Friday, July 31, 2015

Bonus Scene 8 - The Restorer's Son

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The Restorer's Son Bonus Scene

In which Linette sees Kieran's encounter with the One

After Chapter 28

Linette:

            The mist brushed my skin, soaked into my pores, breathed comfort and courage into my heart. I’d felt this tangible sign of the One’s presence before, but only during Feast Day gatherings, as I joined my voice with songkeeepers and musicians and thousands of people filling the floor of the tower.

           Today, one lone man knelt beneath the towering emptiness and carried on a silent conversation with the Maker of the world. As a timid onlooker, I was shocked that the One’s holy love touched me as well. The One was doing something I hadn’t known Him to do before. Instead of puzzling over the why, I savored Him. Every song I’d ever sung swirled in my mind in rich harmony, lifting my heart higher and higher. Tears poured down my face and I welcomed His touch. 

            When the mist lifted, Kieran still didn’t move. Had the encounter overwhelmed him? Was he all right? I eased closer and looked up at the windows far above us. The sky was a deep gray.

            “Kieran, it’s getting dark.” I touched his back, loathe to disturb his communion with the One.

            He looked up, wonder and purpose lighting his face. “Did you see Him, too?”

            I nodded. I would have loved to talk about the experience together, but night was too close and I needed to return to the songkeeper lodge. Once I was sure he was all right, I turned to leave.

            “Wait. One thing. If I can get the Council to approve it, do you think any of the songkeepers would be willing to go to Hazor to teach the Verses to the people there?”

            I frowned. This was the purpose the One had shared with Kieran? Of all the hopes I had for the One to protect our clans, sending our Restorer to our enemy would never have entered my mind. 

            “It’s not my idea,” he said, easing to his feet. 

            What could I say? The Council would never allow it. And what did his question truly mean? Was he asking my general opinion? Whether I knew of some bold songkeeper who would join him on that mission? Or did he specifically wonder if I would volunteer?

            I glanced up at the tower’s highest white stones, feeling smaller than usual. Holy One, is that why You allowed me this touch of Your strength? Is this something You might want of me? 

            “Yes, if it’s something the One is asking for and if the Council approves it, I’m sure at least one songkeeper would travel to Hazor.” I slipped away before I could take back the words. Would Kieran think I was willing to leave the clans? Did I want him to understand my answer that way?

            The streets were almost deserted so close to nightfall. Yet when I reached the songkeeper lodge, I hesitated outside the door. I couldn’t bring myself to go inside yet and enter the conversation around a warm meal, the chatter, the good-natured arguments about tempos for a song we had rehearsed that day. I needed time alone to absorb what I’d seen. 

            Since Dylan’s death, I’d spent as much time as possible in the Lyric tower. After Lukyan was injured, I was needed more in Braide Wood, yet whenever I could, I returned to the tower. If I could have rolled out a pallet in the corner of the tower, I would never have left.

            As Kieran talked to the One today, I’d felt the One as close as a father holding his toddler’s hands and guiding each wobbly step.

            The light that glowed in Kieran’s face made me marvel—perhaps even stirred jealously. I’d served the One all my life and yearned for the new fresh passion Kieran showed. He had the courage to answer, “Yes,” no matter what the One asked of him.

            When Dylan died, I thought the pain, the questions, the wrenching emptiness would destroy me. Still, I clung to my will to obey, to serve, to go through the motions no matter how much of my joy was stripped away. I didn’t reject the One. I continued to seek Him. But so much of my service felt lifeless and devoid of hope. 

I rested my forehead against the lodge door. Maybe that was precisely why the One had allowed me to witness His interaction with Kieran today. To restore my initial passion. To rebuilt my faith. To coax me to live a life of, “Yes.”

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You can find more of the story in The Restorer's Son

Blessings!

Sharon Hinck





Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Grateful


Heavenly Father, my heart swells with awe at the beauty of what You have created, and beats with gratitude that You could love a child like me. Help my life bring You glory. Amen.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Sword of Lyric Party

Super-fan Nina Ruth hosted a party to celebrate the release of The Deliverer.

Swords and cloaks were the dress code.

The menu included ground caradoc sauteed with wild Braide Wood vegetables; lehkan cream & fermented orberry; Rendor wild greens; Clavo; and Hazor Delight for dessert.

The table games were lit by a light trivet. Thanks to Nina Ruth, Jen, and Kristi for sharing their photos of a fun evening through the portal.

If you want to host a fun evening, download the free Sword of Lyric Party Planner at my website.















































Monday, July 27, 2015

Rebuilding



Today I turned to Nehemiah for encouragement. So much of his struggle
resonates with me. Especially chapter 4, verse 10. "The strength of the
laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild
the wall."

Do you ever feel like there's just too much rubble in the way?

Nehemiah started out strong. He rebuilt the wall to half its height, "for
the people worked with all their heart."

But Sanballat and his pals continued to jeer, to mock, and to plot against
Nehemiah and the other people in Jerusalem, making the job that much more
difficult.

I hear Sanballat's echoes almost every day. "What are those feeble Jews
doing? . . . Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to
life from those heaps of rubble--burned as they are?"

Nehemiah spoke a response to the weary builders. "Don't be afraid of them.
Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers,
your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes."

A friend once reminded me that if a theme in one of my books touches
someone's heart and encourages them, my work has value. She helped me
realize that in my writing work I am "fighting for my brothers, sons,
daughters..." I want to offer stories that draw eyes to God. Just as
Nehemiah issued a call to courage by saying "remember the Lord," I want my
stories to reflect and remember the Lord - His love, His grace, His
strength.

Nehemiah doesn't throw his words out flippantly. Sweat ran into his eyes,
blisters grated his hands as he lifted the next brick, and threats
continued to ring in the air. "Those who carried materials did their work
with one hand and held a weapon in the other." Not optimal working
conditions.

Whatever building or repairing God has called us to, the key to getting
through the times of overwhelming discouragement are found in Nehemiah's
clarion words. "Remember the Lord."

Maybe I CAN write one more paragraph today, after all.

Blessings,
Sharon Hinck

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Experience of a Book

"All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was." - Ernest Hemingway

Friday, July 24, 2015

Bonus Scene 7 - The Restorer's Son

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The Restorer's Son - Bonus Scene
In which Zarek anticipates sparring with Kieran

After Chapter 25

Zarek:

            My sword danced, perfectly balanced in my grip. The young soldier across from me responded with such a timid thrust that I barely kept from decapitating him. “Attack me! Stop sniveling.”

            He swung with more vigor, but still kept too much distance to be a threat. How could I ever strengthen my skills when every sparring partner feared accidentally nicking the king?

            My mood darkened, and I advanced on the boy. One of my generals told me this lieutenant was the best swordsman he’d seen in years, but so far he’d acted like a skittish lehken colt. Before I could mount an attack that would force a stronger response, a messenger skidded to a stop in the doorway of the practice hall.

            “Excuse me. Sorry to interrupt, but you asked for a report . . . ” The skinny boy wrung his hands and shifted from foot to foot. More sniveling.

            I sheathed my sword and waved him into the room. “It’s all right. We hadn’t begun yet.”

            The lieutenant, already covered in a sheen of sweat, turned a shade paler and wiped his forehead. The messenger took a few cautious steps into the room.

            “The prison guard reports that Kieran interviewed the woman and she collapsed. The practitioner was summoned, and she recovered.”

            My brows rose. I’d sent Kieran to question the newest trespassers from Braide Wood, not kill them. 

            I sighed and sank onto a nearby bench. “You’re dismissed,” I told the young lieutenant. He gave a stiff bow and half ran from the room. I turned to the messenger. “Tell the prison chief I need a more detailed report. Keep me informed. Oh, and tell my aide I want some orberry wine.”

            The messenger scampered off, and after murmured words outside the door, I enjoyed a few moments of blissful isolation to think. Had I been wrong to trust Kieran with this small job? Did he plan to silence the prisoners because they had information he wanted to keep from me?

            Trust was never a wise plan. My grandfather had been murdered by his most trusted general, who was then killed by my father when he took the throne. I’d fended off several failed coups since becoming king. Kept me alert.

            Maybe I was slipping.

            Though I wouldn’t admit it to anyone, protecting my position every moment of every day created a deep loneliness that even a few convenient temple girls couldn’t chase away. My recent conversations with Kieran were a welcome distraction, and the strange Verses he recited stirred interest in me that I hadn’t felt in years. He’d had a chance to kill me and hadn’t taken it. Still, I knew better than to trust him.

            Kieran had been a welcome diversion and a good Perish opponent, but the things he spoke of had added new complications to my life. Time to get my focus back on protecting my throne. Perhaps I would need to interview the new prisoners myself—as if I didn’t have enough to do with Bezreth pressuring me to reopen the temples, the generals scheming, and enemies threatening every border. 

I drew my sword and indulged in a few patterns, then reluctantly sheathed it. I really needed a good session of sparring. A smile stretched my lips. Perhaps Kieran would be an interesting opponent and far less overcautious than any of my soldiers. My mood lightened as I left the hall and headed toward my quarters.

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You can find more of the story in The Restorer's Son.

Blessings!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Bridge





"For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus," I Timothy 2:5 (ESV)

Lord Jesus, thank you for being our bridge, for restoring our communion with the Father. Help us walk with You today. Guide our steps and let Your light shine in our hearts. Amen.

Blessings!
Sharon Hinck