Thursday, May 30, 2019

Celebrate the Small Things 31-5-19

This post is part of Lexa Cain's bloghop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up!

What am I celebrating this week?

Extra long weekend!

It's the Queen's Birthday long weekend this weekend, so to make it even longer, I have taken the day off today so I have four days to relax and enjoy myself.  We're not going away or anything, but just having those couple of extra days is going to be very nice.  I may even get some writing done!

I'm definitely going to do some reading.  I got two books in the mail this week that I've been wanting to read - sequels to a book I loved when I was younger and which I didn't know existed - and I'm looking forward to settling in with those.

My son has a teacher only day today, so he's also got an extra long weekend ahead.  I think we'll go out to lunch and to a movie this afternoon.  Because we can...

What luxury!

What are you celebrating this week?

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Books I've Read: Stormrise

Those of you who are regular readers of this blog will know I rarely read fantasy.  But I received an ARC of this book from Tor Teen in exchange for an honest review, so I sat down and read the whole thing in a single day.

Stormrise is about a young woman called Rain.  Her father has trained her to be a fierce Neshu warrior despite the fact that as a girl her future is to be married off to a stranger in exchange for a dowry.

When the country is invaded and the king calls for one man from every family to join the army, rather than allowing her disabled twin brother to join and no doubt be killed, Rain runs away and joins up under his name.

Her Neshu training quickly makes her stand out and she is selected to join an elite Neshu fighting group.  Each day she is forced to prove herself to the men in her team, all the while finding new and cunning ways to disguise her identity as a girl.

Before leaving for the army, Rain visited a strange apothecary and was given a powder made from dragon parts that would keep her menses away.  Unfortunately one of the potion's side affects is that she hears the voices of dragons, long believed to be extinct or a thing of legend, calling to her in her head.

When the voices tell her the war will be lost unless the dragons are awoken, Rain must decide whether she believes in dragons, and if she can trust these dangerous beasts with the lives and land she loves.

There is a lot to enjoy in this book.  Rain is a feisty, determined heroine, but not a thoughtful one.  I was surprised at the speed with which she decided to leave home and pose as a man to join the army when in her land such a thing is a crime, punishable by death.  In many circumstances she acted impulsively, not giving the situations the consideration they probably deserved.  Especially when she is also hiding the fact she is a girl.

There is also surprisingly little world-building for a fantasy novel.  I never felt like I didn't understand the world the book is set in, but there was very little description to make the setting vivid and alive.

I enjoyed this book as something of a change from what I usually tend to read, but didn't find it very different from most other fantasy books I've read over the years.  Which is why I don't really read fantasy books and probably won't read another one for a few years.

But don't just listen to me.  Here's the blurb:

A combat warrior will risk everything to awaken the dragons and save her kingdom in Jillian Boehme's epic YA Fantasy debut, Stormrise, inspired by Twelfth Night and perfect for fans of Tamora Pierce.

If Rain weren’t a girl, she would be respected as a Neshu combat master. Instead, her gender dooms her to a colorless future. When an army of nomads invades her kingdom, and a draft forces every household to send one man to fight, Rain takes her chance to seize the life she wants.

Knowing she’ll be killed if she’s discovered, Rain purchases powder made from dragon magic that enables her to disguise herself as a boy. Then she hurries to the war camps, where she excels in her training—and wrestles with the voice that has taken shape inside her head. The voice of a dragon she never truly believed existed.

As war looms and Rain is enlisted into an elite, secret unit tasked with rescuing the High King, she begins to realize this dragon tincture may hold the key to her kingdom’s victory. For the dragons that once guarded her land have slumbered for centuries . . . and someone must awaken them to fight once more.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Weekly Goals 27-5-19

I was particularly slack this weekend and didn't do any writing.  Somehow all my time seemed to get taken up doing other things.

So this week, I need to get my ass into gear and actually do some writing.  This book is not going to finish itself!

I also have some critique work to do for Operation Awesome, and I need to plan some posts for the next few weeks there too.

I'm also trying to find a short story to submit to a magazine.  It's tricky because it has to be exactly 2000 words (or as close to as possible) and most of my short stories are either really short 1000 word or under ones, or much longer.  But I'm sure there's one somewhere that will fit the bill, or will with a little bit of tweaking.

What are your goals this week?

Friday, May 24, 2019

Celebrate the Small Things 24-5-19

This post is part of Lexa Cain's bloghop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up!

What am I celebrating this week?

It's been one of those really long, draggy weeks that felt like it would never end, but finally it has.

I got a little writing done, both actual progress on the new book and editing on the one I think may be my next submission.  I also dragged out a few of my old short stories to take a look at because I came across a place to submit some of those too.

Over the weekend I'm going to a rehearsal of a very exciting, new interactive theatre piece which will be opening in June.  I'm looking forward to seeing how it all works!

I plan to do some serious sleeping too.  I don't know what it is about this time of year, but I'm constantly exhausted.

What are you celebrating this week?

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

New Release: Leaves of Fall

I'm very lucky to have my friend Patricia Lynne over to visit today.  Her new book, Leaves of Fall, is out now and she dropped by to talk a little bit about how different her first and final drafts are.

Welcome, Patricia!

First Draft versus Final Draft

The first draft of Leaves of Fall was written way back in 2011 or 2012. I don't remember the inspiration behind the story or why I set it aside. It never left my mind, though. When I opened it again in 2018, I knew there was a lot of work that needed to be done. Here are a few of the changes it went through to get to the story you can read today.

1: Names
The first draft I went a little weird with names. I had parents naming their kids weird things. Rudyard was Highway and his little brother was Rug. At the time, my thinking had been parents were naming their kids exact location they were born. For example, Rug was born on a rug. Weird, I know. I scraped that idea and went with parents naming their kids after places from their past. So Highway became Rudyard and Rug was Canyon after the Grand Canyon.

Trees also got name changes. At first, I just named them all random tree names, but beta readers and editors found it jarring. When they heard the name, they thought of that tree and not the tree character.

Not all names changed. Armory, Mini, Pine, and Oak's names stayed the same. Birch, Silver, Alaska, Dahoon, and River all had different names. I changed Birch's the last because I was fond of the first name: Maple. I considered changing him to a Maple tree, but I wanted the unique appearance of birch trees for his character.

2: Dahoon and Pine
Dahoon and Pine weren't in the first draft at all. Very few trees were. Most of the interactions Armory and Birch had were with other people. Some of those interactions made no sense, though, so they were cut. I'm very glad for this because I adore Dahoon and Pine. They're so laid back and easy going.

3: Miracle
One huge difference between the first and final draft was a character called Miracle. Armory meets her after she is kidnapped. Miracle is a small child and she goes with Armory and Birch on the journey to get Armory home. I tried putting her in as I rewrote, but found it stopped the story and I realized she had to go.

4: Communities and Nomads
I waffled between what to call the groups of humans that lived in this post-apocalyptic world. Communities started as tribes, but that was cliche, so I switched to families. My editor suggested communities at one point and since I found using families a bit confusing at times I went with that. Nomads were outlaws at first, but I switched to nomads since that was the lifestyle they adopted. They just aren't lawful about it.


Armory was born into a post-apocalyptic world torn apart by war between man and nature. Trees are the enemy. But when she’s kidnapped by nomads and taken far from her home, a tree nymph is the one who comes to her rescue.

Birch promises he can get Armory home. He says not all trees wanted a war. Armory has no choice to trust him if she wants to see her family again.

Together, they trek across the ruins of America, meeting both human and trees who want nothing more than the fighting to stop. But the hatred between the two may be too deep to heal. Armory isn’t sure her friendship with Birch will be enough to convince the human race to take a chance on peace. Birch has a plan, though. He’s just not sure he’ll survive.

Snag on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes, or Smashwords for $2.99. (or 99cents if the pre-order price hasn't changed yet. ^_~)

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About the Author

Patricia Lynne is the author of Young Adult Paranormal, Fantasy, and Sci-Fi books. She actually never set out to become a writer, and in fact, she was more interested in art and band in high school and college On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head and began learning all she could about writing. That was the start of it, and she hasn't regretted a moment. When she's not writing, she's watching Doctor Who or reading about serial killers. She's an avid knitter. One can never have too much yarn. She writes New Adult Urban Fantasy and Sci-Fi Romance under the name Patricia Josephine.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow.

Find Patricia around the web.
Website -
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Amazon Author Page -
Smashwords -

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Weekly Goals 20-5-19

I got some more writing done over the weekend, although not as much as I would have liked.  I'm still struggling to figure out the ending for this story.  There are so many possible ways it could go!

While I try and figure it out, I'm taking a look at one of my older books that's still sitting idle on my hard drive because it could, potentially, be the next one I submit to my publisher.  I've worked and re-worked this one a number of times, and I queried it quite widely a few years back.  It got a lot of interest, but everyone seemed to think it was perhaps a little too quiet to stand out in the market.  I'm wondering if the market might have shifted somewhat, and this book might now have a place in it.

Guess we'll see, if I like it enough to actually send it anywhere.

It was my birthday last week and I got some new cycling shoes, so I have added motivation to get on the bike more often.  Going to try and up my gym game a little too.

What are your goals this week?

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Celebrate the Small Things 17-5-19

This post is part of Lexa Cain's bloghop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up!

What am I celebrating this week?

It's the weekend!

After another extremely busy week at work, I'm looking forward to a couple of days off.  I don't have anything in particular planned, but I hope to do some reading, some writing and get the house into some kind of order.

My oven, which has been broken for a month is fixed, so I may even do some baking!  I will certainly make a few things we can eat during the week without me having to think to much about cooking when I get home from work.

What are you celebrating this week?