New Year’s Writing Projects

Happy New Year!

May 2020 be the year that hopes and dreams become reality.

It’s been a while since I posted, so I thought I’d pop in quickly to wish you all a happy New Year and update you on some of my projects. Although I’ve been silent on my blog and haven’t published anything new recently, I am super busy with writing projects, which will all hopefully be published this year.

Wizard of Ends, Book 3

This book has been a loooooong time coming. I am truly sorry about this. No excuses – life happens… to all of us. This time, it delayed my writing and publishing. The first draft of Book 3 is complete; it’s now just to do at least two more drafts and then off to my editor, at which time I will make it available for pre-order. I cannot wait! In the meantime, if you haven’t read Books 1 and 2, you can get Book 1 for free and Book 2 for only $2.99 at Smashwords.

Legends of Origin

Unfortunately, as much as I want to continue to write the next Legends of Origin book, it’s unrealistic to think it will be ready to publish this year. That said, no promises, but I am going to try to publish at least one Wizard of Ends and one Legends of Origin book a year as of next year. I hate to have disappointed thus far, but it’s difficult to write a good-quality book in a short time when you are also working full time and have young children and 20,000 other responsibilities – as most writers will verify!

Grumpy Old Gods

As many of you know, I have been published in the Grumpy Old Gods short story anthologies. I am also now official editor for the anthology, which I am super chuffed about! Readers can expect the next three anthologies soon, including a Grumpy Old Love Gods edition and a Grumpy Old Trickster Gods edition. You can get Volume 1, Volume 2 and Volume 3 on Amazon. If anyone would like to be a part of the anthology, there is still time to submit stories for the trickster edition.

Dragons, dragons, dragons!

Together with the Stormdance team, I will soon be launching a new fantasy anthology. I will send out calls for submission for the new anthology in the first quarter of 2020 if all goes according to plan. I can’t share the details yet, but there will be lots of dragons and humour!

Original Souls

I have hinted at a secret book project that I started working on last year. I am not ready to share too much just yet (the title of this section is a huge clue). However, I can tell you that I have a silent writing partner for this project – an illuminated person who seems to understand the language of the universe and who claims to have unravelled the code that underlies the secret and mysterious symbols of life and the universe (I myself am still trying to grasp some of it). This co-author (let’s call him/her ‘Jamie’ for the sake of brevity) wants to remain anonymous due to the nature of this book, which has a rather interesting take on religion, god and life. While I am not yet a ‘true believer’, I do see much merit in Jamie’s arguments, some of which are things that have crossed my mind before I met Jamie and some of which were new and helped me to understand things differently – and much of which simply ‘feels right’ to me. This book will offer a new way of looking at life and death and the world in which we live, and is bound to bring positive change to anyone who ponders its contents. While the book is not intended to offend or upset anyone, it most likely will – let’s face it, this is quite a touchy subject, since there are so many different religions and beliefs, all of whose followers are usually devout and strong in their beliefs. Hence, Jamie’s desire to remain anonymous so as not to offend anyone in his life.

To start off, we will be publishing a fact-based fiction book, because we believe that the knowledge will be easier to digest in fiction form. We will move from that to some non-fiction books, some of which we will make available free of charge – these books will be much heavier reading for those readers who are interested to know more about the ideas in the fiction book. There are also plans for a second, shorter fiction book with a different perspective on the subject matter. It’s an exciting project and I’m looking forward learning more as we progress with the book, and to the time I can finally share my newfound knowledge in detail and publish!

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Life After an Author’s Mistakes

Prismatic Prospects

I recently took a survey that asked me, “What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made as an author?”

Oh. Ouch. All the ouch.

There’s a lot of research, trial and error, learning, and growth that comes along with this authoring and publishing gig, especially for those of us who are in it for the long term. It’s a journey that requires creativity, business know-how, and oftentimes a combination of both.

Yet, my biggest mistake as an author wasn’t exactly a creative one or even all that business-related. It was part of the result of being grievously maltreated for ten years.

I’ll not go into all of those details in this post. But suffice it to say that I published some books in reaction to the constant demands for marketplace productivity from a twisted, abusive manipulator who feigned to care about my success and wellbeing—because my productivity would help the manipulator look…

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Grumpy Old Gods, Volume 2 – now available for pre-order!

I’m excited to announce that Grumpy Old Gods, Volume 2 is now available for pre-order at Amazon, with the publication date set for 9 August. If you would like an advanced review copy in return for an honest review on Amazon, please let me know – we are happy to oblige and are grateful for all reviews.

A plethora of grumpy old gods are back in a second anthology of mythical fun. Join us for 13 new tales of deities that are retired, reborn, waning or AWOL from their assigned posts as they hilariously navigate life, death and everything in between.

Don’t forget to grab Grumpy Old Gods, Volume 1 if you haven’t already – review copies are also available upon request.

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Wizard of Ends, Grumpy Old Gods and On the Premises

I’ve been a busy bee since my last blog post, my life filled with endless hours of work, 20,000 things to do and our national power company’s constant load shedding (in which, lately, they often cut the electricity three times a day for 2.5 hours each time)… and not so much writing. The good news is that I have recently been able to start writing again – something I have been aching to do for a very long time.

Wizard of Ends fans will be glad to know that I completed Book 3, Mountains of Eclador. That said, it might still be a while before it will be ready to publish. Although the last word is written, there is still a lot of work to be done in perfecting it, and I would also like to revamp the series covers before Book 3 is published.

In other news, earlier this year I submitted a short story to the first Grumpy Old Gods anthology and was over the moon when it was accepted. My story, Out of Luck, along with 12 other short stories, will be included in the anthology, which you can get on pre-order at Amazon. If you enjoy the anthology, please don’t forget to leave a review on the Amazon book page – I would very much appreciate it!

Another thing I am super-chuffed about is being asked to be one of the judges blind-reading short story competition entries for On the Premises, an online fiction magazine started in 2006 by Tarl Kudrick and Bethany Granger. The magazine offers a diverse range of stories in all genres. If you don’t already read it, you’re missing out! You can read the latest issue here – for free. Incidentally, all are welcome to enter the competitions – if your story makes the top ten, but did not win a prize, you can get a free critique as a consolation prize if you want one (other stories can also be critiqued on request for a fee of US$15), and there are monetary prizes for the winners. To keep up to date on the latest contests, visit the magazine’s contest page.

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SA Indies Rock Lit Awards – I’ve been nominated! Author of the Year 2015 & Editor of the Year

SAIRI promised you news today and here it is! I’m happy to announce that I’ve been nominated for the SAIR Editor of the Year and Author of the Year 2015 awards.

I’m honoured to have been nominated for these awards and hope you will take a minute to vote for me. This year is certainly looking up, and these nominations have given me some much-needed motivation to get down to writing again.

Voting closes 12 March 2015, so get your votes in before then!

Good luck to all my fellow nominees!

 

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A New Year and a New Way

Good morning and happy New Year!

I know it’s a little late to be wishing you a happy New Year, but better late than never, right?

I had a smashing first post of the year written and waiting to post on 1 January, and then…

…And then my life was shattered and, it felt, my dreams.

On New Year’s Eve, I left the house for no more than twenty minutes… and returned to a house that had been burgled.

I was devastated, numb, and so very angry with God or the universal consciousness or whoever runs this universe. It seemed as if, no matter what I did to help myself, something outside my control would destroy it. My PC was stolen – along with all the books I had started writing. I lost everything I wrote on Legends of Origin, Book 4: Beyond Orion. I lost three years of research on another book. For a few weeks, I thought I had also lost Wizard of Ends, Book 3, but thankfully I had worked on that in the last few days before the robbery and had saved it to email. I lost work templates and documents for three companies. I lost over a year of work for one client. I lost all my baby and personal pictures, other than the handful I had posted on Facebook and emailed to friends and family. Book covers, promotional material, blog posts for my company… So much lost… It left me shattered and feeling as if my very soul had been raped.

For the last two months, I’ve been demotivated and unable to write. Every time I sit down hoping to continue with Wizard of Ends, my mind shut down, as if my creativity had been stolen too. It doesn’t help that I am oh so short on time. We are still trying to recover from the loss. Yes, I had back-ups – on my laptop and a few USB sticks… all of which were also stolen in the robbery. Insurance took over a month to replace all our stolen items, and then, because we did not have proof of the expensive PC equipment we had, they replaced our jacked up PCs with entry level junk. Insurance paid out for many of the stolen items, but not nearly enough to replace them.

It’s taken me this long to motivate myself to write my first blog post of the year. For a few weeks, I was so demotivated that I didn’t believe I would ever again write to publish, and perhaps not at all. Now, I know I will – because it is not only my passion, but part of what makes me the person I am; thus, without writing and sharing my work, I am an incomplete slab of misery.

Then there’s the time it took to recover what I could from email and friends/family. I have only just recovered the last of what I can. What I had filled almost 2TB of HDD space. What I recovered did not fill a 2GB USB stick. I’m sure you can imagine how upsetting this was, and it sent me spiralling into depression – something some of you already know I battle with when things get too tough.

Thankfully, there is a silver lining (although there are still many days and moments where it feels as if the silver lining is not worth it). The money insurance paid that isn’t near enough to replace the stolen items is now being used to increase security and to toddler-safe our garden. Finally, I can put a timeframe on when my daughter can safely play in our backyard 🙂

I have decided that I will no longer pre-write blog posts to keep my blog busy three times a week. I do not have it in me – emotionally or time-wise – to do that again. I also probably won’t have time to write three blog posts a week like you are used to (which is why I pre-wrote six months’ worth of blog posts, all of which were lost in the theft). However, you can rest assured that my blog will indeed go on, just a little more flexible than before. I still believe that regular blog posts increase visibility and sales, but I can’t say that I’ve experienced any major increase in sales since starting my blog just over a year ago. Thus, I am removing the stress factor and my blog posts will be more sporadic than usual, but, hopefully, more entertaining and relevant too. I will still be sharing guest posts, but am going to be stricter about people following my guidelines, as I no longer have the time or inclination to reformat blog posts that come in a format other than what I requested. Those of you who are waiting for guest posts to be shared, please send me an email reminder along with the details – all my notes were stolen with my PC and I cannot remember who arranged what with me (if you have already emailed me about this since the robbery, you don’t need to do so again; I will get back to you the second I am able). I apologise for the inconvenience.

Of course, I am also looking for fresh guest posts – entertaining topics and relevant to writing and/or reading. Be creative and send me your ideas.

I also have two lots of exciting news that I will share with you shortly – one tomorrow (because I don’t have time to share those details today) and the other once everything is finalised.

Watch this space!

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Recap of 2014, New Year’s Resolutions & Christmas Cheer

xmas banner2014 has been an eventful year, and probably the busiest and most stressful year of my life thus far. Despite the fact that I am sleep deprived and often standing on the brink of insanity, I’ve accomplished myriad things during the course of this year.

First, my husband and I kept a baby alive for a whole year – yay us! Okay, so that’s not nearly as dramatic and fantastic as it sounds, considering said baby hasn’t had as much as a sniffle yet (touch wood). Still, we were not only new first-time parents at the start of this year, but had to figure out how to work at home with a baby in the house full time – not an easy feat, I assure you! Amidst working full time and figuring out how my life is going to work from now on with a baby in the picture, I also managed to write and publish one full-length novel, Creator Species, Book 3 in my Legends of Origin series, and two novellas, the first two books in my new Wizard of Ends series. I even managed to get quite far into writing Wizard of Ends, Book 3: Mountains of Eclador. Plus I survived the stress of my husband’s fight with a power tool and subsequent operation/hospital stay – with my sanity intact, incredibly!

My New Year’s resolutions, in no particular order:

  • Retain sanity no matter what
  • Meditate daily
  • Stockpile chocolate and coffee
  • Pay all the medical bills finished
  • Restrain self from bashing anyone who wakes the baby
  • Make sure my daughter has plenty of books
  • Be done with next year’s Christmas shopping before October 2015
  • Get stinking rich so I can write and publish more books per year

Since this is my last post for 2014, I’ll leave you with some Christmas cheer and my favourite Christmas joke:

Santa Claus was having a terrible day. To start, he couldn’t have his morning coffee, because the coffee machine had mysteriously stopped working overnight. Then he burnt his toast, tripped over the broom and had a huge fight with Mrs Claus about his leaving presents all over the place. The day continued in much the same way, and, when it was time to deliver Christmas trees to the fairies, his regular reindeer refused to fly, so he was forced to use the back-up reindeer, which weren’t in the mood to fly either and had to be bribed with carrots. During his deliveries, Santa had to make numerous unplanned stops to retrieve trees that had fallen from the sleigh. At his last delivery, he tripped on the doorstep and fell. Just then, the door opened and the fairy peeked out, saw Santa sitting on his bum with a Christmas tree in his lap, and burst into giggles.

“That’s a lovely tree!” she trilled. “Where should we put it?”

And that, my friends, is how the fairy ended up on top of the Christmas tree.

Have a magical holiday season, everyone! See you next year and don’t get up to anything too naughty!

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Authors, Promote Your Books for FREE with Humanmade

humanmade-logoAny author who has ever tried to find free marketing opportunities knows how many ‘rubbish sites’ one has to sift through in order to find the good ones. One of the sites I’ve discovered that’s super easy to use is Humanmade.net – you click the ‘submit your talent’ button on the website, add your book’s details and Bob’s your aunty… you’re done and can sit back and wait for the confirmation email. The best part is that it literally takes a few minutes per book, so it won’t cut into your writing time too much, and it’s not only for authors – all creative people can showcase their work.

Here’s a little more about this free promotion site, from the owner:

Humanmade.net is a free promotion website (with a human touch) for talented people and their works. It gives users the opportunity to increase their web presence by having special pages for their works and the ability to receive comments and rating by visitors.

Although the website is heavily used by authors, writers and poets to promote their books, it is also used by other talents. Talents’ categories/directories currently include Books and Authors – in the following genres: Business, Children, Crafts, Fiction, Humor, Inspirational, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Religion and Spirituality, Sports and Technology, also, Artwork, Music, Performing Arts, Personal Websites, Photography and Videos. Other categories can be created at anytime to suit users’ submissions.

The website currently functions by direct submissions by visitors, then by reviewing submissions by site moderators/webmaster. Once accepted, the work will be indexed according to its appropriate category and published. What’s great about this talent promotion website is that each talented person will have a separate profile page showing his/her biography, website, blog, links to social networks, summary of all works indexed at the website in addition to a contact form enabling other users to interact with him/her directly to his/her personal email address (this is if the user wishes to).

Each work submitted by the user will have a separate page on the website, featuring work description, image and other related links. Each page has sharing and book marking tools which will help visitors to spread the word about this work. Also, there are rating widgets and a comment form, which will open the door for discussing the work and gives visitors the chance to share their insights about it.

Website moderators also utilize various social networks to spread the word about indexed works in order to give its web presence a boost and help it receive more attention.

Humanmade.net also helps talented people in the field of promoting their works by the initiative ‘Learn from the Talents’, which is a voluntary collaboration with the featured talents on the website to share their experiences in promoting their works. It comes in an interview (questions and answers) format. Although it is based on special invitation by site moderators, users can request to share in their stories through this initiative.

Since established in 2007, several changes have been made, and other changes are in process to improve the website and enhance users’ experience. One major change would be shifting it to a full talents’ community website, where users can submit, publish and edit their works by themselves, with more tools to interact with other users. For that purpose, we are running a poll to evaluate users’ opinions to decide on the future shape of the website.

Humanmade.net is open for all to visit, enjoy and use. Your comments and suggestions are always highly welcome.

http://www.humanmade.net
http://www.humanmade.net/terms
http://www.humanmade.net/faq
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JUST RELEASED! No Angel – Pippa Jay’s latest offering, a futuristic urban fantasy novel

bannerFBToday I’m sharing an extract from the futuristic urban fantasy novel No Angel by Pippa Jay, which was released today. Enjoy!

NOANGELHow far would you fall for love?

Centuries ago, guardian angel Lucien committed a terrible sin. He gave into his own desires and revealed himself to the mortal woman he’d been charged to protect. By kissing her, he condemned himself. Torn of his wings and his angelic powers, thrown down into the City Below, Lucien now serves Satan as an incubus who claims souls for his master from the City Above, and who feeds on the energy stolen from his mortal lovers. Dark, sexy and charming, he’s been top of his league for decades uncounted.

Until His Infernal Highness decides to send Lucien looking for a lost angel. Lucien has no idea what he did to deserve such a punishment, and the touch of an angel could destroy him. Yet the challenge and the potential kudos of seducing one of his former heavenly kin leads him on.

But when he finds the angel, he learns he still has more to lose than his already forsaken soul.

Please add it to your Goodreads shelf HERE, or sign up HERE for Pippa Jay’s no-spam newsletter for special previews on cover reveals, new releases, the latest giveaways and discounts, and upcoming news.

Extract from No Angel

But where to find an angel? Just as his kind haunted bars and restaurants, where the old sins of lust and gluttony rose strongest in humans, so angels would be drawn to places where hope burned brightest. Hospitals. Aid centers. Churches were a rare commodity as the twenty-second century progressed, preserved more for their architectural value than any religious use. Sometimes people would marry there, strong traditionalists still clinging to the past. The only church in Lucien’s territory—which was larger than most—was St. Bartholomew’s. It was as good a place as any to start. Continue reading

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Pre-publication extract: Wizard of Ends, Book 3: Mountains of Eclador

Today I bring you another pre-publication extract from Wizard of Ends, Book 3: Mountains of Eclador. This will probably be the last until the book is published next year. Enjoy!

~

Lanaran and the soldiers of Ends followed Rune along the narrow path she had opened in the mountain face. The sorceress still followed the kreag’s magical trail, which Lanaran wished he, too, could see. It irked him that he would be lost without someone as insufferable as her.

Rune slowed her horse until she was alongside him. “The trail grows thin.”

Lanaran’s heart sank.

“That’s a good sign,” she said. “With an enchanted tail spell, the ‘tail’ gets thinner the closer one gets to whatever it is one follows.”

Lanaran heaved a sigh of relief.

“We must proceed with greater caution, lest we give away our presence.”

He nodded, adrenaline searing through him in anticipation of the fight he imagined would soon come.

They rode in silence until the noon sun was directly overhead, then Rune gestured for them to stop.

She pointed ahead, to where solid rock blocked their way. “We’ve reached the other side.”

Lanaran groaned. “Don’t tell me we have to go through that whole trance-like procedure again?”

Rune shook her head. “No. I saw this when I followed the magic to its source.”

She waved her hands and the rock shimmered and vanished, revealing a lush valley beyond.

Lanaran urged his horse forward, followed closely by Rune and his soldiers. Greenwood trees lined the valley sides, their melon-sized yellow flowers in full bloom, which was strange for this time of year. Unknown red-flowered bushes spread out between the trees, so small they were half hidden in the long grass. Birds chirped above and the familiar hum of a night insects filled the air – also strange, since night insects never came out at day.

Rune whispered, “Something’s wrong here.”

“I agree,” Lanaran murmured. “Is it more magic?”

The sorceress frowned and flicked her long fringe out of her eyes. “Yes. Of the worst kind.” She scanned the surroundings, as if expecting to see an enemy. “I know Lashlor said it’s impossible, and it is, but…”

“Yes?” Lanaran hissed, impatient.

“It’s Eldryn’s magic. I’m certain of it.”

Lanaran cocked his head. “The ancient sorcerer – the one who’s dead?”

She nodded.

“As you said, that’s impossible.”

“I’m not wrong,” Rune insisted. “It’s Adranalis – magic that survives death. It’s almost impossible to undo.” She fell silent for a moment, then her eyes widened almost imperceptibly and she spun back to the rock face, which once again looked solid. She waved her hands as she’d done just minutes ago, but, this time, the rock did not shimmer and vanish. She touched it and cursed, then whirled back to face Lanaran.

“I’m trapped! I’m trapped in this insufferable mountain again!” Rune sank to her knees and put her face in her hands, then looked up at Lanaran. “You should not have sent Lashlor away.”

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Wizard of Ends, Book 2_BlogPurchase Wizard of Ends, Book 2: Dark Creature
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