Look for Nikki to be released this Valentine's Day! If you are a Goodreads member, click on the button below for a chance to win signed copies of all three books in the trilogy. Other exciting giveaways will be posted soon. Good luck!
2013. Wow, what a year! It’s 5:30 am on Christmas Eve. Presents are wrapped, cookies are baked, family is still in bed. Seems a perfect time to reflect on the year. No matter who you are, twelve months cannot pass by in this adventure we call life without experiencing both highs and lows. In a journey riddled with hills and valleys, one day we struggle with an uphill climb and the next we're running with childlike abandon down the other side.
Still, the exact route we travel is uniquely our own. No two are alike. Sure, there are footsteps all around—some in front or back or right alongside. Several walk with us for a time and then branch off in other directions. A few disappear completely and we're forced to plod ahead without them one step at a time. The path forward is often shrouded in shadows and filled with unforeseen battles, but how we choose to fight through is up to us.
My weapon of choice? I try to be a hero. Now, don’t laugh. There’s no cape or mask involved. I don’t shoot sorceress lightning from my fingertips (well, unless the kids are fighting). No, my heroic powers are much more subtle. It’s there, in the way I interact with my sons. In making an effort to embrace the positives and not dwell on the negatives. In giving back to others (even if it’s a gesture as simple as a smile). I don’t always succeed, of course. I’m not perfect. Sometimes the battle weighs on me and I get tired. My sword arm grows heavy, my patience wears thin. But, I keep trying because I know that if I fail one day, I'll still have a chance to get it right another.
Life. Is. Hard. And, it’s one of the reasons I so love writing heroic fantasy. We all need heroes. That symbolic proof that good trumps evil. The knight in shining armor. The superhero. Or, someone closer to home. The parent who chases away monsters that lurk under beds. The soldier who sacrifices all that is dear to keep others safe. The stranger who lifts people up with a random act of kindness. Heroes inspire. They keep our fears at bay. They allow us to believe in magic, even if for a short time.
This quote sums up the power of heroic fantasy for me.
“She'll kill me if she finds you in here. Can you climb trees? Tell me you can climb a tree!"
Patch grinned, "I can fly.”
― Becca Fitzpatrick, Hush, Hush
Be a hero in 2014. Fly. I'm guessing that people who think they are heroes can change the world. I know that I couldn’t fly without all of you. Writing is such a huge source of joy in my life. Your comments, your reviews, and the fact that you read my words provide the wind that keeps me in the air. Thank you for allowing me to soar this year.
Happy holidays to you and yours!
Hello folks! Just wanted to pop in and give you an update. If all goes well, Nikki should be finished within the next two weeks. Then starts the editing phase which usually lasts around four to six weeks. Expect a published book by early to mid February. I will be announcing some giveaways around the first of the year to gear up for the release.
After that? My spring will be consumed with finishing Island Shifters Four. Very excited about that.
Thank you so very much for reading my words. It's appreciated more than you know.
I leave you with the quote of the day. This one by Kade. In this scene, Blane races up to Fallon and Kade preparing to fight a Black Knight from Mordeaux.
Blane got out of the car and sprinted toward Fallon and Kade. Blood dripped from Kade's face, but he had somehow managed to find a metal rod that he hefted back and forth in his hands, apparently gauging its damage potential.
“Tyras” from Angels of the Knights – Nikki. I started this book despising this character, the epitome of all that is evil in the world, but he is proving more complicated than that.
A shout out to the incomparable Nick Deligaris for bringing him to life.
[Insert hard brake sound effect here]. I had a change of mind that I hope won't upset too many people. But...I'm shelving Island Shifters - An Oath of the King to finish Angels of the Knights - Nikki. Why? Two reasons.
First, when last we left off in Book 3 of Island Shifters, everything was buttoned up very tidy. No cliffhangers, no teasers, no cursing or clamoring. Perfect. Just the way I like it. Since Book 4 is going to be the start of a brand new adventure, there is no sense of urgency (at least no one has indicated as such to me).
Second, and simply put, more people want Nikki. Issues are unresolved. The fate of a certain character is unknown. It's the last book in a trilogy. Urgency is higher.
So, onward with Nikki. I'm really excited to explore her story. I will post an estimated release date within a few weeks when I have a better idea.
As always, I welcome any and all comments.
Thanks for reading.
For some reason, I have spent more time than usual on knotty, little paragraphs that exist purely to drive me insane. I cut and paste and twist and turn, but sometimes the writing just doesn’t flow exactly right. If I read the chapter back and keep stumbling at the same spot, I know something is off and it prickles at me like a sore tooth.
Sort of like a Rubik’s Cube with one column the wrong color. Everything around the offending little horror is lined up perfectly, but that one area draws the eye and makes it, well…not perfect.
I have often compared writing to puzzle solving. With both, tiny tidbits of information must be gathered and meshed together to create a beautiful whole. All imperfections stand out and the process is often frustrating and seemingly impossible to solve. But, in order to see the beauty underneath, you keep at it. You analyze and pick and prod until all the pieces fall into place. When they finally do...when all those squares line up, it’s a rush like no other.
Not that I’ve ever solved a Rubik’s Cube, mind you. I don’t have the patience for that kind of thing. I prefer the conundrum of constructing Book 4 in a 400,000 word epic fantasy any day. Call me weird or call me a writer. Either fits.
I don’t know about you, but summer is slipping through my fingers like melted butter and as a result, I haven't been able to accomplish all of my goals. I had hoped to have An Oath of the Kings 75% complete by now, but I am currently at 25%. Angels of the Knights - Nikki is supposed to be fleshed out and outlined. Nope, not done. Sorry.
I blame the children. To lodge a complaint, email addresses are available upon request. ;)
That said, I promise that I will try to wrestle August into submission and get some work done. More updates soon. Until then, enjoy your summer, stay safe, and keep reading.
Island Shifters is going on a Book Blast Tour hosted by Goddess Fish. Stop by the awesome blogs listed below to win a copy of Island Shifters books 2 & 3 and a $25 gift certificate.
June 10: The Wormhole
June 10: Long and Short Reviews
June 11: Sandra's Blog
June 12: Kay Berrisford
June 13: Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews
June 14: Deal Sharing Aunt
June 17: Out of the Lockbox
June 18: Penny For Them...
June 19: Crazy Four Books
June 20: Fantasy Powered by Love
June 21: Musings and Ramblings
Airron Falewir, Melania and his manservant, Quincy (yes, the same Quincy that tried to bar Airron from seeing Melania at the end of Book Two) are discussing the fact that King Thorn has been murdered by an alleged Mage.
“I’m afraid I have devastating news, my Lady.” Quincy turned toward Airron and wiggled his nose in distaste. “My Lord.”
“Out with it, man. What's happened?” Airron asked, planting his feet and crossing his arms at his chest.
One of the soldiers behind Quincy stepped forward. “King Thorn is dead, Lord Falewir. Murdered in his private gardens this morning.”
Melania let out a squeal of disbelief.
He nodded. "The Gladewatcher on duty claims a sorcerer appeared out of nowhere and attacked them in the gardens. The Mage tangled him up with a spell and then killed the King. A few moments after the assassin left, the spell dissipated, but it was too late.”
“A Mage?" Airron mused out loud, running a hand through his long, white hair. "That’s impossible. Beck assured me that the Dagarmon are marked.”
“Can we believe him?” Melania asked quietly.
His gaze snapped to hers. “Of course, we can believe him! I’ve known Beck since we were children. He’s like a brother to me, Melania, as you very well know. Come now, the bloody man carried me across his back for leagues once to save my life!”
“That was many years ago.”
Violet eyes narrowed to slits. “What are you suggesting?”
“I am just pointing out that people change, Airron. Certainly, you don’t expect Beck to be the same as he was back then just as you are not the same man you once were.”
Airron rubbed his jaw. Her point would be well taken if they were talking about any other man. But, this was Beck Atlan. “If Beck says the Dagarmon are marked, then they are marked. Regardless,” he said moving toward the door, “this unconscionable act must be taken up with the Council of Kings. We cannot—.” He stopped suddenly as the implication of King Thorn’s death sank in. “Wait, if Thorn…that means…”
“Yes,” Quincy muttered dryly and dropped to one knee, “you are now the King of Haventhal. Dear Highworld, help us all.”
Cover for Angels of the Knights - Nikki by the incredible Ravven. Hope you love it as much as I do! And, don't forget, Angels of the Knights - Fallon (Book One) is now free. :) Grab your copy now and enjoy...
With Blane finally wrapped, I am now officially working on Island Shifters - An Oath of the Kings. The pages are still blank, but old friends and new adventures await me there. The possibilities are limitless. It's sort of what a child feels like in a candy store. Only with a lot more fighting ;)
A huge thank you to Blkosiner's Book Blog for hosting an amazing giveaway for Angels of the Knights - Fallon on her YA book blog. Click on the image above for a chance to win a signed copy of Fallon and a $25 gift certificate to Amazon. Good luck!
Thank you, Brandi!
I just received a draft of the cover for Island Shifters - An Oath of the Kings from the talented Nick Deligaris and was blown away. The detail is simply amazing and I can't wait to share it with you. I'm even more excited to start writing this one. The ideas are bouncing around inside my head like out-of-control ping pong balls and I must put fingers to keyboard soon to get relief.
Island Shifters is #2 on Epic Fantasy list in the U.K. Yes, it is free, but I am enjoying a chuckle at seeing my novel anywhere near the likes of Terry Goodkind. #arrived :)
Thank you, mates!
It is Valentine’s Day, and I have been so busy editing that I am determined to make this an unforgettable evening for my poor neglected husband. So, I dress to the nines and make a fabulous dinner. Just as I finish lighting the candles on the table, he opens the front door.
Me: [Arm goes up] Whoa! Shut the door, the light is burning my eyes!
Husband: [Turns around in confusion] It’s winter. In New York.
Me: I know, but I haven’t been out of my office in a while.
Husband: No kidding. [Pause] You look taller.
Me: I have heels on.
Husband: What is that smell?
Me: It’s called Sweet Seduction [I purr]
Husband: It smells like salmon.
Me: Oh, that’s our Valentine’s Day Dinner.
Husband: [Walks to the table and inspects the food] Wow, it must have taken quite a few boxes for all of this food.
Me: Boxes? It’s all homemade, moron. You know what a great cook I am!
Husband: [Tilts his head in contemplation] Yes, I think I do have a vague recollection of that.
Me: Very funny. Now sit down. Let me make the toast. Happy Valen… [Whoosh…Candles snuff out and a football lands in the middle of the table. Sons rush into the room]
Son #1: Sorry, Mom. Hey, what are you guys doing?
Me: Trying to have dinner. [Icicles are warm compared to this voice]
Son #1: I thought you said we were having Pop-Tarts for dinner.
Me: No, I said you were having Pop-Tarts for dinner.
Son #2: Did somebody die? Why is Mom out of her office?
Husband: Nobody died. We are having a Valentine’s Day Dinner.
Son #3: What is this green stuff? [A pudgy finger pokes through the food on my plate]
Me: It’s called a vegetable.
Son #3: Ew, gross. I’m outta here.
Son #1: By the way, you look great, Mom. You really should come out more often.
[Sons rush out of the room]
Husband: Mmm…I agree. You do look beautiful. [Is he purring this time?]
Me: Nice try. Hey, how about we do this again in six years? By then, the kids will be grown and my writing career will be fond memory.
Husband: It’s a date. [Clink]
Island Shifters - An Oath of the Children released in paperback. Ebook coming within a few days. Hope you enjoy. For me, it is now on to Angels of the Knights - Blane...