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2018 Fantasy Showcase > Mary R. Woldering- Science Fantasy Author

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message 1: by A.F. (last edited Mar 10, 2018 01:24PM) (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 369 comments Mod

Mary R. Woldering

Mary R. Woldering

Children of Stone: Voices in Crystal

"We are children made of stone
Tiny voices are as grains of sand
Come to us, Marai
Man of Ai
Man of the sand"

When Marai, a shepherd living at the foot of Mt. Sinai in the third millennium BC, sings to his goddess one night, he sees a falling star. Tracking it, he discovers a strange vessel containing crystalline entities resembling earthly stones and gems: the Children of Stone. The Children delight in this simple shepherd and his songs of love. They ask him to host their intelligence; to bring them to the sages and priests who have spent their lives seeking the wisdom of the stars. When he agrees, he is transformed into a godlike being. Still a passionate shepherd at heart, Marai gathers others, like lambs to his fold. His journey to the wise men of ancient Kemet won't be easy. Things hidden, that wait in darkness, are always there.

Voices in Crystal is the first book in the Children of Stone series.

Voices in Crystal (Children of Stone, #1) by Mary R. Woldering Going Forth By Day (Children of Stone, #2) by Mary R. Woldering Opener of the Sky (Children of Stone #3) by Mary R. Woldering

message 2: by Mary (last edited Apr 03, 2018 12:53PM) (new)

Mary Woldering | 56 comments Hi… I’m Mary R. Woldering, author of Children of Stone

I have stories, excerpts and fun for your B2BcyCon weekend

I write what has been called Historical Science Fantasy by some, but my stories have romance and paranormal elements, magic, mythology Think Game of Thrones in Ancient Egypt – with Aliens.

1)Voices in Crystal 2)Going Forth By Day 3)Opener of the Sky 4) 2018 – Heart of the Lotus – 16+


Like ancient superheroes, those touched by the Children of Stone wander through the reality of ancient legends, RESHAPING myth and history.
Unforgettable people and their stories of mysticism, magic and never-ending love.

message 3: by Mary (new)

Mary Woldering | 56 comments Let’s Start with something EASY
Where are you right now?
I’m in my pink lotus office in Euclid, Ohio an exoburb on the great Lake Erie (I can almost see it from my house) east of the metropolis of Cleveland

message 4: by Mary (new)

Mary Woldering | 56 comments That’s me at the Cleveland Museum of Art Thanksgiving day 2017 posing with my friend King Userkaf or Weserkaf (Prince Wserkaf in my novels)

Author Page:

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Mary Woldering | 56 comments

message 6: by Mary (last edited Apr 05, 2018 11:02AM) (new)

Mary Woldering | 56 comments Voices in Crystal is the first book in the series Children of Stone

Here’s how the story starts. Marai is singing to his goddess.

Chapter 1 Night Songs

• “O beautiful one, Asher-ellit;
• Immaculate one of the goddesses,
• Torch of Heaven and earth,
• Radiance of all the lands,
• Goddess ‘Lady of Heaven',
• First-begotten of Sin,
• First-born of Ningal,
• Sweet sister of Shamas
• O Asher-Anu, you rule the heavens;
• Oh Queen of Morning and Evening Sky,"

• Marai's voice rose like the drone of a horn.

• “Come bless me this starry night.
• Shine for one who begs to serve you.
• Come bless me this starry night."

• Each phrase the shepherd sang to his goddess was different from the one that came before it. He never planned his songs of worship. In each part of his song, Marai worshiped a particular aspect of his beloved, yet dreaded goddess.
• (Do you hear me sweet one?) He asked the night sky between verses. (Tonight might be the last one for a long time.) He noticed his hands were up in supplication, as if they were holding his song aloft for her. Only the stars answered with their quiet twinkles.
(Maybe there’s nothing to sing to. Maybe Sheb is right. Maybe it is time to go.)
He let his arms drop after a few moments, then trudged cheerlessly into the inner recesses of his cave home to collapse in sleep. (I should sing some more…try one more time. On a night like this I used to sing till dawn. I have to think. Tired. Too tired.)

• Marai hadn't felt quite as bad about eating with his family and the traders who had camped for the night. His massive shoulders sagged until he formed the outline of a vulture. Stepping outside he sat down on the stone ledge that formed a natural porch before it fell away into craggy descent.
• (It’s you, my bride of a summer, buried by the time of the misting snow.) The shepherd mused, turning to look at the makeshift pole to Ashera and the softer place in the shadows. He couldn’t see it in the dark cave, but he knew his wife lay there, the bones of her arms embracing the baby girl born still as she herself died.
(Ilara. I have been here feeding your ghost and quietly watching the sky.) Marai reflected.
• He shunned the company of the travelers who moved through his family's way station on the Copper Road seeking shade, water and supplies as they headed west to Kemet and parts north.
• Tonight, his thoughts weren't so solidly on the goddess, even though he sang heartily enough to her. He was singing a farewell.
• (It still hurts my heart to go.) The big shepherd rose and began his song again. As he sang, he paused from time to time to see if anyone from the encampment below was annoyed by the melodious baritone he sent up beyond the heavens.

• You change our fates,
• Evil turns to good;
• I have sought you for so long among the gods;
• I have offered all to you;
Come bless me this starry night.

So the Journey begins, but is certainly doesn’t end there!
Marai finds friends, allies and even love while he’s on his journey.
He also finds enemies and a looming disaster which he must face alone!

message 7: by Mary (new)

Mary Woldering | 56 comments Well Marai thought his goddess answered that night and went out, only to find a large glowing thing half-buried in the sand. Curious, he went inside and fell asleep listening to voices that called themselves "The Children"

When he woke he had been transformed and looked like this:

message 8: by Mary (new)

Mary Woldering | 56 comments Please feel free to ask questions.
Or answer these:

What does the opening passage tell you about the Main Character Marai?
Where does he live?

message 9: by Mary (last edited Apr 05, 2018 11:14AM) (new)

Mary Woldering | 56 comments • Children of Stone Book 2 – Going Forth by Day

• Shu lifts me up,
• the Souls of On set up a stairway for me in order to reach the Above,
• and Nut puts her hand on me
• just as she did for Asar on the day when he died

• ...Pyramid Texts, inscribed on the walls of King Unas tomb 5th Dynasty c. 2345 BC

Marai, a former shepherd who discovered a fallen 'star' and was gifted with amazing abilities by the unearthly Children of Stone, has been separated from those he loves. Kept apart by forces seeking to control all of them, they must independently grow to understand their own powers while continuing their journey to wisdom. Will they be reunited? Will Marai rise up and begin to Go Forth By Day? Will those who care for him survive without his guidance and love?

Going Forth By Day, the second book in the Children of Stone series, is the story of Marai's companions, Ariennu, Deka, and Naibe-Ellit. Through their involvement in the lives of the royalty of ancient Kemet, new alliances form, loyalties shift, and the comfortable lives of some are shaken to their core.

This is the women’s story!

That Link for Book 2

Make sure you post any questions below. I love to talk about my stories, so I’ll answer all of them

message 10: by Mary (new)

Mary Woldering | 56 comments Going Forth by Day by Mary Woldering is the second installment in the Children of Stone series. As with her debut novel (Voices in Crystal), Woldering delivers exceptional world-building and characterization. The intricate details and setting attest to not only the extensive research, but also Woldering’s delight in immersing her readers and herself into this world.

A 5 Star Review

Going Forth by Day opens with Marai’s wives: Ariennu, Deka, and Naibe-Ellit, awaiting the return of their beloved husband. Mariai’s sojourn to commune and study under the Great Count Prince Hordjedtef is nearing its end, or so his elder wife, Ariennu, believed. With the Children of Stone’s silence, and recent turbid visions, the sister wives have grown trepidatious. That trepidation amplifies when the inspector priest, Prince Wserkaf, arrives at their home with a contingent of peacekeepers.

message 11: by Mary (last edited Apr 05, 2018 11:33AM) (new)

Mary Woldering | 56 comments One of the questions I ask of authors I interview is the "Hollywood is Calling Question" That is who would you cast as your MC?
Long ago I would have cast actor David Prowse as Marai, but he wasn't exactly a great choice because he looked too sophisticated and ENGLISH.

Years went on. Then saw a workout video of a young actor who liked to climb and skateboard for kicks. The build and height were perfect. The color though still a bit light was better. The face was perfect. Right now his career is gaining steam. Scroll back up and look at the drawings I made.

message 12: by Mary (new)

Mary Woldering | 56 comments Excerpt – (Many spoilers!!)

In this excerpt entitled Ariennu and the King, Ariennu the former thief and “woman of no virtue” who had become Marai’s companion has been told he is dead by his enemies. Now she works as a royal concubine. Her skills in counseling and medicine have propelled her into becoming one of the king’s favorites. She quickly discovers the king is a tortured man controlled by his uncle who is a high priest and an unofficial advisor.

She wants to discover why the priest (whom she believes also killed Marai) wants such control. As she does, one night, she senses what she thinks is Marai’s ghost.

Ariennu and the King

The day had been particularly draining for King Menkaure. He didn’t tell Ariennu why this evening and she knew not to ask. Ari rubbed his shoulders with hot oil the way she did every night, but once he relaxed she bent forward to whisper quite seductively in his ear
“Your Great Majesty... What is it His Highness, the Great One of Five, places in your wine to calm you in the evening?”
The king raised one brow, pausing at her audacity in questioning his trusted uncle, but then reflected on her words. His hand reached up to pat her hand, affectionately.
“You worry for your king,” his expression, at first paternal, grew distant.
Ari sensed something in the tone of his voice at that moment, but didn’t truly understand the nature of his thoughts. He seemed detached. The words ‘my death’ formed in her heart. She wondered if the king was thinking of the curse on him and perhaps if he would die soon.
The only “king” she had ever considered at that point was Marai. She thought of the luxury in which she had lived these past few days, but also thought of the dreadful emptiness in her life as she lived in the service of these two different godly men.

Quiet, yet gentle and reassuring words that seemed to be part of a spell or a prayer filtered through her thoughts.

It was as if Marai recited them to her through time. Her instincts told her to repeat them, that they would comfort the man in her care. She whispered them in Menkaure’s ear as they played in her heart:
“If emptiness flourishes, my king cannot take his food... If my king flourishes, emptiness cannot take its food.”
The thrill of her words raced through both men’s hearts; one struggling in the depth of a deathlike dream, the other dreaming of death in a candle-lit room.
“The words...” Menkaure paused. What seemed to be a tear caught in the corner of one of his eyes.
His lower lip dimpled slightly. “How is it that a woman such as yourself, a sojourner, knows them? They are taught to the sacred only,” the king blinked, then moved his lips to her ear.

“Do you know the rest?” he asked. “Gladden my sad heart, woman of the fire. Speak her words to me so I can hear them again.”
Ariennu felt her own heart skip as a quiet spirit drifted through her. She felt as young as a new woman who was still learning about life and all its joyous mysteries.
At first, she thought it was Naibe’s essence, but then she knew it was the spirit of a very different young woman who had died.

(Goddess. A goddess... he loved a young goddess, but she was taken from him. He did not protect her!)
All at once, her heart thrilled to the sound of the king’s words. She had never heard these words before. She couldn’t explain to him how she knew them, or why, other than because of her own temptation to use heka, she felt compelled to repeat them.

“Take me with you, beloved, that I may eat of what you eat,” she spoke calmly but realized that such a spoken devotion asked for love beyond the tomb. She could never give anyone but Marai that kind of devotion.
The king rose from his couch to fetch the onyx cup which rested near the edge of the coals in the brazier. He poured a little more from an ewer into the cup to cool the warmed contents, then sat on his couch, crossed his legs, and faced her.
“Close your eyes, woman,” he gently commanded her.
Ariennu closed her eyes obediently.
Menkaure reached up and sweetly touched her closed eyelids as if he was blessing them, then spoke the companion piece to her words:
“That I may eat of what you eat... that I may drink of what you drink, that I may be strong ...” his voice broke here and Ariennu almost opened her eyes when she heard him pause. “That whereby you are strong...” Then, he tipped the vessel to her lips. She sipped a quarter of the draught.
“Open your eyes to me woman of wisdom, Your s...” he started, but stopped himself.
Ariennu knew he had been about to say: Your servant begs you.

When she opened her eyes, he had finished the cup and lay back on his soft couch beside her. She sang the soft and low words to some sweet silly song she had learned from the other women. As she lulled him to sleep in her arms, she noticed a strange, unearthly calm steal over her. It made her feel hot and drowsy at the same time. Wine had never been this strong for her.
(Perhaps strong drink doesn’t go well with the changes the Children of Stone have created in me,) she thought at first. She noticed the haloing around the candle-lights, and the rainbow shadows grow so large they overlapped as she drifted.

When she woke, she felt nauseous, but shook it off, got up, and returned to the women’s quarters determined to ask the priest exactly what spices and herbs he had put in the wine, and why he felt it was necessary to dose his king so heavily.

message 13: by Mary (new)

Mary Woldering | 56 comments Please feel free to ask questions or comment!

message 14: by Mary (new)

Mary Woldering | 56 comments Children of Stone Book 3 – Opener of the Sky
By the way, WE HAVE SHIFTERS INSIDE, and a fair amount of HEAT from time to time.
I mean, come on, all those animal heads the Egyptians gods had? SHIFTERS

I had grown fierce and hard
Thrilled by death, torture, blood...
the madness of it when I tasted its warm saltiness
A warrior god.
... from the poem Howl by Mary R. Woldering (as told by Raemkai-2012)

Marai, a former shepherd, who discovered a fallen 'star' and was gifted with amazing abilities by the unearthly Children of Stone, has been separated from those he loves. Turned sojourner, he begins a desperate mission to find them, but the spectre of wickedness and corruption is never far behind and his journey to wisdom becomes even more uncertain.

While Opener Of The Sky, the third book in the Children of Stone series, is the continuing story of Marai's magical search for his companions, it is also the story of Maatkare Raemkai, a sadistic shape-changing warrior-prince, whose twisted relationships once propelled him into power, then nearly destroyed him. Through sorcerous manipulation of the women Marai loves, he has planned his own revenge. The sojourner Marai is just in the way. Will he be too late to save those he loves or will he welcome them in victory?

message 15: by Mary (new)

Mary Woldering | 56 comments In this excerpt Ariennu and Naibe have escaped the clutches of their captor Prince Maatkare but he, being part wolf/dog has tracked them into the very temple where he offers sacrifices. He’s intent on teaching them both a lesson.

(Reader’s note. Ariennu is nicknamed MaMa and Naibe is called Baby, but they are only companions)
Ari suddenly realized the prince was here on more than business. This was a centering and safe place for the disciples of Wepwawet who presented as a wolf/dog.
(He must be from the wolf school with all his skill with a bow, the howling, the…Oh goddess…shape shifting that’s so fast no bones bend or skin stretches...he just is. I led us both to his safe space…He came here to cleanse himself? Our dinner host was his witness while we were cleaning up?)

Ariennu sensed something wasn’t right in the tonality of the Children’s voices.
(Sounds like a man imitating…like…) She tensed, all the hair on her arm rising as she heard the great wolf/dog’s panting approach to the opening of the chapel. The sound of his clawed feet tip-tapped on the hardened earth floor of the path. The panting merged into an evil titter; breathing in the dark; a faint growl that grew stronger and more threatening.

Push on if you must
Or stay
Or go this way
Either way leads to pain
You see, I know what they sound like,
Your little friends
These voices in your crystal eye.

The black furred hand/paw touched her arm just before it faded into illusion.
“MaMa!” Naibe cried, panting. “He’s finding us. Hide!” Naibe ran around the stone box. This time she grabbed Ari and hid in her cloaking arms. The women clung to each other, wide-eyed and silent. Before the shroud of silence covered them, Ari saw the silhouette of a black wolf/dog thin like smoke. In its place Ari thought she saw a gold armlet flashing in the slight available light of a distant torch.
(Oh. He’s here? She hardened her resolve, crouching and ready to fight.)
In the distance the women heard a faint scampering snapping, growling, yodel-howling, circling and finding the way.
(They’re coming Ari. Dogs…He has power over dogs. He’s sending dogs.) Naibe grabbed Ariennu harder, as if it would help her gain more invisibility.
(I know Baby, I know…)the elder woman listened silently for a long time as the sounds circled, grew louder and finally paused outside the room where they had become the most confused. Footsteps.
Maatkare stood in the doorway, golden wrist and arm bands glimmering in ambient torchlight.
“I know what you tried to do.” He began to pace, trying to seem thoughtful “Maybe I would have done the same thing too if I had been in your situation. But now you’ve caused a good man to die because you outwitted him with your little trick.”
The sound of dogs growling grew louder. His thought voice growled too, half human half dog as if he had become one of them.
(Easy brothers…)he started, then spoke aloud “Perhaps I should let them come at you. They are my trick, Red Sister. See if you like it.” Maatkare’s dark hand swept the air in front of him. Ari sensed an almost-whisper.
Suddenly, black ravenous shadows emptied past him around his torso and over his shoulders; into the chamber pouncing, snarling and biting. Ariennu felt herself knocked back hard by the weight of several animals standing around and towering over her. She shrieked angrily, struggling against their bodies.
“Call them off! Damn you!” she swung, kicked and shoved, but accomplished nothing.
“You’re afraid…tsk, tsk…fearless Lady Ariennu…worried by some puppies.”
“Am not…get them off me…”
“About to soil yourself, you naughty ka’t” he chortled, toeing the threshold and gesturing. “Just a very small sample of what I can do, if you come to annoy me.”
(Puppies?) Ari froze, her eyes clearing a little. The clawing and biting beasts had become gregarious, yipping puppies. They frolicked happily about her prone body then left, heading past the prince and out the doorway as they vanished. It had been a magnificent illusion.

message 16: by Mary (new)

Mary Woldering | 56 comments TO BELIEVE or not to believe...

A mystical post... About muses and inspirations. I posted a meme the other week about spirit guides being smart-asses. Yes I've had a few of those. There was always that raunchy, condescending comment lurking in the back of my consciousness... A 60's lingo punk who might call out "Right On!" through someone who was channeling in our psychic experiments in the 70's, a just under big black dog lurking in the shadows, a (was it really a werewolf?) a fine Egyptian man in the doorway (he called it a portal between worlds) We called him Raemkai (quickly pronounced RAM..)

Always wisecracking, wild, vain as the day is long, SEXY and a tad misogynistic (YA THINK?) and a consummate TRICKSTER/teacher. He was there in the 70's, took a break in the 80's & much of the 90's. Meanwhile I was raising a family and staring at statues of Anubis.

In 2010 when I began to prep my OLD manuscript the lurking began again whole-heartedly... as if I had also discovered a frustrated gentleman writer determined to re-write his part into something larger than life. I found the name Maatkare coming to mind, even though later on it was considered a woman's name. I discovered there actually WAS a prince Raemkai about 100 years after my the name was in use...and not made up.

I looked at the ancestor of Anubis, Wepwawet or Anhur who was more of a WARRIOR than a guide of kings and aligned with a lioness goddess (see picture - that's NOT Anubis)
We wrote a poem about it called HOWL which I print on Halloween.

After the death of a family friend before Christmas 2015, I had a dream in which he was leaning in the doorway, part wolf/dog, part man. I asked "Are you Anubis?" to which he chuckled and replied.
"I COULD be."
To believe or not to believe...

"I do know how one walks between life and death; when the portal between worlds opens."

message 17: by Mary (new)

Mary Woldering | 56 comments Wanna Stalk? I have a blog. It’s FREE and you can win e-books or bookmarks if you follow and participate just the same way you do on these takeovers.

Articles, interviews & Fun – And if you are an Author… I really want to interview and follow you! Join & drop me a message.


message 18: by Mary (new)

Mary Woldering | 56 comments Here’s one more place to find ME and other fantasy author faves. I have a little story “Ana’s Dream of Flying” inside. A little bit below. So sing it!

A young black girl in 1961 in Memphis discovers the truth about her art, it's connection to other realms, and a long lost dragon spirit who has been looking for her.

message 19: by Mary (new)

Mary Woldering | 56 comments Here's the opening page. Learn more about it on My Blog Hop Post at this very convention. Check it out! And by the way, I have to thank all those people I've known and loved in this life and others, Annette, Cathy, Mary G. C., Glenn, Celia, Lee, Tom, Billy, Ernie, Joe, George, and Buddy & Mike already left this realm and on to new adventures:

Ana’s Dream of Flying
By Mary Woldering

The entity shaped the crystalline orb it formed with what might have been a hand.

(Human. As man)
it self-whispered as the dark blue star-filled shape with the emerald bracelet at its wrist became clear, took on the appearance of ruddy skin and solidified.
He watched Ana grab the broken stub of a much-chewed pencil and begin to scribble a shape on the pale purple scrap of paper.
She bit down on the eraser in a nervous gesture and tucked one of the fat braids that had come loose from her head.

A figure emerged. It was a tall and red manlike thing with a long turban-like hat tilted back from his brow.

She colored his long robe red, but couldn’t decide what to do with the feet so she extended it to the bottom of the page.
The entity smiled and nodded, pleased.
“I will call you Mr. Man.” she affirmed. “I know you. You watch over me when I am sleeping.” Her teeth flashed in a grin as she pushed the crayon over the surface of her artwork.

(She can’t see me; not in the light of day,) the creature smiled.
(The veil is too thick in the cursed sunlight.
At night is when she can see me
I will come to her as a dream,
then carry her away to the lands and places where we walked once when we were gods.
I have watched parts of her shattered soul for centuries.
Tonight, sweet little child, when you dream,
I will take you flying,
I will teach you to fly and then you will remember even more.)

In the thinning distance between worlds, the entity heard a crackly sound of something from another room, suddenly joined by the wispy, singing voice of an older female.

“Some glad morning when this life is o'er,
I'll fly away.
To a home on God's celestial shore,
I'll fly away.
When the shadows of this life have flown,
I'll fly away.
Like a bird thrown, driven by the storm,
I'll fly away.”

Then the singing stopped and the crackly sound went abruptly silent with a click, followed by:

“Ana…come to supper, dear.”

(Voice from another room,) it mused, (the smell of cooking is strong. Fire-treated winged creature – chicken.)

For a moment, the entity wished for a human form; one that would love to eat the older female’s fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans.

message 20: by Mary (new)

Mary Woldering | 56 comments So what's next?
Book 4 Heart of the Lotus
2 mashup Novellas by myself, Mark McQuillen and Davina Purnell
"Healings" and "Mirrors of the Mind"

Can Malice the Valkyrie find love, healing and happiness in the arms of the god of love and madness, Dionysus AKA Asteri Dio Di Nyssa,
son of Marai?
Stay tuned!

message 21: by Mary (new)

Mary Woldering | 56 comments I'll be checking back all weekend, so please ask questions. I'd love to tell you more!

message 22: by Mary (new)

Mary Woldering | 56 comments Unfortunately our home gateway died last night. I have no internet through Monday. Do feel free to email me any questions about my writing or the books at

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