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Monday, September 29, 2014

new blog lovin claim post

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

So apparently changing my blog URL messed up Bloglovin so now I'm not sure I actually have any subscribers through that method. If you have been and would like to again follow me through bloglovin, please click on the link above.

Hopefully you're following me on some other outlet and will notice this.

Please and thank you

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Clarice's Book Nook: Dragon's Bride: The Dragon and the Scholar book 4 ...

There's a new review up of Dragon's Bride today. Check it out at Clarice's Book Nook

Clarice's Book Nook: Dragon's Bride: The Dragon and the Scholar book 4 ...:     I n the last installment of the series, Ewan, the Dragon Prince, leaves his new bride, Shannon, in Regone to go in search of answers ...

Release Date, Pre-Orders and ARCS!

Now that Dragon's Bride is available (and thank you  to everyone who has purchased it in the last week. I  hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it), I am ready  to announce the release date for my next boo Beggar Magic. My  original plan was to release it in early January, but everything has been going so well on the editing front that I upped the date.

Beggar Magic will now be available December 9th, 2014!

You can pre-order the book now (through the link above), but if you are really eager to read it and also like to write reviews (on Amazon, Goodreads, a Blog or all of the above), keep reading. You might be able to score a free advanced copy.

Yes, for this book, I'm doing ARCs. ARC stands for "advanced reviewer copies." They will not be finished proofs. I will be releasing them before they go through proofreading (which is the last step  before publishing), but they will be finished as far as story and characters go . . .they just might have a few typos. The idea is that ARCs are unfinished (traditionally unbound, but these will be either ebooks or printed through createspace, so that doesn't apply) copies, released early so that readers and reviewers can have time to read them before release date. That way when the book does go live, it will have some waiting reviews and people willing to  vouch for the story.

If you are interested in receiving an ARC, please contact me (hlgstrider@gmail.com). You do not need to have a blog. An Amazon review is probably more valuable to me than a blog review, so if you are willing to review on Amazon, I'll send you  a copy. If you dislike the book, you are not required to finish a review, nor are you required to leave a positive review (though if you have mostly negative things to say, I would be curious why it didn't resonate with you.).

I look forward to hearing from you. 

linked here

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Anaconda Sentences

To start this out, this is a sentence from Dragon's Curse:

He wasn’t certain exactly what but something to let her know he was grateful for the torment she had endured for him and by him; he couldn’t imagine going on without her in his life; and looking at her—her ridiculous, upturned nose, her befuddling brown eyes, and her hair he knew had to be silken soft if he could find an excuse to touch it—looking at her over the last month or so had become his favorite guilty pleasure.

In case you are too tired to count, that sentence has (depending on how  you  count words) 79 words. In ONE sentence. Just so you know, I am guilty of the writing crime I'm about to condemn. I messed with that sentence for a long while before finally giving up and putting it in the book in its rambling state. I kept it mainly because it fit with the character's state of mind in that scene, a little confused and breathless, so yeah, there are exceptions to rules. Sometimes a long sentence is a good sentence (though, since I am the writer of that sentence, I wouldn't be the best judge as to whether it is good or not). 

I think growing up, you start to associate short sentences with childish writing and long, rambling sentences with lots of extra punctuation with grown-up writing. This is why a lot of writers give in to long, rambling sentences with multiple ideas strung together. It feels "smart" to write complex sentences . . . or if you're like me, it may be how you naturally think and talk, in an endless loop of one thing leading to another until you're like, "How did I end up with a cup of coffee in the kitchen? I came downstairs to vacuum the living room."

However, for balance what a piece really needs is a good mix of sentence lengths.  (cue infograph by Gary Provost you can see below)

So  here are a few ideas to help you tame the wild anaconda sentences.
  • Keep ideas that you  want to have big impact in short, punchy sentences. Then expand on those ideas in longer sentences after that. He broke her heart. All the lies, broken promises, and forgotten birthdays, she could've put up with, but when he told her he didn't like Star Wars, she just couldn't be with him any more. 
  • Unless ideas are very interconnected, try to keep to one idea per sentence. Don't strain your conjunctions trying to shove unrelated ideas together. 
  • One place you really want to use shorter  sentences is probably  action sequences. Action sequences are about doing. They should  have a slightly breathless, rapid feel to them. In slower segments, you can get away with longer sentences.
  • Variety is key. It's okay to have a long sentence or even multiple longer sentences, but when every sentence is a long one, they start to lose the reader.
  • Make sure it is easy to pinpoint the subject of the sentence the whole way through. If at the end of the sentence, you've started to forget what the beginning of the sentence was about, it's probably too long.

linked here and here

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Amanda's Books and More: Dragon's Rival

A new review is up for Dragon's Rival!

Amanda's Books and More: Dragon's Rival: Dragon's Rival by H.L. Burke Book Three in The Dragon and the Scholar About the Book Having abandoned his friends and fami...

Check out all my books on Amazon here.

And now, a Dragon's Bride Giveaway!!! CLOSED

Tomorrow is the big day! Dragon's Bride is almost here!

If you'd like to try and win a paper back version of Dragon's Bride, enter through the rafflecopter below.

Also, remember that Dragon's Bride is the FOURTH book in this series. I've linked to the previous  books on Amazon, because I'm helpful like that.

Give away is now closed and winners have been contacted by email. Thanks for participating.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Saying Good-Bye to Dragons

The final book  in The Dragon and the Scholar Saga: Dragon's Bride will be released Sept. 19th and is currently available for pre-order as an Amazon ebook. 

Though I've had the basic idea for Dragon's Curse and its sequels since high school, I didn't actually start writing it until NaNoWriMo 2012. That is almost two years ago. I wrote Dragon's Debt while my husband was at career course in North Caroline for three months at the beginning of 2013 and Dragon's Rival over that summer. Dragon's Bride was my 2013 NaNoWriMo book, and I won NaNoWriMo in that I finished 50k words in November, but the book stretched on to about 74k and I didn't actually type out "The End" until almost January of this year.

With the "writing" part done, I still had re-writing, and editing, and tweaking, and polishing, and I only recently wrapped all that up.
I've written guest posts about these stories and even from the point of view of the characters.

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

Anyway, to sum up, I've been living with these characters every day of my life for almost two years now in some capacity. They get to be pretty real after all that time and effort. Part of me isn't completely ready to let them go. I know what some of their kids do, for instance, and might write future stories about their continuing adventures. I know some stories about Ewan during his pre-Dragon's Curse days, about Martin's early years in the Academy, even about Ryan's unhappy childhood and seemingly cursed romantic life. I have material for several more novels or at least novellas and short stories.

Though right now I'm moving my focus off this world, somehow I doubt I've said good-bye to it completely.

After all, everything is cooler with dragons.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Beggar Magic: Cover Reveal!

I already showed this cover on my Facebook page. I just got really excited about  it, but here it is for those who aren't on Facebook. (if you are on Facebook but just haven't followed me yet, you can find me here.)

I'm not planning on releasing Beggar Magic for several months  now. I still have a significant amount of editing to do and I need to figure out a blurb (I hate writing blurbs. It's like telling the story in a two paragraphs without actually giving any of the secrets away . . . really hard).

But here is the cover. What do you  think?

linked here and here and here and here

Monday, September 15, 2014

Free Days: My First Novel

I don't promote my first book very much any more. I feel it was the book that taught me the ropes, so to speak, of self-publishing, but I know it could use a bit of an overhaul in terms of formatting and editing. However, I still love the story and the characters.

Today, The Ordinary Knight and the  Invisible Princess is free as an ebook. Click the link below to download it.

The free promotion goes from September 15th through September 19th.

Also, remember that Dragon's Bride will be premiering September 19th. You can pre-order your ebook copy now through the link below (The paperback version will be available for order on release day on Amazon or you can pre-order through the CreateSpace store. HERE).

Dragon's Bride (The Dragon and the Scholar Book 4)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Dragon's Rival, Bargain Days

Dragon's Bride is almost here. In honor of the September 19th release date (you can preorder the electronic version through the link below) of the fourth book in the series, I'm putting book three up for its first Kindle Countdown Deal! Starting September 15th, Dragon's Rival will be available for just 99 cents! If you haven't read it yet, pick up a copy so you can be ready when Dragon's Bride arrives!

Dragon's Bride (The Dragon and the Scholar Book 4)

Dragon's Rival (The Dragon and the Scholar Book 3)

(Links will redirect you to  Amazon.com)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Dragon's Bride: New Character, Acacia


Dragon's Bride can be pre-ordered through the link below:

What's with the tree? Well, that is an Acacia tree.

In the back of the office, a door led to a private sitting room. He opened this and let in a young woman with wiry brown hair, cut just below her ears, thin dark brows, and clear blue eyes. Small of frame, her black, diviner’s robes hung loosely about her body. 

Acacia is young and talented but a bit abrasive. She takes her name from a tough but thorny desert tree because she's not afraid to be unpleasant if the end result is survival.

Sometimes it is hard to tell if she doesn't realize how she is presenting herself to others or if she just doesn't care. Most of the time it is a mix of both, though.
Having escaped a bad  home life to join the Academy at a very young age, Acacia is one of the most talented diviners, able to scry and prophesy.
These skills make her a valuable asset for Prince Ryan in the search for his young son. 

Acacia speaks her mind and makes her own choices but can be swift to leap to judgments about people, especially men.

Amanda's Books and More: Dragon's Debt by H.L. Burke

A new review of Dragon's Debt is up on Amanda's Books and More. Check out the review below:

Amanda's Books and More: Dragon's Debt by H.L. Burke: Dragon's Debt by H.L. Burke Book Two in The Dragon and the Scholar Shannon and the Dragon-Prince Ewan have been traveling to...

You can purchase Dragon's Debt through this link:

Dragon's Bride (The Dragon and the Scholar Book 4)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dragon's Bride: New Character, Rega

Dragon's Bride will be officially launched Sept. 19th. You  can pre-order the ebook through the link below.
Dragon's Bride (The Dragon and the Scholar Book 4)

If you'd like to start the series from book one, click here to purchase Dragon's Curse
Dragon's Curse (The Dragon and the Scholar Book 1)

So for this post, I want to talk about Rega, my Fey Warder captain and the daughter of Fey Queen Idriss.

I just realized that all my new (major)  characters are female. I mean, I have some messengers and minor male characters, but the ones I added in for Dragon's Bride and actually gave a significant role to or even lines, all female. Hmm  . . .
Rega is half-Fey, half-human, the product of one of her mother's many short lived romances. In fact, her father was banished in the form of a stag before she was even born. Because of her human blood, Rega has never fit in at her mother's court and tends to  spend most of her time out  of doors. Her tracking and hunting skills lead to her becoming a skilled Warder, the guardians of the Fey kingdom, and eventual captain, patrolling the borders of her mother's lands and capturing trespassers.

When she encounters Martin and Ewan, she begins to wonder if there is more to life that what she has experienced under her mother's watchful eye.


Monday, September 8, 2014

poetree: Dragon's Bride (The Dragon and the Scholar #4)

Though Dragon's Bride hasn't been released yet, a beta reader gave me an advanced review. You can check it out through the link below:

poetree: Dragon's Bride (The Dragon and the Scholar #4): by H. L. Burke from Goodreads Dragon Prince Ewan has promised his beloved, Shannon, that he will become a man again or die in the atte...

To pre-order Dragon's Bride click the link below
Dragon's Bride (The Dragon and the Scholar Book 4)

To start at the beginning of the series with Dragon's Curse click this link

linked here and here and here

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Dragon's Bride: New Character, Idriss

Here's another sneak peek into the world of Dragon's Bride, available for pre-order NOW (click the  link. Click it! CLICK IT NOW!!!!)
Dragon's Bride (The Dragon and the Scholar Book 4)

There are a handful of wonderful new characters in Dragon's Bride. Of course, a lot of our old friends (and enemies, sorry, Riley still is not dead. You'll have to read the book to see if I do anything about that.) are along for the ride: Ewan, Shannon, Martin, Ryan, etc., but there are some new faces, some a bit fantastical.

The first is the character who really makes me wish I could draw because she deserves a good picture and nothing I find on the web is quite right.

Her name is Idriss, and she is a capricious Fey queen, kind of a spoiled Persian cat but with magic powers . . . not saying Persian cats can't have magic powers, but to  my knowledge, it is a rare trait for them and they  tend to  keep it quiet. 

So, since no pictures are going to be exact, I'm actually going to share an excerpt:

A silver throne appeared, and upon it sat Idriss. She was a good head taller than the tallest soldier in Rega’s command. Her cat-like eyes glowed a milky green, and her skin was paper pale. Her purple hair was braided around a conical, silver wire crown, adding a good foot to her already impressive height. She had a youthful, ageless face, flawless in feature, ancient in expression.
Idriss’s mouth quirked in a way that spoke more to jadedness than wisdom. To add to her exotic beauty, thick green paint spread like butterfly wings over both her eyes, and a small red heart had been carefully drawn in the center of her lips. She wore a gown of periwinkle blue so sheer that it would’ve been see-through if not for bejeweled flowers sewn over her breasts and in a band just below her waist.

Now, if you read this post you may know that I almost changed Idriss's name after realizing it was used in an episode of Doctor Who. However, after giving it some thought, I realized that name has been around since long before Doctor Who  and they don't own it. Plus I really liked it. 

So it stayed.

As I  said there is nothing available that looks exactly like Idriss but here are some images I feel capture one or more aspects of  her. 



Idriss has a preference for human lovers but doesn't prefer to keep  them long. When she tires of one, she transforms  him into an animal and sets him lose in the forest or keeps him as a pet. This habit stems from her first love, as a young Fey. When Idriss's father found she was cavorting with a human knight, he cast a spell of premature aging on the man, to  show his daughter why one shouldn't choose mortals. After this, Idriss continued to have a preference for mortals, but would always transform them before they could begin to age, unwilling to watch another lover grow old. As years passed this became less  of a mercy and more of a habit. Her considerable magic and beauty ensured a supply of willing suitors, even as rumors of her activities spread.

Linked here

Friday, September 5, 2014

Dragon's Bride: Location, location, location

For the last book in my Dragon and the Scholar Saga, Dragon's Bride (Now available for preorder on Amazon.com, click the link below.)
Dragon's Bride (The Dragon and the Scholar Book 4)
. . .where was I?
Oh yes!
For Dragon's Bride, I wanted to pull out all the stops, play some more with the lore, the characters, and the location. 
I did a lot more image searches, finding inspiration (I keep a pinboard with my favorite finds here). 

In this post I wanted to share some of my favorite location images and some hints about how they play into the story.

I didn't actually need to research this one because I've actually been there, but for my dragon queen's throne, I wanted a magnificent, imposing lair. Something with room for lots of dragons. I  went with Mt. St. Helens. Not literally. My dragon's lair is not in Washington state, but it is in a horseshoe shaped crater in a dormant volcano next to a large blue lake. 

We spend a lot of time out of doors in this book. Sometimes in a snowy wood.
Or a rock quarry dripping with ice.
Fairy forests.
And abandoned, possibly haunted, farms where evil kings are hiding kidnapped children.
My most fantastical location is a magic river I found in this pin and decided to use for my story, even though my story wasn't based on a tropical island, but hey! It's magic. I can put it wherever I want.

linked here and here and here and here

Tuesday, September 2, 2014