Tag Archives: epic fantasy

Game of Thrones Exhibition: Sydney


I made it to the Game of Thrones Exhibition – but damn was it some trek!

A bare two weeks ago I discovered the exhibition was coming to Sydney. Yeah! Woot! Three cheers. No date yet, but I figured that based on the listed schedule which had the exhibit in New York in August it would probably get here in September.


A week later I discovered it was going to be arriving the first week in July. That’s last week, now, if you’re chronologically challenged. It would be at the Museum of Contemporary Art from Tuesday July 1 through to Saturday July 5. Waaah! I work full-time, which left only the Saturday available, and with a family of four including two kids under 4, it was unlikely I would make it on such short notice.


Brainwave – I work with my cover artist, Lydia Kurnia. Maybe we could duck down in our lunch hour! Yeah! Woot! We decided we would go Wednesday.


The morning of the appointed day we discovered to our horror that the exhibition was free and that queues on the opening day were six hours. SIX HOURS! No way we’d be ‘ducking out’ in our lunch break!


After some hurried consultation we decided to go Friday. Lydia doesn’t work, and volunteered to queue up for us while I worked, and I would dash down to meet her. We later found out that queues on the Wednesday had been four hours!


Friday morning, Lydia arrives at the museum at 7:40am, which is 20 minutes before opening. The queue is already two hours long. I work like a fiend to allow for the fact I may be out of the office for an unspecified period of time.


9:30am I check in with Lydia – the queue hasn’t moved! So much for two hours.


At 10am Lydia moves forward to the 1 hour wait mark. Progress at last. And then, at 11:30am, comes the message I’ve been waiting for all day: ‘Half hour mark. Come now.’


I got a taxi to make sure I could get there in time, with Lydia messaging me the whole way. Hurry. Almost at the door. Call me.


The taxi drops me at the wrong side of the museum and I have to run the long way around, passing most of the queue on my way, on the phone to Lydia as I go. A woman asks what the queue is for as I run past.


‘Game of Thrones Exhibition!’ I shout, and round the corner, with Lydia probably wondering what the hell is going on.


I made it with about twenty minutes to spare, which seems a lot, but when they finally let us in, it was all in a rush. Lydia had been working on the cover art for Stalking the Demon while she waited, so I ogled that in the queue. It’s beautiful, by the way, but we’ll do a cover reveal when it’s complete.


The exhibit was fantastic, and featured separate sections for each of the major groups of characters. The King’s Landing group contained costumes for Cersei, Joffrey Baratheon, Margaery Tyrell, Oberyn Martell, Sansa Stark, and Tyrion Lannister. There were also displays for Danaerys and her dragons, Arya and the Hound, Jon and Ygritte, Bran Stark and Hodor, Stannis Baratheon and Melisandre, and Jamie Lannister and Brienne of Tarth. In true Game of Thrones style, one quarter of them are now dead. Displays primarily included clothing and weapons, but there were some pretty cool dragons.


The exhibit also included artist scene sketches used before filming a scene, concept art, and models.


The highlights, of course, were the Iron Throne, which you were permitted to sit on. There was an orderly queue for this experience and staff on hand to take your photo. Most civilised.


The longer queue was for the virtual reality experience of climbing the Wall. This was incredible, to the point where the visuals combined with the shaking will have you holding on to the bars (that you cannot see) for support. The moment the visuals seem to scoot you out off the edge of the Wall is a little heart-stopping. I admit I was a little distracted during the climb itself by the wind, as I was concerned it had blown my top askew and I was having a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ in full view of the waiting crowd with no ability to look!


All in all, it was a worthwhile exhibit, although I’m not sure if in other circumstances I’d wait four hours. Still, climbing the W
all was pretty neat! Check out some of the displays in the slideshow below.

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to check out my previous posts if you haven’t already. If you’re finding yourself here often, you might like to join as a member, sign up to the blog through RSS or email, or sign-up to my newsletter. Check out my May Newsletter if you missed it – the July edition will be out shortly! 

Don’t forget to share the love and spread the word on Twitter, Facebook or StumbleUpon (or other social networking site of your choice) if you know other people who might also enjoy this. 

Thanks for stopping by and visiting!

Monday Morsel: Who Killed Her – An Excerpt from In the Company of the Dead

Welcome to the Monday Morsel feature, where I share short excerpts from the first draft of my adult epic fantasy/fantasy romance, In the Company of the Dead

* * *

Lyram strode up to the tent boldly. ‘Report from Holbrook.’

‘His lordship’s sleeping.’ The speech of the guard on the left was more polished than that of the mercenary from the previous night.

Lyram shrugged and turned to go. ‘I’ll report to Luie, then.’

‘No, wait.’ The guard on the right stopped him with hand to the arm and ducked inside the tent.

Lyram waited, arms folded. Bradlin likely had tenuous control of the mercenaries, and his greatest need would be information. If reports came to him only via Luie, he must know the mercenary captain would withhold critical details. He’d wagered on that supposition to gain entry.

The guard reappeared. ‘You can go in. Leave your belt here.’

Lyram unbuckled his sword-belt and dropped it on the ground next to the tent canvas without comment. He ducked his head to enter.

The only light came from a brazier. A shadowed figure sat on a camp stool, rubbing at his eyes, and his mouth opening wide in a jaw-breaking yawn. Lyram clenched his teeth together at the sight. The man stretched.

‘Report, man.’ Bradlin’s voice, without a doubt, and he would know Lyram’s just as well.

Lyram stooped and drew a knife from his boot, and lunged cross the tent in the same fluid movement. Bradlin’s eyes widened as Lyram stepped into the circle of light. He seized the viscount by his hair, stretching his neck back until the tendons stood out. The knife point pricked the hollow of the other man’s throat.

‘Who killed her?’ Lyram kept his voice low. The guards might hear the hum of conversation, but it was imperative they did not hear the words.

‘What are you doing here?’ Bradin’s eyes rolled like a horse’s, trying to see Lyram crouched behind him. ‘How are you here? The gate is guarded, sentries along the wall – ’

Lyram jerked on his hair, and Bradlin cut off with a muffled grunt. ‘Who killed her? 



* * * 

Thanks for dropping by! Don’t forget, this is a first draft, and as such won’t be perfect. If you like what you read, and are so inclined, show your support by leaving a comment, and In the Company of the Dead will be available in the future. I’ve temporarily had to shelve it while I work on Stalking the Demon, the sequel to Confronting the Demon. If you’d like to sample more of my writing, check out the free short stories available on this site.

If this is your first visit to Monday Morsels, find others in the series by clicking on the ‘Monday morsel’ tag, or go to the first installment


More about In the Company of the Dead:


Lyram already crossed a prince – now he finds himself on the brink of crossing a god.

Son of a duke and second in line for the throne, Lyram is exiled to a lonely castle after assaulting the crown prince. When a hostile army arrives to besiege the castle, he believes the prince wants him removed – permanently.

As though answering their prayers, Ellaeva, the Battle Priestess of the death goddess, arrives unexpectedly. But she has not come to break the siege. Instead, she is in pursuit of a necromancer of the evil god of decay. When misfortune after misfortune befalls the beleaguered defenders, Lyram realises the necromancer is hidden within the walls, sabotaging the very defence.

Against the backdrop of clashing gods, Lyram must fight to save himself from the political machinations of his prince, and the dread plans of a necromancer. But as the siege lengthens, he realises the greatest threat may come from another quarter — a woman sworn body and soul to a god tempts him to pay a terrible price.

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to check out my previous posts if you haven’t already. If you’re finding yourself here often, you might like to join as a member, sign up to the blog through RSS or email, or sign-up to my newsletter. Check out my May Newsletter if you missed it.

Don’t forget to share the love and spread the word on Twitter, Facebook or StumbleUpon (or other social networking site of your choice) if you know other people who might also enjoy this.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting!

Monday Morsel: She’d Kill Him for It – An Excerpt from ‘In the Company of the Dead’


Welcome to the Monday Morsel feature, where I share short excerpts from the first draft of my adult epic fantasy/fantasy romance, In the Company of the Dead

* * *

Lyram dropped lightly to the ground. Turning, he reached up to help Ellaeva down, but she dropped to the grass beside him with a slight thump.

‘This way.’ He dashed the short distance from the wall to the cover of the trees. On the other side of the wall they’d just climbed, thirty men in dark clothes still waited, crouched against the grassy hillside for the signal.

Ellaeva dropped into a crouch next to Lyram, her eyes scanning the darkness. ‘There.’

She pointed into the darkness, and Lyram forced his gaze from her. For this venture, she’d divested herself of the bulky robes in favour of a man’s shirt and pants, revealing a surprisingly lithe form. 

It’s a sin to think such things of the Death Priestess, I’m sure. At the very least, she’d kill him for it.

In the direction she pointed, a sentry crouched against a tree in the darkness. Lyram scoured the night, searching for the next man along. He knew he was there, had scouted their positions earlier while she spoke to the men, but the moon had set, and it was hard to distinguish the shadows in the deep blackness of the night. He frowned at one shadowed shape and nudged Ellaeva, nodding his head. She turned to follow his gaze, lips pursing the nodded.

‘And here,’ she whispered, pointing further along again.

He squinted, and couldn’t see what she indicated. How could she see so far in the night? Another gift of her goddess, probably.

‘You take that one,’ he said. ‘And the middle one.’

She nodded, and stood, gliding away into the shadows on noiseless feet. He watched her go, his eyes following the curve of her legs and buttocks in the breeches.

He wrenched his eyes away, his cheeks burning.

* * *

Thanks for dropping by! Don’t forget, this is a first draft, and as such won’t be perfect. If you like what you read, and are so inclined, show your support by leaving a comment, and In the Company of the Dead will be available in the future. I’ve temporarily had to shelve it while I work on Stalking the Demon, the sequel to Confronting the Demon. If you’d like to sample more of my writing, check out the free short stories available on this site.

If this is your first visit to Monday Morsels, find others in the series by clicking on the ‘Monday morsel’ tag, or go to the first installment.

More about In the Company of the Dead:



Lyram already crossed a prince, and now he finds himself on the brink of crossing a god.

Son of a duke and second in line for the throne, Lyram is exiled to a lonely castle after assaulting the crown prince. When a hostile army arrives to besiege the castle, he believes the prince wants him removed – permanently.

As though answering their prayers, Ellaeva, the Battle Priestess of the death goddess, arrives unexpectedly. But she has not come to break the siege. Instead, she is in pursuit of a necromancer of the evil god of decay. When misfortune after misfortune befalls the beleaguered defenders, Lyram realises the necromancer is hidden within the walls, sabotaging the very defence.

Against the backdrop of clashing gods, Lyram must fight to save himself from the political machinations of his prince, and the dread plans of a necromancer. But as the siege lengthens, he realises the greatest threat may come from another quarter — a woman sworn body and soul to a god tempts him to pay a terrible price.

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to check out my previous posts if you haven’t already. If you’re finding yourself here often, you might like to join as a member, sign up to the blog through RSS or email, or sign-up to my newsletter. Check out my May Newsletter if you missed it.

Don’t forget to share the love and spread the word on Twitter, Facebook or StumbleUpon (or other social networking site of your choice) if you know other people who might also enjoy this.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting!

Monday Morsel: Double Bind – An Excerpt from ‘In the Company of the Dead’


Welcome to the Monday Morsel feature, where I share short excerpts from the first draft of my adult epic fantasy/fantasy romance, In the Company of the Dead.

* * *

‘It seems to me,’ she said, her voice soft, ‘that both obligations may not be met simultaneously. You must break one. That you cannot control. What you can do is choose which. It is in your hands to decide which is more important to you.’

He looked at her with tired, sore eyes. ‘That’s it? Just decide which oath I will break? So much for honour and loyalty.’

‘It is the only logical way,’ she said simply.

Lyram grunted. ‘When it’s you doing the choosing, come back and let me know how it turns out for you.’

‘There is no time for you to wallow in self-pity,’ she said, voice sharp. She straightened from her nonchalant lean against the wall, assuming a deceptively relaxed stance, but one from which she could respond to any threat immediately. ‘We have mouths to feed, men, and women, and children whom you have decided can no longer be saved by your surrender.’

His head jerked, and he scowled at her over one shoulder. ‘Isn’t that what you wanted? Me not to surrender.’

‘What I want is no longer relevant. You have decided. And now there are more decisions to make. I don’t suppose you learned anything useful while you were skulking around the enemy camp?’

Stung, he swivelled on his buttocks to face her, keeping the blanket tight around him. Really, he’d have preferred to be left alone, but she had barrelled her way in past Everard while he sat drying before the fire. His soggy clothes still hung from various pieces of furniture around the room.

Ellaeva faced him without any sign of discomfort in her face.

I am just another job to her. Bitterness welled up at the thought, though he wasn’t sure why it should matter.

* * *

Thanks for dropping by! Don’t forget, this is a first draft, and as such won’t be perfect. If you like what you read, and are so inclined, show your support by leaving a comment, and In the Company of the Dead will be available in the future. I’ve temporarily had to shelve it while I work on Stalking the Demon, the sequel to Confronting the Demon. If you’d like to sample more of my writing, check out the free short stories available on this site.

If this is your first visit to Monday Morsels, find others in the series by clicking on the ‘Monday morsel’ tag, or go to the first installment.

More about In the Company of the Dead:


Lyram already crossed a prince, and now he finds himself on the brink of crossing a god.

Son of a duke and second in line for the throne, Lyram is exiled to a lonely castle after assaulting the crown prince. When a hostile army arrives to besiege the castle, he believes the prince wants him removed – permanently.

As though answering their prayers, Ellaeva, the Battle Priestess of the death goddess, arrives unexpectedly. But she has not come to break the siege. Instead, she is in pursuit of a necromancer of the evil god of decay.

Against the backdrop of clashing gods, Lyram must fight to save himself from the political machinations of his prince, and the dread plans of a necromancer. But as the siege lengthens, he realises the greatest threat may come from another quarter — a woman sworn body and soul to a god tempts him to pay a terrible price.

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to check out my previous posts if you haven’t already. If you’re finding yourself here often, you might like to join as a member, sign up to the blog through RSS or email, or sign-up to my newsletter. Check out my May Newsletter if you missed it.

Don’t forget to share the love and spread the word on Twitter, Facebook or StumbleUpon (or other social networking site of your choice) if you know other people who might also enjoy this.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting!

Monday Morsel: Pray For Nothing Worse – An Excerpt from In the Company of the Dead



Welcome to the Monday Morsel feature, where I share short excerpts from the first draft of my adult epic fantasy/fantasy romance, In the Company of the Dead.

* * *

Something brushed his hand, and he glanced down. A couple of tiny finger bones twitched across the ground. With a yell, he scooped them up and flung them away.
‘Fire,’ Ellaeva said, her voice faint. ‘We’ll need to burn them.’
He saw, then, the hand he’d originally severed inching its way across the stone floor. He closed his eyes, pressing his face against the cool metal of the door, and fought the dizzying nausea flooding him.
‘What was it?’ His voice emerged thick, as though he had a mouth stuffed with food. He swallowed, and felt the bile burn his throat.
‘Animated corpse.’ Her hair had pulled free of its bindings, and she tried to brush strands free from her face. They clung to her face instead, damp with sweat. ‘A trick some Rahmyrrim are fond of, but one only granted to the most powerful of them. Our adversary is very powerful.’
Though this seemed bad news to Lyram, eagerness filled her voice. What isn’t she telling me? 
‘Animated corpse,’ he said, voice dull. The sick feeling redoubled in strength. ‘Of course. Why didn’t I think of that? Can it be killed?’
‘Generally only with fire.’ She gave up on her hair, and passed the sword back to him. ‘Better to leave it locked up.’
He took the blade, grateful she’d managed to save it. The sword had significance for the entire clan. ‘Will there be more of them?’
A frown pinched her brow. ‘Maybe. This one was old – well, the corpse used was old. You saw it, with little flesh left. A practice piece, I would say. I wouldn’t want to see more of them within the walls. I suggest you instruct Leinahre to burn all our dead. ’
He saw the merit in the suggestion, but what would he tell the men? Burning the dead, instead of giving them a proper burial, would hit morale bad.  
        ‘And pray we see nothing worse.’

* * *

Thanks for dropping by! Don’t forget, this is a first draft, and as such won’t be perfect. If you like what you read, and are so inclined, show your support by leaving a comment, and In the Company of the Dead will be available in the future. I’ve temporarily had to shelve it while I work on Stalking the Demon, the sequel to Confronting the Demon. If you’d like to sample more of my writing, check out the free short stories available on this site.

If this is your first visit to Monday Morsels, find others in the series by clicking on the ‘Monday morsel’ tag, or go to the first installment.


More about In the Company of the Dead:


Lyram already crossed a prince, and now he finds himself on the brink of crossing a god. 

Son of a duke and second in line for the throne, Lyram is exiled to a lonely castle after assaulting the crown prince. When a hostile army arrives to besiege the castle, he believes the prince wants him removed – permanently.

As though answering their prayers, Ellaeva, the Battle Priestess of the death goddess, arrives unexpectedly. But she has not come to break the siege. Instead, she is in pursuit of a necromancer of the evil god of decay. When misfortune after misfortune befalls the beleaguered defenders, Lyram realises the necromancer is hidden within the walls, sabotaging the very defence.

Against the backdrop of clashing gods, Lyram must fight to save himself from the political machinations of his prince, and the dread plans of a necromancer. But as the siege lengthens, he realises the greatest threat may come from another quarter — a woman sworn body and soul to a god tempts him to pay a terrible price.

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to check out my previous posts if you haven’t already. If you’re finding yourself here often, you might like to join as a member, sign up to the blog through RSS or email, or sign-up to my newsletter. Check out my March Newsletter if you missed it.

Don’t forget to share the love and spread the word on Twitter, Facebook or StumbleUpon (or other social networking site of your choice) if you know other people who might also enjoy this.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting!