Friday, November 6, 2015

Happy November!

Wow! I feel like I haven't been on blogger in forever! *pulls up a chair and a mug of pumpkin spice coffee* How have you all been? I've missed you lovely peoples!

Wait... what? I didn't tell you? Yeah, I drink coffee now. Not black coffee straight out of the pot, mind you. No, that fancy, New-England style stuff that probably has more creamer and milk and sugar than coffee. 

Never in a million years would I think that I would be drinking coffee. But that's what college does to a body. And I'm finding, in a very strange way, I'm enjoying it.

I don't have much time to stop and chat, but I did want to assure you all that I am still very much alive. College is busy, but I am learning a lot. Plus, there's some brief moments to have fun and breathe, which is nice. I enjoy those moments. And then Thanksgiving break is only two weeks and two days away. *glorious sigh*

I desperately wish I could be stuck in the middle of NaNo with you all. Please feel free to drop me a comment below - let me know how your crazy month of writing is going, or what November has in store for you, or what the best way to drink coffee is! 

God bless!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Water Princess, Fire Prince (Book Review)

When Kendra was looking for advance readers for this book, there was absolutely no question in my mind. I'd already been waiting long enough to read it, so it was imperative to get my hands on it just as soon as possible.

Yes, it was that important.

And honestly, it blew me away. It was everything and yet nothing like what I had imagined. Wonderful. What did I like about it so much? Read on, Lizzy. (P&P reference because of reasons)

First of all, Kendra is fantastic when it comes to world building, and even though she's created so many different worlds for her stories, each one is unique and wonderful, and this one is no exception. Rizkaland and Klarand were just epically penned into being and I loved them. For one thing, it's not round. And the water comes in every color of the rainbow and each color has a different flavor and a different purpose. I'm afraid I had very many rainbow songs stuck in my head as I read this. But it was marvelous.

REALISTIC CHARACTERS! For once, we have two kids thrown into a strange world, and they react like a normal kid would! They don't automatically assume their standing and adapt perfectly. Nope. It takes them a bit of time to figure out what's going on, and even balk at what's expected of them. As much fun as it would be to be thrown into a new world, it would also be terrifying and strange, and Clara and Andrew were true to that impression.

Also -- I LOVED the shameless references to Alice in Wonderland, Narnia, The Prince and the Pauper, Pride and Prejudice, etc. There were probably many more that I didn't catch, but they were wonderful. You'd expect kids from our world to reference things from our world, right? Right! And the inside joke made me laugh out loud:

[Clara] sighed. "But now that you mention it, you're right. I just don't think this is a movie. Probably just a book."

"A book?"

"And, knowing our luck, not even one of the good ones. Probably some self-published work." She shook her head. "I'd hate to know what the cover art looks like. Probably some photoshop fail."

[Andrew] laughed. "That would be just our luck."

No, Kendra, it was most certainly NOT a photoshop fail. Still, this was probably my absolute favorite scene in the book.

 I also wanted to take a moment to say something about Clara. I'd been expecting her to be a warrior princess, but I'll admit I was a little skeptical. Warrior princesses tend to be very feministic, with the I-can-do-what-I-want-because-I'm-better-than-anyone-else attitude, and it really drives me bonkers. I don't enjoy heroines like that. But Clara wasn't. True, she was amazingly skilled at fighting. She has plenty of spunk, but even right from the beginning, she has a vulnerable side. There's no nonsense about her, but she has her own share of fears. Plus, she had some wonderful character development.

To be truthful, though, I will admit I was disappointed with the ending. While everything was monstrously satisfactory, I had anticipated a greater final battle with Amber. It was fine the way it was, but I was hoping for some more action, and I felt it wrapped everything up just a little too fast. 

Advisory: Fantasy violence. But quite suitable for the tone of the novel. I have no further need to elaborate.

Also, some romance -- there is a type of arranged marriage in here, and it takes a while for boy and girl to fall in love. They do share some kisses near the end of the story, after some physical contact (i.e. hand-holding, hugging, sleeping next to each other, etc.), but nothing inappropriate. There were also a few comments that I didn't care much for in regards to girls in bathtubs and in swimsuits, but they weren't very descriptive.  

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

*Please note: I received an advance reader's copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Where to find this novel? I'm so glad you asked. *grins*

Author Bio:
Kendra E. Ardnek loves fairy tales and twisting them in new and exciting ways.  She's been practicing her skills on her dozen plus cousins and siblings for years, "Finish your story, Kendra", is frequently heard at family gatherings.  Her sole life goal has always been to grow up and be an author of fantasy and children's tales that also glorify God and his Word. You can read more about her on her blog,

P.S. I usually don't post book reviews on Lianne Taimenlore, as my book review blog is KiriBeth, but this was a special occasion. This review will be popping up later on that blog, so be sure to be on the lookout!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Water Princess, Fire Prince (Author Interview)


It is my very good pleasure to introduce to you all, Kendra E. Ardnek, authoress supreme, wonderful friend, and just a fantastic and fun girl. As part of the festivities this week surrounding the release of her latest novel, Water Princess, Fire Prince, I was granted a very special interview! 

Be on the lookout for my full review of this wonderful novel on Saturday!!


I know from a previous interview you mentioned a shower and a waterfall being the inspiration for the princess. What, pray, was the prince's inspiration? And why fire?
His inspiration were two simple little words: Love interest. Having declared this girl the Water Princess, I knew I didn't want full responsibility of this country to rest on her slim little shoulders. Why fire? Um, because it made a good contrast with water? I was young at the time.

Will there be other elements showing up in later books (as I found references to a series on your Pinterest board)?

Well, within the book itself, there is a Wind Prince and Leaf Princess. Beyond that, you'll have to wait and see. (Though, if you scan down the pinterest board, you'll see tags for at least a Light Prince, and a Flower Princess, but they're not in this book)

Who is your favorite minor character?
In this book? I'll go with Queen Kiona of Rizkaland. She's a character who I didn't exactly plan, but she walked into the book with a full-blown personality and a complicated backstory. She's fun to write, too.
If you could cast anyone (and I mean anyone) as the Water Princess and Fire Prince in a movie, who would you cast?
I know I want Eddie Redmayne for the Fire Prince, but I'm still considering my options for the Water Princess. My first choice was Annasophia Robb, but she's lost a bit of her baby face since then. One of my beta readers suggested Saxon Sharbino, and while she looks perfect, she's a bit too tall. Choices, choices, here.

What other stories do you think WPFP compares best to?
Hmm... Well, I do call the series itself a YA version of Narnia, because it has the same magic, and deals with similar issues, though in a more mature fashion.

There are also elements of Doctor Who.

Is the book's ending exactly as you pictured it when you began writing?
It's very different, because many of the circumstances changed over the course of writing (i.e. I moved the initial setting from Hawaii to Texas), but the heart's the same.

I know from experience how tedious editing can be. What did you find to help the process along as you edited this story?
A group of girls who beta read it for me and then started fangirling so hard, I gave them a secret group on Goodreads, and then a secret pinterest board.
And just one snippet of the story to whet your appetite. You're welcome.
“I’ll decide if there’s a quarrel or not,” the girl hissed. She spun back around to face Andrew. “I don’t believe it. You’re too clumsy to be the Fire Prince.”

Clumsy. Well, that was a new one.

“Well, I came out of the Firefall,” Andrew protested.

Her already narrow blue eyes narrowed even further. “So you say.”

Suddenly something clicked in Andrew’s head. She’d been quoting books from his world, including Alice in Wonderland. That meant that she must come from his world. And she fought. Very well.

“You’re the Water Princess,” he realized, wanting desperately to be wrong. She was gorgeous, and that was half the problem. The other problem was that she was staring up at him from the hilt of his sword.

“Well, well,” she said, with mocking surprise. “You can figure something out on your own after all. Yes, I’m the Water Princess, and I am not impressed.” She waved with his sword. “Turn around and march. I can ask questions of you far better at my own camp. And you, Lord Abraham, had best follow, unless you want me to give you a reason.”
Stop by Kendra's blog for the full tour schedule! You won't want to miss one moment of the fun!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Rizaland Legends - Book Two Title Reveal

First, a short tale from Kendra.


The Story Behind this Book:
Nearly ten years ago now, the first of the new Narnia movies released, and I got to see it in Theaters – actually, the last movie we got to see as a family. A friend of ours had also seen the movie, and had been converted to the Narnia fandom, and so as we were chatting about it, one of us had a brilliant idea – why don’t we make our own Narnia movie? We all loved acting, so it seemed like the most natural thing in the world.

As the eldest of that threesome, and the most adamant about the plot, I took on the responsibility of writing the script, then titled “The Giraffe, The Witch, and the Tunnel Tube.” At first it resembled Narnia fairly closely, the changes we made were for casting or prop reasons – we didn’t have a lion costume, we did have giraffe. We didn’t have a wardrobe, we did have a tunnel.

After several fits and starts, my mother told me that I needed to put it away and rehash it so it resembled Narnia less, perhaps make it summer instead of winter, a dragon instead of a witch. So, I followed her advice and managed to turn out my first finished work of any great length. It was quickly followed by a second draft, after I decided that I wanted to make some changes to the ending. A third draft quickly followed when I decided I wanted love interests.

As I finished this third script, I realized that it was far too complicated a story for me to hope to perform at that time. And since it had changed so radically from Narnia by that point, I decided to take the plunge back into novel writing. Shortly before NaNo of ’10, I finished this draft at twenty thousand words, and was terribly proud of myself – though I knew it needed work. However, I now had other story ideas on my plate that were demanding my attention – Bookania and the Ankulen – and I knew I needed to write and publish Water Princess, Fire Prince first.

So I set aside again. Oh I worked on it, here and there and in snippets – one or two scenes especially – but for the most part, it largely sat at the back of my mind festering and boiling.

It’s changed a lot since I started writing it, and this draft that I’m writing now has changed even more. It’s a powerful story that has come with me through some of my darkest years. I’m so thrilled to finally be at the verge of sharing it.



Lady Dragon, Tela Du

Are you as excited as I am? You should be. *grins*

Two girls with one face 
Two girls with twisted fate
One in purple, one in red
One shall speak the other’s death
Who shall win their final war?
Lady Dragon or Tela Du?

Amber, the Lady Dragon, has been promised fifty years ruling over Rizkaland, and it is time for her to claim it. Only one person stands in her way of ruling forever – the Tela Du, the girl who The last thing Petra wants is to have to fight and kill the Lady Dragon. What she wants is to have a normal life, and to prove that she isn’t insane for remembering sisters that no one else can.

Sneak Peak: 
At last Amber came to the men working this farm, a father and his two sons, she guessed, of human stock. They’d suit her purposes just fine. 

“Oh, good gentlemen!” she cried, filling her voice with pathos. “I’m so glad to have found you. Do these fields never end?” 

The father straightened and regarded Amber critically. “Well,” he said, after several long moments, “I reckon I can say that there are days I wonder the same, though with this drought, they aren’t nearly enough. Who may you be, Miss? It isn’t often we see strangers around here, especially not ones dressed as fine as you.” 

“Nor as pretty,” one of the sons commented. 

 Amber shot the boy an imperious glance. “I am married.” She’d already noticed the way they’d been staring at her while trying to look like they weren’t. She turned her attention back to the father. “I have traveled rather far from home, I fear,” she admitted. “Where I come from, there aren’t nearly as many colors, and the rim of this world curls away from me strangely.” 

 It took the man several seconds to process Amber’s speech. At length, he asked, “Did the Doorkeeper bring you to us?” 

This question took Amber by surprise, and for a moment, she was rendered speechless, as her conversation with Laura echoed through her head. She quickly recovered herself, however, and shook her head. “No, I cannot say that she did.” 

And it was true, Amber admitted bitterly to herself. For all the travels she made and grand stories she produced, Laura had never taken Amber anywhere. Amber had been forced to make her own escape both times her world fell. 

“Well, perhaps she did and you just didn’t see her, I hear that she can be mighty sneaky at times.” The man shook his head. “But from the looks of your dress and jewels, I’m willing to say you were someone mighty important where you come from. A princess, maybe?” 

“Queen.” Amber drew herself to her full stature. 

“I see.” The man nodded. “Well, after our last few hard winters and scorching summers, we scarcely have enough to call a fitting meal for royalty, but you’re welcome to come stay at least the night with us before we send you to Loray to meet our own kings and queens. You said you were married, didn’t you?” 

She nodded, “I am.” “So your husband?” 

“Accompanied me, but he lacks my ambition.” 

“I see,” said the man. “Welcome along then, my dear – I mean, your highness. I don’t think I quite caught your name.” 

“I don’t think I gave it to you,” she replied.


Be on the lookout for more of the Rizkaland Legends this week on Lianne Taimenlore! I will be doing an interview with Kendra on Thursday, and then also posting a full review of Water Princess, Fire Prince on Saturday!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

QQ: In Someone Else's Dream

Marita rubbed her eyes and scowled at the sunlight streaming through the window. Morning already? It can't be.

She was tired enough to border on cranky, but that wouldn't do. The craftsmaster at the palace would be sure to notice if she even brushed against cranky. No - better get up and make the most of it.

The morning would have been better if she had gotten more sleep. For some odd reason, her eyes had snapped open a few hours before dawn, and try as she might, she couldn't doze back off. Maybe I'll skip going to the cave tonight and get to bed early. The thought was tempting, even when she considered how much she wanted to be at the cave.

Inga Kadlec stirred as Marita rolled off her pallet. "Grandmother, are you awake?"

"I am now."

"Do you need something?" Marita stifled a yawn.

"No, I - darling, are you alright?"

"Of course."

Her grandmother eyed her carefully. "You look exhausted."

 Marita shrugged it off. "I didn't sleep well last night. I woke up early and couldn't get back to sleep."

Inga's brow wrinkled. "I wonder if it is true, then."

"What's true?"

"The legend. It says that when you can't sleep at night, it's because you're awake in someone else's dream."

Marita snorted. "That's nonsense."

"I'm not so sure it is," Inga said. "You didn't sleep last night."

"And?" Despite herself, Marita was curious to see where her grandmother was going with this.

"I dreamed about you last night."

"You dreamed about me?"

Inga nodded. "You were in the woods. I told you to remember your shoes at least a dozen times, but you were sill barefoot."

Marita smiled. "Are you sure this was a dream, Grandmother?"

"Oh, yes, dear. Because your hair was brushed."

Marita's hand flew up to her tangled curls. Yes, that must have been a dream. "What was I doing?"

"You were dancing. And singing."

"I usually whistle."

QQ July Inspiration
"But you were singing this time. I don't know what the song was, but it was very pretty. Almost haunting, in a way. There were birds with you, too. And rabbits and squirrels in the thicket. And I think there was an owl sitting in a hollow tree nearby."

"Was that it?" Marita asked.

Inga stopped, lost in thought, a thought that had the promise to be pleasant.


"There was a young man there, too."

Marita sat down on the edge of the bed. "Who was it?"

"I don't know. I'd never seen him before."

"What did he do?"

Inga was silent for a full minute before she spoke again. "He danced with you."


It had been a week since her grandmother's dream, and still Marita couldn't get it out of her mind. I've never danced with a young man before in my life. I've never even danced before! Where would she have picked up an idea like that?

She rolled over and adjusted the blanket covering her legs. And I wonder what I was singing? The question came to her so many times a day, and yet there had been no answer. She might have been singing a number of different things. Who could know for certain? Inga probably wouldn't recognize the song unless she heard it again.

Her pallet felt unnaturally hard tonight. Maybe that's why it was taking so long to get to sleep. And it was too hot. Marita kicked the blanket off. That was better.

She lay still for a few minutes. Then she rolled onto her back. The cottage around her was dark -- the perfect darkness for a good night's sleep. 

The pallet was still uncomfortable. Marita flopped herself over onto her stomach. Maybe this position would be better. 

I am tired! Why can't I fall asleep?

It was after another half hour of twisting and flopping that Marita gave up. Some heroine I'd make -- can't even fall asleep!

Inga snorted in her sleep across the room, and Marita hesitated. Is she dreaming about me again? Is that why I can't sleep? It might be nice if she'd stop dreaming about me. 

A yawn overtook her, and she settled on the pallet once more. An hour passed. Then two. Her eyelids grew gradually heavier and heavier, and though she yearned to doze off, sleep was slow in coming. Marita's breathing steadied, her mind wandered into a delicious fog, and then -- 

Her eyes closed of their own accord.


At the exact same moment, Felix bolted upright. 


The cold, stone wall of his chamber mocked the fire that had just consumed him. All was still and silent, yet he could hear the echo of her cry ringing in his ears. 

Felix tried to calm his racing heart. "Go back to sleep. It was just a dream. Just a dream."

Be sure to visit Melody's blog for more Quote Queste fun!

God bless!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Half-Blood Review & Author Interview

Review first!

How Jaye knew we needed this book before we even asked for it still amazes me. I absolutely loved Resistance and I've been dying to get my hands on a copy of The King's Scrolls. Jace has proven himself an epic character again and again in my mind, so to get a chance to take a peek into his life before Rayad was truly amazing. If you call yourself any kind of fan of Jaye Knight's work, then you simply must read this book.

First off, it was a lot shorter than Resistance. I really wasn't sure what to expect reading this prequel, but even from my confused thoughts, Jaye blew me quickly away. I had been afraid at first to dive into it, lest by some terrible design the character of Jace that I had grown to respect in Resistance be damaged. Nope. No way. Instead, this novella opened up an entire new world of understanding who he really was. It added so much depth to him. I was dumbstruck. Pretty much.

I love that Jaye starts out with Jace as a younger boy. She takes us through his childhood, how he grows, what he learns from those he comes in contact with. The foreshadowing... the suspense... the desires... the pain. Wow. Instead of just throwing us directly into his gladiator fights with Jasper, Jaye gave us to see Jace before the fights. 

But the fights themselves! *whistles* I was concerned with how Jaye might handle the progress of the fights, as there were many of them over the course of... quite a long time. But she did marvelously. There were times I felt I was at the arena with Jace - fighting with him, or yelling from the sidelines. He lived up to every one of my expectations and hopes... and then of course, Jasper walked on the scene, and my heart just broke for Jace. 

Really, what more can I say than this book is a must for all Ilyon fans, fantasy lovers, and adventure nerds alike? I give five stars whole-heartedly.    

Advisory: Quite a bit of violence as Jace fights different opponents/enemies, so please expect some descriptions of that. Several characters are wounded and, as a result of his fighting, more than one death follows Jace, haunting him. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

*Please note that I was given an advanced reader's copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.* 


For those of you who were interested, this book review will show up later this month on my book review blog, KiriBeth. I am so honored to have been able to review this novella for Jaye. 

Okay, ready for that interview now? *grins*

Half-Blood is a prequel to the Ilyon Chronicles, focusing on everybody's favorite - Jace. What inspired you to write his backstory?

I had Jace’s backstory in my mind for a very long time. I mean, as a writer, you have to know all such details about your characters. I always wanted to write it, but the ideas sat for a while, until this last winter. I thought I would write a short story that started just before he met Rayad and tell that meeting from Jace’s point of view. Once I started it, however, it grew and grew until it spanned several years and was novella length instead of a short story. As tragic as his story is, I’m happy readers will be able to read it because it shows so clearly why he is the way he is and exactly what he has to overcome.

Did you find that exploring his background in this novella changed your perspective of Jace?

I wouldn’t say it has that much, though I didn’t realize just how compassionate he was all through his life until I wrote it. I certainly did discover some things he went through that I never knew before though. And having it all written down is sure to help as I build on his character over the next few books, especially in book three in which a lot of things from his past are brought up.

Let's look forward into the Ilyon Chronicles. Might you share a bit of an adventure coming for Jace and his friends?

Well, how about a little scene from Samara’s Peril? :)
The sun was only just lighting the way when Jace and the others rode up to Marlton Hall the next morning. Most of the countryside was still asleep, and they hoped to be off before too many noticed their departure. Trask dismounted first and knocked on the back door. Sir John answered it, spilling light into the yard, and invited everyone inside. Anne and Lady Catherine greeted them as they entered.

Sir John closed the door behind them and gestured to the dining room table. “I have the uniforms for each of you.”

While Anne took Kyrin upstairs to change, the men stepped to the table and donned their uniforms—a deep blue and black tabard with a white dove in the center of the chest. Jace pulled his on over his shirt and buckled on his belt. Looking over the others, he found they made a diverse group, but in matching uniforms, no one would ever guess their true identities or intentions.

His eyes shifted to Trask and Sir John. They may have agreed to this, but neither one looked fully on board. If he thought it would make them feel any better, he would have told them that anyone intending harm to either Kyrin or Anne would have to kill him first, and the same went for every man in the group. He tested his sword in its sheath, making sure it didn’t stick. He’d just put a razor edge on it and his dagger the night before.

A few minutes later, Anne returned with Kyrin who wore a nondescript gray traveling dress and white cap. She looked the part of a servant, though it didn’t make her any less attractive. But Jace only let this thought form for a moment and nothing more. He’d determined not to let his feelings overshadow his reason and common sense as they nearly had yesterday.

Thank you so much, Jaye! I'm really looking forward to reading more of the Ilyon Chronicles!

Also, wonderful world of blogger, be sure to check out my post earlier today and enter the Ilyon-themed giveaway!

Half-Blood Blog Tour & Giveaway

Jaye L. Knight’s new novella, Half-Blood, has been released! Learn more about this prequel story to Ilyon Chronicles and make sure you also enter the tour 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 . . .


Haven’t discovered the world of Ilyon yet? Find out more at the official Ilyon Chronicles website!


Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a themed giveaway pack! Prizes include an autographed copy of Half-Blood, a blue feather bookmark hand crafted by Jaye, a bronze sword pendant, and a $5 Amazon gift card! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)


Tour Schedule

Tuesday, July 14
Wednesday, July 15
Thursday, July 16
Friday, July 17
Saturday, July 18
Sunday, July 19
Monday, July 20
Tuesday, July 21
Wednesday, July 22
About the Author
JayeAuthor2015Jaye 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 websiteblogFacebookGoogle+TwitterEtsy, and on her new fiction forum where you can interact with other readers of the series.

Be on the lookout for my review of Half-Blood and a special author interview with Jaye coming up in a few hours! 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Spindle Snippets

Thought all you lovely peoples would like to see what I've been working on. These are all from the newest story I've been typing madly at, introduced in this post. Let's just say I'm having way too much fun taking Sleeping Beauty and turning it upside-down to deliciously fit my own needs. 


“They say if you dream a thing more than once, it's sure to come true.”

Felix shook his head. “Then they'd better be wrong.”


Braden resisted the urge to shake his brother by the shoulders. Felix had twenty-one good years to his name, but that didn't mean he was always sensible. Braden had a toddling son who proved rather a handful, but that didn't mean he was always patient.



Marita Kadlec yanked her hand back from the spinning wheel and glared at her finger. Already, a drop of blood was forming. Annoyed, she wiped at it hastily with a rag bearing the pain of previous pricks. Directing a well-deserved scowl at the spindle, she shook her injured finger at it.

“And this is just one reason why I hate you so.”


Early mornings never liked Marita. She was a night owl, through and through. Her mind awoke at night; her brain thrived on the light of the stars. Thoughts and questions bombarded her in the darkness like no other time. But here she was now – off just after dawn to start her new job. Her grandmother thought the morning bright and early, but Marita disagreed. There was nothing bright about this morning.

She kicked at a stone in her path and watched it skitter away. It settled dejectedly in a small gully near the edge of the road, right where the ground dropped off to allow the stream to follow the curve of the road. Or perhaps the road followed the curve of the stream. Marita sighed – what did it matter?


 “Now where is your rider?”

The horse nuzzled her, and she stoked his velvet face. She couldn't remember the last time she'd been around a horse. It would have been before Mother... her mind quenched the rest of the thought.


Marita turned to see the rider stumbling up the road. He could have been only a year or two older than herself, and his clothes would have been fine save for the fact that they left a trail of water on the road. His head was bare, and disheveled dark hair dripped into his eyes. And due to some unknown circumstance, he walked bootless. The sight was rather hilarious, and Marita struggled to hold a giggle in check.

He approached the horse and shook a dripping finger at it. “No carrots.”

If horses could smirk, Marita was pretty sure Samson smirked.

God bless! 

Friday, June 26, 2015

In Which My Little Writer Makes an Appearance

I minimize the document on Sherlock's screen and crack my knuckles. Even though the story is no longer in front of my face, I can still see it in my mind's eye. My synesthesia is acting up again. The colors for this story are epic -- dark browns, maroons, charcoal grays. It's like some kind of chocolate cherry mix with a dash of epic served on top.

I grin. I'm loving this.

*Note: For those who don't know, my laptop's name is Sherlock. End commercial.*

It doesn't take long to open up the internet and log into blogger. The familiar orange tones of the page always excite me. Not only is orange one of my favorite colors, but orange means good things. Exciting things. Delicious things. Word things. 

"Um, Kiri, what are you doing?"

I nearly jump. "Little Writer, what are you doing here?"

"Making an appearance. Isn't it obvious?"

I cringe. I know why the appearance is necessary, but I don't want the lecture right now. "May I help you with something?"

My Little Writer just looks at me. "When was the last time you worked on Secret of the Hazel Tree?"

I'm refusing to give the satisfaction of a groan. "I edited a bunch on Monday and Tuesday."

"And now it's Friday."

"Your point?"

"You should open it again."

"It is open!" I motion to the bar at the bottom of Sherlock's screen. Technically, I have the document open on my laptop. I can maximize it in a moment. 

"You're too distracted."

I sigh. "I know. I know. But I couldn't help it!"

Little Writer isn't happy. "Why are you working on another Sleeping Beauty story?"

"Why would you think that I'd let the Rooglewood Fairy Tale contest pass without the merest inclination of a new story spark?" I shoot back. "You of all people should know how susceptible I am to these things. Especially when they involve fairy tales."

"But you already have a Sleeping Beauty retelling in the works! Have you forgotten about Beyond the Thorns?"

"I know," I reply. "And I'm going to finish that one of these days. It's way too tempting for me to abandon it. Don't worry."

Little Writer lifts an eyebrow and does not look amused. "And just how do you plan on making this Sleeping Beauty story different?"

I dive right in. "Well, this one is going to be much shorter. I have to keep it under 20K, which I think I can do, since I managed the Beauty and the Beast contest entry in about 18K. But for this one, I'm going to go as upside-down as possible. We're going to make the Sleeping Beauty heroine hate spinning. Instead of getting just one prick on the finger, she is familiar with working with a spinning wheel on a daily basis, and she's clumsy, so she's pricked a lot."


"And then for the prince. Well, I figure we can give him the dreams. You know I found this quote from the Disney film that I think will work really nice. They say if you dream a thing more than once, it's sure to come true. I really like that. I think I can incorporate that. But not as a positive dream angle. Let's make it nightmares!"

"So now you're taking a jab at Disney?"

I grin. "Why not? Their movie's not that good anyway. The music -- fantastic. But they do need some help. Ooh! I can give the heroine a dog and call it Merryweather in honor of the three fairies!"

Little Writer groans. "Great. I always wanted a dog that could fly."

I choose to ignore that. "But we'll hook this up to the Beauty and the Beast story. It'll be set in the same kingdom, but about one year later. And that way, I can incorporate some steampunk kinda stuff in it. I had hot air balloons in that one. Can you imagine what more could grow from that?" I stop and my eyes grow wide. My dimple is rather pronounced because of my smile, and Little Writer knows that's a bad sign.

"Kiri, do I even want to know what you're thinking?"

"I could do a whole series of upside-down, steampunk-ish fairy tale retellings!"


I try to amend it. "Well, not right now. But later. First, I want to finish this. I want my Sleeping Beauty heroine to like inventing. That's how I'm getting more steampunk stuff into this. Not true steampunk, mind you. Just some light stuff. We can save the airships for later. Maybe for Rumplestiltskin. Can you imagine Rapunzel with a mechanical hairbrush? Or Thumbelina with a pocket watch?"

"Kiri, just no. Get off blogger. You're just wasting time now. Please. Go edit."

I sigh. I know my Little Writer just wants to help, and it's sometimes annoying to have him proven right. "Okay." I reluctantly exit out of blogger.

"Thank you." Little Writer disappears. 

But I'm too fired up to do what he wants me to do. I click open the Sleeping Beauty story again. "I'll come back to you, Hazel Tree," I whisper. 

Spindle Dreams.

"I'm in this too far now, Little Writer. The story's already named. There's no going back now."