Pre-Order Giveaway Announcement

It’s finally December. That means we’re a little over a month away from the release of Stolen. I think it’s a good time to begin the preorder giveaway, don’t you?

You heard that right, I’ll be doing a big giveaway to one person BUT I will also be giving out goodies to anyone who decides to preorder!

Stolen Pre-Order Swag

To get some free Stolen swag:

Make sure you include your:

  • Name
  • Your Instagram or Facebook handle (I’ll be posting thank-you messages in my story!)
  • Postal Address
  • Whether you want to be added to my Email Newsletter
  • Whether you want to be added to my Postal Listing

I’ll confirm these as they come in! Once received, you’ll get”

  • A Stolen bookmark
  • A hand-stamped bookplate, signed by me
  • Entered into the Stolen Pre-Order Giveaway

Stolen Pre-Order Giveaway

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A hand-felted, custom Mawr plushie by @louisalings – these are all unique pieces complete with a stack of books and golden spectacles. Only 5 of these exist, and if you saw my unboxing a few months back, you know how adorable each one is!
  • A magnet of Stolen’s cover

2nd place will win:

  • $10 Barnes and Noble gift card
  • A magnet of Stolen’s cover

3rd place will win:

  • $10 Starbucks gift card
  • A magnet of Stolen’s cover

4th place will win:

  • $10 iTunes gift card
  • A magnet of Stolen’s cover

Official Rules:

  • Winners will be announced and tagged on Instagram or Facebook on Jan 22, 2019 during the Release Party.
  • I’ll give 48 hours for the winners to reply back to me to confirm their information before shipments are out. Otherwise the award will pass to the next person on the list.

In the Garden, nothing is as it seems

It’s difficult taking care of a delusional father by yourself. Sixteen-year-old Shaleigh Mallet would rather explore and photograph dilapidated buildings than cater to her father’s dark episodes. But when she’s kidnapped by a creature who carries her atop a flying bicycle into another world, she realizes this wasn’t the escape she wanted.

In a kingdom known as the Garden, where minotaurs pull carriages and parties are held in hot air balloons, Madam Cloom and her faerie servant, Teagan, rule over the land with incredible but terrifying magic. Shaleigh must prove that she is the reincarnation of a long-dead ruler, not because she believes it, but because it’s her only chance to survive. With the help of a trespassing faerie, a stoatling, and a living statue, Shaleigh hopes to outwit everyone. She aims to break the bonds of servitude and finally make her way home. What she doesn’t realize, however, is that she’s playing right into the hands of a far worse enemy…

Abstract Emotions & Writing

I went to bed last night thinking of black spirals climbing up into the sky, like enormous screws climbing out of the ground. Sounds pretty crazy, doesn’t it? Let me assure you that it will all make sense once Broken gets released.

Or I hope it will…

The words flowed again today and I was grateful, even if it did start in fits and bursts. On my drive in to work I realized that I wasn’t happy with how a previous scene had turned out. It was the perfect time for bonding and I was afraid if I didn’t go back to fix it today, I would forget it. So that took up about half my word count. I was glad I did it too, even though it meant a slower pace for my brief writing time and having to switch between characters again. That scene feels much more complete, and I know from experience that those kinds of scenes are the best.

When I wrote Stolen, there’s one scene between multiple characters that it took me forever to figure out. I kept rewriting it and rewriting it, trying to get at that difficult emotional exchange that is easy to feel but so difficult to describe. Finally I think I got it by the end, but that scene is now one of the more moving sections of the book. It certainly is one that hits your heart — and that’s the goal.

Or I hope it does at least.

Project: Broken

A land has fallen. An escape was made. It’s a victory of sorts, but at what price?

Shaleigh has made a terrible mistake, one she may not ever be able to fix. Lost and in a strange land with anger and death all around her, she must navigate her way through treacherous lands on her quest for redemption. Along the way she’ll have to negotiate with the mercurial Queen of the Fae, survive the dangers of the Masked King’s realm, and seek out a terrifying fire dragon.

With two powerful beings hot on her trail, Shaleigh has no choice but to keep moving, or else face the dangerous magic of the Madness that has already caused so much pain and heartache. With her sights on helping her friends and her heart longing for home, Shaleigh is determined, but will it be enough?

BROKEN is Book 2 of the Stolen series

Words Written:
12/4 – 1,166

Current Word Count: 43,586

Progress:
Expanded on some very intense character interaction. Also had some nice exchanges and world-building time.

Next Up:
Expanding on a new place with new rulers along with new rulers. For as nice as it sounds, it’s not quite as nice in person.

Commentary:
Not as much writing in today, but it’s not for a lack of inspiration. More like a lack of time. Can I find a way to double my free time on work days so I can increase my output even more?

Still haven’t hit that 45k mark yet, but I’m getting close! Hoping to maybe even hit 50k by the end of the week – which would be phenomenal.

The People in Your Head

When you finally get through the block that you’ve had for too long, the floodgates open, and all the words start pouring out. I love that feeling. I also love making progress finally. Sure, it’s post-NaNoWriMo, but progress is progress! I get away from a set of characters for a bit and then come back to them and I’m in love with them all over again. It’s like seeing a close friend that you haven’t talked to in a while, and then they’re just as witty and entertaining as always. It’s refreshing.

It also sounds crazy when you’re talking about people in your head that you made up, but let’s be honest, that’s what writing is all about. You chronicle the lives, the loves, the struggles, and sometimes the deaths of people that are part of you. Sometimes it’s tragic, sometimes it’s inspirational. Only you get to control the outcome. As Stephen King said in his book, On Writing,

All the arts depend upon telepathy to some degree, but I believe that writing offers the purest distillation.

On Writing, Stephen King

Each character is a little mental child that I’ve molded into existence and send off into the world. Yes, they’re part of a book or a story, but they also exist in their own bubble of a world, isolated from everything else. The fact that I can write about them and share them with others and others can love/hate them too is pretty damn amazing if you ask me.

With that, I give you my progress on my latest WIP this evening!

Project: Broken

A land has fallen. An escape was made. It’s a victory of sorts, but at what price?

Shaleigh has made a terrible mistake, one she may not ever be able to fix. Lost and in a strange land with anger and death all around her, she must navigate her way through treacherous lands on her quest for redemption. Along the way she’ll have to negotiate with the mercurial Queen of the Fae, survive the dangers of the Masked King’s realm, and seek out a terrifying fire dragon.

With two powerful beings hot on her trail, Shaleigh has no choice but to keep moving, or else face the dangerous magic of the Madness that has already caused so much pain and heartache. With her sights on helping her friends and her heart longing for home, Shaleigh is determined, but will it be enough?

BROKEN is Book 2 of the Stolen series

Words Written:
12/3 – 2,357

Current Word Count: 42,420

Progress:
We had an unexpected adventure – which I always enjoy! My characters never do, but I do! 😉

Next Up:
I’ve got the perfect music to set the mood for this place, and some great build-up going for it from multiple points in this book and from Stolen. I left a number of hints around that this would be introduced, so I’m curious to see if readers pick up on it. Now I get to enjoy setting the mood for it and giving it some life.

Commentary:
I’ve been loving how many words I’ve gotten in just over the past couple of days. I know this won’t be sustainable long-term, but I’m just going to sit here and bask in high wordcounts while I can.

Also this whole scene was largely unexpected so I’m really pleased with how it fleshed out and the twists that it took. Things started so mildly at first and took a turn for the worst (like they do in my books). Really curious to see how this next location is going to be for these guys!

Getting Inspired

Last night I joined many of my fellow Parliament House Publishing authors and had a two-hour chat on Twitter where we discussed all sorts of things about the writing process and our experience in writing books. It was a busy chat filled with funny revelations (wine was the drink of choice for many) and heartfelt conversations. One of the best parts was that other authors hopped in giving answers as well! I checked the tag (#PHPChat) earlier and saw that the conversation was still going with other authors. I absolutely love it!

It was a really inspiring evening and I honestly can’t wait until our next chat. There are a lot of new faces in our author family so it was great to put our feet up and not only get to know everybody, but also to talk about our books and about writing.

Speaking of, I made some major progress on my WIP today! Woo-hoo!

Project: Broken

A land has fallen. An escape was made. It’s a victory of sorts, but at what price?

Shaleigh has made a terrible mistake, one she may not ever be able to fix. Lost and in a strange land with anger and death all around her, she must navigate her way through treacherous lands on her quest for redemption. Along the way she’ll have to negotiate with the mercurial Queen of the Fae, survive the dangers of the Masked King’s realm, and seek out a terrifying fire dragon.

With two powerful beings hot on her trail, Shaleigh has no choice but to keep moving, or else face the dangerous magic of the Madness that has already caused so much pain and heartache. With her sights on helping her friends and her heart longing for home, Shaleigh is determined, but will it be enough?

BROKEN is Book 2 of the Stolen series

Words Written:
12/2 – 2,202

Current Word Count: 40,063

Progress:
One character had a major realization and a bit of a guilt trip. Then just as expected, someone lost their head. It wasn’t pretty, and things got pretty twisted by the end of it. There were tears, screams, and serpents.

Next Up:
Approaching a lonely tower on a hill and the group of men who run it. All parties will be converging here and once again, it won’t be pretty. This is ultimately where the climax of the book will take place. After that it’s all about setting up for Book 3. Whew!

Commentary:
I’ve finally reached the halfway mark! Oh my goooosh. I was so inspired after the chat last night that I knew exactly what was going to happen when I settled in to write this afternoon. Then everything fell into place and I understood how I was going to wrangle these cats in the direction they needed to go.

I’m excited to see the final few legs of this story unfold and to see what these characters do as a result of what happens. That’s the great thing about being a pantser, you have all these ideas but at the end of the day, the characters usually choose where they want to go. Sometimes you get to be as surprised by their decisions as the reader is.