Tag Archives: gaming

Lita is Overcome by All of the Attention

Old Bony Blue Eyes: Featured in End of Summer Releases

Lita's Heart Flutters from the Attention

Lita’s Heart Flutters from the Attention

Oh my. Lita is overcome by all the attention over Old Bony Blue Eyes.

Prattle about Old Bony Blue Eyes

Indies Unlimited announced its roundup of New Late Summer Releases today, and they included Lita’s Old Bony Blue Eyes.

In Old Bony, Wizard Kadmeion and his friends face a dangerous journey to Sir Death’s castle to win a powerful spell book for a love-starved dragon.

If Gentle Reader has not yet embarked on this latest trip to the Clockpunk Wizard world, take a seat in the airship’s forward observation lounge–it has the best views–and start things off with Chapter 1. We drop in on Kadmeion’s assistant, the half-elf Sir Bright, amid a dreadful row with an ill-mannered Goon.

Other Juicy Tidbits

Curious about other hubbub over Lita’s books? Then be sure to check out the News Releases alcove next to the dining room. Still nosey? Then let’s talk. Lita is in the airship’s quercetum with the resident fairies and talking with the Smashwords folks. Also stop by the Interviews library next to Kadmeion’s magical workshop to read more Lita talk.

Xenia and Firesnort Get Ready for a Ride

5 Essentials for Writing Fantasy Part 2: Summarize

This is the second of a five-part series about fantasy writing craft. These posts explore five techniques for composing the story’s narrative passages.

Part 1 talked about Goings-on, which urged the fantasy writer to add actions to the story that would show, not tell, and to advance the plot. Today we discuss when to apply the opposite wisdom–summarizing instead of adding detail.

Xenia and Firesnort Get Ready for a Ride

Xenia and Firesnort Get Ready for a Ride

Trifling Matters

Not all details of story happenings are important.  Do the step-by-step actions advance the plot? If not, summarize the trifling matters.

Consider:  “Xenia took Firesnort’s bit, bridal, and saddle from their hooks and dragged the tack to the waiting dragon.  She patted the dracon between his saucer-sized orange eyes, slipped the bit into his mouth, and adjusted the fit.”

If getting a dragon ready to ride is the same as a horse, then the reader already knows this. Spending story time on these familiar activities slow down the action. Instead show an interesting detail about dragon diets (which the reader does not know).

Xenia saddled Firesnort. She yanked the belly band strap to cinch it around his puffy midsection. He broke wind, then let loose a flaming belch to burn away the stench. Her clothes ignited. Xenia dove to the ground and rolled to put out the fire.

“You fool of a dragon. Don’t eat wart root before bedtime. It gives you gas. Now you’ve singed my hair.”

Earl Puts Down Roots at Hildebrand's Place and Reads a Good Book

Earl Puts Down Roots at Hildebrand’s Place and Reads a Good Book

Time Warp

To speed up your story, write a summary of the uninteresting events.

Consider: “Earl turned his back on the Tree Counsel and shuffled away as fast as his roots allowed. The Ent left the southern end of Olde Forest. He traveled through the rolling hills of Cumberland, across the rocky slopes of the Flatirons, and finally entered New Mirkwood forest. His cousin tended a wizard’s library here. Earl coaxed his way into Hildebrand’s home and immersed himself in a good book.”

Yawn. The first and last parts have promise, but the middle is boring. So do the time warp and condense the uninteresting travelogue.

Earl the Ent turned his back on the Rude Old Fools and shuffled away. He crossed Treeland to his cousin Hildebrand’s place in New Mirkwood. Only magicians and bookish Ents visited his cousin’s library. Hildebrand introduced Earl to Wizard Nob.

“The Tree Counsel insulted me,” Earl said. “What can I do?”

Nob grinned. “They don’t like snakes. Find an asp potion and I’ll make it.”

Earl found Hildebrand’s books about herbology and rattlesnakes. Revenge made them a good read.

Would Vampire Queen Madam Elizabeth be One for Small Talk? What a Bloody Silly Question

Would Vampire Queen Madam Elizabeth be One for Small Talk? What a Bloody Silly Question

Trivial Talk

Write a summary when a dialogue’s exact words are unimportant. Instead, keep the reader riveted with conflict-filled patter.

Consider: “Greetings, Madam Elizabeth.” William bowed to the vampire queen. “How have you been?”

“My dear William. I have been mostly well, but suffered indigestion last week. What about you?”

“I am well. I dodged a hanging mob at Cadbury last month.”

Just proofreading this dialogue made Lita cringe. Vampires would not have such polite, boring talk. They would leap into the bloody good stuff.

The stale odor of the vampire queen’s undercroft made William wrinkle his nose. Best to get this over with. He stepped forward. She clung to the ceiling, waiting for him.

“My dear William. You’ve been a naughty boy.”

That silky tone meant only one thing. William knelt and bowed his head. “Cadbury folk are hasty about hangings.”

A whisper of movement, then Madam Elizabeth stood in front of him. She hissed. “News of your indiscretion upset me. I feasted on a poet to calm myself. His absinthe-laced blood gave me the vapors.”

“Forgive me. I beg you.”

Madam Elizabeth caressed his hair. Her talons were out. “Stand, William.”

William Drew Madam Elizabeth Near

William Drew Madam Elizabeth Near

He did so. Any moment now, he would be dead. “What do you want of me?”

“I want to get the taste of that dreadful wordsmith out of my mouth.”

William stroked her lovely face, put his finger under her chin, and drew Madam Elizabeth near. She tugged William’s scarf away from his neck. His pulse all but thundered in his bare throat.

“I will do anything if you spare my life,” William said.

“I know. That’s my good boy.”

A wizard faces a peril-filled journey to Sir Death’s castle to win a powerful spell book for a love-starved dragon.

Announcing the Release of Old Bony Blue Eyes

Clockpunk Wizard World is a Land of Airships, Automata Powered by Minor Demons, and the Technology of Da Vinci

Clockpunk Wizard World is a Land of Airships, Automata Powered by Minor Demons, and the Technology of Da Vinci

It is time to buy your ticket and take your seat. The airship leaves now for another trip to the Clockpunk Wizard fantasy world of Lita Burke. All aboard!

Old Bony Blue Eyes, the next story in the Clockpunk Wizard series, was released in all eBook formats today. Instant gratification is available now for Gentle Reader’s Kindle, iPad/iPhone, or Nook.

In Old Bony, Wizard Kadmeion faces a peril-filled journey to Sir Death’s castle to win a powerful spell book for a love-starved dragon. Along the way, he gets questionable help from Lady Luck and the bickering duo of Lord and Madam War.

A wizard faces a peril-filled journey to Sir Death’s castle to win a powerful spell book for a love-starved dragon.

A wizard faces a peril-filled journey to Sir Death’s castle to win a powerful spell book for a love-starved dragon.

Kadmeion’s half-elf assistant Sir Bright, and the wizard’s weredog familiar Furgo, go with him on his trip. They learn that Sir Death is a wizard with a curious shortcoming, plus he owns a wonderful library stuffed with all of their world’s magical knowledge.

This trip, we visit the airship pilot Copernicus and learn the differences among minor demons that inhabit homunculi. Fairy Izlyesende coaches Kadmeion about girlfriends. And Sir Death shows Kadmeion the dangers that powerful wizards weave when they laugh themselves silly.

Enjoy your trip to Lita’s Clockpunk Wizard world. Old Bony Blue Eyes available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Meet the Conflicted Lord and Madam War

What to do when Lord War dislikes you? You sweet-talk Madam War, but at your peril.

What to do when Lord War dislikes you? You sweet-talk Madam War, but at your peril.

Lord War and his wife are seldom home, usually seeing to business at the magically scheduled battles in the Clockpunk Wizard world.

In this Saturday’s August 31st release of Old Bony Blue Eyes, Wizard Kadmeion finds the always-bickering Lord and Madam War overseeing the settlers’ skirmishes on Raeburn, a new floating land just off the island-making volcanoes of the hub.

A dragon advised Kadmeion to get a weapon from War and use it to fight his way into Sir Death’s castle. But Lord War’s stubborn refusal leaves the wizard empty-handed and hurting from War’s brutal qualification tests. Even worse, Lord War is jealous of his wife’s friendly way with everyone and accuses Bright of being, well, elf-like with his charms.

But not all battles involve a fight, Madam War tells them. Disregarding her husband’s bad mood, she gives Bright a seemingly trivial magical gift. Even the smallest magical generosities need something in return. Kadmeion gives Madam War a seduction spell to win what she wants most. Her desire is nothing like what her husband Lord War expects.

See how a magically ~twisty~ war begins in Chapter 1 of Old Bony Blue Eyes.

A Lost Building in Temptation Town, About Halfway to Sir Death's Castle

Old Bony Blue Eyes: Sneak Peek at Chapter 1

A Building in Temptation Town, Halfway Through the Desert on the Road to Death's Castle

A Building in Temptation Town, Halfway Through the Desert on the Road to Death’s Castle

Only a few more days before Wizard Kadmeion’s airship leaves on a brand-new adventure with Lady Luck, Lord and Madam War, and Sir Death.

It has been a delightful several months here at Lita’s house, getting the next Clockpunk Wizard adventure ready, Old Bony Blue Eyes.

So much to do, and Mistress Time will not smile on Lita like she does for her clockworks magicians. But the editing is finally done, the story is back from the beta reader (he loved it), and Lita filed the copyright paperwork yesterday. No time to take a breath. Much more work to come this week with formatting the eBook files, putting the last touches on the dozens of details for the web pages, then that loveliest of tasks, publishing.

Can’t wait until Old Bony Blue Eyes comes out this Saturday, August 31st? The back cover blurb hints about the upcoming adventure for Kadmeion, Bright, and Furgo. Curious about how the story begins? Here is chapter one of Kadmeion’s next Clockpunk Wizard story. Welcome aboard his airship.

Old Bony Blue Eyes by Lita Burke

Copyright 2013 by Lita Burke. All rights reserved.

Chapter One
Befuddlement, Norman Bar Island

Bright ducked, but much too late.

The Goon’s backhanded swipe landed on Bright’s temple, snapped his head back, and sent the smaller half-elf tumbling. He smacked against their airship’s reception room wall. Bright bounced off and landed face down. Get up and fight back? For the moment, impossible. He would instead sing a spell to freeze the Goon and get out of this mess.

The magic died on his lips before he uttered two words. More…

A sailor does speed dating with a mermaid

3 Naughty Ladies of Fantasy Fiction

A manatee's smile lured love-starved sailors

A manatee’s smile lured love-starved sailors

A warning today for the gentlemen. In some Fantasy Worlds, you will find lascivious females. Guard your virtue!

While Lita was researching her next book, Old Bony Blue Eyes, she found several kinds of mer females in fantasy and folklore stories. An alarming pattern emerged. The mermaid tales combined two dangerous mysteries for menfolk–women and the ocean.

Could this all be mistaken identity? Lonely sailors long at sea might mistake sightings of manatees and dugongs for our aqua princesses. Perhaps the manatee’s seductive smile is an irresistible lure, and sailors will shipwreck in their haste to meet this lovely gal. But wait. These gentle, large water mammals look nothing like a shapely human woman. Must be water mirages.  Let’s stick with fantasy artistry for our sea girls and not spoil the mood.

Sea nymph and water birds

Sea nymph and water birds


A Greek water Nymph is a minor female deity, and she inhabits a specific water site. Nymphs are lovely maidens who enjoy amorous freedom, which separates them from the other chaste women of the Greeks. The nymph’s sexual forwardness is especially dangerous for male travelers far away from home.

There are many types of nymphs, classified by their preference of watery haunts.  Where exactly is the risk? Here are the places to find, er, avoid, these dangerous ladies:

  • Oceanids (any salty water)
  • Haliae (sea and seashores)
  • Nereids (more than 50 nymphs in the Mediterranean Sea)
  • Naiads/Limnades/Limnatides (fresh water ladies)
  • Eleionomae (wetlands)
  • Kathybates (hot tubs and whirlpools)
  • Pegaeae (springs)
  • Potameides (rivers and rills)
  • Crinaeae (fountains and wells)
Golden Mermaid

Golden Mermaid


Unlike the human form of the nymph, a Mermaid is a water creature with the upper body of a beautiful human woman and the lower body of a fish. She is a powerful swimmer, and loves to sun herself on rocky shores.

We usually see her long hair undulating in the ocean currents.  Fish scales begin at her shapely mid-torso and extend downward not into legs, but a glorious and glimmering tail. She can breathe underwater, but the gills are not visible.

Mermaids are associated with dangerous events like storms, shipwrecks and drownings. But in other legends, they are kindly and fall in love with humans. Problem is, a mermaid will pull her eager lover into the ocean depths for a romantic tryst, forget that he cannot breathe underwater, and drown him. So guys, take an extra scuba tank and stop fussing about how the air regulator in your mouth hampers your technique.

A sailor and a siren plan date night activities

A sailor and a siren plan date night activities


Greek myth brings us another water gal, the Siren. Fantasy stories are unclear as to her appearance.  Sometimes she is a human-bird hybrid (like a beautiful harpy), other times a mermaid with flowing tail and hair, or just a fetching human form. Whatever her appearance, the siren is a dangerous date.

Our siren is a femme fatale (another warning–we also find this loose lady in the Film Noir Fantasy World) who sings to sailors and lures them with her sweet propositions to run their ships aground on rocky shores. Once ashore, her dates are so beguiled by her appearance, they forget to eat.  The siren’s trophies are the heaps of decaying bodies of the men who starve to death while enjoying her womanly delights. Perhaps, guys, you might tie a string around a certain body part to remind you to eat something during your siren date (of course Lita means your finger–don’t blame the siren for your naughty thoughts).

Gentlemen, the risks are clear. When journeying in Fantasy Worlds, avoid travelling to the sea, inland lakes, and taking showers at the Bates Motel. Do not even go near the water, or these naughty ladies will sully your reputation.

Saving you a seat at the Wicked Circus

New: Lita’s Cirque du Méchant Video

Saving you a seat at the Wicked Circus

Saving you a seat at the Wicked Circus

This month, Lita invites Gentle Reader to visit to the dark side of fantasy–the Wicked Circus.

Cirque du Méchant is a dark carnival filled madness, magic, and killer clowns.  Take a peek into the fantasy world where the Calliope screams its steamy waltz, and you see the monsters under the grease paint.

Enter here for the Cirque du Méchant.