Wednesday, December 2, 2020

The Best and Worst Times to Write #IWSG

November was a crazy month of writing. I completed NaNoWriMo but still haven’t finished book one in my next series. Books two and three are closer to completion, lol. 

In case you missed it, I recently had a fun guest post on Ronel Janse van Vuuren’s blog. You can check out Elle Cardy's Odyssey as a Writer

Until December 23rd, I’m offering Well of Ash for 99c. It’s a YA Fantasy novella that I personally love and had a great time writing. It has dragons!! 

IWSG question of the month: Are there months or times of the year that you are more productive with your writing than other months, and why? 

Living in the sub-tropics of Australia, I have found summer is a slow time for writing. The heat slows everything down including my brain. Summer is also the lead up to Christmas and the end of year wind down. After a busy year, I find I want to take some time off. Especially in December after finishing NaNoWriMo. 

My best writing time is probably around March. The weather is starting to get cooler and the early year relights those creative fires. 

How about you? When are your best and worst times of the year to write? 

Some other books you might like in this HOLIDAY BOOK SALE with Free and 99c books on offer, including my own, Well of Ash. Check it out here


Have a safe and wonderful Christmas!


Monday, November 16, 2020

A TV Guide to Teen/YA Dialogue

Today I'm handing my blog over to Tyrean Martinson, author of Liftoff, a fun, new YA scifi novella. In the meanwhile, I'm over at Tyrean's blog. I also have a short guest spot on Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog, so please visit there as well. Take it away, Tyrean.

Teen/YA dialogue, like any dialogue in any novel, is dependent on character, and is often used to indicate different character traits. While I know I used the phrase, “Cool,” more often than most people I know, one of my daughters says, “Coolio,” with a hint of sarcasm. After watching Community, our whole family started saying, “Cool. Cool, Cool, Cool,” like Troy and Abed. In real life, the phrases we use indicate something about who we are. They can be considered habits of speech. With characters, these habits can become catchphrases or markers of character within a dialogue. 

 If you’ve watched Scooby Doo, you know “Zoinks!” is uttered most often by Shaggy, “Jinkies!” is usually Velma’s catchphrase, and “Jeepers!” is more often said by Daphne than any other character in the show. “Looks like we’ve got another mystery on our hands,” is Fred’s signature line. Between all the variations of the Scooby Doo universe, there are more than 120 episodes filled with dialogue and these catchphrases come up in nearly every episode. The danger is that catchphrases can become overdone, so in later renditions, the Scooby Doo creators tried different phrases, or mixed up which character used them. 

While catchphrases are useful, we don’t want our readers to start thinking we’re lazy as writers. This means, we need to dig into our characters and figure out why they say what they say. In Liftoff, my characters are a teen girl from Earth and an alien boy from a different part of the galaxy. They have a few discussions about language, which was my way of addressing the problems with slang, and also addressing the issue of “universal language” that shows up in many science fiction tropes. Sol doesn’t understand Earth slang and he’s reticent about details concerning the war his people are involved in – both were something I did purposefully to share who he is as a character. 

While I think TV is usually a half-step behind the most current slang, watching some episodes of shows set in modern culture can be a way to begin to understand modern teen/YA slang. If possible, find out what teens you know are watching. Ask parents of teens about slang and word usage, as well as references. My character Amaya has been sheltered by her parents, was sent to private schools, and she enjoys reading; she makes some references to indicate those things about her character. 

Dialogue is often at the heart of how we show who our characters are and how they are developing throughout a novel. It can be tough to do well, and I think in many ways, it takes practice, as well as research. In addition to using TV to guide our dialogue, we always need feedback from beta readers. I know many teens are busy with activities and homework, so I have found the best way to get feedback is to choose a scene or a chapter, and ask for feedback on that. This goes for parents of teens, as well. I ask them to be honest, even if it’s brutally honest. I want to know if I’m doing it right, or not. I changed some of my dialogue because of feedback I received from beta readers who only read three to four chapters. I applied their help to the rest of the book. 

Writing requires dedication and some of that dedication requires listening to the world around us. Listen for the cadences of speech, the cultural references, and the slang in real world conversations and on television shows, and it will help guide you. At the same time, much of writing takes practice. So, write the dialogue. Get it on the page, and get help as needed. 


Liftoff: The Rayatana Series, Book 1

A spaceship in disguise,
an Earth girl searching for a sense of home,
and a Thousand Years’ War between alien races,
all collide on a summer afternoon.

An old movie theater welcomes Amaya in and wraps her up in the smell of popcorn and licorice. But one sunny afternoon during a matinee, the movie screen goes dark. The theater rumbles. 

Amaya gets trapped in the middle of an ancient alien conflict. Angry and frightened, Amaya entangles herself in a life-changing cultural misunderstanding with Sol, a young alien who keeps omitting key information, even while they’re on the run from his enemies. 

What will it take to survive a battle between alien races involved in an ancient war? 

Liftoff is a fast-paced read for fans of Code 8, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Cobra Kai. 

Kindle - Barnes and Noble - Kobo  - Smashwords - Goodreads 

Tyrean Martinson is an author and teacher from Washington State. As a former fencer and kickboxer, she enjoys writing fight scenes in fast-paced novels and novellas. As a teacher and writing tutor, she loves to get students writing and reading comfortably by any means: talk-to-text, short writing assignments, short stories, novellas, and adventures. She wrote her latest novella, Liftoff, for herself during COVID, but realized it also fits a dream she’s had for a while: to create a short, fast-paced read for teen/YA readers who love popcorn movies, adventure, and sweet romance. 

Blog - Newsletter - Instagram - Twitter - Facebook 


Don't forget to visit Elle Cardy over at Alex's Blog and over at Tyrean's blog


Update: I have a guest post on Ronel Janse van Vuuren's blog 


Wednesday, November 4, 2020

The Reason Behind Choice of Genre #IWSG

Today is the official release of Well of Ash, a YA fantasy novella. 

I have a special treat for you. For a limited time, you can get a free copy of the novella. Get your free copy here

If the whispers call your name, run! 

Seventeen-year-old Ashina has more in common with an untamed fire lizard than the people who are supposed to be her new family. After running away, she’s drawn to the city’s mysterious Great Well. No one knows who built them across the world or why. To linger near makes the skin crawl and the mind drift in nightmares. And yet this one calls to Ash in whispers that pull her closer. 

Despite the warnings from a handsome stranger with gorgeous eyes, Ash searches for answers in dangerous places. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of peculiar events she can’t explain or escape. When both her sanity and life are threatened, she realizes she has more to lose than she thought. Ash must find the answers before she loses everything she holds dear. 

If you like dragons, magic, and a fierce heroine with a wounded heart, then you’ll love Well of Ash, a YA Fantasy novella by Elle Cardy. Jump in today to unravel the secrets. 

If you’d like to support me by buying a copy, then it’s also available on Amazon for Kindle and Paperback

If you don’t have a kindle, you can download the free kindle app for your phone, tablet and/or computer. 

A quick shout out to some supporters. Please visit their blogs and say hi from me:

Jemi Fraser, Diane Burton, Tyrean Martinson, C. Lee McKenzie, Ronel Janse van Vuuren.


The optional IWSG question of the month: Why do you write what you write? 

As Elle Cardy, I write young adult epic fantasy. I also write scifi short stories and anything that has speculative elements. My fiction will always have something otherworldly and unusual. It will always have fierce female leads. And it will always have some kind of mystery that needs unraveling mixed in with high stakes. Why? Because that’s what I love to read. 

I prefer stories that are set in other worlds, or stories with otherworldly elements. 

Stories that are quick and easy to read. 

Stories with heroic acts and lots of heart. 

Stories that show people overcoming impossible odds. 

Stories that aren’t bogged down in politics or court intrigue. 

Stories that aren’t weighed by complex worldbuilding that has nothing to do with the plot or characters. (But I do love intriguing worlds) 

Stories that open the door to imagination and adventure. 

Why do you read or write certain stories? 

 Please mark Well of Ash "To-Read" on Goodreads. Every little bit helps.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Cover Reveals and What it Means to be a Working Writer #IWSG

I have two cover reveals for you today. Both novellas! The first is the young adult fantasy novella I've been working on for longer than expected. I blame a dead computer and other distractions. Well of Ash is a standalone with dragons, magic, and a touch of romance. It will be released early November. 

I am currently looking for more critique partners and/or early readers. If you're interested, let me know in the comments or in an email.


The second cover reveal is a YA scifi novella by Tyrean Martinson. Liftoff is book 1 in the Rayatana Series. The release date is November 10th.

A fast-paced read for fans of Code 8, Captain Marvel, and Cobra Kai

An old movie theater welcomes Amaya in and wraps her up in the smell of popcorn and licorice. But one sunny afternoon during a matinee, the movie screen goes dark. The theater rumbles. 

A spaceship in disguise, an Earth girl searching for a sense of home, and a Thousand Years’ War between alien races of The Great Galaxy, all collide on a summer afternoon. 

When the spaceship rumbles to life, it traps Amaya in the middle of an ancient alien conflict. Angry and frightened, Amaya entangles herself in a life-changing cultural misunderstanding with Sol, a young alien who keeps omitting key information, even while they’re on the run from his enemies. 

What will it take to survive a battle between alien races involved in an ancient war? 

Liftoff is an action-packed science fiction novella for teen/YA book lovers who enjoy space battles, fistfights, and a hint of romance. 

Pre-order Sale: 99cents for Kindle. This price is only guaranteed through the first day of book release.

To find Tyrean Martinson: Blog, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.

The IWSG question this month: What is a working writer? 

I started writing in my early teens and it took nine years to finish my first book, which I promptly shelved. I literally wrote a sentence here and there, a single paragraph one month, then I'd have a burst before slowing down again. It may have taken close to a decade to finish, but I still saw myself as a working writer because my ultimate goal was to get published. It didn't matter that the first book didn't reach that goal. I'm a firm believer that no writing is wasted writing. You're only a hobbyist if you strictly write for yourself with no intention of sharing it with anyone else. At least, that's my definition. What's yours?

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

The Ultimate Beta Reader #IWSG

Two weeks ago I released the box set of my Wielder's Storm trilogy. It was fun to do the cover for it and get the series out there as a complete ebook set. Now I've set my mind on a new book. This one will be a standalone (maybe). I plan to release it before the end of the year. I also have another series in the works which will be released next year.

Next month will be the first anniversary of my first novel and going indie. It's gone by so fast and its been a crazy roller coaster, but I've been loving it. I'm insanely busy with my plans and with other commitments I've made this year. I think I'm happiest when I'm busy.

How about you? What have you been doing?

Now on to the IWSG question of the month:

If you could choose one author, living or dead, to be your beta partner, who would it be and why? 

Patrick Rothfuss, author of Name of the Wind

While this epic fantasy is long and rambling, it is magnificent and beautiful and it sucks you right in. The characters are complex and interesting. The world is rich and detailed. The magic system is intriguing. Patrick knows his craft!

How about you? Who would you pick?

This post was written for the IWSG. Every first Wednesday of the month, members post on their blogs about their writing insecurities or offer some encouragement to others. If you are new to the IWSG or want to learn more, then please go HERE.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Wielder's Storm Box Set Release

It's here at last! Wielder's Storm Trilogy is now available as a complete set on Amazon. It's available as an ebook for cheaper than if you'd buy the series separately.

Wielder's Storm Trilogy is an action-packed epic fantasy that will sweep you across the high seas on a thrilling adventure full of exciting twists.

This complete box set contains Wielder’s Prize, Wielder’s Curse and Wielder’s Fire.

Wielder’s Prize
Snatched for what she isn’t. Hunted for what she is.
Despite having an abusive cook as a father, Jasmine wouldn’t change her life on the high seas for anything—until that life is shattered. When she’s snatched from the only home she’s ever known and forced to crew a different ship, she learns a terrible truth. She is an untrained magic wielder who is a threat to everyone if she can’t control her power. But she’s not the only out-of-control wielder on the high seas, and the secret of that wielder could change everything she thought she knew—if she can survive.

Wielder’s Curse
A dark vision. A dangerous curse. A fierce girl caught in between.
Jasmine thought her adventures were over, but terrifying visions continue to haunt her. When a loved one’s life is threatened, she risks everything to hunt down the would-be assassin. What she finds is not what she expected. Too late, she realizes she’s endangered the ship and crew. On the run, she is pursued across the high seas to an unknown land. If she can’t master her power, she won’t be able to protect anyone. If she can’t accept help, then she could turn into something worse than the thing that hunts her.

Wielder’s Fire
Jasmine’s secrets have been laid bare, her magic stripped. All she has left is a fire in her soul to defeat the oncoming storm.
Shipwrecked on a forsaken island, Jasmine has nothing but her anger and determination to keep her warm at night. Without her magic, she must find a way to defeat a powerful enemy that can raze townships and summon sea monsters. When she discovers an ancient magic, she embraces it. But it may not be all it seems, and she could be exchanging one sword to the throat for another.

For fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo, who love exciting tales with dark secrets and unexpected twists. Lose yourself today in Elle Cardy’s epic fantasy adventure.

And if you've already read the series, please consider leaving a review.

Amazon, Goodreads, Bookbub
Please head on over to S. A. Larsen  for a spotlight on Wielder's Storm.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Writing Unexpected Genres and New Releases

In two weeks, on August 17th I’ll be releasing the box set of the Wielder’s Storm trilogy in ebook form. I’m super excited about it. You'll be able to get all three books as a set for a discounted price.

I’d hoped to share the new cover today, but alas, I’m still working on the final touches. If you’re eager to see it early, though, the members of my VIP Club will get to see it first. I’ve decided not to put it up for pre-order this time, so keep your eye out on launch day.

To join the IWSG, sign up HERE.

The IWSG Question of the month: Have you ever written a piece that became a form, or even a genre, you hadn't planned on writing in? Or do you choose a form/genre in advance?

When I first started writing I had incomplete stories in my head that I needed to put down on the page to discover where they went. Because I loved fantasy, that was what they were. What kind of fantasy? Fantasy was fantasy, wasn’t it? (The answer to the question is a definite no). When I started branching out and reading more widely, I started writing other genres. It was fun and fed my creativity.

Now that I’m published, I’m learning a lot about marketing. For the story I’m currently working on, I first researched categories (genres and sub-genres) to give the book the best chance it could get based on what I’ve already published and my author brand. I even wrote the book description and the tagline before working on the story. Having that framework actually helped my creativity, though I’ll admit the story still wants to head in a direction I hadn’t anticipated, into a sub-genre I hadn’t tried before. That’s ok. I’ve added another category to the list and it probably fits the description better now that I see it.

While stories often have a mind of their own, it’s super helpful to do the research of where they might fit first. It helps with focus and in the long run, it helps with sales.

How about you? Have your stories headed in unexpected directions?

New Release: Against All Odds 
Book 3 in the Crossroads series
by Jacqui Murray 

Xhosa’s extraordinary prehistoric saga concludes, filled with hardship, courage, survival, and family.

A million years of evolution made Xhosa tough but was it enough? She and her People finally reach their destination—a glorious land of tall grasses, few predators, and an abundance that seems limitless, but an enemy greater than any they have met so far threatens to end their dreams. If Xhosa can’t stop this one, she and her People must again flee.

The Crossroads trilogy is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated most of Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, a smarter version of himself, one destined to obliterate all those who came before.

From prehistoric fiction author Jacqui Murray comes the unforgettable saga of a courageous woman who questions assumptions, searches for truth, and does what she must despite daunting opposition. Read the final chapter of her search for freedom, safety, and a new home.

A perfect book for fans of Jean Auel and the Gears!

Available digitally (print soon) at: Kindle US, Kindle UK, Kindle CA, Kindle AU

To connect with Jacqui Murray: Amazon Author Page, Blog, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Website.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Guest: Jemi Fraser and the Bloo Moose Romances

With the release of Jemi Fraser's Bloo Moose Romances, I invited her to my blog and asked, Why did you choose to release all three at once, and how long did it take you to write them? 

Take it away, Jemi!

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Lynda!

Releasing three books at the same time is a little nuts. Or, so people keep telling me! So, why did I do it?

For the past couple of years, I’ve been working on these books like a game of leap frog…
Draft Book 1
Draft Book 2
Decide to learn to outline
Outline Book 1
Revise Book 1
Outline Book 3
Draft Book 3
Outline Book 2
Revise Book 1
Revise Book 2
Revise Book 3

Somewhere in there I also outlined and drafted Book 5. Book 4 has about half an outline and is about 1/4 drafted.

At some point, I started thinking of the first three books as a set and then they ended up being ready at more or less the same time.

I could have released the three books a month apart and that probably would have been wiser for marketing purposes, but the idea was daunting. Easier emotionally to just jump in with both feet and get them out there.

Plus, it stops me fiddling with the details and allows me to turn my attention to poor Gage and Rebecca in Book 4. They’ve been waiting a long time!

Welcome to Bloo Moose, Vermont where love is worth the risk! Small-town contemporary romance with an element of suspense. Each book is a stand-alone.

Reaching For Normal
She’s no damsel in distress. He’s no Prince Charming. But if they don’t team up it won’t be only wolves that’ll be dying. Apple. Kobo. Google Play.
Barnes and Noble. Goodreads. Bookbub

Reaching For Risks
One Reno List for the B&B. One Risk List for herself. One sexy retailer who should be the last one she wants. Apple. Kobo. Google Play
Barnes and Noble. Goodreads. Bookbub

Reaching For Everything
Love means nothing in tennis. Can he prove to her that love means everything in life? Apple. Kobo. Google Play
Barnes and Noble. Goodreads. Bookbub

Jemi Fraser writes both fiction and nonfiction. Her nonfiction work focuses on the ways that dementia has impacted her family. Her fiction work varies from contemporary romance to suspense and flash fiction. Years as a teacher have taught Jemi that life is short and that happy endings are a must.

Jemi lives in Northern Ontario, Canada where snow is always a topic of conversation and the autumn leaves make everything better.

Website, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, BookBub, Goodreads, Just Jemi blog

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Which Cover Do You Like Best? #IWSG

I thought I'd have more time after the release of the conclusion to my YA epic fantasy trilogy, Wielder's Storm. Silly me. Unfortunately I have a gazillion ideas and even more projects on the run (or so it feels). I'm currently writing more fantasies. I'm also working on their covers. And, because I can't leave well enough alone, I adjusted the cover of my third book to make it darker. I love the original cover, but I thought maybe a darker cover would be more appropriate for the YA market.

I've reached a place where I can't tell if the new cover is better or about the same, or maybe it's worse. I don't know. So I thought I'd share it and ask you. Which cover do you like best? Which one draws you? 

Because of a lack of time and brain power, I'll have to skip the optional monthly question for the IWSG. I hope you are all well and safe in this crazy world.

This post was written for the IWSG. Every first Wednesday of the month, members post on their blogs about their writing insecurities or offer some encouragement to others. If you are new to the IWSG or want to learn more, then please go HERE.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

On Writing Series and a Secret Revealed #IWSG

Today I'm over at Denise Covey's blog talking about my experience writing a series. Please pop on over and check it out.

I will also have a mention on Literary Rambles with the release of Wielder's Fire, the conclusion to my Wielder's Storm trilogy.

And last week I was with the wonderful Diane Burton. If you missed that, then you can check it out here.

The IWSG question of the month: Writers have secrets! What are one or two of yours, something readers would never know from your work?

While Wielder's Prize is my debut epic fantasy novel, and the Wielder's Storm trilogy is my debut series, they are not the first novels I wrote. I previously wrote (but did not publish) an extensive fantasy series set in the same world about a girl named Galia. She features in the Wielder's Storm series as Gley. All her secrets are revealed in this series. And I hope to publish it this year. However, because I wrote it many years ago, it needs a major rework and tidy up. I can't just throw it out there. I want it to be as good as the Wielder's Storm trilogy, and I'm super excited about it. So, shhh, it's a secret...

What's your secret? What have you been reading or writing lately? 

Don't forget to pop on over to Denise's for more on writing a series.

This post was written for the IWSG. Every first Wednesday of the month, members post on their blogs about their writing insecurities or offer some encouragement to others. If you are new to the IWSG or want to learn more, then please go HERE.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Wielder's Fire Launch Day

I've been working super hard to make this happen and at last, the Wielder's Storm series is complete. The final book in the trilogy, Wielder's Fire, releases today. Grab your copy quickly while it's still at a special launch discount of only $2.99

Today I'm over at Diane Burton's blog. (I'll be there shortly. My timezone difference meant I needed to post earlier). Please pop on over and say hi. 

What is Wielder's Fire about?
Wielder’s Fire is the thrilling conclusion to the sweeping Wielder’s Storm trilogy. Lose yourself in this epic fantasy adventure set on the high seas.

Jasmine's secrets have been laid bare. The one who was supposed to love her, stripped her of her magic. Now she’s shipwrecked on a forsaken island with nothing but her anger and determination to keep her warm at night. Alone and defenseless against a powerful enemy, she must find a way to survive.

She will get her magic back.

She will escape the island.

She will face the enemy and defeat it once and for all.

But how can she when her heart is blistered to a crisp?

One fierce step at a time.

For fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo, who love exciting tales with dark secrets and unexpected twists.

Please share the love on social media:
I'd love it if you could spread the happy news on all your favorite social media platforms. Below are some samples to make it easier, or use your own. Feel free to use any of my Wielder's Fire images you see around my blog.

Wielder's Fire, the thrilling conclusion to the #YAFantasy Wielder's Storm trilogy, is out today! #Free w/ #KindleUnlimited @ellecardy

Wielder's Fire, the thrilling conclusion to the #YAFantasy Wielder's Storm trilogy, is out today! The exciting series is #Free w/ #KindleUnlimited @ellecardy

Her secrets have been laid bare, her magic stripped from her. She has nothing left except a fire in her soul to defeat the oncoming storm. Wielder's Fire OUT NOW @ellecardy #Free w/ #KindleUnlimited #EpicFantasy #fantasyreads

Marooned on an island, stripped of her magic, she must find a way to mend her heart and defeat the oncoming storm. The thrilling conclusion is OUT NOW. Get the trilogy #fantasybooks #YAFantasy #epicreads #fantasyreads #FREE w/ #KindleUnlimited


And don't forget to say hi to Diane and check out my guest post.

What have you been up to lately?

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Wielder's Fire and Writing in the Zone

At last I can announce the launch date for Wielder's Fire, the third and final book in my Wielder's Storm trilogy. 25th May! I'm super excited.

The first two books are currently available for free on Kindle Unlimited.

Wielder's Prize: Without training or discipline in the art of magic wielding, she is a danger to everyone, but there is someone worse on the high seas who wants her dead.

Wielder's Curse: Dark visions haunt her. Shadowy assassins stalk him. Together they must stop a powerful enemy from destroying their world.

Wielder's Fire: Marooned on an island, stripped of her magic, Jasmine must find a way of mending her heart and defeating the oncoming storm.

What are your rituals when you need help getting into the ZONE?

Below is my daily ritual when I'm editing. It looks different when I'm writing a first draft. With first drafts, I'm more focused, but that might be because I handwrite them while relaxed on the comfy couch. A necessary choice for less distractions.

After breakfast, I go for a morning walk.
Ready to start working, I sit down at my computer and check my sales. Because I can't help myself.
I check my emails for anything urgent.
My desk cries out to be cleaned and organized.
Nope. I have work to do!
I open the file I'm editing.
I stare at it for ten seconds then realize I need a glass of water...
and maybe some chocolate...
I settle back and check my emails again.
I do some editing...
until I come to a difficult section that requires more thought.
I stretch.
I get more water.
Facebook calls.
I ignore it.
Facebook calls again. I check it.
Fitbit tells me I need to get up and move around.
Why not? It's a good time to grab more chocolate. Don't judge. I'm editing!
I do a bunch of editing.
My stomach tells me it's time for real food.
Brain stops functioning mid-afternoon.
I try to keep working anyway.
I fail.
I give up and play a game, or read, or go for another walk.

As for "helping me get into the zone" for work? Well, it's more just a matter of deciding to stop being distracted and get on with it. Scheduling the same time each day to write/edit also helps. Deadlines are awesome too. Oh, and when the hubby is being super distracting because he is working from home due to the pandemic and we share the office, I put on headphones and listen to epic music (nothing with lyrics). That works a treat.

What are your rituals? What do you do to focus?

This post was written for the IWSG. Every first Wednesday of the month, members post on their blogs about their writing insecurities or offer some encouragement to others. If you are new to the IWSG or want to learn more, then please go HERE.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The Impact of a Pandemic #IWSG

The official word in Australia:
The number of confirmed cases in Australia exceeds 4000. As of 31st March, my state, Queensland has 55 new confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) raising the state total to 743. Our Prime Minister announced that Australians "must stay at home" except to shop for essentials, for medical care or compassionate needs, to exercise, and for work and education if either can't be done at home. People over 70 are strongly advised to self-isolate. And we're only allowed out in groups of no more than two now. Fun times.

How this affects me:
My husband works in IT which is considered an essential service, so he still has a job. Yay! And he gets to stay at home to work. A bigger yay! However he has recently been asked to take a massive chunk of leave. Boo! We'd been saving up the leave for Iceland. I guess we won't be going to Iceland for a while anyway. Boo!

As a writer, I work from home anyway. Yay! But now there are a lot more distractions. I had hoped to release book 3 of my Wielder's Storm trilogy at the end of April, but it looks like it won't be until May now. Boo! But I do have a cover reveal for you. Yay!

Marooned on an island, stripped off her magic, Jasmine must find a way of mending her heart and defeating an ancient evil. Wielder's Fire, the explosive finale in the Wielder's Storm fantasy trilogy.

I've also noticed a general drop in sales. Boo! I had expected an increase with more people having time to read, but alas they are choosing to binge Netflix or play online games. Read people!! Expand your brain! Find an escape through awesome stories! Try some of these:

Sea of Rust: Available on Kindle Unlimited. Loved this scifi. Great premise and world-building and I loved the characters. I think Amazon is offering a free month at the moment (maybe 2 for US customers), so check out my affiliate link if you're interested.

Obsidio: Loved it too. YA scifi

The Vine Witch: Also available on Kindle Unlimited. This is a historical fantasy. Loved it.

Ash Princess: If you like YA royal fantasies, then you'll probably like this one.

Wielder's Prize: Also available on Kindle Unlimited. It's awesome (if I do say so myself). Read this YA epic fantasy. You won't be disappointed.

And if you're looking for spiritual support, then Cling to God and read my daily devotional.

*(assume all my book links are affiliate links)

Back to the impact of world events:
The grocery shops are struggling to keep up with demands on some items. I can't get flour anywhere. And that means no cake! Boo!!!!!!!!
Notice at a local cafe. lol.
And I can't visit my folks. Not only are they over 70, but they live in a different state and the state borders have closed. I can get through by request, but I'd then have to self isolate for two weeks when I get there and then self isolate when I get back for another two weeks. Yikes. That's when this change of life really hit me.

Overall, though, I've been super lucky. I should say blessed. An income is still coming into the house. This isn't the case for so many people. I'm not on the front lines. So many are risking their health for others. A HUGE thank you to those people. And I'm still able to write. Kinda. Yay!

Join the IWSG for support from like-minded writers. We're in it together!

How are you faring in this difficult time? What are you reading?

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

How Long Does it Take to Write a Book?

With my recent publications, I’ve received a few comments on how fast I seem to be writing. I want to correct the misunderstanding. I am not a fast writer. I wrote Wielder’s Prize ten years ago. An incomplete first draft took me four months to write. It was my first fiction writing project after a long break, and I reveled in the adventure. Around three quarters of the way through, I needed to outline the rest of the story to make sure I got all the threads coming together at the end. That took weeks of sitting in front of a whiteboard.

Then September came along and, for some stupid reason, I’d decided Wielder’s Prize wasn’t going to be good enough. I wanted to try my hand at NaNoWriMo, so I shelved the mostly-completed first draft and set my mind to outlining a new fantasy novel. While I wrote 50k in a month for NaNo, it still took me four months to finish the first draft. Over the next four years, off and on, I listened to too much advice and over edited it. This was the first book I queried. Then I temporarily shelved it and wrote the outline for book 2 and left that. Then the following year’s NaNo came along and I had an idea for a scifi novel, which I messed with for another two years. Even though I got a few agent requests, I’d convinced myself none of it was good enough. The year after that I wrote an urban fantasy with time travel, but only a messy first draft. I then stuck to novellas and short stories and got some of them published.

You can see where this is going. I burned myself out. If I’d believed in myself a little more, I would’ve kept going and given my books more of a chance when I was querying. But no, I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t going to see any of my novels in print. So I quit. Storytelling was still in my soul, so I turned to narrative game design.

Then my brother got sick. Really sick. Terminal. He wanted to collaborate on a scifi before he died. As if I could say no. And I’m deeply grateful to him for the opportunity. Because of the stress and agony surrounding his illness, I couldn’t finish the novel in time. But it brought me back to writing. Dave taught me that life is short. I had to stop being my greatest obstacle. I have all these books waiting for the world. It was time to get them out there.

So I started with Wielder’s Prize. That was three years ago. It feels like yesterday. And I was shocked how good that incomplete first draft was.

There’s more to this story, but I’ll say again, I’m not a fast writer. These last three years were spent writing and polishing the Wielder’s Storm trilogy, learning formatting, and the other ins and outs of self-publishing. I can say with confidence now that Wielder’s Prize is great. Wielder’s Curse is great. The final book in the series will also be great. My overnight “success” is not so overnight.

I hope that any aspiring writer who reads this is encouraged.

What are the things that hold you back? What is the true shape of your dreams?

Looking for Beta Readers
I'm currently looking for some beta readers for my books. I'm after someone with a deep understanding and love of fantasy and has a good eye for those little mistakes a writer can miss. Please let me know in the comments and/or shoot me an email.

This post was written for the IWSG. Every first Wednesday of the month the members post on their blogs about their writing insecurities or offer some encouragement to others. If you are new to the IWSG or want to learn more, then please go HERE.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Wielder's Curse Unleashed and Inspirations #IWSG

The second book in my high seas epic fantasy adventure series is finally complete and unleashed onto the world! There was a while there I didn't think it was going to happen. And now it has. I'm super excited. Wielder's Curse is now available in ebook and paperback. The discount for the ebook's release will be available for two more days only, so pick up your copy today.

If you haven't read book one, Wielder's Prize, then you can pick it up here: ebook and paperback

Both of my novels are also available for FREE via Kindle Unlimited

Her curse isn't the only darkness waiting to break the world.

Months after the victory at Sapphire Cove, Jasmine is haunted by terrifying visions of burning seas and blackened skies. It’s the dark future she thought she’d evaded, but now it’s back to bring her nightmares of the Beast, a mad creature trapped in the void between worlds. It fights to escape its prison, and it wants one thing: to devour the world.

To make matters worse, Finn’s life is threatened by an unknown assailant. At the risk of losing everything, Jasmine must hunt down the would-be assassin, find a way of defeating the Beast, and stop the oncoming storm. And she has to do this while struggling to control her untamed magic, guard her secrets, and avoid becoming a true Abomination and a danger to everyone.

If you have time, I'd deeply appreciate a review on AmazonGoodreads and Bookbub. Reviews are proving to be difficult to come by and yet so important.
Another Adventure on the High Seas
I literally JUST came back from my own high seas adventure. I took a break for a week on a cruise to Papua New Guinea. I put my feet up and relaxed and did a bunch of reading. Now I'm ready to start on the edits for book 3, the conclusion of the Wielder's Storm series.
IWSG Question of the month:
Has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it and did you finish it?
Absolutely. Because I'm a visual person, I often hunt for images to inspire a story or evoke a feeling or help me describe a place. But once, I caught the quickest of flashes from the movie trailer of The Tempest. It was one second of footage of a character jumping from a drain or something. That glimpse inspired an entire character and an entire fantasy series. I even finished book one. But I haven't yet released it. I need to finish my Wielder's Storm series first. 

How about you? What has inspired your stories?

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Review Copies Available, Cover Reveal, and My Writing Journey #IWSG

Happy New Year everyone!! May 2020 be a year full of joy, grace, success, and awesomeness. May there be no dramas except in the books you read.

Cover Reveal:
I will be releasing book 2 of my Wielder's Storm series on January 27th. Below is my grand cover reveal for Wielder's Curse.
A dark vision. A dangerous curse. A girl caught in between.

I'm currently giving out a limited number of Review Copies. If you are interested, let me know in the comments or send me an email.

If you haven't read book 1 yet, Wielder's Prize is available as an ebook or paperback on Amazon.

OR, you can read it FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

Check out my affiliate link above for Amazon's 99c limited deal for the first 3 months. Or try the 30 day free trial deal. Either way, you'll be able to read my book for free. Win, win.

If you don't own a Kindle, just download the FREE Kindle app for your phone, tablet and computer. Easy peazy.

The IWSG question: What started you on your writing journey?

When I was young, I got ridiculed for my slow, stuttered reading ability. So I avoided it. Then I came across my mum’s collection of Enid Blyton Famous Five books. Adventure stories about kids, for kids. I devoured them in the privacy of my own room. I had no easy access to books, so that’s where I stopped. It wasn’t until a teacher read The Hobbit to the class at the end of primary school (Middle Grade?) that I discovered the joys of fantasy. True escapism. At the age of twelve or thirteen, I read The Lord of the Rings. I couldn’t put it down. The boring books I had to study in school could’ve turned me off reading for life, but then I discovered my high school library. So many fantasy and science fiction books to read! I was hooked and from there, it was inevitable I would want to write my own adventure fantasies.

How did your love of books, reading, and writing develop? 
With the New Year comes a time of renewal and refreshment. My book, Cling to God, is a daily devotional that you can use to refresh your faith every day of this new year. 

Available in paperback and ebook:

Amazon, Kindle, Nook, B&N, Kobo, ITunes, Goodreads

And please consider leaving a review.