Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Cover Reveal - Song of Leira

 So, there's a goodreads fangroup that's been sitting in my invite list since the first book released. The Songkeeper Chronicles by Gillian Bronte Adams. See, I want to join, but don't feel like I should until I've read the books. Problem is, the Kindle editions are a smudge above what I can afford.

I mentioned that I hadn't read them yet - and desperately want to - in a different fangroup, and Deborah O'Carroll offered to lend me her copies of the books when we met up in the Author Meet-up last month (because she one of the girls I was meeting.) All I'd have to do is mail it back to her when I finish them.

I agreed, and eagerly cracked into Orphan's Song, the first book. To be confronted by the bellow. On the right is the opening of Orphan's Song, while on the left is the opening of Dragon Song, which I wrote about a year ago. (I need to finish DS, but ... Worth took priority. It's next in my Rizkaland spin-offs, though.) Feel free to click on these images to get them larger.


This aside, I've been quite enjoying the book, and it is very much not Dragon Song. Their openings are just eerily similar. (I'm now debating changing DS's ... but that was already an opening change and I like how it is right now ... if I can get past this speedbump that I hit.)

I'm about a third of the way through, now, and am quite intrigued. I'll join the fan group as soon as I finish, before I plunge into the second book.

I'm quite sure that the group is currently exploding. See, today's quite an important occasion.

See, the thrid book's cover is FINALLY being revealed. I know, I know, it feels like forever, and I only just got my hands on the books.

Wanna see the cover? (Hah, yep, I'm currently exhausted and preoccupied with edits, so I'm not going to tantalize you this go-around.)

THE SONG BIDS HER RISE TO BATTLE

Reeling from her disastrous foray into the Pit, Birdie, the young Songkeeper, retreats into the mountains. But in the war-torn north, kneeling on bloodstained battlefields to sing the souls of the dying to rest, her resolve to accept her calling is strengthened. Such evil cannot go unchallenged.

Torn between oaths to protect the Underground runners and to rescue his friend from the slave camps, Ky Huntyr enlists Birdie’s aid. Their mission to free the captives unravels the horrifying thread connecting the legendary spring, Artair’s sword, and the slave camps. But the Takhran’s schemes are already in motion. Powerful singers have arisen to lead his army—singers who can shake the earth and master the sea—and monsters rampage across the land.

As Leira falters on the verge of defeat, the Song bids her rise to battle, and the Songkeeper must answer.

And, oh wow, that cover. That unicorn. The water. Her dress. THE SHIPS. The UNICORN'S HORN.

Eep. I need this book. I don't know if I can wait until June 5th when it releases - and I only just started reading the first book!


(And now that I have this post set up, I'm going to bed. See ya'll tomorrow.)

Sunday, December 3, 2017

December's Here


Can't believe that the year has gone already ... and yet my brain already thinks that it's 2018. Silly brain. I am looking forward to 2018. There's going to be a lot of awesomeness happening. And I achieved a lot of what I set out to do here in 2017. (I mean, except for writing Love and Memory, but I made good progress with that one, and I'll let it be.) I think, for the first time in a long time, I'm actually ready for the new year.

Almost, but not quite - as I do have four December goals on the writing end:

1. Finish the last four chapters and the epilogue of The Worth of a King (And decide if I need to change the title. Granite and I have had a talk, and if chapter 19 of part 3 goes right, I won't need to, but ... we'll see how it goes. I really don't want to change the title, as I love it so much, but I'm very worried about it not fitting the book's plot.)

2. Write four or five chapters of Honor: A Quest In. I restarted this book on the first, in a notebook this time, and I'm almost done with the first chapter. I really like how it's going. I also have a table of contents already written, so I know where this story is going. I'd like to have this book finished by May of next year, and have it released in late winter/early spring of 2019.

3. Edit and submit The Seven Drawers to the Rooglewood Contest. I've already sent in my submission form. I just need to shiny the book up and make it irresistible. Winning this contest would be AMAZING for my writing career, especially since I'm already established as a Fairy Tale author, and this will likely bring love back to my Bookanias (and those babies are in desperate need of Love.)

4. Have sign-up ready and the writing contest opened for Indie e-Con 2018. YES, FOLKS, INDIE E-CON 2018 IS COMING. Due to popular demand, I've moved it a bit further into the year, though - May 21st - 26th. My current scheme is to have the sign-up and contest opened by the 15th of this month, so stay tuned on the GiraffeCrafts Blog.

But I also told my boss that I'm willing work four days a week instead of three as is my usual, during the duration of December, so let's see how I survive that. (Haha, I'll survive. And I'll have a wee bit more money.)

And then we have Christmas and I am very much NOT ready for that. I mean, as we stand at the moment, the only presents I have bought is some books for V, and then I'm going to upgrade to the Family Plan for MS Word and call that my Christmas present for my family. (I mean, it's only $50 more to have five people on my plan, so ... really no point in not upgrading.)

But I think I'm going to try to clean up my room today, pull out my personal tree, and get it decorated. Maybe then I'll be a bit more hohoho.

Oh, enjoy some NaNo Snippets:

  "Silver and Gold..." he repeated, as he finally realized who this was. There was only one person who referred to the Immortal King and Queen by those names, or at least, that's what Granite claimed. 
Laura, the Doorkeeper, who had been like a mother to them. The girl who walked between worlds with the same ease as a person walked from his bedroom to the kitchen. 
  Somehow, he'd never expected her to seem so young.
  "Oh, yes, Amber and Granite, that's what you call them, the dear ones," said Laura, nodding firmly.    "So, shall we go surprise them? I don't imagine that you'll be the best of surprises for them, Delaney, because your presence here means that Ossian tried to make you take that scale and..." She shuddered. "Those scales are terrible things, you must understand. I don't like them, not one bit. They cause nothing but pain and sadness, and if we could just destroy them all right now, the world would be a much happier place. Except that we can't, because so many of them are still stuck to dragons, and to destroy their scales would hurt the dragons, and we can't have that happening, now can we?"
  Delaney blinked again. Honestly, this girl made Nadilynn seem like she slowly and carefully considered her every word. "The dragons..."
  "They have souls just like you and me, even if they are corrupt, they're not beyond hope of redemption," Laura explained, as she led Delaney into the castle. "No one's beyond hope of redemption, not until they're dead. Keep that in mind, Delaney."
  Delaney frowned. "Oh, okay."

  "But," and her voice turned serious and quiet, "sometimes they won't. Not that they can't, but they won't. No one is beyond redemption, but some reject it until it's too late."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  She broke out of the crowd, ran into the house, and threw herself into her bed, burying her head in the pillows.
  “Nadi, why do you have to be such a stubborn idiot!” she choked out, trying desperately to keep tears at bay. “I told you – I told you! Now you’re going to make things so much harder for everyone, and what do you care? You had your romantic rush of defiance, so you’re happy. But what’s to become of the rest of us?”
  “We’ll figure something out, I’m sure. She did just cost Ossian his alliance with Hollolund. I know that I, for one, wasn’t looking forward to having to fight them, too, to get that throne.”
  Obsidia pried the pillow off of her head to glare at her brother, who stood in her bedroom door.   “Nadi is an idiot!” she repeated.
  “Hush, not too loud, now,” said Adrian stepping out of the doorway and sitting down next to her on the bed. “That would be considered treason if the wrong person heard it. We all know that you grew up with Princess Nadilynn and own the especial right to call her whatever you please, but the people on the streets do not, and they’re currently very interested in your reaction to finding out your future queen.”
  Obsidia swallowed and flopped the pillow back onto her head. “I don’t know what to do with her, Adrian.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  Adrian shrugged in agreement as he followed the Immortal King through the confusing halls of this castle. "So, what's it like, being king?" he asked. "Ruling all of the people?"
  "Well, we don't have so many people who directly follow Amber and me," Granite admitted, tilting his head to the side. "So we don't do as much ruling as you'll be doing. But we do have to go from country to country making sure that all of the rulers are behaving themselves and treating their subjects properly. Personally, at my age, I'd much prefer to be left alone and to let all of the people rule themselves, but they need someone older and wiser to set them straight." He shook his head. "I think being king is less about ruling people than it is setting a good example for them."
  Adrian blinked and slowly nodded. "I guess. I just ... that's still a huge responsibility."
  "It is," the king agreed. "Ah, here we are, at the training hall." He pushed open a door and entered a room with weapons covering every inch of the wall. Adrian entered after him, mouth agape as he stared at all of the weapons represented.
  "I imagine that you already have your knives on your person, as any good Zovordian," said Granite, approaching the wall and removing a pair of knives of his own. "Good weapons, knives." 
  "I don't even know what half of these weapons are," Adrian admitted, his eye scanning the room.
  "Well, when you've lived nearly three thousand years, you get bored and start collecting," Granite admitted, shrugging. "And I didn't even do all of the collecting - there was an Immortal King for every Immortal Queen, making me the eleventh of our line, just as Amber is." He grinned a bit. "And while I am among the longest-lived of all of them, none of them were younglings when they died. So, shall we commence?"
  Adrian swallowed and drew his knife. "Sure, I guess."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Laura plopped herself down at the head of the table and gathered up a stack of papers that were already lying there. "Oh, it looks like Silver stayed up far too late last night, working on battle plans. Don't quite understand her fascination with maps, myself, but I suppose, if one has to navigate places in a linear fashion, they do have their uses." She picked up a ceramic globe that lay to the side and cracked it open to reveal the map inside. "It never ceases to amaze me how many different shapes and forms that worlds can take. For instance, most worlds where I visit, we walk around on the outside." She walked her fingers over the smooth outer rim of the globe. But this world - this world is inside. I just love it so much - don't you, too?"

Friday, November 24, 2017

IT'S THAT TIME OF THE YEAR AGAIN!!

Like most other bookworms, great books make their way onto my "things I'm thankful for" list every year. It's hard to choose favorites, but  I went ahead and picked five books I read in 2017 and am thankful for.
Exiles, by Jaye L. Knight: I read this originally as a beta read (You guys can thank me for assuring that Jace is wearing pants), and though I wasn't able to beta the whole book, I then read the whole thing for review and it is awesomeawesomeawesome. I need to write the review. It's on my agenda for next week...
Burning Rose, by Hope Ann: This book is my most recent read, and it's also on my agenda for review next week. I was a leeeeeetle disappointed that the first novella, the retelling of Beauty and the Beast, was swapped out for a new version of the story - but it does largely fit the world better, so it's still amazing.
Twisted Dreams, by Morgan Elizabeth Huneke: This book gave me the final push to get Poison Kiss written this year, as I wanted to do a joint release with Morgan. We also tossed a retelling by my mother into the mix, and it was awesome.
Befriending the Beast, by Amanda Tero: I am so thankful that this book exists - there are so few B&B retellings in this world that I like and this is one of the rare few.
Reversal Zone, by J. Grace Pennington: I'm not sci-fi's hugest fan, but I'm a pretty huge fan of Pennington's Firmament series. This book has a pretty intersting plot, too.
I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to another great year of reading! Speaking of more reading, here's one more thing to be grateful for. Books on sale! In honor of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, a group of independent Christian authors has banded together to offer a huge selection of discounted books between Nov 24th and 30th. There's literally something for everyone.


On November 24th, the Indie Christian Books website (http://www.indiechristianbooks.com) will go live. Every single book listed will be on sale in one or more ways. Find discounted paperbacks, dozens of books offered with free shipping, $0.99 ebooks,package deals and more. Even if you have a budget of $0, new reading material awaits you. When you purchase a paperback book through indiechristianbooks.com you’ll be eligible to enter an exclusive giveaway including free books and an Amazon gift card!

Want to know what great sales I'm offering? Well, not only do I have all six of my gorgeous new covers on a discount, but I also am offering FREE SHIPPING on all of my books. FREE SHIPPING, FOLKS.

AND THE PACKAGE DEALS - Well, let's just say, $19.99 for all three Bookanias. And no shipping. You're pretty much getting Sew for free.


You can meet our authors by visiting the Author Database on the website. Want to get to know the authors better AND have the chance to win some fun prizes? We’d love to have you join our week long Facebook party which will feature 39 authors over 7 days.


What awesome reads of 2016 are you grateful for? What books are you looking forward to reading in 2017?


A note on the Ebooks Only page. Many of the books are listed as "Sold Out." This is because we aren’t selling those directly through our site. Please click onto the product pages to find descriptions and links to discounted or free ebooks.

Acknowledgements: Thanks to Leah E. Good and Kendra E. Ardnek for their work organizing this sale, and Hannah Mills for her fantastic design work on the website graphics. Hannah can be contacted at hmills(at)omorecollege(dot)edu for more information about her design services.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Overhaul Winner!!!!!

And, here it is, the day that all of you have been waiting for, the day that you guys get to learn which of you lovely folk will have six shiny new books on their bookshelf.

Six shiny new books with six shiny covers.

I had no fewer than 631 entries for that giveaway, spread across 45 people. Two thirds of those entries, however, belonged to only three people - Sarah Taleweaver, Brie Donning, and Erudessa Aranduriel.

So it should be no surprise to anyone that it was one of those three.

But who was it?

*drumroll please....*



Erudessa Aranduriel

And now the rest of you can go home. I'll be shipping your package sometime in December. And, unless you've moved and I don't know about it, I already have your address from the last giveaway. 

I'm going back to NaNo, now.

Oh, and for the rest of you - just thought I'd point out that my books are going to be in the Black Friday Sale, and all of you will have opportunity to pick up the lovely new editions for amazing prices - and I'm offering all of my books with Free Shipping this year!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Lookit my Goooooorgeous Writing

Okay, first all - I'm taking part in the Christian Indie Authors Black Friday Sale again this year - and we're looking for bloggers. Bloggers to help share the awesome news about this awesome sale. Bloggers who will each get FIVE awesome ebooks of their choice (well, we'll have a list, but they'll get to choose FROM that list).


So, you're probably thinking to yourself ... How can I get to be one of those awesome Bloggers?

WELL. 


Now, onto the regularly scheduled programming.


Beautiful Books, writing edition. Hosted by Cait and Skye.

I'm doing The Worth of a King for NaNo this year. Yes, feel free to go add it to your Goodreads bookshelves.


Overall, how is your mental state, and how is your novel going?
Well, I am still alive even though I've already hit 30,000 words. Finished part 2 last night. I have twenty-one chapters left to write. And maybe an epilogue. I'm still debating on whether or not I'll include the scene that bridges it to Rizkaland. 

What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?
Of the book?
A Queen sat on a balcony in her castle, various instruments for measurement scattered about her, mixed in with the notes she was taking.
Of what I'm writing for NaNo?
Obsidia cried herself to sleep as they flew through the night.

Who’s your current favorite character in your novel?
At the moment, that prize goes to Nadilynn, Delaney's younger sister, who's the most reckless ray of sunshine you ever met. However, Laura's showing up in a few chapters ... and Laura's one of my favorite characters period, so...

What do you love about your novel so far?
Pretty much everything about it. Well, except the fact that Jack had to drop out of the cowrite ... but, hey, that means I get to write the whole thing My Way. But - twisty plot, dynamic characters, epic worldbuilding, this book has everything I love in it.
And we have a pre-evil Amber and a pre-mopey Granite. My dear babies.

Have you made any hilarious typos or other mistakes?
I found a really weird one two days ago ... but I forget where it was. I let you know when I get to the editing stage in January.

What is your favorite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?
You asked us this one last year. I'm not answering it again. I like writing the post-book snippets best. HOWABOUTTHAT.

What are your writing habits? Is there a specific snack you eat? Do you listen to music? What time of day do you write best? Feel free to show us a picture of your writing space!
Writing habits? Um, I've been writing for twelve years, and I've as yet to figure out what that word means, apart from my habit of making characters disappear and everyone forget them - WHICH DOESN'T HAPPEN IN THIS BOOK, I PROMISE. (it's just a recurring theme that has cropped up in three of my books so far.)

How private are you about your novel while you’re writing? Do you need a cheer squad or do you work alone (like, ahem, Batman)?
I definitely need a cheer squad. Here, have a snippet and cheer me on - 

True to Christa’s word, though, the next morning, the print shop door swung open and the two girls walked in. Christa was all smiles. Zidi was as reserved as always.
“Zidi admitted this morning that she’s not been by, not once since she came to live with you guys,” Christa announced, loudly, as she skirted around and inched up to Adrian’s side. “What are you working on today?”
“Important notices that Lord Havink has issued,” Adrian admitted, as he arranged the pieces of movable type in the frame. “Nothing half so exciting as a new book, but sometimes you have to take the less exciting jobs. Besides, it’s only one page, so it won’t take but a few hours, and most of that is waiting for the ink to dry.”
“What’s the notices for?” Christa further prompted. “Are any of them at all exciting?”
“Reminders to pay taxes, notes of three desperate criminals on the loose, and then some bits about the spring festival,” Adrian admitted. “Apparently, Lord Havink is going all out this year. Then again, I believe he does every year, so it’s nothing new.”
“Why are all of the letters and words backwards?”
Adrian almost jumped out of his skin as he realized that Zidi had snuck up and was standing on his other side. He held his dignity, however, and managed a small smile. “Because if they were the right way around, then the letters and words would all be backwards when we put them on the paper.”
“Oh.” She tilted her head to the side a moment as she stared at the type, then gave a small nod. “That does make sense. Woodcuts are always backwards when you print them, after all.”
“And the printing press is just a flexible woodcut,” Adrian agreed, giving her a small smile as he continued to slide the movable type into place.
“How do you know that you have the letters in the right place?” Zidi asked.
Adrian pointed to the hand-written letter that he’d laid out on the desk beside him. “Also, I can read backwards almost as well as forward, anymore.”

What keeps you writing even when it’s hard?
The knowledge that people are going to read what I write and love it. They can't love it if it says in my head, you know.

What are your top 3 pieces of writing advice?
Sit down. Pick up your pen. Make words. 

And am I the only one who's just a liiiiiiitle bit annoyed that they're just asking the same questions year after year for these things? It'd not be bad if the questions were mostly about the SPECIFIC BOOK that I'm writing, but half of these are about my WRITING PROCESS, and that doesn't change THAT much from year to year. 

Seriously, the editing questions need have some interesting ones among them, or I'm not participating. *humphsothere* The first year or two of Beautiful books, they had good questions ABOUT MY BOOK. Not generalities about my writing. Anywho.
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