Throne of Jelzicar

Teaser

Are you ready for an epic new fantasy series?  Do you crave swords and daggers, warriors and assassins, magic users and hunters?  Then you’ve come to the right place.  Follow me into Gravenlea, where a group of warriors will come together to battle the demons that have dared to enter their world.


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Why After Hours?

I suppose you’re reading this because you’re wondering why this blog is known as After Hours. The reason is simple, really. As with all writers, I have a muse. This is that piece of myself that forms and creates stories before they can ever be brought to you, or any other reader. This little guy has been active since I was a small child. For as long as I can remember, stories and characters have come to life in my mind’s eye.

My muse is always active on some level, but when do the stories truly start to come to life? After hours, of course. The most profound characters and ideas that have ever taken hold in my mind have done so in the late hours of night or the wee hours of the morning. Oh sure, I can write wonderful prose at eight a.m. I can create worlds of fiction at noon. I can even muster up compelling dialogue at three or four. However, it is in the evening, when the world is starting to go to sleep, that my creativity comes alive.

After hours is a magical time for me. It is the time when quiet falls over a busy household and my mind takes over. In the night, while you are likely slumbering, I am creating far away worlds and unseen dimensions. As an author, my favorite time is that peaceful time known to me as after hours.

I invite you to join me as I explore those bits and pieces of ideas that exist after hours … and other ramblings, of course.


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Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you wonderful Moms out there!

moms day


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Embodiment of Compassion

There is a heart that has seen more than most can comprehend. Heartache has been whispered in its corners, yet it beats fierce and strong. Fear has flitted at its edges, only to be stifled by courage. Sorrow is squelched by hope. At the center of all of this lies the beauty of compassion.

Moments come together like memories drifting through the sands of time. The smile of triumph, the tears of loss. Joy melds together with pain in the blink of an eye. The heart of a nurse is many things: It is strong and brave, it is soft and tender, and it is whole even when it is broken. The very soul is one of power and depth. For without power, the nurse would freeze in panic rather than rescue the injured. Without depth, the nurse could never overcome the memory of the fallen in order to save those that still grace this earth.

Waves of tears wash away the memories of lives that could not be saved. They come in the night, like haunting dreams that will never be forgotten. As the new day dawns, the memories make way for what is yet to come. With every breath of life, the soul is renewed. Every victory eases the sorrow. Every joy replenishes the spirit.

When the nurse walks up to the doors of the hospital, courage arises again. Whatever waits beyond that glass, the nurse will bravely face. As you slumber in your bed tonight, remember those that walk this path. For should you ever encounter this place, the nurse will be there to carry you through. stethoscope impressionist image

 

In honor of nurse’s week, I would like to take the time to thank every nurse out there. Nursing is a difficult profession. It is also the best profession. A nurse will experience immeasurable loss and will grieve for patients that have passed on from this world as the years go by. A nurse will also celebrate in joy and triumph when a patient leaves the hospital better than when he or she arrived.

A nurse will hold your hand at a time in your life that nobody else will. They will sit with you while you’re sick. They’ll hold you while you cry. They will comfort you as best they can. They do not do this for money. There are far easier and more profitable ways to earn a living. They do this because they genuinely care about people. Nurses ease the suffering of others because it is in their heart. That heart truly encompasses courage, bravery, and compassion. Thank you, fellow nurses. What you do matters every day.


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The Ocean Dimension

Overlooking the Monterey Bay is a breathtaking thing. In fact, I think looking out on any ocean must be humbling. As I view this vast body of water, I cannot help but think about the life that lives below the surface. In that beautiful, blue sea lies a vast bounty of incredible creatures that the mind’s eye cannot even begin to imagine or comprehend. Within the very depths of its bowels are creatures that have yet to be discovered.

The life within the ocean only brushes upon the surface of the magic of its waters. My educated mind knows that across those waters lies a foreign land. I cannot see it, but I know it is there. The people in that land live in a different culture, a different climate, and even a different time zone. Not so long ago, it would have almost been viewed as a different world.

The ocean seems almost to be a gateway to another dimension and, while I gaze upon its beauty, I am humbled to be a creature of this world.


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The After Hours Saga: A Warrior’s Heart

In the shadows of the trees, he stands. Watching. Waiting. The arrow is taught against his string. He feels the muscles in his arm and shoulder tensed and ready. All he must do is release. The waiting is truly the hardest part. Through the bushes and overgrowth, he can hear the animal moving. It draws closer, yet he does not waiver. He cannot afford the luxury of fear, for it would only mean the end for him.

The animal closes in, and now he can hear it breathing. In this instant, most would have run. He does not. The warrior inside of him would never allow him to run. He stands his ground, waiting for the wicked beast to emerge.

It does not disappoint. The animal lumbers toward him at great speed. He does not allow himself to feel anything as he progresses through the movements, for he cannot afford to. He takes aim, steadying his hand, and releases. Muscles, instantly merciful for the loss of the strain, help guide his hand back to his quiver from memory. He draws another arrow.

It is not necessary. The beast falls to its belly on the carpet of the forest floor in front of him. He walks to it and taps it with his boot. No movement. The beast is dead. He turns, and walks deeper into the forest.

 

It is sometimes said that the heart of a true warrior lies in what he does in the first moments of battle. Does he stay and fight to the death? Does he flee? It is in these moments, when faced with true danger, that the warrior is made.

This warrior was not made to flee. He was made to fight. He may live many years, or he may be killed fighting off a beast. Either way, he will not become a victim to his fear. The archer lives another day, deep in the heart of the forest.


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Fantasy Bestseller Kevin Hearne Talks to After Hours

Bestselling Fantasy Author Kevin Hearne

Bestselling Fantasy Author Kevin Hearne

Those of you that have ever talked about books with me know that NY Times Bestseller Kevin Hearne is one of my all-time favorite authors. In fact, if you’ve broached the subject, you would have heard me gushing about The Iron Druid Chronicles (my personal favorite) as well as pointing out covers to the new Heir to the Jedi book that’s been gracing the shelves of bookstores everywhere. Mr. Hearne’s characters are full of depth, his writing is immaculate, and his stories are beyond intriguing. Add internal conversations with an Irish Wolfhound, and what more could a reader possibly want?

A few days ago, I contacted Mr. Hearne for an interview and he graciously accepted. Now I bring it to you for your reading pleasure. Enjoy:

Hello Kevin, as a fan of the Iron Druid chronicles and a lover of fantasy novels, I’m excited to learn a little bit about you!

Those of us that follow you on social media know that you’ve been traveling (we’ve seen the pictures). From where do you hail on this fine day?
Right now I’m in Rome! Not doing many touristy things though; I’m researching sites for book 8.

I think all of us that are attached to the Iron Druid wish that we could have an Oberon of our very own. Did an Irish Wolfhound that you know inspire his character?
Alas, no. I have a pug and a Boston terrier that provide the inspiration for Oberon. They’re very expressive dogs and you can see their emotions on their faces.

Of all the places that you’ve visited, do you have a favorite?
I love visiting Portland, Oregon. Farmer’s markets everywhere, crunchy happy people, and a giant bookstore in Powell’s. What’s not to love there?

Many of us know that you were an English teacher. Did you have a favorite story to teach your students?
I always enjoyed telling them the story of how Tiresias the blind prophet got that way, because he used to be a normal dude. The story is told in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and it’s jacked up like so much other mythology.

You have so many dynamic and compelling characters. Do you have a favorite?
Right now the Archdruid, Owen Kennedy, is really fun for me to write; his voice and attitude are an entertaining headspace to inhabit for a while.

Are you working on anything new? Anything you can give us a glimpse into?
Yes! Besides working on STAKED, the next Iron Druid book, I’m also working on an epic fantasy trilogy called the The Seven Kennings. The first book is called A Plague of Giants and I hope that will be out next year.

Where will you be appearing next?
I’ll be in Prague and Brno May 5 and 6, and then at Phoenix Comicon May 28-31.

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to speak with After Hours and Other Ramblings!  We hope you have the opportunity to do some touristy things while you are out and about!

Want to know more about Kevin Hearne? Follow him on his page: https://kevinhearne.com/ or on Facebook and Twitter


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