Monday, May 18, 2015

Cover Reveal--A WISH MADE OF GLASS

It is my pleasure to participate in the cover reveal for Ashlee Willis's newest release: her fairytale novella, A Wish Made of Glass.

I am particularly excited to share this cover with all of you since I had the honor of creating it for Ashlee. I read and enjoyed her story years ago, and it was such fun to bring it to life visually for all of her readers!

What do you think?

Deep in a forest glade, the fey folk dance with Isidore, a young human child. Their kinship is the very fabric of her childhood. When her mother dies and her world darkens with sorrow, Isidore finds her belief in the fey folk wavering.

The love of her new step-sister, Blessing, proves an unexpected gift in her time of need. Yet even as their friendship blooms, Isidore begins to see that Blessing is everything she herself has always wanted to be, but is not. Jealousy grips Isidore as she watches this beautiful new sister steal away all she holds dear.

Driven to desperation, Isidore turns to the fey folk once more. She has only one wish to claim from them, one chance to make things right. But she must tread carefully. For wishes, like hearts, are easily broken. And obtaining the one thing she desires could mean destroying the one thing she truly needs.

 COMING SUMMER 2015

ASHLEE WILLIS is the author of fantasy for young adults. She lives in the heart of Missouri with her husband and young son. While most of her days are balanced between writing, reading, and being a stay-at-home mom, she also finds time to enjoy tea with friends, forest rambles, photography, and piano playing.
Connect with Ashlee: Blog   Facebook  Twitter   Goodreads   Amazon


Are you ready to gobble up A Wish Made of Glass this summer? Because this is one all lovers of fairytales shouldn't miss!



Friday, May 15, 2015

Cover Reveal - Second Edition

 Dear Imps, I am so excited about what I have to show you today! As many of you know, my mother published a book with Rooglewood Press last year, a wonderful historical novel called Until That Distant Day. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, and I am so proud to be part of its publication journey.

However, we never felt entirely satisfied with the cover for that novel. It was very pretty, but very soft, very romantic . . . and not very specific to the time period of the story, which is set during the early days of the French Revolution. So, after much discussion off and on, we finally decided to give the book an update.

And I had the pleasure of creating the new look! Allow me to present to you the relaunch edition of Until That Distant Day:

 When revolution reigns, can love survive?

A vibrant, activist widow living in Paris during the early days of France’s new Republic can find limitless opportunities for success. So says Pascoe, Colette’s favorite brother and lifelong advisor, who urges her to quit her menial employment as housekeeper to prominent legislator Doctor Hilliard. However, haunted by an abusive marriage, her baby’s tragic death, and a recent disastrous romance, Colette dreads making more poor choices. She clings to her current position, where at least she finds purpose and respect.

Suddenly, Colette finds herself at odds with Pascoe and struggling to unite her fractured family against the lure of revolution. Charged with protecting Doctor Hilliard’s headstrong daughter and desperately afraid of losing one of her beloved brothers, Colette doesn’t know where to turn or whom to trust as the bloodshed creeps ever closer to home.

Until that distant day when peace returns to France, can she find the strength to defend her loved ones . . . even from one another?




This new edition is available as a Kindle download now, so be certain to grab a copy if you haven't already! The print version will be following in another few weeks.


I must say, I had a wonderful time creating this all new image for my mother's book. I love the story she has written and wanted to give it a face that suited the amazing work she has done. This new cover lifts the book out of the realm of fluffy romance genre into the regions of more elegant historical work. The new write-up emphasizes as well that this book is about Colette and her personal growth and struggle through this tumultuous period of history.

If you feel moved to do so, please take a moment to share this cover, the purchase link, and the write-up on your blogs, Facebooks pages, Twitter accounts, and Pinterest boards. And don't forget to add it to your Goodreads shelves! My mother and I would both appreciate any effort made to bring attention to this wonderful story, which I believe will prove a great blessing to many readers for years to come.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Chat Party Invite!

Dear Imps, I know it's been terribly quiet on this blog as of late. Do know that it's because I'm hard at work producing the very best stories I possibly can, and this endeavor is pretty much consuming all of my life and brainpower.

You know what I love? When a story is written, edited, polished, packaged . . . and LAUNCHED! So that's what I want to celebrate with all of you with the upcoming Draven's Light Chat Party!


You can find out the details HERE. There will be giveaways of Draven's Light, but I haven't absolutely settled on how folks can enter the giveaways. It depends on a couple of things which I need to see pan out first . . .

Still, it should be a lot of fun! "Special reveals" may or may not include a cover reveal for Poison Crown: The Smallman's Heir. Alas, I really do mean "may not," for we had another setback with the cover design process, and have had to shift gear midway and find a new cover designer. So here's hoping we have something polished and ready to show all of you by May 25.

If not, I do have one other very special reveal that I hope to share at the chat party. I won't say more for fear of giving anything away, but . . . I am excited to show you! Otherwise, it will be an evening of questions and answers, Q&A, some insider-peaks at my writing process, the development of Draven's Light, and so on and so forth.

Even those of you who do not have Facebook should be able to follow along the evening, though you won't be able to comment. If you would like to send me questions in advance, I will be happy to answer them at the chat party, and you'll get to see the answers posted there (with a nod to you, of course). And if you don't make it to the party itself, it will be up for you to read for many days afterwards.

I do hope to see you there!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Doings at Drakenheath

A Doings post . . . again? Didn't I just post one of these? Lumé, does the time ever fly!

Anyway, let me put together a quick post of the doings just so you know I'm still here, still breathing, and still up to my eyeballs in projects.

First of all, the newest doing . . . 



Those of you who follow my newsletter may be interested to learn that I am making some changes to it. Good changes, I believe! I've realized that the newsletter has never quite taken on the interesting life that I wanted, tending to recount things already mentioned on this blog and ultimately serving as little more than a string of glorified advertisements. Just not that interesting either to me or to my readers.

With this concern in mind, I've been brainstorming with my team about what I can do to make this newsletter more about you and giving you quality content that you look forward to seeing in your inbox . . . and I think we have hit upon a really fantastic solution!

"The Haven Chronicler" will be starting an official quarterly schedule beginning this coming July, and it's no longer going to be advertisement- and specials-based. Oh, no! From now on it will boast a selection of (I hope) interesting, entertaining, and completely original articles, not to mention "flash giveaways" for lucky subscribers.

So if you're already a subscriber for "The Haven Chronicler," be watching for this fun new format coming in July! And if you aren't a subscriber, consider signing up today. It's very easy, no strings attached, and I intend for it to be well worth your while!



The last few weeks I have been working away on Five Enchanted Roses edits, which ended up taking quite a bit longer than I had anticipated. Part of this is due to the nature of these stories, which are all more complex than the Five Glass Slippers stories of last year. Several of the stories in this collection are historicals, which requires a lot more research and checking on research than the straight-up fantasy stories need. I found myself researching a variety of fascinating topics over the last few weeks, including but not limited to: the colonization of Bermuda, the treatment of burn victims in the mid-18th century, the history of the machete, the development of the townhouse, and ladies' hairstyles of the 17th century. Great stuff . . . but time-consuming.

Ultimately it will be worth it, however, knowing that the stories we release later this summer will be as good as we and these talented authors can make them. We are currently aiming at a mid-July release date (though we don't have an official date set yet), and I hope to see the book become available for pre-order sometime this month.

Most of you have probably already seen the wonderful title pages for these stories, but just in case you missed them . . .


I am so proud of how these turned out, I'm not going to lie! Each one is such a great fit for its individual story, and I can hardly wait to see how internal formatting develops based on these designs.

Now that I'm done with my part of Enchanted Roses (for the time being), I am moving back into work on Poison Crown . . .


I had hoped to have the revisions done on volume I by now . . . but, alas, this was not to be. So I am tackling those revisions as of this week, and so far they're going pretty well. I've gotten all the way up to the one scene that needs MASSIVE revision, and I'm a little intimidated. I didn't like this scene in the rough draft, liked it only a tiny bit better in the second draft. Now it's time to make it a truly GREAT scene in this draft. If I can . . .

But, seriously, I've got a good idea for what I want to change to make this scene work for me. Basically, I need to give it a major shakeup and approach it from a different angle. I'm going to tackle it today, so wish me well!

Due to some set-backs suffered by my poor cover designer, the cover for Poison Crown is not yet quite complete. Not to worry, however! It should still be finished in time for the cover reveal. Speaking of which . . .

I've decided to go a different direction for this book's cover reveal. Ever since Dragonwitch, I've been doing big blog-tour reveals, and the truth is . . . I'm a bit bored with those. They were fun for a while, but now everyone is doing them, so I'm no longer quite as keen as I was. So BIG THANKS to all of you who generously offered to participate. I really do appreciate your sweetness and enthusiasm! But we won't be doing the reveal via blogs after all.

Stay tuned to learn how/when this book cover will be revealed.

Though I am taking Poison Crown a different direction, we will still be going ahead with the cover reveal launch for Five Something Something. Which is coming up really soon now! Less than a month, would you believe it? I've got a nice list of folks already on board for this release, but I would really love to get it out even farther! So if you have a blog and would like to participate, do let me know.

Some of you have asked in comments what a cover reveal is, so let me offer a quick explanation: Basically, a week or so before the cover is officially revealed online, I send the cover image and write-up about the book (or, in this case, about the contest) to a selection of bloggers. All on the same day, they post the cover and write-up on their blogs, creating a lovely "blitz" of excitement for the particular book in question.

It's a fantastic way to get word out about this new writing contest, so do consider joining in if you are blogger! I would love to have you on board.
 
Another Drakenheath Doing pertains to my sweet Mutti-Bear, who is going in for surgery on Wednesday. Say a prayer for her if you think of it, dear Imps! She has a set of very bad teeth . . . well, I say "a set," but in reality, she's missing most of them. But those that remain are rotted and causing her quite a lot of pain, poor baby. So she's going in to get possibly all of them extracted. She might be able to keep her canines, but we're not sure. The vet says she'll be much happier even with no teeth, so I shouldn't worry. Though my wallet is worrying a little bit (yikes! Kitty oral surgery is expensive!). But Rohan, who loves this girl as much as I do, says we'll make it work and get her the care she needs.

Still, as a former feral, Mutti gets completely traumatized by vet visits, and surgery is always scary. So please say a prayer for her safety and quick recovery. In the meanwhile, she's on pain meds, which she gets to eat with her favorite chicken n' gravy baby food, so she's not complaining too much.

 Back to book news: the Draven's Light launch is coming up at the end of this month, and I do hope all of you are looking forward to it. I plan to host a Facebook chat party on May 25 in honor of this launch! More details to follow, so be certain to keep your eyes open. I've got several particularly fun surprises to share with all of you who attend, but which shall remain secret until then . . .

Oh, do you remember how I mentioned last time that I had a fun announcement concerning Five Glass Slippers? Well, I can officially share now: We have begun the process of getting that anthology translated into other languages. The Italian translation just launched on April 24, and it's so pretty! I can't read it, but it's very pretty. I had thought the translated editions would be in eBook form only, but it turns out that the Italian translation at least will be offered in print as well. Not for a few more weeks, but soon. In the meanwhile, if you have any Italian-speaking loved ones in your life, be certain to let them know about this great read. 

And last, but not least, let me give a nod to the Goldstone Wood Music Contest, which is in process as we speak!
You can learn more about this contest here if you have not seen anything about it already. I am excited to see how it turns out this year! Last year was very fun, but this year might bring some new twists and surprises. I've had several competitors write me with questions, revealing small hints about their possible submissions, which have me very intrigued. Prizes aside, it's going to be a tremendously fun concert, and I hope all of you will "attend" and possibly participate.

This is one of those Doings posts that feels like a bit of a slog to me. Pretty much the same doings as last month, still incomplete, still trucking along. But that's kind of how this business is much of the time. One has to keep chipping away at the mountain if one ever hopes to move it. Hopefully next month will see Poison Crown: The Smallman's Heir complete and sent off to my editors, and I'll be diving into volume II . . . but I suppose we'll not count those unhatched chickens just yet.

In the meanwhile, I've got fluffy kitties to keep me firmly planted in my writing chair, my lovely husband to cook me great meals (he put a roast on before going to work this morning . . . I keep getting distracted by good smells wafting up the stairs . . .), and all of you to make me smile!

Tell me what your doings are these days. Some of you must be finishing up classes pretty soon, and all of you are looking forward to summer, I'm sure! Any great events or projects on your horizons?

Friday, May 1, 2015

2nd Annual Goldstone Wood Music Contest

Back by popular demand . . . I give you the 2nd Annual Goldstone Wood Music Contest!


This year's contest is going to be a little bit different from last year, and I for one am very excited about the change! Here's the scoop for all of you musicians . . .

1. Competitors are invited to write and perform music inspired by the Tales of Goldstone Wood. You may write original lyrics or use lyrics from some of the songs and poems included in the series. The only requirement is that your submission must be clearly part of the Goldstone Wood universe.

BUT THERE'S A TWIST!

2.  Animator Melanie J. Morgan will be selecting the winner or winners of this year's contest. The song she chooses will be used to create an animatic--which is a storyboard for a scene as it would be illustrated in an animated movie, complete with speaking/singing parts for the characters!

Curious to know more? Well, here is a wonderful animatic which Melanie created last year with the collaboration of singer, Brittany, and accompanist, Camryn.


SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU?

This means you want to be certain your submissions for this contest would translate well into an animated sequence! For instance, if you pick a song from the books, then the sequence may be the scene in which that song is sung. Or you might want to write a completely original piece to be sung by one of the characters (as in the animatic above).


WHAT ABOUT MALE VOICES?

I know most of our competitors are ladies (last year, all of those who submitted music were female). But we do want to allow for our musicians to compose songs and scenes for the male characters in Goldstone Wood! So I have contacted a talented vocal musician, Zachary Friberg, and he has agreed to be a stand-in performer for any of the male characters.

That means you musicians and composers may feel free to write and sing music intended for male voices, knowing that if your piece is selected as the winner, we've got a wonderful male musician on standby to record  the song for the animatic.

Personally, I think he'd make a particularly fine Bard Eanrin . . . .


TEAMWORK

I strongly urge all of you creative types out there to collaborate! If you are a musician but not comfortable with lyrics, find yourself a writer who will work with you! Or likewise, if you are comfortable writing lyrics but can't play an instrument or sing, ask a more musically-inclined Imp to join forces with you.

Feel free to use the comment section below to let folks know if you want to team up with someone.


PRIZES

ALL of those who collaborate on the final animatic (including Melanie herself) will receive an autographed copy of . . . Poison Crown: The Smallman's Heir. Just as soon as it releases, of course.


DEADLINE

You have until June 24 to submit your music for this contest.

All the music submitted will be displayed on this blog from July 1-10. Melanie will then select the piece she wants to animate, and the winner(s) will be announced on July 11.


HOW DO I SUBMIT?

Please record your performance as a video or audio and upload it onto Youtube. Email me (aestengl@gmail.com) the Youtube link, and I will share it here on this page for the "concert."


WHAT DO I INCLUDE?

Please include a short write-up introducing yourself and your collaborators (if applicable), detailing who wrote or performed what part. Also let me know which book in the Goldstone Wood series inspired your piece.


WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE CONTEST?

After Melanie has selected the winning piece, the musician(s) will be put in direct contact with her. From that point on, Melanie and the musician(s) will work together over the course of several months to create the animatic. This may involve a fresh recording of the winning piece or some slight alterations to the music.

Melanie is on a tight schedule these days but hopes to have the final animatic ready to share with the world before the end of the year.


So there you have it! I don't know about you, but I am VERY excited about this year's concert. Have a blast coming up with your compositions and do let me know if you have any questions. I'll be looking forward to receiving your pieces!


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

HEIR OF HOPE by Morgan L. Busse!

Dear Imps and other blog readers, I know many of you are fans of Morgan L. Busse and her Followers of the Word series. (And if you aren't, seriously, the time has come to pick up these epic adventures.) This acclaimed fantasy series has been waiting for its final book for quite some time, but the wait is over at last! The conclusion to the series is here! Along with a whole new look for the cover designs.

It is my pleasure to present to you . . .

HEIR OF HOPE


Grab your copy!
What Would You Sacrifice to Save Mankind?

The great city of Thyra has fallen and shadows spread across the land. Rowen Mar, the last Truthsayer, is taken before the Shadonae. But the Shadonae are not who she thought they were, and now they want to claim her as their own.

Caleb Tala, former assassin and prince, is now a Guardian of mankind. Exiled from his country, Caleb wanders the desert in search of his mother’s past and clues to who he is.

These are the last days of the Eldaran race. Rowen and Caleb must find their way along the dark path set before them by their ancestors: to heal what was wounded and love where hatred grows. But the road is narrow and the darkness beckons. If either of them fails, all will be lost…

And the human race will be no more.

What Others Are Saying About
HEIR OF HOPE 

"I definitely recommend this series to readers of fantasy. Heir of Hope was the perfect ending with full of action and faith. It was epic and beautiful all at the same time." Laura Pol, Craftybooksheeps book review

"The allegory is very strong and very well written in this story. It does an excellent job painting a picture of Jesus' sacrifice and the great love it takes to offer one's life for another." Christian Teen Fiction Devourer

Don't miss any of the thrilling adventures by Morgan L. Busse! Buy the series today.

 
  
MORGAN L. BUSSE writes fantasy for the adult market. She is the author of the Follower of the Word series, including Daughter of Light, Christy and Carol Award finalist. Morgan lives on the West Coast with her husband and four children. You can find out more about Morgan at www.morganlbusse.com

 
Visit Enclave Publishing to learn more about her books.

Morgan is generously offering an autographed copy of Heir of Hope to one lucky winner. Be certain to enter your name in the giveaway below . . . and congratulate Morgan on this wonderful release!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 20, 2015

Scavenger Hunt Winners!


Dear readers, I am pleased to announce the winner's of this spring's Scavenger Hunt! They are . . .

Grand Prize: Shay Teague
Purple Prize: Kristine Klein
Pink Prize: Dana McCall Michael

And the winner of my own smaller giveaway, who will receive one autographed copy of  upcoming Draven's Light is . . .

Kristie Monroe Porter!

Congrats to the winners! And thank you to everyone who participated. It's great to see a bunch of new followers on this blog . . . A big welcome to all of you. I'm so delighted to have you around! Definitely keep your eyes open for more fun events and giveaways hosted right here on the Tales of Goldstone Wood.

Thanks for all the fun and participation everyone!