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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Guest Blogger Robynn Tolbert and Star of Justice


Born in Kansas and born again at age six, ROBYNN TOLBERT wrote stories for her own amusement for the next thirty years. When a job as a foster care caseworker became too stressful and a career with a floral trade magazine became too comfortable, her thoughts turned to writing an actual book. Success led to success, and she completed a second novel and started her third. Robynn, aka Ranunculus Turtle, lives in Kansas with a clowder of cats, a patient dog, and a garden.

by Robynn Tolbert
Published by Splashdown Books


She joined the knighthood for the scholarship program.

A thwarted assassination attempt drags Caissa Ocren into a secret war between elemental spirits and dragon worshippers. More accustomed to solving puzzles than wielding swords, she undergoes a crash course in survival from a mercenary minstrel, a shape-shifting druid, and a legendary spirit warrior.

An ancient book may hold the answers she seeks, but understanding requires the memories of a wizard. With time against her, Caissa faces the hardest lesson of all – how to serve when the cost is her life.

Readers, buy your copy of Star of Justice today!


I wrote Star of Justice about eight years ago, when my day job instituted a “summer hours” program. Work an extra hour four days a week and get four hours off on Friday. Excellent, but what to do with those four hours? I had no friends. I had no internet. I had no cell phone. I decided to write a book. I’d started lots of books in college—twenty years earlier—so that wasn’t a concern.

I wrote four hours a day every Friday. I enjoyed it. I’d never finished a book before, you see. Started lots of them, but finish? No. This one I thought I could finish, if I just kept plugging away.

A month passed, and one of my dogs was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Didn’t know dogs could get that until he did. We started the various medications to ease his discomfort and prolong his life. Writing became a way to avoid listening to him cough.

Another month passed, and Mom was diagnosed with precancerous cells in her remaining breast. She’d had a breast removed because of cancer years earlier, so we were watching for it. The surgery was scheduled for early November. I would drive out to her farm every Saturday and read her the pages I’d written during the week. It became important to finish the book before that surgery date. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I wanted her to know I’d completed one book, just in case.

I wrote every minute I wasn’t at work or in bed. My back hurt. My eyes hurt. My head hurt. I gained weight: a lot of eating takes place in my story, and it’s rude to let people eat alone.

The dog’s coughing worsened. Mom’s surgery date loomed.

The day before she went in, I finished the book. I like to think I finished it well. Mom certainly enjoyed it.
Her surgery went splendidly, and she came out with two new breasts created using her own tissue (a technique called a tram-flap, but that’s another story). My dear dog Wicket took The Long Step once I understood that his congestive heart failure would kill me before it killed him (it nearly did that winter when my over-stressed immune system broke down and left me vulnerable to every contagion that crossed my path). I put my finished book into the proverbial drawer and moved on with my life.

Looking back, those things that seemed determined to knock me off course were the very things that kept me on the path to completion. Ultimately, they set me on the path to publication.

* * * * *

Thank you, Robynn, for sharing with us today.

Guest Question: What trials have unexpectedly helped you achieve your goal?

ENTRY RULES Readers, leave your email address (name at domainname dot com/net) along with your answer to the question for your chance to win a FREE eBook copy in the format of your choice of the book featured above. If you do not answer the question, and your email address isn't provided, you will not be entered.

This week, the contest is open to anyone worldwide.


P. Creeden said...

Hi Robynn,
In Feb 2009, my husband and my first dog together died of congestive heart failure, he was on medication for his cough for nearly a year before he succumbed, so I know how hard it was for you to lose such a close companion!

In Mar 2011, I had a miscarriage, and this loss spurred me toward a path of writing similar to yours! Knowing that we are kindred spirits inspires me to read your book!

Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!


UK said...

Caissa is a knight, but her battles in life have not been with sword and shield, but quill and scroll. She is a scholar knight that has no desire to achieve glory and honor through brute strength. No, her comfort comes by way of library stacks and quests of recording social qualities of surrounding lands. She's not looking for trouble but trouble finds her in spades when another knight is murdered before her and it is revealed that she was the target. She must choose to put aside her quill and draw her sword. She didn't start it but she may be the only one that can finish it.
Robynn Tolbert has created a believable and intriguing world. Her writing is smart, clean and full of witticism. I highly recommend Star of Justice to all lovers of epic fantasy and the spinning of a good, twisty yarn.

Amy C said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robynn Tolbert said...

Hi, Pauline! We just keep bumping into each other, don't we? I'm so sorry for your losses. Life just sucks sometimes. I'm so grateful God stands next to me even when I'd rather He just go away and "help" someone else for a while.

UK, it sounds like you've read it already. Thank you for the kind words. In fact...those words read a little familiar. Hmmm...

Amy, I believe that, too. Even when I don't see a reason, I know God has one. I'm so grateful for that.

Thank you all for stopping by!

squiresj said...

I don't know if any trials helped me achieve my goal. But I do know that no trial ever kept me from achieving my goal. I taught children for 44 years. Even in a wheel chair when I hit a tree and was laid up for some time. Rhuemotoid arthritis has not stopped me either and I have battled it 15 years plus.
Now I have grandchildren who are forcing me to think where I go from here. Because of not teaching now, I moved to winning and reviewing books on internet to assits authors and be a blessing to them.
jrs362 at hotmail dot com

Robynn Tolbert said...

And the winner is...Amy Campbell!

Thank you so much for joining in, everyone.

For those interested in an e-copy, is the cheapest vendor and they carry Kindle and pdf versions ready for download to just about any ereader.

Thank you for having me, Tiff, and happy reading!