I love the way that Christine writes on her Musings of An Elf blog; it’s so beautiful and heartfelt, and seeing how similarly impassioned we both get over good books was the reason why I asked her to review the Rising Shadows Trilogy, and I’m so glad I did. Christine loves the series! *happy dance* It warms an author’s heart to know that others connect with these characters as they do. I couldn’t be more pleased with her review of Chasing Shadows, so be sure to check it out and share around with your other book-loving/blogger friends. And don’t forget to follow Christine’s blog to keep an eye out for something about beta reading the final book in the series. . . Just sayin’! ^_^
Go to page 7 of your work-in-progress
Scroll down to line 7
Share the next 7 lines, or sentences, in a blog post.
Once finished, you can also tag 7 bloggers to do the writing challenge themselves on their own blog.
The below snippet is from the prologue of Book III in the Rising Shadows Trilogy. I got as close to 7 lines/sentences as I could, but it’s so hard to stop in the middle of the action! Anyway, this is the opening of the story, traveling back several years to when Karen and Professor Charles had just managed to get the time machine up and running. Cadius (yes, THE Cadius!) had been staying in Ridlan years ago and somehow managed to deposit himself in the future and . . . well, I suppose you’ll just have to figure out the rest for yourself this summer when the final installment in the trilogy is released. 😉 I was nearly late for work this morning because I was in the middle of writing about a very important wedding in the last book. . . . What, did I say too much? *evil cackle* This is just a teensy taste beforehand, and we’re still in the blissful first draft stage, where everything appears perfect before you look over it again. If you’re interested in being part of my team of pre-readers, just give me a shout-out and let me know firstname.lastname@example.org
Between the Pages: Meet Damien Lisandro
Today I am more than happy to introduce you to your foreign fantasy crush, Damien Lisandro from “Chasing Shadows.” I’m at the castle right now, of course—who wouldn’t like to take a little side trip to the twelfth century if the opportunity presented itself? I plan to interview Damien in a moment, but I just spotted the would-be murderer Cadius and have decided to go all “reporter” on him. Maybe I can get him to reveal his plans and help Karen and Sarah out!
Excuse me, Cadius, but do you have a minute for some questions?
Eyes me up and down with cold, barely concealed disdain. “I suppose I have a moment.” With a faint flick of his wrist, the servant he was reprimanding scurries off. “What is it?”
I wanted to ask you how you felt about all the suspicion surrounding your brother the king’s death?
Feigns innocence. “Suspicion? I haven’t the faintest…”
Well, uh (gosh, he really has creepy eyes), then what about the death of the original queen, Alexis? Do you have anything to say about that?
Eyes soften almost imperceptibly. “That was a long time ago.”
(Hmm. Interesting reaction). Okay, I’m just going to come out and say it. You must be aware that people think you killed your brother, and others are suspicious that you might have done the same to the first queen. . . . Seriously? No reaction?
Blinks. “The peasants may believe what they wish, but wise lords and ladies know to keep their uneducated suppositions to themselves. And little doves who know not of what they speak should learn to mind their elders, lest harm should come to them.”
…. *swallows* Okaaaay. That sounds like a threat to me.
Chuckles lowly. “Oh, my dear, I never dirty my hands. Fear not. What other inquiries would you care to make?”
*Squeaks out lamely* Um, do you have a favorite color?
*Eyes widen* That’s nice! Well, then the last thing I’d like to ask is about the king. What—
Takes a step forward. “Do you know what happens to little doves who ask too many questions?”
*Already booking it down the hall at a clipped pace*
Okay, new plan! We’re now hanging out with Damien Lisandro at an undisclosed coffee house somewhere in present day North America. Damien! How kind of you to join us.
Grins saucily. “Well, you did grab me from my room and beg me to speak with you. How could I refuse such a request?” Eyes his surroundings. “And what interesting décor in this study.”
Uh, yeah. Very interesting. So . . . Wow, you really do have gold flecks in your eyes.
Leans forward, expression cheeky. “It’s your beauty reflected in them, my lady.”
*barely contains giggles* Whatever you say. Um, now back to the interview. Can you tell us a little about your background and interests?
“Oh, well, I was raised as the son of a wealthy tradesman, had a loving mother and a sister whom I adored. My life was quite grand.”
Uncomfortable, he takes a sip of his cappuccino. “Mm, that’s quite good. Well, you see, my father accidentally beat my mother to death one night in a drunken stupor, and my sister Isabella died shortly after we fled from my father.” His smile is wobbly. “Next question, please.”
*Winces* Sorry. Favorite color?
“I have seen so much royal purple since I took up residence at the castle that it has grown on me.” Smiles softly at the wooden table. “And Sarah looks lovely in purple.”
So are you and Will going to duke it out for her, or what? How does that work?
“I’m in no rush to win her heart, but in the end, I will earn her affection.”
You’re a rather confident fellow. Okay, well, I know you grew up in Spain, but how do you like being a lord in Serimone?
“I suppose it has its advantages.” Scratches the perfectly sculpted hair on his chin. “However, living inside the castle walls and being so closely watched has its disadvantages, as well.”
But surely having so much wealth and being well known has its perks.
“Yet everyone is always watching my moves or planning them for me. That is one of the reasons why I sought out the company of Lady Sarah; she made me feel normal—no expectations or preferential treatment because of my station. Being with her gives me something to hope and live for outside of myself—she makes me want to be good.” Grins self-consciously. “But that sounds ridiculous, I’m sure.”
…. People, I just died a little from swooning. But you keep distracting me, you beautiful creature! Back to my questions: You get toxic waste spilled all over you and now have your choice of superpowers. You would pick…?
“To know all. I would never have to question anyone again.”
Does mistrust happen a lot in your field of, uh, lording?
“I’ve dealt with my fair share of betrayals. Everyone wears a mask, as I told Sarah once, and you never can tell whom to trust.”
“Yes, it can be, but there are many activities and events with which to keep my mind occupied.”
Speaking of which, I’ve been drilling everyone who stops by about a certain future event in Serimone. Are there any upcoming weddings that you know of? Anyone in particular?
Grins charmingly, eyes bright. “Are you proposing? Because then I most heartily accept!”
*Laughs* No! I . . . Well, actually, let me consider it. I’ll get back to you in, ohhh, say a thousand years?
Looks confused. “What?”
Don’t worry; it won’t feel long at all. And that, folks, is the beauty of time travel.
“Time travel? You mean you can—“
No! What? No! *laughs* Of course not, you handsome devil. I was just making a joke. *whispers* But, uh, if you could put that blindfold back on while I drive you home, that would makes things go a lot smoother for the both of us.
Meet your next book crush (and my forever fictional crush), Will Taylor from “Chasing Shadows.”
Will, so nice of you to—Oh, you can remove the blindfold now.
Yanks it off his head. “Where in blazes are we? And why did you cover my eyes?”
In my basement, and there are some things that would be … difficult to explain if you saw them, like my car and microwave. Now, we know that you’re 22, have super-human good looks–born with them!—and have a passion for saving people, but tell us a little something about yourself that we don’t already know.
*sighs* Will, honey, focus. You’re adorable when you’re being protective, but you’re fine, she’s fine, we’re all fine. I just need a few minutes of your time, and then I can return you to where you came from after we conclude our interview. Speaking of which, what do you like best about living in twelfth century Serimone?
Shifts uncomfortably. “Pardon?”
Too tough? Okay, then, what’s your favorite color?
“Green, I suppose.”
What is a fond childhood memory you’d like to share?
“Following my father through the castle and exploring the secret passages deep below. Every day was like an adventure, and my knowledge of every inch of Serimone Castle has helped in certain other ‘endeavors.’”
Like sneaking in to find evidence against the king’s assassin. Alright, now we’re getting somewhere. . . . Good Lord, you’re dreamy. Okay, stay focused, be professional.
“… Did I awake in a mental infirmary?”
What? *giggles nervously* No. Of course not! Anywho, moving on. Do you have any favorite hideouts?
“There is an enormous birch tree on the property near my cabin. I am very fond of watching the sunrise from there. Especially when the company is very fair.”
That’s a secretive smile. Care to share with the rest of us?
“Forgive me, but no. That memory is very close to my heart.”
You are just as private as Sarah. . . Ah, I get it now. Well, then if you could have any superpower, what would it be?
“To travel back in time.”
… Uh-huh, How interesting, and no hesitation. *clears throat* What would you see or change if you could?
“I would go to the past and stop my parents from being murdered.” Sighs. “Though Sarah would tell me that I can’t change the past, but should make the most of my present.”
I’m sure your parents would be proud of you. You took over your father’s blacksmith business, right? Do you want to do that permanently, or do you have other interests?
“Um, no, I do not wish to be a blacksmith forever. And I do have other hobbies…”
You mean being the Shadow, Serimone’s vigilante?
“How did you—“
Long story. Plus, I’m also a huge fan of yours—you know, running around the forest in a cloak and fighting for justice with a bow is pretty awesome—so I’ve been keeping tabs on you.
“Thank you? I took on the persona of the Shadow so I could seek out my parents’ murderer, and then I continued on with my pursuit for justice when I realized that I could truly help people.” Mouth tips. “And I kept on with it to a help a certain young lady stop an assassination.”
That reminds me, do you think you’ll ever be able to prove that Cadius killed his brother, the king?
“The two of us are doing everything we can to bring him to justice, so I suppose we’ll see someday.”
Speaking of Sarah, do you have long-term aspirations for your relationship?
Smiles very slowly. “My goals involve forever.”
*heart melts* I’m trying really hard to not ship you guys right now.
“Ship? I’m sorry…?”
Oh, it’s not like an actual ship-ship. It’s when you root for a fictional couple and combine their names. Like you and Sarah could be … Swill? Willah? Umm, Maylor?
“You do realize that sounds horrible.”
Yes, I’ll definitely think up something else, but you get the idea for now. I just have to be careful that I don’t get more attached than I am if I have to kill one of you off.
Eyes widen. “Kill one of—Hey, let’s not be hasty.”
Well, that’s all we have time for today. Thanks, Will, for traveling all this way. If you’ll just put this blindfold back on, we can get you back to where you belong. A little quicker now, if you don’t mind.
“And what do you mean fictional?”
… Houston, we have a problem.
Writing is obviously my life, and so creating outcomes for my characters is kind of like second nature to me. It seems only natural that I should have an “ideal” storyline plotted out for my own life. . . . Not so much, it appears.
When Nadine sent me the prompt to participate in the blog hop to support the release for her dystopian thriller “A Time to Die,” I was pretty ecstatic. Nadine is a good friend of mine (“We’ll always have dancing,” darling, which is a poor Bogart imitation), and I had the privilege of reading her book about a year ago. And let me tell you, I could NOT put it down! It was exciting and engaging, and I was in tears at the end—and you all know that if a story moves me like that, it’s a keeper and I’ll be obsessed; it’s just how I roll.
The entire idea of the book revolves around what we would do with our time if we knew our days were numbered, but more specifically, if we knew the exact moment our clocks would run out. It also challenged me personally to examine passing interests of mine and the things and places that I’m really passionate about. I am honored to be a part of Nadine’s Launch Team!
Sooooo…. Drum roll please….
If I had 1 Year Left to Live, I Would:
Find out what and who is really important in my life—get close to those people and experience those things that I’ve only ever dreamed about. I have one year, and that means time is precious.
Buy a lottery ticket to afford all that I must do. 😉
Spend three weeks holed up in my room furiously penning away the final book in the Rising Shadows Trilogy, make it the best and most impacting it can be, and then send it off. I hate leaving things unfinished, and so to tie up loose ends in the series is important to me. Plus it’s guaranteed to become a best-seller after I’m gone, so step aside Nicholas Sparks! After that, though, as much as it pains me to say, I believe I would stop writing with deadlines in mind. But if some idea sparked my fancy, I definitely won’t keep myself from writing period; I can’t cut cold-turkey! 😉
Take three months to backpack around Europe, seeing history, meeting new people, enjoying foreign lands and cultures. This has been on my bucket list since I started one, and now I really want to hop on a plane and travel! I only have 12 weeks, so I would have to crack down and select the monuments and places that are a must-see.
—The Eiffel Tower. The facts are these: I will go up to watch the sunset, stay until closing to see the amazing lights, and then come back the next morning to sip a cappuccino and eat a croissant while reading a book on the grass. It all just seems so dreamy. And then the Louvre to top it all off, of course. When in Paris… ^_^
—Every museum in London (and also Ben Franklin’s house!). The National Gallery, the Henley Museum, Queens Gallery, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, to name a few.
And to complete my European tour, I would spend plenty of time in my dreamland of Ireland. I could picnic on the hills, visits castles, admire God’s green creation all around me—and meet the craziest people, I hope! I will also purchase the perfect little cottage in which to retire. There is just something so magical about Ireland and the small towns and their gorgeous rolling hills that call to me. *sighs dreamily*
Work at an orphanage for a time. A year really isn’t a lot to accomplish fun things and save the world, but I’ve always been passionate about children and helping them to see their potential and how big God’s love is for them. It would be amazing to tutor and encourage kids who have no hope and don’t believe they have a future.
Travel to Israel. If my clock’s working properly, then I still have a couple months left to explore the land. Yippee! I’ve always been fascinated by Israel and all of the Biblical history there, and I am so passionate about going. I would see every Biblical monument that they’ve marked, and hopefully discover some new ones, absorb every sight and sound, and dive into the Word during my stay. It would definitely be an eye-opening trip.
Spend my final days in my Irish cottage admiring God’s incredible handy work. What better way to spend my last hours than enjoying time with my Creator?
So, there are my answers. And that begs the questions: If you had 1 year left to live, what would you do? Hopefully read “A Time to Die”! ^_~
Read the summary for “A Time to Die” below, and don’t forget to purchase your own copy of the ebook or pre-order the paperback (to be released October 1st, 2014).
Parvin Blackwater believes she has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside. In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the government’s crooked justice system.
But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall — her people’s death sentence. What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her Clock is running out.
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This is what it will look like:
9.03.14 – Nadine Brandes
9.08.14 – Ashlee Willis
9.11.14 – Caitlin Schesser
9.15.14 – Jennette Mbewe
9.17.14 – Heather Fitzgerald
9.19.14 – Kristen Stieffel
9.22.14 – Rebekah Gyger
9.25.14 – Lydia Thomas
9.26.14 – Ashley Olson
9.27.14 – Angel Roman
9.28.14 – Rosalie Valentine
9.29.14 – Aubrei Crooke-Adams
9.30.14 – Sarah Grimm
10.01.14 – Jon Del Arroz
10.02.14 – Amy Brandes
10.04.14 – Kathrese McKee
10.07.14 – Karen DeBlieck
10.09.14 – Bethany Jennings
10.10.14 – Angie Brashear
10.13.14 – Adam Collings
10.15.14 – Bree Courtney
10.20.14 – Gretchen Engel
10.24.14 – JC Morrows
10.30.14 – Lisa Gedfries