Where Did 2014 Go?

I have been remiss in posting on this blog, and considering the number of things that have happened in my writing life over the last couple of months, it’s inexcusable. I have so many people to thank, so much work to give credit to and highlight, and with the year drawing to a close I feel I should do it soon!

You will, however, be seeing more of me around the Raven’s Quill in 2015. I’m entering, as my friends and I have dubbed it, Writerlife 2.0: becoming a full time author with a part time dayjob. There may be a lack of exclamation points following that last sentence, but only because there’s not enough room in this post to contain them all. I’m beyond excited and nervous about this next step. It’s not going to be an easy one, and no doubt many of the posts in the new year will be me sobbing about the stresses of it, but when life hands you the opportunity to follow your passion and your dreams, it would be foolish to ignore it.

Part of my new goal will be posting more regularly, sharing my thoughts about the full time process–what’s working and what really isn’t. The pitfalls I find, and the joys. I look forward to facing them all.

That’s one big news, but it’s far from my only, and it’s more than I can sum up in one post – not if I want to keep you reading the whole way through to make sure that the people who have been such a big help to me get their time in the spotlight!

As my second item–did you know I was turned into a pin-up?!?!?!

It came out of the blue one day that a very good friend of mine had this piece commissioned by Jason Robichaud of Pinups for Cancer, where 50% of the profits are donated to cancer research (I know the artist and he’s good people, so this program is legit).

Art by Jason Robichaud at pinupsforcancer.blogspot.com

Art by Jason Robichaud at pinupsforcancer.blogspot.com

A pirate wench sitting on a raven’s quill, holding a copy of EVENSONG (in the actual print, the cover is very clear and awesome) and wearing a raven corset, which I own. I love this print! They are up for sale, and there are bookmarks as well!

As a final item, EVENLIGHT IS ALMOST HERE!!!! Save the date as January 13, 2015 and keep your fingers crossed it all moves smoothly. The draft is in the final steps towards formatting and I’m just waiting on my beautifully detailed cover by the talented Kevin Lester – as soon as that’s ready to share there will be another post.

What I do have for you is a blurb! That’s right – EVENLIGHT has its own now!

Jeff Powell wants nothing more than to leave his adventures behind him, but he owes a debt and the Sisters intend to collect, no matter the cost. Stealing Cassie in exchange for Jeff’s returned imagination, he and Venn are enlisted to save Andvell from destruction.

With Brady’s mind being taken over by Talfyr’s, Jasmine unwell, and Jayden brooding over his broken heart, Jeff must rely on the strength of their friendship to find Cassie and save multiple worlds from being torn apart by growing rifts in the Veil.

As the doorway between worlds closes, Jeff needs to choose which side he’ll end up on, and what he’s willing to give up before the end.

EVENLIGHT, as you recall, was my trouble child. I had to scrap it and restart, and even on the second go there was more hand-wringing and hair-pulling than good days. But by the end, I fell in love. We accepted our differences, embraced our challenges, and me and Meratis are now a big happy family, with EVENLIGHT being the favourite (shh.. don’t tell the others!)

I’m sure I’ll be doing a recap blog post before the end of the year as well, because so much as happened since January. I went from having one small anthology out in the world to having 2 novels, a third on the way, and soon a whole new routine to look forward to. Amazing how life works out sometimes. You can also look forward to the post where I display all the contributors to the #AndvellArt project!!!!!! I’m very excited about that one – you can look forward to it on Monday, I think. So many creative and original art pieces/short stories/presentations – no doubt you’ll be as floored by some of them as I was.

So don’t run away too quickly, 2014. You and I still have some business.

Week 17 – Fall into Fantasy with Krista Walsh (me!)

This cover looks familiar…. Be sure to spread the word and enter to giveaway to win a copy of Evensong! Just in time for the release of book 3, Evenlight, due out mid-January 2015!

Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

Week 17: Meratis Trilogy

Book One: Evensong

By Krista Walsh


Author Jeff Powell wakes up to find the impossible has happened. He is within his own novel—summoned into the fictional world of Feldall’s Keep by a spell he didn’t write. One the House enchantress hasn’t figured out how to reverse.

When the villain he’s been struggling to write reveals himself, unleashing waves of terror and chaos, Jeff must use more than his imagination to save the characters he created—and the woman he loves.
Trapped within a world of his own creation, he must step outside the bounds of his narrative to help his characters defeat an evil no one anticipated, even if he must sacrifice his greatest gift. In the end, he has to ask: are novels really fiction, or windows into other worlds?

Buy it from: Amazon, Kobo, Nook, iTunes

Or add it to Goodreads

ABOUT KRISTA WALSH

Known for witty, vivid characters, Krista Walsh never has more fun than getting them into trouble and taking her time getting them out. After publishing a few short stories and novellas in various anthologies, she has now released her own anthology, the serial collection Greylands. When not writing, or working at her day job, she can be found reading, gaming, or watching a film – anything to get lost in a good story. She currently lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

Find Krista online: Website  Facebook  Twitter






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Week 16 – Fall into Fantasy with L. Blankenship

The end is nigh! Only a few more chances to enter some contests and learn about some new and amazing authors!

Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

Week 16: The Disciple Series by L. Blankenship


War is coming. Kate Carpenter is only a peasant girl, but she’s determined to help defend the kingdom and its bound saints against the invading empire. Her healing magic earned her a coveted apprenticeship with the master healer; now she must prove herself ready to stand in the front lines and save lives.

She’s not ready for the attentions of a ne’er-do-well knight and the kingdom’s only prince, though. This is no time to be distracted by romance — the empire’s monstrous army will tear through anyone standing between them and the kingdom’s magical founts. All disciples must put aside their tangled feelings and stand in the homeland’s defense.
Disciple is a six-part gritty fantasy romance by L. Blankenship. Part I through Part IV are on sale now at all major retailers!
Download PART I for free! 
FREE at AmazonSmashwordsB&N AllRomance
Disciple, Part V on sale now

 

Look for the final volume, Part VI, in 2015!

EXCERPT:

“You couldn’t sleep either?”

At the whisper, I looked up from struggling to lace my boots with trembling hands. My master stepped into my dormitory room, adding his lamp’s light to my candle.
“Why must I dress as a boy?” I whispered back. Perhaps I was not so buxom, but I doubted I’d fool anyone. “This makes little sense.”
“Patience.” Master Parselev placed his lamp on my writing-table and checked my packed bags. “They’re gathering at the chapel already. None of us got much sleep, it seems.”
The straw mattress creaked when I stood, boots laced and the woolen hose sagging between my thighs. I ran my fingers around my waist, under my layered cotes, to check the drawstring. “Are these right, Master?” I’d strung the hose and braies together as best I could guess and as memory was my Blessing I had no excuse for failing. Men’s underthings weren’t much concern to me — if I saw such, or more, it was while the man lay bleeding on the surgery table.
“If they stay up, it’s right. Good. This too.” He slung a heavy felt cloak across my shoulders and pinned it on. The hood buried my face in shadows; my blonde braid, even wrapped around my head, would give me away.
I asked, “Master, this journey will be long, won’t it?” Parselev had given me more clothes than I’d ever owned to pack in those bags. All heavy winter woolens, too. “Shouldn’t you go, then?”
He looked down at me, mouth quirking to one side. Master was a greybeard, said to be over a hundred years old, but his kir kept his eyes bright and his face lightly creased. I had only been his apprentice two years. Surely I could not be ready for this.
“It must be you, Kate,” was all he said. He carried one of my bags, and I took the other.
Wreathed in breath-clouds, we crossed the Order’s campus. Low on the horizon, the slim, waxing crescent of the Shepherd hung golden, all seven of his Flock scattered in the sky behind him. He gave the only hint that dawn was coming. The cloak kept me marvelously warm, even in the chilly breeze. No frost this morning, not yet, but it was only a few weeks off.
Master un-bolted the side gate and led me to the door of the Grand Chapel. Horses waited on the grass, many horses chewing at their bits and shaking their heads, most of them with knights in the saddles. The knights’ black tabards, worn over suits of mail, had a white horse embroidered on the right shoulder and two gold stars on the left, marking them knights and Prince’s Guard as well. Kite shields and bucket helms hung on their saddles, in easy reach.
Several of the horses stood with empty saddles, collectively held by a couple of pageboys, and that gave me pause. I’d never been on a horse; I was only a peasant girl. But it could not be so awful, I told myself, so I gripped my cloak a little tighter and followed Master Parselev inside.
My new boots rang too loudly in the empty chapel, and when I slowed to lighten my step I fell behind. Only one lamp burned on the high table before the icons, and its light was mostly blocked by those gathered below the two steps. Faces were cast in shadow as they turned toward us — all looming in the dim light, some cloaked like me, others not — and I knew none of them. I kept my head down as I joined my master before them, glad the hood hid my face.
“Not ready, Elect?” one asked, his voice low but strong. “Who’s this?”
“My apprentice will safeguard the travelers,” my master answered. “She has —”
“What?” The man stepped closer, his shoulders blocking out the light.
“Majesty, she’s my finest student.” Parselev put up a hand when the stranger reached for my hood.
My knees trembled as the word echoed in my head. Majesty. I stood before the king of Wodenberg. Wobbling a bit, I dropped to one knee in obeisance, fist pressed to my heart. The king yanked off my hood while I stared at the flagstone floor, pulse pounding.
“This girl?” the king demanded. “You trust a mere disciple with this mission?”


ABOUT L. BLANKENSHIP

L. Blankenship started writing animal stories as a kid and it’s just gotten completely out of hand since then. Now she’s out publishing her gritty fantasy and hard science fiction adventures. L grew up in New Hampshire but currently lives near Washington, DC.

Want to get involved with the Fall Into Fantasy promotional tour?

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Week 15 – Fall into Fantasy with Sharon Bayliss

Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

Week 15: The December People series

Book 1: Destruction

Book 2: Watch Me Burn

By Sharon Bayliss


 
Introducing a new dark wizard family drama, Destruction by Sharon Bayliss, Book One in The December People Series.
BUY NOW–99 CENTS FOR A LIMITED TIME!
An independent family-owned bookstore. The ONLY place to buy signed copies!
A locally owned book store in Austin, Texas.
David Vandergraff wants to be a good man. He goes to church every Sunday, keeps his lawn trim and green, and loves his wife and kids more than anything. Unfortunately, being a dark wizard isn’t a choice.
Eleven years ago, David’s secret second family went missing. When his two lost children are finally found, he learns they suffered years of unthinkable abuse. Ready to make things right, David brings the kids home even though it could mean losing the wife he can’t imagine living without. 
 
Keeping his life together becomes harder when the new children claim to be dark wizards. David believes they use this fantasy to cope with their trauma. Until, David’s wife admits a secret of her own—she is a dark wizard too, as is David, and all of their children.  


Now, David must parent two hurting children from a dark world he doesn’t understand and keep his family from falling apart. All while dealing with the realization that everyone he loves, including himself, may be evil.


Destruction (Book One of The December People Series)

 

 

 

Cover Reveal!!
Watch Me Burn
The December People Series 
Book Two
 

David Vandergraff lost his home, his job, and contact with his oldest son, but remains determined to be a good husband and father despite being a dark winter wizard. 

His resolve is tested when a flyer for a missing girl–who happens to be a summer witch–begins to haunt him. David believes a spell needs to use him to save her, so he follows the magic’s command and looks into her disappearance. His teenage daughter Emmy resents him for caring so much about a random stranger. But when she uncovers some disturbing evidence close to home, she begins an investigation of her own.
David and Emmy quickly learn that the mystery is not only about a missing girl they barely know, but a deeply personal story that impacts everyone they care about. As their world crumbles, they fear the warning may be true—never mess with summer wizards, because the good guys always win.
Coming January 2015 from Curiosity Quills Press!
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sharon Bayliss is the author of The December People Series and The Charge. When she’s not writing, she enjoys living happily-ever-after with her husband and two young sons. She can be found eating Tex-Mex on patios, wearing flip-flops, and playing in the mud (which she calls gardening). She only practices magic in emergencies.

 

 


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Week 14 – Fall into Fantasy with Kate Sparkes

[Editor’s Note: I have read this book and LOVED it]

Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

Week 14: The Bound Trilogy

Book One: Bound

By Kate Sparkes


Welcome to Darmid, where magic is a sin, fairy tales are contraband, and the people live in fear of the Sorcerers on the other side of the mountains.

Rowan Greenwood has everything she’s supposed to want from life—a good family, a bright future, and a proposal from a handsome and wealthy magic hunter. She knows she should be content with what she has. If only she could banish the idea that there’s more to life than marriage and children, or let go of the fascination with magic she’s been forced to suppress since childhood.

When Rowan unknowingly saves the life of one of her people’s most feared enemies, that simple act of compassion rips her from her sheltered life and throws her into a world of magic that’s more beautiful, more seductive, and more dangerous than she ever could have imagined.

Rowan might get everything she ever dreamed of—that is, if the one thing she’s always wanted doesn’t kill her first.

Buy it from: Amazon  Kobo  Barnes & Noble  iBooks

Or add it to Goodreads

 


ABOUT KATE SPARKES

 

Kate Sparkes was born in Hamilton, Ontario, but now resides in Newfoundland, where she tries not to talk too much about the dragons she sees in the fog. She lives with a Mountie, two kids who take turns playing Jeckyll and Hyde, three cats with more personality than most people she meets, and the saddest-looking dog on the planet. Depression has almost consumed her more times than she likes to admit, but writing Fantasy (be it epic or urban, fairy tales or superhero cat stories) keeps her afloat… most of the time. She released her debut novel Bound (Ya Fantasy) in June 2014. The second book in the trilogy is due out in the winter.

Find Kate online: Blog  Sparrowcat Press  Facebook  Twitter

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Week 13 – Fall into Fantasy with Emma L. Adams

Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

Week 13: The Darkworld Series

Prequel Novella: Fear’s Touch

Book One: Darkness Watching

Book Two: Walking Shadow

By Emma L. Adams

This is a standalone novella, intended as a prequel to the Darkworld series. As it takes place one year before the events of Darkness Watching, it doesn’t contain any spoilers (although it does hint at things which will come into play later in the series).

Freakish powers and staring demon eyes aren’t part of Claudia’s plans for the future – and neither is ending up stuck at the gloomy, isolated University of Blackstone. But bad life decisions are the least of her problems, when a split-second decision to help out another magic-user puts her in the crossfire of both the shadow-beasts and the creepy organisation which hunt them down.

Claudia’s never had to worry about making the right choice before, but every decision matters when you have a Darkworld connection. Soon, she’s going to have to make a choice: turn her back on the crazy and try to live a normal life, or take the monsters down.

But in a world where everyone seems to have secrets, can she really trust her fellow magic-users – or even herself?

Now available at retailers! 

Buy it from: Amazon  Amazon UK  Barnes & Noble  Kobo

Add it to Goodreads

Eighteen-year-old Ashlyn is one interview away from her future when she first sees the demons. She thinks she’s losing her mind, but the truth is far more frightening: she can see into the Darkworld, the home of spirits– and the darkness is staring back.

Desperate to escape the demons, Ash accepts a place at a university in the small town of Blackstone, in the middle of nowhere – little knowing that it isn’t coincidence that led her there but the pull of the Venantium, the sorcerers who maintain the barrier keeping demons from crossing from the Darkworld into our own world.
All-night parties, new friendships and a life without rules or limits are all part of the package of student life – but demons never give up, and their focus on Ash has attracted the attention of every sorcerer in the area. Ash is soon caught between her new life and a group of other students with a connection to the Darkworld, who could offer the answers she’s looking for. The demons want something from her, and someone is determined to kill her before she can find out what it is.
In a world where darkness lurks beneath the surface, not everyone is what they appear to be…

Reviews:

“Demons, Sorcerers, evil, and secrets. Could you ask for a better supernatural suspense set-up? The plot is original, and completely gripping. From the first page, this book had me hooked.” – Rose at Desert Rose Reviews

 
“A suspenseful first part to an intriguing new fantasy series.” - Sharon Stevenson, supernatural author
 
“The story is extremely well-written with effortless, flowing prose, and the original magic-user mythology and Darkworld creatures are very entertaining. The author took what might have been over-done premise and twisted it into something very fresh and exciting.” – Lexa Cain, author of Soul Cutter
 

“Emma is an amazing writer. She has become one of my favorites. I couldn’t put Darkness Watching down.” – Diane at A Creative Mind

Buy it from: Amazon  Amazon UK  Barnes & Noble  Kobo
Or add it to Goodreads
 
 

When you have a connection to the Darkworld, nowhere is truly safe.

Ashlyn has found a new home in Blackstone, but when a spate of grave robberies across the country spark fears that someone is practicing illegal sorcery, she comes under the radar of the Venantium, the protectors of the Barrier between her world and the Darkworld, who are suspicious of any sorcerer who doesn’t know their origins.
The trouble is, what Ash does know might just get her killed.
Sufferers of the dangerous condition known as the vampire’s curse are being brutally killed, and the latest victim is Leo’s guardian, the ex-head of the Venantium. Ash determines to help Leo find out what’s really going on, but it isn’t long before events are spiralling out of control. The dead are rising from their graves, and the barriers around Blackstone are threatened by a demon which looks exactly like Ash herself…
 

Coming December 1st, 2014 from Curiosity Quills

Add it to Goodreads

 
ABOUT EMMA L. ADAMS

Emma spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing fantasy novels for children and young adults. She was born in Birmingham, UK, which she fled at the first opportunity to study English Literature at Lancaster University. In her three years at Lancaster, she hiked up mountains, skydived in Australia, and endured a traumatic episode involving a swarm of bees in the Costa Rican jungle. She also entertained her creative writing group and baffled her tutors by submitting strange fantasy tales featuring dragons and supernatural monsters to workshops. These included her first publication, a rather bleak dystopian piece, and a disturbing story about a homicidal duck (which she hopes will never see the light of day).

Now a reluctant graduate, Emma refuses to settle down and be normal. When not embarking on wild excursions, she edits and proofreads novels for various publishing houses and reads an insane number of books. At the age of 21, she signed a publishing contract with Curiosity Quills Press for the first book in her creepy urban fantasy Darkworld series. DARKNESS WATCHING was published in October 2013, and four more novels and a novella will follow. She chats about writing and other book-related things at her blog, From the Writer’s Nest, and looks forward to sharing more tales from the bizarre depths of her imagination.

Find Emma online: Blog  Website  Facebook Page  Twitter

Sign up to Emma’s newsletter to be the first to find out about new releases




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Week 12 – Fall Into Fantasy with Lisa Swallow

*slaps wrist* Bad, Krista, bad! I don’t know how I forgot last week, but my apologies to Lisa Swallow! Don’t forget to check out her links and enter to win the rafflecopter!

Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

Week 12: The Dark Intent Series

Book One: Between

By Lisa Swallow


What do you do when you are attracted to two men and both have the power to kill you with a touch or a kiss? Can Rose trust either of them – or anyone in her new life?

 
Ghosts? Demons? Angels? Or something more? The supernatural you find living and working in this English city are a little different to those you usually find in the genre…
Rose survived the accident that killed her friend. The problem is the life she returns to scares her more than the night she almost died.
When Alek and Finn enter her world, Rose discovers the after-effects of the accident are worse than she thought. The slow recovery and fogged nightmares aren’t the only changes she needs to cope with.
Rose has an immediate and intense attraction to arrogant housemate Alek. This confuses her as much as the chilling effect of her enigmatic work colleague Finn. As Rose struggles to cope with her new life, she learns that her connection to the two men threatens all their futures
Alek has lived years closed off from people. He didn’t expect someone like Rose to come into his life and challenge the reality he grips onto.
If Finn doesn’t fix the mistake he made, his life is in danger. His desire to help and protect Rose makes his task difficult, especially when she’s the mistake he needs to fix.
When Alek’s past catches up, Rose disappears. Trapped between the living and the dead, on the edge of Hell, Rose is unable to find her way back. Alek and Finn could help her – but are they prepared to risk the consequences?
ABOUT LISA SWALLOW

Lisa is an author of new adult romance and writes both paranormal and contemporary, often with a side of snark. In between running a business, looking after her family and writing, Lisa sometimes finds spare time to do other things. This often involves swapping her book worlds for gaming worlds. Lisa is originally from the UK but moved to Australia in 2001 and now lives in Perth in Western Australia with her husband, three children and dog.

Find Lisa online: Website  Facebook  Twitter  Mailing List


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