January 2017 – Page 2 – Andy Peloquin

Andy Peloquin

I am an artist – words are my palette

Month: January 2017 (Page 2 of 2)

Doing Romance in Fantasy Right

As you all know very well, I am NOT a romance writer. I’ve never had the desire to write romance-heavy novels, but I prefer to use romance as an element in my books rather than their driving force.

However, the truth is that a well-written romance can make any story more well-rounded, deeper, and more engaging. After all, we all love to picture that “perfect love” or “happy ending” in our minds. Romance can bring you closer to the characters, give real depth to both antagonist and protagonist, and even provide the motivation for the characters to do what they do.

So as I sat down to write Thief of the Night Guild (Book 2 of Queen of Thieves), I knew I wanted a hint of romance in there. I turned to a few experts on the topic to find out how to write romance in fantasy the right way. The video below is the result of that conversation:

The Panelists

Susan Tizdale

USA Today Bestselling Author, storyteller and cheeky wench, SUZAN TISDALE lives in the Midwest with her verra handsome carpenter husband. Her children have all left the nest. Her pets consist of dust bunnies and a dozen poodle-sized, backyard-dwelling groundhogs – all of which run as free and unrestrained as the voices in her head.

Suzan published her first novel, a 14th century Scottish Historical Romance titled Laiden’s Daughter, in December, 2011. To date, she has written and published more than 15 books. More than 300,000 copies of her books have been sold around the world.

You will find her books at Nook, iBooks, Kobo, Kindle, Audible, and iTunes. Paperback and hardcover versions at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Suzan’s Website: www.suzantisdale.com

Connect with her on Facebook: suzantisdaleromance

Tweet at her: @suzantisdale

Get text messages on new releases! Text: CheekyWenchUS to 24587

Kathryn LeVeque

KATHRYN LE VEQUE is a USA TODAY Bestselling author, an Amazon All-Star author, and a #1 bestselling, award-winning, multi-published author in Medieval Historical Romance and Historical Fiction. She has been featured in the NEW YORK TIMES and on USA TODAY’s HEA blog. In March 2015, Kathryn was the featured cover story for the March issue of InD’Tale Magazine, the premier Indie author magazine. She is also a quadruple nominee (a record!) for the prestigious RONE awards for 2015. Her bestselling novel, THE WOLFE, is also a semi finalist for the 2015 Kindle Book Reviews award for Best Romance.

Her website: www.kathrynleveque.com

Micheal Foster

Michael Wayne Foster is an American actor and producer.  Born in Monroe, Michigan to Rowland Foster (Educator) and Emilie Foster (R.N.).  Michael excelled in sports his 12th grade year and chose to pursue that path to Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio.  He spent two years on the baseball and basketball teams before focusing on a career in education.  As a high school English teacher for 9 years, Michael sharpened his improv skills, which were called upon in 2005 when he first appeared on national television.  “A chance to get out and work in New York learning of the opportunities the entertainment industry provides was overwhelming.  It (Hollywood) had my attention and I wanted to see what possibilities I could explore.”   With a M.A. in education and a B.A. in English, Michael set his sights on a newfound passion: Show Business.  In less than a year he resigned from education and moved to Los Angeles. “Teaching was an incredible journey and I am so lucky to have been a part of so many great kid’s lives.  However; every journey has to end when another begins,” he reflected.

His website: http://www.michaelwaynefoster.com/

Sean Hampton

Sean Hampton is the more handsome half of Cover 2 Cover Book Reviews, the only male model romance book review website in the world.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cover2coverreviews/
Instagram: SeanHamptonForever
SnapChat: ElSeanHampton


Short Stories by Joshua Robertson

Today, instead of one book for you to read, I’ve got two short stories. They’re both written by Joshua Robertson, the author of Anaerfell. The stories are set in the dark fantasy world he’s created, and they flesh out other details of the world and novels he’s written.

When Blood Falls

Defending against the demons of the Deep has long given Tyr Og’s brethren purpose. When Tyr’s mother is robbed from him during childhood, he loses his will to live. Now, filled with rage and regret, Tyr hungers for a worthy death to bring an end to the futility of his life. In a short tale of blood and self-loathing, Tyr seeks the most honorable path to finally join his mother in the afterlife.


The Name of Death

Drada Koehn is a fearless, formidable fighter ensnared in a presaged war against the northern humans. When the Speaker foretells their victory upon discovery of the name of death, she sets out to unravel the mysterious prophecy. Now, bound by duty and honor, Drada faces untold horrors with her companions, searching for what may never be found. In a story of unexpected twists, she soon finds that her resolve to see the quest done will be the fortune or doom of her people.


My Review: 4 Stars

I found both of these short stories highly compelling and fascinating, pulling me into the world. The descriptions were vivid, the scene painted beautifully dark, the action scenes gripping, and the stories well-rounded. They were the kind of short stories I enjoy reading: they introduce a character, give him/her an objective, and reach a clear ending.

On the downside, the dialogue felt a bit stiff and stilted. The stories also relied heavily on a reader understanding the world built in his novels, so as someone who hasn’t read them, I felt a bit lost sometimes.

Still, if you enjoy a good action-filled short story set in a dark fantasy world, these are worth the read!

Here’s a Taste:

When Blood Falls

Vaghor did not budge. He pushed his tangled, red hair from his eyes. “Your mother is dead, and your father is a madman. We all know it. Why can you not accept it?”

“What of your father, Vaghor Fhar?” Tyr rolled the name off his tongue venomously. His voice carried further than he intended. “Your entire family is nothing but a legacy of half-wits and drunkards. Best hold your tongue unless you welcome death.”

He noticed the other sentries shuffle backward as he bellowed.

Tyr felt Gharkis close the distance from behind him with a single step. The man attempted to pull Tyr’s attention from Vaghor’s glaring gaze. “Where is your sister, Tyr? She had gone with you, did she not?”

“I bet she is dead, too,” Vaghor flared his nostrils, his eyes darkened with hate.

Tyr’s chest tightened. His deep voice rattled from his lips. “She is dead. Killed by a bear.” Gharkis grated from behind him with a sense of sympathy. His footsteps crunched against the ground as he moved away.

“Let him be,” Gharkis said.

Vaghor puffed his chest, inching closer. “Mother killed by a Witiko. Sister killed by a bear.” Vaghor cocked his chin, and clicked his tongue. “Where is the bear? We need food and resources.”

Tyr explained with a single word. “Taken.”

“Taken?” Vaghor echoed.

“Vaghor,” Gharkis warned.

“No,” Vaghor pressed. His breath was hot against Tyr’s frozen cheek. “We should expect better from Tyr Og, the son of an Elder.”

Tyr’s muscles instinctively flexed, causing his injured arm to throb from shoulder to wrist. “Bah! You haven’t been outside of Almdalir for three months. Try to provide before demanding from those who keep your belly filled.”

Vaghor growled, balling his fists. Gharkis reached past Tyr to calm the giant, only to have his hand swatted away by Vaghor. The Ispolini sneered. “Are you wishing to join your sister and mother?”

“I welcome it!” Tyr’s left hand clamped onto the jugular of Vaghor seconds before his fist connected with the giant’s nose and upper lip. Bones crunched. Blood gushed.

It was not enough.


The Name of Death

Seigfeld dipped his head. “I found Farthr chained in a hollow in that cave, captured and meant to be eaten by the Witiko scum. He had watched handfuls of his own—and humans—slaughtered at the hands of the demons.”

Drada felt her heart twist, the smoke of the fire burning her nostrils. “Your sister?”

Seigfeld turned his eyes from her. “Forever lost. Farthr agreed to help find her, unsure if he had witnessed her death among the many humans. We searched for a while, but the tunnels beneath the mountain ran long and deep in more directions than the two of us could have ever traveled in a single lifetime.”

Wrylyc looked over his shoulder, scrunching his hooked nose. “I don’t understand how Farthr disapproves of this story.”

“He is shamed to have been captured,” Drada said matter-of-factly, “and you stole from him an honorable death. He would have died with his brethren in that cave had you not come along.”

“He would have been eaten alive,” Seigfeld protested.

“Ah,” Wrylyc grinned, “but the Svet have eaten the living, even their own battle-fallen, since their creation.”

Drada recoiled, catching bile in her throat. She filled the space with words. “So, he is bound to you now because you saved him from an unsavory death?”

Seigfeld dipped his head in acknowledgement.

“Absurd,” she replied. “A life of servitude is far worse than a glorified death. He should have sought more Witiko in the caves to kill.”

“Oh, we killed many more in the search of my sister—”

“I hear little mourning for her in your breath,” Drada challenged, folding her arms.

Seigfeld continued, “…but many paths were so thick with the demons, we were forced to retreat.”

“Retreat?” Drada scoffed. “I know few who would be so eager to tell a story of defeat.”

Seigfeld’s gaze darkened from across the fire. “You do not know the horrors—”

“No. I do not. Because Uvil do not know fear.”

The clipping of Farthr’s hooves against the ground drew their attention. Towering over them, crossbow in hand, he stared at Drada with a haunting gaze, the darkness looming behind his massive breadth. His words fell on her like a curse. “You will.”

About the Author:

Joshua Robertson was born in Kingman, Kansas on May 23, 1984. A graduate of Norwich High School, Robertson attended Wichita State University where he received his Masters in Social Work with minors in Psychology and Sociology. His bestselling novel, Melkorka, the first in The Kaelandur Series, was released in 2015. Known most for his Thrice Nine Legends Saga, Robertson enjoys an ever-expanding and extremely loyal following of readers. He counts R.A. Salvatore and J.R.R. Tolkien among his literary influences.

Find the stories on Amazon:



Read his thoughts on his website: http://www.robertsonwrites.com/

Tweet at him: https://twitter.com/robertsonwrites

Follow his on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJoshuaRobertson/


The Guilt-Free Criminal Mindset

In preparing to write Child of the Night Guild, I had to do a lot of research. I wanted to understand everything that went into the character’s story—from the skills she’d need as a thief to the mindset of a criminal to the techniques used to “brainwash” her to the effects of the life she led.

In my research, I found an interesting article on Psychology Today that put the criminal mindset into very fascinating perspective. The article states:

“Their mentality is well expressed by an offender who told me during a psychological evaluation, “I can make anything right wrong.  I can make anything wrong right.  Right is what I want to do at the time.”  Individuals who think like this are perfectly capable of warning others, including siblings, not to do things that are wrong because they could get into trouble or hurt someone.  However, with respect to their own contemplated action, criminals have a chilling capacity to shut off from immediate awareness any consideration of right and wrong, obliterate any sentiment, and banish any thought of how they might harm others.  Once they have honed in on what they intend to do, in their mind the act is as good as accomplished without any adverse consequence to them.  This usually is borne out by their experience in getting away with many offenses in the past.  Criminals do not have to rationalize what they are doing to anyone.  That comes later if they are apprehended.”

Think about that! The sort of people who commit crimes are able to rationalize what they’re doing—not to others, but only in their own minds. It’s only if/when they get caught that they have to explain.

I’ve found this a common theme in cop/detective shows. The detective has the suspect in custody and they’re sitting in the interrogation room, grilling them or trying to get them to crack. Finally, the criminal says, “I did it because of X”. Most of the time they almost say it like it’s a logical defense, like their actions are acceptable because of X reason.

  • “He hurt me so I killed him.”
  • “She was nasty so I stole from her.”
  • “X company owed me money so I robbed their bank account.”

Now, thinking about my own characters, I can see how that is real.

For example, the Hunter of Voramis (from Blade of the Destroyer) believes that killing out of vengeance is justified because the people who he’s killing deserve it. Talk about wild rationalization! That “eye for an eye” mentality is common among murderers who commit crimes of passion, but also vengeance killers (like the Hunter).

In Child of the Night Guild, the character Ilanna doesn’t really have that justification yet. She’s stealing because she has no choice, and because it’s all she knows. But later in the story, she’s able to rationalize her actions because of actions other people have taken. It’s that same “eye for an eye”, “you hurt me so I hurt you” mentality that’s common among criminals.

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