Sword & Sorcery

Stirring from Hibernation

Greetings to Archer’s Aim readers! I haven’t been working on the blog for a while much to my own frustration. A combination of factors have kept me tied up so the blog has not been active too much in recent months. If you’ve noticed more activity recently it’s because I’m putting a little more time into the site. My focus slipped on a number of activities last year with a thyroid issue that has been addressed over the last few months.

I had hoped to have one or two books released long before now but the issues I had over last summer and fall really affected completing projects. When my doctor told me the problem, I reacted with, “That explains a lot.” I probably should have noticed from some symptoms that are familiar but they were not pronounced enough to make me think it was anything other than just being worn out from work, writing and other responsibilities. But it was enough to noticeably hold up my writing schedule. Lesson learned.

With the little health problem, I was often physically and mentally tired so the blog suffered as well as my writing productivity. I’m happy to say that it’s all taken care of and I’m back in the saddle of late and doing much better with my energy for life in general. It’s much like waking up from hibernation and I hope things stay a little more even for a while.

Of late, I’ve re-doubled my writing efforts and made a lot of progress with several projects. I have one book, All Things Forgotten, back from my editor and plan to begin a serious overhaul of the manuscript sometime next week if all goes well. After that, it will be more editing and some feedback from readers, working toward publication during the summer.

Otherwise, my longer novels code-named “Mage” and “Glove” were recently pitched to a few publishers while on a working vacation cruise/conference. Both of these manuscripts have been requested to be reviewed by publishers present at the conference and my agent is also submitting them elsewhere. I should know more about the fate of these WIPs in terms of how they will be published within a few months.

I‘m also hiking forward with another book starting the Broken Shield Chronicles. This manuscript is soon to be finished and will go to my editor. My hope is to publish this book later in the year.

Otherwise, I’m also beginning plans for some sequels to The Bow of Hart Saga. I’m not yet certain the extent of the work but I’ll share more as the planning moves along. The current plan is to publish a novella series that bridges the events of the first series with those of the second series. This shorter series will use new characters with a few existing ones in a parallel story-line into which the next events involving Athson, Limbreth and others will flow. Some of the work for the novella series was started a few years back and were scratched to keep The Bow of Hart Saga as a more concise plot. But with the sequel, there are details that need revealing through this short series to help create context for the main sequel.

I keep pushing onward because I simply love reading and writing books. It’s hard to explain how much better I feel but it is noticeable in how much I accomplish so things are moving along much faster than just a few months ago. There is also the intention on my part to update this site when I can afford it so look for news about that change along with others as the year progresses. Follow me here, my newsletter, my Amazon Author page, my BookBub page or request access to my private Goodreads group for more specific news and opportunities for pre-release copies of new books and some possible freebies. Following on BookBub and Amazon are great ways to receive notifications about my latest books. If you’ve already read The Bow of Hart Saga, please share the books on your social media accounts.

 

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Quotes from The White Arrow #1

“No, I have to go find my mother. You can’t stop me from that. I let all the rest of them die. I can’t let her die too.” He reached for his sword, but it wasn’t at his side. He sat up and twisted his head in several directions, his breath heaving. “Where is it? Did you steal it?” He gripped the trapper by his coat. “I need that sword.” Athson to the trapper

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An Arrow Against the Wind Commentary: Athson’s Choices

Introduction

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.

Commentary

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.

Excerpt

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.

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