Monday, January 27, 2014

The characters (part 12)


(This is the twelfth in a series of character descriptions from The Death Wizard Chronicles, my six-book epic fantasy.)

Who are the cave monkeys and what is the worm monster?

Cave monkeys are small creatures (about two feet tall and weighing around twenty pounds) that more resemble lemurs than monkeys. But they were given the name cave monkeys by the Torg, the Death-Knower wizard, because he could think of no other. These clever and wondrous creatures live in caves and tunnels deep in the bowels of Mount Asubha, several leagues beneath the surface.

The colony of cave monkeys that Torg encountered numbered about fifty, though the wizard never knew their exact number. They were furry creatures, with pointy noses and mouths filled with flat teeth, and they had long, bushy tails. Their most striking physical feature was their bioluminescent eyes that glowed in the dark. They were supremely athletic and energetic, but also kind and gentle, and they communicated between themselves and with Torg using a very powerful yet noninvasive telepathy.

Also residing beneath Mount Asubha was a titanic creature called the worm monster, which was most likely the largest living being on Triken. Somewhere hidden far beyond finding was the monster’s core body, but extending from it were hundreds of thick tentacles, each more than a mile long and each containing a fang-filled mouth at its tip that was capable of devouring anything it found in the underworld, including cave monkeys. But the worm monster was not particularly intelligent, more an eating machine than anything else, while the cave monkeys were brilliant creatures by any standard. And in an ironic reversal of fortune, the cave monkeys were able—using stone daggers—to leap about just out of reach of the tentacles’ mouths and carve pieces of flesh from the tentacles. This flesh was quite tasty, and it was the cave monkey’s main source of sustenance, along with mushrooms. With these ingredients and a few others, they made delicious soups that Torg quickly grew to adore.

Cave monkeys also were wonderful artists, and they decorated the stone walls of their underground home with intricate drawings using mineral extracts and worm fats to create multicolored pigments.

Was the colony Torg encountered beneath Mount Asubha the only one in existence? And was there only one worm monster on Triken? Or did each large mountain on Triken have its own version of these creatures living deep beneath the surface? The answer to this was beyond Torg’s knowledge.

Photo by Dreamstime.

Up next: the final installment, which will be a list of other characters, both ordinary and magical, with short descriptions of each.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The characters (part 11)


Photo by Dreamstime
(This is the eleventh in a series of character descriptions from The Death Wizard Chronicles, my six-book epic fantasy.)

Who are the Daasa and why was Invictus the sorcerer able to control them?

The Daasa are a peace-loving and intelligent race of beings who live on the other side of the Akasa Ocean, several thousand miles from the western coast of the land called Triken. Only the Daasa themselves know how many of their kind exist in the world, but in the time-frame of The Death Wizard Chronicles, they numbered close to one million. They communicate with barks, squeals and whistles instead of words, and they prefer forests to mountains or plains, though they also love oceans, lakes and rivers and are excellent swimmers. Nuts and fruits are their main source of nourishment. Like the druids of Dhutanga, they are stewards of the forest, and though the Daasa are not evil like the druids, they also resemble them in the way they psychically interrelate, moving about in single-minded droves.

In their normal state, the Daasa resemble extremely large pigs with purple eyes, and they are adorable. But like Warlish witches, they have the ability, when threatened, to transform into deadly monsters. Thorny spikes rise from their soft flesh, fangs erupt from their mouths, claws spring from their toes, and they growl like rabid wolves. In this state, a single Daasa is capable of killing a cave troll.

In the days of Invictus, a terrible creature resided within a city named Duccarita, more commonly known as the City of Thieves. This being, called the Mahanta pEpa—which in the ancient tongue meant The Great Evil—had come from across the ocean. Once on Triken, Invictus gave it free rein, and the Mahanta pEpa grew to epic proportions with supremely powerful psychic powers that enabled it to control the Daasa en masse—even those who lived across the ocean. So when the sorcerer sent his slave ships, the Daasa clambered on compliantly. Eventually Invictus managed to transport more than one hundred thousand Daasa from their homeland to Triken, where he used them for evil purposes better not discussed here.

Up next: the cave monkeys.

Friday, January 24, 2014

The characters (part 10)


(This is the tenth in a series of character descriptions from The Death Wizard Chronicles, my six-book epic fantasy.)

Who are the Stone-Eaters and do they really eat stone?

Stone-Eaters are relatively small yet extremely dangerous creatures that inhabit the interiors of mountains but that often roam the lands, taking sides with whatever evil presence is most powerful at the time.

They rarely attain five feet in height, yet they are stout and physically strong, and their bodies literally burn with magic. A lone Stone-Eater is more than a match for a Warlish witch, making these creatures among the most deadly on Triken. Flames flare from their flat nostrils, smoke seeps from their ears, and their hides are the texture of an elephant halfway turned to stone. Their main sustenance is obsidian, which they eat as easily as a human might snack on an ear of corn. Yet the black volcanic glass fills them with fiery energy, and they are able to vomit foul liquids the thickness and temperature of magma.

Though they appear crude and ugly, Stone-Eaters are not unintelligent. But they crave power and are constantly scheming—both with and against their allies—to attain dominion over others. Like most of the magical creatures on Triken, Stone-Eaters are long-lived, though most do not survive more than ten millennia.

Stone-Eaters are not numerous. At the time-frame of The Death Wizard Chronicles, there were fewer than two hundred Stone-Eaters in the world.

Photo by Dreamstime.

Up next: the Daasa.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The characters (part 9)


(This is the ninth in a series of character descriptions from The Death Wizard Chronicles, my six-book epic fantasy.)

Who is Mala and why is he called a ruined snow giant?

There are beings called snow giants who live in the frozen peaks of Okkanti, a desolate mountain range located above the Salt Sea in northeastern Triken. (See map at At times in Triken’s history, there were as many as twenty snow giants, but at the time-frame of The Death Wizard Chronicles, there fewer than a dozen.

Snow giants were extremely long-lived beings, rivaling the dracools and even the great dragons. Some, including their leader Yama-Deva, were more than 50,000 years old. Male snow giants stood 15 feet tall and weighed more than half a ton. Their physical strength was extraordinary, and they were capable of bashing boulders into dust with their bare hands. Their bodies burst with magic, which could heal or destroy, and they were beautiful creatures, with broad faces, pointed ears and long, white manes that ran down the length of their spines. Despite living in temperatures well below freezing, they wore only crude loin cloths. Cold had little effect on them; in fact, they rarely strayed from the mountaintops—it was heat that made them uncomfortable.

Yama-Deva was one of the few snow giants who ever dared to come down from peaks and explore the lowlands, and it was there that he was captured by one of the evil sorcerer Invictus’ slave-hunting parties. Being a benign and gentle creature. Deva did not resist his capture (though he most certainly could have) because he did not wish to harm those who would enslave him.

Deva was taken from Okkanti and brought before Invictus in the Golden City of Avici, and though the snow giant was the mightiest of his kind, even he was no match for the sorcerer. Even then, it took ten years of torture for Invictus to finally break Deva’s will and turn him into a monster, hence “ruining” the most magnificent snow giant to ever live.

Invictus named him Mala, which in the ancient tongue meant monster, but Mala was also known as the Chain Man, because Invictus—using dreadful sorcery—had encased Mala in a single chain that wrapped around his shoulders, crisscrossed at his waist and lower back, and rode down his hips before looping around his bulky thighs. The chain had six-inch-thick links of gold blended with magical alloys, making it supernaturally strong. It glowed incessantly with a golden fire that appeared as hot as magma, burning Mala’s thick hide and causing a stink that was reminiscent of rotten meat cooked over an open fire. This caused him incessant pain, which led to a cruel and ruthless madness. The only beauty Mala retained from his previous existence was his silky white mane. Everything else was hideous to behold. His eyes were now red and swollen; vile liquid oozed from their sockets. Two blood-stained fangs hung over his lower lip; venom dripped from their pointed tips. His tongue was long and black; it probed and fluttered like a snake’s.

Surpassed only by Invictus and Bhayatupa (the great dragon) in might and magic, Mala became one of the most feared beings on Triken, and he was named the leader of the sorcerer’s army of monsters and golden soldiers. Once one of the most wondrous beings on Triken, he had been transformed into one of the most vile and dangerous creatures to ever exist.

Illustration courtesy of fantasy artist Tracy Pittman.

Up next: the Stone-Eaters.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The characters (part 8)


(This is the eighth in a series of character descriptions from The Death Wizard Chronicles, my six-book epic fantasy.)

Who are the druids and are they evil?

Druids are insect-like monsters that dwell in the dark forest called Dhutanga, which is the largest forest on Triken. Druids stand more than ten feet tall, and though they are thin and angular, they are deceptively strong. Their outer flesh looks more like bark than skin, and they have fiery eyes and large mouths, with black holes where there should be ears.

The druids are indeed evil, because they are the creation of the druid queen, a bulbous and hideous creature that resembles a maggot the size of a great dragon. Though the druid queen is filled with malice and dread, she has a terrifically powerful mind, and she uses her psychic sway to control the druids en masse, forcing them to do her bidding. They are her slaves, but they love her, nonetheless.

At the time of The Death Wizard Chronicles, there were more than 100,000 druids, given birth one at a time over the centuries by their queen. They are the caretakers of Dhutanga, and literally eat wood for their sustenance and magic. In addition to their physical strength, they are able to spew corrosive acids from their mouths that devour flesh and burn through armor.

Photo by Dreamstime.

Up next: Mala and the snow giants

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The characters (part 7)


(This is the seventh in a series of character descriptions from The Death Wizard Chronicles, my six-book epic fantasy.)

What are dracools and why are they called ‘baby dragons’?

The dracools are an ancient race of dragon-like beings that are much smaller than great dragons. A typical dracool stands about 10 feet tall and weighs about 600 pounds. They are called baby dragons because of their similarity in appearance yet great difference in size to their larger cousins, but they are terrifically strong and can fly almost as fast a great dragons.

Dracools are not numerous. During the time-frame of The Death Wizard Chronicles, there were fewer than 300 in the world.

Unlike full-sized dragons, dracools can walk on their hind legs. Their heavy muscles are covered with scales and they have enormous snouts overflowing with fangs.

Dracools claim to be the most learned beings alive, and they classify great dragons as crude bullies. Groups of dracools are sometimes able to kill great dragons in battle.

Some dracools have lived as long as fifty millennia, and these have had witnessed the rise and fall of many kingdoms. Like mercenaries, they tend to ally themselves with whoever appears most powerful at the time. They do not give much credence to the concepts of good and evil.

A gathering of dracools is called a flock, and they are psychically interconnected.

Photo by Dreamstime

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The characters (part 6)


(This is the sixth in a series of character descriptions from The Death Wizard Chronicles, my six-book epic fantasy.)

Who is Bhayatupa and what is a great dragon?

Bhayatupa is, by all accounts, the single most powerful and feared dragon to ever exist on Triken. The great dragons differ from the lesser dragons and the dracools because of their immense size and fantastic magical powers.

At the time of The Death Wizard Chronicles, Bhayatupa was more than eighty thousand years old, second in age only to Vedana and a few other demons. He was almost 300 feet long from snout to tail and weighed close to 30,000 pounds. His scales were a bright crimson and impervious to injury, and he breathed fire and spewed liquid flame. His brain alone was the size of a boulder, though his extreme intelligence was dwarfed by his selfishness and deceit.

Until the appearance of Invictus, Bhayatupa had feared no being and was called Mahaasupanna, which meant “mightiest of all” in the ancient tongue—and for millennia beyond count he had ruled vast kingdoms and was revered by everyone, including the other great dragons. Even Vedana, the mother of all demons, feared Bhayatupa the Great, though she boasted that he was her creation, a claim that Bhayatupa treated with disdain.

Despite his immense size, Bhayatupa could fly higher, faster and more gracefully than any other being. This was due partially to his wide, strong wings, but more likely was made possible by magic, for surely no being of such girth could move quickly on the ground, much less fly. Bhayatupa also had very flexible jaws and a thick, red tongue, and he was able to speak in the same way that a human could speak, being fluent in hundreds of languages, many long forgotten. He also was wise in the ways of the demons and knew all their spells. His physical strength alone would have made him deadly, but when combined with his magic, he was powerful beyond ordinary comprehension.

Bhayatupa’s lone weakness was an insufferable fear of death. Because of his unbridled narcissism, Bhayatupa could not bear the thought of his existence ever coming to an end, and he obsessed over it every waking second.

Photo by Shutterstock.

Up next: the dracools.

Friday, January 17, 2014

The characters (part 5)


(This is the fifth in a series of character descriptions from The Death Wizard Chronicles, my six-book epic fantasy.)

Who is Invictus and why is he so powerful?

Invictus is the grandson (knowingly) of Vedana, the mother of al demons. As mentioned before, Vedana has spent tens of thousands of years breeding with mortal men in an attempt to perfect the bloodline that would lead to the birth/creation of a Sun God. In Invictus, she finally succeeded.

Invictus derives his magic from the absorption of sunlight, which makes him the most powerful being in the world. He wields a yellow-gold, liquid fire that spurts from his fingers, hands and eyes and that also shields his body from physical harm. The golden fire disintegrates anything it touches, including solid granite. He is so powerful, not even a great dragon can stand against him. He also is a master of the dark arts, and knows things that even the demons do not. He has surpassed all beings on Triken—and perhaps any living being that has ever been.

Photo by Shutterstock
In fact, Invictus’ puissance threatens the universe itself, because he has the power to break the fabric between the three universal realms—Life, Death, and Undeath.

Invictus was taken from his parents (the father of whom was an unknowing offspring of Vedana’s machinations) by Vedana when he was just 2 years old, and she raised him herself, teaching him all kinds of evil spells and incantations. She did this in hopes of controlling him and using him to free her from the Realm of Undeath where she and the other demons reside, but when Invictus became a teenager he realizes the extent of his power, which exceeded even Vedana’s. And so he struck out on his own, determined to create his own kingdom and eventually rule the world.

Because of Vedana’s influence, Invictus has become depraved, perverted, and devilishly immature. He has a severe temper and will destroy anyone or anything that dares to thwart him, taking delight in torture and depravity.

During the time-frame of The Death Wizard Chronicles, Invictus is one hundred years old, but he appears as a boyishly handsome man of about 30. He has long blond hair and is average in height and build. But his stature is the only thing average about him. Otherwise, he is everyone’s worst nightmare and a threat to all beings.

Up next: Bhayatupa the Great

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A visit with the author of Vision of Shadows!

My friend Vincent Morrone has debuted with the first book of an urban fantasy series titled Vision of Shadows. He and Entranced Publishing are currently hosting an online tour of his delightful new novel, which I read in two days and thoroughly enjoyed. 

In addition to being an excellent writer, Vince is very generous in the writing community, being the first to help out fellow authors in their quests to increase sales and popularity. So it's with great pleasure that I post this on my own blog and on my Facebook page in an attempt to return the many favors he has done for me. But more importantly, Vision of Shadows is just a great book, especially for fans of urban fantasy.

So ... read on:

Is Bristol Blackburn about to meet the love of her life...or her killer? 

After the death of her parents, Bristol Blackburn's life is thrown into chaos and she's forced to move to Spirit, a small town where shadows are stirring. As she learns to navigate her new school and figures out how to keep her psychic abilities secret from her family, Bristol comes face to face with the boy who makes a regular appearance in her dreams: the gorgeous, possibly deadly, Payne McKnight. Soon she’ll find out if Payne will be the love of her life, or the end of it — and she has no idea which possibility scares her more.

And that's not even the worst of it. Strange shadows are haunting her dreams, and they're up to something that could put Bristol and the lives of everyone she loves in jeopardy.

You can add Vision of Shadows to your to-read list on Goodreads:

You can find more about Vision of Shadows on the Entranced site, you can also find the buy links here as soon as Vision of Shadows is available:

Information about the book:
Title: Vision of Shadows
Series: Vision series
Author: Vincent Morrone
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
Release Date: December 30, 2013

You can view the whole tour schedule on Vincent Morrone his website:

Want to chat with Bristol, the main character of this series? Well she has her own twitter account:

Excerpt #1:

Journal of Bristol Blackburn
Sunday, March 17th

There are times when being psychic really bites, and this is one of them. Here it is, three in the morning, and all I can think about is the boy who will eventually have his hands on me.
I have no idea what his name is. We’ve never met, but I feel like we’ve grown up together. I’ve had visions of him since I was six years old. Now, eleven years later, I know we’re getting closer and closer to finally meeting. I think it’s going to happen any day now.

And the thought scares the hell out of me.
I know what Dream Boy will look like. In a word: hot. Dark hair that falls loosely over his deep blue eyes. He has an angel’s face and the devil’s grin.
I know he’s got a bad boy attitude. Half the time, I get flashes of him getting hurt. Sometimes he’s playing the hero. Other times, he’s just being an idiot. Many times, it seems like there’s someone who enjoys hurting him.
What I don’t know is what he’ll be to me.
There are times when he seems to love me. Don’t ask me why. But he’ll look at me with nothing but love and contentment in his eyes. Earlier tonight, I had one of those dreams. One where he couldn’t keep his hands off of me. Weird that I know every inch of his body, yet I have no idea what his name is, huh?
Then there’s the other vision. It was the first one I had of him, and the one I have most often. It’s the one I woke from tonight, the feeling of his hands still on my skin.
In that vision, he doesn’t look at me with love, but with hatred. He has his hands wrapped around my neck as he slowly squeezes the life out of me.
So any day now, I’m about to meet the boy of my dreams —literally. Then I get to see if he’s going to be the love of my life or the end of it.
Funny thing is, I’m not sure which idea scares the crap out of me more.

Excerpt #2

        “I’ve never met anyone like you before in my life,” Payne said.
        Now it was my turn to grin. “Yeah, girls who talk to ghosts are rather unique.”
        “That’s not what I mean,” Payne insisted. “You’ve never told anyone about your secret before, have you?”
        I didn’t answer, but I didn’t need to.
        “I cannot begin to tell you how touched I am,” Payne said. “Not only that you’re helping me, but also that you trust me. I know how big a deal it is.”
        “It’s not.” I shrugged. “Not really.”
        Now Payne touched my cheek, and my skin tingled underneath his fingers. “It is. Bristol, you’re braver than I am.”
        I looked up into Payne’s magnificently dark blue eyes and saw it. The emotion that I always saw in my Payne loves me dreams. It was the look in his eyes he got when we were making love, or at least would get if we ever did. There was a connection between us that went beyond anything I’d ever known. I knew Payne could feel it, too.
        Payne brought his other hand up, gently caressing both sides of my face. In that moment there was no doubt he would kiss me. I was ready. I didn’t care about anything else. 
        When I heard the laughter from behind me of a little boy, it took me a second to blink back into reality. I backed away, and Payne’s face fell.
        “We’re not alone,” I explained.
        Jared McKnight had appeared, his little dog sitting obediently by his feet, its tail whipping back and forth. Jared had his hands by his eyes as if ready to cover them. A huge smile was plastered on his face.
        “I can’t believe Payne was gonna kiss a girl!”
        I closed my eyes and sighed. Well, he was!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The characters (part 4)


Photo by Dreamstime
What are Warlish witches and what makes them ‘special’?

Warlish witches are living beings created by the magic of Vedana, the mother of all demons. As mentioned earlier, Vedana conceitedly claims to have created all magical beings—and there is some truth to this and some stretching of the truth—but there is little doubt or debate that it is Vedana who gave birth to Warlish witches.

In the ancient tongue, Warlish means “transform.” And indeed, full-blooded Warlish witches are able to transform at will between being exquisitely beautiful and hideously ugly—in appearance, voice and odor. They are prideful and deceitful, and cannot be trusted. They also wield powerful magic and are able to blast crimson flames from their eyes, mouth and hands, while vomiting poisons that can devour flesh to the bone and bubble through the hardest armor. They are physically strong and can move with great speed and athleticism. One witch alone is formidable, but when they fight in groups, they rank among the most dangerous beings on Triken. They often carry tall wooden staffs that spew fire and ruin.

“Failed” Warlish witches—in other words, ones that cannot transform—are perpetually trapped in only one state, either beautiful or ugly. But neither is preferred over the other, because both beauty and ugliness carry their own brands of fright and power. Failed witches are called hags, and they are faithful servants of true witches and will fight to the death on their behalf.

Warlish witches and their hags are filled with demon blood and are therefore long-lived beings, with the most ancient of them surpassing fifty thousand years in age. At the time of The Death Wizard Chronicles, there were believed to be between two and three hundred witches in existence, though their exact numbers were known by only a few. Even Vedana lacked this knowledge.

Photo by Dreamstime.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The characters (part 3)

This is the third in a series of character descriptions from The Death Wizard Chronicles, my six-book epic fantasy. 


Who is Vedana and why is she so evil?

Vedana is an ancient demon—more than one hundred thousand years old—who is known as the mother of all demons. Vedana takes the credit for the creation of all magical creatures on Triken, including the other demons, as well as dragons, dracools, witches, vampires and trolls, etc. The dragons and dracools dispute this, being far too proud to believe such a thing. But it is not debated, at least, that Vedana created the Warlish witches, who will be featured in the next vignette.

Vedana exists within the Realm of Undeath, the only one of the three realms that exists outside the rules of karma. In her realm of purgatory-like despair, she is the undisputed master—and she appears as a writhing black worm that is even darker than darkness. But Vedana, like all demons, is able to bleed a portion of her essence into the Realm of Life and exist among the living—in Vedana’s case, as a devilish woman with salt-and-pepper hair in her mid-50s. She is unkempt and wears scraggly robes, and her flesh is sometimes so transparent that you can see her heart and bones.

Vedana is a rascal of the highest order, always causing mischief and constantly attempting to manipulate living beings, which she views with disdain. But at the same time, she is utterly consumed with the desire to be freed from her realm and become a true living being in the Realm of Life. There, she believes she would become all-powerful and rule all realms—Life, Death, and Undeath.

However, the only being powerful enough to break the fabric between dimensions and release her from her prison is a Sun God, a sorcerer who derives his magic from the absorption of sunlight. But the karmic process of creating such a being is fantastically complicated, and Vedana has spent many millennia scheming to do so by mating—using drugs and seduction—with thousands of human males in an attempt to create the perfect bloodline that would give birth to a Sun God.

Up next: the Warlish witches.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The characters (part 2)


This is the second in a series of character descriptions from The Death Wizard Chronicles, my six-book epic fantasy.

Who is Laylah and what is the source of her magic?

Laylah is the grandchild (unknowingly) of Vedana, the most powerful and ancient of demons. Though the grandmother is selfish and evil, Laylah grows up as an ordinary child—beyond the demon’s influence—and becomes a force of good.

Laylah has one sibling, the evil sorcerer Invictus who is ten years her elder. Invictus derives his power from the absorption of sunlight, which makes him the mightiest of all beings. Laylah derives her power from moonlight, which is a reflection of sunlight, so she is the weaker of the two. But this is not to say that Laylah is not also powerful. It’s just that everyone is weaker than Invictus.

Laylah escapes from her brother’s clutches as a young girl and is raised by a tribe of people in a hidden valley deep within the mountains. But she is eventually recaptured by Invictus and held as his prisoner for many years.

Laylah wields a white magic that flares from her fingers, hands and eyes. Like Torg the Death Wizard, she can both heal and destroy with it. Night is her favorite time, and she often feels queasy and weak during mid-day.

Since Laylah is an offspring of Vedana, her body contains demon magic and therefore she is long-lived. During the time-frame of The Death Wizard Chronicles, Laylah is about ninety years old, but she appears as a woman in her physical prime. She has long, lush blond hair, pale skin and gray-blue eyes and is tall and voluptuous—considered by those who have seen her to be the most beautiful woman in the world.

Laylah eventually escapes from Invictus a second time, and much of the epic tale of The DW Chronicles involves her desperate flight from the insanity and perversion of her brother.

Up next: Vedana, the mother of all demons.

The characters (part 1)

(This is the first in a series of character descriptions from The Death Wizard Chronicles, my six-book epic fantasy. Over the coming days, this and many more vignettes will also appear on this site, as well as on my WEBSITE  my FACEBOOKPAGE and my FACEBOOKFANPAGE)

Forged In DeathWho is Torg and what is a Death Wizard?
Torg is the main character in The Death Wizard Chronicles. He is king of the Tugars, the famed warriors who live deep within the desert Tējo. Torg has risen to the rank of Asēkha, highest among the Tugars, but he has taken yet another step of ascension. While deep in meditation, Buddhist monks have been known to achieve recorded heart rates of fewer than 10 beats per minute. Torg has taken this to the extreme, meditating so deeply that his heart literally stops, which results in a temporary death.
(Go HERE for a free short story that describes this in detail).
At this point, Torg is able to enter the Realm of Death, where he feeds on death energy. When he returns to life soon afterward, he is engorged with magical powers. Torg is one of the few Asēkhas in Tugarian history who has accomplished this feat and hence become a Death Wizard, or more accurately, a Death-Knower wizard.

Only a Death-Knower can die.
And live again.
Only a Death-Knower can return from death. 
And remember.
Only a Death-Knower can tell the world what he’s seen.
Not all care to listen.

During the time frame of my series, Torg is more than one thousand years old and has died and returned to life more than a thousand times. In addition to being a powerful wizard, he also is a supremely trained warrior with unprecedented physical prowess and strength. He is an imposing figure, standing 7 feet tall and weighing 300 pounds. He is deeply tanned with shoulder-length black hair and deep-blue eyes that glow when he becomes angry. He carries a white staff that he has named Obhasa, which was molded from the tusk of a desert elephant found dead of old age at the base of a desert basin. Obhasa, which Torg has imbued with his magic, is a formidable weapon in its own right and adored by the wizard.

With his powers, Torg is able to destroy but also to heal. He is the leader of the forces of good in the land of Triken—and though some are jealous of his stature, all respect him.

Torg and his Tugars believe in the concept of karma—that all actions result in reactions. Torg has seen this for himself during his daily meditations, which most often do not result in death. Only about once a year does the wizard dare to achieve what the Tugars call Sammasamaadhi, the supreme concentration of mind that results in temporary death.

Though Tugarian history extends into the distant past, Torg is considered by his people to be the greatest of all the Death-Knowers who have ever been—a king among kings. Ironically, death energy has given him the gift of long life, and he could conceivably live for several thousand more years, if the forces of evil don’t get to him first.

Up next: Laylah the sorceress.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Monsters, Incorporated

My series has many of the traditional monsters: dragons, vampires, trolls, zombies and witches, to name a few. But it also has creatures that are new (at least in terms of how I use and describe them) to the genre of epic fantasy. Over the next several days, I'm going to highlight some of them. So check back soon for the first of a monster-by-monster breakdown of The Death Wizard Chronicles, a six-book epic fantasy.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

In need of dragon scales

One thing about being a published author, no matter what your level of achievement or number of sales: you have to have some seriously thick skin, because some people will skewer you just for the sake -- it seems -- of skewering you. Whew!


The Death Wizard Chronicles is a sexy, action-packed six-book epic fantasy series: Book One (Forged by Death), Book Two (Chained by Fear), Book Three (Eve of War), Book Four (World on Fire), Book Five (Sun God), Book Six (Death-Know).

The DW Chronicles is not for children and teenagers -- or the faint of heart. But if you like graphic fantasy that is bursting with excitement yet still has a lot going on between the lines, I think you'll love my series.

In a groundbreaking paradox, the Death Wizard, a champion of good, derives his power from a source traditionally seen as negative -- death. His nemesis, an evil sorcerer, derives his power from the sun, the benevolent source of all life. Their struggle to control the fate of the planet Triken will take your breath away.

In an original twist never before seen in this genre, the Death Wizard is able to enter the realm of death during a "temporary suicide." Through intense concentration, he stops his heartbeat and feeds on death energy, which provides him with an array of magical powers.

The series also is a love triangle involving two desperate characters attempting to come together despite the machinations of an all-powerful psychopath with incestuous cravings.

Graphic and action-packed, spanning a millennium of turmoil, The DW Chronicles carries readers on a journey they will never forget.

Do you fear death? The Death Wizard does not. Find out why.

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About Me

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Clemson, SC, United States
I was born in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., but grew up in St. Petersburg, Fla. I graduated from the University of South Florida (Tampa) in 1979 with a B.A. in Journalism. I now live in South Carolina near the Blue Ridge Mountains, a pleasant setting for writing, to say the least. I was an award-winning journalist at the St. Petersburg Times for twenty-five years and I currently work at the Charlotte Observer. I am married with five daughters.

The author

The author
Jim Melvin, a veteran journalist, debuts as novelist.