Colleen Chesebro (aka the Fairy Whisperer) has been making quick work of a few of my books and has penned some wonderfully heartfelt reviews. Myths of the Mirror was my first born, and I couldn’t be more delighted that she found my baby beautiful. Ha ha. Here’s her review. ❤
Not too long ago, I had the pleasure of guest posting on Colleen Chesebro’s site. If you don’t recall, she’s the fairy whisperer who advised me when my husband accidentally squashed a fairy. I decided to share my experience of using magic to write my first book. Comments are closed here, so click over if you want to say hi.
Hello, and welcome to my Spotlight Author Guest posts where you can meet independently published authors and sample some of their work. My inspiration was to give independent authors another place where they could connect with readers.
I asked for posts dedicated to the themes of fairies, myths, and magic where authors could show off their writing skills by stretching their wings and stepping out of their genre comfort zones if need be. I also wanted them to tell you about their books and to share the magic it took to create them.
This week, I am pleased to introduce you to author D. Wallace Peach. I’ve just recently started reading The Rose Shield series also written by Diana. I’ve reviewed the first book, “Catling’s Bane,” and you can read that review HERE. If you LOVE fantasy, this is an author whose writing will speak to you in ways you didn’t think possible. I am enthralled by her writing, her world-building, and the magical stories she weaves.
So, grab a cup of coffee or tea and take a few minutes to meet and read the magic behind D. Wallace Peach’s first book, Myths of the Mirror.
Through the Wings of Time
by Sebnem Sanders
One second more or less, will that make me richer or poorer in time? Yet, I happen to know decisions made in a split second, or perhaps, an incident that could occur in that time frame have the power to change everything. I try so hard to capture or speed up time, but it has its own pace despite my wishes.
So, I dip into time and try to exercise timelessness. Schrodinger’s Cat in my mind, I go to places my limited intelligence cannot comprehend. The heart does, and gives me directions into my past lives beyond my current third dimensional reality.
I’m a pagan girl at a time not recorded in history. I go to Göbeklitepe and dance to the tune of songs, sung by the pilgrims who come to the temple to worship nature, its flora and fauna. Surrounded by huge columns, with birds and animals carved into their ancient stones, I make offerings to the Gods and thank them for my blessings. A soldier takes my hand, puts a wreath of flowers on my head. We leave the temple and he takes me to his tent in the nearby hills.
Time changes. I’m in Africa, by the river Nile,…
(Continue reading: Through The Wings of Time)
Flight of Faith
When I was a child, I could fly
you and I hopped in dirt-road afternoons
and the dust-wind flung us over seas of wheat
scuffed shoes skimming the feathered awns
we whipped around the corners of the barn
in a home-sewn world of farm-hewn hands
our secret futures soared
In the veins of my hands
the blue brooks of time stream by
Somewhere on the way, I unlearned how to fly
and trod worn paths through autumn’s lea
snapped night’s brittle ice
shards of fractured faith
glinting in my wake
Today’s morning purls in plumrose
cast on a withering season’s stark debris
spangled with winter’s gilded rime
a new path of violet ice wends to the horizon
fragile, fissured, a wish yet unbroken
my secret future soars
and I wonder if I might fly
one last time
This attempt at poetry was in response to Sue Vincent’s weekly photo prompt. Check out other submissions on The Daily Echo and maybe try the next one! Thank you, Sue. ❤
Dragons are on the loose!
My journey from traditional publishing to indie publishing is complete with the release of my last 4 books, a quartet set in a land of dragons and skyriders, mountain meadows and outland seas. The Moons mark the passage of the seasons in the books and here on my blog.
In the distant mountains of the Mirror, exiled skyriders fly dragons in the old Way, merged in flesh, blood, and bone. Twenty years past, they fought for the freedom of the valley’s dragons … and lost.
Thus begins the epic adventure that stretches from the quaint village of Taran Leigh and the mountains of the Mirror to the Anghard Archipelago in the western sea. Welcome to a world where wealth and power rule, fear is the weapon of choice, and cruelty is the cost of a pocket of gold. It’s a world that forces a choice — indifference, complicity, or defiance.
The dragons of land and sea, souls of grace and beauty, hang in the balance. Will they descend into howling violence, lost to the terror and pain inflicted upon them by their tormentors? Or will they fly free, the creatures they were born to be? With each book, the stakes rise and far more than the dragon soul lies at risk.
“The chest rose above his head, long neck curving, aquamarine eyes fracturing the sunlight. This dragon’s scale gleamed blue and gray, sea-shaded with crescents of curling white waves. The webbed wings shone seafoam blue with ribbons of coral and the mottled green of seaweed. Kearney smiled. If the sea glimmered like this dragon, he’d have become a sailor.” – Mor Kearney, Clan Lord of Loughran.
Myths of the Mirror (Book 1):
Imprisoned in the stone lair, the captive dragons beat webbed wings and thrash serpentine tails. They tear their flesh and batter their bodies against the black bars of their cells, iron grating against iron. The once peaceful creatures howl, tormented by spine and spur, their fury matched only by their despair.
Treasa, the daughter of exiles, seeks the secrets of a hidden past and a father she never knew. Gifted with visions, she glimpses pieces of years long lost and a veiled future that only raises more questions. The dragons visit her dreams, laden with contradictions that tear at her heart — for one day she sails in unfettered flight, her arms thrown wide, and the next she writhes in tortured darkness, desperate to be free.
The lair’s black-garbed riders sense the dragons’ growing savagery. Yet Conall longs to grasp their power, to subdue them and soar, and he will endure the reek, filth, and terror of the lair to earn his right to fly. With a heart encased in steel, he masters the weapons of compliance to see his will done. At the cost of the woman he loves.
Then, a curved talon rends flesh and dragon scale, rattling against white ribs. Blood falls like rain and the world shifts. Treasa and Conall must decide who they are and what they stand for. Thus, the battle for the dragon soul begins again. Alliances form, old myths are revealed, and new myths are born.
Thanks again, my friends, for helping with the covers!
Now, back to writing… 🙂
I need your help with book covers.
My lovely book designer (for reasons beyond her control) had to back out of doing covers for my book series. My publishing deadline is August 20, which in book-time translates to pressure. I need to submit to Createspace on Thursday 🙂 Yikes!
So, I spent the weekend pulling together some covers until my brain turned to mush and I lost all perspective. You are all so sweet and supportive, but I need honest feedback. Your candid opinions are not only welcome but invaluable! And don’t worry, I have armadillo skin.
Here they are:
On Another Note: I completely forgot to include in my Interview of Steven Baird the link to his blog. So, here it is: Ordinary Handsome. Definitely worth checking out (After you help me with my covers! Ha ha! 🙂 )
In my fantasy world spring truly arrives with the Crofter’s Moon. The soil warms and the old jenny plods before a hand-held plow. Seeds drop in tidy rows, and sprouts peek from the rich loam, tender promises of harvests to come. Neighbors emerge from their dark hearths, shuttered eyes thrown wide in their hunger for light. Hearts venture in celebration, seeking communion, another lean winter survived. The sun blesses faces and beats on backs as the endless cycles of all life wax and wane. There are chores to be done, but the world feels hopeful and alive.
The Crofter’s Moon shines its full face tonight. Enjoy the coming Crofter’s Moon. May your garden grow a bounty and of your heart flourish with love.
Excerpt from the Crofter’s Moon, Dragon Soul Trilogy
Brend’s shoulders rose in a shrug, and he stretched his legs out in front of him, his ankles crossed. “Do you remember what Conall said when he spoke to the lair’s riders? He said, in essence, that the choice to do nothing in the face of cruelty is no different than choosing cruelty itself. I’ve mused over those words since. Every time we look away from ruthlessness, poverty, corruption, and suffering, we’re allowing those things to flourish and grow. Are we saying it doesn’t matter to us? We don’t care enough? We stood by as a people and did nothing when the governors murdered your father. We saw dragons captured and tortured, Morfael exiled, skyriders banned. Then cruelty crouches on our own doorsteps, and we are suddenly outraged. If a child is beaten and we neglect to interfere, who are we to rail when the child grows into a violent man? If we fail to feed the hungry are we choosing to starve them to death?”
Earlin rested her elbows on the table. “You have too much time on your hands.”
“Maybe so.” Brend chuckled. “But reflection is good for me.” He shook her gently by the back of her neck. “I’m trying to choose the Belonging over fear, Earlin, and discover what that means for me. Do the same and you’ll find your way.”
I had a love affair.
Never consummated, mind you.
He was far too young, barely 20, and I’m middle-aged. Plus I’m married to a kind and caring man who makes me laugh. I’m blessed…in addition to being a realist. It could never have worked.
Yet, there was something about him that thrummed the heartstrings. Perhaps, it was his many failings that I related to, the human misinterpretations of how he measured his worth. He suffered the need to impress, a fear of failure and disappointing those he loved, of not measuring up to the outer façade of success. He wanted power, he wanted privilege, he wanted to be valued for what he did, because who he was just didn’t cut it.
I’ve felt those things. I remember feeling starved for love, grasping at smiles with barbed fingers and calling it destiny, overpowering any potential with suffocating need. I wanted validation for the object and trappings that was me. For beneath the skin, I’d learned, was nothing of value.
Perhaps what enchanted me was his capacity to dig deep into pain, to confront his failings face forward, to rise above, let go, and forgive his blindness. I saw humility in his startling encounter with his soul. I witnessed grace in that moment and fell in love.
For him it was a process, a paring away of the coarse petals of identity and fragile beliefs, each layer uncovering the mysteries and offering truths. Perhaps it was the courage and trust, the willingness to step with faith from the ledge.
I think I fell in love with his capacity to love…wholly…without fear, without shadows, without filters. How often do we meet a soul peeled bare. How rare is the courage to accept with open arms the messy lives we tote on our shoulders or drag behind us like a sack of rocks. I wanted a love like that…fearless, wondrous, unconditional.
Perhaps it was because he chose to live as he believed. His life wasn’t separate from his principles. He offered no excuses, no rationales, no exceptions. In this way too, he was intrepid, worthy of fidelity, and unpretentious. It was simply his way of being in the world.
His name is Conall, and he was born in my head. He grew up on the keys of my laptop, loved on the pages of my first book. As real as he is to me, he lives only in the chambers of my heart.
It could never have worked. It took me a long time to let go.
Then I fell in love with Morgen
And Gryff after him
And…on I go, crafting new loves in my heart.
Tell me, have you ever fallen in love with a character?
As writers, we often create characters with whom we have little in common. They believe, do, and say things that we would never contemplate, EVER.
Yet, like empaths, we submerge our hearts, bodies, and psyches in their lives. As they journey through the pages of our books, we experience their loves and fears, friendships and loathing, bravery and betrayals, times of great joy and desperate despair. This intimacy is one reason why writing violent scenes can be difficult.
A character’s view of and tolerance for violence (and sex, by the way) may be considerably different from our own. Violent choices, attitudes, and behaviors can easily push us beyond the borders of our comfort zones. How graphic we choose to be will depend partly on our intended audience, but also on our personal thresholds. It’s difficult to write a scene where a character contentedly partakes in a level of violence that makes us recoil, and not have our distress slip through.
In my previous career as a mental health counselor, I frequently worked with young women who were victims of abuse as children and teens. Violence took myriad forms and lefts indelible wounds on innocent souls. What I found hardest to bear was how difficult it was for them to break free of destructive patterns, to believe in their intrinsic worthiness and right to be tenderly loved. Happy endings and sweet love stories were fantasies that played out in the scripted world of television and movies. They weren’t real.
I wrote my first fantasy book, Myths of the Mirror, for them. It’s a non-violent story about acceptance, forgiveness, and the freedom that results from owning one’s life and braving new choices. It’s a story close to my heart, one I needed to tell.
My books have become increasingly violent. My most recent novel, The Bone Wall, is pretty darn grim (by my standards anyway). For a time, I wondered why I was writing this stuff. It’s not because I believe that fantasy lends itself to brutality or because I think violence sells. I’ve never written for pure marketability. My stories arise organically and are told the way I need to tell them.
We live in a dangerous world where the depth and breadth of violence continues to astonish me. Network news programs flash mere snapshots and move on. For to see it up close and personal, night after night, might depress us, or require us to speak and act, a possibility that raises the fearsome face of responsibility and choice.
Personally, I’ve experienced only glimpses of violence – in the stolen innocence and lost hope that surrounds me, and in the murder of my youngest brother, an event that still aches after twelve years. I’ve never fought in a war, suffered torture, witnessed executions, seen my neighbors slaughtered, or been sold as chattel, yet those horrors occur daily in our world.
Why? I pen my stories with as much truth as I can tolerate, and that includes violence. I try not to sugarcoat, to glorify, to pretend that violence doesn’t hurt or change those who encounter it as perpetrators or victims. If some readers find it too graphic, that’s okay. I’m willing to risk a scene or two (or more) of violence if it continues to raise the real-world question of why.
I’ve been posting for 3 years now, and most of you savvy bloggers might assume I learned a thing or two about this art and craft during that time. The wretched truth is, until recently, I floundered in a quagmire of cluelessness. I blogged for the sake of blogging, because someone (my publisher, probably) advised me it was mandatory. Every month, I dragged myself away from my latest writing endeavor to spend a full day laboring over a few hundred words that maybe someone would read.
Now, you have to understand that back in the olden days we had typewriters…yep. Computers existed, of course. They hummed in the secretive cellars of IBM and flashed on Captain Kirk’s console. Don’t get me wrong, there was life before cell phones, microchips, and social media, but it wasn’t wired. Social, in my day, was trespassing at the reservoir with a bonfire and keg on Saturday night and hoping the police didn’t break up the party and send us home.
Once I graduated from keg parties, I toiled in business where keeping up with technology was routine. I spent my waking hours on spreadsheets and typing with all ten fingers. After that, a switch to mental health counseling, followed by a decision to write, began a rather rapid descent into technological fossilization. The social media thing, when it reared its monstrous head, felt overwhelming. It didn’t come with instructions. I was supposed to learn it by osmosis without a teenager’s eye-rolling guidance.
Then this great thing happened.
Nicholas Rossis, awesome blogger and author from the far side of the planet, read one of my books and reached out through social media.
Huh. Tiny synapses flickered in my primordial brain as I pondered this curious event. You mean…social media is supposed to be social? Yeesh. Took me long enough to figure that out.
Rossis offered advice on blogging and writing, as well as other features that intrigued me. Determined to climb the evolutionary ladder, I started following his blog (http://nicholasrossis.me/). This was a giant leap forward. Up until this point, I didn’t know how to follow blogs without provoking cryptic computer-generated warnings riddled with exclamation points.
Well, I clicked the button and nothing crashed. I dodged the chilling meltdown anticipated by the technologically primitive, and propelled by this remarkable feat, I started poking around. I discovered blogs that shared invaluable information and was swept up in the sublime words of immensely gifted writers. Who knew?
It’s been several months since my mini blogging enlightenment, and I still find the left-brain advice on how to market through social media somewhat overwhelming. I read it and tuck it away for later, content to just be me and offer you a peek inside my writing and my head.
But, I follow lots of blogs now.
I read your stories, pour over your advice, share your trepidation, laugh aloud, and hoot for your victories. I “like” often and comment when something strikes a chord. Who wouldn’t marvel at the talent out there in the blogosphere and want to be part of the vast, supportive community of writers, artists, and readers? Little by little, I’m making those connections. I found an island of solid ground in that quagmire of cluelessness, and I’m leaving a few muddy footprints behind me…finally.
Happy New Year!