Wednesday, April 7, 2021

IWSG April: Upcoming Release - Not Another Bard's Tale

It's April, the weather is awesome. It's finally warm! And there is sunshine! Why am I inside??? Oh yes,  must work to pay the bills. 

Spring is busy doing it's springy thing around here. there are flowers, I've got the itch to finish out my flock with a few new chicks and my ducks are now a year old and are busy being happy ducks. I've also been writing. Well, editing, mostly, but that still counts.

April also marks the upcoming arrival of my next book, Not Another Bard's Tale. NABT was first drafted in 2008 as my third NaNoWriMo novel. It's gone through some significant revisions over the years and sat in the cold dark of my hard drive for long spans until finally Covid shut everything down for a year (and then some) and hey, I had far more 'free' time than usual. So I was productive and did a lot of writing as well as editing to get several books ready to release this year. 

Not Another Bard's Tale is a comedic fantasy novel following Bruce, the not-so-esteemed knight, his plucky side kick Mydeara, and the negligibly talented bard Harold as they journey to a far off land to find Bruce's destiny. Along the way they face an evil overlord with looming prophecy issues, a hungry dragon, and a love-sick troll. This adventure through fantasy tropes will be out at the end of the month! 

If you're not familiar with 
and find links to all the other 
participating writers.
Funny that this months' IWSG question is: Are you a risk-taker when writing? Do you try something radically different in style/POV/etc. or add controversial topics to your work?

Because yes, I do like to experiment with different things with my novels. That's the nice thing about doing stand alone novels and short stories, they're far easier to try out new POVs and styles than delving into an entire series. 

Not Another Bard's Tale is different than many books as it's told through a progression of POVs. Each of the characters get to carry the adventure for a chapter. Some of the core characters repeat in the second half of the book, other do not. The chapter lengths also vary greatly, but are geared toward giving everyone the part that best conveys their character's part of the story.



Wednesday, March 3, 2021

IWSG: March Project Updates

If you're not familiar with 
and find links to all the other 
participating writers.
It would seem I'm celebrating (does one celebrate this mess?) the one year anniversary of Covid disrupting our lives by getting the news that all of my upcoming April, and almost all of my May events are being bumped to 2022. I'm so very sick of all this disruption!

In other, more positive news progress has again been made on my 2021 project list:

Bound in Blue was released last month! Hooray!

Spindelkin has been relegated to a summer project.

The Minor Years will be back from beta read this month.

Seeker has also been bumped to a summer project

Not Another Bard's Tale is back from the last reader, has gone through voice read, and is now the first of two last edit/polish passes by me before heading to the proofreader. 

Why have a couple projects been pushed off? It would seem I was sailing along too free and productively. Life decided to hand me my 90 year old MIL to care for 24/7 for several months before we can get her into an assisted living facility. While I do still have a little free time to work on writing, my brain is mostly mush from the lack of sleep and disruption in my daily schedule/sleep disruptions. So I shall plod along as time and energy allows.

I'm also happy to announce that Trust won an award this month.


This month's IWSI G question is: Everyone has a favorite genre or genres to write. But what about your reading preferences? Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you create stories for? What motivates your reading choice? 

Well, before I was handed a house guest, I'd been doing a little recreational reading for a change. It had been awhile since I'd had time for that. Glad I jumped on it in the little window that I did. While I write Science Fiction and Fantasy and enjoy reading both of those, I also enjoy reading Paranormal Romance and Historical Fiction and pretty much anything that falls under the Speculative Fiction umbrella. I'm also not opposed to mystery and general fiction. If the story sounds interesting, I'm in a mood to read, and the book is in reach, I'll probably read it.

Here's what I read last month:




Saturday, February 20, 2021

Release Day: Bound In Blue • The Narvan • Book 3

Release day for Bound In Blue is finally here! 

Join Vayen as he returns to the Narvan to clean up the mess left by those who took over while he was away in the third book of this space opera series. He's advised the Navan before, pulled the government and economy out of a tailspin while dodging bullets, and dealt with the manipulative High Council. It should be easy to do it all again, right? 

Plagued by PTSD, a lack of lucrative income, and dealing with a partner who's got his own ideas and another he can't stand make things tough. Then his worst nightmare shows up. Can he protect the Narvan, his family, and retain what little hold he has left on his sanity? 


Excerpt:

“I hate to complain boss, but it’s been eleven days since anyone has tried to kill you. No one’s even threatened. I’m getting bored,” said Neko. He’d been my ever-present shadow since Stassia and I had decided to bring our family back to the Narvan six months ago.

“Sorry, I doubt the Premier is going to make things any more exciting for you.” Granted, he was five minutes late for our meeting, but I wasn’t going to get aggravated over that quite yet.

The door opened, allowing the Artorian Premier’s secretary to bustle in. “Please accept our most sincere apologies for the delay, Advisor Ta’set.”

He bowed and sat in the chair to the left of the Premier’s desk. The Premier joined us a moment later, his usually crisp and pressed shirt appeared rumpled and his thick silver chain of office hung askew. He wiped at a stray grey hair on his lined forehead and gave me a tight nod.

“Do we have a problem?” I asked.

“We need more funding. All this scrambling and juggling is going to fall apart any day. Work will grind to a halt and protests will spring up. It’s all downhill from there.” He shook his head and took his seat. “Your designated replacement drained us dry.”

“He has been dealt with.”

Merkief. The stench of burnt flesh made me gag. I took a deep breath and let it out slowly.

“And I appreciate your advice on recovering our losses, truly, but it’s not enough.” His hands fidgeted on the desk. He licked his lips. “We’re going to need a loan.”

“A loan is only a bandage. We need to address long-term solutions.”

And I had no credits to loan, not after financing Jey’s reclaiming of the Narvan from Kess and then relocating my family during my imprisonment. Stassia’s income on Pentares had given us a little cushion upon our return, but on a good day, with a couple years worth of Kryon payouts thoroughly and wisely invested, I would have been hard-pressed to hand over the amount that it would take to bail out an entire planet’s financial problems.

“We’ve already addressed those solutions. Progress is being made, however, it’s not working fast enough.” He licked his lips again.

I rested my oversized grey replacement hand on the desk, mere inches away from his. His gaze darted to the ugly black nails protruding from the thick grey fingers. Stassia had suggested that I get a more fitting replacement now that we were back home, but I’d grown used to this mismatched one. It fit me just fine.

“You’ve enjoyed a long term of office,” I said.

He sat back in his chair, nostrils flaring. “This isn’t my fault. We did what was asked of us.

We’ve always given what you and your people ask for. Always. Because you’ve treated us well. You’ve helped us recover and grow and expand faster than we’d thought possible. I’m asking this one thing, this one time, for your people. We need this loan.”

Damn all the High Council manipulation and infighting between Merkief, Jey, and Kess. They’d created a hellish mess of the tidy and productive package I’d left behind. Jey had been making strides to set things right during my long absence, but there was a lot of damage to recover from. The Premier was right. It wasn’t his fault, and my people shouldn’t have to suffer for it.

I sighed. “I’ll need details, where the credits will go, what you’ll lose if you don’t get them. On each and every damn program potentially affected. Got it?”

Hopefully, Stassia could help me figure out how to pull credits out of nowhere. When we’d destroyed the High Council, we also destroyed our source of lucrative income. Jey and I had been strategizing for over a year before I’d returned to the Narvan, trying to figure out how we could generate the income we were used to having at our disposal. Neither of us had come up with a sustainable answer.

The Premier nodded and then gave me a look like a man about to ask how I meant to kill him. “And the terms of the loan?”

“Will be discussed when I give you my answer.”

He stared at the desktop. “And when—”

“When I get to it. This might be my homeworld, but it’s not the only planet in the Narvan.”

He stiffened. “Thank you for your kind offer, Advisor Ta’set. I’ll get that information to you shortly.”

I stood.

“Where to next?” asked Neko through our linked connection.

“Home.”

Hopefully no one would want to kill me there either. Neko might be bored, but I’d had enough of dodging bullets for several lifetimes.


Available in E-book and Print at all your favorite online locations including:

Signed paperback direct from me:

Amazon

B&N

Kobo

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Upcoming Release: Bound In Blue

The third book in The Narvan series is nearly here.

Bound in Blue is available for pre-order!
Amazon / Barnes & Noble Kobo

Or buy the paperback direct from me and get a signed copy shipped to you.

Release day is Feb 20.

Vayen’s quest to keep the Narvan at peace has left him scarred both inside and out. Struggling to hide his hallucinations, memory loss, and flashbacks from everyone, he’s been advising the Narvan on a consultant basis from the distant colony of Pentares, but he longs for the comfort of home.

When Anastassia thinks she might again be able to host a link, she’s eager for them to return to the Narvan. Stepping back into the advisory position they’d both left behind, now side by side, is a dream come true. Except home doesn’t offer the ease Vayen had hoped for. Surrounded by reminders of Merkief and the High Council, his PTSD becomes impossible to ignore. He’s falling apart inside.

The Narvan is attacked by an enemy Vayen prayed he’d never face again. His nightmares come alive as havoc spreads across the system. Now he must face his darkest terror before everything he loves is ripped away.

 



Tuesday, February 2, 2021

It's a New Year!

If you're not familiar with 
and find links to all the other 
participating writers.
I'm attempting to be optimistic. However, so far, 2 of my 3 first events of the year, in April, no less, have already been canceled/postponed. This means one of my 2020 rollover events is now bumped to my list for 2022.  😢 

You may notice I'm not even posting my event list for 2021. Once I have confirmation that an event is really happening, I'll post it.

Productivity trudges onward despite the cautious outlook. Eventually, stuff has to open up, doesn't it?

Updates from last month: 

Bound in Blue has a release date of February 20!

Spindelkin has editing notes and is next up on my list.

The Minor Years is still out with a beta reader

Seeker has seen no progress.

Not Another Bard's Tale is DONE and now out with a reader! That only took thirteen years...

On the other end of writing, I have some editing to do for two other authors and a formatting job in the wings. Busy busy!

And now onward to this month's IWSG question: Blogging is often more than just sharing stories. It’s often the start of special friendships and relationships. Have you made any friends through the blogosphere?

Indeed! In fact, if you're commenting on this post, you're likely one of those people. Very likely one of the people I meet blogging years ago when I was much more active on this platform. I appreciate you sticking with me and when your name comes up in the comments section, please know that it makes me smile. 



Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Welcome to 2021!

If you're not familiar with 
and find links to all the other 
participating writers.
Thankfully the dumpster fire that was 2020 has burned to a close. Let's hope this next year is a whole lot better. Just in case, I'm sharpening my machete and stocking up on canned foods, getting ready for the zombies. 

Normally, I'm announcing my one word for the new year in this post, but I don't have one this time around. If I were being optimistic, I would say: Better. But jeez, why tempt fate at this point in the crappy game we're stuck playing? Instead, I'm going to sit quietly over here and use this downtime productively so that when we can get back to being in person again, I have even more to offer.

Bound in Blue is formatted and waiting on a print proof and release date.

Spindelkin is ready for second edits. 

The Minor Years is out with a beta reader

Seeker is ready for round three of edits.

Not Another Bard's Tale is going through yet another round of edits in slow motion, but progress is being made. 

And there are several other projects in the wings.

I've also been busy sewing multi-pocket dice bags - because I found a pattern I liked and I have so much fabric sitting here from my days when I worked at a craft store. I look forward to seeing all the gaming folks at comic cons and renaissance faires soon.

After being off Netflix for two months of high productivity, we've taken a short dip into Hulu. I'm working my way through a few shows there while sewing. I must multitask! 

And, as this is my monthly blog post, it's time for an Insecure Writer's Support Group question: Being a writer, when you're reading someone else's work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people's books?

Since I'm not limited to one, here's my top two:

1. Head-hopping without a clear pov change marked with a scene or chapter break.

2. A cliff hanger ending. Dangling a few unresolved subplots is fine if it's a series, but end your damn book!