Christian Fantasy Author Lorilyn Roberts' Blog

Friday, December 12, 2014

A Sneak Peek at Book 3 - The Castle - A Young Adult Fantasy in the Seventh Dimension Series

I am working on the third book in the Seventh Dimension Series, "The Castle," which, to be honest, makes it difficult to post on my  blog as often as I would like. So I thought, why not share some of the first chapter with readers? Enjoy this peek. If you leave a comment, I will give you a free Kindle or Nook version when "The Castle" is published. Please be sure and sign up for my opt-in list so I will have your email.

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Book Three, The Castle
One Week before Passover, 33 A.D.




Faint, melodic strings from a guitar touched my soul. They began as a whisper reminding me of a world from my past—my home in 2015. The familiar sound disarmed me in a way that surprised me. I longed to return home, to become a doctor, and marry Shale. Was that dream impossible now?

I searched the undulating hills of Samaria. Nothing caught my attention except weary travelers headed to Jerusalem. Camels, horses, and long lines of foot traffic had increased throughout the week, especially today. The Sabbath would start at sundown. I took a sip of water to soothe my dry throat. I must have imagined the music. I continued walking. Then I heard it again—this time it was louder.

I froze. The notes sounded like the ringtone on my stolen iPhone—a recording I had made three years earlier. Waves of longing swept over me, forgotten memories of a former life. What was I doing in first century Israel? I still didn’t understand how I got here. I waved my hand in the air—what do you want from me, God?

The repeating guitar music emanated from straight ahead. A protruding rocky ledge bordered the dusty road. I hurried towards the sound but then it stopped. I swallowed some more water—waiting for the ring tone to repeat. Was I hallucinating?

Then I heard it once more. I stooped down and searched all around. Then I saw my iPhone protruding from the dry sand. I started to reach for it and froze. How could it be here? There were no phones in the ancient world. There were no computers either. Or anything that could entice me to stay—except a 17-year-old girl who had probably married her betrothed.

Who would be calling me anyway? I snatched the iPhone and glanced at the I.D. I didn’t recognize the caller.

“Hello.”

Silence.

“Hello,” I repeated.

“Where are you going, Daniel?”

Chills crept up my spine. I collapsed on the ground, still holding the phone to my ear. “Why do you torture me?”

The voice of the ventriloquist continued. “Daniel, I want to help you.”

I shouted. “No.”

“Why are you headed to Jerusalem?”

My hand shook as I held the phone against my ear. I rubbed my eyes with my other hand, remembering I had lost my contacts in the last chariot race. How could I see? I was legally blind without them.

Slouching against the rocks, I gulped in the dry air and swallowed.  “Why do you keep harassing me?”

“Don’t go to Jerusalem, Daniel. Deaths awaits you—suffering, torture, you’re making a terrible mistake.”

My voice quivered. “It’s Passover.”

I heard nothing but increasing static on the phone.

 The voice spoke in a loud whisper that frightened me. “Don’t go to Jerusalem.”

“Why?’ I yelled into the phone, my voice cracking.

Click. I removed the phone from my ear and stared at it. I started to examine it more closely, but the phone dissolved in my hand. Then my hand turned gray. I squinted—was I sick? I flipped my hand over and stretched my fingers. Panic set in. I glanced up and examined the boulders, the dirt, the road, and the sky. Everything appeared in drab shades of gray. I rubbed my eyes and squinted. I had been so full of confidence when I left Caesarea.

Too numb to move, I tried to convince myself this was all in my mind. I blinked repeatedly. If color returned, everything would be okay, I told myself, but no matter how much I squinted or rubbed my eyes, I couldn’t see anything but gray. Not nighttime, not daytime, but something in between. Then I remembered. How many times had someone said to me, things are not as they appear?

The sound of approaching hoof beats startled me. I looked up and saw on the crest of the hill a Roman cortege of travelers. Why were so many Roman soldiers traveling to Jerusalem? Behind the soldiers, chariots adorned in Roman decor followed. Could they be searching for me?

I went through a mental checklist of what the Romans could accuse me of—stealing horses, kidnapping Cynisca, dereliction of duties, and lying, to name a few. Working in the salt mines filled me with horror. I squeezed in between the boulders.

A dozen or more horses led the procession. I squinted. Only VIP’s traveled in decorated chariots. 

Soon the cavalcade was within shouting distance. The Roman soldiers did not appear to be searching for anyone.

I rubbed my eyes again hoping my normal vision would return. I did not like seeing the world in shades of gray.

The Roman soldiers passed by me on their horses and the chariots approached. When they were within a few feet, I peered inside the first compartment and chuckled. I’d recognize that man anywhere. He had dropped the hanky at the chariot races. Pontius Pilate sat beside an attractive woman whom I presumed to be his wife. Why was he traveling to Jerusalem? He wasn’t Jewish.

Then I remembered. As the Roman prefect, he was fulfilling his duties to keep the peace during Passover. Would he recognize me? He was there when I had my accident. If he saw me, he’d probably have his soldiers seize me and escort me back to Caesarea. I imagined seeing signs in Jerusalem, “Runaway slave: Jewish gladiator wanted, dead or alive.”  

I was a fugitive so I couldn’t let Pilate see me. I lamented. If I hadn’t become famous, my life would be a lot less complicated.

I waited for the Roman cavalcade to pass. Precious minutes ticked by. The Sabbath would be starting soon. According to Jewish law, I couldn’t travel once the Sabbath began. How much further was it to Jerusalem? My stomach reminded me I’d barely eaten in two days. Not only had my world turned gray, I felt as if death were stalking me.

When the Romans were out of sight, I buried my face in my hands and prayed. “God, I’m terribly afraid of what lies ahead. Please protect me.”

Nothing on the outside changed. I still couldn’t see color, but I felt reassured. I stood and collected myself. How could I get to Jerusalem before sundown? I’d spent the previous two nights holed up in a cave with bats. I cringed at the thought of another sleepless night. The only food I’d eaten had been berries and figs along the way. I slung my bag over my back and started walking.


I had not traveled far when I heard a train whistle. There were no trains in the first century. I felt the ground shift underneath my feet and the rhythmic chugging of a train. Maybe the ventriloquist was tormenting me. I struggled to keep my balance. Disgusting body odor filled my nostrils and made me gag. The interior of the train slowly became visible. I was not alone. 

Passengers crammed into the tiny train compartment sent me into near convulsions. The lack of color, the fear in the kids’ faces, and the horrible stench from too many bodies in a tight space reminded me of the trains in Nazi Germany. A glimpse of hell could not have been more horrifying. A young girl about twelve looked eerily familiar. Who was she?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Seventh Dimension - The King, Book 2 - A Young Adult Fantasy, Goodreads Book Giveaway, ends in 4 days

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Goodreads Book Giveaway


The King by Lorilyn Roberts

The King

by Lorilyn Roberts


Giveaway ends December 15, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

CHOCOLATE ÉCLAIR DESSERT


This is my traditional Christmas dessert - so yummy!



We are having our One Another (Prayer Group) Christmas party tonight and so I thought, why don't I post the dessert I am bringing. Actually, this dessert is in my "Food For Thought" book that I've linked here on Amazon, if you want to check out all the recipes. Try this one! Kids will love it and so will adults.



8 SERVINGS

3 cups plus 3 tablespoons milk
1 8-ounce container of Cool Whip
2 boxes French vanilla instant pudding
3 tablespoons butter (do not substitute margarine)
2 squares unsweetened baking chocolate (orange box)
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 teaspoons corn syrup
1½ cups powdered sugar
Graham crackers


For filling: Mix milk, Cool Whip, and instant pudding. For frosting: Melt butter (do not substitute margarine) and chocolate baking squares. In a separate bowl, mix vanilla, 3 tablespoons milk, corn syrup, and powdered sugar. Combine both of the above with a mixer.

Line 9 x 13 pan with graham crackers. Add filling, then another layer of graham crackers on top of filling. Frost top layer of graham crackers with frosting mixture by pouring it over the top and using a butter knife to spread. Let cool in fridge for an hour before serving.





CHOCOLATE ÉCLAIR DESSERT

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

“No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.”

Abraham Lincoln, U.S. President




Saturday, November 29, 2014

Cyber Monday Book Special - Book Comparisons Uniquely Picked Out for Christian Readers

I am really excited about our Cyber Monday Book Special. John 3:16 Authors have compared books and made it easy for you to discover Christian books similar to well-known secular books in genre and content (but that are family-friendly). Take a moment and click on bit.ly/LRSave to see our special Christmas feature that is unique and easy to navigate with links to Amazon for easy purchase. Enjoy!


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Our Recent Trip to Nepal - Photographs are Worth a Thousand Words


The trip to Nepal was such an amazing trip, I wanted to share a few more photographs of the kids we met and our time spent with them. As Thanksgiving approaches, I’m reminded of how much I have to be thankful for. Even though separated by an ocean and dozens of countries and more than ten thousand miles, Nepal will always be a part of me. 

As Christians, we worship the same God, we love the same Savior, and we look forward to the same eternity. Enjoy these photographs and remember how much God loves you this Thanksgiving. Be more thankful and eat lots of turkey.

worship at church in Kathmandu


Sunday school class

Orphans with John 3:16 books



Typical street in Nepal

Taking home John 3:16 books to read


Pokhara




Our hosts


My daughter Joy - as a former gymnast, I felt she was safe.

Pokhara


I actually remembered how to play!



John 3:16 Bookmarks

Reading Sherrill Cannon's book, Peter and the Whimper Whineys.










Kids climb the trees to reach the fruit for dinner
Joy and I had a wonderful time!

Photo credits for this blog post: Joylin V. Roberts