The Stone of Kings · Writing

Meet the Characters of The Stone of Kings – John Grady

Journey prank kidWhat He Looks Like

Always smiling. John is a man who takes everything in stride. It takes a lot to crush his spirit. It doesn’t really matter what he looks like because he’s simply likable.

His Part to Play

Turlough knows that Bresal is right. He needs to be sober for this particular journey, but he’s not used to soberness. John’s lighthearted candor helps distract Turlough better than Bresal’s deep intellectual knowledge. But Bresal sees John’s company as problematic because they can’t tell him anything about immortal druids or faeries. But John has a secret of his own…

What He Means to the Story

John is a supporting character. Though his role is small, he is significant. He is observant and without him the story might have ended very differently.

His Failing

John loves a joke as much as Turlough. Sometimes, it’s a bit inopportune. He and Turlough pull a prank on Breasal and while it hinders the start of their day’s journey, it does attract somewhat helpful attention.

His Strength

John loves a joke as much as Turlough. Here again is a character who’s failing is also his strength. We would all slide into deep depressions if we could not see a glint of comedy in the most dire of adventures. It’s the fun in life that gives us purpose and makes us keep going. John reminds Turlough of this many times.

I’d Love To Hear From You!

Do you have a friend like John? Someone who always seems to smile no matter what? Do you have a friend who’s antics sometimes get in the way? How dull will your life be without them?

Friday Fun

Friday Fun! Secrets…


Charlie comes up to me with his Thomas the Tank Engine alphabet puzzle box. He says, “I got a surprise for you, Mommy. It’s a secret.”

I open the box and act shocked to find the puzzle pieces inside.

A few moments later, he comes up to me with one of his bins full of toys. “I got another surprise for you, Mommy. It’s not a secret.”

“It’s not a secret?” I ask.

He shakes his head.

“Is it because it doesn’t have a lid like the puzzle box?”


Charlie – Age 4


I kept the boys out by myself Tuesday night at Lil’ Hands Play and Party, so that hubby could paint the kitchen. Our house, when we bought it, came with flat paint on all the walls, which is a bad choice if you have little boys because it doesn’t clean. I was talking to the boys about Daddy painting while we were on our way home, and this is a comment I heard as we got out of the car.

“I can’t wait to see the kitchen… and I’m hungry.”

William – Age 5


Toddler word of the day: “nokay”. A response to a question which always starts with “no” (because that is our favorite word these days) but changes mid-response because maybe a cookie (or ball or whatever) doesn’t sound so bad after all…

Jamie – Age 2


During the polar vortex this past winter, it got cold enough here in Florida for my next door neighbor to run his snow machine. 🙂 The boys had been used to the “snow” machines at Busch Gardens and other places that blow out tiny bubbles that look like snowflakes when they fall. When they ran out to play in our neighbor’s real snow, William bent down and scooped up a big handful. He said with utter surprise, “It’s cold!”

William – Age 5

What are some of the awesomely funny/sweet things your kids say and do?

Guest Posts

Wednesday Welcomes – Ariella Moon!

Today I have the pleasure of fellow Narnia lover Ariella Moon on my blog! Her books look right up my alley. I love magical fiction and am excited to read hers. Take it away Ariella! 😀

My thanks to Shea Ford for allowing me to guest host today. I am honored to be here! My second YA novel, Spell Struck, Book 2: The Teen Wytche Saga, released July 18th. The first book in the series, Spell Check, debuted in 2012.


The Power of Secrets

Spell Struck marks a milestone for me. Its publication launches me into the ranks of multi-published authors. More importantly, it affords me another chance to delve into beloved characters’ lives. Spell Struck is edgier than Spell Check, in part because it stars Salem, the school Goth, and newcomer Aidan, a boy hiding dangerous secrets.

I always knew my books were about friendship, magic, and love. But with Spell Struck and the next two books in the Teen Wytche Saga (I haven’t written beyond that, though I hope there will be more!) I realize secrets constitute an underlying theme in my work.

Secrets flourish in middle school and high school, where peer pressure, sexuality, and body image issues are rampant. So it is little wonder that secrets underlie the Teen Wytche Saga. Sometimes, the best way to disempower a secret; is to reveal it. A secret is like the monster under the bed. Shine a light on it, and it disappears.

Are you a secret keeper? How long have you kept your secret? I have a flashlight if you need one.

~Ariella Moon

Spell Struck, Book 2: The Teen Wytche Saga

What if the one person who saw through your lies and loved you, harbored a secret that could cost you everything?


Back Cover Blurb

Goth outcast, Salem Miller, believes her love spell failed until Aidan Cooper arrives at Jefferson High. When he chooses her over the popular girls, Salem knows magic brought him. But can she summon enough wizardry to save her sister? Salem fears Amy’s next suicide attempt will succeed. Magic brought Aidan. Maybe it can cure Amy. Salem’s last hope lies hidden within a damaged grimoire, nearly destroyed by a wrongful love spell. Was her rightful love spell enough to restore it?

Newest Jefferson High transplant, Aidan Cooper, doesn’t expect to be attracted to a goth. Then he realizes Salem is throwing a glamour—pretending to be something she’s not. Guess it takes one to know one, since his whole life has been a lie. But if his kidnappers discover he’s broken their No Attachments rule, he’ll never see Salem again. Worse, he’s terrified they’ll harm her when they discover she possesses the ancient grimoire. To protect Salem, Aidan must destroy the grimoire, and escape his captors.

While Salem races to unlock the Get Well Spell, Aidan scrambles to overcome his past. With their star-crossed paths at odds, will time run out for both of them?


Aidan lowered his hand. His finger pressed against my skin, shooting a delicious tingle up my arm. When I didn’t move away, he hooked his finger over mine. My breath caught. We stayed, frozen, hyper-focused, for what seemed like three lifetimes. Then Aidan trailed his fingertips across the back of my hand. The soundtrack, popcorn smells, and theater audience melted into the background. The world narrowed down to the unspoken grief and need entangled in Aidan’s touch.

I rotated my hand so my palm faced upward. Aidan hesitated. Our gazes locked in the flickering light. The spell link humming between us lit up like blue lightning. At least I think it was the spell link. Aidan plunged his fingers between mine. Our palms pressed together, igniting a current. Air shuddered from my lungs. Magic rippled from us in successive waves.

My heart stuttered. My breath ceased. Every cell within me vibrated. Troops of fairies or dragonflies took flight in my lower abdomen. It’s possible blue lightning shot from my boots.

Good thing I wasn’t holding the popcorn.

About Ariella Moon

Ariella Moon writes about magic, friendship, and love in Spell Check and Spell Struck, Books One & Two in The Teen Wytche Saga from Astraea Press. After a childhood spent searching for a magical wardrobe that would transport her to Narnia, Ariella grew up to become an author and shaman. Extreme math anxiety, and taller students who mistook her for a leaning post, marred Ariella’s teen years. Despite these horrors, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Davis. She now lives a nearly normal life with her extraordinary daughter, shamelessly spoiled dog, and an enormous dragon.


Where to Spell Struck


Barnes and Noble

Astraea Press!/~/product/category=662245&id=25881125

Where to Find Ariella Moon