Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘Bruno the Elfy

Dennis the Dark Elf does #WickedWednesday at Brenda Whiteside’s blog…

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I know that’s a long title. But hey…sometimes  you just need long titles.

Author Brenda Whiteside offered me a guest shot during her Wicked Wednesday promotion, and I chose to talk about Dennis the Dark Elf as he’s wicked enough for any three others. Here’s a bit from that:

Sometimes, we all like to be wicked.

Really. We do.

The thing is, we don’t necessarily like to admit to it. Not when we’re out paying bills, or being responsible, or making sure the kids in our lives get their teeth brushed.

When my late husband and I worked on the Elfy duology together (at that time one book; now, it’s AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE and A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE), we knew that everyone loved a villain. But we weren’t sure at first what to do in order to get that villain across.

Enter Dennis the Dark Elf Priest. (Soon shortened to Dennis, the Dark Elf, as writing “Dark Elf Priest” all the time became too much for us to bear.) Dennis was a nasty cuss who hated anyone who wasn’t a Dark Elf, but was masquerading as a human priest in order to stir up as much trouble as he could. (If you’re thinking, “That Dennis really is a menace,” you’re right. I even said so at one point in the book!) He planned on sacrificing at least one Elfy (a race of short magicians, none above four feet two inches tall) at Beltaine, otherwise known as May Day, because he wanted power. And he didn’t care about any repercussions – for example, the fact that most humans know nothing about magic, and would be upset to find out about it, after he’d killed someone in cold blood in front of them at a major church festival, didn’t even enter his mind.

Of course, if you’ve been at my blog before, you know that Bruno the Elfy is my hero, he’s the equivalent of a teenager, and the love of his life, Sarah, is in danger because of Dennis and his perfidious ways.

(I’ve always wanted to use the word perfidious. I guess today’s the day. Moving on…)

I also picked an excerpt showing Dennis at his worst, and Sarah at his mercy, with Bruno trying to figure out how to get her the Hells out of there. (As the Elfys believe there must be more than one Hell, it is “Hells” with an -s in their worldview.)

I do hope you’ll stop by Brenda’s blog and check out my offering. I was glad to do the guest shot, glad to talk about Dennis, and I definitely was glad to talk about something other than being sick for a change. (I am beyond tired of that. But still working on it, alas.)

And do give Brenda’s blog a look-see every so often, OK? She features many writers. (I hope to have her over here myself one of these days.) She is a generous person with her time, and I truly appreciated her letting me share her space today.

Book Promotion, and Other Stuff

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Folks, I haven’t talked too much about book promotion here at my blog, but I thought today might be a good day for that.


Well, I’m trying something new in order to get the word out about A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE. That new thing is called Books Go Social. They have a website, have listed my novel there, will be Tweeting about it for a week (plus, if I did it right, an additional week for free), and have many helpful tips for authors with regards to promotional services.

Note that except for a few small paid promotions here and there, I’ve mostly done free promotions to date. There’s three reasons for that.

  1. One, I’ve been flat broke.
  2. Two, I’ve been fortunate enough to know several book promoters and authors who’ve been willing to tell their readers about me and my writing, Chris the Story-Telling Ape, Sally Cronin, Nicholas Rossis, Charles Yallowitz, and Mrs. N.N. Light among them.
  3. And three, I’ve joined two helpful groups, Marketing for Romance Writers and Exquisite Quills, that have given me support, guidance, and have helped me learn more about promotion.

Most of those places are absolutely free, and they have been enormously helpful to me.

That said, I need to find more readers. I have two reviews of A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE to date, and that’s not nearly enough. (It’s been out since late November, so I’m technically in the 90-day “new book window.”) There are many paid promotions I simply cannot do, because I don’t have enough reviews to access them.

But I could do Books Go Social, and signed up for a $59 bronze package. Normally this includes one week of Tweets; I believe because I signed up during a special, I’ll get one free week as well. (We’ll see.)

Why did I do this?

  1. I’m in need of finding more readers,
  2. I’ve heard good things about them, and
  3. It’s a legitimate business expense.

So, here are my stats at Amazon US right now, so we all can compare how well (or poorly) my advertisement with Books Go Social did:


As you can see, I have a long way to go toward cracking any bestseller lists.

The only other thing I can say right now, before the Books Go Social Tweets start, is that I hope anyone who enjoys my writing will review my books and stories. I often hear from friends and fans that they love my work — and the work of my late husband — and when will more stories be available? But they don’t review for whatever reason; they only come and tell me privately.

Well, I can tell you all one thing: While I love getting positive feedback (who doesn’t?), reviews help me keep going, and I deeply appreciate them.

So please, don’t be intimidated by the idea of a book review, OK?

Anyway, Books Go Social will start Tweeting for me later today. We’ll see what happens, but I have a good feeling about it.

Happy Friday, all!


Written by Barb Caffrey

January 29, 2016 at 7:20 am

My Guest Post about Writing Romance for Teens and Adults Is Up at Author Dee Ann Palmer’s Blog

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All apologies for the very lengthy title today, folks, but I wanted to make sure you all knew it — my guest post at author Dee Ann Palmer’s blog about writing romance for teens and adults is up!

In fact, she posted it at two sites — here, and here.

Here’s a brief taste of that:

The main difference I’ve found in writing romance in my novels AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE and A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE, which features a teenage couple in Bruno the Elfy and Sarah, his mostly human teenage girlfriend, and the stories “Marja’s Victory” and “To Hunt the Hunter” in Exquisite Christmas, is that teen characters don’t exactly know what it is that they want. Everything is ahead of them. They are experiencing love for the very first time, and aren’t sure what they’re supposed to be doing – or when they’re supposed to be doing it. Whereas adult characters know exactly what they are doing and why they’re doing it, but don’t always know if their wishes are going to be reciprocated.

Then I discussed my characters Bruno and Sarah from the Elfy duology (book 1 is AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE, book 2 is A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE) as my teen representatives (Bruno assuredly would be considered a teenager in his culture), and my characters Marja and Tomas from the two stories “Marja’s Victory” and “To Hunt the Hunter” that are included in the Exquisite Christmas anthology.


So, if you are interested in reading the rest of my guest blog, please hop on over to either of Dee Ann Palmer’s sites and take a look. Then be sure to check out the Exquisite Christmas anthology, as there are quite a few heartwarming stories and recipes there to keep you amused well into the New Year!

And check this space…because in the New Year, Dee Ann will be stopping by and contributing a guest post of her own here at the Elfyverse. (And I, for one, can’t wait!)

Happy Thanksgiving from the Elfyverse!

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Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Instead of the usual blog, I thought I’d take a cue from author Charles Yallowitz today and tell you what my characters in the Elfyverse are thankful for.

So, without further ado, here we go!

Bruno: “I’m thankful that Sarah is in my life, and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with her.”

Sarah: “I’m thankful for Bruno, of course!” Then, she muttered, “As if I’d be thankful for anything else right now. Really, Barb!”

Reverend Samuel: “I’m thankful for my family, for my friends, and can’t wait to share my wife’s bountiful Thanksgiving dinner with them.”

Rebecca (Samuel’s wife): “I’m in a hurry, cooking right now, but of course I am thankful for my family, and my new friends Bruno and Sarah — you know, that boy eats twice his own weight and is still hungry.” (Then she shooed me out of the kitchen.)

Mikayla (Samuel and Rebecca’s daughter): “I’m thankful for my new boyfriend, Jason, my family, my friends…and for the knowledge that Elfys exist.”

Reverend Keisha Madhrogan: “I’m thankful that Sarah has grown up hale and healthy, despite her parents’ noxious influences, and that Bruno’s with her. I’m also thankful for a life of learning, love, and happiness — and that I don’t have to cook dinner today.” (She’s going to Rebecca’s house, you see, along with Bruno and Sarah.)

Adept Shirley Wilson: “I’m thankful for the Elfys, and for my forefather Robin Goodfellow (AKA Puck).” Then she gave me a sidewise wink and asked, “Is it too late for me to invite myself over to Rebecca’s house?”

Five-year-old Andrea Wilson: “I’m so, so, so, so happy that Bruno’s finally here! I dreamed about him for a long time, before he came to Earth…I knew he’d be my friend, and he is! It’s the best Thanksgiving ever!”

And, finally, Dennis the Dark Elf…

“What? You’re still here?” He sniffed loudly. “The only type of thanks I’m going to give is when all the Elfys are dead. And despite all my trying, we’re not there yet…so just go away and leave me alone!”

So that’s it, folks…may you have a wonderful day of feasting ahead! (And on a personal note, I truly hope the Green Bay Packers will beat the Chicago Bears today. Brett Favre’s number is being retired on the Packers Ring of Honor in Lambeau Field, and I would love to see the Packers win today because of that.)

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 26, 2015 at 10:11 am

New Guest Blog about Bruno the Elfy and Characterization in AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE is Up at Stephanie Osborn’s “Comet Tales”

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Folks, my newest guest blog — which is about my favorite Elfy, Bruno, hero of my novel AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE — is up and available over at Stephanie Osborn’s blog Comet Tales right now.

Now, why did I write this particular blog? Two reasons. First, I’ve participated from the start in Stephanie’s “Elements of Modern Storytelling” blog series, and Stephanie’s enjoyed what I’ve had to say thus far. And second, because she’s transitioning from romance as an element of storytelling to characterization, she figured me talking about my favorite character Bruno from my novel, AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE, would be a good bridge under the circumstances.

If you’ve followed along with my blog or my writing for any length of time, you’re probably aware that AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE is relentlessly cross-genre. It’s a young adult comic urban fantasy/mystery/romance that also has paranormal elements and Shakespearean allusions. (Say that five times fast.) And as such, without a strong central character, the book just wouldn’t work.

Fortunately for me, Bruno the Elfy is as strong of a central character as anyone could wish for. As I said in the guest blog:

But none of (the plot) – not one blessed thing – would work without Bruno. He is a fully realized, multidimensional character with likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, and seems like someone you might just know…that is, if he weren’t so short. And it’s because of this that you can buy into his adventures, you can buy into his romance, and you can buy into the fact that this young Elfy just might be able to save everyone if he just can figure it out in time.

In other words, this particular guest blog discusses what AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE is all about after the fact. And it all starts and ends with Bruno. He’s a guy from another dimension; his ways are strange to us, and ours to him. And crazy things happen to him that he must get past . . . or he has no chance whatsoever to save his mentor, much less make his nascent romance with Sarah work.

Mind, I didn’t know that Stephanie saw some parallels between my character Bruno the Elfy and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Frodo Baggins before I read her endnotes to this guest blog — that’s some high praise right there. (And I have to admit that I don’t see it. But I’m glad she does.)

Anyway, please do check out today’s guest blog. Then, if you haven’t taken a gander at AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE yet, what’s stopping you? (Here’s a link to the five sample chapters to whet your interest.)

Meet My Character (Bruno the Elfy) Blog Hop

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Folks, I was tagged by author Dina von Lowenkraft for the “Meet My Character” blog-hop. (Her take on this particular blog-hop, by the way, is here.) This particular blog-hop is designed to help you meet the author’s main character, and know a little bit about him. It’s a fun little exercise designed to help you intrigue people enough to buy your book . . . and what’s wrong with that?

Since my main character is Bruno the Elfy from AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE, and I feel like talking about him anyway, let’s get started!

1) What is the name of your character? Is he a fictional and/or historic person?

My character’s name is Bruno (originally Jon, but never “Jonny-wonny,” which means “bunny-lamb”). He’s an Elfy from a parallel universe. And as such, he’s definitely not a historic character. As Elfys are a short, magical race from a parallel universe where none of them are taller than four feet, two inches (and Bruno is much shorter than that at three feet exactly), I think the odds-on way to bet is that they’re fictional.

2) When and where is this story set?

AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE is set during the present-day, on our Earth, in Knightsville, California — a fictional place set near the Sacramento River, with the biggest nearby municipality being Davis.

3) What should we know about him?

Bruno is an orphan from the Elfy Realm, and is the equivalent of a teenager. He lost his parents years ago in a catastrophic accident. He, himself, had to go through a great deal just to be able to walk and talk again. Before he came to California and our Earth, he had never stepped foot outside the Elfy Realm (as most students don’t). And he doesn’t know how strong he is, magically, nor really much about himself at all . . . but he’s about to find out.

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his life?

Well, there’s two main problems.

First, Bruno was captured immediately upon coming through the dimensional gate to our Earth by two humans — the parents of his eventual love-interest, Sarah. They won’t tell him their names, they won’t feed him, they barely let him go to the bathroom and their house is a magical trap that doesn’t allow him to use much of his magic.

But the reason these two captured him was on the orders of a Dark Elf, who’s been masquerading as a human priest and going by the name of Dennis. And that Dark Elf has plans for any Elfy he can capture . . . big, bad plans.

Second, the reason Bruno was sent to our Earth at all is because the Elfy High Council (rulers of the Elfy Realm) did not trust Bruno due to his prodigious magic talent. So they threw him out, even though he’s still a very young man — er, Elfy — and was told to fend for himself.

So when Bruno’s teacher Roberto the Wise quite rightly said, “Hey, there’s something wrong with that!” and tried to save Bruno, Roberto instead ended up in the Human Realm with Bruno, and all Roberto could do was (in effect) substitute himself for Bruno.

After that, if Bruno hadn’t been hidden by Sarah (who again is the daughter of the two nasty humans who captured Bruno in the first place), who has an unusual amount of magic of her own, both he and Roberto would’ve been tools for the Dark Elf.

Instead, Bruno has to figure out how to get Roberto back while keeping himself and Sarah alive and free in the process. It’s not a good place to be in, to put it mildly.

5) What is the personal goal of the character?

The short-term goals: Stay alive. Keep Sarah Alive. Keep Roberto Alive. And master his magic before the magic masters him.

The medium-term goals (forthcoming in book 2 of the Elfy duology): Get Roberto back in one piece, and drive the Dark Elf away so he can never subvert any more gullible Humans again.

The long-term goals: Figure out who he wants to be (probably a world-famous scholar and mage, as the Elfy Realm needs those), marry Sarah, and have a passel of kids with her. (But I don’t think the last thing is likely to happen for a few more books. Truly.)

6) What is the title of the book and where can it be found?

AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE, part 1 of the Elfy duology, is available as an e-book at Amazon, and through Twilight Times Books’ own website directly (here’s a link to the five sample chapters to get you started).

Now, does anyone else want to play?

‘Cause I thought, just for kicks, I’d tag Jason Cordova, Chris Nuttall, Katharine Eliska Kimbriel, Jeff Getzin and Betsy Lightfoot . . . (or should I say in a deep, mysterious voice, “Your mission, if you choose to accept it…?”)

Written by Barb Caffrey

July 3, 2014 at 2:04 am