“Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.” ― Voltaire

Posts tagged ‘Fantasy’

Lady Dragon, Tela Du blog tour post #1: Author Interview: Kendra E. Ardnek

Today I’m celebrating the release of a friend’s newest novel–Kendra E. Ardnek’s Lady Dragon, Tela Du. We’ve got some info about her books, and then an interview with the author herself!

Lady Dragon, Tela Du cover

 

Book Description: 

Lady Dragon Tela Du poem
Amber, the Lady Dragon, has been promised a fifty-year reign over Rizkaland and nothing can stop her from claiming it. But when you’ve lived six thousand years, fifty is such a pitiful number. Only one person can keep her from making this reign permanent – the Tela Du, a girl who shall share Amber’s face.

The last thing Petra wants is a magical world interrupting her plans for a normal life, let alone an ultimate battle against the Lady Dragon with only one prophesied survivor. She has her childhood best friend, Reuben, at her side, but she’s not sure if he’s more of a help or a hindrance right now. Though she’d much prefer to just return home and forget about this whole crazy affair, things change when she discovers that the world has surprising connections to her own family – including her sister who disappeared without a trace two years before. Still, Rizkaland can’t possibly expect her to risk her very life, can it?

 

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Water Princess, Fire Prince will be free for the first five days of the tour (October 19-23).

Available on Amazon

 

And now for the interview! Please join me in welcoming Ms. Kendra E. Ardnek!

Hello Kendra! Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi! I’m the Arista, a girl who travels through worlds with the purpose of collecting stories and sharing them with the people of my own world. I’m also a certified dragon tamer.

What is your dream for your books? Do you want to become world famous?
I want everyone to read and love my books. If I become world famous in the process, that’d be awesome.

Would you like any of your books to be made into a movie? If so, who would you want involved in the making (actors, director, producer, etc.)?
I’m very interested in my books being adapted into movies. LDTD actually began life as a play and has three complete scripts somewhere in my desk. I have some cousins who are looking at getting into the film industry and we have discussed them adapting my first book, Sew, it’s a Quest. As for actors, I’m not terribly picky at the moment, though I’d like to play Petra and Amber myself.

Sounds cool! What have you found to be most difficult about writing?
Actually getting words onto the paper. I can come up with ideas all day long, and editing is fun, but first drafts are the bane of my existence.

What are your other hobbies/passions?
I dabble in a lot of things. Writing is my big passion, but I have an on-off relationship with knitting, crochet, and some other crafts. I’m kinda into gaming. Mostly RPGs, match-3’s, and hidden object adventures. I occasionally delude myself into thinking that I can draw. But writing’s the big one.

What are you currently reading?
I am currently glaring at my kindle because, despite having hundreds of books, none of them are what I want to read. It’s a mite bit frustrating. I was reading a good book, but then it proved to be a sample, and I was disappointed.

That’s terribly disappointing! Hopefully you’ll find something good! Is there a little-known fact about you or your books that you’d like to share with us?
I believe I’ve mentioned that Reuben is what we would have named my baby sister if she’d been born a boy, but I actually didn’t name the character for her (and, actually, I named him before she was born, and it was still a possibility that I’d get a baby brother named Reuben). My baby sister was named for my Grandmother, who had always wanted a son named Reuben, and so when I was thinking up names for the new love interests that I had created for the Rizkaland cast, naming the eldest of the brothers “Reuben” was a given. In fact, while I think we had settled on Joseph for the middle name for my potential sibling, I chose instead to give Reuben the middle name that my grandmother had picked out – Matthew, for the first book of the Bible.

Thanks for joining me, Kendra! Everyone, go check out this lovely lady!
We’ll be back on the 25th with a character interview!

 

Kendra A. Ardnek

Author Bio:
Kendra E. Ardnek is a homeschool graduate who picked up a pen at an early age and never put it down. The eldest of four, she makes her home in the Piney Woods of East Texas with her parents, younger siblings, giant herd of giraffes, and honor guard of nutcrackers.

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Official Website

 

Check out the other stops on the tour!

Lady Dragon, Tela Du blog tour

Book Spotlight: A Star-Reckoner’s Lot

A Star-Reckoner's Lot cover

 

Blurb

For some, loss merely deprives. For others, it consumes.

Ashtadukht is a star-reckoner. The worst there’s ever been. Witness her treacherous journey through Iranian legends and ancient history.

Only a brave few storytellers still relate cautionary glimpses into the life of Ashtadukht, a woman who commanded the might of the constellations—if only just, and often unpredictably. They’ll stir the imagination with tales of her path to retribution. How, fraught with bereavement and a dogged illness, she criss-crossed Sassanian Iran in pursuit of creatures now believed mythical. Then, in hushed tones, what she wrought on that path.

 

Praise for A Star-Reckoner’s Lot

 

“I think it has a few excellent twists that will leave every reader surprised. Personally, having read fantasy for more than 20 years, I welcomed what sets this book apart from typical fantasy” – Author Daniel E. Olesen

 

“Without a doubt, A Star-Reckoner’s Lot is a perfect read for fans of combat and adventure. The fight scenes are realistic, and the surprises Ashtandukht meets on her way would satisfy every adventure’s enthusiast.” – Patrisya M.

 

Excerpt

Ashtadukht was waiting patiently, one hand fiddling with her sleeve while she watched the exchange from afar. She felt relieved to no longer hoard anger like some sort of philosophical dragon despoiling hamlets and bringing home rage and fury to pad its halls. But she also felt like she’d been a dragon. It’s one thing to punish a person; it’s an entirely different affair to punish a person you care for.

She put on a stern face and folded her arms when they approached, careful to keep her doubts to herself. “Well?”

“Waray says there is a city nearby,” said Tirdad.

“Oh?” Ashtadukht turned a pointedly unsympathetic stare on the half-div. “Seems like a lie.”

“Already asserted your dominance,” Waray grumbled, averting her gaze. “Don’t have to be mean.”

“There aren’t any cities nearby,” Ashtadukht rebuffed. “Not being gullible isn’t the same as being mean.” Still, Waray was right: she’d made her point, and anything further was needless cruelty.

She softened her delivery considerably and decided to indulge the half-div. “So explain how you supposedly happened upon a city all the way out here?”

“The stars?” Waray ventured uncertainly. She canted her head and smacked her lips, which were tinged with blood. “Maybe. There was this šo-miffed bird. It was pecking me, and I was trying to talk things out. Civilly, I think. Had no business being home when it was anyway. Should’ve been out.”

“Waray,” said Ashtadukht. “Get to the point.”

“. . .”

“Waray.”

“I won.”

“And the city?”

“Oh, I found that šo-cheery place yesterday.” Waray shivered. “Felt like—wait. Not that. Šo-eerie. That. The walls were too long. Like they wanted to stop growing but the taskmaster wouldn’t have it. They kept going, and I couldn’t, I couldn’t—” She flexed her hands. “I couldn’t catch up. Everything just kept increasing, and it was too much. Like trying to snatch the air all at once when you can’t even get a fistful. It was too much.”

While neither cousin realized she was describing an anxiety attack, they did get the vague idea from her body language and pitch that the half-div had been genuinely unsettled by whatever she’d come across, city or no city.

“Where’s this place?” asked Ashtadukht.

“Around.”

“Take us there.”

“Maybe not?” Waray asked hopefully. “Maybe somewhere nice?”

“Your fault,” said Tirdad, all too familiar with what would happen next. “You should not have stirred her curiosity. Just do as she says.”

Waray surrendered with the type of defeated sigh a guide would give when well-meaning but plainly stupid adventurers insist on visiting the trap-ridden tombs of The One Most Slithered, or some other vengeful deity. “You’ll be chopped in half,” she warned, and plodded away.

She conducted them around the foot of the ridge they’d been following and into a clearing that was decidedly not a city. She came to a halt as abruptly as if she’d walked into a wall. “But.”

“Is this your city?” asked Tirdad.

Waray shook her head, at an utter loss for words.

“The Rostam Inscription,” Ashtadukht observed somewhat icily. She had a feeling Waray was up to something. “Well, inscriptions. Yeah, it’s a necropolis, but it isn’t very city-like. I thought we were farther away.”

Unlike Ashtadukht, who had visited this site twice already, and wouldn’t have appreciated it at this point in her life regardless, Tirdad awed at the monument.

Four giant inset crosses had been carved into the rock face by an empire that predated his by centuries unknown—and obscured in the time since; nevertheless, an empire that had surely laid the groundwork for the age-old nation he served. So impressive were the carvings that they appeared to Tirdad as if they’d been pressed into the stone by the stamp seal of Ohrmazd himself, which had applied embossed rock reliefs depicting kings of yore, and an entrance to a tomb too high for men to reach where those very kings were laid to rest.

Below those reliefs were more recent carvings, contemporary inscriptions that portrayed the investiture of Kings of Kings and their entourage. Some displayed triumphs over foreign powers, while others stressed the right to rule as sanctified by various divinities.

He strolled over to the rock face and ran his fingers admiringly over the nearest such relief.

“It’s all too horizontal,” Waray pondered aloud. She cocked her head and leaned to the side. “Too horizontal.”

Ashtadukht was in the process of asking what exactly Waray was getting at when the half-div swept her arm at an angle to designate what she believed to be the correct alignment, and in doing so sheared the rock relief as if her scrutiny were slicing through fabric.

The entire ridge fell away and heaped like a discarded dress around the foot of a vast wall that stretched to either side as far as the eye could see. Only patches of gypsum plaster remained, exposing the baked bricks at the core of the wall to the elements—where the bricks hadn’t left vacancies. In short, it was in disrepair.

Instead of the straight-facing gate used in many cities, the fortifications from one side reached around the other to create a funnel where invading forces could be neatly channeled into a lane. Ashtadukht nodded to herself. She wasn’t particularly military-minded, but living with a prominent general had imparted some small appreciation for these things.

“Told you so,” Waray said uneasily. She lowered her voice to a whisper and turned away from her victory. “Told you so.”

“What just happened?” asked Tirdad.

“If I were to venture a guess, Waray dispersed a powerful illusion with a mere wave of her hand,” Ashtadukht replied. “Every bit as impressive as it sounds.”

“And the Rostam Inscription?” Tirdad asked almost mournfully.

“Probably safe and sound. My initial reaction was that we’d lost our bearings, but the real thing should be farther out.”

“Good,” said Tirdad, thick with relief. “Good. Makes you wonder how many people have stumbled upon this pretender and thought they were standing in front of a national monument.”

Waray leered at the two of them, annoyed by how easily they’d written off her word, and were now going on like she hadn’t been right all along.

“There’s a šo-welcoming city here,” she hissed, though she was now beginning to wish she had been wrong. Something about her first visit had unsettled her greatly: something that was strumming her mind at this very moment. She tried to put it into words, and it came out as a muttered, “Welcoming.”

She frowned. She had not fumbled the word, yet it was nevertheless off-putting. As far as she was concerned, cities should not be welcoming. They should not wave you in. And they most definitely should not strum. “The wall,” she rambled. “Like a line of šo-desperate cheese. ‘Come in, come in,’ it’s saying. ‘Take a load off. Have a drink. The rams are out and rutting, but they’ll be back for dinner. You’ll stay, won’t you?’ And there’s a clap of horns in the distance. And the cheese is peering at you like a šo-lonely wheel. But you have to go because you’ve got a thing tomorrow. A thing. That’s what you say.”

Waray gave a brisk nod, certain she’d gotten the point across in clear terms.

Ashtadukht paid her no heed. She’d toned the half-div out the instant she’d started talking from the perspective of a wall.

“Let’s investigate,” she said.

 

A Star-Reckoner’s Lot releases on October 2nd, 2016.

Grab it now on: Amazon | Kobo

 

About the Author

Darrel DrakeDarrell Drake has published four books, with A Star-Reckoner’s Lot being the latest. He often finds himself inspired by his research to take on new hobbies. Birdwatching, archery, stargazing, and a heightened interest in history have all become a welcome part of his life thanks to this habit.

 

Get in touch on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Reddit, and Goodreads.

Exciting News

I’m alive!!
In case any of you were worried, I’m not dead or captured or otherwise in grave danger. Nope. I’ve just been doing other things. Writing, mostly. And that leads me to the exciting news I have to share with you guys.

I must scream it to the world, my excitement from the top of someplace very high!

I must scream it to the world, my excitement from the top of someplace very high!

I finished the first draft of Something More! It only came to 64,000 words, which is quite a bit less than I had been planning. I already know of several scenes that I will be adding in the second draft, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to bump the word count up. I’ve been working on this draft for about three years, so it is a huge relief to have it finished! I’m looking forward to editing, and starting book two with great excitement! 😀

Before that, however, I will be working on a few short stories: One is a submission for an anthology that I’d like to be included in, and the other two are just little shorts that I’ll be sharing with you on my blog. 🙂

And finally, my last bit of news is that I am starting college next week! This is an exciting (and slightly terrifying) new experience for me, so your prayers would be appreciated. And if I’m MIA for a while, you’ll know why (and hopefully pray harder 😉 ).

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Reviews: Trading Knives and What Is Needed, by P.H. Solomon

I recently read two prequel short stories by P.H. Solomon, and since I haven’t posted in a while, I’m sharing both those reviews tonight.

 

Trading Knives: Prequel Short Story #1 to The Bow of Hart SagaTrading Knives: Prequel Short Story #1 to The Bow of Hart Saga by P.H. Solomon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I greatly enjoyed Trading Knives, a short story prequel to The Bow of Destiny. There are a few typos, but not enough to detract from the story. It’s fast-paced and well-written, revealing just enough to make me want to know more. I look forward to reading the rest of this series.

 

What Is NeededWhat Is Needed by P.H. Solomon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found What is Needed to be a well-written and quite interesting short story. Although there are a few typos, they do not distract too much from the flow of the plot. I was especially fascinated by the Withlings and I look forward to reading more about their Order in The Bow of Destiny. I felt connected to the three main characters – hopefully they will make an appearance in future books of the Bow of Hart Saga. Although I did not find this story quite as intriguing as Trading Knives, it was quite interesting, and I look forward to continuing with this series.

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Adela’s Curse blog tour & Interview

I had the privilege of helping out with the cover reveal for Claire Banschbach’s newest book, Adela’s Curse, last month, and here I am again, with an interview with Claire, celebrating its release. There’s also an awesome giveaway, so stay tuned! (You can find the complete blog tour schedule here.)

* * * * *

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a twenty-three year old graduate student, currently working on a degree in physical therapy. I’m a native west Texan and a former homeschool graduate. I love to read and write and watch superhero shows in my spare time.

What is your favorite genre to read? To write?

I love reading fantasy, but I also really enjoy historical fiction particularly that set in the Medieval era. I love to write fantasy!

When did you start writing? What inspired you to write your first book?

I started my first book when I was about seventeen years old. I’d had the story in my head for years and finally decided to try and write it! The story itself was inspired by a deep and abiding love of Narnia and LOTR.

How did you come up with the titles for your books?

My first two books (The Rise of Aredor and The Wildcat of Braeton) were pretty easy to name. RoA is named after what basically happens in the book, and WoB is named after the main character. Adela’s Curse was a bit harder. It was originally just titled A Faery Tale, and I went back and forth on a few different variations before I settled on the current title. Recently though, I’ve had the hardest time coming up with titles! ​

Who is your favorite author? Favorite book?

Brian Jaques is one of my favorite authors of all time. Favorite book is called Shadow Hawk by Andre Norton. It’s an adventure book set in Ancient Egypt. I read it probably once a year.

Looks fascinating! Which author would you most like to meet in person (living or dead)?

G.K. Chesterton. I’d probably clam up and be really shy at first, but hopefully I’d work up the courage to ask a few questions. J Or any of the cool author friends I’ve connected with online.

What are you currently reading?

Speaking of cool author friends, I’m reading Vastian Lore by Steph Gregory. I’ve gotten the chance to work with her on a collaborative website and she’s also helping out with this blog tour!

What is your current WIP?

I have two right now! One is the second in the Faeries of Myrnius series, and I’m having a lot of fun with it. Plot – a prince gets turned into a wolf and he and his brother have to figure out how to change him back. The second is currently titled The Mountain Baron. Basic Plot – a disgraced member of a highland clan is called home to rescue his brother who has been captured by a usurping lord.

Random preference questions:
     Morning or night? Morning.
     Moon or stars? Moon.
     Favorite food? Pizza.
     Favorite movie? Gladiator.
     Favorite genre of:
          Movie? Action/adventure
          Music? Country. But I also listen to a lot of instrumental soundtrack music.

Soundtracks are the best! Is there a little known fact about you or your books that you’d like to share with us?

It’s kind of random, but all my books have horses in them! Even if it is just a passing reference. J

Thank you for having me, Lena!

Thanks for joining me!! This was a lot of fun! 

* * * * *

Now go check out the rest of the tour, and support Claire! You can read more about her and her newest book, and checkout the giveaway below!!

Giveaway!
3 winners! Prizes include 2 copies of Adela’s Curse, and a paperback version of The Rise of Aredor to celebrate its 2 year anniversary on March 11! Open to international entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

imageAbout the Author:
Claire Banschbach was born and raised in Midland, TX, the fourth of eight children. She was homeschooled through high school and is now a proud member of the Texas A&M University class of 2014. She is currently working on her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Texas Tech University Health Science Center. She continues to write in her spare time (and often when she doesn’t have spare time). She hopes her strong foundation in God will help to guide her writing.

Contact Info:
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Adela's Curse coverAbout the Book:
A curse. A murderous scheme. A choice.
A witch and her master capture a young faery and command her to kill their enemy. Adela has no choice but to obey. If she does not, they will force the location of her people’s mountain home from her and kill her. To make matters even worse, the person she is to kill is only a man struggling to save his dying land and mend a broken heart.
Count Stefan is a man simply trying to forget the woman he loves and save a land crippled by drought. When a mysterious woman arrives at his castle claiming to be a seamstress, he knows she is more than she seems.
Adela enlists the help of Damian, another faery, to try and delay the inevitable. He insists she has a choice. But with the witch controlling her every move, does she?

Add to Goodreads

Adela’s Curse cover reveal

I’m here today with a cover reveal for Claire Banschbach’s newest novel, Adela’s Curse.

A witch and her master capture a young faery and command her to kill their enemy. Adela has no choice but to obey. If she does not, they will force the location of her people’s mountain home from her and kill her. To make matters even worse, the person she is to kill is only a man struggling to save his dying land and mend a broken heart.
Count Stefan is a man simply trying to forget the woman he loves and save a land crippled by drought. When a mysterious woman arrives at his castle claiming to be a seamstress, he knows she is more than she seems.
Adela enlists the help of Damian, another faery, to try and delay the inevitable. He insists she has a choice. But with the witch controlling her every move, does she?

image

Add to Goodreads

imageClaire Banschbach was born and raised in Midland, TX, the fourth of eight children. She was homeschooled through high school and is now a proud member of the Texas A&M University class of 2014. She is currently working on her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Texas Tech University Health Science Center. She continues to write in her spare time (and often when she doesn’t have spare time). She hopes her strong foundation in God will help to guide her writing.

Contact Info:
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Blog

Guest Post by Zac Tyson

Today, I have a very special treat for you, for a very special reason. My lovely writerly friend, Zac, is launching his blog today! By way of celebrating (and getting the word out, because, he’s freaking awesome!), I have invited him to write a very special guest post for us, about his work-in-progress, These The Restorers. (Isn’t that a beautiful title? I’m in love with it! ❤ )
Before I lose all my dignity by openly fangirling, I’m going to turn it over to you, Zac! 😉

* * * * *

“Gray. All is gray. Never anything more. We are cursed for eternity.”

These are the opening lines of my YA epic fantasy, THESE THE RESTORERS. A story of hope amidst grief, compassion amidst cruelty, grace amidst condemnation, determination amidst indecisiveness.

A lot goes into this story, and even though its unfinished, it’s deep. I’ve struggled on how to tie it down to one guest post (that wasn’t novel-length). So I’m going to cover TTR (which is how we will refer it from here on out) in three points: Characters, Plot, and Backstory.

BACKSTORY: In the land of Tierlin, color is vital to life. Called Tones, every color (red, blue, green, yellow, black, and white) works together in harmony to keep balance in the land. Every generation, one person is elected as representative for each Tone. Each representative claims a seat in the Gathering Chamber.

One select generation of representatives were constantly at odds with each other, thus causing the Tones to affectively keep balance. Eventually, the representatives disbanded the Gathering Chamber, breaking off into their own separate kingdoms to rule over.

The Tones retreated with their representatives, leaving parts of Tierlin colorless and without balance. These places became known as the Graylands. The inhabitants of the Graylands lost color in their vision and true life within their souls. Each separate kingdom desired the most power, to claim all the Tones for themselves; wars were started. Soldiers were made.

The armies often used the Graylands for their battlegrounds. Years passed by. The wars would never end, it seemed. The Tones would never reunite, and balance would never be restored in Tierlin.

PLOT: A Graylands inhabitant, Kaelan Talshear, has watched the Tone Kingdoms war her whole life. She’s seen too much death, destruction, brutality. All she wants is peace. She’s heard stories of times past when the Tones worked together in harmony. She longs to see color, to have purpose in her life.

When two warring kingdoms rip her home to pieces, Kaelan decides she’s had enough. She and her brother Arec set off on an impossible quest: to reunite the Tones and restore balance to Tierlin.

The plot thus far has been so fun for me. I’m constantly thinking up new ideas and dialogue. It might be the most fun I’ve had crafting a story! There’s one particular plot point I know future readers will hate me for, but…ahh…I delight in it. wrings hands together despicably

CHARACTERS: This is my favorite part! I love discussing my wonderfully frustrating characters.

There’s five main characters in TTR: Kaelan, Arec, Teague, Sohl, and Jensen.

Kaelan, from which TTR is told, is fierce and unexperienced, with a heart that longs for more than just survival. She aches for what her ancestors had–harmony, happiness, color. She knows her quest to restore balance in Tierlin is impossible, but that drives her all the more. She’s not one to be told what she can or can’t do.

Throughout TTR, she learns that the Tone Kingdoms are all not what they seem. She grows and matures in her quest, she learns, she hurts, she rejoices. She succeeds, she fails…but through it all, she learns what love and compassion truly are.

Arec is Kaelan’s older brother. He’s witty, charming, sensitive, and protective. Despite how close he and his sister are, he learns much about her he didn’t know. His heart is broken to see the war and destruction from the Tone Kingdoms. He longs just as much as Kaelan to see balance restored.

Teague is the daughter of the baron of Kingdom White. A quiet book lover who’s never stepped foot outside of her kingdom, she longs for the adventures she reads about. When she meets Kaelan and Arec, she begs her father to join them. Their quest is what she’s been seeking. But when her father calls her foolish and rejects her wishes, she realizes sometimes you must take matters into your own hands. In TTR, Teague learns what bravery, courage, and adventure truly are.

Sohl is an old friend of Arec’s. He left the Graylands years ago to hunt down the people who took him from his family in hopes to find them. He’s silent, with a decent sense of humor, courteous, but a little rough around the edges. He’d rather speak with his sword than his tongue. He and Kaelan aren’t too sure about each other when they first meet, but something (something heated and touching) eventually develops between them.

Jensen might just be my favorite character. He’s an 11-year-old orphaned street thief from Kingdom Yellow who knows his way around a knife. When he’s first introduced into the story, he’s untrustworthy, mischievous, and closed, but still has the whimsical spirit of a child. In TTR, he learns what trust and compassion are.

So there you have it! Everything you can know about TTR without revealing the whole story! 😉 I hope that one day, when this story comes to light, you’ll give it a chance!

Happy reading, booknerds!

* * * * *

image

Zac Tyson is a YA and MG writer of speculative fiction. An avid reader and traveler of worlds, he spends most of his time talking to imaginary people, riding his pet dragons, obsessing over all things weird, and adventuring into the unknown. He also loves peanut butter and thinks he’s still a kid.

* * * * *

Yep, I’m amazed!! That was my first time hearing about it too, and wow, can we just take a moment to appreciate how amazing this is??? I don’t know about you, but I am so excited for this story!! 

Thank you, Zac!  

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The official blog of Realm Makers, the only symposium for people of faith who love speculative fiction

THE RIVER WALK

Daily Thoughts and Meditations as we journey together with our Lord.

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