I got the back liner copy for The Soulstealer's Child today, and I'm really excited about it! Watch for a release day announcement soon. If you want to be notified when it's ready to be ordered, use this link here.
Can a human heart overcome a demon soul?
When soul-eating demons overrun their world, Kaelis, a young seraph warrior, uses the Queen’s ring to open a portal in space and flees with the infant heir to the throne, eventually landing on earth. Unbeknownst to him, Nsark, the demon leader follows, determined to devour the soul of every last seraph, especially the Queen’s heir. When Kaelis hides the baby, Nsark creates the ultimate weapon by fathering his own child, half-human and half-demon: a soul-stealer’s child.
Sixteen years later James Cordova is trying to figure out where he fits in. In a last-ditch effort, he joins the school play, where he meets Lucy Carlton. Something deep draws them together and their friendship reveals their hidden pasts: one is an angel, one is half-demon. Aware of their true identities, Lucy and James find themselves pulled into the age-old war between their peoples. Hunted by relentless enemies, and grappling with deep-seated instincts and strange new powers, the they must fight for their lives, their souls, and each other. Can they overcome what they were born to be or will one of them have to make the ultimate sacrifice in order for the other to survive?
Dear New, Overwhelmed, Slightly Worried Middle School Parent,
When I spoke to you today, I saw the familiar signs in your face and heard them in your voice. Around your friends you are putting on a good front. It's not all an act; you are excited, and you trust your child. If you are fortunate, you feel good about the school and all of that. But you're still worried. Even if you've had an older child, you realize that every child is a whole new experience. Maybe this is your first middle schooler and you hear the jokes and murmurs of other parents. "Good luck surviving middle school...." that sort of thing.
I want to tell you something: It's going to be okay. It really is. I say that as a teacher with many years under my belt, and as the parent of one current adolescent and three recovering adolescents who show every sign of productive, happy adulthood.
Your child is going to grow this year. If you can accept growth rather than ease and comfort, you are all set.
Your child will have some wonderful triumphs; your child will also mess up royally. That's okay because, if you let it, this experience will teach her something. That really demanding teacher will take points off the project, but your child will learn! It might take a few times, but having learned it in middle school, she'll not need to learn it when it's a project for her college professors or boss.
Your child will likely connect to a teacher on a meaningful, life-changing level; chances are, there will be at least one teacher who your child will not like. This teacher will seem arbitrary and unfair and unreasonable and...the reality is that this teacher will probably end up blessing your child's life as much as the more likable one. Truly. I'm not saying it's fun or joyful, but learning to deal with someone who is difficult now will be immensely valuable to your child as he goes out into the world.*
I can almost guarantee you that your child will have some social issues this year. Friends will inexplicably change and do unpredictable things that will baffle and hurt your child. This brings us to one of the most challenging aspects of middle school: it's filled with middle school students, and these children are going to be every bit as insecure and unstable as your child will be at times, and will thus act, not like mature, kind adults, but like immature adolescents. Sadly, Mother Theresa, Gandhi, Malala, and Abraham Lincoln are not on the friend menu. Your child, I fear, is stuck with other children, each of whom brings their own doubts and insecurities, not to mention an evolving mind, body, and set of social skills to the equation. But it will pass. The inevitable plate tectonics of social relationships will end up helping your child develop stronger, better, deeper friendships. It will help her develop herself as a person.
I'm not saying that everything about this year will be rainbows and unicorns. What I am saying is that it will be okay in the long run. Your sweet caterpillar has just spun a chrysalis. Your embryonic adult is inside an egg getting ready to hatch. In both of these examples, it is the struggle to emerge that gives the young creature the requisite strength to flourish. A butterfly flies because emerging is difficult. A chick thrives because breaking out of that shell is hard. I can't tell you there won't be tears. There will. But tears are to maturity like sweat is to hard work (I realized I'm using a lot of images and metaphors. Humor me. You think first days of school are hard on students and parents?)
Don't get me wrong. It's not going to be all struggle and difficulty. There are going to be exhilarating moments of new freedom and new friendships and new opportunities. There will be a lot of stuff that is just plain fun. You are going to get your share of eye rolls, head tosses, shoulder shrugs, and teenage tantrums. You are also going to have new chances to connect to your child in really cool ways. There will be other people watching out for your child, perhaps unexpected mentors and guides.
But what I want you to understand is that even when things seem not to be going well, when there seem to be problems, everything will be okay. Challenges are a feature, not a bug, of adolescence and they will help shape your wonderful child into the masterpiece that she or he is ready to become.
You will feel unequal to the task at times, but I'm telling you that you are absolutely equal to it. The secret is not overreacting. Truly, you don't have to do as much as you think you do. Love your child, but allow them to struggle. Give them empathy and ideas, but don't be the rescue crew, a helicopter or a snowplow.
Please realize that every adolescent is immature. And not just a little bit. I mean, 180-proof, weapons-grade, industrial strength, jaw-dropping, heart-pounding immaturity. That's normal. It's not you. And it's not them. Not really. It's a lack of a pre-fontal cortex and key chemicals in the brain. These will all come back eventually. You need to know that. Be as calm as you can and don't panic. The irresponsibility, forgetfulness, attitude, the overwrought emotions--all of that is normal. If you can mentally put a sign on your child's mind that says, "Pardon our mess while we renovate," you'll be in the right place.
It really is a wonderful time. You have a fantastic adventure ahead of you. It's like a hike--there will be ups and downs, peaks and valleys. And then, you'll get to the summit and you'll have this wonderful young man or woman. Maturity will kick in and you'll be amazed at this human masterpiece.
Then she'll head to college. But that's another post.
For now, it's going to be okay.
Note: I know it's not really Monday. Middle School Mondays is a series of blog posts I do dealing with raising and teaching adolescents. It used to happen on Monday, but now, every day is Middle School Monday if the inspiration strikes. You can read past posts here
The books in the Middle School Magic trilogy are currently all available for free through KindleUnlimited. I'm not sure how long the publisher will keep them there, so snag your copies now.
I am so excited to share this cover! I've been working on this book intermittently for years now. This summer, I got serious about it and worked on intensely. My experience with Orison has intrigued me about the world of independent publishing. So, I hired a wonderful editor and cover designer (Steven Novak). Currently, I"m hoping to have the book ready in print and ebook by early September. If you want to get an email when it's ready to order, click here.
Here's a little about the story:
"When soul-eating demons overrun the home world of the seraphim, Kaelis is charged to escape with the seraph queen's heir. Unaware, they are being followed by two demons, Kaelis flees with the infant to Earth. Accustomed to a world of fiery beauty, Kaelis and the baby struggle to survive. When the demons partner with a local human gang to chase Kaelis down, he is forced to use the last of his strength to fight them. He leaves the baby with a human family and then disappears.
Determined to find the hidden seraph heir, one of the demons tricks a human woman, and fathers a child. Half-human, half-demon, the Soul Stealer's child will grow into a living weapon, a predator who will hunt the hidden seraph, driven by demon instinct and guided by human cunning.
As the two children grow into teenagers, they are drawn to each other by forces neither understands. The queen's heir will have to find the strength to love unselfishly, and the Soul Stealer's child will have to find out if a human heart can overpower a demon's soul.
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Thoughts about raising and teaching adolescents. You can read the complete series here. (What in the world are Middle School Mondays?) Click here.
Genre: YA Paranormal
Genre: YA Speculative
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