Books

Behind the Scenes, Fae Cursed

Fae-Cursed-GenericFae Cursed, Book One of the Legacy of Magic Series is available now on Amazon. It’s a fun mash up between Urban Fantasy and Fairy Tale retelling. This book came about in a very different way than my past books. I’m usually an outliner. I have to at least have 8-10 plot points that I want to hit as I make my way through a book. Fae Cursed was totally different.

For this book, my friend L.A. Johnson, and I deceded we’d do a “secret project”. Our rules were simple: write something for fun, something we weren’t going to worry about fitting into the popular genres, something crazy. We didn’t tell anyone what we were working on. Nobody saw the first few chapters of our work, not even each other. After a week or two of writing, we started to share some of our craziness, but not as much as we usually would. No critique group, no spouses, no friends, just a writer and a computer.

It was freeing, really. I had this crazy idea for a Beauty and the Beast retelling with a circus. When I started to resarch the history of circuses, I found that they didn’t exist in medieval times, which was my typical go-to for world building. So I had to move it forward in time. I don’t know enough about Victorian times to build a world in there, so I pushed it even more modern. My setting was inspried by that transition time from the 90’s to the 2000’s. So my circus became a rave with circus performers.

For a while, I had no idea where I was going with this crazy story. In fact, a lot of the early versions of what I wrote got cut and re-arranged, but in the end, it turned out to be a fun way for me to explore my voice.

If it hadn’t been for this project, I would not have discovered how much fun it is to write in a contemporay setting. With magic, of course. Becuase let’s face it, I don’t think I could write a book without magic. It’s just too much fun.

What’s next? Sayge Blessed, Book Two of the series, will be out in November. It’s likely that book will wrap up the current story but I’m a sucker for cliff-hangers. As a reader I love them. As a writer, they are so much fun to write. I’m going to do my best to tie it up in a neat little bow for you, but no promises.

Celebrating the Battle of Illaria Release!

Tomorrow is the day! Battle of Illaria will be out in the world!

It’s a pretty great feeling when you launch a new work into the world. Especially when you finish it early and get to bump your release date up by nearly two weeks! Of course, there’s the fear that you missed something, the questioning of yourself as an artist, and all the doubt that goes into letting strangers read and evaluate your work, but let’s face it, it’s mostly a celebration. This book is even more of a celebration than my others in some ways, because it is my favorite (so far). This was the second book I ever wrote…remember how I took that random detour and decided I needed a book in the middle? Yeah, I don’t recommend that, but I wouldn’t change it because I was able to set up a lot of things in book 2 that I wanted to cover in book 3.

Here’s a few random facts about Battle of Illaria:

  1. The first draft was 112,000 words – yikes!
  2. I cut around 30,000 words
  3. It was originally the second book of the Illaria Series and got moved back for Oracle
  4. I wrote the first draft in about six weeks
  5. The first draft was finished during National Novel Writing Month in 2016
  6. It went through six round of editing by me, 2 rounds of editing by my editor, and 2 proof-readers
  7. The cover has been ready since October 2016. (The cover for book 4 is already done)
  8. One of the characters died in the original first draft and when I made cuts during editing, I changed the structure and that character ended up getting to live
  9. This is the first book I’m releasing that doesn’t have the next one already written
  10. All of the Max chapters were written after the second draft – and they were my favorite scenes to write.

And, because you still have one more day to wait and you might not want to wait that long, I’ve included the first chapter of Battle of Illaria below. Please note – the first chapter for this book contains spoilers. If you have not yet read the first two books, you may want to skip this part. (more…)

Creating a New Story: Part 1

Cinderella Cover3I have a million story ideas in my head and I want to write them all. The problem is, there are only so many hours in a day and I have to do things like sleep occasionally. Instead of waiting to start a brand new story until I finish editing my other finished works, I decided I’d reward myself with time to write new words on the side. I created a brand new story on Wattpad that I will be adding to exclusively there. Unlike Rose Circus, this story hasn’t been written yet. You will be seeing a true first draft in all it’s imperfect glory. Curious what my process is like? This is your chance to follow along as I create something new. I’ll post a new scene or chapter 2-3 times per week and will work on creating a regular posting schedule as the story evolves. This is a fun story that I wanted to play around with and I’m excited to get it out there. It gives me a break from my other work (including editing).

I have found that there are people who are interested in the process an author takes when creating a work. While every author is different, I thought it would be fun to share with you how I do things. I will post updates on that as I work on this story.

Process Update 1: All of my works usually start with a simple idea or a what-if. I LOVE fairy tales and I love when they are adapted in new, fun ways. I have also read my share of Vampire books and come from the school of thought that Vampires are supposed to be scary. But this story was actually triggered by the picture of the girl in the mask. When I saw that picture, I thought it would make a great cover for a Cinderella story. So I added it to my stock photo list and figured I’d go back to it when I had a better idea for it. A few days later, the image was still nagging at me and I went back to look at it. I started to think about how Cinderella could be modernized. Why would she put up with the mental and emotional abuse of an evil stepmother? Then, the wheels started turning and the idea came together. So I made a quick cover and wrote a description for Wattpad.

Story Description: After a tragic accident costs Ella’s father his life, she spends the next ten years living under the rules of her terrible stepmother. Forced to do the housework and living in the damp basement of her family’s home, Ella can’t wait for the day she turns 18 so she can leave it all behind. Everything changes when she discovers her father’s secret study and her family’s past. That’s when she realizes, her father’s death wasn’t an accident, he was killed by the very thing he hunted: Vampires. Now, Ella wants revenge against her father’s killer. Drawn into a world of magic, wealth, and superstition, Ella learns that the world wasn’t what she thought it was. The deeper she gets, the more dangerous it becomes. Can Ella learn how to fight against the creatures her father gave his life to hunt? Or will she become the hunted?

Usually, I outline stories before I write them. This time, I am starting with just the description. I’ll keep you posted as to where I go next!

Click here to find me on Wattpad and follow along!

Rose Circus – Legacy of the Fae, Book 1

Rose CircusI’m trying something a little different with the first book of my newest series. I’m publishing it on Wattpad a chapter at a time before I start editing it. This freaks me out a little bit, but I figure it’s good to try things that scare you.

The first draft is finished, but there are a couple of little story changes I’ll be making as I post. I’m excited to share this new book in this format before I publish it later this summer or early fall.

You can follow the link here to read it on Wattpad.

Make sure you follow me on Wattpad so you get updates about new chapters!

Oracle of Illaria – Sneak Peek

Oracle-of-Illaria-GenericI wanted to share a scene from Oracle with you all as we prepare for its release next week. I’m so excited about this book! It was tough to choose a favorite scene that wasn’t too much of a spoiler. The scene I’m sharing with you is one of my favorite in the whole book. When I wrote the last line, I got chills. That’s one of the amazing things about writing. When it is going well, there’s nothing like it. I hope you enjoy the scene and I can’t wait for the book’s release! Less than 1 week!

 

Sneak Peek from Oracle of Illaria

The silence was deafening and goosebumps rose on my arms. Thousands of people had gathered. All of them were quiet. I’d never seen a crowd this large before and couldn’t figure out how they all unified enough to wait for me to speak.
Say something, Etta. Swallowing back my fear, I stepped toward to the front of the platform. I lifted my chin and pushed my shoulders back. I needed to feel in control somehow.

“The king is hunting me. You’ve seen my face on the posters.” I waited a moment, expecting the crowd to react. Instead, they stayed silent. “The king is afraid of me. And he should be.” When nobody spoke, I continued. “Because I am the true heir to the throne. Rightful Queen of Illaria. And I will reclaim my throne. We will have peace again in Illaria. You have my word.”

I stared out at the crowd, feeling defiant, powerful, strong. “He can come for me, but I will fight.”

The crowd erupted in applause and cheers. I took a deep breath, trying to make the knots in my stomach subside. It was not easy to speak in front of people but I knew it was part of the job. And I’d accepted the position the night I sent Max away.

Movement in the back of the crowd drew my eye and I strained to see over the heads of the gathered people. A large group of King’s Guards were pushing their way through.

“Etta!” Celeste was behind me, a sword in her hand. I took it from her and stood my ground, waiting for the guards to come to us.

They never drew nearer, though. The crowd was pressing in on them, pushing them away from the platform. A murmur rose and grew to a chant. “Down with the king, down with the king.”

I lowered my sword and watched in awe as the people of Campari fought back against the guards. They outnumbered them and the guards were fleeing the square. Another cheer rose through the crowd and I joined in, fist in the air, crying out in unison with the crowd.

I couldn’t believe my eyes. The people were turning. Down with the king.

Tales of Illaria: Max and Saffron

It’s here! The first prequel novella in the Illaria series is finished and available for download. It will be free from February 14th – 21st. It’s my Valentine to all of you!  Want to learn more about how Max and Saffron met? This is the beginning of their story. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I did writing it.

Follow this link to get your free copy today!