Yep, I have to admit it I’m in love with Harry Potter. Many moons ago JK Rowling introduced us to Harry. For many others, and me, her timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Life was stagnant, boring and a refreshing approach to fantasy was in need. Ms. Rowling delivered. Although Harry and friends was geared to a YA audience, adults became enamored too. A world of silliness, magic and characters that jumped off the page sat beside me night after night whispering in my ear. Come on read another page and I did and continued to do so repeatedly. Years later, I find myself fingering the covers and hearing that little voice…come on now one more read. Who am I to argue?
Eleven year old Liannis sat on the sod roof of her parents’ cottage in her night-shift, stroking No-tail’s soft fur, and gazing into the night sky. She loved to sit here to think, but chose to do so only after she was sure her parents slept soundly below. They did not approve, fearing she might fall off and be injured. Liannis knew better. At times like this, No-tail, their small cat, usually followed her and took advantage of the warm nest made by the hammock of her skirt as she sat cross-legged.
As a small child, Liannis had spent many happy days at court playing with Lionn, Lord Gaelen’s son, Sennia, his sister, and Borless, the son of Lady Marja’s maid. But as she grew older, the press of her growing inner gifts made it harder to be among so many people. The impressions of their emotions pressed on her spirit and threatened to overwhelm her. Like Liethis, seer to the court of Bargia, she preferred the isolation of her home outside the city.
At first Lord Gaelen and Lady Marja had been reluctant to have their son and heir come to the cottage to visit with her here, fearing for his safety away from the guards. But Liannis knew he would come to no harm. She told them, with full confidence that nothing would happen to him as long as he was with her. Earth had told her so.
Gaelen had relented only upon assurance from Liethis, official seer of Bargia, that Liannis’ sight was true. From that time on, under the watchful eyes of Liannis’ parents, the three children had visited with her often,. They had occasionally accompanied her in her night vigils on the roof.
Liannis had not returned to court again after her eighth summer. The press of impressions there caused her too much pain.
Tonight, Liannis kept her vigil alone. She considered what her future would hold. When she reached her twelfth birthday, she understood she would start spending the winter months with Liethis as her apprentice.
Liethis had already explained to Lord Gaelen and her parents that Liannis would grow into a much more powerful seer than she was. Liannis’ gifts of truth-reading and her ability to mind-speak birds and animals already outshone her own and had not yet grown into their full strength. But the girl needed other skills that would help her use her gifts to their full potential; how to dampen the press that would drive her mad otherwise, how to deal with persons of influence diplomatically and how to handle unwelcome questions from those whose problems were too small for Earth to be concerned with.
Liannis did not look forward to leaving her peaceful home but she understood its necessity. Already, she found it hard to control the barrage that assaulted her senses, and this would only increase. But at least the summers would still be spent here at home.
Liannis smiled, as she sensed her father reach for her mother and lay his sleeping arm across her waist. Earth had given her special parents. She knew they would never have another child. Seers were always only daughters. Earth never burdened a seer with siblings, as they matured too quickly and felt the emotions of those around them too keenly, to thrive in larger families. They needed a serene environment in which their gifts could grow without constraint.
She dreamily pulled a blade of grass from the sod to chew. Then, stroking No-tail one last time, she smiled to herself, content, climbed down and went to her bed in the loft.
War had been set in motion. The thundering marches of the Grengal army, staves in hand, tramped with a fierceness to protect the Realm. It didn’t matter that they would come against brother or friend. Both had abandoned them. A soft mind is easy to control, and Shantra had enjoyed molding them as she saw fit. In the quiet morning deafening sounds of snow crushing underfoot made their way to the fringe of the White Realm. The Ebata heard, and the lines were formed, soon it would begin. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00814YWME
Start your holiday shopping season with a click. Black Friday and Cyber Monday with great discounts. Happy Holidays!
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00814YWME The Rising (The Lost Children of Managrail) Book 1
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CHVJI0S Vanished (The Lost Children of Managrail) Book 2
Both books available for the Holidays at 99 cents
Honest reviews are always welcomed and appreciated.
Today’s guest author is Yvonne Hertzberger. We share a passion for fantasy, and I think Yvonne’s trilogy is a must read. I am so happy that she has decided to visit my blog.
There is nothing so constant as change. Yeah, I know. That’s not new. You’ve heard it before. But this is a tale of change.
I read The Three Musketeer’s as a teenager. At the time their cry of solidarity “all for one and one for all”, when taking on a dangerous challenge, really didn’t mean a lot to me. That kind of trust was alien to me. It had no relevance to the life I lived. I grew up in an environment full of every kind of abuse and mind-bending manipulation. The idea that I could depend on another with my very life seemed like a fairy tale, a pipe dream, only for those living in a bubble of self-deception. Reality wasn’t like that.
Many years of therapy, a kind and supportive spouse, and two terrific kids have done a lot to help me get past that. But the kind of trust I was able to develop could only apply to my most intimate circle. It did not, nay, could not, extend beyond my nuclear family and a few close friends. Sometimes even there it remained tenuous.
In 2006, I had the good fortune to be able to retire from paid work. Seven years on the phone at an incoming call centre had taken its toll on my health. Had it not been physically possible to retire, the stress would have forced the issue in other, less pleasant, ways. At that time I was still seeing a therapist, the last of several. This guy ‘got’ me. He believed what none of the others did. He understood that I didn’t exaggerate or misrepresent how it affected me. He told me to journal. I told him I had tried that and didn’t really get anything out of it. “Well,” he said, “then just write. Write anything.”
And I did. I began with a short piece called Heartsong that basically spoke to how trapped I felt, how I dared not allow my creativity to emerge and be seen. You see, when you’ve grown up believing that nothing you do will ever be good enough, let alone good, it stays inside, like a trapped bird fluttering against its dark cage, unable to sing. You can see that little piece on my website/blog. It’s amateurish, but I still like it for the breakthrough it represents.
That story unlocked something that had held me back. I wrote another short story, a trite little romance. I started what I thought would be another short story, a little more daring this time. And so began the trilogy called earth’s Pendulum. You see that story wouldn’t be contained. The characters wanted out, they demanded their tale be told. So I told it. It just ended with the publication of The Dreamt Child, third in the series. But I digress.
Research told me that finding a traditional publisher would be less likely than winning a major lottery so I went the self-publishing route. I got scammed by iUniverse and lost a good deal of money I will never recoup. But that is another story. Back From Chaos came out in 2009. I could not have been more tickled with both the book and with myself. I had done it. I had written a book , all the way to the end, and seen it through to having it in my hands, proof of my efforts.
But I needed readers. I needed people other than those who already knew me to buy it and read it. Now let me be absolutely frank. I was uncomfortable with computers, eschewed social media and am an introvert. Imagine, then, what it took for me to cave in and sign up for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. At first, the only one I actually maintained an active presence on was LinkedIn. I tentatively joined a few discussions, fully aware that I had little to offer and that I would be wanting more than I could give back. Yet the responses were encouraging and supportive. A new world was beginning to open for me. I made a few supportive connections there. I began to stretch a bit.
Imagine my shock when in February of 2012 I received a message from K.S. Brooks inviting me to become a contributing member of Indies Unlimited. I mean, she and Stephen Hise were real authors. They knew what they were doing. I was a neophyte, not even able to stand on my own two feet yet. What could I possibly contribute?
A few emails later I let myself be convinced that I could actually add something. I didn’t really believe it, mind you, but I tried to tell that nagging little voice to shut up for a while. Just give me a chance and let me see what would happen…
That’s when the big change came. Here were a group of writers that were genuine people, folks dedicated to making the road easier for Indie authors, including me. I still don’t know if what I contribute comes close to what some of the others do. I doubt it. That’s not the point here. What I found was a growing group of friends who were willing and able to nurture this struggling, insecure author along, who treat me as an equal, who respect my input and my opinions, who answer my questions and correct my errors. All this without asking for anything back (other than a regular post). They do it without any hint that I need to do more, that I’m not “good enough”. They don’t expect or demand perfection. I have learned to ask for what I need and that I will get it without strings attached. I give back what I can – and it’s good enough. Meeting these folks has been a watershed moment in my life. I trust them. I love them. They are my virtual family. I will never be able to express my gratitude to them.
Since then I have ventured out and joined a few other on-line groups where I have met wonderful, supportive folks with the same attitude as my friends at IU, Book Junkies, Writers Tools to name a couple, but there are more. I have extended my presence on Facebook, with great results. And by results I don’t mean I’m selling a ton of books. I mean I have friends – real friends, people I can count on and who can count on me.
Which brings me back to where I began. I now know what the three musketeers meant and understand their trust in each other. “All for one and one for all” belongs in my life. I get it. I trust. I am changing.
I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays and I am looking forward to all the changes 2014 will bring. Well maybe not all, but most. Starting this month my blog will having a bit of a face lift. When I started this blog two years ago, I knew nothing about blogging. It seems I am still finding my way. I believe in helping my fellow authors and artists. So what will be new in 2014?
First, I am offering an author’s page( note page not post). This will be a spot where the author can highlight their work(s), provide links, updates and appearances, and anything new in their world. I will do my best to have a select number of genres for easier location. However, an alphabetized list will be available for search. The author may send me updates once a month to add to their page. THIS IS FREE, NO CHARGE. I think it will be a way for everyone to gain more exposure, new readers, and it will also help me build my blog.
I will ask that you write a short guest post (1,ooo words). That post will show your page on the sidebar.
For artist and illustrators, I’d like to create a page for you as well with some of your work. Of course I would like a link back from your page. In time this may grow into a nice network connection.
Second, I will be posting more industry news. Day by day, the changes are amazing me. It is a new world and time for writers, and publishing. I will try my best to provide data that I think will serve our community. If you are interested please email me at aron@aronjoicedotcom and in the subject line: Author’s Perspective. I am looking forward to old friends participating and I am anxious to meet new authors and artists.
This is a family friendly blog, please no Erotica.