Author: Krista Walsh

writer, reader, lover of life

My Broken Ones

There’s a certain click that often happens for me as I near the end of a series.

At the beginning of a new series, there’s just excitement. It’s a new shiny, a fresh idea, so much to run with to see what happens to the characters forming in my head.

Many of these ideas fade to wisps as I move on before I even set them on paper, but a lucky few enter the stage of actual writing.

During the writing, I’m focused on the mechanics. The structure, the development, hitting the right notes. I put all of my blood, sweat, and tears (often literally) into each novel, to get everything just so.

But in the process, I often lose sight of what exactly I’m doing. I’m too close to appreciate the magic that happens between concept and final draft, the changes that occur to myself as well as the characters as they go from flat one-dimensions to full walk-off-the-page dimensions.

As long as the series remains a work in progress, I’m blind to the real beauty of the work.

Until I reach the final book.

And that’s what has now happened with my Invisible Entente series. Although there are still 2 more to be published before the end (Happy Book Release Day, Howl of the Fettered Wolf!), the finale is already drafted, and I’ m taking my first of fifteen stabs at working it into shape.

And now I’m appreciating how much I adore these characters, how much they’ve meant to me, and how much I’m going to miss them.

I’ve gone on a few Twitter threads about this, but I thought it might be worth it to finally set it into a blog post. Because I feel my readers (or anyone who’s interested, really) should have a chance to see them the way I do. Even if you never grab a copy of the book, even if it’s not your genre, or you’re not sold on the story, maybe you find someone here you relate to. Something that makes you laugh or roll your eyes and go, “Wow, yeah, that’s definitely me/my husband/our hilarious Uncle Ted.”

So what is it I love so much about my Invisible Entente characters?

They’re broken.

All of them.

But they’re not content to stay that way. They face it, accept it, and then come out fighting to see how they can get their shattered pieces to work for them. They inspire me, and it’s been such a treat to work with them.

Look at many of the big fantastical stories/films out these days. They’re all about the origin of the character, the moment that turns them from an everyday Joe/Jane into a superhero.

What I’ve enjoyed about this series is that they all start with power. They know what they are and what they’re supposed to be — what they could become if they let themselves slip — and have spent their entire lives working against their natures, striving to reach their full potential, the best versions of themselves.

Daph HeadshotTake Daphne Heartstone (Death at Peony House). She’s the daughter of a sorceress and a sorcerer, descended from a sorceress of legend, but with strong bloodlines on both sides. At this point, you could just assume that “of course she’s going to come out to be most powerful sorceress. What a cliché!” but the fact is she wasn’t born the most powerful. She was manipulated by her father to believe she would only be worth his love and affection if she strove to attain that goal. She sacrificed so much to reach it — killing, stealing, torturing — that she corrupted herself. So, yes, she became the most powerful sorceress of her generation, but to a point where she couldn’t look herself in the mirror anymore. By the time the events at Peony House take place, the epiphany of where her life has led her has shattered her. She’s afraid to use her power, left to slowly gain back the trust she’s lost with her family, her friends, all without losing what she’s made of herself in her human life. She’s being pulled in so many directions, striving to discover how to move forward while trying to atone for the crimes of her past.

Gabriel Mulligan (Song of Wishrock Harbor) was born a monster, or so he believes. His Gabe headshotfather’s Fae genes grant him the ability to rift from place to place through the Fae dimension (and to eat whatever he wants without gaining a pound, the bastard), but his Gorgon heritage has kept him isolated behind a pair of mirrored sunglasses to avoid turning anyone to stone. He grew up with only his brother for a friend, and since then has limited his social interactions to pure necessity, preferring to do everything remotely. It’s impossible for that kind of loneliness not to eat away at you. He hides it well behind a screen of wit and humor, but he’s constantly on edge, worried that even an accidental glance in the mirror could end his life. To help give back and find some purpose in his life, he opened his private investigation agency, and while it gives him focus, it also pushes him to search out monsters, which constantly reflect his own nature back at him.

And then there’s Allegra Rossi (Shadows in the Garden Hotel), my poor, beautiful succubus. She was born perfect, brought up to put beauty before everything else, but is stuck with a need to kill in order to survive. Her very nature is made up of the ugliness she was trained to avoid, a paradox she’s been struggling with all of her life. Is it any wonder she takes her frustrations and Allegra headshot impatience out on the people around her? She’s constantly stalked by a threat, but the threat is in her own mind. When she finds herself trapped within New Haven’s city limits, it’s almost as though the cage she’s put around her mind has now been put around the rest of her, and she can’t breathe. Her only coping mechanism throughout her life has been to run, because at least in busyness, she can avoid the call of her succubus blood, but that’s been taken away from her, testing her, and pushing her to her limits, which come to a head at The Garden Hotel.

Of the lot, Vera Goodall (Howl of the Fettered Wolf) might seem to be the most grounded of the bunch. Yes, she’s the daughter of a vengeance demigoddess and has to fulfill her role in the balance of the world by considering vengeance contracts from the people who Vera headshotsummon her, but she grew up in a good family home, with supportive and loving parents who showed her how to walk the line between the otherworld and the mundane. But in reality, she’s just as flawed as the others. She’s cautious and restrained, attempting to spin all of her plates without dropping one, and if anyone has ever tried to do this, you know it’s next to impossible. Especially when some of those plates are life-and-death responsibilities. She’s so tightly controlled that she has no idea how to relax and let herself go, which makes it difficult to appreciate the beauty of the world for all its flaws and inconsistencies. And even harder to open herself up to the possibility of life-changing relationships.

Molly Harris, the human of the group, fits in here as well. She’s a sixteen-year-old high school girl who is deafblind and an archer. I spent a great deal of time researching the experiences of people with deafblindness and am awed by the way human beings learn to adapt and accommodate themselves in a rapidly changing world. Not only is Molly working to get through school, on the brink of deciding what she wants to do when she graduates and dealing with all the pangs that come from being sixteen, but now she also has to adapt and accommodate to a world of magic, of demons and angels. Her life has never been ordinary, but now she’s been sucked into the extraordinary, and her growth through the otherworld—her strength and compassion, her courage and cleverness—is constantly at war with her uncertainty and fear.

Finally, there is Zachariel, the daemelus. The angel/demon hybrid who doesn’t know why he exists or what role he’s supposed to fill in this world. Demon mother and angel father, he sticks to the shadows, embraced by neither side. He believes himself to be an outcast, an otherworldly freak, and only his honour debt to Molly and his hope that one day he’ll find answers about his nature keep him on this earth. He is a literal walking struggle between good and evil, each side tempering the other, as he explores one of the oldest questions in the universe: what is the meaning of his existence?

Each of these characters taps into a different part of my psyche and makes me confront questions about myself as well as them as I write them. I love the challenge, the beauty of their flaws, and the trouble they get into as they try to work these situations out for themselves.

The series has been a journey, and while I’m glad it’s not over yet, I’m also happy that the end is in sight so I can finally sit back and appreciate the complexities from a new angle. I believe it’ll make the final draft of the final book that much stronger.

I hope you enjoyed this little bit of insight into my brain! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. If you’ve already been following the ensemble, then I thank you for helping me produce the next books. If I’ve convinced you to give them a chance, then I hope you fall in love with them as much as I have and encourage you to share your thoughts below.

COVER REVEAL: Howl of the Fettered Wolf

The next book of The Invisible Entente is almost ready to hit the shelves (and thanks to The Book Company on Bank St, I actually mean that literally this time), so I think it’s time for a first look at what’s coming.

In Song of Wishrock Harbor, we learned about Gorgon-Fae Gabriel Mulligan’s longing for the vengeance demigoddess (or semi-goddess as she jokingly refers to herself), Vera Goodall.

Now we see the goddess in action — and she is not happy. An unknown enemy is coming after her most prized possession, and there is nothing she won’t do to keep it safe.

Howl of the Fettered Wolf is the fourth book in The Invisible Entente series. With only two more books to go, the path is being set for what’s coming. A tale full of twists and turns, love and honour, friendship and loyalty, Vera’s story is sure to play with your heartstrings.

You can grab Wolf on June 27th. Be sure you’re signed up for my mailing list for first notice for when it’s available, as well as updates on the upcoming books.


 

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Cover Artist: Ravven

For vengeance demigoddess Vera Goodall, balance is everything. Her life revolves around her contracts, her bookshop, and her dogs, and there is no room for anything — or anyone — else. Every aspect of her life is scheduled, and delegation is a four-letter word.

But when someone attempts to steal The Book of the Fettered Wolf, an ancient text with the power to destroy the otherworld, Vera will need to break all her own rules to keep that balance from toppling.

With the help of Gabriel Mulligan, the Gorgon-Fae who threatens the walls she’s built around herself, Vera sets out to protect the book from those who wish to use it. Along the way, she unveils the lies that have created the foundation of her life, and each new revelation blurs the line between friend and enemy.

In the midst of chaos and intrigue, balance becomes a matter of survival. Vera must decide who to trust and how much to open her heart if she wants to protect the otherworld and everything she holds dear.

Leave sparkly behind and get back to sexy

There’s a new band of vampires coming onto the market, and they are bound to catch your attention.

Newfoundland author, Tanith Frost, is getting ready to kick off her “Immortal Soulless” series, a dark and sexy romp that follows reluctant vampire, Aviva, and her colleagues.

I had the pleasure of reading an early copy book, and it’s steamy, funny, heartbreaking, and so much fun. A great summer read. Which is great! Because that’s when it will be available (psst, same day as the next IE novel, so your summer is set)

Want a sneak peek into the first book of the series? Tanith is offering the first four chapters if you subscribe to her mailing list! Just click here to go on and do that — but then come back, there’s still the cover to share with you!

 


 

COVER1WITHTEXT

Her gifts will be her salvation… or her downfall.

No one gave Aviva a choice about becoming a monster. Since the night of her murder she’s been forced to accept a new reality—burned by sunlight, dependent on the blood of the living, searching for her place in a dark world she didn’t believe existed until she awoke as a vampire.

She’s still struggling to accept her fate and master her dark powers when the news arrives: rogue vampires are torturing and killing human residents of the city, threatening the secrecy and uneasy peace of the supernatural world.

As the hunt begins, Aviva’s deliciously distracting trainer, Daniel, helps her seek out her unique strengths. The gifts she discovers are shameful in the eyes of vampire society—and they may be the only thing standing between a pack of ruthless paranormal killers and the unsuspecting humans they prey on.

COMING JUNE 27, 2017

I highly recommend this read and hope that you fall in love with it as much as I did.

Shadows in the Garden Hotel is now available

When a book goes live with 13 5* reviews already in the world, it’s hard not to get excited about sharing it. Allegra Rossi, my problem child, is taking readers by surprise. If you’ve read the prequel and the first two installments of The Invisible Entente (which, if you haven’t done so yet, now is the perfect time, as Death at Peony House is currently on sale for 99c for probably the last time for a long while) then you know how Allegra can be. She’s cold, calculating, seductive, and generally not a person you want to spend time with if you can avoid it.

But don’t be fooled by the persona she shows the rest of the world. Her expectations for the people around her are just as high as those she places on herself. To us, she appears to be the epitome of perfection — her body, her complexion, her ability to get whatever she wants just by snapping her fingers — but perfection always comes at a price. This is your opportunity to learn Allegra’s.

It makes me chuckle that many of the reviews coming in are almost begrudging, as though the readers didn’t want to be drawn into Allegra’s life as much as they were, but her allure cuts through the pages, grabs you by the heart, and doesn’t let go until the story is done.

Allegra’s story is a murder mystery full of magic; a tale of personal discovery full of heart and longing. What you think you see is only a fraction of the truth.

So take a chance, lose yourself in a tale of sensual indulgence, spine-tingling fear, and experience the full price of perfection.

garden_promoAll Allegra Rossi needs is her beauty, expensive champagne, designer clothes, and enough souls to keep her succubus appetites satisfied.

Everything seems to be in place until a photo shoot at New Haven’s prestigious — and supposedly haunted — Garden Hotel sets her dreams for a perfect life crumbling. Not only has her handsome, charismatic boss captured her interest, threatening the careful restraints she’s placed around her succubus nature, but the hotel’s reputation turns out to be true. Worse: the specter has targeted Allegra as its next victim

If Allegra wants to stay alive and keep her heart intact, she will have to unleash her demonic instincts to shed light into the darkness before the shadows consume her.

Grab your copy today for just $3.99USD

“I’m real” and other lies we tell ourselves

That’s not to say it should be a lie, but more that, as I’ve learned, it often feels like one.

Lately, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to Imposter Syndrome, the feeling that you’re not actually worth your accomplishments and that, at any moment, someone could pop up and shout, “You! You aren’t actually the thing you claim to be, so sit down and stop pretending that you are!”

This sort of fear is good if you are, say, an actual fraud. Perhaps it will stop you from doing something fraudulent.

For the rest of us, it’s the irritating voice in our heads that stops us from celebrating/talking about/recognising our own achievements to anyone beyond our immediate toddlers or cats. And even then, it might be a whispered “Woohoo”.

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Ever feel like this when people ask you about your goals and ambitions? This image basically sums up most of my social interactions if ever I think that question will come up

I was facing my own inner heckler early last week. Here I am, getting ready to publish my 11th novel since Nov 2013, and I’m still sitting here firmly believing that I don’t know enough about my business after three years to make this a successful launch. I just shouldn’t make a big deal out of it, because whatever. It’s just a story.

“I’ve already published a book this year. People are going to get tired of hearing from me, so they’re going to ignore/unfollow/block/report me for spam” <—– ACTUAL THOUGHTS, PEOPLE.

How am I supposed to sell books when I’m too worried to stand up in front of wonderful readers who tell me they love what I write and let them know I have a new book? How am I supposed to reach new readers, if I don’t feel I’m worthy of the incredible reviews and messages I get from my existing readers?

So I took these thoughts and insecurities to one of the few Facebook author groups I love, and within an hour, I had a dozen replies from other authors (many of whom I really look up to and admire) telling me they experience the exact same thing.

This made me feel so much better!

I might be a fraud who is incapable of retaining a single piece of information about the business that I have dedicated three years to building…… OR I could be like so many other people and just think I’m a fraud who is incapable of, etc.

THE BRAIN IS STUPID, FOLKSIf you haven’t figured that out by now, then you are the most well-adjusted person in the world and should probably talk to someone about that. It’s not healthy.

Of course, as I was realising this about my business, I also realised how much I do it in the rest of my life, as well. I got married two weeks ago. Hitched. Was made an honest woman out of. I shared the news on social media, but sort of in passing. During all of the lead-up, during the planning for all the events that go with the big day, I felt really awkward and uncomfortable making a big deal about it. I didn’t want to appear vain or self-absorbed, so I internalized everything, and, as a result, ended up walking away feeling a bit like not many other people cared. Why would they? If I’m all calm, cool, and collected, then where is their motivation to be all bubbly and excited and bouncy?

This is a mistake I will not make for the reception in July, gosh darnit.

So why am I posting this?

Because I want you to know that you’re not alone. Yes, I’m making an assumption that you feel like this, too, but that’s only because every single other person I have spoken to has expressed understanding, empathy, and “THAT’S TOTALLY ME” whenever I’ve brought it up.

It might not be over everything. You might go crazy and shout as loud as you can when you get that promotion at work, but maybe you hush up when something you’ve been working on (your garden, a poem, a song, a robot you plan to use for your eventual world domination) goes really well, because you don’t feel that you’re REALLY a gardener, a poet, a musician, or an evil mastermind. You’re just playing at it. It’s not REAL.

But there’s the true lie. If you do it, it’s real. You really are those things. It’s time to admit it.

So I challenge you to do so in the comments. What’s something that you’re really proud of yourself for achieving/doing, but are never comfortable telling people about? I want to know!

Cover Reveal & Big IE News

You  know how every now and again, there’s a book cover that stops you in your tracks and you have to take a moment to appreciate all the subtleties and nuances of the image? The little details that would have been so easy to leave out, but the cover artist knew what a difference it would make if they slipped them in.

That’s what Ravven has done for me with Shadows in the Garden Hotel. With a brief description of the character and story, she has pegged Allegra Rossi’s character so solidly that I can’t picture her any other way.

So, of course, I don’t want to keep her a secret any longer. Please meet the latest addition of The Invisible Entente.

garden_promo

*hands handkerchief to clean up drool*

Once you’re ready, feel free to check out the blurb for the story that’s coming your way on April 18th:

All Allegra Rossi needs is her beauty, expensive champagne, designer clothes, and enough souls to keep her succubus appetites satisfied.

Everything seems to be in place until a photo shoot at New Haven’s prestigious — and supposedly haunted — Garden Hotel sets her dreams for a perfect life crumbling. Not only has her handsome, charismatic boss captured her interest, threatening the careful restraints she’s placed around her succubus nature, but the hotel’s reputation turns out to be true. Worse: the specter has targeted Allegra as its next victim

If Allegra wants to stay alive and keep her heart intact, she will have to unleash her demonic instincts to shed light into the darkness before the shadows consume her.

What I thought would be my most challenging story of the series has easily become my favourite, and I look forward to sharing it with you.

Even better, I look forward to sharing it with all of you, even if you’re not a Kindle user.

That’s right. As of today, The Invisible Entente series will be leaving the Kindle Select program and migrating to other distributors, including iBooks, Nook, and Kobo, as well as Amazon. I wanted to give it a solid effort, but the fact of the matter is I hate excluding people.

Available now

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The Invisible Entente Prequel Novella

 

 

 

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Death at Peony House

 

 

 

wish_promoSong of Wishrock Harbor (available now on Amazon) and Shadows in the Garden Hotel will migrate over in April 2017. To be the first to know about these releases, be sure to sign up for my mailing list by following this link http://eepurl.com/GIJkz

 

 

 

Time Flies – so let’s have a giveaway

I was going through some old papers earlier this week and realized that Feb 10 was the 3-year anniversary of the day my epic fantasy novel, Evensongwas released into the world.

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Photo credit: Blossom Moments Photography

I remember how excited I was. My blog post on that day certainly shows the enthusiasm of someone whose dreams have just come true. Yes, I’d had my Greylands release 5 months earlier, but this was my first solo baby. The first time my name alone had appeared on a book cover. It’s still a memory I hold with delight and pride.

Since then, I have come a very long way, in terms of my writing voice, my skills/knowledge in running my business, and in maintaining a balance between being creative, being a businesswoman, and still having something of a personal life.

Evensong is now sitting on Amazon with over 500 reviews and an over- 4* rating, which has blown me away. It has consistently stayed high in its subcategories, and every month so many new readers step into the world of Andvell to give it a try. It seems that most people who take the step into Eventide, the second book, stick with me all the way through to Bladelore, the final book of the second trilogy.

This is not a brag – it’s an acknowledgement. A thank-you to every single person who peered into this fictional world and decided it would be a nice place to hang out for a while. I find it incredibly humbling.

To celebrate my anniversary, I’m going to host a simple giveaway tomorrow through my mailing list. If you’re signed up and answer a simple question, you’ll have a chance to win a signed copy of Evensong.

Of course, the Andvell Saga is only part of my growing titles, and as much as Jeff and the gang will always have a place in my heart, the characters of urban fantasy Invisible Entente are quickly becoming just as important to the way I see the world.

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As such, tomorrow’s newsletter will also include:

  • the title for book 5
  • a date for the cover reveal for book 3, SHADOWS IN THE GARDEN HOTEL

And, in honour of Valentine’s Day, I will also include a short scene between Daphne & Hunter for your dose of supernatural romance.

It’s possible you’ll also get my favourite chili recipe to help us all get through these last weeks of winter.

So please, join us! Follow this link to sign up for my spam-free newsletter (once a month, and sometimes twice) and get all sorts of exclusive content, early cover reveals, and first notice of promotions and releases.

Playtime

 

One of the best lessons I’ve learned so far in 2017 is the importance of play in our lives.

I was reading a personal development book (The Gift of Imperfection, Brené Brown) that was talking about how play is crucial to keeping our human minds engaged with the world, teaches us new things, and reduces stress levels to keep us healthy.

Imagine my alarm when I realized I believe I’ve forgotten how to play. For the last few years (for me it’s been an increasing problem since high school, but that’s because I’m a keener), I’ve been focused so much on work and deadlines and achieving goals, that I kind of forgot how to turn off the goal-metre and do things for the sake of doing things.

Heck, even when I’m at the cottage with my family in the middle of the country, I tend to keep myself on a firm schedule so that “I can get as much relaxing in as possible.” Uh huh, that sounds lovely, doesn’t it?

And I don’t think I’m the only person facing this issue. In our society, we’re often told that unless something has a purpose, there’s no point doing it. Why make time for things like working on a jigsaw puzzle or taking a dance class – or if you do those things, it has to be for a reason. It’s to achieve something or to compete in some way.

Play is crucial to how our brain develops. It helps us learn things in a safe environment, keeps the neurons making new associations, and, mostly important, it’s fun. 

Research shows that extended periods without play can start to affect your mood (and in the current social climate, not to mention the wintry climate, we already have enough stresses on our ability to feel joy and excitement). It’s also shown that people who withhold play in their lives do suffer from a sort of “play deprivation”, and, just like with sleep loss, will rebound as soon as the opportunity comes up to let loose.

So make sure to get some playtime in today. I promise, it’ll be worth it.

*throws on music*

*dances around office just for the hell of it*

BOOK RELEASE: Song of Wishrock Harbor

If you’ve been waiting for the next installment of The Invisible Entente, your wait is over. Gorgon-Fae Gabriel Mulligan’s story is here!

For today only, grab Song of Wishrock Harbor for 99c before prices return to normal at $3.99

This story was one of those rare tales that spilled off the page, and although I read it 15 times throughout the course of editing, it never failed to raise goosebumps and make me crave a big cup of tea. In fact, I highly recommend you keep a warm beverage close by when you crack open the cover (metaphorically or literally)

This story also introduces Percy Sparkes, who might be one of my favourite characters to date. The relationship between these two is solid and quick, both of them poking each other, testing the boundaries to see how far they can go, just as best friends should.

I hope you enjoy the read!

To celebrate the release (the first of many in 2017), I’m hosting a Facebook release party with some amazing guest authors and swag. The party runs from 3:30EST – 9:30EST, so join us for some fun and haikus! Hope to see you there!

*Book trailer created by Lovesick Android*

What Will You Read Next? Quiz and Giveaway!

newsletter-header-3Everyone loves doing BuzzFeed quizzes, right? It’s a great way to spend time when you should probably be doing ten other far more important things.

I’m here to offer you yet another procrastination activity, one that will hopefully help you procrastinate even MORE with a great new book!

This fun and easy quiz will help narrow down to a bunch of books that match your tastes as a reader. It will also enter you in for a whole bunch of incredible prizes. So set aside that paper with the looming deadline – it can wait a few more minutes – and find out what your next read should be.

Just follow this link to get to the quiz!