Tag Archives: Fiction

The Seeds for a Story

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The author standing on the porch of the burned Moore Mansion.

It’s amazing what can inspire a story.  The arson fire of a 93-year-old mansion along the Columbia River in eastern Washington sparked the plot of my novel-in-progress, The Windwilder Haunting, first book of the BELLA trilogy.

The James A. Moore House, also known as the Moore Mansion and the Big House on the Columbia, had enjoyed a colorful history and was one of the Tri-Cities’ last historical buildings. This grand home underwent many transformations:  Originally the water-front home of a well-to-do family, it became a speakeasy, a nursing home, a hippie camp, and finally a restaurant.

During my time there it was a restaurant, one I often passed as I crossed the blue bridge spanning the Columbia River between Pasco and Kennewick.  While curious, I never visited, which I regretted after the fire.  That conflagration, however, drew me deeper into the Moore Mansion saga than a restaurant visit ever would.

On May 9, 2001 I was working as a programmer/analyst at the Kennewick hospital.  It was one of those clear, fresh Mid-Columbia spring days that made you wish for a wide open field and the energy to run across that field forever.  A former I/T employee who now worked in the business building next door called our department around noon to report she’d just heard that the Moore Mansion had caught fire.  My imagination sprang into action even before my curiosity.  I dashed outside, stared for a moment at a tall column of smoke rising from the northeast, then jumped into my car.

Sunroof open, I headed for the blue bridge, planning to follow the highway west to the nearest interchange and then reenter the highway, crossing the river again in the southbound lane.  Even before I reached the top of the bridge I knew there would be no coming back on that highway.  Already southbound traffic had stopped, creating a jam extending for miles.  The house itself had become a torch, shooting red-orange flames 30-40 feet into the air.  Smoke and embers spread themselves upon the breezes, fanning out across the river and town.  The smoke didn’t smell like smoke.  It had a heavy, musty, almost moldy odor.  I wanted to stop but there was no place to pull off, and the state police were struggling to keep people moving.  You can read the Tri-City Herald account here.

Unable to return by the same route, I sought an alternate route, getting a last look at the doomed house from the cable bridge farther east.  The creative juices not only flowed, but gushed!  Already my mind had conceived a cast of characters and a plot entailing adultery, murder, dark secrets and ghosts.  I wrote the story, but never truly finished–until now.

And the Moore Mansion’s fate?  The day of the fire I figured the flames would burn the house to the ground.  When I drove past later that afternoon, the house, minus its third floor, still stood.  For two years the ruined structure awaited its doom.  Several declared its era over and called for its demolition, I joined forces with six other Tri-Cities women, and together we managed to raise enough interest to prompt one couple to step up to the plate.  They totally rebuilt the mansion and, in my opinion, the house is now more beautiful than before.  Today the Moore Mansion serves as a setting for weddings and other special events.  You can read more about it here.

NOTE:  My novel is purely fictional, with no historical references pertaining to the Moore Mansion or its owners, or to the Moore family.  I hope to release it in late April or early May.  Stay tuned!

© Everthedreamer, 2017  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given.

 

 

End of the Journey

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Spring is the season of rebirth and new beginnings.  Winter’s white blanket melts away, and the slumbering earth awakens.  Tender shoots spring from roots thought long dead, emerging shyly at first and then, emboldened by the warming sun and nourishing soil, they burst forth with vibrant life.

Castle of Blood, final book of the Dark Lords of Epthelion saga, begins in the spring.  Between the rocky spires atop a forbidding peak stands a beautiful castle of purest rose quartz, erected by a demon for his chosen one, a person he will endow with the Black Arts but carefully mold to his will.  So whisper the superstitious Rauths of Barren-Fel.  Hans Ogilvie rides to investigate, filled with dread, for he fears he knows the Chosen One’s identity.  The castle, if it exists, portends Hans’ death and Epthelion’s ruin.

When Hans does not return, Arganian mystic Arris Marchant rides to find him.  Initially, his brother, Davon, accompanies him; but a series of visions draw Davon to aid the beleaguered woodsmen of San-Leyon.  On their separate quests they battle shapeshifters, black magic, and an ancient evil they cannot kill.  And when Davon is later captured, Arris must somehow destroy this evil without killing his brother.

Throughout the story the demon’s allure draws even the most honorable of men to himself.  A beautiful ruler seeks to obliterate her own people and reinstitutes the gory rites of human sacrifice.  A tribal leader’s attempt to utilize a fearsome beast to evict raiders who stole their land ensnares him in a grisly contract he cannot break–and by his slightest misguided thought he murders his loved ones.  A stalwart warrior suffers a ghastly curse.  Only the demon’s destruction can free them–if Arris can accomplish this.

I loved creating this mystical tale with its exotic setting and colorful characters.  The last leg of this journey is complete.  I have now embarked on a new journey into paranormal realms, which proves every bit as intriguing as the Dark Lords of Epthelion.  I love sharing my worlds.  You can catch a glimpse of them here.

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Castle of Blood

© Everthedreamer, 2017  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given.

The Journey Continues

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With Ryadok’s demise, Epthelion should have enjoyed lasting peace and Warrior Queen of Ha-Ran-Fel should have remained a stand-alone book.  That was my intention, at least, but readers did not agree.  Evil never dies, they told me, and neither did the malignant serpent who embodied it.  So–what happens next?  There must be a sequel.

I had to agree.  The scene that started it all, unused in Warrior Queen, remained fresh in my mind.  The unhappy maiden staring into the sunset had a story yet untold.  The serpent’s return, the growing unrest within the Dark Land, and this young woman’s hopes and dreams amid her shattered reality joined forces to produce A Dark Moon Rises.

In this time period, arranged marriages were the norm.  The war had claimed many lives, leaving few prospects for the widows and young maidens left desolate in its wake.  When Sam Shaw, a well-to-do Garris butcher asked newly-widowed Sarah Greene for her daughter’s hand in marriage, Sarah readily agreed, knowing the union would insure that neither she nor her daughter hungered.  She did not consider that daughter Melinda was only nineteen, while Shaw was nearly sixty.  (And yes, he wanted Melinda–not Sarah!)

Unwilling to endure such an arrangement, Melinda fled to Teptiel, a fledgling colony to the north, and to her joy met and married a handsome, prominent farmer named Eldor Rand.  Teptiel, however, harbored dark secrets.  So did Eldor Rand, and Melinda soon found her nightmare just beginning.  The serpent returned, drawing many to himself as he hunted Arris Marchant, the Arganian mystic who had left him stunned and crippled after slaying Ryadok.

As the serpent’s discipleship grew, Teptiel’s most honorable citizens became treacherous.  Who could one trust?  Could any hope rise from the ashes of the devil’s fires?

 

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Find out here!

© Everthedreamer, 2017  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given.

 

Interview and Spotlight with indie author Sandra Kopp

My sincere thanks to Isis Sousa for this marvelous spotlight!

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I came across Sandra Kopp’s work via GoodReads, when I was looking for reviewers for my novel, she kindly offered to read my book and review it. Seeing that Sandra was an author as well, I got interested in her work and asked to read and review her book, too. I was quite excited when I saw her work was an Epic Fantasy series, since I appreciate the genre. Without further ado, here is an interview I did with her:

73664881. Tell us about the beginning. When did you start writing the Dark Lords of Epthelion series?
I think it was sometime during 2003 when I first saw “Fellowship of the Ring,” and everything about it–plot, characters, and setting (especially the Shire)–intrigued me immediately.  My imagination kicked into high gear, and soon I was visualizing the six kingdoms that would compose Epthelion, along with the slender blonde maiden who…

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One Leg of the Journey

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When I decided to seriously pursue my writing aspirations back in 2002, it still took a number of years before I devoted the amount of time and diligence required to transform the dream into reality.  Back then I was years from retirement, the day job paid the bills, and at the end of most days the LAST place I wanted to be was in front of another computer.  But then an idea came to mind and never went away.  Totally engaged, I had no choice but to delve deeper and keep writing.  Warrior Queen of Ha-Ran-Fel resulted.  Intended at first as a stand-alone, its publication generated enough interest for the development of a trilogy, entitled Dark Lords of Epthelion.

I enjoyed a most rewarding experience.  Writing Warrior Queen of Ha-Ran-Fel proved both an adventure and an escape.  For three to four hours every evening I left the mundane world of computer coding and set my imagination free, enjoying the ride as I waited to see where it took me.  I had but an image:  A young woman standing outside a ramshackle cottage at sunset.  The dying sun stained the cottage walls with rusty hues. A dead tree behind her raised skeletal bleached branches to the sky.  The wind lifted her blonde hair and stirred the sparse native grass at her feet.  Her face wore a haunted expression as she contemplated the darkening sky, trying to decide to which of the mysterious kingdoms surrounding her she could flee.  Whether merely unhappy or facing mortal danger I could not tell, but as she began to speak a tale of indescribable betrayal and tragedy unfolded that made me wonder:  How do you retain your sanity when the unendurable shatters your world and destroys all you hold dear?  How can you ever learn to love or trust or laugh again?

A story of human resilience, perseverance, faith, and victory emerged.  My heroine not only survived but thrived, and continued on to a more fulfilling life than she might have otherwise enjoyed. And during her journey she discovered within herself strength and abilities she didn’t know she possessed.


Warrior Queen of Ha-Ran-Fel swept me into a beautiful and enchanted world with a colorful cast of characters:  The Arganian mystics; the stalwart woodsmen; the evil sorcerer and his ambitious apprentice; the sinister peoples of the Dark Lord’s realm; and the rough-neck mercenaries, among others.  Action, suspense, and humor intertwine into an intriguing tale.  I loved writing it.  And I’d love to share my world with you.

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Click here to buy or to learn more.

© Everthedreamer, 2017  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given.

 

New Release: Castle of Blood

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Just released on Amazon.com:  CASTLE OF BLOOD, Book 3 of the Dark Lords of Epthelion trilogy.  Just $0.99 in the Kindle store through January 2017.

A new castle founded by an ancient demon has appeared between the rocky spires of a menacing peak high in the Mystic Mountains. Hans Ogilvie rides to investigate and when he does not return, mystic Arris Marchant journeys to the castle to find him. His search leads him to an old nemesis who must be destroyed before plunging Epthelion into utter destruction. But can he destroy an enemy who cannot be killed?

Escape from the mundane into the Castle of Blood.