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Fellowship of Fantasy Love is in the Air Giveaway

It’s that time of year–Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and love is in the air! So, Fellowship of Fantasy decided to celebrate with a giveaway for all of you! Yep, a giveaway of not only great ebooks, but also a dragon diffuser necklace.

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Who is Fellowship of Fantasy?

Glad you asked. They are a group of totally awesome authors who are indie published and write clean fantasy. Sixty-one authors are listed on the website’s directory. Each of those authors have submitted at least one book, but many have multiples, that has been categorized into rankings–everyone, teens, and adult.  The authors though believe in interaction with their readers and have gathered together to create a book club on Facebook. I’ve explained the book club in a post I did this past summer.

Join the Book Club

Authors in the Giveaway:

 

Those I’ve Read:

H. L. Burke…

…has received high recommendations from my family. My son actually listened to her books before I did. Since then, I’ve read her Nyssa Glass series (what I thought of it and two more of her books) and Spellsmith & Carver trilogy (my take on it).

Tammy Lash…

…was a featured author in the book club last year. I read her book White Wolf and the Ash Princess and fell in love. It’s one of those books that is difficult to put a specific genre on. It’s steampunkish historical fiction with a native folktale thrown in, and it’s free in Kindle Unlimited right now.

Lea Doue

Another book club author is Lea Doue. Her fairy tale retellings have just the right mixture of fun, romance, and adventure to keep you coming back for more (read more). The book she’s giving away ranked in my top books of 2017 as did White Wolf and the Ash Princess.

The Giveaway:

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The diffuser necklace is the same one my son’s girlfriend gave me for Christmas. I use it every day. It’s nice and solid and pretty. So, go check out the giveaway an check out these authors.

Laura Lucking: website

Lea Doue: website

Janelle Leanne Schmidt: website

Tammy Lash: Facebook

Katy Huth Jones: Facebook

H. L. Burke: Facebook

Sarah Ashwood: Facebook

Chris Cymri: Facebook

L. Palmer: Facebook

Enter to Win:

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Book Lists

Lovely Book Giveaways for Valentine’s Day

Tuesday is Valentine’s Day! What better gift than a book, and I’ve got just the help you need. Thanks to Fellowship of Fantasy authors, these books come with a clean for all ages guarantee.

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I Love Dragons

Author Lea Doue, a Fellowship of Fantasy member, has put together a giveaway for the month of February. Whether fire-breathing or water-dwelling, winged or serpentine, dragons capture our imagination and take us to fantastic new worlds. Nineteen dragon writers have gathered together to offer a collection worth sinking your teeth into. We’ve got dragons of all sizes, from friendly to fierce and everything in between.

These books are all up for a giveaway along with a dragon journal. Among them are Dragon’s Heir, some wonderful stories from H. L. Burke, and Dragon Friend by Marc Secchia (often listed among the also-boughts for the Dragon Courage series). I’ve had Ben the Dragonborn on my To-be-read list for the last two years! It’s also one of the books in the giveaway.

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Fellowship of Fantasy’s Valentine’s Day Sale

FoF Valentine Sale-FacebookAs if a giveaway wasn’t enough, the Fellowship of Fantasy authors decided to get together and do a Valentine’s Day sale! Yep, you heard me right. From today through Valentine’s Day, you’ll find great flinch-free fantasy and speculative fiction either for 99 cents or for free.

99 cent books:

Rebirth—Frank B. Luke-Amazon

Seven Deadly Tales—Frank B. Luke-Amazon

The Hidden Level—AJ Bakke-Amazon (A fun story where kids get pulled into a gaming world. Book three of the series has a dragon.)

To Save Two Worlds—AJ Bakke-Amazon (If you love cats, you’ll love this one.)

The Regency Shifter Series—KM Carroll-AmazoniTunesBarnes and Noble

Academy of Secrets—Michael Carney-Author Website

Sunbolt—Intisar Khanani-AmazonBarnes and NobleKobo

Wyndano’s Cloak—A. R. Silverberry AmazonBarnes and Noble

The Stream—A. R. Silverberry –AmazonBarnes and Noble

Rainbird—Rabia Gale-AmazonBarnes and NobleKobo

Reality Break—Jennifer Kibble-Amazon

Battle for the Throne—EJ Willis-Amazon

Nyssa Glass’s Clockwork Christmas—H. L. Burke-Amazon (I loved the one Nyssa Glass I read. I have the rest of the series on my to-be-read list.)

The True Bride and the Shoemaker—L. Palmer-Author WebsiteAmazon

Cry of the Sea—D. G. Driver-Amazon

Foxtails—Erica Laurie-Amazon

Eun Na and the Phantom—Erica Laurie-Amazon

Free books:

The Buick Eight—Frank B. Luke-Amazon

Cora and the Nurse Dragon—H. L. Burke-Amazon (A delightful tale that starts out like a classic horse story and turns into a dragon tale.)

Lands of Ash—H. L. Burke-Amazon

Prince of Alasia—Annie Douglass Lima-Amazon (I need to get this one. I love Annie Douglass Lima’s other speculative fiction series.)

Awakening—Julie C. Gilbert-Amazon

Leandra’s Enchanted Flute—Katy Huth Jones-Amazon

Mercy’s Prince—Katy Huth Jones-Amazon

Woe for a Faerie—B. Brumley-AmazoniTunesBarnes and Noble

Chasing Lady Midnight—C. L. Ragsdale-Amazon

Jin In Time Part One —Karin De Havin-AmazoniTunesBarnes and Noble

Nyssa Glass and the Caper Crisis—H. L. Burke-Amazon

Also be sure to check out the Fellowship of Fantasy Perma-Free Titles: an ever growing library of free to download fantasy titles! These titles are always free to download.

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Charming Academy tells Prince Charming’s story, while Forge takes the reader on an anime style romp through Japan as the hero fights a creature that shouldn’t exist.

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Now that you have a ton of ideas, which book are you getting for your Valentine? Which for your kid? And which for you? I think I’ll pick up Prince Charming and several more. I have a feeling my list will be bigger than my pocket book.

Did Dragons Exist?

4 Fascinating Answers For Did Dragons Really Exist

Dragons. The word evokes different images–from the serpent-like creature of Asia to the winged giant of Europe, from wisdom and wealth bringer to knights battling fierce beasts. Every fantasy lover knows of the creature as do religious people. While fantasy lovers have longed to ride a dragon or have fought an imaginary one in a role-playing game, religious minded people either wish to avoid dragons or seek them for guidance. The question remains, “Did dragons really exist?”

Over the next several months, I’ll explore different aspects of this question. Each month, I’ll have a post exploring in more detail one of the points from today’s blog. Make sure you check back in to find out more information on this need-to-know question.

How do we go about answering a question when there doesn’t seem to be any proof that the creatures exist today? The most obvious answer to that is to look back at history. No, there are no fossil records of dragons per se, but the creatures have left their mark elsewhere.

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Dragons across cultures

It seems as if every single culture has a dragon myth or story. Asia is the most prevalent with the year of the dragon and their New Year celebrations with snake-like dragons weaving their way down streets. Europe, however, took a different twist on dragons. They showcase large winged creatures that breathe fire and hoard gold.

If something exists across cultures, then generally there is a grain of truth in the tale. It’s these cross-cultural connections that often intrigue me. I’ve questioned the theme of a day of the dead style celebration that spans from Mexico, to Taiwan, to England. Dragons span cultural barriers; therefore they represent some grain of truth. Could dragons have really existed? Maybe.

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Dragons in Legends

From King Arthur to Beowolf to St. George and the Dragon legends tell of dragons and people. Just as dragons span cultures, their tales span countries. The website draconika has a list of legends from England, France, Austria, Japan, and others. The Week lists legends from India, Greece, Babylon, Australia, and Peru. However, generally where there are legends, there’s a grain of truth.

What really inspired the story of Daniel killing the dragon god of Babylon or St. George slaying a dragon? Were there creatures that our dragon tales come from? Over the course of the next few months, I’ll explore these and more.

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Dinosaurs: Dragons in disguise?

The fossil records show creatures of varying sizes some with bird-like qualities some without. Kids have been fascinated with them ever since the first skeleton was constructed in New Jersey.  The question remains, could dinosaurs really be dragons?

With their large build, their lizard-like body, and some with the ability to fly, just maybe some dinosaurs were dragons. I’ll delve more deeply into this theory in a couple of months.

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Fire-breathing Dragons

One of the issues that seem to make people think dragons couldn’t have existed is the claim that they blew fire. However, as we’ll explore in more detail later, other animals have many of the traits given to dragons, including fire.

 

 

Are you excited to explore more about the possibility of dragons existing? Every second Monday, I’ll delve deeper into this question. Next month, I’ll look into the Celtic dragons. In the meantime, enjoy a nice dragon ride by reading your favorite dragon fantasy, or explore Dragon’s Future if you haven’t read it already.

Book Lists

3 Exciting Fantasy Anthologies for the Booklover

Three groups of authors have banded together to put together three awesome Fantasy Story Collections, and now we’re bringing them to you with a chance for you to win paperback copies as well as a $30 Amazon Shopping Spree!

Read on to find out more about this anthology and enter the giveaway! 

The Anthologies:

From the Stories of Old

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In this international collection, new life is given to fairy tales, both classic and obscure.
Mythical creatures put the fairy in Fairy Tale. Mermaids, selkies, and ocean guardians experience the best and worst of humanity; sisters encounter an unusually friendly bear; a brave bride meets a silly goose; and a spinner of gold sets the record straight.
Urban fantasies modernize classics: a Frenchman learns the truth about magic, his past, and his girlfriend; a girl sets out to find love but receives a curse; and today’s naughty list makes Old Saint Nick not-so-jolly.
New worlds bring a fresh sense of wonder! In the future, a young woman fights for her people and herself; a bastard son finds acceptance in a world ruled by women; and a farmer’s wits win the heart of a frosty king.
Discover unexpected twists on old favorites, and fall in love with new tales and worlds to explore!

Fantastic Creatures

 
<img="Fantastic Creatures cover">Here be dragons … and selkies and griffins and maybe even a mermaid or two. 


Twenty fantasy authors band together to bring you a collection of thrilling tales and magical monsters. Do you like to slay dragons? Or befriend them? Do you prefer to meet cephalopods as gigantic kraken or adorable tree octopuses?
Each story focuses around a fantastic creature from folklore or mythology, and they range from light and playful tales for the whole family to darker stories that may make you wish to leave the lights on. These stories carry the Fellowship of Fantasy seal of approval. While our monsters may be horrifying, you won’t stumble into graphic sex and constant swearing.
Perfect for the fantasy lover who can’t get enough of mythical beasts.

Steampunk Fairy Tales

 

<img="Steampunk Fairy Tales cover">A toyshop owner builds a set of magic clockwork dolls that delight a factory town. A three-inch tall samurai faces a giant iron ogre with only a sewing needle and a coin. A scientist seeks an antidote to his formula gone wrong, with the help of his partner’s beautiful daughter. All of these stories and more are included in Steampunk Fairy Tales.

Written by authors from three different continents, every enchanting tale combines the futuristic Victorian concept of steam and fashion with memorable stories, from the recognizable “Jack and the Beanstalk”, to other popular and unfamiliar works from Germany, France, Italy and Japan. With steam driven gadgets such as mechanical goggles, hoverboards, and an orchestra of automatons, Steampunk Fairy Tales is a charming and unique collection of works for current lovers of the genre, and those just diving in.


Download Volume One for FREE
Purchase Volume Two for 99 cents!


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The Wonderful Ways a Story Came into the World

I never expected to see this day! You see back in December of 2009 when I began writing Dragon’s Future, the story was just that–a story for my family. In fact, I never thought there would be a full story, let alone five!

The Beginning:

By July, 2010, the last word in Dragon’s Cure had been written. At that point, I sat back amazed. In August, I printed out each one of the stories on an ink jet printer, flipping the pages over to print double sided, and then put them into report folios. I created a cover page and read them to the kids. Then I handed them to a friend. She read through them, handed them to her husband who handed them off to their voracious twelve-year-old son. He in turn gave them back to his parents asking, “Where’s book five?”

Book Five:

Somewhere in the mix of printing, reading, and giving the books to my friends, an idea had formed, and I began writing again. The story-line had moved along where all the new characters had been introduced and all the old characters had been visited at least once, when writer’s block set in. No matter what I tried–re-reading all four previous stories, re-reading what I had written, drawing pictures from the stories–nothing worked. The story sat on my computer until Spring of 2015.

A Turning Point:

At the end of March, 2015, I signed a publishing contract! I sat amazed that Dragon’s Future had managed to make the cut. My friends who read them back in 2010 weren’t surprised. They encouraged me. So, when editing came about, and we discussed how to market multiple books, I asked about putting the first chapter of Dragon’s Heir at the end of Dragon’s Future. When my publisher discovered there were more in the series, they eagerly accepted them. That meant I needed to finish writing book 5. So, back to the computer I went. This time not only was there a boy interested in my books, but a publisher and a deadline of sorts!

With enthusiasm, I jumped back into the world of Dragon Courage. I enjoyed getting to meet my characters again. I asked questions about new characters, took notes about where things needed to go, and then hit that horrid spot–the place where I had always stopped. It got me again. I stopped. Nothing would connect what I knew had to happen with that point in the story. So, I backed up. I hit delete and took out a scene. Another idea came to me, and suddenly, the story flowed again. I had a purpose with the storyline.

The Purpose:

Writing Dragon’s Posterity held challenges. I live in a household of two women and four men. Asking forgiveness and granting forgiveness generally comes easy to me, but I’ve seen my boys struggle with it. To be able to say the words “would you forgive me” is like pulling teeth! I wanted that to be the theme of the book, but I couldn’t understand the struggle of saying those words. I had to get into the mind of my characters and figure out why would it be hard. As the time came at the end of the book, the words flowed. I understood the pride they had to set aside to accept they had done wrong. And so, the book wound down. The last scenes played out.

Next Step:

I sat back surprised and nervous. Would the story flow or would everyone be able to tell where I had stumbled? Did I still have the same story-telling ability that my publisher had enjoyed in book one? I didn’t know. This summer as Dragon’s Cure went live, I sent Dragon’s Posterity out to beta readers. The first had never read the series before. She came in strictly new. Her input was invaluable! I will ever be indebted to her wisdom. After adjusting the story, I sent it to a another beta reader. This one was a fan of the series. However, she’s honest. Up until that point, Dragon’s Revenge was her favorite book. She returned Dragon’s Posterity with the words of encouragement that it was her favorite of the series!

Today, I have the privilege of presenting to you, Dragon’s Posterity, book 5 in the Dragon Courage series. It is now live on Amazon in kindle format. Nook and iTunes will go live on Friday. May you enjoy it as much as my beta readers, and may your dragon fly true!

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Absolutely Amazing Fantasy Book Cover and Giveaway

I am so excited! I have the  privilege of sharing with you the cover to my latest book in the Dragon Courage series! It’s probably one of my favorite covers. Since this is book five and has many of the characters from the rest of the series, plus some new ones, I had better introduce you to them.

Characters of Dragon Courage

Ruskya was first introduced in book 1. He’s the blond, skinny, shy guy that gains the courage to fight the Turquoise dragon rider, Kyanos. Wyeth is his small dragon. Both Ruskya and Wyeth are often taken for granted due to their size. People underestimate them. They both have learned how to take advantage of their stature and find ways to make up for their disadvantages.

Ardyn was born in the epilogue of Dragon’s Future. He’s the little boy in book two that pesters Braidyn to let him go visit Cerulean and Duskya. In book three, he insists in understanding the ways of the El’shad’n. Now, he’s grown up. He’s not out on his own, but he’s discovered he loves braiding leather and making art. Unfortunately, his dad doesn’t see it as art but as defying tradition. Ardyn and Ruskya fight over the littlest things. Ruskya says it best:

“The areas I find the hardest to accept in me are the areas that I pick at Ardyn the most.”

Kyn, once Ruskya’s youngling, has grown up in Three Spans Canyon. He has kept his ties with his own family, the merchant in Woolpren. Aislin’s blessing continues to make Kyn the frithwyn, or peace friend. He seeks peace wherever he goes. Seeing his former trainer at odds with his oldest son hurts. Can a strange dream be the way to mend the rift between father and son?

Blurb for Dragon’s Posterity

Is there really a right way to braid leather? Ruskya doesn’t know anymore. Is it worth fighting over? Twenty-one winters ago, he was ready to take on the turquoise dragon rider, but now he fears facing his oldest son.

Kyn, Ruskya’s youngling, wonders if he’s going crazy when an image begins haunting his dreams. Soon, he realizes it may be the key to helping not only Ruskya and his son Ardyn, but all younglings and their trainers as they adjust to growing up.

Will Kyn be able to help Ruskya, Ardyn, and the other young riders? Follow your favorite characters from the exciting Dragon Courage series as they empower the next generation and give dragons to their posterity.

Giveaway for cover reveal

With this cover reveal, I’m giving away a complete eBook set of the Dragons Courage series, a purple dragon pin, and another dragon rider book, Elodia’s Dragon. All you have to do is enter here. You can enter at least once a day until Sunday, December 4. I’ll notify the winner a week from today.

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Dragon’s Posterity Cover

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Book Lists

Fantastic Creatures Anthology Release and Scavenger Hunt

Today, I’m hosting a blog from Intisar Khanani. She is one of twenty authors to join together to create Fantastic Creatures (Fellowship of Fantasy Book 1). The book is full of short stories. You can read about my story, Reviving the Sword, and grab a coloring book of dragons by following the scavenger hunt. Intisar will share about her story, Seekers, and has a giveaway as well. Collect the clue for the scavenger hunt to enter the grand prize giveaway.


<img="bride at the sea">I’ve always found the idea of a “bride from the sea” deeply disturbing. You know that bit of myth—the sailor or fisherman sees a pretty lady splashing about and steals her little fur coat, and now she can’t return to the water. She’s in his power, so yay! He scores a wife. I’m not sure whose fantasy that is, but it sure isn’t mine. It sounds like slavery to me, and I’ve never liked stories that glamorize that kind of thing.

But those stories still abound in folk lore, and so I think about them. I think about them from the woman’s perspective, what it would be like to be married to a man who stole your freedom, your identity. And what if he wasn’t all that awful of a person—what if he was my worst nightmare? A relatively decent person who just doesn’t see the wrong in what they’re doing? Or sees it, and perhaps regrets it, but just lets that slip by because life is comfortable as is? I mean, you’ve got a wife and maybe a kid, and maybe you shouldn’t have done that thing, but it’s okay, really. We’re one happy family now, aren’t we?

Seekers is about one such family. It’s a story of things that shouldn’t have been done, and love that isn’t enough. It’s a story of unraveling. And, strangely enough, it’s also a story of learning to seek for what your heart most needs.

 Mini-Giveaway

 Today, I’m excited to share my fantasy novella, Sunbolt, with you! Here’s the blurb:

<img=” width=”297″ height=”475″ />The winding streets and narrow alleys of Karolene hide many secrets, and Hitomi is one of them. Orphaned at a young age, Hitomi has learned to hide her magical aptitude and who her parents really were. Most of all, she must conceal her role in the Shadow League, an underground movement working to undermine the powerful and corrupt Arch Mage Wilhelm Blackflame.

When the League gets word that Blackflame intends to detain—and execute—a leading political family, Hitomi volunteers to help the family escape. But there are more secrets at play than Hitomi’s, and much worse fates than execution. When Hitomi finds herself captured along with her charges, it will take everything she can summon to escape with her life.

Download your free copy today!


Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. She has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. To find out more about her writings, visit her website or sign up for her monthly author newsletter.<img="tile with #7 on it">

What it’s all about

fantastic-creatures-coverHere be dragons … and selkies and griffins and maybe even a mermaid or two.

Twenty fantasy authors band together to bring you a collection of thrilling tales and magical monsters. Do you like to slay dragons? Or befriend them? Do you prefer to meet cephalopods as gigantic kraken or adorable tree octopuses?

Each story focuses around a fantastic creature from folklore or mythology, and they range from light and playful tales for the whole family to darker stories that may make you wish to leave the lights on. These stories carry the Fellowship of Fantasy seal of approval. While our monsters may be horrifying, you won’t stumble into graphic sex and constant swearing.

Perfect for the fantasy lover who can’t get enough of mythical beasts.

Available at these retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo

 

Scavenger Hunt Stops

Be sure to check out all the other stops to get all the clues to the giveaway and pick up special prizes along the way.

Kandi J. Wyatt

A. R. Silverberry

Bokerah Brumley

H. L. Burke

Lea Doué

Morgan Smith

Jessica L. Elliott

Caren Rich

Julie C. Gilbert

Nicole Zoltack

D. G. Driver

Intisar Khanani

Scavenger Hunt Giveaway

img=<"win a Kindle Fire">

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What is the Danger of Dark Fantasy and Halloween?

 

What is Dark Fantasy?

It appears my definition of dark fantasy and dark fantasy as a genre are two separate things. According to Alan Baxter, author of RealmShift and MageSign, “a work is dark fantasy if it deals with any elements of fantasy and/or the paranormal in a way that studies the dark and frightening side of our nature, psychology and the weird, sublime and uncanny.” Whereas, I would describe any fantasy that deals with dark magic in a positive light, gives an oppressive feeling, or where evil is uplifted and good is put down as dark fantasy. In both definitions, there may be a supernatural or paranormal subject, but in mine the story follows the traditional tropes of fantasy.

In my definition of dark fantasy, Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series falls into dark fantasy because it elevates dark magic and left me feeling oppressed. To a degree D J MacHale’s Pendragon series and J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series slid toward darker themes by the final books. In both of these the main character flirted with joining the evil antagonist or at least using his strategies.

Is all dark fantasy bad?

An occassional bag of potato chips won’t hurt a person, but a steady diet of them will lead to obesity. For someone with high cholesterol, a bag of potato chips could be a threat to his or her health. The same is true of dark fantasy. An occasional book of dark fantasy won’t hurt, but a steady diet could lead to problems. For others, even one book could be quite detrimental.

What are the dangers?

Paranormal

One of the main dangers I see in dark fantasy is the element of the paranormal. Dark fantasy, whether as the genre specific definition or my definition, deals with dark magic or spirits. If these were confined to a book, that may be one thing and not such a bad thing, but these are real dangers in the real world.

In my freshman and sophomore year of high school, our youth group accepted a young lady into its midst. She had made a profession of faith, and none of us had reason to doubt her decision. However, her background came back to haunt us. Quite literally! She had been part of a coven or some organization that dealt with Satan worship. I can remember vividly being at summer camp and watching as another smaller but much stronger friend stood beside this young lady and held her hand. Suddenly, our weak girl was capable of overpowering the stronger one. Palpable fear filled the room. It wasn’t until the stronger girl began singing a song about the power of Jesus that the young lady calmed down. I will never forget how I felt at that moment.

When we elevate and talk about the demon realm in a way that exalts it and gives them more power than God, then we are bringing glory to them and not to the One who is all powerful. We refocus our perspective, and in so doing we forget that God is bigger than anyone or anything.

Fear

Another thing that dark fantasy feeds off is fear. It instills fear into even the strongest of us. We see that we are smaller than what we think which in and of itself sometimes isn’t bad. However, when we focus on fear, we allow it to control us.

For years, I couldn’t look in a mirror in the dark due to fear. Where did that come from? A silly ghost story at a sleepover as a teenager. We began talking about the supernatural. We shared stories we had experienced. One person shared that if you turn around three times in a dark room and look in a mirror you’ll see a demon. Whether or not it is true, I believed it. Fear held me in bondage. When I was 36 we moved into a new home where large mirrors covered the walls of the master bathroom. I wondered if I would even be able to use the restroom at night because of my unreasonable fear of mirrors. Thankfully, God freed me from that fear.

Many times as a teen and on into my adult years, I experienced heartstopping fear. My favorite weapon against fear was to quote a Bible verse. 1 Timothy chapter 1 verse 7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (KJV)

Depression

The focus on fear can be detrimental to someone struggling with depression. The dark and psychological side of things can be just what a depressed person would need to tip him or her over the edge. Some may argue with me, but I know what you feed your mind is what you will eventually believe. Living in fear, breeds depression. I’ve been there. I lived in fear–fear of narrow hallways and restrooms, fear of being alone at night, and fear of the supernatural. These fears finally built up to create a depression that lasted for several months before the truth of God’s Word set me free.

The focus of dark fantasy to glorify dark magic and the evil antagonist over the light and the good antagonist can feed depression as well. In depression, you don’t reason correctly. You are believing the lies that nothing can ever get better and there is no way out. If you read dark fantasy in a state like this, it will only confirm those lies. There may be a thrill of life and excitement while reading it, but afterward, you fall back into the shadows of fear and depression as you come back to the real world.

How does Halloween fit into the picture?

Halloween as most people know it, is just a time to dress up, eat candy, and have fun. However, for others it’s a time to focus on the paranormal and fear aspects. Unlike most holidays, this one has an underlying history of glorifying the paranormal. Whether we wish to believe it or not, there is a segment of society that still celebrate Halloween in the way it originally was intended in a ritualistic way.

Even the group of people who have fun at Halloween and want nothing to do with it’s darker side often enjoys the scary side of the celebration. Our local library advertised its ability to supply Halloween merry-makers with scary stories and movies. Just like in dark fantasy’s glorification of fear, this focus on fear can cause problems. Even in safe environments and alternatives, young children can be shocked. I remember my four-year-old talking about the harvest carnival for weeks on end before the 31st of October. He was so excited to go around to the various games and get candy. However, when the night arrived, he spent the majority of the time with me hiding in a well-lit room until my mom could take him home. Why? Because a teenager wore a mask that totally freaked my son out. My mom understood his feelings all to well. As a young child she was scared when someone looked in their living room window on Halloween night wearing a mask. It wasn’t until she was in her sixties that she could be in a room with the curtains open at night.

How do we deal with dark fantasy and Halloween?

So, do we throw out dark fantasy and Halloween? Should we never read or celebrate either of them? Not necessarily. As I hinted at earlier, there are good series that wind toward the darker side of humanity. As parents we can use these to help our kids see the reality of the struggle to do what is right. We can also guide our children in seeing even good people make bad decisions. Does it mean they were right? No. Does it mean they will always do bad? No.
As for Halloween, we participate in our church’s Halloween alternative. Only recently have we allowed our kids to dress up for that event. We still have them dress in a way that does not focus on the paranormal or the scary. I have used the heightened awareness of fear, death, and dying during this time, to ask people if they know where they will spend eternity. I’ve also used the example of the jack-o-lantern. On the outside it looks good, but when we open up the pumpkin, we see the goo inside. The pumpkin can’t take the goo out, only the person can. Then once it’s cleaned out, we cut holes in it and put in a light. This is the same with our lives. We may look all put together on the outside, but inwardly, we have all gone against God’s law of perfection. We can’t live up to it. We can’t clean up our lives on our own. It takes asking God to forgive us and clean us up. Then he comes and changes our heart’s desire. He also will carve out the imperfections. It’s not fun and it
hurts, but in the end, it enables His light–the love of Jesus–to shine through us.

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Book Lists, Uncategorized

5 Great Reads for Fall

It’s been awhile since I did a book list. I’ve not done a ton of reading lately, but I thought with fall approaching and kids in school, maybe we needed some ideas of books to read. Some of these will be old favorites, others will be new, and one will not be released until Oct 10th.

Old Favorites

The Godsland series by Brian Rathbone

godslandwebheaderI’ve featured this series before. It’s well worth the read. A clean, epic fantasy which often is hard to find. The story of Catlin is just a normal farm girl who must go to school in town and endure the bullies; that is until the bullies decide to pick on her friend. When she wakes up, she finds she’s won the fight and majorly wounded the bully. This catalyst sets her and her friends on a journey to save their homeland from an even bigger threat. You can get the first book free on Brian Rathbone’s website. The series is good for everyone from 8 to 108. You may have to read it to an eight-year-old, though.

Saga of Recluce series by L. E. Modesitt, Jr

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With fall coming, I’m often drawn to Recluce where white or chaos and black or order magicians clash and where food is abundant and mouthwatering. The world of Recluce sends out potential mages who can’t abide by the rulers into Gandar to find their way. Each story builds the world history. Each character is unforgettable and multifacetted. And did I say food? Yes, the descriptions of burhka a spicy meat dish served with piping hot bread or the cheese, wine, sausage, and bread platters make me want to bake bread and sit beside a fire and enjoy it. The series is for older readers teenage and above.

 

 

New Books

The Beat on Ruby’s Street by Jenna Zark

<img="The Beat on Ruby's Street">I may have mentioned this book before, but it’s still fairly new. It has been republished since June. I’m currently reading it to my 6th and 7th grade English Language Arts class. The kids are loving it, even though we only get a page or two a day.

Ruby’s an outgoing, young teen that just wants to go meet the famous poet who’ll perform at The Scene. However, Tatoo Tina messes up those plans when she accusses Ruby of stealing some fruit from the cart outside the store. When children’s services step into the scene, Ruby’s life is turned upside down. Her courage and ingenuity earn her friends and give young readers someone to look up to. Adults will enjoy learning about or reliving the Beat Generation all in a fun story with depth that will stir the heart to tears. You can learn more about it on Jenna Zark’s website.

 

Dragon’s Cure by Kandi J Wyatt

dragons-cure-review-wonderful-adventure

I usually don’t add my own books to these lists, but if this is a list of books I’m reading or have read, then Dragon’s Cure needs to be on it. I read Dragon’s Cure repeatedly this summer as it went through editing and then proofreading. Yes, it’s book 4 of the series, but my proofreader was introduced to the series via this book and had no problem reading it without having read the others.

This is a book that is a little darker and tells a story of the emotional struggle to survive abuse. Serena’s decisions in trying to stay in control lead her from bad to safe to okay to worse than bad. It’s a cautionary tale for ages twelve and up.

 

New on October 10

Tyrants and Traitors by Joshua McHenry Miller

<img="Tyrants and Traitors">This book is a great read. It won’t be completely available until October 10, but that’s less than a month away. In the meantime, you can read the first chapter on the author’s website.

If you’re looking for the traditional Sunday School story of David the shepherd boy, this book isn’t for you. But, if you want a very believable spiritual struggle of a young teen thrust into a role he didn’t ask for, then go grab Tyrants and Traitors. To add to the mix, you’ll have laughs and a delightful story of shinanegans and tight spots. This is a read for the whole family.

 

 

Uncategorized

It’s a Book Birth!

<img="Dragon's Cure cover">

I’ve waited for Dragon’s Cure to have a wider audience for ten years now. I originally wrote it at the request of my daughter, Dawnya. She wanted a story with Duskya in it. At the same time, Dawnya was fourteen years old and beginning to be interested in boys. I wanted to give her a story that would impact her thought processes and yet not preach at her or be Mom telling her what to do.

The story unfolded with the idea of a dragon rider who didn’t want to be a rider. My husband is good at asking “What if” questions. He asked what would happen if a dragon chose a rider, but the rider walked off. That inquiry created Serena, the rider who didn’t want to be a rider. To give her a realistic reason for not wanting to be a rider, I had to give her a backstory. A trust issue seemed to be the easiest. Knowing from experience that many adult survivors of childhood abuse show characteristics of needing to be in control, I chose this as the basis for Serena’s trust problem. Along with abuse often comes the problem of bitterness. I know I struggled with holding bitterness in my heart.

The two stories intertwine to create my personal favorite of the Dragon Courage series. Duskya’s daughter, Carryn, learns about growing up; while Serena struggles to find people she can trust.

Serena heads out on her own, escaping an abusive relationship, the last thing she expected was to hear voices…from a dragon.

Today, Dragon’s Cure is available. The Kindle version is on sale for $1.99 until Saturday. After that, it will be $2.99. Join me in welcoming the newest addition to the Dragon Courage series.