Tag Archives: Aren

Consider Yourself Invited

Yep, we’re having a party to celebrate Torn’s ebook release tomorrow, and you’re invited!

release party promo 1

We’ll have chances to win paperback and ebook copies of Torn, as well as other great prizes. Watch for the author AMA (ask me about writing, publishing, the stories or characters, whatever!), a party playlist, a scavenger hunt, flash giveaways, guest authors, and more!

Mmmm... papery and yummy

Mmmm… papery and yummy

Here’s the party link. Events will be posted between 2:00 and 9:00 PM EST on March 31, but will be left open overnight in case anyone wants to drop in and add responses to games/activities. Winners will be selected at random on April 1 (no foolin’).

See you there!

(Please note: March 31 is the official e-book release date. Paperbacks will be available as soon as formatting issues are sorted out. Party prizes will be sent out soon after… and the party is not endorsed/sponsored/etc in any way by Facebook, etc).


COVER REVEAL: Torn (Bound Trilogy Book 2) by Kate Sparkes

At last, the time has come!

I’m not going to tease, or make you wait any longer. I’m pleased as punch, proud as a peacock, and flipped-out as a fairy to present the cover and back-cover blurb for Torn (available now for pre-order through Amazon!)


cover art by Ravven (www.ravven.com)


Aren Tiernal knows that safety is an illusion, that his cruel and powerful brother will never forgive his betrayal. Still, returning to Tyrea to challenge Severn for the throne would be suicide. It’s not until Severn himself comes to collect what’s owed to him that Aren decides to risk everything in an attempt to bring down the most powerful Sorcerer Tyrea has ever known. The mission seems doomed to fail, but it’s Aren’s only chance to save himself, his country, and the woman who thawed his heart.

Rowan Greenwood has troubles of her own. Though she should be a great Sorceress, years of being closed off from her magic have left her unable to control her incredible power. When a pair of ominous letters arrive from her home country, Rowan has to choose between her new life and a chance at saving her family—and just maybe changing an entire country’s beliefs about the evils of magic.

Torn apart by separate quests, Rowan and Aren will have to discover untapped strengths and confront their darkest fears in order to overthrow a ruler determined to destroy them both.

Coming March 31, 2015. Pre-order here!
And as an “author’s birthday, so why the heck not” celebration, Bound is now on sale on all retailers (Amazon, Nook, iBooks, Kobo) for 99 cents! The sale is only on for a week, so if you or anyone you know has been waiting for this, now would be a great time to grab it.
bound sale 1
Special thanks to everyone who’s helping out with the cover reveal today (yay, you guys!). If you want to stop by and say hello to these wonderful folks, here are the links. Shares and re-blogs are always appreciated!

A Gift from Jack Frost

Anyone remember that scene in Bound when Rowan described Aren’s scar?

“Fainter scars branched out from it, spreading across his shoulder and ribs, silver in the dim moonlight that filtered through the curtains. They reminded me of the patterns that show on a window after a frost, or vines climbing a wall.”

This morning, we found these beautiful ice designs on our front porch. Kind of cool, right?

Thanks, winter!



WIPpet Wednesday: First Five (and tiny ROW80 update)

*sings* Wednesday, Wednesday, gotta WIPpet on Wednesday…

Since it’s the fifth, and since this is the first Wednesday of JuNoWriMo, here’s the first 5 lines of this month’s work in progress, Torn. This is a few months after the end of Bound, and Aren gets to start this one off.

“Just try to relax.”

“I am relaxed.”

“No, you’re not. You’re thinking about it too much. If you want it too badly, you’re never going to get there. Don’t try to do it, just let it happen. You’ve almost got it.”

She shot me a look that told me to shut up before I said something she’d make me regret, then closed her eyes again.

Yep, starting with dialogue. Because I’m a rebel like that.

Want to join in the fun? Every Wednesday the WIPpeteers post a selection from a work-in-progress that relates in some way to the day’s date (today could have been something from chapter 5, page 56 [for the fifth of June], yadda yadda). To see what everyone else is offering today, head on over to our host blog, My Random Muse (and check out a fun new option today!), and click on the linkie in the side bar. Feel like contributing? Come on in! After all…


Now, as for my ROW80 update: JuNoWriMo is in full swing, and I’m doing… OK. It’s going. I’ve been having trouble squeezing writing time in, though. Also, yesterday I had the stupid. No, I didn’t DO something stupid, I had a bad case of it. My brain got borked, yo. The weather changed overnight in a big way, but instead of a headache, Mother Nature gifted me with a thick mental fog that made me feel like Back Seat Guy in the opening scene of Super Troopers, except less paranoid. Everything anyone said to me sounded like “Littering and? Littering and?”

(warning: drugs and swearing)

So no writing for me. O.o

But I’ll get there. The story is coming along, I’m almost on track for words. The reading goals aren’t happening so much as I might like, but you know how that goes.

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I gotta go put out the garbage.

Music, Stories, and Much Appreciation

I’m going to be honest: I had no idea what to post today. Much as I would have liked to post pictures of something uplifting like signs of spring, I have none to show that aren’t man-made, and how depressing is that? I thought about bumping Tuesday’s post up to today, but that just seemed like cheating. Random facts about myself? Who cares, right?

But today demanded something, if only because this blog has reached 100 followers, and we need to party.

Not a huge number by most standards, no. But I didn’t expect more than about five, so this is big. And I’m blessed with some of the best blog readers around. Really. I never expected to have people commenting on my posts the way you do, and I love it. You always have something to add, or some way to make me smile, and I appreciate that. There’s no reason you all should want to be here reading my ramblings and word-vomit on a regular basis; I’m nobody special, especially when it comes to the writing stuff. I’m an amateur, a nobody, but you folks encourage and inspire me every day, here and through your own writing.

I’m going to stop before I tear up. What I’m saying is, thank you. All of you, whether you comment or lurk. I’m glad you’re here.


So, what to do today, besides get disgustingly mushy over a group of people who are mostly strangers to me?

A party needs music, right? And music is important to writing. THEME BONUS!

I know from reading your blogs that many of you have songs that in your minds represent your characters in some way. Many of you have entire play-lists devoted to each of them, a feat which requires more attention and organizational skills than I possess. There are several songs that remind me of my characters, too; I won’t go into all of that here, but I’ll share one that gave me a strange experience, and that I continue to love. It would be great if any of you wanted to share your own songs and experiences in the comments (and no judging people based on music they love, please. I hate that.)

Let’s rewind back to November. There I was, typing like mad for NaNoWriMo, trying to get a first draft of Torn out into the computer. I’d just got my iPhone back in the summer and was LOVING it. You see, I’d never had a working iPod or MP3 player, so having all of my favourite music at my fingertips was just blowing my mind. Yes, I’m easily amused.  I was having fun buying songs I liked on the radio and then exploring more from those same artists.

I had a few Marianas Trench songs already, and spent some time listening to iTunes song samples for others. Hey look, there was a song called Ever After! How nice. Sample was interesting, I bought the song. Because, hello, affordable music.

I listened to it. I freaked out. Seriously. If you remember looking out your window one day late last November and seeing something weird flailing about, that was me. I was out there. Freaking.

Why? Because I could have sworn the song was about Aren. Not just about him, but about the story I’d written, the one I was working on, and (just to really melt my brain), a couple of lines that could symbolically reference something planned for book 3.  The emotional tone is bang-on for the character. Not only that, but “Ever After” is one of the threads that runs through Bound and ties things together, thematically speaking.


It’s kind of a weird piece in some ways. It’s one of these songs they do that takes bits and pieces of others on the album and smooshes them together to make something that works. I kind of love that idea, but that’s not the point. The lyrics probably don’t mean much to some people, and to others they’ll mean something that, oddly enough, is not related to my effing books (I know, shut up about it already, right?)

It’ll never be a single, that’s for sure. But it opens an album that’s been getting me through a lot of writing sessions. I don’t know why I find this music so relaxing when most of my real-life stress is caused my yelling and whining, but I do. 😉

Want to hear it? You don’t have to, it’s OK. But if you’re curious, here you go. Oh, and fair warning, there’s a CUSS WORD. I have a strange and disturbing kind of love for the way Josh Ramsay says f*ck, but some of you might not appreciate it so much. 😉

There you go. Probably means nothing to you, right? That’s what I thought. I love that about music, though. It’s a different experience for every listener, and meanings change based on our own experiences, mind-sets, and emotional states. A song that makes you think of a book you’ve read or a character you’ve written might make me think of something from my childhood, or someone I knew in high school. Maybe you love it, and I get nothing out of it. There’s so much room for interpretation. Also, music is kind of a mystery to me. I appreciate it, I like what I like, but as to how it’s written or why the sounds work together? You might as well ask me about astrophysics. I have no clue.  But I can still appreciate it, even if my musical preferences aren’t impressively obscure.

So there you go. One song that would have caused me great embarrassment if I’d been in public when I first heard it, and that continues to give me chills.

Your turn!  One song, one character, and tell us why you make that association. Also, some good party music, if you’d like to throw that in there. Bring your best party hat, fancy cupcakes, whatever your drink of choice is, and let’s celebrate you guys. Because you’re the most bestest. 🙂

*CRAP is not the word that was in my mind, I’m just trying to keep it civil, here.

WIPpet Wednesday- The Other Side

WIPpet Wednesday! *happy dance*

Really, my favourite regularly-scheduled blog day of the week. It’s fun, the people are great, and hey, it’s on Wednesday, so it helps me remember to put the garbage out. Bonus!

I really wasn’t going to post this one, because when you get to chapter 24, you get spoilers. I do love this moment, though, and after all the crap I’ve put my characters through in the past few weeks of Wednesdays, I’ll let them have this. But don’t worry, the crap will be a-flyin’ soon, and there’s a lot more story to go. I think all you need to know for this bit is that they’re at a fancy-schmancy party, Kai is a good friend of Aren’s who’s been pestering him about this, and this is not a love triangle. Just throwing that out there. 😉

So SPOILER ALERT!!! (not that you didn’t see it coming, right?)

From Chapter 24:

It took me a minute to find Rowan in the group. She stumbled in her high shoes and laughed, and a young mer woman with green hair took her by the hand to pull her along. My heart twisted in my chest, and Kai smirked. “You poor bastard,” he said, and stepped forward to show Rowan to her seat.

The dress she wore hugged her body in all of the right places and the colour made her skin glow. She turned back to me and smiled, and at that moment she wasn’t cute or pretty. She was perfect.

Dude. Really? Really? 


Want to join in the fun? The rules are simple: post a snippet of a work in progress that somehow relates to the day’s date. Be creative if you want (like April 24 could = 2 paragraphs from page 4, or 24 lines from anywhere, or…). When you’re done, post your contribution at the link here, and be sure to visit everyone else and let them know you were by. Oh, and thank KL Schwengel for hosting, ’cause she’s kind of great. 🙂

WIPpet Wednesday – Ouch

Remember yesterday when we were talking about violence and all of that fun stuff?

Here’s a chunk from chapter 10 for you. It’s starting to feel weird posting all of this stuff when most of you don’t know what these people look like, or why they’re doing all of this, but I guess that’s part of the fun. We never said these would be stand-alone pieces, did we? But I’m starting to think I’m ruining it. Might be about time to start posting from another WIP.

Note to self: start another WIP.

We’re a long way from the safety of last week’s flower garden now… (warning: there be gore ahead)

“Would you let me die now?” he asked, after I’d put the last of the food away. He sat on the far side of the fire, shirt sleeves rolled up to his elbows.

“What do you mean?”

“If you saw me injured and dying again, what would you do? You said that if you’d known who I was that day you’d have left me to your friends. Has that changed at all?”

I had no idea what he was getting at. Stupid me. “I still don’t know you very well.”

“Knowing what you know now.”

“I… no. I might still turn you in, but if I saw you hurt like that again, I don’t suppose I could leave you.” I didn’t like the way he was looking at me. Not threatening, exactly, but he looked half-insane in the flickering firelight.

“I believe you.” In one smooth motion he reached into his knapsack, produced a long, dark-bladed knife, and plunged it into his left wrist. I screamed. He gasped, then pulled the knife through the flesh of his arm, twisting it near his elbow. The blade must have been sharper than any I’d ever come across before; it cut through muscle and tendons like they were liquid. Blood gushed from the wound.

“What the hell are you doing?” I yelled, and jumped up from where I had been sitting. Aren held his arm away from the blankets so that his blood poured onto the ground, burning on the fire-baked rocks.

“This is up to you,” he said, speaking as calmly as he had when we first met. “You probably have a few minutes, but I’d appreciate it if you didn’t leave it for too long.”

“No.” My legs went weak, and I had to sit down and push with my feet to back away. “You’re crazy.”

“And I’m dead if you can’t manage a repeat performance. I…” He grimaced. “Gods, that hurts.”

I tried to tell myself that he was tricking me, that this was some kind of illusion, but as his eyes became glassy and his breathing shallower it became harder to believe that. “You ass,” I whispered, and he tried to laugh.

“Rowan, I can’t-”

“Shut up.” I picked up the knife and used it to cut into a thin cotton blanket so that I could tear a ragged strip off of it. I dropped the knife and kicked it onto the woods.

He looked at the fabric in my hands. “You don’t need to do that.”

“I said shut up!” I felt sick at the sight and smell of blood. Panicked tears made the world tremble in front of me, but I managed to start wrap the cloth tight around the butchered arm to try and slow the bleeding.

Aren placed his other hand over mine. “Don’t. You can do better than that.”

I pressed the heels of my hands to my eyes and tried to clear my head, then grabbed Aren’s injured arm in both hands and squeezed. He yelled. “You deserved that,” I whispered.

Don’t forget to check out all of the other WIPpeteers’ posts for this week (head over to My Random Muse and click on the link), and to join in if you’d like. The rule is that you post a bit of a work in progress that somehow corresponds to the day’s date (so for today, 10 lines, 10 paragraphs, etc.). Thanks for stopping by!

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