Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas! Have Some Snippets!

Oh, and for the record, if you'll head over to the AA blog, you can find a lovely short story over there staring everyone's favorite Reutra.

So I've been tagged by Claire Banschbach to do the Snippet Tag. As someone who enjoys a chance to share my snippets at any chance I get, of COURSE I'm going to do this. First, rules, though.

-Include the fancy-shmancy graphic I included somewhere in your post. (Or make your own, just so long as you include a link back to my blog.)
-Answer all the questions, however you want to. Creative interpretation is key here! You can use the book you’re currently working on to answer the questions, or other books you’ve started or have written.
-Tag 2-5 other bloggers.

I'm going to use Love and Memory; Worth of a King; and Rocks for this, since those have been my main projects at the moment. And I'll likely give multiple snippets per answer because I'm generous like that. You're welcome.

1. Share your most gripping, fascinating, and hooking first line of a story.

“I can’t,” Clara declared running off of the mat. “I just can’t do it.”

A Queen sat on a balcony in her castle, various instruments for measurement scattered about her, mixed in with the notes she was taking.

2. Share a snippet that literally just crushes your heart into a million feelsy little pieces.

“So, there’s something wrong with your mom?” said Andrew, as she pulled him through the hallways. He knew she said that it wasn’t exactly something wrong, but it did involve her mom, so it seemed like a good place to start.
Her grip on his hand tightened. “Nothing that hasn’t been wrong for the last twenty years,” she answered.
“Oh, so…” He did hate it when she led him on a guessing game.
“She fell off a trapeze twenty years ago and hurt herself,” Clara explained. “I know that I’ve told you about that. Same old problem that she’s had for twenty years. Normally, it isn’t an issue, just when…” She took a long, shuddering breath. “My mom is pregnant.”
“Ah,” said Andrew, scrunching up his forehead. “But shouldn’t you be excited about finally getting a younger brother or sister?”
“If I get the brother or sister, I’ll be excited,” Clara answered, her voice flat. “I told you it could be something very good … but my mom has had ten miscarriages. That is something that you never want to watch your mother go through, trust me, Andrew.”

“I … I don’t doubt it,” Andrew mumbled.

She turned back and stared at her Grandmother. "She talked about ... the Tiger."
Gran tensed.  “And what did she have to say about my Jonathan?”
Roxanne shrugged. “Nothing that no one else has to say,” she admitted. She stared at her Grandmother a long moment.
Yvonne Dially was a unique woman – one of the very few who had successfully made a change from villain to hero post-graduation – though it had never been her desire and the change had cost her dearly. After twenty years of the staged fights, her husband, Jonathan Dially – her hero, the Tiger – had snapped one day, turned into his animal and started running through the streets shooting people. Many were injured that day, some even died.
Proper protocol for an episode like this was to contact the Academy and wait for them to send an “official” hero to deal with the matter. But though Yvonne did contact the Academy, she learned that it’d be over an hour before the nearest hero could make it. She wasn’t one to wait. She donned her own suit, and Flower Garden took Tiger down within minutes. People from the Academy arrived later that day and took him back to strip him of his power – and his life in the process. Yvonne nearly faced the same fate for not following protocol, but given the situation, they decided that she hadn’t really had a choice, and allowed her to make the change to hero and sent in a new villain. 

3. Share a snippet that makes you want to shout to the world that you’re SO. HAPPY.

He was about to turn away and leave them alone when Clara looked up and a smile broke across her face. The next moment, her arms were around his neck and he was falling. Automatically, he wrapped one arm around her waist, while he thrust the other behind him to catch them.
“That excited to see me?” he whispered in her ear – it was next to his mouth anyway – once he was sure that they had fallen safely.
“Nah,” she said, pulling back. “I just remembered that I like you better at my eye level.”
“Right.” Andrew nodded, taking in the glittering brightness of her eyes. “Now I remember. How could I forget that your eye level is me on the floor?”
Her eyes narrowed, and she leaned in. “You are out of shape, Tom Canty. That shouldn’t have knocked you down.”
Andrew sighed. “I know. I just don’t get many chances to practice.”
“Well, we’re going to have to do something about that,” she declared, pulling back again. “That was a warning, by the way. Be on your guard. Come off of it and you’ll be on the floor again.”
Andrew chuckled. “Consider me warned, Alice.”
She gave a sharp nod. “Good.” With that, she stood and scampered back to her father, leaving Andrew to awkwardly regain his feet. He gave a quiet sigh. It wasn’t fair – she got back her pre-kids body, while he was shoved back into this awkward form that felt too small, yet the limbs too long. It was only made worse by the fact that he knew his potential.

He was pretty certain that he was going to spend the next few days predominately on the floor.

“Oh! I knew it, Sidi,” Nadilynn cried as Obsidia and Delaney descended from the platform. “I knew it!”
Delaney laughed and pulled Obsidia closer. “Did you now? I thought that you were quite befuddled and had no idea at all who Obsidia had chosen.”
“Oh, Del, that was the fun of it,” Nadilynn countered. “Making you think that you had me completely befuddled. But I’ve seen the looks the two of you have been giving each other. You couldn’t have been more obvious if you tried.”
Obsidia blushed as she looked up at Delaney. “Do – do you think anyone else noticed?”
“Your mother, undoubtedly,” Nadilynn answered. “And she isn’t excited about it. Do you see the glares she’s giving you? She doesn’t approve one bit, but what’s new? She makes her distaste for Father no secret.”
“Not that I blame her,” said Delaney. “From all accounts, she loved King Edson very much, and she would resent Father for his death.” He removed Obsidia’s hand from his arm and gave it to Nadilynn. “Now I’d love to stay and talk, but I’m afraid that Father has some business for me to attend to. Enjoy your gossip and I’ll be back for a dance, Sidi.”
“And she will look forward to that,” said Nadilynn. “But only if you hurry back. Don’t presume too much on her patience!”
Delaney laughed and melted into the crowd.

4. Share a snippet that gives a bit of insight into one of your most favorite characters ever.

“Intriguing,” Roxanne admitted. “So you said you were going to train me?”
“As best I can,” said Mr. Angelo. “To begin with, will you levitate this rock for me? Take it straight to the ceiling if you can.”
Roxanne squinted at the rock he indicated. It was about a yard in diameter and half as tall. She moved much larger rocks with hardly a thought all of the time. There had to be a catch.
Sure enough, as soon as she had it a foot off of the ground, she encountered resistance. Mr. Angelo was pushing down on the rock with every bit of power that he had. She frowned. He was testing her raw strength. He could have said so up front.
She raised on hand, then the other, to help focus her power. No one knew for certain why hand motions helped elementals control their various elements, but they did. Roxanne tried to avoid them most of the time, but sometimes they were necessary.
She refrained from reaction as she saw that he added his hands as well. He she was taking every bit of strength that he had as well.
They stood like that for several minutes, neither moving the rock an inch, but each pouring in every ounce of power that they had. This was turning into a contest of who could last the longest, and she rather suspected that it would be him, since he was older and had been developing his power for far longer than she had.
She would have to resort to cleverness. Very well.
She glanced at him a moment, and noted how strained he appeared. And how he wasn’t paying attention to her at all.
Roxanne squeezed her hands together, and the rock squeezed into a long pole in response. Mr. Angelo was not prepared for the rock to suddenly change shape, so she was able to push through his control and embed the pole in the ceiling.
They stared at each other for a long moment, then a slow smile pulled at the corner of his mouth and he began to chuckle.

“It’s in the ceiling,” she said, simply.

“No, you don’t,” Nadilynn countered. “You’re the daughter of the previous king, no good for a political alliance. Not like I am.” She gave yet another exaggerated sigh – she enjoyed overusing them. “You are the people’s favorite, though – some just can’t get over the fact that Father won the throne fair and square – and allowing you to marry Del will do much to placate them. But me – ah – you thought that your suitors were there to court you? Ah, no. They were just there for an early chance at me.”
“Well, have you decided which of them you prefer?” asked Delaney. “Don’t try to tell me that you haven’t already formed your opinions.”
“Not that my opinions will do me any good,” Nadilynn grumbled. “I fear that Father already has me as good as sold off already.”
“Well, perhaps you’ll be lucky and it will be the perfect prince for you,” Obsidia suggested. “Your father is an ambitious man, but not cruel, so far as I can tell.”
“Yes, but I’m the worthless girl-child who stole our mother from him,” Nadilynn countered. “Ah, but I bet that he’s just thrilled to know that he’s so close to finally being rid of me.”
“Nadi, will you please stop being ridiculous?” asked Delaney, giving an exasperated sigh.
“You have no sympathy!” Nadilynn cried, indignant. “Neither of you have any sort of pity for my plight!”
“We have sympathy enough,” Delaney answered. “We’re just not in the habit of bestowing it on dramatics.”
“Dramatics!” Nadilynn all-but shrieked. “Is that what you think this is? Delaney, I’m frightened for my future here, and all you want to do is make fun of me!”

5. Share a snippet that literally melts you into a puddle of adorable, squishy, OTP mush.

ROCKS AU bit that I wrote because the real timeline broke my heart:
Dad just nodded and retreated into his office. Roxanne closed the “door” behind him. Roxanne took a deep breath, and summoned her own suit from the ground. As soon as she had slid the mask on, and her thoughts had relaxed into ROCKS’s, she waved a hand and opened the wall where William waited.
“Rox,” he began, then his eyes widened as he saw her. “Wha – what is going on? Where’s…”
Roxanne gave a practiced laugh and smirk. “Oh, William, sorry about that. I had to have a quick word with Daddy, first, prepare him and all.”
William glanced up and down the hallway. “Where’s … what did you do with Roxanne?”
Roxanne laughed again. “Oh, William. Are you that blind? Are you really that convinced that your beloved Roxanne is so good and pure that you can’t recognize her when she stands before you?”
She stepped towards him. He flinched, but didn’t bolt. Very good. She took his face between her hands. He still didn’t run. She kissed him.
He kissed her back.
“Years ago, you asked me what power I’d have, if I had one,” she said, pulling away, raising the floor beneath her feet so that she looked him in the eye. “That was such an easy question to answer, because it was an answer I knew. But then you made me into a hero, into Diamondz, and that is where you went wrong. I am no hero. I am ROCKS.”
Then she pulled away, returning the floor to its place. She spread her arms wide, playing her suit to its every advantage. “You’re the first civilian to see my new outfit. How do you like it?”
“It … you’re a villain,” William finally managed.

Roxanne laughed again. “Oh, yes, yes indeed. The Academy wouldn’t dream of wasting my talents on hero-ing. Come now, Daddy’s in costume and ready to speak with you. Please don’t take it personally if he seems a bit frosty.”

“Reuben, do not climb into my suitcase,” said Petra, as he walked into her bedroom.
“I wasn’t thinking of it,” Reuben countered.
“Yes, you were,” she answered, turned around to face him.
Reuben glanced down guiltily. “Yeah, I was. Sorry?”
“What are you doing in my bedroom?”
“Talking to you,” he said with a shrug. He put a hand on her shoulder. “Do you have to go? I’m going to miss you so much…”
“Obviously,” said Petra, removing his hand and turning back to her packing. “Or else you wouldn’t have hatched a brilliant plan to climb into my suitcase while I wasn’t looking. Did you honestly think I wouldn’t notice?”
“I knew you would notice,” he answered. “I was hoping you’d laugh.”
“Watch, I’ll show you.”
Before Petra could protest, he yanked her empty suitcase off of her bed, set it on the floor, and sat down cross-legged inside.
“Reuben!” She cried, spinning around.
He just stared up at her with a pathetic expression. “Take me with you, Petra.”
Petra sighed. “Out of my suitcase, I am trying to pack.”
“You smiled!” he exclaimed, a broad grin spreading across his own face.
“Out!” Petra ordered, pointing to outside of the suitcase.

6. Share a snippet that gets you beaming with pride and you’re just like yep, I wrote that beauty.

Sure enough, there was Jennifer, stalking towards them with a hand on her hip like she ruled the world. “Chocolate Chip! How did you girls know that those were my favorites?”
“Because you always take two whenever anyone else makes them,” Roxanne answered, without flinching. “I suppose you’re here to take yours?”
“Of course,” said Jennifer, reaching in and pulling out two of the largest cookies. Then she gave a strangled cry of fury as she tried to bite into one. “Do you cook with actual rocks, Roxanne
“Sometimes,” Roxanne admitted, biting into one of the cookies – savoring the softness and gooiness. “Gives me more control, you know.”
Jennifer narrowed her eyes. “Are you challenging me?”
Roxanne gave a slow blink. “It’s not Friday. You only accept challenges on Friday. I’ve given you your demanded cookies, how does that in any way equal a challenge?”
“I’m watching you Roxanne,” Jennifer warned.
“Fair enough,” said Roxanne. “I’m watching you, too."

“It grows late, dear. Do you intend to come to bed?”
She turned to see her husband standing in the doorway. “It’s easier to observe the stars when they’re dimmer and further apart,” she answered. “I think Vilar will be the next to fall.”
“How soon?”
“Some time in the next twenty years,” the queen answered. “It’s hard to give exact estimates when it’s this early.”
“Any idea what its power will be?”
“It’s hard to say.” The queen began stacking the papers together. “It’s a larger star, though, from my estimate, and one of the golds, so it’s bound to be potent.”
Vilar is falling.” Her husband shook his head. “What might that portend?”
“Our stars are powerful, but they don’t tell the future.” The queen carefully stood, making sure she didn’t break any of her instruments. “I know that they had silly ideas in our old world, but you would do well to put them out of your head. There’s no point in second-guessing the future.”

7. Share a snippet of genius, deliciously witty dialogue between your characters.

“Petra, we need to talk.”
Petra rolled her eyes. “Obviously if you’re sitting on my bed.”
“Petra, it’s about you and Reuben,” Summer added. “We’ve been noticing…”
“Noticing what?” asked Petra, folding her arms over her chest. “That we’re doing just fine and that you really don’t have to worry about us?”
“All right, you’re in denial,” said Sarah. “Petra, You and Reuben are not all right and you know it.”
“I didn’t say we were all right,” Petra countered. “I said we were just fine. Yes, we’re going though some struggles right now, but we’re working through them.”
“And it’s not just us noticing,” Summer continued. “I was talking to Erin and Jessica just last Sunday, and they were legit worried about a return of the French and Indian War.”
“Legit isn’t proper grammar, Summer.”
Summer rolled her eyes. “Whatev.” This time she didn’t purposefully to annoy Petra. “Look, the point is – other people are noticing the tension between the two of you, people who don’t know that you were married for thirty years in another world.”

“Why were you even talking to Jessica and Erin anyways,” asked Petra. “I thought we’d made it clear that they were a bad influence on you.”

"You have a plan," Myr announced one evening, as Roxanne was turning on her computer for her computer literacy class that she was taking.
Roxanne blinked. "Really? What makes you so sure about that."
"You've got that smirk on your face. The 'I'm going to take down everyone in this room with just a crowbar' smirk that you had right before you challenged X to that fight," Myr explained. “So I’d like to know what you’re plotting and if I can get in on it this time.”
Nope, she didn’t need a reason to talk to Myr about the plot at all.
“You may ‘get in on it this time,’” Roxanne answered, logging into her computer. “Actually, I’ve been planning on asking you if you want to help me.”
“Ooh!” cried Myr, rushing over to Roxanne’s side of the room. “What do you need me to do? Electrocute everyone?”
Roxanne’s eyebrow flickered. “Perhaps eventually. But for now, I need your knowledge of the other girls.”
“Are you going to challenge them, too?”
“Myr, you are the friendliest villain in the dorm,” said Roxanne. “If there is anyone here that knows the others, and who has any semblance of their trust, it’d be you.”

“I’m also generally regarded as the most insane and they barely tolerate me,” Myr pointed out. “Sorry to disappoint.”

8. Share a snippet that makes you feel like an evil genius for thinking up such a malevolent villain (Mwa-ha-ha!)

ROCKS: (So far the only one with a present villain thus far)
She surfaced without fanfare just a few feet away from the line of policemen. There was a circle of them all the way around the mountain, in ten-foot increments, facing outwards. They all seemed uneasy, but they were clearly there more to keep people out than to keep her in. It was amusing, these people who had never had to deal with a villain before in their lives. Give them a year, and they’d get used to her. But for now…
She gave a mocking laugh, and sidled up to the man nearest her – he appeared to be in his forties and had a mustache. “You know, I’m personally of the opinion that, if a person is brave enough to go hiking on the mountain where a supervillain lives, they deserve to be left alone.”
Roxanne never saw so many grown men jump so fast. Within moments, she had at least ten guns pointed at her. It would have been a bit disconcerting if she hadn't specially designed her suite to resist such impact.
"Don't move, or we'll shoot!" one of the men warned.
"Oh, you will?" asked Roxanne, she tilted her head back and laughed. "Oh, go ahead. I'd love to see it. You'd really shoot a woman?”
"You're no woman, no proper woman, leastways," one of the other men growled. "You're one of those Super people and a villain to boot. We didn't ask for you in our town, and we'd be more than happy if you'd leave."
"Oh, but it's such a nice town, and so strategically close to the nation’s capital," Roxanne answered. "I'm sorry, but I'm here to stay – at least until I can move to that shiny building where they make the laws."
"I'm warning you ... you..."

"It's ROCKS," Roxanne informed him. "All caps. Capital R, capital O, capital C ... etcetera. And if those guns make you feel better, by all means point them at me. They don't bother me one bit."

9. Share a snippet that leaves you breathless, in a cold sweat with action-induced intensity.

ROCKS (Also the only one with much action ... I'm not an action writer):
"We're trained to shoot," another man warned.
"And I'm trained to do this." Roxanne stamped her foot and the whole mountain trembled. Except for Mim's room. She didn't want to scare the poor little civilian who had no idea what was going on. "So if you think it'll do you any good, feel free to do what you're trained to do and shoot me."
She waited a few minutes, no one dared.
"Oh, you boys really are no fun at all." She clucked her tongue and shook her head. "Now if you were proper heroes, you wouldn't have hesitated a moment - and I know, I've tangled with quite a number of heroes in my time. Here, let me show you."
She reached out a hand and pointed to the gun nearest her, trained at her heart. She hooked her finger. The gun's trigger pulled in response, letting loose the bullet. The bullet flew towards her with lightning speed ... then bounced harmlessly off.
"Boys, I'm afraid those toys of yours would do no good against me," she informed them. "You're out of your league, so I'd recommend you back away and leave my mountain well and alone. We'll all be happier for it, I assure you."
Her only answer was the firing of a number more guns. She rolled her eyes, let a few bounce off of her armor, then caught the rest in mid-air. She held them suspended for several seconds, then sent the bullets flying back to the men who had shot them. The men jumped out of the way so fast, Roxanne could barely contain her amusement.
“Oh, boys, boys, when I said they’d be no good against me, I really meant it.”

Waving her hand, Roxanne gathered all of the guns and carefully deposited them in a pile at her feet. "Now that we have that taken care of, let's discuss the matter civilly. Yes, I'm an evil villain intent on taking over the country and ruling it for myself, but I'm a benevolent evil villain intent on taking over the country and ruling it for myself. I really do care about the people. I just want to be the one who tells them what to do. Because there are a number of idiots currently being the ones telling people what to do and I think that I'll do a much better job."

10. Share a snippet of a most interesting first meeting between your characters.

WoaK (Adrian and Obsidia meet for the "first" time):
Obsidia was relieved when they finally reached their destination and they stopped in front of the wonderful little printshop. She breathed deeply of the heady scent of ink and paper as they stepped inside. Then she gasped as she saw that paper was scattered all over the floor, two boys hastily trying to gather it up while a man – clearly their father – was standing to greet the visitors.
“Well, well,” he said, his gaze sweeping over the group, but resting the longest on Obsidia. “What have we here?”
Instead of explaining their reason for coming, Christa had a question of her own. “I thought that Jerolin was working with the blacksmith now.”
One of the young men looked up and settled a glare on Delaney, for some reason. “I am,” he admitted. “But Garen gave me the day off so I decided to help out here with the big order.” This must have been Jerolin.
“You’re helping,” giggled Christa. “It looks like you spilled a book.”
“Three would be more accurate,” said the other young man – Adrian, by reason of elimination. “It’ll take hours to get it sorted back out. We were just debating…” he trailed off as he looked up and noticed the guests. “Oh.”

His eyes met with Obsidia’s, and suddenly the world melted away in their oddly familiar depths.

ROCKS: (First meeting between Roxanne and Myr)
“This seat taken?”
Roxanne looked up to see a girl with blue eyes and blue hair cut in an uneven pixie and holes purposefully cut into the knees of her jeans, standing in front of her, pointing to the chair next to hers. She shrugged. She didn’t want company, but she couldn’t lie and say that the chair was taken. Though technically she could say that it belonged to her brother.
Before she could make that claim, however, the girl was sitting, her boots propped up on the chair in front of her. “That was real sweet of them, you know.”
“No, I don’t know,” said Roxanne, considering her options for getting this girl away from her.
“It’s not like we’re going to kill each other or anything, but here we are, our first day of true freedom, and guess what? No powers. How are they even doing it?”
Roxanne shrugged. “No idea.”
“I’m Myr, by the way,” she said. “I do electricity. You?”
“Roxanne, rocks.”
“Gorgeous. We’d make the pair, wouldn’t we? I’m hoping to get villain – they have all the fun, you know, even if we can’t ever win. You?”
“Don’t really care, but they’re probably going to give me villain. I look like one.”
“So do I,” said Myr. “Sweet. Maybe we’ll get to be roommates!”

Merry Christmas, one and all!

1. Share your most gripping, fascinating, and hooking first line of a story.
2. Share a snippet that literally just crushes your heart into a million feelsy little pieces.
3. Share a snippet that makes you want to shout to the world that you’re SO. HAPPY.
4. Share a snippet that gives a bit of insight into one of your most favorite characters ever.
5. Share a snippet that literally melts you into a puddle of adorable, squishy, OTP mush.
6. Share a snippet that gets you beaming with pride and you’re just like yep, I wrote that beauty.
7. Share a snippet of genius, deliciously witty dialogue between your characters.
8. Share a snippet that makes you feel like an evil genius for thinking up such a malevolent villain (Mwa-ha-ha!)
9. Share a snippet that leaves you breathless, in a cold sweat with action-induced intensity.
10. Share a snippet of a most interesting first meeting between your characters.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Q&A In the Kastle - Part 2

Hello, folks! I am back on the writing scene! 

As you may know, my computer died last Tuesday, while I was away doing Christmas shopping. I've been expecting it to do something of the sort for some time now, since it's been limping along for about two years. In fact, I've been amazed that it's lasted me this long.

However, I was a bit upset by its death, as it was not great timing for me. Then I nearly lost my Garmin Watch (it's a miracle that I found it again, though I'm frankly not sure how it got off of my wrist in the first place, because it's never done that before. I blame my long sleeves.)

So my aunt told me that if I could get a Best Buy card, I could buy a new computer through them, and have eighteen months interest-free to pay it off. She's bought computers that way for all of her kids and loves doing business with them. She sent me to the website to look around and get an idea of what I wanted.

The first computer I saw was a 2-in-1 laptop that folds into a tablet, normally $800 but on sale for $600. Looking around at the specs, it further confirmed itself as the computer I always wanted (I'm not joking, I've been wanting a 2-in-1 since I found out about them), as it also had a terabyte harddrive and ran on a i5 processor. Sending it to my computer-savvy uncle, he said that I was unlikely to get a better computer for a better price.

Unfortunately, my credit was not approved, but the did allow my aunt to use my income to extend her credit and we bought it that way. So now I have a REALLY nice computer.

Her name is Angelica.

And I owe my aunt a lot of money, so if you guys could pretty please buy my books?????

Onto the Q&A. Beware spoilers for WPFP.

"All right! Time for more questions!" I announce. "Jasmine, we'll start with you. Mnm would like to know if you've gotten to know your hero any better. She doesn't specify who the hero is, beyond *AhemyouknowwhoImean,* so I shall assume that she's referring to Karlos."

Jasmine wrinkles her nose. "Oh, right, because I called him my hero when he knocked me off of the cliff and then joined me down there to keep my company." She gives a heavy a sigh. "Unfortunately, they sent him back to the Lower Kastle once the Hills were working again and I have to stay with the Water Princess, and I've thus barely seen him since."

"And, Karlos, Mnm would like to know what you think of being her hero?"

Karlos glances her direction. "Since it made her feel safer after I knocked her off of the cliff, and I'm really sorry about that one, I guess it's okay. I don't deserve to be her hero, though, since it's my fault that she fell off of the cliff and all. The Fire Prince was the one who rescued her, you know."

"And Jill Anna, Mnm would like to know what you think of your sister's hero?"

Jill Anna glances towards Karlos. "He's a bright, clever young man. She could have worse friends. And ... should this develop into a crush ... well, it's not as hopeless as me and Jakob, since as maid to the Water Princess, Jasmine's rank is higher than mine, and as Karlos is not a Lor'Son. Still, I wouldn't encourage her. She's highly romantic and gets way too many silly ideas as it is."

I laugh. "And while we're on the subject of siblings approving potential love interests, Essua, Anna would like to know if you've met her and if so, what you think of her."

Essua leans back and stares at the former Bugslayer for the longest moment. "I've had the honor of meeting her, yes. Had her sew a bit for me, back in the day. I'm Jakob's sister, you know, and as such, it wasn't hard for me to figure out who he liked. I had a fair idea that she liked him back, and told him as much, but he's a stubborn idiot. I'm just glad to see that the Water Princess finished the job I started. They're sickeningly cute together."

"You are aware that I may use this against you someday when you finally find someone," Jakob points out.

"Who would put up with me?" asks Essua, eyes sparkling. "The Water Princess already took the Fire Prince."

"I'm sure there's someone out there."

"Moving on," I say. "Abraham, Mnm would like to know if Karlos is your only son."

"He is," Abraham admits. "Although I also have a daughter, Iska, who shall be turning six in a month or so. She is my heir, though, since Karlos's mother died before I became the Lord."

I nod. "And, on that note, Alyssa would like to know what is the hardest part of being the Lord of Lower Klarand and if there are any perks."

Abraham sighs, glancing away. "The hardest part? I can name a number of things - the people looking to me to keep them safe and to give them guidance. Having to do it all alone for the first ten years since Amber's presence had divided our land - no one is meant to rule alone here in Rizkaland. Having to take a second wife so soon after I lost Hannah because Lower Klarand needed a Lady. But there are perks, too, I'll admit. I get to live in a castle, after all, and I'm not required to do any cleaning."

I laugh a bit. "Yeah, you have servants for that. You merely need to clean up the bigger problems. Now, Jakob, Mnm would like to know what you thought of the Fire Prince when you met him."

Jakob leaned back with a chuckle. "My initial thought? He managed to intimidate the Water Princess ... but looked as helpless as a baby Rikki when it came to dealing with her. I figured he'd come around and figure it out sooner or later, though. Which he has. And I think he still intimidates her, sometimes."

"Jill Anna, Tom Wildrose would like to know if you've ever turned your hand to embroidery or if your skill is strictly for construction."

"I have done embroidery work," she admits, "but since embroidery is considered acceptible work for ladies of rank, most of them do their own, so my skill is mostly geared towards constructing the garments quickly and sturdily."

"And Mnm would like to know how old you are," I add.

"I'm seventeen," she answers. "Just turned, though. I was sixteen during the events of the book."

"And, she has the same question for Kiona and Stephan," I continue. "How old are the both of you?"

"I'm eighteen and Stephan is twenty," Kiona answers. "Or, at least, we think he's twenty. He has no memory of his life before my father rescued him. It's a bit frustrating for him, but I rarely hear him complain. That may have more to do with the fact that I rarely hear him say much of anything, though."

"That is likely the case," I admit, with a raised brow. "And on that note, Alyssa would like to know what's the hardest part of being a couple when only one of you can talk and if there are any perks."

She leaned back, frowning. "Stephan and I have developed a bit of a sign language, and we've known each other so long, I can usually read him anyway. And he can talk, he just doesn't like to. I guess the hardest part is guilt when I make him use it because I'm not paying attention to him." She glanced his way. "But as for perks, it means that I can do all the talking for both of us. People say I do a very good job of that."

"I suppose you do," I admit. "Now, one final question and it's for Karlos - Anna would like to know if you have many friends back at the Kastle."

"Well, I have a few, but I'm not sure if they're really friends," he admits. "I'm in a really weird position - the son of the Lord, but not a Lor'Son. I don't really have a rank, so people don't know what to do with me." He shrugged. "I'm used to it, though."

"Well, hopefully, you won't be friendless forever," I say, glancing towards Jasmine. "Now, that's all of the questions, so I'm off to Amber's castle to ask her some. Wish me luck!"


Yep. One more stop to ask questions of Laura, Granite, and Amber. It'll actually be set during Part 1 of LDTD, so, yes, exciting!

Also, I'm trying to decide what Christmas story to write for my Newsletter (which, if you aren't subscribed to yet, the sign-up box on the side of my page. The one that asks for your name, mind you, the other is to get this blog emailed to you). I have a couple ideas, but have decided to put it to a vote. Please comment below with your favorite(s) of the following:

1. Bookania story featuring Robin and Eric as children.
2. Ankulen story featuring Jen's childhood and Christmas in her imagination.
3. Ankulen story featuring Derek and Megan's first Christmas with Jen.
4. Rizkaland story featuring Clara and Andrew's backstory.
5. Rizkaland story featuring Reutra backstory.
6. Rizkaland story featuring Clarand's first "Christmas/New Year" in Rizkaland. Well, technically second, but they didn't really celebrate the first one. It's also their first anniversary, though.
7. HaV Academy story featuring Roxanne, Riley, and William as children.

Thanks in advance for your vote!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Author Interview - Amanda Tero

I was supposed to post this this morning. I completely forgot to schedule it last night, and then today was spent Christmas shopping, then I got home to find that my computer refused to turn on. So I had to wait until my mom went to bed so that I could borrow her computer.


What is it with my devices dying in December? I'd really like to know.

I need to get myself a new job, but I don't want one. Can everyone just go and buy my books instead? Pretty please?

Anywho, I'm interviewing Amanda Tero, a historical fiction author. I've not read any of her books, but she seems like a sweet girl, and I do have today's featured book waiting for me on my kindle.

1. Can you tell me a bit about your book, Journey to Love, and why people need to read it?
Journey to Love is about orphan, Marie, who is sent out west on the orphan train (true historical event). Because of the circumstances in her life, her heart has become hardened so that she doesn't accept that God is love. However, the love of those she meets in her new life cracks the shell of her heart.
One of the main lessons that Marie learns is how a relationship with Christ is different than just following all of the rules of religion. This, to me, is something very important I'd love for readers to learn from reading the book. 

2. JtL is set at the turn of the century. What led you to write about this era?
Well, when I get a story idea, I always try to pin-point an idea. Seeing that the Orphan Train was an organism from 1854-1929, I had my timeline limited a little. And, in thinking of Marie's story, it just fit turn-of-the-century. :)

3. What are some of your other favorite historical eras?
Ah! I would have to say that the medieval era currently has me enthralled. But then, as I've been researching the American Civil War, that, too, is gripping me. ;) It's almost safe to say that I love a variety of historical eras. The 1800's may come close to my long-standing favorite.

4. Do you have any advice for anyone interested in writing historical fiction?
Be sure you know your facts! Don't assume, researching. And yes, researching is tough, but it pays off. I like to use the college-standard in that you have to information from at least two different sources before you can trust it. Some of the best books I've found for general historical research is The Writers' Digest books, "Everyday Life in..." These do have all details, though, and are not conservative, so I'd caution younger readers in just grabbing one and flipping through it (some of them have no questionable content -- like the Civil War one -- while others -- like, "Everyday Life in the 1800's" -- has some things that probably shouldn't be read by children under 16). 

5. Do you know your MBTI personality type? If so, how would you say it affects your writing?
Well, considering I'm not familiar with MBTI, I just took a test and apparently I'm something like an ISTJ. 

I can answer this question based on my personality how I know it, not necessarily related to MBTI. For example, I'm more of a deep-thinker, insensitive, critical, logical, type of person. I'm not a big dreamer. That being said, my writing tends to focus more on the internal character rather than description. Though some people have told me that Journey to Love made them cry, I don't usually get emotionally involved with my characters. When I see a bad review on something I've written, I actually enjoy reading what the reader had to say; sometimes, it shows me my weaknesses in writing, where I can improve. Because I'm not a dreamer, I have to work a little harder on coming up with bizarre and amazing plots. ;) And, also in the mix, when it comes to describing things, I have found that I do best when I look at a picture then word-paint what I see. So, my personality definitely has its strengths and weaknesses that it lends to writing, but as I write, I'm learning and figuring out how to balance it. :)

About the Author
Amanda Tero is a homeschool graduate who desires to provide God-honoring, family-friendly reading material. She has enjoyed writing since before ten years old, but it has only been since 2013 that she began seriously pursuing writing again – starting with some short stories that she wrote for her sisters as a gift. Her mom encouraged her to try selling the stories she published, and since then, she has begun actively writing short stories, novellas, and novels. If something she has written draws an individual into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, it is worth it!

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)

Connect with Amanda

This post is part of the Ebook Giveaway. Please head over here for more information and a chance to win free books.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Yet another Free Book Opportunity! (This time, it's a Giveaway)

Who's ready for some free books?
Maybe you just happen to be looking for another book to read this winter. Perhaps you have a sister who really loves fantasy. It might even be that you've never read a book in your life and would like to try one to see what it's like... who knows? Whatever your situation, you'll be happy to know that I and some author friends of mine are giving away seven free eBooks this Christmas, and you have a chance of winning one of them.
If you want to win one of these lovely thingies, choose one of the entry options and follow the instructions to gain a point. (Hint: you can enter with as many options as you like to increase your chances of winning.) The giveaway starts December 1st [blogger note: liable to change] and ends on the 20th, so you'll have plenty of time to enter. We'll pick eight winners at random and contact them before Christmas so you can have your ebook delivered whenever you like.
List of Authors and Books
So let's get to it. Click on the book to read about it on Amazon, and click on the author to see their awesome bookish blogs.
Alen's War by Hannah A. Krynicki
Giveaway widget/link
Last of all, the giveaway, which opens December 1st and runs through the 20th. Enjoy the fun!

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