Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Unknown Elf: Job descriptions (Plus an announcement)

Okay, so I know that a few positions were mentioned in previous character introductions, and I"d like to give a bit of an explanation on some of them. So, here's the blurb about the Emergency Replacement Specialist, and the Head of Operations.



            The Emergency Replacement Specialist, or ERS for short, is the only one given the authority to act in Santa’s place should he become incapable of keeping up all of his respective duties. This is generally considered temporary, and only occurs in such situations as illness, injury, premature death prior to being able to find a new Santa, and any other absences for whatever reason.  It also involved such responsibilities as helping to keep the North Pole Organization up and running smoothly, making regular inspection rounds of each department with the Head of Operations, and keeping tabs with the supervisors of all the departments inside the North Pole Organization.

            The Head of Operations, or HO, is responsible for the upkeep of all operations within the NPO, including but not limited to security, import and export, upkeep, construction and distribution, as well as acting as an aide to the Head Elf.  He or she is charged with the protection of the Head Elf, as well as being his right hand man, though not as a personal bodyguard.       

            The HO and the ERS work hand in hand to make sure that everything is kept up to speed and in perfect order.  They act as judges in any disputes not settled in private and are occasionally asked to settle disputes in private settings as well.  They are also in charge of the Observer Partner stationings around the world, including the pairing of Observing Partners.

As for the Head Elf, that Jolly Man in Red, his responsibilities aren't limited to that one magical night and all its deliveries. Oh no, friends. It entails much more.

It is Santa's job to head the North Pole Council.

 The North Pole Council (NPC) is comprised of the Head Elf, the Head of Operations, the Security League Head, and the Emergency Replacement Specialist.  This council is the highest level of authority inside the North Pole Organization, with the final say on all decisions made in regards to the running of said organization, including laws, bylaws, and other matters.
          
It is also Santa's job to keep tabs on all his elves (admittedly he does use the ERS, the HO, and the head of the Security League to help him out with this, along with his secretary.) He also keeps tabs on both the naughty and nice lists, makes the lists of presents for each individual/household, on top of being something like the president of the entire North Pole Organization. Believe me me when I say he is a busy boy.

Something that most people don't know about, or think about, is that Santa also acts as a father figure to those elves who are broken, or have suffered some kind of traumatic experience. Spoiler examples include Clarence and Marie. He is both councilor and a shoulder to cry on. Not to mention being a great listener.

Questions about Santa? Or the North Pole Organization? Post them in the comments below!

And now for the announcement:

You can now order your paperback copy of The Unknown Elf! You can buy it here, or request it from your local retailer!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

An Introduction to North Pole City

Hey all, I figured it was time to give you all an idea of my vision of North Pole City and the world surrounding Santa Claus in my story. So, without further ado, today's blurb is about the actual city.


North Pole City
            North Pole City can be found in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, above Greenland but not entirely in the North Polar Region.  It is an underground city, being encompassed about by a vast iceberg that has not moved in thousands of years, being firmly attached to the ocean bottom, despite the threat of global warming and other environmental concerns.
            Though the City is indeed under water, it is not directly even with the ocean floor.  Instead, it is only several hundred feet below the surface.  The iceberg that contains the city rises several hundred feet above the ocean’s level. The city is located near the center of the berg.  The berg itself, is several hundred miles wide at its most, though the majority of it only surrounds the city.
            The most stable portion of the iceberg has been hollowed out like a giant snow cave, with the ceiling of the dome being within only a dozen or so feet from the top of the berg, enough to keep it solid enough on top for frequent traffic of sleigh teams and walkers.  The top of the visible part of the dome is about one hundred feet in diameter, with several smaller domes for various way stations and settlements throughout the region.
            Within the city are the various buildings, which will be given their own introduction later.  Also within the city, aside from the housing district, are the Stables and various fields of greenery, as well as several small parks.  Near the outer limits of the city are scattered exit points that lead directly to the upper levels of the berg and to the outside.
            Despite common belief, North Pole City is not a frozen area where there is continual snow on the ground.  It is only on the outer level that this atmosphere can be found.  Within the city, it is a different matter.  Through the use of various technologies, as well as the principle of thermal dynamics, the city enjoys a fairly moderate climate, being neither too hot nor too cold. They are even able to grow some of their own produce within the confines of this feat of technological awesomesauce.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Halloween Freebie!

For a limited time, I am making my Halloween story, Dorcha Adhmad The Dark Forest, available for free Smashwords! https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/479982

In return, could you please post a review either on Smashwords, Goodreads, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble?

Hurry, though! Once November hits, it goes back up to $0.99.



Saturday, October 25, 2014

Character Introduction: Mr. Dovan

All right, friends, readers, and those who are simply just curious, here is the last character introduction for my new book, The Unknown Elf. (Don't forget you can pre-order it in eBook format at Smashwords, Amazon, and Goodreads. Paperback version coming soon as well.)

Today's character introduction is a man named Damar Dovan, or simply referred to as either Dovan, or Mr. Dovan.

Dovan is an adult male, human, probably in his late forties to mid fifties (approximately). He has a look of charm and is quite debonaire, when he wants to be. Inside, he's not so pretty. Standing about average height, Dovan has dark hair and eyes, with an obsessive personality. It's very safe to say he's a bit off his rocker. Okay, a LOT off his rocker.

Dovan definitely has a few screws loose, with little or no moral values to his name. He doesn't care who he hurts in his quest for "revenge", though I personally think it's more of a personal vendetta that has little to do with revenge. That's just his excuse.

Having been in a few mental institutions, Dovan finally escaped and set up base in an abandoned warehouse somewhere in either America or Canada. (You can guess which when you read the book.) He has a few faithful followers were, more than likely, brainwashed into helping him out, or were convicts or fellow mental patients he helped boost. Not much is really known about them, and it's probably better that way.

Dovan is considered ruthless and clinically insane. (Did I say that already?) Approach with extreme caution. He carries both a gun and a knife that he called "Betty", which was his mother's name.

As far as family goes, they're all dead. He was an only child. His father committed suicide and his mom died after a long battle with cancer.

Always a bit more on the rebel side, Dovan took both their deaths hard, especially when his father blamed "certain people" for his mother's death. In the end, his dad was definitely off his rocker, which probably didn't help keep his son on his.

I would give away more, but that would be telling you too much. Read the story to find out exactly what this guy is really like, and don't be surprised if you want to slap him a time or two. I did just from writing him.

Coming up next time: a look into North Pole City.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Character Introduction: Marie (The Emergency Replacement Specialist)


Marie - Marie is the Emergency Replacement Specialist, or, rather, she becomes the E.R.S. (Sorry for the spoilers. Promise I won't give too many away!)

Marie is the unknown quotient in Clarence's "perfect" equation to life. She is mysterious in that she keeps mostly to herself. (Whether out of a sense of self-preservation or something else, I'll let you decide when you read the book.)

In general, she is about five foot three inches tall, with long, dark hair that has natural red highlights. She is about average in build, with hazel-green eyes like bottomless pools, as Clarence would describe them. She likes to wear loose and flowing type clothing that is not restrictive in any way.

As for her personality, she's fairly easy to get along with, once you get past her outer shell. It would be very easy to call her introverted, because she is. She's not likely to ask for outside help, preferring to try and handle her problems on her own. She does have a bit of a temper on her, but only when provoked. And it usually takes a lot to provoke her. And she has the unfortunate habit of bottling her emotions. But, when push comes to shove, she has no problem standing up for herself, so long as she's not fearing for her life.

Marie has lived a life full of hard knocks and misfortunes. The idea that North Pole City offers peace and equality is kind of a new concept for her. As such, she is often overwhelmed by everything, and a bit unsure how to interact or respond to those around her. It would be safe to say that she has some trouble with believing in herself as an individual, something I think most people can relate to.

As far as favorites go, she likes pizza, the usual staples such as bread, milk eggs. Actually, there's probably not much she doesn't like, minus liver, the more exotic foods that involve creepy looking animals (ex. crawfish, most seafood, embryos, sardines, haggis, etc.), but she tries to eat healthy. She does have a sweet tooth, mostly for ice cream related desserts, including frozen custard, frozen yogurt, and Italian ice.

Want to know more about Marie? Or ask her, or any other of the previously introduced characters a question? Have something you just want to say or ask? Leave a comment!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Character Introduction: Sandra (Santa's Secretary)



Here's the next character introduction for you.Sandra.

Sandra is the personal secretary to the Head Elf. She's in charge of all the records kept inside the Main Office Complex. Most of those files are related to the various children around the world, as well as their status on the "List", and any personal requests from them for various gifts, etc.

Sandra is very loyal but not always practical. She's also sometimes a bit clueless, though not in a bad way. In general, she's fairly observant. She has no problem taking charge when she has to, but usually prefers not to. She likes being a secretary because it means she doesn't have to be the one leading.

As Santa's personal secretary, she is highly trusted, and is sometimes called in to consult on various matters of importance, though she usually defers to the Head Elf, or to Clarence.

As far as physical appearance goes, she's a blonde, though only in appearance. (She's actually quite intelligent.) Appearing to be around fifteen in human years, she's a little more on par with her superiors for height, standing about five foot four, with gray eyes. She likes to wear casual clothes, usually loose fitting pants with peasant style blouses.

Her favorite color is yellow, and her favorite food is ice cream with caramel sauce. She likes a good action novel, but prefers to not be in the midst of all the action when any occurs.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Character Introduction: Rachel


The next character I'm going to introduce from my story, The Unknown Elf, is Rachel.

Rachel is the Head Medic of the Medical League in North Pole City, which is located in the Medical Department section of the Main Office Complex. It's her job to look after the physical, emotional, and mental well being of all who live within the City, as well as the outlying territories, outposts, and other areas associated with the North Pole Organization.

Appearing to be around thirteen or fourteen years old in human years, Rachel is on the shorter side, probably around five foot even, or a little less. She is petite but exudes a sense of health and well-being. She has light colored hair and light blue eyes. Her cheeks are generally always rosy with health.

Speaking of her personality, she's got a bit of "salt and pepper" to her. She's a no-nonsense kind of girl, especially when it comes to her job. She doesn't put up with shenanigans, especially those that could jeopardize the health or safety of any under her care. She also isn't afraid of much, with the possible exception of dogs. She's not a fan. Long story. When it comes to business, she's as serious as can be, with just the right touch of bed manner to soothe the most irate of patients. Just don't cross her and you'll be fine.

In general, she likes to wear high heels, or other shoes that will make her look taller. (She gets a lot of comments over her height.) While at work, she sports a white lab coat over casual wear. Outside of work, she's more of a skirt or dress kind of person. She's an avid reader, mostly of romance novels (clean romance novels), and likes the quiet life where she can just relax when not on duty. As for d├ęcor, she's contemporary in style.

Like most elves, she enjoys a good cup of hot cocoa, but prefers orange juice over all other beverages. She also favors a healthy diet of mostly fruits and vegetables, with limited portions of carbs and proteins.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Character Introduction: Santa Claus

All things said, a story about Christmas elves would not be complete without the jolly man in red. Santa Claus, in my world's view of things, is similar to that of the Disney movie, The Santa Clause, except that instead of having some card stuck in the suit that some hapless stranger can find, then put on the suit and become the Head Elf, the next Claus is carefully screened by the North Pole Council before being invited to North Pole City. That being said, the current Santa, in our story, has been at the job for a good number of years. I can't say exactly how many, but enough for him to be on friendly terms with all the elves in the Organization, and to know them all by name.

In general, Santa is an easy going individual. Sporting the usual long beard and mustache look that is classic in the traditional sense, Santa also has hazel-brown eyes that twinkle merrily. His sense of humor is vast, and it takes a lot to get under his skin. It seems, most of the time, that his patience is infinite. It is very rare for him to loose his temper, something that probably hasn't happened in years.

Our current incarnation is a widower, his wife having died before being offered the position as the Head Elf. But the appointment couldn't have come at a better time for him, as it filled the void that his wife left behind, especially since they'd had no children.

Having lived for some time, Santa has acquired a great deal of knowledge and wisdom. He likes to "rely on his gut instincts" a lot. These intuitions are usually backed by Dena, and tend to be right. Introspective and thoughtful, he takes calculated risks, not random chances. And he knows how to coax others along. His listening ear is immeasurable, which is probably part of why he gets along with everyone so well.

Santa likes his milk and cookies. There's no getting around that. But this current Head Elf does not like smoking at all. He thinks it's a nasty habit, even if he does keep around an antique pipe. It's more for sentimental sake than for anything else. He also likes his pasta. When it comes to a mean bowl of fettuccine, he can eat anyone under the table, though he'll probably regret it later.

Out of the reindeer, his favorite is probably one named Sparky, who usually doesn't get much mention, probably because he's a mini, as far as things goes, and will never fly the sleigh. But Sparky is different, which Santa can relate to. He's a champion of the underdog, which is probably why he does so well at his job. He's more than fair and is willing to give all a chance to prove themselves.



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Character Introduction: Dena

The next character I'm going to introduce from my book, The Unknown Elf, is Dena, the head of the Security League.

Dena is a younger looking elf. She looks like she's about fourteen in human years, with longish light, brown hair. Her eyes are a nice hazel in color, and she has a clear complexion. In general, she likes to wear darker colored clothes that are easy to move in, in case she needs to do a bit of "butt kicking". As a security chief, you never know.

Dena was voted "the most friendly" as a child, and tends to like being friendly to all around her, unless you're on the wrong side of the law. If that happens, watch out. Competent and down to earth, Dena sees more than she lets on, knows more than she'll admit, and lets things slide that she probably shouldn't, so long as they're minor infractions. She also likes sweets, especially chocolate.

Dena uses her elf magic to help her discern the hearts of those around her, as well as helping to diffuse difficult situations through emotional manipulation. She likes to keep people a bit off guard at times, just to keep an edge on the situation. And her quarters and office show that taste. She uses bold, and sometimes clashing colors in her decor, simply to put people off their guard when they're visiting the Security League offices.

Also quite technologically advanced, Dena likes to economize her space with computers built into her desks, using touch screen technology. She's also a great strategic planner, and excellent at running scenarios.

In her off time, Dena likes to read or spend time in nature. It is her goal to read every last book in the massive library inside North Pole City (which, I'm told, rivals the Library of Congress for collection size). She also likes low key gatherings and parties, always keeping a firm hand, to make sure things don't get out of control.

Clarence admits that Dena could take him down at any time, which is more than true. Dena has studied various forms of martial arts, as well s different combat techniques and all forms of fighting. She works out regularly, keeping a low but healthy weight.

As the head of the Security League, Dena makes up the fourth member of the North Pole Council, with an equal say with the Head elf, the Head of Operations, and the Emergency Replacement Specialist. She often will defer, however, on decisions, unless it is necessary to cast a deciding vote, or break any conflict between members of the Council. She is also an acting member of the League Councils.

In general, Dena keeps a reputation of "doing what she wants", but mostly because what she chooses to do is for the good of all inside the North Pole Organization. Marching to her own drum, Dena's sense of ethics and justice are at a higher standard than most, with the added sense of mercy to smooth over things that are trivial. Over all, she's one great gal that you would rather have on your side than not.

Remember, if you have any questions about Dena, or Clarence, feel free to comment and I will try to answer them next time.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Unknown Elf: An introduction to the characters

Today I would like to introduce you to some of the characters in my new novel, The Unknown Elf, which will be released in November.

Today's character is Clarence.

Clarence is the Head of Operations for the North Pole Organization. Basically speaking, he's Santa's right hand man... er elf. It is his job to make sure everything runs smoothly so that Santa can focus on such things as making the Naughty and Nice list, acting as head of the North Pole Council, among other things. He gets to go places Santa doesn't, and shouldn't (for security reasons). Basically, he's the second in command, jointly with the Emergency Replacement Specialist, who is equal in rank and authority with him.

But enough about the humdrum of his job. I'm sure that some people would like to get the gnitty gritty about this character.

So, Clarence has dark hair and brown eyes. He likes to wear his hair in an almost braided style, making it look "yarn-like" in appearance. He's also relatively tall for an elf, though not as tall as, say, a basketball player. I'd say he's about.... 5'6", give or take. And, as far as physical appearance, he looks like an older teenager, with some potential anger management issues.

You see, when Clarence was younger, he had a handful of friends pull a really nasty prank on him, which could have caused some serious damage. Thankfully, he was rescued from the situation, but has had trust issues since then.

Personality-wise, Clarence is the kind of guy who, unless he knows you, will be suspicious of you, especially if you meet under unusual circumstances, which happens in the story. He likes to put on a "tough" exterior for everyone to see, making everyone believe that he's all "no muss" and constantly angry. But, deep down inside, he's more of a cream puff. Once you're accepted into his circle of trust, you're in there for life, unless you do something really stupid, like pull really evil pranks on him.
One might call him a "lone wolf", in that he does have trust issues, but he respects those around him, especially those who have proven themselves. He is also detail oriented, and has a tendency to be overly nit-picky. He takes his job very seriously, and expects the same from his colleagues. There is a time and a place for everything with him, and work is not the time, or place, for foolery.
He also has a tendency to not let things go, especially mistakes he's made in the past. One might say he suffers a bit from "survivor's guilt" because of some incidents in his past, which you will find out about in the book.

In general, he likes to wear loose, but comfortable clothing, usually in earthy tones. He also usually wears a beret-style hat that was a gift to him from the previous Head Elf. You could almost say that it's a "constant reminder" of the past. And no, he does not like pointy shoes, so don't even ask about them.

His favorite color is probably either green or brown, depending on his mood.
He's not a fan of flowers, and isn't really into sugary foods, but does enjoy hot cocoa.
His favorite food is probably pizza, because you can eat it on the go without too much mess.

His favorite part of the job? That would probably be getting travel. He doesn't just stay inside North Pole City, but makes regular inspections of the outlying outposts, stations, and cities associated with the North Pole Organization.

Have a question about Clarence? Post a comment and I'll include an answer in my next post.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Working on a book trailer

Hey all, I just thought that I'd share that I"m working on a book trailer, and if you check in with me again this weekend, I will start posting a bit about the characters in my book, The Unknown Elf.

Short but sweet entry, right? Just a reminder, though, there's a launch party for this book on facebook. I'll post the link later. That will be happening November 22. Be sure to check for the link, because there will be prizes.

Also, thought I should mention that this book will officially be released in November. Official date to be revealed later on this month.

That is all.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Cover Reveal is here!

Hey everyone! Today's the day. I'd like to thank the people at http://lovingthebooklaunchparty.blogspot.com/ for helping me get the word out. They are a really fantastic pair of talented ladies, and I highly suggest giving them a visit.

Now, a few notes: I will try to be a bit more consistent with posting blogs from here out, but my "day job" might make that a little difficult at times. But I'll keep at it so keep tuned in!

So, are you ready?

Keep scrolling down.

Back Cover Blurb:

Marie never expected to wake up in North Pole City, let alone become Santa’s Emergency Replacement. It was a job she never wanted but couldn’t turn down, thanks to Clarence, Santa’s right hand man.
Now, Marie has to work with Clarence, who believes she is some kind of criminal who will cause the destruction of everything he holds dear. Trying to prove that he’s wrong, Marie keeps making mistakes that push them even further apart. It doesn’t help that she has a past she’d rather keep hidden. However, trying to keep her past where it should belong isn’t easy.
Just when Marie starts to feel like things are coming together, a madman with a bone to pick, and Christmas to ruin, threatens the whole of the North Pole Organization.
Marie must rely on Clarence and her new friends to help her face her past before Christmas is gone forever. But does she have the courage to truly be herself when it could mean losing everything?
 
 



Did I mention that one of my nephews (he's about five or so), calls this a "Christmas story... about Death!" Personally, I think that's hilarious because, yes, this book does deal with death. And, like all the stories I plan on eventually publishing, it deals with overcoming trials and hardships. But I'll get into that a lot more as we get closer to the official release and launch party.

So, ready? Really ready?   Here it is!

 I hope you like it!


Friday, October 3, 2014

Cover Reveal coming

Tomorrow there will be a cover reveal for my new novel, The Unknown Elf. Of course, I'll post a pic and all that jazz about the story, but I thought that I'd give anyone who reads this a head's up.

In other news, I got my proof! So, now I'm going over it with a fine toothed comb. I almost think the pages bleed more ink from this round than they did when my editor took over and had a hay day with it.

That being said, I'm starting to get really excited! To see my book in actual print form is something I never thought I'd see before, but now I have! And it's exciting! Now to make it all pretty for everyone, because I can't stand less than as perfectly perfect as I can make it. As I told a co-worker "I'm going to Mary Poppins the heck out of it."