Halloween Winners

Congratulations to the Grand Prize Winner of the Creed of the Guardian Halloween Giveaway and the Where The Readers Grow Instagram Winner!

Winners!

Creed of the Guardian, Book Three in the Heart of the Warrior series, is here! 

Dark Fantasy Books

Order Your Copy Today!

Protect the Innocent. Punish the Guilty.

Seth the Ice Lion, now an Apprentice in the Jalora Legion, reluctantly travels aboard ship with his new battalion. Western Beta’s mission seems a dull assignment. Guarding miles of bogs and old ruins should be a simple task, but Seth soon learns nothing is easy for the Bearer of the Lion Ring. The Jalora is the embodiment of Good and the source of Seth’s power. It commands he search North Marsh for a relic capable of saving his homeland from the ravenous appetite of the Jackal invaders. Surrounded by deadly bogs and savage beasts, he must find the relic before the Lion Spirit inside of him takes control of their shared body.

Invaders from across the sea hold a firm grip on Valdeon, but their thirst for blood remains unsated. They lust for the riches of Andara. Using fear and greed as weapons, the Jackal enlist aid from the continent’s unscrupulous mercenaries to prepare for a larger invasion. They build a stronghold – Stone Fang Fortress – in the Bloodtooth Mountains of the north. It is here they prepare to conquer the free world.

Will Seth find this powerful relic before the Jackal swarm invades Andara? Or will his people be enslaved under the iron fist of the Jackal Lord? Seth’s answers hide in the deadly bogs of North Marsh…

Excerpt

Chapter One

Seth D’Antoiné punched his fist into a helpless bundle of hay secured in the airship’s hold. Trapped like mindless livestock, he and his best friend—his squire, Riley Logan—had been herded inside a reinforced section of the hull. The suffocating enclosure was typically used to house mounts for the Jalora Legion’s traveling rangers. Fortunately for all concerned, the battalion wasn’t taking horses with them to North Marsh.

“Great gulls! Would you stop? I’m near death, and you want to punch things.” Riley gripped the porthole with one hand and covered his mouth with the other.

“You’re already airsick? We haven’t set sail yet. Our journey to North Marsh Outpost spans three days. The trip will be a rough one if you don’t settle your stomach. Can’t you make some concoction?”

Ignoring Riley’s glare, Seth leaned against the hold wall. The Lion Ring on his finger pulsed to the beat of his angry heart. It, too, resented being caged by their uneasy allies. The Jalora was the force for good on Erthe. Its Legion consisted of men, each of whom had been bonded in service by a Heart of the Warrior ring. Every such talisman clung to its bearer’s left middle finger, feeding off the host’s blood. Seth lifted his Lion Ring and regarded it. His blood surged and ebbed with the tide inside the yellow crystal.

“They’ve no right to cage me like a beast! I have things I must do.”

His thoughts returned to the hidden passageways boring through the granite body of the Obsidian Citadel, his former duty post. A few hours before the Legion caged him, Seth had chased his murderous half-brother, Julian, to the battlements. Mercenaries had been waiting for him there, ready to fight. His new Lion Friend, Lord Fausto De Quintaro, and the men of Valdeon had stood with Seth to drive the villains from the stronghold. Fausto had vowed to return to Valdeon with rebellion in mind. Seth desperately wanted to go with him, but the Jalora Legion had other plans in mind for the new bearer of the Lion Ring.

“Aye. But you’ve been grousing for the last half-hour. Please give me a little peace so I can calm my aching head.” Riley swayed forward with a groan. “Tell me what happened when you met with that foul-tempered uncle of yours. As quietly as possible, if you please.”

Seth’s uncle, Esteban D’Antoiné, was a prince of Valdeon and bearer of the Hawk Ring. His very name sent Seth’s temper surging. Esteban’s intrigues had ripped their family apart.

“Hawk was the ranger who bargained with the assassin Pavel Sandor on Marianna,” Seth reminded his friend. “My uncle found Mother when I was a baby and promised her he would protect us by keeping my existence secret. Hawk assumed he had Pavel under his control. We both know his madness was uncontainable.” Seth ran a hand across his face. “My uncle claims he sends us with the Phoenix for my protection.”

Riley sighed. “Who knows what waits for us at the end of this journey. I’m not sure I trust that uncle of yours. It seems to me he should have waited for Cardinal Dragon to return.”

Find out more about the series on my website: www.crrichards.com

The Buffy V.S. Buffy Controversy

Buffy VS Buffy – Which One Do You Prefer? © Subbotina Anna – Stock.adobe.com

When I say, “Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” which do you think of first, the original 1992 movie or the popular TV series? If you’re not familiar with either, you may wonder if there’s a difference. I did some binge-watching research for this post and can tell you they strike very different tones.

Set in the suburbs of California, the story follows the legend of the Slayer. Teen girls throughout the centuries are chosen to fight the evil Lothos, Vampire Lord. Buffy, a modern high school cheerleader, is the latest Slayer to be born with the amazing abilities needed to fight vampires. She is snarky, talented, and has a keen fashion sense. Buffy and her mentor, known as the Watcher, stalk vampires and keep the world safe.

Vampires, Pompoms and Luke Perry

Buffy is the creation of Joss Whedon. He wanted his snarky, vampire killing, cheerleader to be an intense badass. The studio executives decided to give the movie a lighter tone with plenty of comedy. Whedon left the project after becoming dissatisfied with the film. I understand his frustration as a creator, but as a fan, I still loved the movie. Buffy is a badass, but she remains likable.

What I like about the movie – It’s a fun romp through the graveyard. Buffy’s interaction with Merrick is a hoot. She has some great one-liners. Her emotional change, however, is what makes the movie stand out. The teen slayer grew into a character I came to identify with and like. She shook off her mean-spirited selfish ways and started caring about others. This is the real charm of the movie.

You cannot beat the cast. Kristy Swanson nails it as Buffy (See what I did there? Wooden stake. Vampires. Ahem). Donald Sutherland brought a quiet charm to his role as the Watcher. Rutger Hauer always makes an excellent bad guy. Paul Reubens steals the show. Luke Perry, teen idol back then, did very well in his first big-screen performance. Keep an eye out for young Hilary Swank and a few surprise sightings of famous actors before they became well known.

What I Didn’t Like About the Movie– As if! Seriously. I loved the movie.

High School, Hellmouth and Hunky Angels (Aka Buffy Loses Her Sense of Humor)

According to some hardcore fan YouTube video sites, Joss Whedon finally was able to bring out the version of Buffy he’d first envisioned. She and her world would be darker and much more serious. Buffy fans rejoiced. Soon the TV show gathered a cult following.

This Buffy takes up where the movie left off. Sort of. Buffy and her Mom (who inexplicably has turned from a ditzy, self-absorbed trophy wife to a serious working single mom) move to Sunnydale to begin their new life. Buffy promises her Mom she won’t get into trouble as she did in her last school. A new Watcher, Giles, works in the library of her high school. He wants to start up her training again. Buffy refuses, but circumstances quickly force her back into the Slayer life.

What I like about the series– David Boreanaz as Angel. Yep. He was the only aspect of the show I remembered. Hey. I was a fan of the Dark Angel TV Series. Charisma Carpenter’s character, Cordelia, also shines in both Buffy and Dark Angel.

What I didn’t like about the series– Buffy. She completely lost her sense of humor, which is one of the things I loved about Buffy the movie. TV Series Buffy comes off as snarky and flat. If you put Kristy Swanson and Sarah Michelle Gellar side by side as they do those fight scenes, then it is easy to see which actress is better suited to the role. Kudos Kristy Swanson. You kicked some serious butt.

Final Thoughts

I watched the movie and season one of the TV Series before writing this post. The film still makes me laugh. I wasn’t a fan of Buffy the TV series back in the day, and watching it now hasn’t changed my mind. I suppose things could have developed in later seasons, but I just am not invested enough to find out. Maybe if I hadn’t seen the movie, then who knows?

Which one is YOUR Buffy? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

 

Pre-Order Your Copy Today!

It’s release month for Creed of the Guardian – Book Three in the Heart of the Warrior series. I’m celebrating with a Halloween Giveaway! Click here to enter for a chance to win these Boo-tiful Prizes:

 

  • Signed Print copies of Books 1 – 3 of the Heart of the Warrior series with 2 limited edition bookmarks
  • Mini-flex LED Reading Light
  • $50 Amazon Gift Card
  • Plush Lion
  • 1000-piece Halloween jigsaw puzzle
  • Halloween mug filled with candy

Visit my EVENTs page for scheduling information and blog stops I’ll be visiting this Fall.

Book Baby News Alert!

Creed of the Guardian, Book Three in the Heart of The Warrior Series,

is now available for PRE-ORDER on Amazon.

Dark Fantasy Books

Book Three – COMING October 18th, 2019

Protect the Innocent. Punish the Guilty.

Seth the Ice Lion, now an Apprentice in the Jalora Legion, reluctantly travels aboard ship with his new battalion. Western Beta’s mission seems a dull assignment. Guarding miles of bogs and old ruins should be a simple task, but Seth soon learns nothing is easy for the Bearer of the Lion Ring. The Jalora is the embodiment of Good and the source of Seth’s power. It commands he search North Marsh for a relic capable of saving his homeland from the ravenous appetite of the Jackal invaders. Surrounded by deadly bogs and savage beasts, he must find the relic before the Lion Spirit inside of him takes control of their shared body.

Invaders from across the sea hold a firm grip on Valdeon, but their thirst for blood remains unsated. They lust for the riches of Andara. Using fear and greed as weapons, the Jackal enlist aid from the continent’s unscrupulous mercenaries to prepare for a larger invasion. They build a stronghold – Stone Fang Fortress – in the Bloodtooth Mountains of the north. It is here they prepare to conquer the free world.

Will Seth find this powerful relic before the Jackal swarm invades Andara? Or will his people be enslaved under the iron fist of the Jackal Lord? Seth’s answers hide in the deadly bogs of North Marsh…

Haven’t read the series yet? Check out Books One and Two.

Dark Fantasy Books

Book One of The Heart of The Warrior Series

Dark Fantasy Books

Book Two – Heart of the Warrior series

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

Cosplayers Assemble!

Denver Pop Culture Con – © Viacheslav stock.adobe.com

Denver Pop Culture Con is coming this weekend at the Colorado Convention Center! I’ll be there doing panels with awesome authors: Terry Brooks (Shannara Series), Cinda, Williams Chima (The Heir Chronicles) and many more!

Stop by the Author’s Booth during my signings for a chance to win free ebook copies of The Heart of the Warrior series books one and two!

Find my complete Denver Pop Culture Con Schedule at this link.

Book Baby Announcement

I finally have a firm release date!

Look for the latest book in the Heart of the Warrior series

October 18th, 2019!

Dark Fantasy Books

Book Three – COMING October 18th, 2019

Protect the Innocent. Punish the Guilty.

Seth the Ice Lion, now an Apprentice in the Jalora Legion, reluctantly travels aboard ship with his new battalion. Western Beta’s mission seems a dull assignment. Guarding miles of bogs and old ruins should be a simple task, but Seth soon learns nothing is easy for the Bearer of the Lion Ring. The Jalora is the embodiment of Good and the source of Seth’s power. It commands he search North Marsh for a relic capable of saving his homeland from the ravenous appetite of the Jackal invaders. Surrounded by deadly bogs and savage beasts, he must find the relic before the Lion Spirit inside of him takes control of their shared body.

Invaders from across the sea hold a firm grip on Valdeon, but their thirst for blood remains unsated. They lust for the riches of Andara. Using fear and greed as weapons, the Jackal enlist aid from the continent’s unscrupulous mercenaries to prepare for a larger invasion. They build a stronghold – Stone Fang Fortress – in the Blood Mountains of the north. It is here they prepare to conquer the free world.

Will Seth find this powerful relic before the Jackal swarm invades Andara? Or will his people be enslaved under the iron fist of the Jackal Lord? Seth’s answers hide in the deadly bogs of North Marsh…

Read the Dark Fantasy Epic from the beginning

Dark Fantasy Books

Book One of The Heart of The Warrior Series

Dark Fantasy Books

Book Two – Heart of the Warrior series