Tag Archives: epic fantasy

Taglines, Loglines and Headlines for ITCOTD… Confused Much?

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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.

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Monday Morsel: Exile – Excerpt from In the Company of the Dead


Бизон

Castle Design and Sieges Poll: I Need Your Help

Castle Design


I’ve just started writing In the Company of the Dead, an epic fantasy novel for adults, and I’ve belatedly realised I need to do some research, something I don’t usually find I need to do.

See, the story is set in a castle. Nearly the whole story. A small castle. So I think I need to have a very clear visual myself of the setting in order to be able to describe it, because there’s not a lot of space here for me to get creative with, and if I make a mistake, that also means not much space to make excuses with.

I had already decided to loosely base the castle on Caerlaverock Castle in Scotland, purely because I stumbled across it and thought it was pretty. It has the advantage of being really defensible, too, which is important since the reason the whole story is set in the castle is because it’s under siege. And we want it to be a long siege or, you know, the story would end prematurely…

So here’s where I need your help.

Firstly, I’ve got most of my castle mapped out, but I have some empty space, and I’d like your thoughts on what else should be included. Here’s what I’ve got:
  • Guardrooms
  • Well room
  • Kitchen
  • Servery
  • Bakery
  • Servant’s Quarters
  • Banqueting hall
  • Withdrawing room
  • Lords’ suites
  • Gatehouse
  • Library
  • Guest rooms

What else do I need? I’m thinking a small barracks, which was noticeably absent from the plans of Caerlaverock Castle, either because it was in the ruined section of the castle, or came under some other heading like ‘public rooms’ or ‘private rooms’. At least, I assume it must have had somewhere for guards to sleep. 

What about stables? My people have horses, but it could either be inconvenient having the horses in the castle during a siege, or a source of food (blargh…). 

Anything else?


The other thing I need your help on is the siege. Caerlaverock Castle was famously defended for 36 hours by 60 men against 3000. Not long, but the fact that such a small number held out for any length of time against such odds is incredible. At least, the attacking king was impressed, and I daresay he was more qualified to judge than I.

So my castle is being attacked by 1000 soldiers. We’ll say they have some small siege equipment, but nothing too huge. As you can see, the castle is surrounded by a moat, which is surrounded by a marsh, so the only approach is front on, at the gate. I want the siege to stretch out for some time, but the odds to be bad enough that the attackers will likely fail before help arrives.



Please do contribute any other thoughts in the comments below. I’m also open to suggestions for the name of my castle, as it remains nameless for the time being.

Confronting the Demon: 99c SALE on October 12 ONLY






The gates to hell are thrown wide when Alloran is betrayed by his best friend, Ladanyon, and framed for forbidden magic. He is hunted by the guards and the wizards both, tormented by the gruesome murder of his friends and loved ones, and crippled by fear for the living.


Now Alloran must face his demons, or damn the woman he loves.



Also featuring bonus short story ‘A Magical Melody’

Confronting the Demon


Genre – High Fantasy (17+)
Length – 110 pages
Published – September 24th

October 12th Indie-Vengeance Day Special! 

“Ballintyne gives wonderful descriptions and I found myself becoming lost in the magic of her words in a picturesque world with every turned page”  Bella Doerres
“The power-packed action will leave you breathless and the eerie suspense will make you chomp on your own nails, beware!” Satarupa
With imagination and detail that paints a full scene for the mind’s eye, Ciara takes us on a short but exciting journey into a world of magic, love and demons from hell.“ Miranda Wood of DustyKatt’s Stuff Reviews
“I actually enjoyed a good fantasy novel that didn’t take days and days to read, but still offered the opportunity to get caught up in its world and story.” – Tracy Riva Global eBook Awards Judge

~Trade Paperback~ Amazon US | Amazon UK


In honour of Indie-Vengeance Day Ciara Ballintyne is offering up “Confronting a Demon” for the sale price of 99¢
On October 12th after more than a year of planning, more than a dozen bestselling indie authors from around the globe (seriously!) will gather in Dallas, Texas for a once-in-a-lifetime signing and meet-the-author event; Indie-Vengeance Day.
Come join authors from the U.S, Canada and Australia and meet some of the most notable and recognized writers in the indie author movement.


Goosebumps prickled her arms, and she hugged herself. Demons. Why did he have to mention demons? She didn’t want anything to do with demons. I want to pretend that day never happened.

Before she thought it all the way through, she deposited herself in his lap, slipped her arms around his neck, and tilted her head up to kiss him.

A raucous cheer erupted from the sailors. She glanced over at the men saluting her with upraised tankards. Heat burned all the way to her hairline. She ducked her chin and looked away but refused to move from Alloran’s lap. The men shouted out obscenities. Or were those suggestions? The heat in her flaming cheeks intensified as she pulled her hood up to hide her face.

Alloran sat rigidly, staring down at her with an unreadable face.

She pouted. ‘I haven’t seen you in three months, and you don’t even have a kiss for me?’ Provoked by the continued catcalls, she wriggled her hips against him. Leather slid across coarse cloth. What is he wearing?

He seized her by the shoulders, pressing his fingers into her flesh hard enough to bruise. Another squeak escaped her throat. Her mouth tried to find words, but nothing came. He bent his head and brought his lips to her ear.

‘Is this a game to you, Gisayne? A game? This is my life. I haven’t just been vacationing somewhere, I’ve been running for my life, from Ladanyon, and from your father!’




Ciara Ballintyne was born in 1981 in Sydney, Australia, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, one masochistic cat, and one cat with a god complex.


She holds degrees in law and accounting, and has been a practising financial services lawyer since 2004. She is both an idealist and a cynic.


She started reading epic fantasy at the age of nine, when she kidnapped Castle of Wizardry by David Eddings from her father. Another two years passed before she began her first attempts at the craft of writing. Confronting the Demon is her debut book.

She enjoys horse-riding, and speculation about taking over the world. If she could choose to be anything it would be a dragon, but instead she shares more in common with Dr. Gregory House of House. M.D.










 The book tour for “CONFRONTING THE DEMON” By: Ciara Ballintyne is now accepting tour hosts.



The Book tour will take place on Monday through Friday. 12/2/2013 – 12/13/2013



If you are interested in participating in this tour, please fill out this form.




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