Tag Archives: fiction

COVER REVEAL – Fierce: Sixteen Authors of Fantasy

Hellooooooooo, everyone! This is an exciting cover reveal for me, because… well, you’ll see. Be sure to read through and sign up for the ThunderClapIt campaign for a chance at a free advance copy!

-Kate

—–

Very excited to present the cover for the forthcoming multi-author bundle, FIERCE: Sixteen Authors Of Fantasy. Click on the iBooks EXCLUSIVE Pre-Order below to reserve your copy today. On sale on all retailers March 10, 2015. We hope everyone will be looking forward to this!

FIERCE, Sixteen Authors Of Fantasy

For a limited time only!

Join epic fantasy legend Mercedes Lackey and fifteen additional New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestselling authors on the adventure of a lifetime!

Over one million words and sixteen realms of fantasy brought together for your reading pleasure. Discover courageous characters fighting for justice and order, journey between kingdoms of dragons and lands of anarchy as tales of magic and mayhem unfold.

Grab it today, before it’s gone!

FIERCE: Sixteen Authors Of Fantasy pre-orders are available exclusively through iBooks.

Hurry and get a copy for $0.99!

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D Join the ThunderClapIt today and get the bundle FREE. All you have to do is click over to this page, sign up your support and email novelbundle@gmail.com to receive a free copy one week before release.

ThunderClapIt Link – https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/21991-fierce-16-authors-of-fantasy

About the Authors and Titles:

Mercedes Lackey – Moving Targets

Stuck watching over four Herald trainees on circuit, Elyn is at her wits’ end—and that’s before a town asks for help with a ghostly infestation.

Michael G. Manning – The Blacksmith’s Son

A journey to discover the secrets of his past reveals a magical heritage and embroils Mordecai in a deadly battle for the future of mankind.

K.F. Breene – Chosen

Prophecy has foretold that when war threatens the world, the Chosen will appear to help the Shadow Warriors reclaim their stolen freedom and lead them out of the Land of Mist.

Morgan Rice – A Quest of Heroes

Thorgin, an outsider and a dreamer, fights to become a warrior in an epic quest that finds him at the center of a maelstrom of royal plots and counterplots that threaten him and everyone he loves.

Michael James Ploof – Whill of Agora

When Whill learns the truth of his lineage, he sets out to face his father’s murderer, but what he learns along the way will change his life—and the realm—forever.

Daniel Arenson – Requiem’s Song

Weredragons, men call them. Monsters. Cursed ones. People who can turn into beastly reptiles. Together they will forge a nation.

Kate Sparkes – Bound

When a young woman accidentally saves the life of an enemy Sorcerer, she finds herself drawn into a world of magic that’s more beautiful, more seductive, and more dangerous than she ever imagined.

David Adams – The Pariahs

Two sellswords—a half-elf and a half-orc—find their war over before it even begins. But trouble is stirring on the home front, conflict which threatens more than just their lives.

Amy Raby – The Fire Seer
Taya must use her fire visions to investigate a series of murders, but the Coalition of Mages has partnered her with her old nemesis, the man who used to bully her when they were young.

C. Greenwood – Magic of Thieves & Betrayal of Thieves

In a province where magic is forbidden, young Ilan, born with the powerful gift of her ancestors, has only one hope for survival—concealment.

David Dalglish – The Weight of Blood

When half-bloods Harruq and Qurrah Tun pledged their lives to a death prophet, they only sought escape from their squalid beginnings. Instead, they become his greatest disciples, charged with leading his army of undead.

K.J. Colt – Bear Heart

In the savage lands of Ruxdor, young Klawdia must fight the champions of four rival clans to defend her future as the first female chieftain.

Shae Ford – Poison

A bandit girl is taken from her home and thrust into a complex world of lords and ladies, where she learns that she must kill to survive.

Endi Webb – The Maskmaker’s Apprentice

Masks of legend. Masks of power. Those who dare to wear them trifle with the old powers and risk ruin and mayhem. But a young apprentice maskmaker cannot contain his curiosity, and accidentally unleashes a deadly terror upon an unsuspecting world.

Michael Wallace – The Dark Citadel

A slave boy and a young queen lead an alliance of spies, servants, and merchants to stave off the encroaching armies of a dark wizard.

Terah Edun – Blades of Magic

As an unstoppable war breaks out, a young girl enlists in the military to unravel the secrets surrounding her father’s execution.

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Free Fiction: Strength 101

Hey, guys! I know I shared this when it was a guest post on A.M. Leibowitz’s blog back in October, but for anyone who missed it, I’ve added Strength 101 to the Free Fiction tab at the top of the page (with her permission, of course).

See it there? Top right? In the drop down menu… there you go! Or click here.

I don’t even know how to describe this one. I set out to write a blog post about how screwed up the definition of “strong female characters” is. But… well, I was on migraine medication, and it turned into a short story about a stereotypical “strong” female character trying to teach a remedial class for characters who just weren’t making the cut. Hilarity ensued, and I met a few characters who were only supposed to be there to play a small part in this story, but who might get their own some day.

Pain meds aside, I like this story, and it still makes me smile. I stand by the conclusion, too.

In the comments on the original blog post, Emily Witt shared this link to an article on overthinkingit.com that sums the situation up pretty well. I hadn’t seen it before, and am SO glad she shared.

Enjoy!

 

 


Strength 101 (Or How to Be a Strong Female Character)

Hey, guys! A.M. Liebowitz invited me to do a guest post on her blog, and this morning she posted my short story “Strength 101”

It’s a fun look at what happens when a bunch of fictional characters attend a class on how to be “Strong Female Characters,” and how things don’t go exactly as planned.

Seriously. Good times for your Friday.

And while you’re there, check out the sidebar links to A.M. Liebowitz’s upcoming release “Lower Education.” I got all spendy and pre-ordered this one. We’ve met the main characters on WIPpet Wednesdays, and they’re amazing. 🙂

Here’s the link to the story.

Enjoy!


Taste of Fantasy: KL Schwengel’s “First of Her Kind” on Wattpad

The WIPpeteer mistress is feeling generous.

KL Schwengel has decided to post a chapter a week from First of Her Kind on Wattpad. If you’ve been meaning to check out the Darkness and Light series but haven’t had a chance yet, now would be a great time to do it.

You know, what with Wattpad being free and all.

Just don’t blame me if a a chapter a week isn’t enough, and you decide to just buy the book instead of waiting. 

Click here


WIPpet Wednesday: Gempunk Edition

Chuck Wendig’s flash fiction challenge this week is to come up with a “something-punk” subgenre and write a story in it. Not steampunk, not cyberpunk. Something different. It just so happens that I’ve had the beginnings of a story banging around in my head since the summer that fits nicely into that idea. This seemed like a perfect excuse to at least get this character out and let her strut her stuff a little and explore the idea of gempunk.

So in lieu of my regular WIPpet thingermahoojie, I’m using the WW rule that states we can start a new project, and posting a scene here.

Two birds with one stone and all of that. *pelts a robin and a bluejay with a flying chunk of sapphire*

I’m posting that here, just because it’s going to take up a bit more space than I usually use on WIPpet Wednesday. CLICK, CLICK!

This is very rough– I only started last night. It’s a scene, though. More than the 1000 words we were assigned, so anyone who’s here from the WendigBlog, you can stop at 1000 words. Oh, and yes, the guy’s name is Surely Morebrand. I don’t know where that came from, but I’m not going to argue with Cat on this one. She’s already being difficult.

The good news is that after months of this idea fluttering about and distracting me, I actually have a plot idea rather than the concept-and-characters-but-no-plot I usually get stuck with. So this could actually be a thing some day. Maybe. Or maybe I’m crazy for liking this one.

For more (shorter) WIPpety goodness, click on over here. Say hello to KL Schwengel, click on the linkie, and be transported to a world of unfinished masterpieces.

ROW80

I have a cover design finalized. It feels good. I’m still freaking out, because it’s so different from what I expected, but I love it. Going from “no characters” to “hey, that’s totally what Rowan looks like!” in a week was a bit overwhelming, but I’m really happy with it. Thank you to everyone who helped with ideas, opinions, etc.! No reveal plans as of yet (waiting for something within a month of release, at least), but holler if you’re interested in hosting.

Still waiting on my editor. He said end of the month. We’re good.

Um… well, I wrote that thing up there, which was really fun. It’ll go in the “to be continued” file for now.

My Scrivener online course is going well, even if I’m about 4 classes behind. I’m learning SO MUCH STUFF! Best program ever, really.

*twiddles thumbs*

Guess I’ll go edit, now.

Stop by tomorrow (I think?) for a SUPER AWESOME SURPRISE INTERVIEW that was really fun and also awkward for me.

And for more info on ROW80 (almost time for round 2!), head on over here. JOIN US.


WIPpet Wednesday, Backstory Edition

WIPpet, WIPpet Wednesday, it’s the greatest day in his-tor-REEEEE…

Or at least in the week, because I get to hang out with amazing people and read their STUFF. Yeeeeeeeaaaaaah.

My offering today is something a little different. Sometimes I need to fill in a character’s back-story in my own mind, so I’ll write a little flash fiction piece or two, just to flesh things out for myself. It’s nothing that will ever make it into the book, but it’s part of the story, nonetheless.

Could make for interesting bonus materials some day, no?

In any case, here’s the first (3+12-2-0+1+4=) 18 paragraphs from a young lady named Nox who’s rather near and dear to my heart these days. Things haven’t been going so well for her since… well, since she was quite young, as she discussed many Wednesdays ago.

Sorry for the lengthiness… I’ll try for nineteen words next time.

A gust of wind followed me into the house, scattering a thin layer of snow over the bare floor. I forced the door closed behind me, careful to not let the latch click too loudly, and set my old black bag gently on the table. I tried not to let the glass bottles rattle about as I put my potions and medicines away, but couldn’t help the creaking of the floor.

My concern was for nothing. In spite of the late hour, the bed was empty when I looked into the back room.

I sighed, as much from relief as from frustration at my husband’s continued wanderings. Let him take it out on someone else tonight. Tending to the ill always exhausted me, and mid-winter had brought with it a vicious sickness that had swept through the population of every village in our province. Though my presence had saved more people in our town than had survived in others, I still felt guilt over every death. Tonight’s had been no exception.

I set the kettle on the stove to boil. I’d need something to help me sleep, however temporary it might be.

The little girl who died was hardly more than a baby. Dirty and thin, I suspected that she wasn’t well looked-after at the best of times. Still, her parents had cared enough to call me. Too late, as it turned out, but a Potioner’s services don’t come cheap, and people in Cressia are too proud to take charity. Even after the child passed on, the parents insisted on sending me away with a bag of potatoes and onions.

Not a payment my husband would appreciate, but it was more than they could afford.

I hung my threadbare coat on the hook next to the door and poured steaming water over elinberry roots and dried berries, then added a splash from the flask I kept hidden under the sink. Warmth spread through my body as I sipped, and the tension flowed out of my muscles as I sank into bed. I didn’t bother undressing. Someone would be banging at the door soon enough, needing me.

The door slammed open, then shut. I lay with my eyes closed, listening to him muttering as he stumbled about the house, his ox-strong body banging into furniture as he went. Something shattered, almost certainly the bottle of bitterleaf I’d just distilled that morning. It would take me a week to do it again, and I was running low.

Idiot.

I rolled over and pulled my knees up to my chest, making myself small.

He eventually staggered into the bedroom and made his way to the washbasin to splash water on his face. The straw mattress shifted under his weight as he sat to remove his boots, and he exhaled the stench of ale over me as he leaned over to study my face. I shifted slightly, as I thought I might if I were asleep. He sighed, and finished undressing.

He rolled toward me, pressing his body against my back. “Why’re you dressed?” he mumbled, as he tugged at the buttons on my shirt.

“Just got home. Need sleep.”

He abandoned the buttons and reached for the hem of my skirt. “You get paid?”

“Enough.” I pushed his hand away and pulled the skirt tight around my legs. “I’ll probably have to go out again soon.”

“Good thing this won’t take long, then.”

“I mean it, Harold. Stop.” Tight as I gripped the fabric, his hands were stronger than mine. He pried my fingers open and rolled on top of me. “Harold, no.”

He laughed and bit my ear. “Who the hell you think you are, missus?”

 

He’s a keeper, that one. -_-

I kind of want to share the rest, what with my girl being a giant badass with questionable morals and all, but you know. Spoilers.

So…

As always, thanks to K.L. Schwengel for hosting WIPpet Wednesday! Swing on by (and witness Driev being amazing, as per usual), click the linkie, and see what everyone else has to share today. You just never know what you’ll find.

ROW80 Update

My editor is still behind schedule thanks to illness (where’s a Potioner when you need one, AMIRITE?), and won’t be able to work on my stuff until the end of the month. This may or may not throw my entire schedule out of whack, depending on how much I need to do once he’s finished with it. It is, however, a self-imposed schedule, so there’s still some flexibility there. Whew.

The good news is that my cover designer is totally NOT behind schedule, and is working with me now. She’s fantastic, and (thank goodness) patient. The design she’s working on wasn’t what I initially pictured, but faced with a choice between what would be OMG PERFECT in my mind* and what will actually sell to my target audience… well, I had to make the best business decision. It’s going to be fantastic when it’s done. I’ll keep you posted.

So that’s the business update. As far as writing goes, I’m working on getting book 2 read through and plotted out on index cards. There are issues, but so far I at least have ideas of how to fix them. There’s a romance subplot that’s going to be SUPER DUPER AMAZING when I get it filled out more. Because, y’know. I enjoy that stuff.

Annnnd… that’s about it.

So what have you been up to?

*Not that I had a single clear idea to offer her. This is why I’m so thankful for her patience.


The Fox

Have I ever told you about the magic that comes with the fog around here? It’s not something you notice right off.  In fact, I’d say most people just curse and fiddle with the high beams, or use it as a topic for small talk at the grocery store. But for those who pay attention, whose eyes are open to magic, the strangest things happen around here when the fog rolls in.

Take last week, for example. It was a cloudy day, but the roads were clear as I took the highway in to town. It’s a simple enough drive to do on auto-pilot, if you’re so inclined, but it’s a bad idea. In Newfoundland, you have to keep your eyes open for moose. Bunnies and weasels are tiny tragedies when you hit them, but a moose will total your car.

So sure, I was paying attention, but I was enjoying the drive, too– music cranked up, temperature controls set the way I like them, and enjoying the fact that the back seat, though as messy as ever, was free from any small people who might interrupt my passionate caterwauling. It’s not often that I get out without the kids, and I was making the most of my alone time.

The October leaves had captured my attention as I came around a wide bend in the road, and at first I didn’t notice the small, dark shape trotting down the shoulder of the highway through the thin fog that had settled in the low places. A fox, but not red. Come to think of it, I don’t remember ever seeing a red fox here. They’always got darker, black-tipped fur. Still, certainly a fox, bushy tail and all. I tapped the brakes and slowed in case he decided to dart in front of me, but I shouldn’t have worried. In fact, the fox stopped, parked his fluffy butt on the gravel shoulder, and raised a forepaw in the air.

I slowed again as I approached. The fox twisted his paw, holding it out like a human offering a handshake, and jerked it upward.

He’s hitchhiking, I thought, and pulled over. I’d never picked up a hitchhiker before, never trusting them not to be serial killers, but it seemed like a good time to make an exception. I leaned over and popped the passenger side door open, and the fox leapt up onto the seat. I excused myself as I pulled the door shut, and started down the road again.

“Thanks,” the fox said, and reached up one back foot to scratch at an ear. “I wasn’t sure that would work.”

“No problem,” I said. A car honked at me as it passed, and I checked my speed. Ten under the limit. I pressed harder on the gas pedal and tried to pay attention to my driving. “Where are you headed?”

“Just down a ways. You know the entrance to the dump?”

“I do.”

“That’ll be fine.”

I reached out to turn the music off. “You know, this is quite unusual. I can’t say I’ve ever met a talking fox before. Or given one a ride.”

“Yeah, well. What can you do?”

He didn’t seem inclined to say more, and we traveled for a few minutes in silence, save for the sound of his frequent scratching.

I turned in to the dump road. “You can just let me out here,” the fox said.

“Oh. Sure.” I hesitated, then asked, “Is that it, then?”

“I’m a little short on payment options.”

I drummed my fingers on the steering wheel. “No, that’s okay. It’s just that in stories, talking animals always appear to offer advice, or a warning, or to share something at a turning point in a person’s life. I thought maybe…”

The fox sighed and closed his eyes, then stretched his neck and stood. “Open the door,” he said, and I did.

He turned and sniffed the air, then raised a leg and pissed all over the back of the seat. He bounced out and trotted a few paces away before turning back and holding out a forepaw again, this time in a gesture that brought to mind a human flipping the bird.

“You want advice?” he asked. “Don’t pick up hitchhikers. It never ends well.”

And with that he was gone, bounding away into the mist.

I’m telling you guys. Things get weird around here when the fog rolls in.


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