Blog Tour’s End, Next Chapter’s Beginning

Got a double order of business, for ya! About a month back, Michelle Proulx tagged me in a blog hop, so I’m pleased to be finally getting around to participating in that. And afterward, we’ve got the final stops on the “Inspired” blog tour to summarize. Let’s get hoppin’!

Part One: The Writing Process Blog Hop

1) What are you working on?

It’s April – a.k.a, Camp NaNoWrimo, a.k.a. one of those glorious months where I tell the affairs of “real life” to take a number while I put writing first. This time around, I’m working on a follow-up to “Inspired”. Same amazing characters, startling new situation. Beyond that… *zips lips*

2) How does your work differ from others in the genre?

Since “Inspired” apparently qualifies as literary fiction, I expect that means its sequel will, too. A quick online search for a genre definition still leaves me a bit confused as to what literary fiction even is, but I’m getting the sense that it has to do with language style, a character-driven story, perhaps pays little heed to convention, and, I dunno, makes some sort of philosophical commentary on the human condition? Mmm…okay. I don’t generally tend to think of my work as all that serious, but if we can have all that and throw in some lighthearted laughs, then sure, what the hey, call my novel baby literary!

3) Why do you write what you write?

Because they’re the stories in me that demand to be told. Because it feels right when my head is in those worlds. Because it’s fun, and it’s fulfilling, and I want to be a friend to the characters therein. And if I don’t get these things down on paper, who will?

4) How does your writing process work?

Once I’ve got an idea I want to pursue, I get started on mapping out the story’s arc. I get down what I know, and brainstorm answers to all the questions that crop up along the way. I track what the characters are up to at any given time, and probe their motivations and emotional states. There’s a lot of wondering, “Now what?” as I strive to hook everything up to, y’know, an actual plot. Eventually I’ll have a beginning, an end, and a semi-solid grip on what goes on in between. Nothing to do after that but write out the book, one eye on the plan, the other on the surprises that characters are always pulling out of the blue. In a NaNo month like this, it shouldn’t take more than three-and-a-half weeks before I’ve got a lovely unedited draft on my hands.

Now I’ve got four other author friends to tag. If they’re up for hopping in, I nominate the following:

Tirzah Duncan, author of Cry of the Nightbird;

Emerald Barnes, author of Entertaining Angels;

Kimberly Kay, author of Sleepless Beauty (One More Day);

and Alexander Nader, author of Beasts of Burdin.

Part Two: Meanwhile, on the “Inspired” blog tour…

On Friday, my interview with Laney McMann addressed the important questions, like: Which of my “Inspired” characters would I first reach to save if they all fell off a cliff?

Monday on the blog of fellow One More Day anthology author Erika Beebe, I compiled a list of ten fictional characters in my life who have inspired me.

And my last-but-not-least stop takes place today on the blog of Emi Gayle, where I’ve been author-interviewed!

To catch up on any tour stops you missed, you can check out the full schedule on my website’s homepage. And of course, though the tour may be over, the fantastic book behind it all is still gloriously available for purchase. So if you feel thus inspired, make sure to get your copies!

 

P.S. – Last chance to enter my giveaway for a shot at nabbing the awesome free “Inspired” goodies up for grabs! I’ll be back later with an edit announcing the seven lucky winners. Stay tuned!

Edit: And the giveaway winners are…

Abishan bookmark = Kendra Conine!

Wilbur bookmark = Desnica Kumar!

Uri bookmark = Emerald Barnes!

Avelaine bookmark = Laurie Goudge!

Annabelle bookmark = Chelsea de la Cruz!

Luc bookmark = Tirzah Duncan!

“Inspired” paperback, signed = Mara Jacobi!

Congratulations, one and all, and thanks to everyone who in any way joined in the celebration of the release of “INSPIRED”!

In Which I Arrive at Fame and the Big Four-Double-Oh

Today’s post, ladies and gentlemen and assorted rogues, is my 400th on the Ever On Word blog! A very special occasion! …for which I had no special event planned. (I mean, I have a giveaway going on that you should totally enter because it’s awesome, but that’s incidental.) So I thought this would be a fine time to tell you about an even more special event that took place a few weeks back: My first ever live, in-home author interview with two young girls named Mira and Caroline.

It’s Not What You Know. It’s Who the People Who Know People You Know…Know.

Gotta love having friends in high places – or in high fashion, in the case of a designer friend o’ the family who was fantastic enough to talk me up to some folks who work at a local bookstore. And those folks, in turn, somehow ended up giving my name to a school with a couple of girls looking for an author to interview.

Once I was done dancing giddily around the house to a little song that went “AAAAAAUGH, bookstore people are recommending me to schools! Children have been conned into thinking I’m famous! Shiny new levels of legitimacy, unlocked!” (sing along if you know this one), I e-mailed the school to express my eager delight at the prospect of accommodating the girls in their pursuit of firsthand authorial info.

Be the Awesomeness You Want to See in the World.

Upon receipt of my number, Mira phoned me on behalf of herself and her colleague to arrange a date and time suitable to come a-calling. (Don’t tell her I said so, but she was so adorable, it turned my voice to sugar. I will never sound nicer than when talking to children innocent by virtue of having yet to be proved guilty of obnoxiousness.)

I was a little nervous about letting the kids and whoever ferried them hither into my house (i.e., my bubble of protection against agonizing social situations). But, Come on, I told myself, think of the Awesome Points it would have added to your childhood if you’d gotten to sit down for a chat with a not-entirely-unfamous author in his/her home! Put that way, I saw no compelling reason to say no.

The Truth, the Whole Truth, and a Little Bit of Fiction Thrown In. (Also, Hair.)

My interviewers, aged 9 and 8, were relentless in their interrogation, frequently throwing out questions so fast, I could scarcely spit out half an answer! But among the questions I was able to address were…

“When did you start writing?” (Since I was younger than you, kiddos.)

“When did you decide to be an author?” (Not ‘til age 16 or so.)

“When you were a kid, what did you want to be?” (All sorts of things. Farmer, librarian, actress…)

“How many books have you written?” (I lost count ages ago.)

“How long did it take you to publish your first book?” (Somewhere around 8 years.)

“What is your favorite book you’ve written?” (Let’s pretend my upcoming “Outlaws of Avalon ” trilogy counts as one and say that.)

“What is your favorite book to read?” (Robin McKinley’s “Outlaws of Sherwood”. Mad love for the outlaws!)

“Do you like having curly hair?” (So long as it’s dry. Can’t do a thing with it, when wet.)

“Do you live here?” (Yeah, seemed easier to meet you in my own home than to kick somebody else out of theirs to use as our interview space for the morning.)

“What was your sister’s name, again?” (Dianne. *we all wave at Dianne, who’s fiddling with some electronic device in the next room*)

The gorgeous headshot that inspired the unforeseen line of questioning.

The gorgeous headshot that inspired the unforeseen line of questioning.

“Why did she shave her head?” (I don’t know. Dianne, why did you shave your head? *Dianne mumbles her hair’s journey over the years – blonde, shaved, Mohawk, the works*)

“When she dyed her hair blonde, did it grow blonde, or grow black?” (*Dianne and I guide the girls toward a greater understanding of hair dye*)

“How tall was her Mohawk?” (*Dianne holds her hand above her head for visual reference*)

“Is she wearing a hat?” (You’re looking right at her, Mira dear. You tell me. *we agree she is wearing a hat*)

“Why is she wearing a hat?” (*Dianne is bewildered past the point of surety*)

Along the way, I also learned much about Caroline’s reading tastes (she particularly enjoys mysteries and Roald Dahl’s “Matilda”), writing goals (among other things, there’s a mystery story of her own in the works), where she keeps what she calls “documentation” on her family (in her backpack pocket next to the forks, of course), and the perils of hiring very tall boys to play Peter Pan (harness issues).

But probably the moment that touched my heart most was when the girls shared their early concern that an author celebrity like myself might have been too important and busy to reply to an e-mail request for an interview with a couple of kids.

No, little dear ones. I am not (and hope I never shall be) too important and busy for the likes of you.

You Know You’ve Arrived When…

You Know You've Arrived When...

…Or actually, maybe you never do. I used to think there was a single line separating here from there, ambition from success, me from the famous author I intend to be. But where is that line? When you’ve written your first book? When an agent or publisher accepts it? When it’s bound between covers and available for sale? When a stranger buys a copy? When two little strangers, curious and precocious, come to your house looking to you for some answers on the recommendation of friends of a friend?

Looking backward and ahead from where I stand, there is no one line. There’s a whole sidewalk of them, marking out a trail of irregular squares, with exciting landmarks and milestones along the way I hadn’t even known to look for.

I have arrived, and am arriving, and shall someday arrive, this 400th blog post just one more line crossed along the way.

Thank You Note from Caroline and Mira

Pics or It Didn’t Happen

The “Inspired” blog tour marches on! (Or Aprils on, by now.) Why, just look at what went down this past week:

Friday saw me interviewed on the JeanzBookReadNReview blog, talking writing, inspiration, favorite characters, and more!

Monday on the blog of Julie Antonovich Reece, I guest posted on my favorite type of hero. (Spoiler alert: Robin Hood’s name may come up. …I may also have used the term “spoiler” somewhat loosely.)

And Wednesday, I reminisce with The Parasite Guy on “Inspired”s fulfillment of ancient prophecy.

We’ve still got a few tour stops still to come (full schedule available on my website’s homepage), and the fantastic book behind it all is still gloriously available for purchase. So if you feel thus inspired, make sure to get your copies!

And don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a chance to win awesome free “Inspired” goodies…of which I now have pics! Check out the charms on these bookmarks, baby (photographed with tons of love in an effort to make up for any lack of skill)!

Inspired Bookmark, Abishan

One lucky winner’s bookmark will come with this sweet kitty – the great jungle god Abishan, portrayed here in housecat form.

Inspired Bookmark, Wilbur

Another’s bookmark will sport the figure of a chess set knight, a fitting representation of the chivalrous Sir Wilbur.

Inspired Bookmark, Uri

Our gal Uri may not be overly endowed with charm, but with this rockin’ little skateboard  attached, this bookmark couldn’t scream “Uri” louder if it had a set of lungs!

Inspired Bookmark, Yves

Finding the right charm for Yves took some doing, but I think those who know him will agree that this little bird in its pretty cage suits the boy quite well indeed.

Inspired Bookmark, Annabelle

I haven’t forgotten Annabelle! What better for a young lady of letters than a charm like a journal in which to scribe her beloved words? ^.^

And for Luc… oh, for our muse Lucianíel, I could scarcely believe my good fortune when I happened upon this little gem. Whichever muse inspired the making of this entirely perfect trinket, thank you! A dozen-dozen times, thank you!

Inspired Bookmark, Luc

Like I said, folks: This is a giveaway you don’t wanna forget to enter!

Psst. Just curious: Which of the bookmark charms are your favorites? ^^

Secret [of the Souls] No Longer

It’s a Cover Reveal Day for fellow J. Taylor Publishing author Terri Rochenski! Remember last fall when Terri stopped by here with a letter to one of her characters from her novel, “Eye of the Soul”? Well, that novel’s sequel in the works. And just look at how pretty its face is!

SecretOfTheSouls-web

Sword! Castle! Water! Sky! Green eyes! Just throw half of my favorite things all together, why don’t you! Of course, it’s only fitting that the cover be so fantastic. The book is a fantasy, after all.

Meanwhile, on the back of the book…

Thrust out of their homes by a human High Priest on a vengeful mission, the Natives of Derlund no longer have a place to call their own. One escaped capture, however, and now she, Hyla, is the only one who can save her people.

For, Hyla, though, saving her nation isn’t her ultimate goal—returning to the Pool of Souls is. Becoming its Guardian and preserving their faith is her heart’s desire. The perils of her current journey, though, could leave her unable to fulfill that dream.

To find her way back to the Pool, Hyla must live among dangerous, powerful humans willing to defend the Natives, and must submit herself—her Talents—to them. While her protection is paramount, plots to end Hyla’s life will push her to her physical and emotional limits.

On the edge of sanity, her courage tested, and convictions nearly broken, Hyla’s final test of loyalty to her faith comes with the death of one she could have loved.

Secret of the Souls (Pool of Souls, #2) – coming October 6, 2014! (And now available to add to your GoodReads shelves.)

Whaddaya think, readers? Anybody loving this cover as much as I am? ^^

Interview-a-Palooza!

We’re into Week 3 of the “Inspired” blog tour! Coming up, you’ll get a brief overview of what’s gone down since… well, the last time I gave you an overview. ;D

BUT FIRST! An interview with my writing bestie who can as of late March call herself a published author.

Part One: Tirzah Duncan and Cry of the Nightbird

Nightbird cover, final

Me: Hello, Tirzah! Thanks for letting me drag you over here to show you off. Tell us: Whence came the idea for your newly-published novella, Cry of the Nightbird?

Tirzah: I don’t know if you remember this, but it started last year, when you were at a loss for what to write for a Camp NaNo novel. And I was trying to brainstorm with you, tossing out this idea and that.

Then I said, “Okay, how about a young female main character who’s got this major crush on a villain? And what if that villain…”

I went on to speak spoilers, so you don’t get to hear that bit. But suffice it to say the idea really captivated me. To my frustration, Danielle, you were not interested. Hang it, I thought, I want to read the story! If she won’t write it, then I guess I’ve got to.

Me: Haha, I do halfway remember that! Obviously, it was a cool idea, T. Just as obvious to me, the idea was meant for you, so good on ya for running with it! You’ve been writing for some years, now. What was it that pushed you to finally take the plunge and self-publish a story?

Tirzah: There’s a bit of a dual answer to that. One, a sudden fit of impatience. But I’m not sure whether that alone would have driven me through all the boring things like spending eight mind-numbing hours trying to get indents to show up properly in an e-format.

Tirzah Duncan. Writer. Adventurer. Mary Sue? -_0

Tirzah Duncan. Writer. Adventurer. Mary Sue? -_0

What pushed me through that sort of nonsense? Desperation. My fiancé was offered a job in Germany. “Shall I accept the adventure of a lifetime in Europe, or be convenient and stay stateside?” he essentially asked, and left the decision in my hands. Taking the job complicated wedding plans, by which I mean, would require a few thousand more dollars in plane tickets and moving expenses, getting him back and the two of us forth.

“ADVENTURE OR BUST! TAKE THE JOB!” I cried, and determined to see that we do not come up bust, I aim to earn the extra in e-book sales. Audacious, I know, but I will sell this baby door-to-door if that’s what I must do.

Me: Your life is such a novel, you know that? I mean, mine kind of is, too, now that “Inspired”s a thing, but yours is a novel with a European romance, doggone it! Moving on, before I die of envy… Character-centric gal that I am, I’ve gotta ask: Who’s your favorite character from the novella, and why?

Tirzah: Tough one… I tried to make most of them their own brand of excellent. But like the sharp young servant girl, Wren, I’m a sucker for confident, cut, and sorta-kinda kind criminal overlords. So I’ll have to go with Joreth.

(…To clarify, when I say “cut,” I refer to defined musculature, not “the results of coming out of a knife fight somewhat scathed,” of which that master of assassins has both.)

Me: Yum. *cough* Yup. I meant “yup”. *pulls gaze away from attractive killers* Anyhow. This isn’t the only tale you’ve written set in this world. What can you tell us about the other project, Ever the Actor, and when do you suppose it’ll join Nightbird on the market?

Tirzah: Well, remember what I said I’m a sucker for? Joreth isn’t the first of those I’ve written. Although I use the term “sorta-kinda kind” far more loosely for Syawn, my sociopath thief lord determined to keep up caring appearances.

Me: SYYY! *more coughing* Sorry, I must be coming down with something. Pray continue.

Tirzah: You can read the book’s blurb and some select excerpts here—and the elsewhere-unreleased prologue is included at the end of Cry of the Nightbird, wink wink, nudge nudge.

When will it come out? Let’s keep it to the ever-mysterious “Coming sooooon…”

Me: Until this portentous “soon” comes to pass, any last words, Ms. Duncan?

Tirzah: Hmm. How about, “Hey, check what I can do!” or “Nooo, I’m too young…” or perhaps “At least I published something before the end,” or “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!”

Bit of an odd question to end an interview on, though. Leads one to wonder if you put a hit out on me.

Me: Who, me? Never…

That’s “Cry of the Nightbird”, folks – available now!

Part Two: Meanwhile, on the “Inspired” blog tour…

Friday on the Ink Caster blog, my/Annabelle’s light elemental Luc went in for an illuminating chat with Tirzah Duncan’s thief lord Syawn.

Monday, the interview was mine, all mine! …and my hostess Aimee Laine’s, of course. X)

And Wednesday, all sensible Q&A practices went out the window, because this time the operation was run by Alexander Nader (who you may remember from when we got treated to Will Scarlet’s idea of an interview during Alex’s “Beasts of Burdin ” tour).

Plenty more tour stops still to come (full schedule available on my website’s homepage), and the fantastic book behind it all is still gloriously available for purchase. So if you feel thus inspired, make sure to get your copies!

P.S. – Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a chance to win awesome free “Inspired” goodies!

In Which I Can Officially Call Myself a Published Novelist

That’s right, my friends: It’s release day for “Inspired”! And that means three things.

1 = The wait to snatch up a copy of your very own is over! The book is available via Amazon (sing hey for shiny paperbacks! And Kindle e-books, if that’s how you roll), Barnes & Noble, and Kobo!

2 = If you’d like to try your luck against that of the Irish (get it? ‘Cause it’s St. Patrick’s Day? Aaaaanyway…), you can now enter my giveaway to win one of seven sweet prizes: Either a bookmark complete with a charm inspired by one of the book’s characters, or a signed paperback copy of the novel itself!

Inspired-Blog-Tour-Button

3 = We’ve kicked off the “Inspired” blog tour! From here ‘til April 17th, I’ll be on blogs all over the place (thank you, gracious hosts!) talking about the novel, writing, characters, inspiration… and Robin Hood. Perhaps a disproportionate amount of Robin Hood.

And what, you ask, will good old Ever On Word be up to in the meantime?

In an effort to refrain from talking about absolutely nothing but “Inspired” for a month straight, I will dedicate Mondays to storytelling. I’ve got some old flash fiction pieces of mine that have been sitting around unused; now seems a fine time to share. ^.^

Thursdays will be recap days where I give a brief rundown on the last few blog stops made on the tour. (You can also keep abreast of the tour schedule by visiting my website.) But not only that, a couple of Thursdays (well, one of them’s a Wednesday) will also feature guest posts from fellow authors on blog tours of their own! Oh, and a cover reveal on a Tuesday. Stay tuned for all.

And Saturdays, of course, will still belong to Will Scarlet and his Interactive Theatre troupe, because anything else is not worth the fight. If it’s an author/character power struggle you want, then allow me to direct you to a literary adventure that launched just today, and which I hope very much you’ll enjoy…

<<<>>>

Inspired_Cover_Draft_Final_web

For a muse like Lucianíel, one story’s end is another’s beginning.

In the wake of his author’s sudden death, Luc takes ownership of her surviving creations—four fantastical characters with tales yet to be told—saving them from unwritten lives crumbling around them and giving them a second chance at a literary future.

Luc finds that chance in the unsuspecting mind of Annabelle Iole Gray, a quirky teen with her head in the clouds, nose in a book, and imagination ripe for a brilliant muse’s inspiration.

Or so he hopes.

Neither Luc nor Annabelle, however, realize all they’ve undertaken. Even with a to-write list including accounts of a shape-shifting cat creature, gentle knight-in-training, vigilante skater girl, and a mystery boy smothering in unspoken fear, the most remarkable saga created between author and muse just may turn out to be one stranger than fiction.

Their own.

INSPIRED — out now!!! :D

In Which Edgwyn’s Fans Are Reminded Why They Love That Guy (Launch Week, Day 7)

It’s the last day of Launch Week for “The Seventh Spell”! Amazon (paperback) / Amazon (Kindle) / Barnes & Noble (Nook) / CreateSpace (paperback) And as part of the celebration, I’ve invited the novella’s four main characters to visit the Ever On Word blog and share their response to the following prompt:

From almost start to finish in the adventure of “The Seventh Spell”, the odds were pretty stacked against you. It might be said that the biggest (and perhaps only) weapon you had with which to fight for your happy ending was hope. At which point did you feel most hopeful? Most hopeless? How optimistic a person are you in general, and how did that measure up against the nigh impossible challenge set before you?

Please welcome our final guest (last, but never least, no matter how much he’ll try to put himself there), Edgwyn Wyle!

<<<>>>

Edgwyn as realized by my dream-Wilderhark artist, Yana Naumova.

Edgwyn as realized by my dream-Wilderhark artist, Yana Naumova.

I was fortunate in that I spent a good deal of book having no idea just how hopeless the situation was. Things were strange, yes, I knew that much. And stressful. Sometimes downright frightening. But I was sure there had to be an explanation for it, and some way or another to set it all right, if I could just make my way back to where I was supposed to be. (…and when I was supposed to be, for that matter!) If I’d known from the start exactly what was going on… oh, dear, it’s really just as well that I didn’t.

I am a pretty optimistic person, by nature. All else being equal, things are just as likely to go right as they are to go wrong, so why not suppose they’ll go right? And even things that seem to go drastically wrong at first have a way of coming out for the best in the end. So despite the strangeness, stress, and occasional frights, I mostly assumed it was simply a matter of time before it all worked out. Mostly.

It can be very hard to remain hopeful when you’re physically exhausted, emotionally drained, and your travel companion is, shall we say, not Rosalba. I will admit there were brief moments (which would have been better used for sleep) when I deeply doubted whether we could ever pull off what we had to in order to return everything to normal. Those were some of the most terrifying moments of my life. But I couldn’t afford to dwell on them. As you said, hope was our greatest asset. Hope and love. The one spurred me on to the other: My loved ones needed me to hope. To never give up while there was still time to succeed. So that’s what I did – what we all did, as best we could. And in the end… well, I oughtn’t to give that away. I guess the eventual readers will simply have to do as we did: Hope for the best possible ending.

<<<>>>

Seventh Spell Cover, front

A witch’s attempt to cast one spell too many

casts everyone touched by her previous spells into chaos.

Scattered throughout each other’s pasts, Sula and Edgwyn, Villem and Rosalba,

and the rest of the magic’s affected have a single chance to break this last enchantment

before their “happily-ever-after”-s cease to have ever been.

The Seventh Spell

Book Three of The Wilderhark Tales

<> ~ <> ~ <>

According to readers (*thank you for reviewing!*):

“Such an incredible book.”

“The best Wilderhark Tale to date.”

“I knew this was going to be epic in some form or another and it didn’t disappoint.”

<<<>>>

Once again, the book can be purchased via the following links: Amazon (paperback) / Amazon (Kindle) / Barnes & Noble (Nook) / CreateSpace (paperback)

And now for the final three winners in the “Seventh Spell” Launch Week Giveaway, each of whom can choose any of the first six prizes they wish…

Mara Jacob!

Miranda McNeff!

And the Grand Prize winner who will additionally receive my very first proof paperback of “The Seventh Spell”…

Michelle Proulx!

Hearty congratulations to you all (let me know what you want from the prize list!), and thanks to everyone who took part in Launch Week of “The Seventh Spell (Book Three of The Wilderhark Tales)”!

The Prizes

#1 = Autographed print of a portrait of Millyanna (drawn by me). Congrats, Michelle!

#2 = Autographed print of a portrait of Viralei (drawn by me). Congrats, Miranda!

#3 = Autographed print of a surprise “Seventh Spell” scene illustration (drawn by me). Congrats, Emerald!

#4 = Autographed print of another surprise “Seventh Spell” scene illustration (drawn by me). Congrats, Kim!

#5 = Seven selected chapters of the “The Seventh Spell”, with author commentary! Congrats, R.G.!

#6 = Seven selected chapters of the “The Seventh Spell”, with CHARACTER commentary! Congrats, Chelsea!

#7 = The Epic Win of the giveaway. 3 winners get to select any one of the first six prizes they like, and 1 of the three will receive my very first paperback proof copy of “The Seventh Spell”, autographed. Congrats Mara, Miranda, and Michelle! (ALL the “M”s!)

Ever On Word’s semi-regularly scheduled blogging may now resume. *toasting my triumph with a bottle of apple juice*

In Which We Observe That Rosalba Inherited Her Author’s Control-Freak Gene (Launch Week, Day 6)

It’s Launch Week for “The Seventh Spell”! Amazon (paperback) / Amazon (Kindle) / Barnes & Noble (Nook) / CreateSpace (paperback) And as part of the celebration, I’ve invited the novella’s four main characters to visit the Ever On Word blog and share their response to the following prompt:

From almost start to finish in the adventure of “The Seventh Spell”, the odds were pretty stacked against you. It might be said that the biggest (and perhaps only) weapon you had with which to fight for your happy ending was hope. At which point did you feel most hopeful? Most hopeless? How optimistic a person are you in general, and how did that measure up against the nigh impossible challenge set before you?

Please welcome guest number three, everyone’s favorite Denebdeorian Crown Princess, Rosalba!

<<<>>>

Rosalba as realized by my incredible Wilderhark artist, Yana Naumova.

Rosalba as realized by my incredible Wilderhark artist, Yana Naumova.

When did I feel the most hopeful?… Well, I certainly didn’t set out with much hope. It wasn’t a matter of hoping, then, but of desperation. I stood face to face with two alternatives: Lose everyone I loved, or save them. The first moments of absorbing that knowledge were the most hopeless I’ve ever lived. But I wasn’t about to give them all up without a fight, so fight I did, with or without feeling I had any realistic chance of success. The first glimmer of hope didn’t come until later, after I realized I’d found the first piece of the several we needed to bring together in order to set things to rights, showing me that perhaps success wasn’t quite as unrealistic as I’d feared.

Am I generally optimistic? Under certain circumstances, I suppose I am. I expect that matters within my control will go well. Even operating under my first magical curse, the power to break the spell was mainly in my own hands. That’s what made the Seventh Spell so utterly horrific: There was only so much I, or anyone, could do to affect the outcome. Far, far too much hinged on pure, unreliable luck. Yet, what little I could do – what Father, and Edgwyn, and even Mother could do… That small bit of power gave me a small bit of hope, for all together, I half-believe we are stronger than luck.

<<<>>>

Seventh Spell Cover, front

A witch’s attempt to cast one spell too many

casts everyone touched by her previous spells into chaos.

Scattered throughout each other’s pasts, Sula and Edgwyn, Villem and Rosalba,

and the rest of the magic’s affected have a single chance to break this last enchantment

before their “happily-ever-after”-s cease to have ever been.

The Seventh Spell

Book Three of The Wilderhark Tales

<> ~ <> ~ <>

According to readers (*thank you for reviewing!*):

“Such an incredible book.”

“The best Wilderhark Tale to date.”

“I knew this was going to be epic in some form or another and it didn’t disappoint.”

<<<>>>

Once again, the book can be purchased via the following links: Amazon (paperback) / Amazon (Kindle) / Barnes & Noble (Nook) / CreateSpace (paperback)

Don’t forget, we’ve got a giveaway going on! And the 5th and 6th winners are…

R.G. Dole and Chelsea de la Cruz!

Congratulations on your prizes, and good luck to all the entrants in the running for Grand Prize Day – a.k.a., tomorrow!

How to Enter

Every mention/link to the giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or blog = +1 (You can do this multiple times daily. Feel free to go nuts!)

An addition of “The Seventh Spell” to your Goodreads “To Read” shelf = +1 (If you’ve already read and rated/reviewed on Goodreads, you’re covered. ^-^)

Every comment on a “Seventh Spell” Launch Week post = +3 (Launch Week means new posts almost every day, so you can really rack up the points here!)

Every purchase of an e-book copy of “The Seventh Spell” = +3

Every purchase of a paperback copy of “The Seventh Spell” = +7

Your chances to win will accumulate over the seven days of the giveaway (didn’t win the first prize? You’ve still got your rollover entries for the prizes to come, and you can continue earning more), so the sooner you jump on board, the better your odds of winning!

The Prizes

#1 = Autographed print of a portrait of Millyanna (drawn by me). Congrats, Michelle!

#2 = Autographed print of a portrait of Viralei (drawn by me). Congrats, Miranda!

#3 = Autographed print of a surprise “Seventh Spell” scene illustration (drawn by me). Congrats, Emerald!

#4 = Autographed print of another surprise “Seventh Spell” scene illustration (drawn by me). Congrats, Kim!

#5 = Seven selected chapters of the “The Seventh Spell”, with author commentary! Congrats, R.G.!

#6 = Seven selected chapters of the “The Seventh Spell”, with CHARACTER commentary! Congrats, Chelsea!

#7 = The Epic Win of the giveaway. 3 winners get to select any one of the first six prizes they like, and 1 of the three will receive my very first paperback proof copy of “The Seventh Spell”, autographed.

I’ll see you guys tomorrow for the final day of the “Seventh Spell” Launch Week!

In Which the Interactive Theatre Troupe Presents Wilderhark in a Nutshell (Launch Week, Day 4)

W.A.I.T. Button

“Welcome, one and all,” says Will Scarlet, with a broad smile and a bow, “to Will & Allyn’s Interactive Theatre!”

“Every Saturday,” says Allyn-a-Dale, “Will and I and our friends from the story world of ‘The Outlaws of Avalon’ trilogy—”

“Coming one of these days to a book retailer near you!”

“—Will take at random two of the suggestions gleaned from you, our gentle audience, and incorporate them into… well, the sort of tomfoolery Will calls entertainment.”

“At least,” says Will, “that’s what we usually do. But in case it’s somehow escaped your notice, this is a very special week on the blog – specifically, it’s Launch Week for our author’s latest published work, “The Seventh Spell (Book Three of The Wilderhark Tales”. Obviously, we’re all quite keen for our audience to buy the book. But, y’know, it’s been a few months since Books One and Two hit the market. Could be some of the readers’ memories are a bit rusty on the story that led up this, eh? Never fear! That’s where we come in!”

“So everyone, make yourselves comfortable,” says Allyn, “as we now present to you: ‘Once Upon a Recap: The Wilderhark Tales in Review”!

<<<>>>

[The curtain rises on a cozy library setting, spotlit far off on stage right. In an easy chair beside a faux fireplace sits Little John, non-prescription reading spectacles perched on his nose, and a grand gilded storybook held open in his lap.]

Little John: Our tale begins in Wilderhark Forest, where Doctor Villem Deere discovers Sula in a bear trap.

[The light on Little John dims as, further across the stage, a second light comes up on a woodland backdrop, before which kneels Will Scarlet in a quietly distinguished tweed jacket as he releases Marion’s leg from a steel-toothed clamp.]

Swan Prince Cover, E-book

Will/Villem [with soothing calm ]: It’s all right. I’m Doctor Deere, and I’m here to help you. Can you tell me your name?

Marion/Sula [shakily ]: Sula.

Will/Villem: All right, Sula. Now, how did this unfortunate accident happen?

Marion/Sula: I can’t tell you that.

Will/Villem: Why not?

Marion/Sula: Because secrets.

Will/Villem [with a subtle frown ]: Hmm. An answer both unforthcoming and ungrammatical. I deem it probable that the consequences of your reticence will be a novella full of relationships, both business and personal, built upon false impressions.

[The lighting switches, plunging the forest scene into darkness as Little John’s library reclaims the focus.]

Little John: There’s also a prince who, magically enough, is sometimes a swan. But the book’s cover told you that much. [flips the massive storybook’s page ] Speaking of royalty, Villem and Sula have been promoted to king and queen in the sequel. Their luck with magic hasn’t improved much, as evidenced by the curse unleased on the kingdom by Princess Rosalba. Fortunately, tailor Edgwyn Wyle offers his assistance.

[Light switches over to the stage space in front of a stone wall backdrop. While Will and Sula pose unmoving, as if enchanted into statuary, Guinevere pulls Robin Hood in through a prop window, he in colorful garb to rival a Will Scarlet ensemble, complete with a feathered scarlet hat.]

Stone Kingdom Cover, front

Guinevere/Rosalba: I need to get out of this tower so I can find my prince.

Robin/Edgwyn: Ah, yes, the prince. You’ve mentioned him. Are you in want of any prince in particular?

Guinevere/Rosalba: Yes, the one I need to break the enchantment.

Robin/Edgwyn [cheerfully ]: Well, if you could use a friend to put all his time and resources into furthering your quest while accidentally falling in love with you, I’m at your service!

Guinevere/Rosalba: That is a most agreeable offer, thank you, Edgwyn.

[The light switches back to Little John.]

Little John: …Which brings us to “The Seventh Spell”, when the titular enchantment throws everyone into a bigger dilemma than ever before, one they’ll need a miracle to put right.

[Allyn-a-Dale leaps into the library in professional array; though his usual somber blues have been traded for sunnier sky shades and his typical brimmed hat replaced with a jaunty beret, his lute is right where it belongs, strapped in place on his back.]

Allyn [brightly ]: Did somebody call for a minstrel?

Little John: I said “miracle”.

Allyn [with a breezy wave of the hand ]: A minstrel, a miracle… One and the same

When the marvelous Gant-o’-the-Lute makes the claim!

[laughs ] Always wished I could be him. Dream role: Attained!

Little John [closing the book ]: Consider yourselves all caught up.

<<<>>>

Seventh Spell Cover, front

“Aaaand SCENE!” says Will.

“Thank you to our friends from Wilderhark,” says Allyn, “for allowing us to portray them and so brutally abridge their tales.”

“If you enjoyed yourselves,” Will says, “(or if you didn’t, but you totally did, right?), don’t forget to leave suggestions for future productions in the comments! Words or phrases we’ve got to include, a prop to use, a prompt to run with… anything goes! Also, make sure to pick up your copies of ‘The Seventh Spell (Book Three of the Wilderhark Tales)’ via any of the following fine venues: Amazon (paperback) / Amazon (Kindle) / Barnes & Noble (Nook) / CreateSpace (paperback) And oy, leave some reviews, will you? Online buyers love a testimonial!”

“In related news,” Allyn continues, “a round of congratulations to the third and fourth winners of the ‘Seventh Spell’ Launch Week Giveway, Emerald Barnes and Kim Matura, each of whom have won a secret ‘Seventh Spell’ story illustration as drawn by the author herself. Good for the pair of them. Keep those entries coming, everyone, as there are still three days’ worth of prizes to award!”

“Until next time, friends!” says Will, with a salute. “Will and Allyn out!”

How to Enter the “Seveth Spell” Launch Week Giveaway

Every mention/link to the giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or blog = +1 (You can do this multiple times daily. Feel free to go nuts!)

An addition of “The Seventh Spell” to your Goodreads “To Read” shelf = +1 (If you’ve already read and rated/reviewed on Goodreads, you’re covered. ^-^)

Every comment on a “Seventh Spell” Launch Week post = +3 (Launch Week means new posts almost every day, so you can really rack up the points here!)

Every purchase of an e-book copy of “The Seventh Spell” = +3

Every purchase of a paperback copy of “The Seventh Spell” = +7

Your chances to win will accumulate over the seven days of the giveaway (didn’t win the first prize? You’ve still got your rollover entries for the prizes to come, and you can continue earning more), so the sooner you jump on board, the better your odds of winning!

The Prizes

#1 = Autographed print of a portrait of Millyanna (drawn by me). Congrats, Michelle!

#2 = Autographed print of a portrait of Viralei (drawn by me). Congrats, Miranda!

#3 = Autographed print of a surprise “Seventh Spell” scene illustration (drawn by me). Congrats, Emerald!

#4 = Autographed print of another surprise “Seventh Spell” scene illustration (drawn by me). Congrats, Kim!

#5 = Seven selected chapters of the “The Seventh Spell”, with author commentary!

#6 = Seven selected chapters of the “The Seventh Spell”, with CHARACTER commentary!

#7 = The Epic Win of the giveaway. 3 winners get to select any one of the first six prizes they like, and 1 of the three will receive my very first paperback proof copy of “The Seventh Spell”, autographed.

In Which Hopelessness Abounds (Launch Week, Day 3)

It’s Launch Week for “The Seventh Spell”! Amazon (paperback) / Amazon (Kindle) / Barnes & Noble (Nook) / CreateSpace (paperback) And as part of the celebration, I’ve invited the novella’s four main characters to visit the Ever On Word blog and share their response to the following prompt:

From almost start to finish in the adventure of “The Seventh Spell”, the odds were pretty stacked against you. It might be said that the biggest (and perhaps only) weapon you had with which to fight for your happy ending was hope. At which point did you feel most hopeful? Most hopeless? How optimistic a person are you in general, and how did that measure up against the nigh impossible challenge set before you?

Please welcome guest number two, Ursula!

<<<>>>

Ursula as realized by the mega-talented Yana Naumova.

Ursula as realized by my mega-talented Wilderhark artist, Yana Naumova.

I wouldn’t say I’m particularly optimistic, no. I have expectations about how things ought to be, but life’s shown often enough that it doesn’t necessarily care about “ought to be”s. For instance, a princess ought not to be cursed; and a curse, once broken, ought not to be relived. And yet… the Seventh Spell. Even if I were the sort to anticipate the worst, I wouldn’t have seen this story coming.

When did I feel most hopeless? Hard to gauge. There were hopeless moments all throughout. When I first found myself blasted into an entirely unfamiliar land that wasn’t even a land… When the past came back to slap me in the face – twice… When the realization of those impossible odds you mentioned finally sank in… And, now I stop to think of it, the moment that set everything off in the first place was a horribly hopeless one.

As far as I’m concerned, there wasn’t much hope to be found anywhere along the line. But what I lack in hope, I make up for in determination. I never hoped my problems would somehow work themselves out, I made up my mind that I would make them work. I knew what I wanted, and I was going to get it, never anyone mind how. Clearly, that approach doesn’t always deliver immediately encouraging results, but sometimes, in lieu of hope, action’s all you’ve got.

<<<>>>

Seventh Spell Cover, front

A witch’s attempt to cast one spell too many

casts everyone touched by her previous spells into chaos.

Scattered throughout each other’s pasts, Sula and Edgwyn, Villem and Rosalba,

and the rest of the magic’s affected have a single chance to break this last enchantment

before their “happily-ever-after”-s cease to have ever been.

The Seventh Spell

Book Three of The Wilderhark Tales

<> ~ <> ~ <>

According to readers (*thank you for reviewing!*):

“Such an incredible book.”

“The best Wilderhark Tale to date.”

“I knew this was going to be epic in some form or another and it didn’t disappoint.”

<<<>>>

Once again, the book can be purchased via the following links: Amazon (paperback) / Amazon (Kindle) / Barnes & Noble (Nook) / CreateSpace (paperback)

Don’t forget, we’ve got a giveaway going on! And the second winner is…

Miranda McNeff!

Congratulations on your prize, and good luck to all the entrants in the running for the prizes still to come!

How to Enter

Every mention/link to the giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or blog = +1 (You can do this multiple times daily. Feel free to go nuts!)

An addition of “The Seventh Spell” to your Goodreads “To Read” shelf = +1 (If you’ve already read and rated/reviewed on Goodreads, you’re covered. ^-^)

Every comment on a “Seventh Spell” Launch Week post = +3 (Launch Week means new posts almost every day, so you can really rack up the points here!)

Every purchase of an e-book copy of “The Seventh Spell” = +3

Every purchase of a paperback copy of “The Seventh Spell” = +7

Your chances to win will accumulate over the seven days of the giveaway (didn’t win the first prize? You’ve still got your rollover entries for the prizes to come, and you can continue earning more), so the sooner you jump on board, the better your odds of winning!

The Prizes

#1 = Autographed print of a portrait of Millyanna (drawn by me). Congrats, Michelle!

#2 = Autographed print of a portrait of Viralei (drawn by me). Congrats, Miranda!

#3 = Autographed print of a surprise “Seventh Spell” scene illustration (drawn by me).

#4 = Autographed print of another surprise “Seventh Spell” scene illustration (drawn by me).

#5 = Seven selected chapters of the “The Seventh Spell”, with author commentary!

#6 = Seven selected chapters of the “The Seventh Spell”, with CHARACTER commentary!

#7 = The Epic Win of the giveaway. 3 winners get to select any one of the first six prizes they like, and 1 of the three will receive my very first paperback proof copy of “The Seventh Spell”, autographed.

I’ll see you guys tomorrow for the continuation of the “Seventh Spell” Launch Week!