The past few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind – conferences, moving, packing, editing Book Three of the Songkeeper Chronicles, writing my new #topsecretproject (now, don’t you just love that as a hashtag?), Hutchmoot, etc. Life is often chaotic. But in diving into the chaos, sometimes, we find the beauty beneath the surface. I hope to have more stories and posts to share with you soon, but today, I am emerging from the chaos to celebrate the release of The Heirs of Tirragyl, the second book in The Poison Tree Path Chronicles by fellow Enclave author Joan Campbell!
As part of the fun, you are invited to a special Facebook Book Release party on October 14th! If you’ve never attended one before, it’s a total blast, and in addition to Joan, you’ll get to hang out with other fantastic authors, like Jill Williamson and Morgan L. Busse. Sound like fun? Sign up and/or find out more info here.
And now, a glimpse at the book and its blurb:
Long live the queen . . . ?
Since birth, Nyla has shared everything with her twin brother–royal tutors, the right to the throne of Tirragyl… even their soul. Many believe it wholly belongs to Alexor and should be returned to him regardless of the sacrifice–Nyla’s death. However, her future isn’t the only one in question.
A threat looms over the kingdom. The influential Lord Lucian intends to seize the Grotto, an underworld settlement known for harboring fugitives. And if legend is to be believed, it is also the hiding place of the most powerful of objects, the Guardian Rock. As Nyla fights for her life, she realizes she’s not only a soul heir but also the sole hope for the kingdom’s survival.
ADD IT ON GOODREADS: Heirs of Tirragyl
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joan Campbell is notoriously bad at finishing things but, ever since she found the key to the portal, she’s been escaping into worlds far more intriguing than her own. In her word-spun worlds, magic can be harnessed, kings and queens rule supreme and ancient books contain coveted secrets. Her characters face division, danger, their own fallible natures and—ultimately—grace. While her husband and two daughters have learned to fend for themselves, a hungry whine or meow inevitably breaks the spell and brings Joan back to her everyday life in Johannesburg, South Africa. Here Joan wields a tennis racket instead of a longbow and trains writers instead of warriors, knowing full well that the pen is mightier than the sword. Chains of Gwyndorr was a gold medalist in the 2017 Illumination Book Awards.
Let’s welcome, Joan!
To listen to a wise man’s warning or be swept away by the power of an alluring magical object.
To remain true to an oath or choose the path to personal happiness.
To save one’s own reputation or the life of an innocent woman.
These are some of the choices my characters face in Heirs of Tirragyl. What they decide will change their lives and the lives of those around them.
Now I can see your eyes narrowing sceptically, can almost hear the question on your lips: “You’re the author, aren’t you? Don’t you orchestrate their choices and write the story?”
I confess that my characters are a rather headstrong bunch. I’m a little embarrassed even saying that. It’s like admitting you’re the parent of a particularly unruly horde of children. My characters make their own decisions and my role is just to record those as faithfully as I can. Often I hold my breath, watching—with trepidation—the ripples of their choices flowing through the story.
And ripples there are bound to be.
In this, stories mirror real life.
Elder Nelson says, “Each day is a day of decision and our decisions determine our destiny.”
It’s not easy to see the effect of today’s decisions on our destiny, just as Eve could not foresee what one bite from that alluring fruit would bring. From that single moment in the Garden of Eden, death rippled its pain and sorrow through time, touching every life that followed hers. In beautiful contrast, Christ’s choice to die on the cross, rippled life-giving hope and peace through time and into the lives of those who believe.
Over and over again, my headstrong characters teach me that choices made from selfish motives bring death. Not always physical death, like Eve’s choice did. Death comes in far more subtle forms than that. A stunting of personal growth. Coldness creeping into relationships. Never stepping into a significant role in a greater, unseen destiny.
In contrast, unselfish choices bring life, even when the personal cost is great. This is what the true heroes in Heirs of Tirragyl teach me. These characters are far from perfect but, despite their flaws, choosing to do what is right brings life. They grow in nobility and impact the lives of others, stepping into their part of the story’s great, unfolding destiny.
God is the author of our lives and we are the headstrong characters making choices every day. I imagine He too watches with trepidation as the ripples of our choices flow into the world.
So let us choose wisely and unselfishly, bringing life, not death. Let us—despite our flaws—thrive and grow and make an impact.
One of my characters teaches us that it’s never too late to make a good decision. When it seems that all her bad choices have brought destruction, she makes one final unselfish choice…and it brings life.
It’s not too late to be a hero in God’s unfolding story.
Thanks so much for sharing, Joan! I love the concept of watching the ripples of choices unfolding in stories and in our lives too. Now, friends, it’s your turn!