Thursday, February 26, 2015

Fan Art Contest 2015--Announcement!

The time has come, dear Imps! The time of the 2015 Fan Art Contest! I hope you're as excited about this event as I am. It's one of my favorite times of the year.

If you are eager to contribute to this year's contest and see your work featured here on the Goldstone Wood blog for all the world to enjoy and vote on, here are the rules:

1. You must create Goldstone Wood-themed art. This can be in any visual medium you prefer--drawings, paintings, quilts, knitting, pottery, photography, photomanipulation, jewelry, stick figures, video, sculpting, crafting . . . anything you like! It must be recognizably related to Goldstone Wood in some way, but other than that, the sky is the limit!

2. You must email a JPG image of your art (no PDFs, PNGs or other formats, please) to me ( no later than midnight, March 28, 2015, Eastern.

EDIT: Please include: Your Name, Title of Your Piece, and the Medium.

3. You may submit as many pieces as you like.

4. Your images will be displayed in a series of blog posts which will go live on April 1, 2015.

5. The winners of this contest will be chosen via Fan Voting. Note: Voting is open to fans of the series only. Please don't ask family or friends who have not read the series to vote on your work. (However, if they HAVE read the series, they are welcome to contribute their votes.)

6. First, Second, and Third-place winners will be announced on April 11, 2015. (Runners-up may also be selected, but that will be up to my discretion.)


The Third Place Winner will receive one autographed Goldstone Wood novel of her or his choice.

The Second Place Winner will receive two autographed Goldstone Wood novels of her or his choice.

And the First Place Winner will receive one autographed advance copy of Draven's Light, two other autographed Goldstone Wood novels of her or his choice, and . . . .

Monster wants it known that he was not a willing participant in this image.

. . . this most excellent Bard of Rudiobus hat!

This hat was made to order by the amazingly talented Paula Pruden-Macha. Didn't she do a wonderful job? And admit it . . . haven't you always wanted an Eanrin hat? Complete with starflower button and plumes?

So there you have it, dear creatively-minded Imps! The 2015 Fan Art contest is officially launched. Go forth and create!

You can view the previous contest entries at Dame Imraldera's Library. Have a look and be inspired.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

KittyTheme Song Lyrics

Many of you are familiar with the "Minerva  Louise" song. It is a revision of an old (oooooooooooold) song popular in the 1920s, which I have altered and arranged for the sake of my beloved Evil One, Minerva Louise. You can hear me sing it (as a duet) here.

What you may not know is that I have songs and lyrics for most of my other kitties as well! And since all of you seem to appreciate my great lyrical prowess (as my husband, sadly, does not), I am going to share with you the fruits of my kitty-inspired labors, the likes of which would surely make even Ira Gershwin and Oscar Hammerstein sigh with envy. I give you . . .

Kitty Theme Song Lyrics
Rohan wants it herein stated that he claims no part of the following.
(Which is untrue, because he helped refine several of these.)

First of all, I will present you with:

(So you can see what a beautiful, intelligent creature Marmaduke is.)
This was the first of my great lyrical triumphs composed for the benefit of my kitties, preceding even the "Minerva Louise" song. This was inspired by Marmaduke's tendency to help himself to anything left unattended on the counter, combined with his great desire to "help" me clean plates before sticking them in the dishwasher. It is intended to be sung to slightly-warped version of the tune "Don't Fence Me In," by Cole Porter.

 Marmaduke, Marmaduke,
You’re my precious Marmaduke
My favorite boy!
Marmaduke, Marmaduke
Such a lovely Marmaduke
A furry joy!
You’re the prettiest kitty that I ever had,
Fuzzy and funny and rarely bad,
But when you’re on the counter it just drives me mad!
Oh, Marmaduke!

Rohan says he will give this song props for honesty, but little else.

Moving on! Next I will give you:

 This one is sung to its own, original tune, and should be performed in a cloying baby voice, because (though Rohan doesn't believe me) this is the only sort of voice Monster understands.
(Does this look like a face that understands anything more than babytalk? I mean, seriously!)

He is a Monster Boots, he’s really sweet
He’s just a Monster Boots, he’s kinda neat
He’s just the dearest little kittycat that ever there was
He’s got big fluffy boots and little white paws
I guess he’s just my favorite cat if only because
He is a Monster Boots!

You can talk about your kittycats, they’re pretty swell
But there ain’t no other kittycat I love so well
There’s no one like Monster Boots!

He is a Monster Boots, he’s really nice
He’s just a Monster Boots, don’t ask me twice!
He’s just the sweetest little kittycat I ever have seen
He’s always purring and he rarely is mean
I guess a better kittycat there never has been
Not since my Monster Boots!

 Monster has been known to follow me all around the house, cheeping sweetly when I sing this song to him. Rohan says it's because he's asking me to stop. Or to speak to him intelligently. But Rohan doesn't understand Monster the way I do.

Next up, allow me to present to you:

 The thing you have to understand about Magrat is that she would like to be an only kitty. She is my baby, my most constant lap-companion, and extremely jealous of me and my attentions. If I call any of the other cats by name, I'm lucky if they even turn their ears to acknowledge me. But Magrat will come running. Not just for her own name, but for ANY of their names . . . because she knows, ultimately, I must have meant her.
(She's also a bit on the plumpy-side.)
So one day, while she was hogging my lap, gazing at me with utmost adoration, I decided I needed to spontaneously compose a memorable ballad describing to her just how important she really is in the grand scheme of life and the universe. Thus was this song born. (It should be sung to the tune of "O What a Beautiful Morning" by Rogers and Hammerstein.)

There’s no kitty I love quite like Magrat!
There’s no kitty I love quite like Magrat!
She’s the most importantest kitty I know
And the more she keeps eating the more she will grow!

Magrat’s the kitty who matters
No one else matters at all
She’s getting fatter and fatter
Soon she’ll be a butterball!

Other kitties are not so important
Other kitties are not so important
We have a great many, but as you can see
There is no other kitty who matters to me!

(Repeat Chorus)

Sometimes, only song can express those great truths of the soul. (I know you understand this, dear reader, even if Rohan does not!)

 Next up I give you:


(Sing to me, human!)
Okay, the truth is, Makoose doesn't really have a theme song. The muse has been strangely silent when it comes to this lovely boy. This is about as far as we've ever come:

You are a goose-goose
A bit obtuse-tuse . . . 

Yeah. And that's all she wrote. (Rohan says this one is his favorite.)

Last but not least is:

(Who wouldn't want to sing to that sweet face?)
Mutti has managed to acquire several songs in the short time since she's been with us. She has been christened "Mutti Bear" as her full name (for obvious teddy-bear reasons), and that name lends itself to many rhymes. For instance:

Mutti Bear built her lair
Underneath the rocking chair
So beware, don't go there
Or you'll surely get a scare.

Which morphed into:
Mutti Bear sitting there
On her fluffy derriere 
In her lair by the chair
Giving me a deadly glare

And so on and so forth with many variations on the same. But her most elaborate and preferred theme song is this one, sung to the tune of "Sir Eglamore" by Kate Rusby:

Mutti is my favorite cat
Fa la lanky don dilly!
She’s soft and sweet and kind of fat
Fa la lanky don dilly!
I like to pet her plushy fur
There’s never been a cat like her
Fa la lanky don lanky don lanky don dilly!

Mutti is my darling girl
Fa la lanky don dilly!
I love her more than jewels and pearls
Fa la lanky don dilly!
I gently stroke her silky ears
Where has she been for all these years?
Fa la lanky don lanky don lanky don dilly!

Mutti is a lovely queen
Fa la lanky don dilly!
She likes to groom and she likes to preen
Fa la lanky don dilly!
I much admire her velvet paws
But touch them not! For she has claws
Fa la lanky don lanky don lanky don dilly!

And for all Rohan's complaints . . . he actually wrote the last verse for this song. (See? He DOES get me after all!)

All right, there you have it. I know you must have been worried (must have been!) that Minerva Louise was getting special treatment with her theme song. You may now rest easy. Everyone has a theme song. (Except Makoose . . . and Milly . . . and Rohan too, oddly enough . . .)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Doings at Drakenheath

Time for an update on the many Doings around here. I hope you will enjoy seeing what we've been up to!

Of course, the biggest doing of this last month was the announcement of our Five Enchanted Roses winners . . . .

We are so excited about these stories and this collection as a whole. If you read the descriptions, you'll see that the premises of these tales are all much spookier than our Cinderella collection last year . . . which is only to be expected, as Beauty and the Beast is a spookier fairy tale. However, while all of the stories will give the readers little chills as they read, none of them are horror stories. They are wonderful adventures, and they all go together beautifully.

I'd also like to point out, for those of you who entered the contest but, sadly, did not win this year: Three of the authors who won places in Five Enchanted Roses submitted excellent stories last year for Five Glass Slippers, but did not get in. So let them be inspiration to you, dear aspiring novelists! Sometimes, it's not a matter of whether or not you were a good enough writer or whether or not you wrote a great story. It's the individual contest that makes the difference. And you truly never know when you will pen the right story for the right contest at the right time. All you can do is keep on writing the best stories you can!

While we're on the subject, let's not forget Five Glass Slippers and the excellent news pertaining to that collection! Which is excellent indeed. Rooglewood Press tried an experimental marketing venture last month, the results of which were . . . Five Glass Slippers shot to #1 Bestseller status, not only in the USA, but also across the globe. We were completely thrilled. I am so proud of the great marketing team we've got working together, figuring out new and exciting ways to get this collection out to a bigger and broader reading audience. This was but one step on a road we hope to continue walking for many years to come!

I have other fun and exciting news concerning this particular collection as well . . . but, it's still secret for a little while yet. Stay tuned for updates!

In case you haven't noticed, Rooglewood Press has a newsletter now, for which you can sign up to receive periodic updates on sales, promotions, new releases, etc. Do take a moment to add your name to the list!

Anyhoodle, those are all Rooglewood Press related updates . . . what about Drakenheath? Well, there is fluffiness to be had at Drakenheath:

This is Magrat and Monster, who are litter-mates. Monster I rescued as a tiny, tiny kitten, but Magrat eluded my grasp until she was already grown up and expecting her own litter of kittens. Even though they were separated for many months, they seem to remember their sibling bond, and spend quite a lot of time cuddling, and quite a lot of time feuding. Definitely siblings.

 Here's a photo of my new writing study in Drakenheath. This is the view from my desk:

Magrat is on the left, casting evil glares across at Mutti, the solid gray lump of fluff on the right (those two hate each other. Too many queens in one castle!). Mutti, who was a feral adult and completely wild when I first started working with her, is now so tame and sweet! She loves to come up to the study and hang out with me while I work. Right now, I'm sitting on the couch, and she is on the back of it, right behind my head, purring away and sometimes touching my shoulder with a velveted paw. You would never know she was wild.

I do love all my kitty-babies.

So, how is Poison Crown coming along these days?

Poison Crown is ridiculously exciting. I am loving this book so much more than I can begin to express. It is just too fascinating for words, and I can hardly keep myself away from the manuscript, which, in the midst of its second draft, is absolutely alluring to me.

It's also long. Very long.

Which means I am waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay behind my deadline of finishing a polished second draft by the end of February. It is physically impossible for me to meet that goal at this time. Even writing at my most frantic pace, it simply cannot be done. So I have set the deadline back to the end of April. If I manage to meet that deadline, we should still be on a good track to get the book itself launched in late November. If I don't meet that deadline, we may be looking at putting off the release by a month or two.

However, while I know that would not be your preference, please know that this book, whenever it does release, will be by far the longest, most epic, most exciting, most page-turning, most complex and compelling story I have ever written, complete with, I think, the most interesting cast of characters. Most of whom you have not yet met, though there are a few favorites tucked away in these pages (i.e. Eanrin, Rogan, and Imraldera).

For the fun it I thought I'd give you a few tiny, tiny, tiny, spoiler-free peaks at the manuscript. At random I picked page 36, seven lines down, and selected five complete sentences. Here you go: 

Could Earl Dian imagine the horror an immortal must experience upon finding himself trapped in a decaying realm of mortality?
 Rogan shuddered. Here alone in the snow-covered city center he felt all the eyes of the city turned upon him with such loathing. The earl himself must hate him now, even as he hated all Faerie-kind. And the memory of their many adventures—the memory of escapes and rescues and deeds worthy even of minstrel’s song—were already forgotten.
Terrible sores blistered Rogan's skin where the iron touched him.

Also at random, I picked page 100, twenty lines down, and selected five complete sentences: 

The fire must have only just been lit, however, for when the castellan opened the door and ushered her in, she found the room itself was equally as cold as the passage she’d just vacated. Someone—presumably the queen—sat in a chair drawn up close to the fire, silhouetted against its light. She leaned in toward the warmth, her arms wrapped about herself, and seemed totally absorbed in discerning the secrets of those flickering flames.
 “My queen,” said Calytrix, curtsying with great dignity despite her rags.
“Are you the herbalist?"

And, one last one . . . I picked page 71, twelve lines down, and selected five complete sentences: 

He moved like a drunken man, his footsteps stumbling in the dark even as he mounted the steps of the Prince’s Tower and at last achieved the solitary quiet of his own chambers. Here, perhaps, he might shut out all else and, casting himself upon his bed, slip into unconscious peace for a few stolen hours.
 But this was a forlorn hope. For now, in the darkness of that winter’s night, with no holy songs of the priest to sooth his spirit, with no tirades from his grandmother to occupy his mind, without the relief of his knights and their coarse conversation to distract his thoughts, he found himself suddenly obliged to look into his soul.
And he shuddered.

All right, that's enough for today! Moving on . . .

Pre-Order Today!
Draven's Light is still a high priority on my to-do list as well. The galleys are sitting on my desk even as we speak, begging for a proof read, which I simply have not had a chance yet to do. So, basically, this project is exactly where you saw it during the last Doings post. Sigh . . . I hope to make a start on it this next week, if possible. And we're still on a good track to have it ready for launch!

We had a little design glitch which became apparent during this first round of galleys, which sent us scrambling back to the "drawing board" temporarily. But, after a few hours of recovery work, we've got it looking spiffy once more. And I still say this is the most beautiful interior design for one of my books yet.

Oh, and in other fun news, the audio recording of Goddess Tithe is now complete and has been sent off for production! I am so excited to see this project launch. It hit a few bumps in the road during the recording stage, which slowed down production unexpectedly. But those issues have been resolved, and the end result that I got to listen to was very beautiful. I hope to see it up for purchase in another two weeks or so. And to celebrate I may just host a giveaway, offering a few copies to lucky listeners.

Would you like to hear the opening credits? Click this link!

Have I forgotten anything? Probably, but I can't think what. Oh well. I hope you enjoyed reading about the February Doings. What are you up to this month?