Month: November 2017

Curated Writing Content

Here’s what we’ve been reading over at Story Empire this week!

Story Empire

Hello SErs! It’s that time of the week again where we all get together to bring you useful posts that we’ve found around the web. Before you get busy clicking, though, you’ll want to check out this post on The Author Presentation… For Newbies by Mae Clair and How Many Words Can a Wordsmith Smith by Staci Troilo if you haven’t already!

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Fun Friday Vol 5: The Bow of Hart Saga Thanksgiving Special

It’s Thanksgiving and I invited the cast of characters from The Bow of Hart Saga over for a little party and a bit of a round-table discussion with a few questions. Here’s how it went:

Me: Thanks for stopping by today for the party, everyone. Has everyone had enough to eat so far?

Tordug: This Thanksgiving is a good idea and this food is much better than all those travel rations you fed us during the series. Those got old (all the characters add their agreement, leaving me a bit uncomfortable).

Me: I’m glad you like the food and sorry about all those rations on the quest.

Corgren: I don’t know about them, but I ate well enough in my scenes. Magdronu set me and his other mages up pretty well with food from Rok (the Beleesh sisters and his brother, Paugren, add their agreement).

Magdronu (in his disguise, thankfully, since he wouldn’t fit in the house as a dragon otherwise): Well, I do aim to treat my servants well as long as they live up to expectations. I’m much better at looking after my own than you are, O Mighty Author!

This doesn’t seem to be going as well as I thought and the villains are already trying to make me look bad. I suddenly remember that they are villains and want to my valuables!

Me: Well, it’s all part of the story, I suppose. I thought it would be a good time to get some of your thoughts about what it was like behind the scenes of The Bow of Hart Saga. Since we’re talking about difficulties, what parts of the series were most challenging for you? Yes, Limbreth.

Limbreth: Well, I found the travel in the mountains tough with all the cold. I mean, several of us almost froze to death. And then we slept rough much of the time. Otherwise, I had a lot of fun and learned a lot.

Athson: For me, it was all the confusion about my surroundings. Trying to figure out the nature of what I saw, especially Spark, kept me on my toes much of the time. I agree with Limbreth, the cold was challenging up in the Drelkhaz. I also think traveling in Chokkra was nerve-wracking with all the trolls hanging about. Thanks for not inviting trolls today, by the way.

Corgren: Hah! Except for the travel in The Bow of Destiny, I was mostly cozy, except for that chase after you up to the Funnel. And I don’t see why at least a few trolls couldn’t come with us today.

Spark barks and growls.

Corgren: Careful, dog or I’ll light you up!

Spark’s growl deepens.

Makwi: If trolls had been invited, I would have rolled a few of their heads across the floor. But it would have livened things up a bit. I don’t know what the rest of them think about the cold or Chokkra but I liked all that. Now fire spells, those kept me on my toes.

Hastra: Spells are really nothing but trouble sent by Magdronu. Eloch took care of those. The cold was challenging but the mystery around the Bow of Hart challenged me. I mean, I’m supposed to know more except Eloch didn’t tell me which was needed, I suppose. We all had a few things to learn on the trip.

Magdronu snorts: Yeah, Eloch kept you in the dark. I’m much better company than him. Where is he anyway? He points at me. Or is it you?

Me: No, Eloch isn’t me.

Hastra: All this talk from you and Corgren about who well you treat people. You stabbed me, my sister and Howart in the heart, literally. You killed almost all of the Withlings and sacrificed countless numbers of dwarves after conquering their home. I don’t think you’re as welcoming as you make yourself out to be. Hastra crossed her arms.

Magdronu snickers: It was all “What Was Needed”, as you Withlings say.

Hastra scrambles to her feet: That’s a rather evil attitude. But I shouldn’t expect any different from you!

Corgren stands, his hand on his dagger: The Great One is right, it was what was needed. He is to rise to preeminence and his ways are different not merely evil!

Limbreth, Makwi, Tordug, Athson and Ralda stand up beside Hastra. This is not looking good and I start re-thinking the merits of this party.

Tordug: Watch it with that dagger, wizard. I might just remember who caused me much of my troubles these last years.

Athson slowly draws his blessed sword: He’s done me a lot of harm too!

Me: Hold it everyone, just simmer down a moment. This is supposed to be a fun party after the conclusion of The Bow of Hart Saga. Let’s all just have some turkey (maybe they will all get sleepy from it and I can avoid damage in the house).

Crowd of Characters: They all descend into finger-pointing, waving weapons, threatening the use of spells and Magdronu puffs up some smoke.

I quickly call an end to the party and start glad-handing the characters as I escort them back to the book series. I really didn’t expect an argument and a near fight. I was hoping for something rather collegial like the special features at the end of a movie DVD. This felt like I had all the cantankerous family members over and it descended into an odd argument. Lesson learned. Speaking of which, I probably should strike a few trouble-makers off my list of attendees for my Alabama-Auburn game party or might turn out the same – maybe worse! After all, some opposing fans in the rivalry actually do draw swords and other weapons when they watch the game together! I think I’ll have to really thing the list…

More about the Books

Find out about the books at the series page: The Bow of Hart Saga

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An Arrow Against the Wind Commentary: Athson’s Choices


The Bow of Destiny begins a long journey for Athson and his companions which leads him to a gut-wrenching ending in that book. An Arrow Against the Wind begins immediately after those twists but with a twist of its own. In that light, Athson’s perspective shifts with realization that what he thought was real wasn’t and he begins to question his decade-long predicament.


Within The Bow of Destiny, Athson struggles with grief both old and new as well as his uncertainty from his PTSD-like fits which seem to have resolved in some ways. However, he’s never quite sure of himself and doesn’t always trust his own awareness. He’s equally suspicious and doubtful of the quest. Within all of these difficulties, Athson is stuck in a spiraling struggle with his outlook on the adventure.

But, with the sudden shift of reality, his mood shifts from one of grief to that of a determination to seek answers to his life as well as help those around him. Without sharing any spoilers, Athson needs to find more than the Bow of Hart and isn’t willing to just follow Hastra’s lead in the matter. However, he is seeking to help others and himself though he doesn’t know how to go about it. He just unwilling to follow a course that he doesn’t believe will achieve his goals.

Athson sets out on his own to accomplish his new goals, determined not to remain a grieving victim. Hastra and Gweld slowly turn his attention back to the Bow of Hart as a way of accomplishing his goals. Their reasoning is that the Bow of Hart is the key to the problems that confront Athson who slowly comes around to the idea. However, he still wants to do things his way regardless.

Between the events of The Bow of Destiny and An Arrow Against the Wind, there’s a definite progression for Athson. In the first book, he’s struggling with his own pathos and malady about which he believes himself to be merely a bystander as events happen to him. By the end, he’s willing to take a stand for himself and others, rising out of his inward struggles.

An Arrow Against the Wind shows how Athson begins to grow as he takes action against the forces set against him. His actions are imperfect but he has skills as a ranger that he can use to further his goals. He believes he’s still making good decision, a belief revealed in the opening scene of The Bow of Destiny when he makes a choice while hunting. But as Athson progresses he will be presented with tougher choices and the question remains if he’s truly able to make a difficult decision by parsing out more than what he wants at a moment, but what is best for others as well. His choices lie between his own goals and the needs of others. He wants to help but what is the best way? He’s growing out of the malaise of years and into an active participant in this life because the Bow of Hart and the prophesy surrounding it require him to grow and make tough choices.


Here’s an excerpt where he discusses his options with Limbreth regarding some choices and the Bow of Hart:

Later, they shared time during their watches as they walked a circuit of their camp. Spark trailed them.

“Let’s just leave and go ourselves. They’re slowing us down. They’ll keep me from doing what I have to do.” Athson stared into the silent night, his tone hushed. Time was wasting. Each night the moon phase progressed. His gut clenched. “It’s not their decision.”

“Athson, they mean well and understand your feelings.” She paused, hefting a sword. “But there are the bigger issues of the prophecy. Hastra knew her risks and has for years.”

They paused by the mules, and Athson patted one on its side. “But I can’t abandon my father and mother again.” He turned to Limbreth and grasped her shoulders. “I’ve lived well with the elves while they’ve suffered. I can’t just run off and forget them.”

She leaned forward, her forehead touching his. “I know. It’s not easy. Maybe an answer will present itself.”

His voice rose in challenge, and he stepped back. “Like what? I’m trapped. They are trapped in Corgren’s clutches.”

Limbreth gazed toward their sleeping companions and back to Athson. “Quiet, you’ll wake the others. I don’t know what will happen, and neither do you. But I’ll go through it with you.” She took his hand and came closer. “I’m here now. For you. So are the others.”

Athson shrugged. Was her support just words? She had a suitor waiting for her. Somewhere. “What if the others scout out Corgren? I find the bow while they sneak my father away. Then, then…” Then what? His mother died?

Limbreth lowered her face. “What about your mother?” She sighed. “Tough questions and no answers. Yet.”

Athson paced away and back. “Well, just get some sleep. We push on before the moon.”

A falling star streaked across the sky. Athson remembered a similar sight in his vision at Eagle’s Aerie. The arrow Eloch prepared. He frowned at the sparkling sky. The inheritance lay in his pack. The same words written on the will. He needed an arrow?

“That was beautiful.”

“Yes.” Athson managed. “There’s supposed to be an arrow.”

Still watching the sky, Limbreth frowned. “What arrow?”

“It’s in the prophecy.” He thumbed over his shoulder toward camp. “It’s in that will I got. I don’t know where that is. I remember something. A falling star like a smoking arrow from back at Eagle’s Aerie. But if it’s not with the Bow of Hart I don’t know what to do to find it. But if I did, I’d have something to fight back with. Maybe.”

“Perhaps, but at least we’ll know if it’s there, and maybe we can ask Howart, if he’s there…” She lifted her arms to his shoulders and stepped closer, her eyes still to the sky. “Then we’ll decide. You know we’ll do something based on all that information. There’s an answer, Athson. It’s not hopeless.”

He scowled a moment then realized her tone held encouragement. “Thanks.” He held her a while under the stars as the time slipped past him.

Find out more about the second book of The Bow of Hart Saga, An Arrow Against the Wind, by clicking on one of these retailer badges:

   BarnesandNoble      Smashwords

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