Minuet Sees King Hebraun off to Battle

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“Begging your pardon, sire,” said Dunvel as he shifted from foot to foot, “but shouldn’t we be on our way?”

“Polite all at once are we?” said Hebraun without bothering to look at him. Presently Minuet swept back into the room with Herio, who was now completely composed and wearing some of Lukus’s old clothes. She took her seat immediately as she guided Herio to stand right beside her. She took up Hebraun’s hand and squeezed it. They held each other’s eyes for several heartbeats of understanding and then turned as one to look at Dunvel.

Hebraun rose from his throne without a word and drew Minuet up to stand beside him. He nodded ever so slightly at his guards before fixing his eyes on Dunvel.

“See him to the courtyard and wait for me there,” he said as they stepped up to surround Dunvel.

Dunvel shamelessly flung a conceited look at Herio as he turned to go.

giphyHebraun spared a kindly glance at Herio and then took both of Minuet’s hands and looked into her eyes. “I love you more than words can tell,” he said.

“And I love you,” she said as they squeezed hands.

Hebraun stepped smartly from the dais with her, as Herio scrambled to follow, out into the courtyard where the guards waited with Dunvel.

He paused by Vindicator, his huge white march streiciwr brenhinol stallion unicorn and kissed Minuet farewell. He quickly found his stirrup, threw his leg over his mount and looked down at Herio. “I need you to stay here to protect the queen.”

Herio drew himself up and nodded fiercely as Minuet drew him to her side.

“Besides,” said Hebraun as he gave a beady-eyed nod at Dunvel, “You might want to testify when that thing has its trial.”

Herio’s eyes flashed as he nodded and stood proudly beside his queen.

Hebraun shared one last gaze with Minuet then urged his great white unicorn to the

Queen Minuet

gate and vanished. Herio turned aside to see Minuet’s eyes brimming with tears as she stood tall and proud, making her way back to her duties. He trailed along beside her after pausing to see Dunvel being led away to some place fitting. Herio’s face firmed in resolve. That goblin would share his brother’s fate if he had any say in the matter.

Ch. 47, Stone Heart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carol Marrs Phipps & Tom Phipps

Read the 1st Chapter of WHAM! for Free

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Chapter 1

Someone shouted in the kitchen. Tess Greenwood sat right up in the blackness. “Dad?” she gasped.

Someone screamed.

“Mom!” cried Tess as she stumbled onto the floor in a panic of pillow and sheets, in time for her door to fling wide with blinding light and a bang that shattered things on her dresser.

“Hey!” barked the silhouette in the doorway. “No way you’re running by me!” And with that, he tramped right in, jabbing her in the throat with the end of his e- truncheon.

“Aah!” she wailed with the throb of its electric jolt as she sat down hard on the floor.

“Like that, little witch?” he hissed through the mask of his plastic helm. “Now you’re going into the kitchen on your hands and knees, real careful or I’ll hold my stick against your stinking throat ’til y’ pass out. Move!”

As Tess rolled onto her knees, she could hear her sister’s squeals of defiance as she kicked at the pair of cops who had hold of her in the kitchen.

“Nia!” shouted her mother before crying out in pain.

“You vile bastards!” roared her father.

Tess leaped through the doorway in time to see two of the police from Children and Family Assistance squirt his mouth full of thick polymer from their gob stopper gun, as he gagged, bouncing and jerking against his restraints in red-faced fury.

“I told you!” bellowed Silhouette, grabbing Tess by the arm and yanking her onto the floor.

“Tess!” cried her mother. “Stop! They’ll kill you if y’ don’t quit!”

“That’s right!” shouted Silhouette.

“Nia!” cried Tess at the sight of the police kicking her.

“Hey!” shouted Silhouette. “That little whore’s going to the capitol. And they won’t take her all beat up! But this one,” he grunted, giving Tess a furious kick, “has earned it!”

“Tess!” screamed her mother in time to be silenced with a kick in the head.

Her father sprang from the floor in spite of his restraints, slamming into Silhouette in a rage that knocked over the refrigerator behind them. Suddenly police were everywhere, beating him senseless, dragging him and his dear wife out the door into the early light of dawn.

“Mom! Dad!” screamed Tess as car doors slammed outside.

Now they had Nia by the arms. “I’ll love Drake forever!” she wailed as they forced her outside.

Tess bit the hand that grabbed her mouth and dashed outside to leap down the steps as two of the police cars lurched into the roadway with a chirp of tires.

“Bite me again, little witch!” roared Silhouette as his truncheon came down behind her ear.

***

Beyond the front steps, the sun rose well into the morning, glinting on a green bottle in the bare red dirt of the yard. Sparrows cheeped everywhere in the noise of the traffic from the roadway. Tess sat up just long enough to see that she was in her room, caught herself on her elbow to keep from toppling out of bed and lay right back down with a groan.

At the bounce of her bed springs, an elderly woman pushed back a chair and stood up in the kitchen. “Whoa there, deary-do!” she called, stumping right in to look at her this way and that. “That might be a bit quick. You got two black eyes. And the nurse said the copper only whacked y’ one good one on the back of the head. And what I want to know is, can y’ even see out of either one?”

“Kind of…”

“I’m Maud, sweetheart,” she said, giving Tess’s hand a squeeze. “Maud Baxter. How ’bout some tea? So far, the only pot I’ve found has half the spout gone…”

“It pours. We’ve been using it… Please!” she said with a scald of fear as she sat right up. “Where’s Mom and Dad? And Nia?”

Maud stopped short with wide eyes. “Why Children and Family Assistance,” she said, scarcely shaking her head. “And I’m to be in here for a few days to help y’ adjust…”

“When are they coming back?”

Maud shook her head as if she were about to cry.

“No!” shouted Tess in a great wail of despair.

Old Maud had her in her arms at once, rocking her and smoothing her hair for a good long time. At last, she gave her a pat and sat up. “I’m going to go fix that tea,” she said.

Tess lay back with shooting pains in her head, in spite of the sedatives given to her by the nurse.

Maud was back in short order, finding a chair for the tea. “I hope you’re not too old for animal crackers,” she said. “I found this nice box. And it only had one teensy little maggot and some web. All I had to do was shake it out and put the crackers back in.”

Tess drew in a deep, shuddery breath. “Where do you live, Maud?”

“Up at the north end with Mort and Bart. That’s my husband and m’ crow…”

“I don’t feel so good,” said Tess handing back her half full cup.

“I should say! You’re white as a sheet. The nurse said that you’re to be sleeping. Just lie back and I’ll be right out here in the kitchen.”

Tess lay back more quickly than she had meant to. “Your husband and who did y’ say?” she said, wincing at the whirling ceiling. “I swore you said Crow somebody…”

“My pet bird is a crow…” said Maud from the doorway.

“And Mom and Dad really, really aren’t coming back?”

Maud shook her head and was back at Tess’s bedside at once, smoothing her hair away from the tears she was squeezing from her swollen eyes. It was not long until Maud could see that she was sound asleep. She stood, propping her hands on her knees for a moment before straightening up the rest of the way and shuffled quietly into the kitchen.

Beside the toaster under the cupboards rested a polished stone ball. The moment Maud stepped in, it gave a faint flash. “Yeh?” she said, looking right at the face which was appearing in it. “I know my place well enough not to discuss her family. I’m professional. Besides, I know very well that you saw the whole thing. Now, I want to talk to Mort.” She picked up the ball and sat with it at the table. “Mort?”

Mort was already peering out of the “skinny,” as everyone called these things. “I’ve got the rest of the day, Maudy,” he said. “They don’t have me spraying until tomorrow, first thing.”

“As you might’ve overheard before I left, I’m at the south end of the far south barrack, facing the road. I’ve got to scratch around before I know what I’m fixing, but I’m starting on dinner, right now.” And with that, she parked the skinny in a storage jar lid, so that it wouldn’t roll off the table, and set about to see what might be fixed to eat. There certainly was no meat of any sort. “I don’t know why I’m even bothering to look,” she was careful not to say aloud. It was rare for anyone to get his hands on meat except for the day before one of the world holidays. All of the world holidays were mandatory to observe. Disarmament Day commemorated the destruction of the last private firearm. Emancipation Day marked the outlawing of all religions. And Unity Day was the day when the World Alliance began its tyrannical rule everywhere. She found a few pounds of limp carrots in the bottom of the refrigerator which she and the nurses had managed to set upright, some black pepper and a box of very old-smelling milk powder.

While she was searching for a kettle without a hole in it, Mort was up at the north end, wheeling his bicycle out the door. He fiddled with the cuff of his breeches as the breezy whistles of the starling overhead gave way to a bubbling chatter. After a couple of tries, he was mounted. With Bart digging in his toenails and swaying ponderously on his shoulder, he gave a wild swing to the left, an immediate weave to the right, and with a rattle of fenders was underway with all the aplomb of a cyclist in his prime.

“We’re going to have carrots,” said Maud as Mort hauled his watermelon of a belly up the last step. “I just now put them on.”

“Smells like old refrigerator,” he said, backing stiffly up to a chair by the table, “but I expect it will be good…” He sat down with a sudden plump and let Bart shuffle down his arm to the back of the nearby chair to begin at once, sorting through his feathers.

“Maud?” called Tess from the bedroom. “Are you still here?”

“I’m on my way with just a cup this time, dearie-do.”

“I don’t think I can,” said Tess. “I feel like vomiting.”

“I hope y’ get over that. I’ve got carrots starting to boil.”

“I’m ‘way too sick. Is someone here?”

“Mort and Bart.”

“Well please go on and eat without me. I’ll just puke. But Maud, please stay.”

Maud gave Tess’s hand a squeeze. “I’ll be right here as long as y’ need me, sweetheart,” she said. And with that she returned to the kitchen.

“Just the girl?” said Mort, looking up.

Maud nodded.

“Well how is she?”

Maud went straight to the cupboards as if she had not heard him, unplugged the toaster and parked it directly in front of the skinny as she took a chair at the table.

“I said how is the young lady?”

“Oh she’s doing just fine. A nice long nap and she’ll be right as rain,” she said as she leant across the table with a roll of her eyes and an ear-to-ear shake of her head. “I think she’ll be ready to start her new life in no time.” She was still shaking her head as she glanced at the toaster to make sure that no one on the skinny had seen.

“And she understands what happened?” he said, ignoring the stone ball, since he had no toaster to hide behind.

“I think she’s anxious enough to get going in her new direction,” she said, closing her eyes with an even bigger shake of her head. “But I’d not know for sure, since it’s never our place to discuss such things. That’s for the councilors at Children and Family Assistance. But I think most young clients are quite ready for a change, long before it comes.”

Bart ruffled up his feathers and gave himself a thorough shake.

“Maud!” wailed Tess from the bedroom. “The wash basin! Got ‘o puke!”

“Oh my stars!” said Maud. “Where do you reckon they keep it?”

Tess thumped across her bedroom floor to the toilet in the bathroom with an explosive cough of yellow fluid.

“Oh deary-do!” said Maud as she stumped in. “I’m so sorry I couldn’t find the pan. Why you don’t have a thing in your stomach to throw up, do you…?”

“Gawf…angk…awmff…!” hooted Tess, nodding her dribbling chin over the iron stained porcelain of the toilet bowl.

Maud saw at once that there was no skinny in the bathroom and pushed the door to. “Those rotten coppers!” she said in a low voice as she daubed at Tess with a towel.

“I’ve cleaned up their work every blooming day now, for years. And I swear. I just don’t begin to know how they can do that to families.”

“I thought you worked for…” moaned Tess.

“For Children and Family Assistance? I do, but my job’s cleaning up after them.

And you didn’t hear one word I said, either. Now. If I help y’ up, can you make it back to bed, or do you need to steady y’ self a bit longer?”

“Unng…!” said Tess, leaning back over the water.

“Seems y’ do…” said Maud, looking up at the sudden pounding on the kitchen door. “Mort!” she hollered “Let me get it!”

Tess had a look of blanched terror as Maud got to her feet. “Oh deary-do,” she said, “that can’t be the coppers, unless you’ve had a skinny ball in here with us. You don’t, eh?”

Tess gave a rigid shake of her head, and Maud stumped right out past Mort and Bart. She hooked the chain and opened the kitchen door against it to peer out at two teenagers. She closed the door, undid the chain and opened it wide. “Yeh?” she said with her fists on her hips.

The young man dug the gum out of his cheek with his tongue and looked her up and down from under the tattoos of his shaved head. “You’re not Tess, lady,” he said, as his sister craned this way and that in her nose rings and Mohawk hair-do, trying to peer inside.

“Took y’ long enough to figure it out, but I’m glad y’ finally managed,” said Maud. “Now. Tess isn’t up to company, so you two are going to have to leave.” And with that, she closed the door and turned the lock.

“Hey!” shouted the pair outside as they pounded on the door. “You can’t do that! Children and Family Assistance sent us! We’re Trent and Jasmine Warren, her new roomies!”

Maud hooked the chain and turned away. She found Tess still kneeling by the toilet. “What’s wrong, dearie-do?” she said, when she saw that her nausea had been replaced by a look of dread.

“That was the Warrens?” said Tess. “They hate me.”

“Why on earth?”

“Well…they made me take my shots at school,” she said, frowning at her thumbnails. “But I’m just not at all ready for that. Trent knew about my shots and was after me all the time. Everybody always knows when a girl gets her shots. And I wouldn’t have anything to do with him, in spite of how pushy he got. And Jasmine? She calls me ‘earhole’ all the time and makes ugly faces, but I think she hates everyone at school.”

“Aw dearie-do,” said Maud with a grunt, as she strained to kneel beside her with a brush. “I hate what’s become of the schools. Y’ know, they actually taught me to read, when I was in school.”

“Mom and Dad taught me,” said Tess, stifling a sob.

“You didn’t let the school find out, did you? Something like that could very well have been what brought in the Children and Family Assistance.”

“Oh, they always told me that I had to keep my reading a secret.”

Maud nodded. “Well back to those two, I locked the door,” she said. “But if they do have orders, they’ll be back and we’ll have no choice but to let them in. Meanwhile, I can at least get a delay order in place until you’ve recovered enough to deal with them. Now if I can just get back on my feet, I’ll help y’ back to bed if you’re ready.”

Once Tess was back in bed, she closed her eyes and wondered if there was any way to flee. “But where would I ever flee to?” she thought as she drifted into a deep sleep.

She had not been asleep very long when Maud opened the kitchen door against the chain and peered out the crack at a blond young man in denim, whom she recognized at once to be Drake Evans, but knowing better than to give him away to the stone ball on the table, merely said: “Yes?”

“Maud Baxter!” he said in wide-eyed alarm. “Why are you…? Nia! She’s here, isn’t she?”

Maud closed her eyes with a quiet shake of her head.

“No!” cried Drake.

Maud immediately closed the door. She would not have him overheard, blurting out something that would bring the police. There was not another sound from outside the door. She squeezed shut her eyes for a moment, and with a totter, shuffled to the table to sit with a tired sigh across from Mort and Bart.

***

Tess awoke to the smell of bread toasting on the griddle and talking in the kitchen.

“Would you mind if I waited until she’s awake? I promise I won’t stay too long or upset her.”

“That depends on how she wakes up,” said Maud. “She’s been having quite a time with her medicine…”

“Maud!” cried Tess as she sat up. “I’ve got to puke and I’ve got the whirlies bad! Could Drake help me to the toilet?”

Drake was at her bedside at once, helping her to her feet. The moment he had her kneeling by the toilet, he let the door swing quietly to. He had long known that the bathroom had no skinny, but he waited for Tess to speak in case that they had just been forced by the authorities to add one.

“I heard one of the cops say that Nia was going to the capitol,” said Tess with an unexpected sob. “And the last thing she said was, she’ll always love you. And poor Mom and Dad! It doesn’t look like I’ll ever, ever know…” And with that, she threw back her head and wailed with despair.

Drake had her in his arms at once, tears streaming down his cheeks. He looked away, struggling to hide a sob of his own. After a time, he turned to study her. “What on earth did they do to you?” he said. “You’ve got two black eyes that I can see…”

“Oh, one of the coppers whacked me on the back of the head with his e-stick…”

“The back of your head! Not your eyes? He must’ve damned near killed you…”

“I don’t know,” she said, closing the lid and sitting on the toilet. “But they’ve got my middle all wrapped up tight. Do you suppose they broke a rib or two? That same cop was kicking me. Nobody’s said a thing.”

“Do you know where the capitol is?”

“I don’t think anyone knows,” she said, feeling of her middle. “Well, I reckon the coppers would have to know, wouldn’t they?”

“Yeh, but they aren’t people. Nobody ever talks to them, especially not the ones working for Children and Family Assistance. No one ever talks to any of those things…”

“And what I can’t figure out is why that old lady out there in the kitchen is so nice. She’s working for them. She said so.”

“I know why,” said Drake. “She and old Mort out there lost a daughter who’d be our age, had she lived. And they’ve not been able to have any more. They’re ‘way younger than they look, but they were living out in the country with all the spray for quite a while after the World Alliance took over.”

“How do you know all this?”

“Maud and Mort knew us. When Children and Family Assistance took Mom and Dad, Maud got assigned to me, so they helped me through my transition, just like they’re doing for you. And I don’t understand them taking Nia. Children and Family issued the license for us to be married in two more months and everything…” he said, coughing out a great sob in spite of himself.

He was dragging an eye down his sleeve when Maud pushed open the door. “If Tess is over being sick, it’s time we got her back to bed,” she said as she shuffled in with a towel.

When they had gotten Tess settled in bed, Maud saw Drake to the door and stepped outside with him. “I’m afraid Children and Family Assistance is only giving her a week before she has to let those Warren kids move in,” she said as she pulled the door to behind her. “And if I read her right, I can’t picture her managing with a pair like them, particularly not with the boy after her skirt.”

“That wouldn’t be Jasmine and Trent Warren, would it?” said Drake, turning about on the bottom step and looking up at her.

“It was Jasmine. I wasn’t sure about his name.”

“Oh I’ve got medicine for them,” he said. “Just a chat if you need me to.”

“Right away would be good.”

Drake gave a nod, came back up the steps, pecked her on the cheek and hurried on his way to supper, unaware that Trent and Jasmine were right above them in the spreading branches of the great burr oak by the steps.

As Tess got settled, the skinny on her dresser turned bright blue. “Tess?” it said.wham-glass-ball_gyotkfb__edited-2-_edited-1-a-lg

“Give me a moment,” she said as she labored to sit up and throw aside her covers.

She rose and came back to bed with the glowing stone ball. It took a bit of uncomfortable shifting about, but soon she was sitting with it between her knees as its swirling colors gave way to a dour bald man in hospital garb.

“How are you Tess?” said the man.

“I’m not sure I feel like talking…” she said.

“You were well enough for time with Drake.”

“So he could help me in to puke. It’s a lot of fun, vomiting for company…”

“Tess,” said the man. “Have you any idea why it was necessary to resettle your parents?”

“I can’t imagine how anything like that could ever be necessary…”

“They’ve allowed you to become sarcastic and defiant when you should be expressing your respect and gratitude. The teachers and counselors at your school have been concerned. Your parents weren’t managing…”

“No!” she cried out in hoarse anguish, “No! No! No!”

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A True Valentine’s Day Love Story

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Jesse and Eleanor Marrs Wedding Picture
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Eleanor was just 14 years old when her soon-to-be brother-in-law Roy introduced her to Jesse. She thought he was very handsome, but he was so much older than her at 19. However, they did ‘go around together’ as friends and were the witnesses at her sister and Roy’s wedding.
It was 1941 and the US entered World War II. Time passed and both Jesse and Roy enlisted in the army. And that was nearly the end of the story. Jesse had become a medic whose job it was to treat the injured on the front, and he did his job well earning himself multiple medals for his service and bravery, including a Purple Heart. But he was himself critically injured on the front lines in France in 1944. After a month in the hospital in London he was shipped back to the US on the same ship which had taken him overseas. He then spent another eight months in the hospital undergoing surgeries to have shrapnel removed form his head.
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Once he finally got out of the hospital Jesse decided to pay a visit to his friend Roy’s wife and give her news about her husband and what it was like overseas. As fate would have it he also got to see Eleanor again, too. An older, grown-up Eleanor. They resumed their friendship which soon blossomed into a full-fledged whirlwind romance. On February 14, 1945 were married in Brown County Indiana where Jesse was stationed.
On February 14, 2012 Jesse and Eleanor celebrated their 67th Anniversary and Valentines Day together. He was 90 years old and she was 85 and at that time they still lived together in their own home in rural Illinois and ‘took care of each other’. Of Jesse, Eleanor would say, “he is a good husband and he takes good care of me”. Speaking of Eleanor, Jesse said, “it has been a very good 67 years with her”.
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It would make me very happy if today, February 14, 2014, I could wish them a joyous 69th Valentine Anniversary and tell them that I love them both very much…they are, after all, my parents. But mom passed away in April of 2012 and dad’s terminal cancer finally won the battle it had waged on him for many years. He passed away in March of 2013, not long after his and Mom’s 68th anniversary. When I visited him shortly before his death, Dad said, “you know, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen your mother.” My one consolation is that they are together again and will never again have to spend another Valentine’s Day Anniversary apart.
     Carol Marrs Phipps
Happy Valentine’s Mom and Dad! And to all lovers everywhere!

Interview with Author Susan Waterwyk & Review of Lantamyra: A Tapestry of Fantasy

What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?interview 007 (3)1

I am Susan Waterwyk. I was born in Texas (the big flat part). I now live in the gold country of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains (one of the most rugged and beautiful places on Earth).

Please tell us a little about yourself (something different not contained in your bio).

Life is a canvas and patience is the first art. As a child I was often content to play by myself in an imaginary world populated with magical beings.  My first major artistic endeavor came in the form of music. When I was ten years old, I discovered, on a neighbor’s piano, that I had a talent for music, and my parents proceeded to give me lessons. I eventually went on to compete in the Van Cliburn Competition.  In high school, I became interested in architecture and did rather well in the science of building. The many paths of life that a teenager takes to adulthood led me away from art and into the mainstream of the working class and raising children, but the need to create art was always in my heart.  When I turned thirty, I began painting imaginary landscapes (or dreamscapes) on canvas. Writing poetry taught me how to paint pictures with words. My husband explained the technicalities of poetry, but I struggled for a long time with meter.  Then one day, while working in my garden, to the rhythm of the rake, I had a revelation from the working meditation, and a poem took its shape about the magic life creates. Writing poetry eventually led to the desire to write a story, but I had no inspiration until I had a dream of a conversation with a dragon.  A few days later, I began writing my first novel.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I love to sit on my deck and toss peanuts (roasted unsalted) to the birds and squirrels that come to visit Dragonwood. We named our little acre in the forest for the twisted red trunks of the manzanita trees. I also enjoy working in my garden, and I still paint from time to time.  

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?

phpWRjFo5AM(1)LANTAMYRA A TAPESTRY OF FANTASY: A story of a sanctuary world where refugees from two worlds (dragons and humans) co-exist peacefully.

Is this book part of a series?

Yes, if two books constitutes a series. I do not at this time have plans for a third book. The sequel is titled: A TALE OF TWO WORLDS.

Would you share a blurb with us?

Eighteen-year-old Tylya Lansing lives in a small town in the mountains of California’s gold country. Her grandmother Lenora claims to be from another world, and the story she tells of Lantamyra are irresistible, the magnificent vistas, the ancient gardens and enormous trees that are treasured assets, festivals that celebrate the seasonal changes, and dragons that play chess.  The most intriguing story, however, is about the women and men that learn to control the power of crystals.

In a rugged Sierra canyon, Tylya finds what her grandmother lost forty years ago (which stranded her on Earth) and it provides the means for them to journey to Lantamyra. Tylya is determined to learn the secrets of crystal power and become a keeper of dragons.

Would you share a short excerpt?

Nightkeeper Kyra Starszyn from Chapter 8: “This night belongs to lovers and dreamers, a night when threads of love are woven into a tapestry of fantasy, a night to magically transform into the character you wish to play. This is the night to banish hatred and all things sad and dark, a night to tell a story and share a whispered secret.” She placed a finger to her lips and blew softly.

Do you have plans for a new book? Would you tell us a little about it?

I am currently working on A TALE OF TWO WORLDS, the conclusion to LANTAMYRA. Earth is beginning to experience the Great Change (tectonic upheavals), and the gathering of refugees from countries all over the world is essential. Tylya and Lenora are in command of some of the missions, which includes a mission to retrieve the lost crystals of Atlantis.  Tylya’s former lover, Josh Hamilton, has taken the dangerous job of crystalseeker in the mine at Queen’s Heart.

How long have you been writing? And who or what inspired you to write?

I wrote my first pages on Mother’s Day 2005. I was inspired by a dream of a conversation with a dragon.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?

Yes, occasionally, and I intend to offer more in the near future.

Would you ever consider writing with a co-author?

It would depend on the type of book and the compatibility with the co-author. I   would be reluctant to sentence another human being to endure my artistic eccentricities.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?

My title LANTAMYRA A TAPESTRY OF FANTASY was created in two parts. I created a few words in an “ancient language” and mixed them together. “Lan” means world or mother and “myra” means crystal. The “Tapestry of Fantasy” was added later to give the reader a clue on the type of book. I designed and painted the book cover on canvas to give the readers a visual dreamscape. I intentionally chose a dark foreground to act as a gravity well to draw the viewer’s attention into the picture and to some of the critical elements of the story , i.e., the dragon, the two moons, the White Queen (mountain on the left), Bodhran Rock (on the right). 

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?

No, the characters are fictitious, but I gave a few of them physical descriptions similar to a few people I know.  All events are fictitious.

Is there a certain Author who influenced you in writing?

Anne McCaffrey is my favorite author, but I have been influenced by many great authors.

Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?

I like all three and each has its advantages.

What is your favorite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?

The three books of the CRYSTAL SINGER series by Anne McCaffrey because of the imaginative world she created and the enjoyable characters that populated it. I have read each book several times.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Why or why not?

It depends on the book and the movie producers.  A few good examples: THE GRAPES OF WRATH, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD  and THE GODFATHER. Bad examples are far too numerous and are frequently described as “loosely based” on the book.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it? (eBook, hardback or paperback)

I’m reading the paperback NORTHANGER ABBEY by Jane Austen. In hardback I’m re-reading A TALE OF TWO CITIES by Charles Dickens. In eBook I’m reading THE COLLECTOR WITCH by Carol and Tom Phipps and LAKE CAERWYCH by J.A. Conrad.

Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn’t finish?

I will never read books that focus on horror, violence and hate. There are many books I have started but never finished. I will not single one out.

What do you think about book trailers?

I thought they were called “bookmobiles.” But seriously, I have not viewed any, so I cannot give an opinion.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?

Read your entire story aloud several times, the ear will often catch mistakes in logic, grammar, or anything else that interrupts the flow of the story, and my last advice is edit, edit, edit, edit, edit. I have even gone to the extreme of reading chapters backwards. I start at the end and read one paragraph then go to the one before it and so on, all the way back to the beginning of the chapter. WHY? Because it prevents me from getting wrapped up in my own story and reading over errors that are subtle and easily overlooked.

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?

Yes, because privacy is important for me to continue writing.

If your book was ever made into a movie, what actor/actress would you like to see play the main character(s)?

I don’t keep track of the Hollywood crowd anymore; I would have to delegate that task to the casting director.

Have you ever considered writing in a completely different genre? If so, what would it be and why.

No, I write fantasy for the heart and science fiction for the future, no other genres inspire me to write.

Do you think the current popularity of eBooks will last or do you believe it is just another passing trend?

I believe eBooks will endure as long as there are people and computers. It is so advantageous to hold a tablet that can contain many books, change the font size, define obscure or archaic terms, etc. However, there will always be a few humans who love to hold an old-fashioned book in their hands.

Considering Traditional Publishing vs. Indie Publishing, do you think one has a clear advantage over the other? If so, please elaborate.

I have not actually tried to obtain a traditional professional publisher. An attempt at obtaining a literary agent was aggravating enough to encourage me to try self-publishing. Mark Twain and Zane Grey self-published to start their careers, so I felt it was worth a shot. I believe both types of publishing have their own advantages and disadvantages.  A major disadvantage to indie authors is the way that Amazon presents their books. Amazon forgets that they are in the business to sell books. If the majority of reviews are good then those are the ones to display on the ad page. They should make the few bad reviews less noticeable like the ingredients on the back of a can of soup. If Amazon ran a restaurant there would be two signs in the front window: OVER 100 PEOPLE THOUGHT OUR FOOD WAS GREAT!!! and next to it THREE PEOPLE THREW UP AND TWO SAID THEY WOULD NOT FEED IT TO THEIR DOG!! How long do you think it would take before they went out of business?

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what did you do about it?

Early on I experienced writer’s block but not for long, if I was blocked from writing the next scene, I would simply jump ahead in the story and write a scene for another chapter.

 

Where can readers follow you?

Your blog details?  I have a blog on Goodreads.phpWRjFo5AM(1)
Your web site? Not at this time.
Your facebook page?
Your Goodreads author page?
Your Twitter details? @waterwyk
And any other information you wish to supply? Reader questions and comments can be sent directly to Waterwykarts@gmail.com

 

Buy Links for Lantamyra: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009KWM4LW/

 

Carol 1

 

Thank you, Susan, for taking time out from your busy schedule to share with us today. It has been a real pleasure having you here on our blog. I hope you will visit again in the future.

 

Review: Lantamyra: A Tapestry of Fantasy

phpWRjFo5AM(1)Lantamyra is uniquely different from most other fantasy worlds. It is not break-neck action or violence racing you and your heart through every page. It is, rather, a page-turner of discovery and delight. The author, Susan Waterwyk, masterfully crafted the magical and at times whimsical world, to enchant, captivate and fill your senses with a place alluringly different, peopled with characters and creatures so fascinating that you can’t help falling in love…with Lantamyra.

From the moment Josh Hamilton, Tylya Lansing’s long-time love, finds her grandmother’s crystal scepter you are catapulted into a world where dragons rule and humans serve. But there is neither tyranny nor coercion involved in the relationship, which is almost a symbioses of harmony in which they live and work to achieve their common goals and the welfare of all.

Lantamyra is full of great wonders like the crystal starships and the vast myra crystals that are so powerful they are not only energy for the ships but give the keepers and the dragons their magical abilities. You’ll even meet the Keepers of Akosh, ancient magical beings and the founders of Lantamyra who have  the ability to open doorways into the crystal realm. It was they who originally discovered the amazing giant myra crystals on Lantamyra which are capable of powering vast starships to search for more living worlds.

Many other marvels will captivate and astound you during your visit to this incredible world, such as the wee fairy folk (not too bright, but definitely beguiling), the mants (rather frightening and venomous beasties), and the scarp (a seafood delight of monstrous magnitude) and much, much more.

So what are you waiting for? Open a portal and send for a dragon to carry you away to Lantamyra today. But be warned: you may not want to leave.

BY: Carol Marrs Phipps