Thursday, April 28, 2016

Rizkaland Q&A: At the Sports Center Part 1

Here's the first Q&A post that was supposed to go up during the party, but then Blogger ate, so I promised it to you in January, and here I am finally getting to it.

I went through a writing slump in January, though ... so I'm not sure you would have wanted to read what I'd have come up with then. But I have stuff now, and I hope you like it.

Enjoy.

Also BIG BOLDFACED SPOILER WARNING. This Q&A takes place after the events of WPFP, so if you haven't read the book yet ... well, there are spoilers.



I'm in the employees-only section of the Sports Center owned by Clara's, Kath's, and Rhoda's parents, clutching a list of questions that my fangirls have kindly provided. Most of them are for Clara or Andrew, but Rhoda, Kath, and Rich have a few as well.

Clara, Andrew, Kath, and Rich are waiting for me, but as previously arranged, Rhoda won't be here for a little while, to prevent awkward explanations. Clara, seated next to Andrew, is glaring at me, but the other three seem amiable.

I take a deep breath and glance down at the list, searching for a safe question to start with.

"Clara, Sarah Taleweaver and Mnm would like to know what's your favorite book?"

"David Copperfield," Clara answers. "Two of the characters share my name."

"She'd also asks, that, now that you're back from Rizkaland, if you're still planning on trying for the Olympics, or if the dream has been replaced by others?"

"I've been given back my pre-kids body," she says, leaning forward. "I might as well take advantage. I ... don't think I'm going to make a career out of it, like I was planning to, as a kid, but I'll be disappointed if I don't make at least one Olympics."

"Andrew," I say, deciding to pick on someone else, and knowing that this question will do much to ease the strain in the air, "C.B. wants to know if you have considered taking swordplay lessons with the others."

As I expect, Clara dissolves into quiet snickers, while Andrew heaves a heavy sigh. "Consideration wasn't an option. The morning after we returned, Clara's mom marched me in here, put my sword in my hand, and proceeded to attack me." He shakes his head. "And I thought her daughter was insane."

"You passed, though," Clara points out.

"Eh ... barely. But, the thing is, I have to get used to shorter arms and weaker muscles again. I know what I'm doing, but my body doesn't, if that makes any sense? It's frustrating, that's for certain."

"I know," said Clara. "I have the opposite problem. A body that knows how to do things I haven't done in twenty years..."

"On that note, Morgan would like to ask Clara if it's weird to not actually be married to Andrew after being Tied so long in Rizkaland."

Clara's answer is a flat, "Yes."

I decide that I don't want to press her for any further explanation, and turn to Andrew. "Amanda would like to know what's your relationship with Clara is like now when you can't really tell your younger brothers about Rizkaland."

Andrew shifts in his seat, glancing down at Clara. "It's ... complicated. They know I like her - we see no point in hiding that - but they have no idea how serious we are. I think Kyle suspects, though, and I don't know that he approves. Josh and Parker both love her."

"Well, I can swordfight and do martial arts, every little boy's dream," Clara points out. "Of course they're going to like me."

"But, back to the original question," Andrew continues. "Clara and I have chosen to take things slow and try to have a normal courtship this time."

There's a snicker from the peanut gallery known as Kath, so I turn to her.

"Kath, Soliel would like to know how it was meeting the Water Princess thirty years after you'd last seen her?"

"Awesome at first. After all, it was great for the first friendly face in fifteen years be a friendly face I hadn't seen in thirty. Then I realized that Clara didn't share my enthusiasm, and it wasn't so great. I think we've worked things out now, though."

Clara glances over her shoulder at her friend and narrows her eyes. "I'm still thinking about it."

"On that note, Clara," I continue, thumbing through my note cards, "Amanda would like to know what you relationship with Rhoda is now that you, Rich and Kath are all so much different. And at least twenty-five years older."

"It's been different," Clara admits. "And ... very awkward at times. It wasn't as hard for Kath and Rich, since they both suffered pretty bad injuries immediately after their return, and any oddness they displayed was blamed on that. For me ... it's just been difficult all around. I'm supposed to pick up on a friendship I dropped twenty-five years ago, and act as though no time passed at all. I'm a different person now, but I'm supposed to act like I'm not. It's frustrating."

"I'm not looking forward to facing the same thing with Kevin after I return home," Andrew adds.

"On that note, Andrew, Hannah Rogers says 'Sup Andrew! When you came back from Rizkaland and found you were a high schooler again, did you still feel older and more mature? How did that change your perspective?'"

Andrew leans back, staring at Clara. "Of course I still feel older and more mature. Twenty-five years of memories and growth don't just vanish. How has it changed my perspective though ... I'm not really sure. It's been twenty-five years." He shakes his head. "Ever since we lost our mom, I was the one who stepped up and took her place. I was already more mature than the average high schooler I think ... I think the biggest change is that now I have Clara in my life, and the memory of another family that I'll probably never see again, not in life at least."

"All right, last question for now, will return in a bit for the rest of the list," I thumb through the notes for a question that will allow this post to end on a happier note. "Ah, here's one for Rich, and I don't think I've done one for him yet. Rich, Alyssa would like to know what you did to keep yourself sane while locked inside the Kastle."

Rich seems about to answer, but is distracted when his sister begins giggling. He shoots her a glare, and then turns back to me. "I spent much time preparing for the eventual battle against Amber."

"He jumped out of windows!" Kath inserts.

"I was testing routes through the Kastle that would maximize speed and efficiency!"

"As I said, he jumped out of windows. It's a wonder he never broke a leg. At least, not until he returned here."

Rich just glares at his sister. I decide that this is a good stopping point.


Monday, April 18, 2016

The Magical Snake

It's been a bit of a while since I last posted anything of my own work. I've been terribly busy, between work and writing. Also, cleaning my room, which is the very definition of a mess.

Or, at least it was. Now it's just messy. 

But I came across some old schoolbooks and other such notebooks, including some old stories of mine, and decided to share them with out.

Today, I'm sharing a story I wrote in second grade, so I was around six. The prompt was merely "about a snake," but I with my penchant for anything fantastic, chose to write about a magical snake.

So, without further adieu ...


There was once a magical snake that was oh so clever. He could could count to ten in people language. He had legs but he was slimy. Other snakes laughed at his legs and slime and told him he was not a real snake. But when a snake touched him with his tale, suddenly it could count to ten in people language, too. The other snakes were amazed. They stood up and jumped for joy.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Cover Reveal - Espionage

So my friend, Morgan Huneke, is publishing another book!!

Unfortunately, it's not the final volume of the Time Captives, which is what I REALLY want to read, but it is a companion book set in the same world, but a different country.



About the Book:
“Sir Roland has invited us to visit for the Autumn Feast.”

“Do we have to go, Papa? I couldn’t feast with the most crooked politician in all of Briznom.”

As the daughter of a Briznomian vassal lord, Vannie Cumberland has spent her childhood immersed in the world of politics. Relations between Briznom and the neighboring country of Calhortz are strained due to the tyrannical rule of the strytes. A proposed alliance could calm relations between the two countries, but would come at the cost of Briznom’s freedom.

When her father’s political archenemy invites them to the Autumn Feast, Vannie uncovers an evil scheme endangering the life of someone close to her. Personal enmity comes to a dangerous head as Vannie struggles to expose the corruption and stop the alliance. Time is running out.

Events are becoming too big for her to handle. Will Sir Roland’s son help or will things finally spiral out of control?

Release Date
Espionage, A Companion to Time Captives, will be released on May 16th, 2016. Stay tuned on Morgan’s blog and Facebook page for more information and sneak peeks.





About the Author

Morgan Elizabeth Huneke is a homeschool graduate who lives in Georgia. She has enjoyed creating characters and writing stories since early childhood. Her other interests include reading, playing the piano and violin, and politics. She is the author of Across the Stars and The Experiment as well as the Time Captives fantasy trilogy.

You can connect with Morgan on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Small Interview:
What are some of the inspirations for this book?
Primarily a dream I had. Almost entirely from that dream, actually. I woke up from it with a plot, characters, title, and cover. I never get a package deal like that. I’m sure being involved in politics since age 8 played a part in the inspiration process as well.

When will I be able to read the final Time Captives?
When you finish reading Espionage. ;)
You're mean. ;)

What's your favorite sword in fiction?
Hmm. I think I’m going to go with Riptide. Who wouldn’t want a magical sword that disguises itself as a pen and that you can never lose? Plus, I can only think of a handful of named fictional swords and I’m reading Percy Jackson right now. :)
I agree, Riptide is awesome. Just wait until you meet Jack in the Marcus Chase series, though...

Oh, wait. you guys want the cover? Sigh. I guess I'll share it then.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Cover Reveal, Spotlight, and More, Oh My!

Okay, first off, I'm participating in a cover reveal for my dear friend, Miss Jack Lewis Baillot.


Author Bio
Jack is one of those strange people who calls herself an Author. She spends a lot of her time writing and even less time editing. She likes to write about friendships which is partly how Brothers-in-Arms came to be. More than ten years in the making, this is the book she dreaded the most writing, but which also has the most meaning for her.
When Jack isn't writing, which doesn't happen too often, she keeps busy with various other hobbies – such as reading, playing the bagpipes to the dread of her neighbors, and drinking tea – which might not be considered a hobby by most but which should be.
She lives in a cabin in the woods with her dog and a library which isn't quite equal to Prince Adam's but will be given enough time and a secret doorway.

Contact Info



Synopsis
Can a Jew and a Nazi survive Hitler's Germany?
Franz Kappel and Japhet Buchanan never expected their friendship to be tested by the Third Reich. Friends from early childhood, the boys form an inseparable, brotherly bond. Growing up in a little German village, they escape most of the struggles of war until the day Japhet is banished from school for being a Jew, and later has a rib broken when other village boys beat him up. Franz learns he is putting himself in danger for spending so much time with Japhet but continues to stand up for his Jewish friend even at the risk to himself. Then one day their lives are shattered when they see first-hand that the price of being a Jew is dangerously high. 
With the war now on their doorsteps, Franz and Japhet come up with a desperate plan to save their families and get them out of Germany alive. Leaving behind the lives they've always known, they move into Berlin with nothing to protect them but forged papers and each other. Convinced their friendship can keep them going, the boys try and make a new life for themselves while trying to keep their true identities and Japhet's heritage a secret. Taking his best friend's safety upon himself, Franz joins the Nazis in an attempt to get valuable information. At the same time, Japhet joins the Jewish Resistance, neither friend telling the other of their new occupations.
With everyone in their world telling them a Nazi and a Jew can't be friends, it is only a matter of time before they believe all the lies themselves, until neither is certain if they are fighting against a race of people or fighting for their homeland. Somehow they have to survive the horrors of World War II, even when all of Germany seems to be against them.

To be honest, WWII fiction is not my comfort genre, and I've heard that this is in particular a painful story, so I don't know when I'll gather the courage to read this particular book. It sounds intriguing, though. I enjoy Jack's Steampunk and Fantasy ...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Also, I'm taking part in a blog tour for Claire Banschbach's newest book, Adela's Curse.


Synopsis:
A curse. A murderous scheme. A choice.
A witch and her master capture a young faery and command her to kill their enemy. Adela has no choice but to obey. If she does not, they will force the location of her people’s mountain home from her and kill her. To make matters even worse, the person she is to kill is only a man struggling to save his dying land and mend a broken heart.
Count Stefan is a man simply trying to forget the woman he loves and save a land crippled by drought. When a mysterious woman arrives at his castle claiming to be a seamstress, he knows she is more than she seems.
Adela enlists the help of Damian, another faery, to try and delay the inevitable. He insists she has a choice. But with the witch controlling her every move, does she?

Goodreads link:

Author Bio:
Claire Banschbach was born and raised in Midland, TX, the fourth of eight children. She was homeschooled through high school and is now a proud member of the Texas A&M University class of 2014. She is currently working on her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Texas Tech University Health Science Center. She continues to write in her spare time (and often when she doesn’t have spare time). She hopes her strong foundation in God will help to guide her writing. 


Unlock the rest of the series!
Discover more of the magical world of Myrnius!
5 new newsletter subscribers by Wednesday, March 9, to get a sneak peak of Book 2!
Newsletter link: http://eepurl.com/bhArR9
10 Facebook likes by Friday, March 11, for a first look at Book 3!

Giveaway!
3 winners! Prizes include 2 copies of Adela’s Curse, and a paperback version of The Rise of Aredor to celebrate its 2 year anniversary on March 11! Open to international entries.




And check out the rest of the blog tour: https://clairembanschbach.wordpress.com/blog-tour-schedule/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And, finally, I just thought I'll let you guys know that I have beta reading for the first part of LDTD open. The link (Just a link, not the form itself) is hidden somewhere on my blog, on a post with the Rizkaland Label. Said link is at the very bottom of its post, and is in big, bold letters so you won't miss it.

Happy hunting!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Poison Kiss - Chapter 1

The winners for the Rooglewood Five Magic Spindles have been announced. I didn't make the list ... although, since I didn't finish my entry in time to submit it, I'm really not surprised.

I'll hopefully be publishing Poison Kiss on my own later this summer, as part of the celebration for Sew, it's a Quest's fifth birthday party. (Can't believe I've been a published author for nearly five years!!!). The story still needs to be finished, as it still needs the climax and denouement. I talked the climax out with my mom the other night, and I'm really excited to plunge back into the story as soon as I've finished writing Lady Dragon, Tela Du, which has about five chapters and the epilogue to go.

I've decided to make Poison Kiss and CinderEddy the same series, though I haven't quite decided what to call said series. Mixed-Up Tales is coming to mind ... but I'd like something a bit more original. If you guys have any ideas, feel free to share!

But to celebrate the announcement, I'm sharing the first chapter of PK today. Enjoy!

Via Pinterest

1

  The king wasn’t even surprised when the old fairy stormed into the banquet hall. After all, he’d already received notice that his daughter was to be the next Sleeping Beauty, and he had neglected Olgerta’s invitation on purpose.
  “I’m afraid, good mother,” he said with a sigh that was also a smile, “That we only commissioned seven golden plates.”
  “No matter,’’ said she, “I can make do with silver.”
  And so she sat down by her sisters where the silver plate, made especially for her with spinning wheels and spindle needles adorning the edge, was set before her. She said not a word over the meal, though her eye scarcely strayed from the bassinet at the queen’s side.
  At last came the gifts, and the fairies lined up to see the infant princess and bestow their gifts. Everyone listened with bated breath.
  “Beauty,” said Anathese. “With chestnut curls and eyes like stars, her beauty shall be surpassed by none.”
  ‘‘Song,” said Belinda. “Her voice shall be as sweet as a songbird’s, and she shall own the command over any instrument.”
  “Grace,” said Chamomile. “On the dance floor and off, she shall command the grace and poise to charm all who see her.”
  “Wit,” said Destinia. “She shall never be at a loss for words.”
  “Wisdom,” Emmala added. “She shall also know when to hold her tongue.”
  “Kindness,” said Frannis. “She shall have a large and open heart for all she knows, and for her people.”
  Olgerta now stepped up to the child’s side and clucked her tongue. “Such a tiny thing she is to demand our attention and magic,” she observed. “I suppose I shall forgive her parents’ slight against me, and give her a gift of my own.”
  The entire room collected their breath together. Here it came: the curse of spindles and death.
  “Love,” she said, after taking a moment to revel in the suspense. “In her sixteenth year, she shall find true love, taste true love’s first kiss, and die in her lover’s arms.”
  The king sprang to his feet. “You cannot! The fairy tale—”
  “The stories don’t always flow the same way, my king. She shall be a Sleeping Beauty, and that is all that matters.” With a cackle and a burst of smoke, Olgerta disappeared from sight.
  The silence was deadly, and all eyes turned to Geneva, the youngest fairy, who was supposed to give the antidote to the curse.
  “Death-like sleep!” she spluttered, knowing what was expected of her. “She won’t die, just fall asleep, only to be awakened by” – the normal cure was true love’s kiss, but Olgerta had just declared that to be the curse – “perhaps a spinning wheel shall help?”

  The king went to his young daughter’s side and brushed a finger over her dark curls, knowing what the story now demanded of him. “If the spinning wheel shall be her salvation, then I cannot banish them. Instead, we must do what we can to prevent her falling in love. Until she turns seventeen, she shall hold no contact with any young man within twenty years of her age, be they prince, servant, or peasant. Perhaps then the curse may yet be adverted.”

Yes ... the chapters in this book are INCREDIBLY short. I'm at ten chapters and only have 8,000 words. So ... yeah.
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