Flashes of Ember: review and interview with Vicki V. Lucas

This 94-page middle-grade fantasy was published just last month, and it's a fun beginning to what looks to be an exciting series! Don't miss my interview with author Vicki V. Lucas below the review. I received a free e-book copy of Flashes of Ember for review as part of a Rivershore Books blog tour.

Twelve-year-old Geona drank in the beautiful sight of the moonlight shining on the horses around the large barn.

Shalock Stables. Home of the greatest racing horses in all of Eltiria.

And Papa now worked here! They lived just steps away from the biggest barn of the stables. It was perfect!

Only it wasn’t. She wasn’t allowed to help Papa with the horses. She couldn’t even ride. Tristan, her older brother, wasn’t permitted into the Razors, the massive mountains filled with peril and adventure.

When a beautiful chestnut filly is badly beaten, Geona has to do something. Her parents just say that Adoyni has a plan, but she can’t wait for Him any longer.
(from the back cover)

my review

Flashes of Ember is a fun, fast-paced, horsey adventure with a beautiful theme of faith woven gently throughout and just a hint of fantasy. The first chapter (or two) was a little slow for me, with a few editing mistakes to stumble over. But the story soon sucked me in, and I devoured this little book in one sitting.

Geona is such a strong, well-developed character, and her Papa and brother Tristan are equally well fleshed-out. Her two younger siblings are about eight or so years behind her, though, which I found a little odd, and didn't contribute to the story at all. They just kind of existed, as did her mother.

Having grown up with horses, I really appreciated the horsemanship in this book. It is a rare thing to find an author who knows their way around a horse. And Vicki V. Lucas includes a few tips in the back of the book for working with horses, which I would have loved as a 10-year-old.

I highly recommend Flashes of Ember to horse lovers especially on the younger end of the 9-12 age range, but with parental discretion due to the themes of animal abuse.

3/5 leaves

author interview with Vicki V. Lucas

1.     What was your inspiration for Flashes of Ember? 
I wanted to write a story of a horse and a girl. I had several ideas, but I realized that we see few fantasy stories with girls as the main characters. I grew up with a deep love for Narnia, and I wanted to give girls a chance at fantasy as much as the guys. Flashes of Ember came out of my love for fantasy and for horses.

2.     You seem to have a lot of experience with horses -- do you own any, or did you in the past?
I grew up around horses, although we didn’t own any until I was in my teens. My sister and I always found people who needed a horse or two ridden. When I was fifteen, I found a chestnut Arabian who I fell in love with at first sight. My friends who raised horses helped me buy her and train her. She was my best friend for twelve years. And even though she’s been gone for about ten, I miss her a lot!

3.     I see book two, Ember's Choice, was also published recently. Do you have plans for more books in the Tales of Shalock Stables series?
I do! I want to keep the story of Ember and Geona going. They have a lot to do yet, including winning a few races, if they can pull it together!

I also want to start a series with Tristan. I’ve really enjoyed his character, and I want to bring in more of his adventures into those dangerous mountains – the Razors.

4.     What, if anything, are you currently working on?
I have a series called Angel Warrior Series where I take real life events where people knew angels were battling around them, and God is glorified. The first one is called Bound. I’m finishing up the second in that series. Then I need to go back Eltiria, the world of Flashes of Ember, and finish the next book in a series that happens 9 years after Geona.

Of course, I just figured out the plot for the next book for Ember and Geona, so my fingers are itching to start that, too. Oh! I need more time!

5.     Why did you decide to be a writer?
I don’t know if I ever made a conscious decision... “I’m going to be a writer.” I started writing one book and can’t seem to stop! The stories haven’t either. I have a list of at least thirty more books I want to write!

6.     What do you enjoy most about connecting with readers?
Honestly, I normally use a lot of cliff-hangers in my writing, so I love it when people tell me that they can’t put a book down or that they’re dying for the next book in the series.

But my favorite thing is when they contact me asking for help on writing their own books – of starting their dreams. I’m a big believer in dreams, especially big ones. I get very excited whether the person is eight years old or eighty! If you have a dream of getting a book in print, I think it’s exciting, and I love chatting about their ideas.

7.     Many writers are currently neck-deep in National Novel Writing Month. Do you have a few pieces of advice you'd like to pass along to them?
I’ve done this a few times and loved it! One thing I did was to increase the amount of words per day so that I could take the days around Thanksgiving off. As for advice to stay strong, I think it helps to have a schedule. I’ve found my brain works better when it has a routine and it knows that it’s time to write. Then I try to visualize the scenes in my head while I’m away from the computer so that I’m ready to go next time and I don’t lose any time trying to figure out what happens next. If you’re trying this, keep it up! It’s well worth it!

Vicki V. Lucas published Flashes of Ember, the first of the Tales of Shalock Stables as well as two fantasy young adult books, a young adult supernatural novel, a short story series titled Angel Warrior Files, and The Truth about Angels: What the Bible Says. Explore further at www.vickivlucas.com.


  1. Ooh, that sounds like a lot of fun! I loved horses when I was a smallish human. Like I wasn't infatuated? But I write fantastical horse stories about talking animals and kids and adventures. XD Best imaginings of ever. That's great Nano advice too!! Getting ahead is aaalways good so if someone unexpected comes up -- boom! YOU'RE COVERED. XD

    1. Those stories do sound like a lot of fun. :) Talking animals? Yes! And I thought that was great advice, too -- I was hoping to get ahead this past weekend so I'd have a comfortable buffer but... hmmm. There's always next weekend, right?