Tag Archives: dark

The Metamorphosis of Volume 3’s Cover

Well, I said it would be happening.  In light of finishing the first story arc of The Golden Lands, lots of renovations are being made in order to improve my series as a whole!  With Volume 4 having been finished, there is cause for some celebration…and part of that includes making sure that Volume 3 got a cover it deserved.

Here’s what Volume 3 USED to look like:

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A little vague, a little obscure…perhaps a little unprofessional.

And here’s what it looks like now!!!!!!

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For those of you that are die-hard TGL fans, can you guess who that is???

RIGHT!  It’s Bernard!  As of yet, Clare and I haven’t drawn a picture of the third-main-character.  But here he is.  I have to say, Clare did a wonderful job with the outline for Bernard, working him out basically from scratch.  And I think he might even be…unfortunately…more attractive than John!  (Get it?  John is supposed to be me!)

Tell me what you think!!

Stay awesome,

Dominic

(P.S. my mega-sale still continues!  Volume 1 (click here) is free, as is Volume 4 (click here).  Also,  Volumes 2 (click here) and 3 (click here) have been lowered to $0.99 from $2.00).  DON’T MISS OUT!

 

 

Find out How it All Begins: The Prologue for The Golden Lands

“He” has always existed.

Or at least that’s what the stories say.  I’ve never found “him” in all my childhood years.  I’m not so sure if I believe in “him” anymore.

In a small house near the edge of a wood, looking out into a grassy plain, lives a humble family; me, my sister, and my brother, both of which are younger than me.  I love them; I just don’t know them.  We have never been close, not because we don’t get along, but because we are often separated.  For years, ever since our parents disappeared, I have spent my time scouring the woods every day, searching for food, gathering firewood, doing everything I can to keep them alive.  I don’t know them, and they don’t know me, but I care for them.

Sometimes, I feel like they don’t know that they’re dying, that without the meager care I give them, things would grow worse.  It’s hard to imagine worse.  With only me to provide for them, I don’t know how else they would survive.

But “he” has always existed.  My parents used to tell me of “him”.  They said “he” was a great warrior—a wielder of strange, mystical powers.  His sword flashed quicker than lightning, they told me, and his strength was mightier than a giant’s, and his endurance could not be matched.  And they said that, in difficult times, “he” would keep me going.  “He” would help me fight through my trials.  “He” aided all.  “He” was a lender of inner, mystical strength.

That’s what my parents said.  That was before they disappeared.  I wish I knew more about who “he” was.  But I don’t.  As the days go by, I want to travel the large, beautiful forests and the wide, windy plains, and look for “him”.  I could use “his” help.  But I can’t—I can’t go in search of “him”.  My brother and sister wouldn’t be able to survive on their own.

My parents always said that there was Evil in these lands.  It came from afar, not from the Golden Lands, but elsewhere.  They said that it would find us; all of us.  We had to be careful, they would say—there was evil in all of us.

Maybe that’s why I’ve never seen “him”.   Maybe I can’t see “him” because of the Evil.  Or maybe not seeing “him” is the Evil.

But then it came.  Like my parents said, Evil would find us.  It only seeks to grow, they said.  The evil inside of us, it beckons to more evil.  If we do not defeat the evil inside us, then we might as well let Evil walk right through our door.  If we do not cast out darkness, then it will only grow inside of us.  And once it does that, it will consume those around us.

The day I forgot this advice will be the day I will never forget.

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Click here to preview further and download The Golden Lands, Volume 1 for free!!!

Sword 1

Dominic

 

A “Golden” Afternoon

From what I’ve been told, most people can read one of my books in an afternoon.  That may not be the case with Volume 4, since it is twice the size of my other novellas (about 170 pages).  But, well, it’s a great way to spend maybe two afternoons.

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I love this picture of John XD

Volume 4 is still free as an eBook at Smashwords.com.  Click here to download your own free copy.  I made a promise at the beginning of the book that Volume 4 would be the best, and as far as I can judge, I think I did a pretty good job keeping that promise.   Volume 4 contains a thicker plot, more action, and more magic.  There actually hasn’t been too much “magic” in my series so far–not really.  Sure, there are fantasy creatures, but this is the first volume of my series that introduces a form of magic.

There’s a decent amount of internal struggle between characters.  My whole series is definitely about friendship, but this book is particularly about family.  John, the main character, now has a shot at rescuing his little brother and sister.  There’s a lot of tension placed on whether or not John will actually be able to save them, and what their relationship will be like after the battle.

Then there are the two new characters we meet in this book: Frances (female) and Ashida (male).  It’s from Frances that we see another familial tie get a little tight.  And Ashida is set on rescuing his wife.  It’s also from Ashida that we receive the first form of magic of the series.  I really hope you guys like Ashida…he’s a boss!

Overall, I’m looking forward to seeing what you guys will say about Volume 4!  Like I said, Volume 4 is still free, so if you have a free afternoon (or two), feel free to grab a copy and get cozy.  I hope it will be an afternoon (or two) well spent!

Stay awesome!

Dom

Excerpt from Howaito Maki/The Red Captain

Hey all!  Volume 4 is still free as an eBook at Smashwords.  Click here to get your own copy!

See for yourself what Volume 4 is made of!  Here’s an excerpt:

PROTAGONIST: FRANCES BEZNAR

I’m able to analyze him amid the clamor and shifting torrent of bodies around me.  And I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.  He’s found his first victim.  He knows who he wants to challenge first.

He’s staring at me.

I swallow, and for a moment, fear induces my heart.  But then I come to my senses again, thinking that, after all, this is what we wanted.  We wanted to draw the captains out.  We wanted to keep them away from the prisoners.  And, while we’re at it, we might as well give them a fight worth remembering.

I lower my head and raise my shield, rushing like a bull through the mass of Knights, Beloved and Evil, slamming the wall of opponents aside as I run forward.  I come to an abrupt halt before the Gray Captain and lower my shield, holding my sword out behind me in preparation for slashing at him.  “You’re a captain?” I inquire.  “Funny, me too.”

I pivot towards him, sending a bone-crashing blow for his left shoulder.

He raises his left arm and intercepts the slash with his forearm, his arm not even flinching from the force of my attack.  I grunt, wide-eyed.  “Heh,” he says, his voice scraggly, and slightly high-pitched for his size, “you may be a captain, but you’re hardly a match for me!”

I draw back my sword; there’s no blood.


Like what you read?  Volume 1 of The Golden Lands is free here.  Begin the story.  Embark on the journey.

Stay awesome,

Dom

 

The Sun Rises on The Golden Lands….Volume 4 Has Been Published!!!

Good morning everyone 🙂

It’s been done.  Volume 4 is officially published and free at Smashwords.com (for a limited time only)!  Click here to download your own eBook copy!

Copyright 2015
Copyright 2015

It’s been a long road.   There has been lots of excitement along the way.  But now it’s time for the end of my first arc.  It’s time for the first finale.  The battle is almost over.  Dawn is about to break through the night.

Welcome to the “feels” of Volume 4, my dear followers 😀

There are many people I must mention, many people that deserve a hand.  First, I’m thankful to God for helping me become the writer that I am.  He is undoubtedly one of my biggest inspirations.  Second, my younger sister Clare, who helps me with all of the artwork/covers for TGL, as well as the plot structure for every volume.  Third would be my mom and dad for their editing and insights.  And last would be you, my followers, for sticking with me for this whole ride.

Dang, I haven’t even officially told anybody yet, and I’ve already got 17 downloads!

Thanks for being awesome and sticking with The Golden Lands.  As promised at the beginning of Volume 4, I hope you agree that this is my greatest work yet…and I will do my best to keep on writing better and better.


So what’s Volume 4 about, in case you missed it?

John, Faith, and Bernard have come farther than they ever thought possible. They’ve persevered through every struggle, every personal trial, and every foe that has come their way. Now the final battle has arrived. Allying with the people of Castrum Fortress, John and his friends must storm the city of Howaito Maki and defeat the three Evil captains…or every prisoner of the Evil will die.
If you’re interested in The Golden Lands, Volume 1 is free as an eBook here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/535151

Enjoy everyone and spread the word!

Stay awesome,
Dom

“It’s not about the Money, Money, Money”

Copyright 2015
Copyright 2015

In case you missed it, the fourth book of my series, The Golden Lands will be coming out tomorrow!  As usual, I plan on making Volume 4 free for a little while, just like I did with Volumes 1-3 when they first debuted.  However, this is just a note to tell you that Volumes 2 and 3 will NOT be free on the occasion of Volume 4 being released.

Let me explain:

In the past, as some of you may know, whenever I released a new volume, I made every other existing volume free.  In other words, whenever a new volume got published, I had the biggest super-sale ever on the whole series.  Now, however, I plan to veer away from that.  Volume 1 will remain free (because it always is) and Volume 4 will be free (because that’s how I roll) but Volumes 2 and 3 will receive only a discount.

Thus, Volumes 2 and 3, for a limited time only, will cost 99 cents as an eBook, instead of the usual $2.00.

I’ll admit it: sometimes I wonder how loyal my followers really are.  How much do you actually care about The Golden Lands?  Anyone can start following me and then realize that whenever I release a new volume, every book in the series is free.  Anyone could time when they download my books so that they come away with every story without paying a cent.   Now I’m interested to see who really thinks TGL is worth a little bit of their money—198 cents, to be exact (99 cents X 2).  If you enjoyed Volume 1, will you be willing to pay just a little bit of money for Volumes 2 and 3, and then grab Volume 4 while it’s free?

Your move.  I am trusting that many of my closest followers will not disappoint.

Sorry for the heavy post XD

Haha…


Stay awesome, my dear followers,

Dom

Interested in The Golden Lands?  Click here to download Volume 1 for free!

Sorry for the Short Notice…Volume 4 Will be Published on TUESDAY!!!

The title says it all.  Grab a snack.  Grab some friends.  Tell your grandparents.  Get cozy.  Another volume of The Golden Lands has arrived!!!

At long last, after a much anticipated wait, Volume 4 is finally finished.  As I have said before, not only have I completed another book–due to much help from family, friends, and the Big Guy–but also the first story arc of TGL.  This is a cause for celebration…meaning that the existing books of TGL will be undergoing some constructive changes.  More editing will be done, the covers will be updated, etc.  In other words, I’m using this opportunity to revise TGL as the series now stands.  There’s a lot of work to be done.

But hey, we can worry about that later!  Here’s an overview of Volume 4, in case you missed it!

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Copyright 2015

PLOT SUMMARY:

John, Faith, and Bernard have come farther than they ever thought possible.  They’ve persevered through every struggle, every personal trial, and every foe that has come their way.  Now the final battle has arrived.   Allying with the people of Castrum Fortress, John and his friends must storm the city of Howaito Maki and defeat the three Evil captains…or every prisoner of the Evil will die.

GENRE:

Fantasy/General/Emotional/Anime/Action

EXCERPT:

We come to a halt, stopping right beneath the wall which rises high above us.  Thunderous booms sound in the distance, and we can vaguely hear the clashing of weapons and the screams of pain.  “So the fighting has already started,” says one of the scouts with us.

“That’s our diversion,” states Ashida.  “Let’s make the most of it.”

A long rope dangles from where we fastened it at the summit of the wall.  It’s our only way up and into the city.  I raise my eyes to the top of the rope, and I feel my heart beat faster.  I don’t know why, but the top of this rope…it’s like the threshold—the threshold of destiny.  Once I climb this rope, I’ll be in the city.  I’ll be on the final part of my journey.  I’ll be on the doorstep of rescuing my siblings.

My siblings…

This is the final endeavor.  I feel like I’ve known everything that would happen up until now.  I’ve never been surprised truly.  There hasn’t been as much mystery as I feel there is now.  Nothing about the future is clear anymore.  Nothing is black and white.  Because, from here…

—I look at the sky, the clouds, the dullness and gloom that fills this region—

…everything is gray.

I cast a worried glance at Faith and Bernard, and I can’t help but feel closer to them at this moment.  “Listen,” I say, “whatever happens, I want you both to know that you’ve been great; you’ve been my best friends.  I know we’ve been through a lot, and a big part of that is my fault, but—”

“John,” Bernard cuts me off, “it’s okay.  Stop acting like we’re going to die when we get in there.   We can do this.”  He smiles reassuringly at me, as does Faith.  “Come on,” Bernard says, stepping towards the rope, “let’s go get your brother and sister.”


It’s time, ladies and gentlemen.  Buckle up.   It’s going to be an epic ride.

Stay awesome,

Dom

Interested in reading The Golden Lands?   The first volume is free as a downloadable eBook.  Click here to get your copy today!

The Evolution of Volume 5 Cover

The cover of Volume 5 has been officially released!!!  This means that Volume 4 can finally get published (since the cover of the next book always goes in the back of the present one).  The first arc of my series, The Golden Lands, is officially finished.

Check out the evolution of the cover for Volume 5:

First, my sister Clare, who does an amazing job with all of my covers, drew Kiilda.  “Kiilda” is the name of Volume 5, so I thought it was fitting to have Kiilda on the cover.

The first outline of Volume 5, as drawn by my awesome sister, Clare
The first outline of Volume 5, as drawn by my awesome sister, Clare

Next the coloring began, which has always been my job when it comes to creating our book covers.  The program I use, Pencil, has a few setbacks; namely, it will shut down about every fifteen minutes, so if you didn’t save your work, your progress is lost.  So it was difficult combating against Pencil while endeavoring to color/animate Clare’s original sketch.

A semi finished version of Volume 5 Cover
A semi finished version of Volume 5 Cover

Sometimes I will change what Clare initially whips up.   The main thing I changed for this cover was making Kiilda’s mouth open.  It’s a small change, but I thought it added some eerie emphasis.

After finally finishing the animation, next came:

DUM-DUM-DUM DUMMMM!

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Copyright 2015

Add in the template I’m now using for all of my covers, a little extra shading on the ground, and Kiilda’s sword, and you’ve got an intense, dark, exciting cover for the beginning of my second story arc!  I’m genuinely pleased with this cover.  I hope you guys like it too!

And so there you have it: the evolution of Volume 5’s cover!


As always, Volume 1 of my series, The Golden Lands, is free!  Click here to download a free eBook version.

Stay awesome!

Dom

Want to know more about Dominic?  Click here for a Smashwords Author Interview.

The Golden Lands, Volume 1, is a Novella Acclaimed by Fans

PRAISE FOR THE GOLDEN LANDS, VOLUME 1: SHADOWS IN THE SUNLIGHT

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Copyright 2015

“This is a well-paced story with compelling main characters and plenty of action.” (Fan, four star review) (Smashwords.com)

“Lots of action and interesting philosophy on good versus evil, with a nice set of mysteries. The battle scenes are well-described., and am looking forward to further stories.” (Author Christy Nicholas, four star review) (Smashwords.com)

“This is a great fast-paced, action-packed adventure story. I kinda wish the fight with the dragon lasted a little longer though.” (Fan, four star review) (Smashwords.com)

“After I read the prologue on the author’s blog, I knew I had to read the rest of the book, so as soon as I heard that it was published, I got it. I was not disappointed.

John Hedekira and Faith Pinck are both realistic characters with depth, and the story is fast-paced and exciting.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a action-packed adventure story. I can’t wait to read the next one!” (Fan, five star review) (Smashwords.com)

This is an intense action/fiction. The book is well written. The characters, landscape, and especially fight scenes are artfully described by the author. The plot is extremely fast-paced. This was hard to get used to at first, but I have a feeling that the length of the whole series will make up for any trace of a rushed plot in each volume. Despite the fast-pace of the story, the author seems very determined to slowly develop his characters, which, coupled with the awesome action really makes for a good story. I would recommend this short novel to anyone, especially people who enjoy fantasy, anime, or manga.” (Fan, four star review) (Amazon.com)

“This book was one of the best books I ever read! Everything was clear and easy to read. I’d recommend this book to anyone who loves action and adventure.” (Fan, five star review) (Amazon.com)

Interested in downloading a copy?  Volume 1 is free!  Feel free to click the picture of Volume 1 in the sidebar or just click here.  I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Want to know more before downloading?  Click here for the prologue and first chapter of Volume 1.


Stay awesome!

Dom

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Aul

Editing for Volume 4 is Complete!

Copyright 2015

The title says it all.  Editing for Volume 4 has been completed, which means I am one (huge) step closer to publishing Volume 4!

I hope you understand what is going on in the grand scheme of things; I hope you understand how big this is, not just for me, but for the overall series of The Golden Lands.  The first arc has been finished.  This means that the entire series, as it now exists, will be undergoing a sort of transformation, as if in honor of the first arc being complete.  The cover of Volume 1 (which is, by the way, still free as an eBook) has been changed/updated, and I intend to implement similar revisions to the other covers as well.  Volume 1 is also undergoing more vigorous editing…it shouldn’t change a whole lot, but the general idea is that Volume 1, the place where all of this began, will be given a new, fresh, professional feel.

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Tell me that doesn’t look swagged-out

New ideas are springing into my mind like flowers in spring.  “Soul Bleeder”, the mini/background series that was supposed to be like “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (but in The Golden Lands, of course), as of now, will become its own mini book series.  Writing a blog-series just doesn’t reach far enough, and it doesn’t make “Soul Bleeder” official enough.  Thus, turning it into a book series will ensure that I give “Soul Bleeder” the attention it deserves.

More artwork should be on the way too; I plan to make a poster in honor of the first arc.  It’s almost like the cover for a season of a TV show, containing epic shots of all the characters, but combined into one photo.  Volume 5’s cover is also on the way…it should be done fairly soon.  And, although I’m not sure if this will actually happen, Volume 3 might get an entirely different cover…maybe with *cough* Bernard on the front.

TONS of stuff happening, people.  Get hype and spread the word!!!


Stay awesome,

Dom

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Aul

All images are copyrighted in this post.