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Why Do I Write Fantasy? or You Never Know Who Might Show Up at Your Front Door
By Heidi Garrett
As long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with the truths that my physical senses cannot explain: the mystical things occurring on this planet. Writing fantastical stories is my testament to these other layers of reality.
There are many ways of looking at our world. Imagine sitting at home, perhaps in your living room. There’s a knock on the door. When you open it, a funny little woman is standing there. She is about half your height, and a plaid crimson kerchief—knotted under her hooked chin—covers her head. Her dress is sack-like over her square body. She’s wearing an apron that could use a good ironing and she’s carrying a battered brown suitcase that’s almost as big as she is.
“As long as you’re staring, a glass of water would be nice,” she says.
Despite her gruff manner, you sense something mysterious about this stranger, and to be honest, you’re dying to know more about her. When she crosses the threshold of your home, a strong wind slams the door behind her. You both jump. There hasn’t been a breeze all day. In fact, it’s sweltering and heat waves have been rising from the melting pavement for weeks.
When you offer it, she almost grabs the glass from your hand, and you can’t stop your staring—even though you know it’s rude—as she drinks in noisy gulps.
“What? You’ve never seen a spring faerie before?” she asks.
Before you can answer, she wipes her mouth with the back of her hand. “Guess not, there aren’t many of us left. And I haven’t been to the Mortal World, since…”
She stops. Her deeply etched face softens. Something like sorrow pools in her dark brown eyes. She waves her hand. “That’s not what I’m here to talk about.”
Your heart tugs. You want to pull her from that sad place. “What’s in your suitcase?”
She points to the table. “I’ll show you.”
The suitcase is filled with eyeglasses. There are so many. Some have square black frames, others have round wire frames; there are a few speckled frames with octagonal lenses. You spy a pair of purple ones.
She shoves a pair of thick black glasses into your hand. “Put these on. Tell me what you see.”
With the eyeglasses settled on the bridge of your nose, you can’t see anything but yourself. You blink. You can see your hands and feet, your legs and toes. But the spring faerie—if that’s really what she is—is just a blur. You pull them off. She trades them for a pair of wire rims. With these glasses you can see her and your home.
“What’s your name?” you ask.
“Like flowers blooming.”
She nods and looks away with that whiff of sadness.
Again, there is something about her that pulls at your heart. You think of the miracle of spring after a long hard winter, and that she shouldn’t be sad—if she really is a spring faerie.
“But…you don’t have any wings,” you say.
She smoothes the wrinkles in her apron. “Not all faeries do.”
She almost jerks the wire-rim spectacles from your nose. You reach for that purple pair. She doesn’t stop you. Now, you can see down the street; your eyes travel the highway. Your view elevates, as if you are a bird. Soon you see the entire city you live in. With each pair of glasses, you see the bigger world.
When Flora tucks the temple arms of a pair of red frames behind your ears, perspective zooms around you. It’s like the lens pulls you into outer space, and you can see the entire world and all the billions of people who live on Earth.
Your heart flutters in your chest; it’s a lot to take in.
“Now—” Flora hands you a pair of fuchsia glasses with tiny rhinestones embedded in the frames. “Try on these.”
When you put them on, you’re able to see beyond the physical entirety of the world into the things that you’ve always known exist, but since you can’t see, touch, smell, or hear them, sometimes you’ve doubted. But you’ll never doubt again, because now—with these special glasses—you can actually see the bonds of love that death can never sever, the strings of fate that wrap the brown paper package of all our lives with twine, the tide of time that alters us, even as we never change…
But most importantly, you’ve seen that you belong here, on this planet. And you know—without a shadow of a doubt—that everything fits. Including you.
“I don’t ever want to take these glasses off,” you say.
Flora is already cramming the rest of them back into her bag. “Then don’t.”
The Queen of the Realm of Faerie is a fairy tale fantasy series that bridges the Mortal and Enchanted worlds. The main character, Melia, is an eighteen-year-old half-faerie, half-mortal. She lives in Illialei, a country in the Enchanted World, with her two sisters and their mother. Melia’s father has been exiled to the Mortal World, and her best friend is a pixie.
When the story opens in the first book, Melia is troubled by her dark moon visions, gossip she overhears about her parents at the local market, and the trauma of living among full-blooded faeries with wings—she doesn’t have any.
As the series unfolds, the historic and mystical forces that shape Melia’s life are revealed. Each step of her journey—to find the place where she belongs—alters her perceptions about herself, deepens her relationships with others, and enlarges her world view.
In The Dragon Carnivale, book 3 of The Queen of the Realm of Faerie, energies in the Enchanted World are shifting and new alliances are forming; the Battle of Dark and Light has begun. Melia is desperate to make things right with Ryder, the young priest from Idonne, but first she must warn the half-bloods in the Mortal World that Umbra is coming for them, and face the powerful Dragonwitch and her spectacular Dragon Carnivale.
The first two books in the series: Nandana’s Mark and The Flower of Isbelline are currently available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and Smashwords. Nandana’s Mark is free.
The Dragon Carnivale is scheduled for a June 18, 2013, release.
Sign-up for Heidi Garrett’s new release email List and receive a lavender and gold Half-Faerie bracelet while supplies last…because you’re half faerie, too, right?
Heidi Garrett is the author of The Queen of the Realm of Faerie series. Her personal message to all her readers is:
Once upon a time, you lived in an enchanted world, too…
There is magic in all our lives; sometimes we need to look through different eyes to see it.
The Queen of the Realm of Faerie includes many strong female characters within an intricate fantasy land. It is also a fairy tale fantasy.
The first book, Nandana’s Mark, is one of those free ebooks; the second book, The Flower of Isbelline, is now available; and the third book, The Dragon Carnivale, will be released in June 2013.
The series was inspired by the 15th century French fairy tale, Melusine.
Heidi’s hope is that when you read her books, you will rediscover the enchantment in your own life.
She currently resides in eastern Washington with her husband and their two cats. So far, she loves the snow. Being from the South, she finds it magical.
Learn more about Heidi and enjoy her stream-of-consciousness reading journal, Eating Magic, at: www.heidigwrites.blogspot.com.
If you want to say hello, give her a shout out on Twitter at @heidigwrites or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/heidigwrites.
I have been so busy lately between work and school that I haven’t had a chance to do any reading for fun or write any reviews! This Saturday my class is finally over and I can get back to reading and reviewing. I do have one book that I finished about a month ago who’s review will go up on Sunday and then hopefully another new one shortly after, so if you enjoy reading my reviews or you’re waiting for one on your book it is hopefully on its way soon!
An exiled man wonders if he should forsake his new life and risk returning to his homeland. A troubled girl seeks redemption for a terrible crime she has committed. A solitary tracker breaks an oath in order to communicate with an infamous, supernatural criminal. A vagabond thief chances leaving behind the world he knew for an unknown destiny.
An unlikely cast of characters, they are thrown together by chance, or perhaps by fate, willingly embarking upon an eccentric wizard’s mission to recover a magical stone: Raven’s Heart.
A piece of the “Stone of Undoing”, Raven’s Heart is deadly. Though the stone has the ability to unravel the very essence of magic, it brings Arcturus, Kariayla, Hawkwing, and Jinx together in a mission beyond individual ambition that could determine the fate of the world in which they live.
Well it took me several months to read but I’m happy to say I finally made it to the end! Raven’s Heart is a humongous undertaking into the extremely well developed world of Secramore. It was slow in the beginning as there are many characters and before really getting to know everyone I found it complicated to keep everything straight. Once, the merry band of travelers all met up (Arcturus, Kariayla, Jinx and Hawkwing) it was easy and fun reading from there, up to a point.
I really got into their journey and rooted for all of them. Arcturus was pretty straightforward, you knew what he wanted and there weren’t really very many surprises. Kariayla’s past was hinted at numerous times throughout the book and left you wondering and intrigued throughout constantly waiting to find out the mystery behind her. Jinx again was a straightforward easy going character with little surprises. Hawkwing was another character built upon by intrigue and a dark past. He was another character that you constantly wanted to know more about and at times thought you knew what was going on with him and were either pleasantly surprised you were right or perhaps mildly shocked that you were wrong and it was something else altogether.
The character’s themselves were extremely well written as was the journey itself from the start until the end of part one. At the end of part one I really felt as though it could have been the end of “Book One” with the rest to follow in a sequel. Part Two was much more disjointed as the band of travelers broke up and most went their separate ways, either by choice or by force, and the rest of the part two, the majority actually followed two new characters whom I didn’t care as much for and just wanted to get past their bit and find out what was happening with the original main characters. Of the original main characters one of them is barely in the second half as he is taken against his will and the rest then commence trying to find him and rescue him, yet he was one of my favorite characters so that was a big disappointment. Another character who plays a large role is the white demon, he comes in during part one and is very mysterious and intriguing yet once you find out more about him you genuinely care for him and wish for him to succeed in his endeavors. Yet, once he goes off on his own way you never hear from him or about him again, there isn’t even any summary of he is alive or perhaps captured at the end of conclusion of the book. I was extremely disappointed by this as I figured maybe there would be a few lines in an epilogue about him or something else small to summarize where he was and what he had been doing during the rest of the characters adventures.
I thoroughly enjoyed part one, I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys epic fantasy, however I cannot say the same for part two of the book. While part two did hold my interest I just did not find it as enjoyable as part one. Also, as far as the writing style goes one thing that drove me crazy while reading this was the author’s use of quotation marks during large speaking parts, and there were many large speaking parts throughout this book. If one character was speaking and they broke it into paragraphs they would not end the first paragraph with quotations marks but they would start the next paragraph with them. I have never seen this before when reading and it drove me nuts! Also, the characters come across elves in part two of their journey. I have nothing against elves or the flowery language the elves used, but if you are going to employ flowery language then use the word “yes” instead of “yea”. The use of “yea” when the elves spoke seemed so out of place and really ruined reading their eloquent way of speaking, in my opinion.
Available on Amazon: Raven’s Heart (A Tale from Secramore – Epic Fantasy)
Book received from author in exchange for an honest review.
I didn’t come close to my goal of 100 books for 2012 so I’m going to try again for 2013.
My first review of 2013 will be of Raven’s Heart: A Tale from the World of Secramore by M.S. Verish. It’s a crazy long epic fantasy that i’ve gotten about half way through so far. It was a bit confusing in the beginning which is why it’s taking me so long to get through it, but now that i’m past most of the background bits and really into the plot it’s been an enjoyable read thus far, it’s just not possible for me to finish it for 2012 though.
Books to read for 2013:
*If you sent me a review request and I haven’t yet reviewed your book and you don’t see your book on this list, all is not lost, I just didn’t imagine the huge response for requests and I’ve gotten horribly backlogged in reviewing/responding to people, but besides reading and reviewing 100 books another goal I have is to be quicker at getting back to people who’ve requested reviews, so if this applies to you I apologize!
2. Time, Love, Memory: A Great Biologist and His Quest for the Origins of Behavior (This one’s not fantasy but I have to read it for a class i’m taking.)
3. Yseult: A Tale of Love in the Age of King Arthur (The Pendragon Chronicles) (Another whopper at 579 pages – but still not as long as Raven’s Heart)
Somewhere in between review requests i’d also like to start reading more of Terry Pratchet’s discworld series in preparation for possibly going to the North American Discworld Convention (https://www.nadwcon.org/), so far i’ve only read the Tiffany Aching books but I loved them.
And last but not least. .. .
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE!!!!
Today’s hottest fiction ebooks are on sale for .99 from Dec 28-Dec 31 only!
Mystery, romance, young adult – there’s something for everyone …
… including the chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card!
I started this blog over the summer and apparently set a very unrealistic goal for myself to read 100 books/ short stories this year. With a little less than 2 weeks left to do so, I just don’t think it’s going to happen. Maybe this year with starting my new goal in January i’ll be able to make it? I’m also hoping to be able to add one or two more books to the list before the year is out 🙂
- 1: Switched
- 2: Alice in Deadland
- 3: I Shall Wear Midnight
- 4: King Bong
- 5: Torn
- 6: Dead to the World
- 7: A Circle of Iron (Eldernost: Book 1)
- 8: Imperfect (Lacuna Short Stories)
- 9: Suspense
- 10: Little Girl Lost
- 11: Thieves at Heart
- 12: Claire: the Lost Fae
- 13: The Prisoner (A Novelette)
- 14: The Knight (The Dark Elf of Syron, #2)
- 15: Splatterism: The Tragic Recollections of A Minotaur Assailant (Pars Prima: Hellenistic Asskicking)
- 16: Forsaken – An American Sasquatch Tale
- 17: The Demon’s Promise
- 18: Last Chance Jack
- 19: When Walls Can Talk
- 20: Nolander
- 21: She Speaks to Angels
- 22: Wings of Shadow
- 23: The 5th Realm (New Orleans Voodoo Chronicles)
- 24: Mark of the Dragon Queen
- 25: Gnome Wars
- 26: Watcher’s Web
- 27: A Little Magic
- 28: Self-Made Scoundrel (The Valley of Ten Crescents #2)
- 29: The Circle of Sorcerers
- 30: The Consuls of the Vicariate: A Mages of Bloodmyr Novel: Book #2
- 31: The Immortals of Myrdwyer: A Mages of Bloodmyr Novel: Book #3
- 32: Rise of the Retics (Rosehaven: the Hidden City)
- 33: Wool
Thousands of them have lived underground. They’ve lived there so long, there are only legends about people living anywhere else. Such a life requires rules. Strict rules. There are things that must not be discussed. Like going outside. Never mention you might like going outside.
Or you’ll get what you wish for.
I had heard a ton of good things about Wool before deciding to pick it up and read it myself.
It is a very well written story that carries you through from page one until the end and keeps you engaged wondering the same questions as Holston, the Sheriff who no longer wants to be Sheriff because he wants to leave the silo and see what’s outside. In Holston’s world saying you want to go outside is like a death sentence because outside the air is toxic and everything is dead. Children in Holston’s world are taught this from a very young age because it doesn’t matter who speaks the treason the end result is the same for everyone.
The book flashes back and forth between present day and Holston’s ordeal of saying he wants to go outside to the final act of him being sent outside, to the past of when Holston’s wife was still alive and spoke those same treason words three years prior. The flash backs bring up a lot of doubts about their society and the possibility of the outside being a a death sentence a lie perpetrated by those in charge to keep the rest in line.
This is only book 1 out of 5 and i’m not really sure where the other 4 books will go because this one seemed to have so much closure. My only guess is the end of book 1 is not what it seems and that I would have to read the others to find out for sure. I probably will eventually read the rest of Wool however with so much seemingly being finished it doesn’t make me want to rush out and read the second one immediately.
Available on Amazon: Wool
Available on Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wool-hugh-howey/1104684912?ean=2940013196292&itm=1&usri=wool
This book was purchased by me