High Reviewer Praise for Beyond the Mist!

Jeffro Johnson over at the Castalia House blog has posted a glowing review of Beyond the Mist that almost makes me blush. This little quip I think sums it up:

Going by the blurbs, I was expecting sort of a science fiction version of Pilgrim’s Progress. Really, this is way better than that would have been.

Read the full review here.

If you haven’t already got yourself a copy, you can still grab one for 99 cents for another 2 1/2 days (click on the image below to visit the relevant amazon page)

 

Beyond the Mist

The Beast – Part 5

 

Part 1

Part 4

Atop the lonely peak he finds a pair of silver beams
Moulded at right angles, giving off a ghostly gleam.
This place’s eerie atmosphere has silenced all the birds,
He steps forward with trembling at the old man’s warning words.

Despite the growing protests of the beast, he reaches out,
Touches purest silver and then with a silent shout
The rage of all the ages flows through and out of him,
His knees begin to falter and his vision starts to swim.

He sees a man of purest good, defender of the weak
Who shames the mighty with the truth, heals those who cannot speak,
Who gives the cripple and the lame new strength to leap and dance,
And frees the tortured and oppressed from their dark hellish trance.

Daric feels pure envy surging up from deep within,
Unlike the sin the beast ‘revealed’, this comes from inside him.
This man shows Daric how far short he falls of what is right
Shame turns into anger and he rages at the light.

The powerful that hate that man rouse up a vicious mob,
Accusing him of every evil thing they could think of.
Daric finds his inner self concurring with the horde
Demanding blood to have his own self-righteousness restored.

The man is taken, beaten, scourged, then hung up on display,
So he can be taunted as his lifeblood drips away.
Black tendril clouds of evil all converge on his pinned form
As the guilt of ages swarms at him in a wrathstorm.

The skies turn black, the mountains shake,
Great idols fall, disintegrate.
Demons shout and celebrate
His death, and when the noise abates

Daric’s anger at the truth
Turns back to shame that saps his youth.
“That man did not deserve his fate
But pity now is far too late.

“I truly am a loathsome fiend
That should be kept and quarantined
From all that’s pure and clean and good
Until I am the jackals’ food.”

Then Daric’s bathed in radiant light
And treated to the joyful sight
Of that man back to life in power
At his own appointed hour.

Justice has been served and won;
Wrath is spent and guilt is gone.
He offers Daric his pierced hand,
Smiles warmly and then helps him stand.

Daric finds his beast is stilled,
His old corrupted self is killed.
A noble peace is in his heart;
He’s ready for a whole new start.

The man ascends into the sky
Leaving Daric misty-eyed.
Behind the cross he sees a door
In the rocky mountain floor.

 

Part 6


Beyond the MistNobility Among UsSelected Verse - Faith and Family

 

Selected Verse – Faith and Family currently No.1 in Family Poetry on Amazon!

Thanks to the awesome influx of people visiting here from scifiwright and elsewhere (obliterating my daily traffic records) and buying up my books on sale, Selected Verse: Faith and Family has now reached the No. 1 spot for Family-themed poetry, and no. 9 in Religious and Inspirational Poetry ebooks at Amazon. I know this probably won’t last long, given how quickly these rankings can change, but I thought this moment worthy of recording for posterity. Family poetry is a surprisingly small category, let’s see if we can climb any higher in the bigger categories.

selectedverseno1Speaking of much larger categories, Beyond the Mist is now no.8 in metaphysical genre fiction, highly respectable  positions in major categories and approaching the overall top 7,000 paid books in the kindle store:BtMrankno8

And Nobility Among Us briefly popped into the top 30 Alternative history ebooks:NAUpeakrank

The Beast – Part 4

Part 1

Part 3

 

“You asked for hope, that’s all I know;
There is no simple cure.
You have to walk against the flow,
And most of all, endure.”

“Who are you, that you don’t flee
From my horrific countenance?”
“My name is Cuinn, and as you see
This frame would make poor sustenance.

“Fleeing would not help my fate
Nor aid you on your troubled path;
So I’ll stay here by my garden gate,
Offer help and risk your wrath.”

“My name is Daric, or it was, when I was still a man,
If you can truly help me, then I’ll gladly shake your hand.
I only hope the beast in me will stay under control
And one day you will be rewarded for your gracious soul.

A warm meal is provided that gives relief and strength;
Cuinn retrieves a faded map, describes the route at length,
Packs a bag with fresh supplies then sends him on his way,
Towards the distant mountains at the very break of day.

Daric sees a pack of wolves surrounding an old cart,
Threatening to tear its screaming occupants apart.
Brave parents armed with pitchforks try to keep the beasts at bay,
But there is little hope that they will see another day.

Daric charges down the hill, transforming as he leaps
Into the canine pack, discarding bodies piled in heaps.
They retreat when they see he is more fearsome than they,
The little family is now free to go upon their way.

Instead of offering their thanks, their cries grow shriller still,
They fear him more than snarling wolves who closed in for the kill.
Their lack of gratitude inflames the growling beast within;
He flees before it takes control and wipes out all their kin.

Daric presses on through hills and fields alive with streams,
Through dark and barren lands that seem more like a fever dream,
Past riverbanks and still lake shores and even ocean coasts,
By ruined citadels whose shadows swarm with silent ghosts.

Then at last he spots the end point that is marked upon his map
The beast screams deep within him that this place is but a trap.
He ventures forward warily to scale the verdant slope
As bitter fear is blended with a truly lethal hope.

 

Part 5

The Beast – Part 3

Part 1

Part 2

 

His claws have half retracted,
But he’s clearly still a freak.
While he is thus distracted
He’s startled by a squeak.

“Hmm, what do we have out here?”
Says an old man with a staff.
He squints his eyes, displays no fear,
And comments with a laugh:

“A wanderer, I wonder,
To venture out this far;
It makes me pause and ponder
Whether you know where you are.”

“Stay back, old man, for your own sake,
Or call for help at least;
The rage within me may yet break,
I’ve been cursed by the beast.”

“That much is clear, my burdened friend,
Your teeth and claws stand out;
You’re not the first to meet his end
And end up hearabout.”

“Meet his end, so I am dead?
I failed like all the rest?”
“No, you somehow kept your head
And now you are my guest.

“I’ll wager you don’t live in fear
Of losing name or station,
So can stand and persevere
Upon a new foundation.”

“I cling to life but barely,
Guilt and rage tear at my soul.
Clarity comes rarely,
How can I hope to be made whole?”

“There is a way, old rumors say,
To dissipate this curse.
Though on the Hill of Myth there may
Be also something worse.”

“Worse than this affliction?
What could cause me more regret?
What sort of benediction
Carries such an awful threat?”

 

Part 4

Kindle Countdown Deal on All Three of my Books!

As part of the buildup to the release of my second poetry collection, a week-long kindle countdown deal is now on for all three of my books, Nobility Among Us, Beyond the Mist, and Selected Verse: Faith and Family can all be bought for only 99 cents until midnight PST on the 19th of this month. Grab them while you can and spread the word!Beyond the Mist

Nobility Among Us

Selected Verse - Faith and Family

The Beast – Part 2

Part 1

 

With pointed snout and matted fur,
Imposing frame that barely stirs,
 
It stands, so proud,
And eyes the outcast’s tattered rags.
And then out loud
With smooth and cultured voice it brags,
 
“Are you surprised to hear me speak?
I am no simple rabid brute.
I have no need to skulk or sneak
Among the poor and destitute.
 
“I was once a man like you,
Despised for what I could not be;
Yet through that fiery avenue
I walked until my soul was free.
 
“Then fate avenged my sorrows all
And granted me this noble gift,
To ensure the mighty fall
And embody justice swift.”
 
“Justice? You?
Who murders fathers as they slept?
All those you slew
Left daughters, sons and wives who wept.”
 
“You do not know how blind you are;
I laid no hand upon those men,
Merely watching from afar
As they met their well-earned end.
 
“I gave each one great tooth and claw
Then showed him his own heart;
When all the evil there he saw
Each tore himself apart.
 
“And now in turn your soul I bless,
Feel your surging righteous might!
Do not give vile foulness rest,
Dig it out and end your blight!”
 
Holy rage consumes his mind
At filth that must now be removed;
To all else he is almost blind
His razor claws the perfect tool.
 
He somehow holds himself at bay
And stumbles down the tortured mound,
‘Til finally at break of day
He wakes upon quite foreign ground.

The Beast, Part 1

As promised, I will be posting this poem ten verses at a time every few days as part of the build-up to the release of my second poetry collection, Selected Verse: Heroes and Wonders. Enjoy:

The Beast

It lives, it breathes,
It’s senses prowl the land for prey.
It lurks, deceives;
It’s fiendish plan is underway.

Stifled screams across the town
As men of great and high renown
Are found dismembered, savaged, mauled;
All witnesses aghast, appalled

At what now stalks their every night
And makes them huddle round the light,
Hoping it will shield their souls
From the creature’s awful goals.

A shabby man of ill repute,
Who’s seen this bloody scene repeat,
Stands brandishing a weapon crude
Affirming a now ancient creed

To protect the weak and frail,
And set off on the monster’s trail.
Since here no pawprints can be found,
He’ll search for them on softer ground.

Rumours whisper of a hill
Where blood runs cold before it’s spilled;
Where hope is lost and brave men scream,
Haunted by a savage dream.

“That must be where it lays its head,
I’ll ensure it wakes up dead.”
He gathers victuals and supplies
And heads to where the danger lies.

He struggles up a lonely trail,
Determined not to fall or fail.
Thorns tear his furs, cold penetrates
Strength gradually deteriorates.

He sleeps inside a hollow tree,
A dwindling fire dulls misery
Until the morning’s ashes speak
Of the looming struggle bleak.

Hacking through the undergrowth,
He spots a clearing in the east:
Amidst the scattered human bones
He locks eyes with the beast.

 

Part 2

Sneak Peek at Selected Verse: Heroes and Wonders Cover Art

My second poetry collection, entitled Selected Verse: Heroes and Wonders, is scheduled for release in the next few weeks, and here is a first glimpse at the cover artwork.

Selected Verse: Heroes and Wonders Cover Art concept

Selected Verse: Heroes and Wonders Cover Art concept

It will be composed of forty poems already posted here at this blog dealing with heroes and wonders of the grand type we see depicted in our favourite epics as well as inspiring everyday examples that only a few ever notice, plus a group on wisdom and folly. There is one further long poem to be included that is currently unfinished, I will post it in parts every few days as the publication date approaches. There will also be a kindle countdown deal on all three of my published books at once starting at the end of this week, I will announce when that goes live.

Choose a logo for the Zwyckyverse!

My apologies for my long absence, I have been overloaded with work of late, but I have not been entirely idle.

I have been working on a logo for the blog to be engraved on official Zwyckyverse pens (and anything else in the future), and would like some feedback from my fine readers. Which of these two options would you like to see used? Zwyckyversians, choose your flag!

Zwyckyverselogo011

Zwyckyverselogo010c