Thursday, July 31, 2014

Are Stonehenge or the Pyramids The Oldest Free Standing Structures? Nope! | Thursday Trivia

Mulluane | Thursday, July 31, 2014 | 2 Comments so far
Aside from Fantasy I have a fascination with Prehistory. I've enjoyed the writings of Jean Auel and the Gearings. But new discoveries are made every day and thanks to radiocarbon dating, even old discoveries are receiving more accurate dating.

Now maybe I am just behind the times but this is the first time I have ever heard of the Megalithic Temples of Malta, some of which date from ca 3600 BC. That is approximately 6000 years old! Boy they sure knew how to build to last back then didn't they?

Megalithic Temples of Malta
Source: World Heritage Site

Some Facts:

  • According to Wikipedia, Maltese folklore describes giants as having built the temples, which led to the name Ġgantija, meaning 'Giants’ tower.

  • Not all of these temples date back quite so far but the timeline is pretty impressive with individual complexes ranging from 3600–3200 BC to 3150–2500 BC. There are additional signs of human habitation dating back to 5000 BC and continuing up to 700 BC.

  • The complex that was of special interest to me is the Mnajdra Complex built around 3000 BC.   

  • "The southern temple is oriented astronomically aligned with the rising sun during solstices and equinoxes; during the summer solstice the first rays of sunlight light up the edge of a decorated megalith between the first apses, while during the winter solstice the same effect occurs on a megalith in the opposite apse. During the equinox, the rays of the rising sun pass straight through the principal doorway to reach the innermost central niche." Source: Wikipedia


That is some amazing engineering considering that this temple predates the Bronze Age! 

There is plenty of great information on Wikipedia and the World Heritage site has some testimonials from actual visitors to the temples. Well worth a read if you are interested in prehistoric architecture as I am. 

So what ancient marvels astound and amaze you? Please share them in the comments!



Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Weekly Quote 17 ~ R.A. Salvatore

Mulluane | Wednesday, July 30, 2014 | 2 Comments so far

“No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons,

as I would not want to live in a world without magic,

for that is a world without mystery,

and that is a world without faith.”

-- R.A. Salvatore, Streams of Silver --


Silver Stream Book Quote by R.A. Salvatore ~ Design by Mulluane


About: This is a weekly feature here in the old belfry. The quote is R.A. Salvatore's. The design, along with any flaws, is mine. 

If you would like to suggest a quote (I prefer it be from a SFF author) let me know in the comments and I'll see what I can do. No promises though. If a quote is too big I may not be able to reproduce it in the space available. I do promise to try though!


Usage: Non-Commercial Fair Use is permitted. The following restrictions apply: Please do not remove or mask the watermark url. Do not sell, print or claim this work as your own and when sharing, pinning, reblogging or posting, a direct link to this post is appreciated. Thanks!

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Winter King by C.L. Wilson | Romantic Epic Fantasy

Mulluane | Monday, July 28, 2014 | 2 Comments so far

An epic new fantasy romance from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author C. L. Wilson
After three long years of war, starkly handsome Wynter Atrialan will have his vengeance on Summerlea's king by taking one of the man's beautiful, beloved daughters as his bride. But though peace is finally at hand, Wynter's battle with the Ice Heart, the dread power he embraced to avenge his brother's death, rages on.

Khamsin Coruscate, Princess of Summerlea and summoner of Storms, has spent her life exiled to the shadows of her father's palace. Reviled by her father, marriage to Wintercraig's icy king was supposed to be a terrible punishment, but instead offers Kham her first taste of freedom—and her first taste of overwhelming passion.

As fierce, indomitable Wynter weathers even Khamsin's wildest storms, surprising her with a tenderness she never expected, Kham wants more than Wynter's passion—she yearns for his love. But the power of the Ice Heart is growing, dangerous forces are gathering, and a devastating betrayal puts Khamsin and Wynter to the ultimate test.


*Blurb source*Avon Romance
Blurb might contain spoilers, toggle to view.
( Toggle may not function in email and some feed readers.)


The Winter King by C.L. Wilson | Romantic Epic Fantasy
| Source: ARC courtesy of HarperCollins
| Author: C.L. Wilson
| Genre: Romantic Epic Fantasy
| Content: High Fantasy, Weather Magic
| ISBN-10: 0062018973
| ISBN-13: 9780062018977
| Publisher: Avon (July 29, 2014)
| Mass Market Paperback: 608 pages
| Cover Artist: Judy York
| Rating: 4/5 Stars
| Affiliate Links:
Book Depository Affiliate Link Amazon Affiliate Link Kindle Affiliate Link
BooksAMillion Affiliate Link Abebooks affiliate linkAudible Affiliate Link

The Winter King


♦ Mini Review ♦
Romance, war, hardship, heartache and magic. All of the elements of a special epic fantasy. An Epic Fantasy Romance mix. And despite the fact that I normally stay away from romance novels, I really liked this one.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Fun Friday 24 ~ Create A Fantasy Creature for my Theme Park Zoo.

Mulluane | Friday, July 25, 2014 | 10 Comments so far
Hi! It is another Friday with another creative question to play with!

So here is the usual recap before we move on to the fun stuff. I know most people just skim or skip over this part but this time there is some info of note so please scan a bit slower!
There is a new FORUM! It is an empty, lonely place that needs some company. I had a forum once before and it was a fun lively place once it got started. Takes a while. Forums grow slowly but eventually become an invaluable resource. I envision a place of sharing and discussions. A place where we can dig deeply into books without fear of revealing spoilers. Something that must be avoided in regular comments. So come, see, explore and post! Lets get this thing going.
Now on to the Question! 


How good are your creative skills? My Epic Fantasy Zoo is empty! Help!


If you remember, a few weeks ago I started a virtual Epic Fantasy theme park. But no Theme Park is worth a darn without a zoo! And not just any zoo mind you. This zoo has to have unique and wonderful, you might even say fantastical, creatures of all kinds.
Helocoon


This is where you dear reader can help. I want you to rush off to the laboratory, put on your mad scientist hat, take a crash course in genetics and create some critters! Make something that is uniquely yours. Combine animals, use colors, heck, use glitter if you want. Make it mean and ugly or cute and cuddly. It is your critter! Do whatever you want. Oh and don't forget to name it too!

Okies, finally made mine. Bet ya can't guess what it is!



Old Bat


So go forth and create! 

Don't like this question? Look here "Fun Fridays" and see if there is one you do like! Comments are always welcome, even on older posts.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thursday Trivia #1 ~ Mother Nature Proves That Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

Mulluane | Thursday, July 24, 2014 | 7 Comments so far
Hi! It is me again. With a new idea designed to amaze and amuse the masses! 

I was doing some browsing, looking for post ideas and I ran across this cute little critter. Now as we all know, I am a diehard fantasy fan and this is a fantasy blog. So the question I can hear you asking is something along the lines of "Has Mull truly lost her mind this time?"

Well the short answer is that I lost it years ago. I let it wander one day and it never came back. However there is a legitimate reason why I wanted to share this fantastic critter. 

Kinkajous, Kinkajou Pictures, Kinkajou Facts - National Geographic
(Read more here)
Kinkajous, Kinkajou Pictures, Kinkajou Facts - National Geographic


Would you believe that this adorable raccoon relative can turn its feet around backwards! Seriously, it can. This allows it to run up or down tree trunks and branches without turning around. And if that wasn't strange enough, it has a prehensile tail large enough to use as a blanket plus a tongue long enough to sip nectar from the deepest flowers, snag termites from their mounds and raid honey from beehives. This odd critter is part raccoon - monkey - anteater - hummingbird and... bear. 

Now if this doesn't prove that truth is stranger than fantasy.... I don't know what does!

Oh and as an added bonus, this cute little guy has given me a fun idea for a friday post. Awesome how that all worked out.

Now, on a slightly more serious note. I keep running across weird and wonderful facts in my web travels. Not all are directly related to fantasy but they are often fantastic, odd, interesting, or just plain weird. Stuff I really want to share. Besides, you never know when one of these strange discoveries might inspire the next great fantasy novel!

So what ya think? Would you enjoy reading some fantastical facts and trivia ever so often?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Weekly Quote 16 ~ Dean Koontz

Mulluane | Wednesday, July 23, 2014 | 3 Comments so far

“Never leave a friend behind.

Friends are all we have to get us through this life--

and they are the only things from this world

that we could hope to see in the next.” 

 ― Dean Koontz, Fear Nothing --


Fear Nothing Book Quote by Dean Koontz ~ Artistic Elements Added by Mulluane


About: This is a weekly feature here in the old belfry. The quote is Dean Koontz's. The design, along with any flaws, is mine. 

If you would like to suggest a quote (I prefer it be from a SFF author) let me know in the comments and I'll see what I can do. No promises though. If a quote is too big I may not be able to reproduce it in the space available. I do promise to try though!


Usage: Non-Commercial Fair Use is permitted. The following restrictions apply: Please do not remove or mask the watermark url. Do not sell, print or claim this work as your own and when sharing, pinning, reblogging or posting, a direct link to this post is appreciated. Thanks!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Weekly Quote 15 ~ J.M. Barrie

Mulluane | Thursday, July 17, 2014 | 3 Comments so far

“When the first baby laughed for the first time, 

its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, 

and they all went skipping about, 

and that was the beginning of fairies.”

-- J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan --


Quote by J.M. Barrie ~ Design by Mulluane


About: This is a weekly feature here in the old belfry. The quote is J.M. Barrie's. The design, along with any flaws, is mine. 

If you would like to suggest a quote (I prefer it be from a SFF author) let me know in the comments and I'll see what I can do. No promises though. If a quote is too big I may not be able to reproduce it in the space available. I do promise to try though!


Usage: Non-Commercial Fair Use is permitted. The following restrictions apply: Please do not remove or mask the watermark url. Do not sell, print or claim this work as your own and when sharing, pinning, reblogging or posting, a direct link to this post is appreciated. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Interview - Betsy Dornbusch - Author of Exile (Books of the Seven Eyes)

Mulluane | Wednesday, July 16, 2014 | Be the first to comment!

EXILE comes out in Trade Paperback on July 1, just in time for the beach!


(Wacky Interview Series)


In case you missed the first interviews in this series, here is the deal...I read alot of author interviews and they are good, informative, and interesting but rarely tell me all that much about an author's personality. I often find myself thinking, "Well that's all good and everything but I want to know more about the real live person behind the book!"

So, I decided to conduct a "fun" interview; something that will give my readers a good laugh and be fun for the authors. You will not find serious questions covering books, publishing, writing or future plans. Instead you will get a chance to see how they react to a bunch of crazy questions and scenarios.

This time around I asked Betsy Dornbusch, author of Exile (Books of the Seven Eyes) -- which I spotlighted here -- if she would consider doing one of these. She said it sounded like fun! So, I sent her the 10 wacky questions, plus the 2 bonus substitutes and like those before her, she answered 11/12! So here for your reading pleasure is a look inside of the mind of Betsy Dornbusch...




Betsy Dornbusch - Author of Exile (Books of the Seven Eyes) ~ Epic Fantasy

1) Which magical power would you like to have and why?

Glamour, so “Poof!” Makeup and hair done.  

2) What would you do if you had a time machine?

Go to a showing of Midsummer’s Night Dream with Shakespeare. (and ask to have a little of whatever he was smoking) 

3) What was your funniest/most interesting encounter with a fan?

He wasn’t a fan (they’re all great and cool—haven’t had silly encounters with them) but I had a guy at a con hotel bar play his harmonica for me (at me?) for nearly an hour once. I have lots of people say funny things to me, but that’s a standout. 

4) If you had a chance to spend some time with one mythical being, what would it be and why?

 Pegasus. I want a ride! Besides, feathers and horses and pretty-shiny. 

6) What quirky habit do you have that often gets you teased by your peers or family?

I pick up other people’s drinks. I get to talking and just grab the nearest one. Which often isn’t mine. I was going to say this only happens at parties, but it happens around the house, too. 

7) What did you want to be when you grew up?

 I didn’t want to grow up. But I had to, so an artist or writer, and I’m both. 

8) If you could be reincarnated as an animal, what would you be and why?

  A dolphin. I think they have more fun than any animal on the planet. 

9.) My readers want to know what you had for breakfast. Not sure why exactly...

Today? Coffeecake. Usually eggs or toast or a smoothie. 

10) Why in the world did you consent to doing this wacky interview? I mean there is not one question here about your books, your writing or your future plans!

I do what my publicist says. She’s like the Hulk. You really don’t want to make her angry.

Besides, it’s fun! 

Bonus Questions!


11) Who is your favorite comedian or cartoon character and why?

Jon Stewart. Because funny. And I really like that he doesn’t have a straight face and laughs at his own jokes. 

12) How would you describe your sense of humor?

Sarcastic and a little biting. I tend to give people shit, especially the serious ones, especially when I first meet people to find out if they can take it. 

Thanks Betsy for consenting to do this interview!


(Author info, Book info, Affiliate links)
♥ Read Chapter One of Exile! 

♥ Available at these fine retailers: Kindle ~ AmazonBook Depository ~ AbeBooks ~ BAM!

♥ You can connect with Betsy Dornbusch on her Facebook Page or on Twitter

♥ Checkout my Spotlight of Exile by Betsy Dornbusch for more information!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Spotlight! ~ Exile by Betsy Dornbusch ~ Night Shade Books

Mulluane | Tuesday, July 15, 2014 | 3 Comments so far


♥ Epic Fantasy Showcase ♥

*** Available NOW! ***



| Author: Betsy Dornbusch
| Genre: Epic Fantasy
| Series: Books of the Seven Eyes
| Paperback: 288 pages
| Publisher: Night Shade Books (July 1, 2014)
| ISBN-10: 1597805068
| ISBN-13: 9781597805063
| Goodreads Page


♦ Accolades ♦

Necromantic magic, deadly political intrigue, and a reluctant hero torn between his duty to a foreign queen and his desire for revenge... Betsy Dornbusch's EXILE kept me reading into the wee hours of the night, breathless to find out how Draken's story would end. ** Courtney Schafer, author The Shattered Sigil series **

Betsy Dornbusch's Exile is a non-stop adventure with a fascinating world and some terrific magic.  ** Carol Berg, author of Novels of the Collegia Magica, Lighthouse Duet, Books of the Rai-kirah, Bridge of D'Arnath, and Song of the Beast **

♦ Blurb ♦

He lost his wife, his homeland, and his name, only to find a destiny that would shake the gods.


Draken vae Khellian, bastard cousin of the Monoean King, had risen far from his ignominious origins, becoming both a Bowrank Commander and a member of the Crown’s Black Guard. But when he is falsely condemned for the grisly murder of his beloved wife, he is banished from the kingdom and cast upon the distant shore of Akrasia, at the arse-end of the world.

Compared to civilized Monoea, Akrasia is a forbidding land of Moonlings, magic, and restless spirits. It is also a realm on the brink of a bloody revolution, as a sinister conspiracy plots against Akrasia’s embattled young queen–and malevolent banes possess the bodies of the living.

Consumed by grief and branded a murderer, Draken lives only to clear his name and avenge his wife’s murder. But the fates may have bigger plans for him. Alone in a strange land, he soon finds himself sharing the bed of an enigmatic necromancer and a half-breed servant girl, while pressed into the service of a foreign queen whose life and land may well depend on the divided loyalties of an exiled warrior.


♦ Author's Bio ♦


Betsy Dornbusch (that's me!) writes urban and epic fantasy, science fiction, and dabbles in thrillers and erotica. Her short fiction has appeared in print and online venues such as Sinister Tales, Big Pulp, Story Portal, and Spinetingler, and her work is in the anthologies Tasty Little Tales and Deadly by the Dozen. 

She's been an editor with the ezine Electric Spec for six years and regularly speaks at fan conventions and writers’ conferences. Her first full length novel, ARCHIVE OF FIRE came out in 2012 to great reviews  and the first of her her epic fantasy series, EXILE, came out in February 2013. She’s the sole proprietor of Sex Scenes at Starbucks (http://betsydornbusch.com) where you can believe most of what she writes. 

In her free time, she snowboards, air jams at punk rock concerts, and just started following Rockies baseball, of all things. (source)

(Author info, Book info, Affiliate links)
♥ Sounds good doesn't it! 

♥ Available at these fine retailers: Kindle ~ AmazonBook Depository ~ AbeBooks ~ BAM!

♥ You can connect with Betsy Dornbusch on her Facebook Page or on Twitter

♥ Read my fun Wacky Interview of Betsy Dornbusch


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Weekly Quote 14 ~ Kami Garcia

Mulluane | Thursday, July 10, 2014 | 5 Comments so far

“There’s something about sitting alone in the dark that reminds you

 how big the world really is, and how far apart we all are.

The stars look like they’re so close, you could reach out and touch them.

But you can’t. 

Sometimes things look a lot closer than they are.”

-- Kami Garcia, Beautiful Darkness --


Quote by Kami Gargia ~ Design by Mulluane


About: This is a weekly feature here in the old belfry. The quote is Kami Garcia's. The design, along with any flaws, is mine. 

If you would like to suggest a quote (I prefer it be from a SFF author) let me know in the comments and I'll see what I can do. No promises though. If a quote is too big I may not be able to reproduce it in the space available. I do promise to try though!


Usage: Non-Commercial Fair Use is permitted. The following restrictions apply: Please do not remove or mask the watermark url. Do not sell, print or claim this work as your own and when sharing, pinning, reblogging or posting, a direct link to this post is appreciated. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Reader Appreciation Interview ~ Maddalena @ Space and Sorcery

Mulluane | Wednesday, July 09, 2014 | Be the first to comment!

The Bio!

Once upon a time there was this old lady from Italy who loved science fiction and fantasy, with just a little dash of horror thrown in for added flavor. She was quiet and harmless, spending her free time with books and beloved tv shows, when... EVERYTHING CHANGED.  Yes, because one day, searching the web for reviews on books to read, she stumbled on this interesting blog called “Old Bat's Belfry” and an article about posting one's reading experiences on Pinterest.  One pin led to another, and before you could say “Klaatu Barada Nikto” she opened a blog of her own and started pestering everyone... er... sharing her book reviews with the world.

If you run real fast you might still make it to the emergency exit....  

The Questions!


1.) What magical ability would you like to have and why?

I would like to be able to manipulate time, so I could stretch it when I'm doing something I enjoy, and speed it up when I'm dealing with real life's assorted annoyances.
2.) What would you do if you had a time machine?

A peek at the future would be my first goal, a future in which humanity has learned to travel among the stars and discover new planets: I wouldn't mind seeing some other exotic place, with differently-colored skies and several moons hanging in orbit...   But I would like to visit the past as well, and tour ancient Greece, for example: it would be wonderful to see Athens in its days of glory. Or what about the great library in Alexandria?
3.) You are an archeologist and you discover something that no one has ever seen before. What do you think would be the coolest thing you could possibly discover and why?

The proof that Atlantis was not a myth! How cool would that be?
4.) If aliens landed in your backyard, what is the first thing you would ask them?

"You are not here to eat us, are you?"
No, seriously, how many times books and tv shows have shown apparently-benevolent aliens that landed on Earth in friendship, only to reveal that we were only a food source?  Much as I'd love to meet an alien species, pop-culture made me extremely wary of alien landings!
5.) Who (or what) is your favorite cartoon character and why?

Wyle E. Coyote.  I loved him since I was a child, and always rooted for him: yes, he kept hunting the Road Runner, presumably to eat it, but his constant, spectacular failures made him the victim rather than the aggressor - and I ended up being annoyed at Road Runner's smug air of superiority. Poor Coyote....
6.) If you could have lunch with a famous person, living or dead, who would it be and why?

I don't even need to think about it: Professor Tolkien. We'd discuss Middle Earth in delightfully painstaking depth while consuming a meal that would make a Hobbit proud...  Jokes aside, it would be a joy to explore my very favorite imaginary world hearing the voice of its creator.
7.) If you could be reincarnated as an animal (real or imagined), what would you be and why?

A direwolf: first because they are among the most intriguing creatures in GRR Martin's ASOIAF world - bigger than ordinary wolves, they can bond with their human companion and exchange consciousness; second, because I've used the name of one of those direwolves (Nymeria) as my internet nick for years, and it's part of me now, since some of my friends use it just as frequently as my real name.

8.) You are stranded on a desert island, and only one thing washed up on shore with you what (or who) would you want that to be?

A powerful (VERY powerful) radio to call for HELP!!!!!!!   Because, ok, adventures on a desert island could be fun, but I don't think I could hold out long without some basic comforts like a roof over my head, running water and.. insect repellant! 
9.) Alot of ancient cultures, like the Greeks and Romans, had a god for just about everything. What type of god could you envision yourself as and why?

To quote Vala (from Stargate SG1) I would certainly be all-knowing as well as beautiful... Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?  All shall love me, and despair!  Now, where did I hear that before...?
10.) If you could be a character in a fantasy or science fiction novel, what type would you be? (Wizard, assassin, warrior, spaceship captain, princess, etc...) and why?

A little explanation first: among the tv shows I've seen in my life, two have received my deep, abiding love: one is Babylon 5, a complex drama that mixes politics and powerful characterization in a futuristic setting; the other is Farscape, one of the best and stylistically daring stories ever filmed. In Farscape there is Moya, the bio-mechanoid Leviathan ship that's both home to the characters and is a character herself, and I often thought how wonderful it would be to meet such a creature and travel through the galaxy on her. So the book could be called “My travels with Moya” and the end (only for volume one, of course, because nowadays the accepted minimum is a trilogy!) would read:

And from the view-portal in command she saw a huge, slowly spinning space station, a shining beacon in the darkness, all alone in the night.
“That's Babylon 5, Moya, we found it.”

The Blog Plug!

You can find my rambling on books I read at Space and Sorcery
Do it at your own risk!  

Thanks to Maddalena for sharing her answers with us!



Want to join in on the fun? Find out how here: Reader Appreciation Series


Friday, July 4, 2014

Fun Friday 23 ~ Create An Attraction For An Epic Fantasy Theme Park

Mulluane | Friday, July 04, 2014 | 10 Comments so far
It is Friday! Happy Fourth of July! 

Last friday post was on the serious side so this time we are going for all out fun!

But before we get to that, here is the usual weekly recap. This time it is for 2 weeks since I didn't do one of these posts last Friday.

Now on with the Fun!

I Want YOU To Create An Attraction For An Epic Fantasy Theme Park!



This is not your typical Disney theme park. It is not a Renaissance Faire or a Cosplay Convention. I envision a dark, creepy park where a degree of horror is allowed, as long as it is more fantasy than supernatural. I want adventure, thrills, chills, excitement, and humor with plenty of fantasy tropes and limited gore. Oh and killing the customers is allowed as long as you can do so quietly. Wouldn't be much of a park if everybody ran to the exits in a mindless panic; so lets avoid that shall we?
Elf Fun House
This can be alot of fun if we put our minds to it. Always wanted to design your own rollercoaster? Now is your chance! A fun house maybe? A carousel ride that is more than it appears? How about a magic show with real magic? The possibilities are only as limited as your imagination.

Oh and I want details. Lots of details. Or simple, simple is good too. Afterall it is YOUR creation. It can be a bare bones design or a story like mine is. Make of it whatever you will.

But... I'll go you one better! If you create a big, complicated attraction I'll even make it into a full post! Just tell me in the comments that your attraction is too big to describe there and we'll figure out the best way to coordinate a full post either here or on your own blog. Once it is up, I'll go back and add a comment to your original comment, including the post url so future visitors can jump right to your creation.

Take all the time you need. Blog isn't going anywhere and I know it is a holiday, summertime and nasty weather season. When a new comment gets added I'll just mention it in the weekly roundups or even faster, you can subscribe to this post! The "notify" button isn't easy to see and even easier to forget to checkmark but that is the fastest way to learn of new comments.

Now on to my creation! 

***Warning*** There is alot of telling and little to no showing but I'm not a writer. I'm a batty goofball.



♥ My Theme Attraction ♥


Imagine if you will a tunnel of love. Now wipe that image right out of your mind because trust me, this is not your normal tunnel of love at all.

This wondrous creation is in the shape of a beautiful white dragon with mother-of-pearl colored scales, all gleaming like opals in the sunlight. Her eyes are a shimmering cobalt blue as she appears to scan the line of couples eagerly awaiting their chance to step into her open maw. Her claws are painted the same hue as those magnificent eyes and her head rests demurely on her crossed forearms. Not even her huge gaping maw is intimidating because some enterprising soul has surrounded each tooth with a gorgeous array of pastel flowers and gently chiming windchimes.

The actual length of the ride is somewhat of a mystery since the back quarter of the dragon is encased inside a tent but that just adds to the anticipation. A more innocent and romantic appearing dragon has never been seen either before or since.

At the entrance stands a young man all dressed in blue to match. In his hands are two odd looking glass objects. Shaped kind of like an hourglass, these lanterns (for they are indeed lanterns) are filled with super fireflies! These are much bigger than mundane fireflies and MUCH brighter. Besides, candles may be deemed as romantic but hot wax dripping on your fingers is annoying to some people. 

***Wusses***

First up is a lovely couple. The man trying his best to look both attentive and heroic, while his companion latches onto his arm like a scared cat. Claws and all.

"Oh Mandrake!" She squeals. "Isn't it just lovely! I ADORE dragons! And look! Firefly lanterns! Aren't they just WONDERFUL!"

***At this point our poor wannabe hero is secretly noting that she also sounds like a scared cat and wonders just what he has gotten himself into...***

Each participant receives a lantern and grasping them firmly around the middle, they enter the dragon's maw. Immediately a strong rhythmic beat can be heard from all around them. A voice gently fills the air, informing them that what they hear is the heartbeat of love. The man rolls his eyes while his companion sighs and smiles wistfully, digging her nails even deeper into his poor arm.

***By now our abused suitor is seriously contemplating ripping those nails off of her fingers -- one by one.***

As they stroll a bit further down the tunnel they encounter a door. More of a flap really. It is a pretty flap, all decorated with roses and hearts, but it is deceptively heavy. The man flexes his muscles, the lady ooos appreciatively, and he holds open the flap - gallantly motioning her to step in.

Once inside they encounter a small plastic boat drawn up on the shore of what appears to be a smooth glistening lake. The voice whispers that all that is needed is for our couple to seat themselves within and the boat would magically take them on a peaceful, romantic ride. A coying scent of roses fills the air. Soft romantic music begins to play. Our couple seat themselves comfortably and the boat moves forward on a sudden intake of air; skimming slowly across the now bubbling pool. Our fair maiden squeals with delight while transferring her death grip to her suitor's upper thigh.

***It might be noted that all thoughts of romance have vanished from the gentleman's mind; replaced by thoughts like "I wonder if she can swim" and "Will anybody, including her parents, actually miss her if I throw her off the boat?"***

But our poor hero, having been turned into a human pincushion, has no idea that his problems are about to come to a screeching halt... literally. In a matter of moments the plastic boat and its surprised occupants quickly dissolve in a pool of crystal clear sulfuric acid. The couples' screams muffled by the dragon's thick hide.

***It might also be noted, in passing as it were, our unfortunate pincushion did not experience his life flashing before his eyes. Instead his last confused thought was, "I wonder why somebody is standing on my lady's tail?"

The lady in question had no thoughts at all.***

It is about this same time that the attendant excuses himself politely and promising to return promptly, disappears into the tent. Outside a few loiterers standing close by detect a sudden flurry of activity, oddly accompanied by a strong scent of roses, a noise that sounded strangely like a fart, followed by a plopping sound. Four plops to be exact.

***This event is was also accompanied by what sounded like a mix between a giggle, a snort and someone muttering the word, "Idiots..." But of course that could have been nothing more than an errant gust of wind.***

Unseen by all, the dragon boy quickly scoops up two piles of carbon based ash and two glass lanterns, all while loudly proclaiming in a voice that carries clearly to the front, "Oh wonderful! I am glad you enjoyed it! Come right this way. The exit is to the rear..."

Smiling from ear to ear, the dragon boy emerges from the tent and with a bow, hands two super firefly lanterns to the next lucky meal... umm couple.

***In conclusion, it is a shame that none of our eager couples bothered to stop looking adoringly into each other's eyes. If they had they might have noticed that our dragon had acquired a rather satisfied gleam in her own blue orbs.

Idiots... ***






***Moral of the story: Forget romance. Get a cat instead. You'll live longer.***



So now it is your turn. Just keep in mind that you can play this any way you want. Only hard fast rule is it should be Epic/High Fantasy based.


Maddalena's GRRM Theme Park ♥

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Now this entry went beyond my wildest dreams! Awesome job!

Be sure to check out Maddalena's fantastic review blog, Space and Sorcery.


Don't like this question? Look here "Fun Fridays" and see if there is one you do like! Comments are always welcome, even on older posts.


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Weekly Quote 13 ~ Lewis Carroll

Mulluane | Thursday, July 03, 2014 | 3 Comments so far

“But I don’t want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.

"Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad."

"How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice.

"You must be," said the Cat, or you wouldn’t have come here.”

― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


Quote by Lewis Carroll ~ Design by Mulluane


About: This is a weekly feature here in the old belfry. The quote is Lewis Carroll's. The design, along with any flaws, is mine. 

If you would like to suggest a quote (I prefer it be from a SFF author) let me know in the comments and I'll see what I can do. No promises though. If a quote is too big I may not be able to reproduce it in the space available. I do promise to try though!


Usage: Non-Commercial Fair Use is permitted. The following restrictions apply: Please do not remove or mask the watermark url. Do not sell, print or claim this work as your own and when sharing, pinning, reblogging or posting, a direct link to this post is appreciated. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Interview ~ Dane Richter ~ Indie Author of Hunt For The Star (The Eldon Archives, #1)

Mulluane | Wednesday, July 02, 2014 | Be the first to comment!

(Wacky Interview Series)


In case you missed the first interviews in this series, here is the deal...I read alot of author interviews and they are good, informative, and interesting but rarely tell me all that much about an author's personality. I often find myself thinking, "Well that's all good and everything but I want to know more about the real live person behind the book!"

So, I decided to conduct a "fun" interview; something that will give my readers a good laugh and be fun for the authors. You will not find serious questions covering books, publishing, writing or future plans. Instead you will get a chance to see how they react to a bunch of crazy questions and scenarios.

This time around I asked Dane Richter, Indie author of Hunt For The Star (The Eldon Archives, #1) (which I spotlighted here) if he would consider doing one of these. He said it sounded like fun! So, I sent him the 10 wacky questions, plus the 2 bonus substitutes and like those before him, he answered all 12! So here for your reading pleasure is a look inside of the mind of Dane Richter...





1) Which magical power would you like to have and why?

Probably immortality with the stipulation that I would forever be without sickness, pain and ageing. I think up until recently people only speculated that there was other life in the universe. 5 years ago the Kepler telescope replaced the Hubble and since then scientists have made many discoveries including the confirmation of dozens of planets in the "goldilocks zone" capable of supporting life. Being immortal would give me enough time to explore the universe and maybe enough time to work out the mind of the human female.

2) What would you do if you had a time machine?

So many things! Go back in time and buy stock in Microsoft. Spend a bit of time panning for gold before the gold rush. Place a few bets... you get the idea - I'd make myself wealthy. Many years years ago I suffered a back injury the effects of which can still be felt. I would go back and tell myself how to avoid that. Aside from that there are a bunch of historical figures or events I'd like to see. Was Nostradamus a real prophet or did he predict so much crap that some of it was bound to become true? Did Jesus really die on the cross? How did they build the pyramids? Did the druids build stonehenge just to hang out and play cards, or did they use it to have a few drinks, celebrate the fertility gods with sexual acts and ritual sacrifice?

3) What was your funniest/most interesting encounter with a fan?

A girl bought my book at a convention and then opened it to the second last page and proceeded to read. I was horrified! I shut the book and said: 'That's not how I intended it to be read!' to which she responded: 'It's my book now, I can read it how I like.' I nearly refunded the money but I needed the $25.

4) If you had a chance to spend some time with one mythical being, what would it be and why?

I could see how Aladdin's genie could be beneficial. Bigfoot would be good. I'd take a photo of Bigfoot reading my book and upload it to Facebook as a promo tool.

5) If aliens landed in your backyard, what is the first thing you would ask them?

Sprechen sie deutsch? The Germans seem to be more advanced than the rest of us so chances are that they would have somehow taught the aliens to speak German before they arrived on Earth. Plus it's the only complete non-English phrase I know. When I think of aliens, I don't see the Spock variety that are able to speak our language. I see the Mulder and Scully little green men or insectoid variety only able to communicate in high-pitched tones or clicks or something. What am I supposed to say to that? This parking bay is already taken?

6) What quirky habit do you have that often gets you teased by your peers or family?

Is winning a quirky habit? Some friends and I play a board game called Settlers of Catan. We are so competitive that we decided to compile a stats sheet on victory points vs games played. After some 60 odd games, I'm proud to admit my average was around 8.5 out of 10 compared to the next best of around 7.2. Despite this putting a virtual target on my back, I continued to win and this was known as Dane Hax. Every time we play now, the only game plan is to always put the robber on my numbers. It's quite frustrating.

7) What did you want to be when you grew up?

An Olympic Athlete. Track and field was my game until I turned 30. I represented Australia in 2000 at the World Junior Aths Championships in the high jump and as a open athlete I switched to the 400m hurdles. I won a few national medals and briefly (and I mean real brief...as in a few weeks) held a number 1 ranking in the country, but I unfortunately never won Olympic team selection. I found that even if the work ethic is there, it might not be enough. Like many things in life, sometimes you need a little bit of luck and sadly my Dane hax only went so far.

8) If you could be reincarnated as an animal, what would you be and why?

The largest bird of prey in Australia is the wedge-tailed eagle. My Dad is a bird atlas surveyor so I've been given a unique perspective on Australian birds. I've always thought there was something majestic about the eagle. They can soar on hot air currents to heights beyond what the eye can see without a single beat of their wings. Plus it would be pretty cool to be able to fly.

9.) My readers want to know what you had for breakfast. Not sure why exactly...

This morning I did not eat anything. Had a cup of tea and I'm talking a BIG cup - about 850-900ml of pure, sweet, bottom-dollar, store-bought english breakfast tea. If it's any consolation, last night I ate a whole chicken, 4 bits of corn, half a cheesecake, a bowl of ice cream, half a block of chocolate, half a litre of mocha and a litre of canadian club and cola. I wasn't really feeling that hungry this morning. Tomorrow I've got crumpets!

10) Why in the world did you consent to doing this wacky interview? I mean there is not one question here about your books, your writing or your future plans!

To be honest the questions didn't woo me. It was a stroke of luck that I answered this today because I needed as many people as possible to know that I ate a whole chicken and #9 catered to that. I rolled with whatever for the rest of the questions. Actually it was fun. When I release the next book I hope you will give me another 10 whacky questions!

Bonus Questions!


11) Who is your favorite comedian or cartoon character and why?

Homer Simpson is a comedian and cartoon character... how convenient (Homer Simpson voice). Recently I've been enjoying an anime called Bleach and my favourite character is Zaraki Kenpachi. As a writer I see the obvious "barbarian template" but the writer has done a marvellous job with him. He has an "I don't give a f***" attitude but has quite a calculating mind to offset his outward unsophisticated disposition.

12) How would you describe your sense of humor?

I think I have a dry wit but I'm not above toilet humour. Amongst friends I can have a vulgar sense of humour too. My fantasy writing contains humour but isn't supposed to be humourous. I tend to switch the humour according to whatever character currently holds the POV. 

Thanks Dane for consenting to do this interview!


(Author info, Book info, Affiliate links)

♥ Hunt For The Star is available at these fine retailers ~ Kindle ~ AmazonBook Depository ~ AbeBooks ~ BAMM!

♥ You can connect with Dane Richter on his Facebook Page or on Goodreads

♥ And please check out my Indie Spotlight of "Hunt For The Star" (The Eldon Archives, #1).

Other Wacky Interviews



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Indie Spotlight ~ Hunt For The Star (The Eldon Archives, #1) by Dane Richter

Mulluane | Tuesday, July 01, 2014 | Be the first to comment!


♥ Epic Fantasy Showcase ♥


Hunt For The Star (The Eldon Archives, #1) by Dane Richter

| Genre: Epic Fantasy
| Content: War, Magic, High Fantasy
| ISBN-10: 1471054845
| ISBN-13: 9781471054846
| Publisher: lulu.com (April 24, 2012)
| Paperback: 460 pages

| Goodreads Page

♦ Blurb ♦


Edoria is at war. Artos Hestrom retreats back to his home town of Corsin where he is given the task of retrieving a powerful crystal called the Eldon Star. The ageing Artos uses lies and deceit to procure people to help him on the journey and the plight of a half-man, half-elf called Chet, provides the perfect cover. Artos' nephew, Ethan, freely volunteers to accompany him without knowing his true motives, but Ethan's death has been foreseen in a vision. Knowing that Ethan would certainly die if he continues on the journey, Artos must choose between the fate of his family and the fate of the world.

Standing in his way is the evil Sorcerer, Ruehl, who has waged war in Edoria with his blood-thirsty hordes of Kròkos. Ruehl uses his minions to relentlessly scour the land for the crystal. Betrayals, challenges and loss set up a final confrontation with the evil Sorcerer where there can be only one victor.


♦ Author's Bio ♦


Born in 1981, Dane Richter spent his early life growing up on a farm located about an hour east of Perth, Western Australia. A love of Enid Blyton’s works first introduced him to the world of fantasy and adventure and with time, shifted to works by Tolkien, Feist and Tad Williams which opened a wider spectrum of the fantasy genre.

Although a deep-seeded passion for adventure and storytelling existed, during his high school years he had an aptitude for sport, excelling at track and field. Quickly rising up the ranks of Australia’s elite, he represented Australia in high jump at the IAAF World Junior Championships in 2000. He continued athletics for over a decade with personal bests of 2.19m in the high jump and 50.46s in the 400m hurdles and although he won numerous Australian national medals, a career dogged by injury saw him missing out on the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Writing was a passion for Dane throughout his track and field career, beginning in 1999 and finishing the first draft of Hunt for the Star in 2003. With education and sport a primary focus, time afforded to writing was limited. Dane honed his skill over the next few years with affiliations to Tom Collins Writers House and the Speculative fiction group KSP Writers centre, whilst penning a sequel, Rise of the Deceiver.

Dane completed a Bachelor degree in Commerce majoring in Accounting and Marketing in 2003 and worked in coaching and education over the next ten years with a brief stint as a freelance writer in 2006, publishing 23 articles as a sports writer for the Perth metro and country based paper, Community News Group.


(Author info, Book info, Affiliate links)

♥ Available at these fine retailers Kindle ~ AmazonBook Depository ~ AbeBooks ~ BAMM!

♥ You can connect with Dane Richter on his Facebook Page or on Goodreads

♥ Watch for my Wacky Interview of Dane Richter 
(About Indie Spotlights)


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