Dear Reader,

The Uses of Changing Magic - known to the rest of the world, dear reader, as “The Uses” gave me a lot of joy to write mostly because it permitted me to do something I have always wanted to do. . . make a character in a book, a character in a book in my book, an integral part of the plot.

In “The Uses” each chapter has an epigraph most of which are excerpts from one of the many adventures of a fiction character - in The Uses universe. The ongoing “Adventures of Norfarland the Bastard” are the records of the activities of a foolish, frivolous, lecherous. . . yes, bastard. Norfarland is an unrepentant bastard. An untrustworthy, avaricious. . . lovable scoundrel.

I love ‘loveable’ scoundrels. Or, at least, they seem to be popular in fiction - and history. In the real world I wouldn’t give them the time of day but in fiction they are irresistible. King Henry the Eighth might have killed several of his wives, but ::wink::wink::nudge::nudge::: who wouldn’t given a chance? Old Shakespeare - in his will - left his wife his second best bed without specifying who got the best bed awarded.

Ooohhhhhhho. Hhmmmmm. :::eyebrow wiggle::::

What was that saying about his marriage?

Tom Brown’s School Days. The history of Tom Jones, foundling. All these books with fools and scoundrels running about - how much fun would fiction be without them?

As the book progresses we learn a lot about Norfarland and the land and world he inhabits. He may not be the most moral of tour guides but he is interesting, charming, and important.

Pay close attention to the fool. . . there will be a test later.

DL Carter

Excerpt from The Use. Changing Magic: Book 1

┬ęD. L. Carter

Halidan, a mortal woman recently hired as librarian for the High Lord Eioth’s library is traveling company with a couple of young elvan women. The High Lord makes Halidan the gift of two books to help pass the time.

The Elven girls regarded Halidan with matching sneers until they spotted the books.

“Gifts,” cried the youngest and grabbed for the larger book.

The other, moving swiftly, shoved her away and snatched the prize from Halidan's hands.

“You are too young to be of interest to him,” said Lilianda.

“I am the most beautiful,” shot back Porish. “Negotiations can take years. You are so much older than me that you would be beyond childbearing by the time they were completed and I would still be fresh.”

Porish seized hold of the other book. Halidan released it immediately rather than risk damaging the cover in a wrestling match.

“We will soon know,” said Lilianda, flipping her way bare-handed through to the inside back cover. “He will have left a message on the provenance page.”

“Ladies, please, have a care,” cried Halidan. “You are damaging the books.”

The girls paused long enough to glare at her, then drew thin page turners out of the binding and used them to turn to the provenance page. Listed there was each person who had owned the book since its imprinting.

“There is no dedication to either of us,” snarled Lilianda. “The last owner was Halidan tor Ephram. What sort of name is that?”

“Mine,” said Halidan in surprise. The High Lord had not only given her something to read, he had gifted her with the actual books! “And it is a name that fits me comfortably, thank you.”

“Why would Lord Eioth give you anything?” demanded Porish, glancing back and forth between Halidan and the item in question.

Halidan was wondering that herself.

“I am to be in charge of his personal library,” she said slowly. “No doubt he knows I honor and respect books.”

Lilianda sniffed and turned to the title page. Her disdainful expression vanished in an instant. “The ninth book of The Adventures of Norfarland the Bastard. Porish, this is excellent. Our aunt Marinea told me of these.”

“Is it a good story?” asked Porish.

“What sort of title is that?” demanded Halidan and was ignored

“Our aunt tells me she reads The Adventures whenever she tires of her husband,” said Lilianda.

Halidan considered that statement for a few moments. There had been times in her life when she'd preferred the company of books to her father or any other person so it probably was the same in a marriage. One could not always be able to find subjects of conversation with a person one had known for years.

“Oh. Well, if your aunt reads it . . . it is kind of Lord Eioth to provide us with entertainment,” said Halidan. “We shall take turns reading aloud.”

“If I must read aloud,” said Lilianda, “I will choose where.”

She flipped through the book, again.

“But, we have plenty of time, Lady Lilianda,” explained Halidan, “our journey will take days. Begin at the beginning.”

“Aunt Marinea said there were clues when you were getting to a good part.” Lilianda addressed herself to Porish. “She said to go to where you see an illustration of Norfarland alone. Ah. Here is one.”

And she read . . .

“Norfarland, I beg you,” said Baeth. “I cannot bear to be wed to Risha and never know the joy of my beloved Nihal. You must aid us.”

“My life for yours, Baeth . . . usually,” drawled Norfarland, studying his fingernails, “but in this matter, I cannot see how I can aid you. You must be wed to Risha. It is your father's wish and your lord's command. There is no alternative for you.”

“But, first I must love Nihal,” said Baeth. “She is the light, the moon, and the stars and I cannot live without her touch at least once. I must bury myself in her heat and know joy or else my life would have been to no purpose. Only aid me in this, my friend and anything I can grant you shall be yours. Money. Horses. Favors . . .”

“Money?” The always impoverished Norfarland left his resting place against the window to bow before his friend. “I live but to serve you. Do you need my help climbing the walls to reach Nihal's bedchamber?”

“No, I need you to take my place, my name, and stay here. Her brothers will be arriving soon with the Water priest to instruct and stand guard over me for the Bachelor’s Moon, to tend to my needs lest I be a disappointment to my wife. They have not met me. Stay here and receive them in my place. While you distract them, I shall depart to Nihal.”

“But, I am not you,” protested Norfarland. “In no way do I resemble you. What shall be done when the day of the wedding arrives and the man who has been secluded and protected for a moon is not the one who appears to be wed?”

Available at Amazon


D.L. Carter's got a special contest just for NewsWire readers. To enter the contest, remember to subscribe to the newsletter first if you haven't already done so. Then visit Corvallis Press at their website and check out D.L. Carter's page to find the answer to this question-

What mysterious decrease are the High Court Elves suffering from?

Then email us at with your answer by midnight on October 22nd, 2012. Be sure to include your full name and mailing address and please mark the subject heading as 'TheUseChangingMagic'.

1st Prize: $50.00 gift card
2nd, 3rd and 4th prizes: $25.00 gift cards each.

Good luck!

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