Tag Archives: Fantasy

Guest Blog: Maniacal Mal’s Monster Market by Charles Yallowitz

Please welcome my first guest blogger, Charles Yallowitz, author of the Legends of Windemere fantasy series. You can find my (not so typical) review of the first book, Beginning of a Hero in the post, Whisked Off to the Magical World of Windemere: One Reader’s Adventure. His newly released Prodigy of Rainbow Tower is available on Amazon at just 99 cents for the month of August. Join the adventure and pick up one or both of his books today.

I follow Charles’ blog faithfully because:

  1. He writes fantasy fiction (one of my favorite genres),
  2. The content of his blog is interesting and informative (especially for aspiring authors who want to self-publish),
  3. I’m generally always guaranteed a laugh, if not in the post then in his interactions with others in the comments section, and
  4. I love to see Ionia (no last name necessary) pick on him. Don’t be surprised if she takes a stab at him here.

And now, drum roll please, the inaugural guest blogger post.

Maniacal Mal’s Monster Market


Welcome to Maniacal Mal’s Monster Market!  So, I’m told you’re going to write a story and use some monsters.  We have everything in stock from dragons to zombies to four-faced catfish that eat ships.  What do we call that last one?  Name it whatever you want.  Last author called it behemoth and the guy before that leviathan.  I believe the person before that simply called it Burt.

I see you’re interested in the undead area.  They’re a common choice these days, so we have a lot of specials on zombies.  Buy one horde and get three special zombies free to use when the plot needs a surprise.  I’ll leave the explanations behind them to you since I’m not the one writing the story.  If you’re interested we also have some skeletons.  Not as scary and mostly sold for children’s movies these days.  The rest of the undead are in the back collecting dust.  I hear mummies might be coming back.  I know.  Everyone loves zombies.  The zombie obsession is putting thirty kids through college and only two of them are mine.

We have a lot of aliens that we’re trying to get rid of.  We thought there would be a surge of unique alien types after M.I.B 3, but people still want the tall, bipedal gangly ones.  For those, we give you the basic model and you can alter in the transformer tube.  Still, I would like to point out that we’re practically giving away the non-humanoid aliens.  No?  They’re going to be used for dragon food by the end of the week, so now’s the time.  Sure, I’ll get that fluffy . . . oh . . . do you want the alien that ate the fluffy one?

I wouldn’t go over there unless you’re sure you want one of those.  That building has the orcs, goblins, and other humanoid creatures you find in fantasy novels.  We have a few samples in there and bulk order the others if you decide.  The problem is that they’re incredibly needy and have been known to board the doors until a customer chooses one.  Ever wonder why you’ll read a fantasy book and a lone hobgoblin is shown for some reason?  This would be why.  Makes no sense since they’re pack creatures and the loners that go out never come back alive.  They may look ugly, but they can die of loneliness like the rest of us.

What was that?  No.  You’re too green for Cthulu.  Don’t even ask where we keep him.

I can see you want the big monsters for those death-defying fights.  Come out onto the balcony and I’ll show you the reserve.  See all those roaring, screeching, and deadly beasties?  We have dragons, giants, griffins, pegasi, unicorns, and whatever else you can remember from your childhood.  Each one can be altered to your whim or you can choose from the catalogue where we keep all the previous ideas.  All we ask is that you return them intact, so you’ll get a rebuilding kit for when they’re slain.  Small word of warning on the dragons: they really appreciate lozenges and mints.  Give them some of those and your furniture will be fire free until you’re done.

I see you have that glint in your eyes.  You’ve made a decision?  Ah, you want some unique monsters.  For that, we would have to go to the Egg Dispenser.  You sit in the chair and look at all the choices of body parts, powers, and whatever else is in the machine.  We put a special helmet on you to pick out any options that aren’t listed.  You piece your monster together and we give you the egg, so it will imprint on you upon hatching.  Once you’re done with it, you can keep the monster or send it back for store credit.

Made your decision?  Okay.  That’ll be three dragons with one red, one black, and one pink.  You want five snake monsters and a couple hundred ogres.  You know, we have a deal where you get a free demon if you buy a fourth dragon.  Great.  I suggest an orange one because you don’t see them very often.  Would you like anything else?  Three eggs to be determined after lunch.  Excellent.  Glad to do business with you.  Mind if I ask what series you’re working on?  Legends of Windemere . . . sounds interesting.  Good luck.


Whisked Off to the Magical World of Windemere: One Reader’s Adventure

BOAHSo I haven’t been on the blogosphere much lately but it’s not really my fault, you see. I must place blame on fellow blogger and author, Charles Yallowitz for writing a wonderful novel titled, Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero. I started to read it but reluctantly set it aside. I was determined to finish another book I was in the middle of reading before moving on to BOAH, but it seems BOAH had other plans for me. Did I just refer to Charles’ book as if it was a live entity? Ahem, yes, I did. He created a world so fascinating and with such compelling characters that, well…read on and you’ll understand.

It was an ordinary day, or so I thought. I was standing in the fruit section of the grocery store, filling my cart with green apples, thinking of an adorable little character who shared my craving for the fruit. A faint whirring sound interrupted my thoughts. I scanned the area, even looked up into the rafters for a wild bird, but didn’t see anything other than a multicolored haze around my head. Humph. That’s odd. I’m seeing rainbows inside a grocery store.  I shrugged my shoulders and started to move on when I noticed an apple was missing from my cart.

“What the…”

Fizzle love apples!” I felt something clutch my shoulder and when I turned my head a cute little drite was resting upon it, chomping on my apple.

“Hey! I know you. You’re that little dragon from Charles’ book.”

He hopped onto the handle of my grocery cart and put his hands on his hips. His iridescent scales turned reddish-purple as he said, “You no read Charles book.”

I leaned back, surprised by the attack. “Oh! Uh, yeah, I know. I started to read it and it’s really good but I’ve got another book I need to finish first.”

“Why? You no like story?”

“No! It’s not that at all! In fact, I’m having a hard time finishing the other one because I keep thinking of Charles’ book. It’s so much more interesting.”

The color of his scales faded to a cool greenish-blue and he smiled. “Who say finish boring book first?”

“Well, I did. I’m on this quest to read the Modern Library’s top 100 novels of all time. And…what?”

Fizzle shook his head. “Forget list. You rebel. Charles write very good book.”

“You know what, you’re right. There’s no rule that says I have to finish the other one first. I don’t like to follow rules, anyway.” I looked at Fizzle with a devilish grin. “Plus, I am a bit of a rebel, as you said.”

“Charles no follow rules either.”

“Oh, you’re talking about his writing in present tense, huh?”


“I have to admit, my internal editor was driving me nuts at first. Part of being a writer I suppose, but creative minds can turn it off easily enough, especially if the story is good.”

“Fizzle no like past tense. Fizzle alive now.”

I chuckled. “Yes, I can see that. Well, since you’re obviously on my mind, I’m going to stop torturing myself, toss that other book aside, and finish reading Beginning of a Hero.”

“You read Charles book, now?”

I nodded. “Yes, as soon as I get home.”

He crossed his arms and said, “Now.”

“I will, Fizzle. I promise. I left my Kindle at home.”

He held up a small stone and fixed his gaze on me. I looked at him, puzzled by the small stone in his grip. He tossed it in my direction and said, “Visindor!”

The next instant I was standing at the edge of a vast forest with Fizzle hovering at my side. I gasped. “Visindor Forest? It’s beautiful!” Fizzle patted his hand on his heart and I immediately understood his meaning. “I agree. There’s no place like home.” I turned around and saw a massive wooden wall in the distance. “Is that…?”

“Luke school.”

“Hamilton Military Academy. How did we get here?”

“Tele…telep…magic stone.”

“Is Luke here?”

“Yes. Luke train.”

“Really? Can we watch?” I started walking toward the wall.

He touched my arm with the end of his tail and said, “First, hide.”

I watched in disbelief as my skin turned an iridescent color and then my arm disappeared. I glanced down at my body but it had disappeared as well. “How did you do that?”

“No know. Your hallu…hall…your dream.”

“Oh, I’m hallucinating. That’s just great. You look real to me, Fizzle. See, I can touch-” I reached out to touch him but he winked and then disappeared. I was afraid my little friend had abandoned me until I felt him land on my shoulder.

He whispered in my ear, “We invi…inv…no one see us.”

As we approached the wall, I heard voices and clanging metal in the distance. There was a training exercise in progress and one young warrior stood out from the rest. I recognized him immediately.

“Hey, there’s Luke! You know, he’s better looking than I imagined,” I whispered and then cringed. “Oh! Don’t tell anyone I said that. I’m old enough to be his mother.”

I heard Fizzle stifle a giggle. “Fizzle keep secret.”

I looked at the crowd gathered to watch the exercises. Two little fellows were looking on with interest. “Oh! There’s Nimby – I can tell by those big, fuzzy feet. And that must be Fritz,” I said as I observed the other turn to flirt with a nearby female. She slapped him and started to walk away. I giggled. “Yep, that’s Fritz all right.” A young half-elf was standing near them, dressed in long flowing robes with a sun emblem on the front, trying unsuccessfully to apologize for Fritz’s actions. “That’s obviously Aedyn, the sun priest.” I studied the other students. “Hmm, I wonder who the heir is…the one that Luke needs to find and protect.” I took a step toward the crowd when Fizzle’s tail wrapped around my neck. He launched himself from my shoulder and pulled me away. “Wait! I don’t want to leave yet!”

“You too loud. We get caught!” Once we were out of sight, Fizzle reappeared before me. “Must see Caster Swamp.”

“N-n-n-no! Fizzle! Don’t you dare toss another magic stone at me! I don’t need to see Caster Swamp or the Hellfire Elf or the Lich! They are horrible enough in my imagination!”

“You read story?”

“Yes, Fizzle! You don’t need to threaten me with Caster Swamp! Seriously! I’ll read it. I need to know how it ends. That’s obviously why you’re here, right?”

“You like Fizzle?”

“Yes. Who wouldn’t? You’re cute.”

Fizzle’s iridescent scales turned a deep shade of crimson. He mumbled something and tossed another one of those darn magic stones at me.

To my disappointment, I was back in the grocery store, standing in the fruit section. It was as if I had never left. For a second, I thought I had imagined it all until I noticed the remnants of an eaten apple in my cart.

When I arrived home, I immediately curled up on the couch with my Kindle, and lost myself in the magical world of Windemere again. When I finished the book, I smiled and said, “Fizzle was right. Charles write very good story.”