Mimosa’s Ice on sale now

As part of the Plundered Chronicles, the Kindle Worlds novella is ready for you.                 As Captain of the pirate ship Malice, Grace O’Malley Mimosa is heir to not only the name and looks of her pirate ancestor, but to many of the same troubles in love, fortune, and with the government powers that be. The latest trouble? Mimosa’s ex lover has been kidnapped and to save her the crew of the Malice must face fanatical cultists, voyage off the map, and must find a mythical source of fresh water.

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A Cover Story

A Cover Story:

 

During this most recent project, I got to do and share in a few things, but one special thing happened. The cover got it’s own story. That’s right, there’s a story behind the cover that you get when buying the book.

The first part of the story happened a few weeks into the project. I was getting scared, no not of finishing, but of what it meant to have a manuscript finished. Especially one that needed to be edited, to have an actual cover, and formatted for publication.

So, I did what a lot of people do–I found reasonable things to procrastinate on.

  1. I tried going through a lot of my social media groups and forums looking for editors, beta readers, and just anyone to give me feedback. This was honestly a great excuse to waste time. But in the end, it would take Edison to provide the reasoning behind it being a good spending of time.
  2. I read up on cover artists, cover creation, image licensing and all that. Again, a great, I mean great way to spend more than an afternoon. So, while I got a lot of artwork that served as the background and inspiration of my work and it’s characters; very little of it was usable.
  3. Found a really great image, at least to me. Browns and grays, spots of orange and white. A ship with a tall mast sailing on the fog between planets. This one in fact:I tried to find some great fonts, but everything I found was a pay per use. And so,I posted it to a few groups. All proud and now returning to work on the manuscript.
  4. Well, actually- several of the editors I found (or had suggested to me) I submitted their requested trial lengths and began that as well. Not everyone wants to and I doubted I could afford working with the deadline I had.

Returning to the manuscript, things kept going. I got a little silly at times, like beyond cheesy, beyond cheddar or gouda.. But then some people I trust, and some I share these groups with started giving feedback on the cover.

  • It’s too dark.
  • The fonts suck.
    • I don’t get it.
    • So, what are you writing?
      • Awesome, your writing in Spelljammer!
      • So-there’s a planet in the ocean?

Wow, I was doing something wrong.

Luckily, I had just attended the 2017 Cirque du Libre (Site might be down for maintenance) and met a number of great authors, and a few awesome cover artists. One of those artists had this outstanding witchy piece of art, that completely captured this ethereal green, that evoked the exact feeling I wanted for the aura of the Atlantic in my work.

And best of all, my luck was still holding up. This awesome artist, Kyna Tek over at https://www.kyteki.com/ was available to work with me on a cover. This was the first time I’ve negotiated a price for work in a long time. But, in the end we came to something that was fair and doable.

You know what, before I got through my next chapter, Kyna actually had a few thumbnail sketches for me to look at! 
So awesome!

Here it was, the real deal. Me ! Having a cover made for my work!

It wasn’t stock photography, or CC /some other commercial release license. I was buying an artists work.

Over the next few weeks, as my manuscript was completed and I had a chance to fill in missing details or go crazy on what all I was learning about ship configurations and LTA craft (Lighter Than Air – there’s more than just the Blimp and zeppelins).  My cover took shape and color before my eyes. First thing.. had to get that green in there. As I had always planned for the pirate’s to have to travel under ice formations, the option of which thumbnail to pick had been easy.

I didn’t know that as the cover took shape, it would help shape my story. But it did, and I think that was awesome. And that, is the story of my story’s cover.

I’m going to have to (for purely personal enjoyment) get the uncropped, unlettered version printed for my wall.

 

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That was grueling

In a couple weekends I’m going to http://www.cirquedelivre.com/ and wanted to not only map the different venues, but put into my calendar when, where, and what I was doing.

That was grueling to say the lest. 3 days of hour long events. Copy paste, copy paste, save.. Didn’t think it would be difficult, and it wasn’t but still.

Listed each panel talk that I really want to go to,my two speed date with a publisher slots, and saved the address for each venue during the conference.

Cause, it’s not in just one place. it’s in like 4 (6 really) so I see a lot of walking in my future.

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A seed from forever ago.

The StormChilde watched. His family, those scared, wretched people
who brought him into this world cried, and screamed.
Though all one heard was the howl of the wind, and all one
could feel was the scorching lash of the dry storm.

As the first whips of lightening struck his tormentors outstreached
hand, the StormChilde smiled.  When the screams reached his ears,
he broke out in laughter.  Mocking, manic laughter was carried throughout
the village, turning their saviour and protector into the villiage’s
worst nightmare.

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The Dark Epic Nights of Bratislava

My Lords of the Night,

Let this serve as reminder and introduction that I am cherished and trusted by the Prince and Court of Vienna. I, Evedana Wyskos am known throughout the Princedom and should be known to you, as Harpy.

Know this, I am here between summons to observe and bestow what reputation and acknowledge what boons and deeds you may make known to me.

In fact, under our shared Traditions, you may accept it as required within your Prince’s Domain and your own Noble hospitality to house and shelter me and mine so that we may spread word of you and yours not only back to our Prince, but throughout the Night. 

Evedana Wyskos

 === The Traditions ===

The First Tradition: The Legacy

The Second Tradition: Destruction

The Third Tradition: Progeny

The Fourth Tradition: Accounting

The Fifth Tradition: Domain

The Sixth Tradition: The Silence of the Blood

============= The Place ============

Bratislava Slovakia in 1195, is held undersway by a small collection of Vampires. Up till now, these vampires have been overshadowed by the Prince in Vienna. For it has been the Prince’s might and reputation that has held the Werewolves of the Danube Basin and lower Carpathian Forest at bay.

Now, the Prince has sent his harpy in place of calling forth the city to his Court. Does it imply something to the Prince’s strength?

Either way, these nights are the nights when your stratagems, maneuverings and goals must bear fruit. For with the Harpy in town, should she learn of your triumphs – your reputation through out the land will increase. And with that, so to shall your power.

These are Epic Nights indeed…

Continue reading

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Influence Actions

Copying this here as I can never find them when I want.

 

INFLUENCE ENDEAVORS AND MODIFIERS

In addition to the actions listed on the Influence charts in the various MET source books, characters may perform the additional endeavors listed here. It is important to note that Influence can generally only affect other Influences of the same type. A character can use his Street Influence to aggress another player’s Street Influence, but he would have a hard time getting it to interact with a player’s High Society Influence successfully.

Attack

You can Attack another’s Influence with your own, provided you have previously Traced the target Influence. To Attack, you assign a number of Influence Traits, and that number becomes the level of the Attack endeavor. If the level exceeds the victim’s Influence level, the victim drops a level of her Influence at the end of the month. Traits banked for Growth are lost as well, even if they would have given the victim a new, higher level Influence at the beginning of the next month.

Block

You can use your Influence to prevent Influence endeavors from taking place for that month. Any action from the other sourcebooks may be blocked, provided that your Influence level is at least equal to the endeavor’s level on the chart. The Block’s effective level is the total number actions spent toward it. A Block will affect all attempts at the selected endeavor during that month; anyone attempting the Blocked action in the city will not succeed unless they have added enough levels of Boost to the endeavor. Multiple Blocks against the same endeavor type are not cumulative in effect. If more than one Block is put in place on the same endeavor, use only the highest level when calculating the success of those attempting the endeavor.

Boost

Boost is simply a term used to describe spending additional unneeded Influence Traits to perform an endeavor, just in case someone has put up a Block that needs to be overcome. If the Traits spent into Boost equal the level of the Block, the action is successful. The Block does not go away if one action beats it, though. It can still be effective against any additional attempts at that endeavor in that month.

Combine

Combine allows you to aid the Influence endeavor of another character. No action on the MET sourcebook charts can be attempted by a character who doesn’t have the required Influence level according to that chart. For every two Traits that you spend on Combine, the character you are helping gains one action to use toward his endeavor. Influence borrowed through the Allies and Mentor Backgrounds are also subject to this rule. A character can spend no more than 20 Traits toward a single endeavor in any given month, including all actions spent for modifications such as Combine.

Conceal

Conceal can be used to hide your Influence from uses of Trace. The number of actions spent toward Conceal generates that month’s Conceal level, which you pit against attempts to Trace it.

Defend

You use the Defend endeavor when you fear that someone is going to Attack your Influence. To employ this special endeavor, assign a number of Traits as the level of the defense. The level of any Attacks directed at that Influence must exceed the Defend level plus the level of your Influence in order to be successful.

Follow

If you want to keep an eye on what someone is doing with his Influence, you can attempt to Follow them with your own. Follow is similar to Watch, except that it only keeps a lookout for actions performed by a single Influence. To Follow someone’s Influence, you must have a successful Trace on it already. To use Follow, assign a number of Traits to establish the level of the endeavor. The Follow endeavor will reveal all activities performed by the targeted Influence, less any activities hidden with an equal or higher level of Stealth.

Growth

To raise one of your Influences to the next level, you must spend a number of Traits equal to three times your current level. In general, you can gain a new level in an Influence once every three months, provided you are using your Influence for nothing else. Unlike other endeavors, Traits spent for Growth can be banked from month to month. When you bank Traits thus, they accumulate until you reach the number required for an increase. If you meet the number of Traits required to increase to the next level, the Influence level improves by one at the end of the month.

Stealth

Stealth is added to endeavors to counter the use of Follow and Watch. If the number of Traits spent to add Stealth to an endeavor equals or exceeds the level of the Follow or Watch, the endeavor is remains undetected. Stealth can be applied to any of the actions on the charts, as well as to Attack, Block, Follow, Growth or Watch.

Trace

You can use this endeavor to establish the identity of a character whose Influence you have come into contact with. You cannot simply guess that a character has an Influence in a particular category and then attempt to Trace it. You must first have come into contact with it in one of the several ways. This can be accomplished by suffering an Attack from the target’s Influence, by noticing one of the target’s endeavors with the use of Watch, by stopping one of the target’s endeavors with a Block, or by having one your own endeavors stopped by the target’s use of Block. Additionally, if someone ever loans you Influence Traits with Combine, you can Trace them. Finally, if the target ever tells you in great detail about his Influence (i.e., agrees to let you Trace it), you can perform the Trace. The total actions spent on the Trace define its level. If the level of this Trace exceeds the highest level of Conceal or Stealth put up to guard the Influence that month, the Trace is successful. Success tells you the Influence owner’s identity, and whether their Influence level is higher than your own or not. It also gives you a general description of the Influence and the ability to spend Traits to Attack it.

Watch

You use Watch when you want to notice a certain Influence action in a city from the chart listed in the sourcebooks. Your Influence must be of sufficient level to perform that action before you can Watch it. A Watch will let you know when and how often the action is attempted in the city for that month, and you will even discover uses of the action that occurred earlier in the same month before the Watch was instituted. The total number of Traits spent on the Watch define its level. You can also use Watch to look for the following endeavors: Attack, Block, Follow (only those targeted at you), Growth and Watch.

Attack, Follow, Growth, Trace and Watch endeavors should only be resolved at the end of the month. This limit gives everyone a chance to put up levels of Conceal, Defense and Watch, and it lets the Storyteller take everyone’s Influence actions into account so that he can produce better descriptive results of each person’s endeavors.

 

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Playing with Other people’s Characters

Yes, none of these characters are mine. Yes, if the author’s want I will pull this post down. But I hope they realize this is all just in fun.

So with that, three recent characters from R.J. Blain, Trillian Anderson, and Jason LaVelle all done in Evil Hat’s Fate Accelerated format

Karma

High Concept “My Badge is about protecting those that cannot”

Trouble “Getting the Sin beat out of you”

Approaches

Careful  [x] [] [] [] [] Clever  [x] [x] [] [] []  Flashy  [x] [x] [] [] []

Forceful  [x] [] [] [] []  Quick  [x] [x] [x] [] []  Sneaky  [] [] [] [] []

Stunts: “When stress would take me out, I may turn into a fox and run instead”

“I’m good with a gun, better with my fists and feet, if disarmed I can use martial arts at +2”

 

 

 

 

Kenneth Smith

High Concept “I’m out for myself in this world”

Trouble “I am the word in my world”

Approaches

Careful  [x] [x] [] [] [] Clever  [x] [] [] [] []  Flashy  [x] [] [] [] []

Forceful  [x] [x] [x] [] []  Quick  [] [] [] [] []  Sneaky  [x] [x] [] [] []

Stunts: “In my domain, my voice carries, once per scene inflicting stress at +1”

 

 

 

Kala

High Concept “Brains over Brawn over Beauty over the plague”

Trouble: “I’m just a high schooler.”

Approaches

Careful  [x] [x] [x] [] [] Clever  [x] [x] [] [] []  Flashy  [x] [] [] [] []

Forceful  [x] [] [] [] []  Quick  [x] [x] [] [] []  Sneaky  [] [] [] [] []

Stunts: “I know Daddy’s Guns and can use them at +2″ ”

I am normally level headed and if prepared can figure a way to stay safe at +1″

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Hello World, or should it be First Post?

Because technically it’s neither. What this is, is the first time I’m posting and having it linked into my new FB author page.

https://www.facebook.com/author.Mike.St/

How’s that for circular?

 

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A little bit of news

About the site.

I’m liking it, Really liking it. I’m using a lot of CC art when I can. But a lot of things, the sunset pictures, the sun rise pics.. those are all mine and I’m enjoying the color theme they give the site.

About new books

I’ve picked up a few freebies, and been generously given a few more to read and review. So looking forward to that. Two authors I’ve grown to like and respect, and two that I’ve never read before.

About my time

I’ve offered a few local schools to go in and talk about online safety and cyber bullying. I’m also offering to talk about getting into cyber security careers. Some of the groups I’m in may also be working with an upcoming SciTech EXPO for local public schools. So, I’m thinking it’s going to be awesome times ahead. And to those author friends of mine that have asked about me writing the next cyber YA series.. It’s in the works.

 

 

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Realized I hadn’t posted some reviews.

Colby For President !!!

This time, the sequel is the better. And luckily Colby is not like wine, it doesn’t get better with age.. but even Colby is better this time around. Alexa’s in trouble, the US is in trouble yet somehow, even with the darkness and stark — this book was like the first: I couldn’t help but laugh at the antics of the Dae, the frustrations and mechanizations Alexa uses to get out of these just so fun times.

 

 A demon using iphone…

Tom must be a gamer. That’s all I kept thinking when I wasn’t in awe of the transformation of Phoenix into Malikai’s Phoenix.This is dark, violent, supernatural gamer crack at it’s finest. A hero demon, the every-man father, a flaming sword and a hatred for vampire tropes! Awesome work. If there was one tiny bit in the back of my mind that would pause in recommending this story .. it starts slow. Malikai isn’t the easiest to get to know as far as literature’s anti-heroes, and that I feel affects the initial pacing, the initial hook of the book.

 

 A true stand alone, that stands on it’s own.

Blain has done it again. Taken an idea and twisted, turned and produced a read that is well worth the time, but I doubt you’ll notice the time flying by as you cheer, jeer, and sometimes laugh at and with Matilda and Ryan. A stand alone book, and it’s a true stand alone. You don’t need the rest of the Witch & Wolf series to enjoy it, and I didn’t pick up on any in-the-know jokes that often times mar such stand alone works. That being said, if this is your introduction to the Witch & Wolf world.. Go and get the others, if you liked this, you’ll thank yourself you did.

 

 Heroism and Horror beyond the 8 legged terrors.

If your looking for a down right creepy, instinctual terror than look no further than Pathosis. LaVelle’s grasp of arachnid movements and abilities is something sure to keep those with a fear of spiders sweeping even the lightest dust fall away from them. Yet, beyond the spiders is the heroic tale of a pretty well rounded daddy’s girl stepping up and becoming a powerful protector, someone who’s surviving the apocalypse around her.

Another note, if anyone loves a technically detailed yarn, this is for them. LaVelle takes great pains to give the reader every nuance, every detail as if the reader where actually there and well.. what you remember from the scene afterwards is probably what you would have remembered if you were there. And that’s a great storyteller.

 

Gotta remember to publish these when I get stories done. I really appreciate any time a story does that thing where I’m transported elsewhere for a while. One of the ways to give back to such authors.. tell others about them, and write reviews.

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