Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Some Normal Stuff

. . . or normal for me. I realized my "About Me" page is almost entirely about writing, and while writing is important to me, it isn't my whole life. So if you'll bear with me, I'll tell you some normal, non-writing stuff about me.

I've lived in northwest Georgia my entire life. I live in a subdivision, but I really want to live in the country . . . still in northwest Georgia, but I would love to have lots of land, and farm animals. I have two younger sisters, and we have always been homeschooled. I love being homeschooled and I plan to homeschool my own children (once I have some, of course). We have a dog, a yellow lab named Sophie.

I danced ballet at a local Christian dance studio for six years. I did do a little bit of tap, jazz, and modern, but I always liked ballet best. When I was eleven I got to go on pointe. It didn't hurt, except a little bit at the end of the year when I started growing out of my shoes. I quit dance when I was twelve because it was starting to require too much time, and though I was sad about it at first, I'm really glad now that I quit.

One of the most major changes in my family's life came when I was eight. We got involved in politics. A family friend ran for State House, and we were a big part of the campaign. It was a hard campaign, the opponent was a thirty year incumbent, but it was a lot of fun. We've been involved in a lot of campaigns since then, and I really enjoy it, though I must say, stuffing envelopes is not my favorite part of a campaign. (As a side note, I plan someday to write a series about a girl whose dad runs for office.)

I think it was when I was about thirteen that I learned to sew. I'm very picky about clothes, and have a really hard time finding things at the store that I am willing to wear, so I make a lot of my own clothes. I use a lot of patterns from the thirties and forties. I've also designed a few dresses. What I wish I could find a reason to make is a fantasy/medieval style dress. I have made colonial dresses that we have worn in parades, and an 1860s ball gown that I wear to these Civil War balls we go to, but I have yet to find justification for a fantasy dress. I'm also interested in spinning and weaving. I have a drop spindle, and once I was able to use a spinning wheel. I don't think my smile left my face for the rest of the day. I've only seen a floor loom being used once, in Colonial Williamsburg, but I could have watched it all day.

I also love music. I love listening to film score, because I love orchestras. I have played the piano since I was little and have been playing the violin, my favorite instrument, since last year.

I am a Christian, and though I'm far from perfect and still sin constantly, I do try to glorify God in whatever I do.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Free eBooks for Review!

Really, I mean FREE! I love hearing what people think of what I write, and so I really appreciate reviews. Reader reviews also make a big difference in sales. Since I appreciate reviews so much, I am perfectly happy to give away free eBook copies of my book in exchange for a review. If you are interested in reading and reviewing my book, please read through the information below and send me a message.
Review Guidelines
Any review is appreciated, but Amazon is the most helpful place to post a review. Posting reviews in other places such as a blog if you have one, or on Goodreads would be very appreciated as well. Also, your review doesn't have to be long or elaborate. Just a line or two about what you though of my book is perfectly fine.

I can only afford to give eBooks right now for review copies, because paperbacks cost money to print and ship (something I don't really have in a plentiful supply). If you don't have an eReader, you can download a Kindle app from Amazon for your computer, iPhone, etc.

Still interested? Just send me the following information, and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

Please send me the following information in your request:

Which format you want the book in such as Kindle, Nook, etc.
Where you plan to post your review.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Courage Review

“You will never be alone. Take courage in that always.”

Determined to follow the will of Elohim, Makilien faces daily threats and hardship. But an even bigger threat is growing. Bent on destroying his opposition once and for all, Zirtan amasses a devastating force to take control of Dolennar. When a dangerous secret comes to light, Makilien, along with her family and Aedan, are thrust into the middle of the struggle.

Faced with an army far outnumbering their own, Makilien and her friends risk everything—injury, captivity, even death— to gather their allies. But in the end, their hope and courage must rest in Elohim. Can the forces of good achieve victory, or will the might of evil prevail? Who will be left to see the end?
--From Molly Evangeline's Website


In my opinion, Courage is even better than Truth. Courage is a truly amazing story. There is more about Makilien's family, Sirion (I really like Sirion), and about Aedan . . . actually, a lot is revealed about Aedan that even he didn't know. There is plenty of adventure, and the title comes into play a lot. The characters constantly have to have courage in order to do what Elohim wants them to do.

The scale of Courage is a lot more epic than Truth and gives the reader a lot more time to get to know the characters. There is a pretty amazing nine chapter long battle, and the start of a romance. The book ends on a pretty big cliffhanger, but honestly, it didn't bother me that much. Why? I started reading Trust literally immediately after finishing Courage. I really am glad I was able to do that, because if I hadn't it would have driven me crazy. I can't say enough about how much I like the Makilien Trilogy. I highly recommend this book!

Z: Zachary Hemmingway

Zachary Hemmingway is one of the bad guys and a good friend of Andrew Walker. He is only in two different scenes in Across the Stars, but I think if I write a sequel about Hanna and Sam he will figure greatly in it.

I don’t know a whole lot about Zachary, just what Felix says about him: “He is a friend of my father’s. The most devious, evil, deceitful scumbag I ever laid eyes on.” If you need someone to do a lowdown, deceitful job, Zachary Hemmingway is your man. The bad guys needed such a man, and so Zachary came into being.

Now I come to the end of this blog series. It has been an interesting experience and has brought back many memories of writing Across the Stars. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have. Soon I’ll probably start blogging about my next book, The Experiment. As much as I like Across the Stars, I like this one even better. I also hope to write more about American History, which I love and want badly to share. God Bless America!!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Y: Yea, though I should walk through the valley of the shadow of death . . .

Whenever Sara Watson is scared, she quotes Psalm 23:

“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to rest in green pastures and leadeth me by the still waters. He restoreth my soul and leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his Name’s sake. Yea, though I should walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me: thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou dost prepare a table before me in the sight of my adversaries. Thou dost anoint mine head with oil, and my cup runneth over. Doubtless kindness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall remain a long season in the house of the Lord.”

Sara’s constant quoting of these verses indicates that in time of need, Sara turns to God. This is true of the other main good characters, but it is most prominent in Sara.

Another reference to this passage comes in one of the chapter names. My chapter name is a twist of a chapter name in Little Women by Louisa May Alcott which comes from Psalm 23. The chapter from Little Women is “The Valley of the Shadow,” the chapter from Across the Stars is “A Brush with Shadows.” If you are familiar with Little Women, you may be able to guess in general what the chapter in Across the Stars is about. Strangely enough for my writing style, this chapter was one I had foreseen practically from the beginning. And though I had some difficulties while writing it, Sara’s habit of turning to God in times of need is what showed through and propelled it forward.

Monday, July 22, 2013

X: eXecutions

X was difficult to come up with. After all, how many words start with X? Since there aren’t any xylophones or x-rays in Across the Stars, I had to settle for something that began with the sound “X”: Executions. Yes, there are executions in Across the Stars, yet none of them were deserved.

This really goes back to “Unjust.” A good many of King Jorrid’s unjust actions consisted of executing Emarotians under false charges. It is Anthony’s part of the story that deals with this subject. “So many Emarotians had been executed on false charges, some on no charges at all, most without a trial and none with a trial by jury. Sometimes children were put to death. All of Emarot lived in terror, but many, Anthony included, were angry as well. Who would not be, as one’s countrymen were executed one after the other?” Don’t worry, there’s nothing graphic about these executions, nothing beyond hearing a gunshot. But they happen. And they are very important. It is these executions that stir up the Emarotians to revolution. Who wouldn’t want to fight against someone who executed innocents?

I had a hard time thinking of cruel things for King Jorrid to do. I just have a hard time thinking of mean things for characters to do, even for my bad guys. So these executions, high taxes, and the closing of Emoria’s port are really the extent of the cruelties described in the story. This isn’t all King Jorrid does, but it is all I could think of to enumerate in the story. Even if this was all King Jorrid did, they would still have good reason for revolt.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Truth Review

“What are we living for? Just to live? What is the point? Don’t you think there should be a purpose?”

Trapped in a village no one is allowed to leave, Makilien yearns for the answers to her questions about life and the world outside the village walls. Yet no one but her closest friend seems to understand or share her desire. Despite her family’s fears and warnings of the consequences, she is determined to find answers.

The unexpected arrival of a stranger, and the knowledge he possesses, drives Makilien to drastic action. Confronted with a world she knows nothing about, she must choose carefully who to trust as both good and evil lurk in all places. As a battle looms, one in which will be determined the fate of all, she must decide whether to believe in the One who is truth or fall prey to the lies of the enemy.

The adventure begins here . . .
--From Molly Evangeline's Website
Fantasy is quite possibly my favorite genre ever. Certainly many of my favorite books fall into it . . . The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings, The Door Within . . . and now Makilien. As always with Molly's books, Truth is clean, the characters are well developed, the story is good, and leaves the reader wanting more. One of the things I liked best about Truth was the allegory. Makilien is searching for meaning for her life, for truth about the world she lives in, for a reason to fight. Her friends tell her about God, or Elohim, who is truth, the creator of Dolennar, who cares about His people. I also liked Makilien's dresses, particularly the one she wears to a party near the end. There isn't really any romance in this book, but it does set up for there to be romance in the remaining books in the trilogy. Truth is an exciting and moving story, and one I have come to love. In a way, Truth represents a journey we must all take, a search for the truth that is to be found only in Elohim.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

W: Watsons

At last I come to the Watsons! It’s really too bad their last name comes so close to the end of the alphabet, because it would have been appropriate to start with them. They are the characters Across the Stars begins with, and truly, without them there would be no Across the Stars. There are eight children in the Watson family, but only the five oldest are actually featured in the book.

Sara: Sara is the oldest of the Watson children, and she is thirteen years old at the time of Across the Stars. Originally, she was my only main character. I began Across the Stars at a time when I was uncomfortable using a boy as the protagonist, and this is why I chose Sara. Sara is sweet and pretty, and while she does make mistakes, they are few. She hates being the oldest, but does a good job of it, though sometimes she is overly bossy with Jack. She is very brave, and has a lot of Bible verses committed to memory. She is very close to her brother Charles, and protective of the younger children. She also becomes good friends with Felix Walker. Their goodbye, just before the Watsons go home, is one of my personal favorite parts of the story, and leaves the door open for a sequel.

Charles: Charles is eleven years old, has the entire Gettysburg Address memorized, and carries the Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution around in his back pocket. What more could you want? I love American history and the foundations of America, and this really shows through in Charles. He is brave, and he’s a fighter. He doesn’t want to go to war if it can be avoided, but when it is necessary, he is more than willing to fight for what is right. There is a point in the story when Charles’s life is in grave danger, but you’ll have to read Across the Stars to find out what happens and whether or not he pulls through.

Jack: Oh, Jack. Jack is nine years old, rather rude and defiant at times, immature, and quite entertaining. He is a trial to Sara, especially when he makes fun of Felix’s eloquence. But I like Jack. He is definitely the comic relief. I guess he’s probably a typical nine-year old boy, with a strong desire for adventure, a dislike for obeying bossy big sisters, and a penchant for mischief. He does gain some sense of responsibility throughout the adventure, but still remains the family clown.

Hetty: Hetty is rather quiet, and doesn’t intrude much into the story, but she is rather instrumental in the Second Battle of Theotocop. She helps the army get in, and her actions also help to save Sara’s life. She is unobtrusive, but she is there all the time.

Lu: When I first started making up Across the Stars, I debated whether or not to let Lu come along. She is only five, being two years younger than Hetty, and being so young I wondered at the wisdom of allowing her on such an adventure. I sure am glad I did. She has such a vivid personality, always has a comment or an indignant reply to add, and, well, Sara needed a baby sister along. She is very smart, being the sort who is hard to keep out of the older children’s school books. My youngest sister is this way and has been for as long as I can remember. Lu has a rather traumatic experience during the Second Battle of Theotocop, but being who she is, I’m sure she was able to overcome it.

Just for the sake of extra information, the other Watson children are named Jem, Laylie, and Katie. Katie has not been born yet at the time of Across the Stars, but she soon will be. If I do get around to writing the sequel about the Watsons and Felix, she will be quite the entertaining little sister.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

V: Verse

The characters in Across the Stars quote Scripture a lot. Sara Watson quotes Psalm 23 when she is scared, Charles quotes Ecclesiastes 3 before they go into battle, Felix quotes from Ephesians 6 to his father (about the duties of a father), but the real theme verse of Across the Stars is Psalm 37:5: “Commit thy way unto the Lord, and trust in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.”

When I was writing Across the Stars, the two reference works I used the most were the dictionary and Cruden’s Concordance. When Felix, Charles, and Sara were planning their first battle, I decided they needed a “trust in the Lord” verse to quote. So I looked through the concordance for all the verses containing the word trust. Now, I had read Psalms before, many times, but this verse had never really stuck out to me. “Commit thy way unto the Lord, and trust in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.” I loved this verse and thought it fit perfectly. My characters did commit their way unto the Lord, and, well, the story would not be the same if they hadn’t.

This verse really is true, and I’m not just saying that because it’s in the Bible. In my personal experience it is true. When I was little, some people came and played the violin at our church. From that day forward, I wanted more than anything to learn to play the violin. I constantly prayed that God would give me an opportunity, I begged my parents for lessons, and every time there seemed to be an opportunity, it was deemed too expensive. Well, finally, I just gave it over to God. I asked  Him that if it was His will He would provide me with an opportunity to learn to play the violin and if it was not His will to help me be content with not learning. It was after that a friend offered to teach me to play. That was about a year and a half ago. Now, I wouldn’t change how it happened for anything. Not only did it give me an opportunity to spend time with a friend I hadn’t even known a few years earlier and enabled me to learn faster than I would have if I had started when I was younger, it taught me a valuable lesson. God’s way is the best way, His timing is better than mine, and if I submit to Him things turn out better than they would have if I had had things my way. I’m not saying that if you commit your way unto God you will always get what you want, if that was true, I would have a baby brother by now, but that if you commit your way unto God, if you submit yourself to His will, things will turn out better than they would if you insisted on your own way. After all, God knows what’s best for us.

Monday, July 15, 2013

U: Unjust

    “He has refused his assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
    “He has endeavored to prevent the population of this planet; for that purpose obstructing the migration of persons to and from Emoria, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
    “He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
    “He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
    “He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
    “For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of this planet:
    “For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
    “For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:”

The above are many of the unjust actions taken by King Jorrid of Emoria, as written in the Emarotian Declaration of Independence, which was closely based on that of America. Three of these actions in particular are dealt with in Anthony Williamson’s part of the book: taxation, obstruction of migration, and deprivation of trial by jury.
I won’t give specifics, because I don’t want to tell Anthony’s story here, but these, particularly the trials, affected the people of Emarot very much in a negative manner. And as King Jorrid was the instigator, the conclusion can be drawn that he was an unjust ruler.

Much of the condition of Emarot is drawn from the condition of the American colonies at the time of the American Revolution. And many of the actions of King Jorrid are drawn from those of King George the third. The American and Emarotian Declarations of Independence include lists of the injustices practiced by their kings. These injustices are called the grievances.

The American Declaration of Independence has 27 grievances, however, there were 28 grievances proposed. This 28th grievance actually denounced the slave trade as a vile institution, and criticized King George for opposing every act in which they had tried to abolish it. In many places in the colonies it was actually illegal to free slaves. Unfortunately, Georgia and South Carolina refused to vote for independence if this anti-slavery grievance remained and so it was omitted. But it shows that our Founders were opposed to slavery and that they considered it to be an injustice to our fellow man.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Finding Faith Review

". . . I just wish she wouldn’t keep trying to marry me off.”
"Marriage isn’t a bad thing,” Edward told his daughter gently.
"I know it’s not, Papa,” Emma replied. “It’s just not for me. I love being who I am and being the captain of the Mercy. I don’t want things to ever change.”

But as hard as Emma tries to stop it, she finds change is inevitable, particularly when her father’s business, and therefore her livelihood, is threatened. The last thing she wants thrown into the midst of it is romance. Determined never to marry or give up her passion for sailing, Emma’s quick temper lands her in more and more trouble, especially when it brings a kind and handsome rival captain into her life, throwing it into turmoil.

In the dramatic conclusion to
Pirates & Faith, can Emma find the faith to trust that God’s plans truly are better than her own, or will it be too late for a second chance?
--From Molly Evangeline's Website


Finding Faith is very likely my favorite of all the Pirates & Faith books. I say very likely because it is so incredibly hard to choose. Emma is definitely my favorite character in Pirates & Faith, despite, or perhaps because of, her faults. Emma is headstrong and stubborn, she is sometimes childish, and her quick temper constantly lands her in trouble. And she's not interested in getting married. She has to apologize for her behavior quite a bit.

Finding Faith an exciting book filled with sailing adventures, pirate encounters, rescues, romance...there's never a dull moment. The first time I read it I stayed up until 1:00 in the morning because I was so absorbed in the story I completely lost track of time. I know I always mention how well developed Molly's characters are, but after reading a book with poor character development, I really notice whether they are well developed or not. And the characters in Finding Faith certainly are. They are so very themselves, and I love them. I really care about what happens to Molly's characters, which is more than I can say for some books. Skye and Will are in Finding Faith, so it was really nice to be able to see what has been going on with them in the years since A Captain's Heart. The climax is intense, emotional, and heartrending. I won't say anymore, because I don't want to give away the ending, but I do want to say, if you haven't already, read Pirates & Faith! It is an amazing series!

My one complaint: Finding Faith is the last Pirates & Faith book. I really hated to say goodbye to all the characters. At least I can always read them all again!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

T: Thomas Williamson

Thomas Williamson is JudyAnne’s husband and Liza and Anthony’s father. He is a farmer, and generally respected by the people of Emarot. Unlike his son, he is not rash; he is willing to wait for the right time to act rather than acting on impulse and getting himself into trouble.

Thomas is a secondary character, but important, as all the twenty-some named characters are. He helps to hold back the Emarotians from rash actions in many instances, though he does not always succeed. When the men are desperate to move, but cannot agree on what to do, it is Thomas who points out to the men that if they are not united on their purpose, they cannot hope to succeed. Though Thomas is not the bravest, most chivalrous character in the story, he is a good man, and one JudyAnne, Anthony, and Liza could not do without.

Monday, July 8, 2013

S: Sam Hawling

    “Who’s Sam?”
    “You know perfectly well who Sam is.”
    Prince Jorrid gave no indication he had heard. Hanna rolled her eyes and gave an exasperated sigh.
    “Sam Hawling. The stable boy.”

 Sam Hawling was a stable boy during the reign of King Horrid, the most inferior of the stable boys, “in general a good lad,” and as Hanna said, “awful chivalrous for a stable boy.” Sam’s history, like Hanna’s, is not revealed in Across the Stars, but he appears to be an orphan. He was a friend of Hanna’s, but whether or not Hanna is truly his friend is sometimes difficult to gauge.

Sam came to me shortly after Hanna did. I’m not sure what sparked his character, but honestly, Hanna needed him. She needed someone who wasn’t rash, who knew how to read, who could warn her about what she was getting herself into, and who would be willing to sacrifice himself to protect her. Sam was all these things, but unfortunately, Hanna didn’t appreciate it. I really feel kind of sorry for Sam. He’s such a wonderful young man, and Hanna is constantly rude to him. Their story was fun to write. It creates conflict when a young man is determined to protect a girl and she won’t have any of it. This is really the essence of Hanna and Sam’s story. And I really like them. Honestly, the more I think about Hanna and Sam, the more I want to continue their story.

To those who have read Across the Stars, if I was to write a sequel about Hanna and Sam, what would you like to see happen in it?

Friday, July 5, 2013

R: Rabbit

Yes, a rabbit. The rabbit made its entrance into the story this way:

“A rabbit hopped nonchalantly across the clearing as if it was not strange at all for a spaceship to be there…. As Sara and Charles disappeared into the woods, the rabbit hopped up to the ramp. It sat erect for a moment, glancing this way and that. Then the rabbit darted up the ramp.”

Originally, the rabbit was just a rabbit, hopping through the clearing, when Sara and Charles were in the spaceship. My sisters thought it was strange for the rabbit to think nothing of the spaceship, so I started to wonder if there was more to the rabbit than I had at first thought. I decided that I would look out for a purpose for this rabbit, and if it didn’t have one, I would take it out. Well, the rabbit is still there. He has a purpose, though you have to look out for a specific paragraph to find out what it is. This paragraph is at the very end of chapter eleven. I did try to bring the rabbit into the end of the story, but it was awkward and disrupted the whole ending. Nevertheless, the rabbit is important, and, well, who doesn’t like a rabbit in a story?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Q: Quotes

“When in the course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness….And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

It wasn’t planned this way, but the post on the American history quotes used in Across the Stars has fallen at a most appropriate time. Independence is a major theme in Across the Stars, things about American independence frequently quoted, and for independence week it is a perfect subject.

In chapter five, Sara Watson gives a speech rallying the Emarotians to fight for independence. This speech begins with Sara quoting a famous line from Patrick Henry, “I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.” Sara also quotes the Declaration of Independence, including the line, “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” America’s founding fathers really did give up their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. By voting to declare independence, they were declaring themselves to be traitors. The punishment for treason was to be hung by the neck until unconscious, revived, disemboweled, quartered, and scattered so that they would have no final resting place. This is what America’s founding fathers were facing. This is what would happen to them if they were caught.

My fictional Emarotians were willing to face torture and death in order to gain independence from tyranny. They were inspired by the things the Watsons quoted from American history. It is time for Americans to be inspired by these things, to be willing once more to give their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, so that we may be free.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Captain's Heart Review

Wealth and social standing mean nothing to Captain Kyle Bryden. To his family, however, they are everything. For years it has driven Kyle and his family apart. He longs for understanding from his parents, but most of all he yearns for them to accept the truth behind his faith.

When his father sends him on a voyage to collect two family guests, it only complicates matters, particularly Kyle's growing desire to marry and make a home. He finds himself caught between pleasing his parents and living according to what he believes is right. As some things begin to change for the better, could a secret no one is expecting be enough to tear at Kyle's heart and destroy the love he has found?

A Captain's Heart, the continuing story of Pirates & Faith, meet new friends and revisit old ones while seeing the importance of patience and never giving up on those we love because all things are possible with God.
--From Molly Evangeline's website


In A Captain's Heart, the focus shifts from Skye and Will to several new characters, namely Kyle, Travis, Elizabeth, and Mariah. At first, I was a bit disappointed to find that Skye and Will were only background characters, but by the end, I found I loved the new characters just as much, if not more. A Captain's Heart tells a different story from that of the first two books, but I liked how Molly was able to connect them and continue to tell what happened to Skye and Will.

There is a lot of family strife in A Captain's Heart, because Kyle and Elizabeth are strong Christians, and their parents are very opposed to Christianity. As always, Molly's characters are well developed, and the story is very moving. Kyle is chivalrous, which I love, and willing to do what is right, even if it means he will likely be disowned. And the "secret no one is expecting" was certainly unexpected to me. A Captain's Heart is more of a character story than an action story, but there is still action, and there is definitely always something happening. I really enjoyed the story, and I wish there was something more about Kyle and Mariah.

P: People's Treasury of Arms

The People’s Treasury of Arms is just that, a treasury of arms belonging to the people. It is a massive, manmade, underground cavern approximately in the center of the territory of Emarot. It was commissioned by a king who wanted the people to have a means of defending themselves against tyrannical government, and after that king was dead, was kept a secret from Theotocop. All the homes in Emarot are connected to the Treasury by tunnels which have their entrance in the cellars of the homes. The history of the People’s Treasury of Arms is expounded in more detail in the appendix to Across the Stars.

Like most of Across the Stars, I don’t know exactly where the idea for the Treasury came from. It is one of the things which was a part of the story practically from the idea stage, and so is an integral part of the story. The People’s Treasury of Arms is first mentioned in chapter three by JudyAnne Williamson, and is the title of chapter five (originally chapter four). It not only is the source of all the weapons and armor used by the Emarotians, but it is the headquarters of the Emarotian army. It was the meeting place for the resistance ever since King Jorrid took over, and where the Watsons first took their role as leaders. And it is where they met Felix Walker.

The People’s Treasury of Arms is a rather fascinating place with great importance, and, if Emoria was real, a place I would definitely want to visit.

Monday, July 1, 2013

O: Outer Space

Very little of Across the Stars takes place in outer space, yet it could be considered the most important of all the settings. It is through outer space that the Watsons come to Emoria. It is the transition from Earth to Emoria, from the Milky Way to Stappenhance, from ordinary life to adventure.

I have long been fascinated by space. I greatly enjoyed the Apologia elementary astronomy textbook I used when I was younger. I read the space chapters of my physical science textbook numerous times before I was even supposed to get to it. There is so much scope for imagination in space. There is so much you can do with it in a story. Which is why I love my galaxy of Stappenhance.

Across the Stars is not the first story involving outer space that I have ever come up with. When I was about eight or nine, I wrote two stories about aliens from different planets in our solar system coming to a town called Margville. I also have an idea for a series, which I still hope to write, that takes place in Stappenhance. It is about an orphaned brother and sister who travel the galaxy with a group of missionaries. Their home planet of Manay is actually mentioned in Across the Stars by Hanna Straite. Any sequel involving Hanna would most likely have at least one journey through space.

Outer space is a fascinating subject, and one I love to weave into stories.