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New Covers for the Ways of Camelot Series

For 2015, we are updating the covers for my YA Arthurian fantasy series, the WAYS OF CAMELOT. Below you can see the former covers and the newest versions. Updated versions will go live on the e-books today. Print book updates will occur shortly. By the way, Book 3 of the series will be coming out in early 2015.

ROAD OF LEAVES (Book 1)

Old Cover
Old Cover
2015 Update
2015 Update

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROAD OF WATERS (Book 2)

old cover
Old Cover
2015 Updated Version
2015 Update

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Magical Enchantments- Journeyman Level

Road of Leaves coverRoad of Water cover2In the Ways of Camelot fantasy series, numerous magical enchantments are mentioned. Magic in this series is something that is crafted, using elements distilled from magical plants and animals. (Those into the Dark Arts will also distill elements from magical beings that have been killed.)

Magic is a skill that can be taught to almost anyone, as long as they have an ear for hearing the rhythmic sounds of the various elements. However, it is not something that is learned easily. Most magicians go through decades of training before they even reach the journeyman level and most do not attain master magician (wizard) status before old age creeps up on them.

Below, is a list of journeyman level enchantments, including brief quotes from the novel(s) they are mentioned in:

Journeyman Level of Enchantments

1. Twist of Air– a whirlwind that the magician can guide. Much stronger than a Teasing of Air.

Quotes from ROAD OF LEAVES:

Francis didn’t look pleased at the idea, but he motioned for Thom to pull out his magician’s box. “Then I’ll need your powders, both magical and mundane, for I have none.”

So Thomas supplied the elements while Francis crafted the enchantment. The monk waited a bit to start, letting evening settle in. When it was about an hour before the nightly winds would stir, he judged it time and began mixing, adding his own spittle to attune the magic to himself. Thom watched and listened, for this was the best way to learn a new enchantment.

Francis’ last step was smearing some of the potion on his lips and hands so that he could direct the brewing breeze. A miniature whirlwind rose from the mixing bowl. The monk directed its shape with his hands and then blew it into motion, sending it up the Road and around the corner.

Quote from ROAD OF WATERS:

Desperate, Thom started mixing a response. The first thing that came to mind was a Twist of Air, an enchantment that he had never tried himself but had learned from Francis. He filled his bowl with the powders of Snow Hummingbird feathers, Saber Leaf Dandelion seeds, and Midnight Petrel wings. To that he added the mundane elements of water and his own spittle to attune the magic to his bidding.

Following the example of Francis, his last step was to smear some of the potion on his lips and hands so that he could guide the brewing breeze. A small whirlwind rose from the mixing bowl, one far smaller than the windstorm that had just struck them. He directed the swirling air with his hands and then blew it into motion, sending it to intercept the fireball that was already racing in his direction.


2. Cloud of Mist– a fog or dewy mist that can be used for concealment

Quote from ROAD OF LEAVES:

He handed over all that he had of four specific powders, curious about the monk’s choice. These were precious elements that he had taken from the sorceress’ stash at Wizard Cruthen’s urging, but he had never worked with any of them. He only knew of their potency and value from his master. Thom was almost tempted to linger and watch how Francis would use such elements for magic. However, he had his own magic to craft.

They were to leave Francis to do his enchantment from here while they moved farther down the canyon. The monk stood over the small pool of water, mixing elements in a bowl and then stirring them into the pool. Soon a mist appeared, slowly swirling over the water and then streaming off to follow the water over a small fall and on down the slope.


3. Fireball– a burning sphere that can be thrown great distances by a magician.

Quote from ROAD OF WATERS:

She (Vivien) stirred together powders of Phoenix tongue, crushed Azure Fireflies, and Crested Black Eagle feathers, along with Spotted Pine oil. She added the mundane elements of oak pollen, black powder, and lamp oil. When she added her spittle, she lifted the mixing bowl close to her face in an almost dainty move, so unlike Thom’s usual loud spitting.

He watched and listened as she mixed, for it was a new enchantment to him though it nagged at his memory somehow. She then coated her dampened hands with a powdering of white sand, almost like a baker coats his hands with flour to keep the dough from sticking to his fingers. It was not until she scooped her hands into the resulting goop and starting forming a glowing ball that he realized what it was. A fireball.


4.  Glowing Man (unnamed in the novel)- an enchantment that coats a person and causes them to glow brightly. Used to highlight a speaker or to intimidate an enemy.

Quote from ROAD OF WATERS:

Six glowing men appeared in the opening. Thom couldn’t recognize them from so far away, but he was still certain at least one of them was Merlin.

Centaurs rushed through the shattered gate, swerving around the shining wizards and galloping after the enemy.


5. Tarn’s Call– Amplifies a voice or sound so that it can be heard from far away.

Quote from ROAD OF WATERS:

Levitanus now concentrated on the journeymen with him. “Vivien, does your magician’s box contain the elements needed to craft a Tarn’s Call?”

She nodded, swinging her knapsack off her shoulders.

“Wait to open the vials until I order it, for I want to limit the revealing of our position to the shortest time possible,” warned Levitanus. “Thomas, get your mixing bowl ready, along with the necessary mundane elements. You are to stir the powders quickly but thoroughly. Pause only long enough for me to add my spittle. The magic must be attuned to me, for I will have to be the one to sound the horn.”

Levitanus held the horn in his left hand as he leaned heavily on the staff in his right. He needed them to be his hands for the mixing.

Vivien quickly retrieved the appropriate elements, handing them to Thom. He mixed them as quickly as he could, adding the mundane elements as directed since this was a new enchantment to him. He was very aware of the noise the elements made.

He held it up for his master to spit into it, then finished the blending. When the mixing was done, Levitanus let his makeshift staff fall and dipped his hand into the watery paste. He smeared the enchantment on his lips and the horn’s end.

The wizard paused a moment to gather his breath and then sounded the centaur horn. Its voice was greatly enhanced, echoing in the inner ear as well. He blew a series of short and long blasts in some code known to the horse-men.

Thom guessed that the clarion call would have been heard by anyone on the island who knew how to listen with their inner ear. The sorcerers would know where to look now.

The sorcerer crafted a simple Teasing of Air and gave the other craft a push. The burning galley floated down the canal and seemed to linger for a breath, but then the Road of Waters caught it and whipped it away.


 

Road of Leaves coverRoad of Water cover2Click a book cover to learn more about the Ways of Camelot fantasy series.

 

 

 

 

 

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Magical Enchantments- Apprentice Level

Road of Leaves coverRoad of Water cover2In the Ways of Camelot fantasy series, numerous magical enchantments are mentioned. Magic in this series is something that is crafted, using elements distilled from magical plants and animals. (Those into the Dark Arts will also distill elements from magical beings that have been killed.)

Magic is a skill that can be taught to almost anyone, as long as they have an ear for hearing the rhythmic sounds of the various elements. However, it is not something that is learned easily. Most magicians go through decades of training before they even reach the journeyman level and most do not attain master magician (wizard) status before old age creeps up on them.

Below, is a list of apprentice-level enchantments, including brief quotes from the novel(s) they are mentioned in:

Apprentice Level Enchantments

1. Whisper of Warning– Sets a magical boundary that, when violated, will warn the magician. Advantage is that it is a weak enchantment often unnoticed by other magicians.

Quotes from ROAD OF LEAVES:

He took some dried and pulverized ear of a Bearded Night Hare to recreate the impressive hearing of those extraordinary rabbits. He also took some powdered tongue of Western Tufted Martlet, for that magical bird was well known to whistle in warning whenever an intruder entered its territory. The final element was crushed leaves of a Whispering Elm to give the magic a softer sound. Next, he took out some of the mundane elements he needed to add to the mix: lodestone shavings, powdered glass, and a tad amount of silver dust.

* * *

Thom mixed it all in the wooden bowl and then spat into it numerous times, tuning the magic to himself. A magician always added something of himself when crafting an enchantment, using spit or tears or sweat or even urine. He once read of using blood, but his master had told him blood was a dangerous thing to work with.

He then added water until the mixture reached a soupy consistency. His inner ear picked up the change in sounds as the different elements intermingled. He was crafting an enchantment known as the Whisper of Warning. He listened to his work as it came together, making sure all remained in careful rhythm. Although he had crafted this particular magic often enough, it being one of the few enchantments taught an apprentice, he still wanted to make sure he designed the magic correctly.

When satisfied with the concoction, he dabbed some on his ears and then took the bowl in hand and walked a small circle around his blanket, dribbling the mixture on the grass. He listened to make sure the magic’s rhythm didn’t alter or weaken as he set it in place. Once the circle was completed, it gave off a beat so faint that most magicians wouldn’t even hear it. Should anyone or anything pass through the circle, Thom would awaken.


2. Wizard Light– Provides a sphere of light that can be sent to hover over a distant object. More accomplished magicians can handle multiple lights at the same time, sending them in different directions.

Quotes from ROAD OF WATERS:

He opened his magician’s box and quickly pulled out the vials he needed: powdered Azure Fireflies, powdered Meadow Dragon wings, and dried and crushed Glow Berries.

* * *

Thom snatched vials of powdered Azure Fireflies, powdered Meadow Dragon wings, and dried and crushed Glow Berries. He quickly mixed the elements and added his spit. He formed small balls of the resulting paste, balls that started glowing as he worked them. They were Wizard Lights, which would provide a soft light but no heat. Touch them and your finger might tingle, but they certainly caused no harm.


 

3. Fire Starter– A spark or small flames, used to light campfires, lamps, or other combustible objects

Quote from ROAD OF LEAVES:

He hastily pulled out his magician’s box and pulled out three elements and then shut and shoved the box back into his knapsack. Not worrying about the waste, he dumped the contents into his palm, mixing it with his other hand. His hand tingled and warmed as the elements mixed into the Fire Starter enchantment. Before it could do more than blister his hand, he flung the powdered mix at the small fire burning around the fallen torch. The fire surged in size, green grass shriveling and then bursting into flames.


 

4. Teasing of Air– a small windstorm that a magician can guide somewhat, much like an enhanced exhaling of air.

Quote from ROAD OF LEAVES:

If done right, the Teasing of Air would be able to send the smoke at the riders, but Thom was uncertain he remembered the whole enchantment. Fumbling in the dark, he opened his magician’s box and selected the elements by their sound. Having no time to dig a mixing bowl from his pack, he cupped his left hand and poured the elements into it, stirring the powder with his right index finger and adding his spit to attune the magic… Thom touched some of the moist powders to his lips and then threw the rest at the smoke. He made a sweeping motion with his arm and blew toward the charging knights. Surprisingly a wind stirred, sweeping up the smoke and enveloping the knights in its billows.

Quote from ROAD OF WATERS:

The sorcerer crafted a simple Teasing of Air and gave the other craft a push. The burning galley floated down the canal and seemed to linger for a breath, but then the Road of Waters caught it and whipped it away.


 

 

Road of Leaves coverRoad of Water cover2Click a book cover to learn more about the Ways of Camelot fantasy series.

 

 

 

 

 

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Fantasy Science Fiction Work Projects Update

November Writing Projects Update

This is just a quick update on my current writing projects for last month:

1. Ways of Camelot Arthurian fantasy series- I had to make a tough decision on ROAD OF CLOUDS, ripping up much of its beginning for a major redo. I had to remove the first 3 chapters and condense the next 5 chapters into 3. It’s hard to drop so much material but I think readers will appreciate the results once I’m done. This takes ROAD OF CLOUDS from 10% complete to only 5%, but I am still committed to getting it done by early 2015.

2. Tyrants of Tolerance science fiction series- While wrestling with RoC  (see above), I took a break to start the first book in this Science Fiction Dystopia: TAG WARREN AND THE FRAGILE CITY, set in a fallen California in the near futureI really love the characters and story line. This is going to be a fun series. I even have the website started: TagWarren.com, although it is still very basic. The site will become richer as the story develops. This book is about 15% complete. Expected publication is early 2015, to be followed by the next two novels in the series soon thereafter (hopefully).

3. Cirian War Saga epic fantasy series- I am about 30% done with Book #2, TRUTH MOCKER, and holding. I haven’t done much with this series in 2014, due to its huge size (these books are 2-3 times as long as the others). I do look forward to getting back to the series, but it won’t be until early next year. I hope to complete two books in this series in 2015.

4. Non-fiction series- This month I didn’t do any work on the various guidebooks put out under Genuine HR’s various series. I may do so when I have more time at the end of the year, but they aren’t a high priority right now. We just aren’t seeing enough sales on these books yet.

Well, that’s it for November. I was hoping it would be a more productive month, but it was still fun creating what I could. Thanks for reading.

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