Sunday, December 22, 2013

The House of Andersvärd

Here are a couple of "trumps" I created for Alexander and Hanna of the House of Andersvärd. If you've ever read the Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny, then you know where I got my inspiration.

I don't plan on incorporating trumps into the world of Övrigmark, at least not in the same fashion as Zelazny did, but I do like the idea of the royal family being depicted on tarot-like cards. I'm thinking the cards might be a sort of magical device whereby the holder can place a card on one of the maps like the children possess, and then ascertain their whereabouts. Kind of like a magical GPS of sorts.

This is the sort of thing I do when I should be writing :)

Okay, okay. I'll get back to writing now. Maybe just one more trump before I start...just kidding :)

Friday, December 20, 2013

A great story for a great cause

The Carpenter's Wife
by Mysti Parker
     Her screams jarred the peaceful night. A donkey brayed. From the rafters overhead, startled doves flew away in a burst of annoyed coos and wing beats. The young woman was no stranger to childbirth, having assisted her own mother on many such occasions in their village. But here they had no one to call upon for help. The thought occurred to her that she might die, that the stunning proclamation had been a dream, that their little family was no more important than any other.
     Her husband knelt in front of her, holding her knees apart. He didn’t flinch at her cries, nor did he look her in the eye. Only a brief crease in his brow indicated any concern on his part.
     She treasured that one gesture, listening to his monotone instructions, straining to hear the slightest hint of his love. “Push. Good. Now breathe.”
     The contraction eased. She allowed her head to fall back on the rolled-up horse blanket he’d provided when the pains began. The months had crept along until this night. She thought about the quiet dinners they shared back home. About all the times when he caught her staring at him while he focused on his bread and lentils. Their stagnant marriage teetered on this one event.
     She had known all along the doubt remained, but she was so grateful for this man who had taken her in despite everything. He worked tirelessly until his hands blistered and bled. His furniture was highly regarded, yet he never boasted. She admired the pride he took in his creations, and she loved to watch him work. Wood surrendered to his skilled touch. Chisels and saws were like an extension of his limbs. She wanted nothing more than to be the wife he deserved, yet the desire to pick up a doll or chase her younger siblings down the dusty streets still pulled at her heart. And, of course, people still whispered.
     Another pain. Then another. Wave after wave. Sweat poured from her brow. The surroundings blurred with every excruciating squeeze. She felt the baby leaving the warmth of her womb, coming closer to the chilly night. Would he be all right? What if something she did while he was in her womb caused him to be stillborn or crippled?
     “Push! I see the head. It’s almost over.”
     His voice was louder, his eyes wider, sparkling with more excitement than she’d ever seen before. She focused on his face, on the promises of God, and pushed with all her might.
     The child came in a sudden whoosh, leaving her weeping with relief and a feeling of emptiness. Her husband caught the baby in the softest bit of cloth he could find, supplied by the innkeeper, perhaps out of guilt for their lowly accommodations.
     “It’s a boy!”
     “Is he all right?”
     The baby cried, easing her fears. Her husband nodded. “Yes, he’s beautiful, like his mother.”

     She smiled through her tears at the joy in his voice and his beaming smile. He cut the cord and swaddled him as gently as if he were his own child. Then, he handed the tiny infant to her. She took him in her arms, astonished at how insignificant the boy felt within his wrappings. Red, wrinkly, and bald, he didn’t look like anyone that could save the world. Yet, as her husband wiped tears and nestled close to her side for a better look at their son, she knew that this tiny babe had already resurrected Joseph’s heart. The rest was up to God. 
This story was published in the anthology Christmas Lites. All proceeds go to the NCADV (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence). Grab your copy on Amazon Kindle for just $3.99. Also, be sure to pick up Christmas Lites II and Christmas Lites III. They make great gifts!!!
Buy it HERE!
Buy it HERE!
Buy it HERE!

Misty Baker aka Mysti Parker
Wife, Mother, Author 

Journey to Tallenmere for Breathtaking Fantasy and Unforgettable's fantasy with a heart!

A Ranger's Tale, Tallenmere #1 (Now Just $2.99 for Kindle!)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Aspiring authors

I think most writers write because they have stories inside them that they just have to get out. I know that’s true for me, but most of us also, whether we admit it or not, desire to have our work read and appreciated by others. Personally I don’t have any grand illusions of fame and fortune as a result of my writing. In fact, I don’t suspect that I will make much of a blip in the expansive fiction landscape, but I do think I’ve managed to delight and enthrall at least a few readers, and for an author, that knowledge is enough. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking fame and fortune, it’s just that I’m still, at least remotely, in touch with reality and have no plans to quit my day job.

I digress, however. My point is that there are undoubtedly quite a few talented authors all over the world who have either written or are currently writing a piece of work which I suspect many of us would enjoy. The problem is that we will most certainly never even know of their existence. That’s precisely what I love so much about JukePop Serials. They have given exposure to a cadre of wonderful authors who might never have seen the light of day, or at least would have had to struggle for a much longer time in order to do so.

I speak from personal experience. JukePop has put my writing in front of a growing audience, and I have benefited from new readers of my work. I am in the process of revising my serial, The Sixth Seal for publication, and I’m currently writing the sequel. If these works find any success at all as novels, I owe much of the credit to JukePop Serials and its avid readers.

I tell you all of this so that you understand how much I believe in what JukePop does and how important it is to aspiring authors. As it happens, JukePop has recently opened up a new section of their site to, appropriately enough, aspiring authors. In JukePop’s words:

The serials in this section are from candidates who are hoping to become JukePop Serials Authors. We are asking the community to help us decide! For Aspiring JukePop Authors to become JukePop Serials Authors, they need +Votes from our readers and Endorsements from our authors. If a serial receives enough +Votes and Endorsements then it will move into JukePop Serials’ main catalog. Vote your favorite serial into the JukePop community today!

As you can see, these authors can only be promoted to the regular ranks with your help, and by you I mean readers to vote for each of their chapters and authors to endorse them. This is important because it gives them the opportunity to compete in JP’s top thirty which gives them the chance to win monthly cash prizes. An author certainly won’t make a living this way, but the recognition is nice and I think it gives them even more exposure.

OK, I’ll step off of my soapbox now, but before I go I want to introduce you to a writer and serial that I think deserve to be among the regular ranks. The best part is that I think you’ll thank me later. The Mirror Dimension by Tara Grainger has a delightful voice and an intriguing hook. The first two chapters hold a lot of promise that I think the author is more than capable of delivering on. Go check it out today, and if you agree with me, give it your +vote on each chapter. If you’re a fellow JukePop author, I encourage you to endorse it. In my opinion, we all benefit by being surrounded by stories of this caliber, and it strengthens JukePop’s position as a quality purveyor of fine fiction.

While you're exploring the wilds of JukePop Serials, don't forget to stop by and check out my latest serial, Beyond the Gates of Övrigmark. It's a rollickingly good read, if I do say so myself. And I do by the way :)