So, I realize it's been a bit since I bothered to regale anyone with my thoughts and whims. I recently finished editing my version of Hammers in the Wind and put it up for sake on Amazon and Barnes and Nobles. Please check it out. In the meantime I read that the head of Disney's movie studio stepped down over the John Carter of Mars debacle. While Disney was forced to eat 200 million dollars I can't help but wonder what happened?
The movie, in my opinion, was great. It followed the Edgar Rice Burroughs novels almost faithfully and was visually rewarding to watch. I felt engaged and entertained with almost no bored moments. Disney admittedly did a horrible job of marketing this film. No sequel for you! Boom. This suggests one critical thing: arrogance. The recent success of the Pirates of the Carribbean series and High School Muscial has lulled the Disney corporation into a false sense of security. They took us for granted and decided to let the Disney name do all the marketing for iit. Such a shame.
This isn't the first time Disney has sucked the egg, so to speak. The Chronicles of Narnia started out as a blockbuster series that quickly wilted. Disney wound up selling the franchise to Hallmark by the end of the second movie because they didn't like the downturn in profits. Understandable but it raises the question of what's the point?
I think part of the problem is that the newer generations don't know who CS Lewis or EGB were. I grew up reading these stories but that was in the 70 and early 80s. We've become a world of drones, slaves to the internet and the gods of technology. There is little room left in the world for wonder or magic.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
April is here and I am feeling it. With a little luck I will be able to throw about five more titles up on Nook and Kindle within the next 60 days and I will have this train rolling. Volume is a big deal. So to celebrate I have decided to give you a little taste of my next novel: Hammers in the Wind. Enjoy-or not- and let me know what you think.
High pitched screams pierced the wood and stone halls of Chadra Keep. Badron, the liege lord of Delranan, sprang from his ancient throne at the council table he and his captains were in meeting at. His pale blue eyes boiled from shock to feral rage. The voice drove his actions. His very family was under attack in what was supposed to be the most secure place in his kingdom. More screams and blood choked cries went up from the halls. Badron snarled grimly. The house guard was locked in brutal struggle somewhere deep within the wooden halls of the Keep. Those men fighting and dying would need to fend for themselves. His own blood was more important than any in the kingdom.
Badron drew his sword, trusted and battle tested. The most senior lords and captains of Delranan followed him. Eight in all, they comprised a most lethal band of warriors. Their deeds had forged the kingdom from a pack of warring tribes and clans into a singular monarchy that quickly became the strongest of the northern kingdoms. They wordlessly chased at the wolf skin cloak of their king as he charged into the royal sleeping chambers.
Badron appeared an unstoppable force. Long red hair, now streaked through with gray, flowed angrily down broad shoulders. His normally pale blue eyes seethed red with rage. Wrath commanded him, wrath so strong it could threaten the foundations of the world and make the old gods of Malweir tremble in fear. Muscles bunched under his jerkin. His bulk nearly filled the doorway. Badron felt the old energy flow into him. His was a warrior’s life and this night but an extension of it. The sound of glass breaking drew his attention. Badron bellowed and charged, heedless of any lurking dangers.
Fleeting visions of battle appeared through the flickering torchlight. The flash of a sword. A spray of blood. The ruins of a body lay in the middle of the hall, a crumpled mass of flesh. Badron knelt beside the corpse. The smell of blood kissed the stagnant air. Deep cuts and gashes immolated the young guard. Badron tried to close the eyes, if no other reason than to avoid staring down into the pure agony, but rigor mortis had already begun to set in. A feathered spear broken at the hilt was embedded in the lad’s throat.
“Pell Darga,” growled Jarrik. He rubbed his bald head and spat.
The king brought his gaze up to his friend and captain. “Rouse whatever watch remains, Jarrik. I want these monsters run down and skinned alive. The rest of you with me.”
Badron led them further into the keep. The inner doors to the royal chambers were smashed to ruins. One lay in splinters across the hall while what was left of the second hung in shreds by a single hinge. Smoke curled up from the ceiling. Blood stained the floor and walls in ragged patterns. Bodies lay here too. He grimaced. From the looks of it all of his private guard had been caught unawares and slain. Their furs and spiked helms lay stained in growing pools of blood. Badron splashed his way past.
At last they came unto the king’s chambers. The doors were similarly smashed, leaving a gaping maw, dark and inviting. Sinister shadows leaked into the hall. Unknown fears danced around the men and threatened to weaken their resolve. Preparing his mind for the worst possibility, Badron bunched his shoulders and surged forward. Nothing in this world meant so much to him as the memory of his late wife Rialla and the children he’d sired.
Rough hands snatched at his collar and jerked him back. “No my lord, we cannot afford to lose you,” Argis whispered harshly.
He gestured with his head and two of the largest guards crept forward to flank the doors. Satisfied the king wasn’t going to do anything rash, Argis released him and tossed his torch to the nearest man. Inion snatched it and stared at his battle brother. A hint of smile, no more than the slight curve of his lips, caressed his face. Long had it been since they’d last gone to war. Inion hefted his tulwar and threw the torch into the bedchamber. He charged in after, Argis immediately following with a litany of battle cries. Berserker strength churned inside them.
Badron impatiently waited. Sounds came back to him, making the hairs on his neck stand. The breaking of furniture. A crash in the dark. He forced himself to stand by and wait while others rushed to defend his honor. The idea pained him, but he must be king before warrior. That was the price for the gift he’d usurped from his brother long ago. Inion reappeared a heartbeat later. Disbelief stained his naturally dark eyes. He mouthed words that were incoherent babble.
Badron pushed forward, forgetting all restraint. “Speak man, what of my family?’
The stunned captain could only point back at the broken door.
“Is she?” he whispered.
Inion could not bear to look his king and friend in the eye. “I don’t know, sire. There are traces of blood but no bodies. It is clear that there was a struggle.”
Emotions collided with a wall of confusion. Badron was beyond enraged and on the verge of breaking down. He’d never truthfully cared much for his daughter. In fact he constantly blamed her for the childbirth death of his precious Rialla. But Maleela was still his flesh and blood. He punched a massive fist into the nearest wall.
“Find my daughter or I’ll have your heads on pikes by dawn. No one sleeps until the Pell Darga are found and killed. And bring me my son.”