Wednesday, September 16, 2015

FIVE MAGIC SPINDLES - Show and Tell

Welcome, readers and writers, to the September Show and Tell. For those of you who don't know, today's post is a compilation of working titles, synopsis, opening lines, and inspiration boards for various authors participating in the Five Magic Spindles creative writing contest, hosted by Rooglewood Press. We are now midway through the contest period, with the deadline of December 31 just starting to become visible on the horizon. It was my thought that the writers could use a little boost of inspiration about now . . . so here you have it!

Keep in mind that most of these stories are still in a state of development, and even titles are subject to change. But I personally find it very exciting to catch a glimpse of these works-in-progress, and I hope all of you will too.

And who knows? It might be that several of those listed here today will end up in the final collection. I think it's pretty likely, don't you?

Enjoy browsing all of this great content, and make certain you take a moment to leave an encouraging word or two to the authors themselves. And if you are a writer and you hadn't yet thought of participating in one of our contests . . . maybe this will prove just the jolt of inspiration that you need.


 Dreams of Fate
VICTORIA KAHRS

Princess Alina has much to be concerned about. Not only is she going to meet her betrothed for the first time, but also the dreams she's been having lately are becoming more frequent. Before she meets her betrothed, however, her father the king is placed under a spell, and now her kingdom is on the brink of war. Alina must journey to the kingdom of faerie and find a cure for her father. But once she gets there she will have a few surprises in store for her. And a decision she will soon have to make will affect both kingdoms. Lies, betrayal, temptation, forbidden love . . . will Alina overcome these challenged and make the right decision when the time comes?

OPENING LINE:

I entered the room quietly, knowing my nurse, Emma, was in the next room, and wouldn't be pleased if she caught me sneaking around.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Victoria Kahrs has not had anything published as of yet, but hopes someday soon she will. She is currently working on her general studies at NSCC before transferring to Bowling Green State University, majoring in history creative writing. She is also working part time at Sauder Village as a costume interpreter, and working part time at her college library. When she is not working, studying, or writing, she enjoys reading, singing, dancing, and playing with her cats. She lives with her parents and brother and little sister outside her home town, Wauseon, Ohio.

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The Brightest Thread
TRACEY DYCK

Princess Alucinora never asked for her gifts--nor did she ask for a curse. Trapped in slumber while the kingdom falls into chaos, all she has left are her dreams. And somewhere far away, a prince is dreaming too.

OPENING LINES:

Not in centuries had the mountains rung with such gladness. Aleida tilted her face toward the sun and smiled. The road winding up the mountain slopes was choked with bodies, nobles and country folk alike, all traveling to the castle for the celebration. Their lively chatter echoed against the crags.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tracey Dyck has been working on a YA fantasy series for the past seven years, with smaller projects filling in the cracks, like her Rooglewood contest entries. She may or may not have a dragon living in her basement. You can find her rambles about life, writing, and all things story-related over at her blog, Adventure Awaits.
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The Caver's Kiss
ESTHER BROOKSMITH

Having finished his last semester of college, Amos Prince plans to spend his summer exploring remote caves before settling down to the next phase of his life--whatever that may be. But he gets more of an adventure than he bargained for when he enters a secluded cave, shrouded in the local legend of Sleeping Beauty.

OPENING LINES: 

"You know, you're the first man who has ever asked me to show him where these caves are." My guide hung his thumbs in his belt loops and peered over my shoulder.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Esther Brooksmith loves caves. After visiting Grand Caverns as a little girl, she spent hours imagining she lived there. I expect, in some subtle way, that influenced her first-ever retelling of Sleeping Beauty. But caves are not her only love; you can learn more about her and her writing at The Pen of a Ready Writer.

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Once Upon a Dream
SARAH PENNINGTON

A Dream Guardian and a student at Cormont's foremost university, Alexander is certain of a comfortable future. But when a mysterious young lady appears in his dreams, pleading for rescue from a peril she can't recall, Alexander's well-laid plans begin to unravel. As he uncovers the secrets of this strange woman, he is faced with a dilemma: when love demands sacrifice, how much is he willing to give? 

OPENING LINE: 

Our story begins as do most tales: with a dream. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sarah is known by various names, but all of them mean her. A homeschooled teenager, she's been devouring books and telling stories in one form or another for as long as she can remember, but she started seriously writing five years ago, with a retelling of Snow White inspired by one of Gail Carson Levine's writing challenges. She can be found in various internet realms, but most easily on her blog, Dreams and Dragons, where she posts about books, fandoms, writing, photography, and life in general.
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Freeze/Thaw (working title)
SELINA ECKERT

When Owen signed up for an archaeology trip to a melting glacier, he expected the ice and the hard work. What he didn't expect was the mummy that woke up overnight or her magic ring. But she wasn't the only one to awaken on the glacier, and it won't be long before evil comes for them.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Selina has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember. While she spent her college and graduate school years pursuing a love of science, writing and literature have always been true loves as well. Five Magic Spindles would be her first published work of fiction, though she is currently working on publishing book one in the fantasy series, This Curse. Selina lives around central and southeastern Pennsylvania and spends her free time with her cat, Annika, and visiting with her family.

Visit her blog, Paper Cranes.
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SPINDLE
ESTHER BROOKSMITH

In a galaxy far from our own, a planet trembles under the forces of good and evil. Every member of its society is subject to the age-old pact with the lab known as SPINDLE, which periodically reaps the planet for test subjects or "sleeping beauties." Can Mikaya escape their clutches? Or will she, too, be subject to one hundred years of tortured sleep? 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Esther Brooksmith has been telling stories since she could talk. Putting them to paper has been a developing process, which started with the mastery of the pencil and improved at a rapid pace with the discovery of typing. She keeps a blog, which she uses to hone her writing skills and connect with other word-lover. You can find her at The Pen of a Ready Writer.
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The Rose-Covered Cabin
RACHEL KOVACINY

In the Old West town of Mortimer Junction, a discontented widow hires an aloof gunman to get revenge on a neighbor who refuses to marry her. But when the neighbor's daughter intervenes, disaster strikes. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: When she's not writing, Rachel Kovaciny passes the time by reading, watching movies, and homeschooling her three children. She blogs about books at The Edge of the Precipice, and about movies, writing, and life in general at Hamlette's Soliloquy.
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I Once Dreamed
OLIVIA K. R. FISHER

Far off in the countryside of the kingdom of Ashindust lies the charming estate and castle of Hazelbend. Little do passers-by know that terrified servants, a treacherous butler, and a lonely lady are trapped inside . . .

OPENING LINES: 

Lady Faerydae of the middlemost part of the kingdom of Ashindust had always been a rather sensible girl, and, upon being offered the courtship of the wise Duke Berwick, had determined that it would be save both her father's failing tailoring business and herself the trouble of waiting for another man to offer his hand in marriage.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Olivia K. R. Fisher makes her home in Southern California, where she lives with her parents, two dogs, and university-attending boarder. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, Celtic music, and hot chocolate, and practices the arts of gardening, painting, and baking. Though Olivia currently does not have any published works, she hopes too soon and writes often. To learn more about Olivia and her offered writing advice, book reviews, and such, visit A Sapphire Chamber.
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The Bridge of Dreams
MEREDITH LEIGH BURTON

A mother's quest for vengeance . . . two estranged kingdoms . . . a forbidden love . . . a mysterious frog . . . and a dark curse.

Princess Brayleigh is a ray of hope to all who know her, the long-awaited answer to her parents' prayers. When the princess is cursed at her christening feast, a chain of events is set in motion. Her fiercely-loving parents strive to keep the princess safe. Yet as Brayleigh grows up, she often feels confined. When Brayleigh meets a kindhearted prince from a neighboring kingdom, her life will never be the same. When Brayleigh and her prince become trapped within an enchantment, a gift of true love might be the only hope for freedom. 

OPENING LINES: 

When something precious is taken away, you remember the oddest things. I remember my daughter's hands. They danced delicately as they performed daily tasks. I especially loved to watch Tahlia spin. Tahlia's life stretched before her like gossamer thread. Then on a day of joy, the thread of her life was broken.

I first thought to take the prince's life. Yet I was unable to do so. Something prevented me. Was it cowardice? Was it the fact that killing him would dishonor Tahlia's name? Perhaps it was the pleading look in his father's eyes. I do not know. However, death is not the only means of making a person pay. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Meredith Leigh Burton is a speaker and author who lives in Lynchburg, Tennessee. A graduate of the Tennessee School for the Blind and Middle Tennessee State University, she loves educating other about disabilities. She is the author of three fantasy novels, Crimilia, The Jarah Portal, and Soral's Rising. She is a voracious reader and enjoys any type of fairy tale retelling. Her other hobbies include singing, teaching Sunday school to young children, and spending time with family and friends.

Visit Mereidth at www.Crimilia.TateAuthor.com
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Kiss My Eyes
SKYE HOFFERT

There was an unexpected guest at my birth. That guest was a malignant tumor.
I know what you're thinking: This is a cancer story. I wouldn't want to read it either, so let's not do that.
Let's pretend . . . pretend that I'm not lying in this stark room that breathes anesthetic.
That I'm not a fourteen year old girl facing an operation that will either save my life or claim it.
Let's pretend I'm a princess. A cursed princess, who is facing a hundred year sleep. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: I am a twenty-one year old starving artist, who spends my days dreaming and writing. Visit me at my blog, Ink Castles. Also visit the Pinterest board for Kiss My Eyes.
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Poison Kiss
KENDRA E. ARDNEK

Everyone knows that Sleeping Beauty falls asleep with the prick of a spindle and is awakened by True Love's Kiss--but this time, it's the kiss that will be the curse, and the spinning wheel is to be the salvation. Alas, but it's not as simple this way around.

OPENING LINES: 

The king wasn't even surprised when the old fairy stormed into the banquet hall. After all, he'd already received notice that his daughter was to be the next Sleeping Beauty, and he had neglected Olgerta's invitation on purpose. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kendra E. Ardneck is a homeschooled author obsessed with fairy tales. Her debut, Sew, It's a Quest, did in fact begin as a Sleeping Beauty retelling. When she's not writing, she's usually knitting. Stop by and visit her blog, Knitted by God's Plan. Also visit the Pinterest board for Poison Kiss.
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The Eternity Ring
KAYLA AUSTIN

On the eve of Kita Thal-Yona's Name Day, a curse is unleashed on the royal family of Lokire. An ancient Fire Daemon, enforcer of a covenant made over a century ago between the Haevel clan and a past Emperor, arrives in the service of the insurrectionists as they threaten to bring the Yona Dynasty to its knees. Together with Grekor, an outcast Haevel son, Kita must seek out the mystery of the Lightning-Hand, who may be the only hope of breaking the curse and defeating the Haevel clan before the entire Empire is consumed in a tide of blood and flames.

OPENING LINES: 

A shadow flickered across autumn's waning sickle-moon, and a noise like thunder rumbled in the near distance.

"What was that?" Xenos rolled to a crouch, all the leisure evaporated from his limbs.

The great windows at the head of the library exploded inward, shattering the still of the night and flinging a thousand crystal shards toward them.

Kita dove left behind the nearest shelf, crushed between the floor and Tauro's weight as he and Grekor leapt after her. Across the passage, she caught a glimpse of Xenos and Etilun's pale faces as they sheltered beneath the opposite bookshelf, spared for the most part as the spears of glass rained around them. Xenos cradled an angry spark in one hand. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kayla is a nearly-twenty homeschool graduate, bent on leaving a mark for her Saviour through her gifts of music and writing. She has been a voracious reader since the tender age of six, and loves to seek out the threads of Truth hidden in Story. When she isn't scribbling or dreaming up stories, Kayla is often to be found managing her houseful of younger siblings, teaching voice and violin in her private studio, performing on stage, or working behind the desk as a librarian. Visit her blog, The Scribbler. Also see the Pinterest board for The Eternity Ring.

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Guardian of Our Beauty
KATHRYN McCONAUGHY

For as long as she can remember, clear-eyed Palli has known that the fate of her city depends on her. Cursed by an angry magician, blessed by a mysterious traveler, and defended by three mighty allies, Palli will fall asleep on her wedding day. But more perils are in play than the ill-speaking of one disgruntled sorcerer. Can Palli's curse be turned into the salvation of her city?

OPENING LINES: 

And it happened in the days of the great heroes, in the years of the warrior-shepherds, that the king of Gubla had no son. He took young wives and old wives, rich wives and poor wives, wives from the country and wives from the city. He sent for wives from Piyampetcha to the north, and from Tsora to the south. (He even begged a wife from the King of the Four Quarters, the master of the Black-Headed People; but the Great King did not send him a wife. The Great King did not even receive the king of Gubla's messenger.) But no matter how many wives the king of Gubla wed, they bore only daughters. Daughters and more daughters.

"How can I live? I'm drowning in daughters!" the king complained to his chief priest. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  When she isn't reading articles about the ancient Near East or deciphering texts from the ancient Near East, Kathryn McConaughy amuses herself by writing fairy tales set in the ancient Near East (as well as Arthurian fantasies, Jane Austen retellings, and other tales too numerous and peculiar to mention). She lives in hope of one day finding a dissertation topic that won't immediately metamorphose into an idea for a novel.
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The Amber Lady
KATE ENDRES

A prophecy at Gilberto's christening led to the dismissal of nearly all spinners in Tracana. As his sixteenth birthday approaches, he searches the jungle for the seeress who gave the prophecy, but finds someone else. Gilberto is mesmerized by every part of Aurora: her honeyed skin (much lighter than his chocolate coloring), her emerald sari (that matches her eyes), and the forbidden silk she's spinning. So entranced, will he recognize the prophesied threat?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kate Endres has been imagining stories forever, and been scribbling them down since her fifth grade teacher sent her to her first Young Author's Conference. Always a traveler, to places real and imagined, her many forays into the world of Ingrelan have generated three novels and many short stories, in various stages of completion. After joining ACFW in 2010, her first Journal of Ingrelan, The Prince's Ring, was just shy of the semi-finals in their 2011 Genesis contest. Currently she scribbles, types, and reads in a tiny hermit hole in Anchorage, but good luck stalking her. Between pet-sitting, inventories, and tutoring high schoolers in Math and Spanish, her schedule is quite random. The one constant in her life is her dependence on Yahweh and His provision.

Take a moment to visit her blog, Wandering Ingrelan. Also check out the Pinterest board for The Amber Lady.
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Greek Mythology Ocean Thing (working title)
JULIA BARTEL

This story is set in Ancient  Greece--where, exactly, I don't yet know. In exchange for a daughter, King Stefanos promises a sea nymph his kingdom. But when a seeress predicts that his daughter--Eos--will die on her eighteenth birthday, he realizes he's been slighted by the nymph and must find a way to protect his daughter. The story takes place in the months leading up to Eos's eighteenth birthday--as she enjoys the island celebrations, takes part in secret swordfights, and meets a certain handsome prince . . . all while the day of reckoning draws near.

OPENING LINES: 

The man stood in the ocean.

Tall and cloaked, he was a black slash against the grey sky and roiling ocean. He lowered the cowl of his cloak, and wind surged at his bearded face and sun-darkened skin, driving cold fingers through his cropped hair. The water was up to his shins in the spot where he stood, with sand dragging at his bare feet as the waves receded and surged forth. Behind him, numerous black rocks stood, standing straight and jagged in the sand as if flung there by the hand of a god.

The man's lips moved in a soundless prayer, and he closed his eyes and breathed in the air, thick with the smell of brine. When he opened them, she stood before him.

The nymph's eyes were black, lightless. Her skin was pale as a slash of lightning, bone-bright; her mouth was a red gash like the belly of a fish cut open. She wore a dress that clung wetly to her skin, glittering like the scales of a fish, and her hair was dark and long and wild: a stormy night at sea.

"King Stefanos," she rasped. "You've come to me for a favor." 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Hi, I'm Julia! I was born in Toronto, Ontario, grew up in Raleigh, NC, and am now a freshman at the University of Toronto, studying English literature and creative writing. My first-ever novel was about a guide dog that lost its master in Central Park. My second-ever novel was about a dog who ran away from home because he was embarrassed to be the runt of the litter. Luckily, the trend of dog protagonists has not continued in my writing today. You can find me on Tumblr at Inkstained Fingertips, and Blogspot at Dragons Dancing in Starlit Skies. Check out the Pinterest board for this story.
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Darkened Slumber
JOSIAH DYCK

Something foul is brewing.

In a land fraught with samurai, ninja, and creatures both ferocious and sinister, deep within a mountain fortress lies a sword. Containing untold powers, its is kept secret. But someone has found it. He intends to wield it for his own twisted benefit, and his first order of business is to cast a certain princess into an eternal sleep. Two friends and true love may not be enough to cure her and to stop this malevolent foe. But if they cannot, the land will fall under the enemy's shadow . . . forever. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Josiah has written several stories, including an entry for the Five Enchanted Roses contest. It is his goal to dabble in genres he's never tried for the Rooglewood contests. He recently was one of the ten nominees in a short story writing contest, which received nearly a thousand entries. He loves listening to soundtracks whilst doing his writing and has come up with playlists for a few of his stories.
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The Ogre Wars
JESS M.

"Leave me be, Kadryn, and tell your father to do the same. I refuse to even consider marriage."
"Who said anything about marriage?"
Callysta forced her feet to move. "No one had to."

OPENING LINES: 

Kadryn surveyed the carnage of the battlefield. Nothing could prepare him for the gruesome scene, though it was a familiar sight what with the war against he Ogres already three months in. More men than he dared to count lay in the bloodstained grass, either dead or soon to be. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jess lives in a rural area in a small town in Minnesota, where she'll sooner see a deer than another person. She loves to read and write and is currently attending Hamline University in pursuit of a degree in Creative Writing. She hopes to use this degree to pursuie a job as an author and/or editor.
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A Spindle in Time
ABBY CASHEN and ERIN CASHEN

All the other princesses of her family had gone through this. Why was she the weak one, the scared one? But no one needed to know. This was right. She'd done enough crying. There was nothing to be done but to accept the facts. That was the only thing she had left to do . . . and she just couldn't manage to do it. 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: Abby Cashen is an avid fan of various forms of media and hopes to one day be able to produce films as well as stories while traveling the globe.

Erin Cashen is an imaginative introvert, who has mastered cooking to an unbelievable degree and enjoys riding her horse.

Visit their blog at Sutori no Hana.

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The Department of Happily Ever After
JEMMA TAINSH

Lilac Figgalapola has a tough job, and now she has a Happily Ever After to organize. She has a prince with poor timing, an evil fairy who's being obnoxiously cheerful, an interfering rival department, and a curse gone wrong. If she fails this one, it will be an unhappy ending for the Department of Happily Ever After . . .

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Jemma Tainsh is a home-schooled Australian teenager. She loves to read many different genres, write, and other creative exploits. Her writing is influenced by great authors such as Tolkien, Pratchett, and A.E. Stengl. You can visit her blog, The Sherwood Storyteller, and the Pinterest board for her story in progress.

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Red and White
J.M. CHRISTIAN

Two women--one curse that will forever shape the future.

Ewrethia, a royal mortal princess blessed with beauty and charm; Ishelle, the abused Faerie daughter of the dreaded Death Lord. Together these two form an unlikely friendship that endures until a fateful event tears them apart and pits Faerie against Mortal, love against hate, and brings about a battle that will ultimately determine the future of a child who holds all in the balance.

OPENING LINES:

The dark halls are silent. Dust marks the ebony floor, thick and gritty, clinging to the smashed remains of furnishings blackened with age. Under a partially collapsed table a small girl sits, slightly hunched over, two eyes gleaming as they watch the single window framed by tattered drapes swaying lightly in the faint breeze. They snap open abruptly as a powerful gust surges through, exposing the darkened sky outside, and the girl shudders. A thunderous clap echoes, the sound vibrating through the floor, up the girl's body, before a rider emerges into view, darkness and fire trailing behind him.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: J.M. is a devout fan of Christian fantasy and passionate about writing. Between creating new stories, he finds time for dabbling in graphic design, photography, computers, and collecting more books to add to his ever growing library. To interact with readers and new fans, he runs a blog called Heart of Light.

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The Princess's Curse
HOPE SCHMIDT

With the land of Athada under the worst drought of centuries, the Mist Spinners banished, and her sixteenth birthday approaching, Anatola wonders if life can get much worse. Apparently it can, as she suddenly discovers a curse and a prophecy woven through her life. And only the ultimate sacrifice can break the one and fulfill the other.

OPENING LINES:

My throat tightens, and I choke back a sob. Though the bluish white stone of the castle tower surrounds me, mist curls about my sandals and loose dress, beckoning me toward the silver spindle glimmering in the center of the chamber.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Hope Schmidt is 21, a Christian, the oldest of nine children, and a passionate authoress. She loves reading, writing, and fantasy . . . and is currently working on a futuristic trilogy. You can follow her blog, Writing the Light.

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A Flame Shall Spring from the Embers
HEIDI PETERSON

Love, loyalty, and revenge. A long-awaited princess lies in a death-sleep, and, in a land of ancient stone and green running hills, two houses are locked in mortal combat. The given words have promised a great king, but--even if the king should appear--how can there be any covering for the blood of the slain?

OPENING LINES:

King Llwellyn sat weak and thin on his hard throne, his right arm--bony yet sinewed--resting uncomfortably against the smooth polished, wide grained wood. Slowly clenching and unclenching his hand, he ran it over his face and short cropped beard. Brushing his fingers across his eyes, he dropped his hand and raised his head. "Rhiannon."

His sister turned from the window, the green of her gown shimmering before it fell black in the shadows. Her strange eyes--slanted and dark--were startling beneath her mass of gold hair, bound in place with its thin twining circlet of paler gold.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Heidi Peterson (author of Ellen and Tales for Little Ears) is currently working on her third book and second full length novel. She's a lover of wide-spreading land, summer dust, white pounding waterfalls, and mountain tops; also of good dark coffee and rich stories. Most of all, she's a lover of the One who is the Word, the Word made flesh. She blogs at Along the Brandywine and Sharing the Journey. You can visit the Pinterest board for A Flame Shall Spring from the Embers.

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The Dreams of Spring
HANNAH WILLIAMS

Winter has outlived her time in the fey world, but Spring has never woken to bring her gentle thaw. For the mortal kingdom of Melstarr, spring has lasted far too long. When the lonely princess discovers a golden thread leading through the castle, could it be the path to a home she has never known?

OPENING LINES:

A baby's birth should be remembered with great gladness. But the kingdom of Melstarr generally agreed that the weather had turned most sour since about the time Princess Avia had come into the world some fifteen years ago. Before then, the land had been famed for its hot, clear-sky summers and snowy cold winters. Since then, the sky threatened rain more often than not and humidity had risen to an alarming degree.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Hannah Williams is an aspiring author and artist, seeking out stories of beauty and quality to inspire her own life and tales. She hopes to bring glory to God through her writing and artwork. You can follow her writing journey and read more of her reviews at her blog, The Writer's Window.

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Faded
GWEN MOELLER

She was supposed to sleep for a hundred years, but nine centuries have passed since the curse was cast. Everything she knew is gone. A tenebrous fairy has risen to rule the kingdom in fear, and no one remembers a time before his reign of terror. For years, a secret resistance--led by an enigmatic old man--has been waiting for the brier rose of legend to awaken and restore peace to the kingdom. But what if she doesn't want to be a part of their plan?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  I have been writing stories since I was a little girl, mostly for my own amusement. A love of fairy tales has always resided within me. I am an artist who loves creating beauty in many forms. History has always been a passion of mine. I am recently married and live in Michigan with my husband and our little black cat.

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Beneath the Spindle
EMILY ANN PUTZKE

Katrina Linden lives in a small town in Germany during WWII. She's the most innocent girl in all of Germany, for her overbearing brother won't enlighten her on the reality of war. They run a store together where Katrina spins wool on her late mother's spindle and visits with her brother's friends, who frequent the shop. Katrina gets entangled in the war in a way she never expected--right beneath her spindle.

OPENING LINES:

Dearest Marlene,

I can imagine you standing on the porch of your seaside house right now, the paint peeling off in layers from the salty wind, and grains of sand permeating your hair. I can hear the white capped waves sloshing against each other, and I can smell the damp sand saturating the air.

You are in a different world than me, my sweet granddaughter.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Emily Ann Putzke is a young novelist, historical reenactor, and history lover. Her first novella, It Took a War, was independently published in December of 2014. She's the co-author of Ain't We Got Fun, which released in May of 2015. You can learn more about Emily and her books at Taking Dictation. You can also see the Pinterest board for Beneath the Spindle.

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The Gift of Sleep
ALAINA HORNBERGER

Adela was always grasping at straws, struggling to be seen through her younger sister Aurora's blinding radiance. But is it possible to be seen through another's beauty when you're too tall, too ugly, and scarred? Even if she could snag a suitor, since she was not the air to the throne she knew anyone who would be willing to marry her wouldn't be worth having. When a faerie Queen gives Adela a potion that will either find her love or destroy her, Adela knows it has to be fate; this is how she'll find her prince, her happy ending! But what will happen when her prince chooses the wrong princess?

OPENING LINES:

One hundred years had finally passed. Even for an immortal, those years had gone slowly. Of course, they always seemed to go slow when waiting, but a human soul was worth the wait. A small smile graced the lips of the faerie as she walked through the silent, overgrown streets. It might have been a beautiful smile if not for the maliciousness behind it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alaina Hornberger is a sophomore in college working busily on creating her future, which she hopes includes books, art, and a great deal of travel. She has written several stories, including one Ancient Roman adventure/romance and a modern Japanese murder mystery, though her true love is fantasy. When she isn't exercising her brain during Greek class or flexing her fledgling writing skills, she is morphing into a zombie behind a video game or standing in front of a mirror and pretending she can dance while her cat silently judges her.

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Awaken
CAITLIN EHA

Who could have guessed that bonds of blood would someday turn to ties of hatred . . .

Long ago, two Faerie sisters went their separate ways. One became Queen Silverswan, beloved wife of the human king of Callenvar. The other become Lady Night of the Abyss, the most dreaded sorceress in all the realms. And now the Night-mage is ready to exact her revenge on her hated sister by cursing the newborn son she holds dear . . . and only a sacrifice of true love can save him. 

OPENING LINE:

It was a fateful night in early spring when a long-held dream was both satisfied and stolen in the same moment.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: My name is Catilin Eha, and I've been writing from the time I could form words on a page. Reading and writing have always been my major passions, which is why I'm currently attending college to acquire a degree in Creative Writing. I am currently unpublished; however, I have a number of novels and other projects in the works, so hopefully it won't be long. As I enter the Five Magic Spindles contest, I feel a tad like the ugly duckling, since I'm sure there are more experienced writers entering along with me. But I suppose that's the beauty of open submission. My hope is that my Magic Spindles story, whether it is published or not, will be an enjoyable read and show the wonder and power of the true love that comes from our God and Source.

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Beneath the Dragon Skies
DANA LI

When her sister falls under the Phoenix's deathly spell, Alethea is forced out of her sheltered existence in the Adamaris Mountain. As their homeland becomes embroiled in shadowy clan politics, and a famine threatens their livelihood, she seeks out a means of undoing the curse. But can the Phoenix be bargained with? And can she trust her sister's charismatic suitor, her sole ally and the son of the rival clan's chief?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dana Li is a graduate student in management science and engineering. Despite pursuing a career in technology, she has always been a lover of stories, reading and writing voraciously in her spare time. She loves good fantasy/sci-fi, classy cuisines, and roller coasters (but not all at once). You can visit her blog, Pen and Fire, and also see the Pinterest board for Beneath the Dragon Skies.

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The Lost City of Llira
BRENNA JONES

Keturan has wandered the islands for years, his home long lost. Until one day, he meets a mysterious woman, who offers him a mission--to find the lost city of Llira, which disappeared under strange circumstances a hundred years ago.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: I'm a college student who enjoys writing fantasy, and I was interested in this particular retelling. The part of Sleeping Beauty that fascinates me the most is the hero's adventure, the idea of everyone in the castle/city being asleep, and said sleep lasting a hundred years. I also really like island settings (like A Wizard of Earthsea or the Mistmantle books), and it seemed like a good place to have one.

I enjoy reading, sewing, and spinning (though NOT on a spindle).

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Briars and Thorns
REBEKA BORSHEVSKY

With her positive outlook, Aurora sees the future beyond her sleep as an adventure and a blessing. Little does she know that the future is far more dangerous than she could have dreamed . . . It will take all her love and faith to combat the briars and thorns fighting against her.

Chasing Sky does not think he will ever fall in love. So few people understand him, what with his Plains heritage. He does not expect to fall in love with a girl sequestered in a castle deep in the woods . . . but he does know she must be kept a secret for as long as possible. For danger lurks in his castle in the sky . . . a danger that threatens not only his beloved, but also the entire kingdom.

OPENING LINES:

The air reeked of rose oil. Julia paused on the threshold of the Voters' hall, fighting against the urge to wrinkle her nose. She wanted to appear dignified--she was the king's wife and had given birth to the future Kingmaker, after all. But more than the roses seemed rancid to her, and that was the fact they were having this vote at all. Her eyes scanned the room before her, landing on the broad from of Theoden, her brother's advisor and good friend. He met her gaze and offered a slight, friendly smile.

She nodded her head once, as the protocol of the Vote demanded. She could offer no more, and he knew better than to expect it. Besides, by the end of the Vote she would want to throttle him, and he knew that too.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A native of Canada, Rebeka Borshevsky has followed her wanderlust to England, Portugal, and around the United Kingdom and Ireland. Her next stop is Japan in her hope to teach English as a second language. She spends her time between a small town and the city of Hamilton, Ontario, where she's always planning her next adventure. She dreams and blogs at The Other World.

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The Angel in the Garden
MOLLY MAURER

An ancient palace fallen into ruin. A "Prince" who wasn't looking for a princess. A girl who can't even remember her own name. Two women with over-sized iron fists. A 500 year-old curse. And a question no one seems able to give an honest answer to: Who is Rose?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Molly Maurer is a college student who dreams of becoming a best-selling author, while pursuing a degree that will (hopefully) lead to a career as a high school English teacher. She lives in the dreary state of Ohio with her mother, brother, a dog, 3 cats (none of whom respect her designated writing time) 3 gerbils, and a snake (who's not really that creepy). Visit her blog, A Bibliophile's View: Fitness, Food, and Faith.

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With Hearts of Stone
ANA IDELINE

Huntley is a prince who, to his father's utter astonishment, has absolutely no dreams of marrying a princess and taking control of a kingdom for his own.

Bella is a princess who, to no one's astonishment, has nothing  but dreams running through her head. She and her kingdom have been asleep for who-knows-how-many-years, after all.

Fed up with his father's expectations of him, Huntley flees his home and gets lured against his will into a dark forest filled with beings of stone. In that very same forest, shortly after Huntley enters, Bella awakens to find that the curse of an evil fairy from long ago has not been lifted upon her awakening as it was supposed to. When their paths cross, Huntley and Bella must work together to find the mastermind behind the forest of stone, while learning a lot about themselves and the power of family in the process.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Hi, I'm Ana. I'm a Christian teen book blogger, and I love posting book reviews and discussions at my blog, Butterflies of the Imagination. When I'm not blogging or studying like crazy, I love to run long distances and get muddy in the process. You can find me devouring the pages of a book, furiously scribbling down stories, sewing my own clothes, and coding up a storm. I believe that one can never consume enough peppermint and chocolate, and I'm always in the Christmas Spirit.

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An Arranged Marriage
ESTHER BROOKSMITH

The king of Hanadil throws a ball to find a suitor for his beloved daughter, Ilona. But more is at stake than anyone realized. As long-held secrets come to light, the suitors are tested beyond expectations. And when the deepest secret of all threatens to plunge Ilona into eternal sleep, only one man can save her.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Esther Brooksmith lives with her two dogs in a little field, flanked by acres of forest. And, when she has a plot problem to unwrinkle, she takes her dogs and roams the forestuntil her story is ready to flow smoothly again. In addition to weaving her tales, she keeps a blog, which you can find at The Pen of a Ready Writer.

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The Hunter's Heir
ALLISSA ZIMMERMAN

After embarrassing herself in front of the Elven Kingdom during her sixteenth birthday celebration, Princess Meriel is afraid her clumsiness and lack of grace and elegance has given her royal family a bad name.

When she runs to Coral Brook Forest to be alone, she discovers her father's own advisor attempting to bring back a darkness that was destroyed hundreds of years ago.

And after she is struck by the darkness and wakes up one hundred years later, she finds that the Elven Kingdom is ruled by a selfish and cruel king, elves and humans are no longer friends, and villages are being attacked at night by the same darkness that had caused Meriel to sleep for a century long.

With the help of a cocky archer and two eccentric fairies, Princess Meriel journeys to find the elf and heir of the great Hunter, Lianothorn, who once destroyed the darkness years ago. As Meriel encounters dangers she never expected to face, she discovers that courage and loyalty are far more important qualities to have than simply being beautiful and charming.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Allissa Zimmerman has been making up stories ever since she was a little girl. The story telling eventually turned into writing for fun. And writing for fun turned into a dream and passion she continues to pursue each day. As an aspiring author, Allissa is working on the rewrite of her first novel, Moments in Time, as well as other creative writing projects including, The Hunter's Heir. She also is a freelance copywriter for Christian organizations and companies. Allissa lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with her family and adorable silky terrier, Gigi. You can visist her blog, Allissa's Little Corner.


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 And there you have it, dear readers! More than thirty fantastic retellings of Sleeping Beauty in the works . . . and these are only a sampling of all the stories being created by talented writers across the globe.

So what do you think? Any that particularly stand out to you? I think my ABSOLUTE favorite title of the mix is "Beneath the Dragon Skies," (which should come as a shock to absolutely no one), though "The Ogre Wars" and "The Department of Happily Ever After" are right up there. My favorite opening lines might be Kathryn McConaughy's for "Guardian of Our Beauty," but there were so many fantastic openings, it's hard to choose just one.

 My favorite premise, well, that's even harder. Skye Hoffert's story, "Kiss My Eyes," about the girl who is preparing to undergo surgery for a tumor . . . definitely an intriguing premise. Esther Brooksmith's Dystopian "SPINDLE," with the tortured sleeping beauties, is one I want to pick up right now to see what happens. I love the notion of a princess as resistant to her gifts as she is to her curse, like in Tracey Dyck's, "The Brightest Thread."

And then there's all those fascinating settings. An Old West setting, a WWII setting, a samurai story . . . an islander story, a jungle story, and a castle in the sky . . . and that's not even beginning to touch on all of the wonderful, classic fairy tale kingdom settings, which, as you well know, will always draw my eye.

There's an evil butler and a Death Lord, a spooky water nymph and an awakened mummy. There are elves, fairies, angels, ogres . . . not to mention all of the wonderful incarnations of the lovely Sleeping Beauty herself.

Seriously, as I scroll back over these story summaries, each one jumps out at me in some way, tempting me with adventure, drama, and romance. I can tell that these authors have really brought their A-games to this contest, and I know I'm going to have a dragon-eaten time trying to pick just five winners this coming winter.

One thing I know for sure: This collection is going to be gorgeous!



22 comments:

wisdomcreates said...

I have been looking forward to this all week, and I am so excited to see all of these wonderful story-tellers featured here.
I tried to do like Anne and pick my favorites from three categories. It was hard! If I could read them all, I would!

So, my five favorite titles:
The Brightest Thread
The Rose-Covered Cabin
Darkened Slumber
Beneath the Spindle
The Hunter's Heir

My Favorite Opening Lines came from:
Once Upon a Dream
Guardian of Our Beauty
Beneath the Spindle
Awaken
Briars and Thorns

My Favorite Blurbs came from (I let myself have 8 choices):
The Brightest Thread - they're both dreaming? This could be interesting. A book of dreams.
Kiss My Eyes - the writing grabbed me powerfully, and if the blurb can do that, I want to read the story.
Poison Kiss - she turns the story upside-down and I want to know what she's going to do next.
Darkened Slumber - powerful sword and a villain who wants to put a certain princess to sleep? Sign me up for this story.
The Dreams of Spring - long winter, desired spring, golden thread, home she has never known???? I have to know more.
Beneath the Spindle - love, love, love the premise of this one. The historical aspect adds a depth and reality to it that makes me desperately want to read it.
Beneath the Dragon Skies - it hints at multiple plot threads and layers of conflict that all tie together.
With Hearts of Stone - I love the idea of the prince and princess getting to work together on this one.

And believe me when I say that picking eight is pretty much impossible. This year's contest is going to be amazing. :D

Allison Ruvidich said...

Wow. I totally forgot about this. I have two sort of entries so far, but we'll see how they go. :) Great job and good luck, everyone!

Savannah Jezowski said...

Wow! So many intriguing stories! I cannot imagine how the Rooglewood team will ever whittle it down to only FIVE. Bravo, everyone! I was especially excited to see there are some guys submitting stories to this contest! I wish you all the best of luck!

Hannah said...

Oh Lights Above us, so exciting to see everyone's unique creativity! Keep up the good work, everyone!!!

Oo, favorite titles are:
Dreams of Fate
I Once Dreamed
The Eternity Ring
Darkened Slumber
Faded

And favorite blurbs:
The Hunter's Heir
Awaken
Darkened Slumber (seriously, Josiah, a Sleeping Beauty story with samurai???)
The Brightest Thread

Favorite Opening Lines:
I Once Dreamed
The Bridge of Dreams (!!!!!!!!!!!EEEEEEEK!!!!!!!!)
Red and White
Awaken

ghost ryter said...

So many interesting stories! Wow. As I was reading this I kept thinking, "This one has to be my favorite, no this one, wait, this one..." :D Good luck to all of you!!

Jenelle Leanne said...

Oh lovely! Lovely lovely! I want to read all of these... immediately.

I do not envy you the job of choosing 5... :)

Ants and Epic said...

Wow! These all look so amazing!! I want to read them all so badly!!
Abby

Sarah said...

Oh. My. Goodness. These all sound so insanely awesome. I want to read them all. Even the ones that aren't my genre, and that's saying something.
Don't ask me to pick favorites- there's no way I can. But I do love how many of them (besides mine) involve the dreams element. I may be a little obsessed with dreams, maybe . . . but they do seem to come up in fairy tales a great deal!

Christine Smith said...

*gasps* I was already looking forward to this collection, but now I'm counting down the days! ALL of these stories sound absolutely mind-blowing. So much imagination and creativity! It never ceases to amaze me how many ways a single story can be done.

I applause all these authors for their unique and beautiful ideas. The best of luck to everyone!

Gwen Moeller said...

My goodness, all these stories look positively amazing! And to think this isn't even all of the submissions! I think this may be the best contest yet!

Even though all stories sound absolutely wonderful in their own right, "The Department of Happily Ever After" and "SPINDLE" seem particularly interesting!

I wish I could read all of these fabulous stories right now!

Jemma Tainsh said...

I want to read ALL of them! Thank you for hosting this awesome show and tell!

Mary said...

These are all so amazing! Epically excited now for Five Magic Spindles :)

Tracey Dyck said...

@wisdomcreates and Hannah: Thank you both! I'm glad you liked the title/excerpt. :) Yours both sound amazing too--more on that in a minute...

Oh, and Hannah, I was also delighted to see your comment on my brother's entry, Darkened Slumber. ;)

Tracey Dyck said...

WOW. So many tantalizing titles, excerpts, and premises, I hardly know where to start! There is some serious talent here.

Victoria K: Her father is the one under a spell? Now that's a neat twist! And the whole questing plot is definitely my cup of tea.

Esther B: Caves! This looks like a most unique modern tale... and I love how Amos's last name is Prince. XD

Sarah P: I have to say, I like the looks of your dream stuff. Very well-crafted hook, especially that last sentence!

Selina E: Oh my word, I would never have thought of that premise! A glacier? A mummy with a magic ring? Whoa.

Esther B: Of all your entries, this might be the one that grabbed my attention most. o.o

Rachel K: An Old West version of Sleeping Beauty sounds awesome! And the hints of characters--like a widow who hires a GUNMAN to take revenge--promise intrigue for sure.

Olivia F: Ooh, so this is from the perspective of the castle staff trapped in the castle? Great idea!

Meredith B: I'm so excited to see you're using the frog element! (Well, the frog/fish/crab/whatever element, but you know.) Looks like beautiful writing as well.

Skye H: Ahh, my first glimpse of your story! And it's already a blow to the heart. I love how she's using a fantasy to escape her pain. :')

Kendra A: Oh-ho, inverting fairy tale themes is such fun! And the king EXPECTS his daughter to be the next Sleeping Beauty?

Kayla A: If your full story manages to weave as many complex layers as your premise suggests, I am in awe. For real.

Kathryn M: I love your opening lines! You have a wonderful storytelling voice, and I'm definitely interested in the curse being turned into her city's salvation.

Kate E: Ooh, the prince is the cursed one here? And Aurora is a threat? How intriguing!

Julia B: I really like the whole 'day of reckoning' concept, and how the curse is the climax rather than the instigating event.

Josiah D: Well, brother, you already know what I think of your story. ;D

Jess M: The idea of ogre wars is fabulous! Love me some classic fantasy beasties.

Abby and Erin C: Multiple princesses have gone through this? Ooooh...

Jemma T: I laughed out loud at this one! From the name Figgalapola to the idea of a department organizing people's Happily Ever Afters, your story looks delightfully funny.

J.M.C.: Chilling! The sundered friendship between mortal and Faerie just adds to the epicness.

Hope S: Sounds like some great twists woven into the classic tale. :) The mention of Mist Spinners made me perk up!

[More in the next comment.]

Tracey Dyck said...

Heidi P: The imagery in your opening lines, combined with the phrase "covering for the blood of the slain," caught my attention!

Hannah W: Gorgeous! I must find out how the messed up seasons are connected to the princess.

Gwen M: 900 years of sleep? And I thought 100 was bad... I like how she's supposed to be the kingdom's hope, but doesn't want to be.

Emily P: Oh dear, the historical setting and innocence of Katrina look like a heartbreaker. (I mean that in a good way!) Beautiful opening lines, too.

Alaina H: Sleeping Beauty has a sister! What a genius idea! Poor girl, living in the shadow of her perfect sister.

Caitlin E: Ooh, you're unveiling the motives behind the evil-fairy-type-character! And a son is cursed, not a daughter...

Dana L: A sister setting out to rescue her sleeping sister--love it! The ways people are finding ways to pick an active protagonist is great.

Brenna J: A disappearing city...smacks a tiny bit of Atlantis, but with a distinct Sleeping Beauty flavor. Awesome twist!

Rebecca B: A princess who sees blessing in the sleep, and a prince who lives in a castle in a sky...! Oh, and I like the hint of danger, and how that ties to the Perrault tale.

Molly M: He wasn't looking for her? Oh, this is going to be good. :)

Ana I: I'm hooked already! Just the fact that her awakening didn't lift the curse would've been enough, but your witty voice adds to the interest.

Esther B: Multiple princes competing/being tested--this I need to see.

Alissa Z: Hooray for elves! I love how much of the adventures occurs after the princess awakens.

..............
WOW AGAIN. There are SO many unique things happening here, from setting to character flips to plot twists. Can we please just put them all in a massive Magic Spindles volume? XD I haven't the faintest idea how the judges will be able to pick this year. Great job, everyone!

Joy said...

WOW!! All of these ideas sound so good! Congrats everyone, because these sound seriously fantastic. There's no way I can pick just a few favorites!

And oh my word, Jess I literally live right up the street from you at Bethel!! We should totally start a writer's group in the area, since I know several other college students who love writing. :D

I have /finally/ started my own retelling, but it's nowhere near ready for anything. :) I can't wait to see the winners and read this collection!! Good luck everyone!

Meredith said...

Oh, my! So many intriguing-sounding ideas! How on earth do the judges choose? I want to read every story!

Best wishes to everyone as they write and polish their work. So exciting!

Savannah P. said...

Wow, all of these stories sound absolutely amazing! Wishing everyone the best as they write them! ~Savannah P.

E.F.B. said...

Ooooh, so many different stories! I wanna read 'em all! *bounces up and down with excitement*

Best wishes to all who are entering the contest. You all have such incredibly creative minds!

I'm still working on my Sleeping Beauty story that I decided not to enter. I'm such a slow writer and it definitely seems that this story wants to be longer than the set word limits of the contest, so I thought it would be best to just find something else to do with it other than the contest.(A book of it's own perhaps?) I've drawn inspiration from the old Charles Perrault version of Sleeping Beauty, as well as from Romeo and Juliet (minus the death and the unfortunate decisions that lead to the death) and there maybe, just maybe, might be a little inspiration from from Dragonwitch if things work out like I currently have planned. I'm having a lot of fun with it. :)

Allissa said...

There are SO many amazing and inspiring ideas on here!! I really want to read every story! I don't know how the judges are going to choose only five....

My favorite titles:

Dreams of Fate
Darkened Slumber
The Department of Happily Ever After
Briars and Thorns
A Flame Shall Spring from the Embers

Favorite blurbs:

Beneath the Spindle
The Brightest Thread
The Rose-Covered Cabin
Poison Kiss
Awaken

And my favorite opening lines would probably be from...The Princess's Curse.

It's so much fun seeing how everyone's ideas are developing and I know that this collection is going to be really, really good.

Anonymous said...

It seems I'm a bit late in commenting, but better late than never.

And wow, the competition looks really strong this year around! Everyone has done such a fabulous job of coming up with stories that are uniquely THEIRS. I know that this collection is going to be a real beauty. (A Sleeping Beauty, that is.)

My thanks go out to all commenters for their well-wishes! And I would like to specifically thank Wisdomcreates, Hannah, and Allissa for mentioning that they liked my title and/or plot. ^_^ (And yes, Hannah, I chose to use epic samurai. And Savannah, I too was happy to see another guy entering.)

Now, for some of my particular favorite entries...
-Dreams of Fate by Victoria K. (The whole thing with the father falling asleep instead of the daughter catches my attention!)
-The Brightest Thread by Tracey D. (Yes, I'm biased because we're siblings, but your story's just so amazing!)
-The Caver's Kiss by Esther B. (Exploring caves and adventuring? Yep, I am officially interested.)
-Freeze/Thaw by Selina E. (Sleeping Beauty is a MUMMY?! O_O Sign. Me. Up.)
-SPINDLE by Esther B. (Well, the futuristic setting is definitely my thing, but the whole reaping element adds another layer of interest!)
-Poison Kiss by Kendra A. (Reversing the whole situation sounds really unique! This certainly seems like an interesting twist.)
-The Department of Happily Ever After by Jemma T. (This story? It sounds like a total laugh riot. Good comedies appeal to me.)
-Red and White by J.M.C. (A name like Death Lord snags me instantly. And a war between the two races just adds to my interest. Plus, it's neat to see another guy who's entering.)
-Faded by Gwen M. (900 years?! Great Scott! And she has to overthrow an evil fairy? Sounds pretty epic, if you ask me.)
-Beneath the Spindle Emily Ann P. (Seeing as I love history, the WW2 setting stands out for me. This one sounds like a wonderful retelling.)
-The Hunter's Heir by Allissa Z. (The whole idea of a quest to save the kingdom from the powers of darkness is something I would enjoy reading!)

But as I said before, all the stories sound delightful! I will echo what others have already said: the judges aren't going to have it easy this year. Best of luck to all, and may the odds be ever in your favor!

-Josiah

Victoria Kahrs said...

Just made my first blog Finding True Love. Now granted I am new at this, but if you would like to put a few words of encouragement in my blog please do so. Also I would like to add what a fantastic job all the other writers are doing. All these stories are amazing I wish I could choose a favorite.