Fill up your e-reader with FREE books!

One of the benefits I offer my newsletter subscribers is sharing links to free book promotions where readers can discover new authors and find fun stuff to read. As much as possible, I only join and include promos with books that are relatively clean (no suggestive covers allowed, etc.) While I can’t vouch for every single book in each promo, I’ve tried my best.

There are a lot of good ones running right now, so I thought I’d share them this week with my blog followers as well. Just click on the images below to check out each promotion. Get these books free while you can!

Want to get notified of book promotions like these every month? Just subscribe to my author newsletter.  Check out my most recent newsletter, “Weaving Mystery Threads“.

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What’s New Wednesday: Spring Cleaning…the fun kind

Now that Shards of Faith is done and published (yay!) I can get down to some series spring cleaning while I gather ideas together for the next book. What does that mean exactly?

Well, for starters I am re-editing Journey to Aviad, because it has needed that for a long time. In working on that project, I can really see how much Elowyn has grown, and how I’ve grown with her. You can read more about that in my most recent newsletter, which incidentally is a great place to find lots of free books. So if you’re not subscribed yet, check it out.

Series spring cleaning doesn’t stop there.

Did you know I’ve already created a large timeline that details all the major events in my world’s history, starting right from the Creation story? Now I need a new one that contains all the more current events in my books, from the new novella (which takes place in the past), all the way through Visions of Light and Shadow. Instead of showing events by the year, it will zoom much closer in to view things down to the hour, or even minute if I want it to.

I’m using a program called AEON Timeline, and it’s the best way for me to keep the details straight, because at this point there’s an awful lot of information for me to just remember in my head! Once this monumental task is done, I’ll be able to see how old each character is and where they are located at any given point. I will be able to identify and group story arcs, and visually see where subplots overlap and connect with each other.

As you can see from the image above, I’ve started this new timeline already, but completing it is going to take a while. It will be so worth it though! It’s already fun to see how things intertwine, particularly with Journey to Aviad and Into the Shadow Wood, which take place in the same time period.

While I’m doing this, I’ll also be taking  LOTS of notes–looking for plot threads I’ve started but not tied off yet, and getting ideas together for new short stories, novellas, and of course series books. All of this is gearing me up for another Camp NaNoWriMo session in April. As you can see, a writer’s work is never done. I’ve got even more on my plate now than I did while I was working on Shards of Faith.

I do have to take breaks every now and then so my head doesn’t explode. When I can’t stare at my computer screen anymore, I’m getting a bit of quilting done. But I’ll save that for another post.

What’s New Wednesday: How it’s going…

I’m nearly there, everyone! My most recently written chapters are now in the hands of my book coach for review, and the very–last–chapter has been started. *Whew!* I can see the finish line now, and that’s a great feeling.

To help me get through these last few thousand words, I’ve got a great behind-the-scenes team cheering me on.

First, the peanut gallery–courtesy of my youngest daughter. They mainly offer ideas, and sometimes point out typos and other little mistakes I’ve made as I’m writing. I can only handle them in small doses though. Like most birds…well, how to say this delicately…they simply talk too much. I know a lot of writers enjoy background noise and even music while they write, but for me to immerse myself in a totally different world, I need to be able to tune out this one. Peace and quiet while I sit at my desk helps my imagination flow.

Then there’s tech support for all those pesky Windows updates that insist on pushing through whether I want them or not. Usually as soon as I walk away from my computer, too. I’m always afraid I’m going to lose whatever I’ve been writing when that happens. So far I’ve been lucky! The problem with losing a piece of writing is, no matter how good your memory, you’ll never re-create it exactly the same way twice. Cera is 18, so she’s got a lot of experience at walking across keyboards. Somehow she knows how to make my computer do things I never even realized were possible.

 

Finally there’s my moral support team…a few of them anyway. Yeah, that’s me somewhere under that pile of animals. Their job is to keep me wedged into my seat so that I can’t wander off and get distracted by other things. It’s so much easier to just keep writing. I’ve learned to be ready to grab my laptop at any moment though to keep it from crashing to the floor. A ringing doorbell means the world is quite possibly coming to an end, and it’s their job to warn the whole neighborhood about it. They take the job pretty seriously!

What’s New Wednesday: Progress Update

I’ve been working diligently on my next novella which features Broguean the Bard, and for those of you who have been waiting so patiently, I’m happy to announce that the wait is almost over!

I am down to the very end now, having just written the climax of the book, and I’m on track to finish up within the next couple of weeks. Then I’ll be on to the business of looking for a few beta readers, editing, and polishing everything up for publication.

As you can see, the artwork is finished, provided once again by the very talented Alfredo Pachicano! All I need now is a title so that it can be turned from a single image into an actual book cover. If all goes according to plan, this novella will hit ebook shelves sometime in March. Stay tuned for more specifics as they become available.


Interested in being considered as a beta reader for this and future books?

In an upcoming newsletter I’ll be asking for volunteers who are already familiar with my series. Subscribers also get the chance to win prizes and gain inside information about my world, characters, and inspirations that can’t be found anywhere else. When you sign up, you’ll get a free copy of my second book, Ancient Voices: Into the Depths.

 

Ancient Tunnels and Present Day Mysteries

Today I’m giving you a peek at my latest newsletter. These go out every couple of weeks, and in them I share deeper insights into my book world and inspirations. You’ll also get bonus stuff, like links to a wide variety of free books by other authors, Rafflecopter giveaways, and the chance to participate in surveys that shape my series. Additionally, when you subscribe, you’ll get a free copy of Ancient Voices: Into the Depths, the second book in my series.


Ancient Tunnels and Present Day Mysteries

I love a good mystery, don’t you? Winding its way beneath the green hills of Europe is the erdstall tunnel system.

These tunnels are believed to have been constructed in the Middle Ages, but no one can figure out who built them, or why. And there aren’t just a few…over 2,000 tunnels have been discovered so far! They are smooth and rounded, carved right into the bare earth. They aren’t very large, only a few feet tall and wide. “Slip outs” are small holes that connect passages that are running at different elevations. Some of these are so tight, a person would have to literally squeeze through them to move from one tunnel to another.

Erdstall tunnels have only one entrance and exit, typically buried in the wilderness or among the remnants of old settlements. Not especially convenient! They also have no system for ventilation, and some flood with water. These tunnels are not places where anyone would be able to hang out for long.

Adding to the mystery is the complete lack of archaeological and historical evidence. Their construction is not officially recorded anywhere, and no human artifacts seem to have been left behind in the tunnels themselves.

What are some of the theories? Some say they were used for storage. Not likely given they were small, dirty, wet, and difficult to get in and out of. Another theory is they were places where people hid from marauders. The small size of the tunnels, and lack of oxygen inside, would make this fairly impractical, too. Not to mention with only one way in and out, if their hiding place was ever discovered it would become a tomb rather than a way of escape. Some think the tunnels might have spiritual significance; a place for the souls of the deceased, or perhaps even dark spirits to dwell. Austrian folklore gives goblins the credit for their existence.

I kind of wish I’d known about these erdstall tunnels when I lived in Germany so I could experience one for myself. In reality though, I’m horribly claustrophobic, so you’d have to practically kill me to get me in there. I’d no doubt peer with wonder into the small, dark entranceway, get a nose-tingling whiff of damp earth, take a couple of pictures, and that would be the extent of my adventure.

Mysteries such as these are a wonderful source of inspiration, though. One can imagine the erdstall tunnels weren’t carved by people at all (hence the lack of artifacts or construction records), but by serpents, or maybe hosts of dark fae. Austrian folklore could have it right after all.

In my own stories, I reference secret underground libraries which are connected by hidden tunnels and entranceways. Very few know they exist, and those who do are bound by oaths of silence. It is in my imaginary world that I can fill in my own answers to these questions that no one has been able to fully resolve in the real world. I can turn thousands of seemingly purposeless, dank tunnels into a vital network. Some of them are perhaps decoys, built only to confuse and misdirect. Yet others lead to glorious, irreplaceable collections of the world’s most sacred artifacts.

What do you imagine the erdstall tunnels were for? Who built and used them? You don’t have to be a writer to dream up a few ideas. It seems that even the historians are having to use their imaginations on this one.


Click to view the rest of this newsletter. I won’t always post peeks on my blog, so subscribe to make sure you don’t miss an edition. They’ll get sent right to your email twice a month, and if you change your mind, you can unsubscribe at any time.

 

Time is Running Out!

The Rafflecopter giveaway for my newsletter subscribers will be coming to an end very soon. Don’t miss your chance to win an autographed copy of Into the Shadow Wood, a companion book to Journey to Aviad.

Not subscribed yet? Feel free to take a look at my last newsletter.  In this edition, the feature article “It’s Not Easy Being ‘Clean,'” talks about the difficulty I have finding “clean” entertainment, and how my own works are viewed by others because they lack adult content. There is another author update and links to a couple of giveaways for LOTS of free books. When you  sign up for my newsletter, you’ll also get a free e-copy of Book 2 in my series, Ancient Voices: Into the Depths. You can unsubscribe at any time, so really you’ve got nothing to lose!

Want the chance to win an autographed copy of Into the Shadow Wood?

Step 1: Subscribe to my newsletter and download your free ebook
Step 2: Enter the giveaway

That’s it! The winner will be announced in my September newsletter. Good luck!


Enjoy an Excerpt from Into the Shadow Wood

Our weather-worn tents were nestled into a small clearing, like growing things that had sprung up out of the ground. There were so few of us left…so few. Remaining were the stubborn, the desperate—those who, like me, simply couldn’t let go. Something was still driving us to fight—to hope—in spite of the brutal truth that we had lost. What are we still doing here? This decision to go on is folly. Alaric’s words echoed in my mind. They rang no less true now than they had in the heart of the Shadow Wood.

Though I had escaped the confines of its borders, the Wood had not released its hold on my mind, and my nights continued to be filled with its dark torments. I slept fitfully, with a knife in my fist and my bow close at hand…just in case. The Shadow mocked my inner pain, whispering words of despair to my soul; I would never be free. Each morning I bathed in a nearby stream, scrubbing my skin nearly raw, shaving my face, and grooming my hair. No matter how vigorously I washed, I could still feel the slick residue of the Wood’s filth, and my lungs were heavy with its thick air. When I caught glimpses of my reflection in still pools, the face looking back at me seemed not my own. And it was not only my looks that startled me. At meal times, despite my best intentions, I ate like a crazed, half-starved animal. My brethren no doubt saw me as such judging by the cautious looks I caught from the corners of my eyes. So far, none of them had dared to ask about my journey into the abyss—they seemed afraid to know what could have possibly reduced me to such a state.


Book Description: Into the Shadow Wood

Once a proud member of the Sovereign’s prestigious personal guard, Einar has lost everything: his home, his Sovereign, and his purpose. Most of his closest friends have either been killed in battle or executed. His friend Nevon died trying to fulfill a dangerous oath…one that Einar disagreed with, but now feels honor-bound to take up in his stead. The quest plunges Einar into the depths of the dark and twisted Shadow Wood, testing the limits of his strength, his beliefs, and his sanity. What he finds in the Wood is far more ominous than anything he’d expected. If he’s not careful, Nevon’s fate might end up being his own.

 

Want to Win an Autographed Book?

I’m doing another Rafflecopter giveaway for my newsletter subscribers. This time I’m giving away an autographed copy of Into the Shadow Wood, a companion book to Journey to Aviad.

Not subscribed yet? Feel free to take a look at my last newsletter.  In this edition there is a character spotlight on Alaric from Into the Shadow Wood, along with some author updates and links to a couple of giveaways for LOTS of free books. When you  sign up for my newsletter, you’ll also get a free e-copy of Book 2 in my series, Ancient Voices: Into the Depths. You can unsubscribe at any time, so really you’ve got nothing to lose!

So, back to my original question:
Want the chance to win an autographed book?

Step 1: Subscribe to my newsletter and download your free ebook
Step 2: Enter the giveaway

That’s it! The winner will be announced in my September newsletter. Good luck!


Into the Shadow Wood

Once a proud member of the Sovereign’s prestigious personal guard, Einar has lost everything: his home, his Sovereign, and his purpose. Most of his closest friends have either been killed in battle or executed. His friend Nevon died trying to fulfill a dangerous oath…one that Einar disagreed with, but now feels honor-bound to take up in his stead. The quest plunges Einar into the depths of the dark and twisted Shadow Wood, testing the limits of his strength, his beliefs, and his sanity. What he finds in the Wood is far more ominous than anything he’d expected. If he’s not careful, Nevon’s fate might end up being his own.