Tag Archives: Christian Fantasy

Trivia Facts about the Follower of the Word series

As the release date for Heir of Hope approaches, the final book in the Follower of the Word series, I thought it might be fun to share some of the more interesting facts behind the characters, the setting, and the plot. Enjoy!

*I started writing this series almost exactly eleven years ago. Wow!

*Daughter of Light was originally supposed to be a stand-alone novel. About halfway through the first draft, I realize there was a lot more to the story.

*I completely rewrote Daughter of Light four times (and that doesn’t include the two rewrites during the official editing process).

*Many of the places in the Follower of the Word series are based on real places I have visited including the Oregon Coast, the Rocky Mountains, and the Mojave Desert.

*When I could, I would explore a place to write a scene accurately. For example, for the scene outside Avonai in Daughter of Light at night I went for a walk on the beach in order to see what it would look like, sound like, smell like, feel like, especially to see how well a person could see during a full moon on the beach. Verdict? You can actually see pretty well 🙂

*Nierne, one of the main characters, originally came from a group of islands to the west. Somewhere I found the name Nierne and it meant “western islands”. Since then, I have never been able to find her name again online and she ended up in the Thyrian Monastery instead.

*Knowing the ending to my books is very important to me before I start writing. However, when I discovered Daughter of Light would be more than one book, I had no idea how I would end the series. Two years later, at a Women of Faith conference, I was sitting in an arena filled with thousands of women and I suddenly saw the ending. I grabbed a napkin (the only thing I could find) and started jotting down the ending that would eventually become Heir of Hope.

*When Daughter of Light was originally published, there was no series name. When Son of Truth came out, we decided we needed a name for this series. I had earmarked Follower of the Word for the title for the last book, but we decided it made a good series title instead. So that left me to figure out a name for the last book. I realized the main theme for the last book was hope, and Rowen carries the hope of both her people and mankind, and thus Heir of Hope was born.

*The cover for Heir of Hope is based on a scene from the story.

It’s been quite a journey and hard to believe it is almost finished (at least for me). I hope to someday revisit this world, perhaps in the form of a novella that might extend Caleb’s story, or another series that takes a look at the Nordic Wars, an world-altering event that precedes the Follower of the Word series.

Heir of Hope releases April 21st. In conjunction with the release, I will be throwing a Facebook party that night that will include giving away a couple signed copies of Heir of Hope and a complete, signed set of the Follower of the Word series in their new covers. Of course, you are all invited 🙂 Just click here to let me know you are coming!

Heir of Hope Nightmares

Guest Post by Fantasy Author Gillian Bronte Adams

I am excited to have Gillian Bronte Adams as a guest this week on my blog. She is a fellow fantasy writer and friend (and has the most gorgeous red hair!). She is here to share a snippet from her latest novel, Out of Darkness Rising, and one of the ideas behind her story, what if you never saw the sun? So without further ado, here is Gillian!

Out of Darkness Rising

The Sun Yet Rises

A little over a week ago, I could have sworn the dark of Mordor was descending upon us. I happened to glance out the window at work and watch the world turn from gray to black in a matter of seconds. Less than a minute later, it was pouring.

Had I not feared looking like too much of a dork, I might have given into the temptation to announce in a properly woeful voice that “Doom is upon us.” As it was, I merely whispered it to myself and cast baleful glances out the window.

For almost two weeks, a rainstorm had been camped out over my little town, and life was dim, gray, damp, and dreary. I would wake up tired, head in to work tired, slog through the mud at the barn tired, and try to plan my day around the weather only to be outsmarted at every turn. By the time I made it back home—tired—I was weary and dispirited.

Had the Lady of the Green Kirtle been present, I would have been all to ready to nod along and slip into a dull listlessness as I denied the very existence of the sun. Had Faramir appeared, full of dauntless hope that this darkness would not endure, I might have laughed—but it would have been a cheerless laugh, for the clouds and the gloom and the damp seemed here to stay.

More than anything, I wanted to see the sun.

For the villagers in my novella Out of Darkness Rising, it has been nearly a thousand years since anyone caught more than a glimpse of the sun through the heavy murk surrounding the Island. Bright sunlight, blue skies, and clear, crisp mornings are but a thing of legend, no less mythical than tales of a forgotten King. It was a key element of the story, but I wrote it in there without truly giving it much thought beyond the simple logistics.

It wasn’t until I experienced a taste of it (albeit a small one) that it truly struck home.

Can you imagine never seeing the sun?

Never stepping out into a brightness so cheerful it warms your spirit. Never feeling its heat bathing your skin. Never squinting before a light so true your eyes cannot take it in.

Light and darkness are not uncommon themes in Christian fantasy (or general market fantasy, for that matter) because they are not uncommon themes in Scripture. There are countless verses that reference light and darkness, but two of my favorites became theme verses for Out of Darkness Rising.

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” Isaiah 9:2 (NIV)

“God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, who no one has seen or can see. To Him be honor and might forever. Amen.” I Timothy 6:15b-16 (NIV)

Those verses seeped into my thinking as I was writing Out of Darkness Rising and came back to mind while I was bemoaning my measly two weeks of storm clouds. Then one afternoon, while I was curled up in my desk chair working on a project (i.e. staring pensively off into the distance) my brain registered what my eyes had already seen.

Sunlight.

And not peeking-through-the-clouds, soon-to-be-smothered sunlight either. It was honest-to-goodness, blazing glory of the sun! In no time at all, I abandoned my desk chair and my project and took to the trails to bask in the daylight.

Perhaps I am spoiled living where I do, where rainy days are not infrequent but sunny days are rarely far behind. Perhaps I should not be complaining. But the dreary, gray days seemed to sap the energy from my limbs and my mind, like I was stumbling through a thick fog for days on end. With the reappearance of the sun, I felt more alive than I had in the previous two weeks.

It was truly glorious thing!

And I couldn’t help being reminded of this scene from Out of Darkness Rising, when Marya catches her first glimpse of the sun.

“At his command, the dark mist covering the Loch fled, scattering before a warm breeze. Blue sky shone clear overhead, and for the first time in centuries, the villagers were able to behold the light of the sun. Light. Marya reveled in the wondrous sight, her unaccustomed eyes watering at the intensity. She took a deep breath and then another, filling her lungs with new, clean air.”

How about you? Can you imagine never seeing the sun?

Gillian Bronte Adams

Author Bio:

GILLIAN BRONTE ADAMS is a sword-wielding, horse-riding, coffee-loving speculative fiction author from the great state of Texas. During the day, she manages the equestrian program at a youth camp. But at night, she kicks off her boots and spurs, pulls out her trusty laptop, and transforms into a novelist. She is the author of Orphan’s Song, book one of the Songkeeper Chronicles, and Out of Darkness Rising. Visit Gillian online at her blog, Twitter, or Facebook page.

Signed Copies Giveaway

Goodreads Giveaway

Hi Everyone! In celebration of the soon-to-be released Heir of Hope and the new covers, I am holding a giveaway for one signed paperback copy of Daughter of Light and Son of Truth in their new covers!

To enter, head on over to goodreads.com and enter the giveaway. I have provided a link for each book:

Daughter of Light

Son of Truth

Enjoy!

Heir of Hope Cover Reveal

As you may have noticed, things have changed around my website. I am excited to reveal not only the new cover for Heir of Hope, but for all three books in the Follower of the Word series.

Why the new covers? My publisher decided to update Daughter of Light and Son of Truth so they matched Heir of Hope. Now the titles of each book are easier to see in thumbnail form and are definitely eye-catching. So without further ado, here they are:

Daughter of Light coverSon of Truth coverHeir of Hope coverPre-order is now available for the paperback version of Heir of Hope. If you are interested, here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/Heir-Hope-Follower-Morgan-Busse

There was a glitch on the ebook pre-order, but as soon as it is available, I will let you all know. Thank you, everyone, for your patience as you waited for the last book in the Follower of the Word series. This book is definitely worth the wait!

Draven’s Light Cover Reveal

I am so excited to share with you the cover reveal for one of my favorite author’s latest novels! For those of you who are unfamiliar with Anne Elisabeth Stengl, she writes Christian fantasy with a fairytale feel (although none of her Tales of Goldstone Wood are actual fairytale retellings but stories from her own imagination). I love her work and I hope you will check out her stories. Now, onto the reveal for Draven’s Light!

In the Darkness of the Pit

The Light Shines Brightest

Drums summon the chieftain’s powerful son to slay a man in cold blood and thereby earn his place among the warriors. But instead of glory, he earns the name Draven, “Coward.” When the men of his tribe march off to war, Draven remains behind with the women and his shame. Only fearless but crippled Ita values her brother’s honor.

The warriors return from battle victorious yet trailing a curse in their wake. One by one the strong and the weak of the tribe fall prey to an illness of supernatural power. The secret source of this evil can be found and destroyed by only the bravest heart.

But when the curse attacks the one Draven loves most, can this coward find the courage he needs to face the darkness?

Coming May 25, 2015

Draven's Light

Read an excerpt from Draven’s Light! dravenslightnovel

Want a chance to win an advance copy of Draven’s Light? Then follow the link to Anne’s rafflecopter giveaway!

Already know you want to ready it? Pre-order Draven’s Light today!

Anne Elisabeth StenglANNE ELISABETH STENGL makes her home in North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a kindle of kitties, and one long-suffering dog. When she’s not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and practices piano, painting, and pastry baking. She is the author of the critically-acclaimed Tales of Goldstone Wood. Her novel Starflower was awarded the 2013 Clive Staples Award, and her novels Heartless, Veiled Rose, and Dragonwitch have each been honored with a Christy Award.

To learn more about Anne Elisabeth Stengl and her books visit: www.AnneElisabethStengl.blogspot.com

Book Giveaways

Many of the authors at Enclave Publishing are doing Goodreads giveaways this month (including my own book). Here is a list of the books and links to their giveaways. Hopefully you find some great reads listed here!

Daughter of LightDaughter of Light (Follower of the Word #1) by Morgan L. Busse

Crosswind

Crosswind (Sark Brothers, #1) by Steve Rzasa

A Time to Die

A Time to Die (Out of Time Series, #1) by Nadine Brandes

Firebird

Firebird by Kathy Tyers

By Darkness Hid

By Darkness Hid (Blood of Kings, #1) by Jill Williamson

To Darkness Fled (Blood of Kings, #2) by Jill Williamson

From Darkness Won (Blood of Kings, #3) by Jill Williamson

Never to Live

Never to Live by Just B. Jordan

Orphan's Song

Orphan’s Song (The Songkeeper Chronicles, #1) by Gillian Bronte Adams

Failstate: Nemesis

Failstate: Nemesis by John Otte

The Restorer

 The Restorer (Sword of Lyric Series, #1) by Sharon Hinck

A Star Curiously Singing

A Star Curiously Singing by Kerry Nietz

– See more at: http://www.enclavepublishing.com/enclave-books-giveaway/#sthash.7cP6wOUg.dpuf

Heir of Hope, Book 3

Heir of HopeMany of you are anxiously awaiting the final book in the Follower of the Word series, so I thought I would catch you up on what I know and what I can share.

First, I just spent the last three weeks finishing the main edits for Heir of Hope. Whew! My brain is tired! But the final story is so much better now 🙂

Tomorrow I turn in the manuscript.

So what happens next?

Micro edits. That’s where my editor and I polish up every single sentence. We hope to be done with that by the first week of November. Then I’m pretty much done until the galleys arrive, the final proof before the story heads off to the printers.

The cover is also in the works right now and I should be seeing something this month (can’t wait!).

Then pre-release stuff (like early reviews and possible endorsements, along with a cover reveal).

Then finally it will be here for all of you to read. Having just finished the book again this afternoon, I can tell you Heir of Hope is definitely worth the wait. It has been an emotional journey for me and there were days I wasn’t sure I would ever finish this book. But here it is and almost done.

So there you go. Less than six months to the release date (barring any unforeseen circumstances). In the meantime, stay tuned for more details such as the cover, blurbs, and other exciting things. And if you want to really make sure you don’t miss anything, consider signing up for my newsletter.

Thank you for being such great readers and for your patience 🙂

 

Book Review: Oath of the Brotherhood

Oath of the BrotherhoodOath of the Brotherhood by C.E. Laureano is a Celtic fantasy and the first I’ve read of its kind.

The story revolves around Conor Mac Nir, a young nobleman gifted in music in a magical sort of way. When he plays the harp, he is able to draw on magic. But he’s not the only one with magical abilities. Aine is a noblewoman, healer, and able to see the future, though not always so clearly.

When the clans go to war, something deeper is paving the warpath, an ancient magic that wants to eradicate those who follow Balus. Conor and Aine race to find the harp of Meallachan, an instrument that under Conor’s power can turn back the tide of evil…if he can find it in time.

Oath of the Brotherhood was a very different kind of fantasy compared to the usual medieval fare. The names, the places, and the feel of the book were definitely Celtic in nature. As a fan of anything Celtic, I very much enjoyed this story.

The only thing I found hard were all the names and places at the beginning of the story, so it made it a bit of a slow read until I had the people and places firmly fixed in my mind.

Oath of the Brotherhood is the first book in The Song of the Seare series, so it ends with more to come.

I recommend Oath of the Brotherhood for those who enjoy fantasy.

 

*I was given a free copy in exchange for an honest review of the book

Blog Hop: The Seahorse Legacy

The Seahorse Legacy

Hi everyone! Today I have the pleasure of participating in The Seahorse Legacy blog hop. The Seahorse Legacy is the third book in the Eyes of E’veria series, but it is the first book in a mini series within the series.

Let me say this: I really enjoyed this book. It is a pirate fantasy with a young lady knight thrown in. Curious? Just read my review below and don’t forget to enter both raffles for a chance to win books and pirate prizes!

Review:

The Seahorse LegacyCazien is the captain of the Seahorse Pirates and holder of his family’s Legacy, a legacy that gives him special abilities linked to the sea and binds him to a secret oath, one that chose his bride for him hundreds of years before he was born. Of course, being a pirate, he doesn’t like to be told what to do, or in this case, who to marry.

Eirelle is the first woman to ever be knighted in Everia, an honor she has desired ever since she was a child. But little does she know her allegiance is owed to another country, one bound by marriage: her marriage.

Everything is at stake for Cazien. He must woo and wed Eirelle (or just grab her and run) in order to fulfill his family’s oath. If he doesn’t wed her, not only will he lose his abilities through the seahorse legacy, the people of his island country will be captured and all of Everia will be at risk.

But how do you get a pirate to do what he doesn’t want to do?

I loved The Seahorse Legacy. I also loved Serena’s first two books (check out my reviews here: The Ryn and The Remedy), but I have to say I liked this one a little more. What can I say? I’m more of a pirate lover than a knight lover :). Both Cazien and Erielle are mixed characters: good, but flawed. And I liked that.

I also loved the connection Cazien has with the sea. As a sea-loving woman, I would love to have his abilities, or to even sail on his ship.

This is the first book in a two book series, so it does end without everything resolved. But that only makes me want the next book now!

***

Here are the links to The Seahorse Legacy:

Amazon

Goodreads

And don’t forget to enter both raffles for a chance to win The Seahorse Legacy and other prizes!

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