Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Post about Clara

One of the biggest complaints I've heard about WPFP has been Clara, the female lead. She's stubborn, annoying, and doesn't seem to show enough emotions in the epilogue.

To be honest, I don't blame you guys. As much as I love the girl, she frequently gets onto my nerves, too. This post isn't a defense of her actions, but merely a dig into her psyce to show the WHY behind what she did and how she acted. There will be spoilers.

To start with, Clara is an ENFP, as am I. She leans a bit more to the J than I do, but that's the biggest difference between us. The common stereotype about ENFP's is that we're emotional people who wear our hearts on our sleeves. In truth, we're actually very private about our emotions. ENFP's have been called the most introvereted of extroverts, and it's because our F is actually connected to introversion, not extroversion. When dealing with people, we'd much prefer to use our abstract iNtuition. When we're not able to use intuition, we prefer to fall back on Thinking, not Feeling, when in social situations. Our emotions are OURS.

This is especially true of negative emotion. We like being happy, we like showing our happy face to the world. Negative emotion is usually channeled into physical activities, anger, or both.

And this is what Clara is facing at the beginning and end of the book. She's just been thrust into a new world, she can't be certain if the people there are telling the truth, or if they have a much more sinister plan for her than what they're saying. She's scared, but put into the limelight, doesn't want to show it. So she channels it into anger - stubborness in refusing to tell anyone about her true skills - and actions - by ... what she does with her instructors. By not taking her instructors seriously, she's also trying to raise her own mood by making fun of their plight - even if it's only mentally to herself.

The other thing you have to take into consideration is Clara's relationship with her mom. Clara is an only child, but her mom wanted more and Clara knows that. Clara's mom has also had several miscarriages, and Clara has watched her mom go through deep depresssions after every single one, and she knows, without a shadow of a doubt, that if she weren't to return, her mom might not recover. So while Andrew's drive was to get back and take care of the physical needs of his younger brothers, Clara was driven to getting back to take care of her mother's emotional needs.

And then, when she left Rizkaland at the end of the book, you have to understand: she had warning. Tnika Spoke of their departure back to Earth a few days in advance, and Clara had that much time to emotionally prepare herself for leaving Klarand. They had time to set their kingdom back in order, and to say good-bye to almost everyone they considered important - with exception of two of their children who were on a top secret mission at the time that will be important in book 6.

Everything was not suddenly yanked away from her, and she went of her own choice. She thinks she's okay with it. It won't be until later that night, or even a night or two later, when she's left alone in an empty bed, and it crushes down on her and she realizes that she's not.

But even when she first emerges from the water, there are little things - the fact that she doesn't stay with Kath and Rhoda, for instance, and instead seeks out her mother. Her mother is Clara's emotional buffer. As much as she enjoys Kath and Rhoda, they're not her confidants, and she rarely lets down her emotional walls around them. That's reserved for her mom.

And her mom knows what Clara's going through, she knows her daughter's reluctance to admit negative emotion - so after offering a few words of emotional encouragement, she offers her a way to channel her grief into physical action - a sword fight. This sword fight raises Clara's emotions just enough that she's able to face people again at the picnic where she is reunited with Andrew.

The emotions are there, just buried under a smile and a tease.

But if it makes you feel any better, she probably cried herself to sleep - if not that night, then the next night.

Lady Dragon, Tela Du - Chapter 1

I have shared this previously on the AA blog, but I've decided to share it here, as well. I will not be sharing Petra's first chapter on this blog, however, though it is the AA blog.


via Pinterest

Chapter 1

“I allowed the Fire Prince and Water Princess their victory,” Amber mentioned over supper.
Her husband, Granite, glanced up from the knife he was polishing. No matter how many times she told him not to bring weapons to the dinner table, he still insisted. “Indeed?” he asked. “Just as you knew full-well that Laura intended to banish us the moment we stepped into that chamber, five hundred years before?”
Amber brushed his comment aside – he never appreciated the full depths of her plots. “Indeed. My fifteen years in Klarand were at their end, the Klaranders had tasted my power and cowered appropriately, it was time to withdraw and prepare for the final war.”
“You’re still obsessed with that, are you?” asked Granite, sliding the knife into his sleeve. “Why can’t you be content with the realm we’ve been given, the task that has been asked of us.”
“A barren land peopled with the cast-off criminals from the other islands?” asked Amber. “Perhaps such a place is good enough for you, but I remember when we were greater than that.”
“As do I. Oh, how far you’ve fallen, Amber.” Granite stabbed a chunk of his steak and thrust it into his mouth.
“No thanks to you and your insistence in undermining every forward step I take. Come now, my husband, don’t deny that you do it. How many of my prisoners have you helped escape? It is fortunate that I prepare for it accordingly, or else where would we be.”
“I dare say not much worse off than we are now, my dear wife,” said Granite, staring hard at her. “After all, you tailored the Water Princess and Fire Prince’s prison specifically for their escape. They hardly needed my help.”
“I meant for them to escape the prison, yes, but if it weren’t for your meddling, they wouldn’t have made it out of the city.”
“I thought you allowed them their victory.”
“I didn’t want them to gain it so easily,” Amber pointed out. She shook her head to focus her thoughts again. “However, it is time to move forward to better and greater horizons – Rizkaland itself shall be ours this time – no shadows to lurk in for us this time. We shall be king and queen!”
“You, at least, shall be queen,” said Granite. “I fear I shall always be in your shadow for the rest of our life.”
“Perhaps if you weren’t so bent on being a thorn in my side, we could work things out,” said Amber, standing up, and slinking over to his side. “As it is, I don’t dare let you get any glory.” She leaned on the back of his chair, and wrapped her arms around his neck to whisper in his ear. “Just imagine the power we would wield if we worked together, my dear husband. No one would stand in our way.”
“And that it is precisely what I fear, my dear wife,” said Granite, patting her hand, and then with one deft motion, he lifted her arms up over his head and stood up. She instinctively tried to pull away, but his grip on her wrist was too tight. “But why must things be this way? Why can’t we live simply and not have whole worlds under our thumbs?”
“We tried it once,” Amber spat. “Look what happened, Lintooalintae fell apart when we let them rule themselves.”
“But it plunged into misery when you assumed full control,” said Granite. His gray eyes bored into her, deep and sad, and before she had time to move, his other hand wrapped around her head, and his lips crushed against hers.
She flailed. She didn’t have time for this tonight. She had to…
He released her, and retreated, only looking back when he reached the doorway. “I shall be in the courtyard. Do what you think you must and let me know when we’re ready to fly to the mainland.”
“We – we won’t be flying this time,” she informed him, as soon as she caught her breath.
He said nothing, but raised an eyebrow.
“I have another, grander plan for our arrival in Rizkaland, but you can be sure that I’ll come get you when we’re ready to leave,” she informed him, summoning every bit of her dignity. “Do me a favor, however, and make sure there are none but ourselves in this castle.” Then she turned and swept out of the room before he had a chance to say anything in reply.
After living her whole life in this terrible castle, Amber scarcely needed to watch where she went. Instead she focused on a much more pressing task as she walked. Fishing through her pockets, she pulled out a black dragon scale and peered deep into its depths.
The scene began as it always did, a cheering crowd – silent of course, for the scale’s magic was pictures, not words – as she herself stood there, drinking in the attention. Ah, to have that cheering crowd today! Then the sky grew dark as the people turned away from her, towards the horizon where mysterious rider sat silhouetted against the sky, astride a richly purple haranda. The crowd parted to allow rider and steed to pass through, cheers rose for her benefit, not Amber’s.
They reached Amber’s stage, and the rider dismounted – a girl, dressed in too much purple herself, no older than sixteen, for as she and Amber circled each other, it was like looking at two sides of one mirror, save for the colors the girls wore.
Then the struggle began, as it always did. The purple girl launched herself at Amber, and Amber caught her, all too ready for the trick. Amber watched on, hoping, willing herself to win, but as always, the scene faded black before the battle ended.
“One of us will die that day,” she muttered, squeezing a fist around the scale. “I’ve worked too long, too hard for it to be me.”
She shoved it back into her pocket as she stalked down the halls with doubled vigor, as she hoped that fury would erode the knot of foreboding that sat uneasily in her stomach.
She arrived in her library, the result of many, many years of work and toil – for most of the books were of her own writing. However, it was not the written word that demanded her attention, but the shelves of amulets, trinkets, and other talismans that she had collected over even longer years of patience and study.
Crossing over, she pulled a long chain of red diamonds off of a top shelf and placed it around her neck, systematically tapping each gem as she paced up and down the room. With each tap, the air crackled with the energy it released. Once every gem had been tapped, she took the necklace off and returned it to its place, and picked up a flat silver disk etched with symbols instead. Rolling it on its edge between her hands, she left the room and paced down more passages and halls, muttering beneath her breath.
The disk and necklace had come to her many, many years before, but she had used them only twice before, for their magic was unnatural, ripping and tearing at the very fabric of the worlds. It took many years of patience and preparation to use them, especially as she was about to now – for she wasn’t escaping into another world, but carrying this castle to another point in this world.
Her steps carried her out to the courtyard, where Granite was waiting for her. He said nothing, but she felt his eyes fixed on her as she marched out to the very center of the courtyard.
“Is the castle empty?” she asked.
“Very good.”
She threw the disk to the ground, and the air about them shattered. Light and sound were sucked away, leaving them in a trembling darkness that crackled with energy. A terrible sound, more felt than heard, trembled through her.
With a flash of light, the world shot back normal. Amber breathed in deeply of the sweet air of Rizkaland – so much the better than the rancid winds that blew through that island of banishment which the Rizkans named for her. She turned to her husband.
“It is done, we are in Rizkaland at last.”
Granite nodded slowly. “So be it.”
Ignoring him, Amber strode confidently to the gate, mentally going over the speech that she would give her new and soon adoring subjects. She would have to allay their fears, of course, since they’d no doubt heard nasty rumors about herself, rumors that she was to blame for the planting. But, of course, it was only Klarand that she meant ill, for the cruel mistreatment she’d suffered at the hands of the Ten. She had nothing but good-will for Rizkaland itself. It was a simple matter, twisting history.
She reached into her pocket to search for the star that would give her the strength to open the gate of her own power, since she didn’t have servants to do it now.
“Watch your step, Silver, you stumble blindly in the dark, thinking you see plainly, but there is a cliff right before you, and you shall surely fall.”
“Hello to you, too, Laura,” said Amber, turning to the girl who addressed her. “Come to tell me more of your grim predictions?”
“I would if you would listen,” said Laura, shaking her head. “But I’m afraid that you haven’t heeded my words for over four thousand years, and I don’t think you’ll begin now.”
“I’m no longer a child, Doorkeeper.”
“No one is beyond the need of good advice, Amber. Not even myself.”
“So you’ve come to tell me once more that you disapprove of the choices I make? You yourself warn to never judge!”
“Unless you are placed in a position of authority and asked to do it.” Laura folded her arms behind her back and stared at Amber unflinching. “I do not judge, Alphego has judged you already. I come to warn. Turn back now. Please. Rizkaland does not need you.”
“I have been promised!”
 Laura shook her head. “Alphego sometimes gives us what we want, not because it is best, but because we will have it no other way. You will suffer the consequences of your decision, as will Rizkaland itself. Will you come to regret it? I cannot say.”
“You cannot say?” asked Amber. “You, Laura, who knows all things future, cannot say?”
“Amber! There are things that I know that I cannot speak. You march smiling towards your death saying that you live.”
“Do I die? I thought the fate of my battle was uncertain? Either of us could win that battle, and I intend for it to be me.”
“Intentions don’t change your fate. Decisions do.” Laura stared hard into Amber’s eyes. “And you have a decision in front of you right now. Do you carry on as you are, do you hasten your death. Or shall you turn back, and carry out the task that Alphego asked of you.”
“I cannot turn back now.”
“You could, but you won’t.” Laura turned away with a shake of her head. “You’ve set your step, and nothing I can say can sway you until you meet with the Tela Du in battle.” Then she turned back to Amber with a hard expression. “Give me your cloth.”
“My cloth?” Amber repeated, her hand instantly reaching to cover her heart, where she had tucked the shimmering bit of silver cloth that had extended her life far past what was natural.
“Yes, your cloth.” Laura held out an expectant hand.
For a moment, Amber was transported back six thousand years to her childhood when she would give the Doorkeeper anything. Without further protest, she pulled out the cloth and placed in Laura’s hand.
Laura balled her fist around it. “I never told you the history of this cloth, what it was meant to do.”
Amber chose not to answer, though her curiosity burned. It wasn’t often that Laura chose to meddle with any of the magical items that Amber had collected over the years.
“Neither did Queen Jade, did she? No, she was ashamed. These cloths are the failure of Luna, and they tried to hide it with glory. Queen Amorite forged them with a drop of my blood, in hopes that it would give her and King Flint control over me, and over my powers.”
“Is that why you have such an obsession with me?”
“It’s a very small part of it, Amber.” Laura’s eyes softened a moment, as she shook her head. “Queen Amorite failed. Instead of gaining control of me, she put her and her husband under my own power, and trapped themselves apart from time. Their deaths could only come at my permission, and the cloths and my control would pass on to the ones who brought about the deaths. An endless cycle that only I can break.”
Then, with a sharp movement, Laura ripped the cloth in half. The sound tore painfully through Amber, and yet the cloth remained whole and unblemished.
“I have just given the Tela Du permission to kill you. Guard yourself Amber. You march towards your death.”
Laura shoved the cloth back into Amber’s hand and spun around and marched away. Amber stood still, the Doorkeeper’s words washing over her painfully. Slowly she replaced the cloth, noting how it tingled painfully.
She turned back to see Laura speaking with Granite, but Laura looked up and met Amber’s eye.
Laura’s eyes narrowed, and with a voice that Amber had only heard her use twice before, she whispered, “Go.” The castle trembled with the word’s power.
Amber turned and fled.


Okay, so I had the whole first Q&A post written, but sometimes my internet goes knacky, and then blogger will refuse to save it. I thought I'd put it into clipboard, but apparently didn't.

So ... I'm going to have to rewrite all of that again. and I liked what I'd come up with.

*heavy sigh*

I'm going to try to have it rewritten for tonight, but I'm not sure if that will happen. Perhaps, instead, I'll post them over the course of next month, and count in all of the questions that people asked too late?

Anyways, have a post about Tyler, the final main character in Book 2.

Via Pinterest
Tyler is Petra's older brother. He's a quiet ISFJ, and a lot of people overlook him. His plans include following his dad into the Electrician business, and being able to provide for and support Summer when he marries her. The biggest flaw in this plan is the fact that he's never actually talked to Summer about it. She's completely unaware that he even likes her, even though Robert, and occasionally Petra drop hints from time to time.

He's very shy, preferring to watch and observe what's going on than to actually talk about it. When pressed, he's a fast thinker, but he usually likes to take his time and consider all options before he makes a decision.

I was originally going to name him Tim. The girl who going to play Summer protested, so we spent an evening after AWANA one Wednesday, wrote down all the guys' names she liked on the board, and then slowly eliminated them until Tyler was left.

Next to Noraeto, he was one of the most underdeveloped characters in the book, but my mom and I sat down one evening and did up a list of character traits for him, so I have a better idea of who he is. Such as the fact that he has a pet finch. Not sure whether or not that'll ever get into the book, but there we go.

I do know that he's an adorable young man who needed to get his head out of his rut so that Summer would actually notice him, They're adorable together, I can say that.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Via Pinterest
It's incredibly hard for me to find proper inspiration pins for Summer, since her physical appearance is largely based upon a girl I know well,

I've said that Petra was a combination of Peter and Lucy's best traits. Summer, on the other hand, was a combination of Susan and Edmund's worst. This was how my friend liked it, as she loves playing villains/resistance characters. (She's the sweetest thing in real life, though!)

The Summer I have now, Reuben's younger sister instead of Petra's, hasn't changed terribly much. She's an ESTP, which is interesting, because I'm not an S, and I don't understand them terribly well (HOW CAN YOU NOT SEE ALL THE POSSIBILITIES IN THE UNIVERSE?????)

A lot of her character development was done my by friend, which I let her do, since this was the character she was going to play when it was to be a movie. I think the biggest change I've made since my friend left the project was changing her powers from just birds to Beasts in general, and that wasn't a change I made until very late in WPFP's publication process.

(Long story short, I decided to sort the Rizkan character's powers, which had previously been very hodge-podge. I may, after you read the book, share the original configuration with you guys.)

Summer is a bit of a typical teenager, a bit annoyed with the world, and a little obsessed with beauty. I believe I revealed in a Goodread's snippet that Reuben is part Native American, and, of course, as she's his younger sister, she is too. However, she's the one who actually looks it. Reuben and Robert take more after their mom's side of the family. In fact, many people give them a second glance when they find out they're related.

Until they smile, that is. All three of them have the same grin, revealing dimples a mile deep. (Key thing I look for when pinning her - dimples)

Summer does dye her hair, I've figured out, so if you see her in blonde on my pinterest board, that's what happened. In truth, she's a dark brunette.

I need to get to work. 'Twas fun talking. Hopefully I'll be able to get the first Character Q&A post up this afternoon, and the second one up tomorrow. The few answers I've eked out of Clara and Andrew have been interesting thus far.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Other Books

Rizkaland may be the main series, but it's by no means the full story, today I'd like to talk about the (mostly) non-Rizkan stories that will tie in, and possibly fill in a few gaps in the main series.

First of all, I'd like to note that I have four timelines that I use when ordering these books, as well as the Rizkaland Legends themselves.

1. Rizkaland Timeline, which is the order of things by Rizkan time.
2. Earth Timeline, which is the order of things by Earthen time.
3. Amber's Timeline, which is mostly used when exploring her backstory.
4. Laura's Timeline, which is a convoluted, tangled ball that I usually leave alone, but it's occasionally useful.

Good? Good.

Now to the other books that I have planned that you won't want to miss if you're a loyal Rizkan fan.

1. Worth of a King. This is my cowrite with Jack Lewis Baillot, and pre-fall Amber and Granite play a role in it. I can't say yet what sort of role, but I will say that it is one of the stories that Amber has tucked into her library, and a reference or two to the story may be making a cameo at some point in book 2.

2. Dragon Song. This story is, in part, a companion to Worth - how, I can't say - and it was, at one point, going to be book 3 of the main series. Main characters from book 2 will be making large appearances, but I can't say who, just yet, or how.

3. Adventures of Princess Saffron. I need to finish writing this trilogy. I'm about half-way through the second story ... anyways, Saffron makes an apparance in Dragon Song. 

4. The Eternal Queen. This is another Amber backstory - except this time it reaches even further back and features Queen Amorite, Amber's ancestress, whose meddling trapped the royal line in their immortaity.

5. The New Division. This book begins during the Great Depression in the very orphanage where Andrew's dad later grew up, which becomes the house where Petra and her siblings grew up. It also features some POV from Petra's great-grandmother, Amanda Arden, and then at the end, an a breif cameo of some main characters from the series.

6. The Trilogy of Secrets. Two of the main characters from this series, Collie and Susan, live near Petra and Reuben's houses, and their electricty problem is talked about occassionally in LDTD.

7. Infiltration. Have I talked about my elvings, half elf, half something else, before? If I have, have I told you that the elf that they're descended from Rizkan elves? They are! Also, traces of Rizkan abound throughought their culture - indeed, the name of the world is the Rowa - Rizkan for rainbow.

8. The rest of the Mikida Chronicles. Infiltration is technically part of my sister's scifi series, and although it has the strongest connection, tie-ins abound throughout the whole series. Indeed, the main characters of the Eagle's Logs half of the series are two elvings, and two half-human twins who are descended from characters from the Rizkaland legends. (I don't remember, off the top of my head who the ancestors are, however.)

9. An untitled story about Laura set post-Rizkaland. I can't say much about this story, but it takes place several years after book 7 in the earth timeline, and takes place in the same world as Dragon Song. Also, Lucy is in it.

10. Stolen Ideas. This is the book that I recycled Sandra Elizabeth Nedor into. It's interesting, and I hope to share it someday.

And that doesn't even include the "lesser" legends that didn't make it into the main seven of the series. At the moment, I only know of three for certain, but I wouldn't put it past it for more books to appear.

1. Alphego's Hill - The Story of the Eight and the Ten.
2. Through the Mountain - The story of Amber's attack on Klarand 500 years prior to WPFP.
3. Ear of the People - this is a story set about eight years after WPFP, and is about Jasmine and Karlos.

So there's lots of story to look forward! to!


There weren't enough entrants for me to hold an official fanfiction contest. While there were three fanfics, there were only two fanfic writers, and that's not a fair contest. However, the stories are being posted over on the AA blog. If you have access, I'm sure you'll enjoy them.

Now, onto the Character post.

I added Granite about the same time as Noraeto. He has, perhaps, gone through the most drastic change of the main cast, plotting-wise.

Originally, Granite was to have shared his wife's fall. While she used her terrible magic to torment the people of Rizkaland, Granite did the dirty work that didn't require magic - in fact, the first bit of writing I did with him involved him and Amber discussing where to kill some prisoners. She told him to take them outside, because she'd just had the floors cleaned.

However, as I was plotting around and exploring backstory, I realized it would make more sense, and be far more interesting, if he hadn't shared her fall, if his heart was still true to Alphego.

Granite is either and INFJ or an INFP, I'm not entirely certain which. He's a quiet fellow, a bit on the shy side, who easily melts into his wife's shadow. However, he is the most important person in her life, and to loose him would be her undoing,

He shares her immortality, and has been frozen at the age of eighteen for six thousand years. He's fascinated and well-trained with all manner of weaponry, though he prefers close range weapons of skill best.

I wish his story could be happier than it is. It was happy, once for many years even, but now he fears that he'll never see light again. And yet he keeps a small sense of humor, he still takes joy in the little things when he can.

He does love Amber, a lot, and to be honest, he wouldn't like to live without her, either. He would just prefer that her heart was still his, and not given to the dragon magic that has consumed her.

Monday, December 28, 2015


Via Pinterest
Do you get chills down your spine when you hear that name? I do. It comes from working with a villain by that name for at least seven years. It was the third draft before I named her, she previously went by a mere, “Lady Dragon.”

Most of you have already met her, she’s the villain of the first book, after all. And I’m willing to say that you got a good glimpse of her character.

I’ve posted about her here on my before, as the villain of the first book, however, in Lady Dragon, Tela Du, she’s one of the main POV characters, and her story broadens and deepens. Do I justify her actions? Not in the least, however she makes a vain attempt at doing that.

Amber was inspired by Jadis, the White Witch of Narnia, and they share many similarities, both possess a form of immortality, both like turning their victims into statues (one ice, one stone, both terrible), and both have seen the death and birth of at least one world. However, unlike Jadis, Amber wasn’t always evil.

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As of book 2, Amber is about six thousand years old, with two thousand of those years having been spent on the Isle of Banishment in Rizkaland. To be honest, though, not much has changed for her since her banishment in WPFP. She can still turn herself into a dragon, she still has more magical items than I personally think is fair. (After all, I have NONE.) She still has a husband who gets in her way, frequently. She still thinks she's entitled to ruling the whole world.

This time however, the stakes are higher, and there's a desperation that she didn't have when facing Clara and Andrew. She knows she's nearing the end, and she's willing to do anything to keep what she's worked towards.

Amber is an ENTJ, a very driven woman, who certainly isn't one to wear her heart on her sleeve. She wasn't always evil, though. Indeed, for the first three thousand years of her life, she was quite on the opposite side of things. However, she has a weakness for power, and it was her undoing.

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Part of her knows she's fallen, but she doesn't want to admit it. She makes up excuses when confronted by her husband or by Laura. In fact, there's a lot of things, about her own person, that she has deluded herself about. To be honest, I'm not even sure if she knows what love is, anymore.

She's an interesting person to write with, especially alongside her husband, who'll I'll be talking about tomorrow. I've had some adorable scenes between the two of the despite, you know, her bend towards evil.

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Fanart Voting!


By Alyssa. Represent Laura trying to hold on to a normal life, but it always fading away from her.
Winner: Creativity


By my little Brother. It's his version of the cover art.


By Hannah Rogers. Representing Clara and Andrew.
Winner: Skill


By Hannah Rogers. Representing Reuben and Petra
Winner: Grand Prize


By Bedtime Bear. Representing the seven colors of Rizkan water.


By Tom WildRose. A mock cover
Winner: Interpretation


By Sarah Taleweaver. A Clarand Collage.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Stuff I Tossed

I’ve been working on Rizkaland for ten years, and it represents a good deal of my writing journey. It’s also represents most of the “Crazy Ideas that I Cut.” Sure, there have been bad ideas that have gone through some of my other books, but none as insane as Rizkaland.

Nerissa. I’ve talked about Nerissa, Clara’s doll before. But she still remains one of my great examples of “stuff I cut.” In short, she was a magic doll that Clara received in lieu of the sword she has now, and she could use it as a second pair of eyes. She lasted a year or two, but was gone before I finally actually got to the scene where Clara and Andrew met. I was sad to see her go, as she was a neat idea, and I had spent several hours one night searching for the perfect name for her, but she just didn’t belong to Rizkaland.

Sandra. Before I had Laura, I had Sandra Elizabeth Nedor and Jinalie Maybella Tunsut, two beings of a four-dimensional race called the Kentalidayi. Sandra was going to be my pen name. Neither could be harmed by anything three dimensional. They both had really long hair. I enjoyed working with them, but I eventually cut them because they were getting too weird and making my head hurt.

The Weed Scene. This only made it through one draft – the first draft I finished, incidentally. It was a scene in then-entitled The Giraffe and the Dragon in which the Dragon sent a field of weeds to impede Petra, Edna, Lulu, and Ashna’s journey to the Iron Noose. It involved pulling weeds, ants, lions, and hemp jewelry, and was inspired by the long hours I spent pulling weeds as a kid.

The Iron Noose. Actually, I’m somewhat proud of this, and I only cut it because it made the book too similar to LWW. Basically, it’s what I had in exchange for the Stone Table, and it was literally a hangman’s noose made of iron. The Dragon had to breath fire on it to make it useable. It was going to turn into normal rope after Jeptha’s sacrifice, and then mice would chew through it. It was awesome.

The Engagement Aura. This … this was a part of the deleted draft 4.5 of book two. Basically, in Rizkaland people who were engaged had an aura about them that other engage-ees could see. It was weird. After I deleted that draft, I never considered it again.

And … there was probably more stuff. If I think of more, I’ll come back and add it!

Also, I'd just like to say that I'll be putting together the fanart post in an hour or two, so if you plan to submit artwork, hurry up and send it!


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Noraeto was even more an afterthought than Reuben, I didn’t add him to the story until about half-way through the first “novel” draft.

To be honest, there’s not much I can share about Noraeto without venturing into spoiler territory, and of the main cast, he’s the least developed, but I shall try.

He’s an elf, Ashna’s love interest, and the grandson of a close friend of hers when she was a child. He’s one of the few young people to have received a complete education since Amber’s occupation, due to his family’s close friendship with the Bookholder’s family. He's also the first Rizkan that Reuben and Petra meet when they arrive in Rizkaland.

His gift is farsight – he can extend his vision to see anywhere he has been before, or anyone he knows. 

There's really not much more that I can think to say, however, I look forward to sharing his story with all of you because it really is interesting.


Please remember! The deadline for the fanart is TONIGHT!! Although I've decided to give you until tomorrow night for the fanfiction.

Also, WPFP is no longer free, but all but one of my short stories are, as are two Bookanias and The Ankulen!

Saturday, December 26, 2015


Reuben wasn’t in the original plan for Rizkaland.

Via Pinterest
He was a shoved in afterthought in the fourth draft. In the two finished drafts, I had given the five queens children, but not fathers for the children. (Forgetting fathers is something I have in common with Jen, the scene with King Merlin and Queen Tailya was indeed, a jab at my own habit.) So I did some major rearranging of families, established the Eight (Previously, it was just Queen Jane and King Ralph, and even he had taken his own sweet time in joining the series.), broke up the four sisters, and added five male leads.

Reuben, and his twin brother Paul (later renamed Robert), became the older brothers of Summer, Edna, Louise (Although Edna and Louise was later moved again when I realized I had too many characters.). Petra and her adopted sister, Ashley, gained an older brother, Tyler, and two younger brothers, Alex and Quentin. (Alex and Quentin have been similarly moved.)

Reuben has morphed into an ENFP over the years. I have no idea what he began as, beyond a hunk of cardboard. In fact, it has only been in this final draft of Lady Dragon, Tela Du that I’ve felt him flesh out and become a person.

I addressed his relationship with Petra yesterday. They’re best friends, having lived across the street from each other their whole lives. He’d personally like to be a bit more, actually having asked her to marry him at least six times. The first time, they were only six and eight. She has turned him down every time, with an “ask me again when we’re older,” and a “focus on school and work,” motivation she knows he sorely needs.

He's obsessed with her hair, by the way. Something she's alternately amused and annoyed by.

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He’s an upbeat, adventurous soul. Readers have commented on Clara and Andrew’s reserve upon first coming to Klarand, and while Petra is quite of the same opinion as those two, Reuben was the kid who sat in his closet hoping that it’d turn into a door to Narnia as a kid. He was the one who invented his own imaginary country and ruled over it with Petra at his side as queen. He’s a voracious reader of all levels of fantasy, and, like Clara, he’s quick to point out the cliché and compare his adventures to the ones he’s read about.

Needless to say, though, he’s thoroughly thrilled at finally finding his way into another world and becoming tangled up in a prophecy. He’d prefer it if the prophecy was a bit more certain (he doesn’t want to loose Petra, after all), but hey, the staff and telepathy that he’s been given is pretty cool.

He certainly has his short comings, his laid back nature frequently translates into a lack of motivation, and his wild imagination needs, perhaps, a stronger root in reality, but with Petra at his side, I think it’ll keep him out of the worst of trouble.

My alpha readers have already fallen in love with him – I can’t wait until the rest of you can do the same.

Celebrating Rizkaland: TAG!

Welcome to day two of the party! Today will also be a bit light, as I was not able to do as much pre-work yesterday as I'd hoped, and today I have a long day of work followed by round 3 of Christmas.

Today, I'm posting a tag that you can take and fill out on your own blogs and then come back here and post a link in the comments. If you do that, it will earn you 3 points for the giveaway!

1. Have you read Water Princess, Fire Prince yet?
2. If so, what is your favorite part? If not, what are you looking forward to the most?
3. It's Christmas time! What's the best Christmas present you've ever received?
4. What are your favorite fantasy worlds?
5. Who are your favorite fictional couples?
6. Do you have any projects (writing or otherwise) that you've been working on for ten years?
7. Fantasy weapon of choice?
8. Name your element!
9. What are you hoping to see in future volumes of the Rizkaland Legends?
10. What is your favorite Christian allegory?

Don't forget to participate in the Character Encounters, too. (And if you do participate, don't forget to add your link to the linkup!) I can't credit your points until you link up. Similarly, don't forget to email me with links to any and every review you've posted of Water Princess, Fire Prince!

If you're planning to send me fanart or fanfiction, I need them by tomorrow night! Can't wait to see what you come up with! And Monday night is the deadline for sending me pictures of you dressed as a character. So far, I only have one!

And yesterday's free promotion of Water Princess, Fire Prince was a smashing success with over a hundred downloads! I decided to extend it another day, so you guys have extra time to share it with all of your friends and convince them to try it!

Friday, December 25, 2015


Petra. Where do I start with this girl?

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She and I have been through a lot together, she bearing the brunt of some of the most painful periods of my life – it was into her story I poured my grief after I lost my Grandmother, when I nearly lost my mom and two youngest siblings just a few months later.

I’ve been writing about her for ten years, and she’s understandably gone through quite a few changes. Since I’ve established that her book was inspired by Narnia, and given her own name, it should come as no surprised that she was originally based upon High King Peter. She’s kept his noble, take-charge personality, but there’s a brokenness to her that Peter doesn’t have.

Petra has an older brother, Tyler, and claims to have two identical triplets, Sarah and Sylvia, both of whom disappeared mysteriously, one when they were four, the other when they were fourteen, and no one besides her and her best friend, Reuben, can remember them. She also has an adopted sister – Ashley, whom she resents because she was adopted the same day Sarah “disappeared.”

Originally, Petra was supposed to be a ENFP, like me. However, she has morphed over the years into a INTJ. As such, she’s not a people person, nor is she overly emotional (there are a few situations involving family, but for the most part, she’s a cold cucumber). Not your typical heroine, but then, she is expected to kill the Lady Dragon. That requires a certain level of heartlessness.

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Since I was going to play her when this book was a script, I feel a close connection to her, and it has been difficult indeed to learn to step back and let her be her own person. The change from an ENFP to an INTJ has helped immensely. Similarly, changing her from an oldest to a possibly middle child allowed her to stand on her own and show some of her fallibilities. I won’t hesitate to say that she was rather a Mary Sue in previous drafts.

After all, she was basically a rolled up mess of both my and Peter’s best qualities, filling a mixture of Lucy and Peter’s roles. (Leaving nothing but cute kid for the actual Lulu…)

She’s a very different heroine from Clara, though my beta readers tell me that they share a similar spirit. She has not grown up with the training Clara has, and I wouldn’t exactly call physical activity her forte, unless it be hiking in the woods.

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However, what she lacks in brawn, she makes up for in heart and brains. She loves strategy, even though this is her first actual chance to use it, and she’s a passionate soul that throws herself into whatever task she takes upon herself, though she is picky about what she throws herself into.

You’ll be seeing a lot more of Laura in book two than you did in book one, partly because of Laura’s relationship with Amber, but mostly because of Laura’s relationship with Petra. Petra used to babysit Laura, so she cares about the girl in a sort of big-sisterly way, even though she’s a bit weirded out by the world traveling skills that the girl is suddenly displaying.

Petra’s relationship with Reuben is interesting. He’s her best friend, almost two years her elder, they spend almost all of their free time together. Do they always get along? Certainly not, but they’re only human. He, perhaps, feels a bit more than friendship for her, and she knows it well, but they’ve both agreed that at sixteen and eighteen, they can afford to wait to explore romantic entanglement. First, they need to finish school, and he, at least, needs a stable job.

Via Pinterest
He amuses her, a lot, and she trusts him like no one else in her life. She’s quite aware that it would not take much for their friendship to become more, as much as she tries to convince herself that she is not in love with him. For now, though, he in her stability, the one certainty she has in her life.

Theirs is a story I thoroughly look forward to sharing with you.

Also, do you know how hard it is to find pictures of fantasy heroines who wear glasses? Please mentally add a pair of purple glasses to all of the pictures of her that I shared here.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, one and all, and welcome to my party celebrating ten years of work on my Rizkaland Legends. I hope you're looking forward to a week filled with great Rizkaland fun.

Since today is Christmas, I won't keep you long, as I know you have presents to open, but I'd just like to say a few important things about the party.

Water Princess, Fire Prince is free TODAY ONLY on Kindle. If you don't have a copy yet, snag it now - and tell all your friends! Also remember, if the goodreads fangroup has at least fifty members, I'll be giving away a free physical copy to one of the members. We still need 27 members to make this goal, so go! Go! Go! Share! Share! Share!

I have removed moderation on my comments for this week (although I've put capcha back on). Please remember that any comment you make this week, on any of the party posts, or any of the backposts tagged with Rizkaland, will earn you points for the main alpha-read giveaway! Commenting on Rizkaland posts on the AA blog, if you have access, gains you similar points. Also, don't forget to send me links with any and all reviews that you have posted of Water Princess, Fire Prince, to earn points there.

Some more Rizkaland stuff will be posting later day, and I hope to have some more fun stuff ready to go for tomorrow. See you then!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Hey, folks! I've decided to get myself one of those fancy street teams that all I have to do is tell them to post stuff, and they'll do it, and all that.

Of course, to have a Street Team, people have to sign up, which is where you come in! Fill out this shiny form below, and you can be my loyal minions forever. Anyone who joins will have access to free ebooks (should the choose they reviewer route), early warnings about sales and free books, and even first dibs on Cover Reveals and Blog Tours.

And to make the deal even sweeter, I'll send special sneak peeks of some of my unfinished books to everyone who signs up.

So, what are you waiting for?

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Character Encounters - December 2015

It seems as though I forgot to post a CE last month. Sorry, with NaNo and all, it completely slipped my mind - and I BARELY remembered this month, as evidenced by the fact that this post is a whole week late.

This character encounter will be a bit different, as I'm including it as part of the Rizkaland festivities.

But, before I get to that, and to heighten the suspense, a few words about the party.

I have updated the main party page. Also, a random decision that I made today: Any pin you pin on the Rizkaland Group board during this month will earn you two points for the giveaway. I've already found a notebook and started keeping track of tally points.

Now, on to the CE.

Where are we going? Well, feel free to guess for a few moments. I'm QUITE certain that you'll enjoy this lovely locale.

Think you've figured it out? Let's see if you're right.



How's that for exciting? And, yes, participation in this linkup will earn you points towards the giveaway. Five points, to be exact.

Just encounter any of your characters in my lovely world, and we'll be all set to go. And, so as to not limit any of my readers who aren't exactly writers in their own right, you can encounter any Rizkan character instead. (or, a Rizkan character AND one of your own. How's that for fun?)

Just one word of caution - Laura cannot count as your sole character if you choose to just do a Rizkan character. She's your ride over. Find an actual Rizkan character (even if they're originally from earth) to encounter.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

So, I Finished NaNo

I did. I hit 50,000 on Sunday, and threw a small party. I'm sorry that I didn't invite you. It was, literally, just me and a few girls on that I chat with on google hangouts.

It was necessarily small because, while NaNo is finished, I still have at least 50,000-60,000 words left to write. Yes, the book is now sitting at 73,000 words (I need to update the thingie on my sidebar), but it seems that LDTD isn't content in being shorter than its prequel (WPFP is about 136,000). Which is something that I'm fine with.

Now, I'm going to share some snippets with you guys and go get ready for work. I'll be back tomorrow with my post for Ilyon Day (which is, technically today, but I had Rizkaland stuff planned today, so I'll post tomorrow.) I'll also be editing the party post tomorrow, because now that I have a better idea of what sort of time I'll have this month, I need to cut back on some of the plans. It'll still be great, though!


Dust coated everything. Petra half-expected to find spiderwebs clinging to the corners, but either Rizkaland didn’t have spiders, the spiders they did have weren’t the sort that spun webs, or they were somehow banished from castles.
To be fair, she didn’t see any bugs, be they insect or spider, at all, so she really didn’t know what to think.
With each echoing step they took away from the library, Petra’s approval of Reuben’s rash decision diminished even more. But she knew from long experience that he wasn’t going to listen to any protests of “you’re going the wrong way,” so all she could do was try to draw a mental map of the place and hope she could help them find their way back when he tired of exploring.
A door creaked as he pushed it open, sounding like a painful moan in the still air.
“What are you doing?” she hissed.

“Exploring,” he answered, peering inside. “I thought I told you that. Just a bedroom. Nice bedroom, though. I wonder if one of the kings or queens slept here.”


He said nothing in defense of his actions. He stood, and then sat down cross-legged in front of her and held out a hand.
“I’d like to know our limits.”
“Look, I’m not afraid to let you know me,” Reuben continued. “I get that you’re protective of your thoughts, and I’m not going to pry, but I’m not that way. There’s no one in all the world that I trust as much as I trust you. I want you to test our limits with me.”
“Reuben, I’m not sure…”
“Look, Alphego gave us these powers, and I don’t think He’d give us the ability to do something He doesn’t want us to do. Petra, you’re my best friend, I love you, and now we’re Tied to each other. I’m not afraid to let you know any part of me.”


He glanced up at her, pulling down his glasses as he did so – he was far-sighted, and only wore his glasses to read, something she envied. “There you are. Did it take Rintaya that long to convince you that the Doormat was safe?”
“I see you’ve made yourself comfortable,” she answered, reluctant to tell him the exact nature of the conversation she had had with Rintaya. “Is that a good book?”
“Don’t know yet, the spelling’s making it hard to read,” he answered. “Come now, step off the mat, so Rintaya can follow.”
“Yeah,” said Petra. She stepped off of the mat, hugging her arms against her chest. “Reuben…”
“Yes?” He pushed his glasses back onto his nose and returned to reading. Which meant she probably didn’t have his full attention.


“Robert, are we the only two in this house?” Summer asked, entering the kitchen.
“Well,” said Robert, glancing up from the newspaper comics he was reading, “Reuben was here for a few minutes, about an hour ago, but other than that, Dad’s at the shop, and the other two are across the street.”
“There is a strange energy about today,” said Summer, cutting to the chase as she perched herself on a bar stool.
“Reuben said something similar to me this morning,” said Robert. “He said he had the strangest feeling that something great was about to happen, that feeling you get when you’re on the verge some decision, the result so much larger than you are, yet you frustratingly have no idea what that decision will be.”
Summer frowned and shook her head. “Not quite like that.”
“Well, that was Reuben, and we all know that Reuben reads too many adventure novels.” Robert leaned against the counter. “So what do you make of today?”
“I don’t know,” said Summer, shrugging. “I just know it isn’t quite that.”


He found Rintaya and Petra already awake and fixing breakfast.
“Morning, sleepyhead,” said Petra, as he set his staff against the wall where hers already stood. “I was wondering when you’d smell the bacon and come running.”
“Bacon? They have bacon here?”
“Well, it’s similar,” she admitted, shrugging. “It certainly smells good, and it is meat. And there are eggs that came from birds, so we’ll call it close enough.”
“Sounds good to me,” said Reuben nodding.


“I’m glad you’re here with me for this adventure,” she said, finally, sitting down next to him.
She leaned her head against his shoulder. “And I happen to know you’re glad too, even if you aren’t paying attention.”
“After all, you’re the one who was always hanging out in closets and inventing your own adventures into new worlds,” she continued. “It would have been dreadfully awkward had I come here without you, and then go back and have to confess, ‘hey, Reuben, you know how you’ve always wanted to travel to another world? Well, I just went to one without you.’ It would have been terribly awkward.
Done with that confession, she peered closer at the book he was reading and wrinkled her nose. “You’re right, the spelling is atrocious.”

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Who Likes Books for Cheep?


Like most other bookworms, great books make their way onto my "things I'm thankful for" list every year. It's hard to choose favorites, but  I went ahead and picked five books/series that I read in 2015 and am thankful for.

  1. The League of Princes Trilogy by Christopher Healy. Has anyone else read these books yet? You need to. They have pretty much everything I ask for in fairy tale retellings. Adventure, humor, a few touching moments, references, intricacy. Maybe my ships didn't quite work out the way I wanted to, but I still love these books, and I'm glad that I finally picked them up early this summer.

  2. Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. My mother brought home the first book of this trilogy and made me read it, saying that it'd be a good study for my own writing. And, indeed, it was. Ah, Constance. Or, shall I say, Ah Contraire ...

  3. Bones of Makaidos by Bryan Davis. Ah! Such a conclusion to the Oracles of Fire series. Also, there were some interesting thoughts in there that caused me to think through some of the plot elements and prophecies in the Rizkaland Legends, which is always wonderful.

  4. Goldstone Woods by Anne Elizabeth Stengl. After my library got through Shadow Hand, and I picked up Golden Daughter, I proceeded to devour this series. Honestly, I've never read such a deep, meaningful, intricate, high-concept series. I love these books.

  5. Ilyon Chronicles by Jaye L. Knight. No contest here. Not only are the books amazing, but through its small fandom, I've gained a good number of friends.

  6. I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to another great year of reading! Speaking of more reading, here's one more thing to be grateful for. Books on sale! In honor of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, a group of independent Christian authors banded together to offer over seventy discounted books on Nov 27-30. There's literally something for everyone.

    Every single book listed on Indie Christian Books is on sale in one or more ways. Find discounted paperbacks, dozens of books offered with free shipping, $0.99 ebooks, package deals and more. Even if you have a budget of $0, new reading material awaits you.

    Don't know what to pick? The fearless Indie Christian Books team created a quiz that will generate a book list perfect for you! Check it out!

    Book Quiz

    What awesome reads of 2015 are you grateful for? What books are you looking forward to reading in 2016?

    A note on the Ebooks Only page. All books are listed as "Sold Out." This only refers to paperback copies of these titles. Please click onto the product pages to find descriptions and links to discounted or free ebooks.

    Acknowledgements: Thanks to Leah E. Good for her work organizing this sale, Gloria Repp for completing the time consuming job of uploading book info to the sale website, and Hannah Mills  for her fantastic design work on the website graphics. Hannah can be contacted at hmills(at)omorecollege(dot)edu for more information about her design services.

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