Prose of the River-Dead


On November I filled a notebook with random prose. Something blossomed into a spin-off from my poem, The River-Dead. Maybe I’ll add to it later, but I thought I’d share. :-)


This current is strong:
‘Tis the vast River-Dead.
Here, young lives have been claimed
And the water has bled.

-

“Just take a step in,”
The boatkeeper once said.
“It’s a marvelous ride,
And your maiden’s ahead!”
Read More…

I stood near the fabled river-dead, folklore whispering in the back of my mind, stories of young men they claimed died in search of true love.

river-scenic-spotThere was a log cabin not far off; an old man stood chopping lumber in his yard. Maybe he knew stories my father never told. Maybe he could tell me one thing to make this feel like more than a body of water. I knew the stories, but did not believe; heard of the magic but did not see.

“Sir?” I called.

Lost in his task, he did not hear.

I took step forward and asked again, “Sir?”

He did not stir, mumbling words I could hardly make out. One thing I did hear—“Claimed by the river…gone…”

“Please, sir.” I raised my voice. “I’m a journalist, and maybe you can answer some questions …”

The man stiffened. “All your answers are over there,” he croaked, nodding to his right. “Drowned, they were. Dead in the river.”

to be continued

Reading Inkheart Again


Inkheart has long been one of my favorite books. It has a depth to it–for the willing reader, this book is easy to get swept away in. I believe that’s because of its length, and don’t understand reviews complaining it was too long.

Some books just aren’t meant to be finished in a day–many beloved classics are like this. And those complaining it’s not vivid–some books, when read in a rush, won’t sound how they’re meant to. If you didn’t find Inkheart vivid, perhaps you read it too fast. I went through a speed-reading phase earlier this year and now regret it.

Books aren’t meant to be speed-read. In a world where we get everything we want with little effort, I believe books are allowed to be long. They shouldn’t be criticized for length alone. Other books are long and nothing is going on–I understand the complaints there. But Inkheart was full of action from the very first page.

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The character of Dustfinger immediately captured my heart. He is so homesick, and will do whatever he can to get back. I loved the scenes where he played with fire. Elinor also made me smile, the lady who lives in a house full of books. I liked her awkward efforts to befriend Meggie, and mentally applauded her when she found bravery to stand up for herself.

It made me stop to wonder what I’d do if I were to meet my own villains. As an author, would I love them anyway–like the parent whose child does wrong? Would I be thrilled in such a situation, or relieved?

In my opinion, this book was not long enough! Thankfully I have Inkspell sitting on my shelf right now. Go find an old book you loved and give it another visit. Have a cup of tea and just immerse yourself. Trust me–it is a beautiful feeling!

How I Turned 21


For my birthday I got a new camera. And I love that thing. So I have pictures of what I did for my birthday this year.

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First, I spent my last Saturday as a 20-year-old in Barnes and Noble, where I finally bought books tumblr recommended to me (these are titles book bloggers always capture in their shelves.)

I came home with Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, Starry Night by Isabel Gillies (the cover is really pretty!) and I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. Also, on my nook I have purchased some epic collections–including a 35,000 page Complete Works of Charles Dickens, just 99 cents! I had to clear a lot of space on the eReader to make room for that. Also, the complete Shakespeare and an anthology of Russian literature. I can do light reading or very, very heavy.

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(Ignore the messy hair in my above excited photo.)

And confetti cake is just really pretty.

Especially with Christmas lights behind it.

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The very next day, I went with my family to a Billy Idol concert. It was exciting, especially when I got a signed drumstick! He was handing them out to the crowd, and I was lucky enough to get one.

For my 21st birthday, Billy Idol handed me a signed drumstick. That was the most epic part of my day. He even wrote the date on the drumstick–12/14/14.

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I don’t feel older, but there are three more books in my shelf and an epic signed drumstick. Next year will bring me more surprises; only then will I see how a new year changes me as a person.

I’m excited to have my book out and write a new one. Having spent all year editing, I can’t seem to get into the rhythm of writing another book with different characters. I have plenty of plots on hiatus; since Dissonance swept me away, I couldn’t finish the drafts.

It’s hard for me to write without editing. I forget that all a first draft has to do is exist. Even if the first draft sounds bad, I can’t fix something that doesn’t exist. Next year I want to write a new book, unrelated to my series. I’m excited for that experience.

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The above picture is Downtown Boise with beautiful lights in the trees. I had to share!

Thanks for following me throughout this year as I edit and work for a dream. I have several blog posts prepared (finally!) to breathe a bit more life into this place. It’s time to get a routine, because reading old blog posts is fun.

I hope December has treated you well so far!

Fall Into Fantasy: Evensong by Krista Walsh


Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

Week 17: Meratis Trilogy

Book One: Evensong

By Krista Walsh


Author Jeff Powell wakes up to find the impossible has happened. He is within his own novel—summoned into the fictional world of Feldall’s Keep by a spell he didn’t write. One the House enchantress hasn’t figured out how to reverse.

When the villain he’s been struggling to write reveals himself, unleashing waves of terror and chaos, Jeff must use more than his imagination to save the characters he created—and the woman he loves.
Trapped within a world of his own creation, he must step outside the bounds of his narrative to help his characters defeat an evil no one anticipated, even if he must sacrifice his greatest gift. In the end, he has to ask: are novels really fiction, or windows into other worlds?

Buy it from: Amazon, Kobo, Nook, iTunes

Or add it to Goodreads

ABOUT KRISTA WALSH

Known for witty, vivid characters, Krista Walsh never has more fun than getting them into trouble and taking her time getting them out. After publishing a few short stories and novellas in various anthologies, she has now released her own anthology, the serial collection Greylands. When not writing, or working at her day job, she can be found reading, gaming, or watching a film – anything to get lost in a good story. She currently lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

Find Krista online: Website  Facebook  Twitter






Want to get involved with the Fall Into Fantasy promotional tour?

  • Don’t forget to join us at the Facebook party here
  • If you are interested in joining up as a blogger, you can always sign up here. We are happy to welcome more bloggers into the fold as the promotion continues. 
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One Lovely Blog award


One Lovely Blog

 

I was nominated for this award by Heather and Alex. There are two other awards, but I will do them other days to keep activity on this blog. I love the questions!

Since I do not have 15 bloggers to nominate, I’ll add a few more facts.

The Rules:

Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.

List the rules and display the award.

Add 7 facts about yourself.

Nominate 15 other bloggers.

Follow on blogger the person who nominated you.

  1. I have constant insomnia. The kind where I’m awake for three hours straight staring at the clock. It was worse at the beginning of the year, but every now and then I still find myself in that agonizing position where my mind refuses to turn off. If you have any tips about that, I would love to hear them!
  2. There are so many books in my room that I can’t even rearrange them much. My room is a library with shelves on almost every topic, especially religion, YA novels, history, and classics. It’s getting so full that I’ve been getting more eBooks these days.
  3. I love to keep journals. It can be unnerving to put your thoughts on paper with ink, but this year I forced myself to keep going, even when the days were not lovely. I told myself, “Just imagine how satisfying it’ll be when at the end of the year you can read about your adventures!” So I did, and things wound up on those pages that I would never have imagined last December. It’s the first time I’ve kept my journal somewhat consistently throughout a whole year, and I have enough room for 1/3 of 2015.
  4. I speak Spanish fluently, and a friend of my mom’s recently gave me dozens of books in Spanish. It’s the perfect chance for me to get better at reading in a different category. I’d love to learn more words in Spanish.
  5. Upbeat music tends to bother me. These days I listen to a lot of acoustic “coffee shop” songs, because they keep my soul at ease.
  6. All the personality tests confirm that I am an INTJ, and overthink things by nature, such as peoples’ expressions and even silence. It isn’t very fun a lot of the time. I tend to pass harsher judgment on myself than I really have to.
  7. Because of #6, it’s hard to make new friends IRL. But the few friends I do have are precious to me.
  8. The Book Thief was the only movie that ever made me cry for days in a row.
  9. I’m about to turn 21, and can already feel the phase approaching where my birthday is no longer exciting. Oh well.
  10. I drink a lot of tea, and have recently discovered peppermint tea. <3 <3 <3
  11. I started watching House the month they stopped filming it. This is the story of my life–I’m always late.
  12. I dislike writing novels in first person.

I nominate Jennifer, Monique, Syd, Kate, Faith, Kristia, Anna, and Baird.

I don’t use Blogger, but I already check repeatedly from updates from these lovely people. :)

Fall Into Fantasy: The Disciple Series by L. Blankenship


Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

Week 16: The Disciple Series by L. Blankenship


War is coming. Kate Carpenter is only a peasant girl, but she’s determined to help defend the kingdom and its bound saints against the invading empire. Her healing magic earned her a coveted apprenticeship with the master healer; now she must prove herself ready to stand in the front lines and save lives.

She’s not ready for the attentions of a ne’er-do-well knight and the kingdom’s only prince, though. This is no time to be distracted by romance — the empire’s monstrous army will tear through anyone standing between them and the kingdom’s magical founts. All disciples must put aside their tangled feelings and stand in the homeland’s defense.
Disciple is a six-part gritty fantasy romance by L. Blankenship. Part I through Part IV are on sale now at all major retailers!
Download PART I for free! 
FREE at AmazonSmashwordsB&N AllRomance
Disciple, Part V on sale now

 

Look for the final volume, Part VI, in 2015!

EXCERPT:

“You couldn’t sleep either?”

At the whisper, I looked up from struggling to lace my boots with trembling hands. My master stepped into my dormitory room, adding his lamp’s light to my candle.
“Why must I dress as a boy?” I whispered back. Perhaps I was not so buxom, but I doubted I’d fool anyone. “This makes little sense.”
“Patience.” Master Parselev placed his lamp on my writing-table and checked my packed bags. “They’re gathering at the chapel already. None of us got much sleep, it seems.”
The straw mattress creaked when I stood, boots laced and the woolen hose sagging between my thighs. I ran my fingers around my waist, under my layered cotes, to check the drawstring. “Are these right, Master?” I’d strung the hose and braies together as best I could guess and as memory was my Blessing I had no excuse for failing. Men’s underthings weren’t much concern to me — if I saw such, or more, it was while the man lay bleeding on the surgery table.
“If they stay up, it’s right. Good. This too.” He slung a heavy felt cloak across my shoulders and pinned it on. The hood buried my face in shadows; my blonde braid, even wrapped around my head, would give me away.
I asked, “Master, this journey will be long, won’t it?” Parselev had given me more clothes than I’d ever owned to pack in those bags. All heavy winter woolens, too. “Shouldn’t you go, then?”
He looked down at me, mouth quirking to one side. Master was a greybeard, said to be over a hundred years old, but his kir kept his eyes bright and his face lightly creased. I had only been his apprentice two years. Surely I could not be ready for this.
“It must be you, Kate,” was all he said. He carried one of my bags, and I took the other.
Wreathed in breath-clouds, we crossed the Order’s campus. Low on the horizon, the slim, waxing crescent of the Shepherd hung golden, all seven of his Flock scattered in the sky behind him. He gave the only hint that dawn was coming. The cloak kept me marvelously warm, even in the chilly breeze. No frost this morning, not yet, but it was only a few weeks off.
Master un-bolted the side gate and led me to the door of the Grand Chapel. Horses waited on the grass, many horses chewing at their bits and shaking their heads, most of them with knights in the saddles. The knights’ black tabards, worn over suits of mail, had a white horse embroidered on the right shoulder and two gold stars on the left, marking them knights and Prince’s Guard as well. Kite shields and bucket helms hung on their saddles, in easy reach.
Several of the horses stood with empty saddles, collectively held by a couple of pageboys, and that gave me pause. I’d never been on a horse; I was only a peasant girl. But it could not be so awful, I told myself, so I gripped my cloak a little tighter and followed Master Parselev inside.
My new boots rang too loudly in the empty chapel, and when I slowed to lighten my step I fell behind. Only one lamp burned on the high table before the icons, and its light was mostly blocked by those gathered below the two steps. Faces were cast in shadow as they turned toward us — all looming in the dim light, some cloaked like me, others not — and I knew none of them. I kept my head down as I joined my master before them, glad the hood hid my face.
“Not ready, Elect?” one asked, his voice low but strong. “Who’s this?”
“My apprentice will safeguard the travelers,” my master answered. “She has —”
“What?” The man stepped closer, his shoulders blocking out the light.
“Majesty, she’s my finest student.” Parselev put up a hand when the stranger reached for my hood.
My knees trembled as the word echoed in my head. Majesty. I stood before the king of Wodenberg. Wobbling a bit, I dropped to one knee in obeisance, fist pressed to my heart. The king yanked off my hood while I stared at the flagstone floor, pulse pounding.
“This girl?” the king demanded. “You trust a mere disciple with this mission?”


ABOUT L. BLANKENSHIP

L. Blankenship started writing animal stories as a kid and it’s just gotten completely out of hand since then. Now she’s out publishing her gritty fantasy and hard science fiction adventures. L grew up in New Hampshire but currently lives near Washington, DC.

Want to get involved with the Fall Into Fantasy promotional tour?

  • Don’t forget to join us at the Facebook party here
  • If you are interested in joining up as a blogger, you can always sign up here. We are happy to welcome more bloggers into the fold as the promotion continues. 
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Lemon Pie and Release Dates


I finally had that lemon pie last Sunday. Here is proof:

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Now, onto the book subject. If you look at the whiteboard on my wall, I’ve been saying I’d put out Dissonance a week from now–12/13/14. And while that is a nice day to list as first book released, a year wasn’t enough time to get all the factors together.

As a first-time indie, my calculations were just slightly off–because the story is done. What I haven’t had time to get together is promotion, blog tours, making friends to get my project out there. So I’m setting aside another month or so to build momentum. After having worked so hard editing this year, I need to do this part right.

There will also be one more excerpt with an illustration. I really love those. They give a new life to the story.

12/13/14 was definitely a cool day to work towards, and with that deadline I made a ton of progress. But there is certainly more to this process than editing. Having learned my lesson, I will not give another specific date yet, but it won’t be more than a few weeks.

I will keep you updated!

Vets, Changelings, and Puppets — What I’m Reading


I have to confess, I’ve been reading a lot more on my eBook reader. Maybe it’s because the glowlight feature allows me to read in bed. Here are three books I’ve read during my nights of insomnia:

Must Be Love by Cathy Woodman

9223650This is a sequel, but I was able to get into it without having to read the first book. I found it charming! I don’t normally read romance, but this was worth stepping out of my comfort zone.

Maz is a vet with colorful clients and a passion for her job. But when her personal life takes an unexpected turn, the rest falls into a state of chaos. Something about the writing style just pulled me in. I wanted to know more about Maz and her adventures working in the Otter House.

If you’re looking for some light reading and you like animals, I heartily recommend this. Find it on Goodreads!

The Stolen by Bishop O’Connell

20957420I am a fan of stories about Fae (especially Changelings, which are my favorite creatures ever.) And The Stolen was a really nice read. I enjoyed the POV switches that formed an intriguing story of magic, love, and loss.

When Caitlin’s daughter Fiona is stolen by Fae, she embarks on a journey into Tir-Na-Nog to get her back. The descriptions of this magical place definitely left an impression.

Admittedly, I didn’t like the main character, Caitlin. Something about her came off as whiny. I think I kept reading because of Brendan’s Irish dialect. When done well, dialect is enough to hook me to a story.

I’m eager to read the sequel soon. Find it on Goodreads!

The Puppet Maker’s Bones by Alisa Tangredi

13615256Of all the books listed, this was my favorite. It’s shorter but haunting, creepy in all the best ways, telling the heart wrenching story of Pavel, a mysterious old man living alone in a house full of puppets. No one knows his history, and he never comes out.

In the book, we follow the story of his lonely life, a strange tale indeed. But more frightening than his story is the struggle he undergoes with no one to talk to him, no one to hug. Stories like this make me realize what a struggle loneliness can be.

If you like mystery, heartbreak, horror, suspense, give this book a try. I’m still wowed by the ending, and my heart is heavy for poor, lonely Pavel. Find it on Goodreads!

I’ve definitely failed the Goodreads challenge this year. When halfway into the summer I barely remembered books I’d read, I decided I’m never signing up again. Speed-reading to raise a number won’t benefit me as a reader or a writer. And I wouldn’t want someone to speed-read my novel to check it off their list!

My favorite part of reading is when I fall in love with new characters. Reading too fast, I don’t get to know them like I want to–and feel bad about it, like I’m not giving them attention they deserve. From now on I’m going to read books at a pace I can enjoy them, and I’ll keep you updated.

If you read any of these books, let me know what you think!

Fall Into Fantasy: The December People series by Sharon Bayliss


Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

Week 15: The December People series

Book 1: Destruction

Book 2: Watch Me Burn

By Sharon Bayliss


 
Introducing a new dark wizard family drama, Destruction by Sharon Bayliss, Book One in The December People Series.
BUY NOW–99 CENTS FOR A LIMITED TIME!
An independent family-owned bookstore. The ONLY place to buy signed copies!
A locally owned book store in Austin, Texas.
David Vandergraff wants to be a good man. He goes to church every Sunday, keeps his lawn trim and green, and loves his wife and kids more than anything. Unfortunately, being a dark wizard isn’t a choice.
Eleven years ago, David’s secret second family went missing. When his two lost children are finally found, he learns they suffered years of unthinkable abuse. Ready to make things right, David brings the kids home even though it could mean losing the wife he can’t imagine living without. 
 
Keeping his life together becomes harder when the new children claim to be dark wizards. David believes they use this fantasy to cope with their trauma. Until, David’s wife admits a secret of her own—she is a dark wizard too, as is David, and all of their children.  


Now, David must parent two hurting children from a dark world he doesn’t understand and keep his family from falling apart. All while dealing with the realization that everyone he loves, including himself, may be evil.


Destruction (Book One of The December People Series)

 

 

 

Cover Reveal!!
Watch Me Burn
The December People Series 
Book Two
 

David Vandergraff lost his home, his job, and contact with his oldest son, but remains determined to be a good husband and father despite being a dark winter wizard. 

His resolve is tested when a flyer for a missing girl–who happens to be a summer witch–begins to haunt him. David believes a spell needs to use him to save her, so he follows the magic’s command and looks into her disappearance. His teenage daughter Emmy resents him for caring so much about a random stranger. But when she uncovers some disturbing evidence close to home, she begins an investigation of her own.
David and Emmy quickly learn that the mystery is not only about a missing girl they barely know, but a deeply personal story that impacts everyone they care about. As their world crumbles, they fear the warning may be true—never mess with summer wizards, because the good guys always win.
Coming January 2015 from Curiosity Quills Press!
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sharon Bayliss is the author of The December People Series and The Charge. When she’s not writing, she enjoys living happily-ever-after with her husband and two young sons. She can be found eating Tex-Mex on patios, wearing flip-flops, and playing in the mud (which she calls gardening). She only practices magic in emergencies.

 

 


Want to get involved with the Fall Into Fantasy promotional tour?

 

  • If you are interested in joining up as a blogger, you can always sign up here. We are happy to welcome more bloggers into the fold as the promotion continues. 

 

 

  • If you are an author or blogger and want to sign up to help with the party, please fill out this form.

 

 

 

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Canned Corn on Thanksgiving


Yesterday I was talking to Rachel on the subject of Thanksgiving food. Specifically, pie–and then I thought, Hey, lemon pie sounds really good right now. We were going grocery shopping so I resolved to find a lemon pie because on Thanksgiving you can eat a lot of pie.

But, being easily distracted by brand names on labels and music on the radio, at Wal-Mart I totally forgot to check for lemon pie.

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We were looking for a good can of corn. There were so many brands on the shelf–my wandering eyes spotted the word Libby for just a second. When I blinked, I couldn’t remember which can it was on!

It probably shouldn’t have frustrated me that much. Cans of corn look identical, but I’d seen Libby and it bugged me so much that I couldn’t remember where. I spent a long moment searching for a label that said Libby, and by the time I finally found it, the lemon pie was far from my mind.

One day I’ll have some.

Obsessing over cans for a label–that must be an INTJ thing. I absolutely need to figure things out. I’ll overthink until I forget about the lemon pie. And I will stare at the cans of corn looking for Libby because I KNOW I SAW IT IN THERE.

I regret nothing.

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I am grateful for many things, including supportive friends and fat notebooks. I’m thankful for the turkey we will be eating and lemon pie, whenever I get to it.

I’m thankful for music and also for silence. For all the books, even those I’ll never read. I’m thankful for my family and refreshing, uninterrupted sleep when my INTJ mind stops thinking a while. I’m thankful for Libby corn.

Also, I’m thankful for you guys who stick around for all my strange stories and obsessive scouring of labels. Happy Thanksgiving, and I wish you a yummy dinner!