Friday, May 29, 2015

Character Spotlight--Eira O'Brien

Eira O'Brien is a spunky, spirited 16-year-old girl who has lived her whole life in Dublin, Ireland. She lives with her mother and father as well as Willem, her twin brother. 
Instead of perusing what her mother calls "appropriate for a women of maryin' age ", Eira spends her time continuing to learn under her fathers tutoring as well as learning swordsmanship from Casimir, a close friend of her brothers. She often speaks before she thinks and has lost count of the times she has regretted something she said. She has black hair and clear, blue eyes taking after her fathers Irish looks--and temperament.





Eira was startled by Merek's voice as he walked over to her. 
"You, girl, go and cook us some supper. My men caught fish and I want to have a home cooked meal for once in my life."
Eira looked at him blankly, “Uh, sir. I can’t walk. My ankle. . .” her voice trailed off and Merek’s gaze traveled down to her ankle which  had already swollen to twice its normal size.
Merek swore under his breath and Eira looked at him, shocked. “Haven’t you been taught not to say such things?” the words were out before she could stop them.
Merek simply stared at her and she squirmed under his gaze. She liked the yelling Merek better, when he was quiet it seemed to signal that he was extremely angry with you. . .and his eyes further confirmed the fact. “I--don’t like--to be questioned.” his words were carefully measured and controlled, “is that clear?” ~Excerpt from The Silent Blade

*picture found via Pinterest

Friday, May 22, 2015

What's Next?

Since Dark Storm Rising finished up last week, a lot of you are probably wondering what's next. Well, I will not be not starting another story! *sigh*
However, I will be doing character spotlights, clips, etc. for The Silent Blade, which is a book I'm writing set in Medieval times. The only reason I'm not posting it here on the blog is because I'ts going to be a novel (40,000 or more) which is a little to long to post, and then also since I'd like to get it published sometime in the future!
So, for now, here is a small summary of The Silent Blade.

It's just another normal day in Dublin, Ireland in 1556. . . or so it seems to Willem and Eira, who are twins, and their friend, Casimir. 
When two mysterious strangers show up in town, Eira is certain that all is not as it seems. But who will believe her? Then suddenly the siblings are kidnapped and taken by a mysterious man named Merek.  Who is he? What does he want? And what has Kevin, their older brother, done to deserve the anger and hatred Merek has for him? Time is running out and their brother is about to walk into a trap. Will they be able to escape in time to warn him? Or will they be the bait used to draw him into a duel with Merek? A duel he will most assuredly not win. When everything seems to be going wrong, will the continue to trust in their own capabilities? Or will they trust their Heavenly Father, knowing His plans are best for them?

Well, that's all for now! Does it sound like something you'd enjoy reading?
I hope you'll be back next week for the first Character spotlight!

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Liebster award

Hey everyone! I was once again nominated for the Leibster award, this time by Shantelle from A Writers Heart.  You should check out her blog! She has a novella being published in June which I can't wait to read! Plus she does a lot of amazing book reviews. :)

The rules are:
1. Link back to the blogger who nominated you.

2. Answer the 11 new questions.

3. Nominate other bloggers (however many or few as you'd 
like).

4. Create 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominated.

5. Notify the new nominees of their award.

Okidokie! Now to answer the questions! :D

1) What is the driving passion of your life?
To honor Jesus and be a witness for Him!


2) Can you name a favorite character from a movie you've seen recently?
Almanzo Wilder from "Little house on the prairie" :) 



3) What's one book (or chapter, verse, whatever...) of the Bible that has particularly touched you and why?
Romans. It shows so clearly that it's God's grace we are saved by and not anything else. Yet, at the same time it talks about how, once we are saved, we are no longer our own and therefore we need to act as children of God.


4) How tall are you? *smiles*
Umm, 5 feet 9 inches tall. I know, I know, I'm taller then most of my friends. which can be weird at times. ;) 

5) What's one thing a book needs to have in order to make it a favorite for you?
*Looks at bookshelf* Mystery, excitement, danger! But at the same time I like it when the characters are relying on God to help them get through whatever is going on.


6) How did you start and what's your favorite thing about blogging?
I started blogging at A Kansas Wind two years ago when my dad was diagnosed with cancer. It was kinda a way we could keep in touch with my mom and dad (other then phone calls) while they were traveling to different doctors. My favorite thing would probably be meeting fellow bloggers! And being able to share my stories with others.


7) What's something exciting that has happened in your life recently?
I'm working on getting Dark Storm Rising published!


8) Why do you write (blogs, books, whatever)?
When I first started it was mainly just for fun. Then it was because I waned to write a book that I would have liked to have read. I really enjoy WWII fiction, but it can be hard to find that from a christian POV. So that's what I've been working on. :) I also want all my work to bring glory to God.


9) Can you describe (or find a picture of) a different-era outfit that you'd love to wear?
A WWII era dress of course :) Something like this one.

Or this one :)


10) Favorite songs?
Right now my favorite song is "Lay me down" by Chris Tomlin. 

And "At Calvary" is one of my all-time favorite hymns!


11) Any advice for your fellow Christian bloggers/writers?
Keep writing! It doesn't matter if you think it's good or not. . .just keep writing!



Well, since all the bloggers I know have just done The Leibster award, I won't nominate anyone, however I would love reading your answers to these same questions I just answered in the comments :)

*All picutres posted came from the internet (Well, except the 7th one :)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Dark Storm Rising--Part 15: Epilogue+quesions

And. . .here it is! I know it's super short compared to the other ones, so I've included some questions at the bottom of the post. I'd love it if you could answer them in the comments!! :)
Epilogue
Daniel shook Finch’s hand as he bid his long-time friend goodbye, then began walking toward
the Nazi’s base in Innsbruck. It was a beautiful Monday morning, and Daniel thought about how
different it was from the day before. Max and Helena had, after three long weeks, been reunited
with their families; he smiled as he remembered it.
“Helena, Max? Is it really you?” Johann Heidenrich had exclaimed as he rushed out of the small
hut and engulfed his daughter in his arms, tears running down his face. Ruth, Helena’s mother,
was close behind her husband as they welcomed their daughter home. Max’s family had hurried
out as well and Max was instantly surrounded with hugs as the families welcomed home the two
children who had been away for weeks.
Johann had then stepped forward and given him a firm handshake. “We never can thank you
enough. First warning us and helping us escape, then bringing Max and Helena as well.”
Lesiel hurried over and gave him a hug, “Your shoulder? What happened?”
“It’s a long story. The short version is that I got shot, but I’ll be alright.” He smiled at her worried
look. “Don’t worry, I’ll be okay.”
“Daniel, why don’t you stay with us? Nothing good can come from you going back there!” Lesiel
had exclaimed.
“Remember, Lesiel. I’m there to help others. Right now I feel like that's what God wants from me
and who am I to say no?” He had reminded her.
“Well, we’d better get going. We have a lot of ground to cover and not a lot of time to cover it.”
Fremont had announced.
As they turned to leave, Helena, with her father’s helped, walked over to him. “Daniel, tell Major
Ramond. Tell him what Jesus did for him. Also, tell him thank you--and tell him what it means to
be free, truly free.”
He had smiled as he bent down to give her one last hug, “I will, I’ll tell him. I’ll miss you.”
Once again Johann shook his hand as he bid him farewell. “Remember, Daniel. You’re in a
battle. As followers of Jesus we all are, trust your General and obey him; he’ll never lead you
wrong.”
**
Daniel shook his head to clear his thoughts as he approached the doors of the garrison. So
much had happened since he’d last walked down the same road. It is a battle. Between what is
good and what is evil, he thought. He knew it would be difficult, living the life of an oppressor, yet
secretly helping the Jews escape whenever possible.  It’s the battle I’ve been called to, and one
I’m honored to fight in. With that thought he opened the door and returned, once again, to the life
of Wilhelm, knowing that Jesus, his General, would give him the courage to fight the many
battles that laid ahead.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the trumpet call obey. Forth to the mighty conflict, in this His glorious day. Ye that are men now serve Him, against unnumbered foes. Your courage rise with danger, and strength to strength oppose.


And. . .now for the questions! :D
Who was your favorite character and why?
Who was your least favorite character and why?
What was your favorite part of the book?
Did you feel like you got to know the characters?
Were there any parts that didn't seem to make sense?


Friday, May 8, 2015

Dark Storm Rising--Part 14

These are the last two chapters in the book! I know this part is a bit shorter then usual, but I wanted to save the epilogue for next week. (Which will be shorter too, but I think it needs it's own post because it really wraps the whole book up.) Enjoy!

Chapter 9

Explanations
As soon as the shot rang out, Daniel and Fremont dived behind the car. Then seeing Finch was
hurt, Fremont hurried out and dragged him to the side of the car.
“That’s what I was talking about,” Finch gasped. “It’s Arnold and he has another man with him.”
Daniel grabbed a pistol, aimed at the two shadowy figures, and quickly fired two shots in close
succession, taking only seconds in between to change his aim.
“Wow, you actually got them both, Daniel.” Helena said in a whisper.
“Fremont, are you okay?”  Luisa asked as she opened the car door and hurried over to them.
“I’m alright, dear.” He answered as they met in a warm embrace.
“Helena, Helena?”
Helena turned, the wonder showing in her eyes. “Max? Oh Max!” She exclaimed as he threw his
arms around her.
“It sure is good to see you. But--how? Matthaus said he saw you with Major Ramond. I assumed
you got taken back to the garrison.”
“I was with Major Ramond, but he didn't take me back. I’ll tell you about it later.”
Max nodded, “Alright. I’m just glad you’re here--and that you’re safe.”
“You’re looking mighty fine, Max.” Daniel said as he walked over to them.
“Daniel, I’m so glad you’re alive! Matthaus told me about what happened while we were walking.”
At that moment Matthaus walked over. “Both of those men are dead. You have mighty good aim,
Daniel.”
“What about Finch?”
“He’ll be okay, the bullet just missed the bone and went straight through.”
“Do you have any idea who those men were?” Helena asked.
“I do, and so does Max, but we’ll tell you in the car. We’ve got to get going.” Daniel said as he
helped Helena stand, then Max helped her climb into the car.
***
“So,” Daniel began as the car started and they began to move, once again, toward the Austrian
border. “I met Arnold while I was in Vienna, about the same time I met the Autenburgs.”
“Arnold was courting Lesiel at the time, and they had gone to a Cafe for lunch.” Max broke in.
“And I was at the same Cafe,” Daniel continued. “They had just ordered their food, and were
sitting at the table sipping tea. Arnold reached across the table to take Lesiel's hand, and in
doing so bumped her cup and the hot liquid spilled all over her. She jumped up and frantically
pulled the fabric away from her skin, all the while trying to brush it off. I was sitting at the table
across from them, and I quickly snatched up a napkin; offering my assistance--I never could
stand to see a lady in distress.”
“And the fact that she was rather pretty didn’t hurt at all.” Max added in a teasing voice.
“That’s beside the fact. So anyway, that’s how we met. She invited me over to dinner with her
family, and I was happy to oblige. But here was something about Arnold that had bothered me. It
was as though I had seen him before. And from the look he gave me, I knew we must have met.”
“Daniel really hit it off with our family and he was around quite a bit of the time.” Max broke in once again.
“I was working in the Wehrmacht so I did some checking into Arnold. As it turns out, he was
running from the German government. I quickly went and told Max’s father what I knew. He
immediately forbade Arnold to ever see Lesiel again. That day, the Austrian police arrested him.
His last words to me were, ‘You’ll pay. If it takes me my whole life, you’ll regret you ever met the
Autenburgs.’”
“I was on my way to warn Daniel.” Finch said. “I had met both him and Arnold in Vienna. In fact,
I’ve been working with Daniel for quite a while now in helping the Jews over the border into
Switzerland. When I heard Arnold had escaped, I knew Wilhelm was in danger. In more ways
then one.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Daniel, he knew your secret.”
“What?” Daniel sat up with surprise. “But how could he have known? And how do you know he
knew?”
“I was with him. When I realized he had escaped, I knew you’d be in trouble, so I joined Arnold and Stevan in their quest to find you.”
“Wait, you were with them? How is that possible?”
“Calm down, Daniel. You know I’d never do anything to hurt you. I pretended to join them to figure
out what exactly he was up to. See, Daniel, he wasn't planning to hurt you. He had figured out,
somehow, who you were and what was going on; that you were helping Jews escape. Then he
learned about Max and Helena. So he wanted to get them. Then he was planning to tell the
General who you really were and about your involvement with the Jews. He didn't want to kill
you, no, that would have been to easy. He was planning to do exactly what he said he’d do;
make you suffer. I wasn’t able to get away until today to try to warn you. I guess I was a little
late.”
Everyone was quiet as Finch’s words sunk in.
“Well, we can be thankful things turned out the way they did.”  Fremont said, breaking the
silence.
“Yes, God was certainly protecting us.” Kareena added.
“So, Helena, what happened with Major Ramaond?” Max asked.
“You’ll have to hear the story later, Max. We’re about ten minutes from the border. We’ll walk from here.” Finch said as he opened the door and climbed out of the car.
“Wow, to think that in less than an hour we’ll see our parents.” Helena said as Max helped her out of the car.
Max grinned at her, “I know. I can’t wait.”
As Helena stepped out of the car, Matthaus turned to them. “We won’t go with you. Kareena,
Mom and I will wait here. Dad will help you over the border.”
“It was so good to be able to meet you both,” Kareena said as she gave Helena a hug.
“It was so good to meet you as well,” Helena said as she desperately tried to hold back the
tears. “I hope we can see you again sometime.”
Matthaus winked at her, “If we do, I’ll expect you to be up and around. You just about wore me
out!”
Helena managed a small smile, “Thanks for everything.”
Max nodded, “The reason we’ve gotten this far is because of you. Thank you.”
“Max, Helena, we need to get going.”  Fremont called.
Helena gave Karena one last hug, then reached out to shake Matthaus’s hand, but he pulled her
into a fierce hug instead. Then she turned as Max took a hold of her hand and helped her over
where Daniel, Finch and Fremont were waiting.

They turned and waved one last time, before turning and walking away from Austria, and towards Switzerland; toward freedom!

Chapter 10
The Road to Freedom
Major Ramond rode slowly back to the garrison. Major Ubel had rode on ahead of him, still
furious that they hadn’t found the children. The sun was peeking up over the mountains and he
knew that by now, Helena and Max would be nearly over the border. He smiled, and somehow he knew nothing would ever be the same. He wasn’t the same. He pushed his horse into a gallop. Right now it felt wonderful to be alive!
***
Fremont helped Helena as they stepped over the border. She paused and glanced back as tears
gathered in her eyes. Their journey was over and they were almost home. As the sun made it’s
way over the mountains, the tears began to fall unbidden down her cheeks. She was leaving the
only place she had ever called home to begin a life in a new country. Max walked over and put
his arm around her shoulders.  “It’ll be alright, Helena. Remember, home isn’t a place. It’s your
family and the people you’re with.”
“Do you know what Major Ramond did? He made this possible. He brought me safely to Daniel,
then he went and led Ubel away from there. I hated him, Max. I really did, I struggled to forgive
him. I finally did and now I can’t bear the thought that I’ll never see him again. I prayed that God
would take the bitterness out of my heart toward him and Major Ubel, and He has. I am finally
able to forgive even Major Ubel for all he did.” The tears continued to roll down her cheeks.
Fremont, Daniel and Finch stood off to the side, giving the cousins time to talk.
“But now, now I know what true freedom is. Even if we were still back at the garrison, behind
locked doors; my heart is free now, Max. Because God can give us the freedom that is found in forgiveness.”
“I know what you mean. True freedom is only found when we fully place our trust in God and
surrender our will to Him. When we understand what Jesus has done for us and what He has
forgiven us for, we can then forgive others and find the freedom only Christ can give.”
They stood there and watched the sun rise over the mountains until it shone bright on them in it’s
full splendor, then they turned, leaving Austria behind, as they walked toward Switzerland. . .and a new life.
***

Friday, May 1, 2015

Dark Storm Rising--part 13

Thais was my favorite chapter in the whole book! I hope y'all enjoy it!!

Helena sat in stunned silence as she heard Major Ramond talk to the Colonel. Is it possible?
Could he have not seen me? She wondered. Yet somehow she knew he had. But why isn’t he
telling the Colonel? Surely it would gain him honor in the Third Reich. She almost chuckled as
that thought was followed immediately by another. But then again, he was the one who wasn’t
watching when we escaped!
Listening, she heard the two men ride off. She sat silently, waiting for the footsteps she knew
would follow. Sure enough, they came. The Major brushed away the bushes and the moonlight
shone full on her face. He hesitated for a moment, then gently reached down and picked her up,
being careful not to hurt her leg. Neither spoke as he placed her in front of the saddle on his
horse, then he mounted up behind her and pushed the horse into a gentle canter.
***
“You think he was telling the truth, Arnold?” Stevan asked as soon as they were out of earshot.
“I believe him. He has no reason to lie to us.”
“So what are we doing now?”
“I’m pretty sure I know where Wilhelm is waiting, and I’m also sure that the kids will eventually go
there.”
“How do you know all this stuff?” Stevan asked, clearly puzzled.
“I watched. He helped others about two weeks ago. And he helped both of their families. Granted, he didn’t take them over the border, but he took them far enough for me to know what he was up to. Their over in Switzerland. Now what's more natural then for him to help they’re son and his cousin?”
“I hope you know what you’re talking about because I can’t make heads or tails of it.”
“Don’t worry about it. Finch will be along soon enough. Until then we get there and wait.”
***
Matthaus quickly ducked behind a tree as he heard the hoofbeats approaching. As the horse
passed he glanced out at the rider. What he saw nearly made him fall over. Major Ramond rode
past, and Helena sat in front of him. His mind began to whirl with questions. How in the world did
he find Helena? Suddenly a horrible thought hit him. Did she get hurt? Did something happen?
Quickly he turned around and hurried off back toward the creek to meet Kareena and Max.
***
Helena tried to tell what direction they were going in, but it was impossible. She couldn’t
understand it. Was he taking her back to the Nazi garrison? Inwardly, she sighed. She’d know
soon enough; at the rate they were moving they’d be there any minute.
**
Daniel suddenly froze, the sandwich halfway to his mouth. Hoofbeats. He exchanged a look with
Fremont, who quickly grabbed a pistol from the second basket. They both ducked behind the
car as the hoofbeats grew increasingly louder. As the rider left the trees, Daniel’s mouth opened
in shock. He motioned to Fremont to put the pistol down as Major Ramond and Helena rode into
the clearing.
Major Ramond stopped the horse just in front of Daniel.
“Ramond.” Daniel acknowledged.
“Vilhelm. Or should I say. . .Daniel?” He asked, motioning to the arm that was in a sling.
A look of shock spread across Daniel’s face, but he said nothing.
“I’m assuming you’re wondering how I found out?”
“That would be the obvious question.”
“I put two and two together.”
Daniel nodded. “Well, I figured you know soon enough. I’ll get ready and go back with you
quietly. I don’t want any trouble and I don’t want Helena hurt any further.” He walked over to the side of the horse. “Are you alright, Helena?”
Helena, who still was trying to process the fact that Daniel was still alive, nodded. “But you? How--”
“It just missed my heart. Wounded my shoulder instead. Fremont found me and fixed me up.”
“Oh, I’m so glad you’re still alive!” Helena exclaimed as she threw her arms around his neck.
“Whoa, careful now,” Daniel chuckled as he wrapped his good arm around her. “I’m mighty
happy to see you too, but I don’t think either of us need to get hurt any worse.”
He turned to Major Ramond. “If you just give me a minute, I’ll go and get my bag.” He turned to walk away.
”Now vait, just hold on a minute, Vilhelm.” He dismounted, then took Helena in his arms and set
her gently down in front of Daniel. “Here she is. She’s safe, and now she’ll be happy vith her
family. I’ll go and find Ubel, lead him avay from here and give you all plenty of time to get over
the border.”
“Ramond, are you saying--”
“Yes, I’m saying she’s free. And you? Vell, I’ll expect to see Vilhelm back at vork on Monday
morning. In a proper uniform of course, and--vithout the glasses.” He smiled. “I’ve seen
something in you, ever since I’ve known you. You’re different. You don't vant honor for yourself.
You vere simply content to serve. Now I’ve seen the same in Max and Helena. The villingness
to sacrifice yourselves for the safety of others. There’s something different about you, and I vant
to know vhat it is.”
Daniel stood motionless as the full impact of Major Ramond’s words hit him.
“You mean. . .you’re helping us? You do know what will happen if someone finds out.”
Major Ramond nodded. “Just remember this, Daniel. I vant Vilhelm back on Monday. And not
appearing vounded or ve both know someone vill suspect something.”
Helena looked up at him, tears shining through her eyes. “Thank you so much, Major. Thank you
for everything!”
He smiled down at her. “I expect to hear that you are safely in Switzerland. And, Helena, never
lose the spark that you have. That vill to live through any circumstance.
Helena nodded, “I know that even if I die I will live. And no one can take that away from me.”
The Major gave her a puzzled look, “Vhat do you mean?”
“Ask Wilhelm to explain it to you.” She accepted Daniel’s offered hand and shakily stood, then
she gave the Major a hug. “I never thought I’d say this, but I’ll miss you.”
He bent down and gave her a gentle kiss on the head. “And I you.”
Then without another word he mounted his horse and rode back into the woods.
***
“Helena,? Where is she?” Max demanded.
“I saw her. . .with the Major.” Matthaus answered.
“What Major?” He grabbed the older boy’s arm and turned him around. “Which Major was it?”
“Ramond. It was Major Ramond.”
Max released his grip and slumped down on the ground, his head in his hands.
“Oh, Max, it’ll be alright! We’ll find her.” Kareena said as she put her hand on his shoulder in an
effort to comfort him.
“No, see that’s the problem; you don’t understand. I’m responsible for her, it’s my fault she’s in
this whole mess. Don’t tell me you understand; you don’t!” He shook her arm off, stood up and
walked back into trees.
“Well, I sure didn’t handle that to well.” Kareena sighed.
“Don’t worry, sis. I didn’t do too well myself.”
“So. . .what do we do know?”
“We need to get Dad. It’s beyond us now.”
Kareena nodded, “Alright, but we’d better go and get Max first.
“Good idea. Maybe I’ll tell him Daniel's alive. That might perk him up some.”
“Are you telling me you didn’t say anything to them about him?”
He shook his head, “It slipped my mind.”
Kareena lightly punched him in the shoulder, “The fact that their friend--who they think is dead--is
alive slipped your mind? You’re horrible!”
“Don’t remind me.  Let’s go; it’ll be dawn in less than an hour. We’re almost out of time.”
***
Stevan glanced toward the Eastern sky as a slight hint of dawn played on the edge of the
horizon. “It’s getting light out, Arnold. He’d better get here soon or I’m out of here.”
“He’ll be here. Don’t you worry.”
“How do you know him, anyway?”
“Met him in Vienna, about the same time I met Wilhelm.”
“And you trust him?”
“I do. Now enough, I don’t want to hear another word!”
****
“Daniel, there’s someone coming!” Fremont exclaimed as he hurried back to the car.
Daniel turned around. “Oh, it’s okay. It’s just Finch.”
“Finch?”
“Yeah, he’s a friend of mine. He’s okay, let him come.”
****
“It can’t be!” Arnold snapped.
“What is it?”
“It’s Finch. Look, he just rode in there and now he’s talking to Wilhelm. He must be with them.
That dirty double-crosser!”
“Are you serious?” Stevan looked doubtful. “What if he’s trying to help us?”
“He’s not.” Arnold stomped over to the tree they had tied the horses to, untied the reins and
hurriedly mounted. Stevan followed, grabbing up both of the rifles that lay on the ground and
tossing one to Arnold.
“What are we going to do?”
“Look, they’ve got the girl.” He said, riding to the top of the small hill they had stopped on.
“Arnold, what’s that over there?” Stevan asked pointing to the woods.
Arnold chuckled. “I don’t believe our luck. Thats the Autenburg’s boy and those two other kids.
We’ll kill them all together while Wilhelm watches.”
“What about Finch?”
‘What about him? He’ll die with the rest.”
They slowly made their way within fifteen feet of the clearing, then Arnold put up his hand. “This is close enough, we’ll kill from here.”
He raised the rifle to his shoulder, clicked back the hammer, and trained it on Finch.
Just as his finger pulled the trigger, a bird flew out of the trees and startled him causing him to lose his aim.

The shot went wild, hitting Finch in the right arm instead of the chest.

The Tomb is . . . empty.

Matthew 28:1-9 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mar...