Gina: I am excited to introduce you to HL Carpenter, a mother/daughter writing team. I asked them if they would share some of their warmth and imaginative stories with us, and they accepted. I first met these lovely ladies during the Book Marketing Challenge. I’ve read happily along with their blog posts and newsletters long enough to know that they have a lot up their sleeves. They’ve prepared a lovely post for us today.
HL: Gina, thank you for making space on your blog for us, for introducing us to your readers, and for giving us this opportunity to showcase our work.
Gina: Having the two of you visit my blog is a thrill. You are my first guest posters, and that feels really fitting. I enjoyed reading your excerpt from Dream Stealer. Thank you for being a part of my author journey. It means a lot to me.
by HL Carpenter
We’re building a walkway here in Carpenter Country.
As is often the case, the initial inspiration came from a whimsical image. The idea tickled our imagination and took hold as related details, descriptions, and designs caught our attention. We began to plan.
We visualized a bend just ahead, around the drooping hibiscus; another beyond that, past the sweetly scented jasmine. Perhaps we’d flank the walk with a curvy white bench placed in the shade of the oak, beside the lush pink azalea.
With the general layout in mind, we set to work. We gathered supplies, cleared the ground, leveled the dirt. We hoed and raked and excavated. Dust rose, coating sweaty skin. The gardening gloves darkened with soil. Lizards fled and earthworms were relocated to a safer home.
The prep is finished and the walkway is now growing in two-by-two sections, each fitting with the one before. There have been a few detours—Shouldn’t the heritage rose be highlighted? Wouldn’t the delicate blueness of the plumbago make an attractive side trip?
Construction mishaps occur too. Despite our care, some of the stones are rough and some sections of the path are uneven. We adjust, correct, persevere. There’s always room for change, for welcoming the inevitable and appreciating the serendipitous good fortune that arises with acceptance.
Yet we must also keep the final goal in mind. When the path is complete, when the elemental building blocks of water and aggregate and sand and sun fuse, we want the resulting stones to be strong. Though the path is uniquely ours, others will walk this way. Our journey is theirs.
And theirs is ours.
Gina: The story about building the walkway is an example of what I look forward to in their newsletters. Now, you can learn more about them from their bio:
Florida-based mother/daughter author duo HL Carpenter writes sweet, clean fiction that is suitable for everyone in your family. The Carpenters write from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit HLCarpenter.com to enjoy gift reads and excerpts and to find out what’s happening in Carpenter Country.
Gina: Their latest release is Dream Stealer. Please enjoy an excerpt:
Dream Stealer (ebook) – Is stealing a dream better than losing your own?
Genre: Middle Grade/Young Adult fantasy
Rating: Sweet, clean (no offensive language; no explicit love scenes)
Suitable for: Ages 10 and up
Length: Novelette (8,400 words; 33 pages)
Dream Stealer is a middle grade/young adult novelette of approximately 8,400 words. It’s the story of Fancy Moonstruck. Fancy is supposed to steal dreams. It’s what her family does for a living, and now that she’s fifteen, the job is hers.
But it’s a job Fancy would rather not have. She knows first-hand what dreams mean to the dreamer because she dreams of her mom, who died five years ago. Losing her dream would be like losing her mom all over again. That’s a pain Fancy doesn’t want to inflict on anyone.
But the rules are clear: Steal a dream—or lose her own.
G-Rated excerpt from Dream Stealer
Another moment and the dream will be gone.
The winter sea breeze brushes my hair from my face, its cold caress as light as the layer of fear I wear like my dark hoodie, and as soft as my shallow breathing. In the way of every good thief, I take care that the whispery puff of my breath is the only sound I make.
Though I’m not touching the fleeing dream, it kisses my mind, sticky as a spider’s web. I stand still, wide-awake in the hush of the two a.m. darkness, staring at the pulsing silver sliver. The external details are breathtaking: the shivering tendrils of longing; the filaments of hope, quivering like the strings of a harp. They float through the window of the ramshackle beach cottage where Mrs. Hooper sleeps, reaching upward with fog-thin fingers, anchored within her heart, searching for the sky.
Mrs. Hooper’s dream is one of love-longing, and I peek inside as it sways above me, though I’m not supposed to. The Dream Buyers pay well for dreams of love-longing, and they pay especially well for dreams untouched by us Stealers.
Even so, I can’t stop myself from lingering inside the dream. I spend precious seconds there, warming myself in the heat of Mrs. Hooper’s longing for the love of her son, before drawing back into the chill of the night’s reality, and my work in it. I fumble to release the dream catcher, which dangles from my belt on a leather cord, then grasp the handle of the delicate, tightly-woven net. I focus on the hours of practice runs I went over with Dad. I need only reach out now, and my very first dream-stealing excursion will end in success.
And I will keep my family safe.
I must do this. Yet I hesitate. Dad says Mrs. Hooper will never miss her dream. Is it possible he’s wrong? I dream a similar love-longing dream myself, every night, and I know what it means to me—the same as this dream must mean to Mrs. Hooper.
If I’m right, I cannot take it from her.
I must take it.
Our home on the web is HLCarpenter.com. We’re also on Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, and we have an author page on Amazon.
Blog Post Image Credit
Image courtesy of HL Carpenter
Gina: As always, thank you for reading.