Caption Challenge – February 2016 #5

Caption Challenge Time! First, as always, here is last week’s winner:

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Bethany: ‘I must say, these radicals are polite – not every anarchist apologizes before blowing up the subway line!’. A close follow-up is Adry Grace: ‘Someone has stolen my freedom. So I’m going to run away, and I am going to find it, and when I do, I promise nothing will ever be the same.’

And now for this week’s caption.

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Logos and Resolutions

How is everyone this fine morning? We got our first snowstorm of the winter this last week, but the sun is shining brightly and I don’t think the snow will stay for long. But I’ve too many disconnected thoughts to share today, so I’ll not linger on the weather.

Firstly, I’ve decided I’m going to start writing more on this blog. Meaning that every other week I’ll be putting out an article about writing, writing tips, character building, etc. They’ll come out on Wednesday and alternate weeks with my random scenes. The first one can be found this coming Wednesday under the long neglected Writer’s Corner. The topic? How to create an inspiration portfolio. Very fun stuff.

Secondly, I realized I’ve never shared the wonderful logos a friend of mine, Kate, created. The topmost picture is for me to put on business cards…whenever I get around to making some. The second is to put on the back of my books if I ever print hard copies. So, without more ado:

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final logo

Finally…no, thirdly. Rose of Prophecy. Last week I told you it was free on Amazon, and it’s been going strong all week. It’s #1,331 in the free Amazon kindle store and is #1 in one of it’s categories. It’s number #2 in several other categories and in the top 50 of a larger category. I still only have two reviews (both five stars) but hopefully I’ll get some more in the coming weeks as people start reading the story.

And now, finally, the biggest news for last. I’m going to write my next novella, Song of the Sword, this coming week. Meaning I want to write the whole thing, this next week. Since my novellas are around 25,000 words, I’m planning on writing 5000 words a day for the first five days of and then finish the novella next Saturday. I suspect I’ll be exhausted by the time next Saturday rolls around, but for some crazy reason I really want try my hand at a novella in five or six days.

song of the sword

 

 

For those of you who don’t know, Song of the Sword is my second novella in the Legends of Light series and is a retelling of Rapunzel with joy as the theme.

Interview: Serena Chase

I had the privilege of interviewing Serena Chase, author of the awesome Eyes of E’veria series. If you haven’t checked out her epic giveaway here.

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Where did you get the inspiration for the Eyes of E’veria series?

Serena: I’ve always loved fairy tales, and after re-reading Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine about a decade ago, I wondered, “Could I re-imagine a fairy tale like that?” and I just started writing. Seven years later, I published the story that began with that question—and what I intended to be a little book, turned into a two-big-books epic fantasy, The Ryn and The Remedy.

 

Who has been your favorite character in the Eyes of E’veria to write?

Serena: Probably Cazien, because he is just too much fun to hang out with. Never a dull moment with that pirate! Not to sound totally crazy, but the things that come out his mouth and thought processes—honestly, he kind of takes over my head, to the point that, when I’m writing, most of the time I feel more like a transcriptionist than an author!

 

How long have you been writing and when did you know you wanted to be an author?

Serena: I’ve always been a storyteller of some sort. For the first thirty or so years of my life, I thought that storytelling desire would be aimed toward a career in the music industry—as a lyricist and songwriter. But dreams shift as we grow and . . . I know I’m doing the thing I’m meant to do now.

 

Have you started writing the fifth book in the series yet (any hints about it 😉 )?

Serena: At this point, the Eyes of E’veria series is complete. If there are any more books in the world of E’veria, they will either be labeled “a novella of E’veria” or “a novel of the Seahorse Pirates” — something like that — but nothing concrete on that end yet. I’ve been living in E’veria and its surrounding seas for ten years now and I need a break from that world.

 

Who are some of your favorite authors?

Serena: C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling, A. G. Howard, Lisa T. Bergren, Sarah J. Maas, James Rubart, Kristen Heitzmann, Tosca Lee… so many!

 

What is your normal day to day writing schedule, and how long does it normally take you to finish a book?

 

Serena: That’s a difficult question. I’ve yet to figure out a “normal” schedule. I’m either a total mess, writing like a madwoman for 14-18 hours a day, or a total mess, writing one paragraph in three hours, only to delete it and go fold laundry or something. Basically, I’m a total mess and about as far from “normal” as anyone can get. The Ryn and The Remedy (together) took 7 years from conception to birth (publication.) The Seahorse Legacy took about 12 months, and The Sunken Realm took 16 months.

 

Do you have any writing plans or ideas beyond Eyes of E’veria?

 

Serena: I think I mentioned already that I’m a total mess? That’s kind of where I’m at right now. I’m all over the place. My agent is shopping a completed contemporary Christian YA romance to publishers. I’m developing a YA contemporary paranormal series and I’ve started rewriting the first book of an adult contemporary paranormal series. I’ve also started a massive rewrite of a New Adult contemporary romance novel that takes place within the music industry—one I wrote while working on The Ryn and The Remedy. I’ve also started plotting out a series of contemporary romance novellas. See? A total mess. At the moment, however, I have no looming deadlines and all the freedom in the world, which makes the mess somewhat acceptable. Maybe.

 

 

Official Author Photo Serena Chase 2015SERENA CHASE lives in Iowa with her husband, two teen daughters, and a big white dog named Albus. A frequent contributor to USA Today‘s Happy Ever After blog, Serena is an avid reader of young adult fiction and inspirational romance and has become a respected influencer within those communities. When not engaged in her varied roles within the publishing industry, Serena can be found watching action movies and dreaming about someday living in a cottage by the sea. Connect with Serena Chase on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter (@Serena_Chase) and visit www.serenachase.com to subscribe to her newsletter and gain access to exclusive, subscriber-only content.

Hunters of Shadowfen

Here’s my latest scene from Ravelry.

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It wasn’t nearly as large as the villagers had made it out to be. As big as cottage, certainly. If one counted the snaky tentacles along its huge humped back, it might almost rival two cottages. But it wasn’t twice the size of the town hall as the energetic alderman had insisted. Certainly not large enough to earn a monster rating. More like a beast, second class.
I drew a soft breath through parted lips and turned my head again, peering over the rim of the rickety canoe toward the creature slowly pulling itself from the depths of the Shadowfen. Its stumpy, scale-covered legs splashed water in all directions as its claws sank deep into the mud. The tentacles on its jaw rippled as the beast moved its head back and forth slowly, sniffing.
“Dorian?” My sister breathed out the word at my elbow.
“It’s working,” I replied, my eyes drifting to the light at the prow of the boat. My hand closed about the smooth staff of my javelin. “I think it’s blind, but it can probably sense the heat…and hear and smell.”
Tanla shifted next to me. “Big too. How fast do you think it can move?”
I titled my head slightly as the creature paused. Its dim eyes shifted the shadows in our direction.
“Looks like we’re about to find out. Ready to run?”
Tanla’s teeth shown white in the dim light as she grinned. “Ready.”
“And who knows?” I raised my eyebrows as she unwrapped a sling and prepared a scale-piercing stone. “Perhaps if we take care of this thing, the council will send us after a real monster.”
“Perhaps.”
We both stiffened as the beast snorted, then our gazes met.
I nodded slightly. “Charge.”

Caption Challenge – February 2016 #4

Caption Challenge Time! First, as always, here is last week’s winner:

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It was hard, there were a number of really good entries on this one. But I finally chose Corissa, Maiden of Praise “His words are sweet, His eyes a dream, but things aren’t always, As they seem.”

And now for this week’s contest:
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Comment below with a one line caption for the prompt. You can post up to two entries. On Saturday I’ll pick a winning caption and I’ll post it next Monday along with the name of the winner and the next caption challenge.

Free on Amazon!

Rose of Prophecy is now free on Amazon! After several weeks of trying to price match the novella, I finally contacted Amazon directly and now, less than 24 hours later, it is free! You can find it here. I do need to work on making it free in other countries, not just the .com site. Hopefully I’ll be able to work through that in the next few days.

Currently, Rose of Prophecy #14 in the free books of both categories I chose! This means it is on the first page, which is wonderful. I’ve high hopes of reaching #1 in the smaller categories and maybe get a high number in some of the larger categories too. The number of reviews, the number of downloads, and the closeness of downloads to each other, all help in giving Rose of Prophecy a higher ranking and making it more visible others.

Also, you do NOT need a Kindle to read the book! You can read it free on any tablet or computer using Amazon’s free software available here.

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Names of E’veria: The Ryn

I’m participating in a blog tour for Serena Chase, who wrote the awesome Eyes of E’veria Series! Below you’ll find her article with the ‘behind the scenes’ story of some of the names and a few pronunciations…names that I’ve been saying completely different since I read the first story and now I don’t know if I’ll be able to think of them the right way. And stick around after the article because there’s a a free book and giveaway at the end you won’t want to miss. So, without further ado…
EofE Banner Caz&Erielle
The Stories Behind the Names: the Eyes of E’veria Series
by Serena Chase
Across genres, there are often interesting stories about how authors choose names for the characters in their books, but in speculative fiction (fantasy, sci fi, dystopian, steam punk, etc.) those behind-the-scenes naming stories extend to places, objects, processes, abilities, and terminology—sometimes entire languages are even created! In this series of posts, which will be spread over time, as well as several blogs, my Facebook page, my newsletter—and eventually videos in which I will share pronunciations, as well—I will attempt to unveil the stories behind the names populating the epic fantasy novels The Ryn, The Remedy, The Seahorse Legacy, and The Sunken Realm, a few at a time.
 
For this post, I am focusing on names from Eyes of E’veria, book 1: The Ryn. Shall we dive in?
 
E’veria: This was not the original name of the world in this series. The first draft was nearly completed when I came across another work with the same world name I was using. So I changed it, did a Google search… and learned… that one was taken, too! And it went on like this for a LONG time. You would not believe the number of made-up names I went through before deciding to try… an apostrophe… to make the spelling of my world unique. Finally… ta-da! I found a name that was as-of-yet-unknown to Google, and—BONUS!—I sincerely liked how the word “E’veria” looked both interesting and a little romantic on the page.
And speaking of E’veria, readers know it is made up of nine provinces. Not all of the provinces have stories behind their names—some just “felt right” for whatever reason—but I’ll share a few of the ones that do.
Mynissbyr: Don’t laugh, but if you say it slowly in the way I pronounce it in my head (MINN-iss-beer) leaving room for creativity, it sounds a little like “man is bear” which works very well with the legends of that province concerning “The Bear-Men of Mynissbyr.”
Veetri: Since Veetri is loosely based on my idea of what Ireland might be like (unfortunately I’ve yet to visit and prove my suppositions—as well as hours and hours of travel shows—correct!) I wanted to get across the feeling of “green.” Words like “verdant” and “verde” (the Spanish word for green) came to mind… simple, perhaps, but those are thoughts behind naming “Veetri.”
Shireya: There is a classic Amy Grant song called “Sharayah” that has nothing to do with anything in E’veria, it’s not even one of my favorite Amy Grant songs, but for whatever reason, it was in my head when I was naming things in the world, so… twist the phonetic spelling a little bit and… there ya have it.
The Ryn: I wanted the heir to the throne to have a word that loosely sounded like (and “meant”) the word “reign.” It just made sense.  (And by the way… I pronounce it like “tin”—I wonder how many of you have been saying Ryn like “Rhine” all these years…? Don’t worry… until it’s a movie, you can say it however you want, because reading is the theater of the mind!) The same reader pronunciation issue can arise with the character of…
 
Princess Rynnaia. Do you say rinn-NAY-uh, or Rinn-NIE-Uh? Or something else? I say Rinn-NAY-uh) Also, not to seem narcissistic, but my middle name is Renee, so … if you think “Renee” when you pronounce it, that’s how it is in my head. But you do what you want.)
Lord Whittier: In the first draft of The Ryn, this character played a much larger role. And he was… umm.. witty, so… *cringe* But I liked the name, it suited him, so… I kept it.
One synonym for the word “caprice” is “whimsy”—and being as Veetri is the home of Storytellers, and that “capriccio” is a musical term for “a short, lively piece of music”, I felt that since Lady Capricia was a musician (and petite!) it fit her.
Each of Lord Whittier and Lady Capricia’s sons were named in homage to some of my favorite authors of fantasy: Kinley (for Robin McKinley, author of The Blue Sword), Lewys (for C.S. Lewis, author of the Chronicles of Narnia), and Rowlen(for J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series.)
Drinius: I originally spelled his name in a more complicated way… something like Drinaeus, except probably worse, I don’t recall. At an early editor’s suggested, I simplified it, making it more phonetically friendly for readers.
Lily: Since The Rynand The Remedy are an epic reimagining of the Grimm fairy tale, Snow White & Rose Red (and Rose/Rynnaia is obviously the “Rose Red”), I wanted to find a name that portrayed purity, like snow. Lily is very pale, with white-blonde hair, porcelain skin, and I think of Easter lilies as having that sort of symbolism, so Lily worked for her name from the start.
Cobelds: I borrowed and adapted the German word for goblin, “kobold” for these nasty little old men.
Edru: since he is a scholar, I first named this character “Erud,” a shortened version of the word erudite, but I kept stumbling over the dull sound of that name, and although the reserved Andoven fellow comes off as dull when we first meet him, he has a deeper core… so I moved the letters around and was much happier with Edru, which was much friendlier-sounding to me. (And in case you were wondering, Edru was created and named long before Veronica Roth’s Divergent was published, so there is no connection to a faction.)
Lindsor: I wanted to give this wizened old man a name that was solid, and yet exuded comfort. I happened to have some Lindor AssortedTrufflessitting on my desk (go figure.) So… Lindsor? Yep. Apart from the addition of an “s” to his name, he is named after chocolate, the ultimate comfort food.
What names and words of E’veria are you curious about? Tell me in the comments, and make sure to watch my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter for news of when and where the next “Names of E’veria” post will appear!

 

 
SERENA CHASE lives in Iowa with her husband Dave, teen daughters Delaney and Ellerie, and a big white dog named Albus (yes, he was named after thatAlbus.) A frequent contributor to USA Today‘s Happy Ever After blog, Serena is an avid reader of young adult fiction and inspirational romance and has become a respected influencer within those communities. When not engaged in her varied roles within the publishing industry, Serena can be found watching action movies and dreaming about someday living in a cottage by the sea. Connect with Serena Chase on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter (@Serena_Chase) and visit www.serenachase.com to subscribe to her newsletter and gain access to exclusive, subscriber-only content.
  
For today only! Download the third book of the Eyes of E’veria series for free at Smashwords!
  
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And now for the Giveaway!
  
Revised Blog Hop Giveaway Feb 2016

Click here to enter the giveaway!

And be sure to visit my blog this coming Tuesday for a special interview with Serena Chase!

Top 10 Villains

So, Writefury tagged me to list my top ten favorite villains. Who can resist. But apparently there are some rules:

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  1. Post the button
  2. Thank and link the blogger who tagged you. (Thanks, Writefury!)
  3. Post a list of your top ten villains (along with honorable mentions if you want to go that far)
  4. Tag ten other bloggers (this is one rule I fear I’ll break. Ten bloggers? More like three…)

 

Anyway, on to the list.

10. Pecksniff from Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens. A slimy, despicable, cowardly villain of the kind you absolutely despise.

 

9. The Sheriff of Nottingham. I actually have pictures of two different sheriffs here, the one is Alen Rickman from the Robin Hood movie, and the other is the sheriff from the BBC Robin Hood show. They are both so bad and yet so funny.

 

8. Chauvelin from the Scarlet Pimpernel books. The villain who can never win, try though he might.

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7. Mirza from Prince Caspian. I loved his facial expressions and acting in the movie; he’s a villain you love to hate.

 

6. Moriarty in the BBC Sherlock. What other villain is so insane, so smart, so funny, and so creepy…and all at one time.

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5. Ultron in The Age of Ultron. He’s hilarious and a doesn’t fall into any of the common cliches of many villains. But there’s also no doubt he’s bad.

 

4. Cythraul from the Dark Sea Annuals by Thomas Wayne Batson. For treachery and sheer black evilness, he has very few equals.

 

3. Rumpelstiltskin from Once Upon A Time. A villain who you love and feel sorry for, despite his history of dark deeds.

 

2. Saruman. What villain list would be complete with this villainous traitor?

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1. Loki. The smooth villain from Asgard who everyone loves and feels bad for despite his obvious failings.

 

And that is that, my list of ten villains. Hope you enjoyed it. Now for my nominees; and no, I’m not even going to try to find ten. I tag Joy, Daniel Thomson, and Rebbecca. And if you want to do this, please consider yourself tagged and go ahead.

Caption Challenge – February 2016 #3

Time for the next Caption Challenge! But first to announce the winner of last week’s challenge, which was this prompt:9625b017c5faf770f677c24f9da51ae6

The winner is Writefury with the caption “It used to be my sort of motto. But after this long, I’m getting a little tired of running.” A close followup is Lynn’s with the line “Okay, I admit it I ate your chocolate. See ya!” That one made me laugh. 😉
And now for this week’s contest:
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Comment below with a one line caption for the prompt. You can now post up to two entries. On Saturday I’ll pick a winning caption and I’ll post it next Monday along with the name of the winner and the next caption challenge.

Liebster Award

Firstly, before I do anything else, I’d like to thank Abigail, Anna, Ivy Rose, and Olivia K. R. Fisher for promoting my novella, Rose of Prophecy, on their blogs. Currently the novella has slightly over 200 downloads and I’ve received several good reviews, which is properly exciting.

Secondly, a big thanks to Annie Louise Twitchell for nominating me for the Liebster Award.

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Here are the rules:

– Thank the blog who nominated you and link back to them.

– Nominate up to 11 other bloggers to receive the award.  To be eligible, they need to have 200 followers or less.

– Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.

– Tell your readers 11 random facts about yourself.

– Give your nominees 11 questions to answer on their blog when they post their nomination.

 

My Nominees:

Lydia Carns

Ivy Rose

Olivia K. R. Fisher

 

My Eleven questions from Annie:

#1 – What’s the ‘outdated’ phrase that you use the most?

I’ve no idea…but I like the word ‘botheration’.

#2 – What was the name of your first character you created?

That’s been so long ago, that I can’t be exact…but probably Cleve, the small crab in a story my brother and I wrote.

 
#3 – About how many books do you read a week?

I tend to read several at a time, but probably one or two.

 
#4 – If you were a dragon rider, what color would your dragon be?

Dark green.

 
#5 – You’re in a fight. What’s your weapon of choice?

A bow, if I knew how to shoot it.

 
#6 – How many times a week do you use sticky notes?

More like a few times a month if that. I use my whiteboard for quick notes instead.

 
#7 – When was the last time you hand-wrote a letter to someone?

Hmm…last week?

 
#8 – How many story ideas have you come up with in the two and a half minutes before falling asleep?

Have no idea; quite a few though.

 
#9  – Text or phone call?

Phone call.

 
#10 – Do your characters have conversations with you?

No, not normally. I just have conversations with myself.

 
#11 – Stars or hearts?

Stars.

 

Eleven Random Facts About Myself:

#1 – I’m listening to Celtic ballads while I write up this post.

#2 – I love wearing vests and newsboys caps.

#3 – My shelf is overflowing with books; I’ve one (soon to be two) shelves with a double row of books. I also have books on top of the shelf as well as three boxes of books under my bed…and other books scattered in a number of other places.

#4 – I love salt like, a lot. Especially if it is with something like French fries.

#5 – I just got several more stones I’m hoping to wire wrap in the next week or two.

#6 – I really want a good sized treasure box where I can store all my scattered treasures of polished stones, beads, buttons, and shiny things of all descriptions.

#7 – I love climbing to the tops of trees on windy days.

#8 – My love of scarlet rose is almost entirely due to working on a trilogy where the symbol of the main character is a Scarlet Rose.

#9 – The title of the Scarlet Rose is inspired by the Scarlet Pimpernel…I love those books!

#10 – I want to paint some watercolor bookmarks sometime. It just takes so long to get everything out and I’d rather read…

#11 – I love the Percy Jackson books. I hate the Percy Jackson movies. The quip ‘don’t judge a book by its movie couldn’t be more true for any other series’.

 

Eleven Questions for My Nominees:

#1 – Sword or bow?
#2 – Favorite jewel?
#3 – What book are you reading right now?
#4 – Dragon or griffin?
#5 – When did you start writing?
#6 – What is your current favorite fiction book?
#7 – Would you like to go back in time or forward in time?
#8 – Snow or rain?
#9  – Name of a favorite character in a story you are writing?
#10 – Do you talk to yourself?
#11 – Fly or breath underwater?

Hope you enjoyed this. 😉