Rose of the Night & Rose of the Oath

As many of you know, I’ve written a second Beauty and the Beast retelling to replace Rose of Prophecy. Because of some tight scheduling, I’m actually sending out my new novella to beta readers before Shadows of the Hersweald is launched. *sighs* It’s not ideal, but if I didn’t, anyone who wanted to read the novella and/or it’s prequel would only have around three weeks. So, without more ado, here are a few quick blurbs.

Rose of the Night (a Beauty and the Beast prequel novelette)

Behind every beast, there is a curse.

Behind every curse, there is a promise.

Behind every promise, there is a sacrifice.

Two hundred years before Beauty was born, blood and tears wove a legend of hope and sorrow. A timeless tale of a forbidden rose and the smooth voice of a masked stranger. A story of rebellion and despair and love. A story of a promise given and of a hope received.

Rose of the Oath (a Beauty and the Beast novella)

War clouds the horizon, and wolves howl into the night. With rebels on the move, Elissa is desperate for her brother’s return. When she receives a mysterious message concerning his capture, she knows she must save him.

There is no one else who can.

But the rose that granted her warning now holds her captive in safety. According to her mysterious scarred host, even that safety is tentative at best as wolves and dark figures stalk the night.

Outside the valley, war threatens those she loves most. Her host might hold to ancient promises of the Prince’s return, but Elissa knows the blood-drenched truth. She is on her own. And she is willing to do almost anything to keep her family safe.

Like last time, I’m not actually posting a sign-up form on my blog. I do, however, have a small email list of anyone who is interested in getting notifications about beta reading. I’ll be sending out the official form for Rose of the Oath later this week, so if you want to sign up for beta reading alerts you can do so HERE.

Shadows of the Hersweald

You’ve all heard of it, on and off, but now it’s time for the official unveiling of my third Legends of Light novella, Shadows of the Hersweald, a retelling of Hansel and Gretel. Though it originally gave me much grief, the story has progressed into one of my favorites. Which might mean something except that, so far, the each Legend of Light novella is a favorite as I write it.

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They would have to come that afternoon. Haydn glared at the rutted road twisted away from the gate beneath him, slithering into the shadows of the Harsweald. And what was the flaming idea behind leaving him in charge? Tregaron in the hands of a criminal… that would put them all in the good graces of the province governor, no questions asked.

A battered soldier from a defeated army, Haydn knows there is only one end to the arrival of the Prince’s governor. Except he hasn’t counted on the Prince himself. Or the pardon which his recent foe has declared to acquit all those who fought against him.

A pardon Haydn detests.

A pardon that refuses to punish the rebels now threatening his own village. And his sister.

Guilt-ridden from his own actions during the war, Haydn knows there are others who have no conscience at all. Others who are using the freedom of the pardon to forward their own desperate schemes.

With enemies closing in on all sides, a pardon that refuses punishment for the rebellion, and nightmares of murder and fire hovering in the back of Haydn’s every thought, can he save the only ones left he cares about before it is too late?

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And yes, I am aware that I spelled it Harsweald in the above quotes and am now spelling it Hersweald. It’s called progress. *smirks*

Shadows of the Hersweald is currently scheduled for publication late March of 2017. I do have a date, but I’m not releasing it yet because it’s possible it may change to early April instead. This will be the first novella I find an editor for, and I’m not sure how long the editing process itself will take…

But I will be accepting beta readers soon! I’ve about a week left of my own corrections, then I’ll send it out. But I’m not going to be having an open form on my blog this time. Instead, I’ve set up a beta reader email list you can sign up to. I only use it to email out beta reading and book review alerts and opportunities. And, just because you are signed up, you will be under no obligation to beta read anything. Anyhow, you can sign up here if you are interested.

I’ve a bunch of fun stuff planned in relation to Shadows of the Hersweald over the next few months, so you can be looking forward to that. And, in the meantime, I must be off because there is writing yet to do, both on Shadows of the Hersweald and Rose of the Oath.

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.

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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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love

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Adrian/the beast

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betrayal

hope

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captian

defy

wolf

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

So…what do you think?

What on earth is going on with Forest of Darkness?

So I’ve been working on the third Legends of Light novella, Forest of Darkness, for a few months now. It’s a retelling of Hansel and Gretel, focusing on the theme of peace. I wrote the rough draft in July, edited it through August, and decided I probably ought to write a post on the novella and keep you all up to date on how I was doing.

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Umm, yes. The story wasn’t really coming, despite being finished and 30,000 words long. It needed some drastic changes, but before I could figure them out another idea popped into my head. Followed by another idea and another. It took me about five minutes to realize a revision wasn’t going to be possible. I needed to rewrite the novella.

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The problem? I’d enough of an idea to know I needed to rewrite the novella, and that my new idea was better than what I already had. I didn’t have enough of an idea to outline the novella completely. The characters, setting, and basic idea were the same, but the way everything happened was greatly changed. So I sat down last Friday afternoon and actually got a decent outline thought up. There were a few major details I worked out over the next few days, and now rewriting has started. And it’s working! *cheers* I’m only onto the second chapter, but already I am connecting to the characters and the story and I know this version will be much better than my first one (as if that’s hard).

I’m planning to complete all nine chapters of this novella during the first week of October. By November it will probably be ready for beta-reading although, because of NaNo, I may have two waves of beta-reading for Forest of Darkness…on in November and one in December. But that’s not for a bit yet.

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My planning process

The bad news is that this change will probably set the publication date of Forest of Darkness (or whatever the final title will be) back a few months. March, most likely, instead of January. But it will be worth it. And, when I post about this story sometime next month, I hope to have a decent draft written out, along with a better title and perhaps even a brief blurb about the novella. Until then, here’s a picture from Pinterest on which I’m pulling inspiration for one of my new scenes.

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 Comments? Thoughts? Questions? Ask below!

 

Song of the Sword is HERE!!!

Today is the day, everyone!

*squeals*

Song of the Sword is live on Amazon! If you have a nook, you can buy it in epub format on Smashwords.

Not only that, but it is on sale for $0.99 for three days only before going back up to $2.99!

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Anyhow, I’m excited. Or perhaps that’s too mild of a word. Thrilled. Exhilarated. Terrified. Wait, what? Never mind.

If you want to buy a copy of Song of the Sword, grab it at Amazon now while you can pay less than if you were grabbing yourself a snack or a pop.

Also, don’t forget the giveaways still going until next week!

USA Song of the Sword Giveaway

International Song of the Sword Giveaway

Also, make sure to check out the rest of the upcoming blog tour!

August 5

Jaye L. Knight – Spotlight and sneak peek on Evrard

August 6

Ivy Rose – Review and interview

Kendra E. Ardnek – Review and interview

August 7

Bethany Smith – Review and spotlight on Roinette

August 8

Anna S. Brie – Review and interview

Olivia – Sneak peek

Amanda Tero – Review

And now, excuse me while I try to decide if I should go huddle in a corner or eat some ice cream.

The End Is Upon Me

Ok, so not really. But that’s what it felt like this last week when I decided to add a few, last minute changes to Song of the Sword. A word of advice to other writers. For the love of your sanity, don’t insert a subplot into your story one week before sending it off to reviews.

Of course, once the idea is in your head there’s not much choice between frantic writing or eternal regret. The obvious recourse is to figure out all plot twists before that last week. Failing that…well, just keep lots of chocolate on hand.

Yesterday was by far the most intense. I edited for five hours, probably longer. Two in the morning, another three+ in the afternoon and evening. Because not only must the subplot be added in smoothly, but it needs to be edited and polished and checked for spelling errors. And then I ran search on my document, was appalled by how many times I used words like ‘just’ or ‘seemed’ and so tidied up that problem. Umm, problems. What did writers do before the ‘search and highlight’ tool?

By the way, if you want receive free review copy of Song of the Sword, you have until tonight to sign up here!

One bright spot of the week was getting the bookmarks I’d ordered:

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Beautiful, no?

The second moment of excitement was when I got a package in the mail on Thursday with a hawk-headed dagger and a leather journal. They are both so…so…beyond words. And my brother arrived home from the Swap Meet only minutes ago and gave me a curved dagger with the hilt of a horse’s head! I will soon be armed with weapons from every realm. Beware. You’ll be getting pictures soon, rest assured.

Oh yes, and that NaNo Camp deal? I have about 1500 words written. I started the story three times and couldn’t settle on a good voice of the main character. On my fourth try, I think I’ve found it close enough for the rough draft. So next week I’ll get to play catch-up on NaNo. Won’t that be…fun?

 

 

Writerly Temptations and a Cover Reveal!!!

All writers have weaknesses; temptations to buy things they love by don’t need. My include pens, fantasy-looking jewelry…and notebooks. But guess what I did this week?

I was in Staples and they had adorable little three ring binders, only a few inches tall, which I was almost positive I could fit in my pocket. They were so cute! And they were only $2. But no, I told myself. I have notebooks of all sizes already. I don’t need another one. Since when has need mattered? But still…

I. Did. Not. Buy. It.

Temptation resisted! Three cheers for me!

Of course, I happened to be out shopping the next day, and my sister had just payed me $3 from a past loan, and we were driving by Staples… Long story short, I now have an adorable three ring binder which can fit in my pocket. Along with 300 extra sheets of paper.

Besides, it’s not like all my other notebooks. I can write down notes, you see, and then I can take the pages out and organize them on the table. Of course, that may or may not happen, but now the possibility is there if I want to make use of it.

The downside to the cuteness of this, my newest writerly edition is that both my younger sisters absolutely love the binder and keep trying to take it. I’m either going to have to buy them their own or hide my own book. Or possibly both.

Nextly, moving on now without a suitable transitional sentence,  I’m excited to officially announce the upcoming publication date of my second novella in the Legends of Light series! Oh yes, and a cover reveal of said novella.

*grins and rubs hands together*

While Rose of Prophecy was very much a retelling of the original fairy tale, Song of the Sword is much more of a revision, with elements tying into Rapunzel while the story itself is mostly own creation. But more on the retelling vs. revision and how I’m going to work that all out at a much later date.

For now…Song of the Sword:

A glittering sword.

An ancient oath.

A blackened rose.

And a melody which ties it all together.

Evrard and Roinette, twins separated at birth, are overtaken by events swirling from centuries past and forced into a battle beyond their own limited powers. With their ability to walk in the Melody Realm and catch glimpses of the light and darkness underlying Aslaria comes even more danger. In a world where rebels wield deadly weapons, and with the ancient oath of the King lingering on ever soldier’s mind, can Evrard and Roinette not only survive, but draw on a power outside themselves to defeat the mist of darkness?

And now, for those of you still waiting…my delicious cover! And yes, I can call it delicious even if I’ve no intention of eating it.

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Many thanks to my friend, Kate Flournoy, who created this along with *coughs* *clears throat* the others who helped.

The release date is August 5, though I’ll have Song of the Sword available for preorder sometime in July. And, and, in the next week or two I’ll be posting sign-ups for anyone interested in participating in a blog tour or receiving a free e-book copy of Song of the Sword in exchange for an honest review.

In other news, today is another butchering day and I’ve 80some chickens to bag, plus four pounds of liver to sort through (not for us) and ten pounds of chicken feet (again, not for us). And yes, you heard me right. Chicken feet. Apparently some people like them and, since I’ve not had them before, who am I to say anything good or bad about them?

Let’s chat! Have you ever eaten chicken feet? Also, do you have any writerly weaknesses or temptations? And, if so, can you resist them?

Beta Readers for Song of the Sword

Maybe it should have been obvious, but as I was lying in bed thinking about this post I suddenly realized I ought to have some sort of blurb about my story to offer you all before asking for volunteers to beta read Song of the Sword.

*holds head tightly and closes eyes*

Writing blurbs are even worse than editing, but I suppose I must give you something. It won’t be as polished as my final blurb I’ll write when I publish this book…just consider this a rough draft. *winks*

song of the sword

Evrard’s duties as a wingmaster fills his waking hours as the Prince’s war against Tauscher draws to a climax. But when a stray song alerts him to his long lost sister, he determines to save her no matter the opposition in either the physical world or the melody realm. Filled with danger, mist, songs, messenger falcons, towers, fen hoppers, sacrifice, joy, and despair, this is a retelling of Rapunzel you are sure to enjoy.

*stares at blurb thoughtfully*

Too short, but not bad for a first try, I suppose. And now, on to the easier information.

Song the Sword, my second novella in the Legends of Light series, is 60 pages; around 29,000 words long. I know mentioned a ‘select number’ of beta readers last week but, quite frankly, I’m not sure what the select number would be…I’m not that popular yet. *winks slyly* If you want to beta read the story…well, I reserve the privilege to dispense with my story as I please, but if you are willing to read it, then you’ll almost certainly be able to.

And now, if you would like to beta read Song of the Sword, you have until the morning of April 30th to fill in the form below (if you see this post after April 30th and desperately want to look over Song of the Sword, feel free to contact me though the ‘contact me’ page.

I’ll send out a draft of Song of the Sword the afternoon of April 30th, and would like to have the novella back in three weeks time; May 21st. Now the projected publication date isn’t until August 5th, though I want to have final copies of the novella completed two or three weeks before that for review readers. So there is some leeway if you really want to read Song of the Sword but are currently busy with other things. Just let me know in the form when you think you can get it back to me.

In other news, I finally got my archery glove. So now I have a glove, gauntlet, bow, and quiver of arrows. Sometime in the next few weeks I’m going to dress up in a costume from our last movie my siblings and I made, gear up, and bribe or convince a broth or sister to take pictures of me. So photos of the great, realm-leaping archeress will be coming…soonish.

Photos and Fairytales

Spring is finally here! It’s in the 70s and I’m wearing short sleeves and loving it.

Yesterday I had to get outside and do something, anything. It was a toss-up between climbing a tree or taking pictures and I ended up choosing pictures. I dug out some of my ‘treasures’ and below are the ‘best of the afternoon’.

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Secondly, I’m pleased to announce that Song of the Sword is coming along splendidly. Keep an eye out, because I’ll be opening it up to a select number of beta readers next week.

I’m also starting to plan out the third Legends of Light novella. At least I’m trying to. The theme will be peace, but I need a fairy  tale. I do have one, a lesser known story called Fairy of the Dawn, but I’m not sure if it’s going to work like I want. So I’m asking, what are some of your favorite fairy tales?

I already have the common stories written or planned: Beauty and the Beast, Rapunzel, Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty. But I’d love if you’d comment below with other common fairy tales I may have missed or some of your own personal favorites. 😉

 

Song of the Sword

I did it! 27,940 words in one week, with an average of 5000 words a day, and Song of the Sword is completed. Well, I say completed, but it is just the rough draft. The ending needs some tweaking and my main character is currently less than impressive. There’s way too much hesitating and drawing of deep or sharp breaths. And Evrard, as I was saying, needs to get a stronger backbone. Still, the rough draft is done, and for that I’m glad. Besides, it’s cool to say I wrote a novella in a week. ; )

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Punzel and Andrinian; two secondary characters in Song of the Sword

And now, today, I’ll read through the whole novella. Or skim it rather, adding in notes of various things I need to correct or add to the story. I’ll spend this next week writing up those, then another few weeks going over the whole story again, smoothing it out. After that, it will probably be readable for various beta readers. ; )

As for publication, I’m planning on putting out this second novella in the Legends of Light series in mid-August, assuming all goes smoothly.

Also, for those of you who know about Princess’s Curse, a retelling of Sleeping Beauty which I wrote for the Rooglewood contest, the results were announced March 1st. I didn’t win, but I was notified that my story made it to the top 25, which is pretty cool. I might go over it again sometime and try to publish it myself.