Author Interview, Blogging, Book Love, writers life, writing

Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon – Blog Tour and Q&A

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The start of a fierce fantasy duology about three maidens who are chosen for their land’s greatest honor…and one girl determined to save her sister from the grave.

In the walled city-state of Alu, Kammani wants nothing more than to become the accomplished healer her father used to be before her family was cast out of their privileged life in shame.

When Alu’s ruler falls deathly ill, Kammani’s beautiful little sister, Nanaea, is chosen as one of three sacred maidens to join him in the afterlife. It’s an honor. A tradition. And Nanaea believes it is her chance to live an even grander life than the one that was stolen from her.

But Kammani sees the selection for what it really is—a death sentence.

Desperate to save her sister, Kammani schemes her way into the palace to heal the ruler. There she discovers more danger lurking in the sand-stone corridors than she could have ever imagined and that her own life—and heart—are at stake. But Kammani will stop at nothing to dig up the palace’s buried secrets even if it means sacrificing everything…including herself.

Author Q&A

I would like to welcome amazing YA fantasy debut, Kelly Coon to my blog. I’m on her street team, the Skeleton Crew ❤ She answered some of my questions about her inspiration behind Gravemaidens, her writing process, and more. Let’s get started 🙂

Loie: Did Gravemaidens change a lot from the first to final draft? 

 

Kelly: What a good question! As a matter of fact, it DID. I’d say the finished hardcover is close to the 35th draft of this story. I dropped a POV character—the Boatman—and rewrote nearly every single scene from the book. It was a massive undertaking! 

 

Loie: When you’re brainstorming a new project, what do you start working on first? Do you like to research, think about the plot, or work on your characters? 

 

Kelly: I tend to start with my characters, because until I know who they are, I can’t know the plot. The decisions they make in their character arc will change the course of the plot, so I have to nail down what they want, what they need, the ghosts in their past, and the truth that they need to hear. I also need to know things like how they solve problems, how they view the world (because that impacts their voice), who they have conflicts with, and their values.   

 

Loie: Can you give us a hint at what you’re working on right now 🙂 ? 

 

Kelly: Yes! I just finished the last round of developmental edits on the GRAVEMAIDENS sequel (I cannot wait until I get to introduce you to some of the new characters) and am working on a contemporary stand-alone with speculative elements. It’s a daunting book, because one POV is written in verse and another POV is written in prose. =)

 

Loie: When were you first inspired to write Kammani’s story? 

Kelly: I wrote two completely different novels set in versions of Kammani’s world from 2013-2015, but the characters and plots did not work at all. I hadn’t yet gotten to the heart of the story she should be in. So, I scrapped those two novels completely and started over from scratch in 2016 with new characters, a new premise, and a whole new world. I queried it in early 2017 and got my agent, Kari Sutherland, who is amazing, in April of 2017, just a couple of weeks after she read it. =)

 

Loie: When you’re writing, do you need complete silence or do you listen to music?

 

Kelly: I actually listen to white noise for the most part. I’ve written six novels (and much of a seventh) with white noise, but the poetry I’m writing for my WIP has been written to loud, screaming, pulsing music. Haha

 

Loie: What was your favorite part about writing Gravemaidens? 

 

Kelly: There’s one scene near the end of the story where I felt myself let loose. Like I untied all my strings and allowed my imagination to take me wherever it wanted to go, plot outline be damned. This scene is still one of my favorite scenes in the whole book because it’s imaginative and weird and exactly the right fit for that part of the story. 

 

Sometimes writing this book was an absolute struggle, but other times—like that night—it was magic. 

 

Thank you a million times, Loie! These questions were amazing! =)

Loie: Thank you so much for answering all of my questions 🙂 If you’re interested in pre-ordering a copy of Gravemaidens, you can find it here. It releases next Tuesday, October 29th. I’m anxiously awaiting for my own copy to arrive in the mail! 

Until next time,

Loie xo

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Blogging, Book Love, Book Reviews, Giveaway, writers life, writing

POWER OF FIVE Rockstar Blog Tour

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About the Series:

Title: LERA OF LUNOS (Power of Five #4)

Author: Alex Lidell

Pub. Date: January 4, 2019

Publisher: Danger Bearing Press

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 192

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon

Read For FREE With Kindle Unlimited!

Two immortal realms on brink of war. One mortal standing in their way.

With the quint squaring off against the king of Slait, Lera is running out of time to tame her feral magic. Worse still, just when the quint must weave together to survive, demons from Tye’s past surface to tear them apart. Demons he fears facing, let alone sharing with Lera.

But when Griorgi makes a move that no one expects, throwing River, Shade, and Coal’s lives into question, the clock runs out. Lera and Tye have no choice but to fight their battles within—or risk losing Lunos and their quint forever.

LERA OF LUNOS is a full-length reverse-harem fantasy novel, the stunning finale to the Amazon-bestselling, KU-All Star POWER OF FIVE series.

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Title: TRIAL OF THREE (Power of Five #3)

Author: Alex Lidell

Pub. Date: September 26, 2018

Publisher: Danger Bearing Press

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 192

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon

Read For FREE With Kindle Unlimited!

Four cords of power. Three trials. Two soul-crushing secrets. 
For Lera, training has never been so hard. With the males’ power roaring in her veins and River’s cold demand that she master the magic before the third trial, something has to give. Worse still, River is keeping something from her. Something about his past and Lunos’s future.
For River and Coal, the past must stay buried. Though one male’s nightmare sits on a throne and the other’s hides in his soul, they are equally unprepared for Lera’s startling determination to undress the truth.
But when Mors’s Emperor Jawrar makes a play for Lunos, neither Lera’s fledgling magic nor the males’ old wounds can remain untouched—not if their world is to survive.
TRIAL OF THREE is a full-length reverse-harem fantasy novel, third in the Amazon bestselling, KU-All Star POWER OF FIVE series. 

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Title: MISTAKE OF MAGIC (Power Of Five #2)

Author: Alex Lidell

Pub. Date: June 29, 2018

Publisher: Danger Bearing Press

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 193

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, B&N, TBD

 

FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED!!!

 

Three trials stand between Lera and exile. Unless the training kills her first.
Quint magic has never chosen a human before, and the Elders Council is convinced Lera is a mistake.
When the quint refuses to be cleaved apart, the enraged elders give them a choice: exile from Lunos or demotion to the lowest of trainees. Subject again to the humiliations and deadly trials they endured centuries ago, the males now face a new challenge—training Lera to survive.
River, Shade, Coal, and Tye will do whatever it takes to keep Lera safe. But Lera will do whatever she must to keep them together—even if it means putting herself in mortal danger.

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READ POWER OF FIVE FOR FREE JANUARY 4TH-8TH!

Title: POWER OF FIVE

Author: Alex Lidell

Pub. Date: May 4, 2018

Publisher: Danger Bearing Press

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 312

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, B&N, TBD

 

FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED!!!

 

Four elite fae warriors. One mortal female. A magical bond they can’t allow—or resist. 
Orphaned and sold to a harsh master, Lera’s life is about mucking stalls, avoiding her master’s advances, and steering clear of the mystical forest separating the mortal and fae worlds. Only fools venture into the immortal realms, and only dark rumors come out… Until four powerful fae warriors appear at Lera’s barn.
River, Coal, Tye, and Shade have waited a decade for their new fifth to be chosen, the wounds from their quint brother’s loss still raw. But the magic has played a cruel trick, bonding the four immortal warriors to… a female. A mortal female.
Distractingly beautiful and dangerously frail, Lera can only be one thing—a mistake. Yet as the males bring Lera back to the fae lands to sever the bond, they discover that she holds more power over their souls than is safe for anyone… especially for Lera herself.

REVIEW

Hi there! This is the first novel I’ve read by Alex Lidell. I found the story enjoyable, and definitely had me turning the pages. Lera is a likeable character who you feel for at the beginning of the story. She’s had a difficult life from the get go, having been a slave to a cruel owner.

The group of four fae have been looking for their fifth member. Another warrior fae. Yet, the magic tricks them and chooses Lera, a mortal young woman.

The story follows their journey back to the elder council. They want to sever the bond, or so they think.

It’s entertaining, romantic, and fun. I give it a 4/5 ✨

 
Power of Five is a full-length reverse-harem fantasy novel. 

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About Alex:

Alex Lidell is the Amazon Breakout Novel Awards finalist author of THE CADET OF TILDOR (Penguin, 2013). She is an avid horseback rider, a (bad) hockey player, and an ice-cream addict. Born in Russia, Alex learned English in elementary school, where a thoughtful librarian placed a copy of Tamora Pierce’s ALANNA in Alex’s hands. In addition to becoming the first English book Alex read for fun, ALANNA started Alex’s life long love for YA fantasy books. Alex is represented by Leigh Feldman of Leigh Feldman Literary. She lives in Washington, DC.

Join Alex’s newsletter for news, bonus content and sneak peeks: www.subscribepage.com/TIDES

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page | Book Bub | Instagram

 

Giveaway Details:

 

1 winner will win a $10 Amazon GC International.

1 winner will receive a POWER OF FIVE Journal, US Only.

1 winner will receive the complete POWER OF FIVE series in eBooks, International.


Rafflecopter link:

 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2875/?

 

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

1/4/2019- Under the Book Cover– Review-Power of Five

1/4/2019- Writer of Wrongs– Excerpt- Power of Five

 

Week Two:

1/7/2019- Loie Dunn– Review-Power of Five

1/7/2019- Texan Holly Reads– Excerpt- Power of Five

 

1/8/2019- BookHounds– Excerpt- Power of Five 

1/8/2019- Two Chicks on Books– Excerpt- Power of Five  

 

1/9/2019- Good Choice Reading– Excerpt-Power of Five

1/9/2019- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Excerpt- Lera of Lunos

 

1/10/2019- A Gingerly Review– Review-Power of Five

 

1/11/2019- Burgandy Ice– Excerpt- Lera of Lunos

 

Week Three:

1/14/2019- Smada’s Book Smack– Review- Complete Series

1/14/2019- Books a Plenty Book Reviews– Review- Complete Series

 

1/15/2019- Reese’s Reviews– Review- Complete Series

1/15/2019- Parajunkee– Excerpt- Lera of Lunos

 

1/16/2019- Book-Keeping– Review- Complete Series

1/16/2019- Jaime’s World– Excerpt- Lera of Lunos

 

1/17/2019- Bookbriefs– Review- Complete Series

1/17/2019- Abooktropolis– Review- Power of Five or Complete Series

 

1/18/2019- Love in a time of Feminism– Review- Complete Series

1/18/2019- Eli to the nth– Review- Power of Five or Complete Series

 

24 Days of Writing, Book Love, Country Life, Nature, Uncategorized, writers life, writing

On the 3rd Day of Writing: Enchanted Conversation Magazine

December 3rd

Hey everyone!

Hope you’re having a good week so far ✨❄️

Here is a fun place to submit: Enchanted Conversation Magazine.

Are you able to tell a myth, fairy tale, folktale in 100-500 words? Check out some examples:

Beerwood Stew – 364 Words – READ HERE 
Stepsister – 214 Words – READ HERE 
Beloved – 178 Words – READ HERE
Email submissions to EnchantedCSubmissions@gmail.com
The subject line of the email should be: FAIRY TALE FLASH – your last name – title of your work. Example: FAIRY TALE FLASH – Dunn – “Your Title”
Write a short cover letter with the approximate word count of the story. Pen a brief author’s bio written in third person and up to three links to your personal website or social media accounts. Don’t summarize your story in the cover letter. 
Include a Paypal address.
Paste your submission in the body of your email.
Single spacing. No indents on paragraphs. Double space between paragraphs. Use Arial as the font. Try to use American English word forms and punctuation.
Have fun with this submission! One of my stories was accepted through Enchanted Conversation. Check it out here!
What story will you write for this submission? I would love to hear below 🙂
Until next time,
Loie xo
24 Days of Writing, Book Love, canadian authors, Nature, writers life, writing

On the 2nd Day of Writing: Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide

December 2nd

Here is a fun place to submit! ❄️✨

Submission Tips

MC that is age 8-12.

-A diverse cast of characters.

-Fun to read and encourages love of science fiction.

-Adventures in space with robots, rockets, or alien encounters.

-Steampunk, weird west, and time travel are fine.

-Word Count should be between 3,000-6,000 words.

-Science fiction, not fantasy.

Particularly Looking For:

-Adventures!

-A MC from an underrepresented population.

-MC has agency and isn’t just along for the adventure.

Don’t Write:

-Stories about female characters who need rescuing or are a prize.

-Stories where the subplot or main plot is romantic in nature.

-Graphic violence or swearing.

Submission Deadline

-December 15, 2018, with a reading period of January and February 2019.

-Don’t put identifying information on your manuscript.

Have Fun

I hope you guys enjoy this submission opportunity 🙂

I think I’m going to write about a robotic dog named Mag, of course inspired by my 16-year-old Jack Russell Terrier 😉🐕

What will you write about? Find out more, here!

Until next time,

Loie xo

Uncategorized

All That We See or Seem by Kristina Mahr Blog Tour

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All That We See or Seem by Kristina Mahr

YA Fantasy

Releases May 15th, 2018 by Uncommon Universes Press

Every night, seventeen-year-old Reeve Lennox finds herself under a noose.

By day she is a lady of Acarsaid’s royal house, daydreaming of adventure and love. But every night in sleep she wanders through a nightmarish city, an invisible witness to the screeches of monsters and the screams of their victims. Her only consolation is Bran, a battle-torn young man with a selfless heart and eyes that reflect the stars. 

Yet while Reeve falls deeper into her dreams, in truth she is engaged to Arden, a mercurial nobleman who has long been cured of his belief in love and breathes fire and flattery like other people breathe air.

Torn between two lives, Reeve struggles to remember what’s real. Until night and day collide, with a revelation that threatens all of Acarsaid.

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Hi everyone!
 I would like to welcome author Kristina Mahr to the blog. Her YA fantasy, All That We See or Seem releases tomorrow. I had the privilege of getting to read an ARC of her wonderful and fantastical book that I highly recommend. Isn’t that cover beautiful?! She has graciously answered a few questions I asked her 🙂
Interview Q&A 
1) If you had a recurring dream for years, what would you hope to dream about?
 *
That’s so tricky! I love the randomness and unpredictability of dreams. If I was stuck with just one… well, it’d better be a happy one. With puppies. And love. And summertime. Oh, and flying! All of the best dreams involve flying.
 *
2) What was the inspiration behind the world and characters of All That We See or Seem?
 *
The biggest inspiration was a dream my sister had four years ago, about a girl who falls in love with a boy she meets in her dreams. That’s definitely the nucleus of the story. The first scene that popped into my mind was of a girl, running through dark streets in her nightgown. Everything was kind of built around that. I started asking all of the obvious questions: why a nightgown? (Set in the 1800s.) Why is she running? (Monsters.) What does this boy think the first time he sees her? (Insane asylum escapee.) All of the pieces piled into place until it became this story.
 *
3) Do you have an tips for aspiring writers who hope to be published?
 *
It’s probably the most common advice, but it’s the most true: keep writing. It doesn’t have to be every day. It doesn’t have to be in novel form. But play with words, in some way, as often as you can. Turn off the radio sometimes while you’re driving and turn your story over in your mind. Write short stories. Write poetry. Read. Read some more. Surround yourself with fellow writers to bounce ideas off of and lift you up when your story is fighting you tooth and nail. Don’t give up. Even if the middle gets messy. It’s what middles do. Power through. Writers are lucky to have this dream, because so much of it is within our own hands. We can write the best story we know how to write. Getting published is a lot of luck and timing, but if you write the best book you can… at least you can feel content in having done everything you could do.
 *
4) What has been your favorite part of your writing journey thus far?
 *
I think the best moment so far has been the cover reveal. It’s so beautiful and so representative of the story. I feel very lucky to have it as the face of my words. And then the fact that that’s my name on it, and the title I always wanted for this book… it really drove home the fact that this is a real thing that’s happening.
*
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Kristina Mahr devotes her days to numbers and her nights to words. She works full-time as an accountant in the suburbs of Chicago, where she lives with her two dogs and two cats, but her true passion is writing. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and waking up at the crack of dawn every weekend to watch the Premier League.

Here are the links if you are interested in buying her book! Thank you for your time Kristina and thank you Uncommon Universes Press for the advanced reader copy.

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Apple

Goodreads

I would love to hear what you think in the comments below 🙂

Until next time,

Loie xo

writing

Writing is re-writing

May 2nd, 2018

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Good afternoon all!

Some of you may have heard this phrase before: writing is re-writing. A lot of the time, we look at the finished book in our hands and don’t realize the amount of drafts it took to get to the final copy. As a reader, I certainly didn’t know much about the process of writing a book.

When I first began writing more seriously in 2012, I was a newbie and didn’t know much about drafting and revising. I finished my first complete novel during NanoWrimo that fall and then in January took a look at the manuscript. It was awful. There were plot holes and two dimensional characters and hardly any description. The bits I did like I saved and then decided a re-write was in order. That was when I began researching how to re-write and revise.

Marissa Meyer has a great series about how she brings her story idea to a complete novel. She outlines what she does in each stage from brainstorming, research, first, second, third drafts, etc. I found that to be quite helpful when tackling my own first re-write.

Presently: the continual learning curve 

I received feedback on my current fantasy WIP, THE LOST SAGES (formally titled EVREN) and am working on it now. There was so much helpful feedback that I’ve created a TO DO list and am tackling each one separately. Even though it feels like I have to climb a mountain, I know in my heart of hearts that I will be so proud of this book when I’m done.

The thing I am realizing too is, this book is one of the first projects I’ve taken on and I am learning SO much. I am receiving insight into myself as a writer and where my strengths and weaknesses lie. I am learning a lot about grammar and proper punctuation and the age old, show don’t tell rule as well as the infamous info dumping in fantasy novels 🙂 It is all good and encouraging. I know this is the path I need to take to grow as a writer. I want to feel confident in my ability to pen a story and have the proper tools in my toolbox, as Stephen King explains craft.

I am at the point in my writing career where I can sense a few things coming down the road. I want to write stories I am proud of and that have heart in them. I want people to to resonate with them and perhaps see themselves in the characters. I also want to write the best story possible. I don’t want to settle.

This week I have been thinking a lot about creativity and projects we take on. Sometimes if we take on too much, our writing suffers because of it. I’ve noticed that I haven’t been able to focus as much and find it hard to return and work on THE LOST SAGES. I sat down and wrote in my journal, trying to discern what was keeping me distracted. Too many projects on the go. I needed to narrow my focus and so I have. Now, I set myself a reachable goal for each week and hope to have this latest draft done by June.

What are you all working on? How many drafts do you write? I would love to hear below.

Until next time,

Loie xo

Uncategorized

Trust the process

April 7th, 2018 7:09 pm

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Hey guys!

I decided to participate in Camp National Novel Writing Month. If you can tell from the title, yes, you attempt to write a novel in ONE month 🙂 I decided to take a break from EVREN and KING BLUEBEARD, while they are with beta readers and editors, and instead write a new story about dragons and a young woman who has been imprisoned in a tower for the majority of her life. So far, I have about 10,000 words, and am enjoying this process. I am completely pantsing the project, meaning, I have no outline or previous brainstorming for it. I am literally opening the document and writing what comes in my head at the time.

I thought today I would talk a little bit about trusting the process. Trusting the process of drafting a new novel, brainstorming a new novel, or editing said novel, whatever spot you are at in this journey.

Trust 

Before I began pantsing this project, I’ll be honest, I was nervous. What if I couldn’t come up with characters that readers would follow for a novel? What if I just stared and nothing came together? What if the plot did a face plant?

I am happy to report that as I’ve begun drafting, the characters and world have revealed themselves to me. There have been parts where they have surprised me and made me laugh. This for me, is part of the joy of writing, when you are surprised by your own characters. It feels so magical.

However, if there is a part where you get stuck, there are some things you can do to unstick yourself 😉

-With a notepad and pen just scribble scene ideas down and circle some of your favorites to pen later

-Go for a walk or hike in nature and try to give your brain a chance to float and be quiet. Sometimes my best ideas pop up during these times.

-Research! Research often sparks plenty of ideas for me that gets me rolling again

Writing freely

Many better writers before me have spoken about this but they really recommend that the first draft of anything, to try and write freely without having that inner editor speaking too loudly in the background. The first draft tends to help you get a feel for your characters, world, and plot, but it does not have to be perfect! Try and silence that inner editor and write this draft for fun. That’s what I have been doing and its a liberating experience. I know oftentimes in rewriting and revising, that the magic occurs. That is where I can fix sentences and deepen character motivations, fix the plot and subplots if there are any gaping holes.

So, enjoy writing! Trust yourself that you can finish this draft. Give yourself permission to write a messy first draft, but have fun while doing so! Another note, everyone’s process is different. This is what works for me. 🙂 What may work for me, might not for you. I just hope you feel encouraged and excited with whatever you are working on.

What are you working on at the moment?

Until next time,

Loie xo