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.

 

More Scenes

I have not been keeping up with my blog. I had a ‘like’ here and there, but I thought the site wasn’t really looked at. So I didn’t write much.

But that’s my fault for not having content.

With the Scenes I end up unsure what’s a spoiler and how much I want to reveal before/if a book or setting is used. With the worldbuilding- same thing. I also forget what I have shared and what I haven’t- so I repeat things without meaning to, or keep old ideas to myself because I thought I already posted about them.

I have a few Scenes written that I didn’t post, or even took down, because I was unsure about them. But the point of the Scenes was supposed to be short rough glimpses that kept me writing and you all interested in other parts of my world.

So when I get home tonight I’m going to upload those Scenes, even the short teaser-y ones. I still need to think about ones that are spoilers, but I’ll work something out.

I started a Patreon!

I started up a Patreon page! ❤

A friend suggested it and the more I thought about it the more I liked the idea. I was going to wait until Delphinium was finished, but tonight I was procrastinating and decided to set it up. So- Tada!

I have 6 tiers, from $1 up to $25 a month. There will be Patron-exclusive posts, as well as newsletter links, and work-in-progress stuff that won’t be up on the blog. Scenes will be posted on the Patreon first, but they will also later be added here after a few days, so those are just timed differently. Some Scenes that I feel are too short, or too spoiler-y, to be up on the blog will be patreon exclusive.

In the higher tiers you’ll be getting access to all my books too because if you’re willing to give me ten dollars a month for my work you are certainly free to take as much as you please.

I know I don’t have much now, but with Delphinium set to release on December 1st, and then two more books planned to be written concurrently (plus my secret project, which the patrons will get insider-info on), I’m hoping to start playing with the big boys.

The tiers are all named after authors that have greatly influenced me and my work 🙂

https://www.patreon.com/vmjaskiernia

New blurbs!

I am beginning to embrace the fact that I write romance. I’m getting an author logo made and decided that my tagline was going to be ‘Macabre Fantasy Romance’ or (when I’m being haughty) Macabre Fantaisie Romantique, as is now in the header 😉

I tended to shy away from this before, insisting it was fantasy *with* romance, and I still think so– but many of my readers go into it and then find there’s more romance than they were prepared for. A lot of reviews mention that this kind of book is not their thing. I was marketing to the usual fantasy peeps, not thinking to aim for the ‘romance’ specific group.

That said, I’m honestly not sure how to feel about this yet. ‘Romance’ seems like such a, well, women’s exclusive genre. I want my stories to be enjoyed by all. I think there’s enough adventure in it to be interesting to guys (I was quite the tomboy growing up and some of that has never left), and Pierre is the main character. His story is his love with Lizzy, but also his cræft and his being the duc. There’s more than just getting those two together.

I can’t deny that I love a romance, though. I love couples. I love couples who are awesome together and not just take the whole damn book to get together. Worse, if there are sequels, need to have stupid issues because of drama. But that’s a rant for another time…

Larkspur was probably too short to really expand on the adventure (even if I managed to get in two murders). Delphinium is much longer (still keeps getting bigger!), and there is a lot more going on. New characters, subplots, more magic…

So I have gone ahead and changed up the blurbs for Larkspur and Delphinium as well to emphases that there is a romance, but also hints to more going on.

Larkspur:

Pierre Salvador is a surgeon and the heir to a duchy, returning to court after years away at University. Now the childhood friend he left behind has grown-up–and is still not wed. But she does not know of his dealings with Mora, the Lady of Death, or what the jealous goddess wants him to do in return for her dark magic.

Note: This series began as a serial, so this book is quite short and does end abruptly with a cliffhanger. The second book grew and before I knew it became a whole novel. This series is therefor no longer a serial, but the first story remains as is.

I also added in the note that Larkspur is short and ends fast. I hope that will at least warn people and cut down on the reviews that take a star or two off for it :/

Delphinium:

Lady Elizabeth Anne does not know about the dark magic her beloved practices, and he has no intent to tell her. As they travel to his childhood home for the summer, Pierre Salvador attempts to balance his newfound love with his murderous cræft.

After they arrive the future Duc de Piques finds there is much to be done, and duties cannot be put off any longer. A fatal illness is spreading throughout his land, he is being claimed by those of Faery, and someone has already tried to take his life.

But it will take much more to kill a lord of death.

So yes, that assassination attempt in Larkspur will be looked into.

And as I mentioned before, I am still writing the second part of Delphinium. My betas have looked over the first part, mostly I’m just total shite at commas, but a few things may need to be tweaked or moved. The second part still keeps getting longer- I’m splitting chapters, then combining them, and running into new sub-plots.

The first ‘half’ was 46.6K  and the second ‘half’ is going to clock in at around 80K or so. Delphinium will therefore be about 126K! (To put this in perspective, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is 107K).

Larkspur was only 15K. So the second book will be about eight and a half times as long as the first one ❤