THE STORY BEHIND THE SCENES: THE GREEN ROSE by Stephanie Burkhart
Ingredients for a Fantasy
1 pinch of honey
1 silver spoon
a bouquet of flowers, preferably green roses
a couple of swords and dragons
and a healthy imagination.
Mix well, and don't forget the magic to hold it all together and you've got: The Green Rose. J
My latest release is "The Green Rose," a fantasy romance, but the inspiration for this story came from a very simple writing prompt.
One place that I enjoy hanging out and that has really helped me grow as a writer is http://www.writing.com. I've been a member since 2004 and a Moderator since 2007. It's a wonderful source of information for new and aspiring writers. In fact, I'm one of the editors on the Romance/Love Newsletter. You can find my "port" at: http://www.writing.com/main/portfolio/view/sgcardin
On occasion, I like to participate in the contests offered at Writing.com. I was cruising the contest list in 2008 when I found one that intrigued me. The prompt was simple: write a story about a flower, a spoon, and honey.
I knew right away I wanted to write a fantasy story with those ingredients. Magic would be the "egg" that held the story together. I wrote a 1,000 word story where the hero, Ivánstan, approaches three witches to ask them for the green rose. Before they give it to him, he has to solve a riddle. Can Ivánstan outwit the witches?
The short story was well received on writing.com, earning a 10K Awardicon. It was such fun to write, I knew I wanted to expand on it. In 2010, I approached Gail Delaney at Desert Breeze and showed her the story. She offered it a contract.
The last couple of ingredients fell into place with "Game of Thrones." Last year HBO released season one and I fell in love with the visual presentation of the series. (and Daenerys' dragons!) Now that I had the visual setting for "The Green Rose," I was ready to write Ivánstan's story.
REVIEWS FOR THE GREEN ROSE:
5 Stars, Scorching Book Reviews
I don't read much romantic fantasy, but this was so well structured and so lovely, I could not put it down.
Stephenia Mcgee, Author "A Legacy of Lies"
Stephanie Burkhart weaves a delightful blend of action, intrigue and adventure into her fantasy romance, The Green Rose.
Regina Andrews, Author of "Destiny's Designs"
"The Green Rose" reaches the reader on an emotional level that rings very true and very sincere.
Eight hundred years ago on the continent of Gaia, war rocked the countries of N'Gasse, Tapin, Daháka, and Ravenrock. The fearsome wyldebeasts of the black east threatened to destroy the known world. King Xeres of Daháka gathered the most powerful magicians of Gaia along with Queen Rhysia of N'Gasse, King Erik of Ravenrock, and Nyla, the High Priestess of Tapin at Komodo Field.
Daháka brought pollen taken from the bees of the Tagrassé Forest. N'Gasse brought sap from the old mahogany trees. Tapin presented dust from falcon eggs. Ravenrock offered a rose. Together, they forged the indestructible green rose, a harbinger of powerful magic.
Using the green rose, the nobles and peoples of Gaia fought the wyldebeasts, led by the dark wizard, Augustin. Once the evil threat was defeated, the Eastern Wall was built along Ravenrock's borders to keep the foul wyldebeasts out of Gaia. Ravenrock was given the responsibility of guarding the 50,000 kilometer granite barrier.
King Xeres feared those who harbored evil in their hearts would seek the green rose. He tasked three witches to guard the flower and sent them into the heart of Tagrassé Forest.
Now, hundreds of years later, the peace of Gaia is once again threatened.
Enjoy this excerpt:
"Ivánstan, look." Sonia pointed. In the distance, the river widened. A small island came into view. Several birch trees and bushes surrounded a sturdy looking brick house with a distended chimney.
"Ah, the witches. Draco, stay close. We don't want to upset them."
"I sense an unusual warmth inviting us closer, perhaps?"
"I do as well. I believe it's an enchantment."
"Alerting the witches?"
"Aye." He paused. "Well done, by the way -- reaching out with your magical senses."
"I have a skilled teacher."
"Thank you, but I think you'll find the more you use magic, the more you grow comfortable with it."
The island grew closer, but Ivánstan couldn't find any activity with his eyesight. Where were the witches?
A small dock came into view on the northeast corner of the island. Ivánstan and Sonia guided their horses to a spot across from the island docks. He motioned to stop and dismounted. Sonia did the same.
"Draco, stay close to us. Don't approach the isle."
His dragon landed next to Sonia.
"What now?" she asked.
"I'm not quite sure. How do we obtain the witches' attention?" He scrubbed his hand across the back of his neck.
He didn't have to ponder the question long. The ropes securing a boat to the dock began to unravel, and the small vessel journeyed across the water, coming to rest alongside the shore. Ivánstan glanced across the water toward the brick house. The chimney began puffing smoke, but he did not see any witches.
"I wonder why they stay in the house?" Sonia mused.
"Curious. Certainly the boat is an invitation to the island." Ivánstan led his horse to a nearby tree and Sonia did the same.
"Draco, stay here."
His dragon snorted.
"Hiro, I want you to stay as well and watch over the horses," said Sonia. The falcon flew off her shoulder and perched on a nearby tree limb.
"Are you ready?" he asked.
Ivánstan steeled his shoulders before stepping into the boat. He held out his hand to Sonia. Their eyes locked. The weight of the moment washed over him. He could not leave without the rose.
Sonia's grasp was firm, but the second she placed her foot on the wood, she flew backward and landed on the dirt. Quickly, she scampered to her feet.
The Green Rose is available as an ebook only.
PUBLISHER'S SITE Desert Breeze Publishing
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