Tag Archives: videogames

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.”

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.

Forever Boy by Lita Burke

New Cover for Forever Boy

Forever Boy by Lita Burke

In Forever Boy, a dog flees his cruel master, befriends a wizard, and discovers his shapeshifting magic.

The last new cover for the spring clean takes you to the Clockpunk Wizard fantasy world in Forever Boy. There you will find Wizard Kadmeion’s ~twisty~ magic.

Life is dirty, difficult, and all too short for the dogs digging up the deadly mandrake roots that wizards animate with minor demons. A pup named Go Fer has an odd magical talent. He does not die from the fatal screams of newly unearthed mandrakes. Go Fer’s master, a prideful minor magician, sees Go Fer’s talent as a fluke saving him the cost of replacing dogs killed by the mandrakes’ cries.

One morning, a young Wizard Kadmeion and his half-elf assistant Bright watch Go Fer at work. This mandrake extraction goes horribly wrong, and Go Fer runs away during the hubbub. After seeking out the wizard, the dog’s life is not the same. In fact, Kadmeion discovers Go Fer is not a dog after all.

An exciting life as the wizard’s familiar awaits Go Fer. Instead of using mandrakes, Bright has built clever clockwork men who pilot Kadmeion’s wonderful airship. Go Fer would have a new name, a new boy appearance, and he would fly with his new master between islands that float above the sea.

But Magic Guild law makes the mandrake harvester Go Fer’s master, and Kadmeion will not go against the guild. Go Fer must return to the dog-murderer, lose his wondrous boy form, and dig mandrake roots until he dies. Which will be the very next time, unless the clever clockwork man and the kindly wizard can get him out of this fatal mess.

Forever Boy now available on Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble.

Ghostly Warning ~ Secret Magic ~ Enchanter Shame

New Cover for Tredan’s Bane

Tredan's Bane by Lita Burke

In Tredan’s Bane, a magical oddities dealer hides her kidnapped husband’s dangerous spell book.

The spring clean for the old book covers continues.

Here is the new cover for Tredan’s Bane. In Tredan’s Bane, a dead Sciomancer told Lanith to beware of fire and kisses.

He should have told her to RUN.

Enchanters are so attractive, most believe they are amoral seducers. The Church considers them a dangerous lure for a soul’s journey to the afterlife. Problem is, Enchanter essence powers all of the magic in Lanith’s world of Sye. Because of the escalating attacks from Church Enforcers, the Enchanters have fled to their impenetrable enclaves.

Lanith’s husband Tredan has vanished. Her home and curio shop have burned. Long ago, she promised Tredan to seek the Enchanters’ help if he ever disappeared, so Lanith teams up with Enchanter Nyle. They discover Tredan wrote a journal filled with spells that will ruin the Enchanters’ magic.

There is more bad news. An Enforcer has come to town, and he will stop at nothing to acquire Tredan’s journal for the Church. Lanith must stop the Church magician from getting the journal and destroying the Enchanters. Lanith must also overcome her desire for Nyle’s delectable essence.

The Church’s warnings are true. Saving Sye’s magic could damn her soul.

Tredan’s Bane by Lita Burke is available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Your Enchantress Can Have a Cluttered Workroom

5 Essentials for Writing Fantasy Part 1: Goings-on

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

Events. Activities. Story happenings. Writing about the goings-on is the most basic technique for showing the plot. Most début stories fall victim to goings-on problems. Lita has good news. The goings-on problems are easy to fix.

Line Up the Goings-on and Present them One at a Time

Line Up the Goings-on and Present them One at a Time

All Together Now, Not

Lita covered stringing a story’s actions like beads in another post, but it’s worth mentioning again. In the mundane world, events happen at the same time. A car’s tires screech as it speeds around a sharp curve. An assassin crouches behind a bush as she waits for her target. A driver simultaneously operates a car, sends text messages, and imperils traffic all the way home.

In fantasy worlds, things happen one at a time. A car sped around the sharp curve.  The tires screeched.  An assassin ducked behind a bush, then settled to wait for her prey. The motorist-to-be turned off his cell phone, tucked it in a pocket, and opened the SUV’s door. Commuters cheered.

Your Enchantress Can Have a Cluttered Workroom

Your Enchantress Can Have a Cluttered Workroom, But Your Narrative Should be Orderly

De-clutter with Cause and Effect

Think like a physics whiz in your writing: first there is an action, then a reaction. Our mundane world has plenty to say about cause and effect. Play the field before you settle down. If you want to do well, you must first work hard. The night is darkest an hour before dawn.

Same holds true when writing about fantasy worlds. The knight poked the sleeping dragon with his sword. The dragon awoke, ate the knight, and belched. The princess kissed the frog, got warts on her lips, and went in for plastic surgery. That night, she dined on sautéed frog legs. Wizard Nob scratched the satiated dragon behind its ear. The dracon let out a sigh. Its breath set Nob’s robe on fire.

First the Drop of Water, Then the Ripples

First the Drop of Water, Then the Ripples

Show Everything

In the early drafts of your fantasy stories, include all the steps of events, even the unimportant ones.  Including these steps will help you to show, not tell the goings-on. You will trim away the trivial steps later during editing.

Consider: “Sir Bright poured a love potion for the customer. She loved it.” Not very interesting. We can tell a better story by showing everything.

Sir Bright turned and took a bottle of Number Nine off the top shelf. He fetched a sparkling crystal goblet from the counter-top display. Bright pulled the cork and splashed the amber liquid in the glass to make it fizz. He pushed the drink across the counter to the mousey woman.  She took a deep breath, cupped the goblet in her palms, raised it to her thin lips, and sipped.

“Is it to your satisfaction, Madam Seamstress?”

She Dashed the Goblet to the Floor

She Dashed the Goblet to the Floor

Emboldened, the woman tossed back the rest of potion, then dashed the goblet to the floor.  It shattered.  She licked her lips.

“It’s faulty, Sir Bright.”

“In what way?”

“It doesn’t enamor Tully to me.”

“It doesn’t work that way,” Bright said.  “He hasn’t laid eyes on you yet.”

“I am aware. The potion has a different effect.”


She scrambled up on the counter, grabbed his jacket lapels, and yanked him forward. He lost his balance and ended up nose-to-nose. Her breath smelled of liquorice and mint.  Oh, bother.  Wrong bottle.

A Resident of the Floating Lands

New: Lita’s Floating Lands Video

A Resident of the Floating Lands

A Resident of the Floating Lands

It’s time to roll out another of Lita’s fantasy worlds–Floating Lands.  This month is a look at lighter-than-air islands, levitating people, and soaring cows. Check out Lita’s just-released Floating Lands video.

Been There, Done That

We have all visited floating lands–do you dream you can fly? When asleep, we soar like a lark or hover like hummingbirds.

Sometimes when your legs feel so heavy during your morning run, or you’re at a standstill in commuter traffic, do you look to the sky and marvel at a bird’s effortless glide on the wind? If you parachute, then you have felt the breathless sensation of floating. Ditto if you’ve flown in a zero-G airplane or hovered in the blast of a wind tunnel.

Fantasy Fiction Loves to Fly

Fantasy fiction is airborne.  The King of Eagles plucks the imprisoned wizard from atop his enemy’s tower. Sparkly-faced vampires leap the distance of soccer fields from balconies to treetops. Any sorceress worth her pointy hat can levitate a feather or a boulder.

Come fly with Lita. Certain rock-lined airships, and entire islands, float effortlessly in the Forever Boy and Ephraim’s Curious Device stories.  Enchanters make dozens of flowers hover in the rafters in Tredan’s Bane.  Call Floating Lands magic surreal or bizarre, but be sure to have fun flying away in Lita’s new video.

Steampunk, London Style

Steampunk London

Steampunk, London Style

Steampunk, London Style

Zeppelins. Top hats, gears and gadgets. What fun–let us explore Steampunk and its stylish attitudes.

Time to visit another fantasy world that Lita loves–Steampunk. There are a couple of flavors of Steampunk, so today let’s visit the Victorian-inspired place. It is brimming with alternative technology gadgets powered by steam, and populated with fashionistas.

Watch the Flicker Pictures

Our Steampunk journey begins by going to the picture show, 1800s style. Lita has a new Steampunk London video, so take a minute to immerse yourself in the images and sing-along fun of this alternative-world London.

See for yourself that Steampunk is a contrast of grungy and sooty settings and (sometimes bizarre) Victorian clothing. Their world is a practical and unadorned place of gears, gadgets, and rust-covered pipes. Whether you travel by steam locomotive or zeppelin to get there, don’t forget to bring your goggles.

Step Inside

Curious to discover more? Check out Lita’s new page Steampunk London World. Step inside to get out of the soot and mist of a coal-burning city.  Learn about the gadgets and steam-powered practicalities of everyday devices. In the Steampunk world, electricity never evolved beyond a curiosity at the carnival. You will find out which device is the darling of Steampunk ladies and gentlemen.

Want to visit another fun fantasy world that influenced Steampunk? Check out Lita’s Film Noir World, and don’t forget to bring your trench coat.