I was delighted and honored when a reader sent me this picture of their bookshelf.
Just placement after all, but WHAT a place to be. I couldn’t help smiling and…. obviously…. couldn’t keep myself from sharing😊
I was delighted and honored when a reader sent me this picture of their bookshelf.
Just placement after all, but WHAT a place to be. I couldn’t help smiling and…. obviously…. couldn’t keep myself from sharing😊
The Kalis Experiments (Tides Book 1) Kindle Edition
by R.A. Fisher
Syrina is a Kalis: a master of disguise, assassin, and spy. Her kind has served the High Merchants’ Syndicate for a thousand generations.
She receives a surprising gift from her master, and she realizes something isn’t right. The High Merchants don’t do anything without a reason.
When things don’t add up in an otherwise normal investigation, she follows the trail to the steam-powered city of Fom. There, she learns of a machine that could end civilization a second time.
Will Syrina stave off disaster, or seek revenge?
My 5-Star Review:
An absorbing Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Steampunk/ mystery saga that makes me wish for a T.V. Series!
The Kalis Experiments, Book One Tides, has opened a brand-new world of Sci-Fi adventure. The world building is immaculate, in-depth, and so original I found myself re-reading entire chapters just to fully appreciate all the subtle details and intricacies R.A Fisher has woven into his exceptional tale. The main character is equally unique, well-conceived, and thoughtfully introduced, allowing readers to identify with her despite her alien nature.
Thoroughly enjoyable and written with a likable prose style, I am eager to see where the author takes the story through the rest of the series.
Wondering if you might like Dark Fey? I’ve decided to GIVE you an Entire Chapter to decide. And not just any Chapter, The Pinnacle Chapter; the one I wrote first; the one around which the rest of the story is built. So pour yourself a beverage, sit back in a quiet room (or the local pub, depending) and Enjoy this Fantasy Freebie. 🙂 (And for those of you who’ve already read this…or the entire book, MANY MANY thank Yous!!)
The forests of Jyndari were vast and Hwyndarin was set nearly in the heart of the ancient woodland: with good reason. On the coast, storms and high winds could sweep in from the oceans or roll off the heights of the Trynnari Mountains and threaten both the stability of essential Light and the equally indispensable treasures of learning collected through the ages, but deep in the center of the primordial forest storms were seldom a threat or even a consideration. Hwyndarin had been chosen millennia ago as the seat of all learning and artistry for this especial reason, for here the precious tomes from thousands of years of wisdom could be housed safely and here the artisan’s treasures could be protected. Yet infrequently, a significantly powerful tempest would press back the borders of the forest and shatter the tranquility of that peaceful village.
The late November day had been extraordinarily fair, but the night brought with it gales and pouring icy rain of unparalleled fury that tore at the canopy above Hwyndarin like a giant running its hand over a field of wheat. Boughs and branches crashed down on the village rooftops, rain pelted down like daggers in blinding torrents, and blazing bolts of jagged lightening with resounding clangors of thunder tore the sky repeatedly asunder.
Ayla was guarding the infant of a family called away in grief over the loss of a loved one and had been enjoying a peaceful evening in the quiet solitude of her home with the child. Now, as a bellow of thunder shook her small cottage and the hammering of rain pounded over their heads she held the child close in her arms. She hushed his wailing with a soft, melodic tune, but a furious gust of air blasted open the shuttered windows and shredded her voice. Instantly, her glowing home was pitched into darkness as the gale extinguished every lantern and the child’s shriek of fear mimicked her own.
Her thoughts spun in a panic. A mirror stood in darkness in her boudoir, the child’s cribroom lay in shadows, and the corridor along which she had to travel to reach either held no window, only darkness that could conceal The Reviled, yet, she knew she had to light at least a single candle and she had to brighten the mirror immediately. Each second it stood in blackness was an opportunity for crossing. Racing to the nearest cabinet, she fumbled with the beeswax taper she found there and whispered one of many, simple spells she used frequently in her daily life.
“Luxay,” she said in a commanding tone and the wick popped into flame. The room flickered between shadow and light, yet, it was only a single candle. Should she light more or should she race to the mirror? A mirror left in darkness cries out to be crossed. The recitation she had repeated for years in her youth now played over and over in her mind, but she could not risk entering a room with a darkened mirror while holding a baby in her arms, ripe for the taking. She was a Guardian; her first duty was to protect the innocent.
Clutching her candle, she drew a deep breath, kissed the tot’s head reassuringly and darted along the hall toward his cribroom. A small lantern stood upon his night table, she only need reach it and light it in order to keep him safe. She stopped at the darkened doorway and peered inside, her sight piercing the ebon shades and her own glimmering aura lending illumination. Stepping into the dark interior, she reached immediately for the lantern, yet even as she touched its cool, brass sheath a shadow contracted in the far corner of the room and she froze in instinctive terror.
The shadow grew darker, denser, then spread outward into the dimness of the room not brightened by Ayla’s small candle. Roshwyn in her arms squealed and began to cry louder and she cradled him more tightly, protecting him with her diaphanous wings as her mind spun in alarm.
Light the lantern! Speak the words of protection! Flee!
It was too late.
A Dark One stepped out of the shadows and glared at them with ophidian eyes. The flame in her hand guttered and threatened to go out, but she had no other means of protecting it than repeating her lighting spell with a timorous tone. Shadow swirled about the Dark One like smoke curling around embers and she watched in perfect dread as he slowly reached out his hand toward them.
Light the lantern! Speak the words of protection! Flee!
Years of training screamed at her from within the spiraling depths of her mind, but fear held her transfixed. He stepped closer, his dark eyes glimmering in the fluttering light of her candle, his hand outstretched toward them, toward the child. Light the lantern! Speak the words of protection! Flee!
“Luxay!” Ayla turned toward the lantern and shouted her lighting spell, gasping in relief when the wick snapped into flame, but the Dark One flexed his immense wings and directed a current of air across the room that extinguished both flames, the one she held and the one inside the lantern, in the same moment. Roshwyn screamed and Ayla jerked backwards toward the door, but in an instant, the Dark One was upon them and she stood, paralyzed by dread, her aura shrinking to a feeble glimmer in her terror. The Dark One stared down at her with unreadable eyes, then reached for the squalling child.
“Do not take him.” She pleaded; her voice a mere thread. Remarkably, the Dark One paused, regarding her with his snake-like gaze, but the wailing child could not be ignored. He raised his hand once more and uttered a single word in the vile Dlalth tongue, the language of The Lost.
“Gvyndlal.” Ayla stared at the demon-fey standing before her with utter surprise. As Roshwyn’s wailing subsided and his squirming ceased, she shook her head and struggled to translate the word he had spoken. Gvyndlal? Sleep? The Dark One had said only Sleep?
“Sleep?” She gazed down at the quiet babe in her arms in amazement, then back at the Dark One still glowering over them. Her aura expanded, illuminating his dark silhouette and she beheld, for the first time, one of The Reviled.
He dwarfed her diminutive stature by at least fourteen inches and had a lithe, powerfully muscular physique. His shoulder length hair was the color of shimmering ice, both white and silver. He wore a full-length coat with burnished gold lacings and buttons, with armor-like plates embellishing his broad shoulders and with dark crimson and vibrant silver silk accentuating the deep lapels of the coat he wore open across his broad chest. The multiple belts and chokers crisscrossing his close fitted vest, his pants and boots; all were black leather with similar burnished gold fittings and, although she never would have imagined a Dark One dressing so strikingly, he wore a double flounced cravat and golden choker with an enormous ruby glimmering from its heart.
His vast dragon-like pinions were deep black and blood-red, stretching fully twice his height in length, yet with vicious spines at each joint and tip they seemed even larger and were hideously frightful to behold. His complexion was the unmistakable sallow pallor of the Reviled.
“Put the child in his crib.” He said unexpectedly, his calm baritone voice sending a violent shiver through her. She hesitated; if she released Joshwyn, he would be lost.
“Put the child in his crib.” The Dark One repeated in a more imposing tone. Ayla jolted into motion, but shook with uncontrolled fear.
“Please, do not take him.” She whined piteously. The Dark One scowled at her impatiently and stepped closer, pointing insistently at the small cot in the corner of the room. She shuddered visibly at his nearness and shrank away, wholly intimidated by him, but he did something Ayla never would have anticipated. He stepped past her towards the doorway and glanced out into the ebon darkness of the cottage.
“Light your candle, speak your protections and leave him in his cradle.” He insisted through gritted teeth, urgency marking his every word. She stared at him perplexed, but only for a moment. Turning to look down upon Roshwyn, she relit her small candle, as well as the lantern, and began her intonation of protection. The words and light made the Dark One step out into the shadows of the hall, as if they sickened him, but they did not banish him back to the realm of Uunglarda as she had always thought they would. When she finished, Ayla turned with a knife of uncertainty twisting in her stomach, but before she had time to consider her next actions, he lunged into the room, grasped her by the wrist and drew her out into the dark corridor.
She recognized her folly immediately. In striving to protect the child, she had unwittingly sacrificed herself. In the darkness of the hall as he dragged her unfalteringly toward the only room in her home containing a mirror, she recalled the dire and dreadful warnings given to all young fey as they entered youth. A mirror never stood in a sleeping chamber for a mirror could never be left in darkness. Should a Dark One cross over, he would open the portal the mirror provided and summon his legion. Then they would cross in untold numbers visiting such vile acts of upon the young fey as could never be named. They would only return into their own realm when the first light of the sun crossed the horizon, leaving ruination and despair in their wake and, oftentimes, death.
“No!” She shrieked in absolute horror, straining against his grasp, leaning away from him, scratching at his hand, beating her wings with every ounce of strength she possessed, but her resistance seemed more an inconvenience to him than a problem. Tugging her along behind him, he strode purposefully into her boudoir, her private chamber of preparation, and turned toward the mirror. Raising his free hand toward the reflecting glass, he arched his wings as if setting himself against a foe and closed his eyes, beginning an incantation that was not spoken in the Dlalth tongue, but in a language she did not immediately recognize.
Where were all the spells of protection she had learned as a child? How could she have forgotten after repeating them, literally, thousands of times until she was weary of speaking? Her mind spun, her terror choked her, her breath came in ragged gasps, she shook like a willow in a November wind, but she could still hear him speaking in the mysterious language and, in spite of her fear, she could not prevent the shred of curiosity that made her pause and glance up at him. She realized in that brief moment of clarity that his hand around her wrist was not an iron of restriction, clamped around her like a manacle. In fact, astonishingly, he was not hurting her at all.
The mirror creaked like ice shifting on a frozen river, the sound making her tremble more fiercely. He was opening the portal. Desperation inundated her like a spring flood and she pulled against his restraining grasp more vehemently, but he did not even turn his head. Hauling her up against his side, he crossed his arm over her shoulders and pinned her against him, turning the edge of one broad wing toward her furious thrashings to threaten any further resistance with a glinting, ten-inch spine.
Suddenly, her training returned to her and words of protection filled her mind. She gasped them out in haste, but her voice was little more than a choked squeak. Regardless of the weakness in her chanting however, his reaction was instantaneous. Pausing in his invocation, he turned his head to look down at her with obvious irritation, pressed the cruel barb on his wing to the soft skin under her chin and raised his hand from her shoulder to cover her mouth. There was nothing more she could do to protect herself. She had been defeated in her first and only battle. She knew she was utterly lost.
Turning back to the mirror, he began again, the unrecognizable words ringing in her ears like chimes spinning her senses. She was falling under his spell. She was unable to struggle, unable to speak her own protection, unable to do anything other than listen as he opened the portal and wrought her destruction. Yet even in her panic-stricken state, she could not prevent her overly inquisitive mind from lucidly noting that his hand, pressed over her mouth, was not hurting her. He did not bruise her lips under the ferocity of his contact; he did not wrench her head backward with cruel disregard; he did not restrict her breathing. He was simply thwarting her ability to speak.
Why was he being so shockingly careful about not hurting her? Why had he permitted her to protect Roshwyn with Light as well as spell? Why had he pulled the nursery door closed quietly before proceeding to drag her down the hallway toward the mirror? She could not comprehend his entirely incongruous behavior. Moreover, she had always been told The Reviled were cold-blooded, heartless creatures; that the touch of a Dark Fey was icy as death itself, yet, pressed up against him as she was his surprising warmth was undeniable.
The mirror creaked more loudly, drawing her back to the horror of her present situation and, with these calamitous musings confusing her thoughts, she strained to see around his vast pinions and broad shoulders to watch the mirror with morbid curiosity.
Tiny shards like crystalline ice were stretching across the reflective pane, each splinter a minuscule prism that reflected any spark of light in the room, even the ineffectual glimmer of her diminishing aura and his ethereal, dark crimson glow. With each word he spoke, the crystals increased, growing in number, dimension and intensity until they spread across the glass like frost on a winter window. Scraping and creaking like snow scrunching underfoot on the coldest day, the shards in the mirror began to reflect their own luminosity and as he continued to speak the luster of the mirror intensified.
Then the mirror resounded with a deafening crack and she flinched abruptly away, a sharp cry escaping her muffled mouth. Even the Dark One recoiled from the force of the sound and fell silent. Petrified, she squeezed her eyes tightly closed and held her breath. He had opened the portal; his kind would soon rush in and then she would pray for death long before it would come. In her terror, she could not breathe, blackness swirled at the edges of her mind, and her knees grew weak. Almost imperceptibly, she began to collapse, sliding down the length of his strong frame with no measure of power left within her to break her fall.
Without a sound, the Dark One turned his head to look down at her and released her. He did not drop her or throw her to the floor like a worn out plaything; he took her by the shoulder and by the hand and lowered her to the floor at his feet. Her thoughts swirled at this additional peculiarity and, before she lost herself to fear completely and was swallowed up by blackness, she opened her eyes to peer up at him wanly, utterly bewildered.
The room was bathed in Light! The mirror was intact, not lying in a multitude of shattered pieces on the floor as she had expected, and, somehow, it stood aglow with radiant, incandescent Light that sparkled and reflected in its own shimmering! Blinking woozily in the brilliance, she gazed up at him and drew a deep breath.
What had he done?
Discover More About Dark Fey on its official website
Beautiful Forest Artwork by: Rongrong Wang
Amazing Dark Fey Illustration by: Hgjart at Deviantart.com
Mirror Image found on Google.
Last push..Breaking Into The Light is only down by a few votes! Please stop by, even if you voted already. You can vote each week and it’s super appreciated 😊😊😊
Thank You for your generous support. It means the world to me 🙂
Last week for voting…
May I please ask for your vote for Dark Fey Breaking into the Light?
It has been nominated for the AllAuthor #BookCoverContest.
Thank you ever so much for your kind support.
Some people love to read. They devour books in days, feasting upon them, one after the other like a box of chocolates left open in a room filled with hungry people. They are the speed readers, capable of interpreting 1000 words a minute; they turn pages like a camera snapping pictures, but do they truly enjoy the beauty of the written words? Do they share the emotions of the characters and grasp the subtle connotations being so generously offered by the writer or do they simple read, following the Get it, Got it, Good, Moving On mentality.
Believe it or not, I don’t read a lot of books. I tend to be a slow reader, painfully slow. I read to myself the same way I would read aloud to someone else, with inflection, with emotion, and often I re-read passages several times to be sure I understand what is being said or not said, shown or not shown, felt or not felt, it’s the writer in me. Therefore, I do not often read the book when there’s sure to be a movie coming soon, anyway. There are, of course, exceptions. I have read Tolkien’s glorious trilogy; I’ve perused many of the historical reenactments of Philippa Gregory, and I’ve savoured the challenges of Dickens, Austin, and Poe, but more often than not completing one book takes me, on average, a year. Particularly because I detest abridged versions; if I cannot sink my teeth into the sumptuous banquet the author has created, in its entirety, and relish each delicious morsel, then I’d really rather not, thank you.
Some of us take days and others take months to absorb what’s scribed upon the page; it’s a form of translation and at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter how long the process takes. Perception of an idea, ideal, symbol, or suggestion: this is the desired outcome, the goal of all authors, but there are many forms of translation and many levels to reaching the ultimate objective.
A book can sit on a dusty shelf in a library, patiently waiting to be picked up. It can be deviated into a shadow of its former self by one company or another, reducing it into bridge notes. It might be fortunate enough to be adapted into a performance worthy of the stage or it may achieve the dubious distinction of being made into a movie.
Translating a masterpiece of words, phrasing, sub-text, symbolism and point(s) of view into film is a daunting undertaking that I cannot even begin to fathom and would never take on, not for any inducement; however, having said as much, there are those individuals who prefer this painstakingly complex ordeal over the actual reading of said work of genius and I give them credit. Granted, there are far fewer remarkably stunning adaptations than there are second-rate disappointments, but this is the danger inherent in translation. Often, simply too much of the scope and magic of the original is lost in the conversion, for whatever reason: low budgets, creative differences, mediocre photography, deficient acting.
A perfect example of the blunder of taking an extraordinary book and slapping it in front of a camera with seemingly little forethought is the 1990 film Lord of The Flies. I LOVE the book, to me, it is unquestionably a magnum opus and I’ve read it more times than I care to mention. The intoxicating descriptions and profusion of symbolism throughout are enthralling. They are also the essence of the book, but when it was adapted for (this particular) film, those composing the translation seemed to pay little heed to the book’s all important imagery.
Simple things, like the colour of the characters hair, were disregarded. In the book, the protagonist, Ralph, is blond…and for good reason: he is the representation all that is good, light, and right in society. The book’s antagonist, Jack, has red hair and is described as quite unattractive…again, for a purpose. He represents all that is dark, savage and unbridled in the world. Two significant representations, but in the movie they are reversed. In fact, nearly ever symbol of the book was inverted or ignored in the movie and the result was utterly, devastatingly disappointing.
But for all the travesties of injustice that exist, there are also tour de force demonstrations of the exquisite magic that is possible when masterful and insightful directing, collaborative production, skillful artistry, breathtaking cinematography, and incomparable acting unite. When the final translation of a single idea, conceived in the mind of the author, takes on physical, emotional, and spiritual manifestation through the eloquence of an actor who is fully committed to the embodiment of the charade, all else pales by comparison.
For a book, and, often, for me, this is the moment Valhalla opens, the instant when Elysium comes into view, this is the Attainment of Utopia and the Achievement of Enlightenment. When the supreme privilege of witnessing the brilliance of perfectly executed translation brings us to the Gates of Heaven and we watch the magnificent spectacle in awe and adoration.
Dark Fey Breaking Into The Light asks the questions, can we truly understand another’s misery without knowing the extent to which they suffer? Would we willingly risk our lives for someone without experiencing some measure of their pain, despair, or anger?
I’m looking for a bit of fun input. My main character in Angel of Mercy needs to wear a military uniform during a portion of the story. It’s 400 years in the future and I’m going for a goth military look. Oh, and just for clarity, in the story his wings are not visible.
I’ve narrowed it down to these. Which one do you like best?
Beautiful Original Artwork by aenaluck
Sandra J. Jackson is an award-winning Canadian author living in rural Ontario with her family. Her published novels include Promised Soul and Playing in the Rain – Book 1 of the Escape Series. The second book of the series is awaiting publication while Sandra works on editing the final book. She holds a professional membership with the Canadian Author Association and is a member of Writer’s Ink.
Playing in the Rain
When the effects of a hypnosis inducing drug fade, April slowly begins a conscious awakening. Memories of her past are unclear and she has no recollection of her identity or her whereabouts.
As the days slip by, April realizes there is more to life than existing when she is introduced to an occupant who does just that—her sister. The more she learns about her environment the more she wants to escape.
Will April remember her past, her sister? Will she have the courage to leave? And if she does, where will she go?
Experience through April’s eyes her struggle to remember and her determination to escape in this sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, suspense story.
Hi Sandra! Its great having you stop by for a quick chat. Tell us about you. What do you love most about Writing?
What I love most is that no matter what ideas I might have my characters are the ones who direct the story. They surprise me every time.
I love when they do that! I like to tell their story, using 2nd person. Do you have a preferred POV that you write from and why?
Both of my books are written in first person (though Promised Soul does have a couple of chapters written in third). I like the way first person draws readers into a story and makes them feel like they are a part of it.
First person is something I haven’t tried yet. Maybe one day. Makes me wonder, does it drive how your write….and Do your characters dictate what or how your write in any way?
Absolutely! I have a quote that I use on my business cards and a few other things. “Only my characters truly know what’s happening—I just hold the pen.”
I wrote that quote because this is how it is for me.
Oh thats so true…I never know where they will lead me. Im often just holding on for the ride! Playing in the Rain sounds like a marvelous, page-turner! Where can we find it?
Thank you so much for visiting BnV, Sandra. I am so happy to share your story…and your story!
Blessings and Success 🙂
My current work in progress is practically telling itself. Though I started it about a year ago, and then had nearly a year long hiatus from writing of any kind while I moved, found a decent job, and got sorted, the story has recently re-captured my attention. So much so, in fact, that I almost feel like I’m taking dictation. Already 22K words and only at Chapter 5, Angel of Mercy is more than filling my thoughts, it’s renewed a true passion within me I feared I lost. Words flow again in beautiful abundance and I am overjoyed!
Overjoyed….and eager to share some of the growing tale! It tells the story of life after the first 3 Horsemen, Pestilence, War and Famine, have ridden. In the 4 Era after the Great Cataclysm,(roughly 400 years in the future) the final horseman, Death is accompanied by the Archangel of Mercy, who is sent to find at least one person among those who remain who is merciful. He has been searching for almost 100 years….
Patience was his essence, clemency his soul. He had never known resentfulness, rage, or pain. All the years of his long life, which numbered in countless eons, he had been the personification of compassion, empathy, and forgiveness; yet now as the dark hours of agony and harrowing loneliness he endured drug on, his thoughts twisted in a tumultuous commotion of wrath and determination. Those who abused him deserved the wrath that pierced his benevolent essence with its ferocity, and the one he had been sent to find merited the determination that implored him to wait, despite the intensifying desire to pour out the ferocity of his wrath on those who abused him. The horrifying cycle of tempestuous emotion became a maelstrom that threatened to undo him, separate him from everything he knew about himself, and create in the void a monster of abhorrent violence.
His brothers, those who had preceded him, wrought justice for all who had been victimized during the ages that had passed since the beginning. All of beautiful creation was not subject to the trials they unleashed. During the cataclysms, the earth’s population diminished on a vast scale, but the plant and animal-life of the planet recovered from the subjugation it had suffered under the ungainly rule of the humans. Those who felt the full extent of the justice his brothers released had sown the seeds of their destruction through their own despicable actions. Whether through the sickness they poured from their souls like plague, through the violence they perpetrated on the meek, or through the deprivation of their cruel disregard, Pestilence, War, and Famine were sent to match their own.
He had been sent to find one that matched himself; one kindred spirit among the multitudes that was the embodiment of mercy. Although he had searched unsuccessfully for nearly a century, he could not accept there was no one. None, but him? It was incomprehensible. So he continued to search, to wait, and through waiting, he accepted the abuse forced upon him by the children of the lost.
I would love to hear what you think…and if this entices you to want more 🙂
Beautiful Original Artwork by aenaluck
Praise from readers:
★★★★★ – “A richly visual, poignant story of love, forgiveness, and acceptance.”
★★★★★ – “This series is a must have for anyone into the sci-fi / fantasy genre.”
The Reviled are the enemy.
Merciless and untrustworthy, they embody brutality and devastation. The Fey of the Light have lived with these truths for millennia; daring to think otherwise invites tragedy.
Gairynzvl was a Reviled Fey and lived the riotous life of all Dark Ones, yet now he is rescuing younglings from the darkness. The actions taken by him and his band of Liberators are fulfilling ancient prophecies, and proving long-accepted beliefs inaccurate.
Those who have lived in the Light all their lives are suddenly faced with unavoidable questions. How is peace achieved? Can Light unite with Darkness?
And in the end, will the Fey of the Light sacrifice everything to achieve that which seems impossible, or turn their heads and ignore the growing shadow around them?
I’d like to introduce you to fellow author and SciFi writer Sean Robins. He’s stopped by to share a few quick words about himself and his first book, The Crimson Deathbringer, that is releasing early this May!
Hi Sean…Tell us about yourself:
“Who am I? I am Spiderman.”
Well, not really, but this should tell you all you need to know about me and my writing style.
I’m a huge Marvel (plus Game of Thrones, Star Trek AND Star Wars) fan, which shows since my novel is loaded with pop culture references. If you are a sci-fi fan you will enjoy them tremendously. I even went full Deadpool in my first draft and broke the fourth wall multiple times, until my editor told it was distracting and kept taking her out of the moment. Shame. Those fourth-wall breaks were hilarious. Still, I can guarantee a few laugh-out-loud moments. Case in point: The “good” aliens in my novel are a race of pranksters, whose main goal in life is pulling other people’s legs (They have four legs, hence the slight change in the idiom).
LOL with an imagination that vibrant, I bet your book is amazing. What’s it about?
The Akakies, a peaceful, technologically advanced alien species known as “the galaxy’s pranksters,” are under attack by the Xortaags, a vicious military race bent on conquering the universe. The Xortaags are deadly, but Tarq, the Akakies’ chief strategist and legendary shadow master, has a plan.
Meanwhile on Earth, Jim, a wise-cracking, movie-quoting, OCD-suffering fighter pilot, is about to propose to his girlfriend Liz when his childhood friend Kurt shows up at his house, injured and covered in blood. Kurt is a freedom fighter/super- assassin hunted by a brutal military dictatorship’s security forces.
Soon after, Jim, Liz and Kurt’s lives are set to crash with a galactic war that threatens the very existence of the human race. Can our heroes save humanity from the wrath of an overwhelming enemy?
The Crimson Deathbringer seamlessly blends breathtaking action sequences with mischievous humor. If you are a science fiction/space opera fan, this book, with its memorable characters, formidable antagonist and Game of Thrones style shocking moments, is written especially for you.
How did you get started writing?
I have got purely obsessional OCD. What this means is a thought enters my mind—usually something negative—and doesn’t leave. I end up having to think about it 5000 times a day, and once this starts, my life is ruined for a week, two weeks, a month, or six months. I’d tried a lot of different ways to get rid of this problem: therapy, medication, meditation… Nothing ever worked, until I read an article that said the people who had this problem had an overly active imagination, and it would help if they channeled it into something productive, like writing.
I’d always wanted to be a writer. This is literally a childhood dream, one of those you give up when you grow up. I had the story of The Crimson Deathbringer in my mind for years (even started writing it and stopped a few times). When I read that article, I was going through a tough time in my marriage (fighting with your wife is no fun, even for sane people), and my mind had gone into its life-destroying over-drive, so I told myself, “Well, you’ve tried everything else, let’s give this a shot.”
And then a miracle happened.
My mind put the same energy it used to put into producing BS and making my life miserable into coming up with stories. Ideas would come to me fast and furious, and I had to stop whatever I was doing several times a day to write them down. I’ve been OCD-free since then (I know, I sound like a recovering alcoholic). When TCD (cool, eh?) was finished, it took my out-of-control brain half a day to plan my second novel, which is about a nerdy scientist and a sexy female mercenary who use a time machine to defeat an alien invasion.
Is there an Author you consider your inspiration?
Yes. My favorite author is Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files), which is probably how I ended up writing in a first-person POV with the same light-hearted, funny tone as he does. The fact that my MC’s name is Jim is purely coincidental though.
Can you sum up your life story in ten words or less?
I have survived three (!) revolutions and an eight-year-long war. Mr. Survivor here 🙂
We’re so glad you did so you could share your story….and your story…with all of us. Where can people find you and your book?
Thanks so much Sean for sharing your valuable time and talent with BooknVolume. I wish you all the best success and happiness!
Are you an author interested in sharing your story? Stop by my recent Author Interviews post to learn more.
I’ve done some research lately to learn more about SEO and how to maximize what Im writing to gain readership. Ive learned that in today’s fast-paced world the reality is that long posts get bypassed. Research indicates readers want to devour topics in 5 to 7-minutes and move on, so, as painful as that may be to those of us who can proliferate words at a rate that could rival Charles Dickens, it’s up to us to provide creative content, quick! We need to come up with catchy tag-lines, use keywords in repetitive groupings to increase search engine results; and use meta-data/descriptions to help those search engines guide readers to us. HUH?Yeah thats what I said. Heres a great article if you really want to dig deeper and learn “What is SEO Content?”
I’m starting by redefining the author interviews I offer. No longer the customary 20 questions and 1500 words, but 3 key points, a pic and a link! Sound tough? You bet, because when it takes between 50K and 150K to tell our story, it can be brutal to try to sum it up in less than 500 words- I know; I’ve tried! Nevertheless, this is what readers want, so this is what they’ll get! If you’re interested in an Author Interview with SEO punch, or you want to share a Character Spotlight with pizazz, read on!
What these posts will need:
I hope you will take me up on the offer 🙂 Thank you for allowing me to support you through my FREE Author Interviews and share your work with the world!
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 …..
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.
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.
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.
Welcome my Friends 🙂 Happy Saturday and, once again, thank you for stopping by to see just who is In The Lime Light this weekend 🙂 I confess, I am Delighted to share a poet and writer with you who has inspired me since the first time I posted on BnV; a friend who has been around since the beginning and whose writing pushes the boundaries and makes me smile, laugh, gasp, tremble and sigh! You will agree, I am sure, when I tell you that Richard Ankers (whose wonderful blog you can find here: http://richardankers.com ) made a rare appearance in the Interview arena JUST for Booknvolume…well and for all of YOU as well…so my blathering is pointless. Lets Jump Right In shall we? 🙂
IN HIS WORDS: Richard was a Company Director in retail until finally plucking up the courage to show people the writing he had spent years shyly stashing away. Joining HarperCollins’ Authonomy site was the jolt he needed to realise people liked what he wrote. Winning a gold medal there for his book The Snow Lily, was a great boost. Since then, he has spent a long time writing and preparing a trilogy of SciFi/ DarkFantasy books which he hopes to have traditionally published. Richard stopped by for a natter, so lets put the kettle on and get right to it!
Please Introduce us to your Blog. What is it all about? What sorts of posts do you lean towards?
RICHARD: Hello, my name’s Richard. My blog is a place where I post writing and poetry that is on my mind and needs to come out, (there’s far too much in there.) I use my blog as a way of honing my skills for the longer writings that I love. I believe the more you write the better you write and I try to practice what I preach.
What Inspires and stirs your creativity?
RICHARD: Everything inspires me. I can hear a word, or see an image, or even hear something, and it sets off the creative juices. I have written a whole trilogy of books based on one simple image that I saw and was taken by. I never struggle for something to write about because I will never have enough time on this earth to write everything that’s in my mind.
What Message, if any, do you hope to Share through your blog/posts?
RICHARD: I don’t really share any message other than insisting on writing what I want. I would always encourage others to do the same. Don’t pamper to people because the most heartfelt words are those that are most honest, regardless of the length or style they are presented in.
How has your blog helped you as a writer/Indie Author? What things have you learned along the way that you never anticipated?
RICHARD: I wouldn’t say my blog has helped other than not having to worry about wasting what I’ve written. It’s given me a home for all the words.
Tell us about your book(s):
RICHARD: My first book was called The Snow Lily, a story about two abandoned children in Victorian times. I was lucky enough to win a gold medal on the HarperCollins Authonomy site through my efforts. This gave me great confidence (as I have none) and a major boost to my resume. I never had any intention to publish it but one day I might.
I am currently writing a Sci-Fi / Dark Fantasy trilogy. I have made the unusual decision to write all three books in one go and then return to them one by one in order for publishing. I want each book and the trilogy as a whole to be perfect before it goes out there. Believe me when I say, they are unlike any Dark Fantasy book you will have read. The Trilogy was going to be called Decadent Gothic but I have recently altered it to The Eternals Saga, as it’s just a touch more appropriate.
PS. Shhh! They’re almost done.
What Inspired you to write your book?
RICHARD: The whole Eternals Saga was based on a single, spectacular image that I saw. I can’t say what though, as it would give the game away.
From what Point of View do you prefer to write? Is there a reason?
RICHARD: I prefer first person but aren’t particularly bothered. I just find it easier to be in the protagonist’s shoes if I am writing as though it is me. I like to look through my main character’s eyes, so to speak.
How would you describe your “Voice” or Style of writing?
RICHARD: People have said I have a Literary style, but I would leave that to others to decide.
What genre do you prefer to write or are you truly eclectic?
RICHARD: I love every genre. I hate to be pigeonholed. But, dark fantasy and the speculative genres that abut it are my real passion. Basically, things with a fantastical element.
Do you painstakingly plot out your story; are you a discovery writer or a bit of both? Why?
RICHARD: I’m neither. I’m very lucky that the moment I have the idea the whole thing unravels in my head. I have no need to write a word of plot unless I wish to. I know exactly how it will start, finish and everything in-between within moments.
Share an insight or secret about your book(s).
RICHARD: They always have a twist near the end.
What do you feel is your best advice to share with other aspiring authors?
RICHARD: Write what you want how you want. And NEVER, NEVER EVER let anyone tell you that you aren’t good enough. Practise and you will be.
And now, the part most people hate…lets talk About YOU:
If you had to describe yourself to someone who has never met you, what might you say?
RICHARD: I wouldn’t, as I’m too shy in person. I always know what to write but never know what to say. Plus, I’ve never had a very high opinion of myself.
If you could meet one person from the past, who might it be and why?
RICHARD: Nobody in particular.
When you are NOT writing, what is your favourite pastime?
RICHARD: I love to run and do so everyday. I also love nature and all it encompasses.
Describe Your Dream Getaway Destination. Have you ever been there? What makes this place Irresistible to you?
RICHARD: My dream destination is Wengen in Switzerland and I have been there. The place has spectacular scenery, mountains to die for, and once out of the town itself is wonderfully quiet. I also love the British Lake District for similar reasons. I would love to live near mountains and am a very quiet person.
Do you have a Mantra?
RICHARD: Above all else be happy. Life is too short not to be. (Lots of people say that but don’t really mean it. I mean every word of it.)
I am honoured, Richard, that you agreed to share a bit about yourself and your writing with me/us. Thank You Ever So!
You can Follow Richard via Twitter @richardankers
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