Saturday, April 25, 2015

Darklight On... Rowena Cory Daniells


Today's Darklight On is... Rowena Cory Daniells
 
Welcome, Rowena
 
 



The Author’s Dilemma

We all grow as writers. The book we wrote fifteen years, five or last year is not written the way we would handle the same basic story today.

How much do you rewrite, when a book is reprinted?

The Fall of Fair Isle is a reprint of my original trilogy, and is being released as an omnibus. It tells the story of Imoshen, last of the old royal family of mystical T’En, and how she comes to terms with General Tulkhan when he invades her island kingdom. Intent on smoothing the transition of power, things become complicated for Imoshen when she learns that her once-betrothed, Reothe, has survived and he comes to her to help him reclaim Fair Isle. To who does she owe her loyalty?






The sale of this manuscript sale was the thing that took me from a published author of short stories and children’s books to an internationally published fantasy author. Back then I struggled to be a romance writer. Try as I might, I could not keep the narrative focus on the two main characters, I kept veering off into subplots and action.



This trilogy was written over a three year period and you can see from book one to book three that the focus of the story veers into a battle to save their island kingdom. In fact the ending of book three is not the original ending. I wrote a fourth book at the time and asked the publisher if they would be OK with a quadology instead of a trilogy. They said they wanted a trilogy so I had to come up with an ending to book three and put book four aside.

After book three sold out the publishers closed down the line and the editor moved on, leaving me ‘orphaned’ and book four in limbo. This happens and back then there were less opportunity for authors to self-publish.

Despite this setback, I kept writing using the history of the T’En that Imoshen discovered in book four as a basis for the world building of The Outcast Chronicles, which is set six hundred years earlier. I was intrigued by the idea that what we are told in the history books is a sanitised version of events.
 
 



After the success of King Rolen’s Kin and The Outcast Chronicles, my publishers came to me to ask if they could reprint my original trilogy. This raised some interesting problems as readers of The Outcast Chronicles would wonder at the apparent inconsistencies between this trilogy and the world building in Fall of Fair Isle. (Much mystical knowledge had been lost or deliberately hidden and Imoshen had to discover her gifts and uncover her people’s past). In the end I decided to insert a few hints from book four into the trilogy to explain the apparent discrepancies.

After fifteen years there is always the temptation to rewrite but apart from smoothing out a couple of sentences and inserting those clues as to the fate of the T’En, I let the books stand.

Hopefully, this will be enough to please both readers of the original trilogy and those who have read the prequel, The Outcast Chronicles. Has anyone been in a similar position with the re-print of an earlier edition and wondered how much tweaking to do, if any?

Rowena Cory Daniells

~~~
Thanks, Rowena 
 

Buy Links:  Rebellion Books  Booktopia
About the Author:  Website  Twitter

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What We Are Reading April Edition

So here we are in April, a quarter of the way through the year already (now THAT is a scary thought) and if you're anything like me, scouring the pantry for Easter chocolate your kids might have forgotten to eat.
Some of you may have noticed that March's edition of WWAR was a no-show... I'm very sad to say it got sucked into a black hole and is now being read by our alternative selves who exist in a parallel universe. Seriously though, my apologies - last month I was very deep under a writing rock, trying to get a manuscript finished and entirely forgot about it. But not to worry! Onwards to April...


From Kylie Griffin -


I've just finished reading CAPTIVE PRINCE #1 and PRINCE'S GAMBIT #2. There is a Bk#3 but not out yet (darn it!).

C.S.Pacat (a fellow Aussie author!!! woohoo!!!) writes an incredibly engrossing fantasy romance series with complex world-building, twisted political plots, tortured & tormented heroes, Damen & Laurent, whom you barrack for (it's a male/male FR for those unfamiliar with the series), and you get sucked right into their story.

You can't help but be dragged in right from the start when Damen is betrayed by his brother and handed over to be a slave to his enemy (although no one knows that Damen is a prince). Laurent (the enemy prince) is such a fascinating, layered character that you dislike and are intrigued by him at the same time.

I can't say any more without giving away plot spoilers but if you don't mind reading a male/male romance (Bk#1 isn't a romance but there's a LOT of character building and growth between Damen & Laurent) and if you like a gritty, complex fantasy romance then this series is for you.

Book #2 continues the incredible layers of political intrigue and manoeuvring, awesome world-building and complex character development, and there is a deepening of the friendship/relationship between the heroes. The romance is raw & heart-wrenching.

Be warned, Book #2 ends on a cliff-hanger, and leaves you wishing July would hurry up and arrive (release date for KINGS RISING #3).

This series is going on my keeper shelf.
 
 
As for myself, I've dabbled with a few things this month. I read Who Wants To Date A Superhero
Admittedly, I don't usually read erotic romances, they're just not my cup of tea, but I thought the premise to this book sounded interesting, kind of quirky and a fun read based on a reality show to date a superhero. 
This was really well written and I liked the author's style of writing, however I felt like the overall story was a bit up and down. Some bits I was really invested in and wanted to keep reading, but there was a few places the story lost me, and I actually put it aside and read another book in the meantime. If you're looking for a light, entertaining erotic romance read, then this book is perfect for that. If you're looking for something with more substance and depth, then this might not satisfy. I enjoyed this for what it was and will be getting the next book in the series because I'd like to know what happens to the other characters in the book.




I also read Homecoming, the third book in The 100 series. Now, I know I'm more invested in these books because of my love of the TV series and all things Bellarke (Bellamy and Clarke's relationship), and I think that if it wasn't for that, I may not have read these books at all. They were a little bit predictable, and despite the premise being unique, the characters and story arc didn't do anything to blow me away. 
In saying that, I ended up enjoying this 3rd book far more than I expected to. It was definitely the best book out of the three so far, because this time there were far less flashbacks and far less focus on the usual angsty teenage love stuff. We got more actual story and interactions with the others on the ground, plus we had a bad guy in Rhodes to hate and a secret villain revealed in the closing chapters. All in all, it was pretty good, with the romance complementing a stronger plot.My only real nit-pick? No sure why Finn is on the cover when he's not even in the book, and they killed him off in the TV series. Why isn't it Bellamy? Or did someone in the cover department make a huge mistake?
I'd like to hope there are going to be more books in the series simply so I can get my Bellarke fix, since the writers of the TV show don't seem to be moving in that direction, but I think I read somewhere that the author doesn't plan on writing any more. 


So that's it for another month. If you haven't already, I'd strongly recommend reading CS Pacat's book, and side note, she's going to be at the RWA conference this year!

- Jess Anastasi

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Enchanted Orb with Claire Boston

 
For Enchanted Orb this week, Claire Boston is sharing a day in her writing life. Welcome Claire...

A day in the writing life of Claire Boston



My writing life has changed A LOT in the last six months. In September last year I was working full-time in a job that I’d been in for ten years. I got up at 5.15am every morning to get an hour of writing in before work and I would spend every second Friday writing all day (I worked a 9-day fortnight). Usually I tried to get a few hours of writing done on the weekend as well. I had one book published and another with my publisher and was wondering how I could possibly write fast enough to get a third book written by the end of the year.

Then I was called in to my manager’s office one day and given the news, “Your position is being made redundant.” As the surprise washed over me, I listened while he outlined the redundancy package and then said goodbye to my colleagues, packed up my things and went home.

I immediately saw an opportunity. I no longer had a full-time job, but the payout was enough that I didn’t have to race out and find a new one. I could write full-time for the rest of the year at least. I discussed it with my husband and we both decided that I wasn’t likely to get another chance like this. We decided I would write until the money ran out.

So grasping the chance I began book 3 of The Texan Quartet, wrote a dirty draft and then started on book 4. For me it’s the first draft that takes the longest. After it’s written, it’s much easier to edit in one hour blocks if necessary, so I wanted to get the drafts done while I had the time.

It didn’t take long to work out a routine. I still get up early – 5.30am to be precise. My husband and I hit the gym for an hour or so and then I get to my desk by 8.00am. I’ll write or edit until midday, take a break for lunch and then keep writing. Depending on my weekly work plan, I might stop mid-afternoon to work on marketing or some other aspect of the business. By that time my brain has been pretty much leached of all its creativity and I need to do something else.

It’s been an incredible shift of focus for me and I feel so lucky to have this chance. In the six months I’ve been writing full-time I’ve written two books, received a three book contract, done copyedits for a book, started a blog and done a lot of business training. My latest novel, All That Sparkles, is being released on 23 April. You can pre-order it here http://momentumbooks.com.au/books/all-that-sparkles-the-texan-quartet/

 

BLURB:

Imogen Fontaine is living every girl's dream.

She is a fashion designer for her family's haute couture label, lives in a mansion, has a great circle of friends and is the apple of her father's eye. Everything is perfect.

Until the day that Christian, the boy at the center of her childhood heartbreak, walks back into her life.

From there her life starts to unravel, as long-kept secrets are revealed. Imogen learns that her past was built on lies and betrayal, shattering the illusion of her perfect existence. She must seek out the truth if she has any hope of forging a new path for herself and discovering true freedom.

But can she convince Christian that there is a place for him in her new life?
Claire Boston is on a blog tour all of April:


About Claire:

Claire Boston was a voracious reader as a child, devouring anything by Enid Blyton as well as series such as Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, The Baby-sitters Club and Sweet Valley High. Then one school holidays when she’d run out of books to read, her mum handed her ‘Hot Ice’ by Nora Roberts and she instantly fell in love with romance novels.

The love of reading soon turned to a love of writing and Claire struggled to keep within the 1500 word limit set by her teachers for any creative writing assignments. When she finally decided to become serious about her stories, she joined Romance Writers of Australia, found her wonderful critique group and hasn’t looked back.

When Claire’s not reading or writing she can be found in the garden attempting to grow vegetables, or racing around a vintage motocross track. If she can convince anyone to play with her, she also enjoys cards and board games.

Claire lives in Western Australia, just south of Perth, with her husband, who loves even her most annoying quirks, and her grubby, but adorable Australian bulldog.
 
Where you can find Claire:


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Magic Thursday with Jenny Schwartz



My collection of steampunk and paranormal romance, Indulge, has a new cover, so I'm celebrating by giving it away free. Grab your copy now!

There are a number of cool stories in this collection. In "Fantasy Man" I've mixed the glamour of old Hollywood with a modern day Fantasy Man and the myth of the minotaur. Fabulous fun and genuine romance. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Darklight On... Sue-Ellen Pashley



Today's Darklight On is... Sue-Ellen Pashley
Welcome, Sue-Ellen

                             
How did you come to write speculative fiction? What attracted you to the genre?

I’ve always loved speculative fiction – to be able to let my imagination run that little bit wild and fantastical is a real joy. I have tried a few times to write stories that are more ‘real to life’ but always seem to end up putting something in them that blurs the boundaries. It’s what I love to write.


Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in-between?

Somewhere in between. I usually have a very sketchy plot plan to guide me but it really is the characters that drive the story. There’s nothing quite like the feel of surprise when the characters react in a way that I wasn’t expecting (or maybe that’s just me – hmm, perhaps I’m saying too much – I am sane, truly!).


Do you have a favourite of your characters?

That’s an interesting question…like asking if I have a favourite child (which, for the record, I don’t)! I immediately went to say Nick, because I love the slight element of dorkiness that he has, coupled with such a strong determination but I love Grace and the way that she grows in the story – how strong she becomes. Lillie, of course, is just awesome and Jake is the best friend that everyone should have... No, sorry I can’t answer that question!


What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on another book that features one of the minor characters from Aquila. She is such an interesting person – very different to what you see on surface level and I’m really enjoying getting into her head. And better yet, she’s heading to Noosa for the story – a place I love.


What is your favourite part of the process of writing?

I love the excitement of getting into a character’s head and thinking about where their story might head. But I love getting to the end of the first draft too and that wonderful feeling that comes from finishing the story…even if it might need to be tweeked slightly in the editing process.


What can we expect from Sue-Ellen Pashley in the future?

I’d love to say ‘a lot more books!’ And hopefully, that will be true. As well as the MS I’m working on at the moment, I have another 2 in progress as well as a novella that I’m planning to release as a set with 3 other fantastic and talented writers. 2015 will hopefully be a good year.


Who are your favourite authors?

Oh, I have a lot of favourite authors. Anne McCaffrey, Tolkien, Charlaine Harris, J. K. Rowling, Suzanne Collins, Debora Geary, Douglas Adams, Teri Terry, Dan Brown, Maryann Keyes…I could just go on and on. Australian authors include Sandy Curtis, Cheryse Durrant, Amanda Bridgeman, Colleen McCullough, Graeme Simsion, John Marsden…I’d better stop before this list gets ridiculous!


What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Jump: Twinmaker 1 by Sean Williams


Do you have a favourite spec fiction movie or TV series?

Dr Who (of course), Matrix (despite how confusing it got sometimes!), Game of Thrones (loving the dragons – I want one!), Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (old and new) and I am really loving the Penny Dreadful series at the moment. It has me well and truly hooked, which hasn’t happened for a while. Can’t wait for the second season.


Do you have advice for emerging writers?

The old adage of ‘you can’t edit a blank page’ still stands. So get writing! Also, go to workshops, join writers groups, immerse yourself – learn about the craft and make friends and contacts. And above all, write what you enjoy writing about.

~~~
Thanks, Sue-Ellen






Aquila, the blurb:

Eighteen-year-old Nick Larcombe is a self-confessed non-romantic. Until he lays eyes on Grace Carr, who has just moved to Bruny Island with her grandmother, Lillie.

Already bruised and battered by life, Grace isn’t looking for any sort of relationship, but when Nick, the mysterious boy next door, somehow rescues her from sure death at the bottom of a windswept cliff, Grace needs answers.

But how can Nick give her the answers she needs when he’s been sworn to secrecy, ordered to keep his true nature hidden from the girl he’s fallen hard for? And what will his community do when they discover he’s fallen in love with a human?

Intensely romantic, Aquila is a story of sacrifice and passion, and how true love can make you soar.
 
Buy Links:  iBooksKobo  |  Amazon

About the Author:  Website  |  Facebook    

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Magic Thursday ~ Highlander Heat Box Set ~ Time Travel & Faerie Magic by Joanne Wadsworth



HIGHLANDER HEAT BOXED SET: Three Full-Length Novels – Books 1-3

Who loves Highlanders? I simply adore those delicious hunky Highlanders, the massive weapons they wield, and the Scottish Highlands where an incredible amount of history resides. I also adore strong heroines who are up for an adventure, can handle a sprinkle of faerie magic, and a dash of time travel to keep them on their toes.

For a limited time, the first three books in my bestselling Highlander Heat series are available in a boxed set, at the discounted price of 99c. Regular price $4.99. Save $4.00 while you can.


--oOo--

Three sinfully sexy Highlander romances by Joanne Wadsworth.

HIGHLANDER’S CASTLE ~ features a rugged Scottish warrior who agrees to handfast with a lass from the enemy clan. When she arrives at Alex’s castle, the last thing he expects is a woman claiming to come from the future, and a woman who ignites in him a powerful desire. When she is taken from him back through time, he’ll do all he can to get her back…

HIGHLANDER’S MAGIC ~ Archie MacDonald has been gifted a faerie who insists she’s from the future and the progeny of both his and his enemy’s clan. All he needs is Marie’s aid in the coming battle, to rid the world of his enemy. Although in seeking his revenge against her paternal ancestor…he might very well kill the one woman who’s now stolen his heart.

HIGHLANDER’S CHARM ~ Lila MacIan is transported through time to the Scottish warrior her magical charm has soul-bound her to, a man she must now escape even though he has no intention of letting her go…



(Bio)

JOANNE WADSWORTH



Where Romance Meets Fantasy and Adventure…

Reading romance books captivated Joanne Wadsworth as a teenager, particularly when she tucked herself into bed at night and continued to dream those stories as she slept. She'd visualize the direction, taking the hero and heroine on an adventure unparalleled to what she'd read. Today she is devoted to writing romance, bringing her imagination to life within the lines of young adult, contemporary, and historical Highlander.

Born in New Zealand, Joanne works both as a writer and a financial controller, all while keeping up with her four energetic children and dreamy husband.

Visit Joanne Wadsworth at http://www.joannewadsworth.com

(Links)

Buy the HIGHLANDER HEAT Boxed Set at:

Look for JOANNE WADSWORTH at:


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Magic Thursday ~ The Clockwork Heart with Lilliana Rose + Giveaway!



 Less Than Three Press put out a call for submissions for their Damsel in Distress anthology last year. The brief; to write about strong women in a dangerous (physical or emotional) situation who step up and fight their way out, or at least don't have to be rescued. (That's why I love the movie Ever After, because Danielle (aka Cinderella) fights back and gets away from her captive (the landowner Pierre le Pieu) and doesn't have to be rescued, but she still has the chance to fall in love with her Prince)

I was immediately up for the challenge.

What would be better than not just one strong woman on the page but two?

An image burst into my mind of a woman falling onto cushions then getting back up not wanting to give up. The character Libby came into existence and it was Helen training her in self-defense – my second strong woman.

These characters suddenly took over and I followed their lead and the story flowed onto my computer. Without planning it suddenly I had another female; an antagonist, Scarlett, and Libby and Helen were going to be in for a hell of a ride, along with myself because I now had to balance three strong women.

But it wasn't easy having three strong women on the page at once or at least two, there's a lot of emotion and its no good if they are all standing their ground getting no where. I know what it can be like in real life with sisters and we are all strong women and sometimes that leaves an explosive hole in the room that ends up creating a black hole.

I didn't want that to happen in my story, or at least I didn't want the characters to over power the story and I wanted them all to get along (some what in a twisted interesting read sort of way), after all sometimes it's fun to have a nemesis that has haunted a character for a long time.

Then there was the opposite problem. I didn't want to tone down the characters strength and determination because then they wouldn't be strong female leads.

It was like being on a seesaw!

To keep things balanced I mixed up the three-way relationships, and set up events for Libby and Helen to endure to get them to choose to stand up and defended themselves. (I can't give too much away or I'll spoil the read!)

Editing certainly played a big role and I kept adjusting the balance until these characters could all play together in the same story and there were three strong women fighting it out.

The Clockwork Heart is available now with Less Than Three Press. It's a short steampunk novella.

Let me know if you would like to hear more of the adventures that Libby and Helen! Connect with me at my blog, Goodreads, Facebook or Twitter. And if you have any sexy looking steampunk outfits please share them with me on Pinterest!




The Clockwork Heart
Haunted by a past lover and left with scars so deep Libby gave up her life as an explorer, she spends her day trying to avoid bad memories and training ruthlessly with Helen, the woman she hired to teach her self-defense. Helen is beautiful, appealing, and could be what Libby needs to climb out of her past once and for all.

Leave a post below for a chance to win an e-copy of The Clockwork Heart.