Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Read Awakening FREE

Awakening is now free on all channels, including Amazon!

This trilogy will be complete with books 2 and 3 coming out this summer, in 2018. Read more on the series page of this blog at http://manilles.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_31.html.




An epic contemporary fantasy on a parallel, Earth-like world, where multiverses exist as realms. Beings from one of these realms frequently cause trouble in others and there is a reckoning coming due. One woman is caught in the middle as the catalyst for a change that will change the lives of everyone.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

tweet tweet

After seeing what I've missed in the writing community, I made a decision today. I chose to reinvent myself on Twitter. I didn't want to do it, but I was missing out on a lot of conversations about writer issues and couldn't always access links to Tweets from articles on the latest big story. I won't go into details but to say there are some arrogant pricks out there in writersverse who think they can claim common words for themselves and harm their "competition". I've been trying to follow developments of this story, as it presents a dilemma and a slippery slope that should not be touched with a ten-foot pole, and it's hard when so much is on social media. However, this is an important development that affects everyone--writers and readers alike--and I can't afford to not follow it.

So, I put myself back on Twitter to follow writers, writing groups, and those involved in IP law; no more personal use but professional only. I'll share my blog posts, but I'll exercise restraint to avoid getting involved in conversations. I hope that my time off of most social media has helped me to readjust my thinking back to being who I want to be--private. I am hoping to refrain from the snap judgments promoted by social media culture and the narcissism that goes with it. It's bad enough that I continue to share pictures on Instagram. Alas, we're all puppets in this show or cogs in a wheel, however you want to analogize the situation.

My old Twitter account is gone, so I start over, but I'm glad for the fresh start @ma_nilles.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

More Starfire Angels?

The Starfire Angels series has been my most popular series to date, and the one that I have enjoyed writing, except that the storyline grew difficult to keep up without ruining. I can get bored quickly when I want something fresh.

However, I've now branched off to express thoughts in other areas with new series and worlds and satisfied my need for something new; and I feel the pull to return to something familiar. Starfire Angels is like a bungie cord for me--always springing back after I've gone too far.

For the longest time, I didn't know how to get back into it. I tried with The Lereni Trade (Beyond Starfire Angels series) but didn't feel inspired to write more.

There may be another way to get back to our favorite angels. I came up with an idea today. I've had something rattling in my brain making noise for quite some time now. It wasn't clear but I knew something was trying to emerge. It always takes the right catalyst for the magic to happen.

That happened this afternoon. It pulled together Starfire Angels with my first novel (never published), thanks to watching Stargate SG-1 (rewatching the whole series lately). The first Starfire Angels was inspired by an anime show I enjoyed twelve years after writing a novelette in college. I've always felt that Starfire Angels could be something else, but it had to branch off, and SG-1 was always in the back of my mind with SA's possibilities. Now, I know what I'm going to do. I have a series title in mind, but I'm not revealing that until I have the first book written.

I'm planning on short novels rather than my usual big tomes. I'd like to get a five-six book series of short novels out over the course of 15-18 months, but we'll see how that works. It's a plan, anyway. I already have an outline and background and an established world from this spark of an idea today. Starfire Angels fans forced me to come up with new ideas to satisfy their hunger for the Dark Angel series. (Mostly because of their love of Elis, I think.) Those ideas have become springboards to others. SG-1 was merely a catalyst for putting it all together.

I know how I'm going to expand Starfire Angels into a new branch series. Follow this blog to learn more when I have it!

ps--It will not feature Elis and Raea but other characters who have grown important and also new characters who will be added.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Enlightenment excerpt 4

Enlightenment continued from April 10th:

"What's hiding in that hill?" 
Damn him, and damn the tiny room! She wanted to get away, to avoid revealing the truth. He'd just tell his Pallora Fen friends, and they'd do something worse than the Peacekeepers. 
"You already know!" 
"Know what? Tell me, Lilly." 
"Or what? You'll try to kill me again?" 
He sat back, staring up at her with a look of shock and shame on his face as if he'd been slapped. He sank until he hunched over to prop his elbows on his thighs. "I deserved that, I suppose." 
"Yes, you do. I remember, Mychel." She stepped away to the door, the farthest she could get from him and the awful memory of how he'd betrayed her. "I remember you attacking me, this time because I defended Darrac. Then you lied to me about it. Would you ever have told the truth if the commandant hadn't shown me?" 
He hung his head of sandy-blonde hair. "I thought it was the only way to save you…and then I saw…a daemon defended a celemae. He was willing to die for you. I didn't know what to believe. And then it all happened so fast that I didn't have time to think until after the daemons were gone. You, Lilly, have a power I have never seen before." 
That almost sounded like an apology, but not quite. 
Mychel ruffled his fingers through his hair, then stopped suddenly and stiffened. 
"It was my fault." He focused on her, his brows pressed in shame. "I'm sorry. I didn't know. He must have betrayed them. When he used his power to heal, the daemons were able to locate him. I'm sorry, Lilly. I didn't know." 
"You should have thought of that before you attacked me." 
He adjusted his leg and winced. "I didn't realize. I thought he had corrupted you. But you…you changed him. That's what the woman—Soroya—meant. Not only do you contain the Un'Dei, but you used it on him. You must have been making him whole again." Mychel's eyes crawled up and down her body as if seeing her anew or trying to assess what she had already figured out. It had taken him long enough. 
"Within you is the power they seek. You're meant to become something new, something beyond any other celemae." 
"What?" Why couldn't they explain to her what seemed so abundantly clear to them? 
"I don't know." 
That deflated her expectations. 
"If you'll let me help you, we might learn what it is you could become." 
"How?" she asked warily. "Your Pallora Fen friends?" 
"Something like that." 
"And you'll forget about the Vel—" She clamped her mouth upon catching her slip but let out a gust of breath. He already knew, whether she confirmed it or not. "They're good men. Promise you'll leave them out of this, Mychel. Say anything to your Pallora Fen and I will refuse to cooperate." 
An empty threat—she would need to develop her power if she hoped to reunite with Darrac. Unfortunately, the Pallora Fen seemed to be her only option. 
From the look on his face, Mychel knew. "Agreed. I won't tell them about your…friends." He said the last word as if it left a foul taste on his tongue. 
Good enough. The weight lifted from her mind, although not totally. Mychel was too dedicated to let something like daemon followers alone. 
He pursed his lips in a reluctant yielding and nodded. "I think I owe Darrac an apology. Without his sacrifice, we wouldn't know about you. But, now that we do, you'll be a bigger target than ever for daemons."
(c) 2018 Melanie Nilles and may not be reproduced without permission.

Watch for the full novel in late May-early June 2018!

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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Writing Updates

Happy May Day! I can't believe we're 1/3 into 2018 already. It feels like the older I get, the faster time goes.

And the slower I move.

However, I also get wiser. That's something worthwhile about getting older and gaining experience.

With that comes the realization that I can do better. And I'm doing something about that, in many aspects of my life. One of those is in writing.

I've finally done something that needed to be done for several years--re-edited Tiger Born. I love love LOVE this story and this world (and Paul's art on the cover)! While the book starts out slow (as I was learning about this world while writing), it finds it's footing by the midway point and evolves into something tragic but hopeful and inspiring (at least for me). That's why I ended up writing Spirit Blade, to continue with this wonderful world. Now that I just finished another round on Tiger Born, I want to get back into that world. I've been wanting to for a long time, but then I'd get distracted by a shiny new idea that gets too big and keeps me away too long, like with what became The Luriel Cycle.

With cleaning up the writing, I've also dropped the price to $2.99. I feel that this story should be worth more, but apparently the market doesn't think so, even if it is a full-length novel.

I want to go back to other books and update them also as I have time (and enjoy them once again as I did while writing), which is part of the fun of being indie. I did Tiger Born now because it needed it--I wanted to do this for a long time--and it helped get my mind off The Luriel Cycle for a short time, just long enough to be fresh.

Now that I'm back into edits on Enlightenment after visiting another world, I am seeing the mistakes far more clearly in this one. It's so revealing to edit something else to take a break from something you've been deep into for a year or more. I've already made major edits to the story in the first draft. This is the middle edits, paring down language and refining action to something more concise, and adding descriptions where needed while watching out for any inconsistencies that might still exist (not many at this stage, if any, which is why they can be so troublesome and why I have to keep an alert mind).

I hope to finish Enlightenment in time for an end of May release, but don't hold me to that. I'd rather the book be good than committed to a date, which is why I'm not doing preorders on it. I'll be editing Eternal following Enlightenment to check the flow from one to the other and have the story fresh in my mind to avoid inconsistencies. I'd like to think that I kept them out, but having moments of less clarity while writing because of sleep issues can open the doorway for them to sneak in.

I hope to release Eternal by the end of June. In between, I'll be editing this and Spirit Blade, and then I don't know. I want to write more books--shorter novels--in the Demon Age series, but I get inklings on occasion to return to the Starfire Angels series.

It boils down to not letting myself develop any more worlds and sticking to the ones I have created and playing in those. I have enough toys. I just need to rotate them to keep them fun and exciting.

Monday, April 23, 2018

inherited creativity

I used to share some of these on my Facebook page, until I closed it down. Like mother, like daughter. While I use words to paint, my oldest daughter uses different media. She's a very talented digital artist when she wants to be. Here's one of her better works, inspired by an episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender and shown here by screenshot.


She creates some of her art (like the above picture)  on a Nintendo 3DS and posts it using a program called "Colors". She is also expanding to drawing on a computer with a drawing pad and creates some amazing art with the traditional pencil and paper. If you have a passionate artist, I recommend the Colors program and the supportive community of artists accessible through the 3DS.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

a lesson from being sick

There's something about chronic illness that changes you, and not only because it changes your physical health. Rather, it makes you realize your mortality and weaknesses. In that, you begin to appreciate the smallest of victories and the simplest of moments. Suddenly those days and events that once seemed like the end of the world don't seem so bad, because there are much worse things to worry about.

It's sad that we can't learn that until the irreversible illness happens. Those who understand without becoming sick are the truly blessed.

Treasure each moment that you can do what you enjoy. You never know when it will be taken away, nor do you realize how good your life is until you can no longer do the simplest of tasks without effort or not at all. Do not take anything for granted--not a breath, not a blink, not even a smile. Make changes for the better before you must learn the hard way that it could all be taken from you. Learn to appreciate every gift of your life.

This is what I wish I had more fully understood before getting sick. Just think what our would could be if everyone was thankful rather than envious and generous rather than greedy.