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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Reasons to Read Dragon's Curse

I was goofing off while trying to figure out how to promote my new book, and this is what I came up with:

Five reasons to read Dragon's Curse!

Yeah, I don't exactly have a degree in marketing.



Willamette Valley Wonder Woman

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Dragons

These are all images I shared during my Dragon's Curse virtual launch party last night. The party is over but the book is available right now on Amazon.






Wordless Wednesday Hop

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Also linked at Darling Dame
Wordless Wednesday

Monday, January 27, 2014

Author Anguish: The Waiting Game

Silence is definitely not golden
My morning routine? Well, before I even brush my teeth I rush to my laptop, pull up KDP, check for new eBook sales, the proceed to CreateSpace to see if I sold a hard copy or (God willing) two, bounce over to Amazon, see if I've been reviewed lately, and maybe pop in on Goodreads for good measure.

90% of the time, when I pull up any of those sites, nothing has changed  from the last time I visited, but the 10% where there is a new review or sale keeps me going back again and again and again, obsessively.

I try not to. It wastes a lot of my time. Still, the waiting game, for those first few reviews or sales, really seems to drag on forever. It hasn't gotten any better now that  I have two books to check on.

I'm not sure I'll ever be able to stop hovering over my books like a mother hen. The only two possible scenarios are that no one ever reads or buys either of my books ever and eventually I give up or (in my wildest dreams) that I gain a level of success where I don't have time to keep up with the reviews and sales.
The Ordinary Knight and The Invisible Princess: A Tale in Two Parts


Oh well, time to concentrate on book number three!


Reading List: Cozy Reading Spot

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Dragon's Curse is here!

Dragon's Curse




Well, the time has finally come! Dragon's Curse is available in paperback and eBook!

Buy it here:

I'm already hard at work on editing and polishing Dragon's Debt the sequel to Dragon's Curse. My original plan was to have it released in July, but I have been getting very positive feedback about the piece and am now daring to hope for a publishing date as early as March. 

There is still time to RSVP for my launch party. 



30 Days of Dragons, Day 30-Free eBook!!!

This post is part of my 30 Days of Dragons series in anticipation of the launch of my novel Dragon's Curse.
Yes, yes, I know, officially my publishing date is tomorrow, but in honor of the last day of 30 Days of Dragons, I'm doing something special.

I sneaked Dragon's Curse onto Amazon.com as a kindle eBook and put it up today for FREE! Yes, today you can get a slightly advanced kindle copy of Dragon's Curse for absolutely nothing. If you don't have a kindle you can download Amazon's free app to read kindle files on a smart phone or computer. Just click on the link below to get started.

Dragon's Curse (The Dragon and the Scholar)


If you do take advantage of this, I would be so happy if you took the time to review it afterwards. The paperback will be up on Amazon sometime tomorrow for all of you who prefer are the feel of a book in your hands or have some money to spare. 

So grab your free eBook and enjoy!

Edit for more info: the paperback will be available tomorrow if you are old fashioned like me or just want something you can hold.
I do not receive money for the books given away, but the hope is that those who grab a free copy will review my book and so it will start off its time available for sales with multiple reviews in order to lure readers in. A lot of readers aren't willing to invest in a book from a new writer without seeing someone else recommend it first. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

30 Days of Dragons, Day 29-Some Excitement

This post is part of my 30 Days of Dragons series in anticipation of the launch of my novel Dragon's Curse.

Can you believe how close we are to release date? First off, I want to say that tomorrow I have something extra special planned, so please stay tuned both here and on my Facebook page.

Secondly, there are few things that compare to opening a box and seeing your book in print.  Even the proofs are an experience, but I love it when I get to the stage where I can order a bunch of my books and have them on hand to give away.


I generally take a few selfies with them.

Because they're MY books.

And then I get excited and go Cosplay for awhile.

Doesn't everyone?



Friday, January 24, 2014

30 Days of Dragons, Day 28-Future Projects

This post is part of my 30 Days of Dragons Series leading up to the release of my novel Dragon's Curse.

According to an article I read, most self-published authors do not see any real sort of income from their work until they have at least three books available. I currently have 1 1/2 books (Dragon's Curse is almost here, after all). However, as I have discussed in my "goals" post I have other projects in the bullpen in various stages of completion.

My original goal was to self-publish one book a year, but with my experience with Dragon's Curse I'm most likely going to increase that to two or perhaps even three books.

So for this post I'm going to give you a preview of the books I plan to make.

Dragon's Curse is the first in a four part series. I have written all four of these books, but I'm still in the rewriting process, currently focusing on book two. So my next three releases will all be in The Dragon and the Scholar series. Ideally one every four to six months. In order they will be (and I'm not giving synopses because to do so would risk spoiling events in the first book):
Dragon's Debt
Dragon's Rival
Dragon's Bride.

I have been very busy of late preparing these four books, and I  haven't been concentrating on writing new projects, but I plan to  change that.

One thing about being a writer is that I often have multiple endings and versions of any given story. Sometimes these various incarnations are different enough to make a completely new tale, but I want to be very careful not to copy myself too closely. Because  of this, selecting one piece for publication sometimes means there are three other pieces I'm putting aside permanently because they are too similar to the published piece and while I don't mind exploring the same theme or world, I don't want to be accused of being a one-trick writer.

So not all of these will see the light of day and most will be transformed a good deal as they each fight for my full attention.

Also, these are all working titles, nothing set in stone.

The Gods of Caed
Plot: The Pharaoh of Caed has been waging war on two fronts, using the captives as a slave army so he can build his great monuments and cement his own immortality. His son and heir, Tarvin, knows deep in his heart that he they are men not gods, a fact that becomes particularly clear when the prince falls in love with a Cho slave girl whose stubborn monotheistic beliefs mock the traditional Caedic gods. However, when three powerful beings appear, claiming to be said gods and demanding judgment upon the Pharaoh, Tarvin is torn between being with the woman he loves and saving the life of his father.

Lady Bea's Quest
Young Beatrice has always been unwanted. The orphaned ward of distant cousins, she grew up in the shadow of their three, spoiled children, wishing only to disappear to avoid their torment. When one day her wish comes true and Beatrice finds herself able to become invisible at will, her new abilities confuse and frighten her one friend, the palace teacher, called simply Tutor. Before she can become accustomed to her own powers, a mysterious old woman arrives at the manor with startling news: Beatrice's father is still alive and needs to be rescued from magical forces. Accompanying this stranger with Tutor at her side, Beatrice must learn to embrace her magical abilities and find where she truly belongs.

Sins of the Father
Caed Parker has struggled his entire life to distance himself from his father's reputation, for everyone in Silvana knows the story of how Edric Parker betrayed his fellow soldiers and cost their kingdom a chance at peace by stealing the very tribute he was supposed to guard. Just when Caed dares to hope he has freed himself of the stigma of his last name, Edric Parker escapes from prison. Suspicion swiftly falls upon his son, and in order to prove himself one last time, Caed enlists the aid of his young cousin, Mycah, and the quirky, half-fairy magician Tibine Lightlock, to bring Edric to justice once and for all.
(I'm sure you've noticed the name of my hero in this book is the same as the name of my country in book one. I'll eventually have to choose where this name belongs).

Exile
(A title I may have stolen from one of my all time favorite computer games)
Prince Ferren's comfortable life is ripped out from under him when his own father accuses him of high treason. Due to a superstition forbidden the execution of royal blood, Ferren's life is spared, but he is sentenced to a fate worse than death as a quarry slave in the southern reaches of his father's kingdom. However, a scrape with death and the pity of a peasant maid diverts his destiny.
Now an anonymous peasant Prince Ferren becomes Tom Longstep,  a man with nothing to his name but the loyalty of Twif,  the woman who saved his life.  Determined to  repay her and protect his new home, Ferren/Tom becomes the traitor his father had determined him to be as he leads the Woodsfolk in rebellion against the king.

The Smith of Endell
Jonas knows not where he came from or why his face is scarred so horribly for when asked his adopted father, the blacksmith Rolf, simply replied, "Fire." Living in a darkened kingdom, scorned by his peers for his deformities, Jonas grows up grim and solitary. However, when strange, hooded men seek him out, Ethelle, the Smith's wife panics and orders the boy to flee. Leaving the shadowy clutches of Endell castle for the first time, young Jonas is faced with hope and despair as he becomes aware of the two sides vying for control of the Kingdom of Endell and Jonas's very soul.
(This piece is the furthest along but also perhaps the most problematic.  Several years ago I wrote over a hundred pages of it before it got swallowed up by a plot hole and I haven't been able to look at it again since, but someday I am determined to bring it back to life.)

I have a few other ideas fighting for dominance right now. They are also the  most distinct works. The Smith of Endell is the closest I've come to "epic" fantasy. The Gods of Caed has a decidedly Egyptian feel and delves more into spirituality (though Smith is also a spiritual work once it delves into the "epic struggle of good and evil.). Lady Bea is very much a fairy tale and Sins of the Father honestly was somewhat inspired by me messing around with a World of Warcraft fanfic and has some of that "grouping for a quest" feel. Base on these descriptions, which of these stories interests you the most? Which would you be most likely to read?



Thursday, January 23, 2014

30 Days of Dragons, day 27-Winner Annoucements

This post is part of my 30 Days of Dragons Series leading up to the release of my novel Dragon's Curse.

This little guy is waiting in his envelop to find out where he is going. . .

This is for the Rafflecopter giveaway of the $10 Amazon e-certificate, the paperback copy of Dragon's Curse, and the little red dragon.

CONGRATULATIONS: Cait D.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

30 Days of Dragons, Day 26-Prize Reminders

This post is part of my 30 Days of Dragons Series leading up to the release of my novel Dragon's Curse.

I'm taking this moment to remind everyone about the various giveaways I have going or will have going  leading up to the release of Dragon's Curse. 

There will be multiple prizes given away during my virtual launch party on the 27th. You can sign up here to receive notifications and be eligible to enter.


There is also an active giveaway on Goodreads where I am giving away ten copies (US only, sorry), and my Rafflecopter Giveaway where I am giving away one copy, plus a toy dragon, plus $10 Amazon certificate.  (Enter below. This giveaway is open worldwide. I'm willing to send one copy overseas. I just couldn't afford more than that so I chose to make the Goodreads one domestic only so that I didn't up paying $100 on shipping in the off chance that all my winners were outside the US.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Also, for those of you who may have  picked up a free copy during my Kindle promotion, please consider writing a review of my first book

here on Goodreads
or
here on Amazon.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Writer Dreams

The title of this post is literal. I am not talking about my goals to self-publish at least one book a year or my fantasies of one of my books becoming a best seller and allowing me to hire a maid. I'm talking dreams, in bed, at night, while unconscious.

Last night I literally had a dream where I had an uptake in sales in a few new reviews on Amazon. Yeah, I woke up thinking, "Huh, maybe I've been putting too much of myself into this." 

Though in all fairness, I also frequently have dreams about the last television show I watched or computer game I played before bed. My favorite was dreaming I was an ant in SimAnt.

I recently used two of my free days and gave away over 300 copies of The Ordinary Knight and The Invisible Princess: A Tale in Two Parts
I'm waiting to see a review out of it. I'm still at five which is where I have been for awhile. However, I have seen a handful of sales since I  did the promotion which I want to  think is because someone recommended the book to a friend after getting it for free. 

no new reviews yet


If only 5% of people who got my book free would review it that would be great




30 Days of Dragons, Day 25-Things That Help Me Write

This post is part of my 30 Days of Dragons Series leading up to the release of my novel Dragon's Curse.

There are a lot of things that keep me going when I am writing. From things like drinks and snacks to sounds and music to just having an hour where the girls are occupied.

I thought for this entry I would list a few of my favorite writing things.

For starters there are soundscapes. For whatever reason, I cannot write in complete silence but at the same time things like television shows often distract me. The obvious answer is music, but I don't listen to music very often. I did find some awesome epic instrumental tracks, but I prefer nature sounds or background noise tracks.

I have a playlist of my favorites on youtube here.

If I am writing something I felt would have a particular sound to it, like a scene that takes place in the woods with crickets or by a campfire, sometimes I will search out videos with those exact sounds and listen as I go.

Now, while I'm a big coffee drinker, when writing in the evening (which is when I generally have the most kid free time), I find it is a little too caffeinated because eventually I do want to sleep. Tea, however, while it has a smidgen of caffeine, does not usually impede my  sleep abilities.

My favorites are both from Stash Tea.
I like their Christmas Morning black tea and Licorice Spice herbal tea.

I also don't mind a glass of red wine now and then, especially if I find myself over thinking. A big part of writing is just doing it, even if what you are writing doesn't feel particularly inspired after all.

I'm not endorsing drunkenness but a little wine to mellow oneself out never hurt the writing process.

Another thing I like to do is to look up pictures of landscapes or buildings to give myself a more concrete picture of what I'm trying to describe. I have a lot of these images pinned to my "Writing, Writing, Writing" pinboard.

Even writing fantasy you can draw from your own experience, be it in taking a walk through a quiet snowy woods or exploring a swampy  patch of countryside.

Of course, sometimes even with all that help the words don't come.

A trick is to distance yourself, go out for a walk or read something, give your mind a chance to rest. Or if your problem is with the story, have a side project to write on. My personal side project has been my "Choose your own adventure" story (and this blog). I will probably never finish it, but some times when my novel isn't working out I'll go add another chapter just to play around in a different world for awhile.


Willamette Valley Wonder Woman

linked at writer's blog hop

Monday, January 20, 2014

30 Days of Dragons, day 24-Character Profile Roderick

This post is part of my 30 Days of Dragons Series leading up to the release of my novel Dragon's Curse.
Sir Roderick's family had served the Regonian royal family for several generations in relative obscurity when Prince Edmond's war upon dragon-kind gave the young knight his chance. One of many knights who volunteered to accompany Edmond, Roderick's performance on the dragon hunt could be characterized as sufficient. He manage to survive unscathed the slaughter that cost many of his companions their lives and Edmond his strength. 

The poor luck of his king was a godsend for Roderick. Now one of the few battle hardened knights in the kingdom of Regone, Roderick rested upon his laurels. Unchallenged by the less experienced competition, he grew cocky and complacent, confident in his own supremacy over other folk at court.

Roderick sees life as a tournament he is undoubtedly winning while everyone around him cheers him on.  

Sunday, January 19, 2014

30 Days of Dragons-Day 23, Character Profile-Adonna

This post is part of my 30 Days of Dragons Series leading up to the release of my novel Dragon's Curse.



Lady Adonna is a distant cousin of Edmond of Regone. Raised abroad, her mother returned her to the Regonian court after the death of Adonna's father, a foreign nobleman, when Adonna was in her early teens. Eventually orphaned and made a ward of the king,  Adonna often served as a hostess at official dinners, especially after the death of King Ernest's wife. 

Though Adonna obviously had ambitions towards marrying the crown-prince Ewan, she was triply foiled, first by his disinterest, then by the king's decision to betroth his son to the princess of Grassel, a neighboring kingdom, and finally by Ewan's death at the hands of a dragon. 

When Ernest died and the injured Edmond took the throne, Adonna loyally stayed at the young king's side through his difficult healing process. 

Adonna is reserved, clever, and ambitious, prone to manipulating people to her own ends. She sees life as a jewelry box filled with amusing trinkets. 






Saturday, January 18, 2014

TARDIS Fake Pinata

I've gone the "make the pinata route" a couple of times and what I found out was that little kids have a really hard time breaking a real pinata. Yes, it is doable (messy but doable) but every time I've made a pinata for Coryn's party the traditional paper-machete way the kids have been unable to kill it and I've ended up making a hole and shaking the loot out.

That's why, when I decided to make a TARDIS pinata for Coryn's Doctor Who themed party, I went with a less messy, less traditional model.

First I took a cardboard box and cut off one side (I also cut a notch in the top so I could put the candy in later).

I then measured some paper so to make sure the drawing would fit and drew the outline of the TARDIS windows and the lettering.

Then Coryn and  I colored the paper and wrapped the box as if I were wrapping a present.

The idea is the kids will be able to break through the paper only side in a few hits, scattering candy with less effort. To give the box a chance we may use a plastic bat rather than a wooden stick or paddle.



The Chicken Chick


Be A Crafter xD