Writer Wednesday: Meet Tina Glasneck

tinagWelcome to Writer Wednesday! I’ve got a special treat for you today: Tina Glasneck, writer of mysteries, New Adult paranormal & fantasy romance!

Tina and I met via the Virginia Romance Writers and bonded over discussions of children versus writing time, etc. She’s so fun, so smart, and I don’t know how she does it, since she not only balances family with writing, but also has an amazing blog, Celebrate With A Book, through which she connects us with lots of authors from a wide variety of genres.

But today she’s not talking about them, she’s talking about herself and her latest release, romantic fantasy A Dragon’s Destiny! She’s giving us an in-depth view of understanding the role of Medieval Magic when creating A Dragon’s Destiny. Enjoy, and leave some love in the comments!

embraceName one interesting thing you learned in researching/writing your last book?

Research is quite important, even if one is writing romantic fantasy. A lover of learning, I wanted to make sure that my story, A Dragon’s Destiny, had those small details right, and then be able to take artistic license with it. I’ve always loved Medieval history and this was my chance to dive in and research all that my heart desired.

In my latest book, a fantasy romance, A Dragon’s Destiny, a woman, who feels like she is cursed, discovers that she is a dragon. She is then tossed back in time to the year 1520, and in this parallel world society is on the brink of war. The king is required to quash the paganism in his country. This is done at the hands of the Black Knight, who acts as the king’s executioner.

Medieval ancient illuminated manuscript with gregorian chant musicAs a theologian by training, I find history quite intriguing. For A Dragon’s Destiny, in order to get a lot of the historical facts regarding medieval history correct, I audited a class through the University of Barcelona (online through Coursera) called Magic in the Middle Ages. It speaks about the progression of magic being considered natural and good to our later understanding of it being considered evil, demonic and therefore requiring extinguishing. It explains how the Inquisition was used to eradicate old customs, or paganism.

What I had to take into consideration when creating my tale is that the Spanish Inquisition began in 1231, and by the end of the 14th century magic had been criminalized. It can even be argued that this criminalization gave rise to the crime of witchcraft (which in turn later affected Salem and modern-day America — in that the Wiccan religion was not recognized until 1980s).

Medieval inquisitor in the hood on the inquisitors tools background.Medieval history, also Church history, offers an abundance of fodder. For example, in the 14th century, pastoral visitations existed, whereby a bishop, or their envoy, would travel to the different localities and inquire as to that of its inhabitants and its ties to the church, i.e, did the locals still follow the rules, and more specifically if any among them were superstitious, or rather if any of the locals were known to participate in magic (or follow that of the pagan rituals). Those locals were then often blamed for bad things that occurred in the village, and subsequently brought to trial (ecclesiastical trial if the charges had to do with heresy), or trial by mob mentality (if related to secular laws, and therefore not under the authority of the Inquisitors), which seems to have resembled more of our obsession with reality TV.  Those who were considered guilty of heresy often found themselves at the stake.

onlygirlBy the 16th century and the Protestant Reformation (which began in 1517),  the crime of witchcraft had been on the books for almost 100 years. But the Inquisition would rage on until 1908, with the last registered execution held in 1826.

I placed my characters in such a world, where political intrigue abounds, true magic is in the air, and combine it with Norse mythology, and a great romance.

Thanks Margaret for having me on your blog and allowing me to share how research is important when creating fiction.

screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-3-27-27-pmA Bit About A Dragon’s Destiny

Curses are destined to be broken…

In this the first of the Dragons series, time travel and fantasy are weaved together in a fast-paced, funny yet emotional romance.

Jaz, a fish out of water in the real world, discovers that she is actually a dragon. She must seek her true destiny in another, parallel place.

There she discovers that Erich, the man she secretly lusts after in real time, is the Dark Knight. He’s ruthlessly extinguishing the ancient Norse religion in an emerging Christian world.

Is he the beloved Jaz is tasked to find in order to release her dragon heart?

Find A Dragon’s Destiny here: 

Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | 24 Symbols | Indigo | Angus & Robertson

A Bit About Tina:
Book pages in the shape of a heart

Tina Glasneck enjoys creating stories, would love to live in a castle, and can’t imagine a world without books. She’s addicted to coffee; believes in destiny and can be often seen staring into the distance musing over one thing or another.

She just released the first book in her new Dragons series, called A Dragon’s Destiny, and is looking forward to seeing where time-travel and her love of history and fantasy will take her and her storytelling next.

Want to connect further with Tina? Find her here:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Thanks so much for joining us, Tina! It was a pleasure to have you – especially since you brought dragons. 🙂 

The Final Flash! Friday Fiction, & A Thank You to Rebekah

“Balancing on the Brink.” Eagle Peak Summit, Chugach Mountains, Alaska. CC2.0 photo by Paxson Woelber.

A few weeks ago, fearless dragoness and Flash Friday leader Rebekah announced she was closing the weekly Flash! Friday competition. While we Flash writers are sad, I understand Rebekah’s desire to send us out into the world, and her desire to concentrate on her own novel writing (and, people, she is seriously one of the best writers I’ve ever read, so watch for her to storm the world soon.) Huzzah!

Though I wrote these two pieces for the final Flashversary contest last Friday, I waited to post them until today because a) I didn’t want Rebekah to see them while she was judging (in case she was going to pick ME ME ME to win!), and b) (and probably the more truthful answer) I’ve been neck-deep in episodes of Outlander for the last few days.

But here they are – my final two Flash! Friday stories, each 100 words on the dot, as prescribed by the rules. The photo prompt was optional, but we were required to start our stories with the sentence, “On Friday everything changed.” One of my tiny tales is funny & light, the other an homage to the woman, the contest, and my fellow writers who’ve given so very much to me. I am 100% certain if I had not had the support from this flash community and my Shenandoah Valley Writers, I would not be a published author today. So thank you, Rebekah. Thank you, all!

Just Call It Puppy Love, 2015-style

On Friday everything changed.

It was totally like that old Cure song, you know? I was in love.

He was epic. Sick. Black hair slung low over ice blue eyes.

Full-on gone, peeps.

On Saturday we went out. Mashed all night.

I don’t care what Shanna says. I can’t even. Hashtag jealous liar.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday, just me and my bae.

On Thursday we hit the club. He hit on everyone in sight.

Shanna says she told me so. I told her off.

Thank God tomorrow’s Friday. Can I get an amen?

‘Cause on Friday, everything changes.

Hashtag so over.

In Praise of Dragons

On Friday, everything changed.

No, that’s a lie.

On Flash Fridays, I changed.

I took off the mask I’d worn for so long, bared my soul to the world.
I screamed, “Here I am. Take your best shot.”
I stood, vulnerable, heart wide open, awaiting written arrows, verbal bullets.

They never came.

I’m still standing.

I’ve come too far now to turn back.
I’ve spread my wings. Showed my scales.

She taught me how.

Just show up, she said.
Be kind. Give generously. Praise others.
Some will tear you down.
But you will rise up.

For love always wins.


And there you have it. I will certainly miss these weekly bursts of creativity, but hope to take the skills, enthusiasm, and delight in the written word that this contest sparked and infuse it through all of my future writings. Thank you, Flash!Friday.


All About YA Fantasy Author Tamara Shoemaker – and her latest release, Kindle The Flame!

Tamara ShoemakerWoo hoo! Recently I sat down with friend and oh-so-talented author Tamara Shoemaker and asked her all sorts of questions, because I’m nosy like that. Luckily for me, she put up with it and didn’t incinerate me, like the dragons in her latest book Kindle the Flame might be wont to do.

So sit back and get out that chocolate bar, because we’re all in for a treat.

What was the inspiration behind Kindle the Flame?

About a year ago, my then four-year-old son wanted to know where he went when he slept. I didn’t understand what he meant at first—“Uh, you stay in your bed, silly.” He was bowled over, shocked that his dreams were not reality (he may or may not have inherited a teensy amount of my own weird imagination). After that conversation, I couldn’t get the idea out of my head; it was a great jumping-off point for a novel. Of course, now that it’s all said and done, there’s absolutely nothing in my book about moving anywhere while dreaming—sleep-walking, world-travel, or otherwise. But it was the first spark that started me building my world.

Which magical beast from Kindle the Flame would you choose to be and why?

Looking at West Ashwynd’s roster of creatures, I think I’d really enjoy being a Pixie, which is why I spent so much of my time with them in the Pixie Glades. They seem like a fun group of creatures, and they can make magic with their words. What author doesn’t dream of doing that?

If you HAD to pick between Kindle the Flame’s Ayden and Cedric, who would you want and why?


Oh, that’s a tough one! When I write a character, I fall in love with every single one of them, whether good or bad, because I get to know them so intimately. I enter into their struggles so completely that it tears me apart when they blunder, and I dance around my kitchen when they succeed. Ayden and Cedric both come from very different backgrounds, but both hold such appeal for me, because they both are lonely, unloved, and uncared for. Over the course of the book, however, that changes. When I first meet them, I pity them, but then that pity slowly morphs to love. Since someone, who shall remain unnamed, is forcing me to choose one over the other *glares pointedly in Margaret’s direction*—I’d probably go for Ayden. His silver eyes get me every time. 😉

How long does it take you to write your fantasies?

I cranked out Kindle the Flame‘s first draft in under a month (a product of National Novel Writing Month—or NaNoWriMo), and put the spit and shine on it for the next five months. What’s that—six months all told? That’s not normal for me. I do write fast, but NaNoWriMo lit a serious fire under me. I’ve never seen smoke coming from my keyboard like that. 🙂 This is a longer book—112,000 words. My shorter 90,000 word fantasies take a little less time.

What’s your favorite kind of character to write? Male/Female? Hero/Anti-Hero? Villain/Lover?

Ooh, that’s a tough one. Male/Female: I think I enjoy female just a bit more. They’re so amazingly complex and confusing and they make absolutely no sense, so they can go off on rants, and no one is surprised. If I sound like I’m speaking from personal experience, well… maybe I am.

Hero/Anti-hero: I think I may like writing the anti-hero’s point of view just a teensy bit better. Evil characters often have so much more complexity than a simple wish to do well, to better the world. As noble as those things are, and as necessary as they are to any plotline, the angst and struggles of an anti-hero are often more intriguing to me. 🙂

Villain/Lover: Again, villain, mostly for the reasons I listed above for the anti-hero. Lovers have a fairly simple, straight-forward mind-pattern (mostly ushy-gushy, ooh-la-la train of thought). Oh, the possibilities of a villain—there’s a reason they are the way they are, and I love to explore that.

Tell us two things people don’t know about you that we wouldn’t expect.

Thing one: I’m extremely ticklish. Like the kind of ticklish that if you take a swipe at one of my feet, you’d better be prepared for a broken nose. I have NO control.

Thing two: I hate to answer my phone. Or anyone’s phone. I really, really, viscerally hate talking on the phone. I love to spend time with people, hang out, have fun, text, email, etc. In general, I have loads of friends, but if my friends know me well, they won’t call me. There are one or two rare exceptions to this, but in general, this is the case. If you ask me what my problem is… yeah, I have no idea. It is what it is.

(ML’s note: This is one of the reasons Tamara and I are soulmates. Of a sort. Phones suck.)

From Amazon.
From Amazon.

You are locked deep in a cave (but luckily have a sun lamp and self-generating chocolate) and may only have three books with you to read. Which would you choose and why?

First, thank you for allowing me the self-generating chocolate. It’s the important things in life… I’m assuming a Kindle is out of the question, because a.) that would be cheating, and b.) I have never learned to love e-readers. So moving on to my essential three books.

a.) The Bible. Because that’s the one book that has gotten me through everything and on which I base my entire belief system.

b.) Anne of Green Gables – because as I noted in a recent blog post, I am Anne. It is one of the few books that I can read… and read and read and read and read and never tire of. Although, I admit I’d struggle for a while choosing it over Pride and Prejudice and/or Jane Eyre. Still, I believe it would win out.

c.) Harry Potter (um, series? Does that break the three book rule)? – The bespectacled wizard was the first character to truly help me realize my love of fantastical magic. I owe a lot of my love of this genre to those amazing books.

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring writer, what would it be?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: persistence is key. Plugging away, day after day, is what gets you through. It doesn’t sound fun, and sometimes it isn’t. I find that writing a novel is like journeying from one mountain to another. You start out on the peak of that first mountain. You’re excited; your idea is fresh and new, and you can’t wait to start laying those words on that paper (or that laptop). You look forward to completing the dream—a novel with your name on it! You take your first steps—the first chapter, or two, or three. The characters are new and fresh; the inciting incident is power packed and vivid. Loads of ideas roll through your head. You hit the first 12,000 words, and you’ve descended into the valley. Staleness sets in, and you lose the vision for your book. You follow a million rabbit trails, and your focus slides sideways. The only way you can finish that book is that consistent, persistent plugging away, climbing that second mountain, step by arduous step, 500 or 5,000 words every day, day by day, until at last, your book is finished. You’ve reached the second peak! The world lies at your feet, yours for the taking! Never give up, never.

What’s up next in your fantasy writing? Any hints on Kindle the Flame Part II? Or new books coming down the pike?

Yes, I’m currently working on the sequel to Kindle the Flame (with the idea of making a trilogy). Hints? Um, let’s see. Lots more Dragons. You get to know Chennuh and Ember pretty well in book one. There will be others in book two. Epic warfare. An evil king that only increases his horribleness. Love triangles, more than one! A huge twist ending (which I’m super excited about and have been planning for months).

Oh, and I have to tell you about a new release I have coming up in November! Mark of Four is an urban fantasy about people who can wield the four elements (earth, air, fire, and water), and most especially about an anomaly of a girl who can inexplicably wield all four elements, something no one else has ever been able to do. There’s a delicious villain in that one, as well. And here’s a secret. I really wish I could be that girl. Hmm, maybe that’s not so secret.


KTFCoverNow that we’ve sparked your interest in Kindle the Flame (hardy har har; yes, I love corny word play), here’s the blurb:

A girl who never fit in, a young man forced into an outcast’s life, a boy raised without a community, and a ruler who holds the key to their destinies…

Kinna has a Pixie she can’t train and a head full of doubts. Her worst fears come true when she fails the Tournament entrance test. She flees her Clan in disgrace, inexplicably drawn to a Mirage, a rare Dragon she has no business training.

Ayden is cursed—anyone he touches turns to ash before his eyes. He hides amongst the Dragon Clan with the only creatures he cannot hurt. When Kinna frees his favorite Dragon, his world turns upside down.

Cedric grows up in isolation, fostered by an outcast Centaur. When tragedy strikes, he ventures into a strange new world of Dragons, political intrigue, and magic.

Sebastian’s country hovers on the brink of war. Chased from his rightful throne, he schemes to retake his kingdom by any means possible, even if it threatens an ancient agreement that underpins the foundation of his realm.

Only by examining their pasts will these four find their futures. But will they survive the fires of discovery?

Tamara Shoemaker lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with her husband, three children, a few jars of Nutella, and a never-ending carafe of coffee. She authored the Amazon best-selling Shadows in the Nursery Christian mystery series and Soul Survivor, another Christian mystery. Her fantasy books include the beginning of the Heart of a Dragon trilogy: Kindle the Flame, as well as the upcoming Guardian of the Vale trilogy.

Follow her on social media:

Twitter: @TamaraShoemaker
Website: www.tamarashoemaker.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/tshoebooks

Thanks for joining me, Tamara!
Now hand over the rest of your chocolate, and nobody gets hurt…