Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Yankees Still Suck!

Or, why I’m glad Out of the Shadows is due in August and I don’t have time to watch baseball.

I'm really not trying to harp on this, and I've refrained from writing note after note after note about it, but come one boys! Let's get some runs! And some pitching! And stop making errors! And...

Just play ball, will you fella's?

Okay, I've vented. Back to writing.


For more information on my novel, A Prophecy Forgotten: Book I of the Elysian Chronicles, and my upcoming novel, Out of the Shadows: Book II of the Elysian Chronicles, check out my website at

Monday, June 25, 2007

Out of the Shadows Prologue: Part 1

As a little promotional stunt for my second book, Out of the Shadows, I'm going to be posting bits of the prologue and the first chapter once a month on the blog. (I'm also doing it on my website, but in full.) Anyway, this is June's bit.... (By the way, pay no attention to the periods at the front of the paragraphs. For some reason, blogger doesn't read regular html, and I'm tired of fidling with it.)

Prologue Part 1

. Maurice wiped the Treetop Inn’s bar for what felt like the fiftieth time that day. The lacquered counter already sparkled, but Maurice preferred wiping to gazing across the quiet tavern full of empty tables and booths that should have been full of large parties of happy, boisterous patrons talking or playing jalonga. The usual twinkle in Maurice’s brown eyes had dimmed, and the smile that used to greet all of his customers—even his least favorite—had disappeared. Maurice figured his smile would stay in hiding for quite some time.
. A drop of sweat trickled down Maurice’s cheek and into the folds of skin between his chin and neck. He glanced across his tavern again and shook his head. Even though the sweltering weather kept him from lighting fires in the fireplaces, his Treetop Inn still felt cold. He filled two mugs of honeywine and flew them to two textile merchants, who were talking quietly at a booth. He forced a smile. “How are you fellas doin’ this fine day?”
. “I’ll be better once the senate votes in favor of a king tomorrow and the people start buying cloth again,” muttered one of the merchants. He raised his mug to Maurice and took a gulp of honeywine. The other merchant raised his mug in agreement.
. Maurice hid his frown. Scandal after scandal had characterized the late prime minister’s term, souring the Elysian people on the democratic process. Most of the senators were now urging a vote to eliminate the office of the Prime Minister and reinstate a monarchy, which they believed would help Elysia win the Tri-Millennial War against the mornachts. Although Maurice understood the Senate’s logic, he disagreed with their timing, and he especially disagreed with the Senate’s choice for king. “People will start buying again,” Maurice said. “With or without a king. It’ll just take time.”
. “Ah, but it will take less time if we’ve got a king, and my family needs food,” said the first merchant.
. “No argument there,” muttered Maurice. He wished otherwise. “Now, you two don’t hesitate to call me if you need anything.” Maurice returned to the bar, grabbed his rag, and began furiously wiping the tables.
. The Treetop’s door swung open and shut, and Maurice felt a brief chill flow into the tavern. A tall cherubian dressed in white robes and a white cloak flew inside. The stranger kept the cloak’s hood pulled over his head, hiding everything but his nose and graying goatee. He flew to the bar and crossed his arms.
. “Good day, stranger,” Maurice said. He strained to catch a peek at the stranger’s eyes but saw only a shadow. “I assume you’ll be wanting a place to stay tonight.”
. “I need no room.” The stranger’s voice rang clear and strong. Stronger than most cherubians nowadays, thought Maurice. The stranger reached inside his cloak and pulled a scroll out of his robes. “Seraph Davian will be arriving in less than half an hour.” He handed the scroll to Maurice. “Give him this.”
. Maurice frowned, caring little for the visitor’s curt tone, and wondered how this stranger knew Davian’s comings and goings. “If you’re that sure he’s coming, you might as well wait for him.”
. “I’m short on time.” The stranger turned to leave. “Make sure Davian gets that scroll.”
. “What’s your name so I can tell the seraph who this scroll came from?”
. The stranger looked over his shoulder at Maurice, and Maurice finally caught a glimpse of his eyes—bright blue eyes with pupils that resembled a multi-pointed star instead of a circle. “My name is of no consequence. Tell him that the message on the scroll is from Cassadern.”
. Maurice raised his eyebrows. “Cassadern? That doesn’t sound like a cherubian name.”
. “It isn’t. And I have a message for you, Maurice. You will see Davian’s face again after today. When you do, do not hesitate to give him what he asks.” With that the stranger spun around and flew out of the Treetop, leaving Maurice staring at him openmouthed as the door swung back and forth.

. The summer sun’s rays bounced off the crystal Palace of Ezzer that sat atop the trees in the center of the city, illuminating the charred trunks and branches burned during a fire that had occurred during the Third Battle for the City of Ezzer only three months earlier. Posh, upper-class cherubian shoppers, politicians, and businessmen dressed in their finest shimmering robes talked and laughed with each other, but their eyes betrayed fear, possibly of Elysia’s future economic welfare.
. The talking continued until a clean-shaven cherubian with short, brown hair who wore a black breastplate and a silver kilt barged out of the palace’s gates. His sea-green eyes flashed with anger, and his lips snarled, accentuating the scar on his chin. A four-pointed seraph star dotted the tip of the cherubian’s helmet, and a ring of white metal on the fifth finger of his right hand flashed in the sunlight. As he flew, Elysian citizens on the streets stopped and stared. Women blushed. Children watched with wide eyes. Men tipped their hats, and soldiers tipped their helmets as he passed. The seraph nodded back, silently wishing he could fly the streets of the City of Ezzer in somewhat anonymity the way he could before the Third Battle.
. “Are you all right, Seraph Davian?” asked a herald, who sat next to a blond boy in a light-green robe.
. Davian took a deep breath and forced himself to smile. “I’m just fine today, young man.”
. The blond boy whispered something to the herald.
“Ask him, not me,” said the herald. The boy shook his head and turned red. The herald sighed and turned to Davian. “My brother wants to know why you aren’t wearing any of your medals.” The boy hid his head behind the herald’s back.
. Davian knelt on one knee and looked around the herald so he could see the boy’s eyes. “I don’t wear my medals because I don’t like them clinking against my breastplate, letting the mornachts know I’m coming.”
. The boy nodded and took a deep breath. “Did you really kill all of those mornachts during the Third Battle?”
. “Of course he did,” said the herald. “Seraph Davian saved the City of Ezzer.”
. Davian shifted his weight. He hated discussing the Third Battle, and he especially hated people referring to him saving the city. “The army of Elysia saved the city, lads.” He patted the young boy on the head. “Lots to do today. No time to rest.” He continued flying, trying to avoid eye contact with anyone else.
. A breeze blew through the city, temporarily cooling it off and making the blackened trees sway. Davian hated the trees; they reminded him of how his best friend, Eric, had formed a conspiracy of soldiers and tried to take over Elysia’s government. Eric and his soldiers joined forces with the mornachts, Elysia’s enemies, and attacked the City of Ezzer. They assassinated most of the senators and military officers. Eric himself slaughtered the Prime Minister, High Seraph Octirius, and Arch-Seraph Zephor, Davian’s close friend and mentor.
. At least it doesn’t smell like smoke anymore, Davian thought to himself. Finally, three months after the Third Battle, the smell of damp soil after the morning rain had replaced the smell of burnt wood. Pale green leaves—leaves that usually showed themselves in early spring—also started poking their way through the blackened branches, making the city look as though it was covered in green mist. Only one tree in the City of Ezzer, the tallest and oldest tree, had retained its large, pre-battle leaves. The Treetop Inn, a tavern made of wood darkened with age and stained glass windows that had warped over time, lay nestled in the top of that tree, and Davian headed directly for it.

To Be Continued in M. B. Weston’s Out of the Shadows: Book II of the Elysian Chronicles....

Click here to read more of the Prologue & First Chapter.

For more information on my novel, A Prophecy Forgotten: Book I of the Elysian Chronicles, and my upcoming novel, Out of the Shadows: Book II of the Elysian Chronicles, check out my website at

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A Prophecy Forgotten Released in Audio

Or, Why This Blog Has Mysteriously Stayed Stagnate

I apologize for not blogging for a while. I had a very good reason. I was working on the audio version of A Prophecy Forgotten: Book I of the Elysian Chronicles with my publisher. It took about every minute of my spare time for two weeks, but it was worth the effort. ArcheBooks has just released A Prophecy Forgotten as its first mBook—an audio version of the book in MP3 format. I’m so excited about this because many people have been asking me about the audio version for a while.

The mBook is available only as a downloadable MP3 file—not as a CD. It takes about 5 minutes to download if you have anything but dial-up, and once you download the file, you can burn the CD’s if you like. (It takes about 9 audio CD’s)

ArcheBooks used a computer program to generate the voice. Using the program has some great benefits—especially when it comes to the MB factor. The computer generated voice takes up less space than an audio generated voice, meaning that more chapters can fit on an iPod or similar MP3 player. The downside is, of course, the voice inflections of the voice, which though mostly natural, sometimes don’t inflect the way they are supposed to. The other problem is the names that I’ve created—mainly that the computer wasn’t able to read all of them. We had to manually change a lot of the names to their phonetic spellings.

You can check out some samples of the prologue and the first chapter of A Prophecy Forgotten at this link: The MP3 file of the entire book is available for $14.95 through

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For more information on my novel, A Prophecy Forgotten: Book I of the Elysian Chronicles, and my upcoming novel, Out of the Shadows: Book II of the Elysian Chronicles, check out my website at

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Elysian Chronicle, June 2007

M. B. Weston’s Author Newsletter, Volume 2, Issue 3

Breaking News
Out of the Shadows: Book II of the Elysian Chronicles due out in December!
A number of readers have asked me when the sequel to A Prophecy Forgotten will be out, and so far, we’re on track for December! If you want me to send you a postcard, notifying you as soon as it’s released, go to my website at and fill out the form!

A Prophecy Forgotten’s 1st Chapter in Audio!
My publisher is experimenting with new audio technology, and he has put the first chapter of A Prophecy Forgotten into audio. Visit my website at to listen, and let me know what you think!

Website Updates

A Prophecy Forgotten T-Shirts Now for Sale!
Check them out in the new Elysian Chronicles Merchandise section or click on the below link!

View Excerpts from the First Chapter of Out of the Shadows!
I’m offering a preview of the first chapter of Out of the Shadows: Book II of the Elysian Chronicles. Visit: or the Out of the Shadows section of the website. I just updated it today, and I’ll be updating it every month, so keep checking!

Stay Tuned For:
A little surprise or two in the Out of the Shadows section.
Updated book signings & speaking events. Keep checking to see if I’ll be in your area!
Book Club information

Author Events
Book Signings:
· June 13th—11:00am to 1:00pm, Mina Hemingway’s Florida Bookstore, Naples
· June 16th—2:00 to 4:00, Barnes & Noble, Naples
· June 24th—2:00pm to 5:00pm, Caloosa Bayview, Ft. Myers
· June 19th—4:00 to 6:00, Barnes & Noble, Naples
· June 26th—4:00 to 6:00, Barnes & Noble, Naples

Young Writers of Naples Club
Join me and other high school students at Barnes & Noble from 10:00-12:00 on the 3rd Saturday of each month.

Summer Writing Program at Barnes & Noble:
I’ll be teaching writing workshops for middle & high school students over the summer at Barnes & Noble in Naples. Call Jessica at 597-2040 to sign up!

Open Mike Night @ Barnes & Noble
Come join me at Open Mike Night at Barnes & Noble Naples on the 1st Tuesday night of each month! Bring your writing, your singing voice, or your instrument (or any combination of the 3), and let’s have some fun!

Monthly Writing Tip

Sympathetic Characters: In order for readers to care about what happens to a character, they have to care about the character. Creating a main character whom readers relate to and like is key to creating a suspenseful story or novel. (For instance, my husband and his friend cheered when Jack finally died in The Titanic, because they really couldn’t stand him—probably not the reaction James Cameron wanted.) We call these types of characters—the ones readers care about, that is—sympathetic characters. Although no formula exists for creating the perfect sympathetic character, here are a few guidelines.

Kindness toward others: In the movie, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jack Sparrow is a pirate who has a bit of a rum addiction. Normally, people don’t like drunken pirates, so why do they love Captain Jack? He saves Elizabeth Swan, at risk to himself, when she falls in the water, and he tries his best not to harm Will Turner during their first sword fight. He really wants to do the right thing. The audience can sense that, and they love Captain Jack—despite his weaknesses. And speaking of….
Weaknesses: A sympathetic character needs a few. Harry Potter has hair that won’t brush right and a slight temper. Not many people like someone who is “perfect.” (Think about it. We call them teacher’s pets and laugh at them.)
Struggles: All of us struggle with doing the right thing. If it was easy, no one would be in jail. The Chronicles of Narnia’s Peter struggles with being the overbearing big brother when he relates to his siblings. Harry Potter struggles with missing his parents; Frodo Baggins struggles with the weight of the ring; Jack Sparrow struggles with trying to be both a pirate and a nice guy. Struggles make our characters human and therefore likable.

For more information on my novel, A Prophecy Forgotten: Book I of the Elysian Chronicles, and my upcoming novel, Out of the Shadows: Book II of the Elysian Chronicles, check out my website at