I really enjoyed this story for many reasons. If you read this book and don't like it based on the fact that it contains scripture and tends to be a little too preachy for you, then you didn't read the description. The author clearly states that his intention with this story was to write a book similar to Harry Potter while strengthening his readers' faith. He was successful. I'm a Christian, so I was expecting the use of scripture. I am not disappointed. Not only did this book fulfill my expectations in that regard, but it also satisfied my thirst for adventure and fantasy when I read a book. I was hooked on the first page and on the edge of my seat at times. There are a handful of typos here and there, but not enough to make me put the book down or think the author isn't a fantastic writer. And certainly not enough to take away one of the 5stars I gave to him. I look forward to reading future books in this series and recommend it to everyone. Even if you don't believe in God, you can still appreciate this story just as you might enjoy Star Wars and the use of the Force. If you're one of those parents who are against Harry Potter and would like a nice alternative, preview this book, and then let your children read it if you choose. Lastly, my hat's off to the author for the last page. What's on the last page? I'm not telling...
The Next Big Thing!
Alan Rickman as Professor Snape
So, I have this friend and fellow author named Brad Francis. Brad always has something funny to blog about. His blog is one of the few I read regularly. Check out his blog here. Check out his books here. I have to add that I'm currently reading his book Emmaline's Gift: A Christian Fantasy Adventure (The Magi Chronicles), and I got hooked on the first page. You should read it if you love fantasy or if you're a Harry Potter fan, or both. Seriously, you should give Brad's writing a look-see.
Besides Brad and his writing being epic, he tagged me on his blog and convinced me to do this blog hop thing. So, I'm supposed to blog about my current work in progress (WIP) by answering the following questions, so here we go...
Title- The Karini and Lamek Chronicles, Book 1 ~ The Land of Flames
Where did the idea come from? Back in 2006, my children were just old enough to get into fantasy, and they were bringing the Scholastic flyers home in their backpacks from school. I realized that I'd always enjoyed writing when I was in school and had always wanted to write my own book, so this story was my first. I am now revising it. It is the first book in a trilogy.
What actors would play your character in a movie version?
Most of the characters are mythical, so a movie would most likely be computer animated with voice-overs. With that being said, Alan Rickman (SEE PHOTO TO THE RIGHT)
would be my first choice for the voice of Ocamar, the dragon. The voice of Karini, the pink fairy, would be played by Laura Marano.
Lamek’s voice would be John Ross Bowie. Why John Ross Bowie, you wonder? Because when he plays Barry Kripke on the Big Bang Theory, his lisp is perfect for the part of Lamek.
As far as the elves go, they could be played by people. I could see Rumbleflin being played by Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty. I realize Phil is not a movie actor, but he's perfect for the part. All he'd have to do is braid his beard, and he'd be good to go. Well, he'd have to have some pointy ears put on. Hehe... Okay, for Rumpleflin, 16-year-old son of Rumbleflin, I choose Dylan Minnette because he has the perfect look for him. His mother, Nevaeh, a good witch, would be played nicely by Rachel Weisz, who most of you would know from The Mummy.
(SEE PHOTOS BELOW FOR ABOVE ACTORS / ACTRESSES)
The rest of the cast I'd have to think about. I've got a lot of characters...
Short Synopsis ~ The people and creatures in the magical Land of Serenity must unite and fight together to gain back their kingdom from the grips of the bitter dragon, Ocamar. Led by Rumbleflin, the oldest and wisest of the elves, an army is formed. Along the way, secrets are revealed, friendships are made, and the group suffers a great loss. Faith, hope, and love guide these characters through this adventure filled with magic and surprises.
Agency Representation ~ I'm an indie, and I love it!
How long did it take to write the first draft? About a year if I remember correctly. That was back in 2006, and I was still in my 20's... sigh...
What other books in the genre compare? Based on the definition of "compare," I would say the Narnia series. That doesn't mean I'm claiming my story is or even should be compared to the greatness of these. I'm not trying to sell myself short, but... well, I just can't place myself with C.S. Lewis. I have to list the Narnia books because they were the first fantasy series I ever read. I own them all and have read them all more than once. They contain good versus evil, magic, talking animals, mythical creatures, and unlikely heros. My story contains all of these elements.
Who or what inspired this WIP? My kids inspired this story. They actually helped me name all the characters and helped me start the story. Once I got started, the characters took over. My kids were young at that time. They're teenagers now.
Anything to add? Yes! Check out this young aspiring writer's blog:
Katelyn Marie Shear is only 14 years old, but recently participated in the NaNoWriMo contest and won! She has many books in the works.
Also check out Kristin King, author of Cain's Coven: Begotten Bloods Book One (Volume 1) and Unsinkable Vampire: A Begotten Bloods Novella.
What happens when a toy soldier, named Toby, spends his first night in the Creator's workshop? Despite the advice of an old wooden bear, to stay close and listen for hints of what the creator has planned, Toby's curiosity takes over, and he finds himself lost! Will he ever make it back to the Creator? Find out how an old Christmas ornament, a broken ribbon, and a cloud of dust bring to life a story of the Creator, His Son, and a lesson in purpose.
This story / poem was written in the style of great pieces of work such as The Night Before Christmas, and Casey at Bat. Although written at a level that may be too difficult for younger children to read on their own, the story was created with the intent that it would be shared and enjoyed by all ages. A great bed time story for young and the young at heart.
The subtle Christian undertones can be shared by those strong in their faith as well as those that are still growing. The Creator does have a plan and a purpose for everyone.
"I strive to always relay a positive and meaningful lesson in my writing. I very much enjoyed writing and illustrating A Night Like No Other and I hope it touches your heart as much as it did mine." -Ken Connally
I loved this book! I first downloaded it to my Kindle because it was free and it looked like a cute book I could read to my daughter for next Christmas since she's not quite old enough yet. But then, the author, Ken Connally, sent me a message and asked me if I'd had a chance to read it. Ken and I are in a writing group together, so we are acquainted. I told him I'd read it soon, and so I made a point to do so a few days later. I had no idea what a gem I'd downloaded! This book, although meant for children, has a deep meaning that should be simple, but isn't always. I won't spoil it for you, but YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK if you've ever:
done something you were advised not to do,
felt really alone,
been in darkness,
or wondered where is God?
Other reasons to read this book:
because it's Christmas time,
because it actually doesn't have to be Christmas time,
because you have children who love being read to,
because you like books that rhyme,
because you enjoy illustrated stories,
and because you can download the Kindle edition instantly for only $1.99, or purchase it in paperback on sale for only $6.95 (regularly $8.95).
"Are you a good witch or a bad witch?"
And Dorothy replied, “I’m not a witch at all. Witches are old and ugly.”
Giggles were heard all over as the munchkins knew that witches could indeed be beautiful and young like Dorothy. And one munchkin in particular thought to himself, ‘She might not be a witch, but I bet she used The Force.”
What? That’s not how you remember the story? Well, I embellished a little, but only to explain my thoughts on magic, and anything that can be disguised as such, in books and movies.
The Wizard of Oz is a movie that I watched every year with my dad. Once a year, one of the major networks would air it. I can’t remember if it was NBC, ABC, or CBS, but I know it was one of the three because those were about the only channels we had. I know I’m showing my age. This time with my dad is one of the few memories I have with him from childhood as my parents divorced when I was six. I can’t even imagine what childhood would have been like without The Wizard of Oz. This movie contained everything that makes childhood enjoyable: Music, awesome characters not seen in everyday life, good vs. evil, and MAGIC! I don’t have to explain it. I’m sure you’ve seen it. One thing I don’t remember is anyone in my church or any Christian I knew banning it from their house nor letting their children watch it. My mom and dad certainly had no problem with it. When I had children of my own, I bought it on VHS and we watched it together over and over. My daughter was hooked on it right away and even had her own pair of ruby slippers. I had passed down my love for fantasy to her.
Not long after that, I heard of a new movie that critics were calling a modern-day Wizard of Oz. What movie could possibly be compared to my most beloved movie of all-time? Yes, you guessed it. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. At this time, I didn’t go see the movie in the theater. I actually forgot about it. But the more I went to church, the more buzz I heard about this movie and how demonic it was. 'No parent should let their child watch', etc. I was young then and had a bad habit of following instead of leading. I usually believed things without checking them out for myself too. I was young and had a lot to learn. Needless to say, I decided that Harry Potter would not come into my home. And I even found it offensive that people had compared my beloved Wizard of Oz with this horrible movie.
Looking back on this time, I don’t even understand what I thought was wrong with Harry Potter. I just let other people tell me what I should and shouldn’t watch. Now, without skipping ahead, those same people watch and love The Wizard of Oz and some other movies I won’t mention yet. Stay tuned...
Now, you’re wondering if I’ve watched Harry Potter? Hmm… that’s an understatement, but how did it happen? Well, sometimes things happen that are out of our control. It just so happened that the year The Sorcerer’s Stone came out on VHS, we were at a family Christmas party. Guess what movie one of our cousins had just bought and decided to play in her living room while we visited and had our get-together? Yep! Well, I tried to avoid it. My kids were too busy playing to pay attention to the movie, so I wasn’t really worried about its influence on them, so I kept my mouth shut as far as requesting it not be played. But I did everything I could to not watch it. And so on the way home, an argument began between my husband and me because he had watched most of it and thought it was great. I started repeating things that I’d only heard from other people; other people, who like myself, had not even watched the movie, I might add. It was then that my husband was able to shoot down every argument I had, and pretty much made me sound like a stupid and ignorant hypocrite. That’s pretty much what I was. How was I going to bash something I knew little about, first of all? And how was I to love and adore a movie with a good witch and a bad witch, yet hate Harry Potter? And The Wizard of Oz wasn’t the only movie I owned and loved that fell into this category. I also owned books with the same content. Again, stay tuned
The argument ended with us agreeing to disagree. And then, my mother-n-law bought the VHS for my husband for Christmas. So, there it was in my home. And on the back of it, a quote: “The Wizard of Oz of its time. A complete triumph.” ~ Richard Roeper
Well, over the next couple of days, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was played in our home, even though our kids were too small to like it or pay attention to it. They played in their rooms mostly back then. We had no cable because we couldn’t afford it, and I wasn’t as busy as I am now, so what did I wind up doing? Yep! I watched it. I tried not to like it. I really did. But I fell in love with the movie and everything about it. But it bothered me because I wasn’t sure if I should. I talked to the Lord about it. I prayed for a sign. It came not long after in the form of a book in the Christian bookstore. The book is called Wizards, Hobbits and Harry Potter: What Your Family Needs to Know [With CD], and it answered all my questions and even confirmed some thoughts I already had about the movie.
I would list them all, but there are too many to list. Instead I will tell you that I’ve watched all the movies and read all the books. They are among my all-time favorites. I no longer am offended that Harry Potter was compared to my beloved Wizard of Oz either. I think it’s a good comparison seeing as how there are good witches and bad witches in Harry Potter.
This is the time in the blog where I want to give the reasons I like Harry Potter other than for sheer entertainment. The main reason is “integrity,” my favorite word. My children are no longer too small to enjoy Harry Potter. Over the years we’ve watched the movies every time they came out in the theater beginning with Chamber of Secrets, which happens to be my favorite. I have tried my best to teach my kids good morals and ethics, one of which is integrity. I have taught them the Bible and we try to watch movies and read books that enforce those same principles. Harry Potter is bursting with integrity. Most people, who probably haven’t watched them near as many times as we have, would say that Harry Potter glorifies the breaking of rules. I would agree that it does at times, but the picture is way bigger than that. So many books and movies have the main character seekt revenge for some horrible thing that happened to them. Harry had a pretty bad life growing up as an orphan, much like the Cinderella story we all know. And then, he makes an enemy of Malfoy, who would like him dead and came close to killing him more than one time. But what does Harry do? He saves Malfoy’s life. And that’s just the beginning of integrity in these stories. I won’t list the rest of them.
Now, onto another point. I have no problem with people who have been convicted to not watch Harry Potter in their homes. But I do have a problem with them telling me that the Lord told them to tell me to stop or judging me because of it. I’m not really a pro-public school parent, but I’m not telling other parents that the Lord told me to tell them to pull their kids out of school because Christians have no business putting their kids in public school. Same concept. And here’s some scripture that I feel backs me up on this whole subject: Romans 14:1-4
"Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand."
With that being said, if you’re going to be one of those anti-Harry Potter people on the grounds of “not watching or reading anything containing witchcraft,” then please remove the following from your homes, bookshelves, and even church libraries: The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Star Wars, The Wizard of Oz, every Disney Princess movie and other Disney movies, and so many more.
You might be wondering why I decided to write this blog. Well, I’m a writer of fantasy and have many Christian friends who also write fantasy. We all believe that through literature, the gospel can be portrayed, much like it was in The Lord of the Rings. Am I called to write for the Christian or the person who is not a Christian, but likes fantasy? I say the latter, although both is my hope.
While we're on the subject of Christian writers who write fantasy, I'd like to share some of them with you in case you're like me, and you love fantasy. All of these writers touch on controversial topics that some Christians bash them for. They continue to do what they believe God has called them to do. Please support them by giving their writing a chance. These indies write about some or all of the following: magic, mummies, fairies, wizards, witches, werewolves, vampires, zombies, and even real-life hermaphrodites.
Mary C. Findley
As always, thanks for joining me in the shade! Cynthia P. Willow
Only one more week!
"Hell's Christmas" eBook is still available for the low price of $.99 for one more week. That's a savings of $3.00. The paperback is also on sale $3.00 off at $9.99. Don't miss out on the savings! Thanks to those who have already purchased a copy!
I love to write fiction and fantasy with a twist of faith. I usually focus on a young adult audience, but have ventured into some mature stories as well. But, you don't have to be young to enjoy my writing, just young at heart.
- Filmer Little
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- Letsi and the Labyrinth
- The Kingsley Adventures
- The Hell Tales
- The Karini & Lamek Chronicles
- Saving Private Benjamin
- Rhyming Picture Books for Children
- About Kingsley Lake
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- Ciella In The Woods Photo Shoot
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