Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Amber's Castle Q&A - Part 1

Next to last of these! Would you guys like me to open up the floor for questions for the LDTD crew, once I finish? Or save that for later?

Oh, and please consider signing up for the blog tour for our Three Sleeping Beauty Retellings, and supporting our Thunderclap for it.

I admit it, I'm a bit apprehensive as Laura leads me through the twisting halls of Amber's castle. Sure, Laura has promised that Amber won't do anything to me, but niggling doubt still clings. I clutch my stack of questions tightly, hoping desperately that none are bad enough to make her want to add me to her collection of melted ice statues.

We end up in the dining hall, where Granite is waiting at the table. A feast has already been summoned, and I suspect that it was of Laura's doing, based on the spread.

"You can go ahead and sit down, perhaps ask Granite a few of the more sensitive questions while I fetch Amber," Laura tells me, and then she slips out the door.

I sigh and sit down across from the Dragon's husband. "Sarah Taleweaver would like to know if you realized it when Amber started turning towards evil or if you didn't notice until it was too late."

"You're starting with the difficult ones," Granite observed.

I shrug a bit but nod. "Best to get them out of the way, before Amber joins us."

He nods, the corners of his mouth turning up grimly. "I knew even as she first took up the scale that it would lead her to nothing but trouble. I had hoped that she'd be strong enough to resist, but even that first moment was too late." He gives a frustrated sigh. "I slew that terrible dragon myself, and had thought that I'd ussured in a time of peace and prosperity for Rizkaland - but I just exchanged a thorn in my side for a thorn in my heart."

I glance down, shuffling through my stack of cards. "Morgan would like to know if is hard to stay faithful to her when she's so evil."

He doesn't answer immediately, but the muscles in his jaw tightened. Finally, he shook his head. "She is my wife. I am bound to her. It doesn't make things easy, but I really have nowhere else to go. Nowhere else that I'd rather be. I just wish that she'd listen to me."

"Don't we all." I pull out another card, then frown and decide to combine it with another to save time, as I'm sure it won't take Laura too much longer to show up. "Amanda wants to know if you're okay being tied to Amber's immortality. If you think that the Tela Du will win the Final War, are you okay with dying, too? Alyssa would like to know what you think of the Tela Du."

"I think that she's a young lady with her work cut out for her," Granite answers, heavily. He shakes his head. "I can't imagine life without Amber. Corrupted though she may be, she is my wife, and I love her. It's not my death that I fear, it's hers, but they must come together."

Before I can press him with further questions, the door opens and Laura races in and takes her seat next to Granite. Amber sweeps in a moment later, eyes narrowing as they land on me.

"My eyes are blue, not brown, I'm not the Tela Du," I inform her. "I'm a historian here to ask a few questions."

Her eyebrow flickers, and her narrow gaze turns towards Laura. "I see."

"I know you aren't the fondest of historians," I insert, "but that is why I'm coming directly to you. To ask questions so that I may have your story. These questions are provided by the readers of one of my books, about the Water Princess and Fire Prince."

"Very well." With practiced flair, Amber takes her seat at the head of the table. "Ask away."

I take a deep breath and shuffle through my cards. "Amanda would like to know how old you were when you first became queen."

"I was sixteen when I slew my mother and took her throne," Amber answered. "As evidenced by the fact that my age is now frozen at sixteen."

I nod. "On that note, she also wants to know when was the last time you saw your birth mother."

"When I plunged my knife into her heart and took on her immortality," Amber answered. "Jade was a wicked woman, though, and it was time for her life to end."

"Mm," I say, for I happen to know a few things about the situation that Amber doesn't. "Ooh, question for Laura. Sarah Taleweaver wants to know what would happen if two of you were in a room together. She thinks time would collapse. And she asks, if it's safe, if you ever have?"

Laura tilted her head to the side. "I think she's already had this question answered for her in Lady Dragon, Tela Du."

"She has, but at the time of her asking ... I hadn't finished writing that. I've been ... slow with getting these posts written."

"I was late with getting you here," Laura counters. "But, to the question. It's perfectly safe, I've done it thousands of times, and the world is still intact. She's watched too much Doctor Who. To be honest, it's the TARDIS energy that makes interacting with yourself dangerous, not the actual interaction."

"I see. On that note, Abby would like to know if you prefer being the child or mentor to yourself."

Laura tilted her head to the side. "Mentor," she admits, "since we're talking about when I'm interacting with myself. I always prefer the second time through - I feel less pressure, even though I admit that there is usually far more on me that second time. But, on the second time, I know how everything will turn out. I don't have to worry about messing things up."

"Amber, one for you - Alyssa would like to know where you consider your home?"

"This castle," Amber answers automatically. "It has traveled with me through every world I have lived in - I am bound to it. It is my home."

"Granite, how about a more cheerful one for you? Sarah Taleweaver would like to know how you and Amber met."

Granite tilts his head to the side as he stared at his wife. "I can't remember a time when I didn't know her. My parents chose me at her birth for her future husband, and I was raised alongside her."

"Who were your parents?" I decide to ask a question of my own.

Granite shakes his head. "I was never told. My past was never important, only my future."

"I see. Amanda would like to know what made you fall in love with Amber, while Mnm would like to know if she fell in love first, or vice versa."

"She used a love potion on me," he answered. "Though she claims it wore off, I'm not convinced."

Amber rolled her eyes a bit. "It wasn't actually a real love potion, though that is how Laura described it when she gave it to me for my sixteenth birthday. It only acted on already-existing feelings."

"Yeah, but you didn't know that when you gave it to him," said Laura, tilting her head to the side.

"No thanks to you. You merely told me that the people of Milia used it as a love potion, but that it didn't always work. I gave it to Granite to test it since I already knew that I would marry him. I ... hardly expected the reaction I got out of him."

"I ... really acted the fool," Granite admits.

"Honestly, no worse than I've ever seen you since," Amber counters. "I will admit that it terrified me a bit, until Laura told me the truth about the potion. And you were thoroughly embarrassed when it did finally wear off. I won't say that that was how we fell in love, though, merely how we realized it."

"Oh, it totally was," Granite argues. "You pushed me off the cliff and I dragged you down with me."

She gives him a small smile, and I see, for a moment, the old Granite and Amber, before she was corrupted by the scale. But then her eyes harden and she turns back to me.

"So, any other questions?"

To be continued...

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Cover Reveal - Three Sleeping Beauties!

Here it is, folks, the day you've all been waiting for. The day that I FINALLY have Sew, It's a Quest on Smashwords - AND PERMANENTLY FREE!!! Oh, isn't that awesome?

Just click over here to pick up your very own, very free copy of Sew - in any file format you'd like!! No longer kindle exclusive here! 

(Am I going to move the rest of my books over to Smashwords? Probably not. I like my KDP Select. But KDP Select wasn't letting me make Sew Permafree.)

Anywho. Click over there, get your free copy, and we can throw a party, yes?

Wait, what's that you're saying? You didn't come here to pick up a free copy of Sew? 

(Seriously, Kendra, you only just put it on a free promotion. Everyone and their DOG ought to have a copy by now.)

Okay, fine, I admit it. I'm being my own stubborn self again. Yes, I know, I know, you're here for a cover reveal. 

I am properly proud of this cover, as I built it all by myself, even drawing that cat and wheel, with a bit of advice from Alea Harper. I tell you what, finding a proper font for the series title and my author name was DIFFICULT. I eventually ended up playing with effects on a font, and I'm quite in love with what I have now. 

About the Book
Everyone knows that Sleeping Beauty's curse is triggered when she pricks her finger on a spindle and that she is awakened by true love's kiss ... but what happens when the wicked fairy decides to switch things up?

Edmund didn't mean to put Auralea to sleep, but now it's up to him and the famous Puss in Boots to figure out how, exactly, a spinning wheel is supposed to awaken her.

(You guys all already know who I am, so I'm skipping my author info)

This is the only cover that I'm showing off that I didn't design, but I won't hesitate to admit that this is probably the most gorgeous in the line-up. As it's the only one that will be slapped onto an actual physical book, I'm okay with that.

Oh, fun fact here - Morgan almost used the same font for her author name as I DID use for the title on Poison Kiss - Blackadder. I had to use the font by default because it's what's on CinderEddy's cover, so I wasn't copying her. Just ... fun fact. 

About the Book
“I, Calandra, of the Wingans, do bestow upon you, the Princess of Hanover, a gift. You have been given long life. I cannot interfere with that, but when you are sixteen years of age, you will prick your finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into an everlasting sleep.” She stepped closer so that she could be heard only by Liesel and her parents. “Then you will at last see the truth. Be wary. Be wise. Your fate rests upon yourself.”

On her sixteenth birthday, Princess Liesel Rosanna falls victim to a sleeping curse—but wakens in another world, a prisoner of war. As the bait in a trap for her fiancĂ©, the crown prince of Hanover, Liesel longs to escape back to the fairy tale world. The world where she is only wanting a true love’s kiss to set everything to rights.

As situations quickly grow dire, Liesel must choose which story to live, which life is real. The fate of her country rests on her decision.

About the Author
Morgan Elizabeth Huneke is a homeschool graduate who lives in Georgia. She has enjoyed creating characters and writing stories since early childhood. Books have always been a big part of her life, never more so than when working at the local library. Her other interests include reading, playing and teaching piano and violin, and politics. She is the author of Across the Stars and The Experiment as well as the Time Captives fantasy trilogy.

You can connect with Morgan on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Now this cover ... this cover's headache was more than just the fonts. I actually had my fonts early on. However, I went through two other designs before I finally went with this - a compromise of the two. I'm proud of it, too, though, and proud of my mother for finally getting a book of her own out. Sure, she helped me with Saffron's Big Plan and Tears, Frogs, and Laughter (which I'll be updating with her real name in the near future), but this book is all her. Except for the editing. 

Hang on to your socks, folks, and get ready for a sweet little bedtime story. (And, yes, I AM going to get her to do an audio version soonishly, because that's how she REALLY shines.)

It's sequel - Cynthia Ellen, won't be long in following, so stay tuned for that, too.

About the Book
Once upon a time, way out west...
Back when they were young'uns, Fleur Guardstone proposed to Rosette Thornbriar with a cigar band ring. However, not long after, she disappeared back into the forest and hadn't been heard from since. However, when Fleur hears reports of smoke coming from that woods, he's determined to find out if it is, indeed, his dear Rosette. If he can get past all of the briars.

About the Author
Rachel Roden is a natural story teller, capable of weaving the most hilarious of fairy tales. She fell in love with the Lone Ranger in her teens, but ended up with a basketball referee instead. Together, she and the Ref homeschool their four children in the Piney Woods of East Texas, as well as any other odd kid who ends up in their house. She might also be the sole human who still uses math after college.

You can connect with Rachel on her blog, twitter, and Pinterest.

Now, I'm going to go set up a treasure hunt for church tonight. And go to work. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Cover Reveal Sign Up!

Hello! So I teased you with a bit of Poison Kiss's cover last week when I revealed the newest Rooglewood Fairy Tale Contest, and I've finally settled on a reveal date of June 21st. And, of course, I need all of your help to do the actual revealing.

And not just me! My good friend, Morgan Elizabeth Huneke, is also releasing her entry for the Five Magic Spindles contest, Twisted Dreams, and my mother decided to jump onto the band wagon with a retelling of her own - Rosette Thornbriar. They will all three be releasing on August 7th, which means that we're revealing all of the covers together.

So just fill out the form below, and it'll be awesome.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Cover Reveal - Five Golden Braids

Well, today's the day folks. The day that the cover is revealed for the fourth and final Rooglewood Five Something Something contest. For those of you who don't know, this contest is run by Anne Elizabeth Stengl, author of the Goldstone Woods.

It's been two years since the last contest, and breaths have been bated in anticipation. My own guess for the final tale was "Rapunzel" with runner-ups being "The Little Mermaid" and "Snow White." These were the three remaining "popular" tales that had a princess at its core, which seemed to be the theme of these contests. "The Little Mermaid" however, has a sad ending, and given Rooglewood's request for happy endings, I figured that they'd steer clear of it, and "Snow White" is a tad similar to "Sleeping Beauty" which they'd already done.

So what is it this year? Well, contrary to what I'm trying to lead you to believe with this post's title ... I was wrong. It isn't Rapunzel. However, the book does have the exact title that I knew they'd pick if they did ever do it. A title speculation that was responsible for my Sleeping Beauty retelling of Poison Kiss, which, unfortunately, wasn't finished in time to enter into the actual contest.

(It is finished now, due for release in August, and I'm looking forward to sharing the lovely cover that I spent last week building sometime later this month. I'm quite proud of it.)

Okay, so now that I have a placeholder image in place to throw all of you off and make you click through ... what is the actual cover you ask?

The cover model/photographer: WYNTER CLARK.
Cover design: JULIA POPOVA

Oh, that's gorgeous. As I said, I didn't expect this tale due to it's similarities to Sleeping Beauty (I actually qualify it under Sleeping Beauty in my own fairy tale classification system. That's a post for another day), but while I'm slightly disappointed that we won't be dealing with Towers in this story ... I will admit that Snow White is ripe for interpretation. I just hope that there won't be too many stories with the "brilliant" idea of mixing the tale with Snow White and Rose Red. (I swear, if I see another hackneyed stitching together of those two stories...).

I actually have already started my entry for this year, thanks to my sister. I initially pulled a blank, but when I told her the Fairy Tale, she said she had a terrible idea. Snow White and the Seven Drawers. (She blames this title on her dyslexia). Where Snow White finds a bureau with seven drawers, and each is a portal into another realm that is based on some motif from the fairy tale. I loved the idea, and have run with it. It's going to be awesome and epic, and I just hope that I can keep it under 20,000 words. Currently, I have retitled it to Blanche and the Seven Drawers, but I may change it to The Eighth Realm, depending on its mood. It was supposed to be whimsy but has been evolving into something much more serious. Hopefully, I'll have it done in time to enter, but if not, well, you'll still see it appear on my own bookshelf.

And I'll probably throw a tower in there just to have some fun. I managed to squeak them into both CinderEddy and Poison Kiss, after all.

So, your thoughts? Are you planning to enter the contest? What do you think of my entry? Which of my titles do you think I should choose?
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