Posts tagged ‘The Night Ones Legacy’

July 16, 2015

150 words: an Orval and Lily exercise

ALLY

An ally, among the Dracoisi—once I thought we would all be friends. I hoped.

“Tell the others I will be ready,” I say.  “Orval and I leave for the north at first light.”

The messenger nods and rises, silent as a shadow. His silhouette fades into the deepening sky.  Stars, golden and bright as my love for Orval, blink sleepily in their black velvet blanket. Such stars glimmered over us, the night we met.

Such stars must have hung over this world in the ancient days.  Where else would the Dracoisi descend from?

Now they returned. I wanted a lasting kinship with these ancestors, I hoped for friendship…

They took Egon, and Orval’s grandmother.

Hope was nothing more than a thin slice of obsidian, sharp and dark and brittle.  It shattered when I returned home.

Orval was gone.  

Perhaps allies and lasting love were only myths.

Advertisements
June 25, 2015

Messenger: a 150-word exercise with Orval and Lily

MESSENGER

“You said Death called the Dracoisi,” I say. “You cannot believe I did such a thing.”

“You. Death. Does it matter?” Now Orval’s teeth chatter. He wraps his arms around his sides, leaning against the wall.

Eventually he slumps to the floor, sleeping feverishly. I slip his grandmother’s pillow under his head. As the evening shadows darken his brow, I leave him to walk in the cool of the abandoned city.

No one lives in these perfect homes now. In the deepening twilight they glimmer in all the shades of blue, empty and lonely, but I—I am not alone.

No sound warns me, no Night One’s hunting call or rush of wings. Instead, I feel the warmth of a messenger’s mind as he lands on one foot beside me.

“The Dracoisi have taken Egon,” he says. “We have an ally, but we must act quickly to rescue him.”

June 17, 2015

A 150-word writing exercise: Lover’s Quarrel

I’m kind of having fun with this! Here is the latest Orval and Lily 150-word adventure:

LOVER’S QUARREL

This is not my fault. I tell Orval so. His skin goes as violet as the sky, and he hollers in my face.

“You—you have no right to say that! You, who used your power to manipulate everyone!”

His words are a hot iron poker, branding my heart with shame.

“I gave all I had to save my people,” I say, pleading for understanding. “I gave up the throne.”

He shakes his head. “Ion, and Sindi. All the Night Ones, all the humans, even Egon.  Even me. You deceived us all.”

“I tried to save you,” I whisper. “In the end, I let you merge with Death—I let you change our world.”

“You let me,” he says through gritted teeth, “But the damage was already done. You called the Dracoisi to our world the first time you linked your mind to ours.”

June 13, 2015

A 150-word exercise: Orval and Lily and Death, the last dragon

 

THE LAST DRAGON

Death.

The only dragon not destroyed.

The monster flew over this valley, the evening we returned.

Orval’s breath rushes across my face. “How did Death escape? I merged souls with him.”

The blade under my chin trembles. I reach out, latching my fingers through Orval’s as the dagger clatters to the floor.

“Does it matter?” I say, gasping in relief. I brush my knuckles against Orval’s slate-hard face.

“He must have called the Dracoisi.”

“We are all one people, now. They will not destroy us.” I will myself to believe this, and to believe my feelings for Orval will make him well again.

My sweetheart loses faith in our love. Something tainted flickers in his eyes, and he pulls away.

“My grandmother. They took her.”

The red sky fades to purple, the color I wore as empress—but I have no power now.

Without Orval, I have nothing.

May 14, 2015

The Heart of All Magic is 99 cents today

'The Heart of All Magic' went live for Kindle tonight! :)

The Heart of All Magic‘ is 99 cents for Kindle today

I’m trying a Kindle count-down deal for The Heart of All Magic. This marketing tool is new to me, and I’m curious to see what an unadvertised campaign can do.

Well, it won’t be completely unadvertised. I’ll post about it on Facebook, Twitter and here on my blog.

What do other authors think of Amazon free promotions and Kindle count-down deals? Authors near me say they get mixed results, but overall, the results aren’t as incredible as they used to be.

I decided to keep this series with Amazon outlets alone.

I’m curious about branching out into other e-book platforms with other books. This would eliminate my ability to use the Kindle free promotions and countdown deals. I’m wondering whether the time spent distributing the books to other sites would balance out something like free promotions.

I would love to hear your perspectives.

 

December 14, 2014

The Heart of All Magic is live for Kindle!!! #thenightones #theheartofallmagic

'The Heart of All Magic' went live for Kindle tonight! :)

The Heart of All Magic’ went live for Kindle tonight! 🙂

I’ve spent the last two months polishing ‘The Heart of All Magic.’ (Which means I haven’t been blogging much.)

It’s finally here. Book two of the two-volume series ‘Legacy of the Night Ones‘ is finished!

Tonight ‘The Heart of All Magic‘ went live on Kindle. The paperback will be available sometime next week.

I really love this game!

Please take a few minutes to look at the Amazon page! If you read it and like it, please leave an Amazon review. And if you get to it in the next two weeks, I would LOVE to have nominations for the Whitney Award! It takes five nominations to be officially entered.

Thanks so much, everyone! I’m looking forward to being on the blog a little bit more again.

Wishing everyone a very happy December. 🙂

September 27, 2014

There’s a winner! #nightones #giftcard #giveaway

 

I love rainy days when clouds sink low into the mountains, like this!

I love rainy days when clouds sink low into the mountains, like this! 

What a happy rainy day for a gift card drawing!

The winner is Heidi from Wyoming. Congratulations, Heidi! I hope you enjoy the gift card!

So what’s next in the Night Ones world?

Book two is still on schedule for a December release. The cover reveal will probably happen around Thanksgiving time, maybe a little bit before. LaRae Monroe has already agreed to create the book cover, and I’m so excited I can hardly wait for November. She’s an incredible artist. (Check out her Facebook Page!)

Meanwhile, some local authors are banding together to sell books at a pumpkin walk this year. I wasn’t going to print any physical copies of the book, but I do want to support my fellow writers–so I gave in.  I expect to have a small number of books in a week or two. My husband, a truly talented woodworker, also wants to sell some at a craft show on October 30. I guess we’ll see how it goes!

A poetry sample book is coming sometime soon, too. I meant this as a Mother’s Day gift two years ago. Due to some technical difficulties, I set it aside and only finally finished uploading it last night. I may get some physical copies of that one to give to loved ones, or to sell, if there seems to be a demand. I intend for it to be free on Kindle, maybe as soon as tomorrow.

I also have a stand-alone fantasy book I’m in the process of editing. I hope to have it completely edited by the end of October. At the request of someone dear to me, I’m sending out queries to traditional publishers for this one. I’m not holding my breath. It sounds like fun, but right now, I plan to self-publish this book after I receive all my rejection letters. 😀

The critique group is coming along NICELY! I really love having people to bounce ideas back and forth with, and the writers in this area are packed with talent. It’s impossible to spend time with friends like these and not become a better writer. The larger writer’s group is lots of fun, too.

Journalism continues. I had three pieces published in September, which is the most work I’ve had published at once in about two years–I may have to slow down again, but I love writing these stories, so it’s hard to set aside. These articles are all fun, lighthearted stories focusing on the positive things in my world–incredible people with amazing talents and unique experiences to share. I love writing about good people who do great things in their spheres of influence!

And now, the news about more gift card give-aways: Yes, I’ll be doing another one in November!!! Stay tuned for more details! If you’ve already downloaded The Night Ones but haven’t had a chance to read it yet, now you have a head start! 🙂

If you’re interested in more information on my books, my give-aways, more frequent updates on my works-in-progress or other writing-related things I don’t always post on my blog, please send me your contact information! I’ll send out an e-mail once or twice  a quarter to let you know what’s up.

Wishing everyone a very happy day!

 

September 24, 2014

Impostor syndrome, writers and self-publishing our fiction

visit http://jewelallen.blogspot.com to learn more about this talented writer and her new book

visit http://jewelallen.blogspot.com to learn more about this talented writer and her new book

Last night my husband and I discussed Impostor Syndrome. I’m afraid I’ve got a case of it. I can never read my published work and not feel like somehow, some way, I could have done better.

Imagine my delight when I came across this paragraph in the blog post of one of my local writing friends, the talented Jewel Allen:

Having taken a leave of absence from the Tooele Transcript Bulletin, I’d missed writing articles. I also felt a little rusty. My confidence was shaky as I started with a blank page. Could I do this again?  But, like other deadline-driven times, I typed in my byline, and threw down the words like clay on a pottery wheel, shaped and molded them, shaped and molded them some more, threw out a chunk, put it back in, threw out more chunks, until I was satisfied. Even after I hit send and the editor complimented me on a “terrific and well-written story,” the perfectionist in me came up with a couple more ways to switch the paragraphs around.

Me! That’s me! I do that all the time!

It’s why I have a hard time promoting my own work. I can hardly stand to look at it once it’s actually published. I think I might be my own worst critic, and I’m working hard to develop a thicker skin where I’m concerned.

Here’s an example: During the free promo of The Night Ones last week, 237 copies were downloaded. My book shot up to the top ten in one Amazon category for free books and to the top 100 in another. Even now (two days after the promo ended), my book is still in the top 100 for its category for paid books, which isn’t something I expected. I’m delighted to see that, but I still wonder–why? Do people really like my book that much?

I’m pleased, but it makes me feel shy. What if, now that they have my book, they decide they don’t like it? Was it really ready to be re-released?

Deep down, I know the only answer is yes.  Whether I really agree with myself or not, I have to cut my teeth sometime, and the sooner I do, the sooner I can start working on all the other projects that spin around so happily in my mind.

Jewel Allen currently has three upcoming booksBlemish, The Spanish Exile, and Ghost Moon Night. Guess what she has to say about this subject as she prepares for the October launch of Ghost Moon Night?

Maybe I have the mentality of a journalist and memoir publisher, but sometimes, your work isn’t the best it can be no matter how much you’ve edited it. I’ve submitted pieces before where I flubbed majorly on details, or left out information, and, guess what? Life still goes on. You will always find something wrong with your story, or have a better way of phrasing.

I’m not saying I shouldn’t get GHOST MOON NIGHT to the best shape it can possibly be. And novels do have a bit more shelf life than a news article. But, there has to be a balance.

It’s a comfort to read words like this–especially now, when I’m writing the sequel to The Night Ones. I’ve discovered I struggle more with myself than I do with the details of writing. Sometime I’ve just got to get over myself and let my books fly or fall on their own.

That means not worrying about whether my writing is good or not while I’m working on the first draft. It also means not concerning myself so much about what other people think of my fiction when I self-publish it or send a query off to a traditional publisher.

Meanwhile, there’s still journalism to fret over–and I’m so glad I’m  not the only one who rethinks her entire articles every time she submits one. Thanks, Jewel Allen, for making me smile today! I’m looking forward to Ghost Moon Night!

Oh! One more thing before I publish this post–this is the last week to e-mail me to let me know you’ve reviewed The Night Ones on Amazon if you want to be entered in the $25 Amazon gift card drawing/contest thing.

 

 

 

September 19, 2014

Look what friends can do–thanks, everyone! #thenightones #free

Look what I woke up to this morning! :D

Look what I woke up to this morning! 😀

Yesterday 95 copies of The Night Ones were downloaded.  I woke up this morning to find The Night Ones had reached #4 in its category for free downloads on Amazon.

That felt like a lot of downloads for not actively promoting it. I only posted about it here on my blog and on Facebook. While I intend to use free e-book listing sources in the future, I’m grateful to see what just a handful of friends can do.

A big thanks to everyone here who shared the post about The Night Ones‘ free promotion or who liked it. You made my day.

 

 

September 15, 2014

The evolution of a book cover: why I will always hire a visual artist now

I think of my self-publishing experience with The Night Ones as a learning exercise and, right now, as a demonstration of why self-publishing writers most often should hire someone else to do the artwork for their book covers.

Here’s the first book cover I tried to make, on my own.

book cover possibility three point seven five

Here’s the second book cover, also made on my own.

Second book cover

Second book cover

Here’s the third, also on my own, that I made for the re-release while I waited for a final book cover. (More on that another time–the artist I hired works fast. I was waiting on other things.)

green ebook cover red print cropped resized

And, finally, here’s what artist LaRae Monroe can do.

The Night Ones has a new look!

The Night Ones has a new look!

LaRae and I had a great chat about what separates writers and visual artists. Both she and I keep notebooks. The biggest difference is what we keep in our notebooks. Mine is full of words, describing my ideas in detail. Her ideas are mapped out with pictures, more like story boards.

I’ve gained a new respect for all visual artists because of LaRae. In some ways, she can see what I write about better than I can.

If you’re intrigued by the beautiful new book cover, check out the e-book! It’ll be free on Amazon from Sepember 18-22. Also–check out the $25 Amazon gift card giveaway!

Wishing you all the best!

%d bloggers like this: