I was privileged to read the work she is in the process of publishing. It is a solid read, and I don’t usually read Gothic, or thought I didn’t.
Often mistaken for the horror genre (my misinformed opinion), or associated with it, true Gothic is as different from horror as peas and apples, though it may have threads of horror within.
Reading this work and talking with Charlotte, I was pleasantly surprised, entertained, and educated on what a good Gothic story is.
Classic Gothic stories like The Woman in White, Wuthering Heights, and Jane Eyre have elements of the fantastic in them. I thought that as a fantasy reader you might be interested in discovering what true Gothic is all about: the mystery, the beauty, elements of grandeur and suspense and layered meaning in a rich tale.
Below is a sneak peek at Kingdom’s Fall rough draft that I have been working on a little this week in the midst of attempting to record Fantastic Journey, a book giveaway or two, and a wise word for February.
With a dark scowl, Brother Rolf hunted bright fall leaves blown in from the road off the church stoop. He swept fiercely. The wooden broom handle nestled in his grip, heavy as his old spear shaft. The wide entry-stone under his feet stretched two chill lengths into the walled court under the warmth of a new sun that peered over the walls of Bolton Abbey and streamed past the open gate. His breath shot in a thin cloud above the lowest step of the north transept tower.
A shiver raised his freckled skin where his thick wool sleeves did not protect him. The chill of the stone beneath the edge of his black habit pierced his bare toes. He moved faster, chasing an errant leaf, red as his hair, vibrant as the dew spangled dawn.
If a leader did not soon rise from the Northumbrian mists, stones sister-kin to the icy, glistering dark granite beneath his feet would mark the last resting places of his people. The kingdom was weakening.
Brigands harried the strongholds north of the Humber River as he did the leaves. With few to stay them while the king lay ill, such raiders grew ever bolder. Even Lord Dain Cieri of Cierheld, leading the north lords from his stronghold walls of uncommon stone, did not have enough armsmen to guard every hold between the ancient Roman Eagles’ great North Wall and the Humber. The brigands melted like frost when chased, yet seemed always to know where to strike. And with talk growing in the north against the south lords, the unrest in Britannia might mean more than brigands. It might mean war.
Turning, Rolf swept the last crimson beech leaf from the side door with a vicious stroke. Though the brigands had not yet struck near Bolton Abbey, it was their nature to hunt the vulnerable. Even though, unlike some church holdings, his brothers of the abbey had little in the way of riches. Even their dedicated church utensils were not of gold, but bronze. Abbot Alton would not keep gold when their people were hungry. Rolf smiled a little, then his scowl crept back. He was slipping indeed, not to have suggested to Abbot Alton the looming possibility of attack.
A thudding of small hooves and a soft, heavy step against the dirt of the courtyard rang loud at his back. Rolf swung around, continuing the swift motion of his broom in a level stroke.
A man leading a donkey ducked the twiggy end coming for his head and swung in return, the blur of a long weapon coming at Rolf from the left. His heart in his throat, Rolf sprang to the edge of the step to soften the full blow, bringing his broom across his body in both hands. Blade struck wood with a dull thud. Rolf blinked. The weapon did not bite, for it was sheathed in leather. And the face beyond it . . .
His breath of relief became a growl. Knocking the blade to the side, he dove down the steps and thrust the broom handle at his attacker. The donkey reared and backed. Its giant owner quelled it with ease, wrapping a long arm about the donkey’s gray neck and twisting his body to let Rolf’s attack slide past.
“Cease, little brother!” Dark eyes twinkled above a bristling black beard and a large, misshapen nose. That pot of a dented helm and the big feet in leather boots caressing the earth—Rolf knew them both.
A merry laugh rolled from the man’s wide chest beneath a mat of curly dark hair between a thick neck and gaping tunic. “Ye’ve not lost all yer’ skill.”
Rolf glared at the black-haired giant, who again whisked the sheathed blade about to rest at Rolf’s throat. Rolf squinted. The plain hilt marked his own blade—or the blade that had once been his.
-Kingdom’s Fall rough draft excerpt (this book will be part of Falcon Dagger – cover in the sidebar)
And if you missed the newsletter, here is an encouraging word of wisdom for February:
Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it. And He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your judgement as the noonday.
Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret, it leads only to evildoing.
This is so encouraging to me. That God would have me do what is right and fight injustice where I can, first in myself and then in my world. And that I can then rely on Him for the final outcome, that He will bring justice to all.
I’m scheduled to release my book Fantastic Journey – The Soul of Speculative Fiction and Fantasy Adventure the first week of January 2021, and I wanted to extend this author collaboration opportunity to you, if you’re an imaginative fiction author.
If you have a lead magnet this might help you get a lot of new subscribers. (For readers here, I won’t forget you either, but will be sure to share these upcoming special events soon.)
Authors, if you have a free lead magnet for subscribers that is a free fantasy or speculative fiction book, and you’d like to get it in front of 100s of potential new subscribers, please send your newsletter lead magnet link and a cover pic for one free novel of your choice to email@example.com.
Fiction adventure and battle scenes are great, but no romance above the “moderate” level. Which I don’t think will be a problem in our group here. 🙂 Books with spiritual themes are appreciated. I reserve the right to choose which books make our lead magnet list.
If chosen, I will put your lead magnet on a special page on my website. Your subscription link and lead magnet will also be advertised on my social media as part of a free book bundle for imaginative fiction readers.
The whole time to my book launch in January 2021, readers will have the opportunity to pick up your lead magnet, besides my book “Fantastic Journey – The Soul of Speculative Fiction and Fantasy Adventure” on $0.99 preorder.
Who could pass up a bundle of free books from great authors? (I’m looking for a 30-40 author free book bundle of lead magnets for readers to enjoy.) 5 places are already taken, so don’t wait!
In exchange for your lead magnet on my website, would you be willing to share these gifts with your email list?
1. On the future of fantasy and speculative fiction – a whopping 27 Q and A Author Roundup Interview
2. A massive SIGNED book giveaway from 25 speculative fiction and fantasy authors
3. A $0.99 preorder deal for “Fantastic Journey – The Soul of Speculative Fiction and Fantasy Adventure”
4. And the book release special of “Fantastic Journey” for imaginative fiction lovers – with a secret bonus.
If chosen, your lead magnet will remain on my website for the foreseeable future. I will also send it to my list of 780 subscribers.
If you like this collaboration idea, just send me the subscription link to your lead magnet so we can get your work in front of 100s of deserving new subscribers over the next few months – and into 2021.
I’ll provide swipe copy emails to make everything easy to share when the time comes.
Epic adventure, great speculative fiction, and fantastic journeys are irresistible to imaginative fiction aficionados. Readers will love it.
Let’s win more readers together!
Please send your link and cover pic to firstname.lastname@example.org
This review is from: Creating Character Arcs: The Masterful Author’s Guide to Uniting Story Structure (Helping Writers Become Authors) (Volume 7) (Paperback)
This book is so good. I was given an e-copy for an honest review, and I just bought the print copy.
I’m a real write-by-feel historical fantasy author, but this comprehensive breakdown of how characters and their arcs tie in and support and drive plot is invaluable. I have a feeling I’ll be coming back to this book again and again. And the nice thing is, the author doesn’t give you the impression that “this is the way it is,” but “this is what’s possible,” and “discover greater possibilities.”
If you’re an author or reader, you’re either furiously creating or relaxing in your favorite warm spot with a book. Or you may do both consecutively. That’s two blessings of the land we live in, the USA, and I hope you’re enjoying reading or some equivalent summer fun. This is the time to be out of doors!
There’s more. It’s time for The Clash of The Titles, and I’m voting for Jenn Roger’s new release Astray, book one of the Ariboslia series. If you want to vote for her or your favorite title, go here starting Wednesday, June 22, 2016. Page is not live until Wednesday.
There are many great reads and blessings – what are some of yours, if you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comments. It may take me a little time to get back to you, but I will!
PS. If you would like inside news and special offers on my books and coloring book projects and you are not yet on my list, join my blog letter in the sidebar. I won’t give your info to anyone else, and you’ll get the inside scoop bi-monthly or less. 🙂
A fascinating study of literary adventure by email:
I had the privilege of mentoring a teen student recently. Victoria’s questions about her book report were so well laid out, I thought our talk might be helpful and entertaining to you. At the bottom of our post is a link to a free medieval poem, Falcon’s Ode.Plus a link to Falcon Flight, a young adult medieval fantasy, free 5/13 – 5/16. Family friendly of course. But definitely adventurous! 🙂Continue reading →
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