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.

Friday, October 5, 2007

My First Meme - Review Your Own Book!

Since I've been having so much trouble coming up with ideas for blog posts, I thought I'd try starting a meme. I'm going to adopt Howard von Darkmoor's (from Von Darkmoor's Thoughts) method of throwing out an "open tag" to anyone who would like participate. If you're interested, please do give it a go and remember to link back to this post.

The rules of this meme is to write a review of one of your own works as if weren't yours. You must be as honest as possible and write at least one good paragraph. We might just find out how true the old saying "we are our own worst critics" really is! It does not have to be a published work as long as it's a complete manuscript. Of course, I suppose I'll take any oppurtunity to promote my own work (haha), although I guess that is why I created this blog in the first place!

I'll start by reviewing both the published and unpublished versions of my book. For anyone else who chooses to accept the tag, one review will be enough, of course.

September 2004, Michael Southard
ISBN 1-4184-2932-5

Pure Intensity is a dark urban fantasy that attempts to incorporate some conventions of anime fantasy. The story is about a girl named Linda who discovers that her boyfriend David is a devil worshiper. There are some interesting ideas floating around in the plot, including a subplot concerning a secret society. The best is its description of the different magical disciplines, which seem to vary in different cultures. This book only introduces the disciplines of Witches, War Witches, and Mages, but there are certainly hints of more to learn about the magical system in this story.

The problem is the undisciplined composition of the book. It seems as if it were originally written in omniscient perspective, but there are numerous divisions of passages where the author might have attempted to separate the characters' points of view. The story constantly jumps from one character's POV to another and the result is confusing at best. Worse, there are quite a few passages where the language is too flowery and difficult to follow, and it seems as if there was little, if any, proper editing.

However, despite these problems, Pure Intensity is a good story with a lot of potential, and some readers might enjoy it anyway. I just wish the author had put more work into it before publishing.

Michael Southard

Estranged Earth, Book One of Coven of the Worm, is the revised version of Pure Instensity, and it does show much improvement over the original. The author completely reworked the point of view, so that most chapters have no more than two character POVs, and they are much more clearly marked. The story is essentially the same, although there is more detail in some passages, improved character work, and better editing. It is an inspiring thriller, with plenty of magic and mayhem for fantasy fans, and a fairly good read.

Okay, there's my reviews. I hope there are plenty of takers for the tag. Good luck!


Thomma Lyn said...

Hi, Michael! What a fun meme you started -- I think I'll take you up on that tag! :) I'll try to get mine posted in a few days. Life's been crazy this last little bit.

I'm glad that your new computer loads my blog more quickly now -- I've had a lot of people say it loaded slowly before I took out some of the widgets in the sidebar, but I've wondered if I might need to take out a few more. Widgets are fun, but there is certainly such a thing as too many!

I enjoyed reading your meme -- I, too, revised one of my novels to where it's much stronger, and I might use that novel for the meme.

Michael said...

Very cool! Thank you, Thomma, and have fun!

Cheryl Anne Gardner said...

Michael, I had no other way to contact you, but your Lulu title "Sanctuary of the Mind" was selected for review by Podpeople.blogspot for our Horror week of October 29th. I nominated your book and will also be doing the review. Keep your eyes on the podpeople website that week.

We had spoken on this title before on Lulu.

Good Luck to you.

Michael said...

Yes, I remember. Thank you, Cheryl! This is great news. I really never expected so much, and I can't begin to tell you how excited I am!

Allie Boniface said...

This is a pretty cool meme...I'll have to borrow it one of these days!

Michael said...

I hope so, Allie!

Michael said...

Oh, and thanks for stopping by.

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