The Queen and her Brook Horse, An Orc Saga Novella, Book 2.5, is Available Now!
Facets of Fate, a Fate of the Gods novella and short story collection, is available now in print and ebook!
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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Honor Among Orcs Quote Art

Because I just kind of want to share it with you all here, officially, here's the quote art from the lead up to the release of HONOR AMONG ORCS*:

Arianna to Bolthorn
Bolthorn to Arianna

Bolthorn to Arianna
Bolthorn to Arianna
If any of this sounds cool, pick up your copy of HONOR AMONG ORCS today!


*and because it has been a looong month and I don't have a compelling blog topic. sorry! 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Of Ogres, Orcs, and Beowulf (A Repost)

In honor of the release of Honor Among Orcs, I'm reposting some of my "Orc Romance: In Progress" posts from those days in 2012 when I first began writing it -- with my early thoughts on what makes an orc, and those creatures which seem to have influenced our ideas of them. Here's the second!


Stories of beowulf grendelThese Beowulf illustrations predate Lord of the Rings by a couple of years, though not Tolkien. In fact, with a publication date of 1908, I almost wonder if Tolkien read this particular edition.

Fangs instead of tusks, but fearsome and very Uruk-hai in style, all the same. Even if Tolkien wasn't influenced by this depiction, it seems to capture the essence of the beast. I'm not sure I subscribe to Grendel as an Ogre, myself. I've always thought of him as more dragon-like, but since he's not all that well-described (and I am known for ignoring description anyway) it could just as easily be a me thing, than anything grounded in fact or literature.

Stories of Beowulf water witch trying to stab beowulfBut look also at the image of Grendel's mother in the same book. Green skin, blue-black hair, a long ugly nose. If anything, she's even more orc-like than Grendel, complete with rippling muscles.

We know that Tolkien was studying Beowulf -- and in fact he was one of the first to study it seriously for more than just the evolution of language. Looking at images like this, I can't imagine how the ogre isn't the father of the Orc -- or at the very least, the father of our perceptions of what makes an Orc. It's obvious that as a culture, we were already imagining them in 1908.








And if you're interested in another reimagining of orcs as we know them, be sure to check out HONOR AMONG ORCS, where Tolkien meets Beauty and the Beast! 

Kindle | Paperback | Nook
After nearly a decade as the king’s whipping-girl, Princess Arianna has no intention of going quietly into marriage to some treasonous noble, or serving obediently as the king’s spy until her death is more convenient. When she discovers a handsome orc, chained and trapped inside a magic mirror, Arianna cannot help but see a lasting freedom from her father's abuse.

Left to rot inside a mirror by the king, Bolthorn never imagined his prayers would be answered by a princess. Nor did he ever expect to meet so worthy a woman after knowing her father’s cruelty. He needs her help to escape the mirror before the king marches against the orcs, but all he can offer Arianna is ice and darkness in exchange for her aid.

If Arianna can free the monster behind the glass, perhaps she might free herself, as well. But once they cross the mountain, there will be no return, and the deadly winter is the least of what threatens them on the other side. 

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Of Orcs, Ogres, and Cyclopes (A Repost)

In honor of the release of Honor Among Orcs, I'm reposting some of my "Orc Romance: In Progress" posts from those days in 2012 when I first began writing it -- with my early thoughts on what makes an orc, and those creatures which seem to have influenced our ideas of them. Here's the first!


Giovanni Lanfranco Norandino and Lucina Discovered by the Ogre
A cyclops-esque ogre!
I'm not entirely sure why I'm doing this to myself. The what-if kind of took over my brain, I guess. But the end result is that I'm meditating on the semi-fluid definition of what makes an Orc an Orc.

There's the Warcraft definition-- the green-skinned brutes kind of reminiscent of Gamorrean Guards, right down to their tusky-teeth. When I was little, I called them pig-men. But if you go back further, there's Tolkien, and the SILMARILLION tells us that Orcs were elves once, stolen by Morgoth when they wandered too far afield into shadow, and twisted into evil and darkness by torture. In mannerism and behavior, you can see clearly the relationship between Tolkien's Orc and the traditional Ogre of the human consciousness. They're vicious things that like to snack on naughty children when you get down to it.  Not too dissimilar to the idea of the Cyclops of Greek Myth, but with two working eyes, though we imagine them, generally, to be a whole lot uglier.

But isn't that the nature of dark things moving beyond our sight? That what we imagine them to be is often worse than the truth of what they are? An Ogre or a Cyclops has no real redemption. It is what it is, and it is bound by its nature and, in the case of the Cyclops, the gods. But Tolkien's Orcs are something else. They were, once, all that was good and beautiful.

Why didn't he ever use that?

Or maybe the better question is: Can I?


You can decide for yourself by grabbing a copy of HONOR AMONG ORCS!

Kindle | Paperback | Nook
After nearly a decade as the king’s whipping-girl, Princess Arianna has no intention of going quietly into marriage to some treasonous noble, or serving obediently as the king’s spy until her death is more convenient. When she discovers a handsome orc, chained and trapped inside a magic mirror, Arianna cannot help but see a lasting freedom from her father's abuse.

Left to rot inside a mirror by the king, Bolthorn never imagined his prayers would be answered by a princess. Nor did he ever expect to meet so worthy a woman after knowing her father’s cruelty. He needs her help to escape the mirror before the king marches against the orcs, but all he can offer Arianna is ice and darkness in exchange for her aid.

If Arianna can free the monster behind the glass, perhaps she might free herself, as well. But once they cross the mountain, there will be no return, and the deadly winter is the least of what threatens them on the other side. 

Friday, April 04, 2014

Honor Among Orcs Update!

First, I just wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone who helped to spread the word about HONOR AMONG ORCS this week, and for those of you who picked up the book, I hope you enjoy it!! Because of you and your purchases and your enthusiasm, HONOR rocketed up the charts on Amazon and had a FANTASTIC first day:



Second, definitely make sure you enter to win the 25 dollar gift card -- the giveaway is still going!

Thirdly:
Some new reviews and blogposts have arrived praising HONOR and I just wanted to give them a quick linky-link, here, in case any of you are still on the fence about picking up a copy and investing some time with Arianna and Bolthorn! I've included a quote from each, but be sure to klikky klikky to read the whole review!

From L.T. Host:
Kindle|Nook|Paperback
"I [...] love that the skeleton of the book feels familiar-- it is orcs, elves, and humans after all-- but the plot is super twisty and keeps you guessing until the very last page!"

From Random Acts of Hope and Mayhem:
"The adventure of the story alone makes it a fantastic read, but the depths that Amalia explores inter-race politics, gender roles & expectations, and family dynamics make it something more than a simple adventure-love story."

And, From Booksellers without Borders:
"...there is definitely influence from Tolkien, but this is not a Tolkien story either. I love the way the orcs are constantly yearning to return to their "true" forms as elves and how that impacts the behavior, politics, and decisions which in turn affect both Arianna and Bolthorn."

Keep the reviews and ratings coming, and be sure to tell your friends about HONOR AMONG ORCS! Let's keep climbing the charts!

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

RELEASE DAY for HONOR AMONG ORCS!

And in celebration, I'm giving away a $25 gift card! But first, see what readers are saying about HONOR AMONG ORCS! Just in case you were on the fence about grabbing a copy for yourself...

"Honor Among Orcs [...] takes you by surprise and doesn't let go of your imagination even after you've finished it. A truly unique take on romance, reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast that I absolutely loved. The writing, characters, and story line were so well done I stayed up late to finish the book in one day and [...] can't wait for the second book in this series."
-- Shannon Mayer, Author of the Rylee Adamson Series

Kindle|Nook|Paperback
5 Stars!
"...Dillin will do for Orcs what Mccaffrey did for Dragons..."
Goodreads

"If you like fantasy, magic, romance, adventure, monsters or princesses, this is the book for you."
Goodreads

"In the vein of Tolkien, Honor Among Orcs is a high fantasy filled with danger, intrigue, magic, and love that you will want to read again."
Goodreads

"The characters may be my favorite part of HONOR AMONG ORCS, but it's Dillin's skill at creating deep, rich cultures based on what we'd normally think of as "stereotypical" fantasy races that really shines through."
Goodreads

4 Stars!
"“Honor Among Orcs” has a Tolkien-meets-Twilight feel to it and should appeal to fans of supernatural romance and high fantasy alike."
Goodreads

"...an interesting tack on the standard fantasy fare of Orcs being Elves who have been twisted by dark magic..."
Amazon


"Dillin weaves a tale fraught with adventure and true love, in a dynamic and fast moving tale that turns all the classic fantasy tropes on their heads. I loved it from the start!"
-- Caitlin Greer, Author of ParaWars: Uprising

"Majestic storytelling, a breathtaking, larger than life world, and characters that offer new perspectives on long-standing traditions, HONOR AMONG ORCS is a fantasy triumph."
-- Diana Paz, Author of TIMESPELL

"It not only held up to my expectations but it had depths I hadn't anticipated. It had the world-building complexity of a Tolkien fantasy. The star-crossed aspect of a Shakespeare tragedy. All with the character and relationship development of a romance."
-- Wendy Sparrow, Author of FROSTED (Full Amazon Review)

Grab your copy of HONOR AMONG ORCS today! Available in paperback from Amazon, and ebook from Amazon and Barnes and Noble!


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