Can I be in your Shelfie?

Straight up, I have a lot of books. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to many of you. At Christmas, most of my presents are fresh printer-and-ink-smelling rectangles in tacky Christmas wrap, simply because I make it easy for my husband to guess what I want by constantly adding a pile of Marissa Meyer, Veronica Roth, Marie Lu, Lindsay Cummings, Kate Quinn, and Kiera Cass volumes to my Amazon Wishlist, along with the random other authors I decide to obsess over. And don’t even get me started on my Bill Johnson collection.

With technology and self-checkout robots dominating society, I’m relieved that real books with paper pages are still a thing. Gone are the days where Christmas shopping was as easy as purchasing a CD, or a DVD that you knew someone liked. Now with Spotify and Netflix, who needs stuff like that?

And now here comes Kindles and e-books, rising up from the guts of the literary world with its robot tentacles to scoop up as many of us as they can. Some people love reading on a Kindle or their phone, and I’m sure that’s where the future is headed. But it’s just not my thing.

Don’t go dying on me book-lovers. We need our libraries to live on!

In the midst of the buzzing technology that runs this world, I find my happiest place is still sitting by the window in a plush chair, with a cup of something only slightly less hot than burn-your-mouth temperature, with all the other sounds turned off, holding open a book and getting lost in a great story. And since moments of rest are sort of God’s thing, something He holds high on the list of valuable things for your life, I hope some day I can be responsible for the story that brings someone else into a place of peace.

Because, really. After all these years of raising babies, it’s about time I kick-start my writing career, wouldn’t you say? I’ve been telling stories since I was a little girl, and now that I have kids of my own I want them to go on adventures and live a life with all the magic of getting carried away into other worlds. So please pray for me, friends! Shoot one into the air right now if you can. I need all the faith-fuel I can get as I start to send proposals to literary agencies. And you can bet your buttocks I’ll keep you in the loop as much as I can!

Now tell me, what kind of story would you want to read about?

  1. Parallel universes on the brink of war with a psychologically unstable (but hilarious) female lead that has totally fallen head-over-heels for a guy who hates her guts.
  2. A chilly Christmas tale that forces an uncoordinated faithless female protagonist to face off with villains from old Christmas legends.
  3. A fairy-tale retelling with a twist that pits two sisters against each other in a dangerous competition to hunt down the greatest threats their historians have ever recorded.

Let me know! I’m sharpening my pencils to take notes…

 

 

A STAIN OF RED

 

Last year for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) I wrote a book called GATEWAYS (title is subject to change), and even though I got a late start last year, I polished off 50,000+ words without a hitch. Coincidentally it was only a few months after I had written my first Christmas themed novel called PEPPERMINT: A BURST OF COLD.

This year for NaNoWriMo I set out to write the second book in the Christmas series, which at this point I am calling CRANBERRY: A STAIN OF RED. It follows the life of a quite ordinary girl who, in PEPPERMINT (Book1), got sucked into the wild world of Winterland, a place that seems strangely themed after our world’s version of Christmas. The heroin, Helen, has always lived one of the most boring, ordinary, and uneventful lives she has ever heard of. But when she crosses the intersect into Winterland, she finds herself dropped into the most bizarre and thrilling experiences imaginable.

There are two Kingdoms at odds with each other in Winterland; the Red Kingdom which is ruled by the Crimson King, and the Green Kingdom, governed fiercely by the Queen of the Pines. In PEPPERMINT Helen faces off with a terrible villain from the Red Kingdom named Mara Rouge who rides a dark-skinned reindeer with antlers as sharp as needles, and who is evidentially trying to hunt Helen down. Being a commoner, and a very clumsy and uncoordinated one at that, Helen realizes very quickly that she doesn’t stand a chance.

In CRANBERRY (Book 2), Helen is torn back out of her world the moment December hits, and finds herself running for her life once again, only this time she enters Winterland to find the Red and Green Kingdoms on the verge of war. People are being forced to choose a side; Red or Green, as the Ruby Legion and the Evergreen Host rage against each other in battle. All of Winterland seems to be coming under the influence of their chosen colours. The pressure is starting to close in and Helen isn’t sure who she can trust. Choosing wrong could cost her everything, but not choosing at all…that’s a death sentence.

As I have been writing CRANBERRY: A STAIN OF RED, I’ve been getting lost in the smells, tastes, and colours of Christmas, something I have experienced before in the middle of sweaty July when I wrote PEPPERMINT: A BURST OF COLD. It’s fun to paint an elaborate picture for an audience to get them hanging off the edge of their seats and ready for more. But the most important part of any of these books is the underlining message beneath the text, the one truth that I hope the world would recognize if I ever get published. On Helen’s journeys, she is introduced to the Truth, a seemingly living being that possesses all kinds of knowledge, wisdom, and secrets. It’s this Truth that comes from the breath of El-Olam (translated as the Eternal God), also known as the Star Breather to some. There are key points in both of these novels where Helen comes into contact with the words from the Volumes of Wisdom, which are old books that hold ancient truths that many don’t talk about or believe in anymore. It’s these truths that seem to change the atmosphere when spoken aloud, and can make the difference between victory and defeat.

There is a particular moment in PEPPERMINT where Helen is listening to Zane read (Zane, a young former Patrolman who in his shame had set aside his duties of guarding the Truth when the Truth was nearly wiped clean out of Winterland by Mara Rouge). As Zane is reading from one of the Volumes of Wisdom, Helen starts to understand for the first time why the Truth was unable to completely die out, as hard as Mara Rouge tried to silence it forever. The words Zane reads are as follows (keep in mind that anything posted from these novels is subject to change):

 

“All was still on the meadow hill,

Upon which sheep would graze,

The shepherds chattered, chuckled and battered,

Until the sky was of sudden blaze.

Struck with awe the shepherds saw,

The sky filled with Heavenly Hosts,

Proclaiming a wonder, in voices of thunder,

A hero of the highest, the Most.

An end to an age this hero did stage,

And a beginning of ages to come,

After the toils, troubles, and foils,

The battle would surely be won.

The prophets did say, there would come a day,

During which a hero would rise,

Seeking no tower, no authority, or power,

As a servant he would surely disguise.

A veil would tear and a load He would bear,

At dawn He would climb His tree,

The sun would rise, the sky, come alive,

Mankind would look up and see.

A chain does break and withers a snake,

The horizon fills with royal blue,

A Kingdom rises, an enemy despises.

Now none will conquer the Truth.”

I sincerely hope that this Christmas can be filled with as much joy and magic as possible, flowing straight from the heart of the Hero that came to save mankind. There is so much excitement at Christmas that is based off of things that won’t matter a week after the big day is over. But He will reign forevermore. Let your hearts come alive with life this season, because on this day He has come to the earth to save us. Our champion. The one who came to go to war on our behalf. Who raised men from the dead and sent armies of angels to change the world. He goes before us, He stands beside us, He follows after us and watches over us. He will never fail.

Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas!

cranberry-blog