Saturday, April 25, 2015

"A Dream Not Imagined" cover reveal!

Hey everyone! I'm so excited to be a part of the cover review for A Dream Not Imagined!! It's definitely a book I'm planning on getting once it's published!!

About the Book

A MAID, a PRINCE, and a DUKE. A GARDENER, a STEPMOTHER, and a secret...

     Ellie Abbington, a beautiful yet unassuming young woman, quietly longs for her life to change. Too privileged to associate with the servants—too underprivileged to associate with her own family; she dreams a dream of a prince and a happily ever after.

     But it could be that her own stepsisters, conniving Dezmarie and easily-influenced Adelaide, are dreaming the same dream...of the same prince.

     In the end, are dreams even all they're made out to be? Especially with deep and long-hidden secrets about to be unearthed?

A Dream Not Imagined is a non-magical fairytale novella based loosely on the classic tale of Cinderella.

Tentative Release Date: June 2015


About the Author

     Shantelle Mary Hannu was born in the mountainous west, spending her golden childhood years there. Since then, she has relocated time and again with her parents and seven siblings, making cherished memories in both the South and Central United States.
     A Christian homeschool graduate, Shantelle has a passion for writing and all things books. From a young age she’s been penning tales with a hope of sharing with the world adventurous and soul-stirring stories that bring glory to God.
     A Dream Not Imagined, a fairytale novella, will be her first published book. She’s currently preparing a full-length fantasy novel for publication as well, and working on its sequel.
     Shantelle blogs at A Writer’s Heart: about her stories, favorite books and movies (with reviews), healthy wheat-free recipes, and hosts fellow authors, among other things. One of her joys is connecting with fellow writers and readers! You can also find her on:

Twitter: @shantellemary (,

Pinterest: Shantelle H. (

About the Illustrator

     Natasha H. is an aspiring photographer and also loves drawing and painting. A Dream Not Imagined is the first book she has drawn the cover picture for.
     Learn more about her work at her blog:

Friday, April 24, 2015

Dark Storm Rising--part 12

I finished up the editing on Dark Storm Rising, so some of the posts will now have chapter titles ;)
Chapter 7---The Major Problem
Fremont opened the trunk of the car and took out the picnic basket. “Want a snack?”
Daniel nodded, “Okay, sure.”
Fremont set the picnic basket to the ground then reached once more into the back and pulled
out another basket.
Daniel gave him a puzzled look.
“Let me explain,” Fremont opened the top of the second basket to reveal a neatly folded
tablecloth. Taking it out, Fremont tossed it aside on the ground, then reached in and lifted out the
bottom of the basket, revealing three pistols.
“They’re all loaded. I thought you should know, just in case.”
Daniel nodded. “Let’s pray it doesn’t come to that.”
“Well, you want that sandwich now?”
Daniel chuckled,”Yes please!”
“How close are we?” Max asked as they stopped for a rest next to a small, clear creek.
“We’re about twenty minutes, more or less.” Matthaus answered as he reached down and took a
long drink of the cool water.
The other’s followed his suit, Kareena helping Helena.
Standing, Matthaus looked around at their surroundings. “We should split up and spread out to
make sure we’re not being followed. If we are, we’ll just lead them straight to where the others are waiting.
“That’s a good idea,” Kareena agreed. “We really should spread out all three ways, do you think
you’ll be alright here, Helena?”
Helena nodded. “I’ll be fine. But maybe you should move me closer to the trees, just in case
someone comes along.“
”You should be okay here.” Max said as he helped her into the numerous trees that dotted the sides of the trail.
“Max, we need to hurry,” Matthaus called.
You’ll be okay here, Helena. We’ll be back soon.” Max assured her, before hurrying back to
Matthaus and Kareena.
“Max, you go straight; make sure there’s no one ahead of us. Kareena you can go to the left and
I’ll go right. Don’t go to far. Just enough to make sure there’s no one around.”
Kareena and Max nodded and the three parted.
“Those kids!” Major Ubel exclaimed, slamming his hat onto his knee. “Just when we think we’re
close they slip away.”
“How do you know?”
“Look,” he pointed to the small nearly undetectable path they had been following for the last two
miles. “It disappears!”
“This is vhen ve need Vilhelm! He could track a rabbit and it never got avay.”
“Isn’t there some way we could get ahold of him?”
Major Ramond shook his head, “No, and he probably vouldn’t do us much gut now. By the time
he got here they vould be over the boarder. Ve should split up.”
Major Ubel nodded in agreement. “You keep going here and I’ll go further south.”
Without another word they both mounted their horses and continued on their way after the

“We haven’t gotten very far.”
“Don’t worry; we’ll get there when it counts.”
“And just when is that, Arnold? Listen, I don’t know why I let you talk me into this. I don’t know
the guy, in fact, I don’t even know why you’re after him like this.”
“I’ll keep this simple. You’re with me because I want you to be. I know enough about you to get
you thrown into jail for life. And let me remind you, I’m not out after Wilhelm. I’m out to hurt him.
I’m not out for his life; I’m out to make him suffer.
“But why? What exactly did he do to you?”
“Just be quiet, Stevan! If I wanted you to know, I would've told you!” Arnold exclaimed.
“Simmer down, I just want to know why we’re out here trying to get ourselves killed.”
Arnold smiled a sinister smile as he spurred his horse onward. “It’s enough to say I know his
secret,” he called out over his shoulder.
Stevan shook his head in confusion. What’s a secret have to do with anything? He wondered.
Major Ramond rode further into the woods. What will I do if I find them? Was the question that
continued to repeat itself. Strangely enough, and for some reason he couldn’t explain even to
himself, he was hoping they wouldn’t find them. He shook his head, trying to clear his thoughts.
Life had suddenly become so confusing. Just a couple months ago it had been so simple.  So
easy.  A united Germany, a strong leader, and the German people once again with an army to
protect them. But. . . then, then something had changed. New orders came, orders to eliminate the Jews, anyone who wasn’t pure German. He had followed them without question. . .until...until he had actually met two of the many “faces” he had been told to eliminate. That was when he had begun to doubt. How could two children do anything to endanger the Third Reich? He had fought it, trying to convince himself that Hitler knew best, that what he was doing was best for
Germany. But the doubts grew. Every day spent with Helena, every contemptuous look she
gave him caused him to wonder. Was this right? How could it be right?
Every rank he had gained by following orders, by being heartless and cruel, by killing people
meant nothing to him as he tirelessly searched for the answer.
Then Ubel had come, once again convincing him that the cause they were fighting for was right;
was good, even honorable. After all, weren’t they fighting for the rights of their country? Yes, he
had allowed himself to be reassured. He had chosen to ignore the small prickle of doubt that
grew larger every passing day. But now, alone, he could ignore it no longer.
Yet he also knew the other side of the problem. Those who left the Wehrmacht were thought to
be disloyal. He was a Major, and he knew that those who had gotten this high in the Third Reich

would be dealt with harshly as an example to others.
He sighed as he stopped the horse by a small clear stream. Bending down he took a long drink, the cool water felt good going down his parched throat. He sat up and looked around. The night was so beautiful, so innocent. The dark, clear sky shone with a bright moon, the clear stream in front of him reflecting the moonlight as well as the bright blue stars. In less than an hour dawn would creep up over the hills, sending a bright orange blaze over everything in sight. His horse nickered and he smiled. Tonight wasn’t a night to be chasing people; tonight was a night to be lived to be enjoyed. If only he could. Suddenly the beauty of the night was lost as he remembered the duties pressing on him. He stood and was about to mount the horse when he stopped suddenly. I’m sure those bushes moved! He took a few steps closer before realizing what it was he stared at , no who it was he stared at. He stopped stock still. His mind willing him to walk forward but his body deciding otherwise. It can’t be!
At that moment there were a flurry of hoofbeats as two men rode into the clearing. The moon
illuminated the insignia on the uniform of the first man and Ramond, suddenly jolted back into
action, snapped a quick salute as the Colonel dismounted.
Helena sat motionless, keeping her eyes on the bright moon. Her eyes followed it’s path, all the
way down to where it reflected in the clear water of the stream. It’s beautiful, she thought. So
quiet and peaceful! She closed her eyes and listened to the soothing sounds of the
forest. Suddenly she opened her eyes, looking frantically around for whatever had made that
sound. At that moment a horse and it’s rider rode into the clearing. She desperately tried to press
herself deeper into the bushes. The man dismounted and walked toward the stream, leaving the
shadows of the trees. Helena gasped as she saw his face. It was the second time she had seen
it on a moonlit night; Major Ramond.
She sat holding her breath as he drank from the stream. Then he sat up and stared at the moon.
Helena willed him to move, but he didn’t. For what seemed like forever he sat there, never
moving, the same thoughtful look on his face. Then, to her surprise, he smiled as he took a deep
breath of the clear air. He actually looks happy! She thought with surprise. Then, as though
something had reached out and touched him, the moment was shattered and the mask once
again slid over his face, hiding any emotion. He stood and turned to his horse. Helena, realizing
that he was looking in her direction, moved back. Instantly she knew she had made a mistake as
her terrified eyes met his. He knows I’m here! He stood there, never taking his eyes off her. At
that moment two other men rode into the clearing. Helena shrank back in terror as she realized
one of them was also a Nazi. But not only that, he was a Colonel.
“Hello, Major.” Arnold said as he dismounted.
“Vell, hello Colonel, sir.”
Arnold walked around looking closely at the surrounding trees. “We’re out looking for two
children that were under your custody, assuming you’re Major Ramond.”
“Uh, yes sir. In fact, Major Ubel and myself are out looking for them now.” Ramond nervously
wiped the sweat from his forehead. He hadn't expected his superior to be checking up on him.
“You seen any sign of them?”
Major Ramond glanced at the bushes where he knew Helena was hiding. Suddenly he made a
decision. There was no reason for the Colonel to find her; Helena had suffered enough already .
“No, no sir. Haven’t seen any sign of them.”
Arnold stopped walking and looked at him, “Are you sure of that.”
Major Ramond nodded. “Yes, sir.”
“Alright then. I’ll let you resume your search and we’ll resume ours.” Ramond gave him a salute
as they rode off then glanced over to the bushes. Yes, he knew what he had to do.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Meet the Characters--#2

Hi everyone! I'm sorry this has taken me so long to get up. . .I needed to find the right pictures for the characters. :) 

In order of appearance:

Fremont Baxter
Fremont and his family live just outside Serfaus, Austria. They lived a quiet life until the Anschluss. When Hitler took over Germany, he knew they couldn't just stay stay silent while God's chosen people were being "exterminated". Their house has know become one of the many stations on the way to the Austria/Switzerland border. Being the last house before the boarder, they are responsible for helping each family over the boarder. Fremont is convinced that helping the Jews is what God has called him to and he leads his family wisely as they work together for the Lord. 

Matthaus Baxter

Matthaus is 17--almost 18, and the eldest of the two children in the Baxter family. He takes his responsibilities very seriously and strives to be a good example for his sister, Kareena. He has taken on a big role in helping the Jews when it would endanger his father to do so and he accepts the position with a ready knowledge of what will happen if he's caught and a quick and ready grin. He, as well as his father, mother and sister feel that God has given them a duty to help his chosen people and desires to be a tool in the hand of his mighty God. 

Kareena Baxter

 Kareena is 16, and the youngest child in the Baxter family. She is happy and carefree and her enthusiastic personality makes those around her feel almost immediately at ease. She enjoy's working with her family and is also a great encouragement and comfort to their her mother who struggles with the danger her family is constantly in. Kareena also enjoys spending time with her brother, Matthaus and they are very close often not even having to ask what the other is thinking because they know without asking. They have been playmates their whole life and their bond has only grown stronger as they have gotten older.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Dark Storm Rising--part 11

Here's the next part! Tomorrow I'll post the next 'Meet the Characters'!

Daniel turned and strained his eyes. He was sure those bushes had moved! Next to him,
Fremont snapped the cover of his watch shut. It had been thirty-five minutes. “We better get
going. It’s been long enough.”
“Fremont, wait. Here comes someone now,” Daniel said.
“Why, that’s Matthaus! But why is he alone?”
Luisa opened the door of the car and hurried over to her son, engulfing him in a big hug.
“Matthaus, where are the others?” Kareena asked. Daniel and Fremont’s questioning eyes
repeated her question.
“They’re okay, but we had to take the long way around. We were being followed and it took a
while to lose them. You need to take the car to the small clearing outside of Pfunds. I’ll meet you
there with Helena and Max.”
“But Matthaus, that’s another hour for you to walk!” Daniel exclaimed.
“I know that, but it’ll be better than being here. The Majors are on horseback. They’ll be here
any minute. Dad, you understand. Tell them this is best.”
Fremont nodded, “He’s right. I’m assuming that they sent back to Innsbruck for the dogs, but it
will take them longer than a hour to get back. By the time they’re here we should be over the
Daniel nodded, “Alright. How’s Helena?”
“She’s doing okay, she can’t really walk; it’s been faster when I carry her, but I can tell she
doesn't enjoy it.”
“Matthaus, can I go back with you?” Kareena asked. “Let me explain,” she added as he started
to shake his head. “I know this area as well as you do, and I can help with Helena. Having
another girl around might make her feel better.”
“Hey, don’t go too far, sis. Max is her cousin; that should make her feel comfortable enough.”
“I think that’d be good for Helena. She hasn’t seen another girl her age since they got taken
three weeks ago.” Daniel added.
Matthaus slowly nodded. “Alright. But you’d better not slow us down!”
Kareena’s laugh sounded across the silent woods. “I’ve been out in these woods since I was old
enough to walk. I may be a year younger than you, but you know better than anyone I’m never
“Oh alright, alright. Let’s just get started.” Matthaus said, giving her a grin.
“We’ll meet you in Pfunds.” Fremont said, shaking his finger playfully at his son.
“Lord willing.”
“Yes.” Luisa added in a whisper. “Lord willing.”
Max and Helena sat in the woods. The crickets were chirping and the moon was shining brightly,
giving everything an enchanted look. Suddenly there was the sound of horses moving through
the woods. Helena gave Max a frightened look.
Max put a finger to his lips and looked around for a hiding place. A little ways off, there was a
thick patch of bushes. Standing, Max put an arm around Helena and helped her over to the
Setting her carefully down, he brushed aside the bushes enough to make a small opening. The
hoofbeats had grown louder and Helena gave him a terrified look. If Major Ubel found them, they
both knew it would be over.
Max hurried into the bushes, then slowly pulled Helena in, making sure her leg stayed straight.
She winced as it hit a rock and Max put a hand over her mouth, “I know it hurts, but you’ve got to
stay quiet,” he hissed.
Helena nodded and gritted her teeth, but not before Max felt a tear splash onto his hand. Her leg
was hurting more than she’d ever dared to say.
She leaned against him as the hoofbeats slowly entered the clearing, then paused just beside the bush.
“They were here.” It was Major Ubel’s voice.
“But how do you know?” I Major Ramond asked.
“Look,” he pointed to where the grass lay down at the side of the trail. “They were here not to
long ago.”
“Vhen the dogs get here, ve vill find them in no time.”
“Yes, but until then we will keep looking.”
The hoofbeats disappeared as they continued down the path.
Helena sighed. At least they were gone. Then a horrid thought struck her.
“Max, what if Matthaus come back and they see him?” She whispered.
Max looked at her. “You’re right. He must be warned. Slowly and cautiously he inched his way
around her and stood up.“I’ll go and try to warn them. You stay here.”
“But, Max. You don’t know this area at all. You could get lost or run into the Majors and we’d
never know what happened to you!”
Max paused and looked back at her. “You may be right, but think about all Matthaus and his
father have done for us. We can’t just leave them knowing they could be walking into a trap.”
Helena considered it. “Okay, but stay close to the path so you don’t get lost.
Max grinned. “You know, usually it’s me who’s warning you to stay away from danger.”
Helena managed a small smile. “So now we’re on the opposite sides. But please, do promise me
you’ll be careful.”
Max nodded. “I promise. I’ll stay close to the path and I’ll do my best to stay quiet.”
“And one more thing.”
“What is it?”
“Please, be back soon. I’m not to keen on the idea of being left here alone for long.”
Max winked at her. “I promise, I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
“I’ll be praying.”
“Me to.” He replied, and then he was gone.
Kareena followed Matthaus as they silently moved through the forest.
“Are we almost there?”
Matthaus nodded and was about to speak when they suddenly heard the sounds of hoofbeats in
the distance.
Matthaus grabbed his sister's hand and pulled her off the narrow path. Crouching behind a large
tree, he motioned for her to do the same.
Two horses cantered past. Matthaus glanced around the tree trunk, catching a glimpse of their faces as they rode past.
So, we didn’t lose them after all,he thought. This will complicate things.
He waited until he was sure they were gone before leaving his hiding place; Kareena followed
his lead.
“Who were those men?”
“Those men were the Majors.” he said with a grim look on his face.
“Does that mean--”
“Yes, we’ll have to take the longer way around.”
“But that takes at least half an hour more.”
“I know, but it can’t be helped.”
“Then we better hurry.”
She started walking ahead of her brother. As she sharply turned a corner in the trail, she glanced back at Matthaus. “You'd better hurr--” she didn’t finish the sentence because at that moment, she felt herself run into someone or something, before they both tumbled to the ground.
“I’m sorry, are you okay?” Max stood up and offered her his hand.
“I’m alright. Who are you?” She asked, taking his offered hand and brushing herself off.
“My name is Max.”
“Max, are you alright? What are you doing? Where’s Helena?” Matthaus hurried over.
“Helena is back where you left us. The Majors came by and I wanted to warn you.”
“We've already seen them.”
“Then we’ve got to hurry. Soon enough they’ll figure out they've passed us somewhere and come back.”
Matthaus nodded. “We were just talking about it.” He motioned to Kareena, “This is my sister,
Max nodded, “It’s nice to meet you.”
“How’s Helena?” Matthaus asked.
Max hesitated. “She’ll tell you she’s alright, but she’s not doing well.”
“Do you think she can make it another five miles?”
“Five miles!” Max exclaimed
Kareena nodded. “Matthaus sent them to Pfunds. It’s a small town close to the border. The shorter route cuts through the woods and only takes 3½ miles, but we can’t take the risk with both of the Majors out. The other trail goes around the woods instead of cutting straight through, but we can’t take the chance.”
“We'll have to,” Max stated, his determination evident in his eyes.
“We can’t.” Matthaus stated just as strongly.
“Look, I’m telling you Helena won’t make it. She needs a doctor as soon as possible; she won’t
make it another five miles.”
“You said yourself that she said she was fine,” Matthaus argued. “We can’t take the chance!”
“She’ll say she’s fine even when she’s in so much pain she can barely stand it! That’s just how
she is. But I know her. I’ve grown up with her and I’m telling you she won’t make it another five
miles! I’m not even sure if she’ll make it the four.”
Matthaus sighed. “What do you think, sis?”
“We’ll take the shorter trail, we’ll just have to be cautious.”
Matthaus nodded. “Alright, let’s go and get Helena.”

Helena quickly looked up, her eyes darting the forest. I’m sure I heard a sound! She thought.
“You doin’ okay, Helena?” Max asked, as he bent down beneath the bushes.
“Oh, Max, you startled me! I’m alright. Were you able to get to Matthaus?”
“Yep, but the Majors had already gone past; they hid though, but we’ve got to hurry before they
double back.” He answered, as he helped Helena out of the bushes.
“They?” She asked, taking his arm and standing up on her good leg.
“Yes, Matthaus brought Kareena, his sister.”
Kareena hurried to Helena’s other side and helped her out onto the trail. “Hi, my name’s
Kareena, but Max already mentioned that! I’m so glad to be able to finally meet you! I’ve heard so
much about you.”
Helena smiled. “It’s nice to meet you too, although I wish it was under better circumstances.”
“Well, hopefully in another couple hours you and Max will be safe on the other side of the border
and you can have a doctor look at your leg.”
Helena nodded, “It was starting to get better, I could even put a little weight on it, but then--well--”
“Oh, never mind about your leg. It’ll be good as new in no time at all!”
“Do you want to try to walk, Helena?” Matthaus asked. As soon as the words were out of his
mouth, Max started shaking his head. Helena, on the other hand, was a different matter.
“I--I think I could walk a little.”
“No, you’d better just let Matthaus carry you,” Max interjected.
“But, Max, I think--”
“No, if you try to walk you’ll only injure your leg worse.”
Helena sighed, “All right.”
As they started off, Kareena and Helena kept up a quiet but constant chatter.
Max was thankful that Kareena had come; her constant chatter kept Helena’s mind off her leg
and it also gave her someone to talk to.
“You two can talk, but keep it quiet.” Matthaus reminded them as he led them through the brush
until they came to another small trail, barely visible to Max’s eyes. But that didn‘t seem to bother
Matthaus or Kareena. Their steps were quick and sure and Max had the feeling that they had
been here many times before.
Just like Helena and I knew all the trails back home. Well, where home used to be, he thought
Daniel opened the door, stepped out of the car, and walked around, taking deep breaths of the
fresh country air. Fremont joined him, leaving a sleeping Luisa in the car.
“They should be here within the hour.” He said as he leaned back against the back of the car.
“An hour. . .that’ll be pretty nerve-wracking.” Daniel sighed.
Fremont nodded, “I know.”
Back at the Nazis outpost in Serfaus, Corporal Peter sat at the front desk, trying to make sense
of all the paperwork in front of him. “It’s bad enough that I was relocate here, now the Majors
expect me to figure out all this paperwork,” he muttered. At that moment the door opened, and he
glanced up before jumping to his feet; standing at attention.
“Yes, sir, can I help you Colonel?” He asked, saluting.
“Corporal, I’m here for two children. Max and Helena. They're to be released into my custody.”
he said flashing his papers. “I’m assuming this won’t be to hard?”
“Well, sir, under normal circumstances, no, but you see, they’re not here.”
“Not here! What do you mean? I want those children!” He roared.
“Sir, it seems they escaped. They’re out looking for them.”
The Colonel reached across the desk and grabbed Peter by his shirt. “Well, you let them know
I’ll be back. And they’d better be here!” With that he threw him back into the chair and stormed
out of the office.
“Did you get them?”
“No, they’re not there. They’ve escaped, probably heading toward the border.”
“They couldn’t have gotten far. The girl’s leg is supposedly broken.”
“I know. As soon as I get rid of this horrid uniform, we’ll start looking for them.”
“Keep the uniform, you might need it. We might run into some ‘friends’ in the woods.”
The other man nodded. “Alright, but when I get those kids, Wilhelm will be sorry he ever heard of
the Autenburgs.”
“Are you sure it’s the Autenburg’s boy they got? It just doesn’t seem right. Wilhelm being in the
Wehrmacht and all.”
“It’s him, I’m sure. And that cousin of his.”

“Well then let’s go.”