Under The Influence: Kathleen Moffre-Spoor

         How can I talk about influences without mentioning the greatest influence in my life (in some ways,even more so than my parents), Kathleen?        I originally met Kathleen through her best friend, Dana. I had befriended Dana at the local community college and was at the time starting to date her. One of the primary connections between us was our gaming interests – both of us played RPGs of various types. So I ended up running a D&D game for Dana and her friend Kathleen.        At the time, I was… not [ Continue reading... ]

On My Shelves: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

         The Elder Scrolls is a long-running videogame series, but I had never had any opportunity to play it as the first three installments were for PC and later Xbox, and I've always had Macs as my computers and the platforms I've had were SNES, PS, PS2, and finally PS3.        But finally, the fourth title in the series – Oblivion – was released for the PS3. I actually had no real expectations, or knowledge about, the series when I put the disc in for the first time, just that it was a well-received part of one of the [ Continue reading... ]

Under the Influence: Laura Ingalls Wilder

       Most of the great influences on my life and writing have been science, science fiction, and fantasy. I've been the quintessential "geek" since I was very little. But there was one set of books which were tremendously important to me and my family, the story of a world that seemed both familiar and alien, told through the eyes of a child who was roughly my age when they were first read to me: the "Little House" books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder. (ONLY the books; the less said of the TV show, the better)        Laura grew [ Continue reading... ]

On My Shelves: Prince of Bryanae

  Prince of Bryanae is a self-published novel that does everything right. It starts by having a fast-moving, well-written story as its core and reason for being, but in addition the author, Jeff Getzin, has gone those extra miles that, sadly, few self-published authors seem to realize are necessary; he has obviously had professionals provide him with editing and layout as well as a well-done cover painting, and the result is a fully professional novel that can sit proudly next to anything the big houses produce.        I will admit [ Continue reading... ]

On My Shelves: Terry Brooks’ _Shannara_

    In 1976, I first entered the world of the Lord of the Rings, and my hunger for epic fantasy was suddenly insatiable. In 1977, I saw this huge book with a group of people – human, elven, and dwarf, I thought – around a sword in a stone. A book titled The Sword of Shannara. I immediately grabbed it up – the first of many purchases Mr. Terry Brooks would convince me to make – and took it home.        There were obvious similarities to The Lord of the Rings – many of them quite deliberate. But there was a great deal that was [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Rising: Chapter 27

  Let's check in and see what our other heroes were up to...     -----   SourceURL:file:///Macintosh%20HD/Original%20Writing/Kyrie/Phoenix%20RTF.rtf   Chapter 27.        The door to the meeting room crashed open, rebounding from the wall and being caught again by the massive scaled arm that had flung it wide.        Poplock was the first to speak, as Tobimar found himself momentarily speechless at King Toron's fearsome snarl of anger. "Oh. Bad news again."        The casual tone breached the [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Rising Chapter 26

  Well, Phoenix had succeeded... but not everyone had survived...     -----     Chapter 26.        "Good travels to you, ayr-kin," Tinna said quietly, as she lit the apex point of the Five-Fire under Kimsha's body, the point to the East and the rising sun. "May the One and the Four receive you well, and forgive you the missteps along the path and the misfortunes that led you to this end. Chromaias, receive Kimsha of Waycross in your House of the Five Ways; as he wished, so we have done."        Kimsha's [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Rising Chapter 25

This will be the last week of snippets, since the eARC is out. Next week I'll be back to doing more regular posts.     Our heroine had travelled quite a ways...     ----     Chapter 25.        Kyri looked up at the looming mountains ahead of her. It wasn't the first mountain range she'd seen since leaving Zarathanton, but it was by far the most forbidding she'd ever faced.        Of course, she admitted to herself, that might just be because I know what it is.        Now, for the first time [ Continue reading... ]

eARC of Phoenix Rising is Now Available!!

  Anyone who just can't wait to get to the end? Well, go here and buy the electronic Advance Reader's Copy of Phoenix Rising! For those unaware, an eARC is a near-finished version of the book (missing only last-minute galley proof edits, such as I'm working on now). It does include the cover image, maps, etc. that would be in the final printed version. And yes, it's expensive for an eBook. You're paying the premium to look at it before anyone else can. If you want the cheap version, you have to wait until November. :)   [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Rising: Chapter 24

  And now they had to deal with what had happened...           Chapter 24.        Tobimar staggered as he placed yet another gasping body – a child, no more than ten in human terms, with delicately pointed ears and long silvery hair smeared with blood – on the altar. I can't fall now. We aren't even near done. He called on his meditations, the training Khoros had given him, released the reserves of his soul. Strength flowed back into his body, clarity to his thoughts. There'll be a price for that, later… [ Continue reading... ]