Not only is this the start of a new year, it’s the start of a new decade. We’re entering the Roaring 20s. Or shall we call it something else? The Fantastical 20s. That sounds perfect to me.

Healing Stones, the 4th book in the Castle Keepers series is set to launch soon.

The story opens with Isla of Maura, McGuigan Mulryan and Lyneth camped on the outskirts of Moonsface. Isla is waiting for the other two to stop arguing when someone steals her horse. She gives chase and the action begins.

This story takes place three moons after where Revelation Stones ends. The trio spent six weeks in Maskil, healing, working and earning coins to finance their trip to Wandsworth where they’ll search for Liam Jenkins.

Moonsface is a large village on the Blue Myst River, south of Edgewood. It has taken the group more than a full moon cycle to reach it from Maskil. They still have at least two weeks of travelling before they reach Wandsworth, but the weather is mild and they are enjoying the journey.

The Land of Ath-o’Lea

Tomatoes and chamomile from my garden.

I’ve read a lot about world building in fantasy lands. Of course, there’s systems to figure out: government, social classes, transportation, money…the list goes on. But for me, one of the most vital components in creating the Land of Ath-o’Lea was where its population got its food.

There’s the usual places: shops and markets in cities, towns and villages. Like in the old west, supply shops on the trail, where travellers stopped, picked up the necessities, usually food, and carried on, are also found in my stories. I call them keeps. Depending on location and how busy it is, there may be an inn, tavern or a place to camp on site.

Given the Land of Ath-o’Lea is in an archaic setting, it’s easy to surmise many inhabitants grow their food. Those in the city may be dependent on the supply chain, but all other areas possess some form of gardening. Not only does it fit into the world, I love gardening, so it gives me a chance to talk about it.

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2019 has been an extremely busy year. It’s also been a year of many changes on the personal front. On top of all this, I feel an overwhelming desire to learn. I’m thirsty for knowledge. Most of the research I’ve done will influence my books, but some of the material was for personal development. However, if one is analysing one self, a writer can turn this into analysing a character. So perhaps all my research will influence my stories.

With winter knocking on the door and long nights allowing for extended periods of quiet time in the evening, I’m writing more.

Book 4 of the Castle Keepers series, Healing Stones, is in the editing stage. Excluding any wild catastrophes, it will be released by the end of the year.

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On Saturday June 15th between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm, I will launch the 3rd book in the Castle Keepers series, Revelation Stones, at Dartmouth Book Exchange in Cole Harbour, the community in which I spent the first 29 years of my life.

I will also have copies of Book 1: Shadows in the Stone and Book 2: Scattered Stones of the Castle Keepers series as well as Book 1 in the Mystical series, a series within a series, Beyond the Stone.

Paperback Copies

Shadows in the Stone: $20.00

Scattered Stones: $24.00

Revelation Stones: $24.00

Beyond the Myst: $20.00

Some must get lost to find themselves.

After five years in prison, Isla of Maura is rescued when mercenaries break in to the dungeon. Burdened with guilt, she flirts with death while she learns to trust her newfound companions. When she’s caught in a feud between two ancient dwarf families, she must sort truths from lies, friends from enemies. If she fails, she may kill the wrong person.

If you love stories of adventure mixed with magic and romance set in archaic landscapes, you’ll love McGyver’s Revelation Stones. Unlike many fantasy novels, family plays a central part in this story, so be prepared for the hero to have her heart strings plucked by the song of home.

Revelation Stones continues to share the tales of the characters introduced in Shadows in the Stone and takes readers on a journey across Ath-o’Lea as Isla, now a young woman, struggles to find herself and make peace with the past.

The eBook is available at Amazon.

Winter, or as they call it in the Land of Ath-o’Lea Forstig and Wintertide, is a rough time to be travelling The Trail. The group wakes up covered in snow on more than one occasion, and the wind whips into their face while they’re riding.

While writing a scene, I always have to be aware of the weather. The big question is: Is there snow on the ground? It can change everything.

For example, a scene in Revelation Stones, book 3, has Isla wearing a cape that makes her invisible. She arrives through a portal and steps outside to learn where she is. The snow complicates things:

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On Friday, I wrote the final words to the fourth book in the Castle Keepers series. Healing Stones came to 142,169 words. Obviously, it won’t stay that count; editing and revisions will change it, but not drastically. If all goes as planned, the book will be released in September 2019.

Healing Stones focusses on the remaining members of The Mercenaries after the brutal battle at the end of Revelation Stones. They set out to find Liam Jenkins, Isla’s friend from her youth, the boy who she pledged to unite with when she was only twelve years old.

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Family Christmas meal

The table with only the three youngest kids. That’s me with a fork in my mouth.

I come from a large family. Let me size it up for you. I’m kid number 10 of 11. My parents have 29 grandkids. While my mom’s family is small (she has only 4 siblings), my father’s family is immense. He has 16 siblings and almost all of them had at least 2 kids. To say I had many cousins doesn’t do it justice. We live in the same province as my dad’s family, so we visited each other often.

At my family’s peak, we had 12 people living in a small (think very small) home. Mom was an excellent cook, and everything was made from scratch. We were a boisterous bunch, and we weren’t forced to eat in silence. By the time I got into double digits, some of my older siblings were married and had kids of their own.

My siblings, their spouses and their kids came to my parents’ home for Christmas day. That meant the kitchen table was always full and we filled the living room and flowed into the hall and closets to find a place to eat when the eating time came.

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