Five Gems Book 1
by E. Kaiser Writes Genre: YA Fantasy Adventure
On her first visit to the palace, sixteen-year-old Fia stumbles upon a court intrigue. To keep the secret safe, the Chancellor sends her off as apprentice to a famous, reclusive, mountain jeweler...
...And straight into adventure.
Discovering gems with deep secrets and new friends with the same, Fia learns a whole lot more than just making jewelry: when to trust a stranger, and when not to, why not to try stealing from gem thieves; what heroism is; what royalty ought to be; and that the mountains themselves can sometimes be the greatest danger of all.
Is the legend of the Sunlight Stone true?
Will peace ever come to the war-torn neighboring kingdom?
And what is the stable boy hiding...?
It was the Sunlight Stone. She lifted it gently from its case, and it lay in her hand like an enchanted bird, the crisp golden facets nearly glowing in the light from the high barred window. It looked like an embodiment of sunshine, and felt as smooth and cold to her touch as if it had been cut from glacier ice.
She caught a shaky breath. To imagine, that she held in her hand an object of legend, one of the great stones known to the jeweler's trades, the mysterious, less than half believed, Golden Light. Enchanted, she ran a finger over the corners of the facets, and tapped a fingernail against its perfect surface. Adamant. The hardest stone on earth.
Five Gems Book 2
Secrets. Sabotage. Murder. With Olayin House temporarily turned into a weapons factory, Fia is confronted with the care of three refugee children, an ill-timed visitor, a perplexingly brash messenger that she isn't quite sure what to think of, all while trying to keep her friend’s secrets safe. But when dangerous accidents start to happen, the young apprentice begins to tread a fine line of suspicion. Are saboteurs out to nix the weapons works... and is the incognito crown prince in mortal peril? Winter in the mountain house isn’t as cozy as her apprenticeship was expected to be.
Andro’s hearty guffaw filled the hall and he slapped his guest on the shoulder so hard the man stumbled to catch himself.
They were like two boys, Fia thought, and then understood. They had been two boys, and of course they had known each other for many years before family responsibilities and the hardships of life had drawn them apart and knocked the spark down in them.
But now, with Gilahdro’s release, there was a new element in his soul. The element of fire.
His dark eyes shifted sideways to catch her glance and he grinned. His good mood knew no bounds today. He reached out to chuck her under the chin and then gave her a mischievous wink.
“Been keepin’ secrets?” he asked, his voice filled with an enthusiasm he could hardly contain.
“Yes, sir.” Fia answered before she could think it over carefully, and then felt a little embarrassed as the two men laughed heartily.
She bit her lip and tried to figure out what was meant. Did he mean; was she keeping secrets from them? Or, was she keeping the secrets they expected her to keep?
King's Ward Five Gems Book 3
With her wealth of loyalist secrets, Fia’s position at Olayin House is compromised. Now a potential danger to two countries, she is made a ward of the king and sent away yet again; this time into the grassland kingdom of Erlandia, but her journey amongst the horse folk takes unexpected turns.
Trapped under siege, she faces two men from her past... one she fears might murder her, and the other may die of plague unless she wins the battle for his life. And with the Sunlight Stone traded for troops, how long will Erlandia’s peace last?
Fia darted through the streets in the dusky half glow, her heart pounding in her ears for more reasons than just her hurried pace. What if someone challenged her and she had to explain what she was doing out here?
She shivered. The thought didn’t bare dwelling on.
She caught sight of the sign creaking over head and inched forward with bated breath, eyes strained to make out the shop’s purpose. Was this finally the herbalist’s shop she’d so discretely inquired the location of?
The light was too poor to read the weather beaten lettering, but the unmistakable symbol of a mortar and pestle let her lungs release their nervous squeeze and she let out a deep breath.
Once more she glanced around the street, just to be certain that she was alone, but the street was still deserted. At this hour, why wouldn’t it be?
E. Kaiser Writes was born into a family of readers, and got started on storytelling around the age of four when her older siblings prompted her into recounting an absolutely ridiculous account of a parallel childhood. It was good for the family's general entertainment, and she discovered the thrill of making people laugh.
At the age of seven her mother read the Hobbit aloud, and a fascination with beautiful fantasy was born. At nine she came to the decision that she wanted to be a writer, and set to reading rabidly to learn the art. At thirteen she attempted her first novel, and it was eaten in a computer's demise.
Afterward, during her teenage years she tried very hard at various times to stop writing all together.
Not succeeding, she at last gave in to her addiction, and wrote "for fun".
Her first novel, Jeweler's Apprentice, is a light-fantasy adventure for teens. The shy, bookish heroine is thrust out on the first step toward the adventure that awaits, and growing up. More books in this series are expected.
Tell us something really interesting that's happened to you!
I’ve had quite a unique life, all growing up, so there’s a lot of things people might find interesting. But for me, I think one of the really defining things that happened to me was being immersed in horse training as a youngster, especially. Those stages in life, we’re really looking for “who we’re going to be”, and when you’re working with an animal, you have to decide who you are in relation to who that animal needs you to be.
All animals are as much individuals as we are... and learning to read them and them become the half of the partnership that fills out their weaknesses, that is a huge skill that 100% translates into the rest of life.
Some horses are too pushy, others too lackadaisical; they can be selfish, lazy, explosive, and always have the potential to be a danger to themselves and others. So you have to accept the horse where it’s at, and then start a conversation using body language that becomes this sort of dance stretching out for months until at the end they are something more than they used to be, and have become the best possible version of themselves.
And in that same process you have the chance to become the best possible version of yourself, and while influencing them, they have a thousand lessons to teach you in return. So it’s really a character growth exercise, if you take it that way, and it’s one of the most challenging pursuits, (mentally and physically) as well as most rewarding, that I can think of.
I’d definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to grow their inner selves!
Where were you born/grew up at?
I grew up all over, and by that I mean within America. But a wide variety of regions have impacted my life, and as we always lived rural, sometimes without electricity, it was an adventure that’s hard to explain!
But that really influences my stories. The way local terrain and weather patterns really affect how things are done on a daily level when you’re so connected to your environment and dependent upon it; it’s a big factor in my writing style.
So many books or movies are played out in a vacuum... as if the story would go the exact same way in a hundred different settings, and that’s just not so. Environment massively impacts how people do things, and from there it impacts how the story goes.
Stories set in modern times, all right, yes, there is a great similarity increase brought in with the inclusion of power lines, cell phones, and television.
But historical, or “past-based” fiction of any kind, really needs to consider the intricacies of real life in balance with geography and climate. They add such rich detail to the tiny moments, and it’s something so many creatives miss out on completely, and something I try to really capitalize on. Because we seek entertainment not just to hear “who dunnit”, but why, and how, and those two points are underlain in so many ways by the environment as a stage.
So yes! I grew up exposed to Texas desert, (scorpions, ack!) though to Minnesota winters, (talk about Nordic inspired!) from the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee to the Northern Rockies just short of Canada. Also, the plains states, which cast my teens and 20’s in a very “Erlandian” light.
What inspired you to write this book?
First credit needs to go to Nebraska, Montana, and Wyoming, as well as a small slice of the Dakotas. These various grassy regions are the foundation of my first-hand understanding of plains culture. Growing up a-horseback in these areas gave me unprecedented insight on such a society, and I loved the chance to infuse some of the aspects of my childhood into the Erlandian culture. I didn’t get to share nearly enough, because the plot must move on, but I hope the subtle details bring across a richness that can be found in reality.
Secondly, gratitude needs to be extended to the Hungarian horses, their little known importation into the western states for cavalry mounts toward the end of the horseback era, and the information their presence brought into my teen life. I would never have been as impacted by the Magyar culture and the geographical similarities between the American and European grasslands without the tale of the dedicated Hungarian horseman who came to Nebraska and watched the horses he’d helped send over here... as they galloped up the grassy rise he wept unashamed, because it reminded him so forcibly of home. (Which was gravely impacted by WWI & II.)
(There’s a movie that touches briefly on this, and it’s got the same actor as Alec from the Black Stallion in a role! Super fun, any horse-film fan should definitely watch it. "Brady's Escape" or sometimes "The Long Ride". https://www.amazon.com/Bradys-Escape-John-Savage/dp/B000CQRAMS)
I channeled a mixture of all this into the Erlandian adventure, as well as mixing in an extra dash of the eternal flamboyance and confidence which horse riders everywhere are inclined to exhibit.
I am grateful to have grown up immersed in that. It made me a braver soul.
I think it makes Fia a braver soul, too.
What can we expect from you in the future?
Definitely 2 more novels in this series, set in different locations, with increasing mystery and intrigue as Fia grows more into her own and takes even more agency over her path and the way she is positioned to impact how history happens with the Othiran uprising.
Book 4 (currently titled White Castle) will be a karst mountain region, with lots of caves; which end up playing a large role. And #5 will be include a city on a reclaimed-fen-turned-seaport, skirted by dessert terrain, loosely based on Mediterranean and Venice. So that will be lots of fun.
As to the characters Fia will meet, or re-meet... why, that would be telling.
But it’s going to be fun!
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Oh, definitely some unknown who looks just like how Fia is portrayed on the cover! I’m big on using new talent that really fits the part, and I’m actually sort of the kind of person who calls actors by the name of the role I first saw them in... It’s hard to see them as a totally different character.
So in my ideal world, I’d cast all fresh faces... and I know that’s not an acceptable way to ensure your film makes a million, but artistically, that’d be my preference!
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