Carved in the panels of a pair of ancient wooden doors, the mottos of the trading guild, House of Cszabo, were introduced in Windmaster. Fair Trade – Fair Profit triggered Ellspeth’s childhood memories of when she took trips with her grandmother Rima. Voyages which set the stage for Ellspeth’s own destiny as the bearer of golden bracelets of command. And imbued in her the proper way to treat others. I used gold bracelets to mirror the way her guild implemented the golden rule.
The second guild motto, Kin Above All – But Honor, did more than illustrate Ellspeth’s sense of duty. It sent her on the vengeance path with the Archmage. To her kin meant more than just by blood, it also pertained to any member of her trading house. So the death of her cabin boy and the attempted murder of her entire crew by a kinsman broke the vow both ways.
There were several inspirations for the second motto. Bushido, a Samurai code that places honor above all else. The actual wording of the inspiration for the motto was “Loyalty before all else except honor.” Lt. Vincent Hardy, Striking Distance.
Hope you enjoyed this insight into the Windmaster Novels. Visit the page for more information and buy links.
Designing a cover. Do you want a tantalizing scene of the fantasy word? Your name is larger print that the title? Or a half-naked hunk?
These are a few thoughts that went into the design of the cover for First Change: Legends From The Eyrie.
What made things more challenging was that this was the fifth volume set in the world of the dragshi. For those who haven’t followed them, the dragshi are more than just a man or woman, but two beings—one human, the other a dragon. The pair share one body in space and time and are able to change forms with the other at will. But be warned, a dragon form comes with more than just the freedom of the sky.
Unlike the four full-length novels which recounted the tales of the trader girl Anastasia and the Dragshi Lord Branin Llewlyn, First Change is a collection of several novellas and short stories. None of the tales are related other than they all take place in the world of the dragon shifters. The events take place in a different era, with different characters. A cover design could use elements from all the stories or from just one. In the end, Fire and Ice was used as the basis for the cover design. The setting of the Nerelan equivalent of the Far East, a beautiful empress, and the green token that determined her fate were the elements selected. And so without more ado, here is the cover for First Change: Legends From the Eyrie. And thanks to Fantasia Frog Designs for creating it.
For more information on the legends of the dragshi told within First Change, click on the cover.
The first interview of the year is up. I’m dishing secrets with Cynthia Woolf. You’re invited to stop on by and see the answers to questions such as “Was your road to publication fraught with peril or a walk in the park?” and “advice for aspiring writers.” There are also a couple of special questions answered just for my readers.
Cast off and set sail for love and adventure with Windmaster. Historical fantasy, sword and sorcery, romantic fantasy fill the holds. Available at Amazon
Despite his insolent attitude, Ellspeth, captain of Sea Falcon, is attracted to the dark-haired dockworker she hires to help unload the vessel’s cargo. The supposed dockhand reveals he is Lord Dal, the last member of the Council of Wizards, and her passenger. Bringing him back from near-death releases Ellspeth’s latent powers and threatens her captaincy. For magic and the sea don’t mix.
In accordance with an ancient prophecy, Dal allows Ellspeth to be handfasted to him without her knowledge or consent. However, the prophecy doesn’t state whether she will return his love. A likelihood threatened as the deception is unveiled and Dal is captured and stripped of his powers by fanatical clerics bent on ridding the world of magic and those who wield it.
Revenge set Ellspeth and Da on the path to her destiny, but prophecy controlled the journey and demands a choice. Ellspeth must choose between her own survival, saving the future of magic… or love.