Gohaldinest – the ancient city

Here’s a little story you might not know about Gohaldinest.

In Quest for the Three Books, I needed a name for a place whose streets were supposedly paved with gold. The line, “The streets are paved with gold, but I seek a richer treasure,” kept going through my head. The streets of where? 

So, of course I went about naming this city by doing what I always do: starting with a letter and seeing where it goes from there. As you are probably thinking, the name became Gohaldinest. 

The streets of Gohaldinest are paved with gold, but I seek a richer treasure. If you’ve read the Sacred Knight series, then you know this is a line from the oath of a dominus. But Gohaldinest was never meant to be a real city. It was supposed to be an imaginary place, the setting of a fable. 

We have cities like this in our own history, those that seem to have been swallowed by time. As our archaeology and technology improves, we realize that sometimes the rubble of one city becomes the foundations for another. Many towns are built from the very stones of the buildings of fallen cities. 

This is what happened to Gohaldinest. It literally wasn’t until the third book, To Birth a Destiny, when Steigan is in Dubinshire that he discovers that Gohaldinest is real and that Dubinshire was built from the rock that had once formed the older city.

Now to have walked through Gohaldinest in the shoes of three different characters (Steigan: Quest for the Three Books, Rivic: Tangled Magic & Walk the Path, and Cirvel: Palladium) just for starters is pretty amazing and wondrous. The further back I go into the history of Gohaldinest (since for some reason I have to be writing these books pretty much backwards — it doesn’t quite count since I still need to write books 5 and 6 for Sacred Knight), the more of an amazing place this city becomes. 

I am so glad this city is mine to write about.

Palladium – Chapter 42

Tomorrow sees the release of the ebook version of Tangled Magic. It has developed so much since I was running it here on the blog as Onesong. In fact, it still continues to grow and change as I discovered another scene that I wanted in Walk the Path, the coming sequel to Tangled Magic. It’s fascinating to watch a story expand and deepen.

While Tangled Magic is still a day away from release, you don’t have to wait to get a story fixed. Let’s get you to Palladium.

Previously: Cirvel heads through a festival on his way to meet up with an old “friend” who has a map to a revered imagination dragon. Instead, he meets Treshauna, a Black Night ninja who needs his help. She replies that she and Drelin, the leader of the ninjas, need a powerful trap. Meeting up with the ninjas, they take to hiding within Cirvel’s shadow to travel through the Wells. As soon as they come out on the other side, they discover something is waiting for them. Blindsided, Cirvel gets severely injured by the Shniktaur, an agent of pure chaos. Cirvel withdraws and takes Treshauna back through the Wells, but is unable to pull Drelin along. Once healed, he and Treshauna make plans to find Drelin and rescue him. Cirvel opens a portal to another world. They step through and they find Drelin, who is severely injured. They take Drelin to the nearest town in search of a healer, but they are taken captive. Civel is released from the cell to go be presented before the queen. Upon meeting the queen, Cirvel shows just how otherworldly he is. Instead of scaring the queen, it intrigues her. Queen Marthryn indicates there is more on this planet for him to protect other than only her city of Gohaldinest: a small, ill imagination dragon.  Cirvel touches the dragon with trepidation, afraid his own power might overwhelm it.The dragon, Leschemal, is terribly sick and weak, but there is no apparent cause. Cirvel learns more about this planet and that in the last 100 years that Leschemal has gotten sick as a war rages with the Plenelians, a group of magicless people. Meanwhile Drelin remains unconscious and unresponsive. The healer claims that Drelin is in the veil and trying to decide if he wants to return to his body or remain in the shadows. Cirvel decides to take him into the lamp, hoping they can heal Drelin the sands of the genie realm. Burying Drelin in the sands to let him heal, Cirvel and Treshauna head off over the sands. They take off on a flying carpet toward the genie city of Fazitarn in order to get supplies to help Leschemal’s recovery. Cirvel begins to explain some of complicated customs of genies to Treshauna, as well as the differences between types of genies.


Cover and layout copyright © 2019 by Morning Sky Studios
Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios
Cover art copyright © Rodjulian | Dreamstime.com, ©
Xneo | Dreamstime.com, and © Gualtiero Boffi| Dreamstime.com

Palladium

Chapter 42

by Dawn Blair

The doorman returned with a shorter, squatter man in tow. The loud colors of his tunic and leggings announced an even larger presence than the man himself.

“Cirvel!”

Continue reading

Ithanes

Not too long ago, I showed a picture from my sketchbook of the main character of my Sacred Knight series, Steigan.

A few nights ago I was flipping through my sketchbook again and came across a picture that reminds me of Ithanes. Ah, Ithanes!

He doesn’t come into the story until book 2, Manifest the Magic, but he was so full of surprises for me. I’ve come to utterly adore him. He’s like the king of snark, and very powerful with his magic. He knows what he’s good at, and lets people follow their strengths. He’s a good leader in that he finds people to compensate for the areas where he is weak. I think that’s why he likes Steigan so much. Yet, he also doesn’t often show weakness in himself. He’s lord of two lands, Dubinshire and Gohaldinest, and he lets everyone know it. Don’t let him fool you, though. He does have his deep, dark secrets.

And speaking of which, I so want to look through that curio cabinet he keeps locked in his chambers. In book 3, To Birth a Destiny, the reader gets to see that curio a couple of times and Steigan even describes some of what he saw. But let me tell you, I was right there when Steigan was discussing what he was seeing and he certainly didn’t get to some of the more interesting items toward the back. Some day I’d like to draw that cabinet and all the trinkets in there. I’d also love to sit down and talk to Ithanes about how he collected all of them. Oh, the stories!

This sketch was done in 2018. I do think if I’d intended it to be Ithanes, it should have had a teardrop-shaped gemstone hanging from the circlet. Maybe I just needed practice drawing a circlet, even a wiry one. (grin)

Maybe someday I’ll get around to doing an illustrated Sacred Knight edition, or maybe even a graphic novel. Someday.

Palladium – Chapter 41

I’m trying to write and my faithful dog, Merlin, would rather have me petting him. This is a good problem to have. I’d rather have this than a lot of other dramas I see people inviting into their lives. Why a person would want to create that kind of stress is beyond me. I’d rather keep my life simple and let my characters have the drama.

Okay, I won’t go getting up on my soapbox today. The sun is shining, something we haven’t had a lot of the last month or so. I like my light. I couldn’t live somewhere that didn’t have a good amount of sunlight. Now if only the snow would melt off.

I discovered Merlin shedding today. Both him and my black cat, Coville, are trying to get rid of their winter coats. I tried telling them that it’s a little premature on their part; we still have more cold winter ahead of us. But do you think they listened? Nope! I think they both had the sun of their black fur and got a false sense of the warmth.

I hope my tulips are smart enough to keep their heads down for a while longer. The snow hasn’t melted yet and there’s more in the forecast. A little sun doesn’t equal spring! Even though I am also craving it very badly. I must wait too. Bring on summer. I had someone comment to me this last week that “didn’t the weather know that it was supposed to go Thanksgiving, Christmas, summer?” That’s almost a true story for Idaho weather, but I find it’s more like cold, cold, warm-ish, cold, cold, cold, flip switched, blazing hot! And I use to be one of these people that preferred the blazing hot to the cold. Not so much since I had heat stroke many years ago; hot weather saps my strength fairly quickly, but I will still take it over the cold. Everyone is always telling me that when it’s cold they can put on more layers, but when it’s hot they can’t take anything else off. I reply that I can always go jump in a pool but I hate being the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man!

Well, enough chatting about the weather. Feel free to let me know what it’s like where you live in the comments below. Meanwhile, let’s get you to the story.

Previously: Cirvel heads through a festival on his way to meet up with an old “friend” who has a map to a revered imagination dragon. Instead, he meets Treshauna, a Black Night ninja who needs his help. She replies that she and Drelin, the leader of the ninjas, need a powerful trap. Meeting up with the ninjas, they take to hiding within Cirvel’s shadow to travel through the Wells. As soon as they come out on the other side, they discover something is waiting for them. Blindsided, Cirvel gets severely injured by the Shniktaur, an agent of pure chaos. Cirvel withdraws and takes Treshauna back through the Wells, but is unable to pull Drelin along. Once healed, he and Treshauna make plans to find Drelin and rescue him. Cirvel opens a portal to another world. They step through and they find Drelin, who is severely injured. They take Drelin to the nearest town in search of a healer, but they are taken captive. Civel is released from the cell to go be presented before the queen. Upon meeting the queen, Cirvel shows just how otherworldly he is. Instead of scaring the queen, it intrigues her. Queen Marthryn indicates there is more on this planet for him to protect other than only her city of Gohaldinest: a small, ill imagination dragon.  Cirvel touches the dragon with trepidation, afraid his own power might overwhelm it.The dragon, Leschemal, is terribly sick and weak, but there is no apparent cause. Cirvel learns more about this planet and that in the last 100 years that Leschemal has gotten sick as a war rages with the Plenelians, a group of magicless people. Meanwhile Drelin remains unconscious and unresponsive. The healer claims that Drelin is in the veil and trying to decide if he wants to return to his body or remain in the shadows. Cirvel decides to take him into the lamp, hoping they can heal Drelin the sands of the genie realm. Burying Drelin in the sands to let him heal, Cirvel and Treshauna head off over the sands. They take off on a flying carpet toward the genie city of Fazitarn in order to get supplies to help Leschemal’s recovery. Cirvel begins to explain some of complicated customs of genies to Treshauna, as well as the differences between types of genies.


Cover and layout copyright © 2019 by Morning Sky Studios
Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios
Cover art copyright © Rodjulian | Dreamstime.com, ©
Xneo | Dreamstime.com, and © Gualtiero Boffi| Dreamstime.com

Palladium

Chapter 41

by Dawn Blair

“Pretty lady,” a hawker called out to her with a golden chain dangling from his fingers. “Make you even more pretty.”

She went to respond, but Cirvel tugged hard on her, the stumble making her lose her concentration.

Continue reading

Fan sale

Just wanted to drop a quick note about Tangled Magic being on sale for only $2.99 through the pre-order time to February 1st.

If you are already a fan or have yet to experience that (grin), this is a great time to get it. The price will be going up after the deadline and may vary depending upon how long it takes a platform to update their prices, so don’t wait.

Click the link to see if your favorite book-selling platform is listed — some might not come up until 1/28 because they don’t allow pre-orders. (Boo!)

How Rivic’s story almost wasn’t

Did you know that Rivic’s story, Tangled Magic, almost didn’t happen? 

As I was working on the first three books of the Sacred Knight series and thinking about Alityka’s part, I started seeing scenes with Rivic and Alityka. I even wrote several of these scenes down. All were from Alityka’s point of view. 

Then in 2015, I started writing a story as part of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month held in November). I had fully intended it to be a rewrite of the start of a novel I had written many years ago and lost the beginning chapters. Soon, I realized that I was actually writing two books. Yes, I had the start of my lost novel, which I wrote nearly 30 years ago and I certainly don’t remember how it started then so this was fresh, but I also had a major piece of another story. I finished NaNoWriMo with over the 50,000 words needed to “win,” but I hadn’t actually finished the novel.

After giving it some time to cool down and really figure out what I had going on, I split the two pieces apart. Yet now I had to figure out the characters I had. I so much wanted to write Alityka’s story that I resisted telling it from Rivic’s point of view, yet I knew in my heart this was exactly what was what needed to happen. Yes, Alityka’s side of my Sacred Knight story needed to be told by Rivic. 

It’s a choice I’m glad I made.

Tangled Magic

Ah, yes… in the post of my weekly chapter last Friday, I did mention that I would talk about why I’d been absent. Look at how well I dodged that!

Hehehehe!

Okay, well, if you figured from the not so discrete announcement, I’ve been busy getting Tangled Magic up. I had so wanted to let it have a longer pre-order time, maybe get some hype worked up for it. But after finding it delayed for nearly a year, I couldn’t do that. I just didn’t want to wait any longer.

So, I finally had to draw the line in the sand and say that I was getting it done.

I wish this here was even a better announcement, but I’m going to leave it at: the ebook for Tangled Magic is now available for pre-order (releasing January 28th) and the print book is out now. You can get an author signed copy here (Sorry, I’m not Amazon, I have to pay for shipping and this is a very heavy book — so heavy that it qualifies automatically for the priority mail).

Rivic’s story starts now.

Read it before the Sacred Knight story starts towards its conclusion with The Missing Thread (more on that to come!)

In case you are wondering, this story has changed significantly since it here on the blog under the working title of Onesong. Which, honestly, it should because the chapters I release here are merely work in progress to keep me moving. By the time I make them into a book, they should be worked out and cleaned up. It’ll be familiar, but (hopefully) delightfully different.

Let the adventure start anew!