In The Moonlight- #Romantic #Fantasy #Teaser for #ValentinesDay

In the Moonlight

Drawing her out of the Chamber of Jollity into the dimly lighted corridor beyond, he sought a secluded corner, pulling her urgently along with him until he came upon a window at the end of the long hallway. There, in the luminous glow of moonlight, he turned round and embraced her with a deep moan, caressing her with the tips of his wings as their thoughts melded in sighs. Running his hands along her arms, he grasped her more firmly, pulling her upward against him while he stared hungrily at her; then, he lowered his head to kiss her.

Slowly.

Purposefully.

Moving barely an inch, waiting, then moving closer and pausing to wait once again, he listened keenly to the sound of her unsteady breathing and the less discernible hum of her aura as it began to sing. The touch of his lips upon hers sent a shudder through her that made her sigh sharply, as if she had never been kissed before, and she could not keep herself from leaning into his embrace as the ardor of their kiss deepened. Her senses spun uncontrolled, expanding to encompass his as well as her own and, like the rush of the first spring tide, which consumes the shore upon which it is released, she became lost in the flood of their unified sensations, regardless of place or time.

Breathless and eager, he kissed her passionately, turning slowly round and stepping forward until her back was against the wall below the window. Effortlessly, he lifted her so she could sit upon the deep windowsill, then he moved as closely as the barricade of the wall would permit, allowing his kiss to trail over her cheeks and chin, finding the soft, rushing pulse at her neck where her skin was more sensitive. Enticing and tempting on one side, then the other, with subtle bites and teasing touches of his tongue that sent her senses reeling; he moaned when she responded by leaning backward into his cradling arms, tilting her head back so that her hair cascaded over his hands as she sighed in the glimmering moonlight.

He was nearly overwhelmed by the intoxicatingly intimate sensations they shared through their mutual telepathic and empathic abilities, which he had never experienced with anyone previously, and she, equally overcome by the exquisite melding of their emotions and mingling sensations, had no measure of desire to deny his endeavor.

He drew a deep, shuddering breath and spoke to her softly through his thoughts alone.

Query?

Spinning!

Desire!

Sigh!

… A Romantic Excerpt from Dark Fey: Standing In Shadows…

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Discover More About Dark Fey on its official website

The Reviled
Standing In Shadows
Breaking Into The Light

~Morgan~

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Beautiful Artwork found on Pinterest. Credit Gratefully Acknowledged to the Original Artist. Thank You.

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Veryth- A #FantasyCharacter for #PositiveChange

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veryth

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A Friend and fellow Author recently invited me to do a character interview with one of my characters from Dark Fey and after much consideration, I decided it should be Veryth. Although he is a supporting character in the trilogy, his contributions are vital to the story and, indeed, the Fey with whom he interacts. His influence is gentle, yet powerful and, although he would never step forward of his own volition, being entirely good-natured and humble of spirit, I couldn’t resist giving him some much deserved attention. I hope you may enjoy discovering more about him and do please feel free to share what you think and if you have any additional questions about/for him.

Hello Veryth, Thank You for taking time out of your busy schedule at the Temple to speak with us and tell us about yourself. I am honoured.

What are you passionate about? – I am a Healer whose focus is Counseling. I follow a creed of Guide Gently, Lead Quietly, Extol Empoweringly, which allows me to help others help themselves. This is the deepest aspiration of my spirit and fulfills my purpose.

In most times, what would someone find you doing? I reside at the Temple so I may be close to the Healing Wards at all times. If any fey is in need, I am available to give assistance, offer support, suggest guidance or simply to listen. This is what I love doing and you rarely find me amidst any other activity, although I do enjoy reading and quiet walks, as they allow me to refocus my energy and settle my mind.

Please tell us, who are you really. What do you look like, where/when are you from, what would you say is your biggest strength, biggest weakness? I am a Fey of the Light who is old enough to have been unified to my beloved, who bore us a beautiful daughter; young enough to still connect with the youth of the village and vibrant enough to play an active role in our community. I am of an average height for a malefey at 5’10” with a healthful physique, dark blond hair, deep green eyes (from which my name was inspired), and typical, broad, white-feathered wings. My beloved insisted I am handsome as well as kind of spirit and wise beyond my years, but my humility normally does not permit me to boast such things. I was born and raised in the village Hwyndarin, where I am happy to make my home among the Fey I care about so deeply.

My strongest skill is an ability to remain calm even in the most intense situations, which I am able to share with others through my gift of Empathic Transference, which is the ability to share my emotions with others. This same gift, however, also presents the most challenges. It has taken most of my life to hone this gift and learn how to govern it, because, as you might imagine, such a skill could unintentionally overwhelm another or be utilized with cruel or unkind intent.

What is the most important thing to you? Helping others. It is what my essence drives me to do and what gives me a sense of accomplishment and purpose.

What irks you the most? I have a reasonably even temperament; not much irks or irritates me, however, I would be untruthful if I said the heartless cruelty of the Reviled and their unthinkable need to inflict harm does not, at times, make me wish I had more of a warrior nature.

What delights you the most? Seeing positive change, whether in the life of an individual whom I or another Healer may have aided or through the actions of a group, such as the Liberators, led by the Fierce One, Gairynzvl.

What is one thing that you want us to know about you? Though I do not often speak of such a heart-rending loss, the reason I chose to dedicate my life to helping others was inspired, in no small part, by the help I received (from Healers and Counselors) after the Reviled stole both my beloved and our only child from me. It took much time to recover from such an unspeakable injury, not only to my heart but also my spirit, but I learned much through the loss and grief, and the challenges I faced to try to set my life to some useful purpose. I cannot help, now, believing that the darkness, which steals into all of our lives at some point or another, is there to challenge us to become more than we are at that moment. It is an opportunity to make a change, a positive change, that can and often will not only effect our own life, but the lives of those around us. At least, in my case, this is true.

Where can we find you? I am usually to be found in the precincts of the Temple and play an active, although gentle, role in the entire Dark Fey Trilogy.

Thank You, Veryth, for sharing your Inspiring story with us. I hope these few insights will help others understand your vital Purpose better. You honour me generously. It is I who Thanks You.

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Discover More About Dark Fey on its official website

The Reviled
Standing In Shadows
Breaking Into The Light

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~Morgan~

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Beautiful Original Artwork by: Dusan Markovic

 

 

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Beguiling Complexity – #Fantasy #CharacterSketch

mardan

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One of the most complex characters of the Dark Fey Trilogy is unquestionably Mardan, the Celebrant-spell-caster-turned-Warrior-Fey-Guard. With piercing, cerulean eyes, platinum blond curls and a powerful physique with imposing white wings, he is undeniably striking in his masculine appeal. Although he does not possess a gift of telepathy, empathy or discernment as most Fey do, he does have a gift of magic, which is far less common; although he guards this secret jealously. He is gentle of nature, yet he can be fierce and implacable; he is spirituality-minded, but irrefutably obstinate and to top it all off, he has a sense of loyalty that no one would dare propose he contradict. Although I introduced him through the romantic affiliation he has with lead character Ayla, it did not take long for me to realize that he was far more complicated than I originally suspected and as his interactions with additional characters evolved, I found him more and more beguiling.

Mardan is a young malefey round about the age of 21. As is the custom of Feyfolk, his parents dedicated him to life as a Celebrant; a leader of spiritual and religious ceremonies (rather like a priest, though with a far less austere in lifestyle.) Loyal to their wishes, he entered into the study of the rites and rituals of Fey mysticism at the Temple complex and, in the onset of Dark Fey The Reviled has only recently begun practicing. He meets Ayla at Summerfest and begins a relationship with her; yet her own self-doubt, as well as the introduction of lead character Gairynzvl, the Dark Fey who seeks Ayla’s help to escape his captivity among the Reviled, alters the course of his plans…and his life.

Mardan may have the gentle devotion of a Celebrant, but he also has the heart of a warrior. Even in the face of potential disaster when facing the imposing ferocity of a full legion of Reviled and its Centurion; Mardan’s selfless courage, as well as his belligerent rebelliousness, shine brightly. Giving his utmost to protect not only the shefey he has grown to love, but even the Dark One that has thrown their lives into chaos; Mardan’s true nature begins to assert itself and, although he stubbornly tries to adhere to the dedication set in place for him by his parents, to whom he is resolutely loyal, it becomes increasingly difficult for him to deny the Fey Guard in his heart.

His struggle to understand and, ultimately, be true to himself is one many share and like many of us, he finds that his true purpose does not find clarity until he accepts the truth about himself and who he is. This does not happen until the middle of book two Standing In Shadows , yet when it does we see an entirely different perspective of him. No longer the tender lover, nor the Celebrant constrained by custom and traditional expectations; once Mardan comes to terms with the truth about himself, that he is a fearsome warrior and a Fey of turbulent passions, his life (and character) finally come into focus. Then, his boldness, often caustic wit and impatience to act combine into a personality that is not only compelling, but beguilingly complex and, possibly, (Hopefully!) irresistible.

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A thunderous crash broke the silence filling the room and light flooded inward. Ayla screamed, even before waking fully, and curled into a protective ball upon the settee as the sound of voices echoed about her, harsh words clashing like swords. At the first sound, Gairynzvl spun about to face the unexpected danger. Pushing back his broad wings, he sheltered her from view as much as he was able, fearing his legion had located him and forced their way through the brightening morning to deliver retribution, but as he turned, a powerful blow crossed his face and he stumbled backward.

Tumbling to the floor, Ayla scrambled away from the fray, seeking safety in spite of not clearly understanding what was happening; nevertheless, when she reached the far side of the room where she could cower behind a tall wooden book cabinet, she peered past its shielding structure and watched, horrified, as her Celebrant friend and lover flexed his broad, brilliantly white wings, turned deftly, and delivered a brutal kick that caught Gairynzvl across the shoulder, cheek and chin, sending him stumbling, but his crimson, dragon hide wings countered his balance before he could fall. Stretching outward, he slashed with a twelve inch spine like a blade and a bright crimson gash opened across Mardan’s chest.

“Vile, ruthless demon!” He cursed loudly, gasping at the pain searing across his chest while his opponent regained his balance and momentum. “Come again, Cursed Ghoul!”

Re-centering himself, Mardan faced him more squarely, offering his fists as a focus, but when Gairynzvl stepped closer, he spun and dropped, sweeping his rivals feet from under him and watching with a vitriolic sneer as he fell backward onto a small glass table, which smashed into daggers that ripped and gashed at him ruthlessly.

Ayla screeched in horror and stepped out from behind the cabinet, unable to watch the conflict and not attempt to intercede, but, although Gairynzvl turned his head to look at her, concern clearly expressed in his crimson eyes as well as through the unmistakable emotion of protectiveness, which he directed to her in unspoken thought, Mardan neither looked at her, nor paused in his attack. Stepping forward with a purposeful stride, he stared down at the dark fey lying at his feet and spoke a single, intractable word.

“Cruciavaeryn!”

At his speaking, Gairynzvl screamed loudly and cringed into a knot as waves of unrelenting, excruciating agony pierced his body, again and again and again, but his cries of torment did not induce Mardan to break the spell of Inflicted Pain he had cast. Moving to stand over the Reviled One, he looked down unsympathetically and watched him writhe as he considered his options.

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And a Final example of yet another side of Mardan’s nature from Standing In Shadows:

“The Legionnaires are coming and I cannot remember the way.” Aware that she had closed her thoughts in order to protect herself, he spoke as softly as he could form the words, but in spite of his vigilance to be as discreet as possible, her honest reaction of startled dismay caught Mardan’s attention who was sitting quietly nearby. Unwilling to arouse fear in the others, he got to his feet and moved towards them nonchalantly, bending close and spreading his wings behind him to shield their conversation while he inquired in a hushed tone.

“What is wrong? Where is Ilys?” Gairynzvl looked up at him without raising his head, gritting his teeth to control his frustration.

“She is behind the childfey. She sent a message to me through them, through their telepathy, that the Legionnaires are coming. I do not know how close or how far, but we must go.” The look of concern that met this report stung like a horde of angry bees, but instead of reacting confrontationally in any other manner, as was his nature, Mardan stayed in his cautious position and merely inquired further.

“Which way are we to go? Do you remember?” Glaring lavender met icy cerulean, but the enmity between them that seemed ready at any moment to erupt into aggression did not propel them into yet another quarrel. Leaning even nearer to speak more confidentially, Mardan said something the former Dark One watching him intensely did not anticipate.

“I cannot blame you if you do not remember; I have found myself confused several times just following you through this murk, but we must keep ahead of the Legionnaires. If you are unsure, you must not appear unsure.” Gairynzvl stared at the Celebrant in silence. The Celebrant stared back, unmoving. Between them, Ayla held her breath nervously, but Gairynzvl looked past the Celebrant’s broad white wings at the others; then got up to reconsider the possible routes to take. Mardan smiled subtly at Ayla, then straightened and drew back his wings……

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Discover More About Dark Fey on its official website

The Reviled
Standing In Shadows
Breaking Into The Light

~Morgan~

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Original artwork by: Shuangwen on DeviantArt

The Protagonist Speaks – #Epic #YA #CharacterSpotlight

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Fellow Fantasy author and blogger Assaph Mehr has a website solely dedicated to character interviews! Very Cool, right?! The Protagonist Speaks is dedicated to the characters living inside the books we love. Each week they aim to publish an interview with a protagonist from a novel they believe in. Yep, you read that right. The protagonist – or antagonist! – from the book. Not the author. Not the reviewer. The character. They aim to put the characters in the limelight – to be heard, to be felt. …Which is a notion I believe in as well, since I also do Character Spotlights.

So when Assaph said he’d enjoy talking with Gairynzvl, the lead of my Epic YA Fantasy Dark Fey Trilogy, I couldn’t refuse. Gairynzvl could, of course. One never knows when it comes to unpredictable malefey, but fortunately he was in a talkative mood. Below you will find the conversation, and the link to the full interview on Assaph’s site.

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Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?

My life has been dichotic. I spent my first seven years in the village Hwyndarin with my family and the Fey of the Light. It is a place of simple beauty and communal living, where each villager shares life’s responsibilities and burdens. I was very young, but remember playing with friends and learning to fly amid the forests, streams and meadows bathed in sunlight.

When I reached 7 ½, I was abducted by the Reviled Fey and spent the next 15 years of my life trying to survive the gloom and shadows of their dark realm, the Uunglarda. No sunlight warms their barren dominion and the skies are choked with soot and poisonous fumes. I suffered the Integration; five years of neglect designed to turn childfey into monsters and each day was a torment of hunger, thirst, cold, and abuse.

Gosh, that sounds horrible. How did you manage to hold onto hope? Was is a cherished memory, a favourite toy you clung to, a friend?

We had no toys in the Uunglarda, and very few friends, but I was determined not to forget the ones I had and to see them again. I kept the Light alive any way I could, mostly by repeated prophecies I had already learned and secretly studying others. Although I had to keep it completely hidden, which was not easy in a place where you are forced to do horrible things every day, as time went on, I formed a few secret alliances with Dark Ones who wanted to escape as much as I did and our mutual dream of freedom kept hope alive.

What do you do now?

Even though I have returned to the Light and live in Hwyndarin once again, I spend much of my time training with an exclusive unit of Fey Guards dedicated to the covert operation of returning into the Uunglarda at undisclosed times to rescue younglings and those Dark Fey who wish to escape.

That’s very heroic, but also dangerous, isn’t it? Have you always been driven to risk so much for others?

It is unquestionably dangerous, but also a self-rewarding sacrifice and one I am very willing to make, especially when I can see childfey restored to their families or those who will love and care for them. I would never call myself heroic, though I might agree with driven. Some of my friends describe me as tenacious and the Reviled thought me infuriatingly stubborn, (well, some of my friends say that too!) I simply choose to believe that positive action creates positive results and this conviction has proven true. Consequently, I am motivated to do more because it is so satisfying.

When you first decided to take such risks to help yourself and others, did you think you would succeed?

Honestly, no, but it was all I had; it was the only thing that kept me from being consumed by darkness. When I doubted, I forced myself to read and re-read the ancient texts, searching for anything that might help. When I met others who were doing what I was, it became easier to believe we would achieve our goal, but it was only when I first saw Ayla, the Fey of the Light Child Guardian who helped me when no one else would, that I knew with certainty I would stand in the Light once more.

Reaching out to her was extremely risky, wasn’t it? What was the most frightening thing about risking so much?

I risked everything and, believe me, it was terrifying. I lived in fear for months. If the Reviled had found out or caught me, I would have faced unbearable torture as a traitor. If Ayla had chosen not to listen to me and help, my only chance of escape would have failed, and if she had told others about the dark one who was following her for months trying to communicate with her from the shadows, I could have been captured and thrown into the Prison of Daylight; executed by the same Light I sought to return to.

Fey of the Light are taught from a very young age to fear the Reviled. As one of them, what was the hardest thing you had to do to convince her she could trust you?

The night I chose to confront her was stormy and the darkness aided my crossing, but I knew coming face to face with a Dark Fey, alone, would frighten her immeasurably. So, I had taught myself a spell that would protect her from the Legion I was forced to traveled with by casting a brilliant light, which would block them from crossing over to harm her and give me time to convince her I was no threat. It was difficult not only because I had no desire to scare her, but the light I used to protect her, at the time, was lethal to me. If she had not chosen to act and help me, it would have killed me.

Risking so much was certainly difficult; so, what was the best part of that night?

Ayla used her very special gifts to help me escape the torrent of light I had created. She covered me with her body; extended her strength to bolster my own and physically dragged me into the darkness of the parlor before it was too late. I remember standing there in the shadows trying to catch my breath as the sensation of burning I had been suffering subsided. She lay on the floor at my feet, utterly exhausted and overwhelmed; yet she did not try to run from me. In fact, she reached up to touch my hand, as if making sure I was all right. It was an extremely intense moment. For 15 years, no one had done anything for me; yet, although she was frightened, overcome, and wracked by physical and emotional pain that was not her own (because she had connected with mine), she did not retreat from me, but chose to draw closer.

That was and still is the most indescribable feeling I have ever experienced.

Are you still close to Ayla?

Yes, I am.

What does the future hold for the two of you?

She is my Beloved One, but this is all I will say.

Some things are too personal to talk about?

Something like that.

(smiling) I understand, but before we end our conversation, can you share a secret with us, which you’ve never told anyone else?

Hmmm? Sure, I know something, a very old prophecy, that can change the world for all Fey……

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I would like to thank Assaph for this marvelous opportunity. It was a pleasure learning more about Gairynzvl, even for me, who wrote him. Please be sure to visit The Protagonist Speaks to read more fantastic character interviews (or to set one up for your own character!)

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Discover more about the Dark Fey Trilogy

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The Reviled
Standing In Shadows
Breaking Into The Light

~Morgan~

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Beautiful Original Artwork by HJGArt and Negshin at Deviantart.com

When Weakness is Strength – #Fantasy #CharacterSketch

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ayla

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Ayla is one of the lead characters of Dark Fey. She was present in my thoughts from the initial dream that Inspired the story; yet she is very often misunderstood by readers. Although the story could not progress without her, even I find myself frequently annoyed by her overly emotional volatility, so I decided to give my readers a bit of background about her, as well as, perhaps, an explanation. Continue reading

Beginnings – An Introduction to the #Epic #YA #Fantasy #DarkFey

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The story of Dark Fey is set in a fantasy realm of Jyndari, a world of beauty, magic, Light and Darkness. It is peopled by Feyfolk, winged beings the size of any human who are born with gifts of telepathy, empathy and sometimes magic. It relates how the Power of Hope, Acceptance and Forgiveness can change the world, if you take Positive Action to create Change through doing what is Right.

The only way to achieve Peace is to become Peace.

Although their two realms exist in close proximity, most Fey of the Light have never seen an actual Dark Fey and many Dark Fey only encounter very young Fey of the Light; yet crossings and abductions happen every day.

As their temples are desecrated, homes are pillaged and plundered, and the peaceful tranquility so important to the Fey of the Light is repeatedly shattered, the Fey Guard stand as protectors. They are mighty in battle and fierce in their vigilance to protect the fragile balance of life for the peaceful Fey of Light

All Fey are born with special abilities, or gifts, such as telepathy, empathy, discernment, or the ability to dream walk. Many also have a gift of magic, though not all, such as spell-casting, enchantment, light bending or element wielding. While the Fey of the Light are beautiful and live harmoniously, the Reviled Fey are the opposite; they revere darkness and fill their lives with cruelty and evil, but all Reviled Fey begin their lives as Fey of the Light. The change comes only if they are abducted as childfey and forced to undergo the Integration, a process of intentional neglect and cruelty designed to twist them away from the Light.

This level of horror is not incorporated into the Dark Fey Trilogy simply for the sake of it. One does not need to open the pages of a book to discover the unthinkable, as the darkness typically embodied in fantasy genre stories by some terrifying being or creature is very much alive in our own reality and this is the underlying motivation for the darkness woven into Dark Fey. It was based in great part on the terrifying, yet true-life events of the Lord’s Resistance Army or LRA, a rebel militant group in Uganda that has for over 20 years abducted children from their homes; forcing them to commit horrifying acts of violence against each other and their own people. These children suffer a very real Integration and, like the childfey of Jyndari, they endure violence and cruelty at the hands of truly sadistic overlords. This is how the Reviled came to life and became the horrifyingly cruel beings depicted in Dark Fey.

This story shares the Power of Hope, Acceptance and Forgiveness through the ideal that you can change the world, if you take Positive Action to Create Change through doing what is Right.

Many times during your journey through the Dark Fey Trilogy, you will encounter words that seem to be capitalized for no apparent reason; yet,it should be noted, these capitalizations are anything but random. They mark either proper nouns, such as Fey of the Light, the Temple, Fey Guards, the Reviled, or the Light, which is not simply a glimmering of illumination, but a connotation that is highly important in the spirituality of Fey. If a word holds specific meaning, it may also be capitalized, such as See, Know, or Understand. You may encounter such words when they are in reference to a Fey gift, such as telepathy, empathy, or discernment, and they carry significant weight so, in order to emphasize their importance, capitalization is used.

Join me as we embark into this realm of Light and Dark. Allow your imagination take over as you experience the Jyndari forest and The Fey of the Light’s struggle with The Reviled. Let the Light reach outward from these pages and draws you into on a journey that promises to change your way of thinking.

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Discover More About Dark Fey on its official website

The Reviled
Standing In Shadows
Breaking Into The Light

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~Morgan~

Thank You

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I wanted to take a moment simply to say Thank You. You are amazing and I truly appreciate YOU more than you may ever realize.

You have made my non-descript little blog far more than I ever could have hoped for, far more than I ever dreamed.

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Thank You for continuing to visit and enjoy what I share.  You are a treasure for which I am thoroughly grateful.

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~Morgan ~

Muse – #VisuallyLyrical #Poetry

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~Morgan~

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Beautiful Photograph found on Pinterest.  Credit Gratefully Acknowledged to the original photographer/Artist.  Thank You~

A Better Place – #Thoughts on #Humanity, #Utopia and #Politics

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I don’t talk politics publicly.  It’s one of those unspoken unspeakable rules…one of the three things you never talk about socially…but every now and then you have to speak your conscience, don’t you?

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil was that good men should do nothing.”- Edmund Burke

I agree.  I also think you can easily add ‘to remain silent’.  If someone was being beaten and you stood by and neither said nor did anything to stop them, you would be as guilty as the aggressor, wouldn’t you?  It’s within the nature of human beings to respond, to react; at least, I still have hope that it is, but I can certainly understand why so many look at the world today and shake their heads with despair.  I do.

We are all unique and have different strengths and individual natures. My nature, as many of yours, leans very strongly toward empathy and compassion.  When a child cries, I immediately need to know if they are all right.  When someone is hungry, I want to give them something to eat.  When an animal is mistreated, my entire spirit weeps in agony.  There are So Many Innocent victims who suffer in silence because they can do nothing else.

But surely we can, can’t we?  I know we are surrounded by violence and hatred and despicable acts I can barely comprehend, but are we not also surrounded by people of a similar nature and spirit as our own?  Are there not just as many longing for some good in this world as there are those who are aggressors and violators? Where does it end?  If we want Peace, do we not need to become Peace? If we long for Love, should we not first Love?

I say all this as a preface because what I really mean to say is that I look at our government and feel such anger. I watch their inaction in monumental proportion and rage against the cold machinery of it all.  I listen to each side trying to prop up their greed and dishonesty with even greater deceptions and avarice while I long for just one good person to stop doing Nothing.

What would it take for ‘one representative of the people’ to say “I refuse to let this continue.”

What might it mean for one to say, ‘If hundreds of thousands of Americans are not being paid because we cannot find a way to practice democracy and come to a compromise, than neither shall I take pay.”

How much good could it possibly do if we stood together as a community, rallying round each other in support of one another, rather than finding offense in everything someone may or may not say or do; rather than faulting them for perceived wrongs or disagreeing with them simply for the sake of feeling stronger, more powerful, bigger?

AH Utopia.  The Dream within the Dream.

Or is it a dream? Why must it be only a dream?  Why can’t it be more?  Why, in this hour of chaos and calamity, can we not stand shoulder to shoulder as a people and Demand Change?

Perhaps because until chaos and calamity hits our own front door, we are free to look away, shake our heads and say whatever we feel like saying against the absurdity of it all.  Perhaps, until one of our very own is affected personally, goes hungry, is denied the basic necessities over an argument that, in reality, is merely a show-piece for posturing and pretense, it is too easy to employ apathy.

If we could feel the pain of a stranger as deeply as we feel the need of a loved one, the world would truly begin to be a better place.  If we want Peace, we need to become Peace. If we long for Love, we first must Love.

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~Morgan~

#Love, #Faith, and #Books Nobody #Reads

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20 years ago I was the manager of a retail music store called The Wall.   While working there, I met a young man who so influenced my life that I actually had a series of posts early on in my BnV career that were inspired by him (The Burning Questions).  He had a particularly intriguing habit of coming into work each day with a specific question. He would pose this question and we would spend the remainder of the day discussing amongst ourselves our thoughts and opinions on the selected topic. Who is the best band of all time? What is the best song ever written?  Do ghosts exist?  Is there a God?  And always, WHY?  They were some of the best conversations I’ve ever had. They must have been, because I still remember.

Fast forward 20 years.  Lives change, tragedies and challenges happen, and Inspiration Leads. This same young man is now a father and husband, pastor of his own church, a relatively new blogger and the author of his first book.  (I say first, because Im certain there will be many).  I shared a post by him just last week called “Youth Sports — Love With A Capital L” and now I’d like to introduce you to him.  So grab a beverage, curl up with a blanket and enjoy …..

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My name is Chad and this is my profile.

These sorts of things always seem vain and self-important, but I can’t figure out why. We wear name tags, introduce ourselves, smile and invite each other to our parties. This is all a very natural overflow of our human need to connect, to see ourselves as part of a bigger story. When I can find a real-life bookstore, I look at the titles, cover art, and excerpts for the same reason: to find somewhere I can belong, someone I can relate to, a hand to hold.

I guess this impulse is why I/we do anything.

I write often and from a pretty specific point of view. That we are loved and accepted by Our Creator – this perspective is the life-line that runs through every word, even if it is never stated. Because you can tell, right? You can tell if someone thinks you are worthy and beautiful. Religion has so often come down on the wrong side of this, showing people we are garbage, we are primarily sinners possessing no real intrinsic value. It’s why I ran from God, Jesus, and spirituality for most of my life. Once I woke up to the fact that this couldn’t have been further from the truth, woke up to the fact that I was loved, here, now, today, what else could I do but spend the rest of my life as a modern-day street preacher? Instead of sandwich boards pointing to a fiery hell, my tools are my heart to open and my arms to wrap around a cold and lonely world who has believed a lie for way too long.

I started the Bridge Faith Community where I teach on Sunday mornings, write on 2 blogs; bridgefaithcommunity.com and lovewithacapitall.com, and now I wrote a book; Chronicles, Nehemiah and Other Books Nobody Reads, that you can get at lulu.com or at my house.

The Bridge blog is very spiritual, mixing my life with Scripture in an attempt to clearly display that God is not somewhere else, that He is here, if only we have eyes to see.

Love With A Capital L is a bit more fun, mixing my life with, well, your life and the art I see/hear/experience and the things that make today explosive and ordinary and painful and overwhelming and totally worthwhile.

These things are the way I express myself, but to be honest, my favorite work of art is my life. I have been given gifts I could never have imagined and been blessed far beyond my wildest dreams. I have 2 of the sweetest boys you have ever met, Samuel and Elisha, and a wife who is truly an Angel. So, I might make it to a million or I might die tomorrow, but I will be thankful for every moment.

Now that it’s finished, maybe it is vain and self-important, but it was pretty fun, too.

Love & Peace.

Chad.

Here is a chapter of the book:

XXIII. Everyone Needs A Hand To Hold On To

Let’s take this one day at a time, I’ll hold your hand if you hold mine.

Rumors of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated, Rise Against

 

If picture’s worth a thousand words then your touch is worth them all.

Dance, Dance Christa Paffgen, Anberlin

 

For the closing prayer, everyone at the Bridge stands and holds another’s hand in each of their own. Now, for some, this introduces an element of dread into an otherwise safe environment. I’ve seen some hurry from their seats into the lobby or their car when they begin to sense the message winding down. For others, this is the perfect end to their morning.

At the Bridge, we give an awful lot of thought to the environment we create. From the color to the art on the walls to the music and placement of the tables and food, the narthex (a super-fancy term for lobby that I just love) is designed for welcoming comfort. The people are engaging and kind, the food is terrific, entering is easy and non-threatening.

However, once the service starts, there is a different aim altogether. The Scriptures invite us into a transformation, a spiritual re-birth, and transformations are never comfortable. Has there ever been a woman, reflecting on childbirth, that would say it was anything other than stressful, arduous, and exhausting? It’s called labor.

Of course, the primary announcement of the Gospel, the Good News, is one of grace, forgiveness, rescue, and life. No matter who you were, what you’ve done, where you’ve been, you can come home. Not only can you come home, but the Creator of the Universe, and the Creator of you, has been waiting for you with the table set. He has never stopped loving you. You do not have to get it together, stop doing whatever, start doing whatever, or climb any kind of ladder of achievement. He loves you and accepts you, exactly as you are, here, now, today.

That IS Good News.

My wife fell in love and married me. That was really good news, too. She accepted me as I was, scars and all. I had many habits and vices, none of which I’ll detail here and none of which were honoring to a woman as lovely as Angel. She loved me anyway in spite of my flaws, the way I was.

There is really only one response to that kind of overwhelming love; to live into those shoes, into that identity. (Obviously, the love of my wife is a laughably poor comparison to the love of Jesus Christ, but sometimes laughably poor comparisons are all we have. The Taylor Swift song ‘Begin Again’ makes me cry because it points me in the direction of my God.) If someone sees you, loves you, speaks a fresh word about you, and you believe it, that can change everything about you, everything about the way you live. All of the things that you settled for before that moment suddenly aren’t good enough. You are a child of the Living God, made in His image, and there is an honor and dignity to that. Some things are beneath you now. You are made to fly, not to crawl in the muck at the bottom of any gross barrel you see.

But leaving old lives behind is hard. Shedding that skin is painful, full of starts and restarts.

Welcome to Church, right?

Welcome to the road.

Welcome to a full capital-L Life.

Ideally, you come inside and you hear you are the beautiful artwork of God, loved beyond reason. And you weep.

Then you realize that you have erected all sorts of walls, carried such heavy baggage, worn thick iron chains around your neck, locked yourself in a prison you have built. You have believed so many lies that this is all you are worth.

And again you weep.

But it’s LOVE that exposes those lies. It’s LOVE that gives you the tools to break those chains, destroy those walls, and demolish that prison. Tearing down the cage you’ve constructed forever is hard, terrifying work, not for the weak.

Or for the unconnected.

We live in a culture that glorifies the individual, the loner, the hero who pulls herself up by the bootstraps. Our culture has minimized actual personal contact until we have days where we don’t see or talk to another human being in person. I have hundreds of friends on social media, some I’ve never actually met. I prefer to text. If my phone rings, I assume it is an emergency. I drive myself if I must leave the house.

But why would I leave the house?

I can order any products I see advertised to live a fulfilled life. I can order my groceries online and  someone leaves a box outside my door. I don’t even have to get dressed. I have new neighbors who I haven’t met.

This is life? This is living?

Is it living to measure my worth based on how many ‘likes’ my latest post garners?

In a word, no. So we hold each others hands as an act of rebellion, opposing the culture that tells us we should worship at the altar of ourselves and our superior abilities. We hold each others’ hands as proclamation that we are, indeed, alive – especially if we have forgotten. Though the road can be long and difficult, it is nothing we have to travel alone.

Do you know what damage it does to a soul that is never touched by another human being? One of the most revolutionary barriers Jesus broke was to touch those who shouldn’t have been and never were touched. In fact, they were called ‘untouchables’ and they were cast out from the rest, regarded as less than human for some reason or another (blood, skin, sin, etc.). Jesus spoke with them, ate with them, and shockingly touched them. As if they were friends or children and not just a disease, history, or reputation. Of course, the healing was physical, superficial, but the true healing took place where the Pharisees could not see, in their hearts.

And that is absolutely worth a bit of uncomfortability.

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Thank you so much Chad for sharing your time, talent and self with BnV.  Im pleased and honoured to share the news about all you are doing and pray only the best blessings…or the most inspiring …ever touch your life.

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~Morgan~

 

Rain- #NaturalWorld #Meditations

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Rain.

It is a beautiful thing. There are so many types of rain, really, and I couldn’t tell you which sort I prefer more (unless we are including the fluffy, white, frozen variety that I love most of all, in copious quantities, as frequently as possible.)
Silver Greenery

There’s the light, misty kind that I tend to envision whenever someone talks about Great Britain. That type of drizzly, foggy rain that hangs over the landscape, penetrating every crevice, enveloping whatever it touches in a hazy shroud, and leaving ten thousand beads of incandescent diamonds in its wake that sparkle and scintillate when the light reappears. (Sounds divine, doesn’t it?) Oh, it’s also that deceptively inconsequential form of rain that doesn’t look like much until you walk out in it without your brolly.
Mists

There’s the freezing drizzle, or frizzle; that sinister variety of rain that usually arrives overnight and surreptitiously transforms the garden path, car park, or the front steps into a skating arena suitable only for Olympic athleticism. It’s that quirky classification of rain that warps and blurs everything into unrealistic, Photoshop-worthy deviations of reality that makes most of us grab our camera’s (ie. Phones) to record and share the surreal, Dr Suess-iness of it all. This category of precipitation doesn’t initially impress either, so you generally disregard it until you have to go out and then promptly wind up on your…..
Winter's Icy Grip

There are many classifications of thunderstorms as well. Those that pop up in the middle of a sweltering, summer day just long enough to make us all run for cover; the kind that create a lot of noise for 20 minutes and then disappear into a haze of steam. There are those that roll overhead in the hiatus of evening, fast and furious, full of sound and fury, (signifying nothing?) that do little more than make a mess, generally. And then there are those magnificent, cacophonous, tempests that jar you from sound sleep in the middle of the night with ear-splitting thunder and shocks of lightening that leave you wondering if you couldn’t hide under the bed with the cat.
Lightening

There’s also the awe-inspiring, stop-you-dead-in-your-tracks kind of rain that makes you stare out the window in astonishment, forces you off the road in your car because you can’t see one inch ahead or behind, and makes you wonder for a fleeing, transitory moment if there isn’t an arc being built someplace nearby that you perhaps ought to be booking passage on: those torrential downpours of cats and dogs (and monkeys.)
pouring-rain

Then there’s the steady, pervasive, day-long kind of rain that sweeps over the earth, softly falling hour by hour, never flooding, never rumbling, never wreaking havoc. This is the kind of rain that looks like a painting by Monet or Van Gough; that smells so sweet you inhale the scent of it deeply and can’t help sighing. It’s also that sort of precipitation that makes you want to pull off your shoes like a child, go out and splash in the puddles.
Gentle Rain

Much like life, we can’t control the rain; what kind of rain it is, how hard it falls or for how long, but we can control how we respond to it so that we neither wind up soaking wet wishing we had protection from the rain, staring in dumb-struck wonder at the rain fearing what might happen next because the unanticipated variability of the rain caught us completely off guard. Rather, we can stop to enjoy the rain, whatever its form, inhale deeply, and allow ourselves to be refreshed and renewed before we plod on.

Rainbow

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~Morgan~
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Photos 1 and 3 taken by me 🙂

Other Beautiful original photos found on Pinterest.  Credit Gratefully Acknowledged to the original photographers.  Thank You.

#AwardWinning #Epic #Fantasy #DarkFey #Trilogy #Free for a limited time

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Review Rating:

5 stars! Reviewed By K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite

The Reviled is a young adult fantasy novel by Cynthia A. Morgan and the first book of the Dark Fey series. There are worlds of light and darkness coexisting alongside one another in this lavish fantasy world, and the story initially focuses on the world of the Light Loving Fey. This domain of fairy kind contains both Ayla and Mardan. Ayla is a guardian whose mission is to soothe the pain of others with her incredible powers, whilst Mardan leads a somewhat solitary life as a Celebrant. As the pair grow closer, however, Ayla senses a darkness growing among The Reviled, creeping in the shadows of her world. Unsure of how much to share with Mardan, Ayla worries for the fate of Jyndari as the darkness approaches.

For fantasy and fey fans, The Reviled has absolutely everything you could want in an epic fantasy adventure. Our two central characters are superbly well developed and engaging to read about, but Cynthia A. Morgan’s expansion of the world around them is what really captivated me. Jyndari is an exotic world with deep detailing and a delicate balance between dark and light. The emotional spectrum of Ayla’s journey is rich and harrowing, taking us into the deepest corners of her incredible mind as she senses the dark fey lurking at every turn. The mystery of what he wants from her is well spun out to an exciting and satisfying conclusion. Overall, I’d highly recommend The Reviled to fans of young adult fantasy and fey stories.

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Youth Sports — Love With A Capital L

The subtitle for this post is “An Argument for the Abolition of Competitive Youth Sports,” because I can’t think of any reason for this dinosaur to continue to exist, infecting generation after generation. [Full disclosure; I grew up playing baseball, from the time I was 8 through college, now my children play, and I’ve coached […]

via Youth Sports — Love With A Capital L

One of my very good friends recently opened a blog here on WordPress and wrote this Inspiring post.  Please stop by and pay him a visit. Im sure you’ll love reading what he has to offer 🙂