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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Starflower, by Anne Elisabeth Stengl Guest Post & Giveaway

Hello all of you wonderful bookish peeps.
So glad to have you good boys and girls joining us!
Today, in the happy land of laundry-less wonder, we’re privileged to be part of the one and only Prism Book Tours' Starflower tour.
I don’t know about you, but the name made me think of flower-power – you know, the incredibly cool power you get in the game Mario Brothers. With that alone, we’re off to a good start already. Just sayin'.

Now here’s a bit about our wonderful author, Anne Elisabeth Stengl:
Anne Elisabeth Stengl makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a passel of cats, and one long-suffering dog. When she's not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and studies piano, painting, and pastry baking. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University. She is the author of HEARTLESS, VEILED ROSE, MOONBLOOD, and STARFLOWER, with DRAGONWITCH due to release in 2013. HEARTLESS and VEILED ROSE have each been honored with a Christy Award.

Here's where Ms. Stengl can be found:

Now for Starflower's lovely book blurb:

When a cursed dragon-witch kidnaps the lovely Lady Gleamdren, Eanrin sets boldly forth on a rescue mission...and a race against his rival for Gleamdren's favor. Intent upon his quest, the last thing the immortal Faerie needs is to become mixed up with the troubles of an insignificant mortal.

But when he stumbles upon a maiden trapped in an enchanted sleep, he cannot leave her alone in the dangerous Wood Between. One waking kiss later, Eanrin suddenly finds his story entangled with that of young Starflower. A strange link exists between this mortal girl and the dragon-witch. Will Starflower prove the key to Lady Gleamdren's rescue? Or will the dark power from which she flees destroy both her and her rescuer?

So for those of you who’ve written a novel, or those who’ve ever attempted to write a novel, you know how hard it can be to decide how, when, and where to start the story. There’s so much to tell, and we have to open it up in a way that keeps the reader wanting to discover everything else the book has to offer.
Here, Ann Elisabeth shares how she came to the beginning of her novel, Starflower. She’s even going to share five – YES, FIVE – openings she tried out. To avoid any confusion, we’ll put Ms. Stengl’s words in a beautiful blue to match her cover:
"Although Starflower was story that had been in my head for many years, I found it very difficult to write the beginning. I simply could not figure out the best place to start! Here are some of the openings I tried:"

Draft One
Starflower was her father’s oldest child. Her mother died when she was very young, and she was not surprised when her father, who was the village Eldest, took another wife. Starflower was nine years old at the time, and she did not care for the new wife especially. She seemed to the girl a pretty, spoiled sort of woman with a rather too-large mouth.
But the baby sister she gave Starflower was the delight of her eyes.

Draft Two
“But where are you going?”
The question was asked with halting fingers forming shapes in the humid pre-dawn air. A silent question, but asked with no less anxiety than had the child spoken out loud.
The child’s older sister turned away, pretending not to have seen, and attended to her task. With a steady beat she drove a stake into the hard dirt at the bottom of the hill. The southern side of the hill, where one could not see the road winding north. Where one could not see if a company left the village, leaving one behind.

Draft Three
Her earliest memory was of a silver voice calling to her in a dark place. She realized later on that it was nothing but a dream. But it was a dream that visited her again and again, especially on nights when the moon was full.
Beyond the final water falling, it sang, The Song’s of Sphere’s recalling. Won’t you return to me?
At first, the dream frightened her. Once she woke up whimpering, and when her mother came to her and held her close, she tried to explain, her little hands moving falteringly. Her mother nodded just as though she understood. And when she put the child back to bed, her own gentle hands formed these words.
“You are hearing the Sphere Songs, Starflower. They are very old and very good. You need not be afraid.”

Draft Four
The king of Rudiobus held chief among his treasures a gold more precious by far than all others of the Faerie World. It was called the Flowing Gold, and spoken of in reverent tones as far back in history as anyone can recall. Some said that goblins and dwarves could mine for centuries and never discover a treasure like it, or that the Dragon King himself would give up all his hoard to own but a share of it.
So great is the power of rumor and legend. But in truth, there were only three people in any world, both Near or Far, who had ever set eyes upon the Flowing Gold of King Iubdan Tynan. These were the king, his queen, Bebo, and Bebo’s cousin and personal attendant, Lady Gleamdren. Otherwise, this gold was hidden from all eyes, and no one knew where even to look for it.

Draft Five
It began, he supposed, with his birth. That was so far gone in history, however, that he could never bother to remember it. Once he must have had a mother and father, but he did not remember them either. As far as his recollection took him, he had always been handsome. He had always worn scarlet. He had always danced, always sung every full-moon night in Ruaine Hall beneath Rudiobus Mountain. He had always bowed to Iubdan and Bebo, though in his heart, he served no one.
Life was long. Life was endless. Life circled round through seasons and centuries with scarcely a glance at little things like years. And with life stretching so endlessly before and behind, why should a man settle for anything less than the very best?

Anne Elisabeth goes on to say,
  "I ended up opening the story in a completely different place from all of these previous attempts! But ultimately, we all know the only way to begin a fairy tale is with Once Upon a Time . . ."
There you have it, kiddos. Any of those drafts grab your attention more than the others? We would all like to hear your thoughts on the matter, so clear your throat and speak up. Best part – you don’t even have to raise your hand. In my classroom, you get to blurt it right out loud!

Oh yeah – don’t forget to enter giveaway below. Books, swag, and all sorts of awesomeness up for grabs. Link to enter is just beneath the pics. Good luck, all! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway Check out the other cool kids on the block - I mean - tour:
3 - Anne Elisabeth Stengl - Launch!
3 -
Christy's Cozy Corners - Launch!
3 -
Letters to the Cosmos - Review
4 -
I Am a Reader, Not a Writer - The Kiss by the River
4 -
Confessions of a Female Bookaholic - Launch!
4 -
Kari's Crowded Bookshelf – Review - The River Calls to Starflower
5 -
Aleksandra's Corner - Inspired by Cats I
6 – The Reading Diaries – Review
6 – Bookworm LisaInspired by Cats II
7 – Motality Bites – PAGE reveal by Anne Elisabeth!!!
7 – Unputdownable BooksInspired by Cats III
9 – Passion and LifeNight Terrors – English & Spanish
10 – A Backwards StoryImraldera Meets the Dragonwitch
Rest of the tour...
12 - Aimee @ Getting Your Read On - Guest Post - The Faces of Love I
12 - Kimberly Krey @ Kimberly Krey - Guest Post - Drafts
13 - Abbi @ Christian Novels - Tales of Goldstone Wood Reviews
13 - Mandy @ The Reading Diaries - Interview
14 - Ivy @ Open the Page - Guest Post - The Faces of Love II
16 - Alicia @ Mortality Bites - Review
17 - Len @ Musings of a Reader Happy - Hightlight -Dragonwitch
17 - Jen @ Literally Jen -Review
18 - Beth @ Living a Goddess Life - Review
19 - Rach @ Stressed Rach -Guest Post - Illustrated Sneak Peak
19 - Christy @ Christy's Cozy Corners - Review
20 - Heather @ Proud Book Nerd -Review
20 - Heidi @ Geo Librarian -Guest Post - The Faces of Love III
21 - Jaime @ Goodreads - Review
21 - Finale @ Colorimetry -Giveaway winner announced.

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