Monthly Archives: October 2014

Audiobook Giveaway!

Release day approacheth!

I can’t take a lot of credit for this one, what with being a sellout and all. The good folks at Tantor have performed their magic, rounded up their talent, worked hard on this project, and come up with a lovely audiobook version of Bound.

And they sent me some copies. Hooray!

Ooooh...

Ooooh…

Aaaaaah... shiny!

Aaaaaah… shiny!

Yep, 10 discs. 12.5 hours. Unabridged.

I’m not gonna lie. This is a confusing and exciting time for me. I’ve never listened to a full audiobook, myself. I get really distracted and then have NO idea what’s going on. But I’ve had a chance to listen to snippets from both readers on this one (as in, I got to hear a few minutes when I drove to the grocery store yesterday, YESSSS), and they’re both fantastic readers.

Also… hot accent. Just saying.

If you like audiobooks, I think this is going to be a good one. Great for something to entertain you in the car, while you knit or craft or paint the living room, or… I don’t know. You tell me.

What I’m saying is that I’m running a GIVEAWAY here.

I’m told I can do whatever I like with my copies, so why wouldn’t I share them with you guys? You’ve been so good to me.

Here’s what I need from you:

I’m running this through rafflecopter again, as that seems to be the easiest and most fair way of doing it. There are a few ways you can enter:

  • Following me on Twitter gets you one entry.
  • Tweeting a message about the giveaway gets you another (and is much appreciated)
  • Liking my Facebook page gets you two entries.
  • Signing up for my e-mail newsletter gets you FIVE entries* (you’ll need to comment here so I can verify this, as I can’t do it through Rafflecopter. Or send me a message on my Facebook page. I’ll do these entries manually)

So there you go.

Click below to enter, or visit the “giveaway” tab on my facebook page. Or if you’d rather just pre-order through Amazon, here’s the link for you. It’s on sale and everything!

Oh… and if we get more than 100 entries, I’ll throw in a second set. So invite friends–it might increase your own chances of winning! We’ll see about adding more prizes if the numbers get higher.

a Rafflecopter giveaway  <– click there

I should probably state that this giveaway is hosted by me. If I should flake (or become trapped under something heavy and find myself unable to get to the post office), that’s on me. It’s not endorsed by Tantor, Facebook, WordPress, Twitter, Rafflecopter, or anyone else. Hashtag lone wolf.

*Why so many entries for this? Because the newsletter is really important. Facebook is fun, but my posts don’t reach many of you. This blog is a great way for us to keep in touch, but if WordPress folds, I can’t find you all to let you know when new books are coming out (no lectures on self-hosting, please. I can’t do it). It’s easy to miss stuff on Twitter. But as long as I have your e-mail addresses, I can be sure you have the opportunity to see all of the BIG, EXCITING news. I don’t send them out often–only when there are announcements about releases, or things like giveaways that benefit you lovely folk. Newsletter subscribers also see cover reveals and teasers first, and depending on interest I may start including things like deleted scenes.

It’s the VIP lounge, basically. And it’s free. So what are you waiting for? The link is up in the sidebar, or you can access it through the link in the rafflecopter giveaway.


WIPpet Wednesday: Ick

I know, I know. I said I ran out of non-spoilery stuff.

That’s not a complete lie. Today’s snippet gives something away, but it’s not anything I’m particularly concerned with keeping a secret. If you’ve been following my WIPpet posts for a few months, you already know. But fair warning, okay? Stop here if you don’t want to know anything.

Because this week’s snippet isn’t from Aren or Rowan.

Ooooooooooooh.

In honour of Halloween (yes, that’s my tenuous connection to the date), we have a Potioner poking through someone else’s supply store-room, trying to solve a problem to pass a test that’s REALLY important to her. It’s for Halloween because… well, you’ll see. Long one today. Sorry. I’ve been good and posted short snippets lately. 🙂

Insert first draft disclaimer here. This part of the scene might be cut, or at least cut down. If not, it’ll need work. I had fun writing it, though, and it says a lot about this character.

The room has already been described. Picture a storeroom with shelves covering every wall, and shelves forming aisles through the middle, all covered in jars, bottles, baskets, boxes, and STUFF. For this character, it’s like being a kid in a candy store, but far less fattening. Also a bit more stressful at this point…

I continued through the room, reaching places we hadn’t seen the day before. She had everything organized by type of ingredient—flowering plants in one area, whole and in parts. Reeds in another. Catalysts. Null items that would nonetheless help in certain instances. Sands, waters, metals, slabs of stone, chunks of wood. Within each section, items were shelved by the region they’d come from, and seemed to be set out roughly in order of how powerful the magic within them was before interference from us. Simple enough, if one knew what she was looking for. Less helpful for me, who hadn’t the first clue.

At the rear of the room I came upon the animal ingredients. I’d never liked using them, but sometimes it couldn’t be avoided if one wanted a specific and reliable result. Eye of newt always impressed folk when they heard we’d included it. I preferred salamander myself, though I found the fiery little buggers difficult to come by. Bundles of feathers covered one shelf, labeled with hanging tags: red parrot was new to me. Eagle. Robin. Harpy. Aeyer.

I shuddered at that last. I refused to ask people to consume anything remotely human, and the Aeyer were far too close. Besides, where would one get the ingredients save for from a dead body? And to desecrate those… no. Even the harpy deserved better.

I pulled the curtain back on another section and leaned closer to read the labels, gasped, and let the curtain fall. Several deep breaths later, I pulled it back again. One jar of eyeballs had been labelled “human,” the other “human- MU.” The dried and stacked strips of skin had to be the same. Vials of dark liquid didn’t invite closer scrutiny, and I didn’t dare look closer at the shapes floating in the bottles at the back. I moved on, hoping my answer didn’t lie there.

On a higher shelf I found several small jars of gold-tinted liquid labeled “mer tears.” I didn’t try to imagine how they’d acquired those. In my admittedly limited experience with merfolk, I hadn’t found them overly keen on giving them up.

At least there were no eyeballs on that shelf.

Focus. I passed by those shelves and searched higher. Dragon scales in a rainbow of hues, radiating protective power. Unicorn tail-hairs and horn shavings. Horrid. A unicorn never shed its horn. The only way to obtain that would be to kill the beast. I turned away, but the jar’s contents called to me. I couldn’t help looking back, reaching out, and opening the dark glass lid. This would help. A unicorn’s deep magic would [redacted for spoilers–it would solve several of her problems]. It was the absolute simplest solution, and I hadn’t thought of it before because I’d never had access to the ingredients.

It’s here anyway. If the unicorn is dead, it’s dead. Just use it. Make the potion.

I reached my fingers into the jar. Even before I touched the thick slices of nacre-like horn, they glowed softly. The scent of an autumn wood reached my nostrils, thick and rich with moss and mushroom and rotting leaves. Pleasant, to be sure, and I felt my mind relax into it. There was a wildness to the magic, carried on the scent of the wind. I closed my eyes and found myself racing along the crest of a mountain ridge in the moonlight. The world was at my feet, and all of its magic coursed through my veins…

I snapped the hinged lid of the jar closed, and the experience vanished with the scent. A tear slipped from my eye. I’d seen a unicorn’s memory, felt her magic, and known she wasn’t a part of the world anymore. Stupid, perhaps. Sentimental. And yet I set the jar back on the shelf.

There had to be another way.

Hey, look. That came out to eleven paragraphs. It’s the 29th. 9+2=11. MATH.

For more (and hopefully shorter, I SAID I WAS SORRY) WIPpet fun, click here. If you’d like to join in on your own blog, post a snippet from your work in progress that relates in some way to the day’s date. Share there, link back, and be sure to visit the others. If you’re like our host KL Schwengel, you’ll have to choose just one of your multitude of WIPs to share. If you’re like me… well, it’s easier to decide.

ROW80 Update

Is anyone even reading this far?

*crickets*

I know, it makes for a long post. And hey, let’s make it longer! I’m procrastinating, you see. I have this battle scene to write, and I kind of haven’t done that on this scale before, and… well, you know. Why do now what you can put off until after the blog post?

Ugh. Fine.

Word counts have been pretty good, except for yesterday, because battle scene:

Wednesday: 3,199
Thursday: 5,293
Friday: ~3000
Saturday: ~3000
Sunday: 0 (family day, migraine, good times)
Monday: 4,014
Tuesday: 1129

This puts the manuscript over 108,000 words, and we’re not even climaxing yet.

Pretend I said that in a way that’s less creepy.

Beta reading is all finished up, and I don’t think anyone hates me. WOO! Listened to one writing podcast. Mostly, I’ve been wording with the words. And the wording has been swell. So… here’s hoping that next week’s update features a big, relieved announcement and me saying I’m back to pre-editor edits on Torn.

Glack.

If you’re curious about what the heck ROW80 is, check it out here.

And… that’s it. No big conclusion. Sorry. I gotta go do some research.

20141029-153026.jpg

Um… not at all like this.


NaNoWriMo Prep… or not.

Raise your hand if you’re participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year.

Okay, this being the internet (and me not being a creepy webcam-stalker) means that I can’t see you. So I guess commenting would be more appropriate there.*

Yes, it's going to be one of those posts.

Yes, it’s going to be one of those posts.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, NaNoWriMo is an annual event during which writers all over the world (yes, even Antarctica one year) attempt to write 50,000+ words of a novel in one month. This equals 1667 words per day, assuming a steady pace and no days off. You can write the 50,000 in the first week and nothing the rest of the month if you want to. Or leave it all to the last minute, which is… it’s generally not a good plan. Trust me.

I’ve participated every year since 2010, when a (very) rough draft of the then-untitled Bound was my project. And then I lost almost all of it in a software-related mishap, but that’s another story. Since then I’ve won a few, “lost” one (though I don’t think anyone loses as long as you get some words down), and participated in several Camp NaNo sessions. I drafted Torn in 2012 and thoroughly revised it in 2013. It was much better the second time around.

Okay, technically revisions are not allowed by NaNo rules. But I did change/add 50,000 words, so I counted it.

And it looks like this year I might just be a NaNo rebel again. Or maybe not.

See, if all goes well, I’m going to have the first draft of my current project finished by November 1 or shortly thereafter. Even though I blasted past 50,000 words in a private NaNo in October, I can’t count any of those words for the event. So I can’t use that project.

I need to do another editing pass on Torn before it goes to my editor in December. I need to make a few plot and character adjustments to better lead into book 3, plant a few ideas in there to bloom later (being a time traveller is fun!), do a sweep for over-used words and other issues that are going to make editing more expensive. I have to start that ASAP.

And I can’t count it.

During Camp NaNoWriMo, one hour of editing = 1000 words on the progress bar. Not so in November. It’s unfortunate, but I don’t think I can take my cheating that far.

This makes it a little difficult to join in on the NaNo prep excitement. I miss it.

So Here’s What I’m Going to Do:

  • I’m going to bust my ass to get Torn finished quickly. I’m going to work every hour I’m at home without the kids. I’ll use NaNo word sprint events and Facebook write-ins to keep me focused, I will get organized before I start, and hopefully I’ll get it done in a week or two.
  • And then I’m going to start something for NaNoWriMo. It’ll be a late start, as I can’t have my attention divided when I’m editing as many people can.** I don’t know what I’m going to do yet. I might go back to my as-yet-unpublished vampires***, because I’ve had a lot of fun with that. I might buckle down and flesh out the plot for that gempunk thing I started for a flash fiction challenge. Maybe, if I just want to relax and play with something that will never see the light of day, I’ll get to that erotic ghost story. Why not have fun? I’ve been busting my ass to get the Bound trilogy done. I can’t stop writing, but maybe I can just play for a few weeks.
  • As for pulling off a win… it’s probably not going to happen this year. I have to make editing the priority, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be right in there. I’ll be participating in groups and forums if I find time, cheering my writing buddies on, neglecting the housework. I wish I could say I’ll go to write-ins, but we don’t get those out here.
  • But darn it, I’m going to have fun.

And then after that it’ll be just chilling and relaxing and…

*accepts note from disembodied hand*

Wait, no. After that it’ll be biting my nails while Torn is with my editor, then surviving enjoying Christmas, then the stress and pressure to get the edits done so that I can get it out to second-round readers and get proofreading done and formatting and figuring out promotional stuff and planning a party and uploading for pre-order–

Deep breaths.

So November should be a cakewalk compared to January and February is what I’m really saying.

It’s a good thing I like my readers. 🙂

For more on my experiences with NaNoWriMo and why it’s the only reason I ever wrote more than three chapters of a novel, see this post. I talk a lot about perfectionism there… we’ll have to revisit the topic some time.

If you’re participating, drop your username in the comments or just go ahead and add me as a buddy.

If not, we can still be buddies.

*Do you guys SEE how well my brain is working today? I know. It’s bonkers.

**I don’t hate you. I’m just jealous.

***Resurrection is the working title of the first novella, Sanctuary is the 1/3 finished second one. I’m starting to notice a theme…


Fall Into Fantasy: Strings by G. Miki Hayden

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 10: Strings by G. Miki Hayden


Robert, an ordinary boy, finds himself in a newly chaotic world. Buildings move when and where they please, and time jumps around according to no known laws of physics. For Robert, getting to his regular school in the morning is next to impossible. As for getting home…

But then, Holden—a boy he and his friend, Nila, meet in a cave—offers them a string. No, not twine, but a string of the kind that forms the universe. Teeny and tiny, and invisible to the naked eye, this string will take Robert and Mila to their homes and way, way beyond…

Accompanied by a memorable cast of characters, Robert and his friends follow the string on a journey across time, space, and dimensions to discover the answer to a mystery: Who has caused the world to fall apart?

Buy it from: Amazon  Barnes & Noble
Or add it on Goodreads

EXCERPT: 

Holden stood up, suddenly excited. “Yes, strings, Robert, strings. String theory says we live in a universe of multiple dimensions. Something is happening to the strings that form our everyday world, and now the universes are bleeding over into one another—merging. I have to figure out how to stop it, to separate the worlds again.”

“And we have to figure out how to get home,” Nila cried out. “What a mess everything is.”
The smoke from the small fire had made Robert’s eyes tear.
ABOUT G. MIKI HAYDEN


The author, G. Miki Hayden, strongly believes in alternate universes and has written about them in her adult novels Pacific Empire (which won a New York Times rave) and New Pacific.

“Nothing in time-space is fixed,” Miki says, a distant look in her eyes.
Miki won an Edgar for an historical crime story and has a couple of writing books in print.
At the moment, she generally lives with millions of other people in New York City in a three-dimensional, temporal world but is exploring other realms.
Find G. Miki Hayden online: http://gmikihayden.tumblr.com/
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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


WIPpet Wednesday: Just So We’re Clear

Wednesday AGAIN? Sweet fancy Moses, that goes quickly. And this means it’s time for WIPpet Wednesday, and another snippet from _____: Bound Trilogy Book 3.

According to the rules of WIPpet Wednesday we have to choose a snippet that relates to today’s date. Let’s do some math so I can use the bit that I want (because that’s pretty much just how we Wippeteers do): October 22 = 2+2 = 4 short paragraphs.

Another snippet from Rowan. I swear the whole thing’s not from her POV, it just so happens that she’s had the entertaining and non-spoilery snippets recently. We’ll try for Aren next week. Or… Well.

Just for fun, no other context. Have fun with that. 🙂

Her scaly lips opened into a grin, and Aren pulled me a few paces away.

“I need to say this aloud,” he said quietly, “just so I understand. We’re about to entrust our lives to a dragon and the tensile strength of a bedsheet?”

“No. A sheet of canvas.”

He paled. “I see. That makes me feel much better.”

Poor Aren. At least his life’s not boring, right? Given what’s happened in the last few days, be glad this is a cute snippet.

For more WIPpet goodness, click here to see what everyone else is posting. We usually get a mix of romance, fantasy, sci-fi, and other good stuff. I think we had 17 contributions last week (and yes, reading them does cut into my other reading time, but it’s so worth it). Thanks to KL Schwengel for hosting. As I understand it, she has recently been to the stockdog races, and… wait, that sounds wrong. And yet, so right… *imagines souped-up stockdogs zooming around a track*

Ahem.

Row80 Update (goals here)

So it was another good week. Word counts have been good:

Wednesday: none
Thursday: ~2,000
Friday: ~3,000
Saturday/Sunday: (off–and away from home, and serious migraine, and finished beta reading, and LEAMME ALONE, GOSH)
Monday: 6,077
Tuesday: 10,289*

So pretty good, except for last Wednesday. Want to know why?

I spent Wednesday on 12 pages of hand-written notes, and in those I outlined the rest of the book.

Guys. I know how the trilogy ends. Down to the last line.

Maybe I’m delusional, but I think it’s going to be fantastic. Exciting, surprising, amusing, romantic, heartbreaking, bittersweet, satisfying. If you all have half as much fun reading it as I did outlining, I’ll have done my job. The next few weeks aren’t going to be easy for me, and someone might have to come scrape me off the floor with a shovel at some point because of things, but the end result is going to be worth it. I mean sure, there are plot holes and issues in this draft… but it’s all fixable. It’s going to get there.

Ugh, such surprises I want to share with you. For anyone who’s impatiently waiting for Torn and then this one… I’m right there with you, trust me. Like, going BANANAS waiting to get them to you. But quality first. Only the best for y’all.

So anyway, that’s my update. Yaaaaaay! Here’s the link to the other ROW80 updates. I don’t get around to a lot of strangers’ blogs to comment on this one, but enough WIPpeteers do it that I don’t feel TOO guilty.

Thanks for stopping by and listening to me ramble. I hope you’re all having a great week!

*Most emphatically NOT a typo. Full disclosure: I’ve never done that before, and may never again. I have to stop and ponder too much to have a high enough per-hour word count. But things are getting exciting in the story as we near the climax, and I hit that zone you get into when you’re reading a book you really can’t put down. And then the word count hit 8,000, and I thought what the heck, let’s do this. I took breaks to feed the family and tidy the house, do a couple of loads of laundry and help with homework, and to watch a TV show with my husband. But otherwise, I was writing (see words per hour issue). It feels like a fine accomplishment, but I don’t think I’ll try for it again on a regular basis. I can’t have my kids watching this much Spongebob every day. Also, my wrists are KILLING me.


Fall Into Fantasy: Salvation by James Wymore

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 9: Salvation by James Wymore


 A man wakes on a frozen battlefield when a scavenging couple finds him among the dead. As they nurse him back to health, he is struck with the horrible realization he can’t remember who he is or anything about his past. Taken in by the kind pair, he begins helping with their farm. She even takes him to meet her family, especially her single sister. The ideal life offered in the high mountains of Winigh is shattered when he sees a transport bringing enemy monsters to the shores below. Cut off by high snow on the pass, their fate will soon be the same as the town his company failed to protect in the last battle, if this estranged soldier cannot help them fight off the next wave of invaders. Even worse, the people of the town don’t trust this Selene soldier. He has a strange resistance to their folk magic which some say make him as dangerous as the enemies preparing to destroy them.
Buy it from: Amazon  Barnes & Noble  Kobo
Or add it to Goodreads


ABOUT JAMES WYMORE

On a lifelong search for fantastic worlds hiding just out of sight, James Wymore writes to explore. With three books and six short stories in print after just one year, he continues to push the boundaries of imagination. Journey with him at http://jameswymore.wordpress.com
Find James online:




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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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!

 
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