Free Fantasy Novel by Yvonne Hertzberger

Do you love fantasy stories? Traditional, classic, epic fantasy novels?

Then you might be interested in the offerings of Yvonne Herzberger. For the next two days (including today), the two ebooks in her Earth’s Pendulum series—Back From Chaos and Through Kestrel’s Eyes—are free on Amazon.com.

Author Biography (snipped from Amazon, along with book covers)

Yvonne Hertzberger is a native of the Netherlands who immigrated to Canada in 1950. She is married with two grown children, (one married) and resides quietly in Stratford, Ontario with her spouse, Mark in a 130-year-old, tiny, brick cottage, where she plans to live out her retirement. She calls herself a jill-of-all-trades and a late bloomer. Her many past paid jobs included banking, day care, residential care for challenged children, hairdressing (her favourite) retail, and customer service. She enjoys gardening, singing, the theatre, decorating and socializing with friends and family.

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Dispelling the Myth of Sword Weights

Bronwyn moved off to the side. “To make a firm stance, move this leg back like this. And put the other like this.” With Anna’s feet in position, he slowly moved his hands in an exercise motion to get her to handle the sword efficiently.

After a few tries, she lowered it. “It’s heavy. Your sword is not appropriate to my body mass.”

He picked up a fair-sized stick. “What you need is a slim sword, one weighing about a pound. It looks similar to a long dagger, but you wield it the same as you would a sword. The next chance we get, I’ll show you what I mean. Until then,” he exchanged the stick for the sword, “you can practise the movements with this.”

So how heavy were those swords back in the dark ages? One popular writer, who I won’t name, claimed the sword her character used was ten pounds.

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I’m a Guest at Thea’s Blog

Characters are the essence in a story as corned beef is the heart in Jiggs Dinner. But just like the beef, characters can have no flavour and instead of enticing you to eat read more, you pass on seconds put the book down.

Like corned beef, good characters take time to create. I’ve cured my characters in Shadows of the Stone for several years. Now, they’re almost read to be served (think May 6th). I love my characters, the good, the bad and the ugly. None of them are perfect because perfect characters are boring. Even The Good Guys Must Be Flawed. You can read my thoughts about this in a guest post at Thea Atkinson’s blog.

Shadows in the Stone May 6, 2012

Change is Excruciating

I met Argon when I was thirteen. Back then I was a naive thief, a wee hauflin traipsing through the forest acting like I knew how to pick a lock faster than any other thief. I was pretty handy with a sword, better with a dagger, and possessed a silver tongue that could talk me out of a fickle.

While lost in the Caverns of Confusion with my travel-mates, we stumbled upon a young dwarf who turned out to be an explorer from Aruam Castle. He was fairly handsome and I thought, if only he was fifty years younger, I’d give him a whirl. But then again, he was an honourable man and wouldn’t be interested in a common thief.

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My Bags are Packed for Ath-o’Lea

Today begins my journey into Ath-o’Lea. That’s the name of the fantasy world where my characters of Shadows in the Stone dwell. This journey contains about 130,000 words and 42 chapters. It spans twelve years and about 300 miles. I’ll travel by foot, waggon, magic portal and horseback. Along the way I’ll see a child born, loyal men killed, a kidnapping and a chase.

I’ll witness heated arguments, passionate moments, sword fights, emotional turmoil and both innocent and evil magic. My path will cross that of honourable men, dutiful women, innocent children, humans, thieves, murderers, dwarfs, lords, hauflins, troglodytes, lost souls and stubborn ponies.

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Shadows in the Stone Update

Due to kicking myself in the butt a few weeks ago, I finally completed removing words which made my sentences passive from the Shadows in the Stone manuscript.

Grand Total: In 27 chapters, I eliminated 1,424 was, 292 were and 449 that words, reducing the overall word count by 2,837. On average, each chapter contained about 3,000 words, so in the end, it felt as if I eliminated an entire chapter. That’s incredible.

My hope is that after completing this exercise that I’ll think twice before ever using was, were and that words in my original drafts.

Today, I began Part II: The final edit before it goes to the editor stage. During this stage several other tasks take place, such as recording character names and making final name changes.

You can read about Part II on the Shadows in the Stone page. As always, a brief update on my progress appears in the right-hand column of every blog page below the book cover.

It’s All About Fantastic Locations

Since I was a wee lass I’ve hunted for the perfect location for a fantasy novel to take place. Oft times, my camera sat only a stretch away, so if the magic of the scenery moved me, I could attempt to capture it on film. This was more difficult to do than one can imagine.

I’ve found many pockets of wonderful locations throughout Atlantic Canada and on my travels. The pictures I’ve gathered easily show the location, but when it comes to revealing their beauty through words in a novel without pictures, at times they’re tough to describe. That’s when you need landscape lingo.

Writing fantasy requires me to learn landscape lingo, the basic names for the structure of the land. After all, who wants to travel through a bland forest all the time when the countryside, glen and meadow are free for the taking?

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The Powers of Liam’s Spinel

The translucent lustre of spinel cast the spell of loyalty and calmness. Wearers of the stone are shown the path to peaceful meditation and self-healing. When separated from loved ones, the power of the stone reduces anxiety and aides in coping with the separation. Spinel protects from troublesome influences and helps one find their way.

Isla gives her best friend Liam a handmade necklace containing a blue spinel in my fantasy novel Shadows in the Stone. She chose the gem carefully, sensing he’d one day need a resilient inner strength to help him survive and remain loyal to her. He’d also need extensive healing from the horrendous path I’ve plotted for him and positive encouragements to combat the negative influences in his life.

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A Haflinger for a Hauflin

Gipsy gold does not chink and glitter. It gleams in the sun and neighs in the dark. Attributed to the Claddaugh Gypsies of Galway.

When I went searching for the perfect horse breed for my fantasy novel, Shadows in the Stone, there were several characteristics I desired.

1) She had to be pretty with a flowing mane to capture the attention of readers and other characters.Haflinger

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Shadows in the Stone Update

Can you believe it’s already February 8th? Where is winter going so fast? And where is all the work I had planned to finish in that first long, glorious month of the year?

Sadly, I had lost focus on my fantasy novel, Shadows in the Stone, and worked on it very little during the first 31 days of 2012. I could beat myself up about it, but instead, I think I’ll lay down the law. This always works better for me, and it’ll force me to think about that looming deadline when my novel goes to print.

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Forget the Shoes; Climb into their Pants

You’ve heard the old expression, To really know someone, you must walk in their shoes.

This expression reminds us to not judge people before we get to know them and to not assume we know what they’re thinking and feeling. This expression holds true for the people in our life as well as the characters in our stories.

Writing about someone without knowing them first makes them flat, uninteresting and possible unreliable. When I begin a new story with new characters, I often stumble my way along, wondering if my character will go this way or that. If they are faced with a challenge, what will they do? Turn and run? Or stand and fight?

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Interview with Diane Lynn McGyver

Recently, I shared a cup of tea and cranberry muffins with author Diane Lynn McGyver. We discussed the coming year and her current projects. Below is the meat of that conversation.

TIBERT: I read your short story Mutated Blood Bonds on Smashwords. It intertwines the mysteries of the ending of the Mayan calendar and the grid lines criss-crossing Nova Scotia. What do you think will happen in December 2012?

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Flight of the Fairy Captured on Film

The heat from the grass and forest permeated the still air in the small clearing, and when I breathed in, nature’s energy filled my lungs. Closing my eyes, I heard a slight rustling of leaves high in the trees and a distant cry of an unknown bird. Here, far from the city, people and motor vehicles, the earth relaxed, time stood still and the body felt at home.

As I made my way towards the headstones dotting the burial grounds, I wondered if I had enough time to capture images of every marker. The kids were eager to get to the blueberry field and didn’t want to linger at yet another graveyard. They followed close behind, asking if that person was related, or what did the little lamb on the stone indicate and how much longer was this going to take?

To be honest, my kids didn’t often complain when visiting cemeteries even after they’d been dragged through several dozen. Something always appeared to entertain them even if it was just a hapless toad hopping across our path.

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From long ago shined a light.

The day had been pleasant. John and I had celebrated the rising of the sun with dear friends. As we made our way home from the festival, my white ceremonial gown shimmered in the fading sunlight. We walked along the wooded path in silence, occasionally stealing glances and giggling in a giddy-kinda way. The raspberry wine left us both with a care-free spirit.

John reached over and stole a kiss and I snuggled into his side. The dry leaves uncovered from the snow by the heat of the sun rustled beneath my leather shoes. The air was crisp and cooling and by nightfall, the warmth near the hearth would be beckoning.

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In my other life I’m a halfling thief.

I was a thirteen-year-old kid, racing after my friends through the lounge of our Girls and Boys Club when pixies first sprinkled magic dust of Dungeons & Dragons in my hair. It wasn’t my first glimpse into the lives of elves, dwarfs and halflings, but it was the first time an entire world was exposed. Until then I had thought these creatures lived amongst us, hiding in the shadows of the forest, deep in forgotten caves and in rock structures invisible to the human eye.

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