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Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

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Why I Wrote “Bringer of Chaos: The Origin of Pietas” — a Guest Blog by Kayelle Allen

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Folks, do I have a treat for you today!

A few months ago, I edited Kayelle Allen’s BRINGER OF CHAOS: The Origin of Pietas, and couldn’t wait to tell you all about it. Pietas is a strong character, someone who starts out dark, forbidding, and almost impossible to like…but somehow, with Kayelle’s insight, Pietas becomes much more than that. BRINGER OF CHAOS is a science fiction novel of cultural clashes, personal growth, friendship, sacrifice, and much, much more. It’s beautifully written, in some spots deeply moving, and a book I hope everyone will check out right away.

Now, on to Kayelle’s excellent guest blog, already in progress…

3d-boc1When I wrote Bringer of Chaos: the Origin of Pietas, I was creating the background and origin story for the most notorious villain in my scifi universe. In a series of books based in the Tarthian Empire, I had gone to great lengths to instill a sense of awe and fear in readers regarding the immortal king. Honestly, Pietas scared me, and I created him! I knew the depth of his cruelty because I’d created him to be the baddie all the other baddies feared. In the universe of those stories, he was known by many names: Impaler, Hammer of God, Marauder, Soul Ripper, Destroyer of Worlds, Slayer of Innocents, Hound of Hell, and more famously, the Bringer of Chaos. To reveal the reason he became such a terrifying person, I needed to delve into his head and get to know him better. *Gulp.*

I mentioned to my friend, author Houston Havens, that I didn’t know how to write an emotionless sociopath. First she laughed, then she took me to passages in my own books and showed me the emotions Pietas had displayed. Houston was right. Pietas was far from emotionless. Sociopath was as far from his reality as moonlight is from sunlight. One is cool and pale; the other hot and vibrant. I was trying to write him as a moon. Pietas was a sun.

Houston suggested that we “interview” him. She and I talk almost every day on Skype, so that was easy. I would “be” Pietas and answer on Skype as him. It would be an exercise in free association, and we would record it so I would have reference. Once we got started, it was surprisingly easy to get into his head. She asked him questions that were simple at first. Then she asked about his father, which made me delve into my own past as a child and parent. Mine was innocent and filled with love. My villainous hero, however, had a different bent.

When I was a child, the parent-child bond set my life on a certain path, and I believe no matter how old I get, I will always be the way I was molded to be from childhood. Pietas is immortal, and apparently, so is his love/hate-mostly-hate relationship with his father. Delving into that in detail will take more than one book. In fact, I’ve gone from wondering how I could possibly write a whole book about Pietas to planning another four.

Pietas now fascinates me. Getting to know this character helped me break past an episode of writer’s block that had lasted seven years. I had written, but was producing only non-fiction (Tarthian Empire Companion) and books about the characters (An Immortal’s Guide to Tarth). With Bringer of Chaos out of the way, I’m back where I belong — in the world of the Tarthian Empire. The galaxy of stories beyond that is, as Pietas would say, “ripe for the plucking.”

About Kayelle Allen

Kayelle Allen is a best selling American author. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary every day folk, role-playing immortal gamers, futuristic covert agents, and warriors who purr.

About the Book

Bringer of Chaos: the Origin of Pietas
Author: Kayelle Allen
Publisher: Romance Lives Forever Books
Editor: Barb Caffrey
Heat level: PG13
Genre: YA (older young adult), action adventure, science fiction, space opera, military science fiction, space marine, genetic engineering
Wordcount: 52,492
Pages: 186

Two enemy warriors: one human, one immortal. Different in belief, alike in spirit, marooned together on an alien world.

Imprisoned and in isolation over a year without food or water, the immortal Pietas survives. Though broken in body, his intellect and will are intact, thanks to Six, the special ops warrior who captured him, but kept him sane. The warrior had no hand in his deprivation and, like Pietas, was betrayed by his own kind. When Pietas is abandoned on an alien world with nothing but his honor–and Six–he must find and rejoin other immortal exiles. After centuries of war, Pietas detests humans and kills them on sight, but he is too damaged to continue on his own. Though he despises needing help, he allows Six to nurture and restore him to full strength, and then accompany him. As they cross the planet together on foot, the immortal begins to wonder if he has found his first human friend, or if Six is loyal only because Pietas could keep the others from tearing him to shreds. This human will either be his closest living friend, or the one whose betrayal will trigger all-out vengeance by the most powerful immortal ever born.

Immortal. Warrior. Outcasts. Traitors took everything. Except their honor.

Read the first chapter
Amazon print


So, now that you’ve read all this, what are you waiting for? Go get Kayelle’s excellent novel right now. You will not regret it.

An Update to the Frustrating Situation, Already in Progress…

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Folks, bless you all for caring. I need to say that before anything else.

I am extremely fortunate in my friends, especially in the writing community. I am astonished by the outpouring of love and support in my direction. I appreciate that so much.

Now I need to get into some “weeds,” I’m afraid.

Next Tuesday, the house I live in will be sold. I can do nothing about this. I have tried everything I know to avoid this fate. And it has not worked.

Because much of this story is not mine to tell, I can’t say much more than this.

I don’t know what will happen next Wednesday at all. I’ve never been through this process before. I’ve heard, from a friend who’s been through it, that they usually give you at least thirty days to get out — but as I’ve not been through it, I’m very, very worried about what will happen next. And about what will happen to Trouble, too.

I do have some tentative good news, though. My father has said he will help. I can stay with him temporarily. He may even help me find an apartment, for me to live independently…if he does, that would be wonderful.

And my mother believes she will be able to find a way to keep both Trouble and her dog, Brat, together. If so, that would be a good outcome.

My sister, who is a huge dog lover, has also said she’ll make sure that Trouble and Brat will be fostered in an emergency situation, so they will not go to the pound. (She already has a dog, and is in a subdivision where they do not allow multiple animals.)

I believe my family has the best of intentions. But I remain very worried and extremely upset.

This is not a place I’d ever expected to be. That’s why I decided finally to talk about it, and to tell you I’m in trouble…as much as my family dislikes me saying it, what I’m telling you is my truth.

Because I have caring, deeply concerned friends, they are trying to help in all sorts of ways. I appreciate this, more than I can ever tell you.

One of them, knowing how hard I’ve tried over the years, got so frustrated over this situation that he said my family had “abandoned” me. That isn’t true. They are difficult in their ways, as I am difficult in my ways, and sometimes we don’t mesh well. I love them, they love me, we have some serious disagreements, but they usually will help me when push comes to shove.

Do they have a lot of means to do that with, though? No, they don’t. Which is why I decided to do a Patreon appeal. And it’s why I reopened my GoFundMe account as well.

I don’t want my father to be wholly responsible for what happens to me. He’s in his “golden years.” He should not have to do this.

I don’t want my sister, or my mother, or anyone else in my family to have to give all that they have, just to keep me going.

My family deeply dislikes it that I have “put my troubles on the Internet.” My mother in particular is very angry that my concerned and caring friend said that my family has “abandoned” me, and views the fact that I have these two appeals as somehow deceitful, or at least distasteful.

But I’m telling you the flat truth. I do not know what will happen next Wednesday (the day after the house is sold at auction). And that terrifies me.

If you want to help, you have three ways to do it right now.

First, I have a number of books and stories out there — go to my Amazon page, and also to my late husband Michael’s Amazon page, and pick a story. Everything is $2.99 or less; most are only ninety-nine cents. They are all good reads, and I hope might make you feel better. (That’s why Michael and I wrote these stories. Life is too short for doom and gloom.)

Second, I still have the Patreon appeal going. This is a new way to do something very old-fashioned — support an artist, writer, or other creative type. That’s why I was drawn to it, especially because I can give back a little to those who help (by offering stories, etc.)

Third, I still have the GoFundMe appeal going. This is to give me options, in case I can find a job out-of-state. (No matter what, I will have moving expenses.)

I appreciate anything you can do. Thank you.


Oh, one more thing:

As I am trying my best to make a better life for myself, I am looking into Americorps VISTA jobs. They don’t care what your age is. They only care about your ability. And I like the idea of public service, along with what I’m already doing with my writing, editing, and occasional music-making.

If I can find one of these jobs, I could be much better off in a few months than I am right now. (Here’s hoping.)

Written by Barb Caffrey

April 21, 2016 at 5:24 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

ReLaunched GoFundMe to Help with Moving…

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Folks, as you know, I’m going to have to make an emergency move next week. I’ve set up a Patreon account (I’ll have to figure out how to add a button for that here, I suppose), and now I’ve updated my old GoFundMe Account as well and changed the URL so it’s easier to find:

It is dispiriting to have to do this. But it is also gratifying that so many other writers and friends have stepped up to help me get the word out.

My hope is that I’ll be able to move and then get back to what I do best: Writing. Editing. Playing music. And living life.

Thank you for reading, and for supporting me during this trying time.

Written by Barb Caffrey

April 20, 2016 at 2:09 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

To Survive the Maelstrom by Michael B. Caffrey + @BarbCaffrey #bookreview #99cents #ASMSG

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Very happy with this new review for my and my late husband Michael’s story “To Survive the Maelstrom.” Mrs. N.N. Light read it, reviewed it, loved it…what’s to say, except I’d better keep working on more of Peter’s story? (Michael wrote enough that I can finish it. Which I will do, after CHANGING FACES is done and in the can.)

POTL: All Things Books, Reading and Publishing

To Survive the Maelstrom

Title: To Survive the Maelstrom: A Tale from the Atlantean Union (Peter Welmsley Book 1)

Author: Barb Caffrey, Michael B. Caffrey

Genre: Science Fiction

Book Blurb:

Command Sergeant-Major Sir Peter Welmsley of the Atlantean Union has lost everything he holds dear. He wonders why he lived, when so many others died at Hunin — including his fiancée, Lydia, and his best friend Chet.

Into his life comes Grasshunter’s Cub, an empathic, sentient creature known to those on Heligoland as a “weremouse.”

Weremice are known for their ability to help their bond-mates. But how can this young weremouse find a way to bring Peter back from the brink of despair and start living again?

Note for readers: This is a novella.

My Review:

Peter is a commander in the Atlantean Union and he is at a crossroads. Everyone he loves is dead and he’s left all alone. Why was he spared?…

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Written by Barb Caffrey

April 11, 2016 at 4:37 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Friday Flash Fiction – The Easter Egg Hunt – Sally Cronin

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Just in time for Easter…check out writer Sally Cronin’s wonderful little Easter story, free…just start reading, click the link, and boom! A great little story awaits.

Happy Easter, everyone! (And if you’re not reading Sally’s blog, Smorgasbord Invitation, regularly, you should. All sorts of good stuff going on over there.)

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Friday Flash Fiction

The Easter Egg Hunt

Lily dusted off her hands. They had been covered in soil from planting the three little primulas that she and her mother had picked up at the nursery today. Her mother always let Lily pick the colours and this year the purple petals with their golden centres danced in the soft evening breeze. She picked up her small watering can and gently moistened around the base of the plants like her mum had shown her.

“There you go Daddy, I promise to look after them all summer, watering them every day and picking off the dead flowers to let others grow like mum showed me.”

It was Easter and tomorrow, Lily and her little brother Michael would race around the house looking for the small cream eggs that her mother had bought at the supermarket yesterday. Both of them were very excited and it was really…

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Written by Barb Caffrey

March 25, 2016 at 5:02 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Storm Lake East and West by @LiviaQuinn: First Book #FREE! #IAN1 #MFRWAuthor #Romance

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Go get your copies of not one, but two free novels today from author Livia Quinn — she’s a fellow member of Marketing for Romance Writers, and my friend, author N.N. Light, featured Livia’s novels today at her blog Princess of the Light.

POTL: All Things Books, Reading and Publishing

Livia Quinn’s Storm Lake East and West: First Book in each series FREE

Welcome to Storm Lake.


Imagine a world where inexplicable circumstances and high emotion conspire to bring a man and woman together.  Love happens when they least expect it, or want it, but they might as well get on board, because the die’s been cast… their fate inevitable. Whether contemporary or fantasy, that’s what we call MAGIC!

Welcome to my world, a place where anything can happen…

On the west side of Storm Lake in the middle of a super pulse of leylines lies Destiny, home to the Destiny Paramortals, a group of tempestaeries, fae, djnn, and others who are bound by an ancient pact to protect weaker species – like humans.  Unknown to the other communities outside of Destiny is the role the Paramortals have in keeping them safe.

The Destiny Paramortals series is southern urban fantasy/romance…

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Written by Barb Caffrey

March 17, 2016 at 10:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Book Promotion – Why I Wrote a LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE – By: Barb Caffrey

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My latest guest blog post…hope you will enjoy it.

The story of why I wrote A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE is a story in two parts…which I suppose suits the fact that it’s the second part/second half of the Elfy duology.

But maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.

I started writing Elfy (then one book) in September of 2002. (Yes, 2002.) I’d read an anthology—I now forget the name—where the editor said of the stories, “This isn’t your usual Elfy-welfie stuff.”

So my subconscious started to wonder just what this “Elfy-welfie stuff” might be. I know this, because I woke up the next day and had a character in my head saying this editor didn’t know anything about “Elfy-welfie” stuff—but he did, and would I listen?

Of course I’d listen!

So I sat down, and started writing everything this character—later known to me as Bruno the Elfy—told me. I found out he loved darker colors, unlike the other…

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Written by Barb Caffrey

March 10, 2016 at 11:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized


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