Tag Archives: fantasy

Review: The Eighth Birthday Wish

The Eighth Birthday Wish by Bruce E. Arrington is a children’s fantasy about a little girl named Sophia who seeks a magical birthday gift from the residents of the Great Rock Faery cave.

Sophia Enters the Great Rock Faery Cave
Sophia Enters the Great Rock Faery Cave

Young Sophia is surrounded by siblings that sing well, but she cannot carry a tune. Determined to become the finest songstress, she goes on a journey with her parents to the Great Rock Faery cave.

Only she can go inside and pick the singing voice of her dreams from one of the faerie. Problem is that none of them have a suitable voice. Sophia discovers a faerie in a most unusual situation. The little girl then learns the rewards of unselfishness, which is the best birthday gift of all.

The Eighth Birthday Wish is a story told in rhyme, and lavishly illustrated with Sophia’s adventures. Lita could not wait to see how the little girl’s dilemma in the Great Rock Faery cave turned out. The simple story delivered a satisfying conclusion.

Fantasy fans of all ages would enjoy this gem of a tale. Lita shall look around her garden and see if it has an entrance to the charming Great Rock Faery cave.

The Eighth Birthday Wish on Amazon US

The Eighth Birthday Wish on Amazon UK

The Eighth Birthday Wish on Goodreads

Bruce E. Arrington on Goodreads

Bruce E. Arrington website

Bestiarum Vocabulum: Wee Wildebeest

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

Wee Wildebeest
Wee Wildebeest

wee wildebeest [wē wildə bēst ] noun,  c.1835; < Afrikaans  wildebees < Dutch  wildebeest, means “wild”  wild + beest  “beast”; also gnu.

  1. Denizen of the Clockpunk Wizard world.
  2. A herbivore herd animal that eats grasses containing trace levels of ambient magic. Mature females stand six hands high (24 inches) at the withers; males reach nine hands high (36 inches). Males weigh 4-6 stone (55-75 pounds), and females are 3-5 stone (44-64 pounds). Because wee wildebeest are not sentient magical creatures, they cannot cast spells. Predators hunt them for the traces of residual magic in their flesh. Wild wee wildebeest thrive in the sere interior grasslands on large floating islands. Heat demons and wild wee wildebeest congregate for protection from predators. Grassland satyrs were the first to domesticate wild wee wildebeest.
  3. Personages: The wild herds on Veldt Island in Ephraim’s Curious Device, and the domesticated herds on the Raeburn Island ranchland in Old Bony Blue Eyes.
  4. See “Bestiarum Vocabulum: Grassland Satyr

Dramatis Personæ: Probability

The Dramatis Personæ is the roster of conjurers and sentient magical creatures staying in the many rooms, grottos, and byways of Lita’s castle. Here is an entry in the guest book for the Clockpunk Wizard Wing.

Miss Probability
Miss Probability

Probability [prä-bə-ˈbi-lə-tē] proper noun, c. 1550;  ME probabilis from probare to test < L probābilitās; also Luck’s Child, Luck’s Brat (derogatory), Daughter of Fickle Numbers, Baby Needs New Shoes

  • Profession: Heir-apparent for the Personification Office of Lady Luck
  • Race: Human, female, nine-year-old child
  • Appearance: Blue eyes, blond hair, medium build
  • Full Name: Amabel Probability Juliana Luck
  • Formal Title: Lady Luck to Be
  • Honorifics: Miss Luck, Miss Probability
  • Education: Homeschooled
  • Milieu: Probability is a denizen of the Clockpunk Wizard world
Probability's Home is a Castle in the Upper Wager Meadows of Fluke Island
Probability’s Home is a Castle in the Upper Wager Meadows of Fluke Island

Probability is the oldest child of Sorceress Lady Luck and Death’s Wizard Mephistopheles.

Her younger brother is Chance Luck, and her family awaits the arrival of a second daughter. Probability also has a grandmother, Sorceress Amabel, who was the previous Lady Luck.

Because the magic for the Death Personification Office is harmful to children, and her parents are estranged, Probability lives on floating Fluke Island with her mother and brother. Their home is a sprawling casino and castle complex in the Upper Wager Meadows. She has not met her father. Probability plans to visit him where he lives on Undying Island, beyond the rim of their plate-shaped ocean world, when she is old enough to survive the journey.

Probability is Gifted in Mathematics, Language, and the Magical Arts
Probability is Gifted in Mathematics, Language, and the Magical Arts

Probability is a precocious child in mathematics, language, and the magical arts. Her well-to-do mother hires the best tutors for the non-magical aspects of her children’s education.

Lady Luck personally teaches Probability and her brother the magical arts. Her mother anticipates that Probability will attend the Agatha University of Magical Arts and Sciences, and become the most powerful human sorceress of her generation.

As many girls are wont to do, Probability adores unicorns and horses. Her mother maintains a horse stables, and accompanies the children on frequent equestrian outings. Because unicorns need special care, Lady Luck has not yet acquired these magical sentient equines for Fluke Island, despite her daughter’s constant requests.

Lady Luck's Daughter is Called "Baby Needs New Shoes"
Lady Luck’s Daughter is Called “Baby Needs New Shoes”

Probability is not allowed in her mother’s casino until she becomes of age. Nonetheless, the little girl has a flawless mental ability to compute odds, calculate entropy decay rates, and mathematically predict when her brother will bring up a yucky boy’s topic during dinner.

Find out more about Probability’s adventures in these Clockpunk Wizard stories:

Praised by Readers’ Favorite with a 5 Star Review: Lita Burke’s Ephraim’s Curious Device

Ephraim's Curious Device – 5 Star Review by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Ephraim’s Curious Device – 5 Star Review by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

Readers’ Favorite recently read Lita’s fantasy novella, Ephraim’s Curious Device, and awarded it with a lovely 5 star review.

In Ephraim’s Curious Device, a wizard seeks a magical thingummy to free his kidnapped familiar. It is the second story in Lita’s Clockpunk Wizard series, where wizards with ~twisty~ magic live on a plate-shaped ocean world. The wizards fly their fantastic airships between islands that float far above the sea. Here is what the Readers’ Favorite reviewer had to say:

The Clockpunk Wizard series is a marvelous and magical melding of steampunk with epic fantasy that is fresh, original and really quite exciting.

Ephraim’s Curious Device is Book 2 of Lita Burke’s epic fantasy series, The Clockpunk Wizard. Kadmeion, a young wizard, and Sir Bright, his Metal-Man and companion, have been summoned by Lord Hissalumieon of Mevil City. When they get there, the lord and his wizard, Nob, inform them of the quest Lord Hissalumieon needs them to complete. Read more of the review…

Ephraim's Curious DeviceRead Chapter 1 of Ephraim’s Curious Device for FREE now.

Watch the Ephraim’s Curious Device book trailer.

The Ephraim’s Curious Device e-book is available now with instant gratification for Kindle US/UK, Nook, and Kobo.

Curious how the Clockpunk Wizard adventures began? See how Kadmeion befriended a very unusual familiar in Forever Boy–read Chapter 1 now for FREE.

Continue your explorations of the Clockpunk Wizard world in Old Bony Blue Eyes–read Chapter 1 now for FREE.

Finished: Glitter Ponies

Welcome to Lita’s castle here in the Northern Realms. Step into her magical laboratory and see what’s on the slab.

A Fairy in Glitter Ponies
A Fairy in Glitter Ponies

Lita is happier than a dragon that has sniffed too much fairy dust. She has finished her next story, Glitter Ponies.

In this Clockpunk Wizard tale, Lady Luck’s young daughter helps Wizard Kadmeion and his assistant Sir Bright discover the cause of a mysterious unicorn illness. Our magic men face the most dangerous challenge of their budding wizardry-for-hire careers—girlfriends. All three learn that when they mix wizardry, luck, and unicorns, love is deliciously unpredictable.

A Glitter Pony on Wuddlekins Island
A Glitter Pony on Wuddlekins Island

Electronic pigeons have whisked Glitter Ponies off to the proofreader, editor, and beta readers. These clever people already visit with the wee glitter ponies, mad doves, and unicorns on Wuddlekins Island.

No time to rest.

Lita will brew a cup of tea, and scheme some marketing madness to get her new story out to Gentle Reader. Watch her blog for the book’s release date, and other details about the wizard’s curious vacation to the elf-kind floating island with the sparkly horses.

Read the Glitter Ponies back cover blurb.

Also see:

Necronomicon Enchanter: Fifth of Uslar, Whose Name Was Lost Magic

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. 

Previously:

Because the Enchanters of Sye take the diluted magic of their world and concentrate it for human use, they organize magical abilities into five categories. The first four categories favor ambient Sye magic.

Enchanters Forbade Themselves From Weaving the Church Spells
Enchanters Forbade Themselves From Weaving the Church Spells

Today’s post covers the last category that represents all non-Enchanter magic. The Enchanters call the spells here the Fifth of Uslar, Whose Name Was Lost. It includes Church Magic, plus unclaimed and forbidden enchantments.

Origin of the Fifth of Uslar, Whose Name Was Lost

The roots of this rather odd name came when the original Enchanters and Church Magicians divided Sye’s magic for their respective camps. The Enchanters named the category ‘Fifth of Uslar’ as an alternate name for Church Magic, since the Enchanters did not wear Uslar stones from a fifth Sye element. By agreement with the Church, the Enchanters forbade themselves from weaving the Church spells.

The Church Magicians named the fifth category ‘His Divine’s Lost Name’ after the sixth high priest that oversees Church magic. Upon assuming the post of His Divine, the candidate abandons his Common and Secret Names, and answers to only his title.

Enchanters Shortened the Phrase
Enchanters Shortened the Phrase

The Enchanters shortened the phrase to ‘Whose Name Was Lost.’ The Church Magicians responded by lengthening the category name to the ‘Fifth of Uslar, Whose Name Was Lost.’

Allowed Practitioners

The Magic Guild and Enchanter Schools do not practice any magic from the Fifth of Uslar category because some spells counteract the Enchanter’s magical essence. The Enchanter Grandmasters have laced their School’s foundation spells to stop the Enchanters who weave a Fifth of Uslar spell. Because the Magic Guild is the business arm of the Enchanters, guild Maji’kers are also forbidden to weave these spells.

Freelance magic workers sometimes practice the Fifth of Uslar spells, but the ungoverned craft is risky because it has no formalized safeguards protect the spell casters.  Sciomancers, Priests, Enforcers, Clerics, and His Divine practice Church Magic.

Enchanter Harm Spells Disables an Enchanter's Ability to Produce Essence
Enchanter Harm Spells Disables an Enchanter’s Ability to Produce Essence

Inside the Lost Name Magic

Shunned spells encompass three areas: those that harm Enchanters, those that harm Church Magic, and rogue magic.

The Enchanter Harm spells either disables an Enchanter’s ability to produce magical essence, or harms Sye’s ability to keep magic balanced. Spells that destroy Sye’s natural essence production are also in this group.

Church Harm spells interfere with the Marriage Rings magic, and includes harassment enchantments for the dead. Necromancy with dead bodies and unwilling souls fall in this area, along with tampering with the buffer area separating the land of the living (Sye)and the home of the dead (The Fields of Yalu).

Church Harm Spells Include Harassment Enchantments for the Dead
Church Harm Spells Include Harassment Enchantments for the Dead

Rogue Magic are spells that spawn magical chaos. In Sye, their magical world naturally seeks the pooling and distribution of magical essence to all creatures that need it.

Enchanter and Church magical disciplines are in harmony with Sye’s natural magical flows. Rogue eddies sometimes form, and paired Church and Enchanter magicians can disperse the eddy back into natural flow channels. Fifth of Uslar magicians delight in causing magical unbalance, and create rogue eddies that sicken nearby magical creatures.

Also see:

Necronomicon Enchanter: Aer and Fyre Magic

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.

Previously: Necronomicon Enchanter: Earthe and Mer Magic

Overhead View of an Aer Enchanter's Essence During Spell Weaving
Overhead View of an Aer Enchanter’s Essence During Spell Weaving

Because the Enchanters of Sye take the diluted magic of their world and concentrate it for human use, they organize magical abilities into five categories.

Four categories favor ambient Sye magic: Earthe, Mer, Aer, and Fyre.

The last category represents all non-Enchanter magic, primarily spells by the Church, plus unclaimed and forbidden magic. Today, the discussion focuses on the ambient Sye enchantments of Aer (air) and Fyre (fire).

Aer

Aer Enchanters use their powerful magical essence to form spells that cleanse air for breathing, and to shape clouds into whimsical forms. These magicians hold friendly competitions during the Midsummer Festival, and create complex misty sculptures from a mere dish of water. The most talented Aer Enchanters can animate their foggy creations, and make their enchantments whisper words to onlookers.

An Entry in the Aer Novice Category at the Midsummer Festival Contest
An Entry in the Aer Novice Category at the Midsummer Festival Contest

The Aer Enchanters also bring rain for crops. For farmlands with excess rain, these magicians can also divert rain to produce more arid conditions.

To influence the weather over a large area, several Aer Enchanters must combine their efforts. They use the considerable essence from a nearby Enchanters’ School to fuel these large weather spells.

Aer magicians also influence the winds. They encase their most common spells inside of charms, which produce breezes to stir the stuffy air in a room. Aer magicians also delight in the antics of birds and other flying animals. Almost all Aer Enchanters keep dragonettes as pets.

Fyre

Fyre Enchanters Burn Magical Essence to Create Cool Flickering Flames
Fyre Enchanters Burn Magical Essence to Create Cool Flickering Flames

Enchanters that practice Fyre magic specialize in two aspects. The first specialty creates flames and light.

Fyre spells burn magical essence, so Fyre Enchanters constantly refine their spell craft to create ever-more-efficient light and flame enchantments. Fyre charms and spells are cool to the touch, and can be handheld. Fyre Enchanters put these charms  in wall brackets, lamps, and sconces.

The second Fyre specialty favors the production of heat, using traditional fire that consumes combustibles. These Fyre charms function as hand warmers. Talented Fyre Enchanters can create long-lasting consumable fires by interlacing the spell with burning magical essence

Next time: Necronomicon Enchanter: Fifth of Uslar, Whose Name Was Lost Magic

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