The Next Chapter

Hello to my loyal readers. Some of you follow the YouTube re-runs. Others enjoy the Teaser Tuesdays and Guest Posts. No matter what your preference, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading my blog. Sounds like a farewell doesn’t it? Rest assured, it’s an “Until we meet again.”

I have been managing this blog since December 2012. I have met some pretty fantastic folks through this medium. The next chapter of my life is beginning, however, and with that comes self-reflection and prioritizing.

I enrolled in a Ph.D. program and will begin classes on April 10th. From what I understand, most of my time will be spent reading, writing, and studying. In fact, I’m told that this will take about 20 hours a week out of my time. It’s basically a part-time job. My grand plan was to finish Between Worlds book 4 and then 5. I think that’s going to have to wait.

I will be finished with my Ph.D. in September 2020, maybe sooner depending on how much work I’ve already completed on my dissertation by that time. After that I will be a “doctor.” My specialization will be in education (e.g., an educational psychologist) with an emphasis in teaching and instruction. My dream and sincere hope is that I am then able to climb in academia and grab a full-time, tenure track professor’s position.

Here’s how I look at the situation. If I lived through all of the turmoil and hardship of 2014, I can accomplish anything. This path I’m about to take will take time and patience. It will take determination. It will take battling against burn out and taking a few hours of time each day to devote to studying and composition. When it’s all said and done, I will be able to check another thing off of my bucket list: becoming a doctor with pretty little letters after my name: Tracy Wilson, Ph.D. (or Tracee Ford as you know me). When someone says, “Hey Doc,” they will actually be talking to me. I can publish research AND fiction.

I do plan to publish a memoir in October, nonetheless. It’s done and simply waiting for me to hit the “publish” button. It’s going to cover a lot of my personal paranormal experiences, but I have much more to add to that. Still, if I still don’t have peace about this project, it may be placed on the back burner as well, seeing publication at a much later date.

I am also anticipating going back to teaching at the local university part-time in August. Spring semester is wrapping up, which is why I scheduled doctoral classes through the summer. So, when Fall rolls around, I will be not only instructing, but I will be a student as well as a mom and a wife. I’m not sure I will have the time I need to be a blogger and a YouTube creator until I get through this journey.

With that being said, below you’ll find the remaining Guest Posts and YouTube schedule below. If after reading this, you decide to get together and send me a boat-load of guest posts, that’s okay. I’ll keep scheduling folks as long as the submissions keep coming in. If not, that’s okay, too.

3/28: B. Ferrante, guest post

4/4: Mary Edwards, guest post

4/7: Freaky Friday YouTube, Spiritus Walking: Scary Movies

4/11: I. Monique, guest post

4/18: Mary Edwards, guest post

4/21: Freaky Friday YouTube, Spiritus Walking: Spirit Guides

4/25: C. Zielinski, guest post

5/5: Freaky Friday YouTube, Spiritus Walking: Orbs

5/9: Mary Edwards, guest post

5/16: W. Luthman, guest post

5/19: Freaky Friday YouTube, Spiritus Walking: Soulmates

5/23: Mary Edwards, guest post (final Teaser Tuesday post)

6/2: Freaky Friday YouTube, Spiritus Walking: Divine Intervention

6/16: Freaky Friday YouTube, Spiritus Walking: Healers

7/7: Freaky Friday YouTube, Spiritus Walking: Seers

7/21: Freaky Friday YouTube, Spiritus Walking: Faith (final Freaky Friday post)

Again, thank you for always reading my rants and my posts. I won’t disappear completely, I promise. I have too much to give. This might end up being a great place to post my research findings, so those of you who are geeks like me might enjoy my publications.

Peace out.

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Teaser Tuesday: Blessing of the Elements

teaser5 silwan

“Do you realize,” he began, “that what you ask me to do, I could be executed for? You are to be married,” he said, coming to his senses.

“I do know this. But, when we were together today, I didn’t feel hopeless anymore. When you kissed me, I felt the blood warm in my veins and I felt like living again. I felt joy. I felt my heart beating once more,” she confessed.

“Highness, you have been in a very dark place; isolated. I’m afraid anyone could have shown you kindness and you would have latched onto them.”

“You are not just ‘anyone.’ You are my bodyguard. I have no choice but to trust you because you defend my life. So, if you are sworn to protect me, it should be easy for me to trust you. You have asked for my friendship and you have it.”

“But the feelings I… we… you… have are brought about by tragedy. We must be mindful of this.”

“Did you want to kiss me today?” she asked.

“Yes.”

“And you said I was beautiful?”

“Yes.”

“Do you think me kind and deserving of love and happiness?”

“Of course.”

“Then respect me when I ask you to give me your affection. I must spend the rest of my life with a man I do not love. If you are able to share love with me now, it will give me the strength to face what is ahead.”

“Princess, the weight you place upon my shoulders is unbearable.”

Dispelling the myth: Blessing of the Elements

The belief that Blessing of the Elements (BOE hereafter) IS NOT for adults is a myth. So, I wanted to take the time to explain why both YA and adults can enjoy this book. Rumor has it that many of my friends and readers ARE NOT picking up this book because it falls under the YA genre. It’s true the this novel is geared toward that age group, but it isn’t limited to that group. If you’ll remember, Twilight and The Hunger Games as well as Harry Potter were all in the YA genre. Still, countless adults immersed themselves in these novels.

From a certain point of view, BOE deals with adult themes. For instance, it’s impossible to write about romance without putting some sort of adult spin on it. Granted, there are no explicit love scenes or sexual content, but romance, in and of itself, “adult.” It takes a more mature mind to embrace all of its counterparts.

In the same token, a young, innocent girl being offered up to atone for the sins of an entire people, forced to sacrifice her innocence, is also quite adult. It isn’t something that is limited to the YA genre. Additionally, understanding the dynamics of power and the thirst for that power also should appeal to a more adult audience. When a strong antagonist is presented in a story, it’s simple to see how this aspect can and does appeal to all ages. Every good story has to have a struggle; a situation between the forces of good and evil… light vs. dark. This book embodies that.

If you have the capacity and the desire to understand the sacrifices of war, the intense emotions elicited by betrayal, and if you have ever felt alone, as if no one in the world could understand your pain, this book was written to appeal to all of those feelings and so much more. To anyone and everyone who has ever felt cornered by situations beyond his/her control, this book is something you will be able to relate to. That’s precisely why I wrote this book.3-d

So, if you think that BOE isn’t for you because it isn’t age-appropriate, you’re wrong. I purposely wrote it for YA so that they could read it and understand everything in the plot. However, I also wrote it with adults in mind. There’s no language or sex or anything like that. But, adults can certainly relate to many of the things that go on in this book. Just because it’s set up in a fanciful world, a time that none of us really remember, with dragons and magic and castles, doesn’t mean an adult won’t be able to pick it up and get lost in that world.

Therefore, if you have been making a decision NOT to take the plunge and read it, please rethink your position. This book is the personification of events that took place in my life. Instead of writing an autobiography, this book is the result of all of that pain and hurt. So, trust me, it was conceived with an adult heart, adult emotions, and adult thought.

RELEASE DAY! “Blessing of the Elements” is live!

release day posterIt’s here! Release day! Blessing of the Elements is available for download on Smashwords and Amazon!

Thanks for sticking around for the last two weeks as the date approached. I hope you liked meeting some of the main characters and reading some of the snippets!

To visit my Amazon page, click here.

To visit my Smashwords page, click here.

If you’re the kind of person who has to have the book in your hand, the paperback is due to release very soon!

Below is the synopsis for the book. If you grab a copy, please review it. If it was terrible, say it. If you loved it, say it. Reviews mean so much to an author! It’s how you show the love to a writer.

Princess Ziltra lives a blessed life in the Kingdom of Kaycon until Queen Osatam of Buscom fixes her eyes upon the prosperous nation. To avoid taking up arms and ending decades of peace, Ziltra’s father, King Jyson agrees to a treaty. However, Ziltra’s innocence is the primary condition of the agreement. She becomes a sacrificial lamb.

3-dHer world shattered, and her faith in her father gone, Ziltra finds solace among her small group of friends, especially her handsome bodyguard, Silwan. As their forbidden love affair blossoms, she suffers more betrayal and is banished from her own kingdom. She is forced to wander the wilderness seeking answers.

In a twist of fate, she discovers an ancient prophecy and becomes a powerful Shadow Knight, learning to wield the elements. She vows to take back everything that belongs to her, promising to avenge all who have been destroyed by Queen Osatam’s curse. When Ziltra realizes her destiny, she finds more strength within herself than she ever thought possible.

Snippet from “Blessing of the Elements”

Pre-order here

Nevin shook his head slightly. “I cannot believe you will be seventeen. One more year and you will take the throne in Tonkipe,” he observed.

Her face changed, insecurity filling her eyes. “I am afraid to be queen,” she sighed. “I still don’t understand all of the politics. And I haven’t been allowed to sit in on any of the council meetings.”

“Your father will surely help you. Eventually, he will let you come into the assembly. Maybe he just wants you to enjoy yourself for now. Training you to rule Tonkipe will give you what you need to rule this land. He won’t keep you in the dark forever.”

“I know nothing about commanding armies and people. I teach children and write stories. That is who I am.”

“You can do those things as a queen, I’m sure,” Likra said. “I have always loved your stories. No one would dare command that you stop writing.”

Ziltra sat up and shook her head in protest. “No, I can’t keep doing the things I love. Once I am sitting on the throne at Tonkipe, I will have no time to write and teach. I’ll be busy worrying about the people and playing politics. Tonkipe is very prosperous, thanks to the help Kaycon gives to them. What will happen when I take the throne? I haven’t the slightest idea what I’m doing.”

Nevin sat up and smiled. “You mustn’t worry. You will make an excellent queen. You’re kind and generous, and you embrace peace. And you know your aunt and uncle will help you.”

“I do embrace peace. But, the peace in this land is always very short-lived. There is always war; there’s always some other kingdom looking to take over, vying for leadership. There have been constant battles and wars. I have no idea how to command a Royal Army and a Navy.”

“That is what your staff is for,” Likra said. “Your father only commands because he was a soldier. Otherwise, he would rely completely on my father and the military advisors.”

With a groan, Ziltra leaned against the tree once more. “I don’t want to grow up,” she said as her lower lip protruded slightly.

“You worry for nothing,” Likra added.

“I’ll have to leave here, you know,” she said looking at the two of them. “I’ll have to live in Tonkipe. I won’t be able to see either of you because I will be so dreadfully busy. I don’t want to leave here. Kaycon is my home. You are my friends.”

Nevin smiled and stood. He walked to Ziltra, taking her hand into his.

“But, this isn’t your homeland, Ziltra. It is a part of you and always will be, but your real home is in Tonkipe. Still, you will rule both kingdoms. That is something that has never happened before.”
Placing his arm around her shoulders, he grinned. “Now, let’s not worry about this. We have a puppet show to plan and you know we will need mother’s help to sew the puppets. First, we must come up with a plot.”

“Perhaps a puppet show about a princess and how perfectly she rules her subjects,” Likra joked.

“I do not want the puppet show to be about ruling or castles or government,” Ziltra objected. “I want it to be a love story,” she continued dreamily. “A story about a gallant knight who rescues a maiden.”

Nevin shrugged. “You win. You’re the writer.”

More “Blessings…”

teaser2Every story has to have an antagonist. Queen Osatam fits this description to the letter. She is cunning and treacherous. Whatever she wants, she typically gets. She’s been around for quite some time and has learned the art of confrontation quite well. Blackmail seems to be her preferred method, but when she comes up against King Jyson of Kaycon, there’s no grounds for this method of control. So, she sets her sights on the king’s innocent daughter and the only heir to the throne in Kaycon and Tonkipe. She proposes a plan of marriage, but there are grave conditions to the treaty. And after eighteen years of peace, Jyson doesn’t want to start a war.

So what will happen? How will it all end? Will the Queen win in the end? I guess you’ll have to read the book to find out.

Click here to pre-order the Kindle version.

For the Next Two Weeks…

Happy Monday! For the next two weeks I will be sharing teasers on my blog for the upcoming release of Blessing of the Elements. Facebook doesn’t work like it used to. Practically no one sees my posts. Even when this uploads to my author page, only 79 people see it. Sad really. And when you’re indie, you usually have a very small advertising budget. So, this is the only place I know to share it in hopes that reblogs occur and the interest is sparked.

So here’s the first teaser for the book:

teaser1Pre-Order Link, Click here