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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Win a set of Bluefire books!

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June 2011 - Hey Strange Landers, this month, when you sign up to receive the Strange Lands newsletter, you'll automatically be entered to win a set of Bluefire books! If you're already signed up for the newsletter, don't worry, you can resubmit your information to be considered.

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Random buzzers are raving about Passion

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The Emerald Atlas cover

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Passion
by Lauren Kate

Luce would die for Daniel. And she has. Over and over again. Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn't need to be that way. . . .Sweeping across centuries, join Luce and Daniel in Passion the third novel in the unforgettably epic Fallen series.

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Torment cover

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Torment
by Lauren Kate

Don't forget to pick up your copy of the newly released Torment paperback!

Hell on earth. That's what it's like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel. But when Luce starts to suspect that Daniel is hiding something - something dangerous - she can't help but wonder if she's meant to be with someone else.

The second novel in the addictive Fallen series . . . where love never dies.

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by Sonia Gensler

When Willie arrives in Indian Territory, she knows only one thing: no one can find out who she really is. But nothing prepares her for what she finds there. Her pupils are the daughters of the Cherokee elite?educated and more wealthy than she, and the school is cloaked in mystery. Willie doesn't believe in ghosts, but soon, even she has to admit that the revenant may be trying to tell her something. . . .

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Summer Fling Contest!

There's no better time of year than summer to catch up on your "To Read" list ? which is why we're very excited to tell you about Justine Magazine's "Summer Fling" Contest! Here's how it works: vote for your favorite books in one of two categories, Paranormal titles and Back to Normal titles, and you could win a backpack full of books, a phone call from your favorite author, and a chance to have a breakfast with recording artist Cody Simpson.

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Remember to Enter The Warlock San Francisco Adventure Sweepstakes!

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

3.3.17.5. The Abduction


Succubus Queen
Example Picture Source: 2Moons Multi Player Online Game
http://2moons.mmosite.com/guide/map/parka_shrine_mob.shtml

3.3.17.5. The Abduction

Dawn is breaking back in Myrcalia, in the Tower of Solitude, one of the four towers encircling the main tower of Levides Palace: Solitude, Knowledge, Perseverance and Reminiscence. In the room with bed and breakfast, the morning sunlight doesn’t bother Empress Eloise of Arcadia because she is already wide awake.

Lonely, bored and miserable.

To kill her boredom, Eloise just eats her breakfast and stares at the window. A sparrow comes in and perches on the window. She stares fondly at the lovely creature and the bird stares back at her, as though puzzled – or maybe enchanted to see so fair a creature, surpassing its own beauty.

Eloise can’t help thinking, Cute, little bird. I should be the one who envy you, not the other way around. Just look at you, you are free, free to fly anywhere you like and perch anywhere to rest your wings a bit. But I? I’m just a prisoner here.

I wish I can fly like you, little one. I’ll fly to my home where dad and Rael’charon are, and ask them to put some light into my husband’s darkened mind. I’ve been alone and apart from the outside world for so long. Even the maids who bring me food never tell me what’s going on. I feel like I’m just a bird, confined in this golden cage just for show – as if anyone can see me up here!

Suddenly, Eloise stops eating. Her stomach is upset and she feels awfully sick. She gets up, goes to the basin on the corner of the room and throws up into it – but nothing comes out.

Dang! It’s been three times already, every time I ate my breakfast. Does any Arcadian food disagree with my stomach? The breakfasts seem common enough: scrambled egg, ham, bacon, bread, soup... Oh, maybe it’s something in the soup? I must ask the maid about it. The royal cook must be very careful about the food they serve to the royal family, or he will lose his job, not to mention, his head!

Oh! Speaking about maids, I just remembered. My nanny Umbelle told me a couple times about this queasiness. Oh yes, I know! If it’s not because of the food, this symptom means...

Oh, no! Am I...?

BLAAAMM!!!

Eloise is shocked to hear that voice. She turns back and gets horrorstruck. The tower wall is broken down with a powerful dark blast. And, in front of her stands the pale blue skinned, winged, horned and the devilish faced Succubus Queen. A big scar that runs from her face all the way to her belly is like a permanent tattoo on her. Her icy, deathly voice whispers,

‘Hello, little Empress. I see, you must be bored and miserable being confined in this high tower. Well, come with me. Someone wants to meet you.’

Eloise responds curtly, ‘Excuse me, madam. But you don’t appear trustworthy at all, especially with your violent conduct just now. So, I can’t go with you. Get out now or I’ll send for the guards!’

‘Go ahead, lassie. Just call as many as you want, but I insist to take you away. Don’t bother to change, because we’re leaving NOW!!’

With a quick move, the she-devil seizes Eloise, holding her tight in a deadlock grip. The guards rush into the room, just deciphering from the noises that an intruder is in there and climb the stairs all the way up. Alas, no matter how quick their response is, the result is still the same. The she-devil stuns them with her Captivating Stare and darts two black needles into the two guards’ face, poisoning them to death. She goes out with the hostage through the broken wall, knocking the Empress unconscious in the process, and flies away to the southeast.

If only Eloise is conscious now, she will protest, ‘When I said I wanted to fly, I didn’t mean to fly like this!’

Empress yesterday, fly today, hostage tomorrow.

==oOo==

Cristophe knows that he’s too late when he sees the tower is breached and two guards got killed with black needles in their faces. Complete is his dismay when he can’t find his wife, who got abducted because of his ignorance.

Once again he cries a deep sorrow. The first time was when his brother was killed, and now this.

Eloise, my beloved wife! The one I should’ve protected with my own life was abducted by that she-devil! No, no, please, the Almighty One. Don’t let anything bad happen to my beloved! Damn me! Once a fool, always a fool. I should’ve apologized to her when I got the chance, and now the most important person in my life is held hostage, demanding me to get out in the open with my guard down – and they will kill both of us anyway!

Please, O’ Almighty One! Please keep her safe and alive until I come and bring her back to safety!

And then, in his place of solitude he falls unconscious, tortured by mixed feelings of anger, fatigue, regret and guilt.

He has chosen a wrong path.

He has returned back in track with a streak of luck.

He has to face and overcome the complications that follow.

Having wings and be able to fly doesn’t mean you’re free.

End of Chapter 17


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3.3.17.4. Hail'varan - Part 4


The Battle by ~In-The-Distance on deviantART
Source: http://fav.me/d1qotp3


Meanwhile, the air-to-air fight goes on all night. The darkness puts Hazmat, the dragon riders and the gyropters in a disadvantage. Swarms of flying monsters really give them a hard time, even with Omegron fleeing to rescue its master.

‘Dagmar!’ The senior dragon rider Nefemia shouts. A wyvern rider shots a dark blast on Dagmar Langstrom, leader of the dragon riders and it hits straight onto his chest. The old man is thrown away from his dragon, armor and all. The faithful beast dives in high speed, catches its master on its claws and lands on an open space. Alas, Dagmar is already dead from that fatal shot. The dragon roars mournfully.

Nefemia and the surviving dragon riders hear the roar. Enraged, she pursues the wyvern rider who shot Dagmar and pierces the rider’s throat with her lance. Nefemia’s dragon also scorches the wyvern with a full fire blast, finishing the job.

I have avenged your death, Dagmar. Thank you. You have fought bravely and brought honor to our clan. Rest in peace o’ valiant leader, in Vadis’ loving hands.

With that thought, Nefemia keeps on fighting. Soon, she is overwhelmed by four winged monsters, and all her comrades are being overwhelmed too. At this rate, the Succubus queen and enemy air units will wipe out all gyropters and mark the extinction of the Borgian Dragon Riders.

Ivor the Beardless fights most bravely on his one-seated gyropter until a goblin balloon squad comes. Out of bombs, a goblin dives with lit explosives belted around his body. Ivor tries to evade it with a splendid maneuver, but the bomb explodes and breaks the propeller!

Ivor bails out just in time and thanks the dwarves who invented the parachute as he opens it and glides with the ‘umbrella wings’ to make a safe landing. However, a wyvern comes straight to him with jaws open wide, ready to swallow the beardless dwarf whole!

The dwarf is in a helpless position with only his hammer in hand. Just as he is less than a meter away from his death, suddenly a streak of light comes into the wyvern’s mouth, all the way in and comes out from its back! The threat is eliminated. Sighing in relief, Ivor looks back to thank his rescuer. It’s Cristophe! Not only that, he brings a whole lot of help: the griffin riders!

Chris shouts to Ivor, ‘Are you all right, my friend?’

Ivor shouts back, ‘Aye, Your Majesty! Ivor Bigstumble from Grad on duty! Thank you for saving my life!’

‘Ah, Ivor? Stay safe and go to Hail’varan. I must talk to you later.’

‘As you wish, Your Majesty,’ Ivor salutes as his parachute glides him lower and lower.

Now Chris can focus on something else. He looks around. The griffin riders are now engaging the enemy. The fly in formations, showing series of stunning aerobatics, knocking the enemies over in their path. Their lances and spears always hit the targets, a feat worthy of their greatness. They might be less powerful than dragon riders or wyvern riders, but they certainly are the swiftest, the most agile among them. Of course, their splendid performance tonight is a result of their essential magic support: the Night Vision.

Still, the fight is intense. The Succubus Queen just blasts a gyropter off, riders and all into smithereens when Cristophe comes to confront her. They are soon engage in a dogfight, exchanging blow after blow with tremendous force.

‘Well, well, it’s you again, the fool who knows not shame. Two times defeat and you still hunger for the third,’ taunts the Succubus Queen.

‘I don’t know what you call ‘defeat’ as you always flew away in the middle of our fights without killing me with the chances you got. I only know that as long as I’m still alive, I won’t stop fighting you. Only your demise will be my victory,’ says Cristophe, still delivering his blows, immune from that taunt.

‘That was because I don’t want to ruin that pretty face behind that helmet. I want everything nice and clean until you turn into a pretty undead as my pet.’

‘Well, you’re searching in a wrong place for it. Why don’t you just go to hell, a place full of undead to play with? If you don’t know the way, let me send you there!’

‘Been there, done that, crave for more. Now I’m in a playful mood, so let’s play!’

Saying so, the Queen flies in a spiraling move towards Chris with her Irresistible Desire skill. Chris just shoots Fruits of Diligence rayblasts, suspecting a trap. The blasts are evaded with spectacular drilling maneuvers, and when she is real close to Chris, she suddenly somersaults, changing her move into Wheel of Pleasure rolling kick.

Learning from experience, Chris utilizes his memory about the opponent’s moves and combo possibilities. He blocks the kick with his shield and counterattacks with a wing-like multislash: Shielding Wings of Love. The she-devil doesn’t expect so fast an attack and is grazed on several places – none of them are fatal, though.

Seeing the split-second opportunity, Chris attacks with Singular Voice of Truth, a single thrust with concentrated energy, targeting the she-devil’s heart. Too quick to evade, the opponent blocks with a hastily generated Wall of Souls. The dark aura of the wall reduces the speed and power of the attack, and the opponent uses the momentum to flip backwards. Nevertheless, the Sword of Justice grazes her torso vertically from her belly to her chest, cutting a bit of skin all along her face.

Chris moves away from his opponent to replenish his aura, and the Archdemoness, though her wounds are only skin deep, groans in pain. The wound will leave a scar, not only on her skin but also on her pride. So, the so-called Vordac’s mistress must do something to replace her loss. Instead of cursing Chris for the scar, the Archdemoness laughs.

‘Haha! That’s what I call a blow! But you know what, let’s stop this fight for now. As you can see, our forces are retreating and the air units can never win in this state, and I have a more pressing matter to attend to myself. It’s my deepest regret that the outcome of our fight is undecided – again. But you still haven’t defeated me and the next time we meet, it’ll be your doom!’



Hearing that, Chris, suspecting a trap, pumps his aura to the max, shouting, ‘Wait! Don’t ever think of running away again! Whatever your ‘pressing matter’ is, you must be up to no good, so I shall stop you, no matter what!’

‘Hmm, I know you would say that. So, to guarantee my safe departure, here’s a little something for you. Vare Nekraal’me Mephistopeles!’




Epic Battle by ~AZN-Porkepik on deviantART

Saying so, she launches countless dark spirits of Eternal Banishment, all flying towards a single target: Chris like homing missiles. The Paladin confronts it with his continuous serial slashes, Guiding Light of Faith. He blocks most of the homing spirit bolts and absorbs quite some damage, though. The built-in protection field of the Armor of Righteousness prevents him from getting the worst of it.

As Chris gets past the Succubus Queen’s sorcery, he finds that the opponent is out of sight. He gets a bad feeling and starts to dash with Acavela the opposite way to the rising sun, but apparently the griffin stops midway. The spirit blow just takes effect on it like poisoning, and Chris knows what to do at once. He takes out a cut of mandrake leaf from the supply bag on Acavela’s saddle and feeds it to the beast. It takes several minutes for the antidote to clear the poison fully, and once all is set, the rider and griffin shoot with top speed towards Myrcalia.

I can only guess where the she-devil is heading. Oh, I hope Eloise and everyone in Myrcalia are all right. Please, Vadis the All-knowing, don’t let anything happen to them.



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Tuesday, June 07, 2011

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Gnoll


Gnoll - Dungeon & Dragons Version


Gnoll - World of Warcraft Version

Gnolls are similar to the were-hyenas of African bushman folklore, and the tall dog men (Cynocephales) of early European travellers' logs and bestiaries. Hyenas were associated with death because they dug up and ate human corpses.

Gnolls in the Discworld series are small, matted and dirty enough to sprout fungi and grasses on their hides (and seem to relate to soil as trolls relate to rock), and act as street-cleaners in cities like Ankh-Morpork; as Captain Carrot Ironfoundersson puts it, they "pick up this, pick up that, maybe bang it against the wall until it stops struggling..." In the case of at least Stoolie, if not every gnoll on the Discworld, there seems to be a tendency to drop the vowels in words, reflecting a croaking sort of voice.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnoll


Dungeon & Dragons Version

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/eo/20030823a

World of Warcraft version:

http://www.wowwiki.com/Gnoll

vadisworld - my way, my world

GetAmped Fansite - KICK ASS Inc.

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