How “Rumpelstiltskin” Influenced the Development of Cragdern’s Gnomes by M. B. Weston

Part of using familiar archetypes in any novel is making them your own. When I began developing my gnomes and their culture, I wanted to give them a few weaknesses we didn’t often read about in fairytales and folklore but would still make sense.

The perfect opportunity came when I reread the classic fairytale, “Rumpelstiltskin.” I always wondered why Rumpelstiltskin made such a big deal about keeping his name secret. I also wondered why someone discovering his name would cause him to basically stomp the earth so hard he killed himself (depending on which version of the fairytale you read).

Then it hit me: What if speaking a gnome/dwarf’s name aloud gave you complete power over him (or her). That could explain why Rumpelstiltskin would keep his name so secret. It would also introduce an idea that by saying his name, the Queen’s servant had complete control of Rumpelstiltskin’s actions and actually commanded him to kill himself.

I decided to give my gnomes that weakness: being under complete control of whoever learns (and uses) their birth names, which can throw quite a twist into a story. Here’s an example from The Elysian Chronicles: Out of the Shadows.

Lorne and Theo dragged Klous into the room. He had bloodshot eyes, torn clothes, and unkempt hair. Several cuts and scratches lined his arms, and his jewelry was missing.

Klous struggled against the soldiers, yelling. “Don’t let me near him! Keep me away from Seraph. I’m not safe!”

Boronan trotted behind Klous, saying, “I searched his memory Davian. He’s innocent. I have no idea what he thinks he did.”

Davian flew to Klous, who shrieked. “Stay away from me! I’m not safe! I’m not safe!”

Davian held Klous’s head so he could stare into his eyes. “Klous, what’s wrong? What happened?”

Klous struggled against Davian’s grip, muttering, “Stay away; stay away.” He looked in every direction but Davian’s eyes. “Don’t you understand? They know my name.” Klous sank to the floor. “I betrayed you. Betrayed…”

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Shorts for Poolside!

piratesxlgA Tall Ship, A Star, And Plunder edited by Robert Krog

Piracy has been around as long as there have been ships plying the seas with anything that might be valuable enough to take by force. Piracy will still be around when merchant vessels are traveling the galaxy with cargoes of potential plunder. Explore the past, present, and future of our favorite scallywags in these 24 amazing tales of bravado, daring, and dastardly deeds committed by the legendary pirates.

Good luck, and may the wind be in your favor, blowing you toward good pickings, and a safe harbor.

https://www.darkoakpress.com/pirates.html

The Tales:
Yo Ho by Melinda LaFevers
Rumble the Dragon by Cindy Vallar
The Princess and the Sea by Sydney Blackburn
Ghost of a Chance by Paula Gail Benson
The Making of a Privateer by Melinda LaFevers
Not I by Jerri Hardesty
Fireflies on the Water by Michael Krog
The Celeste Affair by D. Alan Lewis
The Tale of Tizur the Red by Tom Sheehan
Bottom of the Mug by S. P. Dorning
The Captain’s Woman, the Dagger, and the Serpent by Robert Krog
The Gods Must Clearly Smile by A. Christopher Drown
Corey of Steel by Jerri Hardesty
The Jamaican Dragon by D. G. Driver
Rosa and the Pirate by Laura Nelson
The Ghost of Queen Anne’s Revenge by M. R. Williamson
Of Wing and Song by Kirk Hardesty
One Way by Herika R. Raymer
Puffystuff the Pirate by Jerri Hardesty
Theft of the Royal Jewels by Kathryn Sullivan
Eighty-Six Pitrell Becomes Dread Admiral by Paul Calhoun
Rasputin’s Whimsey by T.A. Riddell
Pirates of Happenstance by HC Playa
Blood is Thicker than Pirate’s Gold by Kent Swarts

Great Action Makes A Great Gift!

dragonssleepxlgDragons Reign Supreme

Mankind had no place in a world where dragons reign supreme. In fact, they were considered little more than a distraction for the young or bored, insignificant insects to be manipulated for entertainment or destroyed as pests. All that changed when Thytira, one of the greatest mages of dragonkind, discovered that the magic of man may have merit after all. After living among humanity for centuries to learn their lore and increase his own power, he emerged as the most powerful dragon of his generation. But all knowledge has a price, and years spent among mankind cursed Thytira with the greatest liability a dragon can have: a conscience.

Now as war drums sound and a new, terrifying threat arises from humanity, Thytira alone stands between the wrath of dragonkind and the total destruction of humanity. However, the fate of men and dragon alike may ultimately depend upon the decisions of a young woman who long ago denied the birthright of her race. But that is only if Thytira can find her …

http://darkoakpress.com/dragonssleep.html

creitonsxlgLiving Legends

Creiton’s Swords were legends in their own lifetimes. The tales of Duke Creiton’s personal guard were known in every tavern and alehouse, but for Bryant they were just stories. He had no time for stories. It was all he could do to carve a place for himself among the guard of Bren while coming to terms with guilt for the family he’d left behind. But then the bells of Bren pealed out the warning of war, and there was only time for survival.

Bryant’s first taste of battle was nothing like the ballads. He saw no glory or honor in the butchery, and instead of riches there was only terror and ignoble death. But as he buried his closest friend, Bryant made a simple promise that would change his life. Never again would he stand idly by when he had the power to act. Never again would he hide behind the lie of helplessness. And when his first act on that promise led to saving a powerful nobleman’s life, Bryant found he’d started down a road with no way back. For Bryant had gained the attention of Creiton’s Swords, and no one who did that was ever the same again…

http://darkoakpress.com/creitons.html

You might need a Guardian Angel

Got a difficult to buy for teen?  Do they like action?  If so, you might want a Guardian Angel.

APFWhen Major Davian, the most decorated soldier in the guardian angel military, is sent to earth to guard seven-year-old Tommy O’Connor, he thinks the assignment is beneath him. However, he soon discovers three alarming and critical facts.

*The fate of both Davian’s world and Earth is tied to Tommy’s life.
*The demonic forces his people have been fighting are intent on possessing the boy.
*A prophecy most of Davian’s people have forgotten indicates that the existence of the child will coincide with the rise of a traitor who will take over Davian’s homeland.

Davian is torn between protecting Tommy at all costs and preventing the conspiracy of his fellow soldiers to seize power.

The spiritual forces of legend are massing for war. The elite warriors of the Guardian Angels must act quickly to save those they protect and prepare for combat with their demonic enemies in the third great Battle for the City of Ezzer.

http://www.darkoakpress.com/apf.html

OOTS Front Dark OakThe prophecy Davian’s people had forgotten has been fulfilled; Elysia is now slave to a tyrant. His mercenaries, the dreaded Black Guard, kill at will, casting a shadow of terror wherever they tread. Elysia’s enemies, the mornachts, have overrun Earth, and the human child prophesied to rid evil from both worlds may not survive their attacks-or impending world war.

Elysia’s only hope for freedom lies in Davian. Once a decorated officer, Davian now roams Elysia’s outskirts as an escaped fugitive. Armed with only a stolen sword, he and three loyal soldiers vow to somehow return to Elysia through a wilderness full of mornachts, Black Guard, and a nameless evil that slithers in the darkness, watching Davian’s every move. For Davian to succeed, he must gather an army and somehow convince the neutral races of dragons, unicorns, and gnomes to help him along the way. The closer Davian gets to Elysia, the more one thought haunts him: To free his countrymen, he must betray his country.

http://www.darkoakpress.com/oots.html

Books For The Busy life!

For the avid book lover there is nothing more frustrating than a busy life. You want to read, but you don’t want to miss that soccer game or dance recital. We have a solution…. Anthologies!

These quick reads give you the satisfaction of reaching the end of a good story in a short amount of time. As an added bonus, you can sample the writing style of  several authors or genres like tasting everything on the dessert menu. They also make great gifts for friends and family! Visit our catalog and read a bit from the books to pick your starting point and enjoy the satisfaction of reading again.

  • Capes & Clockworks (books 1 & 2)
  • Dreams of Steam (books 1 & 2)
  • Gadgets
  • Gizmos
  • Clockwork Spells and Magical Bells
  • The Big Bad (books 1 & 2)
  • Luna’s Children” Stranger Worlds
  • Realms of Imagination
  • A Tall Ship, a Star and Plunder
  • Malice In Memphis Ghost Stories
  • Malice in Memphis Bluff City Mysteries
  • Malice In Memphis Elmwood: Stories to Die For

 

Great time for a good book!

 

The Raven's WarTime is running out as the demons and spirits prepare for the ultimate war that will decide the fate of the realms.

Ona Snowsong, the last surviving member of an ancient bloodline, must enter the forest of the infamous and cursed dark prince, Raven Yatagarasu, in order to keep the Soul Gem safe from a demon-aligned warlock’s grasp. Chaos rages as the most ancient of demons grows closer to breaking free from its imprisonment. The guardian of the Soul Gem makes a deal with a mysterious cat spirit, Hibar, to rid the raven prince of his curse allowing him to return to his kingdom. Ona must save Prince Raven and unseal the true power of this mysterious cat spirit before the demon breaks free and destroys all life!

http://www.darkoakpress.com/ravenswar.html