S is for Snippet #AtoZChallenge

Welcome to the A to Z Challenge. This year I’m blogging about the Behind the Scenes for the Echoes Trilogy – a story a started writing about six years ago.

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Today I’m going to share another snippet from Echoes. This scene originally took place in the second book, but for various reasons after listening to the beta readers who read the first book, I’m combining books one and two.

That means that this is a-never-before-shared-with-the-public snippet – not even my beta readers have read it yet. (Well, except for Hosanna who has read everything.) Enjoy!

The man strode across the room and roughly lifted my chin until I was staring him in the eye. I shuddered and looked away. “Look at me girl.” His command was gruff.

Shaking, I did so.

“She’s the right one, alright.” His disgusted words came out with a volley of spittle that hit me on the face. I flinched and cowered, needing to add nothing of an act to my performance.

“What’s your name?” The young man sat knelt on the floor next to me so we could be at eye level with each other.

“Raquel.”

“Raquel?”

“Aye.”

“No, she’s the princess Rylie as sure as I’m Turston the woodcutter.” He gestured at my dress. “Does that look fitting for a Raquel to wear?”

I stayed quiet, although it was hard; I didn’t know what would give me the better chance – to stay quiet or to defend my position? Surely if he knew anything about Princess Rylie than he wouldn’t be expecting compliance, but if he didn’t know what to expect than acting unlike wouldn’t help matters.

“Do you know who the princess Rylie is?” the young man asked.

“Of course.”

“Get me a drink, boy.”

A minute later Thurston was gulping down water from a tin cup in a animalistic manner, I turned my gaze away, repulsed.

“Here, Raquel.”

“Th-thank you.” I took the cup offered by the young man in surprised gratefulness and sipped it, the cool water was a balm to my throat. Even though, to the best of my judgement, it had only been a handful of hours since my capture, it felt as if it had been a lifetime since I had last had anything to drink.

R is for Raquel #AtoZChallenge

Welcome to the A to Z Challenge. This year I’m blogging about the Behind the Scenes for the Echoes Trilogy – a story a started writing about six years ago.

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For the letter “N” I wrote about Nicolette, and now for the letter “R” I get to write about Raquel. While Nicolette is sweet, diplomatic, easy-going, and a peacemaker, Raquel is the sister who helped her learn how important all those traits are. 😉

Headstrong, passionate, capable, active, loyal, confident, unyielding, and a touch of arrogance… That pretty much sums Raquel up. Born with an unwavering desire to prove her point, Raquel is a dedicated, full-thottle, nothing-is-going-to-stop-me type of girl. With too much snark and wit for her own good, Raquel is nearly as capable of fighting with her words as she is with a bow, javelin, or throwing knifes.

To the endless amusement of the Inner Chamber Family, Raquel takes after King Dalan to a great degree. Unsurprisingly though, she steadfastly refuses to be associated with him while not playing the role of Princess Rylie. If Raquel needs to learn one lesson, it would be forgiveness – specifically for King Dalan.

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(Just imagine her with blonde hair…) source

Driven by bitterness, Raquel sometimes drops into the grumpy doldrums, other times she becomes restless. It’s during times like this that talking to her yields few results, and instead Keagan generally takes her out to the practice arena so she can work on her marksmanship.

Raquel is extremely proficient with horseback riding, self-defense, and of course things like archery and javelin throwing. Yet, at the same time she is thankful to be a princess and takes her job seriously – ruling in Judgement Hall and learning the laws and codes with a diligence that is commendable.

The very most surprising part of Raquel to me is how much I’ve enjoyed writing her side of the story. Granted, I haven’t worked on it since September of last year, but back then I was amazed at how her scenes flew onto paper. So, while she may not be a favorite with the readers, she happens to be a favorite with me. And that’s despite the fact that I know she’s going to do something pretty horrible in the second book.

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Is it only me, or are y’all also disgruntled with books where the princess/prince always bemoans their station in life and wishes they were average instead of taking hold of the opportunities their position affords them?

Q is for Questions #AtoZChallenge (Also: Time for Y’all to Ask Questions!)

Welcome to the A to Z Challenge. This year I’m blogging about the Behind the Scenes for the Echoes Trilogy – a story a started writing about six years ago.

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

If I could ask each character in Echoes a question, here’s the questions I would ask:

To King Dalan: How would you respond if you you found out that Princess Rylie was actually echoes?

To Queen Lena: Keeping Princess Rylie’s echoship a secret was a huge decision on your part. Do you ever wish you would have announced it to the public to see how King Dalan would respond?

To Princess Rylie: How does it feel to be a fake?

To Nicolette: How in the world would you ever respond if you did end up liking one of the suitors who comes around to try and impress Princess Rylie?

To Raquel: What would you do if you found out the truth about your mother?

To Teah: If you had a day to anonymously fill King Dalan’s ears with the truth, what would you tell him?

To Marina: Do you know your excessive chattering annoys the princesses?

To Mikalya: What was it like winning Teah’s trust? Was it a game to you, or did it feel serious the entire time?

To Uncle Izaac: Did you ever suspect the truth?

To Keagan: Which one is your favorite?

Oh. My. Goodness. As I was writing the question for one of the characters one of those nearly mind-blowing plot twists popped into my mind and legit made tears come to my eyes. I suppose this is really a fantastic way to brainstorm. My Echoes world is being rocked yet again, folks….

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•••

And, on the note of questions, I’ve decided to do a Q&A vlog!

So, that means y’all get to ask whatever questions your blessed heart desires. I’ve wanted to do a Q&A vlog for probably about four or five years now, so I’m looking forward to this a lot. *cue excitement*

You can ask questions about:

  • The Echoes trilogy
  • My writing
  • My life in general
  • My favorite books
  • My favorite writerly memories
  • How I get ideas for blogging….
  • Or pretty much anything else under the sun.

So please, ask away!

P is for Planning #AtoZChallenge {Vlog}

Welcome to the A to Z Challenge. This year I’m blogging about the Behind the Scenes for the Echoes Trilogy – a story a started writing about six years ago.

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]
Happy Wednesday Morning, to y’all! I’m super excited about the post this morning. In my vlog I open my newest piece of writing equipment – The WriteMind Planner by Perry Elisabeth. Y’all should totally check it out! (In case you wondered this isn’t a sponsored post, I’m just that enthusiastic about the planner.)

Watch the vlog here. 

(And, while you’re at it, if you want to subscribe to my Youtube channel, that would be totally amazing!)

O is for Outsider #AtoZChallenge (Plus a Vlog!)

Welcome to the A to Z Challenge. This year I’m blogging about the Behind the Scenes for the Echoes Trilogy – a story a started writing about six years ago.

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When you travel to a different country, it’s generally pretty important to know at least a little bit about what to expect and how to act. For instance, is it safe to travel alone? Is it customary to tip? Where’s the best place to visit? What are some of the big social taboos? So, today I’m posting a list of information that you’d really want to know if you were going to be visiting the Royal City in Kios.

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If you were to visit the Royal City of Kios…

  • Requesting an audience with King Dalan or Princess Rylie isn’t impossible – in fact they often have onlookers watching them while they rule in the Judgement Hall. Princess Rylie is known for talking with commoners, and even inviting them to stay for large communal meals
  • If you do take Princess Rylie up on the offer to dine at the palace, wear your best attire. As the leading clothes makers in this part of the world, Kios boasts many beautiful and colorful fabrics, as well as elaborate clothing styles
  • Fish is a stable in the diet of most Kioskins – especially those who live in the Royal City
  • If you want to start a conversation with a Kioskin, but can’t think of what to talk about, simply mention: Sheep, the Clothing Industry, how Amazing Queen Lena (may she rest in peace) was, Kios’s Strides Forward in Learning, or the Benefits of Eating Dried Canta Berries. The conversation will take off and you’ll soon be fast friends with the person you’re conversing with
  • If you want to avoid topics that may be controversial, stay away from talking about: Echoes, The Island of Outcasts, Saying Anything Negative about Queen Lena (may she rest in peace), or Princess Rylie being too young to rule effectively
  • The Royal City is a relatively clean, safe, and friendly city. Strangers are often amazed at it’s charm, considering not many years ago Kios was dubbed as “barbaric” by the neighboring countries
  • As in all countries during this time period, it’s unadvisable for a lady to travel alone
  •  Places you do not want to miss out on seeing while in the Royal City: The Square, The Judgement Hall in the Palace, Squabblers Marketplace, and The River Docks

And there you have it folks. If you have any more questions about visiting the Royal City, ask away!

One more thing before we go. Today I posted a vlog where I talk about some of my favorite young adult books. Check it out here!

N is for Nicolette

Welcome to the A to Z Challenge. This year I’m blogging about the Behind the Scenes for the Echoes Trilogy – a story a started writing about six years ago.

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]Happy Monday, folks! This morning I have the fun privilege of introducing you to Nicolette – one of the echoes who masquerade as Princess Rylie. Nicolette was one of the first characters who began forming in my head when I started working on this series, and from the feedback I’ve received, she’s apparently a favorite among readers.

At sixteen summers Nicolette is tall, confident, and kind. Known in the Inner Chamber family for her loyalty and willingness to take blame when needed, Nicolette is a peacemaker to her core and will do whatever it takes to keep the peace. Sweet and soft spoken, Princess Rylie is much more like Nicolette than she is like Raquel.

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With more of a laid-back temperament than Raquel, Nicolette enjoys quite indoor activities such as bookwork, mingling with the palace staff, and playing board games. Her forays to the archery field and javelin arena are simply an attempt to try and keep up (at least somewhat) with Raquel’s skills, since they need to stay somewhat equal in their levels of expertise.

At the same time, though, Nicolette isn’t quite or shy. With a ready wit and compelling personality, Nicolette (as Princess Rylie) is able to make friends with anyone, and in any situation. Unless of course she happens to be conversing with a dignitary who lowers himself to flirting and seems to forget that Princess Rylie has brains – then Nicolette is creative at giving the cold shoulder while still being passably polite.

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Nicolette is a strong believer in the Path Book, and daily applies the teachings to her life – especially the ones about forgiveness. Although some people seem to think forgiveness comes easily to Nicolette, it is in reality something she’s struggled with. Knowing how important it is though, Nicolette refuses to let herself become bitter, even when she has every reason to.

With dreams of one day ruling Kios side-by-side with Raquel, Nicolette does all she can to learn the laws, the systems, and how to judge wisely. She firmly believes that she, like Esther of old, has been placed in her position for Such a time as this.

L is for Landscape #AtoZChallenge

Welcome to the A to Z Challenge. This year I’m blogging about the Behind the Scenes for the Echoes Trilogy – a story a started writing about six years ago.

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

Today I’m mostly sharing pictures of what Kios looks like. The quickest way to describe it is a non-island New Zealand, with Portugal architecture. Pretty cool sounding, right?

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Another way I think of it is Hawaii with the Swiss Alps. I know, I know, I’m really combining there, aren’t I? But it’s beautiful!

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The main industry of Kios is making fabrics and clothes, so they have a lot of sheep.

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About a fourth of the country is also bordered by the ocean, which of course is stunningly gorgeous.

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As you’ve probably realized by now, I’m biased when it comes to how amazing Kios is.

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It’s been a lot of fun to create this country and try and figure out exactly what the landscape looks like.

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The first draft didn’t have nearly enough details about the country, and I’m already looking forward to adding more in the second draft.

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That’s it for tonight, folks!