Yep, I’m Still Alive

Is the blog dead because I don’t post, or do I not post because the blog is dead?

Hmmm…

Honestly, I don’t have a lot to post about right now. I’m hard at work on a challenging project that’s kicking my ass, eking out writing time in the mornings when I’m still half-asleep but the house is quiet. I’m struggling though a reading slump and a lot of anxiety and a surprising bout of depression (it sneaks up on you!), and trying to plan our first vacation in three years. For anyone keeping track, this means our first family vacation since I started publishing books, and the first time I’ve taken two weeks away from my writing since well before I got edits back on Bound and morphed into the stressed-out “holy crap I have a job now” writer I am today.*

So this should be interesting. I hope it means I’ll be able to let some ideas flow and take a new approach to problems (and maybe get some brainstorming done on the next part of the story that started with the Bound trilogy), unwind, and enjoy life away from work… but I feel like I’ve forgotten how to do two of those things. So we’ll see.:)

In the meantime, I did a short vlog post last week, as it’s hard to do long ones with the kids at home. This one has nothing to do with writing, but does offer my favourite cure for hiccups. Hope it’s helpful to someone.:)

*For the record, no, I would not trade it for any other job. I just need to learn how to deal with certain stressors and accept my limitations a bit better. It’ll come.


Cover Reveal & A Birthday!

So excited to be able to share the first cover in the Invisible Entente series! I’ve read the prequel and have some idea of what’s coming after, and it’s going to be AMAZING!

The Raven's Quill

I’m 30 today – and it’s pretty great. Mostly because I love round numbers. Because I’m a dork. Proudly.

I was going to write up some thoughts on entering another decade, but then I realised all I really want to do is celebrate by sharing the beautiful artwork I have for my next project.

I’ve mentioned The Invisible Entente before, but now it’s official. This 7-book urban fantasy series, which plays with mythology, fairy tales, and all kinds of trouble, will kick off NEXT MONTH with the prequel novella, followed by the first novel in September.

The covers are being done by the ever-so-magical Ravven, and I’m amazed by how well she’d bringing my characters to life. Covers like this beauty right here:

entente_promo

Want to know what the prequel is about? You can either read the blurb:

“If you’re reading this note, I’m already dead.  I find even more pleasure in the idea…

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First Draft Hell

It’s Camp NaNoWriMo time, and oodles of writers all over the world are in a special kind of first draft hell. As we approach the midpoints of our stories, plotters and pantsers alike might be feeling tempted to throw in the towel.

So that’s what this week’s video is about. A look at the things I tend to struggle with as I fight my way through first drafts (and it usually is a fight–none of this comes easy to me) and how I try to change my perspective so I’ll keep fighting.

Enjoy!


The Skeleton Key Series

Hey, guys! Check this out. I know many of you have enjoyed Into Elurien (huge thanks to those who have left reviews and recommended it to friends! It really helps). Are you curious about the rest of this fantastic multi-author series? Want to see where else the Skeleton Key might lead you?

Read on…

LOGO WITH EFFECTS

Skeleton Key Book Series

One Skeleton Key. Endless Adventures.

https://skeletonkeybookseries.com

One magical key.

The turn of a lock.

An adventure of a lifetime.

The Skeleton Key finds those who are brave enough. Curious enough. Crazy enough. It only needs an unsuspecting hand and inconspicuous door. Magic uncoils and where the door leads, no one knows. The one way to discover the truth is to step through into a world of the exotic and untold.

If you dare to dream the impossible…

Prepare yourself.

Unlock the Skeleton Key adventures.


SD(1)

GAME MASTER by Scarlett Dawn

“Forbidden love will change the rules.”

Amazon


warrior queen

WARRIOR QUEEN by Shona Husk

To break the siege, he’ll break a law.

Amazon Barnes&Noble iBooks Kobo


EBOOK

SHADOW WINGS by JC Andrijeski

In a time of great darkness, can Ilana help an angel regain his wings?

Amazon Barnes&Noble iBooks Kobo


ROYAL ENCHANTMENT(1)

ROYAL ENCHANTMENT by Lia Davis

“A skeleton key unlocks a passage to a world of fae, mythical creatures, and a dark elfin King who will do anything to claim his bride.”

Amazon Barnes&Noble iBooks Kobo


MC EBOOK(1)

MECHANICAL HEARTS by Nicole Blanchard

“Life and love are on the line and time is running out. Tick tock.”

Amazon


ELFH

ELFHAME by Anthea Sharp

“A prince, a prophecy, and the young woman who holds the fate of a world in her hands.”

Amazon Barnes&Noble iBooks Kobo


EBOOK UPDATED

PRINCESS OF THE DAMNED by Wendy Knight

“What do you do when the face in the mirror isn’t yours?”

Amazon Barnes&Noble iBooks Kobo



Eunica BOOK

EUNICA by J. Rose Alexander

“Her destiny was not in the shadow of death, but in the light of another life.”

Amazon Barnes&Noble iBooks Kobo


Sleeping Dragons_Cristina Rayne

WHERE SLEEPING DRAGONS LIE by Cristina Rayne

“Some doors can only be unlocked by the right hand…”

Amazon Barnes&Noble iBooks Kobo


EBOOK(1)

CURSE OF THE UNDEAD DRAGON KING by Konstanz Silverbow

A curse so powerful, not even true love’s kiss can break it.

Amazon


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FATE OF ELEMENTS by M. Stratton

She was the key to uniting their world.”

Amazon


ebook

THE ASSASSIN’S MARK by Sarah Mäkelä and Tavin Soren

An assassin becomes a protector as he enters a magical world…all for the woman in his dreams.

Amazon


EBOOK(3)

SPELL SLINGER by K.N. Lee

“An immortal dictator will soon meet his match, in a time-traveling sorceress with revenge in her soul.”

Amazon


EBOOK

DARK FAE by Lillian Cartier

“The most breathtaking love she’s ever found may also bring her ultimate ruin and death.”

Amazon Barnes&Noble iBooks Kobo


EBOOK(1)

HIS IMMORTAL KISS by Liliana Rhodes

“He’s waited centuries for her.”

Amazon


EBOOK(2)

WITCHMATE by Renee George

“When thief Emma Watson stumbles into an alternative world full of warring witches and werewolves, it sets her on a dangerous path that may lose her the only man she’s ever wanted to love.”

Amazon


EBOOK(3)

INTO ELURIEN by Kate Sparkes

“Sometimes you need to step into a fairy tale to find something real.”

Amazon Barnes&Noble iBooks Kobo


EBOOK(4)

MATE OF A DRAGON VILLAIN by Mandy Rosko

“She wasn’t supposed to fall for the bad guy…”

Amazon Barnes&Noble iBooks Kobo



EBOOK(6)

MAGICAL ACTS by Michele Bardsley

“Otherworldly to-do list: 1. Save mage. 2. Fall in love. 3. Avoid certain death.”

Amazon


unnamed

THE DEATH SEER by Tanis Kaige

“Caught between life and death, her salvation can only be found in the boy who went missing twenty years ago.”

Amazon


EBOOK(7)

THIEF OF SANGUARDIA by Cherie Marks

One twist of the key will lead to her destiny.

Amazon Barnes&Noble iBooks Kobo


EBOOK

LOVE IN FANTASY by Elle Christensen

“Twelve nights, twelve fantasies, twelve stories of true love. Or…is it only eleven?”

Amazon


AotWC ebook

ARMY OF THE WINTER COURT by Ali Winters

“The heart and blood of life will give rise to the final army.”

Amazon


EBOOK

ETERNAL NIGHT by Marian Tee

“Will you come away with the Prince of Darkness if he asks you to?”

Amazon


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UNLOCKING ADELINE by J.D. Hollyfield

“She dreams of her happily ever after. He plans to destroy it.”

Amazon


unnamed

THE HAUNTED SULTAN by Gillian Zane

“One night in New Orleans, a ghost tour, a handsome stranger, and the spirit of a Sultan long dead.”

Amazon 


Writing on Summer Vacation: Day One

7:00 AM – Okay. I said I wanted to start writing at 7:30. But I need a shower… I can do this.

7:05 – I know I said no social media before work, but just a quick check won’t hurt. Huh. A reviewer needs a Kindle copy of Into Elurien. Guess that’s important, since she’s booked a date on the series blog tour. *sniffs self* Shower first.

7:30 – Definitely need to let my hair air-dry today.  Better to look like a frizzy purple buffalo than to spend another 20 minutes doing that (and overheating myself in the process). Speaking of heat, I know I had shorts here somewhere…

7:45 – Excellent. Everyone’s still asleep. *stomach grumbles* Dammit. Okay, invisaligns out, make a shake with greek yogurt to keep me full a bit longer (I hope), drink that and an iced coffee. I miss being able to sit and sip while I work. Brush teeth, invisaligns back in. Snap self in face with tiny elastic. Perfect.

8:05 – Okay. Writing. Annnnnnd the dogs want out. Might as well check Facebook quickly while they OH MY GOODNESS THERE’S A RUNNING APP WHERE YOU PRETEND YOU’RE IN A FANTASY SETTING AND GET TO GO ON QUESTS?!* I must investigate this immediately.

8:15 – Oops, forgot to put the laundry in. Better do that now if it’s going to line-dry today.

8:20 – Guess I should send that email.

8:30 – Annnd one kid is up. He’s pretty self-sufficient. They both are. My brain is a far greater obstacle than my boys are. It still doesn’t want to settle in and get this chapter fixed so I can move on to fresh drafting. Maybe I’ll warm up with a blog post, see if other kid wakes up. Then I can start after breakfast…

8:45 – (Now) This is my brain on trying to work. If you’ve read “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield, you know about resistance. I get it bad every time I try to start working. My brain is scattered, no matter what I do. Pomodoro sprints, meditation, visualization to get myself excited about writing a scene, planning, not planning…they help, but not much. On days like today, when my brain is fogged up and I’m recovering from Sunday’s migraine and the world seems to be moving around me at confusing speeds, it’s hard to start. I have zero focus. I’m scattered. My head feels like it’s physically stuffed with cotton. Possibly cotton candy.

The pink kind.

So what am I going to do about it?

I’m going to go make breakfast for Thing 2, I’m going to try to forget how much I wish I had a huge cup of coffee at my desk, and I’m going to publish this post, get my ass back here, put some music on, and work.

Maybe I won’t get the two hours in that I wanted today. Maybe I won’t get this scene revised (quite doubtful, actually, given the speed my brain is working at this morning). But I’m going to try. I’m going to prove to myself, to my muse, to my family, and anyone else who’s watching that I’m committed. I am doing this.

And step by tiny, painful step, I’m going to get through this draft.

Wish me luck.

 

 


Vlog post: Pre-writing

I got a few reader questions about what I do before I write a book, so that’s the topic of this week’s vlog post (which is late. Oops).

We’re talking ideas, characters, plotting, and pantsing!


Into Elurien Chapter Reveal–and a small note

Hey, guys!

I’ve posted the first two chapters of Into Elurien at this link, if anyone’s looking to kick the tires a little before pre-ordering. It’s just a little taste of the style of the story, an introduction to our unlikely heroine, and a bit of a tease of what’s coming in LESS THAN A WEEK.

Wow.

One thing you might notice about Hazel is that she’s a little older than the usual YA character. That’s because (drumroll)… this isn’t a YA book.

Shocking, I know.:)

Into Elurien is in no way related to the Bound trilogy. It’s a stand-alone fantasy romance, and it falls loosely into the New Adult category. So what does that mean? It means that the main character is about college age, not high school. It means I didn’t censor her language (not that I personally think that’s a necessity for YA), and it means there’s a little more heat in this one than in my past books.

Not graphic, porny sex. It’s not remotely erotica. Just saying that before anyone gets either excited or offended. But this is a romance, and it’s not exactly a clean read.

Why would I do that? Because it suited the story. Because it worked for the characters. Because the love story, warts and all, is an important part of her character development. Because this is the book I wanted to write.

Because I’m a fantasy writer, but not solely a YA fantasy writer. Though I’ll be jumping back to that for my next project, it just wasn’t right for Into Elurien. And sometimes I like to explore a little, you know? Stretch myself. Step out of my comfort zone.

That said, this one will definitely appeal to fans of the Bound trilogy. It’s got the amazing characters you guys expect from me, a story full of emotion and humour, romance, friendships, magic, and a lot of surprises. Advance readers are thrilled so far. I think you will be, too.

Here’s the link again to the first two chapters. Enjoy!

(Here are the pre-order links)

 

 

 


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