinese American and considered by the school to be colored; the school was for whites. This event would lead to the first US Supreme Court case to challenge the constitutionality of racial segregation in Southern public schools, thirty years before the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. In this case confronting the separate but equal doctrine, the Lum family, along with an eccentric Mississippi lawyer, fought for the right to educate Chinese Americans in the white schools of the Jim Crow South.

 

Through extensive research in historical documents and family correspondence, Berard illuminates a vital, hidden chapter of America s past and uncovers the powerful journey of an oppressed people in their struggle for equality."

Reading Progress: 14%- Blood & Magic

 
Magic didn't just find Luke Caulfield. It chased him down, bludgeoned him, and has been dogging him ever since. Some lessons are harder than others, but Luke embraces danger, upping the ante to give it one better.
 
An enforcer for the Coven, a large, established group of witches, his latest assignment is playing bodyguard to the daughter of Coven leaders. Abigail Ruskin is chaperoning a spoiled twelve-year-old from New York to her parents' home in Utah Territory when Luke gets on their stagecoach in Colorado.
 
A powerful witch herself, Abigail senses Luke's magic, but has no idea what he's doing on her stagecoach. Stuck between the petulant child and Luke's raw sexual energy, Abigail can't wait for the trip to end. Unpleasant truths surface about the child. While Abigail's struggling with those, wraiths, wolves, and dark mages launch an attack. Luke's so attracted to Abigail, she's almost all he can think about, but he's leery too.
 
The child is just plain evil. Is Abigail in league with her? It might explain the odd attack that took out their driver and one of their horses. In over his head, he summons enforcer backup. Will they help him save the woman he's falling in love with, or demand her immediate execution?
-read more-

Now Arriving on the New York Subway: Free E-Books, Timed for Your Commute

(reblogged from NY Times)

 

The author Harlan Coben used Subway Reads, a program that lets riders download novellas, short stories or excerpts from full-length books published by Penguin Random House. Mr. Coben showed Subway Reads to Rainier Velardo, right, a retired Sanitation Department employee.
 

Rainier Velardo watched the basketball-player-tall man in the blue shirt who sat down next to him — the man had gotten on at the last subway stop, West Fourth Street in Manhattan, and this was an F train going to Brooklyn. Mr. Velardo watched the man tap the screen of an iPad. He heard the man chuckle and say: “You’d think I would know this. I wrote it.” And then, with even more of a chuckle, “Didn’t see that twist coming.”

Mr. Velardo, 66, perked up at what the man said next: “Actually, it’s a big enough font. I can read it without my glasses.”

 

The man in the light blue shirt was Harlan Coben, the prolific, best-selling author whose fans really do not see the plot twists coming. He writes mysteries and thrillers — page-turners, some people might call them. But that term seems to have been forgotten in the universe of cellphones and tablets. “Page-swipers” conveys the notion of motion — the reader’s finger gliding on a glowing screen — but as a locution, it will never catch on.

 

And here on the F train, he was in the digital universe, trying out something called Subway Reads, a web platform that can be reached from a subway platform.

On Sunday, Subway Reads started delivering novellas, short stories or excerpts from full-length books to passengers’ cellphones or tablets. The idea is for riders to download a short story or a chapter and read it on the train. Subway Reads will even let riders choose what to read based on how long they will be on the subway — a 10-page selection for a 10-minute ride, a 20-page selection for a 20-minute excursion, a 30-page selection for a 30-minute trip. Delays not included.

 

“I would like to do it,” said Mr. Velardo, a retired Sanitation Department employee who was on his way to a bottle distribution center in Brooklyn.

 

He can, for eight weeks. Subway Reads will last longer than a summer romance, but not much longer. It was intended to promote something that will not disappear, something that transit officials see as a milestone in the digital age: Wi-Fi service in 175 underground stations.

Transit officials approached Penguin Random House, the publishing colossus with more than 250 imprints, because it had run a similar e-book promotion in the London Underground last year, celebrating Penguin’s 80th anniversary. Transit officials said they were open to other platforms from publishers, and platforms for more than books — anything to draw passengers to the Wi-Fi service.

 

But there is a difference between the e-books on Penguin Random House’s own website and the 175 selections on Subway Reads. The ones on Subway Reads will be free.

 

“When e-books first came out, everyone thought they’d replace the book,” Mr. Coben said. “As a writer, I don’t care if you read me on stone tablets, as long as you read me. If you give me 10 minutes and don’t like it, fine; I’m not for you.”

 

But he made a prediction: “Try it. I’m going to get you after 10 pages.” (He apparently got Bill Clinton, at least once. After the former president had heart surgery in 2004, a photographer caught him carrying a copy of Mr. Coben’s novel “No Second Chance.”)

Subway Reads may turn out to be another way to reach the younger, mobile-savvy readers that publishers worry about, and the idea of timing selections to the length of a trip may appeal to people who know exactly how long their commutes take. And no, Subway Reads will not force slow readers to skip over the good stuff. If someone does not finish a 10-minute selection in 10 minutes, it will not disappear.

 

Subway Reads is offering five novellas or short stories, what Penguin Random House calls e-shorts. Three are by contemporary writers: “High Heat” by Lee Child, “3 Truths and a Lie” by Lisa Gardner, and “At the Reunion Buffet” by Alexander McCall Smith. Two are classics: “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz” by F. Scott Fitzgerald and “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” by Edgar Allan Poe. There are also dozens of excerpts from books, fiction and nonfiction.

 

The e-shorts come with pull quotes in the text, for easy sharing. Readers can tap a Twitter symbol above the quote, and it will go out on their Twitter feed. A Penguin Random House marketing official showed Mr. Coben one of the quotes while they were waiting for the F train at West Fourth Street.

 

I’m underground, he thought. I’m underground.

And then he started to scream.

 

“This is a really creepy quote,” Mr. Coben said.

 

Read the rest of the article here.

Cover Reveal: In the Beginning

 
Today Month9Books is revealing the cover and some excerpts for their Charity Anthology IN THE BEGINNING! Which releases October 25, 2016! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to be one of the first readers to receive an eGalley!!
 
On to the reveal!

 

 
Title: IN THE BEGINNING: Dark Retellings of Biblical Tales
Editors: Laureen P. Cantwell and Georgia McBride
Author: Stephen Clements, Nicole Crucial, Mike Hays, Sharon Hughson, Marti Johnson, Elle O'Neill, Lora Palmer, & Christina Raus
Pub. Date: October 25, 2016
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Paperback & eBook
Find it: Amazon | B&N |Goodreads
 
In the Beginning (Oct. 25, 2016) –Eight authors come together to build a powerful collection of dark young adult short stories inspired by the mysteries, faith, and darkness found within the Bible. Old Testament and New Testament, iconic and obscure figures alike are illuminated, explored, and re-envisioned throughout this charity anthology from Month9Books.
 
IN THE BEGINNING, edited by Laureen Cantwell and Georgia McBride
 
Daniel and the Dragon by Stephen Clements
A troubled orphan named Habakkuk dutifully follows his master, the prophet Daniel, into temples of blood-thirsty demon-gods, battles with unspeakable horrors, and bears witnesses to mind-breaking evil until his master's zealous defiance of the king's law seals their fate.
 
Babylon by Nicole Crucial
Far above the earth, in Second Eden, where moments and eternities all blur together, young Babylon befriends Sefer, the Book of Life. As Babylon awaits the moment she'll fulfill her destiny, she and Sefer try to understand the world in which they live.
 
Last Will and Testament by Mike Hays
A homeless young boy, Baz, bears the weight of humanity on his shoulders and upon his body. When dark forces test a new-found friendship, Baz’s willingness to bear the ugliness of their world will be shaken. 
 
The Demon Was Me by Sharon Hughson
Based on the story of the demon-possessed boy healed by Jesus, this tale provides a glimpse into a post-apocalyptic world where a teenage boy seeks to journey to a better land and yearns to discover the kind of man he's meant to be, only to be hijacked by an evil spirit intent upon chipping away at the hope, faith, and resilience of its host.
 
The Deluge by Marti Johnson
A non-believer shares the story of Noah’s ark-building and the deadly downpour that follows. Fear, faithlessness, and the fallibility of mankind collide in a community where second chances aren’t unlimited and a better-late-than-never attitude just might be your doom.
 
Condemned by Elle O'Neill
Just sixteen-years-old, Barabbas finds himself pulled out of Routlege Academy and into a reality show competition—against Jesus himself—where the reward for the winner is life.
 
First Wife by Lora Palmer
In a first-person retelling of the saga of Jacob, Rachel and Leah, themes of family, deception, guilt, and heartache emerge amidst the first days of Leah’s marriage to Jacob—a marriage mired in trickery a mere week before Jacob was to marry Leah's sister Rachel.
 
Emmaculate by Christina Raus
Based on the story of Mary's Immaculate Conception, we enter the troubled mind of Emma, who finds herself torn between her religious upbringing and the purity ring that binds her to her boyfriend and the pregnancy that results from her relationship with another boy.
 
Anthology Excerpts:
 
From THE DEMON WAS ME, by Sharon Hughson:
 
The ghastly black fog overtook me. Icicles pierced my back. Every muscle in my body spasmed. I plunged face-first against the ground. Something sharp gouged my cheek. Shivery tingles pervaded my insides. A vile presence pressed against my mind.
            
“Get out!” I rolled to my back, arms outstretched. I wanted to fight, throw the intruder off me. But how can you resist something as ethereal as air?
            
Laughter rang in my ears. Sinister. It shuddered against my soul. Terror and hopelessness collided in my chest. A foreign power clutched at my mind.
            
I screamed. I rolled to my side and squeezed my eyes shut. If only I could disappear.
            
Another dark wave of laughter echoed through my skull. Convulsions gripped me.
Against my will, my limbs flailed in every direction. A spike pressed into my mind. I cradled my throbbing head. My body, a tumbleweed in the wind, spun on the ground.
 
 
From BABYLON, by Nicole Crucial:
 
Only those will enter Heaven whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
 
These were the first words I heard, in the beginning of time.
 
But Sefer, the protest comes, Revelation wasn’t written until the first century.
 
My answer is that time is a funny little plaything to God, or so I imagine. That first sentence was the wind that breathed life into my chest, the binding of my pages, the ink in my soul. It knitted together my stardust-atoms from across centuries and millennia and planes of existence.
 
And when the first dregs of consciousness swirled at the pit-bottom of my spine, I yawned and opened my eyes to paradise.
 
 
From CONDEMNED, by Elle O’Neill:
 
To his surprise, as he heard the metal door grind to a stop, there was a popping sound, like the flash-lamp did when they experimented in Classic Photography at Routlege. Except no camera appeared—not that he could see anyway—but rather a digital time clock, bold red numbers, already beginning their descent, in striking relief against the black paint covering the walls.
 
29:48:12.
 
29:48:11.
 
Of course they would include the fractions of a second, he thought. He was now fighting a tiger against a racing clock. For all that they were merely numbers, he saw their dwindling trickle as if he were watching grains of sand pour through the hourglass of his fingers, helpless.
 
29:47:03.
 
The tiger looked at him. It didn't glance his way. It directed its massive head at him, its eyes trained on Barabbas ... and they didn't turn away.
 
Another man, in another arena, stood calmly while the tiger advanced. His breathing was even, he did not watch the clock, and he looked with love upon the prowling beast. When it snarled, he slowly exhaled; when its whiskers glanced his weaponless fingers, he blinked gently as the hot breath of the tiger dampened his skin.
 
 
From LAST WILL & TESTAMENT, by Mike Hays:
 
I’ve found money, I’ve found food, and I’ve found myself in plenty of trouble on plenty of occasions, but I’ve never found another human being just lying around. That’s what happened when I found a person-shaped ball of olive drab and camouflage clothing—which would have been more at home in the reject pile down at the army surplus store—under our decrepit, worn sign for the, “Extraordinary League of Witch Assass_ _ _.”
 
It’s true. I found a boy about my age sleeping at the end of the Extraordinary League of Witch Assassins driveway.
 
 
From UNWANTED, by Lora Palmer:
 
“Let me see you,” he whispers. “Let me truly see you.”
 
I swallow down the fear this moment brings, the anxiety that once he does see me, he will no longer accept me. No, I must stop thinking this way. My husband is not like Jacob, dazzled by the superficial beauty of my sister. My husband, my love, will see me.
 
Taking courage from this, I let out a shaky laugh as he helps me stand. I long to see him, too.
 
“All right,” I say.
 
He lifts my veil, his deft fingers moving slow, relishing the anticipation of this moment. At last, he lifts the linen over my face and lets it slip to the floor behind me. We stare at each other, stock still, in stunned silence.
 
It was Jacob.
 
From EMMACULATE, by Christina Raus:
 
The Ten Commandments are pretty straightforward. Killing? Bad. Lying? Nope. Adultery? Don’t even think about it. But is real life really that straightforward? If you tell your boyfriend that you’re going golfing, when really you’re going out to cheat on him, is the lying or the adultery worse? What if you stab the guy you’re having an affair with? Isn’t being a murderer worse than being a cheater? I think the stabbing is worse than the lying and the cheating combined. So, it was kind of unfair for God to group killing, lying, and cheating all together under one umbrella. They all seemed really different.
 
I was an adulterer. I couldn’t deny that. I was also a liar. A very, very good liar. But I wasn’t a murderer.
 
 
From THE DELUGE, by Marti Johnson:
 
The stench of mildew and mold is heavy in our nostrils, and my lungs feel as though they are on fire. My breathing is audible in the lulls between the thunderclaps. My mother huddles, shivering, propped between two rocks. She is coughing painfully, and I can hear her teeth chattering.
 
It is hard to breathe because the air itself is full of water.
 
A deeper shadow has fallen across the side of the mountain on which we are sheltering. I pull aside the brambles, and gasp in amazement when I realize what it is.
 
“Look!” I call to the others, and point at the sight. The ark has risen with the water, and now bobs up and down. It sits high in the water. We hear nothing from it but the creaking of the wood timbers and the sound of the branches and rocks on the hillside scraping against its hull.
 
 
From DANIEL AND THE DRAGON, by Stephen Clements:
 
Your god is a liar!” roared the wizened man in thin black robes, as he pounded his breast with his fist.
 
Habakkuk stood by the gates of the temple as his master picked a fight with a sanctuary full of the slavish followers of Bel, a bloodthirsty demon god. A fire raged in the fanged maw of a giant, stone head sunken into the back of the temple, there to receive the offerings rendered unto Bel. He had seen this before in other temple raids with his master, though not on such a massive scale, and not at the heart of the demon cult in Babylon itself.
 
The fire raged as the greatest offering that the Babylonians—who adored Bel above all other gods—could sacrifice to their deity was their own newborn children, rolled their screaming, helpless bodies down a stone, handshaped altar into the fire. They offered the fruit of their wombs to their dark god, who devoured the innocent souls sacrificed to him in eldritch rituals.

 

Giveaway Details:

 

3 winners will receive an eGalley of IN THE BEGINNING, International.



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Reading Progress: 100% of Fish Wielder

...wow.

 

This was the most fun I've had reading a book in a while.  It was funny, witty, silly and most important- clever.  There's an actual plot in here and if you're not paying attention you might lose a few threads, but it all comes together.  There were twists, turns and even some sadness.  And it all made sense... kinda.  Sorta. 

 

A wild romp, indeed. 

 

Review to come.

 

 

The Joint Post Request Line

OBD & I already have a post planned for diverse authors for tomorrow. We've not planned beyond that, and I was thinking that maybe there would be specific requests!

 

 

Are you having a lot of trouble filling your bingo square? Is there a specific square you'd like to see us cover in a joint post? Let us know in the comments!

 

This post was inspired by BrokenTune's comment on a different post, so I'll just indicate here that we will do a post on "Fall" Into A Good Book!

 

Reading Progress: Pg 216/286 of Fish Wielder

Quite a few things occur that I didn't see coming or expect, adding some gravitas to the silliness. Really enjoying the heck outta this one.

 

 

 

Reading Progress: Pg 65/286 of Fish Wielder

 

And now- a few fun facts about elves:

 

They ride unicorns.  A lot.  And don't use saddles.

 

They like to eat delicacies such as baked eel stuffed with bluebirds stuffed with salamanders stuffed with ground dragon tongue.  And they mostly drink water.  And are gluten intolerant.  They're also famous for their sherberts, which can't compare to the gelatos from Flurge but are still pretty tasty.

 

It's well known that girl elves are the toughest, most dangerous fighters.  And they aren’t bad to look at, either.

 

And when they get tired of being around humans, they can ride a great white pigeon to a land across the sea.

 

And the Princess-Who-Has-Yet-To-Be-Named finally gets one.  "She is called Nalweegie, the Evening Snack," King Elfrod revealed, "because to look on her in twilight quells the hunger of one's heart without making one feel overfull, as can happen with a more substantial meal."

 

*facepalm*

Reading Progress: Pg 45/286 of Fish Wielder

 

 

 

Thoral & Brad eventually end up in the elven kingdom of Windendale, which the elves themselves call Creekenvalley. Full of alabaster towers, wind chimes, door harps, rainbows, waterfalls- all the usual shit.

 

Elfrond, the king, was pleased to see them- after all they'd rescued his daughter from that evil sorcerer in the Godforsaken Swamp. The princess remains quite taken with Thoral; she even wears amethyst earrings cut into miniature figurines of his likeness.

 

Anyways, Elfrond admits there's some sort of evil presence out there that's killing his people... and we're out the door.

 

After two weeks of searching our intrepid heroes end up in yet another festering swampland with a black tower surrounded by the bones of elves looming over things. 

 

And then, this happens:

 

 

 

 

 

Turns out the evil sorcerer, Necrogrond, has returned- this time with his head nailed onto the body of a gorilla with elephant trunks for arms and wielding a magical hammer.  There's also some bailing wire helping to hold it in place.  The Bad Religion gave Necrogrond the Pudding of Eternal Life so he could help them get rid of all the elves.  It's all part of a much bigger plan- there's lots of moving parts and the whole thing is really complicated...

 

After an epic battle involving lots of bodily fluids being sprayed about and body parts flying around, Thorgal defeats him.  The whole tower dissolves away and he's left standing in the midst of the swamp just as the elves come riding up on unicorns. 

King Elfrod is glad he's ok- nevermind how his daughter reacts (and btw, we still don't have a name for her yet).  Elfrod tells Thoral that there's more evil out there and despite the Princess-Who-Has-Not-Been-Named objecting to his going off alone, he and Brad set off to continue their quest.

 

Getting a real kick out of this so far.  :)

 

 

Reading Progress: Pg 29/286 of Fish Wielder

 

 

After being accused of cheating at cards by a group of adventures hoping to win enough money to fund an expedition to go kill a lich or something, Thoral gets into an epic barfight, slapping one guy so hard his eyeball flies out. Random patrons in the bar start hitting on each other for no reason- it's a barfight after all. Afterwards, Thoral pays for the damages, leaves some money for a new eyepatch, gathers up Brad and staggers out to Warlordhorse and manages to leave the city, under the watchful gaze of three men clad in black who suddenly realize he was the guy they weren't supposed to let leave the city alive...

Reading Progress: Pg 19 of Fish Wielder

 

 

 

Thanks to Debbie's Spurts for the idea.  :)

Reading Progress: 7% Fish Wielder

 

 

A few lines from the opening chapter- The Fist Wielder:


*It was the anniversary of something bad.
*A less attractive or more effeminate man would never have been able to pull off such an outfit, but for Thoral it was no problem.
*There was no word for the vibrant purple color of his eyes, but they were violet.

 

Toss in a sidekick who's a foot long orange koi named Brad and a tiger-striped steed named Warlordhorse, and we're ready for adventure.  Warlordhorse is a Brendylschmylyn- a breed that can smell danger. And evil. And even evil sorcerers.

 

So Thoral is melancholy to the point of wanting to die in combat or something. While trying to mount his steed, Warlordhorse, three members of the Bad Religion sneak up and try to kill him with poisoned daggers, but... alas. And so we're off to the Godforsaken Swamp... which seems remarkably familiar to the Bog of Eternal Stench from Labryinth. With a castle that Warlordhorse can smell has an evil sorcerer inside.

 

In the depths of the dark, forboding castle- which the evil sorcerer usurped from the previous good king and poisoned the surrounding lands- Thoral invokes the runes on his magic sword, Blurmflard, which cause it to glow hot pink.  The evil sorcerer sneaks up on Thoral and almost hacks his arm off using a poisoned dagger (is there any other kind?) and runs off down some corridors that have confounding spells on them.

 

----------------------------------------------------------

 

So far just a few smiles, no real laughs yet. 



 

Booklikes Bookish Bingo Club

 

Please consider joining the new book club that I just started called the Booklikes Bookish Bingo Club. I'm hoping to have some outreach to some of the new booklikes members, and generally keep track of bingo games and other bookish fun here on BL. 

 

It's also a place I can post current bingo cards, and questions can be asked and answered. I will continue to post on my blog as well, so it's not a requirement that you join the club to play the game!

 

Link to club!

 

 

The Tip of the TBR Iceberg

 

A few things on my plate in the coming weeks.

 

Fish Wielder is kind of like Lord of the Rings, set in Narnia, if it was written by the guys who made Monty Python and the Holy Grail while they were listening to the music of They Might Be Giants.

In ancient times, the Dark Lord Mauron cooked the most powerful magic chocolate dessert ever made, the Pudding of Power. One thousand and two years later, the evil leader of the Bad Religion, the Heartless One, is trying to recover the lost pudding in order to enslave the peoples of Grome. Only the depressed barbarian warrior Thoral Might Fist and his best friend, Brad the talking Koi fish, have a chance to save the world of Grome from destruction, but that's going to take a ridiculous amount of magic and mayhem. Thus begins the epically silly epic fantasy of epic proportions, Fish Wielder--book one of the Fish Wielder Trilogy.

 

 

Magic didn't just find Luke Caulfield. It chased him down, bludgeoned him, and has been dogging him ever since. Some lessons are harder than others, but Luke embraces danger, upping the ante to give it one better. An enforcer for the Coven, a large, established group of witches, his latest assignment is playing bodyguard to the daughter of Coven leaders.

 

Abigail Ruskin is chaperoning a spoiled twelve-year-old from New York to her parents' home in Utah Territory when Luke gets on their stagecoach in Colorado. A powerful witch herself, Abigail senses Luke's magic, but has no idea what he's doing on her stagecoach. Stuck between the petulant child and Luke's raw sexual energy, Abigail can't wait for the trip to end. Unpleasant truths surface about the child.

 

While Abigail's struggling with those, wraiths, wolves, and dark mages launch an attack. Luke's so attracted to Abigail, she's almost all he can think about, but he's leery too. The child is just plain evil. Is Abigail in league with her? It might explain the odd attack that took out their driver and one of their horses. In over his head, he summons enforcer backup. Will they help him save the woman he's falling in love with, or demand her immediate execution?

 

 

Gunhild is a private in the Royal Army. She’s headstrong and reckless, but she’s also the best troll hunter in the country, and when a troll gets away with a national treasure, she’s the only person with any chance of getting it back.

Kirabo was on his way home to Aberash after a fulfilled research mission, but he managed to enter the wrong coordinates into his spaceship. Now he and his PA robot are stranded on a far-off planet, and they don’t have enough fuel to get back home.

As genres collide on Troll Island, Earth, the troll hunter and the space explorer have to overcome their differences and work together if they want to survive this fairytale.

 

Jewelry designer Kat Ramos has come to Banshee Creek to break the famous Hagen House curse and, in order to do that, she must marry Liam Hagen. A vengeful ghost with a deadly history isn’t part of the deal, and neither is love. Will Kat be able to handle both, or will the mystery of the cursed Hagen House remain unsolved?

 

 

And, of course...

 

Outside the palace of Versailles, it’s modern day. Inside, the people dress, eat, and act like it’s the eighteenth century—with the added bonus of technology to make court life lavish, privileged, and frivolous. The palace has every indulgence, but for one pretty young thing, it’s about to become a very beautiful prison.


When Danica witnesses an act of murder by the young king, her mother makes a cruel power play . . . blackmailing the king into making Dani his queen. When she turns eighteen, Dani will marry the most ruthless and dangerous man of the court. She has six months to escape her terrifying destiny. Six months to raise enough money to disappear into the real world beyond the palace gates.


Her ticket out? Glitter. A drug so powerful that a tiny pinch mixed into a pot of rouge or lip gloss can make the wearer hopelessly addicted. Addicted to a drug Dani can sell for more money than she ever dreamed.


But in Versailles, secrets are impossible to keep. And the most dangerous secret—falling for a drug dealer outside the palace walls—is one risk she has to take.

 

Don't judge me. 

 

 

 

 

Author Showcase: Win a Kindle & YA Book Bundle

 

Win a Kindle + YA Book Bundle!
 



Walters can weave a story. Wow. The pages practically sizzled whenever Torin made an appearance... --Kristy Sartain- (Whispering Pretty Stories Reviews)






An addictive young-adult fantasy based in a realm of Greek mythology, sure to please fans of Percy Jackson and The Sweet Evil Trilogy.

In a modern world still ruled by the Greek gods, being a monster isn't just a curse. It's a death sentence.

 
 
 
 
*USA TODAY called Elementals a "must read!"*
 
 
Witches are real. They're descendants of the Greek gods.
 
 
 
 
 
"White offers an agile, endearing fantasy that fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer will adore. Her description of the call is perfectly realized: "an irresistible melodic pull, as though it was a choral magnet and she a metal filing." The narrative's strongest suit is its playfully steamy romance between destroyer and demon: "She held his wrists above his head...[and] nipped the tip of his nose with her teeth." A romping debut that's perfect for teenage fantasy fans." - Kirkus Reviews
 
 
 
“Kelly St. Clare has quickly become one of my favorite authors and I am now a fan for life.” - AmiesBookReviews.
 
"This story is wonderful for teenage girls, young women and the all around book lover." - GenuineJenn
 
 
 

Amazon best-selling series

Be careful who you trust, for even the Devil was once an Angel.

INCEPTION is the enthralling first installment in The Marked series. A YA paranormal romance full of atmosphere, supernatural adventure, and jaw-dropping twists that will keep you guessing until the very last page.

 
 
 
2014 National Indie Excellence Award Finalist!
 
2014 Kindle Book Review Award Semi-Finalist!
 
 
What would you do if you lived through the apocalypse? The real fight to survive comes after everyone else is gone.
 
 
 
 
 
Fans of The Mortal Instruments will love Emerge: The Awakening, Book 1 of the Urban Fantasy, Emerge Series.
 
 
-- "An unhurried but engrossing start for a potentially riveting paranormal series." -Kirkus Reviews
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wolf Moon is an exciting yet unnerving legend of evil witches, deadly demons, and werewolf protectors that will stimulate your senses and leave your heart racing. – Amazon Reviewer
 
 
 
 
 
 
Walker Saga Box Set
 
Follow Abigail and her friends as they journey through the First World star system. They have an important and dangerous mission: gather the seven half-Walker females. This group of loyal, crazy, determined girls are the only ones who can stop the Seventine before they destroy their worlds. 
 
Every Entrant is a Winner!
 
Enter via the giveaway link to go into the draw for the latest Kindle and a $50 Amazon giftcard!
 
Take home one of the weekly Amazon giftcard prizes!
 
 
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