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Witch Hunt: of the Blood Free Today!!

How much better can this week get? First Kate’s awesome cover reveal on Monday, and now this? Zow.  I was beyond honored when Devin O’Branagan invited me to contribute to this anthology. I also recalled being terrified as all get out. I mean, here I was, having to expand on a character from Devin’s world. A world with fans. I almost crawled into the corner and curled into a ball. But Devin and the group of authors chosen were a constant source of support and encouragement. And, by the reviews, I’d say we were a success in creating a wonderful anthology. If you enjoy paranormal, history, a splash of romance, adventure and even maybe a little mystery, then please pick up your Kindle  edition copy on Amazon. FREE for the day. Feel free to spread the word.

whcoverFive stand-alone novellas based on characters introduced in Devin O’Branagan’s bestselling novel, Witch Hunt. The anthology begins with O’Branagan’s own novella about the Hawthorne matriarch, Vivian. She and her fellow British witches work together to prevent a Nazi invasion during World War II. Then there is Colonial maiden, Bridget, who struggles with the guilt of failing her family in Salem, 1692. Her younger sister, Prissy, mysteriously disappears and finds another magical world. Julia, torn by family loyalties, love, and her spiritual quest, pays a huge price to continue the bloodline. And Miranda uses her powers against the great influenza outbreak of 1918 – but finds the ultimate foe is prejudice against her kind.

Discover what was left out of Witch Hunt and revisit your favorite characters with these exciting novellas. The story isn’t done until the battle’s lost and won.

 

 

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Well Met for WIPpet Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!! It sure does come around in a hurry, doesn’t it. Short and sweet because I’ve written basically nothing over the past week. Well, I’ve written words. None I’ll likely keep.

Anyhow, I’m back to The Adorned this week, but glad Shae and Brenner received much love last week. (Still considering that name change, Ruth.) This week’s WIPpet follows right along with Roe and Riddle’s scene from here, and begins with Riddle talking. Because of the first draft nature of this, there are two bracketed words which means I’ll fill them in once I know what to fill them in with. :D For the 25th of February, you get what might be 27 sentences (month + day). Then again, I may have counted wrong, but you get them anyhow.

“Bring the Adorned to Guiler’s by moonrise tomorrow.”

“How am I –“

Without appearing to move, Riddle suddenly sat so close Roe could smell the [something] rising from her skin. “We’ve got years between us, Gild Fingers. Isn’t that so? Good years by my memory.”

Roe didn’t dare to so much as twitch. “Good years by mine.”

“I’d hate to do that memory the injustice of sending you to [godofthieves], and then having to tell Pip. He’d take it hard. He’s a spot for you almost as soft as mine.”

“Rid–“

A single gloved finger rose into the tiny space between them to silence her. “You’re working for the Adorned. Helping him find something he’s lost. Tell him you found it, take him to Guiler’s, walk away. Go back to what you do best, Roe.” The hand reached out to tenderly cup her cheek. “You know I don’t ever want to be the cause of your end.”

“I’d rather you weren’t either.”

“You’ve got tonight. Tumble the man. He’ll be worth it, I can tell just watching him move. If Pip didn’t have my heart, I might just ask my Prince for a little time with the Adorned before the end.” Riddle guided Roe’s face to the opening of her hood and their lips brushed. “For the memories.”

And as a bonus for you Roe and Fader fans, my artistic muse would like to reward your steadfast loyalty with the following sketch entitled First Meeting. Hope you enjoy it.
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Cover Reveal ~ Torn by Kate Sparkes

I’m starting off this week with a visual bang and an absolutely gorgeous cover reveal for the second book in Kate SparkesBound Trilogy (if you haven’t read the first (and why not?), look below, there’s a sale on now). I’m rather partial to this cover because it may or may not be a portrait of one of my book boyfriends. If I had book boyfriends, that is. *cough* Cover art is by the obviously talented Ravven.

torn_fullAbout Torn: 

Aren Tiernal knows that safety is an illusion, that his cruel and powerful brother will never forgive his betrayal. Still, returning to Tyrea to challenge Severn for the throne would be suicide. It’s not until Severn himself comes to collect what’s owed to him that Aren decides to risk everything in an attempt to bring down the most powerful Sorcerer Tyrea has ever known. The mission seems doomed to fail, but it’s Aren’s only chance to save himself, his country, and the woman who thawed his heart.

Rowan Greenwood has troubles of her own. Though she should be a great Sorceress, years of being closed off from her magic have left her unable to control her incredible power. When a pair of ominous letters arrive from her home country, Rowan has to choose between her new life and a chance at saving her family—and just maybe changing an entire country’s beliefs about the evils of magic.

Torn apart by separate quests, Rowan and Aren will have to discover untapped strengths and confront their darkest fears in order to overthrow a ruler determined to destroy them both.

AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER ON AMAZON.COM

Release date: March 31, 2015

Limited time launch price: $2.99

How to connect with the author: Sparrowcat Press site    Twitter: @kate_sparkes    Instagram: kate.sparkes    Facebook

And, as promised, get yourself into the first book if you haven’t already read it:

bound-sale-1

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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.

 

Running Through the Forest

Last week when I saw the Android commercial that I shared with you in my WIPpet post, I had no idea it would provoke my muse. But the song, the whole feeling of brotherhood, and the images of two pals darting through the forest obviously got under her skin, because she went out and hired some actors and threw them into my head. I, in turn, attempted to ignore them. I have EoD and The Adorned to work on, agents to pester, plans to plan, and MANY THINGS TO DO. But every now and again you need to play, right? Good exercise for the creative lobe. So I opened my virtual notebook and played… to the tune of 3500 words (and likely a future project) over the course of a couple days. For today’s WIPpet, I’m going to share the opening bit, just as I wrote it, unedited, hot off the keys, so please forgive any foibles. Here are 19 short paragraphs because it’s the 18th and…um…tomorrow’s the 19th.

BTW, for those of you missing Roe and Fader, I will have a special surprise. Possibly this week unless I hold off until next WIPpetday.

**Editorial Warning: I drop the F-bomb. Twice. If you find it offensive, blink.**

Shae hurtled a fallen log, ducked under a low-hanging branch, and veered sharply to the right.

“This all could have been easily avoided,” he called out between gasps.

Brenner crashed through the underbrush behind him with enough noise to put a maddened bull to shame, nimbly avoiding a moss-covered boulder despite his bulk.

“My fault again, is it?”

“You were the last to leave.” Shae spun, barging backwards through a dense copse.

“Yes. I realize.” Brenner grabbed him by the arm as he emerged, propelling him back toward their left. “However, not the last– Bloody hells!”

The big man stumbled and Shae lurched to a halt. Brenner’s massive hand in the center of his back forced him to continue on.

“Are you–” Something buzzed past Shae’s head, embedding itself deeply enough into a nearby tree to give Shae a startling vivid mental image of what it would have done to his skull. He ducked in the event more projectiles were coming their way, and scampered through another tangle of brush. His lungs were burning, his thigh muscles screaming with exertion, and truth be told, his stomach hadn’t settled from the previous night’s endulging.

A sharp horn blast tore the early evening serenity from the forest and shot a spike of fear through Shae because on its heels–

“Hounds,” Brenner shouted, as though Shae wouldn’t have known from the sudden baying.

“We are well and royally fucked,” Shae said, staggering to a halt.

But Brenner grabbed his arm once again, with a force not to be argued with. “I refuse to be fucked by anything other than a clean whore. I certainly will not prostrate myself to the sheriff’s underlings.”

“They’ve got hounds.” Shae hated to sound like a whiner, but in his experience, when your pursuers enlisted the aid of beasts whose noses could find a crumb of meat in a hog pen, your chances of eluding capture were slimmer than a sapling.

“Yes.” Brenner abruptly stopped, a dark smile on his broad face. He still had hold of Shae’s arm. “And we’ve got water.”

“We’ve got–” Shae blinked up at his companion, back toward the forest about to spit out their messy doom, up at his friend again. He didn’t care for the look on Brenner’s face. “Water?”

Brenner tipped his head to the right, but Shae refused to look. A sound had reached his ears; a low roaring rush. It spoke of turbulence, of a force of nature Shae did not enjoy. Rocks as well. There had to be rocks. Water without rocks didn’t make such a sound.

Brenner grinned and waggled his eyebrows. “Water.”

Shae still didn’t look. “I think we should–“

He screamed: a quite natural reaction to being hurled into an abyss. Limbs wind milled in a poor attempt at flying. He screamed again because the rush of water had grown louder, and the fall was taking a damnable long time, which meant the landing would not be pleasant.

No, it’s technically not a WIP…yet. But the WIPpet rules are more like… well… like the Pirate Code.

 

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Some Riddles are Better Left Unsolved

Apologies for only getting to a third of the WIPpet posts last week. I had hoped to tackle some more Monday, but that didn’t work out. On the plus side, I had a great weekend. One of the benefits of a 5 hour drive with only a dog for companionship, is you can get a lot of plot noodling done. And noodle I did. Also, I heard from several readers how much they are enjoying the Darkness & Light series. That always feels good. It was generally followed up with, “anxiously waiting for book three.” Which also felt good…mingled with terrifying…mingled with “OH DEAR LORD I CAN’T TAKE THE PRESSURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Shortly after which I wanted to crawl into a corner, curl into the fetal position, and suck my thumb down a bottle of Fireball.

But no, that’s only a momentary reaction. Well, maybe not the Fireball one. Nope, time to pull up my Big Girl Panties and just git’er dun.

I did have a brief tumble into the abyss of What The Hell Am I Thinking? I Couldn’t Write My Way Out Of A Wet Paper Bag. The cure for that was to go back and read some of my favorite scenes from the first two books, which left me thinking that I can, occasionally, string words together. Good words. Into good sentences, flowing paragraphs, and action packed adventure the likes of which has never been seen before.

Hey, let’s not get crazy now.

*ahem*

So, WIPpet Wednesday. I wrote some words on The Adorned last week. This little excerpt is 13 paragraphs for day (11) plus month (2). If you’re wondering about Riddle, I mentioned her several weeks ago…here… when Roe had a run-in with another old friend.

“Roe.”

She jumped, but stopped herself from moving because the voice and the tone of it told her that would be a very bad idea. “Hey, Riddle. How’re things?”

“Interesting as usual.”

Roe looked right, toward the voice, but saw nothing. When she turned her head back, a dark shape crouched in front of her.

“Damn the gods.” She pressed a palm to her chest to keep her racing heart where it belonged. “I know you’re good. No need to try and impress.”

The sound Riddle made might have been a laugh, if deadly specters did such a thing. “I’ve got a message for you.”

“Of course you do,” Roe said. “Seems everyone and their thirteen uncles has a message for me. Let me guess, it has something to do with a big guy? Bald? Inkings?”

“Pleasant on the eye, too.”

Roe sighed. “That as well.”

“You tumble him yet?”

“What?” Her cheeks heated for no reason Roe could figure. “No.”

“Best do it soon if you intend to,” Riddle said. “He’s short for the world.”

Roe tried to keep the sudden spike of fear from showing. Probably a lost cause. Riddle could likely smell it as sure as a hound. “Is that your message?”

And I’m going to leave you with the best commercial I’ve seen in quite a while. Thank you, Android. **Warning: The song will get stuck in your head.** IMHO the orangutang steals the show, but the little goat kid at about 44 seconds is quite amusing as well.

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The Reaper, the Universe, and the Sub-conscious

I’m a little late today, but almost didn’t post so we should all take tardy over absent, right? I’m not sure if I’ll make the entire rounds this week either. I’m heading out of town Friday morning and won’t be back until Sunday night. Tonight is grocery shopping, tomorrow packing and some plan-ahead cooking… That means limited fun computer time for moi. But I’m confident the rest of you can carry on quite admirably without me. Plus, I’ll tell the monkeys to keep an eye on things while I’m gone. You don’t want to cross the monkeys. They’re getting a bit stir crazy. Winter and all.

For today, I give you four paragraphs from The Adorned for the 4th day of the month. This follows after one of the other WIPpets I posted at some point. I know, I’ve been jumping around with this one like a frog on a hot road, but I only have a little over 10k written, so I hunt and peck for tasty morsels that won’t give too much away. **Author’s note: Kudos to the Shakespeare Insult Kit pinned to my cork board. Most likely not historically accurate, but oh-so-handy.**

“Gods of the damned!” Roe jerked away, skittering out from between him and the wall, scrubbing at her arm. “What did you do? What the–” Her eyes stretched open to the point of near painful. “Oh no. No. Oh you clouted crook-pated whoreson. You’re a speller. Mithylmis protect me, you’re a spawned from the dark speller.” She threw her arms up, pounded away, then back again, fists on her hips. “That just–that– you– It explains it. That–oh sweet mothers. I should’ve known. No wonder. Now I know. I’m surprised Tuter didn’t out and out kill me. Or Pip. And how is it everyone in the city knows? Everyone but me. Slow on the take again, Gild Fingers, that’ll get you dustman sure as anything. You couldn’t have said? Couldn’t have told me right off?”

“Would you have aided me had I said such?”

She stared at him. “You are thicker than Jesperanna’s thews. No one. No. One. In this city. Not even me. Would knowingly help a speller.”

“Then it is for the best I am not one.”

Don’t you feel like you just fell down the rabbit hole?

Now, an explanation on my [insert crappy mood] from last week. Just because I hate to throw things like that out there and leave people wondering.

Here’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

As you may or may not know, EoD has been soundly kicking my ass. Despite knowing where I wanted to go with it, how I was going to get there, how it began, how it ended, AND having well over ninety thousand blood-soaked words on the virtual paper — it was painful. Not bad writing. Possibly not even bad story-telling. Just somehow…wrong. And I couldn’t pin-point the where or the how of it no matter how many times I re-read it.

Truthfully, I probably could have just powered through to The End and sent it to my betas. Who knows, they may have enjoyed it. May have told me how wonderful it was. And maybe it is. Maybe it’s not as bad as I think it is. The problem comes from the very fact that I’m even thinking it’s bad. I wasn’t enjoying writing it. Not one bit. Working on it was torture. Every time I opened the file, I felt like I was pushing a mountain up a hill. It irritated me on so many levels–and when that irritation started creeping into other aspects of my life I knew something had to be done. Because when the hubby tells you a friend of his wants a signed copy of Book One, you should not practically came unhinged. People wanting books is a Good Thing. Not a reason to snap and snarl. But I did because–well, several reasons, but basically it all boiled down to Book Three being a cantankerous bastard and holding up several plans for the completion and marketing of the entire trilogy. PLUS holding me back from working on other projects.

Then, I got this crazy idea. An inkling, really. I did not want to get too close. Didn’t want to look it in the eye. Like when you cut yourself, and you refuse to look at the wound because you know when you do the pain is going to hit. The reality of seeing your own blood and your skin sliced open is going to churn your stomach. By refusing to look, it doesn’t exist. Or, at least it’s not as bad. Even if your finger is floating in the chili.

Ugh. Where’d that come from?

So, getting back to my long-winded crappy mood explanation–I threw my idea at the Universe and my Sub-conscious and went to bed.

Bad idea, that. I really wouldn’t recommend doing it on a regular basis.

However, they came through. When I woke up on Wednesday last week, they presented me with exactly what I needed to do. They confirmed my inkling.

I didn’t like it. Not one. Little. Tiny. Bit. But, I felt like it was the right thing. At least, I hope so. One takes an enormous risk throwing things to the U & S.

*deep breath*

I started completely over.

*blinks*

Yes. There you have it. I opened a new file, renamed it, began anew.

First I created two pages of plot noodling, which is as close to actual plotting as this pantser gets. There are some bits from the original I can still use. Maybe 10k or so worth of scenes and words. But overall? I slaughtered darlings. Oh, so. Many. Darlings. And it hurt. Bad.

But now, a week later–

Yeah, it still hurts. And I still second-guess myself. But I have nearly 20k written and I rather like what’s happening. So far my characters are being well-behaved. That tells me they’re happy with what’s going on. For now. And who knows, maybe I can take all those words I shoved into the Obsolete file and recycle them as a freebie in between novel.

*blinks some more*

Kidding.

I think I’m still in denial.

And there you have it. The reason for my funk. Hopefully the cure as well.

As the Awesome Newfinese Kate Sparkes says, “Don’t fear the rewrite!” In whose honor you get…

 

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If I Could Put Wine in a Bottle…

I was going to bow out of WIPpet Wednesday this week. Mainly because I think I’ve finally run out of bits to share from The Adorned, but partly because [insert random crappy mood here]. But, the only wine I want to actively partake in is the kind where grapes and other assorted goodies are liquified, fermented, aged, put into a bottle with a cork, and shared with friends, so I found precisely twenty-eight words to share until I write more. No context, so let your imaginations run wild.

Fader shifted closer. “Your thoughts have suddenly gone dark.” His voice remained a low, rumbling murmur against her ear.

“So, you’re a mind reader now?”

“Just so.”

Warm welcomes to the new WIPpeteers that have come to join us, and for anyone still lingering on the sidelines, wondering what the madness is all about — it’s oh-so-easy. On Wednesday, simply share a bit of your current WIP. The only rule is that what you share must somehow coincide with the date. For instance, 28 words for the 28th. Other examples might be, 28 paragraphs, a sampling from page 28 or chapter 28. 28 sentences from chapter 1 (for the month) or chapter 15 for the year. You can also opt to do crazy WIPpet math with the month/day/year to make your excerpt work. We’re flexible like that. Then add your blog link to the linky thing up there in the sidebar, and your in! Viola! The more WIPpeteers you can get around to visit with, the better. Any genre is welcome. We have quite the variety, and all the authors are wonderful folks.

Now, I’m off. Noodling and decisions must be made.

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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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