Monthly Archives: January 2015

Cover Reveal for Honor

I am so excited to bring you a special reveal today – The cover for Honor, the second book in Rachel Rossano’s Novels of Rhynan series.

SeriesHonorCover

 

The Earl of Dentin excels in his position as Securer of the Realm. But the king’s order to pluck an orphaned child from a loving home unsettles Dentin. When a dark-eyed woman challenges his honor regarding the mission, Dentin finds himself unable to justify his actions or get her out of his mind. Something about her lack of fear intrigues him.

Lady Elsa Reeve attempts to avoid the marriage of convenience her brother and mother demand of her. She understands the need to pay off her brother’s massive debt. She only wants her family to consider her wishes in the process.

As Elsa becomes further entangled in a snare of her brother’s creating, only one man defends her. But can she trust Dentin, her unlikely champion, and his motives? With a murderer on the loose, Elsa’s fate in jeopardy, and a traitor plotting against the king, Dentin finds his priorities shifting in an unexpected direction.

Honor is available for pre-order on Amazon Kindle now and is set to release February 23, 2015.

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00S7IX63K

Barnes & Noble – (Coming)

Smashwords – (Coming)

 

Rachel Rossano is a happily married mother of three children. She spends her days teaching, mothering, and keeping the chaos at bay. After the little ones are in bed, she immerses herself SquareProfile2A200in the fantasy worlds of her books. Tales of romance, adventure, and virtue set in a medieval fantasy world are her preference, but she also writes speculative fantasy and a bit of science fiction.

 

Published Works

Series

The Theodoric Saga

The Crown of Anavrea

The King of Anavrea

Novels of Rhynan

Duty

Honor

Stand Alone Novels/Novellas

Wren (A Romany Epistle Novel)

The Mercenary’s Marriage

Short Stories

Word and Deed

Exchange

 

Rachel Rossano loves to interact with readers.

Blog ~ http://rachel-rossano.blogspot.com/

 Twitter ~ http://twitter.com/RachelRossano

Facebook ~ http://www.facebook.com/RachelRossanoRambles

YouTube ~ http://www.youtube.com/anavrea

GoodReads ~ http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1430209.Rachel_Rossano

 

 

 

 

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Book Launch Tour – Thaw – DIY Wolf Fight

Book Launch Tour – Thaw – Part Two of Two

I am a huge fan of stories that retell classic fairy tales, especially when they incorporate elements that remain true to the source material while still being creatively original. E. Kaiser Writes has done this with her new series Thaw and today she is sharing a little more about the real life inspiration for the wolf fight in Prince of Demargen, the third installment in her series.

Thaw 3 BooksJan

What about the wolf fight? I’ve heard that is uniquely realistic, and inspired from experience?

Yes! That one makes me laugh, because of the story behind it. I wrote that scene in Prince of Demargen where the timber wolves play a pivotal role and it was one of the most intense scenes for me to write, (among many, because with this story I just didn’t include a scene unless it sucker-punched me a little some way or another.) But this wolf fight scene especially plays against the backdrop of some of childhood’s integral fears: the night, the snow flurries, nobody can see: and then there’s these wolves stalking the characters. In the back of these characters minds they fundamentally know that the pack is really after their horses, (in real life, wolves will go for horse meat above most other domestic animals) but these predators will take anybody they can get, of course. And the people aren’t going to abandon their horses in mountain forest; so the one character rushes out to bring the fight to them, and ends up in a dagger-vs-fang fight. Knock down drag out, very rough and tumble as you might expect, going hand to hand with a wild animal.  I wrote that as authentically as I could and then when I later received that piece back from my editor she commented that it felt so real. She said, and I quote: “Wow. This is so thrillingly scary. How did you imagine what a wolf fight would be like???!!”

Check out Prince of Demargen’s pinterest board for some scary wolf fight pictures!

It’d been some time since I’d written the scene, and so I had to think about it for a moment. And then I just laughed, because I could link that the memory of writing that scene directly with the memory of a certain dog I had as a teen. He was a magnificent animal, I’ve rarely seen anything more athletic than he was. He was a Karelian Bear Dog, so for anyone who knows that breed they’ll immediately understand. I raised him from a pup and worked hard to train him… he was incredibly smart but one of the most arrogant dogs I’ve ever experienced. He was just an “untamed spirit” kind of thing, and although he loved me, he didn’t want to do what he didn’t want to do. No matter how much I wanted him to do it!   And worming him was something he flat out didn’t want to participate in. I would literally have to wrestle him to the ground and fight with him physically until he finally surrendered enough to take his wormer and swallow it. After the first few times I left the wormer with a sibling, and got the wrestling fight over with first. He knew exactly what was about to happen so we’d roll all over the yard and he’d resist until he finally gave up. Then I’d get the wormer handed to me and then we’d have a few more struggles, and then I’d get him to swallow it.  All the other dogs took it fine. They didn’t like it, but it was just something you swallowed and then you were done with. But with him, it was always a point. Never ever just said “Okay, fine” from the get go. Always was a “I refuse!” tussle.   This was an extremely exhausting process for me, and I always emerged totally played out… we came to respect each other deeply, that dog and I, for he knew that I would refuse to give up longer than he would and so I always got the ‘last word in’ so to speak.  And I was really the only one he’d listen to, because I had proven to him that I wouldn’t give up, and so in most other things he’d do what I said. I never underestimated him; he wasn’t “obeying me”… he was just “siding with me”.   He was an amazing dog and an amazing experience, and I truly believe that any wolf would be fairly similar to what he presented. Possibly less ahtletic, ’cause that dog was super-powered and like a canine version of Spiderman. From what I’ve seen of wolves they are looser jointed, and so would be slightly less “quick twitch” muscle… but then dealing with a wild animal attacking would color the situation a little differently as well.   But I think the situation, while fictional of course, is feasible: wolves attack by slash and run, they don’t “close” with their prey (the way a bull dog is famous for, never letting go) So once you did close with them, they’d be pretty uncomfortable, and mostly trying to get some distance, while of course trying to slash with their fangs as they did it.  If you were able to get their head unable to reach you well, then you could conceivably defeat a wolf with only a dagger… so long as you weren’t worried about getting hurt yourself. You’d have to be all in, totally invested in the fight, or else you’d pull back and it’d surely escape you.

*guest post by E. Kaiser Writes

 

EKaiserWritesAuthorPicE. Kaiser Writes credits her nearly nomadic childhood for the vast reach of her fictional worlds; she has lived (and gotten to known the locals) in the Rocky Mtns, the Smoky Mtns, the plains, the deep forest, the searing Texas summer and frozen Minnesota north.

She wears many hats: writer and editor of ad copy, web copy, office correspondence & fiction; a cowgirl, animal trainer, seamstress, jeweler, artist and… authoress!

 

Use the rafflecopter code below to win prizes such as a copy of Thaw: Winter’s Child.

Thaw++WCh+promo

A barren king and queen pray for a child, and when in their loneliness, they make one out of snow, their prayers are answered in a special, and unusual way.
Sometimes, when we get what we wish for, we don’t know what to do with it.Combining elements from the Snow Maiden, Schneekind, Snegurochka tales with those of the Snow Queen; Winter’s Child introduces a new series: THAW.
Live on Amazon:
Or a copy of Thaw: Winter’s Queen.
Thaw++WQu+promo

A slightly pampered girl allows her avoidance behavior to isolate her from the world… and it’s only when she takes the final step that she realizes the wall she’s built in the name of safety is also the one that will hold her prisoner forever… unless she discovers how to destroy it.

The only one who can break a neurosis… is the one who has it.

Combining elements from the Snow Maiden, Schneekind, Snegurochka tales with those of the Snow Queen; Winter Queen continues a new series: THAW.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RWUVZQO/

Or a copy of Thaw: Prince of Demargen.
Thaw+PrD+promo

The whole world knows his guilt, and is absolutely correct about it, but how far can a man go to regain respect so swiftly lost?

Or is an honorable death the best a fallen star can hope for?

The only person who can help him… is the one he most deeply wronged.

Prince of Demargen is third in a new series: THAW.

<a class=”rcptr” href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1c7f78455/” rel=”nofollow” data-raflid=”1c7f78455″ data-theme=”classic” data-template=”” id=”rcwidget_xlxwih84″>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>

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Book Launch Tour – Thaw – Ice Maidens in Real Life

Book Launch Tour – Thaw – Part One of Two

I am a huge fan of stories that retell classic fairy tales, especially when they incorporate elements that remain true to the source material while still being creatively original. E. Kaiser Writes has done this with her new series Thaw and today she is sharing a little more about the series and how ice maidens can exist in real life.

Thaw 3 BooksJan

Ice Maidens in Real Life

Okay! Yes! This is a subject that is very close to home for me, and one of the driving reasons why I couldn’t stop writing this new series even though I had lots of WIPs I was intending for work on. I’ve been really blown away with how much this has resonated with others, too, during this tour, and it’s the top asked question. I think that stories can be such powerful ways of identifying and addressing a truth that we have in our own lives, and they can really make a difference in how we’re able to handle problems in real life.
As I’ve said before, part of maturity of every kind is separating actions from feelings. Different personalities of course process life differently, but while some just keep reacting to everything they feel, others of us try to keep from reacting by quitting feeling.
I know this somewhat from personal experience, I was the kind of middle child that clammed up. The worse things got the further I retreated inside, telling myself that things couldn’t hurt me if I could just stop feeling them.
We show our greatest power when on a peak of emotion, and as kids that’s often when we behave the very worst. So not having the emotion seems like a good solution to some of us.
Which of course can only lead to problems.
Ilise is a special gift a la the Snow Maiden; when her barren parents build a baby out of snow, Thaw Ilise Head promo 2their many years of prayers are answered and they are given the child they have so long yearned for. But with her special origins comes the ability to freeze, (opposite the Snow Maiden tales, in which the poor child always melted away) Her parents have no idea how to deal with that; and soon all three of them are freaked out about her future and what her strange-ness could possibly end up in.  Thinking that she can use her strength to shut down her emotions, she goes about doing so; but emotions are not the problem. They are with us always.
Not being able to disconnect feeling from acting is the problem; and this is a lesson that Ilise takes a while to learn.
I wish someone would have told me about this as a child, it could have saved me a lot of anguish in my youth; where I struggled with black depression that I felt guilty for even feeling. For although we can choose to refuse joy, sorrow is not negotiable. It took me many years and some very highly educational books before I realized that we needed to always welcome joy in all its forms; for it was the raft to help us through the sad parts of life.
Becoming an “ice maiden”, a “cool cucumber”, or whatever other name there is for it, is an easy choice. It feels like you’re really getting somewhere… that you are truly protecting yourself from the sharp stings of everything around you. But it doesn’t. And it can lock you away in a place where you aren’t sure how to escape, and then all you have is the sorrowful parts of the world to keep you company… all of your days.
Those of us who have slipped down this path need to take heart, because we can reverse this process. We can “learn how to melt”… and for the most part, the damage we might have done in our pursuit of this goal is generally minor. Most of it is done to ourselves… and if we can stop gnawing on the past, assess the future realistically, but with hope, and then step out with determination, we can break the icy chains and open up to the happy side of life.
In some seasons there may not be much happiness around, but if we can just take each moment mindfully, there are little things in every path. We just have to be more open to noticing them and taking them into our hearts.
Gratitude is a huge part of this, as well; and there are a ton of “happiness experts” that extoll the virtues of simply being grateful. This is true, and can help a lot.
But most importantly we have to take that first step; quit keeping our hearts on ice, and quit “freezing” the people who are close to us, because it only makes ourselves chillier than before.

I feel like Disney has dominated the fairytale area with the message of “Do whatever you feel like”, but that is a detrimental message. Often we feel like doing very unkind things, if not sometimes downright bad. The Lord’s perspective isn’t “follow your heart”, it is “guard your heart”.
In the end we all feel bad impulses, but it is our actions that determine who we really are. By separating what we do from the way we feel at that moment, we can win out over our worser impulses, and become better, stronger people.

Characters all throughout this series find themselves in various fairytale situations, but instead of being hopeless, (which our girls in the first 2 Thaw books are unwisely tempted to do,) our characters learn that by sticking it out, and refusing to give up, triumph can be achieved. That good will win over evil every time. Even when it seems impossible.
Because, that’s what fairy-tales, (when properly told,) can do best!

The Thaw books are by no means allegorical or doctrinally-charged… but they are written from a deep perspective of hope in the Eternal, and so everything in them is laced with that; instead of the sometimes rather “dark art-y” view a lot of modern day fantasy has developed into.
In this way, I hope young and old alike can enjoy a fantasy world underpinned with wholesome morals, and maybe some of them can be encouraged to keep fighting the good fight within themselves as well.

*guest post by E. Kaiser Writes

 

EKaiserWritesAuthorPicE. Kaiser Writes credits her nearly nomadic childhood for the vast reach of her fictional worlds; she has lived (and gotten to known the locals) in the Rocky Mtns, the Smoky Mtns, the plains, the deep forest, the searing Texas summer and frozen Minnesota north.

She wears many hats: writer and editor of ad copy, web copy, office correspondence & fiction; a cowgirl, animal trainer, seamstress, jeweler, artist and… authoress!

 

Hit the rafflecopter link below to win prizes such as a copy of Thaw: Winter’s Child.

Thaw++WCh+promo

A barren king and queen pray for a child, and when in their loneliness, they make one out of snow, their prayers are answered in a special, and unusual way.
Sometimes, when we get what we wish for, we don’t know what to do with it.Combining elements from the Snow Maiden, Schneekind, Snegurochka tales with those of the Snow Queen; Winter’s Child introduces a new series: THAW.
Live on Amazon:
Or a copy of Thaw: Winter’s Queen.
Thaw++WQu+promo

A slightly pampered girl allows her avoidance behavior to isolate her from the world… and it’s only when she takes the final step that she realizes the wall she’s built in the name of safety is also the one that will hold her prisoner forever… unless she discovers how to destroy it.

The only one who can break a neurosis… is the one who has it.

Combining elements from the Snow Maiden, Schneekind, Snegurochka tales with those of the Snow Queen; Winter Queen continues a new series: THAW.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RWUVZQO/

Or a copy of Thaw: Prince of Demargen.
Thaw+PrD+promo

The whole world knows his guilt, and is absolutely correct about it, but how far can a man go to regain respect so swiftly lost?

Or is an honorable death the best a fallen star can hope for?

The only person who can help him… is the one he most deeply wronged.

Prince of Demargen is third in a new series: THAW.

<a class=”rcptr” href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1c7f78455/” rel=”nofollow” data-raflid=”1c7f78455″ data-theme=”classic” data-template=”” id=”rcwidget_xlxwih84″>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>

<script src=”//widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js“></script>

Called by God to Write

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. – Ephesians 2:10 NKJV

It’s funny how often I’ve read that verse and only applied it to the spiritual side of things – a call to a specific ministry within the church. But this time I sat down and thought about what that verse means when applied to all areas of my life. It means: I am called to be a writer. I am called by God to be a writer.

I was feeling a bit burned out when I read this verse due to being in the middle of my final editing round for Tiger’s Paw and prepping to get it ready for release. But this verse reminded me in the middle of my writer’s blues that my gift of creativity isn’t just happenstance. It was given to me by God and He is the one who has called me to be a writer. I write fantasy, which I and many of you know is not always considered a real call by well-meaning Christians, and God can and does use fantasy to reach people.  My stories don’t usually fixate on the salvation experience, right now I only have two planned stories where a character coming to God is written into the plot; instead, my stories focus more on the Christian journey. My characters are flawed but I don’t want to write them in a way that seems to glorify their flaws. I acknowledge the grittiness of a fallen world but I don’t dwell on it. I want to write stories about hope, about the light in the darkness, not the darkness around the light. But most of all I want to write the stories God has called me to write. For me that’s fantasy with a focus on epic and urban, right now urban fantasy is at the fore.

Every Christian is called to do something for God. Our natural talents and inclinations can point us in that direction. For writers, whether we write Christian or secular fantasy, we are called by God to write stories that glorify Him. That doesn’t mean we have to focus on the salvation experience or include the “come to Jesus” call or even have our beliefs up front and center in every single story. It means that we are called to write the stories we need to and those can range from allegory to the grittier side of writing. But ultimately our writing is for God because He is the one who called us to this craft.