Whirling Dervishes from Mask of the Gods
Mask of the gods

Meet the Whirling Dervishes

Meet the whirling dervishes from Mask of the Gods and brace for trouble.

These cute but irritating little balls of fur manage to make their presence felt wherever they go, or do they? That all depends on whether the whirling dervishes like you or not. Like most magical creatures they like to surprise you…when you least expect it.

Anyway, this is what these cute little balls of mayhem look like, when they hang around long enough that is…

Meet a whirling dervish and brace for trouble

 

Sea of Souls Karen Furk
Blog

Welcome to the Sea of Souls

So, it has been brought to my attention that there are a few things I have to clarify. Apparently, the description of Mask of the Gods is different to how the book is represented on this web site, in this blog and in the book trailer. I’ve enjoyed a restless night of little sleep over this and I need to address this.

I rushed to get content onto this blog. It’s been one of those areas that I have neglected to focus on other things. Plus, this blog still isn’t set up correctly. I am working on that.

In the interests of transparency, there is a general premise that runs through the book. I didn’t cover it in the book blurb or the book trailer because it’s actually not meant to be the main focus of this story and it’s quite complicated to explain in a sentence or two, but it is the main premise of a number of other books that are in the works, so I am left with little choice but to fully reveal my hand early and explain it here.

Welcome to the Sea of Souls

Haydan my main protagonist in this book, is a storm rider. Every storm rider is born with a chosen one and a warrior. The chosen one is their future mate. Their warrior will defend them and protect them, which is particularly important when a storm riders supply of magic starts to run out, as eventually they tire.

They each have a soul, that originates from the sea of souls. The souls are ancient and to Haydan’s people sacred.

Through magic their souls connect. The magic held by a storm rider brings them out of the sea and sends the souls to the relevant parents. When they die, their souls return to the sea and they are reborn.

If you didn’t already pick up on this from the book description, this means that they are a different culture, with different customs, beliefs and behaviours. Maya, who is chosen one and Arianna, who is warrior are growing up on earth. In this first book, Maya is nine years old. Arianna is nine years old with the ability to change her appearance and look and act much older. She can only do this for a certain amount of time. Haydan can switch his appearance at will.

The souls, all of their own free will, chose each other in the sea of souls before they were created. This means that Maya and Haydan’s souls fell in love in the sea before their creation.

What is the bond in the context of the mask books?

When Maya becomes an adult and turns eighteen she will choose to bond with Haydan.

Bonding is a beautiful ritual held between souls, which gifts a storm rider their full repertoire of powers and means they can use defensive magic. It’s an innocent and rather beautiful spectacle. I’m not giving away many details here, as that will spoil the other books I have planned for readers, but it is in NO way shape or form connected to my MC’s sleeping together, so get your minds out of the gutter people :-)

Before the bond is formed Haydan’s magic is mostly just playful magic. This is covered in another book, but this is why they talk about bonding and why it is so important to a storm rider. It means they can better protect those they love.

This is also important because storm riders and consequently chosen ones and warriors are an endangered species for a reason, they are being wiped out, so an un-bonded storm rider is vulnerable.

The upshot of all this is that despite how it may initially appear, it’s actually the chosen ones who are the most significant of the three ie Maya. Not storm riders, although storm riders are careful to never let chosen ones know that. It’s a constant source of teasing from their chosen ones if they do and until they are bonded they get enough grief from other storm riders and warriors about their lack of bond.

Haydan is male because in 2012, when I had serious depression and he appeared in front of me, he was a man. I could have made him female and made Maya and Arianna male, but that wasn’t being true to my original moment of inspiration. I don’t know why my moment of inspiration took the form of a male, but he did, so there you go. Lavinia is storm rider. There are female storm riders who come into other books and Haydan’s mother, who isn’t in this book, is also storm rider.

They are not the focus of this particular story, Haydan is.

As Maya, Haydan and Arianna are part of a different culture, they behave differently to humans. They are three souls connected, not three humans. Conversations that happen between Haydan and his father Diego would happen if Haydan was a male or a female. It’s about the souls, not the person. This is an important distinction in the context of this book. Haydan acts to protect Maya and Arianna and bring them in line on occasion. It has been a long time since any of their souls have left the sea. He is sometimes controlling, but only in relation to the souls of his people. I have other books planned and this is part of Haydan’s story arc and that changes as the stories progress. He’s like this for a reason.

Additionally in the books I talk about Arianna switching into ‘warrior mode’. Warrior mode is when she changes into her soul form. This is her adult appearance, where her soul takes over. So she can switch from her child form (that of a nine year old child) into her adult form. Her soul is ancient, so she looks, talks and behaves like an adult at this stage. However she can only hold her warrior appearance for a certain amount of time before she tires and has to switch back again.

Haydan sometimes disciplines his warrior. This is part of the link between their souls. It doesn’t hurt Arianna, or indeed any of their warriors. It’s connected to their souls, not their physical or human form. Arianna always switches into her warrior mode at Haydan’s request because her (ancient) soul understands and accepts this. A few of the bloggers on my book tour have raised issue with this, so again, I’m just explaining this in the context of the book.

Also, Maya and Arianna are children in this story because given where I’m taking the series of books that sits alongside this one, this story won’t fit elsewhere in my timelines, so there is a very good reason why this story is written the way it is.

So, if you love fantasy stories that feed into a book series, as a lot of these types of books do and you have an open mind about this series then welcome, this could be the book for you. There are portals, fantasy creatures, fantasy worlds and I have been complimented on how richly layered this world is, so plenty of my readers have enjoyed this book which has been read by numerous beta readers (fantasy lovers and readers from other genres) who have given me feedback that has been incorporated into the book. It has been through three rounds of editing. I’ve had some lovely feedback, but there will always be people who don’t get this entire concept and that’s fine too.

Now you have an idea of the underlying premise behind storm riders.

One last thing to add. Most of the artwork on this web site is bespoke. It was created for me by illustrators who cost money. It takes time for work to be produced. I try and avoid stock images and only use stock images if I have the relevant licensing to do so. The only exception is Arianna who was bought as a stock image, this fits with the look of Arianna as a grown up and the image used for this article (which came from Pixabay). It’s difficult to find stock images that suit the characters as children. I have had artwork of the characters as adults for a while. This is because I have a number of books planned that take the three children from birth to adulthood. There is nothing untoward about this. It is just how I chose to represent them and given the content I had to hand, this was what I had to work with.

I do have other blog articles planned, but with my book launch being the focus I haven’t kept this blog as up to date as I perhaps should have and I have some issues with the layout of this blog that I need to address. There will be more content following about some of the characters from the book. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Chosen One from Mask of the Gods
Mask of the gods

Maya Chosen One in Mask of The Gods

Mask of the Gods, the debut novel of Karen Furk, launches on the 8th of January 2019 and as part of that launch it’s time you get to know the main characters in Mask of the Gods better. So, with that in mind this is the introduction of chosen one Maya and her role. She’s the calming influence in Haydan’s life, or at least she’s meant to be!

Maya Chosen One in Mask of the Gods

I am the calm. I bring harmony. I tame a powerful, dangerous being into submission. I am the only one to wield such power over another living soul.

I am the only place he finds peace.

I am the eye of a storm or the sigh of a world after a gale has unleashed.

I am the scent of petrichor and the fresh breeze that blows after a tempest tearing the world apart.

I pledged to love my storm rider in the sea and I will not fail.

I offer the storms my loyalty, devotion and love.

I bring understanding and compassion.

My soul links to his. I will defend him ahead of all others. I stand with my storm rider and his warrior at my side and suggest you understand the formidable power before you.

I will submit to no other.

I will not justify or apologise for how I feel.

I will not capitulate.

Despite what my storm rider and his warrior think, I unite the pack. I will not rest until they are safe and protected. You hurt my storm rider or warrior and I will ensure our bond defends them. I will help them prevail, for our connection is stronger than any you can ever imagine. It was forged in the sea by souls that don’t bow to anyone’s will but our own.

You can’t guard against a storm riders magic. There is no place to hide. He sees and hears everything you don’t want him to. His warrior knows stealth and moves with a ruthless precision that ensures their success.

I am the balance.

I am the bearer of new life.

I am chosen one.

Nothing and no one will ever come between us.

Three souls with one goal to protect each other at all costs.

Together we are the power of three.

Storm Rider Haydan from Mask of the Gods
Mask of the gods

Haydan Storm Rider in Mask of the Gods

Mask of the Gods, the debut novel of Karen Furk, launches on the 8th of January 2019 and as part of that launch it’s time you get to know the main characters better. With that in mind, this is the introduction of storm rider Haydan and his role. Haydan is one of the author’s favourite characters in Mask of the Gods because he’s the point where her writing journey began. So, without further delay, here he is, meet storm rider, Haydan…

I am the storm. I bring energy. I hold magic inside me and unleash it on command.

I am the rush of power.

I am a force to be reckoned with.

I bring the lash of rain and the wind whipping at your heels.

I pledged to protect my chosen one in the sea and I will not fail.

I control lightning and thunder. I unleash storms on demand.

I provide ruthlessness, boldness and I stand with my warrior at my side challenging you to defy me. Go ahead, try it. I fight for the greater good, for those who are oppressed and subjugated. You will not win and if you should succeed then my warrior will show you no mercy. As mist in the night, my warrior will strike when you least expect it and vengeance will be swift. There will be no reprieve from our wrath. I am the silent flicker of blinding fury before the storm unleashes. I am too powerful to be ignored. I will have your full attention whilst I am here.

I will not waver.

I will not hold back.

I will not debate.

Despite what my warrior thinks, I lead the pack. You hurt my chosen one, or warrior and I will defend them with a power, strength and retribution you have never seen. I will not stop until they are safe.

You can’t guard against my magic. You can’t hide from me. I can hear your thoughts. I can bend you to my will. Fear my warrior for she has speed and strength in abundance, but know that once you’ve encountered me, I’ll never leave you. I’ll haunt every storm you ever hear whispering your name, ceaselessly tormenting, for if you challenge me you are marked.

I am the predator.

I am the protector.

I am storm rider.

Arianna warrior from Mask of the Gods
Mask of the gods

Arianna Warrior in Mask of The Gods

It’s time you get to know the main characters in Mask of the Gods better. So, with that in mind this is the introduction of Arianna, warrior in Mask of the Gods and her role as Haydan’s guardian. She’s the protective influence in Haydan’s life, or when she’s behaving and on form she’s meant to be! However their relationship is complicated and it doesn’t always work like it’s supposed to.

In the books I talk about Arianna switching into ‘warrior mode’. Warrior mode is when she changes into her soul form. This is her adult appearance, where her soul takes over. So she can switch from her child form (that of a nine year old child) into her adult form. Her soul is ancient, so she looks, talks and behaves like an adult at this stage. However she can only hold her warrior appearance for a certain amount of time before she tires and has to switch back again.

Arianna, warrior in Mask of the Gods

Master is the storm. He brings the energy and magic. He brings the pace and the drama.

I am the fight.

I am the defender.

I am the guardian of my master.

I pledged to protect him in the sea and I will not fail.

He brings lightning and thunder.

I bring stealth and intrigue.

Whilst he dazzles you with his shows of power to protect you, I hide in the shadows and wait for my moment to strike. I am the silent swoosh of the blade. The glint of steel warning you to never forget I am here watching.

I will not falter.

I will not hesitate.

I will not reason.

I lead the pack. You hurt him and I will defend him with a power, strength and defiance you have never seen and I will not stop until he is safe.

He is not the one to fear. I am. I have speed and strength in abundance.

I am the hunter.

I am the guardian.

I am warrior.