Last Day for Reduced Preorder Price!

Only one more day to preorder UNDER A WINTER SKY at the lower preorder price of $5.99! The price goes up for release day tomorrow. Well, really it goes up tonight, since I’ll change the price on the retail sites before I go to bed. We’re hearing terrific things about the collection so far! My favorite is the person who instantly clicked, saying “You have no idea how much I need this in my life right now.”

I think we all could use some magic in our lives right now.

Available at these Retailers

     

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Productivity Coaching and Small-Group Mastermind

Earlier this summer, I was chatting with my good friend, author Darynda Jones. Okay—I was hitting her up to help me with some plot brainstorming, because she’s so much better at pre-plotting than I am. Once we solved my plot problem, she mentioned her chronic lack of productivity. As often plagued her, she found herself months behind deadline—on multiple projects—and feeling that panicked exhaustion of never being able to dig herself out of that hole. Like I admire her ability to pre-plot, she wishes she had my ability to be consistently productive with wordcount so I always meet my deadlines.

“If I could just look up and see someone else writing and holding me accountable, I think I’d do so much better,” she said. Because she’s my friend, I told her that I could do that for her.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure how well it would work, but I thought if I could help her at least get through finishing the most-pressing, truly awfully late book, that would be something. So, she switched to my writing schedule. We got on Zoom in the mornings, chatted briefly about goals, then each wrote on mute with our windows minimized. We took short breaks between, and worked for three or four hour-long sessions. After I got my 3,000 words for the day (my sustainable daily wordcount), she kept writing while I worked on other business and timed her.

We discovered a number of interesting things.

  1. She was interrupted less by family because they didn’t want to disrupt my writing
  2. She found herself getting up earlier, feeling more positive, and being hugely more productive. She got more done in two months of working with me than she had during the previous seven months.
  3. She began to have fun writing again! And she is now on track to meet all future deadlines.
  4. To my surprise, I liked it, too. Talking with her daily gave me the opportunities to vent frustrations and feel like I wasn’t so on my own in this sometimes lonely enterprise.

Three months later, meeting with her has become a key part of my writing day.

My husband, overhearing our Zoom meetings and Darynda’s enthusiasm for how well this was working, said it reminded him of a technique he’d learned as a young athlete to improve his performance—one that world-class runners use to increase their running time. He would find other excellent runners to set a pace for him. At first it was difficult for him to keep up with the pace, but before long he found himself running faster than he’d imagined possible.

Now, I am no athlete! But I can see that this is a perfect analogy. You can spend time alone trying to increase your writing productivity—and you may have some slight success—but what could increase your productivity the most in the shortest amount of time is to find a productive writer that knows how to set the pace for you.

It turns out I have the skills to draw that productivity out of you. I know how to challenge you in a way that creates a sense of playful participation. I can help you discover what your sustainable daily productivity looks like. Like Darynda, you will soon find yourself writing more smoothly and naturally, and effortlessly. It really can be fun again!

So, because this worked so well with Darynda, I’m going to offer this as a supplement to my other author-coaching services.

Actually, I’m offering two new things—which can be combined or not, according to your needs.

Because that’s the pivotal consideration here: what do YOU need in order to move forward in your writing career? Writing productivity is one thing, but we all know there’s more to being an author than just laying down words. (Alas for that, but so it goes!)

What I’m hearing from a lot of writers is they want a long-term community or partnership—and they want help with productivity. Let’s face it—2020 has been a vicious year for both keeping our chins up and putting words on the page.

So, here are my solutions.

I’m offering to set you up with a mastermind group of like-minded writers. I’ll match you up based on creative mindsets and processes, ambitions, needs, and outlooks. I’ll teach you how to function as a mastermind together, to make something bigger than your individual selves in order to move everyone forward. I’ll personally lead the group at the beginning, then—once you’ve all decided how you want to run your own group the way you all want it—I’ll visit with periodic check-ins to make sure the group is staying on track. We want this to be a positive part of everyone’s lives and creative careers.

As a step further, I’ll set up co-writing sessions. This can be with your mastermind group, or with a different group—or with a single partner, like I’m doing with Darynda. I’ll get you started and set the pace. Once you have a good rhythm, I’ll check in periodically with you.

The small-group mastermind will cost $200/month. If it’s not working for you, you can drop out any time. Or I can set you up with a new group if you prefer. Paying this amount each month is part of the incentive. You’ll value your participation in the group that much more if you’re having to budget for it.

You can also sign up to be matched with a co-writing partner or group (according to your preference) for $200/month. I’ll work with you and check in frequently to see how you’re doing. Again, you can drop out or be re-matched if it’s not working for you.

If you’d like to do both, you can do that for $300/month.

How can you get started? Email me via the contact form and we’ll set up an interview. We can do that via video or voice call—or another medium if you’re not comfortable with those. How you prefer to interact with people is part of how you’ll be matched up. We’ll discuss what you’re looking for, what you hope to overcome, where you are in your writing career and where you hope to be. You can ask me questions and so forth. For this initial conversation, I’ll charge $50.

If you decide the program isn’t for you, I’ll refund your money. If you decide to go ahead, the $50 will go to your first month. If I think you’re just looking for free advice, I’m keeping the $50 😊

You’re also welcome to ask questions in the comments, but all answers will be posted to an FAQ, with personal information redacted.

Cover Reveal for UNDER A WINTER SKY!

In case you missed the big cover reveal on Frolic yesterday, UNDER A WINTER SKY has a cover!

Isn’t it gorgeous??

I think this midwinter holiday anthology – out November 19, 2020 – is going to be just amazing. I’m super excited about it, especially to have a story alongside amazing authors Kelley ArmstrongMelissa Marr and L. Penelope.

My story will be THE LONG NIGHT OF THE CRYSTALLINE MOON, and will kick off my new series, Heirs of Magic. This follows the “next generation” in the world of The Twelve Kingdoms and The Uncharted Realms, a totally new quest happening twenty-five years later. A great place for readers new to the world to jump in. Here’s my blurb:

Shapeshifter Prince Rhyian doesn’t especially want to spend the Feast of Moranu at Castle Ordnung. First of all, it’s literally freezing there, an uncomfortable change from the tropical paradise of his home. Secondly, it’s a mossback castle which means thick walls and too many rules. Thirdly, his childhood playmate and current nemesis, Lena, will be there. Not exactly a cause for celebration.
Princess Salena Nakoa KauPo nearly wriggled out of traveling to Ordnung with her parents, but her mother put her foot down declaring that, since everyone who ever mattered to her was going to be there to celebrate the 25th year of High Queen Ursula’s reign, Lena can suffer through a feast and a ball for one night. Of course, “everyone” includes the sons and daughters of her parents’ friends, and it also means that Rhyian, insufferable Prince of the Tala, will attend.
But on this special anniversary year, Moranu’s sacred feast falls on the long night of the crystalline moon—and Rhy and Lena discover there’s more than a bit of magic in the air.

Magic and mayhem will ensue!

You can preorder here! 

Here’s the rest of the stories:

Four powerhouse authors of fantasy and urban fantasy bring you a feast of romantic midwinter holiday adventures. These heartwarming and pulse-pounding tales celebrate Hanukah, Christmas, the solstice, Yule – and holidays from worlds beyond our own. With fancy-dress balls, faery bargains, time travel, blood sacrifice, and festive cocktails, these stories will delight lovers of fantasy and romance, with a dash of seasonal joy.

Ballgowns & Butterflies by Kelley Armstrong

The North Yorkshire moors are always a magical place, but they’re particularly enchanting at the holidays…especially if one gets to travel back in time to a Victorian Christmas. For Bronwyn Dale, it is the stuff of dreams. Fancy-dress balls, quirky small-town traditions, even that classic one-horse open sleigh, complete with jingle bells. There’s just the tiny problem of the Butterfly Effect. How does a time-traveler make a difference without disrupting the future forever?

The Long Night of the Crystalline Moon, a prequel novella to Heirs of Magic, by Jeffe Kennedy

Shapeshifter Prince Rhyian doesn’t especially want to spend the Feast of Moranu at Castle Ordnung. First of all, it’s literally freezing there, an uncomfortable change from the tropical paradise of his home. Secondly, it’s a mossback castle which means thick walls and too many rules. Thirdly, his childhood playmate and current nemesis, Lena, will be there. Not exactly a cause for celebration.

Princess Salena Nakoa KauPo nearly wriggled out of traveling to Ordnung with her parents, but her mother put her foot down declaring that, since everyone who ever mattered to her was going to be there to celebrate the 25th year of High Queen Ursula’s reign, Lena can suffer through a feast and a ball for one night. Of course, “everyone” includes the sons and daughters of her parents’ friends, and it also means that Rhyian, insufferable Prince of the Tala, will attend.

But on this special anniversary year, Moranu’s sacred feast falls on the long night of the crystalline moon—and Rhy and Lena discover there’s more than a bit of magic in the air.

Blood Martinis and Mistletoe by Melissa Marr

Half-dead witch Geneviève Crowe makes her living beheading the dead–and spends her free time trying not to get too attached to her business partner,  Eli Stonecroft, a faery in self-imposed exile in New Orleans. With a killer at her throat and a blood martini in her hand, Gen accepts what seems like a straight-forward faery bargain, but soon realizes that if she can’t figure out a way out of this faery bargain, she’ll be planning a wedding after the holidays.

Echoes of Ash & Tears by L. Penelope

Coming soon!

More Than Paranormal!

I’m super excited to be doing this online event “at” Love’s Sweet Arrow bookstore with my brilliant author friends Maria Vale, Amanda Bouchet, and Kait Ballenger. Danielle Dresser, Editorial Manager for Fresh Fiction will moderate. Join us on Saturday, September 26, at 3pm ET for fun conversation! You can register here. 

THE PROMISED QUEEN Available for Preorder!

THE PROMISED QUEEN has a cover and is available for preorder! It comes out May 25, 2021. Maybe by then we can do some in-person events? I swear, I want to get an RV and just travel everywhere.

Claim the hand that wears the ring, and the empire falls.

Conrí, former Crown Prince of Oriel, claimed the hand that wears the Abiding Ring, but the prophecy remains unfulfilled. Queen Euthalia of Calanthe returned to her island kingdom, but broken in mind and body. With the blood of war unleashing ancient terrors, Calanthe isn’t the haven it once was. Lia must use her magical bond with Calanthe to save their people while Con fights to hold off the vengeful Emperor Anure and his wizards. Con and Lia will have to trust in each other—and in love—to fend off ultimate disaster.

In The Promised Queen, the thrilling finale to the Forgotten Empires trilogy, the fate of the world hangs in the balance as Con, Lia, and their allies sacrifice everything in a final bid to destroy the corrupt empire.

Meanwhile, I’ve got 63,000+ words on my DARK WIZARD project. I’m really loving writing this book and I figure it will be done in a couple of weeks, God willing and the creeks don’t rise, as my great-grandmother was fond of saying. I’m also working up an exciting new project that will take my author coaching to a new level – stay tuned!

THE LOST PRINCESS RETURNS… in print!

Check out the pretty pretties! This gorgeous cover by the wonderfully talented Ravven is just phenomenal in print. And now I have copies on hand if you want to order a signed and personalized book! You can also check out my store for signed print copies of most of my other books. *Note that if you want it personalized, you need to fill out the line saying so. Also, if you already have a print copy, you’re welcome to mail it to me for signing, too.

Also, I’m teaching an online class in August: Keeping Secrets and Creating Suspense

The judicious use of secrets and revelations can be a difficult skill for new writers to learn. Jeffe Kennedy, known for her slow reveal of deeply held secrets, worldbuilding details and using secrets to amplify sexual tension will teach skills to approaching this delicate task.

She’ll discuss when to withhold information and how that functions to build tension, even in books that aren’t technically mysteries. She’ll also give pointers on how to know when NOT to withhold information and how to seed important clues. She’ll cover how to create suspense through setting, body language, and dialogue. Finally, Jeffe will discuss different approaches for the big reveal and how to avoid info-dumping so that the pace remains climactic.

Should be big fun!

I’m also considering starting one or more Mastermind groups for aspiring writers. I’d match you up with a few writers of like minds and goals – and current career status – and guide the group in supporting one another to maximize everyone’s success. If you think you’d be interested, message me through the website contact form.

 

THE LOST PRINCESS RETURNS!

Did you see the cover for THE LOST PRINCESS RETURNS yet? I’m so in love with it for so many reasons, but mainly because it so perfectly captures Jenna/Ivariel in my mind. Especially everything she’s feeling about returning to Dasnaria after all this time.

I’m glad everyone nagged me to write this story! The novella turned out to be a short novel, and releases June 29. You can preorder at the links below at a special sale price or here. Yes, there will be a print version; it should be available for preorder later this week.

  Or Buy the ebook Direct from Jeffe

More than two decades have gone by since Imperial Princess Jenna, broken in heart and body, fled her brutal marriage—and the land of her birth. She’s since become Ivariel: warrior, priestess of Danu, trainer of elephants, wife and mother. Wiser, stronger, happier, Ivariel has been content to live in her new country, to rest her battered self, and to recover from the trauma of what happened to her when she was barely more than a girl.

But magic has returned to the world—abruptly and with frightening force—and Ivariel takes that profound change as a sign that it’s time to keep a promise she made to the sisters she left behind. Ivariel must leave the safety she’s found and return to face the horrors she fled.

As Ivariel emerges from hiding, she discovers that her vicious brother is now Emperor of Dasnaria, and her much-hated mother, the Dowager Empress Hulda, is aiding him in his reign of terror. Worse, it seems that Hulda’s resurrection of the tainted god Deyrr came about as a direct result of Jenna’s flight long ago.

It’s up to Ivariel—and the girl she stopped being long ago—to defeat the people who cruelly betrayed her, and to finally liberate her sisters. Determined to cleanse her homeland of the evil that nearly destroyed her, Ivariel at last returns to face the past.

But this time, she’ll do it on her own terms.

NEW RELEASE: THE FATE OF THE TALA

THE FATE OF THE TALA is out in the world!! You can order it on all the retailers. If you preordered (or still want to order!) a signed print copy, I’ll be sending those out by February 14. (I should have them by February 13, so it could happen!) A nice Valentine for us all. Once I send those, I’ll get the print versions uploaded on the retailers, too.

Also, as a super fun thing – if you subscribe to Pikko’s House Book Lovers Box this month, a limited number of subscribers will get the first book that started it all, THE MARK OF THE TALA, for free!!

 

 

The exciting conclusion of the story begun in The Mark of the Tala

An Uneasy Marriage,

An Unholy Alliance.

The tales tell of three sisters, daughters of the high king. The eldest, a valiant warrior-woman, conquered her inner demons to become the high queen. The youngest, and most beautiful outlived her Prince Charming and found a strength beyond surface loveliness.

And the other one, Andi? The introverted, awkward middle princess is now the Sorceress Queen, Andromeda—and she stands at the precipice of a devastating war.

As the undead powers of Deyrr gather their forces, their High Priestess focuses on Andi, undermining her at every turn. At the magical barrier that protects the Thirteen Kingdoms from annihilation, the massive Dasnarian navy assembles, ready to pounce the moment Andi’s strength fails. And, though her sisters and friends gather around her, Andi finds that her husband, Rayfe, plagued with fears over her pregnancy, has withdrawn, growing ever more distant.

Fighting battles on too many fronts, Andi can’t afford to weaken, as she’s all that stands between all that’s good in the world and purest evil.

For Andi, the time to grow into her true power has come. . .