Thursday, 20 December 2012

Introducing ...

Name: Gol Wea
Story: The Rogue King Saga - The Shadow Prince
Status: Serpent God of Water >_>

Okay, last time we went from the brothers Foron and Shilar. Now it's on to one of their six cousins.
Wea tends to get pressed even further into the background than the other two in the storyline, yet somehow he manages to get mentioned just as much as Foron. I blame the seafaring scenes. You'd gain a healthy respect for someone like Wea if you were sailing his territory.

What's that? He doesn't look like a serpent? Well yes, they do seem to be gaining limbs. And, seeing he has limbs and all, he's not technically a serpent. So you were expecting logic? Here? He's a freaking hundred foot long water-dwelling creature, if he wants to call himself a serpent, you just got to shrug and roll with it. ^_^
And here's the old picture, just for fun ...
Ain't he adorable? ^_^

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Review of The Last Hero by Terry Pratchett


Title: The Last Hero
Author: Terry Pratchett
Rating: 5/5

Simple plot to this one. The last hero wants to return to the gods what the first hero stole. In Discworld, that means fire, which would mean the end of the world. So naturally, someone's got to stop them. Of course, it's not that simple (whenever is it?).
But this story incorporates a number of my favourite characters - Cohen the Barbarian, Rincewind, Carrot Ironsfounderson & Leonard da Quirm to name a few - with the last three ending up on the moon.

I think I probably spent an equal amount of time staring at the pictures as I did reading. They are exquisite. If you have not seen a copy of this, you simply must. My only lament is that the story was too short and I'd have liked a few more of the details at the end filled out.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Fraction of Stone Cover Reveal

Looking for my Mating Game Bloghop Post?

Today, is a rare day. For this blog is given over to Kelley Lynn for the cover reveal of her up and coming novel. And you've got to admit, that cover looks pretty neat.

Okay, Kelley, the stage is yours ....


Wow. I can't believe the day is here! Time for the FRACTION OF STONE cover reveal.

Before we get into that, I just want to say thank you to everyone who has helped me get this far. All the fine people who are helping with this cover reveal, my CPs/Betas, family and friends. And of course, thank you to Sapphire Star Publishing for helping make my dream a reality. (And also letting me have a huge say in how this cover looks.) I am so, so excited and feel so blessed.

To thank you all, there is a drawing for 2 ARCs of FRACTION OF STONE which you can enter to win at the bottom of this post! You can enter until December 14th at which point the winners will be chosen.

Okay, now that, that has been said. Here we go!


Fraction of Stone by Kelley Lynn
Release Date: March 21st, 2013 by Sapphire Star Publishing
Genre: YA Fantasy
Isn't it pretty?
Book Description:

Wind tunnels, torrential rains and earthquakes tear apart Casden. The cause of the world’s imbalance is unknown, but the mounting occurrences suggest there’s little time before life ceases to exist.

Rydan Gale and Akara Nazreth are the only humans with the ability to wield magic. The tattoo on their necks and the discovery of an ancient book, dictate they are the key to the world’s survival.

But the greatest obstacle for saving mankind isn’t the bizarre creatures, extreme betrayals and magic-fearing men hunting them.

It’s that Akara doesn’t believe the world is worth saving. 







About the Author:

Eventually the day came when the voices in Kelley Lynn’s head were more insistent then her engineering professor’s. So instead of turning to her Thermodynamics book, Kelley brought up a blank page on her computer screen and wrote. Somewhere along the way she became a Young Adult author.

Kelley was born and raised a Midwestern girl. She’s not afraid to sweat and fills her free time with softball, soccer and volleyball. (Though you probably don’t want her on your volleyball team.) She occasionally makes guest appearances as a female vocalist for area bands.

You can find Kelley hanging out at her blog, titled in her name, as well as the group blog she shares with her fellow critique partners, Falling for Fiction. Kelley is a member of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators.

Kelley Lynn's LinksBlog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Monday, 10 December 2012

The Mating Game Bloghop

Woot! Now I may have let my bloghop goal - one every month for a year - fall short in November in favour of chewing through the last 20k of my latest story. But the way I see it, I've involved myself in more than one bloghop over the previous months to cover one. ^_^

Besides, I'm back in the bloghopping game.

This bloghop is to be judged by five, count'em, five people: Victoria H. Smith, Jade Hart, Jaycee Delorenzo, Chelsea Cameron & Magan Vernon.
On December 3, each of these judges posted a small excerpt from one of their newly released, or up and coming, New Adult books on their blogs. Be sure to check them out, there is good reading to be had there!
Now, at the end of the excerpt there's a question, this is what my couple will have to answer on December 10 (uh, today, like), then on the 12th, as in two days from now, each judge will pick the couple they like the most (as oppose to the less, I suppose) and give them a copy of their eBook.
So here we go ...

Five questions.
One couple.
No survi- *ahem* >_>
On to the couple ...

Because I'm still in Dark One's Mistress mode. I simply had to choose Clarabelle Weaver and Dark Lord Lucias. Do they class as a couple? Um ... sorta ...
Please, try to keep the fighting to a minimum.

Okay, we'll start this off with an easy question and have you tell us about a memorable experience you've shared together.

Memorable? *laughs* I'd say the first time we met was pretty memorable. She exploded into my chambers while I was bathing. All I recall is seeing this scared little rabbit of a girl waiting for the 'terrible thing in the hall' to pass and-
Excuse me? Scared little rabbit? Terrible thing in the hall? I was trying to escape.
You were a vision, my personal red-haired beauty from the heavens. You never even noticed I was there until I spoke.
Spoke? Spoke? You levelled a sword at me! You saw me there, unarmed, yet you still thought it prudent to point several feet of metal in my direction.
Oh? *grins* What would you have preferred I pointed at you?
When you're wearing naught but a towel? *blushes* Nothing!
*laughs* Well now, if you were unarmed, then I was certainly not dressed for fighting. I do wish I'd seen your face in better light, it would've undoubtedly have been as crimson as it is now.

*Tries to shake free mental image of Lucias in towel* So, what was the first thing you two noticed about each other?
You mean apart from the five feet of deadly steel and naked-except-for-towel?
Her hair. Just look at it. Such a deep, rich red.
You compared it to blood.
But it is that exact colour.
Yeah, as if that doesn't sound creepy.
Poor choice of words?
Oh, don't even get me started on that. Do you even hear yourself when you speak?
With you around? I'm afraid I only hear an angel's choir.

What would say is one of the roadblocks standing in the way of you getting together, then?
I'd definitely say her inability to warm to me. I try my best to be courteous and respect her wishes to the best of my abilities, yet she never seems to appreciate a thing I do.
Oh really? You don't think kidnapping me had something to do with that? Did you expect me to forget the fact you forbade me my freedom, locked me up in your citadel and then threat-
You mean tended to your every need, yes? Even removing myself from your presence when demanded it, despite my lack of time on this world? Spared Tommy upon your request. And, Miss Weaver, did I not keep you from the streets when you found yourself homeless?
It was your fault I am homeless!
*sighs* Have you also forgotten you were meant to marry a man far older than yourself?
Oh yes, I'd completely forget a thing like that. *rolls eyes*
And, of course, I did stop that man from having his way with you. Yet you still deny me a kind word.
... Stop trying to destroy my perfectly happy anger at you with logic, it's not going to work.

What would your character do if the one they wanted was terrified of their feelings and pushed them away?
"The one I wanted?" What's that supposed to mean? The very implication that I'd be attracted to the very man who imprisons me with the intention of getting me pregnant ... why I ... I've never heard of anything so preposterous!
Absolutely.
You agree with me?
Of course. Personally, I wouldn't try and woo a young woman who would sooner slit my throat than kiss me. But, and I'm speaking on a purely hypothetical basis here, if said lady was to harbour some feelings towards me, then I'd at least try to open her up ... emotionally, that is, before you can make some snide remark.

Riiiight *does not have good feeling about this* ... using only one word at a time, how would you describe the other person?
I don't know about one word ... I can think of several.
Mmm, me too. Although, I'm rather taken with 'fiery'.
*snorts* Arrogant.
Caring.
Monster.
*grins* Gorgeous.
Conniving-soulstealing-egotistical-beast!
You are aware that's more than one word, aren't you?
I hyphenated, so there. *sticks out tongue*
Does that even count?

Yeah ... I don't think hyphenating counts.

Whoo, glad that didn't turn out as bad as I thought it would.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Excerpt City! - Dark One's Mistress


How did it get to be December already? How?
Where did all my weeks go?
Where have all my weekly posts gone?

Yeah, the past month is a fog to me. But as I scrolled through my scheduled posts, I realised it's been a while since I did an "Introducing ..." post. Two months since the last one, to be exact. Lately, there always seems to be something that clashes with them (like the up-and-coming Mating Game Bloghop, and Kelley Gerschke's cover reveal) or the massive writing bout that was November, so "Introducing ..." shall continue on it little hiatus until the 20th of December.

For the moment, I'm still riding on the high that is Dark One's Mistress and the final few chapters that I've left to edit in it. As it is, the word count is slowly creeping it's way up to 71k. I'm hoping that will be it's final count before I slip into the querying stage (which, I know, is some time off yet. There's so much to do before then).

Anyway, as a congrats to me, I'm going to share a snippet from it's first editing round with all of you. ^_^

------------------

The heavy tramp of boots echoed through hall, preceding the wane glow of candlelight coming from around the corner ahead. Clara halted in the middle of the corridor. She needed to hide. But where? Going back would take too long.

The hall was pocked with closed doors. No sound came from the rooms they shut off. Could she hide in one and wait? She fled to the nearest doorway. The handle turned at the softest of jiggles and she hastened inside, gently pushing the door shut behind her.

She listened for the man's passage. The muffled thump of the unseen seeker's steps palling as a steely hiss issued from within the room. Fear of what stood behind her put a lump in her throat, choking off any thoughts of crying out.

"Don't move."

Clara halted in the act of turning to face the sound. Only now did she note the warm light flickering in the hearth, its smoky aroma adding to the soapy smell in the air.

"Step away from the door. That's it. Now turn around. Slowly."

She did as the deep voice commanded. Fast flattening herself against the wall as the blade of a sword came into sight. It was held steady before her, tip glittering in the candlelight. Her gaze travelled down the sword's sharp length to the man on the other end.

Dark eyes blazed with barely restrained fury as they regarded her from under a wet mop of black hair. "Who are you?" he asked, teeth clenched and lips barely moving. "Who sent you? What are you doing here?"

"No one sent me anywhere. I –" Her eyes snapped back to stare at the sword's lethal tip as it twitched. "I was brought here against my will."

"You?" The sword lowered, tip brushing against the rug. One dark brow rose, the glint in his eyes intensifying as his gaze slowly ran over her once more. "They picked you to be my mistress?"

This is our new Lord? No longer faced with the weapon, she risked a glance at her surroundings. Little furnished the room; a table and stool in one corner, a chair sat by the fireplace and a couple of rugs littered the floor. Two doors sat in the far walls, one shut and the other open enough to allow entry to the amber glow of candlelight.

Her gaze returned to the man before her, cheeks warming upon realising he wore naught but a towel around his waist. The light played upon his bare shoulders, seeming to delight in giving his wet skin a faint shimmer and glistening through the dark hair on his chest as much as it had it glittered on the sword's blade.

A sharp knocked rattled the door. Clara jumped, stifling a shriek with her hands.

------------------

Well now. Hope you enjoyed. ^_^

Thursday, 29 November 2012

It's finally completed. But what is it?

So recently, I've been on about how close I am to completing the first draft of Dark One's Mistress.
Well here's the final post on that. Because ... it's done! ^_^

Sure I didn't do the full 50k over a month like some of you NaNoWriMo participants, but I did write the final 20k in the last three weeks. That's quite a feat for me.
And staying up so late that it became early to write certainly threatened to be the death of me, but when you're staring at the plotline (even if it's just the vague one in your head) and seeing only a small jump to the end, you gotta keep going.
And, man, does it feel good to type THE END. Well, really, I typed THE END months ago, then moved the ending by some 800 or so words. Because that's how I roll. ^_^

But let me break down what that means for Dark One's Mistress.
It's 70,000 words long. For now, anyway. If it's anything like my other works, it'll get bigger in the edits.
There's 23 Chapters. Each scene is one chapter, so that's twenty-three scenes. One (the turnaround scene I needed) coming completely out of nowhere while I was writing. That's about three thousand words per chapter, give or take some.
Overall, the story takes 16 days. The original plot called for a month, but as I went on, I saw it wouldn't be necessary to stretch the timeline so far. Anyway, the last nine chapters covered three days. Three! No wonder I sped through them. Jammed full it is. ^_^
And finally, it's all done in one PoV! This is my biggest achievement yet. Even Golden Dawn, which is half the size of Dark One's Mistress, has a prologue and epilogue in two different points of view. And while my muse would toy with giving Lucias' side of the story through his eyes, I think it would've detracted more than what it gained. So yay me!

Now I'm that much closer to getting the story on the submission track (just gotta do some editing - which I'm already halfway through on the first round - and get some CP eye-balling going on), I'm finding a greater need to know where it "fits" in the shelving world insofar as the age market goes.
I've no problem with this when it came to my previous stories ...
The Rogue King, despite starting when he's twelve, is most certainly Adult.
Golden Dawn, though tamer in the sex department, is definitely Adult.
Even Dragon, which is tamer again, is nevertheless still Adult.

But Dark One's Mistress? *shrug* Ever since I first started writing it, I've been a little fuzzy on where it stands. Some days, I'm convinced it's Adult. Other days ... I wonder if it is, perhaps, New Adult.
I've already eliminated Young Adult from my choices (I was never a young adult, I've accepted this). I could give my Main Character an older age and nothing would change beyond me needing to touch on the point of why she wasn't married. So really, in my mind, if I can do that, it doesn't fit in the YA section.
But let me set down a few facts ... Clara - the Main Character - has just turned seventeen. Despite the main point of her kidnapping being Lucias creating an heir, there is no sex. There is mentions of past encounters (his not hers), but nothing more than you'd hear in the average discussion/gossip. There are, however, some darker moments that I hope will be heart-in-the-mouth reading.

At the moment, this is the query I've got for it (not perfect, I know, just roll with me here) ...
Snatched right off the streets of Everdark, seventeen-year-old Clara seeks her freedom from the moment she is given over to the kingdom's newly-made Lord, Lucias. When she is picked from a group of similarly-stolen women, she discovers that her worse fear is true: their Lord is in need of an heir, its conception to be before the new moon.

Despite Lucias' charm and good-looks, Clara is determined not to become his mistress. Never mind his ultimatum of coming to him willingly or be forced, there's the small matter of him stealing souls. To complicate things further, Lenora of Ne'ermore, an old enemy and ex-prisoner of the kingdom, is sending her pet barbarian to slaughter Lucias and, to ensure there is no chance of an heir, Clara must die as well.

Clara’s need to escape, whether through force or persuasion, grows stronger with each passing day. But then she learns that if Lucias does die without an heir, then the soulless criminals enslaved in his army will be free to terrorise the land. Now Clara is caught in a choice between regaining her freedom or losing it completely for the good of the kingdom. She doesn't have long to decide before death comes to take away everything and escape is no longer an option.
But is it New Adult or Adult? Any thoughts?

Thursday, 22 November 2012

The Next Big Thing


Yup, it's The Next Best Thing. This comes to me via Coreena McBurnie from Books & Other Creative Adventures.
For this, I will be answering the same questions she did about my WiP, then I'm meant to tag five other blogs who will post the same questions about their WiP or new release (I'll get back to that).


1. What is the working title of your book?
Dark One's Mistress. I can't remember when I dropped the 'the' off the beginning.
I like to call it DOM. ^_^

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
Heh. In a roundabout way, via playing Overlord 2 on the PlayStation 3 (I so wish I could find the first version). Yet the story bears no resemblance to the game except where the Dark One has the ability to take people's souls. And he has minions/servants/whatever, but every Dark Lord needs them.
In a less vague way, it stemmed from one question: What if the bad guy wasn't all that bad? I'm sure I veered away from that somewhere along the line as there's a certain uneasy feeling about Lucias. Maybe that's more the MC's feelings on him coming through there.

3. What genre does your book fall under?
Fantasy. Definitely fantasy. With a touch of romance. Okay, more than a touch. But fantasy nevertheless.
The real question is, is it adult or new adult? The Main Character is seventeen and, despite a longing for adventure, is a little naive on the big, bad world that's beyond her village. I blame the government. Wait, I made the government. Hmm ... does that mean I blame myself?

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Hmm, I'm tempted to put Hugh Jackman as the MC's agonist, the Dark One of the title. I think he'd be a perfect Lucias. Although, Johnny Depp is probably closer. I'm sure either could play a jaded and slightly hot mid-twenties guy who looks about ten years older. ^_^
As for the Main Character, I'm thinking Selena Gomez could play a decent Clara.
Now there's a combination. Is it odd that I waffle over the guy, but with the MC I'm all ... her!

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Ugh. I suck at one-sentence synopses. Actually, I suck at synopses in general. Here goes:
Despite the newly-made Lord's charm, Clara is determined to escape his clutches, whether through force or persuasion, but when she learns that if Lucias dies without an heir and the soulless criminals enslaved in his army will be free to terrorise the land, Clara must choose between regaining her freedom or losing it completely for the good of the kingdom before it's too late.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I'm hoping to go the agent or publisher route.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Looking through my posts, I apparently began in August 2011. How am I still writing it over a year later?
Let's see ... that's when it went from idea to written word; it wasn't expected so I was still editing Dragon; then my muse was high-jacked by another WiP; I rewrote Golden Dawn; and, finally, I stopped writing DOM at 30,000 words to do an editing run over it.
And I wonder why NaNoWriMo seems impossible to me. ^_^
Now it's at 62,000 words with two and a half chapters still to go (I'm on the final fight scene right now! Ah!). Then I'll be editing and on the lookout for some CPs for it while I write Anubis' Handmaiden.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Uh ... I am completely out of the loop with what's out there. Seriously, I've so many books to read already that I rarely set foot in bookstores nowadays or buy many eBooks. Trends are gone by the time I hear about them. Thank goodness I write for me and not the fads or I'd be screwed. ^_^

9. Who or What inspired you to write this book?
Apart from the game? Hmm, I've a heavy suspicion that this has been influenced by Beauty and the Beast. Just a touch. Maybe it's the fact she gets imprisoned in the citadel with him. Maybe it's that she sees him as this horrible monster for a long time, then gets a chance to see the real him.

Get your paws off me, you damn dirty ... *ahem*
10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
See, I suck at these questions. I write what I want to read, and I want to read the strangest things. I can pinpoint what I (dis)like in someone else's story, but if it comes to telling someone else what they'd enjoy ... I suffer from a terrible lack of confidence in people not liking my work.
In fact, only a handful of CPs have ever read my stories and, despite me chewing off the collective ears of my family about the stories, none of them have ever read a word of them in their current forms.
So what'll pique a reader's interest? I have no idea. Would you read a romance story that has the agonist/love interest trying to coax the heroine into his bed yet is denied even a single kiss from her? Read this excerpt if you've the time (it's quite long) and then maybe you tell me.


Okay, so tagging ... between limited 'net time over the last week, getting the car fixed and nursing a sore hand ... I never managed to get enough time to find people to tag. -_- In any case, much prefer to have people opt in when it comes to tagging.
So I'm leaving this open. If you want to join in, mention it in the comments and consider yourself tagged. All you gotta do is answer these questions and ... er, hopefully do better than me at the tagging. ^_^

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Review of The Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett


Title: The Thief of Time
Author: Terry Pratchett
Rating: 5/5


This was certainly an interesting one. The Auditors are once again trying to rid the universe of life.
As such, Susan is featured heavily in this one and, as with The Hogfather, I very much enjoyed her "at the end of the day, someone's got to tip the wee out of the shoes" attitude to life. Not sure if I'd have wanted her as my teacher though.
Having loved Small Gods, I was overjoyed to find the history monks are involved, particularly Lu Tze. He was quite the character and had me snickering like a hyena for ages while reading. And I'll certainly remember Rule One as I'm no doubt sure many of Discworld's characters wished they had. Especially the Auditors. And Lobsang. Poor Lobsang, always forgetting Rule One. ^_^
The one blemish in this otherwise excellent read? I wasn't a fan of Jeremy, he was a little too ... odd for my liking and some of the beginning scenes with him are equally out of whack. But then again, Jeremy wasn't a fan of Jeremy either.

Bikkit!

Friday, 16 November 2012

Bouncing upwards to 55k & Pinning it

I've always held in awe those people who can churn out a book in a month. I began writing as a loose pantser, typing when the muse struck with a faint goal in mind. It took me a number of years before The Rogue King's first person draft was complete. Years more before I scraped it and rewrote in third person.

So I'm amazed it's been only a week to find myself 5,000 words further along into Dark One's Mistress and a mere five chapters before the end. Not sure how long I can keep this pace up. Especially with the intense level that's been going on. And, man, I'd so much trouble with one piece of the chapter where the couple were dancing.
Dancing!
I've written all sorts of scenes, even a few other dance scenes. No idea why this was such a pain to get right, maybe because the moves weren't, stand there and jig to the beat, but precise and a little flashy (it's known as the Dance of the Peacock, for goodness sake). And how to get that across without getting complicated, while they talked ... no wonder I spent so much time waving my arms about to focus on the beats and movements. Must've looked like a very lazy bee had invaded the room.
Of course, all that hasn't been without me typing well into the night and finally slinking off to bed at 12, 1 and even 2 in the morning. You see, much of the time, I'm writing out in the dining room if not the bedroom and must wait for the family to ... bugger off. Then I type furiously before either someone creeps out to tell me the time (as if I didn't have a clock) or I nearly fall asleep at the computer (that's only happened a few times, I swear ^_^).


On another note: I finally signed up to Pinterest. And I've 100 pins on it already! Granted they're mostly from this site (along with a few that are up and coming), just all in the one spot. But now I've finally got a neat little place to store my playlists alongside my images. I'd no idea that I could pin videos, nor did it occur to me until I starting pinning them how a certain bunch of singers/bands tend to pop up.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Sliding into 50k

Whoo, been looking at the last time I gave a writing update on ... er, anything really. Just a little over a month. Yeah ... last month has been hectic. After my daughter got her teeth out, she ended up having a reaction to some sunscreen.
Yes, sunscreen. Kids sunscreen. Just what was put on her face, thankfully. Apparently it's common with that brand. O_o (Seriously, that was the expression I pulled when I heard.) But some medicine, a few non-sunscreen but still sun-smart days and it was clearing up.
Note the use of 'was'.
Last Saturday, while I was at a cat show, she went to her school's fair with daddy dearest and, on top of getting soaked ... got her face painted. *face palm* I'm not sure who I want to slap the most, her father for letting her get her face painted, or the people who did the painting because she still had obvious signs of a receding rash on her face.
It was an interesting pattern though. All dots and swirls from where the blue/purple was. Must've had a certain artificial, blue food colouring in the paint. -_-


Anyway, to find that Dark One's Mistress has hit 50,000 words makes me feel extra productive. ^_^
And it's not done yet. I've another 20k and seven more chapters to go before the end (basically the fun parts where my characters go through hell while I sit and giggle like some insane evil genius). Heh, at this rate, I might have it finished before my birthday in February.
No, let's see if December can see me announcing the completion of yet another novel's first draft. Hmm?


I'm sexy, and I know it. ^_^
Oh, and for those who were wondering, FizzyWhip, my sweet black and white sop of a cat got his mummy one first, three seconds and two fourths at the show. That adds up to some expensive catfood and a few ribbons.
Let's hear it for the rescue cats! ^_^

Monday, 5 November 2012

Seven years - not long enough

A somewhat younger me and Ticket

This is the twelfth year since I lost my dear horse, Ticket to Ride.

Ticket came to us via a friend who wouldn't sell him to anyone else. As a horse who'd been around the block a few times, he was feared by most in the local horse community. The general opinion was that he would be "a nice pet but unrideable".

He cost us $200 and I can recall being able to stand under his neck without bending. With him barely reaching 15 hands high and me around eight at the time, I'm not surprised.

Ticket had not had an easy life before we got him. He'd been in several rodeos as a youngster, could darn near barrel-race and cut cattle with his eyes shut. He came out of it with a chunk missing from his left shoulder in the shape of a bull's horn (in the photo, you can just make out a dent under the chest strap). It left him with a slight limp that was occasionally mistaken as him being lame. I've no idea how long he'd had it, but it never bothered him.

Someone, we believe a man since he was so wary of men in general, had also abused Ticket at some point. This left marks just behind his ears and at his throat where he'd been tied up with wire. He would suffer no whip and, at first, refused to go on a lunge rope.

He was such a firecracker that you'd never have guessed he was nearing thirty until you looked closer. Then you'd see the sway in his back and the grey peppering his otherwise chestnut face. If he let you get close enough, you found he had no top teeth in the front.

That didn't stop him from being a cheeky sod. In fact, he'd often stick out his tongue at people when they weren't looking.

We were first confined to riding in an arena, but once out on the road, he would pull all sorts of tricks to get home sooner. None of it involved bolting. His favourite was to whip the reins from my hands with such force that they'd fly over his head. He would then pick them up and trot off home with me on his back.

He also tried whipping me off by running under a branch. It didn't work. In one of the few times he did manage to dump me, by pure accident, I believe, I startled the heck out of him by arriving at the house before him (I cut through the back paddocks, while he took the long way). Hard to stay angry at horse who is looking at you then behind him at the driveway.

Of course, there were times when the weather conspired against the weekend and confined him to the paddocks. Then, he got so excited that he'd take off up the driveway without me. I swear he looked more than a little sheepish when I called out and he came back.

I took Ticket to both english and western clubs, eventually growing as bored as he with the former. Jumping wasn't our forte (he did it, it just wasn't beautiful) and, though he would do a passable dressage, his shoulder was forever a bone of contention. When cantering in a circle, he always led with the right leg, which meant being marked down every time.

But the games ... we'd no way of knowing for sure as he wasn't branded, but we guessed he was part quarterhorse (crossed with a tank) as he'd quite the powerful hindquarters. Nothing local could beat the bugger in anything involving bending, he even broke free during one game to do the barrel-race ... solo. A flat gallop. And the opposing team wondered why I hadn't saddled him up to compete in it. I was riding english at the time. Short of strapping myself top his back, how the heck would I have stayed on?

That wasn't the last time he got loose at pony club. He'd mastered untying all the quick slip knots and I swear he enjoyed trying to figure out ways to leave for home (I rode there every Sunday, he knew the way). Then he learnt of peanut slabs. Untying to escape became untying to go to the snack stall and pick out one of those chunky bars of chocolate and nuts wrapped in plastic. I never discovered how he managed to open them with bugger all teeth.

Even the western club could not divert his cheekiness, although, unlike the pony club grounds which had the handy access of a river, he could not escape the western grounds. But, like I said, he was an ex-rodeo horse and I swear he rolled his eyes when the instructors tried to teach me. I know he used to sigh a lot. Most of the time, he would not do as instructed, unless in competition. Dressage was the same. The arena had a mirror. Ticket, the vain sod, would stop and preen every time.

For all the difficult and downright annoying things he did, he was never a vindictive horse. One summer, I must've been fourteen by then, I took him out bareback and, while he was grazing on a bank, a duck gave him a fright. He leapt sideways onto the road. Now the bank dropped into a gravel slope. Ticket hit the road. I landed on my back on the gravel slope. As I lay there, unable to breathe, Ticket came to my side. He nudge me, snuffle over my face, then he grabbed my shirt collar and started dragging me home.

He was a jealous sod too. I'm certain he believed me to be his human and not my horse. Though we were uncertain towards his true age, I knew he wasn't young and tried to retire him. Several times in fact. But I was unable to ride any of our other horses without Ticket attacking them afterwards. One horse, a sweet dope of an appy we called Pompom, would even start misbehaving if I took him out and Ticket was visible. Once we were out of sight, Pompom became his normal compliant self. And Ticket seemed to have an instant dislike for, Ricky, a full quarterhorse I'd gotten to train as Ticket's replacement. Both horses were given up.

But old age and sickness took my dear boy in the end. At the age of fifteen, I came home from high school one November day to find him laying on the ground in obvious discomfort. He'd been unwell in the previous month growing thinner despite our efforts. We'd finally gotten him to a state where he was regaining both his strength and his weight. It was a shock to find him so as we had gone for a small, sedate ride the day before.

My family called the vet and - I say this with tears in my eyes - they had me make 'the decision'. Though I wanted him to stay, I knew couldn't let him suffer. I was there when the needle went in. I held his head as he died. I watched as they buried him ...

He was the most special horse I've ever owned and those seven years we had together, though far too short a time, will never be forgotten.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Monstrous Monday Blogfest


Yes, it's the Monstrous Monday Blogfest, hosted by Tim Brannan over at The Other Side.
This has to be one of the easiest and the hardest blogfests I've done. There are so many beasts I could pick for this. There are the creepy ones, the weird ones, but that list would change according to mood.
So here's a list that never changes ... my top favourites. All best numbered as one:


Yes, some of my draggies have feathers, they're hairy too. ^_^
There are the draggies. Currently, my personal favourites are the Main Characters of my novel (entitled Dragon, oddly enough).
These fantastical animals have long been on my list of creatures I will squee over. They've been depicted with so many tempers throughout history and, unlike some monsters (I'm using the term loosely here), have many different looks that all say dragon.
On the other hand, I'm not a fan of the straight up animalistic sort that are shown as being little more than dinosaurs with wings. Give me the cunning Smaug-esque dragon if you must make him a mean knight-cruncher, but I better not find your characters slaying these beautiful creatures for no reason. Odds will be, I'll be on the dragon's side.



Er, nice boy. Stay ... good boy!
Now, coming from the equine family, are unicorns and flying horses (both with and without the wings). Heck, if it's horse-shaped then, chances are, I'm going to love them. If it talks, they're just all the more adorable.
This love goes way back to my childhood and few things can top their majesty in my eyes. You can't tell me seeing a herd galloping across a field isn't breathtaking.
I'm not just into the lighter themed equines either. All those the night mares out there are simply adorable. I'll huggle them all. Whether I'd survive said huggles is another matter entirely. ^_^
And, of course, there's my personal favourite: vampire horses.



Technically, the one in the middle is human. >_>
Also on the list are centaurs. I've actually got two variations in two very different stories. Yet, apart from the horsey factor, there's very little in common with the two. What's more, one's Science Fiction (space centaurs, anyone?) and the other is Science Fantasy. No Greek centaurs here. Or is there?

And along the same vein as these centaurians beings, there is the group that holds the most amount of characters in my stories. Simply classified they are the ... um ... anthropomorphic creatures.
Yes, you read right, not surprising then that one of my favourite comics has a world full of them.
I've a fair amount of love for this category, especially when you lump everything from the ancient Egyptian gods to my completely made up species and the characters that have major issues (and I love to torture), the talking/dancing creatures of the fairytale films and everything else all into one big, lovable ball.

So there you go, the proof that I've loved fantasy for a darn long time and is twisted. Carry on through the linky and see what monsters other people are talking about.

And remember, to a dragon, you'll taste mightily good even without the ketchup. ^_^


Monday, 22 October 2012

Haunted Writing Clinic and Contest

The third week of the Haunted Writing Clinic and Contest ... I admit, this rolled around a little fast for me.
I guess that sort of thing happens when you're trying to soothe a distressed six-year-old after having her two front top teeth removed while she yells and cries because they've only gotten half the aesthetic she should've had into her ... that high-pitched scream, where you can feel the hairs in your ears flatten ... *shudder* I swear, it is not a sound one should ever hear. Certainly not when it comes from your own child.
And all this grief because a boy pushed her off a mound at school and caused her to land face-first on dirt as hard as concrete. -_-

So, as you can imagine (probably a little too well by now), my mind has been elsewhere since the Thursday afternoon when I first learnt of it. At least she seems to have forgotten all about it now the toothfairy has come and gone.
Still, I hate to think how the next dentist visit will go.

Anyhow, here's a reposting of the query and first page of The Rogue King ...


Query

Dear Super Villains,

Nothing in life comes easy for Veng. He's unnatural, a product of genetic manipulation. Leading a sheltered life as a young man, he was raised on fairytales and the belief they are possible. All that changes when he becomes a Rogue and is forced to endure the occasional possession by Lorric, the God of Lust.

Crowned king of the feared Rogues and forced into adapting to a lifetime on the run from those who would kill him, Veng's belief in love is all that's left of the once innocent boy. Until he meets Lasil. Protecting her rekindles his old ideals and it isn't long before he falls in love.

But there are few happy endings for Rogues, especially when loving Lasil comes at the price of his soul.

Lorric isn't pleased with losing Veng or his soul and has Lasil kidnapped. Now, unless Veng can accept his true nature, cross an entire country of people who want nothing more than to see him dead, and face down a god hell-bent on destroying him, he will lose everything he's ever loved.

THE ROGUE KING is a science fantasy told through the point of view of Veng, Lasil and their son. At 199,000 words, and written to stand on its own, it is the first in a proposed duo.

Thank you for your time.


First Page

Koral looked up through the glass panel in the metal ceiling. The combined light of four moons made it difficult to see the stars. Only a scant few shone bright enough to punch through that pallid glow. Which one of those dots, out of the hundreds he knew were truly out there, belonged to the alien creatures raising him? They'd come from another world, somewhere beyond the moons and the twin suns. From a planet they called Earth.

He wished the same could be said about him. But then, he'd wished for countless things during the past twelve years of his life. None of them had come true either.

"Excuse me."

Koral winced at the words. His birth-mother had caught him. Again. And she didn't sound all that pleased with him. He sighed. Prepared for the lecture that he knew was to follow, Koral turned to face her.

Hands on hips, Amelia stood in the doorway of his tiny room aboard the spaceship. "Get your tail back to bed, mister." She was considered short by the men, who weren't, at least in his mind, that much taller than her. Koral had recently surpassed all of them in height and their latest bio scans promised he would grow further still.

The tip of his tail wriggled between his ankles as his gaze fell to her booted feet. How did she always manage to move so silently on the metal flooring? "Tell me another story," he said, giving her the smile that usually let him get his way.

"Very well," she said with a sigh, humour tweaking her lips. Even with Amelia indulging his whimsy, there were times he felt certain he'd seen a flicker of unease in her dark-green eyes. "I suppose, seeing that it is your birthday, I can be lenient. Which one shall it be?"

The battle won again, he dove under his bedcovers and waited while she tucked him in. "I want to hear about the space ship."


Thursday, 18 October 2012

Now Look Here!

Crystal Collier done went and tagged me for the writing challenge: Looking at You. I'm thrilled she did. ^_^ I love these things but what happens most of the time is I end up coming along after everyone else has had a go.

The rules for this are simple:
-Find how many times the word "look" appears in your manuscript or work-in-progress.
-Post your favorite three paragraphs with the word "look" in it.
-Tag 5 other writers and let them know they were tagged.


I'm on a The Rogue King kick right now. So naturally, I had to use it for this. Besides, what with it creeping up to the 200k mark and all, I wanted to see just how many 'look's I could find.
Turns out there's 398. Far less scarier than I thought it would be. That's barely half a scene. In percentages, we're talking about 0.2%. Let me break it down:
Look: 172. Looks: 16 (Technically, one looksss there ^_~). Looked: 160. Looking: 50.

Now for the paragraphs ... I'm bending the rules a bit. These are my favourites, but only from the first two chapters.


Paragraph 1.
From Chapter One. Part of the story Koral asked Amelia to tell ...
"Yes, the machine had limits." Her eyes were distant, focused on something beyond the room's metal walls. "They travelled too far back, took too big a leap into space. It exploded. The ship was built to withstand an attack, but not like that. No one expected its use would weaken the core. So many people died." She blinked back tears and looked around her before giving him a sad smile. "Only this survived."

Paragraph 2
From Chapter One. 'Cause I love my walfres ...
Koral shook his head whilst keeping an eye on the shaggy beast. Up close he could see the walfre's bulk had little to do with the hair. Its head was massive - nearly as large as Koral's entire self - held aloft by a matching thickset body and hind legs. Although the forelegs were shorter than the back, it looked as if they might be capable of grasping things. That wasn't reassuring. His gaze flicked to the ground. Were those claws he could make out in the shadowed sand? He peered at the animal's mouth. The way the tusks curved down reminded him of his own fangs. Did these creatures eat meat? Koral couldn't recall. He really wished he could.

Paragraph 3
From Chapter Two. Just because <3 ...
Something trembled in his gut. I could eventually grow to love her. He quickly suppressed the thought. How could he think of marriage when his heart was not part of the union? Let the Rogues try and make him one of their own. He would not break easily. "Look, whatever Honny has told you. I –" His explanation fell away at the sound of her quiet laughter. It was a lovely sound. Quite ... musical. Perhaps marriage wouldn't be that unpleasant.



Now I don't want to risk bugging people by tagging those who have already done this or don't feel like it. Instead, I'm leaving an open invitation for anyone who wants to join in.
So, you! Yeah, you. You want it? You got it! All I ask is to tell me when you've posted it, cause I love reading these things as much as I like participating in them. ^_^

Monday, 15 October 2012

Haunted Writing Clinic and Contest - The Story

My query took quite the hammering during the first week of The Haunted Writing Clinic and Contest, finally settling at the Ninth Version.

But now it's time to let loose the first page of The Rogue King ...
Genre: Science Fantasy
Word Count: 199,000 ... ^_^


Koral looked up through the glass panel in the metal ceiling. The combined light of four moons made it difficult to see the stars. Only a scant few shone bright enough to punch through that pallid glow. Which one of those dots, out of the hundreds he knew were truly out there, belonged to the alien creatures raising him? They'd come from another world, somewhere beyond the moons and the twin suns. From a planet they called Earth.

He wished the same could be said about him. But then, he'd wished for countless things during the past twelve years of his life. None of them had come true either.

"Excuse me." 
Koral winced at the words. His birth-mother had caught him. Again. And she didn't sound all that pleased with him. He sighed. Prepared for the lecture that he knew was to follow, Koral turned to face her.

Hands on hips, Amelia stood in the doorway of his tiny room aboard the spaceship. "Get your tail back to bed, mister." She was considered short by the men, who weren't, at least in his mind, that much taller than her. Koral had recently surpassed all of them in height and their latest bio scans promised he would grow further still.

The tip of his tail wriggled between his ankles as his gaze fell to her booted feet. How did she always manage to move so silently on the metal flooring? "Tell me another story," he said, giving her the smile that usually let him get his way.

"Very well," she said with a sigh, humour tweaking her lips. Even with Amelia indulging his whimsy, there were times he felt certain he'd seen a flicker of unease in her dark-green eyes. "I suppose, seeing that it is your birthday, I can be lenient. Which one shall it be?"

The battle won again, he dove under his bedcovers and waited while she tucked him in. "I want to hear about the space ship."


There we go. The first page as it appears in MS Word. ^_^

Liebster Award #4

Gifted to me by the lovely Rhiann over at Nest of Words, this is to be my fourth Liebster Award.

If you've never seen one. The rules are:
-Answer the presenter's 11 questions
-Choose 11 lucky recipients
-Formulate 11 questions for them to answer
-Plaster the award on your blog

Well now. These awards just keep drawing me in, don't they. As with the last one, I won't be handing it out or thinking up some questions, but I couldn't resist the questions Rhiann has asked ...


1. If you were to choose a Nom de Plume, what would it be?
This one makes me laugh. It really does. Aldrea Alien is my Nom de Plume. ^_^ It's an old screen name of mine that I've come to love and have decided to use because a google search of my real name brings up an author of paranormal erotica ...
Yeah, I don't want one mistaken for the other.

2. What is your favourite flower?
My sinuses say plastic ones (curse you pollen!)
Seriously, I like deep red roses. How cliché am I?

3. If you had to live prior to 1900, what century would you choose, and why?
So long as it's in Egypt, you can drop me off anywhere circa 3000 BC. I know it's not exactly a safe place. I'll take my chances.

4. What is your motto?
I've never been one for mottoes, so I'm drawing a blank here ... moving on ...

5. Lake or ocean, and why?
Lake. We've no dangerous creatures in our lakes. And I was scared of the ocean for a good long time (It started after the car accident and disappeared while I was pregnant. I have no idea why).

6. Tell us three things about a favourite character you've created.
Just one out of all my precious babies? Wah! Okay, since I'm on a The Rogue King trip, we'll go for Veng ...
-He's 100% non-human.
-About the only thing he owns of himself is his mind. His soul, body, shadow, heart ... all belong to other people. Though the only truly willing gifting he did was of his heart. Metaphorically, that is. Let's not get gory here.
-His original personality got a major overhaul in the second rewrite. He was real mean to begin with.

7. You're in a car and this song comes on the radio - you can't change the station fast enough.
Runaway Train. I can't listen to it. I really can't. Just thinking about the song makes me want to cry.

8. Which author influences you most as a writer, and in what way?
The most? The most ... I think it might be a tie between David Eddings, Andre Norton & Anne McCaffrey. Each in their own ways and none more than the other.

9. When you get writer's block, doing this helps. (If you never get writer's block I'm blowing raspberries at you).
Computer Games! I switch the brain off and bash some monsters. Somewhere along the lines, the muse switches the brain back on and I am in business again.
In fact, that's how Dark One's Mistress came about.

10. What movie scared you (and maybe scarred you)?
That's a tie between The Grudge and The Ring. *shudder* Nightmares for weeks after watching either film.

11. What's your favourite Halloween candy? 
Halloween's not exactly all that celebrated over here. So my anytime candy will be either Kitkat Chunky Cookies 'n' Cream or Scorched Almonds. Yum.


Great now I want chocolate and there's none in the house. -_-

Friday, 12 October 2012

Haunted Writing Clinic and Contest - Version 9

Okay, of the previous versions last posted, #6 and #7 were the two the majority preferred. So I've attempted to blend the two and make ...

Version 9

Nothing in life comes easy for Veng. He's unnatural, a product of genetic manipulation. Leading a sheltered life as a young man, he was raised on fairytales and the belief they are possible. All that changes when he becomes a Rogue and is forced to endure the occasional possession by Lorric, the God of Lust.

Crowned king of the feared Rogues and forced into adapting to a lifetime on the run from those who would kill him, Veng's belief in love is all that's left of the once innocent boy. Until he meets Lasil. Protecting her rekindles his old ideals and it isn't long before he falls in love.

But there are few happy endings for Rogues, especially when loving Lasil comes at the price of his soul.

Lorric isn't pleased with losing Veng or his soul and has Lasil kidnapped. Now, unless Veng can accept his true nature, cross an entire country of people who want nothing more than to see him dead, and face down a god hell-bent on destroying him, he will lose everything he's ever loved.

THE ROGUE KING is a science fantasy told through the point of view of Veng, Lasil and their son. At 199,000 words, and written to stand on its own, it is the first in a proposed duo.

Thank you for your time.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Haunted Writing Clinic and Contest - Day 3

Firstly, Laura Stephenson was nice enough to critique the first 400 words of The Rogue King over at her blog From the Desk of Laura Stephenson.

So we're on Day 3.
Versions ... uh ... 5, 6, 7 and 8. (Again, for previous versions, scroll down)
H'okay then! Yesterday, I was given three suggestions for possible ways to go. So, naturally, I had a crack at them all and then tried to smash'em together. Because I'm like that. Since I can't decide which I like better, here's all four.


Version 5. From Tamara's suggestion:

Veng has no chance of a normal life. He is subject to possession by Lorric, the God of Lust. If he leaves the desert, he’ll be slain. His DNA has been manipulated by aliens into something that shouldn’t exist. None of it stops him from harbouring a secret wish for love and family.

His unhappy life explodes when Lasil comes into his life. Forced to protect the young woman from the claws of men who would abuse her, he ends up falling in love. This leads to the stealing of his soul and the kidnapping of his beloved.

Lorric, in retaliation for losing Veng, plans to torture Lasil into accepting priestesshood. To save her, Veng will need to cross a land where the people desire his death. But if he's to get to her in time, he must accept a royal heritage he doesn't want and find a way into Hell or his chance at happiness will die before Lorric's will.


Version 6. From storymultiverse's suggestion:
Nothing in life comes easy for Veng. He's unnatural, a product of genetic manipulation and, like all Rogues, endures the occasional possession by an evil god named Lorric along with a lifetime on the run from those who would kill him. But none of that can stop him from wishing for a normal life. So when Veng winds up protecting Lasil, a young woman from his past, it isn't long before he falls in love.

But there are few happy endings for Rogues, least of all for their king.

Lorric isn't pleased with losing Veng's soul, and exacts revenge by kidnapping Lasil. Unless Veng can accept his true nature, cross an entire country of people who want nothing more than to see him dead, and face down a god hell-bent on destroying him, Veng will lose everything he's ever loved.


Version 7. From Krystal Wade's exercise:
Veng led a sheltered life as a young man, fed on fairytales and believing they could happen. All that changes when he is possessed by Lorric, the God of Lust, and is forced to adapt to a world where no one cares if you live or die.

Crowned king of the feared Rogues, Veng's belief in love is all that's left of the once innocent boy. Until he meets Lasil. She rekindles his old ideals and makes him see that good things can happen in his life after all.

But Lorric is not content to let Veng settle into family life and has Lasil kidnapped. Now Veng must find where the god is hiding his beloved and free her or risk losing everything.


Version 8. Triple Mash-up (because it was fun):
Nothing in life comes easy for Veng. He is subject to possession by Lorric, the God of Lust. If he leaves the desert, he’ll be slain. His DNA has been manipulated by aliens into something that shouldn’t exist. None of it stops him from harbouring a secret wish for a normal life.

So when Veng ends up shielding Lasil, a young woman from his past, from men who would abuse her, it isn't long before he falls in love. But Lorric, displeased with losing Veng's soul, is not content to let family life take Veng from him. He has Lasil kidnapped and plans to torture Lasil into accepting priestesshood.

To save her, Veng will need to cross a land where the people desire his death. If he's to get to her in time, he must accept a royal heritage he doesn't want, find a way into Hell and face down a god bent on destroying him. If he fails, he will lose everything he's ever loved.


Whoo! That's a lot of query. At least they're getting smaller.
Please, do let me know which direction I'm heading.
I sleep now.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Haunted Writing Clinic and Contest - Day 2

Day 2 of The Haunted Writing Clinic and Contest.
Version 4. (For the previous version, scroll down)
All in all. Same stuff. Different take.
Goodness, after fifteen years of living with this story, you'd think I'd have a  better time of cobbling together a query. Doesn't help to have this the same week as the school holidays. One whine from her and that carefully thought sentence is just gone!

At least this query is shorter. Seriously. It jumped from two hundred in the original to nearly three hundred and now we're at just under two hundred and fifty. I think that deserves some chocolate and a good night's sleep.


Love. Family. Being a Rogue, Veng has little chance at either. He is subject to possession by Lorric, the God of Lust, and hunted by normal folk. That does not stop him from harbouring the idealistic wish for both. But it is clear to him and those around him that he is not normal. He knows the blame for that rests on the alien humans and their genetic manipulations of native DNA. Whereas others have believed him to be from a species long thought to be extinct.

Both are right. And he's not the only one the humans have brought into being.

Veng's steady, if not very peaceful, existence explodes when Lasil, the young woman he once saved as a little girl, comes into his life. In protecting her, he falls in love and, in turn, faces a plot from the powerful All Mother. A son is demanded of him. To keep Veng hidden from Lorric's sight, his soul is stolen and gifted to a goddess slightly less dark than the devil who already has his shadow.

Lorric is not content to allow this piecemeal ownership of what should be his. The god retaliates to the loss and, staging a willing departure, Lasil is kidnapped. Years pass before Veng learns the reality of her disappearance. Lorric plans to make her his priestess unless Veng risks the last portion of his life to free Lasil from the god's clutches before Lorric can bend her to his will.

THE ROGUE KING is a science fantasy told through the point of view of Veng, Lasil and their son. At 199,000 words, and written to stand on its own, it is the first in a proposed duo.

Thank you for your time.


Well, come on. Take a crack at it. ^_^

Monday, 8 October 2012

The Haunted Writing Clinic and Contest

'Tis definitely the season of the query polish, I tell you what.
First Golden Dawn got a mega-hammering over at Unicorn Bell.
Then Dragon went through the ringer in GUTGAA. It's still going through it's paces there (got through the second round, it did), so do pop over and have a look.
And you know what I've learnt? My original queries all sucked. That's okay though. I've long accepted that the first draft is not the draft. Learning the reasons behind why the queries didn't work was eye-opening to say the least.
But now it's time for another month-long query polishing with The Haunted Writing Clinic and Contest. ^_^
Okay, here's the deal with this one: For the first week, minions (writers who have query-ready manuscripts) will post their queries for the other minions and super villains (writers published or pre-published by CQ) to critique.
And because I'm still in a happy spot with my last two queries, I'm using this as an opportunity to polish my query for The Rogue King, my science fantasy of epic proportions. Alrighty then!

Version 3:


Dear Super Villain,


As a boy, all Koral ever wanted from life was a chance to fall in love and have a family. It is at the whim of Lorric, the God of Lust, that this simple wish is crushed and the life of one young man is altered beyond redemption.

Genetically created by humans and raised with technological knowledge centuries ahead of common folk, Koral is already an anomaly of his world. Growing up having never needed to fight or kill to survive, he struggles to accept the reality of living in a less-than-forgiving land when he flees his human guardians. It sets him down the path that strips him of his innocence and condemns his soul, and brings rise to the legend of the greatest Rogue to ever have lived.

Sacrificed to and possessed by Lorric, Koral is forced into the mould of Veng where, as the god uses Koral's body to rape and murder, his idealistic outlook on life is shattered. He struggles to keep his old ideals while carving out a new life amongst the men he's been made the ruler of in the hope of evading Lorric's notice. This life is enriched when Koral unexpectedly falls for Lasil, the young woman he once saved as a little girl.

But the gods are not finished with him. Koral was meant to be king, but not of the Rogues. To make it right, the powerful All Mother has his soul taken to hide him from Lorric. In retaliation, the god has Lasil taken. Years pass before Koral learns the reality of her kidnapping and, risking the last portion of his self along with his life, sets out to free her from the god's clutches before she is bent to Lorric's will.


THE ROGUE KING is a science fantasy told through the points of view of Vengeance, Lasil and Kael. At 199,000 words, and written to stand on its own, it is the first in a proposed duo.

Thank you for your time.



Don't forget to check out the other queries. And if you're just learning about this now, you're welcome to expand the minion numbers until the 21st.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Introducing ...


Name: Ruxandra
Story: The Unborn Trilogy - Golden Dawn/Silver Moon
Status: Lady

Originally only spoken of in passing during Golden Dawn, then shown in Silver Moon, with not one mention of her name. So here it is. Her name. Her image. All in the one place. The Main Character’s mother and catalyst of his life in more ways than one.

It was so tempting to have her surrounded by clouds instead. Really it was.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

GUTGAA and a Thing for the Nines

Gearing Up To Get An Agent (hosted by Deana Barnhart) is in the final weeks. Only the Small Press Pitch Contest rounds to go now. Which is both thrilling and terrifying.
So can you guess what I'll be stressing over for the next week?
Yup, I got in. ^_^ You'll find my entry over at Tara Tyler's blog with all the other Adult Entries.
What does that have to do with the title? Well ... In the Pitch Polish, I was Entry #90. In the Agent Pitch Round, I was Entry #9. Now, for the Small Press Pitch, I'm Entry #19.
(To top it off, I was also entry nine for the contest at Writerly Rejects)

I find that rather amusing in a cute sort of way. ^_^

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Introducing ...


Name: The Mark
Story: Aelfah
Status: The Mark (aka: Queen)

She’d a name at one time, then her father died (with a little help) and she took his place. Now she is the Mark.
Considered as both ruler and weapon, the current Mark controls the council who is meant to advise her, in fact she can control practically anyone except her children. Although she hasn’t her son’s abilities, she is still able to wield her own ‘weapon’ well enough to become catalyst and agonist for both Main Characters.
Though I sure she has a perfectly good excuse to tell herself why absolute power over her people is necessary, she's often considered as egotistical and sadistic by the few not under her influence.

I want to punch her. I know it's only a picture and it's my character so not actually real and all ... but I really do. Doesn't she just scream a certain little b-word?

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Busy, busy, busy

It's been a while since I did a writing update. Or really blogged at all in the last few months. (That's another reason to love blogfests, they give me a topic to post about)
Truth be told, I haven't been writing on my main WiP, Dark One's Mistress, for a while. Tinkering would be a more appropriate word. Opening the file and staring at the pages for ages only to add a word or two ... now that is probably the most accurate description of what I've been doing for the last few weeks. Despite my plotting, despite my best attempts to push forward, DOM has been sitting at just below 38k for what feels like forever.

But not anymore! It broke the 40k mark this morning.

That is because, over the last few days, I have added about 2,500 words to it. That's not a typo, people. 2,500! And a large chunk of that was in the last two days. And I'm still adding more, even as I type this, I keep hopping back to write more.
Needless to say, I've been over the moon about it. Over the moon! ^_^ These are the difficult chapters for my Main Character, the lead up to the final conflict.
But I know, if it keeps up at this pace, I'm going to burn myself out.

On top of that, and partly the reason I wasn't getting anywhere with DOM, I've added 6k to a bits'n'pieces file I have for Anubis' Handmaiden. It's mostly in the free-plotting stage, which leads to things being moved, being rewritten or thrown out altogether. I love the 'is it doable?' feeling of such a stage (the answer is yes, yes it is).
But included in all the half-baked plotting is about 2,000 words (one a near-complete chapter, the other a partial) that I'm both a little afraid to keep and thrilled to have completed. Let me say this about them: I was never a young adult writer, but I was a little shocked at how quickly I typed up those 2,000-something words. Here's an excerpt from it:

She rose from the bed, her nightgown whispering with each movement. One hand slid up his bare chest. Hard. Strong. A warrior's build. The heat of the desert sands rolled off his skin. A faint, hot scent hung in the air that had nothing to do with the incense. She looked up into those golden eyes. "An offering then?"
His gaze dropped from her face, a faint smile touching his lips. “
Merit,” he breathed. Fingers, strong and sure, ran over her shoulders. The thin straps of her nightgown fell away at his touch, chill fabric tumbling to the carpet. His hands slid across her body. Tenderly running through her hair as he tipped her head back. Grazing softly over her breasts. He kissed her neck, the fur of his muzzle tickling.

Of course, working on Anubis' Handmaiden does lead me to wonder what genre best defines it. And that is hard. I mean, there is no Semi-Historic Fantasy Partially-Paranormal Romance section, is there?

Monday, 24 September 2012

Review of The Truth by Terry Pratchett


Title: The Truth
Author: Terry Pratchett
Rating: 5/5


I'll say this now: I adore Otto Chriek.
Yes, I know he's a vampire. And yes, I do know he's a secondary character, but I can't help but love the iconograph-taking non-blood-drinking vampire who turns to dust every time he takes a photo. How could you not?
Anyhow, this novel is all about the Press. Or, rather, the Times and moving with it (before it runs you over and leaves its mark on you). A lot of this is about William de Worde (a fitting name, don't you think?) and how he first struggles to bring AnkhMorepork's first printing press into being, then keeping it running when a lot of people would much rather he stopped.
But it also follows two rather sinister fellows Mr Tulip and Mr Pin as they get tangled in the mess that always seems to be going on in what has to be my most favourite storybook city. I quite liked Tulip, even if he goes "--ing" a lot (no actual swearing, just "--ing", trust me).
All in all, it was good read where the more common characters take a bit of a back seat to a more humdrum side of the city that's anything but boring.
And come on, you can't resist Otto and his dark light eels. ^_^