Writing Fight Scenes and An Interview

February Fantasy Month Banner Good morning, dear Readers! No post here on my blog today, but don’t leave just yet, because if you want to read something from me today, you just need to click on the links below!

Over at Katy Huth Jones’ site I am being interviewed on the topic of juggling the author life with being a home-school mom. Come on by and read the interview HERE.

Also, I am guest posting over at Laurel’s Leaves on the topic of “How to Write Fantasy Fight Scenes.” Because epic fantasy battles are important ingredients in this genre we love, and getting them right can be difficult!

So, if either of those sound interesting… go check ‘em out! And I’d love to hear your thoughts on either of those posts, so feel free to leave comments over there or even come on back here to discuss. Either way, I’ll be checking comments and replying!

~ jenelle

Darkened Hope

February Fantasy Month Banner

Good morning, dear Reader! One of the fun things about February is Fantasy month is that it gives me the motivation I need to catch up on book reviews I’ve been meaning to write!

BSB Darkened Hope smallerI finished reading Darkened Hope by J.L. Mbewe a few months ago. I had it on my shelf for months, but kept putting it off because I knew that when I finished reading it I was going to want to read book #3 right away, and… unfortunately… book #3 has not been released yet. I read and loved the first book Secrets Kept earlier in the year and am eager to find out how everything ends up!

I really enjoyed this second installment of the Hidden Dagger series every bit as much as I thought I would. We pick up where we left off. Ayianna is continuing on her quest with a group of adventurers in search of the ingredients that can be mixed together to cure the ensorcellment that a devious Sorceress has cast upon the people of the land.

As Ayianna travels, she continues her inner struggle against what her heart desires and the duty she feels bound to by the betrothal her father arranged for her before he died. As the story progresses, thankfully, Ayianna begins to see more and more through the pleasant facade of her betrothed and glimpses the darkness lurking beneath his handsome face and charming demeanor… which is a relief, because the reader has been aware of his true nature since the first book. However, that is not the only trial that Ayianna and her companions must face. Dragons, flash-floods, unfriendly denizens of the lands they travel through, self-doubt, and various other tribulations are only a few of the difficulties before the traveling group of would-be-heroes.

It was fun to return to the world of Nalu and spend time with these characters I had grown to love in Secrets Kept. And while this story did seem to proceed at a slightly slower pace than the first book, it was no less enjoyable. The delays and setbacks of the quest made the plot feel a little more meandering, but I did enjoy that they did not always succeed at everything they set out to do. Also, I get a little annoyed at characters who spend so much time internally berating themselves and second-guessing their every move… and there is a LOT of that in this chapter of the story, so that got a little old for me after a while and there were many moments when I wanted to grab Ayianna and Kael by the shoulders and shake some sense into them… maybe knock their heads together a bit. So that aggravation might make me take away a dragon egg…

But THAT ENDING! Aaaahhhhh!

I won’t spoil it for you, but I SERIOUSLY NEED book #3 now!!!!

4 Dragon Eggs

dragonEgg4star

~ jenelle

Life Lessons Learned From Fantasy Tag

February Fantasy Month Banner

I hope you all are enjoying the celebration of Fantasy is February Month as much as I am! And what’s more fun at a celebration than some games? So here’s one! It was inspired by my blogging buddy Tracey over at Adventure Awaits, as she recently wrote a post about the importance of fiction, which resonated with me – and I thought we could turn the idea into a game of tag.

Rules:

1. Link back to my blog

2. Use the image above

3. Tell us 5-10 lessons you’ve learned from reading a fantasy book (or watching a fantasy movie) – lessons can come from multiple sources, as well, of course

4. Tag 2-4 other bloggers to keep the game going

And that’s it! Pretty simple, right?

Here are mine:

C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe showed through allegory the absolute beauty of the sacrificial love my Savior has for me. It also taught me that redemption is available to even the worst of traitors.

Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time taught me that love is truly the greatest weapon at our disposal. Evil and darkness cannot exist long in its light. Another story that hammered this point home in a different way was…

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, which taught me many things – and I could write a whole series of posts on that, but here are a few. It taught me that size, position, authority, and status have no bearing on the courage in one’s heart, but that heroes can come from anywhere. It taught me that old bitternesses can be laid aside and covered in forgiveness for the sake of a greater cause. It taught me that even the mightiest may fall prey to temptation. It also taught me that even the strongest temptation can be overcome and atoned for. It taught me that, when times get hard and I am tempted to despair because evil seems so prevalent and far-reaching that “there is good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.”

Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman’s The Death Gate Cycle taught me about the dangers of predisposed notions and arrogance. It taught me that no one is too far gone to make the right decision, and that redemption is attainable for all.

Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s Tales of Goldstone Wood continually teach me about the “still, small voice of the Holy Spirit” and the benefits of following His lead even when the path may make no sense. They have also taught me about redemption, forgiveness, and self-sacrifice.

J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series has taught me about true friendship, about remaining loyal and sticking by someone even when it’s hard, and how to persevere.

John Bibee’s Spirit Flyer Series taught me about spiritual warfare and how to be vigilant against the schemes of the enemy. It taught me that Jesus broke the chains of sin and darkness, but that sometimes it is in our nature to pick up those chains and wrap them around our necks once more, broken locks and all… but that we need not despair, because those locks ARE broken, and he will continue to deliver us… that sanctification is something that is worked out throughout our lives, and only finished completely on the other side of the veil.

Terry Brooks’ Magic Kingdom of Landover series has taught me that sorrow does not last forever and that joy can be had in the aftermath. It also taught me about the importance of perseverance in the face of difficulties.

Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files have been a very unexpected source of teaching what a true Christian walk should look like, and how a quiet steadfastness can affect and influence the people around us, even (and sometimes especially) unbelievers.

C.S. Lewis’ The Last Battle taught me to look forward to heaven with eager anticipation because there we shall realize the “beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”

 

These are just a fraction of the lessons I have learned while reading and watching fantasy. And these just from fantasy… as I have learned many lessons from other genres of fiction as well.

Now I tag:

Deborah @ Road of a Writer

DJ Edwardson

Madeline J Rose @ Short and Snappy

Liv K Fisher @ Whispers on the Wind

~ jenelle