I was staying in Germany, near Leipzig a few years ago in order to go to a concert in the Thomaskirke. On our way back to the hotel, there was a tremendous thunderstorm. I was inspired to write the following poem.
A lovely day, the sun was warm It had shone on us since dawn. The heat oppressed us all the day, Even as in bed we lay.
We went to Leipzig in the heat. In Thomaskirke we took our seat To hear St John by J.S.Bach. It did not end till after dark.
When we emerged it was in rain. We rushed to find our car again. The thunder rolled across the sky, The lightning flashed, but now we’re dry.
We drove toward Chemnitz and saw O’er Dresden, flashes like the War. Was it ’45 again With bombs falling like the rain?
The lightning flashed, the thunder boomed. We thought that we were surely doomed’ It must at least be Armageddon, Such brightness in a sky so leaden.
The storm went on for several hours Showing nature’s awesome powers And even though it scared us some We were impressed. It struck us dumb.
The Wolf Pack starts where four friends are given a task to find the magical, lost sword of the legendary king, Sauvern. Prior to that, Carthinal had found a prophecy. This is the tale of the finding of that prophecy.I originally incorporated it in the book, The Wolf Pack, but decided to eliminate it.
If you want to know more aboutwhat happens lateryou can buyThe Wolf Pack by clicking on the title, here or on the book cover in the sidebar.
Find out how Carthinal and his friends searched for an artifact the whereabouts no one knew, and read about the dangers they faced in tracking it down.
The half-elf leafed through the book he was studying. He was due to take the tests to end his apprenticeship soon. Mabryl, his master and adopted father had sent off to the Mage Tower in Hambara asking for the young man to be considered for the tests at the next opportunity.
He was a tall, handsome young man, just over six feet with shoulder-length auburn hair, a closely trimmed beard and eyes of an intense blue. He was sitting in the study at the home of Mabryl in Bluehaven, which was situated on the south coast of the land of Grosmer. With him were Mabryl’s other two apprentices, 14 year old Tomac and 16 year old Emmienne. Tomac pushed a lock of his unruly dark hair out of his eyes. ‘I think that’s the Master coming in now, Carthinal. You’d better look as though you’ve been doing something instead of moping around waiting for that letter or you’ll be in trouble.’
As he said this, the door opened and Mabryl entered, shaking his cloak out as he did so. ‘It’s cold out there and it’s turning to snow if I’m not much mistaken. Unusual this far south.’ He turned to his three apprentices. ‘Have you finished the tasks I set you?’
He hung his cloak on a stand by the door. Carthinal stood and walked to the fire, putting a fresh log on to the flames. ‘Come and get warm, and, no I’ve not finished. I can’t seem to settle to anything until I hear about whether I can take the tests soon. I think Emmienne has finished though. I can’t say about Tomac.’
‘Nearly.’ Tomac, jumped from his chair and carried his workbook to his master. ‘I was a little stuck on the moon phases though. It’s complicated trying to work out both moons at the same time.’
‘Stick to it, youngster,’ Emmienne said from the window seat. She grinned across at the younger boy, the grin lighting up her otherwise rather plain face. ‘I had problems too, but it comes eventually.’
Tomac groaned and went back to his seat.
‘I’ve finished though, sir,’ she said. ‘I’ve learned the new spell you gave me and am sure I can make it work. When can I try it?’
Mabryl laughed. ‘Such enthusiasm. We’ll try it out tomorrow. In the meantime, I’ve made what I think may be a big discovery. Perhaps the most important one for many, many years. Look.’ He put an ancient book on the table.
The three apprentices gathered round.
‘I think it may be a spell book from before the Forbidding,. Mabryl ran a finger over the book’s leather spine.
Emmienne gasped. ‘That is old, and if it is, we’ll be able to find lost spells. You’ll be famous, sir.’
‘Calm down, Emm. It may not be the spell-book of a magister, or even an arch-mage.’ Carthinal smiled at the girl’s enthusiasm. ‘It may only have the spells we already know and not any of the lost ones.’
Seven hundred years previously there had been a war between conflicting mages. It had caused such devastation and hardship to everyone that the king forbade the use of magic on pain of death and all spell books were burned. Some mages, however, managed to rescue a few books and occasionally these came to light.
During the time of the Forbidding, as it came to be known, much knowledge had been lost and there some mages currently worked to re-discover the lost spells. If this book were to be of use, it would need to be taken to one of these mages.
As they discussed this, the door opened and Lillora, Mabryl’s housekeeper entered. ‘Sorry to disturb you, sir, but a bird arrived a few minutes ago. I thought you should know.’
‘I’ll come and look then,’ The mage stood and left the three apprentices to their own devices.
Carthinal picked up the book Mabryl had bought and began to leaf through it. He could understand little of what was written there. It was in an archaic script and language and as he was only an apprentice he had not the knowledge to understand more than a limited number of spells. He frowned as he tried to read the words on the page, then, lifting the book from the table he carried it nearer to the light.
As he approached the window a loose page fell onto the floor. He stooped to pick it up and realised he could read it, and it was not a page from the book that had fallen out, but a note someone had inserted. He sat opposite Emmienne to read it.
‘What’s that?’ asked the brown-haired girl, straining to read it upside down.
‘I’m not sure.’ Carthinal, wrinkled his brow. ‘It fell out of this book but it doesn’t seem to be the same writing, nor is it in the same script. It’s a note of some kind.’ He paused to read it.
Mabryl came back holding a paper in his hand. ‘It’s good news, Carthinal. There’s space for you to take your tests in the next batch, which takes place just before Grillon’s Day. That’s in about five sixdays time. We’ll need to leave here in three sixdays to allow us time to settle in before your ordeal.’ He looked at the paper in Carthinal’s hand. What’s that you’ve got there?’
‘It fell out of the book you bought.’ Carthinal, handed it to his mentor. ‘It doesn’t seem to be by the author of the book. It’s in a more modern script that I can read. It doesn’t make much sense though.’
Mabryl read it, then read it again, this time aloud.
‘“When Kalhera descends from the mountains, And orcs once more roam the land, When impossible beasts occur And the Never-Dying man is once more at hand, Then the Sword that was lost must once more be found; Only it can destroy the threat And kill the immortal mortal to balance out his debt.”
‘That seems a strange thing to write and it doesn’t make a lot of sense. How can Kalhera descend from the mountains? She’s a god and the gods don’t come to Vimar.’
He turned the page in his hand and saw more writing on the back. ‘This says it’s a quotation from something the writer heard and wrote down. The author says he visited the Oracle on Holy Island and the priests were talking about what the Oracle had said earlier in the day when only the attendants were present.’
He replaced the paper in the book and turned to Carthinal. ‘We must take this book to a colleague of mine in the Mage Tower when we go. She’s working on finding the old spells and this may be of use to her. The loose note may be a prophecy if it came from the Oracle, but who knows when it was made? It could be it was centuries ago, or yesterday.’ He shrugged. ‘It could be referring to a time well in the future or even in the past. We should ignore it for now. Lillora says our lunch is almost ready, so I suggest we go to the table before she gets mad.’
The three apprentices forgot all about the book and the note as they enjoyed Mabryl’s housekeeper’s excellent cooking. After the meal they returned to their studies. Mabryl gave them all tasks to complete and went out again to visit the Duke of Bluehaven, who was an old friend of his, taking the book with him.
Duke Danu of Bluehaven had trained at the Mage Tower in his youth. He had some talent for magic, but with the death of his elder brother in an epidemic, he had to take over the duties and prepare to become the Duke. He had never taken the tests to end his apprenticeship, but he retained an interest in magic and still practiced it in a small way.
Today he was sitting in his study going over the accounts of the duchy when a knock came at the door.
‘Arch-mage Mabryl to see you, sir,’ said his butler.
‘Send him in.’ Danu rose from his seat and walked over to clasp Mabryl in a hug. ‘You’ve not been to visit in some while, my friend. Busy with your three apprentices, I suppose.’
‘Yes, they keep me busy. Carthinal’s ready to take his tests and become a full mage now.’
‘Is that so?’ Duke Danu raised an eyebrow. ‘Hardly seems any time at all when you took that scruffy little urchin off the streets. Everyone thought you were mad, you know. Taking a street child to be your apprentice and then adopting him. Well, it seems we were wrong. He’s turning out all right.’
‘Considering his background, yes. He still has his faults and I can’t say there weren’t times when I agreed with you I’d done the wrong thing. But I didn’t come here to talk about Carthinal. I’ve made a discovery and I want your opinion.’ He pulled the spell-book out of a bag at his side. ‘I’m going to take this to Yssa at the Mage Tower when I take Carthinal. She’ll be the best to decide how important it is.’
He handed the book to Danu.
The Duke whistled. ‘This is important, Mabryl. I can’t read it, but it certainly looks like a spell-book to me. It’s old and could easily date to before the Forbidding.’ He picked up the note still between its pages. ‘What’s this?’
‘A little note someone left in the book. Carthinal found it. It doesn’t seem to belong to the book and I thought it could be a hoax. Someone putting a seeming prophecy in an important old book.’
‘Maybe, but I don’t think so. Some research I’ve been doing suggests Grosmer is about to face some danger. This may be a prophecy about that. I would suggest you take it to Rollo in Hambara when you go. His library is much more extensive than mine and he can find out more.’
‘I don’t know Duke Rollo,’ Mabryl replied, frowning. ‘He may not believe me. I’ve heard he’s a suspicious man. I think this note maybe a hoax even if you don’t. I’ll need to prove I’ve come from you.’
‘I’ll write you a letter to give him.’ Danu walked to his desk. ‘I’ll also give you this.’ He picked up a small statuette of a trotting horse about three inches long and two high that sat on the desk. ‘It’s one of a pair we found in our adventuring days. He has the other. He’ll know I’ve sent you when he sees that, especially if you ask him about the other one. Now, sit down and I’ll get some wine for us to drink while we talk about other things.’
The old friends passed the afternoon remembering past times and gossiping about the goings on in the city of Bluehaven as the afternoon passed into evening and the Duke’s work lay unfinished on the desk.
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We planted a vine in our garden when we moved into the house. It has now become a lovely shady spot for sitting and reading. The leaves shade your eyes so that it’s possible to read without squinting.
For visually impaired readers, the picture shows a garden bench against a fence with some patches of ivy growing up it, and the trunk of a vine. On the bench is a pair of spectacles and a book. the book cover shows a young man with shoulder-length auburn hair. The background is a pale blue with the shadow of a wolf behind the young man.
The book on the bench is The Wolf Pack, which was my first ever book to be published. It is the first of a series that I’ve entitled The Wolves of Vimar (Vimar being the world where the action takes place).
The story is based on a Dungeons and Dragons scenario I wrote, but in the writing, it changed somewhat. Some places where certain things happened in the scenario I moved to somewhere else in the book.
I was excited to hear from Next Chapter that it has been translated into French and Spanish, too.
The Wolf Pack tells of a group of people, unknown to each other in the beginning, who are commissioned to go and find a magical sword that used to belong to the legendary king, Sauvern. Its whereabouts has been lost for many centuries.
There are surprises and dangers to be encountered in the tale. Death is never far away, and help comes in unexpected ways. Every character has to confront their fears, and they are all changed by their experiences.
Due to the very different characters, there are arguments and confrontations on the way as well.
The book has been generally well received and is currently number 47 in Teen and Young Adult Fantasy Interactive Fiction. (Although I didn’t write it as a teen book, and it’s not interactive! Still, who knows the workings of the Great Zon!)
Here is one of the reviews it received in the USA:
John Thornton 5.0 out of 5 stars
A solidly done, and crafted fantasy novel
“The Wolf Pack” is an original and well crafted fantasy novel. If you like novels like the “Earthsea Saga” by Ursula Le Guin or “When the Heavens Fall” by Marc Turner then I suggest that you may well enjoy “The Wolf Pack.” British style and spellings throughout. Not really a negative, just a difference to be noted.
I found the characters well developed, and complex (in a good way).
The plot is unique and unusual. It is not easy to explain, but does unfold nicely as one reads through the book. I am trying to avoid spoilers, so I do not want to give too much away.
Dialogue is well written and each character has his or her own voice.
If you are interested in purchasing this book, it is available in ebook and paperback format. You can buy it by clicking on the cover in the sidebar or here. This will take you to Amazon where you are.
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If you have any Portugese speaking friends, please let them know. This is more than just a recipe book. It has recipes from over 100 years ago and gives an insight into how people ate from 1909 to the present day. There are also anecdotes about the people from whom Viv received the recipes.
Click on the book title to buy. It is available from your favourite book seller.
Also, The ebook version of The Stones of Earth and Air, which has recently been released as an Audiobook, will be FREE from tomorrow until 7th July. Hurry to get this bargain before you miss it.
After the Crown Prince of Ponderia starts behaving strangely, his best friend Pettic discovers that the prince has been replaced by a doppelganger, and the real prince kidnapped.
Unable to accept the loss of his friend, Prince Torren, nor the cruel impostor to become the new king, Pettic sets on a quest to rescue the prince. After he sees the fake prince meet a mysterious man, Pettic discovers that Torren has been imprisoned in another plane of existence.
With the help of Blundo, the court magician, Pettic finds that the only way to enter this other world are with four keys, each of them associated with a different element. As Pettic sets on his seemingly impossible quest, he discovers that the four worlds that hold the keys are all vastly different… and more dangerous than he could have ever imagined.
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Hi. I just received an email saying that Vengeance of a Slave, my historical novel set in Britain at the time of the Romans, has been released as an audiobook. You can get a free 30 day trial of this book if you follow this link for the UK
and this for the US
If you do listen to it, I would be very grateful if you would post a brief review. Reviews are very important to authors and readers alike as there are so many books published it is difficult to know if a book is for you or not.
After finding the gems associated with the worlds of Earth and Air, Pettic needs to enter the final two Elemental Worlds to find the gems of Fire and Water.
In these two worlds, as before, he has to preform a task to help the inhabitants before the jewel will reveal its whereabouts.
But when he has found these gems, how can he rescue his friend, the Crown Prince of Ponderia? First, though, he needs to find the two missing gems.
In Ignis, the land of fire, he finds the magical creatures are having fewer and fewer offspring. Can he help them and find out the cause? And what can he do about it?
In Aqua, the land of water, he meets merfolk who have a problem. Their leader is dying because his magic staff has been stolen. Can Pettic find this staff and the culprit before it is too late?
I am pleased to say that the same narrator who narrated the audio version of The Stones of Earth and Air has agreed to narrate this book, too. He has finished the narration, and it is now with the publisher. I hope it won’t be too long before it’s available.
In the meantime, for those of you who can’t wait, the ebook version of The Stones of Fire and Water is FREE on Amazon from tomorrow (14th June) until Thursday 18th June.
Click on the link now, before you forget or you’ll miss this opportunity. You can get your book by clicking on the title, or the cover in the sidebar or the text.. This will take you to Amazon where you are.
I am always pleased to hear your comments. Add them in the comments box.
I’ve decided not to go any further with Carthinal’s tale at this time. I’ve submitted it to the publisher, and I don’t think they’ll be very pleased to have the complete novella available on the net. It will be some time before it is published, though, as they have another novella of mine in the pipeline.
I am also working on a third. This one is the story of Asphodel. I did originally publish it here, but there are significant changes to it, and so I don’t think that what is here is really comparable. So I will have to re-think what I am posting on the first Tuesday of the month.
To be going on with, here’s one of my paintings.
This is Cavendish, in Suffolk. Many of the houses in that part of the world are painted in pastel shades. This village has a large village green and the houses portrayed in this picture are alms houses.
I lived not far from this pretty village in the ’80s and we often passed through it on our way to the coast.
If you liked this painting, please feel free to reblog. But acknowledge me when you do, please.
What do you think of my painting? Let me know in the comments box.
Forced to watch his father’s crucifixion and separated from his mother, orphaned six-year-old Adelbhert’s life forever changes when he is sold into slavery in Britannia.
Years of servitude fill his heart with malice and he resolves to escape, determined to rescue those he loves and deliver retribution to the Romans who wronged him.
But as new allies shed light on old perspectives, Adelbhert begins to question his path. Will he find true freedom, or allow his vengeance to consume him?
R. J. Krzak, Award-Winning Author, gave this review on Amazon
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Riveting Story Set in Roman Times
Vengeance of a Slave by V.M. Sang is a riveting story set during the period when Rome controlled Britannia. Follow the trials and tribulations of Adelbhert after he and his sister are taken by the Romans from their mother. They eventually end up as slaves in what is modern-day London. Adelbhert performs a nightly ritual to remind himself of the suffering he and his sister have endured, beginning with the crucifixion of their father. He vows to escape and punish those who have wronged him.
V.M. has created a moving story which will keep you turning the pages to find out how Adelbhert and his sister handle their new life. Experience their sorrow, anguish, and finally hope as they adapt to their changing situation. This is the first novel I’ve read of V.M.’s and it certainly won’t be the last! Well done and highly recommended!
Don’t miss your opportunity to get this book absolutely FREE Remember it’s for a limited time.
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If you take advantage of this offer, I would be grateful if you would post a brief review of the book. With so many books being published daily, it is difficult to get any individual book noticed. Reviews help in this, as well as helping readers to decide if a book is one they would enjoy.