young adult fiction

Teardrop Moons—Chapter 4

*This is not the final edited version. Story content may change before this book releases. Sign up for newsletter updates to get a message when Teardrop Moons (The Song of Everywhen, #2) becomes available.

A new thief is born.

Time travel objects are missing, and Chascadians are being blamed.
Silvie’s legacy and family reputation are at stake.
Will she be able to find and stop who’s responsible?
And will it be enough to convince the worlds?

4

Sloe sat in his bedroom, at his desk where there were piles of books, his mind focused on anything but the book in front of him.

“I need to get a job,” he muttered.

Studying was no longer enough to occupy his time. He’d been acing his exams, almost too easily. There was too much time; he wasn’t sure how to spend it all. When he confided in his mother about those problem, she’d laughed. When he told her he didn’t find it funny, she cracked a joke.

Sloe shook his head at the sheet hung across the opening to his bedroom. His father still hadn’t given him his bedroom portal back. Maybe it’s time for me to move out. Problem was, he didn’t know where else to go. Not without money.

He closed the book in front of him and sighed.

He’d messed things up so badly with Raven, he didn’t want it to happen again. Not with Silvie. But he wasn’t sure how to tell her that. Avoiding her attempts to comfort him wasn’t working. She was a healer, with an amazing amount of insight, so he had no doubt she knew something was wrong. It was only a matter of time before she knew what it was, or gave up trying to find out.

He felt bad that day—after Silvie had taken the time to visit him. He was happy to visit her, instead; she’d told him it was awkward to do anything date-like on Edgar, with Javis and her father around. And he hadn’t offered to go anywhere else—not after what happened with Raven, and the threat to her life. His days exploring the Clock Tower’s portals and the worlds where they led were over, for now. He didn’t want to put another person in danger.

He envied Silvie’s ability to keep herself gloriously busy at the hospital for the recovering Lost. Even though she worked both the early and late shifts, she had time to study and visit him at the end of the day—an arrangement they’d worked out to be able to be together. To give their relationship a chance. But it wasn’t working.

Yes, he needed a job. Something to keep his mind off things, and to feel useful. But what, and where? He wasn’t a healer like Silvie, and while he admired Javis, he wouldn’t want the type of job Javis had cleaning up after the hospital’s residents. He had enough trouble cleaning his own shower room, and that was with his mother reminding him every week.

He abandoned his desk and pulled open a file cabinet. He flipped through a roll of folders, stopping at one labeled, Test Results. He’d taken an aptitude test that was supposed to reveal which occupations would suit him. His high scores in categories relating to portals and traveling to other worlds confirmed he’d take over his father’s position as Time Keeper one day.

But he expected, and hoped, his father still had a long time to live. Travertine of Aboreal, now known as Nick of Time, had abandoned Aboreal, after the world abandoned him, so he didn’t know anyone from his father’s side of the family. There were aunts and uncles on his mother’s side, but he saw them so infrequently, they might as well have been abandoned, too.

Sloe needed something else to do in the meantime. He wasn’t sure how his travel talents would be useful for other work—something that would fill his time and pay the money needed for him to find a place of his own.

His room rattled. Stretchy rope bands fixed across shelves held his books in place, but a couple volumes he piled on his desk fell to the floor. He glanced at a timepiece mounted on the wall, surprised by how quickly time had passed just thinking about the possibility of a new job.

Moments later, there was a knock. Sloe threw open the sheet across his bedroom doorway and made his way to the Clock Tower’s front entrance. He opened the door.

Silvie smiled at him, her eyes bright. He didn’t feel he deserved how excited she seemed to be to see him. A smile reached his lips as he invited her inside.

“I know you don’t like the idea of hanging out with me on Edgar,” he said, “like on a date.”

Her painted brows twisted.

“But I have an idea,” he continued.

“Do you want to go somewhere else tonight?”

He shook his head. “I was thinking, maybe, tomorrow morning.”

“Tomorrow morning? But my early shift—” She shrugged. “Never mind, I can get someone to cover me. Where do you want to go?”

“You won’t have to miss your shift. I wanted to speak with your father, actually. To see if he has any work for me.”

* * *

You’ve seen it here first! Drop a line in the comments to let me know what you think.

Sign up for newsletter alerts to get an email when Teardrop Moons releases.

Read the beginning of Silvie’s story in Darker Stars (The Song of Everywhen, #1)

Read the beginning of Calla’s story in Travel Glasses (The Call to Search Everywhen, #1)

Advertisements

Teardrop Moons—Chapter 3

*This is not the final edited version. Story content may change before this book releases. Sign up for newsletter updates to get a message when Teardrop Moons (The Song of Everywhen, #2) becomes available.

A new thief is born.

Time travel objects are missing, and Chascadians are being blamed.
Silvie’s legacy and family reputation are at stake.
Will she be able to find and stop who’s responsible?
And will it be enough to convince the worlds?

3

Family Matters

It was unusual for Father to take us out for a family dinner.

We had wonderful cooks at the hospital, and Javis was shaping up to be quite the chef at home. But I jumped at the chance, hoping we were in for a bigger surprise. Father wasn’t the type to do things on a whim. I expected he was taking us out to tell us news of some sort.

But I was surprised by his choice.

“Nakos Kitchen?” I said. “I didn’t think you were fond of Chascadian food.”

Father shrugged and pushed open the café door.

Javis and I exchanged a glance. His lips curled into a smile. I knew he was up for this. Chascadian was his favorite.

I whispered to my brother as we followed Father inside. “What did you do—achieve some extraordinary thing with your World Building talent?”

“I don’t think this is a reward for anything I did.” He glanced at the cloth napkins on the tables while we waited for Father to speak with the hostess.

“This is the type of place I’d expect Father to take us for a birthday celebration.” I said. “But it’s not any of our birthdays.”

Javis paled. “What if he brought us here to tell us he’s met someone?”

It was my turn to pale. I hadn’t thought of that. I shook my head. Father kept late hours every day at the hospital, and Mother’s picture still sat on his desk. I had trouble picturing him with anybody else.

“You mean like a girlfriend?” I said, finally.

Javis nodded.

“But who? Unless it’s someone at the hospital—”

I cleared my throat, and guiltily smiled up at Father who’d returned to tell us a waiter would be with us soon.

“What were the two of you discussing so animatedly?” he said.

I bit my lip.

“You never answered Silvie’s earlier question,” said Javis. I could have hugged him for how he’d jumped in like that.

The space between Father’s brows creased.

“Why did you pick a restaurant in Chascadia?” I reminded him. “Not that we don’t like it—”

Father grunted, then turned his attention to a waiter who was informing us our table was ready. After we’d been seated and our drink orders taken, Javis nudged me under the table.

I swallowed. “So, why did you bring us here?”

I expected Father to roll his eyes or show some other sign of impatience with us. But his face softened. He looked almost worried.

Oh no. Maybe he has met someone. My stomach filled with butterflies. But why would he bring us to Chascadia where his wife and Healer were from? Was this new person in his life also Chascadian? And why would this bother me so much? Surely, there worse things to happen in the worlds.

I wanted Father to be happy, didn’t I?

He frowned. “Our family is under attack.”

My heart crawled into my throat. I coughed, then looked around. Fortunately, our waiter had shown up with a tray of drinks. I gratefully accepted the tall glass of frothy iced chocolate.

But I was unable to return the waiter’s smile. His eyes and lips didn’t seem to be on the same page. I sensed distrust from him. I detected a shade of pain, with my healing talent.

I looked him up and down. He wore a tuxedo with a sash and cummerbund, similar to how the men were dressed at Grandpa Plaka’s funeral. His dark curls were tied back in a tail. Everything about him was clean, neat, and respectable.

“Thank you,” Father said.

“Are you ready to order?” The waiter spoke politely enough, but there was a tightness to his voice.

“Could we have a few minutes?” I’d barely had time to look at the menu.

The waiter nodded and moved on to another table.

I sighed through my teeth. “Father, what is going on?”

“I brought you to Chascadia because everyone of Chascadian descent is being watched carefully. I thought this would be a safe place to explain to you and Javis what’s happening.”

“Why couldn’t you have told us at home?” said Javis. The exasperation and frustration in his voice was notable. But Father didn’t seem to mind.

“I wanted to see for myself what the climate was like here,” Father calmly explained. “What the local citizens’ reactions would be…”

He sighed and lowered his voice. “There’s been a sudden rise in attacks on travelers who possess unofficial objects. At first, insiders at the TSTA were the most obvious suspects. Whoever is stealing them is doing a good job of hiding.”

“Okay, but what does that have to do with Chascadia?”

“The most recent travel object to be stolen was found here, in this restaurant. The man who was arrested is Chascadian.”

Involuntary shudders made their way from my neck down my arms.

“Since this is the first of the travel objects to be found, the Chascadian people’s reputation has been gravely harmed.”

Father sat back and cleared grit from his voice. The waiter had returned, and was looking at us expectantly.

“I’ll have the daily special,” I said, not knowing if such a thing existed at Nakos Kitchen. My menu sat there unread.

The waiter raised his eyebrows, not saying anything as he scribbled my order on a notepad.

“Um, I’ll have the same,” said Javis, his eyes focused on his tea. Steam had stopped rising from the teacup, so I guessed it had cooled to room temperature. He’d barely touched it.

Father gathered the menus into a pile and handed them to the waiter. “I’ll have the daily special as well. Three daily specials, please.”

“It will be our pleasure,” said the waiter, looking anything but pleased.

I smoothed my napkin across my lap, and frowned as the waiter marched off with our orders.

Stolen travel objects. My baglamas immediately came to mind. It was safe now, or so I’d thought.

Last I’d heard, Yannan and the cloaked men had been taken away. The TSTA escorted them to their headquarters. All three men had appeared for their hearings and were convicted. I didn’t know what their punishments had been, but I couldn’t imagine the TSTA let them walk freely to wreak havoc all across the worlds. But, then, the TSTA didn’t have the power it once had.

“Do you think Yannan has anything to do with the stolen travel objects?” I said. “I remember his fascination with the baglamas. He could be at it again.”

“The man who was arrested was from the family that owned this restaurant,” said Father. “He told the authorities of a young woman who masked her identity behind a hood.”

“That could be anyone,” said Javis. “But I still think this reeks of Yannan.”

Father frowned. “With so many objects stolen in such a short period of time, I doubt he’d be working alone. None of the descriptions match Yannan, or the cloaked men.”

“And the only person arrested so far was Chascadian?” I said.

“Yes.”

“So, the waiter…the distrust I’m sensing from him isn’t of me?”

“You and Javis are descendants of Chascadia, Silvie.” Father adjusted the dark glasses that concealed his eyes. “If there’s anyone for the waiter to distrust, it would be me.”

* * *

You saw it here first! Drop a line in the comments to let me know what you think.

Sign up for newsletter alerts to get an email when Teardrop Moons releases.

Read the beginning of Silvie’s story in Darker Stars (The Song of Everywhen, #1)

Read the beginning of Calla’s story in Travel Glasses (The Call to Search Everywhen, #1)

Teardrop Moons—Chapter 2

*This is not the final edited version. Story content may change before this book releases. Sign up for newsletter updates to get a message when Teardrop Moons (The Song of Everywhen, #2) becomes available.

A new thief is born.

Time travel objects are missing, and Chascadians are being blamed.
Silvie’s legacy and family reputation are at stake.
Will she be able to find and stop who’s responsible?
And will it be enough to convince the worlds?

2

Rose fabric whipped in the wind.

Feminine laughter cut through excited chatter and the tinkling of plates and glasses. A young man looked up from his plate of grape leaves stuffed with rice. Squinting, he wiped his fingers on a cloth napkin.

The voice had come from outside, through an open café window.

A figure wearing a hooded cloak waved, then walked closer. When near enough to peer inside the window, the figure smiled. The young man’s eyes widened at how the person’s plump, rounded lips curved at the edges. Her lips and chin, and overall stature were decidedly female.

But he couldn’t see her eyes. A hood draped well past her nose. He wondered how she’d seen him well enough to have waved.

The young man cleared his throat. “Do I know you?” he said, his words thick with the inflection of Chascadia.

When he received no answer, he swiped a hand across the side of his head, along hair smoothed back, ending in a tail that burst into a cascade of dark curls.

“Are you hungry?” he said.

The figure shook her head back and forth.

“Thirsty?”

No answer.

“Will you sit with me?”

Finally, a nod.

The young man waited while she walked through the entrance and appeared before his table, all the while wondering how she could see where she was going.

“Are you well?” he said, gesturing for her to sit down.

She pulled at a chair, and silently landed on its pillowed seat.

The young man cleared his throat. “I’m Julian. Welcome to my family’s restaurant.”

The figure smiled. “Julian Nakos?”

Despite the sweetness of her voice, he paled. “How did you know my name?”

Laughing, she pointed a finger at a menu on the table. In scripted letters across the top, it said Nakos Kitchen.

His cheeks colored for the faintest moment before he joined her laughter.

“Of course,” he said. “Have you been here before?”

She shook her head.

“You don’t say much, do you?”

Her lips twisted into a smirk.

Julian exhaled a shaky breath. His gaze flickered to his plate of half eaten food. “If you’re not hungry, is there some other business you have here?”

Another nod.

“How may I help?”

She exhaled, then placed a square package, wrapped in paper, on the tabletop.

“A delivery for the restaurant?”

When she shook her head, he pointed to himself. “For me?”

She gave him a wide smile, displaying a brilliant set of teeth.

With creased brow, he reached for the package and slid it toward himself. Given her lack of response so far, he didn’t bother asking what it was. Not knowing its contents, he was unsure whether he should express gratitude.

He squinted at the package, then slipped a finger inside a folded flap.

At the sound of her chair’s screech against the floor, he looked up again.

She was already at the door.

“Wait!” His own voice echoed in his ears, but she didn’t look back.

Frowning, Julian sliced through the wrapping paper, which held a wooden box. He lifted the clasp that connected the box’s lid to its base, then sucked in a breath.

A gemstone, the size of his fist, shone from inside a lining of black velvet. With trembling fingers, he pulled the gem free. Light blue, and shimmering, the object had been shaped like an anatomical heart.

Julian peered through the object, admiring its workmanship and its clarity. He could see through it perfectly. His lips wrinkled at how his fingers left prints, smudging the beauty of the object.

He lifted a clean napkin from the table and smeared the fingerprints. With the napkin as protection, he cradled the object in his hands. Why would anyone give me such a treasure?

He had no idea what it was. Or what it could do.

The café door slammed open.

Julian lifted his eyes from the gemstone. Two men, dressed in official garb, had entered the building and were barreling toward him. One had several medals attached to his sash, the other had eyes that were on fire. The man with the medals pointed to Julian’s hands.

“There it is—the object we’ve been looking for,” he growled. “Arrest him.”

Before Julian could react, the man with the fiery eyes had twisted Julian’s hands behind his back. Cold metal enclosed both wrists.

“It was a gift,” said Julian, his voice choked.  

A gift from someone I don’t know and who wouldn’t tell me her name. A sinking feeling seized his gut as he realized his foolishness. He shouldn’t have touched the object, accepted it from a stranger.

He’d been trapped.

“Gifts like this aren’t given to men like you. This is a disgrace to Chascadia.”

Julian paled. “What have I done?”

“You are in possession of stolen property, an unofficial travel object of time.”

* * *

You saw it here first! Drop a line in the comments to let me know what you think.

Sign up for newsletter alerts to get an email when Teardrop Moons releases.

Read the beginning of Silvie’s story in Darker Stars (The Song of Everywhen, #1)

Read the beginning of Calla’s story in Travel Glasses (The Call to Search Everywhen, #1)

Teardrop Moons—Chapter 1

*This is not the final edited version. Story content may change before this book releases. Sign up for newsletter updates to get a message when Teardrop Moons (The Song of Everywhen, #2) becomes available.

A new thief is born.

Time travel objects are missing, and Chascadians are being blamed.
Silvie’s legacy and family reputation are at stake.
Will she be able to find and stop who’s responsible?
And will it be enough to convince the worlds?

1

Hearts Apart

“I’m sorry,” I told Sloe. “I guess you don’t travel to Aboreal much anymore.”

“Not since Raven stopped talking to me.”

“That’s sad.” I meant what I said, too. Part of me might have been jealous if Sloe were still seeing his ex-girlfriend, but I accepted their friendship. They’d known each other for a long time.

I also wasn’t sure what he and I were to each other. Or what we’d become.

Sloe sighed. His lovely lavender eyes lowered. “I didn’t mean to have her out of my life completely. So it was her choice, not mine.”

“I guess you can’t force someone to talk to you.”

“Or visit.”

Or like you, I thought. I reached out with my healing talent moments before my hand brushed his shoulder. I sprang back when he shook his head.

“Sorry,” I said. “Reflexive habit.”

“I know. See you tomorrow?”

“Only if you want to. I’ll be at the hospital all day. Javis has taken on extra studies—more lessons from Father, actually. They’ve been busy. Seems like they’re growing closer, too.”

“That’s good,” he mumbled. “Thanks, Silvie.”

I smiled and waved good-bye, all while keeping my distance. The last thing I wanted was another awkward hug or peck on the cheek. It had been a long time since Sloe had kissed me. And no matter how hurt he seemed, he dodged my attempts to heal him.

All he wanted to do was sit around and talk, which usually meant moping about Raven.

He insisted on seeing me every day. Was he lonely without her? Or, maybe, he simply didn’t want to be alone. I wondered if he still feared Yannan and the cloaked men. I hadn’t heard much about them in a long time. I’d assumed the TSTA had taken care of them—charged them with whatever they could come up with, and that they were prisoners for life.

At one time, a convicted traveler with a travel talent had two choices—pay a ridiculously expensive fine or go on a dangerous travel mission to seek the Lost. Prison was only an option for those without a travel talent. Or so my Father told me.

Times had changed.

Travel talents evolved and the use of unofficial objects had become so prevalent that it was difficult to tell who was a traveler with travel talents and who was not. Someone basically had to admit to not having a travel talent.

Oftentimes, such an admission was made with shame.

* * *

You’ve seen it here first! Drop a line in the comments to let me know what you think.

Sign up for newsletter alerts to get an email when Teardrop Moons releases.

Read the beginning of Silvie’s story in Darker Stars (The Song of Everywhen, #1)

Read the beginning of Calla’s story in Travel Glasses (The Call to Search Everywhen, #1)

 

Teardrop Moons cover reveal

Book 2 of The Song of Everywhen is in production!

What do you think of this gorgeous cover by Mayhem Cover Creations?

A new thief is born.

Time travel objects are missing, and Chascadians are being blamed. Silvie’s legacy and family reputation are at stake. Will she be able to find and stop who’s responsible? And will it be enough to convince the worlds?

I expect Teardrop Moons to release in late 2018 or early 2019.

In the meantime, sign up for newsletter notifications to get a message when the book is live.

Here’s a little side-by-side so you can see how beautifully this series is shaping up.

Darker Stars (The Song of Everywhen, #1) is available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and more!

Darker Stars Paperback #Giveaway on Goodreads!

Darker Stars (The Song of Everywhen, #1) will release on Jan. 2. I can hardly wait! In the meantime, there’s a giveaway for a signed paperback copy on Goodreads.

Enter before it closes Dec. 31:

DARKER STARS GIVEAWAY

Keep your eyes on this blog. Mayhem Cover Creations is putting together Darker Stars teasers that I look forward to sharing with you soon!

Lantern: The Complete Collection—available to preorder!

Whew! I wanted to get this out for everyone to enjoy this Halloween. It’s been a scramble, but I’d like to think it’s worth it. For the first time ever, all my Lantern novellas are packaged together in one collection.

Experience three different stories, all with a connection to a certain mysterious lamp maker.

Tori discovers a lantern that shines for her and nobody else. Is it a ghost or a living being that must be set free?

Serah unseals a globe made of Celestial Glass. Does success bring her happiness or create more trouble than it’s worth?

Evelyn meets Graham after attending a party where a lantern burns out. Who lights the way to pull the other through?

Preorder for Kindle, Kobo, and more!

Save

Interview: Literary Classics Award Winner, Patricia Reding

Author, Patricia Reding, won two medals in this year’s Literary Classics Book Awards contest. Her novel, Ephemeral & Fleeting: The Oathtaker Series, Volume Three, took Silver in both High School Fantasy and College Fantasy. Oathtaker: The Oathtaker Series, Volume One was a 2015 Gold winner, and Select: The Oathtaker Series, Volume Two, was a 2016 Silver winner, both for fantasy/young adult.

Congratulations on your achievements! When did you first start writing?

Thank you so much, Chess, for inviting me, and thank you for the well wishes!

I’ve always written, but for many years did not do any creative writing to speak of. Then about a decade ago, after reading a truly extraordinary fantasy series, I found myself floundering, trying to find stories that would live up to the level of that series in terms of the character development, the element of surprise, and so on. At the same time, I didn’t find myself attracted to fantasy stories that required a glossary to be able to identify what was happening, or that used names for people and places that were so odd that I was unable to pronounce them. For me, stories that do these things make for slow and tedious reads, as I find I must stop regularly to re-read and to do some figuring, just to get to the crux of the matter. After some time of frustration, I decided I’d try myself. I wanted to know if I could tell a full-length story that was of the type I would read—and that was in the nature of what I would/could encourage my (then young teenage) daughters to read. My intention was to illustrate life principles in a fantasy world, thereby potentially influencing young people in ways that would encourage them to do the best they could do and to be the best they could be.

What’s the target age group for your books?

The target audience is really young women 15 and up—but I’ve had readers as young as 13, and as old as 80. Those on both extremes have thoroughly enjoyed the stories. This is a difficult balancing act, as to reach young readers, you need characters young enough that they may identify with them, while to reach older readers, you need a story “real” enough for them not to feel that it is only for a school-aged audience.

What inspired your award-winning books?

The 2017 award winner, Ephemeral and Fleeting, is the third in a fantasy series (in which more installments are yet to come). In each story, I illustrate one or more life principles that I think are worthy of attention. In Oathtaker, Volume One, I addressed the importance of being true to your word, as well as the difficulty that one may experience to do so—and the glory that may come of making the right decisions. In Select, Volume Two, I addressed the importance of determining your life calling—identifying that thing that you and only you are called to do. Ephemeral and Fleeting, Volume Three, was my attempt at addressing the issue of the power people have over life and death. Sometimes the power comes from extraordinary circumstances (or to magic, even!), while in other cases, it is about life decisions that we make.

Describe one of your characters with a cliché or a famous quote.

Reigna (yes, this is spelled correctly, as her name is derived from the word “reign”):

“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse . . . A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice; a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice—is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself . . .”

–John Stuart Mill

Do you have plans to, or have you already, released audio editions of your books?

Yes, as a matter of fact, I do have plans for audio books. I’ve wanted to do the audio myself and have been working on Volume One for some time!

Who would you cast as the voice actor for your main character?

I guess since I’m working on the audio books myself, the answer to this question would be “me.” Notwithstanding, when Volume One first placed in a contest, WindDancer Films also chose it for further review. I gave some thought to what I would want to do if I had to consider the person to play Mara, the main protagonist in the series (if the story was to be filmed). Mara is a young woman who, for the most part, I did not describe in Oathtaker—with one notable exception. I mention that she has a spattering of freckles across her nose. Dixon finds them amusing—attractive. The “face” I chose for Mara on my cover is that of Mybelin Hernandez. She does not have freckles, but I imagine if she ever played the part of Mara, we could add them.

I find her quite lovely—and interesting. What I don’t know, is if she acts, as well!

Who are some of your favorite YA and/or children’s book authors?

As is true of so many, I thoroughly enjoyed the Harry Potter Series, which matured from mid-grade reads to YA reads with the last additions to the series. I also quite enjoyed (and especially loved the movies for) The Hunger Games. I liked Kristin Cashore’s Graceling when I read it some years ago, and Tamora Pierce’s Trickster books (Daughter of the Lioness Series) also are intriguing. For kids books, my choices will date me a bit . . . I love the Junie B Jones books (and OH, what fun they are to read out loud!), the A Series of Unfortunate Events series, and so many more!

Do you have any quirky writing habits?

I don’t think so . . . except that I learned some time ago that I can most easily avoid that feeling of “writer’s block” coming upon me if I follow one simple procedure. That is, whenever I leave my writing for a day, I leave it mid-sentence or mid-paragraph—or at a minimum, mid-scene, if at all possible. The reason is because when I then sit down the next time, I can start right in with finishing that thought and it seems to move more quickly from there. If I do otherwise, too often I find myself staring a blank screen wondering where to go next.

How do you balance writing with book promotion and everything else there is to do in life?

Ha! Not nearly as well as I wish I did. The hardest part for me is the promotion—not because I don’t have good ideas about what to do, but because efforts geared at the marketing/promotional end seem to take the most time. I still work a day job—and with two in college, continue to have significant added “living” costs. (Yes, there are tuition costs for them, but there are also living expenses, rent, groceries, cell phones fees, health insurance premiums, health costs, car insurance premiums, and so on, and so on, and so on!) Interestingly, I was just looking at some charts the other day that are supposed to calculate when you can retire. I’m not getting my hopes up, at this point . . . Still, I’d like to think that when the day comes that I’m not supporting so many others, I might be able to write on a more full-time basis. At that point, maybe taking time out for marketing endeavors will come easier.

While we are on the subject of marketing, I would like to mention an interesting program called Bublish. Whereas readers get to leave their thoughts by virtue of their reviews., etc., Bublish is a tool that allows authors to share the background to their stories—their reasoning, or whatever else might be interesting about their writing. Find examples of some of the book bubbles I’ve posted, see: (for Oathtaker) https://www.bublish.com/bubble/stream/12594; (for Select) https://www.bublish.com/bubble/stream/12631; and (for Ephemeral and Fleeting) https://www.bublish.com/bubble/stream/12688. Fun. Right?

Do you have anything special you’d like to say to your readers or fellow award-winning authors?

Oh, but of course! (We authors always have something to say—especially if we can do it in writing!) I would like to say, “Thank you” for taking the time with me here. Thank you for reading and following The Oathtaker Series. I always love to hear from readers—particularly when they are in the midst of the story. It’s such fun to watch it unfold through their eyes. You see a reader’s experience with a story is so different from the author’s own. You might say that we never really get to read our stories “for the first time.” So, please contact me on my website, Facebook, or elsewhere, and let me know if you’re enjoying the journey!

Author Bio

Multi-award winning author Patricia Reding leads a double life. By day, she practices law. By night, she reads, reviews a wide variety of works, and writes fantasy. She lives on an island on the Mississippi with her husband and youngest daughter (her son and oldest daughter having already flown the nest), and Flynn Rider (an English Cream Golden Retriever). From there she seeks to create a world in which she can be in two places at once. She took up writing The Oathtaker Series as a challenge and re-discovered along the way, the joy of storytelling

Learn more about this author and her writing on Goodreads, Booklikes, Google+, Instagram, and Twitter.

Award-Winning Book

A Lost Freedom. An Ephemeral Existence. A Profound Mystery.

After Mara and her charges, Reigna and Eden—the ranking twin members of the first family of the Select—discover the twins’ unparalleled magic powers, they return to the City of Light. There they train with the Oathtaker forces, preparing a response to the ongoing threat from Zarek, the evil leader of Chiran. But when a traitor in their midst discloses their plans to visit the realm’s border for a closer look, they are captured and imprisoned. Stripped of her Oathtaker’s blade, Mara soon discovers that an unknown power bars her ability to use her attendant magic to escape, or to free the twins.

As Mara’s dreams endeavor to inform her of events to transpire, as her cohorts labor to decipher ancient prophecy, as the twins learn of the power of a magic artifact they carry, and as Lucy struggles to uncover the traitor in their midst, Dixon’s rescue attempt takes shape. Meanwhile, Zarek’s son—the twins’ cousin, Broden—seeks to assist his father’s prisoners. But before he can do so, Mara discovers that the loss of her charges is only one painful outcome that could come to pass.

Escape is impossible; survival, questionable; loss, inevitable.

And yet . . . things are not always what they seem.

Author Patricia Reding continues to engage readers with unexpected twists and a plot which sears with vivid details of events that will keep readers on the edge of their seats in hopeful anticipation of another installment in this fantasy series. Literary Classics Book Awards

Find links to all books in this award-winning series on Patricia Reding’s website.

Read more about the 2017 Literary Classics Book Awards contest winners on my Interviews page and the Literary Classics website.

Save

Interview: Literary Classics Award Winner, Lynne Stringer

Stringer’s novel, Once Confronted, won Silver in College Fiction in the 2017 Literary Classics Book Awards contest! Learn more about this author and her award-winning book below.

Congratulations on your achievement! When did you first start writing?

I started writing when I was about eight, penning a little book called Goldie the Pony. It was written in felt-tip pen and I remember loving the experience of writing a book. I tried to write a few novels in my teens but didn’t manage to complete a full-length manuscript until I was in my twenties. Interestingly, the book that became Once Confronted was the third full-length original story I ever wrote.

What’s the target age group for your books?

Seventeen years and up, although I think teens of any age would enjoy it and I know many adults have!

What inspired your award-winning book?

Once Confronted was first written seven years after I was the victim of an armed robbery. I’d been exploring the storyline in my head for some time, and I think it came from the desire to be more like my protagonist, Madison Craig. She’s far braver than me and I wished I had that kind of bravery myself.

Describe one of your characters with a cliché or a famous quote.

Be the change that you wish to see in the world.

Do you have plans to, or have you already, released an audio edition of your book?

I’d like to but considering the level of quality I’d want I daresay I wouldn’t be able to afford it!

Who would you cast as the voice actor for your main character?

Emilie de Ravin, especially since she’s Australian. She wouldn’t have trouble with the accent. 🙂

Who are some of your favorite YA and/or children’s book authors?

Enid Blyton inspired me to write as a child. I’ve also loved LM Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott, Veronica Rossi and Stephenie Meyer.

Do you have any quirky writing habits?

I differ from many other authors in the fact that I hate writing outlines and refuse to use them. The only outline I have is in my head and often the characters take control once I start writing.

How do you balance writing with book promotion and everything else there is to do in life?

It’s hard to find a balance, that’s for sure, especially since I need to have a job that earns money and writing doesn’t often do that! Fortunately, I work as a professional editor so that keeps my writing skills honed.

Do you have anything special you’d like to say to your readers or fellow award-winning authors?

Never give up.

Author Bio

Lynne Stringer has been passionate about writing all her life. She was the editor of a small newspaper (later magazine) for seven years, and currently works as a professional editor and proofreader.

Lynne wrote her debut novel, The Heir (Verindon #1), in 2010. It was quickly followed by two sequels to complete the Verindon trilogy, a YA sci-fi romance series. Her latest book, Once Confronted, is a contemporary drama set in Australia and was released in October 2016.

For more information on Lynne, her books and her writing, visit her website: www.lynnestringer.com. You can also connect with her on Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, YouTube, and Pinterest.

Award-Winning Book

After a normal day turns disastrous, Madison Craig tries to put her life back together. She’s jumping at shadows and finds even familiar places terrifying. Can she forgive the men who hurt her? Her friend Evan Mansfield sees no need to do anything but hate their assailants. He struggles with bitterness, but Maddy wants to move on. What will she do when one of the men asks for forgiveness?

“Once Confronted is a moving story that sheds light on the trauma experienced by victims of assault.  Author Lynne Stringer has crafted a powerful book with an important message of healing and forgiveness.” Literary Classics Book Awards

This book is available on Amazon.

Save

Save