Well, I am certainly guilty of disappearing. The push to fix a dozen last minute details in a novel, put it and all other promotional items into place, and be present online for a book release is a lot for us introverts!
On the positive front, I’m working on book 3 in The Luminated Threads series. The draft from last year’s Nano is a bit rough, and of course there are many changes to make due to changes I’ve made in books 1 & 2. So that’s a nice way of saying, it’ll take me longer than I thought it would.
Nothing for it but to get down to work. I’m sad to report I had to give up my Nano efforts. I find it too hard to switch my head between two books and, honestly, I don’t want to delay book 3, The Binding.
In other news, I’m giving away a paperback copy of The Unraveling during a fellow indie author’s Facebook Release Party on Wednesday, November 18, 2015.
Join me and a number of authors with many giveaways to celebrate romantic suspense author Magda Alexander’s new release, A Christmas Kiss to Remember, with a Facebook Release Party.
NaNo (National Novel Writing Month) is a big deal to writers, a commitment to writing a 50,000 word story. In a month. The month of November…tomorrow. Here’s an article I found on Erin Morgenstern’s blog:
Ok I decided a few weeks ago I would participate this year, mainly because I *think* I need to learn to write every day on a new story while continuing to edit the present story. That hasn’t been my process so far, and maybe it can’t be. But November is a good month to test the theory. So here I am:
However, I hadn’t decided on a story. Tonight I had to commit.
It’s a futuristic I’ve worked on plotting several times, including most recently in Cherry Adair’s Master Plotting Class. Poor thing, it deserves a chance to be written. For the purposes of NaNo, I’m calling it “The Floating Islands Story” and this is the “cover” I assigned it:
I’ve flown across the country many times in the last two years taking care of a family property that was in the 2013 floods in Colorado. I’ve drawn inspiration for this story while staring out the airplane window.
The synopsis I wrote in less than 2 minutes to fill in the blank on the NaNo form: Animatronics, saving a princess, recycling water, rocks like pumice and many other interesting ideas strung together in a story in which a girl from the city, meets a boy from another world when his floating island is brought to Earth through a wormhole.
If you are also a NaNo participant, feel free to follow me: laurelwanrow
If you see lots of strange tweets from me, it’s because I’m an avid NaNo sprinter with @nanowordsprints — a fun bunch!
Have a great month everyone!
Welcome to my cover reveal for The Unraveling, Volume One of The Luminated Threads!
Isn’t it beautiful? I’m so very lucky to be working with the creative and talented Craig Shields. (I wrote a post about him a few days ago—see it here.)
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About the Book:
In 1868 England, the competition to control agriculture is fierce…
…and nobody says no to Derby’s industrial magnate.
Except Annmar Masterson. The nineteen-year-old rejects his improper advances and instead takes an advertising position on a farm. She discovers the isolated valley is home to gifted species—including animal and plant shifters—who hide their lives from the rest of England. The blue threads only she sees on their clockwork machinery prove her heritage is rooted with theirs, but their world is so different that Annmar doesn’t know if she’ll ever belong.
Shapeshifter Daeryn Darkcoat blames himself for the death of his mate and swears he won’t be responsible for another pack. But when the farm he loves falls victim to an endless run of strange pests eating the crops, he joins the hunt, taking charge of an unruly team of predator shifters. In the midst of the battle, Annmar stirs feelings he can’t resist.
As Annmar becomes entangled in the fight against the pests, and with Daeryn, she discovers her magic might help…if she can learn to use it properly. If not, she’ll be forced to leave the people she has come to care for and become what she fears most: nothing more than another cog in the magnate’s gears.
THE UNRAVELING is a full-length novel, approximately 350 pages, for readers 18+ (new adult and older).
Please note: This is volume 1 of a three-part serialized novel. Volumes 2 & 3 will be published in 2015 to complete THE LUMINATED THREADS, a steampunk fantasy romance. To be notified of these releases, sign up for Laurel’s Newsletter.
Preorder from Amazon for the special price of only .99 cents!
Because the cover just uploaded, the “Look Inside” feature isn’t active. To read the first chapters, click here.
The Unraveling releases June 23, 2015, in ebook and trade paperback.
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Connect with me!
My cover reveal!
If I was a gif person you’d see me cheering, but instead I have still photo… of a tiny piece of the cover, because, you know, the cover reveal isn’t until May 26th. (!)
What is that Sprouting Star, you ask? Well, that’s me. I wanted to do all I could to have my self-published print book look like a traditionally published paperback. I had planned to use a little logo my family used for a rubber stamp to do letterboxing while we traveled. (Sorry, I just probably generated another question: What’s letterboxing?) But when I asked my daughter to make a vector of it, she suggested I needed something more representative of my book themes–magic and people’s ties to the land– and to my tag–fantasy tuned to the magic of the land.
She was right, of course, since she is art-savvy and I am not. But the amazing thing was while talking, she sketched it out and said, “Here. Sprouting Star.”
So I became Sprouting Star Press, and I love the look my talented daughter devised!
She even sent me one version in an amazing fake embossed look!
BTW, my Mary Behre has completed my cover pendant. I should have it before the cover reveal!
Yes, The Unraveling has a cover! It’s bright and shiny and everything I wanted in a fantasy cover. So much so, I’m saving it for a cover reveal. That’ll be May 26th. In the meantime, I wanted to share a little thing some authors do when they really love their covers: They have jewelry made.
Author Mary Behre has been making cover jewelry for a few years now, starting back when several friends debuted with ebooks and didn’t have a physical book to hold. She told me, “I wanted them to have something tangible to celebrate the incredible accomplishment of getting published.”
Her side business took off from there. When Mary isn’t under the crunch of a deadline herself, she makes them for other authors…and herself!
These are titles from Mary’s Tidewater series.
I’ve ordered mine! Depending on Mary’s schedule, I’ll post a photo at my cover reveal or hopefully by publishing…which will be June 23!
I’ve been deep in edits with a shapeshifter story, but hadn’t realized how frequently I feature animals in my other stories until I attended the World of Pets Expo this weekend.
Our guinea pig rescue group—yes, MGPR, a guinea pig rescue, as I had to confirm many times during my shift—sets up a booth alongside other small pet rescues, such as House Rabbit Society, Luna’s House, and a rat rescue I didn’t get the name of. I visited with a chinchilla. The bird fanciers are across the way. That’s our usual corner, but unusual for Pet Expo. At Pet Expo, small pets are in the minority: dogs rule!
People can more easily bring their dogs out in January’s weather, and they are less skittish in the busy setting. I’d only taken one photo of this little cutie, an Italian Greyhound, and frankly hadn’t thought a whole lot about the dogs.
But then an Irish Wolfhound walked by.
I knew what it was immediately—from photos…and my research for a story. Yes, I have featured an Irish Wolfhound in a science fiction romance, BUT…I had never seen one IRL!
I stopped them. “This is an Irish Wolfhound, right?”
“Yes.” (Actually she was quite pleased I recognized the breed.)
“May I take a picture?”
This lady was my height – 5’4”…The dog is huge, just as I wanted him to be. In my novel Passages, the wolfhound knocks over a guard, just by leaping his paws to the man’s shoulders.
His face was just as square, his hair just as wiry, and his temperament just as calm as I had learned through reading. Meeting him made me feel very good about my selection of a wolfhound for my novel. I was so pleased, I can’t remember the dog’s name, and I know I asked.
About an hour later, a man passed with a small black dog. OMG! “Is that a Schipperke?” I asked my rescue friends. They had no idea what I was talking about, and that man-dog pair was moving quickly into the crowd. I chased them halfway to the other side of the building before I could ask the person who knew. And the answer was yes.
‘Bosun’—the ship’s officer in charge of equipment and the crew—was this sailor’s second Schipperke. The first spent nine years living on his sailboat. Wow… I asked a few questions about the dog liking it, did he have good balance, and so forth, again confirming that’s exactly why I chose this species nicknamed the Belgium Barge Dog to live with Coral’s schooner-dwelling family in my YA Seaside Sorcery.
I had never thought of the Pet Expo as a place for writing research, but I’ll use it the next time I need to select a species I’ve never met. I was lucky in my research for my first choices of dogs I didn’t really know, but it’s smarter to actually touch the dog and talk to the person who lives with it. Now I have the feel of the coat under my fingers, the sense of size, the motion of the ears and tail…the real dog to work into my writing.
And in case you think I rescue guinea pigs and have ignored them in my writing, meet Hilda, one of a pair of the first shelter pigs I adopted. She is Gran’s pet in my YA Meadow Magic.
Here’s her entrance:
Fern strode through her grandmother’s cottage, late, today of all days. “Gran?” she yelled. Late because, like usual, Mom hadn’t left when she was supposed to and now Gran—
“Wheek, wheek, wheeeeek!” came a shriek from the front room and seconds later Gran’s guinea pig barreled around the comfortable old couch, her long grey and white hair brushing the polished floor like a dust mop. She ran straight to Fern, who caught her up and hugged her.
“Hilda, at least you’re home. How have you been?” Hilda licked Fern’s cheek, her little face barely visible under a shock of white hair. “Aw, thanks. I’ve missed you, too.” Fern streamed her fingers through the chubby animal’s soft fur. “I promise, when we finish our projects there’ll be plenty of time to pet you. But right now I’ve got to find Gran.”
Hilda burbled a string of chirps, her gaze locked on Fern’s face.
Weird. The pig had that look just like when Gran talked to her. Fern sighed. May as well give it a go, though she didn’t have time to waste. “Do you have a message for me?”
Hilda threw back her head and shrilled, her pink mouth stretching to reveal four sharp incisors. When Fern set her down, the pig scurried across the room to her den basket under the kitchen counter. She rooted around and in short order returned carrying a folded piece of stationary, a bit gnawed at the edges. The note inside read:
A few issues for our inspection have arisen, so I am off to a meeting. It might run into Saturday as well. It’s time for you to take charge. I know a seventeen year old can handle the remaining projects, but to ease your burden I have arranged some help for you.
“Leaving now—Gran!” Fern slapped her forehead. “Ohmigod, me in charge? And help? Sheesh. As if you could dig up help on this island, thank you very much.” Fern read the note again. What issues? Did this mean in spite of all their work on the Meadows, the Council still might take Gran’s land and give it to another family? With her home at risk, Gran had left Fern in charge?
“Oh.” How had she forgotten Hilda? Hilda giving her the… Fern eyed the guinea pig. No. No way.
Hilda took a few steps toward the refrigerator. “Wheek!”
Fern blinked. “Uh, sorry? You want a treat?” She dropped the note on the counter and found a carrot. Hilda took it and trotted off to her basket. Huh. Guess that was—Fern shook her head. She had work to do, whether the guinea pig could… uh, whether Gran… Hmm. “See you later, Hilda. Even with Gran gone, I’ve got to cut those trees on our list.” The List. Yeah.
Isn’t she smarter than the average pig? She’s owned by a witch. 🙂 Thanks for reading!
P.S.: I belatedly realize I should have included an excerpt of one of the dogs. *eye roll at myself* I was at Pet Expo as a guinea pig volunteer – so my head was still there. Dog excerpt coming soon!