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Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Nine Levels of Hell - Phantom Hearts

Been working on Phantom Hearts and reading Dante's Inferno, (the first part of Dante Alighieri's epic poem, The Divine Comedy), where he visits the nine levels of Hell (the 14th century version). The nine levels are: limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, anger, heresy, violence, fraud, and treachery.  My heroine travels to Hell and visits a rather updated, ironic version of the rings, which should be a blast to write! So far I've worked out three of the nine, so lots of work to do yet. I thought it might be fun to talk about each level as I move through writing my book. So here is week one's...

RING ONE: LIMBO

This is the place where everyone who is not baptized goes to spend eternity. The grass is green, the place is pleasant, and there is a castle with seven gates represented the seven virtues. (That's a lot of gates!) All the wise men of antiquity live in the castle, of course, including Virgil (Dante's guide), Homer, Horace, Hippocrates, and even Julius Caesar. In other words all virtuous non-Christians. I'm wondering if he wandered the world today who he would meet in purgatory...

During his visit to limbo, he meets Minos, a creature that deals out the fate of those who are descending down to the other eight levels of hell. Minos takes the shape of a giant serpent (of course) and delivers his verdict by wrapping his coils around his body the corresponding number of time to the level of Hell.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

WINNERS OF STARSIGHT FLASH BLOG TOUR!


Sorry about the delay in picking winners for last week's flash blog hop for Starsight... I put in so much overtime this week I can't see straight! Anyway, I'm proud to announce the two winners of the 1st and 2nd grand prizes...

$100 Gift Certificate from Amazon: JEAN PAQUIN
Autographed copies of Starsight I & II: YAMI NEKO

Congratulations, ladies! I'm sending goodies packages to everyone else who entered... just send your name and address to mmeador@minnettemeador.com and I'll one out to you!

www.minnettemeadorbooks.com

Sunday, April 8, 2012

DAY FIVE - THE STARGUIDERS

DAY FIVE, SUNDAY, APRIL 8, 2012
(for contest rules visit: CONTEST RULES)


Today's Daily Prize: Winner's choice of any one of Minnette's Kindle books on Amazon.

Today's Treasure Hunt Challenge
: Searching the internet, find an excerpt from The She Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey. Question: What would the child become after it was born? MAKE SURE TO EMAIL YOUR ANSWER TO: mmeador@minnettemeador.com - Good luck!


 Today's Daily Question
(Answer found in Chapter One of Starsight) What are Starmoths?  EMAIL YOUR ANSWER TO: mmeador@minnettemeador.com - Good luck!

BONUS DISCUSSION: PRIZE - GOODIE PACKAGE!
Studying the different levels of the Power below, which one would you like to attain and what would you do with it? Leave your answers in the Comments section below.
 
STARGUIDERS
 
A couple of days ago, I printed an essay on the history of The Crystal which talks about the origins of the Starguiders. Today, I'll outline a bit about what they can do and when they can do it.
 
THE LEVELS
First Trial or Coming to Power- COLOR: WHITE - When novice starguiders have their first confrontation with the power. When they can control it, they are capable of the first level of guidance. This is actually the most dangerous of all levels because of the unpredictable nature of the power. Young pre-guiders can easily die at first trial or go mad from the touch of the power. This level gives them a small degree of prescience, some telekinesis, and the beginnings of clarity of thinking. Once a child has reached First Trial, he or she must be relocated to Mathisma for training due to the increased possibility of inadvertently hurting other around them.

Second Trial or Coming to Knowledge - COLOR: BLUE - Enables one to learn quickly. It is at this stage you begin to develop your sight, the ability to read minds and futures to varying degrees. At Second Trial you begin to control your abilities. Most guiders stay at this level for year, well into their adulthood. You can guide a pre-guider after second trial or teach on Mathisma.

Third Trial or Coming to Nature  - COLOR: GREEN - Gives the Starguider power over trees, grass, wind, rain, etc., helping them to be—well, more than they are. A well-trained 3rd Trial can manipulate the weather, cure animals and even humans in some of the more advanced stages. They have full use of the Voice, being able to control others by soothing out situations with certain tones or convincing others to see their side of it. They are also the top teachers at Mathisma and around the Imperium. 

Fourth Trial or Master of Power - COLOR: AMBER - Extremely rare. The amber light denotes a combination of all the lower powers. The accepted philosophy is that the amber increases the discipline that comes with the white, enhances the sight that comes with the blue, and gives more control over nature that comes with the green. 


Saturday, April 7, 2012

DAY FOUR - THE PEOPLE OF STARSIGHT


DAY FOUR, SATURDAY, APRIL 7, 2012
(for contest rules visit: CONTEST RULES)




Today's Daily Prize: Winner's choice of any one of Minnette's Kindle books on Amazon.

Today's Treasure Hunt Challenge
: Do a search on the internet for Derrick Freeland and find his artwork. What is his link to these books and what distinctive feature does Minnette's logo have on his site? MAKE SURE TO EMAIL YOUR ANSWER TO: mmeador@minnettemeador.com - Good luck!


 Today's Daily Question
(Answer found in Chapter One of Starsight) What happened sixty seasons before this story starts and changed the world forever? EMAIL YOUR ANSWER TO: mmeador@minnettemeador.com - Good luck!

BONUS DISCUSSION: PRIZE - GOODIE PACKAGE!
  Studying the outlines below, which character would you most like to meet and why? Leave your answers in the Comments section below.

 

THE FOUR COMPANIONS:

TRENARA - 2nd Trial Starguider

"There was no mistaking the Starguider Trenara, even at that distance. Her tall, slim figure was held straight in the saddle, a magnificent silver mane of wayward hair flowing behind her like a tempest, despite feeble attempts to tame it. Piercing azure blue eyes shone from a face that seemed ageless, despite soft lines and the mantle of gray around it. Her beauty was still striking, and she often turned heads, even at fifty-two seasons." Starsight, Vol. I - Chapter One

JOSHAN JENHADA THORINGALE - First Prince of The Imperium  
"
Trenara spotted the lad and gave him a curt nod, catching the flash in the young eyes. Joshan had the oval shape of his mother’s face and the dark coloring of his father, but the eyes, not the mother’s nor even the father’s, shone brown-black in the mid-morning light and were distinctly his own.
" Starsight, Vol. I - Chapter One

HAIDEN BAILS - Sergeant of the Gate Guard - Master of Training to Joshan
“No, no, lad!” Haiden brought his quarterstaff up and pounded it into the ground. He wiped sweat from his brow with the back of his hand and spat into the dust at his feet. “Put your back into it, not your arms. I’ve seen you fight better with your nurse.”

     Joshan, perhaps half the size of the grizzly older man and a fraction of his age, circled around, and adjusted his grip; this man was notorious for his speed and trickery. The boy’s tunic was streaked with sweat and his face red with exertion. With energy he didn’t feel, Joshan again lunged at Haiden uselessly.
" Starsight, Vol. I - Chapter One


CAPTAIN VANDERLINDEN - ONE-EYED SEA CAPTAIN/MASTER OF THE VILLAGE
"The giant lit a lamp and turned it very low, giving Joshan a sinister stare. He was very dark, with a tangle of black hair and beard that meshed together to hide most of a rugged, stormy face, with one black eye visible and the other covered by a dirty patch. He towered over Joshan by a good five hands and exceded his girth by half again as much. There was a long jagged scar that ran from under the patch to the general vicinity of his chin, disappearing in a snarl of unkempt beard."  Starsight, Vol. I, Chapter Seven

CAST OF CHARACTERS (In Order of Appearance)
TRENARA - Second Trial Starguider to Joshan

HAIDEN BAILS - Sergeant of the Gate Guard & the First Prince’s weapons instructor
JOSHAN JENHADA THORINGALE - First Prince, Heir to the emperor’s throne
JENHADA THORINGALE EVENSON - Emperor of the Eight Provinces - Keeper of Mathisma - Joshan’s father
PRAVIUS - Councilor of Justice - Advisor to Emperor Jenhada
ENA - Trenara’s aide
SALDORIAN - Jenhada’s consort - Joshan’s mother
VANDERLINDEN - One-eyed sea captain - Master of the Village
WERT - Van’s friend from the Village
MATI FORESONS - Innkeeper at Foresons Lodge
PAP - Barman from “Pap’s Pub” in the Village
SARK DUMONTAIRE - A mercenary from the Village
SHAWN - One of Van’s lieutenants
BORIC - One of Van’s lieutenants
TIGE - She is one of Sark’s lieutenants
JONA - A private in the Elite Corps
THIELS - A lieutenant in the Elite Corps
ANNO - One of Pravius’s northern guards
KIT - One of Pravius’s northern guards
MOLLY - Madame of The House
DONNALLY - Sark’s first lieutenant
DOTTIE - Saldorian’s lady - Joshan’s nursemaid
BALINAR - Sirdar’s captain
TAM - Vanderlinden’s First Mate
TAK - Clurichaune from The Grotto
THE DALIGON - Sirdar’s Champion
LEOGAN- Soldier from Felos
SIRDAR - Lord of Badain
SAL CARRIMAN - Imperial sail maker
DEINOS - A reptilian creature serving Sirdar
WITEN - Prelate of Assemblage
GRANDOR - Keep of the Books, Mathisma
ACON - Witen’s servant
PALARINE - Provost Elect of Assemblage
THE CRYSTAL OF HEALING - Assemblage’s Power
THORINGALE - Joshan’s grandfather
NINIA - Vanderlinden’s mother
NOCINE - Prince of the North
NORSK - King of the North
KRIKOS - Goddess of Life
VENTUS - Goddess of the Wind