September 23, 2013

Goddess Tithe Cover Reveal

Hullo-allo-allo, something new for you today!  Some of you - the ones who have read a few or all of Anne Elisabeth Stengl's Tales of Goldstone Wood - have been waiting to learn more about her newest project. The cover of Shadow Hand was shown several months ago, and since it isn't scheduled to release until February 2014, I rather thought that would have to be it for the time being.  But then Anne Elisabeth announced a new project, the very first novella in the Tales of Goldstone Wood.  

The Vengeful Goddess 
Demands Her Tithe 

When a stowaway is discovered aboard the merchant ship Kulap Kanya, Munny, a cabin boy on his first voyage, knows what must be done. All stowaways are sacrificed to Risafeth, the evil goddess of the sea. Such is her right, and the Kulap Kanya's only hope to return safely home. 

Yet, to the horror of his crew, Captain Sunan vows to protect the stowaway, a foreigner in clown's garb. A curse falls upon the ship and all who sail with her, for Risafeth will stop at nothing to claim her tithe. 

Will Munny find the courage to trust his captain and to protect the strange clown who has become his friend? 

Besides being the first novella in the series, Goddess Tithe differs from the usual Goldstone Wood fare by being illustrated.  Anne Elisabeth included eight full-page drawings (done by herself, of course, because she's awesome like that) throughout the story, and is letting us have a sneak-peek at one of them.

Anne Elisabeth writes, "This is the first [illustration] in the book. I decided to share it with all of you since it depicts my young hero, Munny the cabin boy, under the watchful eye of his mentor, the old sailor Tu Pich. Munny is on his first voyage, and he is determined to learn all there is to know about a life at sea as quickly as possible. Thus we see him utterly intent upon the knot he is learning to tie.

Tu Pich is old enough to know that no sailor will ever learn all there is to know about the sea. Thus he looks on, grave, caring, and perhaps a little sad. He might be looking upon his own younger self of many years ago, fumbling through the hundreds of difficult knots his fingers must learn to tie with unconscious ease.

I enjoyed creating all the illustrations for Goddess Tithe, but this one was my favorite. I love the contrasts of light and dark, the contrasts of young and old . . . youthful intensity versus the perspective of age."


 According to the official author bio...

Anne Elisabeth Stengl makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a kindle of kitties, and one long-suffering dog. When she’s not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and practices piano, painting, and pastry baking. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University.

She is the author of the Tales of Goldstone Wood, including Heartless, Veiled Rose, Moonblood, Starflower, and Dragonwitch. Heartless and Veiled Rose have each been honored with a Christy Award, and Starflower was voted winner of the 2013 Clive Staples Award.

According to me...

She can also be found over at Tales of Goldstone Wood, where she blogs about writing, cats, and fantasy in general.  (Psst! Her Friday Tidbits series has some great tips.  And her cats are adorable.  So everyone should head to the blog.)

A number of bloggers are participating in Goddess Tithe's reveal today, some of whom will be featuring an excerpt and, I believe, some background on how Anne Elisabeth designed the cover.  The novella releases November 12, soon enough to tide readers over until Shadow Hand's February appearance.  Keep an eye out!  And in the meantime, be sure to enter the giveaway below: you might just win a copy.

September 20, 2013

Putting on Labels

pinterest: tempus regina
Well, I think you guys have been guessing for a sufficiently long time.  I hadn't meant to leave you dangling more than a week, but the days went and got busy again.  Phooey on them.

All in all, I think everyone did pretty well with the guesswork.  A few of you need to study some more,* but others were very nearly spot on.  A few, I admit, were harder than others; one snippet in particular you all got consistently wrong.  So consistently wrong that I almost feel compelled to move it to the story everyone insisted it was from.  Almost.  But, you know, it isn't going to happen.  No one was altogether right, though several of you did have some very good streaks in there: it was just those tricky ones that threw you off.

snippet #1

This one almost everyone got right: it's from The Running Tide.  If it's from a fellow's point-of-view and he's got blood on his hands, you're pretty safe if you bet on Tip Brighton.  As a point of interest, though, in this case it wasn't from punching anybody.

snippet #2

Another fairly straightforward one here, as the nurse rather gives the setting away.  Wordcrafter.  But I figured that since Tempus Regina is partially set in Victorian times, there was a slight chance you might go for that: I wasn't expecting any of the guesses for the Sea Fever books!

snippet #3

This bit was tricky, I'll admit, but it is in fact from The White Sail's Shaking.  It was Tip talking to Marta, even though looking at it now, I can see how you might think it was the Assassin talking to Regina.  The slight hesitation, however, is telling.  For me.  You know, being the writer and all.

snippet #4

Tempus Regina!  Very squarely Tempus Regina, and your first glimpse of the Fisherman.  

snippet #5

Only Writer got this one: it is also from Tempus Regina.  Nearly everybody guessed the Sea Fever books, which made me rather sorry to disappoint...

snippet #6

I'm sorry: I didn't give you much to go on, did I?  This is from Wordcrafter, though admittedly it could have gone many different ways.

snippet #7

Yes, I tossed you an easy one: Tempus Regina again.  You did ask for snippets from it...

snippet #8

I can't decide if it was the fact that this began with "wordlessly" or the bit about the desk, but nearly everyone went for Wordcrafter when it is actually The Running Tide.  Reading over it, I can see how you would think Justin King, but I'd still like to know if perspective was skewed due to the desk...

snippet #9

And possibly the hardest one, that only Joy got.  It's Tempus Regina once again - the only bit of the novel written from a male point-of-view.  Yes, I did do it to be mean.  I'm mildly apologetic.  I think personally I would have guessed Wordcrafter.

Well, that wasn't too bad!  I'd say you all got seventies or eighties at least.  Were there any you were particularly confident on, and have I now thrown you into confusion? 

*I'm sorry, but exams are coming up this week and I just can't help it.

September 10, 2013

What's It From?

pinterest: sea fever
I was thinking the other day that I haven't had any snippets to share with Scribbles' readers in a long time, which is a bummer - especially when people like Jenny and Mirriam are offering theirs up with pretty fair regularity.  (Never let it be said that writers aren't a petty lot!)  I think a few of you asked several months back if I would be able to show you anything from Tempus Regina. Unfortunately, as a story progresses I find myself with less and less I can share without spilling a whole lot of beans, and by the time I've reached the end of a novel I can't seem to dig up any bits at all.  This has been particularly true of Tempus Regina, as even characters' names are in many instances being kept under wraps.

So - no real snippets post.  However, after beating my brain around a little bit, I thought it might be fun to give you a sort of challenge.  Most of you have, from previous snippets and general information, at least a hazy idea of the plot and voice of each of my novels.  What I want to see is whether or not you have a good enough idea to be able to match any snippet I share with its novel.  It's something of an academic exercise for me: I want to know how much light I've shed on these books and how different the style is from one to another, or, conversely, how constant my voice is. But, too, you wanted snippets.  So I shall give you snippets.

They will be from my major novels: Wordcrafter, The White Sail's Shaking and The Running Tide (these are essentially one book, so if you want you can say Sea Fever; kudos if you can guess which!), and Tempus Regina.  I won't list any from The Soldier's Cross, partially because I believe most of you have read it, partially because I wrote it four years ago and I'm pretty sure the stylistic difference would be too obvious.  I'm not sharing one each, so there will be some overlap, but I also won't throw in anything random just to confuse you.  It's a straight matching game.

snippet #1

Instinctively [he] looked down, uncurling both fists to show the bloody palms underneath; he had been too numb since the beginning of the engagement to notice that he had ground the blunt stubs of his fingernails through the surface. He covered them again. “I’m alright,” he said, and the words came out in a dry rasp.

snippet #2

Squinting up into the face of the nurse, who had fallen from chatter into nondescript humming, [he] parted his lips and said, “I’m mad, aren’t I?”

The nurse started, and then considered him a long moment with a furrow between her freckled brows. She took him in, and weighed him, and then seemed to have a good long think before pronouncing judgment. “No,” she said simply, “I don’t think so. They would have told me if you were."

snippet #3

“Well,” he said, not very graciously, “I suppose we’ll have to keep you. But I wish—I wish you hadn’t gotten yourself into this mess.”

snippet #4

“You came in haste,” he went on, eyeing her sidelong, working back and forth, and back and forth, the great silver ring on his left hand. The fire made its inset stone shine out ragingly blue—made the flaw in it stark, and cast up a reflection on the man’s jaw. “You came in haste and now you hesitate, and so I suppose it is bad news. Eh?”

snippet #5

He lifted his narrow shoulders helplessly. “I did not mean to provoke you. Only, it struck me that you looked lonely. You looked as though you wanted company. You looked,” he added, having to raise his voice against the roar of an explosion down below, “the way I felt myself.”

“Did I?” she hummed, sidestepping. “I had no notion of that.”

snippet #6

“[He] was asking for you, you know. I think he was afraid you might come back, and what a pity! here you are.”

snippet #7

She released him, drawing herself rigid to avoid a fall. Her legs were going…going… She made it as far as the chair, sat down, had time enough to thank God it had a back, and then felt the whole of the room slide into darkness.

snippet #8

Wordlessly he crossed the room and hauled himself up on the corner of the desk, not quite able to hold back the shivering sigh that hissed out at the relief of letting his bad leg dangle, of feeling his bones ease with the creaking of an old man’s limbs.

snippet #9

But the men, the guard with the nose-ring and another [he] knew only vaguely, did not summon him. They stood a while, shoulder to shoulder, watching [him] while he put his back up against a wall and watched them in return; then they came down from the threshold together, the first man spun his javelin, and the second drove the door back into its socket. The light was cut short; the half-dark returned, warm now with the presence of two new bodies, glittering as the spear-heads turned.

“What’s this?” [he] breathed. “What are the two of you about?”

September 3, 2013

Bits and Pieces

pinterest: wordcrafter
College began last week.  There was the usual (at least I presume it's usual: it's all new to me) bustle and flurry and headache trying to get classes sorted out, dropping and adding and arranging.  At first I had no early classes, but the way things have since worked out, I now have one at 8:30.  Oh well, it's not so very bad.  There are assignments due already, which does seem just a little cruel, but as I slide now into the second week I feel I have a better handle on my schedule.

(But that may be denial.)

Inspiration for blog posts remains low.  Have I talked myself out?  It's quite possible; but then, it is also possible that I am merely in that annoying in between stage of not properly writing a novel, and so can't seem to dredge up Things to Write About.  I may have mentioned before, but my brain has three gears: editing; brain-storming; and writing.  They don't seem to mix. 

However, even without anything really serious to talk about, there are little things to share.  Today the mad dash of school and anxiety has slowed and the brain is not quite so feverish.  With homework for tomorrow finished, I have enough of a breathing space to sit down and write something to give you a glimpse of what is going on behind the scenes of Scribbles


I am sitting in the bonus room of my home, watching Jenny's two kittens mill about the place and begin to get their bearings - we're keeping the little stinkers for the next three months, while Jenny is off in Scotland, and are trying to ease them gently into the routine of the place.  I'm afraid they might have heart-attacks when they do finally come face to face with our own three cats, who look like creatures from Where the Wild Things Are compared to Minnow and Aquila.  

At the moment they are being kept in isolation, and they seem to be adjusting.   Minnow is "playing the cello"; Aquila heard the vacuum cleaner running downstairs and has slunk under the bed.  It's quiet for the moment, since every time I turn on Loreena McKennitt the kittens go bug-eyed and run around as if we're being invaded by purple elephants in pink tutus.  I don't see what they can possibly have against "Caravanserai."


I think I've got about a hundred books to read for classes this semester, though fortunately not all at once.  (You do, however, have to buy them all at once.  I can just hear the booksellers going "ka-ching! ka-ching!" as classes start.)  Textbooks and supplemental reading, and one very interesting little thing for history class about the development of the book itself as technology.  

In between those, I have managed to squeeze in some pleasure reading.  I picked up Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca - yes, the one it seems everybody has already read - last week and have been greedily devouring it.  Except that I got to the Big Reveal last night before bed, and had a bit of trouble getting to sleep.  I saw the twist coming, either because I am clever or because I had already read about it in someone's review.  For those of you who have read it, though, don't give any spoilers because I'm not done yet.

For lighter reading, I'm rambling along through The Hounds of the Morrigan - because sometimes a good fat fantasy is just the sort of thing one needs.  It's a bit crazy and absurd, and I haven't gotten to the overarching point yet, but the characters of Pidge and Brigit are good enough for me.  Brigit reminds me of Luna Lovegood, she's so utterly random.

"You know what it's like when you're waiting for something."
"Yes.  It's like being kept in a bag and hung up on a nail."
Pidge thought he knew what Brigit meant but he wasn't sure.


Other than the assignments which are already flooding in, I've not been doing a terrific amount of writing: a little here and there in my writing notebook, a short companion piece to Tempus Regina.  The next project is being cranky, but I can't very well complain, since there would hardly be time for me to give it the attention it needed even if it weren't.  Though I don't like not writing, in this case it is probably a good thing that I have to be patient.  In the meantime, I scribble a little and work on other things.
meet the authoress
I am a writer of historical fiction and fantasy, scribbling from my home in the United States. More importantly, I am a Christian, which flavors everything I write. My debut novel, "The Soldier's Cross," was published by Ambassador Intl. in 2010.
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published writings

The Soldier's Cross: Set in the early 15th Century, this is the story of an English girl's journey to find her brother's cross pendant, lost at the Battle of Agincourt, and of her search for peace in the chaotic world of the Middle Ages.
finished writings

Tempus Regina:Hurled back in time and caught in the worlds of ages past, a Victorian woman finds herself called out with the title of the time queen. The death of one legend and the birth of another rest on her shoulders - but far weightier than both is her duty to the brother she left alone in her own era. Querying.
currently writing

Wordcrafter: "One man in a thousand, Solomon says / will stick more close than a brother. / And it's worthwhile seeking him half your days / if you find him before the other." Justin King unwittingly plunges into one such friendship the day he lets a stranger come in from the cold. Wordcount: 124,000 words

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