Sunday, June 30, 2019

"That ceiling, though": Treacherous Ground is live.

I wanted you guys to be the first to know: the ebook edition of Treacherous Ground, the second book in the Elemental Keys series, is live on Amazon as of right now. And yes, that's Collum, Raney's favorite gnome, on the cover.

For this book, the action has moved to Ireland. Our Elemental superheroes -- Raney, Collum, Rufus and Gail -- are helping to return some of Collum's dead brother's things to his parents, who live in County Kilkenny. But they're also trying to beat Raney's father, Damien Jones, to... uh, a magical thing. I don't want to give away any big plot points, so let's just say the thing Damien is looking for is not what the team members think it is.

Anyway, Ireland is an amazing place, and I am stoked because I get to tell readers all about the cool stuff I saw when I was there three years ago. Well, not all the cool stuff I saw. That would take more than a blog post, or a book, even. It would certainly take more than a novel, because you've got to work in some kind of plot or else it would be a travelogue.

I did, as it happens, blog about the trip, but that post only highlights one small portion of it. One of the things I left out was my visit to Kilkenny Castle, so in Treacherous Ground, I let Raney and the gang take a tour. And one of the coolest things about the castle -- other than, you know, it's a castle -- is the portrait gallery. Here's Raney's description, but sometimes words don't do a thing justice, so I'm including a photo, too.


Portraits aren’t really my thing, but it turned out the paintings weren’t the main draw. Gail and Rufus were standing in the center of the room, craning their necks to look up. So I did, too – and was gobsmacked again. The whole ceiling – rafters, braces, and walls – was painted with beautiful designs, including Celtic knotwork, and the ends of the cross-beams were capped with gargoyles. It was as if someone had taken the illustrations in an illuminated manuscript and transferred them to the ceiling.

I managed to do the polite thing and give a little attention to all the old Butlers hanging on the walls. That ceiling, though.


Gobsmacked, she was. So was I. And when I was there in 2016, I snapped a photo of the informational sign at the door to the gallery:

If you're ever in Kilkenny, I recommend the castle tour -- as well as a stop at the Kilkenny Design Centre across the street, where you can find lots of Irish souvenirs, including yarn. Not that I would have bought any yarn in Ireland.

Anyway, Treacherous Ground is available now -- and in the nick of time, too, as Camp NaNoWriMo starts again tomorrow and I was planning to draft Book 3 then. I'll get a late start on that, as I still need to format the paperback edition of the second book. I can catch up over Fourth of July weekend, though, right?

These moments of gobsmacked blogginess have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell. 

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