Book Three As Yet Untitled

I when I begin writing a new book, especially one that is part of The Crystal Crux series, it comes with a mixture of excitement and dread.  In my mind, I see it all.  It’s like a movie and all the players are doing exactly what I want them to do, saying what I want them to say, looking dramatic, romantic, heroic and foolish, driving the tale forward.

Once I sit at the keys and start typing, the ability to recount it sort of ebbs and flows, one moment just pouring out of me with ease, another moment absent and recluse.

I write with storyboards.  The invention of the Post-It is a godsend.  By the time I get done, planning and plotting out more details, my storyboard will be covered with Post-Its that have been moved and changed a thousand times.

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I know from feedback I have received that people want to hear more about Pero de Alava and Francis Whitehall.  I promise to do my best to keep them front and center – BUT – the flow of the story doesn’t always work with them there.  There time is coming but there are sinister forces doing much of the driving right now and there will be a great deal more revealed about them in Book Three.

Like what?

(Don’t read any further if you haven’t read Book Two and don’t want to know what’s going on.  Or if you’re curious and don’t care – go for it.)

Well, there is Gherardus Fabbro.  He just discovered that two people whose counsel he thought he could trust, lied to him.  His son, Rugerius, said he killed everyone at Capua.  Turns out he didn’t.  In fact, the bastard kept Anthea Manikos alive and is intending to wed her, something he was supposed to do a long time ago but didn’t.

And than there is the giant magician Sinibaldus.  He really let the old commander’s trust down when he said Pero de Alava was dead, even going into detail describing his death.  It was all a fraud.  Now Gherardus is unsure who to trust.

And who is at his side now?  Is it his faithful Provost, Guidus Salvatore, a man of impeccable honor and knowledge?  No.  Gherardus sent that poor man to his death, convincing him that delivering a letter to Pero in Capua was just a routine affair of state and he’d be home the next day.

Nope, Gherardus as his other son, Talento, serving as Provost now, and this wiry boy can’t be trusted at all.  And he has no head for the Provost position.

We also have the voluptuous, foxy nymph Viridian who feels forsaken by everyone in her family, including her cousin and lover, Rugerius.  A snarling, horny imp landed on her patio and invited her to a festival where she will meet Lord Ophis, a rich and powerful man, so saith the imp.

For those familiar with the tale, Ophis has not been seen or heard of since the beginning.  Will we see a bit more of the old dragon in this book?

Rugerius Fabbro is running on hate.  He’s about to ride for Eagles Pass to find the still-living Pero de Alava and bring him back, all of him or just his head, we cannot be sure.

And Pero, well, we know what happened to him.  Hell of a drop.  Too bad about that landing.

Anyway, I have a lot of work ahead of me.  I’m not making any promises on when it will be ready until I’m getting closer to completion.  I hope to have it out by Fall.  Summer would be better but it’s hard finding time to write, work my regular job and sell the books I have already written – not to mention spend time with family.

Back to it!

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Raid on Chamonix

In the novel, The Crystal Crux-Blue Grotto, the reader learns that Claire, a young, black-haired French girl living in the town of Chamonix, having recently given birth to a demonic infant that is abnormally large, pale white and hissing, was warned she would be stoned to death by her Christian neighbors if she didn’t repent and kill the abomination.

Claire, desperate and confused about the brutal attack that impregnated her, flees Chamonix with the infant.  She eventually finds comfort in the cave-dwelling community of La Piscine Vivant, The Living Pool.

Her child, the abomination, rises quickly in stature and power amongst these people, being crowned King at fifteen.  Sinibaldus knew of his mother’s genuine hatred for the Christian citizens of Chamonix.

Now it is time to exact revenge.

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I had debated including the Raid on Chamonix in Blue Grotto but decided against it, finding it unnecessary to the story line currently developing.  It does, however, make an interesting short story, a little more insight into the lives of these troubled people.

Raid on Chamonix is only available on Kindle.  It is available in KDP Unlimited for free.  Otherwise it is .99 cents.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE – RAID ON CHAMONIX

If you are already enjoying The Crystal Crux series, you will find this an interesting read.

If you have not read a book in The Crystal Crux series, perhaps this will generate some interest.

I’m thinking I might produce similar supplements to The Crystal Crux story in the future to keep fans of the series satisfied waiting for the next book.

As always, if you do pick this short story – be sure to leave a review.  Self-published authors need reviews.

 

Infusion of Magic

In Betrayal, the first book of The Crystal Crux series, we don’t see or hear much use of magic or otherworldly occurrences.  There are some.  There are hints of heightened activity in the city of Parthenope of little tiny lizards.  By the end of Chapter 4, we learn there is a sinister giant, a court magician wearing a Bellerophon Crystal.  Neither the giant or the Lord of Parthenope, Gherardus Fabbro, reveal anything more about it – it simply is something they are aware of and respect the power.

And then Chapters 5 & 6 go way off course to focus on the creation of the Bellerophon Crystals themselves.

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Bellerophon is a warrior of ancient Greek mythology.  There are many variations, and many legends as well as storytellers of all the ancients.  I embellished on Euripides tale where Bellerophon rides Pegasus to Mount Olympus.  Zeus does indeed send a gadfly to sting the horse’s backside, sending Bellerophon back down to earth in a heap.  It is said he survived the fall but was crippled, a beggarly figure eating his heart out, his death never recorded.

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I gave Bellerophon purpose.  Before he fell, he grabbed and stole esoteric particles from heaven.  He then took the particles to another fallen “god”, Hephaestus.  Together, they devise a plan to help Bellerophon make the earth his kingdom.  Hephaestus doesn’t really care what happens on earth as long as innocent people keep dying and their blood drips down into his caves.  The more war Bellerophon makes, the better for him.

And then I turned to the constellations of the night sky and pulled down Ophis from Serpens.  Serpens is a unique constellation in that it is split in two halves with Ophiuchus, the serpent-bearer between the head and tail.  Ophis is also, by some accounts, the ancient snake or dragon of the Bible, the one in the Garden of Eden.  It seemed fitting to inject Ophis into the tale, messing up Bellerophon’s plans.

Engraving by Sir James Thornhill

So Bellerophon’s plans get messed up, the five crystal Hephaestus created containing the esoteric particles of heaven were separated and lost during the eruption of Vesuvius, and now one Crystal, the center-stone, the Crux, is being used by the giant Sinibaldus.

And then the magic ends for awhile.  Life goes on as does the “betrayal” of Pero de Alava, a well-respected Spaniard running things in Capua.  All was well for Pero while Emperor Henry VI yet lived.  After Henry dies, however, there is an election for a new emperor which ultimately leads to civil unrest.  Pero is on the wrong side of the battle lines when he foolishly professes his support for Henry’s brother, Philip.  All hell breaks loose after that and Pero doesn’t know where to turn for answers.  He’s rightfully scared of what the Fabbro family has planned for him and his loved ones.

It is at this point, Pero starts having nightmares.  The visions become so powerful and imposing, they affecting him during the day.  He sees only death.  His faith in God wanes.

And during his dive into madness and uncertainty, a letter comes from Parthenope, sending him on a suicidal quest.  Pero sees this as his out, a chance to leave all his problems and ghosts behind him.  He shuns the advice of his best friend, forsakes his bride-to-be, and leaves, a scapegoat taking his sins into the wilderness to save his people.

Sadly, those seeking vengeance often respond in wholehearted measures we can’t often reason or define.  They’ll stop it nothing to punish all usurpers, sending a message to all who may try to oppose them in the future.

A bit a magic begins to rear itself as Pero sees things and experiences things on his quest he couldn’t imagine possible before that day.  Even Francis Whitehall, during a moment of betrayal and terror, is confronted by an otherworldly tranquility he will need in order to persevere.

As one steps into Book Two of the series, Blue Grotto, the magic and otherworldly elements begin to really flow into the story.  The barrier between reality and supernatural is broken, especially in magical places like the Blue Grotto.

Don’t forget, Betrayal and Blue Grotto are adult versions of the story not meant for the young and squeamish.  I did create one young adult volume combining the first two books called The First Three Days.  The whole series will eventually encompass ten days – ten days in the year 1198.  I hope you join us on the quest.  Be sure to leave a review.  Authors need reviews – especially self-published authors.  The more the better!

Amazon Authors Page – Allen M Werner

Goodreads Page – Allen M Werner

Be sure to follow me on both!

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Next Up

The Crystal Crux series continues to grow!

Now that I’ve completed Books One and Two, Betrayal and Blue Grotto, as well as the YA edition combining the first two books in one volume, The First Three Days, it is on to writing the third, as yet unnamed, book.

I have the whole structure laid out and started working on the first six chapters.

Is Pero de Alava dead?
Will Francis Whitehall find his old squire before running into more trouble?
Can Gherardus, Rugerius, Talento and Sinibaldus trust one another after all the lying and backstabbing?
What will Anthea do while she waits for her upcoming wedding to the Castellan?
And what will Viridian find when she follows Didian, the black imp’s advice, and heads for Port Hell and a meeting Lord Ophis?

The Crystal Crux series is a ten day adventure.  Book Three should cover days Four and Five.  We should be halfway done with the journey by the end of the year.  Excited?  I am.

Click Here to purchase the YA edition – The First Three Days

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Click Here to purchase the First Book – Betrayal

BETRAYAL

Click Here to purchase Book Two – Blue Grotto

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Good And Evil

One of the core challenges I faced when I started writing The Crystal Crux series is how I would define good and evil.

When you look at life, really look at it, the definition of both can be rather murky.  Good people do evil things and evil people do good things.  So where is the line that defines a good person and an evil person.  How much evil finally makes a good person no longer good?

In The Crystal Crux-Betrayal, we see Pero de Alava professing to be tired of being good.  He doesn’t want to be a good person anymore.  But what does that mean?  He declares it but he himself is not sure what it all entails or if he’s even capable of being it.

His best friend, Francis Whitehall, seems to most to be the epitome of a good knight, a good man.  He seems to bear the burden of goodness differently than Pero.  He seems rather at peace with it despite all the problems he has faced in life, including a father who ruined the family name murdering innocent people and a shrewish wife, not to mention a spirit-crushing poverty forcing him to live day by day, fighting in tournaments to make a living.

The bond between these two is important to the story.  Francis sees the burdens crushing Pero and doesn’t know how to help him, or even if he can help him.  In the end, it seems that only thing he can offer is advice.

Francis wishes Pero to see that good must have its own merit and can’t simply be whatever is reactionary to evil.  If it is, then evil dictates life.  Our emotions and behaviors are only our responses to threats and fears.

Pero rides out on a quest to Eagles Pass to learn for himself what motivates him, truly motivates him.  Is it goodness?  Evil?  Hate?  Anger?  Or is it love?

Pero de Alava decided to throw all his cards on the table.  He cursed God and dared him to show His face, try to kill him.  Was this pride?  Was it suicidal?  There are a lot of things going on in Pero’s head and the emergence of supernatural activities around him is not helping.  He feels he is losing his mind.

The Crystal Crux- Betrayal is available in Paperback, Kindle and Audiobook!
Be sure also to catch the 2nd book in The Crystal Crux series, Blue Grotto.

Click Here to check out The Crystal Crux-Betrayal

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Happy Anniversary

One year ago today, January 10, 2016, I reached a milestone in life, becoming a published author with the release of The Crystal Crux – Betrayal.

Click Here and watch Flintstones singing Happy Anniversary!

To honor the occasion, I decided to highlight many of my favorite lines from the book.  Perhaps those who have not purchased or read the book will be inspired to do so.  Remember, The Crystal Crux-Betrayal is available in Paperback, Kindle and Audiobook.

  • There wasn’t an iris in the room but still she could smell them, the, the iris and the salty sea.
  • Gherardus stood tall above the back of the chair, his grey-blue eyes glaring down on them, his mind squarely focused on the mission ahead.
  • Gherardus cuffed his frustrated fist with the other hand realizing this conspiracy was going to require more tact and coin than he had ever thought possible.
  • As if he were Samson parting the infamous pillars beneath Dagon’s temple, Gherardus shoved aside a pair of wooden doors and entered a miserable little antechamber near the bottom of the world.
  • Decidedly pedantic and anxiously ambitious, Talento Fabbro had no time for philosophy or religion.  He dismissed his elderly father’s ravings simply enough.
  • The great king of mosquitoes must have blood.  We are not here to resist him.  We will give him blood.
  • He blinked in disgust and supposed aloud, “War, for whatever purposes we have imagined, is all around us.  Friends are betraying friends.”
  • Talento Fabbro festered in the dark behind the throne.
  • The loss of such devotion and talent seemed almost immoral, almost.
  • “Awful does not do you justice, my Lord.”
  • “I have no desire to be impaled by aspirant priest.”
  • Gherardus staggered despondently down the aisle towards the same wooden pillars he had brushed aside a sin ago, once nearly tripping over a hurried little lizard that scurried across his path.  As he breached the threshold, he muttered in amusement, “And to think, I respect Pero more than any other bastard in my court.  Awful surely does not do me justice.”
  • During his nearly fatal plummet back down to earth, Bellerophon managed to gather in his grasping frantic hands a host of esoteric particles from the swirling nitrous clouds surrounding paradise.
  • Ophis had been slumbering unscathed for centuries in a remote European barrow.  He was waiting, hoping, for the return of the last age, the age when dragons ruled the earth, the age before the first man Adam breathed his first breath and stole dominion from them in the Garden of Eden.
  • What is sin to a god anyway?
  • The agitated stream of lava swallowed the crystal.
  • Ophis is still crazy mad.
  • Rugerius had always been a rapacious child.
  • Rugerius stared hard at the shiny seax in Bergus’ left hand.  The grip was bone white and the polished steel blade no more than eight-inches long.
  • Celestial courage vented down from the empyrean.
  • “Oh Venus, you love, you charming sweet dame, smile and kneel, afford, entertain.  Touch not my soul but arouse this old flame, kiss me, inhale me, be not ashamed.”
  • The Spaniard screamed as the jug of wine and the open wound rained the earth red.
  • Rugerius ripped through the bedroom like an angry bull, his soiled hands tearing a destructive path through the fragile, silk veils, many of which became unfastened from the ceiling and died, their sinuous bodies drifting down gracefully to the floor unaware that they had been violated.
  • Her arms and legs began to quiver.  Viridian was drifting towards some mystic netherworld to locate her inner beast.
  • People are sheep, subject to the whims of the ruthless.
  • “I won’t be here when you return.  I’m going to Capri.”
  • Anthea pulled her eyes away from the sindon to see why her fiance was not responding to her query.  She was not surprised to find him staring into the abyss.
  • How could the people not cheer?  How could Pero not smile?
  • “I have witnessed herds of genteel stock hoisting their shit-covered tails high in the air for all to see, turning readily from left to right, proffering up their hindquarters to every handsome bull.”
  • The clip never left him.  It was the first trinket exchanged between them, a golden clasp she once wore.
  • The red cloth reminded her of the blood filling the human heart, the precious fuel that keeps the human body alive.  The white silk harkened back to the days of childhood and purity, the times of sweet innocence and noble truth.  The answer was obvious.  “I will purchase them both for I will need them both.”
  • He forced himself to gaze upon his father’s broken body, teeth clenching, anger tearing through every fiber of his being.
  • “Bravest blood flows first,” Zor whispered commandingly.
  • “You must be the rock.  You must be Penafiel.  Everywhere you go, you must be Penafiel.”
  • The man they both loved the most in the world was traveling on a quest from which he would never return.
  • He flew upwards and outwards towards his ideals like Icarus heading for the sun.
  • Having tolerated more abuse than he believed he was expected to endure but still exercising unparalleled restraint, Pero de Alava calmly flashed Rugerius a knowing grin before rearing back and busting the hard pommel of his sword across the braggart’s face.
  • “Gentlemen, let us empty our goblets and drink our detestations away.  When the morrow comes and the sun gives light to the extent of this outrage, there will be ample opportunity to nurture the enmity you’ve fashioned for Lord Pero.  I’m sure of that.”
  • Benectus had been Capua’s faithful kitchen steward for the previous three short-lived administrations and, in his opinion; all three were venal at best.
  • Midonia hovered at the doorway like an eager vulture, her wings folded up unsympathetically inside the wide creases of her boat-sleeves.
  • “I will not strike you down though you be the devil himself.”
  • And then the demon in him roared back to life causing his body to convulse.
  • “You love God and He loves you.  The whole world could go to hell and burn in fire and you wouldn’t care.”
  • Her daddy would always be there to save her.  She need only see his face to feel at peace.
  • Merle Gilmore was a klutz.
  • “No,” Francis replied.  “I have never seen Pero of Penafiel before today.”
  • The first target to draw his attention was the feeblest knight of the lot, a tall, ill-fitted fool with a small round shield, his clumsy fat horse nothing more than an abject field mule.
  • With a singular blow of his heavy mace to the backside of the rival’s steel-plated helm, Francis sent plumage flying everywhere.
  • The Griffin began to fly.
  • “You have saved my life today, Sir Francis Whitehall of England.  Now I am going to save yours.”  Francis couldn’t hold back his smile any longer.  “God be praised.”
  • And yet today, the eminent man felt slighted.  The Provost was a common errand boy squirming uncomfortably on a pine bench in the great hall at Capua.
  • “You will avoid Benevento and travel directly to Melfi utilizing a remote and ancient trail known as Eagles Pass.”
  • Right now, she saw no shine.  She saw only armor and a sword, dark embodiments of death, emblems of conflict and harbingers of separation.  His wearing it now said much.
  • She was close to tears.  “Pero, I’m scared.  I beg you, husband, come, take my hand and let us pray.”
  • “She is henceforth yours and not mine.  I’m tired of always being the one to put things right.”
  • This door was death.  He needed only to pass beyond it and he was free.
  • “Pero, I asked you not to change.”
  • Before Pero could wheel Lady Zaon around and make this his final scene at Capua, Francis snatched hold of the bridle.
  • “I, for one, never thought my faith would sour like it has.  I fear I am becoming like them.”
  • “Well, we cannot pray the bastards away.”
  • “And you would have us live at peace with them who exiled and murdered you?”
  • A large horsefly landed on the grey-speckled palfrey’s backside and bit it unexpectedly.  The horse bucked up in the air before he was ready.  Pero nearly lost his grip.
  • “He is my best friend and absolution is hard to come by today.”
  • “I have fallen so far.  It is so dark out here.  I am all alone.  No one can save me now.
  • ‘Let this be the trap.  Let this be the moment.’  The next thought passed quickly.  ‘Be careful what you wish for.’
  • “No, no,” the girl pled, oranges raining out of the basket.
  • “For a few gold coins,” she whispered, her voice nearly singing.  “Anything is possible.”
  • It was the winged, weightless horse he saw earlier in the day, running gracefully on the ether.
  • ‘A tempting lamb to be sure.  Wholesome white purity.’
  • “When you touch that clasp,” Pero continued, “I want you to remember this day and pray for your husband to come.  And believe me, he will come.”
  • Sometime during the dead of winter, no one could really remember when, a proclamation went out to all the cities announcing the engagement of Rugerius Fabbro to a woman he had never met.
  • More adventurous visitors traveled beyond the city, to the ashen plains of Herculaneum where an attraction known as Sin Circus had taken up residence with its mysterious black tents.
  • As he wheeled about to leave, the faint whimper of a teary-eyed woman somewhere in the chapel caught hold of his ear.
  • Beneath the purple cape with icy silver trim, the annoyed maiden rolled her eyes, despised the intrusion and attempted to ignore the stranger further.
  • Embarrassed, the maiden turned slightly red.  Timidly she started running her fingers through that which remained of her hair.
  • “You must recant.  You know nothing about me and my sins.  You don’t know who I am or what has happened today.  What you wish for is impossible.”
  • “I am ready to make my stand in life.  Place your faith in me and my love for Anthea and watch me change the world.”
  • ‘I don’t have the jawbone of an ass but I have this.  And I have the element of surprise.  With God’s help, I could kill these knights.’
  • “Forget my name,” Pero instructed Cambio.  “Forget my name because God has.”
  • Suffice to say, Merle Gilmore rose to the task.  The Rose, as Merle came to be known in Warwick, served his Uncle Geoff with health and vigor.
  • Francis stared into his only child’s face as though she were a magic mirror reflecting his dearest dreams.
  • “Da, I will be fifteen tomorrow.  My life is just starting.  Let me live a little.  Nothing will happen tomorrow, I promise.”
  • The clarion sounded.  An alarm bell followed.  First it was one and then another and then another.
  • Anne breathed soundlessly so only Francis could hear her voice.  “I’m scared, Da.”
  • Francis had never heard of Black Leaves or seen the inverted black oak-leaf crest before.
  • “The rain is falling hard this day, my Lord.  Saints and sinners are hurting all the same.  Don’t let this storm cause you to forget who you are.”
  • Francis Whitehall could not run fast enough.
  • “Don’t forget me, Da!”  Anne couldn’t hold back the tears any longer.
  • “You are not forgiven.”
  • Like the trifling waste that usually fell down from these pipes, Francis and Guidus dumped themselves down harmlessly into the sludge river that encircled the castle.
  • The flickering fire strained and struggled to provide light.  It was being rejected by the strange woodland.
  • That was before the wolves arrived.
  • The moment Pero dismounted, Zaon collapsed.
  • Pero de Alava had become the most dangerous creature on Eagles Pass.  He was now a monster or a god or something worse.
  • A curious iridescent glow began flickering at far point.
  • Without an ounce of grace, as if his body had been thrown there by some giant uncaring hand, Pero crashed down hard on his stomach inside the colonnade of torches.
  • Its pearl black eyes fixed their oppressive gaze on Pero, hypnotically straining to seize him and draw him near.
  • He stood there a long minute defying the darkness, somewhere between heaven and hell.
  • “No human has ever entered Ithaca by way of those woods.  It is unheard of.”
  • Sinibaldus felt slighted, defeated.  He was not accustomed to losing, not where the crystal was involved.
  • He knew it wouldn’t be long before he winked again.
  • “Who are you, old man,” Pero stated cuttingly.  “Why are you out here?  What is this place?  Why the giant torches?”
  • Ba-boom.  Ba-boom.  Ba-boom.
  • In sheer madness, those that condemned killed those that encouraged.
  • No longer lightheaded, Pero shot to his feet and unsheathed Miriam.
  • “Lizards apparently are not animals,” Turstin wryly replied.
  • “I’ve seen men and women with whiskers and tails, people who cannot speak, only growl and snarl.”
  • Pero tore the bandage from his arm and his severest injury.
  • “I tire of your vacillation, you young fool”
  • Spit flew from his mouth.  “That bitch was my mother!”
  • Turstin remembered the moment they placed the quarrel in his hand before loading it in the firing shaft.
  • “He follows the old gods, the gods of war, wrath and willpower.”
  • “A man can become awfully paranoid when he doubts the things he has done in his past and believes his sins are chasing him.”
  • He had chills but was sweating profusely, nauseous and delirious, everything and nothing.
  • Grey ghosts with dead white eyes and long, icy fingers watched him.  Fire erupted and the homestead was consumed in an instant by flames.
  • The corridor was dripping blood.  There was an odor of death, putrid and rancid.
  • Before Anthea could reach him, an arrow sang out of the murkiness beyond the white cloud.
  • “There you go again, Pero, trying to make me your god.”
  • “I am Penafiel.  I shall not be moved.”

    Click here to purchase The Crystal Crux – Betrayal

    BETRAYAL

Building A Cave

Since I’ve not been to Italy and didn’t have actual pictures of my own of the Blue Grotto on Capri, I decided to build one in my basement for the cover of my second book : The Crystal Crux-Blue Grotto.

Despite all the investment in work and time, it didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted it to but that’s alright.  It still provided enough of an atmosphere to use it on the cover in a somewhat blurry, blinding blue aspect.

So here is my recorded history of the build.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE THE CRYSTAL CRUX – BLUE GROTTO

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And so it begins.

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I started with cardboard and plaster.

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One of my main concerns was how to work water into the scene.  Just painting everything blue wasn’t going to cut it.  I knew I would also have to experiment with the lighting.

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I build a cardboard shelf (which doesn’t really exist in the Blue Grotto but I needed for my story).

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I bought a blue light.  This is one of my first experiments with it.

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I had envisioned a much larger, wider shot of the grotto eventually so I started expanding the cave with wire mesh and more plaster.

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The wood column I added to the front did not actually stay there.  I moved that out.  I thought I might need it for support but didn’t.

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I drilled holes in the board because I knew I wanted light coming up from the water.

 

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I also didn’t like how the blue light was working on white plaster, so I decided to go with a silver-grey color for the interior.

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Me and my monstrosity.  Lol

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To hold the water, I used a clear paint tray.  I actually liked the ribbed pattern for effect.

 

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I started experimenting with the lighting again, even adding smoke.

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Yes, I wanted the skeletons in there but they were too prominent and I needed them to be more in the shadows.  Too much light exposed them.  If you search the final product, they are there but really shaded.

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That’s me in my magician’s robe – the one I wore to Bristol’s Renaissance Faire in 2016.  Any other Ren Faire people out there?

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And this is me in the photoshop format that was eventually placed inside the cave for the cover of the book.

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And this was the final product.

10-finished

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And then came the deconstruction – tear down the cave!

Be sure to pick up a copy of The Crystal Crux – Blue Grotto.  Read and write a review – even if you just put up the number of stars without writing a review.  Authors need those reviews!  Thanks for all your support supporters!  I look forward to writing Book Three in the series in 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

2016 to 2017

Thank you to all the supporters of The Crystal Crux series.  It has been a wonderful 2016.  My dream to be an author came true in 2016 as I self-published Betrayal in January and Blue Grotto in November.  Not sure I can write two more books in 2017 but I will, at the very least, complete book three in the series before this time next year.

I’m also working on a all-ages appropriate book combining the first two books.  I’m not going to label it YA.  It is just appropriate for all ages.  It should be titled – The First Three Days.  So watch for that in the near future.  I’m going to see if a publishing house might be interested.  Who knows – right?

Enjoy this night and see you on the other side!  2017 – Here we come.

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BETRAYAL

Learn More About Book Two

The fifty-year-old former Provost of Parthenope had been nothing short of knightly.  Francis commended the statesman for that.  It was not to be expected.  But Guidus did it.  He had battled bravely alongside the Griffin, cutting down mercenaries with impassioned strokes.

‘Poor Guidus,’ Francis thought empathetically.  ‘I’m sure he has never endured a night such as this.’  Francis felt his compassion for Guidus wane.  ‘Who has endured a night like this?  This has been the worst night of my life.’

“Damn it,” Francis softly grumbled.  He pounded his fist against his thigh again.  The palms and fingers were roped burned and stung but he didn’t care.  He wanted to feel something, anything. – EXCERPT FROM : THE CRYSTAL CRUX – BLUE GROTTO

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The Crystal Crux series is a ten day adventure through Medieval Italy.  The first book in the series, BETRAYAL, began with just that – a betrayal.  The people of Capua were stunned when military forces from their allies in Parthenope suddenly laid siege to the keep, killing nearly everyone.

Francis Whitehall, the Griffin, escaped down a privy pipe with Guidus Salvatore, the former Provost of Parthenope and the courier who brought the orders sending Pero de Alava on a suicidal quest to The Eagles Forest.

Pero, by the grace of God, survived the Pass but is injured and holed up in a sanctuary prison.  He has no idea the calamity that befell his home and friends, including his fiance, Anthea Manikos.

Meanwhile, in Parthenope, the giant Sinibaldus, the wielder of a Bellerophon Crystal, agonizing over his failure to kill Pero with his enchanted creatures.  He lies to his comrades while conspiring to complete his mission.

Dressed from head to toe in a black wool cape, Sinibaldus glided silently through the already open door into Gherardus Fabbro’s study.  The giant’s movements were so fluid, so stealthy and cloaked, the two guards posted at the door to protect the Lord Commander hardly noticed the magician come down the long hall before he was right on top of them, crossing over the threshold.  They couldn’t have warned their lord if they wanted to. – EXCERPT FROM : THE CRYSTAL CRUX – BLUE GROTTO

Book Two – Blue Grotto, takes us into Days Two and Three while exploring more background of the main characters.  It is a deep and enthralling epic fantasy tale, often dark but hopeful.  Join us on the journey.

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Happy Reading!