Tag Archives: The Golden Lands

Elithius: An Excerpt from the Revised Edition

So it’s been 9 months and the revised edition of my book is finally finished!  The characters have different names that suit their culture, every culture is more defined and developed, and the plot (hopefully!) flows a lot better.  I’m excited to share this with you!  Here’s a sneak peek at what you can expect.  Let me know what you think!



Begin excerpt

“It’s Fear, right?” the Knight speaks.

I hesitate, squinting.  “Uh-huh.”

“Do you know where you are?”

My mouth opens.  I can see—through the ever-moving torrent of rain—my house behind him.  But I bow my head.  No…it just doesn’t make sense.

“You’re dead, Fear.”

I wince at the words, keeping my head bowed and closing my eyes.

“You know this.”

Tucking my chin to avoid as much water as possible, I open my mouth, breathing deeply.  Dammit.  I have no response…because I know he’s right.  Dead…I’m…dead.  I just can’t believe—

An image of Aislin stumbling away from me in the cave, her blood spurting, flashes in my mind.  Then an image of Arik, roaring at me.  The feeling of the arrow ramming into my back.  Being alone in the forest, feeling cold, losing feeling in my body.  The darkness suffusing my vision.  It all comes back to me.

A harsh, burning sensation fills my chest…my heart aches, so depressed, so full of regret, so lonely…

“I’m here to make a deal with you.”

I grunt, raising my head and opening my eyes.  I regard the figure before me, fully attentive.

“You can call me Alitheo.  I can rescue you from here and give you a second chance at life…but you need to promise me something.”

I swallow, staring harder at the Knight.  Alitheo?  What does that mean?  Finding my tongue, I blurt, “Okay!”

A second chance at life.  Can he really do that?  Can anyone really give me that?  I’m certain I’ve never met this person before.  I have no reason to trust him.  But, at this point, nothing else really matters to me.  I have nothing to lose.  I’ll give him anything he wants!

Nodding, Alitheo seems satisfied.  His voice once again comes to me from the shadow beneath his hood: “I need you to give me, when I ask for it, your heart.”

The sound of the rain beating against the ground, splashing against puddles, pervades the air.

I frown.  “My heart?  What do you—?”

“In every way you can think of.”

I exhale, staring into the darkness beneath the hood.  Does he mean literally?  Like cut it out and give it to him?  Or does he want me to fall in love with him?  I don’t get it.

“When the time comes, I’ll show you how.  Do you promise?”

Lowering my gaze, I shift, scratching my head and wiping off several rivulets of rainwater that were headed for my eyes.  I really don’t even understand what I’m promising.  My eyes rise to the figure before me.  But…does it really matter?  Am I going to turn him down just because of uncertainty?  “I’ll be alive again?” I ask.  “In the same place where I died?”

“In the forest, midway between Sunnan and Noroan, less than a league from the cave where you left your friends.”

I grunt, deciding not to question how he knows all of this.  What…are you?

“Do you promise?” he asks.

Swallowing, I look over my shoulder, back to where the glorious, wonderful version of myself had been standing.  Then my eyes fall once again to the puddle.  An image of what I saw fills my mind.

I look back at Alitheo, my face tight and brow narrowed.  “I promise.”

Looking for New People to Follow

Image result for follow me meme

No, not looking for new FOLLOWERS (although that’s always welcome), I’m looking for new people to FOLLOW.

Recently, I’ve discovered that a lot of the people I follow have stopped blogging and vanished.  That, or I really just don’t follow a lot of people to begin with.

Either way, I’m bored 🙂

I love blogs about writing, publishing, fantasy, anything of that sort.  If you feel like your blog is a good fit for me, introduce yourself in the comment section and I’d be happy to check out your blog.  Don’t be shy!

Changes, Changes, Changes!

thank you gif

Ever since my book was reviewed by three highly insightful people (you know who you are!), I’ve been determined to make all necessary corrections to my story.

Please make note: for those of you that have read my book, or those of you that plan to read it, this post is EXTREMELY important, and will be affixed as a page hereafter.

So, without further ado, here’s an update of my fantasy series, Elithius.

I basically rewrote the book

Yup.  Just “basically” rewrote it.  If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been all this time (say, the last 9 months), here’s an explanation.

After being told that there is WAY too much “telling” in my book, and not enough “showing”, I’ve gone through the entire book and changed this.  Scenes have been completely rewritten and changed as a result, and hopefully the story feels more compact, complete, and polished.

I changed the names of characters, places, etc., to create a specific culture

Because of all of this, I highly recommend that you REREAD my book, once it’s been republished.  I don’t want you to be confused with names.

Why did I do this?  I felt like the names of my characters didn’t make sense for their given setting.  I also wanted to create a more developed world, so I created a whole culture (very akin to Norse culture) and made sure that everything catered to this culture.  Names, places, and even manners of speaking have consequently been reformed.  Hopefully, this makes the story feel more developed, fitting, and in-depth.

I changed the structure of the story/how things happen

A lot of things are different.  I mean a LOT.  From the way characters meet, to the time they enter the story, a lot of things are different.  I think that all the changes will result in better plotting and more familiarity with each character, hopefully creating a better reader-to-character relationship.

I think it’s a LOT better

Obviously, every author will tell you this.  So you just have to take my word for it.  The universe I’ve created is more polished, the writing style has been purified and reinforced, and the characters are more relatable.  Overall, I’m excited to see what you think!

Thanks for sticking by me through all this.  Here’s to a new edition of Elithius!

Cover art by Elizabeth M


In case anyone is wondering where I’ve been for the last few days, I had an accident while snowboarding.  I fell on my head and knocked myself out; I’ve been dealing with a concussion ever since.  I have very little memory of anything that happened several hours after the fall.  I’m doing fine, but I just wanted to keep all of you updated.

As always, thanks for your support!


The Right Thing for Me to Do is to Stop You From Doing the Right Thing

I hope that title makes sense to everyone.  Allow me to restate it though, just because it’s important:

The right thing for ME to do…is to stop YOU from doing the right thing.

So, what does that mean?

Recently, I was writing a scene in my book series, and this same problem came up.  I hadn’t actually planned for this philosophical dilemma to occur in my story.  Although I hate to admit it, I wasn’t being clever with my story, in the way that we authors tend to be.  It just so happened that, while I was writing, I noticed that a sticky, ethically blurry situation was approaching for two of my characters.  And, even as the author, I wasn’t sure what the right decision was for either of my characters.

So, in a way that I hope is very human and very realistic, I decided to “feel out” the situation with my characters, and only then was I able to arrive at a conclusion for this moral dilemma.

And what I decided was that sometimes, the right thing to do is to stop someone from doing the right thing.

Sometimes I think Zuko and Aang were in similar situations of right and wrong

How does that work though?  Shouldn’t we encourage others to do the right thing?

Well, sometimes the right thing for me to do is to oppose you from doing the right thing.

Now, I am not trying to be morally relative.  Moral relativism is the illogical belief that all truth is relative.  According to moral relativism, ANYONE can decide what’s right and what’s wrong, for ANY situation.   The problem is, moral relativism would argue that there are no universal truths…but to say that there are no universal truths would BE a universal truth.  Moral relativism, then, caves in on itself.  Also, if everyone believed in moral relativism, then there would be absolutely no foundation for truth.  There would be no right and wrong.  If you were to say “there’s no truth, no right and wrong” to Plato, Socrates, or Aristotle, they would laugh; so would anyone that knows a bit of philosophy.

So, what’s the situation in my book that caused this philosophical dilemma to surface?

Kat, a girl who is the cause for a war, wants to hand herself over to the enemy.   Doing so will hopefully end all conflict.  She will most likely die, but she believes that it is the right thing to do to save the people she loves.

But her friends won’t let her, because watching her die isn’t what they want; they will gladly suffer to protect her, even if giving herself up would protect them.

And I quote:

There’s a moment of silence, and then I speak.  “No,” I tell Kat.  “I know what you’re feeling.  I know that what you want is something good and honorable.  I was in the same situation back in the Golden Lands.  But I can’t allow you to do this.  Even though trying to sacrifice yourself is the right decision for you, watching you sacrifice yourself isn’t the right decision for me.  I’m not going to discourage you from trying, Kat—” I look back at her, meeting her eyes, “—but, because I’m your friend, I will try to stop you.”

-Tarsh Landid, Volume 7: The Fall

And so, still united in friendship, but against each other in actions, that was how I decided to resolve the situation between my two characters.


What do you think about this?

What Does “Be Who You Are” Mean?

anime precious moment

A popular theme in a lot of children’s movies is the notion of “being who you are”.  I think it’s typically found in movies where younger characters are trying to prove themselves to older characters; expectations are set for the younger characters, but, realizing that those expectations aren’t in relation to who they are, the younger characters decide that it is best to “be who they are” instead.

Now there isn’t anything wrong with that necessarily.  The truth is though, being “who you are” goes a lot deeper than your typical Disney movie.  It’s a question that everyone has to ask about themselves at some point in their lives; a question that they might have to ask throughout most of their lives.

“Who am I?  What does it mean to be ‘who I am’?”

It so happens that this same theme is very important to my own book series, The Golden Lands.  John Hedekira, the main character, often comes back to the question of what it means to be a “Knight”…and a “Knight”, in my series, is just a synonym for “man”.  So John is wondering what it means to be a man, and, on a more personal level, how this relates to who he is.

It’s quite fitting, then, that John Hedekira’s character is based on me.  Because sometimes I feel as if I don’t know exactly who I am.

It’s hard to talk about this without going into a bit of philosophy and even theology/Christianity.  As a Catholic Christian, I know that I am a child of God the Father, a brother of God the Son (Jesus), and, yes, a spouse and temple of God the Holy Spirit.  But I don’t actually think this revolves around “who” I am.  All of this revolves around “what” I am.  I am all of those things in relationship to God, and therefore–in a special way–in relationship to the world, and I can’t change that, no matter how hard I try.  You can’t change “what” you are.  But “who” you are is a different case, I believe.

So what does it mean to “be who you are”?  Doesn’t that mean summing up all of your likes and dislikes?  Your dreams and your failures?  What am I good at?  What am I NOT good at?

In order to know who you are, I guess you really have to know yourself.

That’s why all of this is a journey, I guess.  A journey to know yourself.

I think some of the biggest questions we can ask ourselves are:

What things do I love?

What is the manner in which I choose to love other people?

What is the manner in which I desire to BE loved by other people?

What do I want to give this world?

What do I want back from it?

Not surprisingly, all of these questions bear close relationship to the thing that makes the world go around: money Love!

Have you ever asked yourself these questions?

If you really think about it, asking these questions can be kind of scary.  Because finding the answers will mean knowing the truth.  And the truth can be scary.  We might not actually be the kind of person that we think we are.  We might not actually love people the way we thought we did.  Asking these questions is difficult, and maybe it will take a lifetime to truly find the answers.

But, if you’re like me, or the main character of my book series…

…don’t you want to be who you are?

Be like Aragorn…be who you were born to be!


Officially Signed up For NaNoWriMo!

Image result for national novel writing month

Title says it all!  Nation Novel Writing Month is officially underway, and, for the first time ever, I’m going to try for it!

The idea of writing a novel in a month is pretty crazy, in my opinion.  Writing 50,000 words of anything is a lot.  In order to reach the goal, NaNoWriMo.org says that you need to write 1,667 words each day to finish on time.  Maybe for some people, that’s a breeze…but not for me!  My problem tends to be that I’m not very consistent.  For example, some days I’m able to write way more than 1,667 words, but then on other days, I can barely write a single sentence.  Thus far, NaNoWriMo has helped me to get into a groove, and has challenged me to be more consistent.

So I guess I’m enjoying the challenge so far!

However, this means that I won’t be blogging as much, because I’ve got to get back to writing.  Wish me luck!  If anyone else is embarking on this journey with me, feel free to shoot me a comment!

Stay awesome!






Hi there!

So I thought it was about time that I gave some of you followers a more in-depth introduction to my series, The Golden Lands.  Only a little bit ago, I finished the first story arc of TGL—an arc is basically like a “season” that a TV show might have—and I’m now beginning the next arc of the series.

So to give you a more in-depth look at TGL, there isn’t a better place to start than at the very beginning of my first volume, entitled, Shadows in the Sunlight.

Writing Volume 1, and beginning the series as a whole was very…experimental for me.  And I think beginning a story is essentially, experimental for all writers; it has to be.  At the time, I knew I wanted the story to have a mysterious, not your typical-fantasy-world kind of feel.  I wanted it to be a little unusual, a little uncomfortable even.  The way I tried to do that was by creating a world that seemed to be overly simplistic, even eerily simplistic.

And this is something that a lot of people notice, and are even unsure about.  Sometimes my readers will express a bit of doubt in this notion of having everything being too simple.  It’s uncreative, so to speak.

All right, maybe it is, maybe it isn’t.  I respect everyone’s opinion.  Either way, I liked the feel of having an overly simplistic world, or at least a world that the character’s thought was so simple.  And what do I mean?  What are the obvious ways in which the world of TGL is overly simplistic?

For starters, take the names of the three different “races” of people.  There’s Virus, Femina, and Malam.  In other words, Man, Woman, and Evil.  It’s basic Latin.  And then there are the names of the main character’s siblings:  Soror and Frater.  Literally, “sister” and “brother” in Latin…can’t say that I’m as proud of that as I should be.

But there are other things; there really isn’t any kind of hierarchy in the Golden Lands, there’s no system.  There are no politics, no wars.  It’s described in Volume 1 as “harmonious anarchy”.  The Golden Lands is supposed to be this place, literally, of light, peace, and happiness.

But then we see there are these weird, unearthly creatures, roaming, the Golden Lands.  And what are these creatures called?  Evil.  In the beginning of the book, in the prologue, Evil is singular, not plural.  Evil is a single entity that spreads itself out over the world, capable of corrupting everyone and everything.

Overly simplistic, kind of misshapen, eerie world.  That’s what I wanted.

So what are the key things that happen to kick off this series?

Well first of all, we meet the main character of the series, John Hedekira.  Right off the bat, we can tell that John is a frustrated, lonely, human being.  The world, although John knows it is supposed to be his friend, although he knows how things are supposed to be in the Golden Lands, even though he knows how he should feel as a person in the Golden Lands, there is still something about the world that haunts him, that betrays him.   He feels such enmity, and he possesses such a sense of distrust in the world.

And so we meet this character, this sixteen-year old boy, abandoned by his parents, left to watch over his two siblings that are, to quote the book, “like shadows” to him; they don’t respond to him, they are seemingly locked in their own little world of depression and self-pity, his siblings have completely shut themselves out from the rest of the world…and in doing so, they’ve kept John from truly experiencing anything outside of this bubble of depression and loneliness, and the feeling that nobody cares about them.  That is where we meet John.

Take it back a bit though.  In the prologue of the series, in the voice of John, we hear several things, but we hear about John’s desires to escape from the burden of watching of his siblings, and he wants to find this legendary person, this legendary warrior that his parents once told him about.  The prologue is this vague, rant, almost, a stream of consciousness from John’s mind, that relates the things his parents taught him about the world, his own fantasies, and the current situation he is faced with…all of these things are related.

And they get related to one thing; the presence of the Evil.  Evil with a capital E.  We are given this warning by John, about how Evil exists in the Golden Lands, about how it will find everyone.  And how?  By sensing, and flocking, to the evil we have inside of ourselves.

This is how the story really kicks off.



Want a Free Book?

Uh, who doesn’t?

Great news!  The newest book in my series, Volume 5:  Kiilda is still free at Smashwords.com.  Click here to download your free copy!

I know that it might seem weird jumping into the fifth book of a series.  But go ahead.  Volume 5 starts a new “arc” in my series, The Golden Lands.  You can start there and still enjoy the series.

So go ahead.  Don’t be shy.  Go ahead.  Click it.  It will be awesome.

What’s Volume 5 about?  Here’s the description:

Locked in a fight to the death in the subworld of Kiilda, John Hedekira’s only option is to defeat Kiilda if he ever wants to see his little sister again. Meanwhile, Faith is quickly forming a friendship with Tarsh Landid. But when Castrum Fortress is surrounded by the Brown Bandits, it looks like the only thing that will satisfy them is the former “Ghost of Hedekira” (Tarsh Landid)…whether he’s dead or alive!

Red Volume 5

Stay awesome, my dear followers!

Dominic (Aul)

Why We Love Anime #42

psycho pass

Showing you how awesome anime is…with epic, bad-butt pictures!!!

What an awesome wallpaper!

In case you missed it, I published my newest book yesterday!  Volume 5: Kiilda is by far the best installment in my series yet. AND IT’S FREE (FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY)!

Click here to download Volume 5!

Thank you to everyone that has supported me so far!  You guys rock!

Stay awesome,

Dominic (Aul)