Blog Archives

The Unraveling is getting around!

Not only is my debut on Get Lost In A Story today (here!–please visit and chat–commenters are entered to win a print copy!) but yesterday, my niece sent this–from Spain!

The Unraveling on Kindle

How fun is that?

Advertisements

Interview and #Giveaway coming!

The lovely–and bag fanatic–Vicki Batman is hosting me on Get Lost In A Story this Wednesday, July 8th (here!–live on Wednesday!). It’s a not-to-be-missed post for two reasons:

1) We’re offering a giveaway of a print copy of The Unraveling to one lucky commenter

and

2) I’m revealing what’s in my heroine Annmar’s bag–not your typical Victorian heroine’s bag, but a leather satchel, a la those carried by Civil War soldiers.

Civil War Leather satchel

What a bag, huh? As one of my reviewer’s said, “… Annmar’s newly found roots give her the mettle to be a woman far ahead of her time!

I’ll be in and out through the day to chat and answer questions about my new release. 🙂

Reviews and interviews!

I’ve had a couple of very nice reviews posted on my Amazon page–thank you so much!

If you’ve read The Unraveling and are able to post where you purchased it–which is only Amazon just yet–or on your favorite book site, like Goodreads, that would be great. Reviews help readers find new authors, which is downright tricky in today’s digital world.

Want to know more about how I came to write The Unraveling? I have two interviews coming up:

Wednesday, 7/8  ~~   Get Lost In A Story, Guest, Interview and Giveaway

Tuesday, 7/21 & 28 ~~  History Undressed, Guest posts on my granddad’s steam engines

This Wednesday’s will feature a giveaway of a print copy of The Unraveling to one lucky commenter selected via random.org.

Come chat with me!

Celebrating #IndieBooksBeSeen

Laurel Wanrow & #IndieBooksBeSeen

Big day on social media for Indie authors!

Last day of The Unraveling’s 99 cent sale!

Tomorrow my Kindle ebook goes up to full price – 2.99. Buy your copy today!

* * *

I’m fantasy author Jill Archer’s last ‘Five Photographs’ guest, a great series of author interviews through personal photographs. Pop over and see where I write and hunt for fossils.

Your cover can also be worn…

A few weeks ago I mentioned I’d purchased a pendant for myself with The Unraveling cover. Ta-da!

TheUnraveling cover pendant

Thank you, Mary Behre! I love it. I wrote about how Mary, author and artist, started making them and showed other samples in a post here, but you can contact Mary through her website (http://marybehre.com/ ) or at authormarybehre AT gmail.com. She sells them for $20 plus shipping.

Seeing Terry Pratchett

It’s the fall of 2007 and my daughter learns–probably the night before–that Terry Pratchett will be speaking at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.

Can we go?

I’d read a few of his books, but had no idea 1) she liked him so much and 2) there was a book festival with speakers on the National Mall. (I’ve come a long way since then.) She asked. We went.

As popular as he was, I insisted we go to the tent early and get a seat. To her embarrassment, I also made us move up several rows at a break between authors. Hey, we were here to see this guy talk, we were going to see him. And I planned to take pictures using a camera with no telephoto.

Terry Prachett, 2007

Lots of them.

Terry Prachett, 2007

I don’t know if I took notes, as I’ve now done on each other trip I’ve made to the National Book Festival, but I have photos, as you see.

Terry Prachett, 2007

I was very impressed he wore a shirt with a turtle on it, not knowing this was a Discworld theme. I did turtle rehabilitation, so anyone who likes turtles, I like.

Terry Prachett, 2007

The tent was indeed crowded. My daughter stood in line to ask a question, but I don’t believe she made it to the front.

2007 Book festival tent for Terry Prachett

A question someone else asked was, “How long do you spend on developing each of your characters? They’re so memorable.”

Not that long, Terry answered (I won’t quote him, because this is the gist of the answer.) I give each a trait or two that readers know from real life. Then that type of person is so familiar to you and you feel you already know my character.

Terry Prachett, 2007

We had brought my daughter’s books. The line for signing was horrendous. Hours long, I believe, because I only have photos of one other author. I asked my daughter to come up with a question. She couldn’t. Or didn’t.

T Prachett's signing line National Book Festival 2007

So I did. “Will you be writing more about Susan and Lobsang?”

Terry Prachett_Nat. Book Fest. 9:29:2007

What? (I think I flummoxed him.)

“Are they going to have a romance?”

I suppose so. Who else is there for her to be with?

Since 2007, I have read most of the Discworld novels. We own the books, few movies, posters and various other fan-stuff. Today, I’m very teary-eyed.

Family Values Poster

Rest in Peace, Sir Terry Pratchett.

Cover Reveal for Song of Blood & Stone

I’m thrilled to be a part of the gorgeous cover reveal for my Maryland Romance Writers chapter mate Leslye Penelope’s debut fantasy Song of Blood & Stone!

Song of Blood and Stone

Between love and duty lies destiny

Orphaned and alone, Jasminda is an outcast in her homeland of Elsira, where she is feared for both the shade of her skin and her magical abilities. When ruthless soldiers seek refuge in her isolated cabin, they bring with them a captive – an injured spy who steals her heart.

Jack’s mission behind enemy lines nearly cost him his life but he is saved by the healing power of a mysterious young woman. Together they embark on a perilous journey straight into the heart of a centuries-old conflict.

Thrust into a hostile society, Jasminda and Jack must rely on one another even as secrets jeopardize their bond. As an ancient evil gains power, Jasminda races to unlock a mystery that promises salvation.

The fates of two nations hang in the balance as Jasminda and Jack must choose between love and duty to fulfill their destinies and end the war.

~~~

Song of Blood & Stone releases January 13, 2015, but you can pre-order at Amazon and add to your GoodReads shelf now!

~~~

Guest Post by Leslye: Respecting the Muse

People frequently ask authors where their ideas come from. The muse, that creative force responsible for inspiring artists, is often said to be fickle. Mine can sometimes be an outright jerk. Like a toddler who can’t decide which toy to play with, my muse throws fits and tantrums, and just might have ADD.

When she’s on her good behavior, she tends to show up in the most unexpected ways. I got the idea for one manuscript from my husband who challenged me to write a “black, female, Napoleon Dynamite.” The result bore no resemblance to that film or character, but it was a great starting point.

Another story features a character whose psychic ability manifests via smell. The idea for this one came from my own life. I sometimes smell things that don’t belong, but are recognizable. Like the scent of my late grandmother’s closets, or my late father’s cologne, or ­­––even stranger–– mothballs. The scents are fleeting, but I wonder if they could be messages of some kind. In that story, my character can tell that something bad is going to happen to the person she smells, but she doesn’t know what or when.

The idea for Song of Blood & Stone was born late one night as I was binge-watching movies on Netflix. I was in my Jamie Bell period, watching and re-watching anything I could with him in it. My stroke of inspiration came during the movie The Eagle when his character, Esca, first appears on screen. He’s a slave in ancient Rome, entering a fight against a much larger and well-armed gladiator. Esca doesn’t look scared even though he’s outmatched. He looks pissed. http://makeagif.com/i/GEscaw This is the exact expression that Jack wears the second time he and Jasminda meet in Song of Blood & Stone. About six seconds of film was enough to set my imagination on fire. The next day I started writing.

So, what inspires you? How does your muse behave? My muse definitely has a mind of her own. And even when she’s erratic, I’m always grateful for the sparks of inspiration no matter how they come.

~~~

About the Author:

Leslye Penelope

Leslye Penelope has been writing since she could hold a pen and loves getting lost in the worlds in her head. She’s a romance junkie who self-medicates with happily-ever-afters and steaming mugs of green tea. She lives in Maryland with her husband, an eighty-pound lap dog, and an attack cat.

Visit Leslye online at http://www.lpenelope.com
Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter | GoodReads

To celebrate the cover reveal, Leslye is offering a $40 gift card giveaway until Deceber 10th!

~~~

Excerpt

Jasminda led the way, the light from her lantern reflecting off the snow, now knee-deep but swallowed up by the surrounding darkness. Jack leaned heavily on the walking stick as each step became more difficult than the last. Pausing to catch his breath, a coughing fit struck him, leaving red splatters on the pristine white.

When he straightened, he found her staring at the blood on the ground. Almost immediately, the warm hum of Earthsong rippled through him.

“Save it,” he advised. “I’m all right.”

She scowled. “You are not all right. You are worse than when you arrived. Stop being such a fool.” The buzz of Earthsong continued for a few moments before she turned and stomped away.

For hours they battled the storm, their progress arduous. Strong gusts of wind blew against them, sometimes knocking them on their backs and forcing them to stop until the gale calmed some. Icy blasts whipped through Jack’s coat, freezing his fingers until he could no longer grip the walking stick and had to leave it behind.

“Let’s stop here for a moment,” Jasminda shouted, pointing to a notch in the rock wall just big enough for two people. Underneath the rocky overhang, the snow stood only ankle high, and the sidewalls protected them from the worst of the wind. They crouched down together, shaking from the cold. She took his hands in hers and rubbed, bringing some feeling back into them. In the flickering lantern light, worry etched a frown on her face.

Jack rallied, drawing whatever inner strength he could into his depleted limbs. A small hum of Earthsong tickled at his wounds, but he could sense her weakening. He cracked his knuckles and tried to fashion his frozen face into a grin.

“Now’s not the time to grow lazy.” He wasn’t sure she could understand him over the chattering of his teeth, but she nodded and they stood. At a groaning rumble overhead, they looked up. Something large shifted and slid. He moved forward to see what was happening, but she grabbed him by his coat and pulled him back. Her eyes were huge circles of fear as everything around them started to shake.

With a violent boom, an avalanche of snow slid down the mountain obliterating the path that they were on. The motion pushed them back against the wall as sheets of snow and ice crumbled away and slid off the mountain in front of them. Beneath their feet, the ground convulsed, knocking them off-balance. Jack fell forward into the rioting rush of snow.

Where he’d expected his hands to hit the ground, they hit nothing. He reached out frantically, grasping for purchase as his weightless body plummeted into the darkness blanketed by the cold wet pressure all around him.

Book Signing for Darkbeast

I had a fun evening attending the signing of Darkbeast, a middle grade book penned by a fellow Washington Romance Writer.

One of the neat things about belonging to local writing chapters in RWA is watching and learning from the other writers. The writing process is so unique for each person and each story. For example, Morgan Keyes’ new middle grade book started as a short story for an anthology on children and animals. She would have had the animal be a griffin, if another author hadn’t chosen it already, and the next three animals she proposed. Finally she settled on a raven.

That’s Caw pictured on the cover, and boy does he have personality. I loved Morgan’s reading of the first chapter, including the voice of Caw who speaks within the heroine Keara’s head. Morgan sounded so comfortable and I thought, Wow, I hope I can be this collected, and do different voices for my characters in a public reading.

I have to say, I love the question sessions the best. You always find out the best tidbits. Morgan gave us a little history on the development of Keara’s world—originally based on Celtic communities—and some of the interesting challenges in working with, of all things, the symbolism of numbers in the story.

Of course, I got my copy signed and am looking forward to diving into Darkbeast’s world—especially since another favorite author of mine also liked it: Tamora Pierce! Check out her quote on Morgan’s website and learn what your darkbeast is. http://www.morgankeyes.com

%d bloggers like this: