This post is difficult to write. Dear fans of Tess Williams, on May 2nd Tess was traveling in India with her husband and was killed in a Taxi accident. This is not a joke or false. We are asking for your prayers for her husband and family during this difficult time. There is a memorial fund that has been set up in her honor. The proceeds will go to the Embrace a Village children's home in Coimbatore, India. This is a place that Tess was involved with that very close to her heart. If you would like to honor her memory, please make a donation. The picture below was taken while Tess and Shankar were visiting the EAV children's home, I'm sure you can see the joy and peace on her face. I am asking also that you are respectful with your comments as they will be read by her grieving family.
Here's another Heart Song from God's heart, straight to you! Love you all!
Isaiah 54:10 “For though the mountains
should depart and the hills be shaken or removed, yet My love and
kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace and
completeness be removed, says the Lord, Who has compassion on you.”
God makes this covenant, as a part of His
new covenant, which the apostles later confirm in the New Testament, when it is
written: “Nothing can separate us from the love of God because of the
way the Master Jesus Christ has embraced us.”
Does this mean that it wasn’t in God’s
heart to feel this way that this song is expressing? Or perhaps this would be a
better question: “What is the stone that bars the way between giving up on
someone or not?”
We have a lot of relationships being given
up on around us. What is the problem? God said clearly: He will never give up
on His special ones. And we did far worse to him than any could ever do to us.
So what does He have?
This song says: “I’m sorry that I couldn’t
get to you.”
Why can’t we get to the heart of the person
that we love? Or once loved? Why did we love them once, but now don’t love them
any longer? Why couldn’t we “get to them?”
It’s simple. “The stone which the builders
rejected, this has become the chief Cornerstone.” This chief cornerstone, is
Christ Himself, the propitiation for our sins, and all sins. The stone that lies
between reaching the one we love IN love, is all the hurt, and all the wrongness;
now Christ stands there, on all sides, for all who accept it.
Cease to say: “There is no hope for us. I’m
giving up.” There is always a hope. There is nothing on the way, in the road to
that person’s heart -- no matter their wrong. They don’t need to say a word.
I haven't written in a while. That's because I've been in India visiting my husband, but I am back home now. Soon, I get to visit him again for our one year anniversary and I am really excited.
This year has been really big for people reading my books -- especially Ember, Obsidian and Dust. But to be honest, the reviews have been really mixed.
Pretty much everyone likes Ember (except for the typos, which are not my strong-suit, sorry :/).
But lots of people seem to have a hard time liking Obsidian and an even harder time liking Dust.
It's pretty obvious if you read the reviews on amazon that the dislike from Dust springs from "religious" issues.
For this reason (and to help explain Obsidian for those interested), I'd like to go into a little explanation for the path these three books take.
Listen to this song first if you can: (For those of you reading this off my blog, the song is "Feel Again" by One Republic)
Now I'm just going to tell you simply the pattern displayed in the three books Ember, Obsidian, and Dust.
Ember - This starts out with our main characters (and namely, of course Evelyn) in a child-like stage. They're just entering adulthood, and they're alive. They feel a lot, and they love a lot. They get scared, but they don't really think to protect themselves. They just are themselves. And so they all become friends with much love and joy shared!
Obsidian - Now our heroes, and heroine, are older, and they're starting to try and control things for themselves. They are (like a lot of adults begin to do) trying to control situations to stop the pains they've felt in the past. Instead of accepting loss and being abandoned in love, they're trying to create a safe place, and in their own hands, everything is falling apart. That is why Obsidian gets a little dark and very messy. We're witnessing humans trying to take things into their own hands -- even trying to do good on their own. I think this is a familiar part to growing up for any person. And, well... we know how it ends up in Obsidian.
Dust - This book starts out with every character feeling alone, totally defeated, clueless... They've pretty much tried their hardest, and their hardest didn't work. They can't feel anything; they've lost all hope and everything's messed up. Boom! That's when Jesus steps in. And I know that some people don't believe that Jesus exists, but He does. And the life-change, the bringing-back-to-life, and the grace that He brings to a life that has lost everything is what is represented in Dust.
This was the naturally progression for Evelyn, Jaden and Ikovos. Not some strange religious preaching, but a real personal relationship, with a real powerful lover and King that gave His life for us. And it changes people! By the end of Dust, Ikovos, Evelyn and Jaden are in a state of grace, and confidence and peace, that won't be taken from them. That can only come through Jesus; there's no other way to get that.
I want to write books about people who's lives change -- not people who start out awesome, and keep being awesome. Pretty much, I've never seen that once in real life. What I see around me is hard times and mistakes, and then characters rising up like heroes to make a difference in the world. I know that this heroism comes from Jesus. I want everyone who reads my books to experience the same freedom that Evelyn, Jaden and Ikovos do! I know that so many book-readers long for these other worlds, and life-filled stories of magic. I always have as well -- that's why I started writing. I have to tell you this because it's true (I've witnessed it): Jesus is that life and magic, and if you'll ask Him to come and live with you, your life will fill up with light and magic too. REAL life. REAL feelings. REAL magic.
I hope this reaches someone. And please listen to that song Feel Again with this in mind: that Jesus is the magic that brings us back to life after we've lost it all. Let "this life" die to you, and live again in Jesus. That's what happened to Evelyn, Jaden and Ikovos in these books. It happened in my life. It happened to our perfect Jesus. We get so lonely, and cold, and empty. If we call on Jesus, we will end up singing along with the lively and joyous exclamations of this song:
"I'm feeling better ever since you know me. I was a lonely soul but that's the old me. A little wiser now from what you showed me.... I feel again."
"The thief comes not, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am
come that they might have life, and that they might have it more
abundantly." -John 10:10 -Tess Williams
First things first. You need to click play on this song:
Now, while that's playing, your next job is even easier. Just read. Just read and don't stop reading.
"You're the best friend that I've found"
That's a line in this song.
"I'll make a wish for you and hope it will come true"
That's another line.
I've heard it before somewhere.
"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.
"That life will just be kind, to such a gentle mind"
"I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them... My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.Sanctify them bythe truth; your word is truth."
"And I won't ever leave, as long as you believe. Just believe"
"If you lose your way, think back on yesterday. Remember Me This Way"
"Remember Me This Way"
When is yesterday? What day?
"This is My body, which is given for you. Do this to remember Me."
"This is My body, which is broken for you. Do this in remembrance of Me."
Whose body was broken for us?
Who was given for us?
What Yesterday should we remember?
What "Way" should we remember?
"Remember Me this Way."
There is One picture. You know it. He loves you. You don't need eyes to see it.
Remember Him that Way.
He loves you.
The cross is the day you must remember.
Jesus is the one you must remember.
Remember Him that way.
Then you'll never lose your way.
"And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
DUST is the third book in the EMBER series. And it is coming out really soon! I know. That was really fast after Obsidian. I had a lot of help with this book, in inspiration from God (actually, He wrote it; I just typed). For this reason, it has been my favorite book writing experience, and I hope everyone else enjoys it too.
Here are some of the main theme songs God showed me for the book. They fit very precisely!
Love is the Strongest Flame. Man, this song is awesome. You've got to listen to it. We know that God is love. This song depicts exactly the sort of representation that magic is supposed to give in the Ember Series; it's also jut a great song with lots of passion. Listen!
Another great song about love. This will be inspiration for a particular scene. You might guess it after reading. But don't wait to listen to it. Listen now! You will be blessed.
This song is SO ____'s theme song for this book. Haha, sorry. I can't tell you who, it will give too much away, but man... it's such a great, real song straight from God's heart. Listen to it, to prep you for DUST!
What do you think? It is all glowy! I like this one.
Niftilly (yes, that's a word. means nifty). Ah-hem. Niftilly: the epilogue of the second book, is the prologue of the third book, DUST. Sort of.
Here it is: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Prologue:
the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils
the breath of life; and man became a living being.
He asked me again. I felt scraping dirt
in my throat.
He asked: “Who are you?”
“I don’t know!” I shouted out. I hadn’t
known or thought I possessed such a strong voice. But I shouted, as my body
came up tall. Strong. I was strong. I shouted strong. That was who I was. “I
don’t know. I don’t know,” I kept telling him.
Till I saw a flash of fear in his eyes,
at my response.
And I thought: he fears me. This is what
I need. Strength. I’ll just--
But then he brought the flat-side of his
weapon to the back of my head.
And all I could remember before my world
went black was that I knew it was called a sword. I only didn’t know how.
The red-coats are coming!
The red coats are coming!
Okay, sorry, I just couldn't help it.
I actually did not intentionally choose out July 4th as the release date for Fallen Warrior because it's independence day.
I chose it very simply, because it is the first Tuesday of the month of July. July was when we could be sure that the formatting would be done for Fallen Warrior, and Tuesday is the routine day for novels to be released (something to do with when the Washington Post does reviews).
Anyways, it wound up very humorous, as anyone who might have read the FALLEN books should be able to guess. The bad guys (Akadians) are red, well there armor is, I mean. Those are their colors. Currently, they're a massive-super-tyrant country taking over all the others. I'd say we're hoping for a little independance, right?
We'll see what happens. I don't want to give anything away.
Instead, I'll just share some pictures, (including the cover!), a few songs, and a little snippet of the third book. I think this time, I'll share something from the MIDDLE instead of the start, but I'll try to avoid direct spoilers.
Play this while you're reading, because it's just that good, and you've NEVER heard it before. Plus it's Cyric's theme song in Fallen Warrior:
To start off, here's the cover:
What do you think? I'll list the others to compare it:
You might have noticed by now that the picture in the center is different. Any guesses as to how yet? When a few people have read the third installment, I will explain that a bit more! I promise!
Now, please enjoy a few pictures of... something which (spoiler*) might happen to be in the third book. (Well, it IS a trilogy about dragons after all).
I'm not sure who this is by, but the colors are great for my imagined dragon of Fallen Warrior.
These last two, are by the ever epic illustrator John Howe. Click his name to check out his site. He's the best.
SO... does anyone remember the name of Ellia's dragon in the FALLEN trilogy? It's not talked about a lot. Here's a pic of Ellia by the way, so that you know who we're talking about:
Ellia looks SORT OF like this...
...but dressed like this:
And here's Cyric:
But dressed like this:
And probably lounging also.
Okay, those aren't their wardrobes EXACTLY, but it's actually really hard to find unique medieval clothes.
The dragon's name was KRAHE by the way.
It is pronounced to rhyme with "stay". No need to sound out the 'h'.
Kraehe was purple and black, so the second picture of the dragon down, suits her best.
Lastly, I would like to share this picture I found recently, which would be of something of major importance to the third book. I'd say it best expresses it's feel:
Pretty hunh? Click it for the large size.
And that's about it!
Don't forget to mark the date of the release for July 4th!
And just in case you can't wait, here's a little tidbit:
**If you're highly sensitive to spoilers, please do not read; though it's really not spoilery.
of my father’s execution, the sky had been blue and silver. I remembered well
because it was the same color as the clothes I’d worn. All the orphans cared
for by the scholars wore pale blue and silver tunics, and at that point I’d
been with the scholars for years. Executions, especially hangings, weren’t a
usual thing in Uldin Keep. It was held outside, on one of the stone walls that
connected the inner parts of the Keep. The level was somewhere near the middle,
accessible by both the lower residents, where his victims had resided, and the
higher courts, where anyone interested could watch. Plus the royals, who were
required to. Savras, of course, who had given the verdict was present. He
witnessed it from a high section at the back of the crowd. And his daughter
stood beside him. But the only thing I watched that day was my father. At that
point, I hadn’t seen him for months, and even then in passing. What
conversations had we ever had? None. So, I wanted to see if he even knew that I
existed. I ignored the looks aimed at me, the pointing, the crying victims, and
those from my mother’s family who I also hadn’t seen in months. Not
successfully did I ignore all of them, because I could have described the
entire scene. But I tried.
brought him out... he was already shouting. It was as I remembered him, those
times I’d sought after him on the streets: just to watch him. He was almost
always shouting, always fighting, always angry. He had dark hair, and long,
pulled back into a ponytail that knotted together. He had a well-defined face,
and a thick square jaw, a roguish handsomeness that had kept him accompanied
through the years, despite his temper and lack of worth. And he had coal grey
eyes, dark and silver when he was laughing, flat and empty on days like today.
spectators, who had remained in hushed and resolved silence before his arrival,
reacted to his shouting with gasps, tears, or some prayers to the maker of the
granted. I wished, and even thought, that I was just watching it calmly, but my
chest kept rising and my nose burned. They gagged him so that he would stop
shouting. And then they pulled him up onto the gallows, and everyone was silent
as they read his crimes. Deaths. Many. Things he should have been caught for
years ago, but murders were so rare in Shaundakul, particularly repeated, that
he hadn’t been caught until the fifth.
And... that's all you get. Fallen Warrior is a very big book, and a lot happens. I hope that everyone enjoys it, and comments back to me on what they thought.
Hope you have a week blessed by God.
Jesus is coming soon! (maybe even before my book releases.... o_O)