Fanart? Yes.

To quote my pal CB Archer on his post about fan art:

Contrary to popular belief, no one ever writes books, makes movies, or becomes a musician for fame, power, or money. They all do it for one thing and one thing only:
Fan Art.

I got my first fan art recently and by recently I mean a few months ago but I’m a mook and totally forgot to upload it and gush like another sort of mook.

Contrary to what one might think, it isn’t PURITY fan art, but CHANGELING, unpublished and collecting dust on my hard drive while I write its threequel, I swear. CB himself actually made this art – based on one of the early scenes of CHANGELING in which main character Aisling and her band of merry soldiers gets entangled with bandits bent on assault and robbery.

Aisling and Leir
Aisling and Leir

Bandits Beware!

Aisling (orange) is a pyrophoric mage – meaning she has the innate power to produce and control fire. Leir (blue) is cryonic – meaning she is basically Elsa and can control ice and snow the cold never bothered her anyway.

Tying into this, actually… I was recently writing USURPER, Changeling’s threequel, and I wrote myself into a corner in which I needed lyrics to a ballad. Being completely nonpoetic myself, I commissioned by friend Bethany, a songwriter and poet, to come up with a few lines for me. Inspired by the idea of writing a lament and also the lure of Mars bars Bethany jumped aboard with gusto and wrote not just a few lines, but an entire song – and then decided she wanted to write lyrics to a heroic ballad I had referenced elsewhere in the same chapter.

So, without further ado, one stanza of Winter Song, written by Bethany Sanjenko for USURPER.

When the winter winds came, he put on his boots
He opened the door and tightened his noose
Now he lays in a grave, shallow and cold
No one to have and no one to hold

I’m hella pumped on all this. And according to CB Archer, now I have succeeded!

Also, you should go check out his page and Bethany’s Soundcloud, both linked. His as of yet unpublished book is hysterical, and Bethany is seriously talented.

Updates on the projects

Abomination Changeling comparison

And now, an update on the many projects I’m working on!

Changeling

Now, Changeling has been finished for a long time now, and I’ve already gone through and edited it once. But I’ve just sent out copies to beta readers, so the second round of edits will be starting shortly. I’m also in the process of organizing a photo shoot with an old friend and photographer, and my friend and beta reader Lexi, to start creating a cover for it, so she can be sold online!

Abomination

Abomination, as can be seen from the above picture, has surpassed Changeling, its predecessor, in word count. I always had a hunch this would happen, and now it finally has! I’m actually very excited about this, because it means that ‘Bominatino is getting close to the climax. Plots are being brought together now, and others are being opened for the next in the series, thus far titled Usurper. Though I have had Lexi beta reading ‘Bominatino since I started, I will be going through a round of edits fairly soon, and will need more readers once I begin.

“After the tremors began to shake buildings from their foundations, the sky split and the mountain burst.

“Black snow belched from the crater atop the mountain and covered the city in dust. Molten fire and rock came next, and melted everything in its path. We could do nothing but watch the city burn, watch as the river of fire came closer and closer and finally consumed all.

“For countless aeons after I swam in empty blackness, unable to move or speak or do anything but listen to the final cries of my people as they drowned in ash and flame. Until the day you came along, magus,” Mirek Ko’shul, the King of Ghosts, murmured, and his dark eyes fell on Leto, “and the power you carry in your soul, so like my own, woke the curse in all of us.”

The quote above is a story told to the main characters by a ghost of a long dead king, explaining the final days of his people. This is a vital point for them, to solving the mysteries that have plagued them for so long. Continue reading

Another Purity update!

twitter

PURITY is now for sale – everywhere!

I know, I know, shut up, Jessica. This will be the last PURITY related post for a little while, I promise probably.

In any case, this is news that warrants a new post.

PURITY is now available on Barnes & Noble Nook for only $4.99!

Screenshot_2014-02-08-23-36-34

 

And,

PURITY is now available on Apple Books for only $4.99!

image

So all this means that PURITY is pretty well finished, save for maybe a few updates here or there if I find any outstanding typos or mishaps while reading through once more myself. Maybe I’ll put a teaser or two up in the future, once she’s had time to hang out online and make herself known.

I’m so proud that I’ve been able to do this, to achieve my childhood dream of publishing a book for everyone to read. And I’m so thankful for those people who have made it possible for me. I’m truly blessed to have this opportunity.

And I hope you all enjoy Purity as much as I do.

The Fall: Changeling teaser

My spirit suddenly trembled, and for just a moment I thought my hold on the owl body would break. Nearby, the harpy eagle body that was Eleri let out a mournful wail that even the wind could not swallow. Though the dragon below me did not falter, I knew Mama had felt it as well; her sprit shivered loud enough for me to hear it, to feel it within myself.

I recovered, head spinning. What was that?

The dragon screamed, and Mama answered, I don’t know. Stay close to Eleri, just in—

Then it came again, before she had a chance to finish.

The pain struck first.

It was pain that I could never have imagined—pain that stabbed my heart and burned my bones. My vision blackened; I no longer felt the glacial wind ruffling through my feathers.

And then it happened.

With as much warning as a hiccup in time, I was thrown from my false body.

For just a moment, we were suspended in time, and I could see everything with such perfect clarity.

Eleri had been pushed back into her body; her long hair streamed behind her as she fell like the licking tendrils of a fire’s shadow. Mama still wore her dragon skin, but her wings had gone limp; Morwenna was little more than a blotch of polished copper amidst bronze scales and a flat grey sky.

In the moment before time resumed, the whole world was quiet, and realization slowly crushed me—

I was trying to fly on clipped wings. Continue reading

Purity smashes words

twitter

PURITY is now for sale on Smashwords!

Not to keep tooting my own horn though I love it, but here’s yet another post about PURITY. I’m sure everyone wants me to shut up at this point, but hush, I have words.

PURITY is now (finally) for sale at Smashwords, though we’re still waiting shipment to their premium catalogue, so it isn’t ready for Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, etc, just yet. Now that I know what I’m doing when it comes to Smashwords formatting (which is a lot more difficult than formatting for Amazone, let me tell you), it won’t take nearly so long to get the next book I publish out into the vast world of the interwebz.

I’ll keep you all informed as to when the premium catalogue gets accepted and shipped and actually in the webstores.

 PURITY is only $4.99 on Smashwords!

And don’t forget either,

 PURITY is on Amazon for $4.99!

DISCLAIMER: The formatting for Smashwords forced me to change some of the accented words that gave PURITY some of its Old World flair. I use a few foreign words and phrases, because the majority of the story takes place in Romania. These foreign accents didn’t translate well into the Smashwords format, and I was forced to change them. For example: Ţepeş became Tepesstrigoi morţi became strigoi mortiBraşov became Brasov. It takes the charm out of it for me. That all being said, if you want to keep that aforementioned Old World flair, purchase the AMAZON copy. If you don’t give a single fuck, by all means, go ahead to SMASHWORDS.

I’ll have a real post soon enough, I promise. A hairventure, too, most likely!

The conundrum of being a writer

WRITER’S BLOCK.

There. I said it. And what a phrase it is.

Two simple words shouldn’t be so terrifying. But they are. They really are.

Whenever I want to sit down and write, I’m at a place where I can’t – namely, at work. And vice versa: whenever I have time to sit down and write, I’m unable to do much more than gawk at my computer screen or get wholly distracted by imgur or the newfangled television James set up in my bedroom. Even as I write this post, I’m getting distracted by the Tudors.

Like, three days distracted. I’m sick.

But the thing is, distraction is the only cure. If you sit there and stare at the cursor, waiting for something to happen and damning your brain for suddenly being a sack of shit, nothing will ever come to you. Distraction is the only means.

My best time for inspiration is Tuesdays and Wednesdays at work. Why, you might ask? Well, I might answer, because that is the day the LMPI – import – magazines arrive at the store, and the day I do nothing but sit in the back and price and receive. It’s monotonous and distracting, and because of it my house is littered with handwritten notes for full write-up at a later date.

I’m weathering a bit of a slump right now. It isn’t terrible, and I am powering through it, but it’s a challenge. After not touching ABOMINATION for a while and only working on OF THE ARBOUR, I’ve pretty much switched places, only I’m trudging on the former and now flying through it as I did with OF THE ARBOUR.

Ah, the life of a writer is a troubled one.

What does everyone else do to power through writer’s block?

A new year

Happy New Year!

The fourteenth year of the new millennium is upon us. Just when I started getting used to writing 2013 on things, too.

2013 was an interesting year for me. It had plenty of highlights – some good, and some bad.

I hope 2014 will be as eventful, if not more.

    • I hope to publish CHANGELING, my one true love of fantasy novels.
    • I’ve made a pact to go to the gym, which I can see going fairly well. The main reason I never went before was because I had no one to go with, but I have two friends in said pact this time.
    • I’ll, in all likelihood, have to move again – but this time to live with the aforementioned love of my life.
    • And also get a cat.
    • And maybe blog properly, because my current schedule is shit and should maybe be managed better.

How has 2013 shaped up for everyone else? The general consensus that I have seen was that it was a mediocre year – but together we can make 2014 amazing.

Happy New Year, everybody!

for auld lang syne, my dear
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet
for auld lang syne!

The finale: Of the Arbour teaser

His palms were sweating, and he doubted it had anything to do with the fact that it was already so hot out despite being early in the summer. For the hundredth time in a minute, he wiped his hands on his pants and wished he could scratch the sweat off his scalp.

The professors were still assembling themselves in front of the crowd that stood before the great wooden doors of the Arbour. Clenching his teeth, Sage stole a furtive glance through the little crowd. He couldn’t see Briar in the sea of combed hair and solemn faces, but he spotted Ash further down the line, looking as stoic as ever.

Behind the professors stood the rest of the Arbour’s body. Kell was easily visible despite the number, standing high above the others as the sun caught her hair and turned it to fire. And though he couldn’t see her, somewhere in that mass of people was Arcana.

Murmurs brought his attention back to the line of professors. They seemed to have finally organized themselves into a neat line, squinting against the sunlight. The grandmaster stood at their centre, wearing the same frown he always did despite the delighted atmosphere thick around the two groups of students. It was a joyful day, from the mood to the blue sky and sunlight, but one would never be able to tell by looking at the grandmaster’s sour expression. Sage wondered if the old man was capable of a truly genuine smile, or if he had long ago lost the ability.

“Children,” the grandmaster called, and it seemed as though even the birds quieted to hear his words.

The sweat burst out on Sage’s palms with renewed vigour. Part of him was still unable to wrap his head around this. He had made it. He had survived fifteen years of brutal training to become one of the most renowned and elite warriors in the known world. Continue reading

Updates, because I suck

I’ve been really bad at keeping this updated in recent weeks – hell, in recent months, even. My real life has been crazy, and trying to keep up with it is a battle. So here are some idle updates, and I promise I’ll do more teasers or something soon. Maybe a book giveaway. Been pondering that one for some time.

The Of the Arbour rewrite is at ~45 000 words. Sage has left the Arbour and is starting is life as a mercenary, and pretends to be Sage of Courton so nobody knows he’s from the Arbour.

Abomination is at ~150 000 words. I’ve been a bit nonfunctional with her lately because, I think, I’ve been so caught up in OtArb. But otherwise, she’s progressing nicely.

I’m dragging my ass and haven’t processed my ISBNs yet, even though I was assigned some. Working on it.

I’ve passed the point of season 3 in a Storm of Swords. I’ve learned to bear GRRM’s writing style, as I found it terribly grating when I first started reading the books. I can’t imagine I’ll ever do reviews of these, because I’m biased by the show, but eh, never say never.

So I guess that’s that. Woo.

Dark dreams: Of the Arbour teaser

Letting out a long sigh, he shut his eyes.

And opened them again a moment later when a cool hand touched his face. It took a moment for his vision to adjust, but the infirmary seemed much darker than it had only a moment ago. The beds were all empty and though the candles were lit, the room was swallowed in darkness.

The hand that cupped his cheek was joined by another, and a shadow loomed over him.

Sage squinted through the darkness, but the shadow remained veiled. “Who are you?” he asked.

One hand lifted and fingers combed through his hair. How you look like him, a soft voice whispered. I wish he could see you now.

Sage glanced down at the hands that touched him. Long and slender, with creamy skin marred only by calluses from long years of labour. “Maybe he will see me one day,” he suggested, if only to comfort the shadow. It seemed so terribly sad; he didn’t want it to suffer.

It gave an unhappy sigh and once more cupped his face in both hands. You deserve to know what happened. You deserve to know the truth. Bastard, they call you. Orphan. They are cruel words spoken by cruel children who do not know the truth. You will do great things some day, my son. I know you will. I have always known. You are the sunshine of my life.

The hands slipped away, and the shadow faded into darkness.

Sage jerked forward and reached after it. “Wait! Please, don’t go!”

His words were greeted with silence.

He gave it another moment, then flung the blankets off his bed. He had to find the woman behind the shadow. He didn’t know what was driving him, but he had no choice.

His injured leg bothered him little as he stood and padded across the room. There was no sign of the woman who had spoken. It was as if she had disappeared from the infirmary entirely.

Well, no matter.

Moving slowly so his steps made little noise on the stone floor, he wandered across the length of the room to the door leading out to the rest of the Arbour. The handle was icy when his palm touched it. He winced and pulled his hand back, and listened at the door instead. Silence rang from the other side.

Gritting his teeth, he opened the door and stepped into the bitter cold.

He was no longer in the Arbour. Continue reading