Welcome to The Spectra Books blog! The Spectra Books are fantasy books all set in the same world, by author Christie Valentine Powell. This blog includes writing articles, sneak peeks, book recommendations, and more.
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Have you ever had an experience where you've walked into a group and realized that you've found your people? That's how I felt when I attended my first ANWA (American Night Writers Association) conference. I'd always thought I was weird for carrying around an old notebook and scribbling stories during every free moment, but ANWA introduced me to other writers who have similar values and religious beliefs as I do. It was an amazing experience.
I encourage more people to find groups that appeal to them. Maybe it's a hobby, or a church, or a group of friends.
I've been interested in finding a book like Now We Are Animals for a while. However, every time I've searched for such a book, I found steamy stories using the idea of humans treated like animals for the shock value. This book was exactly what I was looking for. It gets dark, sure, but the themes revolve around what makes us human, what makes us sentient. It resolves with hope, that yes, we are animals, and we are also human, and that's an amazing thing.
You can't go wrong with Terry Pratchett! Admittedly, I've only read a few of his books, but The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents has his hallmark humor that explores deep questions when animals start becoming sentient (so like, the opposite of the previous book?)
Here's my latest kindle vella find, The Assassin's Bride by Anastasis Blythe. Obviously, with assassin in the title, there is violence, but the story doesn't glorify it, use it for shock value, or treat it too lightly. Instead, it deals with the real humanity of the people involved (even the one that's not human)--their trauma, their thoughts and emotions, and very real, relatable reactions.
Is anyone else an avid daydreamer? I've been studying what some call maladaptive daydreaming. It's not letting your thoughts wander, or planning out your future, or even figuring out what to write next. When I'm stuck in a daydream, I'm basically watching a movie unfold inside my head--a movie I get to direct and control. Is it maladaptive? I'm not sure. Usually after about a week, it fades and I'm more grounded in reality for a while, until I meet a new idea I just have to watch unfold. Part of my character Indra's struggle with living in dreams (literally) in the DreamRovers trilogy comes from me.
I bring it up because these daydreams end up being a goldmine of story ideas. I'd like to introduce you to a new story that started as a daydream. As I wrote down the basics of the daydream, I noticed its similarity to my favorite Shakespeare play, As You Like It. I combined both ideas into a new story, The Captain's Dowry.
Sal lives a double life--half at sea as her father's cabin boy, and half at a fine finishing school. Both worlds turn upside down when her father sells his ship and her hand in marriage. If her new husband thinks she'll stay quietly at home while he sails off into the sunset, he can think again. She won't stop until she finds a way to be herself--both of them.
If you'd like to read the first three chapters completely free, you can find them on kindle vella. (FAQ for how to read on kindle vella here). I'll be posting two chapters each week on kindle vella. If you'd rather wait for ebook, paperback, or Kindle Unlimited, the full book is coming out April 1, 2023. That'll give me time to finish all 45 chapters, have a few more beta readers look over it, and have a baby.