Thursday, 25 April 2013

Introducing ...

Name: Heru/Horus
Story: Anubis' Handmaiden
Status: God

Do I really need to explain him?
Okay, this is Heru, better known as Horus, warrior god and son of Osiris and Isis. To explain him, the tale really has to start well before he's born. Like when his father died and became ruler of the underworld.
Depending on the tale, Osiris' brother, Set, locked him in a chest or just straight out poisoned him. Either way, Osiris gets chopped up and scattered across Egypt. Isis finds all the bits - except his ... phallus, which was eaten by a fish - and gets help from Anubis to put him back together.
The first mummy is made and Isis is impregnated with Horus. But Set's super mad, as well as a little crazy, and Isis, for all her power, has to hide.
So Horus grows up and challenges his uncle for the throne. Him and Set have all sorts of tests to see who is stronger. Some pretty freaky things go down, both during and after the test, including some limb-cutting, eye-gouging and seriously funky stuff with lettuce (it's best you don't ask). Now Osiris is in the world of the dead throughout all this, so he wasn't much help. But Isis was always there, helping her son, even when he cut off her head and buried it in the desert. How's that for a tantrum?
Eventually, through daddy's intervention, Horus gets the throne and Set joins Re on his boat because, even though he's done all this bad stuff, that guy is still a damn good warrior when it comes to fighting Apep. Of course, Set's eventually banished to walk the desert forever, but I digress ...
So, after all my reading, I bet Horus has a little bit of a spoiled brat in him. And since I'm going with the myth that Anubis is Osiris' son, Horus and Anubis are half-brothers (with Anubis being the older). Guess who rags on whom?

His skin's a little more golden than I wanted, but I'm quite pleased with the way this one came out, especially the face. Just look at that expression. ^_^

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Cover Reveal - Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh

It's cover reveal time!
I've been squeeing over this all morning, mainly because it means the release is close (and let's face it, I'm a sucker for Ancient Egypt) and I get to see this sweet cover before then. But before then ... details!

Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh is a NA Historical Romance and shall be out on April the 30th. To read more about it, pop over to Katie's blog. Before you go ... the reason we are all here ... the COVER!

Can't wait to own this. ^_^
Blurb:
To save her younger sisters from being taken to the cruel life of the palace, Naomi intervenes and gives herself to be a wife of the erratic Pharaoh Akhenaten. 

In the palace, Naomi finds herself thrust into the intrigues of the royal family, and has her name changed to Kiya. She becomes beloved by the Pharaoh, who declares that she will bear him his heir. But the Great Queen Nefertiti, furious with jealousy, schemes to destroy Naomi and even brings her fidelity into question, which could cost Naomi her very life.

Naomi must play the deadly game carefully. She is in a silent battle of wills, and a struggle for who will one day inherit the crown. And if she does bear an heir, she will have to fight to protect him as well as herself from Nefertiti who is out for blood.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Want to be my Beta Reader?

The more I see this,
the more I love this.
While I'm still working on the rest of The Rogue King Saga (that's what I'm calling the series), the first book has remained relatively unchanged.
Not that it hasn't moved from its rewrite. My awesome CPs have really helped it along there. But now it's been tweaked and rearranged ... it's not really moving. And when you find yourself shuffling and rewording a sentence or pushing commas around it's time to seek outside opinions.

I feel it's time for The Rogue King to perused by some beta readers before moving on to procure an editor to spot those crazy errors. And they'll be there. If there's anything you can count on, it's typo gremlins. I did aim to self-publish by the end of this year, but that'll now depend on a certain kitty's vet bill.


So ... I guess this is the part where I go all shameless and ask for your help. I'm mostly looking for plot, character development and overall story quality. Most importantly, since this is now the first of four novels, that the book feels like a whole in itself.
What can I offer in return? Virtual muffins! Way more delicious than your regular kind and guaranteed to be 100% fat free. ^_^
Okay, seriously, I can offer more than that. I can return the favour ... so long as it's not horror. That's a genre I can no longer read or watch.


'Cause I know you're all not like me and super-obsessed with this little world, I also know you're going to want to know what The Rogue King is about.
Let's start off with the cold facts: It's Science Fantasy, adult category and 58,000 words long. I am warning you here: there are sexual themes.
Now the story itself is ... well, this is a little piece I wrote for the back cover for the first book (you may give opinions on that too, if you like):


Koral was born a product of genetic manipulation and knew little of the world beyond the steel walls of home. Until, on one unhappy night, he flees into the desert. But the sands he must brave are full of more than mere monsters.

This is a world ruled by instinct, where innocence is drowned in blood. Here, men are sacrificed to the great Serpent God Lorric only to emerge as the most feared killers on the planet.

The Rogues.

With the god's sights set on turning him into a legend, Koral must sacrifice himself to survive and become ...

The Rogue King



Not enough to tempt you? Well, you've always been able to read the first chapter here. If you're interested in reading more, chuck me an email at aldreaalien (at) yahoo.co.nz.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Introducing ...


Name: Gol Meka
Story: The Rogue King Saga - The Rogue King
Status: Serpent God of Miracles

One could argue that Meka is my version of Lady Luck. He wouldn't give you much of an argument about it, for, much like his brother, Antil, Meka is known for not throwing much of his weight around (but when he does ... you better watch out, the boy has a tendency to be ... melodramatic).
Instead, Meka opts to spend his time aiding his brethren in creating miraculous moments and answering random needed prayers. This quiet preference is what had him wind up as the patron god of the sssstamne (and no one was more surprised than him, I'm sure), who diligently pray but do not ask for much of a god that is seen as able to weave the impossible.

Originally, Meka was black and red (he didn't have arms either), then I saw this colouration and ... well, it screamed Meka to me. I could not, however, get a depiction of a miracle, so fell back on basic magic.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

The Charge Blogtour - The Long Road

 photo 1f05a5bc-4ea0-4fe5-8c0b-f9f487086b90_zpsf1319e8a.jpg
Today ... today we have a guest posting by Sharon Bayliss!
As part of her blog tour for her book, The Charge, she is here to tell us her journey to publication.


Take it away Sharon and tell us your journey!


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

I vividly remember the moment that I decided to write the novel that would eventually become The Charge. In 2009 I was going for a jog. The setting was perfect for inspiration - slightly stormy sunset sky, listening to good music, endorphins pumping. And it just hit me. I knew exactly what I should write, and I knew it would work this time.

I was sort of right. The novel I wrote in 2009 would become The Charge, but the original concept was different enough I count them as two separate novels.

I got so, so, so close with Novel 2009. It won or got honorable mention in more than one agent judged contest, and I got a handful of partial and full requests. For me, being close, but not quite publication ready was harder than writing a crappy book with no chance.

I had to accept the difficult fact that writing a good book was not enough to get published. I knew Novel 2009 had problems, but I also knew it had great things about it. Shelving a book you know is bad hurts like hell, but shelving a book you know is good is just horrible. It feels like such a waste and it's hard to know if you're doing the right thing.

But there is also a point where you've gone too far to turn back. I had put in so many hours, so much blood, sweat, and tears (okay, probably not any blood), I just had to keep trying.

Fortunately, my brilliant critique partners had given me all the insights I needed along the way to know where to go next, I just had to puzzle it all together and separate it from all the conflicting feedback noise.

I revamped the whole thing. Changed the main character, the setting, the title, and much more. I was happy with the result, which was the early draft of The Charge, completed in 2011. I went through yet another round of beta readers and another round of queries. I got a few query replies and blog contest nods, but the response was disappointing.

I didn't want to shelve The Charge, but I was discouraged and decided to at least move on to something else for a while. The publishing industry moves slowly and I'm not very patient. So, I had moved on before The Charge had really gotten a chance. I hadn't thought about The Charge in a while, then I learned that it had made it through the first round of the 2012 
Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Competition. Then, a month later, The Charge became a quarterfinalist. I didn't move to the semi-finalist round, but I did win a very positive Publishers Weekly review.

My success in the ABNA contest made me rethink everything. The expert judges and the Publishers Weekly reviewer thought it was great! The agents who read my query may not have fallen in love, or thought they would have trouble fitting it into the correct marketing box, but that didn't mean the book wasn't worth publishing. So, with my renewed confidence, I tried something new, I queried small publishers directly.

It didn't take long at all for me to get some full requests, and in about a nanosecond in publishing time, Curiosity Quills Press made me an offer. And on March 2, 2013, my lifelong dream of publishing a novel finally came through. 

If you're still in the "aspiring" author stage, I hope my story shows you that success is possible, but don't expect it to come easily or quickly! Thank you for letting me share my story, Aldrea!

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



The Charge by Sharon Bayliss
Genre: New Adult Dystopian Romance
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Release Date: March 2, 2013

When King of the Texas Empire kidnaps Warren's brother, Warren embarks into a still Wild West to save

him. On his journey, he makes a discovery that changes his life forever—he and his brother are long-lost members of the Texas royal family and the King wants them both dead. 

He gets help from an activist Texan named Lena, who's itching to take on the King and happens to be a beautiful firecracker Warren can't stay away from. Convincing her he's not one of the bad guys becomes harder when a mysterious energy stirs in his body, turning his brain into a hive of emotions and memories—not all his own.

A legacy of violence is not all he inherited from the brutal Kings of Texas. The myth that the royal family possesses supernatural powers may not be myth at all.

Gone are the days when choosing a major was a big deal. Now Warren must save his brother and choose whether or not to be King, follow a King, or die before he can retire his fake ID.

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Bio: Sharon Bayliss is a native of Austin, Texas and works her day job in the field of social work. When she’s not writing, she enjoys living in her “happily-ever-after” with her husband and two young sons. She can be found eating Tex-Mex on patios, wearing flip-flops, and playing in the mud (which she calls gardening). You can connect with Sharon using the following links ...


Tuesday, 2 April 2013

One, two, three ... four books?

If you've been following me, you'll know I made the recent decision to divvy up my 200k+ story into two books.
Yeah, I is fully scrapping that idea ... er, what?
Hold on now. Let me explain ... No, that'll take far too long ... let me sum up.

Part of the reason I wanted the story to be in one book is because I didn't think it could bear being more than that. As it got bigger, I saw a spot where it could be cracked into two where a particular journey starts. Bonus: it happened to be near the middle of the story. The word count's aren't final, they'll never be final until it's published (what can I say? I love to tinker), but it'd be a rough 99k/107k depending on where my last round of editing leaves me.
Well done, subconscious, you made it so I could easily divide this bad boy into two.

Or did you?

See, while I was considering titles for this extra book, The Shadow Prince just popped into my head. I quite liked it, certainly better than I do for the other title I came up with (It looks so filler-ish to me).
But I had to put the idea to one side because ... well ... while the character in question is there for a large portion of the story, he's not the focus in the second half. In fact, while I was going through my chapters, I discovered something wonderful: he practically owns the middle of the story. O_O
Cut The Rogue King down to where The Shadow Prince's story begins and, right now, I've got a 57k first book (with a definite 'there is more' vibe. But y'all know that's gonna happen anyway). Carry on The Shadow Prince to a nice conclusion and it hits a rough 54k mark (again that depends on the editing).
It's official! I've enough for three books!

Or do I?

The whole problem I had with the single book was that it'd became too big for me to do anything with it. Agents and publishers wouldn't take it based on its size and me being a debut author. Whereas going the self-publishing route and getting the thing edited would've costed me thousands (that's doing it cheaply). In fact, most editors tend to stop their pricing at the 150k mark.
So having the first two in 57k and 54k chunks will make it much easier to manage on the editing front. That means The Shadow Prince is definitely here to stay as a sequel to The Rogue King.
But those two only account for the first half of the whole story. With the figures I have, the last book would end up being around the 90k mark. Unless ... unless I split that into two as well. Then I'd end up with two books just under 50k. Decisions. Decisions ...


Four books wouldn't be too bad though, right? Or have I finally gone completely insane?