Saturday, January 28, 2017

A Hole in the Sea Release Day Anniversary!

   A year ago today!
   The winners of the giveaway are listed on the rafflecopter widget in the last post. Congratulations!!! I'll be emailing you later today. If you still haven't read A Hole in the Ice, you can get it here! And if you didn't win, you can get A Hole in the Sea here.
   Here is the blurb I wrote for it:
   Parsifal and Balder are trapped on the arctic ice after Lady Vasille and Lord Keazund vanish into the Sea. The magical Compass shows Parsifal dire warnings of storm and mermaid. Unable to resist the hole in the ice, the two friends find themselves cast adrift on an otherworldly Sea. A Sea filled with myth and dangerous monsters. Guided by Dioktes, a strange old man of doubtful motives, they come to the Port, a floating city of wreckage ruled by a desperate rabble. Lady Vasille has designs upon the Port and upon all of the Sea. If Parsifal isn’t careful, he and his friends will be caught up in her schemes once more. But it’s hard to be careful when you’re trying to survive.

   I wanted to share some special material here, but all I found was the full lyrics for Fou's Lullaby, which you can download for free! The song as recorded only uses two of the three verses I wrote (although the original, as it appears in the book, only has one verse). Here they are:

My dreams, my dreams die, oh,
Their glory, bright, dies slow,
As the winter winds blow,
They are covered o’er with snow.

I miss them, miss them so,
Chasing them, I will row,
My boat down river’s flow,
I’ll never see them again, I know.

Oh, my love’s gone, I’ll never taste wine.
Yes, my love’s gone, I’ll never hear song.
Oh, my dream’s gone, to love now is wrong.
My dream’s gone, where art thou, love of mine?

For dreams, for dreams, I sigh,
To take me now, to fly,
Where sorrows draw not nigh,
Sadness cannot climb so high.

I whisper, whisper ‘why?’
So fleet, they flicker by,
No matter how I try,
They slip away and won’t say, goodbye.

Oh, my love’s gone, I’ll never taste wine.
Yes, my love’s gone, I’ll never hear song.
Oh, my dream’s gone, to love now is wrong.
My dream’s gone, where art thou, love of mine?

Flowers newly blossom,
When Spring time sweetly comes,
A new dream softly hums,
And in my breast, heartstrings strum.

Whatever they may say,
I know that they won’t stay,
When autumn has its sway,
They will fade away, away, away.”

   The song available for download was written (with my lyrics) and produced by Matthew McLin and performed by Skye Palmer.

Weather Casters Compass Rose--Watercolor and acrylic

Davy Jones--Oil

Tan Noz--Oil

   And some other additional items of interest:
   A guest post from last year, shortly before A Hole in the Sea was released: On Clara Gillow Clark's Blog!
   And a guest post from two years ago: A post about myth on Page Burner!
   I figure it's related material that my newer followers probably aren't acquainted with.

   And thank you everyone who entered for humoring me with you great answers of why you like fiction. I was going to to an additional prize for my favorite, but I couldn't pick one.
   So instead, just comment on this post to win a signed copy of A Hole in the Ice! (I'll put your names in my top hat and pull one out). Open until Monday (Jan 30th) (US only, please).

Saturday, January 21, 2017

A Hole in the Sea Book Birthday Celebration

   To celebrate the first book birthday of A Hole in the Sea, I am going to give away three signed paperbacks of A Hole in the Sea. I'm also going to slip a small original painting into each copy! I created these three (wildly contradictory) depictions of the monstress, Wilma Jones, using watercolor and pen. She's one of my favorite (somewhat minor, but important) characters.

   I used rafflecopter to do this because it's so handy and picks a winner for me, but I don't really care for the entry options. So I tried to get around that by making the main way to enter into a simple question: Why do you like fiction? You can be as brief as you like in answering the question: even just type one letter. It's the option that gives you the most entries and you can follow me on facebook and twitter, if you like, for a couple extra entries ;)  Hopefully it works.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

   The winners will be selected and announced next Saturday, the 28th, the day A Hole in the Sea was officially released!
   It was my second book, sequel to my debut A Hole in the Ice, and I feel like my writing grew a lot in the process of writing and editing it. I also feel like Parsifal's journey was much more defined, it's the next step in his development and it was exciting to watch him grow (these characters are very real to me and writing each new book is like relaxing into them and letting them tell the story).
   I also got to explore my mythical Sea and create some of my favorite characters: the mad woman, Fou, the mysterious power hungry old mariner, Dioktes, and the monstress Wilma Jones, as well as Davy Jones and Captain Caspar.
Captain Caspar
Davy Jones


We also get another look at the mermaids and we meet the Weather Casters!

Weather Caster


Here is  the official blurb for the book:
   As the chase continues into the extraordinary seascape of a mysterious ocean, where sea monsters reign, deadly mermaids hunt, and pirates skulk, Parsifal learns that staying alive on the high seas is no easy task; especially when being hunted down by the vengeful and determined Lady Vasille. 
   As beautiful, deadly, and driven as ever, Lady Vasille will stop at nothing to retrieve the compass and the power it contains. 
   In this fantastically wrought, nautical fantasy adventure, McCallum J. Morgan transports the reader into a truly magical realm. 
And here is my Amazon Author Page where you can find all of my books! And book one is still ¢99 on Kindle if you haven't taken the first leg of the journey.
   Thank you all and good luck!

My oil painting of the Scylla

Book cover by Little Bird

Monday, January 16, 2017

Book Review: Horror Anthology, "Final Masquerade."

Review: Final Masquerade (Anthology)
Collected by Stacey Turner
Published by Lycan Valley Press © 2016

   The book as a whole is a great horror read.  Some of the stories do contain some explicit adult content, which is not my thing. However, the writing throughout the collection was well done, and all of these stories delivered on the promise in the editor’s note: they were all unsettling. Some merely unnerving but a few were downright chilling. There are some great examples of masterful suspense and plot twist writing here. The ones I liked the best had powerful ending lines that made me shiver.
   There are twenty stories in all:

We Care by Daniel I. Russell was an interesting story, a disturbing narrative with violence and a slowly unfolding mystery.

F**ck Knot by Ken MacGregor was a bizarre story, the main culprit of the explicit adult content which I personally found distasteful, but nevertheless, very creepy.

Monica’s Dream Date by J.C. Delisle had a nice twist ending.

Mummer’s Parade by Joshua Chaplinsky is a wonderfully atmospheric tale. Strange, unnerving, violent, and evocative, this is one of the best stories in this anthology.

Lifetime Guarantee by Lori Safranek is a suspenseful tale with a surprise ending.

Delivery by D.S. Ullery is creepy, with well imagined details and a good ending.

The Artist by Samantha Leinhard is a bizarre story with plenty of action and some gore, with a creepy ending.

First Impressions by Thomas Kleaton was creepy, mainly due to theme, but still well written.

Funeral Candy by Josh Strnad is not so much a horror story as a bizarre little supernatural mystery. Lush in detail.

Hero by Natching T. Kassa is an interesting story with a very fresh approach to a very tired subject. Good action and characterization and a very chilling last line.

Bitter Meat by Roy C. Booth and Axel Kohagen is not really scary, but it’s another fresh approach to a tired subject.

The God of Flesh by Sheldon Woodbury is a disturbing tale with perverse horror and a bit of gore.

Hotline Bling by Craig Steven starts out mildly uncomfortable but quickly spirals into horror and ends on a chilling note. One of the best stories in this anthology.

End of Nights by Gregory L. Norris is suspenseful, the ending let me down a little, but polished off with a good final line.

Made Me Do It by Jay Eales is a cleverly constructed piece, using vibrant detail as it builds up to its violent climax.

Another Night in Paradise by Dale W. Glaser contains some mature material. Great dialogue and characterization. Not very creepy but a good read.

The Other House by R.K. Kombrinck is a creepy tale with a good ending and lots of suspense along the way.

70 Steps of Paranoia by Jonathan Cromack has great setting and detail with a good ending.

Make Believe by Brian C. Bauer is a great story with very little suspense but lots of wonderful detail and a delicious ending. One of the best stories in this anthology and one of the best endings ever.

Urban Renewal by Adrian Chamberlin is a great story, with an intriguing setting, lots of wonderful details and description. Again, not a lot of traditional suspense, but the perfect amount of tension. Another fantastic ending. One of the best stories in this anthology.

Buy the book on amazon

Saturday, January 14, 2017

A New Mythology--Oramon--Triona's Abode

   Denu explored the vast seafloor, chasing fishes and playing with the eels. He found in the mysterious depths strange places that mirrored those above: forests of dancing fronds and living stones, great deserts of glittering sand, mountains and valleys. There was even a place like unto Amalteron: a beautiful peak whose cliff fell away, not to a glistening sea as above, but to a churning ocean of deep, impenetrable darkness. It was a place where Nomra’s creation met the Dark within Oramon, a place of unformed possibility.
   Denu called it Unamalteron. He would perch on the peak and stare down into the whirling void. His eyes were the Light of creation and they teased shapes from the Dark. The fancies of Denu were slicked from the abyss and given form and life. As Neron above on Amalteron, Denu was a craftsman. He made the Denites first, a spiny, many-legged contingent to guard his summit should Neron and Nemrus discover him there. They were terrible creatures with poison lances and champing mandibles.
   But the Denites were not skilled in conversation, and Denu grew lonely. He missed Onera, and as he gazed into the abyss below Unamalteron, his longing solidified and detached from the Dark. She was identical to Onera in every way but one: she had no eyes.
   Unonera instead looked into the future.
   “A Light will arise in the Night, and the Children of Denu will be chased from the Day to live in Darkness as a new Age begins,” were Unonera’s first words to Denu.
   Denu fled from Unamalteron and Unonera and wandered the seafloor until he came to the coral forests of Triona. He found her frolicking with the fishes and she bade him join her. So Denu sang songs in the deep for Triona’s dances and soon he had forgotten the horror of Unonera. When night came, their dances ended and they huddled in the dark reef until dawn. One of Triona’s rays had told her of the Denites and how they devoured eels and sea slugs and hunted the larger fish. She was afraid that they might come in the night and she begged Denu to stay with her. Denu promised that no strange creatures from the deep would harm her, but he stayed nonetheless.
   Each day they frolicked and danced and sang and Triona admired the eyes of Denu. One night she watched as the tendrils of a barnacle retreated into its rocky fortress.
   “What if we were to have a dwelling place like that?” Triona asked. “We could curl away when the night comes into a safe repository and await the dawn in peace.”
   “Better yet,” said Denu, “We could light this barnacle and dance the night away.”
   “But how shall we make such a dwelling?” asked Triona.
   The next day, Denu returned to Unamalteron, where the Denites devoured any passing creature and Unonera sat in stony silence. She heard him approach.
   “The Race of Nez will take your eyes,” she told him.
   “Eyeless thing,” said Denu, “do not speak to me of the future.”
   “Your children will be reviled forevermore,” Unonera said. Denu ripped out her tongue and cast it into from Unamalteron into Darkness, then he brought up creatures from the Dark: scaly creatures with empty eyes and skilled hands. Then he took them to the shore beside the mountain Neronimahnon and took fire from the volcano and set it in the creature’s empty eyes and he called them Trinites.
   He brought them to Triona and instructed them to build a beautiful dwelling.
   The palace formed by the Trinites from coral and spun pearl became the first house ever built. And the Trinites lit it at night with their flaming eyes. Triona called the house Denona, gift of Denu. Triona and Denu sang every day and danced every night and fell in love beneath the sea.
   Until Unonera came to Denona.

   The mute and sightless seer tried to warn Denu to flee, but he could not understand her warnings and locked her out of the palace, hoping Triona would not recognize the likeness of his former wife. But Unonera returned with the Denites to force him to leave Denona.
   Denu and Triona closed the gates and the Trinites defended the palace with fire.
   As they lay besieged, Nemrus had heard from his animals that Denu had been sighted on the slopes of Neronimahnon and had slipped back into the sea. Nemrus went and told it to Neron and Neron called Ariaj.
   “Find the sea monster that once we rode to Onerae,” Neron commanded. “Tell it to find Denu under the sea and kill him.”
   So Ariaj found the monster and sent it to slay Denu.
   Upon the seafloor, Denu mustered a force of Trinites and led them out to do battle with the Denites. The battle was fierce but at last the Denites turned to flee. Denu pursued them back to Unamalteron and faced Unonera. She drew for him pictures in the sand, telling of the sea monster. So Denu made a spear from the abyss and had Unonera stab him with it before the Trinites that had pursued the Denites with him.
   The Trinites returned to Triona with the news of his death, but the spear had not killed him and he transformed again into a dolphin and swam away, up towards the surface where he hid in the desert in the form of a dragon.
   The sea monster came to Denona and found Triona and the Trinites in mourning. The monster returned to Ariaj with the news of Denu's death.
   Beneath the sea, Triona laid a bed of eggs and from them hatched fourscore maidens like unto Triona, but with the heavenly voice of Denu, and they were called Syré, for they did not cease to sing, bringing joy and a balm to the broken heart of Triona.