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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Guest Post by Lori J. Fitzgerald, author of The Dragon's Message

There and Back Again: Guest Post by Lori J. Fitzgerald, White Raven Writing,
Author of The Dragon’s Message


            Way back in college, the pattern of my life was shaped by words. I was a writer, creating my own worlds and characters and stories. I was an English Major, and my days were spent in the quiet, mostly deserted third floor of the library reading plastic-wrapped or cloth-bound old books and writing various academic papers. My friends and I talked endlessly, about books and teaching and music and life and our perceptions of the world. I also was studying to be a teacher, so I spent many hours in classrooms observing and then planning and teaching lessons under the tutelage of my old high school English teachers.
            And then I stopped writing.
            I don't remember ever deciding to stop, just as I don't remember deciding to begin when I was a child and I wrote my first unicorn poem, as little girls are wont to do.  I just was a writer.  And I carried that being in me through the ensuing years, filling binders with poems and stories, ideas and dreams, even sketches and maps of the lands of my mind.  I can only suppose that once I emerged from that college cocoon I focused more on the landscape of outside life rather than inward.  I started teaching, focusing on perhaps the more practical career of a steady income, but also getting fulfillment from the service to young people, the enrichment of their minds and selves and inspiring them to love and understand literature as I did.  And the more I focused on bettering the world through my students, the more I left the worlds that existed in my imagination.  And that seemed okay at that time. I was happy, and even happier to become a wife and then a stay-at-home mom involved in my children's school. 
            And then I turned 40. Yikes. I decided, after much thought and many instances of the muses trying to get my attention, that I had better start writing again, to come full circle and become myself fully again by re-entering the lands of my imagination that I had abandoned. Easier said than done with two young children, piles of laundry, meals to cook, and school fundraisers to tackle.
            The Dragon’s Message is the child of my mid-life crisis. It was written late at night, during the peaceful time when the children are finally asleep, and scattered here and there, while the meatloaf was cooking or the kids were watching a TV show. I could never seem to get a writing schedule down in the beginning, especially in the summer months when the kids were home. The novelette took around four months to write. But it was written, and the characters have quit harassing me and are happy to have a life of their own on the pages now.
            I’m still not great with a writing schedule. Something always seems to come up, an errand that needs to be run, a child home sick from school. But at least now words have been woven back into the pattern of my life, and I can point to my writing binders on the desk and say to my children, “Here be Mommy’s dragons.”




Please enjoy an excerpt from The Dragon’s Message:


When Rhiannon was small and had just learned to read, her mother brought her into the hall one day when her father was on campaign, and led her to the large table upon which a great map of their lands lay.  She instructed Rhiannon to read the words of the landmarks: castle, road, mountain, forest, village.  The young girl touched words inscribed over a place where trees met craggy peaks.  “What does that say, my love?” her mother prompted.

            “Here be dragons,” Rhiannon answered, glancing up at her mother.

            Her mother nodded, smiling.  She knelt down in front of Rhiannon so they were at the same height.  The lady’s hazel eyes sparkled as she whispered, “I have a secret to share.  But I can only share it with a little girl with red and gold hair,” she pulled playfully on Rhiannon’s braid,” who knows how to read.”  Rhiannon giggled.  “Are you a little girl such as this?” Rhiannon nodded eagerly, and her mother laughed.  She stood up and gestured at a tapestry on the wall.  “Come, child, the dragon guards our treasure.”

            Hand in hand they walked to the tapestry of the sleeping dragon.  “Your great-great grandmother wove this tapestry when she was an old woman.  It took her a long time to complete, with her hands gnarled so, like the twisted oak by the drawbridge.”  The dragon was curled up in front of a turret, with stone dolmens in a semi-circle behind it, interspersed with trees and a mountain peak in the background and bright blue sky above.  The dragon’s scales were crimson and woven through with glittering gold thread, and its curved horns and talons were gold.  As they paused in front of the large tapestry, Rhiannon looked closely at the eyes of the dragon; she thought perhaps she could see a slit of gold, as if the dragon were only pretending to be asleep. 

            Rhiannon’s mother stood on tiptoe and moved part of the tapestry to the side, revealing a slit in the stone wall.  With her free hand she reached in and drew out a large leather-bound tome.  She motioned her daughter to come sit with her on one of the benches that lined the walls.  “Look and listen well, my daughter,” she said, and ran her fingers along the smooth cover, “this book is our special treasure, and it contains many secrets within its pages.  I am going to teach you how to read them.”  She opened the book as Rhiannon snuggled closer to her, her mother’s loose red-gold hair falling over the girl’s shoulder and brushing the crinkly parchment pages of the book which she turned until she came to the picture of a girl.

            “The first secret is a story…”



~Blurb~

A dragon writes a cryptic message with its ember breath in the evening sky...

Lady Rhiannon watches from the turret wall with an ache in her blood. She's the only person who can decipher the message as the sole keeper of the Dragon Tome. When an old enemy threatens the castle, her father charges his knight with escorting her to a safe haven—the same knight Rhiannon had a crush on as a girl. But she must now convince him to change his plans, for she has her own sacred charge to fulfill...

So begins a journey to hidden ruins where magic slumbers in the stones and love lies in the heart, waiting to awaken. As Rhiannon and the knight face seemingly insurmountable odds, only the dragon knows if they can fulfill their destiny...


~About the Author~



Lori J. Fitzgerald lives in New York with her fellow English Major husband and their two little bookworms. Medieval literature is her passion, and she wishes she could spend more time traipsing around Renaissance Faires and shouting “Huzzah” at jousts. She was a middle school English teacher for many years and was best known for her dramatic readings of The Princess Bride. Lori is currently a Staff Writer for the website Once Upon A Fan, the popular fansite for ABC’s hit show Once Upon A Time. You can contact her by email at WhiteRaven829@gmail.com.

The Dragon’s Message, A Dragon Tome Novelette, is available on Kindle and Nook for $1.99







B&N Nook link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-dragons-message-lori-fitzgerald/1118974725?ean=2940149166763



Contact Links:

Blog: http://www.whiteravenwriting.blogspot.com/



Twitter @MedievalLit https://twitter.com/MedievalLit



Facebook Author Page: White Raven Writing  https://www.facebook.com/whiteravenwriting

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My Camera's Broken so here's some Doctor Who stuff

My camera is broken again, which may put a damper on future Wordless Wednesdays. I'm thinking about switching it up to Wan Wednesdays, where I just feel very pale, or Wistful Wednesdays, or maybe Writer Wednesdays, where I just keep checking my kindle sales to see if anyone has bought my book. . .oh wait, I do that every day.
(buy my books here!)

 But I found this  on Pinterest. Source


The classic Doctor ones are pretty cool though I still haven't had a chance to watch those episodes.




Wordless Wednesday Hop


Amanda’s Books and More

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Clarice's Book Nook: Spring Giveaway!! Win ebooks and a print copy!!

Check out the link below to enter an awesome giveaway!



Clarice's Book Nook: Spring Giveaway!! Win ebooks and a print copy!!: In honor of wonderful spring time coming, I am doing a giveaway with H.L.Burke and Caroline Swart !  There are a few reviews of their work...

Self-Publishing Sales: Sequels!

eBook sales over the last month
I don't post my sales to brag because I'm not delusional. My sales are pretty pathetic. However, this week I noticed a major upward trend which I can only credit to the release of my second book in The Dragon and the Scholar Saga. I've read a couple of times that sequels and series are where the money is in self-publishing, but the results, in my tiny little corner of the market, are pretty dramatic when looked at in line graph form. I've sold more copies, not just of book two, but also of book one, and every time someone has bought book one, I've noticed a sale of book two within twenty-four hours which I'm taking to mean that I have repeat customers.

This has  me more excited than ever to get the next two books out. I really wish I could release them right now, but to do so I'd be rushing an inferior product to market. They still need work, editing, beta reading, all sorts of stuff.

That said, if you are interested in dragon themed fantasy romances with a sense of humor and a decent amount of heart (yes, I'm talking up my own books. I'm trying to SALE THEM for goodness sakes.) check out the links below to find my books on Amazon.

Dragon's Curse (The Dragon and the Scholar) (Volume 1)



Saturday, April 26, 2014

Email List Incentive: Short Story





I've been trying to think of a way to encourage people to sign up for my email list so that I can inform them when I release a new book. In honor of this, I wrote a short story to give as a gift to anyone who signed up.

Disclosure: this is a short story, not a novel, or novella. It won't take very long to read. I placed it on Amazon because their formatting system was the easiest to use, but I don't expect most people to want to pay $.99 for a story that will take ten minutes to read (that's the minimum amount Amazon allows you to charge for an eBook). I put it up purely so that I could gift a Kindle version to any one who signed up for my email list.

The Baby and the Bacon





That said, if Kindle is not your preferred reading format, let me know, and I'll email you a pdf or word doc. (I will email you asking which format you prefer.).

This is not a spammy email thing, either. I plan to use it  only to announce new publications or events (if I ever get around to a brick and mortar book signing).

So sign up below by entering your email address and wait for a message for me asking what format you'd like your short story. And yes, that is my daughter on the cover. She likes bacon.













   
   




Friday, April 25, 2014

Dragon's Curse/Dragon's Debt Giveaway




There are two prizes for this giveaway, one of which is open to everyone and the other for US residents only, so feel free to enter if you are outside of the US, but know that you will receive the eBook but not the paperback. Overseas shipping is just too expensive.


So enter below to win copies of both the Dragon and the Scholar books. One winner will receive paperback editions and the runner up (or non-US winner) will receive eBooks.




and


Dragon's Debt (The Dragon and the Scholar)



a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Fan Moments


Tonight we went out to McGuire's an Irish Pub style restaurant with a lot of traditions, one of which is to allow guests to staple dollar bills with messages written on them to the walls. Most are just signed or have the date or "I love Joe" written on them, but there was one right over my head that said "I believe in Sherlock Holmes."


This made me pretty excited. I wanted to add my own "Fandom" dollar to the wall, but couldn't decide between "Frodo Lives" and "Bad Wolf". I ended up keeping my dollar. 

A bit later I was in the bathroom . . . before I continue, look at the image below, the shirt with the villains of Doctor Who and the TARDIS doing the Abbey Road walk. That's what I was wearing (and am still wearing as I type.). Well, when I was washing my hands in the bathroom there was a teenager in a Cyberman shirt. We ended up staring at each other's shirts then laughing. It was a nice moment. 


It got me thinking, I know I'm not a big force in popular culture, but I would love to have my own catch phrase for my novels. 

And come on, my dragon cover art would make an awesome t-shirt!


Fiery castle dragon and stony mountain dragon.

Yeah, who wouldn't want a Dragon's Curse or Dragon's Debt shirt?



Thursday, April 24, 2014

FIRST AMAZON REVIEW: DRAGON'S DEBT

I'm so EXCITED!!!

This is my happy dance.

Dragon's Debt has its first Amazon review! I'm so happy. I'm owning those five stars!



 As always, click the following link to purchase the book or ebook on Amazon.
Dragon's Debt (The Dragon and the Scholar)
or start in book one of the series here
Dragon's Curse (The Dragon and the Scholar) (Volume 1)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

IMPATIENT AUTHOR WANTS TO SELL HER BOOK NOW!!

IMPATIENT AUTHOR WANTS TO SELL HER BOOK NOW!!

. . . so I did. . .

I know, I know, I said the release date for Dragon's Debt would be May 9th, and I meant it. I really really did! BUT DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO SIT ON A FINISHED NOVEL!?!?! ONE THAT PEOPLE COULD READ!?!?!?!

It's really really really really hard.

So tonight I impulsively went and clicked all the approved buttons on Createspace and KDP and boom! The eBook can now be purchased through the link below (the approval process for the paperback can take a couple of days, but expect it to be up shortly.). 



Scholar Shannon Macaulay and the Dragon-Prince Ewan have been traveling together for a year when their blissful companionship is interrupted by a cryptic message from their friend Martin. 

"Come to Westshire. Edmond needs you." 

Drawn to his brother's aid, Ewan finds himself hunting an elusive monster: a winged beast kidnapping young women and stealing their memories. Its latest victim is the Princess Brighid of Westshire, the very girl Edmond has recently fallen for, to the disapproval of her temperamental father, King Riley, and stoic brother, Prince Ryan. 

Ewan is determined to rescue his brother's beloved, no matter what the cost. But when Ryan's eyes fall upon Shannon, the dragon realizes the cost might be greater than he is willing to pay.

Review at Mom Scribbles

Another review of Dragon's Curse is up today at the Mom Scribbles Blog. You can check it out  here. Please visit Angela's blog and leave a comment.

Dragon's Curse (The Dragon and the Scholar) (Volume 1)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Further Adventures of Toby the Trilby

The Further Adventures of Toby the Trilby (Volume 2)
(click above to view the book on Amazon)

The Further Adventures of Toby the Trilby

This book is the second in a Christian SciFi series. I would call it midgrade because it is a little too intense in places for truly young children, but the tone and subject matter are fitting for tweens as well as teens. 

In the first book (which you can purchase on Amazon here) Toby, a young boy created in a test tube with cat DNA spliced into his own, leaves his underground shelter to search for answers in a post apocalyptic world. On the way he questions whether he has a soul and discovers that  he has a Creator.

In book two, Toby is sent on a new journey, when a strange object falls from the sky and his Creator tells him to investigate. He finds strange and frightening new groups of people, answers to questions left unresolved in the last book, and an important lesson on forgiveness.

While both books in this series are good, this book is slightly less allegorical and more direct in its story. While Toby's first quest was philosophical (a search for meaning), in book two he has a clear goal (find the falling object). While the lessons are still there, this concrete purpose does lead to a quicker, tighter pace which will definitely hold young people's attention. 

This is a series that could grow up with the reader. There are some scenes of violence (not graphic, but perhaps too intense for the youngest of readers)  similarly to the first book, but overall it is a good clean read with an important message.   







Friday, April 18, 2014

Electively Paige: Dragon's Curse Review


Another blog review is up! This one is from Paige at Electively Paige (Please check out her blog and leave a comment here.)






As always you can purchase Dragon's Curse on Amazon through the link below.
Dragon's Curse (The Dragon and the Scholar) (Volume 1)










Thursday, April 17, 2014

Another Free eBook Day!

Dragon's Curse (The Dragon and the Scholar) (Volume 1)

In anticipation of the release of Dragon's Debt, sequel to  Dragon's Curse, I am using some of my  KDP free days to offer my fans/readers/new readers a chance to read the first book before book number two comes out. Click the link above to grab your free copy. Promotion goes until 4/19/2014. 

Willamette Valley Wonder Woman



Amanda’s Books and More

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Dragon's Debt, New Character: Brighid

Ah Brighid, among my beta readers and crit partners, the character with the most mixed reactions is definitely Princess Brighid of Westshire.

Now when writing Brighid, the curly haired, fiery tempered, slightly spoiled love interest for Edmond of Regone, I really wanted not to go to Merida. Not because Merida isn't a great Disney princess but because I'm trying to be original (the the best of my ability. I do shamelessly steal from Doctor Who on occasion.).

thanks for the image Disney
In all fairness, Brighid is more of a girly girl. She's a bit eager to wed. She doesn't have a bow, and her hair is "auburn" not orange.

She is also a spoiled teen with a shouting match relationship with her father. She gets melodramatic and while some readers admire her spirit, others just want to  slap her.

I'm curious to see where most of my reviewers fall. She's not a perfect character, by any means, but that's okay. I actually kind of like it when people dislike her. It makes her out to be real. Nobody likes everybody and if all my characters were universally likable, well, it wouldn't be right. 

Wordless Wednesday, more art

Me and my girls
Coryn's fancy dragon
little sister likes to draw too



Wordless Wednesday Hop


Amanda’s Books and More

The Jenny Evolution