Something Wicked This Way Comes

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Hey there, Zelda fans!

This week’s post is a reminder that my free download of Demon Queen, my second Zelda fanfic, will indeed be available at long last come this December! It’ll be available to read through Smashwords, meaning it’ll also be available through sites like Barnes and Noble.

The fanfic is a cross-over of characters from Skyward Sword and Ocarina of Time, and offers my own take and backstory on some of your favorite Zelda villains, namely Lord Ghirahim (my personal fave) and Koume and Kotake. It is not related to my other fanfic, Silent Hero, which happens during a later time period.

Be on the lookout for Ghirahim to make his lordly debut this December.

Till then, God bless, happy reading, and may you all be inspired!

Bye-Bye, FADBooks Review

fadbooks.jpgSome of you may be familiar with my quarterly newsletter, The FADBooks Review. Some of you may even be subscribers. I am writing this post to announce that as of right now, The FADBooks Review will be no more. Between work, writing, and life, I’ve never had time to keep up with it properly, and it simply isn’t a priority right now. Rather than continuing to send painfully late and uninspired newsletters, I’m giving it the ax, at least for now. Who knows? Perchance it will make sense for me to revive it later on down the road.

However, I WILL be keeping my quarterly give-aways, this time by posting them here on my blog. Give-aways will be posted on or around Dec 21st, March 21st, June 21st, and Sep 21st and will run for the full quarter. Readers can just leave a comment on the give-away post to enter to win!

More good stuff coming up: I just published the special illustrated edition of my interracial fairy tale novella, One Starry Knight. I’ll be showing it off tomorrow as I sign books at Lebanon, Illinois’ annual May Market–while cosplaying my character Evren, of course. Stay tuned for pics from the event!

On that note, God bless, happy reading, and may you all be inspired!

~ Christine E. Schulze

Give-aways and Coupons!!

fadbooks.jpgFor those of you not familiar with my Instagram and Facebook pages, start getting familiar!! I’ve been hosting monthly give-aways for my paperbacks the past few months and am excited to continue doing so. In addition, I will soon start creating special monthly coupons for my ebooks on Smashwords. This might include coupons for discounted ebooks or even FREE ebooks, depending on the book of the month. This is a great way to sample some of my writing for cheap or even FREE, a great idea for new readers as well as being a nice deal for faithful fans. Smashwords offers ebooks in a wide variety of formats so whether you have a tablet or are reading on a dino computer like me, you should be able to find something to suit your needs!!

To enter my monthly give-aways and keep a lookout for those ebook coupons, follow me on the following:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/christinee.schulze/

FADBooks Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fadbooks/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorchristineschulze/

FADBooks Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fadbooks

God bless, happy reading, and may you all be inspired!!

~ Christine E. Schulze

Strange Folk Festival 2015

Wow…has it really been that long since I posted??

Rest assured, dear readers, I am hard at work on a number of projects!! And, in the meantime, I got accepted to be a vendor at the Strange Folk Festival!! Strange Folk is a huge annual event for all kinds of eclectic artists to share and sell their work. Naturally, I had a table selling and signing my books.

I met a ton of amazing people from all different backgrounds. I always love just talking to people and getting to learn a little about who they are and where they come from. I even got an impromptu marriage proposal from a fellow author, lol.

My children’s books, In the Land of Giants, The Amazing “K”, and The Adventures of William the Brownie all sold like hotcakes, as did Bloodmaiden which actually sold all the way out.

Also, since I am giving twenty five percent of all profits to charity, I was able to raise a nice donation for ALFA, an organization that helps local programs for adults with disabilities. Because every good author/artist needs a cause he or she feels passionately about and helps support, right??

Enjoy these highlights from the show!!

The Books Have Arrived!!

Just a couple of hours ago I received proofs for several of the books and short stories I will be featuring at my book-signing on May 30th!! Everything is coming together and I am super excited!! Check out how beautiful they are.

*Whispers creepily* “My preciouses…”

A Weekend Full of Fun Adventures: St. Louis Zoo and Centennial Park

Yesterday, the weather at last cooled down from being in the hundreds of degrees to no more than seventy. My mom and I set out for the St. Louis Zoo. It drizzled off and on throughout the day, but that was loads better than dying of heat exhaustion.

Because of the cool weather, lots of animals were out, and it was amazing! Highlights included seeing the new African wild or painted dog exhibits, Sea Lion Sound, and my personal favorite, RED PANDA!!

There were also a lot of people who suffered from an, umm, uncanny lack of knowledge of the animal kingdom. I was always big on animal facts as a kid, so I know quite a bit. But c’mon–these people were serious thinking the warthog was an ant eater, the peacock was an ostrich, and calling cheetahs “cheetos.” *Sighs and shakes head* The future of America, people.

Some other highlights included the baby elephant, camel, and tree kangaroo, and also these awesome jellyfish. They are transparent, and the lights inside their tank change colors, making them look like they too change colors. Excellent premise for a fantasy creature in one of my books.

Then, today, I had another adventure all my own. Sundays are usually slow, boring affairs. My boyfriend is busy visiting his mom which SHOULD mean, “Yay, time to myself, get lots of work done, woot, woot!” But, well, you know how that goes.

Consequently, I wanted to be out of the house too. Thus, I decided to go on a little adventure of my own. Results? Found some awesome new woodsy trails.

Anyway. So on Old Collinsville Road, right where it branches off from Lebanon Ave. near the Family Video, there is this bike trail, and every time I drive by I am always like, “Hmm, wonder where that goes? Probably just a neighborhood or somewhere lame.”

Well, today, I decided to explore it at last. Man, and did it vastly exceed my expectations!! Armed with only some cashews, water, and apple, and my camera, I decided to check it out.

It started out as just a bike trail made of concrete; I don’t really favor paved trails, they have to be dirt to give the authentic adventurous feel. But whatever, it was someplace to walk, and not all that cool, so it was okay I was by myself, no one was missing anything.

But then, on my right, I found what I thought might be a trail. I explored it a little ways and soon realized it was just woods. I would have loved to explore and see how far I could go, but I was in a skirt and sandals and have not a clue what poison ivy looks like and thus decided against this.

Instead, I hopped back on the bike trail. After a few minutes, the trail branched off from the main trail and bent into the woods–and pavement soon turned to dirt. Yes. I knew I had found something at last.

The woods were lovely. There were these rivers and lakes and these little rapids. The sunlight through the trees made for some really beautiful camera shots. The ground wasn’t muddy, but it was moist, so continuing in my sandals wasn’t the wisest, but I did it anyway. There’s something about a trail that keeps going and needing to see where it leads to. Lately, I feel like I am playing a real-life game of Ocarina of Time. When you first start OoT, you have this giant map, but most of it is obscured by clouds. Gradually, as you discover new places, more and more of the map is revealed–which only makes you want to continue to explore and unveil more and more of the map. It’s like that. My world has always been so small, but every time I find some new little corner, that just makes me want to keep expanding it.

Well, after a time, I really had to use the bathroom. I had been walking a good half hour or so and didn’t know how far the trails went. But then the trail branched off and I found myself crossing a long arching ogre’s bridge to a park with a bathroom. Thank God for that.

Delved back into the woods then and walked a little ways more until the trail finally looped back around. I found my way back to the bike trail and continued down it, because while not as interesting as the woods, I was very curious where it led to. Along the way, I spotted more trails off-shooting into the woods. I’d love to check them out someday too; they just seem to keep going and going!

At last I reached the end of the bike trail, and what do you know? After a while, the bike trail led to a park, and it was the same park I’d used the bathroom at some twenty or thirty minutes ago. And not only that, but apparently the park is called Centennial and it’s this park in Swansea which is also another place I’ve been wanting to check out, because we took a nature walk there once in elementary school. So that was really cool because two places I’ve been wanting to walk for some time now–the bike trail and the park–met up and became one.

Now the question was how to get home. Of course I could turn around and head back down the bike trail, but that would be boring. The trail had led me from Old Collinsville Road all the way to 161 in Swansea. All I need do is take the sidewalk up 161, make a left onto Lebanon Ave., and that’d take me back to Old Collinsville Road.

What a mistake–in part anyway. Most of the venture was uphill, which I didn’t favor after I’d already been walking for an hour. However, I did what I do best on adventures–I kept going. I just kept walking and walking, and soon I was passing a half-way point, and then I was on the final road. The hardest parts were where the sidewalk finally ended and I was trekking across uneven ground, spiky plants, and railroad tracks. Yup. Also, saw some chickens??

At last the neighborhood was in sight. I ran the rest of the way and never was so glad to sit in my car, start driving, and turn up the air conditioning and the classic rock music.

And there you have it. Another of my spontaneous, hair-brained adventures where I am insufficiently dressed and fed but super excited to discover new things in nature!!

Artist(s) of the Week: The Artists of Tiadaghton House

Yesterday, my boyfriend and I had a lovely outing filled with good food and exquisite, whimsical art.

We began at “Flamingo’s,” originally called “Maxwell’s” located off West Main Street in Belleville. You can see in the pics below why the restaurant ultimately changed its name. I was famished, so we ordered toasted ravioli, garlic cheese bread, and one of their famous thin crust pizzas.

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Next, we continued our historical venture to the ol’ town of Lebanon, a place just as rich in history and known for its liberal arts college, McKendree University, from which I graduated with my degree in Elementary Education.

I wanted to check out this art gallery, because at my current day job with Trinity Services, our art teacher had just retired from her position and said she was going to focus entirely on her art studio. I have never really seen her art, and so I wanted to take a look. The artist’s name is Alicia Scolarci, and while she wasn’t there yesterday, I did get to see her studio and gallery, along with loads of other amazing art.

Tiadaghton House is home to the works of many local artists–65 different artists at present, according to the owner, Holly Lovell; she owns the store with her husband, Jim Lovell. Three of the 65 artists actually each have their own studio inside the gallery: Alicia Scolarci, Nancy Young Spence, and Becky Ripplemeyer (Heirloom Soaps).

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As for myself, I’d like to feature three artists who really made an impression on me.

The first by name is T. J. Schuessler. His art is very bright and colorful, and I immediately liked it because it reminded me of the art of a friend of mine, Kiana McCormick. While I couldn’t afford any of his original water colors at the time, I did pick up a post card featuring the dragon picture; I really love the color, style, and the overall magical yet hardcore feel of his paintings. You can see more of his work on his website: milkymixer.jemcon.org

Next, I’d like to feature the artwork of Alicia Scolarci, because even though she was not there, her art was pretty inspiring. My boyfriend and I walked into a room filled with color, as well as various textures–fabrics, beads, jewels–and we just really loved it. Then, I saw a painting featuring cupcakes and knew we’d found Alicia’s room. What a compliment to her art, that we were stunned by her art before even realizing that was hers. There was also a desk, behind which were bucket loads of beads and jewels and other odds and ends, so it’s really cool to know she actually gets to sit there and do art whenever she likes. You can learn more about Alicia here: scolariciarts.com 

Finally, I would like to feature Nancy Young Spence, a very groovy lady if I may say so. Her art featured a lot of elemental themes, lots of water and trees and nature, which I really love, especially since nature features largely in many of my fantasy works. Even more awesome was the fact that we got to speak to her in person and learn a little about her craft.

You’ll see one of her paintings below done in blue tones with a woman and large raindrops falling; she told us a story of how there is a lake behind her house. One year, the lake was completely dry. This devastated her. She believes there must have been a hole in the lake leading into the caves below. However, over the years, the lake must have patched itself, because now it is holding water again, which makes her very happy. She has used this story and its emotions to create many paintings like the one featured below.

She also draws designs on rocks (I bought one that is an owl on one side, a rabbit on the other side) and does a lot with pottery. She talked about how, in the group of artists she works in, she is considered the “rebel” of the group because instead of using gloss on her pottery, she experiments with things like water colors.

It was really nice to get to meet one of the artists in person, to put a face to the person behind the inspiration for such beautiful, magical designs.

You can learn more about Nancy, Alicia, T.J. and their art, as well as the art of many other brilliant artists, at the Tiadaghton House website: www.TiaHouse.com