Archive for the ‘#epicfantasy’ Tag

Great Fantasy Now in 2-Book Set   Leave a comment

Amazon makes shopping easy for you by combining Books 1 & 2 of Daermad Cycle into a 2-book set. It would be a great way to enjoy the books in preparation for the 3rd book in the series – Fount of Wraiths. Come on and learn why you really shouldn’t irritate a vengeful Celtic goddess.

The Willow Branch

The Daermad Cycle (2 Book Series) by  Lela MarkhamA healer must mend a fractured kingdom and bring two enemy races together before a greater enemy destroys them both.

Fate took Prince Maryn by surprise, leaving Celdrya to tear itself apart. A century later an army amasses against the warring remains of the kingdom as prophesy sends a half-elven healer on a journey to find the nameless True King. Padraig lacks the power to put the True King on the throne, yet compelled by forces greater than himself, Padraig contends with dark mages, Celtic goddesses, human factions and the ancient animosities of two peoples while seeking a myth. With all that distraction, a man might meet the True King and not recognize him.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071RYL9WZ/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

Mirklin Wood

The Raven rises as the One’s Dragon falls

The Daermad Cycle (2 Book Series) by  Lela MarkhamPadraig’s quest to heal the fractured kingdom of Celdrya seems at an end as Tamys’s life hangs by a thread. Darkness obscures the One’s True King as the kingdom stands poised on the edge of destruction, torn by factions, manipulated by dark magicks, distrustful of natural allies, and unaware that a brutal army swells at her borders.

Mayhap the mantle of healing now passes to the Kin sorceress Ryanna, if she can battle herself free of the traps of court intrigue, the politics of mating and rising plague. Meanwhile, dragons and kings real and false stir and mage power changes hands as a kingdom that does not remember its past may be doomed to repeat it.

#bookpromotion, #series, #kindle, #fantasy, #epicfantasy, #dragons, #celtic, #goddesses

 

Mirklin Wood #btiwob   Leave a comment

Front Cover RedMirklin Wood

(Book 2 of Daermad Cycle)

The Raven rises as the One’s Dragon falls.

Padraig’s quest to heal the fractured kingdom of Celdrya seems at an end as Tamys’s life hangs by a thread. Darkness obscures the One’s True King as the kingdom stands poised on the edge of destruction, torn by factions, manipulated by dark magicks, distrustful of natural allies, and unaware that a brutal army swells at her borders. Mayhap the mantle of healing now passes to the Kin sorceress Ryanna, if she can battle herself free of the traps of court intrigue, the politics of mating and rising plague. Meanwhile, dragons and kings real and false stir and mage power changes hands as a kingdom that does not remember its past may be doomed to repeat it.

#btiwob, #followfriday, #fantasy

 

The Willow Branch #btiwob   Leave a comment

The Willow Branch

Willow Branch Blue White Recreation Cover(Book 1 of Daermad Cycle)

A healer must mend a fractured kingdom and bring two enemy races together before a greater enemy destroys them both.

Fate took Prince Maryn by surprise, leaving Celdrya to tear itself apart. A century later an army amasses against the warring remains of the kingdom as prophesy sends a half-elven healer on a journey to find the nameless True King. Padraig lacks the power to put the True King on the throne, yet compelled by forces greater than himself, Padraig contends with dark mages, Celtic goddesses, human factions and the ancient animosities of two peoples while seeking a myth. With all that distraction, a man might meet the True King and not recognize him.

#btiwob, #fantasy, #followfriday

Mirklin Wood #btiwob   Leave a comment

Front Cover RedMirklin Wood

(Book 2 of Daermad Cycle)

The Raven rises as the One’s Dragon falls.

Padraig’s quest to heal the fractured kingdom of Celdrya seems at an end as Tamys’s life hangs by a thread. Darkness obscures the One’s True King as the kingdom stands poised on the edge of destruction, torn by factions, manipulated by dark magicks, distrustful of natural allies, and unaware that a brutal army swells at her borders. Mayhap the mantle of healing now passes to the Kin sorceress Ryanna, if she can battle herself free of the traps of court intrigue, the politics of mating and rising plague. Meanwhile, dragons and kings real and false stir and mage power changes hands as a kingdom that does not remember its past may be doomed to repeat it.

#btiwob

Posted September 9, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , , ,

The Willow Branch #btiwob   Leave a comment

Willow Branch Blue White Recreation CoverThe Willow Branch

(Book 1 of the Daermad Cycle)

A healer must mend a fractured kingdom and bring two enemy races together before a greater enemy destroys them both.

Fate took Prince Maryn by surprise, leaving Celdrya to tear itself apart. A century later an army amasses against the warring remains of the kingdom as prophesy sends a half-elven healer on a journey to find the nameless True King. Padraig lacks the power to put the True King on the throne, yet compelled by forces greater than himself, Padraig contends with dark mages, Celtic goddesses, human factions and the ancient animosities of two peoples while seeking a myth. With all that distraction, a man might meet the True King and not recognize him.

#btiwob

Posted September 9, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in book promotion, Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , ,

The Willow Branch #btiwob   Leave a comment

Willow Branch Blue White Recreation CoverThe Willow Branch

(Book 1 of Daermad Cycle)

A healer must mend a fractured kingdom and bring two enemy races together before a greater enemy destroys them both.

Fate took Prince Maryn by surprise, leaving Celdrya to tear itself apart. A century later an army amasses against the warring remains of the kingdom as prophesy sends a half-elven healer on a journey to find the nameless True King. Padraig lacks the power to put the True King on the throne, yet compelled by forces greater than himself, Padraig contends with dark mages, Celtic goddesses, human factions and the ancient animosities of two peoples while seeking a myth. With all that distraction, a man might meet the True King and not recognize him.

#btiwob, #followfriday

Posted September 9, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in book promotion

Tagged with , , , ,

Devolution of Society   Leave a comment

This is Part 4 of a series – Manners in Medieval & Modern Society

You know the chicken and egg analogy? Did a code of manners create the possibility for democratic, capitalist systems, or did a capitalist, democratic system create the possibility for a culture of manners?

The truth is that they fed back and reinforced each other. Democratic systems helped create stable and secure environments where the risk of violence was rare and calculable, and manners could afford to be practiced. People who live in a world of danger and chaos don’t have the space and willpower to concentrate on chewing with their mouths closed and what to wear to a wedding. Even in a secure environment, people can’t carry out their 9-5 jobs and become involved citizens when they aren’t able to practice self-control and delayed gratification.

Both ingredients are necessary for the democratic and capitalistic systems to flourish.

And that brings up an interesting question: if manners made the modern world, then could the cycle be run in reverse — could their disappearance undo it, eventually bringing us back to a more medieval society?

In the Middle Ages there wasn’t much emotional/behavioral distance between children and adults. The young and old wore similar clothes, talked in a similar way, did similar things, and had a similar level of intelligence. Children were more adult-like than they are now, and adults were more child-like.

With the invention of the printing press, and other scientific, political, and economic advances, childhood was transformed into a prolonged and distinct period of life. This was done to give children a training period in which to learn the discipline and self-control they would need to grasp increasingly difficult books, study math and art, debate policies, and so on. A key part of this training was learning manners — learning to master their impulses instead of letting their impulses master them. The self-control they learned by practicing manners then carried over into all aspects of their lives. Step by step, this training initiated them into the society of adults in which they could take their places as the world’s future analytical scientists, shrewd businessmen, level-headed politicians, disciplined writers, and so on.

Today when people wring their hands about grownups acting no better than children, there’s a deeper concern behind the worry than simply being sad to see the degradation of past traditions.

There’s a concern, even if subconscious, that the failure to say “please” and “thank you” just might loosen the threads of civilization itself, and leave us with no steady captains who are ready to step up and pilot the ship.

I’m not sure that’s a crazy thing to worry about. We humans are funny about restraints on our behavior. On the one hand, we know that some rules and disciplines can actually enhance our liberty — after all, roads and traffic laws help us get where we’re going, so we pretty much volunteer to keep them — but, on the other hand, we all have the desire to chuck it all and be able to do whatever we want, where we want, how we want. We want to run that red light sometimes.

Our relationship with manners operates on a similar level. Sometimes we just want to let it all hang out and forget about all these sometimes seemingly pointless rules for social interaction. Haven’t things loosened up in the modern day without there being dire consequences?

What we fail to realize is that this loosening has occurred within a structure of an already well-established system of self-control that’s easy to take for granted. Norbert Elias explained it well:

“The freedom and lack of inhibition with which people say what has to be said without embarrassment, without the forced smile and laughter of a taboo infringement…is only possible because the level of habitual, technically and institutionally consolidated self-control, the individual capacity to restrain one’s urges and behavior in correspondence with the more advanced feelings for what is offensive, has been on the whole secured. It is a relaxation within the framework of an already established standard.”

While it may be fun and entertaining to flirt with a little more chaos, to break, or watch others break, the old fashioned rules of civility and respect, to indulge in a fantasy about a return to barbarianism (in which you’re always on the strong, winning side, never on the humiliated, tortured, enslaved side), as an author I have to wonder if all this loosening up would eventually compromise the integrity of the foundation of self-control that’s taken centuries to build.

Could we reach a manners tipping point and go full-on Thunderdome?

Right now, we have a couple of high status individuals in the political arena showing disdain for manners. Did their parents fail to teach them etiquette as children or did they stop getting daily training in self-control? Could this lack of regular practice and reinforcement contribute to the diminishment of citizens’ discipline in all areas of their lives? Might people in a world of atrophied manners start to have a more difficult time holding in their road rage, staying faithful to their spouse, and reading and discussing hard books/articles/news? If people lose the ability to digest nuanced information and thus can’t engage intelligently in the political process, could we elect a dictator who starts society’s regression back to the Dark Ages?

Ooops! I think I mixed my series up.

Lela Markham is a multi-genre author. In her fantasy series, people pretty much ascribe to the barbarian level of table manners while in her dystopian series, she is wondering just how far society might fall apart when the world as they knew it ends.

SALE   1 comment

Willow Branch Blue White Recreation CoverThe Willow Branch is 99 cents April 9-15.

http://www.amazon.com/Willow-Branch-Book-Daermad-Cycle-ebook/dp/B00OL13YF2/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

FREE DAY!   1 comment

Front Cover RedMirklin Wood is FREE Saturday April 9.

http://www.amazon.com/Mirklin-Wood-Daermad-Cycle-Book-ebook/dp/B01C2RQSP4/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Why Manners Developed   Leave a comment

This is Part 3 of a series – Manners in Medieval & Modern Society

We know where manners came from and how they spread, but do you ever wonder why a culture of manners arose when it did and why did it win such widespread and vigorous acceptance?

It’s natural for lower status folks to imitate higher status folks, so that explains why the middle class was eager to adopt the mores of the upper. Still, European aristocrats engaged in all sorts of practices that never caught on with the masses. Codpieces were never the rage with the peasants. Even if it makes sense for the lower classes to fall in line with their social betters, why would the upper classes have ever deined to practice their manners with the common people?

Economic/political/scientific changes to the structure of society began to arise in the Middle Ages onward, necessitated a change in society’s emotional/social structure. Up until the Middle Ages, people led relatively independent lives. The poor were bound to their lords, but made, grew, or bartered for all that they needed. Lords provided for themselves from their land, and could get anything they lacked simply by using force and riding roughshod over weaker neighbors. Neither class had to worry much about offending their peers. In truth, folks didn’t really think in terms of being grossed out by other people’s behaviors. It just wasn’t how they related to each other and structured their interactions. Their greatest “social fear” was to be physically attacked and defeated/humiliated/tortured/enslaved by a rival. Table manners just weren’t all that important in comparison.

For this reason, people of all classes could afford to be volatile with their emotions and impulsive in their behaviors. Feelings were given freer rein and swung spontaneously between great extremes. Life was so uncertain that people lived more in the moment, acting without regard to future consequences. You fully embraced whatever inclinations you were experiencing at the time.

But as ruling power was consolidated into fewer hands, and more stable governments were formed, people began to be connected in more and more intimate ways. Thus a new emotional/social landscape became necessary.

The right to exercise physical force became reserved for those legitimized by the central authority (army/police), which made the chances of encountering violence increasingly rare and predictable. More and more pockets of security and stability formed wherein population, productivity, living standards, and labor specialization went up. As a result, members of society became more and more

As a result, members of society became more interdependent. The longer and more complex the chains of connection that developed between individuals, the more the “civilizing process” — the march of manners — took hold.

The more a population increased in density, the greater the division of labor. The deeper the interdependence of society grew, the more people had to be aware of the sensibilities of others — giving people enough space and privacy, being careful not to offend, monitoring moods, and anticipating reactions.

The fear of physical attack was replaced with the fear of embarrassing oneself in front of others, and proper social conduct became a form of weaponry and currency. The fight for status and success was no longer carried out on the battlefield but in the realms of politics, economics, academia, and most of all, within oneself. Behavior was not checked by external force but internal control, and victory was redefined as the chance to rise in the world and achieve one’s aims. Thus, status increased for the man with the greatest self-mastery.

In an interdependent society, all classes are forced to treat each other with at least a basic level of respect.

While courtesy began as a hoity-toity code of behavior dictating how lower status individuals should act towards higher status ones, and how higher status individuals were to act with one another, it ultimately became a set of manners all classes were expected to follow, regardless of whom they were interacting with.

In a pre-civilized culture, might makes right as independent bands of the strong can treat the weak with impunity. But in a civilized culture, where only a few are authorized to exercise violence, you can’t bludgeon someone in the head when they annoy you, or egregiously trample over their rights. Even if you’re rich, strong, and powerful, you rely on a doctor, trash man, electrician, mechanic, etc., as well as a slew of consumer goods made by factory workers, for your life to function. Such folks aren’t your slaves or indentured serfs, so you can’t be completely rude to them and expect them to do whatever you want. They’ve got power now too; the power to walk away from an economic transaction.

For free market enterprises and government bodies to function and thrive, people need to act in stable and predictable ways and be able to exercise hindsight, foresight, and delayed gratification. They must be able to forward diplomacy instead of insults and violence. They must be able to put aside short-term impulses and plan for long-term goals.

Manners are essentially practices for these skills and qualities — ways to build your foresight and self-control each day. They force you to reflect and look ahead, predicting what kind of behavior will garner what kind of consequences. They make you put your short-term inclinations to the side sometimes. You wait your turn in conversation, so that the other person won’t interrupt you when it’s your turn. You wear your best suit to a wedding. Instead of grabbing food upon sight, you pause to say please and thank you. Rather than acting on impulse, you master your behavior.

Individual self-control is the price of democracy, and practicing manners is central to the development of this quality. Manners thus provided the scaffolding that helped move Western society from courtesy, to civility, to civilization.

Or in other words, manners made the modern world.

So given the behavior in our political climate and parking lots these days, it’s probably a good idea to ask — if matters made the modern world, could boorishness unmake it?

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