Out of the Mouths of Book Babies

Seventh Spell: “My, my, would you look at the time.”

Legend of Allyn-a-Dale: “What sort of time? Time travel? Time suspended? Or a race against time, like you?”

Wilderhark Covers, half 1

Seventh Spell: “Um… closest to the last? I only meant, she’s got another pair of books coming out soon.”

Out of My Head: “Twins, like Inspired and me?”

Surrogate Sea: “Not a double release. Not even related. Just launching close together.”

Out of My Head: “Ooh, fun! Which ones?”

Our Hungering Hearts, front cover
Coming August 28th!

Sky-Child: “First up, a short story collection, like me.”

Truly Great Words Never Die: “And like me; plus the same artist helped out with cover illustration!”

Inspired: “Like me, too, since it’s something of a re-release.”

Marriage of Allyn-a-Dale: “Our Hungering Hearts. Oh, that is a unique cover.”

Song Caster: “That neon effect! Where were her fancy tricks like that when she was putting the words on our covers?”

Stone Kingdom: “Well, do remember, she was only getting started.”

Song Caster: “Oh, that’s right. We were just the practice children. It’s the Outlaws she handed all over to the professionals.”

Inspired: “That just means the rest of our faces bear her special touch. But let’s not forget to welcome her second book on the horizon.”

So Super Dead cover, remix 02.3, gallery
Coming September 25th!

Story’s End: “So Super Dead. I love it. So dark.”

Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale: “I thought it was a comedy?!”

Surrogate Sea: “Oh, Ballad, you ought to know better than any of us: Even her most lighthearted adventures have their undertones.”

Story’s End: “And I mean, death is right there in the title.”

Ballad: “But… just temporary death, right?”

Truly Great Words: “I don’t see anything in the blurb about truly great legends. Still, if a significant portion of the main cast is dead to begin with, we can only assume it doesn’t much impede their ability to contribute to the plot.”

Seventh Spell: “How many books does this make, now?”

Inspired: “Including e-book only titles?”

Avalon Christmas Carol: “Please.”

Inspired: “In that case, this will make 17 exclusively-Deshipley fiction releases. Plus my journal.”

Wilderhark Covers, half 2

Out of My Head: “17, wow! How does she remember all of us? Wait, does she even? Hey, Number One! You haven’t been forgotten, have you?”

Swan Prince: “Certainly not. On the contrary, she’s always sure to carry plenty of me to any books events, since I’m the series starter.”

Story’s End: “Must be nice.”

Avalon Christmas Carol: “Oh, hush, you got a huge launch party on Facebook.”

Marriage: “I didn’t even get a giveaway. Though she was willing to beg crowdfund my cover…”

Stone Kingdom: “Give the woman a break. She’s poor and tired and depressed.”

Song Caster: “Indeed. Thanks to Swan Prince.”

Outlaws of Avalon covers, all 5

Swan Prince: “Excuse me?”

Song Caster: “Fact. Publishing you while working at the Renaissance Faire wore her out and triggered her first big drop into depression. And not to call the kettle black, but you’re not exactly a bestseller.”

Legend: “At least Swan Prince has reviews in the double digits.”

Inspired: “I used to have a few, before my relaunch…”

Sun’s Rival: “And lack of reviews doesn’t mean we’re not being read! Readers love us!”

Surrogate Sea: “Readers love you.”

Story’s End: “What readers? Who’s saying they read us? Nobody.”

Sun’s Rival: “Not nobody…”

Story’s End: “Fewer than the little crowd we had back in Swan Prince’s day. I think they’re all tired of us.”

Marriage: “Surely it’s not that. We’re just… a lot to keep up with.”

Legend: “Ha, yes. We are legion, and they… Well, they mostly haven’t heard of us.”

Song Caster: “Whose fault is that?”

Out of My Head: “Don’t say hers! She’s trying her best!”

Story’s End: “And what good will her best do the two on the way?”

Inspired: “What do you want from her? Song Caster, Story’s End, what is it you want?”

Story’s End: “I don’t want anything. I’m just gloomy.”

Song Caster: “And I… I just want… I’m afraid.”

Sky-Child: “Afraid? You? Of what?”

Song Caster: “Of not being everything she wants us to be. Of all of us being… disappointments.”

Stone Kingdom: “Oh, Song Caster… It is not we that disappoint her.”

Covers 1, 2, and Journal

Inspired: “She gives all she can to make us beautiful. And beautiful we are. She’s proud of us, her body of work. Sometimes, she’s even proud of herself. It’s only poor luck that she hasn’t yet found a way to give us the audience we deserve.”

Song Caster: “Maybe if we had a big publisher…?”

Inspired: “No guarantee. There are success stories and failures no matter which publishing road you take.”

Out of My Head: “But she’s NOT a failure! It’s too early to say ‘she never hit it big,’ because look – she’s still making books! Hungering Hearts could find its audience. So Super Dead could capture public imagination. Or maybe the next title, or the one after that… Or even any one of us, later in life! While we exist, it’s not too late!”

Story’s End: “Very ‘while there’s life, there’s hope’. I believe So Super Dead will have something to say about that.”

Seventh Spell: “Inspired 2’s right, though. We’ve still got time.”

Sun’s Rival: “And succeed or fail, she’ll always love us.”

Inspired: “Of course she will. She is our mother.”

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Lightbulb Moments: Our Story Drew Its Own Lines

Item One (A Quick Reminder) = Still super excited about my upcoming author appearance at the Independent Bookstore Day meet-‘n’-greet/signing at Petunia’s Place in Fresno! Tell your friends! Like and share! And if you can make it out, I look forward to seeing you there!

Petunia's Place FB Cover

Item Two (Our Regularly Scheduled Blog Post) = As you may by now have heard (since, y’know, it’s all I’ve been blogging about for the last few weeks), I’ve crossed a dream off my bucket list and designed a journal, inspired by (appropriately enough) “Inspired”, and its sequel, “Out of My Head” – all three lately released to the world!

Covers 1, 2, and Journal

(Ordered your copies, yet?? You can find them here:

Book 1 = Amazon, paperback ~ Amazon, ebook ~ Barnes & Noble, ebook

Book 2 = Amazon, paperback ~ Amazon, ebook ~ Barnes & Noble

Journal = Amazon, paperback)

Because, c’mon. “Inspired” co-protagonist Annabelle lives for her scribble-filled notebooks. And gosh knows she came by that honestly, because I too am a sucker for a gorgeous journal, as “Lightbulb Moments” most definitely is – filled with quotes from both “Inspired” novels, done up so fancy-like that you better believe I’m using some of them as designs in the Ever On Word shop on Society6. For example, a page taken from this little snippet of “Out of My Head”:

“I’m magic!” Mach howls happily. “And that’s what had Luc in a bother. The man’s allergic to wonder and whimsy. He wants art kept neat and tidy between the lines.”

The dog’s furry brows wiggle at me. “Our story drew its own lines.

S6_Drew Its Own Lines, metal mug

As of now, the above design is available for purchase on tote bags and travel mugs, stickers and greeting cards… even its very own notebook. ;D

Society6 tryptich_Drew Its Own Lines

As for “Lightbulb Moments” in its full glory, today I’m giving one lucky somebody a free copy – my way of saying an extra-big ‘THANK YOU’ for reading and reviewing my work. And that lucky somebody is…

…Actually two lucky somebodies.

Congrats to Miranda McNeff AND Chelsea de la Cruz!

(Will Scarlet: “I.e. the only two people who managed to get their ‘Out of My Head’ reviews up on Amazon before the giveaway deadline?”

Yup, that’s them.

Will: “They’re so loyal.”

Aren’t they just?

Will: “LOVE YOU, ladies!!!”)

A big round of applause for our winners (be sure to confirm the address to which you’d like your prize shipped!), and kudos to everyone who stuck around the blog during these last several weeks of nonstop “Inspired” promo. I’ll be back next time with something entirely unrelated – you have my word as a wordsmith. ;D ‘Til then, my friends…

~ Happy Writing

Lightbulb Moments: Just Magic

Petunia's Place.png

Independent Bookstore Day 2018.jpgItem One (News of the Most Excellent Kind) = I am VERY excited to announce that I will be one of the authors featured at the Independent Bookstore Day meet-‘n’-greet/signing at Petunia’s Place in Fresno! Tell your friends! Like and share! And if you can make it out, I look forward to seeing you there!

Inspired Journal Cover 12, front

Item Two (Our Regularly Scheduled Blog Post) = As you may by now have heard (since, y’know, it’s all I’ve been blogging about for the last few weeks), I’ve crossed a dream off my bucket list and designed a journal, inspired by (appropriately enough) “Inspired”, and its sequel, “Out of My Head” – all three lately released to the world!

(Ordered your copies, yet?? You can find them here:

Book 1 = Amazon, paperback ~ Amazon, ebook ~ Barnes & Noble, ebook

Book 2 = Amazon, paperback ~ Amazon, ebook ~ Barnes & Noble, ebook

Journal = Amazon, paperback)

Because, c’mon. “Inspired” co-protagonist Annabelle lives for her scribble-filled notebooks. And gosh knows she came by that honestly, because I too am a sucker for a gorgeous journal, as “Lightbulb Moments” most definitely is – filled with quotes from both “Inspired” novels, done up so fancy-like that you better believe I’m using some of them as designs in the Ever On Word shop on Society6. For example, a page taken from this little snippet of “Out of My Head”:

“I’m magic!” Mach howls happily. “And that’s what had Luc in a bother. […]

Some people can’t handle anything outside their little box. But that’s okay! ‘Cause why? ‘Cause art doesn’t need a box to be fantastic!”

He shakes as if to dry himself after a wetting, scattered water droplets replaced with shards of rainbow, as if seen through a prism. “Sometimes,” he says, with a tongue-lolling grin, “magic is just magic, no explanation needed.

S6_Just Magic, travel mug.jpg

As of now, the above design is available for purchase on tote bags and travel mugs, stickers and greeting cards… even its very own notebook. ;D

Society6 tryptich_Just Magic.png

As for “Lightbulb Moments” in its full glory, I’ll be giving one lucky somebody a free copy on April 17th. (Just one week from today!) Why then? One, it’s a good friend’s birthday, so I’ve got better odds of remembering the date. Two, it’s a good month after the release of “Inspired” and “Out of My Head”, meaning it’ll give everybody a decent chunk of time to read and review one or both of the books on Amazon, which is – you guessed it! – exactly how you get an entry in the giveaway. Just link me to your review before the April deadline (review both books for double your chances of winning! Copy the review on the Barnes & Noble site for even more points), and a free “Lightbulb Moments” journal could be yours.

Stick around throughout the giveaway’s run, because more peeks into the journal / new Ever On Word shop designs will be coming your way. ‘Til then, my friends…

~ Happy Writing

Lightbulb Moments: The Sane One

Inspired Journal Cover 12, frontAs you may by now have heard, I’ve crossed a dream off my bucket list and designed a journal, inspired by (appropriately enough) “Inspired”, and its sequel, “Out of My Head” – all three lately released to the world!

(Ordered your copies, yet?? You can find them here:

Book 1 = Amazon, paperback ~ Amazon, ebook ~ Barnes & Noble, ebook

Book 2 = Amazon, paperback ~ Amazon, ebook ~ Barnes & Noble, ebook

Journal = Amazon, paperback )

Because, c’mon. “Inspired” co-protagonist Annabelle lives for her scribble-filled notebooks. And gosh knows she came by that honestly, because I too am a sucker for a gorgeous journal, as “Lightbulb Moments” most definitely is – filled with quotes from both “Inspired” novels, done up so fancy-like that you better believe I’m using some of them as designs in the Ever On Word shop on Society6. For example, a page taken from this little snippet of “Inspired”:

Shan never got snow in his world, so he had a great time romping with me in it, chasing my footprints, pouncing me to the ground with my willing cooperation, and having tumble races down the hill, which Wilbur always won. We built a snow knight and snow cat, and threw ourselves to our backs to make snow angels. I would have been all for a snowball fight, too, but that wouldn’t exactly fly, unless I started throwing snowballs at myself. I was already getting some interesting faces made at me through the patio doors.

“Like you’ve never indulged your inner child!” I said.

“Your mom!” Dee and Callie shouted back. The next few times I glanced back, they held up quickly manufactured signs expressing sentiments such as, “Hey, U a Foo-oo-oo-ool” and “My Name is Rodrigo! Ha-ha-ha, woof!”

Sometimes I wonder if I may actually be the sane one.

S6_The Sane One, metal mug.png

As of now, the above design is available for purchase on tote bags and travel mugs, stickers and greeting cards… even its very own notebook. ;D

Society6 tryptich_The Sane One.png

As for “Lightbulb Moments” in its full glory, I’ll be giving one lucky somebody a free copy on April 17th. Why then? One, it’s a good friend’s birthday, so I’ve got better odds of remembering the date. Two, it’s a good month after the release of “Inspired” and “Out of My Head”, meaning it’ll give everybody a decent chunk of time to read and review one or both of the books on Amazon, which is – you guessed it! – exactly how you get an entry in the giveaway. Just link me to your review before the April deadline (review both books for double your chances of winning! Copy the review on the Barnes & Noble site for even more points), and a free “Lightbulb Moments” journal could be yours.

Stick around throughout the giveaway’s run, because more peeks into the journal / new Ever On Word shop designs will be coming your way. ‘Til then, my friends…

~ Happy Writing

Lightbulb Moments: Space Enough to Contain a Universe

Inspired Journal Cover 12, frontAs you may by now have heard, I’ve crossed a dream off my bucket list and designed a journal, inspired by (appropriately enough) “Inspired”, and its sequel, “Out of My Head” – all three released to the world, two weeks ago!

(Ordered your copies, yet?? You can find them here:

Book 1 = Amazon, paperback ~ Amazon, ebook ~ Barnes & Noble, ebook

Book 2 = Amazon, paperback ~ Amazon, ebook ~ Barnes & Noble, ebook

Journal = Amazon, paperback)

Because, c’mon. “Inspired” co-protagonist Annabelle lives for her scribble-filled notebooks. And gosh knows she came by that honestly, because I too am a sucker for a gorgeous journal, as “Lightbulb Moments” most definitely is – filled with quotes from both “Inspired” novels, done up so fancy-like that you better believe I’m using some of them as designs in the Ever On Word shop on Society6. For example, a page taken from this little snippet of “Inspired”:

“For heaven’s sake,” Luc said, his voice an almost Abishan-like growl. “Is she planning to write her first novel on the family history of a notebook?”

Wilbur smiled absently, attention captured by his and Luc’s singularly strange position: Sitting unobserved behind another’s eyes, staring out through the soul’s windows to the world as seen by Annabelle Gray.

An almost incomprehensible thing, to think of it as being inside her head; there was little enough room for two men within the confines of a young woman’s skull. “But we’re not in her head,” Luc had said when first they’d come. “We’re in her mind. And a mind has space enough to contain a universe.” His eyes glimmered with laughter. “Even you and I are not so vast as that.”

S6_Contain a Universe, travel mug

As of now, the above design is available for purchase on tote bags and travel mugs, stickers and greeting cards… even its very own notebook. ;D

Society6 tryptich_Contain a Universe

As for “Lightbulb Moments” in its full glory, I’ll be giving one lucky somebody a free copy on April 17th. Why then? One, it’s a good friend’s birthday, so I’ve got better odds of remembering the date. Two, it’s a good month after the release of “Inspired” and “Out of My Head”, meaning it’ll give everybody a decent chunk of time to read and review one or both of the books on Amazon, which is – you guessed it! – exactly how you get an entry in the giveaway. Just link me to your review before the April deadline (review both books for double your chances of winning! Copy the review on the Barnes & Noble site for even more points), and a free “Lightbulb Moments” journal could be yours.

Stick around throughout the giveaway’s run, because more peeks into the journal / new Ever On Word shop designs will be coming your way. ‘Til then, my friends…

~ Happy Writing

Lightbulb Moments: I Plead the Wordsmith’s Prerogative

Inspired Journal Cover 12, frontAs you may by now have heard, I’ve crossed a dream off my bucket list and designed a journal, inspired by (appropriately enough) “Inspired”, and its sequel, “Out of My Head” – all three released to the world just last week!

(Ordered your copies, yet?? You can find them here:

Book 1 = Amazon, paperback ~ Amazon, ebook ~ Barnes & Noble, ebook

Book 2 = Amazon, paperback ~ Amazon, ebook ~ Barnes & Noble, ebook

Journal = Amazon, paperback )

Because, c’mon. “Inspired” co-protagonist Annabelle lives for her scribble-filled notebooks. And gosh knows she came by that honestly, because I too am a sucker for a gorgeous journal, as “Lightbulb Moments” most definitely is – filled with quotes from both “Inspired” novels, done up so fancy-like that you better believe I’m using some of them as designs in the Ever On Word shop on Society6. For example, a page taken from this little snippet of “Out of My Head”:

“Thinking of spending more time with the abishan’s backstory, are you?”

Annabelle pursed her lips. “I was actually hoping I could find a way to work her into his frontstory.”

Luc’s brows drew down. “But Annabelle…”

“I know, I know, ‘frontstory’s not a word. I plead the wordsmith’s prerogative, as precedented by Shakespeare, Seuss, ‘n’ such. Pretend ‘precedented’ is likewise a word.”

S6_Wordsmith's Prerogative, travel mug

As of now, the above design is available for purchase on tote bags and travel mugs, stickers and greeting cards… even its very own notebook. ;D

Society6 tryptich_Wordsmith's Prerogative

As for “Lightbulb Moments” in its full glory, I’ll be giving one lucky somebody a free copy on April 17th. Why then? One, it’s a good friend’s birthday, so I’ve got better odds of remembering the date. Two, it’s a good month after the release of “Inspired” and “Out of My Head”, meaning it’ll give everybody a decent chunk of time to read and review one or both of the books on Amazon, which is – you guessed it! – exactly how you get an entry in the giveaway. Just link me to your review before the April deadline (review both books for double your chances of winning! Copy the review on the Barnes & Noble site for even more points), and a free “Lightbulb Moments” journal could be yours.

Stick around throughout the giveaway’s run, because more peeks into the journal / new Ever On Word shop designs will be coming your way. ‘Til then, my friends…

~ Happy Writing

The [Re]view from Release Day

Hey, everybody! Annabelle, here – unofficial author of today’s brand new releases: “Inspired” (available here and here, “Out of My Head” (available here and here, and “Lightbulb Moments: An INSPIRED Journal” (right here, folks)!

Covers 1, 2, and Journal

I say “unofficial” because, y’know, I’m technically a character (an AUTHOR character, but still), so it’s Danielle’s name that gets pride of place on the cover and copyright documentation and promo. Her plane of reality = her bragging rights, apparently.

But I was still very involved in the making of these books, meaning it’s only right I likewise be very involved in their Release Day blog post. My role in the latter (apart from the intro, obvs)? Rounding up my muse and character friends and assigning them perhaps the most underrated of all reader-related tasks: Sharing their book reviews.

Certainly, book reviews shared from actual, “real-world” readers would be twice as legit and thrice as thrilling for Danielle, but she has 0% control about if or when those get written and posted on Amazon/B&N.com/Goodreads, etc. That’s what’s great about having characters in your head: You’ve got maybe 11% control of them. ;D

So, time to hear it straight from The Guys. What thought ye all of the “Inspired” novels? ^^

<<<>>>

An Enlightening Work for Wordsmiths (5 stars)

“A unique and colorful exploration of not only the world of writing, but the multitude of worlds behind it. Recommended (if not required) reading for any who wish to more intimately engage with their own acts of creation.”

– Lucianíel, elemental muse

Outstanding! Phenomenal! And Super Fun, Too! (ALL THE STARS)

“I love stories! And this one’s really good! (And by ‘this one’, I mean ‘these two’, because duology. But that’s just a fancy name for a single story broken into halves, right?) My favorite thing about its structure is how it moves around between people and perspectives and planes; no staying still and sitting stuck, no sirree! Comes with a great variety of voice, too. And a lot of the chapters are pretty short, so you can speed right through ‘em, which is good if your attention span is kinda … nonexistent. Things that are existant, in spades: This story’s humor and heart. If you’re not laughing and crying, then wow, what even are you? Gimme your story; I’d love to know it.”

– Mach Jenius, brainstorm

Feline Sidelined, But Otherwise Fine (3 stars)

“If you like stories split up among an ensemble cast, good for you; these books do this. But my main investment was in the extraordinary cat character, and he wasn’t given nearly enough page time. What comes of letting humans do the authoring, I suppose. Aside from the mishandling of [what ought to have been] the main plot, though, the story was interesting enough.”

– Abishan, god of all cats

What a Journey! (5 stars)

“I very much enjoyed watching the characters develop over the course of the duology’s arc. From small and scared, to unafraid of taking rightful space. From hard and closed, to open enough that others might come in. From forlorn and isolated, to joined with loved ones in joy. My heart ached along with each of them upon their varied journeys, and by the end, I simply wanted to squeeze the entire company in a hug! (Fortunately, I believe most of them will let me.)”

– Wilbur Lamb, fantasy knight

Has Its High Points (4 stars)

“Skillfully written. Diverse cast. Ridiculous premise, but arguably in an avant-garde kinda way. Personally, I’d have preferred more action, less philosophizing on art and its making; when plot happened, though, it was cool. And I guess there were worthwhile messages, too, for those willing to receive them. Semi-biblical, in that way. … in a number of ways, come to think of it. But yeah, no, do not treat this as scripture. It’s edutainment at most.”

– Uri, heavenly warrior

An Important Gift (5 stars)

“The first word to mind to describe this story of stories is: Important. And different readers, I expect, will find it so for different reasons. For some, it may prove itself a helpful guide in becoming the writer they wish to be. For others, the emotions will resonate; the grief, the fear, the longing, the loneliness… love and laughter and tastes of euphoria. The second description these stories inspire: A gift. For those who made them, those who lived them… and, one may hope, for you.”

– Avelaine (that is all, and enough)

<<<>>>

Thanks, Guys! And thanks in advance to any and all purchasers, readers, reviewers, and fans of the “Inspired” novels (and its companion journal). Don’t hesitate to let us all know what you think of our art! (And, I mean, if you wanna make fan art, probably only a couple of us would actually die of gratitude, so it’s all good.)

Oh! And about the journal: Don’t forget that Danielle’s got a giveaway going on! One lucky somebody is getting a free copy of “Lightbulb Moments”. When? Winner name selected on April 17th. How do you enter? Pertinently enough, by writing reviews! Just link Danielle to your Amazon review of an “Inspired” novel before the April deadline (review both books for double your chances of winning! Copy the review on the Barnes & Noble site for even more points), and a free “Lightbulb Moments” journal could be yours.

Is that it? Did I cover everything I was supposed to? Gads, this blogging thing isn’t as easy as she makes it look… Lemme check my notes… Um, ‘kay, looks like you should know there are gonna be read-aloud novel excerpt videos hitting the authorial Facebook page throughout today, so keep your eyes and ears open for those. That’s it! That’s all! Happy Release Day to us!

Much love from a plane apart,

~ Annabelle Iole Gray (on behalf of Danielle E. Shipley)