Regrets….I’ve Had a Few

Well folks, the book tour is set to commence in five angst-filled days.

As I head towards what I feel can only culminate in public humiliation I find myself having a recurring nightmare about an apocalyptic, vampire infested world. I loathe vampires, they’re unhygienic and terribly dressed. Is this a bad sign?

Upon reviewing random chapters, I found a paragraph where I used to word “forest” THREE TIMES! THREE TIMES…THREE, well you get it. I sent my editor an urgent email that went something like:

“I suck. Kill me. Let’s find every copy of the Stolen Herd and burn it.”

She soothed me with lines such as:

“It’s your first book” and “You’re never going to think it’s perfect”.

I’m extremely grateful for this girl. I don’t know what I would do without her to hold my hand, wipe my tears and verbally flog me for writing long, flowery, boring narrative about nothing.

I wrote and published 178 pages of my freakin’ heart and soul and I still have many miles to go before I sleep. Book Two is shaping up to kick Book One in its little behind and right now, with the deadline over a year away, the writing is bringing me pure pleasure. Sometimes it’s the journey, not the destination.

Ah well, I may have overused the word ‘forest’ in a single paragraph FACEPALM_Dean_Winchester
but I wrote some great passages as well and in the words of ole Blue Eyes himself (or Sid Vicious), I did it my way.

Character Peek – Barcus


“I must say, I did enjoy mauling the humans a little,” Barcus answered darkly. “Well, at least now we know where some of the Amorak wolf pack has gone.” He hung his head. “Gideon, this is terrible. I killed a couple of them…I had to, they were attacking me…but what I don’t understand is why, why would they join the humans?”
“I don’t know,” Gideon answered with a shake of his head. “But that wasn’t the entire pack. I didn’t see their alpha, Baro. I didn’t see his mate either.”
“They weren’t there,” murmured Barcus, looking back through the bushes at the still forms of the wolves and men that lay scattered on the ground. “Which means that they’re still missing.” He turned back to Gideon. “I’ve never known your bat, Arkas, to miss a battle. Where is he?”
“He is with your Alsvid friend, Mandamus. It seems that Fate has been kind and true to her word, for that matter. Mandamus has met a human, Luco is his name. They are now Bonded.”
“May the belly of Artio stay full!” Barcus roared. “What wonderful news.” He leapt up and slammed his forepaws on the ground in excitement, nearly hitting Inc who scrambled out of his way. “His mother will be happy to know that he is alive and well,” the bear crowed happily.
“Barcus,” Gideon began warningly. “You and Inc must not tell anyone that Mandamus has met a human. Not even his mother.”
“And he who rides a white-eyed steed…” the bear muttered gleefully. “How does the rest of the legend go?”
“Quiet,” whispered Gideon, glancing around. “Not here and not now.
“Alright,” agreed the bear. “I do feel for Mareva, though. She has been so worried, are you sure I can’t say anything? Have you actually seen this human with Mandamus, or is it just the word of the forest?”
“Yes, I’ve seen them,” Gideon answered. “They found a baby dragon, Mytreya’s son, actually. They took him with them and ended up at the River of Lethe with Samhain and Lethe.”
“Mytreya’s son?” said Inc. “Why? What happened to her?”
“The Rakhana killed and skinned her. I went and had a look after I found out. They took her heart, too…for Asura’s blasted wizard, Dazra, I expect. A dragon’s heart doesn’t decay—it turns to diamond. I couldn’t find it anywhere. They just left her to rot, yards away from her own dragonling even,” he said furiously.
Barcus began to huff and heatedly slashed a line in the dirt with his paw. “They will pay for that,” he growled, pacing in a circle. Inc’s eyes flashed.
“Now, now, old friend,” said Gideon patting the bear on the shoulder. “The time to rage over her death is long past. Her son is safe with Samhain. My wife will take good care of him until we can find him a den far away from man.”

Barcus is a grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) who lumbers peacefully through the forests of the Silver Kingdom. He is one of three members of the Forest Council that tries Mandamus for his supposed crimes against the Night Mares. He does is best to protect those around him but don’t get on his bad side!

Photo Credit: Cliff Forest

Character Peek – Raja

Character Peek – Raja

Raja is a King Cobra:

While I am no fan of snakes, having stepped on lots while running barefoot through the woods of Ontario, I admire their  beauty, strength and resilience. Asking all of you to be fond of a cobra..well… ok – it is a bit of a stretch!

Raja is General Caucus’s Creature Bond. The old cobra’s whispered wisdom seems to comfort the angry soldier but, after all, Raja is a snake….can he really be trusted?