WIPpet Wednesday: So Difficult

HELLOOOOOO, and welcome to WIPpet Wednesday!

Before we start, I’d like to welcome anyone who has joined us recently. Make yourselves comfortable. Join in on conversations if it suits you, lurk if you’re more of a skulking type. Everyone’s welcome.

Two more announcements… I’m doing a Goodreads giveaway for a signed paperback copy of Bound! Here’s the link for that. The other thing is that Bound (the e-book version) goes up to regular price next Wednesday, or whenever various retailers decide to comply with the change. The intro sale has lasted two months, and it’s been fantastic. Regular price is still a great deal, but if you know anyone who’s been putting off picking up their copy, now would be a good time for them to do it if they want to save a few dollars.  Fair warning. :)

For anyone unfamiliar with the game blog hop, WIPpet Wednesday is where we share a quick snippet from a Work In Progress (get it?) that relates in some way to the day’s date. We get a little creative with the math sometimes, to the point where it’s basically a Cloud Cuckoo Land of do as you please, but it’s good fun, and I’m so glad to have the WIPpeteers in my life.


That said… guys. I’m trying to avoid spoilers, but it’s becoming impossible. Even revealing who’s in scenes is difficult sometimes. Like this one, for example. I’ll tell you that the first speaker is Rowan, the second is a rather unlikely and occasionally pants-crappingly terrifying teacher she’s found to help her with… um… *sigh*

I’m cutting this to avoid spoilers, so I apologize for the lack of stuff. Also, this isn’t the beginning of a scene. I swear there’s set-up.

I’m going to have to start a new project just so I have things to share.

WIPpet math: 20-8  = 12 paragraphs

“Did I do that?” I whispered, and reached up to touch the pendant that hung around my neck. I couldn’t have chosen a less likely guardian.

“You did,” he said. “Never doubt it.”

“You did that on purpose? To provoke me?”


My legs began to tremble, and I sat on the bed again. “It was beautiful.”

“It was acceptable. You’ll do better. How did that feel? What were you thinking when it happened?”

“I was afraid you were going to hit me. Mostly angry, though.” I looked up and met his eyes as the reality of it sank in. “You’re horrible.”

“I know. It worked, though. You’ve been allowing emotions to hold you back when you should be using them, using your passion to direct and propel your magic. I was certain that if threatened, you would respond appropriately.”

“And if I hadn’t?”

“Then you’d be in pain now. Does it matter? It worked.”

Rage still seethed within me. “Your methods are reprehensible.”

“I know. But you can’t argue with those results.”


Yeah, that wasn’t helpful, was it? That’s it. Next week I start writing zombierotica or something just so I can post here.

Actually… next week I should be starting book 3. NGUH.

For more WIPpet Wednesday fun, click here and visit the other WIPpeteers. Special thanks to our host KL Schwengel, thanks to whom I can never eat chicken McNuggets again. Feel free to join in on your own blog and link back, too– just be sure to visit others if you want them to come see you. Community, and all of that. :)

Author Spotlight with Kate Sparkes

Kate Sparkes:

Kristen Otte interviewed me on her blog– we talked about Bound, writing, world-building, launch strategies, and what’s up next. Check it out, and take a look at her books! Also, go back a post and look at the video of her dogs. Seriously. So adorable.

Originally posted on Kristen Otte:


Today I am excited to feature author Kate Sparkes. Her debut novel, Boundreleased on June 23, 2014 and has been on the top of the young adult fantasy charts since it released. I read and reviewed Bound last month. It was a joy to read, and I am excited about her success.

Tell us a little about yourself and your novel Bound.

I’m a writer and a mom, wife to a Mountie, comfortable seating for three cats and regular walker for a Boxer named Jack. And actually… all of that pretty much sums up my daily life. I was born in Ontario, but I now live in Newfoundland, which I think is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. I’ve been writing stories since I was in Kindergarten, but only started working toward it as a career in 2010. That’s when I started writing Bound.


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Friday Fun: The Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium

Hey, guys! I know, I said we’d do stuff this week, and I haven’t posted a whole lot. The good news is that things are going so well with actual writing (like, the book some of you are waiting for) that I’m worried the house will have a meltdown again. The bad news is that I’m not going to halt that momentum to write blog posts, so things might continue to be a bit sparse here next week.

Also, I’ve got kids at home full time. Writing time is limited, you know?

But speaking of those kids, I did take a week off for a family vacation. Stopping work cold turkey nearly drove me mad, but after a few days in my favourite city, a relaxing and fun weekend at a friend’s cabin, and lots of walking around beautiful landscapes, I started to relax.

One of our stops was the Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium in… well, it’s in Petty Harbour. You probably guessed that. Smarty pants. It truly is mini. I mean, they didn’t take a ray-gun and shrink a fish tank down (dangit), but they do have a lot of amazing exhibits packed into a TINY space.

I thought, since most of you won’t make it out there this summer, that I’d share some pictures and information (all facts and figures courtesy of the aquarium). Many of their exhibits are temporary, as they show off creatures brought in by local fishermen which are then set free after they’ve done their time. Nice, right? We missed the wolf fish by a few days, but I hope he’s very happy… um… doing whatever wolf fish do.

I would probably know this if I’d seen the exhibit.


I’m a bad, bad promoter. I didn’t get an exterior shot of the building. *ducks away from flung flotsam and jetsam*

But inside…

Good to know!

Good to know!


This is Lady Blue, a temporary visitor to the aquarium. Blue lobsters are fairly rare: one in 2,000,000 has this lovely colouring.





Casper the white snow crab is another oddity, if somewhat less pretty. I wasn’t as impressed with his colouring as I was with his astonishing fashion sense. Check out that escargot chapeau!



“Leave me alone.”


Flounders are… um… interesting.



The sea ravens were my favourite. Our fish might not be tropical-pretty, but we have some lovely sea monster inspiration!



Here’s Pharaoh. He’s a golden lobster (1 in 35,000,000 are this colour, and this summer the aquarium has two of them!)



There’s so much more to see, but I don’t want to take up all of your time with my fish pics– cod, sculpin, something called a lumpfish… aww, heck, here’s a picture of the lumpfish, because it’s kind of hilarious:



The Mini Aquarium may be tiny, but it’s a lot of educational fun. They have daily puppet shows and story time through the summer, too, if you’re hauling kids around and they’re into that. Oh, and the touch tanks are MIGHTY COOL.

Cue touch tank pics:

"Hey, how's it going?"

“Hey, how’s it going?”



I didn’t have the heart to tell this guy it’s too late to audition for back-up dancer in The Little Mermaid

So there you go. If you’re ever in the St John’s area, head on down! It’s on the way to Cape Spear, too, which could make for a fine day of fun.

Now, kiss the Pout, and we’ll all be on our way.



COMING SOON: Fall Into Fantasy

I know, I know. It’s been way too quiet around here.

I was on vacation. It was fun. But I’m back now, and hard at work on revisions. If all goes well, Torn will be out to beta readers next month (if we talked about you reading and I haven’t been in touch, please forgive my lack of organizational skills, and give me a slap in the head). That’s taking all of my writing time right now, leaving little for blogging.

Priorities, right?

That said, I have AN ANNOUNCEMENT.

I’ve been invited (squeak!) to participate in the Fall Into Fantasy promotion, along with a TON of fantastic authors! It’s humbling, a little intimidating, and very exciting. We’ll all be posting about each other’s work, offering giveaways, having A PARTY… you know what? I’m just going to share the post that Mara Valderran, author of the Heirs of War books, sent out to us. She says it better than I do, anyway, and made such pretty pictures. Click here to get to her site, say hello… she’s super nice. :)

Take it away, Mara, and thanks for your hard work in organizing this!



It’s August, and that means Fall is upon us! To celebrate the cooler weather and keep your mind off any back to school blues, we’ve put together the Fall Into Fantasy Tour. This tour celebrates the wonderful fantasy books that you can dive into–right now!

But what’s a tour unless we are giving away free stuff? That’s right! Each week, we will be giving away some awesome prizes from the author being featured. And to wrap things up at the end of the promotion in December, we’re going to have a huge Facebook party all weekend long featuring these authors and more!

Want to get an idea of what is ahead? Check out the calendar below!

August 25th: The Darkness & Light series by K.L. Schwengel
September 1st: How to Date Dead Guys by Ann M. Noser
September 8th: The Undead: Playing for Keeps by Elsie Elmore 


September 15th: Shadows of Serenity by Marsha A. Moore
September 22nd: The Curse Merchant by JP Sloan
September 29th: The Ragnarok Prophecies by Ayden K. Morgan
October 6th: The Daath Chronicles by Eliza Tilton
October 13th: The Heirs of War series by Mara Valderran
October 20th: Salvation by James Wymore

October 27th: Strings by G. Miki Hayden



November 3rd: The Shadow Series by Anna Hub
November 10th: Between by Lisa Swallow

November 17th: Darkness Watching by Emma Adams


November 24th: Bound by Kate Sparkes
December 1st: The December People series by Sharon Bayliss
December 8th: The Disciple series by L. Blankenship

December 15th: Evensong by Krista Walsh

Don’t forget to join us at the Facebook party here! And be sure to check out these awesome blogs that will be hosting the tour for us:

Bilbo’s Book Ends

Katie’s Stories

Book Crazy Gals


Read Me

Kelly P’s Blog

SW Fairbrother

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

  • 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. 
  • If you are an author or blogger and want to sign up to help with the party, please fill out this form.
  • If you are an author that wanted to take part, be sure to add Mara on Twitter or Facebook to hear about other promotions you can get involved with.



Back to Kate:

Doesn’t that sound FANTASTIC? Be sure to check those books out, and mark your calendar to come back for your chance to win e-book copies and more.

Can you tell I’m excited? I’ve only read a few of these books (so good), and my TBR list just exploded.


COVER REVEAL: Reunion of the Heart by Elaine Jeremiah

Hello hello, and welcome back, everyone!

Or is it “welcome back, me” since I’m the one who’s been away for a week and missing out on everything?


No matter. We have important thingies to attend to today. In fact, I’m home just in time to help with a cover reveal for one of the WIPpeteers! If you’ve been following along, you might have seen Elaine Jeremiah posting snippets from Reunion of the Heart over the past few months. I haven’t had a chance to read the book yet, but I’ve been enjoying reading the snippets.

Are you ready? Here we go…


Ain’t that pretty? And here’s the cover copy…

After a messy breakup with her boyfriend, Anna is feeling fragile. So when her best friend Melissa suggests the two of them go to their school reunion, she’s reluctant as Anna’s school days weren’t her happiest. The evening is going well until she meets the boy who made her school life hell.

But the grown up Will is different and Anna is surprised by the direction her life takes. The reunion sets in motion a series of events that lead Anna to realise things will never be the same again.


Annnnnd a little bit about the author:

Elaine Jeremiah has always enjoyed writing, but it’s only in recent years that she’s begun to devote serious time to it. She’s written lots of short stories, one previous novel that will never see the light of day and a novel which has seen the light of day: ‘The Inheritance’ which she published last year. ‘The Inheritance’ is available on Amazon.

You can make contact with Elaine via her blog: elainejeremiah.co.uk and Twitter: @ElaineJeremiah


Now, we don’t have an exact release date for RotH, but Elaine says it should be out by the end of August. YAY! If this sounds like your kind of story, she’ll be posting details on her blog ASAP, I’m sure.


That’s all the fun we have lined up for today! I’ll be back next week with a few posts: a trip to a mini aquarium (which did not involve them actually miniaturizing fish. I know, I was sad), maybe a post answering some of the questions I’ve had about my experiences with my editor, MAAAAAYBE even a snippet for WIPpet Wednesday. I can’t promise anything… I’m behind on work now, and I’m starting to think that people are actually interested in this next book.


In the meantime, why not leave a comment to say hello to Elaine? And if you’re a contemporary romance fan, let us know the name of the last book in that genre you read and enjoyed.

See you next week!

*air kisses*

Man, I missed you guys…



WIPpet Wednesday: Not Even Here Edition

That’s right, I’m not here. I mean, I am… but I’m not at home. I’m still going to try to get to everyone’s posts this week. I got through 16 last week before things got crazy. I’m going to try for everyone this time, even if it takes all week.

So where am I? Halfway across the province, visiting my parents so I can a) visit my parents, and b) sign the books they’re taking with them when they go to visit the rest of the family in Ontario next month.


Bad lighting = bad picture. Sorry.

I’m still waiting on most of my order from CreateSpace, but Amazon got other people’s orders to them quickly, so that’s fine. JUST FINE. -_- *

Turns out signing books is awkward. I don’t know what to write. And now I’ve learned that “personalized” doesn’t mean that I lick the spine to mark the book as my territory.

Someone should really get this information out there.


Okay, math… Today is the 23rd. 2+3=5 paragraphs from the scene I was working on a few nights ago. We’re back to Rowan and Aren here (yay!), and she’s referring to someone who readers should recognize from the end of book one who’s not a big fan of Aren.

Man, it’s hard to not be spoilery. -_-

This is mid-scene. I just completely re-wrote this, so it’s a little rough. Aren’s POV, starts with Rowan speaking.


“She’s warming to you.”

I snorted. “You’re the second person who’s tried to tell me that, and I’m no closer to believing it than I was months ago.”

“It’s true. She doesn’t speak badly of you any more. I don’t think she’s forgiven you for things that happened in the past, but she finds you useful, and I think she’s stopped worrying about you using certain talents.”

“That really doesn’t make me feel better. A young dragon is less fearsome if its fire is doused and its teeth pulled, but then what does it have left?”

“You still have your claws.” She stood and pressed her body against mine, flashing that wicked little grin that always set my blood surging. I rested my hand on her hip and gripped the fabric of her cloak. It slid without resistance against the smooth skin beneath. “I like your claws.”

For anyone not in the know, WIPpet Wednesday is when we share a short snippet from a work in progress that relates to the day’s date. If you’d like to join in at your own blog space with 23 lines from chapter 7, seven paragraphs from page 23, or whatever else you’d like to work out, have at it! Link up here, and be sure to stop in and say hi at everyone else’s blogs. Thanks to monkey mistress KL Schwengel for hosting.



*One of my boxes finally came yesterday, over a week late. Still waiting on most of the order. But I will say that CreateSpace customer service was amazing once I got past my phone-related anxiety and called them. If you ever call and talk to Jeimy, be nice. She’s swell. And anyone who’s waiting on signed copies… I’m sorry. We’re working on it.

ROW80 Update- Falling off the Cliff Edition

Not literally. It’s just my first book‘s last few days of eligibility for Hot New Release lists on Amazon.com. My poor baby is going to feel the sting of being replaced by newer and younger books.

Le sigh.

But what the hell, right? It’s been an awesome run. I didn’t expect to see it on this list. Or here.

Fullscreen capture 2014-07-20 84034 AM.bmp

Or here. I am keeping this screenshot FOREVER.

Maybe its spot in a couple of sub-category best-seller lists will keep it afloat for a while. I actually have no idea how that usually works out, long-term. I’m torn between sharing EVERYTHING here in the interest of getting potentially helpful information out there for other writers, and just staying all shut-up because someone’s going to come along and say, “PFFT. IT’S JUST A COUPLE OF SUB-CATEGORIES, GET A LIFE, ROOKIE.”

It’s major for me. These little victories don’t take away the crippling self-doubt that most writers seem to struggle with, but they’re really nice.

Thanks again to everyone who’s read, reviewed, shared the book with friends, and offered support and encouragement in the past month. I hope I’ll see you all at the next release party. :)


Okay, update.

Goals were here, and right now mainly focus on getting Torn whipped into shape for readers and then my editor. Good news: I’m 1/3 of the way through. Bad news: Subtracting family vacation time (I’m going to go nuts if I can’t work, I swear), that leaves about 4 weeks to get through the other 70K+ words, which includes two new scenes and full re-writes of others, plus heavy revisions.

I can do this. I just hope my dear husband finds it in his heart to accept my frequent absences when I disappear to my office*. I also hope I can figure out how to not be distracted by social media, etc., which is my writing Kryptonite. The distraction, I mean, not social media specifically. If I didn’t have that, it would be something else. I don’t have ADD, but I definitely have CFF (Can’t F%$*ing Focus… not the Canadian Fencing Federation).

Once I get working, I’m fine for a good 20 minutes or so. It’s just settling into it that’s hard. That, and the kids hanging off of me, the Barbie doll chatting in my ear about how she’s the Salt Queen now, the rest of the “Are you done yet? Now? How about now?”

I feel like this is the main benefit of an office job. And I still don’t particularly want to work with a publisher, but I think my deadlines might carry more weight with people if I could say they came from somewhere other than me and the promise I made to readers. It’s a little frustrating.

Anyway. I’m pretty well on schedule, and that’s the important thing.

For anyone who doesn’t know, ROW80 is a writing challenge that lets you set your own flexible goals for each round. More information here. And if you’d like to check out some other people’s posts, click here! Join in any time at your own blog space if you feel so inclined.

In other news, I’m considering dropping out of this challenge. I’m not sure these posts are anything but boring for you guys, and they take time away from actual writing (my perfectionist tendencies and paranoia about how much to say about things have made this post take an hour and a half to write). Maybe I’ll just leave Sundays open for something fun and keep Wednesdays strictly WIPpetish. We’ll see.

Now. Back to work.

Wait, no. The kids are up. Later…


*It’s easy enough to find me. Down to basement, hang a left past the litter box ghetto. It’s the spot with the desk and the dragons and the crazy person.

Melissa Barker-Simpson

If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad - Lord Byron

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A futuristic vision created by novice science fiction authors James Courtney and Kaisy Wilkerson-Mills. ©2013-2014 All Rights Reserved

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