Sunday, October 10, 2021

WIP Aesthetics Part One

(Images via Pinterest)

Welcome to the first post in my new blogging series talking about the aesthetics of my current projects. I don't know about you, but I'm a sucker for proper aesthetics. I have spent far more time on Pinterest than I would care to admit; and honestly one of the things that I have to figure out before I can work on a book alongside characters, plot, and romance is actually aesthetics. I have mood boards, and story themed playlists, and I can't work on stories unless the vibe is right. So I thought I would take some time to talk about the said vibe for each of my stories.

I'm currently working on four major projects now that OSaS is off getting edited (don't forget to sign up for its cover reveal!). Those stories are... Rage Like the Gods, A Tale of Gods and Glory, A Season of Subterfuge, Courtiers and War Councils, and A Matter of Curiosity. Curiously (see what I did there?) enough, these stories all take place in only two worlds with RLtG and AToGaG being connected by the common world of Ruskhazar and SoS and MoC by Amar.

I figured there was no better way to start this off than by talking about Rage Like the Gods. I feel like this may be the story I talk about the most on this blog so you are already probably pretty familiar with it. But just in case, before we get into the aesthetics, best to share what this story is even about.

Genre: High Fantasy and Romance

The fantasy world Ruskhazar is inspired by Viking and Russian civilizations as well as their myths.

I wouldn't say that the romance is a heavy element in this book but it's definitely there. And while it isn't always the main focus there are definitely parts of this story that do focus on it.

Elevator pitch: Ruskhazar is the harsh and beautiful home of men and elves. But the end of the world is coming and the living will fall to their own ancestors unless five unlikely heroes, chosen by the gods, accept their destiny and save a world that never had any place for them.

Character vibes: now this is a long one. RLtG has five main characters (the sequel will have six and hooo boy what an adventure that will be) and on top of each character having a different vibe, their POVs are also all very different in tone.

(All character aesthetic pictures via Pinterest)

Eirik Gaelson
A bard.
A thief.
A lover, rather than a fighter.
The half-elf son of a farmer and an alchemist.
Luckier than most, and yet still searches for his place in this world.
Winsome and charming, Eirik was chosen by the god of humanity, harvest, life and death

His POV's aesthetic is: forests and thieves, Robin Hood, and mistaken identities, the rogue playing the hero, and the thrill of falling in love

Thyre NoName
A former bandit, outlaw, and outcast
Assassin in the order of the Family of Blood
Werewolf of the Skollvagr clan
A lonely heart just looking for love.
The mountains are her home and of them she is proud.
Daughter of a gravedigger and last of a name no longer spoken, Thyre was chosen by the god of time, guardian of Skyhold

Her POV's aesthetic is murder and bloodshed, honor and dignity. Lots of Viking vibes and a werewolf hierarchy. Assassins and mountains, as well as love and elopement feature here.

Meruna Kotov
The student.
The Magicker to be.
Born with magic in her veins and magic in her heart.
The wealthy heiress with the golden eyes
She swore an oath of nonviolence, one she would rather die than break
Kind hearted and full of principle, she was chosen by the goddess of the virtues and magic

Her POV's aesthetic is magic and murder. There's a serial killer in the school. Dark academia vibes and a greater focus on the religious system of this world. Rivals to friends to possibly something more

Dagmy of the Deserts
Exile, Warrior, Mercenary
Monster Hunter
Taciturn and full of regrets, she will stop at nothing to become a legend
Experienced with a blade, and yet not in the way of monsters
Is used to extreme heat, not cold
Beautiful and harsh she was chosen by the goddess of beauty, lies, and carnal beasts

Her aesthetic is war and fighting, monsters. Blood and honor. Sands and snow. The first glance of a new world and the naivety of an outsider. It has vampires and the horrors they instill.

Azern, servant of the Lady of Light
Higher Elf, Sorceress, Werewolf
Azern is forever marked an outcast in Ruskhazar because of her birth, beliefs, and situation but she is the only one actually focused on saving it
There's madness in her mind but goodness in her heart
Cursed to see things that are to come, but powerless to change them, the weight of it all has caused her mind to crack
Dedicated and loyal Azern was chosen by the demigod of dawn, new beginnings, and protection against the end

Her POV's aesthetic is a cross between Thyre's werewolf hierarchy and Meruna's dark academia vibes. However it adds in the twist of madness, hidden identities, and forbidden sorceries.

RLtG obviously has a very large cast so I'm not going to list all of the supporting characters, but some note worthy ones are... the lady knight who hates thieves but loves Eirik, a shy and kind werewolf who doesn't quite fit in with his bloodthirsty pack, a rule oriented magicker werewolf who hates the creature inside, a powerful magic user just looking for a good time, and an obstinate half-Highlander pursuing magic despite his natural immunity to it.


(All pictures via Pinterest)

This world is the bloody and snowy, home of warring classes and feuding magic systems. It has beautiful mountains and northern lights and lots of lovely things, while still being the world of necromancers and monsters and some unholy things.

In this world monsters roam and magic can be bought. It is a home to assassins, bandits, monster hunters, and mercenaries. There are vampires and werewolves, two kinds of monsters that mortal men or elves can end up becoming with a single bite. However, there are also the monsters of old... shapeshifters, krakens, and dragons that were long ago wiped out only for them to rise again in this age of necromancy. A giant guards the borders of Ruskhazar, joined only by his faithful companion, his loyal hound. The gods only rarely interfere in the mortal sphere, choosing to remain in their home of Skyhold instead.

Mountains circle around a valley and a sea surrounds the mountains. Prisoners are shipped off to work in the spice mines on islands across the sea, and the peninsula itself houses many exiles from the desert lands to the south. Its cities are in the center of the valley, with estates ruled by lords extending to the mountains, at the foot of the mountains and within them are villages ruled by chieftains in the traditional Highlander way.

Highlanders, Lowlanders, Lower Elves, and Higher Elves all live together under the façade peace.

It is the only place magic can be found and its great Academy of Magickers trains many a promising student.

To keep this post from getting too long I'll cut it off here. Obviously this is a long book and each character is very unique (for instance Meruna has a bodyguard who is a sassy warrior nun who would sell her soul for a loaf of read) so there's a lot of different aesthetics I'm missing, but if I broke all that down we'd be here all day so I thought I would focus on giving just a general view. If you're interested in more aesthetics you can check out my Rage Like the Gods Playlist and Mood Board.

Hopefully you enjoyed this, next week we'll delve into Amar. Comment below to let me know what you think of RLtG's aesthetics and this whole series I'm doing!

Also, I now have a newsletter you can sign up to that here and you'll receive a free copy of Rage Like the Gods' prequel Between Gods and Demigods.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

A Super Informative Post

The sign-up sheet for the cover reveal of OSaS is finally up: Sign up here!

Okay, now that is out of the way I have a bit of an admission to make. So there's been a slight change of plans. And yes I'm sure you're all so surprised by now because I never ever change my plans suddenly and unexpectedly and in the span of only one week. I say this all rather sarcastically, but it's fine. I'm adaptable and so too must be my plans.

But before I get into that slight change of plan, I have a HUGE announcement to make. After a week of wrestling with formatting and cover sizes and being really really grumpy my books are finally out in hardback.

Now I don't know about you, but hardback has always been my favorite format for books, they're just so sturdy and heavy and can be feasibly used as a weapon if you don't have anything else handy. I was always quite broken up over the fact that my own books couldn't be hardbacks, I considered republishing through Lulu or Ingram Spark just because they had hardback options, but before I could make up my mind on what I wanted to do, KDP finally developed a way to release hardbacks. Now unfortunately still no dust jackets yet, but I'm still pretty excited about them being in hardbacks now.

You can check them out here!

All of my books should be listed there now except for perhaps Winter Cursed which is still giving me some trouble. Now a quick note, originally I had been planning on publishing my Amar and Winter Cursed books as 8.5 by 5.5 since it was the closest size to their paperbacks (8.5 by 5.25) however that was not the default size that KDP had and I ran into so much trouble trying to convert those files to that size that I just decided you know what, screw this and that I was going to just publish all my hardbacks as 6 by 9 which was the default size. Unfortunately prior to my deciding this, A Winter Grim and Lonely published with absolutely no trouble whatsoever as a 8.5 by 5.5, and after a book is published you cannot change its size, so AWGAL is going to be about half an inch smaller than everything else on each size and does it bother me? Yeah, a little bit, but that's what it gets for being the unproblematic one. It gets to be different from the rest.

Now onto the change of plans...

I mentioned last week that I was planning on trying to plow through to the end of the Of Dreams and Nightmares Trilogy and publish ODaF earlier than next fall. Well, that's the plan that has changed. I still have relatively few ideas for ODaF and even less inspiration. I was going to try to push through it anyway, but eventually I decided that I owed Jaye and Ravven better than a half baked conclusion. So I'm going to take my time to work on that one and not try to speed write it for NaNo or anything. With that said I don't know what the heck I'm going to work on for NaNo so that is going to be fun... Hopefully I'll have decided on something by the end of the month.

In the meantime I'll be working on trying to wrap up RLtG and AToGaG.

I've also decided to pick up Season of Subterfuge and finally get around to editing that beast. Before RLtG, it was the longest book I'd ever written and I kinda skipped some parts in there because I didn't know what exactly to write *whoops* so it's definitely going to get longer as I add those scenes. With all that said, I'm optimistic. If I can finally finish editing and publish AWDAD then I can do the same for SoS.

I've missed the world of Amar and my four chaotic main characters so much, it's really so comforting to return to this story. And with SoS comes Matter of Curiosity the sequel to its sister series that takes on an Alice in Wonderland twist. MoC hasn't been able published until SoS is released because that boook is where both series start to intertwine and there's spoilers. I'm not entirely sure if I'll actually get to MoC specifically this month (it's one of the contenders to be my NaNo project this year); it's been so long since I wrote and published book one that I'm actually rereading ACSoM to help refresh my memory of everything that has happened. Depending on how long that takes I may be starting it this month and I'll definitely be brainstorming the ending of that duology.

I've also decided on my next blogging series to work on, that being the aesthetics of my stories, specifically the four stories I'm currently working on. The two from Amar and two from Ruskhazar. Pretty excited about that because I don't know about you, but I definitely like aesthetics way more than is probably heathy. This series will take me into the first week of November, hopefully by then I'll have figured out what I'm working on so I can do some NaNo themed posts then.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

What I did in September

I didn't get quite as much done this month as I would have liked due to a bout of bad health and some unforeseen situations arising. The first couple of weeks of September chewed me up and spat me back out which I think was rather rude of them, but ah well, what's done is done. Also I reached the end of my prescheduled blog posts so I'm actually typing this up right now in the present days away from when I am actually supposed to post it. I really liked prescheduling, kept my time free to do more writing while not totally abandoning this blog so I'm probably going to try to do that again (especially for November).

I did have some wins this month though...

I finished my first POV in Rage Like the Gods. My stubborn idealistic academy magicker student Meruna's story has been shelved until book two. Only four more POVs to wrap up and then I'm done with this book. My thief boy bard Eirik's POV is almost done, but I'm not quite as close as I would like to be with the last three. Really want to try to get that done in October though.

Speaking of what else I would like to have done in October... A Tale of Gods and Glory. The going has been a tad slower for that one than I would have liked, but I'm hoping to really knuckle down and get it done next month. That story is sitting at 20k currently, I'm not exactly sure how long it is going to be but am I naïve to hope that it will be shorter than 100k? (the answer to that is probably, there's quite a bit that happens in the three year timespan that this story takes place over, but I'm really trying to give more of an overview of what is happening and not get bogged down by the little details that get me every time)

I finished editing Of Stars and Shadows! And guess what, true to form Of Stars and Shadows grew (I have a bad habit of adding to my word count exponentially while editing, don't ask me how, I only added a few scenes...), it is no longer 73,000 words long but is now over 90k. It's still my shortest full length novel completed, but it's almost 20k longer than it used to be so progress. I sent that off to my editor and beta readers so currently it is out of my hands, giving me more time to focus on RLtG and AToGaG. I also contacted my cover designer and hopefully will have a cover to reveal very soon. I'll be looking for people to take part in that soon, but I don't have any official dates yet. Hopefully I'll have something more conclusive and maybe even a sign up sheet by next week.

Also, I decided that with the end of this trilogy in sight that I wanted to just plow through, start book three Of Dawn and Fire and maybe try to publish that earlier than the next fall that I had been anticipated. I haven't 100% made up my mind yet, but I think I'm going to make ODaF my NaNo project this year (it follows with the proud legacy—OGaI was my NaNo project in 2018, and OSaS was my Camp NaNo project for this year). Now obviously I can't share very much about it because the second book isn't even out yet and of course there are spoilers abounding in book three, but I can share that this book is going to have some slight horror elements, war, and of course Jaye and Ravven fighting a lot. Also the aesthetic collage I made for it...

(images via Pinterest, all credit to their original creators)

I'm so excited for the cooler weather. I love fall with all of my heart. I haven't cracked out my sweaters as of me writing this because it hasn't quite been cold enough for that yet, but I've been eyeing up my hoodies and joggers with much anticipation.

Also can I just say that I love the spooky atmosphere of October? Seems like the perfect time to finally finish up my werewolf story with cults and shapeshifting monsters (AToGaG); start a faerie story about war and creepy spirits (ODaF); and finish up another book with one werewolf MC fighting a werewolf turf war, another MC who is going to turn into a werewolf, a MC who is currently a vampire, and the last MC who fancies himself to be Robin Hood (RLtG).

Also I've been mulling over a new project. I'm not going to announce it until I have something more substantial to go on, but I might just end up having two secret projects going into the new year...

So yeah, that's what I've been up to and what I'm going to be up to. How has this past month treated you? Any plans for October? Are you planning on doing NaNo this year? Comment below!

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Never have I ever tag... the writer's edition

Tag, I'm it. Time for you all to learn all of my deep dark secrets.

First the rules...

Link and thank the blogger who tagged you. Thanks Grace!

Include the graphic somewhere in the post (or make your own!)

Answer the questions truthfully and honestly.

Tag 3 bloggers. To that I reply nah, mate, I'm good. Probably the thing I'm going to become known for in the blogging community is the fact that I never tag anyone. Whoops. Oh well.

Now onto my secrets...

…started a novel that I didn’t finish.

Oh boy have I. Like just counting the ones that I actually remember and plan to write someday there is quite a few. But the ones that I fully intend to leave lost to the ages? Yikes. I don't even want to think of all the half scribbled pages of cringeworthy garbage underneath my bed or buried on my old computer's hard drive *shudders*

…written a story completely by hand.

Yes, Week of Werewolves. And can I just say? Never again.

…changed tenses midway through a story.

I have changed tenses midway through a paragraph. Heck, why stop at tenses? I've also changed persons. It's the woes of working on multiple projects. I go from one story that is third person, past tense and to the next which is first person, present and I end up writing something that looks like this:

I know what responsibility is. I have always been taught to put my tribe first. But what if that's just what they teach everyone so that they keep us under their control? She pondered this, but then realized that someone was watching her. She quickly schooled her features praying that they would not give away her guilt

(and no this is not a snippet from anything, I just typed it up from nothing to be an example)

…not researched anything before starting a story.

Every. Single. Time. Because I never research until I'm like halfway through a paragraph describing someone's lunch and I'm like WHAT SORT OF THINGS DO VIKINGS EAT FOR LUNCH??? DID THEY EVEN EAT LUNCH??? WHERE DID THE WORD LUNCH COME FROM??? WHAT ARE WORDS EVEN??? AHHHHHH!!!!!

…changed my protagonist’s name halfway through a draft.

Um, no I don't think I've done this actually. The closest I have come is in Week of Werewolves my main character's name is Chelsea Jean Welling and everyone called her CJ but I changed it so that only like two people called her CJ, and another character called her Chels. But those are just nickname alterations, nothing so grand as changing my character's whole name. (although I may misspell them from time to time)

…written a story in a month or less.

Pfft, I wish.

…fallen asleep while writing.

I don't fall asleep while doing anything. Like I only fall asleep if I am in a perfectly quiet, absolutely dark environment—and also it has to be my bed.

…corrected someone’s grammar IRL/online.

Unfortunately, yes. I swear I'm not pretentious! I use incorrect grammar as well and then I turn around and am like, "actually it is were not was."

…yelled in all caps at myself in the middle of my novel.

I know a lot of people make notes for themselves for when they come back to that point in their novel, but that must be a Google Docs joke that I am too Wordpress to understand.

…used “I’m writing” as an excuse.

Yes, and what a perfectly valid excuse it was.

…killed a character that was based on someone I know in real life.

Not as of yet, but believe me there are a few people I know in real life who I'm dangerously close to doing that to.

…used pop culture references in a story.

Does mentioning Pirates of the Caribbean once count? I think that probably counts. *shrugs*

…written between the hours of 1 a.m. and 6 a.m.

Nah, mate, I'm sleeping then. If I am awake between the hours of 1 and 6 a.m. then for the good of your safety I suggest you better run.

…drank an entire pot of coffee while writing.

Ew, no. I know it's like a huge writer stereotype that we live and breathe coffee and stuff, but caffeine and I are not on speaking terms anymore.

…written down dreams to use in potential novels.

Yes, yes I have. In fact Of Gold and Iron was a dream that got turned into a novel. And I have other dreams of mine scribbled down on scrap pieces of paper that I'll probably locate someday.

…published an unedited story on the internet/blog/Wattpad.

I edit the ever loving snot out of my stories and then find typos anyway *facepalms*. So unedited? Nope. Have I published things with typos? Oh, yeah probably.

…procrastinated homework because I wanted to write.

I've been out of school for years, but yes. For my senior year, I actually worked writing into my school schedule. And yes it did come before the majority of my academic studies, but hey I finished like four books that year. Totally worth it.

…typed so long that my wrists hurt.

Um... maybe? I can't think of a specific instance, but I'm sure it's happened. I have weak wrists.

…spilled a drink on my laptop while writing.

EGADS! No, thank heavens. I drink from my magically lidded sippy cups to remain hydrated and keep my laptop from taking a swim.

…forgotten to save my work/draft

Unfortunately... more times than I can count. RIP those files.

…finished a novel.

Actually, I have even managed to publish a few.

…laughed like an evil villain while writing a scene.

I wish I could say yes, but no. Maybe I'll chuckle mildly ominously, but only while reading back through my books, not while writing and not often.

…cried while writing a scene.

I hate to break it to you guys, but I am completely impassive when I'm writing. My face is basically -_- the whole time. I don't laugh, I don't cry. Just -_-  24/7, 365, at one hundred million percent.

…created maps of my fictional worlds.

Oh yeah. I've made a bunch of maps. At least one for every fantasy world I've spent a large part of time writing in. The map for Amar is actually published inside Week of Werewolves and Time of Trepidation.

Said map of Amar, it's the only one not actually scribbled into a lined notebook to be used only for my own reference

…researched something shady for a novel.

Define "shady"...

Whelp that was fun. Hopefully you didn't learn all of my deepest darkest secrets in one day.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

A Little bit of a History Lesson


(images via Pinterest, I take no credit for them)

So today, after announcing my big plans for Ruskhazar last week, I thought I would share a little bit about the Ruskhazarian timeline. As I stated before, all of the books in Ruskhazar take place over about a forty year span of time, but they actually are set in two separate eras.

Ruskhazar itself has four eras.

First Era: The ancient times, there was not even a Ruskhazar at this point. The peninsula was inhabited by two separate clans of feuding elves, but then the Khazars a nomadic tribe of barbarians come in from the south and settle in the valley with one of the clans of elves, the Lower Elves. Around the same time, a tribe of raiders known as the Rus come from a northern island and sailed south before settling in the mountains near the tribe of elves known as Higher Elves. The Rus were an isolated, warlike people and oftentimes would come to the valley to raid the Khazar and Lower Elf cities until finally the Khazars and Lower Elves grew tired of this. They formed a peace treaty and with their combined forces waged a war with the mountain folk, both the Ruses and the Lower Elves' ancient enemies the Higher Elves. This war almost completely wiped the Higher Elves off the map, leaving few survivors and a demolished civilization. The Rus faired somewhat better, but they were forced to become citizens under the Khazar and Lower Elf rule. The Rus eventually became known as the Highlanders and the Khazars Lowlanders. Thus Ruskhazar was formed and the four peoples were united.

Second Era: With the uniting of Ruskhazar, the second era began. It is one of mostly peace and prosperity and simmering tensions. This era lasted 3,000 years and from it come most stories and legends. It is a well-documented era unlike the first, and is still fresh on everyone's minds.

Third Era: A vision from the gods ended the second era, priests across the lands came forward announcing that the third era had begun. This era is the one where most of my books take place in, it is only twenty to thirty years long, but is the most crucial era of them all. This is the era of the end of the world. Marked by an apocalypse foretold long ago, civil war, and the rise of the vampires what happens in this era will determine the fate of Ruskhazar. Either it will crumble under the threat of necromancy and walking dead, be destroyed by bad blood thousands of years in the making, or it will be saved.

Fourth Era: This new era has just dawned and it has yet to be seen what shall become of it. It's full of hope and opportunity and a new start. Since the world that everyone knew may or may not have ended in the third era (I certainly shan't say, if you want to know what happens in the third era, you must read the books).

So last week I shared the current publishing order for the twenty or so books set in Ruskhazar. But technically I divide the stories up into two categories. The third era stories and the fourth era. The third era is what I'm currently working on. Fourth era is yet to come, I may not immediately move onto those books once I finish the third era. I  suppose it depends on how I feel after I finish the third era books. So I thought I would share which stories are third or fourth era so you have a clearer picture of these stories and what they are all about...

The Third Era:

Between Gods and Demigods (Rage Like the Gods #0.5)

A Tale of Gods and Glory

Rage Like the Gods (Rage Like the Gods #1)

The Gods Created Monsters (What the Gods Did #1)

Folly of the Gods (Rage Like the Gods #2)

An Assassin's Guide to Cheating the Gods (Blood of the Gods #1)

Rage Like the Gods #3

What the Gods Did #2

Rage Like the Gods #4

What the Gods Did #3

An Immortal's Guide to Betraying the Gods (Blood of the Gods #2)

What the Gods Did #4

Rage Like the Gods #5

What the Gods Did novella (rumored)

Secret Project (rumored)

The Fourth Era:

Ruskhazar Duology #1

Ruskhazar Standalone

Ruskhazar Duology #2

A Lady's Guide to Defying the Gods (Blood of the Gods #3)

Secret Project (rumored)

As you can see, the majority of the stories in Ruskhazar are in the third era. The image above is a collage made about all of my books taking place in the third era. These books have to do with the rise of necromancy, civil conflict, and the return of the old monsters. It lasts only a little over twenty years. An Assassin's Guide to Cheating the Gods is the first book chronologically and it takes place during the chaotic time of the dawning of a new era and everyone wondering what that will mean. If I end up writing that secret project it will be at the very end of the third era, at the announcement that it is coming to a close.

The fourth era... well, the fourth era has its own problems, but the impending end of the world is not one of them. I shall refrain from saying anything else about the fourth era because as I said, that's still quite a ways away.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

What Nicki Did

 Ah so, this was not actually a part of my summer plans. This was sort of an unexpected addition to everything I had going on, but I'm certainly not complaining.

No, I'm not complaining at all.

So I said I was working on two secret WIPs at the beginning of the summer and that was very true. One was A Tale of Gods and Glory and the other I have still yet to announce. However, a couple of months ago I picked up another WIP. And this other WIP is set in Ruskhazar as well.

There's no point in keeping this a secret from you guys. Ruskhazar has really grown from being just the world that Rage Like the Gods is set in. It ended up getting too big, too complex, with too many facets and I got carried away. I now have seventeen-twenty books (some are not 100% confirmed since they are newer ideas) planned to take place in this world.

And yes, gadzukes that's a big number. It certainly beats Amar's record of eight books planned in one world by quite a bit. But I just love Ruskhazar so much, it may not be the biggest fantasy world as far as landmass, that I have ever created, in fact it's the second smallest (Illesya from Winter Cursed is still the smallest), it's just a peninsula full of mountains inhabited by two clans of men and two clans of elves who all hate each other. Five gods look over the people of Ruskhazar, once there were seven but two killed each other. The demigods are dead. The old monsters are dead. It's a relatively safe place to live in if you don't mind occasionally being mauled by a werewolf or becoming a vampire's snack. That is, it was until recent years, now necromancy is on the rise and consequently it isn't the only thing rising. The dead are coming back and if left unchecked this necromancy will bring about the end of the world.

All of these Ruskhazar books take place in about a forty year timespan centered around this age of the restless dead. They are all directly affected by the state that the world is in. The six books in Rage Like the Gods are about the heroes who were destined to save the world. The other sixteen or so books are about everyone else.

So by now, you're probably asking, what are these other books? Well I'm glad that you asked.

You already know of Rage Like the Gods. That series is six books long counting the prequel novella Between Gods and Demigods which I already wrote and published and you can purchase here.

Then there is A Tale of Gods and Glory one of two standalones set in Ruskhazar, I'm not going to get into the details of the other standalone only that it's well, a standalone set in Ruskhazar, it sort of mirrors and parallels A Tale of Gods and Glory in a sense, but is capable of being read on its own with no real connection between the characters.

There is also the Blood of the Gods trilogy which I introduced late last year.

There will also be a duology which I'm not going to say much about at this moment only that it will be a tale of forbidden love and magical schools.

The purpose of this post is to introduce the fourth series that takes place in Ruskhazar. A four book long series called What the Gods Did (I'm sure you're probably noticing a common theme in these titles seeing as they are all gods something or the other, that's a purposeful thing done in order to connect these series so that you can easily look at my books and know which ones take place in Ruskhazar or not just by their titles).

Well what did the gods do?

The Gods Created Monsters

(yes that's book one's title)

(all images via Pinterest, I take no credit for them)

It's the story of four strangers thrust together to create a small elite group made specifically to hold the end of the world at bay. Ruskhazar is crumbling from the inside out, monsters long since thought extinct are rising with renewed hunger and so a team has been created to hunt down and kill these monsters and keep villages safe until the gods' chosen ones (aka the cast of Rage Like the Gods) finally step forward to save the world and restore everything to the way it was.

This team includes:

Alya a former noble woman whose family was recently brutally murdered by the king's son. Now she will do anything to get a crack at revenge even signing up to hunt monsters for a living.

Conan a guardsman with no real experience in the world who dreams of finding a purpose worth dedicating his life to. Especially since his former employer turned out to be a bit of a psychotic murderer and killed Alya's whole family.

Ikor an esteemed scholar at the Academy of Magickers who may or may not have killed a few people to earn his position, now being blackmailed to join this group or else lose everything he fought for.

Zarynn a silver tongued sorcerer who after being arrested decided that killing monsters was better than being put to death.

And Fluff, Alya's gray tabby cat.

And I'm not exaggerating in the slightest when I say that they are the worst monster hunters that Ruskhazar has ever seen.

This story definitely draws some inspiration from D&D and just how badly a well-meaning party can mess up. It's a tale of monsters, a found family, and a whole lot of chaotic messes.

Rage Like the Gods tells the story of those with the power to save the world, but don't want to do it.

What the Gods Did is about people with absolutely no power to save the world trying their darned best despite it. And failing. But hey, it's the thought that counts.

I made a rough list of the order my Ruskhazar books will be published in so that you can see sort of what it will look like (I am hoping to publish the next three after Between Gods and Demigods next year)

Between Gods and Demigods (Rage Like the Gods #0.5)

A Tale of Gods and Glory

Rage Like the Gods (Rage Like the Gods #1)

The Gods Created Monsters (What the Gods Did #1)

Folly of the Gods (Rage Like the Gods #2)

An Assassin's Guide to Cheating the Gods (Blood of the Gods #1)

Rage Like the Gods #3

What the Gods Did #2

Rage Like the Gods #4

What the Gods Did #3

An Immortal's Guide to Betraying the Gods (Blood of the Gods #2)

What the Gods Did #4

Rage Like the Gods #5

What the Gods Did novella (rumored)

Secret Project (rumored)

Ruskhazar Duology #1

Ruskhazar Standalone

Ruskhazar Duology #2

A Lady's Guide to Defying the Gods (Blood of the Gods #3)

Secret Project (rumored)

And maybe you're looking at this list and thinking, well at least I won't have to wait to long between Rage Like the Gods or What the Gods Did releases on this plan, but there sure are a lot of books between each Blood of the Gods book, what if there is a cliffhanger I will be having to sit on for five other books just to wait for the next Blood of the Gods story? Don't worry, each Blood of the Gods book is roughly a standalone, the characters' stories are complete in each book and indeed chronologically act as the bookends of Ruskhazar. I said that these books take place in a 40 year timeframe, well actually most of them take place around the same time give or take some years. However An Assassin's Guide to Cheating the Gods is set 20 years before the events of Rage Like the Gods. A Lady's Guide to Defying the Gods takes place around 20 years after the events of Rage Like the Gods, while An Immortal's Guide to Betraying the Gods takes place during the events of Rage Like the Gods. So for chronological order's sake they have to be spaced out.

Now I'm not sure if any of you are actually wondering this, but maybe you are and you're thinking wow that's a lot of books and a lot of commitment what if I'm only really interested in reading one series? Well you can do that with these series. There are connections and ties between books, but each series can in fact be read on its own. You wouldn't get the full scope of the depth of this world, but the individual stories themselves would not suffer because of it.

So there you have it, now hopefully you have a better idea on what my plan for Ruskhazar is. Also fun fact all but two of those books listed above actually have titles, however I'm waiting to share those for a later date mwahahaha....

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

I'm a little bit too much in shock to write a proper title for this blog post so you shall simply have to read it for yourself to find out what I've done this time


So... this is finally a reality.

I'm so excited. A Winter Dark and Deadly is published!


I cannot wait to actually hold the finished copy in my hands. I love that cover so much and to have it finally lined up next to my other books, oh my stars, I'm ecstatic.

As anyone who has been following my writing journey for any extended period of time will know, this story was the bane of my existence for some years. It just wouldn't come out right. That finally changed tis past year as it began to drift away from dark fantasy and closer to fairy-tale-esque storytelling. It's ironic, the books in this series that are actually fairy-tale retellings are written like dark fantasy and the one that isn't specifically a fairy-tale is the one with those happily-ever-after-vibes.

There will be one more book published in this world, but I don't know yet when I will write that. The ending of A Winter Dark and Deadly is complete enough on its own that I'm going to take a bit of a break before I pick up book three.

Until then be sure to snag your copy!

It's finally out for the world.

Artist Maddy Moore

Artist Hannah Rogers