Thursday, September 4, 2014

Wings of Fantasy, A Box Set of Fantasy Books

Recently, it was suggested that I put together a compilation of books together.  After thinking about a number of the authors I knew and considering what sort of theme I could come up with, an idea came to me.  That idea grew wings, wings of fantasy . . . and that's the name of the book I came up with, Wings of Fantasy. 

The theme of the book is winged creatures in fantasy: dragons, fairies, monsters and even a city with wings.  The genre is fantasy with full length books and a couple of smaller stories from Indie Authors who have been self-publishing their books for the last few years. 

Each of these authors, myself included, has written and published a number of books that have caught the attention of readers worldwide.  I invite you to explore the Wings of Fantasy and find exciting authors to discover.


Wings of Fantasy is a compilation of books written by six of the Indie World’s brightest upcoming fantasy authors. Let your imagination soar as you read extraordinary stories of winged cities, dragons, fairies, and other fantastic creatures of myth and magic.

Rojuun, a novel by John H. Carroll
Book 1 of The Willden Trilogy. Rumors are spreading about a new race called Rojuun. They appeared from the depths of the mountains eight hundred years ago with the intention of taking over the world. Tathan of the Shadows has been charged with learning more about them. However, he must learn more about his very unusual companions before he can succeed.

Song of the Fairy Queen, a novel by Valerie Douglas
It's said of Fairy that if you're in dire need and call their name they'll come. With his castle under siege and his young son in his arms, High King Oryan couldn't be in more dire need. With only Morgan, his High Marshal, and a handful of Morgan's men at his back, he has only one direction left to run...up. And only one ally to whom he can turn: Kyriay, the Queen of the Fairy.

The First Dragoneer, a novella by M. R. Mathias
When two young men go on a hunt that they know will be the last hunt of their youth, they decide they want it to be an unforgettable outing. When they cross a ridge leaving the protection of their kingdom behind, they find a cavern that looks like it needs to be explored. In the cavern they find exactly what they were looking for. In this stony hole lives something they will never forget!

Foxwise, a short story also by M. R. Mathias
Deep in the Lurr Forest there is a valley called Saint Elm's Deep. This secret valley stays in a perpetual state of Spring and hosts the thousands of Fae who live there. The Heart Tree's magic sustains the boundaries that protect them all and their lush forest, but the hoar witch has poisoned its roots. This a short story from M. R. Mathias' #1 bestselling series, The Legend of Vanx Malic.

Fireblood, a novel by M. A. Nilles
Magic is everything to a priest or priestess, inherited by the descendants of the Creators. Over time, Ayali's abilities have weakened, threatening to expose her tribe to the power of the darkness befalling their lands. Beneath the pressures of her family and tribe, Ayali turns down a dark path. She must face the shadows within her before it consumes their world and destroys her life.

Nature Abhors a Vacuum, a novel by Stephen L. Nowland
Aiden Wainwright was the son of a wagon maker in a small country town where nothing interesting ever happened, until a chance encounter with a strange relic changed him forever. His resourcefulness and courage are put to the test when he travels to a nearby town and finds the place on the brink of disaster. Aiden must marshal his limited resources to aid the town and uncover the villains.

Soul Bonds, a novel by E.M. Sinclair
A young slave girl flees from the Lord who owns her, choosing to die in the mountains rather than become one of his 'pretties'. When that death seems all too likely, she is found by one of the Dragon Kindred and Tika's life takes a twist she could never have imagined in her wildest dreams - or her worst nightmares.

Those are the books that you will find in Wings of Fantasy.  I hope they fly you to fantastic new worlds that expand your mind and tickle your imagination.

All my best,

John H. Carroll

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Understanding gay attraction

Gay attraction

So, for those of you who don't know, my son is gay.  As he says, "I'm the rainbow and the pot of gold at the end."  He came out to his mother and I when he was 14, an act that took courage.  His mother said, "And . . ."  I said, "Who wants coffee?" knowing he loves coffee and it would be awesome for him to have some while we talked about it.

In the time since then (He's 17 in a couple of weeks), he's flourished and truly come into himself.  All that aside, he's just an awesome person in general.  He's caring and giving and he has a sharp sense of humor that delights and occasionally startles.  I couldn't be more proud and thrilled to call him my son, simply for the person he is.

Me and Joe

But anyway, the reason for this blog post is because of something he posted on Facebook recently.  It's about knowing how he is attracted to the same sex.  I thought his response to the question is perfect and I believe it should be shared with others.

Joe's words:

"So, for a long time I have been asked a question that I consider rather silly when I tell people I'm gay. I tend to get the question, "Have you ever been with a woman?" and when I answer no I get a follow up question,"Well then how do you know that you're gay." 

For a long time I haven't come up with an answer to this question because I feel it is silly for me to humor a question that can be answered with, "How do you know your straight if you've never been with a man?" and that I feel questions my confidence in who I am as a person, but I think it is finally time for me to humor so here it goes. 

I know that I am attracted to men and not to women because in my life I have never felt romantic feelings for a woman. Before you go saying, "That's not a valid answer!" let me explain. When I have talked to women it has never led me to get the light-hearted tingly feeling that is associated with love, even with all the things I've discussed with them. However, when I've talked to SOME guys I have experienced this feeling. Along with that, I also gain a sense of security when talking to a guy (whom I'm attracted to) that I have never experienced with a woman. 

Furthermore, there is a sexual aspect that most of society can't get over. When people talk about this, they usually ask about the genitalia, and I can assure you that this is of no interest to me, but it's more then just the genitalia. When I find someone attractive it is usually because they have deeper set eyes, more predominate cheek bones, and broader body build, traits that women don't have. Now I'm not saying that I can't see what makes a woman attractive in today's society or admire them, I'm just saying that overall: their physical traits, mental characteristics, and yes their genitalia combine to make them romantically and sexually unattractive to me while a man's does. 

So I think this should put a silly end to a silly question."


I hope this post helps people to understand.  I'm also thrilled to share how awesome my son is.

All my best,

John H. Carroll

Monday, May 26, 2014

Rain Glade, My favorite story

Rain Glade

My emo bunnies recently asked me what my favorite story is that I wrote.  After some consideration, I realized that it would have to be Rain Glade.  It's a novella set in the world of Ryallon where the Willden, Dralin, Wyvern and Crazed Trilogies are set.

Out of all of my books, it's not just my favorite, but I believe it's the best work I've done.  The emo bunnies proceeded to interview me about it.  Then they hijacked my blog to post it.  You can give them carrots and hay if you like it.  They're pretty sure you won't though.  Nobody ever does.


The Kingdom of Paruth is a country torn by centuries of civil war. All young men are conscripted into military service by the king or the lords of provinces. Women are left to care for children and trade on their own for the most part.

In an insignificant village, in a forgotten corner of the kingdom, lives a simple peasant girl by the name of Rain. She wonders what the future holds for her, or if the future even cares about her fate.

Rain’s friend Verna has taught her to dance through the forest in the moonlight. The colorful woman finds pleasure in nature and life.

Jacob is a young man conscripted into Lord Greffen’s militia. He discovers Rain injured one day and seeks to aid her.

The world of Ryallon holds many places filled with magic and mystery. How will one such glade change their lives?

Why is Rain Glade the best?

For a few reasons.  The biggest is that it's my highest quality writing.  Another is that the story is perfect.  It's a tragedy, unusual for me, but it came out even better than I expected.  The next reason is that the characters came out even more vivid and interesting than I expected, especially Verna.  Finally, the descriptions of everything came out wonderfully.

Will you nuzzle our cheeks please?

Ummmm sure . . . *nuzzle*

Thank you. Now, what do you mean it's your highest quality story?

It's actually very difficult to get thousands of words all in the correct places.  In my novels, I get most of them in correctly, but sometimes the words stray, get wasted, or just aren't interesting.  In Rain Glade, I believe each word, sentence and paragraph accomplished a lot in telling the story.  There was little waste in the 25,000 words I used to tell it.

Why would you write a tragedy?  What inspired it?  And do you have any spinach leaves to feed us?

Sure, here's some spinach leaves. 

I was inspired while listening to a song; "Travelling Soldier" by the Dixie Chicks.  It's a song about a young woman who falls in love with a soldier who goes to war and doesn't come back.  It made me consider what a similar circumstance would be in a fantasy world with magic and sword carrying soldiers. Since I was driving at the time, I had my wife write down notes for the story as I came up with them.

As far as why it's a tragedy, well, the song was a tragedy.  More importantly, I believe that war in general is a tragedy.  It's a waste of life when we should all be working together to ensure the prosperity and health of humanity.  Telling a story of love when death may take one of the lovers is the sort of thing that tears at heart strings.

Hearts don't actually have strings.

Whatever.  *sigh*

You said the characters are more vivid and interesting than you expected.  What do you mean?

Rain, the lead character who the book is named after, came out much deeper in personality than I originally expected.  She had such low self-esteem, yet was generous to those around her.  There was potential in her, and if she had lived under different circumstances, perhaps she would have been great.

More than anyone, Verna fascinated me though.  She is a Druid and Rain's best friend.  There is such life and vitality in the character.  I didn't expect her.  It was as though Verna popped off the page and said hello to me.  It's odd, but I've had characters that were aware that I waswriting about them, but no one ever like Verna.  I fascinate her just as much as she fascinates me.

That's not just odd, it's borderline crazy.

Whatever, get on with the questions.

When you say the descriptions of everything came out better than you expected, you're talking about things like the sky, buildings and stuff like that?

Yes.  I took the time to concentrate on showing the scenery, from Rain's loft to the forest path into the town and especially Rain Glade.  Verna's cottage is detailed and musical.  The people jump out from the page (not literally thankfully)

Since this is a novella rather than a novel with 100,000 words to work with, I focused on creating these scenes with a minimum of words.  I'm happy with the effect.

You seem to be very happy about everything in this book.

I really am.  It's one of the best stories of Ryallon in my opinion.

We don't like happy.

Well, it's a bit of a sad book.

We like sad.

Yes I know.

Can we have more cheek nuzzles now?

*sigh*  I suppose so.

All my best,

John H. Carroll

Friday, April 11, 2014

I'm All Out of Soap

Perhaps this is too much information, but I stepped into the shower this morning and realized I hadn't gotten a new bar of soap.  I thought to myself, "I'm all out of soap".  Then Air Supply started up in the back of my mind and I sang, "I'm all out of soap."  When I was done in the shower, I got on my computer and wrote this parody song. . . . Yes, this is my life.  *sigh*

I'm All Out of Soap
Sung to the tune of Air Supply's, "All out of Love"

I'm standing alone with my head under water
Thinking of all the dirt
I need to get clean but what else can I do
I'm filthy and oh so wet

I wish I had soap to wash myself with
For times when the grime feels so ick
It would make me believe that tomorrow would bring a brand new bar of soap, 
brand new bar of soap

I'm all out of soap, I'm so lost without it
I need it so bad, believe me I need it
I'm all out of soap, I'm dirty without it
I can't be too clean, I've now got to go to work

Perhaps I can use some of my wife's shampoo
Or maybe her sweet body wash
I'm reaching for it, am I smelling it too?
does the feeling seem oh, so right?

And what would she say if I used her loofah now
And used it to wash myself?
There's no easy way, I bet my skin would say
Please wash me or be filthy, be filthy


Ooh, what is this loofah for
What is this loofah for
What is this loofah for
What is this loofah for

I hope you enjoyed this little parody.

All my best,

John H. Carroll