Thursday, October 29, 2015

Behind the Scenes - the creation of Alfheim Haven

I don't know where I got the idea for Alfheim Haven but I thought it might be fun to talk a little about the world I created for my fantasy series.

I had just read Susan Carroll's the Bride Finder, and I fell in love with the blending of historical and fantasy. I guess you can call her book an inspiration, a catalyst for writing The Keeper of Moon Haven. In addition was my grand scheme to connect all my previous books in some way. That was a bit more daunting and challenging, and still a work in progress. I have written science fiction futuristic, time travel, fantasy and historical westerns. The Dragon King does reference the magic as do my time travels.

I have also always had a fascination with astrology and the myths regarding moon phases. A blue moon is a second full moon in one month. But I wanted something more special so I discovered a time table for all the blue moons occurring in the month of October. Most occur at a span of nineteen years but there are a few special cases. This gave me my timeline.

Old fairy tales are full of tales of the fey, leprechauns, elves, gnomes and the like. But as the years progressed, sightings faded. It made sense to build an alternate realm where these creatures could co-exist. Having two full moons in October created the perfect window of time when the faery realm was accessible to the human realm. But there had to be an escape route, an alternative method of reaching both worlds which is where Beletania's Diary comes into play. When read aloud in the human realm, the creature being read about will appear in the human realm.

I also had to create characters who had a reason for traveling between worlds. So - if you're wondering why Surt took a human baby into Alfheim Haven to raise as his own, it's because eventually Melody will want to know more about her human origins. Or why I left Christopher with the Keeper when he needed more than Lucian could give? I'm hoping Christopher and Melody will have their story some day.

Oh, hmm and why did I put Beletania's Diary back in the human realm? Who knows but again, I needed another bridge between both worlds for upcoming tales. Unfortunately, I write slow but I have begun two more in this series. Not sure when I'll get them done but ....

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Rose Hunter releasing in November!

The Rose Hunter will be available for purchase on November 2. Right now, you can pre-order a copy from Champagne Books and ARe.

Lucian Willshire is plagued by thoughts of a fey world and the disappearance of his aunt some nineteen years past, but when his friend drags him back to Hamingjur Castle, he stumbles into Alfheim Haven once more where mystical beings become more than a distant memory.

Lyerra Ahdia is baffled by the sudden emotional changes she’s experiencing until she discovers she’s the only witch to suffer “the change” since her mother stole the Rose, a special talisman with the power to perpetuate life among those in her coven. Tasked with finding and bringing the Rose home, she begs Lucian’s help in navigating the human realm. Against his better judgment, he agrees.

Though neither set out to find anything except the Rose, fate has other plans. Will love be more elusive than hunting the Rose?


             After a frozen moment, she trudged up the stairs and to her room. When she entered her temporary sanctuary, something felt quite wrong but try as she might, she couldn’t put her finger on the problem. Shrugging, she sank onto the plush mattress and removed the locket. She was about to spread the parchment out on the bed when the dangling bird cage caught her eye.
She jumped from the bed. The tiny door on the cage gaped wide. Charl was gone.
Clutching the paper to her breast she hurried out the door. “Lucian!”
She ran down the stairs and skidded to halt. At the foot of the steps, Lucian stood beside Mary Elizabeth. The child held a limp Charl in her palms.
“I broke the doll.” Mary Elizabeth hiccupped and sniffed back tears.
Charl dead? No. Lyerra had locked him up in the cage to keep him out of the cat’s way and keep him from following her and Lucian into the city.
“Did you take the doll from my room?”
The little imp nodded. “I just wanted to play with him. Can you fix him?” She extended her arms, offering Charl for inspection.
Lyerra bent and examined the poor pixie. A tear slipped from her eye to think of the creature’s untimely death. Just as she was about to answer, Charl opened one eye, winked, and quickly closed the eye again. Lyerra blinked. The pixie played dead while a young girl suffered.
“Fix the doll? Yes, I know just the cure. If you’ll soak him in vinegar water for half an hour, that should do the trick nicely.”
Charl sprang to his feet, balanced for a moment atop chubby fingers then leapt to the floor. Mary threw her hands wide and screamed. An exaggerated ‘oomph’ escaped Lucian’s lips, and he bent double. Mary’s small fist had connected with a very vulnerable place on Lucian’s anatomy. Lyerra covered her mouth with her palm to stifle the chuckle.
Meanwhile, Charl scampered up the stairs and toward the guest room. Luckily Gremlin must have been occupied with other endeavors.
Though difficult to keep the mirth from her voice, Lyerra bent to reassure the frightened child. “I think the doll is fixed now. Perhaps he’ll want to play later.”
Mary gave her a shy grin. “All right.”
“But if you play with the doll again, you’ll have to be very gentle. Charl doesn’t like being handled too much.”
Mary nodded and took off after the fleet-footed pixie. Lyerra straightened to check on Lucian. “I could kiss you and make it better.”
“Madam?” His eyes widened at her suggestion, and his voice sounded strangled.
She placed a hand on his shoulder. “Are you in much pain?”
He slowly stood upright. “I do believe you meant that a kiss would give you the power to heal but by the saints, my rather seedy imagination drummed up a totally different image.”
Now it was her turn to show dismay. “Indeed. But since you’re standing and your words aren’t too breathless, the damage must be minimal.”
“I’ll live.” Warmth suffused his cheeks. “But that pixie might not be so lucky. If he continues to wreak havoc, I’ll be tempted to let the cat ...”
“Surely you wouldn’t be that medieval.”
He sighed. “Probably not, but I give fair warning. Keep that menace from under foot and out of my way while it’s in my home.”
“Pixie’s aren’t easily restrained.”
“Are elfin witches easily restrained?”
“I should hope not.” She turned on her heel. “We have a way of getting what we want no matter the consequence.”

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Editing Process

Edits are probably handled a tad differently with each house but I thought I'd give a glimpse into my history with editors and how each edits have gone.

For my first book, Celestial Dragon, I received my edits and thought wrongly that I had to have them back in record time. (Usually, I have at least 2 - 3 weeks with the first round of edits.) Not only that but at the time I was using Word Perfect which I dearly love and I had only a basic understanding of Microsoft Word. Needless to say I didn't know I could just click accept under reviews. I went through and compared the edited version to mine and made on the corrections necessary or rather, that I could see and find. Can we say argggg? It was a lengthy process.

The next books were a lot easier because I had a better understanding of the process in general. Basically, I go through three rounds of edits. The first round is for mostly content and some line edits. After that, the manuscript goes to a line editor. After I go through those edits and approve or disapprove, I get a copy of the ARC.

I go through the ARC again for any more problems we missed. I then write down the error and correction. This is called the errata. The publisher makes the necessary changes before publishing the book.

With The Rose Hunter, we hit a glitch. I won't go into details but edits didn't go as they normally did. However, even with the difficulties, I had an awesome editor who caught quite a few problems. The line editor did a great job as well. And while I've encountered smoother edits, I'm very happy with the end result. For a while, I wasn't sure The Rose Hunter would be released on time but kudos to Champagne Books for doing all in their power to see the book published on time.

You can pre-order a copy here.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Lots of News!

A Kobo Exclusive!
First, my publisher, Champagne Books, has bundled all of the Orphan Train Books for this month only. My Once Jilted is among the titles. This was a great series and so fun to write. Here's a short review of Once Jilted from Katrina Maria: "Once Jilted by Ciara Gold is a really special and heart-warming read. I first got this book on my kindle after reading a few of Ciara Gold’s other books, and a few years later I got it in paperback because it became one of my favourite books to read...I found this novel emotional and inspiring, the way Shauna Joyce would do anything to give Sarabeth a life full of love and happiness. I would highly recommend this novel, it truly touched my heart with every page. I wasn’t able to put it down for long."

Click here for a link to KOBO.


My next news is that Eliza's Copper Penny is now available in print. I got the proof back this week, and I'm really pleased with the result. Click here for a link to Amazon.

Third, and probably most exciting is that The Rose Hunter is on track for release on November 2. In fact, it's available for pre-order. In preparation for it's release, I have lots of things scheduled. I have guest blogs scheduled for Romance Lives Forever, Susan Leigh Noble's Blog Into Another World, and Susan Horsnell's blog.