I’m told I really shouldn’t use my blog just for talking about my stories, and I was going to do that, but then something strange happened….
Setting Boundaries has always been one of my favorite stories but no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t find a place for it, a home. As much as I loved it, I couldn’t seem to find an audience for it so I just let it languish.
Oh, it has action and adventure in it to be sure, but at its heart it’s a simple tale of friendship, of forging strong bonds between three people who have ample reason not to trust each other. But I didn’t want to write the standard story of mistrust and distrust either.
Ever since writing The Coming Storm I’d always wanted to write the story of how Elon, Colath and Jareth met and became friends. As many times as I tried, though, they were all too dark, too cold, they didn’t match the warmth of the original story. And that’s what I wanted, that warmth, because so much of that is missing these days.
There’s so much baggage that goes into such relationships these days. I didn’t want readers to think they were gay – as if there was something wrong with that or gay people couldn’t be friends with straight people. But that also wasn’t the story I wanted to tell.
I wanted to tell the story of that friendship. But that came with baggage, too. As with so much of our interpersonal relationships these days, male friendships have become an object of fun. Our society gives them silly names like bromance or man-date, reducing it to a poor reflection of reality. It’s even worse for women. Or consider marriage – everyone points out that half of all marriages end in divorce, rather than saying Half of all marriages succeed! Its no wonder so many of us are on anti-depressants, we’re so afraid of being open with another human being for fear of looking silly or being made fun of.
Ask anyone who’s fought side by side with his buddies, though, and you’ll find out what such friendships can truly be. That was the story I wanted to tell. I’d been making it too complicated. So, that was the story I wrote.
It’s a good story but although it received a great review within days of posting, it never seemed to take off. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t seem to draw attention to it. No one seemed to want to read that kind of story anymore.
So when I first saw the numbers for Setting Boundaries on Amazon.com I honestly thought it was a fluke, a mistake they would soon correct. I mean, that couldn’t be right – 1500+ copies? And they’d been having problems with reporting, so I just chalked it up to that. But the numbers didn’t go away, they went up. It still seemed strange and I kept waiting for it to be corrected. Then, at some point, it began to dawn on me that they were real. Because those numbers kept going up. I couldn’t believe it. Then someone told me Setting Boundaries was on the top 100 list of free fantasy novels on Amazon. Last night I looked and it was #23. 1800 copies. In the world of traditional publishing its a drop in the bucket. And, it’s free. But still. For me? I’m breathless. Could it crack 2000? Has it already? I can’t imagine it. If it does, if it did… wow…
A feline scream drew Jareth out of sleep with a rush. For a moment, he could only stare in breathless astonishment…and in wonder.
He’d never seen anything so swift, so strangely beautiful or so very deadly as watching Elon of Aerilann fight off firbolg and boggins alone in the moonlight.
The Elf moved like water, smoothly, gracefully, his swords swirling around him almost as if they, too, were fluid, as if the steel bent like reeds in the flow of his movement. Yet where they touched, blood flew. There was no sound save for the cries of the firbolg and boggins. Bodies littered the ground around him as steel flashed like lightning in the thin moonlight. Every movement was graceful and sure as he wove a web of steel around himself, denying entrance as Colath took up his swords and went to join him.
There was no pause, Colath simply stepped into the flow of Elon’s movement and became part of it. It was as if they were one person, extensions of each other, one stepping in where the other wasn’t.
It was a wonder to watch.
Jareth saw the firbolg leap and scramble to the rocks above him and them and fired a mage-bolt, sending it spinning out into the night as he rolled to his feet, calling up power. Energy flared around him, gathered in his hands.
A boggart leaped to one of the rocks and then toward Colath. Jareth picked it out of the air.
It wasn’t his first firefight but he felt the same mixture of terror and exhilaration as he spun and turned in response to the motion he saw at the edges of his vision as Elon and Colath defended the entrance to their little shelter.
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If you love my books and there’s that fantasy or romance series you’ve just been dying to buy, this is the month to buy them. If it’s epic fantasy you’re looking for you’ll love The Coming Storm series with it’s Elves and Dark Wizards. Or perhaps you’d like the thrill of The Heart of the Gods as an archaeologist unearths an ancient tomb and resurrects more than he bargained for. Maybe you’d love the heroic fantasy of Song of the Fairy Queen when Fairy join with men to restore a King to his throne.
If it’s romance you’re looking for, try The Millersburg Quartet – Irish Fling, Dirty Politics, Director’s Cut and Two Up – about four women who were the geeks in high school. Now they’re all grown up and finding the right one.
Then there’s The Last Resort, where troubleshooter Carrie Anderson just might be coed Gwen Smith’s only hope.
Oh, and did I mention… Cooking Class… a hot and sweet little erotica, about a hot-tempered chef and the woman who heats him up.
Fantasy, romance and excitement, it’s all right here – http://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=Valerie+Douglas. And all for 50% off. Just use the code SSW50 when you make your purchase.
And while you’re visiting, take a look at all the other great books featured there.
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Just a great story with great characters about people fighting nearly impossible odds to try to do what’s right? With good guys, and bad guys, and characters who want to do good, and some who think they are but aren’t? I know I do and did. That’s part of the reason I write them…
Setting Boundaries – After centuries of war an uneasy peace has finally been negotiated between Elves, Dwarves and Men, thanks to Elon of Aerilann, Elven councilor to the High King. One final task yet remains, one last bone of contention – to set the boundaries between their lands. It’s a task that will be easier said than done. Although the lesser Kings signed the Alliance not all of them wish to see it succeed, and some are willing to oppose it. Violently.
For journeyman wizard Jareth it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. Unlike many he’s long admired the calm, seemingly aloof Elves, especially Elon of Aerilann and his paxman Colath.
What he doesn’t know is that the journey they will share will test him to his limits and forge friendships that will last for centuries.
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