Aekhartain, Overworld, Updates

Wingborn Release Update

Wingborn Cover 3The ebook of Wingborn is coming. In fact, I’ve now finished the last round of typo-catching, continuity checking and tiny changes edits and will spend most of the weekend formatting it and polishing it up for release, while giving the cover one last tweak. (Because I know how to enjoy myself!) Hopefully this will mean I’ll be able to release it on Monday *fingers crossed*

Cover_1 Sisters of IcarusAlongside that, because this one is going to be free as much as I can make it (Amazon probably won’t price match, but I’ll find other places for the mobi file), this will mark the end of the Sisters of Icarus freebie special. It’s been free for a few months now, so I’ll be putting it up to $/£0.99, and it may go up again in a month or so, I haven’t decided yet.

Blazing Dawn Cover 2Also, because it will have been a month since Blazing Dawn was released, that too will be increasing in price. As of Monday it will be $2.99 (£1.99, other regions will vary). So if you’re still undecided, maybe go for it now while it’s still super-cheap!

And once that’s all done, I will finally get a chance to work on Storm Rising and maybe edit a few deleted scenes and special Wingborn extras, while also turning my editing attention back to my Regency projects and, and, and…

Same old, same old, basically.

Although, in all the rush to get Blazing Dawn out while still working on Wingborn, I completely failed to acknowledge that it was my tenth official release! I should probably find some way of celebrating that.

If anyone has any ideas that are somewhat more exciting than me blasting out the Playlist of Victory and dancing about like a loon while eating Galaxy Caramel, I’m all ears.

A Bit of Me, Aekhartain, Writing

Secrets of Icarus: Part Three

I love music across many genres, but when it comes to writing I tend to stick to classical orchestrations – mostly because lyrics distract me. Sometimes I don’t really care what I listen to and will happily have the radio on (Classic FM usually), and there are days when I don’t listen to anything at all. However, most of the time I like something faintly inspirational and without interruptions in the background.

This means I listen to a lot of soundtracks as well as classical composers. I love a good soundtrack, be it for film, TV, games or trailers, but I also have a distinct weakness for a nice bit of piano music and strings. I am all about the strings.

Which brings me to…

Secret #3 – Each Book has a Slightly Different Soundtrack

Continue reading “Secrets of Icarus: Part Three”

A Bit of Me, Aekhartain, Writing

Secrets of Icarus: Part Two

Secret #2 – I Keep Plot Charts/Tables For All My Stories

Along with chapter titles that no one ever sees, I also keep plot charts. Except they’re not really charts at all, they’re tables where I keep track of my word count and write one or two lines about what’s going on to help me out when I’m in a hurry to find something.

I also use them for very short brain-storming session during the writing stage, leaving myself short notes about what’s coming up next. I do this for all my books, so this series isn’t particularly special in this regard. Actually, my charts are pretty scanty for most of this series. Probably because I knew roughly where I was going.

Some (edited for spoilers) examples include:

Sisters of Icarus

  • Grief. Nightmare. Chores. Farewell, Icarus.
  • … Cana sees much, but says little.
  • Fox, Fox, Fox!
  • Snowball fight! Love, kisses, promises, hopes. Crossed wires.


The Crying Child

  • Cari is thoughtful. Fox is Fox.
  • Catch a falling star and put him in your pocket, save him on a rainy day…
  • … Cari still sulks – others are content.
  • … Selkie delivery.
  • Fox to the rescue! Well, kind of…
  • OH NOES! I AM THE NEW ICARUS


The Icarus Child

  • There was a boy, a very strange and lonely boy…
  • Storm and goats. The magpie – yay!
  • Family fun. Saekara and Ica and Morvoren. Love.
  • A new face on the island. Hurricane Morvoren!
  • … Selkie panic! Ica itches.
  • … Save us! Save us!

And there you have it, another small insight into my writery habits that you probably were perfectly happy not knowing about.

Next time music! (I’ll give you a hint, it involves lots of soundtracks.)

A Bit of Me, Aekhartain, Writing

Secrets of Icarus*: Part One

*Which actually sounds like a good title for a spin-off collection of short stories based around the Icarus Child books. I might quite enjoy doing that. I could write some more Rudh and Howl, maybe some young Fox adventures, definitely some more cute Fox and Cana moments, perhaps some non-scary Icaria, or some selkie time. I could even delve into why Morvoren and the goats Do Not Get Along. That could be fun. Maybe. Although this is supposed to be my last historical Aekh(ish) tale for a while, so it might be nice not to spend even more time in the Iron Age. Oh well, just a thought, which may or may not grow into something at some point.

Er, anyway, putting all of that to one side. Since it is now one week until the (hopeful) release date of The Icarus Child, the final part of this trilogy, I thought as a way to chivvy me along to actually making the deadline, I’d impart a few secrets along the way.

Not spoilers, secrets. These things are more a behind the scenes look at my writing process, particularly as it pertains to these books.

Secret #1 – All the Chapters Have Their Own Secret Titles

This is something I do quite a lot when writing novels. Way back in the days when I used to share my writing with the Elfwood community, I tended to post a chapter at a time, so I got into the habit of saving them a chapter at a time too, for easy access. Even now, if I know in advance that what I’m writing will become a novel, I use individual files for each chapter. This makes it a whole lot easier to find things when I need to change them, but it’s a bit more of a pain when it comes to the final editing and formatting stages.

I use these chapter titles in part because they make my files look more interesting, but also as shorthand to keep track of the story as I go. I don’t tend to use them in the final books because some of the titles are a bit spoilery, others are kind of boring (a few seem to crop up in every book I write), and also because I don’t know how much attention people pay to such things. (If you have an opinion either way, feel free to share. I’m always curious.)

This secret is particularly relevant to this series because the first title chapter of the original Icarus Child book is the same as in this version – And Then He Fell. This matters to me because that was where the whole story began, ten odd years ago. Back then all I knew about the story was that Icarus had three sisters, he would try to fly and fail, and somehow or other this whole thing would end up back at Shaiel and the Aekhartain. I’m still not entirely sure how I got from there to the end in the original, but I did, and I use those two titles to remind me of that long ago day when I had no idea what I was doing or where I was going but full of hope all the same.

Other titles across the current series include:
Farewell to Sea and Sky, Samhain Storm, A Fox’s Tale, Return of the Fox, Snowfalling, Illusions of Happiness, Catch a Falling Star, He Who Must Ascend, Winter Woes, A Star is Born, Kidnap!, Ghost Plans, The Wings of a Storm, Family Familiarity, Dreams and Screams, My Star and my favourite of the lot which I can’t include for spoiler reasons.


So there you have it. Not so much a secret as just something you might not have known.

Come back soon for the next in this exciting series of things you never knew, were probably happy enough not knowing and could likely have lived your whole life without feeling the lack of, but which I’m going to tell you about anyway!


Cover_3 Icarus Child
Quick IC Update

New additions and character fixes are mostly finished, so now I just have to edit the last five chapters again.

Yay… I think.

Merry Wednesday, everyone!

Aekhartain, Books

SALE!

To celebrate the end of another year, the halfway point of another northern winter, Christmas, Yule, the solstice or just because, I’m holding a bit of a sale.

Are you ready?


FREEBIES!

While Sing to Me and Be With Me remain free from everywhere except Amazon – and always will be, since they were written to be given away – Sisters of Icarus is still available for nothing. Sadly, again, this is everywhere except Amazon, and will remain so until The Icarus Child is out, at the very least. Perhaps longer, I haven’t decided yet.

Now, just until January, you can also get Dark Rebel for FREE! If you’ve been a bit unsure about venturing into my Anglo-Saxon world, now’s your chance to explore for free. Let Demero guide you as you get a glimpse at Caligo’s life and see how the Aekhartain of Darkness comes about.

Click on any of the covers below for links and more details.

An Aekhartain Romance  Be With Me  Cover_1 Sisters of Icarus  Cover - Dark Rebel


DISCOUNTS!

Just for the love of it, if you’re still looking for something to read after you’re done with the freebies above, then have a couple of discounts to tide you over.

From now until the beginning of January both Unbound and Free and The Rebel Returns are only .99 (£/$/Euros etc). So if you want more Demero/Demairo, he’s all over both of these books. Plus more Shaiel and Caligo too. What’s not to love?

And for those on Amazon, Dark Rebel will be this price too, since it’s the cheapest Amazon will let me go.

Unbound and Free  Cover - Dark Rebel  The Rebel Returns

Grab ’em while they’re cheap!


Elsewhere, The Crying Child has increased in price, while Orion’s Kiss remains the same. Keep an eye out in February for a freebie run of the latter.

Until then… happy reading!

Books, Updates, Writing

Sisters is Out!

Cover_1 Sisters of Icarus
The first in the Icarus Child Trilogy is available now!

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

Actually it’s been out for over a week, but in my rush to get it ready on time I overloaded my brain and have been useless for anything else since. Oops. Still, better late than never, right?

Cover_2 Crying ChildIn the meantime I’m back at work on the next one – The Crying Child – and I hope to offer both excerpts from Sisters and a few chapter previews from The Crying Child over the next few weeks until it’s ready to be released, which will probably be November now. But as this year seems determined to teach me, the even the best laid plans are prone to going astray…

I’ll try my best to keep on track. Until then – don’t let the island eat you!

Aekhartain, Books, Writing

Sisters of Icarus

Sisters of Icarus

~ Icarus Child #1 ~

Once there was an island, and on that island there lived a boy, but before that boy there was another child. And before that child there were three sisters.
Those sisters had a brother.

His name was Icarus.

Britain 163 BC
Cover_1 Sisters of Icarus

On a small island just off the south coast, three sisters are determined to survive against nature’s unmerciful odds, but their brother is mad, everyone thinks they are strange and old voices cry on the wind.

Battling against love, grief, selkies and ghosts, middle sister Raccanta will face many tests of her strength if she intends to keep her sisters safe – and her promises intact. For on the mainland there lives a man who walks the woods and shows Raccanta a world that could tempt her far away.

Except the island keeps what it takes and it has no intentions of letting any of its sisters go.

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

Sisters of Icarus in Brief
What’s in it?: A 101,000 word novel
When is it set?: 163-158 BC
Where is it set?: Iron Age Britain, pre-Roman.
What kind of story is it?: A family drama with a bit of romance, a lot of domesticity, broken hearts, selkies, jealous spirits and general island creepiness.
What’s the genre?: Historical Fantasy.
Any age restrictions?: Not really. Although it is more geared towards adult themes, such as childbirth, allusions to an abusive relationship and general ghostly gore.

Behind the Story
The original Icarus Child was one novel split into three sections, detailing the life of Shaiel, the first Aekhartain (which is actually Demero, since Shaiel is… different. As I discovered when I wrote this book eleven years ago). The first part – Sisters of Icarus – was supposed to be a chapter or two introducing Icarus and the women who became Shaiel’s ancestors. I’ve always been drawn to the story of Icarus and there’s something about the word that I really, really like, so I couldn’t resist borrowing a bit of the legend for my book. Which fits in quite neatly with my winged Aekhartain.
Of course the original story ran away with me, mostly thanks to the middle sister, Raccanta/Cana, and the way her life twists and turns. What was supposed to be around five thousand words of backstory turned into a fifty thousand word romance and definitely took on a life of its own.
Because, as I often do, I grew rather attached to my throwaway characters (Cana and Fox this time around) I desperately wanted to find a way to bring them back into the Aekhartain story. In the past I simply made it work because *magic!*, but this time around I needed to find an honest way for how that would happen. Which also meant I needed to work out why a man would have a very Greek name in Iron Age Britain. The latter I solved by marooning a Greek traveller on the isolated island, after his exploratory trip went wrong, but the former involved changing a few things.
None of which I can go into here for spoiler reasons ;)
In the end I tweaked the plot here and there, coloured in the details and tried to make it fit into a true time period for the first time, but in essence much of the original is still here. It just grew even bigger this time around – and I actually knew what was supposed to happen. I just wish the other two were going to be as straight forward.

Read on for the opening chapter of Sisters of Icarus!

Continue reading “Sisters of Icarus”

Aekhartain, Updates

September Tidings

Cover_1 Sisters of Icarus
Sisters of Icarus is coming!

Well, sort of. I’ve finished another edit of it and will soon start my final run through. Then, hopefully, I will be able to throw it out into the world on September 15th!

<— This is the cover as it currently stands. I may change it, I haven’t decided yet. At the moment I like it, but my views are always likely to change after a day or two.

Any feedback, opinions or views on it are always welcome.

Cover_2 Crying Child

I’m also about a third of the way through my first draft of The Crying Child. 

My original plan was to release this a month after Sisters, but real-life keeps poking holes in all my plans so I’ll have to see if I can pull if off.

If nothing unexpected pops up to ruin my month, I’m fairly sure I can do it, but the unexpected has rather taken over this year so I guess I can only try my best and hope that will be enough.

Cover_3 Icarus Child

 

Whenever that does make its way into the world, I will then turn my attention to the last of the trilogy – The Icarus Child – which currently has a wishful release date of November 15th. However, see above for excuses why that might not happen.

Whatever befalls my writing and editing schedules, I just wanted to let people know that they are being written and edited and thought about a lot right now, and will be coming. Hopefully before the end of the year.

Look, they already have covers and everything! This is almost as good as a release from me – not that I usually leave my covers to the last minute or anything. Nope. Not me. (And yes, I know, they’re kind of blue, but that works with the story. All photos are mine as well, just in case anyone wondered. Apologies once again to Portland Bill for turning you into the island.)

So, those are my exciting plans for this month. Anyone out there got anything good going on?

Updates, Writing

Done! (For now…)

My rewrite edit of Sisters of Icarus is done! At 100,000 words it’s grown by 20K, but right now I don’t care. It is done, and hopefully most of the bits my betas didn’t like have now been removed.

I’ve also found out that a bunch of my family are coming to visit this weekend (and next week), so I guess work on The Crying Child will have to wait. While the schedule-keeping bit of me is disappointed, the rest of me is doing a happy dance. I get to play with my nieces and nephews and also avoid writing the less-than-happy book! (Though I’m working on getting more happy into it.) It’s also carnival week next week in my little town, which mostly means face painting, crab fishing, cake stalls and sunshine – yay! 

Summer is on! I hope you’re getting a chance to enjoy it in your part of the world. And if you’re in an upside down spot, then I hope your winter is passing kindly. (If it’s not, sorry to hear that, but I’m not giving the sun back yet ;)

In the meantime, I have books to read and review, plot ideas to form and butterflies to count – if only they will actually appear in the garden! (Seriously, where have all the butterflies gone this year? Last year I couldn’t move for them. Guess my contribution to the Big Butterfly Count is going to be pretty pathetic.) Happy, sunny days!

Aekhartain, Updates, Writing

Progress Report: Blame it on Fox

This always happens; I should have expected it. The first time I wrote Icarus Child a certain pair of characters, Cana and Fox, overtook everything and expanded the story way beyond my original plans. I didn’t mind too much because I came to love the pair of them, so I was excited to write about them again in Sisters of Icarus.

As it turned out, while it was nice to write about the again, it wasn’t as much fun as I’d hoped. Part of this was because this book is pretty dark and I tried to remember only the nice bits. Another part was because I was trying to force my characters to fit the old plot and keep to a rough word count. I managed it, just about, but some of the spark had gone – and Fox’s biggest fan didn’t like it.

I kind of agreed, which was why I put the book aside and launched a rebellion with Caligo/Nawaquí instead. (Well, why wouldn’t you?)

Needless to say I wasn’t looking forward to going back to this tale and trying to sort out the mess I’d left it in. I knew it would take some work and I foresaw headaches ahead.

Well, so far it’s grown by 15K, including three whole new chapters – which isn’t ideal – but I’m actually quite enjoying it. Because Fox is back, my Fox, the proper Fox, not the angry, resentful, not particularly enjoyable character who showed up for the rewrite. Oh, he’s still angry in places (he always has been and he has his reasons), but he’s also more fun. And because he’s more light-hearted and cheeky, so is Cana.

Don’t get me wrong, this is still a sad book in which unhappy things happen, often to nice people, and there’s the whole evil island lurking over everything. But now, thanks to Fox and my vastly inflated word count, there are a few happier moments to lighten the atmosphere and a much more enjoyable romance to keep things ticking along.

I hope. It’s working for me, anyway.

Then again, I haven’t actually finished it yet. There are still five chapters to go and a certain plot that needs to be reworked, but overall I’m happier with this version. I just hope my betas will be happy too and I’ll be able to win Fox’s biggest fan back into his club. I’ll need something positive to keep me going for The Crying Child, which is just as happy as its title suggests…


Before I go, one last reminder:

The Rebel Returns is increasing in price from tomorrow.
Rising from $.99/£.99 to 2.99.
Get it cheap while you can!