Monthly Archives: January 2016

The End of the Adventure.

series

So today is Sworn’s release day.

How am I feeling?

Excited. I’m more proud of this book than anything I’ve done before, and I’ve never released anything I wasn’t 100% in love with. I can’t wait for readers to see how the story ends. Those who have read it have been extremely enthusiastic about it, which makes me even more excited. Sworn is already creeping up the Amazon charts, which is pretty damned cool.

And I feel drained. Yesterday’s release party was a total blast, but eight hours at the computer does take it out of you (thank heavens for guest authors who popped in for giveaways so I could eat!). And I probably don’t have to explain why I haven’t been sleeping well for a while, with everything I’ve had to do to get ready for the release.

And proud. This has been the biggest project I’ve ever taken on, and I’ve done it without a boss or a publisher breathing down my neck. This has been my baby from start to finish, from draft to editor selection to cover design to proofreading. And I did it. Hell yes, I’m proud of my easily-distracted and procrastination-prone and self-doubting self for pulling this off.

And sad. I’ve been working with these characters for five years now, and we’ve grown a lot together. I’m not ready for this to be over. I’m going to miss them and their world.

And thankful. I say this has been my baby, but I wouldn’t be here without my critique partners, my beta readers, my editors, my cover artist, the blog friends who have shared posts and supported me…

…and the readers. I’m so overwhelmed with thankfulness for the readers. The people who buy books, read books, recommend books, review books, share books, and above all LOVE books. The people who bring characters and worlds to life in their imaginations, who carry parts of their favourite characters with them even when they story is done.

My stories would just be words without them.

And okay, I’m a little scared. I feel like I’m standing at the edge of a cliff. I have to jump into a new story (already started and going swimmingly, due out in June… with an actual outside deadline this time). And that’s fine. It’s exciting. And it’s terrifying.

But I’ll get through it. And I’m glad you guys will be here with me to see this adventure through.

And the next.

And the next.

Thank you.

**Sworn purchase links available at www.katesparkes.com 

(PS- thanks to everyone who has helped spread the word about the sale! The full trilogy is now available for under $10 USD, at least on retailers that don’t adjust prices upward. Not too shabby!)

sworn release pricing promo

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WIPpet Wednesday: Five Measure Pot Edition

This is it. The last time I get to share a snippet from Sworn (and therefore from the Bound trilogy) for WIPpet Wednesday. As of Friday, the whole thing is done.

Crazy.

So for this blog hop we share a snippet of a work in progress that relates to the day’s date. For the 27th, I’m going flip the date around and share 5 paragraphs (7-2)

Aren’s POV, in a conversation with Kel.

“You don’t want this because it’s your right, or because you crave power. This is actually a selfless act on your part. Mostly.”

“Who’d have thought we’d see the day?”

Kel frowned at my facetious tone. “Admittedly, you went through a bad time there. You didn’t help Severn because it was the best thing for Tyrea. You did it to cover your own ass, to make a good place for yourself, to… whatever. You didn’t care who you hurt, as long as you were safe.”

I winced. “True, and a lovely summary of my character. Thank you.”

“But now.” He paused. “Actually, you’re still seven measures of asshole in a five-measure pot, but you’re getting there.”

Such a good friend.

So that’s it. Man. Crazy.

Don’t forget that we’re having the release party tomorrow (January 28) on Facebook. You can find the event here. And the official release of Sworn is on Friday, but I suspect we’ll see it up on most retailers at some point tomorrow.

I’m so excited. This book was the hardest thing I’ve ever written (logistically, emotionally, and even physically), but it’s been completely worth it.

Thanks to everyone who has helped spread the word about Bound and Torn being on sale!

Okay, enough babbling. Want some more WIPpet Wednesday fun? Visit this link and make some new friends. And then, should you feel so inclined, join in on your own blog and link back! Thanks to Emily Witt for hosting.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go get ready for a party. Take some more prize photos, wrangle some guest authors… EEP!

sworn_full

 


PARTY!!!

One week to Sworn’s big release day!

And I’m throwing a party to celebrate. How could I not? The Bound release party was small (as hardly anyone knew about the book), but a blast. The one for Torn was a little bigger, a little crazier, and STILL a blast.

This one’s going to be even better. We’ll have more giveaways (signed paperbacks, bookish goodies, and special little gifts to go with e-book giveaways), guest authors giving away THEIR books, a big (spoiler-free) Q&A if anyone has questions for me about the books, writing, what’s next, yadda yadda…

It’s going to be fun.

And the best part is that it’s happening on Facebook, so you don’t have to travel to Newfoundland to join us! I’ll be there from 3-10 PM my time (1:30 to 8:30 eastern), but some of the giveaways will stay open overnight for people on the other side of the world who can’t drop in during party hours.

Here’s the event link. Click to say you’re coming (and to get notifications of early-bird posts and/or giveaways), and drop in any time when the party’s on. Grab a fictional friend or date to bring with you (it might be worth a prize, you never know), find a comfy chair and some snacks, and we’ll see you on the 28th!

 

Screenshot 2016-01-22 10.12.33

My prize bucket a few months ago. It’s overflowing now. We’ll see how much we have time to give away during this event…


Nope

  
^This was my cat Lucy’s morning. Big plans to go out and conquer the world, but she walked out the door and found it was too cold, too windy, too harsh. That was a big “nope,” which was  followed by an immediate retreat back into the warmth of the house.

This is basically how my morning went, too. Ready to focus, to work… And finding out that Alan Rickman has left us. Not a personal friend of mine (unfortunately, our paths never seemed to cross), but an actor I admired. And I’m not ashamed to admit it, a huge celebrity crush. 

Yeah. I fantasized about him reading to me. That voice, man. That talent.

So I’ve retreated, much like Lucy did, from a world that seems a bit colder and darker than it did yesterday, having lost one of its bright spots. I’m working, but in bed, surrounded by dogs and blankets and chocolate. We all are allowed to mourn these losses. 

To those who say, “you didn’t even know him”: That’s not the point. It never is when a celebrity passes and fans mourn. They were a part of our little worlds, and their deaths leave holes. It hurts, and we need to grieve and to heal, to mourn as we would any loss.

The fact that people we’ve never met can inspire us, touch us, and leave their marks on our hearts is something beautiful and uniquely human. Even when it hurts.

Take care, guys.


WIPpet Wednesday: Calm Before the Storm

I have nothing planned for this week. But since my new project isn’t quite ready for WIP snipping, and Sworn only has a few more weeks as a work in progress, we’ll stick with it.

For anyone who has no idea what I’m rambling about, WIPpet Wednesday is when a bunch of authors share a snippet from a work in progress that relates in some way to the date. Then we link up, read each other’s stuff, comment, party, yadda yadda. It’s good times, and always open to new WIPpeteers.

Okay. 1/13/2016… *maths internally* We’ll go with chapter 14 (1+13), nine short paragraphs (2+0+1+6)

There could be minor spoilers if you don’t want to know anything about who’s in the story, and if you want it to be possible that the POV characters were massacred in the first scene (you monster). But this is a pretty safe one.

Aren’s POV this week. They’ve been going through some tough times and facing an unreasonable amount of reality, so quiet moments alone have been few and far between.

I reached out to touch her hair, which the morning light had lit like a fire. She turned to me and smiled, and the warmth in her gray eyes spoke to something deep inside of me. I felt myself opening. Relaxing. Letting go of the pressure I’d been under since my father’s rescue.

“This is perfect.” The words were out of my mouth before I realized they were coming.

She wrinkled her nose. “You think so?”

“I do. Not your problems, of course. But look at what we have right now. No Ulric. No pressure, no looking to the future.”

It couldn’t last, but we could make the most of it while it did.

A smile curled the edges of Rowan’s lips, as though she were reading my thoughts, and she stepped closer. “We might have to wait a while for Florizel.”

She gasped as my fingers tangled in her hair and I pulled her toward me. She grabbed the front of my jacket and drew me into a deep kiss that burned through me as the world around us faded to insignificance.

Even if I live a thousand years, I will never wish for anything but this.

“Excuse me?” inquired a small voice.

…can’t let the nice moments last too long, can we? Authors are so mean.

If you’d like to see what the other WIPpeteers are up to, here’s the link. Thanks again to Emily Witt for hosting.

In other news… The Bound trilogy prequel novella At Any Cost is now available on Amazon and Kobo, with other retailers dripping in as they approve the book for sale. It’s still available as a freebie for newsletter subscribers, but if you don’t like signing up for newsletters (or just like paying for books, which is amazing), it’s now out there for you. Reader response to this one has been fantastic, so it’s definitely worth picking up one way or the other to tide you over until the 29th. If you’ve read and enjoyed it, reviews would be most appreciated!

OH. And I’ll soon be posting about the Sworn release party (January 28, Facebook)! That’s definitely going to be a good time. If anyone is interested in getting your (Fantasy) books in front of my readers by doing a giveaway, just let me know. Or if you have days to fill and feel like posting about the book during the week after release, that would be great! Any help is wonderful, and of course I’m happy to return the favour.

Guess that’s it for now. See you all soon! I’ve got to get back to work on this new thing…

At Any Cost - Ebook


WIPpet Wednesday: Ominous

It’s WIPpet Wednesday again! So that means it’s time to share a snippet from a work in progress that relates in some way to today’s date.

Let’s see here… *flips through papers, disappears into filing cabinet*

Here.

One paragraph for the  first month, from chapter 17 (7-1=6). Zero context.

We’d sworn we would do everything in our power to be together, that nothing would separate us. But perhaps fate or the gods didn’t care what we wanted. What were the promises of two people when compared with the needs of the entire world?

Um… *checks notes again* Well, that was ominous.

*runs away*

Oh, but before I go, here’s the link to the rest of the WIPpeteers. Stop by and see what kind of shenanigans they’re up to! And big thanks to Emily Witt for once again taking up hosting duties. Feel like maybe this is the week you’d like to join in on the fun and get to know some fellow writers? Say hi to everyone else, post to your blog, and link back! It’s really easy.


Sworn Chapter One Available Now

I asked my Facebook reader group/street team last week whether they wanted me to post chapter one for them. Opinions were divided. Some said “absolutely,” while others felt it would be too frustrating to read it and then have nowhere to go from there.

So I’m posting it here under “free fiction,” as I did with the first chapters of Bound and Torn. If you want to be teased, it’s there. If not… less than a month to wait for the whole thing!

click here

(Sworn releases January 29 on Amazon, Kobo, Nook, iBooks, and other select ebook retailers)

sworn_full


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