A Peak Inside The Tournament

Figure Under Porch Sketch from The Adventure BookRain drips from the porch above, and the siding of the building weeps with moisture. For the moment, though, you’re dry. Your small, sheltered spot is just a protected piece of cobblestone. It’s a two-foot by two-foot section where the rain isn’t drenching the ground. There’s not even enough space to lie down, but the spot’s yours, and as long as you don’t move from it, no one will challenge you.

You’re not homeless. You just can’t find an inn that’s not already full because of the tournament being held at the coliseum. Considering the situation, you may as well be homeless, but at least you’re a well-armed homeless.

Thus why no one will challenge you for your shelter.

A sword peeks over your right shoulder from its scabbard on your back. From your belt hangs a woodsman’s knife the length of your forearm, and in your right hand you hold an unstrung bow. Over your left shoulder, the fletching of your arrows plays peek-a-boo around the hood of your dark cloak.

All of the weaponry right now is just extra weight. Your cloak is the prize possession with the rain. Its wool weight settles around you with delicious warmth as its outer layer beads the bit of rain that reaches you under the porch.

You sigh, reminding yourself that you’re putting up with this for a reason. The tournament boasts a number of challenges including fencing, archery, jousting, and hand-to-hand combat. They all pay well for each winner.

You’re not here for the pay, though. You’re here for a person. You’ve heard nothing from your family since you chose to be a woods ranger instead of a baker like the rest of them.

But a few days ago a messenger found you where you were hunting in the forests to the north. He settled on the ground opposite your campfire and warmed his chilled fingers as he passed along the message your family sent with him.

“King’s men took your Uncle Ruben,” he said, “because your family can’t pay the rent on the bakery. He’s been sentenced to working the quarry until he pays off the amount due.”

“What do they want from me?” you asked, perplexed. You passed across the fire a mug of warm tea to help the messenger fight off the night’s chill.

You’ve got no influence in the King’s justice system, despite being one of his rangers. Working the quarry is hard, dangerous work, you know, but the bakery’s debt can’t be that high. Ruben shouldn’t be there that long.

The messenger sipped several times before continuing his message. You wondered how long he’d been searching for you.

“The family hasn’t paid in well over a year,” the messenger finally explained, giving you a sheepish look. It’s probably the same look your family gave while telling him, a complete stranger, their issue. “Ruben’s assigned the quarry for the next five years to pay everything off.”

Dread settled a heavy stone into your stomach. No one survived the quarry that long.

“All right,” you conceded, “what does the family want?”

“In the King’s tournament, you can ask for the release of a worker if you win one of the challenges.” As he said this, the man eyed your bow where it sat against a nearby tree and the sword laying on the ground beside your knee.

You had an “ah-ha” moment. No one in the family could win such a challenge—except you. You considered refusing. The family hasn’t spoken to you in years, much less lent a hand whenever you needed something, but this was about a man’s life, family or not.

“When does the tournament start?” you asked.

“Beginning of the week.” Again, that sheepish look came over his face.

And now you’re hunkered under a porch instead of sleeping in an inn because, by the time the messenger found you, you only had two days to get to the capital.

An inn wouldn’t have helped much anyway, you tell yourself. There’s only an hour or two before sunrise, at which time you have to be at the coliseum to check in as a contestant.

As you wait for the warmth to arrive from the rising sun, you debate whether to try archery or fencing. You’ve never attempted jousting and don’t want to start now. As a last resort you can try hand-to-hand combat, but that’s not your forte, and you’d prefer to start with your stronger skills.

Do you pick Archery or Fencing?

***

This story was so fun to write. Research can be overwhelming or really interesting. This story, researching long bows and such, proved to be really cool.

For more, check out The Adventure on Kickstarter

or

The Adventure will be available on Amazon at the end of November.

Blessings,

Jennifer

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It Comes with Rewards?!

Why yes, there are rewards for anyone who backs The Adventure on Kickstarter.

This is one of the coolest parts of running a Kickstarter.

  • First off, your name will end up in print. I.E. You’ll be added to the acknowledgements of the book!

From there, the rewards depend on the level at which you support the book, but they possibly include:

  • A digital version of the book. (KDP).
  • Custom stickers. These have artwork from the two artists who illustrated the book! They turned out really cool looking!
  • A signed softcover copy of the book. (Ships in January)
  • A signed hardcover copy of the book. (Only available through the Kickstarter. Ships in January)
  • a companion journal with artwork and quotes from The Adventure. (Ships in January)

If you’re following my Facebook page, you know the proof of the book has arrived. It looks amazing and I’m so excited to send out the finished product once I’ve fixed the few remaining issues with the copy!

The Adventure ProofBlessings,

Jennifer

P.S. If you’d like to back The Adventure and haven’t already, here’s the link.

 

It’s Me…Yikes!

I’m an INTROVERT. I recharge when I’m alone. I have no problem spending days reading and hanging out at home…maybe that’s why I’m a writer.

I get kind of freaked out about calling people, or stopping by work when I’m not on the schedule, or being in big crowds. (Anyone with me here?)

But I’m running a Kickstarter for my latest book, The Adventure, and it’s worth me peeking out of my writer’s cave to say hi, to introduce myself, to actually show my face to those willing to back the project.

So here it goes…EEEEK!

Blessings,

Jennifer

P.S. Here’s the link to the Kickstarter in case you’re interested =)

That Voice! The One That’s Not A DEEP MALE VOICE in the Trailer

In my last post, I mentioned I needed a DEEP MALE VOICE to say ‘ominous things’ for The Adventure book trailer.

If you’re familiar with My Why, you know reading did not come easy for me. If you’re not familiar with My Why, the quick rundown is I struggled to read when I was young. We’re talking a 3rd grade reading level in the 7th grade kind of struggle. I barely passed my classes.

Then my sister’s boyfriend, Nick, handed me a book and I was too ashamed to tell him I couldn’t read it. I wanted so badly to be able to tell him I was reading it and loved the story. (It was the first in David Edding’s The Elenium series).

To this day, I can’t tell you why everything clicked with that book, but it did and it forever planted my love of reading and the world of fantasy. I read through the Elenium and kept reading whatever I could get my hands on. (Namely, the Wheel of Time series). In about a year, I went from a 3rd grade level to post grad.

Now here’s the really cool part that combines the book trailer with my very love of reading.

Nick’s voice is the one on the trailer. It’s not the DEEP MALE VOICE I envisioned when I wrote the trailer outline, but I honestly can’t say why I had a DMV running through my head in the first place. Maybe because it would add to the ominous feel? Who knows. *Shrug*

But Nick’s voice fits in the trailer better than anything I envisioned. Seriously, this guy could read audiobooks for a living. (Hint, hint, Nick =)

So, if you haven’t seen the The Adventure Trailer (or even if you have), here it is:

Blessings,

Jennifer

P.S. The Adventure is up on Kickstarter right now! Hop over and check it out here.

P.S.S. Also, you can check out Nick’s adventures with his family here.

Why Book Trailers Boggle a Writer’s Brain

You need a book trailer for The Adventure…say what!?

Yes, that’s right, a movie-esque trailer…for a book. I mean, it’s words-on-paper-to-fuel-imaginations type of technology, not a movie for crying out loud. What do you even put into a trailer? More words on a page? That’s lovely…and totally boring without the actual book in hand.

But even Kickstarter encourages everyone to have a video, so I put it on my list of things, completely unaware of the massive project it would be.

So, when my calendar plan for The Adventure told me to write the outline for THE TRAILER, I wrote an outline, video reel rolling through my head with ideas. “Yeah, that’s totally possible,” I told myself. This shouldn’t be so bad. I mean, writing’s my thing, so getting the outline figured out was easy peasy…

But then I needed to do something with that outline. *Gulp*

I had in my head a flame sparking and then a match burning behind a DEEP MALE VOICE saying ominous things. This required three things that my writer’s brain hadn’t really figured out.

  • One, music behind the voice, something to set the mood.
  • Two, I needed a video of the match burning.
  • And three, and most importantly, I needed the voice for “ominous things”

And this was just for the start of the trailer…

Music is a tricky thing and music rights even trickier, not to mention scary. Let me just say the Free Music Archive is amazing and super helpful. That’s where I found Cold Noise and the promotional music for the trailer. Thank you to Jaroslav Vyhnicka with Cold Noise! I love the music. (This took me days, nay weeks! to research.)

First part down, second part…um…

Filming is definitely not in my wheelhouse, but I know this amazing woman who’s like a pit bull once she gets an idea in her head. She’s called my sister, or, to the rest of the world, she’s Lucynda (Cindy) with Funsnapshots99 (I guess creative pursuits run in the family=). I mentioned my apprehension about filming the match burning. She started researching. On the spot.

And she ran with the trailer from there. I’m not even sure I actually asked her or if I was just venting at the time…can’t remember now…but she dropped everything and began digging into how to set up the trailer.

I couldn’t be happier that she did.

I think she spent well over 50 or 60 hours on this project and the trailer went through at least 8, if not more, revisions. Like I said, I had no idea the monster of a project I was taking on when I wrote it on my calendar.

Cindy’s hard work shows. Aside from the book itself, this is the one thing I’m most excited to share with everyone because it turned out absolutely amazing!

Check it out:

Two parts down…Part three…

DEEP MALE VOICE.

You might notice in the trailer that the voice isn’t a DMV. There’s a reason for that but this is a connection I want to dig into because it’s the coolest of them all.

However, this blog’s getting really long, so I’ll dig into that connection, and the reason the voice isn’t a DMV, Thursday. Check back and I’ll explain everything.

Until then, blessings,

Jennifer

P.S. Please share this! It’s such a great way to introduce people to The Adventure. Or, if you’d like to support The Adventure, click the link =)

The Adventure Kickstarter!

The Adventure Kickstarter Image

Ready, set, here we go!

Today launches The Adventure Kickstarter.

My excitement knows no bounds! My poor husband is dealing with me jumping up and down like a child on Christmas
morning. Seriously, since January, I and those amazing people who have agreed to help me throughout the year have been working toward this.

And now I get to shamelessly promote The Adventure. This isn’t something in my wheelhouse. I’m a self-proclaimed hermit most days, but The Adventure’s worth stepping out of my cave and shouting to the world.

If you’re unfamiliar with Kickstarter, here’s the rundown.

Kickstarter is similar to gofundme, except it’s for startups, for entrepreneurs, for creatives to get their work into the world by presenting it to those who might want to invest in each project.

And there are rewards for those who support the project depending on what level you support it at, including, but not limited to, your name in the acknowledgements of the book. (Yes, your name will be in print!)

This is like a preorder option, but with goodies that go along with it =)

More details can be found on the Kickstarter page here. (Be sure to check out the book trailer! It’s awesome=)

Hope to see your name in the book.

Blessings,

Jennifer

P.S. Word-of-Mouth (text/facebook post/tweet and any other form of Word-of-Mouth), is the best and most valuable way to support a book. Even if you can’t support The Adventure financially but you love reading, please support it by sharing the Kickstarter with others.

The Adventure Kickstarter Starts Soon!

(Update: Now that the Kickstarter has launched, you can go here to check it out=)

My sister tells me I should do one scary thing a day. This might be my scary thing for the next year!

This Thursday, a 30 day Kickstarter starts for The Adventure book.

But anything worthwhile is difficult and scary and rewarding all bundled into a tight ball. The more rewarding something is, the scarier it usually is to accomplish.

As many of you know, reading was difficult for me as a child. It took until 7th grade until it actually clicked. They tested me for all sorts of reading problems, but never figured out why this one thing was such a struggle. I still don’t know why.

When my brain finally decided reading was okay, a whole new world opened up for me. I went from a third grade reading level to post grad in about a year. Like a sponge, I couldn’t find enough to read. The Choose Your Own Adventure stories grabbed my attention because there was so much to explore in them. Although the stories were short, the detail to each ending, the possibilities to be found fascinated me.

Perhaps this is why storytelling is so special to me. It opens worlds of magic. It builds imagination and adds a certain splendor to the world.

I’d love to add to that magic, add to the wonder that exists in the world. As we’ve discussed, drawing isn’t an option for me, but writing is! And I’d love to encourage young readers to enjoy that world of magic too. (The Adventure is a 5-6th grade reading level.)

So if you’d like to join me in this journey, stop by Thursday and see what the Kickstarter is all about. I look forward to sharing with you!

Blessings,

Jennifer

The Adventure Kickstarter Image