Travel Genre

I’m sorry to have neglected my blog for so long. I took a short trip that wound up being longer and involved business, pleasure and helping out a friend. With that in mind, I thought I’d write a bit about the travel genre.

Travel writing can be divided into two equal parts, travelogues and guidebooks.

A travelogue describes a person or persons’ adventures away from home. The best travelogues are written as creative nonfiction and read like a novel. This means the narrative should involve conflict and resolution as well as character development. The narrator who begins the journey should be changed by their experiences, just as one would expect from a character in a novel.

Examples of travelogues include “A Year in Provence,” “Into Thin Air,” “Eat, Pray, Love,” “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail,” and “A Walk Across America.”

Guidebooks are pretty self-explanatory.  They are the what-when-where-why-how of travel. A good guidebook can spare you a lot of confusion and loss of time, whether you’re traveling to a nearby city or a distant continent. Guidebooks point out the major and minor attractions, as well as clue the reader in on culture, currency, nightlife, restaurants and hotels. Note: no book will be completely accurate on a currency’s rate of exchange. The XE Currency Converter is a good web resource for getting the latest rate of exchange.

Popular guidebooks include “Lonely Planet,” “Rough Guides,” “Fodor’s” and “Frommer’s.”

I highly recommend watching the TV show, “Globe Trekker.” It’s half-travelogue and half-guidebook as different narrators takes you on personal journeys to lesser-known worldwide destinations. It’s the one show that really gives me the travel bug.

Below I’ve listed some travelogues and guidebooks that are free-for-now on Amazon. Happy trails!

  Europe Essentials by Lonely Planet
Planning a trip to Europe? Know before you go! Download a free copy of Lonely Planet’s Europe Essentials and receive helpful tips on packing and planning, etiquette advice, transportation information, themed itineraries, and much more. It’s the perfect complement to Lonely Planet’s guidebooks and a great starting point to a dream vacation.

  5 of USA’s Best Trips by Lonely Planet
Whether you’re a local looking for a long weekend escape, or a visitor looking to explore, Lonely Planet’s TRIPS series offers the best itineraries – and makes it easy to plan the perfect trip time and again.

  Ye Olde Britain: Best Historical Experiences by Lonely Planet
Explore Britain’s rich and varied history with this ultimate guide to the best historical things to do throughout England, Scotland and Wales; includes author- recommended reviews and practical information on a wide-range of interesting options from fascinating pre-historic sites such as Avebury to excellent modern museums such as the Museum of London. This guide has been created by Lonely Planet’s dedicated authors and local experts who immersed themselves in England, Scotland and Wales, finding the best historical experiences and sharing practical and honest advice.

  Down Under All Over by Barbara Brewster
Down Under All Over is more than a travelogue. It is an account of Barbara Brewster’s very personal journey—one which entices us to follow along in her footsteps through that fascinating land of Australia. Her account of the adventures she and her husband, Sid, shared invites one to crawl under the skin of the land and to know its colloquialisms and people. Brewster’s enthusiasm for the place is contagious.

  Too Fat for Europe by Joe Leibovich
A hilarious travelogue through Europe featuring the adventures of two comedians, who happen to be married. Follow their whirlwind tour of London, Paris and Rome…all in about a week.

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Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

These freebies are limited time offers, so there is no guarantee any of these books will still be free when you click on the links. Grab them sooner rather than later.

Graphic Novels

A graphic novel is a book length story or anthology told primarily with illustrations. The genre includes a number of different formats. A graphic novel can be a compilation of previously published comic books that contain a story arc. It can also be an anthology of complete or continuing stories. These stories can be original to the anthology or previously published in comic book or magazine form. A graphic novel can also be an original novel or series of novels that may or may not have been previously published in another form.

Some people believe graphic novels are glorified comic books and, in certain cases, they’re right. However, many graphic novels contain rich stories greatly enhanced by the use of illustration. Graphic novels aren’t just for people who want something easy to read with lots of pictures. The genre has gained respect over the years and graphic novels have won prestigious awards, including the Pulitzer Prize.

In terms of story, graphic novels tend toward speculative fiction. A fair number could be considered literary fiction. “Maus” by Art Spiegelman is a memoir of his parents, both Holocaust survivors, and his own youth as he struggles to understand them. In a whimsical yet controversial touch, Spiegelman portrayed Jews as mice, Germans as cats, Poles as pigs and Americans as dogs. “Maus” was first published in serial form in the underground comic magazine, “Raw.” It won numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize in 1992.

Other graphic novels have been praised and awarded for literary as well as artistic achievements. “Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi tells the author’s coming of age tale in revolutionary Iran. “American Born Chinese” by Gene Luen Yang uses myth and stereotypes to tell an outsider’s story. “Ghost World” by Daniel Clowes portrays the confusion and alienation of post-high school teens trying to find their way in the world.

Super hero-style comics are a popular genre for graphic novels. Go into any good comic bookstore and you’ll see multiple shelves of these books, which are often purchased by readers more interested in the story and the characters than in collecting individual comic books.  Well-known authors include Alan Moore (“Watchmen,” “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” and “Batman: The Killing Joke”), Neil Gaiman (“The Sandman”) and Frank Miller (“Batman: The Dark Knight Returns,” “300” and “Sin City”).

Like regular novels, graphic novels have well-established publishing houses such as DC and Marvel. There is also a strong tradition of independent publishing known as underground comics. Edgy and unrestrained, these comics can occasionally gain wide audiences. Bryan Lee O’Malley published his “Scott Pilgrim” graphic novels with Portland, Oregon-based Oni Press. The series gained a cult following, sold millions of copies and was adapted into a movie and a video game.

A growing number of graphic novels are being adapted into electronic format. In my opinion, these are better viewed on a tablet or computer screen rather than a conventional eReader such as the Kindle. Below, I’ve listed several free-for-now graphic novels available in the Kindle store.

  Twilight Lady #1 by Blake JK Chen
Introducing a unique new heroine to the world of illustrated fiction! Paranormal journalist and truthseeker Rona Eden has a close encounter with a mysterious hooded lady who appears to have killed several people in Detroit’s Cass Corridor neighborhood.

  Photo Booth by Lewis Helfand
He wanted to change the past, but first he would have to alter the future…A new deadly drug is about to flood the streets of New York City. The police have no leads on who is producing the drug, or where it is coming from. As far as Praveer Rajani, a wreckless Interpol agent, is concerned – the only way to prevent countless deaths lies in a handful of mysterious photographs.Within the photographs, Praveer can see images of places he has never known, and people he has long forgotten. But what are the photographs leading him to?

  Dead of Winter: A Comic Anthology
Horror Stories With The Setting of Winter.

  P.I. Jane; Volume One: Missions: Totally Do-Able by Lauren Burke
MEET JANE DAY. She’s a twenty-something temp-by-day, detective-by-night… and sometimes also by-day. Jane lives inside her head as much as outside of it. To fight the mundane (and even not so mundane), she retreats to a fantasy world in her mind wehre the pop-culture references are plentiful and comforting. Follow Jane in her private detective salad days surveilling Lindelof & Lindelof heir, Chad Lindelof, Jr. She’ll learn the ropes working undercover to bust the shady, bootlegging Li’l Susie Bees, and solving the mystery at the roller derby. Then she takes a breather and reads about her favorite comic strip, PIE V. CAKE.

Descriptions provided by Amazon

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

These freebies are limited time offers, so there is no guarantee any of these books will still be free when you click on the links. Grab them sooner rather than later.

Inspiration and Original Ideas

While I was researching my posts on fan fiction and derivative fiction, I came across two schools of thought.

  1. People writing fan and derivative fiction do so because they have no original ideas.
  2. People might as well write fan and derivative fiction because there are no original ideas.

The first thought is on the sour side. And does anyone really want to tell Neil Gaiman that his Doyle/Lovecraft pastiche, “A Study in Emerald” is the work of an uninspired mind?

Didn’t think so.

I prefer to concentrate on that second school of thought because it reminds of a certain trope: there are only seven basic plots in literature. If you’ve taken a creative writing class, you’ve probably heard some variation of this. I learned these seven, which are attributed to Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch.

  1. Man against man
  2. Man against nature
  3. Man against himself
  4. Man against God
  5. Man against society
  6. Man caught in the middle
  7. Man and woman

However, there’s a new magnificent seven in town, according to Christopher Booker and his writing manual, “The Seven Basic Plots.”

  1. Overcoming the Monster
  2. Rags to Riches
  3. The Quest
  4. Voyage and Return
  5. Rebirth
  6. Comedy
  7. Tragedy

If you’re feeling worried and/or smug that your plot doesn’t fit into either of these groups of seven, keep in mind that most stories use combinations of these plot elements. Here are some articles with more in-depth explanations.

So, do we throw away the idea there are any original ideas? Of course not. Every person has their own take on a given situation and their own stories to tell. You may have heard another trope: it’s impossible to create in a vacuum. In order to be creative, you need inspiration. What inspire us are our world and the stories we hear. We take what captures our imaginations and turn them into original stories.

For example, George R.R. Martin’s wildly successful series, “A Song of Fire and Ice” was inspired by the English civil war know as the War of the Roses. Lannister and Stark  = Lancaster and York. Students of history will see the similarities, yet the world Martin created is very different than that of medieval England.

The wacky, ultraviolent Japanese movie, “Sukiyaki Western Django” was also partly inspired by the War of the Roses, and in particular, Shakespeare’s “Henry the Fifth.” The world in the movie is also vastly different than medieval England, and nothing like “A Song of Fire and Ice.”

My novel, “Fake” was inspired by wuxia, the literature and cinema of Chinese martial arts. I incorporated some common elements of this genre, such as the Beggar Clan, and created some of my own. My love of Irish music led me to discover the world of Irish Travelers, a nomadic people who are not related to the Romany. I created my own nomadic people, Strowlers. While based on Travelers, there are also key differences. Putting the two worlds together makes for a unique combination that is all my own.

Neil Gaiman took Sherlock Holmes and put him in H.P. Lovecraft’s London. The movie, “The Banquet” took Hamlet and placed him in imperial China. As an exercise, think of a character or real person who captures your imagination and place her in another world. Be inspired, creative and make it your own.

“A Study in Emerald” is available online for free, formatted and illustrated in the style of an early 20th century newspaper.

Speculative fiction author David Drake took a familiar archetype, the grumpy old wizard, and placed him in post-Revolutionary War America. You can pick up the free-for-now eBook from Amazon.

  Old Nathan by David Drake
The forces of evil are poised to prey on the folk of the hamlets and hollows: witches, demons, and red-handed men—but first they’ll have to overcome Old Nathan the Wizard. He doesn’t claim much for his magical powers, but they’re real enough for what they are—and besides, he hasn’t forgotten how to use his long flintlock rifle… Enter the gritty, realistic world of Old Nathan, a backwoodsman who talks to animals and says he’ll face The Devil himself-and who in the end will have to face The Devil in very fact.

Lucinda Brant penned a Georgian romance novel inspired by the arranged marriage of the 2nd Duke and Duchess of Richmond. You can pick up the free-for-now eBook from Amazon.

  Midnight Marriage by Lucinda Brant
Set in the opulent world of the 18th century aristocracy and inspired by real events, Midnight Marriage is the standalone second book in the acclaimed Roxton family saga. Two noble teenagers are married against their will. Drugged, Deb has no recollection of events. Disgraced, Julian is banished to the Continent. Nine years later, Deb falls in love with a wounded duelist, only to later discover it is her husband returned incognito! Can Deb forgive his cruel deception? Can their marriage survive beyond seduction? Meanwhile, Julian’s nemesis plots to destroy them both…

Descriptions provided by Amazon

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

These freebies are limited time offers, so there is no guarantee any of these books will still be free when you click on the links. Grab them sooner rather than later.

Derivative Fiction and Media Tie-ins

I wrote an earlier post about how fan fiction can’t get respect. However, this is only true of so-called amateur fiction written by unpublished writers. Once the work is professionally published, it gains instant respect. These works are considered either derivative fiction or media tie-ins.

For example, “The Green Blade” is a 15-chapter novel that resides in a fan fiction archive. “The House of Silk” is a novel published by Mulholland Books. Both are well-regarded stories about Sherlock Holmes, but only one is considered legitimate.

So, am I saying the only difference between fan fiction and derivative fiction is a publishing contract? Not exactly. Authors of derivative fiction and media tie-ins are usually skilled writers well enough established in their craft to be offered contracts by publishers. With the contract comes a professional editor to help polish their prose. Fan fiction writers may have a couple of beta readers, but those are usually fellow fans who aren’t real picky about incorrect comma usage.

You may wonder what the difference is between derivative fiction and media tie-ins, so let’s discuss that.

Derivative fiction is based on another piece of fiction. There’s a lot of it out there, some of it famous and critically acclaimed. Much of it comes from works that have passed into the public domain. For example, Jane Austen has become the darling of Chick Lit, as well as horror and mysteries. Novels based on her works include “Austenland,” “The Phantom of Pemberley,” and “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.”

Dracula is another good example of a derivative fiction subgenre. Bram Stoker’s version of the Count, who was actually a prince, has inspired numerous spin-offs, including “Dracula, My Love,” “The Historian,” and “Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula.”

Other authors whose work has become the subject of derivative fiction include L. Frank Baum, Charlotte and Emily Brontë, J. M. Barrie, Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare.

Media tie-ins are novels and stories based on TV shows, movies and video games. This can be a novel based on a movie, as opposed to the other way around. Often, this is a shared world scenario, where authors spin-off from the original show. The original creators have tight control over this form of derived fiction and there is usually a bible and guidelines for a selected author to work from.

Media tie-ins have been created for “Star Trek,” “Star Wars,” “Doctor Who,” “CSI,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “World of Warcraft,” and “Dungeons & Dragons.” It is a very successful and profitable genre, yet the authors don’t get a lot of respect, perhaps because they are writing what amounts to sanctioned fan fiction. For more information about the genre and the work it takes to write these novels, check out The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

In the end, the author of a serious literary novel based on “Hamlet” does not have the high ground over the author of a novel tied in to the TV series, “Supernatural.” Both are derivative and it’s possible the “Supernatural” novel is the better story. Neither should look down on fan fiction writers since they are often beginners learning their craft. We’ve all been there. Even if your first efforts weren’t fan fiction, chances are these were based on something you’d previously seen or read.

Interested in reading the original classics? Many are available in a variety of eBook formats for free on the Project Gutenberg website. Below, I have listed several Jane Austen spin-offs, free-for-now for the Kindle on Amazon.

  Charlotte ~ Pride and Prejudice Continues by Karen Aminadra
When Charlotte Lucas married Mr Collins, she did not love him but had at least secured her future. However, what price must she pay for that future? She once said she was not romantic, but how true is that now after almost one year of marriage? Mr Collins is submissive in the extreme to his patroness, and his constant simpering, fawning and deference to the overbearing and manipulative Lady Catherine de Bourgh is sure to try the patience of a saint, or at least of Charlotte.

  Georgiana Darcy’s Diary by Anna Elliott
Shy Georgiana Darcy has been content to remain unmarried, living with her brother and his new bride. But Elizabeth and Darcy’s fairy-tale love reminds Georgiana daily that she has found no true love of her own. And perhaps never will, for she is convinced the one man she secretly cares for will never love her in return. Georgiana’s domineering aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, has determined that Georgiana shall marry, and has a list of eligible bachelors in mind. But which of the suitors are sincere, and which are merely interested in Georgiana’s fortune? Georgiana must learn to trust her heart–and rely on her courage, for she also faces the return of the man who could ruin her reputation and spoil a happy ending, just when it finally lies within her grasp.

  So Into You (The Jane Austen Academy Series) by Cecilia Gray
Sweet and sensible Ellie hasn’t met a problem her mom’s yoga mantras can’t fix. But when Ellie’s parents threaten to pull her from the Academy just as her flirtation with the cutest boy in school heats up, will Ellie be able to keep her cool?

Descriptions provided by Amazon

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

These freebies are limited time offers, so there is no guarantee any of these books will still be free when you click on the links. Grab them sooner rather than later.

Sherlockian

Sherlockian, also known as Sherlockiana and Doyle Pastiche, is a genre of derivative fiction based on the Sherlock Holmes novels and stories by Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock Holmes is a wildly popular character, capturing the imagination of readers like few others. Dracula may be the only rival to Sherlock’s claim as king of derivative fiction.

The Sherlockian genre has spawned numerous books, short stories, graphic novels, movies, TV series, and even musicals. Currently, the genre enjoys immense popularity as a movie franchise starring Robert Downey, Jr. and two TV series, BBC’s “Sherlock” and CBS’s “Elementary.”

Whether published professionally or uploaded to an amateur archive, Sherlockian is fan fiction. It is derived from another author’s work and written for an established fan base. Before you decide to jump in, keep in mind not all of Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories are public domain and his heirs are asserting their rights when applicable. This Economist article explains the situation in more detail.

What is it about Sherlock Holmes that is so appealing? Is it his cold, analytical personality balanced with an enjoyment of disguises and a Bohemian lifestyle that includes an unfortunate addiction to cocaine? Holmes is deeply brilliant, heroic and flawed, making him a larger-than-life character that can be hard for readers to relate to.

John Watson may be Doyle’s true stroke of genius. Watson’s ordinary intellect and heroic inclinations, combined with a loyal personality, allow the reader to place herself in the good doctor’s shoes, being alternately astonished and aggravated by the unconventional Holmes. Sherlock is the amazing friend who sweeps you off to an exciting adventure.

While much of the genre puts this winning combination to good use, there are many other novels and stories that do not. For example, in Laurie King’s Mary Russell series, Watson is mostly out of the picture as Holmes takes on a young female apprentice who later becomes his wife.

Other stories and novels put the focus on secondary, minor and fictional characters. These include:

The two links below will give you access to extensive lists of professional Sherlockian fiction.

If all this puts you in the mood for the real deal, you’re in luck. Many of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes novels and stories are available to download for free, in a variety of formats, on the Project Gutenberg website. Click here to go to the Sherlock Holmes archive.

A special note of thanks goes to my good friend and Sherlock Holmes fan, Teacher Jennifer, who provided me with lots of helpful links and information.

Fan Fiction

Fan fiction could be considered the redheaded stepchild of literature. The genre has often been sneered at, considered the work of amateur writers without the skill or imagination to create their own characters and worlds. Yet to sneer at these writers is to alienate the very people that creative professionals rely on: the fans.

People who write fan fiction are often a work’s most ardent supporters. They love the characters and world so much, they want to keep the story going, or change it in some way to suit their view of how it could have gone.

Fan fiction is also known as fanfics, FF and fics. It encompasses a wide variety of media, including novels, television shows, movies, musicals, comic books, anime and video games. It has an enormous following with many writers and many more readers. Fan fiction is usually written as short stories, but can be novel length or even a series of novels.

Modern fan fiction is believed to have begun in the 1960s with “Star Trek.” After the show’s demise, fans wanted to keep the series alive and did so with fanzines, newsletters written and distributed by fans, containing news about the show and the actors, as well as fiction. Fanzines for other TV shows soon sprouted up, many of which also contained fiction.

The advent of the Internet caused the boom in fan fiction, making it a worldwide phenomenon. It has developed a unique, extensive terminology used by its readers and writers. I’ve listed several of the most used terms below, using the “Big Bang Theory” as an example, and yes, there is BBT fan fiction.

Canon. True to the original work in terms of characters and world. Example: The BBT gang go to a Star Trek convention and wind up in a hotel room next to William Shatner.

Non-canon. Deviates from the canon. Example: Sheldon is actually William Shatner’s illegitimate son.

AU or Alternate Universe. Sets the characters in an alternate universe. Example: Penny, Bernadette and Amy are the highly intelligent main characters into gaming and comic books, and the men are their satellite boyfriends.

Mary Sue or Gary Stu. A writer inserts herself into the cast of characters in a very flattering light. Example: Penny’s prettier and more outgoing cousin, Lori, comes to visit. Leonard and the rest of the guys fall for her. A Mary Sue is placed in the story as an OC, an Original Character, but not all OCs are Mary Sues.

Crossover. Crossing one fandom with another. Example: Sheldon and Leonard go to London and find a dead body in their hotel room. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson get involved in solving the murder.

Ship or Shipping. Short for relationship. These can be canon relationships, such as between Leonard and Penny, and can also be non-canon, like creating a relationship between Amy and Raj.  You would then say that you ship Amy and Raj. Shipping is typically between heterosexual couples.

Slash. A romantic and/or sexual relationship between same sex characters. It’s called slash because of the slash between the names. Example: Sheldon/Leonard, Raj/Howard, Penny/Bernadette.

Fan fiction can be highly sexual and even pornographic, and has gained a reputation as being simply that. It’s important to note that a lot of fan fiction is general storytelling in an established world with beloved characters.

Now to the elephant in the room: should fan fiction be tolerated? Much of it can be considered copyright infringement. Does fan fiction harm the bottom line of authors and other creative professionals?

Some authors, such as Ann Rice and George R.R. Martin are known fan fiction opponents and will not tolerate stories based on their characters and worlds. Other authors take a more relaxed approach. Basically, you can play in my sandbox with my toys, just don’t tell me about it; I won’t read your stories because I don’t want to be accused of using your ideas.

Confession time. I have written fan fiction. In particular, in high school I wrote a “Star Trek” story for a creative writing class. I got an ‘A.’ (fist pump) I don’t think I hurt anyone’s bottom line since only my teacher and a few friends read the story. Fan fiction can be a great story form for new writers learning their craft. Writers can stretch their imaginations in a known world, and learn about character and story arcs.

Much of fan fiction is online and readily available to millions of readers. As such, it is a double-edged sword for the original work. Fan fiction can build and maintain a fan base with what amounts to free publicity. Badly written fan fiction can turn away potential fans if this is the first they’ve seen of that work. There is also the issue of creative control. Authors may object when discovering their characters have been placed in relationships or situations outside the original story’s boundaries. Then again, it can be flattering to know that your story and characters have gained enough popularity to illicit a creative fan base.

There’s no easy answer here and it’s up to the creative person to decide how they want to feel about and deal with fan fiction.

Fan fiction is by and for fans and should never be published for monetary gain. Except for the fact that there’s plenty of sanctioned, professionally published fan fiction out there. I’ll go into that in later posts.

For further reading about fan fiction, check out the links below.

Sword and Sorcery

Sword and Sorcery is a genre of action, adventure and magic. Readers expect heroes and villains who can accomplish feats of amazing physical and supernatural abilities.

For a novel to be considered Sword and Sorcery, it requires conflict that will be resolved by the use of blades and magic. Therefore the setting must be in an actual or alternate time period before the use of gunpowder, unless gunpowder is being used as a sort of combustible magic potion rather than in guns.

There are obvious similarities between Sword and Sorcery and Epic Fantasy. So, what’s the difference? Epic Fantasy usually involves a high stake quest that will either save or destroy the world. Sword and Sorcery involves smaller quests, such as rescuing a kidnapped prince or retrieving a lost treasure. A kingdom can be at stake, and sometimes a whole world, but the protagonist is primarily concerned with her personal quest.

A common trope for the genre is bulky, heroic swordsman versus slinky, devious sorceress. While there are books along those lines, there are many others that deviate from that tired stereotype. Even Robert E. Howard, creator of the Conan series, liked strong, heroic swordswomen, such as his characters Red Sonya and Agnes de Chastillon.

Sword and Sorcery books featuring strong female protagonists include the Tiger and Del series and many of the books by Tamora Pierce.

The antihero is a common protagonist in this genre, which makes sense since the stakes are personal rather than universal. This type of character may do good despite himself, but will also walk away after causing a lot of harm. Sword and Sorcery antiheroes include Elric of Melniboné, Corwin of Amber, and Magiere of the Noble Dead Saga.

Interested in reading Sword and Sorcery? I don’t blame you. It’s fun stuff! Popular authors include Lynn Flewelling, Terry Goodkind, Poul Anderson, C. L. Moore and R. A. Salvatore.

Genre fans may also want to check out these websites:

Below you’ll find a few free-for-now Kindle books to give you a taste for the genre. Among these includes “Stone of Tears,” the second in Terry Goodkind’s Sword of the Truth series. I checked and the first book isn’t free.

  Stone of Tears (The Sword of Truth #2) by Terry Goodkind
With Darken Rahl defeated, Richard and Kahlan head back to the Mud People to be married. As they wait for their wedding day to approach, they discover three Sisters of Light are pursuing Richard, intending to take him back to the Old World to be trained as a Wizard. Additionally, unbeknownst to Richard and Kahlan, the veil has been torn and the Stone of Tears has entered the world. According to prophecy, the only person who has a chance at closing the veil is the one bonded to the blade, the one born true.

  Dralin by John H. Carroll
There are many cities in the world of Ryallon that know the touch of despair and evil, but none like Dralin. Towers of wizards rise high into the air, shrouded in the mists of magical smog. Poor sleep in the alleyways, becoming deformed by pollution. Life is short for many. Throughout all of it, the cunning and dangerous members of the City Guard do their best to keep evil and crime from destroying the citizens of Dralin. Trained to fight in streets that make no sense, they keep wickedness from taking over completely. A young woman fleeing her past makes Dralin her destination. A young Guardsman with his own dark history hopes to make a difference in a city that is without hope. Are sorrow and despair their only destiny, or can love redeem them? Two young girls raised in this city learn life’s hard lessons early. Will they be defeated by its evil?

  Demonsouled by Jonathan Moeller
Banished for fifteen years, the wandering knight Mazael Cravenlock returns home at last to the Grim Marches, only to find war and chaos. His brother plans a foolish and doomed rebellion. His sister hopes to wed a brutal and cruel knight. The whispers speak of living corpses that stalk the night, of demons that lurk in darkness, and a sinister snake-cult that waits in the shadows. Yet Mazael’s darkest enemy waits elsewhere. Within his own tainted soul…

Product Details  Pale Queen’s Courtyard by Marcin Wrona
Kamvar, a soldier, has lost his way. Leonine, a thief and sorcerer, has forgotten that he had one to lose. When the daughter of a High Priest finds herself exiled and hunted across the entirety of conquered Ekka, both men will remember who they are, and the country’s invaders will learn that memories, unlike temples, are not so easily torn down.

  The Darkslayer: Wrath of the Royals by Craig Halloran
When recklessness provokes a Royal household, Venir and his friend Melegal the thief are forced to flee the city. In pursuit, the Royals soon unleash some unusual powers against them and start to close in. Can Venir and Melegal survive the impending doom that is about to befall them? Only Bish knows, but Venir has been secretly keeping evil forces at bay for years. He is the Darkslayer, a man possessed by a mantle of power he cannot let go.

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

These freebies are limited time offers, so there is no guarantee any of these books will still be free when you click on the links. Grab them sooner rather than later.