Sunday, January 20, 2019

Amar// Collages, Updates, and More!




I promised a post about Amar now didn't I? And since I'm working five days next week I don't really know if or when I'll have time for that, so I'll just put this post up now.

I know with the upcoming release of A Winter Grim and Lonely, that I haven't really been focusing on Amar and while that is true, that doesn't mean that nothing has been happening over there.

First of all, a little bit of an update. I know maMy Time in Amar book two. Believe me, I'm pretty impatient myself. I really wanted this finished long before now, but A Time of Trepidation, Pirates, and Lost Princesses has always been a difficult story. It took me about two years to even write the first draft so... yeah. I am still working on it, I swear! Even if it hasn't been as steadily as I would like. However, I shortly plan on rectifying that.

ny of you are waiting patiently (and sometimes impatiently) for the release of

I don't take and credit for the pictures, they are all from Pinterest


I recently put three books on hold at my library. They are:

These Rebel Waves By Sara Raasch
To Kill a Kingdom By Alexandra Christo
And....

Seafire by Natalie C, Parker

I'm really hoping that these swashbuckling tales will help inspire me to write this story. Especially for the pirate-y aspects that are coming up.

I'm almost halfway though and honestly, I'm really loving this new version of it. I only have one last part to get through and then pirates!

My goal is to have this story finished by July at latest. But if I can get it done earlier than that, you won't hear any complaining from me. A thousand and one thank yous and apologies to my alpha reader (you know who you are). You are so patient with me. I'll start sending you chapters again very soon!

Via Pinterest


And now onto the second part of my update.... Return to Amar.

Yes, that's right, I have an announcement for you there too. And it is that I am starting A Matter of Curiosity.

Via Pinterest


Yes, that's right, you did not hear incorrectly. I am starting this story. Well, actually I've already started it, but I'm only about 211 words in so obviously I haven't gotten that far into it.

Somehow I'm working on both of my sequels that take place in Amar at the same time. And they could not be any more different!

Honestly, I'm not even sure if I should be starting this now, because this book doesn't take place until after book three of My Time in Amar. So even when I write it, no one can read it until I finish A Season of Subterfuge, Courtiers, and War Councils cause... spoilers! This is the story that begins tying together the two series. All the books before not can be read on their own, but this one has to be read in the correct order. But I know how the stories go so it doesn't really make as much of a difference to me what order that I write it.

With all that said, I can share some things without any worries of spoilers (except for those who have not read A Certain Sort of Madness yet if that is the case.... FLEE FOR THE HILLS! And grab a copy of that book to read while you are gone).

Now, for those of you who have not run off to those proverbial hills, I've written up a temporary synopsis for you to enjoy and to tide you over until this book can finally come out*

*I'm still aiming for my March of 2020 goal because like I said, even if I write this now A Season of Subterfuge, Courtiers, and War Councils has to be released first.



Reality is Cracking…

It has been several months since the events that put her mother in a coma. Since her grandfather was imprisoned in the Unrealm as well as Dante. Since she’s last stepped foot in Amar. Trying to put heartache and broken promises behind her, Alicia attempts for the first time in her existence to actually live a regular life. But apparently “normal” has always been hopelessly out of her reach.

Cracks are appearing everywhere, showing glimpses into the other worlds. Marius is fighting to break free from his prison, and reality is tearing at the seems to try to hold him in. The only way to save the four realms is to find a way to stop her grandfather once and for all. But how does one defeat an immortal?

He offers her a bargain. Play a game against him, winner takes all. The stakes are her future, her mother’s life, and the freedom of the boy she loved- and still possibly might. Only the most powerful mage in all Amar will walk away. But in order to win, Alicia must become like her grandfather and be willing to use her friends as pawns.

In this twisted game love and loyalty, sanity and safety are all just an illusion. And sometimes reality doesn’t deserve to be saved.



In the first book, I said that insanity was catching. Well... it's caught. Now it's time to sit back and watch it rage like a wildfire.

The first book was inspired by Alice in Wonderland. This one is inspired by Alice Through the Looking Glass. Expect even more elements of Wonderland than were in even the first book!

The Red Queen is going to be in this book, and she gets her own POV- she's not who you think.

The circus is back.

So are the faeries, and they are just as twisted as ever.

And as I've already hinted, this story ties into My Time in Amar. In fact, several characters in My Time in Amar will be in this book, but I can't tell you anymore or else this post will no longer be the spoiler-free zone that I promised it would be.

Finally, I give you the first line:


My story ended with the word, “Run.”



Via Pinterest


That's all I've got for now, folks! Which of these sequels are you most excited to read? Authors, do you often have trouble working on sequels or is that just me? Readers, do you tend to enjoy the sequel more or less than the first book? Comment Below!

Monday, January 14, 2019

It's finished! Why am I not excited?





I am still trying to figure out a set day of the week to put up my blog posts, but while I do that I'm writing this today cause it's my day off.

I have a bit of an announcement to make...

I finished A Winter Grim and Lonely!

No, I am not okay.

Let me say that again. I AM NOT OKAY!!!

I can't even say that I'm that excited. Relieved is a better word.

I'm pretty sure that this book destroyed my heart. I wasn't ready for that. Nope, nuh-uh. Someone should have told me that was going to be as painful as it was. Did I think that this book was going to be difficult to write?

Yes!

But man, not even I expected just how painful.

Y'all don't even want to know the faces I was making as I was writing the last two excruciatingly painful chapters.

But anyway as a post-writing celebration/mourning period I'm going to share some things about this story.



I had the title before I had the story. When I came up with the title A Winter Grim and Lonely I wasn't even planning on writing an Ismena themed story. I was actually thinking about dividing A Winter Dark and Deadly into two books and naming the second book that. But then I decided that was way too much work and then the idea for an Ismena themed story came to me. And then thanks to Hannah for getting me really thinking about it... I decided I was going to write it.

I was actually going to publish it in a collection with a second Winter Cursed short story that takes place after A Winter Dark and Deadly (basically the plot I was going to put into the second book if I'd made them into two) but I didn't think the title fit for the second story. When I finally came up with the title for that story, I decided to just make them two books.

This is my first Winter Cursed story that has only one POV. Ismena's.

While I was writing the end, I started thinking, what would have happened if Ismena hadn't killed Stephan*

*Not a spoiler, it says in Winter Cursed that she did*

*cries uncontrollably*. WHY WOULD I DO THAT TO ME???

That thought got me thinking of how that little fact would have changed the entire story. Obviously Stephan wouldn't have been dead, Ismena would still be kinda good/kinda bad but a lot more stable. Elisabeth wouldn't have grown up in exile, or been forced to flee into a certain forest and she probably would have married the young lord Gerald Belton*. They would still have winter. And then I realized that in this version of the story, Cedric would have actually been the bad guy. He would have finally broken free of his exile and raised an army, plunging Illesya into another war.

*Only my alpha readers of AWDAD would know who he is

An interesting thought... How close everything came from being different*

*When you read the book you all will realize just how close we came to this reality*

*I'm not crying. You're crying.

Anyway... that's all I have to share. I apologize if this is a bit of a disorganized post but my brain died when my heart did. I'll probably do a post on Amar later this week or next week ;P

What do you guys think? You excited about AWGAL's upcoming release? Think you're brave enough to read it? Do you enjoy heartbreaking books? Comment below!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Goals of 2019

(Which I will definitely not keep)


Well, hello, 2019. What are you doing here already? Even though 2019 took me by surprise, I'm still totally prepared for it because I have my whole truckload of resolutions/goals already prepared.  I decided that today, I would share my goals for this year. I always make a ton of goals in the beginning of the year and most of them are not realistic at all, but I guess that's the problem with being an optimist.

Life

Read my Bible more and spend more time in my personal walk with God.
Exercise more, eat healthier foods, and just as a whole be healthier (you know the drill)
Finally learn Spanish (this is basically my goal every year, one of these days it will actually come true)
Learn to drive.

Reading

Because I am such an unreliable mood reader, I don't really make that many goals as far as my reading goes. I can plan on starting a high fantasy series next and then decide that I'm actually in the mood for sci-fi. So I don't really have any goals as far as the content of the books I'm going to read this year. I can't even say that I want to read more classics than I did last year because I read a ton of classics last year, so maybe I'll just say that I want to read... I don't know... five classics? I don't really care what those five classics are, but I've been meaning to read Much Ado About Nothing.

Other than that, my only reading goal is to read 150 books. I'm not entirely sure how realistic that goal is now that I have a job, but I guess we'll see.


Writing

Yeesh, my writing goals tend to get a little out of hand, but last year I wrote 592,919 words so I'm optimistic that I'll be able to get at least that done this year.

I'll start with the easiest thing on the list which was to start a blog and/or an author site (look at me, I'm so successful, I completed one of my resolutions within the first week XD)

This year I am hoping to self-publish three books (well... two and a novella, but last year I only published one book and a novella so there is that)

The books (and novella) are:

A Winter Grim and Lonely (which I'm still writing, but I'm getting close to the end, I swear!)
A Winter Dark and Deadly (already written, but still got over half the book in intense rewrites to do)
A Season of Subterfuge, Courtiers, and War Councils (send help for this one, I set it aside in 2017 when I realized that a large portion of the 60k words I'd already written in it needed to be completely rewritten. Not to mention that it needs to be finished)

I am also hoping to republish A Time of Trepidation, Pirates, and Lost Princesses this year. I still have quite a few edits to do in this story, but I'm hoping that I'm past the more tough ones.

As you can clearly see, most of my year will be dedicated to editing and rewriting. I guess that's what I get for writing so much last year.

But my writing goals are to write another 500k (I was going to try to make it to 600k but then I saw all the editing I had to do this year and I decided heck no).

Right now, because I like to make plans which I can completely ignore later on, that 500k is divided up like so...

30,000 in A Winter Grim and Lonely
130,000 words in A Season of Subterfuge, Courtiers, and War Councils
120,000 words in A Matter of Curiosity (even if I don't plan on publishing it in 2019, I do plan on publishing it early 2020 so it's got to get written this year)

I don't actually know how long any of these books are going to be, I'm just going on how long the other books in their series are.

That leaves me 220,000 words outside of what I need to do.

At the moment these last 220k words are planned to go toward my side project Here is There and a new idea that I'll share more on later.


Of course, these are only my plans. But my plans change. A lot. Especially as far as my writing goes.

My plans in 2018 were to republish A Week of Werewolves, Faeries, and Fancy Dresses (did) Republish A Time of Trepidation, Pirates, and Lost Princesses (um... well... *sweats*), and write and publish A Season of Subterfuge, Courtiers, and War Councils... (let's just assume for the moment that I kind of strayed from my 2018 writing goals). And I basically wanted my entire My Time in Amar series finished with the fourth one to be released early 2019. Instead I wrote the companion novel A Certain Sort of Madness something that I was actually never planning on doing even though the idea had been sitting in my brain for a while. I published Winter Cursed which I had been hoping to publish in the Five Poisoned Apples collection, but like I said, my plans change, and I wrote a three other stories that have absolutely nothing to do with Amar.

Apologies to Amar. This is the year you get my attention.

Anyway you are probably thinking that I've said enough*

*And you're probably totally right

But I have ONE MORE GOAL. And this is the biggest goal I have this year. I want to finish editing and polishing up Of Gold and Iron

(Pictures via Pinterest)

And then I want to send it out to traditional publishers. By the time 2019 is over I'm hoping to in the very least have Of Gold and Iron contracted to be published. I've actually NEVER sent any of my stories to a traditional publisher (the closest I've ever come is sending short stories to contests) so I have zero idea of what to expect. I'm equally terrified and excited. But I feel like Of Gold and Iron is a strong little story and fully capable of standing on its two feet.



My one word of 2019 is LEARN, but now after seeing all that I have to do I'm considering changing it to EDIT*

*I'm totally not, but seriously, Nicki, focus on the editing!

Well, that's enough from me. What about you? What are your goals of 2019? Do you often meet your goals or are you like me and have a bad habit of straying? Comment below!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Welcome to my blog,




At the start of 2019, I finally decided to do something that I've been saying that I would do for forever. It was one of my resolutions this year. I STARTED A BLOG!!! Which is kind of crazy because I never do any of my resolutions. I just procrastinate until the middle of the year when I either forget what I even wanted to do, or I decide that I don't even want to do it. So me starting this blog is actually pretty huge and I'm hoping that maybe, fulfilling this resolution will help me with my others, at the top of the list being getting a book traditionally published, or in the very least contracted by a traditional publisher. But enough of that, I can't let you in on all of my secret plans ahead of time.

Anyway, now I have a brand new shiny blog and no posts to go with it. So I asked myself, what better way to christen my new blog than to take part in my own cover reveal blog tour*?

*don't answer that, I'm sure that there are a ton of better ways to start off a blog...

Anyway, without further ado, I give you the blog tour for A Winter Grim and Lonely. It's the prequel to Winter Cursed told from the villain's perspective, that's right the wicked queen herself back before she was wicked. She was still totally a queen though. The story could be read as a standalone, I guess, but really you'll be missing out on half the story so I would highly recommend that you read Winter Cursed first (lucky for you it's free grab it here and don't dally because the sale ends tonight!).

Anyway this story is super dark and gritty. Probably my darkest book yet, I'm not going to lie because the really hard part is that I know how it ends for Ismena. *sniffles loudly* I'm definitely not crying... just go look at the cover and leave me to my misery...

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If the answer was "yes" then you're probably mistaken
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I'm not sure how anyone can be ready for this heartrending little backstory
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I know that I'm certainly not
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No, I'm still not crying in case you are wondering
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But enough of that, I've made you scroll long enough
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I give you...
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THE COVER!





Mirror… Mirror….

Ismena is the queen of Alain and considered by all to be the fairest maiden in the land. She happily looks forward to the day when she will marry the love of her life and unite two of the three kingdoms that make up Illesya. That all changes when King Stephan, her fiance, falls in love with an ice nymph considered more fair than she.

In My Hand…

Scorned by the man she once loved, Ismena is driven by her need for vengeance. She makes a dangerous bargain with King Morren the dark lord who sits on the throne of the third kingdom Mooraven. With his help, she will bring Stephan down. She does not care who she has to double cross in the process, nor how many enemies she will have to make. But her plan for revenge crumbles around her when she finds that she cannot kill a young princess with Stephan’s eyes.

Who is the Fairest…

An eternal winter, a chance at a happy life, and a beautiful stepdaughter. The fate of three kingdoms will be decided.

In the Land?


This is the tale of how an ordinary girl became the wicked queen.





Anyway, isn't the cover beautiful? I'm so excited for this little damaging book to come out even if it is breaking my heart*

*Blame Hannah Shuck for this, it was all her idea...

I don't have a publishing date yet, but I'm hoping somewhere toward the end of the month. Hopefully I'll have a more definite date for you soon.

And as a little bonus I'll now share the top three songs that break my heart right now. Also known as my go-to writing soundtrack for this book:

Wish that you were here
Breath of Life (how could I not add this one to the soundtrack? It is Ismena's theme after all)
Wicked Game

These are all songs from my A Winter Dark and Deadly soundtrack, but they take on a whole different meaning for when I work on this novella.

Well, that's all for now. I'd better go get back to crying writing.

Let's just take one last moment to admire my two books side by side. Don't they look so nice together?


Don't forget to pick up Winter Cursed while it is still free here or add A Winter Grim and Lonely to your to-read shelves here

Other stops in the cover reveal blog tour:

Ivie Writes
The Writer's Song
The Red Hooded Writer
Agency of Books and Spies
Pause For Tales

Anyway, I can't wait to hear from you. What do you think of my new blog? Have you read Winter Cursed before? Do you like reading stories from the villain's perspective? Comment below!

~Nicki