Random Friday


Hi guys,

I’m Samantha and I come from another world – the original, old Silvery Earth, where people are immortal and never grow up. When I’m not switching bodies at will, I travel to other universes, especially books or movies. That’s how I met Rajveer the vampire, for example!

So, I’m taking over the interviews on this blog! And here I am, meeting people from other books/universes/whatever! Hello there. Tell me a little about yourself.

Marden – just Marden now. I’m about 30 years of age and well, my past is a bit shameful. For years I was a Witch-Hunter, a killer of mages and adepts. I killed for my duty, because I thought I was correct in doing so, because it was the law. I asked too few questions and believed too many easy answers. Now that man is dead. Now I am Marden, captain of the Tremellic Militia.

Mmm, witch-hunter… maybe I should turn you into a toad! *winks* Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

Human, sandy hair, a few scars on my face.

Do you have an enemy or nemesis? If so, who are they and how did they become an enemy?

That’s an interesting question, I used to think my enemy was magic and its users. I used to believe many lies. Now, well now I know better. I suppose my enemies now are the Order of Witch-Hunters.

You’ve just earned a few point! Now I actually like you! *grins* Would you kill for those you love? And would you die for them?

I thought I could not kill for someone I loved. I killed for duty – which is not the same, but now, yes I could kill for someone for whom I care. And I have.

Would I die? Yes, yes I would. A man can give his life for many reasons – the love or respect of another is not an unworthy death.

Wise man. Where do you live?

I live in Harkenen in the Tremellic Valley, before that I was raised in a small village by the Silver Sea and moved around quite a bit as a soldier.

Are you involved in a relationship? If so, with who and what is it about them that you find appealing?

It’s complicated. Let’s just say there is a woman. Whether it’s a relationship – that is hard to say. It’s not love, for either of us. Duty perhaps, guilt perhaps, but not love.

Interesting! What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

Surviving. Finding out I’m not the man I thought I was. Finding the truth is not what it seems. Reality was quite a shock, I can tell you.

Do you have a family? Tell me about them.

I have a son. He’s a treasure and I don’t deserve him. Other than that I don’t. Not anymore. My brother was killed in a riding accident. He was always reckless. My parents? My father – well I think he still lives. I can never go home. I can never see my mother’s face again. It would be too dangerous. To them I am dead.

You have a son? What about the son’s mother? Never mind… Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

I almost got eaten by a giant snake. Then I ate the snake.

Cool! What 2 or 3 questions do you wish I’d asked and what are your answers to them?

Why did I embark on my adventure?

Money, glory, duty, honour.

Where did I find the answer to a question I didn’t even know I was asking myself? A bridge of ice in a storm from hell. I had two choices – one would have been easy and resulted in promotion, renown and money; the other would mean probable death, and exile if I survived. I do not regret the choice I made.

Wow… I’m impressed. But here we have someone else! Hello, there! Tell me a little about yourself!

Commander Hendrick, of the Order of Witch-Hunters. I am forty. I command many cohorts of men.

Ooh, tough man. Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

Brown hair, human, well built.

I imagine the “well built” comes from years of weapon training… What is your role in the story?

I am a Witch-Hunter. It is my right, and my duty to uphold the law of Erana. I hunt mages, the filthy scum who pollute our land with their magic, and elves who bring the Plague. Elves must know their place or be taught it. Elves are nothing but slaves, they cannot be trusted.

If I destroy Lord Archos, if I find this elven city full of riches my career is assured. I’ll make High Commander and I’ll rid the land of its blight.

And I sure hope you fail! *glares* What is your relationship with the protagonist(s)?

He is my man. He works for me.

Where do you live(world/town/whatever)?

I live at the fort, but I have a home elsewhere. I am a very busy man, so do not see it much.

Are you involved in a relationship? If so, with who and what is it about them that you find appealing?

No. My career is my mistress. If I want a tumble, I take one. If there is a comely elf or mage brought in, she is mine to do with as I please.

*snorts* I had guessed that much What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

Policing Erana is always a challenge. My biggest challenge? I could hardly tell many of my superiors or men about this elven city, if it didn’t exist or they failed to find it I would look a bloody fool. The Lord of Tremellic is no threat to me. He is just a mage, he will fall to magebane.

Do you have a moral code?

I do my duty. I uphold the martial law and protect the ordinary citizens, what is more honourable than that? I do no steal, I have no need to. I hang thieves.

Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

I don’t like cats.

Meow! What 2 or 3 questions do you wish I’d asked and what are your answers to them?

Why is magic illegal? Because the elves and mages brought war, they brought Plague and almost destroyed us all. Magic is dangerous – it must be eradicated.

Why do I think Lord Archos has not been challenged before? Because like many nobles he pays bribes. Certain members of the Order are not above bribery. He hides in his valley and thinks he is safe. Because the Order is undermanned. Because he has friends. I will find them.

_____________________________

Book 2 EbookBook(s) in which the characters appears and links

The Stolen Tower – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles Book II

The Shining Citadel – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles –Book II

Who rules in this game of intrigue where magic is forbidden and elves enslaved? Journey where beliefs shatter like glass, truth is unwelcome and monsters from ancient times abound: share the romance and revenge, magic and passion, and the wages of greed in a world of darkest fantasy. (Please note the 18+ rating.)

Available as an e-book in all the Amazon Stores, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Apple, and the Smashwords associate stores, and in print on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Shining-Citadel-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00D4CF6W8

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-shining-citadel-alexandra-butcher/1116863431

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/shining-citadel-light-beyond/id701320767?mt=11

Available as a paperback on Amazon and Createspace.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Shining-Citadel-Beyond-Chronicles/dp/1489591222/

Author Bio:

A. L. Butcher is the British author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles fantasy series, and several short stories in the fantasy and fantasy romance genres.  She is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet and a dreamer. When she is grounded in the real world she likes science, natural history, history and monkeys. Her work has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as evocative.

Blog: http://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6430414.A_L_Butcher

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alexandra-Butcher/e/B008BQFCC6/

Twitter:@libraryoferana

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DarkFantasyBeyondTheStorm

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Writer Wednesday


Before I vanish into offline-land (but don’t worry, there are scheduled posts coming), a recap!

FirebirdDTFWriting! Beautiful is off to betas so I can send it to mighty editor in early November. I’m quite happy with it (of course, it’s the latest baby!) because I’ve put in stuff that I usually don’t mention. Like favorite food and pets.

Publishing! Firebird is now out on all retailers. It’s a Silvery Earth novella, I thought it was time to leave the Star Minds universe for now! 🙂

Draving! S.K.Y.B.A.N.D. 15 is also out as single issue on DriveThruComics. In November you’ll get the Omnibus 3 and the whole graphic novel – the latter also in print, so you might want to wait! Aaand…

100I guess it’s self-esplanatory! 😉 Not sure yet when I’ll publish them, though. And will start working on the alternative ending of Rajveer the Vampire as next drawing project.

Some writerly links to last you for the next two weeks – maybe more! 🙂 Grab your writing planner at Writing World! I used it this year for the first time and it’s great! I jot down daily wordcounts, to-do things, ideas and for 2016 there’s even the submission sheets included!

Dealing with Success by Devyani Borade. Author Earnings… again by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Which brings us to explore Tolino – a reminder there’s not just the US market now. Take me. I sell all over the place. All over the world. And an “old” (last August) post on social media snake oil – or what should you beware when marketing on social media.

Oh, and if you want to support a Kickstarter project, my cover artist and webmaster Silvano has this Dark Steam Tales up for funding… I didn’t do the translations on that one – I’m working on Evo-Z (so if the translation of Evo-Z are clunky you know who to blame)! 😉 Oh, and if you want to read Evo-Z or back up this other project… one day the guy might be working on my project! 😀

I’m going to a non-writing vacation, but to keep you inspired whil I’m away, here’s the last link: 21 quotes to reignite your passion for writing! Me? Don’t need them. I already know I’ll be itching to write the next story when I come back. And that’s why I don’t do NaNoWriMo… I write all year long – not every day, but all year long! 😉

Wishing you a happy week and end of the month… Will be back after Halloween! Have fun! 😀

Writer Wednesday


MTSK4DTFNew title out! More Tales of the Southern Kingdoms is now live on Kobo, Kindle, DriveThruFiction, Smashwords, Barnes&Noble and Apple! A collections of stories of the Southern Kingdoms, including Amrendra and the Hooded Man. If you haven’t checked the single novellas, go get the anthology now!

By the way, for the final weeks of the Smashwords sale, I enrolled even the previous two titles – 50% off, like the rest. So the latest upload is the only one at full price! 🙂 The sale is ending soon, so hurry! Get that honorable mention novella for 1,50$ NOW! 😉

I’m almost done with the S.K.Y.B.A.N.D. pencils, but then I’ll need to ink and then to color and then to letter and then the summer will be over before I know it, also because I’ll be away for a week and I don’t intend to take the drawing stuff with me. I’ll be writing then – Hakeem’s Rival probably, part 3 of the Assassins’ Guild story. So #14 won’t be ready for Loncon, even if it would be a good timing. But since I don’t do the print version of single issues anymore, it’s not that bad after all! 😀

And my final schedule for Loncon is as follow:

Old New Classics: The Off-Beat and Indie Comics of Yore

Saturday 13:30 – 15:00, Capital Suite 14 (ExCeL)

When people discuss the Golden Age and Silver Age of Comics the conversation is often dominated by the emergence of the superhero in both DC and Marvel. However, from its inception comics were always a fertile breeding ground for fun, weird, and alternative stories.
What influential, under-appreciated comics from the past deserve a higher profile today? What kind of comics would people like to see more of now, that were plentiful in the past?
Are we more progressive in comics today, or re-learning to embrace the medium?

with Scott Edelman, Smuzz, Allan J. Sim, Peter Sutton, Barbara G.Tarn

If you happen to be there, please show up and then we can have a coffee together! 😉

This week’s buzz is, of course, Kindle Unlimited. In case you’ve been living under a rock, I’ve gathered a few links for you: Lucky Bat Books, Scott William Carter, Hugh Howey, David Gaughran, Smashwords… and I’m sure you can find tonz more. Enough for an informed decision.

The other “controversy” is the numbers shared by AuthorsEarnings.com. What about those numbers? The Guardian wrote about it, and Joe Konrath and Barry Eisler had to comment… Or, like PG says “since nobody on the tradpub side seems to act like a rational adult when discussions of self-publishing and Amazon occur, we’re unlikely to be able to schedule an adult debate any time soon.”

Anyhow, welcome to the new and changing landscape of publishing. If you need help to cope, here’s a post for you. And like Jeff Bezos says “Your fear is my opportunity” (read the rest on Hugh Howey’s blog)… Have a great week!

Sunday Excerpt – CVE2


From Chronicles of the Varian Empire – The Left-handed Warrior, out on Smashwords and Kindle! This scene follows last week’s post.

The journey to Xendaria was uneventful. They didn’t meet any bandits, but Winged Liam’s talk kept them on edge. He was very talkative for a Sila and he wasn’t even a Singer, but a Map Maker.

Kurt didn’t know if he should ignore or slap the petulant winged being who kept calling them “a beautiful couple”. It wasn’t so much for him – he knew exactly what he wanted and wasn’t a virgin anymore – as for Blondsun who looked confused and sometimes on the verge of kissing him. The company was annoying and he started to wonder how to get rid of both without offending them.

Blondsun was torn. On one side he physically lusted for Kurt more and more – supported by Winged Liam’s words –, on the other side his brain saw the absurdity of the situation. Kurt would never have sex with him and the Sila’s talk often provoked him, stretching his patience almost to a breaking point. And Blondsun hated Kurt’s anger as it changed his adoptive brother into another, very unpleasant person.

They were one day away from their destination, resting on the side of the road, eating their travel provisions, and the young Sila was saying for the umpteenth time how great they looked together when Kurt decided that was it.

He unsheathed his sword and pointed it at the Sila’s throat. Winged Liam gasped and went silent as he stared goggle-eyed at Kurt’s frown.

“As you’re convinced we’re a couple, why don’t you leave us alone?” Kurt demanded, feeling Blondsun holding his breath. “Are you trying to intrude in our intimacy? Don’t you think it’s time you went on your way? I’m sick of your babbling. Tomorrow we’ll be in town and I couldn’t have one night with my partner! Your intrusiveness is rude, I don’t care about Sila rules, this is the ground world and Humans rule, am I clear?”

Winged Liam nodded slowly, gulping down his sudden terror for the left-handed warrior.

“Then off you go,” Kurt ordered, putting away the sword.

“I didn’t want…” Winged Liam begged.

“Not a word!” Kurt pointed a finger at him. “Begone!”

Winged Liam averted his eyes and left.

Blondsun exhaled with relief. “I thought you wanted to kill him,” he grumbled, resuming eating his flat bread.

“I’d have done it if he didn’t leave,” Kurt shrugged. “Sorry, but enough is enough.”

“I know, but he wasn’t listening to me.”

“You’re too sweet.” Kurt smiled despite himself. “Want me to teach you some Human brutality?”

“No, thank you.”

“Sometimes you only need to bluff.”

“Might work with Sila or Genn, not sure Humans or Fajrulo would fall for it.”

“Well, you’re a magic user. Hit first.”

“I can’t.”

“You will learn.”

Blondsun shook his head, depressed.

Sunday Excerpt – CVE2


From Chronicles of the Varian Empire – The Left-handed Warrior, out on Smashwords and Kindle!

Big wings flapping disturbed their conversation and they looked up. A Sila was gliding towards them against the sun. He touched down and folded his feathery wings as the horses stopped to snort at him.

“Good morning,” the Sila came forward. “It’s strange to see a Genn traveling with a Human.”

He stopped between the two horses, staring alternatively at both riders with a big grin. He was young, with short blond hair and slightly darker blond wings. His blue eyes were filled with curiosity and he wore the usual tight-fitting clothes of the Sila – a shirt and long pants –, with boots that wouldn’t last long on the ground.

The Sila were the second best known Magical Race, but only few actually met them. City governors might deal with them, but most commoners never got a chance for a closer look. Nothing was known of the other two Magical Races – Waiora and Fajrulo – but the Sila were considered divine because of their big feathery wings. Except the black-winged ones, who stayed away from any Human population.

Kurt had seen many Sila at the Capital, but none of them so closely. He knew they were Air’s people, much as the Genn were Ether’s and Humans, Earth’s, and that they had very good map makers among them. The winged being must be very naive and very curious to come so close to an armed Human.

“I thought Humans didn’t like the Genn anymore,” the young Sila continued.

“The Emperor doesn’t like them, and I’m not the Emperor,” Kurt replied.

“Kurt is my brother,” Blondsun added. “We grew up together.”

“Sorto!” The Sila beamed. “Are you running away because you love each other and want to be together?”

“What?” Kurt couldn’t believe his ears. “Are you crazy? We told you we’re brothers!”

“Adoptive brothers,” the Sila replied with a mischievous smile. “Won’t prevent you from carnally loving each other if you want.”

“We don’t want,” Kurt snapped. “Humans don’t do these things.”

“What things?” The winged being was puzzled.

“Same-sex love is forbidden,” Kurt answered quickly, embarrassed. Blondsun had blushed at the mention of sex.

“Oh.” The Sila looked disappointed. “But he loves you!” He stared at Blondsun’s confusion. “Don’t you? It shows in the way you look at him!”

“You’re mistaken,” Kurt replied, unsure if he was more upset by the Sila interference or Blondsun’s silence.

“I’m Winged Liam,” the Sila said, grinning again. “And you? Where are you headed?”

“Xendaria,” Kurt answered. “It’s where I was born.”

“And he follows you because he loves you,” Winged Liam teased.

“He doesn’t love me, I have this horrible scar I refuse to get rid of,” Kurt retorted, sarcastic.

Blondsun couldn’t look at anyone or anything and seemed on the verge of an emotional explosion.

“He loves you and looks forward to curling up against you to sleep,” Winged Liam smiled. “You’re so cute, both of you, the tough guy and the shy guy! I want to travel with you!”

“Winged Liam,” Blondsun managed to summon his voice, but it was shaky. “We’d be delighted if you could scout for us. Kurt is a warrior, but you can see from the sky and warn us of ambushes and other dangers.”

“Sure! See you tonight!”

Winged Liam opened his wings and soon was airborne again.

Blondsun cleared his throat and spurred his horse, staring straight ahead. He could feel Kurt’s eyes piercing him.

“We don’t need a scout, you’re a wizard!” Kurt snapped.

“Did you really want him to walk with us and keep on talking?” Blondsun blushed again and his voice shook.

Kurt smiled against his will. “He’s really convinced we’re a couple. But you’re not in love with me, are you?”

“A little,” Blondsun whispered, eyes low. “Not like Goldenleaf, but… and I don’t want to have sex with you if it’s what worries you.”

“In fact I was beginning to think you were too taken by me to look around,” Kurt said. “I mean, at your age you should start looking for a mate, right?”

“Yes, but I haven’t found the right person yet,” Blondsun answered quickly. He didn’t like lies, but he couldn’t say the whole truth or he’d lose Kurt, just like Goldenleaf. Besides, it wasn’t really his first love. Besides, it would go away eventually. Besides, he should tell Winged Liam to shut up!

***

To help you visualize the Sila, please check this old post of mine

Sunday Excerpt


Because Six Sentence Sunday doesn’t bring that many visitors to this blog, because six sentences is really very short, and because I’m late with the latest release, I will do a Sunday Excerpt – including the past six sentence Sundays. So here’s the whole scene from Allan de Sayek (OK, it misses the very end, but at least you know how the full conversation goes),  out on Kindle and Smashwords! 🙂

Allan had been sent to his room as soon as they had reached Palace de Sayek and was very worried for Nazir. A servant brought him a message from his father: Prince Ahmed would meet him in the morning, and he was confined to his room until his father’s visit. Without food.

Allan tried to glance into the room on the other side of the corridor, hoping to see Nazir there, but his beloved hadn’t gone back to his room – the door was wide open and the room obviously empty – and the two guards standing outside forbade him to leave his own.

Allan snorted, frustrated. His fear for Nazir’s life made his stomach clench, so he didn’t really notice the missed dinner. He wasn’t hungry. He couldn’t sleep either because it was a hot night and thoughts of his lover kept him up almost until dawn.

When he awoke the sun was high and his father stood next to the bed, arms folded over his chest, wearing a frown that didn’t allow much hope.

Allan pulled himself up, gathering his wits. “Father, where is Nazir? Please tell me you haven’t killed him, as I am the one to blame.”

Prince Ahmed’s lips twitched as if he had repressed a smile. “No, I haven’t killed him, Allan.”

“Thank the Gods!” Allan joined his hands and looked at the painted ceiling, relieved.

“But I did punish him and will also punish you,” his father continued.

“You haven’t hurt him… physically, have you?” Allan worried his father could have made a eunuch out of his lover.

“No, I sold him as a slave.”

Allan gaped. Nazir… a slave? “To whom? To do what?” he panicked.

“He’s chained to row in a galley. You will not see him, ever, again.” His father’s voice was harder now. “If you try to contact him or free him I will execute him, Allan – is that clear?”

Allan nodded, speechless, staring wide-eyed at his father. He had lost his beloved. How could he ever be happy again?

“I shall find you a wife,” his father added, calming down. “You will follow tradition, Allan. My son will not dishonor our family with a forbidden love. Your punishment is twenty lashes.”

The two guards that had waited outside came into the room and grabbed Allan’s arms, pulling him to his feet and dragging him to the courtyard where a pole for flogging disobedient servants stood in a corner.

It was probably the first time in the history of the palace that the son of the prince was tied to the pole and whipped under his father’s stern eyes. Allan clenched his teeth, determined not to scream or beg, but tears started flowing down his cheeks.

Nazir had become a slave and he was treated like a servant. Life was unfair. His father was unfair in denying him his greatest love.

Memories of the days in the oasis flashed through his mind between lashes. His back ached and he wished he could feel Nazir’s hands and lips on his bruises.

They took him back to his room where he slumped on the bed, burying his face in the pillow to hide his desperate sobs. Eventually, he fell asleep.

Six Sentence Sunday


Continuing from last week, Chronicles of the Varian Empire – The Spell.

***

“Welcome to the Varian Empire,” Brendan said.

“Empire?” Desiderio’s heart sank and he stared at Brendan as if he were from another world.

“Yes, year 50 to be exact. It used to be a kingdom. Half a century ago.”

***

Chronicles of the Varian Empire – The Spell is out on Kindle and  Smashwords.

Now hop back to the Official Blog for more six sentence goodies. Have a great Sunday!

Six Sentence Sunday


From my latest release Chronicles of the Varian Empire – The Spell – Desiderio discovers what the spell did to him.

***

“Vittore, what’s going on?” he exploded, bringing a smile to that Brendan’s lips.

“You’re not when you think you are.”

Desiderio scratched his head. “This is Havenstock Castle, right?”

“Yes,” Brendan grinned. “But your name is legend.”

***

Chronicles of the Varian Empire – The Spell is now out on Smashwords and Kindle.

Now hop back to the official blog for more six sentence goodies! Happy Sunday!

Six Sentence Sunday


Happy New Year, Sunday visitors, blog regulars and any casual drop by! Welcome to the last bit of BoI – Earth, and the fourth main character, Thea…

***

The Marquis thought if a woman had been trained as a warrior, she might as well do a man’s work. And Thea was well versed with all weapons and had proven to be smarter than many of her male colleagues.

She had been the first female detective, but one year later there were now four out of twenty. Not too bad for a male-oriented job. Thea had had to fight her way in every job she had ever attempted in her life – everybody saw her red head on a dress with generous cleavage, while she had always preferred breeches. Having many brothers had toughened her, and she had been a mercenary for years before settling with the Konigtown police.

***

Books of the Immortals – Earth is out on Smashwords, Kindle and in print on Lulu. Now hop back to the official blog for more six sentence goodies!

Have a wonderful 2012!

Six Sentence Sunday – TSK1


As you seem to enjoy The Slave very much, here’s a last snippet from that story. This time it’s her point of view of the local king.

***

If she had met him back home, she’d have hunted him down; and if she had found him in someone else’s Apartment, she’d have requested him immediately. He was darn good looking and well endowed, she could have lots of fun with him in bed! Except he was king and she was a slave, so she had to find a more subtle way to capture him.

But first, of course, she had to lure him back to her bed, which didn’t look easy. There were dozens of beautiful women in the Garden, and a queen, pregnant with her fifth child. Kushan came every day to visit his favorite concubine, Meghana, almost a second queen herself, but never bothered with Bekah.

***

More stories about the Amazons will come out in 2013, although they’ll be guests in the stories coming out next year. Tales of the Southern Kingdoms vol.1 (which includes the above excerpt from The Slave) is available at Smashwords and on Kindle.

Now hop back to the official blog for more six sentence goodies! Have a great Sunday!

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