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Monday, 25 August 2014

Stalking the Demon: Cover Reveal


It’s all happening – Stalking the Demon is back from first-round edits and I’ve worked through one third of those, and the cover art is all finished. 

The bad news is I can’t possibly finish all these edits in time for an end of August release as planned, so the release date will have to be pushed back to mid- to late-September (I almost wrote December – that wouldn’t have made anyone happy!). 

I am sorry – this is my fault for muddling up the first four drafts so badly so that the plot still needs smoothing to be believable. However, I won’t release a sub-standard product.

To make up for that disappointing news, here is the paperback cover art (without text) done by Lydia Kurnia and Isaiah of Worlds Beyond Art




And the ebook art - with text.


About Stalking the Demon 


Alloran lost his hand to thwart his renegade friend–but the world is still going to hell. 

Six months after Ladanyon's defeat, Gisayne is fading away from a baffling illness. Alloran is desperate for a cure, but he has a secret–the seven circles of hell are unstable. His worst fear is that the terrible mirror spell cast upon Gisayne has wrought some connection between her and the demon dimensions.

As everything Alloran loves races toward destruction, he does the unthinkable and refuses to obey the council of wizards. The only people who can help him are the two research assistants assigned by the council–but he knows he can't trust them.

All the answers are locked away in the last place anyone wants to go: hell. 

The usual Monday Morsel feature will return next Monday! 

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to check out my previous posts if you haven't already. If you're finding yourself here often, you might like to join as a member, sign up to the blog through RSS or email, or sign-up to my newsletter. Check out my July Newsletter if you missed it. 

Don't forget to share the love and spread the word on Twitter, Facebook or StumbleUpon (or other social networking site of your choice) if you know other people who might also enjoy this.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting! 

Friday, 22 August 2014

The Mace - Distinguishing Your Bludgeoning Weapons: Medieval Weaponry and Accoutrements



Flail. Mace. Morningstar. I’ve been asked what’s the difference?


Quite simply, they are all crushing weapons. The flail features one or more striking heads attached to a handle by a rope, strap or chain. Both the mace and the morningstar have the head affixed directly to the handle, and so are the two most similar of these three weapons. A mace may or may not have flanges or knobs but does not have spikes. A morningstar always has a spiked head, and most particularly, has a spike extending straight up from the top of the head. A flail may have spikes, but of course is differentiated from the morningstar by the head not being affixed to the shaft.


And now we've come full circle.


Each weapon is worth examining separately, so today we have the mace. Last month we looked at the flail, and next month we’ll examine the morningstar.

The Mace 


A mace is typically a strong metal or wooden shaft with a heavy head of stone, copper, bronze, iron or steel. The head could be smooth, although knobs and flanges were incorporated in some versions to allow the weapons to be used more effectively against wearers of plate armour. Damn knights! That said, the force of a blow from even a solid mace head without flanges or knobs was significant enough to injure a man even through plate armour.

Maces varied in length from 2 – 3 feet for infantry maces, through to the longer cavalry maces, with the longest being the two-handed maces. This was not a weapon designed to be used in close formation, and were most effectively used by heavy cavalry.

A popular belief is that clergy used maces to avoid shedding blood – evidently the inspiration for Dungeons & Dragons where clerics can only use blunt weapons, but there is little actual evidence for this practice in reality. The myth seems to be largely based on a picture of Bishop Odo of Bayeux wielding a club-like mace at the Battle of Hastings in the Bayeux Tapestry. However, other Bishops were depicted with the arms of a knight, contradicting such a theory.

Maces exist in modern society largely as ceremonial items, particularly in parliaments following the Westminster system, where they are carried in by the sergeant-of-arms (or other mace-bearer) and placed on the clerks’ table while parliament is in session. As well as being removed when the session ends, the mace is removed when a new speaker is elected to show that parliament is not ready to conduct business. 

Ceremonial maces are also used by the clergy as a symbol of jurisdiction, in parades as part of military bands, and in universities in a similar manner to parliament.

It's a Flail! A Mace! No, it's a Morningstar! Simple Chart To Work Out the Difference

 


If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to check out my previous posts if you haven't already. If you're finding yourself here often, you might like to join as a member, sign up to the blog through RSS or email, or sign-up to my newsletter. Check out my July Newsletter if you missed it.

Don't forget to share the love and spread the word on Twitter, Facebook or StumbleUpon (or other social networking site of your choice) if you know other people who might also enjoy this. 

Thanks for stopping by and visiting!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Monday Morsel: A Wizard’s Folly - An Excerpt from Stalking the Demon


 Above, visible through the glass set in the dome, the sky lit with sudden purple thunder. Could a sound be purple? And yet the entire sky flashed a deep violet as a soundless impact rocked the citadel. The floor tilted beneath their feet, spilling the councillors to the floor in a smattering of indignant shouts and yells.

Alloran grabbed at the council table for support. Another jolt of the earth beneath his feet instead smacked his head hard against the carved timber. Dazed and clutching at his forehead, another huge shaking of the ground sent him staggering across the floor towards a row of seats. He crashed into them and collapsed, clinging to the timber with his one hand. As his fingers closed around the polished length, parts of it simply ceased to exist, and his momentum carried him backwards into the marble tier. His head cracked against stone.

The room swam before his eyes, dividing into two sets of images in which sword wizards and sorceresses whirled and danced in a desperate attempt to stay on their feet. Harlden screamed somewhere in the background, the words incomprehensible through the ringing in Alloran’s ears. The constant shaking of the citadel vibrated him across the floor, and Harlden crawled on all fours.


Behind the lord wizard, a lean black shape sprang from the hell-gate. A sword wizard knelt nearby, his hands braced with flat palms against the marble floor. Before he even had time to reach for a weapon, the demon tore his throat out. Blood sprayed across the white marble.



Thanks for dropping by! Don't forget, this draft is pre-edits and as such won't be perfect. If you like what you read, and are so inclined, show your support by leaving a comment. Stalking the Demon is expected to be released late August. If you'd like to sample more of my writing, check out the free short stories available on this site.


If this is your first visit to Monday Morsels, find others in the series by clicking on the ‘Monday morsel’ tag, or go to the first installment for Stalking the Demon.

More about Stalking the Demon:


Alloran lost his hand to thwart his renegade friend–but the world is still going to hell.


Six months after Ladanyon's defeat, Gisayne is fading away from a baffling illness. Alloran is desperate for a cure, but he has a secret–the seven circles of hell are unstable. His worst fear is that the terrible mirror spell cast upon Gisayne has wrought some connection between her and the demon dimensions.


As everything Alloran loves races toward destruction, he does the unthinkable and refuses to obey the council of wizards. The only people who can help him are the two research assistants assigned by the council–but he knows he can't trust them.


All the answers are locked away in the last place anyone wants to go: hell.


If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to check out my previous posts if you haven't already. If you're finding yourself here often, you might like to join as a member, sign up to the blog through RSS or email, or sign-up to my newsletter. Check out my July Newsletter if you missed it.



Don't forget to share the love and spread the word on Twitter, Facebook or StumbleUpon (or other social networking site of your choice) if you know other people who might also enjoy this.


Thanks for stopping by and visiting!

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