Category Archives: Lost Book of Anggird

The Lost Book of Anggird Serial-Style for Free!

The Lost Book of AnggirdFor a limited time, over on my main site, you can read The Lost Book of Anggird serial-style for free! I’ll be posting a chapter 3 times a week, with up to six chapters available at a time. (Plus the first chapter, which is permanently on my site.)

Why am I doing this? Well, because I hope a few readers will take the opportunity to try out a new author or a new book for free, and that they’ll like what they read and be eager enough to find out what happens next to buy the book!

And because I know not everyone can afford $4.99 for an ebook, so from time to time I like to give everyone the opportunity to read my stories, not just those who can afford it.

I hope you’ll check it out!


Love & Magic Sneak Peek: The Lost Book of Anggird #2

Love & Magic Week continues! Here’s a magic lesson with Roric and Perarre from The Lost Book of Anggird:

Picture

“All right, then. I’m ready,” Perarre said. “Let’s get this over with.”

He positioned himself behind her and took her hands in his. She was tense and trembling. “Breathe deeply and slowly,” he said, shaking her hands to loosen them up along with his own. “The most important thing is to not fight it. Be aware of it, the heat, the colors, the nature of fire, but don’t let it have power over you. Do you understand what I mean?”

“Yes,” she said uncertainly.

“Remember what I told you,” he said. He kept up a soothing murmur, reminding her of the things he had told her, trying to encourage both of them as he moved their hands towards the fire. Each time he felt the slightest hesitation or tension in her arms, he stopped and helped her relax again. “Would I be doing this with you if I thought you would get hurt?” he asked.

She looked up at him. “Oh, Roric, I’m sorry. This has to be even harder for you than it is for me.”

“It’s not as hard as it looks.” He hoped he sounded at least somewhat convincing. “Just let the warmth — not so hot as to burn, just warm — just let it flow around you… It helps a great deal if you close your eyes.”

She closed her eyes. Roric tried to make himself keep his own eyes open, but finally he couldn’t watch any longer. Keeping up his encouraging words, he slowly extended their arms, bringing their hands closer to the fire and then into the dancing energy and distant warmth of the flames themselves.


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Couple Interview: Roric and Perarre

Welcome to another couple interview for Love & Magic Week: Roric and Perarre, from The Lost Book of Anggird.

Picture 1. How did you meet?
Perarre: We met when I interviewed for the position of translating old books for him. He didn’t want to hire me, for some silly reason, but I talked him into it.
Roric: I remember wondering, immediately after I engaged her for the position, if I hadn’t just made a terrible mistake. As it turns out, hiring her was probably the most intelligent thing I’ve ever done.

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

P: His looks. He’s very handsome, in a slightly exotic way. And then I noticed that his reputation for being a sanctimonious prig seemed to be completely justified. Fortunately, he’s grown out of that.
R: I noticed that she was a woman, which I thought made her unsuitable for the position. Then I took note of her qualifications, and changed my mind. Male or female, I couldn’t have asked for a more highly-qualified and competent assistant.

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

R: No. I had no intention of ever entering into a romantic or carnal relationship with anyone.
P: [laughs] I was just hoping that we could work together without strangling each other. I had my sights set on foreign lands and exotic lovers once my work for him was over.

4. What do you like best about the other person?

P: There’s a very sweet and gentle side to him that he never used to show anyone. He had his reasons for that, and I felt very privileged that he finally opened up and let me see that side of him. He also has great integrity; he will do what’s right no matter how hard it is. He can be absolutely trusted to tell the truth and keep his word. And when he does decide to offer his love or friendship to someone, he is completely loyal. And he treats me with respect.
R: Her warm, straightforward nature, along with the fact that she forgives me so easily for my more difficult traits. And I have the greatest admiration for her intelligence.

5. What is something you enjoy doing together? (Besides the obvious!)

R: In spite of a rather difficult beginning, we found that we work very well together on scholarly research.
P: We also like reading together. Roric has a fondness for the mythologies of different lands, and it’s fun to read out of collections of myths to each other. And also, yes, “the obvious.”

6. How has the other person changed you?

R: She got me to open up my heart to friendship and love, to start truly living instead of living only for my work and to protect myself.
P: All the things I once thought I wanted – traveling to exotic places and having love affairs with exotic men – started to seem shallow and meaningless. With Roric, I learned to want something bigger and deeper, something greater than my own immediate, self-centered desires.

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

R: There’s quite a difference in our ages. I’m thirteen years older than Perarre. But that doesn’t seem to matter; we relate to each other very much on equal terms. And she was far more experienced in some things than I was when we first… when our relationship began.
P: There’s also the difference in our personalities. He’s very neat, fastidious, really, and reserved, and I’m… not. But I think the differences between us are less important than what we have together. We just seem to complement each other. And anyway, if we were both the same, it would be boring!

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

[long silence]
P: Not much. But that’s ok.
R: We do share a dedication to scholarly work. We’ve also been through some unique and difficult experiences together. But mostly what we have in common is our feelings for each other.

9. What does your family think of your partner, and what do you think of your partner’s family?

P: My mother didn’t think much of Roric when she first met him, but he wasn’t at his best at the time, all things considered, and anyway, she was still pushing me to marry a man who was the last man in the world any girl would want to marry, so her judgment is pretty questionable. I’m much closer to my sister Samale and her family than I am to my mother, and Samale and her husband Luka like Roric very much. As for Roric’s family, his brother Khaian is a good man. The rest of them, well, with family like that, who needs enemies?
R: My father was horrified that I had married a woman of a different heritage from ours. On the other hand, my brother Khaian and his wives seem fond of Perarre. I quite like Samale and Luka; they are good, sensible people. Perarre’s mother, on the other hand, in my opinion, failed as a mother when she tried to force Perarre to marry a young man who was not only unsuited for Perarre but an entirely objectionable person.

10. What role does magic play in your relationship?
R:
We met when I engaged Perarre to assist me in research concerning a difficulty with the magica, the magic power found in the Vorunne Dominion.
P: And then, the first year and a half of our relationship was spent trying to find the roots of the problem and correct it. We went through a lot of experiences, magical and non-magical, that really bonded us together.

11. What are your plans for the future?

R: Raising our children, of course. Also, due to the circumstances surrounding what happened to the magica, I’m considered the foremost expert on how to use magic as is currently exists. So there is no end of courses to teach, lectures to deliver, and books to write. I love my work, so this is a very exciting time.
P: There are also books to be translated, which have never been translated before, and I’m very excited to have the opportunity to do this, and to keep working with Roric.

12. “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts” How is this true for the two of you?

P: Working together, we changed magic and the way the Vorunne Dominion is ruled. So there’s that.
R: As well, Perarre and I are both better, stronger people together than we are apart. And the two of us complement and complete each other.
P: [smiles at the toddler running around the room] The most important thing is that together, we made something that didn’t exist before – a new family.


Sneak Peek: The Lost Book of Anggird

Here’s another peek inside The Lost Book of Anggird: Perarre catches a cold:

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Perarre nodded and dropped into her chair at the work table. What had she been expecting, that he would see how sick she was, feel sorry for her, and give her the day off? She shuffled her book and papers and pens around, not quite able to focus her foggy, feverish mind on her work. When she opened the book and tried to read its archaic script, her eyes watered and ached. She dropped her head to the table and covered it with her arms to block out the light.

“Miss Tabrano!” The Professor sounded genuinely alarmed. Perarre heard him come around from behind his desk, then she felt a light touch on her face. “You have a fever! Why didn’t you tell me you were ill?”

“Can I have the day off so I can die in peace, sir?” she mumbled. “And please don’t fire me.”

To her astonishment, instead of firing her, he started gently massaging her temples. Gradually, the pain in her head ebbed away, along with the feverish feeling.  The comfort spread to her watery eyes, stuffed-up nose, and burning throat. The Professor’s hands moved to her shoulders, still keeping the same light, slow, rhythmic touch. Then the touch faltered and he stopped. “I apologize for not realizing sooner that you were in distress, and for being unable to provide more relief,” he said. His voice had gone quiet and slightly husky.

Perarre raised her head and looked at him. “You can Heal.”

“I only achieved an Adequate ranking in Healing. I have some… difficulty with the Balance.” His face was covered with a light sheen of sweat, like it had been the day she stepped on his foot.

Of course. Healing was Balanced by pain for the Healer; the Healer had to filter the discomfort and distress taken from the patient out of the magica he had used before allowing the magica to return to its place. Even the small amount of pain that would be brought on by giving mild relief to cold symptoms was probably almost unbearable for the Professor. “Will you be all right, Professor?”

He nodded. “It usually passes before very long. I think I’ll go lie down for a bit. You are excused from work until you are well again. Only, Miss Tabrano —”

“Yes, sir?”

“You do not have my permission to die.”



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.


“Lost Book” Journey, and What’s Next

Picture The Lost Book of Anggird has been out for about a week now, and I’ve been really happy with the response! It’s been my most successful novel launch yet, and the feedback from readers has been very positive 🙂 I extended the introductory price of $.99 through this weekend (Nov. 3), so there’s still a day or two left to get it at that special low price at Amazon and Smashwords.

It’s amazing to think that Lost Book is finally finished and available for readers to buy. I started writing it about 15 or 16 years ago, in a spiral notebook in pencil. I have no idea why. I got up to what is now about the 55% mark, and it was just getting weirder and weirder and I really had no idea what I was doing with it. So I stopped writing it. But the characters wouldn’t leave me alone, and I finally realized I had them all wrong. In the original version, Roric was truly insufferable, instead of just, um, let’s say “idiosyncratic,” and Perarre really was in love with the guy back home, which qualified her as TSTL (too stupid to live; one of those technical writing terms :)) And the relationship between them took a *lot* longer to get off the ground.

The big breakthrough came when I finally got a handle on Roric and Perarre’s true characters. It’s funny how it works with characters. For me, and a lot of authors (not saying this is true for all), you don’t just assign a name, an age, a gender, and a menu list of phyical characteristics and personality traits. My characters come to me as an already-existing entity, and then it’s up to me to discover who they are. So I listened to Roric and Perarre and let them tell me about themselves instead of trying to impose my own ideas on them, and learned that they were very different people from what I thought at first. Especially Roric; when he told me about his past, I was shocked. But it all made perfect sense, and really explained why he was the way he was and why he did the things he did. Oh, and by the way, he and Perarre felt like the relationship needed to move along a little faster.

After that, everything started to fall into place. I had to figure out exactly how the magic in the story worked, since that’s a major element of the plot, but once I had a clear idea about the characters I could see their world a lot more clearly too.

And then it was time to write. At first I had tried typing out my old handwritten version, but quickly gave up on it since 1) it was so eye-gougingly bad and 2) there was very little of it I was going to be able to re-use. So, instead, I rewrote the whole thing from scratch. It took probably 3 or 4 months (slow for me, for a first draft, especially since I started doing NaNoWriMo), and just kept getting longer and longer as I tried to find the right ending. The original ending, with Roric and Perarre returning in triumph after totally #&%$ing up the world’s magic, made no sense at all. Finally, though, I found my ending.

Then I took my 139,000 word manuscript and started revising. And revising, and revising, and revising. Some of the revising made it much better, and some of it made it worse. I got it down to 105,000 words, then realized I’d taken out a lot of stuff I actually wanted to keep, so I added a bunch back in. Then, when it came back from the test readers, I had another heart-sinking realization – the writing had been “polished” into bland, boring mush. So a couple more rounds of revision, fixing some problems the test readers had pointed out and “un-revising” the prose into something (hopefully) more lively and interesting to read.

Then the proofreads (where I was still actually adding in some significant things I’d left out/taken out earlier) and then finally I decided that was it. It was done. The final version is about 130,000 words. The formatting and putting up on Amazon and Smashwords only took a couple of days (the paperback version is now also done and waiting my approval of the proof copy), and now it’s done. It’s hard to believe, after all those years and all that wrestling with it and all the seemingly-endless rounds of revision, it’s done, and out there, and people are buying it and reading it and liking it.

So, what’s next? I’m getting the feedback on Sarya’s Song back from the test readers, so as soon as I finish the draft of Book 6 of Daughter of the Wildings I’ll start on that revision. Sarya’s Song will be my next novel coming out; I’m aiming for Feb. 2014, though it could be March instead. Overall reaction to the book is positive, but it does need a lot of work. In the meantime, during November I’m also doing National Novel Writing Month. I’m writing fanfiction (another post for another time), which I haven’t done in a couple of years. December is when I’ll start on the big gigantic revision of Daughter of the Wildings. Also in the meantime, I’ve got a couple of stories loosely related to Chosen of Azara that are kind of halfway through being revised, that I’ll finish and put up for sale.

Lots more stories to come! To stay informed of new releases and special offers, sign up for my email alerts. No spam, I promise!


The Lost Book of Anggird Now Available!

Picture The Lost Book of Anggird is now available for Kindle from Amazon, and in Kindle, epub, and other electronic formats from Smashwords. And right now, I’m running a special introductory price: through October 31 (Halloween!) you can get Lost Book for only $0.99!

Here’s the scoop on it:

“For Perarre Tabrano, who intends to make her own way through life as an independent woman, the chance to work as a translator of ancient books for the renowned Professor Roric Rossony is the opportunity of a lifetime, even though the Professor is as famous for his difficult disposition as he is for his scholarship. But Perarre quickly learns there’s far more to him than meets the eye, and her irritation soon turns to fascination.

“Professor Roric Rossony, the Vorunne Dominion’s foremost expert on Magical Balance, has been entrusted with a vital task – discovering what is going wrong with the Dominion’s powerful magica. With Perarre’s assistance, he begins investigating the origins of the magica, and discovers that commonly-accepted truths taught for hundreds of years might not be true at all.

“Then Professor Rossony goes too far in his research, delving into lost and forbidden books. Magical disaster strikes, and, overnight, Roric is transformed from respected scholar to the most-wanted criminal in the Dominion. Perarre is now faced with a choice: cling to the safe familiarity of the home she had meant to leave behind forever and the truths that have turned to lies, or join Roric on a long and difficult journey to discover the source of the magica and set right an ancient wrong.”

The Prologue and Chapter 1 are up on the site as a free preview.free preview.


Lost Book of Anggird Playlist and Progress Report

Picture Quick progress update on The Lost Book of Anggird: I’m on the final proofread now, and still hopefully on track for a release on the 25th. It’s a long book so the formatting’s going to take a while, but I think I’m allowing plenty of time. In any case, it’ll definitely be out by the end of October. Be sure to sign up for my email newsletter if you want to be alerted to the release date and for a special limited-time low introductory price!

I’ve also added a Spotify playlist to the Lost Book of Anggird book page. This one features songs by Muse from their album The Resistance, some dance/electronica from Blaqk Audio (a side project by Davey Havok and Jade Puget of AFI), and desert-flavored symphonic metal from the Tunisian band Myrath.

Coming soon, watch for the free preview of Lost Book!

Finally, on a different subject, if you liked my Billionaires, Bad Boys, and Bondage series of blog posts, check out Camille Laguire’s take on the theme. She’s taking an in-depth look at cultural archetypes as shown through classic movies, her own books, and other sources, and it’s a really interesting series.


Character Interview: Perarre

Picture Here’s Perarre, from The Lost Book of Anggird, to tell you a little about herself:

1. What is your full name? Is there anything significant about your name?

My name is Perarre Tabrano. There’s nothing significant about it; it’s just a regular Essan name.

2. How old are you?

I am 22 years old.

3. Tell us about your family. What do you like and not like about them?

I’m the youngest of ten children. My father died several years ago, and my mother Malia still runs the Golden Hare, our family’s inn, in Madena, a small farming village in Essa Province. I don’t get along well with my mother, but that’s at least as much my fault as hers. I was not an easy child, and by the time I came along I think she was tired. I’m very close to my oldest sister, Samale, and she’s really been more of a mother to me. Her husband, Luka, is an amazing man, and they have seven children. If anyone was meant to have a lot of children, it’s them.

4. Who was your first kiss, and what did you think of it?

My first kiss that counts was a boy not long after I came to the University of Vorunne City when I was 13. I’m afraid I don’t remember his name, but I certainly liked it, better than I thought I would.

5. What is your occupation?

I am a translator of ancient, middle, and modern Vorunic and Lazivanic languages. I’m also a Reader, which means I’m able to read thoughts and emotions left behind on objects by people who handled them previously. This is a very useful skill for a translator, as you can probably imagine, especially if the document I’m translating is an original and not a copy. Being able to tell what the original author meant, what he was thinking and how he felt as he was writing, makes my translations a lot more accurate and meaningful.

Right now, I’m finishing up the second year of a three-year Assistantship, which is a program that graduates of the University can enter to gain further skills in their fields and to get good references from Masters and Professors on their dossiers, which gives you a big advantage in getting future employment. After I complete my Assistantship, I hope to be able to get a position with the Foreign Service, preferably one where I’ll actually be posted in a foreign country. I want to travel to as many places and see as many different things as I can, the more exotic the better.

In fact, as soon as we’re done here I’m supposed to meet with Professor Rossony – yes, that Professor Rossony – to interview for a position as a translator for him. I’ve heard he’s a sanctimonious prig and almost impossible to get along with, but a good reference from him will totally make my whole career. Keep your fingers crossed for me to get the job!

6. What are your best and worst qualities?

I’m smart, I’m a hard worker, and I take pride in my work. I’ve got a good sense of humor, and I’m friendly. As for my worst qualities, I tend to react emotionally instead of thinking things through, which has gotten me into more than a little trouble in the past. I’ve done some pretty stupid things because of that. Also, I chew my fingernails when I’m concentrating, and I’m not very good at being neat and tidy, and sometimes I’m kind of a smart-mouth.

7. What quality do you value most in a romantic partner?

I’m not looking for anything permanent, and I had enough of people trying to make decisions for me and control my life before I came to the University. So I’d like a man who’s willing to let me be myself and be independent, who won’t try to tie me down. He needs to have a good sense of humor. Looks aren’t as important, but I do prefer men who have something unique about their appearance. Beautiful eyes and a good strong nose especially catch my attention.

And – am I allowed to say this? – I like a good time in bed with a man who doesn’t have to be skilled as long as he’s enthusiastic and we’re both having fun. It’s been a while since I’ve found anyone who interests me, though. Which is probably just as well; I’ve had a few close calls with that kind of thing, with guys who weren’t as nice as I thought they were and with being afraid I was pregnant. So for now, I’m just concentrating on my career.

8. What is your favorite thing to do?

I love to read, and I love good food (that is, anything but what they serve in the Assistants’ dining hall!), and I really enjoy my work.

9. What is your greatest fear?

That something will happen to force me to leave the University and go home and live the life there that my parents expected me to. Especially if it involves marrying him. Ugh.

10. What is your most treasured possession?

My independence.


Character Interview: Professor Roric Rossony

Picture Introducing Professor Roric Rossony, the (reluctant) hero of The Lost Book of Anggird.

1. What is your full name? Is there anything significant about your name?

My name is Roric Rossony. I chose this name for myself, as the name I was given at birth would not be appropriate for my situation in life. ‘Roric’ is the Vorunnic form of my given name, and ‘Rossony’ is the surname of an explorer from the Vorunne Dominion whom I read about and admired as a boy.

2. How old are you?

I am thirty-five years old.

3. Tell us about your family. What do you like and not like about them?
I have been estranged from my family for twenty-three years and would prefer not to speak of them. Though I will admit to some regret at not having my younger brother in my life.

Perhaps the closest thing I have to family now is my friend and mentor, Professor Delric Baldrin, who was my teacher of Balance Theory when I was a student.

4. Who was your first kiss, and what did you think of it?

I long ago came to the decision that carnal urges and appetites, and the feelings that can lead to them, are incompatible with the life I wish to lead. In short, I have never kissed anyone.

5. What is your occupation?

For the past twelve years, I have been a Professor of Balance Theory at the University of Vorunne City. My duties include presenting lecture courses on various aspects of magical Balance, leading small seminar groups for advanced students both from the College of Magecraft and the College of Scholarship, publishing books and scholarly articles on Balance Theory, and conducting research into magical Balance. My expertise covers the full range of Balance Theory, also taking in such subjects as mathematics, natural history and philosophy, and magical philosophy. I have a particular interest in the design and Balancing of magical devices, though that is only a small part of my work.

6. What are your best and worst qualities?

I believe that my best quality is that I am meticulous in all aspects of my work, paying great attention to detail and always striving to produce work of the highest quality and scholarly integrity. As for my worst quality, I am told that I am fairly rigid in my attitudes and habits, to the extent that I have garnered the rather unflattering nickname ‘Broomstick Rossony.’ I suppose there might be some truth to that, but my habits and routines have served me well so far, and I see no reason to change.

7. What quality do you value most in a romantic partner?

Please see the answer to question number four. I am not seeking a romantic partner; I am quite content by myself.

8. What is your favorite thing to do?

I find my work to be tremendously fulfilling, in all its aspects – teaching, researching, and writing. I did rather enjoy making the flameless magical lamps that I use in my rooms and that have been adopted for use in other areas of the University, such as library storage rooms.

9. What is your greatest fear?

[this question was left blank]

10. What is your most treasured possession?

Rather than any material possession, I treasure my good name and integrity as a Scholar and Professor.