Sep 10, 2019

Kadira: a Letter from a Protagonist

Me: I know, I know. The Torch Keepers was published, thus this character-take-over-the-blog thing must be done, right?

Um, well, there was a problem. Two special characters have letters to share. Thus, meet Kadira.

She holds the center of the story. Kadira was the first character, the girl who grew and changed with the tale. And now I've asked her to share some of herself here.

So slip on some music (her theme songs are Nuvole Bianche + Future Fighter), and here's Kadira's story, the beautiful, the raw, and everything else.

Kadira's Story

Sometimes I wonder why the King picked me. Why does my story get told when so many other more wonderful, purer stories than mine are being lived every day?

Because my life wasn't the one I would have chosen. Not for me. Not for anyone.

It's ugly. It's broken. And it still hurts sometimes.

But the Author asked me to write anyway, to write my story from my perspective now, at the end of The Torch Keepers, looking back on the beginning.

Without giving anything away. *smiles*

So here goes.

*deep breath*

I used to be like any ordinary child. My desert village lay unknown to Érkeos, a tiny speck shining for our King in the wastelands. I don't even remember its name anymore.

I went to school. I dreamed of being a mama and doing amazing, beautiful things. And I had friends: Ir-Haran, a quiet boy who loved animals, Ir-Ivah, his sassy sister who made me laugh, and Am-Othniel, my dearest friend who loved me as his sister and could create music that blew away this entire world.

A normal life. Except for one thing.

My eyes were blue.

In a kingdom of grey or black or brown-eyed people, I stood out. People stared at me. But I was proud, because my eyes were beautiful like Daddy's.

Until everything fell apart. I couldn't stop it.

And now I miss that desert village. I miss the quiet and peace and friends I lost, because from then on, everything got worse. I forgot who I was. And I forgot the King's ways.

So much happened. More than a decade wrapped up in one book. I made mistakes. I learned. I hurt others. I lived radically but for the wrong reasons.

The story didn't end there. And that's what I pray my life tells any reader who picks up The Torch Keepers.

It's not over. There's hope. There's this thing called Lifenot the mundane and pain and mistakes but something more. Real Life. Really living.

Is that clichéd or simplistic? *laughs* Maybe it is. But it changed everything for me.

You're never too far gone. There's this King out there who loves radically. Evenespeciallywhen you don't deserve it.

I don't know how or why. I don't even deserve a story.

But the King gave me one anyway.

He loves anyway.

So wherever you are, there's hope, there's tomorrow, and you're loved.

Don't forget that like I did. Because that's when it hurts so much more.

And that's a tiny piece of the story he gave me.

Me: So there's a tiny glance into Kadira's heart.

If you want to explore her tale fully, The Torch Keepers is now published on Barnes & Noble (click here!) and (on the 15th) on Amazon!

Friend, you are so loved. The King treasures you, and he has such a plan for your life. But first comes surrender.

I'll end with Kadira's theme verse.

The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them,
And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose.
- Isaiah 35:1


Sep 1, 2019

The Torch Keepers RELEASE

Today's the day!!!!

A little dream is becoming real. And yes, it feels crazy. XD

Like how even?! How does God give me one small idea and stretch it to more until it's a book and it's releasing and the world gets to know these characters that hold so much of me?!

This last month has been crazy too; learning to trust, surrender, give myself to Jesus. There's been stress and missed deadlines and distractions and fangirling moments.

So last night I stopped, remembered what this release was really about.

And the answer: Him.

FRIENDS - The Torch Keepers is RELEASED!! You can order it on Barnes & Noble and soon also on Amazon! You can throw copies at your friends or hide in your closet and look at the beautiful cover that Alea created! Or host a giveaway, share with the world, write a million reviews!

I'm SO excited, so blown away, so thrilled that God chose to write this book through me!

But, dear friend, in all that (before you go hide in your closet with the novel), here's my heart:

The Torch Keepers isn't about the book.

It isn't about the author or the reader or the people who helped make it. It isn't even about Kadira or Emyir or Nura or Rekém.

The Torch Keepers is about a King. This King loves His people in a radical, huge way. He treasures them, from the smallest, disabled orphan girl to the Prince who seeks to use his power to take over the kingdom.

It's a King who is bigger than fantasy. Bigger than the world I created. It's the King who gives me every single breath and is with me with every beat my heart pounds out.

It's this King who sees you. All of you. The good, the bad, the secrets you try to hide. And in that, He. Treasures. You.

You're His princess, His prince. He sees you as His own. His child. His beloved.

And when things are worst, when you can't do it yourself, He bled and died to give you life.

That's what The Torch Keepers is about.

YES - it's one of my favorite books (I might be partial), and YES, I might be seriously fangirling over here. (eep!) Go grab your own copy, hide in the world of Érkeos, and wrap yourself in the story!

But when the book closes, friend, you are a treasure. Not because of who you are, what you've done, but because of the King. He cherishes you!

HAPPY RELEASE DAY! I'm bursting over here! *throws dark chocolate to everyone*

Now let's go change the world.

The Creator of the universe calls you beloved. ♥

And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
And come to Zion with singing,
With everlasting joy on their heads.
They shall obtain joy and gladness,
And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
- Isaiah 35:10


Aug 27, 2019

Nura: a Letter from a Minor Character

Me: FIVE days until publishing!!!!

But first. The guest post.

Okay, so maybe I just love all The Torch Keepers' characters and want you to get to know every one of them.

*shrugs* That's pretty true. But I still think you absolutely HAVE to meet Nura, a priceless, young girl who lost her sight before she could remember. Somehow though, she sees better than I do.

This little girl has gone through a lot, but she's more beautiful because of it. She loves the King. And now I asked her to narrate her story to me. So here 'tis.

(and I caught her in a talkative mood, which is rare! So enjoy that.)  =)

Nura's Story

Okay, can we start now?

Me: Yup, go right ahead!

Oh, then I'm ready. *giggles* Should I start with "once upon a time" or somethin' else?

Me: Whatever you want!

This will be fun! *clasps hands together*

Once upon a time, my mama had a baby. It was me!

But that was a long, long, long time ago. And I didn't get to see my mama for a long time. There was a big stormI'm scared of stormsand Mama and I were stuck in it. But 'Dira saved me. I am sad though, 'cuz Mama died. I miss her.

*brightens* I'm still happy though! There's lots of pretty things that make me happy. Like the stories 'Dira tells me. She tells me about the flowers and trees and sunshine 'cause I can't see them. And she says the sunshine looks like me, 'cause my name means "light." I smile when she says that. *giggles*

My favorite things are flowers and creeks and the woods and rain and dancing and lots of things. I like pink too ('cause 'Dira likes that best). Oh, and all my family. I love Gamma and Father and 'Dira and Ike and everyone else. Even Faine (but he needs to laugh more). He's super serious and grumpy. *hides laugh*

But the bestest thing is the King. I never met 'im, but I still like 'im a whole lot. Because He loves me. Sometimes I think about that. The King is so big and strong and brave, but He likes mea tiny girl who has eyes that don't work!

I tell 'im lots of secrets. And He listens too! When I'm scared, He keeps me safe, and He gives me lots of good gifts (like sunshine).

Some people say the King is far away and doesn't listen to us, but that's silly. Because lots of times He does! When I talk to 'im, He always answers me. Not because I'm super smart or anything. He just loves people. Even tiny ones. Even ones that have eyes that don't work.

The King loves everyone. That's the bestest thing.

He loves me and you and everyone else. And Gamma tells me that He has good plans. Like that storm that took away my mama. The King still had a plan then. That's why I still smile; 'cause He loves me!

So... um... oh no, I can't 'fink of anythin' else. Is this okay?

Me: This is perfect! Thank you, Nura.

You're welcome. Goodbye everyone *waves*. You should go dance or pick some flowers now. I'm gonna. If 'Dira will take me, I mean.

Me: Have fun! *folds letter* 

So there she is. That little girl holds a piece of me that somehow grown-ups forget to express.

The idea that Jesus really loves. That He really answers prayer. That He really is good.

We forget. We get distracted.

That's why I love Nura. She remembers the truthsees iteven with her blind eyes.

So go live the adventure. Savor it. For our King.  ♥

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.