Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Enlightenment Cover Art

So, a weird thing is happening in having both covers of Awakening available as two different ebooks. On Amazon, where I have it set to the minimum price of 99c, the new cover is selling but the old isn't. Everywhere else it's free, and, except for BN, the old cover is doing much better.

In light of that, I'd like an opinion on which cover for Enlightenment is better. Imho, both are good. This is an epic fantasy set in a modern world.

ps--the old design is the one that will be used for the paperback version. I don't have print rights for the new design.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Upcoming Books

I've been working on writing Eternal, the third and final book of the Luriel Cycle trilogy. Some may remember that it was originally intended to be four books, but after some time (two years) to consider it while figuring out my health issues, I realized that three books would be sufficient. I'm glad that I did that.

While the first draft of Enlightenment is done, it still needs a lot of work. I will not release it until I am done with a first draft of Eternal. One of the things I've found with planned series--long story arcs--like this trilogy is that I tend to want to alter things at some point. If I publish the previous book too soon, I can't make those changes, because some things get set in stone that way. I need a little more flexibility. I'm rediscovering that while writing Eternal, just as I did while writing Enlightenment.

The good news is that, while there's a big time gap publishing-wise between Awakening and Enlightenment, there will not be a big gap like that between the releases of Enlightenment and Eternal. By the time I have Enlightenment available, I'll be in the process of editing Eternal. By then, I should also have a release date for Eternal.

Watch for Enlightenment in late spring 2018 and Eternal in late summer 2018. What comes after that is a question I can't answer at this time.

PS--because of permissions for image use, the paperback versions have different covers than the ebooks.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Fantasy book sale - 99c novels!

Now going on. Click the image or enter the following link in your browser to check out some great fantasy and magic books on sale from Dec. 1-3...

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Horsin' Around

It's been a warm winter so far here. Although I would prefer snow, I'll take advantage of what God gives us.

In this case, I've had more opportunities to play with my horse, including riding. I wish I had a picture of it, but maybe another time, I'll get that. We cantered today without Buddy getting upset like he did on our previous attempts. (Long story short--he was cowboy broke when I bought him two years ago, which meant pushed fast and not allowed to learn at his pace. I've been retraining him to be relaxed and willing rather than scared into doing what I want.)

Today, I also had a coach at the fence who got me back into canter. I can't thank her enough. It's been four years since I rode a canter and I was apprehensive, especially since I still consider Buddy in the learning stage and not yet seasoned. The coaching was needed to push me out of my comfort zone, and I knew if something did happen that someone would be there.

Buddy will be five next year, and my goal is to have him comfortable enough under saddle to introduce the big spooky bovines. In other words, I want to start working him on cows. He has the conformation and the moves to make the cows move. The dressage training is just the start of turning him into an everything horse like I had growing up, but even better than them.

After our session giving both of us new confidence, Buddy decided my hood from the vest under my jacket was a fun chew toy.

Buddy and his friend, Ian
(pasturemate, owned by the person who coached us today) 

My Buddy
November 2017

Friday, November 24, 2017

Old vs. New

I'm running an experiment of two covers for Awakening...a modification of the old cover (new series name) versus the new cover that it was re-released with last month.

Which do you feel is better for a contemporary/alternate world epic fantasy:


I've made both available online and will be using the old cover for the paperback version. I have the right to use the modified old cover for paperback, but I don't have those rights for the new cover; so, one way or another, the old cover will be used.

I'm afraid the new cover may turn off some people, which is truly disappointing. On an alternate world without our Earth history and the associated racism, skin color shouldn't matter.  Both ebooks are only 99c (USD), but one is generic while the other is character-specific.

Which one do you prefer?

Friday, November 17, 2017

the #metoo phenomenon

We've been surrounded in the news about stories of sexual misconduct and abuse of power. One pebble started an avalanche.

Unfortunately, there are many people who are asking "Why now?" or, even worse, "So what?" Others are saying they're tired of hearing it.

So am I, but not for the same reasons.

Having this linger in the news, to be confronted by it over and over and over brings up unwanted memories of my own #metoo history. I had put the repeated sexual molestation behind me, as I'm sure many of these women did, abandoning hope of ever regaining that control and having justice against those who made us feel ashamed of ourselves or fearful of being powerless or made an outcast. I had moved on.

However, being bombarded with this is like a constant irritant on old scars, rubbing them raw into bleeding again. I believe this is part of the reason we're seeing the explosion of accusations.

The other part is that the bravery of one victim and seeing them believed and accepted as legitimate in their suffering empowers others, like myself, to come forward. (I don't owe any explanations here, except to those who matter.)

Unless you've never experienced the emotions of being a victim of such abuse, you really have no right to judge. I'm tired of people judging. As a victim, you cycle through feeling alone, helpless, ashamed, and violated. It lingers with you, even when you think you've moved past it. The only power a victim has to really recover is to gain power over their abuser by seeing justice served. In my case, that will never happen.

I did, however, regain some of my power when, years after I got out of the situation, my parents believed me. It took my husband--then boyfriend--listening to give me that much courage. And when my parents believed me--and I never thought they would, which was why I didn't tell them sooner (part of what you feel as a victim)--I gained a new strength. Unfortunately, I still had to live with seeing the abuser on occasion; I avoided him when possible until he passed away.

You can deny all you want and say there's no proof; there rarely is, except for the invisible scars. We wear masks to cover those scars. Despite the irritant that this has been to me, this needs to stay in the public awareness to discourage the disgusting behavior of predators and prevent further injuries.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Changing Seasons

Fall is here. In my part of the world, the leaves are nearly all blown off the trees and winter's bitter sting is in the air.

I've finally hammered out the rough draft of Enlightenment into a readable story, cutting out clutter that has shortened it to be about the same length as Awakening. In the process, I made notes of aspects of it to consider while writing Eternal, the third and last book of the Luriel Cycle trilogy. In the last couple of days, I've taken the hardest step--beginning.

I'm planning on releasing Enlightenment late next spring and Eternal in the fall, if all goes as planned. I'd like to finish the rough draft of Eternal before going into final edits on Enlightenment.

I'm honored by those who encouraged me to finish the vision of this series. Thank you for your continued interest in my writing.

I'm still struggling with my personal issues, but it just means I have to work a little harder. I'm glad to be able to tell stories and enjoy the journeys of my characters taking me away from real life problems.

And that leads me to something I want to say. With its contemporary otherworld setting, this series allows me to explore some real world issues in a unique way. It offers a different perspective from a fresh palette of backgrounds and cultures in a parallel world that is a more direct correlation to our world than allegorical stories. Science Fiction and Fantasy have traditionally offered views on our Earthly existence meant to open our minds or frighten us with possibilities in a way that is much farther from reality than other genres, and perhaps in that respect is easier to accept. That is one of the reasons I have always enjoyed these genres.

I've also noticed that this series is three different books in one aspect--they each follow their own unique style rather than trying to follow the same formula for each book. I've done that with other series, probably because I get bored easily and like to change things up; in other words, I don't like formulaic writing. Enlightenment is different than Awakening and far more complex in questioning what should be clear, black-and-white good-versus-evil; rather, it is discovered to be quite murky. In the second book, the characters discover that there is no black and white, that it is all areas of gray depending upon one's perspective. Lilly is not the only one to be enlightened to that truth in the second book. There are others who must learn to accept it, no matter how much they hope to deny it (and create problems in the process). Eternal will follow an even different path as the characters mature in their transformations and finally take actions to resolve the issues that they have confronted.

And now, I'm ready to delve into the final leg of this complex story that has become something different than I ever imagined it could be. I look forward to realizing its potential and presenting it to you in due course.