Characters and Friends

Light Series adLast week I told you about the time I wrote my first book, A Light in the Darkness. It’s amazing to me now to look back and see how far I’ve come from that first night at my computer. What an adventure it’s all been! Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that those words would turn into a real book with fans reading it around the world. I’m just in awe of the whole journey from page one to where I sit now days away from releasing my sixth book into the world. Wow. This weekend I watched that first book climb the charts on Amazon. It hit #3 in Christian Fantasy and stayed there for three days. What an amazing rush that was to see it, too. I am so proud that The Light Series is still resonating with readers.

BUT the reason I really love The Light Series and keep writing is because of the characters. The characters in The Light Series are really the best part of the story. As I wrote this series, they quickly took on a life of their own, shaping the story in their own way and making me want to spend more and more time with them. It’s hard when you love a character not to wish they were real so that you could be friends. Well, with this crew, I sort of wish they were ALL real. I just can’t get enough of them. This week I’m going to share some of my favorite characters from the series with you starting with the main characters, the one’s who started it all…

Merrilyn is loyal and kind. She’s a bit naive, having lived her entire life in the tiny village of Nomar. An orphan, she was raised by the village healer, Aileena, and taught the trade as her apprentice. She longs to be more than just a healer, though. She wants to be one of the great Alaiths, a rare and powerful group of  healers who can heal with the mysterious power of light. On her journey, she’ll discover not only a vast world filled with incredible people and creatures she could never have imagined, but she’ll also find her true self along the way.

MerrilynJustan is Merrilyn’s best friend. The prince of Nomar and second son to King Andraus, he doesn’t have a lot of responsibility at court. He spends his days following Merrilyn around and trying to amuse her. That is, until his brother goes missing and he’s forced to step up into a role he never thought he’d have to fill. Justan’s greatest fear is losing Merrilyn and he’ll do anything to protect her – even if that means pushing her away. Here’s a quote from one of my favorite scenes in the second book, To Light the Path.


Who’s your favorite character in The Light Series?

NaNoWriMo 2015

nano_logoDid I ever tell you about the time I wrote my first book? I don’t mean the years I spent scribbling story notes in spiral bound notebooks or dreaming up stories in my head, but the year I actually sat down and wrote an entire book from beginning to end.


Well, sit back, because it’s story time, kids. Once upon a time, a long time ago in 2007, my brother (the talented best-selling author, Aaron Pogue) dared my father and I at the dinner table one night to write a book.

“You’ve been talking about writing a book for years,” he said to the both of us. “It’s time you actually sat down and did it. What’s stopping you?”

I”m sure we made up a lot of very clever excuses, but in the end, he held up his hands to silence us both. “This year, I want you to do this. Write a book during National Novel Writing Month. We’ll all do it, we’ll share word counts and cheer each other on. I’ll even send you some prewriting exercises to help you get prepared. You can do this. You just need to make yourselves sit down and get it done.”

I looked across the table at my dad and said something like, “Well, I’ll do it if you do it, Dad.”

And that was the end of that. Or, the beginning rather. Because the next week we had writing exercises in our inboxes and we started talking like we were actually going to do this thing. A novel in a month. 50,000 words in just 30 days. It was insane. And yet…it was also thrilling. I’d had this crazy dream just a month before that would not leave me alone and I really, REALLY wanted to know the story behind it. The dream was something like this:

A beautiful girl sits by a pool of water at the base of a waterfall. She is flirting a little with the boy sitting next to her, but most of her attention is drawn to the man standing up on the hill watching her with an ever deepening frown. She can tell he’s angry, but she’s stubborn and won’t go talk to him. Then, she sees someone behind him, an enemy. She runs up the hill to defend him, but she can’t get there fast enough. As she reaches him, the enemy casts some dark spell toward him, but she jumps in the way, light and darkness colliding and she falls in a heap on the ground, unconscious.

That dream haunted me and I just had to know what happened next. Who were these people? I could feel her intense emotions about the man she’d saved, it felt like love and panic. It was clear she’d rather die than let this man be hurt. Why? Who was he? How had they gotten there? Where were they going? Who was the enemy and why did he attack?

These questions went with me into that first Nanowrimo. On November 1st, 2007, I wrote the first sentence of what would be my very first book. Now, eight years later, I have just published my sixth book. It’s all because my brother wouldn’t let me keep dreaming about being an author, and pushed me to actually be one. Now, I have a bookshelf full of dreams come true.

And by the way, that book I wrote? It turned out to be A Light in the Darkness. You can find that dream I had in the middle of chapter eight.

Are you an author? Are you daydreaming about a story you just have to know the ending to? Tell us your story and let us cheer you on. Then, go write that next story. You never know when it will be the dream come true.

Are you joining us this year for Nanowrimo? Stop by and visit me. You can see all the books I’ve worked on through the years during Nanowrimo and get a sneak peek at what is coming next:

Filling the Well

Since we returned home from our summer of adventure, I’ve been writing like a girl on fire. It’s been powerful and cathartic, filling me with a sudden clarity of purpose after five years of inner soul searching. I find in the midst of my writing that I suddenly know myself and it brings a sense of peace I’ve found elusive for too long.

A Lot of New
Last week I finished final revisions for The Light Within and sent it off to my editor, eager to turn my attention to a new project. But, I sat down at the computer and for the first time ever as a writer stared into the void of the dreaded blank screen. New ideas is not really a problem for me, I have notebooks and computer files full of novel ideas, some with nearly 10,000 words already attached to them. So, I knew the problem wasn’t lack of inspiration. There was something else wrong. As I began to try to force my way through it, I finally realized that the real problem was that I was working in completely new territory:
A New Genre – Steampunk
A New Style – Serial Novel
A New Format – Journal/Epistolary
New Demands – Lots of required research

And what’s more, this idea felt huge and beautiful in my mind, full of potential…and I wanted to get it just right. Which meant, of course, that I was starting out with a ton of pressure already piled on my shoulders and I hadn’t even written the first page. No wonder I was stuck! I waded through it for a while and then finally decided that I was going to have to make a choice. Either I could embrace all the new this project held, believing that the extra work it brought would be worth it, or I could give it up now and move on. In the end, I decided to tackle the project. I really feel strongly that it is going to open all new doors for me as a writer and become something truly great. Accepting this meant facing the work from new perspectives with new strategies. Instead of just sitting down and writing, I would have to do some research, a lot of planning, and more than my fair share of daydreaming.

Rules & Lessons
I have a very strict rule for myself that I made up when I wrote my very first book: No reading in the genre you’re writing in. This may seem crazy, but it started with a genuine desire to be unique in my story and voice. I didn’t want to be too heavily influenced by any other work in the midst of writing, and I was appalled at the idea of being accused of relying too heavily on someone else’s work. So, I gave up reading in the genre I was working in. This turned out to be easier than I imagined as I quickly realized that writing meant I had even less time for reading anyway. All the hours I used to spend curled up with a book were now spent hunched over the computer desk, telling myself stories late into the night. Well, this new project happens to be in a genre I don’t read. So this week, staring at that blank screen, I decided it was time I broke a few rules. I went into my library and pulled steampunk novels off the shelves that I’d always wanted to read. I went to the bookstore and bought the entire Infernal Devices series I’d always wanted to find time for because I enjoyed her writing style. I pulled up books on my kindle that I’d bought and never read. In the end I had a very ecclectic stack of books piled high on the bed beside my journal and planning album. This would be my world. Instead of writing for the next few days, I would pour myself into reading and soak up the work of talented authors with completely different styles and stories. From clockwork automatons to airships, from an India-inspired fantasy world to the streets of London, I explored it all.

I learned a few things, too. I learned that I needed to fill my first few pages with buzz words that would clue readers into the genre and the overall story elements I planned to use. I learned that I was letting my characters off the hook too easily, running away from their pain or disappointment instead of dealing with it. As a reader, I cherish those moments where I get to feel what the character is feeling, the deeper the better. As a writer, I want my readers to not only feel that, but to lay the book down and wrestle in that moment with thier own pain or fear or whatever it is they are facing with my characters. Because, in the end, this is what makes a novel worth reading, worth creating. Through books, we discover bits of our own broken souls and in seeing the characters triumph, we find hope for ourselves, too.

Filling the Well
My talented friend, Susan Kaye Quinn, calls this process Filling the Creative Well.

Reading, free writing, watching movies, TV, engaging in erudite discussions – all of this feeds the creative well. It will fill your subconscious mind with the raw stuffs you will use to create your work when the time comes. This isn’t TV-as-distraction or a brain-dead-reception of whatever is put in front of you, but an active, voracious consumption of creative works. This will renew – and inspire – you when your creative work block-time comes around again.

I remember when I first read this advice in her book, The Indie Author Survival Guide, I laughed out loud. When do I have time to do that? But, now I know she’s right. If I don’t make time to fill the well, then I end up dry and empty with nothing to give to the blank page.

Last night I was up to 4 am reading (and crying with) The Clockwork Prince. I remember lying there in a puddle of tears and thinking, “I hope this is worth it. I will probably be a complete waste of space today after a night like this, but oh how I want to be able to make readers feel this way.”

And you know what happened when I set aside my writing and devoted myself to reading? It led to more writing. I went to bed at 4 and woke up at 8:30 with my phone ringing. It was my sister and I couldn’t wait to tell her all about the stuff in my head. Character ideas, story ideas, settings, devices, plot twists… And almost none of it had much at all to do with what was in the stories I read. I emerged from that marathon reading session with new and beautiful ideas that were NOT in the books I’d just consumed. This blew my little rule out of the water. Most important of all, I walked away with a lot of ideas about how I want my readers to feel when they put down one of my books. This is invaluable. This is a well full of creative energy and focus that I need to tackle this great big beautiful project.

Feel the Pain
I also realized something huge about my work: I don’t allow my characters feel their pain too deeply. I let them run away. Death, heartbreak, loneliness, fear…I lead them right up to those moments, give a nod to those emotions, and then off we go to chase down the next plot line. Two of my projects in particular deal with some heavy pain and I realized that I was doing a disservice not only to my characters, but to my readers as well, when I let them run away from their pain without looking too closely at the source of it. I sat and thought about that for a while and realized something else, too. In the end, I’m really the one running away. I, the writer, don’t want to face their pain. I don’t want to have to think about it, to dwell on their loss. I want them to be happy and move on to the next happily ever after. But life brings pain and to truly grasp our happily ever afters, we have to first face the pain.

This could probably have been an entirely separate blog post. I’m curious how you feel about it, readers, writers. Do you need to fill the well? Do you run from the pain in your story? Or, do you find strength in facing the pain and rising up to meet it?

Teaser Tuesday

Today is Teaser Tuesday in the book world and I thought it might be fun to share what I’m working on right now while The Light Within is in the hands of my talented editor.
Lady Fontaine & The Rum Pirates is my first steampunk novel and I’m hoping it will be available in the spring of 2016. Here’s an excerpt from the first chapter.

Chapter One


Claire Fontaine stormed out of the booksellers, her notebook clasped firmly to her chest with one hand while the other gripped her hat. Men jumped out of her way as she hurried down the steps to St. James Street where her carriage was waiting. Pennybaker jumped down from the hopper to open the door for her.

“My lady,” he said with a bow as she passed by.

“Pennybaker, please take me straight home.”

“Yes, my lady.”

She climbed into the carriage with a huff.  “I never!” she said, whipping her gloves off to twist them in her lap. She huffed a few times, fighting to gain control over her temper. Opening her reticule, she took out a pencil and began scribbling furiously in her notebook.  When the carriage pulled to a stop, she didn’t even bother to look up. Pennybaker opened the door and she stepped out, still writing as fast as her fingers would allow. She skipped up the stairs and past the footman into the hall of their townhouse.

“My lady Fontaine, your father is in the study and he wishes to see you,” said the butler as she passed.

“Yes, thank you,” said Claire, not bothering to look up.  She turned left, pushing a hip against the study door.

“Father, you won’t believe what I…” she glanced up to find herself staring into a pair of soft brown eyes.

“Oh! I’m sorry, I…”

“Claire, I presume,” said the handsome stranger. He smiled and reached out a hand.

Claire placed her hand in his, ashamed at its bareness. She blushed as he held it to his lips. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know we had company,” she said.

“I didn’t realize that Mr. Fontaine’s daughter was so lovely.”

Claire blushed again, this time backing away from the young man who released her hand and watched as she crossed the room to the window.  “Speaking of my father, where is he, sir?”

“He has just stepped out to fetch something. Were you needing him?”

“Oh no, I was just going to show him-“ She thought better of confessing her thoughts to this stranger and thrust her notebook behind her back.

“A sketch? May I see? My sisters can attest I am quite the judge of artwork. They are forever thrusting their masterpieces into my hands for assessment.”

Claire raised an eyebrow. “Really? Well, I do not think my work will compare to theirs overmuch. You would certainly find fault.”

“You judge yourself too harshly,” he protested.  “Please, allow me to reassure you.” He held out a hand for the book.

Claire regarded him through narrowed eyes then, with an unladylike shrug, thrust the book into his hands and turned her back on him.

The young man took a seat on the sofa and opened the notebook. He turned page after page in silence. Claire promised herself she wouldn’t watch him as she inspected the volumes along the bookcase.


Claire turned to find him frowning over her book. She moved to stand behind the sofa, looking over his shoulder at the sketch of a corkscrew propeller.

“This is fascinating,” he said, tapping the page.

“Not quite the artwork your sisters produce, I’m sure.”

He laughed. “No, I much prefer it to the willows and the posies I am usually shown.”

Claire smiled.

“But where ever did you get this notion? A corkscrew propeller?”

An old man in an impeccable suit came into the room and stopped in front of them.  He leaned in to glance at the sketch. “Oh bother, Weston. I am sorry. I should have known she would have that blasted notebook with her.”

“Daddy, please,” said Claire, reaching for the book. “He insisted on seeing it. I was only teasing him.”

“I was just saying, sir, how refreshing it is to see a young woman focused on something other than flora and fauna.”

“Ha! Well, you’ll be the only man in London to say so.”

The young man looked up at Claire and smiled. “Well, that shouldn’t surprise me, but it should still be said.”

Claire allowed half a smile to cross her lips. “Thank you, Mr…”

“Ah, Claire, this is Lieutenant Weston. He will be joining our expedition to the Americas. Weston, this is my daughter, Claire.”

Claire nodded her head demurely as he stood to bow.

“The pleasure is all mine, Miss Fontaine,” said the lieutenant.

Claire allowed her half smile to return before turning back to her place by the window.

“And what, may I ask, is the Lieutenant doing in our drawing room?”

“What an impertinent question,” Father responded. “He’s staying for supper. I hope that meets with your approval,” he added with a touch of sarcasm.

She raised an eyebrow and then nodded. “I suppose we can allow it. Shall I inform cook?”

Her father waved a dismissive hand. “I’ve already seen to all of that.”

“Well, then if you don’t mind, I’ll take my leave gentlemen. I’m sure you have business to discuss and I have work to do as well.”

Her father nodded and she headed for the door. A hand caught her wrist, pulling her up short. She stared down at the lieutenant’s hand and then up into his face, her chilly expression intended to freeze him on the spot.

“Please forgive my forward behavior, lady Fontaine. Your sketchbook,” he said, offering her the leather bound book.

She blushed and then took it from him with a short nod. “Thank you.”

He smiled. “The pleasure is all mine, Miss Fontaine.”

She studied him for a moment and his smile widened. Then, she turned on her heel and marched out of the room. She didn’t stop until she was in her own bedroom. Closing the door tight behind her, she fell against the door, her eyes scrunched tight as she inhaled and exhaled slowly, forcing her heart rate to calm itself.

“Such excitement is not conducive to creative focus,” she chided herself.

Taking her sketchbook to the desk, she laid it atop a stack of schematics and pulled a book from the shelf above. Mechanics for the Modern Man, a title that made her cringe, but she flipped through to the last chapter until she found her place. With a smile, she went to the window seat. Reaching up, she tugged on a rope hanging from the ceiling and the curtain flew open, swishing past her to reveal a small couch set into a balcony. Sunlight poured in from the large round window overlooking the city of London. In the distance she could see the masts of ships setting in the harbor. Her eyes sought out the tallest ship, its sails a bright indigo blue with a white crescent moon in the center of its mainsail. The HMS Maximus was the flagship of her father’s fleet and easily the most magnificent ship in the harbor. It held a secret, and she knew that was the true reason for the lieutenant’s presence tonight. No doubt her father had chosen him as the steward of his most prized possession. If Lt. Weston could carry it safely across the Atlantic to the Americas, then the world would be forever changed.

And she was determined to be a part of it. If she could just convince father…

Want to see more of what I’m picturing as I write? It is going to be an adventure to remember, and you can follow along through my Steampunk Fantasies board on Pinterest.

       Follow Heather’s board Steampunk Fantasies on Pinterest.


Productive Procrastination

My deskWriting is fun. But like everything on earth, once you’ve made it your “job” it inevitably reveals areas that are more work than fun. For me, the revision phase of writing is that work.

I just finished two separate first drafts last month. That is two new books that granted me the immense pleasure of typing The End. It’s not exactly normal for a writer to finish two books in a month. And as exciting as that was, it means I now have no choice but to enter into the revision phase for the foreseeable future. Or, as I like to call it, the Get Your Life Together phase.

Writing, for me, is beautifully messy work. The piling on of ideas, the sculpting of concept into reality…it takes a certain “letting go” for me to craft fantasy. And it shows. My desk becomes a cluttered mess of “organized chaos” which really just translates to piles and piles of notebooks and papers. A thesaurus holds down a stack of revision notes hastily scribbled during a frantic late night writing session. A cluster of worn notebooks teeters on the edge, a forgotten friend after hours of searching for random notes I buried in whatever journal was closest over the course of three years brainstorming. It’s a tangled mess that closely resembles my own inner work space at the end of a book’s birth into the world.

But editing and revising is another monster altogether. It is analytical, logical, organized. I can’t hope to sort out plot holes and character flaws if I don’t start it with the end in mind: a clearly articulated story that will transform your everyday mess of a life into magic for a few blissful hours. This is the goal. And it all starts with a clean desk.

Cleaning my desk is step one in the Get Your Life Together Phase. At first glance it feels harder than writing a book from scratch. But, little by little, it gets done. And then, we have a clear work space for clear thinking. Next, I tackle all of the forgotten and neglected chores of a responsible human being. Namely, laundry.

Laundry has no doubt piled up IMG_2990around me while I slaved away at the keyboard and though my family is incredibly helpful and supportive, no one cherishes a love for putting laundry in its proper place. So, the sorting and stuffing of clean laundry begins. I say stuffing because I gave up folding years ago. Stuffing it into drawers is the best I can do, people. You can have wrinkle free t-shirts, or you can have a magical fantasy adventure, but you can’t have both. (Someone please embroider this on a pillow for me. Thanks.)

All of this work seemed at first like walking away from writing. It was labelled “not writing” in my brain for too long. Now I see that it, like many other seemingly random parts of my life, is just a small part of the work I do as a writer. Get Your Life Together phase is what you might call productive procrastination. I may be putting off the less desirable work to be done next in writing, but I am setting the stage for clear thinking and guilt-free work. When I sit down to my desk with no chores undone, no nagging thoughts of what must be taken care of for me to be a good mother, wife, friend, or student, then I am able to focus. And focus gets work done. It is hard for creative brains to focus half-heartedly. Multi-tasking doesn’t fly when you’re a writer, an artist, or a composer. To finish your masterpiece, you must pour yourself into it 100%. That only happens when I’m not distracted by other things like laundry.

This makes some stages of an artist’s life harder than others. For instance, writing with small children at home. When my kids were littles, I wrote late at night. It was what I did to wind down after they went to bed. While friends might sit down to their favorite guilty pleasure tv show, I was sitting down to the computer to find out what happened next in my story. It was fun and felt like my own secret life. No one else knew except my husband and I’m sure he didn’t think anything would come of it at the time. Honestly, neither did I. I was doing it for myself because I’m a writer at heart and writing is essential. I can give it up for a little while, but eventually it bleeds out somewhere or I explode.

So, I’ll tackle this phase and revise books until they are beautiful, well crafted and ready for you to enjoy. But all along, the thing that will drive me to get it finished, to get it done, will be the desire to start anew. New adventures are waiting for me. But first…laundry.


Dear Author…

BookSigningI am a quintessential older sister. I LOVE giving advice. Seriously, I do. When I was younger, I would fantasize about having an advice column in the newspaper like Dear Abby. It was a lovely fantasy where everyone wanted to hear what I had to say and couldn’t wait to tell everyone else about how clever I was in helping them solve their problems. AND I got paid for it!  *sigh*

Well, I may not be all that clever at helping you deal with cranky neighbors or nosey in-laws, but I love helping young writers tackle their creative writing problems. This week I got a beautiful letter from a young fan in South Dakota.

“I’ve been trying to write books for a while now but I keep running into a problem. I will have a few pages of the book done and they’ll look great, but when I stop typing for any reason my mind keeps the story going. So I will only have started the book two days ago but I’ll already have made up in my mind too far in the future. So then I will start a new story in my head the old one not forgotten but, not on my mind all the time. The new character having all the attention. And the book will be stopped. So my question is, do you have this problem? If so how do you deal with it?”

The answer: YES! I had this problem for years before I finished my first book. For me, it was a problem of planning. I was taught in school to outline your writing before you begin. So, when I had an awesome story idea, I would daydream about it for awhile until I decided it was good enough to write. Then, I would sit down and outline the entire story, start to finish. Then…I was done with it. I could NOT make myself write that story no matter how hard I tried.

This went on for ages until one day I woke up with the most incredible dream. You know the kind of dream that makes you want to cry because you can’t just go back to sleep and finish it? I couldn’t stop thinking about it! How did those two people get into that situation? How on earth were they going to get out of it? Who was the mysterious villain that was after them?

I thought about it while I got dressed. I thought about it while I poured my coffee. I thought about while I drove kids to school. I thought about it while I did dishes. And then finally, I took out a notebook and started writing just to get it out of my head. But I kept writing and three hours later I was mad when I had to stop. I wanted to know what happened! That fall my brother challenged me to write my first book for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and I knew exactly what story I wanted to write. I just had to see how it ended! 30 days later I had my answer…and my first book, A Light in the Darkness. That’s when I realized the reason I was stuck after plotting out entire books…boredom. I wanted to write to see how the story ended. If I sat down and plotted out every detail then the thrill was gone, it wasn’t any fun to keep writing after I knew how it ended.

So, I write like a reader. If there is mystery in a book of mine, it was a mystery to me, too. I honestly didn’t know who the bad guy was in The Light Series until book two. NO JOKE! Once I figured it out, I was able to go back and put his name into the first book, but it was a complete shock, I swear. I remember the first time two characters kissed it was the same way. “What are you doing?!” It’s a serious rush when your story takes on a life of its own.

If you’re having trouble staying focused, maybe try writing just to see how the story ends. If another idea pops up while you’re working, jot it down in a notebook or a computer file labeled Novel Ideas and keep going. Don’t get too wrapped up in the new idea. Just dump the details so you can start with them later and keep going. I have more book ideas piled up than I could ever write and they are really fun to look through when I’m ready to start a new project. But, learning to focus on the story at hand is powerful if you’re ever going to finish one. Why don’t you join me this year for NaNoWriMo? At the end you’ll have your very first book! It’ll be a rough draft, but still, I can’t tell you how awesome it feels to type THE END on your very first book. (Who am I kidding? It never stops feeling awesome!)nano_logo

Anyone want to join us? National Novel Writing Month is coming soon! Let’s write and find out how the story ends together. I’ll be hosting a write-along all month long in November, so get your ideas ready. It’s going to be fun!


Divine Inspiration

pablo (1)A lot of writers talk about the authors and books that inspire their writing. It’s a common topic in interviews and I have more than once found myself stumbling over my answer.

I can say how I love C.S. Lewis and his ability to create a world that I wanted to dive into headfirst. I want to write allegory like he did, weaving it so seemlessly with fantasy that readers can be inspired and changed without even fully knowing his underlying concepts. I want to write like Madeleine L’Engel who could take complex science and merge it with the even more intricate and mysterious world of the spirit, creating something that felt new and daring. But most of all I find inspiration in a book that would probably surprise you…the Bible.

I know it may seem an odd choice for a fantasy writer, but you’d be surprised how often it influences my work. As a writer, I’m always wanting to inspire readers to think, “What if…?” When I read the Bible, I’m constantly faced with that question. My imagination goes wild!

What if a group of people were being chased through the desert by an entire army and they find themselves trapped at the edge of the sea? They turn around with their babies in their arms and stare into the distance, enemy chariots stirring up the sand as they race toward the defenseless people. What if the sea splits open, creating a pathway to safety, and the path isn’t even muddy or wet, its completely dry ground?! They cross the sea on dry ground with the water piled up like mountains on either side of them. What if the army chases them right into the middle of the sea and when the last person reaches the other side, the water rushes in, collapsing on top of the army, washing them away?

What if a man lived in such a dangerous place, with enemy troops patrolling around so often that people couldn’t even live normal lives anymore? The people were so scared that they abandoned their homes and went to hide in the mountains, living in caves and crevices. Their crops were stolen by enemy soldiers on a regular basis so that his people were not only living in fear, but hungry, too. So, there he is, hiding in a wine press pit in order to thresh wheat for his family where no one can see it. What if a man suddenly appeared to him, an angel, and called him a mighty warrior? He’s nothing but a weak, cowardly farmer but some divine higher power has chosen him to be the warrior who ends up destroying the entire nation of people who keep invading his land. What if he becomes not only a warrior, but a leader who rescues his people and leads them to reclaim their land.

What if you were sitting in a boat one day with your friends, trying to cross the lake? You travel all night, the wind pushing against you so that you don’t seem to be making any headway at all. Sitting there in the middle of the lake, exhausted, you look out in the darkness and see something moving toward you. It looks like a person. You’re sure it’s a person, it’s a ghost floating above the water and it’s coming right at you! What if, as it comes closer it calls out to you and you realize it’s not a ghost but your friend? The smart alack in your boat yells, “Oh, yeah? If you’re really him, why don’t you call me out to walk with you on the water?” And he does! What if your stupid friend gets out of the boat and actually walks on the water?! The wind is blowing, waves are crashing against the boat and you are sitting there watching two of your closest friends walking on top of the water!

Don’t those sound like great fantasy stories? Each one of them makes me want to ask, “What happened next?” They set my brain on fire. But here’s the real kicker: What if they were real? What if they really happened? Whether you believe the Bible or not, there are billions of people who do! History even proves that many of those people, those places, they were real. So…what if it was all real? What if people could walk on water, teleport to another city, speak to God and hear his voice, glow like lightning? What if someone could understand all languages at once without training? What if you could heal the sick, see spirits, fight demons? What if it was possible to never die or to die and then live again?

THAT is why the Bible is my biggest inspiration. I just can’t help wondering…pablo

What inspires you?

Teaser Tuesday

The third book in The Light Series, The Light Within, is in the magical hands of my editor. I can hardly wait to share it with you! Merri’s journey takes her farther from Nomar in this book and deeper into the war that is brewing between Loian and Keardun. Today’s teaser reminds us where it all started in A Light in the Darkness.


The Light Within

December 2015

The Ultimate Reading Quest




Happy New Year from all the Authors in the Ultimate Reading Quest! This year myself, and all the Quest authors, want you to enjoy your reading experiences more than ever! So in 2015, the Ultimate Reading Quest has more, more, more! More authors and more books, means more mystery, more danger, more intrigue and more edge-of-your-seat adventure awaits you! We want you, our readers, to be able to fill that Kindle, tablet or E-reader you got for Christmas, with fabulous reads to take you through 2015. The Quest is so much fun! Who doesn’t love searching for treasure? The ULTIMATE READING QUEST is about finding books that are “perfectly” suited to your reading taste by clicking on choices. To thank you for participating, the authors have decided to give away oodles of prizes for free! Enter your name to win Amazon cards and free books from authors! Plus a whole store of treasured books are just waiting to be discovered by you!

Enjoy your journey as you travel through the QUEST! Don’t forget to enter the raffle on the first page of the Quest. And please leave comments or questions for the authors of the Quest. We would love to hear from you. What are you waiting for? Click on the button above or below to get started on your QUEST for the next ULTIMATE READ!