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Thursday, December 31, 2015

General Update

Okay, I've been meaning to write something up for a little while now, but both time and thought have gotten away from me, I guess. :P

So, about the things that have been keeping me occupied:
Trouble in Bookland, my current WIP. I'm going through edits right now, working on compiling (I like the options on Scrivener, but do there have to be so many?!), I have a  cover designed (thanks C.B. :) ), and am set to have Part One published sometime within the next week or so.

The blurb:
---
Linda has been invited to the Isle of Authors. Amazing; she, a 12 year old Writer, who hasn’t written much beyond uncompleted short stories, gets to visit the land of Dreams!
The Board of Authors, rulers of the land of Dreams, want her to visit a Patch--Bookland. The former Writer of the Patch was Rejected for founding the world on revenge, and the Patch was put on hold until a suitable Writer could be found to take over and finish the story. Now it’s active, and they can’t go in themselves to find out who is controlling it. And the Patch is spreading beyond its boundaries, eating away at the neighboring Patches.

Linda must discover who it is, and stop him or her, before the entire Patchwork, and all the life within it, is destroyed.
---

I've also been working on a different blog, where I plan to have a bit more diversity in subject matter. Possibly. This is a work in progress. :P
If I do end up using it, I'll be keeping this blog solely for short stories (since that's what this has sort of turned into anyways). Later, I may include fangirl-ish book reviews, but I hardly ever get around to writing those...

Pintrest. The bane and helpmate of writers. So many prompts, ideas, tips...and distractions. :P You can find my account and boards, including an inspiration board for TIB, here.

In addition to all of this, there have been books, snow--for the first time in years!--and new board games that have claimed my attention. ;)

The Serial Stories shall be continuing as normal, and I shall post a link to the new blog when it's finished and I'm ready to start posting.

That's all for now. Have a happy New Year's Eve! :D

Monday, December 28, 2015

Serial Story, on a Monday

Sorry for the delay. Christmas and a few other things happened, some of which you shall read of in an upcoming post. :D
---
Unexpected Adventure, Part Thirteen

They made it to the smaller cavern without incident. It was cozy and warm, lined with packed grasses. Regis couldn’t tell much else about it, as the elves refused to use a light of any sort.
“It will cause too much disturbance,” Dr. Rune said.
They seemed to be able to see perfectly well.
Regis rested against a wall and listened to the elves chatting and tumbling with the kits. The mother bobcat sat nearby, twitching contentedly. Her tail kept flicking against Regis’ face.
Dr. Rune paused amid the chaos, and Regis heard the rustle of a pack. A vial was put into Regis’ hands. “Drink this. Your strength should return momentarily.”
Sure enough, Regis felt perfectly fine before a minute was up. He flexed a few times, trying not to hit his head on the ceiling, then stared at Dr. Rune. “What did you do?”
“Not much, by our accounts. A few dabs of oil, a quick sealing spell, etcetera.” The older elf tickled a kit’s chin. “Are you going to rest, or continue to defy the Prophecy?”
Cloudwillow snorted. “I bet he’s going to leave.”
Regis grunted. “So you’re getting to know me.”
Dr. Rune harrumphed. “You’re going to get hurt.”
Regis felt for his pack, then slid it on. “So I’ve heard.”
“Where are you going?”
“Out. Away from here.” Regis felt his way along the wall until he found the tube-like entrance. He crawled out.
Behind, Dr. Rune and Cloudwillow spoke indistinctly. Regis retrieved a lightstick from his pack and prepared to crack it. Dr. Rune came out of the entrance tunnel and stopped him.
“Do that, my friend, and you’ll find yourself swarmed in insects of the flesh-eating sort. Here, this way.”
Dr. Rune took his hand and led him through the dark. They had gone a ways before Regis realized that he’d accepted the elf’s guidance without question. He planted his feet and jerked his hand back, careful not to teeter to the right. He heard empty space there.
“What are you doing?”
Dr. Rune sighed. “Why are you putting up such a fight?”
“No petty prophecy is going to control my fate.”
“It has been my experience that Prophecies are written by a higher hand, and to defy that hand is to bring hurt upon oneself.”
Regis shook his head. “What does that even mean?”
“You’re a thick one, aren’t you?” Dr. Rune chuckled. “Very well. I shall leave you here to your devices.”
Regis listened for any sound of departure. He waited for a while without hearing anything. “Dr. Rune?” No reply.

Wishing he had his shield, he cracked his lightstick.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Serial Story Saturday

Unexpected Adventure, Part Twelve

A slim man dressed in fur clothing darted up from the back of the cave. Before anyone could react to his outburst or appearance, he threw a ball straight at the cyborg. The ball attached itself to Darius’ face, hissing and yowling.
Peter immediately turned to Regis. He hissed, “If I can’t torture you, I’ll just slit—”
Regis evaded several quick blows by crumpling into a ball. Suddenly, Peter was knocked to the side. Cloudwillow’s father stood in his place. “No slitting today. It’s a thoroughly nasty business none of us have time for, I’m afraid.”
Regis risked a glance to the back of the cave. The cyborg was missing an arm and limping away. Cloudwillow blew a raspberry at him. He looked to the cave mouth. Peter was gone, and so was the storm.
Cloudwillow’s father knelt at Regis’ side and helped him sit up. “You have quite the collection of abrasions. If we can just get rid of the lead, we can have you fixed up in a trice.”
Regis gasped for breath. “The…amulet…stays.”
The elf blithely tossed the amulet aside. He rubbed his gloved hands in a small pile of snow. “I don’t think you have a say in the matter. Dr. Rune, at your service.”
Regis tried to grip the elf’s arm, or even his throat, but his hand fell limp to his side.
Cloudwillow skipped up to them, holding the ball her father had thrown earlier. Upon closer inspection, Regis saw that it was a bobcat kit. “Daddy, he tried to do the Prophecy out of order.”
Dr. Rune ran his fingers along Regis’ arm. The bleeding slowed. “It seems he’s learned his lesson now, hasn’t it?” He pulled out several vials and bandages.
Regis’ vision went fuzzy. He squeezed his eyes shut. He heard Dr. Rune call for a stick, then felt it jam into his mouth.
“Hold still, this will sting like wildfire.”
Several minutes later, Regis was able to stand. He did so slowly, checking himself over and leaning against the wall. He glared at Dr. Rune, who was smiling. “What?”
“We don’t all cast mind spells, you know. Only those who don’t follow our laws have the audacity to stoop so low. Come along, I’m sure we can give you adequate shelter for a short time.”
Cloudwillow shuffled in place, head down. “Um…daddy?”
“Yes?”
“The house…um…blew up, and…sorry?”
Dr. Rune blinked. “Actually, I was referring to the family of felines denned up a few caverns back.”
Cloudwillow went bright pink. “Oh.”
Regis growled. “Where’s my shield?”

“Your shield is at the bottom of chasm. For now, to warmth and kittens we shall go.” Dr. Rune wrapped an arm around Regis and helped him stand away from the wall.
Regis wondered how long he was going to be stuck with these people.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Serial Story Saturday

Unexpected Adventure, Part Eleven

The cyborg returned, holding a trussed and grumpy-looking Cloudwillow by the scruff of her neck. She snorted. “Peter? That’s not a very scary name.”
Regis shifted his position so he could at least cause some harm before he died. “Is that supposed to mean something?”
“You don’t remember leaving me, bloody and cold? In the mercy of the merciless?!” The man whipped off his cowl. A scar covered more than half of his face. Gashed pockets covered the rest. Dark red eyes narrowed.
Regis frowned. “I still don’t know who you are.”
Peter clenched his fists. “Really?!” He sheathed his weapons, and ran his hands through his hair. The sandy blond locks stuck every which way. “And, in case you still don’t remember…” He went up to Regis and hissed in his ear. “I’m your brother.”
Cloudwillow made a strangled noise. “Nuh-uh!”
Regis sucked in his breath. “What?”
“Yes. Me. The dramatic reveal is over, so…” Peter replaced his cowl, and his voice once again became cold and grating. “…now for the death blow. Darius.”
The cyborg marched up, still carting Cloudwillow.
Peter held Cloudwillow’s head and turned it from side to side. “Do you care for this imp?”
Regis didn’t like the direction this was heading. Hoping to deter it, he said, “No.”
“Neither do I.” Peter whipped out his disks. “So there will be no mourning when we dispose of her.”
Cloudwillow smiled sweetly. “I don’t think so. Oh, and did you know that this is a cliché tactic? Threatening the hero’s girl companion?”
Peter scoffed. “He’s no hero.”
“Not yet. But someone’s going to show him how to be one.”
Peter scraped Cloudwillow’s chin. A line of blood started dripping to the floor. “Who can possibly—”

A high, clear, bellowing voice echoed from the tunnels stretching away from the cave. “UNHAND MY DAUGHTER!”

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A Bit of Fanfic

This is a bit of fan-fic for Twinepathy, current WIP of C.B. Cook. The Finch has only been mentioned in two parts so far: Part 10 and Part 11.
So, this is The Finch meeting his girlfriend for the first time after getting amnesia. Enjoy. :)
-----
The Finch wandered the park, hoping to distract himself. Why couldn’t he remember anything? It hurt almost as bad as getting hit with a truck. Not that he remembered having any such experience…
“Mathis?” The lightly accented voice sent a shiver through him. He turned. A lady with long hair and a surprised expression timidly approached. She had a death grip on the lapels of her jacket. “Mathis, is that you?”
He blinked. “Yes.”
“Oh, thank goodness! Where have you been?” She rushed up and bear-hugged him.
The Finch just stood there, arms awkwardly by his side. “I’m…I’m sorry, but I don’t remember you.”
The lady drew back but kept her hands on his arms. Her expression varied between cold shock and…was that fear? “Don’t remember me?”
“No, I don’t. What’s your name?”
She took a few steps back, her hand to her mouth. Tears brimmed in her dark eyes. “Oh, oh, oh…”
The Finch wanted to cry himself. “Who are you?”
“I’m, I’m…” She choked, and the tears fell. Through a muffle of emotion, he heard her say, “Eva.”
He held his breath for half a second, hoping. No memories, or even feeling, surfaced. He exhaled his earlier apology.
Eva cleared her throat, laying hand at its base. “You don’t remember me? At all?”
He shook his head. He must have some previous connection to her, though; he wanted to cry with her, hug her, something. “Do you want to talk?”
Eva nodded furiously, pulling her coat tight. She sniffled. “There’s a bench there.”
The Finch instinctively put his arm out. Eva gave a gasping laugh. “At least you’re still you.”
He helped her to the bench and winced. It was so cold. That didn’t seem to bother Eva. She leaned back and glanced at him nervously. “I…I’m not sure where to start…but, I’m your girlfriend.”
The Finch nodded. He could see that, even if he couldn’t remember it.
She relaxed a little bit. “We didn’t do everything together, but quite a few things. Skating, collecting, your usual hobbies…and a few weeks ago, you stopped responding. I was worried sick, literally. My mother had to come over and stay with me for a few days. Then I got a text from you—or your phone, at least—saying to come to the park.”
The Finch put his elbows on his knees. “It wasn’t me who sent the text.” It could’ve been Jen…
He thought. What should he say next?
Eva laid a hand on his arm. “You wouldn’t happen to remember what it was you wanted to tell me before you…vanished?”
He shook his head.
“What happened?”
He half-opened his mouth, then stopped. What could he tell her? IDIA hadn’t told him much, about either the accident or his relations. They had said it was too soon. Then why the text?
“I got into an accident at work.”
“But I checked the hospitals! And how can you get amnesia from unloading produce?!” Eva gripped his arm and gave him a little shake. He must have given her a negative look, because she abruptly let go and hunched over. “Sorry.”
He was going to say, “It’s alright,” but stopped himself. It wasn’t alright. Not at all.
Eva stood. “Maybe it would help if…if we went for a  walk? Where we usually do?”
The Finch rose. He supposedly had the afternoon off. May as well make the best of it. “Yes, please. I’m afraid you’ll have to lead the way.”
Eva looked like she was going to cry again.
The Finch wrapped an arm about her shoulders. “But don’t worry. I should remember soon enough.” He hoped. It was going to kill him if he couldn’t.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Serial Story Saturday

Unexpected Adventure, Part Ten

Cloudwillow took one look at Regis, then spun and charged. “Yargh!” The cyborg toppled over the diminutive elf and onto his face. Cloudwillow turned back and grinned. “Gotch’a! Oh, and you forgot to pay for last night.”
“You are a nuisance.”
“Thank yooouuuu. Catch me if you can.” Cloudwillow pulled a face and dashed further into the cave. She went around a bend and Regis lost sight of her. The cyborg followed after.
Regis turned to the man in black. “You were saying?” He leaned awkwardly against his staff.
The man hissed. He withdrew his strange metal disks. “Then we shall simply have to get close.” He swung.
Regis sidestepped, clouting the man behind the head in the process. He narrowly avoided a swing at his legs. The disk tore through the fabric but didn’t penetrate skin.
“Staff slowing you down?”
Regis crouched low, ignoring the pain it caused, and swung the staff. It connected behind the man’s knees and drove him forward. He turned and landed with his back against the wall.
“Not much.” Regis flipped his weapon, and darted forward. The man ducked before it made contact with is face. With inhuman speed, the man slid. His disks scraped against Regis’ arm.
Regis grunted. The new pain coupled with the old, he stumbled. The staff clattered to the ground as he tried to stop the flow of blood.
The man waited. Regis glared. “Why?”

“You still don’t remember? Fine. My name is Peter.”

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Serial Story Saturday

Unexpected Adventure, Part Nine

Cloudwillow set her face away from the ruined building and marched ahead. “First step, get the cape. I only know one place where that could be, and that place is the elven city.”
“Magic people?” Regis glowered. “No, thank you.”
“Oh, come on! What do you have against magic?”
“It’s unnatural.”
“Or maybe it’s natural and the only reason you don’t like it is because it can do things you think are impossible.”
“I’m not going to put myself at the mercy of magic just to get a cape.”
“But it’s important!”
“Come on. I know a place we can set up a temporary camp.” Regis walked.
Cloudwillow sputtered. “Are you listening to me?!”
“No.” Regis was rewarded by seeing the little elf’s face turn red.
Suddenly, the red washed from her face and she beamed. “Only a few minutes into my first adventure, and already I find myself tried. Daddy was right; this isn’t going to be easy.” She hummed and skipped beside Regis, who raised an eyebrow.
“You’re not going to try to force me to find the cape?”
“Nah. If you want to defy a Prophecy and do things out of order, go ahead. I’ll just watch when you hurt yourself.”
Regis hoped he wasn’t going to have to listen to her talk the whole way to his site. The elf kept quiet for a few minutes. Then, “We’re going to get the sword first, right?”
“No.”
“Then what’s the plan?”
“Get far away, don’t get found.”
“You’re doing this all wrong!” Cloudwillow tried to argue about the merits of the Prophecy, but Regis refused to respond. Finally, the elf fell into a gloomy mood. “We’re going to get hurt,” was all she said.
When the sun’s bleary eye was at its midpoint, the pair came to Regis’ destination; a cave.
“Let’s see, rocks, rocks, wet, cold…” Cloudwillow groaned. “It’s a regular cave!”
Regis set his pack down and lighted a heat lamp. “What were you expecting?”
“Something amazing. Like, a secret hideout with revolving doors, buttons, and a weapons’ cache.” She plopped beside him.
They both took out a small meal of bread, dried meat and warm water. Cloudwillow gnawed at her meat. “You know,” she said between bites, “you’re taking every precaution. You even remembered to cover our tracks. But I still think we’re going to find the sword first.”
Regis sighed. “Let me eat in peace.”
Outside, the sky darkened, and snow began to fall.
Regis remembered what had happened before the first fight with the cloaked man and readied his daggers. He took several more from his pack and slid them into his belt. “Arm yourself.”
“Me?” Cloudwillow gave him an incredulous look. “Alright. But daddy says I couldn’t hit a mountain if I was standing at its base.”
Regis swore under his breath. He hastily slid the shield from his back. “Then take this. Push the center if you’re in a tight spot.”
Cloudwillow grunted and slid the shield—it was nearly as big as her—onto an arm. “If you say so.”
The storm increased rapidly, until it was as if a tornado hovered just outside the cave. The black figure stepped through it.
Regis threw one dagger, so fast it whizzed.
The figure stepped aside, and the weapon spun into the whirlwind. “Predictable. Come with me—”
The cyborg’s voice interrupted. “—and the elf won’t die.”

Regis spun. The cyborg was behind them. And poised to nab Cloudwillow.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Serial Story Saturday

Unexpected Adventure, Part Eight

“Cloudwillow!” Regis braced himself against a shelf. With a grunt, he pushed himself off and tottered into the smoke.
Where could she—there, a darker lump amid rubble, where the stairs used to be. She wasn’t moving. He shoved aside pieces of timber, then dropped to his knees (remembering about his injury rather late). He felt for a pulse.
At his touch, Cloudwillow’s eyes fluttered open. “Aw, you care.” She clambered up, seemingly unhurt. “I brought your pack down, first thing after you left. I just came here to see if you were made of the right stuff.” She shuffled through smaller bits of rubble, then produced his pack. “This thing’s really sturdy. And heavy. Kind of like you.” An impossibly large smile shone bright amidst the murk.
Regis wondered if slapping the elf would be wrong. “You’re impossible.” He took his pack and slid it on. It was unusually heavy.
“Thank you,” she said in singsong. “Now let’s get going. We don’t want to be here when he comes back.”
“And they always do come back.” Regis sighed. Whether he liked it or not, he was stuck with the elf. “I’ll see what I can salvage.”
“Food shouldn’t be a problem; I packed.” She produced a sack; light cream and fastened with a bone of some sort. “And I got some daggers, and sleeping bags, and other camping stuff. That’s why your pack’s heavier.”
Regis stared at her. “Why do you seem more prepared for this than I am?”
She shrugged, swinging her shoulders. “Daddy says to always be ready for anything. That, and I’ve been reading about it for a while.” She gave a little squeal. “I just can’t believe it’s finally happening! Oh, and we’ll need staffs. Staffs are a necessity for adventurers.”
She dashed back into the library, and exited toting two long poles with strange pads on the ends. “These’ll work until I can finish healing you.”
“No. It will heal on its own.” Regis took the staff and levered himself up.
“Then let’s go already!” Cloudwillow bounded up the half-wrecked stairs as limber as a deer, and hopped through the still-smoldering debris.
Regis went out through the still-intact door.
The cold and strain stung his leg. To his surprise, it wasn’t bleeding. He looked to Cloudwillow, who was skipping in circles some distance ahead.
“Magic,” she shouted at him.
Regis waited to retort until he caught up with her. “Can magic give you your house back?”

The little elf made an “oh” face. She turned from him to the decapitated building. “I don’t think daddy’s going to be happy.”

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Serial Story Saturday

Unexpected Adventure, Part Seven

Regis stared at the picture for a little longer. “What is this?”
“That’s you. See, your name’s right there.” Cloudwillow jabbed a slender finger onto a space below the picture. Sure enough, it was his name. It was even in his handwriting.
“So?”
“So, this is what it says on the page before.” Cloudwillow stood back and puffed out her chest.
“ ‘On eve of storm terrible and white, shall a man of courage come
And fight. Fight a dark monster, powerful and scarred;
It will reveal who they are. Cape long and blue shall the courage man
Find. Sword wrought with secrets and powers left behind
Will be won from caverns deep. Before these tasks are done,
Secrets will lie in the light of sun.’ ”
Cloudwillow bounced on her heels. “What do you think?”
Regis looked from the page to the elf. “Does it mean anything?”
The little elf’s face went red. “Of course it means something!”
“What?”
Cloudwillow hopped onto the back of the couch and leaned over his shoulder. She pointed to each line in question while she spoke. “That’s you, the man of courage. Whatever attacked you is the monster, and fighting with him will bring out the best or worst in both of you. Then you’ll find a cape and a sword, but not before secrets are revealed. I thought that was pretty self-explanatory…don't ask me what the cape and sword are for, though. Dad explained it to me, but he got excited and I couldn't understand him.”
Regis rubbed his forehead.
Cloudwillow giggled and patted his shoulder. “If you think that one was hard to understand, wait until I read you The Ballad of the Singing Turtle.”
“No.”
“Grumpy puss. Well, I’ll get your pack.” The elf darted out of the room.
Regis jerked to his feet, tottering. “Wait—!”

Explosions rocked the building. Regis fell. A billow of grey smoke poured from the other room.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Serial Story Saturday

Unexpected Adventures, Part Six

Regis woke near a spitting fire. He shouted and brushed sizzling embers from his face. Instantly, he regretted it. Everything spun, and his leg burned worse than the embers. He squeezed his eyes shut.
“Sorry about that! The fire doesn’t like your belt, I guess. And neither do I. It smells.”
Regis pried his eyes open. Cloudwillow stood right in front of him.
He started. Her voice had sounded further away.
“You’re going to be sore for a little while. That was a nasty swipe to your leg. Oh, I put it back when I was done, but I had to take off that charm.”
“You what?” Regis grit his teeth and sat up. If he hadn’t felt so nauseous, he would have picked up the grinning girl by the collar of her dress.
“It was either that or leave you bleeding to death.” Cloudwillow shrugged. She put her hands behind her back and rocked on her heels. “So…notice anything?”
Regis looked around. Books. There were books everywhere. On all four walls, above the fireplace, and there were scrolls hanging from hooks on the chandelier.
“Where am I?”
“The inn’s library. I couldn’t drag you to your room, and I don’t think you would’ve liked being left hanging on a table. Oh, and before you ask, I heard you thumping around upstairs.” Cloudwillow began miming, dashing from one end of the room and back again, gesturing with her arms all the while. “I ran over the snow, found you bleeding, wove a few spells, and then dragged you back like a slab of meat. You just weren’t quite as bloody as one. So, yeah, I saved you.”
Regis blinked and attempted to process the babble of words. “…Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” She smiled smugly.
Regis hardened his tone. “Next time, don’t remove the charm.” He felt better when the smile fell from her face.
“Fine. Be that way. You won’t pass out, right?” She raised an eyebrow.
Regis raised one back. “No.”
“Oh, good. In that case, here…” She trotted over to a shelf and took down a thick book. “…is what I wanted to show you.”
A book, with worn leather binding, thumped next to him. He poked at it, then gingerly lifted the dingy cover with one finger.
Cloudwillow came up close and whispered in his ear. “It’s not a blood lion.”
Regis glared. “Then what is it?”
“It, my friend, is the Book of Prophecy.” She said the last with a tone of reverence. Then she hefted the book up, turned it towards her, and flipped the sheaves of paper. Words and pictures blurred by, too fast for Regis to see.
“This page here, this is why I was expecting you to be totally different.” Cloudwillow flipped the book back over, her finger tapping at a page on the right.

Regis stared. It was a picture. The picture was him. At least, the face was. He couldn’t attest to the starry blue cloak, ferocious emblem, or gem-studded sword.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Amazing You Tag

I got tagged by C.B. over at Proverbs 31 Teen. Thanks, C.B.! :D

Now, onto another question session.

AmazingYouTag

1. You’re on a deserted island, and you find a cave. What would you expect to find in it?
In real life? Probably a wild animal of some sort, so I wouldn’t go inside to find out…
Unless the weather was bad and that was the only shelter around, of course. 
If I was in a crazy mood, I’d expect a band of fantasy characters. ^.^

2. If you could have one superpower, which would you pick?
Teleportation. Then I wouldn’t have to drive. :P

3. What one song would you choose for the theme music for a movie about your life?
A few songs came to mind, but I think this one would be my final choice.



4. You can only wear one color for the rest of your life. What color would you pick?
Dark blue. Better to sneak around with. ;)

5. What’s one thing you want to do that’s wild, crazy, or unusual?
Physically visit a fantasy world of my choosing, of course.

6. If you had to give a speech to the whole world for five minutes, what topic would it be about?
Me? Speech? Whole world, five minutes? Uh…

7. You get to have lunch with any three famous people, present or past! Who would you pick?
Like, real people? Dang it. *crosses Gandalf and other such people from the list* Theodore Roosevelt, or Paul of Tarsus; they both gave their respective countries and time periods a really nice, swift kick in the pants when it counted. J

8. What is your favorite smell, and why?
The smell of the house when you’ve been out all/most of the day, and come back after something’s been cooking. Provided it didn’t burn…

9. Share one of your favorite quotes.
Gah, just one?!?! Okay…

“You should think ten times more than you read.” –A.W. Tozer
Before I read this, I didn’t realize how little actual thinking I was doing after I read a book (of any type/genre). So, sage advice to put into practice, especially for bookworms (we shall be unstoppable!!! :P).

10. Give us two true statements about yourself and one false statement, and see if your followers can guess which one is false.
I don’t have many followers yet, but okay. Let’s see…

1. I’m something of a politic writer (choosing one project, sticking with it for a bit, but then moving on to another one that seems to hold more promise)
2. I like clowns
3. School buildings give me nightmares

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Twinepathy Reveal

Hullo, everyone! C.B. Cook here! I am very pleased to announce that I am here to reveal the cover of Twinepathy! This wonderful blogger here has allowed me to infiltrate their blog (temporarily), and I greatly appreciate that. Thank you, person, for being a wonderfully dedicated follower of this blog.
Now, on to the cover reveal! Drum roll, please…


I’m so thrilled that you guys are celebrating this with me! If you’re on Goodreads, you can add Twinepathy to your Goodreads shelves – once we hit 100 people adding it, I’ll be posting an extra part. I’m so grateful for your support! Check out the cover reveal post on my blog for a bonus part. Keep on being awesome!

Author bio: Often referred to as a master of the cliffhanger, C.B. Cook is just a 17-year-old girl trying to find out where her King is guiding her, while writing the stories of the people she creates, the worlds she wants to live in, and the adventures she dreams about. Also known as a mysterious creature called an "author". She's a Christian and a homeschooler dedicated to changing others lives through the power of the written word.
---
Merenwen here. The expected release date for Twinepathy is early 2016. I can't wait until then! :D

C.B. Cook is also the author of Paralyzed Dreams, a story about accidents...and faith. Check it out on Amazon (just click that title, and off you go)!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Serial Story Saturday

Unexpected Adventure, Part Five

Regis’ twin swords were out in a second. The metal glinted from the light of the snow. “Who are you?”
The figure didn’t answer. The wind became a gale.
Snow came up in a wave. Regis ducked his head and held an arm out. The snow coated him, and worked its way into gaps. Pricks of cold spread until he was nearly numb.
He squinted, trying to see through the wall of white. Something cold and hard smacked his face. He stumbled back, wiping his eyes.
Suddenly, the wind stopped. The lifted snow fell in a silent scatter.
Regis swiped the last of the snow from his vision. The figure was directly in front of him, a puff of white coming from the blackness of the hood.
“Who are you?”
“You don’t remember me?”
Regis swung his swords, one at the neck and the other at the midriff. They clanged against gauntlets.
“You dare attack me with inferior metals?” The man sounded offended. And his middle was wide-open for a quick thrust.
Regis pulled one sword back. Or, tried to. It stuck to the gauntlet. He planned to let go and draw a dagger. His gloves were frozen to the sword hilts. He cursed.
The man cocked his head. Another puff of white. “I expected better.” The man drew his hands down in an arc.
Regis plowed into the snow, face-first.
“I know you are better. Why don’t you fight?” The back of Regis’ neck was grabbed, and he was placed back on his feet. The man was several feet away. How was he not sinking into the snow?
Regis growled. “Fine.”
“Excellent.” Slick-black hands ducked back into the cloak. They emerged, holding two metal disks. The man flicked, and the edges glowed; a dull grey that matched the sky.
They charged each other, Regis going slower than he would have wished because of his snow shoes.
The ring of blows shook the snow from the tops of nearby trees.
The man kept his strikes short and deliberate; Regis blocked and followed them back with his own force. The man caught the strike with his gauntlets. He grunted, and a power struggle began.
Regis twisted to the side and swung. His gloves were torn free, some skin with it. He gritted his teeth and flexed his fingers.
The man skidded across the snow. He looked up. Wisps of white air curled back and gave Regis a glimpse of a smile. “Good,” the man said. “But you’d better luck next time.”
Warmth exploded down his leg. Regis’ vision blurred. He collapsed. The snow beneath him was red.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Sweater Weather Tag

I was tagged by Sarah over at Dreams and Dragons for this. So, here I go!

Favorite Candle Scent?
Pumpkin-anything, apple spice, vanilla…anything that reminds me of cookies and home. 
Slightly off topic, did you know that there's such thing as a Denim scented candle? It's weird....

Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?
All three at once! It’s really good; pumpkin spice and apple spice tea, steeped in hot chocolate, with a small scoop of instant coffee. Tastes like Starbucks, but better (and cheaper).

What's your best fall memory?
Uh…I don’t think I have one…wait, I’ve got it. I don’t know how old I was, but our grandma took us trick-or-treating around her neighborhood. I remember being excited because one of my little bros had been born recently. I couldn’t wait to show him all the candy we got. :)

Best fragrance for fall?
Hmmm…the way it smells after/during/before the first rainfall of the season: cold, rain, and dying flowers. Sounds kind of morbid, now that I think about it… :P

Favorite Thanksgiving food?
Turkey stuffing. And pie. Ooh, and Pecan Tassies.

Most worn sweater?
Let’s see…either a sturdy blue one that my mom used to wear, or a knitted brown one.

Football games or jumping in leaf piles?
No, no football. “THROW THE ANIMAL SKIN! Yes, haha! DIE OPPOSING TEAM (or home team, depending on how they’re doing)!!” That’s all I see…
And I’ve only jumped in a leaf pile once, so long ago I can hardly remember it. I liked it because of the crunching noise. :)

Skinny jeans or leggings?
Between the two, leggings. They have such cool weaves out around this time of year. And they’re thick and warm. Skinny jeans are way too tight for me (and cold in the mornings).

Combat boots or Uggs?

I hear Uggs are nice, but I wouldn’t know. And I’m not sure if the boots I usually wear are combat boots or not... 
Whatever keeps my feet warm and dry.

Is pumpkin spice worth the hype?

Yeeeessss. Well, not the spice by itself…that’s pretty nasty. But mixed in coffee, tea, desserts and whatnot, it’s delicious.

Favorite fall movie?
Fall movie? Uh, let’s see, superheroes, documentaries, adventure…oh, Hotel Transylvania.

What do you want to be for Halloween?

I really don’t like origin of the holiday, and so I feel really uncomfortable celebrating it in any way. Even though the modern celebration is drained down to the point where the original purpose is essentially lost.
However, I will dress up if the opportunity arises. Just not because I’m trying to disguise myself as a goblin/devil so I don’t get stolen by said ilk (that’s part of the origin). :P

I’d want to cosplay as Maid Imraldera from Goldstone Wood, or one of my own characters.

Hats or scarves?
Hats, and hoods. Hoods are awesome. Scarves make me feel like I’m being strangled or Force-choked. :P

What's your #1 favorite thing about fall?

The weather. It’s amazing, it’s crisp, and the colors are explosive. Oh, and it’s a time to break out the soup recipes!

You read this, right? You're thinking about your own answers to the questions?
Then I tag you! :D

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Serial Story Saturday

Unexpected Adventure, Part Four

Regis woke a little while later. He grimaced when he realized that he’d fallen asleep fully dressed, and atop the sheets. At least he’d taken off his pack and shield.
A small fireplace had been stoked at some point. Regis eyed the sparking embers from a distance. The elf couldn’t have come in; he would have heard. Magic?
He shuddered and fingered the clasp of his belt. The embers dimmed. He relaxed. So the tinkerer hadn’t been lying.
It was quiet.
Regis went to the window across the room. The shutter creaked slightly when he opened it. Cold air blasted into his face from the glass. Everything was white, and bright enough to make him squint. Snow sprinkled to the ground from the roof, and rested just a foot below the window sill. Nothing else moved.
Something wasn’t right again.
Regis refastened the shutters. From his pack, he removed a pair of snowshoes. That cyborg wasn’t going to get away without revealing who he worked for.
He walked to the cyborg’s room, feeling his way around settling boards.
The door was shut. He tried the handle. Locked.
With a dagger, Regis felt for the bolt. There.
The door opened. And the window across the room had been cut. A thin layer of snow covered the floor in front of it.
Regis glanced around the room. Nothing obvious. But of course, it wouldn’t be.
He went to a corner of the room, and let his eyes follow a seemingly random pattern. It had to be somewhere…
Regis set the snowshoes on the ground and removed his gloves. He crouched, and leaped. His hand outstretched, he grabbed onto a beam. His fingers brushed against something.
Regis swung his other hand up and plied metal from the wood.
He let go, and landed in a crouch to lessen the noise. As it was, the boards groaned.
He went to the window and held the metal out into the brightness. Small, half-oval, with a thin screen displaying four red squares. One of the squares blipped out. A timed bomb.
He turned it over. There were no lines, buttons, or anything to mar the dull grey metal. A Trickster bomb, then. A bomb that only the maker knew how to disable. There were three or four more around the room, he was sure.
Regis clipped the bomb to his belt and put on the snowshoes. Snow crunched beneath his shoes. Beside him were footprints, light but unmistakable. He smirked. No matter how fast it ran, the cyborg was bound to fall into the snow soon.
Going as fast as he dared, he followed the prints. When he was among the tree tops, he tilted the bomb so he could see the display. Still three squares. He had time.
He took a few more steps, and nearly fell into a hole. He braced himself and slid back. Sure enough, Darius was down there.
It hacked at the sides of the hole, cursing whenever its arms locked up.
Regis tossed the bomb down. It clipped Darius on the head and landed in slush. “That wasn’t very smart.”
Darius glared up at him. “Could you help?”
“Disable it first.” A breeze knocked snow from some of the trees.
“I didn’t make it.”
“Who did?” The breeze increased, and whistled. Regis shivered.
An emotionless half-smile spread on Darius’ face. “Him.”

Regis turned, sliding his legs so that he stood defensive. A cloaked figure, black against the white, stood a few feet away.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Character Encounters



October Character Encounter!
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The air is crisp, smelling faintly of winter. My sweater keeps me from facing serious harm at the hands of the wind. I sit in the backyard, and hammer at the keyboard. “No, no, no, why are youdoingthistome?!”
Characters. Such a bunch…especially now, when their story is supposed to be on hold!
“So that was your plan, eh? No you don’t, you won’t—ah, carp…”
I run to the front yard, and onto the street. It’s quiet. And there’s a dragon standing in the middle of the road. A huge blue dragon, with a satisfied smirk on his face, and talons just breaking the surface of the tarmac.
“Look, I have to have something publishable, or at least readable, by December. Two months! Not even, since this month is just about over. I don’t have time to work on your story right now.”
The dragon, Richard, shrinks to about the size of a small car and slinks over to me. His hot breath cracks my lips. “But you have time to completely redraft, revisit and rewrite a different story? Not to mention the POV change, and plot focus.”
“Yes. Because it’s a story I don’t have to spend too much time world-building on. Get back in your story and stop wreaking havoc, please.”
“Maybe.” He settles on his haunches and looks down at me. “Oh, what do I do with this? I don’t think I want to eat it…” He curls his tail back. When he lowers it in front of my face, a squealing, squeaking guinea pig is wriggling in his grasp.
I scramble to free it before it gets hurt. It settles in my arms and tries to shove its head into my sweater. “Richard!” I fairly scream. “You…did not…manipulate the timelines and get this from Shade.”
“I didn’t?” He raises a scaly brow and clicks his talons together.
With the little piggy trying to taste a piece of my flesh, I groan. “Why? Why is it just you?”
“Just me?” Richard tilts his head to the side and flicks his tail nervously.
“Yes. Well, you and the vampire. You two. Just…two. Out of a whole cast. Driving me nuts.” I grind out the last few words. “I haven’t abandoned your story, so why are you trying to make it fall apart?”
“You haven’t?” Richard frowns, and his tail falls still. Just in time, too. It nearly sliced off part of our neighbor’s rose bush.
“Nope.” The guinea pig finally holds still and trills softly. I stroke it, feeling oddly like an evil mastermind for no apparent reason. “It’s just on hold.”
Richard lowers his head. “Well, I just assumed that, uh, to say…sorry.”
“I’d appreciate it if you showed me rather than just say it. You’re acting oddly in RPs, too.”
“That…may be because…”
I put a hand on my hip, a suspicion finally raising itself in my mind.
A smooth voice interrupts. “Excuse me.” The villain, Shade, from the future of Richard’s timeline is standing behind him, seemingly from nowhere. His purple outfit looks insufficient to provide much protection from the cold. “I believe that is mine.”
The guinea pig leaps into Shade’s arms. He coos at it and wiggles his finger behind one of its ears.
“All him,” I say, pointing at Richard.
Even though Shade wears a mask, I can tell he’s glaring. “Hmm. I will have to devise a suitable punishment.”
Richard snarls at him. “I’d like to see—”

“Nope, no, he doesn’t.” I nudge one of Richard’s forelegs. “How about we just get you all back into your stories? Then maybe I can finish my project…”

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Serial Story Saturday

Unexpected Adventures, Part Three

The orb darkened, and a white dot in the center contracted. “Surprise. Can you get off of me?”
Regis held the dagger to Darius’ solar plexus. The cyborg seemed to gulp.
“Unless you want your AI to taste steel, I suggest telling me why you’re here.”
“Shelter.” The human-looking half of Darius’ face drew together in a scowl. “I have no wish to freeze. Release me, or I holler.”
Regis slowly backed away, still holding his knife out. He tossed the half torn mask onto the floor between them. “Who are you working for?”
Darius replaced the mask, pressing together the tears. They melded, and his expression became blank. He began straightening his jacket. “No one.”
“Your kind always works for someone.”
“You’re disturbing me.” Darius sat on the bed.
Regis scowled. “You’re not going to hurt anybody.”
“I have no intention of doing so tonight. Leave now.”
Cloudwillow’s high-pitched voice rattled up from downstairs. “Hey, is everything alright?”
“Fine,” Regis called out. “We’re talking.”
Cloudwillow came up the stairs and stood in the doorway. “Some talking. Since when have knives been used for that?”
Regis sheathed the blade. “Since when have innkeepers meddled in customers’ business?”
“Oh, always. We just don’t always make it obvious.” She winked. “Everything okay, Mister Darius?”
The cyborg nodded. “Fine.”
“If you say so…” Cloudwillow tugged on Regis’ sleeve. “May I have a word with you, Mister Regis?”
Regis sidled past her. “No.” As he went to his room, he heard the elf follow. He blocked the doorway, and waited.
Cloudwillow cocked her head. “You’re not like I expected.”
“You were expecting me?”
Cloudwillow smiled strangely. “Yeah, of course.”
A chill crept up Regis’ spine. “How?”
The girl’s smile became smug. In sing-song, she said, “Books.” When Regis didn’t respond, she threw her hands in the air. “Nothing at all like I expected. Well, I’ll leave you now.”
Regis went into his room feeling very disoriented.
It didn’t help matters when the elf opened the door just enough for Regis to see her eyes. “Oh, I almost forgot. I want to show you something tomorrow. Can you read? At all?”
Regis slowly shook his head. “No. Nothing except status reports.”
“Okay, that’s fine. Have a good rest, Mister Regis.” She smiled, then closed the door.
Regis lay on his bed, staring at the ceiling. What did she know about him?

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Serial Story Saturday: Unexpected Adventure

Unexpected Adventure, Part Two

A man, slim and doubled over, stumbled through the door. He was young, with dark brown hair and unfocused eyes. He wore thick pants, thin jacket, tall boots, and a rumpled cap that pulled down to his chin.
The man mumbled.
Cloudwillow greeted him much the same way she had Regis.
He mumbled again, and Cloudwillow pointed upstairs. The man stumbled up, clutching the side rails.
Something was off about him.
Regis finished his stew.
Cloudwillow bounded up. “Is there anything else I can get you?”
“No, thank you.”
“Alright. Holler if you need anything, otherwise I won’t hear you.”
Regis frowned. “Why’s that?”
“I’ll be reading.”
Regis made a sound of disgust and stood. “I’ll go to my room.”
Cloudwillow crossed her arms and pouted. “What do you have against reading?”
“It’s pointless.” So saying, he went upstairs and ignored whatever the small elf retorted. He’d heard it all before. His opinion wasn’t changing.
At the top of the stairs, he paused. One of the doors was ajar. The stranger’s. Now, to see what had made him wary.
He crept forward and slowly unsheathed his dagger. When he came to the room, he paused. There was no noise. Not even breathing.
But he saw the man, standing at the foot of the bed, his back to the door. He was like a statue.
Regis kept his dagger ready to throw. He went inside, letting the door creak.
The man whirled around. While his voice was calm, his stance wasn’t. Feet apart, arms tense. “Hello. Nice weather we’re having.”
A fresh gale banged against the shuttered window behind the man.
Regis narrowed his eyes. “Take it off.”
The man blinked. “I’m sorry, what?”
“Your face. Take it off.”
The man raised his arms. “My name’s Darius. How are you?”
“Take. It. Off.”
“I can’t.” The man gripped his cheek with his fingertips and gave a small tug. “What’s your name?”
“Fine.” In a rush, he charged the man. They grappled. Regis smacked the side of the other’s head, and the man fell onto the bed. Regis pinned the man’s arms down, dug his fingers into the other’s cheekbones, and pulled.
There was the sound of tearing. Shining, intricate bits of metal, a single red orb, and a facsimile smile stared at him.

“Cyborg,” he growled.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Serial Story Saturday: Unexpected Adventure

This is the first part of a serial I'm going to be doing (hopefully) every Saturday. When it runs out, I'll take a couple weeks of break and start another.
Enjoy! :)
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Unexpected Adventure, Part One

In an unnamed world, an adventure was about to begin.
Regis didn’t know it. If he had, he would have been better prepared. As it was, he carried his shield strapped to his back, and his two short swords in a cylindrical sheath across his shoulders. Two daggers rested against his hips.
His pack lay limp against his shield. Regis frowned, and hoped that he would come across a house on the mountain trail. He’d been traveling for two weeks without seeing anyone.
He looked to the sky. Grey, and heralding a snowstorm.
Teeth grinding, he slid one of his daggers from its sheath. Without changing his pace, he threw overhand. The dagger whistled through the air.
He paused when he reached a split sapling. The dagger was embedded in the ground several inches away. He retrieved it. Bits of dirt clung to his wool gloves. He sighed and sheathed the weapon.
After several more miles of sameness and pine, a curl of smoke wafted up through the trees.
Regis brushed chilling white flakes from his thick clothing. He adjusted the kerchief over his mouth and sucked in a breath. His lungs burned. With a growl, he sprinted.
The trees and trail faded in his vision. His only focus was ahead.
A door, bound to be locked against intruders. He lowered his shoulder.
There was the sound of hinges turning, but he couldn’t stop his momentum. It carried him into warmth, over a table, and onto the floor.
The door shut. Regis lay on his back, gasping.
A small, square-ish face peeked over the table. A blond ponytail dangled down and brushed against his propped up boots. “Are…you alright?”
Regis nodded. He managed to work himself into a sitting position. His boots caught on a shelf, and something clattered to the floor.
“Ee-ya-ha! Don’t touch.”
An elven girl dashed around and lifted the thing—a squat, black container—and slowly put it back on its shelf. “That’s the ink bottle. Mom and dad won’t be able to get another one for a few months, so I have to be careful.”
The girl stood and shifted a few things on the top of the counter.
Regis grunted and stood. “Sorry.”
“It’s alright.” The girl didn’t turn around. She asked his name, and after a burst of suspicion from Regis, wrote it down in the registry.
She turned around and grinned. “My name’s Cloudwillow, and I’ll be your host.”
She then showed him the inn, though he didn’t pay much attention to her chatter. The rooms were cozy, the kitchen stocked food (did she say something about…mountain dog?), and there was a fireplace along the left wall.
He ordered a warm meal and dropped a handful of coppers into Cloudwillow’s hand. The girl vanished behind a thick curtain of fabric.
He went to the long window on the far wall. Snow fell in earnest and left streaks of frost against the pane.
With a grateful shudder, he stood in front of the fireplace and removed his gloves. As his fingers thawed, they tingled and twitched.
Cloudwillow came out of the kitchen bearing a tray. She smiled at him and set it on the table nearest the fireplace. “Here you go.”
Regis was halfway through the stew when he realized that there was meat in it. He stared into the creamy liquid and poked at a chunk.
Cloudwillow—she was still standing there?—giggled. “Don’t worry, it’s chicken.”
Regis swallowed and crumbled his bread into the stew. “Can’t a man eat in peace?”
She shrugged. “I don’t know. I’m not a man.” Before he could answer, she whirled and ran to the door. “Oh, another customer! These storms always seem to bring in the best work.”

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Music for the Muse

Here's some music that I've found to be very helpful in scene writing. :)

Lindsey Stirling. Most of these are peppy/action-filled, but there are a few soft/slow ones. This is mostly instrumental, but there are a couple with lyrics. I just skip them...



Break of Reality, a cello band.


Two Steps From Hell and Thomas Bergersen (I have no idea if they're separate, together, or both) have great epic instrumental music. Here's one of my favorite songs by them.
Something I've noticed, though: when users other than Two Steps From Hell post the songs, they usually have questionable pictures featured (why?!). So your best bet would be to go directly to Two Steps From Hell's youtube page and listen to the playlists there.


There are also a couple songs with lyrics that inspire me. After I memorized them, of course. Otherwise, lyrics are distracting...




So there you go. Music for the muse. Enjoy. :)

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Of These Chains...

I apologize for not saying anything about my prolonged absence. So here now I say it: camping! :D
And of course those other things that "come up" at the last minute. :P

I'm not quite sure how I'm going to say this without sounding weird or something, so here it goes...

Just last week, I was at Equip Camp.
We talked about, among other things, idols. I was like, "ouch."
Because I. Love. Writing. A lot. Too much, apparently. :(
I've been battling (heh, "battling"...more like "avoiding"...) a conviction for, oh, a month or so. About writing. And doing it too much. So much so that I've been spending the better parts of the day on my laptop (about 8 hours).

For now, I'm going to be taking a sort of break from writing. I say "sort of" because it's not a complete "break". What I'm going to do is finish a writing project that I have to finish (school assignment), and then focus on a Bible study.
I'm also going to work on getting off/limiting the time I spend on writing social media (Nano forums :P).

This song by RED fits me right now, perfectly.


And this...this is what I need to do. Please pray, because I won't be able to do this without help. 
(Until just this moment, I had plans to keep writing. Not in the same way I've been doing, but just a little short story that would be worked on maybe once or twice a week. Then I started feeling uncomfortable while I tried to explain why I was going to continue working on any most-likely-long-term writing projects other than the one mentioned. Then I listened to this song. *sigh*)


Please, if anything in this post is convicting you, even if it's not writing-related, listen. Don't ignore it or brush it off as anything from "this is just me being paranoid" to "this is dinner acting up." It hurts.The conviction, that is, not the dinner...
Stand firm in the God of Jacob, and don't give in. Don't adjust your mental state to rationalize your rebellion. Because adjusting just a little bit at a time is a great way to harden your heart. And very, very effective. :(

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

About the Story: The Races: Nuance

*sigh* I say that I'm going to do a post "tomorrow," and what do I do? Post it weeks later... :P

Well, here's a bit about the abilities of the races that (as far as I am aware ;)) are going to be active in the series. Not all of it, of course, but the main stuff. ;) Otherwise this would be a very, very long post.

------

Nuance:
Dragons:

Dragonlings
Their special abilities include manipulation and storage of magic...They are born in dragon form, and discover their human form during dragon adolescence (around 50 years)...
Once at the age of adulthood (around 150 years), their dragon forms are not bound to one size, but can shift freely from the size of a garter snake to the size of a two story house. If they gain enough experience with this ability, they can become even larger.
The human form is always regulated. It can be no smaller than 5’, no larger than 5’ 8”, and is set at the first shift...
If a human happens to fall in love with a dragonling, and the dragonling returns the sentiment, they can marry.  No sacrifice of dragon abilities is required by the dragonling.
Their children have some dragon traits (tough skin, enhanced senses, and the like). Unknown if the traits pass beyond the second generation.
Scavengers
Can speak directly to one’s spirit. The first encounter with a Scavenger is jarring, and leaves one with a dramatic sense of insecurity. Can only be seen during a half-moon.
Seekers
When they choose to become visible to their human charges, they can take any form. Usually, a large dog or young human form is chosen. These cannot be affected by the physical world unless they so wish.
As far as is known, cannot be killed, but can be trapped.
These speak only to their charges, and occasionally to dragons.
Vampires
As Children of the Night (see Types), these have incorporeal forms, and cannot go about in broad daylight. Go into a form of sleep during the day. During this sleep, their buildings and work are visible, but they themselves are not. As the shadows about them increase, one has the sense of being watched.
A few have the ability to go about during the day in their vaporous forms, if the sunlight is sufficiently hampered. These can shadow-travel.
In the light of a full moon, Vampires become corporeal. Have the appearance of humans, though paler and with sharper teeth.
Are masters of metal-craft and sleight of hand.
-------
So, there it is. Questions, comments? Let me know what you think! :)

Monday, June 1, 2015

Five Something-Something Reveal!!

I've been waiting--forever, it seems!--to see what the next Rooglewood Press contest was. NOW I GET TO HELP REVEAL IT! :D
Which basically means that I've been staring at the beautiful cover for about a week and squealing to myself when no one is around. Because, you know, we're sworn to the utmost secrecy when it comes to stuff like this... ;)

Without further ado, Rooglewood Press is delighted to introduce their third fairy tale novella contest—

Five Magic Spindles
a collection of “Sleeping Beauty” stories

Displaying Five Magic Spindles.jpg
The challenge is to write a retelling of the beloved fairy tale in any genre or setting you like. Make certain your story is recognizably “Sleeping Beauty,” but have fun with it as well. Make it yours!
Rooglewood Press will be selecting five winners to be published in the Five Magic Spindles collection, which will be packaged up with the phenomenal cover you see here. Maybe your name will be one of the five listed?
All the contest rules and information (how to enter, story details, deadline etc.) may be found on the Rooglewood Press website. Just click HERE and you will go right to the page. Rooglewood Press’s first collection, Five Glass Slippers is available for purchase, and our second collection, Five Enchanted Roses is scheduled to launch on July 27, and is currently available for pre-order. Be certain to get a copy of each and see what previous winners did with their wonderful retellings.

So head on over to the Rooglewood Press page using the links above--or click the little blog button to the left--and check out the rules for the contest!
Also check out the other two books. Five Glass Slippers was amazing (so many Cinderellas!), and the stories for Five Enchanted Roses sound spectacular. I, for one, can't wait to read them. I also can't wait to participate in this one! It's going to be fun! ^.^

Cover Illustration Credit:

This cover illustration was rendered by Julia Popova, “ForestGirl.” You can find out more about this gifted artist on her website: www.forestgirl.ru

Friday, May 22, 2015

Jaye L. Knight: Half-Blood

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! JACE! *clap hand over mouth* *clear throat* Sorry about that...
BUT THIS. IS. AWESOME!!!
If you haven't read Ilyon Chronicles yet, you should. I can't describe it without using the words, "amazing," "gripping," "soul-wrenching," "real," and did I say "amazing" already? :D
--------
Check out the cover of Jaye L. Knight’s upcoming novella, Half-Blood, and learn about this prequel story to Ilyon Chronicles! Make sure you also enter the giveaway at the bottom!
Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00026]

About the Book

The gasps and murmuring grew. Though some were hardly more than whispers, clear words reached Jace’s ears—dangerous, monster, animal, soulless. He tried to back away from their accusing eyes, but the collar pulled hard against his throat and held him in place.

For all his years as a slave, Jace has known nothing but the hatred people hold for his mixed blood—one half human, the other half the blood of a race considered monsters. Always, he is the outsider and quickly learns it is better to keep to himself. But, when his volatile ryrik blood leads him to do the unthinkable, he is thrown into a world of violence and bloodshed.

Forced to become a gladiator, Jace finds more and more of his heart dying as his master works to break down his will not to become the monster everyone believes he is. When a stranger interferes with his master’s harsh punishment, Jace’s world is upended yet again. But with it comes the possibility of hope that has long since died. Could the man possibly hold the key to escaping the hopeless darkness that is Jace’s life? Is there such a thing as life beyond the cruelty of slavery?

See where Jace’s story all began . . .

Coming This Summer
goodreads

About the Author

JayeAuthorPhotoJaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.



Giveaway

As part of a month long celebration for the one year publication anniversary of Resistance (Ilyon Chronicles - Book 1), Jaye is giving away several fun prizes! Enter for a chance to win using the form below! U.S. entries only please.




Friday, May 15, 2015

Character Encounters

I found out about this thing called Character Encounters via Dreams and Dragons, and it sounded neat, so I've decided to go ahead and participate. :)
The Character Encounters come from Knitted by God's Plan.
 
There's not a park that's actively featured in my story, so I brought one of the characters (from True Heroes) out into my world. Without further ado...

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A playground. Who am I going to meet at a playground? Only one of my characters would have motivation to go to a park for socialization, and he’s busy on a role play thread. Most of them are, actually…
The evening sun colors the clouds various shades of orange and pink. A breeze kicks up, and shakes the tops of the cottonwood trees.
On my trek across the park, I pass by the skate bowl (a couple guys look at me; my nervousness kicks in and I fidget past), the restrooms (and nearly collide with a couple of bikers going way too fast around the curve), a pavilion, and arrive at one of the playgrounds. The munchkin-sized pink and purple slides, swings, and stairs are devoid of their intended occupants.
I continue on and arrive at the exercise “park.” Yellow bars, blue benches. A chart with health tips and instructions for the seven pieces of equipment there.
And…
“Oh, hey! You!” I smile at the character, who is barely noticeable, sitting beneath a small pine.
A boy of about thirteen years leaps to his feet. His jacket hood catches on the low branches, and pulls back to reveal a ski mask. Brown eyes jerk between me and his progress at disentangling himself from the tree.
I take a step forward. “Hey, calm down. I’m not going to kill you.”
He chuckles, an “I don’t believe you” look written on what little I can see of his face. His voice wavers between a tenor and soprano. “Can you…turn around? Please?”
With a shrug, I say, “Alright.”
Grunts and slight tearing sounds reach my ears. “Um, are you okay?”
“I’m fine! Just give me a minute…there! You can look now.”
I shake my head and turn. Then I slap a palm to my forehead. The boy—Fireblast—is in costume.
A white jumpsuit. With stitched on flames (or are they supposed to be explosions?) covering nearly the entire thing. Red leather gloves. Aaand a really, really tight red mask with opaque eye holes.
My hand slowly drags down the length of my face. “Seriously?”
“What? I can’t let anyone know who I am, so…”
 “You thought that dressing like that would make you less noticeable or something?”
Clacks and stifled laughter sound. I turn and see a company of several skateboarders. They say nothing to us, but I swear that I can hear laughing mumbles about “cosplay” and (an impolite phrase for) “botched” when they pass.
 My face reddens. I turn back to him quickly. “And I thought you didn’t care about the Deputy’s rules.”
Fireblast steps out from his no-longer-so-great hiding place behind the tree. He puts his hands on his hips and kicks at the border between the park foam and grass. “Well, I care about that one. I don’t want anyone to recognize me.”
I think that’s more memorable than regular clothing, but whatever.
“Dude…” I sigh. “Never mind. Anyways, how’re you doing?” I walk over to the nearest piece of equipment with a slab of latticed plastic and sit on it. Fireblast follows, his head swiveling until I swear he’s going to go owl and rotate it 360 degrees.
“Fine, I guess. Besides not being able to have any interaction with anyone but my fellow inmates, living in cold, artificial metal rooms all day, and practicing setting people’s rear ends on fire by night, I’m golden.”
I lean back on the bench (which doesn’t have a back) and reach for the grass. “You forgot to mention your free time in the afternoon.”
My character laughs nervously. “What do you mean? I go straight to my room, same as everyone else.”
“Uh-huh.” I sit back up and twiddle with blades of grass.
There is silence for a time. Then, “Alright! So I’m going out into the city. What’s wrong with living for a few hours?”
“Other than disobeying direct authority and putting both yourself and your ‘fellow inmates’ in danger of being discovered?” I raise my eyebrows.
The wind pushes clouds over the sun. I tug my jacket closer around me.
Fireblast crosses his arms. “When you put it like that…” He flops his hands down to his sides in frustration. “Look, all I want is to be a hero! ‘Naptime’ is the only chance I have to get out there and be that.”
Before I speak, I look at the ground. “But you’re not being a hero.”
“What?!”
“You’re putting lives in danger.”
“What do you mean?”
How much should I tell him?
I bite my lip. “The Council has a way of running things…”
He snorts. “Yeah. They do. Oppression and lies.”
“And their own version of order. Licenses, approval, papers. Everyone in the city follows their plans like a script.”
He stares at me. “So you’re saying…that…what, exactly?”
“Council. Licenses. Script. Think about it.”
He grips his head. “Ow, owowow…” After a minute or two of him thinking, he looks at me. “You’re saying that none of it is ‘real’?”
I nod.
“I never thought I’d do this to you, but…” He does a clumsy flip over the bench and stands behind me.
I groan and put my head in my hands. “It’s not going to work.”
“We’ll see. Liar, liar,” he begins, “pants on…” A pause, during which I know he’s pointing at me. “…fire.”
Nothing happens.
Fireblast exclaims, “Aw, man!”
That strange, out-of-nowhere, maniacal urge to giggle builds up inside my chest. I choke on it.
“What? It’s not enough that the entire reality I thought I knew is now shattered, you have to laugh about my powers?”
Unable to stop myself, I double over and nearly fall off the bench. My entire body shakes. At first, there is no sound. Then a high-pitched, roiling, scream-like laughter. I fall off the bench, holding my middle and wishing I wasn’t laughing so hard. It hurts my sides…
Fireblast says something, but I can’t hear him because I’m laughing so loudly.
I’m able to (not really) contain myself. Tears stream down my face, and I’m still resisting the urge to all-out laugh.
“So…sor…sorry…about…that.”
I can barely see Fireblast through my tears and fogged up contact lenses; he looks like a blur of messy color.
“I…just…” I gasp for breath. “It’s just…aaaa, I can’t help it!” As I speak, I dissolve into another fit of laughter (though it’s not nearly as loud as the first.)
“Alright, I get it! You find my powers hilariously lame. Can you stop?”
No reaction from me other than more laughter.
“Um…can you stop?”
I manage to gasp, “No!”
He waits.
Eventually, I stop, gasping for breath. “Okay, okay, I’m done.” I clear my throat and wipe my eyes.
Fireblast raises an eyebrow. “You sure?”
“Yeah. In all seriousness…” With a sigh and a few grunts, I rearrange myself and sit in a cross-legged position. “I know you want to be a hero. But what if being a hero isn’t—”
“What I was meant to be?” He tries to lower the pitch of his voice, but it…doesn’t work. He prods a finger against his chest. “I’ve heard that before, and I’m not buying it!”
“Are you going to let me finish?”
My super pauses, and I can tell that his face is nearly as red as the mask it’s beneath. “That’s…not what you were going to say?”
I shake my head.
“Oh. Sorry.” He sits down on the bench. “Please continue.”
“I was going to say, what if being a hero isn’t what you think it is? What if being a hero means doing something that goes against what you’ve always believed?”
He scoffs. “Well, you already took care of that last part. I guess…I’d do my best. Same as always. Not that it does much.”
“Hey, despite—in addition to—your, uh…unique power, you contribute something.”
“It’s definitely not knowledge, strength, or anything like that! And that’s all the useful stuff…”
There’s a smile (that’s not as insane as my earlier ones) on my face. “I have another question for you.”
“Shoot. It’s not like you can break my reality any more than you already have.”
“If you weren’t dressed like a circus clown—”
“Hey!”
“—what’s something you do very, very well?”
He leans back and shrugs. “I don’t know. Eat?”
“Sneak. And I have a feeling that you’re more of a people person than you’re letting on.”
“How would I know? I don’t exactly get out much.”
“Well, next time you’re out, why don’t you try? Talk to the first person you come across—hero or villain. See what happens.”
Fireblast stares at me as if I just said something unbelievable. “Wait, you’re not going to stop me?”
“Nope.”

He shakes for a second, then leaps to his feet, shouting, “Alright!”
Fireblast does a few fist pumps, a little jig, then shakes one of my arms enthusiastically. "Thankyouthankyouthankyou!"
I chuckle. "No problem. Now...can you put on a regular outfit?"
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Hope you enjoyed reading! Any questions, comments? Let me know what you think. :)