Writing Update: February 2017

Did you know this week is midterms? This week is midterms. It turns out taking 18 credit hours (including an internship and an 8-week class) is a lot harder than I expected. But I am still squeezing in the writing between study breaks, social gatherings, and Pathfinder—just barely. Geez, I’m already ready for the weekend. Anyway!

On the Argetallam Saga front, The Chalice of Malvron is now in paperback and I’m going through edits for the fourth book. Yay! The Temple of Tarkoth is set for release in May and I will be keeping you lovelies posted.

As for the Fanged series, I have written a Haddie and Fletcher prequel novella which is also set for release this summer. I am almost done with the fourth series novella which will be coming in October

Covers for all three of these 2017 releases are done and just waiting to be unveiled! Speaking of covers, I can’t get over the cover for Six of Crows.

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Isn’t it pretty? Best Valentine’s Day EVER!

As for Daindreth’s Assassin, it’s out for queries this spring and I’ve already gotten some encouraging responses. We’ll see how it goes!

I’m also putting together articles for publication on political sites. I may regret this. But it’s been fun so far and I’m excited nonetheless. Really hope this doesn’t veer south.

As for the immediate future, my goals for this month are to finish preliminary edits on The Temple of Tarkoth so I can nag beta readers and get some of those articles submitted. Fun stuff!

What are you all up to? Do you have any “must read” or “must write” projects right now?

Review: Kingdom at Sea (The Kinsman Chronicles, Part #4) by Jill Williamson @Jill Williamson

Jill Williamson’s Fantasy Saga Continues!

In the second volume of Jill Williamson’s Kinsman Chronicles, a remnant has escaped the destruction of the Five Realms and now lives on several hundred ships adrift at sea. As a flock, they sail north into the unknown in hopes of finding land that might become their new home.

As the king’s illness worsens, Sâr Wilek takes authority over the expedition and struggles to rule the disjointed people, while assassination attempts, vicious serpents, and dark magic endanger his life.

One prophecy has come to pass, but another looms dauntingly in the future. Who is this Deliverer? And if the Magonians have him, what might that mean for the realm of Armania?

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

5 out of 5 stars

I stayed up late to finish this because sleep is for the weak and this book is AMAZING. (Though, it’s from Jill Williamson. I’m not sure what else I expected.) It’s supposed to be a novella, so I’ll keep it short, but count me a rejuvenated fangirl.

The plot:

Like the rest of this series, there are several perspectives we follow through the course of the book. I didn’t expect to be surprised as often as I was. Several times, I was predicting one outcome and got one very different. There

The characters:

I’ll try to limit this to a few lines each. It may be difficult. *clears throat* Here we go.

Wilek: I’ve mentioned before that he reminds me of my favorite character from my favorite film of all time—Prince Hector. He still does. He messes up, but takes responsibility. He tries to do the right thing, but half the time gets screwed over by his father and brother (Janek, not Trevn). I just want him to be safe and happy and LIVE, DAMN IT.

Charlon: I was glad to see more moral dilemmas with her in this one, more conflict. The interactions between her and Zeroah were especially fascinating and I enjoyed that development. Zeroah has also begun to grow on me—probably because she’s grown a (small, but still existent) backbone. (YES!)

Trevn: Ah, my spunky summer child. It’s hard not to love him. The author has admitted he’s her favorite and I see why. Idealist, hardworking, romantic at heart…my sweet baby. Written believably with flaws to match his perfections, he is perfect because of it.

Kalenek: The storyline of a guard who can’t fight has intrigued me from the start. I feel bad about him and Onika just because I don’t see how it can end well, but the relationship between him and Wilek is a bromance for the centuries. Watching Kal juggle his duties as Wilek’s shield, Mielle and Amala’s guardian, and his feelings for Onika was a deeply engaging and truly helped me integrate emotionally with his character.

Mielle: She didn’t get as much page time as in previous installments, but she was still around enough for me to say her and Trevn are an OTP to die for.

Miscellaneous others: Janek and King Echad can die at any point and I won’t be sad. Janek had two sentences where I thought I might reconsider my assessment, but no. The same goes for Rodegoth and Mreegan. Seriously, it can’t happen fast enough. Ulrik is an idiot who needs to be slapped like the foolish child he is, Qoatch should find someone who appreciates his loyalty, and Inolah is awesome. I ship Hinck and Pia and that Tennish High Queen should take a chill pill. Or several. And someone slap Amala, too, because she’s also an idiot child.

In short, this series is amazing and you can download part 1 for free for all major eBooks. It’s awesome. I highly recommend you READ IT as well as the companion trilogy, the first of which is also free. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have downloaded part 5 and have a date with my Kindle.

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Review: Fire in the Blood (Shards of a Broken Sword, #2) by W.R. Gingell

27311803A princess in a dragon-guarded tower. The prince who is to rescue her. The prince’s ensorcelled dragon. And one enchanted keep that might just be enough to kill them all…

It’s widely known that Princess Kayami Koto is held captive in the Enchanted Keep by a dragon of great ferocity and skill. So when the bold, daring and crafty Prince Akish attempts to rescue her, it seems only sensible to bring his own dragon, Rafiq.

But the Keep’s dragon is only the first Circle in the Keep’s Seven Circles of Challenge, and both Rafiq and the prince will have to keep their wits about them if they’re to survive and rescue the princess.

There to help them is the princess’ serving maid, Kako. But why does Kako seem so familiar to Rafiq? Will she really help them, or does she have her own agenda? Rafiq isn’t sure, but he knows one thing: Kako may be the only person who can free him from his bondage to the prince, and that’s worth any amount of risk.

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

5 out of 5 stars

What if the dragon was forced by the prince to help kidnap the princess? That’s the best way to describe this novella. Once I was far enough in to get the main concept, I just sort of went “wow.” Ms. Gingell has written an amazingly original story once again and I cannot be anything other than amazed.

The plot:

I kind of figured out what was going on, but at the same time I kind of didn’t. Regardless, it was a little bit of a surprise ending and I loved it. The themes of morality and how the tests revolved around a person’s character were a wonderful, mythology-flavored throwback. The romance was cute, but not overdone. I did want more, but I do think what the author did was realistic for the characters. But in the third book…oh, wait. That’s a spoiler.

The characters:

Since this is a novella, I won’t go into too much detail. With the exception of a few short scenes, the entire story is from the perspective of Rafiq, the dragon. He is more or less under mind control to a prince who is rather easy to hate. Rafiq on the other hand, is a dragon shifter with a passive-aggressive streak and a heart of gold. Just like Markon, I loved him to bits.

I especially appreciated the positive family portrayals for one of the other characters. We don’t see those enough in fiction these days and it was most refreshing. I went and downloaded the third novella almost immediately and you can be expecting that review next week! This is a wonderful series by a wonderful writer filled with magic, morality, and sarcasm with a touch of romance. It’s the perfect weekend read for a fantasy lover and I hope you all give the series a shot!

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Friday Freebie #40 The Key (True Reign, #1) by Jennifer Anne Davis

I know I’ve featured this before, but the publisher just switched distributors, so we’re trying to get the rankings back up. Read my interview with the author here. (This series is on my Shelf of Awesome. Do read it!)

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Within these pages lie kingdoms with castles and princes who fall in love with fair maidens, but make no mistake−this is no fairytale.

His father’s kingdom is on the brink of upheaval and at the center of it all is an ordinary girl who could be the key to its undoing. When faced with the ultimate choice, will he choose the girl he’s falling in love with or the kingdom he has sworn to protect?

An ordinary girl with an extraordinary past. All she wants is to be free. What she doesn’t realize is that freedom comes with a price she can’t afford to pay. She’s forced to accept the proposal of a prince she despises, even though her heart belongs to someone else . . . his brother.

Seventeen-year-old Rema lives in a brutal kingdom where travel between regions is forbidden, people are starving, and looking at someone the wrong way can mean death. Nineteen-year-old Darmik is the king’s son and Commander of the King’s Army. He spends his days roving the island, doing his father’s bidding and trying to maintain control over the people.

When a chance encounter throws Rema and Darmik together, they share an instantaneous connection, but any sort of relationship between them is strictly forbidden. Darmik’s brother, the Crown Prince, notices Darmik’s interest in Rema and, in a calculated, political move, blackmails her. Faced with an impossible choice, Rema is forced to sacrifice her heart in order to save her family.

As Rema is taken to the palace with the Crown Prince, Darmik confronts the growing rumor that a legitimate blood heir to the throne exists and is trying to overthrow Darmik’s family. In Darmik’s quest to hunt down and kill the threat, he discovers that nothing is as it seems. Locked in the king’s castle, Rema finds herself a key player in a massive power struggle. When Darmik shows up, she’s not sure if she can trust him. The line between friends, enemies, and loyalty becomes blurred. As truths are unlocked, Rema understands that she just might be the key to finding the rightful heir and restoring peace to the kingdom… if she can manage to stay alive long enough.

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

Read my glowy review of The Key

Download The Key for free! (perma-free)

Friday Freebie #36 The Island (The Island #1) by Jen Minkman

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I walk toward the sea. The endless surface of the water extends to the horizon, whichever way I look.

Our world is small. We are on our own, and we only have ourselves to depend on. We rely on the Force deep within us, as taught to us by our forefathers.

If I were to walk westward from here, I would come across a barrier – the Wall. Behind it, there are Fools. At least, that’s what everyone says.

I have never seen one.

Leia lives on the Island, a world in which children leave their parents to take care of themselves when they are ten years old. Across this Island runs a wall that no one has ever crossed. The Fools living behind it are not amenable to reason – they believe in illusions. That’s what The Book says, the only thing left to the Eastern Islanders by their ancestors.

But when a strange man washes ashore and Leia meets a Fool face to face, her life will never be the same. Is what she and her friends believe about the Island really true?

Or is everyone in their world, in fact, a Fool?

Also available in German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Afrikaans!

 

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

Download The Island for free! (perma-free)

I have a riddle for you!

Hello, world, I have a riddle for you.

What’s permanently free on all venues and in Amazon’s Top Ten? FANGED PRINCESS, of course! Thanks to all you phenomenal folk who made it possible!

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I will not let my brother suffer the same loss…

Hadassah’s father, the Vampire King, punished her harshly for her choice to love a human. Now her brother, the only person in the world who still matters to her, has fallen for a human girl. Determined to keep the girl safe, the three of them flee from their home in New England and find themselves cornered with their father’s minions closing in. If they want to escape, their only hope may be to join forces with the mortal enemies of their kind…

Be ensnared in this dark tale of enduring love, revenge, and suspense from teenage author, Elisabeth Wheatley.

Find FREE for:

Kindle

Nook

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Review: The Shadow Prince (Mortal Enchantment, #0.5) by Stacey O’Neale @StaceyONeale

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This prequel novella is FREE and available on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble!

Every sacrifice has consequences.

Sixteen-year-old Rowan has spent most of his life living among the mortals—learning to control the element of fire, impatiently awaiting the day his vengeful mother, Queen Prisma, will abdicate her throne. When he finally returns to Avalon for his coronation, his mother insists he must first prove his loyalty to the court by completing a secret mission:

Kill Kalin, the half-human, half-elemental daughter of the air court king.

Willing to do anything to remove his mother from power, he agrees to sacrifice the halfling. He returns to the mortal world with his best friend, Marcus, determined to kill the princess. But as he devises a plan, he starts to question whether or not he’s capable of completing such a heinous task. And what price he will pay if he refuses?

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

5 out of 5 stars
I read the first 30% of this book and then Life (that annoying thing that’s always meddling in Living) happened. It was a few days before I could get my hands on a few minutes to read it, but I made time, meaning to just get to the halfway point. That endeavor ended at 1:04 in the morning when I finished.

I greatly enjoyed this novella, in case there was any doubt. The mythology and the world building were new and fresh and it didn’t take long for me to develop a deep fondness for Rowan and Marcus. (Poor Marcus! Author, please let him come back!) I thought of Rowan as a bit of an annoying teenage boy at the beginning, but by the 35% mark, I was pulling for him.

The relationship with his mother is about as twisted as a pretzel, but at the same time I related to it. It really does suck to love untrustworthy people, but there’s no much to be done for it.

This was a very enticing taste of the series and the author’s writing and I am very, very excited for Mortal Enchantment. I definitely recommend this novella and if you get the chance to read the novel, I’d certainly jump at that, too!

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