Dare to Read

March 12, 2012

Where Ideas Come From – 6




“…the ancient people of these mountains believed time was a spiral turning continuously onto itself.”

As Doña Irene spoke, her fingers traced the intertwined spirals carved in the silver medallion dangling from her neck.

“Occasionally, the walls between different times grow thin, and the past, the present, the future, they all become one.

“These are dangerous times, because when this happens, the very course of history can be altered.”

March 5, 2012

Where Ideas Come From – 5

Filed under: On Writing,Pictures,The King in the Stone,YA — carmenferreiroesteban @ 5:55 am
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by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban


A gnarled oak sprung from the face of the mountain, and it was under its heavy branches I saw the tomb for the first time. It grew from the earth in the middle of the expanse, seeming as much a part of the mountain as the granite from which it had been carved.

I stepped onto the ledge with the reverence I would upon entering a temple, the rustle of the dry heather under my shoes the only sound to break the silence. The soil, I realized when I came closer, had been excavated around the tomb revealing the scenes carved around its sides. On the slab used for a cover, the lying figure of a knight emerged from the stone.

Eyes closed, his hair loose over his shoulders, he was wearing a tunic that fell down to his knees and boots tight against his calves––the way noblemen dress in my world. A king. He was a king, I knew, even before I saw the circlet on his forehead and the pommel of the sword he held over his chest, the pommel with three lines entangled in the shape of a mountain, the design of the House of Montemaior. My father’s House.

February 27, 2012

Where Ideas Come From – 4

By Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

From The King in the Stone.

The excavation site was nestled in a valley, hidden in the outskirts of the mountain range, which formed a natural wall that would have kept the winds away and protected the village from the harshness of winter storms.

Unlike the village I had pictured in my mind––an enclosure of huts whose thatched roofs almost touched each other––the site that now opened in front of us was a desolate place; a bare expanse of earth where rings of stone emerged like craters on a deserted moon.

January 16, 2012

The King in the Stone – Teaser



by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban



Writing the first chapter of a sequel is tricky.

You must give enough background information on your characters and their stories so that new readers can follow. Yet, you don’t want to over explain for you risk boring those who’d read the first book.

But because so many things have already happened before the sequel begins, (enough to fill a whole book, as a matter of fact) and these things define who your characters are and where they stand now, to hit the right balance is difficult, and the first chapters can drag a little.

That’s why it’s so tempting for the writer to add a teaser before Chapter One.

And by a teaser I mean an action scene from further on in the story, that will lure the reader to stay with you through those slower first chapters.

I don’t like teasers when I am the reader. Yet, I must confess I have written one for The King in the Stone. Whether I will include it or not in the final version I do not know.

In the meantime, here it is for your enjoyment.

Hope you like it.

The King in the Stone



A flash of lightning shatters the sky and, almost immediately, the deafening explosion of close thunder shakes the ground. Startled out of her trance, Andrea looks up. Dark clouds, heavy with rain, have turned the day almost to night, dressing in shadows the valley below and hiding the peaks across the ledge from where she stands.

As if waking from a dream, Andrea takes in her surroundings, surprised to find herself  by the tomb of the unknown king, for she has no recollection of climbing the mountain. The last thing she remembers is Kelsey’s voice, so eerily clear through the phone even though she was six thousand miles away, telling her about Julián.

Andrea moans at the memory and, bent in two by the sudden pain twisting her stomach, leans forward. Images of the man she has tried so hard to forget flash through her mind. Julián bleeding in her arms, an arrow through his chest. Julián by the broken arch telling her how much he loves her. Julián rejecting her, stealing the ring from her finger . . . From the slab that covers the tomb, the lying figure of the king carved in the stone stares at her with unseeing eyes.

Another lightning flash streaks the sky and the earth trembles under her feet as thunder rolls once more over the mountains. Heavy drops fall on her face, washing away her tears.

Andrea forces her mind to reason. She has no claim over Julián. He broke their engagement and made it clear he didn’t want to be with her. That was the reason she left California these three weeks past. Whether he’s with Kelsey now or with somebody else should make no difference.

But it does. She can’t lie to herself. She’s hurting too much to pretend anymore. The truth is that moving to Spain has changed nothing. She has not forgotten Julián. His memory has haunted her dreams every night, stolen itself into every one of her waking thoughts.

Her hands clenched into fists, Andrea hits the stone, swearing at Kelsey for her betrayal. How could she? Kelsey is her cousin, her confidant. Kelsey knows how much she cares for Julián. How much she wants him back.
Not anymore. Knowing he doesn’t love her is one thing. Learning he is with Kelsey quite another. Now, at last, she will forget him.

She turns her back to the tomb, and starts toward the trail. But the rain has turned the soil to mud, and, losing her footing, she falls face down.

Spitting water and dirt, Andrea scrambles to her feet. By the light of the next lightning flash, she sees the gap on the mountainside, an open mouth calling to her, and dives through the sheets of water pouring from the angry sky toward the wall. The rope she remembers from the previous evening is still hanging down into the cave. She grabs it in her slippery hands and climbs down.

She has barely reached the ground­­—welcome, dry ground, firm under her feet—when the mountain shakes again. Andrea stumbles and, falling on her knees, raises her arms over her head, a weak protection against the gravel falling around her like solid rain.

When the noise finally stops and Andrea opens her eyes, the cave is in total darkness. Has she gone blind? she wonders as she fights back her fears. I’m not blind, she reassures herself. That’s absurd. But if she isn’t, why is it so dark?

She looks up, squinting her eyes. But it’s useless: no ray of light steals through the wall of rocks. The opening is gone. Of course, the thought breaks into her mind. The earthquake has provoked a slide and closed the entrance.

A wave of panic washes over her as she realizes she’s on her own. No one will ever come looking for her. Why should they? She told no one where she was going when she left. She’s buried alive, and this cave, up in the mountains of this world that is not hers, will be her grave.

Andrea screams, a name, a broken word, a feral cry for help that, as she feared, dies unheard against the cavern’s walls.


January 14, 2012

Agent Pitch Slam Week-end

Filed under: Event,The King in the Stone,YA — carmenferreiroesteban @ 12:30 pm
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by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban




This week-end the YA Lit Chat blog hosts an Agent Pitch Slam Week-end.

Starting Monday, two agents, Rachael Dugas from Talcott Notch Literary and Carlie Webber from Jane Rostrosen Literary Agency, and an editor, Leah Hultenschmidt from Sourcebooks Fire will leave comments on the pitches.

The pitches must be 4 or 5 lines long.

Here is my pitch for The King in the Stone:

A full moon, a silver key, and the forbidden passion of two young lovers will bring hope to a defeated kingdom and, through their sorrow, deliver a king who will change its fate.

Sent back in time to 717 A.D., Andrea and Julian are caught in opposite sides in the battle between the Spanish last unconquered settlements and the Arab army. A battle for survival that will challenge their love and demand of them the ultimate sacrifice.

If you have a manuscript ready, don’t forget to post your pitch before Sunday at midnight EST.

For more information go to http://goo.gl/8lySy.

January 5, 2012

My Road to Publication

by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban




I have good news and bad news.

Tanglewood Press, the publisher of my YA novel Two Moon Princess, has agreed to publish its sequel, The King in the Stone, in 2012. But (and this is the bad news) only as in e-book.

After waiting for so long to see my book in print, this has been a disappointment, and made me reconsider my decision of publishing with them.

The fact that I will not have a printed copy is not the only reason.

If I sign a contract with them, I will lose all my rights.

I will not be able to choose the cover

or write the blurb

or keep the title if my publisher decide to change it.

I chose the title, The King in the Stone, for reasons you’ll understand after reading the story. And I really, really want to keep it.

I wrote a blurb some weeks ago, (http://goo.gl/A6Ggm) and, although it’s still a work in progress, I want to be the one to write the final version.

And I hired an artist to design my cover combining three pictures of my choosing, and the cover she created fits my story so perfectly I don’t want to give it up.

Because I feel so strongly about these three things, I asked my publisher if she would agree, please, please, pretty please, to keep my cover, my blurb and my title.

And she said, “Um. Maybe. Let me think about it. I will get back to you.”

So, I wait.

As soon as my publisher tells me whether she agrees or not to my requests, I will let you know and reward your waiting with me by posting the cover I created, here, just for your eyes.

In the meantime, to be prepared to go solo, in case she says no, I asked my friends and fellow writers who have boldly gone this route already to share their experiences with me and my readers. Starting next Thursday, I will publish their guest posts.

Please come back and made them feel welcome.

And if you are an author who has published independently, please contact me and send me your story. I would love to hear it and share it with my readers.

December 12, 2011

Blurb for The King in the Stone



by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban



Here is my latest blurb for The King in the Stone, a sequel to Two Moon Princess:

A full moon,

A silver key,

And the relentless passion of two young lovers

will bring hope to a defeated kingdom

and, through their sorrow,

deliver a king who will change its fate.

Vivid visions have haunted Andrea since her arrival in northern Spain. In her visions, the medieval village she is excavating with the Spanish team comes alive, and, around the fires burning in the no longer buried hearths, she sees people dressed in furs sharpening old fashioned swords.

Even more upsetting for her that the headaches her visions leave is the fact that Julián appears in them—Julián, the king from her world whose rejection she is trying hard to forget.

But when a slide bury Andrea under the mountain, Julian comes to help her. That evening, as the full moon rises a portal opens and sends them both over a thousand years into the past, to a time right after the Spanish king has been defeated by the Arabian invaders.

Separated by a bitter winter, Andrea and Julian are caught in opposite sides in the battle between the Spanish last unconquered settlements and the Arabian army. A battle for survival that will determine the fate of a kingdom and demand of them the ultimate sacrifice: As the Arabs close on the mountains, Julián makes a decision that will break Andrea’s heart and change them forever.

Would this blurb make you pick up the book?