New Cover Design for The Cradle of the Gods!

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New Cover Design for The Cradle of the Gods!

The new cover for The Cradle of the Gods is done! I’m very happy with the way it turned out. A big thank you for the cover design by Jess Stutheit. Check out her work at www.StutheitDesigns.com Email address is Info@StutheitDesigns.com. She will also be creating the full cover for the hard copy release in November, She is even going to do a bookmark design for the upcoming Thought Bubble Festival  on the 23-24 November in Leeds.

I have also included a pronunciation guide in the back of the book. I am not too bothered by how someone pronounces the main character’s names, but I had quite a few people ask how I pronounced Ghile. So, in it goes!

Let me know what you think about the new cover!

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DnD and Me…both middle aged

I’m already into my forties, but Dungeons & Dragons, at almost forty years old, is joining me in middle age. So D&D publisher Wizards of the Coast is following on the coat tails of all their recent PDF releases of the classics (dndclassics.com) with a new, deluxe edition of the White Box. You got it, the first D&D box published back in 1974. At $149.00 it is a little pricey and thus  being regulated to my Christmas wish list. I’m going out in the garage now and digging out all my old Dragon magazines.

A walk through the Cradle

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Yesterday I took some of my scouts on the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge. The challenge comes in when you try to complete the walk in under twelve hours. Follow the link for the details on the hike.

The reason I’m including this on my blog, is it reminded me where a lot of my inspiration for descriptions of the Cradle in my book came from. It made me realize how much information we take in as we go about our lives and don’t even realize it. At least not until we stop and start digging around in there looking for something.

One of the comments about “The Cradle of the Gods” mentions “hints of Highlander”. I’m not sure if he was referring to the part played by the soulstones or the setting, but if it was the setting and it made him think of the film Highlander, he was not far off.

Yorkshire Dales Yorkshire Dales#2

Knight Justice Finngyr

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Knight Justice Finngyr

This is a sketch I did in pencil. It is of the dwarven Knight Justice Finngyr from my book, “The Cradle of the Gods”. It is part of the new cover design I’m currently having made for the hard copy release.

Does Size Matter?


Well, “The Cradle of the Gods” has been out for three weeks and I have to say I’m really surprised at how well it has been received. I have sold over a 100 copies in the US alone and have received pretty favorable reviews, thus far. Not bad for a newbie doing this all on my own. The goal I set for myself when I decided to take the plunge and self publish was to have just one person I didn’t know read it and tell me they liked it. Mission accomplished.

Self publishing was not my first choice. Like most closeted writers, I have dreams of having an agent and a publishing house waiting with bated breath for my next series installment. I read through the numerous books and blogs out there on submitting your manuscript and they all generally said the same thing. “If your going to submit fantasy fiction it needs to be a minimum of 80,000 words”.

Poop.

The Cradle of the Gods finished out at just under 60,000 words. But the portion of my story that takes place in the Cradle was finished, I told myself. I reached where I wanted for the first book.  I’m already working on the second! Double poop!

I thought about adding in padding chapters, but at the time, my heart wasn’t in it. And if there is one thing I took away from all the “How to Write” books I spent all those evenings attacking with a highlighter, it was if you don’t believe it, your readers certainly will not. So, I decided to self publish.

It has been noticed. Some have commented on the story only topping out at around 220 pages. They are not wrong. But, full steam ahead. I am in the process of having a new cover designed for the hard copy release in November when my KDP Select contract runs out with Amazon. I plan to add a glossary, a pronunciation guide and even got inspired to add a couple of early chapters that further develop the relationship between Ghile and his Uncle Toren.

But in the end, I feel I wrote a complete and compelling character driven story that just happened to finish a little short of the norm for its genre. But, I’m still proud of the little fella non-the-less.

It’s a Kind of Magic


Magic plays a large role in my Soulstone Prophecy series. It helps define the world of Allwyn, where the story takes place and those characters able to wield it. I wanted to share more detail on how it works along with a first peak at the Elven race who play a prominent part in book two, The City of the Fallen. These are the notes I wrote on magic as I was writing The Cradle of the Gods to make sure I kept to the setting. I would love to hear any thoughts.

Magic in Allwyn is accessed differently by the various races. The reason for this is each race’s worldview is seen, and filtered, through the beliefs and worldview of their patron god. The ability to wield magic is literally passed through the deity and on to their progeny.

  • Dwarves gain access to magic through Daomur, God of Law and Justice. It is through the artistic act of creation that the dwarves honor their creator. It only makes sense that their form of wielding magic is enchanting items. The dwarves are artificers. Examples would be Finngyr’s hammer or the blade given to Fang Toren by the dwarven overseers of the Cradle.

  • The Elven race gains access to magic through Islmur, Goddess of Magic. Islmur is the oldest of the Primordials and her worldview is the closest to Allwyn’s. Islmur sees magic in everything. As a result, the elves of Allwyn cannot look upon something without seeing the magic coursing through it. An elf’s eyes reflect the flow of magic they see permeating Allwyn as a stream of lights flowing through their pupiless eyes. Elves access magic through Islmur’s tongue, or Spellsinging. Dwarven scholars liken it to the druids of the human race and their Dreamsong, but without the need to enter a trance like state. Elves are most attuned to life and living things and are quintessential healers.

  • Humans access magic through Haurtu the Hungerer, once known as Haurtu, God of Wisdom. Their magic is the magic of the mind. Due to Haurtu’s banishment, humans access to magic is weakened and, for the lack of a better word, splintered. As a result, and for unknown (yet to be revealed) reasons, the genders have different ways of accessing it and can only control certain aspects. It is of interest to note a Stonechosen strengthens humans’ access to magic by his or her presence.

    • Druids, which can only be female, enter a trance like state to hear the All Mother’s song. Druids can work with living creatures and the earth. Things like water, air, and fire are too difficult for them to cajole in the Dreamsong and thus they have little to no control of them.

    • Sorcerers, who are always male, require an item of whatever substance they are working with. This ‘source’ is used and consumed in the act of casting. They can work with different elements in the following order of difficulty, starting with the easiest to control:  water, ice, fire, stone, metals, and finally air. A Sorcerer cannot control or use as a source anything living.

    • Stonechosen are unique in that their control of magic is all based on their strength of mind. They are not limited in what they can effect physically. Though, a novice stonechosen will be limited to mind like powers until they grasp the connection of the mind as a conduit for the magic and how they perceive the world through it. When they reach that level of enlightenment, then the possibilities are endless.

In Allwyn, as with all things, there is a balance involved when magic is wielded. It is a triangle with the three corners being: duration, strength, and distance. One cannot be change without effecting the others. Thus, the strongest spells will be those which are quick and close by, Riff’s flaming bursts for example. The longer a casting lasts, the weaker it will become. Perhaps this is why the dwarves’ enchanted items hold their enchantments. There is no distance, so the strength and duration are more potent.