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Another round of shameless self promotion

timholtorf:

I haven’t done this in a while, so here goes!

From time to time I’ll post up information about the first book I’ve written, called the Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider.  Here’s a little synopsis about the book, which is a western/fantasy.

bmprfront-smallElven magic meets gunslinger grit. What happens when two elven travellers find themselves in the United States in the middle of the Civil War? The Adventures of Black Mask and Pale Rider tells the story of two elven women who’s curiosity gets the better of them.

The wild ride takes them from the Union to the Confederacy and back again. Along the way they make enemies and friends and learn a little bit about this world, and about themselves. An adventure of six guns and sorcery.

The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider isn’t the only book I’ve written, Canyons of Steel is also available.  Here’s a quick synopsis.

5.83x8.26_Front_EN-smallWhat happens when an old gun hand makes a decision to turn his life around and set a new course? In Canyons of Steel, Johnathon Tiberius Walker makes the choice of turning his back on the underground military of the Red Hand and try to make right his own sins. All because he wants his daughter to live in a better world than he does.

Both my first book, Black Mask & Pale Rider, and my second book, Canyons of Steel, are available for purchase online through many different online book sellers.

Lulu.com (where both books were published)

  1. Tim Holtorf Author Spotlight the front page store for my books on lulu.com.

Amazon.com (both in paperback and in kindle versions)

  1. The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider
  2. Canyons of Steel

Amazon.co.uk (both in paperback and in kindle versions)

  1. The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider
  2. Canyons of Steel

Amazon.ca (price not listed and currently out of stock)

  1. Canyons of Steel

Barnes & Noble (for the Nook)

  1. The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider

iTunes iBook store

  1. The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider

I’ve also written a sci fi novel (not published, but available for download) called Rocket Fox: Flight of the Nighthawk.  Here’s the synopsis:

Vulpinia Prime.  A utopian paradise on the edge of the Lupine Sector of Space.  The third planet of the Vulpine Star System, her inhabitants take to heart their age old adage that they are meant to protect the sector from any and all threats.  For many, it is an honour to be chosen at the many Academies of science, engineering, mathematics and even the famed military colleges that dot the planet.  Rarely has there been a serious threat which the Royal Vulpine Armada has had need to deal with.  But Article 16 of the Space Exploration Charter is there for a reason.  And for many of the cadets at the Chattingham Academy, they are soon going to find out why.

I haven’t done this in a couple of months, so here’s a reminder of the original fiction I’ve written, two of which are published and can be purchased.

Character biography of Pania Alow, from The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider, by Tim Holtorf (that would be me).
Full Name: Pania Alow
Nickname:Pale Rider (she`s not fond of this term, due to the fact it has Biblical connotations. Also, it was picked up by dime store novelists who are all “nothin’ but a bunch o’ emptyheaded plikes who wouldna know a good book from the shite they put ta paper. Nothin’ but a latcheeco would try an’ say they were a writer when they produce such lies buncrana lighthouse.”)

Age: 130


Gender: female


Date of Birth: 623 (Second Age of the Elves), Tenth month of the Moon, First of the Season of Autumn, Twelveth day of Octor


Ethnicity: Celtic Irish, European


Occupation: Herald, skald, bard, songstress, story teller


Hair color/style: blond, often held in curls, has the left side of her head shaved.


Eye color: Green


Accent (if any): thick Irish accent (there are many who say that it’s so thick, and so full of slang, that they often have to have her repeat what she said, this is not when she tells stories or sings).


Height: 5’4”


Weight: 105 pounds


Tattoos: a very long and intricate tattoo along her right arm that tells the story of the elves retreating from Earth to their own world at the time of the Crusades.


Piercings: left ear has six piercings which are connected with chains and loops, right ear has a modest heart earring stud.


Birthmarks: none


Disfigurements: none


Scars: none, but if she had one, she’d definitely have a story to tell about it.

Fashion Sense

How do they usually dress? Soft cotton or leather leggings, often dyed a dark red, thigh high leather boots with a small heal, dyed black, a white cotton poet’s shirt, auburn corset with ties in the front, a long, auburn cloak that hangs from her shoulders with gold embroidered trim, black leather gauntlets that cover her forearms and have intricate beadwork and embroidering (these were given to Pania when she was born by Uni Wennemein, Shani’s mother), a wide brimmed hat with a white feather.


What do they wear to sleep? At home, or at an inn, she will sleep in a large, soft bed; when travelling, if she has to sleep at a camp site, she has a bed roll she carries with her that is stowed with other sundries on her horse.  Usually, she sleeps naked.


Do they wear jewelry? Along with the piercings, she has a small necklace which has a silver book and a silver musical note, she also has three modest rings that she wears.


Is there anything about their appearance they wish they could change? “Why when I can just wear somethin’ diff’rent each day?”


How would they look as the opposite sex? “They’re boys, o’ that there is no doubt.”


What do they smell like? Why (do they wear the scent or does it occur naturally)? Pania likes mild perfumes, a hint of a fragrance that isn’t overpowering, but something that will draw attention to her. She has a morning ritual of rising early, bathing with lilac scented soap in bath water she sprinkles rose petals in.


Do they have an accurate mental picture of their appearance (how they see themselves versus how the world sees them)? It’s quite accurate. Most she her as a showman, wanting attention drawn to her, and that suits her fine as she is a herald and a damn good one at that.


Favourites, habits, likes and dislikes: She enjoys writing, singing, and telling stories. She’s also an accomplished swordsman having trained with a rapier since a very young age. She has no time for those who would heckle and bicker.


What are some of your character’s hobbies? What do they do with their time? When not travelling or adventuring, she often is writing down her thoughts in a leather bound journal.


Favourite colour: “There’s so many, it’s hard ta choose. What say, I like them all.”

Favourites

What are some of their pet peeves? Pania does not like those who would twist history. She often searches out the truth of stories and has been known to argue accurate history for hours on end, often times managing to change the attitude and thoughts of stories that were told.


What sort of gifts do they like? Pania enjoys anything frilly, pretty, and colourful. She treasures jewelry, books, and music sheets.


What is their favorite time of day? Early morning, often she sings when she wakes.


Favorite weather? Season? Summer, with a light breeze just to cool down the air.


Where do they like to spend their time? Pania often will stop at taverns and inns, just to listen to the townsfolk talk about their day, tell stories and jokes, listen to songs, and shares her own if asked to.


Favorite food? Favorite drink? Hot drinks, soft drinks, or alcohol? Pania is vegetarian, so she likes light food, juices, or tea. Her favourite drink that she has once a month is a finely aged scotch whiskey.


Do they have any pets? Do they want any? No pets, but she has a familiar. A wood pixie named Verit who accompanies her as she travels and helps her when she writes. Verit sometimes gets in trouble, and Verit is more than willing to help Pania spring a lock or disable a trap if called upon.


What relaxes them? Warm bed, good book, enjoyable music, good sex.


Do they have any bad habits? Pania has been accused of talking too much. She does not see this as a bad habit.

Resources and abilities:

Where did they learn their abilities? Pania is a graduate of the Academy of the Arts and Magic in Brockton. There, she continued to hone her skills as a singer, a story teller and a writer.


If they have an income, where does it come from? Pania is often paid in tribute for her stories and songs, and many invite her to fancy parties to regale the guests in an interesting tale or two.


Where does your character live? Why did they choose it, and how did they acquire it? How do they handle intruders (graciously? violently?)? Describe the space. Pania lives in a comfortable house with a large library on the main floor, sleeping areas on the second floor, a sitting area in the back yard, and a welcoming front yard that she keeps neat and tidy. She purchased the house from an old skald who was going off to live the remaining years of his life in Turtle Island. All are welcome to her home, as long as they are polite and gracious. If they come with threatening advances, Pania shows first a stern voice and a good warning, and then she displays just how good she is with a rapier.


Do they speak more than one language? Pania is well versed in all the Celtic languages (Irish, Scottish, Welsh), Prussian, Norwegian, common elven language, English, and has recently learned Lakota and Iroquois.

Relationships and history:

What is their family history like? How does it affect them? How do they feel about their family? How does their family feel about them? Pania is the middle child of a small family, all heralds and skalds. Her older brother, Mandrel, competes with Pania a lot when it comes to telling stories. At times, the two would have a story telling dual, where one would start the story, the second would continue, and it would go back and forth until the story’s end, each part becoming more dramatic. Pania always wanted to have a fairy tale relationship, because she says she got to see that very type of relationship with her parents. It seemed as they grew older, Karl and Titianna grew more and more in love, and even doted on their children more and more. Pania’s youngest sister is Pylia, who was born mute. This has not stopped Pylia from learning and watching Pania when she plays her musical instruments or writes in her journals. Sometimes, Pania would sit Pylia in her lap and tell her a story as she wrote in down.


What were they like as a child? What was their favorite toy? Favorite game? Playmates? Pania was very much a young girl who wanted to be a princess. As she grew, she found it was much more interesting to be the prince who saved the princess. Her favourite toy growing up was a small top that she’d spin and it would play a musical tune. She’d often wind up the top and spin it and dance as the top spun. Her playmates were Shani, Wren, and Villith growing up. Along with Mandrel, Sywyn and Waien, whom she often accused of being “ruffians who drew great pleasure from teasin’ an’ pokin’ fun at their younger sisters”.


What did they want to be when they grew up? Pania always wanted to be a herald. Or a prince. Or an adventurer. It changed from day to day, but remained constant in those three things.

Sex and Romance:

What is their sexual orientation? Do they ever question it? Pania is a lesbian. She’s never questioned this. She’s always thought the touch of a woman was always more wonderful to feel.


When did they lose their virginity? Who to? Where? What was it like? “If it were any o’ yer business, then I’d tell ye. But fer now, sod off.”


What is their favourite sexual fantasy? “It has somethin’ ta do with candle light an’ feathers.”


Do they have any particular fetishes or kinks? “Intense tickling.”


What’s the strangest thing they’ve ever done in bed? “That would be tellin’.”


Is there anything in particular that they won’t do? “That would also be tellin’.”

Character biography of Pania Alow, from The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider, by Tim Holtorf (that would be me).

Full Name: Pania Alow

Nickname:Pale Rider (she`s not fond of this term, due to the fact it has Biblical connotations. Also, it was picked up by dime store novelists who are all “nothin’ but a bunch o’ emptyheaded plikes who wouldna know a good book from the shite they put ta paper. Nothin’ but a latcheeco would try an’ say they were a writer when they produce such lies buncrana lighthouse.”)

  1. Age: 130

  2. Gender: female

  3. Date of Birth: 623 (Second Age of the Elves), Tenth month of the Moon, First of the Season of Autumn, Twelveth day of Octor

  4. Ethnicity: Celtic Irish, European

  5. Occupation: Herald, skald, bard, songstress, story teller

  6. Hair color/style: blond, often held in curls, has the left side of her head shaved.

  7. Eye color: Green

  8. Accent (if any): thick Irish accent (there are many who say that it’s so thick, and so full of slang, that they often have to have her repeat what she said, this is not when she tells stories or sings).

  9. Height: 5’4”

  10. Weight: 105 pounds

  11. Tattoos: a very long and intricate tattoo along her right arm that tells the story of the elves retreating from Earth to their own world at the time of the Crusades.

  12. Piercings: left ear has six piercings which are connected with chains and loops, right ear has a modest heart earring stud.

  13. Birthmarks: none

  14. Disfigurements: none

  15. Scars: none, but if she had one, she’d definitely have a story to tell about it.

Fashion Sense

  1. How do they usually dress? Soft cotton or leather leggings, often dyed a dark red, thigh high leather boots with a small heal, dyed black, a white cotton poet’s shirt, auburn corset with ties in the front, a long, auburn cloak that hangs from her shoulders with gold embroidered trim, black leather gauntlets that cover her forearms and have intricate beadwork and embroidering (these were given to Pania when she was born by Uni Wennemein, Shani’s mother), a wide brimmed hat with a white feather.

  2. What do they wear to sleep? At home, or at an inn, she will sleep in a large, soft bed; when travelling, if she has to sleep at a camp site, she has a bed roll she carries with her that is stowed with other sundries on her horse.  Usually, she sleeps naked.

  3. Do they wear jewelry? Along with the piercings, she has a small necklace which has a silver book and a silver musical note, she also has three modest rings that she wears.

  4. Is there anything about their appearance they wish they could change? “Why when I can just wear somethin’ diff’rent each day?”

  5. How would they look as the opposite sex? “They’re boys, o’ that there is no doubt.”

  6. What do they smell like? Why (do they wear the scent or does it occur naturally)? Pania likes mild perfumes, a hint of a fragrance that isn’t overpowering, but something that will draw attention to her. She has a morning ritual of rising early, bathing with lilac scented soap in bath water she sprinkles rose petals in.

  7. Do they have an accurate mental picture of their appearance (how they see themselves versus how the world sees them)? It’s quite accurate. Most she her as a showman, wanting attention drawn to her, and that suits her fine as she is a herald and a damn good one at that.

  8. Favourites, habits, likes and dislikes: She enjoys writing, singing, and telling stories. She’s also an accomplished swordsman having trained with a rapier since a very young age. She has no time for those who would heckle and bicker.

  9. What are some of your character’s hobbies? What do they do with their time? When not travelling or adventuring, she often is writing down her thoughts in a leather bound journal.

  10. Favourite colour: “There’s so many, it’s hard ta choose. What say, I like them all.”

Favourites

  1. What are some of their pet peeves? Pania does not like those who would twist history. She often searches out the truth of stories and has been known to argue accurate history for hours on end, often times managing to change the attitude and thoughts of stories that were told.

  2. What sort of gifts do they like? Pania enjoys anything frilly, pretty, and colourful. She treasures jewelry, books, and music sheets.

  3. What is their favorite time of day? Early morning, often she sings when she wakes.

  4. Favorite weather? Season? Summer, with a light breeze just to cool down the air.

  5. Where do they like to spend their time? Pania often will stop at taverns and inns, just to listen to the townsfolk talk about their day, tell stories and jokes, listen to songs, and shares her own if asked to.

  6. Favorite food? Favorite drink? Hot drinks, soft drinks, or alcohol? Pania is vegetarian, so she likes light food, juices, or tea. Her favourite drink that she has once a month is a finely aged scotch whiskey.

  7. Do they have any pets? Do they want any? No pets, but she has a familiar. A wood pixie named Verit who accompanies her as she travels and helps her when she writes. Verit sometimes gets in trouble, and Verit is more than willing to help Pania spring a lock or disable a trap if called upon.

  8. What relaxes them? Warm bed, good book, enjoyable music, good sex.

  9. Do they have any bad habits? Pania has been accused of talking too much. She does not see this as a bad habit.

Resources and abilities:

  1. Where did they learn their abilities? Pania is a graduate of the Academy of the Arts and Magic in Brockton. There, she continued to hone her skills as a singer, a story teller and a writer.

  2. If they have an income, where does it come from? Pania is often paid in tribute for her stories and songs, and many invite her to fancy parties to regale the guests in an interesting tale or two.

  3. Where does your character live? Why did they choose it, and how did they acquire it? How do they handle intruders (graciously? violently?)? Describe the space. Pania lives in a comfortable house with a large library on the main floor, sleeping areas on the second floor, a sitting area in the back yard, and a welcoming front yard that she keeps neat and tidy. She purchased the house from an old skald who was going off to live the remaining years of his life in Turtle Island. All are welcome to her home, as long as they are polite and gracious. If they come with threatening advances, Pania shows first a stern voice and a good warning, and then she displays just how good she is with a rapier.

  4. Do they speak more than one language? Pania is well versed in all the Celtic languages (Irish, Scottish, Welsh), Prussian, Norwegian, common elven language, English, and has recently learned Lakota and Iroquois.

Relationships and history:

  1. What is their family history like? How does it affect them? How do they feel about their family? How does their family feel about them? Pania is the middle child of a small family, all heralds and skalds. Her older brother, Mandrel, competes with Pania a lot when it comes to telling stories. At times, the two would have a story telling dual, where one would start the story, the second would continue, and it would go back and forth until the story’s end, each part becoming more dramatic. Pania always wanted to have a fairy tale relationship, because she says she got to see that very type of relationship with her parents. It seemed as they grew older, Karl and Titianna grew more and more in love, and even doted on their children more and more. Pania’s youngest sister is Pylia, who was born mute. This has not stopped Pylia from learning and watching Pania when she plays her musical instruments or writes in her journals. Sometimes, Pania would sit Pylia in her lap and tell her a story as she wrote in down.

  2. What were they like as a child? What was their favorite toy? Favorite game? Playmates? Pania was very much a young girl who wanted to be a princess. As she grew, she found it was much more interesting to be the prince who saved the princess. Her favourite toy growing up was a small top that she’d spin and it would play a musical tune. She’d often wind up the top and spin it and dance as the top spun. Her playmates were Shani, Wren, and Villith growing up. Along with Mandrel, Sywyn and Waien, whom she often accused of being “ruffians who drew great pleasure from teasin’ an’ pokin’ fun at their younger sisters”.

  3. What did they want to be when they grew up? Pania always wanted to be a herald. Or a prince. Or an adventurer. It changed from day to day, but remained constant in those three things.

Sex and Romance:

  1. What is their sexual orientation? Do they ever question it? Pania is a lesbian. She’s never questioned this. She’s always thought the touch of a woman was always more wonderful to feel.

  2. When did they lose their virginity? Who to? Where? What was it like? “If it were any o’ yer business, then I’d tell ye. But fer now, sod off.”

  3. What is their favourite sexual fantasy? “It has somethin’ ta do with candle light an’ feathers.”

  4. Do they have any particular fetishes or kinks? “Intense tickling.”

  5. What’s the strangest thing they’ve ever done in bed? “That would be tellin’.”

  6. Is there anything in particular that they won’t do? “That would also be tellin’.”

Shani Wennemein and Pania Alow from The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider, as illustrated by me.

Shani Wennemein and Pania Alow from The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider, illustrated by Clarrisa R. Hummel.

“Shani sighed as she made herself comfortable. She thought on the question for a time before finally answering. “I guess a lil from column A, an’ a lil from column B. Some place diff’rent ta come ta. A place ta do things thet I wouldn’t dare do back home. Things’re a might diff’rent here, thet’s fer sure.””
— from The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider by Tim Holtorf
“Ye know, ye coulda jus’ asked me tha’ without the punchin’ an’ intimidatin’,” she suggested to Shani. “I gladly woulda said the same thin’.”
— from The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider by Tim Holtorf
“Yer the first dang elf I seen since I come here,” Shani said as she cocked the hammer back on the pistol. “Who sent ya after me? Were it my brother? Did Sywyn set ya up ta do this?”
— from The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider by Tim Holtorf
“Well shit,” Shani huffed as she watched the bridge slip into the river. “Thet weren’t near as spectac’lar as I were ‘xpectin’ it ta be.”
— from The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider by Tim Holtorf
““With all due respect, Captain,” Calloway sighed with his reply, suddenly annoyed with the attitude this officer was giving him. “Black Mask just tossed a bundle of dynamite on that bridge. I’m not suicidal, and I’m not going to sacrificing my men.”

“How can you be so certain that Black Mask would take such a measure?” Williams replied, anger evident in his eyes that this sheriff would be so bold as to question him. As though there needed to be a reply to Williams’ question, an explosion sounded out, and the bridge quickly became unstable. All the men in the posse looked toward the noise, watching as the bridge didn’t explode into a million toothpicks, but began to slide into the river below.”
— from The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider by Tim Holtorf
““A bridge!” Pania pointed out with a shout. Shani grinned as an idea came to her. The bridge wasn’t very big, sturdy enough for a pair of horses, but not sturdy enough for a stagecoach. Which meant it was weak enough to become kindling. Pania watched as Shani pulled four sticks of dynamite from a saddle bag. “Ye in the ‘abit o’ carryin’ explosives wit’ ye, are ye?” Pania said with some shock and fear in her voice.

“Ya never know when this shit’s gonna come in handy, girly girl,” Shani replied with a smirk. She took out her hunting knife and cut down the wicks of the sticks and tied them together with the remaining wick. Carefully, she took out her pack of cigarillos, and carefully lit one of them, taking a quick peek in front to see how far away the bridge was. Timing would be everything. Picking up the four sticks of dynamite, she calculated carefully. The dynamite had to be lit at the right time. She may have been accused of over thirty murders, but she wasn’t about to kill off members of the posse indiscriminately.”
— from The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider by Tim Holtorf
““Yeah,” Shani snorted a laugh. “An’ I bet y’all’re gonna help me with thet. Sure. An’ the sky’s purple, too.”

“Think ‘bout it,” Pania scowled. “Shootin’ me’s only gonna make me fire ‘swell. I’ll be dead, ye’ll be injured, an’ where we gonna be at tha’ point.” Pania could tell that Shani was considering this information. Without a word, she holstered the pistol and spurred the horse forward for the umpteenth time that morning. Pania followed suit, making certain she was keeping pace with the elven rider. Behind the pair of riders”
— from The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider by Tim Holtorf
““She’s worse, I’m sure,” Pania said with a firm nod. Johnson didn’t move, but Pania kept looking back to the riders, then back to Johnson. “Time’s short, lad. Bes’ make ye decision. Capt’n Williams’ll either ‘ave ye ‘ead fer leavin’ me, ‘r lettin’ Black Mask escape when she’s so close. Pania could almost hear the gears turning in the young soldiers head. She was getting through to him.

Johnson took a deep breath, and for the first time, stuttered. “Y… you’ll stay here? Wait until I come back.”

“’Ave me word,” Pania said with a smile. Johnson looked back and forth between the chase, and Pania. Finally, he spurred his mount forward, racing to help. “’Course, I dunna ‘xpect ye ta come back,” Pania mused to herself as soon as Johnson was out of earshot. “I’ve always wanted ta meet the elf known as Black Mask anyway.””
— from The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider by Tim Holtorf
“Pania looked over to her new guard with a smile. “So tha’s the Black Mask.” Johnson didn’t bat an eye. “I’ve ‘eard she’s dangerous.” Again, no response. Pania watched Williams and his men as they raced toward the distant rider. She could tell there was a hesitation in Black Mask as she now had a group behind her, and one bearing down upon her. Pania sighed as she watched the Black Mask fire wildly into the air, causing some of the soldiers to break formation. This only allowed the Mask to steer her horse through the ranks and break out in the open again. “I think ye better go ‘elp ‘em.””
— from The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider by Tim Holtorf
“Dang it, y’all git uppity fer someone bustin’ up yer day o’ rest,” Shani shouted back in reply to the pistol fire. “Whyn’t y’all take a breather an’ jist let me go.”
— from The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider by Tim Holtorf
“Oh!” Pania said with a slight grin. “Those from them dime store novels ‘gain, Capt’n? B’cause, I’ll le’ ye in on a secret.” She leaned over in her saddle as she moved her horse closer to him and lowered her voice to a whisper. “I dunna sleep wit’ men, Capt’n. I prefer ta bed down with their wives.”
— from The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider by Tim Holtorf