Tag Archives: Fantasy

Lost At Sea Scavenger Hunt Stop #17

Welcome to the Lost At Sea Scavenger Hunt where we are helping the Kinsman people find a new home. If you’ve just found us, be sure to start the adventure at Stop #1, which is Jill Williamson’s blog. 
 
Collect all the clue words in order so you can enter to win the Kindle. If you want to enter to win the second Kindle, you’ll have to take a quiz at the end, so take your time and read each post carefully. The main prizes in the hunt are open to international entries. Individual author contests, however, might have different rules, so please read the parameters on each site. You have until Sunday night, February 19, at midnight, Pacific time to finish.
If you need help, or get lost along the way, click here for assistance.
 thumbnail_17-morgan-lostatseamapgraphic-1

Wilek felt good about the land in Adar-iyr, but Onika, his prophetess, had a long talk with Ela, the prophet of Parne from R. J. Larson’s novel Prophet. When the two women parted ways, Onika informed Wilek that the kinsman people could not stay in Adar-iyr, but she promised that they were close to their new home. They must trust the One God, Arman, to lead the way. So they followed the coast north until they reached the bustling metropolis of Stop #17, Word City, from Morgan Busse’s novel Tainted.

Welcome to my world! I’m a writer by day and a mother by night. I’m the author of the Follower of the Word series and the new steampunk series, The Soul Chronicles. My debut novel, Daughter of Light, was a Christy and Carol Award finalist. During my spare time I enjoy playing games, taking long walks, and dreaming about my next novel. Feel free to browse my blog while you’re here 🙂
 
Here’s a closer look at my novel Tainted. 
 
Tainted_Hi_ResKat Bloodmayne is one of the first women chosen to attend the Tower Academy of Sciences. But she carries a secret: she can twist the natural laws of science. She has no idea where this ability came from, only that every time she loses control and unleashes this power, it kills a part of her soul. If she doesn’t find a cure soon, her soul will die and she will become something else entirely.
 
After a devastating personal loss, Stephen Grey leaves the World City Police Force to become a bounty hunter. He believes in justice and will stop at nothing to ensure criminals are caught and locked up. However, when Kat Bloodmayne shows up in his office seeking his help, his world is turned upside down.
 
Together they search World City and beyond for a doctor who can cure Kat. But what they discover on the way goes beyond science and into the dark sphere of magic.

The Monster Inside of Us

A long time ago on a forum I followed someone asked if necromancy could ever be used for good. The moment I read that, I saw this young woman who had been hurt by her father’s excursions into necromancy. As the story grew, it changed from a fantasy to steampunk . The young woman’s father became a scientist and through his unscrupulous experiments, he corrupted his daughter’s soul. (To read more about what steampunk is, click here)

Tainted is the story of Kat, a young woman who is curious, smart, and secretly believes she is a monster deep inside. That idea is reinforced when—in fits of emotion—she starts fires or throws furniture around with her mind. She is desperately afraid she is going to hurt someone some day or even worse, kill someone. She sees herself as a bad person because of that and so she hides who she is while secretly looking for a cure.

I believe many of us can relate to Kat and have wondered at one point if we are monsters ourselves. There is something wrong—even broken—inside of us, and if people found out, they would hate us or be afraid of us. And because of that, we try everything we can to either hide the “monster” or find our own cure.

If you resonate with Kat’s story, then check Tainted out. And be watching for Awakened, Book 2 of The Soul Chronicles, coming soon!

CLUE! Write down this clue: praise
The next stop on our map is Stop #18, the sailing ship Meredith, on Serena Chase’s blog.
 
Before you move on, I am giving away a signed copy of Tainted to one lucky winner. To enter, head on over to my rafflecopter giveaway and check any option or all of them to enter (giveaway will run from 2/17-2/20). Thanks for visiting my blog. Enjoy the rest of the scavenger hunt!

Rafflecopter giveaway

You can order Tainted on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD or at your local bookstore
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Realm Makers 2015 Recap

Now that I’ve had enough rest for my brain to properly function again, I wanted to recap my time at Realm Makers while it’s still fresh on my mind :).

For those of you who don’t know what Realm Makers is, it is a conference for Christian writers of speculative fiction (fantasy, science fiction, time travel, steampunk, etc…). And not just book writers, but screen writers, manga writers, and even illustrators. This year was Realm Maker’s third year and wow has it grown since I first attended two years ago! One hundred fifty attendees, stellar teachers including David Farland, Rober Lipaurulo, and Jeff Gerke, and lots of great classes.

This year was a different year for me. Instead of going as an attendee, I was one of the teachers and mentors. And I loved it! I loved meeting one-on-one with budding writers and brainstorming with them, helping them with their character development or story arc, or just encouraging them on their writing journey.

I also loved teaching. I have been blessed with wonderful teachers in the past and I now I am in the position to pass on what I have learned. I taught a class on how to show the gospel through fiction without preaching and participated on the fight scene panel. Both were well received and it warms my heart knowing that I helped other writers.

Of course, one of the best parts of Realm Makers is the costume banquet. I don’t know of any other conference where you get to dress up as a favorite character or genre for dinner :).  Here are some of my pictures from that evening (along with other moments at Realm Makers):

David Farland and Morgan L. BusseDavid Farland and Me 🙂

Enclave Publishing AuthorsFellow Enclave Authors

teddi andme steampunkSteampunk!

where's waldo?I found Waldo!

fellow steampunkMore Steampunk!

critique partnersMe and My Critique Partners 🙂

Realm Makers 2015 was a blast! I can’t wait until I can go back.  And for those of you interested in my steampunk costume, next week I will be doing a post on how to build your own costume without breaking the bank. So stay tuned!

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 🙂

 

My Writing Process

A couple days ago I was invited by my friend Ralene Burke to blog about my writing process and what I’m working on. So I said sure, why not? I’m always curious about what my favorite authors are up to and I thought you might be the same. So here we go!

1) What am I working on?

If you don’t follow my Facebook page or my twitter, then you haven’t heard the news yet: I finally finished the rough draft for Heir of Hope, the final book in the Follower of the Word series. Wahoo! Yippee! *cue music and dancing*

I’ve been working on this book for almost a year and let me tell you, this is going to be one big book. It finished at 48 chapters (not including the epilogue) and at least 150,000 words (your average book is usually 80,000).

So what am I working on now? My rough drafts are usually the bulk of the story. In other words, I don’t do a lot of rewrites. The story is here, it just needs a bit of clean up. So that’s what I’m working on right now: I’m checking the pacing and continuity, adding description if it needs it, and anything else I find. I should be done in a month and then off it goes to my beta readers, then to my editor. Whew!

I don’t  have a release date yet, but as soon as I do, all of you will be the first to know 😉

 

2) How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I write fantasy, but my fantasy lacks the usual creatures and races that other fantasies contain: like elves, dragons, orcs, etc… Instead, in my world I focus on people who are born with special gifts and abilities. I ask myself why would people possess such gifts, like the ability to see inside the soul (Daughter of Light), and how would they use this power? What choices would they make?

My books are not YA (young adult) which also sets them apart from others in my genre. I write about deep, dark stuff, but not with all the graphic details. And my characters are adults, with adult issues, ideas, and desires.

My work has been compared to Terry Brooks’ Shannara series and Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series.

 

3) Why do I write what I do?

A lot of authors answer this question differently. Some absolutely love writing and can’t imagine doing anything else. Some write to tell a story, others write to explore issues.

I originally wrote because I had this story inside me. But as the years passed and the rejections came, I needed more of a reason. I didn’t know if I would ever publish this series, but I still wanted to write it. I wanted to leave this series as a legacy to my children. The Follower of the Word series is a reflection of my own faith: my fears, my doubts, and my exploration of what does it mean to really follow God?

I know any story I write will have bits of me inside it. And will probably have some element of the fantastic, too. That is who I am: a mixture of questions, faith, and imagination. That is what I write. That is probably what I will always write.

 

4) How does my writing process work?

I’ve went into deeper detail about my writing process (How I write a novel), but in a nutshell, here it is:

~I plot months to years in advance before writing a novel.

~Storyboard my book a couple days before I start writing (this is the outline I follow).

~Write rough draft (this takes the longest amount of time). I try to write 500+ words a day. Recently I was able to move that number up to 3,000 words a day, but that is hard to sustain with a family that wants dinner, laundry done, and mommy around 🙂

~Rewrite and edit (I’m fast at this).

~I have beta readers read the manuscript and give me their feedback.

~Work in any feedback.

~Turn manuscript in to my editor.

Of course, that’s only the beginning. Then there are all the edits from my editor, proofs, etc… before I finally hold the book in my hands. But as far as my own process, this is how I write my books.

***

 Thanks, Ralene, for inviting me to be a part of this blog hop. If you are looking for a freelance editor or advice on marketing, look her up (www.raleneburke.com).

And in celebration of finishing Heir of Hope, here is the blurb I worked up for the back cover:

The great city of Thyra has fallen and shadows spread across the country of Kerre. Rowen Mar, the last Truthsayer, is taken before the Shadonae. But the Shadonae are not who she thought they were. And now they want to claim her as their own.

Caleb Tala, former assassin and prince of Temanin, is now a Guardian of mankind. Exiled from his country, Caleb wanders the Great Desert in search of his mother’s past. Along with him are Captain Lore Palancar and Nierne, Thyrian scribe.

These are the last days of the Eldaran race. Rowen and Caleb must find their way along the dark path set before them by their ancestors: to heal what was wounded and love where hatred grows. But the road is narrow and the darkness beckons. If either of them fails, all will be lost…

And the human race will be no more.

To find out more about the Follower of the Word series, check out Daughter of Light, followed by Son of Truth.

A Spring in Your Step Blog Hop

A Spring in Your Step Blog Hop

Hi! Welcome to the Spring in Your Step Blog Hop. As part of this blog hop I will be giving away a $10 Amazon gift card (details down below)

So who is ready for spring to come? Tired of the snow and cold weather? What is your favorite part of spring?

I love flowers and gardens. The moment I don’t have to worry about frost, I’m at my local nursery picking out plants. This year I’m even more excited because we just moved into a new house with built in flower boxes, many flower beds, and a raised garden spot. So excited!

Along with gardening, I also love to bike. In my hometown we have a paved trail that runs the entire town. This is especially nice since I bike with my kids. There is nothing like a warm day with the wind in your face, racing along with your kids and enjoying the scenery.

So how about you? What do you look forward to the most in the spring? Getting outside? Barbequing? Planting flowers? Share in the comments. I would love to know!

Now for my giveaway for a $10 Amazon gift card: Rafflecopter Giveaway

And don’t forget to check out the rest of blogs along this hop for more gift cards, swag, and other prizes! Click here

Endings

There are good endings and there are bad endings.

For example: I was a huge fan of the TV series Merlin. I watched every episode, every season. In the series, Merlin was the servant of Arthur, but I knew who he would eventually become. As each season passed, I couldn’t wait for the final revelation: for Arthur to realize that it had been Merlin helping him all along and for both of them to lead Camelot together.

Spoilers (for anyone who hasn’t watched Merlin)…

They both died. Yep. Arthur found out who Merlin was, hated him (because Merlin possessed magic), but finally accepted him with his last breath. Merlin died too. And Guinevere lived on to rule Camelot alone.

WHAT?!?

That’s not what I was expecting. And that is not what I wanted! I was so upset that until this post, I have refused to talk about Merlin. Sigh.

Another example: LOST. Yes, I can see all of you shaking your heads. That’s right. LOST is another TV series I followed faithfully to the end. What was the island? Where did it’s power come from? Was it real or was it purgatory?

None of my questions were answered. Instead, the series ended with everyone in some kind of heaven looking back on their time on the island.

WHAT?!?

That was definitely not satisfying.

So now let me give you a good ending. I just finish Fullmetal Alchemist, a Japanese anime (yep, love anime). This story kept building and building up from the beginning. I was hanging on my seat. I knew the good guys had to win, but I didn’t see how it could happen. People were dying, making hard choices, losing loved ones.

It took all of season five to finish. But the ending was exactly as it should be (at least for me): gripping, bittersweet, and satisfying. It wrapped up all the threads. It was a happy ending, but that didn’t mean everyone lived, or were given their just reward. It ended just the way I was expecting (or perhaps hoping is a better word) and so much more.

As I turned off Fullmetal Alchemist, I knew I wanted to generate the feelings I was feeling right then in my readers when they finish Heir of Hope, the third and final book in my Follower of the Word series.

Heir of Hope

Friends, let me tell you this has been a difficult book to write. There is always darkness before the dawn, and there is a lot of darkness in this book. A lot of pain, a lot of sorrow.

But there is also hope, and a maturing of characters and relationships.

I am almost near the end, and I am tired (and so are my characters). I thought I would finish the rough draft next week, and that is not going to happen. Just a few days ago I wanted to throw my computer out the window and shout, “I’m never going to finish!”

But I will. I need to. I know what is going to happen, but I need to write it out and see it for myself.

So thank you for your patience. I don’t want an unsatisfying ending. I want one that grips you and stays with you, keeps you up at night thinking, and when you face something difficult in your everyday life, you think of Rowen, Lore, Caleb, and Nierne, and because they could go on, you can too.

I only have one chance to end Follower of the Word series and I want to end it well. I believe you will appreciate that when you open up Heir of Hope and read to the last page.

Leap into Books Blog Hop

Leap into Books

Hi! This week I am part of the Leap into Books Blog Hop. As part of this hop, each and every blog will be offering a giveaway, many that will involve books. So if you are a book lover, this is the blog hop for you!

As a book lover myself, I thought it would be fun to share a list of ten books (or series) that I love. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of my list for a $10 Amazon gift card so you can add to your own library 🙂

Now for my list. These books are like comfort food. When I want something to read and have nothing new, I grab one of these. I have read them over and over again. These books are old friends who live on my shelf (you know what I mean?).

1)   Anne of Green Gables. L. M. Montgomery’s books take me to a time and place filled with unique characters. If you haven’t read the series (past the first book), I would highly recommend you do.

2)   The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings/The Silmarillion. It was The Hobbit that first sparked my love for the fantasy genre. I also love The Silmarillion. Basically it’s the history book for anything Middle Earth.

3)   Pride and Prejudice. Personally I think this is the best romance written. Girl meets boy. Girl hates boy. Girl realizes she was wrong about boy. Boy does everything to win girl back. Love it!

4)   The Scarlet Pimpernel. I read this book for the first time a couple months ago and absolutely loved it. It takes place during the French Revolution (fascinating time period) and revolves around a mysterious man who, with the help of a group of young English noblemen, smuggles French nobility out of France.

5)   Jane Eyre. A darker tale of love, but beautiful as well. It is about a young woman who has to choose between the way of love and the way of virtue. She chooses to stand by her convictions. At the end of the book, she is finally free to marry the man she loves who by then has paid the price for his past wrongs. A wonderful book about enduring love.

6)   Mark of the Lion Series. Excellent three book series that takes place during the Roman time period right after the fall of Jerusalem. The story follows a young Jewish woman who is sold as a slave into a roman household. Great historical fiction.

7)   Star Wars: Heir to the Empire series. There are many Star Wars books out there written by many different authors, but my all time favorite is this first series written by Timothy Zahn. If you want to read Star Wars, start with this series.

8)   Harry Potter. I first began reading this series after the teens in my youth group were asking about Harry Potter. I love these books! J.K. Rowling has written an amazing world and deep characters.

9)   Sherlock Holmes. Yep, I love the man of deduction. It always fascinates me how Sherlock Holmes is able to solve each mystery by seeing what we all see, but in a different way. Classic mystery.

10)  Chronicles of Narnia. I could not end a post like this without mentioning C.S. Lewis and his stories about Narnia. I will say the books are better than the movies. So go read them.

So there’s my list. What are your favorite books, those whose covers are worn and pages are dirty, but you read time after time after time again? Please share in the comments. Maybe I’ll find a new love among your lists.

Now for my giveaway for a $10 Amazon gift card: Rafflecopter Giveaway

And don’t forget to check out the rest of blogs along this hop! Click here.