Tag Archives: reader

2016 March YA Fantasy Blog Letter

Well, I’m getting on to adventure.

Journey beginning . . .

Journey beginning . . .

First, a bit of news:

I’m excited and just wanted to encourage you all that our fans really appreciate us taking time to talk to them.

Yesterday I emailed Rachel Neumeier of the Griffin Mage trilogy, The Floating Islands, etc., asking to order a signed copy of her new book Keeper of the Mist that is coming out for my book giveaway that Derek is helping me set up. *Giveaway coming soon.*

Continue reading

FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInPinterestShare

Azalea’s Scop Talk

294

Mythic fantasy often displays the moral war, an adventure we are all embarked on.

Path of the Warrior: First Entry, is my opening story about how Tae Chisun, respected warrior from Korea, Land of the Morning Calm, seeks to save his people from annihilation by making peace with an attacking enemy in secret.

His Kuksun (general) exiles Tae from his love and his life, setting him on the path of a wanderer, where he will save enslaved stronghold daughter Kyrin Cieri of medieval Britain, impacting the lives of many in their stories to come.

Path of the Warrior explores how compassion, anger, and love can motivate a man to sacrifice everything. When Tae sees his Kuksun foolishly determined to die with all under his command, dooming their people to death, he seeks terms of peace with the enemy. He must kill a master above him who taught him what he knows of war, yet betrayed them all.

In spite of his Kuksun’s wrath, and about to be executed, Tae thinks of his wife, Huen, the Kuksun’s daughter, and begs him to give her his sword and his mother’s land. His general decides to let the gods decide Tae’s fate and has him thrown over the wall to the enemy. Thus the Chronicle begins …

How compassion and mercy can coexist with killing, and drive a person to kill to protect others, is important. Warriors are not necessarily evil. In fact, killing is sometimes necessary. It depends on the warrior’s motive. If it is worthy, a warrior is truly a hero or heroine, as the case may be.

Our motives of love, mercy, kindness, fear, revenge, and anger can become quite tangled. Our desires tend to be mixed at the best of times, but that does not let us off doing the best we can. And if we are God’s forgiven child, he is growing more love and compassion in us all the time.

Genuine care for some people’s lives may require the loss of other’s lives. Many people who do evil will not be stopped by niceness—they are set on their path to destroy others, to achieve what they want at any cost—deadly force is the only thing that will stop them. We are given responsibility in the way of the warrior to save life in just defense. 

The moral war yields good story fodder. And always growth. Downwards or upwards. The choice is ours.

Crossover: Find the Eternal, the Adventure

P. S. Lance and Quill is still in my editor’s capable hands, and events there have pushed my publishing date a few weeks forward. Thank you for your patience, and enjoy summer!

FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInPinterestShare

Falcon Heart is official!

Well, it’s official. My book Falcon Heart is finished.

The print proof came in yesterday evening, and it looks great! I’m so thankful and excited. This has been a long time in coming, and the Lord has brought it together.

Falcon Heart is available in both print and ebook on Amazon. My appreciated reviewers, readers, and friends, I hope you enjoy it! I also just applied as a GoodReads author today. Thank you so much!

Have a great day.

Azalea

P. S. Below gives readers a little idea what Falcon Heart is about if you want to forward this to a friend…

A strange dagger…
Adventure beyond fear…

Slavers seize Kyrin Cieri from the coast of medieval Britain and sail for Araby. With a dagger from her murdered mother’s hand, an exiled warrior from the East, and a peasant girl, Kyrin finds mystery, martial skill, and friendship closer than blood. 
The falcon dagger pursues her through tiger-haunted dreams, love, and war in the Araby sands. Kyrin is caught by the caliph’s court intrigue and faces the blade that took her mother. One thing can give her the will to overcome, justice against hate, dagger against sword. 
Murder, sacrifice, vengeance…compassion and the art of war.
Crossover: Find the Eternal, the Adventure

Whether you love historical or Christian medieval romance with a touch of martial arts fiction, or need a young adult epic fantasy series for teens, Falcon Heart, Chronicle I is a solid choice. 
Read the excerpt of this medieval adventure and discover the magic of Falcon Heart. A medieval fantasy of romance and mystery from Britain to Arabia and back.

Old grunge paper. And here’s the link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Falcon-Heart-Chronicle-Azalea-Dabill/dp/1943034001/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1428611962&sr=1-1&keywords=azalea+dabill

FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInPinterestShare

Intriguing…a book review.

Midnight_Captive_Front (2)

Midnight Captive was an intriguing read for me, and this review is a few of my thoughts on it.

At first I was a little put off by the confused similes and metaphors and the less-than-stellar grammar. But I was drawn into the story and came to care about the characters deeply.

True, they could use fleshing out, but they hold crystal truths up to a reader’s eyes all the same. Prince Sheridan’s discovering his own identity apart from his brother, Princess Hermione daring to believe in sacrificial love, the minstrel, Alyn’s, bravery in so many ways, and Phaedra’s perseverance and hope of freedom from her and her sister’s curse. Even the evil Seanan was a person with more than one facet.

I would love to see Midnight Captive rewritten in a fuller version.

Some of the logical transitions between various characters’ actions are missing. As in the king’s sudden change of heart toward his daughter after four years of trying to free Phaedra from the curse. His change of mind needs to be shown—how it came about. I hope this makes sense. And if you don’t mind my two cents, a different book cover might serve you better. Midnight Captive’s current cover says Victorian/love story era to me, not fantasy. (I’m a fan of Cameron Dokey’s fairy tales. You might like them too.)

Thank you for the privilege of reading your work, Emilie. Keep writing. I see a lot of promise in how you wove Cinderella, the Pied Piper, and other tales into a new story. Just be true to the vision you see in your mind, see the vision as clearly as you can, and find words that fit that vision. Be picky about the words. They make or break your tale.

Alyn’s climb into the tower to see Princess Hermione and the humor there was good. J In the end, this line of the book stood out to me. It rings with Midnight Captive’s theme of freedom:

“Do it for yourself, Minnie. You are just as cursed as I am. You might see the day physically, but you are not seeing the real beauty of it. You are too much a prisoner of the night.”

FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInPinterestShare

Scop Talk: On Reading Fantasy

The bit below, from Gladys Hunt’s Honey for a Child’s Heart, is just good. I have to share.

It brought back so many wonderful memories of adventures in my early reading days. She encapsulates much of what I’ve felt about reading fantasy and what it does for me in my heart, soul, and mind. Because of that, what she says extends to you and every human in our world.

She writes a frank, uplifting and inspiring conversation about the importance of books, fantasy, and reading for children and parents. You’ve got to read her book if you have any interest at all in the world of hopeful books. She includes a good list of books at the end. They brought back to me the adventure and wonder. Dive in!

“Lewis Mumford once said, ‘The words are for children, and the meanings are for men.’ But I don’t believe it. Children suspect more is present than the actual story, and because there is little space between the real and the unreal world in a child’s mind, they reach across with amazing ease and begin to ferret it out. They may read the story again years later and find that their experiences in life help them see more. Adults will read the same book and begin to better understand why they loved it as children. But at any age, the story is an experience of quality and substance.

“The most subtle and profound ideas are often found in books written for children. A kind of ‘suspended reality’ exists in which what is true becomes more obvious. Good fantasy helps us see ‘reality in unreality, credibility in incredibility.’ A child accepts and loves fantasy because of his own rich imagination and sense of wonder. For children, magical things are not nearly as complicated at they are for adults. They have room in their minds for all sorts of happenings. And those who write fantasy are not so much those who understand the heart of a child as those who have a child’s heart themselves. Out of the depth of their personal experience they combine a child’s heart with profound insights into life’s meaning. Some fantasies laugh; some are full of nonsense; other are breathless with adventure and brave deeds. …

“Not everyone takes to fantasies or fairy tales, although I believe most children do. These stories are certainly at their best when read aloud–especially fairy stories–because the lovely cadence of words and the economy of language make them a special experience. It is adults who worry over the make-believe, the magic, the strange creatures, the evil events, the wars, and sometimes the gore. Children have far less trouble. They readily know the difference between fantasy and reality. ‘No child confuses dragons or unicorns with cattle in a meadow,’ one writer said. It is the child who doesn’t know about dragons and unicorns who is to be pitied! …

“Children don’t squeeze life into boxes. They have room for a large variety of emotions and happenings and are quite aware of the possibilities in people. They know life is difficult; they are happy to believe it also turns out right in the end. I like Beauty and the Beast to this day because in that tale an act of love transforms what is ugly into something beautiful. I believe it still happens.”

Blogger’s Note: Gladys does not say all fantasies and depictions of ” the make-believe, the magic, the strange creatures, the evil events, the wars, and sometimes the gore” are good; her context deals with these subjects handled well in story. Read Honey for a Child’s Heart. You won’t regret it! Published by Zondervan, 1978.

Crossover: Find the Eternal, the Adventure.

Crossover: Find the Eternal, the Adventure.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInPinterestShare

Scop Talk: Book Cover.

Here’s something I’ve been working on this last week or so. I’ve been playing around with various comp photos and photos found on Pinterest to compile a tentative book cover mock-up for Falcon Heart. Don’t worry, I’ll be seeking the pic rights even though my sister is just going to use the mock-up for a rough model for her artwork. Then I’m hoping to get the artwork colored so it looks like a traditional fantasy book. But what I really wanted to ask you is what you think: 1) It’s been suggested that I try the falcon flying in, wings outspread, through the the center of the arch, and 2) That I have my sister shorten the sword handle because it distracts the viewer from the model’s face. What’s your opinion? Click twice on the pic to see a larger version. Thanks for your help!

Tentative Book Cover

Tentative Book Cover

 

FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInPinterestShare

A Glimpse of an Adventurous Life: Success, Joyce Meyer, and never give up!

Shall mount up as eagles ...

Shall mount up as eagles …

My definition of success is to have God say to me at the end of my life, “Well done, good and faithful servant …”

What this step looks like to me right now is: supporting myself in a worthwhile career with long-term possibilities of passive income–my own pension, so to speak. I don’t want to burden anyone when I am old, and I want to be able to help others with funds.

Included in that career goal is to learn to live at His speed, relying on Him. Not getting ahead of Him and frying my energy and health, and not getting behind Him and quitting or giving up, but walking with Him; living more consciously with Him.

When I say “worthwhile career”, I also mean helping people during my journey with my books and editing and other skills. Including my time, my heart, my understanding, etc.

I just lost my non-fiction client today, rather abruptly. And I feel misunderstood and misrepresented by him. This took a large dose of patience and understanding.

He was my main source of income at the moment, and I just felt I was getting started on my goal of saving money for ISBN numbers for my books, etc. So I’ve been praying a lot, and He’s given me grace to remember this is His plan, and His grace is sufficient.

So I am moving on. A question I answered today from iBloom in Business is: what are you incompetent, competent, excellent, and brilliant at?

I’m incompetent at InDesign (for the moment), competent at editing, an excellent reader, and brilliant? I’m not sure I dare call myself brilliant at anything–isn’t it quite a subjective thing? I will say I’m brilliant at making mistakes, but I’m learning to use them as stepping stones to success. Mistakes are not permanent failure. They’re temporary learning curves on the road to the right way to do something.

The idea of not giving up in Joyce Meyer’s Never Give Up is helping me immensely with my self-employment challenges.

She says, “Mount up with wings as eagles. … We can approach a situation in which we have grown weary with fresh energy and passion … and [are] less likely to want to give up when success eludes us. One reason eagles symbolize strength is that they know how to make their strength work for them. They don’t expend their energy needlessly. … [She and her husband] eat healthily; we exercise; we drink plenty of water; and we get enough sleep. We strive to keep excess stress out of our lives and we have learned to wait on the Lord. Jesus said that the weary, the worn out, and the exhausted should come to Him (see Matthew 11:28) and He would cause them to rest.” Page 119.

I won’t give up. I plan to take five work leads with me this next week or so while I’m visiting relatives, fill out applications, etc. I will fly as He bids me.

I hope you are encouraged not to give up, and to pursue your dreams and good things with renewed strength. It will be worth it in the end. Sometimes a change of plan is needed. As long as it is not done out of defeat or quitting or fear, it is another curve on the road to success. Never give up!

FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInPinterestShare

“Scop Talk”

Blog and family pics 132

Fantasy readers, what kind of fantasy do you like?

As a blogger of “Scop Talk” I go for quality story-telling. One element of a good tale is detailed world-building that assumes I am intelligent; such as C. J. Cherryth’s Foreigner,  Robin McKinley’s Deerskin and Beauty, Rose Daughter, etc. Not simplistic communication that tells and describes the character’s action both at once, and insults my comprehension. Another element is a sense of wonder at the beauties of the created world, and that man is not the end-all and be-all.

I have not found many stories that honor the Creator of our bodies and souls, but tales that attract me the most portray some kind of inkling that the characters know there is a governing power of good beyond ourselves: tales that show truth, honor, loyalty, and goodness contrasted with the deceit and monstrosity of evil and those who follow it. And that show how evil can be deceptive and appear beautiful. Dennis McKiernan’s The Iron Tower trilogy is one of these. A medieval setting adds to the fun.

And a good fantasy is never complete without a grand sense of adventure. The adventure comes in the main character’s inner journey and war, the outer journey and conflict, and the character’s choices and responses that shape the world, such as in Lisa T. Bergren’s Cascade, Waterfall, and Torrent, in her River of Time series.

Actions do matter. Motive matters even more. Fantasy is a vehicle. Good fantasy makes a difference in how I see myself and the world. It shows that the smallest person makes a difference. We matter, and matter to our Creator.

You matter to me. As I write my fantasy stories, I’d like to know what kinds of good fantasy stir you. What do you like about your favorite fantasy tales? What do you call bad fantasy, in the matter of crafting and content? Will you share some Scop Talk?

Thank you so much.

For a longer list of great fantasy reads, see my reading list on my resources page.

Crossover: Find the Eternal, the Adventure.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInPinterestShare