Regine Allison Claire: Author of YA Fiction

Welcome to Regine's literary world!


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Cover Reveal! “Borrowed Magic” by Shari Lambert

ShariLambert

 

Borrowed Magic
Shari Lambert
Publication date: February 1st 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

After a three-year siege, Lord Kern, the dark mage, is dead. Magic has left Tredare, and life is almost back to normal.

For everyone except Maren, that is.

Before the siege, an attack by Lord Kern left Maren near death and with a sliver of magic buried deep inside her. Now, for reasons Maren doesn’t understand, that magic has been triggered, giving her the ability to “see” the truth: that her world is nothing more than a magical façade; and that the kingdom’s hero may not be a hero at all.

But this gift of sight comes at a high cost. Maren is in constant pain, and fears her own death is imminent. Plus, no one believes her suspicions that another Dark Mage has risen, and that Tredare may be in just as much danger as it was when Kern was alive.

With the country’s future in the hands of a man who’s vowed revenge on its king, Maren must convince someone else of the truth. Unfortunately, the only person powerful enough to help is also the one man she can’t trust; the man she almost married; the man who abandoned her and disappeared for three years: Kern’s son.

As Tredare crumbles around them, Maren must persuade him to help – before the king is murdered by the very hero he reveres; and before the same magic that gives Maren the gift of sight also takes her life.

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Pre-order today on Kobo and Smashwords!

The prequel, Siege, will be available for FREE starting January 18th!

 

Shari

Author Bio:

Shari has always loved to read. “Bookworm” may even be an understatement. But when she discovered Georgette Heyer in high school, her love of reading exploded. Ms. Heyer’s books were not only entertaining, witty, and smart, but they saved Shari from the awkward, unromantic teenage years. To this day, Shari’s favorite books all have romance in them.

Although Shari spent a good deal of her time at Brigham Young University on the ballroom dance team, she did manage to get a BA in History and English before going on to get a Juris Doctorate. After graduation, she decided her first priority was to be a mom — a career she’s stuck with and loved.

In between cleaning, laundry, and homework, Shari writes. Just like with reading, she wants to get lost in a world, whether imaginary or historical.

She lives just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and four children.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Coming November 2015: the 1st Annual Virtual FantasyCon!

If you enjoy fantasy fiction, this event’s for you!

Hosted by Flavour of Fantasy (an online group and collective), the First Annual Virtual FantasyCon will be taking place November 1-8, 2015, on Facebook.

Each day will focus on a different genre/subgenre, including urban fantasy, sci fi, Steampunk, paranormal, epic fantasy, and fairytales. Authors, artists, and bloggers will have their own virtual booths for readers and fans to attend and see works, teasers, and more. Guests can chat with the attendees. There will also be giveaways!

I’m thrilled to announce that I will be one of the authors at the event on November 8th, the day for YA and Children’s Fantasy.

 

More to come as we get closer to the event date. If you’re interested in joining the event now, here’s the link to the Facebook page!

 

 

 

 


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Celebrating the First, A Year Later: the Grind, Tragedy, and Celebrating Baby Steps

Happy “Bookversary” to my first publication, Four Sisters.

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It has been a full year since the novella was released. And while for some it may not seem like a big thing, it really is for me. Until this point, I had tinkered with short stories, novels, and poetry between classes and jobs but didn’t go forth and publish. To tell the truth, most of it was because I got so caught up in the grind of school-work-volunteer-family-school-work-school-life. What very little time I had left was not spent writing, even though I wanted it to be. I found myself becoming a 9-to-5 schedule zombie, scraping together minutes for creativity. Often the outlet was sewing (by hand, to boot) or random things here-and-there, but the writing was lacking. Big mistake. Apparently I get very grouchy and the void lurking within makes itself known.

Tragedy & the (Re)birth of the Self

And then it hit me: my mother’s very sudden, very shocking, very depressing death. In the middle of June 2012, I remember waving goodbye to her and my father from the concrete walk of the train station. I had spent several days with them as I usually would, but needed to get home to my work. At the time, one of the projects my colleagues and I had worked diligently on had just hit the fan and we were feeling grief from losing individuals we were trying to help. I was not in the best of moods.

Then in the middle of the night on June 30, 2012, my partner and I received the dreaded phone call. Mom had passed that morning in her sleep. Her heart just stopped. No warning. No chance to say goodbye. Just… stopped.

Everything that was important at the time went out the window. Family became the everything. And mourning took over. I found I couldn’t focus. It was really apparent when I received a very simple, straightforward email from a colleague and read the first sentence 15 times before realizing I had no idea what it said. The email was in perfect English. It was a simple sentence. My eyes saw everything; my brain processed nothing.

And that’s when I turned to writing. Why?

It was the only thing I could actually do.

Reading emails, news articles, reports — all of it went over my head. But the creative writing thing stuck. It’s funny, almost as if when I’m stripped down to my most basic parts, the storytelling is at the core. And to tell the truth, it isn’t a huge surprise. This isn’t the first time writing has been associated with death in my life. It’s the second, at least. The first was when I was 6 years old and wrote my very first story (or so I remember). It was a story about a boy who lost his mitten. I wrote it because I was killing time at my babysitter’s house, waiting for my parents to pick us up. The day just got longer and longer; the night darker and darker. By the time my parents arrived, the story was done.

Then I found out my grandfather died earlier that day.

Now the story, his death, and the birth of my writing are forever linked. Incidentally, it’s the same story that my 1st grade teacher submitted to the regional Literary Guild program, then I was chosen to read the story to my peers at the event.

 

Bringing Life to Death

At the time of dealing with my grief, I just wanted to be productive, not curl up into a ball every day and let time pass. So I left the work behind and focused on writing. I spent most of my time on an adult novel I had started years before, letting my subconscious take the story to the next level.

Somewhere along the way, I decided to branch out and see what else the world had to offer.

Peddling back a bit: by the time I was twelve, I knew I wanted to be a published author. One of my schoolmates swears I knew this way before then and, now that I think about it, she’s probably right. Maybe I was 9 or 10. In any event, I spent so much time speed-reading and writing as a kid that I wanted to be like those people I admired. I had ideas, too, and an active imagination. When I was about 14, I gave publishers a go. My mother, bless her heart, helped me prepare proposal packages and we sent them to a few publishers I had pulled from my copy of Writer’s Market. They were all rejected, but nicely. After that, I put the queries aside and focused on improving my skills in school.

But then jump to the more recent past of 2013, where I was toiling in thoughts and my head felt like I was stuck in a snow globe someone had shaken over and over, blocking out everything from my sight. I was checking out agents and publishers and what 2013 had to offer. So much had changed since 1997! Now things were at my fingertips in a matter of kb/s.

That’s when I discovered submission calls that caught my interest.

Two novellas: one adult romance and one that said simply “12 Days of Solstice”. It could have gone anywhere, but something about the Solstice call screamed YA to me. I also loved the idea of writing something for a publishing house called Pagan Writers Press. The calls were for shorter stories — not novels — so I dove right on in and worked on both at the same time. I hadn’t written a short story in a long while and had been working on a novel up until that point. I thought it would be a great time to do something new. Spread my wings. Get some experience in this new, technological, eBook-devouring, Indie and small-publishing world.

 

How It Begins Isn’t Necessarily How It Ends

The solstice story didn’t come as easily as I had hoped. The original idea I had for it didn’t work out in my soul as much as my head thought it would. The premise was about a girl who discovered her Norse spirituality while on vacation with her parents, a trip she didn’t want to take. There was something about her leaving the cabin and getting lost, then getting found by… something. I don’t what anymore. At the end of the day, it just wasn’t happening. The days dwindled. The deadline crept up.

Then something hit me. I don’t remember exactly what, but it smacked me in the head. Something about a fairytale-like story. A myth. Fantastical, which is my default genre; my home. I started thinking about this boy who ran into elementals and had a problem.

This is what my notes looked like:

 

fsideas

Then I just kept going. I pulled out photos I had found while browsing social media and other websites and started pulling together characters.

 

Fun fact #1: Originally, Fallow’s name came from thinking about one of my friends, Fallon. Her name is fabulous and fits her so well. I didn’t want to totally steal it, though. Then the “ow” end came to mind. I’m pretty sure it came from the recesses of memory, after I’d heard it in passing or came across it in a story. I was certain it was a real word. When I looked it up, I nearly fell over laughing. The name suit perfectly in its own way. So it stuck. Thanks for being an inspiration, Fallon. The first time but not the last.

Fun fact #2: The appearance of all of the sisters in the story are derived from photos I particularly loved. I can’t share them because of copyright, but they’re from photo shoots, costumers, stock… wherever. I scoured my options and threw collages together for each family, setting up sister after sister. They came together pretty easily. Even their names weren’t a far stretch. Then again, I love the naming process.

 

Let the Nail-biting Begin

The story did not start with ease. It took me a little while. I had to switch rooms, positions, and approach just to get it. Then a creepy image took over. Once I got through the first few paragraphs, the rest of the scene flowed. Then the rest of the story. It took some patience, believe me. But by the end, I was confident and thought I had pulled something fun together.

The editing process didn’t kill me half as much as I thought it would, and I’m still learning even now. But I did the best I could and submitted it.

The waiting was worse. Would the publisher hate it? I was no stranger to rejection, but I’d hoped for something positive. I finished the other novella at around the same time. Ugh x2.

The next month, I checked my email late at night.

Hello acceptance.

I freaked out. Blinked. Blinked some more. Checked the submission manager. Sure enough, I wasn’t going blind or delusional. The first thing was to email the publisher back. And call my partner with an “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God”.

After so long of being out of the game, and scrambling to catch up, it couldn’t have made me happier. A complete stranger took something of mine on.

Then the edits came around. I hadn’t dealt with an editor in the professional capacity before so it was a new experience. Not as painful as I thought. Then the proofreading. Again, not as painful. I think waiting for the cover art was the scariest part. I put my faith in the lovely Angie Mroczka (owns PWP) that she’d come up with something amazing. The ideas I had for the cover weren’t as helpful as I’m sure they could’ve been. I’d never had to worry about cover art. Plus, visual art isn’t my strong suit. Neither was sifting through stock photography for something that’s awesome. Though I’m trying to get better.

So when Angie sent me the file, I didn’t know what to expect. Opening the file, I held my breath…

Gorgeous. Loved the cover from the first moment. So much better than I originally had in my head.

Then Release Day happened.

Again, another first. Of course, it was December 20. And I was supposed to be traveling by train that day, visiting family. Needless to say, it was a very busy day. I couldn’t stop checking social media sites and the internet in general. Or Amazon. I can’t even begin to count how many of the hits that day were from one of my computers. It’s no better now.

It was alive.

And so was Regine Allison Claire.

 

Where Does It Go from Here?

That was how I said farewell to 2013. This was the very first, traditionally published story of mine to be picked up and put out into the world. Since then, I’ve had other novellas and short stories picked up for this pseudonym and my two others.

But this — this — is the one that started it all. The one that gave me that boost of confidence. The one that suggested complete strangers who owed me absolutely nothing could be willing to take a shot on something I wrote. I wouldn’t say that I’ve had a major struggle with confidence and self-esteem, but I won’t say that I’ve been a stranger to them. We meet somewhere in the middle. I was always that annoying kid in school who the teachers praised for the great work, but that didn’t go to my head. I’ve always wondered what the rest of the world would think. I still do. Each new story is another test of my nerves and hope.

So, when something like this — after being out of the storytelling thing for so long — gets picked up after what I considered a long shot, it does some pretty cool things. And I’m sure so many of my fellow writers know exactly what I mean.

This is a good time for us to give life a smile and pat ourselves on the back. Just because we need to celebrate the firsts. Our little steps in the big world. Our risks and those times we doubted ourselves meanwhile someone else was willing to take it on, no matter what they saw in it.

But there’s just one thing… now that the foot’s in the door, you either yank it back out or inch the rest of your body through.

Inch is right. Though even shorter since I’m Canadian. It’s more like centimetres. But I can’t make a verb out of that.

Unfortunately, this year hasn’t been about YA. I have several ideas for new YA stories, and a few NA, but it’s mostly been adult stories that have won out. Except there are 2 things that are true about my next steps:

 

1. I have 4 YA flash fiction stories being published in 2015, all in anthologies through Pagan Writers Press (PWP). That’s another post for the new year.

2. I will be working on a trilogy. The first book, Family Secret, is semi-outlined. It needs work, as much as the rest of the trilogy does. The ideas were flying out of my head in 2014, and they made it to paper. They just haven’t come out in story form yet. But in the spring, I intend to get on it. I know enough about the characters get started and their school will be based off my alma mater. At this moment, it is called the Within series. Book #2 is Possession and book #3 is facing an identity crisis. Though it seems to have been seriously pondering Unbound for a title. The titles are significant, but again… another post for another day.

 

And that’s how we celebrate around here, with thanks to Angie, PWP, both my parents, my partner for putting up with the long nights and crazy creative moments, and most of all everyone who takes the time to read and review my work.

Happy Firsts!

 


Click here to find out more about Four Sisters, including links to where it can be purchased.


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#CyberMonday #BookSale from Pagan Writers Press

Pagan Writers Press logo

Pagan Writers Press is having a huge sale for Cyber Monday! Almost all the books in the catalog have been discounted. Here are just a few of the Young Adult (or YA/NA friendly) selections, though there are titles available in almost every genre!

 

Young Adult Fantasy

Stains on the Soul cover
Stains on the Soul by Jamie White – Reduced to $.99

Morrigan cover
Morrigan by Laura DeLuca – Reduced to $.99

Four Sisters cover
Four Sisters by Regine Allison Claire – Reduced to $.99

Young Adult/New Adult Romantic Thriller

Dark Musicals cover
Dark Musicals Trilogy by Laura DeLuca – Prices reduced on the entire series!

#1 – Phantom ($.99)
#2 – Demon ($2.99)
#3 – Hyde ($2.99)

And after those, pick up Scrooged for only $.99 to round out the set!!

 

Historical

HerStory cover
HerStory – Edited by Tara Chevrestt -Reduced to $3.99

To The Other Side cover
To The Other Side by Julianne Chadwick – Reduced to $1.99

Science Fiction

Guardian Series cover
Guardian Series by Andrew P. Weston– Reduced to $2.99 each


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Four Sisters: New Promo Material & Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale Price

And the snow has sprung. Er, dumped. With that, it’s the perfect time to share new promotional material for my debut, Four Sisters!

Released last year (December 20, 2013, to be exact), the novella is perfect for the cold, wintery days some of us have been experiencing in the northern hemisphere. It takes place in the fantastical town of Wyndeswytch during the winter, and fifteen-year-old Fallow Glyph is at the centre of the story. But why babble on when I can just post the blurb?

Fallow Glyph daydreams during class, asks too many questions and pushes the rules. Even worse, he is haunted by strange nightmares and is fascinated by the Border, the monstrous black wall that all villagers in Wyndeswytch must avoid … or face punishment.

When his feet lead him to the Border, Fallow is determined to find out what is on the other side. What he discovers is nothing like what he anticipated. Caught in the middle of a violent feud between two families of elemental spirits, Fallow finds he must resolve the conflict if he wants to stay alive.

Can an unremarkable teenager become a hero?

Since I started blogging after its release (and haven’t given it the love it deserves since), I’ll be posting all about the story in December, with some insights and background. For now, I thought I’d share the promo stuff I worked on recently. After seeing so many of the quotes and pictures other folks have been posting, I thought I’d give it a go. Out popped these, which I’ve started sharing on Twitter and Facebook and will continue posting for the next few months, and whenever they feel like popping up during the rest of the year … realizing that, yes, stories about the snow are bound to be unpopular in the likes of July than now, when so many of us are bundling up and freezing our toes off.

 

FS-Underwater-Goodreads

FS-Under ice-Twitter

FS-Ice-Facebook

FS-Wall-Goodreads

I love the first one the most, but shhhh, don’t tell the others. It could start a riot in my folders…

 

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sale Price!

Guess what? The eBook  is on sale! $0.99 @ Amazon, from now until Tuesday, December 2 (or $1.11 @ Amazon.ca).

It’s also available at Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble. Or stop by my Facebook or Twitter and drop a line!

 

1st Anniversary in T-22 days.


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Journeys with Flash Fiction: Whoosh, There They Go

Booyeah.

4 flash fiction stories down, each significantly different from the next and all within the 1,000 to 2,500 word count. Boom, baby!

So let’s back it on up. In May, I wrote about diving into writing flash fiction despite not having done it for 14 years or so. Kind of intimidating but I was willing to meet the challenge. I suppose it’s like getting back on that bike, once you get the wibbly-wobbly part out of the way and the body goes, “Oh, yeah, THAT.”

Out of the five anthologies presented to our group of authors, I thought I’d whip up a little something for four – the more YA-friendly themes. Almost immediately, the ideas began to flow which was great. Even better, they seemed like small ideas that could be expressed in a teensy space. Two ideas came more easily than the rest; the other two eventually came around after some deep thought and random bits of fluff in the middle of the night.

The first week of June was a bit of a bust on the writing front, unfortunately. Something about not getting much sleep and feeling tapped. There’s a good reason but that’s a different story and a completely different pen name.

On the other hand, the next week was kinder and allowed me to catch up. I finished them on a Saturday night. I spent the following Sunday night and Monday morning taking the ever unkind and never sorry “red pen” to the pages. Choppity chop chop. Submitted by Monday 10am then I threw the red pen out the window and dragged my zombie-brained body off to bed. Oddly exciting even if overly tiring. And that’s not the craziest thing writers do. Oh, no.

(And if any fellow writers have crazier stories, feel free to share! We’re all in the same boat.)

Now that I’ve had sleep and some recovery time from the intense focus, I thought I’d share a tiny little bit about each since I love talking about what I’ve been working on. But no spoilers! 😀

 

Shift
This was the first one to be written, mostly because it was the first, fully-formed concept that came to me thanks to musical inspiration. Most of the story was written to 2 versions of the same song by Conjure One, “Center of the Sun”: the album version and Solarstone’s Chilled Out Remix from the compilation album, “Relax Music”.

I gushed in the previous post about how brilliant I think the song is, so I won’t this time. Let’s just say that it helped immensely, keeping everything on track. Not just because of the delicious, dark sound but the lyrics tipped me off to the original concept: the idea of being in a dark market where the girl is poorly treated and there’s a boy who cares about her.

So how did that translate?  Almost literally, actually. There’s a dark market, catering to the needs of the thirsty patrons of the paranormal world, and a human teenage girl who needs rescuing. There’s the shifter boy who loves her, desperate to free her by the means available to him as a teenager. And then there’s the man standing between them: the Head of Human Resources … except not the type of HR we’re used to.

One of my favourite things about this story is the title, which I had a bit of a time with until the word “shift” got stuck in my head. I wasn’t sure about it but grabbed my paperback dictionary and did some looking. Jackpot. Almost every definition works. Double-checked with The Free Dictionary (my favourite go-to site for wordsmithing!) and made up my mind. It feels so awesome when a story has a title.

 

Burden
This one I’m equally happy with and it’s a bit creepy, at least in my head. Hey, it says “dark” in the anthology theme so I went there. It’s thanks to a matter of timing, really. In the previous post, I talked about the boy locked up in a bedroom for up to 2 years. That’s pretty dark stuff. I was taken with the story – which isn’t the first, by all means, nor the last, sadly – and was intrigued with the concept that this couple would allow their daughter freedom and not their nephew. My inspiration was pulled to it.

Except I wanted to explore a little more than that, leaning into a bit of further darkness. I can’t get into it without spoilers but I took it into a new direction from the real, live story. It revolves around Keldie, a young girl in high school who has a family secret she’s too scared to keep. The story is about her struggle to do the right thing … even though the result is far from what she expects.

My thanks to Conjure One and Poe, again, though there were two other songs which provided great inspiration for what ended up on “paper”: Florence + the Machine’s “Heavy In Your Arms” and Within Temptation’s “Dog Days“. Without these, the feel wouldn’t have been quite the same. Rawr.

 

The Flying Dead
This story took a while to come around. I had originally kicked around a more somber idea, catering to the serious side of Samhain as the Celtic celebration of our dead.

Yeah, no. Wrote that idea off. Instead, I wanted to write something fun. And funny. Shift and Burden are dark so I wanted something amusing!

The idea came around when I was trying to get back to sleep one morning: the concept of the Ouija board. I’ve been around one once and we had an interesting experience for the rest of the day, so I’ve got something personal to work from and not just TV shows like Charmed. Except I wanted it to be about something more than that.

Enter fantasy; my love, my sanity.

There always has to be something that happens in the story which the main character has to resolve. I dipped into the fantastical world for this one to give it some spunk. The protagonist is Kurt and his family is different: they’re pledged to protect the dead. Samhain is a huge to-do for them with all the dead who cross the Veil and this Samhain isn’t any exception.

I also gave Kurt a bit of something special to make him even more amazing: he’s a transgender youth. He knows who he is and has courage, throwing off the mantle of “Katie” to be himself. This is important to me, not just because I love diversity of all sorts, but because it’s real and something worth putting out there in a way that isn’t derogatory or unkind. There are a lot of kids (not just adults, like those I know and love) who go through this and aren’t as supported as he is, but they need it. I believe gender shouldn’t determine whether you’re a hero or not, just like it doesn’t determine whether you’re a good person or maybe need some help in that department.

It’s not a long, in-depth story but this one’s for all of you. You know who you are. ♥

 

Words Needed
And the fourth flash fic. Arg. This one gave me a right good run around. To tell the truth, I don’t find as much inspiration in writing “real world” stuff, unless it’s urban something-or-other where magic, other dimensions, or something spices it up. (I’m so completely about speculative fiction!) But this one had to stay real.

Best remedy? Personal life.

I was thinking about one thing, which led to another, and then another. Finally, I gave into the concept of a girl discovering paganism very much in the same way I did. Some of the details changed but the essence remains the same. So you’d think it was easy, right, writing from precisely what I know because I lived it?

Nope. Not even close.

This was the most difficult of the four to write! The editing went a bit more smoothly. Still, laying it down … not as easy as I thought. I couldn’t even get the soundtrack right for it – and that’s strange, considering I always manage to find something to play over and over. It’s also the shortest of the bunch. I tried not to ramble. We’ll see how it fares.

 

And that’s how my journey into flash fiction has fared. Right now, they’re in queue for consideration and I’m busy doing some other things. It’s been a thrill, though. I’ll have to try this again sometime.  New worlds to explore and all.


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Interview with Dianne Lynn Gardner, author of “Dragon Shield”

Dragon Shield at Amazon.

 

Welcome to an interview with Dianne Lynn Gardner, a fantastic author and artist, as well as one very busy and incredibly awesome lady!

Today’s interview is part of her blog tour for the re-release of her book, Dragon Shield, the second book of her Ian’s Realm Saga.  This re-release comes with a facelift and a new short story among other surprises. And to accompany this interview, Dianne’s provided a great excerpt to get us started on the next part of Ian’s journey.

 

Will you tell us a bit about Dragon Shield and what inspired you to write it?

Dragon Shield is the second book in the Ian’s Realm Saga. It was actually the first book I drafted, but once the story was written I had so many questions from my beta readers I knew I needed to write a prequel, hence Deception Peak. By the time the first book was written, so much had changed that Dragon Shield was almost entirely revamped aside from the characters, the plot and the theme.

I began the Ian’s Realm Sage to satisfy a need for my grandchildren. I have 9 grandsons and whereas my granddaughters were always reading, the boys were not. I asked them what kind of books they’d like, if they’d like a story about a dragon, and they were excited to be part of the conceptual process. While I painted a 9 ft 3 panel dragon painting, the story evolved.

 

Can we look forward to seeing more of Abbi and Ian’s father?

Yes. The next story is Rubies and Robbers and concludes the trilogy. Book IV is titled Diary of a Conjurer. That book weaves A Tale of the Four Wizards series into the Realm Saga. Book V is Cassandra’s Castle, and we have a couple of cameo appearances in that one. I’m still working on book VI, Abbott, which in the timeline comes somewhere after Diary but before Cassandra. I plan on doing a book VII but it hasn’t been outlined yet.

 

In Deception Peak, Ian learned some tough lessons and it’s one of the things I loved most – the “tough love” approach. Should we expect more from this second installment?

Most definitely, even more so in fact. The closer Ian comes to manhood, the tougher it is on him. He has some pretty hefty lessons to learn.

 

What are your favourite things about Ian? What makes him dear to your heart?

He’s so much like my grandsons. Life isn’t easy even for good people, and we all have flaws in our character. I think growing up, making that transition between child an adult, is the toughest thing people go through. Ian struggles to be a man when he’s still a child. He wants to make the right decisions and yet he stumbles not knowing how. I remember how awkward my coming of age experience was and all the mistakes I made. I feel for him.

 

Other than Ian, do you have a favourite character in Deception Peak?

Amleth. He was fashioned after someone I know, and I combined his traits with of the honor and just temperament of Native Americans I’ve met.

 

Are there any lines from Dragon Shield that stick out in your mind – any favourites, perhaps?

Yes. Aren is the one that says it to Ian. The words cut our hero like a knife. His indecisions and lack of backbone revealed him in a less than desirable light in the eyes of the Kaemperns.

 “Integrity isn’t just something you think about doing. Integrity is who you are.”

 

What is the main message(s) you’d like young readers (and older!) to take from Dragon Shield?

I love the way Shelia Deeth put it in one of her reviews. I’d like to quote if you don’t mind.

“After all, heroes aren’t born, they’re nurtured with wisdom from mistakes, valor from battles, and kindness from pain. Ian learns all these lessons in this book as he steps forward to take his father’s place, and learns there’s a lot more to leading than just saying no to potential followers.”

 

The re-released editions of Deception Peak and Dragon Shield have short stories about four young wizards. First was Silvio’s story and now, Meneka’s. What inspired you to write these stories?

There’s much more to the Realm than what Ian is seeing in his short time there. There’s legend, and these short stories introduce us to the magic, and conflict that is stirring in the Realm. They are doors to future books as well, and some of them hold little nuggets bout Ian’s story that you wouldn’t see otherwise. I am really glad we’re including them with the novels this time. I’d like everyone to have the chance to read them.

 

Speaking of inspiration …what inspired you to write YA fiction and what is it that keeps you coming back?

I love teens. I absolutely love them. I feel they are underrated and misunderstood. Like I said, growing up for me had been harder than any other part of life, and more so because of inner conflict. I’m hoping to shine a light in those dark places for young people.

 

And finally, a really fun question! If you were to write yourself into the story, where would you be and what would you be doing?

I’d be a Kaempern hunting with the guys and living in a yurt, catching the wild steeds from time to time and riding on the beach of Inlet Bay at sunset. 🙂

 

___ 7on fire

“On Fire” – Painting by Dianne Lynn Gardner in “Dragon Shield”

 

More about Dragon Shield

“Integrity isn’t something you do, it’s who you are,” Aren tells the confused Ian in  The Dragon Shield. 

Now a young man, Ian returns to the magical Realm to fight against the tyranny that has befallen his friends. But the Realm is a different place, the forest is dying, the Kaemperns have lost the shield that protected them from the dragon, and Ian has a hard time proving his allegiance when trouble follows him through the portal. His struggle to do right buries him in confusion, and he must fight his own will to prove his integrity. The Ian’s Realm Saga is filled with sorcery, wizards, magic, and fantasy adventure, great for young readers and the entire family.

 

Watch this award-winning trailer on Youtube.

Purchase a copy of Dragon Shield today over at Amazon!

 

 

Excerpt:

“You’re Kaemperns, aren’t you?”

The man didn’t speak, but Ian recognized the clothing and the men’s complexion as that of the Northern tribe.

He eyed Brad burying his head in the sheepskin. I guess we do look pretty suspicious, if not pathetic.

Ian cleared his throat. “I know we appear to be trespassing, but that’s not really the case. You see I’ve been here before. I know some of your people. If Amleth is still your chief, if he’s still around, please give him a message. Tell him Ian has returned.”

Their eyes grew wide, their faces paled and they exchanged glances.

“You recognize my name, then?”

“We’ve heard the name.”

“Well, that’s good. Amleth has too.”

The men proceeded to unarm him.

“Take that to Amleth,” Ian said, as they took his sheath from his belt. His voice was a bit shakier than he would have liked. “Show him my sword. It’s from a different world. He’ll know it’s mine.”

They took his bow off his shoulder and his quiver from his back.

“There’s not a bow around here that looks like that. Amleth will know where it comes from.” Ian watched with remorse as they gathered his things in their arms. But when they unfastened his armor from around his chest, it was all he could do to hold back his rage.

“This is my Dad’s armor,” he protested.

They said nothing as they unfastened the leather ties and pulled the metal chest guard away. He wanted to lash out at them but held back. If he were going to be accepted, he had to remain calm. This was a test, that’s all. They were testing to see if he was a friend.

Everything will be resolved when I talk to Amleth.

With the weaponry in hand, one of his captors knelt over and picked up the shield that lay by Brad’s bed.

“Hey,” Bran protested and jumped to his feet.

“Brad.” Ian said. His eyes stopped the boy.

“But…”

Ian shook his head. The man who held the shield asked. “What’s this?” After inspecting the shield, his comrade turned to Ian.

“You’re free to move about in this camp; eat, make a fire and stay warm. But you are under guard, and if you flee, we will find you. A second chance at leniency will be much harder to achieve.”

Ian nodded. “I have no plans of escaping. This is my destination.”

The men stepped out of the yurt with Ian and Brad’s belongings. When their footsteps could no longer be heard, Brad sat up.

“Let’s go,” he said.

Ian frowned at him. “We’re not going anywhere.”

“Are you crazy? We’re prisoners. We have to escape. That’s what prisoners do. You’ve got the remote. Click it and we’ll be gone. They’ll never find us.”

“What are you thinking? This isn’t a game.” Ian said “Is that what you think? That this is some kind of video game or something?”

Brad’s stare was blank.

“I’m here on a mission. Why you’re here is a puzzle I’ve yet to solve. You came here uninvited. You actually have no business being here.”

“It was an accident.”

“Accident? An accident that you were in my house–touching my things?”

Brad just squinted like he didn’t know what Ian was talking about.

 


 

More about Dianne, Ian’s Realm and her other works!

The Pacific Northwest is my home. After living in the dry desert of Arizona for over 23 years, I tired of always praying for rain, so I decided to come and get it on my own. Gray skies and deep forests give way to the most glorious summers you could ever imagine. Not to mention the abundance of berries, clams, oysters, salmon, fruits of all kinds, to me the Puget Sound area of Washington is the richest place in the world.

I have seven children, all grown. Sixteen grandchildren that need stories written, and so they are my inspiration.

People always find it fascinating that I lived in a mud house for over 13 years, hauling water from the well in a bucket, cooking on a wood stove, planting blue corn in desert washes, and generally living out of the box. Some of these experiences are tapped into my novels.

My website is http://gardnersart.com You’ll find books, audios, artwork and how our movie production is coming along on that site.

 

Deception Peak (Book 1 in the Ian’s Realm Saga) is also available at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FCZ32MG

Other books by Dianne:

Altered, published by MKSP, can be purchased from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Altered-Dianne-Lynn-Gardner-ebook/dp/B00JLLZHNE/ref=la_B0090LIYEO_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397282182&sr=1-2