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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

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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


WIPpet Wednesday: It’s Love… Really

Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday, when the WIPpeteers share a quick snippet for a work in progress. It may be raw, it may be first-draftish, but it’s usually entertaining.

I actually have a bit of first draft today from Sworn. Though the book is on its third draft, I’m adding a few scenes to round out subplots and character development and help make the story flow more smoothly… at least, that’s the plan.

Possible spoilers if you haven’t read Torn, but I think I’ve edited out any big bombshells.

Eight paragraphs (2+2+4 for 4/22) from Nox’s POV. She and Aren are trying to figure out a way for her to keep Sorcerers out of her thoughts even though she has no magic to protect herself with. The first attempt didn’t go so well, but they’re having some good bonding moments.

 

“You’re not going to hug me, are you?” I asked.

His hands flexed again, but stayed resting at his sides. “No. Wasn’t thinking of it. Shall we give it another try?”

“Give me a minute.” I imagined a heavy stone wall in my mind, blocking my thoughts and emotions in, presenting a nearly blank facade to Aren. “Go.”

My wall shattered.

“Gods damn it, Aren, go easy.”

“No one else is going to hold back if they attack you. If you’re going to learn this, you’re going to do it properly. There was some resistance there, though. It was a good effort.”

I glared at him, though without real ill-will. “Don’t patronize me, you condescending ass.”

He grinned wider than I’d seen in far too long. “Then don’t complain when I treat you as an equal, you vile, heartless harpy.”

 

I do love good-natured insult wars. Actually, friendly banter is one of my favourite things to write. Sometimes insults give more insight into a relationships than outright declarations of love.

And that’s my deep thought for the day.

For more WIPpet madness, click here! Big thanks to our host KL Schwengel for wrangling all of us every week. If you’d like to join in on your own blog and link back, feel free! Visit the others, say hello, and they’ll try to do the same for you. They’re a good bunch. Really. Just make sure your work in progress snippet relates to today’s date, and you’re good to go.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you’re all having a fantastic week.

 


Torn Prologue available NOW

Hey, folks!

For anyone who’s been waiting, I’ve got the prologue for Torn posted up there in the blog’s “Free Fiction” tab!

I know, it’s confusing. The header says “Disregard the Prologue,” but this one’s actually important. So… not so much with the disregarding this time, hmm?

Click here!

And enjoy. 🙂

torn_full


WIPpet Wednesday – Full of It Edition

Hmm. Four blog post drafts in my folder, and not one happens to be a WIPpet Wednesday entry for today.

Past me is such a jerk.

For anyone not familiar with the rules, on WIPpet Wednesdays we post a snippet of a work in progress that relates in some way to today’s date. I’m going to be boring today and post 2 paragraphs from chapter 18 of Torn for 2/18.

I’m removing a character’s name to prevent big spoilers, but of course, anything comes with the risk of telling you something about the story. You’ve been warned.

From Rowan’s POV:

 

[My captor] cleared his throat, and I opened my eyes. “Whatever you’re thinking, stop now. They’ll go easier on you at the prison if you cooperate.”

I could have made a good guess at how full of excrement that statement was, but didn’t speak. My voice would have trembled.

 

I’ll give you a longer one some day. Promise.

OH, but speaking of Torn, and for anyone who missed it on Monday, I’m taking sign-ups if anyone would like to help with the cover reveal on February 23rd. E-mail me at kate.sparkes (at) live.ca if you’d like to help out on your blog. It’s gonna be fuuuuun…

Click here to see what the other WIPpeteers (including our host, KL Schwengel) are up to!

ROW80 Update

Torn is with beta readers this week, which leaves me a bit of a self-doubting, insecure mess. It’s nothing to worry about. This is normal for me, and I suspect for most writers, at this stage. There’s more pressure to produce on a deadline this time, which isn’t helping my nerves, but it’s in good hands.

If all goes well, I’ll be announcing the release date with the cover reveal.

And the blurb/cover copy.

*squeak*

And maaaaybe a sale on Bound for anyone who hasn’t grabbed it yet. Because Monday is my birthday, and I’m feeling generous, and I know you’re all going to want to get caught up before Torn comes out. 🙂

(Yes, I still get excited about my birthday after almost 34 years. I consider every spin around the sun a gift, and it’s a great chance to look back on a fantastic year–even if it was a bit of a roller coaster!)

So other than freaking out, what have I done since my last update? I’ve booked a formatter for the paperback version of Torn, corrected a few typos in the same of Bound (which had already been corrected in the e-book, but PDF files are so much harder to edit) and re-uploaded the file, ordered a proof… walked my big dog… cleaned out a kitchen cupboard… cleaned up a lot of messes courtesy of a tiny dog who doesn’t want to do his business outside…

Okay, most of that’s not writing-related, but I’m a little stuck here. I don’t have time to get back into revising book 3 before my betas finish with Torn.

Reading. I should go read. With tea. And cats.

YAY!

ROW80 is a blog hop, and a lot of authors have interesting stuff going on. To check it out, for more information, or to jump in at any time during the round, click here!


WIPpet Wednesday: Awkwarrrrrd

Okay, let’s start with a confession: I’m sharing from a project that’s technically on hold. Much as I love Cat and her story, I have worldbuilding issues there that I need to work through, and I promised my editor I’d try to get some more pre-editing done on Torn, so that’s what I’m doing.

Sparrowhawk & Son is still a work in progress, though, so here we go. Catalen has been forced by her new employer to have a medical exam done. She’s not too happy about the idea, but she’s been promised that she won’t be poked or prodded.

6 paragraphs (3+1+2 for 3/12)

 

No poking or prodding, my ass. I should have specified that personal questions make me as uncomfortable as physical examinations do. My eye isn’t the only secret I’d prefer to keep.

This room is cold, and not exactly private. Sure, the doctor pulled a curtain around the bed so no one can see me, but the nurses’ hushed murmurs drift through from outside. They can sure as hell hear me.

“Are you sexually active?” The doctor is this roundish old guy with a skinny neck who reminds me of a turkey I once saw.

I shrug, and the open-backed gown they’ve got me wearing slips down my shoulder. “I’m not sexually passive.”

He looks at me over the top of his glasses. “I’ll just mark yes. Any chance you’re pregnant?”

“I’m promiscuous, not stupid,” I tell him. He gives me that look again, and I sigh. “I’m always careful, okay? Always.”

 

For anyone new here, WIPpet Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by KL Schwengel where we (the WIPpeteers) share a snippet from a work in progress that relates to the day’s date in some way. For more entries, see here–there’s usually a good range of genres, and often work that’s more polished than my first draftishness here. Want to join in? Post to your blog, link back on the linkamajigger, and be sure to visit and comment on other people’s posts.

Apologies to anyone I missed last week (which is everyone who posted after late Wednesday afternoon, I think). Not having my laptop stinks, especially when we’re away for the weekend. :/

—–

ROW80 Update

On to A round of Words in 80 Days, which I keep forgetting to link back to on their blog. Oh, well. Still nice to have some accountability, even if it’s just in my head.

It’s been an interesting week.

Writing:

First thing: I pulled off that NaNoWriMo win before we went away. Just barely, but I did it. Between that and my insane month-and-a-bit before that of drafting Bound book 3, I’ve written about 130,000 words of first drafts since the end of September. Not a lot for some people, but I’m pooped. Never mind the two weeks of editing I did in there… yeah.

Editing:

I’m not sure how to say this. We’ve hit a series of small snags on Torn. Nothing to panic about. It’s just that my editor can’t take it until a bit later than estimated (not his fault, just the way things worked out. These things happen). On top of that, I might not even be able to see his notes until the new year. Why? Remember how my laptop died, so I have to use my old desktop? Turns out it’s too old to run the current version of Microsoft Office (or the current version of Windows), so I can’t put Word on it to see Track Changes. No, I didn’t have Word installed on it before, because I use Scrivener and kind of hate Word.

I can’t get my laptop fixed until I get it into FutureShop (hi, pricey service plan!), which means a 4 hour trip to St John’s. I tried to order a mac laptop (which I need anyway) as a replacement. It would have been perfect. Delivery by December 10, a more reliable computer, everything I need…

OOPS, they won’t deliver to a PO box, and we don’t have home delivery. Wait… I need to find out whether I can get that with expedited shipping.

I’m rambling. Sorry.

Just frustrated. And none too happy with Microsoft, either. *glares*

BUT… I’m still moving ahead, and currently using AutoCrit to catch repeated words and other issues to try to save time on editing later. You’d think at this point that I’d notice when I’ve used “hideous” twice in one paragraph, but it’s all a blur to me. And it’s so rewarding when they tell me “nice job!” for not having any dialogue tag-related adverbs in a chapter.

“YAY, ME!” she shouted shoutily. Oops.

Please wish me luck in either getting my computer fixed, getting a new one, or finding a hard copy of an old version of Word.

 

Reading

Started Deathmaker (Dragon Blood Book 2) by Lindsay Buroker, and I’m so glad I did. I’ve been having a lot of trouble really becoming immersed in books lately, but this one did it for me on a long car ride in a way that nothing else I sampled over the weekend did. It’s book 2 of a series (not sure how that happened, but it was on my Kindle), but I didn’t have any trouble getting into it. Good story so far. I did have a moment of “Aaaah, crap” yesterday when they announced something to do with gem power (which is what they use in Sparrowhawk & Son), but hey. It’s all been done before, and I’m sure there are major differences. It’s just a jolt when you see a concept/idea/familiar bit of action from your work in someone else’s.

Anyway, I think I’m going to need to pick up more of Lindsay Buroker’s work if the story ends as well as it starts. Really great stuff. And for writer types, especially independent authors (or author-publishers, or whatever term you prefer), her blog is a fantastic resource.

I also wish I was as prolific as she is. Maybe some day, but I don’t think I’ll ever be “finished first draft at beginning of November, publish the book by Christmas” fast, even on shorter books. I need more time than that. So jealous, though…

More ROW80 here.

 

 


WIPpet Wednesday: Mrowl

Hey look, it’s WIPpet Wednesday again! Which means it’s also garbage day… hang on.

*crashing noises*

*door slams*

*monster in the garbage can yodels with joy*

Sorry, I keep forgetting.

Anyway, for anyone who’s not familiar with WIPpet Wednesdays, this is the day when a fantabulistical group of writers shares a small snippet from a work in progress that relates somehow to the date, and we all link up here so we can share the fun. Today I have another piece from the third book of the Bound trilogy*. I wrote this last week, but it was too adorable not to share today. First draft, edited for spoilers. Rowan’s POV.

WIPpet math: 15 sentences for the 15th

We searched the house for clothes to wear while ours dried. All I could find was a soft cotton nightgown which covered me from neck to ankles in the least-flattering shape possible. I’d hoped to sneak back to my room without being seen, but Aren waited for me in the hall, arms crossed, leaning one shoulder against the wall.

He grinned and wiggled his eyebrows. “Damn.”

“Don’t even talk about it.”

“No, really. It’s good. Leaves a lot to the imagination.”

I mustered what dignity I could and held my head high as I passed him. “Goodnight, Aren. Have fun with your imagination.”

“Goodnight, Rowan. I promise I will.”

He’d been joking about the attractiveness of the nightgown, but that didn’t stop him watching me as I walked away. I smiled to myself as I closed the door behind me.

So there we go. Much sweeter than some of the moments I’ve been getting from characters lately.

If you’d like more WIPpet fun, click here to see what the rest of the crew is up to this week, and be sure to say hi on their blogs. If you’d like to join in, please do! You know the rules. Thanks again to our host KL Schwengel, to whom I say, “See, I was nicer to Aren this week! Please don’t hurt the guy I love in your books. Or the other one.”

Writer friendships are kind of screwed up. O.o

ROW80

Word counts are on track. Last Wednesday: 5,000 words. Thursday: 2,500 (this was my day to go to town, so I wasn’t expecting any). Friday:  5,000 words. Saturday: 4,600  Sunday: 0, but did some planning. Monday: 4,898  Tuesday: almost 3000 TOUGH words. Why do words get embarrassed and hide from me when things get romantic?

Things are getting tricky in the story now that I’m starting to pull together all the loose threads, play the wild cards, bring out things that have been in the shadows… pick your metaphor. It’s exciting, but it’s getting to be delicate work. I have a plan, anyway.

I have started beta reading (yay!) and am aiming for 2 chapters a day.

Listened to one podcast, not two, because my phone’s being a jerk about listening to them when I’m walking right now. But that’s something, anyway.

So there you have it. I hope you’re all having a good week and accomplishing ALL THE THINGS.

 

——

*I’m totally going to give up the name soon, because I’m really sick of typing that.

 

 


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