Welcome to The Land series by author Sandra-Jo Matusky
My first book is now available for download on amazon.com. The original story shows all chapter images in color just as you see them on my website. If you would like to continue Crystal's tale, link to the Bringer of Balance website and download your free copy of Book Two from Inkitt.com.
Click the link below and start reading Book One ~ Queen Crystal and The Land.
Born in Ohio, moved to Florida at 12 yrs. old and presently resides in Ridgefield, WA. B.A. in Fine Art from University of South Florida, 1988. Second B.A. in Art Education, 1992. Taught 14 yrs. middle school art in Florida, and combined 14 yrs. working at The Beck Gallery in Florida and the Craft Warehouse in Vancouver, WA as a framer. The image on the left was taken during a trip to Cape Meares along the Oregon Coast.
Please take a look at the pictures in my photo gallery that influenced the writing of The Land. You will see images from all over the United States and some from my own backyard. This sunrise was taken early morning and overlooks the Washington State University. The campus is a short jog from my house and Mt. Saint Helens is close enough to be seen from my bedroom window. Stepping outside is more valuable than looking down at my phone.
Our world is as amazing as any fantasy. I took this picture during my second trip to Mount St. Helens. I heard a person comment about seeing a rainbow and when I looked at the clouds above the mountain this is what I saw. After taking this photo I entered it in a contest and many people thought it was an altered image. It amazes me how the world we live in is as rich as any fantasy book.
We can all experience an adventure by stepping out and investigating our own world. These images were found during my travels and incorporated into each story. The incredible landscape imagined in Crystal's world came from a place you can explore.
Crystal's ability to communicate with animals is most intriguing. While visiting Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands I thought about Riley following Crystal as the protector--watching over her during her quest. The wildlife in each story is based on my own encounters with animals.
We often glance at our surroundings without taking notice of the small details. By doing so, much of our world is over-looked and true gems may never be discovered. It's an artists job to be observant, pay attention to detail, and offer his or her audience an unseen beauty.
Below you will see a video taken during one of my hiking trips. It shows how experiencing our own world translates into a passage used in Book one. Crystal has to cross a river to complete her quest and this river in Washington was very much what I had imagined in the story.
This image taken along the Columbia River Gorge shows the Oregon side. In chapter five of Book one - Unveiling - Crystal falls off a cliffs edge along with many others. Sad that she would never be able to save her kingdom of The Land, she awaits her death only to be rescued by her protector.
If you are from Washington this scene is common. It is a picture from my backyard. One foggy morning I took this picture and thought of Crystal riding into the woods. As the fog thickens she comes across the Lions Den--her first test in the quest to defeat her father and become Queen of The Land.
Book one has an illustration for every chapter although Book two and three do not. Most of the sketches below were used in Queen Crystal and The Land. A few were added to Book Three and one image from Book two Bringer of Balance was never added. Adding images to paperback books can be costly, so I changed the format. Numerous illustrations not added to Book two can be viewed on the Bringer of Balance website.
Many of the photos below were taken during my hiking trips or they are from my neighborhood. These images help me depict Crystal's world and her adventures through Noore and Palleo. By having the ability to draw on my own experiences, I can describe a scene from Crystal's journey with accurate detail.
I was able to understand Crystal's journey after hiking numerous trails in the Northwest. On page 36 of Book one, Crystal must cross a dangerous river to complete her journey.
Finally, we came to a clearing and saw the sun ahead. When we reached the sunlight we were standing on a rocky embankment along a wide, turbulent river. This was Raven River and across the river I could scarcely see the trail continuing east of the riverbank. How would we cross the river?
I'm happy to share Crystal's world with everyone. If you are interested in reading the entire saga, click here to go to my first website and purchase book one. Book two is available if you wish to continue Crystal's story. You can leave me a message at the Queen Crystal site or the Bringer of Balance website. I'll be happy to hear your requests or comments. I'm also excited to continue Book four of The Land series. Orielle and Rose continue their adventures in a tale that intertwines our world with their world of Estra.
Copyright © 2021 The Land Series by author Sandra-Jo Matusky - All Rights Reserved.
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