Tag Archive | Fairy Tale

Medieval Fantasy

I never believed a story inspired by my five-year-old son’s request for a bedtime tale would one day become an epic fantasy. What had initially been a children’s fairy tale has grown into a very adult adventure.

When I wrote my Southern Secrets Saga, I introduced the devious, John Martin. I thought he would always rank highest on my list of nasty and cruel characters. However, John Martin is a saint compared to Princess Angeline and Prince Frederick in the Shrouded Thrones series. They are devious, manipulative, selfish, and of course, quite evil. And, I admit, I thoroughly enjoy writing their scenes! Not sure what that says about me…

When you step into the medieval world I created, I hope you’ll be drawn back in time to a much simpler and oftentimes barbaric way of life. It’s easy to romanticize the time period, but things were quite ugly then. Even though my kingdoms are fictitious, I set the stage as if traveling into the world of King Arthur and his knights. (Also fictitious, but based on actual history.)

I’ve had several readers ask if this story will have a happy ending. For many of the characters, yes, it will. However, as with all my books, I put everyone through many tests and trials. I enjoy catching readers off guard with unexpected plot twists. Even so, I rarely ‘kill off’ the most beloved characters.

Book one, “Island in the Forest,” is the original story I told my son thirty years ago, now matured for an adult audience.  It comes to a conclusion, though it will leave you wondering about a few details. At the time of “Island,” the kingdoms had been at peace for more than one hundred years. However, in book two, things take a dramatic turn. The story gets a bit ‘dark.’ When evil people are trying to put themselves into power, it’s to be expected.

I’ve told some people that this story is “Game of Thrones” light, with five kingdoms instead of seven. If you enjoy medieval fantasy, I hope you’ll give my series a try!

Here’s a little bit about book one:

 

Olivia has lived her entire life behind the walls of Padrida, a kingdom unknown to the rest of the world. As the king and queen’s only heir, she is destined to rule. Though given all that she needs, she wants only one thing.

Freedom.

Boredom plagues Prince Sebastian of Basilia. The realms have been at peace for more than a century, and he has little to occupy his time. He journeys to Black Wood, seeking adventure. The dense forest has a dark reputation, and Sebastian intends to uncover the truth of the many horrific tales that have troubled him since childhood.

He finds something else entirely.

Here’s the link! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BJ2P283

Available in e-book and paperback.

Also available are book 2 and 3. Books 4 and 5 will be released in 2019!

Mountain of Masks, Shrouded Thrones, Book 2: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DZ253W4

Bane of Black Wood, Shrouded Thrones, Book 3: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07L8VSD2L

Thank you for traveling with me on these adventures!

Goodreads Book Giveaway! Island in the Forest

Enter for a chance to win one of ten signed copies of “Island in the Forest!”

This medieval fantasy has been in my heart and mind for thirty years and is finally in print. I grew up loving fairy tales, and I was especially fond of the story of Cinderella. When I saw the musical version starring Leslie Ann Warren as Cinderella, my love grew. It brought the story to life in a way that captured my heart.

In my teens, I read the Arthurian Legend books by Mary Stewart. Her writing drew me in and for years I had a crush on Merlin. She captured him in a way I hadn’t envisioned him before. If you have never read her books, I highly recommend them.

“Island in the Forest” is a love story unlike any you’ve read before. Though it’s set in fantasy realms, I hope when you read it you’ll feel like you’re stepping through the gates of Camelot. However, in my story the gates are locked and no one can leave.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Island in the Forest by Jeanne Hardt

Island in the Forest

by Jeanne Hardt

Giveaway ends May 20, 2018.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

 

Cover Reveal! Island in the Forest!

I promised to reveal the cover for my new medieval fantasy, and here it is! It’s going through the final editing stages, and I hope to see it released next month or early in March.

 

Olivia has lived her entire life behind the walls of Padrida, a kingdom unknown to the rest of the world. As the king and queen’s only heir, she’s destined to rule. She’s given everything she needs, but wants only one thing.

Freedom.

Boredom plagues Prince Sebastian of Basilia. The realms have been at peace for more than a century, and he has little to occupy his time. He journeys to Black Wood—a dense forest with an evil reputation—seeking adventure. What he finds is something else entirely.

Happy New Year!

2018 already?

Where did 2017 go?

I noticed that my last blog post was in May of 2017. Ouch! Of course, I added pages to my website when my new books were released, but those don’t run in my blog.

I get so caught up writing my books, that I lose track of time and forget to post a blog. I’ve always enjoyed blogging, so I’ll do my best to post more of them this year. And please, if you have any particular things you’d like me to blog about, send me a message. I’d love to hear from you!

Currently, I’m delving into a new genre. Light Medieval Fantasy. I love the medieval time period, and as you know, I enjoy writing historical fiction. My new series, “Shrouded Thrones,” is set in medieval times, similar to King Arthur’s era. I say ‘similar’ because my story will not have actual history or real historical settings. The story takes place in fictitious kingdoms, and that is why it will be classified as fantasy.

It’s scary branching out into other genres. I hope those of you who enjoy my historical fiction will give this new series a try. “Island in the Forest,” book one of “Shrouded Thrones,” will be released in late February or March.

                               I love castles!

People often ask me what inspires my stories. This particular story’s inspiration is a tale in itself!

When my son was about five years old, I was tucking him into bed, and he asked for a bedtime story. I usually read to him, but that particular night, he wanted me to ‘tell’ him a story. I think I started recanting “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” He’d heard that one before, so he said, “No. A different story.”

I don’t recall what I attempted to tell him next, but it was something else he’d already heard. He made it very clear that he wanted something new. A story I made up just for him.

Way back then, writing books wasn’t part of my daily routine. His request was a tall order, but from somewhere deep in my mind, “Island in the Forest” came to life. Of course, since I was telling it to a child, I told it as a fairy tale. Simple and to the point. He loved it, and I felt like a pretty decent mom!

Night after night, I’d continue the story. Years later, I wrote it in book form, still a fairy tale. I attempted seeking a publisher at that time and got some very nice ‘passes.’ I didn’t understand the book industry back then, so I tucked the book away and forgot about it.

About 15 years ago, I was doing a lot of musical theater. Both acting and directing. I pulled “Island” from my file cabinet and did a major rewrite. I wrote 12 songs, as well as a complete script, and turned it into a musical. I hired someone to score the music, but something happened along the way, and the score was never finished.

My life took some major changes at that point, and I started writing novels. Once I got my first books published, my mind drifted back to that wonderful story that had already gone through many changes. I decided to do one more. “Island in the Forest” is no longer a fairy tale. It’s a grown-up novel. I’ve been able to dig deeper into the feelings and emotions of my characters and have made them real. Though it’s set in a fictitious world, I hope you’ll find them and their complex story completely believable.

Soon, I’ll be revealing the cover, so stay tuned!

And for those of you who are mourning the end of the Smoky Mountain Secrets Saga, I plan to return to the cove later in 2018. (Yeah!)

I have no doubt this year will be exciting, and I can’t wait to see where it will take us!

Thank you for traveling with me on this fun adventure.

Write On!

 

Our Favorite Things

How many of you collect things?

I’ve often wondered what it is that prompts us to latch onto certain things.

I’ve known people who collect trading cards, figurines, Disney items, etc.  My brother will tell you about how our mother threw away his baseball cards when he was a kid. Those cards from the 60’s would probably be worth a fortune now! I guess that anything will increase in value the longer you keep it. Just wander through an antique mall and you’ll see all kinds of memories that will cost you a great deal to own again.

My collection is something I can’t bring myself to part with and will one day be passed on to my son. I assume he’ll probably turn around and sell it, but it won’t matter to me any longer. I’ll be long gone.

When I was in the first grade I was given my first Liddle Kiddle doll. Liddle Riddle Riding Hood. And believe it or not, all these years later she’s still wearing her original removable plastic shoes. And these things are tiny! The doll herself is only 3 1/2″ tall. She came with a bendable wolf. A fluffy little guy with wires inside.

Liddle Riddle Riding Hood

Liddle Riddle Riding Hood

Eventually I added more dolls to my collection. More storybook Kiddles, followed by a variety of other kinds. Jewelry Kiddles that were barely an inch tall and came inside rings and necklaces, Skediddle Kiddles that had little walkers that snapped into their backs to make them walk, Lucky Locket Kiddles that came inside framed ‘lockets,’ and others that came inside pretend soda bottles. There were Kiddles that were dressed like animals, and even holiday Kiddles. I could go on and on, but don’t want you yawning. Unless you’re a fellow Kiddle Kollector, you won’t understand my passion for these tiny, plastic dolls.

Every time I look at them, I’m reminded of wonderful times with my friends. Playing, collecting, and eventually talking them out of theirs! For a while I had my dolls displayed on a “Kiddle Land” that I made out of a piece of 6×6 plywood. I covered it in fake grass and rock pathways. It had a paper mache mountain, a beautiful castle made out of rocks that I pasted onto a cardboard box, a lake complete with plastic ducks, and multiple fake trees. It was pretty cool! But eventually, dust overcame it, and I had to disassemble it. Now I have some of my favorites displayed in a wooden frame on my wall.

Memories make us who we are, and I think there will always be that little girl inside of me who inspires the things I do as well as what I write. These dolls make me happy, and maybe someday they’ll make someone else happy, too.

I’ve often dreamed that I find more of them in some remote place. eBay has a bunch, and I’ve made my share of eBay purchases. But there’s something really thrilling about finding one where I’d least expect it. Like finding hidden treasure! But, what’s a treasure to me is probably a piece of junk to someone else. A silly little plastic doll with very little value. Well–that person doesn’t understand the value of a memory. Or I should say, the value of my memories. We’re all different. That same person might find value in a rock. And that’s okay. At one time, someone made a fortune selling ‘pet rocks!’

I’d love to hear about what you collect. And if you’re a fellow Kiddle Kollector, be sure to drop me a line! We’re a rare breed!!

Liddle Kiddles

Liddle Kiddles

To Capitalize, or not to capitalize?

Rules, rules, and more rules…

Why can’t we just write and not worry about them?

Well, in today’s market, with so much competition, I highly suggest that you polish your manuscript to a shine before submitting it to an agent or publisher. So, that being said, it’s important to understand grammatical rules.

I will say right now, that I’m still learning them. This goes right along with everything else I keep learning. You think you know it all, them BAM!, you find out you’re still doing something wrong.

So, today, I’d like to talk about capitalization. I’ve mastered the “mom, dad, father, mother” rule. That one is pretty easy. Here are some examples: “I love my mom.” (not capitalized). On the other hand, “Hey, Mom, I love you!” (capitalized). The difference is that in the second sentence I’m using “Mom” as her name or identity. Here is another example. “Have you seen your dad lately?” (general, not capitalized). “Have you seen Dad lately?” (by removing ‘your’ and making the sentence more specific, the word now needs to be capitalized).

It gets a little more complicated when you start writing stories about kings and queens. I’ve recently discovered this and had to do some research. But again it goes back to the “in general” or “specific” rule. It’s easy when you put king or queen with a name following. Such as “I’m off to see King Richard.” If you simply write, “I’m off to see the king,” the capital letter goes away.

I’m certain that I’ll still make mistakes, and all I can say to that is: “Thank God for editors!” It’s their job to find all those little nit-picky things that your readers will be happy to point out when they review your book. You’ve probably read books with typos that jump out at you, and halt your reading. They happen, but you should always try to keep them to a minimum. And if you self-publish, this is more crucial than ever. Before sending your work for publication, hire a reputable editor. It will be worth the money, and save you from embarrassment.

So now, I’m off to write about Prince Sebastian!

WRITE ON!!!

And they lived happily ever after...

And they lived happily ever after…

Happy New Year!

December is a blur. Unfortunately, I spent a good part of the month in bed, sick. And it carried over into January. This has been a bad winter for flu bugs, and all kinds of “icky” illness. But, just in time for my birthday, I recovered and am more appreciative of good health than I’ve ever been!

The frustrating part of feeling poorly was that I was at home, with plenty of time on my hands, but I didn’t have the energy to do much of anything. And, my imagination seemed to dry up, unlike my sinuses. I think I may have improved the Kleenex stock. So, if you have shares…”You’re welcome!”

And now, a year older and feeling spunky again, I’ve begun my newest writing venture. Still with a romantic theme, I’ve veered from Southern Historical and am writing a fairy tale entitled, “An Island in the Forest.”  It’s actually a book I first wrote about twenty-five years ago as a children’s story. I submitted it for publication and got some real nice feedback from a publishing house, but they passed on the book and I never pursued it further. And then, about ten years ago, I scripted the story as a musical production complete with twelve songs. The music is still being scored, (something I’m unable to do myself), and sooner or later I’ll get it up on stage somewhere. But now that I’ve started writing novels, the same story haunts me. I’ve dug in and am bringing the story to new heights. My characters are more complex, and I’m able to get further into their feelings and emotions. It’s becoming a real love story rather than a fluffy fairy tale. I would still give it a PG rating, but it’s definitely no longer a children’s book.

I’m excited for this new year and what lies ahead. I pray that this will be my year to achieve publication. It’s a long process, but one that I’m willing to keep plugging away at until it happens.

I hope that you have exciting plans for 2014. Reach for the stars, follow your dreams, and…

WRITE ON!!!

Feeling Great! Happy New Year!

Feeling Great! Happy New Year!