On My Shelves: The Curse of Immortality

I have previously reviewed Jeff Getzin's dark fantasy novel Prince of Bryanae on this site. While Prince rode as close to the dark edge as I'm generally willing to read, that novel is not the only venture into the world of Bryanae that Jeff has provided. I'm going to review all of the stories, but right now I want to review the latest of them. The story is told – as is thus far always the case – from the point of view of a woman who will cross paths with the frenetically cheerful swashbuckler D'Arbignal. Prince of Bryanae takes place in the [ Continue reading... ]

Princess Holy Aura: Chapter 2

We continue snippets of my forthcoming Magical Girl-based novel. When we left off, Steve had been asked to do something that seemed physically impossible... -----     Chapter 2.      Steve goggled down at the slightly oversized rat with its overly-shiny white fur, tiny golden crown, sitting on his hind legs and regarding Steve with a far too knowing look. "Become what?" "Mystic Galaxy Defender, Princess Holy Aura," Silvertail repeated calmly. The repetition of the ridiculous phrase left Steve speechless. He would have [ Continue reading... ]

Just For Fun: Deleted Chapters of Phoenix Rising, Chapter 50

Now we jump far, far ahead to near the end of the book. This chapter was deleted because the book ended very, very differently. Not only did Xavier only show up for a couple of chapters (being sent off to Idinus of Scimitar rather than the Wanderer, and thus not traveling with Tobimar and not showing up for the final battle), but also there was no "screw you" trap following Thornfalcon's death, and after their meet-and-greet, the three companions did, in fact, burn Thornfalcon's mansion to the ground and didn't confront the remaining Justiciars [ Continue reading... ]

Just For Fun: Deleted Chapters of Phoenix Rising: Chapter 12

This chapter followed the introduction of Tobimar and Poplock, and implied some time passed. As you can see, the timeline got shifted some -- in the final draft, of course, it's implied that the first events for Tobimar and Poplock happen after Rion becomes a Justiciar.     Chapter 12.      Lighter blade parried greatsword with a chiming impact that diverted the larger weapon but also drove back the smaller with near enough force to disarm. Rion cursed mildly as he backpedaled, his fingers clearly stinging. Kyri laughed [ Continue reading... ]

On Writing: The Maintenance of Belief

Anyone heavily involved in SF/F fandom will have encountered something that shattered their "WSOD" – Willing Suspension of Disbelief – and kicked them out of their immersion in the story to say, in one way or another "What the heck? That made no SENSE!" As an author, of course, I have to be very sensitive to this; I don't want my readers cranking along happily and then suddenly having their train of thought derailed. This is not, of course, something it's possible to avoid in a universal fashion; things that won't bother 99% of readers will [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Ascendant: Chapter 26

Kyri had made a very puzzling statement...   -----     Chapter 26. Poplock stared at her, as did Tobimar; Poplock hopped to her shoulder to talk to her more directly. "Um, that's what we've been trying to do for the last couple of weeks, Kyri. With all the magic I've got, all of Sasha's, and even Kelsley's." He could feel her pulse, sense it hammering far faster than it should be. "Magic – at least the magic we have – can't do it," she said quietly, still striding towards the south. "The Arbiter can't. Even the [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Ascendant: Chapter 25

Kyri was, in some ways, in more peril than she had ever been...   -----     Chapter 25. Arbiter Kelsley wavered on his feet; Tobimar and Discoverer (previously Seeker) Reed caught his elbows, helped him to sit down. Kyri looked out of the holy circle, and Tobimar felt a phantom pain in his chest as he saw her understanding that even this had failed. "Nothing at all, Arbiter?" The priest of Myrionar shook his head reluctantly. "I can injure her easily enough, Balance save me. But to break that curse lies beyond [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Ascendant: Chapter 24

Well, Kyri had had a horrific shock...   ------     Chapter 24.      Kyri found her hand on Flamewing's hilt, the sword already half drawn, before she caught herself. The horrific thought echoed through her, a sentence of death and failure. Not summon Myrionar's power? Be barred from Myrionar? No! "That fast?" Xavier asked, unbelieving. "C'mon, she's gotta have some time!" "The Curse is already on her," Tashriel said, the same horror in his voice, and a part of her understood that he knew what she felt. [ Continue reading... ]

Chapter 23

Now they finally have someone they can ask questions...   -----   Chapter 23.      Poplock looked at Kyri, who was clearly weakened and shaking with reaction from the attack and shock, and Tobimar standing near her. Right, I can take this myself. "Okay, you've got a chance to talk. Better make the talk good. So you're a demon under Viedraverion's command?" Tashriel's face twisted in half-amusement, half-misery. "I was… on loan to Viedraverion. He made my real master, Balinshar, give me to him for a special project – [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Ascendant: Chapter 22

Well, we'd left off with Kyri in a rather bad spot...   -----     Chapter 22. "This is going to look so stupid, Poplock," Tobimar said, settling his swords back into place. "We –" "I'll take all the blame if it looks stupid. I know that it seemed like we pretty much settled it just now, but there's still that chance left, and can we afford it if you're wrong? We can take a little embarrassment, even getting Kyri mad at us, but…" "Fine, fine. You're right. You generally have been. I just hope we're all [ Continue reading... ]