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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Beginning of Arrogance by Bryan Cole - Book Tour - Guest Post - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Hi, lovelies!!  It gives me great pleasure today to host Bryan Cole and his new book, “Beginning of Arrogance,” here on FAB!!  For other stops on his Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $15 Amazon OR Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!  Also, come back daily to interact with Bryan and to increase your chances of winning!!

Thanks for stopping by!!  Wishing you all lots of good luck in this fabulous giveaway!!

Beginning of Arrogance

by Bryan Cole


GENRE:   Fantasy



Paladins are nothing but trouble. Stories about paladins are everywhere, noble warriors riding magic steeds into battle against terrible foes. Champions of their gods. Heroes to everyone, except those who already have everything. Paladins are notorious for upsetting the balance of power, to the detriment of any who don't worship their deity.

So when Krell is called to service by the capricious god of the seas and skies, ReckNor, those with wealth and power can't help but be concerned. ReckNor hasn't called a paladin in years, and his nature is ever-changing and erratic. The fact that Krell is also an uneducated nobody with a stubborn streak as wide as the sea turns their concerns into fear.

All of which matters less than the threat clawing its way from the waves, ready to turn the ocean red with spilled blood...



“You’re certain you won’t stay the night?” Petimus asked, hunched over the charter.

Krell shook his head. “It’s a short walk back to Watford, and the council is probably waiting to hear from us quickly. We should be there shortly after sunset.” Petimus nodded, then set his quill aside and picked up a candle. He fished a block of red wax from the case he had brought with him, then held the flame to it over the charter.

When a blob of melted wax had formed, Petimus took a ring from his finger. He ran his thumb over it, muttering to himself several times. Krell could make out the cadence of words of power, but hadn’t the faintest idea what he was doing. Petimus then pressed the ring into the wax, which glowed briefly for a moment.

Petimus stood and looked at the companions, then reached out his hand to each of them in turn.

“My thanks, then, for the recovery of our fallen, and for slaying the things that attacked and killed them. The clan-speakers will hear the tale of your deeds. Know you’ve made at least one friend among the dwarves, all of you.” Petimus bowed to them, handed the charter to Orca, then led the way toward the gate.

“If you’re setting out now, I doubt you’ll want to wait around any longer. Rain stopped for the time being, but no clue what condition the road — if you can call it that — will be in. May the Forge Father guard your path and the Fire Lord light your way!” Petimus slipped the bar from the gate.

Krell grinned. Olgar had taught him many things about arms and armor, but he had much to learn. In his religious training, Olgar had been exceedingly thorough.

“My thanks for the ward of Rold, the Forge Father, and the warmth of Phlogos the Fire Lord’s breath. Your hearth and home were warm and kind, and may Rold reward you for being a gracious host! Until we meet again, Petimus Smithforge, and may ReckNor turn his baleful gaze away from you and your kin!” Petimus stood, staring slack-jawed at Krell, as everyone else filed past.



Making the Story Believable: How to Write Realistic Fantasy

This is, at its heart, the main reason that I wrote Beginning of Arrogance, and the underlying theme of consequences. There are a couple of key frameworks that I rely on when crafting a believable fantasy epic. Those are internal consistency, influence of the divine, and in-character consequences.

Internal consistency is probably the most important of these. It represents the story defining rules that it is going to follow, and then adhering to those rules. Examples include the use of magic by the various characters. If they have a power defined in an earlier chapter or book, then there should be an important reason given that makes sense as to why they shouldn’t use this power to solve the current conflict they find themselves in. Otherwise, they should use that power.

Examples of this done extremely poorly are everywhere, particularly in any crime drama. Using Castle as an example, they’re running from mobsters, and find a cell phone, but darn! It’s locked! However, since basically everyone owns a phone, we all know that you can call emergency services such as 9-1-1 even if the phone is locked. So why didn’t they? The 2007 Transformers movie is another example of failing to adhere to internal consistency. Frenzy can fix himself with the Allspark, but Bumblebee cannot? Optimus Prime crushes the road when he walks on it, but can jump up and down on highway overpasses? Don’t even get me started on Star Trek.

If you want to read books where this is done exceptionally well, I’d direct you to Jim Butcher or Elizabeth Moon, two of my favorite authors. In those series everything remains almost entirely consistent from start to finish, and they’re much better books because of it!

The second point is the influence of the divine. In settings such as mine where the gods are tangibly real, with demonstrations of miracles though their chosen representatives, then it should follow that every single living creature would be influenced and impacted by this truth. I read a lot of fantasy stories where the characters profess to worship a god in an almost transactional nature. Oh lord, hear my prayer for healing, cha-ching, healing delivered. It should be much deeper than that and would come up nearly non-stop for all characters in the story. In fact, one of my reviews for Beginning of Arrogance complained that it came up too much, but I’m more concerned that it didn’t come up enough!

It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that in a setting with multiple deities all representing different aspects of life, that it’s impossible to please all of them. Inherently, following the teachings of Dazguroth means offending Hieron, and vice versa, as an example. The way that many people deal with this is on a case-by-case basis, offering prayers to the appropriate god in that moment, and hoping that when they offer prayers to other gods later that they don’t give offense. The other approach is to put all your faith in one deity and pray for aid in all situations.

Some of how I represent that is with the casual cursing that takes place. Other aspects include direct praise, praying for aid, and adhering to the tenants of the faith. ReckNor is the chaotic god of the seas and skies because I didn’t want to burden the book with extensive rites and rituals like we would find in real-world religions since that is ReckNor’s nature, but we’re certainly going to meet followers of other faiths and see just how structured their lives are as they follow the tenants of their gods.

Finally, in-character consequences. These are often subtle (for example, Krell has perfect teeth, as do his companions, because healing magic is amazing), but can also be overt as well. Characters that perform mighty acts of valor should be recognized for doing so. As another example, Fortis has a big impact on everyone around him in town, which begins to change slightly as everyone grows familiar with him. The epilogue to Beginning of Arrogance also highlights directly the impact of actions, and how the world begins to react to the presence of a new paladin. Just the existence of Krell changes the world around him, let alone some of the things he does. It’s important for the reader to see the impact in ways both expected and obvious, as well as subtle and surprising.

I hope you enjoy reading Beginning of Arrogance!



Bryan Cole is the author of the Paladin’s Journey series. New to the writing world, he spent years working in the enterprise software space, focused on quality assurance and delivery of software applications. Which is weird, because that has nothing to do with writing fiction.

For that, we need to go back – way back – to his first experience with Dungeons & Dragons. His friend Chris brought over the box set for Myth Drannor, eager to play. Together, they realized they had no idea what they were doing, because neither of them owned a copy of the Players Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, or the Monster Manual.

From those incredibly awkward beginnings, a lifelong passion for epic science fiction and high fantasy adventure was born. Everything from his grade 4 teacher letting him stay after school to play a video game where you were the wizard on a quest, defeating monsters by answering math problems, to some truly memorable movies like Willow that showed him a world bigger and more exciting than the real one.

Of course, Star Wars and Star Trek have had a major influence on him. Want to get in good with Bryan? Lead with a Star Wars meme. From one of the good movies. Otherwise, your plan will backfire.

Bryan is also an avid gamer, and enjoys video games, board games, and tabletop roleplaying games.

These days, he lives in Toronto with his wife and daughter, and his adorable cat.











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Bryan will be awarding a $15 Amazon OR Barnes and Noble Gift Card (Winner’s Choice!!!) to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those fabulous community outreach projects and awesome giveaways on here**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.


  1. Thank you so much for hosting my guest post, and I hope people enjoy my first book (the first of many)!

  2. Thanks for sharing, the book sounds interesting

  3. I enjoyed reading your guest post, Bryan, I also enjoyed the excerpt and Beginning of Arrogance sounds like a fascinating and exciting fantasy for me to read!

    Thanks for sharing it with me and have a sunshiny day!