Rose of the Oath and NaNoWriMo

I’m back! Not that it feels like I’ve really been gone since I’ve posted a little on here. But it was relaxing to not have to do the longer posts… Or it would have been if it weren’t for NaNoWriMo.

But I did it! I finished NaNo, with four days to spare!

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I actually had my chapters outlined to finish yesterday, but then I got up on Saturday and decided to just get it over with. Nearly 7000 words later, I was done and treated myself to Culver’s onion rings as a reward.

I actually wrote two things for NaNo this year: a novelette and a novella.

The novelette is a prequel to what will be my  new Beauty and the Beast story.

Rose of the Night

Behind every beast, there is a curse. Behind every curse, there is a promise. But hundreds of years before it all, there is a story. A story of a forbidden rose and the smooth voice of a masked stranger. A story of rebellion and sorrow and love. A story of a promise given and of a hope received. This is the story of the Oathkeeper.

The novelette itself is currently in a sad shape. Too wordy in some places (hey, I wasn’t about to work on clipping until after NaNo) and suffering from a lack of emotion and depth. But I’m pleased with the MC’s voice and I can work with the draft… something I’ll be starting to tackle tomorrow.

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Then there was my main work, the Beauty and the Beast novella.

Rose of the Oath

With war sweeping Aslaria, Elissa will do anything to save her brother. Being trapped in safety herself was not what she expected the result of her rescue to be. Though, with a mysterious scarred host and the surrounding howls of wolves every night, safe is relative. As one age ends and another begins, Elissa wants nothing more than to return her family. And she is prepared to do almost anything to escape.

I am very happy with how Rose of the Oath turned out. It needs work, mainly because I kept adding things as I wrote, but I’m very excited about it. It will be a bit before even beta readers get to glimpse it though, so here are some rough, unedited clips from the novella to tease *cough* I mean, for you to enjoy. Just forgive any typos, because I’m sure there are some there. My rough drafts can be atrocious.

He stood still, wrapped in the cold shadows before dawn, only the faint twitch of a muscle in his cheek revealing he was more than a statue. A gust of wind tore from the enclosing mountainsides, racing downwards, tearing at his hair and twisting his thick cloak.

He didn’t move.

A wolf howled, the call rising into an eerie pitch before dropping, hurtling downwards. The echo still hovered in the air when another howl replied.

His jaw tensed. His fingers whitened over the hilt of the great sword resting in his hands, the point piercing the turf.

The wind returned, circling around, buffeting him from behind. From the side. Sweeping out before him, then circling around, retreating about a rose which bowed and danced in the center of a sprawling patch of vines.

Roses carpeted the ground, sweeping upward against iron trellises, but his eyes remained focused on the one. No wind brushed its petals, which trembled against the tossing of blossoms and leaves on either side.

His breath slipped between his teeth and he finally lifted his gaze as the wind hurtled off, whistling though the narrow pass which led outwards. Out into the forest. Out into Aslaria.

And he waited.

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I choked back a laugh while Eldric fell into a fit of coughs with which he only with difficulty recovered. Moving Helene to his side, he held out both arms, wrapping the around the slim figure. Her arms tightened around his neck as she pressed her cheek against his. After a long moment she pulled back and regarded him with wide eyes as only a seven-year-old can.

“You’ll be home for our birthday?”

“A while nine days? Of course I’ll be back.” Eldric ran one finger down her cheek. “And I can guess what you want for a present. Another of those books, don’t you. Or would you prefer pencils?”

Klara bit her lip, twisting a strand of fair hair about her finger. “I don’t know… They would both be so nice.”

Eldric lifted a helpless gaze to meet my own. “They’ll pauper me, that’s what they’ll do.”

I snorted out a laugh as he rose. “You don’t have to get me anything if that’s a comfort.”

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I exhaled shakily, choking back a sudden sob in the back of my throat. “Eldric.” I sprinted for the door the voice had come from. A single light spilled from the torch and bars covered the upper half of a thick door.

“Elissa, what are you doing here?” Eldric demanded, his hands seizing my own as I clutched the bars.

“I came for you, of course.” My eyes roved the door, searching for a lock. There it was. A great big one. “Do you know where the key is?”

“Key?” Eldric stared at me. “You have to get out of here, Elissa. Now!”

I blinked, staring back. “What in all of Alsaria do you mean? I just got here.”

“And now you’re going to leave.” Eldric’s hand tightened over mine. “If you are even able now. You’ve not seen the master of this place. He’s…” his jaw tightened. “I don’t know what he wants, but the girls need you.”

“No, the girls need you.” My eyes fastened on his. “The rebels are advancing.”

Air hissed between Eldric’s teeth. “Still?”

“Yes. And you know I can’t lead them to the safety of the caves by myself.”

“Where are they now?”

“With Mother Karlin. The villagers were leaving this morning. The rebels could be in the village even now…” I closed my eyes, pressing my forehead to the bars. “We need you. And I need a key.” I straightened. “Where is the Master of this place, because I fully intend…” the hair on the back of my neck prickled and Eldric’s jaw tightened as he stared past me.

“Run, Elissa. Run and don’t come back.”

“Never.” My own eyes bore into his, then slowly, my throat tightening until I could barely breath, I turned around.

The figure I’d seen dimly in the vision looked event taller in the confinements of the corridor. A cloak swept about his frame, a hood shading his face. One leg was cocked behind the other as he leaned against the wall, a glinting sword hanging from his fingers. My chest tightened. How long had he been standing there?

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My gaze shifted to the door, tracing the smooth grains as they rose upwards, then my breath caught in my throat.

There he was. Staring at me. His arms crossed, his hood veiling his gaze though shards of light reflected off fragments of scars.

“What the blazes?” I stumbled to my knees, snatching up my bow. My fingers fumbled for an arrow, but the smooth wood slipped from my fingers, clattering to the floor.

With a sigh, the man stepped forward, his key twisting in the lock. He yanked the door open and I staggered to my feet, pressing back against the cell wall. The arrow I clutched in my numb fingers.

What did this beast even want? I’d been adamant about Eldric leaving the night before. I still was. He had to get the twins to safety. And he would… assuming the figure standing before me had truly let him go. But what did he want? The danger Eldric was so insistent to protect me from was still present.

I shuddered, my gaze never leaving the man’s face. Where had he got all those scars? And was that blood staining his dark tunic beneath the furs? My throat constricted. But the man stood to the side, inclining his head towards me and held his hand outwards.

I bit my lip, staring at him. “What do you want?”

He straightened, one eyebrow lifting as he watched me. His lips parted, then he grimaced.

“You really can’t talk, can you?”

The man glared at me, but shook his head.

Great. Just my luck. A captor I couldn’t even speak with.

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What about you all? How many of you took part in NaNo? What was your final word count?

Caption Challenge – November #4

First the caption challenge winners:

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Caption Challenge: Corissa, Maiden of Praise

“One hundred years in the sands of time,
A thousand little flames,
The eye of a raven, the ash of a crow,
And a girl with prophetic claims.

A dangerous journey, a treacherous word,
A solemn, deadly vow,
I have returned from the depths of despair,
And I think I am dangerous now.”

Six-Word-Story: SleepwalkingMK

“Like you were ever harmless before.”

Congratulations, guys! And now for this week’s collage.

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Pictures from Pinterest

Anyone can enter this caption challenge; the only requirement is that you keep your entries clean. 🙂 You’ve two entries (you can pick one, or two both). One entry is a caption, the other is a six word story. On Saturday I’ll pick a winning caption and I’ll post it next Monday along with the name of the winner and the next caption challenge!

November Highlights

So this month has been insane. Don’t look at me like that. I know I say that every month, but really…I’m not doing NaNo every month. Writing around 2000 words a day isn’t so hard. Writing 2000 words a day while still trying to keep up on all my other writing and work is another thing. But I survived. Unless my ghost is writing this and I’ve just been too busy to notice the transition.

My Life

NaNo, obviously. But it hasn’t just been NaNo.

I went and saw Doctor Strange! In 3D! 3D is so cool. The depth is worth the slight trouble of keeping the 3D glasses in position. I enjoyed the story and I loved the characters. The costumes! *rubs hands together* Then there was that cape with a personality of it’s own… So cool.tumblr_od94qrbw3p1scghoqo1_500

Then, later in the month, Joy, Liberty, and I took a trip to the mall. Well, Joy and I took Liberty there because she hadn’t been there before. The most memorable part was running up a escalator going down, because the up one wasn’t working and we thought it would be more fun than actually going to the real stairs and just walking up them.

And, one evening, I dressed up and Joy took these photos of me.

Yes. Fun stuff.

From the mouths of children:

I like to scribble down funny lines I hear others say. And with eight younger siblings, I pick up a random assortment of logic and thoughts.

Me: the sound teeth make when they are chatter is cool
Joy: It’s not cool. It’s your bones clattering against each other.

My eleven-year-old brother at breakfast: Gravity keeps us down so if there were a hole through the middle of the earth, would you fall through or would you fall to the bottom and stop?

My four-year-old sister after coming in from playing outside in the dark: It is so fun out in the darkness.

My Writing

Did I mention I did NaNo this year? My novelette which prequals my Beauty and the Beast retelling is done, though it needs lots of work. And my Beauty and the Beast novella is almost done. I’m on track for getting it (and NaNo) done by November 30th.

Wips

  • Shadows of the Harsweald is going well. I should have it open for beta reading in a few weeks. If you want to get notifications when it is ready, you can sign up here.
  • I’m going over Fidelyon still, working on beta reader feedback and clipping. It’s going well.
  • Scarlet Rose has been sadly neglected, but I’m hoping to get moving on that more this month

Other Writing

Other

  • Oh, and I’ve started another Fiverr Gig…this one to format ebooks. You can check out the details herehere.

Me

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I love these INTJ pictures from Pinterest…

Fandom Corner

Has anyone seen Poldark? I’m really enjoying it, though I detest Ross at this moment.

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What have you been up to this month? Did you do NaNo? Have you seen Poldark? Everyone listening to Christmas music by now? Are any of you going Black Friday shopping?

Join the Legend Seekers for monthly newsletters and secret stories about the realm leapers and fantasy time-travelers, Kirin and Elena. Click here to sign up

Interested in being on the inside of the publication and marketing process, helping me take over the hearts and minds of the world one story at a time? Join my street team…ahem, army, the Legendaires. Click here for more information.

Black Friday Sale – Also Running on Thursday

All the big stores are having their Black Friday sales days and weeks in advance, so I decided I’d do the same. And instead of calling it a Thanksgiving and Black Friday sale, it’s easier to just say Black Friday Sale.

Also… *clears throat* *glances to either side* *takes deep breath* HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

And since everyone is talking about what they are thankful for, I’m just going to pass on that right now, even though I am very thankful for about everything in my life, and just post this picture…

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And I have a gift for you. Until the end of November, I am offering an exclusive Song of the Sword wallpaper in three different formats. One for computer, one for an iPad, and one for an iPhone. All you have to do is sign up for my newsletter and you’ll get your free wallpapers! (if you already get my newsletter, then you will get your free wallpaper though that later today.) Click here to sign up.

There. Now that is done. Down to business. *smirks*

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And…yes, the picture is pretty self explanatory. If you buy Song of the Sword today or tomorrow, you can upload your receipt in this form and I will email you a FREE set of three Song of the Sword themed wallpapers (three each for three different size of electronic).

As a bonus, I will send you a coupon for a free beta read of up to 4000 words or I will design up to 50 pages of an ebook for you! All you have to do is upload your receipt or a screenshot of your receipt in the form below and I’ll get your free gifts sent out as soon as possible (either the night or the day after you uploaded your receipt).

A glittering sword.
An ancient oath.
A blackened rose.
And a melody which ties it all together.

Can Evrard rescue his sister before it’s too late?

Find out today for only $2.99 in Song of the Sword, then submit your receipt for your free wallpaper and coupon!

Buy Song of the Sword

Upload your receipt

Caption Challenge – November #3

First the caption challenge winners:

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Caption Challenge: Corissa, Maiden of Praise

“No.”
“Why not?”
“Because you told me this would happen- and you ordered me to stay silent, even unto death. So silent I shall remain.”

Six-Word-Story: Somebody Gunter

“They grew. They are rumors now.”

Congratulations, guys! And now for this week’s collage…one of the first collages I ever made.

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Pictures from Pinterest

Anyone can enter this caption challenge; the only requirement is that you keep your entries clean.🙂 You’ve two entries (you can pick one, or two both). One entry is a caption, the other is a six word story. On Saturday I’ll pick a winning caption and I’ll post it next Monday along with the name of the winner and the next caption challenge!

Fidelyon: ‘H’ With Ethaniel

Ethaniel, the main character in my novel, Fidelyon, has taken it upon himself to introduce you to his world by going through an alphabet of terms and names.

 

I have two friends whose names start with H.

The first is more of an acquaintance since I’ve yet to get to know him better…something I do hope to do one of these days. His name is Haytham and he is one of Elentisa’s oldest councilmen. Don’t for a moment think that ‘oldest’ signifies decrepit in any way. His grip still makes my arm hurt and he claims to be as strong in battle as any younger man. Do I believe him? Yes, I do.

Haytham and Hilith

The name of my other friend is Hilith. Originally a guard in the king’s castle, he was one of the first men Ard recruited while assembling a new Kingsguard. Of course, Hilith grumbles about the hours he’s made to stand in the cold or the late nights on guard, but he enjoys the position and always has a ready quip and flashing smile for every occasion.

 

Sign up to my newsletter to get regular updates on my writing and secret stories about the realm-leapers and fantasy time travelers, Kirin and Elena, each month. Join the Legend Seekers here.

Caption Challenge – November #2

First the caption challenge winners:

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Caption Challenge: Fereleth, Carrier of Light

‘Shadows surround me, silent and deep.
Out in the darkness, dark shadow-things sleep.
The gun in my hand is shadowed and silent,
But in this darkened world, even silence is violent.’

Six-Word-Story: Quinton of Boron

“Danger lies in the deepest silence.”

Congratulations, guys! And now for this week’s collage:

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Pictures from Pinterest

Anyone can enter this caption challenge; the only requirement is that you keep your entries clean. 🙂 You’ve two entries (you can pick one, or two both). One entry is a caption, the other is a six word story. On Saturday I’ll pick a winning caption and I’ll post it next Monday along with the name of the winner and the next caption challenge!

NaNoWriMo 2016 vs. Me

So I decided to take part in NaNo this year. For the first time. While I’d several other projects I was already working on.

To be quite fair, I did decide around September, so I had plenty of time for preparation and outlining…at least that was the theory. I ended up finishing my outline on October 30th, because the story refused to unravel itself. But I did get it outlined. And, after several false starts, I did get my story started.

Confession 1: I’m not writing a novel. Instead I’m writing a novelette and a novella, and hoping that together they will give me the 50,000 words I need.

So, what am I writing?

I’m rewriting a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, which I will release next summer to replace Rose of Prophecy as the first book in my Legends of Light series.

let-me-explain

Basically, Rose of Prophecy is a sweet story. It has been downloaded over 6000 times and has a 4.5 star rating on Amazon. But when I wrote Song of the Sword, I realized its style didn’t fit the rest of my Legends of Light novellas. It wasn’t originally written for Legends of Light. Instead, it was written for a contest then, as I began planning out Legends of Light in earnest and realized that the first story would be a retelling of Beauty and the Beast so I adapted Rose of Prophecy to fit the series.

But I quickly realized that all my other retellings were going to be much looser in comparison to the original fairy tales, and I also wanted to add more backstory and theme into the first novella.

Which brings me (again) to what I am doing for NaNoWriMo. I am writing another Beauty and the Beast retelling, this one very different and containing more backstory and history to Legends of Light. I am currently calling it Rose of the Oath.

As for the novelette, it is a about how the beast became the beast. This will weave in various historical threads from the very beginning of history and will be free to anyone who signs up for my newsletter.

Come summer, I’ll be unpublishing Rose of Prophecy and releasing Rose of the Oath.  Probably. I’ll be price matching Rose of the Night down to free as well, so you’ll all be able to get the new beginning to Legends of Light without paying a penny.

And now, I promised you pictures. So here you go.

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Elissa/Beauty

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Eldric, Elissa’s brother

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saving

love

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Adrian/the beast

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defy

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And, if you want to find the whole Pinterest board, you can see it here.

So…what do you think?

November Vlog

November Vlog

Hey, it’s Wednesday and I am posting! Well, it is a special post…a vlog post. *grins*

Once again I’m taking part the Very Awesome Vlog Challenge put on by my good friend, Ivy Rose. For more information on that, you can click the cool picture below.

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And now, without more ado because I do have things I need to be attending to…and because I speak for myself in the video below, here is this month’s rambling vlog.

Have any questions for me for next month? Ask away in the comments below!

Caption Challenge – November #1

First the caption challenge winners:

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Caption Challenge: Corissa, Maiden of Praise

The flames shall dance on the midnight sand,
The forest shall burn with fear,
The tramp of hoofs on the darkened road,
Is growing ever near.

The doom of a thousand men is sealed,
Their fate is set in blood,
By the light of the moon in battle swift,
They’ll be washed away in the flood.

The enemy onward shall march in pride,
Till on a distant rise,
A single man shall step from the night,
In a strange and dark disguise.

A sudden hush falls over the men,
Their horses prance with fear,
As behind the man ten thousand more,
Slowly shall appear.

The following battle shall bloody be,
As was never seen before,
Who shall win I cannot say,
But they shall win the war.

Six-Word-Story: This time I couldn’t decide between two stories so…two winners, guys. 🙂

Fereleth, Carrier of Light

‘There is no glory in ashes.’

Bluejay

‘Well, that is stating it bluntly.’

Congratulations, guys! And now for this week’s collage:

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Pictures from Pinterest

You’ve two entries. One for a caption, one for a six word story. On Saturday I’ll pick a winning caption and I’ll post it next Monday along with the name of the winner and the next caption challenge!