Of Cabbages and Book Making

The time has come (the author said) to talk of many things:

Of novels and their sequels – books and their coverings –

And why the day ducks stay in rows is when the pigs have wings.

Of Lemons and of Lemonade

Those of you following me on Twitter may have caught this vague reference to some of my latest news, earlier this month.

JTP News 1

While those who keep up with me on Facebook will have gotten a brief, but more concrete explanation.

JTP News 2

Receiving that kind of e-mail from your publisher is probably NOT on any author’s list of to-dos, but there you are. J. Taylor Publishing has de-listed their catalogue of books from all retail channels and reverted the rights to their respective authors. What this means:

1 = “Inspired” and the “One More Day” anthology are no longer being printed and sold.

1.5 = Congratulations to any of you who’ve already bought your copies – you’re now in possession of a literary rarity. They’ll be worth big bucks once I finally attain author superstardom!

2 = I dunno about the antho, but if I want “Inspired” back up for sale, I’mma have to put it there myself. Which, I mean, I had already been planning to do, once the novel’s rights came back to me. That just ended up happening a couple years sooner than I expected.

So! Look for the re-release of “Inspired” in Spring 2018, complete with a brand new cover, probably some bonus short stories thrown in at the end, and – guess what? – a delightful sequel! I’ve been sitting on “Inspired 2”s manuscript for a little while, now, and am very much excited to get it out in the world alongside its predecessor, just as soon as I’ve finished with my scheduled plans for The Outlaws of Avalon. Which serves as a perfect segue into my next topic…

Of Trials and Traveling

To quote myself:

Hello, all! Author Danielle E. Shipley, here. And this is my tale:

I’ve recently published the first novel in the three-part story of my heart: The Outlaws of Avalon trilogy (a contemporary fantasy retelling of the Robin Hood legend, with some Arthuriana and Renaissance Faire fun thrown in). With Book 1, “The Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale”, out in the world, it’s time to ready Book 2 for its March 2017 release. But I’ve run into some unforeseen difficulties.

You see, I’ve been living with a friend in Germany for the past few months, with the intention to stay until next year. However, the situation unexpectedly changed, requiring my return to the U.S. this fall. …Meaning my travel expenses and the cost of Book 2’s cover design will land in my lap at roughly the same time.

As an author – particularly a largely unknown, self-published one – I don’t make a lot of money. Truthfully, at this stage, I’m investing far more in my career than it’s earning back. With time, effort, and luck, that may change. Until then, if I want Book 2’s cover to look every bit as beautiful as “Ballad”s, I could really use your help.

My cover designer’s fee comes to 750 euros. Convert that to U.S. dollars, add in the usual percentage owed to the site hosting this campaign (*tips hat to GoFundMe*), and a fundraising goal of $875 should see me through. The bill comes due at the cover’s completion, which I aim to attain by November’s end. I understand that not everyone can afford to support me by purchasing my books, just now. But if each of you reading this made even a small donation to this campaign – 1 to 5 dollars, 10+ if you’re a Robin Hood-level hero – it could add up to what I need to keep me fiscally afloat.

I would be enormously grateful for whatever amount you can give – so much so, that I happily pledge to thank every donor by name within the acknowledgement pages of Outlaws of Avalon 2. (Unless, of course, you indicate that you’d like to be lumped in with “Anonymous”.)

It’s the characters that make my stories come alive. It’s me that puts it all on the page for readers to experience. And this time around, it’s you that will help make the novel’s face a reality. Bless you for it.

~ Danielle

That’s right – I’ve taken a chance and started a GoFundMe campaign! I very much hope you’ll do me the grand favor of donating and/or sharing the link with others who may be in a better position to give.

GoFundMe

Callooh! Callay! Your help I pray!

(My thanks for listening. ^.^)

Extreme Makeover: Wilderhark Edition

Quick word from our sponsor (…so, basically me):

My serial Wilderhark Talette continues, today, with Part 3 of “The Soul Shepherdess” now live on Channillo.com. Young Solwen is moving ever closer to her minstrel destiny – and naturally, she’s singing all-new, original songs about it. Subscribers, check it out! Non-subscribers… well, I’m sure you can figure out how to remedy that.

Also, there’s a Wilderhark extravaganza coming, and you (*points to absolutely everyone*) are officially invited. Check it out!

And now onto our regularly scheduled blog post.

<<<>>>

Once upon a time, an author loved the covers of her fairytale novella series very much.

But then she decided that she could love them more.

For you see, this author was something of a perfectionist, her eye ever open to ways things could be made better. In the case of her books’ covers, they were beautiful to behold. …Up close. But from a distance – or, y’know, a thumbnail image – they didn’t read as well. Moreover, the spines were too plain. Too dull. She wanted to fancy them up a bit, so they better held their own among a whole shelf full of titles.

Fortunately for our author, this series of hers was self-published, so making the changes she desired was as simple (and as frustrating/wearying/time-consuming) as making those changes herself. Thus did she roll up her sleeves, send up prayers for strength, patience, and technological cooperation, and buckle down to get ‘er done.

And that author… *solemn nods* …was me.

And since I was at it, I went ahead and swept the pages again (both paper and electronic) for persistent typos and formatting stuff that bugged me, so now the books’ insides and outsides are better than ever! Although Books 1 and 2 still don’t include pronunciation guides, because… *squints at past self* What was your reasoning, exactly?

Past Me: *shrugs*

Ohhh-kay. For, um, mysterious reasons unknown, then. But those who want reassurance that they’re saying “Harrold Babbit” correctly can always pop onto the Wilderhark Tales page on my website.

In any case: Look ye now upon the before-and-afters of the old and NEW ‘N’ IMPROVED, full-spread covers for Wilderhark Tales One through Six!

Swan Prince Cover, E-book
Before…

Swan Prince Cover, full spread update
…and after!

Stone Kingdom Cover, front
Before…

Stone Kingdom Cover, full spread update
…and after!

Seventh Spell Cover, front
Before…

Seventh Spell Cover, full spread update
…and after!

Song Caster Cover, front
Before…

Song Caster Cover, full spread update
…and after!

Sun's Rival Cover, front
Before…

Sun's Rival Cover, full spread udpate
…and after!

Surrogate Sea cover, front
Before…

Surrogate Sea Cover, full spread update
…and after!

Ta-daaaaaa! You collector types who simply must have every version of everything Wilderhark that you can get your hands on, terribly sorry, but it looks like I’ve given you something new at which to throw your money. And for those of you who’ve been dragging your feet about getting your copies of the Wilderhark Tales, now seems like a shiny time to get your collection going, dontcha think? ^^ Just in time for the series’ end, too

Holler in the comments: What do you think of the makeovers??

Wilderhark Cover Updates 01

Wilderhark Cover Updates 02

Wilderhark Cover Updates 03

In Which I Achieve Web Wizardry

Once upon a time, there was an author who suffered from a terrible curse.

To wit, her dread archfoe, the Technology Fiend, despised her with all passion. He got his kicks by tainting anything she touched requiring a battery, plug, or modem, and was particularly tickled by thwarting her attempts to become computer savvy.

Our poor author grew understandably fearful of treading in enemy territory. Every click of a button authorizing yet another account or threatening one more upgrade sent spasms of anticipatory horror through her heart. But much as she would have liked to stay far, far away from all terrors technological, she was, as I said, an author – and a self-publishing author, at that. In this day and age, an author is expected to blog, have a website, show her face on social media. And a mostly self-pubbing author with no other employment doesn’t have enough cash to hire someone else to do all the scary Internet stuff for her.

So when the day came that our author – who also happened to be something of a perfectionist – looked upon the “My Books” page of her website and thought, “I suppose this serves its purpose well enough, but it’s not all that I want it to be,” she had no recourse but to suck up her anxiety and figure out how to work a little web sorcery.

And that author… *solemn nods* …was me.

Time to put on my big girl wizard robe and get ‘er done.
Time to put on my big girl wizard robe and get ‘er done.

Opinions will vary on what’s needed to make a website look “professional” (which I feel is a kind of snotty term, in general, since when you’re good at what you do, you can do it your own way and make it amazing, never mind some arbitrary standard clung to by the masses. But I digress into artistic anarchy…). My personal minimum requirements/preferences are that it be clean (because I don’t deal well with clutter) and simple to navigate (because isn’t the whole point that visitors be able to find the information they’re looking for?).

What nagged at me about my site’s original “My Books” page is that it wasn’t immediate enough. You started at the top with the cover and info for my first published book (“The Swan Prince”), then scrolled down to get to my next book, and the next, and so on chronologically, through the whole of my Wilderhark Tales (to date), my first professional anthology (“One More Day”), and my debut novel (“Inspired”), until you reached the current position on my publishing road and the page’s end simultaneously. All very well, but why couldn’t I have that deal where the covers of all the available books are presented at once in a neat little gallery, and clicking on one will take you to another page dedicated to that one book (or perchance the whole of its series) only?

Because I didn’t know how to make it happen, that’s why. And I was scared to try to learn. But if being scared were enough to stop me from doing things, I wouldn’t have any published books to show off on a website in the first place.

So I went to my site’s dashboard thing. And I stared at it, looking for some kind of hint or guidepost. I’d seen other Weebly-powered sites pull the trick I wanted, so there had to be a way…

Website Dashboard
What am I even looking at, right now?…

Aha! Down there, what’d that say? “Tip: Drag pages up/down to reorder and left/right to create subpages.

Subpages! That sounded like exactly what I wanted!

Now came the true test of courage: Sacrificing the sure thing I had in order to reach for what I knew, if gained, would be better.

There’s a great, honking life metaphor, for you.

After much stressful experimentation, uploading pics, copy/pasting text, fiddling with format, and careful linkage, I had a brand new at-a-glance “My Books” page, complete with subpages for each and every title. Like. A. Boss.

It’s… *sniff* …beautiful.
It’s… *sniff* …beautiful.

Sure, I screwed up a bunch of times. Yes, I crashed the browser once. Never mind how many hours later it pushed my already ridiculously late breakfast. I got my heart set on a goal, put my mind to the task and came out with one more tally mark next to my name on the Danielle vs. Tech Fiend scoreboard.

And oh, hey, would you look at that: My new page’s gallery of covers includes the face of “Legends and Lore: An Anthology of Mythic Proportions” – the Xchyler Publishing paranormal collection set to release on Wednesday (party over here!). If I do say so myself, it does look mighty fine. ^_^

“First” vs. “Second”

Which is scarier: Releasing your very “preceding all others in time, order, or importance” book, or releasing your “next to the first in place or time”?

On the one hand, Book One of the Wilderhark Tales was my chance to make a smashing first impression. Most of my intended audience had little to no idea who I was, or didn’t know much about my writing style beyond what they’d read in Ever On Word blog posts or the odd short story here and there. Essentially, “The Swan Prince” was my big “HERE I AM” to the world, and set up a precedent for what people could expect, both from my authorial style, and from the Wilderhark series in particular.

To my continual glee, my self-publishing debut was very well received! We got some nice buzz going during the launch week, I’ve accumulated a treasured number of flattering reviews, apparently sales aren’t straight-up dismal, I was able to talk my local library into purchasing a copy (if you happy to be anywhere near Waukegan Public Library, run in there and demand to borrow it!), and – glory of glories – it even won the Reader’s Choice Award during July’s Blogger Book Fair! The Wilderhark Tales were off to a great start!

Then it came time to follow up with Book Two.

I was a little bit nervous going into the publication process for “The Stone Kingdom”. It wasn’t only a matter of putting out a great book anymore; now, there were expectations to live up to.

As I hope should go without saying, “Stone Kingdom” isn’t simply a clone of its predecessor. There are some notable similarities within the storyline, we do see some familiar faces from “Swan Prince”, and there is consistency within the narrative voice. But apart from that (and, of course, the well-known fairytale references), everything’s all new.

What if readers didn’t connect with the new protagonists?

What if they felt the story was somehow a letdown?

What if they thought it was too X or not Y enough or what in the Z was the author thinking?!

Well, it was simply a risk I had to take. I’d written the book. I’d promised the book. By jolly, I was going to deliver the book, and Z take the consequences! (I’m really starting to take a shine to “Z” as an expletive…)

And— say what? How now? Egad, my advance readers gave a really positive response!

Wry wit, clever twists, and, of course, dashing love interests,” they said!

Not only fun and funny, but relevant and wise,” they said!

Even, “I will go as far as to say that this one was better than the first.” (“Eeeeee-wow!!!” I said.)

And Edgwyn has to deal with the fact that everybody loves him. (“‘Nyeh, nyeh,’ she said,” he grumbles lightly.)

Looks like ya done good, “Stone Kingdom”! I am very proud of you.*

*I’ve actually been proud of the book for years before its publication. It’s one of my favorite Wilderhark Tales. ^.^

Books One and Two of  The Wilderhark Tales, as photographed by happy reader Steven Bourelle.
Books One and Two of The Wilderhark Tales, as photographed by happy reader Steven Bourelle.

Hu-u-uge thanks – thanks THIS BIG – to everyone who’s already purchased/read/told me they love “The Stone Kingdom (Book Two of The Wilderhark Tales)” so far. (Please don’t forget to tell the retail sites, too, with an honest review! …or a lying review, if that’s how you roll, but I think most of us would much prefer your honesty.) And if you – yes, you; don’t pretend to look innocent, you know I mean you – haven’t experienced the book yet, wait no longer! Nab a paperback via Amazon or CreateSpace, or an e-book for your Kindle or Nook! The people have spoken: The read’s “well worth Wyle”. ;D

“Batch 3” or “Grand Prize Day!”

This is it, guys: Time to announce the final “quantity (as of persons or things) considered as a group” of winners in my “Stone Kingdom” Launch Week Giveaway! And those three winners are… *drumroll, nail-biting suspense*…

Brittany S.!

Alyson Grauer!

And Aisazia! … and Erika Beebe!

(‘Cause I’m sleep-deprived and don’t even know what was going on while I was picking names, so whatever, we’ll have an extra winner.)

Holy cow, you three four, do you know what you’ve got coming to you?! Anything you want! That’s right – you get your pick of any 2 previous prizes offered during this giveaway! Song lyric word art, mystery illustrations, commentaries – you name it! (Full list of available prizes here.) And on top of that, one of you is getting an autographed paperback of “The Stone Kingdom”. Biggest congratulations of all go to…

Aisazia!

Hooray for you all! Contact me within the next week with the address to which I should ship the prize (unless you’ve already done so previously, in which case you’re covered), and it’s all yours!

**Note to all winners: If I don’t hear back from you within 7 days after your name is announced, I go back in the pool to pick a new victor. Prizes feel sad when no one comes to claim them. Of course, I’m sure you’ll all be far too eager to lay hands on your winnings for this defaulting rule to come into play; still, figured I’d best give you fair warning.**

So ends the Launch Week of “The Stone Kingdom (Book One of The Wilderhark Tales)”. (…of which people have said:

“A charming and excellent read.”

“Wry wit, clever twists, and, of course, dashing love interests.”

“Not only fun and funny, but relevant and wise.”

“A highly vivid, carefully formulated story … [Shipley] has a style all her own, and it’s lovely.”)

My sincere thanks to everyone who participated in the celebration in any way, great or small, to the fun-loving spirits who played with me during our rounds of scavenger hunting, to those who have already purchased the book, and to those who haven’t yet gotten around to it but totally plan to soon. The paperback’s available on Amazon and CreateSpace, and e-books await your Nook and/or Kindle. Once you’ve had a chance to fly through the story, I’d super appreciate it if you posted a review on the retail sites, pretty please and thank you. (:

I’d also like to take a moment to extend extra thanks to everyone who’s already posted a review or a book release spotlight on their blogs (too many to list here, though everyone who I knew about ahead of time got a place on “The Stone Kingdom”s acknowledgements page!), and to Tonja Drecker and Marissa Halvorson for granting me guest post space on their blogs this past week.

Well, I think that’s all the “i”s dotted and “t”s crossed. Time for this blog to start working its way back to normal! …after one last reminder of what this week’s been all about.

* * * * *

Stone Kingdom Cover, front

Love and prince,

Both true, wed rose of white in realm of stone;

For blood begins,

But naught can be put right by blood alone.

One thoughtless act is all it takes to bring the curse threatened on Rosalba’s christening day to pass. Now the princess must combine her desperate determination with the service of benevolent tailor Edgwyn Wyle to find the second half of the key to her kingdom’s restoration.

The Stone Kingdom

Book Two of The Wilderhark Tales

<> ~ <> ~ <>

An enchantress’s curse turns a spoiled royal into a beast;

A princess’s pricked finger places her under a hundred-year spell;

Bales of straw are spun as golden as the singing harp whisked down a giant beanstalk –

All within sight of Wilderhark, the forest that’s seen it all.

You’ve heard the stories –

of young men scaling rope-like braids to assist the tower-bound damsel;

of gorgeous gowns appearing just in time for a midnight ball;

of frog princes, and swan princes,

and princes saved from drowning by maidens of the sea.

Tales of magic. Tales of adventure. Most of all, tales of true love.

Once upon a time, you knew them as fairytales. Know them now as Wilderhark’s.

“Batch 2” or “Winners 4 Through 6, Come On Do-o-own!”

We’ve got our second “quantity (as of persons or things) considered as a group” of winners in my “Stone Kingdom” Launch Week Giveaway! Our Day Four winner is… *drumroll, nail-biting suspense*…

Steven Bourelle!

Ya-a-ay, Steven! You’ve won an autographed print of an illustration (drawn by me) of one of my favorite “Stone Kingdom” moments. Which moment is that? Not the same one that Day Three’s winner got. Apart from that, I shall tell you nothing. You’ll find out when your package arrives!

Day Five’s winner is… Aisazia!

Huzzah, Aisa! You’ve won seven selected chapters of “The Stone Kingdom”… with Author Commentary! You shall be privy to all my top secret thoughts on my beloved second volume of the Wilderhark Tales. …And when I say “top secret”, I mean I’d be plenty happy to tell just about anybody interested in listening, but because I rarely say anything the exact same way twice, your official Author Commentary experience will be one-of-a-kind.

And last until Friday, Day Six’s winner… Miranda McNeff!

Lucky you, Miranda! You’ve won those same seven selected chapters of “The Stone Kingdom”… with Character Commentary! Never mind my thoughts, you’ll get to listen in while MCs Rosalba and Edgwyn trade opinions on their newly-publicized adventure – another one-of-a-kind experience that I would totally envy, if I hadn’t had the privilege of transcribing their dialogue myself. (:

Congratulations to our second three winners! Contact me within the next week with the address to which I should ship the prize, and it’s all yours! Thank you so much for your participation in the launch week of “The Stone Kingdom (Book One of The Wilderhark Tales)”! (…of which people have said:

“A charming and excellent read.”

“Wry wit, clever twists, and, of course, dashing love interests.”

“Not only fun and funny, but relevant and wise.”

“A highly vivid, carefully formulated story … [Shipley] has a style all her own, and it’s lovely.”)

As for the rest of the world, never despair! There’s still three names left to draw on Grand Prize Day! So Facebook/Tweet/Blog about this giveaway! Buy the book on Amazon or CreateSpace, or e-books for your Nook or Kindle! Don’t forget, I’ve got a Special Launch Week Promotional Offer going on: Buy One “Stone Kingdom” Paperback, Get One “Stone Kingdom” e-book for Kindle for just 99 cents, brought to you by Amazon’s new Kindle Matchbook bundle deal! (And after you’ve had a chance to fly through the story, I’d super appreciate it if you posted a review!)

And now, it’s time for a “Stone Kingdom” Scavenger Hunt Question!

In my “Stone Kingdom”-inspired “Three Wishes Blog Blitz” scene, what does Rosalba suggest Edgwyn could fashion into dancing slippers? (This way to the scene and the answer therein.)

First person to answer correctly in the comments below gets an extra spot in the raffle pool. Good luck, you guys, and I’ll see you all here on Friday for our final batch of prize-winners! (:

* * * * *

Recap of the “Stone Kingdom” Launch Week Giveaway!

[Action] = [Chances to Win]

Every mention/link to the giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or blog = 1

An addition of “The Stone Kingdom” to your Goodreads “To Read” shelf= 1 (Find “The Stone Kingdom” on Goodreads here!)

Schedule a day with me to host me on your blog for an author interview, character interview, or guest post = 3 (Message me through my contact page here!)

Every purchase of an e-book copy of “The Stone Kingdom” = 3

Every purchase of a paperback copy of “The Stone Kingdom” = 7

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

The prizes:

Day One = A signed print of the lyrics to a Danielle E. Shipley-original Stone Kingdom”-inspired song! (Congrats to Chelsea de la Cruz!)

Day Two = A signed print of a Danielle E. Shipley-original dual portrait of Rosalba and Edgwyn! (Congrats to Chelsea de la Cruz AND Tonja Drecker!)

Day Three = A signed mystery print of a Danielle E. Shipley-original Stone Kingdom” scene illustration! (Congrats to Emerald Barnes!)

Day Four = A different signed mystery print of a Danielle E. Shipley-original Stone Kingdom” scene illustration! (Congrats to Steven Bourelle!)

Day Five = Seven selected chapters of “The Stone Kingdom” with author commentary! (Congrats to Aisazia!)

Day Six = Seven selected chapters of “The Stone Kingdom” with character commentary! (Congrats to Miranda McNeff!)

Day Seven (Grand Prize Day!) = 3 Winners each get to select any 2 previous prizes, and one of the three gets a free, autographed paperback copy of “The Stone Kingdom.

**Note to all winners: If I don’t hear back from you within 7 days after your name is announced, I go back in the pool to pick a new victor. Prizes feel sad when no one comes to claim them. Of course, I’m sure you’ll all be far too eager to lay hands on your winnings for this defaulting rule to come into play; still, figured I’d best give you fair warning.**

* * * * *

Stone Kingdom Cover, front

Love and prince,

Both true, wed rose of white in realm of stone;

For blood begins,

But naught can be put right by blood alone.

One thoughtless act is all it takes to bring the curse threatened on Rosalba’s christening day to pass. Now the princess must combine her desperate determination with the service of benevolent tailor Edgwyn Wyle to find the second half of the key to her kingdom’s restoration.

The Stone Kingdom

Book Two of The Wilderhark Tales

<> ~ <> ~ <>

An enchantress’s curse turns a spoiled royal into a beast;

A princess’s pricked finger places her under a hundred-year spell;

Bales of straw are spun as golden as the singing harp whisked down a giant beanstalk –

All within sight of Wilderhark, the forest that’s seen it all.

You’ve heard the stories –

of young men scaling rope-like braids to assist the tower-bound damsel;

of gorgeous gowns appearing just in time for a midnight ball;

of frog princes, and swan princes,

and princes saved from drowning by maidens of the sea.

Tales of magic. Tales of adventure. Most of all, tales of true love.

Once upon a time, you knew them as fairytales. Know them now as Wilderhark’s.

“Batch 1” or “Winning Times Three”

We’ve got our first “quantity (as of persons or things) considered as a group” of winners in my “Stone Kingdom” Launch Week Giveaway! Our Day One winner is… *drumroll, nail-biting suspense*…

Chelsea de la Cruz!

Ya-a-ay, Chelsea! You’ve won an autographed word-art print of the lyrics to an original, “Stone Kingdom”-inspired song!

Day Two’s winner is… Chelsea de la—

What? Again?? Well, that’s marvelous for her, but let’s give someone else a chance here, too. Day Two’s winner Part 2, then, is…

Tonja Drecker!

Huzzah, Chelsea and Tonja! You’ve both won an autographed print of a dual-portrait of “Stone Kingdom” main characters Princess Rosalba and Edgwyn Wyle (drawn by me)!

And last until Wednesday, Day Three’s winner… Emerald Barnes!

Lucky you, Emerald! You’ve won an autographed print of an illustration (drawn by me) of one of my favorite “Stone Kingdom” moments. Which moment is that? You’ll find out when your package arrives!

Congratulations to our first three winners! Contact me within the next week with the address to which I should ship the prize, and it’s all yours! (Unless I already know where you live. You know who you are.) Thank you so much for your participation in the launch week of “The Stone Kingdom (Book One of The Wilderhark Tales)”!

(…Of which people have said:

“A charming and excellent read.”

“Wry wit, clever twists, and, of course, dashing love interests.”

“Not only fun and funny, but relevant and wise.”

“A highly vivid, carefully formulated story … [Shipley] has a style all her own, and it’s lovely.”)

As for the rest of the world, never despair! There are still 4 days of prizes left to win! So Facebook/Tweet/Blog about this giveaway! Buy the book on Amazon or CreateSpace, or e-books for your Nook or Kindle! Don’t forget, I’ve got a Special Launch Week Promotional Offer going on: Buy One “Stone Kingdom” Paperback, Get One “Stone Kingdom”  e-book for Kindle for just 99 cents, brought to you by Amazon’s new Kindle Matchbook bundle deal! (And after you’ve had a chance to fly through the story, I’d super appreciate it if you posted a review!)

And now, it’s time for a “Stone Kingdom” Scavenger Hunt Question!

List three pieces of advice Edgwyn gives to those searching for true love. (Hint: Search for the answer in this character chat at The Flight Reflex, blog of Kimberly Kay!)

First person to answer correctly in the comments below gets an extra spot in the raffle pool. Good luck, you guys, and I’ll see you all here on Wednesday for our next batch of prize-winners! (:

* * * * *

Recap of the “Stone Kingdom” Launch Week Giveaway!

[Action] = [Chances to Win]

Every mention/link to the giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or blog = 1

An addition of “The Stone Kingdom” to your Goodreads “To Read” shelf= 1 (Find “The Stone Kingdom” on Goodreads here!)

Schedule a day with me to host me on your blog for an author interview, character interview, or guest post = 3 (Message me through my contact page here!)

Every purchase of an e-book copy of “The Stone Kingdom” = 3

Every purchase of a paperback copy of “The Stone Kingdom” = 7

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

The prizes:

Day One = A signed print of the lyrics to a Danielle E. Shipley-original Stone Kingdom”-inspired song! (Congrats to Chelsea de la Cruz!)

Day Two = A signed print of a Danielle E. Shipley-original dual portrait of Rosalba and Edgwyn! (Congrats to Chelsea de la Cruz AND Tonja Drecker!)

Day Three = A signed mystery print of a Danielle E. Shipley-original Stone Kingdom” scene illustration! (Congrats to Emerald Barnes!)

Day Four = A different signed mystery print of a Danielle E. Shipley-original Stone Kingdom” scene illustration!

Day Five = Seven selected chapters of “The Stone Kingdom” with author commentary!

Day Six = Seven selected chapters of “The Stone Kingdom” with character commentary!

Day Seven (Grand Prize Day!) = 3 Winners each get to select any 2 previous prizes, and one of the three gets a free, autographed paperback copy of “The Stone Kingdom.

**Note to all winners: If I don’t hear back from you within 7 days after your name is announced, I go back in the pool to pick a new victor. Prizes feel sad when no one comes to claim them. Of course, I’m sure you’ll all be far too eager to lay hands on your winnings for this defaulting rule to come into play; still, figured I’d best give you fair warning.**

* * * * *

Stone Kingdom Cover, front

Love and prince,

Both true, wed rose of white in realm of stone;

For blood begins,

But naught can be put right by blood alone.

 

One thoughtless act is all it takes to bring the curse threatened on Rosalba’s christening day to pass. Now the princess must combine her desperate determination with the service of benevolent tailor Edgwyn Wyle to find the second half of the key to her kingdom’s restoration.

The Stone Kingdom

Book Two of The Wilderhark Tales

<> ~ <> ~ <>

An enchantress’s curse turns a spoiled royal into a beast;

A princess’s pricked finger places her under a hundred-year spell;

Bales of straw are spun as golden as the singing harp whisked down a giant beanstalk –

All within sight of Wilderhark, the forest that’s seen it all.

You’ve heard the stories –

of young men scaling rope-like braids to assist the tower-bound damsel;

of gorgeous gowns appearing just in time for a midnight ball;

of frog princes, and swan princes,

and princes saved from drowning by maidens of the sea.

Tales of magic. Tales of adventure. Most of all, tales of true love.

Once upon a time, you knew them as fairytales. Know them now as Wilderhark’s.

“MC” or “The Official Debut of ‘The Stone Kingdom’!”

Ladies and gentlemen, royals and commoners, friends and strangers we’ll assume to be friends pending strong evidence to the contrary, welcome to Launch Day of my author’s newest novella, The Stone Kingdom (Book Two of The Wilderhark Tales)!

For those of you without a clue as to who is speaking to you right now, I’m Edgwyn Wyle, co-MC (that’s “main character”, you know) of “The Stone Kingdom”, as well as the one chosen to act as MC (meaning “master of ceremonies”, this time) for this announcement post, because Danielle likes to watch me do… just about anything, really.

But never mind about me – let me show you where to get the brand new book!

*clears throat and launches into the largely scripted spiel*

Get the beautiful paperback HERE and/or HERE, with a list price of just $7.99!

Get the Epub for your Nook HERE, only $2.99!

Get the Mobi for your Kindle HERE, also $2.99! OR – (are you ready for this? Because it’s very exciting) – as a Special Launch Week Promotional Offer, get the paperback and Kindle file together, and we’ll chop two dollars off the price! …Well, I mean, we won’t. I have nothing to do with it. Danielle, on the other hand, is giving Amazon’s new Kindle Matchbook bundle deal a try, which means a chance for you to Buy One, Get One for a mere 99 cents!

Didn’t I tell you? Isn’t that thrilling? So what are you waiting for?

Buy copies for you, for your fairytale-loving friends, to donate to your local libraries!

Facebook about it! Tweet about it! Blog about! Phone a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while and catch up with each other, maybe plan to go out together for coffee or something… oh, and mention the book!

And let the world know that NOW is the best time to buy, because in addition to that Special Launch Week Promotional Offer I mentioned, each purchase earns up to 7 chances to win exclusive prizes in Danielle’s “Stone Kingdom” Launch Week Giveaway! Just leave a comment below stating how you’ve participated in all the “Stone Kingdom” ballyhoo (else Danielle might not know of your contribution and would therefore be unable to extend proper thanks, which would be sad), and into the raffle your name goes! (A recap of the giveaway rules and prizes here. Links providing evidence of your actions are not mandatory, but appreciated. We’re fond of the honor system).

Let’s see… I’ve not forgotten anything, have I? Apart from a “please” or two to go with all the ordering about you’ve been most gracious to put up with? X) …Ah, here we are – just a couple of ending notes:

Once you’ve finished your read-through of the tale, do please be so kind as to leave reviews all over the place (Goodreads, Amazon and B&N.com, your blog, if you’ve got one…) letting the world know how much you liked it. Come back here tomorrow for the start of another Launch Week treat – a “Stone Kingdom” Scavenger Hunt! – and on Monday, when Danielle will announce the first three giveaway winners!

There. *pockets script* That’s all she wrote.

That, and an enchanting novella. 😉

* * * * *

Stone Kingdom Cover, front

Love and prince,

Both true, wed rose of white in realm of stone;

For blood begins,

But naught can be put right by blood alone.

 

One thoughtless act is all it takes to bring the curse threatened on Rosalba’s christening day to pass. Now the princess must combine her desperate determination with the service of benevolent tailor Edgwyn Wyle to find the second half of the key to her kingdom’s restoration.

The Stone Kingdom

Book Two of The Wilderhark Tales

<> ~ <> ~ <>

An enchantress’s curse turns a spoiled royal into a beast;

A princess’s pricked finger places her under a hundred-year spell;

Bales of straw are spun as golden as the singing harp whisked down a giant beanstalk –

All within sight of Wilderhark, the forest that’s seen it all.

You’ve heard the stories –

of young men scaling rope-like braids to assist the tower-bound damsel;

of gorgeous gowns appearing just in time for a midnight ball;

of frog princes, and swan princes,

and princes saved from drowning by maidens of the sea.

Tales of magic. Tales of adventure. Most of all, tales of true love.

Once upon a time, you knew them as fairytales. Know them now as Wilderhark’s.

<> ~ <> ~ <>

“A charming and excellent read.” 

“Wry wit, clever twists, and, of course, dashing love interests.”

“Not only fun and funny, but relevant and wise.”

“A highly vivid, carefully formulated story … [Shipley] has a style all her own, and it’s lovely.”

“Sophomore” or “Year Two in Review”

Does anyone know what this past Sunday was? ^^ Yes? No? Any guesses? …Put your hand down, I know you know… Actually, okay, go ahead and tell us.

It was the two-year anniversary of Ever On Word!

You’re darn right, it was! As of that Three Wishes Blog Blitz post (there’s still time to enter the raffle, by the way!), I have begun my third year of blogging! And what a year the last has been…

*cue flashback montage*

It started with a serial murder mystery inspired by my first summer on cast at the Bristol Renaissance Faire.

In between whodunit episodes, I chronicled my writing progress during National Novel Writing Month 2012, as well as my adventure at NaNo’s Night of Writing Dangerously in San Francisco.

Ah, San Francisco… What an experience that was – my first time in California! Small wonder I had that brief urge to go all travelog on you.

Once I got back home, things were pretty much business as usual, for a while – y’know, guests posts by a Merry Man and Merry Woman, rescuing words like a language-loving boss on Save-a-Word Saturdays… that sort of thing.

Then the world exploded in a blast of awesomesocks.

Because “awesomesauce” became obsolete the moment I saw these socks.
Because “awesomesauce” became obsolete the moment I saw these socks.

After years of little to report to inquisitive friends apart from, “yeah, still writing, still hoping, no big breaks yet,” I had not one, not two, but three amazing pieces of publishing news to share, back to back to back! An anthology, self-published novella, and a novel debut, oh my!

It all made for a very busy Danielle, lemme tell you, but I still tried to make time for reading, both for pleasure and as favors to friends. Over the course of Ever On Word’s “being or associated with the second in a series” year, I managed to post reviews for the following:

– “The Man in the Box” by Andrew Toy

– “Spirit’s End” by Rachel Aaron

– “Mechanized Masterpieces: A Steampunk Anthology”, edited by Penny Freeman

– “The Scorpio Races” by Maggie Stiefvater

– “Caged (Holloway Pack #3)” by J.A. Belfield

Not too shabby, for a gal with a weird phobia about writing reviews. (:

I was able to pick up a couple of nice reviews for “The Swan Prince”, too, during the Blogger Book Fair in July. I’d only recently heard of the event, and it was my first time participating – spotlighting fellow authors here at my blog, guest-posting over on theirs, and, ohhhh yeahhhh, winning the Reader’s Choice Award for young adult fantasy, thanks to your votes! 😀

So, yeah. All told, it’s been a pretty big year for this little blog. And glancing ahead at what I know to be coming – (including but not limited to the release of “The Stone Kingdom (Book Two of The Wilderhark Tales)” in, like, two weeks) – it’s a safe bet Year Three will be easily as huge. #LezDoThisThang!

“Encore” or “Cover Reveal for ‘The Stone Kingdom’!”

Ladies, gentlemen, and assorted riffraff, today I am proud/super-crazy-excited to show you the face of my self-publishing “a: reappearance or additional performance demanded by an audience; b: second achievement especially that surpasses the first”! Are you ready for it?! Are you?! For realzies?! Here’s hoping you said “yes”, ‘cause I’m goin’ for it. BEHOLD. Stone Kingdom Cover, front Yana Naumova has done it again. Nay, she has outdone it. Just look at the colors! The composition! I’m dying over here! While I attempt to bully my heart’s rhythm back in line, take a look at the story behind the image. To the back o’ the book!

Love and prince, Both true, wed rose of white in realm of stone; For blood begins, But naught can be put right by blood alone.

One thoughtless act is all it takes to bring the curse threatened on Rosalba’s christening day to pass. Now the princess must combine her desperate determination with the service of benevolent tailor Edgwyn Wyle to find the second half of the key to her kingdom’s restoration.

The Stone Kingdom Book Two of The Wilderhark Tales

<> ~ <> ~ <>

An enchantress’s curse turns a spoiled royal into a beast; A princess’s pricked finger places her under a hundred-year spell; Bales of straw are spun as golden as the singing harp whisked down a giant beanstalk – All within sight of Wilderhark, the forest that’s seen it all.

You’ve heard the stories – of young men scaling rope-like braids to assist the tower-bound damsel; of gorgeous gowns appearing just in time for a midnight ball; of frog princes, and swan princes, and princes saved from drowning by maidens of the sea.

Tales of magic. Tales of adventure. Most of all, tales of true love.

Once upon a time, you knew them as fairytales. Know them now as Wilderhark’s.

Nope. I’m still too excited to breathe right. Have some pertinent book details in place of waiting muzak and a recorded reassurance that your blog view is very important to us.

Full Title: “The Stone Kingdom (Book Two of The Wilderhark Tales)

ISBN: 978-0-9891846-1-8

Genre: Young Adult Fairytale

Length: Novella (179 pages)

Release Date: September 20th, 2013 (so close, and yet so far!)

Future availability: Paperback (Amazon.com) and eBook (Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com)

Add “The Stone Kingdom” to your Goodreads shelf today!

All right. I think I’m solid. How about you guys? What’s your reaction to the “Stone Kingdom” cover? To the blurb? To my ramblings of delirious delight? Feel free to drool along with me in the comments. Virtual bibs provided, free of charge.

P.S. Thanks to all the super awesome people who are most graciously helping me display the cover today and/or very soon! Be assured that I shall be Re-Tweeting and Facebook-sharing your links like a maniac. ;D