Spring Scavenger Hunt

So glad you stopped by today. This is my first time participating in a Fiction Scavenger Hunt. It’s an honor for me to be included with these dozens of fiction authors whom I’ve long admired. And I’m excited about the interaction with readers–both those whom I already consider friends and those new to me. The prizes will amaze you…and so will these authors’ stories!
Spring-scavenger-collageThis hunt is a virtual scavenger hunt for clues that will lead you to and through the blogs of more than thirty Christian Fiction authors! You’ll find a new clue on each blog. The hunt begins on April 4 at noon Mountain time. Some posts will be up earlier, but the loop won’t be live until noon on that day. The hunt begins and ends at http://www.robinleehatcher.com/scavenger-hunt-stop-1/  If you stopped by for another reason but want to join, start at Robin Lee Hatcher’s blog. The hunt ends on April 6 at midnight Mountain. You have all weekend to complete the hunt, so there’s no need to race. It’s a journey!
You’ll collect a clue in red at each stop, writing them down as you go. Prizes include a Kindle Fire HDX + $100 gift certificate, and two runners-up will receive all 32 of our books. This hunt with its giveaway is open to international entrants.

And now, I’ll introduce the author I’m hosting today as one of the stops for the scavenger hunt. Donita K. Paul is a prolific author whom I first met through ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). One of my favorite memories of Donita is seeing the expression on her face when she was honored with the ACFW Mentor of the Year Award, a tribute to her heart for not only writing great stories but helping other writers create great stories, too.
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Donita K. Paul has been writing all her life but began to take it seriously when she retired early from teaching elementary. She’s written novels, novellas, picture books, short stories, and has contributed to craft books and compilations. What does she like best? The readers! (Donita and I share that in common! We may not write the same kinds of stories, but we love interacting with readers.)

 

Here’s what her recent book–One Realm Beyond–is about.

One Realm Beyond

In a fantasy world with flat planets and shapeshifting dragons, two young realm walkers try to identify evil before the wicked succeed in suppressing the people and controlling the powerful. Cantor and Bixby must count on what they’ve already learned because their trusted mentors have disappeared and those in authority are untrustworthy.

Donita sent along a behind-the-scenes look at the characters in One Realm Beyond that I think you’ll enjoy–an interview with the main character, Bixby.

Bixby, we understand that you live in a fantasy land, and we’d like to know more about your world.


Bixby:  First I better explain that I live on a system of planes. We don’t have planets. Our worlds are flat and stacked like pancakes only with space between them.  We don’t possess space travel technology so the travel between planes is left to realm walkers. 

What are realm walkers?

Portals between planes are opening and shutting around us all the time, but only realm walkers can see them and go through them.  You’re familiar with the Knights of the Round Table? Realm Walkers are like the knights, dedicated to helping the poor and defenseless, clinging to a code of honor, promoting peace, and serving their God. In our society, your God is called Primen, pronounced like “prime” with an n on the end like a prime number.

How does this have anything to do with your fame as a fashion designer?

Oh, my! Fame? I didn’t know. I just have a passion for clothes and accessories. Donita K. Paul has given me my own Pinterest board to help me keep things organized.  You can see my styles there. http://www.pinterest.com/donitakpaul/bixby-styling/ 

I wear my clothes in layers. The reason is twofold.  First when I go adventuring, I put on all the clothes I might need so that I don’t have to stop and unpack a hamper. I just re-layer what I have on so the suitable garment is on top.

A hamper? What is a hamper?”

The easiest way to explain a hamper is to have you think of Mary Poppins’ carpetbag when she pulls out many more things than could possibly fit. Things like hampers and the carpetbag are staples of fantasy literature.

I see. Ummm, you said there was another reason for wearing many layers.

Yes, this is one I don’t like to talk about. Like so many girls, and women in general, I have a bad body image.  I wish I could say I’m lithe or svelte, but the truth is I’m just plain skinny. I have literally slipped through a crack before. And a strong wind has picked me up and banged me against the garden wall in our backyard. Sometimes I have a hard time keeping my feet on the floor.  That’s not so bad now that I’ve learned to control floating. At first, it was just inconvenient.  Lots of layers give me the look of being more substantial.

Your backyard? Tell us a bit about your home.

Mom and Dad are the royal rulers of Richra, so our house is a palace, and the backyard is a formal garden.

You’ve lived an interesting life.

It didn’t get interesting until I met Cantor. It would take a whole book to tell that tale. Well, I guess it did.  Read One Realm Beyond to learn more about my fashions and my terrific friends.

One Realm Beyond book trailer

Thanks, Donita and Bixby. Not only would I like to read the book, but I can think of several of my grandchildren who would enjoy it, too.

Now for more on the HUNT!

THE SCAVENGER HUNT SKINNY:

Thanks for stopping by my website. Before you move on to Stop #17, Donita K. Paul’s own site http://dragonbloggin.blogspot.com  to pick up your next clue, be sure to write down this Stop #16  clue: “everyone else

If you happen to run into a broken link, here’s the place you can go to find links to all the author blogs: http://www.robinleehatcher.com/scavenger-hunt-participating-authors-stops/

But wait! There’s more! Two more important things, in fact. See below for an additional giveaway opportunity, explained in the Rafflecopter block here. Then, keep reading for exclusive information about MY upcoming release!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

PLEASE NOTE: It looks like this Rafflecopter Giveaway has ended. I haven’t been able to get it to kick in again. So I am keeping record of those who becoming new subscribers to my email list (mailing list) and blog followers. You too will be added to the giveaway. I’ve attempted to let Rafflecopter know about the problem so this widget time is extended to the duration of the Scavenger Hunt. But as of now, the widget does not reflect that. But do not fear. You still qualify if you sign up for the mailing list and blog subscription. OR leave me a COMMENT and I’ll include you.

The newsletter (mailing list) sign up and blog subscription forms are just to the left in the margin near the top of this post. PLEASE consider following me on www.facebook.com/CynthiaRuchtiReaderPage or www.twitter.com/cynthiaruchti!

Here’s an image of the bracelet:

eternally yoursNOW FOR THE BIG NEWS I’ve been eager to tell! My latest novel–All My Belongings–releases in one month! May 6th–just in time for Mother’s Day and in plenty of time for your summer reading. I couldn’t be more excited to reveal its new cover. You’re among the first to see it. Please help me spread the word about All My Belongings, which garnered a high honor as a rare starred review by PW (Publisher’s Weekly). Check out my book pages for more information. Doesn’t this cover draw you in to see what happens in that sunroom?

All My Belongings_MECH1.indd

 

You can pre-order a copy at your local bookstore or any of these sources (You’ll notice some don’t even have the new cover yet!):

Christian Book Distributors

Barnes & Noble

Family Christian Stores

LifeWay Stores

Parable 

Logos Bookstores

Amazon

Walking with a Spiritual Limp

You know it’s a bad day when you and your husband compare how much each other’s knees are swollen.Limping Couple

He’s still recuperating from breaking his leg last fall and feeling the aftereffects of the rod they rammed–to hear him tell it–through his femur to support the shattered bone. The rod ends just above the knee and thinks that’s a fine place for extra fluid to build up.

I’m almost two years beyond my knee replacement surgery on my right knee. Now it’s my left knee that swells, creaks, and groans.

We look far older than our years when we try to climb out of a car and know enough to give each other plenty of time for that Everest task. We stand at the bottom of a long flight of stairs and sigh before tackling it. Our freezer is filled with more ice packs than ice cream.

I tease that because of the soreness in his thigh and knee, my husband now walks like a pirate. A very handsome and taller-than-average pirate.

The limp is growing less noticeable. But it’s a reminder of damage done and healing still in process.

Is that what a spiritual limp does too? So many around us walk with a spiritual limp, with their “gait” affected by some damage from the past, long ago or recent. It takes them longer to move toward a challenge. They sigh at the foot of a trying experience, not sure they have the energy for the whole climb or that there’s hope they’ll reach the top still breathing. (See Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People’s Choices for more.)

If that’s you, please be assured God addressed even that in His Word. Hebrews 12 encourages us, “So strengthen your drooping hands and weak knees! Make straight paths for your feet so that if any part is lame, it will be healed rather than injured more seriously…Make sure no root of bitterness grows up that might cause trouble…” (verse 12 and 15, CEB).

Our spiritual limp can be healed. God’s counsel is two-fold: Watch where you’re going, and don’t let bitterness make this healing process harder than it already is.

If someone you know is sporting a pirate limp, is it your extended hand that will help him or her over the curb? Up the next step in their pain-wracked journey?

When has someone played that role for you? Not a crutch, but a steadying hand?