Wisest Counselor Nominations: Silmaril Awards 2019

Nominations are now closed! Make sure to come back next week to cast your votes in the final round!


Returning for the FOURTH year in a row, it’s MY personal favorite event of the year… THE SILMARIL AWARDS!

And this year, I get to host the award for the WISEST COUNSELOR!

They tend to be old, bearded, and have a somewhat “larger than life” sort of presence to them. Their massive wisdom often lends to a sort of gruff exterior, and perhaps even a hint of impatience… but you know that deep down, they have hearts of gold and truly care about the adventurers they are mentoring.

This award should only be given to the best mentor, the surest guide — for the purity of the Silmaril demands nothing less.

Choose wisely!

Nominate your favorite character(s) for this award by leaving a comment on this post!

A few quick rules and reminders as you get ready to nominate a character:

1. Just a quick reminder that Tolkien’s characters are not eligible to win these awards. We creators of the Silmarillion Awards see them as the ultimate standards for these categories already, which is why they are the Presenters of the Silmarils.

2. These awards are for FANTASY characters! This means no science fiction. However, if you can make a good, solid argument for the fantastical elements in a particular science-fantasy, then by all means, go ahead! (For example: The Lunar Chronicles are admissible due to elements of magic and the fact that at their core they are fairy tale retellings)

3. Please mention what book the character is from in your nomination. While the hosts of the Silmaril Awards are wizards in their own right and voracious book dragons of speculative fiction, we haven’t all read EVERY book out there, and we might not recognize certain characters.

4. You are welcome to nominate as many characters as you wish and “second” as many characters as you wish. The top 5 MOST seconded characters will go on to the final voting round.

5. If you are an author, you are welcome to participate, but please refrain from nominating your OWN characters. You may, of course, direct your fans to this event, though.

6. Characters who have won in a particular category in a previous year are ineligible to be nominated for the same award again. The Silmarils are Lifetime Awards. For a list of the previous winners in each category, please check out our Hall of Fame.

Previous winners of the Wisest Counselor Silmaril:

7. Please remember that these are Fantasy Book Awards. Therefore, a movie character is only eligible for nomination if they were a book first! 

8. Most importantly… have fun! And don’t forget to visit the other 9 blogs and nominate characters for ALL TEN awards!

Please spread the word far and wide! If you are on social media, our official hashtags are #SilmAwards2019 or just #SilmAwards invite your friends to the party, the more, the merrier!

Let the nominations commence!


And don’t forget to stop by the other blogs to nominate characters in ALL the Award Categories!

Most Epic Hero

Most Epic Heroine

Most Mischievous Imp

Least Competent Henchman

Most Nefarious Villain

Most Silver Tongue

Most Faithful Friend

Strangest Character

Most Magnificent Dragon

 And this year, we even have a shiny new facebook group where you can follow the progress of the awards, interact with the hosts, get reminders when the voting form goes live all in one easy spot!

Awards Schedule:

The awards this year will go by the following schedule:

Nominations week — September 2-8

Voting week — September 9-15

Awards ceremonies — September 16-27

~ jenelle

‘Twas an Evening in Bethlehem: Cover Reveal!

Evening in Bethlehem Graphic

Today is the day!

The day of cover reveals!

The day you get to see a glimpse of what we’ve been working on over here in the Stormcave for the past several months!

The day I share the beautiful cover of my VERY FIRST (and possibly only… this was a LOT of work, y’all… and I can barely claim any credit for any of it because I can’t paint or draw or do graphic art) CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOK!

Front Cover - v01

‘Twas an evening in Bethlehem and all through the day

Many guests were arriving from far, far away…

The inn is full, but when a young, expectant couple arrives, the innkeeper cannot turn them away. Follow this beloved tale through the eyes of the innkeeper’s young daughter as she witnesses the glorious surprises of that very first Christmas and rediscover anew the gift of the manger that ultimately points us to the cross.




~ jenelle

Interview with a Ronin


I am back from our surprise trip across the country and feeling a little less under water on all the things. Thank you for your patience. Today, I am pleased to introduce you to a new favorite character of mine (only a week and a half later than I was SUPPOSED to have it up, as I was supposed to be part of the blog tour release party for this story… *hangs head in shame*)

However… better late than never, right?

Today, I have the privilege of introducing you to an awesome character (he’s become a new favorite of mine over the past couple of weeks as I’ve been reading this delightful book).

Shichiro is on the slopes of a forested mountain, sitting at the foot of a tree as he waits for you to approach. A little stream meanders nearby. It’s the start of summer, in the beginnings of the rainy season, so the ground is soft and damp and the underbrush thick and green. The sky is beginning to cloud over and the smell of rain is in the air. There’s a bush growing next to the tree where Shichiro is sitting, and what appears to be the brim of a straw hat is poking out behind it.

I walk up to him and bow politely, taking a moment to study this young man. He seems to have the weight of the world on his shoulders. He is on the taller side of average, but not by much. His face is young and handsome, and his skin is somewhat roughened and tanned by years of wandering. His hair is a dark brown, caught up in a long topknot, and his eyes a warmer shade of brown to match. The smile on his face and the look in his eyes is bright and cheerful, if a tad wary and weary. He’s perhaps a bit leaner than most would consider healthy, and this shows most in the slightly gaunt hollows of his cheeks. His hakama and his sandals are splattered with mud, and the rest of his clothes are ill-fitting and extremely worn. They’re even crudely patched in some places, and the colors are dingy and greyish. He’s balancing his sheathed katana against his shoulder, and in contrast to his clothes, the sheath looks used but well-cared for.

“Shichiro, I presume? My name is Jenelle Schmidt and I am with the InterFiction Gazette. I was told you would be willing to answer a few questions. Can you please tell my readers something about yourself?”

Shichiro shrugs, rubbing the back of his neck. “Ah, well, as you wish, though I’m not particularly interesting. I’m a ronin—a wandering samurai without a clan or a master. I’ve been wandering for some time, even since I was fourteen… seven years ago now, I suppose. Funny how time flies like that. Anyway, in my wanderings I do what I can to help those in need, and keep an ear out for anything interesting going on in the Seven Kingdoms.”

I jot that down. “What is your a favorite memory from your childhood?”

Shichiro smirks. “That would have to be when my big brother first taught me how to use the sword. Isao was quite proud of his progress and decided to pass on his knowledge to me, and was rather put out when I picked it up even quicker than he did. He ran to mother complaining about how unfair it was, because he’s the older and therefore should be better at everything.” The ronin grins again. “He proved his superiority as the eldest by consistently beating me at wrestling later, but nothing can change the fact that I’m still better with a sword than he is.”

I have to laugh at this, though I see his eyes widen at my impolite outburst. I struggle to regain control and ask my next question: “Can you tell us how you happened to find this pagoda?”

Shichiro blinks before shifting nervously. “Well… it’s not a rather impressive story. I was forced to, uh… swiftly vacate the town at the foot of this mountain. Then I got lost, and wandered around for a bit in the rain until I stumbled across it. It’s a bit further up the mountain, settled in a cleft or a divot that helps shield it from sight.” He suddenly frowned thoughtfully. “I’m not sure why someone built a pagoda like that—out in the middle of nowhere. It’s rather out of the way of any trade routes. I wonder what it’s story is.”

I nod stoically, knowing that I shouldn’t tell him about his future… though I want to. “Will you please tell us a little bit about Hanako? You just met her and she lives up in that pagoda, right?”

The ronin tilts his head to the side, his face thoughtful. “About Princess Hanako-sama? She’s… strange. After all, why is a princess living at the top of an odd pagoda in the middle of nowhere?” Shichiro hums, trying to wrap his head around his thoughts. “She’s quite intelligent, but she’s also rather naïve, I think… and somewhat uneducated in practical things.” For a moment he pouted at the bit of straw hat poking out from behind a bush, but then he shrugged it off. “She’s also extremely generous and solicitous, even to such an unworthy one as I… and she has a very nice smile. It’s a shame she hides it so often.”

My badge starts to glow. If only I had more time! “Just one final question, if you don’t mind. If you could have one wish granted, what would it be and why?”

“One wish?” Shichiro shrugs uncomfortably. “I don’t really have a need for anything. But, I suppose… if I had one wish, I would wish to have my honor restored… and to go back home. That’s all.”

I bow politely. “I wish you well with that, Shichiro-sama. Thank you for answering my questions.”

The world around me fades and I can just make out his puzzled expression as he stares at my dissipating form before reality solidifies around me once again.

In the wilds of the mountainous country of Akiyama, there stands a pagoda. When Shichiro, an exiled, honorless samurai stumbles across it one rainy morning, he expects to find it empty and abandoned. He was not expecting to find a lonely princess with near-mythical blue eyes dwelling in the top floors.
Hanako has dwelt alone for all her life, with only her two silent handmaidens and the countless dragon effigies on her walls to keep her company; her only knowledge of the outside world gained from the books and scrolls she reads. When the wandering ronin stumbles onto her haven, she gains her first friend, never knowing how deeply this chance meeting would affect her.

The threads of fate have tied these two together, and all the while turmoil boils in the midst of the Seven Countries of Azuma-no-Kuni. Rumors of alliances and armies sprout up, and whispers of the long-lost Imperial Line returning at last. Old prophecies ripen at last, and old myths prepare to show themselves once again in the hour of need. Amongst it all stand two new allies—an isolated princess and a near-friendless ronin, as the wheels of fate and destiny circle them and draw ever closer. Will peace at last return to the fractured realms, or will remnants of the once great Empire splinter beyond all redemption?



39745215_2200088133606168_7582512350154981376_oWyn Estelle Owens is the penname of a young woman who’s still figuring out what this whole ‘adult’ thing is all about. She lives in a big, old house in Maryland by a Hundred Acre Wood (dubbed Neldoreth) with her parents, three occasionally obnoxious brothers, her dog Jackie, and her rabbit Joker. She is fond of reading, writing, drawing, speaking in dead or imaginary languages, playing videogames, quoting classic or obscure literature, being randomly dramatic, and generally making things out of yarn. Her dream is to write stories that inspire people to chase after the wonderful world of storytelling. Her favorite all-time authors are Anne Elisabeth Stengl, Christa Kinde, and above all, J.R.R. Tolkien, who first inspired her to pursuing novel writing when she read the Hobbit at the age of seven. Find her online at: Goodreads || Facebook

~ jenelle

Out of Her Skin: A Flash Fiction Piece

Published Havok

I have a new flash fiction story published over at HAVOK today!

This one is a little fantasy piece titled OUT OF HER SKIN. I think you’ll like it.

For any of you who do not have a paid subscription to Havok e-zine, TODAY is the ONLY day you can read this short story for FREE!

This month’s theme is part of Havok’s “Stories that Sing” series, and August’s stories are all connected in some way to songs from the 60s! Part of the fun is trying to guess which song inspired the story!

I would be extremely honored if you would consider stopping by to read this little piece of mine, and I’m curious to see if any of you guess the song correctly! Votes and comments are all tallied by the editors when it comes to choosing stories to be included in the bi-yearly anthology, so if you read the story and it touches your heart, would you consider leaving a comment and/or a vote?

Even if you’re not a Havok member, you CAN comment! It might look like the comments aren’t going through, but they ARE, they just need to wait for approval by the moderators, after which point, they will be visible. 


~ jenelle