Aphanasian Stories

Aphanasian Stories by Rhonda ParrishAphanasian Stories.

I’ve bundled up three of the stories I’ve written which were set in Aphanasia into a collection I have cleverly titled Aphanasian Stories, and it’s now available for you ๐Ÿ™‚ Including in this collection of re-released stories are Lost and Found, which was originally given away here on this blog, A Love Story, which was originally published by Sam’s Dot Publishing as Shades of Green and Sister Margaret which was originally published by Wild Child Publishing.

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A Love Story: Zโ€™thandra, a swamp elf living with the Reptar, discovers a human near the village. When she falls in love with him, she faces the most difficult choice of her life, a decision that will affect the Reptar for generations.

Lost and Found: Xavier, the escaped subject of a madmanโ€™s experiments, and Colby, a young lady on a mission to save her brother, must combine their efforts to elude capture and recover the magical artifact that will save Colbyโ€™s brother before itโ€™s too late.

Sister Margaret: A vampire hunter and a half-incubus swordsman are hired by a priestess to kill the undead pimp that is extorting, torturing and murdering vulnerable girls.

~*~

The physical copies of these books are fan-freaking-tastic, no word of a lie. The original art is the illustration I commissioned from Darek Zabrocki long ago for Lost and Found and Jo (my husband) had turned it into the sort of wrap around cover that dreams are made of (mine anyway). However, if you like to read electronic books I’ve got good news for you. The Kindle version of Aphanasian Stories is available for free for May 15th and 16th.

Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

T4T: Two Book Covers… Almost

These pictures are going to be book covers when they grow up ๐Ÿ™‚ Click them to see the full image, WordPress crops the thumbnails.

I’ve decided to put a few of my previously published works up on Kindle. Sister Margaret and Shades of Green seemed like the ideal stories to start with, so I commissioned some cover art from Marge Simon.

I can’t share actual cover design yet because Jo is usually my cover design guy and right now he’s up to his eyeballs in getting the June issue of Niteblade ready, so I’m practicing being patient. I will ask him to textify these for me in the not too distant future, though. I guess that means I better get back to trying to learn how to format books for Kindle ๐Ÿ˜‰

Abbadon’s Curse

This post is about video games. I was originally going to write about the video games I play these days, but then I had a better idea. Let me tell you about a fantastic video game that was never made.

Abbadon’s Curse.

Abbadon’s Curse is a game I wanted to create over ten years ago. I looked over the main game description document that I gave to the developers and it looks like it was created in early 2002 and I’d been working on stuff for the game long before I began that file.

Abbadon’s Curse was going to be fantastic. It was an MMORPG with all of the usual MMORPG-type things in it, but there were a lot of other cool things that I hadn’t seen done in games up until that point. Night and day, for example, with certain spells and abilities only being able to be used in one or the other. Capes which could be designed (like tabards are now in WoW) to have a unique look for each guild (or character). It was also going to be very story-centric, very lore-based.

The game was set in the world of Aphanasia. A place where, upon the death of her son in battle, she blessed that land so that any who died in battle would not remain dead but rise up once more to fight again. Unfortunately, despite the fact her intentions may have been good, in reality her blessing turned out to be more like a curse.ย  Dun dun dun.

Moonberrys were also very important in that world, as was the magical tree they came from. They were especially important to a race of lizard-men called the Urbagdรบ or the Reptar who used them in every part of their society. The wise men used the berries for medicines, the mages for magic and the warriors used shed boughs from the trees for weapons. Moonberries were even the closest thing the society had to a currency.

In developing the game and it’s storyline we focused a lot on the reptar because they were going to be our first set of adversaries (you know, after everyone was done leveling off rats, and moving on to wolves, and then…) and we needed to give them depth and story. We had several other races in mind we were going to use as spice in our first release and make more important in the future. The Reptar were found mostly in and around the swamp, but the mountains were home to a race of shadow elves, and pirates tended to prowl the coastlines. And of course, what kind of RPGMMO would be complete without vampires? We had them too… In fact, one of our important, named NPCs was a vampiric pirate ๐Ÿ˜‰

In addition to our races and plots and maps and game design documents, we also had a series of gods for the denizens of Aphanasia to worship (the icons for each are along the bottom there). Abbadon, Calamyr, Rakkir (named after a character I used to RP with), Xaphan and the Dragon Gods.

Alas the game fell apart. I totally blame myself. I was the lead on the game, the story was mine, the bulk of the world development was mine, and it was my work that filled the game design documents, but I can’t program. Not even a little. I wasn’t able to provide strong leadership to the programming team and I think it was largely because of my ignorance in programming. I couldn’t set reasonable timelines or expectations and I didn’t know how to crack the whip.

I’m still very sad this game never got to become a reality, but I was determined not to allow the insane amounts of work I’d put into the world development for it to go to waste. That’s why, if you’ve read any of my Aphanasian stories, a lot of this stuff will sound familiar to you.

The moonberry tree got a bit of a makeover, and I set my stories in a time after Abbadon’s curse has ceased to exist (so far anyway LoL). I tweaked my races and my world to suit the world of fiction better than that of video games, but the skeleton of that world definitely comes from what I developed for a video game.

~ Shadows ~ Sister Margaret ~ Lost and Found ~ Shades of Green ~ There’s Always a Catch ~ The Legend of the First Reptar ~

All the above stories are set in Aphanasia, and most of them can be read for free, if you’re interested. It looks like the e-zine that published The Legend of the First Reptar is no longer in existence, but the other stories are all still available (except Shadows which I just finished LOL)

So, yeah. While I’m terribly sad that Abbadon’s Curse will never be a game you can download and play (barring a minor miracle anyway LoL) I’m pretty pleased with myself that I managed to continue to use the world I’d created for it, making it even more lush, detailed and populated than I had for the game.

~*~

This blog post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge over the month of April and was brought to you by the letter V for Video Game. Tomorrow my husband Jo will be doing a guest blog. He won’t even tell me what it’s going to be about except that it has something to do with chickens. I hope you’ll stop by, it ought to be entertaining ๐Ÿ™‚

“I absolutely LOVE this story.”

I stumbled across a review of Sister Margaret today that said that. “I absolutely LOVE this story.” Well, I have to say, I absolutely LOVE this review ๐Ÿ™‚

Sister Margaret at GhostWriter Reviews

That reviewer will be happy to hear that Shades of Green (my upcoming release from Sam’s Dos *squee*) is set in the same world as Sister Margaret -and- I’m still working on a sort of sequel to Sister Margaret too. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you may have heard of it…it’s a little novel I like to call Shadows ๐Ÿ™‚

News :)

Blue JayI am very addicted to Tim Horton’s coffee. Almost as addicted as I am to World of Warcraft. I always said I should take a camera with me on the walk to Tims (which I make at least once a day). There are three Tim’s within walking distance from my house, but my favorite is on 118th Avenue. It’s not that long a walk, about 20 minutes each way, but it takes me through the playground of the school I volunteer in, near the abandoned hospital that intrigues me (and is where Deadmonton starts) and through a small wooded park. I always see something interesting on my travels, but never have the camera to record any of it. Until this time.

I took the camera with me the other day, and managed to get a picture of this blue jay. I got a few other great pictures, including one of a squirrel who really didn’t want me near his tree and a magpie that was sitting at the very top of a giant pine tree, looking quite majestic.

This story, by the way, has nothing to do with the news I wanted to share today, but I wanted an excuse to post the picture, so there you go ๐Ÿ™‚

So right, news. I’ve got some ๐Ÿ™‚

Firstly, my poem, Fae, is in this month’s issue of Lorelei Signal. I love the illustration that Holly Eddy did for it. It’s very nice ๐Ÿ™‚

Also, there has been a new review of Sister Margaret that I’m very excited about ๐Ÿ™‚ Anna, of Genre Reviews said:

Is it possible for a story to be simultaneously grim and fun? Because this one pretty much is. In the spirit of urban fantasy, there’s equal parts intrigue and action, the battle against an evil vampire, and a plethora of folks living in a gritty reality. I loved Bayne, who isn’t really a sidekick but fills the quirky content nicely, and the plot twist at the end is a great one, unexpected but logical.

She said more too, of course ๐Ÿ™‚ You can see the whole review here –> Sister Margaret by Rhonda Parrish

My last bit of news for today is that I’m going on vacation to San Francisco. Yay! We are leaving on Sunday and will be gone for a week. While I’m away I will be completely offline, I’m not even taking my laptop in order to force myself to not work, at least for a little while. I will see you when I get back though ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ll leave you with a picture of Danica finishing up her ice cap from the aforementioned trip to Tims. Why? Because I think she’s awesome.

Danica and an Ice Cap

The Legendary and Auction for Cat


Help Catherynne M. Valente

My auction for ad space on Niteblade, a copy of Sister Margaret and a copy of Lost Innocence ends at midnight tomorrow. Right now it has one bid on it (thank you Greg) for $5. Surely we can do better than that? The auction is here please check it out.

In other news, my short story “How It’s Supposed To Be” is up at The Legendary. Sadly, this story was inspired by a very similar situation that happened here in Edmonton not so very long ago.

A Helping Hand


Help Catherynne M. Valente

I don’t actually know [info]yuki_onna or [info]justbeast . I’ve never read any of Catherynne’s work and they aren’t on my friends list. That being said, when I read about their troubles I wanted to help. So I’m donating ad space on Niteblade, a copy of Lost Innocence and a copy of Sister Margaret to the auction to raise some money for them.

My auction is here
. Please stop by and place a bid. For $5 you could win two great things to read and ad space on Niteblade Magazine. Plus, you’ll be help some people who really need it. If you can think of something else I could throw in on the auction to make it better let me know, I’m very open to suggestions.

Screenshot or it didn’t happen!

sistermargaret-rating

Sometimes you just gotta screenshot things. Even if they don’t actually mean anything. This is one of those times. Sister Margaret is actually tied with all these novels in that we all have five or more ratings and 100% of them are ‘great’. I’m sure this exalted status is only temporary but how could I not take a screenshot when it looks like my story has been rated higher than The Lord of the Rings? Dude, that is one of those oppourtunities that if you don’t take it you’re a fool. I’m lots of things. I hope a fool isn’t one of them.

Halloween in May

Belinda McBride is having a Halloween in May event at her blog and on her mailing list. All month she has been having guest bloggers pop by and write about paranormal expiriences, Samhain or Halloween. I am lucky enough to be one of those guest authors.

Yesterday I was scrambling to find something to write about because I’d forgotten that the topic was meant to be Halloween/Samhain/Paranormal themed…which meant the topic I’d planned to write on wouldn’t work. Wewps. It all worked out in the end, though.

Halloween has always been important to me, so I talked a little bit about that and how what it’s meant to me has changed through my life. Please, take a look if you’re even vaguely interested ๐Ÿ™‚ All comments left on that blog entry (on Belinda’s blog, not mine) will be entered into a draw to win a copy of Sister Margaret.

On a sort of related note I’m curious. If you have received a free copy of Sister Margaret from me and I sent it to you via Fictionwise, did you get it? I’m asking because I’ve given out a fair number of e-books that way and still there are only two reviews for Sister Margaret on the website. If people just aren’t giving reviews that’s fine, but I really want to make sure that people are getting the copies I’ve promised them.

Right, so yes, I’m blogging at Belinda’s today. Check it out by clicking here. Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

Four Fang Review

I’ve never actually met Roxanne Rhoads of Fang-tastic Books but I may love her. She just posted a review of Sister Margaret today in which she gave it four fangs (out of five) and said:

Rhonda Parrish delivers a wonderfully written concise story that will grip you with anticipation. Her characters are strong along with a hidden depth to their personalities. I was surprised at how short the story was but Ms. Parrish wrote it in such a way that there is magic in every word. I am impressed at her ability to pull you in and deliver a satisfying ending. An entertaining story that is wickedly clever!

Is it any wonder I adore her? You can read the full review here if you’re interested. Actually, if you like vampire stories at all it’s well worth checking out her site. She has book reviews (obviously), interviews and giveaways all the time.

In other news, I’m still struggling to keep myself focused for long enough to work on the first draft of any of my big projects these days, so I’ve shifted my focus for a little bit. I’ll be revising my novella THERE in order to send it out to publishers. Hopefully once I get back into the groove of writing every day it will be less painful and I’ll be able to get those first drafts done.

I’ve also just had the full manuscript of one of my Aphanasian novellas requested by the first publisher I queried about it. Keep your fingers crossed for me on this one please.

Updates

I just got home from the World Horror Convention in Winnipeg. It had the lowest attendance of any World Horror Con (61 paid memberships with about 30 of those people actually attending), but it was a blast. We really got a chance to just hang out and talk and I got to know some really amazing people. Truly.

While I was in Winnipeg I was also being featured on Amber Stults‘ blog. I meant to post about it here as it was happening, but um…I forgot. *looks sheepish* Sorry.

Firstly, Amber interviewed me. You can check that out here. She asked me a lot of questions that I’ve never been asked before, and I had a lot of fun answering them. The interview also includes my Rhysling-nominated haiku, Lovers, in case you’re curious and want to check it out.

That same day, Amber posted a review of Sister Margaret (here). In it, she says:

“The only thing lacking in โ€œSister Margaretโ€ is that itโ€™s not enough!ย  I know Rhonda has written more stories and a novel with some of these characters.ย  Iโ€™ve been purposefully staying away as a beta reader so I can be surprised like everyone else when they get published.”

<3

Lastly, she invited me to write a guest blog post, so I wrote about falling in love with secondary characters. Secondary Characters = <3.

I would like to thank everyone who stopped by and commented and congratulate Joyce for winning a copy of Sister Margaret just for commenting.

Now I need to get my nose to the grindstone. I have a new layout for this blog I really want to install and show off!