Guest Post – Serang by C.S. Boyack

It is my pleasure to host author, C.S. Boyack on my blog today. I’m going to let him tell you about his neswest book, Serang!

Thanks for having me over today, Jan. I’m here to promote my newest book, Serang. This is supporting story to the Lanternfish trilogy, but it will stand on its own for those who haven’t read Voyage of the Lanternfish.

I’m trying to let the hosts have some input about what I present, and Jan asked for an excerpt. Excerpts are a great way to tease the story, so I’m happy to comply.

In this scene, Master Yong left Serang alone at their shack while he went to a village for supplies. A heavy fog rolled in, and it’s stayed for days. He’s about to return, so we’ll pick up the excerpt here:

Yong strode confidently onto the porch. Serang wiped her brow, then flicked her wrist to get the heavy moisture off.

“Where are you?” Yong asked in a soft voice.

“Here, Master.” She walked to the patio area.

“Have you done your chores and exercises?” He sat an overloaded basket on the ground.

“Yes, but something’s wrong.”

“How so?”

“The fog is unnatural. The animals have gone silent.”

“What do your meditations tell you?”

“To be cautious.”

“Have you been meditating? Tell me the truth.”

“I don’t need to. Something is wrong.”

“Do them now. Clear your mind.” He smirked at her. “I’ll protect you from the forest.”

She sat and crossed her legs but kept the wall to her back.

“What do you hear?”

“Nothing, Master. Not even insects.”

“Listen again.”

She took several deep breaths. “A light wind in the high leaves.”

“Shouldn’t wind blow this fog away?”

“Yes, that’s what I mean. Something is wrong–”

“Stop. Try again. What do you smell?”

“Brine… And charcoal.”

“Taste?”

“More brine. Master the fog is cursed or something–”

“Tut!”

Serang tried to focus.

“What do you feel?”

She remained silent for a long time. “Concern. Worry even. Apprehension.”

“Is that you, or the natural world?”

“Both, maybe.”

“At least you’re honest about it. Your feelings are correct. We are witnessing something that has not been seen in fifteen hundred years. Breathe it deep inside. Let it surround you.”

She opened her mouth for deeper breaths.

“Do you feel danger? Fear?”

She kept breathing. “No, Master.”

He knelt before her. “We are in the presence of lóng de hái ze.”

“The child of the dragon? I don’t understand.”

“Something is wrong with our world. Lóng de hái ze, lives between the worlds and heaven. This one is here because it is concerned. Try again. What else do you feel?”

“Yang, but also a female presence.”

“Very good. This dragon’s child is female. She is trying to decide whether to return to her world or go on to the sea. There she will evolve into a dragon, then try to set things right. To restore balance.”

“Will she… eat us?”

Yong sat before her and crossed his legs. “Someone has needed to tell you this for a long time. Dragons have been known to kill people but do not make a habit of it. They are more concerned with the natural world, and equity among all things.”

“But my father–”

Monastic life is all about duty, service, harmony. For Serang, a young girl abandoned at the temple by her mother after the death of her father, that life becomes all she knows. The monks give her purpose, and become her new family.

When political upheaval causes chaos throughout the land, Serang again loses everything and everyone she loves. Alone, she struggles to survive. She convinces a wandering monk to take her under his wing and complete her training. Thus begin her adventures through strange lands and her trials to become a confident, capable, independent adult.

This is a coming of age story set in a fantasy world. It’s filled with monsters and martial arts, difficulties and dangers. The serious situations preclude the story from the levity of its predecessor, Voyage of the Lanternfish, but it provides a compelling look at the origin of one of the saga’s most fascinating characters.

Purchase Link http://mybook.to/Serang

Social Media:

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I hope you enjoyed Craig’s introduction to Serang! Hop on over and pick up your copy! I did! And don’t forget to follow him on social media. He’s an entertaining author!

Thank you for visiting!

#RWISA “RISE-UP” TOUR, DAY 3, @RIJANJKS #RRBC #RRBC_COMMUNITY

I am up today on the RWISA “RISE-UP” Blog Tour! Please take a look. The theme is “What would you do to make the world a better place if time and money were not barriers?”

RWISA: RAVE WRITERS - INT'L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS

I AM MARTIE

***

This question required some deep soul-searching and thought, but I finally decided on the one thing I would do to make our world a better place if money and time were not barriers.

Martie stared outside her twelfth-story office window at the busy street below. Next to mounds of trash piled on the sidewalks, homeless people huddled close to the buildings for warmth and settled in for another cold, long night in a city that never sleeps.

She murmured to herself, “If only I could fix this one blight on the face of humanity.”

After all, only three short months ago, she was among those searching for shelter and food.

Tears wet her face as she watched an old lady with a three-legged dog vie for a small open spot next to the high-rise office building.

She took a closer look. “Helen?” A flash of memory…

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#TarotTuesday – Ten of Wands

Welcome to another Tarot Tuesday!

If you are just joining me, let me explain the inspiration to begin these posts. In Texas, and all across the country, Taco Tuesday is a popular day when Tacos are usually 99 cents. So, I had the inspiration, or Angel nudge as I like to think of it, to create a Tarot Tuesday. Each Tuesday I will post a different Tarot card and give its meaning. I pray and ask for the right card that will bring a universal message.

I created a short video to demonstrate how I pull the card for the posts. If you’re interested, here’s a LINK.

I was hoping for a lighter card this week, but the cards can only tell us the truth. So today, I’ll talk about the Ten of Wands.

The keywords to this card are: Burden, extra responsibility, hard work, and completion.

The Ten of Wands shows a man carrying a large bundle of sticks toward a small town only a short distance away. His back is bent and he appears to be weighed down by the heavy load he is carrying, but he knows he is almost at his destination and will soon be able to release the heavy weight he is bearing.

The Ten of Wands notes that you are taking on an extra burden, a heavier workload, or greater responsibility. Even though it is weighing you down and making things tougher for you, you understand it is only temporary, so you are willing to put in the hard work now to accomplish your goal and reap the rewards later. 

Sometimes, the Ten of Wands appears when you are unconsciously taking on extra responsibility and finding yourself feeling weighed down, exhausted and burnt out. You may try to do everything at once, even though you know it is adding extra pressure to your daily life. The Ten of Wands asks you to stop and examine your current lifestyle or work. Assess which activities or tasks are urgent or important, particularly concerning your broader goals. 

The good news is that the Tens in Tarot represent the completion of a cycle, and with the Ten of Wands, the end is in sight! You have been pushing yourself to your limits and working very hard to achieve your goal. Sure, you might collapse in a heap of exhaustion when you get there, but you know it will be all worth it and well earned!

The Ten of Wands can also show that even with the achievement of your goal, some significant responsibilities and commitments come with it. When you reach a point of completion, you become starkly aware that you must now carry on with the duties you have laid out for yourself, to ensure ongoing success. The trouble is, however, that these responsibilities may become too much to bear and you are struggling to let go. It is like the business owner who creates a flourishing business but is unprepared to delegate some of his or her responsibilities to the staff and ends up working seventy to eighty hours a week. The inspiration and creativity that came with the initial goal or vision disappear and everything becomes hard work all too quickly. Thus, it is essential to let go of or delegate some of your responsibilities to free you up to still enjoy life.

Well, there you have it. This card is very personal to me and my current situation in life. If you follow my blog, you know I took the #NaNoWriMo challenge at the first of the month. Then life happened. For four days, I took care of my three grandboys and two dogs while my daughter was out of town on a work trip. So, you can well imagine I didn’t get a lot of writing done. Then, my younger daughter asked me to watch the two grandgirls so she and her husband could take a three-day anniversary trip. Of course, I didn’t say no. I do a lot for my kids, but they do a lot for me. And, they pay me when I help out. So, has my workload become too much to carry? Yep! Of my own doing, of course. 🙂 But, the good news with this card is that I an going to complete some part of my goal. The exciting part is that I returned to the story after letting it lay for over a year. And, the way I look at it is any word count is good. Right? Okay, tell me how this card resonates with you.

Thank you for joining me! See you next Tuesday for another inspiring message from the Universe via the Tarot Cards!

As always, I use the Rider-Waite Radiance deck and BiddyTarot.com for interpretations.

#RRBC Spotlight Author Blog Tour – D.L. Finn

It is such an honor to host this amazing lady on my blog site today! And congratulations to D.L. Finn for sitting in the RRBC Spotlight Author seat for November!

I have read this beautiful book of poetry, and I can tell you first-hand, it is a true work of art! I highly recommend it. Okay, D.L., I’ll turn it over to you!

Thank you, Jan, for having me on your blog for day two of the “Just Her Poetry” Spotlight Tour!

Finn Facts:

  1. I broke my foot on Friday the 13th, tripping over our black cat.
  2. I dislike mushrooms.

Blurb:

Take a journey with D.L. Finn as she blends her love of nature with her deepest emotions. Sit with her on the forest floor observing its tranquil beauty, or stroll along the ocean’s shore admiring the vastness of its horizon. Here in these peaceful moments you’ll be able to experience her thoughts and feelings in the light—and in the darkness. This is a thought-provoking collection of poetry that invites the reader into all the seasons of a soul.

Excerpt from Just Her Poetry: NATURE Fall and Winter

RED

Outside my kitchen window,

The dogwood trees light up the forest.

In their golden-pink and red splendor,

It is startling against the deep green.

Just like the bloom of a flower,

It is a temporary but satisfying pleasure.

Soon, the leaves will scatter on the land,

And the trees will stand brown and bare.

The chill of the impeding winter,

And their hibernation is coming.

But for now they give us,

The beauty of a red fall.

Where magic abounds…

And memories happen…

Where each walk is special…

And every glance rewarded…

When the nights are cooler…

And the days are growing shorter…

This is the gift of fall.

Not only a time to harvest our crops,

But harvest our perceptions.

This will carry us over until spring,

When the landscape bursts into life again.

But for now we enjoy the encore of beauty,

In the stunning red hue that flows from fall.

Amazon Purchase Link

D.L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to the Sierra foothills in Nevada City, CA. She immersed herself in reading all types of books, but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, being surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations vary from children’s books, young adult fantasy, and adult paranormal romance to an autobiography with poetry. She continues on her adventures with an open invitation for her readers to join her.

D.L. Finn Links:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

D.L. Finn blog

I do hope you’ll join us at each stop along D.L. Finn’s Spotlight Tour! For a complete list of blogs, visit #RRBC November Spotlight Author page!

My progress – or lack thereof #NaNoWriMo

So, I committed to participate in #NaNoWriMo.

Then life happened in a really big way. And my word count progress is pitiful. But, I am not giving up. Any word count is good, right?

So here’s a snippet from my WIP, “JAGGED FEATHERS”:

Nakina understood more about him than he knew. He was keeping something from her. Something big enough, that he would go to any lengths for it to remain hidden.

Her heart broke for the soldier who took on her fight without hesitation. He’d simply been trying to rebuild his own life and find some semblance of peace. Then she came along with her baggage and disrupted his entire world.

Truth be told, she was happy it was Vann Noble that found her that cold morning. Perhaps there was such a thing as fate or kismet. She couldn’t imagine that anyone else would have so willingly jumped in to rescue her. She swallowed past the lump in her throat. They had to somehow get out of this alive.

So far, my word count for the month is around 7,500, while according to NaNoWriMo, to reach my goal, I should be over 10,000. But, as I said, any progress is good progress. At least I’ve returned to the story after almost a year. 🙂

I hope everyone participating in #NaNoWriMo is having less interruptions and more writing success!

#TarotTuesday – Ten of Swords

Welcome to another Tarot Tuesday!

If you are just joining me, let me explain the inspiration to begin these posts. In Texas, and all across the country, Taco Tuesday is a popular day when Tacos are usually 99 cents. So, I had the inspiration, or Angel nudge as I like to think of it, to create a Tarot Tuesday. Each Tuesday I will post a different Tarot card and give its meaning. I pray and ask for the right card that will bring a universal message.

I created a short video to demonstrate how I pull the card for the posts. If you’re interested, here’s a LINK.

Today’s card made me grimace. The Ten of Swords is not a happy-go-lucky card.

In case you don’t remember, Swords represent the mind or intellect.

The Ten of Swords shows a man lying face down, apparently dead, with ten swords in his back. A red cape drapes over the lower half of his body as a sign of dignity as he leaves this world. While the dark sky is ominous, the sun is rising on the horizon, bringing a renewed sense of hope and opportunity. The calm sea in the background also brings solace, suggesting that even in times of darkness, there is a sense of peace and calm to be found.

The keywords for this card are: Painful endings, deep wounds, betrayal, loss, and crisis. Like I said this card made me grimace.

The Ten of Swords marks a painful yet inevitable ending. For example, a relationship may come to an abrupt end, your job may be cut, or a contract is broken. It is as if this ending has come out of the blue and rocked your world. You are grieving the pain of this shocking loss and wonder if you will ever love or find work or trust again.

The Ten of Swords could signify that you may be the victim of another person’s betrayal or deceit. You feel as if you have been stabbed in the back and are reeling from someone else’s actions.

Or, it can suggest that you are taking on the role of ‘victim’ hoping others will pity you and save you from despair. You cannot change the actions of another person, but you can change how you respond. 

The Ten of Swords is about letting go and accepting your current circumstances. You no longer resist change but allow it to happen, even if it causes initial pain and hurt to you.

The good news is that the Ten of Swords marks the final ordeal – no more pain will come to you from that source. The hour is darkest before dawn, and you must experience the full impact of what has happened before you can move forward and start over. Is it going to be easy? No. But, will this ordeal last forever? No.

Pick yourself up off the ground and reflect upon what happened to you and why, and what you can learn from the experience. When you do this, the hurt and pain will fade, and you will soon see why all of this needed to happen so that you can evolve into your fullest potential. The pain and hurt you have endured have not gone without purpose. Use the positive power within you to learn from your pain and draw wisdom from defeat.

I don’t even know what to say about this card. The last few days have been totally chaotic. My attempt at NaNoWriMo has only produced 1500 words so far. Things beyond my control have prevented me from writing like I intended to. BUT, the good news is I am NOT giving up! I look forward to you sharing your thoughts about this card.