Tag Archives: bound trilogy

Bound Nominated in Books & Benches’ Cover Contest!

Hey, everyone!

Here’s something cool: Books & Benches has selected Bound as a nominee in their cover art contest this month! Pretty amazing, right?

If you have a second to check out the nominees and vote, I’d certainly appreciate it. Books & Benches works on the honour system, which makes things super easy for you–no registration, no awkwardness, no follow-up. You just vote!

It is one vote per person, though, and multiple votes from any one address will invalidate all of them. Just a heads up in case anyone was tempted to enter more than one. 🙂

Here’s the link! There are some gorgeous covers there, but I think the work Ravven did on Bound really stands out.

Thanks so much in advance for your time! I don’t usually enter my books or covers in contests (I didn’t even know Bound was nominated until last month’s winner told me), but it sure would be fun to see this cover win something.

Kate Sparkes, Bound

UPDATE: It won!

Thank you to everyone who voted, and of course to the very talented Ravven (who gets all of the credit here)

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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


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…


WIPpet Wednesday: Working Out the Kinks

Time for WIPpet Wednesday again! Our numbers may be small right now, but it’s always fun to see what the other WIPpeteers are up to. Romance, action, magic, mystery… writers do lead exciting lives. 🙂

So we need a short snippet from a work in progress relating to today’s date. Hmm.

WIPpet math: 12/30/2015 = 12 paragraphs from chapter 17 (30+2+0-15). Rowan’s POV again, slightly edited to avoid spoilers. All you need to know is that they’re in a barn, it’s very dark, and they’re not alone.

“You all right?” Aren asked, and sat beside me.

“Just sore from trying not to fall off a flying horse.”

“Anything I can do?”

I spread my blankets out and lay on my back. “My legs are really stiff.”

Aren moved through the darkness, and a moment later his hands were on my thighs, pressing hard. I gasped. “Ouch.”

“You want me to go easier on you?” The slight challenge in his voice made me shiver.

“No. It’s fine.”

He worked in silence, pressing and kneading. I gritted my teeth through the sore spots, and my muscles relaxed even as my heartbeat insisted on doing the opposite. He bent my knee and pressed it to my chest, stretching out the stiffness in my backside, first on one side and then the other.

“Better?”

I nodded, then remembered he couldn’t see that in the dark. “Yes. Thank you. Anything I can do for you?”

He chuckled, and the sound made my heart jump. He lay down beside me and ran a hand over the outside of my jacket, then opened the buttons and slipped his fingers inside. I bit back a gasp.

“Nothing I’d want anyone else to wake up in the middle of.”

For more WIPpet Wednesday fun and to catch up with the other WIPpeteers, visit this link. And feel free to join in! Just post your own snippet on your blog, make the math work for you however you can, and link back.

Thanks for Emily Witt for hosting!

 

 


WIPpet Wednesday: Back Again

I know, it’s been forever! But I thought I’d do a few more WIPpets from Sworn while it’s still a work in progress. After that, I’ll have something new to blab on about (and hopefully I’ll be around more).

Anyone who’s new around here (hi, there!) may be wondering what the heck a WIPpet Wednesday is. It’s the day when several authors each post a snippet from a work in progress that relates in some way to the day’s date.  It’s an open thing, so feel free to visit the other WIPpeteers at their posts via this link, leave some comments, and join in from your own blog! It sounds like things have been slow lately, but maybe we can pick it up again.

I’ll try to avoid spoilers here, but really, if you don’t want to know ANYTHING about Sworn–like, if you want it to be entirely possible that everyone dies in the first scene and the third book of the trilogy is about totally different characters–you shouldn’t read on. But I’ll keep the snippets short and as interesting as I can.

Since today is 12/23, let’s take 12 sentences from chapter 5 (2+3=5). From Rowan’s POV.

A rooster crowed, ordering the sun and the community out of bed, and the heavy thump of wood landing in the fire pit signaled that at least one person had obeyed. He called out to someone who shouted back from the other end of camp, and with that, the place swarmed to life.

Inside the tent, I struggled to get moving. Even with Aren’s arm to rest my head on and a few wool blankets beneath us, my back had grown stiff and my muscles tender overnight. My breath came out in a plume of white as I climbed over him and collected my clothes from the floor.

Aren yawned. “Come back,” he mumbled. “I’m not ready to start the day.”

I sighed. “I’m supposed to be making friends.”

I’m your friend. Get over here.”

Big thanks to the WIPpet host… um… actually, I’ve been away for so long that I’m not even sure who’s doing the job. I think it might be Emily Witt. Someone correct me if I’m wrong!

For more WIPpet Wednesday fun, visit the link here to see what everyone else is up to!


COVER REVEAL INCOMING! Wanna help?

Yes, that’s right. It’s almost time.

I’ve finished my first post-editor round of revisions on Sworn, which means I’ll soon have an official release date for you. And what better way to make the announcement than by revealing the gorgeous cover? Ravven has worked her magic again, and it is AMAZING.

Maybe we’ll even throw a sale on Bound in there. Because why not? This has been a hard road for me. I’m not at the end, but pausing to celebrate in a big way will make the rest of the journey even better.*

The cover reveal will be happening FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4, though newsletter subscribers will get a super-secret sneak peek the evening before. We’ll have the reveal here, and on my website…

And anywhere else people care to host it. HOORAY, PARTY!!!

If you’re interested in helping out by posting the cover, description, and details on your blog or site, I’d be ever so grateful (and you’ll be on the list for an advance review copy, if you feel so inclined and have time to read before release). Just e-mail me at kate.sparkes (at) live.ca, and we’ll get it done.  I’ll have the post info ready to send out a few days ahead of time.

And if you’d like to do something fun around release time, just let me know and we’ll work something out.

If you don’t have a blog, or if cover reveals don’t fit your theme, no worries! I’d love to just have you drop by to say hello and get the information you need (and gawk/drool, of course). And if you feel like sharing via Twitter or Facebook, that’s a huge help, too.

It’s coming soon, guys… I can almost taste it.

Sworn cover reveal announcement

 

*Meaning another editing pass for small changes and continuity checks, then several weeks with beta readers, then a polishing pass and proofreading. Just for anyone who’s keeping score at home. 😉


Pain in the Ass. No… Head. Not Ass. Head.

It’s a bad night for the pain.

Tonight it feels like a toothache filling my skull. It comes in waves, crushing and slashing, bringing nausea along to join the party. Light hurts. My children’s voices cut through me, and every movement of the bed makes all of it worse. All I can do is sit here with the lamp on, writing this out on paper to be typed out tomorrow, and try not to yell at the kids, cry, or throw up.

It’s not always like this. This kind of headache only hits me about once a month… at least, this hard. But the fact is that I spend a lot of time almost every day dealing with two problems. Pain is one. Either a milder version of this, or ice picks slamming into my temples, or feeling like I’ve been hit in the back of the head with a baseball bat.

I can deal with pain, though.

It’s the fog that’s really hurting me.

The fog used to only come with true migraines, in the days before and after. It’s a feeling like my skull is stuffed with sawdust instead of brains–a physical sensation, and quite unpleasant. It brings a feeling like tunnel vision, though my vision is actually fine. And it makes me slow. My thoughts come slowly, as do my reactions. I can’t think of words, and sometimes can’t understand questions right away. And working? Writing stories, untangling plot problems, clarifying character motivations, and polishing my work until it shines?

Utterly impossible.

It wasn’t so bad when it happened once in a while. But now the fog is coming down every day. I can’t think. I can’t focus. I’m drifting in a slow, too-bright haze. I’m usually just lost enough that working is impossible, but the thoughts and ideas and potential are so close that it becomes incredibly frustrating.

Until now, I’ve been pushing myself through it. I’ve told people that everything is fine. I’ve made myself work in spite of the pain and the fog, working evenings and weekends to make up for the time I spend in bed when the kids are at school and I should be writing. I put off seeing a doctor because I didn’t have time. Because I had deadlines. Because I’d made promises (or at least dropped hints). I let my life get out of balance because of this one important thing.

A few days ago, I decided that I can’t keep going like this. I’m not doing my best work when I have no joy, when every word is a struggle. And let’s face it. Putting pressure on myself to craft a beautiful story when I can’t remember the word “spoon” is probably just compounding the issue.

This is not me giving up. I’m still working on this story every day, and I’m as excited about it as I’ve ever been. As of last week, I have all of the little moving pieces in place, and just need to put the time and the work (and the focus) in to finish it.

It’s complete in all but the final execution, and far better than I ever imagined.

All I really want to do is work on it (sleep and laundry and exercise and doctor’s appointments be damned). But it’s time for me to accept that I also need to make time to take care of myself. I have to stop beating myself up over deadlines and feeling like a failure over needing a few extra weeks to get this book ready for the world.

So I don’t have a release date for you yet. It will be after Christmas, which breaks my heart. I mean, no one with an ounce of business sense wants to miss Christmas. But you guys deserve my best. I’ve never given you less than that, and I can’t start now. I’m going to find out what’s wrong with me, and I’m going to get better. And this winter, I’m going to give you the book you deserve.

Thank you all so much for your support, for your encouragement and kind words. It all means more to me than I’ll ever be able to say.

I can’t wait to show you how this story ends.


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