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Of Beasts and Raven

If you’ve been reading my posts,  you saw that I am creating my own book cover rather than pay someone for the third novel in the Wendael Raven Series. With the help from a photographer, I’ve finished the final image.

I’ve chosen a male because the character Charles transforms into a wolf-beast. The male image below is how I pictured him, but with blond hair. What do you think?

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Character Interview: Raina ~ The Wendael Ravens

I board the cart and sit next to the man who agreed to give me a ride to Brunswillow, located in the Realm of Wendael.

After mulling around the marketplace of a large city in Wendael, I managed to find someone heading in the same direction. I haven’t been here in a while, and I hope to meet up with Raina for an interview. Unfortunately I don’t know where she is.

I asked the driver how it’s been since Amerdan was vanquished. The journey will take a few days, and the time is filled with what’s been happening around the Realm. After the news of Amerdan’s demise spread throughout, celebrations formed here and there. Finally, most of the villagers will be coming home. Peace has been short-lived however, as small pockets of  Amerdan’s faithful followers vowed to continue in his name. Skirmish by skirmish, they battle and their numbers diminish.

Because of the determination of the people, skirmishes happen to take place outside of villages. I’m lucky in that my driver is skilled to know the signs of a skirmish taking place and changed our route to avoid them. He assured me it won’t be long before things are in better control, but it might take years.

“It’s better than it was”, he says,” so that’s something.”

Finally after a bumpy ride, the journey ends. I’m stiff and sore, but happy to reach my destination. Raina’s father lives on the outskirts of the village, and is most likely coming in from the fields by now. I hoist my bag over my shoulder and make my way there from the Tavern, waiving to those few who know me. “Scribe, welcome back!” and “Scribe it’s good to see you.”

Weary and happy to be here, I reach my destination and Nigel answers with a smile. “Hello Scribe, welcome back. Come in.”

Me : Thank you Nigel. I’m hoping you can tell me where I can find Raina?

Nigel: Ah, that. She’s off on a mission and I don’t know when she’ll be back. Why don’t you stay in her room while I see if I can learn of her current situation?

Me: That would be nice, thank you.

He ushers me in and sets me up in her room where I promptly fall asleep. It’s on the third day waiting for an answer, when there’s a knock on the door. I’m in the kitchen chopping vegetables for a soup. Nigel, whose preparing the meat beside me, halts his cutting to see who has come to visit. I normally wouldn’t pay attention, but the deep voice filled with command captures my attention.”I know that voice.” Eagerly, I join the conversation in the living room.

Me: Master Horas, I thought that was  your voice.

Master Horas: Scribe? What are you doing here?

Me: I’m here to interview Raina, but I don’t know where she is.

Master Horas: She’s recovering from an injury in battle. If you keep it short, I’ll grant you permission to interview her. She’d be happy to see you. If you don’t mind gathering your things and waiting outside with Midnight, Nigel and I have something private to speak about.

She’s recovering from an injury? I hope she’s okay. I race up the stairs and quickly gather my belongings. When I ascend the stairs, the atmosphere feels serious. In respect to these two men, I quietly and quickly wait outside, stroking Midnight.

It’s about thirty minutes until he emerges, and we’re of. I’ve never ridden on Midnight, but his large stature and graceful gallop is a much better ride than the cart I came in on. In short order, we arrive at a spans of bushes and stop. After Master Horas whistles, a strange being emerges. He’s tall and thin, yet has sinewy muscles and bronze skin. His long green hair is pulled back in a long braid showing his pointed ears.

Master Horas: They’re a race called Eiflin and our new friends.

Me: We call them Elves where I come from, but they are not real. This is incredible!

I stare in wide-eyed wonder at the hidden village. Everything is straight out of a fairy tale, as I move my head around and take in as much detail as I can. Finally, we reach a row of huts off to the right and we stop at the first one.

Master Horas: She’s inside resting. Go on in, she’ll be happy to see you.

I dismount and enter the small hut, not ready for the sight before me.

Me: Gasp, Raina…. your hair’s white!

Raina: Scribe! Yes, I have so much to share with you. Come, sit by me and I’ll fill you in.

I drop my pack by the door and let her fill me in. She’s getting better, and my initial worry was for not.

Me: So, can I interview you?

She laughs. “Yes you may. What’s your first question?”

Me: You died and came back. Do you feel different after meeting the Goddess?

Raina: Yes, I feel more at peace for what happens after we leave this realm.

Me: Has your behavior changed? You know, more brave or hesitant?

Raina: I don’t know yet since I’ve been recovering and resting. I don’t feel different, but I do know I’m not as hesitant to take small risks. Nothing that will kill me. I don’t think.

Me: You don’t think? Raina, that frightens me, but I won’t pry. Next question is your hair. It’s much shorter and very white. I love it. How did this happen?

Raina: My hair turned white after I came back from the Realm of the Goddess. Lanai cut it for me. I looked like an old lady with it long. The Elder here said this is a common side effect and nothing to worry about.

Me: It’s very exotic. How is Helga? Are you okay with her current situation?

Raina: She’s doing well under the circumstances. She gave me a ride, it was fun! I won’t give up until I find a way to help her. I have to try something.

Me: You haven’t changed much at all. The old you is still in there. Were you scared when you thought you might die?

Raina: Oddly, I wasn’t. I was happy we accomplished our mission to free our comrades. I didn’t have much time to think about anything else.

Me: How are you and Mark doing?

Raina:  You know how love is. It’s complicated sometimes. Right now we aren’t together. We had a fight and things happened. I have so much on my mind right now and I miss the us, but maybe this is better.

Me: So there’s hope?

Raina: Someday maybe, we might have a better chance, but it’s not now.

Me: When you recover, what’s your next move? Maven is still out there somewhere.

Raina: I don’t know. It’s up to the Council to decide. We’ll set back there once I’m ready to travel. As of now, all I can focus on is getting better.

She starts to yawn, as her eyes flutter. I’ve taken up enough of her time already. We share our goodbyes, promising more information and a longer interview when she’s fully recovered. Master Horas brings me back to Nigel’s house where I will continue to reside until the next coach or merchant arrives. During my stay, I help out around the house, in the fields, and talk with the villagers. I’ve already written down everything I remember from the Mifflin village and hope to visit again.

 

 

 

 

 

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Designing on my own

While I write the third book of the Wendael Raven Series, I thought I’d design my own book cover rather than pay someone else.

This is my first draft, sticking to the series color theme of black, white and purple. Not sure what I think about it yet. It feels like it’s missing something. I tweaked version 1 on left with version 2 on the right.

What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts. I will fix spelling error in third picture.

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Baby Drop Boxes

Last evening, while battling a nasty cold, I’m watching television and found a movie called Baby Boxes. It’s an independent film about a South Korean Pastor, Lee Jong-rak. I was conflicted in my feelings, happy the abandoned infants were saved, but horrified that mothers abandon their newborns. I cried, but was thanking God there are people and institutions out there to save them.  Pastor Lee has a beautiful soul. I want to warn you, this is a touchy subject, so read at your own risk.

Don’t think this happens in the US? It does. It happens all over the world. Unfortunately there are no solid statistics because we don’t keep track. How sad is that?  I did find one statistic from http://saveabandonedbabies.org/ out of Illinois, formed in 2001. They report as of 2016, 3,265 infants have been safely surrendered to Safe Haven’s nationally. That’s a lot of innocent souls.

Here is where they are at 15 years later.

First off, I’m angry. Very angry! A child is a gift, not a burden. I understand unwanted pregnancies occur, but is anyone doing anything? Every person must take accountability for their actions. That means thinking things through before we do act. These baby drop boxes are a double-edged sword.

This excludes of course pregnancies from forced intercourse. Personal beliefs may stop them from abortion, or taking the morning after pill.

Babies are a blessing. Babies are innocent, despite their physical condition. They shouldn’t be left in alleys, dumpsters, etc because they are unwanted. This horrifies me.

On the other side of the sword, while protecting the life of these children, is enough being done to stop this from happening? Changing laws, the rules and beliefs of society, or human behavior is not an easy task. Texas was the first US state to enact the Safe Haven law in 1999. If you’re interested in knowing by state, click here.  Action is taking place, but again, this is a touchy subject. There is so much to take into consideration when coming up with a plan to stop this from happening. We have a moral obligation to consider all sides, to protect mothers and babies.

I looked up my own state, and this is what I found:

  1. A parent may voluntarily abandon a newborn not older than seven days to an appropriate person at a hospital, police department or manned fire station.
  2. The person at a designated facility accepting the newborn shall make reasonable efforts to gather from the surrendering parent information such as: [iii]

a)     name of the newborn;

b)     name and address of the surrendering parent;

c)     birth place of the newborn;

d)     medical history of the newborn and the newborn’s family; and

e)     any other information that might assist the Department or the court in current or future determinations of the best interests of the child.  However, the parent cannot be compelled to disclose any information.

 

What are your thoughts on this?

Do you think something else should be done to stop this from happening? If so, what?
Let’s hear your thoughts.