Coven of the Worm

Book One: Estranged Earth

Linda Caldwell attends Putty Hill Senior High with her friends Jane and Candy, where she meets and falls in love with an intriguing young man named David Yeng-Chi.

David seems perfect for her, but he has a dark secret. His father Hamaki had trained him to use a deadly mix of martial arts and magic in the service of his god—Chai'Huon Ju, the Defiler. David is a descendent of the Worm Clan of a long forgotten prehistoric nation called Hunjan. There were other gods and different beliefs among these people, but the Worm Clan had believed in Chai'Huon Ju's legacy of evil.

As the relationship between David and Linda grows, Linda begins to have prophetic dreams warning her to stay away from him. The visions are so insistent and frightening that she surrenders to them and breaks up with David. Enraged, David resolves to have revenge by conjuring his god to Earth.

Linda has a secret too, however—one that might help to save her soul from the Defiler. Prophecy was merely the first of her abilities to develop and—she soon discovers—there were more powers to come.

Book Two: Mystic Moon (in progress)

Eric is the son of David Yeng-Chi, who had unleashed Pure Intensity and wreaked havoc on a Maryland town in 1995—all in the name of revenge. When Eric discovers his true identity, he sets out to fulfill his destiny, which is to assemble a Coven and use it to release his evil god on Earth.

Daniel is an Avatar of the gods, and only he knows how to find the others like him. It is his destiny to gather the Avatars and lead them to battle against the Defiler before he can wage war on Heaven. Together with Dawn Lu, Linda Levinston, and FBI agent Carl Timmers, Daniel searches for Eric and his coven—hoping to find them before they can succeed with their diabolical plans.

Monday, July 7, 2008

ToL Editor in a Pickle

I sincerely regret the decisions I need to make now, but I hope I can get things back in order before the next issue is due. As I mentioned on the homepage of the ezine, Tower of Light will now be a biannual zine because of certain limitations that I am forced to endure. I hope this will change in the future.

However, now I also have to contend with repairs that I simply cannot afford at this time. For the past 8 months I have had to deal with a very badly intermmitent Internet connection. For a long time I had no idea what the problem was, and was constantly banging my head against the wall in frustration. After numerous calls to Cavalier, eMachines, and Best Buy, I learned that my computer might be infected with a virus, so I did a "full factory recovery." The problems with connection remain, however, and now my ISP says that it might be in the telephone jack, or faulty wiring, which would cost more than I can afford at this time.

I was thinking about temporarily canceling my subscription to Cavalier, since it seems rather senseless to pay for a service I can hardly use, but then I realized that I can't. Without the webspace provided by that service, the ezine doesn't exist. On the other hand, I will not be online very often, if at all, until I can afford the necessary repairs; othwerwise, I'll just be beside myself with frustration. I promise to make an effort to check my email, however, and respond to submissions as often as possible.

I hope that everyone can understand this decision, and I want to say that I very much appreciate all the support Avatar Lore has from its readers. I'll be back, so please look forward to it!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

My Horrible Posting Habits

So I have become very very bad at posting regularly to this blog. There were plenty of things I could have said but didn't, too. I could have talked about Brandon Sanderson's Elantris (which was a great book, by the way), or Terry Coultier's The Demon Inside, among other things.

One thing I'd really like to forget is the fact that I seemed to have lost my motivation to write altogether. I forced myself to write something back in November (or was it October?), but I haven't done anything since. For a long time, I couldn't even come up with ideas. A couple of days ago an idea finally took shape in my mind, but I still haven't written anything. There are certainly a lot of factors that contibute to this, and I guess I'll have to deal with them all one by one.

There is also the fact that my computer has been working badly for the past eight months, and I have dreaded spending any time on the net because of it. I've talked with my ISP, eMachines tech support, and Best Buy Geek Squad several times each with no luck. Finally, Best Buy said they believe my computer has a virus, which isn't covered by the warranty, and that it'll cost $300 to fix (which is almost as much as I paid for the computer)! I said that I've run my antivirus scanner many times since the problem occurred and it never found anything wrong. Since then I have run four different antivirus programs and none of them found any problems, but my computer still malfunctions and still refuses to stay connected to the net, so once I receive the recovery disk in the mail I'm doing a full factory recovery. If it doesn't end there, I'm going throw #$^@#%@#@ thing out the window!

Anyway, I have decided that I will start posting to this blog on a schedule, even if all I have to say is trivial and uninteresting. I will make a post every Saturday by midnight the latest from now on, no matter what. One way or another I will improve my posting habits. Thanks to all my regulars for their patience!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Ladies in Waiting

I suppose there aren't too many women interested in secret agent action games, because if there were I wonder how offended they'd be by Obsidian Entertainment's upcoming game for the PS3, Alpha Protocol. I found the concept rather interesting, because it isn't supposed to be an average spy game. They're making it a role playing game. The character (a man, of course) will earn skill points that can be distributed as the player wants, and his interactions with non-player characters (NPCs) will have a wide range of outcomes.

When I read about it in Game Informer magazine, of course I was interested, but I also had to laugh. In one of the little blurbs it says that players can pursue romantic interests "almost like a side quest." The magazine quotes Chris Parker, the team lead for the project, as saying this: "You will meet the women at various times, and how you interact with them will determine whether or not the romance option opens up. And there's nothing preventing you from bagging all of the chicks."

Wonderful. Funny thing, I do know a few women who like to play RPGs. I wonder if Obsidian will make another game for them?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Tagged Again!

Thomma Lyn, at Tennessee Text Wrestling, tagged me with this meme. The rules are:

1. Grab the nearest book of 123 pages or more.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the first five sentences and write them down.
4. Invite five friends to do the same.

I'm actually reading Jim Melvin's Moon Goddess, but that book is downstairs at the moment and therefore nowhere near my desk. There is a box (I don't have a bookshelf ... sigh) full of books not five feet away, however, and the one on top is Book Two of The Rune of Unmaking: A Dark Sacrifice by Madeline Howard (also known as Teresa Edgerton), who is now one of my favorite authors. I have of course read Book One, The Hidden Stars, and one other book by her, The Queen's Necklace. I also interviewed her for the first issue of Tower of Light. If you're interested, you can read the interview here.

Here's the blurb on the back cover:

More than a century has passed since the mighty struggle between the wizards and the mages ended in mutual destruction, and more than forty years since the Empress Ouriana became the Divine Incarnation of the Devouring Moon. Appointing twelve deadly sorcerers as her priests, she rules the land in darkness unending.

Yet there is a small chance for hope, if one foreordained princess can survive. But she has vanished behind enemy lines, and even a brave band of heroes may not be able to reach her in time. For Ouriana's dark reign has woken the ancient terrors of legend, and their vengence will be swift and all-consuming...

Okay, now here's the first five sentences on page 123:

She saw just ahead of a gaping hole in the fortifications, and all around where the wall had been there was great debris of shattered stone and pulverized rock. When they reached the outskirts of the wreckage, horses shied again, this time from a gigantic, sprawling man-shaped figure pinned in place by a pile of stone blocks and the splintered remains of a ladder.

Worst of all was a pervasive smell, a taint, infinitely worse than anything rising from the decomposing bodies, with a stomach-churning familiarity about it that Sinderian could not immediately place. Then she did remember; the muscles in her abdomen clenched, and sweat broke out on the palms of her hands. It was the stench of blackest magic, and the last time she had encountered it in such strength was on the road from Galaefri after the fall of Cuirartheros.

I have no idea who to tag. Five friends? I suppose I have that many, but some have already been tagged. Let's see ... Jim, David, Dawn, Leah, and Howard.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tower of Light Ezine Update

Issue four of Tower of Light is finally ready. Please allow me to apologize for my tardiness, but life has been getting in the way lately.

This issue features a review of Dr. Identity by D. Harlan Wilson, and several great short stories: Champions of Darkness by Fraser Sherman, Into the Heart of Trust by Joseph R. Schmidt, The Miranda Tapestry by John Phillips, Touch by Marie Hodgkinson, and Windmaster by Helen B. Henderson.

This will also be the first issue to feature submitted artwork, a picture called "No One Listened" by Dan Skinner.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Back to Work ... Again

Well, for a while there I was bit discouraged by the last rejection I received (for the story posted below, "Called to His Work"), but I know this is what I've wanted to do all my life. Honestly, after two and half decades of writing, this would really be a bad time to give up. Most likely the best time to give up would be when I'm dead, and I hope that's a looooong way off. So, with that in mind, it's about time I start another round of submissions. I'm sure there's an editor out there somewhere who will like my work...