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."

Friday, June 19, 2015

Water Princess, Fire Prince - Interview and Cover Reveal

My good friend Kendra is publishing another book! How that wonderful girl manages to give us so many books so quickly I'll never know, but she is an amazing authoress. 

Today, I have the great pleasure of participating in Kendra's cover reveal for Water Princess, Fire Prince. I know you all are eager to see the cover, but I must needs post an interview first. Just be patient, folks. *winks*


Ah, my dear Kendra, what originally gave you the inspiration for this story? Any specific pictures that spurred the plot onward?

The story first came to me in the shower, in the form of the random thought, "Hey, wouldn't it be cool if I were to blink and suddenly find myself under a waterfall? I could be a Waterfall Princess!"

As for visual inspiration, this book was mostly plotted by the time that I discovered Pinterest, and skimming down my Rizkaland Pinterest board, I'm not seeing anything that really influenced the plot. Well, there's this pin ... 

{source} Clara likes rewording this quote.

Now, let's ask her brilliant characters (Clara and Andrew) a question. What's the most important thing you've learned on this journey? The most practical thing?

Clara: I'd say the most important thing I've learned is that I don't have to do it on my own. It's not the end of the world to have people relying on me, because I can rely on them right back, most of the time.

Andrew: I'd say the most practical thing I've learned is how to defend myself. It was rather useful, what with the war and all that.

This question is for Kendra, Clara, and Andrew: What is the best way to spend an evening after a long day of adventuring?

Clara: Curled up with a good book.

Andrew: With a good, homecooked meal.

Me: Good book and good food.

I really like how the common thread in that last question was food and books. I approve immensely. 

And now on to the cover reveal...


Ain't it purty? *grins* I won't gush.

About the book:
When the Lady Dragon does come,

Hold fast, do not fear, do not run.
Your Water Princess will fight,
Fire Prince will set all to right.
Each shall come from a Fall,
Their union will save you all.

Despite the fact that she's on track for competing in the Olympics, and he's practically raised his younger brothers since they lost their mom in a car accident, Clara Mandras and Andrew Stevenson are pretty much normal teens. They have normal hopes, normal dreams, and they live in a normal world.

All this is torn away from them when they are thrust into another world and declared Water Princess and Fire Prince. With no experience ruling a country, meeting each other for the first time, and being expected to fight the Lady Dragon – an evil sorceress plaguing the world of Rizkaland – Clara and Andrew are underprepared and inexperienced. Unless they learn to work together despite their standing opposition, Rizkaland's hope will be lost. 

What is to come will change their lives forever.

Where can you go to learn more about this book? I'm so glad you asked!

Check out Kendra's blog for more information on the blog tour for Water Princess, Fire Prince. Also, be sure to browse the following links! Water Princess, Fire Prince is all over the place! 

~ Available for kindle preorder:  $2.99 the 19th and 20th ONLY (at which point I’ll put it up to its official price of 3.99)

About the lovely authoress:
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,

Monday, June 1, 2015

QQ: Not Heroes

My good friend, Melody, hosts a Quote Queste every month in which we writers get to enter a bit of writing based on a quote of her choosing. Even though this has been around for a bit, this is actually the first QQ I've participated in. Be sure to visit her blog to read more about QQ!

This snippet is from a story of mine that's still kinda in the works. Doesn't have all the kinks ironed out yet. But I am so insanely excited to write this book, and when I saw what Melody had posted for this month's inspiration for QQ (picture below), my thoughts immediately turned to this story. For those who are interested, it's called The David Team, but any more information will have to be found via this link


I rubbed my hand across the gun slowly. Even if I hadn't been looking at it, I could tell where each and every scar lay.

Isaac must have been watching me for I had not been pensive for long before my weapon spoke to me.

“Wake up, Johnny-Boy. It'll be alright.”

A small smile tugged at the corner of my mouth, but I didn't have the heart to let it grow fully.

Preliminary mission failed, Isaac switched tactics.

“Hear me, oh heroes!” the overhead light thundered. “Be ye of good courage and faith!”

It did the trick. I laughed, Drew laughed – even Cyril laughed. Alpha Richards was the only one who jumped. With a scowl, he turned on the troublemaker.

“Blast you, Isaac! I'm never going to get used to that!”

Isaac only spread his hands out in an innocent gesture. “Why accuse me? It's not my fault that the light has words of wisdom to impart on us!”

Alpha muttered something under his breath, but resolutely turned back to his weapons stash. Already, he'd put together a number of grenades that we'd be using during the mission. The vigorous training in using those and other explosives were now second nature to my fingers, but I still hated using them if I could help it. For a reason I could not explain, any mention of something exploding set my heart racing and my stomach hurting.

Even now, looking back to my small firearm, the only firearm the team liked to entrust to me, I still could not feel comfort. This gun had saved my life before, and I was certain it would save me again.

I hadn't noticed Drew walking over to me until his hand was on my shoulder. “Jonathan, are you okay? This is going to be the same as every other mission. Don't worry about it.”

I could only stare at the gun. “Am I doing the right thing?”

Drew cocked his head. “What do you mean?” He kept his voice low so that we wouldn't have to share the conversation with the rest of the men in the room.

“This.” I shook the gun a little, to emphasize my point.

Drew nodded. I didn't have to say much to make him understand – he was a homeschooler, after all. Perhaps the skill of quick understanding was part of their basic cirriculum. “We're not using these for fun, Jonathan,” he said. “We're using them to save people.”

“But at the expense of killing others?” I turned to him.

Drew's hazel eyes were steady. “Every one of the men and women coming against us knows what they fight for. They've made their choice. Nothing we can do will reverse that.”

I knew that, but somehow hearing it out loud made the argument seem lessened in my mind. My eyes fell back onto the gun. I had rubbed it so cleanly that I could now see part of my reflection in the side. “What would David have done?”

“What would Jesus have done?” Drew countered softly. “Jonathan, He died for those people we're trying to save. Some of them don't know how much He loves them. Shouldn't we give all to give them a second chance? Shouldn't we risk our lives to give them hope and a promise?”

“I don't regret that.”

“I didn't think you did.” He jostled my elbow. “This team was your idea anyway.”

{QQ Inspiration}
I continued to stare at my reflection. There was something haunting about my eyes, the jagged scar from a previous mission stale on my cheek, the skin pale from too much time underground.

“How did we get mixed up in this, Drew?”

He gave a wry grin. “God knew we needed to be a part of it.”

“But we're just kids. We're not supposed to be heroes. Alpha, Cyril... the others – they're all older. They know how to handle stuff like this.”

“And that's why we're not going out there alone, Jonathan.” Drew took both of my shoulders in his hands and turned him to face me. “We may be young, but God has gifted us with the talent to serve Him in this way. You have proved yourself worthy of your spot on the David Team again and again.”

“And your brain has helped almost every part of this mission.”

Drew shrugged. “I wouldn't say every part, but I like tinkering where I can. The point is, we're here because God placed us here. I know it's big and scary, but God knew we could handle it. I don't mean to sound boastful, but even though we're not as old and as experienced as some of the other members of the team, we can still make a huge impact. God's using us to bring people to Him. It's awesome just to think about, and I mean the awesome that just makes your mouth drop and your mind melt in an inspired mush. God had this all planned. And I couldn't ask for a better team than this.”

I grasped his shoulder in return with my free hand. “And neither could I.”

“Then let's go save lives.”

Drew hadn't spoken. Confused, we both dropped our gazes to stare at the suddenly loquacious barrel of my gun.

Isaac only grinned.

God bless! 
P.S. This quote is actually from May's QQ, and I'm kinda late in posting, but better late than never, right? I'm looking forward to what Melody's planning for June's QQ!