Monday, June 16, 2014

Guest Post: Medievalist and Author William Hahn and Games of Chance

Huzzah! I'm honored to have fellow medievalist William Hahn on my blog today to discuss one of his main characters in his new release, Judgement's Tale I: Games of Chance. Prince Gareth may well come to be one of my favorite characters in the series, as he already has bonus points for a namesake in one of the Knights of the Round Table! I am so impressed with the detail and scope that Will has created in his world The Lands of Hope, and I'm positive you will be too.
Make sure you check out the link to the Gareth excerpt below. Will is a regular blogger on the Independent Bookworm, and his creativity and witty personality make his posts a blast to read. Also check out the book trailer and Will's Smashwords, Amazon, and Barnes and Nobles links. And don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!

I’m delighted at the chance to address Lori’s audience on a theme that I think rings well with the tone of her writing. I also studied the Middle Ages in school and came to love the period. Sure enough, in my upcoming novel Judgement’s Tale there is a predominantly medieval culture and technology, with some variations. In the excerpt I’m linking to here, the reader gets a first glimpse of a very Arthurian-style kingdom named Shilar, and the major character of Prince Gareth.

Shilar is named for one of the heroes of the elder days of The Lands of Hope, and the nation is situated the furthest east of the kingdoms (see the map), closest to the last place where the armies of Despair threatened the Lands nearly two thousand years ago. Taking up the challenge to keep watch over the mountains known as the Swords of Stone and guard against the return of evil, the knights of Shilar prize their honor and duties very seriously, with a rather complex code of chivalry closely resembling those which evolved here in the Alleged Real World.

All well and good, but it’s been twenty centuries since there was anything for these brave fellows to actually do. And just as they say in Community Theater, “the passions run so high because the stakes are so small”. The closest thing to an enemy the knights of Shilar have is the nomadic tribe of Bordbeyonds that live even further east of their kingdom, across the great River Sweeping and practically in the shadow of the Swords of Stone. These half-elves too have sworn to keep watch, but are not nearly as advanced or settled as the humans in Shilar.

With that backdrop we see in this excerpt the first public appearance of the character Gareth, and I hope you enjoy it. Judgement’s Tale Part One: Games of Chance will be available July 4th 2014.

As we say in The Lands, Ar Aralte! (Hope Forever)


Link to the Gareth Excerpt


Judgement’s Tale Part One: Games of Chance

For twenty centuries the Lands of Hope prospered from their Heroes’ peace, but suffer now from their absence as a curse thickens over the central kingdom known as the Percentalion. An immortal omniscient conspirator schemes to escape the extra-worldly prison restraining his tide of undeath, using a demonic ally in a plot to bring back hell on earth. Solemn Judgement steps onto these Lands both a stranger and an orphan, driven to complete the lore his father died to give him.

In a world beset with increasing chaos, the bravest Children of Hope must take mortal risks. A young woodsman’s spear-cast, a desperate bid to save his comrades; the Healers Guildmistress’ cheery smile, hiding a grim secret and a heavy burden of guilt; the prince of Shilar’s speech in a foreign tongue, a gambit to avoid bloodshed or even war. As a new generation of heroes, scattered across the kingdoms, bets their lives and more, Solemn Judgement- soon to be known as The Man in Grey- must learn to play… Games of Chance: Part One of Judgement’s Tale

Wm. L. Hahn Bio
*Hmm, what happened to the picture with all the medieval weaponry, Will?
Didn't want to scare 'em too soon?*
Will Hahn has been in love with heroic tales since age four, when his father read him the Lays of Ancient Rome and the Tales of King Arthur. He taught Ancient-Medieval History for years, but the line between this world and others has always been thin; the far reaches of fantasy, like the distant past, still bring him face to face with people like us, who have choices to make.
Will didn't always make the right choices when he was young. Any stick or vaguely-sticklike object became a sword in his hands, to the great dismay of his five sisters. Everyone survived, in part by virtue of a rule forbidding him from handling umbrellas, ski poles, curtain rods and more.
Will has written about the Lands of Hope since his college days (which by now are also part of ancient history). With the publication of Judgement’s Tale Part One, Games of Chance, he begins at last to tell the tale of the Land’s most unique hero, The Man in Grey.
Will Hahn is the chronicler of the Lands of Hope tales.
The Plane of Dreams- See the trailer!
The Ring and the FlagTry the Audio Book at Scribl!
Fencing Reputation-

Will's Blog Thoughts- Including tales of a happy childhood (which continues), hopes for a writer's journey, and analysis of Classics You've Never Read
Rafflecopter of the Lands Contest
Enter to win free Tales of Hope here!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Calling All Readers to Battle! COVER WARS! Join the Dragon Army!

Everyone wants a dragon on their side, right? What better way to win a battle, find treasure, or ensure a dashing knight falls in love with you, as Sir Gwydion fell for Rhiannon in The Dragon's Message? Dragons bring magic and majesty to a fantasy world. I've never grown tired of them, for each author breathes fiery (or icy, or electric) life into their own unique creatures.

One of my all-time favorite series, the one that I lived and breathed in high school, was the Dragonlance books.

 It sparked my love of dragons, and I'll never forget the scene in Dragons of Winter Night when the companions come upon this in Ice Wall Castle while they are searching for a magical Dragon Orb:

"It was during their search that they came upon a startling sight - a huge dragon, over forty feet long, its skin a shimmering silver, completely encased in a wall of ice. The dragon's wings were spread, poised for flight. The dragon's expression was fierce, but the head was noble, and he did not inspire them with the fear and loathing they remembered experiencing around the red dragons. Instead, they felt a great, overwhelming sorrow for this magnificent creature." 

A knight's corpse is sitting atop the dragon, holding a broken lance. One of the elves magically melts the ice and tries to pry the lance from the frozen rider, but it will not release. But when Sturm Brightblade, who lives by the knightly code, takes the lance, it seems as if the corpse relaxes and gives it to him. This, of course, is a remnant of the fabled dragonlance, and finding it will eventually turn the tide of the upcoming battles against the evil Dragon Highlords.

So you can see how dragons have always called to me. When I wanted to publish The Dragon's Message, I knew I needed a cover that portrayed the magic and majesty of these fantastical creatures. I turned to the extremely talented Najla Qamber Designs to put the vibrancy and power of my dragons and their medieval world into pictures...

Behold! Rhiannon, the Dragon Tome, Caer Idris, and one of her dragons with its ember breath.
 I think Najla nailed it, don't you?
Now, Rhiannon and Sir Gwydion are calling all their liege readers to battle! The Dragon's Message is entered into The Masquerade Crew's June COVER WARS! It's a contest for readers' favorite covers, and I must say there are some great covers this month. But I think with the support of her readers and dragons, Rhiannon has an excellent chance at winning! If you like The Dragon's Message cover and love dragons, then check out the link below and support your local dragons by voting for THE DRAGON'S MESSAGE.
And after you vote, head on over to my Author Facebook Page (you can like it here: White Raven Writing) and find The Dragon Army post. In the comments tell me you voted and you will be entered to win something dragon-ish (to be revealed...I have "crafty" connections) at the end of June.
You can also tweet this blog post and tag me in it @MedievalLit for an entry as well.
Each time you vote and tell me on Facebook or tweet about it (make sure you tag me) will be another entry! You can vote and enter my giveaway EVERY DAY! More chances for you AND the cover to win! Huzzah!
And Rhiannon and Sir Gwydion promise an epic medieval celebration
 if The Dragon's Message WINS the COVER WARS!'
Knights and Dragons (and READERS) to the Battlefield!

*All Images from Pinterest. If an image is yours and you do not want it to be used, contact me and I will take it down.*