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Thursday, 22 August 2013

Darkness is Rising again

The latest installment in my six-part epic fantasy Darkness Rising hits the virtual bookshelves today, on the Mryddin Publishing Group label. It picks up the story with Emelia, Jem, Hunor and companions in the arid deserts of Pyrios. They're racing against the dwindling sanity of Emelia and the approaching terror that is Vildor, with a pair of demons and an insane Fire-mage thrown in for good measure.

Further north we have Aldred 'circling the drain' (as they say on ER) with the dark Ekris and the noble Unhert trying to work out how to save him. The key may reside with Inkas-Tarr and Torm who finally move to centre stage in this book.

All the plot-lines are coming together in time for book five, where it all goes totally bonkers.

if you fancy a sample read on...

if you fancy the book then click here for UK kindle and here for the US of A (and everwhere else in the world).

Excerpt from Darkness Rising 4 - Loss

[Lady Orla Farvous adresses the disprited Incandian tribes known as the kerindara]

Orla glanced at Jem’s despair-wracked face. Her insides knotted at the injustice of the comment.

“Save your breath, Master Ten,” she said, striding forward. “These Incandians can not call themselves warriors.”

A clamour of anger erupted from the cavern. It thundered off the dark walls. Orla clambered onto the raised area that the five leaders sat upon. Several warriors moved to restrain her, but Myrek waved them back.

“This is not a slur on your good names,” Orla said. Her voice sliced through the ruckus like a sword. “Who am I to come to your ancestral home and cast aspersions on your valour? A foreign knight, from a far off land, that up until this day had not a jot of interest in the workings of your world.

“Yet I stand before you today willing to lay down my life and the lives of my friends for your cause. I look at the power that you face, the insurmountable walls that you crash against like the distant sea, the evil that lies within the dark rock—and I understand your reticence. I understand, with my head, why this day you would choose to lick your wounds, to regroup, to plan, to debate…”

The cavern was silent and Orla looked at Kolm as she said this.

“Yes, my head understands why this day you would not choose to be warriors. But my heart? My heart cannot.

“My heart cannot comprehend how you can skulk in the bowels of this rock like frightened children. My heart cannot appreciate how you can rest whilst your sisters, your brothers and your children chip away at the seams of iron in the catacombs of the mountain. My heart cannot fathom how you can tolerate this Fire Lord taking another unholy breath whilst your kin are in servitude. My heart cannot call you warriors.”

Myrssta raised her sword and cheered. The cavern burst into noise as a hundred Incandians drew their weapons and chanted a war cry.

Kolm leapt to her feet and moved to seize Orla in fury. Curnk stepped in her way and the two women faced each other off. Myrek and the other two leaders called for calm, but the battle cry persisted.

Orla drew her sword and shouted for silence. The cries ebbed as she addressed the crowds.

“Who am I to ask you to come with my friends and me? I am Lady Orla Farvous of the Knights of the Air. I shall ride across that plain though it may be as fierce as the Pale and I shall bring justice and freedom to the dark halls of the Mountain of Ash. I would ask the Paswans to ride with me—we have an opportunity now that may never be repeated. If I ride alone then so be it—I will die for your sisters.”

Curnk shouldered past Kolm and stood by Orla.

“My tribe will ride at your rear and I at your side.”

Cheers rang out and Myrek came to Orla’s left. “And I at your other. The three other tribes must decide their own path. Warriors saddle the herdilla—we shall await the signal on the edge of the plain.”

“First I must take the brand,” Orla said.

“That is not necessary,” Myrek said.

“Not necessary, but nonetheless I shall be honoured to fight as an equal with ones so valiant.”

Myrek nodded and Myrssta seized the flaming brand, moving through the chanting masses towards Orla.


Hope it makes you curious!!!
See you next time...

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Ice-cream and Internet-voids

Just returned from a week away in the wondrous climes of South Devon and, surprisingly for the UK the weather was actually acceptable (for us this means only half the days begin with rain/snow/Tsunamis).  What this meant was the opportunity for what is known as a 'traditional holiday.'

Now clearly traditions vary across the world and indeed country. For some traditional holiday means incinerating upper layer of dermis and drinking until they are incontinent whilst the kids steal their cigs. For others it may involve exclusive hotels with a fabulous view of the poor (preferably within rock range). And for others Scrabble and domestics in a two berth caravan.

For the Kitsons it means something akin to the holidays I had as a child. I had a great upbringing, and part of that evolution was our summer holidays. For me it was Norfolk- a hotel in a small village near Cromer, which several families used to go to every year. It was beaches, and sea, and ice cream, and windbreaks, and imaginary adventures with my brother in the woods around the hotel. The wife's was similar, agreeably between Northern Victorian resorts like Scarborough and southern tranquility of Dorset.

In this day and age of data, electronic gadgets and Internet it feels almost more important to get back to basics. Where we go in Devon has an advantage of Mobile phone dropouts galore and no 3G. It's like an Internet void. And in an effort to capitalise this we had a hefty restriction on all gadgets in the family- no tablets, phones, 3DS etc- for most daylight time. And that extended to me: I left the phone in the cottage most days, and only picked up urgent messages on my return. It trod the fine line between liberating and unnerving ("what if my house is blown away by a tornado to Oz and someone needs to let me know..?")

And the 'tradition' that act honoured was to create some space, some opportunity, wherein my kids and me could find some common-time. Goofy stuff with sand, seaweed, buckets, shells and sea so cold it eliminated the prospect of a fourth child once and for all. Because as I lumber into middle-age I have become acutely aware that time sifts through my bony digits at an accelerating rate. Big Son is hitting High School this autumn, and although his geekiness  ensures we will maintain common interests for a good few years yet, gradually his friends and girlfriends will supplement my place in his life. 

Seems like a moment ago he popped out a worrying shade of blue and wailed baby-tongue for "welcome to the rest of your life, dude."

So I suppose the tradition of spending time with the kids without them tutting about me interrupting Minecraft is what we aspired to achieve. And I think, as I trawl through 500 e-mails and face a Twitter-mountain, that we managed it well. With the added bonus of ice-cream, of course.  And a castle... always a castle...