• Like an Ominous Shadow

      


  • Where It All Began—The Crystal Keys: Champion of Destiny

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    I wrote my first book when I was seven.

    I wish I still had that thing; I bet it was horrendous!  I still vaguely remember the details.  It was about a wild stallion and his band of mares.  Of course it was, I was a seven-year-old girl!

    I spent the next thirty some-odd years writing random stuff . . . and dreaming of putting something, anything, between covers.

    Yet time passed, and life has a way of crushing your dreams beneath her heavy heel.

    First came love, then came marriage, then came Angelia with the baby carriage. And bills. And another baby carriage. And still more bills!

    It was nearly three decades later when I was lying on his couch in Oklahoma watching some silly reality show when he asked me the question that would eventually change the trajectory of my life.

    “Can you fix it?”

    He’ was my dear uncle, Gary Follis.

    It’ was a manuscript he had written—go figure—when I was seven.

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    Unk and I about the time he wrote the first draft of The Crystal Keys: Champion of Destiny

    I read the manuscript, and it was pretty bad (terrible actually!), but I knew in my heart that I absolutely could ‘fix’ it!

    Together we set out on a breathtaking journey to create something extraordinary.

    For the next three years I worked ceaselessly on the project in my spare time between kids, work, and life.

    First came a complete overhaul and rewrite. Then came the edit and the edit and the edit and the edit . . . and the edit.  You get the idea.

    Oh, did I mention more editing?

    Sadly, tomorrow is not a promise, but rather a uncertain mirage in our hopeful hearts. On September 24, 2013, after a long battle with illness, my uncle passed away.

    His final wish was, “Finish our book.”

    Losing him rocked my world;  I was devastated. The next months were hard—very hard.

    Some days I worked fervently on polishing the manuscript, driven by the need to fulfill a dream—a dream that he and I had shared.

    Some days I could not even bear to look at the words on the screen because they were like a dagger to my soul, a painful reminder of the gaping hole his passing had left in my life and heart.

    Finally, in early December 2014, I knew it was time.  I submitted the manuscript to a Wheatmark Publishing.

    Pressing the ‘submit’ button was beyond difficult. This book is not just any old book. It is personal—laden with moments of great joy and even greater pain. It is what is left of my uncle and I, printed with teardrops and bound with love. Sharing it with the world has been hard-very hard.

     This book is not just any old book. It is personal—laden with moments of great joy and even greater pain. It is what is left of my uncle and I, printed with teardrops and bound with love.

    The fallout, however, has been…unimaginable.

    The amazing man from the publishing company to take my first call boasted a very, very unusual name—incredibly, a name that just happened to belong to one of the main characters of my story—a name picked for that character over thirty years ago by my uncle.

    Here’s your sign. 

    The rest of the story is history in the making.

    Though the book has only been out less than a month, the reviews and feedback have been mind-blowingly positive. There is something very special in the Keys—passion, love, and devotion.

    What does the future hold? Who knows—but it hardly matters. Success is not about money or fame.  Success is about perseverance, overcoming, and seeing dreams come true.

    Whether we sell one book or a million, we have already succeeded. Love found a way.

    Angelia Griffin and Gary Follis
    Angelia Griffin and Gary Follis

    So that is, in part, our story.

    I truly believe that it is one of those tales that touches you so deeply that a part of it will remain with you always and forever.

    I know one thing for certain—it has changed my life.

    Always.  Forever.

    Thank you for undertaking this breathtaking journey with us. It is my honor to share this piece of my heart and the culmination of two dreamers with you. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it.

    And to my dear uncle… WE DID IT!

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  • An Exciting Week!

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    Hello readers!

    I just returned from a two-week road trip/camping expedition with my family. I apologize for my absence, but it felt incredibly good to unplug for a little while.

    That being said, I am back in full force now, and I have some really exciting things to tell you about!

    First, an article I wrote was published to a site called YourTango, who added a plug for The Crystal Keys at the end of the article!

    Then I got a message from John Lanier at Christian Voice Magazine asking for permission to print an article I had written in their August issue. In exchange, he is giving The Crystal Keys: Champion of Destiny full-page ad! I have seen the advertisement that he worked up, and it is absolutely beautiful! I am so excited to get my copy next month!

    Something rather notable about these two occurrences is that they are polar opposite on the entertainment spectrum. What does this say about Champion of Destiny? I believe it makes a very potent statement—that there is something for everyone in this fast-paced fantasy fiction novel!

    As if this isn’t exciting enough, I received a third email stating that my entry had been chosen for a conglomerate book project called The Mom Quilt! This book is due out in August 2015. The proceeds for the book will go to help build a water well for a house which caters to oppressed and victimized, teen-aged mothers in Kenya at an organization called Mercy House! I can think of no greater privilege or better use for my words and cannot wait to share more about this exciting project with you!

    As for my progress . . .  There is now an official fan page for The Crystal Keys series. Stop on by and say hello, start a conversation, and meet some other fans! This is a fan-driven discussion, so I hope some of you will come on over and chat! As we speak The Crystal Keys: Sera Oth Berinon (Book Two) is undergoing initial copy edit by the editor. I am starting a word-for-word detailed edit tonight . . . if I ever get off the computer, that is!

    Well, that’s all for now, friends! I hope you are all enjoying reading The Crystal Keys: Champion of Destiny (Book One). I cannot wait to hear your comments and reviews!

    Sincerely,

    Angelia J. Griffin


  • Now Available For Purchase!

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    CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!

    The Crystal Keys: Champion of Destiny is now available for purchase!

    You can purchase on Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Apple, and all other major online retailers. The Crystal Keys Champion of Destiny is available in Print and eBook formats!

    So only ONE last question remains: WHO’S READY TO READ!?!?

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  • Already Famous

    My precious children and their reaction as they hold the first copies of The Crystal Keys: Champion of Destiny.

    Probably the most frequently asked question I get right now is, “What are you going to do when you are famous?”

    Ummm . . . probably the exact same things I already do right now. Drive the same dorky mom van, raise chickens, and love my husband and children fiercely.

    Because the truth is, I already am famous.

    Not long ago, my 10-year-old daughter looked at me with huge, excited eyes and asked me, ”Mommy, are you on the New York Times Best Seller list yet!?”

    Nevermind that the The Crystal Keys: Champion of Destiny had not even been released yet! It didn’t matter in her mind.

    In her eyes, I have already succeeded.

    I am already famous.

    My hand and my daughter’s hand holding the book together. A very precious moment.

    And because my children believe it, it is true. I don’t need a hundred or even a million strangers to tell me that I have created something beautiful—I already know.

    When they look at me with those adoring eyes and see a Mommy who fought through adversity; a Mommy who refused to give up; a Mommy who faithfully worked hard to accomplish a lifelong dream—

    I have already won.

    I am already famous.

    It doesn’t matter if one or a million sets of eyes read the book.

    What matters was the look in my children’s eyes when they held the first copy of The Crystal Keys in their adoring hands.

    What matters is the hugs, screaming, and wild dancing we did when the UPS man walked away and we shut the door.

    Look.

    Perhaps I will never sell a single book. And that’s okay; I am already famous.

    Or perhaps I will someday gain what the rest of the world deems as success.

    And if by some miracle that should actually happen, I humbly pray that—

    I do not let the world and success change me; but rather, I use my success to change the world.

    There have already been many incredible moments in this journey. It would be hard to pick a best.

    But tonight when I cuddled up beside my firstborn and read the first chapter of my first book . . .

    That was simply priceless beyond compare.

    Her eyes glowed, her face registered pure joy, and she clung to my arm and every word as I read aloud a masterpiece created from the love of two hearts—her Mommy and her Great Uncle.

    She was beside herself that she was the first person to ever read the printed version of the book, and she dubbed it, “The greatest thing that has ever happened!”

    Preparing to read my first book to my firstborn child.

    That, dear friends, is the kind of fame that all the money in the world cannot buy.

     

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