Fun Friday

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

About the Author




Fun Friday Vol. 4: What Got Cut – Excerpt from The Goddess’ Veil


Today, I thought it would be a bit fun to share a small bit that was cut from The Bow of Hart Saga. It was meant for a sub-plot that ran parallel to the main story but in a different part of Denaria – which doesn’t even appear on the maps in the book. However, all of this sub-plot was cut to create a simpler plot that was less confusing.

However, I have so much written it seems a waste not to use it at all so I’m seriously considering the publication of this material as a novella series or a single book. Here’s a short portion of what I wrote about a character named Sramsurash who is a monk who’s done something quite rash. He’s now thinking back over what he’s done which is what this scene describes. Read on and I’ll share more of why this was cut at the end:


A distant, rumbling growl echoed down the length of the pass. The monk froze in his steps hardly daring to breathe. Had that sound been some animal or the passage of wind? Maybe it was a falling boulder whose crash onto road had echoed strangely in the gorge. He swallowed hard at the thought of some ravenous animal tracking him. Sramsurash hurried on while looking over his shoulder as thoughts of worse things than bears flitted through his mind. The temple kept terrible creatures and he suddenly wondered if one had been sent to track him.
Sramsurash frowned at the thought. He had been rash in his actions, having planned for nothing of a trip – no food or clothing suitable for his needs. While he had walked the hallway to the goddess’s chamber with growing trepidation his only thought had been to take the veil. In sudden conclusions after long meditation, the monk had acted. He remembered pausing outside the rooms, wearing his padded slippers so soft and quiet but his heart pounding in his ears loudly.

The monk knew he had trembled but he had still crept into the rooms. He had shuffled across the carpets hoping to avoid anything in his way but there had been nothing. The goddess had been reputed to be a light sleeper and the slightest of disturbances would have awakened her. Indeed, Sramsurash was still surprised he had actually been able to take the filmy cloth from the stand where it hung in the pale moonlight that spilled across the inner chamber where the indescribably beautiful avatara lay upon her bed.

He had been sweating profusely when he exited the goddess’s rooms and found to his surprise he held the veil dangling in his grasp in plain sight. But it was more than fear that had distracted him he now realized. He had stowed the wondrous item within his voluminous robes and slipped noiselessly down the halls to his chambers, thinking he might hide the goddess’s sole garment until he could decide what to do and thus steal power from her by rendering her incapable of appearing in public. But along the way a blinding realization had struck his mind that he must leave the temple or be discovered and slain. Had not the guards seen him go and return?

The monk had diverted himself and left by a little used door. There was no thought to destroying the veil. He had seen the veil lain over open flames and simply smother them out. Sramsurash could only assume the veil held some magical or supernatural power that, thin as it was, it could not be quickly destroyed by a simple flame.

The monk had fled until he could decide what best to do. He had traveled west in the night opposite to the direction he was supposed to be going in the next week for his lone pilgrimage. All through the night he had stumbled down the road as fear grew in his mind that he should hear the sound of pursuit from the dreadful knights of the avatara. Indeed, such was his fear that as dim dawn grew on the horizon behind him that the monk had paused along the way to consider his next actions carefully. Holding the veil he had gazed at the seemingly frail cloth. He was not used to this fear since his life as a priest had been one of ease and repetitious ritual but now he knew he must decide a precise course of action.

Sramsurash remembered now his foolishness as he stumbled down the cold mountain road. Lost in his reverie of careful thought, the monk had not heard the swift approach of horses until they were just around a bend and almost on him. He had turned to run and fallen. But the veil had fluttered down over him and covered him with its large expanse. In the scant time it took the monk to take a few shuddering breaths the horses, carrying the fearsome knights had thundered into sight and passed him where he had lain on the side of the road in plain sight with the item of his offense in just as plain sight.

This event puzzled the monk even now. He could not see how the horsemen had missed his cringing form along the ditch but they had. He had wondered at this and thought at first if it was just the near darkness. But Sramsurash now doubted this as he hugged himself in the cold and slapped himself to stay warm. Had the veil some quality of hiding such that it had saved him from the knights and certain death?


As you can tell, this is a very rough draft and needs a lot of work which is one reason it was cut – as a sub-plot it made the rest of the series cumbersome. I also wrote this before I start using deep point-of-view that is used in my current series novels so the style is rougher. There’s a lot of telling and almost no conversation until much later on in the scene. I’ve learned much better about developing the beginning of a book than I knew back in 2011-14 when I was working on this (don’t form an opinion about The Bow of Hart Saga based on this – it more of a sample of what got cut, why and how I’m going to use it in the future once it’s re-developed).

However, there are more problems that have to be corrected. This bit of remembering by Sramsurash should be show as its own scene to open the book and introduce the character and his motivations. Additionally, the setting of the far western empire of Gantura should also be better established – something which I did not have time to do. There are a number of other issues with it being a sub-plot such as tying it together with the main plot of The Bow of Hart Saga – these two stories just did not have enough overlap to make them mesh well. I concluded that it was best to pull this out and work on it another time which I’ll likely begin pretty soon after completing some other novel rough drafts.


Thanks for stopping by to read the excerpt today. Please excuse both the lack of artwork and how rough the work is but I hope it shows why I cut it from my series and on direction I’ll be going in the near future. Feel free to leave your questions and thoughts in the comments section and I’ll reply as soon as I can (I’m traveling today so it may take some time).

Also, please remember I’ve just released the digital boxed set of The Bow of Hart Saga on Amazon just this week – have a look at it!

About the Author

Fun Friday Vol 3: 5 Announcements About My Writing Plans

I’m diverging just a little bit today and sharing some of my upcoming plans regarding the next several months or so. However, the post still involves such upcoming series like The Broken Shield Chronicles. Next week, I hope to share more of some excerpts or content I have now for The Goddess Veil that I mentioned last week.

  1. Audio is in the works for The Bow of Hart Saga. I don’t know for sure exactly which way I’ll go at this point, but it is a definite go. I may be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2018 or possible into the second quarter.
  2. Print is also going to happen, just not as fast as I’d like to do it. I’m mostly ready to move forward with The Bow of Destiny since I have the print cover so I expect that to be available by Thanksgiving or as soon as distribution to online retailers can go out. The print editions of An Arrow Against the Wind and The White Arrow will arrive as I have opportunity financially but I’ll work to prepare the print formats now. Perhaps these editions can be timed with my audio plans.
  3. I’m planning to put my current short prequels, Trading Knives and What Is Needed together with 3-4 new prequel stories but only as an e-book edition. Look for that no sooner than December if possible but I’ll share more about it as I progress.
  4. Now back to what I’ve been sharing the last few Fridays: the companion (parallel) series to The Bow of Hart Saga will be published starting with the first book – hopefully during the first quarter of 2018. This series is set in the far western lands of Denaria – even past where the giant clans live. I’ve titled this The Goddess Veil but it’s just a working title now and I’m not sure if it’s the series title or the title of the first book. I’ll share more as I progress.
  5. Not surprisingly, The Broken Shield Chronicles series is on my radar. I hope to plan the first book and publish it during the first quarter of 2018 too – though that may be a bit ambitious. The schedule is a bit fluid at this point so I’ll let it stand at that for the moment. That carries me through the next 5-6 months of work.

BONUS: I’ll have a bit of a surprise around Thanksgiving that I’ll share. It will be quite nice and something I’m pretty excited about just now.

Also, I contribute on Story Empire and we’ve been nominated for a Best Writing Blog award this year. If you have a few minutes see the details here. Please share and put in your vote with a comment on the award site linked in the post.

That’s all I have for today. Thanks for stopping and spending a few minutes here with me. Please leave your thoughts and questions in the comments section and I’ll reply as soon as I can.