Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘Darkover

Monday Reading — Time for a New Book (or Four)

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Folks, I have been remiss about letting you know about a few books that are out that I’ve either had something to do with, or that I have reviewed. I even managed to find cover photos this time. (Yay, me!)

So, without further ado:

citadels front cover blog size THE CITADELS OF DARKOVER is out in e-book and trade paperback. I have a short story in this called “Citadel of Fear,” and I hope you’ll enjoy it. I also was interviewed by the editor, Deborah J. Ross, at her blog; I did the interview in February (I think), and it went up in April. But I missed it at the time and only saw a link to it on Twitter a few days ago.

 

Cursed_med_smallI was one of two editors on Chris Nuttall’s newest novel, CURSED, which is out in e-book form now. CURSED is the seventeenth book in Chris’s long-running Schooled in Magic series, and I’ve been fortunate enough to edit all but two of those books. His heroine, Emily, is a young woman originally from Kansas who’s been transported to another world entirely (Chris calls it the Nameless World). But during a recent battle against a crazed monarch, Emily nearly died…and woke up without access to her hard-won magical powers. Now she must get them back, and has to cope with a host of unexpected challenges. (Further editor sayeth not.)

 

Bro coverKayelle Allen has a new entry in her long-running Sempervians saga called BRO. It’s a fun story about two brothers who meet at an odd time; one (Senth) had no idea he had a brother, while the other (Khyff) has had the wrong idea about his long-missing brother for quite a few years. Neither is in an ideal situation, though both are making the best of things…will they manage to find common ground before it’s too late?

I was fortunate to edit Kayelle’s story, and know it’s excellent. It is also available via Kindle Unlimited, so if you have that, you should give it a try forthwith.

 

sons-of-the-lionFinally, I reviewed Jason Cordova’s newest novel, SONS OF THE LION, and as usual Amazon is playing silly buggers with the review. In case Amazon kicks it out (or just eats it), here it is:

SONS OF THE LION is a very well-written book filled with characters I adored and cheered for. The action works. The military ethos and care is profound. The distaste for child slavery and the uplifting of one exceptional child saved from the slavers into the merc company was perhaps my favorite thing overall.

So, you may be asking me, why didn’t I give it five stars if I liked it so much?

It’s the ending. I didn’t like that at all. And as I don’t want to spoil things, I will just say this: as an editor myself, I would’ve chosen a different route. I am unsure if the writer was boxed in by other issues in the Four Horseman Universe (I’ve read all the books to date, but the writer may be aware of things coming that I am not; surely the publisher, Chris Kennedy is). But I was very pleased with everything up to three chapters from the end.

Even with that — something that threw me out of the reader’s trance with great force — I thought this an exceptionally well-written book that did everything and then some that it was supposed to do. Military SF fans will love it. Four Horseman Universe fans will, too — that should go without saying — but anyone who loves military adventure (even if they don’t usually read SF) should appreciate it as well.

Four very solid stars. Recommended (despite its jarring and frustrating ending).

Barb Caffrey

I was happy to review SONS OF THE LION, though I had to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about how I felt about that ending without revealing spoilers. That proved to be difficult.

But do I think you should read it anyway if you enjoy military adventure, military SF, or have read any of the other novels or anthologies in Chris Kennedy’s wildly popular Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse universe? Yes, I do.

Why? The writing is stellar. The characterization is great. And while I hated the ending — let’s get real here — everything until three chapters from the end was exactly what I wanted. (Am I going to make up alternate endings like some of the folks signing petitions asking for a different ending to Game of Thrones on TV? No. But would I like to if I had enough energy? Hmmm…have to ponder.)

So, there you have it. Some books to whet your interest that you may not have known about, and I hope at least one of them will be to your liking. Have at!

Announcing…”Citadel of Fear”

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Folks, a few months ago, I teased you all about a short story I’d sold. I couldn’t tell you much about it at the time, but I promised to come back and let you know when I could…then time got away from me. Work intervened. Real life (TM) got in the way of me talking about one of my few triumphs in 2018.

But now, I can discuss it, and actually have the time to do so. (What a luxury time can be. But I digress.)

The story “Citadel of Fear” was written for the latest Darkover anthology, itself titled CITADELS OF DARKOVER. The citadel in question could be metaphorical, could be literal; we just had to have our characters overcoming something major, something that could be a citadel of some sort. The editor, Deborah J. Ross, gave us wide latitude in what we chose as a citadel, and that helped me out enormously.

In “Citadel of Fear, my character, Miralys n’ha Camilla, is a Renunciate trail and mountain guide. (Think “Free Amazon,” and you’re not far wrong.) She is loyal to her Renunciate sisters, to her clients, and has built a life for herself doing what she enjoys the most: being in the outdoors, guiding clients up and down the perilous Darkovan mountains in all sorts of weather.

When the story opens, she’s guiding yet another client, a young woman, Jenella. It seems like any other day to her. She’s happy, she’s focused, she’s doing what she loves…

And then an avalanche drops on her. Literally.

How she overcomes her fear and takes up her job again is the focus of the story. Because it’s for the Darkover universe, I was able to use a weak psi-talent (called laran) to help her out a bit. But mostly, Miralys can only overcome her citadel of fear by using her mind, heart, and spirit; if she refuses to give in, she can keep going, and reclaim herself as best she can.

It took me somewhere between six or eight drafts to write this 4500-word story. Miralys was a tough nut to crack. She was incredibly closed at the start of this story (well, once the avalanche dropped on her, at any rate). She was not in a good place. And she didn’t have any idea what she was going to do next, or how she was going to do it.

She takes up the mantle of living again because she has to guide five young women down the mountain, as the price for her extensive healing. (Yes, she’d normally do it anyway, but without having to do it under these circumstances, she’d have balked.) She isn’t well. But she has to help, and so she does her best, until a very bad situation–one somewhat reminiscent of what she’s lived through in certain respects–arises.

Because I want you to read this story, I can’t tell you more than that. But I can say this: if you like stories with heroes or heroines who realistically overcome their fears, you will enjoy “The Citadel of Fear.” Guaranteed.

So, because I’m very proud of writing this story, I’m going to give you the table of contents for CITADELS OF DARKOVER now…and hope that in a few months, when it comes out, you’ll remember to look for it. (Of course, I will be talking about it then, too, but there’s nothing wrong with “priming the pump” now, is there?)

Table of Contents

DANCING LESSONS

By Evey Brett

SACRIFICE

By Steven Harper

BANSHEE CRY

By Marella Sands

THE KATANA MATRIX

By Lillian Csernica

SIEGE

By Diana L. Paxson

SEA-CASTLE

By Leslie Fish

FIRE STORM

By Jane M. H. Bigelow

THE DRAGON HUNTER

By Robin Rowland

FISH NOR FOWL

By Rebecca Fox

DARK AS DAWN

By Robin Wayne Bailey

CITADEL OF FEAR

By Barb Caffrey

THE JUDGMENT OF WIDOWS

By Shariann Lewitt

***

So, there you have it! And I do hope you’ll enjoy the story, and the rest of the anthology, when it comes out next year.

Written by Barb Caffrey

December 18, 2018 at 4:08 am

Announcing…”Realms of Darkover” Is Out!

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Folks, I’ve been so preoccupied with edits, my novel CHANGING FACES, and other things that I completely forgot to announce this very important event:

REALMS OF DARKOVER is out! And my third story in the Darkover universe, “Fiona, Court Clerk in Training,” is included.

Realms of Darkover cover FB sized

What’s my story about? Well, all three of my stories have been about Fiona n’ha Gorsali or members of her immediate family; this one features Fiona as a child, when all she wants is to become a judge like her father. But Darkover has never before had a female judge…and even though her mother is a Renunciate and her father has no objection to Fiona becoming one as well (indeed, Fiona must become a Renunciate, or she can’t become a judge at all; Darkover has very straitened paths for women unless they choose the Renunciate path), it’s still not going to be easy for Fiona to obtain her heart’s desire. And as we see, the first step on Fiona’s path toward becoming a judge is to become an official court clerk, despite her tender age.

I had a ball writing about Fiona as a feisty thirteen-year-old, and I hope you’ll enjoy my story immensely, along with all the other great stories in REALMS OF DARKOVER.

Written by Barb Caffrey

May 15, 2016 at 5:53 pm

My Conversational Interview Is Up at Deborah J. Ross’s Blog…

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Folks, I mentioned this a few weeks ago…every week, Deborah J. Ross, the editor of the forthcoming REALMS OF DARKOVER, is posting an interview on Wednesdays. So far, she’s interviewed Rosemary Edghill, Marella Sands, and Shariann Lewitt…and now, it’s my turn.

Because I’m a contrary sort (and I admit it, too), I wrote up my interview in a different way, or as I described it:

When Deborah J. Ross, esteemed editor of Realms Of Darkover, asked me a few interview questions, I asked her a question in return: “Could I write my answers in conversational style instead?” She told me to go for it, thus, here I am.

Realms of Darkover cover FB sizedNow, what is my interview about? It’s about my character Fiona n’ha Gorsali, Darkover’s first female judge, and one of the most powerful judges ever in the history of Darkover. While Darkover’s creator, Marion Zimmer Bradley, introduced Fiona in THE SHATTERED CHAIN many years ago, she never did anything with Fiona n’ha Gorsali…and thus, when asked for a story concept, I decided to figure out how the powerful Courts of Arbitration had been reconciled to accepting a female Renunciate judge as one of its members.

Or, as I said in the conversational interview:

When I sat down to write a story for Stars Of Darkover, I decided early on that I wanted to find out more about Fiona. What had happened to put her on the Courts of Arbitration in the first place? So I wrote “At the Crossroads,” that showed how Fiona was able to forge a consensus with highborn, lowborn, and Terranan included. Surely something that unusual would warrant that remarkable individual being placed on the Courts of Arbitration, Renunciate or no…and so it transpired.

Then, when Gifts Of Darkover came around, I decided to write about Fiona’s parents in “A Problem of Punishment.” I knew her mother’s name was Gorsali, and that she was a Renunciate; I figured that Fiona’s father must’ve been a judge before her. But who was this man, Dominic macAnndra? As he hazily introduced himself, I found a man of courage and conviction—and also a man who fell in love at first sight, during a conflict, with his eventual freemate (wife), Gorsali.

You might be wondering what else was left to write about…well, it’s simple. What about Fiona’s childhood?

So, I talked about my newest story about Fiona, which is called “Fiona, Court Clerk in Training,” and features Fiona at the ripe old age of thirteen, and a bit of her parents and their quite solid marriage, besides.

I had a lot of fun writing about Fiona as a thirteen-year-old, and I hope readers will enjoy my story, too.

So…if I’ve intrigued you (and I surely hope I have), hop on over and check out my entire takeover–er, conversational interview! — at Deborah J. Ross’s blog.

Written by Barb Caffrey

March 24, 2016 at 2:12 am

Friday Fun: Cover Reveal Plus Lineup, REALMS OF DARKOVER

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Folks, it’s Friday. It’s been a long, hard week for many of us, especially due to the terrible acts of terrorists all over the world.

My heart goes out to the people in Mali, in Paris, in Lebanon, and elsewhere. There is so much strife, so many problems, and so much distress in this world…sometimes it can be hard to see anything good.

But good things still exist. I don’t know if they can be enough to outweigh all the terrible things or not. Still, we can but try — and a little diversion from the world’s problems can’t do any harm, right?

That said, I do have some good news to share. And I want to share it right now, as it seems appropriate.

My third story in the long-running Darkover universe (begun by Marion Zimmer Bradley, and continued by Deborah J. Ross), “Fiona, Court Clerk in Training,” has been accepted by Ms. Ross in her role as editor for REALMS OF DARKOVER (due in June of 2016). This is my third story about my character Fiona n’ha Gorsali and/or her family, who becomes Darkover’s first Renunciate judge and a prominent legal authority down the line. But this story is about Fiona’s first steps toward that goal — before she becomes a judge, she must first become a court clerk. And she decides to do this at the tender age of thirteen…

At any rate, I’m very pleased to have sold this story to REALMS OF DARKOVER.

But don’t take my word for it. Here’s the table of contents for REALMS OF DARKOVER:

Introduction, by Deborah J. Ross

Tainted Meat, by Shariann Lewitt

Snow Dancing, by Jane M. H. Bigelow

Impossible Tasks by Marella Sands

The Snowflake Fallacy, by Michael Spence

Old Purity, by Leslie Fish

A Walk In The Mountains, by Margaret L. Carter and Leslie Roy Carter

The Fifth Moon, by Ty Nolan

Sudden Tempest, by Deborah Millitello

Housebound, by Diana L. Paxson

Sea of Dreams, by Robin Wayne Bailey

Stormcrow, by Rosemary Edghill and Rebecca Fox

Fiona, Court Clerk in Training, by Barb Caffrey

(See? I’m restraining a happy dance, mostly because I’d probably pull a muscle if I did. But rest assured, I’m quite pleased about this.)

And all authors have been given the ability to let people know about this anthology — which is why tonight’s cover reveal.

So, without further ado, here is the cover for REALMS OF DARKOVER — enjoy!

Realms of Darkover cover FB sized

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 20, 2015 at 8:04 pm

STARS OF DARKOVER Is Out

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Folks, a while back, I told you about selling a story, “At the Crossroads,” to Deborah J. Ross and Elisabeth Waters for the newest Darkover anthology, STARS OF DARKOVER.

Then I told you about being interviewed by Ms. Ross regarding my participation in the anthology — more about why I wrote “At the Crossroads” and my main character, the Renunciate judge Fiona n’ha Gorsali.

Now I get to tell you something even better: STARS OF DARKOVER is now out as an e-book!

So if you’ve been missing your daily dose of Darkover — and really, if you’re a long-time reader of fantasy, who hasn’t? — take a gander at STARS OF DARKOVER. There are plenty of great stories there from writers like Ms. Ross herself, Rosemary Edghill, yours truly, Leslie Fish, Shariann Lewitt, and many, many more!

So don’t delay. Go to Amazon and get yourself a copy right now. (How’s that for a shameless plug?)

Deborah J. Ross Interviewed Me Regarding My “Stars of Darkover” Story…and It’s Up

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Folks, a while back, Deborah J. Ross asked me — and all the other writers with stories included in the newest Darkover anthology, STARS OF DARKOVER, which will be out in June — a series of questions. I sent them back to her, and she told me the interview would be up sometime in May.

Late last week, she wrote to me and said the interview was scheduled, and could I please spread the news far and wide?

Of course, I told her. I’ll be glad to do it.

Now, the interview is up over at her blog . . . and I do hope you’ll read it. I discussed a little bit about my story, “At the Crossroads,” and the story’s main character, Judge Fiona n’ha Gorsali, along with the three ways Marion Zimmer Bradley influenced me — one was through her writing, one was because my late husband Michael knew one of Ms. Bradley”s sons (I’m not sure which one, but I’m guessing it was probably her eldest due to the time-frame) and Michael told me that Ms. Bradley had been very encouraging to him when she didn’t have to be, and finally, the last way is because Rosemary Edghill has been my mentor for a few years now…and Rosemary worked with MZB on the Light series (WITCHLIGHT, GRAVELIGHT, GHOSTLIGHT, and HEARTLIGHT).

I haven’t ever been interviewed before. I’ve always been the one doing the interviewing, actually . . . so this was a brand-new experience.

Let me know what you think of my first-ever interview, will you?

By the way, in other news, the second half of ELFY — which I’m sure will be re-titled soon, one way or another — has been turned in to my publisher, Lida Quillen of Twilight Times Books.

What does this mean in practical terms?

Well, it means I’ve done everything I possibly can do. Now it’ll go to my editor. In a few weeks, I’ll probably have the file back and will make any changes required.

This means I still have a shot to get the second half of ELFY out by late October, if all goes well. So that’s a good thing.

Aside from that, I continue to write, edit, and comment . . . and watch the Milwaukee Brewers play baseball games, of course. (I’ll probably be writing about them again soon. But time is short and it’s had to go toward other things.)