BOUND Sale – $2.99 (USD) until August 4!

Kate Sparkes:

Hey, all! Just in case anyone hasn’t heard, Bound is on sale this weekend. If you know anyone who’s been waiting for a sale to pick up the e-book, now would be a great time to do it!

Originally posted on Sparrowcat Press:

Hey, everyone!

Bound is on sale this weekend (July 29-August 4) for $2.99 on Kindle, Kobo, Nook, and iBooks! If you haven’t grabbed a copy yet, or know someone who’s been waiting for a sale, now would be a great time to take advantage.

Please note that individual retailers may adjust prices, but I’ve done my best to have the e-book priced at $2.99 USD across all retailers.

Thanks to everyone who has posted, shared, tweeted, and told people about the sale. Every bit of word of mouth is so helpful.

bound august sale 2

Sales links:

Amazon.com

iBooks

Kobo

Nook

Welcome to Darmid, where magic is a sin, fairy tales are contraband, and the people live in fear of the Sorcerers on the other side of the mountains.

Rowan Greenwood has everything she’s supposed to want from life—a good family, a bright future, and a proposal from a handsome and wealthy magic hunter…

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Cover reveal: Alicia by Gloria Weber

I know, I know. It’s not Monday, and that’s usually when I do promo stuff for other authors. But when a WIPpeteer requests aid, I like to help. And today is the big day for Gloria’s short story, a “contemporary romance with fantasy elements.”

Read on for details!

Alicia

Blurb:
Leon has decided it is better to remain silent and accused of Alicia’s murder than admit the truth. The truth… well that’s so unbelievable it’s crazy. Not that Detective Dorndorf believes a word that comes out of Leon’s mouth. Dorndorf just wants a confession and figures dragging Leon to the last spot Alicia was seen might just pry it out of him. Will the detective’s plan work or will the truth come out?

Price: $0.99
Expected To Be Sold At: Amazon (for kindle) and Solstice Publishing’s website (http://solsticepublishing.com/)

Author Bio:
Gloria Weber lives in Ohio with her husband, son, daughter, and many pets. She has been writing for publication since March 2006 with over a dozen titles published. Her favorite letter is L.

Website: http://gloriaweber.wordpress.com/
Twitter: @GloriaWeber ~ http://twitter.com/GloriaWeber
G+: http://plus.google.com/107706782152210234267/posts
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GloriaWeberWriter
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/GloriaWeber


Bound A-Z: M is for Magic

Magic

Trying to explain magic is like trying to explain life, or God. At least, it is if you’re a character in one of my books. I, on the other hand, have inside information.

And I’m going to share a little of it with you, at the request of a lovely reader.

Those of you who are reading my books know some things, with more revealed in each book (because honestly, I find it dull to have everything laid out in exacting detail at the outset, with no surprises left). There’s more to come, believe me.

Magic is a huge and wonderful challenge for a writer. We get to decide what magic is, how it works, why it works and who it works for, what it’s capable of and (even more importantly) what its limitations are.

We decide how much we’ll explain and how much mystery we leave. We decide whether characters will use spells or wands or potions or elements to control magic, whether magic obeys the laws of physics as we understand them, or whether it exists beyond them–and what that means for the world we’ve created.

This is by no means an exhaustive examination of the magic system in the Bound trilogy, but it might answer a few questions. I’ll try to avoid spoilers, and warn if they pop up.

Today we’ll look at Sorcerers and Sorceresses, and magic-users with that type of magic who don’t quite qualify at that level. I’ll be saying “he” because that’s how this sort of magic tends to skew, especially in Tyrea, but we all know that Sorceresses have the capacity to be every bit as powerful.

Again, we’re only covering the basics here, or this will become a very long post, indeed. And we’ll focus on Tyrea, because there are factors that affect things in Darmid and Belleisle.

The easiest way to think of magic is to compare it to electricity. Assuming the power bill is paid up and the house is well-maintained, you can plug a cord into the wall and get power. And it’s all the same power. Plug a blow-dryer in at a bathroom outlet, and it’s going to get the same juice as the toaster in the kitchen.

Of course, the effects are quite different, aren’t they?

Your blow-dryer’s not going to make you toast, even if you bring it to the kitchen. And you could try to dry your hair with that toaster, but I really wouldn’t recommend it if you don’t like soggy roots and the smell of burnt hair.

That’s really the best way to think of natural magic skills, too, though it’s not a perfect analogy. A toaster was created to toast (I’m going to keep saying toast until it doesn’t look like a real word anymore. Toast). In the same way, a Sorcerer might have a natural skill with, say, fire creation. The Sorcerer will still have to work to develop that skill, but it will be fairly simple if he’s strong and puts the work in. It’s like walking. He has to learn, but it becomes second nature if nothing interferes.

Now, not everyone in Tyrea has natural skills. Even if many people have the ability to channel a little magic, most people won’t have the capacity to use enough to have any effect at all on the world around them. They may not even be aware that the magic is in them.

In fact, great and useful magic is rare–especially when monarchs have a tendency to off anyone who threatens them, but that’s another topic entirely. One fifty people might have middling magic, enough to make their lives easier and keep them healthier than most, but not enough to accomplish much in a practical sense, no matter how hard they try.

One a thousand might be capable of great things, IF he has training. And the greatest magic is rarer still.

So what happens when we move beyond natural skills? What about things like [BOUND SPOILER] Aren’s ability to change into an eagle? What about Severn’s mind-connection with a flying horse? These aren’t skills they were born with. They’re entirely learned.

[END SPOILER]

Going back to appliances: You could turn a toaster into a lamp by making modifications to it. It would run on the same electricity, and if the modifications are done correctly, it could work very well.

Maybe not as well as if you’d just bought a damn lamp, of course. The same is true with magic. A developed skill can be quite effective, and with more practice comes mastery. But it takes much longer to develop a learned skill than a natural one, and it’s far more dangerous and difficult (TORN SPOILER: see Aren and Severn’s respective skills with fire for an example of this). And there are some things that can’t be learned, or that would be too difficult to bother with, and this varies between individuals. One person might pick up transformation after five years, another might still screw it up after twenty, or a hundred.

Also, no one expects to pick up more than a handful of fully-developed skills (plus an assortment of unrefined minor skills) in his lifetime. You can turn that toaster into a lamp-toaster-BBQ lighter-bedwarmer-camp stove-battery charger, but at some point you’re going to find that none of the functions work properly because it’s a bit too… well, diversified.

There’s plenty that can go wrong with magic. It might be bound, and therefore present but useless. If the power supply is cut off completely, the effects can be disastrous and far-reaching. Magic depends on magic to sustain itself, so if magical plants and creatures are removed from the land, the magic begins to die.

And as stated in the books, picking up new skills has the added danger of unwanted effects. Sort of side-effects of attempting unfamiliar magic. These are unpredicatable, and can range from a slight drop in the temperature of the surrounding air (common, and thought to be related to unfamiliar magic requiring an energy catalyst), to bodily injury to one’s self or others. Even seemingly simple magic is not something to be attempted casually.

The dangers of magic go deeper than this, in ways few people have had to experience. You see, magic is a wonderful thing in many ways, aiding in healing and learning. This is actually something of a side-effect of magic protecting people from itself. Those effects mentioned above are only the tip of the iceberg, and without protection…

Arrrrgh. There’s so much I want to tell you all, but this post is already getting long, and I’d hate to ruin any surprises.

We’ll get there. Soon.

Okay, this has gone on long enough. Stay tuned for a shorter post on Potioners in a few weeks!


Last Chance to Enter!

Teri Polen’s giveaway (signed paperback copy of bound, mermaid charm, sea glass, and assorted papery swag) is ending soon! She’ll be announcing the winner July 31, which means there’s only a day or so left to enter. This is a fantastic prize from a generous reader, so be sure to enter!

(US and Canada only for this one, but I’ve got something different coming up for everyone else next month)

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Click here to enter. Good luck!


The Things That Are Happening

Let’s start with a question I feel is important:

Where did July go?

Was it not just Canada Day a week ago, give or take? I mean yes, a lot has happened, but I’m honestly confused about how it can be almost August already.

Let’s think this through.

I guess there were a few weeks spent on minor revisions and edits to Sworn, getting that ready to go to my editor. That was all done at the dining room table (because my office was packed) while various neighbourhood children ran through the house hollering and distracting and FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING WOULD YOU ALL JUST GO OUTSIDE. And at the same time as I was doing that, I was also cleaning the house so we wouldn’t be too embarrassed when people came to move our furniture. There were phone calls and notes and a trip to Corner Brook to sign the papers to buy our first house. The moving stuff didn’t leave a lot of time for work, but I fit it in.

There was also something about cover art… I dunno.

I guess that explains a bit of me not noticing time passing.

Then there was last week, when we actually moved. Packing on Monday, loading the truck on Tuesday (and hours spent cleaning AGAIN), unloading in a new town on Wednesday, unpacking… well, every day since then.

It’s coming along. The kitchen was a disaster, but I fixed it. Here’s a tip for anyone lucky enough to have someone paying for your move: Don’t let the movers unpack everything in the kitchen. When they run out of counter space they have no choice but to shove things into random cupboards, and this triples the work for you.

At least.

The bedrooms are livable. The man cave is all geeked out and ready for my husband to retreat to. The living room and dining room are lacking in decoration, but they’re not completely embarrassing. The family room is… well, the TV is set up, and that’s the important thing for now.

The only room we haven’t touched is my office, because I’ve been working on everything else.

But this week. THIS WEEK, guys. We’re going to build my desk and a new bookshelf, I’m going to hang my beloved NaNoWriMo posters, I’m going to get organized, get comfortable, and get back to work.

Wait.

*checks calendar*

Actually, I’m not. I just finished formatting and spell-checking, and Sworn goes to Joshua on Friday. This gives me two weeks, give or take, without that project to work on. Normally I’d dive back into my next project, but the kids are home, the house needs attention, and there are neighbours to meet, dogs to walk, and a birthday party to plan.

Know what that means?

READING TIME! Sure, I’ll be working on brainstorming ideas for the next big project, and I’ll be getting ideas about things I really should have done with Sworn before it went for edits. There will be notes. Oh, so many notes. But for the first time since before Bound came out, I’m kind of going to be taking a vacation.

Sort of.

And like… reading and stuff.

My TBR list for the first half of August: A Court of Thorns and Roses, The Queen of the Tearling, Anna and the French Kiss, and For Love or Money (non-fiction book on advancing an indie writing career, because I can’t leave work behind completely).

You know. After I get this mess sorted out.

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Giveaway – Signed Copy of Bound by Kate Sparkes! @kate_sparkes #giveaway

Kate Sparkes:

Hey, guys! Teri Polen is hosting a giveaway for a signed paperback copy of Bound, so click on over and enter!

Originally posted on Books & Such:

 

 

photo (6)

This giveaway is now closed.

My first giveaway and what a way to start – a signed paperback copy of Bound, the first book in the Bound trilogy, by Kate Sparkes!  A few weeks back, I entered her One Year Celebration Giveaway, knowing it was outside the realm of possibility that I’d win, because, well – I’ve never won anything.  Apparently, the stars aligned, the cows came home, hell froze over, and pigs flew, because I won this signed paperback copy of Bound with some extra goodies thrown in.

Since I’m already well aware of the awesomeness of Kate’s books, I thought I’d pay it forward and give someone else the opportunity to become acquainted with this utterly captivating series.  It has something for everyone – fantasy, magic, a strong female protagonist, dragons, mermaids, adventure, humor and romance.

Synopsis:  Welcome to Darmid, where magic is a…

View original 210 more words


L is for Luid

Luid

Luid is the capital city of Tyrea, the home of the king, the cultural and economic centre of the country. It’s home to the greatest stores of human knowledge, to the land’s scholars and researchers and its most promising students. It sits with its face to the country, back facing the ocean, sloping upward from the harbour to the high cliffs where the nobles keep their…

Blah, blah, blah.

That’s what a guidebook would tell you about the city. The pretty things. The not-to-be-missed attractions. It might walk you through the gate quarter, which houses merchants and traders and craftsmen. It might outline various festivals occurring throughout the year, or might advise a visit to the temple of the Goddess, located in the inner city not far from the palace…which no up-to-date guidebook would advise you to visit without notice. Not these days. Not if you want a warm welcome.

The truth is, a city is a being in its own right, and old ones have a habit of keeping secrets. Were you to visit the city on a quick business trip or a relaxing vacation, you wouldn’t see the north end of the city, where the Despair presses against the wall, held back by magic that’s effective enough to keep it from grinding the people’s spirits to dust…most days. You certainly wouldn’t walk down the North End’s filthy streets and see the criminals sent through the gate in that portion of the wall as punishment when a quick execution is too merciful.

No, that’s a secret that the city keeps well, hidden behind twisting streets that seem to direct one’s feet back to more pleasant diversions.

And pleasant diversions abound. The people of Luid, especially the wealthy, want for little. Some say it’s made them lazy, that even those who have magical potential don’t use it as they might. To master any skill requires study and hard work, and most remain content with whatever undeveloped skills they’re born with. Those who do develop it can be dangerous, of course. Perhaps that’s why the king keeps them close by, and keeps them happy.

Every household, every shop, every citizen’s heart holds secrets. Secret fears, secret aspirations, secret desires and shames.

On the surface, everything shines. Clean cobblestone streets, bright shop-fronts, smiling faces.

Just tread carefully, visitor, and you’ll be fine.

 

 


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