Introducing Sarya dyr-Rusac, the title character from Sarya's Song:
1. What is your full name? Is there anything significant about your name?
My name is Sarya dyr-Rusac. That just means I'm the daughter of a man named Rusac; I don't have a proper family name.
2. How old are you?
I am 24 years old.
3. Tell us about your family. What do you like and not like about them?
My father was a miner in the Burnt Hills, and I had a mother and several older siblings. I lost my family when I was eight years old, when my father fell into debt and they were sold off as debt-slaves. I was too young to be worth paying for as a worker, so I was left to fend for myself. Sometimes I resent my father for falling into debt and letting our family be destroyed that way, but the way things work in the Burnt Hills mining towns, it's almost impossible to avoid.
4. Who was your first kiss, and what did you think of it?
I would rather not talk about it. I was far too young, and the man involved was no one I care to remember.
5. What is your occupation?
Until recently, I was an Arranger in the musical Service in the city of Sucevita. As an Arranger, I arranged tropes, which are melodies with magical properties, into pleasing musical numbers for rituals such as weddings and coming-of-age ceremonies. Something went terribly wrong with a wedding ritual I Arranged, and I was forced to leave. Now I'm trying to earn my way as a traveling minstrel, but with the bad conditions lately, people everywhere are struggling to get by and there isn't any extra money for traveling musicians.
6. What are your best and worst qualities?
I'm a hard worker, and intelligent, and determined. My worst qualities are that I'm stubborn and sometimes I have a hard time looking beyond my prejudices and pre-conceived notions.
7. What quality do you value most in a romantic partner?
My options in that area are extremely limited, even if I was interested in finding someone. Which I'm not.
But, if it was a possibility, I would like someone who loved music as much as I do and who would respect my independence, and who understood that life is hard for a lot of people and cared about the less-fortunate.
...Well, and I do have to say that I'm partial to auburn hair and baritone voices. For whatever that's worth.
8. What is your favorite thing to do?
Anything having to do with music. Singing, playing my lute, Arranging, writing songs.
9. What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is falling into debt-slavery like happened to my family. I made it out of the Burnt Hills with my freedom, and I would die before I would give it up.
10. What is your most treasured possession?
My lute, and my freedom.
Today I'm pleased to present James John Loftus, who has asked me to host him on the Writing Process Blog Tour:
1) What am I working on?
I am working on a sequel to my debut novel, ‘Celtic Blood’. Celtic Blood is set in early 13th century Scotland and traces the rise of clan MacAedh. The MacAedhs in time became known to us today, as clan MacKay. MacKay is a fairly common Scottish surname with a very illustrious history which few people know anything about.
Bar for an accident of history the MacKays could of ruled Scotland instead of the Margaretson’s. The Margaretsons became the Stuarts, who became … wait for it … Windsors - yes, those Windsors, the English Royal family. An accident of history made one family prestigious another forgotten but back in the day.
My new novel again delves into that heroic age, also a time when the land was wild and a mass of greenery, of forest, and wildlife. I find great spiritual fulfillment in the untamed wilderness, far from the madding crowd, where the Green Man has his kingdom. Both novels have supernatural content dealing with witchcraft. Scotland is the perfect place to depict the dark, the dark of men’s minds, away from the light the demons glare out with red-glowing eyes ready to devour the unwary. Seek not the light and the darkness will find thee, and it does so in my medieval Scottish world.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
It differs, in that it is written by me, like all writers I have my personal writing style and through my life experiences I bring a unique perspective. I am a knowledgeable historian adnd I bring a wealth of historical fact to my writing.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I write many kinds of stories. I also write screenplays and have screenplay writing credit for ‘Underdog’s Tale’, which was a million miles away from ‘Celtic Blood’ Underdog’s Tale is a Ocker (Aussie trailer-park types) comedy, with heart, a love story, where a lovable loser invents a persona to impress a girl and is found out then seeks to redeem himself in her eyes, and all others, remakes himself into a very modern very successful man. No it isn’t autobiographical.
By the way, doing a film was a hoot. The distributer of my film also distributed Adam Sandler’s movies so for a while I moved in exclusive circles and thought I was someone, that lasted about a week.
4) How does your writing process work?
At the moment I am chipping away at my sequel which is pretty casual doing a bit here and there on my days off. My day job is a hospital orderely, which I enjoy no brain work involved so I have energy to engage with the page when I get home.
Celtic Blood is available from Amazon.
Celtic Blood trailer:
Don't miss next week's Writing Process Blog Tour stop!
C.J. Wright: C J Wright has had a fascination with all sorts of horror fiction since childhood, and it has been the driving force of his desire to write. He has published 5 novels so far, with more on the way.
For this weekend's sneak peek, a look into Sarya's Song. Here, Sarya first sees the chained man:
She awoke with a start and found herself – somewhere else. She was still kneeling on a stone floor, but it wasn’t as cold as the floor of the Shrine. The air on her bare arms and feet also felt warmer. Looking around, she realized that she was in a small room about the size of a dormitory room – or a prison cell. The room was dimly lit, and shadows veiled the walls and corners. The cramps in her legs and the sting on her back where the lash had broken her skin seemed very distant.
A sense of presence, of someone waiting and watching, brought her to full alertness. She didn’t feel afraid, though. Instead, a desire filled her to know who was there and what they wanted. Her mind and body strained in eager anticipation as she waited…
“Sarya dyr-Rusac,” a deep, quiet voice said from a dark corner of the room.
Sarya caught her breath at the sound of the voice. It resonated deep within her heart and soul, in places that she had shut away long ago, and stirred feelings that she had tried for years to pretend she didn’t have.
She looked in the direction the voice had come from. The shadows in the corner lifted to reveal a man sitting on the floor. He had long black hair, a pale face that was achingly beautiful yet entirely masculine in its lines, and a lean, firmly muscled body. A complex pattern of curving black lines cascaded over his right shoulder and right breast, and Sarya felt a sudden wild urge to trace her fingers along those lines, to feel the skin of his chest beneath her fingertips.
The light in his corner brightened a bit to reveal the color of his eyes, deep sapphire blue. He appeared to be tall, but his wrists and ankles were bound with short chains attached to an iron ring on the floor, which prevented him from standing up. He met Sarya’s eyes with a gaze that reached as deeply into her as his voice had. He looked at her as though he saw her standing naked before him, with all her thoughts and secrets and yearnings revealed, and desired her.
I'm working hard on the final edits to Sarya's Song, but want to take just a moment to shout-out to all the nice folks who are supporting me this week while I'm the featured author at the Paranormal, Fantasy, Dystopia, and Romance Writers and Reviewers group on Goodreads. Go check them out; maybe you'll find your new favorite author or book!
Antoinette J. Houston
Lisa Marie Gabriel
Catherine L. Vickers
Lyn C. Johanson
Also, one of my favorite book extras - here's the playlist for Sarya's Song. Kind of a variety here, pop to country-ish (as close as I ever get) to symphonic metal. "Another Heart Calls" ("I'll never ask for anyone but you") and "The Golden State" ("You are the hole in my head, I am the pain in your neck, You are the lump in my throat, I am the aching in your heart") are especially good for Sarya and Adan's rather... complicated relationship. "The Story" would be from Sarya's point of view, and this sounds a little like how I imagine her voice. "Sunshine" is how Adan sees her hair, and how he feels when she leaves. "Sleepwalker's Dream" and "Angels" are for Sarya's dreams about the chained man. "Crash and Burn" is Adan's point of view, to Sarya, and "All I Need" is Sarya in the aftermath of everything that happens. Enjoy!
Sarya's Song playlist on Spotify
The Dreamweaver's Journey, by Diana L. Wicker
[I would like to thank Library of Erana and the author for the free copy of this book which I won in the Library of Erana Valentine's Day giveaway.]
The Dreamweaver's Journey is a sweet fantasy for preteens and teens that takes the reader on a tour of a world the author invented for her children. It starts out with two pairs of young sweethearts becoming engaged at a ball. When one of the teens goes missing, the other three go searching for her, and find themselves on an adventure through their magical world where they meet the mythical Guardians and learn more about their own powers.
At first I had trouble with this book until I realized it's written for a much younger audience than the books I usually read are written for. With that perspective, I was better able to enjoy the journey through the world and the gentle lessons (mostly gentle; there's one shocking moment (view spoiler)) our young heroes and heroines learn. There's a framing device where the story is being told by a Storyteller to a group of children, which makes the target age of the book seem much younger. Going by the reviews, some readers enjoy this story around the story, but I found it distracting. The sections that cut away to the Storyteller can be skipped without missing anything important if you prefer to concentrate on the main plot. The novel also includes legends and history, which aren't essential for understanding what's going on, but are fun to read and add interest to the tour of the author's world.
The pleasant writing style invokes a charming, colorful world and is very easy to read. Recommended for readers of all ages who enjoy light YA fantasy.
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Kyra Halland: Welcome to My Worlds is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
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