About Once Upon a Word: We're a large group of multi-talented authors working together, to bring you the best romances.

Monday, February 27, 2017

TO SPEAK OR NOT TO SPEAK @Linda Swift @Rebecca J Vickery

That is the question. Sometimes words are superfluous; a smile or frown may say it all.  As Martin Fraquher Tupper said, "Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech." Yet in most instances words are necessary to convey our thoughts.  An example of this is Winner Take All, my speculative fiction story which has only one character. There is dialogue provided by flashbacks in Billy Ray's mind and sometimes he talks to himself so he could not be defined as a true non-speaking character. However, he set the stage for what was to come in future stories I would write.

A few years later, I wrote a play which was made into a film and produced on my town's TV station, an affiliate of NBC. I Gave My Love a Baby  (named for the Riddle Song ballad) had a young hired girl who played a dulcimer and sang but never spoke. Jessamine bewitched William and the elderly farmer left his wife Dorcas of many years and married her when she became pregnant. She died in child birth, and in a few weeks William grieved himself to death. Dorcas took the baby boy to rear as her own son, comforting her heart's sorrow since her own two sons were killed in World War II. This story was inspired by and based upon a true story told to me by the secretary in an East Tennessee school where I worked as a guidance counselor. The "baby" was a female student there.  I have been asked why my character Jessamine never spoke except to sing her ballads. I didn't consciously make her mute but the story had an ethereal  atmosphere--the young girl singing and playing and bewitching the old man. If she had spoken, her language would have presented a more realistic  character, accenting her lack of education and poor grammar. 


Several years passed as I wrote books whose characters spoke as they are supposed to do. But when I wrote This Time Forever, another non-speaking character emerged. Again, I didn't consciously plan  for Ruane never to speak. She was a mulatto slave girl  who was the mistress of  Clarissa's husband Malcolm and she played a very important role in the book.  This quote by Euripides in The Phoenician Women, describes her position well. "This is slavery, not to speak one's thought." When the book was adapted into a film, titled Clarissa's War (DVD available soon at Amazon) a perfect character was found to play Ruane. This actor read a synopsis of the film, and recognized the opportunity it presented . When reminded that this was not a speaking role, then asked if she wanted the part, she replied "Not only yes, but h--- yes." She played the role well and speaking would have weakened the impact of her relationship with her master.

I won't purposely create a non-speaking character in a story since I'm not a plotter. But in my character-driven stories, another strong-willed male or female may choose to remain silent and who am I to argue with that since I agree that  "Sometimes not speaking says more than all the words in the world."  (Colleen Hoover, Ugly LOVE) 

Winner Take All  ebook is available at Amazon for 99cents and Audible Audio Edition for $3.95. It can also be found in Take Five, a collection of five speculative fiction stories available at the link below in ebook and print.

Take Five
by Linda Swift 
Link: http://a.co/bmUfcMT




Thank you for visiting today. I invite you to leave a comment if you wish. Please come back again soon.  Linda Swift

Friday, February 24, 2017


During my teaching years, I learned teenagers were the most interesting people I knew. I could tell hundreds of stories about the school and the students (San Marcos Academy-private military boarding school) and probably still think of more.

This Academy story made me think of my OUAW post today:
The male students lived in dormitories run by the U.S. Army—“dorm directors.” Each day the students looked at the calendar to determine the dress for the day—usually those khaki shirts and pants, but sometime “fatigues and boots” which were the favorite. One day, a sophomore came to class dressed in a blue suit, white shirt and tie, and shiny black dress shoes. He asked, "Why am I dressed this way and where am I going?” Trust me, I did not laugh. He answered his own question: "Guess the Colonel will tell me when he picks me up.” Poor babies. So many pros. So many cons.

What are some of the pros and cons of the writer’s life? When I began writing and thinking about publication, I only thought of the pros—success, self-fulfillment, maybe a little recognition, and money. The cons turned out to be rejections, disappointment, and very little money.
If I combine the two groups, the pros win hands down. Writing fulfills some need I knew nothing about. But with my first contract, I realized this was a form of self-gratification—not particularly a form of public recognition. Oh, yes, I love the attention, but in the end, I’m doing all this for myself.

How does being an author contrast or compare with being a teacher? Sometimes I forget I actually taught biology to teenagers. Teaching means being surrounded by other humans all day, and often in the evening at ball games and plays, and sometimes on the weekends.

Writing is a solitary task.
Of the two, I could not choose one over the other, because both jobs brought unique accomplishments and enriched my life.
The best part about teaching teens was watching them change. Change is the key to success, not only for the teacher, but for the student as well. To see a young man who was once surly and belligerent turn into a young man who opens a door for me, calls me Ma’am, and says “Thank you, Mrs. Yeary,” is worth all the tea in China. Wow. That’s difficult to top.

The best part about writing is that I do not have to teach teens! Writing is a piece of cake compared to the work, stress, and heartache a teacher experiences on a daily basis. God bless our teachers.

Celia Yeary is a native Texan, a former science teacher, graduate of Texas Tech University and Texas State University, mother of two, grandmother of three, and wife of a wonderful, supportive Texan. Since the writing bug hit, Celia has written numerous novels and novellas, many revolving around Texas history.
Celia YearyRomance, and a little bit of Texas

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Interview with Jill McDonald @rebeccajvickery @JillMcD-C #paranormal

Let's give Jill McDonald a warm welcome! She's here to chat and tell us about her new release, The Gypsy's Kiss. 

Karen: I'm so happy to have you here at Once Upon A Word. Let's start with telling the readers a little bit about yourself. Where were you born and what year?                                      

Jill: In Liverpool, England. Do you really need the date? As my Grandmother used to say – ‘I’m as old as my tongue and older than my teeth.’

Karen: lol- Love your grandmother's saying. And no, you don't have to tell. :) Moving right along... When you were a child, how did you entertain yourself when you were told to go outside and play or else?  

Jill: Mostly, I played in the fields, or went to the local riding schools. My best friends were animals.

Karen: What is the funniest thing that ever happened to you or you witnessed that made you laugh so hard you couldn’t catch your breath? 

Jill: One day my late husband, Chris was carrying some heavy pieces of wood down the long garden to his shed when his pants fell down! He couldn’t move then, or bend down to pull them up as the wood was too heavy. And I couldn’t help because I was laughing so much! Well, it was funny at the time!

Karen: That is funny. I would probably react the same way. (heehee)
What hidden talent do you possess outside of writing... something you do for fun, but are good at? 

Jill: I like drawing and watercolor painting. I have been told I am quite good at it.

Karen: What are you a collector of? It can be serious, funny, or unique.

Jill: Cookery books mainly. I have about 300, many of them quite old. And reference books of course!
Karen: Name some of your most favorite things?
Jill: I love classical guitar music, time slip stories, the sea, snakes, the movie ‘Don’t Tell her it’s Me’ (‘Boyfriend School’ in USA) and of course, my family and dogs!

Karen: Tell us about your new release and what inspired you to write the tale.

Jill: ‘The Gypsy’s Kiss,’ is a sweet, contemporary Romance, with a touch of the supernatural. The cottage in the story is loosely based on one my husband and I used to live in, which was in the same state as the one in the story when we took it on. In it, I felt many of the same things that my heroine, Sofia, feels, including a very powerful sense of welcoming which took my breath away. I just wanted to share some of those experiences. (Unfortunately, our cottage didn’t come with a pig gypsy!)

Karen: What are you working on now?

Jill: I have a few books on the go, I feel that if I get bogged down with one, I can turn to one of the others until my brain clears for the first one. I am working on a traditional Western, a Western Romance, two more Contemporary Romances, a 1920s story, a Medieval Romance, two children’s books, and a collection of poetry. Sounds a lot, but I do only work on one at a time! And what I work on all depends on the mood I am in.

About the The Gypsy's Kiss:
City girl Sofia hates the countryside with a vengeance. Then she inherits Mere Hall, in the country! Surrounded by beautiful yellow roses, and secrets, the neglected house somehow gets under her skin. Perhaps a ghost and a handsome pig gypsy, with his own secrets, might be able to change her mind about the country being a great place to live? And Love.

Around them, the sudden thickening of the atmosphere stole the breath from her lungs.
“Right, yeah, erm – well, I’ll get out of here, Miss - Marchant, leave you to your sorting out. And there’s a hell of a lot of sorting to do, by the look of it. Staying around here for a few days, are you?”
Sofia grimaced. Her hand was still tingling from the
sensation his had left behind.
“Oh! Good grief, no! No way! It was simply a condition of the will, that I had to come in and look around. Which is all I’m doing, then I’m going back to my job, my boyfriend, Edward, and our river front apartment; I will then sign this place over to the solicitors and leave it all to them to sort out. They can bulldoze it to the ground as far as I’m concerned.”
“That would be a real shame.”
The crease beside his mouth deepened as his luscious lips curved up into a broad smile and his dark eyes twinkled mischievously. Sofia cursed to herself. Why on earth had she felt the need to tell this – this scruffy – gorgeous – gypsy pig man, any of that?

About the Author
Jill always has a few writing projects on the go at any one time, so if she happens to get stuck on one, she can work on another until fresh ideas occur to her. Working and researching in a variety of genres as she does, means there is always something fresh and exciting to discover, only sometimes, the research can take more time than the writing!

Jill lives in a village in a scenic part of the north of England with her two Miniature Schnauzers, Poppy and Pepper. She has been surrounded by animals all her life and has lived on farms and in pet shops.

Her first published piece was at the age of 12, when the local paper printed her long poem about the Vietnam War. After returning to education as a ‘mature student,’ she finally achieved a Master’s Degree in 2001. Her first ‘real’ book was published in 2011.

As well as three traditional Westerns through a British publisher, under the author name of Amos Carr; Jill is now delighted to be able to say that she sells cowboys to America! She has now had Romantic Westerns, true animal stories and supernatural tales published in USA.

Follow the Author:
Website - womanwholeads.webs.com
Facebook – Jill McDonald-Constable
Twitter – JillMcD-C

Sunday, February 19, 2017

MY STORY ABOUT STORIES by Bert Goolsby #books @rebeccajvickery

Like many published authors I am frequently asked about the origins of my stories.  I have a confession to make.  I don’t really know.  They simply come to me.  While some event in my life or that of another person may inspire a story, the story itself will not mirror the event.  Initially, I will not even know how to begin it.  In the course of writing the story, I will probably have several of beginnings.
Fortunately for me, my life has offered a variety of experiences. Fortunately for me also, I have been surrounded by friends and family who have shared their experiences with me from time to time. 
I grew up in the South in a Christian household in Dothan, Alabama, where each Sunday my family and I spent almost the entire day involved with the church.  I lived through World War II (that’s “two,” not “eleven”) and the other wars that followed.  I witnessed first-hand and close-up the civil rights revolution.  Among my several employments, I bagged groceries and weighed produce at an A&P Supermarket, cased soft drinks at the Dothan Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company in my hometown, worked a soft-drink route as a “route salesman” for the Charleston Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company, played the drums in dance bands (among them, “Chuck Nolen and the Rhythmaires” and “Ligon Johnson and the Blue Notes”), paraded in school marching bands (the Young Junior High School Band, the Dothan High School Band, and the University of Alabama “Million Dollar Band”), and fought communism as a member of the United States Army, albeit as a percussionist with military bands (the 101st Airborne Division Band, the 98th Army Band, and the 3rd Army Band) and with the ensemble that provided the music for the 3rd Army Special Services package show “Holiday.”  Before I joined, none other than Leonard Nimoy, better known after his Army days as “Mr. Spock,” emceed the show. (When Johnny Desmond, the popular singer, appeared one evening in Macon, Georgia, for a March of Dimes telethon in 1955, our combo accompanied him as he sang his number-one-hit song that year, “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” We had not rehearsed it with him, and thus our accompaniment did not go well, particularly the long, solo drum part, a featured part of the arrangement.)
Most importantly, perhaps, I have been a member of the legal profession or associated with it almost all of my adult life, beginning when I attended The Citadel in Charleston and clerked after class for a Broad Street lawyer, Joseph Fromberg, Esquire. While in law school at the University of South Carolina, I clerked for the South Carolina Attorney General, the Honorable Daniel R. McLeod.  Once admitted to the Bar in 1962, Attorney General McLeod made me an Assistant Attorney General and, several years later, promoted me to Deputy Attorney General.  His successor, the Honorable T. Travis Medlock, named me Chief Deputy Attorney General, a position I held until I was elected by the South Carolina General Assembly to be one of the original six judges of the South Carolina Court of Appeals, a court I served upon until I reached mandatory retirement in 2007. For a brief period during 1970s, I engaged in private practice with Isadore Bogoslow, Esquire, of the Colleton County Bar in Walterboro, South Carolina.  We practiced law as “Bogoslow and Goolsby,” a partnership name which, someone said, sounded less like a law firm and more like a dancing-bear act.
Whether in private practice, representing accused criminals, auto-wrecked victims, family law litigants, mortgagees, creditors and debtors, intestate estates, and government and corporate entities, among others, or in government practice, representing the State in criminal prosecutions or defending the governor, legislators, and judges as well as other public officers, departments, and bodies in civil matters, I gained a wealth of experience in the practice of law and learned much about the human condition and the workings of government in particular. 
My life experiences, whether they concerned jobs I’ve held, activities in which I’ve engaged, or the people with whom I’ve encountered, have provided a deep well into which I have often dipped for ideas about a short story, a novel, or article.  The experiences I had as a lawyer or as a judge, however, have offered me the best sources.  When speaking to groups about writing, I have often said that the legal profession, like no other, prepares one to be a writer.  Aside from the huge amount of writing the average lawyer or judge must do, each “case” a lawyer brings or a judge hears represents a short story in that each one has its own characters, settings, conflict, action, and resolution.
But what of my writings?  I’ll mention a few.
The very first short story I authored and for which a publisher actually paid me money was “The Box with the Green Bow and Ribbon.”  Saint Anthony Messenger published it in December 1996.  Twice now playwrights have crafted a stage play based upon it, and at least one church of which I am aware had someone read it for its Christmas program one evening.  The poignant tale concerns a twelve-year-old boy’s wish for Santa to bring him a Columbia bicycle for Christmas during a time when our country was at war against the Axis Powers and most Americans faced tough times as well as an uncertain future.
My first published novel was Her Own Law, also set during World War II.  It concerns Delaware Huggins, a draft-exempted Southerner coerced into marrying a strong-willed, older woman, the widow Tweeve Cumbee.  She later defends Delaware when authorities accuse him of capital murder. An odd thing happened when I was writing this story.  Tweeve took it over and took me places I had not anticipated when I began the book.  Among the characters the reader will encounter are: Goot Riddle, a chicken thief; Frank Huggins, Delaware’s imaginative uncle; and Greasy Pea and Booger Blue, questionable witnesses for the prosecution.
My experience in writing my second novel, Harpers’ Joy, differed markedly from that I underwent in writing Her Own Law.  Unlike while writing the latter, I knew where Points A and Z lay in Harpers’ Joy.  Stated differently, I knew where to start it and where to end it—what I didn’t know right then was what lay in between the two points.  I drew heavily on my experiences as defense counsel while in private practice and as a criminal prosecutor while a government lawyer. The story, also set in 1940s, is about Candle Reid, an alcoholic lawyer with little trial experience, who is appointed to represent a soft-drink route salesman Dewey Coltraine who falsely confessed to the murder of a powerful banker’s son.
I drew inspiration from a South Carolina Supreme Court decision, State v. Johnson, 84 S.C. 45, 65 S.E. 1023 (1909) for my 2012 novel, The Locusts of Padgett County.  Both the court decision and my novel concern the prosecution of a black man during the early part of the 20th Century for an alleged assault upon a white woman.  The story focuses upon the prosecutor and questions the soundness of the “any evidence” rule applied in law cases by most courts in our land. 
A novel I published last year, Purple Yarn, took me nearly seven years to complete.  The story concerns an idealistic lawyer and former Pennsylvania cavalryman who, following the American Civil War, becomes involved in legal proceedings related to a series of murders in a western state. To help tell the story, I use memorable characters (they are to me anyway) and the Bateson Revival Device—also called the Bateson Belfry—an apparatus that allowed the buried undead to signal to those above ground that they still lived and breathed. 
I draw on my legal background and childhood to tell Familiar Shadows, published in 2011, a coming-of-age story set in the South during the latter days of the Second World War.  A few characters from my first novel, Her Own Law, carry the story.  
My novels The Trials of Lawyer Pratt and Finding Roda Anne, published in 2011 and 2014, respectively, concern lawyers you probably wouldn’t hire on a good day—or a bad day for that matter.  The former novel follows Billy Joe Pratt, Esquire, as he defends Siggy Youmans, a man with an IQ equal to that of a tomato plant, against a charge of murder.  In the latter novel, however, we ride with Deloris Meek, Esquire, as he, accompanied by Pratt’s beautiful legal secretary Dixie St. John, travels west to find an heir to a valuable estate.  Along the way, he meets up with several characters, including two ventriloquists, Ginger Childree and Wally Teal, and their dummies, Kuddles and Kody. 
My just-published novel, Troubles and Kuddles, is a sequel to Finding Roda Anne.  Somehow, Ginger   Apparently, he failed to do a very good job at trial for the story opens with Meek appearing before the Court of Appeals in an effort to set aside a lower court judgment that awarded custody of Kuddles to a tent preacher, not the most saintly of men.  Is Meek successful?  Well, you’d have to read the book to find out.  In any case, Meek’s attempts to aid Ginger makes him a better lawyer—well, somewhat better—proving to a degree the truth to Charles Dickens’ observation in The Old Curiosity Shop, “[I]f there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers.”  You see, experience counts.
lost possession of Kuddles and Meek tries to recover the smart-mouth dummy for Ginger in a claim and delivery action.
I have not listed all my publications; but if you are looking for a daily devotional to give to your lawyer (but not to the judge who might be entertaining your case, because that would look like bribery), you may want to look at Lex Christi, also published last year.  The devotions you will find collected there, although suitable for laypersons, are directed principally to the legal profession.  As many no doubt feel, we in the legal profession could use direction; but then, we lawyers and judges are no better and no worse than those whom we serve.

Bert Goolsby, a Citadel graduate with a law degree from the University of South Carolina and an advanced law degree from the University of Virginia, once served as Chief Deputy Attorney General of South Carolina and as a judge on the South Carolina Court of Appeals.  Among other things, he has authored seven novels, three short-story collections, two Christian devotionals, and one law book.  

Thursday, February 9, 2017

What's The Deal With Inspiration And Archetypes by Sarah J. McNeal

Although I don’t depend on inspiration to get me through my story once I get started writing, I do need inspiration to develop a story line and plot it out. Knowing I need that inspiration, I have developed ways to get inspired—no sense in being passive about something this important.

I keep a writer’s journal and I carry a tiny notebook with me everywhere I go to jot down things like pieces of conversation I overhear in a restaurant, or someone who seems odd, or an event I witnessed. Most of all I know that images inspire me the most. I see a certain image in a magazine or on TV and I can imagine that image in a story I’m about to write.
National Geographic Mongolian Eagle Hunters

I saw a documentary on National Geographic about Mongolian hunters who use golden eagles to catch game when they go hunting on their sturdy ponies. That image of a man with a huge golden eagle he had trained so intrigued me that it became my character, the Gypsy, Pennytook. Of all my characters in the Legends of Winatuke trilogy, Pennytook the Gypsy, and Raphael, the Nimway prince were my favorites.
Pennytook Loves Horses And Knows Magic

Raphael’s archetype was the protagonist mixed with a bit jester and sidekick. Pennytook was the mixed archetypes of mentor, magician, and jester. I didn’t realize at the time that I had combined some of the archetypes because, quite frankly, I didn’t really know much about archetypes. I know. It’s sad, but true. It would be some time before I became acquainted with the archetypes for novels. Hey. Most of learn by doing. I would never claim to be a hifalutin’ know it all. I took many creative writing classes and cannot recall a single instance where archetypes were even mentioned. It sure would have saved me a lot of trouble if only I had that information. Fortunately, while I was a faithful member of RWA and my local CRW chapter, I learned about archetypes in a terrific workshop.

The 12 Common Archetypal Characters
The Caregiver
The Caregiver is typically a “parent” character who cares for the protagonist in some way. They desire to protect and care for others and are compassionate and generous. However, they’re often a martyr whose sacrifice aids the protagonist’s quest in some way.
The Creator
The Creator is some kind of creative and imaginative character. They can be an artist, inventor, writer, or musician, and are generally innovative and visionary. They seek to express themselves, their visions, and contribute to the overall culture through valuable creations.
The Explorer
The Explorer wants to experience new things and be free. They often seek self discovery through a physical journey. They seek a better, authentic life and fear conforming to the status quo, and believe adventure is around every corner. They can also be seen as pilgrims, individualists, or wanderers.
The Hero
The Hero is a character who seeks to prove their worth through courageous and heroic acts. They might be arrogant and fear being seen as weak or scared. They want to make the world a better place and never give up, regardless of the odds. They are a warrior, rescuer, soldier, and team player.
The Innocent
The Innocent is an optimistic character whose worst fear is doing something bad. They seek to always do the right things and have a certain naive innocence about them. They don’t seem to understand the harshness of the world and are continually stuck in a romantic, dreamy place.
The Jester
The Jester is a character who wants to enjoy their life and have a good time. They like to joke around and make other people laugh, and genuinely want to make the world a happier place. They might also be portrayed as a fool, a trickster, or a comedian.
The Lover
The Lover is a loyal companion who fears being unwanted or unloved. They’re passionate and committed, but they also desire to be more attractive to others and please everyone at the risk of losing their own identity. They might be portrayed as a partner, friend, or spouse.
The Magician
The Magician is a visionary who understands the way the world works. They fear accidental negative consequences and love finding win-win solutions to problems. However, in their search for knowledge and solutions, they often become manipulative. They might be portrayed as a shaman, a healer, or a charismatic leader.
The Orphan
The Orphan is the character who wants to belong more than anything. They fear being left out and being alone. They’re often down to earth and empathetic, but lose their own identity when trying to fit in. They are portrayed as the everyman, the guy/girl next door, or the silent majority.
The Rebel
The Rebel believes the rules are meant to be broken and wants to change something that isn’t working. While they might start out with a good goal in mind, they easily cross the line from rebellion to crime. They’re portrayed as revolutionaries or misfits.
The Ruler
The Ruler wants control and wants to create a successful community/society. They fear being overthrown and as a result, can become authoritarian or not delegate any roles to the people closest to them. They are the boss, the king/queen, politician, or role model.
The Sage
The Sage is a truth seeker who uses their intelligence to analyze the world. They fear ignorance and spend lots of time studying and self-reflecting. Because they fear ignorance, they may only study and never act on what they discover. They’re the scholar, philosopher, academic, and teacher.
Most of you are probably already familiar with these archetypes, but I wanted to share them with you. My characters don’t fit into just one type, but I think that’s okay, too
Have any of you written a character into an archetype intentionally? Did you plan your characters out using archetypes as a guide, or did you realize after you finished the piece that your characters fit into a certain archetype?

Sarah J. McNeal is a multi-published author of several genres including time travel, paranormal, western and historical fiction. She is a retired ER and Critical Care nurse who lives in North Carolina with her four-legged children, Lily, the Golden Retriever and Liberty, the cat. Besides her devotion to writing, she also has a great love of music and plays several instruments including violin, bagpipes, guitar and harmonica. Her books and short stories may be found at Prairie Rose Publications and its imprints Painted Pony Books, and Fire Star Press. Some of her fantasy and paranormal books may also be found at Publishing by Rebecca Vickery and Victory Tales Press. She welcomes you to her website and social media:

 DARK ISLE, Book 1
The legend begins when love and evil collide.
Jade’s mother, Mahara, the malevolent queen of the Dark Isle holds the Nimway prince, Gabriel, in the castle’s dungeon. Jade cannot help falling in love with the whimsical Nimway whose magic lies in his voice.  But time is running out for Gabriel as Mahara plans a bloody war. Jade risks her life to seek help from an enemy, Gabriel’s brother, Raphael. Raphael gathers a band of brave friends to take the Dark Isle and free Gabriel. Among them is Raven who once ruled Valmora and escaped into the modern world from Mahara’s spell, a boy with a violin, a shape-shifter with regrets and Pennytook, the fun loving Gypsy who knows the ways of magic in Winatuke. The comrades travel on their quest toward the deadly evil of the Dark Isle. Will they save Prince Gabriel or will all of Winatuke fall beneath Mahara’s evil rule?

The legend continues with a curse, a quest and undying love.

Hawk is a troubled man with a secret. Emma is a burned-out doctor weighed down by emotional baggage. Can they forget their past long enough to save Hawk's brother, Peregrine, from dying beneath the curse of the Lake of Sorrows? Or will the secrets hidden within the Lake of Sorrows swallow them all under its evil enchantment?

A quest for an enchanted light...a Gypsy’s love...and a warrior’s sacrifice to save Valmora.

To free his father from the witch-queen of the Dark Isle, Falcon must find the legendary Light of Valmora that lies hidden in the darkest place on earth—right under the witch’s feet.  To complicate things further, he is falling in love with Izabelle, the Gypsy woman who loves his brother, Peregrine.
Izabelle struggles with her feelings for her first love, Peregrine, and her growing affection for his brother, Falcon.
No one may survive the quest for the Light of Valmora or the wicked queen of the Dark Isle who intends to rule the world of Winatuke.