Sunday, 29 June 2014

Versatile Blogger? Me?

Seems a contradiction in terms to consider my name alongside the word versatile. I'm a very stubborn, stuck-in-my-ways sort of person.

Nevertheless, my good friend Loni Townsend nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award. Thanks Loni! ^_^

So, like many awards out there, this little baby comes with some rules:
• Thank the person who gave you this award and include a link to their blog.
• Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. (I'm actually going to bypass this, because I'm a rebel. But if you're crazy enough to follow me and comment, consider yourself tagged. ^_^)
• Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
• Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.


So ... seven completely random things about ... ME

1. For most of my life, I've never heard a sound through my left ear. Yet, the older I get and the more I wear headphones, the more I can hear through it. It's terrifying and amazing at once.

2. I really wished I was born a redhead (preferably dark red) for the longest time. Gaining a ginger fiancé has sort of cured me there. Now I've got his orangey locks to obsess over. On that note...

3. In November, my waist-length, hair (a product of many years' growth) will finally become shoulder-length as I donate all that very-much-dark-brown gorgeousness to the production of wigs for cancer patients. Maybe I'll post pictures when the time comes...

4. When it comes to computer games, I'm a sucker for the trophies. Must get 'em all!

5. It's hard to get me drunk. Possibly due to the fact that I drink a very select amount of beverages, have an avid dislike of social mingling, topped with not wanting any more alcohol past a certain point.
Also apparently, the sole time I was, I became convince that everyone was out to mug me. Ah, sweet paranoia, how I've missed ya.

6. Once, whilst getting new lenses for my glasses (a three hour wait), I once smashed straight into a window thinking it was a shop door. I then spent the rest of the time testing every doorway despite my aunt's assurances that she just went through it.

7. I basically flunked my English exams. It's true! I just missed a passing grade. I'm still not sure how I failed here but managed to pass Maths and Science... Bah! I left school at sixteen anyway.


Heh. Now I must appear proper crazy. ^_^

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Mock covers ahoy!

As I've mentioned before, I like to do mock covers for my novels. Even if the picture is only still in my head, even if when I get around to working on them, I'm not in the league of the professionals with their image-altering awesomeness, thinking on how that image portrays the story gets me thinking on the important parts.

My Main Characters tend to feature a lot. Sometimes, even if there's more than one PoV, there's only one person in the image, like I chose for The Rogue King. That being said, there are the rare few where the Main Character isn't in sight: Golden Dawn actually depicts Herald's charge (I thought it more fitting, considering the story revolved around her); and The Vengeful God will have the major agonist.

So when I went to think of what I'd like on the mock-ups I make for the other two books that'll make up the Dark One Trilogy. No doubt the covers will look very different once my ideas are in a professional's hands. But I like

For comparison's sake, I'll first show the cover AM Design Studio did for Dark One's Mistress. Done before I decided the whole tale needed to be a trilogy...


And now for the mock-ups. Excuse the lack of matching with the type...


They were fun to make. They really were. ^_^

So, do you play around with various images to depict your story's cover before you've finished writing, whether or not your let them out of your hard drive?

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

It's just not my year...

You know it's bad when we're not even half way through a year and I'm already waiting for it to be over.

Let's not even discuss my three month dilemma with my internet connection, really. I have it, then I don't. It works when it's sunny, then it decides to work when it's pouring. I'm officially over it and ploughing through it's stubbornness. It may keep me from cruising all my fav blog sites (I try, but it's hard doing it in five minute bites), but it also means I have all this spare time to write. As well as a few mock covers (more on that another time).

No. I'm more bothered by recent events. I went to get my car's warrant of fitness sorted just the other day and (surprise, surprise!) there was something wrong with it. Well ... there's always something wrong:
  1. It once leaked oil for several months. Apparently the garage left a bolt loose. (Idiots)
  2. It's lost it's automatic fluid twice. I've no clue where it went. On the plus side, I'm fully tuned to when it needs fluids.
  3. The sensor that the trips the Auto Trans light comes on in prolonged wet weather (and turns off when it hits 1,000 RPM). Nobody seems to know why.
  4. It's been through two radiators. I blame my fiancé; he blew up the original and bought another that was 95% blocked.
  5. Six months ago, it had new a water pump fitted (no biggie then).

Ah, but this time? It's got to have a new fuel pump.
'Cause it's apparently leaking diesel.

Ugh. Just saying it sounds expensive. But it's cheaper than a new car.

And, as if I'm not stressed enough on how I'm to find the money to fix it and save up to get The Shadow Prince edited (and a cover), trying to drive the gas guzzler that I've derisively called the 'mould mobile' (don't ask, seriously) ... the handle on my laundry door snapped. This is the very door we keep shut to keep our itty bitty kitty from the big bad world. Like I can afford a new door handle right now.

I got three words for you, universe. Cut it out!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Introducing...

Name: Sarch
Story: The Shadow Prince
Status: King

Technically, Sarch is only named in The Shadow Prince, but he'll make a full-on appearance in the Godless Series. He's one of the few of his species left (full shape shifters), he's also about 150 years old. In terms of character developing, he's one of the older ones, coming to life in a pitiful story that's almost as old as The Rogue King Saga itself. I may even rewrite it one day and tell how he and his lady-love became the rulers of two kingdoms.

Outwardly, Sarch is an arrogant creature and not at all impressed with the reputation of a certain giant lizardman. Inwardly ... well, I'm sure he's more than a touch jealous of Veng in some things.

This isn't actually a depiction of Sarch as himself, but rather as he prefers to appear to make others, mainly his wife, more comfortable. His natural form is rather large and ... insect-like. And seeing I suck at drawing...

Friday, 6 June 2014

Edge of Truth by Natasha Hanova is one year old

EoT_Ebook_FinalEdge of Truth (YA Dystopian) is officially 1-year old today! In celebration, Natasha Hanova is hosting a big giveaway with book contributions from multiple authors.

Since June 6, 2013, Edge of Truth has landed a spot on Amazon's Teen & Young Adult Science Fiction and Dystopian Top 100 List, earned an average review rating of 4+ stars, got facelift a.k.a. new cover, and now has bonus content.

Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter contest for a chance to win chocolate, an Amazon Gift card, or free books!

But first, enjoy this short excerpt of Rena's first in-person encounter with love interest Nevan. She's out past curfew and on the run from the Overlord's robotic lawmen. This scene takes place right after she knocks on Nevan's door seeking refuge:

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Nevan’s dual-colored eyes—one blue, one hazel—captivated Rena. She drowned in them, in his dark eyebrows, his long, wide-based nose, his full lips. Even the faint V-shaped scar on his forehead that first appeared two years ago was too beautiful to look at. Her heart pounded, as if struggling to close the distance between them. She chewed her lip, dreading the usual shock of pain from emotional spikes like this, only it never hit.
When Blaze poked her in the back, she exhaled, but couldn’t force any words out. Warmth rushed through her from being near Nevan, with his slight smile and shoulder length dreads. In spite of the cool night air, her armpits prickled with sweat. Looking at him made her cheeks hurt. She focused on a random spot near his shoulder and struggled to think of something, anything to say. This wasn’t how she pictured their first conversation. But what if it didn’t amount to words? What if he slammed the door on her?
Blaze pushed hard enough to move her two steps forward. The way Nevan focused on her made her knees wobbly. He traced a finger across his forehead and down his temple. She’d never observed him make that gesture before. Was it meant to calm himself? Or did he feel the heat, too? The thought made another burst of warmth blanket her.
“Ummm…uhhhh.” It was all she could force out.
She backed away. Her friend, turned roadblock, caged her in. Down the street, the second set of Synbots reached scanning distance and headed for them. Panic raced through her, spiked her heart with adrenaline, and jump-started her survival instincts. She spun toward Nevan.
“We need a safe place to stay for a few hours. I know you don’t know us, but I’d…we’d be really grateful if you would let us inside.”
He leaned forward, glancing down the sidewalk. The movement stirred the air between them, and his warm citrus scent surrounded Rena. He stepped aside and spoke in a loud, booming voice, most likely for the Syns’ monitoring devices. “Yes, we’ve been waiting for you.”
She blinked twice in disbelief. The Syns marched up the sidewalk. Blaze grabbed her by the shoulders and shoved her into the house.
The machines didn’t stop.
Nevan’s dad came to the door. Rena shifted back to make eye contact. Nevan definitely got his height from him. They also shared the same smooth, creamy brown complexion.
His dad studied Rena and Blaze for a second before he flashed his son a ‘what did you do’ look and whispered, “Mr. Elliott won’t like this.” Then he stepped outside, holding the door in place with one hand while shielding the girls from the Syns’ lasers.
“I’m glad you girls finally made it.” He sounded much nicer this time, like he really meant it. “We were starting to worry. Why don’t you kids go with Risa? I’ll take care of this.”

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NatashaHanovaAbout the Author
Natasha Hanova is an award-winning author of young adult and adult dark fantasy/paranormal fiction. Edge of Truth (June 2013) is her debut novel. Her short stories appear in multiple anthologies. She loves nibbling Peanut M&Ms while reading paranormal, dark fantasy, and/or dystopian books with heavy doses of romance. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and children. Find her blog at NatashaHanova.com.  
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Wednesday, 4 June 2014

#IWSG : *Niggle* *Niggle*

Yeah, it's the first Wednesday of the month, again. Funny how that's always seeming to happen over and over.

And with that first Wednesday comes IWSG. You can sign up, and check out the other entries, here.
Shout out to the co-hosts for this one: Melanie SchulzTracy JoC. Lee McKenzie, and LG Keltner.

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I remember a time where I wrote what a felt like and damn anyone who tried to tell me I couldn't write about that. I knew from the get-go that I couldn't please everyone so "I write for myself ... I'll edit so others may understand" became a mantra of sorts.

That sort of thinking lead to a whole world of aliens and gods and the battle to find one's place. As I've been told, there's not much like that out there. I wasn't thinking of marketability or even whether anyone but myself would like it.
When the idea for my paranormal surfaced in a time when the market was "full", I didn't shirk in writing on. And when the idea for a tale where the soul-stealing lord was a good guy appeared, I thought "sounds like fun".

Yet recently, whenever I sit down to type, I wind up with doubts. Great gates that trap my characters on the other side, even the ones I've had kicking about for years. The major niggle that seems to flutter about like a trapped butterfly: How is this going to be received?

And it's never the whole story itself, but elements. That question has lead to me rip out chapters, redo scenes and even consider taking out a major portion of one character's storyline due to its dubious grounds. On the last, I know that, if I write it, I will alienate some people. I can't get away from it. Fortunately, I also have some years to steel myself for it. But the others...
Even now, I fluctuate between wondering if I'm basically whimping out with not writing the characters as they should be and knowing I'm being true to the story. It's a new feeling and it's bloody distracting at times.

I'm sitting here hoping this is normal.