Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Labyrinth Preview: Prologue

I know I haven't been very good about keeping up with this blog, but you can take that as a good sign that I'm working hard on my third book, "The Labyrinth of Destiny." I've been making some good progress, in spite of how busy the holiday season gets.

As a holiday gift for all of my readers, I've decided to post the rough draft of the prologue to my new book here on my blog (and also on WattPad). I hope everyone has a safe and joyful holiday season. Enjoy!


He was dying.

He couldn’t be sure of much else—his mind was so hazy and confused—but of this vital fact he was certain.

Part of him didn’t care. After all, his life had ceased to have meaning. He couldn’t even remember his own name.

And yet…

There was something that told him to hold on—a gentle reminder that there was something worth living for.

He stared into the featureless white that surrounded him. He couldn’t remember anything before the whiteness, but he knew that there was something beyond. Something important.

A slender figure appeared before him.

Her black clothing was a stark contrast to the white of their surroundings and her silver hair shimmered in the light. His heartbeat quickened at the sight of her, and yet he couldn’t remember who she was.

She shouted something at him, but the words became garbled before they reached his ears. She struggled to move forward, but the light held her fast.

Who was this woman? Why did he feel such a strong sense of longing when he looked at her face?

Suddenly, he was no longer dying.

A surge of energy bolstered his life force, and he felt as if he had the power to do impossible things.

The woman was much closer now. He studied her face with detached curiosity. She was incredibly beautiful to him—but not because of her physical appearance. There was something about her face that filled him with inexplicable joy. Why would that be? Also, there was something deeper in her eyes that spoke of strength and resolve. He did not doubt that she could do anything she set her mind to.

Her metallic purple eyes swirled with golden light, and he was mesmerized by the sight. Her skin was darkened by the sun and the tip of her lightly freckled nose was burned by the exposure. Her brow was furrowed in concentration and she studied him as though he were some kind of puzzle.

She stared at him for long minutes, and he stared back.

What was she doing?

He could feel something happening, but he could not identify what it was.

Then, as if being yanked from a sinking bog, his mind became crystal clear and he remembered everything.

The kidnapping. The journey across the sea. The ritual that was meant to steal his life away.

His name was L’iam, and he was King of the L’avan.

His eyes locked once more on the face of the woman before him, and he knew who she was. His heart was overwhelmed with love and relief. She was safe, and they were together again.

“Adesina,” he whispered.

Her smile warmed him like the sun.

“I love you, L’iam.”

But something was wrong. He could sense it, even if he didn’t yet understand it.

Adesina closed her eyes and a surge of vyala poured out of her and into the light that surrounded them.

L’iam knew that she had already expended a great deal of vyala to restore his health, and his chest constricted in alarm at the amount she was allowing to rush into the Threshold.


He watched in horror as her face became a ghostly white and she collapsed on the ground. L’iam moved to catch her, but the pillar of light was now centered on her limp form and it acted as a barrier between them.

The young king thought he caught a glimpse of Ravi’s feline form on the other side of Adesina before the light became a swirling mist that caught up the young woman’s body and carried it through the closing portal.

The sudden darkness that fell over the room left L’iam momentarily blinded. He blinked to help his eyes to adjust and he looked around frantically.

He was standing in a small cave that was lit by a single torch. There was no sign of Adesina or the Threshold. He looked at the ground and saw that he was surrounded by a tight circle of runes. The runes must have been what had connected him to the magical gateway.

Where had Adesina gone?

Was she unconscious at the foot of the Threshold? Had she been carried through to the other side?

Was she…dead?

L’iam shook his head fiercely. She had to be alive. He needed her to be alive.

He gingerly stepped outside of the rune circle, half expecting something to force him to stay within.

Nothing happened.

He sighed in relief. Adesina must have sealed the Threshold completely, which meant that all of the protective magic would be gone now.

L’iam squared his shoulders and hurried towards the tunnel leading out of the cave. His mind was becoming more clear by the minute. Memories that had been nothing more than a confusing haze while he was under the influence of that vile potion now made sense.

A demon had been released on the world.

Basha had made some sort of blood contract with the monster, and now there was no telling what they would do.

The first thing L’iam knew he needed to do was to find Adesina. She would need his help in restoring her vyala to balance. L’iam reasoned that she couldn’t be too far away from where he stood.

Once they were reunited, they would return home and prepare the L’avan for battle. There was a lot of work to be done.

The L’avan might be the only force standing between that demon and world domination, and this was a war that L’iam knew they could not afford to lose.

To read the next preview chapter, click here.

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Ok, people. I'm a dummy.

I set up the sale for "The Threshold Child" but I forgot to do the same for "Legacy of the Blood" (there had to be a slight delay due to my program renewal). And now it's too late to set up a sale for "Legacy of the Blood" for tomorrow.

SO! Here's the new plan.

On Black Friday "The Threshold Child" will go on sale for $0.99 and then the following day (Saturday) "Legacy of the Blood" will go on sale for $0.99!

I really hope that we can get the word out on this last minute change. I want this promotion to be the biggest one yet! Tell all your friends and family to download my book!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Sorry for the delay in updating this blog. I was in the process of moving and getting all settled in. It's nice to be in a house (rather than a condo). Lewis is more free to run around like the crazy person he is, and Eliza now has a room of her own. Both are important. :)

I am striving to get into a regular writing schedule. There was another delay caused by a broken laptop, but now I have a shiny new one. I'm still planning on having this book done by next spring, and I'll let you all know as soon as I have a release date.

Here's the point of this post, though:

I've set up a Black Friday sale! The day after Thanksgiving both of my books will be on sale for $0.99 each. I would appreciate everybody's help in spreading the word. Tell all of your book-loving friends and family to download a copy!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Alyssa Harper Art Show

For any of my readers that live in Utah (or plan on being in Utah at some point over the next handful of weeks), I have a treat for you!

Alyssa Harper, the amazing artist that did my cover art, is having an art show at the Provo Covey Center Gallery! She has been working hard on this show, and I've seen a few of the pieces. It's a beautiful collection, and I can't wait to see the whole of it. And, unless I'm mistaken, it's free! So take some time and go enjoy the paintings of a true artist.

Where: Provo Covey Center Gallery 
When: October 3rd to November 30th
Hours: M-F; 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Sunday, September 14, 2014


I keep seeing comments made in the reviews posted on Amazon about errors (spelling and otherwise) in my books. I thought I'd take a quick moment to address that. 

While my books are self-published, I do pay to have them edited (by actual professionals, not some random family member). That being said, mistakes can easily be overlooked--even when reviewed by editors hired by publishing companies. I'm sure we've all read books that had a word wrong. I've even read a book where the wrong character name was used.

The point is that I don't doubt that errors have been overlooked in my book, even though I've had them edited. Furthermore, it is within my ability to correct any mistakes that have been made. So, I would be greatly appreciative if my readers would take the time to send me a quick email (kanno.callie@gmail.com) if they come across any such errors. I would be happy to make the corrections and upload a newer version of my book to Amazon.

You don't need to give me page numbers or anything like that. Just say, "When such-and-such was happening I noticed this mistake." I'm sure I can find it. If you can be more detailed than that, that's good, too.

I know it's not your job to correct my spelling and grammar, but it would help to improve the reading experience of future owners of my book. Plus, I'd be really grateful.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

New Writing Schedule & Comic Con

Well, the past several weeks have been quite busy. I'm in the process of moving, and so that has thrown my life into even more chaos. First there was all of the stress that goes into selling a home, and that culminated in our decision to move out early so we didn't have to keep cleaning up everytime there was a showing. Our new home isn't ready yet (we're building a house), so we're staying with my Mom and Step-Dad temporarily. We finally sold our condo (hurray!), but now there's all the stress that goes with buying a home. Sigh...

Needless to say, for a while I wasn't doing much writing. I felt guilty about that, because I did promise to have the last book of my trilogy out in a timely manner. However, I have set myself a writing schedule and I've been pretty good about sticking to it. I've gotten a good amount of writing done over the past couple of weeks, and it's looking like it's a pace that I can maintain. As long as Lewis and Eliza cooperate, I'm pretty sure I can have the book finished by next spring.

I did take a small break from writing in order to go to Salt Lake City's Comic Con. Yes, I'm THAT kind of nerd. I attended an amazing panel about credible magic systems while I was there. The panel consisted of Brandon Sanderson, David Farland, Larry Correia, Brandon Mull, Tracy Hickman, and Margaret Weis. It was awesome to hear the thoughts of such wonderful fantasy writers, and they gave some really good insights. It filled me with enthusiasm and ideas, and so I'm doing my best to infuse that into my writing.

In the meantime, I'd like to have another little contest for my readers. I'm going to put together a little trivia quiz and then post it. For the first person to get 100% I will let them name a character in the new book. Is that a fun idea? I hope so...

Anyway, I'll let you know when the quiz is posted. It should be ready by this weekend. 

Thanks again for your support, and don't forget to let me know if you have any thoughts or suggestions!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Amazon Ratings

The position of my books on Amazon's Best Seller lists fluctuates throughout each day. Still, it's a good way to gauge how I'm doing with readers. There have been times when I haven't been on the list at all (it's only the top 100), but lately I've been doing fairly well! Over the past couple of months I've been #25 or better in children's fantasy. Then, last night I noticed that "The Threshold Child" was #8 on that list! I should mention that the first 7 books on that list were Harry Potter. That means that right now (because I've maintained that position) the only books selling better than mine on Amazon's Kindle is Harry Potter! I'm really excited about this, and I wanted to share. I never imagined that my books would do so well. My husband only convinced me to publish through KDP because he said that I had nothing to lose. The worst that could happen was that no one would buy it. I figured he was right, but I thought I would probably only sell a thousand copies before interest faded to nothing. There have been more than 10 times that number in downloads for "The Threshold Child" alone, and I am so amazed and grateful for the support of so many wonderful readers. Thank you all for making my dream of being a writer possible!

Here is a screen shot from Amazon:

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Things around my home have been pretty busy. We are trying to sell our condo and are building a house in a different city about a half hour's drive away. Also, I have a two-year-old and a seven-month-old. That alone makes for lots to do. Haha! I also recently had a birthday. I imagine that each of you is silently wishing me a belated happy birthday, so thank you for that! I haven't had a whole lot of time for writing until recently, but my husband and I are coming up with a few ideas to fix that. Because of his help in the matter, I have had a few days this last week to get some writing done! Hurray for my husband! I am now more than halfway done writing chapter four, and I'm feeling good about how this story is taking shape. I know that may not seem like much, but considering that I originally planned on taking a six month break after my daughter was born, I'm doing pretty good!

I've also settled on the title for book 3, and I've decided to announce it now rather than waiting. It will be...(drum roll, please)


This title references a comment made by Ravi in the first book. He said, "Destiny is like a labyrinth. One is given the choice of paths, but once on that path one is required to follow it until a new choice is presented." In this upcoming book, Adesina will be faced with the choices that will decide the path that she takes--the path of the Threshold Child. I look forward to seeing where Adesina's path leads (even I don't know everything that's going to happen yet!) and I hope that you will, too. 

I'll try to keep updates posted as I go (and excerpts once it's nearer to being finished), both here and on my facebook page. Please let me know if you have any questions or if there's any random trivia about Adesina's world that you'd be interested in knowing more about. I'd be happy to share! 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Book Review: "The Unfinished Song (Book 1): Initiate" by Tara Maya

I did a brief spotlight for this book a while ago, but I finally got around to reading it. Here is my full review.

Amazon link:

Amazon description:

Dindi can't do anything right, maybe because she spends more time dancing with pixies than doing her chores. Her clan hopes to marry her off and settle her down, but she dreams of becoming a Tavaedi, one of the powerful warrior-dancers whose secret magics are revealed only to those who pass a mysterious Test during the Initiation ceremony. The problem? No-one in Dindi's clan has ever passed the Test. Her grandmother died trying. But Dindi has a plan.

Kavio is the most powerful warrior-dancer in Faearth, but when he is exiled from the tribehold for a crime he didn't commit, he decides to shed his old life. If roving cannibals and hexers don't kill him first, this is his chance to escape the shadow of his father's wars and his mother's curse. But when he rescues a young Initiate girl, he finds himself drawn into as deadly a plot as any he left behind. He must decide whether to walk away or fight for her... assuming she would even accept the help of an exile.

 My review:
1 out of 5 stars--I was able to finish it, but I would not read it again.

I feel my rating needs an explanation, so bear with me while I give a brief synopsis before I go on to give my reasons for only giving this book one star.

The story follows a number of characters, and eventually all of the various stories bring the characters into Dindi's life. She is a youth from a very rudimentary village--as in, the people live in huts made of dirt and their lives are focused on survival. Dindi dreams of becoming a Tavaedi (a magic-user whose powers are invokes through dance), and she will get the opportunity to try for a position in the secret society during her initiation into adulthood. However, Dindi's world is one of strife, and the journey to the place of initiation is more dangerous than she could have imagined.

First let me focus on what I liked about the book. The author is quite a talented writer, and she paints a world that is immediately engaging. The dialogue is natural and convincing, and there are bountiful details that make the world seem more real. The author has given thought to what the people would eat, what they would wear, what tasks would be necessary each day, etc. I love such practical details. It makes a story more rich for me. And even though Dindi (and the other characters involved in this story) belonged to a world vastly different from my own, I could still relate to what they were feeling and how they handled various situations. I remembered being fourteen years old (as Dindi is) and feeling like a misfit, wanting to be so much more. The author made that connection with me as a reader, and I really cared what happened to each of the characters. I would have loved to see where the story took them.

However, I will not read future books in this series, nor will I read this one again.

The world in which this story takes place is a dark one. That is understandable. After all, there has to be some sort of conflict, otherwise there would be no story. Unfortunately, the author was quite detailed in the forms of darkness found in this story. It describes several instances of rape, cannibalism, infanticide, torture, and battle (not just fighting, but descriptions of the blood and gore). Not to mention a brief scene that contained some nudity (mild, I suppose, compared to some other books, but still there), and some abrasive language. There were several times I almost stopped reading because of how sickened I felt inside. In my opinion, this book should not be classified as YA fantasy. I would not want the teenagers of my family reading this kind of content.

Now, I understand that these are (unfortunately) very real situations. I don't mean to act like things such as rape and murder do not happen. That being said, I want to read books that leave me feeling better for having read them. This book did not do that for me. The author has slated the series to be 12 books long, and she has said that it has a happy ending. Personally, I do not wish to trudge through figurative mud in order to arrive at a destination that could have been reached by other means.

I acknowledge that I have rather conservative standards, and I know that the things that bothered me may not bother others. Still, I felt it important to write a review so that those who share my conservative standards are aware of what this book entails.

On a purely technical note, I didn't care for how often the story jumped characters. It was more than halfway through the book before any of the separate stories came together. It gave it a slightly disjointed feel, which I didn't like. As I read I assumed that eventually all of the different people would be relevant to the main story (Dindi's), but it took a while for that to happen. There was also one instance where modern slang was thrown into the dialogue (which is a pet peeve of mine), but it only happened the once. 

These are relatively minor things, though. My main reason for the poor rating is the content. If you are not bothered by such things, then you may like this book. If you are more sensitive (as I am), then I would advise against reading it.

For more details on my rating system, click here.

Threshold Trivia: Kendan's Blood Weapon

My husband suggested doing a post about Kendan's Blood Weapon, since it may not be a commonly known weapon. I figured it might be fun for you faithful few readers to learn a bit of random knowledge that you probably won't ever use again. Haha!

First of all, let me talk a bit about Blood Weapons. In my stories within the Threshold Trilogy, those who have graduated Shimat training are given a weapon that has been infused with a few drops of their own blood. The belief behind this tradition is that the weapon was made with a part of you, and therefore it truly belongs to only you. Only the true owner can utilize the weapon to its fullest potential, supposedly. The Shimat are given a variety of weapons, according to their talents and preference. Adesina has a sword, and Kendan has a meteor hammer.

For those of you who like to know the practical details, I did a bit of research to see if adding blood to metal during the forging process would compromise the integrity of the finished product. I found that if it was only a small amount (i.e. a few drops) that it wouldn't make a difference.

The meteor hammer was originally a Chinese weapon and it called by a number of names. Of the options I found, I liked meteor hammer best (although, "dragon's fist" is pretty cool, too). The meteor hammer can be used as both a defensive and offensive weapon. Kendan's meteor hammer has a dagger on one end and a metal ball on the other, but most commonly you will only see the metal ball on one end and a handle on the other or a metal ball on both ends.

When using the meteor hammer, one will swing it around the body to build up speed and then strike at any angle. Here is an awesome video with a demonstration:

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Book Review: "Blood of a Mermaid" by Katie O'Sullivan

Just a quick note: this was actually the book I was originally asked to review by the author. However, since I had not read the first book (this one is a sequel), I waited to read "Son of a Mermaid" first. That's why I'm doing two book reviews in a row by the same author.

Amazon link:

Amazon description:
Mermaid blood.
When Shea MacNamara fell into the ocean for the first time, he found he could breathe underwater. The son of a mermaid, the sea is in his blood. Literally. The best part of Shea’s new life? His girlfriend Kae, who also happens to be a beautiful mermaid.
But darkness lurks under the sea. When evil mermen kidnap Kae, the king reminds Shea that having royal blood means making tough choices.
An Arctic dungeon, a fiery plane crash, the legendary halls of Atlantis…and narwhals?
Having mermaid blood just got a lot more complicated.

My review:
3 out of 5 stars--I liked it, and would read it again.

This sequel picks up a couple of weeks after the first book ends. Shea is still adjusting to the knowledge that mermaids really exist, and that he's a part of that underwater world. The future is looking bright for him, though. The villain Demyan is on the run, making the contentions between merfolk clans easier to heal. His relationship with Kae continues to blossom, and he looks forward to attending University (the merfolk school) with her in the fall. However, Shea's role in the underwater world's political struggle continues to be a problem. Kae is kidnapped as leverage against Shea, and the teenage boy is launched into yet another adventure where he must try to balance his drylander upbringing with his new life as a merman.

As I have said in the review of "Son of a Mermaid," I am not normally a fan of paranormal fiction. But again, I quite enjoyed reading this book. This sequel is able to delve deeper into the world that the author has created, and I liked learning more about the different mermaid clans and the nuances of underwater life. I liked the overall story of "Blood of a Mermaid" better than the first book, mostly because the story has already been set up and the author can jump right into the meat of the story. The author's storytelling continues to be easily engaging and descriptive in a manner that includes all of the senses. Some of her descriptions made me smile because of how simple and funny and true they were. Sharing in Shea's personal struggles was like remembering some of my own at that age--trying to figure out who you are (and who you want to be), trying to understand relationships (both romantic and otherwise), coping with change, and so forth. The author finds ways to make the reader understand how the characters feel, even though the situations (like being a mermaid) are very different. I appreciate a writer that can do that. There is only one criticism that comes to mind as I think about the story, and it's a very small one. The author makes a point of stating that mermaids speak a bit more formally and do not understand some of the slang that Shea uses. Then a subsequent conversation between two merfolk is filled with several bits of modern slang--terms like "buddies" and "hanging out"and so forth. It's a small thing, and it didn't affect my enjoyment of the book, but it is something that seemed out of place in my mind. Setting such nit-picking aside, I would say that this is a fun book to read and I look forward to seeing where the rest of the story goes.

For more information on my rating system, click here.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Book Review: "Son of a Mermaid" by Katie O'Sullivan

Amazon link:

Amazon description:
Shea MacNamara’s life just got complicated.

After a freak tornado devastates his Oklahoma farm, the fifteen-year-old orphan is whisked away to Cape Cod. Struggling to make sense of his new surroundings, he’s trying hard to deal with feelings of abandonment… and the emotions stirred by a girl he meets along the shore.

Kae belongs to an undersea world hidden from drylanders. The daughter of royal servants, she knows the planned marriage of her Princess to the foreign King should put an end to the war between the clans. But two things stand in the way of lasting peace: the ambitions of the foreign King’s regent, and rumors of the Princess’s bastard child.

Sparks fly when she meets Shea, but could the cute drylander really be the Son of a Mermaid?

My review:
3 out of 5 stars--I liked it, and would read it again.

Shea is your average teenage boy. He worries about fitting in, about how to talk to the girl he likes, about whether or not his dad will let him go out and have fun with his friends. Then disaster strikes, and his whole life changes. He moves to Cape Cod with his grandmother, and begins to piece together the mystery of his own past--namely, his mother's true identity and why she left her husband and infant son. He also slowly discovers that he's not so average after all. Rather, he bridges the two worlds of humans and mermaids, and he is uncertain where he belongs. In the undersea world, Shea finds himself in the center of a political struggle, and he races to help those who need him and his unique abilities.

I'm not normally into paranormal fiction, but I found this to be an enjoyable read. The author's easy style of storytelling draws the reader into a world where it's natural to believe that mermaids exist. The author's descriptive writing engages all of the senses, making the whole experience immersive. There were practical details that I enjoy finding in a fantasy book. For example, mermaids have exceptional memories due to the fact that things cannot be written down. Little bits of realism such as that sell a story to me. I also appreciated how well the author captures the emotions of young love--especially first love. I remember being fifteen and feeling exactly the same way. Some of the dialogue seemed a little out of place when considering the age of the speaker, but I was able to dismiss this by imagining that the culture of merpeople is more youthful and playful. Over all, I found this book to be fun and relaxing to read. I would definitely read it again.

For more information on my rating system, click here.

Book Reviews

I'm going to start reviewing fantasy books that I read. I do this because I've had a few people ask me for my opinion on what they should read next, and also because it's a good way to connect with other fantasy authors. If you are a fantasy writer, I would be happy to read your book and write a review on it. If you would be willing to do a book swap (you read and review mine, while I do the same for yours), that would be even better! If you are simply a fan of the fantasy genre, I hope that this will introduce you to new books that you can enjoy.

Here is how I will rate books:

1 out of 5 stars: I was able to finish the book, but I would not read it again.

2 out of 5 stars: I would probably read it again, depending on how I'm feeling.

3 out of 5 stars: I liked the book, and would read it again.

4 out of 5 stars: I loved the book and can't wait to read it again.

5 out of 5 stars: It is one of my favorite books of all time.

My reviews will go into more detail of why I rated the book the way that I did, of course. I should probably say upfront that I can only think of a few books that I would give 5 stars (based on this system). So please don't think that 3 or 4 stars is a criticism. The majority of the books I read I would give 3 stars, and that's a good thing.

I should probably say upfront that I don't like books with graphic violence or sexual content. That's why I write for the age group that I do. If I am sent a book that makes me uncomfortable to read, I will not finish it. Keep that in mind when asking me to review a book.

If you are interested in having me do a book review, contact me at kanno.callie@gmail.com

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Evil Overlord: Part 10

Things I will Remember if I Ever Become Evil Overlord 

* If I ever talk to the hero on the phone, I will not taunt him. Instead, I will say that his dogged perseverance has given me new insight on the futility of my evil ways and that if he leaves me alone for a few months of quiet contemplation I will likely return to the path of righteousness. (Heroes are incredibly gullible in this regard.)

* I will not waste time making my enemy's death look like an accident--I'm not accountable to anyone and my other enemies wouldn't believe it.

* I will make it clear that I do know the meaning of the word "mercy," I simply choose not show them any.

* If I am recruiting to find someone to run my computer systems, and my choice is between the brilliant programmer who's head of the world's largest international technology conglomerate and an obnoxious 15-year-old dork who's trying to impress his dream girl, I'll take the brat and let the hero get stuck with the genius.

* If a scientist with a beautiful and unmarried daughter refuses to work for me, I will not hold her hostage. Instead, I will offer to pay for her future wedding and her children's college tuition.
* I will not appoint a relative to my staff of advisors. Not only is nepotism the cause of most breakdowns in policy, but it also causes trouble with the EEOC.

* My Legions of Terror will be an equal-opportunity employer. Conversely, when it is prophesied that no man can defeat me, I will keep in mind the increasing number of non-traditional gender roles.

* I will instruct my Legions of Terror in proper search techniques. In particular, if they are searching for escapees and someone shouts, "Quick! They went that way!" they must first ascertain the identity of this helpful informant before dashing off in hot pursuit.

* Before being accepted into my Legions of Terror, potential recruits will have to pass peripheral vision and hearing tests, and be able to recognize the sound of a pebble thrown to distract them.
* I will never bait a trap with genuine bait.

* If I have several diabolical schemes to destroy the hero, I will set all of them in motion at once rather than wait for them to fail and launch them successively.

* My doomsday machine will have a highly-advanced technological device called a capacitor in case someone inconveniently pulls the plug at the last second. (If I have access to REALLY advanced technology, I will include a back-up device known as a battery.)

* If I build a bomb, I will simply remember which wire to cut if it has to be deactivated and make every wire red.

* I will provide funding and research to develop tactical and strategic weapons covering a full range of needs so my choices are not limited to "hand to hand combat with swords" and "blow up the planet." 

* All guest-quarters will be bugged and monitored so that I can keep track of what the visitors I have for some reason allowed to roam about my fortress are actually plotting.

* I will install a fire extinguisher in every room--three, if the room contains vital equipment or volatile chemicals.

* If I steal something very important to the hero, I will not put it on public display.

* If the rebels manage to trick me, I will make a note of what they did so that I do not keep falling for the same trick over and over again.

* I will plan in advance what to do with each of my enemies if they are captured. That way, I will never have to order someone to be tied up while I decide his fate. 

* If I have the hero cornered and am about to finish him off and he says, "Look out behind you!!" I will not laugh and say, "You don't expect me to fall for that old trick, do you?" Instead, I will take a step to the side and half turn. That way I can still keep my weapon trained on the hero, I can scan the area behind me, and if anything was heading for me it will now be heading for him.