Welcome to this stop on the Fall Into Romance Blog Hop, put on by Hops With Heart! I'm Kyra Halland, and I love fantasy in my romance and romance in my fantasy. Enjoy some magical falling in love moments from my stories, and be sure to enter the giveaways further down! I'm giving away an ebook Love and Magic 3-pack (containing my novels Urdaisunia, Chosen of Azara, and Sarya's Song) and there's also a grand prize giveaway sponsored by Hops With Heart for a $75 Amazon gift card! Also make sure you check out some of the other great blogs participating in the blog hop - the Linkup list is at the bottom of the post.
And now, on with the romance!
From Chosen of Azara, a wanderer named Sevry, whom Lucie has seen in mysterious visions, takes shelter at Lucie's father's house, and Lucie makes an astonishing discovery:
* * *
Lucie moved into a foreign ballad that her mother, Rinata, had taught her. She had been told many times that she had the sweetest voice in the Lower Districts, and wasn’t shy about singing in front of people. She didn’t understand the words to this song, but she could feel the mixture of sadness and strength in them. The tune was in a minor mode, almost tragic except for a subtle thread of love and tenderness that ran through it. This was one of her best songs, and she wanted the man from her visions to hear her at her best. Not that she really cared what he thought of her, of course; she just wanted to put her best face forward for a guest.
She sang, letting the feel of the music and the lilt of the language guide her singing. After a moment, she realized that another voice had joined hers, a fine baritone though somewhat rough from disuse; it was the stranger singing quietly along with her. He knew all the words, and pronounced them with more ease and certainty than Lucie did.
Lucie’s fingers faltered on the strings. Flustered, her heart bursting with a wild mix of emotions, she managed to make it through the rest of the verses and the last chorus. “I’m sorry,” she stammered when the song was done. “I’m tired. Good night.” She fled the hall, clutching her lute in both hands, the stranger’s voice still echoing in her mind.
From The Lost Book of Anggird, after attempting to magically Heal Perarre's cold, Roric suffers the consequences, and comes to an uncomfortable realization:
* * *
He slid down along the wall to sit on the floor next to the washstand, fists clenched in frustration, tears in his eyes. The pain was bad enough, but he hated the sickness, the shame, the feeling of helplessness that came along with it. He felt like he was trapped in that dark hour twenty years ago, shortly after coming to the University, when he had crouched in a hidden corner with the point of a stolen kitchen knife pressed against his throat, trying to will himself to plunge it in, to put an end to the memories and pain and shame and to make sure that no one would ever discover what he was. The life he had painstakingly built for himself since that day, the respect and reputation he had gained, all seemed to crumble away under the onslaught of misery that Healing brought upon him. Why had he done this to himself, just for the sake of temporarily relieving a simple head cold?
Because her illness was his fault, that was why, a reproachful voice inside his head pointed out. It was disgraceful the way he had been overworking her. Had she really thought that he would dismiss her if she became ill? If he wasn’t careful, he would drive her away or wear her down completely before he even had a chance to begin the most important research he would ever do.
And, in any case, what right did he have to interfere in his employee’s personal habits? What had he been thinking, to insist that she go swimming in the frigid waters of early spring? He had been born in a place where icy winds blew unhindered for three-fourths of the year. Though he couldn’t bear pain, tolerance of the cold was bred into every particle and sinew of his body. It had been stupid of him to assume that Miss Tabrano would have the same tolerance.
He sat in misery, waiting for the pain to ebb away. As it faded, a memory of smooth, warm skin beneath his fingertips came unbidden into his mind, along with the realization that, regardless of pain, illness, and propriety, he had enjoyed having an excuse to touch her. More shame flooded through him — how could he have taken such advantage of Miss Tabrano in her illness? But he couldn’t bring himself to regret that brief moment of unexpected, unfamiliar pleasure.
And that was more alarming than any amount of pain.
And finally, here's a sneak peek inside Beneath the Canyons, book 1 of my upcoming fantasy-western series Daughter of the Wildings. Lainie Banfrey can't help feeling a little smitten with Silas Vendine, the stranger in town, even though she knows he's probably trouble (please note, this is not the final edited version!):
* * *
Lainie tied Mala to a post outside the mercantile and looked at the list she had written on a scrap of paper. It contained five or six things her father had meant to tell her to get the other day when he sent her to buy nails but had forgotten. Ever since Blake's death, he was distracted and forgetful, lost in anger and memories and grief.
As she read the list, a shadow fell over the paper and she felt a presence beside her. She looked up to see Mr. Vendine standing there. A burst of excitement and shyness leaped up inside of her, and she tried, unsuccessfully, to keep from smiling.
He tipped his brown, flat-brimmed leather hat to her. "Good morning, Miss Banfrey."
She was being silly. She had only just met him; she couldn't be smitten with him already, and if she was, she was a fool. With an effort, she managed to respond with dignity. "Good morning, Mr. Vendine."
"More errands for your father today?"
"Yes, he always thinks of things he meant to tell me to get right when I've just made a trip to town."
"I certainly hope you have a better day for it than you did the other day."
"I hope so, too." Having someone to talk to about it, someone friendly who wasn't all wound up over the situation, made her words come spilling out in relief. "Once they've done some shooting, they usually calm down for a while before they start getting all riled up again."
"They? The miners?"
"All of them." Lainie waved a hand, encompassing the whole town. "The whole damn-fool lot of them." Suddenly she felt self-conscious of her own babbling. "Anyhow, Mr. Vendine, thank you for keeping watch over me the other day. If you'll excuse me --"
He touched her shoulder as she turned to go into the store, stopping her. "If I could speak to you privately for a few moments, Miss Banfrey, I'd appreciate it. Maybe on your way home?"
His voice and his handsome face and dark eyes were very serious. Not a trace of flirtation or even friendliness, though his manner was certainly polite. Although he had been so kind to her, she was suddenly afraid of what this stranger might have to say to her. He had a slightly dangerous air about him, as of a man who keeps his own secrets. Did he know about her power, how she had tried to protect herself with magic the other day? Or was there something else going on with him? The ranch hands had heard rumors he was a bounty hunter; did he think she knew something about a fugitive he was hunting?
"Please," he said. "I mean you no harm. It's important."
"It's a distance back to the ranch," she said. "Four leagues and some."
"My horse could use some exercise. I'll saddle him up and meet you back here by the time you're done with your business."
"My Pa don't want me riding out with men he don't know."
"It won't take long. I just have a question or two I'd like to ask you."
Just a question or two. There couldn't be any harm in that. Finally, she nodded. "All right, then."
"Thank you. I'll be waiting here for you." He tipped his hat again, then walked away towards Mundy's Boarding House. Lainie watched him go for a moment, then went into the store.
Enter to win a Love and Magic eBook 3-pack (Urdaisunia, Chosen of Azara, and Sarya's Song) from Kyra Halland/Welcome to My Worlds! (One winner)
***Winner has been notified by email***
And the grand prize giveaway from Hops With Heart!
Grand Prize Giveaway not run or sponsored by Kyra Halland/Welcome to My Worlds
Be sure to check out the other blogs in the Fall Into Romance Blog Hop, Sept. 19-22!
An exciting bit of news today- The Lost Book of Anggird is being featured in a Book Brief on Indies Unlimited! Go check it out to learn a little more about the book, like where the title came from and who my favorite character is. And then, while you're there, check out the rest of Indies Unlimited for more great books by independent authors and, if you're an indie author, helpful articles and features.
In the meantime, I'm still plowing ahead with this edit of Sarya's Song. Lots of work to do, but I want to make this book as good as I can. Sarya's Song has been a difficult book to write and it's been through more different versions than any of my other books, but I think I've just about got it!
Here's another sneak peek inside The Lost Book of Anggird: Perarre and Professor Rossony have had a serious disagreement over a book he found that he isn't supposed to have, and Perarre has to make a difficult decision about their relationship:
PERARRE LAY AWAKE in the dark bedroom. Roric was sound asleep, his body warm and still against hers. She shifted away from him a bit; he didn’t move.
Where his words hadn’t convinced her to open the book, his lovemaking almost had, though she was sure he hadn’t meant it that way. She was sure he had only meant to mend the rift between them, to comfort her after upsetting her so badly, to assure her of his love even though he couldn’t agree with her. But when she was with him she couldn’t think straight. She couldn’t think at all; she found it impossible to refuse him anything he wanted.
He wasn’t going to listen to her. And maybe he was right. Maybe opening that book was the only way to find answers. She didn’t know. What she did know was that there was something terrible inside that book, whether it was whatever had frightened the Triumvirate so much or what it said about what really happened between them and the Benefactor, and that opening it would lead to disaster one way or another. If Roric wouldn’t listen to her, there was only one thing left for her to do.
Carefully, hardly even daring to breathe, she slid out of bed and dressed as quickly as she could. She looked at Roric for just a moment. The memory of the night he had opened up to her, exposing all of his pain and shame to her, tugged at her heart. He had trusted her with the secrets he had hid from everyone else, trusted her not to turn away from him and his terrible past. She felt like she was betraying him in the worst possible way, but she was afraid that if she stayed, he would wear her down and persuade her to open the book against her better judgment and all her instincts.
She didn’t dare kiss him, lest she wake him up or change her mind about what she had to do. Without looking back again, she opened the door and slipped out of the room, feeling as though she had ripped out her heart and left it behind in that bed.
In her room in the Assistants’ Hall, she packed her clothes, her letters from Laydra and Samale, and as many books as would fit into the single valise she had brought to the University nine years ago. She should have known the affair with Professor Rossony was a mistake. She should have known it would end badly. What in the world had made her think that sleeping with her employer was a good idea? That was the problem; she hadn’t been thinking at all. She bit her lips to stop herself from crying as she jammed her belongings into the bag, but tears still ran down her face. Angrily, she pushed them away. When would she ever learn to stop and think things through before jumping into trouble?
The Lost Book of Anggird is available at:
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For more Sunday Sneak Peeks, check out the Sneak Peek Sunday blog.
Love & Magic Week continues! Here's a magic lesson with Roric and Perarre from The Lost Book of Anggird:
“All right, then. I’m ready,” Perarre said. “Let’s get this over with.”
He positioned himself behind her and took her hands in his. She was tense and trembling. “Breathe deeply and slowly,” he said, shaking her hands to loosen them up along with his own. “The most important thing is to not fight it. Be aware of it, the heat, the colors, the nature of fire, but don’t let it have power over you. Do you understand what I mean?”
“Yes,” she said uncertainly.
“Remember what I told you,” he said. He kept up a soothing murmur, reminding her of the things he had told her, trying to encourage both of them as he moved their hands towards the fire. Each time he felt the slightest hesitation or tension in her arms, he stopped and helped her relax again. “Would I be doing this with you if I thought you would get hurt?” he asked.
She looked up at him. “Oh, Roric, I’m sorry. This has to be even harder for you than it is for me.”
“It’s not as hard as it looks.” He hoped he sounded at least somewhat convincing. “Just let the warmth — not so hot as to burn, just warm — just let it flow around you… It helps a great deal if you close your eyes.”
She closed her eyes. Roric tried to make himself keep his own eyes open, but finally he couldn’t watch any longer. Keeping up his encouraging words, he slowly extended their arms, bringing their hands closer to the fire and then into the dancing energy and distant warmth of the flames themselves.
Welcome to another couple interview for Love & Magic Week: Roric and Perarre, from The Lost Book of Anggird.
1. How did you meet?
Perarre: We met when I interviewed for the position of translating old books for him. He didn't want to hire me, for some silly reason, but I talked him into it.
Roric: I remember wondering, immediately after I engaged her for the position, if I hadn't just made a terrible mistake. As it turns out, hiring her was probably the most intelligent thing I've ever done.
2. What was the first thing you noticed about the other person?
P: His looks. He's very handsome, in a slightly exotic way. And then I noticed that his reputation for being a sanctimonious prig seemed to be completely justified. Fortunately, he's grown out of that.
R: I noticed that she was a woman, which I thought made her unsuitable for the position. Then I took note of her qualifications, and changed my mind. Male or female, I couldn't have asked for a more highly-qualified and competent assistant.
3. Did you know when you met that you would end up together?
R: No. I had no intention of ever entering into a romantic or carnal relationship with anyone.
P: [laughs] I was just hoping that we could work together without strangling each other. I had my sights set on foreign lands and exotic lovers once my work for him was over.
4. What do you like best about the other person?
P: There's a very sweet and gentle side to him that he never used to show anyone. He had his reasons for that, and I felt very privileged that he finally opened up and let me see that side of him. He also has great integrity; he will do what's right no matter how hard it is. He can be absolutely trusted to tell the truth and keep his word. And when he does decide to offer his love or friendship to someone, he is completely loyal. And he treats me with respect.
R: Her warm, straightforward nature, along with the fact that she forgives me so easily for my more difficult traits. And I have the greatest admiration for her intelligence.
5. What is something you enjoy doing together? (Besides the obvious!)
R: In spite of a rather difficult beginning, we found that we work very well together on scholarly research.
P: We also like reading together. Roric has a fondness for the mythologies of different lands, and it's fun to read out of collections of myths to each other. And also, yes, "the obvious."
6. How has the other person changed you?
R: She got me to open up my heart to friendship and love, to start truly living instead of living only for my work and to protect myself.
P: All the things I once thought I wanted - traveling to exotic places and having love affairs with exotic men - started to seem shallow and meaningless. With Roric, I learned to want something bigger and deeper, something greater than my own immediate, self-centered desires.
7. What are the biggest differences between you? How important are these differences?
R: There's quite a difference in our ages. I'm thirteen years older than Perarre. But that doesn't seem to matter; we relate to each other very much on equal terms. And she was far more experienced in some things than I was when we first... when our relationship began.
P: There's also the difference in our personalities. He's very neat, fastidious, really, and reserved, and I'm... not. But I think the differences between us are less important than what we have together. We just seem to complement each other. And anyway, if we were both the same, it would be boring!
8. What do the two of you have in common?
P: Not much. But that's ok.
R: We do share a dedication to scholarly work. We've also been through some unique and difficult experiences together. But mostly what we have in common is our feelings for each other.
8a (new question!). What is the biggest challenge you've faced in your relationship?
R: We had a rather serious disagreement over some avenues of research I was pursuing.
P: You were looking at books you weren't supposed to have and you lied to me about them.
R: I didn't lie as such, my dear. I simply... held back some information that I thought it would be better for you not to know. That incident nearly ended our relationship, but after some time apart we decided not to let it come between us.
P: Hmm, that's an interesting spin to put on it. But, all is forgiven now. *smooch* There was also the time when we had to go our separate ways for a while, to do some things. That was hard. But each time we've had to be apart, we've come back together with our relationship stronger than ever.
9. What does your family think of your partner, and what do you think of your partner's family?
P: My mother didn't think much of Roric when she first met him, but he wasn't at his best at the time, all things considered, and anyway, she was still pushing me to marry a man who was the last man in the world any girl would want to marry, so her judgment is pretty questionable. I'm much closer to my sister Samale and her family than I am to my mother, and Samale and her husband Luka like Roric very much. As for Roric's family, his brother Khaian is a good man. The rest of them, well, with family like that, who needs enemies?
R: My father was horrified that I had married a woman of a different heritage from ours. On the other hand, my brother Khaian and his wives seem fond of Perarre. I quite like Samale and Luka; they are good, sensible people. Perarre's mother, on the other hand, in my opinion, failed as a mother when she tried to force Perarre to marry a young man who was not only unsuited for Perarre but an entirely objectionable person.
10. What role does magic play in your relationship?
R: We met when I engaged Perarre to assist me in research concerning a difficulty with the magica, the magic power found in the Vorunne Dominion.
P: And then, the first year and a half of our relationship was spent trying to find the roots of the problem and correct it. We went through a lot of experiences, magical and non-magical, that really bonded us together.
11. What are your plans for the future?
R: Raising our children, of course. Also, due to the circumstances surrounding what happened to the magica, I'm considered the foremost expert on how to use magic as is currently exists. So there is no end of courses to teach, lectures to deliver, and books to write. I love my work, so this is a very exciting time.
P: There are also books to be translated which have never been translated before, and I'm very excited to have the opportunity to do this, and to keep working with Roric.
12. "The whole is greater than the sum of the parts" How is this true for the two of you?
P: Working together, we changed magic and the way the Vorunne Dominion is ruled. So there's that.
R: As well, Perarre and I are both better, stronger people together than we are apart. And the two of us complement and complete each other.
P: [smiles at the toddler running around the room] The most important thing is that together, we made something that didn't exist before - a new family.
WHEN PERARRE RETURNED to work after being out for a week, the Professor greeted her with a slight lift at the corner of his mouth that might almost have been a smile. “Good morning, Miss Tabrano. I hope you are feeling quite recovered from your cold.”
“I’m feeling much better, Professor, thank you. And you?”
“I’m quite well, thank you.”
“Thank you for helping me that day,” she said. “And for the book.” She wanted to ask if he had recovered completely from his own sickness, but was reluctant to embarrass him by bringing it up. She decided she would leave it up to him to mention if he wanted to.
“You’re quite welcome,” he said, glancing through the papers on his desk.
Perarre took her seat at the work table and began looking through the translation she had been working on, trying to figure out where she had left off. She was wearing her hair in a braid; she was still too fatigued from her illness to wrestle with pinning it up. She wondered if the Professor would say something to her about it.
“It’s good to have you back,” he said after a moment. “I had become accustomed to working with you present, and found it difficult to adjust to working alone again.” He shuffled his papers a little longer, then set them down. “I am not a bad person, Miss Tabrano,” he said, still without looking at her.
“Of course you’re not,” she said, surprised that he would say such a thing.
“I know I’m not popular, or even well-liked, but…” He trailed off awkwardly.
Cold, impersonal, unpleasant Professor Rossony had missed her, and cared about what she thought of him? Perarre suspected that trying to figure it out would give her a headache. “I’m glad to be back, Professor.”
Here's another peek inside The Lost Book of Anggird: Perarre catches a cold:
Perarre nodded and dropped into her chair at the work table. What had she been expecting, that he would see how sick she was, feel sorry for her, and give her the day off? She shuffled her book and papers and pens around, not quite able to focus her foggy, feverish mind on her work. When she opened the book and tried to read its archaic script, her eyes watered and ached. She dropped her head to the table and covered it with her arms to block out the light.
“Miss Tabrano!” The Professor sounded genuinely alarmed. Perarre heard him come around from behind his desk, then she felt a light touch on her face. “You have a fever! Why didn’t you tell me you were ill?”
“Can I have the day off so I can die in peace, sir?” she mumbled. “And please don’t fire me.”
To her astonishment, instead of firing her, he started gently massaging her temples. Gradually, the pain in her head ebbed away, along with the feverish feeling. The comfort spread to her watery eyes, stuffed-up nose, and burning throat. The Professor’s hands moved to her shoulders, still keeping the same light, slow, rhythmic touch. Then the touch faltered and he stopped. “I apologize for not realizing sooner that you were in distress, and for being unable to provide more relief,” he said. His voice had gone quiet and slightly husky.
Perarre raised her head and looked at him. “You can Heal.”
“I only achieved an Adequate ranking in Healing. I have some… difficulty with the Balance.” His face was covered with a light sheen of sweat, like it had been the day she stepped on his foot.
Of course. Healing was Balanced by pain for the Healer; the Healer had to filter the discomfort and distress taken from the patient out of the magica he had used before allowing the magica to return to its place. Even the small amount of pain that would be brought on by giving mild relief to cold symptoms was probably almost unbearable for the Professor. “Will you be all right, Professor?”
He nodded. “It usually passes before very long. I think I’ll go lie down for a bit. You are excused from work until you are well again. Only, Miss Tabrano —”
“You do not have my permission to die.”
Here's another peek inside The Lost Book of Anggird. Perarre and Roric, on the run from the law, have met a friendly woodcutter named Elmond. Here, Roric and Elmond go shopping:
After breakfast, Elmond stopped at the wagon to transfer some of his money into a small leather pouch and lock the rest in the lockbox, then they walked down the street to the mercantile.
Clothing was the most immediate need, Roric decided. The well-stocked store had several shelves and racks of ready-made dresses, trousers, and shirts. Dresses didn’t seem practical for a long journey on horseback, so, using his hands to estimate Perarre’s height and the size of her hips and chest — his face growing warm as he did so — Roric consulted with the shopkeeper to choose some trousers and shirts for her as well as for himself. The trousers and one remaining shirt he had brought with him from the University, besides being nearly threadbare, didn’t fit quite right any more. The Uurikhani tended to be solidly muscular, and three weeks of chopping and hauling wood had had a noticable effect on Roric’s build.
To the pile of clothing on the counter he added a pair of leather-and-canvas packs that could be carried separately or fastened together and slung across a horse’s back, two large leather water flasks, a flint and steel for starting fires, a good knife, packages of hard flatbread, dried spiced meat, and dried fruit, and a pair of blankets. Roric briefly looked at a set of lightweight cooking gear, then decided not to get it. While Perarre, from growing up in an inn, might know how to cook on a stove, neither of them knew how to cook over a campfire, and, even if they did, he didn’t know how to hunt anything for them to cook. It was sheer dumb luck, he thought, not for the first time, that two people as helpless as they were had survived this long, and he had the feeling that their journey to escape from the Guards and discover the origins of the magica had barely begun.
The shopkeeper showed Roric a small medical kit, and he added it to the pile, along with a pair of heavy, sturdy boots for himself and another pair for Perarre. He stepped back, contemplating his purchases as he rubbed at the itchy beard that had overrun his face, then put a razor, cake of soap, small mirror, two small towels, and a comb with the other things.
If Perarre was going to be able to translate the journal, she would need paper, pencils, and a writing surface. At Roric’s request, the shopkeeper added a sheaf of blank paper, a handful of pencils, and a foot-square roofing shingle to the pile. Then Roric glanced around the store one more time to see if he had forgotten anything important, and wondered how he could possibly have enough money for the small mountain of items on the store counter. But after the shopkeeper added it all up, muttering over a long column of figures scratched on a piece of paper, and Roric paid the resulting sum, he had a generous handful of coins to spare. Elmond refused to take back the money, so after buying a couple of bedsheets for Elmond to replace the ones he had cut up for bandages, Roric tucked the pouch with the rest of his money into a small pocket in one of the new packs.
When Elmond finished with his own purchases, the woodcutter took a small axe, the length of Roric’s arm, from his own heap of supplies and put it with Roric’s things. “You’ll need an axe for firewood. This one’s small enough for travel, and the best blade in the store. My gift to you.” Before Roric could find words to thank him, Elmond winked. “In all honesty, my friend, you’re going to need all the help you can get.”
The Lost Book of Anggird has been out for about a week now, and I've been really happy with the response! It's been my most successful novel launch yet, and the feedback from readers has been very positive :) I extended the introductory price of $.99 through this weekend (Nov. 3), so there's still a day or two left to get it at that special low price at Amazon and Smashwords.
It's amazing to think that Lost Book is finally finished and available for readers to buy. I started writing it about 15 or 16 years ago, in a spiral notebook in pencil. I have no idea why. I got up to what is now about the 55% mark, and it was just getting weirder and weirder and I really had no idea what I was doing with it. So I stopped writing it. But the characters wouldn't leave me alone, and I finally realized I had them all wrong. In the original version, Roric was truly insufferable, instead of just, um, let's say "idiosyncratic," and Perarre really was in love with the guy back home, which qualified her as TSTL (too stupid to live; one of those technical writing terms :)) And the relationship between them took a *lot* longer to get off the ground.
The big breakthrough came when I finally got a handle on Roric and Perarre's true characters. It's funny how it works with characters. For me, and a lot of authors (not saying this is true for all), you don't just assign a name, an age, a gender, and a menu list of phyical characteristics and personality traits. My characters come to me as an already-existing entity, and then it's up to me to discover who they are. So I listened to Roric and Perarre and let them tell me about themselves instead of trying to impose my own ideas on them, and learned that they were very different people from what I thought at first. Especially Roric; when he told me about his past, I was shocked. But it all made perfect sense, and really explained why he was the way he was and why he did the things he did. Oh, and by the way, he and Perarre felt like the relationship needed to move along a little faster.
After that, everything started to fall into place. I had to figure out exactly how the magic in the story worked, since that's a major element of the plot, but once I had a clear idea about the characters I could see their world a lot more clearly too.
And then it was time to write. At first I had tried typing out my old handwritten version, but quickly gave up on it since 1) it was so eye-gougingly bad and 2) there was very little of it I was going to be able to re-use. So, instead, I rewrote the whole thing from scratch. It took probably 3 or 4 months (slow for me, for a first draft, especially since I started doing NaNoWriMo), and just kept getting longer and longer as I tried to find the right ending. The original ending, with Roric and Perarre returning in triumph after totally #&%$ing up the world's magic, made no sense at all. Finally, though, I found my ending.
Then I took my 139,000 word manuscript and started revising. And revising, and revising, and revising. Some of the revising made it much better, and some of it made it worse. I got it down to 105,000 words, then realized I'd taken out a lot of stuff I actually wanted to keep, so I added a bunch back in. Then, when it came back from the test readers, I had another heart-sinking realization - the writing had been "polished" into bland, boring mush. So a couple more rounds of revision, fixing some problems the test readers had pointed out and "un-revising" the prose into something (hopefully) more lively and interesting to read.
Then the proofreads (where I was still actually adding in some significant things I'd left out/taken out earlier) and then finally I decided that was it. It was done. The final version is about 130,000 words. The formatting and putting up on Amazon and Smashwords only took a couple of days (the paperback version is now also done and waiting my approval of the proof copy), and now it's done. It's hard to believe, after all those years and all that wrestling with it and all the seemingly-endless rounds of revision, it's done, and out there, and people are buying it and reading it and liking it.
So, what's next? I'm getting the feedback on Sarya's Song back from the test readers, so as soon as I finish the draft of Book 6 of Daughter of the Wildings I'll start on that revision. Sarya's Song will be my next novel coming out; I'm aiming for Feb. 2014, though it could be March instead. Overall reaction to the book is positive, but it does need a lot of work. In the meantime, during November I'm also doing National Novel Writing Month. I'm writing fanfiction (another post for another time), which I haven't done in a couple of years. December is when I'll start on the big gigantic revision of Daughter of the Wildings. Also in the meantime, I've got a couple of stories loosely related to Chosen of Azara that are kind of halfway through being revised, that I'll finish and put up for sale.
Lots more stories to come! To stay informed of new releases and special offers, sign up for my email alerts. No spam, I promise!
The Lost Book of Anggird is now available for Kindle from Amazon, and in Kindle, epub, and other electronic formats from Smashwords. And right now, I'm running a special introductory price: through October 31 (Halloween!) you can get Lost Book for only $0.99!
Here's the scoop on it:
"For Perarre Tabrano, who intends to make her own way through life as an independent woman, the chance to work as a translator of ancient books for the renowned Professor Roric Rossony is the opportunity of a lifetime, even though the Professor is as famous for his difficult disposition as he is for his scholarship. But Perarre quickly learns there's far more to him than meets the eye, and her irritation soon turns to fascination.
"Professor Roric Rossony, the Vorunne Dominion's foremost expert on Magical Balance, has been entrusted with a vital task - discovering what is going wrong with the Dominion's powerful magica. With Perarre's assistance, he begins investigating the origins of the magica, and discovers that commonly-accepted truths taught for hundreds of years might not be true at all.
"Then Professor Rossony goes too far in his research, delving into lost and forbidden books. Magical disaster strikes, and, overnight, Roric is transformed from respected scholar to the most-wanted criminal in the Dominion. Perarre is now faced with a choice: cling to the safe familiarity of the home she had meant to leave behind forever and the truths that have turned to lies, or join Roric on a long and difficult journey to discover the source of the magica and set right an ancient wrong."
The Prologue and Chapter 1 are up on the site as a free preview.
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