“Writers end up writing stories--or rather, stories' shadows--and they're grateful if they can, but it is not enough. Nothing the writer can do is ever enough” ~Joy Williams~
Terrific post on making your writing more immediate can be found HERE:
Click HERE to find a good article on fiction mistakes.
Ever wonder about Fair Use rules? HERE is a good discussion.
I am having all kinds of trouble with my fonts and spacing. Sorry about that! Last time I posted, I offered a chance to win a copy of Cynthia Voigt's wonderful new book Mister Max: The Book of Lost Things. Our winner this time is Carl R. Scott. Congratulations, Carl. I will be sending your book this week. If you didn't win, do not despair. Read all the way to the end. I have a special giveaway this week in addition to the Blog Tour Giveaway.
Welcome to the official blog tour for
THE LAST ENCHANTER,
Book II of The Celestine Chronicles,
Book II of The Celestine Chronicles,
a fun-filled fantasy adventure series for middle grade readers!
In Book I, THE ROCK OF IVANORE, enchanter's apprentice Marcus Frye and five other boys set out on a dangerous journey to locate the Rock of Ivanore and bring it back to their village.
In THE LAST ENCHANTER, months have passed since they succeeded in their quest. One of the boys, Kelvin, is living as royalty in Dokur, and Marcus is studying magic with Zyll. When Lord Fredric is murdered and Kelvin becomes king, the Enchanter Zyll and Marcus head for Dokur in hopes of protecting Kelvin from meeting the same fate, though it quickly becomes apparent that none of them are safe, and Marcus has had disturbing visions of Zyll's death. With the help of his old friends Clovis and Bryn, joined by new friend Lael, a feisty girl in search of her mother, Marcus uncovers a powerful secret that will change the course of his life forever.
In addition to THE LAST ENCHANTER being released on OCTOBER 15th in hardback, THE ROCK OF IVANORE is also now available in hardback! Both titles can be purchased at bookstores nationwide and online at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Indiebound. They are available as E-books, too.
To celebrate the release of her newest book, author Laurisa White Reyes is giving away a brand new 16 GB NOOK HD!!! Details on how to enter the giveaway can be found at the end of this post. In the meantime, please enjoy this following excerpt from THE LAST ENCHANTER followed by an interview with the author, Laurisa White Reyes.
EXCERPT from THE LAST ENCHANTER
Marcus waited until he heard Zyll turn the lock in his door before heading back down the corridor. Zyll had told him to do what he thought was best, and that’s exactly what he would do.
He passed several armed sentries, one at every door, as he made his way through the lower level of the Fortress. Kelvin was determined not to let the Agoran rebels get inside again. Maybe Marcus shouldn’t worry about his brother. With all these guards around, Kelvin was far safer than Fredric must have been. Still, he deserved to know how their grandfather died. Secrets had nearly destroyed Marcus and Kelvin’s relationship during their quest eight months ago. There would be no secrets between them ever again.
Marcus didn’t want to go back to the dining room. Kelvin and Jayson were probably still arguing over dinner, and what Marcus had to say was private anyway. He would go instead to Kelvin’s council chambers and wait for him there.
Other than the sentries, the interior of the Fortress was quiet. Most of the servants had already retired to their rooms for the night. Marcus hurried across the vast entry hall toward the east alcove where the offices were located. He had made it halfway when he suddenly had the feeling that he was not alone. He turned and looked behind him, but there was no one beside the guard standing at the Fortress’s main door. The light from several oil lamps left the corners of the room hidden in darkness. Someone could easily conceal himself in one.
This is silly, Marcus thought. I’m letting my mind play tricks on me. Still, he walked the rest of the way as fast as he could without actually running.
The door to Kelvin’s council chambers stood just inside a narrow alcove. To Marcus’s surprise, the sconces on the wall were not lit. The alcove was dark except for a weak glow from the lanterns in the great hall. He had expected to find a guard here, too, but the alcove was empty—or was it?
Near the door to Kelvin’s chambers Marcus saw a large, dark clump of something on the floor. He approached cautiously and touched it with his foot. An arm fell forward, hitting the floor with a dull thump. Marcus stepped back, his breath quickening. The dark clump was a sentry. In the dim light, Marcus couldn’t tell if he was unconscious or dead.
Behind him, Marcus heard the sound of footsteps which stopped abruptly.
“Hello?” Marcus called out hoping it was one of the other guards. “There’s a man here,” he said. “I think he’s hurt!”
When no one replied, Marcus realized once again that his imagination was running away with him. But he did need to find help for the sentry. He was about to leave when he heard a new sound coming from inside the chambers: an unmistakable rattle as if something had fallen and rolled across the floor.
Marcus stepped over the guard’s body and took hold of the door handle. Slowly he turned it, pushing open the door just an inch. Candlelight spilled through the narrow crack into the alcove. Marcus saw now that the sentry’s eyes were open, staring dully up at nothing. He was most certainly dead. And Marcus suspected that whoever was inside the room had done it.
Pushing the door open a little further, Marcus stepped inside. Large tapestries hung floor to ceiling against the walls. Three stories above, the stained glass ceiling looked like a patchwork of black and gray. Charred remains of a log stood cold in the fireplace, though six candles burned in an ornate candelabra beside Kelvin’s desk. On the floor lay an ink bottle, dark liquid trailing from it like a tail. This must be what had made the noise. Marcus bent to pick it up. The glass bottle felt warm to the touch.
The air in the room was chill. So why would the bottle be so warm? Someone must have been holding it, Marcus thought, but who?
As he set the bottle back on the desk, he noticed movement from the corner of his eye. A tapestry fluttered ever so slightly. Marcus’s heart raced. He reached for his knife, but then remembered he had left it in his room for he had thought he was just going to talk to Kelvin. What would he have needed it for? He reached for the tapestry with trembling fingers and jerked it aside, but the only thing behind it was a bare wall.
All of sudden, something heavy hit him from behind. Sharp pain exploded across his shoulders, and Marcus’s face smashed into the wall. He felt drops of hot blood trickle onto his lips. Licking them, he tasted copper, and he wondered if the loud crack he’d heard had been his back breaking or something else. He turned and saw Kelvin’s chair in pieces behind him on the floor. Someone had thrown it at him! He had only a second to think before something else came flying at him, but this time it was a man.
The man yelled. Marcus caught the glint of a blade in his hand just before it came down on him. Marcus twisted away just in time, the blade grating instead against the stone wall. But the man did not stop. He sliced his dagger wildly in every direction. Marcus jumped and slid his way across the room, doing his best avoid the attacks. The man was slender, almost frail-looking, and yet was surprisingly fast and strong. He lunged at Marcus, not with the dagger, but with a set of blood-stained claws extended for the kill. It wasn’t a man at all, Marcus realized. It was an Agoran.
Marcus grabbed the candelabrum. As he swung it in an arc, the candles flew off. Two went out as they hit the floor, but the other four stilled burned, casting long, unnatural shadows onto the tapestries. One lit the corner of a tapestry on fire, the flames soon licking the woven patterns like a hungry snake. The candelabrum hit the attacker with a force that would have knocked most men to their knees, but this one didn’t even flinch. When the Agoran took hold of it, Marcus expected him to yank it out of his hands. Instead he thrust it forward, pushing Marcus off balance. He fell onto his back, sending a fresh tremor of pain through him. A second later, the attacker was on top of Marcus, holding the point of a blade to his throat. Damp tendrils of long, shaggy hair clung to his face. His pupils, narrow like a cat’s, peered at Marcus, recognition slowly dawning. The Agoran and Marcus stared at each other, both remembering the day months earlier when they had first met.
Just then the door to the chamber flew open. A guard rushed in, his sword raised. Behind him came Kelvin and Jayson. The Agoran leapt off of Marcus and crossed the room in half a breath’s time. The guard ran after him, but the Agoran tore the burning tapestry free from the wall and flung it at him. The guard screamed in pain as fire engulfed his uniform. The tapestry dropped to the floor, the flames trapping the Agoran at the back of the room. Marcus managed to roll clear of it, though he felt his skin blistering with the heat and smelled the guard’s scorched flesh.
Jayson ripped the burning fabric from the guard’s body as Kelvin picked up his fallen sword. Kelvin slashed at the tapestry, trying to make a path through the fire. As he broke through, Marcus looked up to see what would happen next, but to his and everyone’s surprise, the Agoran was gone.
INTERVIEW w/ LAURISA WHITE REYES
What books influenced you most when you were growing up?
My favorite series for years was the TRIXIE BELDEN MYSTERIES. I still have the entire set of books in a box in my garage. Some of my other favorites included ROBINSON CRUSOE, OF MICE AND MEN, GONE WITH THE WIND, WUTHERING HEIGHTS and ROOTS. Heavy duty stuff for a kid, I know, but I loved them. Still do. As an adult I learned more about writing from Dan Brown (THE DAVINCI CODE, ANGELS & DEMONS) than anyone else. He is a master of suspense, every chapter a cliffhanger so that you just can’t put his books down. Period. And I love how he weaves multiple points of view together until they all collide at the end. I wish I could write like that.
What gave you the idea for your book series The Celestine Chronicles?
I’ve always enjoyed reading to my kids at night before they go to bed. When my oldest son was about 8 years old, he asked me to make up a story instead of read one. So I told him about an enchanter’s apprentice who botched his spells. Each night my son would tell me what he wanted to hear that night, whether it was dragons, or magic, or sword fighting, and I’d weave it into the story. Eventually I started writing it down. A year later I had a completed manuscript of THE ROCK OF IVANORE. I wrote THE LAST ENCHANTER two years later.
What is your writing day like?
I don't have a typical writing day. As a mom of five kids, I actually have very little time to write. Years ago I used to stay up late at night to write, but I now I try to wake up an hour before the kids do and get a little work done then. On a good day I might write 1,000 words -- the equivalent of about 5 printed pages.
Who are your favorite characters in THE LAST ENCHANTER?
That's a tough question. While I like all the characters (I wouldn't write a character I couldn't like) Lael is new to this book. She wasn't in Book I. Lael is Marcus's age but wasn't included in the original quest because she is a girl. She really proves herself, though. While the boys use swords and bows and arrows, Lael is adept with the sling. Also, Bryn (the Groc who parades around in the form of a little boy) is particularly fond of her. And any friend of Bryn is a friend of mine.
Will there be a book III in The Celestine Chronicles?
Yes. The Seer of the Guilde is tentatively slated for 2015. However, in the meantime, I am working on the parallel series called The Crystal Keeper, which chronicles Jayson's years in exile in Hestoria. Anyone interested in the story of Jayson and Ivanore will want to read it. In the meantime, I hope everyone will enjoy THE LAST ENCHANTER.
Laurisa White Reyes, author of THE LAST ENCHANTER,
is giving away a brand new
is giving away a brand new
16 GB NOOK HD!!!
There are many ways to win:
1) Take a pic of you and your copy of THE LAST ENCHANTER - post it on the web (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, a website, etc.) and email the link to: laurisawhitereyes(at)yahoo(dot)com
2) Follow Laurisa's blog and/or Facebook page
3) Tweet about this giveaway
4) Leave a comment below
The winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter.
To enter the giveaway, fill out the form below.
U.S. residents only, please.
This giveaway will end on November 8th.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
In addition to Laurisa's terrific Blog Tour Giveaway, I will be giving away an ARC of The Last Enchanter as well. If you are a follower and leave a comment on my blog, I will put your name in a drawing for the ARC. If you are not a follow, go to the right-hand column and join up.
Don't forget to check out other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday at Shannon Messenger's wonderful blog you can find by clicking HERE.