Monday, April 30, 2018

Meandering On Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLoveLTD #Poem #Writing

Meander 1 - Poem - Aubade -

The light of day begins to streak
Across the lightening sky.
I once more glance into your eyes.
The time has come to leave.
I touch your cheek and hold your hand.
Why has this morning come?
Oh, hold me now before the sun
Breaks the spell of dark.
The moon has faded as the sun
Banishes the night.
I hold you close, one last caress
Before I leave your side.
The sun is burning off the mist.
The shadows leave the earth
But we love best when cloaked by night.
My dear, I have to leave.

Meander 2 - Getting back to earth - Really not earth but after being away returning to the routine is hard. Two and a half days from the computer and I suddenly don't know what I want to write. There are also all those daily things to do, like cooking, cleaning, shopping, paying bills. All those things have a way of pulling me from my work. I'll find the foutine again.

Meander 3 - Writing - I found I could not suspend disbelief on my latest story. The idea of the food thief being a child in the winter and sneaking into a house when people were away just didn't seem right and the more I thought about it the more I knew this wouldn't work. There was a second area where I couldn't suspend disbelief. The hero has agreed to become the guardian of a stranger's children. This really made no sense when I thought about it. So I've changed both of these things and have started my story over again. This time I feel happy with the way it's going. The four chapters weren't really wasted. Ten thousand words in all but some of them are salvageable with the new direction of the story.


https://twitter.com/JanetL717
 http://wwweclecticwriter.blogspot.com

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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Sunday's Book Whispers From Yesteryear #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLoveLTD #Paranormal #Reincarnation

Whispers From Yesteryear

“Not the children.” Willow Carey is awakened by the remnants of a dream she hasn’t had for years. Today she is to return to Indian’s Sorrow, a house she inherited from her aunt. The inheritance has caused a rift with her twin sister. Her father and stepmother have died in an accident. Though she doesn’t want to go to Indian’s Sorrow, she must take charge of her young half-sister and brother.

Reid Talbot, a man she once loved lives near the house with his family. Now a widower, he lives with his sons. Learning to trust him again is difficult but he also has dreams.

Together, they must learn the meaning of the dreams before the whispers of yesteryear destroy their newfound happiness.

My Places


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Saturday, April 28, 2018

Saturday's Blurbs featuring Books by David Anderson #MMRWauthor #BooksWeLove LTD #intrigue #Young adult

Earthly Powers by [Anderson, David ]


Earthly Powers blurb:
A dark secret from the dying days of war-ravaged Nazi Germany re-emerges half-way around the world on a West Coast island and exerts a malevolent influence on its present day occupants.

Thirty-something Terri Stark is living on isolated Arcadia Island while recovering from a failed marriage. But one day trouble comes to paradise. Someone is spying on her, and soon her beloved dog Ned goes missing. After a break-in, a mysterious person appears at her door and makes none too subtle threats. Terri has only one person to turn to: her estranged husband Jack, whose arrival escalates the situation.

Soon they are separated again, Jack running for his life from relentless killers, Terri forced into a desperate treasure hunt, their survival dependent upon her success. A teenage defector from the enemy camp turns out to have vital information – and a hidden agenda of his own.

The Beachhead blurb:
Fifteen-year old Will awakens in a vast underground bunker called the Beachhead, controlled by a supercomputer named REX. Will, like the other twenty-three teenage occupants, cannot remember his past life and immediately vows to escape. But two years later he’s still there. Soon there comes a turning point in Will’s life: REX opens an enormous steel door to the outside world.

While other Beachheaders enjoy their newfound freedom on a tropical island paradise, Will plans his escape. Gradually he discovers allies: other teenagers in the Beachhead whom he recruits and builds into an effective team. But who can Will trust and who is going to betray him? There are rival conspirators, lackeys of REX, watching Will’s every move. How far are they prepared to go?

Can Will and his friends make it past the perilous sub-levels of the Beachhead and through dangerous forest and swamps? What secret weapons is the all-seeing, all-hearing REX about to throw at them?

The Remnant blurb:
Will, Kevin, Rose, Quentin and Fiona have overcome supercomputer REX and escaped their island prison for the open sea.

Instead of sailing to freedom, suddenly everything changes. Will wakes up on an enormous container ship without knowing how he got there. He explores blood-stained corridors and deserted cargo holds for his friends, and senses he is being watched. Then Will encounters something new in his life: adults. But these are adults beyond Will’s darkest nightmares.

Will and his four friends link up with a lone doctor who swears he is on their side, but is he? Who can Will trust and what is really going on? Will & Co. have to work it out fast and survive in the meantime. Because unknown to them all, there is something much worse aboard ship and it’s about to emerge . . .

Friday, April 27, 2018

Friday's Guest - David Anderson #BooksWeLoveLTD @MFRWauthor #genres #Ireland


1. What were you in your life before you became a writer? Did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Northern Ireland during the height of the Troubles, so I’ve encountered extreme violence at first hand. For a period, it was normal to switch on the six o’clock TV news and watch first responders literally shovelling parts of human bodies off the pavement into bags. One of my school classmates was almost killed when a bomb sent a car jack hurtling through the air and it landed on his head; a close friend’s brother was blown to pieces by a bomb placed under his car.
In the midst of all this, I naturally thought a lot about ‘tribal’ loyalties, fairness, self-serving politicians, and other social issues. The degree in philosophy I took at Queens University Belfast (a place also much scarred by sectarian enmity) gave me grounding in clear and logical thinking, for which I am now very grateful.  

I don’t think any of this is particularly important, though. I have family, friends and a terrific local church community for support and encouragement. Anyone with normal life experience and the ability to reflect on it over time will have worthwhile things to say. To be a novelist you need to be able to express those things in a compelling prose narrative, within the genre that appeals to you. The graft of building up technique comes after that.

2. Are you genre specific or general? Why? I don't mean genres like romance, mystery, fantasy, etc. There are many subgenres of the above. 
I’ve written thrillers, both adult and Young Adult, and am open to other genres. When I started, I thought I’d write crime mysteries, but discovered that thrillers are what get my pulse racing and emotions involved. Of course, they have to be good thrillers, which are uncommon. Great thrillers are rare, and are the standard I strive to attain.

Within the thriller genre I’m passionately interested in the classic man-on-the-run, and my novels usually have a strong element of man/boy/woman/girl running for their lives. I’m also intrigued by the heist novel, done seriously, and have written one of those too.

3. Did your reading choices have anything to do with your choice of a genre or genres? 
What I write has everything to do with my personal reading history. I read voraciously as a child, and have stepped up my reading in recent years to about two hundred books a year. The Sixties and Seventies were a golden era for thriller writing in Britain and I read quite a few of these books back then, and still occasionally do today. I’m particularly drawn to ‘lost gems’, of which there are very few.

My favourite contemporary fiction writers are South African Deon Meyer, Norwegian Jo Nesbø, and Frenchwoman Fred Vargas. My number one Young Adult author is Charlie Higson, especially his seven volume Enemy series of zombie novels, which I regard as classics. I also read a lot of hard-boiled and noir crime novels.

In non-fiction, I read philosophy of religion, Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), and have a special interest in Christians who fought courageously and sacrificially against the Third Reich during World War II e.g. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Pius XII, Maximilian Kolbe, André and Magda Trocmé, Sophie Scholl, and others.

4. What's your latest release? 
This month the second edition of my adult thriller Earthly Powers comes out, with a new publisher and new cover. It will be followed in June by a second edition of Meaner Things, another adult thriller. 

A couple of months later my new adult thriller Shadow of a Killer will appear, and I’m excited about that. One of my critique partners describes it as “entering Graham Greene land” and I think and hope he’s right about that. In the autumn, my new YA thriller Uninvited will be released.  So, in total, I plan to have four books published this year, joining my two already in-print YA titles, The Beachhead and its sequel The Remnant.

5. What are you working on now? 
I’m three quarters of the way through Uninvited and am enjoying writing it very much indeed. I characterise it as: ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ meets ‘And Then There Were None’. It’s turning out longer than expected (but that’s okay), and features teenage twins, male and female, something I’ve not tackled before. My wife is a twin, so that helps. Fresh challenges like this are good because once you master them you have added new tools to your writing toolbox.

6. Where can we find you? 
I have an author page on Goodreads, an author blog that I’ve neglected, and an author page on Amazon.com. Unfortunately, I’m not much of a self-promoter – writing a 90,000-word manuscript is hard enough without then having to ‘go out and sell it’ – so thank you for featuring me on your blog!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Thursday's Third Scene _ Discovering the Jewel's Secret Third Scene #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLove LTD #Fantasy #Sorcery #Jewels


Brader’s cry sent Disa into action. She jumped away from the fire and prepared to join the fight. That was when she saw the man Brader had thought he knew. She retreated toward the trees. The man followed and tried to grab her. She slashed him with the knife. He staggered and fell taking the knife with him.

She bent to retrieve the weapon. Someone grabbed her and covered her mouth with a hand. She twisted away and nearly escaped but a second man joined the first. His knife arced toward her.

“Don’t,” her captor said. “When we deliver her, the wizard will give us a pouch of gold coins.”

“No.” Disa kicked her legs and used her elbows to pound the man who held her. The other man clipped her jaw and she fell.

They bound her hands behind her back and dragged her deeper into the forest. One of her captors mounted a horse. The other threw her across the saddle in front of the rider. The men rode in single file. The deep mat of leaves muted the sound of the hooves. The jarring gait of the steed made her ill.
The moons rose and the light made the shadows more threatening. Finally they reached a clearing. Disa saw a log cabin on the far side. Her captor dismounted and pulled her to the ground. He pushed her toward the crude structure. The other man remained mounted.

“Get the gold and we’ll be away from here. We must be all that’s left.”

“Her friend will search for her,” her captor said. “Wizard said Chosens have a knack of finding the one they’re bonded to. We got fooled. Who would have guessed the merchant would hire so many armsmen? Selir fell down there.”

Disa tried to calm the fear bubbling to the surface. She had to escape. If she could reach her gem she might have a chance.

Her captor opened the door and pushed her inside. “Here she is. Where’s the gold?”

Disa froze. In front of the fireplace a man dressed in the black robes of a wizard waited. Acid rose in her throat. She sucked in a deep breath.

A smile showing too many teeth appeared on the wizard’s face. “Yellow Holder, how good of you to return to the isle.” He held out a black globe like the one Andalor had carried and she had destroyed. 
“My brothers across the sea gave me warning and so I waited and laid my plans.”

Disa pressed her lips together. She wouldn’t let the wizard know how terrified she felt. She prayed the Jewel would protect her from this evil man.

“My gold,” her captor demanded.

The wizard laughed. “Gold. You’ll see payment after I’ve finished with her. Are you sure she’s the right one?”

“I found her with the son of the dead Holder.”

The wizard stepped closer. Disa stared at the ground. Corin had warned them about hidden wizards. Why hadn’t she and Brader considered that someone would follow them?

The wizard lifted her chin. “I know you and the other Holders destroyed the Citadel and many of my brothers are dead. Not all. Never all for we are as numerous as the grains of sand along the shore. You would never suspect those who have hidden among you.” He ran a finger along her cheek.

“I’ve done what you ordered. Where is my gold?”

“First I need your help. On a chain about her neck is a Jewel. Bring it into the open.” The wizard stepped back.

Disa’s captor grasped the chain and pulled the gem from beneath her tunic. “My gold or the gem is mine.”
An evil laugh made Disa shudder. “Be off,” the wizard ordered. “I have no gold, silver or copper.”

“Then I’ll take this.” The captor grasped the Yellow. He screamed. His hand turned scarlet, then black. The discoloration spread. His body shook and he fell to the floor. The odor of burned flesh made Disa gag. She drew several shuddering breaths and caught the chain with her teeth. Slowly she pulled the Jewel to her mouth. If she died, so be it.

The wizard chanted. Was he casting a spell? Would the words effect the Jewel or cause her to aide him? If her hands had been free, she could have turned the Yellow against him. She lurched toward the wizard and stumbled over the corpse. As she fell the gem touched the wizard’s throat.

His chanting slid into a roar of pain. His throat blackened. Disa evaded his flailing arms. She stumbled toward the door. She heard shrill whinnies of horses and pushed the door open. The remaining captor rode away with both horses. She was left alone with two dead men.

Disa looked around the room for some way to free herself. There were knives on the table but she couldn’t lift them. Near the fireplace she saw an axe stuck into a log. She moved closer. A small part of the blade was exposed. She sank to her knees and rubbed the bonds against the sharp edge. When the blade nicked her wrist, she bit her lip to hold back a cry. Twice more she held in her pain. She continued to work the rope against the blade. The sooner her hands were free the sooner she could determine the seriousness of the wounds.

With a suddenness that sent her forward onto her chest, her wrists were free. One gash was deep and bled freely. She staggered across the room and found a pitcher of water. She rinsed the wounds and tore some of her tunic to pad and bind the wounds. Though she could have used the Yellow Jewel to sear the slashes she didn’t. The two deaths the gem had caused made her afraid to try. What if the gem had been corrupted?

Though the second of her captors had fled she couldn’t be sure others hadn’t escaped the battle. She 
crept to the door and sought a safe hiding place. The crashing noises of brush and the shouts of the approaching riders sent her into the forest. She hid in a cluster of bushes and saplings. Two riders entered the clearing. They led a string of horses. At the cabin, one dismounted and entered. He dashed outside. “Dead. The wizard and Belar.”

“Do you see her?”

“Not here.” He mounted and they rode away.

Disa sank to the ground. Her wrists throbbed. Her body ached. She had no idea of how to find the road. She didn’t want to return to the cabin and wandering in the dark forest would only confuse her more.

Think. Use the inner path. Call Brader.

Was the connection between Chosen and Holder strong enough to draw him to her? Something she had read in the dying wizard’s thoughts swept into her awareness. To make a Black Jewel or a White, all seven had to be present. She was to have been the first to be corrupted. Then he would have sought the other Holders. Was this true or had he only hoped he knew the way? If so, how were the Jewels corrupted?

Noises pulled her from those thoughts. More escapees from the attack on the caravan? She huddled in her hiding place and stared into the clearing. A rider with two hill ponies on leading ropes left the forest. Disa’s heart raced, not from fear but joy. “Brader.” She left her hiding place and ran to him.

He jumped down and caught her in a fierce embrace. “Are thee unharmed?”

She nodded. “Two are dead. One was a wizard.” She pointed to the cabin. “Others came and fled. Must we return to the caravan?”

Brader released her. “There’s no need. By late tomorrow we’ll reach the crossroads where we would have left them. We can sleep for the rest of the night. Less than a tenday will see us to High Sanctuary.”

Disa rummaged in the panniers for herbs and dressings. “Help me clean these wounds.”

“Who harmed thee?”

“An axe caused the wounds. They bound my arms behind my back. Was the only way to free myself.”

Once the dressings were changed she and Brader made a cold camp in the forest beyond the clearing. She ate a bar of dried fruit and nuts and curled in her blankets. As she fell asleep she thought about the things she’d read in the dying wizard’s mind. What had he meant by a mold was needed? Was this part of the secret the seven Holders had to discover?

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Wednesday Whispers Out of Yesteryear #MFRWHooks #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLoveLTD #Paranormal #reincarnation

Whispers From Yesteryear
Today I'm joining other MFRWauthors in a blog hop. My book is a paranormal romance that goes between colonial America and the present Find all the books here  http://mfrwbookhooks.blogspot.com

Blurb:
“Not the children.” Willow Carey is awakened by the remnants of a dream she hasn’t had for years. Today she is to return to Indian’s Sorrow, a house she inherited from her aunt. The inheritance has caused a rift with her twin sister. Her father and stepmother have died in an accident. Though she doesn’t want to go to Indian’s Sorrow, she must take charge of her young half-sister and brother.

Reid Talbot, a man she once loved lives near the house with his family. Now a widower, he lives with his sons. Learning to trust him again is difficult but he also has dreams.

Together, they must learn the meaning of the dreams before the whispers of yesteryear destroy their newfound happiness.

Excerpt:


July 1755
Willow Who Bends stood at the entrance of the Long House and stared at the sky. Though the sun shone brightly, to the west dark clouds gathered and carried the threat of a storm like the one she felt inside.
She knelt beside the father of her spirit. Corn Dreamer had raised her and taught her the ways of healing. She prayed he would wake but feared he wouldn’t. Sorrow rode the beats of her heart and threatened to spill in a rain of tears.
"Corn Dreamer, must you travel to the spirit world and leave this one behind?" Her voice cracked and she caught a breath to still the ache in her throat. "The men have taken the warriors’ path in answer to Waraghuyagey’s call. The-Man-Who-Understands-Great-Things speaks for the redcoats, those men who want our help. What have we to do with the ones who fail to live in harmony with the land?
Not all the pale-skinned men, she thought. A smile crossed her face. There was one who often stayed in the village and sat at Corn Dreamer’s feet to learn.
Near a moon ago, a message had come for Hair of Fire. He had left the Long House and journeyed west. A shiver crawled her spine. Was he safe? In these days, danger rode the currents of the air the way carrion birds circled a kill.
She returned to her teacher’s side and pressed her fingers against his wrist. What had made him fall into sleep yet not sleep? Why did his heart flutter like humming bird wings and then slow. She wished for a way to rouse him for he would know the answer.
"Corn Dreamer, spirit father, medicine man, this woman is not ready for you to leave. What can this one do to help?"
She closed her eyes and sought among the things he had taught her. An answer arose. "This one must go into the forest to gather fresh leaves and bark."
From her sleeping place, she lifted a bark basket by the carrying strap and left the Long House. As she stepped outside, she heard the children’s laughter and the voices of the women raised in the growing chant. The sound chased her sorrow.
Across the clearing, her sister sat with the ones too young to work with the women. Though born of the same mother and on the same day, she and Willow by the Stream had been raised at different fires. On the outside, they wore a single face as reflected in a still pond, but their inner natures were different. As the first born, Willow Who Bends had been given to Corn Dreamer to learn about the ways of medicine and the spirit world. Her sister had been raised as a woman of the clan.
She drank in the sight of her sister. Soon Willow by the Stream would take a husband. That was good and right, but the change would further separate their lives.
Willow Who Bends sighed. We are alike and not alike. This one has been trained to stand alone. Willow by the Stream needed someone to care for her.
The small ones giggled. Willow Who Bends waited until her sister finished the story of the fox and the bear. Then she approached the group.
"Corn Dreamer is no better. This one must go into the forest to gather fresh medicines."
"A gift for you." Willow by the Stream presented a small deerskin pouch. On one side dyed porcupine quills formed an image of the sun, and on the other precious trade beads patterned the Three Sisters -- Corn, Squash and Beans.
"Are you not afraid to go into the forest alone?"
"Who would harm a medicine woman?"
"The enemy. Those despoilers and their pale friends move along the trails like weasels seeking prey."
"They were seen to the south and west a moon ago. This one will go north and east to the place where the willows grow beside the stream. Since you fear for me, listen with the ear that opens between us. If this one finds danger, she will cry a warning."
"This woman will listen."
At the edge of the trees, Willow Who Bends paused, and for a short time watched the people of the Long House. Her foster mother and the mother who had given her life worked side by side in the garden. Four nearly-grown boys practiced with their bows under the eyes of the warriors who had remained to protect the clan. With a wave, she stepped into the shadows cast by the forest.
As she moved among the trees, she stopped to gather medicines -- birch leaves, bloodroot, ginseng, bee balm. Slowly, she made her way to the stream where chill waters swept down the hill to join other streams and form a river.
The leaves of the willows had darkened from pale spring green to the darker hues of summer. All the catkins had dropped away. She pressed her hands against the largest of the cluster.
"Sister Tree, one who shares your name has need of your bark. Will you let me cut your skin?" She pressed her forehead against the tree and waited for an answer.
The scream that sounded in her head caused her to stagger. Her legs refused to hold her erect. She slid to the ground. With a terror that matched her sister’s, through the link between them, she witnessed the destruction of the Long House. The faces of the enemy burned into her head.
"Not the children!" The scream caused the earth beneath her body to shudder.
*****
July 2000
"Not the children!"

Willow Carey jerked into a sitting position. Her heart thudded in her chest. Waves of terror flooded her thoughts. She gulped deep breaths of air.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tuesday's Writer's Tip - Nearing the End #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLoveLTD #Story Endings

Now, once the middleof the book comes to an end, the time has come to reach the end. The writer can't just write "The End". There are scenes that lead up to the chance to write these words.

A point is reached where the hero, heroine and maybe even the villain realizes if they're not careful they will lose everything. They do something and slide into the Black Moment where they believe they have lost all. If the story ends here, the ending would be bitter so more is needed.

After this comes the decision to try one more time. The hero, heroine or villain must reach this decision to move forward. They will do what needs to be done to reach their goal. Now the story could end here but that might leave the reader on the edge of a cliff and never know what happens. A master story teller or someone writing serials ends a story this way but readers want to watch the lead character suffer, change and reach an ending.

As to the ending, the main character can win, lose or compromise in the final scene but what happens must be satisfactory. This ending either happy or sad must let the reader know the story has ended the right way. Though not always for there are some readers who realize the ending is right for the book but they want the ending to be different.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Meandering On Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #Poetry #amwriting

Meander 1 - Poem - The Well 

My well of love is fathomless.
Come, stop and fill your cup.
This gift is given freely.
Come, stop, refresh yourself/
Bend over me and let your rope
Into my endless depths.
Drink deep, drink full and
Often return bring yourself to me.
For my well of love is bottomless.
Come, stop and take your fill.

Meander 2 - Retreat - The weekend was a fun time as well as a productive one. I managed to do the last scene of a chapter and outline the next. Then I did what I think is fun. Reading and critiquing other people;s work. I had two friends whose mss I read. Both good stories. Ones I hope to see published one day.  I suppose I could be an editor but I like writing more. Editing for friends gives me a chance to help others. That's fun too. As for the retreat. Great rooms. Long walks to get anywhere. Chatting  with friends and telling stories and hearing stories. Talking about the world of books and the trials and tribulations of being a writer. The support found is great. Writing is often a solitary event so reaching our and being with others away from the daily events is a great thing.

Meander 2 - Writing. Working on the Virgo Pisces Connection. It's a little ahrd to do two books in a series back to back but I want to finish this series so I will persist. What is fun about this series is each of the stories has a different bit. There are no repeats. So, I'm working hard but the rough draft is always slower since the need is to go from the beginning to the end and be organized.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Sunday's Book Discovering the Jewels' Secret #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLoveLTD #fantasy #strongheroines #strong heroes

Discovering the Jewels’ Secret (The Jewels of Erda Book 3)


Seven Jewels – Seven Holders and their bondmates. The words of an elderly Healer send each pair on a quest to learn the secret of the Jewels. Are these gems just tools or do they hold hidden danger for the Holders? The seven leave on seven quests to discover the answers. When they find the answer, they must decide the fate of the Jewels.


MY PLACES:


BUY MARK

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Friday, April 20, 2018

Friday - Retreat #MFRWauthor #writing #retreat

I'll not be posting my usual blogs today and nothing tomorrow. I'll be off for a retreat and returning on Sunday morning. Once a year, the Hudson Valley Romance Writers get together for a weekend where what we do is spend all day Saturday writing. I'm kind of the rebel in the group since I don't write on my computer and I rather need less company to distract me. I will do a little writing, but two of the group are bring pages for me to edit and critique. I really enjoy doing this. This is one way I have to help others.

So be patient and I'll return on Sunday with another book to promote.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Thursday's Third Scene Confronting the Wizards #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLoveLTD #fantasy #swordand sorcery


The Law of the Brotherhood

Every male with a talent belongs to the Brotherhood of Wizards. When a boy is taken from his family or chooses to become a Wizard, he must learn his old life is dead. His total obedience is to the Brotherhood and all Wizards become his only kin.

He groaned. Thunder pounded in his head. Had he fallen and hurt himself? He moved his arms and legs. Pain shot through his body. His stomach lurched. He swallowed convulsively to keep from spilling its contents. Who was he? He struggled to remember his name.
Lajin. I am Lajin. What more? ’Twas like a stone wall blocked him from his memories. Where was he? Where had he been? Who was he other than a name?
Someone fed him broth and kaf. He drank but kept his eyes tightly closed. To open them would propel him into a nightmare. He heard men’s voices and recognized none of them.
Someone called his name. The cry resounded in his head. He tried to answer, but his words rebounded from the wall.
Time passed. At least he thought it did. He felt as though he was moving. He smelled leather and scents he didn’t know.
Laughter rose on the wind. Jindera. Who was she? A face tickled his thoughts and vanished. If he would find her, he would know who he was. He opened his eyes, saw twin moons and the stars.
“Finally awake,” a gruff voice said. “Been near a day since you got lost in dreams. All this from a knock on the head.”
“Who are you?”
“Wizard Dumor. Drink this. Will give you strength and ease the ache in your head.”
“Where am I?” Lajin grasped the mug and gulped. As the liquid burned a path down his throat, he choked. “Vile. Bitter.”
Wizard Dumor chuckled. “I know.”
“Where are we?”
“At a crossroads.”
“Who?”
“A troop of Wizards on the way to the stronghold. You’re one of us now, little brother.”
Lajin frowned. The man’s words triggered a stab of pain. How could he be a little brother when he had no older ones? There was just ... just ...  He couldn’t remember and the attempt sent shards of lightning through his temples. “What did you do to me?”  He studied the man’s smooth-shaved head and the black robe he wore. A sense of unease rolled over Lajin. Black robes meant danger.
“Me. I never harmed you. Senior Wizard Selor bade you come with us. You tried to hit him. He blasted you. Your talent is needed by the Brotherhood.”
“Talent?”  Lajin asked. “What do you mean? I don’t remember.”
“When we reach the stronghold, one of the Masters will test you.”
“Why did this Senior Wizard hurt me?”
“You refused the honor you were given. The man who sold you to us hit you.”
“Was I a bondservant?”
Wizard Dumor laughed. “What you were in the past has no meaning. Your talent makes you ours.”  He turned away. “You stabbed the man who sold you.”
“With what?”
Dumor tossed him a knife. “With this.”
Lajin frowned. Had he? Wouldn’t he remember doing a thing like that? But memories of the time before he woke were lost. He left the knife on the ground. If he’d harmed someone with the blade, he didn’t want to touch it.
He drained the remainder of the liquid in the mug. The drink had contained ...  He almost remembered. How did he know?
“Who am I?”  He hadn’t meant to speak aloud. He feared the Wizard wouldn’t tell him.
“Who? You have named yourself Lajin. Perchance you are the expected one.”  Dumor clasped Lajin’s shoulder. “Forget the past. Seek not memories of what once was. To remember brings pain. To forget is bliss. After we eat, Senior Wizard Selor will begin your instructions. When we reach the stronghold, you will be made one in spirit with us.”
The throbbing pulses beat against Lajin’s skull. Something the Wizard had said was wrong, but Lajin couldn’t seek the wrongness. He pushed to his feet, fought a swirl of dizziness and then shambled to the fire. A dozen black-robed men sat on one side of the circle. Two boys were seated in the shadows beneath a tree.
One of the Wizards handed Lajin a bowl of stew topped by a slab of bread and cheese. Lajin dipped kaf into a mug and found a place beside the boys. Their faces seemed familiar. Did he know them? Pain seared. He nearly dropped the food.
“Lajin, good to see you awake. You were out a long time.”
“Why did you fight them?”  The second boy grinned. “We’re now part of the Brotherhood. Won’t have the village elders pushing me no more. Going to rule Earda, we are.”
Lajin swallowed a mouthful of the tasteless stew. He looked from one boy to the other. “Do I know you?”
“You gone witless?”  the second boy asked.
Lajin shrugged. “Remember my name. ’Tis all.”
“I’m Beder.”  The second boy pointed to the other. “He’s Audin.”
The oldest of the black robes strode to them. “No talk about what you were before. You are brothers now. Soon all your past will be gone.”  He held a tragon flask. “Hold out your mugs. You’re due a taste of the peddler’s gift to us.”
Lajin shook his head. “Not me.”  He touched his forehead. “Will make the pain worse.”
“What?”  the Wizard asked. “Where’d that notion come from?”
Lajin frowned. “Popped into my head.”
The man added tragon to the mugs of the other two. He walked away, then stopped and spoke to Dumor. He gestured toward the boys.
Lajin’s shoulders tensed. Had he done something wrong? He ate the bread and cheese, then took another bite of the stew. He spat and put the bowl on the ground.
“Food not to your liking?”  Wizard Dumor asked. “Selor will be hurt, him being the cook this night.”
“’Tis tasteless. Needs salt and seasonings. Like...like...I can’t remember.”  Lajin’s voice rose to a wail.
“As I told you, the past is dead. Not remembering is good. Makes your initiation easier.”  Dumor’s fingers dug into Lajin’s shoulder. “Your life begins today. After we reach the stronghold, the Masters will examine you. The oldest Master has awaited you for many years. Once your testing ends, you won’t be able to think of the past again.”
Lajin shivered. Was there a hint of malice in the man’s voice? Lajin stared at the now cold bowl of stew. “All I know is with a bit of seasoning, the food would taste better.”
“Then ’til we reach the stronghold, you’ll be cook’s helper.”  He pointed to the other two. “You will help with the steeds. Saddle, groom and feed them.”
As Dumor strode away, the names of some seasonings flowed through Lajin’s thoughts. Majoria, mintos, cimon, chokla, six kinds of scallions, peppali. Some grew wild. As they traveled, he could look for them growing along the road.
Where had he learned these things? Once more, pain stabbed his temples. Would he ever remember and, if he did, what would the black robes do?
He frowned. At the edge of his thoughts, he heard a soft voice call his name. Who? A woman, he decided. He tried to answer and met a solid barrier. He rose, cleaned his bowl and dipped another mug of kaf.
One of the Wizards beckoned. Lajin joined the other boys. “I am Senior Wizard Selor. No watch for you three tonight or any other. ’til you’re initiated into the Brotherhood, you are in my charge.”
“When will that be?”  Audin asked.
“As soon as we reach the stronghold.”
“How soon?”  Beder asked.
“Several more days of hard travel. We’ll pass through several villages. If I sniff other candidates ’twill take longer.”
“Why can’t we be sent ahead?”  Beder asked. “’Twould be my pleasure to be a Wizard, to serve the Brotherhood and free Earda from the tyranny of the Jewels.”
Selor laughed. “Would you now?”
“Oh, yes.”
“Your eagerness is noted, but you must never question my decisions.”  Selor sat on a log so they had to look up. “This is your first lesson. The orders of a Senior Wizard are to be obeyed immediately. No questions are permitted. Should you encounter a Master Wizard, you will speak only if he grants permission. In the presence of one, you will kneel with head bowed. Do you hear me?”
“Yes.”  Lajin spoke with the others.
“Let me tell you of the Brotherhood. Through our talents, we will gain power. In the days to come, this land will be ours and all people will serve us.”
Lajin rubbed his hands along his arms. The Wizard’s sonorous voice sent him into a half-sleep.
“In days far past, the Jewels were created and the Holders selected. Each Holder took a Chosen. From these unions, sons and daughters were born. These children had talents. The Holders were women and each chose a daughter to hold after her. Their sons were driven away and not permitted to hold the Jewels as was their right.”
“I thought only a woman could be a Holder and if a man touched any of the seven, he would die,” Audin said.
Wizard Selor glared. “Lies spread by women. For decan after decan, Wizards have been kept from their rightful place as the true rulers of the land, but that will change.”
Beder leaned forward. “You say I have a talent and ’tis true. I must have Holder or Chosen blood. There is no family record of such a forebearer.”
“There was or your talent wouldn’t exist,” Selor said. “You must learn control. ’Twas ill of you to set that farmhouse ablaze.”
Beder scowled. “I was scared. When ...”
“Say no more.”  The Wizard grasped Beder’s arm. “You are to forget about what occurred in your past. Those memories will be expunged. You will learn control and will use your talent for the Brotherhood and as I command.”
Lajin closed his eyes. He’d been at that farmhouse. The Wizard had ... had ... had what? “She died,” he blurted.
“Who?”  Audin asked.
Lajin shook his head. “Don’t know.”  He rubbed his forehead. “I must sleep or I will be ill.”
Selor nodded. “You are dismissed. Blankets are with the supplies.”
Lajin staggered to the pile. He carried a blanket to the grass near the fire circle. Senior Wizard Selor and several of the older men entered the shelter.
With the blanket wrapped around him, Lajin sought sleep. He didn’t belong with these black robes, but he had no idea where to go. He hoped in dreams he would find the illusive memories.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Tuesday's Writer's Tip - The Scenes in the Middle - Time of Discovery #MFRWauthor #Writing #scenes

Once the introductory scenes have been completed. This could take a chapter or two of the book since you're bringing in a lot of information in this area. The characters, a setting or more, the characters' initial wants and the internal and external complications have all been touched upon. Then comes the middle of the book. Now this part of the book can sag but preventing that is thinking about the middle of the book as a time of discovery.

In a romance, the hero and heroine are learning things about each other and how their own wishes and desires effect each other. They are also having to look at the external conflicts. In one of my stories, the hero and heroine are very attracted but they're on opposite sides. She's union and he's management and this can be problems. During this time while their romance slowly develops, they also isolate the external problem and find they're both on the right side. Now they must work together.

In a mystery, once the crime has become evident the characters must work through the initial investigations to find the real root of the problem. Here there are usually one of more characters in direct opposition. The detective and the criminal. So the middle scenes will pit the against each other while they learn just what is at stake.

The middle pattern of discovery follows through all kinds of genres. The middle can's sag if you remember that the characters are learning more about each other and about the vaious conflicts both internal and external.

Wednesday Amber Chronicles #MFRWHooks #BooksWeLoveLTD #fantasy #dragon #witch

The Amber Chronicles

Join me with other great authors on a blog hop.  http://mfrwbookhooks.blogspot.com

My book is a collection of novellas

BLURB:

Amber Chronicles Collection: Emme, a witch and the heir to the throne of the world called Amber is banished from her home to find love. She believes she can command a man to love her but this does not work. Angry at being told no by the crown prince of Rivand she casts a spell on the Riva family. Every hundred years when the moon is full at the summer solstice she will call the crown prince. If he refuses to cede his love to her he will enter the amber orb and vanish. Four times she fails and the princes find adventure on other worlds. One turns an enchanted amber dragon into a princess. The second is imprisoned in an amber tower and must select a bride. The third must free the heroine from an amber cage. Emme slowly learns her lesson and returns to spend her childhood with the fourth prince. Hoping knowing each other will help. She has fallen in love with the crown prince and enters the amber orb in his place. Can Emme who is Cast in Amber be freed and gain the love she has sought for all those years?

Reviews:
FOUR STARS! The witch's curse of zapping princes into an amber orb is one of my favorites. This story is the fate of the very first prince. It reads much like a fairy tale, where at least one moral is to be learned. 





EXCERPT:


The Amber Orb

Strains of music wafted from the ball room of the Amber Palace into the garden. Emme tapped her foot against the flagstone walk in an angry counterpoint to the dulcet tones. With each passing moment, the realization of another failure strengthened. Four times a prince had appeared at the palace seeking her hand in marriage. Four times the prince had chosen one of her younger sisters. Tonight the last prince would name her youngest as his chosen bride.
With great effort Emme capped her anger. Lysanda would pay just as her other sisters had. As the oldest, she should have been the first to find a bridegroom. Envy twisted with jealousy to form a rope binding her thoughts. This prince should be here for he was the last of the eligible ones in this world called Amber suited for training as a wizard and destined to sit on the amber throne beside Emme’s.
The scent of roses, jasmine and bluet filled the air with their sweet breath. The heavy aroma pressed against her forcing Emme to gasp.
She heard light tapping of slippers on the stones and knew Lysanda approached. Her sister expected to find Prince, what was his name, waiting to declare his love. Then amber lights would radiate across the night sky announcing Emme had failed again. That would not happen.
Lysanda came into view. Her hair, a few shades darker than Emme’s pure amber tones, hung in ringlets down her back. “Where is Rendel?” she asked.
“Looking for you,” Emme said. “I sent him to the Tower of Sighs.”
“Why?”
Emme stepped toward her sister. She smiled at the alarm in Lysanda’s pale blue eyes. Only Emme’s matched the blue of a summer sky. “You stole him. He was to be my prince.”
Lysanda asked. “He fell in love with me. His heart once given can never change.” She stepped closer. “Don’t think to take him from me. That is impossible.”
Emme fisted her hand on her hips. “I have no desire for a man who chose another over me. I’m sure he believes he will be able to rule you for your power is small and you can never sit on the amber throne. You have taken my last chance for love and rulership. I will take what he feels is important from you.”
Lysanda tore her gaze from Emme’s face. “What do you mean?”
“Face me, sister. Power against power or are you afraid?”
“I fear no one. I am a witch with power equal to yours.”
Emme heard a slight tremor in her sister’s voice. Knowledge filled her. She would drain Lysanda and leave her weak. Three times before she had faced a sister and won. She would win this time as well.
She drew the wind to eddy around Lysanda in wispy bands to speed and tightened them. One by one Lysanda broke the restraints. With each snap, Emme absorbed the power of the breaking.
Emme set the torches of the garden blazing. Tendrils of fire flowed toward her sister.
Lysanda gathered the flames and sent burning orbs toward Emme. “You will not win.”
Emme pulled water from the fountain. Fire and water met turning to steam shrouding the air with sizzling vapor. With slow steps Emme moved through the mist. The earth shook beneath her feet. Lysanda’s body wove in an attempt to remain standing.
Emme grasped her sister’s wrist. “Cede to me.” She drained the essence of magic from her sister’s cells.
“A curse I cry.” Lysanda’s shrill voice pierced Emme’s concentration. “Long will you search. Until you can give with forcing and demanding you will be alone.”
Those words forced Emme to release her sister. Lysanda slumped to the ground. Four times one of her sisters had shouted the same curse. Four times a sister had survived. She raised her hand and released all she’d taken from Lysanda. Brilliant flashes of light colored the night sky with all the colors possible except for amber.
She heard the sound of pounding boots. The prince stepped into view. “What have you done?”
“What I had to. Lysanda remains a witch and in a hundred years or so she will recover. You will never become a wizard. You will never rule the world called Amber.
The prince drew his sword and stalked toward her. “Why have you done this to my beloved?”
“You chose the wrong sister as those before you have done. Take her. Announce your betrothal. You can’t defeat me. You are the last to try.”
The sword slipped from his hands. Lysanda stirred. He lifted her into his arms. “My love.” He glared at Emme. “You will never find love until you love another more than you love yourself.”

Emme turned and strode from the garden. Why didn’t triumph fill her? Her life had been destroyed. There would be no chance to take her rightful place. She hurried to her tower. Why did the shimmer amber walls seem cloaked with gray? Instead of going to her room at the tower’s peak where the city spread before her, she fled to the dark basement and sat in a shadowed corner.

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An enchanting fantasy. **** Detra Fitch

Monday, April 16, 2018

Meandering on Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #poem #writing

Meander 1 - Poem - Spellbound

On a frosty night
A couple strolled
Not touching, not reaching
Yet caring. Rain misting
And blurring their eyes.
They stopped and turned
One look - Spellbound
Enchanted frozen pair
And statued there
Reaching with a glance
To pierce each other's souls.

Meander 2 - Restless - Lately, I've been feeling restless, not exactly afraid but anxiety about the world follows me daily. Not sure when this will end but hopefully soon. Perhaps the world can settle into peace instead of selfish pursuit.

Meander 3 - Writing - So far the writing is going slowly. Want to finish the last of the Opposites in Love series. One problem is, I think I need more chapters so perhaps as the story mores forward, I will find more than I have foreseen.