Lorraine Carey

Lorraine Carey
This is my secret place I go to write for inspiration- Pedro St. James Castle, Grand Cayman

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Author Chris Weigand Has Created a Fine Christian Fantasy Series for Young Adults ~

Christina Weigand’s a writer, wife, and mother of three grown children and a middle school daughter. She is also Nana to three granddaughters. She lives with her husband and youngest daughter in Pennsylvania after a short sabbatical in the lovely state of Washington. She has three published YA Christian Fantasy novels; Palace of the Twelve Pillars: Book One, Palace of the Three Crosses: Book Two and Sanctuary of Nine Dragons: Book Three. She also has a woman’s Bible study Women of the Bible: A Study published. Through her writing she strives to share the Word of God and help people young and old to realize the love and mercy He has for everyone.

She is currently working on a series of fantasy books in which her dragons travel through the history of Christianity to protect and spread the Word of God and His children. The first draft of three of the books are finished, a fourth one is started with plans for a few more, although she is not sure which periods. She has also just started doing freelance writing and development for a new video game.

When she’s not writing she’s active in her local Church as a lector, Bible Study, and helping children develop a love for reading and writing. Jesus fills her home with love as she shares Him through her writing. 

Chris, please give us a bit about your background if you would?

I was born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, the oldest of eight children. Eventually my parents would have seven girls and one boy.  My parents were both readers and books were always a part of our lives.  We were always allowed to order books from Weekly Reader and a trip to the public library was a special treat.  I remember being in fourth grade and getting to read to the kindergarten and first grade kids. It was very exciting for me. Even in high school I used my free time to work in the library.  During my high school years I also met the teacher that added kindling to my spark by giving me the opportunity to write for a small local newspaper.  During my senior year I also wrote for the school newspaper.

During this time I realized how much I enjoyed writing and considered a career in journalism.  I also met a young man and fell in love.  I married this young man one year after I graduated from high school and a year later had our first son. Very quickly I became involved in being a young, inexperienced wife and mother.  Any ideas I had about being a writer were quickly set aside.  Two other children followed closely behind, another son and a daughter, and my husband went back to school for his bachelor’s degree.  The next several years went by very quickly.  My husband was focused on his career and school and I was busy being a stay at home mom.  I loved what I was doing and was mostly content. 

Then my baby girl went to school and my husband graduated and I had more free time on my hands.  Although I was still satisfied, I felt maybe I needed something more.  So I decided to go back to school.  Not a bad idea in and of itself but a little misguided as to what I should study.  I chose to go back for interior design.  For the next seven years I went to school, continued raising my kids and got a part time job to help pay for school.  In 1995 I graduated and turned my part time job into a full time job.  A year or so later I got another job in the same field.  I enjoyed what I was doing but was not fully satisfied.  Then I got laid off.

My second son had just graduated from high school and was heading off to college in Alabama, my daughter was starting high school and my oldest was returning to college.  I threw myself into full time parenting and tried to do mortgage brokering part time.  Not quite my cup of tea.   It was then that God chose to change my direction.  I became pregnant after sixteen years and had my fourth child, a wonderful little girl.  Since I was jobless, we decided that I would be a stay at home mom again.

I love my youngest daughter very much and now wonderful granddaughters to love, but with the help of ICL (Institute of Children’s Literature) rediscovered my love for writing.  It fulfills the creative need inside of me while giving me the opportunity to stay at home with my daughter and granddaughter.

That was fourteen years ago. Now I have three beautiful granddaughters. I live with my husband and youngest daughter in Pennsylvania after a short sabbatical in the lovely state of Washington. I have three published YA Christian Fantasy novels; Palace of the Twelve Pillars: Book One, Palace of the Three Crosses: Book Two and Sanctuary of Nine Dragons: Book Three. I also have a woman’s Bible study Women of the Bible: A Study published. Through my writing I strive to share the Word of God and help people young and old to realize the love and mercy He has for everyone.

I am currently working on a series of fantasy books in which my dragons travel through the history of Christianity to protect and spread the Word of God and His children. The first draft of three of the books are finished, a fourth one is started with plans for a few more. I just started doing freelance writing of a series of middle-grade books and development of a new video game.

When I’m not writing I’m active in my local Church as a lector, Bible Study, and helping children develop a love for reading and writing. Jesus fills my home with love as I shares Him through my writing. 

What was your motivation to write the series for Palace of the Three Crosses?

The easy answer was to continue the series and finish Joachim and Brandan’s story. Since Palace of the Three Crosses is the second book it needed to be written. The harder answer is I’m not sure. Joachim and Brandan were not the original main characters for the trilogy. Originally it was a story about a farmboy who one morning woke up to discover he had been kidnapped and was really a prince and wizard. I wrote what I thought was his story, but the story didn’t feel finished or even really started. I wanted more, I wanted to know what brought him to that point in his life, how did he get there?  Joachim and Brandan forced their way into my life and into the story. Then I lost control until their story and the beginning of Airyn’s, the confused farmboy, was told.

What type of genre do you like to read?

I read just about anything. For the last several years my main focus has been on YA fantasy since that’s what I write. Recently I read some historical fiction for a class I was taking and rediscovered my love for it. Right now on my reading table, a YA, an historical fiction and  children’s sci-fi/ fantasy.

Can you please share an excerpt from the book?

Outside the chapel, Waldrom, Brandan, and Joachim stood in a triangle. Waldrom laughed. “So nice to have you two in one place, makes my goal so much easier to achieve. Now I have both of you. Oh, did you know your mother rejoined me.”
Derdrom walked forward leading Lilia in chains. 
“We could have been one happy family, but now, I have to kill the two of you along with Lilia. You brats have put me in disfavor with Sidramah, and the only way to regain his favor is to get rid of all three of you. I had hoped to spare at least one, but alas, that is now impossible. The only question is…who’s first? The time has come for a decision.”
Brandan stood beside Joachim, his face working with barely controlled rage. Brandan lunged toward Waldrom.
Waldrom sensed the presence of magic and glanced behind him. Rupert and Lukan stood behind him. He grabbed Lilia and pulled her close, placing his short sword at her throat. “I suggest you stop, or I will cut her throat,” he warned Brandan. To emphasize his point, he pressed the sword against her skin puncturing her flesh.
Brandan, with sword drawn, took another step.
“I wouldn’t do that, unless you want your mother's corpse on your hands.”
Brandan advanced, as Waldrom muttered a spell to compel the king to keep moving and cut a little deeper drawing blood. He felt Lilia quivering in his arms.
A woman stepped out of the chapel, carrying a sword covered in blood. “Brandan, what are you doing? There’s a battle being fought. Why are you out here and not inside helping me?”
Waldrom glanced at the new arrival. He did not recognize her and turned his attention back to Brandan, who was still advancing. “Well, I see you’ve gone and made yourself right at home. You even found a strumpet to help warm the place up. I should have known you wouldn’t waste any time. Sorry to break up this little party, but it’s still my kingdom. I would greatly appreciate if you would all leave. But, since you won’t go, I’ll have to remove you myself. Where were we? I was deciding which of you to kill. I see, though, a few have been added to the numbers. All the more fun for me. Although it may be a little more painful for you, but that doesn’t matter. Should Lilia remain my first choice?”
* * * *
Magda grabbed Brandan's arm. She recognized Waldrom and had as much against him as Brandan and her father. “Wait, Brandan, I will deal with this.”
She moved toward Waldrom, but a voice in her head cautioned her. “Don’t reveal yourself. This is not our battle. Walk away. Let Waldrom do what he will.” She glanced around. Whose voice did she hear? It sounded like Melvane, but he was nowhere in sight. Upon further consideration, she realized this wasn’t her battle. She had every reason to want Waldrom out of the way, and if she let him get rid of these humans and the Kningrad, then she could deal with him at my leisure.
The voice spoke again. “That is right, let Waldrom do what he may, and then we will take care of him.”
Magda dropped her sword arm. “Brandan I don’t know what’s going on here, but I don’t want any part of it.” She turned and walked back into the chapel. “Hurry up and finish out here. I’ve taken care of those in the chapel so we can begin the joining once you’ve ended things. we’ve a joining to conclude. I’ll be waiting.” She slammed the door behind her. Waldrom’s voice followed her into the echoing chamber of the chapel.
Waldrom laughed. “Brandan, I would say you haven’t made a very good choice. You should be grateful I am going to end your life so you don’t have to put up with her much longer. Now where was I?”
* * * *
Joachim wanted to run to Lilia, but his head whirled. Stars floated in front of his eyes, their motion making him sick with dizziness. He stepped up to stand beside Brandan. “Waldrom, I’m afraid you’re mistaken. First, you are seriously outnumbered. Second, what makes you think you can use Mother to blackmail us? Such childishness, using a woman to negotiate, instead of dealing on a man-to-man level. Let her go, and we will discuss your surrender. I don’t want to kill you.”
Brandan pushed Joachim aside. “You may not, brother, but I do. He will stop at nothing to destroy me, and I can’t let that happen.”
A group of Brandan's personal guard came charging down the hall. Waldrom pushed the sword point a little further into Lilia's throat. “I see you boys still don’t agree on anything. I suggest you stop the group of soldiers from attacking me. Rupert, I know you’re back there, trying to form a spell to stop me. That wouldn’t be a good idea either.”
The tableau unfolded before Joachim's eyes. Waldrom, in the center of the circle holding Lilia with a short sword slicing her throat and Brandan, his long sword drawn, advancing on Waldrom. Rupert and Lukan stood motionless behind Waldrom. Lukan had his sword drawn. Conflicting voices rang in Joa's head. “Kill them all. You don’t need them.” Other voices calling, “Joachim save them. They need you.”
Lukan yelled, “Sire, watch out behind you.”
Joachim started and turned as a Mantion rushed at him. He pulled his short sword from his scabbard and stood before the coming onslaught. As the attacker reached him, he swung his weapon cutting and angering the Mantion. The foe sliced at Joachim's knees with his knife, leaving a gash in his thigh. When Joachim doubled over in pain, the Mantion leapt on his back and pummeled the king. Suddenly, the weight of the attacker lifted from his back. Joachim fearfully turned his head, expecting to see the Mantion standing over him ready to deliver the kill stroke.

Who is your favorite character and why?

The answer to this question depends on the day. I am torn between the twins Joachim and Brandan.  Writing both of the boys proved to be challenging. They both had unique issues with which they were confronted with and dealt with them in completely different ways. They presented many options to young people consider and chose as they made their way through life. And the fact that neither was perfect and made mistakes

Can we expect to see another book in the series?

Well there is a third book in the series Sanctuary of Nine Dragons: Book Three. Beyond that you never know what might happen. Joachim and Brandan’s story may be finished but there is a whole next generation including that confused farm boy and his twin sister that have a story to be told. Someday I may let them out to play and who knows what will happen then.

 Where can readers find your books?   

Follow Chris ~

 Chris’ Blog

Twitter @CAWeigand

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Author Krysten Lindsay Hager Delivers Another Teen Dream!

There’s a lot to love about Author Krysten Lindsay Hager’s new book, Next Door to a Star~

I am a huge fan of Hager and her ability to relate to teens in her writing. It’s as if she is a teen herself.
Yes, she has had two successful books already out that have swept the teen market. True Colors and Best Friends Forever gained her some hefty fans.

Her new book continues to deliver an entertaining tale for teens to young adults.

And for the review~
Next Door to a Star is my third book by Krysten Lindsay Hager. I know this author’s previous novels were a sure-fire hit with the teen market and even adults. It seems Hager can relate to teens within her novels as if she is still herself reliving her teen years. Hadly Daniels is an ordinary teen who gets a chance to live next to a famous person. She dreams of being popular like most girls do. Hadley’s normal life changes as she tries to fit in with this new star and goes through some rocky times with her friends. The fast lane is not what it’s all cracked up to be as Hadley finds out with disappointment s along the way. With teen crushes, girlfriend woes and teen angst I believe this one will be another hit for Hager.  She can make the characters so real and the mishaps they have so believable. She always adds in the family touch too. Here we have the grandparents who tried so hard to make Hadly happy. I think there is great message in here for young girls and I won’t state that as to spoil the ending.

Saturday, September 19, 2015


Guest Post by Nancy Hallazgo~

There is a new social app making headway in the States, and we’d like to introduce it to Australia. The app is called AppendMe and it quite impressive. It’s similar to Facebook in theory, but it has its own unique flavor and style. There is a lot of power compressed into this 39 meg download for both Iphones and Android phones, with everything from a built-in photo editor, live chat, video recorder and it’s own photo timer.
The mastermind behind this app is Enrico Torres, a construction entrepreneur out of Pennsylvania, but this time, instead of building a home, he built what could be the next big thing in social media. He claims that he built this app with the user in mind, by improving all the features everyone loves on mainstream social media, and at the same time removing all the negative aspects. His goal was to also eliminate the inconvenience of bouncing from app to app to accomplish different tasks–so there’s a lot of functionality and creativity within the structure of the app.

AppendMe has great potential as it’s one of the easiest apps to use. They incorporated a wheel with all the most popular functions, so at any given time a user can click the + button that is located top, center of each page to access the AppendMe Wheel. On the wheel, you’ll see Main Page, Friends, Chat, Notifications, Photos, Camera, Status, and a few others, so navigating around this app is as easy as it gets!

Here is a list of some of their functions listed on their app store page:
• Built-in Chatting System.
• Like / Dislike / Sympathize Buttons to express exactly how you are feeling.
• Video Recorder or the option to load any video from YouTube, Vimeo, Vevo, etc.
• Built-in Photo Editor for text over photos / Collages, add filters, add different color backgrounds, etc.
• Time Management System, set the timer so you don’t waste anymore time!
• Camera and Video Timer, great for selfies.
• AppendMe Wheel, all your functions at your fingertips!
• Full Privacy / Comprehensive App Security.
• Unlimited Friend Requests / Friend Suggestions.
• Hashtags, Sharing and Notification Tab.
• Post Blogs and/or create your own Folders to save the things you love with our Favorites Feature!
Do yourself a favor and join AppendMe, I believe it will be just as popular here on this continent as us Aussies will embrace the technology and enjoy connecting with our friends and family in a whole new way. Just remember you heard it here first!
For Android

For iPhone

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Boy Who Cried One Thousand Tears

 The Boy Who Cried One Thousand Tears

_by Lorraine Carey

This short story is dedicated to my former students who I’ve had the pleasure of teaching. I especially remember those of you who felt things deeply and who have inspired me to write this story.


Ethan Morales was a happy boy. His favorite thing to do was to visit the seashore with his mother and dog Taffy. He felt so at home there. It was a place of comfort to him. He loved the way the warm sun felt on his skin and the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks.

~ He felt a lot of things, and when he felt them, he felt them deeply.

He loved to walk along the shore always looking out into the sea in hopes of spotting some dolphins. He worried when he would see one alone that he had lost his family or not might end up in the net of some fishermen.

Many times he’d spot a stray dog on the beach. He worried it was homeless. He’d beg his mother to let him bring it home and care for it.
“Who will take care of him if we don’t help him?” Ethan asked.

 He’d get upset with people who littered the beach not picking up after themselves. Ethan picked up the garbage and disposed of it the best that he could.

 He ran back to his mother who waited for him while he made his last trip over to the trashbin. “Why don’t they care about the beach, mom?” A few small tears trickled down his cheek.

 Ethan’s mother sat on the sand with him. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders and hugged him tightly. “It’s not that they don’t care; sometimes people just don’t think. They’re not like you.” She wiped a few tears from his eyes with her beach towel. “Now, let’s head home. Tomorrow is a school day.”


The next day at school, Ethan’s teacher, Mr. Landon was reading an article from the newspaper to the class about the Trudell family who lived in town. They had lost their home in a fire.  He had an idea for the class to have a bake sale and raise money to help the family.

The class was just beginning to have a discussion about the bake sale when Ethan could feel the pressure building behind his eyes. I’ve got to get out of here now.  He quickly asked to be excused to use the restroom.

He rushed into the restroom hoping no one was in there. Tears began to roll down his cheeks as he thought about the family that had lost their home. He knew he had to go back to class before Mr. Landon would send someone to look for him. He splashed water on his face trying to clear his red swollen eyes.

It was hard for Ethan to focus the remainder of the day. He continued to worry about the family and where they would stay. It wasn’t long before Mr. Landon had noticed something was wrong.
Sure enough Mr. Landon was standing right next to Ethan's desk. He put his hand on Ethan’s shoulder. “ Would you like to talk about what is bothering you?”
Ethan didn’t want to make a scene in class. He wrote Mr. Landon a note stating he would talk to him at recess.

Jason Markson, one of Ethan’s best friends was standing right behind him. “Are you joining us over at the Tetherballs?”

Ethan turned around not wanting Jason to know anything was wrong. “Sure, just have to ask Mr. Landon some questions about homework.”

Ethan peeked into the room making sure no one else was there. He closed the door behind him.

“Come sit with me Ethan.” Mr. Landon motioned for him to come in as he sat grading papers. “ Want to talk about it?”

 Ethan hung his head down as tears rolled off his face and dribbled onto Mr. Landon’s desk, wetting a stack of papers.

“I’m sorry Mr. Landon. I just feel so bad for those children who lost their home. It makes my stomach hurt.”

“It’s okay, Ethan. I’ve noticed how sensitive you’ve been during these past few weeks. I know you are a happy boy and don’t want these issues to upset you. There are things in life we just can’t control. We do the best we can. Maybe it would help if you spoke with Mrs. Kramer, our school counselor.  “Would you like that?”

Ethan nodded his head as he grabbed some tissues to wipe his eyes.
The recess bell rang and it was time for the class to resume.


Ethan thought about talking to Mrs. Kramer. He didn’t want this to get out. No way was he going to let anyone know he was crying.

It was now reading time and his class was reading Island of Thieves. It was an action - adventure story and he couldn’t wait to begin reading. He shot his hand up to volunteer to read the first page.

That night at dinner Ethan told his mother what had happened at school.

“I know. Mr. Landon called me today. We are both meeting with Mrs. Kramer tomorrow after school. It will be okay. I actually think she can help you. Now finish up your dinner. Ethan gobbled down the remainder of his mom’s baked macaroni and cheese. It was his favorite.

As he was passing through the living room on his way to his bedroom he caught a glimpse of the evening news. It was reporting on a recent earthquake in Japan and how hundreds of people had lost their lives. He clicked off the TV. A flood of tears rolled down his face. He ran up to his room and shut the door. “This is terrible! Why does this happen? I’ve got to call Jason and talk to him!”

Just as quickly as he punched in the numbers to Jason’s phone, he hit end. He didn’t want his best friend to think he was a crybaby.
He sat on his bed glancing out the window to see the sun was just beginning to set. He looked down at all the tissues he had wadded up that were strewn on the floor.

Ethan had an idea. He opened up his closet and took out the box with the small baby food jars he was saving for his science exhibit. He washed them in the bathroom sink and let them dry on the counter. He looked at this face in the bathroom mirror. “I am going to collect my tears in these bottles. I will cry for all those people who have lost their homes and their lives. I will cry for all the animals that don’t have homes. Maybe, just maybe it will save them from shedding more tears. They all must have cried so hard they won’t have any left.”

Feeling quite proud of his new plan, he crawled into bed and made room for Taffy. “Hey girl, I can tell you like my idea.” He was soon fast asleep.


Ethan was in a great mood the next day at school.  He played ball at recess with Jason and his friends. He wasn’t even nervous about the meeting with Mrs. Kramer.

School was out and Ethan waited in the room until he saw his mother come in with Mrs. Kramer. They were chatting as they came through the door. Mr. Landon called for Ethan to join them as they sat around his desk.

Mrs. Kramer was the first to speak. “So, Ethan, I understand you have felt sad lately. Would you like to tell us what is bothering you?”

Ethan felt his hands become cold and clammy but knew he had to respond or they could end up sitting there for quite some time. He just wanted this meeting to end. “Some things just make me feel really sad,” he commented.

“Are any of the students bullying you?” Mrs. Kramer asked.

“No, not at all. It’s just that… that I feel sad when things happen to people and animals. I feel it deep in my chest. It’s a feeling that stays with me a long time.”

Ethan’s mother looked at Mrs. Kramer and Mr. Landon. “He’s always been like this for as long as I remember, however it seems to have gotten stronger these past few years. He’s still a happy boy, he just feels things more deeply than others.”

Mrs. Kramer scooted her chair next to Ethan’s. “You know Ethan, it’s okay to feel sad when bad things happen to people and animals. It is normal to feel that way. However you can’t let it bother you for a long period of time. Life has sad times with the good. The time comes when we must just let things go. I know you understand this. I think we can have a plan to meet once a week to discuss your feelings if you like,” Mrs. Kramer suggested.
Ethan looked at Mr. Landon, Mrs. Kramer and his mother who were waiting for his response. “It’s okay. I have a plan. I came up with this idea last night right before bed! I am going to save my tears in little jars. I will cry for all the people and animals so they can save their tears. I will cry for them!”

Mr. Landon, Mrs. Kramer and Ethan’s mother just looked at one another.

And just what do you plan to do once the jars are filled?” Mr. Landon asked.

“I am going to go down to the seashore and release them into the water. It will wash away the tears and hopefully release the pain that others have suffered.”

Ethan’s mother gave him a big hug. Mr. Landon and Mrs. Kramer sat speechless.

Ethan was asked to wait outside for a moment while his mother had a word with Mr. Landon and Mrs. Kramer. Mrs. Kramer took hold of Mrs. Morales’ hand. “I have to tell you that you have a most unique son. In all of my years of counseling I have yet to see someone as caring and sensitive as Ethan. You should be very proud of him. There are very special children such as Ethan whom we call, ‘Empaths’.

Mrs. Morales put her hand on Mrs. Kramer’s shoulder. “I am aware of his special qualities. He's just like his grandmother. She was the same way. And yes, I am very proud of him.”

Tomorrow was Saturday and Ethan had planned to go to the movies with Jason and some of his friends. He turned on the TV to catch  the tail-end of the news. It was reporting more clips from the aftermath of the Japan earthquake. Entire villages had been wiped out.

Ethan sat frozen on his bed as the tears began to flow. “The jars! I almost forgot!” He grabbed one and let a few tears trickle into the clear glass jar. They were silent as they fell to the bottom. He clicked off the TV, wiped his face and sealed the jar. “This is for all the people who lost lives in the earthquake.” He sat the jar on his dresser and knew he would release those tears the next time he went to the seashore.

 The weeks went by and it was almost time for winter break from school. Ethan had met with Mrs. Kramer a few times and all seemed to go well. On their last meeting she had told him he didn’t need to see her unless he had requested a special session.

Just as Ethan was about to open the door, Mrs. Kramer asked, “By the way Ethan, just how is your plan working out?”

 Ethan turned sporting a huge grin on his face.“ I have five jars now. One is for the Japan earthquake, one is for the Trudell family who lost their home in the fire, and one is for the missing boy from San Diego, and the rest, well…”

 “Go on Ethan. Enjoy your winter break.”

“Thank you Mrs. Kramer. I plan too.”

One chilly winter day, Ethan was ready to release his tears into the sea. He bundled up in his heavy parka and had on his rubber boots. He carried his box full of jars carefully to the shore. His mother and Taffy were right there with him. The wind whipped and kept blowing the hood off of his parka.
 “Let me know just where you want to release these,” his mother called out.

Ethan led his mother and Taffy up the beach to small cove. The beach was pretty much deserted being winter.

He knelt down on the sand removing the jars gently. He walked into the water and was ready to release the first jar. Taffy was having fun running on the beach. His mother was standing right in back of him. “Be careful Ethan!” The water had been choppy this morning.

“ You know mom, I think I have cried at least a thousand tears over the years. I wish I had thought of this sooner. Even Mrs. Kramer had said you need to let things go after a while.”

Ethan stood in the shallow water as the waves splashed him, soaking his clothes. He raised his arm holding the first jar. He emptied the precious contents into the icy waters. “So there you go, tears! Let the water wash away the pain and sorrow for the Trudell family.”

Ethan turned around to see his mother with a smile on her face. She handed Ethan the next bottle. He stood there until he emptied the very last jar.

The sea seemed to calm down a bit. The waves appeared to not be as choppy. It was if the sea really did carry his tears and worries away. He grabbed the box now containing the empty bottles screwing the lids back onto all of the jars.

The three of them walked along the beach back to the car.
Ethan turned to his mom, “You know how much I love the sea.”

“I know, Ethan… I know.”

~ The End