As I grow older, I find it a bit harder to get into the Christmas spirit. There isn’t the childhood anticipation, hoping to get the gift you’ve been wishing for all year. However, on Saturday evening I went to Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Resort with my fiance. That hotel has a special place in our hearts, because we went there for our 2nd date and continue to go back month after month. It’s a unique resort with a river running through it, waterfalls, light shows and dancing lights that span the hotel. It’s more than just a hotel, it’s the place to be, especially during Christmas.
We always buy hot tea and settle down on the steps in front of the dancing water to watch the show. While I was sitting there enjoying the beauty, the music, and the dancing lights, the spirit of Christmas hit me full force and brought me to tears. It’s not about the presents, or rushing going to all the parties. It’s about gratitude and giving and spending time with those you love. So my wish for you, above all, is that you spend time this season with those you love. Those are the priceless moments that can never be taken for granted.
I’m grateful for many things this season, and I want to bring attention to a story I wrote a few years ago, which ended up being one of the toughest books I’ve ever written. In fact, while I was writing this story, I thought for a few moments that maybe I should give up my dream of becoming a writer. The story was just too hard and I had to set it aside for a year and discover the reason why I wrote the story. It ends up being one of my favorite tales to this date, and if you haven’t read it, I encourage you to pick it up, even if you read it as a standalone.
Here are a few reasons why I love this story:
1. It’s the first book I wrote with female main characters. While The Five Warriors has Alaireia the Ezinck, it’s very male dominated.
2. Meet the Treasure Hunters. I adore the flirtatious and impossible treasure hunters. They are full of mischief and their motives aren’t easy to unravel.
3. A romance between a blended one and a pureblood. Forbidden romance is fascinating, especially between people who assume there are on different sides of a conflict.
4. I love beautiful prose and The Blended Ones gets carried away in the magic of the setting, the beauty of the land and deep prose that made me love writing the tale. From the herb gardens in the main landmass, the islands in the Westiles Sea to the voracious forests of the north, the story has a large focus on the beauty of the character’s surroundings.
5. Introduction to the wild things also known as the Iaen. The Iaen are my favorite immortals, they are dark, deceitful and above all, wise. They have a broad knowledge of the world, the future as well as the past. they understand the hidden tokens and know how to twist mortals to their will. Beware. Least they drive you to your death.
Here’s an excerpt from The Blended Ones:
He ran in the gloom, bare feet fleeing over the ice fields. Despite the fear that drove him forward, he glanced back, his heart torn, desiring to return when he knew he should run. Any moment he expected to see a crown of leaves smash onto his head, but there was nothing but the eerie silence.
Blinking, he ducked from invisible branches, his frantic heartbeat reminding him the past weeks weren’t fragments of his scattered mind. He clung to truth as a hungry child clings to the last crust of bread, fiercely, ready to destroy anyone who would take such a treasure away. He stumbled on uneven shards of ice and flung his hands out, attempting to keep his precious face from hitting the ice. He went down hard; his chest exploded in pain as he struggled to suck breath back into his failing body. At least one rib was broken, but there was the possibility his wounds extended much deeper than that. Warm blood dripped out of his mouth as he rose to all fours, his bony fingers searching for traction in the ice.
Surely he would freeze without clothing, food, and shelter. He took a rasping breath, and his vision blurred in exhaustion as he remembered the words of the creatures of the forest. He could hear their odd voices, hollow and terrible, as they stared at him out of lidless eyes. The chant they spoke echoed in his mind, confirming his worst suspicions.
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