Friday, 31 May 2013

WiP it Good Blogfest

Hosted by DL Hammons of Cruising Altitude 2.0 and Elise Fallson, today is the Wip it Good Blogfest where participants will speak about their current Works In Progress.

A lot of my works are finished or sequels to finished projects, so I will be talking about one of my lesser spoken WiPs.

WIP Title: Anubis' Handmaiden

Word Count (projected/actual so far): Aiming for 50k, collectively, I have 16k, but tend to only count half as actually completed (the rest is all bit 'n' pieces), so ... 8K.

Genre: Tricky ... Paranormal Romance with Historical flashbacks?

How long have you been working on it? Heh, I started plotting last year while writing another story, so it's been stuck on hiatus from day one.

Elevator Pitch (if you came across an agent in an elevator ride, what couple of lines would you use to summarize your book): O_O Er, this'll be bad ... Anubis must convince the mortal he's fallen for to join him in immortality or risk her dying in childbirth and her soul irreversibly destroyed.

Brief Synopsis (250 words or less):
Around 2600BC Amisi, a young priestess of Anubis, was sacrificed at the behest of Osiris. Mummified and imprisoned in an unmarked sarcophagus, all mention of her was stripped from the records. Only the gods knew the real reason for such a drastic measure. Only one god mourned her death and, with his beloved lost to him, Anubis is banished to the edge of the afterlife.
Thousands of years later, and Anubis comes across June, a young Englishwoman, when she is drawn towards the amulet he made for Amisi. She bears the priestess' soul and, after encountering the enraged god, is inundated with pieces of Amisi's life. Infused with the tumultuous memories, June begins to fall for the god and walk in the priestess' ancient footsteps.
But loving him comes with a price Anubis was not aware of. When it is revealed that June is pregnant and the babe's birth will kill her, he is given one chance to keep her eternally at his side and precious little time to make it happen. Convincing June that immortality is worth the cost of a child will not be easy. And if she chooses wrong, this death will take more than her life; it'll destroy her soul.

Are you looking for a Critique Partner/Beta Reader? Before I've finished writing it? Er, no.

So that's me. Check out what other people are working on through the links below.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Secondary Characters Bloghop

Hosted by Theresa PaoloJenny MorrisKelley LynnSuzi Retzlaff & Jessica Salyer.

My favourite secondary character has to be Finn, from Jennifer Roberson's Cheysuli Series, starting with Shapechanger. I'm not entirely sure if he counts as his story gets fleshed out throughout the first three books, but it's never fully told. To hell with it, I say.

I started off with a love/hate thing with Finn as he's a pushy bugger wanting what he wants as well as being the younger brother to doing-no-wrong Clan Leader Duncan. Finn also wants to get down with Alix, the main character, just as badly as his brother and the prince of Homana. Yeah, everyone wants Alix, just for different reasons: Prince, to get her away from the Cheysuli; Duncan, because of prophecy; Finn, because he wants to.

Too bad for him that she picks prophecy. I mean, I would've chosen Finn in a heartbeat. His reasons may not be as high as the others, but at least he's honest about it. Plus, he is bound to a wolf, Storr, and can take that form. Much better than his brother who is consigned to becoming a falcon.

Check out other people's Secondary Character choices in the links below ...

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Procrastinating ... with trailers!

When I first heard about people doing book trailers, I wondered what it was all about.
I also did much groaning because I had no broadband and, back then, it took half an hour to download a two minute trailer. I swear, you won't get me back onto dial-up now, even if I have to cough up with the best part of my arm every month for the privilege of decent internet (Curse you, satellite broadband! Why must you be my only option?).

Anyhow ... this post is not meant to be a rant of me and my love/hate relationship with the sole broadband provider in my area. No, no. This is about trailers. I've been playing on a little website called Animoto for a while now ... about three or so months ... it's a pretty good set-up and free, if you don't mind the limitations that aren't all that bad.
So now, while my daughter's birthday has been and gone, and I've still another chapter to finish for The Vengeful God, I've instead been tinkering with videos and cruising through the music at Machinimasound.

All of that leads me to this: the first trailer for The Rogue King saga ...

I'm having so much fun with these. You have no idea. ^_^

Yes, I really am aiming for it's release sometime March 2014. I truly believe it'll take me that long to get it done. I've yet to finalise on whether I'll be keeping this cover or having it done by an artist, never mind the professional editing that must be completed. But mostly, the date is because I have plans for April 2014.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Review of Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh by Katie Hamstead

Ugh, the cover does not do B&W well

Title: Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh
Author: Katie Hamstead
Rating: 4/5

Firstly, I'd like to state I am crazy about Ancient Egypt. More precisely, the mythology before this period (Atenism seems so bland next to the customary religion of that time). Let's just say that, while I enjoyed the story later on, there was a niggle right at the beginning that left a lingering unpleasantness in my mind, even after putting it down to "unreliable narrative" status. Part of that might just be me.
Beyond that, it is a great story.
So the story is about Naomi being chosen to become the Pharaoh's wife (or, at least, one of them) and her adjustment to the whole lifestyle while trying to remain true to her Hebrew roots. It took me a while to get into it, possibly because of the aforementioned jolt, but once she's settled, the story really kicks off. There were quite a few scenes that had me sniggering, especially when it came to the wives and the overall interaction with Nefertiti.
I've mixed feelings about the ending though. How wicked to finish a story that way. This is why I rarely read a series before I've got all the books.
You're evil, Katie, you better be quick with the sequel. I want to know what happens

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Introducing ...

Name: Garon
Story: Witch of Morthin
Status: Duke

Exiled after the mysterious death of his sister, the Queen of Morthin, Garon is the man my Main Characters - Sarna and Lorn - seek to help them. One because of kinship, the other because of a promise.
He's a sweet guy, when not provoked, unmarried (though I've no idea why) and highly protective of his nieces and nephews as well as being skilled in ancient lore and magic on magic combat (which, really, you got to be when half the kingdom can use it). Thank goodness actually, seeing that Sarna isn't all that knowledgeable on the military side of things.

My original picture of Garon had him looking a little on the aged Native American side (I've no idea how it happened). Cool, but not quite the look I was going for, so here's new and swanky Garon instead. Don't let the courtly duds fool you, he can use that sword and skewer your fried ass.
I think this is my first picture of a witch not using his/her magic. About time. I was getting sick of the blue glows.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Introducing ...

Name: Gol Dek
Story: The Rogue King
Status: Dragon God

Seemed fitting to have Dek, as the Dragon God, the patron of the raptereons. The name of Dragon God itself is actually a reference to the people than himself as, let's face it, only his wings bear much resemblance to a dragon.
Being the brother of my agonist, Lorric, and bearing the same volatile temper, he is also surprisingly social, fun-loving and, over the centuries, has become tolerant of a great many things. Probably just as well seeing that his worshipers have a devil-may-care attitude in obeying him.

Very little about Dek has changed from my original design. I've always liked the way his body colour went with the red and black of his wings.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Review of Going Postal by Terry Pratchett

Title: Going Postal
Author: Terry Pratchett
Rating: 5/5

I was plagued by an urge to watch Going Postal all throughout reading this book. Perhaps it's because I've done so before many times. The part where the good guys are victorious is different, for sure, but no less fanciful and still in line with Moist's character and I sort of prefer it to the slightly less dramatic version in the book. (I know, I know. The horror!)
However, everything leading up to it is far better. So many things went down, so many twists in the plot that, even though I knew the ending, I wondered how they were going to get there. Got to love the characters, especially Miss Dearheart and, yes, even the book version of Moist von Lipwig grew on me. But the golems are really the ones who steal my heart, especially Mr Pump and Anghammarad (you've got to love the deication of 19000 man of clay). ^_^

Saturday, 4 May 2013

A new map

So the background world of writing trickles on and, as I wait for publishers and agents to get back to me on other stories, I continue to work on The Rogue King Saga (I still get chills whenever I read that). All goes well there, I'm pretty much certain the final word counts for the first two novels are nearing stability and the third merely waits for me to finish the last new chapter before adding the final chapters to the fourth novel.
After all the time I've spent with these characters, my writing is lightning fast. At least, when I can write as it's the school holidays for my little possum (only a few more days now).

But that's got nothing to do with maps.

I go to my shelves and pick up any fantasy book, 50-75% of them have a map of the world. When my goal was to have The Rogue King traditionally published, I'd always intended on a map hitching a ride along with the rest of it to be redone by someone more skilled than I. Obviously, this route is no longer one I can rely on.
I've been in possession of a map for years ... sort of, I know my drawing skills are not that fine. And though my old attempt is better than the original (which, according to family, looked like a defecating fish), but still ... the new and improved was not a thing of beauty and I'd be ashamed to put it in a book.

So I scouted out what choices I had and, all up, there were three options:
1. Pay someone else to create my map.
2. Find some way to do it myself.
3. No map.
I'm not gone on #3, if I am to be honest. People do publish fantasies without maps (top of my head, I can name two series that do this). Given the choice, I would very much like a map. Which left me with the expensive and insanely tediously back-and-forth option of #1 or tricky #2.
So back to #2 we go.
I do recall T.B. McKenzie of Magickless mentioning a Photoshop Tutorial he used for his map. At the time, I didn't possess a version of Photoshop. I recently tried Gimp, but, alas, that didn't work either. Then I found a seven-year-old version on the Adobe website and thought, why not?

Yesterday, after many hours, practically my whole day, I came away with this:
So pretty ...

Granted, this is just one side of the world, but when I speak of only the The Rogue King Saga (there goes that chill again), the other continent is a mere mention.

Having stumbled across a different map-making tutorial, which I used for the water (and following that darn near took as long to follow as the entire previous tutorial), it now doesn't look all that bad in greyscale ...


In other news, Katie is holding a bloghop celebrating her release of Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh. Pop on over and check it out, some great prizes to be had. Or, if you don't want to leave getting the book up to chance, you can always buy her book from AmazonBarnes & Noble or Kobo. Either way, you're not getting my copy.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Introducing ...

Name: Ambrosia (Amby)
Story: The Unborn Trilogy - Silver Moon
Status: Maiden

Oh, Amby. All this young woman wants to be is normal. You know, go out with the cute boy, or the other, newer, cute boy. What a pity daddy don't approve of her choices ...
What am I saying? Daddy don't approve of anyone. Period. He also doesn't like her staying out after dark, but then ... who would know what's lurking out there better than him?
Needless to say, guess what Amby does most times? But then, she is eighteen. >_>

Well, my computer says this image is around three years old. Which sounds about right. Problem is, I now cannot recall the reason why she's holding a jar. Then again, I probably don't want to know.