Artist Search

You may have seen the post on Facebook recently where I announced that the artist for the first two books in my series is unavailable to continue with the third. I will eventually need to change all the covers to something more “action scene” oriented, but I have always wanted the first runs to be more artistic. These magnificent scenes played out in my head as the world came to life within my imagination. 

Jonathan Lebel did amazing work taking my stick figures and descriptions and turning them into beautiful imagery. 

The first is a scene from early in Hidden Memory when Annalla is still within the traken forest. She has her borrowed blade and boots, with her wings wrapped around her. 

The second is from Hidden Sanctuary when Annalla arrives at the river crossing. This is just before the events unfold (you know which events I’m referring to if you have read this one). 

Onto the Third

I want to continue in this same vein for the third and fourth before I look at shifting the style of all four, so the hunt is on for a new artist who can capture the same grandeur of my fantastical world. The cover of Hidden Promise will be an image of their arrival in the sanctuary, flying through and providing a glimpse of how and where the people live. 

My terrible sketch and description have gone to one artist, and I have reached out to a few others, so I hope to have a cover to show you in the April newsletter. It might be out a little later than my usual mid-month Saturday, but I hope it will be worth the wait. 

As for the cover of the fourth, you will have to wait until next year for more information on that one!

Have a great weekend!

My Grammar Police

Today is National Grammar Day! I don’t know if most authors are like me, but I’m much better at story than the grammar part of writing. I’m the “idea person.” With that limitation in mind, I reach out for assistance on this aspect of my work; the bigger the production, the more help involved. 

For blog articles, I’m simply writing in Grammarly’s free version. It’s straightforward and easy to use. It catches the more glaring mistakes, and I feel fine ignoring it sometimes when the suggestions are not fitting my flow. The web add-on also helps with grammar basics when writing my book’s first drafts. I do those chapter by chapter in AutoCrit, which provides some advice on pacing, overusing words, and other such, less-grammatical advice. 

Those are the basic tools. The real work comes from a couple of individuals at two specific stages of the book drafts. During the alpha review stage, my husband provides editing and feedback including catching glaring grammatical errors. Those pull him out of stories, so he finds more. While my other alphas help with story points and feedback, he helps provide a cleaner draft for my beta readers. A cleaner beta draft means the beta feedback is that much more valuable. 

The second person correcting any remaining grammar issues is my editor, Maxine Meyer. You will find her credited in my copyright as the editor, and she does an amazing job. I’m working on becoming more consistent with my tense usage, but that is the one she probably finds and fixes the most. I also have a love/hate relationship with commas. I love using them and hate their limited (appropriate) usage. 

Maxine cleans up the final manuscript before I submit for publication, and it is a crucial step in the process. Any and all remaining errors are mine alone, and she helps me get that as close to zero as possible for your reading pleasure. (Note: I only scribbled out the prices on the main pic as prices change over time and internet pics are forever!)

Hidden Promise

Hidden Promise is back in my hands with some beta reader feedback. I have a few minor adjustments to make, but I should have the manuscript in Maxine’s hands by mid-late April. This places me right in line for my release timetable of mid-June! I’ve gotten some great feedback from my beta readers, and my alpha readers have started on the series finale. I’m excited to share with you all how things are coming together in Hidden Promise and how it ends in Hidden Strength next year. 

As a reminder, Hidden Promise is only $3.99 until its release. The price will go up to $4.99 after go-live, so don’t forget to preorder!

Have a great weekend, and “Go Sounders!”

Entering Sanctuary

I’m busy editing, so here is a snippet for you from Hidden Promise (unedited)! The release is set for June 2023!

*Spoilers for Hidden Memory and Hidden Sanctuary*

Snippet –

On and on into the night, they flew at a pace no horse could ever match, and Larron wondered just how large this land was and how they managed to keep it hidden for so many lifetimes. Finally, he made out pricks of light filtering through the canopy ahead. His assumption of habitation was confirmed when he felt them drop slowly toward the trees. Their descent remained easy until they reached the forest. The prince told Larron to hold on but said nothing else before he pulled up and then dove straight down through the branches.

The ride twisted and turned, as jerky as any he ever experienced flying with Annalla. Larron struggled to cling to his bearer as the force worked to pull them apart. Behind him, he heard a brief, deep-voiced shout of surprise along with Patrice’s screams of fear. The one carrying her would bear claw marks for certain after this; the cat-like irimote was not at all fond of flying.

Once below the clustered branches, where the foliage opened, there was a final jerk as the prince righted himself and slowed to fly between the thick trunks. Sturdy trees surrounded them, and Larron saw an increasing number of structures positioned among the thick branches. There was no obvious way to ascend to the buildings dangling precariously high above the ground. Thin wood planks made the basis of their visible construction, with a gauzy material stretched over the windows. Bindings lashed them to the trunks and branches, but there was no invasive external support holding them in the trees. Assuming they were as sound as he suspected, Larron felt an elvish respect for a people who treated their land with such care. To use it without destroying it took an effort many races overlooked.

They weaved in and out of buildings growing in number and size. Most remained dark within, the people here either gone home or asleep for the night. The prince pulled them up once more in front of a large treehouse and set down upon the open porch circling it. The rest of their party followed close at his heels, and Patrice jumped down from her fairy and dropped to the floor. She clung to the boards even as she murmured repeated apologies.

“Patrice,” Annalla knelt at her side, putting an arm around her as she spoke, “she speaks little of the market tongue, but tells me her skins protected her well enough. She is fine, and you will not have to fly again too soon.”

The irimote rubbed her face before looking gravely at Annalla. “I really do not like flying.”

Another Milestone

This week was full of writing milestones for me across multiple books. All of these are in preparation for upcoming events. 

Hidden Sanctuary 

On Tuesday, the proof copy of the paperback version arrived. With the same font settings as Hidden Memory, the second book came in at about 450 pages and felt a little heavy in my hands. I’ve decided to drop the font down a size to reduce the page count and a couple of other minor changes. 

If it were only the little adjustments, I would have proceeded. However, the font change is big enough that I have a second proof copy on the way. While the proof processed, I worked to finalize the digital formatting. The copyright is submitted, the book is listed in all of my accounts for reviews, and I have put out the call for ARC readers. The first ARC email went out on Friday! Once my second proof copy arrives – hopefully looking amazing – I will move up the release date so I can order author copies for my booth at the fair! 

Hidden Promise 

Hidden Promise is the third book in the Hidden Series. The preorder for the eBook is live on Amazon, with a release date scheduled for June 2023. I know it is a long preorder, but I can always move it up if I want to later.

Books three and four have not gone through as many iterations as the first two did before I decided to publish. I’m becoming a better writer, but I do not want to rush things. Thursday I officially passed the draft to my alpha readers, so we will see what they say. While they work, I will start on the major rewrite of book four!

Side note: to reward my fans for joining me early, Hidden Promise will be $3.99 for the eBook during the preorder period! 

Coming Soon

A couple of other changes will also happen once I push for Hidden Sanctuary to go live. I spoke of it before, but I decided recently to put my work into Kindle Unlimited. Hidden Memory will switch over as soon as the request processes, and Hidden Sanctuary will shift over about a month later. The delay is to give all of my preorder supporters a month ahead of the pack as thanks for purchasing my book. 

If you are in Washington State in August or September and are interested in purchasing a signed copy of my paperbacks, you will have several opportunities! I will be at the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire on August 13, 14, 20, and 21 in a little 5×5 booth selling and signing books. Then, on September 24, I will be back at Page Turner Books in Kent, WA for a book signing event they are holding with several local authors. It is called Fall Festi-Con Fair

I hope to see some of you there or see more great reviews popping up on Amazon! I have a chapter cut from Hidden Sanctuary I will post on my website once I hit 40 total reviews/ratings between the two books. Hidden Memory is currently at 17, and I’m hoping the additional release and KU will push this even higher. 

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!