Skip to main content

Lady Wynwood’s Spies vol. 1 free until 4/27

At the last minute, I applied for a Book Cave promo and got it! So Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 1: Archer is free until April 27. Be sure to get it before the deadline! Get Lady Wynwood’s Spies vol. 1 FREE

Excerpt - THE OWLING by Robert Elmer

Today's Wild Card author is:





and the book:



The Owling (The Shadowside Trilogy Book 2)

Zondervan (October 1, 2008)


This is the story of Oriannon, a very human-looking girl with an extraordinary gift: the ability to record what she sees and experiences like the hard drive of a computer. When the mysterious Jesmet, thought to be a Magician in the Old Order, begins to connect with Oriannon, he is banished to Corista’s Shadowside.

On another planet, the new faith of its first Believers is tested in the shadow of evil

In book two, readers can contemplate how biblical truths translate in another world. The planet of Corista has been thrown off its axis, and the bright side has been plunged into perpetual darkness. Are the Owling people of Shadowside to blame? With both sides of the planet in chaos, the world becomes even more confusing for 15-year-old Oriannon when her former music mentor Jesmet miraculously returns from the dead and promises his followers a special power called the Wind. But his is not the only offer of hope. Sola, Corista’s charismatic head of Security, proposes the “ultimate solution” for peace, and she recruits Oriannon to help her carry out a seemingly perfect plan. But Oriannon’s closest friends are skeptical and try to convince her that the plan involves evil acts against the Owling. Should Oriannon trust the feelings of her friends? Will she embrace Sola’s solution as the answer to the world’s dilemma? Or will she believe the promise of an Owling holy man before she can no longer discern between light and darkness?



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




Meet Robert



For as long as I can remember I've always loved writing. When I was in grade school, I created a family newspaper, wrote essays for fun. In high school, I took every writing class available. My parents, both from Denmark, passed along to me a love of language and books. Writing naturally came from that kind of environment.



I graduated from Ygnacio Valley High School in Concord, California, then received my BA in Communications from Simpson College, San Francisco. I completed journalism classes from U.C. Berkeley extension, and a post-graduate program in Elementary Education at St. Mary's College in Moraga, California.

Then what? Right out of college I was a freelance writer, a public relations/admissions director and an assistant pastor. I also worked as a reporter and an editor for community newspapers, then as a copy writer for Baron & Company, a full-service marketing communications firm in Bellingham, Washington.

I now work full time writing and speaking, and my wife Ronda works as a receptionist at a pediatric dental center. We live and attend church in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and are the parents of three terrific young adults (one married).

I'm on the editorial board of the Jerry Jenkins Christian Writers Guild, and also serve as a mentor for young writers. Find out more about the Guild and their great mentoring programs for all ages by clicking here.

When I'm not writing I enjoy sailing, working on vintage boats, traveling and spending time with my family.

Click on the Interviews link here (or above) for more Q&A information.

For a list of my published books, start here.

Trion Rising is the first book of The Shadowside Trilogy.

Visit him at his website.


Product Details:

List Price: $ 9.99

Reading level: Young Adult

Paperback: 336 pages

Publisher: Zondervan (October 1, 2008)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0310714222

ISBN-13: 978-0310714224



AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:



Oriannon jerked awake, jolted by the shuttle's sudden dive and the high-pitched whine of ion boosters. The unseen hand of several Gs squeezed her squarely back in the padded seat, and she gasped for breath.



Where were they?



Off course, without a doubt, and certainly not heading home.The fifteen-year-old managed a glance out a tiny side viewport, though her eyeballs hurt to focus and her stomach rebelled at the sudden drop. Outside, space appeared cold, dark, and colorless -- not the dense, bright violet atmosphere she would have expected to see above irrigated farms and the well-watered surface of Corista, her home planet.



Just across the aisle, her father unstrapped from his grav seat with a grunt, gathered his gold-trimmed ceremonial robe, and struggled down the narrow aisle of the shuttle toward the pilot's compartment. Several passengers screamed as they banked once more, sharply, and the engines whined even more loudly. He seemed to ignore the panic; he put his head down and tumbled the last few feet to the flight deck.



“What's going on here?” Father always remained polite, even when he was pounding on doors. “I'd like a word with you please.”



The pilot would have to listen to an Assembly elder, one of the twelve most important men in Corista, aside from the Regent himself. But Oriannon's father kept pounding, and Ori gripped the handle in front of her as they made another tight turn. Light from the three Trion suns blinded her for a moment as it passed through the window and caught her in the face. When she shaded her eyes,



she saw something else looming large and close.



“Father?” She tried to get his attention over all the noise. “I know where we are.”



But he only pounded harder, raising his voice above braking thrusters as they came on line. She felt a forward pull as the shuttle engines whined, then seemed to catch. Still they wagged and wobbled, nearly out of control. Outside, a pockmarked asteroid loomed



ever larger, while sunlight glittered off a tinted plexidome built into the surface.



From here the dome didn't seem much larger than Regent Jib Ossek Academy back home, but Oriannon knew it covered what would have been a deep impact crater on the near side of the huge space rock's surface. This was obviously no planet, only a remote way station called Asylum 4 -- one of twelve ancient Asylum outposts.



Why had their shuttle diverted here?



By this time everyone else on the shuttle must have seen the asteroid out their windows as well. Now it filled each viewport with close-ups of the tortured surface, scarred by thousands of hits from space debris and tiny asteroids. But instead of an announcement over the intercom, shuttle passengers were met only with a strange



silence from the flight deck.



“I insist that you -- ” Oriannon's father couldn't finish his demand as he was thrown from his feet by the impact. Oriannon's forehead nearly hit the back of the seat in front of her. A loud squeal of scraping metal outside told everyone they'd made full contact with Asylum 4's docking port.



And then only silence, as the engines slowly powered down. Her father rose to his feet, and no one spoke for a long, tense moment. Air rushed through a lock, and they heard the pilot's emergency hatch swing free. Still, the twenty-one passengers could only sit and wait, trapped in their sealed compartment without any word



of explanation and without any fresh air. A couple



of men rose to their feet and pushed to the front.



“We need to get out of here!” announced one, but Oriannon's father put a stop to it with a raised hand.



“Just be patient,” he told them. “I'm certain we'll find out what happened in a moment.”



Or two.



Several minutes later they heard footsteps and a shuffling before the main hatch finally swept open and they were met with a rush of cool air -- and a curious stare.



“Are you people quite all right?” A small man in the rust-colored frock of a scribe looked nearly as confused as Oriannon felt.



“Where's your pilot?”



“We were hoping you would tell us.” Oriannon's father tried to take charge of the chaos that followed as everyone shouted at once, trying to find answers in a place that only held more questions. Why were they brought here, instead of back to Corista?



“Please!” The scribe held up his hands for silence. He didn't look as if he was used to this much company -- or this much shouting-- all at once. And how old was he? Oriannon couldn't be sure, though he appeared wrinkled as a dried aplon, and wispy white hair circled his ears as if searching for a way inside. Yet his pleasant green eyes sparkled in an impish, almost pleasant sort of way, and



judging by the way his eyes darted from side to side, he seemed to miss nothing.



“I'm very sorry for the confusion,” he continued, “but all are welcome here at Asylum Way Station 4. As you probably know, it's the tradition of the Asylum outposts to welcome all visitors. Although I must say . . .”



He glanced at the hatch beside him, where trim along the bottom edge had bent and twisted during the rough landing. The ship's skin, though gouged and damaged, appeared not to have been breached. It could have been worse.



“Whoever piloted your craft here was either in a very great hurry, or perhaps in need of a bit more practice in the art of landing.”



No doubt about that. But as her father introduced himself, Oriannon noticed the hatch hydraulics hissing a little too loudly while an odd thumping sound came from inside the craft's wall, weak but steady.



“I'm Cirrus Main,” the scribe went on, bowing slightly to her father. “And we're especially honored to greet a member of the Assembly. I cannot recall the last time we enjoyed a visit from an elder, though I should consult our station archives to be sure. There was a day, several generations ago, when -- ”



“But what about the pilot?” interrupted another passenger, a serious-faced man a bit younger than her father. “Didn't you see him? We didn't fly here ourselves, you know.”



The scribe seemed taken aback by their rudeness, blinking in surprise.



“Please pardon my lack of an immediate answer for you,” he replied, holding his fingertips together and his lips tight. “Most of us were otherwise occupied in the library when this incident occurred. However, in time I will inquire as to whether your pilot was seen disembarking and attempt to discern his or her disposition.”



“The pilot will answer to the Assembly,” replied Oriannon's father. “We were returning from a diplomatic mission to the Owling capital on the other side of the planet and on our way back to our capital city of Seramine. We should never have been brought all the way out here.”



“Ah, but do not all things work for good to those who are called according to . . .” The scribe forced a shy smile, opened his mouth to say something else, then seemed to change his mind. “But never mind. Our protocols here on Asylum 4 require us to offer sanctuary to all, you see, no matter the circumstances.”



“Sanctuary?” barked the serious man. “We need some answers, and you're -- ”



“As I said.” The scribe raised his hand for peace. “We simply cannot say who brought you here, other than the Maker himself. However, we are quite pleased it appears you're all unharmed.”



Yes, they were. But then the shouting started all over again, most of it to do with who was to blame for this unscheduled stop, who was going to be late for their appointments, and how soon they'd be able to get home. Finally their host had to raise his hand once more.



“Please let me assure you that despite the apparent confusion of the moment, we will extend every effort to make your stay as comfortable as possible, so that you may return to Seramine in due course. In the meantime, I trust you'll agree to observe our protocol.”



“Remain silent before the Codex.” Oriannon quoted an obscure, ancient commentary. “And at peace before all.”



“Who said that?” Cirrus Main searched the crowd with a curious expression. She shrank behind another passenger so he wouldn't see, but couldn't quite hide her head of tousled black hair.



“My daughter is an eidich,” explained Oriannon's father, taking his place at the front of the little crowd. “Oriannon remembers everything she reads in the ancient book. Every word.”



That was true most of the time, with certain annoying exceptions over the past several months that no one needed to know about.



“I'm familiar with eidichs,” answered the scribe, raising his eyebrows at Oriannon. She couldn't really hide. “Although there were once many more than there are today. In fact, when I first came from Asylum 7, years ago, we knew of several . . .”



His voice trailed off as he seemed to put aside the memory with a sad shake of his head.



“I'm sorry.” His face reddened. “You didn't come here to hear an old man's stories. But perhaps you'll find clarity here. That is, after all, the purpose for which this outpost was created. So if you'll follow me, I would be most pleased to show you the facilities.”



“We do appreciate your hospitality,” said her father, looking around at the group, “but we can only stay a short time, until we get another pilot and the shuttle is prepared to return.”



Oriannon shivered -- but not because of the cool, musty air that smelled of far-off worlds, aging dust, and something else she couldn't quite identify. She followed as Cirrus Main led them through narrow hallways blasted out of rough, iron-stained rock. They walked through a network of prefabricated but obviously ancient modules anchored to the surface of the asteroid at three or four levels. Chalky rust tarnished most of the walls. And through viewports she could see the sheer face of the crater rising up on all sides around them before finally meeting the umbrella of the plexidome above. This place had obviously been constructed generations ago. She craned her neck to see hanging gardens and flowing plants



cascading from terraces cut precariously into crater walls. The scent of cerise and flamboyan joined rivulets coursing over small waterfalls as moisture condensed on the inside of the dome. She found it odd to discover the faint perfume of Coristan flowers at such a remote outpost.



“I suppose it's a bit like living in a greenhouse,” their host admitted, ducking past a stream of spray. “It is an environment, however, to which one becomes accustomed.”



They paused for a moment to watch a viria bird flitter across the upper expanse inside the dome. Here, under the plexidome and against the cold void of space, the freedom of small fluttering wings appeared strangely out of place.



“Remain close behind me, please,” he told them. “Our environment is rather fragile, as I'm sure you can appreciate.”



By now Oriannon had made her way to the front of the group, where she could hear everything Cirrus Main told them about the water recycling system and the gardens, and the delicate balance of work and study that made their home livable. Here and there other residents, each one dressed in red work coveralls, quietly tended the gardens, harvesting fruit and adjusting irrigation controls. None seemed to notice that this group had been brought here under strange circumstances, or even that they had been brought here at all. Oriannon saw a young face staring at them from the far end of the dome, but the little girl ducked out of sight behind a humming generator.



“Some of us have families here.” Cirrus Main must have noticed the little girl as well. But he didn't stop as he led them up a stairway, through a set of noisy airlocks, and finally back into a large, high-ceilinged room where ten or twelve other red-frocked scribes sat at tables, leaning close to each other in animated discussions. Here the polished stone floor contrasted with the worn look of the rest of the station, while the dark pluqwood trim and carefully inlaid ceiling of planets and stars in copper and stone suggested a different type of room. Certainly it looked less utilitarian than the rest. Cirrus gestured at a wall filled with shelves.



“Our library.” He crossed his arms with obvious satisfaction and lowered his voice, as if they had entered a holy place. Oriannon carefully picked up a leather-backed volume from a stack on a nearby stone table. “Mainly theological, but also a bit of the fine arts,” he said. “Some of Corista's finest ancient philosophers, Rainott, Ornix . . . You know them?”



Of course she did -- at least every word that had ever been digitally transcribed. Oriannon nodded as she riffed through the pages, sensing something entirely different among them. Here the carefully inscribed words came alive in a way that the ones in her e-books never could. Each page appeared hand printed, in a script that flowed carefully across each line with a sort of measured serendipity. Here a real person with hopes and dreams had actually written the words on a page -- laboriously, lovingly, one letter at a time. Some of the pages even showed flourishes and highlights, making the book more a work of art than merely a collection of thoughts.



“I've never . . .” She held back a sneeze. “. . . seen so many old books in one place. Back home they're all under glass.”



“Like everyone else,” he told her, slipping the book from her hands and holding it up for the others to see. “You're accustomed to words in their digital form. Here we study the Codex as it was first recorded -- in books and on pages, scribed by hand many generations ago, in a day when we still had calligraphers among us. They brought us words from the Maker's heart, straight to the page.”



He sighed deeply as a couple of the other passengers stood off at a distance, arms crossed and muttering something about how old books weren't going to help get them off this rock. But he smiled again as he lovingly smoothed a page before returning the book to its place on the table.



“We seek the Maker in these pages,” he said, closing his eyes and rocking back on his heels. He paused as if actually praying. “Sometimes, if we're very quiet, we can hear his whisper.”



In the books? Oriannon thought she might hear such a whisper too, as she listened to water tinkling from outside and the gentle murmur of scribes discussing their wondrous, ancient volumes. In fact she could have stayed there much longer, but their silence was interrupted by hurried footsteps as a younger scribe burst into the room and whispered something obviously urgent in Cirrus Main's ear. The older man's face clouded only a moment before a peaceful calm returned.



“Your pilot seems to have been found,” he told them. “Locked inside a storage compartment in your shuttle. We have yet no idea how he came to be there, only that one of our maintenance people located him.”



“Alive?” asked Oriannon. She shuddered at the thought.



“Oh, I'm alive, all right.”



Oriannon and the others turned to see the Coristan shuttle pilot in his cerulean blue coveralls standing at the entry through which they'd just stepped. He rubbed the back of his neck.



“But I'll tell you something,” he added, his voice booming through the library. All the scribes froze at their seats. “When I find the Owling who hijacked us, he's going to wish he'd stayed on his side of the planet.”







It is time to play a Wild Card! Every now and then, a book that I have chosen to read is going to pop up as a FIRST Wild Card Tour. Get dealt into the game! (Just click the button!) Wild Card Tours feature an author and his/her book's FIRST chapter!



You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Comments

Popular Posts

Bethany House Publishers Cover Survey Invitation

Captain's Log, Supplemental I just got this from Bethany House Publishers: Hello Reader, We at Bethany House Publishers appreciate our readers opinions about the books we publish. Occasionally, we seek your input about upcoming products. Currently, we are conducting a survey about the cover image for an upcoming novel. For your time, we are offering a giveaway in conjunction with this survey. You will be able to choose from ten recent Bethany House novels, and there will be ten winners. Winners will be notified within two weeks. Click here to take the survey, which should take about 10 minutes to complete. Thank you for your participation, and feel free to forward this email on to your friends or link the survey on your website. The survey will be available through Monday, September 17. Thanks for your time and your opinions. We value your feedback. Sincerely, Jim Hart Internet Marketing Manager Bethany House Publishers

Save the Date - Camy's Patreon Launch

My Patreon will launch in 1 week! I took all the results of the poll and I have hopefully created fun and appealing tiers. About my Patreon: I'm trying something new for the next 6-7 months. If it works, I'll continue, but if I end up not liking it, I'll stop it in September or October. I will be starting a monthly subscription membership on a new Patreon account. I will be posting the chapters of my current book ( Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 7 ) so you can read ahead of when the ebook will be edited and published. My current plan is to post 1-2 chapters weekly. One reason I’m switching things up is that I want to get closer to my readers and build a tighter, more intimate community with you. You can comment on each chapter of my book, give a reaction, ask a question, or even correct mistakes. My books will become a dialogue with you. If you subscribe to my Patreon, you'll be charged monthly and have access to all the benefits for the tier you subscribe to. The

No Cold Bums toilet seat cover

Captain's Log, Stardate 08.22.2008 I actually wrote out my pattern! I was getting a lot of hits on my infamous toilet seat cover , and I wanted to make a new one with “improvements,” so I paid attention and wrote things down as I made the new one. This was originally based off the Potty Mouth toilet cover , but I altered it to fit over the seat instead of the lid. Yarn: any worsted weight yarn, about 120 yards (this is a really tight number, I used exactly 118 yards. My suggestion is to make sure you have about 130 yards.) I suggest using acrylic yarn because you’re going to be washing this often. Needle: I used US 8, but you can use whatever needle size is recommended by the yarn you’re using. Gauge: Not that important. Mine was 4 sts/1 inch in garter stitch. 6 buttons (I used some leftover shell buttons I had in my stash) tapestry needle Crochet hook (optional) Cover: Using a provisional cast on, cast on 12 stitches. Work in garter st until liner measures

Tabi socks, part deux

Captain's Log, Stardate 07.25.2008 (If you're on Ravelry, friend me! I'm camytang.) I made tabi socks again! (At the bottom of the pattern is the calculation for the toe split if you're not using the same weight yarn that I did for this pattern (fingering). I also give an example from when I used worsted weight yarn with this pattern.) I used Opal yarn, Petticoat colorway. It’s a finer yarn than my last pair of tabi socks, so I altered the pattern a bit. Okay, so here’s my first foray into giving a knitting pattern. Camy’s top-down Tabi Socks I’m assuming you already know the basics of knitting socks. If you’re a beginner, here are some great tutorials: Socks 101 How to Knit Socks The Sock Knitter’s Companion A video of turning the heel Sock Knitting Tips Yarn: I have used both fingering weight and worsted weight yarn with this pattern. You just change the number of cast on stitches according to your gauge and the circumference of your ankle. Th

Sweet Romance Reads: How do you celebrate accomplishments?

I’m at the Sweet Romance Reads blog and Facebook group talking about finishing my book and posting a poll about how you usually celebrate accomplishments. Check out the blog or Facebook group to weigh in!

Psalm 103:2-3

Psalm 103:2-3 Dear Lord, Thank you, Lord, for all you’ve done for me. Don’t let me forget that you are always blessing me whether I notice it or not. Thank you for forgiving my sins, and thank you for healing me. I trust you and love you, Lord. Amen 詩篇103:2-3 親愛なる主よ、 主よ、あなたが私のためにしてくださったすべてのことに感謝します。私が気づこうが気づくまいが、あなたはいつも私を祝福してくださっていることを、私に忘れさせないでください。私の罪を赦し、癒してくださってありがとうございます。主よ、あなたを信じ、あなたを愛します。 アーメン

FREE: Hidden Currents by Christy Barritt

Join Christy’s email list to get this story free! A notorious gang puts a bounty on Detective Cady Matthews’s head after she takes down their leader, leaving her no choice but to hide until she can testify at trial. But her temporary home across the country on a remote North Carolina island isn’t as peaceful as she initially thinks. Living under the new identity of Cassidy Livingston, she struggles to keep her investigative skills tucked away, especially after a body washes ashore. When local police bungle the murder investigation, she can’t resist stepping in. But Cassidy is supposed to be keeping a low profile. One wrong move could lead to both her discovery and her demise. Can she bring justice to the island . . . or will the hidden currents surrounding her pull her under for good? Hidden Currents is the first book in the six-book Lantern Beach Mystery series. Each book contains a standalone mystery, but there are overarching mysteries within the entire series. Get it now for

Chopsticks and knitting

Hahahahaha! My husband, Captain Caffeine sent me this cartoon. The Asian and the knitter in me loves this one: My parents taught me to use chopsticks at an early age so they’re pretty comfortable for me. Did you know there are differences between Japanese and Chinese chopsticks? The Chinese ones tend to be blunter and more slippery whereas the Japanese ones are pointier and sometimes have a textured tip to make it easier to grab food. My mom will eat salad with a chopstick, which I have to admit is a bit easier than a fork, for me. Any of you knit? Any of you use chopsticks?

ICRS, part 2

Captain’s Log, Stardate 07.14.2006 For all you writers —check out my Story Sensei critique service Summer Sale ! Ends tomorrow! Blog book giveaway: My Monday book giveaway is ARMS OF DELIVERANCE by Tricia Goyer. My Thursday book giveaway is TANGLED MEMORIES by Marta Perry . You can still enter both giveaways. Just post a comment on each of those blog posts. On Monday, I'll draw the winner for ARMS OF DELIVERANCE and post the title for another book I'm giving away ICRS, part 2 (continued from part 1 ): Sue Brower had invited me to the Christy awards that night and I was so thrilled to get to go. Everyone looked gorgeous. I’ve never seen Brandilyn Collins or Meredith Efken in anything besides jeans before. I hadn’t seen Sue Brower in two years and I was deathly afraid I wouldn’t recognize her, but Wendy introduced me and saved me from doing anything remotely stupid like, oh, walking past her. Sue immediately slammed me with the big dogs—she introduced me to the VPs of sales and

Grace Livingston Hill romances free to read online

I wanted to update my old post on Grace Livingston Hill romances because now there are tons more options for you to be able to read her books for free online! I’m a huge Grace Livingston Hill fan. Granted, not all her books resonate with me, but there are a few that I absolutely love, like The Enchanted Barn and Crimson Roses . And the best part is that she wrote over 100 books and I haven’t yet read them all! When I have time, I like to dive into a new GLH novel. I like the fact that most of them are romances, and I especially appreciate that they all have strong Christian themes. Occasionally the Christian content is a little heavy-handed for my taste, but it’s so interesting to see what the Christian faith was like in the early part of the 20th century. These books are often Cinderella-type stories or A Little Princess (Frances Hodgson Burnett) type stories, which I love. And the best part is that they’re all set in the early 1900s, so the time period is absolutely fasci