Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I hope you’re all having a great start to 2018!

I just wanted to share with you that Tides and Tomes, the conclusion to my Etchings and Embers duology will be released soon! When Jeff Wheeler asked me to write a story for the launch of the Muirwood world on Kindleworlds, I had not planned on writing a follow up to Etchings and Embers. But there was more of Mairryn and Theobald’s story to be told (as well as other characters’ stories), so I couldn’t resist. 🙂 But since the sequel spans a much longer time period, I wanted to make sure that details and events were true to Jeff’s original world and timeline, so I did a lot of research into his six-book Muirwood canon… which means this novel took longer than I had planned. But I believe fan fiction needs to fit as seamlessly as possible into the world that inspired it, so it was important to me to take that extra time and effort. I can’t wait to share the final product with you very soon! 

 In the meantime, I’m sharing the blurb and the cover. I hope both intrigue you!

 

 

In this decade-sweeping conclusion to the Etchings and Embers series, Mairryn is determined to pay her debt to the Awakeners, a secret society of maston women hidden within the hetaera ranks. If the Unborn ever discover the Awakeners’ deception, their punishment will surely be worse than death. But that’s a risk they’re willing to take, for the work they do will save many who would otherwise perish from the coming Scourge. That is, if Mairryn’s son—who the hetaera believe is dead—lives to carry out the deed that the Unborn wanted so desperately to prevent. 

Jouvent spends his early childhood mostly sheltered from the outside world by Huette, the only mother he’s ever known. Still, she cannot shield him from the growing certainty that he’s different, nor can she keep him from the destiny he was born to fulfill.  

Theobald, still committed to keeping his promise to fallen Prince Alluwyn Lleu-Iselin, is blindsided by the drastic measures Mairryn takes to protect him, Jouvent, and the rest of her family. His heart shattered, he finds solace in his visits to Jouvent, in providing him the special guidance the boy so desperately needs and that only he can give him.

But despite everything Mairryn has already sacrificed, she will be forced to make another bargain, one with an even higher price than the last. Only then does she discover the true power of love, the tenacity of friendship, and that even one small act of kindness can change the tide for many.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

It probably comes as no surprise that, as a writer, I’m a lover of quotes. Here are some of my favorite quotes that illustrate love–romantic and otherwise–from some of my favorite books:

10.” You are, and always have been, my dream.” – Noah from The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

9. “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” – Kathy from Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

8. “I was as unburdened as a piece of dandelion fluff, and he was the wind that stirred me about the world.” – Feyre from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

7. “Clare, I want to tell you, again, I love you. Our love has been the thread through the labyrinth, the net under the high-wire walker, the only real thing in this strange life of mine that I could ever trust. Tonight I feel that my love for you has more density in this world than I do, myself: as though it could linger on after me and surround you, keep you, hold you.” – Henry from The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

6. He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking. – Count Vronsky from Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

5. “Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught his that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I’m likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for my little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.” – Hazel Grace from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

4. “If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be one hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you.” – Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne

3. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”  – The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

2. “Having a soft heart in a cruel world is courage, not weakness.” – Fili from The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

1. He whispers, “You love me. Real or not real?” I tell him “Real.” Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

If you’ve read these books or are familiar with any or all of these quotes, then you know the power of words! For me, it was impossible to read these without feeling them tugging on my heart or stealing my breath or moving me on some basic but powerful level.

So I leave you today with one last quote about love from Mahatma Gandhi:

“Where there is love there is life.”

The Importance of Believing

 This time of year, perhaps more than any other, I can almost imagine I’m a kid again. As I watch my kids and other children bubbling over with excitement and wonder, I can still remember the magical feeling in the air, of thinking of Santa and his reindeer and their wondrous journey on Christmas Eve, of the elves, and the secret wishes made on a yule log. As a child, there really is no other feeling that could compare to the magic that is the holiday season, no matter your own spiritual beliefs.

But as we grow older, sadly that wonder tends to fade, and I’m not just talking about Santa. Young kids have the amazing ability to see magic all around them, though older kids and adults are less likely to notice it anymore. Small children don’t question how Santa can make the journey across the world, making many stops, in just one night. They don’t need proof or an explanation of how it happens. They simply believe. Looking back on my own childhood, I don’t even want to imagine how different I would have felt if I didn’t believe in that magic. How different my outlook on life might be, not only as a child but as an adult who remembers that feeling so vividly still. Again, I’m not just talking about Santa and certainly not about presents. I’m referring wholly to the magic, that which we believe without a shred of proof, no matter how implausible.

I was asked in an interview once how, as a fantasy author, I balance the magic and the real. My answer was: I’m not really trying to balance the magic and the real. The idea is that what is real can be magic and what is magic can be real. It’s only a matter of how we choose to look at things. (See that interview here.) And I still believe that. Or in the wise words of the iconic Roald Dahl, “Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” 

Your belief in magic, however you define it and wherever you find it–be it in your religion or the sunrise or the symbiotic relationships we see everywhere in nature–will bring joy to your world in times of strife and sorrow and every other day too. That is the importance of believing!

 

Happy holidays everyone! And Joy to your world!

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