Saturday, 29 March 2014

Well, at least I'll have my giveaway...

It seems the whether doesn't want me to have the internet. Wind and tree-felling just don't mix, you know? We did get one tree down before then, but it seems that one wasn't the problem... *sigh*

Here's hoping I can maintain the A to Z without the internet. If not. I fail at "E".

I do love me a challenge...


In other news. My giveaway for 4 signed copies of The Rogue King will be running for a month. Starting on the 30th of March...

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Rogue King by Aldrea Alien

The Rogue King

by Aldrea Alien

Giveaway ends April 30, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Enforced Hiatus

Right now, I'm typing this post on my computer ... at my godmother's house due to our internet being out for ... I don't know how long it'll be. It's been intermittent for a number of weeks, dying altogether when the winds blows, we cut down the two tree the techs claimed were in the way of our satellite dish.

Yeah, no ordinary broadband for me. I have the choice of this or dial-up for the next seven years. We cut down the two they said. Now there's apparently more trees... -_- Seriously, what am I paying this already ridiculous amount of money for again?


So, yeah, no internet for me until, at least, the weekend ... maybe ... hopefully...

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Introducing...

Name: Jusal
Story: The Rogue King
Status: Nomad

Jusal really only shows up the once, but his actions do bring about several occurrences, even if my Main Characters have no idea of the link between a few of the other characters (at least, not in this series).

I debated on whether to put a shirt on him or not, obviously went with the latter for a number of reasons.

Those things in the back are meant to be walfres, my lizard-like desert creatures, but since I haven't found anything close to resembling them...

Friday, 21 March 2014

The A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal


The A to Z Challenge is drawing near and thus reveal the theme I'll be following in April. What am I doing?
Honestly? After the last few days of intermittent internet access, I'm just hoping I'll be able to hop around the sites. So my thoughts haven't yet turned to what theme I'll use.

Then again, I also have...

A bloghop on the 1st.
IWSG on the 2nd.
A cover reveal on the 10th.
Charles' blogtour on the 15th.
Then there's Golden Dawn's release day on the 18th.
And The Rogue King on the 22nd, with the blogtour starting on the 21st.

Now you may be sitting there wondering "What the hell were you thinking in signing up for this challenge with all this on?" And, to be frank, I wasn't thinking of the clashes. It may be mad, but it's also fun!

But back to the theme...

Had my original plans to release The Rogue King earlier on in the year not been held up, then I would have regaled you all on the various world-building titbits I've collected for a land that has been seventeen years in the making. I'm not so certain about doing that anymore. I'm thinking it may just be of interest to me.


So, unless I get an epiphany before the first of April, I guess my theme will be "Random Stuff".

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Introducing...

Name: Adora Heartwood
Story: Aelfah
Status: First of the Clan

Granddaughter to the fabled Heartwood matriarch. The eldest daughter of the eldest daughter, she's also the heir of their lands which leads to her spending much time abroad and somehow being a mother to three unruly boys ... oh and, she's also Hazyn's wife.
I think it's fair to say that Adora's family lineage trampled all over her poor husband's but, what with him being the brother of the Main Character, Hazyn's life was plotted alongside Scen's pretty early on.
And it turned out her family has a ton to do with the Main Character's ... score one for the subconscious!

It's at times like this where I wish I'd a better grasp on dynamics. And who decided these guys all wore long, flowing outfits whilst abroad and in court?

Oh yeah, I did...

Why'd I do that again?

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Too big for one novel

When I first wrote Dark One's Mistress, it was to be a standalone. As I went through the edits, I knew there was more of Clara's story to be told. Which led to Dark One's Wife.

But since writing 50,000 words on Dark One's Wife in November (on top of the 25k I already had), I find myself in a peculiar state of mind. After much thinking I've come to the conclusion that my Duology may in fact need to grow into a Trilogy. At the moment, I've got the inciting incident happening at chapter ten which is halfway through the story, and that's with holding back all the stuff I want to show. The longer I think about it, the more rushed it feels, like I've only shown the highlights. Seems foolish as the first eleven chapters currently happen over a few days, how could it possibly be rushed? But there you go.


So the answer there is to write the little scenes that keep popping up whilst I deal with the whole terrifying mess of releasing two books on top of real life's woes. If applied, it would not only require massive rewrites (not bothered there), but will likely up the word count another 25k. That's not ever including what I'd need to write to get the last two chapters finished.

I guess that makes Dark One's Wife book three now, with Dark One's Bride being book two...

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Cover Reveal for Legends of Windemere: Family of the Tri-Rune

Legends of Windemere: Family of the Tri-Rune

set to debut on Sunday, March 16th!!!


Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
The magical adventure continues after Luke Callindor and his friends recover from their battles in Haven. Nyx still has nightmares about casting the genocide spell in Hero’s Gate. Every night her heart is gripped by the sensation of hundreds of goblins dying by her magic. By the request of Lord Highrider and Duke Solomon, she is returning to fix the damage she caused. With Luke Callindor and Sari by her side, Nyx is ready to face the vengeful goblins and opportunistic thieves that plague Hero’s Gate. Yet, there is a darker threat that was born from her violated magic: The Krypters. It is another action-packed, character driven story that will reveal one of our heroes has been lied to for their entire life.

Charles author photo B&WAbout the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Stalker Links:
Blog - Legends of Windemere | Twitter | Facebook

We’re still taking volunteers for the April blog tour. So fill out the form HERE!

Read the Previous Volumes of Legends of Windemere!!!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover by Jason Pedersen
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Introducing...

Name: Sadh
Story: The Rogue King
Status: Councillor

In my experience with quest orientated novels, the questers always stumble upon someone (who isn't also a deity) who knows way more about what they're looking for than the questers. This red bird-like woman is that person, save for one thing: what she knows has little to do with their quest.
When she originally popped up, I'd a very scant idea as to why she wanted to help them and also wasn't easily intimidated be it by eight foot tall lizardmen or people with elemental powers.
Of course, now I know. Which made writing her that much easier.


Ah, such an old, old image. And not really how I picture her (she should be stockier overall and with shorter legs), but those are the limits of being completely unable to draw and being half-able to use 3D models. I may attempt her again when I've the time to wrestle with a corrupted file.
That being said, I do like to think of this being her before she grew reliant on her cane (somewhere prior to her late teens).

Monday, 10 March 2014

Cover Reveal for SURRENDER THE SKY

The third book in the Sary Society series, SURRENDER THE SKY, has a shiny new cover!

Release Date: May, 2014

Synopsis:
Gabby lives by two unbreakable rules: don’t expose her kind, the Sary, and don’t fall in love—too bad some rules are made to be broken.

When Gabby’s most difficult charge accidentally shoots her in front of a class full of students, the event exposes her carefully hidden identity. She shifts from looking like a normal teen to her secret Sary form, revealing her wings and the existence of her kind—immortals who try to keep people from committing suicide. Her incident attracts the attention of the next leader of the Sary, Jassen, who offers her an impossible bargain: she can keep her wings if she makes amends with those who know the truth. Things get more complicated when a rebel Sary, intent on exposing them to the world, starts interfering with Gabby’s work. And there’s no denying her attraction to Jassen, who is torn between his duties and his heart. With threats at every turn and her immortality on the line, Gabby has to find a way to save the Sary or surrender the sky forever.

Add SURRENDER THE SKY to your goodreads list

Surrender the Sky is a stand alone title that follows COLORS LIKE MEMORIES and THE CHEMISTRY OF FATE, with cameos from several of the characters in the first books! It will be available in May wherever ebooks are sold!
Join in the celebration for a $10 Amazon gift card! Use the rafflecopter below for entries :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Find Meradeth Houston online at: www.MeradethHouston.com
Or stalk her via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, or her blog!

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Growing darker and darker

Yeah, I finally cracked and signed up
for the Insecure Writer's Support Group.
There always seems to be a dark vein running through my stories. In some of them, it's rather blatant that all is not well with the world I've created.
The most obvious portrayal of this is in The Rogue King saga. It was never sunshine and rainbows. It couldn't be, if I'm honest, and I run the Main Characters through the gauntlet, I truly do.
But when I split the story, when I wrote the scenes I'd skirted for the sake of brevity ... something happened.

The story grew darker.

As I look at how it alters the tone of the books, I find myself wondering if I originally left off what happened in those unwritten scenes because I was afraid of writing them, of not doing them justice. In contrast, I've some sort of irrational fear that what I'm writing now is just gratuitous fluff.

I'd like to think I wasn't afraid to step off the fluffy path of good times, maybe hesitant in the beginning (I was twelve when I first wrote this, after all). And pulling these character's apart was always the plan and the assumption that they had it rough wasn't new.
But to drag one character through a decade of heartache, attempted suicide and depression, and then have another almost completely broken through... well, I won't get into what happens here, I'm not even certain how I reached that level. None of it was in the original plot. It's lead to some rewriting of certain scenes, especially in the final book where both characters get to heal a little.
The last question that plagues me relentlessly is: Is it realistic? To which "I hope so" is the only answer I have.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

The case of the ever-growing word count.

Or rather... When will I stop adding stuff?

Seems like an age since I first announced I was breaking The Rogue King into four books. Looking back on my blog, it was somewhere in April, making it not even a year since the decision. Is that a long time? I guess. Maybe. Not when I factor in the previous sixteen years before then.

I look back on that post and note (with a bit of a wry smile, I'll admit) that I'd no idea if I would ever manage to get my poor books up to a nice size of 60,000 words each. At the time, they averaged 51k. Then I went through and bumped the first one up to 61k with the addition of a few chapters.


Now, on the story page is a cumulative count of all four books. It sits at a comfy 253k. I list the word counts for each book over on the saga page.
So you don't have to do any jumping around, it goes a little something like this...

That one I got to 61,000 words? Yeah ... it's a definite 65,500 now. All edited and ready for it's April release (of the ebook, anyway).
The next one? It skipped over 66,000 like nobody's business. I'm willing to bet it'll easily reach 67k once the editing is all over with.
Of the third? Well, it seems to have stabilized at 62,000 words.
The final one is still popping and banging all over the place. It's currently at 59,000 words. A month ago, it was at 57k.

And I'm working on little else right now, every time I do, another scene for this saga rears it's little head. It's not fluff, but rather that stuff I left unsaid or alluded to, the stuff I thought the story could do without when I was trying to keep it one book. Thinking about it now, I don't know what sort of crazy juice I was on.


Speaking of little heads...


This is Cinnamon, our newest kitty. We've had her about a week now.
Talk about distraction. ^_^

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Introducing...


*grumble* weather interfering with my internet *grumble*

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

Name: Marian Weaver
Story: Dark One's Mistress
Status: Seamstress

As mother of the Main Character, I'd always imagined her as a strict woman and the likelier parent to dole out the harsher punishments to her unruly daughter. Originally, her husband wasn't dead, but as I got deeper into the story, I found Clara constantly referring to her father in such a manner that I ultimately decided he must be deceased.
Ever since learning the basics about genetics somewhere along the line (in my early teens, I think), I tend to think long and hard on how family members look. Given the drastic shade of my Main Character's hair, I decided to tone it down for her mother. After all, the brightness could've come from Clara's father.

I'm quite pleased with this picture. Usually am when in involves reflections.
Just don't ask what's in the jars. Pretend they're buttons or spools of thread or something.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

A Question of Genre

Today I came across a post over at Legends of Windemere where Charles Yallowitz asks a few questions about genre writing. Naturally, I had to answer these questions, hence this post.


1.What made you choose the genre that you write in?  If not working within a genre, why did you go that route?
Hmm, for a long time, I considered myself a writer of fantasy and nothing else. I've enjoyed reading just fantasy for many years so why wouldn't I consider myself a writer of it?
But now, I've come to terms with the idea that I tend to stay within a little niche of similar genres that belong under the big umbrella known as speculative fiction, which means I'm jumping from Science Fantasy, to Fantasy, to Science Fiction, to Paranormal, and lastly, to Semi-Historical Fantasy.
Often I don't settle on the genre until I've finished with plotting the story. I actually called my paranormal a fantasy for a very long time (otherwise known as denial). The only constant in my stories is the romance (of varying levels).

2.What do you think are the strengths and weaknesses of working within a genre?
It all comes down to tropes, really.
Every genre has them, and there are lots when you get into the similar and different speculative fiction genres, and I see understanding the tropes as well as knowing what ones are bordering on cliché as being both a weakness and a strength.
Does that mean I'm out of the cliché woods? I doubt it. Creating an entirely cliché free story would be exhausting if not impossible given the amount of works out there. I just do my best to steer clear of the big, cheesy ones.

3.Do you think genres crossover a lot more often than we realize?
Yes, actually. Especially when it comes to the breadth of fantasy. In any given story, there can be a variety of other genres at play. Mostly, I find the best books (and some of my oldest ones) have around three intertwined with the main genre. Mystery is a big one, as is romance. Horror and thriller are close seconds.

4.Would you try another genre or are you locked into your area as a specialist?  Do you believe this hurts you as an author?
I don't think I could branch out any further when it comes to genre. That's okay, though.
What I do attempt to create are different rules for each world. Given that's seven entirely different realms, I likely do get overlaps on some details.
And I seem to have developed a fancy for silvery-blue light when it comes to representing magic. ^_^

5.Would you write within a genre that you don’t like, but is currently popular in order to get your foot in the door of the business?
No. Just ... no. Even if I was ever that way inclined, I take too long to write anything that the current trend would be over before I'm published. I write because I want to tell that story whatever genre it may be in.


So there you have it. If you'd like to answer these questions yourself, I highly recommend popping over to Charles' blog and grabbing the list of questions.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Breathless Cover Reveal

Today is the cover reveal for Krista McLaughlin's debut novella, Breathless, which is due to enter the published world April 1, 2014 (no fooling, I swear).



Book Summary:
Eighteen-year-old Lainey is the only witness to her best friend losing her life to the depths of the ocean. She stays close to the water, a small part of her hoping to surrender to the same fate. On her birthday the waters almost overtake her, but a mysterious young man rescues her and disappears.
Lainey can't stop thinking about the stranger from the beach, and one night she finds her rescuer naked and bleeding on the shore. Jon doesn’t know what pancakes taste like, how microwave popcorn cooks, or own shoes, but he seems to be just what Lainey needs. As the anniversary of her friend’s death looms, Lainey opens herself in ways she never thought possible. But when Jon’s identity comes to light, Lainey has to save him before she loses another love to the sea.


About the Author:
Krista McLaughlin graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Child, Adult, and Family Services, and a minor in English.  She was born and raised in the Midwest with her nose stuck in a book and her hand smeared in pencil lead.  When she is not cuddling with little ones she nannies, she is reading or cross-stitching.  She loves J.R.R. Tolkien and all things Star Trek.

Stalking in style links: