Tag Archives: call of Kythshire

Sunday Sketch–Valentine’s Day Edition!

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Sunday Sketch–Valentine’s Day Edition!

It’s Valentine’s Day! To celebrate, I’m sharing some of my favorite love-filled illustrations from the Keepers of the Wellsprings series. Click on the first picture to see the gallery, and scroll down inside the gallery for the image description.

Here’s to celebrating love in every shape and form, including self-love! Wishing you a beautiful day this Valentine’s Day, and sending love to everyone.

Writing Wednesday 2-3-2021

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Writing Wednesday 2-3-2021

Happy Writing Wednesday! I’m spending today writing chapter 17 of Elliot, which is a nice, juicy chapter involving a midnight hunt and a wicked Sorcerer who went too far.

While I write, why not enjoy a free short story? I recently released The Princess’s New Poppet to my newsletter subscribers in ebook form AND in audiobook format, narrated by the incomparable Penny Scott-Andrews! Sign up and get yours here!

Penny and her husband Andy are currently working their way through narrating the entire Keepers of the Wellsprings series for Audible, and I’m thrilled with how it’s turning out! I can’t wait to share it with you!

You can listen to Call of Kythshire here!

Friday Fantasy 1-22-2021

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Friday Fantasy 1-22-2021

This week’s Friday Fantasy focuses on one of my most favorite influences: Brian Froud, who was behind the design of my favorite movie growing up, Labyrinth. Except I was always annoyed that the one appearance of fairies in that movie was so short! And Hoggle was fumigating them! If you’ve seen Labyrinth, did you ever notice that Jareth mistakenly calls Hoggle Hogwart at one point? This was way before Harry Potter came out.

CRAFT: Hoggle's Sprayer and Captured Fairy in a Jar (Jim Henson's  Labyrinth) – KOMakesThings

His were the first illustrations that really inspired me to start drawing fairies, too. I loved how real and earthy the fae in his drawings seemed. The first book I got of his was his paperback “Faeries” way back in the 1990s. I loved that book forever, until it finally gave out and pages started falling out of it. Then I got the 25th anniversary edition, but I still kept the old, tattered one. I still look through it often, and every time I do notice new, glorious details mixed in with the familiar ones.

Faeries by Brian Froud; Alan Lee - 1st  Edition - 1978 - from Jero Books and Templet Co. (SKU: 031536)

This month I’ve been reviewing chapters of my upcoming Call of Sunteri audiobook, and there’s a scene during Penny‘s narration where I couldn’t help but think of this Froud illustration:

Brian Froud “Faery Queen” from the Good Faeries/Bad Faeries book

Azi is trapped in the dreaming in the darkness, and she stumbles on a mysterious group of drained, fallen fae who are desperate for her help.

Excerpt from Call of Sunteri

Hearing this narrated with all the different voices gave me such a thrill! I can’t wait for you to listen to the audio book, which is coming this spring! In the meantime, you can read Call of Sunteri here, and listen to the Call of Kythshire audiobook here!

Writing Wednesday 1-13-2021

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Writing Wednesday 1-13-2021

Recently, while my brilliant narrator Penny was working on the audiobook for Call of Kythshire, I read through the entire kindle version of the Keepers of the Wellsprings again just to refresh my memory. While I was reading, I discovered something interesting. Kindle has a function that allows readers to see which passages have been highlighted by others! How cool!

I thought it might be fun to take a look at what people have highlighted and put in my two cents as to why, since as far as I know you can’t see others’ notes, just highlights. Here’s the first passage that was highlighted five times in Call of Kythshire:

“People should be allowed to feel their own true emotions. Forcing calmness on anyone for too long or to further your own agenda is an abuse of power.”

-Azi, Call of Kythshire

I absolutely love that this quote was highlighted so many times, because it’s basically the theme of the entire series. The fight for the Wellsprings is all about the battle for conservation, restraint, discipline, and empathy. While our virtuous heroes are diligent about practicing self-control, the villains of the story, the Sorcerers, are the exact opposite. They don’t care at all about how their destructive thirst for magic affects others. They’re too consumed by the arcane to even notice the cost.

It was so much fun while writing this series to play with this give and take of self-control versus utter abandon. Even in the very first scene of the book, Azi shows restraint by only defending herself from Dacva’s shocking and ruthless attack not by swinging to kill, but by choosing to strike him with the flat of her blade and crack his ribs instead. Mya, the guild’s leader, shows restraint by never using her magical voice to influence people, even though she could have the entire kingdom on their knees before her if she chose to. Rian struggles to keep himself under control when he enters the realm of the fairies, knowing he could easily harness the power of their Wellspring and destroy them if he let the magic entice him.

On the flip side we have Prince Eron, who rarely feels the need to keep himself under control, instead doing whatever he likes whenever he pleases, and Viala, who has lost herself to the drug-like lure of magic and become addicted to its power. In the big picture, there are the Sorcerers from Sunteri who have ruined their entire kingdom from their reckless abandon and thirst for more.

Lisabella’s notion that just because you have a power doesn’t mean you should use it, that people should have a choice to feel the way they feel and act of their own will, is a portent of things to come not just in Call of Kythshire, but throughout the entire Keepers of the Wellsprings series.

In real life, too. Sage advice, Lisabella. Thanks! ❤

Saturday Smile 1-2-2021

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Saturday Smile 1-2-2021

I always wanted to draw a comic, so I did! Here’s baby Azi and Rian conquering the mountain for your Saturday Smile. I love the concept of a gentle giant. What’s your favorite memory of being little?

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2021-2022 Fairies Calendar

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2021-2022 Fairies Calendar

Do you love looking at beautiful, bright artwork of fairies? Would you like to look at fairies for 18 whole months? If so, you should get my brand new 2021-2022 18 month FAIRIES Art Wall Calendar!

Oh, and by the way, Call of Kythshire, the first book of my epic, award-winning Keepers of the Wellsprings series is FREE today only! Saturday, 12-12-2020!

Click the pic to get your copy!

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Presenting the Art of the Keepers of the Wellsprings 2019 Calendar!

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Presenting the Art of the Keepers of the Wellsprings 2019 Calendar!

Featuring hand-selected, full color, high-resolution illustrations…

Calendar Promo Image

I’m beyond excited to offer this collection of illustrations to my readers, which is the first time they have ever been printed in FULL COLOR, the way I intended them! Whether you enjoyed my series via paperback or Kindle, these are scenes from the books like you have never seen them before.

The lulu site has a great reputation for excellent customer service, but their calendar preview requires flash, which I know is a problem for IOS users. Don’t worry! I have created a gallery on my website that allows everyone to browse through all of the enchanting images featured in the calendar. Click here to view the preview on my website.

Discover the rich world of Author/Illustrator Missy Sheldrake’s Keepers of the Wellsprings series. This stunning spiral-bound wall calendar will capture your imagination and whisk you into the epic story readers are calling “a high-fantasy Harry Potter.”

Best of all, it’s on sale now at a special introductory price of 30% off list: just $17.49! (plus shipping and tax where required)

Get Your Calendar Here!


In other news…

Mya

Introducing young Mya! I’ve been hard at work writing her story, and let me tell you, she is not at all what I expected she’d be at 13 (going on 14) years old. This future leader of His Majesty’s Elite is quite a handful!

I’m still in the early stages of my draft, so I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to estimate a release date for a while. I promise it’s going to be amazing, and I can’t wait to share it with you.

If you’d like some sneak peeks and more regular updates, I invite you to follow me on Facebook  and Instagram. Come on over and see what I’ve been up to. See you soon!

Local Missy Sightings

Before I say goodbye for now, I have one last bit of exciting news. I’ll be setting up a booth at the 2018 Clifton Day Festival here in Northern Virginia on October 7. I plan on signing books and calendars, and offering lots of paintings from my studio! I might even have a fairy or two there with me. If you’re local to the area and plan to attend Clifton Day, I’d love it if you stopped by and said hello.

Thanks for reading all the way to the end! Fairy wishes for great adventures until I see you again. ❤

(This message was originally sent to my mailing list on September 16. If you’d like to sign up for email updates, click here. Thanks!)

It’s Finally Here! Release Day!

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It’s Finally Here! Release Day!

I’m so excited to announce that Call of Elespen, the fifth and final book of the Keepers of the Wellsprings series, is now available on Amazon!

All of your favorites are back in the epic conclusion of the series, including:

Call of Hywilkin illustration

Flitt

 

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Azi and Rian

Tib-Promo

Tib

 

Ch_11_Celli_and_Pippa

Celli

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Margy and more!

Check out all the illustrations from Call of Elespen here.

Today only, November 29, 2017, in celebration of the completion of the series, I’m offering books 1-4 for free!

Keepers-of-the-Wellsprings-banner

Click the pic to visit the series page on Amazon

When I wrote this series, my hope was to capture a world that would enchant my readers and bring them to a place they’ve never been before. To me, the joy of reading is the escape of it. Growing up, I had few friends. I imagined them in the forests where I wandered, as fairies, and I imagined them in the pages of books.

In the Keepers of the Wellsprings, my hope was to create friends that would capture my readers’ hearts, just as those in the books I’ve read have done for me. Finishing the series has been bittersweet. I’m relieved to have been able to tie up to so many strands of the story so neatly, but it’s sad to say goodbye to these characters who seem so real now.

Rest assured, though, I don’t think I’m finished with these folks just yet. I intend to take a break, but there are so many stories to write, yet, from the world of the Wellsprings.

Blog Tour

Special thanks to my friends who have agreed to participate in my blog tour! Please swing by and check out these fabulous authors:

Daniel Layfield, author of The Spellstone Legacy series
https://youlookconfused.blogspot.com/2017/11/call-of-elespen-epic-conclusion-to.html

Owen R. O’Neill, co-author of the Loralynn Kennakris Series
http://www.loralynnkennakris.com/keepers-of-the-wellsprings-new-release/

Joshua Blum, author of The Thirteenth Hour: A Retro 1980s Illustrated Fairytale Fantasy Novel
https://13thhr.wordpress.com/2017/11/27/the-thirteenth-hour-podcast-120/

Meg Welch Dendler, author of the Cats in the Mirror series and more
https://megdendler.blogspot.com

Jenelle Schmidt, author of The Minstrel’s Song series
http://jenelleschmidt.com

Joanne Van Leerdam, poet of The Passing of the Night
https://bookssquirrel.wordpress.com/2017/11/29/announcing-the-epic-conclusion-to-the-keepers-of-the-wellsprings-series/

Joshua Robertson, author of the Thrice Nine Legends Saga
https://robertsonwrites.wordpress.com/2017/11/29/featuring-keepers-of-the-wellsprings-call-of-elespen/

M. Ray Holloway, author of Let No Word Be Spoken

https://mrayhollowayjr.blogspot.com

I’ll be adding even more posts to the list as they go  up, so please make sure to check back!

 

Call of Elespen Cover Reveal

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Call of Elespen Cover Reveal

The epic conclusion to the Keepers of the Wellsprings series is almost here, and you know what that means: It’s time for a cover reveal!

If you’re familiar with the series so far, you know that I have illustrated designed all of the covers myself. It has always been important to me to make sure each cover is unique enough to be attractive on its own, but consistent enough with the rest of the series that it looks like a series when all of the books are displayed together.

To do this, I  really thought about color, giving each book its own unique palette and tone. I knew Kythshire, for example, would be blue and gold, because those colors appear prominently in the book. They’re the colors of Azi’s guild, and the colors of the golden field she visits in Kythshire.

 

For Call of Sunteri, I chose red for the dye fields Tib escaped, and gold for the wings of a prominent fairy in the book. I won’t say who, just in case you haven’t read it yet!

 

For Call of Brindelier, it had to be purple for the mystery and majesty of the hidden kingdom of Brindelier, and gold, of course. This time, for Azi.

 

For Call of Hywilkin, I knew I wanted flame orange and yellow to represent the fiery mountain of Kerevorna, and the wings of its Keeper had to be very distinct. I also wanted it to feel quite ominous because of the dark, dramatic tone of this book.

Finally, here we are at Elespen! As the final book in the series, I hoped to make this cover really stand out. This book and its cover had to feel like a triumph. I wanted it to feel mysterious and creepy, but also bright and hopeful. I painted the wings to seem like they could be a butterfly in a rain forest jungle, and gave them eyes to make them curious and interesting. It was important that the green felt like a jungle, with all of the wonder and danger that the idea of a jungle invokes. I wanted it to feel ambiguously good and evil, beautiful, and unnerving. My favorite part about this cover is how the area beneath the wings feels like a portal into a strange blue sky or tropical water, which happened accidentally as I was painting it.

Without further delay, here it is, the cover reveal of Call of Elespen!

Call of Elespen smaller

books bannerI’m still planning on releasing the book in the later part of November. I promise to keep you updated! In the meantime, you can download Call of Kythshire for free today, in celebration of my cover release! Enjoy!

Cover Reveal Tomorrow!

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Cover Reveal Tomorrow!

The epic conclusion of the Keepers of the Wellsprings is coming soon! To celebrate, tomorrow, I’ll be revealing the cover of Call of Elespen, Keepers of the Wellsprings, Book Five and offering Call of Kythshire, Book One, for free! Keep an eye here for details and news!call_of_elespen_cover_reveal