Tag: Christian Fantasy

Big News+Sneak Peek into Checkmate!

Big News+Sneak Peek into Checkmate!

On June 22, 2019, I officially graduated high school.

I’ve been homeschooled since kindergarten, so this is a big change for me.

Allison Grace Graduates

You might be wondering, “What’s next? Are you going to college? Getting a job?”

Well, my plan is to get a part-time job and focus on more writing. I’m really hoping there will be an opening at my local library when I start applying places.

Don’t worry, my blog isn’t going anywhere. In fact, I’m working on honing the vision and purpose of this blog. (Something I learned about at the 2019 YDubs Conference.) I’ll be posting more about this in a few weeks.

 

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

The Sneak Peak Into Checkmate!

For those of you who don’t know, Checkmate is my YA fantasy novel that I’ve been working on for just over two years. You can read more about it here.

Last Thursday, I finished the third draft!

*cue confetti*

Before upcoming edits, the word count stands at 83,421. That’s 249 Word doc pages (8″x11″).

I’m pretty happy with how this draft came out. It’s a million times better than the previous one. My family still teases me about the ending of Draft 2.

To celebrate, I tried very hard to find some non-spoiler snippets to share with you. Enjoy!

 


He stared at the bodies for a minute, moisture welling in his eyes and a lump creeping up his throat. He swallowed hard as he knelt beside his mother.

He ran a hand gently over her flaxen hair as he had done many a time as a child, brushing it away from her face. A tear slipped unchecked down his cheek. She always had a smile for him, no matter what. Her blue eyes would twinkle and her lips quirk in the most delightful way that made everything seem okay. But now her eyes were closed and her pale lips slightly parted, as if she were sleeping.

He squeezed his eyes shut for a second, pressing his fingers to the bridge of his nose again. Then he reached for her right hand and carefully removed the white opal ring she always wore. Apa had given it to her one year on their anniversary. She never took it off except on wash days. Then she wore it on a chain around her neck until the clothes were on the lines and the dirty water dumped.

He held it tightly in his hand, the gold fittings that held the stone digging into his palm.

***

“You hungry? I haven’t eaten dinner yet.”

Aris smiled. Leave it to Trev to think of food.

***

“We have gathered here to celebrate another year of peace. But, alas, Avendor is not at rest. Rebels attack and burn our villages. They kill innocent children.”

The crowd murmured. Kare grabbed the hilt of his sword. Liar.

“I have reason to believe that rebels are here, right now.”

Everyone gasped, then stared at each other, as if their neighbor’s mask hid a killer.

“Rest assured,” Dargrin said, raising his voice and motioning for silence with a hand, “there will be no incidents tonight. My men are prepared for any attack the rebels might have planned.” His gaze swept over the crowd and lingered on Kare for a second.

***

One word echoed above them all.

Run.

***

Brenson reached for his cloak, but it wasn’t there. Strange.

Then he noticed what the horse was eating.

“Give that back!” He snatched his black cloak away and eyed the gaping hole. “I have a mind to leave you alone over here.” He waved the fabric in front of the horse’s nose.

The stallion tried to eat it again.

***

So, why did you come? 

Because they needed hope. 

It hurt to admit it, even silently to himself. He was living a lie, pretending to be someone he was not. He was no king. He never would be.


Allison Grace blogs at allisongracewrites.com

 

Where’s Glendale?

Glendale learns piano
Inspired by the music at the YDubs Conference, Glendale has decided to take up piano.

 

Glendale playing piano
Though I’ve never seen it done this way before.

 

Hope Ann: Author Interview and Giveaway!

Hope Ann: Author Interview and Giveaway!

I have a special treat for you this week! Today I’m interviewing Hope Ann, the author of Healer’s Bane, Shadowkeeper, and the Legends of Light series.

This is part of my 50-email-subscribers-before-I-graduate campaign. You can read more about it in last week’s post.

My questions are in bold and Hope’s answers are in regular text.

 

Hope Ann

About Hope: Hope Ann likes to think herself a dragon-riding, griffin-taming founder of worlds and explorer of legends. Using chocolate, she bribes a wide ring of spies, from the realm leapers of Aslaria to the double agents of Elkbend, for their stories. She thrives on frost, steel, and the tears of her readers which she secretly mixes into iced coffee. Deep in her hobbit hole, her actual life involves staying up too late writing, reading, researching stab wounds, and struggling to remember the difference between ‘effect’ and ‘affect’. Based in Indiana, she is the author of the Legends of Light series. Hope Ann is also the Communications Coordinator for Story Embers and a writing mentor.
Click here to go to her site!

 

Hi, Hope! I’m so happy to have you here on my blog! 

Let’s jump right in with my first question, what inspired Healer’s Bane?

The main driving force behind Healer’s Bane was actually the theme–the idea that no one person can take on the pain of everyone else and fix them, and that being able to isn’t actually a good thing. This theme came from discussions with a friend who cared so much for others that she’d have taken on everything for all of them if she were physically able to. The book was basically for her.

That’s a really good theme! 

 

What was the hardest part of writing Healer’s Bane? (or any of your books for that matter)

It varies from book to book, but one of the hardest things for me, once the story is in place, is figuring out how much to explain and how much to simply show when it comes to backstory and worldbuilding. I have a tendency to under-explain and I don’t want readers confused. Though I also want the powers and world to unfold naturally, not just sit down and explain it all.

I struggle with the same things! Particularly under-describing my story world. I think the powers and world in Healer’s Bane unfolded very naturally. 

 

Now for a fun question: If you could take any of your characters and bring them to life for a day, who would you choose and why?

Probably Ethaniel. He’s from Fidelyon, a work in progress that I’m letting rest for the moment. But he is so sweet and kind and just needs some care. I’d love to spend a day with him.

He sounds like an awesome character! I hope to read that work-in-progress some day. 

 

If you could live in any country (real or imagined) where would it be and why?

I’d live in Lothlorian in Middle Earth. It is so beautiful and peaceful and I could just relax and write.

From my little Lord of the Rings knowledge, I think I would join you there. 

 

I love asking this next question. What authors have influenced you the most in your writing journey?

I feel like Tolkien did some in that he introduced me to fantasy, and I started writing it more after reading and watching Lord of the Rings. Kate Flournoy, my best friend, also influenced me and helped me quite a bit as I was figuring out aspects of prose in writing. And then there’s Brandon Sanderson–his worldbuilding, magic systems, characters, and plots are amazing and I’ve been learning as much as I can from them.

I could have guessed Tolkien. 😉 It seems like everyone but me has read Lord of the Rings. I haven’t read too much Sanderson, but what I have read is awesome. (Confession: I like Sanderson better than Tolkien.) I’ll have to check out Kate’s writing!

Thank you so much for letting me interview you, Hope! This has been so much fun!

Want to read some of Hope’s work? Sign up for her email list and get a free short story! Get it here!

 

Now that the interview is over, I’m going to go back to normal text.

If you remember from last week, I’m doing a giveaway of Hope Ann’s latest book, Healer’s Bane. 

There is still time to enter! If you join my email list by Friday, May 3rd at 11:59 PM, you will be entered! If you are already on my email list, don’t worry, you have automatically been entered!

Join my email list! 

Allison Grace blogs at allisongracewrites.com