Friday, August 29, 2014

Answering Questions about the Earl of Dentin

Thank you to Joyce DiPastena for tagging me for this fun blog tour. I really enjoy her medieval romances and I am looking forward to reading her next book.

Bio: Joyce DiPastena dreamed of green medieval forests while growing up in the dusty copper mining town of Kearny, Arizona. She filled her medieval hunger by reading the books of Thomas B. Costain (where she fell in love with King Henry II of England), and later by attending the University of Arizona where she graduated with a degree in history, specializing in the Middle Ages. The university was also where she completed her first full-length novel…set, of course, in medieval England. Later, her fascination with Henry II led her to expand her research horizons to the far reaches of his “Angevin Empire” in France, which became the setting of her first published novel, Loyalty’s Web (a 2007 Whitney Award Finalist). Joyce is a multi-published, multi-award winning author who specializes in sweet medieval romances heavily spiced with mystery and adventure. She lives with her two cats, Clio and Glinka Rimsky-Korsokov, in Mesa, Arizona.

Her newest title, Loving Lucianna, will be available in October 2014.

Now to answer questions about the hero of my coming novel, Honor.

1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?
Jerome Simon Cordale, fifteenth earl of Dentin, is a fictional character. He hates his first name and reluctant to go by his second name. His friends call him Dentin. His frenemies call him Lord Dentin. His enemies, of whom he has many, call him the bulldog of Rhynan, Mendal’s Monster, and bully. While all defer to him as King Mendal’s right hand man, not all are willing to accept his power complacently.

2) When and where is the story set?
Honor takes place in an ancient kingdom loosely modeled on medieval England. The government is similar, but not exactly the same. Simon holds a very powerful position in the government, second in power to the king. As Securer of the Realm, he is responsible for rooting out conspiracies, treason, and other forces that would undermine the power and security of the current monarchy.

3) What should we know about him/her?
Despite his tough reputation, Simon is a likeable and admirable guy. You just have to get past his gruff demeanor, something few women are willing to attempt. Those that do are frequently only interested in his money or power and he sets them straight at once, except for the stubborn Elsa.

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?
The king sets Simon on a mission to collect an orphan boy from his adopted family. If it had been any other adopted family, Simon wouldn’t have had as much difficulty, but the family is the one of his best friend. Simon must choose between betraying a friendship or his king. As he struggles with the decision, he meets the strong willed Elsa. Not only does she frequently point out the dishonorable nature of his current mission, but she is caught up in major problems of her own. No matter how he tries to convince her, she refuses to accept his help.

5) What is the personal goal of the character?
Simon strives to preserve and champion justice in an unjust world. Using the power he has gained to help others, he works endlessly to serve, protect, and fight for others. He knows it is a never ending and thankless task, but he sees it as a way to prevent his past from happening to someone else.

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?
Honor is the second installment in the Novels of Rhynan series. He appears in the first installment of the series, Duty, but Honor is mostly about him and Elsa, the woman who tamed the Bulldog of Rhynan.

7) When can we expect the book to be published?
I am hoping to have it out in print and ebook by the end of 2014 or early 2015.

I would like to tag the following authors whom I didn’t warn ahead of time. They might not take up the challenge, which would be fine because I just want to sing their praises and hope they will answer questions about a character too.

Charissa Taylor Lees

Charissa and I have known each other since we were kids in the same homeschool group. As another oldest child in a pastor’s family, she and I had a lot in common. Since finishing degrees in communication and Bible at Philadelphia Biblical University, she has taken a large role in starting and running The Solid Rock Youth Center in her home town of Morrisville, PA. She served with the Pennsylvania National Guard for nine years before settling down to marriage, motherhood, and writing. She currently has books available with many more on the horizon.

Rachel Heffington

Bio stolen from Amazon: Rachel Heffington is a Christian, a novelist, and a people-lover. Outside of the realm of words, Rachel enjoys the Arts, traveling, mucking about in the kitchen, listening for accents, and making people laugh. She dwells in rural Virginia with her boisterous family and her black cat, Cricket.

Rachel released her debut novel (Fly Away Home) in February, 2014, and is looking forward to the publication of her Cinderella-inspired novella (The Windy Side of Care) in the Five Glass Slippers collection being published by Rooglewood Press in June, 2014. 

The Windy Side of Care is out already. Now I am eager to get my hands on her next release, Anon, Sir, Anon.


Friday, August 1, 2014

New Christian Historical Fiction

A friend of mine just released a new book. Since I beta read for her, I wanted to share the news right away.

A Different Kind of Courage

A well researched novel set at the dawn of the American Revolution, A Different Kind of Courage follows the struggles of a young man reluctant to take sides in the conflict. Returning to Boston after a long time away, William Landor arrives just before the closing of the harbor. William desires the approval of his Tory father, but also sympathizes with his friend, Dr. Joseph Warren on the other side of the argument. I enjoyed sharing in William's journey from confusion to resolution. The highlight of the book for me, however, was being introduced to Dr. Joseph Warren and his depth of character. I will definitely be looking into him more closely in future reading.

It is definitely worth a read. :)

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Annual Table at the Taste of Enfield

I was at the Taste of Enfield this weekend. An annual town celebration in July, it is a festival of vendors, fireworks, face painting, music, and more.

Sunday was warm and humid, but the storm clouds remained at bay. We had plenty of breezy gusts which kept us hopping picking up signs and reassembling book displays. However, on the whole it was a pleasant experience meeting new readers and spending time with friends that I rarely see.

I am sorry I didn't spread the word sooner this year. Next year, however, I will try to spread the word, just in case some of you are in CT. :)

- Rachel Rossano

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Writing Process Blog Tour - Round Two

Yes, I know I answered these questions a bit ago, but another writing friend asked me to give it another go so I am going to talk about a different project.

What am I working on at the moment?

Along with my previously mentioned WIP, the next book in the Novels of Rhynan series, I am working on finishing an old project. Zezilia Ilar's story, currently titled Living Sacrifice, is a contemporary of Wren in my writing journey. Begun as an attempt to write something that a traditional Christian publishing house would be interested in publishing, I quickly discovered that I had yet again wandered outside traditional expectations.

In a world where those who manipulate thoughts and matter with only the mind and the seventh born son is the strongest talent of all, Zezilia is her father's ultimate disappointment. Born seventh, the first girl after six sons, she has spent her whole young life seeking to earn her father's love. Now about to begin her fifteenth year, she has reached the age of marriage. If she can make a politically profitable match, perhaps her father would overlook her gender and approve of her at least a bit.

Hadrian Aleron was born a seventh son of a seventh son. As the strongest Talent in fourteen generations, he appears destined to claim the second most powerful position in the land of Pratinus, Sept Son. As overseer of the Talented citizens, he would be molding the next generations and influencing the direction of the country. The only obstacle to this grand and glorious future comes from within. Hadrian professes to follow the Almighty, an unpopular deity in a country devoted to worshiping a goddess. 

Prompted by the sudden manifestation of talent in Zezilia, Hadrian's old training master insists that Hadrian do something about training Zezilia. Confronted by her obvious potential, Hadrian agrees. Zezilia is thrust into a world unlike she has never know, learning how to use her new found talent and discovering the truth about the Almighty God her training master serves. Hadrian meanwhile takes up the mantle of Sept Son and faces the greatest battle of his life, living a public life in a spiritual battlefield. Each struggles toward a unseen goal. Only the Almighty knows the purpose as they learn how to become a Living Sacrifice.

At over 140,000 words in I need to finish the book soon so I can publish it. Zez and Hadrian's stories need to be read.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Written in alternating first person with mental "sent" conversations interspersed with normal spoken conversations, the book doesn't seem like anything I have read to date.

I was inspired a bit by the Firebird Saga, but did not try to replicate the world. Pratinus is a colony on another world that has gone through a time of chaos and rejection of technology. The world displays Roman influences in their words, names, architecture, and some of their fashions, but it is not ancient Rome. Only the remaining genetic modifications (Talents) remain to indicate that they had once been technologically advanced.

Why do I write what I do?

Because it interests me. In this case, I feel I need to finish what I started. Perhaps the Lord has a purpose for prodding me to finish it now. I don't know. I just know I can't get Zez's story out of my head.

How does my writing process work?

In this case, the process has been mostly finished. I was inspired to write something about a science fiction future, ended up with more of a regressive-science-fiction story line. Once the passage in Romans appeared as a theme, I had more direction and focus, but I am still not completely sure how this story is going to end, except that the two main characters will get together in the end. Almost everything I write ends up with a bit of romance in it. ;)

So, does it sound interesting?

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Struggle to Write Again

Every time I pause writing to edit or publish or just survive life, I struggle when it comes time to start up again. It isn't that I don't love writing, I do. The flow of words, the creation of a world and people to populate it, the process delights and fascinates me, which is the whole reason I write. But, the process sometimes requires a grunt phase.

As I enter into the grunt phase right now, I have hit the "Am I writing the right novel?" question. Between the next Novel of Rhynan, Faith, and an old almost finished epic novel, Living Sacrifice, I am torn as to which to write/finish first. While I feel the pressure of wanting to get past the halfway mark in the Novels of Rhynan series, I am also feeling very burdened to finish Zezilia and Hadrian's story so I can get it "out the door" sooner. I feel like the Living Sacrifice story is intended for someone and I need to finish it and publish it so that person can read it.

So, I am planning on working on both. We shall see which pulls ahead first. Either way, I need to press on through the grunt phase where the words come awkwardly and the story comes in bits and frayed pieces that require more finagling than usual to get them to fit together smoothly. I will let you know how it goes. :)

-Rachel Rossano