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I’ve played cards all my life, first as a child playing simple games like Go Fish, then as a teen playing Rummy and Poker. I’ve taught my kids a few games, Playing Cardsbut they aren’t the player I used to be. We didn’t have electronic equipment to occupy our minds when I was a kid, so if we were inside and wanted entertainment, cards or a board game was it.

Cards fit easily into a back pocket, so they travelled everywhere with us: to school, the playground, the camp, the woods. Everyone knew how to play at least one game, and most of my family and friends could play a dozen.

The characters in my epic fantasy series are often travelling. The most mobile entertainment for them is a deck of cards. Cards didn’t appear in my first two books, but they did in the third. With four teens gathered around the fire in book 4, Healing Stones, there’s going to be more card playing because it feels natural.

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In the Land of Ath-o’Lea, there are six seasons that make up one succession. In general, the seasons correspond to the northern hemisphere months as such: Wintertide (January/February), Spring of Leaf (March/April), Springan (May/June), Sumortide (July/August), Harvest (September/October) and Forstig (November/December).

The longest day of the year is called Sumortide Solstice. The shortest day of the year is Wintertide Solstice.

winter

Wintertide in the Land of Ath-o’Lea

That’s right; it’s my birthday today, and to celebrate, I made all three of my Castle Keepers Tale stories available for FREE.

The Castle Keepers Tale series is short stories involving a character from the main books of the Castle Keepers series. They are stand-alone stories that took place before Shadows in the Stone and provide back story for these characters, revealing the pain or tragedy that set them on their course in life. Through these stories, readers can better understand the characters and appreciate a little more of why they act as they do. We are all products of our past and pivotal events shape us into who we are.

To date, I have stories for Catriona Wheatcroft, Bronwyn Darrow and Alaura of Niamh. Pick up the eBook today – the only day of the sale.

Catriona Wheatcroft

Destiny Governed their LDestiny Governed their Livesives

Catriona Wheatcroft is a young, ambitious apprentice who aspires to be an impressive sorceress.

When she discovers a scroll for a powerful spell, she hopes to prove to her teacher she is ready to take advanced lessons. The spell is cast, and the unexpected brings tragedy to her life.

 

Bronwyn Darrow

Blade of Truth book coverBlade of Truth

Youth and innocence still reside in Bronwyn. When he attends a celebration with the girl he admires most, he’s elated but extremely nervous.

He hopes the night will be one they’ll never forget. Instead, he should have hoped for one easily forgotten.

 

Alaura of Niamh

The Pledge short storyThe Pledge

Alaura doesn’t want to grow up too fast. She’d rather seek adventures and dream of all the places she might travel. When she arrives home one evening and learns her future is in someone else’s hands, her desperation takes her down a deadly path.

Blogging is a way to connect with readers; it’s a way to share information about the worlds in my stories and the occasional side trail I take in my writing. I’m often struck with an idea or a scene or an item I wish to explore further. Through this blog, I’ll share these with you.

I love visiting museums and old places and trying to figure out how life was like back then. Oftentimes, life back then is life in traditional fantasy. This means an author needs to know what a blacksmith does and the name of his tools. They might need to know how to make soap or why their character shouldn’t use matches to light a fire.

Sometimes I become fascinated by what if and ramble into the shadows to explore. What if the power went out…for ever? How would people adapt? What if it didn’t rain for a year? Who would survive? What if the oldest tree could talk? What could it tell us about history?

I hope you enjoy the snippets I post, and I hope they enrich your stories as they have mine.

Welcome aboard.

Diane Lynn McGyver