Author Archives: Kate Sparkes
For anyone who missed the news elsewhere…
The Immortal Soulless series wraps up October 25 with the release of Salvation. Advance readers are calling it the perfect conclusion to Aviva’s story, and I can’t wait to get it into everyone’s hands! It’s available for pre-order now through all retailers.
Welcome to judgement day
Aviva had hoped her return to Maelstrom would follow the downfall of her enemies, proving her worth and setting the stage for a time of peace—or what passes for peace in the blood-soaked world of vampires. Instead she finds herself the bearer of more questions than answers and bringing news of a coming invasion.
She has her power, her gifts, and a few remaining allies, but with Maelstrom tearing itself apart from within and an enemy who always seems to be two steps ahead, what chance does Aviva have of saving the world from the darkness that threatens to overtake it?
To celebrate Salvation’s upcoming release and the conclusion of the series, Resurrrection (Immortal Soulless Book One) is FREE on all retailers for a limited time, and Sanctuary (Immortal Soulless Book Two) is on sale for just 99¢! If you haven’t yet sunk your fangs into this dark and decadent supernatural world of vampires, werewolves, murder, and mayhem, now is the perfect time.
Ebook sale news and paperback giveaway details below!
Time flies, doesn’t it?
It’s been five years since the first readers downloaded Bound and joined Aren and Rowan on their first adventure through the wilds of Tyrea.
Five years since they met Kel, Cassia, Ruby, and all of the other incredible characters that fill this world.
Five years since I became a professional author, though one who was holding her breath and hoping that someone would read her book and find something worthwhile in it. Little did she know that this book would soon make writing her job as well as her passion, all thanks to the readers who bought the book, reviewed it, and recommended it to others.
Half a decade on, I’ve just published my tenth book (four as Kate Sparkes, six as Tanith Frost), but this one still takes up a whole lot of space in my heart. I miss this world and these characters, and I want to keep sharing them with readers around the world.
So to celebrate this special occasion and to say ‘thanks for everything,’ I’ve got a few goodies for readers.
First: Bound is now on sale for 99 cents in ebook on all retailers. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve already got a copy. But if you still haven’t stepped into this fairytale world where magic is a sin, haven’t met the mysterious merfolk or escaped from the dragon’s lair (or if you know someone who still needs to join you on the adventure), now’s the perfect time to jump in. Here are the links.
But more importantly…
I’m giving away a signed paperback copy of Bound to one lucky winner! Just click here to visit the Rafflecopter link to enter. There are only a few options for entry this time, so it will only take a minute.
This giveaway is, of course, open internationally. Winner will be chosen and contacted on July 1, so be sure to enter as soon as possible. Good luck!
EDIT: The winner has been chosen and notified, and the prize mailed. Congratulations to Ashley L!
For nine years I’ve had a dog. Boxer. White, with a left-side pirate patch and sad eyes. High-energy, clever, eager to please. But I’ve had so much more than that.
For nine years I’ve had a shadow, first following me around as I followed the kids, then trailing behind me as I did my work in an otherwise empty house when everyone else was at work or school. My shadow slept by my side while I wrote stories I thought no one would ever read, sat in the kitchen while I cooked, looked for me if I disappeared when he was napping.
For nine years I’ve had an angel whose need for exercise motivated me to walk, which turned out to be the best thing for my depression. He urged me to keep up with that little act of self-care and helped me get back to feeling like myself. And he jogged with me, at least until his aging body couldn’t run anymore.
And then we walked again, because I couldn’t lace up my shoes and run without him.
For nine years I’ve had a friend, someone I could talk to when there was no one else, who listened without judgement. He laid his head on my lap and gazed up at me, letting me know I was loved unconditionally, that I was never alone.
For weeks now, my shadow has been fading. He hasn’t been eating. He’s been in pain, though no one can tell me why. I’ve done everything I could to keep him with us, even when he didn’t like the examinations and medicines.
But he kept fading.
A few days ago, my friend gave up. He stopped trying to follow his family around the house and instead stayed in bed all day, only getting up when prompted—and then not at all. The light went out of his eyes, though he still listened, still responded to gentle affection.
I didn’t want to give up, but there comes a time when it’s cruel to force someone onward when their journey is so clearly over.
We humans take familiar things for granted—shadows, friends, angels. I think I’ve appreciated mine while I had him, knowing it wouldn’t last forever, but I still wish we had more time.
We don’t, though. Today it was time to repay all the kindness this beautiful spirit has heaped on my family all these years.
Jack spent his last day in the shade of the maple trees in his yard, surrounded by his family, before his trip to the vet. He died peacefully at 4:30.
It hurts. A lot. But he’s okay now. And we will be, too.
LITERAL DESTRUCTION. FROM INSIDE, GUYS. THROW IT.
Can I throw it at whoever wrote this ad?
Or whoever decided it was right to show on my blog?
So. I’ve been off Facebook for a while. I’ve been away from here, too, but Facebook has been the big change.
I needed quiet.
It’s not the updates or the friends that I’ve been avoiding, or even the unavoidable drama. It’s about me and my anxiety. My depression. And above all, my creativity.
I’ve been struggling for a long time. As much as I love writing–as much as I NEED writing as a way to connect with the world, figure myself out, and say things I can’t say any other way–the business side of it has never been good for me. Marketing is an anxiety trigger (for reasons I won’t go into here), and when I found myself unable to do it without breaking down in tears I was getting insanely stressed out in a seemingly unending spiral of stress-anxiety-shame-stress-lather-rinse-repeat.
You see, I thought I was a failure if I never got back to the sales numbers and income that I had with my first books, so I kept pushing.
Because here’s you see on social media when you’re an author:
SELL MORE BOOKS! WRITE FASTER OR FANS WILL FORGET YOU EXIST! TAKE UP MORE SHELF SPACE! WRITE WHAT’S POPULAR AND GRAB NEW FANS! MASTER FACEBOOK ADS! HAVE IT ALL BY HITTING A LIST! BUY THIS COURSE! HUSTLE HARDER AND YOU CAN WIN THE GAME!
And I’m not saying those are bad things to want. They’re good things for the right person, and I’m glad there are people out there who can help.
But when I’m on Facebook and it’s all I see, I start to think that that’s the only way to define creative success these days. Amazon followers. Little orange flags. Instagram likes. Facebook comments. Newsletter subscribers. HUSTLE HUSTLE HUSTLE, and there’s something seriously wrong with you if you’d rather not be in the fast lane.
I needed some time off to get myself away from all of that to understand that I’m allowed to define success for myself.
Honestly, I still don’t know what that means. What I have figured out, I think, is that I can’t let writing become a constant source of stress or I’ll lose everything that made me fall in love with it in the first place. I can’t chase goals that will leave me mentally and emotionally exhausted, with nothing left to offer my family and friends at the end of the day. And that’s where I’ve been headed, honestly.
I do know what I want, I think. I want to take my time, writing gorgeous books that I’ve had a chance to fall in love with, exploring every bit of inspiration and insight that I didn’t see until the second (or third, or fifth) draft without worrying that I have to publish NOW to keep the balls in the air. I want to take days off when the sun is shining and the beach or the blueberry patch is calling, or when the kids are sick or have a snow day. I want to read more. Learn more. Be bored more. Explore stories that have no chance of selling but that I want to tell because they inspire me. Blog more, and not just about writing. Take more time to share other people’s ideas and projects and successes and help them achieve the goals that feel right for them.
I can’t do that AND be stressed out about ticking all of the marketing boxes. Some people can do it all. I can’t. And I’m not sure I want to, given what I know of what it costs me and my brain (bless it).
So I’m in the process of choosing new goals. It’s hard. It’s one thing to say that I want my writing to be about creativity rather than fame or finances, but I do tend to compare myself to others and feel like I’m somehow falling behind if I let myself be happy with what I have instead of CHASING THE DREEEEAAAAAMMMMM that it seems I’m supposed to have.
It’s a process, as is everything else in life. Maybe some day I’ll get there.
I’m not giving up on writing or publishing, or even marketing. I’m at the end of a (damn good, if I may say so myself) 7-book series under my pen name and would really like to see those stories connect with readers who will love them. I’d like to keep publishing, which means making money for edits and such, which means selling books.
I think what I’m trying to do, really, is give up on the stress,the time-suck, the HUSTLE, the bitterness, and the expectations of anything other than writing books that I’m proud to call mine.
I’m trying to get back to the pure joy of playing in my sandbox and then showing off what I’ve made in the hope that others will also find pleasure in it.
I’m trying to fall in love again.
We’ll see how it goes.
This thing on? Hello?
*blows dust off stage*
I know, things have been quiet around here, but we’ve got something exciting for you today: The cover reveal for Revelation! This is the second-to-last book in the Immortal Soulless series (my pen name’s dark, decadent, and deadly urban fantasy series featuring vampires in Newfoundland), and things are just getting darker and more intense as we approach the finale.
Convicted of treason and sentenced to oblivion, Aviva finds herself hunted by the vampires of her own clan. But she’s convinced that Tempest won’t give up on their plot to bring Maelstrom to its knees, and would sooner be damned than stand by and watch as her home is destroyed—even if nearly everyone there has turned their backs on her.
Alone and unprepared, Aviva heads to Tempest’s territory intent on gathering information on their plans, proving her loyalty to Maelstrom, and maybe saving the love of her afterlife in the process. She expects pain, challenges, and simple, brutal cruelty. What she finds instead is a fascinating, isolated kingdom where allies are enemies, wrong is right, and lies are truth.
It’s only by embracing Tempest’s pure darkness that Aviva stands any chance of surviving. But if she loses herself in this seductive world of pleasure and power, what chance does she have of finding her way back again?
So when is this beauty going to hit your Kindles, Nooks, phones, or whatever you read ebooks on*? That’s the best news. We’re just sorting out one last detail, and then the book will be yours. No drama, no waiting…In fact, it’s already available through Amazon and iBooks!
Now, you definitely don’t want to just go ahead and jump into Immortal Soulless at book six (or three, or four…) Conveniently enough, Resurrection (Immortal Soulless Book One) is currently available for just 99 cents for a limited time! It’s a great time to start a series that will keep you hooked all summer long. ** Here’s the link.
*Paperbacks will be out ASAP as well, but as this means waiting for a proof copy to make sure everything looks okay, it will take a little longer. Books 1-5 are available now in paperback through Amazon.
**I mean… I guess that depends on how quickly you read, though. You might fly through them in a week. If so, let me know and I’ll toss you an imaginary gold star. That’s some impressive reading.