A Bit of Me

Reindog Games

Xmas Wishes

Christmas is coming! Time to deck the paws and ready the reindogs.

Xmas Rowan Reindeer 2

But some were not born to become reindogs…

(help me)

Xmas Fail 01

(Hahaha! Try sticking it on my head now, human.)

Others find it tedious…

Xmas Yawn

But a special few were born to be reindog beautiful.

Xmas Mushu

Happy Yule! Merry Christmas! Solstice Celebrations!
Happy Holidays!

However you choose to spend the festive season,
I wish you joy, health and happiness, and all good things.
From my heart to yours.
Thank you.

Xmas kiss

Here’s to a fabulous 2019!

Books, Overworld, Updates

Updates, Updates

Pink Sun
Pink sun in the morning, go back to bed warning

For those in a hurry, here’s the condensed version.

  • Cloud Cursed is on track to come out next Friday!
  • You can pre-order Storm Wings from Amazon right now!
  • I made a mess of things, which is why the pre-order is for the wrong book.
  • My Patreon goes live tomorrow! Along with the first two Aquila’s War posts.

Read on for the in-depth version…

Continue reading “Updates, Updates”

Books, Overworld, Updates

Spring Forth!

A little later than planned, spring is finally springing up all around me, and I’ve at last compiled the first three Wingborn books into one handy box set! Which I’ve rather snappily titled Wingborn Series Volume 1: Wingborn, Rift Riders and Dragongift.

Wingborn Boxset 2If you haven’t bought them yet, or you just prefer to have them all rounded up in one easy to find file, then this is for you, my friend.

It’s available at – or soon will be – all the usual places, and there’s a bit of a discount on the individual list prices, so hopefully someone will find it a bargain.

Smashwords || B&N || iBooks || Kobo
Amazon: US || UK || AUS || CAN || DE 

I’ve also updated the individual books. Mostly typo-catching and tidying up a few mistakes here and there. Like the massive mistake I’d been writing with for years and hadn’t even noticed – that Half-Year wasn’t actually at the half year point because I had my months mixed up *headdesk* But I’ve fixed it now and the year ends a month later than it used to. Possibly no one would ever have noticed, but I did and it’s been bugging me ever since.

The uploads went nice and smooth until the last one, when I really should have remembered that uploading anything to Smashwords is usually best done in the morning. Otherwise it seems to take ages and weird little errors creep in here and there for no apparent reason. Particularly in Rift Riders. I don’t know what it is with that book, but by the time I called it a night, I was pretty much sobbing like Gollum.

Gollum I hate you gifAnd when I checked my email a little later to find that it had already started shipping to all the other non-Smashwords sites in the fastest approval I’ve ever had… let’s just say I wasn’t exactly gleeful.

Thankfully it was a pretty easy fix, so no hobbits needed to be harmed. This time.

Anyway that’s another thing ticked off the list. Next up will be finishing the Wingborn Aftermath novella, then a return to the Dragonlands to write book 4, edit 1-3, relaunch the series and release book 3. I’m also getting vague ideas for a foundation of Aquila tale, but I think I already have enough on my plate so it might have to stay vague a little while longer. It might also be nice to write something away from the Overworld for a change.

Plus there are dogs to walk, cats to cuddle, orchids to rescue, gardens to revive and the usual mix of real life worries and dramas to deal with. Which means life is pretty much continuing as usual really.

I hope that, wherever you are in the world, life is treating you kindly and the seasons are turning in expected and manageable ways. Have a good weekend, everyone!

Bru + Mu Greator Rocks

 

 

A Bit of Me, Overworld, Updates, Writing

World’s End is done!

94,954 words down and the book is finished.

Not only is this the end of the book, it’s the end of the Wingborn series! YAY!

This isn’t the end of the Overworld, of course – I haven’t finished the Dragonlands series yet, and I’ve already got a novella idea about what happens with certain characters after World’s End – but this plot arc is done. Done, I say!

Which is pretty big, because I’ve been playing with the Wingborn/Rift Riders stuff since 2003 after I had my first dream about a girl and her dog in a skiff being dragged across a sea of clouds by her giant eagle. Things have certainly changed a lot since then, and there were years when I didn’t touch the books, but still, the ideas and characters have been with me for a while, so it was nice to finally get to the end of it all.

I am exhausted. Although that might have more to do with what I did with my celebratory morning off…

Bru Walk

Serenaded by skylarks, watched over by buzzards, surrounded by primroses and the first budding leaves on the alder trees, with bursts of sunshines overhead, I do believe that spring might actually be here.

I hope your week has been going as well as mine.

Take care, my lovelies!

A Bit of Me

Storm Emma

While the east coast and Scotland battled the Beast from the East over the last few days, here in the Devon we got Storm Emma – and yesterday, it snowed.

Bru In Snow 2

All day.

Bru In Snow 3

And then it rained.

Branch 2Branch 1
And the rain froze.

Ice Tree 1Ice Tree 2 

We don’t get much snow around here normally. Maybe a flurry or two a year. Sometimes it settles for a few hours, mostly it doesn’t. Throw in the freezing rain on top and, well, home never feels so good as when it’s cold and you can stay inside and ignore the howl of the wind.

Bru In Snow 1

Here’s hoping all those people stuck out on the roads can get home and warm soon.

And to everyone else… Merry March!

A Bit of Me, Overworld, Updates

2018 – The Story So Far

2018 Bruin

I thought it was time for a little catch-up, and since most of the UK is hunkering down under the Beast from the East, today seemed as good a time as any.

Well, since my last catch up post in mid-January I have not done much. Not for want of trying. I started World’s End and was edging close to getting into the swing of things, until my left shoulder went wrong. I didn’t actually do anything to it, but it hurt, a lot, and meant I couldn’t do most of what I needed to. It’s something that tends to flare up whenever I get really fatigued and there isn’t much I can do about it until it goes away. Typing becomes impossible because I can’t get comfortable enough to think, let alone put words in decent sentences. Once I’ve forced myself to do the things that need doing, all I’m really good for is reading. With many cushions.

Three and a good weeks on, it’s finally settled down, so maybe I can get back to writing. Ha! We’ll see…

So February was pretty much a write off. I didn’t get anything written, but I did skim an edit through Wingborn again. This will hopefully be for the first Wingborn Collection (1-3), which is the next thing on my release list. I’ve decided to push Cloud Cursed back again, because I have a feeling I need to finish the Wingborn series before I do any more work on the Dragonlands, and I’d really like to get book 4 written before releasing book 3.

It’s complicated, I know, but it makes sense to me. Sort of. So if you’re waiting for the next Dragonlands book, sorry! But right now it’s the Wingborn books that people seem to want, so I’d like to focus on those for a few more months and maybe even get some print editions in the works.

Away from the writing and imaginary worlds… look at my puppy! Hasn’t he grown? Still only six months, but rapidly transforming into a monster. Keeping him entertained probably hasn’t helped my shoulder and fatigue issues, but he’s worth it.

But enough of me and mine, how be you fine people? Ready for March to march on in? Got any exciting plans in the works? Whatever is ahead, I hope the year is treating you well.

Overworld, Updates

Hello, 2018

Houndtor Haze

Two weeks into January, and so far the year is bumping along much like the old one did. Plenty of things to do, plenty of other things getting in the way and trying to do their best to make sure I don’t get things done, same old, same old.

No worries. This year I have decided I’m not going to make predictions, I’m not going to set any schedules, I will simply set out to achieve things and hope I manage to get them done eventually. I do have a list, but I’m keeping it private for now and will only talk about things that have actually been finished.

Which leads me to… AQUILA’S WAR (Wingborn book 5) IS DONE!

This was my NaNoWriMo project from last year that got derailed mid-November, and I wasn’t able to pick it up again until the start of this month. But after putting in an extra 36K words, it is done! WHOO! It needs a lot of work and there are a few characters and plot lines I might have accidentally forgotten, but that can be cleaned up later. For now it’s all done and the sixth and final Wingborn book is poking me with ideas, so I might just give in and write it next.

I have also finally gathered all the pieces together to puzzle out where the Dragonlands series is headed, which is also a big relief. Looking forward to sorting that one out.

Right now I’m trying to catch up with all the things that got dropped last year and putting other plans into place for future things this year. I’m also kicking around a few ideas of what I’ll tackle once Wingborn is done. I might take a break from the Overworld for a bit, but I might also stay put since there are a couple of stories trying to catch my attention. Lots of things to ponder.

In the meantime, I hope 2018 is treating you fairly thus far, and that your goals and plans – whatsoever they may be – bear the right kind of fruit for you.

A Bit of Me

Season’s Greetings, One and All!

Xmas Puppies Blog.jpg
Reindeer love from Mu and Bru.

Whatever you’re celebrating this December, even if it’s just a chance to meet up with family or treat yourself to things you don’t normally eat, enjoy, my friends!

I wish you health and every happiness and all good things.

This year hasn’t been great for a lot of people, but it’s finally almost done. Woohoo!

Thanks to everyone who has read, bought and reviewed my books this year. Your support has been amazing, and I hope you’ll be back to share in more adventures with me soon.

In the meantime, happy holidays and season’s greetings, and all those lovely things, from me and mine to you and yours.

See you in 2018!

Xmas Wishes
Hitch me up to a sleigh, someone, I am ready and raring to go! (Or, you know, there may have been a pigeon in the birdbath, but I can totally pull a sleigh. Especially if there are pigeons.)
A Bit of Me, Updates

Update and Dog News

I think it’s time I finally admitted that plans and me this year just aren’t working. It’s only taken me ten months, but still, it’s progress. Of a sort.

Since my last update and discussion of plans in August’s progress report, I have released Storm Rising, finished the Dragongift serial and… done nothing much else. This is not for want of trying, but real life keeps intruding. Like having the new bathroom fitted and it taking two weeks(!). It’s a very nice bathroom and I’m happy with it, but the disruption was not great.

However, the really big change came in mid-September when I sadly lost my collie, Beren. He was fourteen years old and he’d been sick on and off since Christmas, but it was still awful when I had to choose to let him go. All his life he’d been really healthy and hadn’t shown his age. In fact, he looked great and was still bouncing around like a puppy. But in early December, my little lab x had a stroke and had to be put to sleep. Thyme and Beren had been lifelong companions and partners in crime, and not barely two weeks later Beren was at the vets and I really thought that was it.

He pulled through that time, but he was changed. He was an old dog now, finally showing his age. He was still bright eyed and affectionate, loving his walks and playing, but he was stiffer and slower, his walks got shorter and shorter, and he started falling sick. We muddled through together right up until his fourteenth birthday, then he could no longer keep any food down and stopped trying to eat altogether. I didn’t want to lose him, but I wasn’t going to let him suffer. And, since I was convinced he wasn’t going to make it at Christmas, at least I got nine more months with him.

The next few weeks were a struggle. I’ve lost three dogs over the last eighteen months, because they were all getting old at the same time, and I really, really miss them. I still have two, but Willow is fifteen and I have no idea what is still keeping her going since her back legs are so wobbly you’d think she was going to fall over any second. But she doesn’t and her appetite is enormous. Still, she can’t last forever and I didn’t want my other dog, Mushu, to be alone. So I started looking for a puppy.

Not being at all sure how Mushu would react to a new dog, I wanted something young that she could get used to, which ruled out rehoming – most of which weren’t suitable anyway because they needed to be only dogs. I wanted a male, because I miss Beren and Woody. I preferably wanted something with either collie or lab in it, but I really didn’t want a pedigree because the only dogs I’ve had with life long health issues have all been pedigrees. I knew what I didn’t want, but was open to any interesting ideas as long as it would be quite big. Yet, despite there being ridiculous amounts of pugs and French bulldogs, chihuahuas and spaniels, labs and various doodles (all crossed with mini poodles) available, nothing was suitable.

I looked and I looked and I looked, growing mildly obsessed and wishing I lived with my sister in South Wales because there were some amazing sounding puppies up there, but I didn’t want to spend more than two hours in the car bringing the puppy home – for its sake as much as anyone else’s. Although, after three weeks, I was starting to get desperate and contemplating searching much further afield.

But there was one litter I’d seen advertised a few times. Border collie x New Zealand Huntaway. I’d never heard of a huntaway, so I looked it up and was intrigued. They’re sheepdogs that herd by barking, which could be a worry although they can be trained when not to bark, and I wasn’t sure I wanted anything that lively anyway, despite Beren having been no trouble at all. It was a farm litter too, which can have their behavioural quirks – sometimes for the good, occasionally for the bad. They were a curious looking bunch, with a couple of blue merle puppies that looked like little snow leopards, a couple with blue merle coats and tan patches, one brown and tan and one black and white. But I put them out of my mind, because I was sure something else would come up.

It didn’t. The collie/huntaways were updated with newer photos. I dithered, then said no, because crazy collies need so much exercise and there’s the barking thing and they probably didn’t have that much huntaway in them anyway.

But it had been three weeks and there was a more recent photo and the black and white puppy was just calling me…

Bruin 2.JPG
8 weeks old

His name is Bruin and he’s half collie, half huntaway and pure mischief. His favourite things are playing with Mushu, eating my shoes (preferably when still on my feet), chewing rocks and sticks and furniture, and barking at Willow.

Bruin 4.JPG
9 weeks old

He’s ridiculously cute and so much fun. At first he wasn’t toilet trained at all, but he’s getting there, and best of all he’s slept through the night without any crying, barking or whining since day one. He kicks up a ridiculous fuss during the day when I leave him downstairs, but I can cope with that.

DSC_0512.JPG
9 weeks old

He’s growing so fast. He’s not even twelve weeks old yet and already as tall as Mushu, although it’ll be a while before he’s as long as her mutant Bassett body. He can sit on command and does a fantastically flamboyant flounce when asked to lie down – one leg up and flump!

DSC_0532
10 weeks old

He fits in perfectly.

DSC_0602.JPG
11 weeks old

And although there are still moments and days when I miss Beren and Thyme so much it makes my heart hurt and things hard to get through, I love my newest little monster and I already can’t imagine life without him. And I don’t think I’m the only one.

DSC_0599

More chatter about books and NaNo and stuff to come soon. For now, I hope you’re all well, my lovelies. Merry Monday!