JUST A FEW MORE HOURS!

BBPOSTER2

Just a few more hours to go until the big Valentines Day drop!  I am so excited I don’t know if I will be able to sleep until I check Amazon and see it is released!  Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone, and I would love to hear back from you as you finish the book!  Please take the time to write a review!

Also, once the book has been out for a few weeks, I will be taking a pole regarding the fate of a certain character!  Based on your feedback, I will release a short story detailing that character’s fate, so stay tuned!

Here are the links!

 

United States      United Kingdom       Germany      France      Italy    Spain

Canada    Australia     Japan     India      Netherlands        Mexico     Brazil

 

Shattered Isles Origins

swordprincess

For those hoping for specific updates like word count or estimated time of completion, please see my response to Chloe.  In the meantime, a reader asked me a backstory question: where did the gender swap spell used to turn Serren into a girl originate?

Here is the story as recorded in the History Hekatania, housed in the secret library of Gaunefer:

It came to pass during the reign of the third King, Erenia, that she did have three sons and no daughters.  When she passed the age of child bearing,  The Coven First grew concerned.  It was known that men, with their anger and their selfishness, were not fit to govern, and it had been passed down by the goddess, herself, the blessed Progenita, that a woman always should guide the kingdom.  Indeed, the King was called in those days also by the title of “Loving Mother,” and it was her duty to care for all her children, that including every person who lived under the sky.

Some blamed Erenia, herself, for her failure to bare a daughter.  They said she must have sinned against the goddess to be so punished.  Others blamed her husband, Juntus.  Talk began to spread among the Council that they should name a new heir to the throne, a worthy girl from one of the other families.

The goddess, though, works in mysterious ways.  Erenia’s eldest son, Devin, had always surprised and delighted his mother.  Even as a child, he had shown great care for his younger siblings, and throughout his young life he’d shown many of the fine qualities of of a girl: he was caring and selfless, brave and courageous.  More, and in this he was not different from other boys, he longed for a girl’s life, and often Erenia had caught him sneaking into her library, reading books of magic meant only for the eyes of young ladies.    Boys, of course, sensing the superiority of the greater sex, often went through such a phase, but with Devin, Erenia saw something different.  He was a boy, but he had all the talents and mental acuity to be a girl– and a king.

Erenia went to the high witch of the hekatin, Neveria, and she asked if there were some way to give her son the gift of girlhood.  Neveria and the greatest witches of the realm, after prayer and consultation, concluded this was the will of the goddess, and they devised a spell, called simply, The Blessing.

Erenia went to her son, Devin, and explained that he was to be honored with a new sex, elevated to female and made the heir to the throne.  Devin resisted.  He wanted the life of a girl, but not to be a girl.  He had fallen in love, in truth, with a young woman, the loveliest girl in all the lands, Allania, and she had even asked for his hand in marriage.  He wept and suffered, but to his mother’s pride, he did what a good girl must, and he accepted that he must place the needs of others before his own.  Devin consented to his mother’s wishes and the wishes of all the kingdom, and on what became known as “Blessing Day” he was transformed into a young woman before the whole kingdom.  No one knew whether the tears the young Devinia shed were those of sorrow or joy.  More than a few noted that his new name meant, “Blessed of the Goddess.”

Devinia threw herself into her new life and duties with the passion and devotion expected of a woman, and as further proof of the will of the goddess, she in her turn bore three strong, brave daughters, as well as two lovely sons.  During her reign, the lands prospered and knew peace.  She was and is known as one of our great Mothers.

Devinia had a happy life, was a good king and loving mother.  It would all have seemed to be a joyous story. Yet, when she died, she asked to be laid to rest next to Allania, her first and true love, the one she had denied herself in order to fulfill her obligations to the kingdom.  Even this, most said, was only proof of her woman’s heart.

Since that time, whenever a young man showed unusual promise and proved himself worthy, or when called upon by the goddess, ‘The Blessing” was used to elevate him to stand among the women, as his merit had shown he deserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Shattered Isles Map

Good day, dear readers and random strangers who may have stumbled upon this page.  Today I share with you the map of The Shattered Isles!  The map indicates which regions or islands are governed by the various royal houses.  Please note that this map is not to scale as a modern map would be.  Even with magic, the people of The Shattered Isles lack the precision of our modern times, so some things may look wrong to the dedicated readers of my novels.  Specifically, Gaunefer is actually the most distant island from the capitol, though it may not appear so on this map.

Meanwhile, I am busily typing away on the third book. If you haven’t read the Brother Bewitched series, why not take a moment and check out a free sample?

Brother Bewitched

map2

Some thoughts on magic!

Image result for magicS

So, I thought I might share some thoughts on magic in The Shattered Isles.  Let’s start with what we already know about magic in this world:  it is a learnable skill.  We have seen this with Pattenia and Denalia training at the girl’s school, learning to cast spells or use magic to create potions.  We have seen Serren spending hours reading tomes, learning the secrets of spell work.  So, it is not just a gift from the gods, but a matter of technique and practice.

Why would this be the case?  Two reasons.  First, the training develops the part of the brain that controls magic.  Most people are born with a very small part of their brain dedicated to magic.  Even without development, people experience their magic instinct in the form of intuition, instinct and even, sometimes, what seems like luck.  For example, if someone gets a strange feeling, then turns to realize someone has been watching them, that is their magic ability alerting them to their observer.  Sometimes, when in danger, people will report that time seemed to slow down.  Once more, this is an instinctive activation of their magic skills.

Without training, the inherent magic ability in all people never rises beyond this level of unaware manifestation.

However, with practice, most people can develop their magic instinct becoming capable of manipulating magic and using it to change reality itself.  Remember that we now know that everything is made of energy.  Energy can become matter, and matter energy. Magic users learn to manipulate the energy of their universe to their own ends.

So, one part of the training develops the brain and the magic ability.  In addition, magic users learn to use and channel energy to and through their brains much more efficiently than most people.  Although the brain takes up only 2% of the body’s mass, it eats up 20% of our daily energy needs– about 320 calories.  Cognitive tasks cause the brain to eat more energy, and none more than magic.  So, spell casters have to become very “fit”– the equivalent of long distance runners, with tremendous mental endurance.

The spells, symbols and secrets learned all serve to help a witch or wizard focus and bend reality to their will.  They can also serve to protect them from others who would seek to use their magic against them. So, in addition to developing their brains, spell users learn certain chants and spells that have been developed over the years to help the caster bring about a specific result.  The spell the hekatin used to transform Serren into a girl is an example of such a spell.  Transforming someone’s sex is very complicated and difficult to manage, so the spell helps make that transformation happen without some sort of error or mistake.  Even the faith necessary to believe such a transformation is possible must be learned and bolstered, and the spells help with that sense of faith as well.

Much of magic remains a mystery, even to the users.  Were you to ask Actonia how she turned a buck into a doe, she would have to admit that she really doesn’t know.  She only knows that when she casts the spell, the change happens.  Magic defies logic, rationality, reason– which is one reason the Priests of Maxis look upon it with suspicion.  The hekatin, however, celebrate creativity, emotion and the irrational, and they are quite comfortable with the notion of change, and that nothing we see might be what it appears.

Magic versus Miracles

So far, I have been writing only about the magic worked my the men and women of the Isles.  There is a second kind of supernatural power in the world, however, and that is the work of the Gods and their agents.  When the power comes from a deity, that power is in the realm of a miracle, meaning it is worked and granted by a divinity.  Mortals have no control over miracles; they are granted according to the will of the Gods.  Sometimes, a mortal of particular merit may be granted the ability to request certain miracles such as healing or protection, but this is always a power coming from outside the person as a gift.  The power does not come from them, and this is not a skill that can be learned.

 

The First Reveal!

The release of the final book in The Shattered Isles series is only a few weeks away!  I am busily writing away, discovering scenes and moments in the lives of Serren, Pattenia and the whole cast of characters.  While I have steadfastly resisted numerous calls for spoilers from my devoted readers, I have decided to share a few little things in the weeks leading up to the release of the third book, beginning tonight with the cover and title!

COVER3

I would love to know your thoughts about the title and cover!  Let me know what you think.  Now, let me get back to Serren who was just about to…  ooops!  Almost gave one away there!

Caught up in The Shattered Isles!

Taylor Galen Kadee

I am getting a lot of writing done on Brother Bewitched II, and for me that means my thoughts and even dreams are filled with my characters and their struggles and mistakes and triumphs and fears!  Scenes keep coming to me, and my biggest challenge it to write, write write while the visions are still clear in my mind.

It’s so fun seeing them all again, catching up with Serren and Pattenia, Bucket and Danalia, Nemeria and Asryn!  They keep surprising me, and I hope that fun and surprise will come through to my readers.

So, for now, here’s a possible cover concept for the second book.  I would love your feedback!

brother2smaller.jpg

Check out all my stuff at Amazon.com