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 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!