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Basking…Or Not…

I’m feeling a bit like this at the moment…

Aramis is pretty excited that only the melon was blown away.

Gratuitous BBC Musketeer shot of Aramis.

…only I can’t really say why…or rather, don’t want to say why. For Reasons. One being that I suspect I may ultimately wind up feeling more like this…

Yes, I’m a bit enamored of the Musketeers. What of it?

But that’s the way things roll, isn’t it? Eventually, one way or the other, I’ll be able to share the reasoning, and I will. For now, I’m going to bask, because I haven’t had cause to in a long while and it feels damn good.

Quick ROW80 update…none. :( Haven’t really made progress on my original goals. Not to say I’ve been doing nothing. Just nothing on that list.

And that brings us right up to WIPpet Wednesday. Continuing on with the Dachus’s tale…which really needs a title *hint, hint*…you get a bonus today, slightly over 30 sentences for the 30th. You’re getting the bonus because of the rare fine mood I’m in, and because this brings us to the conclusion of this section. I also included the final line of last week’s to get you rolling. It is Jannis speaking in the beginning. As always, you can find all that preceded this by going here.

“I suppose I should offer you lodging for the night. Unless you intend to head back today?”

“I told you –“

“Yeah, and I told you. Now, just who do you think has the power around here, hmm?”

“The Proupunua’s power extends to all corners of his realm.”

Her lips curved upwards but Dachus couldn’t really call the expression a smile. Not even a fake one.

“If you care to go home and send the propownow to talk to me in person, feel free. He’ll get no further, I assure you. I’ve given you my best advice. Take it or not. I’m offering you a place to spend the night. Take that or not as well. Your choice.”

“You do realize that I could return with a full compliment of soldiers?”

The stillness following his declaration scared Dachus more than the snapping jaws of the dragon had. He shuffled his feet, ran two fingers under his collar, and waited for death. It seemed imminent.

Master Jannis’s face showed nothing but serene calm. “Did you just threaten the Dracon Hold?”

Even with a loosened collar Dachus had difficulty swallowing. “Of course not.” His voice squeaked. “I just mean to impress upon you the importance of my mission.”

“The fact your mission is important to you, Dachus Branacous, emissary of the Proupunua’s private court, does not make it important to me. What is not important to me, is even less so to the Dracon Hold.”

“Is there no one above you?” Dachus bit his lip. Stop sounding so damned desperate, he chided himself. He clasped and unclasped his hands, patted his thighs, took a deep breath and –

– ducked just in time to miss the bucket aimed at his head. Thankfully it contained only water. That did not miss him. By the time he looked up from trying to brush if off his doublet, Master Jannis had left.

Dachus…*sigh* You are such a flaming idiot.

And with that, I leave you to it.

  chapflourish

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Look, I Found My Paddle!

Okay, maybe not. But it feels like it because I’m actually posting a ROW80 update on Sunday. Imagine that. Must mean I found a paddle, or the rock I’ve been under is starting to shift. Either way, I’m happy about that. I’ve been in a funk for the past month or so. Not just on the writing front. Life in general was just not cooperating with me. Or I wasn’t cooperating with it. Hard to say. Maybe, as Kait mentioned we all need to do from time to time, my well is refilling. I won’t question it. Just going to roll with it.

So, my ROW80 update.

  • Edge of Darkness is still fighting with me. That contributes to the funk. But I haven’t actually sat down and given it 100% of my attention. At this point, I think I may need to go back and read Emergence so that I can reconnect with my characters and their story. That will mean stuffing my internal editor into a bag, putting said bag in a box, wrapped in chains, within another box, and so on. Because I can *always* all-ways find things to change, things I missed, things I don’t like. Too late. Move on.
  • Bound in Shadow has met great acclaim from most of my betas. There are still a couple verdicts out there, but I’ve started to tweak and fine tune it based on some excellent input.
  • My third goal was to schedule writing time on days off and weekends and stick with it. Um…that one is hard. We have a small farm with many critters and always something to be done. Let’s not forget the whole training and trialing of the dogs passion. But I’ve got to wedge it in there somehow. Even if it’s just a couple hundred words a day. Social media tends to suck me in. And Pinterest. *shakes fist* And miscellaneous, brainless, resting the grey matter things.

Moving on…I’m excited about tomorrow as I get to meet another on-line writing pal in person. The talented Kourtney Heintz will be in Wisconsin promoting her book The Six Train to Wisconsin, so we’ll be getting together tomorrow evening before her event. I re-posted my review of Six Train on Friday.

That’s if for today. Off to visit some other ROWers.

chapflourish

Connect with me on Facebook     Goodreads     Twitter and now Pinterest Read excerpts and buy copies of my works on the Published Works page. e-book & paperback copies also available on Amazon   Smashwords   Barnes & Noble and other on-line book retailers.

Getting Personal For Fictional Friday

Happy Fictional Friday! This week I’m going to dedicate this space to the talented Kourtney Heintz because Monday I will be meeting her in person. This will make the third on-line author pal that I get to promote from a collection of pixels and data bits, to living flesh and blood. Kourtney will be coming to Wisconsin to promote her book Six Train to Wisconsin. SixTrain

In honor thereof I am reposting my review.

I met Kourtney through the awesome vastness of the on-line writer community and jumped at the chance for an ARC of her book because, well, Wisconsin native here. You throw my state in the title of a book and I’m going to read it just to make sure you haven’t painted us beer-swilling Cheeseheads in a bad light. Which, never fear, is not the case.

The Six Train to Wisconsin (a 2012 semifinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Competition) is an emotionally charged book written with such skill that at times I became just as overwhelmed as the characters and had to come up for air. Oliver and Kai, husband and wife, have saved one another. They are both broken souls, both the other one’s salvation. But how far will you go to save the person you love? And how far will they allow you to go before that love is shattered?

For Kai, life has always been difficult. A telepath who loses control and finds it hard to block out the overwhelming emotional trauma of everyone within a half-mile radius, she is caught between wanting to help those in need, and the devastation that comes with the failure to do so. For Oliver, Kai is his life. He can’t bear to see her broken and giving up, so he uproots her from their Manhattan life, and drags her unwillingly to Butternut, Wisconsin.

There’s only one problem with Butternut. All of Oliver’s demons reside there.

Suspense and intrigue follow when Oliver and Kai’s life begins to unravel even as Oliver is desperately fighting to hold the pieces together. Kidnapping, mystery, and a twist I never saw coming left me breathless by the end. The characters are well-drawn, and the writing tight and gripping. An honest tale of love, suspense, and sacrifice. I won’t call it an easy read. I will call it a must read. And, just so I don’t leave you thinking it’s all somber intensity, there are some pretty humorous interactions between characters, and let’s not forget the turkey. If that one doesn’t make you at least giggle, then there may be no hope for you.

"Some books you read. Some books you enjoy. But some books just swallow you up, heart and soul." #Books #Quote

 

Want to be included in Fictional Friday? It’s simple:

  • If you’re an author with an upcoming release, drop me a line via e-mail.
  • If you’re a reader who has just read something outstanding and want to share, likewise.
  • Book signings, release events, quotes, tidbits, industry/indie news etc. etc.? Pass them along.
  • As this is my blog, I reserve the right to not use anything I don’t want to use.

 

chapflourish

Connect with me on Facebook     Goodreads     Twitter and now Pinterest Read excerpts and buy copies of my works on the Published Works page. e-book & paperback copies also available on Amazon   Smashwords   Barnes & Noble and other on-line book retailers.

ROWing it WIPpet Style

Another Wednesday has snuck up on us. Sneaked? Hmm…I’m a writer, I should know this, right? Well, no one ever said writers know everything.

ROW80 update first, since I missed Sunday’s AGAIN, and likely will up until this session is over. The past week saw not so much progress on EoD.  I am writing every day, but more often than not I’m in my sandbox playing. Sandbox? you ask. That’s what I call my notebook. It has scenes  that just pop into my head, bits of stories that may never go any further, character studies…I just go there and write and don’t care about what it is, where it’s going, or why. I suppose I should really call it my gym since I’m exercising my writing muscles, but a sandbox is way more fun. Well, just start something else, you say. Um….to put it nicely, no. If I start something else I’m afraid EoD will languish and there are a few readers who would like to see the series come to completion. Also, several characters who feel the same. So I just have to clear my brain and devote all available power to the front shields. Although sometimes it feels a bit like this

Now, to your WIPpet. More with Dragon Tale. I’m giving you 23 shortish paragraphs for the 23rd. This section includes one of my favorite exchanges. Remember, you can read everything you missed by going here. If you recall, last week Dachus saw something over Jannis’s shoulder.

The dragon waited in the doorway, its head angled to watch the exchange.

A nice trip to the north, the Proupunua had told him. I’m sure you’ll enjoy yourself, I hear Master Jannis is a real charmer. The part about her being a hot-tempered, emerald-eyed, half-thrall must have slipped his royal mind.

“I appreciate your concern regarding the beast’s–the dragon’s–care.”

“My concern?” Her eyes widened, and she raised both hands towards Dachus’s throat before curling her fingers into fists and lowering them to her sides. “I’m going to take into consideration that you’ve likely spent your life at the propanuee’s feet, frolicking in his shadow like a well-kept imp, and forgive your ignorance. I’d suggest you swing by the coastal schools on your way home, and purchase an older, tamed, and worn out lizard for the boy. They don’t much care who pays attention to them or what they get fed, so long as the meat’s at least a few days from spoiled.”

“A lizard is not a dragon.”

She blinked. “That’s the most intelligent thing I’ve heard you say yet.”

“I cannot go back without a dragon.”

“Well then, I hope you’re not leaving family behind that will miss you.”

Dachus’s jaw fell open and didn’t close until Master Jannis and her dragon disappeared into the dark maw of the barn. He started to follow, stopped, put his hands on his hips, and stared after them. His frown deepened. How could the woman not know of the Proupunua? The absurdity of it made his head hurt. There had to be a mistake.

“You, boy!” Dachus called to a lad making his way across the yard. The boy looked around, then pointed to his own chest, brows raised in question. Dachus waved him over. “Yes, you. Come here.”

He veered from his path to wander in Dachus’s direction, approaching with a sideways slant to his posture and stopping out of arm’s reach.

“Do you know Master Jannis?” Dachus asked.

The boy rolled his eyes. “No one calls her that. Where are you from? Hinderland?”

“I am the emissary of the Proupunua’s private court.”

“And I’m a Sapphire Apprentice,” the boy said. “What’ll that buy either of us?”

“Not nearly the same, I’m afraid.” Dachus held up his hand to stop the boy from making any further meaningless claims. “Can you describe Master Jannis to me?”

“Why?”

A shadow drifted over them and the boy cocked his head to look up. An expression of joy spread across his face. Dachus ducked, and covered his head, peering between his arms in time to see an immense blue creature wheel above them and angle for the field beyond the barn.

The boy waved as he ran in that direction. “That’s Myrrth. I’ll tell Janni you’re looking for her.”

“No, wait.” An ear numbing bugle drowned out Dachus’s protest and he cringed. The thought occurred to him that the Proupunua hated him. Why else would he have sent Dachus on such an outrageous mission?

“Still here I see.”

Dachus flinched. He scowled at Master Jannis as she re-emerged from the barn, water sloshing from the pale she carried.

“I suppose I should offer you lodging for the night. Unless you intend to head back today?”

And that’s all I have for today. Have a great week!

 

chapflourish

Connect with me on Facebook     Goodreads     Twitter and now Pinterest Read excerpts and buy copies of my works on the Published Works page. e-book & paperback copies also available on Amazon   Smashwords   Barnes & Noble and other on-line book retailers.

Input Needed on This Fictional Friday

Yes, I’m a bit late with this today.

Yes, I totally missed last week’s Fictional Friday.

Yes, the earth is round, the sky is sometimes blue, and grass is green–provided you live somewhere with grass.

I had all sorts of good links from other blogs I follow, but I just never could carve out the time last week to assemble it all into a blog post. Humblest of apologies.

This week for Fictional Friday, I’m asking for reader input. Down below are two blurbs for the same fantasy book. For those of you who have been around a while, you may recognize the character’s name. What I’m looking for is feedback. Leave your thoughts either in the comment section below, or via my Facebook Page. Would either one get you to pick up the book? Do you prefer one over the other? Neither? Both? A combination? Any useful shredding/suggestions/comments?

But, before I get to that, I want to give a head’s up on a great event which will be taking place beginning in August. Fall into Fantasy is the brainchild of the amazing Mara Valderann. Each Monday beginning August 25th and running through December 15th, a new fantasy book/series will be featured. There are quite a few authors participating, and giveaways galore – including Amazon gift cards, books, and possibly swag. I hope you’ll stop by, visit the participating authors, and help spread the word via Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Okay, on to the blurbs, have at ‘em!

 The further the fall, the more final the landing.

Unfortunately, for Driev Talbert, the landing didn’t prove as final as he would have liked; taking him from the upper crust of Mossrae to its underbelly and leaving him there. That would have been all well and good had his attempt to save a friend gone the way he planned. He really shouldn’t have been surprised when it didn’t. The gods always enjoyed a good laugh, particularly when it came at Driev’s expense.

But his failure put Driev back in the lap of the Coinblade guild. While being on the wrong side of any of Mossrae’s Shadow Guilds wasn’t a laughing matter, being on the wrong side of the elite Coinblades was suicide. For Driev, whose history with them was one of the memories he tried very hard to avoid uncovering, death would have been preferable. Even a slow torturous one.

When he finds himself dragged back into a life he desperately wanted to leave behind, where political factions don’t care who they misuse, he must chose between facing his own demons, or sacrificing an innocent boy. For Driev, that’s not as easy a decision as it might seem.

***

For Driev Talbert, the choice between facing the demons that have been haunting him, or sacrificing an innocent boy, isn’t as simple as it seems. After spending the past five years in the underside of the underbelly of Mossrae with the intent of leaving nothing more than a rotting corpse in the gutter, the last thing he wants is to return to his old life—no matter how privileged it had been.

But the gods do love a good laugh. More so when delivered at Driev’s expense. When his attempt to save a friend from hanging leaves him saddled with a street urchin who seems to be drawing all the wrong kind of interest, it puts Driev back into the lap of the elite of Mossrae’s Shadow Guilds. For Driev, whose history with the Coinblades was one of the memories he tried very hard to avoid, death would have been preferable. Even a slow torturous one.

Thrust into the middle of political games with deadly consequences, Driev must finally come to terms with his past before it consumes him, and with it the last thing he holds dear.

No, go forth and read. Or write on. Or both! bookworms

Want to be included in Fictional Friday?It’s simple:

  • If you’re an author with an upcoming release, drop me a line via e-mail.
  • If you’re a reader who has just read something outstanding and want to share, likewise.
  • Book signings, release events, quotes, tidbits, industry/indie news etc. etc.? Pass them along.
  • As this is my blog, I reserve the right to not use anything I don’t want to use.

 

chapflourish

Connect with me on Facebook     Goodreads     Twitter and now Pinterest Read excerpts and buy copies of my works on the Published Works page. e-book & paperback copies also available on Amazon   Smashwords   Barnes & Noble and other on-line book retailers.

Short and Sweet

Welcome to another glorious Wednesday, and hat’s off to a record-setting turn out of WIPpeteers last week. Outstanding! I hope you got a chance to go visit some of them. Quite a few different genres and writing styles to choose from, but that’s what makes it so great.

ROW80 update first, since I missed Sunday’s: great progress on EoD = two more chapters and a clearer idea of where I think I’m going. Think. Ha! Also, started looking through the first of my Beta notes for CBC/BiS because I miss Driev.

WIPpet next. I’m continuing with the dragon tale. You can read everything leading up to this week’s installment by going here. Today I do some WIPpet math and give you 23 sentences. Month+day. Enjoy.

Dachus shook his head. “He doesn’t want an apprenticeship, he wants a dragon. Obviously, the Proupunua will hire only the most skilled caretakers for the beast.”

“Caretakers? For the beast?” Master Jannis pushed off the dragon and turned to the barn. “We’re done here. Come on, Tork.”

“Done? No!” Dachus dodged the dragon’s tail as it turned to lumber after the master. “Wait. Master Jannis, you don’t understand.”

He stopped in his tracks as she whirled on him, closed the space between them, and jabbed her finger into his chest. “Dragons do not have caretakers. Dragons do not have owners. They cannot be passed around from person to person, and they will not. Be kept. As anyone’s. Pet.”

A pointed jab punctuated each of the last words. Dachus leaned away from the onslaught and rubbed his chest. He glanced over Master Jannis’s shoulder. 

That’s it for me this week. Have a good one!

chapflourish

Connect with me on Facebook     Goodreads     Twitter and now Pinterest Read excerpts and buy copies of my works on the Published Works page. e-book & paperback copies also available on Amazon   Smashwords   Barnes & Noble and other on-line book retailers.

An Update for WIPpet Wednesday (Because Catchy Titles Elude Me)

I promised an update on the current state of affairs, being that I’ve been breezing on- and off-line like an errant gust of wind, with just as much to say. Monday I threw my hat in the ROW80 ring once again, so I’m  obligated to play catch up and hence my ROW80 update:

On the writing front things have been…frustrating, slow, *head, desk, repeat*, poke eyes out with sharp pencil, painful. As I’ve moaned about mentioned more than once, Edge of Darkness is fighting me. More precisely, the characters are. I will accept most of the blame. Generally, I tend to be a pantser, which translates into pretty much giving my characters free-rein to do whatever the blazes they want. At least for the first draft. They can be as pretentious, self-serving, gratuitous, and down-right whack as they want. I don’t care, so long as they cough up the story. Which I will then go back and beat into submission with a very large club and a sharpened red pencil (not the same pencil I’ve jabbed into my eye socket above). I haven’t been doing that with EoD for some reason. I’ve been trying to force it, and the loyal crew, to go in directions I *think* they ought to go in. It’s working about as well as you’d expect. Which is to say, it isn’t. Until yesterday when I said enough’s enough, and scattered potato chips on the wind. O_o That translates into: progress made and gets a big :D

I’ve gotten feedback from several betas on The Coinblade Chronicles ~ Bound in Shadows. Some very good stuff. I intend to sit on it a while longer. Just until I get a better jump on EoD because it has to take priority.

On the personal front things have been…hectic, disorganized, and a bit unsettled. None of which help the other fronts. Funny how one thing can grow disproportionally into something else altogether. And then can proceed to disrupt the entire spere that is My World. But, such it is. One way or another it will straighten out. Or it won’t. In either case, the sun rises every morning, sets every night, and some things just need to happen in between.

There, all caught up. Now onto the real reason most of you are here. *cue trumpets* *looks expectantly at Kate* You brought the drums last time. Albeit, a bit late but, nevertheless…okay, here you are, 17 short paragraphs (7+9+1 bonus to end it better) in continuation of last week’s excerpt. And, because I’ve been doling this out in chronological order, I’ve decided to make it easy for you to read what preceded this by going here. Just in case you missed something, or feel the need for context.

“What do you want?” Master Jannis said.

To leave with my life, seemed to be an appropriate answer, but Dachus didn’t need to incite any further ill-will. “I’m here to buy a dragon.”

Master Jannis and the dragon snorted in unison.

“Money is of absolutely no issue,” Dachus said.

“You’re exactly right. It’s no issue whatsoever because there isn’t enough of it in all the kingdoms to get me to sell you a dragon.”

Dachus rolled his shoulders back and lifted his chin. “Do you realize who sent me here?”

“Do you realize it doesn’t matter?”

“Of course it matters!”

“Look,” Master Jannis drew in a deep breath, “dragons aren’t property. They can’t be traded like potatoes.”

“I’m not offering you potatoes.”

She rolled her eyes. “Has your propanow ever even seen a real dragon?”

Dachus cringed at her pronunciation of his lordship’s title. “The Proupunua desires a dragon for his son.”

“I see. Well, has his son every seen a real dragon? Ever fed one? Touched one? Picked up after it? Has he ever ridden one?”

Her emerald eyes bored into him. As bright as they were, they should have been warm and inviting, not dagger sharp.

“I thought not,” she said. “I’d suggest you enroll him in one of the lizard schools down along the coast.” A puff of smoke accompanied the dragon’s sharp exhale, and Dachus moved back into the fence. “They’re similar enough to the real thing that he’ll at least have some idea which end is up. Give him a couple years down there –“

“A couple years?”

“– and if he comes back with a glowing recommendation from one of the professors, I might consider taking him as an apprenticeship.”

 

Aaaaannnnd…I just killed a blood-filled mosquito on my enter key. Glorious. See you back here for Fictional Friday! Go WIP up something marvelous.

chapflourish

Connect with me on Facebook     Goodreads     Twitter and now Pinterest Read excerpts and buy copies of my works on the Published Works page. e-book & paperback copies also available on Amazon   Smashwords   Barnes & Noble and other on-line book retailers.

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