Saturday, August 1, 2015

Character Encounters - August 2015

Greetings and salutations and it's that time again! (As I promised!)

But first, a word on the blog tour.

Sign-up is closed - I already have 21 blogs signed up, and no fewer than five posts on any given day, so I might break my brain if I try to include anyone else.

There will be a giveaway involved in the tour, and I might use the ... oh, it slipped me what the program is call, but the one everyone uses for giveaways, and I never have. I hate it when my brain does that. Anyways, look forward to that.

And I received my proof copy last night! Have a video!



Anyways, you came here for the character encounter.


The Barn

And/or a stable. Have fun with it. You guys know the drill.





Monday, July 20, 2015

A Post of Randomosity

This is a picture I drew four years ago of 2-year-old Maryanne hiding under a hat. It was inspired by my baby sister, who was hiding under a Christmas gift sack.

I bought a stack of notebooks on Saturday, mostly for 17 cents apiece, though some were 50 or 75 cents. I love back to school sales.

I started writing Bookania #5 in one of them. Maryanne is so cute in that book. She keeps her parents on their toes.

I know, I need to write book 3.5 and 4 first, but 5 was the first one that I came up with after I wrote book 1, so I've been really looking forward to writing it and bringing Rapunzel into the story.

I have some interesting twists with Rapunzel. I think you guys will like them.

I've blew through a HUGE chunk of edits yesterday. All I have left is part 5 and the epilogue. There are some bigger issues I need to fix in part five, in particular the war needs a bit of expansion,

I also did a bit of writing on book two. I'm sitting at just under 2,000 words now, with about 450 for my NaNo goal of 20,000. Just ten more chapters to edit, and then I can blow through writing while waiting for the proof to come in.

I general (yet consistent) feedback that I heard from my beta readers:
Part 1: Okay, interesting world, but I didn't quite connect with Clara.
Part 2: Aww! I like Andrew.
Part 3: Fangirling here. They're adorable together!
Part 4: HOLY SHAMOLIE PLOT TWIST!!! Also: AWWW!!
Part 5: EEEEEEP!!! That epilogue!

I can't wait until I can share this book with everyone. It will be awesome.

Though, I am a bit scared, too. What if the general populace doesn't like it as much as my beta team did???

This series is my baby. I want it to succeed. I want people to laugh and cry over it, just as I have. Water Princess, Fire Prince is just the beginning of the saga.)

A lit bit of story behind the story. When I wrote Clara and Andrew's first kiss, I was at my aunt's house watching Barbie movies (I used to babysit for them), and my uncle was teasing me about how I was getting so many romantic ideas from said Barbie movies, and he mentioned kissing in particular. I fell out of my chair laughing so hard, because I had just wrote the line "You kissed me!"

Writing's fun.

Oh, and I have my younger cousins addicted to Ilyon now. I know the book's supposed to be New Adult, but it's no worse than many of the super hero movies I see them watching. I told my cousin that he needs to bring me his kindle so I can put Resistance on it.

Kendra out. I need to go do more editing. And write up a reference guide for the end of the book. It'll include a bunch of world building stuff, such as the geography of Klarand, and how the water works, as well as the condensed versions of the previous legends of "Alphego's Hill" and "Through the Mountain."

I might actually write Through the Mountain in full one day. It's a bit of a Joash story.

(Although, I'm slightly disappointed at the fact that none of my beta's caught all of the references to Genesis that I made in WPFP.)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Updates and Sales!

Okay, I'll start with the sales. For a limited time, The Ankulen and Water Princess, Fire Prince are just 99 cents on Kindle (Just click their pictures below) The Ankulen has a countdown timer on it, so consult it for how much longer it'll last. I'll probably put WPFP's price back to 3.99 on Sunday at some point.


 
If you decide to write a review for The Ankulen, you can enter it for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card. Details and entry can be found is on the Homeschooled Authors Blog. (As well as videos with me in them!)

I also have Sew, it's a Quest and "The Sun Jewel Adventure" both for free. This offer ends Friday night, so get them quickly!

And now for updates. Water Princess, Fire Prince is having a blog tour (See tab at the top of the page for sign up). I've already had 17 blogs sign up, and no day has fewer than 5 stops. Because I don't want to overwhelm myself, I'm going to be pulling the sign-up forms soon - probably also this Sunday - and posting the schedule in its place. So if you want in, SIGN UP NOW, before you can't.

(I'm slightly tired and out of it, so my promotion speeches are ... not up to par.)

Also, I am holding a Facebook party on September third, because that's Clara's official birthday. YOu can invite yourself (and others, the more the merrier), here.

I think that's everything at the moment. I need to get back to editing, or there won't BE a party.

Friday, July 10, 2015

It's a Girl!

Okay, so I technically posted this short story earlier this week, but I have to take that post down because I talked about the oil company I just joined. Big Brother, you see, doesn't like oils because it means healthier people and less money for them, and are trying to put such companies out of business. So, to help them avoid notice, we're no longer allowed to refer to them by name online.

However, if you want details, feel free to email me, because I'd love for you to join me! I'd like to make a secondary income out of this, and in order for me to do that, I need to get people under me (And as incentive for you to join - this company offers WHOLESALE prices and FREE oils to their consultants. It's awesome).

Also, as for the CE update that I had on the last post. No CE this month. CE next month. No CE in September. Sign up for my blog tour.

And at last, the short story. MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T READ SEW, TAKE, OR KINGDOM!!!

This takes place a year after Take's close, on Robin and Eric's and Robert and Rosamond's joint first anniversary. I hope you enjoy it!


Via Pinterest
Once upon a time, in a land called Bookania, the royal midwife laid a newborn babe in its mother's arms.

"Congratulations, milady, you've given birth to a beautiful, healthy daughter."

Robin stared in awe at the squalling infant for a few moments, and then momentarily glanced back up at the midwife. "Only one?"

"Aye, it seems so, milady."

"Oh, I was sure it'd be twins." She glanced up as her husband, Eric, sat down beside her. "You don't mind, do you?"

"That there's only one? Not all. She'll give us a chance to ease into parenthood. As for her being a girl, you may recall that a girl was exactly what wanted."

"I had hoped it'd be a boy who'd take after his uncle and father, not a girl to take after her silly, hot-headed mother."

"Perhaps she'll have her mother's spirit and propensity for trouble," said Eric, "but she can also have her father's ability to get out of trouble. Combine the best of both of us, you know."

"I guess so." Robin stared at the babe again, and then looked up at Eric. "And I guess you'd like to hold her. She's such a tiny thing."

"Baby's usually are," said Maid Marian, swooping in to lift the babe from Robin's arms and set her in Eric's. "But they grow ever so fast, so treasure her now while you can. Now I must run along and check on my own wee one. Behave yourselves."

A few moments after she disappeared through the door, she returned, with a shake of her head. "Your brother and his wife are outside wondering if they might meet their young niece."

"Robert?" said Robin, perking up. "Sure!"

"I thought as much. However, you need to put on something slightly more decent first. He may be your brother, but you still need something more than your nightdress."

Robin nodded and accepted the shirt Maid Marian handed her without a word, her eyes scarcely leaving the child in Eric's arms as she buttoned it up.

Maid Marian left a second time, and moments later, Robert and Rosamond entered. Robert hovered by the door, but Rosamond rushed forward to peer at the tiny bundle.

"Oh, but it's so little!" she breathed. "Joseph was much bigger when we visited Conia and Benjamin, but he wasn't nearly as new. May I...?"

"Hold her?" finished Eric. He glanced at Robin, who nodded slightly. "I suppose you can. But be careful with her, she's very precious to us."

Rosamond nodded and held out her arms, and Eric lowered the bundle into them. Robert finally left the door to sit behind his wife.

"She's so..." Rosamond seemed at a loss for words. "To think that ... no." Her brows knit with thought.

"You did a fine job, Robin," said Robert. "Congratulations."

"Now you just wish you had one of your own, yes?" asked Robin, grinning.

"Perhaps," Robert admitted. "Once you've recovered, you'll have to come visit home. Father has been dropping not-too-veiled hints to Briar Rose and myself about grandchildren."

Robin and Eric both laughed, and he answered, "We'll be sure to come visit, just as soon as we have the chance."

"That reminds me." Robin suddenly sat up straighter. "Today's our anniversaries." She glanced between her husband and brother. "You two said you had a special surprise for us. I - I didn't ruin, did I?"

"We did," Eric admitted. "But it was a mere picnic in the woods, and wasn't nearly as exciting as your surprise for us." He took the baby from Rosamond and set her on Robin's chest. "You didn't ruin anything."

"It sounds like it would have a lot of fun," said Robin, stroking the baby's curls. "Especially since I'm starving. Can we have a picnic in here instead?"

The two men shared a glance, and Eric sighed. "I suppose so. You do need to eat something, after all. Robert and I will go make arrangements, but you'll have to promise to rest until we get back."

"I promise."

"And you'll keep an eye on her and make sure she does that," Robert told Rosamond.

Robin obediently shut her eyes while her husband and brother left them alone.

"Do you and Eric have a name for her yet?" Rosamond asked at length.

Robin cracked open one eye. "I'm supposed to be resting."

"I know, but I was just wondering if you and Eric had decided on a name, or if you'd planned to wait until you knew if it were a boy or a girl."

"We were going to name it after his great-grandparents," said Robin, closing her eye. "Dylana or Peter. Since it's a girl, Dylana."

"She doesn't seem like a Dylana," said Rosamond, "especially not if she takes after you. Samson and Shira's older sister was a very quiet-spoken woman."

"Well, we were thinking about using her her middle name for common use," Robin admitted. "Maryanne, after Maid Marian."

Rosamond leaned forward to stroke Maryanne's cheek. "Yes, I do believe that suits her perfectly."

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Magic of Rizkaland

Magic. It's the dividing line in Christian Fantasy. On one hand, you have those who argue that it's fantasy, not reality, and it doesn't matter. On the other, you have those who'll point to verses that clearly denote magic as sin, and refuse to have anything to do with it.

Me? I sit on that line. Yes, it needs to reflect reality and not praise magic that is truly from the devil, but on the other, it is fantasy, it's (usually) not our own world, so who's to say that other worlds function under the same laws as our own. I read and love magical fantasy (as well as non-magical), and I write it. Rizkaland, being my first series, is no exception.

So, in this post, I'd like to take the time to say exactly how magic works in Rizkaland, for those of you who magic is a touchy point. It's something I ought to do with Bookania as well, but we'll get to that later.

First of all, my broad approach to magic that I have throughout my writing. I call it the "natural" system because, for my purposes, a mere "good vrs. evil" is too simplified and I'm not sure it quite reflects reality. It's a system that I've given much thought and prayer to over the years, influenced by several articles by some of my fellow authors.

To start off, we have Supernatural Magic. This is God's power, or power given by God to certain individuals to further his glory. In the real world, it would be referred to as miracles, but you can also think of Gandalf's power in Middle Earth, or the Deeper Magic from Before the Dawn of Time in Narnia.

Secondly, we have Natural Magic, which, in most cases, isn't actual magic at all, but sleight of hand, science-y things like electricity, or even what is merely the differences from one world to another. Natural Magic is anything that can't be easily explained, but functions fully within the natural laws of the world. This is the broadest category.

And third, we have Unnatural Magic, which is what most people think of when you say "magic," the magic that God condemns, and I never portray this in a good light. However, interestingly enough, many times the actual power began as Supernatural or Natural (the devil has no power beyond what God gives him), it's just twisted away from its original purpose, and wielded by those who were never supposed to touch it.

So, that's how I approach magic - so how do I apply it in Rizkaland. Well, let's begin.

To start with, this a portal fantasy, so I'll explain the portals. My approach is rather mathematical, and inspired by my geometry textbook. Basically, you know how multiple planes can exist, layered up against each other, intersecting at certain points? That's how worlds work, but you have to add in a fourth dimension, and it will make your head hurt, so let's move on.

The other half of the equation is Laura, the Doorkeeper, who is capable of breaking through one world to another. Her power is, in part Supernatural, and partially Natural as well. I can't say much at the moment how, exactly, she got her powers, but over the course of the series, and in some of the companion novels, you will see her collecting various items that have similar powers to hers. I'll explain in book 6 what she does with them.

Moving on, we have the elves. They don't have a large role in WPFP, but book two has several elves as major characters, so I feel like talking about them. Like traditional elves, Rizkan elves take a more spiritual role in Rizkan society, but unlike traditional elves, they are very much physically inferior, being in general smaller, weaker, and less enduring than humans. To make up for this, they have what they call gifts. Some elves can fly, some can turn invisible, some have healing touch, and so on and so forth. It is part of their natural abilities, though they are concentrated (thanks to a typo by Jack Lewis Baillot) in wooden boxes that they wear as necklaces.

However, their is one family that also has prophetic powers. The Bookholder and the Bookdaughters. The Bookholder has a special Book (hence the name) that tells him prophecies from Alphego. The Bookdaughters (who are, as the name implies, the daughters of the Bookholder), speak prophecies directly from Alphego. Again, I'll explain how this works in book 2, but for now, know that it is Supernatural.

And, on the subject of boxes and gifts, the reigning kings and queens of Rizkaland have them as well. Unlike the elves, however, their boxes are silver, denoting that it is a gift of Alphego, rather than their natural abilities. Otherwise, they function the same as the elves' gifts.

The rulers over the island of Klarand do not usually receive gifts. However, (Spoiler alert here) the Leaf Princess, Wind Prince, Water Princess, and Fire Prince each have a ring that can generate their named element. This power is given to them by Alphego in order to help them protect their land from Amber.

Reaching back into Rizkan history, I must address the Eight and the Ten, the original rulers over (respectively) Rizkaland itself and the island of Klarand. With the Ten, Alphego granted each a particular skill or knowledge, such as archery, tracking, science, or the sword. The Eight were given (in pairs) power over the four elements. Again, I'll get into this better in book two, but along with the power, they were given special weapons. (... Such as Jane and Ralph of Fire and Electricity receiving bowls. I'm creative like that.

Reaching forward, I will put a heads up that two characters will receive telepathic abilities in future books. I personally have very few issues with telepathy (indeed, I have a few whole cultures that are based upon the ability, and one of my favorite Biblical hypotheses is that pre-Bable, humans were telepathic), but I know that some of my potential readers have issues with it, so I'm going to go ahead and address it. This ability is one given only to these two characters, holds a very important role in the books, and is one that they are very careful with (usually they just use it to communicate with each other.)

Moving onward, we have the Steeds who live on the Isle of the Talking Beasts. I haven't world-built into them as much as some of the other parts of Rizkaland. I'll start with the Sentaur because I know the least about him. There's only one Sentaur, he's as old as Rizkaland itself, very wise, a bit mystical, and looks like your normal centaur.

Then we have the Rowandas, which, given Rizkan etymology, literally means "Rainbow Horse" (rowa = rainbow, anda = horse). As their name denotes they come in every color, but what makes them unique and special is that they are the fastest creature in Rizkaland, and have the most powerful jump. It isn't confirmed, but it's also said that they have the ability to bend time to their whim.

Harandas (Horned horse) are my version of a unicorn. They have telepathic power with their horn, but their most powerful ability is that they can travel anywhere they wish with a mere thought. Beyond that, little is known about them, for they are aloof and very rarely hold dealings even with their fellow steeds. The Rizkans do use the hairs from their tails to make special doors with which I will address in a bit.

Hinequas are my version of a Pegasus. They have wings. They can possibly manipulate gravity.

And then there is one more steed that I can't call its name off the top of my head. Basically, it can bend light and is practically invisible.

Back to the doors. In exchange for being left alone, the Harandas will trade hairs from their tails to Rizkaland. These hairs are then woven into special mats that are then used to travel from one part of Rizkaland to another. They are mainly used on the mainland.

Travel between the islands and the mainland is accopmlished by the Hills. According to legend, Alphego stood on a certain Hill, which stands in the exact center of Rizkaland, around which Loray castle is built. There is a replica of this Hill in the exact center of each island, as well as one in each of the four lesser castles in Klarand. If a person stands on one of these Hills, and petitions Alphego in prayer, they can be transported to one of the other Hills.

Then we have the Tylith Cords, which are an essential element of the Rizkan Tying ceremony (Which is technically an Engagement Ceremony, but is as serious as our Weddings). A bit spoilery here, but basically, they're tied around a young couple's hands and arms, and then are absorbed into the skin overnight. No one's really quite sure how they work, and even I am iffy on the details, but I think they'd classify under the Supernatural, because Alphego is involved.

Finally, last but not least, we have Amber, the villain. She is described as a "Sorceress capable of turning herself into a dragon." She has a LOT of magic in her possession, even I am unaware of its full array. Since she's the villain, you probably won't be surprised that much of her magic is unnatural, in particular the one by which she can turn into a dragon, and the one where she received the immortality. However, a good deal of her magic is also Natural, as she was collecting them even before she was corrupted. I'll get into this better in the second book. I will say this: none of her magic is natural to her person, she just has a knack for finding and using magical items.

So, that's the magic of Rizkaland and my reasoning behind it.
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