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Character Encounters: In which I meet Cassia under a bridge

A short story written for Character Encounters.

Something really strange happened to me while i was travelling back from the Indie E-Con a few months ago.

I was waiting at the bus station for my coach back north. It was the bus stop right on the edge of the city where the river is. Since the bus wasn’t due for another half hour, I wandered down the path by the river. It amazes be how rivers seem the same the world over. The trees, smells and the position of the sun might all be different, but water is water.

When I got to the bridge I stopped and sat under it in the shade. There was another thing that didn’t change. Graffiti covered the bottom of the concrete bridge.  Nothing terribly original, just a few random words I’d rather not repeat.

A girl ran along the path in front of me. She looked my way. “Sorry,” she said, “I didn’t meant to interrupt you.”

“You didn’t interrupt anything.” I stood up feeling puzzled. Sure I’ve had stranger apoligize when I almost run into them in the story, but this was weird.

The young woman looked up at me and a strange expression crossed her face. “I don’t recognize you, but I have a strong feeling that we’ve meant before. You weren’t at that writers conference were you?”

I studied her. She looked very familiar, but I hadn’t seen her at the E-Con. “I was actually, but I don’t think that’s where we met. It was longer ago. at a conference or course.”

“No, I think I’d remember that. But I’ll get my glasses out just in case my sight is playing up.” She rummaged through a handbag and pulled out a pair of tortoise-shell glasses. when she looked up with them on, she shook her head. “Still don’t recognize you.”

But I did recognized her. Or though I did at least. “Vivien? What are you doing here? I thought you were writing your thesis for your honor’s year.”

She took a step back and gave me a puzzled look. “My name’s not Vivien and I don’t expect it ever will be. But this is a weird coincidence. Almost enough to make one think there’s something beyond this world.” She checked her watch. “I’ve got to catch a bus now. Maybe we’ll meet again someday. What is you name by the way? I’m Cassia.”

“Brie. Brie Donning. I write books.” I said stupidly.

Cassia nodded. “Me too. I write on fantasy theory. I’d love it if you could connect with me.” She shoved a card into my hand and ran toward the bus stop.

I dropped back into the seat under the bridge and scanned the card. All it held was her name, Cassia Rerdbin and an email hosted at the Tetra school website. I shoved it into my pocket. I wouldn’t need it. Either this was an elaborate hoax or she was an invention of my imagination and I needed no contact details. I might need to alter her appearance so she didn’t resemble Vivien so much.

 

I had intended to do this last month when we were to meet our character at a Indie E-con actually held in Dallas. Since I was late, I combined it it with this month. The story is actually set in the future. Cassia’s appearance is borrowed from a  real life acquaintance who I would recognize much quicker, glasses or no glasses. Her name is not Vivien.

Smashing & Dashing Characters of 2016 Awards #BookTag


So Cait @ Paper Fury has a character award book tag and I thought I’d try to do it despite being bad at remembering half of what I’ve read.

1. Most Relatable Character

Renna Faythe in Dare and Deny by Tricia Mingerink. In fact most quiet caring characters who get stuck in dangerous situations. The ones that start falling for ‘the guy who thinks he isn’t worthy’ without realizing it. Kyrin Altair also fits this.


2. Most Pure and Precious Animal Companion

I wouldn’t call her pure and precious, but I’m going with Punzel from Song of the Sword by Hope Ann. She’s a fen-hopper, which is a winged cat that lives in the Shadowfen. She’s a bit feisty and prefers the name of Shadow-wing. Anyway she does a good job of keeping Roinette company.

In the same book, the hero Evrard has a Messenger Falcon for a side kick. So two animal companions for the price of one.


3. Fiercest Fighter

Trap Merodach from The Light of Eidon by Karen Hancock. He might not be the fiercest, but he’s certainly skilled.

4. Most Amazing Sidekick

Solomon Hawke in A Time to Speak by Nadine Brades. Or Shad Alistaar in Deny. Or the other person I’ll remember tomorrow.

5. One You’re Surprised You Loved (Book or Character???)

A Star Curiously Singing
by Kerry Neitz. I don’t read Sci-Fi. But I liked this. The main character Sandfly and the world were so far removed from what I know, that it was a little hard to get into, but once I did, it was fascinating. A~A2


6. Best Sassmaster
Knife, from Knife by R. J Andersen.

7. Best Anti-Hero
I’m not sure if he’s technically an anti-hero but Rain Walker from Black Tiger by Sara Baysinger. I’m not quite sure what I think of him. At first he appears a total jerk and then he starts acting nicer, and just as I start o think he might be a good person he does something dreadful again. I like characters that jerk my emotions around like that.


8. Best Worst Villain to Hate
Pathetic villains usually mean pathetic heroes, which means forgettable books. That said there’s a villain who isn’t even worth hating in Safety Assured Leaving East of Medicetti by Trish Mercer. At one point I hoped he’d be redeemed, but he just got worse. He’s miserable and has a terribly skewed worldview.


9. Truly Astounding Worst Ya Parents


I don’t really read much YA and can’t think of any.

10. Truly Astounding Best Ya Parents

Parvin’s parents in a Time to Speak.

11. Toot Toot Best Ship of Them All

Best? There is no single best. But Amber and Granite in Lady Dragon, Tela Du by Kendra E. Ardnek. This is a very sad ship, because Amber has been the evil Lady Dragon for 3,000 years while Granite stayed good. He loves her, but hates what she does, and she pushed him away and won’t listen to his advice. And they were so happy for the first 3,000 years. #Amberite (I almost choose the other main couple of this book #Reutra)

12. The Most in Need of Protection

Temperance, or Marie from the Virtues and Valor Series by Hallee Bridgeman. She gets tortured by Nazi’s and almost dies of pneumonia. Also the series is fascinating. Eight overlapping novellas, each telling the story of a different person. And since they all go by code names and don’t give personal details out, there’s a lot to guess at through the books.

13. Most Boring As a Barnacle

Can’t remember. I’ve come across a number of boring character, but they don’t stick in my head. Why should they?

14. Best Little Royal

Not sure what this is supposed to mean, but Princess Lily in The Firethorn Crown by Lea Doue. A wonderful princess who does take her responsibilities seriously. And with 11 younger sisters there’s a lot going on.


15. Very Surprised You’re Still Alive

Aislyn from the 27th Protector series by Laura Campbell. This girl has many narrow escapes. Not that I actually thought she would die, but it’s a miracle she hasn’t. A very dangerous miracle in fact. A traitor. That’s why she one of the few 27th protectors who’s beaten the odds and lived.



16. Best at Horrible Decision Making (makes bad decisions)

Vrell in From Darkness Won by Jill Williamson. And Achan.

17. Cutest Dork 

Reuben Eaglechaser of Lady Dragon, Tela Du. He’s the guy who alway checked in his wardrobe for Narnia, thinks he knows exactly what’s going on when he ends up in a fantasy world, and rarely takes anything seriously. And the way he loves Petra is kind of dorky. 


18. Cleverest Little Hellion
Eva from The 27th Protector series. And  several other characters. They need to be clever. But Eva is younger, so ‘little’ fits her.
19. Most in Need of A Nap

I’m too tired to think of an answer.

20. Want to Read More About You


Most of the people I’ve just mentioned. Lady Firebird in Firebird by Kathy Tyers.


And that is that. I hope you all have a merry Christmas. God bless you.

Books as Rooms Challenge

Hello friends,

Hope Ann tagged me for a writing challenge that Writefury started. I had said someone might tag me and this looks like a very fun one.

I, not paying attention, went and made my own tag graphic.

Rules:

  1. Link back to Writefury and the person who tagged you. 
  2. Write 3 of your own books as rooms. They can be finished, works in progress, or even just ideas, but they have to be your own. 
  3. Write 1 of your favorite books to read as a room. 
  4. Tag 5 other people.

At least, that’s the basic idea. It seems that these are actually guidelines, more than the way it must be done. But I´ll try to follow it anyway.

My Books:

Girl of the Rumours

An old, low broken down room of wood and stone. There are cloth wall hangings that may have been bright jewel tones once, but are now dingy and torn. A single oil lamps burns brightly on a table in the center of the room, illuminating a jeweled knife and a silver necklace. Sacks sit in the shadows of one corner, low bench seats in another. And around the window openings, vines are creeping in.


Lady of Courage

An enormous paneled room with a vaulted ceiling and a set of ornate, curving staircases opening onto a platform at one end. In the centre of the carpeted floor is a massive oval table surrounded by silk upholstered chairs. The table is covered by maps, papers and writing implements, with small lit globes at intervals. The rest of the room is occupied with small clusters of chairs and a few small tables. Along the walls are curtained alcoves and door ways with magnificent paintings hung in between them. At the opposite end to the stairs is an gigantic clock.

A Maretegna Mystery (something I may write one day; this is not the title)

A small room with wooden slat walls. At one end is a kitchen with neatly stacked dishes, bins of food in a corner and a brightly burning fire with an pot bubbling away over it. At the other end is a table with odds and ends laid out over it along with small neatly written notes. Chairs sit askew around it and underneath a doll rests against a crude wooden horse.

Not My Book:

The Victor by Patricia St. John
A dark, one-room hut with a dim oil lamp sitting on the floor. To one side there is a sleeping mat, to the other a fishing net. A few bloody shards of pottery lie scattered around.
And now I tag people. this is when I wish I had more blogging friends. So I’ll tag some people who don’t know me so well, along with a few who do.

Victoria Grace Howell

And if I forgot anyone and you want to do it, please consider yourselves tagged.

Five Years of Bookania Tag

Hello people,

I had intended to writing a post about how writing isn’t the most important thing in my life. But more important things pushed it out. So I grabbed Kendra’s Five years of Bookania Tag which probably took longer.

1. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?

It’s been 8 months now. Two thirds of a year. And I started because I’m an author and authors are supposed to have blogs.

2. How long have you been following my blog and how did you find me?

I don’t quite remember but it’s been a least a year I’ve been reading Kendra’s blog. As for how I found her, it may have been from homeschooledauthors.com. That’s how I found a lot of people. And I saw the sign up from beta reading Water Princess, Fire Prince and thought it might be interesting. And the rest is history.

3. Which of the books on my WIP list sound the most interesting to you?

Other than Lady Dragon, Tela Du, I would say Half-Hidden, HaV Academy and Worth of a King.

4. What are three of your favourite fairy tales?

 The Day Boy and the Night Girl (It’s a very obscure one), What the Old Man Does is Always Right(Perhaps not technically a fairytale, but it’s in my book of Hans Christian Anderson Illustrated fairy tales and I love the spirit of it.),  and The Emperor’s New Clothes.

5. What is the strangest fairy tale you’ve ever read?

The Travelling Companion (also from the Hans Christian Anderson book) It’s kind of weird and creepy. It’s got a few similar elements to 12 Dancing Princesses, but it’s not nearly as nice.

6. What are some things that you’re looking forward to/hope will happen in future Bookania Quests? (Or, if you haven’t read the Bookania Quests yet, in the series in general, or, you know, you could just delete this question and pretend it never existed…)

I want to see more of Shira. And I want to hear about Rapunzel.

7. Recommend a book for me to read. (You can check my Goodreads shelf to see what I’ve already read/my interests)

The Magician’s Daughter by Justyn Walker. It’s a crazy kind of book, a bit like some of yours. But in a slightly different way. Orphans falling though puddles? Check. Talking secret agent bat? Check. A mad wizard who makes your hair go rainbow coloured? Check. A lethal sport, a dragon named Smokey the Terrible and a couple of misfits for heroes? Check, check check.

8. What, to you, are the essential elements of a good story?

Good relateable characters who react in realistic ways, a plot with some stakes that aren’t just emotional and some deeper layer to them even id it’s very subtle.

9. What is your favourite fairy tale retelling, whether film or book, and why?

This is tricky, but I love A Dream, Not Imagined by Shantelle Mary Hannu. It was just the kind of book I needed to read when I first got it.

10. Tell me about a project (preferably a book, but I’ll understand if you’re not a writer), that you’re incredibly excited about.

I’ve only really got two books I’m working on and I’m excited about both of them. Especially Lady of Courage right now. The idea could go so many places and I’m to have so much fun figuring it out. And Kendra already knows about as much as anyone. But it’s exciting to mix up politics, technology, family relations, murder mystery and foreign invasion. And I really like my heroine. she may have her faults, but she’s a likeable person, she isn’t foolish and she doesn’t whine.

YAnd that is that. Head over to Kendra’s blog and check out all her party over there. I’ll be having a couple of her characters over here for an interview soon.

Mid-year Book Freak Out 2016

I grabbed the Mid-year Book Freak Out tag from Shantelle H. The first half of the year has gone so quickly. The heading for finished handwritten first draft of Girl of the Rumours had turned into 30,000 words at about halfway. The other loose idea I had has become bigger and has the beginning of a draft. But this post is supposed to be about reading, not writing. So here it is.

Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2016:

I can’t answer this question. There;s so many good books. But Waking Beauty by Sarah E. Morin was a very deep thought provoking book. There’s a lot about reality and escapism in there. And an unexpected allegory. It was certainly quite out of the ordinary. And the cover is beautiful.

Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far In 2016:

Deny by Tricia Mingerink. Despite the fact I didn’t listen to it almost in one go like with the first book, I was not at all disappointed. It continued in the same high stakes, high faith, encouraging story.

New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To:

Defy by Tricia Mingerink. I’m waiting for it to come out in audio though. and then I’ll probably wait some more, because I don’t tend to buy books. But I do want to hear the next part of the story.

Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year:

Lady Dragon, Tela Du, by Kendra E. Ardnek. Though I ought not care about the release so much since I’m a beta reader. What I’ really waiting for is Kendra having the next part for us. And the cover reveal.

Biggest Disappointment This Year:

I really have nothing here. There have been books I haven’t really liked, but they’ve been random books I picked up with no particular expectations.

Biggest Surprise:

Captive of Raven Castle by Jessica Greyson. I had hardly read the blurb.  So the beginning was very unexpected. The whole story had little bits I wasn’t expecting. But it certainly was good. Quite thought provoking. It made me reconsider some things in my own story.

Favourite New Author of 2016:

Probably Tricia Mingerink. I didn’t really read many books by new authors this year. At least not ones that stood out to me. But I did finally get to read a book by Nicole Sager. She was the first home-schooled author I heard about and probably the reason I’m writing now. But I hadn’t actually read any of her book till recently. It wasn’t as good some, but It was her first book and I was expecting that.

Newest Favourite Character:

Lady Rachel from Samara’s Peril. And Elanor and King Balen. Also a lot of characters in Lady Dragon, Tela Du. And Shad and Jamie in Dare and Deny.

Book That Made You Cry This Year: 

I don’t tend to cry while reading. I expect I have this year, but I don’t remember what book caused it. I think Lady Dragon, Tela Du may have. It’s an amazingly complex, emotional, unpredictable book. From what I’ve read so far I recommend it when it come out.

This really seems to fit that book. Not that it’s got nonsense in it.

Book That Made You Happy:

Safety Assured Leaving East of Medicetti by Trish Mercer. Yes that is really the name. It’s the fifth book in a series, that though I enjoy I’m not going to wholeheartedly recommend. I need to write a post about that. Anyway characters get a lot of the good and bad they deserve. And some of it is really fun. It almost overcomes the annoyance of the previous book leaving the characters in mortal danger.

Favourite Book To Film Adaption You Saw This Year:

Well, Risen is a very loose adaptation of a small portion of the Bible. Other than that I haven’t seen anything.

Favourite Post You Have Done So Far This Year:

13 Things I’ve Learnt in a Year of Writing

Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought So Far This Year:

Samara’s Peril. The emotion and character trait thesaurus I got at the same time are extreme useful, but though they are somewhat pretty, I could not call them beautiful.

What Books Do You Need to Read by the End of This Year:

Well I need to read Song of the Sword by Hope Ann so I can review it. Other than that fiction isn’t necessary. I want to finish The Conservative Revolution by Cori Bernardi. That will involve starting over because I’ve forgotten the little bit I have read. But it’s only got seven chapters. Also I’d like to get as far as I can through The Institutes of Biblical Law by R. J. Rushdoony. It is thick and much denser than most of what I’ve read. But it’s worthwhile.

Overall this year I’ve not read as much non-fiction as I intended. But I just grabbed a couple of history books from LibriVox.

And that is that. I’m not going to tag anyone in particular, but if you want to grab this feel free. Let me know in the comments.

Beautiful People: Wil

It’s time for the Beautiful People link up again. This time I’m going to interview Wil. He’s made an appearance  before, here, for Kendra’s Character encounters. That was quite a while ago though, and there’s more to Wil than you can get out of one appearance. In fact you’ll have to read the book when it’s finished. So without further ado, here’s the interview.


“Okay Wil, it’s your turn to be interviewed for my readers.”

He sighs, “Do I have to do this, mi’lady? I know I’m not the main character and I’d rather not tell everyone my secrets.

“Yes, we’re doing this. Despite the fact you’re not the focus of the story, you are one of my favourite characters. Anyway I won’t tell Aydel, and I really doubt that the questions are about the stuff you don’t want her to know”

“Who said Aydel was the one I’m keeping secrets from. It’s Mim, you know that.”


“Alright, Mim then, if you insist. I won’t be telling anyone else in the book your answers. Now ont to the questions. Do you want to get married and/or have children? Why or why not?”
“Must I answer that?”

“Yes.”
“Well then I really don’t know. I’m not sure that I’d be any good. Women are hard to understand and easy to hurt. I don’t wish someone like me on them.”


“What is your weapon of choice?”
“I prefer the staff and the lasso. Blades can be too deadly, and are messy either way.”

“What’s the nicest thing you’ve done for someone else, and why did you do it?”
“Not saying.”

“Well, I will then. It’s taking care of Elind and Mim. You tell them why.”
“They needed me and no one else did.”

“Have you ever been physically violent with someone, and what instigated it?”
“I have. I probably shouldn’t have, but he was being foolish and had hurt someone.”

“I’m not going to bother asking you to tell them who ‘he’ is. Are you a rule-follower or a rebel?”
“Neither. I don’t conform societally, but neither do I try to change the rules. Laws exist for a good reason. Armed rebellion is wrong.”

“Are you organized or messy?”
“Usually organized.”

“What makes you feel loved, and who was the last person to make you feel that way?”
“Come on, you can’t really expect me to answer that question.”

“But I do.”
“Well if you substitute valued for loved it would be easier. I like it when people actually listen, when they’re interested in what I say. Most people just don’t get the point and I wonder why I bother.”
“What do you eat for breakfast?”
“About the same as everyone else.”
“Have you ever lost someone close to you? What happened?”
Will grins.

“Therin decided to go exploring on his own. It took me a couple of hours to find him. He’d fallen in a stream and gotten all wet.”
“You know that wasn’t what I meant.”
“Well it’s the only answer you’re getting.”
“What’s your treat of choice?”
“Silence. people talk too much.”

“We both know that’s not entirely true. But that’s the end of the questions so I’ll leave you alone now.”

Just so you know Wil has a fairly low opinion of himself, and he wasn’t in the best spirits at the time of this interview. In fact he probably never will be in an interview. I know too much and questions can be awkward. Someday I’ll have to post a snippet with him being his cheerful, courteous self.

So what do you all think of the gallant knight of my story? (Not that Wil is an actual knight, in fact he is quite insistent on that fact.) But that’s a part he plays in my mind. 

Beautiful People: Mim’s Childhood

Hi everyone,

This is a rather rushed post because I just got back from an amazing camp last night and almost forgot about my blog.

I’m doing Beautiful People again, this time about a sweet red-haired brigand girl named Mim.

What is her first childhood memory?

  The time her half-sister Elind arrived in tears and started living with them permanently.

What were their best and worst childhood experiences?

  She has fond memories of harvest feast in the town where being poor didn’t matter. And also the time when she was given a new dress. The worst time would be just after her mother and uncle died of the coughing sickness. She and Elind almost starved before Elind finally gave in and married.
What was their childhood home like?

  A ramshackle cottage on the outskirts of the town of Jarrah. it was a dirty noisy place, often dangerous too.
What’s something that scared them as child?
  The men that her uncle would hang around with.
Who did they look up to most?
  Her mother. She was a wonderful woman who always made things come out alright and kept Mim safe.  She wouldn’t let people impose on her.
Favourite and least favourite childhood foods? 
  Favourite food is pies; least favourite is watery soup. 
 
If they had their childhood again, would they change anything?
  She would have had a father.
What kind of child were they? 
  She was very wild adventurous and warm-hearted. Making friends, but scaring their mothers.
What was her relationship to their parents and siblings like?
  She loved and then missed her mother, feared her uncle and never knew her father. Elind was almost a second mother, but she saw her as being weaker than her own mother. Her other half sister was someone she barely knew existed and never wanted to meet.
What did they want to be when they grew up, and what did they actually become?
  She hoped to become a maid and work herself into a better life. She became a brigand instead.
And that’s the basics of Mim. If you ask me any questions in the comments I’ll answer them for you.

Liebster Award

I got nominated for the Liebster award by my friend Annie Twitchell. Go check out her blog at: http://annie-louise-twitchell.blogspot.com.au/

Here are the rules:
– Thank the blog who nominated you and link back to them.
– Nominate up to 11 other bloggers to receive the award. To be eligible, they need to have 200 followers or less.
– Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.
– Tell your readers 11 random facts about yourself.- Give your nominees 11 questions to answer on their blog when they post their nomination.

My Nominees:
Kendra E. Ardnek
Amanda Beguerie
Alea Harper
Sierra Joane
Hannah Heath
Daniel Thompson
Morgan Huneke


My Eleven Questions from Annie:

#1 – What’s the ‘outdated’ phrase that you use the most?

I really have no idea. I can’t think of any phrases that I particularly favour.

#2 – What was the name of your first character you created?

There was a princess named Grace, but she wasn’t really a character. It was really about three princes who never had names since I didn’t write more than a sentence or two on that story. Other than that I really don’t know.

#3 – About how many books do you read a week?

About one or two. Plus books like A History of Venice that I try to read every week and take forever.

#4 – If you were a dragon rider, what colour would your dragon be?

I am actually a dragon rider, at least in this forum. My dragon is blue and cream.

#5 – You’re in a fight. What’s your weapon of choice?

Staff, it’s less likely to injure people permanently.

#6 – How many times a week do you use sticky notes?

Less that once.

#7 – When was the last time you hand-wrote a letter to someone?

Probably in 2014, maybe longer.

#8 – How many story ideas have you come up with in the two and a half minutes before falling asleep?

Not very many, unless ways to improve my current story count. Then it’s a larger unspecified number.

#9 – Text or phone call?

If an email counts as text, then certainly that. Otherwise it would have to be phone call and very rarely. I do not use a phone for communication.

#10 – Do your characters have conversations with you?

Not really.

#11 – Stars or hearts?

Stars

Eleven Random Facts About Me:

#1 I am a bit of a heath fanatic sometimes. I don’t take it too seriously though and I’m sceptical of most of the ideas out there.

#2 – Almost everyone I know in person calls me by my full name.

#3 – I haven’t read any of the books that live on my shelf this year and I might not.

#4 – I do not own physical copies any of my most favourite books.

#5 – I hate wearing pants.

#6 – I love sewing.

#7 – I once owned a pair of hand-sewn pant and loved them. That was then, though.

#8 – The only tea I like is ginger. However tea and I have had a very limited acquaintance.

#9 – I live in the country and love it, but I’m not a farm girl.

#10 – I bought a pair of hiking shoes. They’re brown with pale pink, but cost half the price of a pair that didn’t quite fit which were cheaper in turn than a pair that did fit.

#11 – I don’t have any sisters. (So why do I keep trying to write about characters who do?)

Eleven Questions for My Nominees:


#1 – What is your favourite book of the Bible?
#2 – Do you like maths?
#3 – What is your favourite thing to do outside?
#4 – What is your dream house?
#5 – Who do you look up to most?
#6 – What is your favourite word?
#7 – What are your five most prized possessions?
#8 – Is there a question you really wish someone would ask you?
#9 – What would you do if you had one month to live?
#10 – If you could live under water, would you?
#11 – Light or dark blue?

And that’s that. Any blogger reading this may consider them-self nominated too. I’m sorry for missing you.

I hope everyone found that interesting and I may have another post on Friday.

Celebrating Rizkaland: TAG!

Kendra has created a tag for the Ten Years of Rizkaland party over at her blog. Since I love her books and like tags, I’ve done it.

1. Have you read Water Princess, Fire Prince yet? 
Yes, about four times.
2. If so, what is your favourite part? If not, what are you looking forward to the most? 
I love the discussion between Laura and Clara at the end of Part 4. And then what happens next, I was so annoyed the first time because I didn’t have the next part and had to wait.
3. It’s Christmas time! What’s the best Christmas present you’ve ever received? 
Tricky, I have gotten so many good presents. The most significant that come to mind was a birthday present so I’ll go with the longest lasting, which probably is my 6-years-old hiking shoes.
4. What are your favourite fantasy worlds? 
I love Ilyon, E’veria, Narnia and Rizkaland.
5. Who are your favourite fictional couples?
Oooh, tricky, I’m not a romance person really. I can’t think of any I haven’t liked hough and I am rather fond of Clara and Andrew. I always love the, “You’re together, there’s nothing you can do about it, learn to love each other.” stories. And I love subtle romance.
6. Do you have any projects (writing or otherwise) that you’ve been working on for ten years? 
Our family has been renovating for that long.
7. Fantasy weapon of choice? 
Quarterstaff. Swords are too common.
8. Name your element! 
Oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur, sodium, magnesium. And every one has those. Yes, I like science sometimes. But it’s relevant. Dihydrogen Monoxide is discussed in WP,FP.
9. What are you hoping to see in future volumes of the Rizkaland Legends? 
More complicated world and time twisting, hopefully a bit more of the books actually taking place in our world and some that don’t take place in our world at all. And I am really looking forward to seeing more Christian truths presented. Water Princess, Fire Prince was very subtle, so there will probably be a build up to bigger things. I really want to see what Kendra’s method for handling it will be.
10. What is your favourite Christian allegory? 
 Narnia will always be a favourite, but I also have a soft spot for Hind’s Feet on High Places and it’s sequel which I cannot remember the name of. And I also love the allegory in The Ankulen by Kendra E. Ardnek.

It’s Ilyon Day!

Hey there,
This is the day when I get to talk about some of my favourite books, the Ilyon Chronicles, by Jaye L. Knight.

First I want to thank Rachael Steele over at The Art of Writing for Him for suggesting this. And Jaye for writing the books, and anyone else involved in their production.

Short Review:
The books are amazing stories of faith in the midst of persecution. They caused me to consider my faith deeper. They made me laugh and almost cry. (I don’t cry easily when reading.)
Jaye is a very skilled writer. her books are very deep emotionally. They are not for the faint of heart though as she does not gloss over violence. They have no more violence than there is in the real world, but some people might find it too much. Apart from that they are clean though.
She has very relate-able characters and a stunning world. I can hardly wait to see where she will take us in the next book. I would recommend them for about 16+.

Character Spotlight:
Kyrin Altair is one of my favourite characters. I relate very well to her as we have much in common: two older and two younger brothers(no twin brother though), brown hair, similar personalities. We are both shy, both love our family. My family is closer than hers, (in the beginning at least), but that is mostly a result of circumstance.
I greatly look up to Kyrin and I am inspired by her. Her faith is phenomenal. I hope, I trust and pray, that I would be as brave as her under persecution. However I am afraid that I, in her situation, would not have befriended Jace. I may have pitied him, perhaps even defended him a bit, but I would have just stayed in my safe little shell. The fear of being hurt or rejected, the fear of what others might think, the fear of opening my self up would have kept me from truly showing God’s love to one who badly needed it. It did not stop Kyrin. She stepped out in faith and did what God wanted her to. She did not give up. She was brave and became a friend. That is what I admire most about her.

Martyr Spotlight:
I recently hear the story of an early Christian martyr in Carthage. Perpetua was a young married noblewoman with a nursing baby. She had her child with her in prison and her father pleading with her to recant her faith. She stood firm though and and was martyred along with her companions. Her story is quite fascinating. Look her up.

Prayer Points:
There are so many Christians being persecuted right now. I ma just going to list a few of them. There are many more who need prayer.
Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, Meriam Ibrahim, Pastor Farshid Fathi, Pastor Behnam Irani, Asia Bibi.
Here is a good list of what to pray: http://www.releaseinternational.org/pray/

I may or may not be posting again this week. ‘Til next time,
God be with you all.

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