Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Contest Results

'Ello ladys and gentlemen, can't imagine what your here for, it couldn't be the contest results could it? ;) First I would like to thank the few people that entered this month for taking the time, in one of the busiest times of the year, to do this. It was a pleasure! And I am very proud to present the winner of Kaycee Browning's Ember Flame:

 Gloria Newton!!! 
Congratulations Gloria! We hope you enjoy Ember Flame! 
Here is Gloria's entry:

        This was not as easy as it looked. I trekked through the snowy mountainside, struggling to see through the howling storm. From the base of the mountain, where I grew up, the journey didn't look dangerous or even very imposing. Now I knew how hard it was to climb uphill and down, in the biting cold, and in a storm, no less. Of course there were plenty of snow storms, when I was younger, but there was also a nice, warm fire. Here it was a whole different story.  It was  helpful to have three of my best friends with me, but after two days of hard traveling, I was almost ready to give up.

Second place goes to.... Ruth! Thank you for entering Ruth!

This was not as easy as it looked. I'm not normally one to be pessimistic, but this was getting to be too much. The concept of farming was not too hard to grasp, but slaving in the sun, from morning till night was going too far. The governor told us that we were being assigned these jobs to prepare, supposedly for the impending invasion. I don't think that's true. I think they're trying to distract us from what is really going to happen. I don't know what it's going to be, but I do know one thing. This attack won't come from a foreign power, but from one within...

Third place goes to... Nathanael!!! Thank you so much Nathanael! 

 This wasn't as easy as it looked. Drina and I were surrounded by at least 13 Blackfire warriors in the Blackfire jail.
  "Do you have a plan?" Drina asked desperately, gripping his sword.
  "Working on it. Anyway I broke you out of jail didn't I?" I replied.
  "Lord, help me." i closed my eyes, concentrating,
  "Now do you have a plan?" Drina asked desparately,
  "Shut up, and drop your weapons." The warriors growled.
  "The grate under us leads to the sewer, that's our ticket out." I whispered.
  "Get ready."

Thank you all for entering this month, please join us next month for another contest! 
-Mikayla and Ysa-

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Reveiw: Ember Flame

Kaycee Browning: Ember Flame

    'For centuries, the Leverage Children have kept the world of Holdinus safe from wars and evil....traveling back and forth across the countries restoring peace to all. Whether it be a trivial fight between neighbors or a diplomatic solution between countries on the brink of battle, the Leverage would restore security. But when the dark lord Sicreet and his Pull dictatorship takes over, the Leverage are scattered and forced into hiding. Some of them turned to evil. Others strive to destroy the Pull. But the most powerful Leverage was lost and knows nothing of her ancient heritage and her duty to the world, which is near total destruction now... Les Bough grew up in the dense forest of Grel, raised by common woodcutters. Until tragedy strikes, and Les is forced to discover her place in the world as Ember Flame, one of the six Leverage, and the only one, who can overthrow the grip Lord Sicreet has over Holdinus.'

    Ember Flame is a well written, action packed, fantasy-fiction book.  The story is set in... fantasy land! I don't really know when it would be set in our world; I guess you have to figure that out for yourself.

   Ember thought she was an orphan, and then all of the sudden she finds her brother and the fact that she is part of a group known as the Leverage. As she travels through Holdinus, she discovers secrets about herself and about others. Ember meets many different people along the way, and she also learns to believe and trust in Elathor (God).

    This was an incredible book.

   The plot was well thought up. There were so many unexpected twists and turns! Every chapter ended in  a cliff hanger of some sort, encouraging me to keep reading. It was so suspenseful; I found it hard to sit still. In the story, new characters show up over and over again, some good, and most of them bad. It was really hard to guess who was good and who was actually bad.  I liked how descriptive Kaycee was. I could easily picture each and every place the characters were. I also had a pretty good idea of what each character looked like.

   It was hard to find anything to critique about this book; however, one thing that I could say wasn't awesome about this book  is that I noticed a few grammar mistakes. They were all simple things, like a forgotten apostrophe, a misused comma, and such. However, other than that, the story is extremely well told, and the characters are awesome.

   I hope to be purchasing my own copy of this book soon, and I would encourage you to do the same!
   You can buy a copy here.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Interview with Kaycee Browning

Hello everyone! I am very proud to present an interview with Kaycee Browning author of Ember Flame!

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Hello and welcome to Future Homeschool Authors Kaycee! Thank you for stopping by today!

Thanks for having me!

First, could you tell us a bit about yourself? 

Sure! I'm a sixteen year old homeschooled teen living in North Carolina. I started writing when I was twelve years old and have since written three novels. I'm writing the fourth novel currently. Other than writing, my favorite hobbies include reading, blogging, skeet shooting, hanging out with friends, and going on adventures. Most importantly, I'm a Christian and I strive to make my novels, and everything I do, glorify God.

What's your favorite book? 

'Lord of the Rings' by J.R.R. Tolkien is my absolute favorite book. Tolkien's diction and description are breathtaking, and the story itself is inspiring and thrilling.

Who's your favorite Author?

Tolkien probably, but I also enjoy Alexandre Dumas, Brandon Sanderson, and Wayne Thomas Batson.

If you could meet one person who would it be? 

Hmm... contemporary or historical? How about both? Both is good. I would love to meet Peter Jackson, director of the 'Lord of the Rings' films. We'd sit down, have some 'taters and mushrooms, and just geek out over Middle-Earth. Historically, I would have loved to meet the Apostle Paul. His faith in Jesus Christ was astounding and I think it would be super cool to have heard a sermon from him. Maybe I will someday in heaven! Probably not a sermon, but at least I could chat with him for a bit, right? :)

Can you tell us anything about the book you're working on right now?

I'm currently writing 'Flake Frost' which is the final book in the trilogy that 'Ember Flame' begins. It follows Flake, a friend of Ember's, on some of her crazy adventures.

How did you begin writing? 

When I was twelve, my parents bought me an amazing writing curriculum. The last assignment in the curriculum was to invent a knight for King Arthur's round table and write a short story about him. That did not sound hard, so I invented a knight named Javen and began to type. I suddenly realized that I had no control over the crazy twists and adventures Javen found himself on. 23,000 words later, I had finished his story and conquered my fear of novel writing. The next year, I wrote my first novel using the 'One Year Adventure Novel' curriculum.

What inspired you to write 'Ember Flame'?

My best friend and I were at a Christian overnight camp. The morning's discussion had been about the Book of Judges. My friend and I were chatting about how strangely God works. In Judges, God repeatedly chooses men and women with major flaws to lead His people back to Him. The Judges aren't necessarily any better or worse than you or I, they were simply flawed human beings whom God used to further His kingdom. For some reason, this incredible concept resounded with me. I chattered about it excitedly with my friend and then randomly blurted, "Someone ought to write a fantasy novel about this!" My friend gave me an eyebrow-raised smirk as if to say 'you write it' and then 'Ember Flame' was born!

What is 'Ember Flame' about? 

This is the synopsis on the back cover of the novel:

Orphan outcast Les has longed to discover her true self outside of the dense forest of Grel. However, her own insecurity keeps her permanently trapped ... until soldiers incinerate the forest and slaughter the other woodcutters. Vowing revenge, Les is forced to escape the forest and enter Holdinus- a world plagued with an all-powerful dictatorship, a tyrannical lord, and scattered children with dangerous powers known as the Leverage. Les must accept her place in the world as Ember Flame, one of the six Leverage. If she cannot find her destiny and the other Leverage, the souls of the people will perish. Will she sacrifice her desires for a world that has been nothing but cruel to her? Or will she succumb to the wills of a tyrant and live a life of numbness?

Why do you write fantasy?

Personally, I find truths and themes easier to grasp if they are demonstrated in an abstract way. Jesus taught using parables, and I believe fantasy can be used in much the same way. We live in reality and see it every day. The incredible beauty of God's world is lost in a sea of the mundane because we are used to it. Likewise, we also become numb to the terrible aspects of this world because they are so common. If written well, an abstract world-a fantasy- can help readers "see" reality clearer. For example, the character Gollum from 'Lord of the Rings' helped me see how dangerous a temptation truly can be. Gollum is constantly warring with himself, trying to decide if he should help Frodo, or kill Frodo and take the Ring. Gollum eventually makes the wrong choice, and the consequences are terrible. Now, there are no 'Gollums' in this world, but the complete strangeness of the creature caused me to understand that entertaining temptation is no trifling matter. 'Ember Flame' tries to do the same thing. I want readers to walk away from my book, completely astounded at how God can take flawed, broken humans and heal them in His love and mercy.

Do you do any research for you books? If you do what are your main sources? 

Fantasy is fun because you don't have to research, but the research that you do is a lot of fun! For my fantasies, I pick a 'culture' and base the world on it. 'Ember Flame' is a combination of modern American culture with some Medieval flare thrown into the mix. I did basic Internet searches on castles, swords, fencing, etc., but nothing super in-depth. Pinterest is an incredibly resource for the casual researcher. There are tons of incredible pictures and info-graphs to look through! 

What piece of advice would you give to writers of fantasy? 

Don't become disillusioned to the power than fantasy holds. Don't justify a character's, especially the hero's, wrong choices because it's 'just a fantasy.' I'm not saying to make the hero perfect, but the wrong decisions need to have consequences that show them as wrong. If your hero decides to lie repeatedly to his parents, make sure there are consequences. The same goes for your villains. The villains can get away with a lot, but in the end, their actions need to be shown as wrong.

What do you like most about writing? 

I love the moments when the characters and plot simply sweep me away. The moments when even I don't know what will happen next. Writing the rough draft has many moments like this, so it is probably my favorite aspect of writing.

Any final thoughts? 

I know there are many who have qualms concerning fantasy, and rightfully so. It's sad how dark and dreary the genre has come to be in recent years. However, I don't believe the solution is giving up-but fighting harder! If more authors and publishers would focus on hitting the market with good, wholesome fantasies, perhaps the macabre and horror aspects would fade and disappear. I'm simply asking all Christian to not give up on fantasy, but to at least encourage the authors and publishers who are trying to return the genre to the original depth and light that Tolkien and C.S. Lewis popularized.

Thank you so much for joining us Kaycee! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Contest for December

Hello, I hope your having a very good December. Please forgive the late posts this month, we've all had a lot going and with the lack of a reviewer its been hard to pull the load around here. But onto what you really came to see. The Contest. 

This month Kaycee Browning has offered a paperback copy of her book Ember Flame!!!

I'm going to give you the opening line and your going write a 100 words to start off a book, you can go five or ten words over or under, don't worry.  The opening line dose not count towards the word count. In honor of Ember Flame we're going to write Fantasy, it can be as light or heavy as you want but no witchs and please remember the younger aduiance here because if you win it will be posted on the blog. Once your done writing just send your entry to Futurehomeschoolauthors@gmail.com The contest ends December 24'th and the results will be posted on the 31'st.

This is the same as most moths. First Prize gets the book and gets there work posted on the blog. Second and Third place get there work posted on the blog. 

Here is your opening line: 

This was not as easy as it looked.

Happy writing everyone! 
-Mikayla & Ysa-

Monday, December 9, 2013

Writing advice with Kaycee Browning

Today I am very excited and pleased to share writing advice from Kaycee Browning, author of Ember Flame! :o ) 

Thanks for sharing this with us, Kaycee! 

Me: What is your favorite part about writing? Why?

Kaycee: I love nearly everything when it comes to writing, but I especially enjoy building characters-whether it be filling out pre-writing character sheets or watching as they come to life through words on a page. Some say that there are only two types of authors: character authors who propel their stories by exciting and complex characters, and plot authors who drive their stories by creative and unique plots. I don't know if that's true or not, but if it is true, I think I'm a character author. I enjoy studying the nuances and complexities of humans. God made us so very different from anything else in this world. We're confusing and intense and there is always another layer to a human. It's fun studying that anomaly and trying to copy it on paper. 

Me: Who helped you the most while you were beginning to write?

Kaycee: I've been blessed with many encouraging friends and family members, but my parents definitely win the "Most Helpful" award. Even though neither one of them are writers, they saw that I enjoyed writing so they bought me a curriculum called the "One Year Adventure Novel." Like the name implies, it taught me how to write an adventure novel in a year. They constantly encouraged me and helped me find the time and perseverance to write my first novel. I'm writing my fourth novel now, and their encouragement and support had never stopped. I'm so thankful for them!

Me: What first gave you the idea for Ember Flame?

Kaycee: I was at a Christian overnight camp several years ago. Towards the middle of the week, my best friend and I were discussing that morning's Bible study, which had been on the book of Judges in the Old Testament. Judges is a book that chronicles the time in Israel before they had a King. God constantly had to pick new leaders for His people because they kept turning away from him. The leaders, or judges, were regular human beings. They had doubts, struggles, and weaknesses, yet God used them to further His kingdom. My best friend and I were talking about this strange and awesome concept, and I suddenly blurted, "Someone should write a fantasy based on this!" My best friend gave me an 'are you serious? You write it!' look and 'Ember Flame' was born!

Me: Do you have any more projects in the works? (Is that a nonsense question? :o P)

Kaycee: Haha, not to use a cliche (shudder) but there's no such thing as a stupid question! :) I'm currently writing my fourth novel through National Novel Writing Month. It is the third book in the trilogy that 'Ember Flame' begins. I've written a bit of fan fiction and I've written a few short film scripts. I have an idea for a completely new fantasy novel that I'll hopefully begin writing in April. I guess I'll see where God leads me!

Me: What is the most valuable writing advice you can give to other young writers?

Kaycee: The best advice I can give is to let yourself be vulnerable. Let your emotions shine through your writing, write what you are passionate about, write like nobody will ever read your novel. And then, after you do that, do not edit your emotions away. The reason people pick up a fiction book is because they want to feel emotion. In real life, people wear masks. You never really can know someone as well as you can know a fictional character. And that’s okay. That’s how life is. But as a writer, you don’t have the stability of wearing a mask in your writing. You must be brutally honest. You must tell the truth. You can’t be afraid of someone not liking your work. You can’t be embarrassed of people reading, what feels like, your heart. Sure, it'll feel awkward at first, but your reader will thank you for your honesty. 

Thanks again, Kaycee, for the advice and encouragement! :o ) 


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Contest Results

Hello everyone! We hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving! :o )
This post is out a little later than we had anticipated it would be, but hopefully you'll forgive us. 
The winners are... 

Anna Baber! Congratulations Anna! We'll try to get your book to you as soon as possible.
Second place is Brittney Johnson! 

Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story

First Place: Anna's Entry 

A tear escaped my eye as I looked back home—the place I’d never see again.

Second Place: Brittney's Entry 

They say love makes you do dangerous things and I for one know that’s true…

Thank you so much for entering our contest! We look forward to reading more from you in the future. :o ) 


~Ysa and Mikayla~ 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

K.M. Weiland: Behold The Dawn!

Due to some technical difficulty's this months review was graciously provided by Sarah Holman!                          

I have to begin this review by saying that I stayed up ‘til 1:00 in the morning to finish this book the day after I got it. I haven’t enjoyed a book this much in a very long time.

Behold the Dawn by K. M. Weiland is set during the third Crusade. If that doesn’t ring a bell, this is when Robin Hood and Ivanhoe were saving England from Prince John. Here is the books description from the website you can order the book from (go here also to see the trailer).

Marcus Annan, a tourneyer famed for his prowess on the battlefield, thought he could keep the secrets of his past buried forever. But when a mysterious crippled monk demands Annan help him find justice for the transgressions of sixteen years ago, Annan is forced to leave the tourneys and join the Third Crusade.

Wounded in battle and hunted by enemies on every side, he rescues an English noblewoman from an infidel prison camp and flees to Constantinople. But, try as he might, he cannot elude the past. Amidst the pain and grief of a war he doesn’t even believe in, he is forced at last to face long-hidden secrets and sins and to bare his soul to the mercy of a God he thought he had abandoned years ago. 
The sins of a bishop.

The vengeance of a monk.

The secrets of a knight.

This book had an extremely relevant and powerful message and an ending that will leave you gasping for air. Some elements make this unsuitable for young children however I think that ages 13 and up can read it, with parents’ permission of course.

Order it today!

This reveiw was previded by Sarah Holman!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


                    Hello everyone! Today we've got an interveiw with K.M. Weiland, Enjoy!                                                 

First, could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a very stereotypical writer chick, hibernating in my make-believe worlds, most of which are either historical or fantasy. I’ve published three novels A Man Called Outlaw (western), Behold the Dawn(historical set during the Third Crusade), Dreamlander (fantasy), and the non-fiction writing how-to books Outlining Your Novel and Structuring Your Novel.

Can you tell us anything about the book youre working on right now?
I’m actually in between projects right now. I just finished work on a dieselpunk novel, set in 1920, called Storming. After an eccentric woman falls out of the sky onto his biplane, an irresponsible barnstormer must help her prevent a pirate dirigible with a weather machine from wreaking havoc on the Nebraska hometown he fled nine years ago.

Do you do any research for you books? If you do what are your main sources? 
Most of my books have a historical angle (even the speculative ones), so I usually end up doing some intensive research. I rarely start a book without having a basic knowledge of the time period I’m exploring. I use that knowledge to write a complete outline. Then, once I have a better idea of the specific questions I’ll need to answer in my research, I start collecting materials. The library is my first stop, and then I get to go on a book-buying binge to fill in the holes.

What do you find hardest about the writing process?
Every book is its own adventure. Something that’s easy in one book can end up being surprisingly difficult in another. Major rewrites, when they’re necessary, are probably my least favorite part—but they offer their own rewards too. Honestly, I enjoy aspects of every part of the process.

What do you like most about writing? 
The conception stage, before I’ve put the idea down on paper, is always my favorite. The story is free and full of possibilities and uncaged by my words. But I also love the outlining period, when I’m really digging into the story and discovering the path it’s going to take.

Thank you so much for your time! 

K.M. Weiland is the author of the epic fantasy Dreamlander, the historical western A Man Called Outlaw and the medieval epic Behold the Dawn. She enjoys mentoring other authors through her website Helping Writers Become Authors, her books Outlining Your Novel and Structuring Your Novel, and her instructional CD Conquering Writer’s Block and Summoning Inspiration. She makes her home in western Nebraska.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Writing Advice With: Nicole Sager

Today I am so pleased to share some writing advice from the author of the Arcrean Conquest trilogy, Nicole Sager! :o ) Nicole has been a very sweet encouragement as we have been creating this blog.

 Thank you Nicole for being such a blessing and for sharing with us. :o )

Me:  Remembering when you were first starting out, what was the most important thing you were told, or learned along the way?

Nicole:  There are three important things that come to mind:

 1) Don't try to push your story forward, but pray through it and wait on God to fill in the blanks; 

2) Don't be afraid to add/delete portions of your work that just doesn't fit - God has something better planned; 


 3) Think through your character and their setting - write how they would respond/act/think, and not how you would do so.

Me: If you were to start over, what would you do differently? (Providing that you still had the knowledge of writing you do now?)

Nicole: Haha! Formatted my pages with double spacing! I tried to have my pages completely formatted right at the start, but that really took away from focusing on the story :)

 Thanks again Nicole! :o )

Blessings in Christ,

Monday, November 11, 2013

November Contest.

Hello and thank you so much for stopping by for our contest this month! We've got a treat this month K. M. Weiland has agreed to giveaway a ebook copy of:
Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story

This month we're doing opening liners. A very fun way to make your book even better, by gripping your reader right from the first line! Your entry can only contain one line like this:

Hello, my name is Emily. 


Boom. Emily sat up in bed at the sound of a canon. 

Though hopefully you entry's will be much more gripping then my examples. You can summit up to five entry's at Futurehomeschoolauthors@gmail.com . Please include your name and e-mail address to contact you at.  First place gets the book and the top five entry's get posted on the blog.

Make sure to summit your entry by the 22 or November! Contest results will be posted on the 27'th.

Note: This book has not been reviewed by the FHA team.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Writing Advice From: K. M. Weiland

This month's writing advice is from K. M. Weiland, author of Behold The Dawn and Dreamlander, and the brains behind Wordplay: Helping Writers Become Authors.

I highly recommend that readers go to her site and explore the immense amount of information there, but here are a few tips on writing:

  Prayer: The first thing I do every time I sit down to write is to ask a blessing on my work. If I’m to find any gold in my dross by the end of the day, it’s only because the Lord chooses to bless my efforts. I’ve claimed Psalm 19:14 as my special plea for my writing: “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Yahweh, my Rock and my Redeemer.” I pray that the words might flow freely, that my music may inspire instead of distract, and that I might enjoy every minute of it. 
  Journaling: As I noted in the post “Journaling and Conquering Monsters,” I’ve found keeping a writing journal to be one of the most beneficial tricks in my bag of writing magic. Not only do I get to vent about problems, but I also have the opportunity to gather my thoughts about my characters, my pacing, and the scene I’m about to write. Instead of diving unprepared into my story and staring at the monitor, trying in vain to figure out where I want to go with a particular scene, I’m instead able to briefly sketch a basic scene plan in my notebook. I can’t even begin to tell how many false starts I’ve avoided with this method. Journaling allows me to gather my thoughts, to methodically put aside the outside world, and to ease my focus out of the intellectual and into the creative.

  Character Notes: During my outlining process, I write detailed “sketches” of my characters. To remind myself of interesting quirks or angles, I read a few of these notes, usually focusing on a major character in my current scene.

  Research Notes: For most of my stories, I collect pages upon pages of research material, most of which my sometimes sporadic memory couldn’t hope to remember. Even though I’m able to look up important details as they become necessary in the story, so many interesting facts still get lost in the giant crack between the research phase and the actual writing phase. To help combat that inevitability, I divide my notes into categories, and each day, before writing, I try to read one of these categories. Not only does this keep the important facts fresh in my mind, but it has also spurred some very interesting and unexpected plot twists.

And after all that, my brain having been stimulated and encouraged, I simply dive in. Other authors, of course, have their own methods of warming up. Some people recommend reading a passage from a classic author; still others suggest actually writing out that same passage, in hopes that you’ll be able to learn from that author’s style. (Personally, I’ve never felt I benefited from this. More often than not, it got me thinking about the classic author’s story instead of my own). Others swear by journal prompts or a brief stream-of-consciousness writing session.

 Here are the links to the posts I borrowed this info from:
How I Self-Edit My Novels: 15 Steps From First Draft to Publication
Warming Up

Thanks so much, K. M. for the writing advice! :o )

Blessings in Christ,

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Contest results

Hello everyone! After a two long weeks of reading new entries, and a lot of thought and debating, the Future Homeschool Authors group has come to a decision. This was not a easy decision for us but the winner of Nicole Sager's amazing Heart of Arcrea is...


Anna Baber!!! Congratulations Anna! Your book will be sent to you as soon as possible! 
Second place goes to... Nathanael Newton!!! 
And Third place goes to... Kaycee Browning!!!

First place Anna Baber's entry:

The girl stared at the young man. Before, she would have noticed his strength, good looks, and impressive build. She would have been thrilled that he had once declared his love for her and had hoped she would soon wed him. Now, the handsome charm of the young knight was the farthest thing from her mind.

“You ran,” her voice cut like knives through the serenity of the open field. Her fine, long skirts billowed around her and mingled with the long grass.

His eyes fled her face, looking instead at the distant castle upon the hilltop. “You knew that I wasn’t strong enough.”

She marched up to him and grabbed his chin, forcing him to look at her. “That wasn’t what I asked you to do. I asked you to fight for Ellen’s life. Yet you ran.”

He yanked free of her hand, his jaw pulsing. “He was as big as a mountain. I couldn’t defeat him. Did you want both of us to die that day?”

Tears caught in her eyes. “I wanted you to act like the man you claim to be. I wanted to believe you were a brave, noble knight. But when you fled the dragon, trading Ellen’s life for yours, I saw who you really were.”

He grabbed her arm when she spun to leave. “Your sister Ellen would have died anyway! There was no way I could rescue her from the dragon.”

A sob racked her body. Letting go of her arm, he stepped backward. Her voice trembled as she spoke. “I don’t need your excuses. Face what you did.”

She ran from him. Her sobs strengthened, sending streams of salty tears coursing down her face.

Her eyes rested on the figure, now far away, as he crumpled to his knees, holding the back of his neck with his hands. Her heart ached with the weight of Ellen’s sweet memories and the love she still held for him – despite what he’d done. She closed her eyes as she remembered when Ellen had been snatched up by a fierce, fire-breathing dragon. Her worst nightmare had become reality when even her strong betrothed lost heart.

She felt a rain drop. She looked up at the cloudy sky, and then decided she didn’t care if she got wet. Wandering through the wild, open fields until she couldn’t see him, she wept. She began walking back toward the castle.

Suddenly, she stopped. She glanced at the figure still prostrate in the field. Ellen is gone, she told herself. But he is still alive. I cannot use the past to destroy the living. Ellen no longer needs me, but…Her heart whispered the words her lips could not.

With an unexplainable sense of peace, she slowly turned toward him and took a step.

Second Place Nathaniel Newton's entry: 

Novor woke suddenly. He was sleeping in a cave in the Spear Mountains, on the border of Lorsworia and Ithima.
Why was he sleeping on a rock? He thought. Then it all came flooding back. Ithima’s enemy, the Lorsworians, had attacked their farm for food, burning what they didn’t take and damaging their house. To make matters worse, he had heard from traders that the Lorsworians were organizing an arrack on Ithima.
That night he had a vision of an angel coming and telling him that he needed to go to Lorsworia and talk to his uncle, a minor lord in the Lorsworian castle. He had no idea how his uncle got into any position in the Lorsworian castle. But he had set out on the journey, with God’s help, to save Ithima.
It was time to get going. He picked up his staff and pack, and walked out of his cave. An early winter snow had covered the ground. He pulled his coat tighter as he walked along. His breath came out in clouds. As he walked to the bottom of the last mountain, the Leopard’s Fang, he saw something frightening: snow leopard tracks. The mountain was named after the fabled snow leopard that lived in a cave near the top. But Novor didn’t let that deter him. He was determined, but he still muttered a small prayer.
Besides, he had his trusty oak staff, and his father had taught him the Art of the Staff, a technique of using the staff to fight enemies. He missed his father. But now he needed to get going. He kept a sharp lookout for the leopard. As he neared the crest, he thought that he heard a growl. But he didn’t see anything.
As he neared the top of the mountain, all of a sudden a furry mass pounced on him. Novor panicked and waved his staff wildly in an attack maneuver, managing to whack the leopard on the snout. It retreated and glowered at Novor as he brought his staff into a defensive position.
“God, help me!” he whispered.
Suddenly, without knowing why, he brought his staff down in an overhead strike as the snow leopard made a sudden lunge at Novor’s neck. The staff hit the head of the snow leopard. It lashed out wildly and fell silent in the snow. He stood there, panting, when he realized that it was God Who had given him the urge to swing his staff at that moment.
Novor suddenly say that his arm had a gash on it. He cleaned and bandaged it as best as he could. He stood up, scrambled to the crest of the mountain and saw the entire kingdom of Lorsworia spread out before him. Novor then felt suddenly bold, and he smiled.
I’ve killed the snow leopard of Leopard’s Fang! I have God and my trusty staff. Now I’m ready for anything! He thought, as he scrambled down the mountain to Lorsworia.

                         Third Place Kaycee Browning's Entry:
                                          Of Bells and Boats

I've never been one to see the humor in a bad situation.

But this...this was hilarious.

I slip my pack off my shoulders and slide it under a piece of tarp. I turn away from the hilariousness and begin to tether my boat to the dock, struggling to hide the mirth tugging at my mouth. I steel myself to turn back, urging my mind to not let me smirk, smile, or laugh. I cast a glance over the glinting waters of the River, then pivot and face the scene.

A fairy girl is shouting at an elderly Elf, who appears impassive to her incessant jabbering. He scratches his pointed ears and heaves a long-suffering sigh.

“Miss.” I approach the fairy. Her squeaks have mounted into a crescendo of unintelligible gibberish, made even more complicated by exaggerated hand motions and tosses of curls-which are decked with tiny bells. Her wings tremble angrily, morphing from pink to red and back again to pink.

I deduce that she is displeased.

“Miss,” I repeat again.          

“What do ya want, Mister?” She shouts, temporarily turning her attention to me.

The Elf yawns.

And she's off again. Another tirade of heated mice-noises fly from her mouth. I chuckle.

“What are ya laughing at, Mister?” She turns back to me, cocking a pink eyebrow.

“I am laughing at this situation,” I reply steadily. “You must admit, it's quite hilarious. A tiny pink fairy shouting and berating a stoic Elf over who-knows-what? I've never seen the likes before. I've traveled all through Natura, up and down on the River. It's a rare sight indeed to see a fairy and an Elf together, but rarer still to see them so...” I glance at the Elf who is yawning again. “Exclamatory.”

The fairy jabs a manicured finger at my face. “Listen here, Mister, I don't know who you think you are, but you stay out of our business!”

“So it's a business matter?”

She glares at me and I smile wanly. Her demeanor suddenly changes. A bright, toothy grin alights her face and she nods, causing the bells in her hair to jingle jingle jingle. “Yes! A business matter! We both ordered a boat to take us back to our respective kingdoms, but when we arrived at this dock, the company only had one prepared. We were discussing who gets the boat.”

“Looked to me like it was just you disputing the matter,” I point out.
“Yes, but I'm fine now.” She grins up at me, flapping her wings until we are eye level.

“Why are you fine now...?” I ask. Realization dawns on me. The Elf is gone.

I jerk around. My boat is gone. I spot it sailing down the River, the Elf at its helm.

Jingle, jingle. I spin. The fairy is laughing from the top of her boat, sailing in the opposite direction.

I fail to see the humor.

I just want to take a moment to say thank you to all who entered and helped support us on our first endeavor. I loved reading over all your entries and we hope you can enter in our future contests! 
-Mikayla and Ysa- 
The contest judges

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Heart of Arcrea

The Heart of Arcrea

Hoping to free his father from an unjust imprisonment, Druet the blacksmith sets out on a quest that will solve an ancient riddle and crown a man as Arcrea’s first king. A host of memorable characters join Druet on his mission of justice, but opposition quickly rises to test their level of commitment and their faith in God. Will the dangerous wilds of Arcrea and her seven oppressive lords succeed in bringing an end to Druet’s quest and crush forever the kingdom’s hopes for a just king?

         First off, I must say that I loved this book. Absolutely, you should read it- if, and only if you like good books; if not, then this is not the book for you. It is a fantasy story and full of fantastical creatures. With twists and turns at every corner, this story leaves you asking yourself, "What is going to happen next?" 

        This is the second time I am reading this book, and it is just as good the second time. I love the fact that God and His truths are the foundation for this story. Another thing that I love is that when I read a Christian fiction book in which the protagonist is a Christian, many times the author mentions that the character prayed, for example: "She kneeled down and prayed, begging God to show her the way..." However, I loved that in this book, Druet's prayers and supplications to the Almighty Lord were actually penned; rather that just saying that he prayed.

        I just love that God is the focal point of this story; it makes it really special and unique. Druet is the perfect character. He has just enough trouble with his sin nature to make you relate to him; while he would still be described as being definitely, definitely, a Godly person. He goes to God for everything; and I love that He is so humble. I love all the good characters and do not at all like the bad characters. Such a wonderful, captivating book! 

      What I don't care for as much is that it is taking from a guy's perspective. I personally prefer stories from a girl's perspective; however, this is not an issue in this book at all. I somehow didn't really mind it actually. 

       This is such an amazing book, which I highly recommend. You need to read this! It is appropriate for ages 8 and up, because there are some fighting scenes. It is not graphic really, but would be more suitable for those ages already mentioned. This is the first in a trilogy, which hopefully I will be able to finish reading soon! 

May his blessings be upon you all in your writing (and reading!). 


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Interview with Nicole Sager


Hello and welcome to Future Homeshool Authors! Thank you Nicole Sager for being our first interviewed author!
Thank you so much for having me - what an honor!

First could you tell us a bit about yourself? 
I'm a graduated homeschooler in my mid-20s, currently living in Texas. I'm the 2nd of 6 kids, and I love to read, tap-dance, and perform in our local community theatre with several of my siblings. I love (LOVE) coffee and hot tea. As a really random tidbit, I also love babysitting and have done so for the same family for 4 years now!

How did you begin writing? 
I always loved describing the things I saw around me, and with a truly active imagination a story was sure to be produced with my mental wanderings. I started with an interactive picture book about an ant, and then later wrote a short novel about a girl and her horse in dedication to a friend. Those stories will never greet the public's eye (in all of their simplistic and badly-written glory), nevertheless they were stepping stones that taught me early lessons in writing!

Why do you write non magical fantasy? 
Ha! This question always make laugh, because the answer is so very shameful :) I originally decided on fantasy because I didn't want to have to do research on accurate history/locations! I figured if I could make everything up on my own, writing would be so much easier. Boy, was I wrong. However, now that I know better, I do still enjoy the liberty that fantasy allows - I can make things up and it;s still ok.
As to the other half of the question, I write non-magical simply because I don't like magic and mysticism. I believe God is very clear in His Word about His opinion of witches/wizards, and His power is so much greater anyway. In short, I see it as a choice to have my characters rely on their own man-made strengths, or on the power of God (through prayer, faith, etc.). I prefer to strive for the latter.

What inspired you to write The Heart of Arcrea? 
I was coming to the close of another series (which I'm hoping to edit and publish) and was trying to feel around for ideas for my next book. I came across the name Druet and knew that I wanted this to be the name of my next hero. Then my brother came up with the name Arcrea for a game and told me I could use the idea if I wanted to. So I did! I started with a name and a kingdom, and prayed for the rest!

Do you do any research for you books? If you do what are your main sources? 
Yes! Though, as I said before, my hopes for a research-free hobby, I have done a lot of research for the medieval time period I've modeled my books after (What tools did blacksmiths use? What were some healing herbs? What were the habits of shepherds? Etc...) I usually do a google search and find articles, pictures, or entire websites devoted to the question at hand. You'd be surprised at how many people have asked the same questions as you!

What piece of advice would you give to writers of non magical fantasy? 
Keep your purpose focused on the Lord. Always pray through your writing and seek to serve Him through it. "Serving the Lord with all humility of mind" (Acts 20:19a) "Let God be magnified" through your work (Psalm 70:4b).
One other thought - No matter what genre you write, think of the story through each character's perspective (What would this person think, say, or do with this situation?). Learning this really helped me feel like my characters were more realistic!

Any final thoughts? 
I have so enjoyed the journey through writing that God has led me on, and I look forward to more! My abilities are currently being focused on writing, but not everyone has that desire or gift. Seek the Lord and His purpose for your life, and then let Him take you on an adventure greater than any book! Have fun within the talents and avenues God has given you to serve in.

Thank you so much for giving up some of your time to interview with us! We loved having you! 
Mikalya, thank you so much for letting me "stop by" to chat! May the Lord bless you and use you and your work for His glory!

          ~Mikayla H.~

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


I am so glad you could join us for our first writing contest! This month we’re going to see how well you write Non Magical Fantasy with the first prize of….. Drum-roll please!!!!!!! Nicole Sager’s Heart of Arcrea

Second and third prize get to have their submission posted on the blog!

You can write it about anything you want, just so long as it does not include magic of any kind. It has to be between 100-500 words and you must submit it by the 23’d of October. Just send it to Futurehomeschoolauthors@gmail.com and please include your name and e-mail address so we can contact you if you win. You are limited to one submission per person. Have fun!

Disclaimer: Whatever you send us may be posted on our blog if you win, if you do not wish to have it displayed please tell us so with your submission.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Hello and welcome to Future Homschool Authors! Let us start by introducing ourselfs!

Ysa our contest judge and writing advice manger.
 Hi, and welcome to our blog! I'm Ysa Rivas, the eldest of 7 kids, a highschool student, a bookworm, and a writer all through. I'm 15 years old right now, and I'm in 10th grade. I live, study, and write in the state of California. A few words my friends like to use when describing me are 'enthusiastic', 'crazy', 'sweet', and 'encouraging'. (Personally, I think "crazy" and "enthusiastic" fit the best.) My favorite subject in school is probably English, though Science, History, and Art are also important to me. When I'm not reading, blogging, writing, or hanging out with friends, I like to play piano, sing, knit, crochet, bead, and do other crafty things like that. 
Thanks for stopping by, and I hope that our blog blesses you in some way! 

Lisbeth, Our reviewer
 I am 15 and live with my super mom and two little sisters, plus three babysitting kids. I have been home-schooled all my life, minus a two month period in a family catastrophe. I enjoy homeschooling and the freedoms and responsibilities it brings. I love to cook, plan, read, write, take pictures and teach! Sadly my parents are divorced. God through our small church of about 25 families fully provides for my family. I am constantly in awe of his provision and grace. I am so grateful for the family God has given me. He is the completion to my family.  He cares for the widow, is the Father to us fatherless and our ultimate Savior.
        As I stated above, I love reading good books and I love writing too! Therefore the reviewer job on future homeschool authors is super fun for me. And it helps give me a deadline for getting the reading and writing done! I hope my writing will be encouraging and helpful to any readers of future homeschool authors!
Lisbeth's BlogDancing In His Reign

Mikayla, our administrator and contest judge

Hello! I’m so glad you were able to join us today! My name is Mikayla, I’m 14 and I live in the gorgeous state of Texas with my parents and my five awesome siblings. I spend my days taking photos, doing school, writing in one of my many books, drawing pictures, sewing, snuggling people, spending time with friends and family and blogging over at thebubblegumballerina. I started writing books when I was eight and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’m an avid dreamer, I enjoy impossible possibilities. I hope you are blessed by our little corner of the world, I know working with these beautiful girls has blessed me.

So glad you could stop by and meet us! I hope we'll be seeing a lot of you in the future!