Monday, March 18, 2013

Thursday's Children: A Fish Out of Water + The Carnelian Legacy Book Giveaway!

Welcome to the Thursday's Children Blog Hop, where you can share your sources of inspiration during your writing journey. Make sure to check out the other bloggers via the Linky List at the bottom of this post, and if you want to join in, just sign up and go!

Inspired by fish out of water.

The strange parallel universe of Carnelia, from The Carnelian Legacy by Cheryl Koevoet

Have you ever felt like a "fish out of water"?

You know... that feeling you get when you're in a strange new world - full of different people, different traditions, and a different way of life. Sometimes you've had time to prepare. Other times, lightning strikes and you're dropped right in.

It's shocking. Exhilarating. And yeah, even pretty scary too.

Madaba, Jordan

My fish-out-of-water experience was in the Middle East, in a tiny town in the middle of the Jordanian desert. Talk about culture shock! From the blazing sun to the steaming-hot, bottomless cups of tea, to the "Yallahs!" and "Shukrans!" and "Imshees!". The experience shocked me at first. But it was an adventure that ultimately made me a better person.

Cheryl Koevoet, GUTGAA alumna and author of the brand-spanking new book "The Carnelian Legacy", is a REAL fish out of water. Better known as the Oregon Girl Abroad, she's a suburban, Portland-born mom who was whisked overseas to the Netherlands. Her adventures as a proud ex-pat no doubt inspired the challenges faced by the main character in her story, Marisa MacCallum.

Here's Cheryl's fish-out-of-water experience:
Twenty years ago, I was the Marisa MacCallum in my own story. I may not have traveled to another dimension, but by starting my life over as an expat when I moved to Europe and more specifically, The Netherlands, it felt like I had landed in another world. 
When I first came to Holland, I didn't speak a word of Dutch and everything from the country's food to the customs was completely foreign to me. Wandering through the centuries-old buildings and castles scattered about the Lowlands, I felt an amazing sense of history embedded in each of the stone walls and I wished so badly that they could talk! 
I saw the modern version of an ancient world through the eyes of an average American teenager and it blew me away. I was in awe of the fact that I was walking in the footsteps of Johannes Vermeer in Delft or of Rembrandt in his hometown of Leiden. I once slept in a 700-year-old hotel and the mere thought of all the generations of people who had slept there before me fascinated me.

De Drie Molens, Leidschendam, Netherlands

It was this sense of being a unique part of history in an ancient world that inspired me to write the book. The clash of cultures is something that I am all too familiar with and it was this theme that serves as the main plotline in The Carnelian Legacy. The idea of a young woman from the twenty-first century trying to understand life in a world without cell phones, TV's, and internet was intriguing to me and I decided to write about it.

Although we have all of these modern conveniences today in The Netherlands, it still strikes me as funny when I see a young woman of Marisa's age enjoying her frappucino and scrolling through her smartphone as she sits in a Starbucks where Dutch painters of the Golden Age once enjoyed their ale more than four centuries ago.

The Carnelian Legacy on

Now on to The Carnelian Legacy:

Imagine this: you're an 18-year-old dreamer who's suddenly brought down to earth when your father dies. Before you can say "Excalibur", a freak lightning storm transports you to the parallel universe of Carnelia, a medieval land bursting with knights, monsters, and (my personal favourite) war. Of course, the knights in question find you particularly intriguing, and you're suddenly caught in a love triangle that will decide both the fate of Carnelia... and whether you can return home.


If that sounds like an amazing fish-out-of-water experience to you, make sure you enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below for a chance to win a FREE softcover OR e-book copy of The Carnelian Legacy.

Just enter your email address or login with Facebook for 3 entries. Gain 3 additional entries by following Cheryl on Twitter and Facebook, and tweeting about the giveaway.

The giveaway closes at midnight on Friday, March 29. Yallah!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more on the book, visit and check out the smoking trailer below!

Don't forget to check out the Blog Hop, and join in, too!

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