Tag Archives: Fantasy

Authors: be real. Your readers (and your characters!) will thank you for it.

I have obstacles to overcome. Just like you, just like everyone.

Author E.M. Fitch

One of my obstacles has a name, though as a teen, I didn’t realize it. I have panic attacks. The reason I’m telling you this is because it’s real. I am a real person and I have panic attacks.

My protagonist in Of The Trees, my forthcoming YA novel, has them, too. That’s important. It’s important because every day millions of people have panic attacks. Millions will also suffer anxiety, hallucinations, paranoia, and depression. As an author, it’s important to me to show this. I want my characters to jump off the page. I want them to be authentic. Giving my characters actual issues, mixed in with the fairy lore, fantasy and horror, will ground them and give them a way to connect with an audience.
There’s a better reason to create characters with mental health issues, however. It’s more important than creating a way for the characters to relate to the readers. It’s giving your readers a chance to connect with someone. One of the worst experiences someone can have is feeling alone. One of the hardest parts of managing an invisible illness is feeling like no one understands what you’re going through. I feel like I’m on the other side of what once was an invisible illness for me. Anxiety creeps into my life in variable doses, but overall, it’s manageable. So my characters are my way of extending a hand. It’s a nod that tells my readers: I see you. I’ve been there, too.
Horror is real. Anxiety, depression, hallucinations, fear – that’s all real, too. But so is growth. There’s is such a thing as learning to overcome – and I don’t mean learning to erase all impact of the invisible illness from your life. I mean a way to manage and cope and breathe and live in spite of, or even because of, whatever’s weighing you down.
So, authors: show this. Be real. Tell your tragedies, show your weaknesses, bleed on your pages. Not only will your characters breathe because of it, your readers might find themselves not so alone after experiencing your own wounds lay bare in print.

 

Only she can hear the deadly whisper of the trees.

High school seniors, Cassie and Laney, spend their days on ghost hunts, Laney trying to pull Cassie into belief. Cassie tolerates it for her best friend, but she doesn’t really believe … until the carnival comes to town. The men who work there watch the girls, disturbing Cassie with the intensity of their collective gaze.

It’s not just their age or the unnerving way they stare. There is something else, something in the shifting of their skin, the way their features seem to change fluid in the shadows, that screams danger. Cassie tries to ignore the uneasy feeling that something bad is about to happen, convinced that once the carnival leaves, life will return to normal.


But it doesn’t.


People start dying and bloody warnings appear around town. Cassie enters into a nightmare where the trees whisper “join us” and strange, seemingly familiar, shape-shifting men haunt the backwoods of her small, isolated town.


When Laney goes missing, Cassie knows it’s the men of the forest who have taken her. She knows that she’s the only one who can help bring her friend back. But the creatures that taunt and hiss through the trees aren’t ready to give Laney up just yet.


E. M. Fitch is an author who loves scary stories, chocolate, and tall trees. Her latest novel, OF THE TREES, is a Young Adult horror/fantasy inspired by haunted cemeteries and the darker musings of W.B. Yeats. She is the author of the Young Adult zombie trilogy: THE BREAK FREE SERIES. When not dreaming up new ways to torture characters, she is usually corralling her four children, or thinking of ways to tire them out so she can get an hour of peace at night. She lives in Connecticut, surrounded by chaos, which she manages with her husband, Marc.

 

Visit www.emfitch.com for more information on her works.

 


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Fifteen year old reviewer talks about In the Shadow of the Dragon King by @jkellerford

My oldest son reviews In the Shadow of the Dragon King.

I Wish I had a tape recorder on while he was reading over the past few weeks to catch all his comments along the way… Very refreshing as my picky reader has DNF’ed half the books I’ve given him lately. 

Apparently, he’s very into knights and dragons … who knew?


This book is about a realm called Fallhollow in a parallel universe to earth where there is a dragon called Einar that attacks the good kingdom of Hirth.

Meanwhile, on Earth, the Paladin David is summoned, but his good friends Charlotte is accidentally taken also, sending them on their epic journey to fight the dragon.

There is also this “main” character Eric who is not used to his full potential, much to my chagrin. (Because I was team Eric for the first half of the book) He is an honorable, brave young man, squire to the Epic Knight Trog (because Trog was pretty cool).

Trog was the best character in the book by the way… by far. Well, maybe a tie between Trog and Mangus – The larger-than-life mage dude. – Who is also underused. He is only in a few scenes of the book, but manages to stand out as pretty awesome.

Back to Eric – I think he was underused because he seemed to be a main character in the book, but some of his chapters were a page long, where most of David’s chapters were 10-20 pages long. What’s up with that? Definitely wanted more Eric.

Charlotte, I felt for her. [Dude places his hand over his heart] I like how she was strong, and tried to reach for what she wanted, but kept going even when she was unjustly denied.

David at points annoyed me, especially when he was with Charlotte. Ugh. You like her, she likes you. Just get together already! [Dude shakes his chair enough to rattle the springs – I take that as being annoyed in a good way] What was awesome about David is that he can do spells! He can teleport and go invisible, which is everything I’ve ever wanted to do in my whole life, but he underutilized his abilities. I mean … there is a dragon chasing you. Don’t run. Just teleport!!!

The overall plotline was good, but there were a few forced plot points. But they were miniscule enough (like the teleporting things) to not degrade my reading experience.

And Dragons! Let’s talk about the dragon. I think that Einar was pretty, like, creepy and scary. He was Huge! Like, seriously, building size. You couldn’t even describe him because he was crazy huge. But then you also had this tiny dragon (Mirth) who could fight the big dragon with lightniiiiing! So cool. [Insert several rambling comments about how cool the dragons were – mom couldn’t type fast enough]

Shadow morphs were creepy. They scared me. And they were annoying because they would brush you with a sword and you had to have your flesh cut away. Trog was, like, cut up all over the place. Blahhhhh! That’s nasty.

In conclusion, this book had dragons and knights and parallel universes that made me contemplate my human existence.

I give it a four out of five stars losing one half star for under using some great characters and losing another half a star because freaking teleport already!

But yeah, I really liked it a lot. I mean, dragons and knights, you know?

Next book please!


Rock on! Here’s where you can pick up a copy of

IN THE SHADOW OF THE DRAGON KING

Purchase Links:

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks


About the Book:

Seventeen-year-old, Eric, is a kick-butt squire to the most revered knight in Fallhollow. Well he would be if Sir Trogsdill allowed him to do anything even remotely awesome. Determined to prove his worth, Eric sets out to find the mythical paladin summoned to protect the realm from the evil lurking nearby.

Sixteen-year-old, David, spends his days collecting school honors, winning archery tournaments, and trying not to fall in love with his scrappy best friend, Charlotte.

Right when things start to get interesting, he is whisked away to the magical realm of Fallhollow where everyone thinks he’s some sort of paladin destined to fulfill a two-hundred-year-old prophecy. He’s supposed to help kill a dragon with some sort of magic key. The same key that happens to adorn the neck of an annoying squire who’s too wrapped up in proving himself to be much help to anyone.

With egos as big as the dragon they need to destroy, Eric and David must get over themselves, or watch everything they know and love, burn.


About the Author:

J. Keller Ford (known to all as Jenny) is a scribbler of Young Adult and New Adult speculative fiction. As a young Army brat, she traveled the world and wandered the halls of some of Germany’s most extraordinary castles in hopes of finding snarky dragons, chivalrous knights and wondrous magic that permeated her imagination. What she found remains etched in her topsy-turvy mind and oozes out in sweeping tales of courage, sacrifice, honor and everlasting love.

When not torturing her keyboard or trying to silence the voices in her head, Jenny spends time collecting seashells, bowling, swimming, screaming on roller coasters and traveling. Jenny is a mom to four magnificent and noble offspring, and currently lives in paradise on the west coast of Florida with a quirky knight who was silly enough to marry her, and a menagerie of royal pets. Published works include short stories, The Amulet of Ormisez, Dragon Flight, and The Passing of Millie Hudson. IN THE SHADOW OF THE DRAGON KING is her debut novel and the first installment in the Chronicles of Fallhollow Trilogy.

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Giveaway Information: Contest ends June 17, 2016

CHICK HERE TO ENTER 

  • One (1) winner will receive a scrabble tile book cover charm (US ONLY)
  • Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of In the Shadow of the Dragon King by J. Keller Ford (INT)

 

 

Twelve Year Old Reader Review of: My Diary from the Edge of the World by: Jodi Lynn Anderson @jodilynna

A note from Mom: This book had a profound effect on my son. He spoke about it every day. But that ending … wow, did that ending throw him for a loop. this is what he had to say:

Swish thin

This book is about a girl named Gracie who is in a world where a cloud comes to take a person’s soul before they die. She thinks a cloud is coming to take her little brother Sam, so they run to a mythical place called “The Extraordinary World” where clouds cannot follow. They run into a lot of conflict and strife on their journey.

[Yes, he used the word “strife” (proud momma alert!)]

I liked how they were always in a different place and in a lot of situations where they couldn’t get out, but they always managed to get out. And I like how it was a really big journey and a HUGE plot twist at the end.

I didn’t like how sad the ending was. I prefer to read things with happy endings. It would have been a sad ending no matter what, but it was even more sad because of the twist.

I would recommend this book to people who like cross country journeys and people who don’t mind a sad ending or plot twists.

I would give this book three and a half stars out of five because of the ending. I was really enjoying it a lot until the end. It was very original and I loved it until the end.

Swish thin

A note from Mom:

Like I said… it was all about that ending. Without giving spoilers, just make sure your child is going to be okay if everything doesn’t end up “happy songs and lolly pops”. He was a little disturbed. He was loving it (and did love it overall) but he could not get over that ending.

Find out more on Goodreads

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You can find Fire in the Woods at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound |

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Write a Story with Me – Part 45 – Final Judgement by Julie Catherine Vigna

Write a Story with Me is a group endeavor just for the fun of it.  A different writer adds a new 250 words each week.  It is the ultimate Flash Fiction Challenge!

If you’d like to sign up, come on over.  There’s always room for more!

Here’s this week’s excerpt.  We hope you enjoy!

45- Julie Catherine Vigna

They were brought to the Court of Adjudication; highest legal court of the fae. Here Yoran would be required to defend human-kind on the charges of oppression and crimes perpetrated against the peoples of Argot. The second charge was against Yoran himself, high-ranking member of the Establishment, for the assassination of Morath, Queen of Queens of the Fae. At the end of what proposed to be a lengthy court session, Final Judgement would be pronounced, and the Ceremony would commence.

The outcome of the Trial would either bring human and fae together in everlasting peace, or would forever set them apart and commence the war that would surely bring total devastation and extinction to both their worlds.

Sian, Marci and Bethany, cleaned up so as not to disgrace the dignity of the court, and leg shackles exchanged for light but strong chains linking them together, were escorted to a private bench to the right of the Adjudicator’s Throne by Janosc.

Court attendants wheeled in the Defender Chair— Yoran’s wrists and ankles strapped securely to its frame and base. Marci cried out and made to rise from the bench, but was stopped by Janosc.

A gong boomed, the sonorous vibration resonating throughout the building, and the courtroom stilled. Everyone rose and bowed their heads as the Court Adjudicator swept in and settled on the throne.

Yoran’s eyes widened in disbelief and he rasped, “YOU?!!”

Morath, Queen of Queens of the Fae and Court Adjudicator, gazed directly at Yoran, her smile frosty and eyes piercing his brain with blue ice.

Want to read more?  See below for past excerpts.

If you’d like to sign up, come on over.  There’s always room for more!

Parts One – Forty Click Here

Part Forty-One – Vanessa Chapman

Part Forty-Two – Susan Rocan

Part Forty-Three – Kate Johnson

Part Forty-Four – An Elephant Can’t

Part Forty-Five – Julie Catherine Vigna

Don’t forget to stop by next week to see what happens next.

  Kai Damian — TAG!  You are “It”

A review of Sweet Blood of Mine by @John_Corwin

Jump aboard!  It’s going to be a bumpy ride!  I really enjoyed this story from so many angles it’s not funny.

This is a story about an overweight geeky teen boy who suddenly becomes a soul-sucking incubus. (Don’t blame him.  It’s hereditary.)

The only problem is… no one told him anything about it, and he has no idea what’s going on.

I loved the world-building in this novel, and the voice is AWESOME. The main character seems real, and deals with his “changes” in a realistic way.

The only thing I can fault in Sweet Blood of Mine is the beginning, which is a bit long and drawn out.  I was so interested in the character’s voice though, that I kept reading.  The writing is fluid, and very well done.  And, in the end, I’m glad I kept reading because I ended up just LOVING this story, and cheering the main characters on as these two teenagers set off to on an adventure to save the boy’s father from the nasty supernatural bad-guys.

I’m going to dock one star for the overly-long beginning, but once you get past that, and his abilities flare up, this is an action packed roller-coaster ride of fun.

Oh yeah – here’s a warning.  This book is free right now, and this is a classic case of free done well…  There is an excerpt of the next book in the last few pages. And guess what I did?  Yep – I clicked that Buy it Now button.

This is a perfect example to me of how giving away a free book can work.   This book was so good that I didn’t hesitate to pick up the next one.  Be warned – there’s a whole series of these suckers, but at $2.99 a download, I’m good with that. If you like to romp around in the YA world (just inching toward new adult) I would HIGHLY recommend this.

So, am I a grumpy bear, or a morning person? What are you?

If you are craving some insanity from me today, hop on over to Rebecca Heart’s blog for a great interview with little old me.  Some fresh questions… thank goodness. (Like wether or not you’d like to be around me in the morning) 🙂

But don’t forget to scroll down below first… to be whisked back to the time of castles and dragons with Fantasy Author, Jenny Keller Ford.

Yay!  Go Dragon Girl!!!!!

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Hi fellow antho-buddy! Thanks for having me as a guest today. I’m über excited to be here to talk about the Make Believe anthology, and more particularly, my short story, THE AMULET OF ORMISEZ.

Oh yeah!  Totally into it!  You know me… give me a hot guy in armor and I’m all a-gush. I’m wondering what the heck in that picture inspired a classic Fantasy with knights and castles?

I wish I could say I had something or someone that inspired me to write The Amulet of Ormisez. In all honesty, I was lost for weeks. I just stared and stared at that photograph (which is now the cover), not knowing what I was going to write about. Then one day, I opened a vein and ‘bled’.

Ewe.  Okay, I’m grossed out…

Ha!  Sorry.  When I first saw the photo, my first impression was “red against white” – contamination/blood against purity/snow. There was a castle in the background. I immediately thought how perfect this was, especially for the fantasy writer in me. What fantasy elements could I bring into play? At first I thought dragons, but the thought was replaced almost instantly with selkies, and the thought stuck.

After several weeks/months of no inspiration, a thought came to me. With only a few weeks to spare to meet the publisher’s deadline for submission, I sat at my computer and started writing. I don’t know where the idea came from, but I got this vision of a man, riding horseback over frozen terrain, his cloak flapping behind him. Before I knew it, there was a story emerging. I let the characters take me where they wanted to take me.

That’s totally cool.  It’s like going on a ride, right?  Do you always write like that?

I’m not a planner. I finished the story in a couple of days, edited it and threw it out to beta readers. They all came back and said the first half was great…the second half needed lots of work. I agreed, and so I went back to work. It was literally hours before deadline when I made the final edits, closed my eyes and hit the “submit” button. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was that J. Taylor loved my story and wanted to publish it.

Their belief in me encouraged me to write more short stories and continue on with a YA fantasy trilogy I’ve been writing. I hope to see a lot more of my stories, including my first novel, published in 2013.

Yay!  I hear you may have a dragon hidden under your sleeve.  🙂

I’m not telling [wink]

Awesomesauce!  Cannot wait!  But for now, feel the Fantasy love with J.Keller Ford’s THE AMULET OF ORMISEZ in the Make Believe Anthology.  Oh Yeah!

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Make BelieveFor The Love Of Christmas CoverWhy all the hullabaloo? Well, it’s to promote my two new releases “Make Believe” and “For the Love of Christmas”

That’s why!

And don’t forget to click on “Enter to Win” for a chance to win your choice of the two titles! Yay!

Oh, I almost forgot… A few random commentors along the tour path will win their choice of anthologies, too. So be sure to hop on over and say “Hi”

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Hop on over and send me some love!

Don’t forget to hop on over to see me today?

Click on over to see my interview with Rebecca Hart

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Visit my Anthology buddies!  They are celebrating too!

Jenny Keller Ford

J.A. Belfield

Kelly Said

Lynda R. Young

Terri Rochenski

Janelle Lee

Dani-Lyn Alexander

JenniFer_EatonF

Guest Post and Giveaway: “There are no limits to what you put into your stories, as long as you follow a few simple rules.” by Rosalie Skinner

Thanks Jennifer for having me as a guest today.

It’s great to be here. My name is Rosalie Skinner and I write Epic Fantasy with a twist of Science Fiction.

Why did I choose this genre?

Well, we are surrounded with science facts. Gene mapping, clones, implants, microchips, GPS and nanobots and satellites are all factual. The idea of computer obsession and total immersion virtual worlds are not so far out of our reach. So when I started writing, the temptation proved too great. I wanted to include these ideas in my epic Fantasy. Strangely they fitted in well.

My hero comes from a world where space travel is common place. His background as an obsessed teenager, totally focused on his progression through a virtual reality game, works in well with his epic fantasy quest. He must learn to survive in a world similar to those he has experienced while competing in the Game.

The world of The Chronicles of Caleath include magic, dragons, alien species, heroes and heroines. There are visitors from other worlds, but most of the characters are home grown in a world where magic happens.

Caleath’s adventures include several seafaring journeys. Book One opens when he survives a shipwreck. His plan to escape back to the stars begins to unravel soon after. He must survive being hunted by off world assassins while trying to help the people of the southern continent destroy another alien species that threatens them.

It is the little twists of combining science fact, science fiction and fantasy that has made writing the Chronicles so much fun. There are no limits to what you put into your stories, as long as you follow a few simple rules.

Keep your readers believing. Share your ideas with simple concepts, familiar ideas and common sense characters. Even outrageous ideas must have some basis for belief.

Keep your plot moving. Every scene should push the plot forward.

Keep your characters true to their nature. No matter what they face, they must behave consistently. They should grow and develop as they face challenges, but only within the realms of believability.

Have fun!!

The first four books in the Chronicles of Caleath are now available from Museitup Publishing.

You can find more about the Chronicles  at

https://www.facebook.com/ChroniclesofCaleath

http://www.RosalieSkinner.blogspot.com

http://www.Rosalieskinner.com

As a special treat, one person who comments below will be choosen to recieve a Kindle version of book one of  the Chronicles of Caleath  “Exiled: Autumn’s Peril”

Thanks for dropping in today.

Rosalie Skinner lives on the east coast of Australia. When not immersed in her fantasy writing she enjoys watching the humpback whales migrating in winter and all the coastal environment has to offer during summer. There is nothing she enjoys more than hearing from readers who have enjoyed Caleath’s adventures.

Guest Post: Veruca Salt, or the person in need of a white jacket with very long sleeves by Kastil Eavenshade

If someone told me I’d have to pigeonhole myself and only write one genre, I’d truly believe that person is in need of a white jacket with very long sleeves. Why deny myself the pleasure of exploring a world I’ve created on my own or helping two characters find true love. I want it all.
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I’m a little Veruca Salt like that.
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For me, it’s not what I write but how I write it. Am I weaving a fantastic story that draws the reader in or am I making them think of wonderful it would be to watch paint dry than to read another sentence. It is my sworn duty as a writer, since I am the one who decided to wade into the muck, to entertain you with my eclectic tales.
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The truth is writing is hard. Like the popular kid that picked Mary Sue over you for his prom date, you’ve got to get used to rejection. An acceptance can cause just as much anxiety. If you get lucky with a good publisher, it’s rounds of edits. They mercilessly slay your baby and do kamikaze runs on your grammar. Buck up, my friend, this is going to hurt and you’ve got to put on the big girl pants for it.
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As I leave you with this small pearl of insanity, I want to share the blurb for my first YA novel in progress. Not a genre I’ve been digging into with gusto but the mood struck and it’s 90% completed. I already have a publisher interested. It’s gritty and not the bubble-gum high school side of YA.
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BLURB:
Jeremy Riggs has spent most of his life in and out of the hospital. One month he’d be full of vigor and the next comatose. The doctors can’t explain it but Jeremy figured it out around his fifth birthday.
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Jeremy’s soul is too weak to sustain a normal life. He’s become a vessel to young souls who are trapped on this earth with unfinished business. Only Jeremy can help them reach their final destination.
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Waking up in the hospital, a year after being found at the county dump next to the remains of Melissa Fowler, Jeremy finds his newest spirit is nothing like the previous ones. Angry and more powerful than any spirits he’s encountered, Jeremy must fight for control of his mind and body. To make matters worse, the police want to know how he knew the exact location of Melissa’s Body.
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Linkage to my blog: http://kastil.wordpress.com/ ((The Eclectic Zaftig Chick))
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Published Works:

The Wolves of Argonne published by Evernight Publishing in their new line Naughty Fairytales.

Fate Whispers published by Golden Visions Magazine in their Spring 2011 online edition.

Unchained published by Golden Visions Magazine in their Summer 2011 edition.

The Mark of the Brotherhood, published by Pulp Empire in their Pirates & Swashbucklers Anthology.

Soul Reaver, published in Evernight Publishing’s Midnight Seduction under the pen name of Kastil Eavenshade.

Dream Weaver, published in Evernight’s Publishing’s Midnight Seduction: Manlove Edition under the pen name of Kastil Eavenshade.

Boughs of Holly published in Still Moments Publishing’s Christmas Treats, Naughty Edition under the pen name Olivia Devereaux.

The Beauty Within to be published in Still Moments Publishing’s Spellbound Hearts Anthology under the pen name Olivia Devereaux.

Mended Hearts to be published by Still Moments Publishing under the pen name Olivia Devereaux.

Death Comes published by Golden Visions Magazine in their Winter 2012 online edition.

Flash Fiction Friday Now on Wednesday! – Succumb to Fire

Spend five minutes with my favorite character, Magellan.

Magellan lifted his hands to shield his face.  Heat and flames licked against his skin, taunting, begging to devour.  They reached up and around him, a wall, impenetrable, indomitable, deadly.

He stepped back, reeling from the heat, and the flames advanced.  Sweat dampened his temple as his heart shook.  The world around him: engulfed, gone, succumbed to fire.  Everything he knew was beyond the flames.  Did it still exist?  Did the people he loved wait for him beyond?

Shuttering, terrified, Magellan took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and jumped through the fire.  But he never felt its heat.  He opened his eyes, and the flames remained, taunting, begging.

“Enough,” he whispered, and the flames disappeared.

What stupid Writing Error did your Beta Reader come across this week? – Verb Confusion.

I just love verb confusion.  It’s a riot.

Unless someone points it out to me in my own work.

Okay, well it’s funny for me too, as long as I catch it in time.

The lovely Miss Dawn just pointed out to me that I have to be especially careful with my verb confusion, because in a fantasy world, it is entirely possible that furniture might come to life.

This is what I wrote:

Nurses tended to beds holding the badly infected.  Some held the patients withered hands.  Many smiled.  How could they provide comfort?  Weren’t they afraid?

I read this at least ten times on my own.  I knew what I thought I wrote… a beautiful scene of nurses tending to their patients.  But when Dawn read it, she saw nurses tending to the beds, not the people.  She saw beds holding the badly infected people.  (Like the beds were alive)  She also saw smiling beds.

When I read it back, I realized (after I stopped laughing) that she was completely right!

Thank goodness this is a very simple fix.

Nurses tended the badly infected.  Some held their patients withered hands.  Many smiled.  How could they provide comfort?  Weren’t they afraid?

The funny thing is, Dawn is a new reader for me.  She is not a fantasy writer, and she picked this up.  Three other people completely missed this.  That is why you send your manuscript out to multiple people…. To save you the embarrassment later.

Thanks, Dawn!