What Inspired Me to Write The Orchard of Hope
First of all, a little background may be useful here. The Orchard of Hope is the second book in The Kingdom Wars series. The first book was the Orphanage of Miracles, and I am writing the third book now. Any of these books may be read out of order as each deals with a slightly different topic and is a story in itself. I’m one of those people who likes to read books in order to watch the overall story build, but it’s not necessary for these books. And here’s why: these books are allegories. Each one is designed to deal with a different struggle in life.
The primary life issue addressed in The Orchard of Hope is what to do when someone tries to steal our hope. There are a lot of bullies in life, and many of them don’t understand what they’re doing or how destructive their behavior is to others. Whether you’re a child or an adult in the workplace, there are always people who will try to pull you down and make you feel despair. These situations are like the wolves stealing hope from the kingdom. We all need hope, but sometimes we act as if there isn’t enough of it to go around.
One of the other things The Orchard of Hope addresses is that injuries don’t have to be real in order to damage us. For example, someone doesn’t need to be malicious in order to actually hurt me. Many of us have been hurt physically and emotionally through accidental means (the person who inflicted the injury didn’t intend to harm us), and yet we have to deal with the pain and struggle through the healing process all the same. The important thing is to continue to move toward healing and learn forgiveness by not holding onto any grudges. Everyone has struggles. Life hurts. There’s no way around it. But we can always choose to be healed and work towards it.
So what inspired me to write this book (and the others in the series)? Life. It can be very tough, especially for kids. I wanted to help them see positive and constructive ways to address many of life’s problems.
Short Bio: Amy Neftzger published her first fiction book Conversations with the Moon in 2003. Since then she has published books for both children and adults, including All that the Dog Ever Wanted, Bedtime Stories for Dogs, Bedtime Stories for Cats, Leftover shorts, Confessions From a Moving Van, The Orphanage of Miracles, and The Ferryman. She lives in Nashville with her family and pet gargoyle Newton.
Long Bio:Amy Neftzger (born June 23) is an American researcher and author who has published fiction books, non-fiction books, business articles, and peer review research. Her works have reached an international audience.
Amy was born in Illinois and graduated from Elk Grove High School in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. She received her bachelors degree from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida and her Masters in Industrial/ Organizational Psychology from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She graduated from both Universities with honors.
She has written numerous business and journal articles, but her fiction works have been the most commercially successful. In 2003 she published Conversations with the Moon, which was also translated into Korean and published in South Korea. In 2005 she collaborated with her husband, guitarist Tyra Neftzger on a children's book called "All that the Dog Ever Wanted." The book was designed to introduce children to jazz music at an early age and included a CD sampler of jazz tunes. In 2007 she worked as an editor on a business fable called "The Damned Company." She's also written "Confessions From a Moving Van" and "Leftover Shorts."
In 2013, Amy released her first Young Adult book called "The Orphanage of Miracles." The sequel to this book, "The Orchard of Hope" is scheduled for release in June of 2014, and The Ferryman (adult fiction) is scheduled for release in October, 2014.
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Book Genre: Middle grade fiction/ fantasy
Publisher: Fields of Gold Publishing, Inc (Imprint Fog Ink)
Release Date: June 23, 2014
“Hope is never gone, but it can be eaten alive. “
A quest to save hope.
A kingdom under a spell.
A wizard in training.
A gargoyle with a sweet tooth.
The sequel to The Orphanage of Miracles is filled
with engaging characters, magic, adventure, and
unusual circumstance. It’s a story that will
both entertain and inspire the reader.
Kelsey, a strong-willed and high spirited young girl, embarks upon another adventurous quest - this time to save hope, which is being stolen from the orchard. While the kingdom is still under the spell of the evil sorcerer who distorts reality in order to gain control, the king begins training someone who he believes can ultimately defeat the sorcerer: a young boy named Nicholas. Revisit some of your favorite characters or meet them for the first time in this volume.
Hope is never gone. But it can be eaten alive, and that’s exactly what was happening in the orchard. The king had told them about the problem before, but the problem wasn’t going away. In fact, the problem was getting bigger and becoming critical, and the king was certain that Kelsey could help. She was excited about the trip and looking forward to the journey to the orchard, wherever that might be and however long it would take.
It wasn’t as if Kelsey hadn’t enjoyed the past 18 months of training with the king’s army. The battle conditioning had been a wonderful experience for her, but now she was ready for action. Too much time spent in one place had made her restless. When the king first mentioned the quest, Kelsey had jumped up out of her seat with excitement.
“How do we save hope?” Kelsey asked with undisguised eagerness. After an awkward pause she sat down again and waited for an answer. Her fingers gripped the top of the thick walnut table where she was seated in the king’s study. Every wall in this room was covered with bookshelves from floor to ceiling, except for the places where there were windows, which also stretched the height of the room.
“That’s a question to which we do not yet have an answer. It’s a bit of a tricky situation,” the king said as he smiled. He was a tall figure with broad shoulders and flowing red hair. Although he ruled this land and was respected by his opponents in battle, Kelsey often thought about him as something of a father figure. His stature conveyed his strength, but his eyes and his smile hinted at the tenderness that Kelsey always saw in him. Of course, she had known him under different circumstances before she knew he was the king. In fact, he had been traveling in disguise and appeared to be a small mute orphan that Kelsey had attempted to help. Only later did she learn his true identity.
“Why don’t you simply fence the orchard?” asked Nicholas, who was a young boy about the same age as Kelsey. He sat upright in his chair, as if paying attention to a lesson.
“I wish the solution were that easy,” the king replied solemnly, “but we don’t fully understand the extent of the situation. Implanting obstacles, such as a fence, will solve the problem only if it’s a simple one. However, this issue is complicated.”
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