Tag Archives: faeries

Inspiration for Elespen…

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Inspiration for Elespen…

If you’ve read my books, you know each title refers to the place where the book is set. The series starts with Call of Kythshire, which focuses mainly on Kythshire and the wide variety of fairies who live in its enchanted glens, forests, and mountains. From there we have traveled to Sunteri, Brindelier, and Hywilkin.

The Known Lands, as I call the world of the Keepers of the Wellsprings, are as vast and varied as our own. Like ours, so are its people, geography, and creatures. Look at the map above, and you’ll notice one continent which has been largely ignored in the series up until now: Elespen.

I’m not sure I’ve made an official announcement yet, and so I’ll take this opportunity to do it. The fifth and final book in the Keepers of the Wellsprings series will be titled Call of Elespen!

Elespen is a land of jungles and deserts, geographically inspired by areas of Africa and India.  I love the idea of long forgotten ruins, overgrown with lush jungle plants and inhabited by stealthy, mysterious magic.

You can see a few more inspiring images on my Elespen Pinterest board.

Elespen has been mentioned a few times in my previous books. Mya was born there, and Tib sailed down its Jairun River on his way to Cerion in Call of Sunteri:

(AUTHOR’S NOTE! Don’t be afraid! The following excerpt is spoiler-free!)

We sail into the mouth of the river they call Jairun. I don’t like it. We move slower here through the center of Elespen. The jungle creeps into the water on both sides of us. Days more of this. Days of watching jungle become village and jungle again, and then sand and only sand as far as I can see. An ocean of sand. Too much like Sunteri. Too much like the home I never wanted to see again. I feel the panic rise in me. I don’t want to be in the desert.

“Sleep.”

Yes, sleep. I curl up in the safety of the fore nest, and when I wake the stars stretch out endlessly above me. Noise. Lapping and chatting. Laughing and shouting. Bargaining. Unloading. The thud of the hull against the pier as they tie it up.

“Boy!” Cap shouts. I slip down the ratlines and drop to his side. The deck is deserted except for the pair of watch guards at the gangway. I stand straight and look Cap in the eye, as he has told me to do. It keeps a man honest, he says, to meet his crew’s eyes.

“Sir!” I shout. He taught me to do that, too.

He tells me I’m a hard worker. I have earned five copper, which he jingles in a pouch. I like the sound of it. I have never held coin before. It has more weight than I expected. He tells me I can go ashore if I want to, and then he goes back below. I peer out at the city. Cresten. Capital of Elespen. It’s different from Zhaghen. Cleaner. Brighter, even in the starlight. Noisy, but the noise is happier. They don’t have towers here to watch and rule over them. Just a castle, low and sprawling. Music drifts merrily from the taverns into the street. People in beautiful colors dance in the glow of torchlight. Others toss coin at them. Even in the night, merchants in booths cook and sell. The aroma is exotic and flavorful. My mouth waters.

I hope you’re as excited as I am to finally get to Elespen, where tribes of elephant riders lurk in the dense jungle, and even the vegetation itself can’t be trusted. I won’t say any more here, you’ll just have to wait until the end of the year when Call of Elespen is released, and read for yourself!

Check back soon for more updates, and be sure to click here and join my mailing list for upcoming contests and promotions!

The Gilt Cage: An Excerpt

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The Gilt Cage: An Excerpt

An excerpt and illustration from Book Four of the Keepers of the Wellsprings series, coming February 2017:

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Kenrick casts his spell, and the sparkling pillars of the cavern shift. In their place, rough-hewn walls of gray stone surround us on all sides. Saesa and I jump to our feet. As our surroundings settle into place, the first thing I notice are the cages. Masterfully wrought in iron and plated with gold, they are stunning works of art in themselves. What they hold, though, is heartbreaking.

I recognize many of the prisoners held within from Tulya’s paintings: A man with a hawk’s beak and splendid feathers, and a girl with quills like Tulya’s own. Another man, much older, sits cramped in his cage, his long spotted tail lashing weakly as his matted ears twitch. There are a dozen or more here, all caged, chain-bound and rail-thin. The scene passes by us at a walking pace, even though here in the cavern we haven’t moved.

“Hali,” Tulya cries in anguish as the older man’s cage drifts past. Rian shifts closer to me and takes my hand, gazing at the scene with a mix of wonder at the Mage’s spell and distaste at the endless rows of cages on display.

We pause at one gilt cage holding a woman in plate mail armor. The braid at her shoulder is unraveled and frayed. Her face is cast down, her hands clasped at her chest in a meditative pose. A beautifully engraved sign at her feet reads:

Rare Cerion Specimen. Paladin. Emotion control. Ally to fae-kin. Dangerous. Do not speak to exhibit.”

“Mum,” I whisper in horrified disbelief.

***

Prepare yourself for the coming adventure! Meet Azi, her foes, and her allies in the Keepers of the Wellsprings Books 1-3 available on Amazon Kindle. Click here for more information.

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The images and excerpts posted in this blog are copyright 2016 author/illustrator Missy Sheldrake and cannot be reproduced without the express permission of the artist/author.

 

Everything but Writing

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Everything but Writing

I spent my morning doing everything but writing. I have no excuse, but I do have a pretty graphic with an excerpt from Call of Kythshire to show for it, so I’m going to just leave that right here:

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In this excerpt, Princess Margary is reading to her from an old storybook. This scene is the catalyst for the climax of the book. This is the point where my readers have told me they couldn’t put it down. I hope you liked it. If you did, you can Click here to buy a copy for your Kindle. Thanks for reading! ❤

Happy Birthday Call of Kythshire!

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Happy Birthday Call of Kythshire!

That’s right, my first novel is one year old! I can’t believe it! It has been a fun year filled with growth  for me. I’ve made so many friends in the indie publishing community and learned so much along the way.

To celebrate, I’m offering Call of Kythshire for free today on Amazon. Click here to get your copy.

Not only that, I’m inviting you to post your book link here to celebrate the amazing accomplishments of Indie authors everywhere!

It doesn’t have to be discounted or free, I only ask that you please only post one book per person. Thanks, and congrats to you, too, Indie Author!

 

Writer’s Block and Book Three Progress

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Writer’s Block and Book Three Progress

Writing is a funny thing. For me, it comes in bursts. There are days when I wake up early and write well into the morning, and days when I sit restlessly at my keyboard, desperate for an idea.

I finally broke through my snowday-related writer’s block and wrote two chapters yesterday. I’m really hoping to keep my momentum despite a busy weekend coming up, and a busy beginning of next week, too.

Here’s the current status of Call of Brindelier, Keepers of the Wellsprings Book Three:

Draft: 1
Words: 115,550
Chapters: 32
Percent Complete: 80-85%

For me, a long nature walk helps me get through a block. I find myself inspired by music, art, and television. How do you break through your writer’s block? Feel free to comment. I’d love to hear from  you!

 

 

Call of Sunteri is Free Today!

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Call of Sunteri is Free Today!

From time to time, I offer free promos for my ebooks.  Call of Sunteri is free today only for Kindle!  Click here to download your free copy.

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Call of Sunteri is the second book in the Keepers of the Wellsprings series. It follows Azi and Rian and the rest of His Majesty’s Elite on a journey through Cerion as they escort Prince Eron and Pricess Amei to Kordelya Keep, where she’ll give birth to the new heir. Their journey is clouded by a mysterious darkness which makes tensions run high and threatens Azi’s place in the guild.

This second installment in the series  introduces a new point of view character, Tib, who is a slave boy from the desert lands of Sunteri. Sunteri has been overrun by Sorcerers, and its Wellspring all but drained. Tib finds a way to flee to Cerion,  but as he journeys to freedom, he begins to wonder whether his thoughts and motives are his own.

Call of Sunteri features several color illustrations depicting scenes from this fantastic, adventurous journey. It’s not necessary to read the first book first, but if you’d like to, you can download Call of Kythshire here.

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0187IG3HK

 

His Majesty’s Elite Guild Hall

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His Majesty’s Elite Guild Hall

A lot of the first book of the Keepers of the Wellsprings series, Call of Kythshire, happens in one setting: the guild hall of His Majesty’s Elite. This setting is one of my favorites in the books, because it’s a place that I feel like I’ve actually been to. I can picture the splintered wood benches in the sparring square, hear the ring of Benen’s hammer from the forge, and smell the wood smoke from the great hearth in the meeting hall.

Read the rest of this entry

Snowberry Blossom

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Snowberry Blossom

For Christmas, I’ve decided to treat my readers to a holiday story featuring Azi, Rian, and their friends in Cerion. Follow them as they quest through a treacherous snowstorm to retrieve the perfect gift for Midwinter’s Eve.  Read the rest of this entry