Tag Archives: fantasy

Alice Invites Lita to a Mad Tea Party

“Wrath” Takes Honorable Mention in Readers’ Favorite Contest

Lita is delighted to tell Gentle Reader that the 2014 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest named Wrath, Prequel to Tredan’s Bane as the Honorable Mention Winner in its Fiction-Short Story category.

Wrath, Prequel to Tredan's Bane - Honorable Mention Winner in the 2014 Readers' Favorite International Book Award Contest
Wrath, Prequel to Tredan’s Bane – Honorable Mention Winner in the 2014 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest

Readers’ Favorite gives readers a resource for quality book reviews. Their annual book award contest offers authors the opportunity to gain recognition and exposure of their books.

This year, Readers’ Favorite honored one of Lita’s Enchanters of Sye stories. They named Wrath, Prequel to Tredan’s Bane as an Honorable Mention Winner in their annual book awards contest. Here is their 5 star review of Wrath.

Lita rushed over to Alice’s place to tell her good friend the news. “I am so discombobulated,” Lita said. “I forgot my handkerchief. I feel like a hobbit setting out on a grand adventure!”

As Usual, the Cake Made the Girls Grow
As Usual, the Cake Made the Girls Grow

Alice insisted they celebrate with a mad tea party. As usual, the cake made the girls grow, bump their heads on the ceiling, and giggle.

The tea from the bottle labeled “Drink Me” shrunk them to the size of dormouse. Then  they played the game of I Spy Things That Start with the Letter M until it was time for Lita to go home.

Readers’ Favorite reviewers have said kind things before about Lita’s stories. One reviewer described Wrath as “Lita Burke brings a magical world to life with a deft and economic use of words and imagery that is really quite remarkable.” Another reviewer gushed this about Tredan’s Bane: “The story is very intriguing and, at the same time, exciting.”

The award-winning Wrath, Prequel to Tredan’s Bane is now FREE on Amazon US, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble. Don’t wait—indulge yourself now with some tea, cake, and Wrath.

Wrath on Amazon US

Wrath on Amazon UK

Wrath on Smashwords

Wrath on Barnes & Noble

Wrath on Goodreads

Wrath on LitaBurke.com

Read more about Wrath in “Finalist in 2014 Readers’ Favorite Contest.” Don’t stop after reading Wrath. Continue your visit in Lita’s Enchanters of Sye fantasy world. Find out more about Tredan’s Bane, read the back cover blurb, revel in Chapter 1, watch the book trailer, and then have Tredan’s Bane join Wrath on your Kindle, Nook, or iPad/iPhone.

Carrion Crow at Old Gallows Field

Bestiarum Vocabulum: Mandrake

The Bestiarum Vocabulum is the wizard’s encyclopedia of faerie beasties and mundane crossovers living in the lake and forest near Lita’s castle.

Mandrake
Mandrake

mandrake [man drāk] noun, c.1200; Gr < mandragoras  L < OE < ME mandragora; also nightshade, mayapple.

  1. Denizen of the Clockpunk Wizard world.
  2. A vegetable-based homunculus inhabited by a minor demon. Only mandrake plants cultivated in soil underneath gallows and other places of execution will produce inhabitable roots (wizards can find abandoned gallows fields by consulting with the local carrion crows). The mandrake-summoning spell requires a blood sacrifice, which the minor demon claims with a deadly shriek.  The minor demon uses the life energy of the sacrifice to animate the mandrake plant’s human-shaped root.
  3. Personages: Go Fer’s demon in Forever Boy.
  4. See: “Lita’s Magic Show: Mandrakes and Minor Demons” and “Dig Dog, and Die
Enchanter at the Pool of Light

Necronomicon Enchanter: Uslar Rings

Within the pages of the Necronomicon Enchanter book in Lita’s library, the curious may learn the Enchanters’ magical matters. Beware, for the knowledge might drive the reader mad with bitter desire and luscious regret. Today we learn about deadly consequences for non-Enchanters.

A Grandmaster Talks with a Sentient School
A Grandmaster Talks with a Sentient School

Previously:

Uslar Rings

In the early days of the Enchanter Schools, the Magic and Merchant Guild workers had free access to the school’s grounds.  The schools’ early foundation spells did not differentiate between the Enchanters and the other school residents. The schools pulled essence from everyone on site and the non-Enchanters fell ill. The weakest died from magical deprivation.

Many non-Enchanters fled the schools to protect themselves. To stop the crisis, the Grandmasters talked with the sentient schools and devised  powerful charms that would identify the bearer as an Enchanter. The schools fashioned the charms into beautiful gems. The schools produced seven gem colors: Earthe (brown or deep green), Mer (aqua or blue), Aer (clear), and Fyre (scarlet or amber).

The Enchanter Schools Set the Gems From the Pool of Light Into Intricate Rings
The Enchanter Schools Set the Gems From the Pool of Light Into Intricate Rings

Pool of Light

The Old Forest School created a place called the Pool of Light and placed the stones at the bottom.

Magician Uslar was the first candidate to enter the pool and take a gem. Later Enchanters named the gems Uslar Stones. For convenience, the schools set the gems into intricate rings that Enchanters wear on the middle finger of the left hand. The Uslar Ring gives the Enchanter access to the school’s essence reservoir. The beautiful gems sparkle during spell casting, and they identify the wearer as an Enchanter.

All Enchanters Claimed a Gem from the Pool of Light
All Enchanters Claimed a Gem from the Pool of Light

The plan worked. All Enchanters claimed a gem from the Pool of Light and experienced a heightened connection to the schools. The essence drain on non-Enchanters stopped.

After the Uslar Stones emerged, the Old Forest School closed access to the essence-producing trees, making it exclusive to the Enchanters wearing Uslar Stones.

Shutting away the Enchanters had serious repercussions for those not living in the schools. Even those who were not essence mad now relied on magical essence for their wellbeing. Many people disliked the wanton affection and enthrallment that come from sharing essence kisses.

The Enchanters’ concentrated magic needed balancing. Sye itself righted matters, but with great pain to the Enchanters.

Next time: Church Magicians

Find out more about the books in the Enchanters of Sye world:

Enchanter in the Old Forest

Necronomicon Enchanter: Five Schools

Within the pages of the Necronomicon Enchanter book in Lita’s library, the curious may learn the Enchanters’ magical matters. Beware, for the knowledge might drive the reader mad with bitter desire and luscious regret. Today we read how the early Enchanters used desperate measures to protect themselves.

Previously:

The Ten Enclave Enchanters Established the Five Schools
The Ten Enclave Enchanters Established the Five Schools

Sye Enchanter Schools

To shelter themselves from the frequent and savage attacks of the essence mad, the Enchanters journeyed to five far-flung areas of Sye and established five schools.

The ten enclave Enchanters saturated the foundation stones with protection spells. They designed self-sustaining protections. For all the school’s residents, the school drew off essence to power the spells. The excess essence went into a reservoir.

To fix the impersonal nature of a school’s essence collection, the Enchanters adjusted the foundation spells and gave the schools female personalities. To the Enchanters’ surprise, their efforts made the schools sentient creatures.

Grandmasters Divided the Enchanters’ Magical Discipline Among the Schools
Grandmasters Divided the Enchanters’ Magical Discipline Among the Schools

Also to protect themselves from exposure to the essence mad, the Enchanters used their most powerful combined magic and linked the five schools. They could travel between the schools using just five steps instead of taking days on horseback.

Enchanter Grandmaster

After establishing the five schools, two of the original Enchanters went to each school and took up permanent residence. They took the title of Grandmaster.

Much work remained locally at the schools. The Grandmasters divided the Enchanters’ Magical Discipline among the schools and established each site with two magical specialties. They contracted with the local Merchant Guild representatives and had them take over distributing the essence charms out of each school. This created a buffer between the delicate Enchanters and the forceful tactics of the essence mad.

Grandmaster Enchanters Distributed Their Mundane Magical Concerns Between the Guilds
Grandmaster Enchanters Distributed Their Mundane Magical Concerns Between the Guilds

Magic Worker Guild

After setting up a better essence charm distribution network with the Merchant Guild, the Grandmaster Enchanters next hired mages and trained them in the mundane aspects of magic craft. These mages cast dispensary spells and connected them to the schools’ foundation spells. The mages crafted charms with much lower essence levels, and then coordinated with the Merchant Guild to vend the amulets.

These early mages established the Magic Worker Guild to tend all but the essence-generating Enchanter spells. The Grandmasters selected willing candidates from the Magic Workers Guild and began training Enchanter candidates at the schools. While these developments stabilized the Enchanters’ work and made essence available for the rest of Sye’s people, the schools still had some fatal flaws.

Next time: Uslar Rings

Find out more about the books in the Enchanters of Sye world:

Magical Essence Transformed the Enchanters

Necronomicon Enchanter: Essence Kiss

Within the pages of the Necronomicon Enchanter book in Lita’s library, the curious may learn the Enchanters’ magical matters. Beware, for the knowledge might drive the reader mad with bitter desire and luscious regret. Today we read about the pleasures and dangers of essence kisses.

Previously:

The Best Way for an Enchanter to Disperse Essence was with an Essence Kiss
The Best Way for an Enchanter to Disperse Essence was with an Essence Kiss

The original Enchanters used their bodies to transform unpalatable tree magic into essence that non-Enchanter magicians could use. They produced potent charms to distribute magical essence. But charms were not the Enchanters’ preference. The best way for an Enchanter to disperse essence was through direct contact, namely an essence kiss. Although kisses were a lovely way to share essence with intimates, the savagery of the essence mad made the kiss impractical.

In an effort to decrease the madness, the Enchanters produced new charms containing diluted essence. And they faced other problems with the Enchanters’ Magical Discipline.

An Especially Savage Attack From One of the Essence Mad Forced the Enchanters to Take Drastic Measures
An Especially Savage Attack From One of the Essence Mad Forced the Enchanters to Take Drastic Measures

The ten mages’ magical power increased many fold, but they grew weaker in other surprising areas. They also struggled to protect themselves from weather extremes and the aggressive actions of the essence mad.

Matters finally became a crisis. After an especially savage attack that maimed and nearly killed an Enchanter, the ten enclave magicians took drastic measures to protect themselves.

Next time: Five Schools

Find out more about the books in the Enchanters of Sye world:

Enchanters' Enclave at Old Forest

Necronomicon Enchanter: Magical Discipline

Within the pages of the Necronomicon Enchanter book in Lita’s library, the curious may learn the Enchanters’ magical matters. Beware, for the knowledge might drive the reader mad with bitter desire and luscious regret. Today we read about essence madness.

Previously: Evolution of Sole-Source Magic

Enchanter-Beautiful Eyes
Enchanter-Beautiful Eyes

The Enchanters’ Magical Discipline

The ten enclave magicians learned from the sentient Old Forest how to prepare and consume the rich magical essence. According to the Old Forest’s instructions, they consumed tree essence five times a day for twenty-five days.

The essence glut irrevocably changed the mages’ bodies, their lives, and Sye. Their health became robust. Skin blemishes, stature, weight, and physical endurance improved significantly. The magical essence made them physically attractive, especially their eyes. Memory, the ability to learn complex spells, and the intuitiveness to construct elaborate magical mechanisms blossomed. Their intelligence and literacy also increased.

An Enchanter's Magical Essence Charm
An Enchanter’s Magical Essence Charm

The Enchanters’ bodies transformed the unpalatable tree magic into magical essence that non-Enchanter magicians could readily use. The ten magicians named their emerging craft the Enchanters’ Magical Discipline.

They created charms to store and deliver their essence. The ten Enchanters distributed hundreds of these charms to travelers who carried them to far-away towns. Some Enchanters left the enclave and established homes in the larger towns where they spread rich magical essence to anyone who wanted to taste its enchantment.

Essence Drove Some Mad With Magical Desire
Essence Drove Some Mad With Magical Desire

But there was a dangerous downside.

The onslaught of palatable essence was too much for some non-Enchanters to bear. These unfortunate ones lost their wits and developed an unquenchable lust for the magic. They coveted the essence charms. When the charms’ magic went dry, the mad sought the traveling Enchanters and attacked them to get magical essence from the source.

Next time: Essence Kiss

Find out more about the books in the Enchanters of Sye world:

Fey-Folk at the Lily Pond

Review: The Water Lily Fairy

The Water Lily Fairy by Mary Ann Vitale is a children’s fantasy about a fairy that brings secret gifts to a village.

The Fairy Hides in Plain Sight
The Fairy Hides in Plain Sight

One day a group of fairies fly by a pond filled with water lilies, and a curious fae lingers to see the playing children. She folds her skirt just so and hides in plain sight because she looks like a closed lily. The children are from such poor families that the fairy wishes there was something she could do to ease their dreary lives.

She stays hidden at the pond and overhears the grumbling of the villagers during the day, and then through the night scatters gifts in the streets to satisfy their wishes. For three nights she leaves increasingly wondrous presents. The fairy then does something unexpected.

The Water Lily Fairy is a simple story gently told. The book brims with lovely and colorful illustrations. It is a perfect book to read to a wide-eyed child before bedtime to bring dreams filled with shimmering fairy magic.

The Water Lily Fairy on Amazon US

The Water Lily Fairy on Amazon UK

The Water Lily Fairy on Goodreads

Mary Ann Vitale on Goodreads