Meet Matthew

October 8, 2017

Meet Matthew Taylor

Matthew is one of the Taylor boys.  He lives with his father, mother, brothers, and baby sister on the first settled family plot in Covenant.  Although he must help with chores on his family’s farm first, he prefers to spend time around the Summers’ farm and learn about Brown-Sheep.

Matthew has a twin brother named Stephen.

Matthew and Stephen don’t like to wake up early.  Sometimes their little brother, Jacob, will jump on them to wake them up!

Matthew sometimes likes to set pranks for others.  This isn’t a good trait, as he discovers every time he tries, but that doesn’t seem to stop him.

You can read more about Matthew and his family in The Devonians series, starting with Daydreamer.

 

Thanks for reading!

Type at you later…

~Nancy Tart

Meet Chloe

August 29, 2017

Meet Chloe

Sometimes when authors create a character, the character is based on a mash-up of features and attributes they admire in many people or desire in themselves.  Chloe in Web of Deception is such a character.

Chloe has beautiful dark skin with dark hair sensibly braided and clothes she’s managed to make out of skins.  Her leather clothes are because she denies using the linen tunics common to the slaves in the household where she’s been captive for many years.  Chloe is determined (some say stubborn).  Keeping her traditional dress reminds her that she will not remain a captive.  She keeps memories of her homeland even though she was very young when she was captured.  Chloe is bold but quiet.  She is calculating and analytical.  She prides herself on not being emotional; her captive life has taught her emotions are only a weapon others can use against her.

Chloe’s deer-like appearance hails from her birth land.  She blends into the forests and jungles like a ghost.  Her boldness and shrewd logic are qualities I wanted in myself.  Her passionate fire and unstoppable determination were qualities I observed in my sisters.  Her bane is a streak of passion that can ice to frigid darkness – this is the evil twist of her positive qualities.

Creating Chloe was a challenge and manipulating her character believably was complicated.  This is what makes her character fit perfectly into the dynamic of Web of Deception’s storyline.

Chloe has lived waiting for a specific person to enter her village.  She has one close friend, Vi’liam, a military trainee with no family, who listens to her and sees her as a little sister to be protected.

She feels the presence of this person when a captive is taken by the military commander and she determines to release and follow him.  This captive is Jordan.

Be sure to check out the rest of Chloe’s story in Web of Deception on the nook!

Thanks for reading!

Type at you later…

~Nancy Tart

A Storm and Chicken Story

August 26, 2017

A Storm and Chicken Story

One day we were playing outside and a storm came up.  Not a cute little Pooh bear thundercloud with a few raindrops, but a giant, hurricane-wind, flash-lightning-fireworks-in-the-sky, shake-the-whole-house-thunder, all-people-hide-inside kind of thunderstorm.  (Okay, it was a simple, everyday, Florida thunderstorm.)  The winds were swirling chicken feathers and fluffing them out like towel-dried cats.  Smaller chickens were hop-flying to stabilize themselves as they fought for the safety of the henhouse.

After drying off from the first wave of rain, the girls peeked outside and giggled at the chickens until the raindrops were so large we couldn’t see the henhouse anymore.  The late summer winds blew the tree limbs around like strong autumn breezes scatter just-raked leaf piles.

“Mom, can you tell us a story with a storm?” Asked Rebeccah.

“A Long Tail story!” yipped Kimberly.  She was five, and she loved Long Tail.

So we snuggled on the couch with lightning flashes illuminating the room through the big windows and started what would become “Long Tail and the Big Storm.”

The chickens of the yard were ruled by Long Tail, the great yellow chief, and guarded by Long Tail and Alfredo, the white rooster imported some time ago.  Under this rooster team, the hens and pullets scratched and gossiped and laid eggs all day with no worries.

On one autumn day the bright sky darkened with angry clouds.  The sun hid.  The birds in the woods started crying warnings and flying away.  Two small humans who were playing in the henhouse with the baby biddies, heard a booming crack of thunder and jumped!  They put the baby biddies back in the safe brooder and left the henhouse.

“Look at those little humans!” cawed Alfredo, laughing, “running like rabbits!”

A giant bolt of lightning lit up the sky just behind the woods and a cannon-loud BOOM of thunder shattered the air.  Alfredo scrambled into the henhouse and hid under the brooder.

All the hens laughed at the silly rooster.

Even Red Feathers and Golden Eye, two of the youngest pullets, laughed at him.

Long Tail strutted by, “when the water falls from the sky, we come in.” Long Tail was not afraid.

A big wind shrieked through the henhouse.  It blew the people door open!

Can Long Tail save his flock?  Be sure to check out Long Tail and the Big Storm to see just how this courageous rooster accomplishes this brave feat!

Thanks for reading!

Type at you next time…

~Nancy Tart

Meet Bria Addison

August 14, 2017

Meet Bria Addison

Today we get to meet Bria Addison, the eldest child of Dr. Drake and Dr. Alayna Addison.  Bria was born over a mile below sea level in the mining colony of Brantley Station.  Her father is the chief medical officer on Brantley Station.  Her mother is the chief Botanist.  Bria shares her mother’s passion for the flora and fauna of the station and is one of Dr. Alayna’s apprentices.

Bria has a younger brother named Benjamin.  Ben likes helping with plants and is in charge of one of the chicken flocks.  Bria’s youngest siblings are twins.  Kaya and Kevin act like their older siblings’ shadows!  Kaya usually follows Bria around and helps with the plants and animals.  Kevin usually follows Ben around; unless Ben is following Ethan.

Bria likes Ethan, who has always been nice to her.  She sometimes calls him her “big brother” though he isn’t.  Ethan treats her like a sister.  Often Ben and Bria seek out Ethan and help him clean something because he smiles a lot and knows a lot about the deep.  Bria loves to join Ethan at the Observation Deck to watch the Delivery Transport Shuttle arrive and depart every cycle.  She enjoys skating along the corridors afterward too.  Bria likes the way Ethan grins.

Bria is normally shy and reclusive.  She says little to those she doesn’t consider family.  Although she knows everyone on the Station, she avoids most places and tries to stay in the BioLabs.  Bria can be bold and is ferociously protective of her baby sister and brother.  She loves her underwater life!

You can read more about Bria and her family in the Brantley Station Saga books.  She is a baby in Pirate Child and Little Thief, but plays a much larger role in later books, starting with The Protector.

Thanks for reading!

Type at you later…

~Nancy Tart

Imagination Playtime

August 8, 2017

Imagination Playtime

This morning was a surprise of miniature proportion.

First off, when I stumbled into the kitchen to start my coffee at 5:20am, my preteen was awake!

Secondly, the playroom was spotless (toyacts was creating a few new videos in the playroom the previous night).

This sparked an idea.

“Let’s play legos, want to build something together?”  My suggestion was met with rocketing jumps where my five foot tall eleven-year-old banged her head on our roof.   “Yippee!  Ouch.”

We discussed all things building; like which pieces came from which sets, which sets were missing pieces (thanks to the vacuum, Sheba’s mouth, or teething younger siblings; Rebeccah is the lego master and knows where everything went – much like me with my childhood bricks), and whose head and hair I had mismatched on my mini-figs.  (Once, I had Elron’s hair with Commissioner Gordon’s head, the result looked like a sweet old lady to me.)

Our building progressed to a tree fort with crazy entrances and exits, three towers, complete with the tallest one having a princess locked inside where her puppy is trying to save her while the Barbarian ax man is considering Chinese food. (See picture, if you can find it!)

The blue magician conjures up a storm and an adventurer seeking the everlasting flame (in the bowl, middle, second tower) will accidentally be shot by a kid bowman’s awry trick shot from the top of the bridge.  We goofed off until it was almost lunchtime.  The girl elf hair ended up paired with a repaired face that looks like it has feathery bangs to make a crossbowman.  (She was going to be an archer – my favorite – but the hair wouldn’t fit with the quiver and I couldn’t have her without ammo!)

I love delving into imagination (last night it was duplos to build tunnels for Lucas’ train and car tracks) and discovering how my kids’ brains see problems.  Building blocks bring that out.  They help teach children to think around their problems (yes, that they created, like “Mommy, I want two cars to go under it!” Jillian, last night.  Or “How are we going to camouflage this huge tree fort effectively?” Rebeccah, today.)

Oh, and don’t forget the sharks patrolling the island fort (notice the blue water on the plates?) as Rebeccah claims the most important part of any lego set are the critters included.

Thanks for reading!

Type at you later…

~Nancy Tart

Meet Eloi

August 7, 2017

Meet Eloi

Eloi Malikama is a sweet, friendly girl who was orphaned at a young age.  Among the Swavarians, orphans are usually taken in by relatives, but some are recruited by the Warrior-Spirit schools.  Eloi had a teachable talent – she had already been taught basic healing and understood on a basic level the special connection between the medicines in the world around her and the intricacies of the human body.  This made her a desirable asset for a training school.  She was recruited into Ja’hline.

Eloi doesn’t remember her parents or birth village.  Her memories start in Ja’hline.

She is discovered to have another talent; The Second Sight.  This is an inborn talent, few possess it, but when discovered it can be a powerful tool.  Often Eloi sees things about the people around her and sometimes can interpret what these viewings mean.  Eloi’s viewings warn her there is death about a new student – and she quickly perceives him as someone to stay away from.  His strange manner clashes with the culture of Ja’hline.  But soon she sees his faith and realizes he is not as she perceived; rather he is attempting to conform as best as he knows how.  Eloi becomes his friend.  But the death-about-all-around-him viewing stays.  She now pretends it doesn’t exist.

Eloi is strong-willed and usually practical.  She is fiercely loyal to her friends.  She is trained Klnu’mori, but despises the secrecy of it.  Her tendency to follow emotion rather than reason is balanced by another friend’s analytical logic.  Ryn, trained Klnu’mori as well, constantly reminds her of the one vow she made.  She cannot break her secrecy until one specific question is asked.  She hates this charge because she was told it would cause pain.

Eloi loves passionately.  Her friends are her sisters and brothers.  She protects without consideration for herself.  She gives without thought.  Although she is a Warrior-Spirit, she does not see how her small ability can help her friends in their quest; all of them have greater powers than she.  What she cannot see is that her brilliant love is the tool that can pull one heart from the danger she has always seen.

Sometimes we cannot see how powerful we truly are.

Read more about Eloi in “Web of Deception.”

Thanks for reading!

Type at you later…

~Nancy Tart

Meet Joseph

July 13, 2017

Meet Joseph

Jaquline’s favorite series of stories right now is The Devonians.  She loves the short, easy to read, stories with “bright colors” (Christina illustrates the covers in bold crayon) and “big words” (the lettering is large print).

Each of the Devonians stories follows a different child within the village colony of Covenant.

Daydreamer follows Joseph Taylor.

Joseph is a colonist on a planet called Devonia.

This planet has a much longer year than Earth does, so when Joseph says “6 years old” he’s really the same age as someone over 8 years old on Earth!  Joseph’s year is equal to about one year, four months, and two weeks of Earth time.

Joseph’s family lives on a farm – like everyone on Devonia.  They have running water because they pipe water using a waterwheel from the Crystal River to their farms using bamboo pipe!  They also collect rainwater from their rooftops!

Joseph likes to daydream.  He sometimes lets his daydreaming get in the way of his chores!  This is what happens in Daydreamer.  Joseph has a best friend who lives on the next farm.  Her name is Alena.  Joseph has four brothers and one new baby sister named Rose.  Two of his brothers are twins.

Jaquline says she likes Joseph because he’s a lot like her.  He tries to do big kid stuff, but sometimes his wandering thoughts get in the way.

Jaquline says, “Maybe, children on Devonia are the same as children everywhere!”

*Of course, Devonia is fiction.  It’s a world I made up and all the characters are also fiction!*

Thanks for reading!

Type at you next time…

~Nancy Tart

Mythical Horses

June 27, 2017

Mythical Horses

They say that in fiction, we don’t really create anything new, we draw on our memory of things we have seen to create something new: Like the Sevokloi in Web of Deception – they are like squids with reptile bodies (leather) adapted for a desert terrain and having two steadying legs like an overgrown insect.  I love creating creatures that don’t really exist.  I also like to pretend (in my stories) that other mythical creatures are real: like unicorns and pegasi. (The people of my world call them “skyhorses”.)

In our house, each of us have different theories on how the stories of mythical creatures like flying horses (pegasi) and horned horses (unicorns) came about.

My personal theory is that someone in ancient times came across a skeleton of a horse with a bone spear stuck through its skull.  Since it was bone, they thought it was part of the skeleton (maybe they’d never seen a horse!) and voila, stories spread of a horned horse!

For pegasi, maybe there were some pre-Ionian shepherds out when Elijah rose up to heaven (it says “there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire… and Elijah went up by whirlwind to heaven”) and those shepherds said “Look Joe!  Flying horses of fire driving a chariot of fire!”  (tada, pegasi!) Then Joe says “maybe that’s how the sun goes across the sky.”  Boom!  Now there’s the Greek story of Helios driving flying horses in his flaming chariot.

Rebeccah thinks that flying horses and horned horses were mutants of the horse kind.  An isolated, now extinct, species of horse in ancient times used an overgrown tooth to dig the ground like cracker cows and wild hogs looking for food.  These were unicorns.  A few, eohippus sized members of the horse kind, flew-hopped about like archaeopteryx with tiny wings.  These ended up being called pegasi!

However you explain the origin of mythical creatures in fantasy stories, they do make the stories far more interesting.  (They also let us know that the story world we are entering is not real – so we can expect many strange things.)

I love mythical creatures.  I like pretending to create something new.  And it’s fun to theorize about how people created them.

Thanks for reading!

Type at you later…

~Nancy Tart

 

Research for Caleb

June 8, 2017

Caleb

I love to write historical fiction.  Historical fiction is fiction (a made-up story) set in a historical setting.  It can be following an actual historical figure, about a historical figure, place, or event, or a made-up story in a real time in history.

Writing historical fiction requires research.  The deeper and more accurate your research, the more in-depth and believable your story will be.

For example, “The Living God” is a historical fiction story.

Historical setting: Babylon, 6th/7th century BC

Historical figures: Daniel, counselors, princes, King Darius (Persian)

Culture(s): Recently occupied Babylon, rule was Mede/Persian, servants/slaves of various conquered tribes/nations/villages including Judean (Israelite)

For this story, I researched the culture of Babylon pre-occupation, the culture of the Mede/Persian empire, and the Judean culture for the time period of the story.  The Babylonians had a rather effective “conquer and subjugation” method of stealing conquered people’s high-ranking children and using them in court service to prevent uprisings.  They generally treated these individuals as princes and only took the best of the best.  Daniel was one such captive.

I also researched what was available on King Darius (and Mede/Persian rulers of this time in general), and Daniel; as these were my primary historical characters.

This research gave me insight into Daniel’s mental state.  Reading historical information about him revealed that he was grateful for his position, served his masters (at least three different kings) faithfully even if he disagreed with them, fulfilled his duties honestly, yet considered himself a prisoner and yearned for release and the ability to return to his homeland.

I created a main character to follow (Caleb) as a palace slave (captured youngster from another dominated tribe) using the cultural information I could gather.  Caleb is feisty, independent, used to being above the law (a noble in his former land), yet knowledgeable of the laws of his captive land and attempting to follow them.  As my research showed that often pairs of children were stolen, I also created Miriam, Caleb’s younger sister who is more accepting of her lower status as women were culturally lower than men even in nobility.

Since “The Living God” is a retold Bible story, the central storyline (regarding Daniel) is taken from the Biblical account.

So, that’s just a little bit about the research behind one short, historical fiction story!  I love researching things, so historical fiction is a favorite genre of mine.  Try that out with your next story – research and write!

Thanks for reading!

Type at you next time,

~Nancy Tart