Tag Archives: D. Jordan Bernal

Breaking News! I am thrilled to announce

Breaking News!
I am thrilled to announce THE KEEPERS OF ÉIRE has won the 2014 Global Ebook GOLD Award for Fantasy/Contemporary. It is an honor to have won this year, and a validation of all the work that went into writing and publishing my first novel in “The Keeper” series.
Authors know their greatest challenge is getting their work known, read, loved, and recommended to others. One predicament authors have is finding readers. And, of course, the best publicity is “word-of-mouth”. So tell your friends and neighbors to take a chance and check out a new author’s work. There are some really great writers in the world today.
http://ow.ly/i/6B5GM

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Ice Cream and Aliens…and Dragons…and Time Travel…and Mad Scientists

Here is the Guinness Malt Cake recipe we enjoyed at my SF/F critique group author event last night at Towne Center Books in Pleasanton. Thanks to my friend Jules for the recipe. Oh, and we had ice cream and Titanic life savers. The readings were awesome with some great questions. Thanks to all who came out and shared the evening.

 

Guinness Malt Cake

1 cup Guinness (or other stout beer)                     Frosting:

2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter                                     1/2 cup Guinness (or other stout beer)

1 Tablespoon molasses                                             4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed                 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened

1 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder                1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 Tablespoons powdered malt                                2 1/2 cups or more confectioner’s sugar, sifted

2 eggs

2/3 cup plain yogurt

2 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup superfine (baking) sugar

Pinch of sea salt

 

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9-inch loaf pan; line it with parchment.

2. Melt the Guinness, butter, molasses, and brown sugar over medium heat.

3. Beat in the cocoa and malt, then remove from heat.

4. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and yogurt, then add the stout mixture.

5. Sift the remaining dry ingredients into the bowl and beat to combine. Pour in the loaf pan and bake for 75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan.

6. For the frosting: Bring the 1/2 cup Guinness to a boil. Simmer just under a boil, stirring occasionally, for 13 minutes or until reduced by half. Refrigerate until cool.

7. In a mixing bowl, beat butter until creamy and light. Add cream cheese and beat until smooth. Beat in the vanilla and confectioner’s sugar, then add the cooled, reduced Guinness and beat until creamy and light. This is a very loose frosting. Beat in more confectioner’s sugar for a thicker version, or put frosting in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Turn the cake out of its pans and spread the frosting on top.
Jordan Bernal and her Guinness Malt Cake

Check out the photo of me with a sample of the Guinness Malt Cake. Do you see my dragon wings?

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My Irish Journey Began Two Years Ago

Another year has passed. Yes, that’s correct, it has been two years since I boarded an airplane for my “across the pond” journey into the lands of my characters in The Keepers of Éire. I can’t adequately express my love and exuberance of that journey. The people I met were inspirational. The locations matched my dreams. I can’t wait to go back (Book Tour?).

I’ve begun work on my website: www.jordanbernal.com   Check it out when you get a chance. I am still adding content, so have patience.

Here’s an update on the novel: I have completed the draft and several / many revisions. My manuscript has been read like a book (cover to cover) by my critique group and several “Beta Readers”. These readers have heard bits and pieces of scenes in either my edit class or at open mic nights. Their feedback was positive and constructive. I have made additional revisions based on their insights. I am now sending the latest version to several “Cold Readers”. These readers have not heard anything about the novel other than it is a fantasy involving dragons. In other words, these readers are my target audience.

I am working on finding an editor and hope to have someone lined up soon.  My thoughts are to self-publish in the coming months. Stay tuned.

I am also working with a terrific person, Christine McCall, on the cover. With my ideas, she has already designed the front cover and we are working on the back cover.

Have a peek:

TKoE Cover

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Filed under 2011 The Keepers of Éire Trip, Ireland 2011, Writing

2012 Blog Information

Crunchy numbers

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

In 2012, there were 9 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 39 posts. There were 11pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 34 MB. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was April 9th with 55views. The most popular post that day was May 9.

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Filed under 2011 The Keepers of Éire Trip, England 2011, Ireland 2011, Scotland 2011, Writing

The Next Big Thing

I want to thank a fellow Ireland lover and great storyteller, Marlene Dotterer for tagging me in this blog-go-round. I’m supposed to answer ten questions about my work-in-progress. I just completed a draft of my first novel in a planned series.

When you have finished reading this blog, check out Marlene’s Next Big Thing here.

THE NEXT BIG THING Q&A

What is the working title of your book?

The Keepers of Éire

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The germ to write a fantasy started with my love for all things Dragon. I have been fascinated with dragons since I was quite young. About five years ago I wanted to learn more about my own heritage. I discovered Irish, Scottish, and Spanish from my father’s side and a bit of Irish, Scottish, and German from my mother’s. I chose Ireland because the plethora of myths about faeries and heroes lent itself more to the possibilities of actual dragons and magic existing in modern times.

What genre does your book fall under?

The Keepers of Éire is a modern day fantasy  (dragons) that incorporates some mystery (solving murders) with romance.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Oh, the ultimate writer’s dream, movie options.

Christian: Colin Farrell with blue eyes.     Devan: I’m not sure. An American, possibly Kiera Knightly.     Robert: Jude Law.     Sean: An aged Sean Bean.     Padrick: Pierce Brosnan.     Kiely: Helen Mirren.     Ronan: Richard Harris    Logan: Jonathan Ryse Meyers.     Kelly: Michael Fassbender    Dragon Voices: Fionn: Liam Neeson.     Roarke: Chris Hemsworth.     Dochas: Saoirse Ronan     Grayson: Gabriel Byrne

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

In early 21st Century Ireland, a thief and an American woman discover a shared destiny and team up to stop a dragon killer.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I’d like to send The Keepers of Éire to agents and see what type of response I get. I’ll give it 3-6 months, then I’ll self-publish. I don’t want to wait forever to get my story our to readers, especially since this is the first book in a planned series.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

About 3 1/2 years, but I edited as I received feedback from my critique group and others.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I’d like to think that if Anne McCaffrey ever had her dragons from The Dragonriders of Pern series ‘Go Between’ back to Earth, they would be the forefathers of my dragons. I also am inspired by authors who write interesting Irish characters, such as: Maeve Binchy, Frank Delaney, Patrick Taylor, and Nora Roberts.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Since I love fantasy, I’d like to say the following authors: JRR Tolkien, Terry Brooks, Robin Hobbs, and Mercedes Lackey. These are just a few fantasy writers that I admire and tried to write up to. I also wanted to write a fantasy that was more geared toward adults than YA.

I’m stealing a line from Marlene Dotterer when I say: “Ireland is always an inspiration!” I had never traveled across the pond, but I had always had a burning desire to see the places of my ancestors. I researched locations for The Keepers of Éire by reading stories set in Ireland and pouring over Coffee Table Books of this wondrous isle. When I finally visited and traveled to many of the locations in my story, I fell in love.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I was informed I needed to say: THE SEX SCENES. In all seriousness; I hope I captured different facets of the human condition and wove their stories into a fantasy setting  I wish was real. I so want to be a Dragonrider. In writing The Keepers of Éire, my wish comes true.

Thanks for reading this blog and I hope you enjoyed getting to know more about my NEXT BIG THING.    Jordan Bernal

NEXT WEEK, VISIT THESE AUTHORS TO READ ABOUT THEIR NEXT BIG THINGS!

Julaina Kleist-Corwin writes women’s fiction and teaches writers how to Polish Their Fiction in a series of classes held in Dublin, CA. I have learned how to make my characters more real and how to keep my readers turning the pages.

W. Blake Heitzman has a dry sense of humor and incorporates that in his Science Fiction stories. Blake’s love of science shows through in his writing.

Shannon Brown has self-published her first YA novel Rock ‘n’ Roll in Locker Seventeen and is currently working on the prequel. She knows the lingo and has her reading audience pegged to a T.

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The Keepers of Eire – Synopsis

i realized I hadn’t blogged on the synopsis for the book, so here it is:

The Keepers of Eire

Early in 21st century Ireland, four Tuatha Dragons and their human compeers are murdered. Christian, an Irishman plagued with dreams of the slayings, teams with an American woman, Devan, searching for her heritage. They travel the Emerald Isle finding clues about the murders and their destinies. Can they stop the killer before he strikes again?

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Century House Poetry, Aug 21, 2011

Century House Poetry invited one and all to an open mic afternoon celebration of the poetry of ‘Coming Home’. Here is what coming home means to me.

COMING HOME: TO THE PLACE WHERE I BELONG

I’m coming home, to a place I’ve never been before

I’m called, to a land of my dreams and my destiny

I feel at peace, standing in the center of stone monuments erected centuries ago

With the shrubbery covered arch, a perfect frame to St. Declan’s Well

Peat bogs and mountains of Connemara, peeking thru the mists and gray-blue skies

The whitethorn and stone ruins littering the landscape

So many shades of green, there are no words to describe

A modern city, cut in half by the sluggish flowing River Liffey

Trinity College with the Book of Kells, the festive pubs, and forever the craic

I’ve come home to the place where I belong, to the fairy isle of Ireland

I’m coming home, to a place I’ve never been before

I’m called, to a land of my dreams and my destiny

I feel at peace, atop the fortress battlements, with the boom of the 1 o’clock gun

With panoramic views of Edinburgh Town, both old and new

Visiting the Crown Jewels and The Stone of Destiny

Bagpipers in full dress regalia play to the crowds along the Royal Mile

The lochs and glens rising north in the Highlands

Long ago battlefields and castle ruins lay under stormy rainbows

Stone dances, both known and obscure, used as burial sites and ancient calendars

I’ve come home to the place where I belong, to the magical place of Scotland

I’m coming home, to a place I’ve never been before

I’m called, to a land of my dreams and my destiny

I’ve come home to the place where I belong

Not to the land of my birth, but truly to the lands of my heart

D. Jordan Bernal         August 2011

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