Thursday, February 16, 2017

Lost At Sea Scavenger Hunt Stop #16



Welcome to the Lost At Sea Scavenger Hunt where we are helping the Kinsman people find a new home. If you’ve just found us, be sure to start the adventure at Stop #1, which is Jill Williamson’s blog.

Collect all the clue words in order so you can enter to win the Kindle. If you want to enter to win the second Kindle, you’ll have to take a quiz at the end, so take your time and read each post carefully. The main prizes in the hunt are open to international entries. Individual author contests, however, might have different rules, so please read the parameters on each site. You have until Sunday night, February 19, at midnight, Pacific time to finish.

If you need help, or get lost along the way, click here for assistance.


The war in Leira kept the Wilek, Trevn, and the kinsman party from getting too close to the area. They backtracked some, and headed east, around a deep crack in the earth that reminded them on their homeland. The ocean came into sight in the east, but before they could reach it, they arrived at Stop #16, Adar-iyr, featured in R. J. Larson’s novel Judge, the second installment in the Books of the Infinite series, continuing the story of Prophet’s Ela of Parne. Sidenote! Prophet, the ebook, is free this month on Nook, Kindle, and most online retailers! Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, Koorong, and more!

Watchman of Adar-iyr~~Bonus Scene for the Books of the Infinite series! 

 

Should he try to forget the dream? 

Jemmy shivered and gently scooted past his snoring grandfather in their makeshift shelter of reeds and palms. Poppy Hal would wake soon and talk about going into the city to scrounge for food. But, why? Fishing and gleaning the beach was safer. Sure, fish and sea-greens weren’t filling as proper bread and meat, but one day, Poppy would go into the city and never return—unless they threw his body out of the city gates to clean the streets.

Adar-iyr was cruel-bad. Worse than Jemmy could ever remember, and Poppy Hal vowed he remembered too much for a boy of eight. He remembered every kick and curse from the ruffians in the city’s streets. Every vicious and desperate person he’d met within those walls. The weeping widow, the laughing thief, the beaten child, the sold-girl with the empty gaze, and the hissing sword that had cut down his parents last year, leaving crimson pools seeping into the streets’ pavings. Poppy said it was no use to remember the man who’d swung that sword. Why bother when Jemmy and Poppy’d never receive justice? That day, the dying day, he’d try for the rest of his life to forget.

Yet, should he also forget the dream when it offered hope bright as a sunrise? Adar-iyr clean, shining, and peaceful … Impossible. No prophet could save Adar-iyr. Not even the famous prophet, Ela of Parne, who’d brought down the kingdom Siphra a few months back. Why would she bother? Why would anyone care to save Adar-iyr? The city’s own god, Nereus, ruler of the sea, certainly didn’t care.

Jemmy walked down to the beach. Sand, cold and loose, sifted between his brown toes at every step, sending chills up his rag-covered body to his scalp. Same chills as every morning since he and Poppy Hal had taken refuge on the beach after the dying day. Nothing had changed since his dream last night. Except—

Pale, sunlit sails caught Jemmy’s gaze, dazzling as his hopeful dream. A ship. Anchored just beyond the far edge of Adar-iyr’s long beach. Had a prophet arrived as he’d dreamed?

Men, tiny in the distance, walked toward Jemmy, glints of light playing off their weapons and gear. No girl-prophet walked with them. But ….

Jemmy ran toward the men, every panting breath a prayer. “Please! Please!” He reached the men and wheezed out a greeting. “Please! Is one of you a prophet?”

The lead man, whose face seemed more trustworthy than any in Adar-iyr, shook his head. “No. Sorry. My people and I are looking for a safe place to live.”

Jemmy's rasping breath caught painfully in his throat. They’d no more safety than he and Poppy? The city would kill them or turn them all bad. Tears threatened Jemmy’s vision. He wobbled, blinked hard, and shook his head. He had to tell them the awful truth. “You gotta go. If your people stay, some of you’ll be killed.”   ~~R. J. Larson, author of The Books of the Infinite series.


R. J. Larson is the author of numerous devotionals and is suspected of eating chocolate and potato chips for lunch while writing. She lives in Colorado with her husband and their two sons. The Books of the Infinite series marks her debut in the fantasy genre. Visit R.J. at: www.rjlarsonbooks.com

Here’s a closer look at Prophet, book one in the Books of the Infinite series.
Ela Roeh of Parne doesn't understand why her beloved Creator, the Infinite, wants her to become His prophet. She's undignified and bad-tempered, and at age seventeen she's much too young. In addition, no prophet of Parne has ever been a girl. Worst of all, as Parne's elders often warn, if she agrees to become the Infinite's prophet, Ela knows she will die young.
Free ebook on Nook, Kindle, CBD!

Yet she can't imagine living without Him.
Determined to hear the Infinite's voice, Ela accepts the sacred vinewood branch and is sent to bring the Infinite's word to a nation torn apart by war. There she meets Kien Lantec, a young ambassador determined to bring his own justice for his oppressed people. As they form an unlikely partnership, Ela battles how to balance the leading of her heart with the leading of the Infinite.

You can order Prophet, Judge, and other books from the Infinite series on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD or at your local bookstore! 

CLUE! Write down this clue: will

The next stop on our map is Stop #17, World City, on Morgan Busse’s blog.

Before you move on, R. J. Larson is giving away an e-copy of any of the Infinite books to three lucky winners. To enter, click on the Rafflecopter form and follow instructions. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, February 21, 2017.
a Rafflecopter giveaway Thanks for visiting my blog. Enjoy the rest of the scavenger hunt!


Thursday, February 02, 2017

What if ... ?





Two great words for brainstorming. What if ... ?

The instant those two words emerge within the author's thoughts, or within the storyline, all boundaries break and every character or potential character is released from all constraints, becoming mysterious, unstable, and liable to suffer unexpected fates.

Even if the story is half-written and the characters were previously well known. Therein lies my dilemma as I write this evening and tomorrow. My main character has just turned to her mentor and uttered those two fateful words. "What if ... ?"

All bets are now off. Dear characters, no matter how much I love you, and no matter how long I've thought you were perfect, your days might be numbered.

Unless you're the king or one of his minions. By your own histories, you are saved.

Blessings! It's time to write!


Friday, January 06, 2017

Setting a Mood


Decisions, decisions.

I'm almost to the halfway point in the first draft of Legends of the Forsaken Empire, and as I've been working today, I've been toying with the current scene's mood. Right now, the characters are regathering after a period of considerable turmoil and some serious soul-searching. There's chaos and heartache ahead. After all, this is a fantasy-realm family saga inspired by actual events from our own history during the high-middle ages--an era that isn't exactly known for endless frivolity.

Now is the time to make sweeping changes in characterizations and mood. But do I really want to change the story's mood when it's so close to the truth? Should I merely soften the edges a bit while my characters are sharpening their swords? Perhaps bring in a few characters akin to Shakespeare's clowns? Perhaps. Or should I fear that the clowns might suffer tragic fates, being so near to the chaos that's about to unfold?  Do we want the clowns to endure the chaos as well?

Lots to ponder, which is the perfect excuse to procrastinate and let the characters take the reins and drive the story within its preset boundaries.

Blessings, and rest!

I'm returning to the story to study those characters again.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Unexpected Obstacles

Not quite a walk in the park

Revising an old (OLD!) manuscript is like walking through an old park and finding a few snags along the way. (Okay, more than a few. Lots of little fiddly obstacles.) Forward progress is temporarily halted. Do we climb over or under the obstacle, or circle around it? (Nah, look at those rocks!) Is the road ahead filled with even more obstacles? (Undoubtedly.) Will the obstacles halt this writing adventure altogether? (No!)

However, at the end of a writing session full of similar detours, I have to lecture myself. "Progress is progress, even if it feels as if you've scraped yourself on the imaginary rocks."

Focus on the surrounding scenery, not just the obstacles. Ultimately, it's beautiful, and worth the journey.

Lacing up my boots!

Blessings, and onward,

R. J.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Blessed by Inspiration

Vintage Inspiration


I'm often asked, "Where do you find ideas for your books?"
I'd like to say that ideas strike my authorly imagination routinely and easily, leading to stories that practically write themselves. But that wouldn't be true. Recently, I finished a manuscript currently titled The Blessing. I drew inspiration for The Blessing from the old photograph inside this vintage locket. But inspiration didn't strike me during my first glance at this photo. Nor at the second, third, fourth, or fifth glance.

It's not that I wasn't interested in this old photo--I was and am. After all, that small shadowed face in the lower right corner is an image of my great-grandfather as a little boy, sitting for a rather solemn picture with his siblings. But I didn't sense a story brewing until I paused in front of my parents' piano to study the image for the umpteenth time, and Mama said, "Isn't that a sweet picture? This was taken not long before their parents died."

Wait. What? I stared at the picture again, at the serious brown-eyed baby in his white gown, with my equally serious great-grandfather seated just to his right. Obviously they'd been heartbreakingly young when they became orphans, and their older brother and sisters were teenagers. How did these five siblings cope with such tragedy? And what had happened to their parents?

While The Blessing isn't my great-grandfather's actual life story, this image, combined with my mother's comment, was enough to send my imagination down numerous paths and into the era that became the setting for The Blessing.

Sometimes inspiration takes more than a glance. It takes an emotional tug to pull an author's imagination into a new plotline, to cheer on beloved characters as their story unfolds.

I'm eager to share this story with you!

Blessings,

Kacy

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Creating New Kingdoms Takes Time


This past summer, I've been working on The Blessing~~a historical I've been longing to finish since 2010. Wow. Where did the time go? I'm SO grateful to finish this cherished "Book-Baby" at last. Six years! In retrospect, it sounds like a formidable amount of time for an author to finally finish a story, never mind that The Blessing was interrupted by the equally cherished storyline that became the Infinite series.

However, six years is a tiny dot on my writing radar. Would you believe that I've been waiting for more than thirty years to rewrite the core storyline of Legends of the Forsaken Empire?

It's true. About thirty years ago, in my early twenties, I wrote the first two volumes as medieval fiction, set in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and the third volume is biding its time in an extensively detailed synopsis and chapter-by-chapter outline. The first two volumes alone are almost 400,000 words combined, and I'm eager to dig into them again, to revisit beloved characters and introduce them to their new realm--a fantasy world this time, while building upon thirty years of pondering my characters' historically inspired and intensively researched plights. 

I'm eager, nervous about reweaving these massive storylines in a fantasy realm, but looking forward to the reunion with those characters. Thirty swift-flying years are about to vanish. Soon!