The End is Near …

I know, I know. That’s some title for the first blog post of the year. But it’s true! The end is near. The end of my fantasy series is near. I can see the finish line–I know how the story is going to end. I know who is going to live and who is going to die. I know exactly what the last battle looks like.

I just need to figure out how to get there.

Winter’s Light is the final book in my Winter Queen Series, which will wrap up the lives of so many characters I’ve grown to love. They’ve surprised me in so many ways over these last three years. And while I don’t consider fantasy to be my primary genre, I am going to miss writing about the land of Nfaros and its rulers. Excited as I am to begin focusing more on my historical fiction WIPs, I am going to miss the Sundragon sisters more than I thought I would.

Looking back over the progress of these novels, my heart soars over how they came to beWinter Queen. Winter Queen was born from a little idea I had during a very bad bout of writer’s block. I was stuck in the middle of another story, so I decided to simply write ‘for fun’ for a little while. And that is how Winter Queen came alive. It started with an image of two young princesses fleeing their city accompanied by the idea of a queen who could command an entire season. From there, it developed into something I never expected. Soon, there were ice fairies, dragon folk and a world full of strange and extraordinary people.

Have I ever told you The Winter Queen Series was originally a seven book series? When I realized how many characters I wanted to be involved, I thought there was no way I could do this in a trilogy. So I split the storylines into seven different books. Until the day I realized they might actually be published! On that day, I cut the stories down so they could fit into a four book series.

But even having done that, I worry. These last few days of writing with the story jumbling about in my head in bits and pieces, I start to wonder if I should’ve added more of the storyline to Dance of Shadows or Crown of Flames. I second guess myself about how I ended the second and third books of the series. I wonder if there was another place I could have ended them. If I could have tacked on a bit more so this last book RGB_Dance of Shadows (1)would have been easier.

But then I realize, stressing over what I might have done is useless. All I can do now, is write. I look back at the difference between writing Dance of Shadows and writing Crown of Flames and realize it is no different than what I’m going through now with Winter’s Light. Will this fourth and final book be longer than the others? Most likely. From the Jandry Siblings to the Sundragon Sisters to the Malaki family, I have a lot of characters and storylines to wrap up.

And one of the most difficult parts of that is deciding exactly how these stories will end. Will there be tears? Well, if you’ve read my books, then you probably know there will be. I can’t seem to write without throwing in some emotional trauma.

For my part, I know I’m probably going to cry. Not necessarily because of what happens to my characters–I’ve been preparing myself for the end of this series for a while now and have known a few things about the conclusion since the first book was published–but more because the stories themselves will finally be complete.

I was so excited when Crown of Flames was released last year in June! As the writer, I think this one might be my favorite of the series so far (we’ll see how Book 4 comes out COF - 1;)). Crown of Flames not only introduced even more characters, but brought our favorites to a crucial point in the plot–a climax in a way. Two major battles were fought and whether they were won or not is up to you to find out.

I’m so proud of Book 3, the ending giving me a perfect opening into Book 4 as well as lighting the way to several conclusions. Whether you caught the hints of certain characters’ fates or not, I promise I won’t spoil anything. But I am so excited for you to see everything come together.

As we entered Awards season at the beginning of the year, I hesitated to enter Crown of Flames, simply because sometimes I feel the harder I try, the less results I receive. But then I realize–as I always do–that not trying won’t get me anywhere. So I entered and am looking forward to seeing the results. And if there are no results, then what did I lose? Nothing. Because either way, people saw and read Crown of Flames, simply because it was entered to begin with.

Oh, and by the way, if you wanna help a girl out … Crown of Flames is eligible for a nomination in the INSPYs awards. If you want to nominate it, click here.

Now, who wants a sneak peek? The final book of The Winter Queen Series should release later this year (as long as I get to writing like crazy!). So here’s a little excerpt from Winter’s Light (The Winter Queen Series, #4) to hold you over until then …

“In fear they are here.” Jhaedra raised defiant eyes to Haileah. “If they saw Gwylan Almandreya, run to her they would!”

Haileah grabbed Jhaedra by a handful of her hair, yanking her close. “Do not speak that woman’s name!”

“Why? Because more powerful than you she is?” Jhaedra grimaced, a small smirk shining through the pain of Haileah’s grip. “Able to hold the Novices for long, you will not be. If run to wait out the war they do not, run to the Sundragons they will.”

“Let them! We do not need their pitiful strength. The Intermediates are all we need.” Haileah shoved Jhaedra away, sending the woman into a heap in the snow. “And if you do not remember your place and hold your tongue, I will soon have very little need of you as well.”

With a twirl of her cloak, Haileah spun back toward the camp. Jhaedra remained on the ground, watching until the woman disappeared among the tents. Then she looked up, peering directly through the tree branches at Taleah. The Frostling held her breath, unable to restrain the flurry of snowflakes falling from her wings any longer. A shower of them fell upon Jhaedra, making the Quintarian woman smile.

“Tell Adlae Sundragon,” Jhaedra murmured. “If survive Haileah’s wrath, I do, I will rally the Novices to her side.”

Jhaedra!” Haileah shrieked, her voice bouncing among the trees.

“Fly, Frostlings! Fly!” Jhaedra hissed, struggling to her feet.

“Come dear ones,” Taleah said, grabbing both M’kela and Ilicya’s hands as she watched the Eventide Sister stumble away. “We must deliver this message and pray the Creator show mercy on Jhaedra Randeryn.”

In a flash of snow dust, the three Frostlings vanished into the sky.

The Old, the New, and the End of 2019

Merry Christmas!!!

I can hardly believe Christmas is less than two weeks away! 2019 has been a tumultuous year for me. There have been equal amounts of tears and laughter this year, along with periods of grief and anger that made me wish to the heavens 2019 would come to a hasty conclusion so I could start fresh in 2020. That being said, I am sorry I have been so silent this year! I am hoping to blog a lot more in 2020 (I know, I know, I say that every year but hopefully this time it will actually happen!).

For now, I hope you will join me in looking back over my 2019 year!

Early in the year, I received a wonderful and overwhelming gift. My sweet, loving Me & MaMagrandmother made it possible for me to attend my 2nd ACFW conference. Shortly thereafter, this wonderful woman who I loved with all my heart passed away. I cannot even begin to describe what it was like, waiting for months after she passed to attend the conference, knowing I would not have been able to go this year if not for her.

Then, something beautiful happened. ACFW (America Christian Fiction Writers) often has a worship period during the meals they provide for the attendees. On the first night of the conference during the welcome dinner, we all stood up to sing during the worship. Standing next to me at the table to my left was a sweet older lady who kept glancing my way. Then, without a word, she reached across the space between us and put her arm around me.

Everyone–I kid you not–she was wearing my grandmother’s perfume. I nearly broke down in tears right then and there. Until that moment, I’d had a lot of trouble grieving for my grandmother. I have always been the type to grieve in private, but even that had been difficult for me this year. I thanked God over and over for that moment, because when that lady (who had no idea who I was or what I was going through) put her arm around me it was like my MaMa was giving me a hug! Finally, I allowed myself to grieve and I was so relieved.

This year, I suffered another loss. A friend who I hadn’t seen in a few years died tragically. I felt numb when I heard the news, because he was one of those friends you always think you’re going to see again someday, even though there are so many miles between you now. This added to the grief that made me want 2019 to come to a quick end. I miss him very much and hope he is at peace now.

This year, with as much grief as there was, there was also joy. I had another book release in June! Crown of Flames (The Winter Queen Series, #3) is now available to order on Amazon! I am so excited this book is available now, but also sad. Because this means I COF - 1have only one more book to tackle in this series before I officially close out my fantasy series and will no longer visit the land of Nfaros. I am hard at work writing Winter’s Light, the fourth and final book of my fantasy series. I’ve hit a few snags so far, trying to bring every character’s plot to an end in a satisfying way without leaving behind too many holes in the storyline.

Considering these books are made up of SO MANY characters, this is harder than you might at first think! I need to keep the story interesting while also tying up any loose ends from the previous books while ALSO creating intense situations for some new characters that were introduced in Crown of Flames. All the same, I am enjoying writing Winter’s Light and hope that, if I finish within the next two months, I will have a release date along with a cover to share with you soon!

Now I’m going to do some major self-promoting … 😉

That being said, have you had a chance to catch up on the first three books of The Winter WQ SERIES INSTAGRAMQueen Series? No? Why wait?

Catch up by reading Winter Queen (The Winter Queen Series, #1), Dance of Shadows (The Winter Queen Series, #2) Crown of Flames (The Winter Queen Series, #3) now! Want them the easy way? All three are available together on Amazon Kindle for $13.47!

Travel to the beautiful land of Nfaros and catch up with the fierce Sundragon sisters as they fight to regain their father’s throne. Journey with the courageous Jandry siblings across treacherous lands. And fly with the People of the Dragon over the Nfaros Sea in the first three books of my series and be prepared for Winter’s Light (The Winter Queen Series, #4)!

In September, as I mentioned above, I attended the ACFW conference, and what an experience it was! I was able to connect with some wonderful people AND I heard Frank Peretti speak! Along with his keynote address, I attended several amazing workshops and learned so much.

I was also able to connect with the lovely Laurie Lucking who was nominated for a Carol Me & LaurieAward for her novel, Common! I was so excited to meet Laurie because she has supported my fantasy series from Book 1 and has written beautiful endorsements for all three of the books for me.

She is such a lovely person and an incredible author! If you haven’t read her book, Common, then I highly recommend it! I am a lover of love stories, and this one was a great one! Not to mention it fell in the Young Adult/Speculative category, which I also love! As I say in my tagline: when it comes to genre, there are no limits. And I mean that in both writing and reading!

I met so many wonderful people at the conference this year and reconnected with some of my favorite people as well. I was especially excited to attend author Pepper Basham’s workshop! Pepper is one of my favorite authors and such a sweet person. She also endorsed my debut novel, The Lost Generation: A Novel of World War I, so when I had the chance to meet her at my first conference in 2017, I didn’t hesitate.

Speaking of The Lost Generation, have I mentioned the paperback is available on26536218 Amazon for $9.99? If you love historical fiction, then grab your copy now!

And speaking of historical fiction …

I did something else new this year. I wrote a World War II era novel. I finished it at a whopping 92,048 words and 350 (Microsoft Word) pages! It is currently titled The Good German Girl and I am so excited about it! I have stepped away from it for now because writing it was emotionally draining, but am looking forward to seeing what the future holds for this novel.

I rediscovered my love for Historical Fiction while writing The Good German Girl and realized I wanted this genre to be my primary genre. That being said, The Good German Girl inspired several other World War II era stories that I have made a part of a series tentatively titled A League of Extraordinary Women Series.

NaNoWriMo WinnerThis led me to participate in NaNoWriMo for the first time! And … I won! I wrote 51,346 words in November, beating my goal of 50,000 for the next book in my World War II era series in the month of November! What a satisfying feeling it was too, as I hadn’t written that many words in a single month in a while. I was very proud of myself and still am.

I loved participating in NaNoWrimo! I received so much support as I struggled through to achieve that very large word goal. I wrote even on days I didn’t want to write, and kept writing even when I felt like what I was writing was absolutely awful. As a writer, that’s very hard to do because I want everything about my story to be perfect. So when it’s imperfect, it’s hard to not simply stop and walk away for the rest of the day. NaNoWrimo pushed me to set a goal and stick to it and at the end, I was so very pleased.

Oh, and did you notice? I became a redhead this year! That’s right, I made the transition from brunette, to blonde, to redhead! And, may I say, this is my favorite color so far. Could it be? Have I finally made a permanent decision about my hair? Will I remain a redhead to the end of my days? You’ll just have to keep checking in on my blog to find out, I guess. 😉

Well, I think that’s all for now, folks. Thank you for stopping by and reading this incredibly long post.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone! I’ll see you in 2020.

Cover Reveal, Endorsements, & Reviews!

Good Morning everyone!

I am so happy to announce I finally finished Book 3 of The Winter Queen Series! This was, perhaps, the hardest one I wrote so far. I was so certain I would be finished with it before the end of 2018, only to discover my characters had their own plans. New faces popping up and unexpected plot twists held me back from finishing when and where I thought I would. Then, the moment I finally wrote the last sentence, I was overcome with exhaustion and relief! Until I remembered now the editing had to start … 😉

But even with the long road of editing in my future, I am very happy with where this story is going. I had such a clear picture in my mind of how this ongoing tale would begin and how it would end. But the middle had always been a bit fuzzy for me. Now that I’ve battled through the in-between (books 2 and 3, respectively), I am looking forward to starting the finale! Book 4, Winter’s Light, has begun!

I am now excited to reveal the cover of Crown of Flames to you! Along with a little blurb to get you excited to read. 🙂

 

COF - 1The Almaër Dominÿe has risen from the flames …

Damari Kael has been transformed into the Almaër Dominÿe, as was foretold. But with this title, comes the responsibility of a people Damari knows nothing about. She knows only that their country is under attack, and she must go to war against those she once called family.

Clea Jandry has invoked a birthright she did not know belonged to her. In search of the Summer Flower to strengthen her weakening magic, Clea finds herself tested by a king long thought dead.

Far away, in the heart of Sunkai, Gelsey Malaki of the Night Wood attempts to hold the throne against a mounting evil. But Raphaela Kael’s power has increased since she left the Mother City for Kaldon, awakening a darkness which covers all the land in the evil of the Abyss.

In the north, Adlae Sundragon has received a message from the shadows. She now knows her fate and must act. Yet even as loyal men and women gather from across Nfaros to her side, she feels the Abyss growing stronger. Only in the Circle of the Sundragon—only within the crown of flames her family created—will Adlae find the answers to destroy the darkness.

Add Crown of Flames to your Goodreads list HERE.

This is one of my favorite covers so far! I was so pleased with how it came out, and struggled so much holding back from revealing it until now! I hope you find it just as captivating as I do.

I’m also excited to announce we already have a release date! Crown of Flames will release on June 7th 2019!!! Commit to memory and be sure to look for it!

Now, I have a request! In the past, I’ve always waited until the last minute to make this request, scrambling so close to my release date for assistance. So I thought I’d ask in advance this time around.

To all Authors: I need endorsements! I understand this is the third book of a series, and perhaps you are afraid of being totally lost if you haven’t read the first two books. As the author, I can tell you that there are certain themes in the novel that might warrant explanation from the previous two books. However, Crown of Flames stands pretty well on its own in my opinion and I hope, even if you haven’t read 1 & 2, that you will consider contacting me about writing an endorsement! Remember, release date is June 7th, so there’s lots of time to read! You can find me on Facebook and private message me, or contact me here through my blog. 🙂

To all Readers: I need reviews! If you’ve read books 1 & 2, please consider leaving a review for me on Amazon, Goodreads, or any other social media site where my books appear. But I’d also like to have two or three advance reviews online for Crown of Flames. My book probably won’t appear on Amazon very long before the release date, however if you could have a review ready that would be amazing! And it’s already up on Goodreads, so a review there would be great too.

Everyone, please keep in mind the advanced copy of Crown of Flames you receive will only be partially edited. If you could overlook any errors, that would be greatly appreciated as Book 3 is still being worked on by me and my editor.

Thank you all for your consideration and for stopping by my blog today! I hope you’re as excited about Crown of Flames as I am and I look forward to sharing more about the book as we move closer and closer to the release!

Giveaway!!!

Good morning everyone!

Remember I mentioned a giveaway yesterday? Well here we go! I am giving away 3 signed copies of book 2 of my fantasy series, Dance of Shadows. Originally, I wanted to do this giveaway on Goodreads, like I’ve done in the past. Unfortunately, since my last giveaway, Goodreads has changed their rules and are now charging for giveaways. Since I am not in a position to pay for a giveaway hosted by them, but still wanted to give away the copies I have, I am going through Rafflecopter.

RGB_Dance of Shadows (1)I am very excited to be giving these copies away. If you’ve read Winter Queen and enjoyed it, I hope you’re as anxious to know what happens next as I was when I was writing Dance! This book took my story to another level and I very much hope you will enjoy reading it!

Let me tell you a little bit about how Rafflecopter works. You will find a link to the giveaway below. Once you go to the page, you will be able to select several options that will give you a certain amount of entries for your chance to win a free signed copy of my book. At the end of the giveaway, 3 lucky winners will be chosen at random to receive a signed copy of my novel. Remember, the more options you choose to complete, the more entries you receive which increases your chances at winning my book! It’s very easy, very fun, and winners will be announced on December 29th!

I hope you’ll participate in the giveaway and hope you’ll enjoy my book!

Rafflecopter link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/723b81ac3/?

A New Journey Begins …

It’s the most wonderful time of the year …

FBPost4Christmas is coming, it’s marvelously cold outside, and I have been crazy busy with my book! Crown of Flames, book 3 of my fantasy series, is just about halfway done and my plan to finish it by the end of the year has me glued to my laptop in an attempt to write, write, write until it’s done! Whether or not I’m able to finish by December 31st, I must say I am so happy with the way the book is going. Dance of Shadows was a bit easier to write, but despite the struggle with book 3, continuing the story of the Sundragon sisters has been a true joy.

I am so looking forward to sharing some book reviews with you soon. Keep your Book Reviews Coming Soon!eyes open for my review of T.E. Bradford’s novel, Child of Prophecy, coming very soon on my book blog, By the Book: Diary of a Bookaholic. In the coming year, I am going to try to keep up more with my book reviews, so you should be seeing my (hopefully favorable 😉 ) opinion on a mix of fantasy, romance, and historical novels in the coming months.

Now … who’s ready for a giveaway? Because one’s coming! I will be hosting a giveaway for 3 signed copies of Dance of Shadows very soon! So check back tomorrow for the details. 🙂

Now, in other news, I have a very special announcement to make. Today, I am launching a brand new blog! This website is completely fantasy based for the purpose of promoting writers of speculative fiction as well as attracting readers who love the fantasy genre.

Other Worlds: Discovering New Worlds One Fantasy Writer at a Time, has been created for the purpose of helping writers get some free promotion, as well as introducing readers to authors they may not have heard about before. I have always wanted to create a website that reaches out to authors who are trying to get their name out there, but haven’t quite made it yet. As someone who still struggles with marketing and promotion, who is very limited at the moment to what she is able to do, I understand how tough it can be when you’ve poured your heart into your book but you’re running out of ideas to keep people interested and attract new readers.

Will you become famous overnight by participating on my new blog? I’d like to say yes. 😉 But all I can promise is a little extra promotion that will reach some readers you may not have reached before. Oh, and did I mention it will be lots of fun?

I hope you’ll stop by to check out what the new blog is all about and I hope to hear from you soon!

Other Worlds: https://otherworldsfantasywriters.wordpress.com/

Other Worlds2

It’s here!!!

Good Morning everyone!

I am SO excited! Dance of Shadows, book 2 in The Winter Queen Series, released this past Monday! Who’s ready to get reading? Book 2 was so fun to write. There’s more of everything in this book. More danger, romance, dragons, and new characters! Everyone from book 1 grows and develops a little more in this story and it was such a thrill for me to write about them.

FBPost4I received so much support with this second book! If you were able to stop by Facebook on Monday evening, then you know the launch party was a huge success! I was joined by four other wonderful authors who made the night even better with games, giveaways and live videos. I’m so looking forward to repeating the experience next year with book 3!

Dance of Shadows is now available on Amazon and you can purchase your paperback copy HERE. Also, keep your eyes open! A Goodreads Giveaway will be coming up soon for your chance to win a signed copy of Dance!

Now, just to refresh your memory, here is the back cover blurb for Dance of Shadows! I hope you enjoy this second installment of my fantasy series, and don’t forget to leave a review! 😉

The Winter Queen has brought the storm … RGB_Dance of Shadows (1)
and the Abyss roams the halls of the Blood Keep.

Ten days have passed since Sundragon blood was shed for a sacrifice by Raphaela Kael. Ten days since Lathan and Maxx Jandry fled the city in search of Princess Damari Kael and their niece, Noelle. Brecken Jandry, Brae’s loyal husband, remains a tortured prisoner in the Kael dungeons and no one in Sunkai is safe from Roderick and Raphaela’s wrath.

Damari Kael flees Sunkai with little Noelle Jandry, determined to deliver the child to the safety of the Shadow Lands, even as her own power emerges within her. The Eventide Sisters embark on a mission to join the Winter Queen. Across the land, Clea Jandry arrives in her birthplace of Molderëin where she is met with a savagery she thought long dead. Afra Malaki seeks the Creator’s will and the Queen of the Woodlands prepares for battle.

In the peaceful city of Quintaria, the Winter Queen grieves. But the shadows are coming for her. They carry a message for Adlae Sundragon, and they will not rest until all is revealed.

Cover Reveal!!

So, the moment has arrived! It is time for me to reveal to you the BEAUTIFUL cover for Book 2 of The Winter Queen Series.

I am excited to say I am now in my second round of edits for A Dance of Shadows! We are one step closer to publication!

And now … drumroll please …

Tada!

RGB_Dance of Shadows

A Dance of Shadows should be coming your way this October as long as all goes well! I am so very excited for you to find out what happens to our characters in this next installment of my fantasy series, as well as for you to be introduced to some new people and places!

Now, to finish up, here’s the summary for A Dance of Shadows!

The Winter Queen has brought the storm … 
and the Abyss roams the halls of the Blood Keep.

Ten days have passed since Sundragon blood was shed for a sacrifice by Raphaela Kael. Ten days since Lathan and Maxx Jandry fled the city in search of Princess Damari Kael and their niece, Noelle. Brecken Jandry, Brae’s loyal husband, remains a tortured prisoner in the Kael dungeons and no one in Sunkai is safe from Roderick and Raphaela’s wrath.

Damari Kael flees Sunkai with little Noelle Jandry, determined to deliver the child to the safety of the Shadow Lands, even as her own power emerges within her. The Eventide Sisters embark on a mission to join the Winter Queen. Across the land, Clea Jandry arrives in her birthplace of Molderëin where she is met with a savagery she thought long dead. Afra Malaki seeks the Creator’s will and the Queen of the Woodlands prepares for battle.

In the peaceful city of Quintaria, the Winter Queen grieves. But the shadows are coming for her. They carry a message for Adlae Sundragon, and they will not rest until all is revealed.

Don’t forget to add A Dance of Shadows to your to-read list on Goodreads, here!