95 pre-orders!

Delphinium is now at 95 pre-orders!  There’s a little under two weeks to go until it’s release on the last day of the year.  Let’s hit 100!

… Yeah, I had to extend the pre-order again..  it kinda feels like I’m repeating last year’s mistake. But I am a lot closer this year than I was last year, and I learned a lot more about the world (and myself) during this time. I hope that reflects in the writing.

Post Title :P

Delphinium, or A Necromancer’s Home has 70 pre-orders right now. And my Patreon has two patrons! ❤

Holy bananas.

I might actually hit 100+ pre-orders. When I said I wanted ‘103’ to match with the number of reviews for Larkspur I was mostly kidding and hoping to get 50. Now, at 70 with a month and a half to go, it seems much more likely 🙂 And as for patrons, well, that just feels unreal. I’ve posted and moved over some worldbuilding things to the Patreon and have started to move over Scenes too. The newest Scene, The First Suitor, was put up on Patreon a few days before I put it up here. I will need to work out a schedule for Scenes…

I continued to work Delphinium every day. I’ve streamlined it a bit, connected chapters, moved things around. A few things didn’t feel right where they were so I moved them to book 3. All in all I’m still getting about 110K+ for the wordcount. Each chapter has something written in it, many are almost-finished, just need to connect everything up.

Yet, I’m still kinda terrified that I won’t finish on time. I do feel a lot of guilt for attempting this and having to pull the pre-order a year ago. But this last year has been a challenge in a lot of ways, and I think I’ve grown the better for it. I hope it reflects in my writing. I know if I had finished it last year the book would have been much different than it is now.

So thank you all for your patience, kind words, and support.

 

The First Suitor (Clandestina)

When doctors and healers began to converge in the realm of Clandestina, learning of its natural healing magic, its blancræft, the daimons of violent illness and death were forced out. The fée, who respected violence and death as they were volatile in their own way, returned to their plane of Faery. Everything that bound and tames the spirits of death was suddenly gone.

The magic of a realm was innate. While other realms survived without these chains, Clandestina began to crumble.

Plagues descended upon realm. They infected man, beast, and vegetation, bringing famine along with it. Wars sprung up as people tried to hoard the few resources that were left. In trying to keep sickness at bay Death began to thrive.

One last daimon remained, a ker by the name of Mora. As much as she delighted in this, she knew that if it was left unchecked then everything would die, and there would be nothing left. She was the last Keeper of Death, and thus it made her a Protector of Life as well.

A kingdom had formed during this time of war, the four main factions finally brought together under one ruler. This new king, who took the title of Roi, promised to bind together all of the people of Clandestina– the humans, the fée, and even the keres.

He was without a wife. Mora showed herself to him, told him the secrets of the realm, that it not only held magic of healing, but also of violence, and death. She showed him noircræft as well as blancræft, and even nekrocræft, weaving the three together so he could do anything from heal minor injuries to return the dead to life.

The realm began to heal. A second guardian kept much at bay, but when Mora wished to show her magic to more people, to begin to fix more, the roi became possessive.

“You are mine,” he said. “You chose me, out of all men. You will not show anything to anyone else. Make me yours and we will rule together.”

She complied. She continued to teach him until there was only one last test. As she was a Lady of Death, after this, he would be a Lord.

“Take your own life,” she told him. “Kill yourself, come, enter my plane and learn what it truly means to be a ker.”

That night they went to bed together. He ingested poison chosen by her own hand and taken with his own, and as they made love he experienced both little and true death.

Mists surrounded him. He was in Akhlys, the place of judgement before ones afterlife. Before him was a throne of limbs and bone, vines growing from the flesh and binding the seat together. Mora sat on the throne in her true form– great black wings like a bat unfurled behind her, her robes stained a many colors of red, her eyes the same crimson.

“And here are you mine,” she said. “Kneel, accept me as your queen, and you too will gain all of my powers.”

And here the roi shook his head, stepping back from her. “No. I am your king. I will not kneel before you.”

Before she could protest, say anything else, he used the cræft she had taught him to return his own soul to his body and left her.

He was alone in bed that morning. Quickly he took from his drawer a small knife and cut into a finger– his blood ran black, like it had ever since he began to learn magic from Mora. So he could still perform the deeds that made him great.

Time passed. Mora did not return to him, but as he had completed her last test, it did not matter. He was a lord of death, capable of even returning himself to life after death! He continued to rule. He finally married. He could not seem to impregnate his wife, but it did not matter as he continued to live on. He aged, true, but far slower than most men, bringing rumors that he had fée blood in him.

Then rumors began to circulate that there were men and women who were beginning to cure ills that should not be curable even with blancræft. A few more even said they could return the dead to life. The roi, now older than any other living being, found himself furious that Mora had betrayed him. He called this ‘necrocræft’ vile, and unnatural, and anyone learning or practicing such magic would be put to death.

They were killed. They had not passed her last test and remained dead.

Plagues sprung up again. Illness took root.

Mora still did not return to him.

It did not take long for the roi to be overthrown, by his own great-great-grandnephew at that. He was accused of practicing the same magic he outlawed, and when his blood ran black it was confirmed. He was sentenced to death.

The day of the hanging he felt his neck snap, but he then hung there, eyes wide, unable to feel or move or breath, yet undying.

He was buried amid silent internal cries that he had not died! He was still alive! But after they shut his eyes by force he could not even open them again.

Mora finally came to him. She appeared in his coffin, pressed up against him, wrapping her arms around him. He felt her breathing, felt her skin moving against his. She stroked his cheek and for the first time in days he could intake some breath. It was ecstasy. His flexed his fingers and slowly moved his arms so that he could hold her in return.

“Please.”

“You are not mine,” she replied into his ear. “And so you shall never enter my plane, never again see my throne, or have your life judged. You chose to return to this and so you may keep it.”

He was alone again. His breath was stuck in his throat, his arms no longer feeling. His eyes were half-open, staring into darkness. He lived. He could not die.

Mora never gave her heart in the same way. She continued to teach in secret, both men and women, her cræft. If rumors amid the people gave false information she let it be. And when her last test came she continued to offer her magic at a price. She hurt when they returned their own lives, but allowed it, still being with them and letting them help her. One day one would take up her offer, but it was not to be for a very long time.

Mistakes

Writers are people. They make mistakes. I remember reading that in A Song of Ice and Fire there was a moment where the color of the horse changes between books. Fans were speculating, people tried to find ‘hints,’ there had to be a switch, maybe the rider was really somewhere else– what could it possibly mean!?

It meant George R. R. Martin forgot the color of the horse between writing the two books.

I wrote Larkspur a while ago. And as I keep finding out, stories change in the telling. I reference Larkspur a lot, but there are things that I wrote in the first book that are no longer true in the second. Not because I go out of my way to do something different, it just feels… like what I said before was wrong.

Thankfully characters are people too. Or good ones should be. And so what Pierre may have thought in Larkspur was what I thought, and he and I can both find out that it was sort of wrong in Delphinium.

I hope I do this right too. I don’t want it to sound like I just messed up. Because it’s less ‘I wrote something wrong’ and more like ‘I was working with limited information and now there’s more to it.’

I think.

 

Slave (Scorpiurus)

Even after years away from his service it was ingrained in her. She stepped back with her foot even before he was in the room, hands clasping behind her, and she sank to the floor in one fluid motion. Balanced on one knee she crossed her other leg over the first and bowed, turning her head only just above the stone, exposing her pulse, and waited with closed eyes. She was perfectly still in the strained position—this slave’s dip. Moments passed until he entered the room and walked towards her, his steps the only sound announcing his presence, and then there was silence as he stood before her to judge her and decide her worth. Finally, the tips of his fingers brushed her hair and he placed his hand in hers to pull her up. She unwound, knowing that if he desired, with a twist of his wrist her arm would be broken, but with his gentle leading she would rise like a dance.

For the first time in years she saw her king. Golden eyes stared at her, matched by his jewelry and circlet-crown. His black hair was tied up in a horse’s tail and the end rested over his shoulder. He wore no shirt, the heat that radiated off of him speaking of a day spent out in the desert sun, and she saw the scars from many battles across his chest. Some were new, and a few even fresh.

“What do you desire of me?” she whispered.

Another woman entered the room before her king could reply. She was clothed in purple robes and jewelry herself, and Tivela again made a move to curtsy, but Asar’s hand cupped her chin and forced her to remain standing.

“Tivela, my dear, you are free by my command. Bow to me if you desire it, but to no one else.”

A woman came to stand by his side, and she glared at the former slave, but said nothing. Her king finally let her go and wrapped that arm around the woman.

“Tivela, this is my betrothed,” he said. “She is the daughter of a rival, and I wish her to be taught my ways. You know me better than any other living soul. Teach her, and you will be rewarded.”

She knew better than to protest, though she wished to do just that. It was unheard of for a slave, even a former slave, to teach the queen anything.

“I am yours to command,” she said instead.

Feral (Noctua)

“These are your wolves?” their king asked. His drógi nodded from the shadows, Dante’s pale face a beacon in the darkness. It was midnight and Mother Moon was hiding herself tonight, and so save for the glow of their skin it was dark.

Volos stepped down from the dais, looking from one boy to the other as he made his way to the one on his left. They were identical in face, angular cheeks with harsh eyes glaring at him in mistrust. Their skin was as his own, an opaque moonlight, but their hair was the color of flame. They were children of the sun. Illegitimate in their world.

But they trusted Dante, at least enough to stand here before him, a stranger, at Dante’s asking, frozen not in fear but in readiness to spring. And he himself of course trusted his second and dear.

Taking off his glove slowly, so they would understand what he intended to do, he reached out a bare hand to touch one of the boys on the cheek. Before skin touched skin there was a growl, and the king paused. The brother had not moved, but the warning was clear.

“Instinct,” Volos whispered not turning his head. “You have been raised as pups from a young age, not knowing any civilized life until your first years were behind you. So I shall put this in terms you understand.” And he growled back, his head turning into a black wolf’s head on his human body, his hair becoming fur with as much haste as a shadow-puppet changed shape. When his form was again entirely man he turned to look at the boy.

“I am your king because outside of the forests we need civilization. Dante is my trusted friend, my raven, my fox. You are his. I will command you as I please and you will obey. But you must trust me. Let me earn this trust.”

With that he finally touched the cheek of the boy in front of him. A shock went through his hand, a chill up his spine. A moment later neither of them were solid in form and as heavy mist they rose into the air and melded together. When Volos pulled away they reformed as men, their clothes returning from the shadows, and they floated to the ground.

He proceeded to do the same with the second brother, this ascension letting him know their minds and hearts in a way that was infallible. It too allowed them to know him.

“Dante,” he said as he stepped back from the boys, Lyrian and Leith. “They are feral, but loyal, as good wolves are. They are accepted into the court under your hand.”

“Thank you.”

Reworks

I now have a blog/website, a twitter, a facebook page, a facebook group, my personal facebook, a newsletter, a wiki, and most recently a Patreon…

That’s a lot of social media for a gal that tends to shy away from folk.

I tend to mostly repeat myself on all of those platforms too. Which is silly and time consuming. So now I am trying to work out what will go where and repeat myself less.

Website: This site. What should be my main hub. You can find ways to get to all of the other sites and pages from here. I think I’m going to have to start using this blog as a blog as well- write about my life, writing in general, shows and music that I like and you all might too. I will be writing more Scenes as well, those are staying.

The worldbuilding posts I think I’m going to change. I think the conversational-informative posts will from now on be for my patrons on Patreon. That said, the information itself will still be available on–

The Wiki: I was supposed to make this wiki public a while ago, but other things happened and I put it off. It’s still quite bare-bones, but I’ll be working on it. The information from the patron-only posts will be put into the wiki if it isn’t too spoiler-y for future works. If you’d like the more conversational and elaborative worldbuilding posts, you can join–

Patreon: I have been wondering what I could offer patrons. I believe I’ve finally decided that Patreon will have access to Scenes before I put them up on my blog (maybe I’ll create a schedule?). They will also receive ‘future Scenes’ – moments that I plan to write in the future that could contain spoilers. So if I were to write a Scene about Eglė and Pier’s son, Gwythyr, who is a newborn in the books currently, that would be given to my patrons, and not put up on my blog. I will also write the worldbuilding posts here, plus cross-post my newsletter.

Newsletter: The newsletter is usually a ‘what I’m currently doing’ snippet, plus a few books that other authors have asked me to show off. It’s also one of the first to get news about a new release or a sale.

Still working out how to sort through all of the facebook iterations, but I think that’s a pretty good start. Now to post some more Scenes here, and move over the worldbuilding posts.