New book summary

So begins my revitalized writing-and-marketing career– with a new book description for Larkspur.

Forbidden magic, a childhood love, and a goddess of death.

An old romance is reignited when Duc Pierre Salvador returns from University, but his love, family, and friends are unaware of his dealings with the Lady of Death. Being a surgeon is not enough, and he strives to know all the mystical and illegal means of controlling life and death. With his final task to master necrocræft, he must choose what is most important to him.
***
This is a novelette. It is ~15,000 words, or about 60 pages.

It isn’t perfect, I’m still going to tweak it a bit, but with a promotion tomorrow I wanted this newer version up so maybe it can entice some more clicks. I may change the ‘have to choose’ part, since frankly that isn’t true- while he probably should choose, Pierre often wants both.

Delphinium ramble

I’m either 1/3rd or a 1/4th of the way through Delphinium, depending on if it stretches the wordcount I had originally planned. While all of Larkspur is 15K, Delphinium is currently 10K+ and with still a lot to go. 30K might become 35K, or even 40K if I really get into it.

While I’m glad I wrote and released Larkspur, it really is a ‘prologue.’ My original plan for writing was to release small 10K-15K snippets, out of sync, to slowly build a world from many different angles. And while I had done something like that years ago on deviantART (yeah, yeah, we all had that phase), it is not a writing-plan to use with publishing. Ideally I would put Larkspur and Delphinium together, but as it is Larkspur will stay and be perma-free to entice folk to the rest of the books (when more are out). While I will have some 99cent or perma-free shorter stories, I plan to write longer actual-books from now on (though they may still be relatively short while I get the hang of things).

So the rest of the series is more plotted, with a real beginning-middle-end. At least in my head. On paper it might get a little wonky (it’s amazing what I learn about this world even after all these years) but that’s at least half the fun.

Snippet time! Not giving any context, took out the names too 🙂

“He grabbed —–’s throat until the other stopped struggling, barely moving but still on the edges of consciousness. The dagger then found his lungs, and any remaining movement and life in him began to drain away. The blade was pulled out only to enter again. In all —– had five deep wounds in his chest. None were yet fatal.”

Part .5 of Delphinium, Beta Edition

Once again my over-estimations come back to haunt me. Here’s part of the first ‘chapter’ of Delphinium, about a 4th of it. This is why I gave the vague ‘day or two’ for estimations. Slow and steady did finally win the race though, so I’ll keep writing even if it’s only a little at a time.

She had become ill. A cough began the day of their departure and lasted throughout the  journey, bringing with it chills and taking away her appetite. Three days from Piques’s capital they were commanded to stop and rest in town, her suitor refusing to go further until she improved. As his orders were that of duc and doctor none could argue.

He carried her to the most elegant suite at the inn as if he were already her husband, laying her down in bed, but then moving to the hall while a maid helped her undress. When he entered again she was curled up under the covers and shivering. Ignoring the maid he made his way to the lady, kissing her forehead and letting his lips linger to both comfort and asses a fever.

“I am unfamiliar with what ails you, my dear,” he said, stroking back her curls. Her blue eyes were unfocused, her skin pale save for blotches on her cheeks. “I will consult with local physicians about this. You will be better soon.” His studies had been in surgery, not illness, but he would take extraordinary measures to make her well.

“Forgive me for being so much trouble—” A kiss silenced her. The thought that he could catch her illness entered his mind for a moment, but the desire to show her no blame won over. And if he did fall ill and feel the symptoms himself, at least he might be able to hold back the spirits that plagued her.

She broke the kiss to cough, spots of red betraying how much worse her condition had become.

“Rest for now,” he said softly. He took out a handkerchief and wiped away the blood from her lips, then tucked her in. She lay facing away and only mumbled a reply. The duc remained standing by her side, not wanting to leave her, one hand still stroking blonde hair that was damp from fever and sweat.

“There is drink for Lady Elizabeth by the bed, Your Grace,” the maid spoke up, breaking into his thoughts. “And chimes to the servant’s room for when she wakes.”

“Thank you, you may go,” he replied over his shoulder. Pouring his love a glass of diluted wine he paused after setting down the glass- the maid had left and the door was barely ajar. He took off his gloves and, with a pin taken from the folds of his clothing, he pricked a finger. Blood seeped out, becoming dark first with saturation and then in hue. When it dripped down his hand the trail left behind was black.

He let several drops of blood fall into her wine before putting on his gloves again. They were black as well, and by sight one would not see the bloodstains.

“Sleep well, Lizzy. Do not forget to drink. I will have a light dinner brought to you later.” She did not reply a second time, already asleep or too weak to answer.

He closed the door behind himself softly, uncertain if he wanted to leave without making her at least drink first. But no, she needed to rest, it would do her good before any magic enchanted her. And he needed his own rest before using any cræft.

He went to his own rooms, smiling when he walked in to see his cat lying on a pillow. A pure black queen, she was his constant companion and confidant.  He sat beside her and pulled her into his lap, not a care for the expensive clothes that would be covered in fur. He held her close as a pet from childhood and not the Familiar she usually was.

“She is very ill,” he told her. “I do not know what to do, Pluta. I don’t know how to feel. A doctor has been sent for, what if they can offer no help either?”

Pluta pressed herself to her master. He did not often worry, but Elizabeth had become close to him again these last few weeks, a childhood friendship becoming an adult’s desire for true companionship and love.

“What is the worst that can happen?” the cat said. To most it would sound like purring or mewling, but to him and those that knew necrocræft it would be human tongue.

“She could suffer,” he replied. “And I might not be able to do anything.”

Amazon is promoting Larkspur!

This is so cool! I just woke up and go to check my email. Nothing new, just something over in ‘promotions’ so I click there to see if it’s interesting. It’s from Amazon.. but wait, I know that title! Amazon sent me an email asking if I’d like to buy my own short story!

Amazon promo

There were a few other books on the list too, but mine was not only first, the title shows up in the email description!

Kobo, Nook, iBooks, and Scribd

Are the four platforms that Draft2Digital will send your ebook when you distribute with them. And I’ve already uploaded Larkspur: A Necromancer’s Romance to their systems 🙂 It’ll still be 99¢ on all platforms, and should be up in several hours.

If you’re using a kindle, Larkspur is still FREE today on Amazon. Just click the lovely picture to your right and you’ll be taken to the US site.

Delphinium, Book 2, has a release date of June 30th– bumped over from the 20th because schoolwork got in the way. But this will give readers on other platforms a little time to read the first book and perhaps tell a friend.

Have a fantastic day, everyone! Now back to that essay I’ve been procrastinating on…

Indie Books

I used to be a hypocrite. I mean, I probably still am in a few ways that aren’t coming to mind right now, but I mean about books and self-publishing. I’ve planned to self-publish for years. I liked the freedom, the lack of time restrictions, even the idea of having a fair amount of input on the cover. But during all those years I hadn’t ever bought or read a self-published book.

I did read fanfiction. I still do. Some of my favourite stories are fanfics. So I was aware that there were and are independent writers who are good at what they do (even if you have to search a bit harder to find them)… And still I hadn’t gotten a self-published book because a part of me worried it wouldn’t be good enough.

Hence, hypocrite.

After I finally made an Amazon account (because I needed one to self-publish my own story) I started looking into other indie writers. There were the more professional ones (Hugh Howey, Johnny B Truant, Sean Platt, David Wright) and those not so much, and also a few friends had published before me. I bought books from each type, picking up the occasional random book just because it looked pretty. I now have about 40 self published books on my kindle.

I wish I had realized indie books were this good sooner. They have this honesty to them (something I’ve found in good fanfic as well). There’s no general public that you have to appease, and so certain stories have more depth and truth to them, if only because they can. The restrictions are gone. You want to write a 58 part space opera? By all means, go right damn ahead. Your ideas are a little off, avant garde meets forgotten-your-meds? Someone’ll like it. I’ll probably like it. Even if I don’t, I have to admire that you wrote it and put it out there.

Indie books are the garage band music of today. They may not all be perfect and polished, but they have heart and passion in them. If you don’t read indie books, or self-published stuff, and you’re worried about quality– give it a go anyway. Check the Look Inside feature, decide whether the person’s grammar is up to standards, and give their book a try. You might be surprised.

(I’m not saying bad grammar is ok. But typos happen, and just because you didn’t have a team of editors to catch it doesn’t mean the book is bad [and if you do have a team, they might still not catch it]. Another great thing with indie books- the author can update the file. I changed my file out about 12 times since I first published Larkspur. A typo here, an extra sentence there.. and now it’s all good.)

Book II

I really need to get Delphinium out. Larkspur’s sales have peaked, and even though it’s not even been 3 months yet, I already feel like ‘hey I wrote a book!’ is getting old. I don’t want to spam people, I want people to read my stuff because they like that sort of thing. My Facebook Party has 18 confirmed guests, and my sales are at 132- so it seems people are at least a little interested.

But I won’t be able to keep anyone’s interests with a short novelette and no sequel.

I moved the facebook release date to the 30th, just so it wouldn’t stay on the 20th, but I think I can hit that. The extra week is giving me a lot more breathing room, even accounting for an exam I have to take on the 23rd. I’m essentially home alone for the next two weeks (family in Poland, and while brother is at home, he’s out a lot) and won’t have many distractions aside from keeping the house not-on-fire. Now just not to get sucked into procrastination.

Larkspur will still be free on the 20th and 21st, going on to Nook, Kobo and other platforms the 22nd.