Bound Featured on TeamNerd Reviews!

So a few days ago I got a DM on Twitter from Bridget, who said she was from TeamNerd Reviews and that they were going to feature Bound on Thursday.

Cool!

She asked for a teaser to post with the information.

No problem.

Er… okay, a little bit of a problem. I’ve come to realize that almost every really juicy bit of this book contains SPOILERS. Big ones, small ones, itty-bitty ones, but always something.

But I did my best, I sent a few over, and she picked a good, reasonably-non-spoilery one to post. TeamNerd Reviews is a super fun blog where they not only review books but also feature authors, offer teasers, and discuss TV shows they love. Check them out!

Here’s the link to today’s post

Thanks, Bridget and Annabell!


WIPpet Wednesday: Mrowl

Hey look, it’s WIPpet Wednesday again! Which means it’s also garbage day… hang on.

*crashing noises*

*door slams*

*monster in the garbage can yodels with joy*

Sorry, I keep forgetting.

Anyway, for anyone who’s not familiar with WIPpet Wednesdays, this is the day when a fantabulistical group of writers shares a small snippet from a work in progress that relates somehow to the date, and we all link up here so we can share the fun. Today I have another piece from the third book of the Bound trilogy*. I wrote this last week, but it was too adorable not to share today. First draft, edited for spoilers. Rowan’s POV.

WIPpet math: 15 sentences for the 15th

We searched the house for clothes to wear while ours dried. All I could find was a soft cotton nightgown which covered me from neck to ankles in the least-flattering shape possible. I’d hoped to sneak back to my room without being seen, but Aren waited for me in the hall, arms crossed, leaning one shoulder against the wall.

He grinned and wiggled his eyebrows. “Damn.”

“Don’t even talk about it.”

“No, really. It’s good. Leaves a lot to the imagination.”

I mustered what dignity I could and held my head high as I passed him. “Goodnight, Aren. Have fun with your imagination.”

“Goodnight, Rowan. I promise I will.”

He’d been joking about the attractiveness of the nightgown, but that didn’t stop him watching me as I walked away. I smiled to myself as I closed the door behind me.

So there we go. Much sweeter than some of the moments I’ve been getting from characters lately.

If you’d like more WIPpet fun, click here to see what the rest of the crew is up to this week, and be sure to say hi on their blogs. If you’d like to join in, please do! You know the rules. Thanks again to our host KL Schwengel, to whom I say, “See, I was nicer to Aren this week! Please don’t hurt the guy I love in your books. Or the other one.”

Writer friendships are kind of screwed up. O.o

ROW80

Word counts are on track. Last Wednesday: 5,000 words. Thursday: 2,500 (this was my day to go to town, so I wasn’t expecting any). Friday:  5,000 words. Saturday: 4,600  Sunday: 0, but did some planning. Monday: 4,898  Tuesday: almost 3000 TOUGH words. Why do words get embarrassed and hide from me when things get romantic?

Things are getting tricky in the story now that I’m starting to pull together all the loose threads, play the wild cards, bring out things that have been in the shadows… pick your metaphor. It’s exciting, but it’s getting to be delicate work. I have a plan, anyway.

I have started beta reading (yay!) and am aiming for 2 chapters a day.

Listened to one podcast, not two, because my phone’s being a jerk about listening to them when I’m walking right now. But that’s something, anyway.

So there you have it. I hope you’re all having a good week and accomplishing ALL THE THINGS.

 

——

*I’m totally going to give up the name soon, because I’m really sick of typing that.

 

 


COVER REVEAL: Island of Glass by Ruth Nestvold

Hi hi!

Guys, I’m so excited right now. Want to know why?

Because today we welcome Ruth Nestvold as she reveals the cover of her new novel Island of Glass.

*cheers, applause, breathless anticipation*

Ruth is a great writer, and I’ve been enjoying snippets from her work SO much. Even out of context, her writing is always strong and captivating. I can’t wait to read this one! After reading excerpts, I feel like it’s going to be one of those rare “holy crap I wish I had written this thing” books. Needless to say, I’ve pre-ordered.

Okay, that’s a lie. Amazon.ca won’t let me pre-order, because sometimes it’s a jerk like that. But I’m signed up for a notification when it’s available. :)

Without further ado… Island of Glass.

——

 

Island of Glass
Ruth Nestvold

Publication date: October 28, 2014

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Chiara Dragoni is a master glassmaker of Venice, a position that is both a privilege — and a trap. For the glassmakers of Murano are forbidden to ever leave the islands of the Venetian lagoon.
When Chiara’s uncle is caught on the mainland and thrown into the dungeon of the Doge’s Palace, she must use all her talents, including magic, to help free him. But the gift she creates for the ruling prince of Venice has unintended consequences, and now Chiara must decide whether to give up everything — and everyone — she knows and loves in order to save her dream.

Set in an alternate historical Venice with alchemists, witches and magic, the story uses familiar motifs from the beloved fairy tale “Cinderella” to tell a tale with a very different message.
Island of Glass is a Young Adult fantasy novella of approximately 25,000 words, or 100 pages. It is the first book in The Glassmakers Trilogy.

Now available for pre-order for an introductory price of only 99c!

Purchase Link:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Island-Glass-Glassmakers-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00NVGGSL0/

Excerpt 1:

The prince chuckled, placing the second slipper next to its mate on the gilded side table. “Most young women scheme for the opportunity to be alone with a prince of La Serenissima. Yet here you are, offered the chance, and you turn it down.”
Chiara didn’t know what to say. She could only hope that beneath his smiles and chuckles he wasn’t offended. Her plan to gain the prince’s favor was backfiring badly.
“Talented, beautiful, and unusual,” the prince continued. “And quite rich as well, I presume?”
She could tell from the heat of her cheeks that they must be flaming by now. She nodded mutely.
He raised one expertly plucked, aristocratic eyebrow. “And you want me to free your uncle.”
She almost heaved a sigh of relief at his change of subject. She hoped that was the end of his attempts to flirt with her; flirtation was not one of Chiara’s strong points. “The Fenice Glassworks cannot be run properly without Gianfranco Dragoni,” she said. “Surely the Council of Ten cannot wish for such a situation. The taxes we pay are an important source of revenue for Venice, after all.”
He didn’t answer, staring instead at the matching glass slippers. “I wonder if they would fit me. They look to be my size.” He glanced at her again with a suggestive smile. “As if you knew me intimately, my dear.”
Oh, no, she hoped he didn’t intend to actually try the slippers on! They were decorative, not meant to be worn. If they broke and cut his princely foot, he would probably throw her into the prison of the Doge’s palace right alongside Uncle Gian.
He sank into the nearest lavishly upholstered chair and snapped his fingers. “Remove my shoes,” he said to the servant who appeared at his side.
Chiara watched the proceedings, trying to remain composed, given her panic at what would most likely happen next.

Excerpt 2:

Chiara wiped her hands on her apron and lifted the goblet up to the light, inspecting her work critically. The fluted glass flared out like a lily beginning to bloom, and as hard as she tried, she could find no discoloring or bubbles. She breathed a sigh of relief: a nearly perfect piece. It would command a high price among the nobles of Venice and beyond.
The work of the Murano glassmakers was in great demand throughout the world. Their craftsmanship was the basis of their riches — and their curse. Out of fear that they might reveal trade secrets, the laws of La Serenissima decreed that members of the glassmaking families of Murano were never to leave the islands of their lagoon. Murano glass was more precious than gold, after all. Anyone who knew the recipe of the alchemists could make gold, but only the artisans of Murano could make glass so fine, one could nearly touch one’s fingers together on either side; cristallo without an imperfection or blemish, clear as the sky, with a sparkle to rival that of diamonds.

 

Author bio:

Ruth Nestvold’s short stories have appeared in numerous markets, including Asimov’s, F&SF, Baen’s Universe, Strange Horizons, Realms of Fantasy, and Gardner Dozois’s Year’s Best Science Fiction. Her fiction has been nominated for the Nebula, Tiptree, and Sturgeon Awards. In 2007, the Italian translation of her novella “Looking Through Lace” won the “Premio Italia” award for best international work. Her novel Yseult appeared in German translation as Flamme und Harfe with Random House Germany and has since been translated into Dutch and Italian. It is now available as an ebook in the original English.

Find Ruth Nestvold on the Internet:

Blog: https://ruthnestvold.wordpress.com
Web site: http://www.ruthnestvold.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ruth.Nestvold.Author
Twitter: @Ruth_Nestvold


Fall Into Fantasy: The Heirs of War series by Mara Valderran

Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

Week 8: The Heirs of War series

Book One: Heirs of War

Book Two: Heirs of War, Crown of Flames


Seventeen year-old Zelene has never believed in magic or been one to trust fate. Prophecies about princesses and long lost families were the stuff of fairy tales and had no place in her life. But then magic-wielding assassins attack claiming she is one of the five Duillaine Ainnir, the next generation of the most powerful women who rule over the worlds. Together, the five girls are prophesized to save the worlds from the war that has been raging for years.

As their enemies strike, the girls are taken back to their world and discover the ties binding them together. Rhaya has always had an uncanny knack for reading people, but can’t seem to unravel the mystery tying her to Isauria, the new friend she bonded with instantly. For years, Isauria has been dreaming of Terrena, a girl living her life on the run in a magical world ripped apart by the tragedies of war, but Isauria is completely unaware that she is psychically linked to the world she was born in.

Zelene views them all, especially the elders, with a distrustful eye, familial bonds or no. When she learns that her long-lost twin Ariana has been captured by the rebels, Zelene’s attitude changes. She doesn’t know what she can do when her own magic is still locked within her, but can she trust the elders to rescue Ariana when it seems their medieval politics are what brought about the war in the first place? With all that is at stake, the answer becomes clear to Zelene.

Screw the worlds. She’s getting her sister back.

Buy it from: Amazon  Amazon UK  Barnes & Noble  iTunes  Kobo  GooglePlay 
Or add it to Goodreads

Weeks have passed since Ariana and Alec escaped from Kellen’s dungeon, but danger isn’t far behind them. The guilt of his past weighs heavily on Alec’s shoulders, and his secrets only push Ariana further away. As they travel through unknown lands and encounter multiple threats, their biggest challenge might be trusting one another.

The world appears to be going on regardless of the risks Ariana faces. The Duillaine insist that they are doing everything they can to find Ariana, but their actions betray that claim. Despite the danger and the war closing in around them, all of Anscombe seems to be more interested in the upcoming Imbolc festival and Terrena’s betrothal than rescuing Ariana.

Well…not everyone.

Tired of waiting for the Duillaine to help her twin, Zelene starts plotting on her own and finds a surprising ally in Rhaya, even as the Cynewards prepare to make a move of their own. But Zelene’s plans go awry when she finds herself with a new ability, a mysterious new friend, and more enemies within the walls of Anscombe than she thought.

Buy it from: Amazon  Amazon UK  Barnes & Noble  iTunes  Kobo  

Or add it to Goodreads

 



ABOUT MARA VALDERRAN: 

Mara Valderran is an author of young adult and new adult books, but she’s more than just a madwoman with a writing box. She is an avid reader and fan of all things sci-fi and fantasy. She loves roller skating and movies, though typically not together. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and demanding cat. She hopes to one day meet Daniel Jackson from SG1, or at least the actor who played him. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, playing video games, or counting down the days until DragonCon.
Find Mara Online:
Website  Twitter  Facebook  Google+  Goodreads  Wattpad  Amazon Author

Sign up for Mara’s newsletter so you don’t miss news on new releases and fun contests!

 
Want to get involved with the Fall Into Fantasy promotional tour?

  • Don’t forget to join us at the Facebook party here
  • If you are interested in joining up as a blogger, you can always sign up here. We are happy to welcome more bloggers into the fold as the promotion continues. 
  • If you are an author or blogger and want to sign up to help with the party, please fill out this form.

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Strength 101 (Or How to Be a Strong Female Character)

Hey, guys! A.M. Liebowitz invited me to do a guest post on her blog, and this morning she posted my short story “Strength 101″

It’s a fun look at what happens when a bunch of fictional characters attend a class on how to be “Strong Female Characters,” and how things don’t go exactly as planned.

Seriously. Good times for your Friday.

And while you’re there, check out the sidebar links to A.M. Liebowitz’s upcoming release “Lower Education.” I got all spendy and pre-ordered this one. We’ve met the main characters on WIPpet Wednesdays, and they’re amazing. :)

Here’s the link to the story.

Enjoy!


WIPpet Wednesday–Déjà Vu

I’m writing this post on Tuesday. I just finished up working for the day, and I am not happy.

It’s not that things aren’t going well. In fact, yesterday and today were AMAZING. It’s killing me that I can’t tell you guys what’s happening in book 3 right now. One of the characters surprised me on Monday, and… and I really wish that fictional people would stop making me love them. It hurts.

So I’m just mad that I have to stop working for the day. There’s a house that needs cleaning, and the distractions kids are home from school, my other distraction beloved husband will be home in less than 2 hours, I need to get supper on. You know. Real life.

And so it goes. I just hope my excitement about what’s happening lasts until tomorrow, when I’ll dive head-first back into this thing.

For WIPpet Wednesday I’ll give you the last eight lines (in the WordPress editor pane, anyway) that I wrote before I quit for the day. Rowan’s POV, very rough, but at least fairly spoiler-free.

Unless you haven’t read Bound, in which case I make no promises, and you should go do that. :)

Mountains, yo.

Mountains, yo.

 

A cliff loomed to my right. As I passed into its shadows an eagle shrieked. I ran toward the noise.  Aren, still in his familiar avian form, lay chest-down on the rocks. A few paces away the gryphon crouched on the ground, head held at an awkward angle, gaze fixed on Aren.

“Hey!” I yelled. The beast didn’t change its position. I threw one of the rocks. It bounced off of the gryphon’s skull with a cracking noise, but still the creature wouldn’t move.

I stepped closer. The whites of its eyes showed beneath heavy feathers, and the massive talons curved uselessly beneath it. The animal I’d so heroically attacked was already dead.

Aren let out a softer noise, calling for my attention. His left wing stretched out over the rocks, oozing blood onto the ground.

“Well, this looks familiar,” I observed.

He snapped his beak at me.

The um… the gryphon was a lot more impressive when it was airborne and attacking and didn’t already have a broken neck. You’re just going to have to trust me on that for now, because sharing that would just be BOOK TWO SPOILERS.

For more WIPpet fun, here’s the link to everyone’s posts. It’s updated throughout the day, so shop early and shop often. Say hi to the nice folks, and join in on your own blog if you’d like! The only rules are that you have to post from a current work-in-progress (WIP), and the passage has to have something to do with the day’s date (so I did 8 lines, but you could do a wee slice of chapter 8, show us a planet with eight rings, something about spiders, eighteen lines for 10+8… et cetera). Big thanks to our host KL Schwengel, who’s not allowed to get mad at me for hurting Aren. It was the gryphon’s fault, not mine.

Seriously, he came out of NOWHERE.

*innocent face*

ROW80 Update (goals post link)

Hey, here we are already. So far, so good. 3,000 words on Monday, 3,000 words on Tuesday, and I’m hoping for another 3,000 today. Guess we’ll see… this is what I get for posting from the past.

I’ve got a whole lot of scenes turning up that I didn’t plan on, so the book keeps getting longer. It’s also getting deeper, and the story is filling in nicely. All of the planning I did is (so far) leading draft one to have the depth of a draft 2, if not the polish. There have been a few more detours than I expected, but they’re all still leading to the right place, and it’s a fun ride.

So that’s it for today’s report. How’s your week going so far, writing, reading, or otherwise?


Half-Assing #ROW80 (on purpose, this time)

Okay, that was a strange title, so let me explain.

I sort of dropped out of ROW80 (A Round of Words in 80 Days) on the last round because I was worried about boring people with my posts, especially those of you who subscribe by e-mail. You don’t want your phone to go BRRRRRRMP or BING! or whatever on a Sunday just to be notified that OMG KATE SPARKES WROTE ANOTHER 5000 WORDS YAY.

I know. And I don’t want to put you through that.

But I do miss the accountability and the community. So what to do?

I think I’m going to just check in once a week, on Wednesdays (see? Half-assing the reporting bit). That way these posts will be combined with WIPpet Wednesdays, which will be the candy I offer you to go with the vegetables that are my goals updates. If you’re interested in how things are progressing with my goals, by all means read through. I live to serve, and if watching my numbers is at all inspiring, encouraging, or exciting, I hope you’ll follow along.

Just don’t feel like you have to.

Round 4 of ROW80 for 2014 runs from October 6 to December 25. That means it’s GOAL-SETTIN’ TIME.

*rolls up sleeves, spits in conveniently-placed spittoon*

GOALS:

BOUND TRILOGY BOOK #3 – I’m currently at about 36,500 words out of a projected 120,000. I want to have this done by mid-November, if possible, to leave time for my other book-related goal (see below). This won’t be a problem if I can focus and stick to my schedule… so it’ll probably be a problem. But here’s what I’m aiming for:

  • 3000 words a day, 4 days a week. This leaves one day for me to go to town and get groceries, because my children continue to insist on me putting food in their faces. COOKED food, even. So demanding. If I can get more words than that in, I will. If I can squeeze in writing time on the weekends, I’ll do that, too. But based on what I’ve been able to accomplish over the past month, this seems like a reasonable base goal, if a challenging one.
  • So doing the math… That would get me done with this messy first draft thing in 28 working days, or on November 20. Hmm. I’ll have to try to get extra words in there, maybe aim for 14,000 words a week somehow. Because my other goal is…

TORN – barring some miraculous cancellation on the part of one of his other clients, my editor will be taking this one on at the beginning of December. I’ve already worked in most of my beta readers’ notes (many thanks to those of you who got through it so quickly, you’re the best!), but there are a few more things that need fixing up. So as soon as Book 3 is drafted, or sooner if need be, I need to get those last few things cleaned up. This is really important, but I don’t want to interrupt this whole first draft thing while I’m on a roll, so I’m putting it off.

Oooooh, dramatic tension, if only in my own mind!

SHORT STORY – It’s a thing I’m working on, which I’d like to have released by Christmas, but it’ll have to get squished in between other BIG, IMPORTANT STUFF. No promises.

OTHER GOALS -

  • listen to two writing podcasts a week. I can do this while I’m cooking or out walking the dog, so this should be an easy one to cross off. Right now I like Hide and Create and The Self-Publishing Podcast.
  • Beta reading. I’m doing this for a fellow WIPpeteer this month. I haven’t started yet, but I’m going to get on it soon. There will be notes. SUCH NOTES THERE WILL BE.
  • Other reading – one or two novels a month seems to be all I have time for these days. Reading just feels like homework right now (heartbreaking, I know), but it’s important. Right now I’m reading Behind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler (so adorable–and I usually don’t like contemporary YA romance) and The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle. We’ll see what comes after that. And I’d like to get through at least one writing-related book this round, too.
  • Organize something fun for the Bound audiobook release in November.
  • Also, I’m using the Duolingo app to learn French. Because why not?* I have no concrete goal for this, except to use it for 10 minutes a day.

I guess that’s enough.

Are you participating this round? Link back to your goals post in the comments so I can stop by and say hello!

October. Oooooh, aaaaah!

October. Oooooh, aaaaah!

-

*Weird story: I’m pretty sure it had me say, “Je mange les femmes” yesterday, meaning “I eat women.” I’m not entirely sure what they’re implying… this could go in a few directions. Of course, they also think “Je suis un homme,” so you know. Whatever.


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