Guest Post with Charles Yallowitz- Author Pitfalls: Watch Your Step & Bring Some Rope

Charles Yallowitz was one of the first people I came to know in the blogoshpere. I saw him everywhere and thought he must be magic. But Charles has a dedication to his peers that encompasses many methods of assistance and promotions, helpful comments and suggestions. He also has a great sense of humor. Today he has prepared a guest post that I have the pleasure of sharing with you.

Thank you to Susan for offering to host a promo/guest blog. Now to get the introduction and promo stuff out of the way. My name is Charles E. Yallowitz and I’m the author behind the Legends of Windemere epic fantasy series where the latest one is Sleeper of the Wildwood Fugue. I also just released a 27-page short story for 99 cents called Ichabod Brooks & the City of Beasts, so you can get a quick, cheap taste of me . . . whatever. Let’s move on to the fun!

Yahoo Image Search
Yahoo Image Search

The world of writing is a dense jungle full of poisonous creatures, carnivorous plants, sudden drops, and a stopwatch that changes speed every few seconds. You may be calm and plan the initial idea, but chaos will appear for most of us at some point. Those that don’t stumble are either lucky or living in a cabin beyond the reach of human contact. If it’s the latter then how in the world do you get Wifi out there?

Every author will run into their own set of pitfalls and challenges. So there are no identical paths, but there are a handful of common dangers that one can slip into without realizing it. I’m not talking about rejection letters, negative reviews, or computer crashes that devour your work as you’re trying to upload to a thumb drive. Those are beyond your full control. Here are a few I thought of from my own experiences that I could have stopped if I had thought about it.

  1. Style Corrosion– Also can be called ‘Style Overload’ or ‘Failed Mimicry’ or whatever else you think of. I’ve mentioned this before on my blog. Many authors with low confidence or high exhaustion will see the suggestions of others as golden wisdom. It really comes off this way if presented as a solid fact instead of an opinion. A young author who is unsure of their style will absorb these suggestions. At first, it isn’t that bad and you might see improvement. Then you take on more advice and your style becomes either a cluttered mess or a carbon copy of an established author. If this goes on for too long, it may take months or years to get back to the style that you’re really comfortable with.
  2. PERFECTION!– I’ve seen so many authors fall to this ideal. It results in a constant creation of drafts to the point where a decade will go by and no progress has been made. It can connect to Style Overload as they adopt a new trick and rewrite the entire story. There are also times a single typo can cause these authors to make a rewrite or scrap what they have. It’s kind of scary. Some of these trapped authors research agents, publishers, and other authors, so they adopt the idea that they’re experts in the field. You’ll get suggestions on what you should do and they may be right, but these people lack the experience to go along with their own advice. I know it sounds like I’m badmouthing this type of author, but you can learn something from them. Maybe you can even convince them to take that scary first step too.
  3. The Universe Will Give Me Time– I wasted a decade of my life on this one. I truly believed that I would work my way through another job to the point where I could also do my writing. Some people can pull this off, but you need the perfect situation for it. I didn’t have that. Instead, I found most of my jobs sucked my energy and I was barely able to maintain the house. This deals a lot with the mentality you need to start writing and I needed to be calm. Exhaustion led to bad writing. So you really have to put your foot down and make time for your writing.
  4. Planning Loop– Much like the writer toiling for a lifetime on the perfect manuscript, you have some authors who don’t even get that far. They fall in love with the world and character creation, but fail to put it into book form. It’s a safety zone because planning and creating without structure prevents full-blooded criticism. You might be told how a few things don’t work, but it’s the comfy planning stage and nothing is written in stone.
  5. Quest for Pure Originality– We’d all love to make a story that is unconnected to anything that has come before it. Sadly, all of your basic stories have been done and readers can be really creative when it comes to connecting new to old. An author who is obsessed with originality may scrap all of their good ideas because one aspect has been done. I’ve met a few of these authors who are at the point where they’ve given up and spend their time turning on others. They become bitter and angry about their ‘failure’, so they lash out. I would consider this the most dangerous pitfall because it can be incredibly toxic and hard to break.
  6. Smug Competitor– At every level, you’ll find authors who are so confident that they refuse to accept advice. This isn’t the bad part though because some people simply don’t see a marketing plan of one person working for them. This pitfall becomes a problem when the author makes a scene about negative reviews and tries to sabotage fellow authors who are doing better. It’s this type of author that can do a lot of damage to the overall community. Thankfully, they’re rarer than we believe.

New Release: Curse of the Darkwind by Charles Yallowitz

Dive into the newest adventure of Luke Callindor, Nyx, Fizzle, & all their friends.
LEGENDS OF WINDEMERE: CURSE OF THE DARK WIND
IS LIVE!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

What’s the Story?

After their battles in Gaia and surviving the Island of Pallice, the champions of Windemere are off on their next adventure.

In his quest to be a hero and help others, Luke Callindor has jumped into danger countless times and would do so again without hesitation. So when he is infected by the toxic Dark Wind, it is up to his friends to find a cure and keep his courage alive. With time running out and their enemies in the shadows, one ally will make the decision to share in Luke’s suffering and forge a bond that runs thicker than blood. Such a sacrifice might not be enough when the truth behind this living curse comes to light.

Will Luke find the strength to defeat the Dark Wind? What ghosts from his past will appear during his weakest hour?

You can find this epic fantasy adventure on:

Amazon!
&
Goodreads!

Art by Jason Pedersen
Art by Jason Pedersen

New to Windemere? Then check it Volumes 1-5 of this exciting series by CLICKING ON THEIR COVERS!

COVER ART BY JASON PEDERSEN (CLICK COVER FOR AMAZON SITE)
COVER ART BY JASON PEDERSEN (CLICK COVER FOR AMAZON SITE)
COVER ART BY JASON PEDERSEN (CLICK COVER FOR AMAZON SITE)
COVER ART BY JASON PEDERSEN (CLICK COVER FOR AMAZON SITE)

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COVER ART BY JASON PEDERSEN (CLICK COVER FOR AMAZON SITE)
COVER ART BY JASON PEDERSEN (CLICK COVER FOR AMAZON SITE)
COVER ART BY JASON PEDERSEN (CLICK COVER FOR AMAZON SITE)
COVER ART BY JASON PEDERSEN (CLICK COVER FOR AMAZON SITE)

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Art by Jason Pedersen (CLICK COVER FOR AMAZON SITE)
Art by Jason Pedersen (CLICK COVER FOR AMAZON SITE)

AN EXTRA TREAT!
Check out an interview with Charles E. Yallowitz on N.N. Light’s Blog: Princess of the Light!

AUTHOR BIO:

Charles author photo B&WCharles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn’t working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. ‘Legends of Windemere’ is his first series, but it certainly won’t be his last.

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ENJOY THE ADVENTURE & BEWARE THE DARK WIND CURSE!

Cover Reveal: Curse of the Dark Wind by Charles Yallowitz

Debuting December 12th on Amazon Kindle!

 

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

After their battles in Gaia and surviving the Island of Pallice, the champions of Windemere are off on their next adventure.

In his quest to be a hero and help others, Luke Callindor has jumped into danger countless times and would do so again without hesitation. So when he is infected by the toxic Dark Wind, it is up to his friends to find a cure and keep his courage alive. With time running out and their enemies in the shadows, one ally will make the decision to share in Luke’s suffering and forge a bond that runs thicker than blood. Such a sacrifice might not be enough when the truth behind this living curse comes to light.

Will Luke find the strength to defeat the Dark Wind? What ghosts from his past will appear during his weakest hour?

About the Author:

Charles author photo B&WCharles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog: Legends of Windemere
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz

Read the Previous Volumes of Legends of Windemere!!!

COVER ART BY JASON PEDERSEN (CLICK COVER FOR AMAZON SITE)
COVER ART BY JASON PEDERSEN (CLICK COVER FOR AMAZON SITE)
COVER ART BY JASON PEDERSEN (CLICK COVER FOR AMAZON SITE)
COVER ART BY JASON PEDERSEN (CLICK COVER FOR AMAZON SITE)

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COVER ART BY JASON PEDERSEN (CLICK COVER FOR AMAZON SITE)
COVER ART BY JASON PEDERSEN (CLICK COVER FOR AMAZON SITE).
COVER ART BY JASON PEDERSEN (CLICK COVER FOR AMAZON SITE)
COVER ART BY JASON PEDERSEN (CLICK COVER FOR AMAZON SITE)

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Art by Jason Pedersen (CLICK COVER FOR AMAZON SITE)
Art by Jason Pedersen (CLICK COVER FOR AMAZON SITE)

Cover Reveal: The Compass Key by Charles Yallowitz

Debuting August 8th on Amazon Kindle!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Swords will clash and spells will fly in the newest adventure of young warrior Luke Callindor, Nyx the magic-flinging caster, and their friends.

With Sari captured by their enemies, the champions of Windemere are determined to get her back and destroy the Lich’s castle. Little do they realize, their battles in the Caster Swamp are only the beginning of this adventure. Trinity and her Chaos Elves have invaded the city of Gaia in search of a relic called the Compass Key. Rumored to be the key to rescuing Sari from a magical island, our heroes are in a race to find the mysterious relic.

Which side will claim the Compass Key? And, what will our heroes do when they’re faced with an enemy whose evil power overshadows anything they have ever faced?

About the Author:

Charles author photo B&WCharles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog: Legends of Windemere
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz

Read the Previous Volumes of Legends of Windemere!!!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen (CLICK FOR AMAZON SITE)
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen (CLICK FOR AMAZON SITE)
Cover by Jason Pedersen
Cover by Jason Pedersen (CLICK FOR AMAZON SITE)
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen (CLICK FOR AMAZON SITE)
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen (CLICK FOR AMAZON SITE)
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen (CLICK FOR AMAZON SITE)
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen (CLICK FOR AMAZON SITE)

Legends of Windemere: Family of the Tri-Rune has Arrived!!!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Legends of Windemere: Family of the Tri-Rune has Arrived!!!

Buy it Here for $2.99!

Book Blurb:

The magical adventure continues after Luke Callindor and his friends recover from their battles in Haven.

Nyx still has nightmares about casting the genocide spell in Hero’s Gate. Every night her heart is gripped by the sensation of hundreds of goblins dying by her magic. By the request of Lord Highrider and Duke Solomon, she is returning to fix the damage she caused. With Luke Callindor and Sari by her side, Nyx is ready to face the vengeful goblins and opportunistic thieves that plague Hero’s Gate. Yet, there is a darker threat that was born from her violated magic: The Krypters.

It is another action-packed, character driven story that will reveal one of our heroes has been lied to for their entire life.

Wondering what you’re in for? Check out the praise earned by the first three installments of this high fantasy series.

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Review Excerpts for Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero:

“I greatly enjoyed the vivid characters, the gripping plot, and the refreshingly unique writing style (present tense). ” – kdillmanjones

“One of the things that won me over was the bouts of humor. Especially in the beginning. “This is not possible! I am a Paladin!” I thought I was going to die with delight.” – C.N. Faust

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Review Excerpts for Legends of Windemere: Prodigy of Rainbow Tower:

“Nyx is such a strong personality. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her and more of the other characters, new and already known, with the rich tapestry of Windemere unfolding in between intense actions scenes and moments of kindness and budding friendships.” – Danielle Taylor

“Almost like the Harry Potter series. The books start out so young and innocent, but by the last book – watch out!” — Momto4Booklover

Cover by Jason Pedersen
Cover by Jason Pedersen

Review Excerpts for Legends of Windemere: Allure of the Gypsies:

“One of the things I love most about this series are all the characters! They are developed so well that I feel like I know them personally. Even the newly introduced characters fit in immediately.” – BarbBookWorm

“Let’s talk about action. The author creates interesting action sequences with believable use of fantasy elements. He is very creative. There are also good sections where the characters stretch out and we get to know them better.” – Donald L. Mitchell “Music Lover”

Charles author photo B&WAuthor Biography:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Contact:

Blog- www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter- @cyallowitz
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/CharlesYallowitz

Legends of Windemere: Family of the Tri-Rune Cover Reveal!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Legends of Windemere: Family of the Tri-Rune is set to debut on Sunday, March 16th!!!

The magical adventure continues after Luke Callindor and his friends recover from their battles in Haven.

Nyx still has nightmares about casting the genocide spell in Hero’s Gate. Every night her heart is gripped by the sensation of hundreds of goblins dying by her magic. By the request of Lord Highrider and Duke Solomon, she is returning to fix the damage she caused. With Luke Callindor and Sari by her side, Nyx is ready to face the vengeful goblins and opportunistic thieves that plague Hero’s Gate. Yet, there is a darker threat that was born from her violated magic: The Krypters.

It is another action-packed, character driven story that will reveal one of our heroes has been lied to for their entire life.

About the Author:

Charles author photo B&WCharles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog: Legends of Windemere

 

Twitter: @cyallowitz

Facebook: Charles Yallowitz

We’re still taking volunteers for the April blog tour. So fill out the form HERE!

Read the Previous Volumes of Legends of Windemere!!!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Cover by Jason Pedersen
Cover by Jason Pedersen

Sunday Synopsis

This has been a busy week for me even though I haven’t been blog busy.  I have also been reading a lot.

I want to introduce you to a couple of people you may or may not know. First, I am reading a book by Patrick O’Bryon titled “Corridor of Darkness”.  It is a 20th century Historical Fiction about 1930s pre-war Germany, and the coming of the Nazi era that will knock your socks off.  There is everything in this book from the thrill of espionage and suspenseful duels  to the enchantment of romance.  I will be doing a full review later this week but I would like you to do something for me. Patrick is a self-published indie author who just released his book a few weeks ago.

Go to his site and read this post about his homesteading and animal adventure in Montana.

Go ahead, and do it!  It even has pictures and humor. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

I’ll wait right here. The page will open in another window.  It will only take a minute. I want to introduce you to his beautiful writing style, even if you choose not to read his whole book today.  He is a wonderful, well-traveled author and I think you might like to get to know him.

A tiny taste of a marvelously expressive writing style, huh? Don’t you agree?

Also, if you are struggling with how to get exposure or market your books, you should get to know both Charles Yallowitz, creator of The Legends of Windemere series in fantasy, and Chris McMullen, who has written many books on a variety of subjects, but most significantly, has two books on self-publishing and much information on both publishing and marketing on his site. He is also responsible for organizing the Read Tuesday promo event that debuts December 10th. The knowledge, support, and helpful expertise of these two marketing gurus are powerful.

This morning I woke up to these figures on Amazon:

“Red Clay and Roses” moved up into Best Seller Rankings and entered two more categories by the hair of the teeth.  I am so excited. I can’t say enough good things about Ereader News Today.

I still haven’t done my sensory deprivation chamber experience, but it is on my list, along with putting up Christmas lights, cleaning house, getting the tree up, having my annual pre-Christmas luncheon for my local girlfriends.  There is a lot to keep me busy this week.

Legends of Windemere: Allure of the Gypsies has Arrived!!!

 

Allure Final Cover

Buy it Here!

Book Blurb:
The epic adventures of Luke Callindor and Nyx continue after their journey down the L’Dandrin River in Legends of Windemere: Prodigy of Rainbow Tower.
Reeling from his failures in their previous adventure, Luke leads his surviving friends to his hometown.  With his mind frayed and his confidence fractured, Luke must face the family and fiancée he left behind.  It is a brief homecoming when the vampire Kalam attacks the village, forcing Luke and Nyx to break into his lair for the key to resurrecting a fallen warrior.  It is a quest that will force both young heroes to reach new heights of strength and power that they never knew they had.
Can Luke and Nyx escape the lair of Kalam?  And, what role will the orphaned gypsy Sari play in their looming destiny?

Wondering what you’re in for? Check out the praise earned by the first two installments of this high fantasy series.

Review Excerpts for Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero:

wattpad beginning

“I greatly enjoyed the vivid characters, the gripping plot, and the refreshingly unique writing style (present tense). ” – kdillmanjones
“This is a sophisticated and delightful read. I recommend this book to lovers of Fantasy or to General Fiction readers. The story is compelling enough to entertain a wide audience.” – John Howell
“One of the things that won me over was the bouts of humor. Especially in the beginning. “This is not possible! I am a Paladin!” I thought I was going to die with delight.” – C.N. Faust
Review Excerpts for Legends of Windemere: Prodigy of Rainbow Tower:

rsz_prodigy_cover_final

“Something I find unique about this fantasy novel that I don’t often find in others, is that the hero, Luke Callindor is rather of the unlucky variety. He does not get everything he asks for, he stumbles, falls, gets knocked down (literally)and taught lessons as he goes. This is helping him to grow into the hero that was promised in the first book.” – Ionia Martin
“Nyx is such a strong personality. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her and more of the other characters, new and already known, with the rich tapestry of Windemere unfolding in between intense actions scenes and moments of kindness and budding friendships.” – Danielle Taylor
“Almost like the Harry Potter series. The books start out so young and innocent, but by the last book – watch out!” —  Momto4Booklover
 
 
Author Biography:
Charles author photo B&WCharles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.
Contact:
Blog-  www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter-  @cyallowitz
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/CharlesYallowitz
 
Another big event to celebrate the debut of Legends of Windemere: Allure of the Gypsies is that I’m holding a Goodreads Giveaway!  The prize is a paperback copy of ALL THREE LEGENDS OF WINDEMERE NOVELS.  Winners will be picked at the end of December.

Cover Reveal: Allure of the Gypsies by Charles Yallowitz

Allure Final Cover

Legends of Windemere:

Allure of the Gypsies

The epic adventures of Luke Callindor and Nyx continue after their journey down the L’Dandrin River in Legends of Windemere: Prodigy of Rainbow Tower.

Reeling from his failures in their previous adventure, Luke leads his surviving friends to his hometown. With his mind frayed and his confidence fractured, Luke must face the family and fiancée he left behind. It is a brief homecoming when the vampire Kalam attacks the village, forcing Luke and Nyx to break into his lair for the key to resurrecting a fallen warrior. It is a quest that will force both young heroes to reach new heights of strength and power that they never knew they had.

Can Luke and Nyx escape the lair of Kalam? And, what role will the orphaned gypsy Sari play in their looming destiny?

Release Date- December 1st, 2013

Previous Books-

Beginning of a Hero

Prodigy of Rainbow Tower

Cover Artist Info-

Jason Pedersen

Author Bio-

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Author Website-

www.legendsofwindemere.com

Book review: “Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero” by Charles Yallowitz

Hero Cover Final

Book cover art by Jason Pedersen 

To my readers:  As you know from my book reviews, I am trying to broaden my horizons by reading more outside my genre of Fiction>Drama, and Murder Mystery.  I joined a book club for this reason, but this month they are reading “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins and that was a bit heavy for me.  I have been pleasantly and delightfully entertained by Charles Yallowitz on his blog, Legends of Windemere, so I decided to read and review his book “Beginning of a Hero” instead.

 

The “Beginning of a Hero” presents the compelling and intriguing story arc of the Legends of Windemere series.  The Prologue of this book was shocking to me.  I don’t often read fantasy but love fantasy movies.  It was gripping and horrific.  I almost had to set the book down because I had a very visceral reaction to the brutality.  I knew right away that this was not simple “Hobbit” fiction.  It is set in centuries past, in another world, where the undead and the living are vested with magical powers.

I continued reading.  Written in the present tense, third person, it was unusual for me but I quickly adapted and found myself really enjoying the visual reality of the read.  After the introduction, I was immediately transported to the fairyland enchanted and magical Visindor Forest with pixies, ladybugs, deer and squirrels. The imagery that the author conjures is fantastic.  It became very obvious to me why the introduction had been so brutal.  Something very evil, sinister, wicked and demonic would be necessary to destroy the beauty of it.

The places the author takes you, like Visindor Forest, Hamilton Military Academy, and Caster Swamp become very real.  His cast of colorful characters and creatures, both good and bad, is varied and well developed. The Gods and Goddesses have many friends and foes in this literary work.  Half elves are the protectors and defenders of honor.  The protagonist, Luke Callindor, a youth, is growing into his manhood as he learns to be the hero that he expects of himself.  I adored Stiletto, Nimby, Fritz, Aedyn, and Fizzle, his faithful companions.  I loathed the Lich, the Hellfire Elf, and the vast Army of otherworldly creatures who did their bidding.

The plot was solid and the pace steady with many minor quests for Luke and his friends before the climactic battle on a killing field.  While the work came off as a bit sophomoric to me, I am attributing that to the genre not the author.  I thoroughly enjoyed the read and would highly recommend it.  I am looking forward to seeing how both the author and the protagonist mature with the next book in the series.  I would give five stars for a worthy read and the awesome introduction to a new genre for me.