A Hint of Good in the Bad

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A major point of Path of the Traitors is that some of the villains in Legends of Windemere are not entirely evil.  They have a chance at redemption and even some positive qualities.  While not every villain is in this story, I’m going to run down the roster and point out the spark of good that is in them.  Although, I won’t mention Trinity because she’s had several of her own posts.

General Vile

This halfling warrior didn’t get nearly as much book time as I’d hoped, but I tried to make sure he always shined in his scenes.  One way of doing this was giving him a sense of honor and manners.  He’s rarely angry and insulting even to Yola, who is known for being highly irritating.  Vile gives Kayn a fair fight when he debuted and tried to do the same with Sari until he was pushed too far.  His spark of good is this sense of honor that hints he was a much better man in his younger days.  It’s just that his desire for a challenge led him to the Baron’s services and he sacrificed his noble side for the promise of glorious fights.

Yola Biggs

The thing about Yola is that she rarely means any harm.  This doesn’t make her a good person because she still hurts people.  Even innocent evil is still evil, but it is hard to call it evil when she’s still learning the difference between right and wrong.  Remember this is a primordial being, so those things can get a little confusing for her.  Another sign that she isn’t totally evil is that she will fix her mistakes if they’re pointed out.  For example, she put everything back to normal after she caused a major upheaval in The Merchant of Nevra Coil.  Yola also has no problem apologizing, which is something you don’t see a lot of villains do.

The Hellfire Elf

Being a demon, you expect nothing good from this character.  Yet, he’s shown a sense of honor and fairness when it comes to Luke.  There are a few times when his actions even help the one he’s called his rival.  It’s because demons have a design ‘flaw’.  When they are pulled from the Chaos Void, they are truly evil and obey their masters as long as they aren’t the stronger being.  As time goes on, they will gain emotions and thoughts that are oddly mortal.  For this Hellfire Elf, it’s the sense of being thrilled with fighting a strong opponent.  It’s no longer about the orders and job, but just having fun and he doesn’t even care if he wins.  Will this remain now that he’s in the Chaos Void again?  You never know.

Nyder Fortune

What to say about this Gnomish inventor?  Well, people might not know about him because he rarely leaves Shayd.  Most of his scenes are in the prologue or when the other villains are passing through.  Because of this, Nyder became the Baron’s confidant and developed the ability to speak openly without fear of reprisals.  Instead of being the sniveling manipulator like so many other evil advisers, he shows true concern for his master.  He tries to steer him away from self-destructive actions and mentions when he thinks the risks are too high.  By the end of the series, I’ve found that Nyder really is a friend instead of a lackey for the Baron.  They’re still trying to rule the world though, but it shows there’s respect and friendship there.

The Lich

The original main villain of the series, who might look rather weak by this point.  He was never the best planner, necrocaster, or much else.  You have to wonder why he was kept around and given important missions.  It comes down to one really important aspect of the Lich that he actually shares with Luke Callindor.  Good old Tyler never gives up even if he has to make a new body.  More so than the other villains, he has an incredible amount of faith in his master.  This doesn’t stop the Baron from turning his back on him and letting him die when he failed too many times, so you have to wonder what the Lich thought at the very end.  Still, you gotta give him credit for staying the course and believing in the cause.  He’d be an interesting hero if that passion was directed to a nobler goal.

Baron Arthuru Kernaghan

It’s tough to put a positive spark in the major villain, especially when he’s supposed to be so evil that the gods and goddesses erased him from history.  I think it’s this good point that makes him even more dangerous.  The Baron has tortured, killed, and done nearly every horrible act in the back.  (For some reason, I can’t see him as a rapist, so there’s one plus.)  Even with all of the evil, he shows kindness when it strikes his fancy and this can draw people in.  He won’t strike down an agent for one failure if they tried and are willing to improve for him.  He acknowledges that not everyone is as powerful as him and his curse means not everything will go his way.  So, mortals are not seen as expendable as they once were to him.  Trinity has made him appreciate the chaos elves more and Nyder has softened his edges by caring about him.  It’s not easy to see since he has limited scenes and I needed him to be the biggest baddie in the series, but he has moments of humanity.

Perhaps the biggest examples are Melanie and Raksha.  For those that don’t know, Raksha is a kitten that Trinity gave to the Baron and he turned it into a monster.  This was done to make sure it can survive on Shayd and in the Chaos Void.  He needed someone to tend to Raksha, but the knife-tipped tails made the pet fairly dangerous.  Around this time, a girl caught his attention.  She was in a group of people that were taken to be used as food for his demons.  The Baron took Melanie out of the pack and transformed her into a being of metal to play with Raksha.  The pair can be found playing around several scenes and he shows glints of genuinely caring about them.  It could be selfish though because the Baron has been around for so long that he might be struggling to retain some of his humanity.  Still, it is an act of benevolence in some fashion.

Stephen Kernaghan

Well . . . You see . . . He . . . Okay, there’s an exception to every rule.  Stephen was and always will be the ultimate bastard in this series.

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13 Tales of Illusory Blog Tour Stop #3

Welcome to Hell Bent

13 long tour banner

Hey! Welcome to the next stop of the “The 13: Tales of Illusory” blog tour! Are you, by any chance, looking for a creepy read, with a classic Night Gallery sort of feel? This might just be what you’re looking for.

Tag Line: Can you survive all 13?

Back cover blurb: 13 enchanted horrors. 13 spine-chilling tales. Down, down in the depths they fell, bodies in the dark of a liquid hell. Can you survive all 13?

So to help commemorate the new book, Travis has gotten the opportunity to interview one of the many characters found within the 13 short tales… No character pic this time…but in all fairness, I think I might have forgotten to ask about that.

In all honesty, Travis can’t remember how he’d gotten underwater. Nor can he figure out why he hasn’t drowned (then come back, then drowned again, over and over) by now…

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A Perfect 10 with Michele Jones

Author Don Massenzio

This week, I have the pleasure of featuring Author Michele Jones for this edition of A Perfect 10.

Please enjoy this week’s installment of A Perfect 10

If you want to check out past interviews, you can find them in the following links:

A.C. FlorySteve BoseleyKayla MattMae ClairJill SammutDeanna KahlerDawn Reno LangleyJohn HowellElaine CouglerJan SikesNancy BellNick DavisKathleen LopezSusan ThatcherCharles YallowitzArmand RosamiliaTracey PaganaAnna DobrittKaren OberlaenderDeby FredericksTeri PolenDarlene FosterRobert Rayner, C.C. NaughtonSherry RentshlerLinda BradleyLuna St. ClairJoan HallStaci TroiloAllan HudsonRobert EggletonPaul Scott BatesP.C. ZickJoy LennickPatrick Roland

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The Future of Bedlam: After Protecting


Last Thursday, Protecting Bedlam came to an end on this blog.  The summer into fall adventure of Cassidy and Lloyd didn’t really net much in terms of sales.  Still, a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who read to the end, are still reading to the end, bought one of the previous adventures, and reblogged.  I really appreciate that since this is a project I love writing, but seem to get little back for in terms of response.

This brings up the question of what to do next.  I would normally be publishing Derailing Bedlam in February since it’s written and only needs to be edited and given a cover.  Yet, this isn’t cheap and money is getting tight.  2018 will see the start of a new series and the stand alone from Legends of Windemere.  Bedlam is in a category where people love the idea, talk about it when it’s on the blog, and then nothing happens in terms of sales to justify putting money behind it.  Maybe I can just pay for the cover and do all free publishing.  The problem there is that I such a thing would involve a lot of guest posts, but I’ll be having the first War of Nytefall book coming out in April and it might be too soon to be guest so close together.

I’m also trying to think about the pricing.  Crossing Bedlam and Chasing Bedlam are 99 cents each.  Do I keep that going or raise the sequel to $2.99?  What if I do a third one?

Anyway, I’d be happy to hear what people think.  I know I should be confident and publish my finished projects like many authors do.  Yet, this is becoming an issue of funds and the previous books getting very little traction.  So, what do people think?

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Meet Guest Author, Laurette Long…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Hello readers, I’m Laurette Long, author of The French Summer Novels and I’m writing this sitting in a garden full of rosemary and lavender, admiring the sun slipping behind the hilltop village across the valley and waiting for the nightingale to tune up. Before it gets dark I might stroll down the field to pick a handful of figs–making sure to stamp loudly to warn any sleeping snakes. Where am I? Sometimes I have to pinch myself. They say Life’s a journey. How did that journey take me from a council house in west Yorkshire to a hamlet in south-west France?

I blame it on the parents. At the tender age of thirteen, I was pushed out of the nest one summer and sent to foreign climes. France. Mum and Dad, firm believers that travel broadens the mind, scraped up enough money to send me on a school exchange programme…

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Narrator Interview – Joseph Batzel

This gallery contains 5 photos.

Originally posted on Library of Erana:
*Tell us a bit about yourself: My name is Joseph Batzel. I live in a small community in Utah by the name of Brigham City and have lived here since 1980 when I moved…

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Path of the Traitors, War of Nytefall, and Other Stuff: Goals!!!

First, a reminder that Legends of Windemere: Path of the Traitors is live and ready to be read.  I did as much marketing as I could with this one, but it doesn’t seem to be exploding like the previous ones.  Doubt I’ll reach a Top 100 list outside of the New Releases, which Amazon never promotes outside of the Top 1-10 if even that.  So, I’m hoping this changes now that the first week is over and that writing this doesn’t bring a lot of chaos on my head.  I’ve mentioned before how the people who want me to quit look for every drop of blood to came at me over.  Anyway, that’s that part of the week.

The rest of the week was one of those ‘whatever could go wrong, went wrong’.  My son had Thursday and Friday off, which I planned for.  What I didn’t expect was him to throw up on the bus on Monday and for his fear of eating to come back stronger than before.  I lost Monday to taking care of him even though it was only motion sickness made worse by sucking down a chocolate milk 10 minutes before getting picked up.  The rest of the week had me battling him over food and having no patience for it.  I nearly put this issue to bed and then it got worse.  Before anyone gives advice, there are no foods that he will eat no matter what and he isn’t even listening to his stomach when things get bad.  Took him over 2 hours to eat one cup of Mac & Cheese because of this and that was ALL he ate that day.  I’m refusing to give him snacks because I don’t want this to turn into him avoiding meals and only eating cookies.  So, this sapped most of my strength and mood.

Because of that epic mess, I had trouble focusing on War of Nytefall.  I got 2 chapters done, but I wrote at a slow speed.  The first chapter was a lot of character intros and interactions to set a few things up.  The second was Clyde’s gang having a first mission to see how they worked together and my confidence was shot during it.  I can’t tell if it came out bad or my own frustration was making it impossible to see things clearly.  Clyde seemed too restrained and tame here, which I was doing to have the other characters worry about there being a problem with him.  It didn’t feel natural at all for him, especially after the previous chapters.  The whole thing ended with him admitting that he was unsure of himself because of the secret he’s carrying.  Even then, I’m not sure if I properly wrapped it up.  Looking over the outline, he isn’t going to be in this state again, which might be adding to the confusion.  Can a character who is always confident have a single chapter where he suffers from doubt and then realizes it isn’t like him?

On the plus side of things, we got a fun zoo trip in with friends on Friday.  That food issue popped up, but my son and I had a fun morning compared to the battling on Thursday.  It took a while to get home thanks to traffic, but that’s Queens.  At least it wasn’t Manhattan or Brooklyn.  Also picked up the pieces needed to make a Green Lantern ‘battery’, which is basically a green lantern.  My son picked Green Lantern as his Halloween costume, but we can’t find one.  Those we did find had reviews saying that they fell apart with a little running around.  So, I’m making the lantern while my wife makes the uniform.  Believe it or not, this is something I know how to design even though I forgot how to sew.  Made my own Spider-Man costume in senior year of high school to go trick-or-treating one final time.  Ended up coming down with the flu that day, but I made a really good costume that ended up disappearing while I was at college.

This week is going to be touch and go depending on the kid’s stomach.  Have a night meeting one day, which will kill off writing at night.  I’m hoping to make up for that by working tomorrow while the family is out.  They aren’t happy I bowed out of the outing, but I lost so much this last week that I need the time.  Today is going to be dedicated to writing the Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age blurbs that I’m hoping to test on Thursday.  Been putting that off for too long.  Beyond that, it’s going to be War of Nytefall at every chance.  All heading into next Saturday, which is:

Yom Kippur, The Jewish Day of Fasting!

Don’t expect much from me next weekend because of that.  I’ll make this post in advance, but everything else will be twitches of activity or incoherent rambling.  Plan on playing a video game until I’m forced to leave the house for dinner.

So, what are the goals?

  1. Warlord of the Forgotten Age blurbs.
  2. War of Nytefall: Loyalty writing.  Really need to remember that book title and not only the series one.
  3. Getting the kid to eat without losing my mind.
  4. Read more One Piece and Black Cat when unable to do anything else.
  5. Try to find other ways to promote Path of the Traitors.
  6. Prepare December guest posts for anyone that asks for one.  All I need are topics.  Got 25-27 volunteers, which is great.
  7. Do NOT starve on Yom Kippur.
  8. Life stuff that are small, but combine to earn one slot.
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