This morning as I watched the sun rise, sending its brilliant light upon the land, I thought about the opening scene of chapter 28 in Shadows in the Stone. It was a morning that had bathed Bronwyn Darrow in dawn’s early light, awakening him after a night of despair, one that witnessed him give up all hope and collapse to the forest floor.
I’d like to share the opening of that scene this morning for anyone who feels hopelessly lost. Renew yourself. Set aside that which weighs you down from the past, and look to the future.
The Castle Keepers series is about adventure, magic, family, home and friendship, but it’s also about hope. As Tam told Isla, “A good man isn’t down until all those who matter have lost hope.”
Chapter 28 Here in the Twilight
The six legs of the ladybug moved in unison across the leaf. They carried the red and black bug to the base of the foliage where it joined with the stem. Tiny white aphids worked there in the axil, sucking sweet juices from the plant and creating sugar that ants would harvest. The ladybug feasted on the succulent aphids until a robin swooped down, snatched it and flew off to feed its young.
The rush of wings pushed a breeze across the face of the dwarf lying on the forest floor nearby. A soft cool wind entered his air passages and worked to awaken his senses. Gentle but persistent prickles inside his nose and throat roused him further. He breathed deeper. The first dry swallow forced him to generate spit.
When readers stumble upon an author they’ve never read, they often read a few pages of the story to determine if they enjoy the writing style. This can easily be done by checking out the available sample of a book in “Look Inside” at Amazon.
If you’ve never used “Look Inside”, go to Shadows in the Stone by Diane McGyver and click on the image of the book cover. A new window will pop-up. Scrolling downward reveals the front material of the novel as well the first four chapters.
McGyver enjoys opening up a scene as if she’s zooming in or out with a movie camera. In fact, one Amazon reviewer had this to say: “It’s like an award-winning movie director telling the person behind the camera to lower or raise the picture in the viewfinder for a new angle.”
Below is one example of how McGyver opens a scene in Shadows in the Stone.
The evening air cooled, and the sun sank behind the trees. A few clouds drifted through the sky but nothing of any size to prevent the crescent moon from casting a gentle glow upon the landscape. The earth settled into a tranquil nap to rejuvenate from the day and to allow nocturnal creatures to tend to their livelihood under the cloak of darkness. The forest breathed a relaxed sigh. All was as it should be.
Anxious energy shot through the air, awakening slumbering fairies and disturbing the quietude of the woods. As strangers approached, nerves stood on end, and creatures hid or prepared to defend their domain. Waiting in the darkness, they held their breath as danger arrived. The laboured breathing of horses echoed from the shadows. Sprays of white, foamy spit flew from their mouths as they released the oxygen-stripped air. The squeaking of leather against leather beat the same rhythm as the hooves stomping the ground. Their riders kicked them, spurring them forward into the night.
BUY the NOVEL
Shadows in the Stone, the first book in the Castle Keepers series, is available to Kindle Unlimited Members and the world at Amazon.
“This first book in Diane Lynn McGyver’s Castle Keepers series is very well done and will keep you turning pages right to the end. What I particularly enjoyed in this solidly mainstream fantasy is its fresh focus on established themes. It’s like an award-winning movie director telling the person behind the camera to lower or raise the picture in the viewfinder for a new angle.
“The fantasy world McGyver has created has the magical beings you might expect, but you’ll see them in new ways and see their story with fresh insights. At 190 centimeters I’m taller than the average person; the book made be believe I was seeing a magical world from a height a little less than half that. Enjoy.”
Quarter Castle Publishing is proud to present A December Knight by Diane McGyver. This is our first Christmas novel and is part of our Romance Collection.
When Santa fails to deliver, a knight gives the perfect gift.
It’s two weeks until Christmas, and all Jan Cooper can think about is surviving the rush of holiday shoppers. As the manager of a camera shop, she’s obligated to put on a happy face and wish her customers a Merry Christmas. What the single mother wants to do is curl up in a warm chair with a cup of hot cocoa, read a book and let the season pass without her. When a handsome customer crashes into her well-organised life, she discovers what she really wants for Christmas.
Quarter Castle Publishing sat down with author Diane McGyver and asked her about her latest novel, Natural Selection. Here is what she had to say.
QCP: When did you decide to become a writer?
I knew I wanted to a writer in my mid-teens. That’s when I started writing a lot. By the time I was 17, I had written my first novel. However, I didn’t start writing professionally until I became a mom in 1997.
QCP: Do you write every day? If not, how many days do you dedicate to writing?
I write for at least an hour every day. On average, I write for three hours.
QCP: Do you use an outline or do you write free style?
I’ve heard many writers have success with outlines, but I’m not one of them. I’ve tried and failed. I write best when I’m writing free style.
Quarter Castle Publishing is proud to announce the release of Diane McGyver’s first dystopian novel Natural Selection.
The book is 111,000 words in length. The paperback with standard print measures 6 inches wide by 9 inches tall and contains 402 pages.
It’s classified as a dystopian novel laced with light romance. The year is 2051, 28 years after The Devastation that destroyed all technology in the world. Life has returned to the 1800s, and only those who survived the environmental disaster remember the lost technology and tell fascinating stories about it to those born since.
“I hadn’t set out to write a novel young adults could read,” said author Diane McGyver when asked about Natural Selection. “Yet, after reading the first draft, I realised it was suitable for someone as young as 14 years old.”
Natural Selection doesn’t contain harsh curse words (no f-bombs), there is no graphic violence and no sex scenes. A few scenes of conflict result in death, but the injuries are not described in detail. Characters kiss, but it goes no further, and their thoughts are not on intimate activities.
“My stories choose their own path,” said McGyver. “And Natural Selection spoke to me in a simple, mild manner. While I’m certain curse words used today in society will be around in 30 years time, they would add nothing to this dystopian novel.
“Many readers don’t mind reading stories riddled with f-bombs,” she added, “but many other readers don’t want this word in their books. I see negative comments about harsh language in reviews.”
Look for Natural Selection‘s release later this month.
Diane McGyver’s first dystopian novel is set for release this month. Natural Selection takes place in 2051 in North America after the Devastation sets the world back two hundred years. It’s about starting over again but not from the beginning. Those who survived remember the old ways, and many want to reinvent that which was lost.
The cover for Natural Selection reveals many hints of the story within. It’s about a young girl peering into an unknown world. It’s about seeds. It’s about a crafty owl. It’s about the darkness that dwells in the heart of mankind, and those who hold the light to bring hope to the world.
The year is 2051. Almost three decades have passed since the Devastation destroyed civilization. Only the strong and wise survived; the weak and intellects perished. New societies emerged, forging a future with skills from the distant past.
In Green Wood, Eloise has lived in seclusion with her uncle for 12 years. While they receive visitors to Larkspur Cottage, the number of friends they have can be counted on one hand. When strangers arrive and capture her uncle, she is forced to run, but who can she turn to when she doesn’t know the land outside Green Wood or where those friends live?
Scarlett and her friends were caring women, who enjoyed each other’s company. Their regular visits to the tavern were innocent and good for the soul. She would go again, and she would wear the burgundy dress she had bought at work. She’d also get her hair cut. The other women used getting out together as an excuse to dress up, and she would, too. As Sonya said, Nowadays, the only time we dress up is to attend a wedding or a funeral. We deserve more than that. Mary agreed.
Nodding off to sleep, she thought about the women around the table. Combined, they’d lived more than four hundred years. That was a lot living, loving and laughing. She smiled and allowed sleep to take her away.
From the Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes by Diane McGyver.
From now until Friday November 27th, the Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes is on sale for 99 cents in the United States and United Kingdom.
Most recent review for Northern Survival at Amazon.
“This story hit all my buttons for enjoying a story. It wasn’t too long for the time I had, it was adventure, it was dramatic (plane crash), not too much about blood and gore, two strangers having to learn to adapt and share strengths and weaknesses. And a hea to boot.” (hea is happily ever after)
This is a fast-paced read for a snowy weekend at the cabin or while lounging on the beach enjoying the sun. Download it today and save $4.00. Read it this weekend or save it for that snow storm we all know that’s coming.
Several reviewers that have read Northern Survival by Diane McGyver share their thoughts on Amazon and Goodreads. Here are two of them.
The Wow Factor
Wow: A really good adventure story and romance. This was my first book by this author, and I’m looking forward to reading another asap! The fact that the two leading characters were in their 50’s was terrific.
A Great Read
Thoroughly enjoyed this book…….kept me on the edge the whole way. What a great story showing the strength you can exhibit when necessary. Loved the progression of the feelings of the characters. Shed a few tears near the end…….will remember forever.
“When I looked back to shows I watched in the 80s to conjure up a similar show the main character in Northern Survival had starred in,” said Diane McGyver, “I thought of Young Riders. I had watched every episode and dreamt many times I was one of those riders delivering the mail in the wild west.”
This hour show was on television from September 1989 to July 1992.
“I was horse crazy long before Young Riders,” said McGyver. “It’s a girl thing. I’m led to believe there is a special connection between women and horses.
“My daughter has that connection, too. Where she took lessons at more than ten years ago, every student was female. The coach tried to persuade my son to take lessons and even threw him on the back of a couple of horses. But it didn’t happen. My sons are not riders.”
McGyver used inspiration from Young Riders and her love of horses to write the following that appears in Northern Survival. These are Olive’s thoughts.
Countless times she’d daydreamt of running away with that handsome boy, mounting a horse and riding into the sunset where adventure and romance waited. He was the reason she took riding lessons when she was 19. It put her that much closer to her dreams.
This week, the eBook for Northern Survival is $4.00 off, making it 99 cents. Grab your copy today. Exclusively at Amazon.
This is the last time in 2020 Northern Survival by Diane McGyver will be on sale for 99 cents. If you haven’t already downloaded your copy, get it now before it returns to its regular $4.99 price.
Adventure Mixed with Survival and Laced with Romance
When Olive is called home unexpectedly from her research assignment at Summer Beaver, she never dreamt the chartered plane she boards would crash, leaving her alone with a man who knows nothing about surviving in the woods. The struggle to put their differences aside threatens their life at every turn.