News!

After a month of edits and inputs on Book 2 of the Meratis Trilogy: Eventide, it has now been sent off to the proofreaders to make sure it’s readable for the review copies being sent out in May!  Yaaaay!

It means I’m almost ready to reach out to reviewers! If you think you might be interested, feel free to send me a message with your contact information. If you’re not sure, you should sign up for my Newsletter! Near the end of this month, I’ll be sending out the first chapter of Eventide as a special sneak peek.

What else have I been up to? You should head over to Keri Lake’s blog where I shared my musical inspiration for Evensong. I’m having fun putting together my soundtrack list for Book 3, which I’m hoping to write over the next 30 days! You should also check out Keri’s blog to get more information on the latest addition to her Sons of Wrath collection, a dark and sweaty novella called The Fallen. This story is not for the faint of heart, but my goodness gracious it’s good.

No doubt the radio silence will end soon as I offer book previews and, perhaps … a cover reveal?

Chatting with… Krista Walsh♥

Krista Walsh:

The wonderful and talented Anne Michaud let me play on her blog!

Thank you Anne!

Originally posted on Anne Michaud, writer:

My writer friend Krista Walsh wrote a fresh and unique book about a writer caught in his books world, and it’s fantastic!! I couldn’t wait to ask her questions to share her answers with the world…
EvensongThe baroquian theme is very well explored, how did you come up with the writer waking up in his books’ world and seeing the consequences of his plot twists?

Evensong began as a flash fiction piece with the prompt: an author is trapped within his or her own story. It became the premise of an entire novel, and one I couldn’t be more proud of. From the basic idea, I started imagining what it would be like. As an author, we can’t write every minute of every day for every character. We only focus on the highlights, the main or secondary characters. No matter the genre, every story has full worlds with millions of plots going on…

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Cover Reveal: EMERGENCE

I swear I remember I have a blog! Life has caught me up in its grip once again and with Evensong enjoying a nice spreading of word, I haven’t had much to say. 

Now, however, I would like to offer an enormous thank you to all of you who have purchased, read, reviewed, and otherwise helped me promote Evensong. As much as I write for myself, most of the joy comes from other people reading it, so hopefully that joy is going both ways! 

But today’s point is not for me to gush about my gratitude to you – it’s to direct your attention to the exciting news of one of my fellow authors and good friends. I’ve had her on my blog before, and she has hosted me more times than I can count. She even allowed me to adopt (e.g. happily gave up once he followed me home) my flying monkey, Joe. Her first novel First of her Kind swept me away, and the sequel gripped my heart and kept me riveted until I forgot what day of the week it was and may have missed a few hours of work. 

Ladies and Gents, I would like to offer the cover for book two K.L. Schwengel’s  “Darkness and Light” series: EMERGENCE

coverreveal

The battle for Ciara’s power has drawn the full attention of the Emperor and the Imperial Mages, forcing Bolin to put duty above safety and take her to Nisair. It won’t be an easy trip, even with an Imperial escort and a Galysian elder accompanying them. Especially since Donovan has found himself some new allies, one of who wields a dark magic that has literally gotten under Bolin’s skin.

For Ciara, coming to terms with the increasingly tangible manifestation of her power could destroy her. Even if they make it to Nisair–something that grows more unlikely by the day–there is no surety of safety for Ciara, or any of them. Not with Donovan willing to gamble everything to achieve his goals, or Bolin’s uncharacteristically reckless behavior, the result of which is the attention of something that has everyone worried.

Loyalties will be tested, lives will be lost, and no one will emerge unchanged as they find things are not always so clear on the line dividing Darkness and Light.

 The planned release date for EMERGENCE is March 17, 2014

***

About the author:

mequinnK. L. Schwengel lives in southeast Wisconsin on a small farm with her husband, a handful of Australian Shepherds, Her Royal Highness Princess Fiona the Cat, and assorted livestock. Growing up as the youngest of nine children, and the daughter of a librarian, Kathi spent many hours between stacks of books, and secluded away in dusty archives, drawn to tales of medieval heroes and conquering knights. With so many characters and ideas spinning in her head, she had to get them onto paper or risk what little sanity she possessed. She has been penning wild tales of magic and mayhem as long as she can remember, but opted to follow her artistic muse first. After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts and spending many years working as a freelance artist, grocery clerk, art teacher, graphic designer, stable hand, advertising account coordinator, dog trainer, and process technician (among other things) she answered the call of her writing muse. When not writing, Kathi trains and trials working Australian Shepherds, still paints, dabbles in photography, graphic design, and anything else creative her assorted muses send her way.

Kathi’s work is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and other on-line retailers in both paperback and e-book versions. Signed copies are available via her blog.

How to connect:

Blog: http://myrandommuse.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KLSchwengelWrites

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kathils01/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KLSchwengel

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6871795.K_L_Schwengel

EVENSONG Character Interview: The Sisters

I knew today’s post would be late, but I’m glad this post is going up at all! If you thought Corey was less than verbose, my next interviewees are even harder to carry on a conversation with. Not so much the socialising type.

The Sisters are a mystery, an elusive bunch that are the ones to tell Jayden and Jasmine of Jeff’s existence. No one knows much (if anything) about them, so I wanted to try to delve a little deeper. When I did this interview, it took me hours to track them down. I had to wander the Andvellian woods because there’s no way to call them, just wait. Finally, the woods faded, I was back in my apartment. Only I had company … even if I couldn’t see them.

KW: Uh .. hello?

*A faint laugh on the air and my hair stands on end. Something brushes past my arm*

“The storyteller’s storyteller.

The creator of worlds and

Destroyer of lives.”

*Three voices make the speech, one after the other, but still no one appears. I have my notebook on my knees, but the pen is shaking so badly I know I won’t be able to write anything down.*

KW: I was wondering if we might have a chat. About your role in Jeff’s story, within Andvell. A little bit of everything.

“No questions you have will

Give the knowledge you desire.  You

Can never know all.”

KW: Well that’s all well and good, but since you exist because I wrote you, I feel entitled to a few answers. Intelligible ones if you don’t mind.

*more laughter*

“You are not the first to claim

Such ownership. To home do we

Give the credit?”

KW: That’s not fair. I wrote Jeff. He’s my character. Therefore, so are you.

*I start to really understand Jeff’s frustration within Andvell*

“Raven-bearer and idea-moulder,

Trust your inspiration, but do not seek

To possess it. Follow the truth but

Do not seek to claim it. The free bird

Sings with more passion than the caged.

So too with your voice.”

KW: *under my breath* I was supposed to be asking you questions, not getting advice*

*I feel a cool breeze on my face and a brief sensation of someone patting my cheek.*

“Your creations have been set loose

And are no longer in your control. Trust them

To see the way clear.”

And then their presence disappeared, my apartment faded, and I was left standing back in the forest with no idea where I was or from which direction I’d come. It took me a whole two hours to find my way out.

Because of the nature of the Sisters’, I didn’t feel an excerpt would work without giving too much away, so this brings to a conclusion the week of character interviews. Thank you so much for stopping by to read them! If more questions happen to come to you down the road, feel free to drop me a line and I’ll do my best to answer them — or bring the characters back to answer them.

If the interviews inspired you to read the novel, you can find the links for the various formats here and I would love to hear your feedback after you finished!

EVENSONG Character Interview: Brady & Corey

Only 2 more Evensong interviews to go! Not going to lie, this one was tricky. Brady and Corey not only have very difference (clashing) personalities, but they also happen to be in love with the same woman: Jasmine Feldall. Both men were already wary about sitting down with me–Corey because he hates the world, Brady because he doesn’t know how to interact with it–but it took all the power of persuasion I possessed to get them to meet me in the same room at the same time. The  result … well, you’ll see.

*Setting: Brady’s library in the Keep. I sit on the sofa because the men have taken the chairs. Corey slides his farther away*

KW: I really do appreciate you meeting with me. I realise it might be a little awkward. Considering everything.

Corey: *silence*

Brady: *offers a tight smile, looking both uncomfortable and mildly amused* Not at all. We should be grateful that you think us important enough to visit. Minor players in this whole adventure.

Corey: *silence*

KW: Minor? Hardly. Brady, Maggie confirmed that you helped her find the Meratis spell. That’s a pretty significant role already. And Corey, I know how much you’ve done to try and stop the dragon. No one would be where they are without you.

Corey: *mumbles something under his breath*

KW: I’m sorry?

Corey: I said maybe that would be for the best. Not everyone is where they’re supposed to be.

KW: You must mean Jeff. It must be a bit of a shock to have him here. Especially knowing how he’s sort of … meddled in your lives. You two in particular.  Throwing a dragon your way, that’s one thing, but he’s created a vicious love triangle between you two and Jasmine, hasn’t he?

[NB: Even as I asked this question, I knew I was lighting a fuse to a firework, but how could I resist? It was the elephant in the room, so I figured I'd get it out in the open. I remember how Brady's face turned as red as his hair, and--I didn't think it was possible--Corey's expression turned stonier. Both stared at me for a long while without saying anything, until I thought that was the end of the interview. Finally, Brady spoke up.]

Brady: With all due respect to Jeff, his novel, and Corey’s feelings, I don’t believe that anyone will determine Lady Feldall’s feelings. She’s her own woman and will make up her own mind.

Corey: And we both know what the decision will be.

Brady: I prefer not to make assumptions. It doesn’t reflect well on anyone.

KW: Ass of you and me, and what not.

Corey: Are you calling me an ass?

KW: What? No! It’s an expression. Never mind. We’ll step away from the hot topic and move to a potentially hotter one. What do you two think about being characters in a book? Do you buy it?

Corey: *crosses arms* I wouldn’t believe that guy created me if he showed me a copy of the gods-be-damned booked. If he actually created this place, my arm would probably be growing out of my chest. The guy’s an idiot.

Brady: *looks embarrassed by Corey. He clears his throat and shifts in his chair. I see him eyeing a book on the table and know he’d much rather lose himself in a book than deal with Corey, me, or my questions. But he meets my eye* It’s an interest scenario. I’ve had time to give it some thought, and while I can believe that Jeff is able to write our stories, perhaps influence them in the smallest degree, I don’t believe he created us. I have memories from my childhood. I trust my senses and my dreams. I trust that I exist and everything around me is real. On some level. Who can claim to never feel out of place with their surroundings.

KW: *fiddling with my notes * That’s actually very true. I can’t say I ever really thought much about it. Huh. If you don’t mind, I think I’m going to end our chat there.

Brady & Corey: That’s fine.

*The two men glance sidelong at each other and I wonder if the momentary agreement between them will cause the world to implode. The moment passes and we all survive*

****

The Excerpt:

Jasmine scowled. “Damned if I’m going to waste my time playing guide. Until he’s returned, we still have a village to run, a dragon to defeat, and missing people to find.”

“I’ll do it.”

The whole room turned in surprise towards Brady.

Corey, who so far had only smiled once, and at Jeff’s expense, sneered. “You would want to buddy up with him, wouldn’t you, scholar? Hoping to earn a few favours?”

Brady didn’t rise to the provocation, remaining detached and watchful.

“I don’t see you offering,” Jasmine scolded.

Before Corey could make amends by taking up the challenge, Jeff jumped in and said, “I’m good with Brady showing me around.”

Of all his characters, Brady, being the most unlike himself, was the most difficult to pin down, and a bit dreary and flat as a result. If Jeff took the opportunity to know him better, maybe he could write a character Jasmine would like. He remembered her threat, but the more time he spent around Corey, the more determined he became to keep his book the way it was.

EVENSONG Character Review: Maggie

For today’s Evensong interview, I venture down to the lower levels of the Keep into the Haunt, the office space of the House enchantress, Magdalen Stanwell. As soon as I walk through the door, she rushes over to give me a tight squeeze.

Maggie: I’m so happy to meet you! Jasmine told me how you shot down Jayden, so you already have my seal of approval. Come in, sit down.

*She ushers me to a long workbench and then sits across from me, pulling a mortar and pestle towards her*

Maggie: You don’t mind if I work while we chat, do you? Thanks to Mr Powell’s predicament, I’ve fallen behind on everything else.

*She pushes the sleeves of her chemise  up to her elbows. Her face is flushed with the exertion, bright pink cheeks contrasting with the blue eyes and blonde curls.*

KW: Not at all. *I scrunch up my nose* What are you working on?

Maggie: Sorry about the smell. That’s not actually related to the work. *She nods to a plate at the end of the table full of questionnable lumps* I tend to forget to eat when I’m down here. I’m actually working on a binding spell. Something to trap that blasted dragon.

KW: How’s it going so far?

*The herbs in the dish begin to smoke, and create a sudden pop*

Maggie: *clears throat* It still needs some work.

KW: You must be pretty proud of yourself, though. The way I hear it, you’re the best enchantress across three borders. Jasmine and Jayden must be glad to have you.

Maggie: *sniff* I’m insulted. Last time I heard, I was the best across five borders. *winks* But I keep trying to get better, learn more spells.

KW: Like the Meratis incantation?

Maggie: Just like that. That one was fun. It took weeks of research, and more than a little practice. And then the debate of whether or not to cast the darned thing.  Brady was solidly opposed, and I had some doubts myself, but we were overruled.

KW: How do you feel about the news? Do you believe that you’re in a book?

Maggie: Oh, honey, I’m an enchantress! It’s in my job description to believe anything is possible. But I side with Brady, no matter what Jeff thinks. That poor man is wrong about too many things to have created us. More like he read a bad translation and messed up some details. *She grows a panicked look* Not that I’m saying anything against him. He’s a nice guy. I’d hate to have him think I don’t trust him when we still need his help.

KW: With the dragon?

Maggie: *rolls her eyes* Among the ten million other things going wrong around here. Someone must have tripped over an orange tabby under an iron chandelier or something.

*I smile and nod, assuming she refers to some common Andvellian superstitions*

KW: And what about the other storyline? The one Jeff claims not to have written about the disappearing people. 

Maggie: *her face darkens* That I have no ideas about. If I could look into the future … *she trails off and gives her head a shake* but that’s not my brand of magic. I just need to hope we figure it out in time.

*A swirl of blue smoke rises from the dish, creeping out towards my hand before fading away. Maggie’s face lights up*

Maggie: I’m getting closer! That dragon may have met its end yet.

***

That was the end of the first interview, but Maggie graciously met with me again to answer some of her fan questions. Have more? Send them in! She seems to like the attention.

Maggie: Only because these questions are so fun! What do you have for me?

KW: The first person asks – “If Maggie could choose a familiar from either a Pigmy goat or a Ring-tailed Lemur, which one would she choose and why?” *presents picture of each*

Maggie: *flails hands* The goat! What a cute little guy! The lemur would just make a mess in my workshop, but the goat could carry all sorts of little things. Definitely the goat.

KW: Another fan wants to know what is your favourite spell.

Maggie: Oh, that’s a tricky one. *she taps her finger against her top lip* I think I’ll have to go with the Tidura chant. It puts people to sleep. When you have four young children, it comes in very handy.

KW: And finally a last one for me *sidelong glance at the bubbling cauldron next to the table* What the hell is in that cauldron?

*Maggie gives me a smile, and politely refuses to answer*

***

EVENSONG Excerpt: Maggie’s introduction

[Jeff] stumbled and caught himself against a long workbench, jars clattering as the table shook.

A woman rushed over and steadied the bench. “Be careful with those. Last thing we want is for some of these potions to spill.”

Jeff stared. Looking much younger than her thirty-six years, she was Magdalen without a doubt. Curly blonde hair fell across bare shoulders, covering her substantial chest. By no means a small woman, her figure was bound under a blue leather corset that emphasised her wide hips and curvy waist. Rosy cheeks gave an air of youth and innocence, but her blue eyes were sharp and evaluated him with interest.

“Why?” Jayden asked, in reply to Magdalen’s concern. He picked up a jar and squinted into the oily green contents, which looked like it came from the bubbling concoction in the cauldron. “Will they eat through the floor?”

“No,” she said, taking the jar and setting it gently on the table. “They’ll stain my carpet. You must be Jeff.”

EVENSONG Character Interview: Jasmine & Jayden

Yesterday we got to meet my MC, Jeff Powell, but I thought today we could meet the main characters for Jeff’s Feldall Saga.

*The setting is an office in the Keep, a large desk in front of me with a woman sitting in the chair behind it, and a man sitting on the edge. Both have dark brown hair, green eyes, and are dressed in the Feldall colours of cream, green, and gold. I sit in one of three chairs on the other side, notebook in hand*

Unlike my 3rd person limited point of view, Jeff chose to head hop for his series, mostly sticking to the rulers of House Feldall, the twins Jasmine and –

Jayden: Why does the author get a solo interview and we have to share? We’re the ones who have to cope with Sir Blunderbutt, you’d think we deserve a little more prestige.

Jasmine: Don’t be an ass. You’re lucky she wants to talk to you at all. Not like you have anything intelligent to offer.

Jayden: *winks at me* Ah, she just brought me here to stare at me anyway.

KW: *clears throat* Anyway. Jasmine and Jayden. From what I hear from Jeff’s stories, you two manage a demesne,  frequently save the country from peril, sort out of the dramas in your personal lives, and still somehow have time to meet with me. How do you do it? Or, more important, why do you do it?

Jasmine: I think the answer to both question is: what choice do we have? Our parents are both dead, which legally should have meant Jayden is responsible for everything. Fortunately, my father was smarter than that and left the Keep to us jointly.

Jayden: Depriving me of my birthright, you mean.

Jasmine: Tell me you care.

Jayden: *shrug* I hate paperwork.

Jasmine: As for the saving the country, that’s … well, I don’t know what that is. A few months ago I would have said it was a series of coincidences that kept putting Feldall in the middle of these disasters. Now that we’ve met Jeff, I guess we can blame it all on him. Unless you believe Brady’s theory.

KW: Which side of the argument do you fall on?

Jasmine: As much as I don’t like the idea of someone else controlling my life, I prefer that idea over the thought that we just suffer chronic bad luck.

Jayden: You’re only saying that because you don’t want to agree with Brady. It would make Corey jealous.

*Jasmine’s face turns red and her hand twitches towards the knife at her hip. Jayden smirks and turns back to me*

Jayden: How do you know Jeff anyway? Someone else from his world? You’re not in love with him or anything are you? Because I would judge you.

KW: Actually, I’m his author.

*Expressions of shock on both twins’ faces, followed by an alarmingly sly grin from Jayden*

Jayden: So you do to him what he does to us? Oh, this could be good.

Jasmine: Jayden.

Jayden: I’m serious. The man’s a pain in my ass. Can you give him a third nipple? Or maybe a little trouble down in the trouser area?

Jasmine: Jayden!

Jayden: What?! Tell me that wouldn’t give you great satisfaction over some of the things he’s put us through.

Jasmine: ….

Jayden: Fine. *to me* We’ll talk after.

KW: So how did you react when you first found out about Jeff’s existence and the role he plays in your lives? Did you believe it?

Jasmine: Hardly. Would you? But considering the source of the information, we had to give the benefit of the doubt. And then Brady and Maggie found that spell and poof, here he is. Hard not to believe it anymore.

KW:  Is he what you expected?

Jayden: He’s soft, none too quick in the thinking, and can’t sit a horse to save his life. My sister may believe he is who he claims to be, but I have a hard time crediting our world and the existence of the gloriousness that is me on someone who doesn’t know useful end of a sword.

Jasmine: It would be like you writing a book on humility, brother.

Jayden: What would be the use? I know I’m wonderful. I know about twenty ladies in the household who would agree.

Jasmine: Give them another month and they’ll see their way clear. The way the rest of the ladies you’ve dallied with eventually do.

Jayden: You’re just jealous because you stick with two lovers.

Jasmine: One. I stick with one. Brady is not my lover. He’s an old friend. That is it, that is all, and damn Jeff Powell for thinking otherwise.

Jayden: You want to rethink my request to have Ms Walsh give the man a rash?

Jasmine: … Maybe.

KW: Sorry to cut in, but I’m afraid we’re out of time.

Jayden: That’s too bad. We hardly got to know you.

KW: That’s all right. I know you well enough to know that you won’t get a chance to know me.

Jasmine: Ha! I like you.

Jayden: Ah well, was worth a try. Will you give my request some thought? Give old Jeff a bit of his own medicine?

KW: Oh, I think he’ll get a few eye-openers in the coming pages. But we can re-evaluate later if you don’t agree.

This was one of my early impressions of both characters, but Jeff’s was a little different. Here’s today’s short excerpt from Evensong:

***

Even his characters had stepped full-fledged out of his head and into the room.

Jeff picked out the black and gold embroidery on Jasmine’s outfit with the hawk sigil of Feldall on the breast, the hard glint in her eyes, the way her long fingers handled the dragonbone hilt of her blade. Seeing her like this, Jeff felt he had never given her enough credit. She was beautiful. And cold. The way she glared at him made him shiver.

Jayden, on the other hand, was just what Jeff had imagined, right down to the roguish smile. A collection of contradictions: relaxed but alert, smug but likeable. Whoever had casted these two had done almost a better job of creating them than Jeff had in writing them.