A Seahag’s Song is a historical fantasy written by independent author Sara Flower Kjeldsen. This short story follows a sea hag, a woman cursed to haunt the ocean depths. A creature who is focused on a young maiden pushing the boundaries of her society.
This character-driven tale involves many themes and forces the reader to ask. What is beauty? How much is our world view tainted by our experiences? Have we been corrupted by how we view ourselves? Would we want to forget all our woes? If so, at what cost?
Kjeldsen breathes life to these characters as the story reaches a surprising end. While you may be initially reviled by this cursed woman, you’ll soon fall under her spell.
Plans have a tendency to fall off the rails, and in this case, fail spectacularly. After getting knocked out during an escape attempt, he wakes up in a peasant’s home. Soon after, he meets a woman and the life that could not be farther removed from his.
What follows is a tale of discovery, introducing this prince the harshness of life and eventually puts him in a situation to choose the life they would rather live. Ultimately, The Peasant Woman is a fast read that delivers a satisfying conclusion.
Love has often been portrayed as a powerful force, capable of creating unimaginable beauty, or able to change the course of history itself. When dealing with such power, one may wonder if love could even transcend death. Could a pair of starstruck lovers be reunited in another life? What about the mechanics? Would there be strings attached? The Inevitable Fate of E & J by Johanna L. Randle aims to address these questions.
This book is presented in first person form and is focused on two teenaged characters. There is a complex history between the two, nuanced by a tragedy that occurred outside of their control and a friendship that appeared to be destined to be unbreakable. Neither character is perfect. They are forced to deal with their insecurities, their place in the social strata, and the tempest of emotions many experience while going through high school. It is these flaws that make the characters seem… so human… so real.
This book is a quick read, with chapters that split the story into bite-sized pieces for those of us who cannot dedicate large blocks of time to reading. Changes in point of view are clearly indicated at the start of a chapter enabling a reader to follow along with ease. There is also an historical component to this story which is woven beautifully into the chapters themselves in the form of dreams, flashbacks, and hallucinations.
Johanna has done a beautiful job of bringing this story to life. This character driven tale is sure to please, and will leave you yearning for more as you wait for the next book of the series!
Wow! According to Amazon.com, the Van Helsing Paradox is currently ranked 1209th for free books in the Kindle store. It’s also listed at number 25 for Paranormal and number 41 for Urban Fantasy! While I don’t expect that to last, still it’s nice to see.
Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,209 Free in Kindle Store
#25 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Paranormal
#41 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Urban
Even things that go bump in the night need a place to unwind
The Grand is officially out and available on multiple platforms, formats and even in print! From Amazon to Smashwords the eBook is freely available for your delight. So time to celebrate? At least get to enjoy the doughnut!
Now for a little something about the Grand.
Nestled atop a cliff overlooking a cursed valley and surrounded by foreboding mountains you will find The Grand. At this ritzy French palatial-style hotel where things tend to go terribly wrong for some. This hotel is not only for the rich and famous but a favoured destination for things that go bump in the night.
The Grand is a collection of Gothic horror stories that revolve around a town prosecutor who accidentally discovers a series of grizzly case files. Individual stories incorporate supernatural themes based in the Roaring Twenties to create a rich historical, linguistic and cultural backdrop.
Centred on victims of the Grand, each story brings a different point of view related to the hotel, their staff and esteemed guests.
Even Things That Go Bump in the Night Need a Place to Unwind
I have completed my fourteenth review of the Grand. This review resulted in a 42% decrease in corrections when compared to the thirteenth cycle. Ethereal Nights had the most substantial drop of 88%, while Penny Dreadful increased by the 400%. Overall, there were 45 corrections which averages 3 changes per chapter.
About half the chapters saw a drop in changes during this cycle. Of note, One Flight Over averaged of 4,452 words between corrections. Here is a summary for this cycle:
There was a 42% drop in corrections when compared to revision thirteen;
These revision took far less time than revisions prior to seven and for the following reasons:
It takes far less time to run through the material;
There are far fewer errors to find with an average of 1,951 words between corrections. This improves on the 1,209 words per change seen in revision twelve and is the first above a thousand; and
Changes implemented are minor in scope.
This is effectively makes this revision my last. I have handed the work over to a copy editor and will include those changes in what would be officially known as the fifteenth revision. Also, since revision zero was my first revision the grand total would be sixteen total revisions to get this novel ready!
Even Things That Go Bump in the Night Need a Place to Unwind
I have completed my thirteenth review of the Grand. This review resulted in a 15% decrease in corrections when compared to the twelfth cycle. Journey Through the River of Belief had the most substantial drop of 50%, while Old Soul increased by the same amount. Overall, there were 77 corrections which averages 5 changes per chapter.
About half the chapters saw a drop in changes during this cycle. Of note Penny Dreadful averaged of 4,292 words between corrections. Here is a summary for this cycle:
There was a 15% drop in corrections when compared to revision twelve;
Finding a good name has been the bane of authors and expectant parents alike. For centuries we have struggled to come up with names that fits our characters and sets them apart from our other creations.
It is my belief that stories set in the future names have no limits. How cold anyone fathom naming trends fifty years from now? How about a thousand? A good example of this phenomenon can be drawn from history. During the 1920s these were the most popular names for girls in the United States.
Fifty years later these were the most popular names in the United States.
Who could have foreseen such a shift in names over a half-a-century? Mind you there is a reason why names from the 1970s are more mainstream now. Those names belong to people in their 30s to 40s which are now mothers, teachers and even celebrities.
Still we look for inspiration when it comes to finding names. We desire some sort of guide which will shine the way. Fortunately, when it comes to historical names we have the benefit of foresight.
Most countries have records spanning centuries, these also provide an invaluable source of names. The trick is to avoid using names from the decade in which the story is based. Instead, we have to rely on names from an earlier period.
For example, a forty-year old character set during the Roaring Twenties would have been born in the 1880s. Knowing this, the name Dorothy may not be accurate for someone born in that era.
For North America, a good source of names is the Social Security Administration‘s website and records. To find names, select the decade you wish (starting from 1880) and look at the top 100 names for the period. Next, simply scroll through the names and find one that strikes your fancy.
As for family names there are a myriad of sites which carry that information as well. I found a site which contains the 1000 most common family names in the United States. Again, use such sites to narrow down your selection and make it historically accurate.
That is how I came up with names like:
Some of these names are clearly dated but are oddly familiar. Hence these are the names that may be associated with a grandparent or even a great-grandparent. They feel old and dated, hence they feel authentic for someone who lived during the Roaring Twenties.
To find names which are modern, the same resources can be applied. Just dial in the appropriate decade to work from and you are done.