Uploaded on the 4th of July

To m American readers: Happy 4th of July! Please stay safe and sane.

New release update!

This was a story I wrote a couple years ago. It ran here on my blog for a week, then turned back into a pumpkin. I held onto it. I just didn’t feel it was ready to go out into the world at since then.

Our planet has had some trying times lately. COVID, racial violence, suicides, and all manner of things that the news likes to spew around. (I will keep my personal opinion out of this, I swear! – that’s a chant I’ve been saying to myself for 2 days now when I’ve tried to write this post.)

As it turned to July, I started thinking about this story. I don’t know why it popped into my mind, perhaps because of the title, and I laughed at myself that another year was going to pass without me being able to release it.

That’s when I got the sense I’d be releasing it on the 4th.

Here it is July 1st and I’m thinking of releasing a story I hadn’t looked at in nearly two years within three days.

Thank goodness the story is very short!

As I was reading through it, I saw why I needed to release it now. I think the story reflects the demoralized feeling many in the world have today and gives a message of hope.

Uploaded on the 4th of July was born out of a “fear” I had two years ago, along with some of my own personal feelings. At that time, we approached the 1 year mark for my father’s passing. I feel like this story helped me purge some of the emotions from my system and refocus. I hope that those who go and read this story have the same kind of healing I experienced.

For the moment (and this could change in the future), Uploaded on the 4th of July is only available on Amazon as an ebook. You can read for free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription, otherwise the ebook is only $0.99.

As an added bonus, there is a sample of Tangled Magic.

Keep believing that everything will work out in the end. Tough times come around and we must go through them as best we can. We may have different skin colors and different customs, but we are humans and we are all that humanity has. Be excellent to each other.

P.S. This was actually uploaded on July 3rd, but let’s not split hairs. (grin!)

Mysteries of Lilinar

One of my favorite things about being a “discovery writer” (that’s someone who doesn’t plot a story out, though I am thinking that some planning would help, but that’s a blog for another day) is finding little bits of story that are gems waiting to be uncovered.

There’s one “gem” though that I’ve been waiting for years to find out what the story behind the story is.

In Quest for the Three Books, I “knew” that the Shant’olin (nasty ghosts who eat souls) were tied to the ruins of Lilinar. I always figured Rivic had had something to do with this.  But as I prepare the ending of Walk the Path, sequel to Tangled Magic, I haven’t discovered the answer to how the Shant’olin were contained to the ruins, or even how they got there.

It remains a mystery.

Also, when I was working on all the stories in the Sacred Knight series, I know there is something special about the gates of Lilinar, perhaps that there is something buried beneath them, maybe right inside.  The observant reader will notice that the Shant’olin never approach near the gate in Quest for the Three Books. In later books, Steigan often has a strange sensation as he’s walking into Lilinar.  Again, I thought I would find out what was going on when I wrote Rivic’s books, since he was the one who built Lilinar. But Walk the Path ends with him just starting the building of Lilinar after he leaves Gohaldinest.

That leaves me with the question of what is going on?

There is another story here. Is there a character I’m missing? A bigger picture? Another story between stories?

Do you want to know the best part?

That means there is more to this story for me to start to discover. And that is my happy spot.

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.

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.

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!)

Alexander’s Den – the audiobook

Come across the sands to a place where some people want their stories told and others don’t. You never know what you will find at Alexander’s. For Thomis, this storyteller’s days grow short and he merely wants some peace.

Find it on your favorite audio distributor or start your search here. While it is available in several places, I also noticed that it is still working its way to some platforms, so if it’s not on your favorite platform currently, keep watch for it as it should be soon.

Audiobooks can be the perfect option for people who think that they don’t have time to read or who might struggle with reading a book. I find time to listen to audiobooks while I’m taking my daily walk, doing dishes, or while commuting to work. It’s not just for long trips. (grin!) I know many people who tell me they listen to audiobooks while at work — lucky dogs!

Happy listening (or reading!)

Thoughts on House of Many Ways

Here I am again with another Diana Wynne Jones book.

This audiobook was much shorter than Castles in the Air. I also fell into the story much faster, probably because I knew it was another book where Howl would make an appearance. And he does come in much sooner. If you know Howl, you spot him right away. Yes, I laughed. I may have even clapped my hands in joy too. Absolutely delightful is the only way I can think to phrase his appearance. Anyone walking on the track with me at the moment probably thought I had gone a little mental. *grin* Howl has that affect on people.

I adored the main character in this story. I also started to get the feeling the Diana was just starting to really sink into this world. I enjoyed the surprises and how she unfolded the story.

It makes me sad that there won’t be any more Howl books (Diana passed away from cancer in 2011). At least I still have many books in the Chrestomanci series to captivate my attention now.

Jenny Sterlin did a fantastic job of narrating this one. So much so that I decided to go back and get Howl’s Moving Castle in audio even though I already own the book.

If you are interested in getting all three books to read on Kindle, I noticed that Amazon has them in a bundle for $19.99

Onto the next audiobook!

Dragons of Wellsdeep – Chapter 26

This comes with a warning. This chapter is exactly as my artist-child gave it to me. Remember, she was ornery when she gave this to me.

It’s not terrible, but it decidedly feels like telling a story rather than showing a story. I love Stargate when they do the episode with Murray who is trying to put together a screenplay for the Wormhole Xtreme show he wants to film. “Hang the lantern” is a common phrase in our house because of that episode. That’s exactly what this chapter feels like — hanging the lantern in order to end the story.

Yes, my artist-child is a brat.

But this is it. This is the last chapter. Next week we will start something else.

Let’s get into the finish!

Dragons of Wellsdeep cover small
Cover and layout copyright © 2018 by Morning Sky Studios Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios Cover art copyright © Ingus Kruklitis | Dreamstime.com, © Digitalstormcinema | Dreamstime.com, and © Kalcutta | Dreamstime.com

Dragons of Wellsdeep

Chapter 26

by Dawn Blair

Continue reading

Dragons of Wellsdeep – Chapter 22

Unless I write very fast and miraculously discover how this story is to end, we’re down the last couple of chapters. The world may just have to wait to figure out how this ends (including me). 

Yeah, I know — it would be so cool if I’d focus on one project at a time. Sorry, I just can’t write like that. My artist child is a 2 year old who wants to play with everything at once. And a new story is like a new toy — it gets the attention.

Aw, you know me too well! Yes, I have a new story. 

For some time, I’ve wanted to write the story of when Steigan and Martias ran away to go join the Palin Wars. For Steigan, it was all pretty cut and dry. He got in serious trouble afterwards. I kept telling myself that there was no story there. A series of events do not a story make. 

But on Monday, the story started “downloading” to me from Martias’ point of view. At first, I started thinking that there was no way that I could make it work from Martias. That’s not going to stop my 2-year-old artist child from whining and crying to get her way. So, I figured what the heck could it hurt to at least start writing it down and see how far it went. After the first session, I kept thinking that there was no way I could write it without giving away parts of Quest for the Three Books

Yeah, that’s definitely not making the artist child happy. She’s stomping and demanding that she can do, that she is a big girl and doesn’t need to listen to me. 

So far, she’s been right. 

She’s so giving me a raspberry, big and wet, full of thththtp sounds. 

We’ll see how far she gets. She just can’t tell this story without diving in deeply into Martias’ deep, dark secrets. 

On the other hand, I’m getting to know Martias pretty well. I know how this adventure changes him. I’m also seeing a character arc that I didn’t know was there. 

When I stop to think about my theory to “trust the process,” I realize that I’m probably needing to write this story now so that I can get back to work on The Missing Thread

Yeah, my artist child might be very right about this. So sorry that she doesn’t want to play with Moonhunter and Balthier at the moment. Who knows though. Sometimes she surprises me. Well, let’s get you to the story. 

 

Dragons of Wellsdeep cover small
Cover and layout copyright © 2018 by Morning Sky Studios Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios Cover art copyright © Ingus Kruklitis | Dreamstime.com, © Digitalstormcinema | Dreamstime.com, and © Kalcutta | Dreamstime.com

Dragons of Wellsdeep

Chapter 22

by Dawn Blair

Chapter 22 was available for one week and has now turned back into a pumpkin. If you missed it, click on the links below to find it or another great story to read. There’s also another free story or story excerpt somewhere around my blog – I try to post something new every Wednesday. Hunt the story down, read, and enjoy!

 

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Dragons of Wellsdeep – copyright © 2018 Dawn Blair Published by Morning Sky Studios Cover and layout copyright © 2018 by Morning Sky Studios Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios Cover art copyright © Ingus Kruklitis | Dreamstime.com, © Digitalstormcinema | Dreamstime.com, and © Kalcutta | Dreamstime.com

This excerpt is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.