Monday, September 30, 2013

GODDESS TITHE Proof Copy Winners!

And the winners of the two offered proof copies of GODDESS TITHE are . . .

Mary G. Loki
Beth (Myra Beth)

Congratulations, ladies! I will be emailing both of you this morning to get your info, then I'll be packaging up your winnings.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this reveal and giveaway. That was a lot of fun and very exciting! I hope you are all eager to get your hands on copies of Goddess Tithe when it releases in November. Not too long now!

In the meanwhile, be sure to share the blog button and link to where folks can read the first chapter.

Happy reading, everyone!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Want to know what my most recent indulgence/craving has been?

Lindt Caramel and Sea Salt Chocolates. And I am totally blaming my beautiful sister-in-law, Kristen, for this, since she turned me this direction back when she visited me in January! And now, thanks to her chocolaty influence, I am a lost cause.

It's such a perfect combination of flavors for me, because I'm not naturally a sweet-tooth. I prefer savories. But this chocolate . . . O! this beautiful chocolate has that delightful dash of sea salt that makes it utterly irresistible.

And Rohan bought me three bars of these for our anniversary. The decadence!!!!

Have you tried them? If not, why not? And don't try to tell me it's because you don't like chocolate. I flatly refuse to believe that I could possibly live in such a world where people don't like chocolate! (Unless you're . . . shudder . . . allergic? Or something? I might have to allow some grace for that.)

I think it's part of every good and healthy writer-life to have some sort of indulgence on hand for timely rewards. What are some of your favorite whilst-writing treats?

Monday, September 23, 2013


Dear Imps, it gives me great pleasure to present to you the cover of Goddess Tithe, the first of what I hope will be many novellas set in the world of Goldstone Wood. Without further ado . . .


The Vengeful Goddess
Demands Her Tithe

When a stowaway is discovered aboard the merchant ship Kulap Kanya, Munny, a cabin boy on his first voyage, knows what must be done. All stowaways are sacrificed to Risafeth, the evil goddess of the sea. Such is her right, and the Kulap Kanya's only hope to return safely home.
Yet, to the horror of his crew, Captain Sunan vows to protect the stowaway, a foreigner in clown's garb. A curse falls upon the ship and all who sail with her, for Risafeth will stop at nothing to claim her tithe.
Will Munny find the courage to trust his captain and to protect the strange clown who has become his friend?

Coming November 12, 2013

So, what do you think? I am particularly excited to introduce this cover since it is the first one for which I have been directly involved in the design process. I came up with the composition, found the various reference photos, applied the text, etc. The actual artistic work, however, was done by talented cover artist Phatpuppy, whose work I have admired for many years. It was such a thrill for me to contact this artist to create a look for Goddess Tithe that is reminiscent of the original novels but has a style and drama all its own.
The boy on the front was quite a find. I hunted high and low for an image of a boy the right age, the right look, with the right expression on his face. Phatpuppy and I worked with a different model through most of the cover development stage. But then I happened upon this image, and both she and I were delighted with his blend of youth, stubbornness, and strength of character! It wasn’t difficult to switch the original boy for this young man. He simply is Munny, and this cover is a perfect window into the world of my story.
You can’t see it here, but the wrap-around back cover for the print copy contains some of the prettiest work . . . including quite a scary sea monster! Possibly my favorite detail is the inclusion of the ghostly white flowers framing the outer edge. These are an important symbol in the story itself, and when Phatpuppy sent me the first mock-up cover with these included, I nearly jumped out of my skin with excitement!
Many lovely bloggers are helping me to celebrate this cover reveal today. Do feel free to stop by any and all of their blogs to see their opinions on the cover, to read an excerpt from the story, and to see one of the full-page illustrations included in this story. Many thanks to all of the bloggers participating!  Including:
 Each of these bloggers keeps an entertaining blog, and I recommend you follow every one of them (if you don't already!).
I'm also revealing the Goddess Tithe book page today (click HERE to see it!), and you can find a variety of tidbits about the story, not to mention the whole First Chapter!
And I have a fun blog button for the bloggers among you:
Do, please, share this with the link to Chapter 1 on your blogs!
And now, the fun part of this reveal . . . I am offering two proof copies of Goddess Tithe in a giveaway! These copies are not final proofs, so there are little glitches in them. No major issues, however, and the story and illustrations are complete! If you would like a chance to win an advance copy of my upcoming novella, do enter your name below! (USA and Canada only.)" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, September 20, 2013

Nobody Likes Me Syndrome

In a recent Friday Tidbit, I briefly mentioned a hallmark of Mary Sues which I called "Nobody Likes Me Syndrome." This is my own term for a phenomenon I have encountered so many times since I began editing that I finally could not ignore the pattern. So I've decided to present this subtle malady to the rest of you so that you can carefully avoid it!

First, however, I want to talk about "The Outcast."

The Outcast is a popular character for many young writers, I believe because the feeling of "I don't belong" is such a universal, so easy to relate to. Even some of the most extroverted people I know suffer from feeling isolated and sympathize with The Outcast character just as much as any of us dyed-in-the-wool introverts.

The Outcast is a character who doesn't fit into her society. For whatever reason, she always says the wrong thing, doesn't quite understand her family/people-group, has tendency toward rebellion, etc. As the story progresses, we either discover that this inability to fit stems from a secret past or parentage (Eloise McGraw's The Moorchild comes to mind as a great example), or from a dark secret pertaining to the society itself (as in Lowis Lowry's The Giver). In some more drastic cases, it's because the protagonist is disfigured, deformed, or so ugly as to cause fear in others (The Witch's Boy by Michael Gruber, or my own Veiled Rose).

The Outcast is a particularly popular character in old fairy tales and, in more recent literary history, modern fantasies. Frodo Baggins is an outcast because of his "Tookish tendencies." Cinderella is an outcast because she's fallen from good to low society, and subsequently fits into neither. The Beast from Beauty and the Beast is a classic outcast, trapped in his curse . . . and Disney came up with an interesting foil for him in their Belle, whom they also made an outcast from her village due to her bookishness.

My point being, The Outcast is everywhere, is a fun theme in fiction, one I have used on many occasions and intend to use in the future. And so should you!

But "Nobody Likes Me Syndrome" is a different story altogether. So what is it exactly?

"Nobody Likes Me Syndrome" is the state of being in which a heroine--a lovely, likable, kind, sad, lonely, not-necessarily-but-often-very beautiful heroine--is hated by all of those around her. She is surrounded by monsters, who pick on her, abuse her, put upon her, slap her, attack her, look down upon her, gossip about her, spew vitriol at her . . . the whole works.

For no reason other than that she's the heroine.

Oh, the writer's invent reasons a little more specific. I've seen heroines hated because they are so beautiful. I've seen heroines hated because they are so ugly. I've seen heroines hated because they are orphaned, or because they are the only person able to see the evils of their society, or because they possess magical powers. The reasons are as varied as the writers inventing them. In fact, on the surface, these heroines look very much like the classic Outcast.

What's the difference then?

The difference is that a heroine suffering from Nobody Likes Me Syndrome exists in a world of horrid caricatures.

Every time I read a story (both published and unpublished alike) featuring Nobody Likes Me Syndrome, I get the impression that the author is somehow afraid that I, her reader, will be confused as to which characters are supposed to be good. So she makes all of the secondary characters so horrendously awful (i.e. shallow, cruel, worldly, bitter, brutal, envious, frustrated, avaricious etc.) that I cannot help but bond to the heroine instead.

Usually the basic premise of the Outcast Heroine is not at fault in these stories. We readers will always enjoy a good Outcast.

It's the extreme hatefulness of everyone else in the heroine's life that is the problem.

It's all too easy with  Nobody Likes Me Syndrome to lose believability in your side characters. Because seriously, are all of these heroines going to live in worlds peopled with nothing but utterly hateful hags? Do none of these folks possess any good qualities? Particularly the Other Girls. They are often so horrid to our heroine, they border on insanity.

A hallmark of Nobody Likes Me Syndrome is the Other Girl. She is always set up in contrast with the heroine as being shallow, self-centered, often (but not always) extremely beautiful, utterly fixated on attracting all the hot guys, unintelligent, cruel, but oddly popular among her peers. She says nasty, cutting things to our heroine, and will even physically assault her given the least provocation.

She is a source of extreme aggravation to our heroine. And our heroine will spend much of her narrative thought time considering how much she despises the Other Girl. How much she wishes other people could see the truth about the Other Girl and realize what a monster she is (but the whole village remains remarkably dense on that score).

The result is the same: Not only do I end up disliking the Other Girl, but I also end up disliking our heroine . . . whose thought-life is so nasty and bitter toward those around her, and particularly toward the Other Girl, that I can't help but wondering if maybe she is outcast simply because she is so unbearably judgmental.

I have a theory about Nobody Likes Me Syndrome . . . and since this post is already so very long, I'll go ahead and share it, trusting that if you've read this far, you're still interested! Here's my theory:

Nobody Likes Me Syndrome crops up in manuscripts so often because we writers (tending to be the introverted/creative types) are often the Wallflower growing up. We are the girl who sits in the corner, watching the Attractive Girl command the crowd and catch the attention of young men. And she never bothers to acknowledge us.

And we think to ourselves, "Well, she is just shallow/worldly/fake/hateful. If they knew what she really was--and if they knew who I really am--things would be different!"

So, in our introverted creativity, we invent worlds for our heroines where our readers can be in no doubt who the true heroine is, revealing the evil of the Other Girls in grotesque extremes. And not just the Other Girls . . . the people who always seem to gravitate to the Other Girls as well. They are equally hateful.

But it's just another fantasy.

In real life, those people you see around you are . . . people. The Attractive Girl? She is probably riddled with self-doubt and anxiety, and she's quite possibly just as lonely as the Wallflower. Perhaps she doesn't talk to me because, well, I don't talk to her. She might even be intimidated by my standoffishness and think I don't like her or am judging her.

Which, truth be told, I am.

This is the reality of Nobody Likes Me Syndrome. When I read about these poor, put-upon heroines and the awful people surrounding them (particularly the horrendous Other Girls), I can't help but wonder, "How would this heroine appear from their perspectives? What would this story look like if the Other Girl was the star?"

So far when I've requested the folks for whom I've edited to revise Nobody Likes Me Syndrome into something more like, "Some people don't like me, some people do, but no matter what, I'm lonely and feel outcast," the stories strengthen tenfold. Even better have been those writers who've adjusted their story to, "Everybody likes me, but I still feel alone." How much more real is that?

And best of all is when those writers take the time to turn the hateful caricatures into real characters: People with likes, dislikes, interests, heartbreaks, sins, virtues, and (most importantly) motivations. It is amazing how much life the heroine herself will take on if she is playing opposite a fleshed-out cast!

Again, the issue here is not the Outcast. Do write your Outcasts, my dears! Write them, explore them, enjoy them, and watch them grow. Watch them find their places in the world, watch them build their own new families.

But don't force them to play opposite stereotypical Other Girls and other monsters various. Give them real people as their foils! Oh, they'll face true villains enough as the story progresses, but don't fill their worlds with nothing but villains. Consider what the story must look like from those side-characters' perspectives. Understand their reasons for misunderstanding our heroine! Give them the sympathy they deserve.

So what are your thoughts on Nobody Likes Me Syndrome? Have you read books that you liked or disliked that featured this storyline? What are some other differences between Nobody Likes Me Syndrome and The Outcast that you can see?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Three Years Today!

I would say that three years ago today was the best day of my life . . .

. . . but the fact is, every day with my sweet Rohan is better than the one before!

Monday, September 16, 2013

My Name and Its History

So, I have a confession to make.

Rohan has been telling me for years now that I need to write this post and let everyone know The Truth. But I've been putting it off. Partly because, well . . . I'm kind of shy. I'm also a little too empathetic for my own good, and every time I contemplate writing a post like this, I always think, "But what if other people feel bad as a result?"

So here's my apology in advance if any of you feel bad about the revelation I'm about to make. Because seriously, please don't! It's not your fault. I should have corrected you much sooner, and if it wasn't for that bizarre conflict of shyness/empathy in me, I would have.

Okay, here it is:

I go by Anne Elisabeth.

That's right. Not Anne. And not Annie! I was Annie for all my growing-up years, and my family and oldest friends still to this day call me Annie, despite my preference for a more grown-up title.

The thing is, Annie makes me think of little redheaded orphans belting out, "TOMORROW!" with great vim . . . which just isn't me.

And Anne, I'm afraid, makes me think . . . bland.

No offence to any Anne's out there, please! When the man who is now my husband took me out on our first non-date (it wasn't official . . . but it kind of was . . . you know how that goes), I explained to him why I choose to go by a mouthful honorific. Anne just always struck me as boring. When people called me "Anne," I felt like they were seeing me as an "Anne." Like they were seeing me as one-syllable, when I felt like I was many syllables!

Rohan listened with great sympathy, then went home from our date and did a little research. The next morning, he emailed me a list:

Queen Anne of Britain,
Anne of Green Gables,
Anne Frank
Anne Boleyn (yikes!)
Anne Sexton (Pulitzer Prize-winning Poet)
Anne Sullivan (companion to Helen Keller)
Saint Anne
Anne Elliot (Persuasion)

And he said, "So really, you're in pretty good company!"

It was very sweet of him. Anne, as a name, has a rich and noble history.

But it's still not me.

Unlike the famous Anne of Green Gables, however, I did not ask anyone to call me Cordelia. You see, I really like the sound of my first and middle name together! "Anne Elisabeth" has an elegant cadence. And when I was in middle school I read a book (the name of which COMPLETELY  escapes me, but it included a St. Bernard dog and a bunch of kids, so if you happen to know it, do tell!) in which one of the major characters went by Anne Elisabeth.

And I started to think: Why not me?

My first attempts at making the switch didn't go so well. My family and friends were utterly against the notion. But when I started my first job in high school, I decided to give Anne Elisabeth a test run.

Nope. None of my coworkers could be convinced to even try it. They immediately shortening me down to Anne. And I was too shy (do you notice a trend here?) to correct them. So I went from being just Annie, to being Annie at home and Anne at work. Neither of which was what I wanted!

But then came college. Against my family's protests, I determined once more to go by my full and chosen designation! I introduced myself to classmates and professors alike as "Anne Elisabeth," and if any of them shortened it to "Anne," I made a point to correct them.

Which went something like this . . . .

"Well, Anne--"

"It's Anne Elisabeth, actually."

"What, both names?"


"That's too long."

"It's my name."

"I can't call you that every time."

"Yes, you can."

*Considering pause*

"Well, AE . . ."

Yeah, that's right. I went from Annie, to Anne, to AE in quick succession. But there were a preciously-valued few who went the extra syllabic mile to call me the full Anne Elisabeth as I wished. And eventually, it did catch on.

The fact is, my husband calls me Anne Elisabeth (when he's not calling me Sweetieheartpiekins, that is). My best friend calls me Anne Elisabeth. My associates at work call me Anne Elisabeth. My own mother even gave in and calls me Anne Elisabeth (though my brothers and father still staunchly refuse).

And Minerva calls me "Wretched Anne Elisabeth," and not "Wretched Anne" you will notice.

One way or the other, Anne Elisabeth--with all its glorious mouthful of syllables--is just so much more me. But please, don't feel bad. If you've been calling me "Anne," and I haven't corrected you, how were you to know? You weren't, and I haven't been offended in the least. And I always figured, "Hey! As long as I know you mean me, is it really a big deal?"

But I guess it kind of is. And, at Rohan's urging, here I am making my public statement. My confession of The Truth as it were.

I am Anne Elisabeth . . . and I am proud of it!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Drawing Hair Tutorial: Guest Post by Lauren

Dear Imps, during the Fan Fiction contest, a lovely piece called The Golden Light was submitted, along with a stunning illustration of Starflower (aka. Dame Imraldera). I was so impressed by Lauren's drawing ability, particularly her hair! And she very graciously agreed to do a tutorial on her method . . . which I now have the pleasure of presenting to you!

So, without further ado, I give you:

Lauren on Drawing Hair


Final Drawing

Thank you so much, Lauren! You are quite the talent, and I appreciate you taking the time to share your secrets.
What do you think, imps? Ready to draw some hair??? I need to go pull out my pencils and give this a try . . .
If you enjoyed this tutorial, you can find more from Lauren at her blog: Likeness of Love. Do follow her!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Music I Am Currently Listening To (Perhaps on Repeat)

I'm not one to soundtrack my novels, and I have the greatest difficulty listening to music while working (usually . . . some days I can put on a little gentle instrumental and it might be okay). However, as I've been pounding away on Book 7 in the Tales of Goldstone Wood, a couple of songs have been sticking in my head. And I thought perhaps you might enjoy them as well.

The first of those songs is "Les Sans Papier" from the musical Notre Dame de Paris.

Let me s'plain: In my current story, there are three dominant people groups living in the same land. One of those people groups, the Chhayans, are the displaced original inhabitants. They have a long-standing, bitter hatred of their supplanters--the Kitar--who stole not only their land, but also their religion.

So, while this song is not the same story by any means, whenever I listen to it, I hear some of the bitterness of the Chhayan people, crying out at the injustice they feel both from their conquerors and from their goddess.

If you are unfamiliar with this particular French-language musical, I do highly recommend it. I was more than a little obsessed with it (and the novel on which it is based) when I was 20. And I still really love it!
In fact, I love it so much, I'll share one more video from it. This is "Lune," and it's sung by Gringoire, the poet. Any surprise that it makes me think of a certain character in my stories? :)
Seriously, doesn't that make you think of Eanrin? Especially if you read the translation (though the original French is much better!). Eanrin would, I think, sing of his heartbreak to the Moon. And his voice probably sounds very much like Bruno Pelletier. (Though I'm open to other alternatives if you think another's voice is better match!)
So I could keep posting Notre Dame de Paris videos all evening if I'm not careful. Thus I will move on.
This next song is one that I don't listen to very often. I really can't. It moves me to tears every time. And I'm not a mother! I don't know if I'll be able to listen to this should I ever have children. So you are fairly warned.
Obviously, this song is based on events in the Biblical King David's life, and it does not have a direct correlation to my books. But my current manuscript deals with Hymlumé and her children. I don't want to spoil it for those of you who haven 't read Moonblood, but Hymlumé's story has it's share of tragedy. And if she were to sing of her heartache, I think it would sound very much like this song. Especially if joined in her song by those of her children who remain to her.
Oh, dear. I'm listening to it as I type, and now I'm crying. I don't usually cry for music! I might have to switch to something else . . . . A number of Eric Whitacre's wonderful pieces makes me think of Hymlumé and her children. The sound of a thousand voices joined together. Sigh. But again, I'll leave this for now and move on.
Okay, this next one is rather random . . . particularly considering that I'm not that wild about Disney's Pocahontas. It's my husband's favorite Disney movie (he loves the music and the sad ending), but the story just isn't my favorite.
However, my husband got me to listen to the soundtrack. And then I started really, really liking the soundtrack. And then I was writing Goddess Tithe . . . and this final instrumental piece filled my head while I wrote the last chapter of that story.
Let it be here noted that the story of Goddess Tithe is nothing like that of Pocahontas. But the musical mood created is, I think, just about perfect for that last chapter. (You'll have to tell me if you think I'm right after you've read the book for yourself).
Okay, one more. Let's end on a completely different mood!
I think my current heroine might possibly react to a certain other character in a manner similar to this. Maybe not exactly like this, but very similar. :) But I'll say no more for now. (Isn't it just a darling song, though? I mean, really! Rohan sent me this song when we started dating and said it made him think of me . . . and I've liked it ever since.)

Okay, was that a bit eclectic? I'm afraid that's a fairly good summary of my musical tastes right there. Not much rhyme or reason to it!

What are some songs you are currently stuck on? Do share!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Illustration for SHADOW HAND

Dear Imps, as some of you already know, once in a while, the artist side of me wants to come out and play, and I forgo writing for a little doodling instead. This year, I've been learning photo-manipulation, which is fun . . . a very different art form than my usual, but fun!

Bard Eanrin and Dame Imraldera have been fan favorites since . . . well I think since Book 1, honestly! So while Shadow Hand is not focused on them (they are major characters, but not the protagonists, per se), I decided to do an illustration featuring them anyway. I'd found the image of this girl months ago and had been planning to use her for an Imraldera-themed piece ever since. This seemed like a good opportunity.

After all, there are some big changes coming up in their relationship come Shadow Hand . . .

Stock Credit: A-Stock
So, what do you think? I know, I know, Eanrin is in a hood, not a hat . . . but it's tough to find stock photos with exactly the right outfits, and I think this fellow works pretty well on the whole.
If you'd like to share this illustration as a blog button on your sidebars, please link it back to the Shadow Hand blog page. Hope you enjoyed the image. And I hope you'll all be grabbing copies of Shadow Hand this winter!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday Tidbits: Research and the Fantasy Novel--Part Two

So last week I discussed some small-scale, detail-oriented research I have found to be important while creating a believable fantasy world. This week, I'll talk a little about some of the BIG-scale research I have done, in the hopes that you might find some helpful ideas. As always, these are things which have worked for me, and they very well might not work for you at all. But they're worth considering!

1. Magic. I have a copy of Frazer's The Golden Bough, which I have found very helpful and inspiring over the years. It is full of interesting information on various religious beliefs, superstitions, festivals and so forth throughout the history of the world. The beliefs about magic can be just as useful as any sparkly-enchantment magic I might ever invent on my own. There are some really horrifying moments in this book, but it is all interesting. It's good, if you're planning to pursue fantasy, to have a basic grounding in our-world perspectives on magic, superstition, and the otherworld. It includes ideas such as the "priest king," the "king for a day," the "white goddess," rites of spring and winter, beliefs concerning trees, and so many more. It's both dark and very dry by turns, but I've found it incredibly useful when attempting to create a believable world.

(Note: this is not a book about the practice of witchcraft or anything of that nature. It is a scholarly text on historical beliefs and practices.)

2. Poetry . . . particularly Shakespeare. I never read as much poetry as I should, but there are a wealth of themes and archetypes to be found among the poets, not to mention wonderful images of Faerie and otherworldy spirits. No one beats Shakespeare for his wonderful depictions of Faerie. But there are so many others, including Christina Rossetti (Goblin Market), Percy Shelley (Queen Mab: A Philosophical Poem), Tennyson (The Splendor Falls . . . The Lady of Shallot), and more. Also a familiarity with some of the old ballads (Tam Lin comes to mind) can be very helpful. I have tried to memorize a number of fairy-related poems and monologues so that even the rhythms and cadences of the other world are in my brain, ready to use.

3. History. The time period and culture of the world you're creating will determine what sorts of history books you want to pick up. For instance, the novel I am currently writing is set in my Noorhitam Empire, which is loosely Asian-based. So, before beginning this novel, I read several books and numerous articles on old Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Thai, and Cambodian cultures, using bits and pieces of what I learned to create a culture and variety of sub-cultures all my own. The point is not to recreate our history, but to find ways to make your own more authentic and believable. I have found particularly useful the study of caste systems, political structures (where does the power truly lie? With the emperor? His lords? His priests? His queen?), inheritance practices, the blending of cultures after invasions, the roles of women, the middle classes, the peasant classes, sources of revenue . . . that's just to name a few off the top of my head! (No one said research was easy . . . but it can be fascinating, depending on your sources.)

4. Have a healthy understanding of some basic literary archetypes, their origins, and their roles in history and literature. An author who does this just brilliantly (in my opinion) is Sir Terry Pratchett. His use of the "Maiden, Mother, and Crone" archetype is wonderful. Also his understanding of traditional Woman's Magic (natural and earth-bound) versus Men's Magic (scholarly and cerebral). Of course, in his world, the magic actually works! But the reason it feels so believable is because he based it off of established literary archetypes. It's wonderful.

There are dozens and dozens of archetypes to choose from, of course. You could spend a lifetime studying them all and coming up with new ways to include them in your manuscripts.

Anyway, those are some of the broad-scale forms of research I have pursued (and continue to pursue) for my fantasy novels. I'm sure there are others which I am forgetting at the moment, but I am hungry, and my husband is making some pretty amazing-smelling hot sandwiches, so my concentration is not what it might be . . . .

What about you? What sorts of broad-scale research have you done for your writing? Anything you'd like to add to my list? (Remember, this is for broad-scale, not details . . . the details were last week.)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Books, Cats, and Whimsy

Hi, readers! I'm excited to introduce my own mother's new blog to you. I've been urging her for years to start blogging again (she used to keep a Xanga back in the day), and finally today, she has launched Books, Cats, and Whimsy for your blog-reading pleasure.

And I got to design it . . . Cute, right?

Click HERE to go to her blog and be sure to follow it. I can promise you that it will be full of all things bookish, feline, and whimsical, with the occasional writing tip (she is an award-winning-bestseller after all!) thrown in for good measure.
You can also start watching for news of her new release . . . because, yes, after a seven year hiatus, Jill Stengl is about to jump back into the world of publishing!
Proud Daughter Squeal: Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

More On That Fan Fiction . . . .

Dear imps, just because the Fan Fiction Contest is over, doesn't mean the Fan Fiction itself is! I would like to alert you to the Recent Tales page on Dame Imraldera's Library. We received a new tale just yesterday called The Lady of Ice, and it is quite an exciting epic story, which I think you will enjoy!
Do take the time to read Charissa's work, and feel free to send in any more Tales of your own whenever you see fit. Thank you for sharing with us all of your fabulous creativity!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Fan Fiction Contest 2013: The Winners!

Dear Imps, the time has come to declare the winners of the 2013 Fan Fiction Contest. This year, there were even more wonderful stories than last year, with new voices and familiar voices both sharing their creative ideas. There were sad stories, funny stories, stories to make you think. There was beautiful poetry, whimsical poetry, poetry meant for songs. So many lovely contributions, and every one of the writers involved received her share of the votes!

But in the end, the winners are:

Third Place 

In what he believes will be his final letter, Bard Eanrin tells the story of his encounter with a very strange world . . . and makes a startling declaration.
Click HERE to read The Last Days of Bard Eanrin.
Congratulations, Hannah! You have won your choice of any one of the Tales of Goldstone Wood. Email me to claim your prize.

Second Place

In response to a pleading letter from her uncle, Wren Crummels hastens to his remote estate, Castcaglia Manor. When she arrives, she meets her uncle's unusual guests who have gathered to investigate a possible haunting . . . .
Click HERE to read The Prisoner of Castcaglia.
Congratulations, Clara! You have won your choice of any two Tales of Goldstone Wood. Email me to claim your prize.
And now . . . the winner of this year's Goldstone Wood Fan Fiction Contest is:

First Place

As she prepares Princess Una for her wedding day, Nurse recalls her own former romance of long ago . . . and the choices which led her away from him.
Click HERE to read For Love of a Princess.
Congratulations, Erin! You have won a copy of Shadow Hand (as soon as it releases!) and your choice of two other Tales of Goldstone Wood. Email me to claim your prizes.
Do take time to congratulate our three talented winners, and be certain to read their stories if you haven't already!
And now, I have one more fun surprise to share with all of you . . . .
Over the last several weeks, talented Goldstone Wood Imps, Beka and Hannah, have been working hard at a secret project for me. Today, to celebrate, not only the winners, but also all the other wonderful fan fiction written by all of you, I am pleased to unveil the results of their labors! I give you . . . .
Click HERE to enter the library!
Enjoy browsing! I hope to see it grow for many years to come.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I will see you back here next year for the third annual Goldstone Wood Fan Fiction Contest!