Category Archives: Volume 2 –

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.

bephon

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.

b and z

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!

The_Crystal_Crux__T_Cover_for_Kindle

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

The_Crystal_Crux__T_Cover_for_Kindle

Click Here to purchase the First Book – Betrayal

BETRAYAL

Click Here to purchase Book Two – Blue Grotto

img_6678

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

img_6678

0112

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.

10-finished

Be sure to purchase the new book at Amazon – Paperback and Kindle – write a review!
CLICK HERE to purchase BLUE GROTTO
Authors need reviews!
Books, both Paperback and Kindle also make great stocking stuffers for readers in your family.

Happy Reading!

Chamonix and the Alps

I’m currently busy working on Book Two of The Crystal Crux series.  Much of my time, right now, is spent researching the Alps, Mont Dolent and the village of Chamonix.  This region will be the birthplace of the albino giant, Sinibaldus.  His mother Claire suffers tragically, fueling the vengeful fires inside the magician.  But you’ll just have to wait for the next book to discover more.  Be sure to read the first book if you haven’t already and write a review on Amazon, Goodreads, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Facebook and ibooks – anywhere and everywhere!

Link to purchase ebook on Smashwords

Link to purchase paperback on Amazon

FRIDAY NIGHT FUN

Having some quiet time alone in the basement with my laptop, I worked on The Crystal Crux – Book Two, and my head is exploding.  I managed to write a little but most of what I have is research.  Research can be fun but time consuming.  Sometimes the things you want to find and learn are elusive but the rewarding part is the unexpected knowledge you gain.  Your head starts formulating ways to work this new material in without making the story weighty or sound like a text book.  You look for ways to apply these tidbits to a characters history or personality.

Tonight I was researching everything from the Byzantine Empire and its influences on Medieval Greece to bullfighting in Spain.  Yes, all of these are applicable for Book Two.  And no, I can’t concentrate on one subject very long, that’s why I have to wander and research multiple projects at the same time.

In Book Two, for those who have read Book One and are familiar with my characters, I need to add more depth to Anthea Manikos who hails from Hellas (Greece) which was part of the Byzantine Empire in 1198.

For Pero de Alava, my protagonist, I must recreate a bullfight he had at a young age.  And since I know next to nothing about bullfighting, this has been challenging.  I was even thinking to myself at one point during the night, “Going in, I know more about the Byzantine Empire than I do about bullfighting.”  It just seemed odd to me that this was true.

Anyway – if anyone knows of any links or books that could aid me on this journey of discovery concerning Medieval Greece during the Byzantine Empire or Spanish bullfighting during the Middle Ages, I would be much appreciated if you could direct those my way.

In the meantime, enjoy The Crystal Crux – Betrayal.  I’ll have Book Two of the series hopefully completed by October 2016.  That is my goal.  Peace.