Where did Gentle Reader find the enchantments in Lita Burke’s fantasy worlds during 2014? Three is a magical number. Let’s take a look at the three most popular blog posts with new content that came out in 2014.
The most visited post released in 2014 is about one of the characters in Lita’s upcoming story, Glitter Ponies.
Burr, it’s wintertime outside of Lita’s castle here in the northern realms. Someone painted icy filigree on the windows. Let’s bundle up, go outside, and meet the artist. Say hello to handsome Jack Frost, winter’s fantasy boy. This magician embodies lacy window paintings, trees draped with sparkling snow, and crystalline sculptures made of ice. Read more in “Fantasy Boy of Winter: Jack Frost”
The second most visited post released in 2014 is one of Lita’s book reviews.
The Dark Days: End of the World – Episode 1 by Ginger Gelsheimer and Taylor Anderson is a YA thriller about teen Claudia Sheeplord and the end of the world via asteroid. Claudia has been skeptical about the blather over the past month about the killer asteroid that will slam into the Earth and raise the tides ten feet higher. Or two miles higher. Whatever. Read more in “Review: The Dark Days”
The third most visited post released in 2014 goes back to the Clockpunk Wizard world and talks about its most delightful denizens, the fey-folk fairies.
Meet Tinker Bell’s naughtier cousins—the fairies flitting about in the woodlands near Lita’s castle. These worldly fairies go with Kadmeion on his wizard-for-hire adventures. These wee magicians fly in, lavish their wizard with effervescent pixie dust, and give him spicy relationship advice. Read more in “Care of a Fey-Folk Fairy (Part 1)”
Black Diamond by Jennifer Loiske and Eveliina Tommola is a YA fantasy about Shannon McLean, a 12-year-old girl who moves in with her magician father and is immersed in a demon-infested battle.
Three weeks after her mother passes away, a heartbroken Shannon leaves Boston and moves to London to live with a father she doesn’t remember. Connor McLean lives in a musty manor house and is aloof, mysterious, and a bit terrifying to his cheeky daughter.
The servants are either cringing like scared rabbits or lost in a thrall-like state. The strangest thing of all is that everyone has curious tattoos on their wrists, and the inked images move. Contrasting these hideous things is discovering she has a twin brother named Ian. Separated soon after they were born, Ian lived his whole life in this huge house with a father who has slowly descended into evil. Ian also has an unbelievable revelation for his sister. The twins are powerful witches, and they must combine their power and save their father from the demon that is slowly devouring Connor. The worst of all is that the demon infection is Shannon’s fault.
Black Diamond is a satisfying story about a couple of likable kids caught up in their parent’s dark magical past. Jennifer Loiske uses a deft hand in weaving a plot laced with unexpected twists and a shivery mood.
Gentle Readers who enjoy a story centered on a determined young lady with a sturdy sense of right and wrong, but is smart enough to listen to the wiser counsel of her brother, would like Black Diamond. This dark adventure is no diamond in the rough, but rather is a polished sparkling gem of a gothic fantasy.
Where did Gentle Reader find the enchantments in Lita Burke’s fantasy worlds during 2014? Three is a magical number. Let’s take a look at the three most popular blog posts that came out before 2014.
The most visited classic blog post in 2014 talked about the magic behind the curtain in Lita’s worlds.
World-building techniques have always fascinated Lita. High Fantasy and Epic Fantasy books were her delight as a young reader. She poured over the maps on the book’s end papers, studied every entry in the glossary in the back, even marveled over the lengthy character name lists in the front. Read more at “6 Critical Elements for Fantasy World Building (Part 1)”
The second most visited classic blog post in 2014 was about a favorite resident of Lita’s Clockpunk Wizard world.
Madam Harpy, our Winged Sister of the Sky. Who did a disservice to this magical creature, turning her from a beautiful woman with feathery wings, into a fearsome hag? Read more at “Harpies Are Misunderstood”
The third most visited classic blog post in 2014 went back behind the curtain and talked about making fantasy characters real.
This post explored how to build rich fantasy worlds to immerse readers. Part 1 looked at two “big picture” elements in building a fantasy world: maps and politics. This second post took a “medium-sized” view and showed why meat and grog are wimpy.
Lita takes Gentle Reader to the land of Clockpunk Wizard today, with an excerpt from Old Bony Blue Eyes.
Wizard Kadmeion, his assistant Sir Bright, and the wizard’s cynanthrope familiar Furgo have flown their airship to floating Wager Island. They now journey by horseback over a mountain pass to Lady Luck’s home. They must take this difficult path because workers are repairing the Lady’s airship dock.
They must cross the glacier-filled Fearsome Valley. The wizard says that if they are lucky, they will not meet the unpleasant residents called Ice Devils. The mountain path has narrowed, and the travelers must walk their horses single file. They go around a curve. Before them stretches Fearsome Valley. And unfortunately, they have a welcoming committee.
An odd glint caught Bright’s eye. He turned his head and froze.
An Ice Devil stood on the snow. Bright’s imagination had been too kind. This dazzling horror was almost four feet tall and bristled with icicles. The creature radiated nastiness and sucked joy from the air. The only good news was that the creature stood twenty feet away from the path.
“Kadmeion? Are you sure Ice Devils can’t leave the snow?”
“I am sure. Maybe it won’t follow us.”
Not to be. The Ice Devil skittered across the glacier’s surface, and then froze. Bright saw no eyes in the part of the creature that resembled a head, but the narfleet was positive it had no difficulty tracking their movements. They rounded a bend. A rockfall blocked the trail. Ten Ice Devils waited at the snow line.
“Can you blast the fall away with magic, Kadmeion?”
The wizard examined the heap of dirt and rocks. Kadmeion shook his head.
“Could you elevate the largest rocks so we can get by?” Bright asked. “The entire slide doesn’t need moving, only enough so we can get over it.”
“I can do that, but it will be difficult.”
(Old Bony Blue Eyes excerpt Copyright 2013 by Lita Burke. All rights reserved.)
The Enchanter magicians in the Enchanters of Syeworld celebrate Midwinter Festival by allowing the ghosts of former Enchanters to enter the five Schools of Magic. The ten Grandmasters adjust the Schools’ foundation spells to coincide with the Priests’ spell weaving at Soul’s Midnight. This coordination keeps Sye’s fundamental magic in balance.
The visiting ghosts are confined to the common areas of the schools. The living and dead Enchanters exchange stories and magical wisdom during the three days of Midwinter Festival. Sye’s ghosts are intellectual beings devoid of emotion, and the quality of the ghosts’ memories have many variables. The living Enchanters plan for months what they will discuss with certain ghosts. Sometimes this preparedness is for naught if a ghost does not visit during the Midwinter Festival.
During the three nights while the ghosts roam the schools, even the Enchanters who normally sleep alone find bed partners. They retreat into their private rooms where the ghosts cannot go.
Whether bedding other Enchanters or their favored Consents, the most powerful magicians in Sye weave spells to share loving dreams during their Midwinter Festival slumbers. Their emotional and physical intimacy during these three nights stave off the madness that would otherwise result from commingling with the ghosts.
Sciomancers in the Enchanters of Sye world honor the wandering dead during the three-day Midwinter Festival. These Church magicians visit every tomb in the Burial Yards and catacombs during the weeks before the Midwinter Festival.
The Sciomancers leave unlit candles in sheltered niches on the doors of the dead’s homes. They also recite traditional prayers to prepare the tomb for its ghost.
Unlike the window candles that secular magicians use, Church candles do not burn Enchanter essence. They are traditional paraffin candles protected by containers that hold Church magic. The Sciomancers leave charms in the candle niches to link the candles magically.
At Soul’s Midnight of the first morning of Midwinter Festival, the town’s Priest leads his Sciomancers in weaving one of the Church’s foundation spells. This magic lights all the linked candles in the Burial Yards. During the Midwinter Festival, the wandering ghosts will seek out the lighted tombs and catacombs instead of visiting the houses of the living. The Priests stop the illumination spells at Soul’s Midnight of the fourth morning.