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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Crazy life

Ok. Here is the official statement. Life is a little crazy right now. We finally got the house. So excited! But with that comes the craziness! We need to get the house ready before we can move. (It was a foreclosure and is not exactly clean...) Then there is the moving part. Then the unpacking part. I do not know when we will shut off the internet here, or when we will hook it up there so I'm afraid I might be out of the loop a bit, and I'm so sorry. I'm going to try to get on a post at least my cookie cutter posts, but they might have to wait. I'm sorry! Please forgive me! To make sure that you do not miss anything (most things, anyway) I want to give you a couple places to puruse while I'm out and about.

Deena's A Peek at my Bookshelf
FIRST Wild Card Tours - almost everyday
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance - every monday and wednesday

Here is a little bit of what you might have to wait until I return to appreciate:
The Irish Woman by Patti Lacy
The Rosary by Gary Jansen
Faking Grace by Tamera Leigh
How Harry Cast His Spell by John Granger
Forsaken by James David Jordan
The Shack by William Young
Blessed Are the Meddlers by Christa Banister
Rain Song by Alice Wisler
God's Prayer Book by Ben Patterson
Out of Her Hands by Megan DiMaria
Me Myself & I AM
Murder on the Ol' Bunions by S. Dionne Moore
Until We Reach Home by Lynn Austin
Charting the Course by Bruce Howard
Picture Perfect by Beth Wiseman
One Holy Night by J.M. Hostcheler
League of Superheroes by Stephen Rice
Church as a Safe Place by Peter Holmes and Susan Williams
The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner

So look for them when I'm back around! There will be random posts I'm sure, but when I'm really fully back. I'll let you know!

Please pray for everything to go smoothly!

CFBA & Review: Dangerous Heart (Westward Hearts #3)


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Dangerous Heart

Avon Inspire (October 14, 2008)

by

Tracey Bateman



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Tracey Bateman published her first novel in 2000 and has been busy ever since. There are two other books in the Westward Hearts Series, Defiant Heart (#1) and Distant Heart (#2)

She learned to write by writing, and improved by listening to critique partners and editors. She has sold over 30 books in six years.
She became a member of American Christian Fiction Writers in the early months of its inception in 2000 and served as president for a year.


Tracey loves Sci-fi, Lifetime movies, and Days of Our Lives (this is out of a 21 year habit of watching, rather than enjoyment of current storylines.)

She has been married to her husband Rusty for 18 years, has four kids, and lives in Lebanon, Missouri.


ABOUT THE BOOK

For the past seven years, Ginger Freeman has had one goal: find Grant Kelley and make him pay for allowing her brother to die. Growing up motherless with a father who leads an outlaw gang, Ginger isn’t exactly peaches and cream. So when she finally tracks down Grant on a wagon train headed west, she figured providence had stepped in and given her the chance she’s been waiting for.

On the wagon train, finally surrounded by a sense of family and under the nurturing eye of Toni Rodde, Ginger begins to lose her rough edges. She’s made friends for the first time and has become part of something bigger than revenge. Not only has her heart softened toward people in general, but God has become a reality she never understood before. And watching Grant doctor the pioneers, she’s realized she can’t just kill him and leave the train without medical care. Putting her anger aside, before long, Ginger’s a functioning part of the group.

But when the outlaw gang, headed by her pa, shows up and infiltrates the wagon train, she is forced to question her decision. Only self-sacrifice and her new relationship with God can make things right. But it might also means she loses everything she’s begun to hold dear.

If you would like to read from the first chapter of Dangerous Heart, go HERE

This is just as good as the other ones. I'm not finished yet, but loving it. Review to come soon. We got our house yesterday! Please forgive me as life gets a little crazy!!

Mailbox Monday

I forgot to post yesterday, so here is a special Tuesday edition of Mailbox Monday on Creative Madness...


Monday:

The First Escape, book #1 in DG The Dopple Ganger Chronicles by GP Taylor. This book looks awesome, it's a combination between comic and reader. I'm excited about it.

Cyndere's Midnight, book #2 by Jeffrey Overstreet. Must. Finish. Auralia's Colors. Must. Read.

Jesus Take the Wheel by Stuart Migdon. This is a non-fiction Christian Life book for a blog tour.

Fertility Facts: Hundreds of Tips for Getting Pregnant by Kim Hahn and the Editors of Conceive Magazine (click here to see a virtual edition). I'm beyond excited about this one! I bought the Fertility Journal from Target a couple weeks ago, and I'm really loving it so far. And then I discovered this book and did some begged and got one. I'm so excited!!! It is huge, a good 350 pages, but I'm so ready to dig in!

Tuesday: Wow, was I amazed when I opened my mailbox today!

In the Shadow of Lions by Ginger Garrett
from GlassRoadPR for blog tour on November 30th. Thanks Rebeca!

On a Whim by Robin Jones Gunn
Home Another Way by Christa Parrish
Where the Heart Leads by Kim Vogel Sawyer
A Promise to Believe In by Tracie Peterson
All four of these came to me for review from Ty over at Faithwebbin's ChristianBookwormReviews.com. Be looking for my review there, or here on my blog.

Apocalypse Unleashed by Mel Odom
, I know this is the fourth book, but I want to read it anyway, for blog tour coming soon...

Until We Reach Home by Lynn Austin
, this one is bigger than I thought, but that just makes it even better. For blog tour coming soon..

Rain Song by Alice Wisler, for blog tour coming soon..

Wednesday:

Infidel: Graphic Novel, The Lost Books - Volume Two by Ted Dekker
. How frickin' cool is this? I'm read the book and I'm ecstatic to read the comic. So awesome. (Totally dude!) Sorry... *snicker* This is for a FIRST tour coming soon.

White Christmas Pie by Wanda E. Brunstetter, Barbour Book for tour and fun reading.

Murder On the Ol' Bunions by S. Dionne Moore, Heartsong Presents Mysteries book for tour, gotta love those cozy mysteries. Join the club!

Beloved Captive by Kathleen Y'Barbo
, book #2 in the Fairweather Key series. Must located book #1 Beloved Castaway and next year Beloved Counterfeit, book #3 for 2009. Anyone know where it's on sale? I might have to check the local library... This is for a CFBA tour coming soon.

Shade by John B. Olson
, this is for the November Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy blog tour.

The Face of Deceit and A Murder Among Friends by Ramona Richards. These showed up in my mailbox today straight from the author's address... I do not know why, but I'm excited they look good! They are both Love Inspired Suspense: Riveting Inspirational Romance. I recognize the cover images so I know I've seen them on a blog before, perhaps in a contest. I dunno, either way they're getting read and reviewed. Oh sweet! They're autographed! Happy day!!!


So, tell me, what do you like better the fiction v. non fiction section... or the divided by days?
What did you get in the mailbox/front porch last week?

FIRST: Diamond Duo by Marcia Gruver



It is time to play a Wild Card! Every now and then, a book that I have chosen to read is going to pop up as a FIRST Wild Card Tour. Get dealt into the game! (Just click the button!) Wild Card Tours feature an author and his/her book's FIRST chapter!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!





Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


Diamond Duo

Barbour Publishing, Inc (October 1, 2008)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Marcia Gruver is a full time writer who hails from Southeast Texas. Inordinately enamored by the past, Marcia delights in writing historical fiction. Her deep south-central roots lend a Southern-comfortable style and a touch of humor to her writing.

Awarded a three book contract by Barbour Publishing for full-length historical fiction, Marcia is busy these days pounding on the keyboard and watching the deadline clock. Diamond Duo, the first installment in the trilogy entitled Texas Fortunes, is scheduled for release in October 2008.

Marcia won third place in the 2007 ACFW Genesis contest and third in the 2004 ACFW Noble Theme contest. Another entry in 2004 finished in the top ten. She placed second in the 2002 Colorado Christian Writer’s contest for new authors, securing a spot in an upcoming compilation book. “I Will Never Leave Thee,” in For Better, For Worse—Devotional Thoughts for Married Couples, was released by Christian Publications in January 2004.

She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Fellowship of Christian Writers, and The Writers View—and a longstanding member of ACFW Crit3 and Seared Hearts, her brilliant and insightful critique groups.

Lifelong Texans, Marcia and her husband, Lee, have one daughter and four sons. Collectively, this motley crew has graced them with ten grandchildren and one great-granddaughter—so far.


Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $ 10.97
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc (October 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602602050
ISBN-13: 978-1602602052

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Diamond Duo by Marcia Gruver, Chapter One


Jefferson, Texas, Friday, January 19, 1877


With the tip of a satin shoe, the graceful turn of an ankle, the woman poured herself like cream from the northbound train out of Marshall and let the tomcats lap her up. In the beginning, an upraised parasol blocked her visage, but no lingering look at her features could erase the impression already established by pleasing carriage, a lavish blue gown, and slender fingers covered in diamonds.

Bertha Biddie waited with stilted breath for the moment when the umbrella might tip and give up its secret. All about her most of Jefferson had come to a halt, as if the whole town waited with her. Without warning, the woman lowered and closed the sunshade.

Enchanted, Bertha followed the graceful lines of her form to her striking and memorable face. At first sight of her, Bertha thought she was the devil’s daughter. She bore no obvious mark of evil. Just smoldering eyes and a knowing glance that said life held mysteries young Bertha had yet to glimpse.

Her hair sparkled like sunrays dancing on Big Cypress Creek. Her lashes were as black as the bottom of a hole, and her lids seemed smudged with coal. Delicate features perched below a dark halo of hair, and a pink flush lit her fair cheeks. Her expression teemed with mischief, and her full ruby lips curled up at the corners as if recalling a bawdy yarn. She turned slightly, evidently aware of the gathering horde for the first time. With a tilt of her chin and barely perceptible sway, she cast a wide net over the men in the crowd and dragged them to shore.

Bertha watched them respond to her and realized Mama had been less than forthcoming about the real and true nature of things. Forgetting themselves and the women at their sides, they stared open-mouthed, some in spite of jealous claws that gripped their arms. Even the ladies stared, the looks on their faces ranging from admiration to envy.

The reaction of the men only slightly altered when the lady’s escort stepped out of the Texas & Pacific passenger car behind her. Though his clothes were just as spiffy and he carried himself well, the man who accompanied that gilded bird lacked her allure, bore none of her charm. Yet despite her confident display of tail feathers, the bluebird at his side clearly deferred to him as though he’d found a way to clip her wings.

With great care, the porter handed down the couple’s baggage, the matched set a rare sight in those parts, then held out his hand. Her companion tipped the man, gathered the bags, and walked away from the platform without offering a single word in the bluebird’s direction. She cast a quick glance after him but stood her ground, her demeanor unruffled in the face of his rebuke.

As was the custom, The Commercial Hotel, Haywood House, and Brooks House, three reputable hotels in town, each had transport standing by to haul incoming passengers from the station. Dr. J. H. Turner, landlord of Brooks House, waited on hand in the conveyance he called an omnibus.

The woman’s friend secured passage with Dr. Turner and helped him load their belongings then turned and crooked a finger in her direction. She pretended not to notice.

“Bessie!” he barked. “For pity’s sake.”

She lifted her head, reopened the parasol, and strolled his way without saying a word—giving in but taking all the time she pleased to do so. He handed her up onto the carriage, climbed in beside her, and settled back to rest a possessive arm around her shoulders.

Dr. Turner eased onto Alley Street and trundled away from the station, breaking the spell cast over the denizens of Jefferson. In slow motion they awoke from their stupor and returned to their lives.

Bertha released the breath she’d held and gripped her best friend’s arm. “What was she, Magda? I’ve never seen anything like her.”

When Magda shook her head, her curls danced the fandango. “Me neither. And we never will again. Not around here, anyway.”

She leaned past Magda trying to catch another glimpse. “She’s no earthbound creature, that’s for sure. But devil or angel? I couldn’t tell.”

Magda laughed. “She’s human all right, just not ordinary folk.” She pressed her finger to her lips. “Could be one of those actresses from a New York burletta.”

Bertha gasped. “From the Broadway stage? You really think so?”

“She’s certainly stylish enough.”

Bertha squinted down Alley Street at the back of the tall carriage. “That man called her Bessie. She doesn’t look like a Bessie to me.”

“Further proof that beneath all her fluff, she’s a vessel of clay like the rest of us.”

“How so?”

“Who ever heard of an angel named Bessie?”

Grinning, Bertha leaned and tweaked Magda’s nose. “Oh, go on with you.”

Of all the souls wandering the earth—in Jefferson, Texas, at least—Bertha Maye Biddie’s heart had knit with Magdalena Hayes’ from the start. They were a year apart, Magda being the oldest, but age wasn’t the only difference between them. Magda easily reached the top shelves in the kitchen, where Bertha required a stool. And while big-boned Magda took up one and a half spaces on a church pew, Bertha barely filled the remaining half. Magda’s russet mop coiled as tight as tumbleweed. Bertha’s black hair fell to her waist in silken waves and gave her fits trying to keep it pinned up. Nothing fazed self-possessed Magda. Bertha greeted life with her heart.

Magda nudged Bertha with her elbow. “Earthbound or not, I can tell you one thing about her. . .”

“What’s that?”

The look in Magda’s big brown eyes said whatever the one thing was it was bound to be naughty. She leaned in to whisper. “She knows a thing or two about the fellas.”

Bertha raised her brows. “You can tell that just by looking at her, can you?”

“Not looking at her, smart britches. I can tell by the way she looks at them.” She fussed with her curls, her eyes pious slants. “No decent woman goes eye to eye with strange men in the street, and you know it.”

“I guess some decent woman told you that?”

“Bertha Maye Biddie! Don’t get fresh with me.”

Bertha tucked in her chin and busied herself straightening her gloves. “Maybe she’s fed up with their scandalous fawning. Ever think of that?”

“Any hound will track his supper.”

The words made Bertha mad enough to spit, but she didn’t know why. “A pie set out on a windowsill may be a fine display of good cooking, but not necessarily an invitation.”

Magda narrowed her eyes. “What on earth are you talking about?” Before Bertha could answer, she stiffened and settled back for a pout. “Why are you siding up with that woman anyway? You don’t even know her.”

The truth was, Bertha’s head still reeled from the first sight of Bessie. And the way men reacted to her flooded Bertha’s young heart with hope and provided an opportunity, if she played her cards right, to fix a private matter that sorely needed fixing.

She knew a few things by instinct, like how to toss her long hair or tilt her chin just so. Enough to mop the grin off Thaddeus Bloom’s handsome face and light a fire in those dark eyes. But she was done with turning to mush in his presence and watching him revel in it. If Bertha could learn a few of the bluebird’s tricks, she’d have that rascal wagging his tail. Then the shoe would be laced to the proper foot, and Thad could wear it up her front stoop when he came to ask for her hand.

One thing was certain. Whatever Bessie knew, Bertha needed to know it.

She tugged on Magda’s arm. “Come on.”

“Come on where?”

Already a wagon-length ahead, Bertha called back over her shoulder. “To the hotel. We’re going to find her.”

“What? Why?”

“Save your questions for later. Now hurry!”

Bertha dashed to the steps at the end of the boardwalk and scurried into the street.

“You planning to run clear to Vale Street?” Magda huffed, rushing to catch up. “Slow down. It ain’t ladylike.”

“Oh, pooh. Neither am I. Look, there’s Mose. He’ll take us.”

Just ahead, Moses Pharr’s rig, piled high with knobby cypress, turned onto Alley Street headed the opposite way. The rickety wagon, pulled by one broken-down horse, bore such a burden of wood it looked set to pop like a bloated tick. When Bertha whistled, the boy’s drowsy head jerked up. He turned around and saw her, and a grin lit his freckled face.

“Bertha!” Magda hustled up beside her. “If your pa gets word of you whistling in town, he’ll take a strap to your legs.”

“Papa doesn’t own a strap. Come on, Mose is waiting.”

She ran up even with the wagon and saw that the mountain of wood had blocked her view of Mose’s sister sitting beside him on the seat. They both grinned down at her, Rhodie’s long red hair the only visible difference between the two.

“Hey, Rhodie.”

“Hey, Bert. Where you going?”

“To Brooks House. I was hoping to hitch a ride.”

Mose leaned over, still grinning. “We always got room for you, Bertha. Hop on.”

Magda closed the distance between them and came to stand beside Bertha, breathing hard. When Bertha pulled herself onto the seat beside Rhodie, Magda started to follow. Mose raised his hand to stop her.

“Hold up there.” He looked over at Bertha. “Her, too?”

Bertha nodded.

Mose cut his eyes back at the wood and then shrugged. “Guess one more can’t hurt. But she’ll have to sit atop that stump. Ain’t no more room on the seat.”

Magda adjusted her shawl around her shoulders and sniffed. “I refuse to straddle a cypress stump all the way to Vale Street.”

“Suit yourself,” Bertha said. “But it’s a long walk. Let’s go, Mose.”

Mose lifted the reins and clucked at the horse. Magda grabbed the wooden handgrip and pulled herself onto the wagon just as it started to move. Arranging her skirts about her, she perched on the tall stump like Miss Muffet. “Well, what are you waiting for?” she asked. “Let’s go.”

Laughing, they rolled through Jefferson listing and creaking, ignoring the stares and whispers. When the rig pulled up across from Brooks House, even the spectacle they made couldn’t compete with Bessie and her traveling companion.

The couple stood on the street beside their luggage, the carriage nowhere in sight. They seemed at the end of a heated discussion, given his mottled face and her missing smile.

When Bertha noticed the same sick-cow expression on the faces of the gathered men and the same threatened look on the women’s, she became more determined than ever to learn Bessie’s secret.

The man with Bessie growled one more angry word then hefted their bags and set off up the path. Not until Bessie followed him and disappeared through the shadowy door did the town resume its pace.

Mose gulped and found his voice. “She looked as soft as a goose-hair pillow. Who is she?”

Bertha scooted to the edge of her seat and climbed down. She dusted her hands and smoothed her skirt before she answered. “I don’t know, but I intend to find out.”

“Roll up your tongue, Moses Pharr,” Magda said from the back, “and get me off this stump.”

Mose hopped to the ground and hurried around to help Magda.

Rhodie, twirling her copper braid, grinned down at Bertha. “What are you going to do, Bert?”

Magda answered for her. “She’s going to get us into trouble, that’s what.”

Bertha took her by the hand. “Stop flapping your jaws and come on.”

They waved goodbye to Mose and Rhodie then hurried across the street, dodging horses, wagons, and men—though their town wasn’t nearly as crowded as it had once been.

Jefferson, Queen City of the Cypress, lost its former glory in 1873, when the United States Corps of Engineers blew the natural dam to kingdom come, rerouting the water from Big Cypress Bayou down the Red River to Shreveport. Once a thriving port alive with steamboat traffic, when the water level fell, activity in Jefferson, the river port town that had earned the title “Gateway to Texas” dwindled. To that very day, in fits of Irish temper, Bertha’s papa cursed the responsible politicians.

But through it all, Jefferson had lost none of its charm. Brooks House was a prime example of the best the town had to offer, so it seemed only right that someone like Bessie might wind up staying there.

Bertha and Magda positioned themselves outside the hotel and hunkered down to wait—the former on a mission, the latter under duress. It didn’t take long for the girls to learn a good bit about the captivating woman and her cohort. Talk swirled out the door of the hotel soon after the couple sashayed to the front desk to register under the name of A. Monroe and wife, out of Cincinnati, Ohio.

The gentleman, if he could be counted as such, addressed the woman as Annie or Bessie, when he didn’t call her something worse. The two quarreled openly, scratching and spitting like cats, and didn’t care who might be listening. By the time the story drifted outside, the locals had dubbed her Diamond Bessie due to her jewel-encrusted hands, and it seemed the name would stick.

Bertha shaded her eyes with her hands and pressed her face close to the window. “I don’t see her anymore, Magda. I guess they took a room.”

“Of course they took a room. Why else would they come to a hotel?”

Bertha ignored her sarcasm and continued to search the lobby for Bessie. Still catching no sight of her, she turned around. “Isn’t she the most glorious thing? And even prettier close up.”

“That she is.”

“Did you see the way men look at her? I never saw that many roosters on the prowl at one time.”

“And all for squat,” Magda said. “That chicken’s been plucked. The little banty she strutted into town with has already staked a claim.” She grinned. “He wasn’t all that hard on the eyes himself.”

Bertha frowned. “That strutting peacock? Besides his flashy clothes, she was the only thing special about him. Don’t see how he managed to snare a woman like that. He must be rich.”

Magda arched one tapered brow. “Did you see the rings on her fingers?”

“I reckon so. I’m not blind.”

Magda stretched her back and heaved a sigh. “I guess that’s it then. Let’s go.”

Bertha grabbed her arm. “Wait. Where are you going?”

“Home. This show’s over. They’ve settled upstairs by now.”

Lacing her fingers under her chin, Bertha planted herself in Magda’s path. “Won’t you wait with me just a mite longer?”

“She’s not coming out here, Bertha. Besides, you’ve seen enough for today.”

“I don’t want to see her. I need to talk to her.”

Magda drew herself back and stared. “Are you tetched? We can’t just walk up and talk to someone like her. Why would she fool with the likes of us?”

“I don’t know. I’ll think of a way. I’ve got to.” She bit her bottom lip—three words too late.

Looking wary now, Magda crossed her arms. “Got to? Why?”

“Just do.” Bertha met her look head-on. She wouldn’t be bullied out of it. Not even by Magda.

Resting chubby fists on rounded hips, Magda sized her up. “All right, what does this have to do with Thad?”

No one knew her like Magda. Still, the chance she might stumble onto Bertha’s motives were as likely as hatching a three-headed guinea hen. Struggling to hold her jaw off the ground, she lifted one shoulder. “Who said it did?”

Magda had the gall to laugh. “Because, dearie,” she leaned to tap Bertha’s forehead, “everything inside there lately has something to do with Thad.”

“Humph! Think what you like. I am going to talk to her.”

Magda glared. “Go ahead then. I can see there’s no changing your mind. But I don’t fancy being humiliated by another of your rattlebrained schemes, thank you.”

Bertha caught hold of her skirt. “Don’t you dare go. I can’t do this on my own.”

“Let go of me. I said I’m going home.”

“Please, Magdalena! I need you.”

Magda pulled her skirt free and took another backward step. “No, ma’am. You just count me out this time.”

She turned to go and Bertha lunged, catching her in front of the hotel door. They grappled, tugging sleeves and pulling hair, both red-faced and close to tears. Just when Bertha got set to squeal like a pestered pig, from what seemed only a handbreadth away a woman cleared her throat. Bertha froze, hands still locked in Magda’s hair, and turned to find the bluebird beaming from the threshold—though canary seemed more fitting now that she’d traded her blue frock for a pale yellow dress.

“What fun!” Bessie cried, clasping her hands. “I feared this town might be as dull as dirt, but it seems I was mistaken.”


Blog Tour: Simplify Your Holidays

About the Book:

Simplify Your Holidays: A Christmas Planner to Use Year after Year by Marcia Ramsland (Thomas Nelson)

Organization and simplification expert Marcia Ramsland tackles the holidays with an eight-week plan designed to make Christmas a season of celebration, not stress.

Most people begin to prepare for Christmas as soon as Thanksgiving is over, which can create great stress since Thanksgiving happens at a different time every year. However, Halloween is consistently eight weeks before Christmas, so beginning then ensures enough time to prepare and plan for both Christmas and Thanksgiving and to make this a season of joy for yourself and your family. This planner addresses all the details of the busy holiday season, including buying, wrapping, and sending presents, sending Christmas cards, home decorations, and cooking and baking. What sets this planner apart is a day-by-day plan that breaks every task into manageable pieces and a daily devotional journal that keeps the reader focused on the reason for all the activity, encouraging a spirit of praise, not panic.

  • Loose Leaf: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Lslf edition (September 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401604145
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401604141
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 10.2 x 1 inches

About the Author:

Marcia Ramsland is well known as "The Organizing Pro" for her practical skills and tips to manage everything from a full calendar to paper piles at home and work. She is an entertaining speaker and author of three popular books, Simplify Your Life (2003), Simplify Your Time (2006), and Simplify Your Space (2007). Her next book, Simply Your Holidays, will be released in the Fall 2008.

The "Organizing Pro's" tips appear in Better Homes and Garden, Woman's Day, and Real Simple magazines. Marcia is an international speaker appearing on radio and TV, and feels that anyone can get more organized with the right tips. Martha Stewart radio did a 20 minute live interview with Marcia Ramsland January 2008 on ways to "Simplify Your Space" and "5 Steps to Help a Child Clean their Room." Kerry Nolan was the host on Sirius radio "Living Today."

Marcia was one of four national Organizers featured in the Better Homes and Gardens special edition magazine, Secrets of Getting Organized. She is an expert at the HousekeepingChannel.com and her corporate clients include Kodak, First National Bank, and the U.S. Navy.

I was blessed to be able to listen to a CD or Marcia Ramsland's presentation of this topic, and there were a lot of things of interest there and I believe this book would be a great help to anyone trying to plan their holidays. I want one!

I have been one of those people that just did not bother much. I have only been the woman of my house hold for just over two years now and there are so many things about holiday planning where I have just said that I am not going to worry much less do anything about it. After hearing the things that Marcia had to say, I realize that I really could do some things without much hassle and it would make my holidays much more enjoyable and full of the Christmas Spirit, which the Spirit of Christ is definitely what I want to share.

I enjoyed this and I think you will too. Oh, and Boodrews, be watching your mailbox!



Monday, October 27, 2008

New Snail Mail

It's official. New snail mail addy! Email me to get it.

FIRST: The Fall of Candy Corn



It is time to play a Wild Card! Every now and then, a book that I have chosen to read is going to pop up as a FIRST Wild Card Tour. Get dealt into the game! (Just click the button!) Wild Card Tours feature an author and his/her book's FIRST chapter!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!





Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


The Fall of Candy Corn

Zondervan (October 1, 2008)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Debbie ViguiƩ has been writing for most of her life. She has experimented with poetry and nonfiction, but her true passion lies in writing novels.

She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Writing from UC Davis. While at Davis she met her husband, Scott, at auditions for a play. It was love at first sight.

Debbie and Scott now live on the island of Kauai. When Debbie is not writing and Scott has time off they love to indulge their passion for theme parks.


The Sweet Seasons Novels:

The Summer of Cotton Candy
The Fall of Candy Corn
The Winter of Candy Canes
The Spring of Candy Apples


Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $ 9.99
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Zondervan (October 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310715598
ISBN-13: 978-0310715597

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Candace Thompson knew she was crazy. That was the only possible explanation for why, once again, she was sitting across the desk from Lloyd Peterson, hiring manager for The Zone theme park. A lot had changed since the day in June when she had been hired to operate a cotton candy machine. Still, sitting across from Lloyd, she felt self-conscious and a bit insecure.

“So,” he said, staring at her intently. “You think you can be a maze monster for Scare?”

She nodded. Scare was what they called the annual Halloween event at The Zone. Aside from putting frightening elements in traditional rides, during Scare there were a dozen mazes where monsters did their best to scare park guests as they wound their way through dark and creepy corridors.

“Then show me something scary.”

It was eleven in the morning in a brightly lit office. What on earth did he expect of her? She wanted to say something smart. She wanted to say something funny. With horror she realized she didn’t have anything to say.

“Come on, come on,” he said. “Be a monster, jump around, growl, something.”

She got out of her seat and did the best growl she could. Unfortunately, she sounded less like a monster and more like a frightened Chihuahua.

“Threaten me!”

She got closer to him than she would have liked, jumped up and down, swung her arms, and pounded her fist firmly on his desk. She could tell by the look on his face that he wasn’t impressed.

She growled again and yelled, “I’m going to get you!” She felt like the world’s biggest idiot. No one would be scared of a teenage girl, especially not one wearing a gray business suit and sensible shoes.

“Scream!” he ordered.

She threw back her head and screamed her loudest, shrillest scream. That, at least, was easy. It was a game her best friend, Tamara, and she had played when they were little. They had competitions to see who could scream louder or longer or higher.

She screamed for ten seconds and then sat back down in her chair. She expected Lloyd to laugh; she expected him to say something derisive. Instead, he looked at her thoughtfully.

“I have the perfect role for you to play,” he said. He wrote something on an orange slip of paper. “You’re going to be Candy in the Candy Craze maze.”

“Candy?” she asked questioningly. “Am I going to be dressed up like a giant Twix bar or something?”

He shook his head. “Nothing like that. You should be proud; it’s our latest maze. The lines for it will wrap halfway through the park.”

He handed her a stack of papers. “You can go fill these out. Then Saturday at nine a.m. report to the costume warehouse for your fitting and orientation. At that time you’ll also be able to pick up your badge, ID, and parking pass.”

“Saturday at nine,” she confirmed as she took the stack
from him.

“There’s a table — ”

“Out in the courtyard,” she finished for him.

Since she was a returning referee — which was the The Zone’s name for an employee — there was slightly less paperwork this time. There was, however, an entire book of rules and policies regarding Scare. She had to sign several forms stating that she had received it, she had read it, she had understood it, and she promised to abide by it. It seemed like the golden rule of Scare was “thou shalt have no physical contact of any kind with players.” Players was what they called the customers. Touching a player during Scare apparently was grounds for immediate dismissal.

Once she finished filling out and signing all her paperwork, she returned it to Lloyd Peterson.

Checking her watch, she discovered that she still had an hour before she had to meet Tamara for a late lunch. She decided to head into the theme park to see a few friends.

The first thing she noticed when she entered the park was that the Holiday Zone was closed. Temporary walls set up around the area prevented players from going inside or even getting a peek at what was going on.

The Holiday Zone was one of nine themed areas inside The Zone theme park. The theme of the Holiday Zone changed throughout the year to reflect different holidays. It was the day after Labor Day so all the Fourth of July themes from summer were now being replaced with Halloween themes for fall. The transformation would take about ten days, and then the Holiday Zone would be open again for business.

Several key attractions throughout the rest of the park were also closed, getting their Scare overlay. The Muffin Mansion was one of them, she discovered when she went there looking for her friend Becca. The Muffin Mansion was unique in the park because half of it was in the Exploration Zone and half of it was in the History Zone. The Exploration Zone half was located near most of the kitchens, which looked a lot more like laboratories. There was a small counter where they sold the muffins. The side that was in the History Zone looked like an old-fashioned mansion, and guests could eat their muffins at one of the tables scattered around the parlor. It was from the History side that it got its name. It was from the Exploration side that it got its wild concoctions of muffins and its ever-expanding menu.

She stared for a moment at the construction walls around the building and wondered what the Muffin Mansion would look like when the walls came down. She also wondered where Becca was working while the mansion was getting its Halloween makeover. She glanced at her watch and thought about who else she might be able to track down to chat with.

She knew that two of her other friends, Josh and Roger, had ended their summer jobs and weren’t there. Fortunately, both of them were going to be working Scare. They had managed to talk her into joining them. Spending time with them was one of the best perks of working the event. One of the others was that it paid slightly more than her summer job had.

Martha, her former supervisor, spent a lot of time off field in the employee-only areas. Candace wasn’t sure if Sue, one of her other friends, had already quit her summer job as a janitor or not. That left Kurt. So Candace made her way to the History Zone.

Kurt was her boyfriend. The word was still exciting and new to Candace. He worked as a mascot, a costumed character. They had met the day she first became a Zone referee and, after some rocky moments, had ended the summer as a -couple. She found him dressed like Robin Hood in the medieval area of the History Zone. She had gotten good at recognizing his dark hair and brilliant blue eyes no matter what costume or mask he was wearing.

“Hey, gorgeous!” he said, when he saw her, and he gave her a quick kiss.

“Eeeww!” a little boy holding an autograph book said.

“She’s not Maid Marion,” the boy’s sister protested.

“She’s not?” Kurt asked, feigning surprise.

“I don’t think Maid Marion has red hair,” another little girl commented.

Kurt turned back to Candace, “Away lady, for you are not my dearest love.”

Candace pretended to be crushed and put her hand to her forehead as though she might faint. The children laughed at that. “But I am! I am wearing this disguise to hide from the evil Prince John.”

“Robin will protect you!” the little girl said excitedly.

The little boy handed Candace his autograph book with great solemnity. She signed Maid Marion’s name, and he seemed immensely pleased.

After the children left, Kurt smiled at her. “Nice job.”

“Thank you. I’m practicing my acting skills for Scare.”

“You signed up?”

“Just now.”

“That’s great! What did you get?”

“Apparently it’s the new maze. I’m playing Candy.”

Kurt looked startled, but before he could say anything, he was besieged by several more children wanting pictures and autographs. Soon a line formed. Candace glanced at her watch, and Kurt shrugged and gave her a smile. She waved good-bye and headed for the front of the park.

Twenty minutes later she was sitting with Tamara in their favorite ice cream parlor.

“Want to split the turkey sandwich and a banana split?” Tamara asked.

“Split the split? You took the words right out of my mouth,” Candace said.

After the waitress took their order, they discussed the fact that they had only a few hours of freedom left before school started up in the morning.

“I can’t believe we only have two classes together this year,” Tamara complained.

“At least one of them is homeroom,” Candace said.

“Drama should be fun though,” Tamara said.

“I can’t believe I let you talk me into signing up for that.”

“Come on, you’re going to be a maze monster. What’s a little acting to you?” Tamara teased.

Candace smiled. “I am pretty jazzed about that,” she admitted. “I just hope I do a good job. I totally couldn’t pull off ‘scary’ in front of the recruiter today. I should thank you, though. I got a position based on my ability to scream.”

“You’re welcome,” Tamara said. “See, all those hours in the garage paid off.”

“You’re going to come see me in the maze, right?”

Tamara was adventurous, but she hated anything that
resembled a monster or something that went bump in the night. She couldn’t stand horror films and hadn’t even been able to make it through the old movie Jaws the year before without freaking out and vowing never to go swimming in the ocean again.

“I guess if you’re going to overcome your fear of mazes enough to work in one, the least I can do is come see you in it,” Tamara said with a heavy sigh.

“You’re the best.”

“I know.”

After lunch they did some last-minute school shopping, and each of them ended up with pencils, paper, and three pairs of shoes.

“Seriously, I don’t think I can wear these to school,” Candace said, pulling a pair of three-inch black heels out of one of the bags.

“Then you can wear them after school when you go out with Kurt,” Tamara said. “That officially makes them ‘school adjacent’ and so, school shoes.”

“You have messed-up logic, Tam, but I love it.”

“Knew you would.”

They headed back to Candace’s house so she could change clothes before youth group. While Tamara unpacked her shoes for her, Candace threw on a pair of jeans and a Zone sweatshirt she had borrowed from Kurt.

“You’re never giving him back that sweatshirt, are you?” Tamara said.

“Not if I can help it,” Candace laughed. “Besides, it’s the duty of a girlfriend to swipe some article of clothing from her boyfriend. It’s like a sacred trust. The guy carries around a picture of the girl, and the girl snags his sweatshirt.”

“You weren’t even cold the other night at the theater when you got that, were you?”

“I’ll never tell,” Candace said with a laugh.

When they left the house and headed for church, Candace was both excited and a little nervous. Because of her summer job, she had missed out on youth group all summer. Now she was returning and she was officially a senior. It would be her first senior-y thing.

Once they arrived and entered the familiar building, though, she began to relax. The youth building was large and furnished with old beat-up couches, chairs, and plenty of pillows for sprawling on the floor. Almost a hundred -people were in attendance. The freshmen were easy to spot with their wide-eyed looks of excitement. They had finally entered the major leagues, and it was a big night for them too.

Candace and Tamara staked their claim to one of the smaller couches just before the youth pastor, Bobby, called everyone together. They prayed and then sang a -couple of praise songs.

“Okay, welcome, everyone, to a new year. We’re glad to see all you freshers out there. And seniors, congratulations on being the top dogs.”

There was a weak yell from the freshmen, which was dwarfed by the shout of the seniors. The sophomores looked relieved that they were no longer freshmen, while the juniors looked enviously at the seniors.

“Make sure you take a fall schedule home tonight. We’ve got a lot of great events coming up in the next -couple of months. There’s the girls’ all-night party next Friday night. Don’t forget the annual all-church marathon the following Sunday. We’ll have a guest band at the end of the month, which I know you won’t want to miss. We’re also doing something brand new this year. The first Friday in October we’ll get on buses and head on over to Scare at The Zone!”

Cheers went up from almost everyone in the room. Candace was stunned. She knew a lot of church youth groups went to Scare, but this was the first year her youth group was planning on it. She began to rethink her employment options. It was going to be weird enough playing a monster on display in a maze without her entire youth group there to see her. Slowly, she sank down lower on the couch, willing herself to be unseen.

Tamara waved her hand in the air, and, before Candace could stop her, Bobby called, “What is it Tamara?”

“I just thought everyone would like to know that Candace is going to be a monster in one of the mazes.”

Candace could feel her cheeks burning as she glared at Tamara.

“Hear that everyone? Make sure you come with us to Scare, and you can see Candace at work!”

There were more cheers as Candace sat there in dismay.

A freshman girl raised her hand.

“Yes, what’s your name?” Bobby asked.

“Jen. How much will Scare cost?” she asked, clearly concerned.

“Well, Jen, that’s the best part. This is the perfect time to invite out all your friends — Chris-tians and non-Chris-tians. The entire event, including entrance ticket, transportation, food, and a souvenir T-shirt, is completely sponsored. So it’s free!”

And now, with the exception of Candace, there was a standing ovation. Candace just glared up at Tamara. “This is your fault, isn’t it?” she asked.

Tamara just smiled innocently. “I have to support my best friend, don’t I?”

Candace thought that maybe she could use a little less support and a lot more privacy, but she didn’t say so. Tamara’s entire family was beyond rich. Tamara and Candace had been friends before either of them even understood what was up with money. Most of the time Tamara played it casual, but every once in a while she did something generous and outrageous. This time her generosity was going to put Candace fully in the spotlight. As cool as it often was to have a friend with money, there was a downside.



“How could you do that to me?” Candace asked when she and Tamara were back in the car after youth group was over.

“I love you, Cand, but if you think I’m going through those mazes by myself, you’re crazy. I plan on putting as many bodies between me and the guys in the scary masks as possible.”

“But I’m one of the guys in the scary masks! Besides, it’s perfectly safe. They’re not allowed to touch players at all.”

“That’s what you say.”

“It’s true. It says so in the handbook.”

Tamara rolled her eyes. “Sure, and how many -people aside from you bothered to read it?”

“That’s not fair. It’s in the pamphlet too,” Candace protested.

“Oh, and because it says so in the pamphlet it must be true,” Tamara said. “Maybe if they posted it on the Web it would be doubly true.”

“Knock it off,” Candace said, still irritated and in no mood to play.

“Seriously, you’re not worried are you?” Tamara asked, doing her best to stop smiling.

“No, I love being in the spotlight,” Candace said, letting the sarcasm flow freely. “Hello! Remember me? Your best friend? I hang around with you so I can be spotlight adjacent, as in, not in but nearby.”

“Well you need the drama class worse than I thought,” Tamara said.

“I don’t want to be in the spotlight.”

Tamara pulled up in front of Candace’s house and parked. “You know,” she said, her voice suddenly very thoughtful, “for someone who doesn’t want to be in the spotlight, you seem to spend a lot of time in it lately.”

“Hello? Not my fault,” Candace said.

“I’m not saying it is,” Tamara answered, putting her hand on Candace’s shoulder. “I just think you seem to end up there no matter what you do. I mean you were a cotton candy operator all summer, and how many times did you name something at the park or win some competition or otherwise draw everyone’s attention your way?”

“Too many,” Candace muttered.

“Exactly. Stuff like that doesn’t just happen. I think maybe God’s trying to tell you something.”

“Like what?”

“Like maybe you’re not meant to live your life spotlight adjacent. Maybe you’re meant to be front and center.”

Candace was quiet for a moment while she thought about that. It seemed like such a crazy idea. She had always lived in a way that ensured she blended into the background. The thought of standing apart from it was intimidating. Yet, hadn’t she done exactly that when she and her team won The Zone Scavenger Hunt? Or the time she stood up for her rights when she was falsely accused at work? That hadn’t exactly been blending in.

She shook her head. It was a lot to think about, and the part of her brain that was already freaked out so didn’t want to go there. “Maybe it’s just coincidence,” she said.

“I don’t believe in coincidence,” Tamara said. “I believe in plans God makes and doesn’t tell you about until later.”

Candace smiled. “Any chance God plans to make it snow or something so we don’t have to go to school tomorrow?”

Tamara looked at the readout on her dashboard. “It’s nine thirty at night, and it’s still eighty-seven degrees outside. Besides, this is Southern California. When God makes it snow here, it’s not a plan; it’s a miracle.”

Candace couldn’t help but laugh at that. “Thanks, Tam,” she said after a minute.

“Hey, that’s what friends are for,” she said with a shrug. “Wanna carpool tomorrow?”

Candace nodded. “You driving or me?”

“I will. See you in the morning.”

Once in her room Candace thought about calling Kurt or her friend Josh. Reason won out, though, since she had school in the morning, and calling either of them could result in her being up way too late.

“Morning’s going to come awfully early,” she confided in Mr. Huggles, her stuffed bear.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

FIRST: Cyndere's Midnight



It is time to play a Wild Card! Every now and then, a book that I have chosen to read is going to pop up as a FIRST Wild Card Tour. Get dealt into the game! (Just click the button!) Wild Card Tours feature an author and his/her book's FIRST chapter!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!





Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


Cyndere's Midnight(The Auralia Thread Series #2)

WaterBrook Press (September 16, 2008)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Jeffrey Overstreet lives in two worlds. By day, he writes about movies at LookingCloser.org and in notable publications like Christianity Today, Paste, and Image. His adventures in cinema are chronicled in his book Through a Screen Darkly. By night, he composes new stories found in fictional worlds of his own. Living in Shoreline, Washington, with his wife, Anne, a poet, he is a senior staff writer for Response Magazine at Seattle Pacific University. Auralia's Colors (The Auralia Thread Series #1)was his first novel. His second, Cyndere's Midnight continues The Auralia Thread Series.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $ 13.99
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press (September 16, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1400072530
ISBN-13: 978-1400072538

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


1

THE HEIRESS AND THE OCEANDRAGON

Cyndere walked down to the water to make her daily decision—turn and go back into House Bel Amica, or climb Stairway Rock and throw herself into the sea. It had become a habit. Leaving her chamber early, while the mirrorlined corridors were empty of all but servants, she would traverse manybridges, stairs, and passages and emerge on the shores of the Rushtide Inlet, escaping the gravity of distraction. Today in the autumn bluster, she wore her husband’s woolen stormcloak at the water’s edge. She brought her anger. She brought her dead. While the fog erased the wild seascape, waves exploded against the ocean’s scattered stone teeth, washed wide swaths of pebbles, and sighed into the sand. They carried her father’s whispers from many years past, mornings when he had walked with her along the tide’s edge and dreamt aloud. His bristling grey beard smelled of salt, prickling when he rested his chin on her head. He would place one hand on her shoulder and with the other hold a seashell to her ear. “Hear that?” he’d say. “That’s your very own far-off country. You will walk on ground no one has ever seen. And I’m going to find it for you when I venture out to map the Mystery Sea.” He had done just that. While Cyndere’s mother, Queen Thesera, stayed home to govern her people within House Bel Amica’s massive swell of stone, King Helpryn discovered islands, sites for future Bel Amican settlements. A shipwreck took the king when he tried to cross a stormy span between those islands. Within hours of the report, Bel Amica’s cloud-bound cityturned volcanic with theories and superstitions. From one sphere of their Cynderes Midnight_intrfnl 7/18/08 9:26 AM Page 4 society to another, all the way down to the shipyards of the inlet, the people competed to interpret their ambitious king’s demise, their rumors full of words like iceberg, pirates, and oceandragon. The Seers, quarrelsome as gulls, debated whether this might be a portent of judgment by the moon-spirits or whether Helpryn’s celestial guardian had reached down from the sky and carried him away to live in his own peaceful paradise. Meanwhile, Cyndere mourned the loss of her father’s smiling eyes, his confidence in her, his vision for her future. “You will walk on ground no one has ever seen.” From the day he vanished, the young heiress never grew taller, and the sun was burnt out of her sky. She did not weep. Given no chance to mourn in private, she concerned herself with the comfort of her mother and her older brother, Partayn. Partayn slept with his head on the windowsill as though he listened for the king’s counsel in the ocean’s roar. Did those crashing lullabies awaken his father’s wanderlust within him? She wondered. King Helpryn had answered the call of the horizon, but the boy would set sail on a different sea, striving to master all manner of music. Partayn’s quest was tragically brief. When an armored escort carried him
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southward to study the music of House Jenta, an ambush of Cent Regus beastmen silenced his songs. The people, having only just regained their footing, were cast into despair. Even Queen Thesera believed someone had cursed House Bel Amica.The pressure of an impending inheritance fell hard on Cyndere. She was expected now to stand beside her mother and prepare to take her place someday. More urgently, she should find a husband, bring a new generation of royalty to Bel Amica, and ensure that the line of Tammos Raak, father of the four houses, would continue. But Cyndere had already determined that she would not become her mother. She still dreamt of breaking ground all her own. She was capable. She had the respect of her people, and in Bel Amica’s courtrooms she was famous for her temper and tenacity. Her helplessness to save her father and her brother only stoked her passions to help others and prevent further calamity. Such ambitions made her lonely. As her people groped for distractions to numb their fears, the Seers provided potions for reckless indulgences. Those meddling conjurers caught even her mother with their hooks. The thought of inheriting such counselors made Cyndere want to sail for that faroff country of her own, wherever it might be. The sea’s call was more seductive every morning. Her days became rituals of counting the few, feeble cords that bound her to Bel Amica. Hope to become what her father had envisioned quickly dimmed. If it were not for Deuneroi, a young man who often fought with Cyndere in the court, she might have let the ocean carry her to her father. Even in the midst of their famous courtroom collisions, Deuneroi discerned Cyndere’s sadness. He saw her right through and wove subtle threads of sympathy into his eloquence. Sensing this, she conspired that their feud should spread into private debate, and soon their minds and hearts were inseparably entangled, furious in love. Before long, Cyndere realized that while two cords had broken, a new cord had been strung. Deuneroi became her consort, her refuge, strong enough to keep her from the sea. Today she missed hearing the footfalls of Deuneroi’s casual stride. He was off, led by courage she both admired and resented, to search for survivors buried in the rubble of the fallen House Abascar. She had tried to stop him. Tempers flared in their hottest debate. But in the end, she had surrendered, moved by his compassion and by his promise. “Deuneroi, look what you’ve done. This cat was wild once. Now he’s a lazypile of fur.” On their last evening before her husband’s departure, Cyndere sulked through their argument’s aftermath. Gazing into their bedchamber fireplace, she stroked a black viscorcat whose head filled her lap while his furry, muscled body sprawled limp across the braided rug. The viscorcat hummed, kneading the air with his claws. “I don’t think he was ever very wild at all,” said Deuneroi, rolling a woolen tunic and pressing it into his pack. “Once I lured him into my campwith some fish, he warmed up quickly, as if he had known someone who treated him kindly before.” When fireglow lulled the cat into sleep, Cyndere bit her lip and gingerly
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untangled the snare around the animal’s tail. A prankster had tied a ring of keys there with a thread, then set him loose to run, terrified, with the keysclanging along the corridor behind him. As the knot slipped free, the cat raised his head and growled. “It’s all right now,” Cyndere whispered. “You’re free.” His purr slowly returned, resonating. She pondered the keys, wondered what they fit, and set them on the floor next to her. She touched the scar on the cat’s hind leg where Deuneroi had drawn out an arrow’s poisoned head. “I’m glad you found him. That wound might have killed him.” “I’m surprised he trusted me.” “I’m not. You’re a born healer, Deun.” “And so are you.” Deuneroi sat on the edge of the bed, smiling at her. “Then I should be going with you. If there are survivors in Abascar’sruins, they’ll need special care.” “Your mother will never let you venture into such danger.” “What good is royalty if we just sit in our palace when people are in trouble?” “Your mother’s lost too much already. She won’t risk losing you.” “She’s not the only one who’s grieving, Deun. I’m grieving too. And I can’t bear the risk of this. Don’t go. Don’t put so much distance between us.” “You urged your mother to send rescuers. Remember?” “Months ago…and she refused to send help while it mattered. Now she’s just doing this to separate us, to interrupt our work. You won’t find anything in the ruins of Abascar except scavenging beastmen.”“Then I’ll bring back some beastmen. We’ll have real subjects for our study.” He was trying to make her laugh, but she would have none of it. He shifted to a softer approach. “Won’t you sleep better knowing that there’s nobody clinging to hope in Abascar’s ruins? We’ve both had nightmares, imagining someone trapped there, praying to the moon-spirits for a rescuer.”“The people of Abascar don’t pray to moon-spirits. Didn’t.” “This isn’t the daughter of brave King Helpryn talking. Where is the bold heiress who dares to dream even of curing the beastmen of their curse?” Cyndere pressed her lips together. She was angry with her mother, the Seers, and the court. She needed to strike at something, and Deuneroi was the easiest target. But she knew that he was right. She reached for a poker and began to jab recklessly at the smoldering firewood. “Life was so much easier before Mother got word of our plans for the beastmen.” “It was in the glen near Tilianpurth, wasn’t it? That’s where we first dreamt of taming them.” “No more talk about the Cent Regus, Deun. Not if you insist on running off into their territory. You’re not ready for this road. You’re a court scholar.Will you stab at the beastmen with a scroll?” He sat down beside her. “I’m afraid too. But I lost faith in my fears a long time ago, Cyn. People used to tell me, ‘Deuneroi, you’re a weakling. When the soldiers eat what they catch on a hunt, you’re stuck with broth. While others run along the wall, you can’t climb a flight of stairs without losing your breath. You’re not fit for an heiress.’ But then an heiress proved them wrong.” “This is different, Deun. You’re not a soldier. You’re not a ranger or even
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a merchant.” “And I have no skill with horses or vawns. I couldn’t hunt a stag if you turned one loose in this very chamber.” He turned and looked her in the eye. “But I must do this. If we run into the Cent Regus, so be it. What good is this dream of helping beastmen if we’re too afraid to face them?”Cyndere picked up a scrap of burnt firewood and began to sketch the outline of the viscorcat on one of the stone tiles. “You know what they did to my brother.” “Your brother headed south with inexperienced guards. Your mother’ssending Ryllion with us. He can shoot the eye out of a rabbit running. He can chase down a fox in his bare feet. He can hear a flea on a fangbear. He’ll protect me. And don’t forget.” Deuneroi’s warm palm slid across Cyndere’s belly. “Your mother has a compelling reason to keep me safe.” “She only wants a grandchild to extend the line of Tammos Raak.”“But I want a child, Cyn, because you and I perform wonders whenever we work together.” He took the brittle charcoal from her hand and entangled his fingers in hers. “Don’t despair.” She pulled her hands away, reached to massage the nape of the viscorcat’sneck. A ripple of white moved under her fingers as she stroked the black-tipped fur. The cat stiffened at her touch, murmured in delight, and then eased back into sleep. Deuneroi stood. “Remember the tigerfly?” She laughed, although she tried to avoid it. Deuneroi had rescued the bright orange insect during a walk in the woods around the faraway bastion of Tilianpurth. It had been trapped inside a curled leaf floating in the bucket beside the old well. “It sat in your hand for an hour.” “And then it flew.When I go to Abascar, I’ll bring something out of those ruins. Something worth saving. I promise.” “Right.” She dabbed at her eyes. “You promise.” “I promise. And then we’ll go to the well at Tilianpurth. And celebrate.” “Will we?” He knelt behind her, ran his fingers through her strawgold hair, andtipped her head back so he could look into her eyes. “Yes. Or you could just close your eyes and dream a little, and we could be there right now.”When she reached up to pull his dark hair down around her face, the cat grumbled, unhappy to have been forgotten. “Be brave, little bird,” Deuneroi whispered between their kisses. “Be brave.” Without her husband beside her, Cyndere felt exposed. The only remaining child of Queen Thesera, she lived with constant surveillance. Cyndere was the last link in the chain—and it felt so much like a chain—leading back to Tammos Raak. She would never be allowed to walk unguarded. She would never walk on ground that had not been secured. The fog unveiled the long, winding stair down the rugged cliffs to the sandy strand. The chorus of waves grew louder. The cold grew mean. Cyndere would have her meditation, nevertheless. She would wear out those forerunners who scanned the path ahead and tax the strength of those who crept behind. The cold did not dissuade her. She was always cold. Buffeted by wind, she clasped Deuneroi’s black stormcloak at her throat. When she reached the beach at last, she left her silver slippers on the final stair. Her feet were numb with cold by the time she reached the line where
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the surf slid frothy beneath the fog. A tree trunk nudged the shore, rolling and waving its sprawl of roots. Above her, two great lights gleamed like eyes—the rising sun, a coin of gold, and the setting moon, a pool of shifting shapes believed by the Seers to be powerful spirits. Every so often the fog strained at its seams and tore, and Cyndere peered through to the ocean. Once she saw a dark, departing ship, sails pregnant with wind, carrying dreamers her father had inspired. She scooped up wet sand and cast it into the rippling shallows, tempted again. Come out into the water, the waves seemed to say. Come out to me, my daughter. You have suffered so much loss. You can escape here in the deep, where I am waiting for you. You’ll never again have to worry about losing what you love. As the rippling tide washed over her feet, a commotion ahead of her broke the silence. Screams. And curses too dark for the morning. She stepped into the water and hid behind the tree stump as it rocked in the surf. Her forerunners ran, wailing, back toward Bel Amica. “Wyrm! Oceandragon!” She braced herself as the freezing currents swirled about her anklesand her feet turned to ice. Water tugged at Deuneroi’s cloak. She felt a faint spark, the flare of her father’s courage. “Row,” he would have said. “Row against the current.” “Cyndere!” they were calling into the mist. “Heiress! Where is she?” The sound of their panic blew past. Cyndere splashed out of the tide. There it was. A jagged line of darkness ahead, like a mountain range. As it took on detail, she heard its hollow groaning. The oceandragon’s gargantuan form loomed, its snout resting on the sand, head large enough to swallow a herd of wild tidehorses. The fog withdrew, and she could see the spiked tip of its tail curling about and resting on the sand beside her, ten times the size of the harpoons her father had hurled at seawraiths and horned whales. She stood still, waited for the dragon to writhe and twist and thrash down upon her. “Is this what took you down into the sea?” she whispered to her father. “Is this what you saw as the ship came apart?” The fog thinned. The oceandragon’s eyes were hollow, the head but a skull. Its sides did not heave; they were no more than rows of towering ribs. Its tail, a chain with links of bone. Perhaps it had been dead an age. The sea had carried it into the inlet by night and cast it onto the shore, having taken every scrap of its flesh, offering up its unbreakable skeleton. That reverberating moan—it was only the wind moving through the skull’s cavities. “Beautiful,” she said. She stepped through the gap of a missing tooth. The lower jaw was gone, probably resting at the bottom of the sea. Within the hollow thrumming of its head, she stood tall enough to see out through the gaping windows of its eyes. She reached out, touched the edge of a socket. What was it like to be an oceandragon? What was its purpose? Had it enjoyed the open sea, redirecting currents with the twitch of a tail or the fling of a fin? Did oceandragons sing, as some drunken sailors insisted? Or did the creatures think only of eating? She found a small, exquisitely detailed stone on the edge of the opposite
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eye. She set it on her palm, amazed, for it was an exact replica of the oceandragon’swhite skull, sculpted as only a stonemaster could shape it. She held it up to the light and looked through its vacant eyes. And then she laughed. “Scharr ben Fray.” She put it to her lips and blew softly. The whistle’s tone struck a haunting counterpoint to the low hum of the dragon’s skull. He had been here. That eccentric old mage, so famously exiled from House Abascar when Cyndere was a child, had walked among these bones. Scharr ben Fray was known across the Expanse as a man obsessed with mysteries. And he had studied these bones already. His sculptures were his signatures, and this whistle in Cyndere’s hand was unmistakable. She would have given the whistle to Partayn for his collection, were he still alive. Scharr ben Fray had shown both her and her brother a grandfatherly affection during his occasional visits to House Bel Amica. King Helpryn had coveted the old man’s advice and respected his knowledge of the Expanse. Partayn had pestered him for verses from songs he heard in his travels. The queen had only tolerated him, jealous of hisstonemastery and his gift of speaking with animals. But Scharr ben Fraywas a solitary wanderer, appearing when least expected, slipping awaywhenever they tried to hold him. Cyndere stepped through the skull’s oceanward ear. The tide’s tentative shallows moved around her feet again, alive with wavering seaweed and scuttling crabs. She traced her fingers along the edge of the ribs, then stepped into their vast cage. These bones were gashed as if by claws or teeth. Either the dragon had died violently, or vigorous scavengers had carved up the carcass. When she pulled her hand away, her skin was smudged with black fromthe decomposing dragon bone. Not stopping to wonder why, she followed an impulse and traced the ashes around her eyes and across her forehead, thinking of her father. Another rush of water. The tide was turning in earnest now. Cyndere tucked the whistle into her pocket. “You’ll regret missing this, Deun.” She felt a strong tug of the tether, longing to share all wonders with Deuneroi. That desire would bring her home again. Something moved. She turned, half expecting the mage. But this figure was taller and robed in something colorless. Light passed through it, and it cast no shadow. Her father’s courage flickered again. She stepped from between the oceandragon’s ribs to get a better look. But swift currents of fog moved in, erasing the phantom. She thought to call out, but distant voices approaching from Bel Amica distracted her. Walking back, clutching the whistle in her pocketed fist, Cyndere guessed that her guardians meant to rescue her. She hastened toward them, smug with her discovery. How Deuneroi would laugh. But then she slowed. Figures emerged from the mist. Their silhouettes became robes, wringing hands, fretful faces. Some were Seers, stalking forward like white mantises. Some, her attendants—sisterlies—in their heavy brown stormcloaks, with her lifelong friend Emeriene limping along ahead of them, one leg bound in a cast. “Cyndere.” Emeriene opened her arms and stumbled forward in her haste as a mother lunges to save her child from a fall.
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“Em.” Cyndere’s voice seized in her throat. Her body knew, somehow, before any tidings reached her ears. “No. Not Deuneroi…” Cyndere’s tether broke. Like a kite cut loose in a storm, she surrendered, turning and splashing out into the tide. Half in ocean, half in fog, she felt wet sand give way beneath her feet. Water closed over her head. When Emeriene’s hands seized Cyndere’s robes, the heiress of House Bel Amica fought to break free and dive into her father’s embrace.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Trailer: The English Garden Series



Lori Wick's The English Garden Series is being re-released with new covers from Harvest House. Check out these beautiful pictures in this trailer.

FIRST: Auralia's Colors



It is time to play a Wild Card! Every now and then, a book that I have chosen to read is going to pop up as a FIRST Wild Card Tour. Get dealt into the game! (Just click the button!) Wild Card Tours feature an author and his/her book's FIRST chapter!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!





Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


Auralia's Colors (The Auralia Thread Series #1)

WaterBrook Press (September 4, 2007)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Jeffrey Overstreet lives in two worlds. By day, he writes about movies at LookingCloser.org and in notable publications like Christianity Today, Paste, and Image. His adventures in cinema are chronicled in his book Through a Screen Darkly. By night, he composes new stories found in fictional worlds of his own. Living in Shoreline, Washington, with his wife, Anne, a poet, he is a senior staff writer for Response Magazine at Seattle Pacific University. Auralia's Colors (The Auralia Thread Series #1)is his first novel. His second, Cyndere's Midnight continues The Auralia Thread Series.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $ 13.99
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press (September 4, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1400072522
ISBN-13: 978-1400072521

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Old Thieves Make a Discovery

Auralia lay still as death, like a discarded doll, in a burgundy tangle of rushes and spineweed on the bank of a bend in the River Throanscall, when she was discovered by an old man who did not know her name. She bore no scars, no broken bones, just the stain of inkblack soil. Contentedly, she cooed, whispered, and babbled, learning the river’s language, and focused her gaze on the stormy dance of evening sky—roiling purple clouds edged with blood red. The old man surmised she was waiting and listening for whoever, or whatever, had forsaken her there. Those fevered moments of his discovery burnt into the old man’s memory. In the years that followed, he would hold and turn them in his mind the way an explorer ponders relics he has found in the midst of ruin. But the mysteryremained stubbornly opaque. No matter how often he exaggerated the story to impress his fireside listeners—“I dove into that ragin’ river and caught her by the toe!” “I fought off that hungry river wyrm with my picker-staff just in time!”—he found no clue to her origins, no answers to questions of whyor how. The Gatherers, House Abascar, the Expanse—the whole world might have been different had he left her there with riverwater running from her hair. “The River Girl”—that was what the Gatherers came to call her until she grew old enough to set them straight. Without the River Girl, the four houses of the Expanse might have perished in their troubles. But then again, some say that without the River Girl those troubles might never have come at all. This is how the spark was struck. A ruckus of crows caught Krawg’s attention as he groped for berries deep in a bramble. He and Warney, the conspirator with whom he had been caught thieving so many years ago, were laboring to pay their societal debts to House Abascar. The day had been long, but Krawg’s spirits were high. No officers had come to reckon their work and berate them. Not yet. Tired of straining for latesummer apples high in the boughs of ancient trees, they had put down their picker-staffs and turned to plucking sourjuice and jewelweed bushes an applecore’s throw from the Throanscall. Warney was preoccupied, trying to free his thorn-snagged sleeves and leggings. So Krawg smiled, dropped his harvesting sack, and crept away to investigate the cause of the birds’ cacophony. He hoped to find them eying an injured animal, maybe a broad-antlered buck he could finish off and present to the duty officers. That would be a prize grand enough to deserve preparation in King Cal-marcus’s kitchens. Such a discovery might bring Krawg closer to the king’s grace and a pardon. “Aw, will you look at that?” Krawg flexed his bony fingers. The feathered curmudgeons flapped at the air over the riverbank, their gaze fixed on a disturbance in the grass. “Now, hold on!” called his even bonier friend. “Whatcha got there? Wait for me!” Twigs snapped and fabric ripped, but Warney made no progress.
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“Speak up now, what’re them flappers squawkin’ over? Are beastmen coming to kill us?” “Stop spookin’, fraidy-brain,” Krawg growled, and then he gusted air throughhis nostrils. “There won’t be no beastman savages out here in the afternoon.” “What is it then? Merchants?” “No merchants.” “Is it a swarm of stingers?” “Nope.” “A fangbear? River wyrms? Bramblepigs?” “Don’t think so.” “Some young buster sneakin’ up behind us? Come on now. What’s got them birds so bothered?”According to his nature, Krawg tossed back a lie. “They’re just fightin’ over a mess of reekin’ twister fish they snatched out of the shallows.” Groundwater closed over his feet as he made his way through the reeds on the riverbank. Increasinglyperturbed by the way Krawg was stalking their target, the crows descended to the branch of a stooping cottonbeard tree and pelted him with insults. As Krawg combed the grasses for an answer, Warney at last emerged fromthe trees with worry in his one good eye, gripping as if it were a hunting spear the long, clawed picker-staff he had used all day to drag down the higher appleboughs. Warney seemed barely more than a skeleton wrapped in loose flesh and a rough burlap cloak. “What are they fussin’ about now if they’ve gone and eaten their fill?”Krawg’s vulturebeak nose twitched in the middle of the few undisciplined whiskers that grew where a mustache did not. He leaned forward, apprehensive, and saw not a pile of fish bones but two tiny pink hands reaching into the air. “One of the fish has got hands!” gasped Warney. “Shush now! It isn’t a pile of fish.” Krawg took hold of the appleknife in his pocket. “Whatever it is, it’s harmless, I’m sure.”Warney glanced back at the woods. “Don’t forget to watch for you-knowwho. Duty officers’ll haul us in, bottom ’n’ blockhead, if they catch us messin’with anything other than them berries. They’ll ride their stinkin’ lizards right through here soon. Come on now…there’s a nice bramble just back here. Youdon’t want the duty to string us up in the hangers, do ya?” “Good creepin’ Cragavar forest, of all the bloody wonders I ever seen… Looky!” The braver Gatherer flipped his black hood back from his hairless head and bent to examine the child. Warney remained where he was. “Krawg, you’re givin’ me the shut-mouth again. What is it, old boy?” “Just a creepin’, crawlin’ baby, it is.” Krawg massaged the flab beneath his chin. “Mercy, Warney, look at her.” “It’s a her? How do you know?” “Well, howdaya think I know?” Krawg reached for the child, then thought better of it. “Warney, this must mean somethin’. You and me…findin’ this.”He scanned the spaces between trees on both sides of the mist-shrouded river and confirmed that the only witnesses were crows and a tailtwitcher that clung upside down to the trunk of a birch. Warney splashed into the river shallows and prodded the submerged ground with his picker-staff before each step. The weeds around his ankles
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whispered hushhh…hushhh…hushhh.The child convulsed twice. She coughed up droplets of water. And then she made a sound that might have been a laugh. “Now that’s odd.” Krawg gestured to the child’s tiny head. “She got brown and silver hairs. She’s seen at least two seasons, I’d say. Probably born before that hard freeze we had awhile back.”“Yeah, gotta ’gree with ya there.”Warney’s eye was white as a sparrow’s egg in the shadows of his hood. “And she’s not the spawn of those beastmen. Everything about her seems like a good baby girl, not some accursed cross between person and critter. Looks like she’s been fed and looked after too…well, until she got tossed intothe river, I suppose.” “Gotta ’gree with ya there.”Warney now leaned over the child, swaying like a scarecrow in the wind. “She’s better fed than any of us Gatherers…or crows, for that matter.” The crows were quiet, watching, picking at their sharp toes. Krawg knelt and took to picking at his toes as well, poking at yellow places, which meant he was thinking hard. “We’re too far east of House Bel Amica for her to belong to them proud and greedy folk. But how could she be from our good House Abascar? Folk from Abascar only step out of the house walls if King Cal-marcus tells ’em to. Too scared of beastmen, they are…these days.” “Gotta ’gree with ya there.” “Do you always gotta ’gree with me there?!” Krawg snatched the pickerstaff from Warney’s hands and clubbed his hooded head. Warney jumped away, growled, and bared his teeth. Krawg tossed the staff aside and rose up like a bear answering the challenge of a rat. Warney, like a rat realizing he has awakened a bear, fled back toward the quiet woods. “Now don’t you get it in your head to leave me here with this orphan,” Krawg called, “or I’ll rip that patch off your dead eye!” “Have ya thought…”Warney paused, turned, and clasped his head with both hands, as if trying to stretch his mind to accommodate a significant thought. “Has it occurred to ya that… Do ya think…” “Speak, you rangy crook!” “Oh ballyworms, Krawg! What if she’s a Northchild?” Krawg stumbled back a step and narrowed his eyes at the infant. The tailtwitcher, the crows, and even the river seemed to quiet at Warney’s question. But Krawg at last shook off worry. “Don’t shovel that vawn pile my way, Warney.You been eatin’ too much of Yawny’s stew, and your dreams are gettin’to you. Only crazies think Northchildren are actual. There’s no such thing.” They watched the baby’s hands sculpt shapes in the air. “And anyway,” Krawg continued, glancing northward at the sky purpling over the jagged mountains of the Forbidding Wall, “everybody knows Northchildren are taller, and they drape blankets over themselves.” Nearby, branches broke with sharp echoes as something moved in the woods.“Grab for a weapon,” hissed Warney, “because I smell prowling beastmen!” “Doubtful,” said Krawg, but he bent his knees and sank into the grass. “Duty officers then!” In case their overseers were, in fact, looking for them, Krawg shouted, “We
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better get back to the patches, Warney! I sure don’t see any berries out here.” He lifted Warney’s picker-staff and marched to join his friend in the trees. But Warney seemed stuck, as though the girl had tossed a rope and snared his ankle. “You know what they say. If a man leaves a good deed undone, Northchildren will come creepin’ at night and drag him off into the curse of the—” “I’m not scared of you, butt-guster,” Krawg whispered. “Now hush before anybody hears you!” The girl, aware that she was alone again, began to murmur as if talking with someone they could not see. The Gatherers watched her clap her tiny hands.A crow took wing from the cottonbeard tree and made a wide circle over the child’s bed. “They want that fresh meat,” Krawg observed. Warney nodded. “Gotta ’gree with ya…” His mouth snapped shut, and he winced. Krawg loosed a weary sigh, waved a scornful gesture at the birds, and returned to kneel beside the baby. Warney hopped back to peer over Krawg’s shoulder. “What’s that she’s lyin’ in? That isn’t a sinkhole.” “No, somebody carved out this hole with their hands.” “Not with their hands, no. Look, Krawg…toes. This Northchild’s lyin’ in a footprint!”Warney’s grin signified a victory. “Gotta disagree with ya there!” The child had gone quiet and still. And that was what Krawg would remember for the rest of his troubled life—the moment when her eyes gatheredsunset’s burning hues and flickered with some element he had never seen; the way she rested, as though commanded to surrender by some voice only she could hear; the way he clenched his jaw, made his decision. A wave of wind carried a few slow leaves, a shower of twirling seedpods from the violet trees, spiders on newly flung strands, and a hint of distant music—the Early Evening Verse sung by the watchman of House Abascar to mark the dusk of the day.“Oh, our backs are strapped now. They’ll string us upside down for certain. It’s late, and we’re bound to be found missin’.”Warney’s eye rolled to fix on the sun’s fading beacons. “Let’s turn the baby over to the first officer we see, and maybe—” “What do you think a duty officer sees when he looks at us, Warney? I’mthe Midnight Swindler, and you’re the One-Eyed Bandit! They’ll say we swiped this baby from somewhere. We already been punished for our thievin’. They made us live outside the walls as Gatherers, and there’s only one shelf in the pantry lower than that: the dungeons.” Krawg threw the picker-staff down— splack!—against the wet ground. “I can’t hand her over, but I can’t leave her either. If I do, some officer’ll ride through here and stomp her into the ground. We’ve got to take her. And hide her.” “Ballyworms!”Warney shuddered. “You ’n’ me ’n a Northchild ’n’ all!” A commotion erupted just south of the marsh. First came a three-toned bellow, which the Gatherers recognized as the complaint of a vawn, one ofthe duty officers’ reptilian steeds. Then came the din of crushed bracken and shaken trees. It was certainly an officer come to measure their progress. Krawg bent low and lifted the naked child by the arms. “She’s harmless. Didn’t cast no spell on me. Didn’t drag me off into darkness. She isn’t a
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Northchild! There’s no such thing.” “Well, let’s hurry it up then,” said Warney, grinning in spite of his fear. A few minutes later Krawg and Warney reached the shelter of thatched grass roofs and crooked mud walls in the woods just outside House Abascar’s boundary.There, the kinder sort among the Gatherers would tend to the River Girl’s needs and protect her from the dangerous sort. Warney clapped a hand over his mouth, muffling a laugh. “Don’t it bring back memories, Krawg? Sneakin’ off with treasure like this?” “Warney,” Krawg replied, “we’ve never, never lifted treasure like this.” Krawg and Warney weren’t punished for carrying back the child. But they were “strung up in the hangers” and dangled from their ankles there a full day, scraping the filthy gutters of their vocabulary, when it was discovered they had returned without their designated picker-staffs. Meanwhile, at the river’s edge, water seeped from the soil into the footprint, turned to mud, and solidified. A mist rose, hovered over the place, then wisped away without wind to carry it. It would remain a mystery and a memoryto the three men who had found it there—the two troubled Gatherers and one other. Just after Krawg and Warney had absconded with the child, a solitary rider emerged from the trees and sighted that damp impression in the grass. The young rider, small and eager, dismounted and studied the outline even as it began to fade. He pulled from the earth a riverstone and touched the face of it with his fingertips, where a dull magic blurred. The stone’s color warmed, and it softened to clay under his touch. Sensing the magic, the crows on the cottonbeard branch shrieked and scattered. The boy etched a mark in the stone as similar to the contours of the footprint as he could—a sculpture, an equivalent. Then he walked up and down the banks awhile, surveying the soil. When the vawn snorted impatiently, he returned and climbed back into his ornate saddle. The two-legged steed stomped off, happy to head away from the water and into the trees. No one knew of the rider’s visit to the river. No one saw the record of his discovery, which he kept like a clue to a riddle. And he locked his questions up tight for fear of troubling the volatile storms within the heart of his father, the king.

Auralia's Colors: a review

Auralia's Colors: The Red Strand (The Auralia Thread #1) Auralia's Colors: The Red Strand by Jeffrey Overstreet


My review


rating: 4 of 5 stars
What an interesting story Jeff has woven together through the novel of "Auralia's Colors". This is a story to set sometime aside to read and let it soak in. I will bet that this is one that would even fascinate my husband to read.



Sections in this book lost my interest, and I wanted to walk away, but I am glad that I did not because all in all it was quite an enjoyable journey and I plan to read the rest of the Threads as they present themselves.



I found the atmosphere for me was very reminiscent of Stephen Lawhead, especially his lately series including Hood, Scarlet, and in 2009 Tuck.



As a Fantasy novel, this is one of those that you fall into and forget about what is real and what is not. That is one of the hardest parts for me, but once I click into the world, I do not want to leave. I'm so glad that I have Cyndere's Midnight that I can jump into right away.



If you enjoy Lawhead, or Toilken, or Madeleine L'Engle, I do believe that you will find enjoyment through the creative prose that is practically poetry in the writings of Jeffrey Overstreet.


View all my reviews.


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