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ODR Character Spotlight: A Wish and a Prayer

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Wishton Ackford is the narrator of The Order of the Dark Rose. His perspective regarding his adventures and investigations with his business partner, Manny, are important to the book. Let’s take a look at his character.

Wish is an unemployed copywriter, not a fighter, and certainly not a mage. In his world, not only is magic real, it is commonplace and used as technology. However he is often dismayed or unsettled by events involving magic. Such encounters as these are the unusual for him in his experiences because magic is more than technology and there are those willing to use it for nefarious purposes.

As a neophyte sidekick, Wish is not really that experienced with magic, nor does he have any practical knowledge. His understanding of magic is mainly informed by common technology. As such, he’s grown up with magic but really doesn’t know that much about it. Correlating back to reality, one may drive a car but know little of it’s technology. The same is true of electricity or computers. Deep knowledge isn’t required to make use of a car, electricity or computers and such is the case with Wish and magical technology.

Wish is very uncomfortable with spells and such being used around him because he doesn’t know what will happen. For this reason, he is often checking for his own magical weapon which doesn’t require any magical knowledge to use: a fleer gun.

This weapon, which operates off of a magical cell like most such technology in the book, provides Wish a fighting chance against powerful magic users. It is an equalizer for him, but only in a limited sense. An attacker or someone who intends harm can easily use other forms of magic on him such as a hex, dangerous elemental spells, and even charms. Because of this possibility, Wish often experiences a lot of anxiety in situations that could – or do – escalate into some sort of confrontation.

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Wish isn’t religious, but Manny is. However, the frequently awkward and dangerous situations in which Wish finds himself leaves him considering a prayer to get himself through difficulties.

Manny is well-educated about the use of magic. Wish can easily be caught off-balance by all kinds of spells and various forms of magic. A wand pointed at someone is like pointing a gun for you and I, except anything can happen.

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Investigations with Manny are not easy since Wish finds his business partner rather opaque as a tangential thinker. Their cases are even more fraught with uncertainty since they are usually after someone who has broken the law or is willing to do so. Fighting is not Wish’s forte so he’s often tense, anticipating negative events because he never knows what’s going to happen.

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Wish is kind of a Dr. Watson-like character, except he isn’t a veteran and he’s only trained as a writer, not a doctor. He learns some skills pertaining to the nature of magical investigations as the book progresses, but he’s still often off-balance while working from his wits and the slim experience he gains over the course of the book. His anxiety remains, and even builds, compounded by the growing understanding that his partner may well be the target of an unknown mastermind-nemesis.

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Wish increasingly finds himself caught up in events well beyond his abilities. His main resources are Manny and his experience as well as his Fleer gun. It all makes for a character observing events from a skewed perspective, caught between the fear of being penniless or dead, maybe worse if he ends up cursed like Manny.

I hope that lends a bit of insight into the narrator of The Order of the Dark Rose. You can find out more about the book on its page or click to any of the listed retail sites during this post.

Look for more posts like this one in the near future as I progress with the next volume in The Cursed Mage Case Files, The Unseen Hand.

Thanks for visiting today and reading about the book. Please leave your thoughts and questions in the comments and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Also, please share this post or re-blog it with your friends. If you have a copy of The Order of the Dark Rose, please leave a rating or review with your favorite retailer as well as such sites as BookBub and Goodreads (you can find links to the books by clicking to the site page linked or my logo image just below here).

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The Premise of The Cursed Mage Case Files

Hey everyone!

Well, I’m trying to get back into a groove with my blogging so here goes my first one post-release of The Order of the Dark Rose.

As mentioned last week in the release post, the series began with a premise in 2016 during a writer’s conference. It was literally during a seminar session about something unrelated when the notion hit me. Since I use my computer even at conferences, I immediately typed in the kernel idea and some additional thoughts about it.

The premise? What if Sherlock Holmes was in a fantasy world where magic is very common. Hmm….

That was interesting.

At the time, I was in the middle of some other writing projects and only gave this a bit of time, created a developmental project in Scrivener and moved back to the tasks at hand. But it was there, waiting to be written.

During early 2017, I found myself out of work and turned to frantically completing both An Arrow Against the Wind and The White Arrow in the same year. Around all that, an agent seemed interested in the premise of what would become The Order of the Dark Rose. Another idea was included from my pending Black Glove project and I was asked to write some initial pages for each. I let the agent know that these were in their infancy and lacked world-building and much more. However, I wrote both opening concept pieces around completing An Arrow Against the Wind. Nothing ever came of the representation, but both of those projects were completed in following couple of years.

At the time of that initial writing, my daughter read the opening pages of the manuscript, then promptly found me in the house and announced, “I love Manny!” That stoked the fire to work on this project and, as soon as I finished work on The White Arrow and published it, I dove into work on what was then termed “Reformed Mage.”

Over 200k words later, I finished the draft with some trepidation at the length, but keen to do something with it. My editor took a look and encouraged me to split the manuscript into three books. Easy enough to do in Scrivener, yet there were creative constraints as well. I dutifully set about to split the manuscript, then needed to add more to it but the editor liked it.

The kernel, that premise, is still central to the entire series. It takes Sherlock Holmes and expands that venerated character in a different direction. He’s got a curse. He’s magical (Sherlock Holmes didn’t like mediums, so this is a departure). His name is Mandlefred Mandeheim. The world in which the story is set is driven by new magical innovations that harness this force of nature into technology. And yet, there’s opportunity for a villain.

That original idea went in many directions in the creation of technology, magic, culture, politics and much more in an alternate fantasy world where almost anything can happen – within bounds. But more on that another time from Manny’s brother who is a spell-checker (meaning he checks spell – you get the picture).

What would it be like to have a character like Sherlock Holmes in a fantasy world? Here’s my take on the idea presented in The Order of the Dark Rose, Volume 1 of The Cursed Mage Case Files. I hope many people will pick it up and enjoy this fun, different story of an all too familiar character and setting mashed up into a different genre. It’s been a lot of fun getting this series launched and I’m soon beginning serious revision of the next book to release as soon as possible. Have a look and share it with friends – the more the merrier!

Here are the links where you can find The Order of the Dark Rose:

   

Release Day! The Order of the Dark Rose is LIVE

It took some time but it’s finally here! Today marks the release of an idea that started at a writer’s conference in 2016. I quickly wrote the basic premise down during a seminar and finally began seriously began work on it during 2017. Life has been up and down since (and what a year this has been) but the book finally made it. Before going any further, please take a moment to share this post on social media or re-blog it on your site – especially if you have fantasy readers. Oh, and just a little note: the book arrived yesterday and already hit the top 100 in an Amazon category so it’s headed in the right direction.

My original idea was to place a character like Sherlock Holmes into a fantasy world with a gaslamp social setting where magic is a major part of the technology. The book showcases city trams, carriages, weapons and all kinds of items powered by magic. The main character has some flaws and problems but his main one is a curse he can’t shake even though he’s an expert with magic. Want to find out what the curse is? Give the book a try – here’s the blurb:

An arch-mage can handle almost anything. Unless he’s cursed, lost his job and facing an unknown enemy.

The Gallantean Empire relies increasingly upon magical technology which cleans sewers, runs trams and much more. Within the capital city of Cal Rindon, magic is pervasive, but not necessarily used without crime involved. The bustling metropolis boasts constant innovations mixed with growing pains. Amid the good lurks the bad with unrest and growing crime.

Arch-mage Manny Mandeheim fell under a curse, watched his fiancé die, and then lost his job as a spy. So what’s an arch-mage to do? Start his own magical investigation service while he works to clear his good name and maybe avenge his lost love. With his very un-magical partner, Wish Ackford, Manny discovers the menace of a much larger conspiracy than he expected looming behind his curse. Suddenly, the limitations from the hex leave him at a distinct disadvantage as he and Wish investigate.

Assassins lurk at every corner or in every tram car. The threat of an unknown mastermind with murky intentions lingers just out of sight. A questionable source offers the hint of a secret order hounding Manny’s footsteps. A murder leads to wrenching discoveries.

Nothing an arch-mage can’t handle…

Unless the curse limits how much magic he can use or kills him outright.

A mixture of Sherlock Holmes and Harry Potter, The Order of the Dark Rose is set in an alternate fantasy world where magic is both commonplace and dangerous. Mysteries abound in this original, new fantasy from P. H. Solomon, author of the award-winning, best-selling epic fantasy series, The Bow of Hart Saga.

Can Manny survive long enough to break his curse? Or will the arch-mage’s hidden foe escape him? Click the Your Favorite Retailer button to enter this high concept world of magic and fantasy to discover more about Manny and Wish.

    

Thanks for stopping by for release day of The Order of the Dark Rose. I’ll share more about the book over the next several weeks and announce any appearances at other sites.