Epic contest, epic prizes, what could be better? | Official Author Website of Melissa McPhail

Epic fantasy contest, epic prizes, what could be better?

CephraelsHandCoverOkay everyone, it’s time to get creative and compete for huge prizes as part of Novel Publicity’s Cephrael’s Hand Whirlwind Tour.

We’re hosting one gigantic contest with two separate parts, which means you can enter once, twice… as many times as you like! Help me create a character that will be featured in book #3 of A Pattern of Shadow & Light.  You can:

A) Create a name and back story, and if your character idea is the best, s/he will be featured in my upcoming novel AND you’ll win a $100 Amazon gift card.

B) Think up a glorious new magical ability, and you could win a Kindle Fire. Submit as many entries for both as you can think of to increase your chances for winning.

To recap:

*  The most compelling character name and back story wins a $100 Amazon gift card AND a  feature of your character in book #3 of the Pattern of Shadow and Light series

*  The coolest new magical ability wins a Kindle Fire

*  Enter as many times as you’d like in either category by posting a comment below.

The winner will be announced at 5 PM EDT on Saturday, January 5th. Read on for info that might be helpful in crafting your characters and magic abilities.

Behind the magic of Cephrael’s Hand:

I’d like to keep the magical abilities open to your imagination, but knowing just a little about the magic in Cephrael’s Hand might help you devise a winning entry. Here’s what you need to know:

Magic in the realm of Alorin is fueled by the lifeforce known as elae. Elae is divided into five strands, which are basically different aspects of energy. Adepts are men and women born with the ability to work the energy of a particular strand.

1. The first strand is the energy particular to life, that creative spark that fuels growth. It is the energy used by Healers in their ministrations of the sick and injured. It is the energy used to increase longevity in those who work the Pattern of Life to attain immortality. The first strand is also associated with Seers, who tap into this creative source to see choices further down the path of time.

2. The second strand is kinetic energy. This is the energy that fuels and channels through the pattern of the world itself. It is used by Nodefinders to travel on the pattern of the world, connecting far distant places with a single step. It can be created by putting certain items in motion, but it is difficult to harness when made that way. This is also the energy associated with dreams, and some Nodefinders are also Dreamwalkers.

3. The third strand comprises a variant energy which is known primarily for the strange traits it bestows upon Adepts born to this strand. Wildlings, they are called, and they are known to have a wide range of abilities (sometimes more than one) including shapeshifting, Nodefinding, and even the ability to make small
skips through time.

4. The fourth strand in the energy of thought. This is the strand used by truthreaders who read the minds and thoughts of men. The energy of the fourth strand can be harnessed and channeled to produce powerful physical effects, from bolts of flame to concussive explosions of force. The fourth strand is used in compulsion patterns, which force a person to do things against their will. It is also the strand used in crafting illusions.

5. The fifth strand is the most powerful of all, for it compels the elements themselves. Those Adepts who work the fifth strand have been known to turn air to sand, water to wine, or even raise a castle, fully formed, from the bedrock of the mountain. The fifth strand is also the most dangerous to work, for it skirts a precarious line of cause and consequence.

Here’s one more reminder of what you have to do and what you can win:

  • The most compelling character name and back story wins a $100 Amazon gift card AND a feature of your character in book #3 of the Pattern of Shadow and Light series
  • The coolest new magical ability wins a Kindle Fire
  • Enter as many times as you’d like in either category by posting a comment below

Post your entries in the comments box below. The winner will be announced at 5 PM EDT on Saturday, January 5th.

Don’t forget to drop by the main tour page to see what’s going on and to learn even more about Cephrael’s Hand.

to “Epic fantasy contest, epic prizes, what could be better?”

  1. Christine D. says:

    Well here is my idea of another magical ability – the sixth strand.

    It is a defensive energy that resists the previous strands. However, the fifth strand might be too powerful to overcome depending on the mental strength of the individual. It is an extremely rare ability that can be bestowed upon anyone; however, it may not reveal itself until its possessor faces a situation where it is awakened. Though it would be considered to be a blessing because of its protective features, it may also be seen as a curse if the possessor is unaware of it or too weak to manifest it. This is because once it remains inactive, it does the reverse by making the possessor an easier target for those who intend to harm them. It becomes a danger magnet.

  2. lisa peters says:

    Thanks for the contest. I would like the ability to teleport items. I could stay put and bring anything to myself from anywhere in the world. Also being able to do anything from anywhere. I would work and stay at home at the same time, I would know what was going on with all of my copies because time would slow down for me so I would have all of their experiences and yet still not get exhausted.

  3. lisa peters says:

    A magical ability would be to live the life of a fictional character. You could gain all of their knowledge and life experience and memories from reading a book. You would live their lives and all while reading….you would become the character in the book. Cool for all readers who already live many lifetimes in the cover of books…this would be real for you and all the memories would be yours you would be that person in real life….awesome and all in the time it takes you to read the book…also you could become a non fictional person.

  4. lisa peters says:

    Thinking more about this and I have to say that any magical ability would be wonderful…but I love the idea of gaining any talents you would like by just touching someone who does what you want to do…touch a piano player and gain their ability…touch a singer and gain their talent…touch a great public speaker and become one yourself….and if a fictional character can do something extraordinary you can gain that ability by reading the book…I love to read and having all those amazing real and fictional abilities would rock.

  5. Roxanne Kade says:

    My character’s name is Sarira. She is born of the stars, perhaps of Cephrael himself. Sent to Alorin to bring peace, order and balance. Sarira’s most powerful magic is that of projection. Much like the Espials and Nodefinders, Sarira uses energy to travel the pattern of the world, only she is able to project an ethereal double of herself while remaining in the sanctury of her own quarters. Sarira travels in such a manner to deliver the hand of fate to those who have caused disorder and choas. Using her power of projection, Sarira is able to bring justice to those deserving, while causing no harm to her person.

  6. Hello,

    I would like to see a new character Tymaeria, a girl a year or two younger than Tanis who looks suspiciously like Trell. Tanis and Alyneri rescue her from horrible abuse by her foster family who believe her to be an Adept and are trying to force her Awakening by abusing her, even though when we first meet her, she shows no sign of magical ability.

    She is later revealed to be the illegitimate daughter of King Gydryn val Lorian.

    I see her as a source of character development for Tanis and Alyneri, who is much gentler with her than she ever was with Tanis, leading to jealousy, but I imagine you have other developments in mind for them ;o)

    I look forward to reading the next books.

  7. Cassandra says:

    Negative energy which can transform anything in a state of horrible disrepair into good. Usually a good magical ability but just as dangerous if used in excess.


  8. lisa peters says:

    Faction Jones – A women who has been alone most of her life. She was abused as a child by her mothers boyfriend and when she was not believed she ran away. She learned to live on the street..in the subway..in the desert..in the forest…the mountains…anywhere. She gained many skills from the people she encountered along the way. One man taught her to shoot and gave her an old hand gun of his to protect herself. Another man taught her how to find food in almost any environment. She learned camouflage from a women who lived off the grid in Eastern Montana. She grew her food, shot her meat, and taught her how to track for hunting…food or human. She also lived in the mountains of Utah and found a man who lived off the grid to teach her new skills in survival and tracking. She would never be taken advantage of again…by anyone…those she loves and those that love her are not needed…or are they?

    Faction is a tracker, survivalist, and a loner no one can beat. The world is ending as we know it, the world monetary system failure along with magnetic fields increasing from the Sun. Faction is in her element anywhere and is able to survive anything. When push comes to shove, Faction is no one to push or shove…she is unstoppable…but will she ever let herself find what she truly needs.

  9. lisa peters says:

    Magical ability to make anything you can imagine real…turn a great dream into a reality…or turn a nightmare on an enemy to suffer though. If you can imagine it … it will become real. You have control of what you bring to life…you can pull aspects from your imagination…you can do anything if you can imagine it happening or being. You could call it a reality bender or an imagination bender…an imagination maker.

  10. Adelaide Hammerblow is a peasant who shouldn’t have any abilities at all. In fact, since she first shaped air into sound, her father has been certain that she is not the product of his loins, but some great lord’s get. It’s not that she can only sing, she can form sound into a physical mass. One could use the argument that her abilities came from her name, since the density of the metal sound she creates can crush boulders like a sledge.

  11. Delphina says:

    I always thought it would be cool to be able to see where someone or something was by calling out to it with your brain. I am so not explaining it well.

  12. Delphina says:

    I also thought it would be cool to be able to turn into the elements for brief perio of time. Being chased by evil, turn into fire and burn their butts. Want to hid in the woods, become earth. Need to get somewhere fast, become air and flow with the wind. That kind of thing. Delphinareadstoomuch at yahoo

  13. Delphina says:

    To be able to play back (like a recording) conversations you have heard. That could come in handy.

  14. Shannon says:

    I think the coolest ability would be to make anyone’s truest wish come true just by looking them in the eye

  15. Melissa McPhail says:

    Great ideas, everyone! Keep them coming!

  16. Hypervorean says:

    Hey, I’ve got a character for you. I’ll leave the magic stuff to other people.

    His name is Erland (old danish for “from a strange land”).
    He is a mysterious sort of person who waltzes into the story at the most unlikely time possible.
    He has a tendency of saying things that are way out of context, especially in instances where the situation require that he keep his focus on the matter at hand. For example: he is standing in front of a dragon and someone asks him what they are going to do about it, instead he says: “I had a dream last night. About a cat I used to have. I really miss that cat.” All the while staring at the dragon’s tale rather than its fire breathing head. Or something like that, you get the idea.

    He comes from a distant place that no one has ever heard about. He was raised in a loving family and had no real knowledge of the outside world until the day something made him leave his home. He was very naive and therfore got taken advantage of a lot in the beginning of his journey. Now he has grown distrustful and nervous around everyone he meets. When he becomes afraid his mind shuts down and his thoughts wander off quite involuntarily, hence his awkwardness in many situations. He is very quiet when not speaking his stray thought aloud.

    Oh, and everyone thinks him completely harmless and a bit pitiful to own the truth, until one day he suddenly surprises them.

  17. Shannon says:

    Aileen is a young woman, found abandoned and left to die. She is outcast since no one knows of her powers which aren’t unleashed until she finds the one person who can help her summon them

  18. Veronica says:

    A complete null. Someone around which and upon which none of the magics will work.

  19. Kierra says:

    Mariella is a girl in a village with an a terrifying secret: she can take on the shape of any person simply by touching them. She is usually quite invisible even in her adopted family. She was found on the doorstep of their house. Her parents were mysteriously killed( by whom nobody knows). She can learn new languages, excel in education, and master fighting in the blink of an eye just by touching a person and also take on their shape. But when she goes back to herself she can’t remember any of their life whatsoever. This is why she tries to be invisible and hide from everybody. She has had this unusual ability ever since the age of nine.

  20. Delphina says:

    One last power to add. To be able to give apparitions temporary temporal form. There would need to be limits, like they lose their form for the time or something like that, but it would be super fun to read about.

  21. CP Bialois says:

    My character idea is a anti-hero type.

    Name: Malari
    A former soldier turned bounty hunter from the North. After being seriously wounded during a battle in which many of his comrades were slaughtered he accepted his release from his oath to the Lord. Before leaving he learned the battle was a result of his lord being inebriated and wagering his men’s lives against a force four times their size. Infuriated, he refuses to have loyalty to any person and hopes to one day see the lord fall, whether by his hand or another makes little difference to him.

    Believing honor is a waste, he refuses to bow to any man but does show enough respect to have kept his head. He also has a soft spot for women of status, helping him carve out a legend among young men and women.

    Known for his cruel and ruthless approach, his bounties almost never make it back for trial and judgment alive. He does, however, show gentleness to those in need, often going out of his way to aid them in some manner.

  22. I assume I can enter both categories in the same message. Hope you find my entry interesting.

    Name: Reyhne Delelag knows little of what goes on outside her family’s home. The house she shares with her father, a woodcutter, her mother and little brother and the little town on the other side of the river are the whole world, as far as she has seen. Life is good there. The weather is always pleasant and their little part of the world has been untouched by the drought that so devastated the neighboring towns on and off for the last fifteen years.

    Reyhne’s simple life comes crashing down when the strangers arrive. Dark-clad men with an air of power about them. After searching the village in search of something, they finally arrive at the Delelags’ home. They’ve found what they’re looking for: Reyhne herself.

    They claim the teen girl wields a powerful magic, the potential mastery of the element Water. They claim she is the reason for the good weather enjoyed by her kin, the power driving the millstone by the river, the clouds that darken the sky when she is perturbed. They claim they have come to train her to harness that power safely, and to aid them in a quest. Reyhne doesn’t believe them… at first.

  23. Kierra says:

    Leanne is loud and oftenly rude. It may be because of the voices of the dead she hears that causes her to lash out on the people around her. It isn’t THEIR fault she has this annoying ability, but it is the only way she can vent out her anger. Her annoying ability is to hear the dead. And the only way to get them to shut up is to find their grave and fufill their last wishes. These last wishes can be simply…or they can be near impossible. That’s why she travels the world all the time: to fufill these said wishes AND why she is mad about 100% of the time. She doesn’t understand why she was stuck with this ability…she was ALREADY an outcast before she even found out about her weird abilities.

  24. Nadine says:

    How about hybrid powers but mastering each strand then taking two and activating them in unity one can have the power say to the 1st and the 2nd strand combinded can age someone prematurely… let’s say there is a ruler who is only a child when they are suddenly thrust into the throne and leadership role. It might be beneficial to age that person to an age where they may learn the skills they require faster than the natural aging process.

    Or combine the 4th and 5th strands and have the ability to read the thoughts of the elements, what the weather will be, when earthquakes will occur. But misguided could produce illusions of weather which would be an unwanted accident – if they produce the illusion of rain instead of predict when the rain will fall directly from the elements you can imagine the repricussions to farmers or mariners.

    But of course learning and mastering the individual strands is difficult so the exact combination would be even more so… just imagine what a miscalculation could be brought on by the unschooled one? I don’t have a name for you but the world you created sounds very interesting! Take Care!

  25. Kierra says:

    I’m going to work on characters now…

    Ashanny is a quiet and timid girl most of the time. She lives in a small village and she has two little brothers and 1 older sister. She only has a Dad, since her mom passed away when she was just 2 years old. Her father refuses to tell her how she died and insists that she is better off not knowing.She has an uncanny knack for music. She often wanders in the forest playing tunes. That is the only time she feels peace She has two best friends: Ishy( her nickname) and Natalli. She has known them ever since they were little. Her father knows both of their fathers and he trusts neither of them, but he allows Ashanny to stay friends with them, since they were the only ones that risked talking to her in the village. See, Ashanny is not quite trusted among the villagers. They are convinced she is a witch and will kill them all one day. She doesn’t understand why everyone seems to hate her; she did nothing to them.
    One day, she is set on finding out about her mother’s death. She asks her dad mutiple times, but with no success. She decides then that she must finally meet her grandparents who live faraway. She sneeks out one night to find them. She meets a boy her own age in another village who has heard of her grandparents. He is surprisingly unafraid of her, and is rather interested in her past. She doesn’t trust him, but his smile and good-naturedness finally convinces her that he means her no harm. Together they set out to find her grandparents…and finally know the truth about her mother.

  26. Amy DeClerck says:

    My name is Shadlyn Fray. I am most likely nine hundred and eight one, though the days run together after the first century or so. I was once the greatest practioner of Dark Elae in all the known worlds, but I was greedy. I tried to open a portal into the darkest of nether realms, and so I was trapped inside. Now I am free, and I am hungry, for to regain my powers I must consume those who use Elae, but my time in the Nether-realm has changed me. I must feed to survive, but I refuse to kill. Now I am trapped between life and death until someone can save me..or kill me. I possess the power of transmutation, and so can change the nature of any object. Water can become soil, and
    air can become lead, but with every transmutation a price must be paid. I must sacrifice a memory for every.spell I cast.
    My name is Shadlyn Fray, and I am a ghost of the man I once was.

  27. Alyson Miers says:

    Here is my entry for the Magical Powers contest. I’m still working on my new character entry.
    Atomotaxia: Control of matter at the atomic level. 

    This is the ability to break matter down to its constituent atoms and then rearrange it into something different, even with completely different substances, with the same atoms. The finished product appears similar to transmutation, but the power is important in its own right because it can go places where transmutation can’t. Atom-arranging uses less magical energy than transmutation, and the process can also reveal any magic that was used on the original matter, and when the rearrangement is complete, all traces of previous magic are erased. Since the power uses little magical energy, its trace is especially difficult to detect. The rearranged object is indistinguishable from similar matter that has never been transformed. 

  28. Amy Eye says:

    For a character – Dranell. She has tried to be a master of the magical arts, but has failed miserably. Coming from a long line of warriors, they were surprised when her magical ability sparked, but they suppressed it in favor of training her in the battle-prone environment. Dranell practices her fighting skills by day, and sneaks away at night, often returning with horrendous injuries from experimenting with her magical side. After a near fatal accident one night, her warrior clan decides it is in her best interest to keep her under surveillance to protect her from herself. They bring in a Carmai, a roaming mage, to seal Dranell’s home every night. After befriending the young girl, Carmai begins to listen to Dranell’s desires to hone her magical abilities. Months later, Carmai and Dranell hatch a plan to free her from her clan. Now Dranell and Carmai wander on their own, Carmai desperately trying to teach the budding mage how to master her in-born skills. They wander from town to town, never staying long for fear her clan will find her. But how do you keep a mage who is almost seven foot tall, and often sizzling around the edges, a secret?

    Magical ability – a mage has the ability to use the emotions of a person near them. They can take fear, anger, jealousy and gain darker, battle magic or create temporary spirit warriors. They can take love, hope and happiness and use it to heal, create wards, or help make things grow. The stronger the emotions, the more powerful the magic.

  29. Alyson Miers says:

    Oscura Orensiel

    Power: Dreamwalker

    Origin: Oscura’s father was the dean of a prominent academy for adepts of the Second Strand. Her mother was a student at the academy, a girl from a destitute family who lied on her application to the academy. The girl was named Borea Morenna, and her father died in prison while serving a term for theft of an important magical artifact. Borea applied to the academy as Borea Orensiel so that her father’s crimes would not count against her. She took a job as a clerk to the dean, Professor Takovin, so that she could send money home to her siblings and sick mother. 

    Professor Takovin took a liking to Borea and, despite his being married to a woman who was also a professor at the same academy, seduced and began an affair with her. Borea became uncomfortable with the affair after several months of having to keep it a secret and began talking about ending the affair and finding another job. The dean wanted the affair to continue, so he investigated into Borea’s past and found out that she had falsified her application and was the daughter of a criminal. With this information in hand, the dean told Borea that she could continue sleeping with him, and continue keeping it a secret, or he would expose her, which would mean her expulsion from the academy. Thus, Borea reluctantly, grudgingly, carried on her secret affair with her boss. 

    This went on for the rest of the term, until Borea broke the news to the dean that made the situation even more complicated: she was pregnant. Professor Takovin told Borea she could do what she would with the child, but she had to leave the academy and not come back, or else he would expose her. Devastated but unsurprised, Borea went home and told her family that she would find another school and another job that would allow her to keep the baby. Before the beginning of the new term, Borea received a letter explaining to her why she had been expelled from the academy: the dean had produced evidence that implicated her in a serious crime, but he had convinced the authorities not to prosecute her. Not only that, but the news of her supposed wrongdoing spread around her hometown as well as her former school. Now she would not be able to apply to another school, and her adopted surname of Orensiel was exposed.

    Her younger siblings quit their schooling and they all worked whatever odd jobs they could to put food on the table and care for their dying mother, who died soon after Borea gave birth to her daughter, Oscura. Their neighbors treating her like a criminal wore her down, so she left for parts unknown after her mother’s death and didn’t tell her siblings where she was headed.

    Borea took her baby far from home, far enough that no one she met had ever heard the name Morenna or Orensiel, and worked menial jobs until she found an apprenticeship with a gentle old sorcerer. Oscura grew up in the sorcerer’s home and, at the appropriate time, developed Dreamwalking powers. Her mother did not like to talk about her past; she told Oscura her father had been a fellow student at the academy who had died in a magical accident, and that Borea had dropped out and run away because she was so heartbroken about the boy’s death. Borea and her master taught Oscura how to control and develop her powers, and she learned so well that she was accepted at the most prestigious academy in their province.

    Because the master sorcerer took good care of Borea, Oscura didn’t need to take a job along with her studies. Early in her first term, she noticed her mentor, Professor Mirel, acting strangely around her, as if the very appearance of Oscura worried her. At night, Oscura detected in her sleep that Professor Mirel had entered her dreams and was trying to find things out. Oscura pushed her mentor back, and in doing so, came upon images of a younger version of her mother working with an older man who looked very much like Oscura herself. She pushed further into her mentor’s dreamworld and found out that the older man was Professor Mirel’s estranged husband, Professor Takovin, who was retired after a long tenure as the dean of another university in another province.

    Oscura’s rapport with Professor Mirel was tense for the rest of the term, but her mentor did not attempt to enter Oscura’s dreams again. At their first holiday break, Oscura traveled to the province where Professor Takovin was retired. She bought a glamour charm from an adept of the Third Strand and introduced herself in disguise to Professor Takovin. When she asked about his children, she was unsurprised to find that he only mentioned the adult sons with his estranged wife, but he seemed perturbed at the question. That night, she entered Takovin’s dreams and discovered his affair with her mother, what he had done to her, and why he had been able to blackmail and railroad her. Before Takovin woke up, Oscura transported herself into his house and located his old love letters to her mother. She stuffed the letters into a pocket in her cloak, woke up the professor, and revealed herself as his daughter. She told him that he could clear her mother’s name and compensate her for the time she had spent struggling to feed herself rather than going to school, or Oscura would expose him as a philanderer and sexual predator. Takovin gave Oscura a bag with 100 gold coins to give to Borea. Oscura told her mother, when giving her the money, that she knew the truth of her birth and that Borea had nothing to fear from Takovin anymore.

    In addition to that agreement, Takovin bribed Oscura to apply for another mentor. He wrote her a recommendation for a coveted program at the academy and sent her 20 gold coins for every term that she stayed away from Professor Mirel.

  30. Amy S. says:

    How about a magic ability that combines teleportation with the ability to move things with your mind. You would be able to grab anything from the past or the future and be able to do what you want with it in the present time. Or you could bring anyone from the past or future to the present, and move them wherever you want them. You could change the future and the past. It would be called telesykonesis.

    Another one would be to have a character that can talk to the flowers, plants, animals, and children. Her name could be Flora. She understands everything about the planets and solar system.

  31. Denise says:

    Jaylen Turosh is both a Wilding and Truthreader. He never speaks of his parents though he has a sister with a hidden power so great, many fear him. He never uses his powers for ill, but he is forced into a situation where he must break a few rules to save the life of a very close friend. In the midst of this, one of his parents appears requesting his help, and he finds his soul mate, but her destiny ends in death. Can he save her, accept his parents choices and help his friend without compromising everything he believes in?

  32. Denise says:

    Adirah Perna is a complete mess of a young woman. She has wild red hair that never is neat, a bit on the skinny side, and her clothes always seem too big for her. Her power is the fifth strand, but very unpredictable. Sometimes all it takes is a thought that pops into her head, or a sneeze and her powers go off. Her own family sends her away to be ‘cured’ of her clumsiness, and she causes more problems along her journey. She has more messes than successes and is thought of as stupid, but deep down she is very smart and has a big heart. A heavy dose of confidence and training will set her right, and she gets that from solid characters on her journey to see a healer.

  33. Denise says:

    Power: A Wilding with Kinetic Energy

    Paco Dominaz is a true bad boy. Good looks, great threads and is totally charming. He is good at using one power at a time, but when he uses both together he is mighty powerful and faster than the speed of light. His mother left him at an early age, and his father went missing when he was sixteen years old. Everyone tells him he died, and he believes it. Paco was raised by a cruel uncle and forced to work instead of attending school. Paco secretly was taught by the mother of a girl he once loved as a child. It is because of this he uses his powers on villains-those deserving, yet, uses his powers for good for those that need help. Following his gut on the next villain to crush, he runs into his father and a young woman head-over-heels in love Paco. They instill in him a conscience and for the first time in his life he questions the path he is on, and what he’s going to do now that he’s finally got family and love in his life.

  34. Anthony Sementilli says:

    Power: Elaic Immunity
    Since the inception of the art of Wielding, the practitioners of Elae have always expressed their manipulations in the form of patterns, the bending of the strand to the will of the Wielder.
    However, what happens when one forms a pattern between all 5 strands? A web forms. Each strand counter acts and stabilizes each other, nullifying and deflecting the effects of any pattern that is not part of a web itself.

    The only way for a Wielder patterned with a web consisting of the 5 strands to be killed is if he or she faces another possessing a web of equal or greater complexity. However, only one person possesses this peculiarity within. Her name is…

    Character: Xialyne

    Xialyne has been in stasis since before the tenure of the current Vestals and only has been recently awoken. She walked this land ages ago before making a sinister pact out of desperation. She would be the instrument to the end of the world.
    How did she acquire this power? Through the absorption of the lives of 5 Wielders, each practicing one of the different strands of Elae. In this case, the lives of the previous Vestals were used for sacrifice. 5 deaths to imbue one soul. The terms of this contract she unwillingly committed to was the beginning of her corruption. She must usurp the life and power from her closest friends, a betrayal that would haunt her forever. However, the power she acquired was seductive, and she grew to love to abuse it. She became trapped in Tkhendar as a result of her aberrations, sealed within due to the collaborative efforts of the vestals, before Bjorn’s betrayal. Now, she escaped back to the realm where Elae flows free, ready to enter The Game.

    Who conducted this sacrilegious ritual on Xialyne? Is he/she still alive? Why did she agree to this contract? Who will be chosen to face Xialyne, and more importantly, which five Wielders will be sacrificed to prepare this individual for the epic encounter?

    Only book 3 will tell….

    (Thank you for this opportunity! I just started book 2 and I really can’t wait to sink my teeth in! (Sorry in advance if this proposal contradicts the already established lore)

  35. lisa peters says:

    My magic ability would be a non-magical person who absorbs magic from others. With just the reach of her right hand she can absorb the magical ability from another…not completely…because she can control the amount she takes each time. She cannot wield that magic, but she can give it to another or to a land form for use or she can destroy it if necessary. The use of destroying magic is the most difficult for her…it takes great concentration and she has only used this ability once in the past. It zapped her for days and made her so tired she slept for 3 days straight. Her ability is rare and she is referred to as a Drawling…she is different from most Drawlings because she does not need to touch the creature she pulls the magic from. She just needs to reach towards them. She does had work mostly in the shadows to keep from being discovered. Her grandmother was like her and she learned her skills from her. She was warned multiple times about using her skills unwisely. The others did not understand her ability and see Drawlings of her level as threats. Most Drawlings were captured and destroyed.

    Her name is Medial Capta. Her grandmother taught her to stay hidden from the others, she was not sent to any school or educational center to learn. Instead she was taught everything from her grandmother, she wanted her to know everything about the 5 strands and the good and bad of each. Medial always felt different and strange because she had No Magic and could do nothing extraordinary(in her mind). Her grandmother kept her in the dark about her ability until she was 13…at 13 Medial’s grandmother took her out in the community areas and sucked magic from a few there. She came back to their home and showed Medial how she could transfer that magic to the plants in her garden to cause them to grow and mature before their eyes. She then explained the Drawlings ability, dangers, and responsibilities to Medial. Medial practiced on the next trip into town and continued to grow her ability. After several years of training she felt ready to do things to help improve her lot in life…her grandmother explained that was not what her ability was for and warned her to not go on her own anywhere and to keep her ability hidden from others. Other Drawlings of less ability had been locked away or killed. The others were scared of losing their magic and Drawlings were a danger to them and a Drawling of such power as Medial would cause them to seek her life.

    Medial grew tired of growing her garden and making her land bloom, she wanted more and she wanted what some of the others had. She longed to live in the wealthy areas and to have what they had. She wanted more and she was unhappy in her life. She went against her Grandmothers wishes and started to adsorb magic at every turn. She turned her small cave into a treasure trove by sucking magic and sending it to the walls so they would grow gems and precious items. She sold many of them before someone became suspicious and followed her home.

    The authorities of magic arrived to take her into custody…her grandmother saw them arriving and she knew what had happened…it was not a shock most Drawlings of Medial’s power became known because of the greed that existed in the world. That was why there were few of them. Her grandmother drew magic from those arriving and lucky for her they had some strand 5. She then formed a castle by shooting the magic into the walls of her cabin. She then formed a tunnel by throwing the magic at the ground and focusing it. She sent Medial to the tunnel. Medial refused to go so her grandmother forced her with all the warnings she had given her throughout her life. She pushed her into the tunnel and closed the opening. Medial ran to the other end, that was at least a mile. When she arrived back at her home she found it burned to the ground and her grandmother was dead.

    Medial knew it was her fault and she went into hiding to find a way to revenge. She met a few outcasts on her journey and a few taught her that hate and revenge only hurt those who wield it. She was taught forgiveness and shown the need that existed in her land that was wholly dismissed by the rulers. She found she could draw small amounts of magic without others noticing and take it back to the underprivileged to improve their lives and the lives of their children.

    Medial became a Savior of sorts for the disenfranchised of the land. She kept to the shadows and never showed what she could do. She fought against the need to retaliate against those who had killed her grandmother. She instead stole small amounts of magic and used to better others lives. But at every turn she had to fight the urge to draw the magic completely and destroy those who had destroyed her life.

    Medial became better and better at control. She moved every so many moons to keep ahead of those who became suspicious of her quiet demeanor. She moved in the shadows and yet hoped to someday to live in the light where her grandmother resided while she was a child.

  36. lisa peters says:

    The magical ability to know when someone is lying would be amazing. This I guess is the 4th strand…but more then just reading minds. Instead you would know if you could trust someone or distrust someone by just one look. Finding friends would be easy and finding those to work and live with would take seconds. A truth finder.

    My above entry before this one was both an ability and a character.

    This is so much fun to think about…I think I am out of ideas now…….thanks for this contest and congratulations to the winners. Lisa

  37. Elie says:

    I have two magical abilities I would like to share…

    1. a reader. The first is a being who has the ability to sense the emotions of others and control them. By reading the chemicals their bodies are putting out, they can gage if someone is being dishonest, truthful, is angry, grieving,ect. As their ability gets stronger, the being is able to replicate the chemicals and control people’s emotions. This can be helpful when dealing with groups of people.

    2. The second is the ability to read the fingerprint of items and on items. So it can tell the history of an item. Who had it, what it was used for, what emotions left residue on the item, ect. This helps to solve mysteries.

    3. A being who has the ability to adapt to any environment. They would be able to survive brief periods without oxygen (underwater), survive extreme heat, extreme cold, ect. The only hitch is a vulnerability… they are weak around a natural element.

    • Elie says:

      just read some other entries, my ideas were similiar to others.
      It was fun to brainstorm a bit, Congrats to the winners.

  38. Geekdad248 says:

    A magical ability for the 5th Strand would be the ability to make animals, monsters, or other creatures from the elements (rock, sand, ice, water) and than allow the magic user to go into a trance where their conscience is transferred into their creation so it can be controlled as if it was the magician themself in that new body. for example the magic user creates a ten foot rock monster that emerges from a cliffside which acts as if it was the magician because it is controlled by their spirit but the magic user’s body is safe in another location and is reanimated when his or her essence leaves the “monster” body. or it could be something small like a mouse or spider created from ice that lets the magic user sneak into places to spy or steal things.

  39. Geekdad248 says:

    as a young boy, Craobh, was born to a logger and his wife deep in the woods and discovered that he could “hear” the trees talk to him. Their pleas for help and screems as they were cut down tormented him but he was unable to stop his father from harvesting the wood. So Craobh ran away from home and lived on his own in the wilderness where he learned to control his 3rd Strand powers so that he could control the movements of any plant. He also discovered he could shape shift and change his skin and hair color to camoflauge himself into his surroundings. Additionally Craohh found that he could harden his skin so that it was like bark. His most remarkable skill though was being able to not just talk to the trees but all of mother nature’s creations – the animals, fish, and insects of the woodlands too…and oh the stories they had to tell.

    One day while medidating in his hermit cave the trees called out to him that there was danger in the woods. A new logging camp had set up near the cave and they were starting to cut the most ancient trees. Craobh animated the Great Oaks nearby into a tree army that whipped rocks at the loggers and attacked the men with the swinging of their branches while walking on their roots. Craobh led the charge transforming his arms into great wooden clubs that smacked the loggers to the ground.

    Craobh allowed the loggers to flee the woods by promising to never return, but unfortunately they began to tell others the tale of the wild man and his Tree Army, while many thought it nothing more than a fairy tale but others began searching the wilderness to see how they could harness the power of nature for their own dark and evil purposes.

  40. Geekdad248 says:

    for a magical power for the 4th Strand how about the ability to control other people’s perceptions so they see what the magic user wants them to see … for example the magic use tells them their hand is on fire and it looks and feels like it is but really isn’t or the magic user seems to look and talk like someone else the person knows but really isn’t that person its just all being projected by the magic user into the person’s brain. magic users could control people by making them think they are seeing things that really aren’t there through projecting the magicians thoughts into other peoples heads.

  41. Geekdad248 says:

    an idea for the second strand magic would be ability to use kinetic energy to create air bubbles or force fields that envelop people so that they can travel underwater or fly in the air – the power would also provide power of motion for the bubble to assist with travel

  42. Geekdad248 says:

    an idea for 1st strand magic power would be to be able to pull out the life force from a living person and use that energy to create a vortex where you could communicate with the dead in the afterlife or entities from another dimension for a short period of time. depending on how much life force was pulled out from a person they would either rapidly age or die.

  43. lisa peters says:

    One more this is too much fun…. so a person with the magical ability to sense illness in others before they become ill. A health seeker or illness seer. This power could see into the body, running through the blood, lymph, digestive, skeletal…etc systems in the body seeing anything that is not normal and fixing as they go. Not only a healer, but a healer before there is really an issue. Pre-healers. Along with pre-healing they could advise on healthy ways to treat and card for the body…the pre-healer has limited power and will not waste it on those who not care for their bodies and the gifts they have been given. This power would be great for a Drawing to adsorb..the Drawling could give this to a sick person or to a childless couple to help them conceive a baby. This power would be regulated by the governing board and kept controlled so only those the governing power kept healthy are allowed to be worked on…the Drawling would absorb this power and give it to an ordinary healer to use on anyone….this power would pass from mother to first born child only…not many of those with this ability would exist. And the governing board would keep them under lock and key…finding you are one without the governing board knowing would be extremely difficult, almost impossible…but they could save countless lives before their magic was used up…there is a limit to how much they can do or no one would ever die again and that could be a population disaster for the governing agency.

    These pre-healers would be rare and worth their weight in gold..but they also live a life of misery locked up and alone. One pre-healer Rebaka looks for a way out and finally develops the skill to stop her heart. She tells her mother she will kill herself so not to live this life of misery locked up pre-healing those who force them to and so she stops her heart , but not before her mother set s a healing time bomb of sorts in her heart one that will restart her heart and keep her brain and cells from dying from lack of oxygen. She is found dead and tossed out with the other garbage..her body repairs and she seeks those who live on the fringe to keep from being discovered alive again.

    She is born into captivity with her mother. Her father was a governing agent who showed the most promise as a stud and so he raped all the pre-healers to get the first born daughters to be captive also. Rebaka has known nothing but the cell she lives in with her mother who has taught her skills to her. She finds those who can help her stay away from governing agents and develop her skills to a greater degree for those who really need her. Thanks…I really am done now…..Lisa

  44. Beth Anne says:

    Did I miss the winner being announced or where is the winner information…thanks

  45. Melissa McPhail says:

    Thank you so much to those of you who participated in the Cephrael’s Hand whirlwind tour by posting reviews, excerpts, interviews, and reviews. I am so grateful to all of your for your generosity and interest. The Friday author contest winners are:

    Best Magical Ability (Kindle Fire): Alyson Miers
    Best Character ($100 Amazon Gift Card): Geekdad248
    Random (Autographed Book): Lisa Peters

    The winners of the social media sharing contests on Twitter, Google+, and Facebook have all already been notified. Congratulations to the winners. Thank you all again for participating and making the Cephrael’s Hand tour such a success!


  46. CP Bialois says:

    Thanks for holding the contest and liking my review Melissa. 🙂 It was a privilege reading your book and I’m looking forward its sequel.

    • Melissa McPhail says:

      Thank you so much! Novel Publicity did a great job setting up the Whirlwind Tour, but it’s all of you who made it so successful.

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