Friday, March 23, 2018

The 5-Part Writing Special, Part 4: Characters // Villain

So, today....I'm afraid we have the dreaded side character post.  

Personally, I kind of looked forward to it, as I have quite a number of characters, BUT I knew I'd have to narrow it down to the mainest side characters....and that would be annoying and sad and cause me to choose favorites and actually admit some have more place in the story than I also dreaded it...but it was good for me.

Introduce your side characters, explain what makes them unique, and perhaps include their relationship to the MC.

Wisdom Ravencroft
West Band Warrior // kind-hearted // knows everyone and their uncle // Marywyn's best friend // everyone's best friend, actually // praises the Crowned in every situation

Rinn Juniah
Royal Blood // doesn't act royal // West Band Warrior // chivalrous // gentleman // helps anyone who needs help // talks to his horse like it understands him // maybe it does

Princess Connaven
Royalty // knows it // knows everything // actually knows very little // no one likes her // the feeling is mutual // desperately wants a friend // but won't admit it // doesn't want a waiting woman

Duren Blackburn
Captain of the West Band // hasn't spoken a word in over a year // uses his fiddle to communicate // a great swordsmen // scars // people are afraid of him // kindhearted

Queen Moreno
Has control of everything // has multiple plans up her highly-decorated sleeves // can burn you alive just by looking at you // loves her family // and dancing // and pretty writing utensils

Rayn Hetherin
Second in Command of the West Band // likes reading // eager to help // likes reading // has quite a sweet tooth // likes reading // has a head for strategy // Marywyn's sword teacher

Nahale and Ondore
inseparable brother and sister // he's quiet and she's commanding // golden haired // travel a lot together // can disappear in plain sight // martial artists // unofficial bodyguards of Marywyn

Jaran Anaheim
West Band Warrior // has the fastest horse in the world // sass-master // fearless // always ready for adventure // can't sit still // can't keep her mouth shut

Mithrin Roderkar
Captain of the Guard // intentionally mysterious // powerful warrior // proud // loves a good practical joke // madly in love with the Princess // can't stand Marywyn

used to be a thief // now works in a bakery // turned over a new leaf // medieval parkour // horrible manners // rough exterior // devoted friend // cooks a mean cupcake // flour everywhere

Tach the Minstrel
won't shut up // travels the world playing his lute // acts like he knows everything // is extremely annoying // somehow you can't help but like him

Maxin Anaheim
Crown Warrior to the King // noble // greying hair // has dedicated his life to the King and his safety // wife died young // a sad story // still finds reasons to smile // adopts Marywyn

Provide snippets from your WIP for each side character (can include the villain).

Wisdom Ravencroft
"She's still singing?" my escort asked, his voice suddenly rough and biting.  "They never learn, do they, those Chosen?"
The other guard laughed.  "I'm betting two more days before she gives up.  Coulton thinks it'll be another week, though.  I'm starting to think I won't win this wager.  She seems to be quite the pious one."
Poor Wisdom.  How brave she was to sing in such a place!

Rinn Juniah

In an instant, Rinn was gone, throwing me the reins and running into the crowd without so much as a word of instruction.  A few terrifying moments later, he returned, dragging the goat by her horns and holding out a calming hand to Nessus, who yipped at the stranger, his tail wagging in excitement.
"Help me down!" I flapped the reins.  "I should watch my goats, not you!"  The sight of a warrior half-dragging a goat while a dog slobbered on his boots would have made me laugh if I wasn't on the back of a very tall horse.  I held out a hand to Rinn, praying I didn't look too scared.  "Please get me down!"
"Alright, miss, just wait a minute.  This girl will run off again if I let her go."  Rinn pulled the nanny towards his horse, and she screamed angrily at him, her bleats joining the chaos of the market traffic.  How Rinn could be so calm right now was beyond me.

Princess Connaven

Conn pulled her horse to a stop, eying the surrounding riders.  I tried to loosen my grip around her waist, but Freckles swished his tail and I immediately decided against it.  Falling off would only make the situation worse.
When one helmeted rider kicked his mount forward, Conn threw her head up and turned to him with only one quick intake of breath.  "I am Connaven, Princess of Raybir, come to speak with the Ristorian King on terms of battle.  You will take me to him."  She was not a wordsmith, nor was she as stern and commanding as her mother, but her words rang with truth and that authority all Royalty seemed to possess.  I could feel her heart beating through my death-grip-embrace, and I knew, despite her proud words, she was afraid.

Duren Blackburn

Duren's eyebrows arched upwards, and he touched the hem of my sleeve, tracing the edge of the brown fabric.  I stared, confused, and glanced to Wisdom for an explanation.  What did he mean?
"He's asking if you're a villager?" Wisdom glanced at her captain, her tone wondering if she had guessed correctly.
He nodded, wordlessly, and slowly raised his head, his grey eyes sad.  If he could speak, he surely would have apologized for all the confusion.

Queen Moreno
"You do not make decisions here in Raybir, and you certainly do not tell your Queen what to do!"  Moreno stood in her anger and concentrated all her fury on my, her words as cold as water in winter.  "Just because you have a sword, little Windborne, does not mean you control the world.  You come here, telling lies, in hopes to get some honor, some recognition, some money, perhaps.  But I see through you.  I know the truth behind your lies.  And there's nothing you can do about it."

Rayn Hetherin

"How do I pray?"
"Who are you praying to?"
Rayn was silent.  Then, "I am praying to One who will not forgive me.  It will fall on deaf ears."
It was all I could do to not grab his hair and give him a good shake.  Was he not listening to anything we said?

Nahale and Ondore

When we stopped for lunch by a small stream, Maxin finished Nahale's disguise.  The water pulled away the trimmings of his golden hair, and a tear slid down my cheek as I stared at the finished, ragged look.  Nahale was not in the least bothered.  He cheerfully applied the razor to his cheeks, and tugged a cap over his shorter hair.  "That's that," he whistled.  "Now they'll never know I am me!"
"Who I am," Maxin corrected, absently.
"They'll never know that I am, in actuality, myself," Nahale offered a bow.
Ondore grabbed my elbow, pulling me further away from the fight.  With the hood of her dark cloak up, hiding her hair, she was practically invisible in the shadows.  "This way," she said, her voice barely above a whisper, yet undeniably a command.  I knew better than to argue and let her find the safest escape route.

Jaran Anaheim

"Hey, Landin, who do you have here?"
The bright voice startled the man, and he spun on his heel, nearly colliding with me as he turned to face a tall woman, dressed in warrior's armor.
"Who's the redhead?" she pointed at me with her sharp chin.  "A new girlfriend?  I never imagined the day would come when I would see you with a villager.  I guess they're not below you after all.  Who would have thought?"
I winced.  Who would have thought that a warrior and a villager could be insulted in the same breath?
"Close that mouth, Miss Anaheim, before I make you!" Landin growled, his right hand drifting towards his sword.  I did not envy the girl one bit for the trouble she was about to find herself in.
"One whistle from me, and my Captain fights you," Jaran grinned, apparently not in the least afraid of the man or his threats.  She put her hands on her hips and narrowed her eyes, a smile growing on her face.  "And once my father hears about it, you'll get another beating.  I would choose your actions wisely if you wish to keep your head on your shoulders.  Now who's the girl?"

Mithrin Roderkar

I paced back and forth, while Mithrin stood by the table, attempting to look calm.  A faint twitch at the corner of his mouth displayed his exasperation with the situation.
"I think I may just take this matter into my own hands," he said at last, breaking the silence.  "Clearly you are not able to solve this dilemma on your own."
The last thing we wanted was his help, but Conn smiled at him, encouraging him.  I directed a frown at the warrior, which he ignored.

"Oh, I'm not afraid of dying.  It'll be nice to be with the Crowned, in a place where I will never lack any good thing.  But I haven't done much good on this earth, you know.  I kind of would like to get a few years to praise Him here, and tell others about how He has saved me.  He knows best, though, so I'll not complain."

Tach the Minstrel

The wordsmith smiled faintly.  "I don't think I'll die yet, though I sort of wish I would pass out so the pain would go away.  You'll do something about that, won't you?  I guess you are good at this sort of thing, if you were the one called to take care of me.  It's not too bad, is it?" he continued, as I examined the wound.  "You don't think I'll die from it, do you?  That was a fight though, wasn't it!  Did anyone grab my lute?  Did Duren get away?  I hope no one else got hurt, though I wouldn't be surprised.  How long have you been a healer, Marywyn?  I never would have thought it of it, but here you are."
"Peace!" Rayn ordered, making as if to get up from his chair.  "Let Marywyn do her work in silence!"
"My apologies, Marywyn!  I hope I haven't been distracting you too badly.  I am sorry..."

Maxin Anaheim

From behind me, Maxin uttered something I couldn't make out.  When I turned to him, an eyebrow raised, he smiled apologetically.  "I need to have a talk with that fool, Landin."
"You think this was his doing?"
"When you get to be my age, Marywyn, you just get to the point where you know everything."  A small smile twisted his lips.  "Don't worry, I'll take care of it."
I touched the sword hilt at my side.  "Let me know what you find out."

Which of your side characters is closest to the MC?

Wisdom.  She took the time to sit and talk with Marywyn and comfort and encourage her.  She truly cared, from the moment they first met, about Marywyn, even if she was just a stranger. If you are ever in need anything, Wisdom will help.

How do the good guys work together as a team?

Marywyn panics.  Wisdom prays.  Nahale stands in the shadows and looks cool.  Mithrin announces his plan.  Rayn insults the plan.  Tach tries to convince everyone to do what Mithrin says, and Ondore argues right back for Rayn.  Connaven whines that they're all going to die and Jaran cracks a stupid joke.  Lavern is the only who laughs. Maxin rolls his eyes at kids these days.  Then Duren points at everyone with his fiddle bow and they all rush to do what they think he was trying to tell them.

It somehow works.

How do they clash with each other?

*clears throat*
Just read the previous answer.

Describe your antagonist/villain in 3 words.

Power Doesn't Satisfy

Why is your villain bad?

Moreno thinks she's been wronged, and would argue that she's deprived and misunderstood and hated, and just trying to get what she deserves.  Deep down in her heart, she knows what she's doing is wrong, but she tries to silence that inner conscience by lying to herself and others (and even killing those who tell her the truth).  After telling herself over and over that the ends justify the means, and that since she's "making things right" she can do whatever it takes to get that done, she's started to fully believe it.

Even if "making things right" means starting a world-wide war, killing a bunch of innocent people, and assassinating those who know her true plans.


The other villains have different motives...but this tag is focusing on Queen Moreno.  Maybe they'll get spotlighted sometime later.

Is the villain an “I work alone” sort of person, or the kind who has a ton of minions?

Queen Moreno keeps the deepest, darkest parts of her plan to herself, but she has lots of servants, spies, traitors, and friends who carry out her bidding to get things done, be it assassinations, writing false letters, or simply keeping an eye on her enemies and looking for things they can use to their advantage.

How does your villain walk and talk?

Queen Moreno is everything a queen should be - graceful, regal, beautiful, the whole nine yards.  She is calm and collected, with elegant clothes, and a commanding voice.  She is every inch of Royalty.

What are the villain’s main mannerisms that define him/her?

Calm, decisive, and resourceful.

With the occasional shouting and demanding when things get really out of hand.

So do you like my characters?????  I've loads more to share, but I don't want to overwhelm y'all.  Just know that this is not every single character who has lots of page time.  You will discover more folks as you read the trilogy.  But these are the mainest main characters.

Links will be updated as available: Sarah, Gray, Faith, Keturah, Evan, Lila, Snaps, Jem, Catherine.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Cover Reveal!

I'm back, and I have some really exciting news!  Tricia Mingerink (author of the Blades of Acktar) is getting ready to release her next book...and I have the cover reveal and the release date and all sorts of juicy information!
Some people might make you scroll down a little more to see the cover
I'm nice.
Wow.  Just wow.  That cover...
If you're not that excited yet, here's a bit of information about the book:

A prince cursed to sleep.
A princess destined to wake him.
A kingdom determined to stop them.
 High Prince Alexander has been cursed to a sleep like unto death, a curse that will end the line of the high kings and send the Seven Kingdoms of Tallahatchia into chaos. With his manservant to carry his luggage and his own superior intelligence to aid him, Alex sets off to find one of the Fae and end his curse one way or another.
A hundred years later, Princess Rosanna learns she is the princess destined by the Highest King to wake the legendary sleeping prince. With the help of the mysterious Daemyn Rand, can she find the courage to finish the quest as Tallahatchia wavers on the edge of war?
One curse connects them. A hundred years separate them. From the rushing rivers of Tallahatchia’s mountains to the hall of the Highest king himself, their quests will demand greater sacrifice than either of them could imagine. 

Seems like fairy-tale retellings are becoming quite the thing, and I think I'm inclined to see why...they can be quite exciting!!
When can we read this?
Don't fret, it's only coming out in three more years.
*checks information*
May 28, 2018
I repeat
May 28, 2018
Start saving up, guys!  I think this'll be a good one!

Tricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn’t writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country.
You can connect with her on FacebookPinterestGoodreadsTwitterInstagram, and her blog.
To make things even more exciting, Tricia Mingerink is going to be co-hosting a blog tour from May 22 to 28 with Sarah Addison-Fox to celebrate the release of both of their latest books. Her next book Dissociate releases May 22. More details about blog tour will be coming in April.

The 5-Part Writing Special, Part 3: The Main Character

Below you may find the third installment of our March 5-Part Writing Special.  Today is all about my main character, Marywyn Windborne.

(Okay, so funny story - I forgot today was Friday, and as I went to check my blogger feed, I noticed the top one was....a post for my special.  And I was just like what in the world girls, it's not even Friday - that's tomorrow...oh....wait....  *frantically hopes over to publish post*
So yeah.  I forgot it was Friday, lol)

Introduce your Main Character(s):

Marywyn Windborne // red hair // villager // flowers // simplicity // kindness

How are the goals of the main character and the villain

Marywyn just wants to be left alone.  However, for some reason, lots of people are trying to kill her.  So she begins to fight back to protect herself.  And honestly, things might have eventually simmered down, except Marywyn then stumbled onto some evil plans.  And she couldn't just let the villain go ahead and start a bunch of off she goes to stop the villain before other people get hurt.

If the villain had just left Marywyn alone at the beginning, none of this would have happened...but no...

What motivates your MC?

Death.  It can be very motivating.

Villain: *tries to kill her*
Marywyn:  Well, look at that, I better do something before I get killed.
Villain:  *tries to start a war*
Marywyn:  That's not going to happen.  I better stop this before everyone else gets killed.

What lie does your MC believe in?

Marywyn believes that things will just settle down and eventually get better.  She thinks that if she just does nothing, eventually the attempts on her life will stop, the villain will leave her alone, and she can just be forgotten.  She thinks that the "mistake" will sort itself out, and all the danger will go away.  Marywyn believes that she has no part of this war, that she's unimportant, and has nothing to give in all this.

What is one trait the MC disapproves of in his/herself?

Marywyn is not a brave person, and she hates her fear.  She wishes she were brave, but at the slightest appearance of danger all words leave her mouth, her limbs freeze, and she can think of nothing but fear and death.  Even in daily life, she is cautious and avoids anything scary - great heights, strange horses, dark corners, and speaking with strangers.

What does the MC love about him/herself?

She is quite proud of her green thumb.  She loves gardening and making things grow, and is quite good at it.

What is your MC’s greatest strength and weakness?

When it gets right down to it, I think Marywyn's greatest strength is her loyalty to duty.  As she journeys through the pages of the trilogy, she faces many struggles, but in the end, despite fear, despite danger, despite how many are against her, she does what must be done, be it fight for the Princess, gallop a horse, or speak before great armies.  She may not like it, or she may even be scared of it, but she'll do it.

And that can also be a weakness.  She'll put herself in great danger if she feels that better good would come of it.  It might be reckless, it might be foolishness, it might not even be needed in the end - but if she thinks it has to be done, she'll do it, right then and there.

But that being said, her greatest weakness is likely her fear.  She has loads of it.  She fears doing new things, scary things, dangerous things, you name it.  It can often overrule her sense of duty.  It can silence her when she needs to talk.  It can send her babbling when she needs to be silent.  It can freeze her body when she needs action.  It can send her running when she needs to stand.

What does your MC like to do when they’re bored?

Marywyn likes to go outside and do something.  Because she's a poor reader, she's never been one to just sit around and read or anything like that.  She's used to going outside and weeding the garden, or tending to the animals, or doing other things useful.  So basically, if she's bored, she likes to go and get some work done.

What does the MC look like?  (Bonus points for picture)

Marywyn has always been a red-head (though the shades change from vibrant red, to just a faint, brownish-red). 

Then I came across this picture and knew: Marywyn also has freckles.

In the first book, she wears a rough, homespun brown most of the time, but as she works in the Royal City and starts traveling, she buys and otherwise acquires nicer, more colorful clothing.

How is your MC similar to and different from you?

Heh heh.  I used to think Marywyn and I were vastly different.

Marywyn loves gardening.  I stink at it.
Marywyn doesn't like horses.  I love them.
I can read (and enjoy it).  Marywyn struggles with it and doesn't read much.
I can play a variety of instruments.  Marywyn doesn't play anything.

But then I got to thinking, and while we may not have the same likes/dislikes, we both are similar in other ways.

We both would rather be left alone to our normal, every-day things.  We don't have this "wanderlust" attitude, and we certainly don't aspire to be heroic.  We prefer the simple things.  And we both like goats and children and talking to friends and being outside.

So what do you think of Marywyn?  Would you like to invite her over for tea?  Maybe chat about gardening, adventures, or spoiled princesses... 

Links will be updated as available: Sarah, Gray, Faith, Keturah, Evan, Lila, Snaps, Jem, Catherine.

Friday, March 09, 2018

The 5-Part Writing Special, Part 2: World/Setting

Welcome everyone, for the second round!  I'm quite glad you came back.  :)  (Even though my worldbuilding abilities stink.)

Because my worldbuilding is so poor, I've limited this post to the kingdom of Raybir (which is where the story starts off, and where I've done the most worldbuilding).

What would we immediately notice upon stepping into your storyworld?  (What would stand out the most?)

The colors.  I'm not sure if that is what stands out for everyone, but it's what stands out for Marywyn, and since I've been looking at the world through her eyes, that is what I often think of when I imagine what it would be like to be in Raybir.

The Raybirn people love to grow things, especially flowers, and also enjoy dressing in bright colors.  In the springtime, there is so much color it could make your eyes hurt, what with plants everywhere, growing on houses and lining roads and fields.  The doors and roofs and window frames are painted in bright colors.  Dresses, scarfs, pants, shirts, capes, any article of clothing - is a bright dye (unless you live in one of the outlying villages, in which case, you wear homespun brown wool).

What place in this world (Earth) reminds you most of your world? (Or provide a picture that you think best defines your story world.)

So I came across this picture in my internet searching, and this really gave me a "yes! that's what it's like!" moment.  Apparently this pictures was taken in Alsace, France?  But I don't know much about it otherwise.  It certainly is beautiful, though.

Are there specific foods/dining habits particular to this world?

The Chosen pray before their meals.  :)

Raybir is a farming kingdom, with no ocean access (so minimal seafood), so there is a large variety of small animals (with some sheep) to be found on the table, with lots of fruits and vegetables.  Even the poor are able to get small animals and some basic vegetables and fruits grown, so even common villagers feast quite well.

Are there biases in your world, and how do they define the people? Is there a class structure and how would it affect the characters?

Raybir is a fairly small kingdom, and honestly, the people are known for being very friendly and peace-loving.  Because farmers are the main source of income (and take up at least half of the population), such people are not looked down upon, and it is, in turn, those with Royal Blood who are often scorned.

Though, to be honest, most of those with Royal Blood don't care.  They're too happy with their parties and lazy pastimes to care what the rest of the population is saying about them.

Outsiders, however, are viewed upon with suspicion until they prove themselves to be hard-working and fairly friendly.  Anything strange is often feared.  Change is also avoided. 

What belief structures/ worldviews do your characters hold?  What are some philosophies of your story?

Marywyn and a number of her family, friends, and companions are worshippers of the Crowned.  While not many in Raybir are followers of Him, the Chosen (as His people are called) are not persecuted, but simply looked upon in a "your life, I'll leave you to it, but I think you're wasting your time" way.  This often leads to the Chosen not taking their worship and faith seriously.

As Marywyn learns and grows through the trilogy, she will learn that worshipping and following the Crowned is more important than anything else, and that if that is first, everything else will follow.

Describe the general infrastructure (i.e., cities and what are those like?)  What are the main locations in your story?  (Bonus points: include a map.)

In Raybir, the Royal City, Surey, lies close to the middle of the kingdom, on a great plain, surrounded by farm land.  Smaller cities and towns can be found scattered throughout the rest of the kingdom, and unnamed villages and settlements on the outskirts.

Marywyn originally is from one of the unnamed farming villages close to the border, but when it is attacked and burned to the ground, she goes to the Royal City for safety.  Most of the action in the first book takes place in Raybir, but there is quite a lot of running around in the other two books.

How is trade carried out through the story world, and how do the cities and nations interact with each other?

Because Raybir is completely land-bound, they do most of their trading with Ristor, the other High House.  Ristor happens to have ocean access, and therefore is a great trading center, with a number of sea ports.  While Ristor is mostly forests and poor-farm land, they get most of their wealth through trading with Raybir and neighboring kingdoms.  The Rochen, on the other side of the mountains, are known for their mines and their precious metals.

So when these kingdoms all stand at suffers pretty badly...But when everyone is at peace, there is great trade to be had.

Are there any special or unique traditions or ceremonies that your world is known for?

The farming towns and villages all celebrate the coming of Spring and the end of Winter.  And they have barn-raisings and corn-shuckings, and such events.  In the Royal City, there is a yearly Pie festival (yum!), monthly balls for those with Royal Blood (and usually the wealthiest merchants and farmers go too), along with other festivals.

The War Band warriors have a unique way of getting their Captains - there are eight bands, and when a warrior would like to be a Captain, he has to Challenge the Captain of his choice.  If he succeeds in winning the fight (no blood must be shed, but someone must be disarmed), he becomes the new Captain, and the previous moves down in rank to become a common warrior.  If the challenger looses, everyone keeps their original place.

Are there any significant historical events which affected the way your story world is now?

I haven't done much by way of history for this world yet, but I do know that a long time ago, Raybir and Ristor were one kingdom.  The King had two sons, and so the kingdom was split into two, so each son had his own land to rule.

(And I'll also add that in a previous age, the Crowned had sent His Son to die for His Chosen people.  And since then, the Stewards of the Crowned have been traveling the lands, preaching repentance and teaching the Edicts.) 

What do you love most about your world?

The music.  It joins people together, be it a rousing ballad sung at an inn, a simple melody whistled while on horseback, or the Edicts sung together at Meeting.  No matter what land the characters come from, they all speak the language of music, and can share that together.

There you have it.  My attempt at worldbuilding.  :)  Be sure to check out everyone else and see what amazing talent is out there!  Links will be updated as available: Sarah, Gray, Faith, Keturah, Evan, Lila, Snaps, Jem, Catherine.

Friday, March 02, 2018

The 5-Part Writing Special, Part 1: Introduction

Hello everyone!  It's back!!!!

The second round of my little Multi-Part Writing Special is back, and we're gonna be featuring a lot of cool WIPs and some really cool writers this month!  This is always such a fun event (though a bit crazy and confusing, too, if I'm going to be honest), and I hope everyone enjoys reading about all these epic books that are in the works (and meeting some epic bloggers).

For this month, I wasn't quite sure which WIP to focus on, since I'm not drafting anything at the moment, but rather editing my trilogy.

So I went with the entire Betrayal and Bravery trilogy.

*cues evil laugh*

And so, without further ado....

A 1-3 Paragraph Blurb of your WIP

Words of Gold

Marywyn Windborne is no one special.  She’s a common village girl, and certainly not a hero or a person of importance.  In fact, her only claim to fame is her extremely well-kept garden and a lovely singing voice.  So when her brother is captured by the enemy, she can only assume her family has been mistaken for another.  The attempts on her own life?  All a mistake.  The warrior trailing her every move and keeping her safe from all attacks?  Again, he must be mistaken.  And the Queen's demand that Marywyn move to the castle and be a waiting woman?  She’s probably just trying to teach the Princess Connaven a lesson in manners (or make a cruel joke at Marywyn's expense).

But soon the truth is apparent.  The Crowned does not make mistakes in His Providence, and everything happens for a reason.  But can Marywyn sort out all the facts before anyone else gets hurt (including herself)?

Words of Song

Marywyn Windborne has received an honorable title – Protector of the Princess.  The only problem is, the Princess has just disappeared.  Eager to prove that her friends have not done wrong in voting to promote her, Marywyn leaves Raybir on a quest to rescue Connaven, but only runs headlong into more danger and betrayal.  And this time there are no mistakes.  The enemy is on the hunt, and they know exactly who they are looking for: a red-haired girl with a powerful singing voice.

But Marywyn begins to doubt: was she the right person to do all this?  Surely there are many others who can be the hero, others who are more brave.  Can Marywyn rescue her friends and save Raybir, or will she leave at the first opportunity to return to the safety of her garden and flowers?

Words of Peace

Marywyn Windborne's adventures are not over yet.  A terrible secret is uncovered on a rescue mission, revealing more danger and even more betrayal.  The location of the Telae is no longer a secret, but the armies of the High Houses will not be enough to stop the marching Rochen army.  Marywyn and her companions prepare to take their final stand before the Rochen Queen, but only if they can get to the Haven before her - and the only one who can tell them the way has proven on numerous occasions that he won't speak.

The end is near, but who will die before the fight is over?
Describe your WIP in ten short phrases.

red hair // golden voices // friendship // danger in the shadows // moonlight reflecting off fiddle strings // princess in a tower // stumbling prayers // legendary warriors // heavy silence // bravery

long, dusty roads // wild gray horse // muddy boots // starlit nights // campfire stories // powerful songs // whispered secrets // disguises // rousing speeches // a waterfall

high mountains // hidden, snowy trails // bloody tiger prints // music rising to rafters // silent prayers // ice cold stares // pure bravery // utter betrayal // dying voices // red hair
How did you come up with the idea of your story?

I got the spark while reading a collections of Grimm's Fairy Tales.  I jotted down a few sentences, and added a few character ideas.  Some weeks later, I added another idea.  Then another.  I summarized the ideas into three books.  Then, around the end of May/early June, I fleshed out the characters and wrote a brief synopsis for the first book.  I wrote the first draft during the July Camp NaNo of 2015.

I started plotting to write the second book for NaNoWriMo, and realized that there was a lot more material to be covered.  The original second and third books were smashed together into the second book, and a faint idea for a new third book was outlined.  I completed book two for NaNoWriMo.

During 2016 I took a partial break from the trilogy to write a few other stories, and focused on editing the first book.  It went through two or three edits until I finally knew how the story needed to go.

I returned in November 2017 to write the third book, and am getting ready to edit the entire trilogy (starting this March)!

Why did you choose to write this WIP?  What gave it priority over all the other plot bunnies?

When I first started writing it, I wasn't writing because I was in love with the story or anything.  I was only writing it because I wanted to try a new writing process, and needed a story to do.  I grabbed this one (it sounded pretty fun) and started NaNo Prep.  Little did I know I would fall head over heels for the characters and the plot and the storyworld and find that this trilogy was the one.  I've taken breaks and written a few other stories, but I've always come straight back, eager to continue.
How did you go about preparing to write it?

My process for all three has pretty much been the same:

  • Start with idea in head of how story will go
  • Write synopsis
  • Write a brief scene from the POV of each main character
  • Write the draft and don't stop until you reach the end
  • Edit like crazy

It's worked very well, I think.  The second book got the least amount of prep, and it shows, but nothing some editing can't fix.
Did you have to do any research for this story?  What was the most interesting/funny story connected with your research?

I actually did very little research for this trilogy (so far; that will likely change once I get elbows-deep in editing).  In fact, I think the most "research" I did was when I was reading fairy tales in hopes of getting a story idea.

The funniest thing about this research is that I can't find the fairy tale that lit the spark that became Betrayal and Bravery.  I don't remember the title or anything.  Just that it was about a person who was told to guard the gates of a city and not let anyone in.  So yeah...
Was this story easy or hard to write?  Why?

Admittedly, this trilogy has been a piece of cake.  The characters and plot do occasionally throw me a wrench or two, but I've always been able to redirect and get back on track with ease.  This may change during editing...
Where was your favorite place to write this story?

I do about 98% of my writing on my bed.  A comfortable mattress, some fluffy pillows, some music playing through the favorite place to write!

However, I do sometimes relocate to places around the house, or write while away from home.  And one of my favorite times was when I went on a trip with Sarah and Evan, and we go to spend lots of time writing together.

See?  Isn't that beautiful?  :)
What makes your story unique?

Nothing is new under the sun.  We all know that.  So hopefully this will just be a somewhat unique mixing of the typical bratty princesses, gallant heroes, wild horses, grand adventures, and giant castles.

In short, this is just another medieval fantasy story.

It does, however, have tigers, no magic or dragons (sorry my dear dragon lovers!), lots of music and songs, and some quirky characters that should steal a number of readers' hearts!
What do you love most about your story?

The characters.

The characters, definitely.

Did I say the characters?

Yes, the characters.  I love them all so much.  Too bad there's not a way to invite them all over for dinner or something, because that would be so much fun.  Nahale would lead us all in prayer, and then we would all chat over a hearty meal.  For dessert, we'd all sit on the back porch and have ice cream (except for Ondore, who doesn't like sweet things) while my Dad led us all in Family Worship.  There would be some interesting discussion and thoughts exchanged, and then we would sing a number of Psalms to sing (Wisdom would insist we sing the entirety of Psalm 51),  After we clean up from dinner, we would run back outside to play some ultimate Frisbee until dark (I think Anders and Lavern would be the best...maybe Dominin, too; Hahn would get better as the evening wore on, and Maxin would complain about his back the whole time but stubbornly refuse to leave his team).  When it's too dark to see (and everyone is tired of breaking their nails with our light-up Frisbee), we'll break out the instruments and sing and play until late in the evening (Saran would be nodding off, and Duren would sit on the edge of the porch and quietly pluck the fiddle strings while everyone gets ready for bed).  Then I'd have to figure out where to put everyone for the night...

How did I even get on that large rabbit trail???  One minute I was talking about my favorite thing, then...oh well.  Probably should delete that, but I'll leave it.  Someone might find it funny, especially if they've been to my house...

Hopefully you all enjoyed this first part of the special, and come back next week for the next installment!  Also remember to check out the other bloggers: Sarah, Gray, Faith, Keturah, Evan, Lila, Snaps, Jem, and Catherine!  I'll update with links as soon as I can!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Seven-Seven-Seven-Seven Challenge

Mary Kate at Sarcastic Scribblings tagged me in the 7777 Challenge, and seriously, this thing is so cool.

In a nutshell: you go to the seventh page of your WIP, go to the seventh line, copy the next seven paragraphs to post on the blog, and then tag seven other people.


So, first off, go to Mary Kate's post, because her snippet is absolutely hilarious.

And mine is below....

[Background:  A number of people have been captured by the enemy, and in order to rescue them, my characters need to get across the mountains.  However, only a few people know how to get across aforementioned mountains, and the paths are guarded by very large and fearsome tigers.  Most people don't even get close to them for fear of death.  So they are trying to find people who are brave enough to go with them and fight the tigers and all that.]

[Also remember this is a first draft...I haven't gone over this since I wrote this back in the beginning of November for's not my best work.]

“...He is the Prince of Ristor, and should not risk his life needlessly.” Rayn settled back in his chair, his fingers tracing the edge of the armrest.  “You should not grudge him of it, Marywyn.  He can't come.  As for your brother, Nahale might have the skills, but he is one man.  We need more than one, for tigers can and will attack many at once.  We might be able to rally a number of the Silencers, but they are leaderless, and may not be willing to follow us.”

“Could I wordsmith them?”

“You could.  But you are not a warrior, Marywyn.  Warriors do not need words to put them at their bravest.  Warriors need their leader - the one they look up to.  That’s where they get their strength and their bravery.”

I closed my eyes, attempting to keep the still fresh tears away.  “What about you, Rayn?  You’re the Second in Command of the West Band.  You’re the Captain now, come to think of it.  You can lead them.  The Silencers will follow you, at least.”

“I’m not their Captain, and they know it.  The Silencers died when he did, Marywyn, and the West Band is nothing without their leader.  I can take the command, but not with the spirit and strong sword they need.”

We stared at the table in silence for a moment, and Rayn continued.  “A well-trained horse will always behave and perform well for any rider, but he will ride best with the one who rides him most - the one he bonds with.  We might be a strong force, but we are the strongest with our Captain.”

Father cleared his throat.  “You must learn to battle without your captain.  You must learn to lead them yourself, Rayn.”

There you have it!  Excited?  Want to hear more?  Let me know in the comments!!!

And, in return, I tag...

Sarah @ Pen of a Ready Writer (I love her writing...I really do)
Jem @ Jem Jones, Writer (because I desperately need more of her Three Sisters snark)
Evangeline @ I just Happened (payback time, bro)
True @ A True Writer (because she's new and we need to know more about her WIP)
Brianna @ No End of Books (again...I want to know more about the books)
Kalan @ Kalan Olivia (her WIP sounds pretty interesting, IMO)
Keturah @ Keturah's Korner (cause she's a writer and artist and everything)

*whew*  I'm glad I don't have to tag 7,777 people....