Monday, March 2, 2015

Character Encounters - March 2015

Okay, Character Encounter time again.

First of all, before we move onto our regular programming, I am looking for Beta readers for part one of Water Princess, Fire Prince, details and sign-up form here. So far, only three people have signed up (and one of them's my sister, and I'm not sure she counts), and I'd like to have more people read at least this section. I'm almost done with my personal edits, and hope it out later today or tomorrow.

Now, onto your Character Encounter location. This one's really fun, and I can't wait to see what all of you do with it. (Provided you guys join in. I've been feeling rather lonely of late)


Your choice!

That's right, folks. Since I'm rather brain-dead from editing, writing, and book-releasing, I'm just going to turn you loose with a free range. You can choose from any location from a past CE link-up, and encounter your character there. Here's a list!

For a bonus level, try encountering a character you've encountered before, but in a new location! And, if you feel the urge to do multiple encounters while you have the power of choice, have fun. I won't stop you. Just deposit all of your links below!





Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Character Interview: Tomas Dyrease


Today, I'm here with another character interview for a book that also released this month. Honor by Rachel Rossano, which shares a title with the fourth book of my Bookania Quests (why are these authors doing this to me, I ask. Grin.)

It's a great book, and I'll be posting my review on the O.Scarlett blog later today, and you can read my review for the first book here. I will say that I preferred the romance of Duty, but Honor has a tighter, easier to follow plot.

The character I'm interviewing was the hero of Duty, though he fills a very important side role here in Honor. Let's welcome Tomas Dyrease, Earl of Irvaine!

1. Can you give me a summary of what has happened between Duty and Honor?

Brielle and my daughter, Linora was still a wee one when we last saw the readers of Duty. In the epilogue, I had just brought our adopted son, Lander Briaren, home. Since then the boys, my son from a previous marriage and Lander, have become like brothers. Getting into trouble, arguing, and just running about, they do everything together. Brielle and I enjoy our little family, which is about to expand again. We are expecting the new arrival very soon.

Politically, Rhynan has been a fractious place. When King Mendal took the throne after the civil war, we hoped for a period of peace. There have been some significant improvements, but Mendal is growing fretful. Dentin spends all of his time tracking down every rumor of possible insurrection. Lately there have been murmurings that I am gathering support for a rebellion. Thankfully Dentin knows them for what they are, lies.

2. How would you describe your friend, Lord Dentin?

I would consider him my best friend. He is loyal and honorable in all of his dealings. Some find him difficult, especially those who frequent the court. Dentin’s manner tends to be direct. He doesn’t tolerate those who try to manipulate him, which is probably why the women folk don’t like him much. Though, Brielle earned his respect somehow. He treats her differently than other women. I have noted that he tempers his bluntness around her. He also tends to be tenacious and stubborn, but I have never known him not to listen. I can usually reason with him even when we are opposed.

3. What is your role in this story?

The king wants custody of my adopted son as a way to control me. Dentin shows up at a wedding we are attending to take our son. Thankfully his conscience is torn between the oath he has given to the king and our friendship. He has long been struggling with the duties King Mendal required of him of late. I suspect his differences with the king are going to come to a sticking place soon. Mendal will find himself ill-equipped if he sets himself to oppose Dentin.

Besides being in the center of the controversy that begins the book, my role in Honor is largely as a friend to both Dentin and Elsa. I supply my skills as a verbal sparring partner and confidant. Also, I offer significant support in the form of men-at-arms. The rest of the time I am consumed with the very special duty of supporting my wife and tending to my family. We have a new baby coming after all.

4. About the heroine, Elsa, how good is she at "letting go"? (Sorry, I just had to throw in a Frozen reference!)

Ha, ha! Elsa is actually quite good at letting go of the things she should. She has forgiven her brother for far more than I think I would’ve been able to manage. He is a sad figure of a man. What she isn’t willing to let go are the things that are most important in life: faith, family, friendship, and hope. Knowing when to stand firm and when to give way is a valuable quality in any person.

5. Okay, serious now. How would you describe her role in the story?

From the beginning, she doesn’t let Dentin get away with trying to intimidate her into doing what he wants. She makes him treat her as an equal. Few men have the gumption to match him glare for glare.
On the other hand, she gives him the benefit of the doubt. Most people are not willing to look for the man behind the fearsome reputation.

Also, she needs help. Her brother has her in a mess far bigger than she can manage on her own. If she will just let Dentin assist her, he will do what he does best.


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

And that's it, folks! This is probably my last post of the month, as I need to focus on editing part 1 of Water Princess, Fire Prince and figuring out the middle of its sequel. I love the beginning, and I know exactly how it ends ... but I'm sitting at about 15,000 words (if that) and I'm not sure how I'm going to get it to measure up to WPFP's 136,000. My current plan is to coax 90,000 out of the story (by WPFP's publication , if I can ... but I don't know if I can do it. Sigh, I love this story. It's an important chapter of the world's history. It's the book that taught me how to write. I just need to figure out how to do it justice.

But while I'm trying to sort out my mess, you guys can sign up to beta read part one of WPFP here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

WP,FP Part 1 Beta sign-up!

I told you that I'd be issuing a form for you to fill out if you're interested in beta-ing part one of Water Princess, Fire Prince, and here it is. Anyone and everyone can fill this out, even if this is your first time here. There are no "right" answers (as long as they're accurate), and while I won't promise you that I'll send out a copy to everyone who volunteers, since this is just part one, I'm prepared to be a bit more liberal. After all, if I can whet your appetite, you might actually buy the book when it comes out, right?

Info for Part 1:
Aprox. 30,000 words
11 Chapters
Main Character: Clara
Blurb: Thrust into a unfamiliar world and given the unfamiliar title of Water Princess, Clara has no idea what these people expect of her. Should she trust them with her skills, or should she keep them secret just in case?

Estimated date of send-out: First week of March ... though if you sign up mid-June, I'll probably still send this to you.
When Do I need Feedback? By mid-July. However, the sooner you get your feedback to me (and the more detailed it is) the more likely I am to include you for the subsequent four parts.

Can you get credit for it on Goodreads? Sure! Add it to your bookshelf here!


And, to make you more eager to sign up and get your chance to read: Snippets!!!

  Clara clenched her teeth, and then with a show of more exertion than she actually gave, pulled the string back about two inches and let go.
  Needless to say, it did not hit the target at the other end of the field.
  “How was that?” she asked, turning to her instructor with a hopeful smile.
  “You … show potential, milady,” he said, though she suspected that this was a great admission on his part. He strode the three feet that the arrow had flown (or fallen) and picked it up. “Let’s try it again.”
  So Clara again set the arrow to the string, this time mostly properly – she didn’t want Sir Rigel to see her as too stupid, after all – though she fumbled quite a bit, partly thanks to her cold fingers, and the end of her arrow was about three inches higher on the string that it was supposed to be.
  “How’s this?” she asked, hopefully.
  “You are improving,” said Sir Rigel, just as she dropped the arrow.

 ~~~~~

  “When I open my eyes, I will be back in my own bed, and this Water Princess business will have all been just a bad dream.”
  Clara opened her eyes to find herself staring up at the velvet curtains of the canopy bed that was in the Blue Room. She rolled her eyes, then squeezed them shut again.
  “Let’s try this again. In any normal situation, I would be waking up back at home and I would not be a prophesied hero who has to fight a crazy dragon lady.”
  She opened her eyes again. Still in the canopy bed.
  Sighing, she sat up. Obviously, this was a bit more than just a dream. Frowning, she pulled back a corner of the curtain, only to be hit by a blast of cold air. “Oh, that’s right,” she muttered. “It’s winter here.”

~~~~~

  “Well,” said Lord Erik, “have you done any training with a bow and arrow, perhaps with a knife? I know this may seem like a strange question, you being a girl and all.”
  Oh, please. “Do you really expect me, a young girl to know how to use a weapon?” she asked. “Besides, where I come from, we barely even use those sorts of weapons anymore.” She paused a moment, then added, “I can throw my shoe at mouse kings, but that’s probably about it.”
  “Unfortunately, our problem is a bit bigger than a mouse king,” said Lord Erik, sounding a trifle confused as he narrowed his eyes. “Really? Because mouse kings can be huge problems, eating all of the sweets and chewing holes in dresses,” said Clara in her best shocked voice, layering in plenty of concern. “What could be worse than that?”

~~~~~

And if you're that sort of person and would like to start helping me promote, I've made a button of sorts that you can put on your sidebars. Link it to this search label: http://knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com/search/label/Water%20Princess%20Fire%20Prince


The sword, by the way, is Clara's. I drew it myself and am quite proud of it, though it'll probably go through a few more drafts before I have what I want for my cover art. Enjoy!

Within the next few weeks, I'll be gearing into its promotion with world-building and character spotlight posts. You won't want to miss it!

Monday, February 23, 2015

King's Scroll's Character Interview: Captain Darq

I don't know if you've heard me rave about the Ilyon Chronicles. They're only one of my top ten favorite Epic Fantasies (right up there with Narnia and Middle Earth.), and the second volume only just came out last week (about three days after Kingdom). And ... I just noticed this, but both My Kingdom for a Quest and The King's Scrolls have KING in it. Anyways.


Following the harrowing events that brought them to Landale Forest, Jace and Kyrin have settled comfortably into their new lives and the mission of protecting those under the emperor’s persecution. The fast approach of winter brings with it the anticipation of a quiet few months ahead. That is until the arrival of four mysterious, dragon-riding cretes who seek aid in a mission of great importance—not only to their own people, but to all followers of Elôm.

Hidden in the vast mining valley north of Valcré, a faithful crete has spent years sharing his knowledge with the destitute miners and their families and is known to possess what may be Arcacia’s last surviving copies of the King’s Scrolls—the Word of Elôm. Joining the cretes, those in Landale must find the crete teacher and bring him to safety, but it is a race against time. Should Daican’s men find him first, execution and the destruction of the Scrolls is certain.

When disaster strikes, all seems lost. Could Elôm have a plan even in the enemy’s triumph?

About the Author
Jaye L. Knight is a homeschool graduated indie author with a passion for writing Christian fantasy and clean new adult fiction. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

You can connect with Jaye on her websiteblogFacebookGoogle+Twitter, and Etsy.

And to celebrate this release, I get to interview one of the new faces from this volume: Captain Darq. He's something of a background character, but he's a CRETE and cretes are awesome. Basically, if I fail my hobbit entrance exam, I'm going to sign up for cretes next. They live in trees and raise dragons. The only drawback is the fact that I think I'm a bit too friendly, but ... dragons and trees, my friend. 

On to the interview!

1. Hello, and welcome to Knitted By God's Plan! Can you tell my readers a bit about yourself?

Thank you. It’s not often a member of my race has, or at least, takes advantage of an opportunity like this. I am Verus Darq, a captain among our dragon riders. Since we haven’t been at war in many years, this mostly involves scouting, patrolling our borders, and going on certain missions for our leader, Lord Vallan. I have two brothers, one younger and one older, who are also captains. I’m from the Hawk Clan, which is one of the most prominent of my people’s twelve clans. 

2. You're a Crete. Can you tell me a bit about Crete culture?

I can’t say that my people are the most friendly you’ll meet. We keep to ourselves and don’t care for outsiders. It can be difficult to earn our trust. I try to be more open to the world around us, but that is not a very common practice, especially among the younger cretes. We are a very proud people. Too proud, I’m afraid. And very blunt. Some of the greatest differences between us and other races in Ilyon is that we do not build our cities on the ground, but in the trees, and we are the only ones who can train dragons. This also tends to be one of our greatest sources of pride. But we are fiercely loyal and family means a great deal to us. 

3. What are your personal opinions of Elom?

I’ve had faith in Elôm since I was a boy. My parents raised me and my brothers in a home where they took their faith very seriously and took care to nurture such faith in us.

4. Who is your best friend and how did you meet?

My lieutenant, Glynn. He and I have been close friends for several years now. Glynn came from an abusive home. His mother died when he was young and his father turned to drinking. Glynn, being the youngest in the family, became the target of his drunken rages. It was kept a secret for a while. After all, such abuse, while obviously not non-existent, is a terrible crime amongst the cretes where family is so highly valued. I happened to be the one who discovered it and invited Glynn to stay with my family. He’s like one of my brothers now.

5. And lastly, is it at all possible for me to get a dragon?

Well, we’re not in the habit of giving out dragons to just anyone . . . but, if you can figure out how to visit Arvael where I live sometime, I’ll see what I can do. 

Ah, well, if I ever manage to find my way to Ilyon, I'll be sure to make a visit! Thanks so much for coming by Darq! 

Actually, one of my characters gave me a dragon egg for my blogoversery last August and I've been rather busy making sure I sing to it twice a day (her instructions). I don't know if I can juggle both of them.

Moving onwards! Currently, Jaye has the first book of the series for just 99 cents - and believe me, it's worth it. Kyrin and Jace are two of the best characters you can ever hang out with. 


Giveaway
Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a themed Epic Winter giveaway! Prize pack includes an autographed copy of The King’s Scrolls, a CD by Future World Music (some of Jaye’s favorite writing music), a dragon bookmark, a stone hawk pendant (much like the ones mentioned in the book), and a few packages of Twining’s Winter Spice tea to sip while you read! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

CE Bookania - Q&A


Today's the last day of my Blog tour, which has been fairly successful. I haven't seen as great of sales as I would have liked, but I think I've gained a few more readers, and those are always great to collect.

I have three stops for today:
The Splendor Falls on Castle Walls: Author Interview - This is the most unique interview I've ever had, since instead of asking the regular questions, she asked for insight into the details that have been hazy in Bookania. Gotta love Miss Melody.
Spiral-Bound: Book Review: My Kingdom for a Quest - Which was short, sweet, and to the point
Eagle Nest Mom: Guest Post - Favorite Fairy Tale Retellings - Pretty self-explanitory. Basically, I like high-concept retellings.

Also, today's your last chance to get Saffron's Big Plan for free, and Kingdom itself for just 99 cents! 


And now for the Q&A. I'm going to steal like an artist and use Jaye's idea of writing the Q&A in story format, which means that I can call it my Character encounter of the month. And so, let's begin:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I walk down the forest road, my purple cape billowing about me as I approach an old, dilapidated building that seems about to fall apart. Pausing at the doorway, I check to make sure my pen is still clipped securely to my belt. There are a few characters within who are willing to question my authority as the Arista, and it's always better to be safe than sorry in this situation.

Taking a deep breath, I push the door open and walk inside to be confronted by the smell of delicious food and Sal's cry of "CUSTOMERS!!" I glance about the cafeteria to find that almost every table is filled with people. 

"Greetings," I announce. "I have arrived. Sorry about running a bit late, I was waiting until the last second to see if anyone else had any questions for you guys."

"Did they?" This question comes from Robin, who is seated between her brother and husband, chin resting on her hand as she glares at me.

"Sadly, no. Well, Abbey says she had one, but couldn't remember it. I guess I'll leave the comment section open on this blog post to see if anyone else has one."

"Well then, no questions, let's call off the party," says Robin.

"Not so fast," I say, whipping out a pad of paper and my pen, watching her eyes widen, as she knows the power of the Arista's Pen. "I said anyone else, there have been five questions submitted previously, two of them directed at least partly to you."

She mumbles something I can't quite hear from my position in the room, then squeaks as Eric kicks her under the table.

"But I'll start with Madeleine, since I know that she's actually the one dreading this the most. Best get it over with, right?"

Madeleine glances up from her paintbox which has been receiving yet another layer of paint. "Indeed, Arista. What would your readers like to know about me?"

"The questions are from my sister, she'd like to know how young you were when you started painting."

She nods slowly as she regards her box. "I don't think I'd had my second birthday yet when I first found my paintbox and decided that I wanted to paint my puppy, Mopsey. It wasn't very good, and I can assure you that if you search Locksley castle, you won't find it, since I painted over it when I was five, but still, it was my first painting."

"I remember Mopsey," Samson speaks up. "That black mess of hair thou called a dog."

"She was a dog," Madeleine protests. "Anyways, I continued to paint animals and flowers until my parents hired me three leading tutors when for my fourth birthday. So yes, I've had official training."

"Interesting," I say, nodding. "She'd also like to know what was your favorite painting you ever did."

"The one I put in Samson's room when I was six," she answers, without a moment of hesitation. "I put several day's work into it, not that he appreciated it."

"You painted roses," he mentions.

"Well, I'll leave the two of you to that argument," I say, turning back to Robin's table. "Now, the rest of the questions are for you four. First of all, my mom would like to know what you guys did on your honeymoons."

Robin stiffens, glancing towards Eric. "Uh ..."

"Well, as you stated in the final chapter of Do You Take This Quest?" Eric speaks up, "we went to the mountains where there were a collection of lakes and I taught her how nice adventuring could be."

"Indeed," she agrees, relaxing. "He also took me mudriding, which was lots of fun."

"Sounds like it. Oh, that reminds me, a year or so ago, a Miss Melody asked me what Mudriding was, and I answered her in an email, but if you two would like to answer now, I'm sure my other readers would appreciate it."

"Uh, we ride our horses through the mud and get dirty. Mother would never approve."

"What your mother doesn't know can't hurt her," Eric mentions.

"Indeed." I turn my attention to Robert and Rosamond. "And how about the two of you? What did you do on your honeymoon?"

"Well, we spent the first week travelling from village to village until we reached Skewwood forest, so we decided to spend the rest of it at Robin Hood's camp," explains Robert.

"We did a good deal of sewing," Rosamond adds. "And Robert taught his cousin Arthur archery."

"He's not doing bad at it, but I think he's more of a swordsman," said Robert.

"He is," said Robin, nodding firmly.

"The next question's for Eric," I continue. "I know you already answered it on Abbey's blog, but Morgan would also like to know: When did you realize you loved Robin."

Eric laughs. "About five seconds after she accepted the proposal I still don't remember giving her."

"I think it took me ten seconds," Robin admitted. "It was just the heat of the moment and all that. And ... yeah. Not that there ever was anyone else for either of us. I mean, I had my suitors, and he had his enchanted princess obsession, but we never actually seriously considered anyone."

"I believe this last question leads fairly naturally off of that, then," I say. "Robin, Morgan would also like to know who your favorite sword opponent is."

She casts Eric a sidelong glance, as she leans forward mischievously. "That's a complicated answer," she admits. "I mean, I don't like it when my opponents aren't very good, since I like the battle to last a little while. However, I don't like it when they're cocky, because we all know who's the best swordsman in the world, and it isn't them. And of course-"

"It's me," Eric cuts in.

She flicks him an annoyed glance. "Look who's so sure of himself."

"Well, you only spent how much of your childhood swordfighting him?" I ask, "And even now that you're married, you still cross blades with him quite frequently."

She shrugs. "Can't let him get out of shape, now can I?"

I laugh. "Well, that's it for the questions," I announce. "However, I am going to leave the door open, and if anyone wants to come in and ask a question or two more, I'm going to let you guys answer it, understand."

"I think that translates into make," said Robin.

"In your case, yes."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
And there we go, and the party's officially over. I hope you guys enjoyed it, and as I mentioned, I'm going to leave the comment section open - and you can ask a question of any Bookania character, including myself, because as Arista, I am part of the Bookania world. I haven't reached the book where that element is introduced, but I'm looking forward to it.
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