Saturday, October 10, 2015

Beautiful Books: This is What I Shall Do

NaNo time is almost upon us, and therefore all the good little writers are busy plotting away at the novels they're going to write this year. Am I doing the same? OF COURSE I AM!!

And of course I'm going to link up with the Beautiful Books thing that Cait and Sky host!

Also, for those of you who are on NaNo, my username is Kendra E. Ardnek. Feel free to befriend me. I'll probably friend you back when I get the chance.

1.How did you come up with the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
The first version of this story was born of a desire to write a better version of the Narnia movies. I've been working on it for nearly ten years, as such.  (And yes, I will be throwing a party come the ten-year-mark, everyone will be invited. There will be cake. And Pommela Cider)
2. Why are you excited to write this novel?
Because this is the novel I've been working on for TEN STINKIN' YEARS!! I'm ready to be done with it and have it in the hands of my readers.
3. What is your novel about, and what is the title?
In case you didn't notice from the fact that this is the book I've been working on for TEN YEARS!!!, and the mentions of my plans that I have posted around the internet, yes I'm doing Lady Dragon, Tela Du this year. Yes, it's a rewrite, and yes, this draft is already 10% of the way done (and I'm hoping to have it pushed to 20% by the time NaNo starts), but I need this book written, and I can't spare the NaNo oomph to any other story at the moment.

What's it about? It's about the Lady Dragon, also known as Amber, who is bent on world domination, and the Tela Du, also known as Petra, who is the girl prophesied to bring Amber down, and who wants nothing to do with her fate. 

This is a fancover that one of the readers of WPFP made. Gorgeous, isn't it?

4. Sum up your characters in one word each. (Feel free to add pictures!)
I have a lot of characters. This may take a while.
via Pintrest

Petra(She needs glasses, though): Perfectionist
Amber: Entitled

Via Pinterest
Reuben: Adventure

Granite: Steady

Via Pinterest
Laura: Journey

Via Pinterest
Summer: Free-spirit
Tyler: Hardworking

Via Pinterest
Ashna/Ashley: Alone

And there are other characters, but that's a fair enough representation for now.

5. Which character(s) do you think will be your favourite to write? Tell us about them!
I can already say from experience that there are a lot of fun characters to write with in this book. But I'm going to go with Laura, because, as a friend and I were discussing last night, she can make any scene awesome.

6. What is your protagonist’s goal, and what stands in the way?
Petra's goal is not to defeat Amber. Petra's goal is to find her sisters that disappeared with no trace except her memory and Reuben's. Also, to have a normal life. She thinks that this whole adventure into Rizkaland and quest to kill a Dragon is what stands in her way. Actually, it's more of her own stubbornness. 

7. Where is your novel set? (Show us pictures if you have them!)
The main setting is Rizkaland, Rizkaland proper this time, in Loray Castle, though we will be spending time back at the Kastle, getting to meet the many-greats-granddaughter of everyone's favorite Water Princess and Fire Prince. Also, in Amber's castle, which can become a frightful maze of passageways and traps. (I'm rather looking forward to writing part 4...)
On earth, the setting is mainly an old house that I probably ought to name, but haven't yet. It was Arden Orphanage for a long time, but it's no longer an orphanage. Anyways, it's an old house that also has a lot of passageways and hidden rooms, and is also a lot of fun to explore.

8. What is the most important relationship your character has?
Petra has a number of incredibly important relationships in this book: with Laura (which is, granted, one of the most important relationships in the series), with Ashna, with Amber herself...

But I'd say the most important one in this book is with Reuben. He's been her best friend her whole life, and he's also her love interest. Something she's not happy about because does not think of him like that at all. He loves her though, and even asked her to marry him when they were five and seven. She told him to wait until they were older (she's incredibly romantic like that. Not.) Now that Rizkaland has taken over their lives, they are caught by the same Rizkan law that required the Union of Clara and Andrew in the first book.
But, as annoyed as she is with the change in their relationship, he's still the sanity in her life, he's still the person she goes to when she thinks everything is falling apart.
Also, they gain really cool telepathic powers over the course of the book, and watching them use them to strengthen their relationship is going to be fun to write.

9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
She'll learn that sometimes life doesn't happen the way you want it to, and that's okay, because oftentimes, it's better that way.

10. What themes are in your book? How do you want your readers to feel when the story is over?
There are a lot of themes in this book, some of the most important being unconditional love, forgiveness, courage, dedication, letting go and trusting in God.

And I know I'm going to be emotionally exhausted when I finally finish writing this book, and it'd be nice if my readers felt the same. ;)

11. BONUS! Tell us your 3 best pieces of advice for others trying to write a book in a month.
1. Keep putting words on the paper, and don't stop.
2. But make them your best words. Otherwise things aren't going to look pretty once NaNo ends. (You want to be able to salvage your work, after all)
3. Don't get distracted by the forums.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Character Encounter - October 2015

Three years ago today, I bravely posted a new sort of post that I hoped would draw more readers to my blog, and encourage interaction. In any case, I thought it'd be a ton of fun and a good method of character development.

Three years of Character Encounters. I've posted almost every month. Some months have received more attention than others, but it's been enough that I keep them going, even on months that I don't actually do them myself.

So I'm back again for yet another encounter. Where are we going for the next portion of the journey?

The Road

On the road again ... just can't wait to be on the road again ... You guys know the drill. Interpret it as you will, and have fun.

And since this is the anniversary post, extra bonus level! Have your character bring a pet!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Great Destiny

I'm linking up with Miss Melody's Quote Quest, where we write scenes based on quotes. This scene is one that may or not make it into Lady Dragon, Tela Du. In any case, it's a good introduction to the softer side of Petra, and a glimpse into her relationship with Laura, which is a bit of a big sisterly one at the moment due to the fact that Petra used to babysit her (during which time she went by "Alyce" for reasons I will not yet disclose), and the Laura in this portion of the book is pretty close to the beginning of her life, and isn't very sure of herself yet. And yes, they're in the Kastle at the moment, which would set this seen somewhere in part three, so, enjoy!

Via Pinterest
Petra stepped into the Heartroom to find Laura sitting on one of the stairs, legs hugged to her chest. The poor girl looked so forlorn, reminding Petra of a little, lost puppy.

Smiling slightly, Petra approached the girl and sat down next to her, wrapping an arm around her. "You okay, Alyce?"

Laura uncurled enough to lean into Petra. "Yeah, I think so."

"I'd suggest ice cream, but I'm not sure they have that here," Petra continued.

Laura shook her head. "No, they don't. But I wish they did. Ice cream sounds really good right now." She sighed. "That's one of the bad things about being the Doorkeeper. Every world is so very different."

Petra stood and tugged Laura up with her. "Come on, kid, you can't mope all day. Let's go to the kitchens and see if my title can conjure up any proper comfort foods."

Laura gripped Petra's hand tightly as they navigated the halls of the Kastle. The kitchens were found and soon the two secured some puddings that would have to do in lieu of ice cream, and they retreated to the empty ball room to enjoy the dessert.

"Better?" asked Petra, after Laura had consumed most of her bowl.

The girl nodded slightly. "As better as food can make it. Thank you, Petra."  Then she let out a huge sigh.
"So, what's on your mind?" Petra prompted. "Talking makes it better, you know."

Laura shook her head. "I can't tell you. Maybe if you were older, but you're too young to understand. I wish you were older. I wish..." she trailed off with another huge sigh. "I've never met you so young before - and all the Lauras you've met - including the Alyce you used to babysit, were much older. We're like two strangers and yet ... best friends at the same time, and it hurts."

Petra swallowed. "Well ... every friendship has to start somewhere, you know."

"Yeah, I guess so. Still, I wish I could have normal friendships, where I get to know people in the normal way, where I don't have to worry about saying the wrong thing and messing everything up. As it is ... I have so many friends, in so many worlds - and she told me that I'd only make more - but I still feel so lonely at times."


"Well, myself. My older self, and I suppose she would know. I'm the Doorkeeper, destined to be known by everyone, yet no one."

"Alyce ... you don't mind if I still call you that? Laura just doesn't feel right, too old, and you're too young."

"I don't mind," said Laura with a shake of her head. "It's ... what I introduced myself to you as, I guess. And you always have called me by that name."

"Well, Alyce, I think everyone feels that way sometimes," Petra continued. "Especially people who are important. It's so easy to feel like no one knows you. I can't begin to count the times..."

"But you have Reuben," Laura pointed out.

"Reuben does not know me," said Petra, firmly. "He thinks he does, but he's just fooling himself."

"But someday..."

"Someday may come, but we're not talking about him right now," said Petra firmly. "Everyone, especially people who are in any way important, feels lonely from time to time. And the more important you are, the more people expect of you without actually getting to know you, the lonelier you feel. Perhaps I have Reuben, and I do appreciate him, but that doesn't negate the fact that everyone - including you and Reuben - expect me to fight the Lady Dragon. No one consulted me on the issue, no one took into consideration what I would like to do, they just took one look at my face and decided that I'm the one to toss into the fire."

"But you..." Laura didn't finish the thought, instead glancing away self-consciously.

"Will win?" prompted Petra. "Come now, you're not supposed to be giving away the future, now aren't you."


"And I know you feel the same way," Petra continued. "You're still at the start of your life, and you're still not sure you actually want the role of Doorkeeper, and yet everyone you know - and people you barely know, but claim to know you - expect you to fill it. So, I guess it boils down to: are you going to fulfill the task set before you? Or are you going to run away at the first opportunity?"

"I don't think I can run - I tried. I ended up here." Laura stared thoughtfully at her bowl, then glanced back up at Petra. "What about you? Are you going to run?"

"I'd like to," said Petra. "But I suppose, like you, it won't matter what I do. If I'm destined to fight the Lady Dragon, then it's what I'm going to do, whether I run towards her or against her. And, just so you know - I'll always be your friend, or try to be."

Laura nodded. "I guess, for now, that will have to do."

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Cover Reveal - The Crossways

And I'm back for yet another cover reveal! The Crossways by Morgan Elizabeth Huneke.

This is another book that I'm extremely excited about. I've already had the opportunity to beta read it, having loved the first book of the trilogy, and having become great friends with the author. And let me just say, if you love portal fantasy, this is a series you don't want to miss, and if you loved the first book of the trilogy, you are going to adore this one. I know I did. (I also ripped it to shreds, but, um, Morgan asked me to do that, and once she puts it back together, it will be even more awesome.)

You'll probably be getting a full review from me later. Like, when it releases and I've had a chance to read a more final copy.

If you haven't had a chance to read the first book yet, it's free today only on Amazon. You can read my review for the lovely story here.

But, you guys know me, no cover just yet. First have a mini-interview with the author!

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.

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

1  1.       What was the inspiration for this particular story?
This particular story? Well, it was a continuation from the unspecified inspiration for Creighton Hill influenced by Narnia, Gone-Away Lake, Tuck Everlasting, and Ilyon Chronicles. It does have a little something extra, though. One day during lunch, my sisters were coming up with book titles and covers and having me decide the premise of the book. One was The Crossways and the cover was of a boy on a dragon flying over a mountain. I said the Crossways was a portal with people stuck inside it, and the boy was going to rescue them. Now, that’s not what The Crossways is about. But it does have a boy and a dragon and a place called The Crossways, even though that place is not a portal with people stuck inside it. I would like to play with that concept someday, though.

2.      What sets this book apart from other books?
It has a lot of things mixed together that usually are in separate books. Other books have stuff like the stereotypical ante-bellum South, gladiators, dragons, merfolk, evil rulers, pirates…but I put it all together in one story, woven together with its own story in a way that works. And I like to think that my characters are unique. Adriel, anyway. I think he sets this book apart.

3.      What's your favorite writing medium?

I’m not really sure at this point. I’m faster at typing, but a notebook is more portable. I get pretty equally distracted with both, though. Seriously, all it takes for me to get distracted is my brain. My thoughts can be just as distracting as Pinterest. I want an Alphasmart Neo2. I’m hoping it’ll be a Happy Medium.

All right, I'll let you see the cover.

Gorgeous, isn't it? Be sure to add it on Goodreads (meanwhile, take note of my own five star rating of the story)

About the Book
“M’lady, it has been fairly well confirmed that the Redona was hidden away by the merfolk at the conclusion of the Great War instead of destroyed as was commanded. My brother has confirmed to me Joseph’s belief that it was concealed at the Crossways.”
Toarna pressed her fingertips together in thought. “It must be recovered and destroyed as was at first intended.”

Emily, Allan, Jill, and Joey have been reunited with their long lost ancestors. But with that reunion comes the true beginning of their quest: free the rightful king of Calhortz so that he may be restored to his throne. The Redona, the only object that can free him from his long imprisonment, is rumored to be concealed in The Crossways, a mountain across the sea which cannot be entered.

A slave since birth, Adriel’s resentment and hatred towards the strytes only grows as his family is continually ripped from him. He longs for the freedom the Time Captives are prophesied to bring, but he doubts their existence, just as he doubts God’s love. Circumstances in Calhortz are so dire. How could they ever improve?

Who can enter The Crossways? Will the king ever be freed? Or will the slaves of Calhortz lose all hope of freedom before it is even offered to them?

The Crossways is the second book of the Time Captives trilogy, a tale of faith, family, fantasy, and a fight for truth and freedom.

Release Date

The Crossways, Time Captives book 2, will be released on October 19th, 2015. Stay tuned on Morgan’s blog and Facebook page for more information and sneak peeks.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Upity Datity

So I've been chipping my way at school these last few weeks, and I'm sure all of you are eager to hear how I'm doing.

I'm doing quite well, thank you. And your prayers have been very much appreciated.

For those of you who are my friends on Goodreads, you may have noticed that I've finished Biology and have moved onto Chemistry. Apologia is an interesting curriculum. On one hand, I enjoy how thorough, and Biblically based it is, but on the other hand, I frequently feel like I'm being talked down to. Not a fun feeling - I get that I'm doing this curriculum four years late, but do they seriously have to explain every little detail? I knew what Work was back in elementary school studying simple machines. And seriously, every book uses the "push the wall" analogy. Can't someone get creative and use Mjolnir instead? Just a thought?

History is coming, and I'm using Streams of Civilization . I actually only started it last Thursday, and I decided to back up to the start of the second volume, which meant back to the Renascence. It's slow reading, but I did read three chapters over the course of Thursday and Friday. Since this is the book that fits in my purse, (I ... have a big purse, though it's not quite big enough for my science books) this is the one I take with me places.

Algebra II is coming, though I've flow through everything I already knew and have necessarily slowed down. Also, taking expressions on and off graphs annoy me. I don't mind them so much if they're already on the graph and I merely have to answer questions about them, but, they're annoying. Don't get me wrong, I love math, but if equation graphs and theorems were to be excluded from my education, I wouldn't miss them. If you want to keep track of me on Khan Academy, you can check out my profile.

And finally, the research paper. No, I've not started it, but I have settled on a topic: The Printing Press. I need to get to the library before I can focus on it, though, so I'm hoping to get started next month. (And maybe have Chemistry out of the way. Possibly?)

I've also turned a hand towards cleaning my (incredibly messy) room, starting by going through my closet. I get a lot of my clothes second-hand and hand-me-around, so I've accumulated quite a bit. Including stuff that I've never actually worn and doesn't actually look good on me. So I'm getting rid of it. I have a french fry box and a half filled ... and I've still not made a dent. Ah, well, I'll keep chipping.

I've not worked on Bookania or Poison Kiss as much as I'd planned. I've not pulled up my Bookania documents, though I really need to work on "Gift Exchange" which is about a third of the way through. Also, and I've been meaning to bring this up, but I'm working on revising Sew, It's a Quest for the sake of the collection, so if you have any issues, be they plot/grammar/spelling/you name it, with the story, now is the time to let me know about them so I can see what I can do about fixing them. Let me know in a private email, however -

Poison Kiss is stuck on the introduction scene between Auralea and Edmund, who is the love interest. Also the apprentice to the court physician.

Lady Dragon, Tela Du has made a bit more progress, but Laura sent me off topic talking about some weird language and now I need her to put us back on topic.

I did make a mock cover for LDTD, so people have something to catch their eye on Goodreads. I rather like it. I'm not entirely certain what the importance of the four-pointed star is, but I also put them on the title reveal button, so maybe they'll play in as important? I don't know. As I've said, I keep a loose hand on my plot when I write.

And I've come up with an idea for the official cover that I really like. Obviously, I can't use the exact same theme as WPFP, but I have something similar and equally symbolic planned. Now just to see if I can pull it off.

For those of you who may be wondering how the release of WPFP went, oh, it was awesome. Let's just say, I've made more sales these last two weeks - including on some of my other books - than I usually make in six months. And SEVERAL people have read my stuff with the Kindle Unlimited stuff. At least eight or nine people read WPFP based on the page count report I'm receiving. Someone read Take and Kingdom yesterday.

And I recently realized that Christmastime this year will mark ten years of work on Rizkaland. I may have to throw a party. We'll see how it goes.

((And for fans of Ilyon, can we just squeal about the cover of Samara's Peril? I still love TKS's better, but this one is gorgeous, too. Dragons!))

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