Tag Archives: The Dwarf’s Legacy

New first chapter for Book 5

26 Sep The White-Silver House

Time for an update from Book 5, The White-Silver House.

Each book in the series, The Day Magic Died, has included the first chapter of the next book. So when I released Book 4, The Dwarf’s Legacy, it included the first chapter of Book 5, The White-Silver House.

Since releasing Book 4, I’ve done some reworking of the opening of Book 5, and as a result, the first chapter has changed substantially. Now that I’ve been through it again and again and again, I’m pretty satisfied that this is very close to the final version.

So here you go … the new first chapter of Book 5, The White-Silver House.

The White-Silver HouseChapter 1:

The moment the camels stopped, Karia lifted herself in the stirrups. A sound escaped her throat; she didn’t mean to say anything, but out came a combination of a sigh and a groan. It felt good to stretch her legs, and to get her weight off her rear – but it also hurt. She was also surprised she was so tired after sitting all afternoon.

All day, she thought. She mounted a camel before dawn to retrieve the Heart of Shri’inik, now in the box strapped securely in front her right leg. Aside from two brief walks, she had been on a camel all day long.

She leaned forward to reach for the waterskin. She found the increasing proximity of her nose the camel unpleasant, to say the least, and retrieved the water as quickly as possible.

She removed the cork and lifted it to drink. She didn’t care that the water was hot now, or that it dribbled down her chin. She was already hot and wet, wet from sweat. And gritty. Her clothes clung to her, but she knew better than to take off a single layer. Her fair skin would burn very quickly.

Ahead of her, she saw the lead rider turn and walk his camel back along the line of camels in front of her. She blinked; even her eyes felt gritty. She poured a little water into her hand and splashed it on her face. Gosh that feels good. She looked up, and saw the rider stopped and talking with someone. She blinked a few more times.

Hikil, she thought. Jur’atya, she reminded herself. After a short conversation – a talk that to Karia appeared short and clipped – he set off again. Each camel followed in turn, except Jur’atya’s. She led her camel to the left of the wash they had been riding through for hours. Though they were flanked by towering rocky hills that were alternately draped in and smothered by sand, Karia had seen only glimpses of shade.

Quickly, before her camel could start again, Karia recapped the waterskin and hung it over the pommel of the saddle again. She took some small comfort in the fact that the camel smelled horrible to her. That meant she didn’t smell as bad. Yet, she thought, as she gingerly lowered her rear back toward the saddle. The camel came up before she was all the way down; she winced.

Trying to take her mind off the soreness, she glanced around for Generality. She had released the faerie and told him to fly along, but keep out of sight for fear of spooking the soldiers. He was doing well; she hadn’t caught so much as a glimpse of him.

She looked ahead, and saw that she was approaching Jur’atya. Karia thought her camel looked skittish, though she was not sure whether that was the beast’s character, or because it was eager to join the others. Jur’atya constantly pulled lightly on the reins. Her mouth moved slightly.

As soon as Karia came alongside her, she let her camel fall in next to Karia’s.

“We climb through the mountains soon,” Jur’atya said, motioning up and to her right. Karia, looking in that direction, saw a rugged, stubby mountain range beyond the dunes. Truth be told, it looked more like a big pile of rocks. If it had been visible before, she had not noticed it. “Tabunaha Pass.”

Tavunaha means broken in Inamali,” Karia said, thinking aloud.

“I know,” Jur’atya said. “The Prophet’s keeper of secrets told me this. The pass is a break in the mountains, but the mountains are also called broken. There are many passes. This is the one most used.”

Karia saw the lead rider turn right and begin climbing up the slope.

“Jur’atya, where are we going?” she asked. “I mean, not just the pass – but where are we headed?”

Jur’atya looked away and did not speak for a moment. “Khadosh’ta’ayakh,” she said.

Karia thought a moment. The words seemed familiar, yet she could not be certain of their meaning. “Skeleton forest?” she asked.

“Or forest of bones,” Jur’atya replied. She looked pale, and her voice quailed. “It’s not the northern dialect; it’s older, so I can’t be sure. But that’s where we’re headed.”

“Sounds like a wonderful place,” Karia said.

“It’s not,” Jur’atya replied. “It is a place of great evil.”

“What do you mean?” Karia asked.

“I do not know,” she answered. “It is a place so feared that men dare not even write down what they know of it. They speak of it only in whispers.”

“Then why are we going there?”

Jur’atya looked down and for a moment did not answer. When she looked up again, there were tears in her eyes. She smiled weakly and softly said, “The Black pursues you, Karia. The Prophet sees this. So perhaps we surprise the Black by showing up on his doorstep.”

5 reasons to read more novels

4 Aug

It’s better to be entertained than amused: Although most people think of entertain and amuse as synonyms – and they’re even presented that way in many dictionaries and thesauruses – they’re actually different concepts. Amuse comes Greek words that literally mean, “without thinking.” That’s an apt description for what happens when you watch TV or movies. Your brain just sort of turns off and takes it all in. There’s not a lot of thinking involved. That’s not a good thing. But when you’re reading a book, you’re entertained – it holds your attention and gets you thinking. Thinking is good. Novels are good for your brain.

Novels are cost-effective: If you go to the movies, you pay $10 each for a couple of hours of amusement. If you want something to eat or drink, that’s even more unless you sneak it in. A $10 novel gives you eight to twelve hours – or more – of reading enjoyment. And that $10 covers you and anyone else you want to share the book with. (You can share my ebooks – which are well under $10 – the same way.) Oh, and the bonus of reading a book wherever you want to – like in a comfy chair at home – is that you never have to sneak food in. Unless you’re on a diet. How’s that for cost-effective?

Novels can be re-enjoyed: I’ve bought a few movies on DVD. But I almost never watch them. I find that I really don’t enjoy most movies the second time around. On the other hand, most books contain such a wealth of clues, cues and foreshadowing that reading them a second time is a whole new experience. The third time through, when you are reading with the depth you gained the first and second times, is thoroughly enjoyable. And any book you read three times is like an old friend you want to come back to and enjoy again and again.

Novels inspire us: I read the other day that some foundation is going to spend millions trying to figure out how to make their documentaries more effective at prompting people to take action. I’ve worked on documentaries, promotional booklets, short stories, articles, novels – I think that just about everything you can write, I’ve written. (Though it pains me to admit it, the first piece I ever sold was a poem.) And I can tell you two things: First, a story is more effective than the facts. And second, people react very differently to movies and video than to books and other written stories. Movies and videos primarily impact people emotionally, but they seldom make people think. (See the first point.) Books and other written stories make people think. And if the story is powerful enough and written well, it hits people emotionally too. That combination of emotional impact and thinking is what spurs us to action. Novels inspire us.

Novels remind us of real life, and that’s good: Television is lived out in half-hour and hour segments, usually with a happy ending, or at least a conclusion to the story. The main characters can’t die, unless it’s the end of the season and their contract isn’t renewed. It’s a series, after all. These days, a lot of movies want to leave things open for a sequel, or a continuing series, so you have a pretty good idea going in what is going to happen. Not so novels. A lot of novels are also written as a series these days, but characters can still come and go. (It’s easier for an author – you have no contracts with your characters.) But more importantly, the timespan is greater and more flexible. The author has eight to twelve hours of your time, or perhaps even twenty hours (if the book is compelling) to take you through the story. OK, but how is it good that novels remind us of real life? They remind us to persevere; to pay attention to the details; and to enjoy the journey.

So crack open a good book and enjoy the journey! I wouldn’t mind in the least if you try one of mine …

The House in the Old WoodKaria's Path

Oh, and remember to vote so I know which characters to include in Book 5, The White-Silver House.

Who will come back in Book 5?

2 Aug

TWSH-coverHave you ever finished a book or a series, then thought, “Hey, what about so-and-so? I wonder what ever happened to him?”

You know what? That happens to authors too.

We write a character, and they play their part in the narrative … and then they’re gone. And like our readers, we kind of miss them. Sometimes we wrapped up their story in our backstories, the narratives that don’t make the cut. Other times, we don’t know either.

But the big difference is, as an author, I get to decide who comes back into the narrative. I get to decide whose stories get wrapped up in the final book of the series The Day Magic Died.

But all that power is going to my head, so I need to share it with you.

Here’s the deal. Book 5, The White-Silver House, is drafted. The ending is almost set in stone at this point. So are a lot of the plot points that Karia needs to pass through to get from where she is, to that ending.

But a lot can happen in between. There’s room for some characters from previous books to come back. And you can help me decide who.

There are five characters who could reappear in Book 5. Let me tell you a little about them, to jog your memories. And then you can tell me who you want to see in The White-Silver House.

Failean: Mom to our heroine, Karia. She played a big role in the first and second books, The House in the Old Wood and Karia’s Path, but virtually disappears after that.

Visili: Sorcerer, illusionist and deceiver, who considers himself the most honest person around. (Maybe he’s fooling himself.) He came to the fore in Karia’s Path, but has also mostly disappeared from the narrative.

Nana: Grandmotherly figure to Karia. Prone to cut right to the heart of the matter with witticisms such as “Don’t go pouring dumb on top of stupid.” One reader told me Nana was her favorite character, but Nana hasn’t appeared since the second book.

Sikarra: The red-headed, freckle-faced farm girl who thinks Karia must be her cousin because she doesn’t know anyone else with red hair and freckles. Like any six-year-old, prone to take in everything around her, only to have it come spilling out of her mouth at the most inopportune times. She sort of has a cameo appearance in The Dwarf’s Legacy, but otherwise only showed up in The House in the Old Wood.

Timbal: Ah, Timbal. Not much I can say without it being a spoiler. He played a big role in Karia’s Path, but hasn’t been heard from since. But astute readers of The Dwarf’s Legacy likely expect to see him in the final book.

Which of these characters do you most want to see make a reappearance in the pages of The White-Silver House? I’ll likely include more than one of them.

Speaking of sharing: Kindle Unlimited

22 Jul

Amazon has rolled out a new ebook subscription service called Kindle Unlimited that allows people to borrow “unlimited” books for $9.99 a month.

Amid everyone and their brother expressing opinions about it, one thing is clear:

Nothing is clear yet.

Well, OK, there are a lot of individual facts that are clear. But how they all add up – or how they might change – is not.

I’m going to take a hopefully optimistic tone:

1) All my books are available there, and since the 600,000 books on Kindle Unlimited is a limited slice of the pie that is Amazon’s listing of some 4 million books, I have a slightly better chance of people finding my books now.

2) What Amazon has been paying for such “borrows”—about $2 – is not bad for each book. I am hoping that stays the same. (Although I don’t actually get paid for Kindle Unlimited borrows, but for every time a reader gets past 10 percent of a book.)

3) That could add up to more income from my books. So far, I have discovered that being a novelist is just about the only thing that pays worse than being a missionary. J

So, in the spirit of sharing my books and getting the word out there, I would be delighted if Kindle Unlimited subscribers took a gander at any of my books.

Please let me know if you do; I’d be interested in what the experience is like for readers. Oh, and you can get a one-month free trial of Kindle Unlimited.

The House in the Old WoodKaria's Path

You can do that?

21 Jul

The House in the Old Wood coverOne thing people love about physical books is the ability to share them.

Turns out, people like that in ebooks too.

A recent study by Author Earnings shows that ebooks you can share outsell “protected” ebooks two-to-one.

Didn’t know you can share ebooks? You can. At least with Kindle books, with other Kindle users, you can.

You can share all my ebooks. (With one exception which I will fix soon.) And I encourage you to do so. Let your friends read them. You could do that if it was a physical book, right? You paid for it, right?

Oh, hey, some people got the ebook version of The House in the Old Wood free, didn’t they?

No matter. Feel free to share it. It’s yours. I gave it to you.

(At this time, new purchases of The House in the Old Wood are protected. I am having trouble toggling that to “off.” I will do so soon, but this may result in the book being unavailable for a couple of days.)

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