Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Six chapters of The Goddess Queen fantasy audiobook now available

The production of The Goddess Queen audiobook continues at its slow but steady pace. Chapters 5 and 6 are now available and I'm expecting to have Chapters 7 and 8 available about this time next month.

Despite the need for patience, I am very happy with how the recording is progressing. Andrew Wetmore is doing a wonderful job with the novel. His voice is clear and pleasing, and he even claims to be enjoying the story as he reads it. I'm so relieved to hear that because wouldn't it be a grinding chore to read a novel you didn't like?

For fantasy fans who'd like to support this recording project, you have at least 3 hours of action packed fantasy audio available for download as mp3 files.

Available Now:

Episode 1 of The Goddess Queen: The Rys Chronicles Book II.
Chapter 1 Fierce Loss
Chapter 2 The Proving Ground
You will recieve 2 mp3 files. Each is about 30 minutes.
Checkout with Credit Card or use Paypal and download instantly at Digital Delivery App. Multiple currencies accepted. Available worldwide.
In Chapter 1 Fierce Loss Dreibrand grapples with the pressures of his impending fatherhood.
In Chapter 2 The Proving Ground Dreibrand joins King Taischek on a royal hunt and Shan recklessly draws out the Kezanada.
Episode 2
Chapter 3 Dueling Mercenaries
Chapter 4 Protege
You will recieve 2 mp3 files. Each is about 30 minutes.
In Chapter 3 Dueling Mercenaries Dreibrand gets caught in mortal combat without his armor and the Kezanada Overlord disables Shan with enchanted weapons.
In Chapter 4 Protégé Queen Onja decides that the eastern world must pay her tribute. She grooms a young rys to serve as an ambassador to the Atrophane Empire and begin its subjugation.
Episode 3
Chapter 5 A Lesson of Kingship
Chapter 6 Faychan
You will recieve 2 mp3 files. One is about 30 mintues. The other is close to 40 minutes.
In Chapter 5 A Lesson of Kingship, Miranda gets a new sword and Shan admits to King Taischek that he was lucky.
In Chapter 6 Faychan, Dreibrand endures personal attacks from Prince Kalek and then meets a high ranking Kezanada face-to-face.
The Goddess Queen continues the epic started in Union of Renegades: The Rys Chronicles Book I that is a complete audiobook. Visit the fantasy audiobooks page at Brave Luck Books to listen to samples from both audiobooks. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Two compelling paintings by Caravaggio added to my stock art collection

This week I added a pair of sensuous and dreamy pieces of art by the 16th century Italian painter Caravaggio to my stock art catalog. Spend a moment enjoying and comparing The Musicians and The Roman God of wine Bacchus by Caravaggio. 

Obviously Caravaggio was using the same model for both of these works of art. I suspect he had a crush on the young man who appears quite at peace with his life of wine and pleasure.

I've been slowly building a catalog of royalty free vintage and fine art images. I get most of my images by browsing through vintage books and art prints that I obtain at estate sales and auctions. To view larger images of these fine pieces of art, visit my stock art catalog where you can purchase high resolution jpegs for your projects if you need to.

The Musicians by Caravaggio
Bacchus by Caravaggio

Friday, September 21, 2012

Emotobook excerpt from Lingering in the Woods by Cynthia Ravinski

Today Her Ladyship's Quest welcomes a guest. Cynthia Ravinski author of the emotobook Lingering in the Woods shares an excerpt and illustration from her story. 
Lingering in the Woods
By Cynthia Ravinski

Why is it taking so long? Usko shivered again. The blankets didn’t warm him. They were soaked with sweat. He gasped, the air burned in his throat then ripped into his chest. Fever baked his body dry, yet chilled him through. Snot incessantly ran from his nose. And his head throbbed as if a horse had kicked it. If he’d had the strength, he would have smiled.

He’d deliberately insulted Kipu in a ritual the last dark moon. Not even his mother, with all her power, could drive away a curse from the goddess of disease. Yet it was taking so long, his body slowly wasted. If the disease didn’t take his life soon, he’d perish from weakness instead.

Another cough racked his chest. He gagged. The phlegm that erupted from his throat slid out of his mouth and dripped onto his stringy beard. It had never filled out. They said he’d never be a true man, that the sparse, reddish wires that grew from his chin proved that he’d never be like the rest.

“My boy,” Satu said as she clutched her son’s arms. Kneeling beside his bed, her raven hair flowed over her shoulder, the tips brushing the floor. Why aren’t you curing yourself? Don’t leave me here alone. It’s almost winter. You have the power.” Her voice carried on in a squeaky wail, her youthful face contorted as she sobbed.

Usko knew she only cared for her ageless looks, but they wouldn’t keep her warm come winter. Let her reap what she’s sewn. Mother,” he coughed. His tongue so dry he could hardly rasp, Remember what I asked.”

Her face smoothed and she withdrew to pace the small space of her hut, her shadow growing and shrinking, caught in the dance of the fire. She began singing. He knew the song. It wasn’t just a humble tune. She was trying to sing him out of his illness with a magical rune song against fever. It was too late for that, and he just wanted her to stop her noise. But he said nothing lest she change runes to lend his body strength. That was the last thing he wanted.

This discomfort was temporary, and nothing compared to what his mother’s kind had done to him. Two decades he’d lived here in exile, kept from his father, forced to live with this woman. No one else welcomed him with anything but curses and stones. Demon spawn they’d called him. And the spirits of his father’s line called to him. As soon as his body rotted, he’d be reborn into his father’s kingdom. Walking with the rest of his kind, he’d find his place.

His mother’s song faded in the middle of a verse. Good. She’s finally realized there is no hope.

Darkness crept over him, the fire dying. He just needed to be patient. He’d discover so many secrets. It couldn’t possibly last more than another night.

Usko? No. Nooo!”

Has mother gone outside? What could she need now? He didn’t care anymore. Numbness spread through his body as his blood ceased to flow. Yes. Gray flickering blurred his vision. Vitality seeped out of his husk and he slipped away from the small cottage on the taiga.
Satu had gone far enough. She stopped the horse under a scrub pine. It was suitable for Uskos interment. No spirits had claimed this grove, and the tribe-folk never came out this far.

She worked quickly. This task needed finishing before dark. Over and over again, she buried the head of her shovel in the rocky dirt. When her hair tangled about the shovel, she pushed it back. When sweat ran out of her hair and down her temple, she wiped it away with the back of her hands, smearing dirt across her cheeks.

She dug and dug. Never mind that he’d asked to be left in the sun. The place for her boy would be far from the ground that good folk walked.
Finally, dirt-smeared and itching with sweat, she judged the hole would hold safe the body of her son. The sky lightened and blushed. The sun traveled too fast this day. Widdershins she circled the grave, while she sang a rune. She floated linden leaves down into the grave, making a bed on which to lay her enchantment. She dug into her pouch, a pinch of the dried grit of a distant sea; she tossed it on the leaves. Sung and seasoned, the pit was ready to accept its ward.

She turned to the sledge. He still had a damned smile on his waxy face. He lay in his furs, bow slung over his shoulder, quiver full. She’d folded a handful of cloudberries into a cloth and tucked it into his belt. At any moment he could spring up to hunt for her dinner, but his eyes were wide and dull. He thought he’d gotten what he wanted, freed his soul of its human limitations. How sanguine of him.

She frowned. He’d left her to face winter alone. She stroked the posy at her belt; its power warmed her fingers. She’d show him what he got for leaving her alone.

Like Adj, Uskos demon father, the spirits of the land had abandoned her. Neither the spirits nor he would ever give her the comfort she wanted. She was truly alone and if the runes were right, a long, cold winter came her way.

Ingrate,” she snarled and spat on his face. You left me alone.” She grabbed his ankles and dragged him from the sledge. You were all I had here.” She kicked him into his grave. He thudded into his new home, face up. Oh well. Too much trouble to climb back down there to twist him around. She clutched the posy and began circling the occupied grave. Winding a red cord round the stems, she sang the names of her chosen plants. Blessed thistle and green juniper sprigs for purification, betony with its purple blooms and birch twigs to dispel evil, and nightshade and willow switches to make Usko forget his life. Reaching the end of song and cord, she twisted the knot. Reaching over the hole, its thorny twigs bit into her hands, as her son had bitten into her life. Good riddance. With a rustle, the bundle landed on his chest. He’d had his chance to stay with her. Now she’d be sure he never went anywhere again.

No one but her would know his remains were here. She covered him with the forest’s floor, returning it to the way it was before she’d come.

You’ve just read a sample of the Emotobook Single, Lingering in the Woods. Written by Cynthia Ravinski. Illustrated by Loran Skinkis. Edited by Alexis Jenny.

Lingering in the woods is available at all major ebook reatailers including

This post continues my Magic Appreciation Blog Tour. My last post was at The Summer Sleeper.


Cynthia Ravinski writes Emotobooks, among other things. From her coastal northern setting she wrenches language into stories. She’s been an athlete, a co-pilot, and a world traveler. She’s basked in the light of great poets, and has been educated to high degrees at UMaine Farmington and Seton Hill University. To say she is obsessed with drinking tea is an understatement.

Find Cynthia Ravinski at her Blog
And twitter @CynthiaRavinski