Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The LAAAAAST Beautiful People

Linking up with Cait and Sky's LAST Beautiful People. *sheds a few tears* I've never been quite consistent with these, unless they have a specific theme (Your NaNo novel, a villain, love interests), but I'm still sad to see it go. It seems that all the great linkups have died away. (Sidewise glance at Character Encounters ... of which I've not done one since the last Indie e-Con.)

So, anyway. Some of these questions are general to my writing, and some are specific to a book/character. So, for the specific questions, I'm going with my upcoming release, The Worth of a King, cycling through its characters.

  1. Favorite genre to write in?
    Fantasy. Hands down and without a doubt.
  2. What book (a real actual published book!) do you think your character would benefit from reading?
    I'm debating between giving Obsidia the Bible and giving Delaney the Constitution. Each for reasons that I don't feel like disclosing.
  3. Favorite piece of dialogue you’ve written?
    I have no particular favorite ... because I love a LOT of my dialogue - but this is a bit that I especially love:

    WELL then, my dear Sidi,” said Delaney, dropping a stack of books onto the table in front of Obsidia and winking. “I know that your girls are no doubt itching to catch us doing something scandalous, but such is not our way.”
    Obsidia fought a blush as she picked up the top book from the stack. “The Life of Queen Katina,” she read, and a grin pulled at her lips. “Oh, Del, you know me too well.”
    “Queen Katina’s situation was not unlike your own,” Delaney remarked, taking the next book from the stack and sitting down in the chair opposite her. “She was also the daughter of an assassinated king and chose to marry the son of the man who’d killed her father. She later ruled as regent for her son after her husband’s death.”
    “It is often speculated that she poisoned him,” Obsidia mentioned, as she opened her book.
    “Indeed, you’ve mentioned that fact before,” said Delaney, cracking open his book, a massive tome of law that made Obsidia shudder. He glanced up with a raised eyebrow. “Is this a subtle hint that I should worry for my own life?”
    She shook her head, smiling playfully. “If I killed you, who would handle the politics? I’m in charge of history, you have law. Remember?”
    Delaney gave a laugh. “Ah, good. I can now sleep easy at night knowing that I am so essential to you.”
    Obsidia shrugged. “I hate politics.”
  4. What did your character want to be when they grew up, and what did they actually become?
    Adrian wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and become the village printer ... but then he found out on his eighteenth birthday that he was actually the son of the late king and had to go win back his rightful throne. Does he succeed or not? Well, that's kiiiinda the point of the book.
  5. Favorite character name(s)?
    Um, apparently Richard and William. And Richard William. I have an embarrassingly high number of characters by those names spread across. Fortunately, there aren't any by those names in Worth. Well ... except ... spoiler.
  6. What makes your character feel loved, and who was the last person to make them feel that way?
    Obsidia feels loved when she feels safe. Unfortunately, it's been a long time since she's last felt that way. Delaney tries, and she appreciates that, but he has his father hanging over him.
  7. Favorite character you’ve ever written?
    Maryanne of my Bookania Quests. But Laura the Doorkeeper gives her a run for her money. She might win out, save for the fact that Maryanne is jealous of the position and has ways to get her way....
  8. If your character were permanently leaving town, what would they easily throw out? What would they refuse to part with? (Why?)
    Well, when Nadilynn skips town, she only takes with her a necklace that had belonged to her mother. Her mother had died at her birth, she's insecure about that, and it's the only thing she has connecting her to her mother.
  9. Favorite tropes to write!
    Rebellious Princesses (I love giving swords to my ladies), reverse-rebellious princesses (I love giving swords to the ladies who don't want them), arranged marriages, prophecies, chosen ones, and a number of others that I'm not calling off the top of my head.
  10. Which story has your heart and won’t let go?
    At the moment, it's The Worth of a King, though Honor: A Quest In, the fourth volume of my Bookania Quests, is also making a desperate vie.
  11. Favorite relationship between characters you’ve written?
    Ooooooh, boy. Relationships are my favorite part of writing, and even just in The Worth of a King, I can't pick any one relationship out. Let's just go with Reuben and Petra of the Rizkaland Legends. They're best friends first and then a couple, and they have a telepathic link that has been such fun to explore.
  12. Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” What are the books that you want to see more of, and what “holes” do you think need filling in the literary world?Ooh. Good question. I'm not a "this is a hole, let me fill it" sort of person. I'm more "this is an idea that excites me, let me make it happen." I'm always down for a good fairy tale retelling ... how about retellings for the obscure tales? I love pulling out old gems and showing them off.
  13. Favourite pinterest board / aesthetic for a book?I have a lot of boards. Lots of gorgeous boards. But right now I'm going to go with the character aesthetic board that I have for Laura. She's the only individual character to have a board all to herself. Something that Maryanne is jealous of, but Maryanne didn't overgrow her series. Anywho.
  14. Favourite time periods & settings to work with?
    I gravitate towards Medieval. But, honestly, I like my settings high-concept and unique.
  15. When people are done reading your book, what feeling do you want them to come away with?
    I want them to come away encouraged by the scope of God's power, and the depth of His love. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

I am not a Hand

My sister doesn't know how much I envy her. While I managed to inherit all of the talent and IQ ... she was the angel child. She was never in trouble, always thinking of others, always giving.

Me, on the other hand ... I am, and always have been ... a mess. Disorganized, distracted, frequently disobedient, etc. I was saved at an early age because I was very aware that I was a sinner and could NOT make it into Heaven on my own merit. Yet, even so, while the spirit is willing ... the flesh is weak.

Try as I might. I am not my sister.

And it doesn't help that I'm surrounded by so many other women to whom this servant attitude is second nature. Aunts, my late Grammy, my sister's best friend. All these women to whom I compare myself and just fall short. Women who look at me and shake their heads because how can I possibly justify just sitting at my computer writing all day.

And sometimes ... I question my salvation because of it. How can I possibly be a Christian if I can't give of myself freely like all of these other women I know and respect?

And then one day, as my mother and I were discussing spiritual gifts, a second passage in the Bible sprang to mind. One that I'd considered many times, but ... suddenly ... it struck me.

If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 
And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
1 Corinthians 12:15-16, 21

I'm surrounded by women who are hands - reaching forward to the community, administering to needs. Service is their spiritual gift, and they give of themselves so beautifully.

But, much as I wish it were, service isn't my gift. It's exhortation - encouragement. I'm a mouth, not a hand. God has given me words to say and write and they're no less valuable. I see people down and my drive is to comfort and cheer them. I give of myself just as freely - just in a different way.

I respect and admire these women, but I am not them. God has not called me to fill their shoes.

I am a mouth. And I will speak encouragement to the people around me. I will BE an encouragement to those around me.

And to all of the rest of you who aren't hands either, and who aren't mouths (though I imagine, in my world of authors, there are a good number of mouths), you're just as valuable. Because the body needs feet, ears, eyes, arms, stomachs, noses, even little pinkie toes.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Minstrel's Call Blog Tour - Interview with the Author

Happy Thursday everyone!

And of course it's Thursday, because Thursday is the day that I'm supposed to share this lovely interview with Jenelle Leanne Schmidt.


Book Blurb:
War threatens. The game board is set. But the Minstrel is missing...

Advancing his growing power, the Dread Prince breaks free of his prison and brings a faction of dragons under his control, stirring unrest and hatred in the newly united kingdoms of Tellurae Aquaous.

When the dragon wards of Kallayohm are targeted in a ruthless attack, the High King travels there to administer justice. But the trial results in a crippling blow that leaves him reeling.

On the heels of defeat, an unexpected message from the erstwhile Minstrel arrives, pleading with his friends for rescue. Together, the High King and his companions must follow the fragile trail, braving peril and darkness that will test the measure of them all...

Book Links:

Tell me three fun facts about yourself.

I am a compulsive opener-of-doors. Ever since my dad read me The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when I was little, I’ve been looking for a way into Narnia. The “grown-up” part of me fears I may never find it, but the part of me that will never grow up still likes to look behind doors, insides closets and cabinets, and around corners... hoping to find a magical land filled with grand adventures.

I have this amazing superpower that causes people around me to get lost on road trips. I don’t even have to be the one driving or navigating... I just have to be in the car. Thankfully, the wide-spread availability of GPS has helped to negate this somewhat dubiously useful superpower.

I don’t fit neatly in any of those personality tests. No matter what it is, I always end up pretty close to the exact middle on any spectrum. In college, when I had to take the actual Meyers-Briggs test, my scores were all within 48%-51% on every result except Introvert-Extravert (I am an introvert... though the people I love/feel comfortable with would never guess that)

Tell me a bit about your book, Minstrel's Call, and why my readers need to rush to their nearest Amazon and read it RIGHT NOW.

Minstrel’s Call is the fourth and final book in my YA fantasy series and it has all the amazing things, which is obviously why everyone should rush off and get their hands on a copy right now! (And the rest of the series, if you haven’t read it yet...)


Did you want more specifics?

Well, it has awesome dragons, an epic fantasy ship and ocean voyage, a high-stakes battle for the fate of the world, an evil villain bent on destroying everything, magical weapons, and is filled with themes of friendship, loyalty, courage, and the importance of family. It also reveals much of the mystery behind Kiernan Kane... this is his story, more than anything else.

What is your biggest piece of writing advice?

If you want to be a writer, you should be writing. It is, to this day, the best and biggest piece of writing advice I’ve ever received, and now I’ve passed it on to you! It seems fairly simple, but that is where most of its beauty lies. You can read about writing, you can hone your craft, you can listen to music, you can debate outlines versus discovery writing, you can contemplate the best way to hook a reader and argue about the use of tropes, but until you begin putting words down on the page, that story in your heart will remain untold, unshared with others.

Describe your writing process in seven words.

Chaotic. Tedious. Thrilling. Terrifying. Cathartic. Emotional. Analytical.

Author Links:

Also, there's a giveaway.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Minstrel's Call Blog Tour - Interview with Kamarie

Greetings and solutions!

Yes, I'm aware that this post is way late, but I erased Monday from my memory and thought that yesterday was Tuesday. Even though I knew it was Wednesday. I'm sure you've never had a week like that.

Anywho, I'm participating in a blog tour for the final book of Jenelle LeAnne Schmidt's final book in the Minstrel's Song series, Minstrel's Call.

I love this series, everyone should go read it.

Book Blurb:
War threatens. The game board is set. But the Minstrel is missing...

Advancing his growing power, the Dread Prince breaks free of his prison and brings a faction of dragons under his control, stirring unrest and hatred in the newly united kingdoms of Tellurae Aquaous.

When the dragon wards of Kallayohm are targeted in a ruthless attack, the High King travels there to administer justice. But the trial results in a crippling blow that leaves him reeling.

On the heels of defeat, an unexpected message from the erstwhile Minstrel arrives, pleading with his friends for rescue. Together, the High King and his companions must follow the fragile trail, braving peril and darkness that will test the measure of them all...

Book Links:

Oh, and I get to interview Kamarie, who is my favorite character in the series.

So. You and Oraeyn? Would you kindly tell me a bit about your courtship and the three things you love most about him? (Yes, I'm slightly miffed that their relationship 90% happened during the time skip between books 1 and 3.)

Kamarie laughs and crosses her arms. “Well, Oraeyn and I didn’t start out on the best of terms. He really annoyed me at first, mostly because I figured he would get in the way of us having any exciting adventures. In all honesty, I aggravated him rather a lot, as well... he threw me in a river shortly after we started getting to know each other. But after that... well... we sort of gained a lot of respect for each other as our journey continued. That respect turned into friendship, and somehow, somewhere along the way, I realized that he was my best friend, and that I never wanted to go through life without him.” She gazes off across the room for a minute. “What are the three things I love most about him? I enjoy his sense of fun. He’s always surprising me with different idea of things to do. Picnics on the beach, rock-climbing in the Mountains of Dusk, exploring the Aura Wood, racing our horses, unexpected bouquets of wildflowers. I can’t believe I ever thought he might be the sort of person who didn’t love adventure! I also love that he listens to me. I mean, he really listens, and he is always there to help me if I need it, but he’s also willing to just listen and then let me try to solve the problem on my own if that’s what I say I want. And third, I just love how much he cares about everyone. He is always kind and respectful to everyone he meets, from the poorest farmer to the youngest servant to the highest noble to the king of the dragons... he treats everyone the same.” Kamarie laughs and continues, "Also, my author wishes to apologize for the fact that most of our romance happens between books! She says that romance is not her favorite thing to read or write, and that when she originally wrote us, she'd never been in love herself, and felt inadequate to the task. She actually left out our entire wedding except as a mention in the original draft of Yorien's Hand, but wrote it in later after a beta reader yelled at her about it!"

You're good friends with the young Yole. Care to tell me a bit about him?

Kamarie grins and leans forward. “Yole is like the brother I never had. He used to be like my little brother. He was someone I felt I needed to watch out for and protect. But he’s grown so much in the past eight years, and now he has really come into his own and seems to be finding his place in the world. I think he believes he’s sort of become my big brother, and thinks he needs to help protect me... I let him believe that... but just because he’s a dragon doesn’t mean I don’t still remember him as a scared little boy lost and wandering through the Mountains of Dusk!”

What would be your biggest piece of advice to any princess who wants to learn the sword?

“Ooh, that’s a good question. Well, I’m no expert, though I can definitely handle them. I would say that it would be good to get your parents’ approval. I should have done that... though I found out later that my father gave his approval to Sir Garen without my knowing it.” She shrugs, and gives a tiny, rueful grin. “And then I would say that you have to have patience, with yourself and your teacher. You can’t go into anything and just expect to be perfect at it - or even good at it - right from the start. We’re not all blessed that way by our fairy godmothers, after all. It takes a lot of practice, sore muscles, and getting knocked to the ground. But it isn’t about falling down... learning the sword, like most other things in life, is about whether or not you choose to get back up.”

Author Links:

Also, there's a giveaway.

Tune in next time and maybe Kendra will feel a bit more chatty.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The What if? Tag

Hi, I'm just over here, linking up for Jenelle's tag for "February is Fantasy" month.

1. Your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. The cast of the most recent fantasy book you read comes to your assistance… who are they? Will they be helpful?
That would be the characters of Kendra Kandlestar and the Secret of Arazeen. Given that they're all wee folk, and largely unused to technology, they are probably unhelpful. I mean, Kendra's and her uncle Griffinstitch are powerful wizards, and the raccoon would have a heyday trying to mess with the machinery ... but I think they'd all do more harm than good.
2. You go to bed one evening and wake up in the lair of the villain of the last fairy tale you read, where are you and how do you plan to get out?
I am in Rapunzel's tower. And, unfortunately, as my hair is not yet even to my knees (though it is long enough to sit on), its use as a ladder is out of the question. But I find that the tower isn't as bad as I feared and has excellent wifi and free food, so I think I'm going to stay here.
3. You are transported into a fantasy realm and given a mythical creature as a companion and best friend… which mythical creature do you get?
Probably a dragon. Dragons are awesome.
4. In a strange series of coincidences, you end up needing to take the place of your favorite fantasy hero or heroine. Who are you? 
Imma gonna go with Kyrin from Ilyon. 
5. To go along with question #4, now that you are that character, is there anything you would do differently than that character, now that you are running the show?
... I really don't know. Because I like her because she's smart and makes good decisions. (Also has an awesome memory, and I'm just fascinated with memories.) I mean, the only thing I probably wouldn't do is get into a relationship with Jace, but that's because I personally don't feel that way about him. I do TOTALLY ship the two of them, though, so I wouldn't want to not have them in a relationship.
6. If you were yourself in a fantasy novel, what role do you think you would play in the story?
Probably the comic relief sidekick who keeps things from getting too solemn and dreary. 
7. One morning, as you are going about your daily business, you pick up an everyday item and a voice booms in your head with prophetic words about your future. What object is it, and what is your prophecy?
I pick up my phone to turn off my alarm for the fifteenth time that morning.
Verily and forsooth, thou shalt be late for work again. 
8. You are transported into a magical realm and turned into a mythical beast… what beast/fantasy creature do you want to be?
I'm a dragon!
9. If you could read your way into any fantasy realm, but the catch is that you can never leave, would you? Which realm would you choose?
I'd probably go to my own Rizkaland, because they know that people wander in from other worlds and they'd welcome me with open arms. It'd be awesome. 
10.  As you are going about your normal day, you discover that you have a magical power. What is it?
The power to make my imagination visual. That'd be awesome.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


Do you like getting good books at better prices? Well, today's your lucky day because a number of other authors and I are offering books on SALE. And some of them are free.

Also, before you go pick up all of these goodies, please head over to the GiraffeCrafts blog for a very special Fairy Tale-themed announcement that I don't think that you guys are going to want to miss.

But basically...

eBook sale! February 14-15, 2018

Free eBooks
Poison Kiss by Kendra E. Ardnek
Forget Not by Rebekah A. Morris
The Dressmaker's Secret by Kellyn Roth
The Lady of the Vineyard by Kellyn Roth 
Coffee Cake Days by Amanda Tero

$0.99 eBooks
Water Princess, Fire Princess by Kendra E. Ardnek 
Finding Joy by Rebekah Morris
Gift from the Storm by Rebekah A. Morris
The Fragrance of Geraniums by Alicia Ruggieri
Befriending the Beast by Amanda Tero
Journey to Love by Amanda Tero  
A Question of Honor by Jesseca Wheaton
Beyond the Horizon by Jesseca Wheaton        

$1.99 eBooks
Lady Dragon, Tela Du by Kendra E. Ardnek
All Our Empty Places by Alicia Ruggieri 
A Love to Come Home To by Alicia Ruggieri
The House of Mercy by Alicia Ruggieri
The Secret Slipper by Amanda Tero

$2.99 eBooks
Finding Mera by Elizabeth D. Marie

$3.99 eBooks
A Time of Grace 3-in-1 by Alicia Ruggieri 

25% off paperback

Dandelion Dust by Faith Potts 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Worth of a Cover

Happy Birthday to me! I'm 23 now. 23. Can't believe it.

And happy cover reveal day to all of you. You guys get to see the ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS cover that Alea Harper made me for The Worth of a King, and let me tell you, this cover was a bear and a HALF for us to get right.

Seel, I really didn't know what I wanted, other than a different style than the Rizkaland Legends. I had a few pins on Pinterest that I felt would be a good starting place ... but getting art of the sort would have been tricky ... and I didn't want it to look like Obsidia was the focus of a Love Triangle.

I also had half a dozen motifs of the book that I felt were important - crown, stars, dragon, winged horse, perhaps some others that I can't remember off the top of my head ... but I when Alea sent me the first concept ... I really wasn't feeling it. Or the second or third ... and I really hated that I was being picky ...

She's a saint, though, and put up with me.

I even made my own mocks, trying to help find what the story needed, but ... well, they weren't hitting the nail on the head, either.

And, for the record, I'm completely in love with both of the fonts that I used on these covers, and I will find a use for them. someday

But we still just weren't feeling it. I was despairing of finding the perfect cover ... when suddenly, a concept came to me, quite radically different from what we were trying to create - and spinning our wheels on.

I drew a quick mock of it and sent it to Alea, along with the color scheme I was envisioning.

Please excuse my art skills. I can't draw dragons, apparently.
And while what Alea sent back to me wasn't the minimalistic line-drawn thing that I was envisioning, I fell immediately fell in love. Here, FINALLY, was the cover I was searching for.

We had to do a few more tweaks to the layout and lighting, but, here it is, in all its glory. You guys have waited long enough:

Oh. Oh. Just isn't it the most gorgeous thing ever? I love the minimalistic nature of it, the slight Game of Thrones feel that it has. (Though this story is worlds different from that saga. And MUCH cleaner.)

And I canNOT wait to hold this baby. Trying to decide if it'll look better in gloss or matte. Might order it in both to see.

Now, I have a number of other lovely bloggers who are participating in the cover reveal - and I encourage you to click through to every single one. Each has a unique snippet from the book that they'll be featuring, some have a mini interview, and most are also featuring one of my inspiration pins for the story.

And I have a special prize for anyone who comments on EVERY post. Have at.

Jaye L. Knight

This story has come a long way from the idea that Jack and I started together. I do miss her, but it's come together so beautifully... 

Now just to finish writing the last three chapters...

Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Worth of a King - Chapter 1

So I'm revealing the cover for the Worth of a King on Wednesday, but I just thought that I'd share the first chapter now. Sure, I shared the first chapter of the original draft back a couple years ago, but this is the real deal now.


Chapter 1

  “Hold still, milady. Braiding isn’t as easy as it looks.”
  “I – I’m sorry.” Obsidia glanced in the mirror at her maid, Julie. “I didn’t realize…”
  Julie clucked her tongue. “I do wish you wouldn’t read while I did your hair – not that I’m saying that you shouldn’t or can’t, mind you, I know my place – but you move more than you realize, and it’d make my job a great lot easier if you wouldn’t.”
  Obsidia was spared the necessity of response by her mother’s entrance.
  “How is she coming? The suitors are gathered and waiting,” Queen Adelaide announced. “And you know how Ossian feels about making his guests wait.”
  “She’s ready,” said Julie, stepping away from Obsidia. “At least, as ready as I can get her. I frankly can’t see how any girl could be ready for the sort of decision that she’s about to make.”
  “Not that it’ll be much of a decision,” said Queen Adelaide. She put a hand on Obsidia’s shoulder. “Ossian will tell you who to pick, dear, so you needn’t stress yourself about it. But you at least have the opportunity to reject his suggestion, which is more than what I had.”
  “I know,” Obsidia admitted. “Still, all of my suitors are little more than strangers. Nice young men – all of them, I’m sure – but I can hardly see myself married to any of them.”
  “The day my engagement was announced was the day I first met your father,” said Queen Adelaide, “and I came to love him. You Dialcian princesses are fortunate and still see fit to complain. Still … stand up and let me have a good look at you.”
  Obsidia did as her mother bid. “Do I look all right?”
  “You look beautiful, of course.” Queen Adelaide’s expression relaxed. “Ah, but it’s hard to believe that this day has come at last. It seems only yesterday that you were but a babe in my arms. Only yesterday that…”
  “The nali lily, mother?” Obsidia prompted. Queen Adelaide was reminiscing Obsidia’s father, whom Ossian had killed the very night of Obsidia’s birth. Obsidia didn’t blame her mother for her resentment, but she didn’t want another lecture about how things were before that fateful night.
  “Oh, yes, of course, dear,” Queen Adelaide shoved the flower she held into Obsidia’s outstretched hand. Then she caressed Obsidia’s cheek. “Your father would have been so proud of you.”
Obsidia glanced down. “I am only a daughter.”
  Queen Adelaide withdrew her hand and gave a sad smile. “Your father was a man of strange ideas. I do not think that you would have disappointed him. Besides, had he lived, I … surely would have had more children.”
  “They’re waiting on me,” said Obsidia, not sure what else to say.
  Queen Adelaide sighed. “Yes, I suppose that they are. Well, get along with you then.”
  Obsidia nodded and hastened out the door.
  It was nearly noon – the hottest and heaviest hour of the day. She wished that the Choosing Ceremony could take place earlier in the day, but such was not tradition. Noon was also the brightest hour, and the decision that she was about to make wasn’t one to be made in the dark.
  “Ah, there you are, Obsidia. My, but you look beautiful today.”
  Obsidia smiled and blushed as she took King Ossian’s arm. Because her father had no male heir, Ossian had become king in his stead. He would oversee the ceremony and offer Obsidia his advice.
  “Thank you,” she whispered.
  “The simple look suits you,” King Ossian continued. “You’re the sort of girl whose inner beauty outshines any girl.”
  Obsidia’s blush deepened. “Thank you.”
  She was dressed as tradition demanded: a simple white dress and no jewelry. Her black hair was done in a simple braid down her back, and on her feet were a pair of delicate slippers.
  “Come along, now. We mustn’t keep the young men waiting.”
  “Speaking of your suitors, there is the matter of which of them you are about to accept as your future husband – an important decision indeed,” King Ossian continued, as they began walking. “Have any of them caught your eye? Corrin of Fiyar is quite a handsome young man and did well in all of the tournaments. Harold of Hollolund may not be much to look at, but his country is wealthy and you would want for nothing as his queen. I saw you talking with Zirro of Zovordia. You’d be taking a gamble with him, what with the mask and all, but if you’re intrigued by the mystery…”
  Obsidia shook her head. “They’re all but strangers to me, every one of them. How can I possibly choose from among them? “
  “You wish a husband whom you already know?” asked King Ossian, nodding thoughtfully. “I suppose that is understandable. You know, as I recall, there will be a young man in the room who isn’t a stranger to you. While he isn’t officially your suitor, I don’t think that he would be averse to marrying you.”
  “Delaney?” She blinked at the thought.
  “While the law forbids him from actually being your suitor, nothing forbids you from giving him your lily. Indeed, you would be the third Dialcian princess to make such a choice.”
  Delaney was King Ossian’s son and heir. Obsidia had always seen him as more a brother than anything else … but she supposed that she could see herself married to him. Sooner him than any of her official suitors.
  “I’m not saying whether you should or shouldn’t,” King Ossian added. “I don’t want to decide your future for you – you’re a smart girl, Obsidia. I just wanted to make sure that you knew that you had the option.”
  The same law that forbade Delaney from courting her forbade Ossian from doing anything more than suggesting him.
  “Thank you. I’ll think about it.”
  They said nothing more until they reached the room where her suitors were gathered, waiting for her to choose from among them.
  “You have a head on your shoulders,” King Ossian assured her. “I trust you to make the right decision.”
  As she stepped into the room, Obsidia wished that she had the same confidence in herself.
  Corrin, Harold, and Zirro were seated in a circle in the center of the room, along with Prince Evin of Elvira and Yuri of Vinieris. The elven and merfolk princes, however, were her suitors for political politeness only. Several important Dialcian nobles and officials – including Delaney – stood against the walls, there to stand as witnesses for this most solemn of occasions and prevent anything untoward from happening.
  Gripping the lily’s stem tightly, she circled the five young men once, twice, three times. All eyes were on her and she shrunk under the scrutiny. How was she supposed to make this decision under such pressure?
  Evin and Yuri were eliminated automatically, and perhaps Zirro as well, for he was her second cousin and that was a bit too close of a relation for her comfort. That left Corrin and Harold – and Delaney.
She glanced Delaney’s direction for half a moment and received an encouraging smile. She felt her confidence rise.
  Corrin was a handsome young man – dashing and daring, too – but Obsidia found that intimidating rather than endearing. She couldn’t see herself marrying him. She was too quiet and he’d likely forget about her within minutes after the wedding was over. Harold was the best match politically, but he was a terribly dull fellow who only cared about what he could put in his stomach. She frankly didn’t see how he’d make a good king when the time came, much less a husband.
  Then there was Delaney, standing tall and handsome with his father’s golden hair and blue eyes. They’d grown up together. He was kind, caring, funny, intelligent…
  And a dear friend.
  If she married Harold or Corrin, she would have to travel to their country, live among strangers, and learn traditions that could be radically different from her own. If she married Delaney, little would have to change.
  Her mother might not approve of her marrying Ossian’s son, but Obsidia preferred to not take a risk with love.
  Lifting her chin, she made one last circuit of the princes, then stopped in front of Delaney and held out the nali lily to him, held out her heart.
  “I know that you aren’t my suitor,” she said, quickly, “but you are a dear friend to me, and nothing in Dialcian law forbids me from choosing you. Will you have me?”
  He didn’t answer at first, and while he didn’t appear terribly surprised, it was clear that he hadn’t expected her to ask him. She bit her lip, suddenly very unsure of herself. Did he not want to marry her? Had she just ruined their friendship forever? Unlike her suitors, he had the power to refuse her.
  She wanted to run from this room, lock herself in her own, and cry away this terrible ceremony. Only her dignity as a princess kept her rooted where she stood, and she wasn’t sure that it would hold her much longer.
  But before it ran out, his reassuring grin quirked the corner of his mouth, and his hand closed around hers, taking the lily away from her.
  “Sidi,” – and her heart leapt at the nickname – “I would be honored.”

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Guest Post - RhoXie Mans

Hello, I am the craziness known as RhoXie Mans, and I blog at Books, Braids, and Born Again.

That pretty much sums me up. And my latest WIP is for the Rooglewood Press short story contest. Of course, it’s a Snow White retelling. Actually, it’s my first fairy tale retelling ever (unless you count a two page Sleeping Beauty one I wrote when I was six). So onward to Day and Night!

The Kingdom of Night and the Kingdom of Day:
Kingdoms bound by a broken treaty and the magical Rules. Two very separate Kingdoms in one space. Nightdwellers and Daydwellers hate only one thing more than each other. The Princess Celestia.
Via Pinterest

Queen Luna of Night:
The narrator of the tale. Also the evil queen. She has made herself cold and distant because of a wrong in her youth. In her step-daughter, she sees a constant reminder of that wrong, but she also sees her husband Ray, King of Day.

Via Pinterest

Princess Celestia of Day:
The daughter of a dying king. A child desperate for a mother’s love. She rules her father’s king as best she can, hated by both Day and Night.

Prince Robert of Dinland:
A visiting royal. The hider of a secret. His visit is of use to Luna, and Celestia knows that.

Buy this awesome cape!
Minister Thanos of Night:
A loyal servant of Night. The only friend of a queen. He served Luna’s father and has only ever made one mistake.

King Ray of Day:
Breaker of a single promise. Husband of a Nightdweller. He lies dying far from his wife and daughter, but he still affects their lives.

And that, my friends, is the cast of Day and Night. Seriously, parts of the story are so sad, but others have this harsh anger and pain. But all of it tells (I hope) a story of forgiveness.

P.S Be sure to read Kendra’s much better post on my blog, Books, Braids, and Born Again!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Hello 2018!

2018 has descended upon us and I'm raring and tearing to attack it. 2017 was good - I overhauled my bookshelf, rocked my first Indie e-Con, published Poison Kiss, and managed to submit a story to the Rooglewood contest for the first (and sadly, last, because this is their last contest) time.

But I'm ready for 2018, because this is the year that I'm going to fall in love.

(Well, I can hope, at any rate)

First of all, I have The Worth of a King releasing this year. I'm not quiiiiiite done with writing the story, but I'm close enough to be confident of my release date. And to put out a cry for beta readers.

I'll be sending it out by part - it's three parts long, and each part is 30,000 - 40,000 words. I will need all feedback by the end of July.

And ... after weeks of tossing back and forth concept covers that didn't quite feel right, Alea Harper and I finalized Worth's cover yesterday. It is gorgeous and I don't want to just sit on it, so I'm going to go ahead and reveal the cover on my birthday, February 7th. Sign-up is open until January 31st. I'll be announcing the release date with the cover.

I have a few other writing/publication goals for this year, as I posted on instagram:

A post shared by Kendra Elise Ardnek (@fairytalearista) on

For now, my other biggie is Indie e-Con, which is happening May 21st-26th. You can find the details on the GiraffeCrafts blog, where it will be hosted this year. Toodle pip, everyone. I have work, so I'll talk with you all tonight, when I get off.

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