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September 2nd, 2014

03:15 pm: One Bright Star to Guide Them!

This is my favorite story by John. 

This version is new and improved. On sale at Amazon

One Bright Star

Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

September 1st, 2014

04:05 pm: Meet The Character!

Welcome to the Meet the Character Blog Tour!

First, thank you to author Laura Ann Hill for inviting me to participate. If you have a moment, please check out her post about her character, Juanita Elise Jame-Navarro, here.

Here goes:

1.) What is the name of your character? 

Lady Rachel Jade Griffin

2.) Is he/she fictional or a historic person? 

Rachel is a little sorceress from Gryphon-on-Avon in Devon, England who attends Roanoke Academy for the Sorcerous Art.

3.) When and where is the story set? 

The story is set in 2023, though this is never mentioned in the books.

It takes place in an alternate world that is much like ours, except there are is a secret magical world called the World of the Wise. Also, there is no knowledge of Jews, Christians, or Muslims–but there are signs that suggest such things once existed, such as statues of angels and mysterious words like friars and steeple.

It takes place on Roanoke Island, which is located where we Unwary see Pollepel Island, in the middle of the Hudson River, just north of Storm King Mountain, in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York.

4.) What should we know about him/her? 

Rachel is thirteen. She is extremely short for her age. Everyone else at school is older and taller.

Her mother is part-Korean. Rachel has her mother’s Asian features, though some of her siblings look more like their British father. Her father is the Duke of Devon, so Rachel is a lady, though titles are not used at school.

Rachel has also inherited her mother’s perfect memory. She can instantly recall anything she has ever seen or read. This is quite useful in itself, but it also has the unusual ability of allowing her to recall hidden supernatural creatures that she cannot see with her eyes—including a mysterious Raven who is said to bean omen of the Doom of Worlds.

Rachel is a superb flyer. She flies a steeplechaser, a very complicated model of bristeless broom. She is, however, only a middling sorcerer, her magical abilities being additionally handicapped by her dislike of practicing her flute, which is necessary to play enchantments.

She does have a handful of spells she has practiced at length, which she is reasonably good at, but she is often being show up by her best friends the orphan boy Sigfried the Demon Slayer and Nastasia Romanov, Princess of Magical Australia, who are the best sorcerers in the freshman class.

Rachel is eager to make friends but is awkward in social situations, making the process difficult.

5.) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life? 

Before coming to Roanoke Academy, Rachel Griffin had been an obedient girl—but its hard to obey the rules when the world is in danger, and no one will listen.

Now, she’s eavesdropping on Wisecraft Agents and breaking rules. Because if the adults will not believe her, then it is up to Rachel and her friends—crazy, orphan-boy Sigfried the Dragonslayer and Nastasia, the Princess of Magical Australia—to stop the insidious Mortimer Egg from destroying the world.

But first she must survive truth spells, fights with her brother, detention, Alchemy experiments, talking to elves, and conjuring class. Oh, and the Raven with blood-red eyes.

As if that were not bad enough, someone has turned the boy she likes into a sheep.

6.) What is the personal goal of the character? 

Rachel wants desperately to keep her loved ones safe.

She also suffers from wanderlust. She wants to stand upon high peaks and catch glimpses of distant sapphire waves. She wants to drink from “yet untasted wells.” She wants to met fairy creatures she had read about in books. She wants to kick sand on the beaches of Neverland, to pick a ripe volume from the book trees of Oz, to drink the Mad Hatter’s tea in Wonderland.

Rachel Griffin wants to know everything. But everything is a big subject, and even she has to occasionally admit that some things are more interesting than others. What she wants, most of all, is to know everything secret, everything new, everything unseen by eyes other than hers.

7.) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it? 

The first two books of Unexpected Enlightenment are done.

The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin is available:

The Raven, The Elf, and Rachel will be available in October.

I am currently hard at work on the third book: Rachel and the Technicolored Dreamland.



Next week, Monday, September 8th, the MEET THE CHARACTER BLOG TOUR continues with these fabulous authors:

Sondra Allan Carr:

Tee Morris -or-


Sarah Hoyt: 


Here's a little bit more about next week's authors:

Misty Massey is the author of Mad Kestrel (Tor), a rollicking fantasy adventure of magic on the high seas, and the upcoming Kindle ebook Kestrel’s Voyages. Misty is one of the featured writers on Magical Words ( When she’s not writing, she studies Middle Eastern dance and performs with Mythos Tribal and Chimera. You can see more of what Misty’s up to at her website, or find her on Facebook and Twitter.


Sondra Allan Carr ( lives in the Bluegrass state of Kentucky with her husband of more than four decades. A confessed word nerd who reads the dictionary for fun, she has “want to read all of Shakespeare” at the top of her bucket list. She is also a huge fan of The Walking Dead (especially Daryl!) and hopes one day to make the pilgrimage to Atlanta to see where the series was filmed.

Sondra writes fiction that is a blend of fantasy and romance. Her first novel, A Bed of Thorns and Roses, is a Beauty and the Beast-themed historical romance set during America’s Gilded Age. Readers have called it “a page-turner,” “very moving,” and “one of the best romantic stories I have ever read.”

She is currently writing an adult (18 and over) fantasy series, The World of Pangaea, a projected five-volume family saga set in an alternate pre-history. Book One, The Beast, introduced the troubled patriarch of the family. The soon-to-be-released second book in the series, The Savage, tells his eldest daughter’s story.

Sign up for Sondra’s newsletter to get your free copy of The King’s Man, the short story prequel to The Savage. Just click on the link to her website, or go to her Facebook page here, to sign up. Subscribers will get the latest news about the series plus bonus materials and notice of upcoming sales, giveaways, and contests.

Sondra loves to hear from readers. You can connect with her online at: 



Twitter:         @SondraCarr


Tee Morris has been writing for over a decade from science fiction to fantasy to horror. His first novel, MOREVI: The Chronicles of Rafe & Askana, was a nominee for the 2003 EPPIE for Best Fantasy, but in 2005 the book became the first novel to be podcast in its entirety, ushering in a new age for authors — podcasting. He went on to write several books on social media initiatives and tour around the world with a variety of seminars and workshops covering blogging, podcasting, and social networking.

 In 2011, Tee returned to fiction with Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel, written with his wife, Pip Ballantine. The title went on to win the Airship Award for Best Steampunk Literature and become a finalist for Goodreads' Choice Awards for Best Science Fiction of 2011. 2012 saw the release of the sequel, The Janus Affair, also a finalist for Goodreads' Choice Awards for Best Science Fiction of 2012. While celebrating the release of Dawn’s Early Light, Tee and Pip continue producing Tales from the Archives, an award-winning podcast anthology featuring short stories set in their steampunk universe.


Sarah A. Hoyt was born in Portugal and like Miss Marple she was born in a village, which means she knows about everything about drama and human wickedness.    At 18 she became an exchange student to Stow Ohio where she fell in love with the boy down the street. Since the course of true love never does make any sense, it took them four years to realize they belonged together.  They now live in Colorado, where Sarah writes too much and has been instructed by her husband to warn people that no genre is safe from her.  Her most recent traditionally published book is Noah's Boy; her most recent (and first) indie work is Witchfinder.  She's hard at work on sequels for both, but must finish the sequels to her award winning space opera series Darkships, first.  She would like to promise that she'll never write man's adventure, but her husband is reading over her shoulder and laughing. She blogs at  



Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

August 28th, 2014

11:29 am: Cool Speech

“But little Peter, he started to havin' ideas.

There's how to steal a diamond brooch without spillin' blood.

Here's how to take a ring and leave the finger.

But, you see, Beverly Penn…in my line…it's the ripples that give the work meaning. Ideas…They can do more good than harm.

And that would be the opposite of the plan.”

Pearly Soames, Winter's Tale (movie)

pearly and Beverly

Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

08:09 am: Coming soon: The Raven, The Elf, and Rachel!

! The Raven- the Elf- and Rachel finish

Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

August 26th, 2014

10:25 am: Signal Boost Tuesday — New Kickstarter for Danielle Ackley-McPhail’s Kara O’Keefe
Award-winning author Danielle Ackley-McPhail has started her first Kickstarter for a project entitled Eternal Wanderings: The Continuing Journey of Kara O'Keefe. A spin-off series to her popular Eternal Cycle trilogy of Irish-themed urban fantasy novels, Eternal Wanderings follows Kara's adventures after she saves humanity from ultimate evil, discovering in the process that she bears the soul of a goddess.
Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

August 13th, 2014

04:18 pm: Part Three: Speaking With the Opposition

Final repost:

In light of the contentious political subjects among us today, I thought it might be helpful to someone if I shared a few thoughts on what to do if you want to talk about the issues and you would prefer a discussion instead of an argument.


Typical portrait of a member of the opposite party (from you) discussing politics.

The key is to remember this one, hard-bought secret: He is not the opposite of you.

Here is what I mean:

Liberals and Conservatives today are both people of great character. Many of them hold convictions requiring tremendous nobility and courage–convictions for which they would willingly die.

But their convictions are not the opposite of each other. In fact, they are seldom related at all.



Conservatives are often for it. Liberals are usually against it. Why is that? Is one good and the other evil?

Conservatives think war is necessary because real bad guys won’t be stopped by nice words, no matter how much we wish they would. However, they also think war is evil and scary. Yet, they are so loyal to the ideals they believe in that they are willing to summon the courage to face this terrible fate. They will go forward because they are brave enough to do so…out of love for that which needs defending.

So, obviously, anyone who does not agree with them must be a coward. Therefore, all Liberals are cowards. Brave men hate cowardice. Therefore, it is very, very difficult not to hate the Liberals.

Liberals look around and they see that war solves nothing. All that fighting, all that killing, all that waste. The net gain is never worth the price. They see this so clearly. Anyone with even a little intelligence could not miss it.

So, obviously, anyone who does not agree with them must be stupid. Therefore, all Conservatives are stupid. Intelligent men despise stupidity…especially the deliberate kind in people who should know better. Therefore, it is very, very difficult not to hate the Conservative.

Health Care.

Conservatives worry about men’s freedom and the logistics of the drawbacks of socialized medicine.

Liberals care about compassion and helping the little guy who is suffering.

The Conservatives are often compassionate, not selfish like Liberals assume. They are willing to die for to protect the freedom of men they will never know.

Liberals often care about freedom. They think the freedom to live is necessary to be able to enjoy the other freedoms. They want to defend this freedom.

If a Conservative wants to convince a Liberal, he has to start by establishing that lack of compassion is not what motivates him. It is because he does feel compassion for his fellow man that he does not want a program that will make things worse for those fellows, not better.

If a Liberal wants to convince a Conservative, he has to start by establishing that he does know how the system works and the many disadvantages of socialized medicine—everything has drawbacks. So, one might as well make oneself familiar with them. He has to make it clear that he understands that some of the good things we have now will go away. And then explain why he believes that the overall gain will be greater than the loss, why those drawbacks are worth the price.

Gay Marriage.

Liberals care about tolerance and fairness. Conservatives care about morality and decency. Many Liberals think those terms don’t mean anything…but if they want to convince Conservatives, they need to understand what they do mean and discuss why gay marriage does or does not offend those concepts.

Conservatives, on the other hand, need to discuss the matter in terms of fairness and toleration and explain how those concepts do or do not figure in to the subject.


Basically, what this comes down to is: If you want to have a real discussion with the other guy, you have to find out what he thinks. Arguing in favor of what you think will only produce a knee jerk reaction from him—because he’s never going to hear what you are really saying.

If you want to convince the opposition, start by finding out what members of their group say on your side. (A pro-gay marriage Conservative or an anti-Obamacare Liberal) Both sides have discussions among themselves, members who don’t agree with the majority. They often have arguments that are couched in the terms that apply to the convictions of their party.

If you argue along these lines, you will be able to hold a civil conversation, even if you do not convince anybody.
And you will come closer to having sympathy for your fellow man, even if he does not convince you.

Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

August 7th, 2014

11:25 am: Part Two: Seeing With Eyes Unclouded By Hate

Again, reposting for technical reasons:

Here is the promised conclusion to: The Ones Who Walk Away From Washington.


At the end of part one, you may recall, I decided to withdraw from politics, to no longer throw my weight with one side, argue the issues, etc. 

Once I did this, a funny thing happened…

Some (or all) of you may be familiar with the movie Princess Mononoke, from the fabulous Japanese animator Miyazaki. In it, a young man is sent by his tribe to observe a struggle between humans and nature (represented in the movie by huge beast-gods who inhabited the forest the humans need to cut down if they are to mine the iron ore they need to survive.) The young man, Ashitaka, is told to go and observe the struggle “with eyes unclouded by  hate.”  To look and see the needs and shortcomings of both sides without prejudice. 

Well, this is what began to happen to me.

Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

August 6th, 2014

10:52 am: The Mystery of the Doorknob

So…we have this doorknob–leading into the boys' bedroom–that hasn't worked for years. I've replaced it three times. The new ones didn't work either.

I finally replaced it one more time…just the middle part that didn't work, but I couldn't get it back together. I left it kind of half on.

I walked by a day or so ago and found that the Cherubim had taken it apart. He was kneeling in front of it and looking at it. He had only one half of the knob in.

Last night, I went to open the door…and it was fixed. The doorknob worked perfectly. The screws were properly tightened all the way in.

I checked with John, the princess, my mom, and Juss. None of them had fixed it. Orville is at camp. No one else has spent any time in the house in the last two days…unless either someone came over and didn't tell me, or the cats did it. (Or the dog we are dog-sitting, but I don't think she went upstairs…much less fixed a doorknob.)

So that suggests….that the Cherubim did it himself…




Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

10:38 am: Overheard at the Wright Household

Overheard at the Wright Household:

Definitions by Juss:

Immortals — death-impaired

Juss — pancake-impaired 
Juss, singing, "And an unemployed jester is nobody's cat!"
Juss, doing his cat impersonation voice: "But an employed jester is nobody's cat either."
Juss: "Oh, good point."

Juss: "How did I get here?"


Me: "You were born."
Juss: "But Dad said that he made me in a vat in the basement."

Juss: "Mom, I think I've been replaced by an alien."


Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

August 4th, 2014

08:33 am: Caption This!

(Note: Last week's winner will be posted, but there were so many good captions, we haven't agreed on a winner yet.)




Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

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