Category Archives: Chosen of Azara

Weekend Sneak Peek 5/3: Chosen of Azara

Welcome to this weekend’s Sneak Peek! Today we’re going back to Chosen of Azara, as Princess Juzeva meets her new husband, the man she’s being married to for political purposes, for the first time (Ilvana is her mother, the queen):

Picture“And here is Idan, Crown Prince of the Madrinan Empire,” Ilvana said. She gestured towards the young man standing between the Emperor and his advisor. “Your future husband.” Prince Idan was tall and well-built, with red hair, a strong-boned, handsome face, and clear green eyes. His clothes and armor were less elaborate and more practical-looking than his father’s. Though he was young and handsome, his expression was grim.

This was the man she was to spend the rest of her life with, the man who would be the father of the children she had never planned to have. Fighting back a sudden urge to flee from the room, Juzeva curtsied to him.The Prince stepped forward and bowed to her, then spoke in formal, carefully-pronounced Savarunan. “My lady Juzeva, I know this duty is difficult for you, as it is for me. We are both forced to give up our own desires for the sake of peace between our lands. But I promise you that from now on I will look forward, not back, in the hope that we can be, if not happy, at least content with our destiny.”

Juzeva hadn’t expected such a courtly speech. The Prince had clearly spent a great deal of time practicing it, and Juzeva found herself moved by the effort. If nothing else, she would be married to a gentleman. She bowed her head to him, grateful for his courtesy and thoughtfulness. “I thank you, Prince Idan. I too will do my best to make our union a successful one.”

She watched the Prince take his place beside his father again. Her gaze slid past Sajur Golu’s face just as the priest was hiding a look of deep contempt. Another prickle of revulsion or fear, or both, crept up her spine.

“Let us be done with this, then,” Queen Ilvana said. She and Ezdar moved to a table which stood beneath the great middle window, where a scribe waited with the marriage and peace treaties. The scribe began reading the documents out loud. Juzeva didn’t bother to pay close attention; it made no difference whether or not she knew what they said. The terms had all been worked out already. She had had no say in them, and her opinion and consent had not been asked. The essence of the agreements was that, in exchange for a marriage-link to the Savaru royal family, which would bring with it a significant voice on the Queen’s Council and a healthy portion of the profits from Savaru’s rich fishing, farming, handcraft, and mining enterprises, the Madrinan Empire promised to not run its armies over the land. A bloodless defeat for Savaru, a quick and cheap victory for the Empire.



Chosen of Azara is available at:
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Weekend Sneak Peek March 22-23: Chosen of Azara

Time for another weekend sneak peek. Here, in Chosen of Azara, Lucie finally meets the man of her dreams, and finds out he isn’t exactly what she expected:

Picture“Azara gave me her life, so that I would not die before my vow was fulfilled. I figure I’m close to four hundred years old.” He smiled again, a faint shadow of a grin that was quickly gone. “I’ve lost track of a few years here and there.”

Everything he was saying was pure nonsense. It had to be. Her fantasies of what it would be like to meet him crumbled away, leaving a hollow disappointment behind. Either he was playing a stupid, cruel joke on her—and there was nothing in his manner to suggest this, only absolute sincerity—or he was only a madman, a wandering beggar lost in dreams and tales of long ago and, for some reason, obsessed with her pendant.

If he was indeed mad, she realized, he might be dangerous if she refused to give him what he wanted. With a pang at giving up the gift her mother had given her, she unclasped the slender chain with the crystal vial from around her neck and held it out for him. “Here. If all you want is my pendant, you can have it. You don’t have to make up these stories to get me to give it to you. Just take it and leave.”

He took her hand in his, laid the crystal pendant on her palm, and gently closed her fingers around it. He held her closed hand for a moment—why did she have to like the feel of him holding her hand so much?—then released it. “That won’t work,” he said. “The power in that token can only be used by a daughter of Juzeva’s blood. I need you to come back to Savaru with me and use that power to restore Savaru to life.”

The outrageous request left her stunned—she wasn’t sure she could have possibly heard him correctly. “Excuse me?” she finally managed to say. “You want me to go away with you?”

“Yes.”


Chosen of Azara is available at
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For more Sneak Peeks, visit the Sneak Peek Sunday blog. #SPeekSunday on Twitter and Facebook.


Love & Magic Sneak Peek: Chosen of Azara #2

Love & Magic Week continues with a peek at a magical moment from Chosen of Azara:

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After this, Sevry ignored everything else he saw, all his attention focused on watching for the girl to reappear. The next time he saw her, she looked like she was fifteen or sixteen years old. She was in the same place as before, crouching next to some plants by the path. She looked around at him, then stood, her hand going to the sparkling pendant she wore. She opened her mouth as though about to say something, then cocked her head, as though hearing someone calling her from a distance. As she turned to hurry away, she waved at him.

Again he sought for her, and again he saw her, standing on the hillside path, holding a wide, shallow basket with both hands, and facing him, almost as though she had expected to see him. She was fully grown now, perhaps twenty years old. Sevry noticed the neckline of her pale green dress first; he couldn’t help it, any man would have. The dress was cut low, exposing a generous amount of fair, full, lightly freckled bosom. Then, for the first time, Sevry saw the object that dangled from a fine silver chain around her neck, resting just above the cleft between her breasts: a small crystal vial, crafted in a style that had been lost when Savaru was destroyed.

Savarunan crystal. And, Sevry now realized, despite the red hair, green eyes, and softly rounded features, the young woman had a fine-boned Savarunan face. She could only be the granddaughter or great-granddaughter of Juzeva and the red-haired Madrinan prince.

Sevry stepped towards the young woman, and into nothingness.



Couple Interview: Sevry and Lucie

PictureNext up for Love & Magic Week: Get to know more about Sevry and Lucie from Chosen of Azara:

1. How did you meet?
Sevry: I had been searching for a very long time for a magical talisman that would help me restore my destroyed land, Savaru. I was carrying out the search through magical means that I’m not at liberty to describe when I saw her. We actually met in person some months later when I took refuge from a storm at her father’s house.
Lucie: He’s never told me exactly what he was doing when we saw each other by magic. I guess he can’t, or isn’t supposed to. And then it was a huge surprise when he showed up at my father’s house! I’d never imagined I’d really get to meet him in person.

2. What was the first thing you noticed about the other person?

L: He wasn’t wearing very many clothes – I don’t mean like that! [blushes] I mean, I noticed how many scars he has, and wondered how hard his life must have been, for him to have that many scars.
S: I noticed her hair, curls of fire and copper glowing in the sun. And I noticed that she was wearing the talisman I was looking for on a chain around her neck.
L: Now, dear, that isn’t all you noticed, is it?
S: [blushes] Well, um, I did also happen to notice that the neckline of her dress was fairly low-cut and that she had a fine figure… But the talisman. That was the important thing.

3. Did you know when you met that you would end up together?

S: No. My options for my life were severely limited by the duty I’d been given, to find the talisman that would restore Savaru to life. Falling in love and marrying were not among those options.
L: I was engaged to someone else at the time, so, no.

4. What do you like best about the other person?
L:
He treats me with kindness and respect, and even though he’s had such a hard life he’s still determined to always do the right thing. And he’s very handsome and has a beautiful singing voice and tells wonderful stories from Savaru from long ago.
S: I love her voice, and how she sings the old songs from Savaru that she’s learned. And the way she makes me feel young and hopeful again. And her courage and gentleness.

5. What is something you enjoy doing together? (Besides the obvious!)
L:
We both love music, so we like to sing together.
S: And she’s teaching me how to play the lute. I wanted to become a bard when I was a child, but the war prevented it. So now she’s helping my dream to finally come true.

6. How has the other person changed you?
S:
She made me feel loved, and gave me something to love and live for besides Savaru.
L: He helped me learn to see beyond myself and my own little world, and to have courage to do the right thing even when it’s hard.

7. What are the biggest differences between you? How important are these differences?

S: Well, there’s the age difference. I’m considerably older than I look.
L: Although, when the difference is more than a few hundred years, I don’t think it really matters any more.
S: If the difference in our ages doesn’t bother her, it doesn’t bother me.
L: He also had a very hard life, and I had a very easy life up until I met him and things… happened. We saw the world in very different ways and our priorities were very different because of that. But I think what happened is he took the good things from his hard life and I took the good things from my easy life and we put them together to make our new life better. Does that make any sense?

8. What do the two of you have in common?

S: We both love music.
L: And we both want to make Savaru a beautiful place to live again.

9. What does your family think of your partner, and what do you think of your partner’s family?
L:
My brothers didn’t like Sevry at first, because my fiance at the time was a good friend of theirs. But then Estefan showed his true colors, and my brothers realized that Sevry was much better for me. Now they like him very much. My father, he just wants me to be happy, so whatever makes me happy is fine with him. I think he thinks well of Sevry, too. As for my grandmama…
S: Lucie and I are actually distantly related, and her grandmother is my closest living relative. Lady Lillia didn’t think much of me at first, because I was trying to take Lucie away from her secure, comfortable life and the good marriage that was planned for her.
L: I think grandmama has finally come around, though. She lets Sevry call her “cousin.”

10. What role does magic play in your relationship?
S:
It was through magic that we were able to find each other across time and space.
L: [sighs] Isn’t that romantic?

11. What are your plans for the future?
S:
Raising our family, and restoring Savaru to the beautiful, prosperous land it once was.
L: And learning to play the lute.

12. “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts” How is this true for the two of you?
L:
We brought a dead land back to life, and now we’re working to give it a future. How awesome is that?
S: I was the last king of the old Savaru, and I’m the first king of the new Savaru. I couldn’t do it without my queen.


Love & Magic Sneak Peek: Chosen of Azara

Here’s a peek at a romantic moment in Chosen of Azara:

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“Lucie, you have to decide now. What will you do?” His voice was quiet but firm.

“I can’t go with you. Don’t you understand that? I’m to be married in six weeks!”

“If we traveled quickly, you could be back here by then.”

Lucie gave a despairing laugh. She was tired of trying to explain herself to him—and to herself. “And do you think Estefan would still want me then? He’s already jealous, and that was just because I was talking to you. What do you think he would do if I disappeared with you for a month and a half? A broken engagement would be the least of my problems!”

“Has he threatened you?” A dangerous edge entered his voice.

It would be too humiliating to admit that she was afraid of her own fiancé. “No, he’s just very angry. But don’t you see? If I leave with you, I would be cutting myself off from my family and friends, I would have no home to come back to, no one who cared about me. No one would want me. My life would be over.”

She tried to turn away, but Sevry caught her arm and she couldn’t pull free. “Lucie—”

“Don’t you understand what you’re asking of me? What I would have to give up? What I’d lose?”

“I know, Lucie. Believe me, I know what it’s like to lose everything.” She looked up at him, and caught her breath at the genuine sorrow and compassion on his face. “Fate, the gods, history, other people’s decisions can all leave our lives in ruins, and there’s nothing we can do about it,” he said. “I wish your family wouldn’t choose to deal so harshly with you. I wish their love and concern for you was more steadfast. If I could—” He stopped speaking and stepped closer to her. She was powerless to move away. His free hand brushed her cheek, as though he was trying to comfort her, then moved to the back of her head, tangling in her hair. He tilted her face up towards his, and his mouth pressed down on hers.


As part of Love & Magic Week, Chosen of Azara is on sale at a special low price through Feb. 16:
Amazon | Smashwords (coupon code ZU89J)

Sunday Sneak Peek 1/19: Chosen of Azara

PictureHere’s another of my occasional (and hopefully more regular!) Sunday Sneak Peeks. Today, in Chosen of Azara, Sajur Golu, the High Priest of the Madrinan Empire, is up to no good:

There was just one matter that Sajur Golu needed to look into before moving forward with his plans, and he had the opportunity to do so as soon as the meeting ended. Princess Juzeva was walking in an inner garden courtyard near the Council chambers while she waited for her husband, who had remained inside to speak to some of the other Councilors. Sajur Golu approached her, his face set in a careful smile. “Good day to you, Your Highness.”She responded with a slight, stiff nod. She was far too polite to ignore him as he suspected she wished to.

“I must say, Your Highness,” he said smoothly, “you are looking remarkably well, especially for a Chosen who has been away from her Source for over three months.”

The Princess made a slight, involuntary motion with her left hand, towards the crystal Source-token she wore on a chain around her neck, then stopped herself. Sajur Golu kept his expression polite, pleasant, and neutral. “Ah, to be young again. Such marvelous strength and resilience. Good day, Your Highness.”

He bowed slightly and walked away, satisfied with what he had learned. Her movement, though almost imperceptible to anyone without his highly developed powers of observation, had confirmed his suspicion that her Source-token held something more than the usual few months’ supply of Source-power. He would have to be sure to get the vial for himself and learn its secrets before he was finished with the Princess.


Chosen of Azara is available in ebook and paperback at:
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Looking Ahead at 2014

Picture I’ve been thinking about this post since reading Dean Wesley Smith’s post on setting writing goals for 2014. This year got off to a rocky start for me; I had an abnormal EKG a week before Christmas, which was kind of alarming, and I’ve been dealing with tests and a lot of anxiety since then. Everything is still inconclusive so far, but right now it looks like we’re not dealing with anything immediately dangerous; most likely it’s nothing serious, or we’ve caught something more long-term serious in the early stages.

Getting this glimpse of my own mortality had the contradictory effects of making it hard to make future plans and goals (who can make plans for the future when they’re afraid they’re going to drop dead at any moment?) (seriously, I’m a terrible hypochondriac) and making me really zero in on what I want to accomplish in my life. The main thing I realized, besides wondering who would make the Christmas fudge and homemade dinner rolls at our house if I wasn’t around (getting alarming health news right before Christmas really sucks) is that I would be extremely bummed out were I to shuffle off the mortal coil before getting Daughter of the Wildings out. I’ve instructed my husband that should something happen to me, DoW is to be made available however seems best at the time – put up for sale, or just posted for free, or whatever. The problem is, as it is right now, still in rough draft, it kind of sucks. It’s not terrible, but there are parts that make me cringe or that are just wrong, and I really don’t want it to go out into the world this way.

So, with that as my focus, and now that I’m not quite so convinced that I’m going to drop dead at any moment *knock on wood*, here are my plans and goals for the coming year.

Although Sarya’s Song is the next book scheduled to come out, I’m going to be spending most of my work hours on the initial revision of Daughter of the Wildlings. DoW is a huge project, nearly 300,000 words, and if I’m going to get it released on any kind of schedule, it needs to take priority. This shuffling of priorities will mean that the release of Sarya’s Song may be delayed a bit. I’m hoping for a February release, but it may take until March.

My target for releasing the first DoW book, Beneath the Canyons, is June, though that may be a bit optimistic. The plan is to get all six books to where once I start releasing the series, a new book can come out about every other month.

Once Sarya’s Song is out and DoW is well under way towards being released, there are a couple of different areas I’m thinking I’ll turn my attention to. One is a couple of partially-written novels set in Estelend, the world of Chosen of Azara. I also had a reviewer say they wished Chosen was a trilogy instead of one book, because they wanted more backstory on some of the characters and events. Rewriting Chosen as a trilogy isn’t going to happen – I just don’t feel it that way – but I’d like to do a set of stories giving some of the backstory the reviewer mentioned they’d like to know more about. Maybe I’ll make this a Camp NaNo project in April or July. And the very first novel I ever wrote, Prince of the Trozdozh, and its sequel are sitting on my hard drive, calling out to me. I think they’re probably salvageable, so I want to run them through my revision process and see it they really are something I can release to the public.

As far as production goals, right now I can’t really set a word count goal. By the end of the year I aim to have released 5 novels (Sarya’s Song and the first four Daughter of the Wildings novels) and at least one short story collection (the Chosen of Azara companion stories). I had five releases in 2013, so six releases in 2014 sounds like a good progression.

And, onward. Happy New Year, everyone! May it be happy and productive and with a minimum of unpleasant surprises.


Haveshi Yellowcrow and Latan the Clerk

PictureI recently released “The Path of Haveshi Yellowcrow” and “The Path of Latan the Clerk,” two connected short (well, kind of long, actually) stories loosely related to Chosen of Azara. They’re in a volume titled The Warrior and the Holy Man, available on Amazon.

In Chosen of Azara, as Lucie is researching the history of the Madrinan Empire to try to decide if Sevry’s story is true, she comes across a passing reference to a discredited Kriethi historian and his female Krunabashai bodyguard. These two stories tell the tale of the historian and the bodyguard. I’d been calling Latan “the Scholar,” but he’s really just a lowly clerk who dabbles in historical research in his spare time, and since he’s such a modest fellow he insisted I change it to “clerk.” But he still made it into at least one of the history books of his world. I don’t know if he’d be more pleased or embarrassed about that.

In the titles, I also replaced “tale” with “path.” “Path” is a little more different and interesting, plus a major theme in both stories is the paths life takes us on, both expected and unexpected. Both Haveshi and Latan think they know what they want out of life and exactly how their lives are going to go – they’re happy, or at least content, with the paths their lives are following. Then unexpected events force them from those paths and require them to find new ways to live.

These two stories are a great example of how old ideas evolve into new ones. Haveshi’s story originally started out as a novel set in Estelend (the same world as Chosen of Azara, with magical Sources playing an important role), with the events the same as in the story and then dragging on and on as Haveshi and her companion Daivashan went from one place to another without actually accomplishing much of anything. Back in those days (early 90s), you either wrote novels or you wrote for the short story market, and I was a novel writer. If I ever decided to dabble my toes again in publishing, I would need novel-length offerings to present to agents and editors. And so I took a story that didn’t really have enough story in it to be a novel and tried to stretch it out into one.

Then, in the last year or so, when I was looking through my old story files and thinking about the new, expanded possibilities offered by self-publishing – no arbitrary word count or length guidelines set by publishers based on the economics of publishing paper books or magazines; stories could be as long or short as they needed to be – I realized that Haveshi’s story would be perfect as a longish short story. She finds her answer without all that pointless wandering around, and sets off for her new life, the end.

The other seed of this pair of stories came from this fragment. (And I’m going to be really really brave and post it here exactly as I wrote it umpteen years ago.)

“You’re the guard Bodric sent?” Sevry stared at the short, sturdy woman in front of him. He hoped there was a mistake.

Perar looked up from studying her fingernails. Lords above, she hated wizards. “This is the Seventeenth Tower of Wizardry, isn’t it? Your Headmaster sent a message to Bodric requesting the services of his best guard?”

“Well, yes, but….”

“Here I am.”

Sevry tugged at the hair on the top of his head. He knew Headmaster Radolf had a low opinion of his competence, but this was worse than he had expected. A woman to nursemaid him to the First Tower! Then something occurred to him. “Does Headmaster Radolf know you’re a woman?”

Perar shrugged, barely trying to hide her irritation. Bodric was going to pay for this.

Ok, first of all (besides the head-hopping), you may notice a few familiar names. Sevry, the name of the wizard in this fragment, became the name of the last King of Savaru and the hero of Chosen of Azara. That Sevry is many things, but most definitely not a wizard; I decided that name worked well for him, so I re-purposed it. Also, Perar became Perarre, the heroine of The Lost Book of Anggird, who is also most definitely not a bodyguard. So with the characters’ names being used for other stories, I had pretty much decided this fragment was dead. But I still liked the idea: a lowly member of some sort of order about to set out on a journey finding out, to his dismay, that a woman has been assigned to be his guard.
Eventually, Sevry the wizard morphed into Latan the Scholar (and then the Clerk), And then I made the connection – the female bodyguard is Haveshi, from that other abandoned project. This set Latan’s story firmly in the world of Chosen of Azara. When I tried to figure out the point of the journey he was going on, I realized that he had made a momentous discovery related to the conspiracy that destroyed Savaru, and he’s going to present this discovery to the High Priest of the Madrinan Empire. And, ta daa, I had my stories; it was just a matter of writing them.

Haveshi’s story comes first in the duology. It tells how she got derailed from the path her life was on and came to be a mercenary in a conquered land that is now part of the Madrinan Empire. Then her story continues with Latan’s story, when she’s assigned to guard him on a journey that proves as disruptive to his life’s path as the events in her story were to hers. I suggest reading Haveshi first, then Latan, but it could work the other way around, too.

“The Path of Latan the Scholar” contains a spoiler for an event early on in Chosen of Azara, but the way it’s presented, and the fact that the event happens so early in Chosen, it won’t spoil the whole novel – I like to think of it as a teaser. Chosen of Azara also contains a spoiler for “The Path of Latan the Scholar,” but that spoiler doesn’t take in nearly the whole of the story. So either way, there’s information given. If you’re wondering what to read first, I’d say it could go either way – consider “The Path of Latan the Scholar” a teaser for Chosen of Azara, or a supplement to it.

I’ve also posted an updated map of Estelend, showing Source Tiati, where Latan lives, in Krieth in the south part of the Madrinan Empire.

If you haven’t read Chosen of Azara yet, you can get an introduction to that world in “The Path of Haveshi Yellowcrow” and “The Path of Latan the Clerk,” and if you’ve read it, you can get the scoop on that discredited historian and his female bodyguard.  I hope you’ll take a look, and enjoy the stories!
***Shameless self-promotion (but hey, it’s my blog, it’s all about self-promotion!): if you haven’t read Chosen of Azara yet and want to, it’s available at:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple | Sony | Diesel

Smashwords | CreateSpace | All Romance eBooks


Sneak Peek 11/17: Chosen of Azara

Here’s a peek inside Chosen of Azara. Sevry is working as a guard-for-hire, and the caravan he’s guarding is about to come under attack:

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Sevry ignored Odigar and the confusion he was causing. The last of the largest enclosed wagons started up onto the ridge. The raiders came close enough that he could count them; there were eleven of them to his nine, plus the wagon and camel drivers. The pounding of their horses’ hooves grew louder. Sevry waited, sword drawn, his heart beating hard, his horse dancing beneath him in nervousness and excitement. At moments like this, all the times in his life when he’d waited, sword in hand, for the enemy to come blended into one. He was twelve years old again, holding his first sword, awaiting the invasion of the Royal Holding at Yiz by the Madrinan army; he was twenty-three, watching as the Madrinans approached the Convent of Azara; he was a mercenary, a guard, in countless skirmishes against countless, forgotten foes.

The last wagons were still trying to get into a secure position on top of the ridge when the raiders charged up the slope and barreled into the guards without checking their horses’ speed. Sevry and the other mounted guards were forced back against the wagons by the raiders’ onslaught. Sevry’s horse slipped a few feet down the gravelly slope; he brought it under control just in time to strike at a yellow-haired raider whose sword was swinging down towards his head.

A knot of fighting men on top of the ridge jolted the last wagon in line, just above Sevry. With a heavy thud, the wagon’s load of smuggled jade shifted. Sevry heard the sharp crack of the wagon’s front axle as it broke, but he didn’t have time to move out of the way.

Dragging its horses with it, the wagon tumbled down the slope, crashed into Sevry and his horse, and landed on its side with Sevry’s legs trapped beneath it. Excruciating pain exploded through his legs, and his scream drowned out the noises of the fight and the cries of injured horses and men.

In spite of the agony flooding his senses, he remained conscious throughout the rest of the battle. Finally, the few surviving raiders turned tail and rode away, and Sevry’s men were free to turn their attention to him. He was glad to see that none of them had fallen, though most of them were injured. They freed the horses from the broken wagon and put the poor beasts, along with Sevry’s badly-injured horse, out of their misery, unloaded the jade, then moved the wagon off of him. Bliss at the disappearance of the crushing weight nearly made Sevry forget about the pain for a moment. Speaking to each other in harsh, urgent whispers, the men carefully lifted Sevry and laid him down on some blankets. Each movement brought further waves of fresh agony. He tried to bite back his cries, but they tore their way out of him anyway. One of the men poured herbed wine into his mouth. Desperately thirsty, Sevry swallowed it.

Even the strong sleeping herb in the wine barely won out over the pain. Sevry dozed uneasily, only to be jolted into consciousness by new pain as his crushed lower legs and raw, scraped arms and back were being cleaned and bandaged. Finally, his caretakers finished their tasks, and he was able to sink into undisturbed darkness.



November: NaNoWriMo and More

Picture It’s been almost a week since my last post, a couple of weeks since releasing The Lost Book of Anggird, and I’m still a little ways out from my next major release, which will be Sarya’s Song. So how am I entertaining myself (and trying to stay out of trouble) in the meantime?

First of all, it’s November, which means National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo, or just NaNo). Last year I wrote the draft of Sarya’s Song (finally finishing it after a number of false starts), but this year I’ve returned to my tradition of pounding out a fanfiction during November. I got off to a good start, then took a few days off to finish the draft of Book 6 of Daughter of the Wildings, then just couldn’t get motivated to work on the novel I was doing for NaNo. So on Nov. 8, I decided to set aside the novel I’d started and work on an idea I’d been toying with for a few years. Starting over again from zero words more than a week into November means a lot of catching up to do. I set a minimum quota of 2500 words a day, and I’m almost caught up. Things are looking good for my 5th win in a row! (Note for those unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo, the object is to write 50,000 words of a novel during the month of November. It’s a self-challenge rather than a contest where you’re competing against other people, and everyone who verifies that they wrote 50,000 words or more is a winner.)

Also, as I mentioned, I finished the 6th book of Daughter of the Wildings, which means that the whole series now exists in complete form. The whole series is printed out and sitting in a very large binder, resting for a while until I’m ready to start the revision. So, for those of you who hate waiting years between books of a series, and who wonder if a slow-publishing series is ever going to be finished at all, take heart – Daughter of the Wildings is complete, if still something of a mess. I’m even giving my family instructions that should something happen to prevent me from editing and publishing the whole thing, they’re to just put whatever hasn’t been published yet online. Not that I plan on anything happening to me, but you never know. (My husband is a wills and estate planning lawyer. That sort of thing kind of rubs off on you when you live with it.)

A couple of stories I wrote last March during my pre-Camp NaNo challenge have still been waiting around to be edited. “The Tale of Haveshi Yellowcrow” and “The Tale of Latan the Scholar” (original titles, I know) are linked together and are also loosely related to Chosen of Azara; Haveshi and Latan are mentioned in passing (and not by name) in the novel. I decided it’s time to get these fixed up and published, so I’m working on the revision of those after I finish my NaNo quota each day. With some luck and a lot of hard work, they should be ready in a week or so. I’m thinking I’ll post them on the site for free for a short time, then put them in the Kindle Select program for 90 days.

I’ll start on the next revision of Sarya’s Song once I’m done with the Haveshi and Latan stories.

Finally, The Lost Book of Anggird has been getting some very nice reviews. I installed the Goodreads reviews widget for it on the book page, so you can read the complete reviews there, or check out highlights on the Lost Book reviews page.