Monday, June 30, 2014

CE Swimming - Aling

Via Pinterest
The war with China is going well. I, Queen Ulrica of Germany, have spoken with our ally, Princess Yuki of Japan, and her message is positive, while my own spies (i.e. my younger sisters) have nothing but good reports.

Well, Lorelei has that strange request for me, but that's another issue.

A girl bursts out of the water near me, jolting me from my daydream. Two things stand out - her glittering skin, and the wings that rise from her back and flutter as she shakes water from them.

"Aling," I say, without hesitation.

Her eyes widen as she focuses on me. "You know who I am?" she asks, in a high-pitched accent.

"I've heard stories about you," I admit. "You're important to Mikada history."

She blinks. "I'm important?"

"Yes, and I'm a historian. Come on, I do believe that this water is over your head, and your elven blood means that you don't have as much dust in your blood as a regular fairy does. Let's get to shallower water." I take her hand - so small compared to mine - and pull her to the much shallower water. Once her feet can comfortably touch the ground, the glitter of her skin dims.

"Where am I?" she asks.

"A lake," I explain. "But we're not on Hlow anymore. You're far away, on Earth, which orbits a different star which spins in a different galaxy."

She blinks. "How did I get here?"

I blink twice, trying to come up with a response that would make sense to her without revealing that she's a fictional character, as she's not one of the ones I intend to let in on that secret. "Where were you a few minutes ago?"

Her brows knit for a moment. "I was swimming back home. We were having a race. I'm not as fast as Mickle or Jimes ... but they say that most people aren't. They have Cayra blood in them. I don't know what a Cayra is, but I think it has something to do with the water."

"Really?" I ask, pleased to learn this tidbit of character development which I'm sure will be useful later on. "Well, I'm sure there's a logical reason for your sudden appearance over here. Were you using your fairy dust underwater?"

"Yes, and my wings. I was trying to keep up with them!"

"Well, that may have something to do with you appearing over here. You want to try it again, see if it will send you back home?"

She brightens - literally, the glitter under her skin brightens again. And before I can say another word, she's back under the water.

I don't see her again.

Shrugging, I turn back to my friends and allies. We have a war with China to deal with.


Eep! Almost forgot about my own linkup! But here we go, an hour before midnight ... so I've just barely squeaked it in under the wire. I'll do up the linkup post for July's as soon as I get home from work tomorrow.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Bible Bunnies!

Because I'm rapidly running out of June, I'm going to do a lump post of plot bunnies. Honestly, I'm not sure if I'm ever going to get all of the first chapters written, but just organizing my thoughts on these things has been helpful. Anyways, these three have no magic (Supernatural, yes, magic, no), just my weird ideas.

Via Pinterest
The first of the bunnies is In Those Days. Ever since we studied the pre-flood world in school, I've been wanting to write a book about it. I've read several stories (Many Waters; Eye of the Oracle ... there are others), but I just don't think that any of them (and especially not Many Waters,) did the pre-flood culture justice.

There will be a lot of conspiracy theories in this book that possibly aren't true, but I think are a lot truer than our current picture of that time. The technology will be higher than we commonly give them credit, and I will take the Nephilim literally.

And despite how much I want to market it as historical fiction, it will probably end up in the fantasy or sci-fi.

As for main character ... I'm going to tell it from the POV of the girls who marry Noah's three boys. I want to be able to write a happily ever after, after all. As for names ... Um, how about Ehsa, Lusih, and Marai.

It's going to be a tough book to write, I know that. It's going to address a lot of sins that I'd rather not exist. But it is a story that I feel God is calling me to write. Anyways, Blurb:

Ehsa's Uncle Noah has always been on the radical side. Sure, it's alright to believe in Elohim, everyone has a right to worship their own god, and she and her parents are, themselves, followers of Elohim, but this boat building is a bit overkill.

Even though Lusih's family doesn't think that Noah is quite right in the head - seriously, he's building a giant coffin, cough, ark in the middle of dry land claiming that some god is going to send water from the sky - he does pay his hired help well. And since money is something they're short on, they may as well take advantage. 

Marai is a spy. For all of his loud preaching, Noah has been terribly secretive about a lot of things. Such as the real reason he's been building a big box just outside the city. A man who spends that much time and money on that thing must have ulterior motives.

Via Pinterest
Bunny 2 (or bunny 4, if you take into consideration the others that I've posted) is Fisherman's Wife, and is another Biblical Fiction, this time about the Apostle Peter.

And his wife.

I was in church one day, listening to the sermon (I forget, exactly, what it was about) but somehow my brain came across the story where Jesus heals Peter's Mother-in-law. Now, a person doesn't usually have a MIL unless they've had a wife, so what happened to her? And, more importantly, who was she?

So this story is my self-indulgence to answer this question, and also an exploration in the Jewish culture and the political unrest of that time. And since I'm in the business of naming people, I think I'll name her Anna. Because I like that name and it goes well with Peter.

Now would be the perfect time for a Messiah. They don't rule themsleves - instead, the Romans lord over them. Despite their strict following of the law, their spirituality seems dry. They've received no word from from The LORD for hundreds of years. Many begin to doubt that he's coming at all, and are taking matters into their own hands.

Anna has no doubts, she still attends to her prayers every day, and though he has sent no child to her and her husband, she's sure that, like Hannah, he has not forgotten them. If only Peter felt the same.

Not exactly sure where I'm going with this story, though I'm afraid it may end tragically. But there we go.

Via Pinterest
And then we have Thutmosis II and a Half, which is about Moses.

You see, when I was studying Egypt, I was fascinated by the culture, and I was also dissatisfied with where they placed Moses in the commonly accepted timeline. You see, I don't think that Rameses was the Pharaoh that Moses stole the Children of Israel from. I think it was Seti I. (CORRECTION! I mean Amenhotop II. This is what I get for trying to remember names off the top of my head, rather than looking them up!) And I believe that the Pharaoh's Daughter that drew him from the water was Hatshepsut.

Moses had planned to set his people free as soon as he became Pharaoh - as his adopted mother always told him he would be. But his stepbrother, also named Thutmosis, took the throne instead, so Moses intends to take things into his own hands.

Justice must be served, after all.

And there we go, three more plot bunnies.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust

Via Pinterest
Today, I have for display another plot bunny. Like Fire and Song, this is one that has been pestering me for a while.

It's a (very) loose retelling of Peter Pan, set in Mikada, V's and my sci-fi world system, told from the POV of the Tinkerbell character - Aling (Aling means "Bell" in her language.) She's half fairy, half elf. (Yes, there are are elves and fairies in our sci-fi world.) Not an unheard of combination for her homeplanet, Hlow, which is inhabited by those two peoples, but the elves and fairies are so different, the elves thinking that the fairies are inferior beings, and the fairies not caring about the elves' stuffy ways.

Aling is viewed as little more than an experiment to her elven mother's people. To the fairies, her father's people, she's little more than a boring curiosity. Since she has the intellect of a elf, combined with the inquisitiveness of a fairy, she's turned to tinkering to make herself feel useful, and to answer many of the questions that others refuse to answer.

But one day, their peaceful existence is shattered when a vessel from the stars crashes in the nearby ocean, and curious person - neither fairy nor elf - emerges. He calls himself Hook, and he proceeds to charm the fairies to his whim, leaving the elves suspicious. Before she can make up her mind whether she should trust him or not, more people come from the stars, claiming that he is a dangerous criminal.

Suddenly, her world is far smaller and more complicated than she had ever dreamed.

The title - Sing, Aling. And now I shall answer questions for the tag that Anne-girl has issued to her readers.

  • Pick a "villain song" for this bunny. {i. e. Gaston,Falcon in the Dive }

Doesn't Captain Hook have a song somewhere? If so, that one.

  • Take the first character you created for this bunny, what is his or her worst fear?

The first character that I created is Aling, though two of the characters (the two who inspired the book, Wendy and Peter, preexisted. But V made them up, so I'm not sure they count.)

Aling's greatest fear is that the fairies truly don't have souls, as many elves believe, and that she is, so to speak, "less than human" for her fairy blood.
  • What does your protagonist do on wednesdays? Antagonist?
Aling can usually be found either taking apart or attempting to put back together some gadget or another. 

Hook? I don't know. Maybe hunting crocodiles? Yeah, I think that would be a good occupation for him.
  • If your protagonist could steal something what would it be?
Aling has been known to "collect" useless-looking gadgets that intrigue her.
  • Give two of your characters a special thing that they do {like a special handshake, an inside joke, a tradition together}
Um ... this requires me to have two characters who have a preexisting relationship ... and I don't know Peter or Wendy well enough to tell you anything about them off the top of my head. Well, time to create new characters.

Okay, twin princes Jimes and Mickle of Galeon (my sister will probably correct me on the spelling), the in charge planet in Mikada (one of whom, I'm not certain yet which, will probably end up being Aling's love interest) have a tradition where they try to each practical joke the other once first during the day. Since they're both telepaths, and they're twins, this will probably be interesting.
  • Pick the epicest person in your book and describe them. Preferably give an actor as well.
Aling is a pretty epic person, so I'll go with her.

She's just under five feet, tall for a fairy, but painfully short for an elf. She has slanted blue eyes and pointed ears. Her hair is dark blonde, with streaks of blue. Her skin is pale, so her fairy dust - a glittery substance that fairies produce in their bloodstream that somehow negates gravity, and therefore allows them to fly - is very visible. She has iridescent blue wings in the style of our damselfly, and her elspit - a tattoo like mark that elves are born with and named after - is a bell.

Sorry, no actress. I'm not the hugest fan of character casting.
  • Which Jane Austen Character does your protagonist most resemble?
Of the Austen characters I've read, she's most like Harriet Smith, mostly because they're both very naive, and think they're in love with someone who isn't their official love interest for a while. (Yes, she will develop a crush on Peter ... which is not reciprocated, because he and Wendy have been married for several hundred years ... they're neverlings. Stop aging in their late childhood to early teens and just stay there for a few thousand years.)
  • How would your characters react to an airplane ride?
Well, many of the cast are used to zooming around the galaxy in a starship, so they'd have no issue with a airplane. Most of the fairies would find it a bit boring, since they are already capable of flight, and the elves would be intrigued by the idea. Aling would want to know how it works.
  • What demographic could this bunny be for?
I'm thinking about marketing this series as YA. Therefore, it's for lovers of sci-fi and Peter Pan.
  • Describe your inciting event
Call me a bad author, but I'm not certain of the definition of "inciting event" ... let me go look this up.

Okay, I'm back. The inciting event is when Hook crashlands in their nearby ocean.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Of Water and Herbs

Okay, first of all, I published CinderEddy on Saturday. Finally broke down and used my mom's account, and realized the next day that Five Glass Slippers had also been published that day. So that means that had I actually finished it in time to enter the contest and had won, it would have been published the same day anyways. If that makes any sense.

Anyways, here's the link:

Also, in celebration of this event, "The Sun Jewel Contest" and "The Prior Quest" are free until Wednesday night.

If you're apposed to magic, neither CinderEddy, nor "The Prior Quest" have any. At the moment, they are my only stories to not do so. Also, "The Sun Jewel Adventure's" magic is more in the form of a child's imagination from reading too many stories and fairy tales. The rest of the Bookania Quests do have magic, but Prior is clean.

Good books, all of them, or so I'm told. (A bit of violence in them, though Sun Jewel is the tamest, since it is told from the perspective of the Fair Maidens who go and hide when anything unfit for their eyes occurs.)

Anyways, on to the title.

I mentioned that the title of one of my plot bunnies is Fire and Song, and I actually finished the first scene today. (I'm doing terrible on this writing business, to tell the truth, as this first scene is pretty much all that I have written, although there is a first paragraph for the Beauty and the Beast one). So I'm going to post it. The reason for the title of this post is alluded to.

   “Red berries are poisonous, right?”
   Simmon glanced over at Dinna, the youngest member of their group, who crouched in front of a bush that was laden with plump red berries. “Not necessarily,” he admitted, “but those are.”
   Dinna rocked back on her heels. “Oh.”
   “But you knew to ask questions, get a second opinion. That's good. Very good.”
   She stood up and spun around. “But it doesn't get us anything to eat. Let's keep looking.”
   “Hey, you're doing good, you've made it this far, even though everyone recommended that you waited until next year to climb to the roost,” Simmon pointed out. “Don't expect too much from yourself. You’re not Nixa, after all. Only Nixa’s perfect at everything.”
   She shrugged and scampered off.
   Frowning, Simmon thought about following, but he heard a step behind him.
   “You're too hard on them, Nixa,” he said without turning around.
   An exasperated sigh. “How do you do that, Sim? You always know it's me.”
   He shrugged, and turned to face his best friend. “Maybe because it always is you. No one else approaches me so boldly.”
   She snorted and leaned against a tree. “No, I choose to believe that you're magic. We're so close to the Roost. Soon we'll know …”
   “I can feel the wind under my wings already,” Simmon admitted. He gave his friend a long critical look, then added, “I just hope you won't be too disappointed.”
He saw her tense – though most would have mistaken it for an extra blink. “Why would I be disappointed?”
   “Nixa, you may not have actually said what sort of bird you wish to shift into, but I’ve known you long enough that it’s obvious.” Simmon shook his head. “And you haven’t been exactly subtle. I mean, it was quite obvious when you announced your desire to come here the day we received news of Luqua Waterbird’s death. Besides, I’ve known for years that it was your desire to be an Elemental.”
    “Waterbird wasn’t my first choice,” Nixa admitted, shrugging. “But I’ll take what I can get. We only had a few more months before we had to take our journey, after all.”
    “How convenient for you.”
   “I didn’t arrange her death,” she protested, rolling her eyes.
   “Wasn’t suspecting that,” said Simmon. “We live a bit too far from the capitol for you to have pulled off such a stunt. But,” he held up a finger before she could retort, “I wouldn’t have put it past you had we lived closer.”
   “You think that lowly of me.”
   He arched an eyebrow. She arched one back. For several seconds, they just stared at each other, until she started laughing. He chuckled and took a step forward, taking her arm and turning her around so that they walked side by side. “The fact remains that you’re being too hard on the younger members of our party.”
    Mirth died away. “We have to make sure they survive.”
   “Agreed, but we don’t need to kill them with stress in the process. Let them fail a little – they’ll succeed all the better for it.”
   “Sometimes, you say the most contradicting things.”
   “Just because two things contradict each other doesn’t mean they can’t coexist.”
   “Are you trying to get them killed?” Nixa turned around and started walking backwards, arms folded over her chest, eyebrow arched. “There are a lot of dangers out here. They could eat the wrong thing, wander away and be eaten, and a whole slew of other things!”
   “But you don’t have to be so condemning when you correct them,” Simmon pointed out. “Believe it or not, Dinna, Loxor, and Mari think very highly of your opinion, and when your opinion cuts at them like it does …”
   “Look, I’m flattered, but I’m concerned about more important things, such as us all surviving the climb tomorrow.” She nodded over his shoulder to the mountain silhouette that rose behind them. “It’s all we have left.”
   “I think I shall prefer the trip down.”
   “So will I,” she agreed. “So will all of us.”
   “Which is why you need to be more encouraging to the kids. We don’t want them to make stupid mistakes because they’re trying to impress you.”
    “I won’t be impressed if they make a stupid mistake.”
   “Neither will I.” Simmon shook his head as she returned to walking beside him. “But you’re driving them to it.”
   “I think I’m looking forward to when you’re trapped in an apothecary grinding at your herbs, and I’m making laws that will make everyone’s lives better at the capitol,” she said impudently.
   “I think you’ll get lonely quite quickly,” Simmon countered. “I know I shall without you to keep me on my toes.”
   “You need someone to keep you on your toes.”

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Beautiful People - Nixa

You know, I had written this entire post Tuesday night, and when I went to schedule it to post the next morning, my computer ate it. Every stinkin' word. So I'm rewriting this. When I could be writing a different post, or even a book. No, I'm not happy.

Anyway, this is one of my glorious three-in-one posts, my second brainstorm post, my first official participation in Beautiful People (a linkup where you answer questions about your characters) and some further clarification on how interviewing my characters could win you a five dollar amazon gift card.

Via Pinterest
Actually, this isn't strictly a brainstorming post, as the idea is one that's been festering in my head ever since December 22nd, a Sunday. No, it's not every story that I remember the exact day they came to me, but we went to a Christmas Pagent and a potluck that day. Food's always a good reference point for memories. (Oh, great, now I'm sounding like Cait ... I must be reading her blog too much ...)

Also unique about this story is that it began with a song. Now, I'm not opposed to music - there's a song in both Sew and Take, and one just appeared in Kingdom, but I'm not a huge fan. Most of the songs I write are actually rewrites of other songs (my personal favorite is to make Santa songs about Jesus).

But this Sunday morning I woke up with a song in my head. A completely original song - though it may or may not have been inspired by watching too many Frozen clips on YouTube - that seemed like a perfect villain song. I toyed around with it until I had two more verses, and I realized that this villain had some sort of fire powers.

Now I'm the sort of person who wants a reason for my songs. So I needed a story. Fire powered villain - that was a must, but I needed a foil for her (for some possibly Frozen related reason, this villain was irrevocably a villain in my mind.) So I decided on a boy who's not that impressive, something of what we would call a nerd today, but who had a strong connection to the villain before she went off the deep end.

But I needed a reason for her fire power, and some backstory for their connection. And the answer came in the form of a bird. Or several birds. Or something like that. I decided that this was a culture based on the people's ability to shapeshift into those flying creatures - what bird you could become (and everyone only has one bird, once they have completed their rite of passage) determines your rank in life. She gets the Firebird - which is one of the four most important birds. The ruling class, you see, is the four element birds.

The catch? You see, there's supposed to be one of each, two women (The Waterbird and Earthbird) and two men (the Firebird and Airbird). Not only is she a female Firebird (something completely unheard of) but the opening for what she should have shifted into was the Waterbird. There is already a Firebird. And while if this had happened to one of the other three, the two duplicates would have found a way to work together and find peace ... Firebirds are rather independent, very jealous of their power, so working together just wasn't an option for the two of them. Eventually she has enough of being shoved to the background and being implied that she doesn't belong here, so she just snaps and runs off and starts terrorizing the land with her fire.

Que the hero. As I said before, he had a connection to her. I didn't want to play the sibling or the love interest card, so I decided that he was her only friend as children. Not that no one else wanted to be her friend, but he was the only one she deemed worthy of her - even before she becomes the Firebird, she's very uppity. Now for the unlikely part of him ... well, I had her be a role that was typically filled by the man, so he needs a girl's place. Not that I want him girly, but people say I pulled off Robert very well, and Samson's great so ...

Wait, Samson. This book is about birds - birds sing, and it was inspired by a song, so the obvious choice for this poor young man is to make him a nightingale. Not that there aren't songbirds that are boys, but the elite Nightingale singers are all girls. And he becomes one. That should cause enough conflict on his end of the story. And when Firebird snaps and runs away and starts tormenting the land instead of protecting it like she's supposed to, the other three elementbirds do some research into her background to see who would be the best to calm her down and make her see sense. Him. So they fling him at her and hope for the best.

Title for this idea: Fire and Song.

And now for Beautiful People. I've decided to do Nixa, the Firebird, because I like her better. Don't get me wrong, Simmon is a great guy, but I've always enjoyed watching a good Villain arch.

1) What is their full name and is there a story behind why they got it? 

Nixa Firebird. Her first name doesn't really have any reason except for the fact that I wanted it to reference the Phoenix, but the story behind the last name is that when she completed her rite of passage (which is basically to survive a wilderness trek to get to some sort of sacred place where they can take their bird form for the first time, usually taken in a group of five to ten children ages ranging from ten to fifteen.). She got the Firebird.

2) How old are they, and when were they born? 

She's fifteen when the book begins (and it begins with her rite of passage) and she was born fifteen years before. (Cough, yes, Kathryn, I'm stealing your response). She's waited this long to take her rite not because she was scared, but because she wanted there to be an opening for her in the four element birds, and she wanted to lead her party - a role usually given to the oldest child on the rite.

3) Describe their physical appearance. (Bonus questions: 1. What is their race/nationality/ethnicity? 2. Do you have a picture of them? If so, include it!) 

She has straight black hair that falls past her waist and brown eyes. She's tall, almost willowy. Her facial structure is Indian (India Indian) but her skin is paler than your typical Indian woman. When she uses her fire power in human form, her hair and eyes acquire a fiery glow. Her people are called the ... Aviars.

Here's some pictures of her:

Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest
Hey, I did mention that this story was indirectly inspired by Frozen.

4) Describe your character's personality first in one word, and then elaborate with a few sentences. 

Superior. Even before she became a Firebird, she just knew she was destined to be a Elemental, and always refused to interact with those she considered lesser. As a Firebird, this feeling of superiority has only grown.

5) What theme song(s) fit their personality and story arc?

While I could probably find something that would fit her very well, I shall use this question to post the song that originally inspired her. Yes, I have a tune for it in my head, but I don't know how to translate that tune onto my blog. So content yourselves with the words.

"They think that they have brought me low,
Vanquished me as their Foe,
But I tell you: That's not so!

My blood is filled with power,
My veins, they course with fire,
Ambition as mine can only take me higher!

But I'm amused by their attempt,
Though I view it in contempt!
(oh, Simmon)
Next time that you do good, I should really be exempt!"

I think this song will be sung right after the hero arrives at where she's been hiding and she's somewhat mocking his being a Nightingale, and pouring out her bitterness at what has happened to her.

6) Which one of the seven deadly sins describes your character? 

Pride. It will be her downfall.

7) If they were an element (fire, water, earth, air), which one would they be? 

Here, let me give you a hint:

Via Pinterest

8) What is their favourite word? 

Not certain, though I may take the Disney route and make it "fool." It would fit her personality.

9) Who’s one person they really miss? (It could be someone who’s passed away, or someone they’re not close to anymore, or someone who’s moved away.) 

Simmon Nightingale, the hero. She really is lonely in her position and pride, and he was the only one she let onto her pedestal with her. They both actually live in the capital now, but since she's with the elementals and he's in the singer hall, they don't cross paths very often.

10) What sights, sounds, and smells remind them of that person?

Herbs and music. He had wanted to be an herbalist bird - his plant knowledge is already extensive - and she knows that. But he's now a singer. They actually see each other fairly frequently, as the Nightingales chiefly perform for the Elementals, but its from afar.

And now, if you only came to hear about my brianstorming and question answering, you can stop reading now. If you want to learn more about that Amazon Gift card, I'm handing the keyboard over to Maryanne, who is organizing my party. Though I'm staying on hand in case she tries to give away another dragon egg. I'm sorry, I'd love to give one away, but I'm just not able to foot that bill.

You're just a spoilsport, Kendra.

You are aware that you're one of the only one of my characters who calls me that.

Most of your other characters are spoilsports, too. But at least you have me right?

Just tell them about the interviews.

Si. The interviews. One of the things Kendra is giving away money for is interviewing her characters Lots of money - a whole five dollars!

Technically, it isn't that much.

It sounds like a lot. Anyways, as she said on the other post, all you have to do to volunteer is to send her an email with how many times you're willing to have her characters over to your blog (you can do all twelve days if you'd like) and which books you'd most like to see. Try to pick at least two books over the number of days. So, if you've volunteered for eighteen of those twelve days, give her at least sixteen titles. 

Uh ... Maryanne?

Did I count wrong again? Yeah, that happens when I don't take off my shoes. Anyways, so far, we have received promise for several emails, we've only had one appear in her inbox. And I need to have these organized soon so I can figure out who will interview who on what day. We're flexible people, but we need time! So please, bitte, send us those emails before the end of next week. I can probably work you in if you don't discover this opportunity until after the end of next week, but don't push it. You may end up with a visit from my Jackalope instead.

You can find the other details here on the official post, but I'm going to expand on the available titles so that newcomers have idea of what the books are about.

July 24 - The Rowa
Fantasy/Sci-fi. Tiger wants to get her Ring of Faith on her twenty-fourth birthday. Snap wants to be a successful Infiltrator. Both can't have their wish.
July 25 - The Rizkaland Legends
Fantasy. Kids world travel and become kings and queens. It is more complicated than that, but there's the gist of it.
July 26 - The Trilogy of One
Fantasy. A girl finds a dwarf in her closet and then has to travel a magical land and to restore the nine Gems of Virtue.
July 27 - Part of the Family, or, The BigWig Plays (Same series, different name)
Contemporary/Retelling. This began as a modernization of The Prodigal Son. 
July 28 - The New Division
Fantasy. Four orphans from the Great Depression find themselves in a world of elves and find themselves the focus of a millennias-old war.
July 29 - The Mikada Chronicles (This includes Silivock and, distantly, Cayra.Technically, The Rowan stories should go here, too, but they were important enough in Kendra's writing journey that they deserve their own day)
Sci-fi/Fantasy. In the Andromeda Galaxy, there is a systems of planets who are united in one purpose - to find the Firstborn of Creation. It'll take them a few thousand years to find us though ...
July 30 - The Trilogy of Secrets
Fantasy. A girl with amnesia walks through a crack in her wall into a magical world and finds out that she's the Fairy Princess.
July 31 - Half-Hidden
Fantasy. Jyson has been told that he can marry the princess if he kills thirty dragons and effectively wipes them out of existence. But the dragons and the princess herself have other ideas.
August 1 - Worth of a King
Fantasy. Obsidia is all set to marry Delaney, the son of the man who killed her father, to secure his place on the throne. But then her twin brother shows up and he has other ideas.
August 2 - HaV Academy
Superhero/Boarding School/Dystopia/Contemporaryish. HaV Academy is a school for Superheros and their villains, and they decide which you are. Some people can handle being told how they will live their lives better than others.
August 3 - The Ankulen
Fantasy. A girl finds out that her long-forgotten imagination is real, and that it's being eaten by a Polystoikhedron.
August 4 - The Bookania Quests
Fantasy/Retelling I mash up fairy tales to see if they'll make sense.

If there is a certain character that you want to interview, let us know and we'll try to give him or her to you. If you want to interview a certain book, but can't do it on that book's day, let us know and we'll figure out a different day for you (because all of Kendra's books are intertwined, and characters have cameo appearances in other books). And if you want to interview Kendra herself, well, she's open to that too.

Just hurry with those emails!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Of Cinders and Swords

I told ya'll that I would try to publish CinderEddy this week. It didn't happen, and honestly I'm not sure when it will happen. Don't get me wrong - it's all set to go, and I thoroughly intended to publish, but Amazon and I are having issues. I'm not certain what these issues are, but it appears to be some sort of policy change, and getting around it will require me getting my business in my name instead of my dad's. (Yes, I have a business - and there's a crazy story why ... No. I don't feel like telling it.) I may be able to circumvent it in the short run, though. You see, I'm trying to switch all my books over to my own Amazon account (Because I was sixteen when I started, I had to publish under my Mom's account), and it's my own account that's giving me issues. Mom's might not, haven't tried, and I may transfer CinderEddy back to her account soon. We'll see.

But despite that, I'm going to show you the cover art today, let you drool, and entice you with a few snippets.


First of all, because I'm cruel like that, here's the working cover art that I used for the original short story. Fun piece of trivia - that sword is taken from what was my attempt at drawing a better cover art for Sew, It's a Quest. Go any lower, and there's a "Book 1" on the pommel of that sword. Any higher, and you'll run into
a box with title information. Any further to the right, and you'll find a needle.

I'm actually quite proud of that mock cover. It's only problem is that I made that box with the title information too small.

Anyways, you didn't come here to talk about Bookania (because CinderEddy is not officially part of Bookania. I suspect that it is - on the same level that Tears, Frogs, and Laughter is, but it's not an official part of the series), you came to see the cover for CinderEddy.

Fine. I'll let you see it.

And yes, I used the exact same sword - I just ran it through more edits to make it look more professional. I'm quite fond of this myself.

Now for the blurb:

Edward, called CinderEddy by his stepbrothers, has been treated as little more than a servant ever since his mother died after her remarriage. When the Princess Elicia is kidnapped, however, his stepbrothers join the other knights attempting to rescue her, and Edward uses their absence to make his own attempt at her rescue. He doesn't expect to succeed, but somehow, he keeps finding himself on the right path.

I'm not quite as fond of that, but it explains the heart of the story. Let me know if it could use improvement though!

And now for snippets - however, since I just came from reading what would have been Kiri Liz's entry to the contest (Secret of the Hazel Tree. Like me, she hadn't finished the story in time to enter it, and unlike me, it was far too long anyways.), they kinda pale in comparison. I won't say that it is my new all-time favorite (Ella Enchanted holds that place irrevocably in my heart) but I think I now have a new second favorite. And the fun part is, our retellings both lean towards the Grimm's version of the story. (Mine is a very loose retelling, but while there's no official Fairy Godmother, it is while he's talking to his father's suit of armor that he decides to rescue the princess ... which is kinda like how Achenputten - Cinderella's name in the Grimm's version - received her dress from her mother's grave.) By the way, Kiri will be displaying this cover over at her blog as well.

But, snippets - Enjoy!

"Well!" exclaimed James. "Then we must begin at once - CinderEddy!" He turned sharply to face Edward, a frown appearing on his face. "You're dawdling."
"Well, I - I was eager to hear the news as well, Sir James." Since the twins' knighting, Edward had been forbidden to leave the Sir off of their names, though they had done little to deserve the titles.
"Do you hear that, John?" questioned James in a sneering voice, as he turned to look back at his brother. "He was eager to hear the news." Then he looked back at Edward and added, in a dangerous tone, "The news does not concern you, CinderEddy. What concerns you is your work."

Edward hastily looked back down and pulled at the nearest weed, wishing he could dare remind them of his mother’s status.

For some time after that, Edward just roamed up and down the halls, wondering what to do with himself in his new-found freedom. At last he came to a stop in front of where Sir Hector had set Sir Henry's armor on display - the armor that had always been the nearest thing to Edward to actually having his father. How often had he snuck down here as a child after a beating? Edward knew not.

He drifted into thought for a moment, then snapped back to attention, turning to face the armor. "So how does that sound? I'd take a horse as well, but I think that that would cause too much of a commotion."
Since he got no negative response from the suit of armor, he decided that the answer must be in the positive.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

In Which I Brainstorm

This is my first official participation in Anne-Girl's June Crusade. (See sidebar link for more information)

Miss Anne Elizabeth has started a fairy tale contest, and while I didn't finish a story in time to enter it last year, I want to have a story for this year.

But the theme this year is "Beauty and the Beast." A great fairy tale - a brilliant one, even ... and that's the problem.

For me, the thrill of retelling fairy tales is to fill in the gaps and get the story to make sense. Beauty and the Beast isn't your typical fairy tale. Unlike Cinderella and Rapunzel and Snow White, B&B has a definite source and the original version was nearly a novel in its own right (no, I haven't read it, but it is long.)

It doesn't have any substantial holes. It's message - getting to know each other before marriage, and not judging by appearances - is strong, so no need to fix that. It was never my favorite Disney movie - they made too many changes to the plot that I didn't care for.

I had suspected that she would do B&B for a while. I watch book trends and I know which ones are the popular ones. Cinderella and B&B are the most common tales to retell out there. And yet, no ideas have come to me as I earnestly hoped she would do Rapunzel or even Snow White.

But she's chosen B&B, so I guess I'll have to come up with something or opt out again ...

Wait ... what if I filter my reluctance into the retelling ... what if there's some sort of school that you go to, and at the end you get typed into a fairy tale that you have to play out to get your happily ever after (or something like that) and the girl who gets Beauty and the Beast really wanted to do a different fairy tale, and so keeps trying to shift B&B over to it.

Yes. I like that idea.

The question is, what fairy tale would she prefer over B&B and why? As I said before, my main problem with this story is the fact that it doesn't have problems. And I don't want to go the racism route and have her issue be the beast himself - oh, I know! She wanted a fairy tale where she could go on an adventure of her own - not sit in a house all day and be asked by a beast to marry her every night.

But which fairy tale?

Now, I know lots of fairy tales - and some of them B&B types - where the princess goofs up with her prince charming and the person who had put him under a spell spirits him away and she has to chase after him to win him back, but almost all of them are obscure. The best known is "East of the Sun, West of the Moon," but I'm not certain I want to go that route either ... um, or maybe Snow Queen ... I could ride off the popularity of Frozen ... but again, I'm not liking that route. Too much mainstream for me. I like a taste of obscure.

So ... how about Fairer-than-a-Fairy? It's one of my favorite fairy tales, inspired a pivotal scene in The Ankulen and it has quite a few things in common with B&B. The message of love can be based on more than appearance and daring deeds. I like that one. The princess gets to do the rescuing, but it's not her fault that she loses him - they were co-prisoners and their captor decided to move him to a different enchantment. (Honestly, I'm looking forward to retelling this one in Bookania! And believe it or not, its characters are related to the Beast in Bookania, so I really like where this is going.)

As for names, the princess will be Adara. It means Beauty. Which is appropriate. For the beast, I'm not certain it's important yet, as she won't meet him until she's trapped in the fairy tale and he won't be able to tell her his name and past until the end of the story. He'll just be the Beast.

That sounds good enough for me to write a back cover (since that's one of the requirements for this challenge)

Adara wanted to be Fairer-than-a-Fairy. It's not a well known fairy tale, but she thinks it the best, it has adventures, and she never was one to crave the limelight. But instead she's Beauty. The one who marries a beast. And spends most of her time in a house - a big house with lots of rooms to explore, but still ... a house. Well, it seems she'll just have to make the most out of it!

As for a title, I think I'll go with Fairer than Beauty, for the present.

And now to go actually write it. I have another plot bunny started, but it's a story that's been running around in my head since Christmas, so you won't be seeing a brainstorm post for it (though I will tell you a bit about its inspiration)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Party Announcement

First off - the winner of the $5 Amazon Gift card was ... TomWildRose! Against all odds (it was three to one that Kiri would win - which is proof that bribes don't always work, isn't it *wink*), she came out on top of the randomized list I made, and if she'll send me an email with an account attached to an Amazon account, I'll send her the money as soon as I can.

Now, on to the scheduled programming.

June 24th will mark my fifth anniversary as an blogger. Twelve days later, on August 4th, I will have been a published author for three years. Two such momentous occasions require a celebration, and a good one at that.

So I've decided to throw one.

There's the button. Link it to this page. You guys know the drill.

(Someday I shall learn how to make those text boxes with the code, but today is not that day.)

And now that you have the link, and therefore the official date, I'm done with this and can go write My Kingdom for a Quest. I have a very interesting scene involving Shira and Robin to write.

Kendra ...

Uh, Sie ist weg. Lost in her stories again (which I suppose I should consider a good thing since it means that she'll get to my book sooner). Anyways, this is Maryanne, Kendra's all-time favorite character, and since she's not at liberty to tell people what series I'm from, she's given me the job of party coordinator, provided that I keep my speech to mostly English.

This party, which is still unnamed (I suggest Funf und Drei, but Kendra, though impressed, did turn it down), will be themed mostly on Kendra's published and unpublished works, each day featuring a different book or series - here's the schedule:

July 24 - The Rowa
July 25 - The Rizkaland Legends
July 26 - The Trilogy of One
July 27 - Part of the Family, or, The BigWig Plays (Same series, different name)
July 28 - The New Division
July 29 - The Mikada Chronicles (This includes Silivock and, distantly, Cayra. Technically, The Rowan stories should go here, too, but they were important enough in Kendra's writing journey that they deserve their own day)
July 30 - The Trilogy of Secrets
July 31 - Half-Hidden
August 1 - Worth of a King
August 2 - HaV Academy
August 3 - The Ankulen
August 4 - The Bookania Quests

You may notice that there are several of her works missing, but she only had twelve days to post on, so we had to make cuts. 

On each day, Kendra will have (or at least try to have) an introduction to each book via the main characters, the story of its inspiration and writing journey up to the present, at least one first chapter, a Fairy Tale Commentary on a fairy tale that she considers associated with with the story, a chapter from the Author Commentary for Sew, and a recipe of sorts connected to the bok. Fun, right? And, if the book is a co-write, she will acquire an interview with the coauthor.

As with all of Kendra's parties, she will be holding all sorts of giveaways, including copies of her books, $5 Amazon Gift Cards, and a real dragon egg, isn't that right, Kendra?


Uh, hello folks, sorry about running off to write that book, but Maryanne was begging me to let her have her say. No, I am not going to give away a real dragon egg. I mean, it'd be nice - who wouldn't want a pet dragon that you can use instead of a car - but it's a bit impractical and the mailing fees are just too high. So no dragons.

I'll come up with something else amazing. Don't worry.

Anyways, the fact that there are giveaways is all fine and good, but useless if you don't know how to enter them. And there are several ways.

For instance, one of the gift cards will come from interviewing my characters on the days associated with their book. If you're willing to have one, or more, of my characters over to your blog, send me an email with the number of days you're willing to have my characters over, and which books you would be most interested in having over (have at least two more options here than you have days, so I have leeway ... unless you'd like to interview me all eleven days). Please send me these emails as soon as possible so I -


I mean Maryanne can start organizing them. And spread the word about these interviews so I have as many as possible. I'd like to have at least one interview per book. And while I understand that my published books will naturally be more popular, I do know that many of my unpublished works have a small following.

The winner for this card will be chosen at random.

Also, another two gift cards will go to fan art. There are two categories (One for each card): Graphic art and hand drawn. You can illustrate a scene from one of my published books, or you can do a mock cover art for one of my unpublished. Perhaps you'd like to illustrate a quote that you really liked, or you can draw inspiration from one of the many snippets I've posted. Have fun. You can post your art on your blog, or if you're not so bold, or don't have a blog, just email me (include your age and the name you would like to go by) and I'll post it on my blog on the appropriate day. Either way, it will end up on my pinterest board accredited to you, and on my fan art page (link can be found on my fan page.) Even if you don't draw, please let your artist friends know about this opportunity.

For a full, physical, autographed set of my published books, you can write fan fiction for either of my published works. As with the art, you can either post it on your blog, or you can email it to me and I'll post it on the appropriate day.

And if you're not bold enough to write fanfiction, a second writing contest is to take one of my titles on my WIP page and put your own story to it. Post this on your blog, and you'll be entered in a contest for a $10 gift card.

The winners for these contests will be judged by skill. (Which is why I ask for ages when you send me entries)

One last giveaway will be reviews. Anyone who has written reviews for at least five of my books (and my short stories count separately), and emails me with a list of links (and these can be both old reviews you did two years ago, or brand spankin' new ones) will entered to win another $5 gift card.

There will be more giveaways over the course of the party, of course, and now I'm going to hand to keyboard back over to Maryanne.

Merci, Kendra. Basically, come to Kendra's party or I'll send Ysga my pet dragon to come get you and bring you here.

Maryanne! That's not how you invite people to parties!

I thought they'd like to have a dragon ride.

Just behave. Anyways, as she implied, please come, and bring a friend or ten.It's going to be fun, and the more, the merrier!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Character Encounters - June 2014

I said I'd try to be over today with the introduction to my blog party, but I changed my mind. I'll do that tomorrow (please thank me, this will mean that the post will be extra thought out and well done). Today I will be introducing your character encounter.

Weird thing is, I'm not entirely certain where I want the CE to take place. I have so many good ideas and yet ... oh, I know. This one is perfect!

This month, you will encounter your character in ...

The Water

It doesn't mater what sort of water, be it a swimming pool, a lake, or the ocean. Perhaps you're merely cleaning the bathtub.

Also, for the challenge level (something I forgot to do with the last CE, and then proceeded to use a character who didn't fit my intended challenge at all), it must be a character from a new idea, a plot bunny if you will. In this case, you'll also be able to count your CE as participation in Anne-Girl's June Crusade, where we're supposed to be writing Plot Bunnies.


(Also, as a heads up, I'm going to be focusing in on writing up some pretty good posts for my party over the next several weeks, so my CE's and the participation in this Crusade may be all you see of me until the actually party begins)

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