Characters: Gay by nature or choice?

By Author Paul Mosier

The following is my response to an email from a woman who kindly beta-read the novel I have recently completed– the middle grade “Summer and July.” Her feedback was thoughtful, intelligent and complimentary. To my surprise, she said she enjoyed it in spite of her being ethically opposed to the nature of the love presented in the story, and her worry that my story would contribute to the “normalization” of such love. Below is my response to her. I omit my opening remarks.

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Notes on your notes: The “men in gray suits” is actually one of the several colorful terms in surfer lingo for sharks. Another good one is “landlord,” which is their term for great white sharks. Those don’t appear on the beaches of Santa Monica, or they would have been a good inclusion. But since that didn’t come through to you as a reader, perhaps I need to expand on that exchange. “Noah” is another term for sharks, from the Aussie cockney rhyming scheme of “Noah’s Ark” rhyming with “shark.” Similarly, Aussie surfers call Americans “seppos” because “Septic tank” rhymes with “yank.” It’s kinda bizarre.

I, too, was happy with Summer’s method of giving herself permission to feel something other than happy, enthusiastic and optimistic– putting on Juillet’s clothing and makeup. I didn’t plan it– I don’t plan anything in writing, really. I don’t think I am capable of doing something as artful or lovely as that, but as a servant of the muse, I think I do a pretty good job of staying out of her way. I don’t feel like I’m the creator of a story so much as I am the first person to experience it.

I feel the same way about characters. I don’t expect that I’ll change your mind about seeing same-sex love as being somehow wrong, but I’ll make my argument anyway. I have never designed a character, and if I did I think they’d be wooden or cliched. I feel like they are introduced to me by the universe, and I disagree with writers who think that I as an author need to know my characters completely. In fact, I feel like I only know them as much as they are willing to reveal themselves to me. An interviewer once asked if I ever found myself disappointed when I finished writing a novel and realized that my characters weren’t real, and my reply was “I don’t think I agree that they aren’t real.”

But I didn’t set out to write a same-sex love story. I think that every story is a love story– the only question is what kinds of love. Summer and July was born from the sense of place of a seaside town with an ice cream shop and boogie boarding, then the characters walked into the scene. But I don’t feel like I determined their sexual orientation any more than I designed the bluebird metaphor. Which I did not design. I’m just witness to it. My understanding of Juillet and Summer, watching them act, is that they are not necessarily drawn exclusively to their own gender. It seems like their affection is specific to the individual case– for Juillet, Summer, and for Summer, Juillet. They’re probably both surprised that their first kiss was with another girl. They’re both young and figuring themselves out.

I don’t choose the sexual orientation of my characters, but if I did, I wouldn’t apologize for representing same sex loves as being as legitimate and potentially beautiful as heterosexual loves. And I would suggest that maybe instead of worrying about texts that “normalize” same sex loves, perhaps you should worry about texts that vilify or demonize love between two men or two women, which has always existed. It’s hard for me to even imagine what motivation lies behind such persecution other than some antique need for maximum regeneration of the species to swell the ranks of armies and churches. It is interesting that you use Plato to support your argument about our need to use care in what we teach our young, when Plato said that the only true type of love was that which existed between two men. Of course, I disagree with Plato in this respect, as I think that the love between a man and a woman can be pretty profound, too.

I’m sure that– while gay people have appeared in previous novels of mine– Summer and July will open me to a new level of potential criticism and rejection for elements other than my ability to tell a story. I didn’t wish for this, and it doesn’t represent any kind of bravery on my part– that distinction is reserved for those who wrote about the love between members of the same sex in decades past. I’ve got a left-handed female character named Lefty in my work-in-progress, but likewise people in centuries past have fought the stigma of people who find themselves preferring using their left hands, so there is no heroism for me there, either.

Happily, though thinking ill of same sex love still exists in the world I live in, having a contract with a Big Five publisher I have learned that, generally, in the world of children’s books, publishers have moved beyond the argument. Though opposition to same sex love still exists, my editorial group does not wish to dignify such opposition with space on the page. Nobody in a middle-grade book written by me and published by my publisher is going to look askance at two girls or two boys falling for each other.

For me, It was easy to make the “normal” heterosexual choice. Girls and women have always been attractive and fascinating to me. Though I didn’t set out to write a story featuring a same-sex love, the idea that maybe some kid will fail to kill him or herself because I didn’t resist presenting a story in which affection and romantic love between two members of the same sex is pretty much the most adorable love story ever– I’ve got to say I like the idea of being on that side of the equation, and of history. And all I have to do is let the characters be who they are. Take them as they are, and love them as they came to me. I hope you’ll consider this position.


Want more from Paul? You can check out his books on Goodreads HERE.

Find Paul on the YA Author Rendezvous site HERE.

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Finding the Right Indie Publisher

Book publishers, indies, authors, books, michelle lynn, romance, fantasy, dystopian, writing tips, self-publishingThis is tricky. Too many authors have been taken to the cleaners by those who are supposed to be taking care of them. The most important thing is to do your research. Find authors under their imprint and talk to them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the publishers themselves. How they answer you can be telling in itself.

Spotting the good ones:

  • Communication: This is the number one thing. How quickly do they get back to you? What is their overall tone? As the author, you are NEVER bothering them. Your publisher works for you. They may own the publishing rights, but the book is still yours. If you ask questions and they get snippy or *GASP* don’t respond at all, don’t walk, run far far away. You don’t want to work with them.
  • Advances: Okay, most indie publishers don’t pay advances. Heck, the practice isn’t even always done with the traditionals. BUT occasionally you’ll find one that does. I can think of one off the top of my head. What does this say to you? They believe they can sell your book. They believe in you. So, the lack of an advance shouldn’t scare you off from a publisher, but if you find one that gives them, give it a longer look.
  • Marketing: One of the awful things about indie publishers is that many many of them no longer pay for marketing. Why would I give you the rights to my books and a cut of royalties if you’re just going to put it for sale then sit on your ass? No. Not happening. If a publisher doesn’t help with marketing, it isn’t worth it. Don’t worry, there are still some out there that do.
  • Covers: Find books they’ve put out and look at the quality of the covers because most use the same designers for all their books. If you don’t like the covers they’ve done, that publisher isn’t for you.
  • Editing: Once again, you’ll have to use their editors. Read something by one of their authors.
  • Rights: How long do they want your publishing rights for? If you’re lucky enough to find a year by year contract from a good publisher, jump on it. I wouldn’t do more than three. Also, ask what kind of rights they want. If they also want audio and foreign rights, does it mean they’re going to produce and translate the book? If they don’t plan to do that, don’t sign those away. Try for an exclusive eBook and non-exclusive paperback contract.
  • Professionalism: Look to their website, Facebook page, etc. to see the face they put on their business.

Book publishers, indies, authors, books, michelle lynn, romance, fantasy, dystopian, writing tips, self-publishingIt may seem daunting to find an indie publisher that is right for you, but research is important. Don’t forget, by signing with them, you are giving the publishing rights to your baby that you’ve poured your heart and soul into. Don’t jump at a publishing contract just to have the stigma of “being published.”

If you don’t find one that suits, don’t be afraid to do it yourself.


Still deciding if a publisher is right for you? I discussed that last week HERE.

In need of a publishing assistant? Learn more HERE.

I’m published by Creativia.

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Indie Publishing

indie publishing, self publishing, michelle lynn, author, writing, books, traditional publishing, romance, dystopian, fantasy,
So, if you’re reading this, it probably means you’ve decided to take your book indie instead of the much longer traditional route. For many authors, this is a great decision. BUT your decision isn’t finished.

I’ll bet you thought indie only meant self-published, right? Wrong. There is also an entire slice of the pie owned by indie publishers. These publishers take on many authors and do a lot of the same things as the big boys – but on a smaller scale.

I won’t talk today about finding a good indie. That will be next week’s post. This is simply about deciding if a publisher is right for you or if you’d be better off on your own. There are pros and cons to each path to market. Let’s start with the good stuff, shall we?

Pros –

Self Publishing:

  • The obvious: Control. This isn’t over content because most indie publishers will let you have full content control. What I mean by this is the ability to craft your own marketing strategy. To control when or if your book is discounted. Control to choose your own cover designer and editor.
  • Price point: Many indie publishers make the same mistake that some of the big ones do in pricing unknown authors too high. If you’re doing it yourself, you have the ability to experiment with price points to find the best bang for your buck.
  • Making changes: Your book not selling? Okay, go find yourself a new cover or a new strategy.
  • Full royalties: No one besides you and the bookseller gets a cut.

Indie Publisher:

  • Money money money money: Any indie publisher worth their salt will pay for editing, cover, and formatting.
  • Ease: Once you finish a manuscript, you send it to the publisher and begin your next one. There’s no wrangling of designers and editors. No setting up KDP or Createspace.
  • Expertise: The good publishers will know much more than you do. They will have ideas that you haven’t thought of because they’ve worked on many more books than you.
  • Community: You’ll be connected to every other author in their fold.
  • Marketing: Hopefully the publisher you choose will handle the bulk of your promotions.

indie publishing, self publishing, michelle lynn, author, writing, books, traditional publishing, romance, dystopian, fantasy,
Cons –

Self Publishing:

  • Money Money Money Money: It’s very expensive.
  • Knowledge: If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can get very lost.
  • Inferior product: If you don’t spend the money on editing and cover, you’ll be putting out an inferior product.
  • Harder: Everything will fall to your shoulders.

Indie Publisher:

  • Royalty Cut: They get a percentage of everything you make.
  • Control: When they handle everything for you, it can leave you feeling disconnected to your books. It’s also harder to coordinate promos to create a comprehensive strategy.
  • The editors and designers in their employ are the ones you have to use.

I hope this helps with your impending decisions. Some authors on both sides will tell you their way is the only way, but that is insanely false. This business is not one size fits all. Yes, many people get screwed over by publishers. That’s why it’s important to do your research.

I have been published both ways and can tell you that it has all been valuable experience and I’ve benefited immensely from each avenue.

Good luck on your writing journey.

 

In need of a publishing assistant? Learn more HERE.

I’m published by Creativia.

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Meet the Seer

Prophecy of Darkness, book one of the Legends of the Tri-Gard series, releases as part of the Fire and Fantasy box set, available for just 0.99 for a limited time. Find out how to purchase it at the bottom of the post. 

Lorelai.pngThe sight is not a sure thing as most people think it is. I see the paths that lay open to an individual. I see events without the faces of those involved.

I am Lorelai and I am a seer.

There are those who would seek me out and destroy me for that very reason. It has been twenty years since the people of Dreach-Sciene lost their magic. The sight is believed to be the final remnants. They want to steal it. They don’t trust it.

But they don’t understand. My magic was never tied to the earth. It was not given and therefor cannot be taken away. The sight is a part of me.

I have done my job, fulfilled my mission. I have set things in motion for the prince of Dreach-Sciene to find the Tri-Gard. They have their reasons and I have mine.

Now I have one final task before I can return to my home. Before I can prepare for the battles to come.

Only this mission could destroy me. It is not death I speak of. When that comes I am ready. What I could never have prepared for was keeping my life, but losing my heart.

It is my own fault. He didn’t break it. I crushed it for him.

A heart is a liability. I’ve been told that my entire life.

Now I finally understand what they meant.

“The king took it as a prophecy of hope. He thought they would all be saved, that someone would lead them to regain their magic.
But the cost would be everything else and now she saw it for what it truly was.
A prophecy of darkness.
A prophecy of death.”


Prophecy of Darkness

Only magic can save them from what is coming, but first, it must be reclaimed.

Twenty years ago, war devastated Dreach. Bloody and cruel, it ravaged the realm and stripped magic from Dreach-Sciene.

Without magic, there is no hope. No life. For Prince Trystan Renauld, there is no choice. As his people starve, his enemy prepares for a final showdown that will decide the fate of the realm. Without magical power, he and his people will lose everything. Even with it, they may fail.

Against a backdrop of prophecy, curses, and forbidden love, Trystan must re-unite the legendary Tri-Gard, keepers of the magic, and find the power he’s always believed was a fairy tale: magic, the very foundation of life. With both sides preparing for battle, it’s a race against time—and against the kind of darkness that can destroy them all.

Animation GIF (Twitter Google+ Web NL)


Find out more about the Legends of the Tri-Gard series HERE.

Michelle Lynn is on Facebook HERE.

This book is a collaboration with author Michelle Bryan. Find her HERE.

Prefer romance? Look HERE.

Prefer Dystopian? Look HERE.

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Meet the Authors of Fire and Fantasy 9

 

Mystical Lands. Epic Adventure. Enchanting Characters.

FIRE & FANTASY will have your imagination soaring as you charge headfirst into this enchanting collection of 20+ brand new and existing fantasy reads packed with daring quests, bewitching legends, and dark magic!

Embark on sweeping adventures alongside fiery dragons, mystical mermaids, enchanted faeries, warring witches, demons, elves, and sword-wielding heroes as they face forces of evil and fight for the fate of their worlds!

With over a million words of original Urban Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, and Sword and Sorcery Fantasy from more than twenty bestselling and award winning authors, prepare to lose yourself in the high-stakes fates of lovers, heroes, and villains.

UNLEASH THE MAGIC IN FIRE & FANTASY and enter the worlds of the most creative fantasy authors when you PreOrder Today!

Pre-Order Here:

Amazon | Kobo |NOOK | iTunes

 

Meet the Authors and Their Stories!

This is Part 9 of introducing a couple authors in this amazing boxset. Find out about the books FIRE & FANTASY has inside!

 

Wendy Knight and THE SOUL’S ALLIANCE

Wendy Knight is the award-winning, bestselling author of the young adult series Fate on Fire and Riders of Paradesos. She was born and raised in Utah by a wonderful family who spoiled her rotten because she was the baby. Now she spends her time driving her husband crazy with her many eccentricities (no water after five, terror when faced with a live phone call, no touching the knives…you get the idea). She also enjoys chasing her three adorable kids, playing tennis, watching football, reading, and hiking. Camping is also big—her family is slowly working toward a goal of seeing all the National Parks in the U.S.

You can usually find her with at least one Pepsi nearby, wearing ridiculously high heels for whatever the occasion. And if everything works out just right, she will also be writing.

The Soul’s Allegiance.

Konstanz is pretty sure her best friend is a demon hunter. A demon hunter with a broken heart.

That’s a very dangerous thing indeed.

Being the good friend that she is, Konstanz will protect Navi from any more heartache, even if it means putting up with Bryson, the guy determined to make Navi forget she ever hurt in the first place. Never mind that Konstanz can’t stand him and he likes her even less.

Until he doesn’t. Feelings change, people change, and Navi’s dangerous secrets put them all in danger. In the shadows of monsters, Konstanz loses her heart only to find that Bryson has dangerous secrets of his own. Secrets that threaten everything they’ve fought for.

Monsters come out at night, but the truly evil? They don’t play by Death’s rules.

 

Jessica Cage and SPHYNX-THE UNTOLD STORY

Jessica Cage is an international, award winning author. Born and raised in Chicago, IL, writing has always been a passion for her. She dabbles in artistic creations of all sorts but at the end of the day, it’s the pen that her hand itches to hold. Jessica had never considered following her dream to be a writer because she was told far too often “There is no money in writing.” So, she chose the path most often traveled. During pregnancy, she asked herself an important question. How would she be able to inspire her unborn son to follow his dreams and reach for the stars, if she never had the guts to do it herself? Jessica decided to take a risk and unleash the plethora of characters and their crazy adventurous worlds that had previously existed only in her mind, into the realm of readers. She did this with hopes to inspire not only her son but herself. Inviting the world to tag along on her journey to become the writer she has always wanted to be. She hopes to continue writing and bringing her signature Caged Fantasies to readers everywhere.

Sphynx-The Untold Story

Stories told of the sphinx, a monster with a head of a woman, the body of a lioness, the wings of an eagle, and a tail tipped with the head of a serpent. This beast was told to have been made to guard the entrance to the Greek city of Thebes. For each traveler to cross her path, a riddle was presented. If they could answer it correctly, access would be granted. What was her riddle?
“What is the creature that walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon and three in the evening?” The price to pay for answering the riddle incorrectly, which of course they all did, was not a simple denial of entry to Thebes. Instead of turning them away, the Sphinx, monster that was, strangled them with her tail and devoured them whole.
The story goes that when it finally came to pass that someone could answer her riddle and the consecutive ones to follow, she committed suicide. What else was a girl to do? Some say she threw herself down from the high rocks and fell to her death, while others say that she devoured herself, subjecting herself to the same punishment she dished out to all those who had failed before, a talented feat.
The question remains however… what really happened to her?

 

AND REMEMBER, the authors have put together a GIFT for those who Pre-Order FIRE & FANTASY!

Just take a screen shot of proof of purchase and send it to this email: fireandfantasy2017@gmail.com

 

Stay tuned! More to come!

 


Check out my contribution, Prophecy of Darkness, to the Fire and Fantasy set HERE!

Prophecy of Darkness is a collaboration with author Michelle Bryan. Find her HERE.

See previous posts HERE!

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Meet the Duke’s Daughter

Prophecy of Darkness, book one of the Legends of the Tri-Gard series, releases as part of the Fire and Fantasy box set, available for just 0.99 for a limited time. Find out how to purchase it at the bottom of the post. 

AlixaUgh, I hate all this pomp. I hate that you even care who I am. I am not who matters. That damn prince is not who matters. Look to our people. See our dying fields. Listen to the silence coming from the earth instead of the constant power our parents tell us of.

Yes, yes, I’m Alixa. My father is Lord Eisner, Duke of Isenore, and I despise the prince. He has no clue what’s happening in his very own realm. Trystan Renauld is a fool. Don’t worry, I’m not speaking behind his back. This isn’t treason. I’ve said it to his face. A blasted fool.

And now he’s the realm’s only hope. We’re all doomed.

When I joined up with him, it was only because I had nowhere else to go. I stayed because for the first time in my life, I am important. I will prove everyone wrong. I will overcome the circumstances of my family, my kingdom.

I will prove it to them that I’m no traitor. I’m different than the ones who bow at the dark king’s feet.

And if I can take some of the shine off our little princeling in the process, that’s just a bonus.

I’ve been trained by one of the greatest swordsmen in Isenore – in secret, of course. I have enough rage inside of me to keep me going. If I get to be the one to slice open the traitorous bellies of a few in my family, I’ll revel in it.

I am no princess. I’m a warrior.

And warriors never give up.


Prophecy of Darkness

Only magic can save them from what is coming, but first, it must be reclaimed.

Twenty years ago, war devastated Dreach. Bloody and cruel, it ravaged the realm and stripped magic from Dreach-Sciene.

Without magic, there is no hope. No life. For Prince Trystan Renauld, there is no choice. As his people starve, his enemy prepares for a final showdown that will decide the fate of the realm. Without magical power, he and his people will lose everything. Even with it, they may fail.

Against a backdrop of prophecy, curses, and forbidden love, Trystan must reunite the legendary Tri-Gard, keepers of the magic, and find the power he’s always believed was a fairy tale: magic, the very foundation of life. With both sides preparing for battle, it’s a race against time—and against the kind of darkness that can destroy them all.

Animation GIF (Twitter Google+ Web NL)


Find out more about the Legends of the Tri-Gard series HERE.

Michelle Lynn is on Facebook HERE.

This book is a collaboration with author Michelle Bryan. Find her HERE.

Prefer romance? Look HERE.

Prefer Dystopian? Look HERE.

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Crafting a World Part 2

Prophecy of Darkness, book one of the Legends of the Tri-Gard series, releases as part of the Fire and Fantasy box set, available for just 0.99 for a limited time. Find out how to purchase it at the bottom of the post. 


In the last “Crafting a World” post, we determined our setting. Our realms began to take shape with names and a language that added a bit of color.

Some of those names did the next part for us: describing our land. Aldorwood, meaning wood of life, would obviously be forested over large portions of it’s territory. The Isle of Sona would be tropical – at least in part.

Isenore literally means “Iron mine” thus placing it in the mountains where we had our mines.

We needed farmland to feed our people, but also because we used crops to show the effects of a lack of magic. It made the most sense for these farms to be in Aldorwood, in the center of the kingdom.

These were our three kingdoms and as they took shape, we began to see a culture emerge. Now, some authors create culture before they create their characters. That wasn’t us. In order to see every how aspect of the time and place they lived would affect the story, we needed to put Trystan and Davi and Rissa in real situations.

One of the hardest and most important pieces of world building to get right is religion. Would they believe in God? If so, how many gods? Did they pray? How would it affect their view of the impending war and possible deaths?

These and so many other questions needed to be answered, but our solution was simple to find. Magic came from the earth. Before it was stolen, the people held a connection with the world. So, we made the earth their God in a sense. They didn’t worship it as much as just want to feel at peace with it. At least, those who remember the magic bond do. In order to show this love, we use Rissa, our bull-headed princess. She has a sharp tongue and a desire to fight, but she’s one of the few who still feels a small part of the connection. Her softest, most endearing moments are when she’s in the throes of her power. It is her religion. It is everything to her. It is what the realms will go to war for. Sound familiar?

There are many other considerations in developing culture. What will the ruling family’s relationship be with the people? How big of a role does the army play? What kinds of struggles do the average citizens face – hunger? Bandits?

What role does the weather play in the land? We’ve created erratic weather patterns, thrown out of balance without magic keeping control.

Are there rivers/oceans for the people to rely on?

What clothing do they wear?

A big one for us – would the people in a far village even recognize their rulers?

How is order kept?

When we made the jump into fantasy, we knew there were a lot of things we didn’t know. That was the biggest thing we learned right at first. Make sense? LOL. It took research and a lot of trial and error as well as many many discussion between the two of us.

But nothing in our writing careers has been as cool as seeing our world come together, a world made out of nothing, a world that only exists in our minds and the minds of our readers.


Prophecy of Darkness

Only magic can save them from what is coming, but first, it must be reclaimed.

Twenty years ago, war devastated Dreach. Bloody and cruel, it ravaged the realm and stripped magic from Dreach-Sciene.

Without magic, there is no hope. No life. For Prince Trystan Renauld, there is no choice. As his people starve, his enemy prepares for a final showdown that will decide the fate of the realm. Without magical power, he and his people will lose everything. Even with it, they may fail.

Against a backdrop of prophecy, curses, and forbidden love, Trystan must reunite the legendary Tri-Gard, keepers of the magic, and find the power he’s always believed was a fairy tale: magic, the very foundation of life. With both sides preparing for battle, it’s a race against time—and against the kind of darkness that can destroy them all.

Animation GIF (Twitter Google+ Web NL)


Find out more about the Legends of the Tri-Gard series HERE.

Michelle Lynn is on Facebook HERE.

This book is a collaboration with author Michelle Bryan. Find her HERE.

Prefer romance? Look HERE.

Prefer Dystopian? Look HERE.

Please follow and like us:

Meet the Princess

Prophecy of Darkness, book one of the Legends of the Tri-Gard series, releases as part of the Fire and Fantasy box set, available for just 0.99 for a limited time. Find out how to purchase it at the bottom of the post. 

“A journey such as this was no place for a princess – so she wouldn_t be a princess.”

My name is Rissa and I’m a princess. I didn’t ask for this life. I didn’t want guards or expectations or an overbearing brother. All I’ve ever wanted was to fight for my people, to ease their suffering.

But I’m just a poor woman. Little old me apparently can’t do what my brother can. They didn’t let me train with the army – only low born women were allowed that. I’m expected to marry a man I despise and pop out darling little royals. Knowing my future husband, they’d come out with horns. Little demons. 

My realm is in trouble. My home. My people. If they think I’m going to just sit by and watch it wither and die, then they don’t know me at all. There is something I haven’t told them. I can hear the earth sing. I feel the struggle as it tries to thrive and I feel the heartache every time it fails. That connection that was lost to the people of Dreach-Sciene? I still feel a part of it. I have to save the land.

Ris

None of them believe in me. Not my father, the king, nor my brother, the Toha. Davion doesn’t even fight for me to come and that crushes me, because he’s … well, I won’t get into that. I’ll just say he’s infuriating and my world grows dark when I think of leaving him for my impending marriage.

Such is the life of a princess. If they won’t give me what I want, I’ll just have to take it.

Never underestimate a pissed off woman with a bow. 


Prophecy of Darkness

Only magic can save them from what is coming, but first, it must be reclaimed.

Twenty years ago, war devastated Dreach. Bloody and cruel, it ravaged the realm and stripped magic from Dreach-Sciene.

Without magic, there is no hope. No life. For Prince Trystan Renauld, there is no choice. As his people starve, his enemy prepares for a final showdown that will decide the fate of the realm. Without magical power, he and his people will lose everything. Even with it, they may fail.

Against a backdrop of prophecy, curses, and forbidden love, Trystan must reunite the legendary Tri-Gard, keepers of the magic, and find the power he’s always believed was a fairy tale: magic, the very foundation of life. With both sides preparing for battle, it’s a race against time—and against the kind of darkness that can destroy them all.

Animation GIF (Twitter Google+ Web NL)



Find out more about the Legends of the Tri-Gard series HERE.

Michelle Lynn is on Facebook HERE.

This book is a collaboration with author Michelle Bryan. Find her HERE.

Prefer romance? Look HERE.

Prefer Dystopian? Look HERE.

Please follow and like us:

Book Review – Wendy Knight

Princess of the Damned by Wendy Knight

Find out how to get this book for FREE at the bottom of this post.

prod

The Story:

Landon has never seen his own reflection. He saw hers instead. He grew up watching this girl in the mirror grow with him. Grew up memorizing every feature, every movement, every horror she endured. He can see into her palace, into the darkness she’s trapped in.
When he was little, he told his parents about her. They thought she was an imaginary friend, and they humored him.
But she didn’t go away.
And when Landon was seventeen, he fell in love with her.
She is a captive of the Queen of the Damned.
Now he’ll risk everything to try to save her—his life, his home, his entire world.
Bloody Mary
The queen in the mirror.
Bloody Mary
Waiting to steal your soul.
Bloody Mary…

The Review:

Wow, this was a great one. An incredibly original story-line with fierce characters. Eiress and Landon live in two completely different worlds. The story continually switches between the two and the contrast is basically between light and dark. It’s fascinating. Landon is in our world. He has normal parents, a normal girlfriend, a normal life. Eiress is in a castle of nightmares, chained and forced to go to balls with the souls from hell. She’s lived there for fourteen years and her strength is astounding.

The story is well-crafted and I love that it’s based on an old scary tale that every child knows. Saying Bloody Mary three times into the mirror will bring her forth. It’s a myth that has been made real in this book. Frightening and intriguing. This isn’t a book to miss.

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Check out my contribution, Prophecy of Darkness, to the Fire and Fantasy set HERE!

Prophecy of Darkness is a collaboration with author Michelle Bryan. Find her HERE.

See previous posts HERE!

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Evolution of a Book Cover

It’s here and we’re ready to share the beautiful design with all of you. Michelle Bryan and I have been working with an artist and a book cover designer for what feels like forever, but we couldn’t be happier with the final product.

Our process for this was different than any cover I’ve ever had. The biggest difference was that we decided we wanted custom artwork instead of stock photos. This limited us severely because most covers designers can’t turn a sketch into a vector graphic. Luckily, our wonderful graphic designer, Ann-Maree Macmillan could.

We gave her plenty of headaches, but the final product was worth it.

The first thing we did was get the artwork done. Linda Higgins is an author who also has an incredible talent for art as well. We described – sort of – what we wanted and she ran with it.

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If you look closely at the final one, it has been texturized to look ancient with magic bursting through. Each circle contains an image called an Orianthi Rune. They represent Magic, Darkness, Chaos, and Disorder. The sigil as a whole represents dark magic.

Next, we had to choose a background. Ann-Maree sent us a number of colors to choose from in the same style. We wanted simple, yet elegant. Purple is a royal color. It’s also on the darker side.

Font was simple because we absolutely loved the first one we were sent. The final touch was the gilded corners. Michelle Bryan was adamant that we have them and she was right. So, Ann-Maree designed the corners using the Sigil, magic the Celtic knot design.

POD Corner

Believe it or not, one of our most difficult decisions had to do with series title. We knew it was Legends of the Tri-Gard, but were we going to call this book one? Just one? Roman numeral one? We settled on Volume one after probably too much agonizing. Haha. Then there was the issue of both of us being Michelles. So, when you see M. Lynn – Hi, that’s still me <;

Finally, after holding our breaths for a few months, we have our cover. It’s different than many in the genre. Our decision not to include people on it is not the norm, but it’s right for us. It’s right for this story.

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We hope you enjoy our book! It releases on September 12th as part of the Fire and Fantasy box set – available for pre-order now.

Pre-order here!

 

Only magic can save them from what is coming, but first, it must be reclaimed.

Twenty years ago, war devastated Dreach. Bloody and cruel, it ravaged the realm and stripped magic from Dreach-Sciene.

Without magic, there is no hope. No life. For Prince Trystan Renauld, there is no choice. As his people starve, his enemy prepares for a final showdown that will decide the fate of the realm. Without magical power, he and his people will lose everything. Even with it, they may fail.

Against a backdrop of prophecy, curses, and forbidden love, Trystan must reunite the legendary Tri-Gard, keepers of the magic, and find the power he’s always believed was a fairy tale: magic, the very foundation of life. With both sides preparing for battle, it’s a race against time—and against the kind of darkness that can destroy them all.


Find out more about the Legends of the Tri-Gard series HERE.

Michelle Lynn is on Facebook HERE.

This book is a collaboration with author Michelle Bryan. Find her HERE.

Prefer romance? Look HERE.

Prefer Dystopian? Look HERE.

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