Blog Archives

Literary Losers – Interview with a Villain

You may remember the review I wrote on Nathan Lumbatis’ spectacular new book, Daniel and the Sun Sword. Well, today I feel very privileged to be featuring a video interview between Nathan and the antagonist of his exciting story. You’ll really want to see this . . . it made me smile 🙂

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Thirteen-year-old Daniel is about to be adopted. But when he learns his new family wants him as a slave, he runs away with the help of his new daniel and the sun swordneighbors, the naïve and cowardly Ben, and Raylin, a mysterious girl with a shady past.

He begins to second-guess his decision when the cave they hide in transports them to the ruins of Machu Picchu, where they find themselves embroiled in a battle between ancient gods of Life and Death. To top things off, the God of Life draws Daniel into the fray by adopting him as his son and setting him on a quest to complete a broken, mystical sword, a task that will pit him against the god of the underworld.

Now, Daniel and his friends have just one weekend to find the shards before a hoard of supernatural enemies catch up. But that’s not all they face. A trap has been set that even Daniel wouldn’t expect, and he just took the bait.

Will the power of his Heavenly Father be enough to save them?

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INTERVIEW WITH A VILLAIN

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PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR HERE

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Where Shadows Lie: An Interview with Tialla Rising

whereshadowslietour

Today I’m chatting with the super-talented author, Tialla Rising, about her new release, Where Shadows Lie. For any of you who have read the first of the series, Holding the Future Hostage, you’ll definitely want to pick up this exciting, long-awaited sequel!

Check out the rest of the blog tour stops at this link. And don’t forget to enter into the awesome giveaway!!

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This book is a sequel. How is it different from the first book in genre, theme, stakes, etc.?

I like to think that other than the main characters being the same, my books are completely different. The genre for Where Shadows Lie is Christian suspense, whereas the genre for my first book (Holding the Future Hostage) is Sci-Fi/Action-adventure. Therefore, while the non-stop action is consistent throughout both books, the setting and stakes are completely different. I made everything for Where Shadows Lie as realistic as I possibly could, while my first book definitely has a sci-fi twist.

Can you name something interesting about your main character which only YOU know about, which wasn’t mentioned in the book itself?

Shawn finds that he can relax and de-stress best when lifting weights or running. I can’t remember if I actually mentioned this in the book or not, but if I did, it was brief.

Describe two of your main characters in 3 words each.

Shawn: Determined, stubborn, conflicted.
Virginia: Optimistic, stubborn, loyal.

Was writing a sequel more or less difficult than writing the first book? Why?

Definitely more difficult. I believe it was much more difficult because of the realism, research, and balance this book required. My first book didn’t need as much realism or balance for the story to work, but they were a must for Where Shadows Lie. This resulted in numerous revisions and lots of red notes from my proofreaders, haha!

What’s in store next? How far will this series go, or will you begin a brand new project?

Honestly, I’m not sure. I do have an idea for a third book with these characters, but I’m not certain whether I’ll write it next or not. I didn’t plan on this becoming a series, but it might be nice to make it into a trilogy. I also have ideas for a children’s book and other novels. At this moment, I’m taking a few months’ break from writing, though I’m sure I won’t be able to stay away for long.

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His dark past haunts him. His new life taunts him.

where shadows lie coverAfter twenty years in the gangs and a hefty prison sentence, an early release gives Shawn the opportunity to turn his life around.

But that isn’t so easy when gangs are involved.

Only a year into his fresh start, the gang catches on and makes Shawn’s life miserable. After all, once a gang member, always a gang member. His very blood belongs to them.

Threats become promises. Whispers become actions. Words become bullets. He must fight – not only for his life, but to save his honor, prove his integrity, and protect the woman he loves.

An ember of hope glows in the darkness, strengthening his resolve. Will her support and his determination be enough to dispel the shadows of his past?

A story of discovery and faith, love and perseverance.

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Tialla Rising is a Christian young woman living with her family in the mountains of Arizona. She loves to write and will passionately spend hours long into the night developing her stories. Like most writers, Tialla fills her spare time with reading from her favorite fantasy and mystery genres. A good book, a stormy day, and an iced coffee comprise her favorite moments.
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Daniel and the Sun Sword

I had the privilege of reading and reviewing this great book before its official release. You’ll find my review below, but first I’d like to show you some other fun stuff . . . such as the awesome cover art and the spectacular book trailer!

Note: Barnes and Noble and Amazon both say that the official release date for Daniel and the Sun Sword is November 3. But don’t let that fool you. The book will be available as of July, and if you pre-order the paperback now you’ll get your copy by the end of July or early August.

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daniel and the sun sword

Thirteen-year-old Daniel is about to be adopted. But when he learns his new family wants him as a slave, he runs away with the help of his new neighbors, the naïve and cowardly Ben, and Raylin, a mysterious girl with a shady past.

He begins to second-guess his decision when the cave they hide in transports them to the ruins of Machu Picchu, where they find themselves embroiled in a battle between ancient gods of Life and Death. To top things off, the God of Life draws Daniel into the fray by adopting him as his son and setting him on a quest to complete a broken, mystical sword, a task that will pit him against the god of the underworld.

Now, Daniel and his friends have just one weekend to find the shards before a hoard of supernatural enemies catch up. But that’s not all they face. A trap has been set that even Daniel wouldn’t expect, and he just took the bait.

Will the power of his Heavenly Father be enough to save them?

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MY REVIEW

Looking for a brave, spunky hero and a refreshing, meaningful adventure? Look no further. Formidable enemies, engaging characters, and a heartfelt and powerful message. Daniel and the Sun Sword has it all.

At first glance this story put me in mind of the Percy Jackson series (which, by the way, is a very good thing!). It has a rapid pace, loads of action and adventure, and a young male protagonist who has to take on a world of dangerous and deadly gods and demons. But this book does something Percy Jackson never did. It goes deeper. It has lasting meaning. It gives hope. And that makes all the difference.

Daniel is a relatable and realistic protagonist. I felt connected to him from the start. He is an orphan who feels that he controls nothing in his own life. He has no sense of his own importance or purpose. But when danger literally comes creeping to his doorstep, he has to start making decisions fast. He has to choose between remaining the same and growing, between cowardice and bravery. Daniel begins a journey that forces him to not only be brave in body, but courageous of heart.

The secondary characters were all extremely fun to read, too, with personalities that set each of them apart. From quirky Ben, to doubtful Raylin, to the disgusting Gurges, to quietly strong Gabriela – I enjoyed watching them all play their parts in the greater scheme of the story, and I hope to see more of them in future books (well, perhaps not the Gurges…*shudder*). The gods, monsters and other creatures were written with descriptions that truly brought them to life. Even when reading about the most evil of creatures, I had to smile in admiration at lines like this one: “The voice was deep and horrible, like the very foundations of the earth were grinding together to make speech.” The author has a great way with imagery and metaphors.

In short, this book is full of all the things tween boys love: action, adventure, danger, and monsters. Yet at its core, this story is an allegory. Its meaning is deep and true. We are all born orphans, just like Daniel, but we have the awesome choice to become a part of the greatest family that ever was, with the greatest Father who ever lived. I was blown away by the smooth combination of both the physical and spiritual elements woven together in this story.

Daniel and the Sun Sword is the type of book I’ve hoped to see for a long time, for all the boys out there like my own son who long to read about adventures and heroes, but need to understand that their hope does not come from themselves, but from Someone higher. This book is a powerful testimony to that truth. I recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone between the ages of 10 and 110! I loved it from start to finish.

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Find Nathan here:

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COVER REVEAL: Where Shadows Lie by Tialla Rising

Check out the book cover and trailer reveal for Tialla Rising’s upcoming release, Where Shadows Lie, and continue below to enter the giveaway! 
 
Release date: June 2015Synopsis via Goodreads:

His dark past haunts him. His new life taunts him.
 
After twenty years in the gangs and a hefty prison sentence, an early release gives Shawn the opportunity to turn his life around.
 
But that isn’t so easy when gangs are involved.
 
Only a year into his fresh start, the gang catches on and makes Shawn’s life miserable. After all, once a gang member, always a gang member. His very blood belongs to them.
 
Threats become promises. Whispers become actions. Words become bullets. He must fight – not only for his life, but to save his honor, prove his integrity, and protect the woman he loves.
 
An ember of hope glows in the darkness, strengthening his resolve. Will her support and his determination be enough to dispel the shadows of his past?
 
A story of discovery and faith, love and perseverance.

BOOK TRAILER
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tialla Rising is a Christian young woman living with her family in the mountains of Arizona. She loves to write and will passionately spend hours long into the night developing her stories. Like most writers, Tialla fills her spare time with reading from her favorite fantasy and mystery genres. A good book, a stormy day, and an iced coffee comprise her favorite moments.


www.therubyvial.com 

facebook.com/authortiallarising

Falcon Heart: A Medieval Fantasy

Old grunge paper.A strange dagger…

Adventure beyond fear…

Slavers seize Kyrin Cieri from the coast of medieval Britain and sail for Araby. With a dagger from her murdered mother’s hand, an exiled warrior from the East, and a peasant girl, Kyrin finds mystery, martial skill, and friendship closer than blood.

The falcon dagger pursues her through tiger-haunted dreams, love, and war in the Araby sands. Kyrin is caught by the caliph’s court intrigue and faces the blade that took her mother. One thing can give her the will to overcome, justice against hate, dagger against sword.

Murder, sacrifice, vengeance…compassion and the art of war.

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“Every once in a while you come across an author with a voice so distinctive, you could recognize it anywhere. Azalea Dabill has her own unique, lyrical style that draws you into the story and lets you experience it through all the senses.” -K. McKee (taken from Amazon)

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Author - AzaleaAzalea Dabill grew up in the California hills, building forts in the oaks. She remembers the fuzzy-sweet smell of acorns and moss, fields of lupines and poppies, the clear song of crickets. Home-schooled, she read fantasy and adventure to her siblings. Now she enjoys growing things, old bookstores, and hiking the wild.

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I’m Saying “No”

I say no to letting my precious gift of a life slip by while I drown in an electronic, anti-social, busy world.

I say no to not making decisions, or letting others make them for me, thus making the worst decision of all.

I say no to ignoring the friends who are near and needing me.

I say no to fearing freedom and clinging to slavery like a coward.

freedigitalphotos.net

freedigitalphotos.net

I say no to complaining and bickering about the dirt I tread on, when God has given me gems enough to light the world.

I say no to listening to Satan’s lies, which keep me from spreading God’s love more fully.

I say no to being offended for my own sake, because in the end that’s only selfishness anyway.

I say no to the laziness and indecision that keep me from coming fully alive and awake, as I was meant to be.

I say no to the mentality that big moments are what we live for, when the small ones are the rich fabric my life has been made of thus far.

I say no to seeing only with my eyes, when God has given my heart the ability to see His Kingdom all around me every day.

I say no to waiting for someone to show love and attention to me before I give it in return.

I say no to demanding fairness for myself in relationships and in life.

I say no to walking timidly and with fear, when God has given me the wonderful, beautiful heart of a lion.

And I say yesyes to God alone, and the joy and the life and the purpose He has for me.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)

A Love Letter – Out of Darkness Rising

OODR Blog Tour Header

This is a guest post by Gillian Bronte Adams.

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Brevity may not be my strength, but if you were to ask me to describe Out of Darkness Rising in only a few words, I would say that at its heart, it is a love letter.

To whom, you ask?

I suppose it could be written to everyone who believed in me when I scarce believed in myself. Publishing this book has taken me along such strange and twisting paths that I was tempted to throw up my hands and admit defeat more than once.

Just as “Frodo wouldn’t have got far without Sam,” I wouldn’t have “got far” without my stalwart companions encouraging me along each step of the way.

It could be written to writing itself, a wild compilation of all the things I love about fantasy and fairytales.

It could even be written to you.

If you are anything like me, you can easily lose yourself in a storyworld for hours at a time. Far too frequently when I was growing up, my younger siblings would get frustrated when they tried to talk to me because once my nose was buried in a book, I would smile and nod but not hear a word they were saying.

Reading my own books is a bit different. Once the final edit has been finished and the final proof completed, there is no element of surprise left in the story for its writer. I have planned the action down the second, dreamed up the dialogue in my own noggin, tweaked each word to sound “just so,” and have the plot fixed as firmly as a road map before my eyes.

Every now and then, there remains a battle scene that sets my blood pumping, a section of prose that makes me sigh in contentment, or a piece of witty banter that brings a chuckle to my lips. I can still shed a tear or two over the death of this character or the sorrow of that one over there.

But I am rarely deeply stirred by the things I write after the initial writing, simply because I wrote them.

Not so with Out of Darkness Rising.

Even now, six years after the imagining and four major rewrites later, something about this novella still manages to grip me by the throat and sink its teeth into my heart.

Perhaps because there is so much of me written into this novella. So much of my hopes and fears, my struggles, my doubts, my dreams.

This book grew from the wild imaginings of a girl who dreamed an impossible dream. It was tempered by a girl who faced theOODR Front Cover difficulties of impossibility, set her teeth against the challenges, and braved her fears to see success … only to watch that success shatter in her hands. It was made anew by a girl who had learned enough to know she had so much more to learn.

It was edited in pain and handed to you now with the air of a knight returning from battle with the enemy’s standard in hand.

And yet, this book was not written for you.

It was not even written for me.

It was written as a love letter to my Savior.

In Out of Darkness Rising, you catch a glimpse—only a glimpse, mind you—of my heart. For I am Hadriel, wild to be free. And I am Marya, too ashamed to stand. Like Hadriel, I have marched out boldly on a course of my own choosing … only to find myself bound by chains of my own making. Like Marya, I have cried out into the storm and the night that I am abandoned, not knowing and not caring that it is I who have wandered.

Like the villagers, I have stood upon the Stone and felt the heat of the Serpent’s breath, and when my craven knees could not bear me up, I have knelt in shame, only to have my head lifted by the One who bore my pain.

By my Redeemer.

Though Out of Darkness Rising was not written to you, it was written for you and me and all of the Maryas, Hadriels, Maddrells, and Bjorns in this world. It is my hope that it will serve as a reminder of who you are, where you have come from, and what the Lord has done for you. That it may rekindle your first love and awaken in you a hope everlasting.

And that the final words will set your heart to throbbing and pounding, overcome with a wild desire to stand upon the shores of the Kingdom, and to know that it is not the end, just the beginning.

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Gillian Bronte AdamsGILLIAN BRONTE ADAMS is a sword-wielding, horse-riding, coffee-loving speculative fiction author from the great state of Texas. During the day, she manages the equestrian program at a youth camp. But at night, she kicks off her boots and spurs, pulls out her trusty laptop, and transforms into a novelist. She is the author of Orphan’s Song, book one of the Songkeeper Chronicles, and Out of Darkness Rising. Visit Gillian online at her blog, Twitter, or Facebook page.

Books Are Dangerous

beware of book

Books can be bliss. Books can be a wonderful escape. Books can be deadly dangerous.

I’m not sure about you, but I’m addicted to books. I know of many people who are afflicted by this madness as well. It’s not really curable, and I’ve never been quite clear on whether that’s because it’s impossible, or just the fact that people simply don’t want to be cured of it.

Books have blessed me with countless hours of laughter, happiness, heart-thumping excitement and soul-wrenching sorrow. They have given me what I consider to be some of the richest times of enjoyment in my life.

So why are they so dangerous?

For someone like me who is immersed in books, it is easy to lose your way. The characters within them can become more real than the people in your life. The adventures in them can make your own life dull in comparison. The satisfaction of happy endings can distort your real-life expectations.

Don’t get me wrong. Books offer us much. New worlds, ideas, emotions and thoughts. The epic romance, the love at first sight, the evil that is always punished, the bad guy who is always caught, the ending that is always happy. I don’t blame you for wanting that. I want that. And it’s not something we’ll find very often, if at all, outside the covers of a book.

And this is where the danger lies.

Books teach us to expect these things. Books teach us not to settle, not to give in, until we have found these things. They promise that things like true love and happy endings are always attainable, if we could only find the right person, if we were only in the right circumstance, if we were only …. If only …. If ….

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. (2 Cor 10:3-5)

You see, our war is within. It’s a subtle one—you can’t hear it raging, most times. But it’s there. And our own thoughts will turn against us if we books2don’t take them captive, bend them to our own will.

If I get annoyed with my husband because he doesn’t give me the deep and mysterious affection that Mr. Rochester gave Jane Eyre, or because he doesn’t change for me as Mr. Darcy did for Elizabeth, that’s no one’s fault but my own. It’s wrong for me to have those thoughts, the thoughts that books put into my head, the ones that I allow to control my expectations of real-life people.

Admit it, it’s a little bit funny, isn’t it? To know that a book can change the invisible pathways of my mind? To know that I want my husband to be just a bit more like Mr. Rochester? To admit that my life frustrates me and makes me want to cry like a child who hasn’t got her way when things don’t go right?

I think Satan must think it’s funny, too, watching as I’m separated from God’s plan for me. Watching as I grow bitter with life and friends and the people I’m supposed to be showing God’s love, all because I want someone to sweep me off my feet, or because my life is not the adventure I’d like it to be, or because I must watch as someone I’m close to suffers an ending that is anything but happy.

Books. Are they right or wrong to teach us these things? Right or wrong to make us long for … more?

Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flows the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23)

Books. Dangerous or not? Do they lead us to neglect the springs of life from our own hearts, and make us instead focus our eyes on the imaginary, the unattainable?

No.

Books, when all is said and done, don’t control your mind. Media doesn’t control you mind. Your mother, your father, your spouse, your friends—they don’t control it either. Only you, and only God. And even God will not force His way in unless you invite Him. So it’s your choice, then. Just as God intended.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)

Trust in the Lord … that’s the key, isn’t it? Keep your eyes on Him. Read books, enjoy books, love books … but keep your eyes on God and His Kingdom.

This world isn’t likely to offer you the epic romances you read about. It’s certainly not going to solve every crime and punish every criminal. And ask anyone … happily-ever-afters are but a myth.

We live in a world of sin and darkness.

But God is not vanquished by sin, and His light is not to be put out. What we look for in books and fail to find in real life—we may find in Him.

God gives us the fullest, most all-consuming love. He pursues us with relentless passion and gentle steadfastness. Isn’t that just what any true romantic longs for in the end?

God is the ultimate judge. Bad guys go free on earth too many times. But don’t believe for a moment that means their sins will go unpunished.

God is the creator of mystery, and therefore the solver of it. We should revel in His creation, even the mysteries of it, and look forward to one day having Him explain them to us.

Lastly, God is the maker of happy endings. Some of them do happen here on earth—some of them even rival the best books we’ve ever read. But nothing compares to the Final Happy Ending that we as Christians have to look forward to. Not a single book on earth can hold a candle to that.

All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read, which goes on forever, in which every chapter is better than the one before. (C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle)

This world is not our home. It is not where we belong. Books tell us of other worlds—let us not forget the one we are in, nor the one we are going to. Books give us happiness—let us not forget where our eternal happiness lies. Books tell us of adventures and heroes—let us not forget that the life God gave us is the greatest adventure of all, and that the only hero we need is our Savior, the maker of the truest Happy Ending.

Interview with Author Tialla Rising

Tialla Rising is the charming authoress of Holding the Future Hostage, a Christian action/adventure with a sci-fi twist … does that sound exciting or what?!  She is currently working on its sequel, Where Shadows Lie.

Hope you enjoy getting to know her better! I know I have!

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Tialla, welcome to Finding the True Fairy Tale! It’s an honor to have you by for a chat! First of all, could you tell us a bit about yourself? Hobbies, history, family, eye color … shoe size 😉

Hi, Ashlee!  Thanks for having me.  Well, first and foremost, I’m a born-again Christian, and I strive to honor the Lord with the stories I write.  I published my debut novel in 2012, graduated high school in 2013, and I’m *hoping* to publish my second novel autumn of 2014.  I live in the mountains of Arizona with my family (yes, mountains – where we have seventy degree weather in the summer and OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAsnow in the winter).

Aside from writing, I’m also a Marketing Representative for the website LetsHomeschoolHighSchool.com.  In my spare time, I work on my books, read and review novels, and – when I’m completely exhausted and just cannot work any longer – I provide job-security for Netflix.

I have green eyes, I’m 5’3” and I wear a women’s 7 ½ shoe size. 😉  I have a huge weakness for shoes, earrings, and summer dresses.  One strange fact about me: I always have to feel busy – and if I’m not crazy busy, I feel lazy.  I’ve burned myself out from this multiple times in the past year, but I just can’t break the habit.

If your present phase of life was a book, what genre would it be told in, and what would its title be?

Oh, this is tricky.  I suppose it would be in the Christian Fiction genre (nothing so exciting as action or drama), and I think the title would simply be, “Choices.”  I know that’s fairly vague, but…it fits.  At this point in time, I am confronted with essential choices regarding every aspect of my life.

I’ve wanted to be a writer for a long time – as long as I can remember, in fact, except for a short period where it was a toss-up between a carpenter and a ballerina… 🙂 What is the first thing you remember aspiring to as a young child? Was it being a writer – or something different altogether?

I didn’t even consider writing my own stories until I was eleven, so being a writer certainly wasn’t always on my list.  For the longest time, I wanted to be a veterinarian.  My parents even purchased multiple veterinarian computer games for me – which I adored.  I eventually grew out of that phase, though.  I think seeing the suffering animals is what did it for me – I love them too much to witness so many hurting and injured creatures.

Holding the Future Hostage (Tialla Rising)Your books, titled Holding the Future Hostage and Where Shadows Lie, sound fascinating! Are they part of a series, or standalones? Can you tell us a little about how your ideas for them came about and/or evolved?

Thank you!  I will more than likely end up making a trilogy out of these books – maybe even four books.  HTFH can definitely be standalone; however, WSL is a sequel.  I have been marketing it as a standalone as well, but after hearing back from one of my proofreaders, I’ve decided readers would understand it better if they read HTFH beforehand.  Fun fact: my third book *may* end up as a prequel.

The ideas for HTFH truly came as I wrote.  I didn’t outline anything, and I honestly had no idea what I was doing when I wrote the first draft (thank the LORD for revisions!).  I was only running on inspiration from a single photograph of a large rock formation, which I titled, “The Stone Megalith.”  I imagined a girl swimming in the water nearby, and everything grew from there.

My inspiration for WSL was much different.  Shawn was the second character to make an appearance in HTFH, and from that first moment, something about him attracted me.  In fact, I took a whole week away from editing HTFH to fill notebooks with “who Shawn is,” “where he comes from,” “why he is the way he is,” and so on.  He absolutely intrigued and fascinated me – I just had to tell his story.  However, HTFH wasn’t the place.  Once it was published, though, I knew without a doubt that my next book would tell Shawn’s story.  And that’s how Where Shadows Lie was born. 🙂

If you had to describe Shawn, your most recent main character, in just three words, what would they be?

Conflicted. Loyal. Determined.

When a reader closes the last page of your latest book, Where Shadows Lie, what message or feeling do you hope they will walk away with?

The message truly has several dimensions.

I would like for readers to know that no matter where they come from, and no matter how dark their past may be, God’s strength is powerful enough to lift the shadows – and also that even though God’s power is sufficient, it still takes work.  We have to *want* it – enough to not let anything stop us, even ourselves.  After all, if God is on our side, who can stand against us?

I also pray that readers come away with the feeling that even if they are drowning in the darkness, as long as they are pursuing God’s will, there is always a thread of hope.

I’ve made phone calls to strangers, I’ve done Google searches on grisly, embarrassing or disturbing things … all in the name of writing! Do you have a story about a crazy or quirky thing you’ve done to further your writing or creativity?

Ahh, what we do to add to the realism. 🙂

I suppose one of the more disturbing things I’ve done is when I asked my Dad about the very intricate process of how someone might go about extracting money from a stranger’s bank account without arousing suspicion (my father is a former police officer).

I’ve also contacted complete strangers in India to tell me about daily life there, as well as ask all my friends what qualifies a person as a “cool bad guy,” and if they could give any examples.  And LOTS of rather grisly Google searches (like, “can someone survive a stomach knife wound” and “how to assemble a shaped-charge car bomb”).

We writers have undoubtedly captured the government’s attention.

I won’t ask that dreaded question: “what’s your favorite book?”!!  But I would like to know if you could name three books (any genre or type) that you think everyone in the world would benefit from reading…

(The Bible is a given.)

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.  This is one of my absolute favorite books, and I do think everyone needs to read it.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.  This book is just so intense on so many levels…I really believe it’s a necessary read.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe.  This classic was incredibly hard to get through, but it has impacted me more than any other book, and I feel like it’s a story everyone needs to know.

Lastly, would you mind sharing a short excerpt from one of your books with us?

Sure!  Here is a bit of dialogue from my work-in-progress, Where Shadows Lie.

***

It wasn’t until we were nearly three blocks away that I realized what had happened.  I froze mid-step.  “Did he say trained killer?”

A smug expression crossed Jackson’s face.  “I was wondering when that would dawn on you.  You’re not actually going to take him up on that, are you?  Hiring an assassin seems a little…dramatic.”

I started walking again, and looked down, watching my feet.  I wasn’t sure what to think.  It did sound dramatic but…compared to everything Max had done to us, was it really such a bad idea?  No…well, if I didn’t get caught, that is.  I would not go back to jail.  Then again…I had decided to do everything to avoid prison because I didn’t want to lose Ginny.  I lost her anyway, so what was holding me back?  Get the guy off my back, serve time if I got caught, then get on with the rest of my life.

A hand on my shoulder stopped me.  I glanced up at Jackson; his eyes burned with determination.  “No matter how many enemies you eliminate, Shawn, there will always be someone ready to take his place.  Be careful what you choose.”

***

Thanks for having me, Ashlee!  This was so much fun.

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Tialla Rising Author Pic

Tialla Rising is a Christian young woman living with her family in the mountains of Arizona. She loves to write and will work long into the night developing her stories. Like most writers, Tialla spends her spare time reading. A good book, a stormy day, and an iced coffee comprise her favorite moments.

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Falling Into the Book

book portalIn books, characters can stumble into other worlds in many different ways. Sometimes it’s as simple as walking through a door or crossing a bridge. Other times it’s as unexpected as the door of a musty old wardrobe, falling down a rabbit hole, or flying out your window toward the second star on the right, straight on ‘til morning …

But those are fictional portals leading to fictional worlds.

Growing up I discovered a real-life portal.

A book.

Any book. Every book. Each one takes you to a different place. Each one has something different to show you, something new to reveal. It’s a never-ending adventure, a book. A rousing and irresistible adventure.

Is it any wonder that I grew up daydreaming how it would feel to fall straight into a book? Does it come as a surprise that my own debut novel features just such a theme?

Posy, my main character, is a 15-year-old girl who is much like I used to be at that age. Lacking in confidence, the child of a broken  home, older than her years in some ways, and younger than them in other ways. In short, she is made up of the perfect ingredients to find a sanctuary in books. An escape from the world around her.

But books, as we know, can take us places. Books can draw us in, and then both excite and wound us in the worst and best of ways. And the fairy tale Posy wanders into takes her to a world in turmoil. The very characters themselves are threatening to rebel against their Plot. They have forgotten who their Author wrote them to be … they have forgotten their Author altogether, in fact.magic book

That’s a recipe for trouble. And Posy’s journey is a long and difficult one.

As I wrote the book, I had to ask myself some questions:

What would happen if you actually stepped into a book and met its characters?

Would those characters be aware that they were characters following a Plot that controlled their every word and move?

Would they be capable of making their own decisions or – as in The Word Changers – actually rebelling against their Author?

As much as I’ve always dreamed of literally getting lost in a book, what would it truly be like, and how would I react? In other words, what would be the dark side of such a fantasy …?

That’s what I asked myself. And that’s how The Word Changers began, in part.

A lot of answers came from those questions as I began to write this tale. Some of them were surprising. Some were exciting. Some were mysterious. To find out what those answers were, and how Posy’s story unfolds, read The Word Changers for yourself!

But let me ask you now, how would you answer those questions? If you were dropped into a book, stumbled through its pages and straight into its story, how would you feel? What would you do? … Would your actions send waves across the Plot, changing the story’s very words?

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Don’t forget to click below and enter the giveaway going on this week. I’m giving away a signed paperback of The Word Changers, and a crocheted owl made by – you guessed it – me!

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