Welfare offer football online betting_free login bwin promos_Welfare offer winamax bonushttps://www.google.com/Wed, 06 Sep 2017 13:13:34 +0100Weebly<![CDATA[An update]]>https://www.google.com/Wed, 20 Jul 2016 22:28:36 GMT/760/blog/an-updateThis blog post will not be written with any kind of skill or coherence. Just getting that out there before you actually decide to commit five minutes of your life to reading it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

So, a few things, in no particular order.

First, I SUBMITTED MY THIRD BOOK TO MY PUBLISHER. This is a pretty major event for me, because I’ve really been struggling to write for the past seven months. And, indeed, was struggling as recently as last week. But last weekend, I was given the gift of just over 24 hours without children – the first night I’ve spent alone in more than 4 years – and managed to lock up the inner critic for long enough to get the book finished. I’m still more than 50% sure my editor will come back to me and say what the heck is this load of old rubbish, but to be honest, completing the thing at all feels like a huge achievement.

Second, my second book is out in paperback in a week’s time. I’ve arranged precisely nothing in the way of promotion. However, I will be doing a book signing in Waterstones Milton Keynes on 13 August, if you happen to be in the area.

Third, I’ll be spending far less time on social media for a while. I will update my Facebook author page occasionally if I have anything relevant to share, but my Twitter will remain on hiatus and my Facebook account will remain deactivated. (To be honest, I don’t think anyone’s actually noticed the deactivation of my Facebook account, so that shows how much of an impact I was having on people’s lives. Ha.)

In brief, the retreat from social media is for my own mental health. The internet can be great for showing people they’re not alone. It can also be the loneliest place in the world. And when you’re already feeling like a talentless loser, there’s so much on Twitter and Facebook just waiting to confirm that for you. It gets to the point where everything, no matter how small, feeds into your own insecurity and self-doubt. It’s so easy to compare yourself negatively to other people. To take things personally that weren’t meant personally. And when you add that to all the anger and hate and political arguments that devolve into insults … I guess it can be overwhelming. Certainly I was finding it a drain on my energy. I’ve only been gone a week, and I already feel a lot better just from detaching for a bit.

So, yeah. That’s me. Since I won’t be sharing this on Twitter or Facebook, other than my author page, I don’t suppose anyone will actually read it. But, you know, just in case ;-)]]>
<![CDATA[Diversity and Darkhaven: a reply to JJ]]>https://www.google.com/Mon, 13 Jun 2016 11:33:20 GMT/760/blog/diversity-and-darkhaven-a-reply-to-jj
Dear JJ,

​I’ve written and rewritten this multiple times. I’ve written it angry. I’ve written it calm. I’ve written it crying. I’ve written it laughing at the sheer stupidity of the thing. I’ve thought about the hatred that gets thrown at people online whenever they raise their heads above the parapet, and considered not writing it at all.

​But then the Orlando massacre happened, and silence was no longer an option.

​Let me be honest: I want to swear. I want to call you names. I want to write a reply so scathing it would burn away the memory of your question. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from being on the internet awhile, it’s that anger and insults are never a way to change someone’s mind. So instead, I’m going to bite my tongue and try reason. Your lack of email address suggests that you aren’t actually interested in engaging with me, but I hope that’s not true. I hope you’ll come back and have this conversation, because it’s only by talking – not arguing – that we’ll ever understand each other. Because, as it stands, there are many things I don’t understand about you.

First of all, I have never understood why the presence of LGBT characters in a book is ‘pushing an agenda’ and yet their absence is not. Newsflash: there are many kinds of people in the world. Some are straight. Some are gay. Some are neither. And when I write books, I want them to be a reflection of reality. (Check my website title: it does what it says on the tin.) I want my characters to be a tiny microcosm of the vast population of this planet we live on, not multiple copies of myself. It’s the same reason I write my characters to have different skin tones and hair colours and eye colours and genders and etcetera: because these are traits that exist in the world. Indeed, it would feel odd to me to write a book that isn’t trying to say something specific about race or gender or sexuality, yet deliberately omits people of particular races or genders or sexualities. Because that, in itself, says something specific about race or gender or sexuality. And it’s not something I want to say.

Look at it this way: to me, asking ‘why is this character gay?’ is like asking ‘why does this character have black hair?’. Or rather, it’s equivalent to asking ‘why aren’t all your characters straight?’, which is like asking ‘why don’t all your characters have brown hair?’. Surely anyone would agree that the latter question would be a strange one. And I think most people would also agree that in such a case, it wouldn’t be me who was pushing the agenda, but the person who wanted all characters to have brown hair even though other hair colours exist. So why, when it comes to sexuality, is it suddenly ‘pushing an agenda’ to include people of more than one orientation?

(Note: I’ve often seen people make a rather spurious argument that proponents of diversity in fiction are going too far the other way by trying to force every single book to include different genders, sexualities, races, etc. I don’t even want to get into that argument here; this is a reply to your specific question about my specific book. However, my opinion in brief is that saying ‘the publishing world as a whole should make more effort towards diversity’ is not at all the same as saying ‘only books with these kinds of characters should be published’. Maybe it’s already obvious that I am in favour of the former, not the latter. In fact, it’s the latter statement in a different guise that you appear to be supporting when you complain about the LGBT characters in Darkhaven – essentially, ‘only books with heterosexual characters should be published’ – which brings me back to the question of who, precisely, has the agenda.)

In addition, I don’t understand how you can cite the existence of Naeve Sorrow as proof of ‘pushing an agenda’ when she is only one out of a handful of characters. Let’s take a look at the seven POV characters in Darkhaven, shall we? On the evidence presented in the book, we’d surmise that four of them are straight, one of them is really effing creepy and straight (looking at you, Captain Travers), one of them is queer, and one of them is still figuring the whole thing out. Which part of that is pushing an agenda, exactly? Over the course of the book we see two straight relationships and one gay relationship, which means that if I’m pushing the gay agenda, I’m pushing the straight agenda twice as much. Funny how you didn’t complain about that, eh?

I can’t help thinking the difficulty here is that when you find characters who are ‘different’ from you, you scream that it must be because the writer has an agenda. Yet when you find characters who are the ‘same’, the idea of an agenda never even crosses your mind. It doesn’t seem to occur to you that everyone is different from you, and everyone is the same. We’re all human. If I can be said to have a driving belief when I write, and when I read, it’s simply that we’d all be better off seeing each other as individuals instead of collections of labels. You can call that an agenda if you like, but I think it would be hard to argue it’s a harmful one.

As for my second book … well, let’s just say that if you don’t like Naeve and Elisse then you definitely won’t like Miles and Art. So I guess I’ve lost you as a reader, and you know what? I can live with that. It’s a shame, because maybe you would have gained something from Goldenfire, but everyone is entitled to their own preferences, however narrow. Go and find a book with 100% heterosexual protagonists to read instead. But please don’t try to pretend that I’m the one with the agenda. You’re the one who wants all your fiction to erase the existence of a considerable fraction of the population.

Which brings us back to Orlando, and the horrible events that pushed me into writing this after I’d almost decided not to. People died. Many people. For apparently no other reason than that they were members of the LGBT community. That’s where hatred takes us. That’s where seeing ‘difference’ takes us. To innocent people dying.

​JJ, I’m not comparing you to the Orlando shooter. I’m not saying you would ever pick up a gun and murder 50 people because you didn’t like their sexual orientation – or their hair colour. But if you feel any kind of empathy for the victims, and any kind of revulsion towards the shooter, you might try asking yourself why it’s not OK to erase LGBT people from the real world, but it is OK to erase them from fiction.

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<![CDATA[Writer's block: when the obstacle in your path is your own brain]]>https://www.google.com/Sun, 20 Mar 2016 14:18:59 GMT/760/blog/writers-block-when-the-obstacle-in-your-path-is-your-own-brainPicture
Writer’s block is a goddamn thing.

I never used to think it was. I always thought it was a bit of a silly concept, really. You can’t think what to write? Just write something else! If you’re struggling to complete a scene/chapter/book, simply switch to writing a different scene/chapter/book and all your problems will be solved. It doesn’t matter what you write, after all, as long as you’re writing.

That’s probably reasonable advice for a normal case of being stuck, but true writer’s block is different. Or at least, the thing that I’m now calling writer’s block – having experienced it, and still experiencing it right now – is different from any other kind of writing struggle I’ve had before.

I’ve posted a few times recently about the difficulty I’m experiencing with my third Darkhaven novel, and people have come back with a ton of advice. Set a certain amount of time aside for writing each day – it doesn’t matter if you only write a sentence during that time, as long as you’re doing it. Write something else, something fun instead of deadline-driven. Give yourself a break – walk away, do other things, come back to it when you’re feeling refreshed. I love all my writer friends, and I really, really appreciate the time they’ve taken to support me. But the thing is, I’m on a deadline.

Now, I usually love deadlines. They’re the main impetus I have to get anything done. In the past, writing without a deadline has been equivalent to never finishing, because I have no reason to draw a line under what I’ve done and say That’s good enough. So I just tinker endlessly. But with this particular deadline … well, I’ve already pushed it back once, and that’s once too many. I meet deadlines. I pride myself on meeting deadlines. I don’t want to feel like I’m failing as a deadline-meeter as well as a writer.

At this point, you may be detecting a certain level of obsessiveness. Everyone misses deadlines sometimes. It happens. Just ask for another extension. But my problem with that is that I’m afraid it will push me deeper into the cycle of I can’t do this. I’m already pretty deep in it. I need it to crack open and release me, not sink its teeth in further. Having more time would stretch the problem into the future, making it more daunting, and sending my brain more tightly into its relentless spiral of self-doubt.

So as a result, I don’t have time to take a break or write something different. And while setting aside a certain amount of time for writing every day would be lovely, it’s not going to happen. I get time when I get time. Sometimes my children are ill. Sometimes my husband needs help with something. Sometimes there’s another job to do. And since I get a maximum of two hours a day for everything that’s not kids or work, there’s no way I can consistently spend those two hours on writing.

(And yes, I could sleep less. But I have a full-time job, and I don’t consider it ethical to function at less than my full capability at work because I’ve deliberately cut my sleep short in order to write. I know how much sleep I need to do a good job. With children around, I don’t always get it as it is. I certainly can’t justify getting less than what I do get.)

But all of this is missing the point, really. Because the thing about writer’s block is that it stops me from writing anything at all. (Fiction, anyway – I seem to be perfectly capable of writing reviews and opinion pieces and articles about goddamn writer’s block.) No matter whether the period of time I have to write in is big or small, no matter what I try to write, there’s a little voice that tells me I’m useless. And not only that – there is what almost seems to be a literal block in my brain, preventing me from being able to think about what I’m working on. I try and think about it, and my brain throws up distractions – or, failing that, it just goes completely blank. And yet when I’m not writing, that exact same brain nags me constantly about it: you should be writing. You’re going to miss your deadline. You’re going to fail. So even the option of relaxing and doing something else is closed to me, because I can’t relax. Ever. Ever.

I can imagine some of the more seasoned writers among you nodding wisely and saying It sounds as though your heart isn’t really in this book. You don’t love it enough. Maybe your subconscious knows there’s a plot hole, maybe you’ve made a narrative or stylistic choice somewhere that you don’t like, maybe you’re simply fed up with the characters. But honestly? I’m pretty sure that none of that is true. I like this book. I think it could be the best one yet. I just don’t know how to get it out of me.

My fingers have moved faster over the keys, typing this article, than they have done for months writing the thing I want and need to write. That’s pretty sad.


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<![CDATA[SINKING blog tour: guest post by Sarah Armstrong-Garner]]>https://www.google.com/Thu, 18 Feb 2016 21:20:45 GMT/760/blog/sinking-blog-tour-guest-post-by-sarah-armstrong-garnerToday I'm pleased to welcome Sarah Armstrong-Garner to the blog. She's currently on tour with Sinking, the first in a new mermaid-themed YA fantasy trilogy. So let me hand you straight over to Sarah to tell you a bit about the research that went into the novel ...

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Thank you so much, AFE, for having me on your blog today!

When I began writing Sinking, I had seen The Little Mermaid, been to an aquarium, read Jane Austen’s novels, and had read a history book or two. This would be enough to write an entire book, right? Man, was I wrong. Once I began researching Jocelyn’s world, below the water and above, I fell in love with the ocean and Ireland.

The ocean covers seventy percent of the earth, and we have only explored roughly five percent. Wow. When I read this, I was blown away. I began to think, what about the other unexplored ninety-five percent? What could exist? Cities? Cultures? Mermaids? I grabbed every book and article I could get my hands on to research mermaids.

I discovered sightings of these mystical creatures have been recorded as early as 580AD, all over the world. A lot of these sightings were from sailors who spoke of women from the sea singing to them, which in most cases turned out to be a bad thing. Most of the lore was how they would lure men to the bottom of the ocean, either by singing on fog-covered rocks to sink their ships, or by pulling the men overboard as they reached out to the sea creatures.

Mermaids were not the only mystical creatures I came upon during my research. Selkies are seals that shed their skins to come on land as humans. Part of the legend is if their skin is hidden from them, they cannot return to the sea. This fascinated me, and when writing Sinking, I kept going back to mermaids needing something to transform them to humans, like a selkie’s skin. This is how the medallion on the cover was created.

Mermaids and selkies are a huge part of Ireland’s culture and folklore, making it the best place to have Jocelyn wash ashore. Eighteenth century Ireland was an enchanting place to read about. Most of the land was taken over by English men who governed their land from afar as a deep hatred for them blistered in the locals. This tension was a perfect place to begin Sinking.

Researching this novel brought me back in time and under the water, giving me the tools to not only pull from the past, but to create a new world.

I hope you enjoy reading Sinking as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

About the book

Picture
Jocelyn washes up on the shore of eighteenth century Ireland, alone, naked, and missing all of her memories. Taken in by a lonely old woman full of plots and schemes for the lovely yet enigmatic creature, Jocelyn knows only one thing. She longs for the sea with every ounce of her being. Yet it tried to kill her.

Aidan Boyd loves two things. His ship and the sea. When Jocelyn is thrust upon his vessel in the midst of his superstitious crew, he finds himself intoxicated by her—willing to give up everything for her. He soon finds he cannot live without her.

​But something holds Jocelyn back. The whisper of another's love. The embrace of water. Does she belong to this world? Or could Jocelyn possibly be from the sea?

Sinking is available to preorder now in paperback and ebook format:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Kobo


About the author

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​Sarah Armstrong-Garner lives in Northern California with her husband and three children, and get this. Not only is she an author, screenwriter, and photographer, she also shoots indie films with her husband. Sinking is her debut novel. You can visit SarahArmstrongGarner.com to learn more about her and her upcoming releases, or find her on social media:

Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Pinterest
LinkedIn


About the blog tour

Tomorrow (Friday) the blog tour stops for an interview at lifeofanerdishmum.blogspot.com, so don't forget to check that out.

And the tour culminates with a release party on Facebook. Two good reasons to join in: (1) there will be lots of giveaways including copies of Sinking, gift cards and other books; and (2) it's on 25 February, which also happens to be my birthday. Hurrah!

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<![CDATA[Darkhaven paperback release day]]>https://www.google.com/Thu, 28 Jan 2016 22:16:23 GMT/760/blog/darkhaven-paperback-release-dayDarkhaven cover
Darkhaven is now available to buy in paperback - so if you've been holding out for a physical copy, this is your moment.

You can buy it from Amazon (if you're in the UK) or from Wordery or Book Depository (both of which come with free worldwide shipping). It's currently 25% off at Book Depository, so that seems like a good option.

Alternatively, if you are in the Milton Keynes area tomorrow, feel free to stop by the Waterstones and get a signed copy. I'll be there from noon and I'd love to see you.

If you can't stretch to a physical copy, the ebook is still 99p (UK) or $1.99 (US), but I'm told that's about to end. So grab it now!

Release day giveaway winner

My mailing list subscribers were entered into a giveaway to win a paperback copy of Darkhaven plus a bunch of other prizes. The winner (picked at random) is Isabelle F. If you didn't win, or you aren't currently on my mailing list, then never fear! I will hold another giveaway when Goldenfire comes out in paperback, so stay tuned :-)

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<![CDATA[Barren Island Books ĘC Dan Koboldt]]>https://www.google.com/Thu, 21 Jan 2016 21:22:36 GMT/760/blog/barren-island-books-dan-koboldtWelcome to Barren Island Books, the author interview series that’s in no way related to a popular music-based radio programme. You know the rules by now: my guests are exiled to a remote island with only five books for company, selected from the categories I give them. It’s up to them to make sure they choose wisely, because they’re going to be stuck with those books for a long, long time …

My interviewee this week is Dan Koboldt, author of action-packed sci-fi fantasy novel The Rogue Retrieval
 – out now from Harper Voyager Impulse. When he’s not being banished to a desert island, Dan can be found at dankoboldt.com.

​Dan, thanks for joining us! First of all, could you please tell us a little bit about yourself – just so we know who it is we’re sending into exile. Illogical fears, unusual birthmarks, whether you’d rather wrestle a bear or punch a shark, that kind of thing.

Dan Koboldt
I live in the Midwest, where I'm a genetics researcher by day and sci-fi/fantasy author by night. I'm also a fairly avid bowhunter and outdoorsman. I'd absolutely rather punch a shark than wrestle a bear.

And what about your own work? What are the inspirations behind it? What would make someone else choose it to accompany them into exile?

The Rogue Retrieval
I grew up reading sci-fi and fantasy, so some of the classic tropes from those genres found their way into The Rogue Retrieval. However, the central premise came to me when I read an article about Teller, the quiet half of the famous illusionists Penn & Teller. The article was about Teller's efforts to patent his illusions, because various copycats were using high-def video (among other techniques) to reverse-engineer them. I wondered how much modern technology had changed the traditions of performance magic. Then I wondered what a modern illusionist could get away with in a medieval society that didn't even have electricity. And that's basically what my book is about.

I'm really looking forward to reading it! So now let’s move on to the books you’re going to take to the island with you. First up, it’s your favourite childhood book – perhaps the one that got you interested in reading in the first place, or the one you read over and over when you were young. Which will you choose, and why?

I would say Dune, which remains one of my favorite books of all time. It's such a clever mashup of technology and swordplay. The more I read it, the more I appreciate the complex world-building that went into the book – religion, economics, history, and other elements all come together so wonderfully. Dune was one of my earliest introductions to sci-fi, and part of why I came to love it. The spice must flow.

I love Dune too! One of those books I've read too many times to count :-) Next, the book that made the greatest impact on your life. This could be one that inspired you to become a writer, or one that made you look at the world in a whole new way – maybe even one that resulted in real-life romance or adventure.

That's easy: J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. It sent me on the literary adventure of reading epic fantasy, which I've been doing ever since. I still remember where I was when I read the end of The Fellowship of the Ring, and the emotional impact it had on me. LOTR made me realize that I loved reading stories from secondary worlds. I loved the escape of it. That's also part of why I love writing speculative fiction.

Likewise! For your third book – and you’re probably going to need this one, all alone on a remote island – I’d like you to choose your greatest comfort read. You know, the one you turn to when you’re sad or ill or just need a little pick-me-up.

I'd say The Onion but I'm guessing my desert island won't have high-speed internet. That knowledge will undoubtedly put me into a depressive state, and the cure for that might be Harry Potter. Those books, especially the early ones, are just so fun to read. I could spend a long time just thinking about the world of HP, and that's the best pick-me-up I could ask for. Plus, the books are long enough to keep me reading a while (and thick enough to make for decent weapons).

True, potential as a weapon is an important consideration in a book :-) Fourthly, it’s your unexpected treasure: a book you didn’t expect to like but did, maybe one outside your usual genre or that you picked up with low expectations but were pleasantly surprised …

Outside of SF/F, my favorite genre is probably mystery. I don't read nearly as much of that as I'd like, but one surprise was Janet Evanovich's series beginning with One for the Money. I think I borrowed the first few from my sister-in-law, not expecting to get into it, but they're hilarious and fun-to-read books with fascinating characters. The movie was good, too.

And finally, I’d like you to choose your instant classic – the book you think most deserves to be read and reread by future generations. It’s up to you whether this book is already considered a classic or is something more obscure.

I like Ready Player One for this, for a number of reasons. I grew up in the 80's, so a world dependent on pop culture from that era was right up my alley. I also like a good underdog story, which this book certainly is. And who doesn't admire a culture where geekery is the path to fame and fortune? I'm a little disappointed that Ernest Cline's next book didn't reach the same high bar, but still looking forward to the film adaptation of RPO.

Right. We’ll get those five books packaged up ready for your journey. Since we’re not completely heartless here at Barren Island Books, we’ll also let you take one song/piece of music, one film and one other item of your choice into exile with you …

As long as we're talking 80's, I might as well choose a song that I'll need when on a desert island: Don't Stop Believing by Journey. My current favorite movie is Star Wars: The Force Awakens, so maybe you could send along a copy of that once it becomes available. For my luxury item, I'll take my compound bow, because daddy's gotta eat.

This is a barren island, but I suppose you could shoot the shark … Now, before we whisk you away, you have one last decision to make: where you want your remote island to be located. You can choose anywhere you like for your exile, in this world or another.

How about the island from LOST? I'm a big fan of the show, and I like to keep things interesting.

Ah, you’re planning to shoot the polar bear! That’s it, then – you’re ready to go. Thank you for joining us, and enjoy your trip!


You can find out more about The Rogue Retrieval at w88 asiadankoboldt.com/writing/rogue-retrieval.

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<![CDATA[Release day!]]>https://www.google.com/Thu, 14 Jan 2016 23:14:38 GMT/760/blog/release-dayPicture
In Darkhaven, peace doesn’t last long.

Ayla Nightshade has ruled Darkhaven for three years since the tragedy that tore her family apart. She has left her father’s cruel legacy behind and become a leader her people can believe in – or so she hopes.

Tomas Caraway is no longer a disgraced drunk; he’s Captain of the Helm and the partner of the most powerful woman in Darkhaven. He will do everything to protect Ayla and their adopted son against all possible threats.

But a discovery has been made that could have profound consequences for the Nightshade family. There is a weapon so deadly, it can kill even the powerful creatures they turn into. And now, that weapon has fallen into the wrong hands.

An assassin is coming for Ayla, and will stop at nothing to see her dead.

Buy Goldenfire

HarperCollins ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Google play ~ iBooks ~ Kobo

Catch up with Darkhaven

HarperCollins ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Google play ~ iBooks ~ Kobo


ALERT! If you're not on my mailing list, you missed the super awesome colouring sheet I drew exclusively for my subscribers. But you could still get a copy. Sign up now!

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<![CDATA[Goldenfire release week: HUGE giveaway]]>https://www.google.com/Sun, 10 Jan 2016 13:06:31 GMT/760/blog/goldenfire-release-week-huge-giveawayMy second novel Goldenfire is coming out this week, so I thought you might like the chance to win a copy. Oh, yes ... and 99 other books. And a Kindle.

This giveaway is being run by Free Kindle Giveaway and it's very easy to enter. Just click on the link below! Or, if you want to see what you could win first, scroll down to look through all the prizes that will be given to the winner.

Enter the giveaway here

Prizes: one Kindle or $100 ...

kindle_fire_feature_three

... plus these 100 amazing books!

A26a5A2541mJvd7- PTL._SX303_BO1,204,203,200_51v1t48NzmL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_B9a4a10A19a2A22A15A23A18a3A24A14A13A12a7aA20A11A8a6b3A21b2A17b4B17B6B7B5B14C14A16B13a9C8B22C3B23B8C15B21B19C4bB24B20C2B18B11B15D14D3B16B10D15CD12D19C18C13C7C10C16C19C11C12D11C6D20C17C9D18D10D6C5D9D8DD17D16D2D5D4F7f6d13F5F8F9F251hTrv2HxbL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_FF4F3D7


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<![CDATA[Janus]]>https://www.google.com/Thu, 31 Dec 2015 21:33:11 GMT/760/blog/janusThe end of the year is upon us, and so it's time for the obligatory navel-gazing. This time, it comes with something of an announcement.
2015 was a big year for me. Probably the biggest ever, in terms of my writing career: Darkhaven came out as an ebook at the beginning of July and officially made me a Big Five published author.

You can only be a debut novelist once, so I put a lot into that launch: release party, blog tour, reviewer spreadsheet, the works. And while the results may have been variable, I'm still quite proud of what I achieved. I also completed my second book, Goldenfire, and went through the editing process with it. Plus, of course, I was a mother and a wife and an employee. I may not have been perfect at all those roles, but the house is still standing and the children seem happy enough, which probably counts as a success.

Looking back, I don't think I can have any regrets. I did the best I could.

Now, in theory 2016 is going to be an even bigger year. I have the second and third Darkhaven novels coming out in ebook format, while the first and second will be released in paperback. In January alone I have two releases and a book signing. But if there's one resolution I have for 2016, it's not to put too much pressure on myself.

I guess that leads me naturally to the announcement that my third book is going to be delayed. This is where I'm kind of relieved not to be Pat Rothfuss or George R.R. Martin, because it's unlikely anyone really cares that much if my third book is a little late. But just in case anyone does: Book 3 was due to my editor mid-January, and it's not going to make it. Not even close.

Why? Several reasons.

First, I've been running on empty for months now. I have a full-time job and two children under five, and I'm exhausted all the time. That sounds like a terrible excuse. I know there are plenty of people who have to work harder than I do. I feel like I'm being lazy or I don't want it enough. But the fact remains that I simply can't stay awake in the evening long enough to write. And if I can, there's usually something else to be done instead.

Second, it's not financially viable. This is the sad reality of life as an author, unless you're one of the few very successful ones. In 2015 I put in hundreds of hours of work on Darkhaven (editing, marketing, contacting reviewers and so on – note that this doesn't include the time I spent actually writing it, which didn't happen this year) plus I spent some money on promotional materials. Thus far I haven't even earned back that money in royalties, let alone been paid for my time. I know it's a long game, the best way to sell a book is to write another one, etcetera. But in the short term, it's hard to justify taking a day off work to write, and Mr Smith is reluctant to let me commit an entire weekend or holiday day to it when it's basically an unpaid job. (His words, but I can see where he's coming from. I might not like it, but that doesn't stop it being true.)

Third – and this is both the most personal and the stupidest reason – I'm having a serious crisis of confidence. I wrote my second book before the first one came out, so that was straightforward. But since then, I've read a lot of reviews of Darkhaven. There were many nice ones – I can't remember what any of those said – and there were some critical ones. One early review in particular was critical to the point of despising. And somehow, that reviewer's words have burnt themselves into my brain. They pop up when I'm in the shower, or walking, or trying to get to sleep. They repeat themselves every time I feel a bit down. And they're there when I turn on my computer.

I'm aware this sounds melodramatic. I did tell you it was stupid. And I would like to jump in right now and say I know it's my problem. Reviewers don't have any obligation to temper their criticism just in case someone gets hurt. It's the risk I took when I put myself forward in the first place. But it has shaken me to the point where I'm struggling to write, because I'm struggling to find value in anything that comes out.

There are other signs that my head isn't in a very healthy place right now. I keep fretting over sales numbers. I keep worrying that my one chance at being a real author has been and gone. Every time I try a promotion that doesn't give any results, I convince myself it's because my book is terrible. Every time one of my writer friends has a success, I feel a sinking depression because I know that will never happen to me. Because I don't deserve it. Because this is all just a big mistake, and I should never have been published in the first place. Because, to put it simply, I suck.

All this is why I've decided to take a partial break from the internet in 2016. My mailing list will continue to run. And I will share links if people are kind enough to feature me on their websites, because that's only courteous. But other than that, I won't be around on Facebook or Twitter or anywhere else very much. If you need to contact me, you can email me – or if you don't know my email address, you can use my contact form.

That does mean I'll be taking a step back from my new book release. Aside from a handful of guest posts that I've already arranged, Goldenfire will have to enter the world more or less on its own. And part of me is saying I'm a failure for that, too; that I'm missing an opportunity. But for my own mental wellbeing, and for the sake of actually writing the third book, that's the way it has to be. Maybe if I don't get so involved, and don't put so much pressure on myself, I can rediscover the joy I once found in writing. And, to be honest, in life.

I wish you all a very happy and successful 2016.

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<![CDATA[Excerpt: Without Light or Guide by T.?Frohock]]>https://www.google.com/Thu, 10 Dec 2015 22:32:01 GMT/760/blog/excerpt-without-light-or-guide-by-t-frohockToday I'm very pleased to present an excerpt from Without Light or Guide, the second Los Nefilim novella by T.w88 asia Frohock. You can read what I and many others said about the first one, In Midnight's Silence, here. I thoroughly recommend these books, so without further ado, here's the author to introduce her excerpt.
The hero of Los Nefilim is Diago Alvarez. He, and his lover, Miquel, are part of a secretive group known as Los Nefilim (Spanish for The Nephilim—say it like "The Mob" and you've got the right idea). This group of angelic Nefilim monitor daimonic activity for the angels.

The only thing is: Diago is not fully angelic. He is part daimon, part angel, and his very unique form of magic is sought by both sides in the conflict between angels and daimons. Diago moves through a world of espionage and partisan warfare with a rogues' gallery filled with angels, daimons, and mortals.

In the first novella of the series, In Midnight's Silence, the reader is introduced to Diago's world. We meet Diago, Miquel, and Diago's son, Rafael. We get a brief glimpse of the shadowy world of Los Nefilim and its king, Guillermo Ramirez.

In Without Light or Guide, Diago's story continues as he tries very hard to fit in with Los Nefilim, but his daimonic heritage follows him, and seeds distrust among the other Nefilim. Guillermo assigns Diago to work with another Nefil by the name of Garcia, who is Guillermo’s plant within the Urban Guard.

In this scene from Chapter 2, Diago has just completed an assignment for Los Nefilim and is going to meet Guillermo and Miquel. After a tense encounter with his dead father, Alvaro, on the subway, which has left him on edge, Diago is hoping to evade another argument with Garcia.

Diago rode the elevator to the main floor and exited the building. Outside, Garcia was nowhere to be seen. Either he had hidden himself well, or he was off on another task for Guillermo.

Relieved, Diago turned toward the Gothic Quarter and decided to avoid the metro. Another encounter with Alvaro was the last thing he needed.

He had just crossed the street when a police car rolled to a stop beside the curb. Had Ferrer discovered the missing memo? Diago made a conscious effort to keep his hand away from his pocket.

The youth behind the wheel cranked down his window with ferocious speed. “Excuse me, Doctor Alvarez!”

Doctor? Oh Jesus, what now? Diago bent over and saw Garcia’s terse face glowering from the passenger side of the car. This day was not getting better.

Garcia emerged from the car. The urgency in his step alarmed Diago. His concern shifted from the stolen memo to Guillermo and Miquel. Had something happened to them?

Garcia rounded the bumper.

“What’s the matter?” Diago asked.

Garcia clenched Diago’s bicep and propelled him to the car’s back door. “You’re a doctor now, do you understand?”

Diago twisted free and lowered his voice. “Don’t touch me again.”

“Just get in the fucking car.”

“At least tell me what kind of doctor I’m supposed to be.”

“An alienist.”

Diago calmed somewhat. Guillermo was in no danger if he had sent for Diago to play the role of a criminal psychiatrist, and that likewise meant Miquel was safe.

Whenever mortals were involved and his friend had needed someone to read the patterns of a daimon attack, he’d called on Diago and passed him off as an alienist. Now that he was Los Nefilim, Guillermo must have decided wining and dining him was no longer a necessary component of the request. “And what kind of crime am I investigating?”

“We don’t have time for questions.” Garcia jerked the door open. “Get in.”

No use arguing. The sooner he got inside, the sooner they’d arrive … where? There could be only one place. Guillermo had mentioned a visit to Doña Rosa Iniguez. Diago got in the car.

Garcia slammed the door hard enough to rattle the window in its frame.

Diago caught the young mortal’s gaze in the rearview mirror. “What’s happened?”

The young man licked his lips. “He killed them all,” he whispered. “He’s insane.”

Garcia rounded the right bumper.

Diago resisted the urge to lean forward. “Who?”

The officer clutched the wheel in a white-knuckled grip. Before he could answer, Garcia jerked open the door and got in the front seat.


“Drive.”

It seems that throughout Barcelona, the mortals Diago has known are dying gruesome deaths. A daimon is loose in the city, and Diago's only clue to her identity is a mysterious phrase written in smoke: She Hunts.

The year is 1931.

The city is Barcelona.

The fate of mankind has nothing to do with mankind.

The hunt begins.

Amazon ~ 
Apple ~ Barnes and Noble ~ HarperCollins ~ Kobo

T. Frohock has turned a love of dark fantasy and horror into tales of deliciously creepy fiction. She lives in North Carolina where she has long been accused of telling stories, which is a southern colloquialism for lying.

She is the author of Miserere: An Autumn Tale and numerous short stories. Her newest series, Los Nefilim, is from Harper Voyager Impulse.

You can find out more about T. at her website, or follow her on w88 asia or Facebook.

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