Lodar leaned forward. “On Summer Day, come with us and we’ll show you how a fete should be enjoyed.”
“Summer Day is a long time off.”
Mandir chuckled. “If you can ditch your shadow, you can come with us tomorrow night. We’ll introduce you to some of our friends.”
“Maybe we’ll chance on those scavengers and the urchin with the magic sword,” Lodar said.
The prince turned. “What do you mean by a magic sword?”
Mandir laughed. “’Twas some kind of trick. Fire spouted from the sword. ‘Twould be fun to have a weapon like that.”
Zedron grasped Mandir’s arm. “Where and when did you see this sword?”
Alizand glanced at Dom Senet. The man’s smile was one of self-satisfaction. He leaned forward.
Alizand wondered if the Dom read the winds. Alizand swallowed. Could Lodar and Mandir have seen Ky or was there a third flame sword in Cedris?
Mandir giggled. A trace of fear lay beneath his merriment. “When? Before Winter Day when scavengers are out in force. ‘Twas near the House Wesren compound.”
“Why didn’t you report this?” The prince’s voice was clipped and harsh.
Lodar laughed. “Do you want the toy, too?”
“’Tis not a toy.” Dom Senet rose and stalked toward the pair.
Mandir and Lodar pushed away from the table. Dom Senet reached them at the foot of the stairs. He placed one hand on each of their heads. Their bodies shook. Lodar screamed. “Don’t hurt me. Mother.”
Melena rose. “Who gave you leave to touch my sons?”
Dom Senet removed his hands. The pair collapsed on the steps. “I’ve learned what I need and they’ve not been harmed.”
Melena faced him. “Don’t touch them again. They’re not meat for your meddling.”
The Dom ignored her. “Zedron, what I’ve learned might help in my search for the missing ones.”
“Our search,” the prince said.
Alizand tried to make himself small. He wondered if there was a way to find his friends
and send a message. Maybe Dragen would know.
Lodar and Mandir paused partway up the steps. “Alizand, beware. Don’t be sorry.”
What did they mean? Were their words a threat or a warning? Why were they angry with him and not the Dom? Alizand reached for his goblet. He had to do something.
Thursday, July 30, 2015
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Description is the best way to involve your reader and make them feel they are part of the story. This is done by using the senses. Sight, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting. For some of us who write fantasy this involves other senses like those included in ESP.
Why would a writer want to involve the senses? Using them in not pedestrian ways brings the word pictures into vivid images. Let's see what could happen using each of the senses to give depth to a character, a setting, a world or an object the character sees or uses.
You could say. She heard his voice. That is rather ordinary. You could say the tone of his voice made her afraid. A bit better. Or His rasping voice rolled along her nerves sending chills along her spine. Now this gives you a really vivid picture. You haven't seen the threatening character but you have a picture of him in your mind.
She saw the car he drove. Ordinary. She studied the blue convertible. A bit better. One look at the sleek blue convertible and she thought money. Tells you something about her and him.
The white house sat on a hill. Or atop the steep road up the hill stood a white house. A curving driveway lined with hedges of roses climbed the hill to the white house.
So when you're describing one of your characters, or the setting, think of making these word pictures descriptive and the reader will see these places and people as real.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Found this quote by Sidney Sheldon in an essay by him and it made me think. "If you only write when the muse sits on your shoulder, it is unlikely your project will ever get completed." Wondered for a long time why this appealed to me and I discovered the reason. I don't have a muse. If I waited for one to appear I would never have written.
Do you have a muse? I wonder if when people remark their muse is on vacation or some other reason for not writing is an excuse. I try to write every day. Don't always make this happen. There are times when life intrudes.
I am really curious about this. What do writers do when the muse is absent? I can't imagine waiting for someone to tell me I should write this or that. Sitting down with a pen and paper nearly every day is how the words get made. Sometimes they all get thrown away and sometimes they don't.
If I had a muse she or he would be the characters in the story or the plot that needs to be solved or the background which includes setting. Sometimes this is inventing a world that doesn't exist or the every day world where I live. The trick to completing a book is to tell the muse, if you have one, to wake up or not. You are going to write whether they're present or not.
Monday, July 27, 2015
Meander 1 - I'm celebrating my years as a writer. This is around the time of the year when I sold my first short story. The year was 1968 and I'd been writing stories for about two years. I remember the day. Hard to believe 47 years have passed but the memory remains clear. The mail came and I saw the SASE envelope and really didn't want to open it but this time the envelope was thinner than when I'd sent it out. So I sat in my study and opened the envelope and saw an acceptance letter and a check. Suddenly I was an author and I wanted to share the news. My boys were three and two so they couldn't appreciate the news. My husband was at the hospital doing his residency. I had a number for him there so I called. Unfortunately he was in a session so the secretary took the message. "Tell him I sold one of my children." We had laughed and talked about the boys as our children and my stories as my children. An hour later I got a frantic call from my husband. The secretary told him I'd sold one of his children. After I explained what had happened we both laughed over the error. That was the beginning of my career. Not that it was smooth sailing. There were more rejections and I turned to novels. I also took a break or two to return to school and work as a nurse.
Meander 2 - Something has been happening with my blog and I'm not sure what but it's kind of exciting. In the past few weeks I've had 600 to 1200 visits a day. Is it because I've been doing this for a long time or is it the subjects I write about. A lot of them are concerned with writing in general, my books and also the books of others. It's fun while it lasts.
Meander 3 - My writing. The past week I've been doing the final edits before I send the manuscript for Divided Dreams to the publisher. This is in some ways tedious but there are important things to consider like why doesn't this sentence make any sense? Often it's because when typing I leave out a word or two. Another is can I make this crisper. How many passive sentences are there. My spell check usually tells me how passive the story it. I try to hit less than 3% and this time I've been successful with this. There are three chapters to go and then some other stuff to accomplish before I send it out. Then I'm going to concentrate on Wizards of Fyre which has been rough drafted. The version only a writer can love.
Sunday, July 26, 2015
Havens Book 2 in the Affinities Series
The four teens, led by the mysterious birds they believe are their parents seek a place of safety where they can learn to control their affinities. They find a place of refuge with Doma Jandia, grandmother of their friend Zand. The doma plans to take them to the highlands but news of the capture of two of their friends by Dom Senet, sends them on a rescue mission. Their powers are not strong enough to defeat the evil dom. They must find a way to succeed or their friends will be corrupted forever.
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Do not miss this exciting and dynamic series. An escape for young adults as well as adults with a passion for fantasy. Janet Lane Walters creates world like no other writer I know.
Saturday, July 25, 2015
You can get info on all my currently available fiction books here:
And you can get updates on new books, sales, (and freebies!) by joining my email newsletter here: http://shaunaauraknight.us3.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=c61f27e7c61d6a19fac295d7e&id=66a1779455
The Truth Upon Her Lips
Sonya has always seen glimpses of the future, but when she nearly dies in a car accident, she wonders why she didn’t foresee it. Sexy EMT Kade Sinclaire drives her home, and as their attraction heats up he’s barely able to hide that he’s a shapeshifter. Yet, he holds out hope that Sonya might accept a wereleopard as a mate.
Sonya finds herself wrapped up in shifter conflicts and Faerie curse magic as she uncovers a plot within the company she’s working for. Will she give into her feelings for Kade? Can Kade and his clan fight off a powerful Faerie Lord before Sonya gets killed? And can Sonya unravel her Truthspeaking magic before it drives her mad?
Sexy Teaser Excerpt: http://www.shaunaauraknight.com/books/fiction-books/excerpt-the-truth-upon-her-lips/
A Fading Amaranth
Nathaniel’s been a vampire long enough to grow weary of glamoured seduction, and he’s lost his poetic muse. He meets reclusive artist Alexandra—her telepathy has overwhelmed her for years, and she can bear no one’s touch. However, she can’t hear Nathaniel’s thoughts, and she’s immune to his vampire glamour. During scorching nights together, they rediscover their passion for life.
When a Faerie creature stalks Alexandra, the lovers find themselves snared in a paranormal battle alongside Chicago’s mage guardians. Worse, Nathan’s rising bloodlust places Alexandra in danger. Will she master her abilities before going insane? What will they risk to be together?
Excerpt and Buy Links: http://www.shaunaauraknight.com/books/fiction-books/excerpt-a-fading-amaranth/
Werewolves in the Kitchen
When Ellie moved to the SpiralStone retreat center to figure out her life, she expected peace, quiet, and spiritual practice. She had no idea that the two sexy men running the kitchen would seduce her…much less at the same time. Kyle and Jake turn out to be wilder than they seem and Ellie finds herself wrapped up in devastating magic. She must choose: stay with Jake and Kyle and risk who she has been, accepting the dangerous world of shapeshifters? Or leave them and risk madness, or worse?
Excerpt and Buy Links: http://www.shaunaauraknight.com/books/fiction-books/werewolves-in-the-kitchen-excerpt/
Werewolves with Chocolate
Jake and Kyle have big plans for Ellie. The three of them will be celebrating their first Valentine’s Day together, and the two werewolves have prepared a feast of chocolates, fruits, and desserts to seduce her. After several busy weeks Ellie’s looking forward to a relaxing weekend with her mates; their pent up lust boils within her blood. However, when an injured werewolf shows up on their doorstep, the three have to deal with pack politics on the most romantic weekend of the year. Sex and chocolate had been in the plans, but now the mix includes a pissed off werewolf pack and the threat of war with enemy wolves. Will the dangers of the shifter underworld force them apart?
Excerpt: (This one’s free for anyone who subscribes to my email list!) http://www.shaunaauraknight.com/books/fiction-books/excerpt-werewolves-with-chocolate/
A Winter Knight’s Vigil
Sexy, kilt-wearing Tristan has captured Amber’s attention on many occasions. But as members of the KingSword coven, which has strict rules about intimate relationships inside the circle, dating him is out of the question. When the coven heads to a secluded woodland cabin to celebrate the Winter Solstice, Amber finds herself closer than ever to Tristan. As the Longest Night approaches and their group’s ritual workings intensify, the pair realizes that they can no longer hide from their feelings. Just as King Arthur held vigil before being knighted, Tristan and Amber face their shadows—and the realization that one or both of them might have to leave the coven. Or can they be together without breaking their honor?
Friday, July 24, 2015
1. Do you write a single genre or do your fingers flow over the keys creating tales in many forms? Do your reading choices reflect your writing choices? Are there genres you wouldn’t attempt?
I read a lot of speculative fiction genres, and I also write in a bunch of them. I write primarily paranormal romance and urban fantasy at the moment, but I have more epic fantasy, space opera, and dystopian books in the works. I’m not really interested in reading regular contemporary fiction, or for that matter, watching many movies without a magical or sci-fi element to them. I probably wouldn’t attempt writing horror; I can’t stand reading it, and I couldn’t stand writing it.
2. Heroes, Heroines, Villains. Which are your favorite to write? Does one of these come easy and why?
I tend to use “hero” as a gender-neutral term, and heroes are definitely my favorite to write. Since a lot of my stories come from dreams I’ve had--and I’m usually in the role of the hero in the dreams--it’s pretty easy to write those characters because I’ve been them and lived them, even if just for a little while in the dreamscape.
Villains…well, that one is harder for me. And I’ve been trying to nail down why for years, because my difficulty writing villains has kept me from finishing a lot of half-done books! I think part of it is that I am a pretty compassionate person; I don’t like seeing people in pain, and I genuinely don’t understand how people can intentionally hurt others. It’s hard for me to get into that villain headspace because it makes me angry or sad to think of people who don’t care about hurting others, or worse, who enjoy it.
3. Heroes. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or plain imagination create the man you want every reader to love? Do they come before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?
Most of my stories come from dreams I’ve had. I’ve been writing down my dreams since I was about twelve, and I have had some huge, massive, epic dreams. By the time I have written down one of these dreams after waking, I have a pretty good idea of the main protagonists for the story, and for me, the characters and the plot are thoroughly woven together. Sometimes I’ll go online and look for pictures of them, or I’ll paint them myself. I’ve just started dipping my toes into Pinterest and creating boards for specific stories and characters. Finding outfits for characters seems to obsess me at about 3am on some nights.
4. Heroines. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or imagination create the woman you want the reader to root for? Do they appear before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?
Same answer as above. I’m not really thinking about hero vs. heroine; heroes can be all genders.
5. Villains or villainesses or an antagonist, since they don’t always have to be the bad guy or girl. They can be a person opposed to the hero’s or heroine’s obtaining their goal. How do you choose one? How do you make them human?
I wrote a bit above about how it’s sometimes difficult for me to write a villain. And also, sometimes the antagonist is just the situation, but almost always there’s going to be a villain in the form of a character. Sometimes for villains I pull from the headlines of horrible things people do; stuff I couldn’t make up if I tried.
And as for making my villains human…I suppose I can offer a deeper reason why they’re hard for me to write and spill a few secrets. Once upon a time I attended a panel discussion at a sci-fi/fantasy convention. One of the authors said something about how writing a great villain requires you to get in touch with your own shadows, your own dark side. To ask the question, “If I didn’t care about what society thought, what would I do to attain XYZ goal?”
That one has sat like a lump of lead in my stomach, because it’s true.
The best villains I read in books are the ones that are real. The ones who are very much the heroes of their own stories, the ones who are making choices just as the heroes are, it’s just that those choices may be a little more likely to hurt others. So to write a really good villain, I have to be willing to dive deep into my dark side, and that isn’t always a pleasant place to be. But when I do that, and when I figure out the villain’s own tragic story, that is what makes a villain come alive.
6. What is your latest release? Who is the hero, heroine and or the villain?
In the next few weeks I’ll be releasing my paranormal romance The Truth Upon Her Lips, book one of the Roses Rising series, where Kade and Sonya end up fighting a banished Faerie lord. Kade meets Sonya when she’s in a car accident; he’s an EMT, and he’s also a wereleopard. Sonya isn’t injured in the wreck, but she’s surprised that her psychic precognition never kicked in. She’s had this strange ability all her life which she has mostly resented because it made her weird, but now, she’s wondering why she didn’t foresee the accident. Kade is struggling to keep his wereleopard nature under wraps as things get hot and heavy between the two of them.
Life begins to get pretty strange for Sonya and the “convenient accidents” start piling up. I won’t spoil all the surprises here, but there’s a Faerie curse, werecreatures, Fae monsters, some corporate intrigue, and Sonya begins to discover her own magical powers she didn’t know she had.
The villain of the story was kicked out of Faerie by his own father and grandmother for being part human—for not being a powerful enough Fae. He’s determined to win back his place at court by any means necessary, and killing Sonya, or the wereleopards protecting her, doesn’t bother him in the slightest if it helps him to attain his goals.
7. What are you working on now?
I’m in the finishing phases of A Golden Heart of Glass and A Winter Knight’s Silence, but I’m also working on the next in the Roses Rising Series, Until She Wakes From Sleep. I also have a longer urban fantasy series that explores the psychic mage characters introduced in my book A Fading Amaranth.
A Golden Heart of Glass takes place at the SpiralStone retreat center (where Werewolves in the Kitchen is set). Angel and Ben find themselves connecting to the gods Aphrodite and Hephaestus, and as their magic grows, they become the target for vampires and other creatures that want their power. A Winter Knight’s Silence follows Lily on a pilgrimage to Glastonbury Tor where she has a wild night with the Horned God. Until She Wakes From Sleep follows one of the descendants of Sleeping Beauty; there’s a sorceress after her who wants her powers, and it might be the sexy dragon shifter who ends up being the prince charming of the story.
8. How can people find you?
I’m all over the place. Signing up for my email newsletter is a great way to keep in touch, and I offer the occasional freebies and giveaway. Facebook’s my social media of choice, but I also have really been having fun on Pinterest lately.
Web Site: http://www.shaunaauraknight.com
Fiction Blog: https://shaunaknightauthorartist.wordpress.com
Fiction Blog: https://shaunaknightauthorartist.wordpress.com
Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/shaunaaknight
Goodreads Page: http://www.goodreads.com/ShaunaAuraKnight
Thursday, July 23, 2015
Thursday's Villain - Simon from Sanctuary's Ending by Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #fantasyromance
"Paul. I’ve been looking everywhere for you,” Simon called.
David’s spine stiffened. “Glad to see you. Tomorrow morning we’re meeting to gather supplies.”
Simon glared. “I’ll do my own.”
“Your choice. Anyone who isn’t ready will be left behind.”
“Won’t be me.” Simon faced David. “I go with my father’s blessing. We don’t need you unless you’re going as a servant. You’re nothing.”
Simon’s words were like blows pounding David’s chest. “I will be with you and I will watch you.” He stepped closer until his boots touched Simon’s. “No one will stop me.”
“My father could. The Chief Elder can do anything.”
Paul pulled David away. “Father will stop no one. If you’re afraid, stay here.”
Simon scowled. “I’m going to protect Father’s interests. You tricked him. Why didn’t you give the talk I helped him write? Once again, there was no call. The time to be fruitful and multiply is not now. There will be no weddings for ten years. Father has decreed that a new rule.”
“Lies," David said. "Does he plan to neuter all the herds and flocks?”
“Shut up.” Simon raised his fists. “When we return I will be tested again. I will be an Elder.”
David laughed. “And I will become a Teacher.”
“You failed.” Simon turned toward his brother.
“So you say,” David said.
Paul grasped David’s arm. “Your friends know your worth. Don’t fight him.”
“I won’t.” David walked away. “Tomorrow at the storehouse.”
“I’ll pack for myself,” Simon shouted.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
You've reached the end of your manuscript and you've re-written and revised all those scenes. Before you sent the story off there are several questions to ask yourself.
Is all the information imparted really necessary? Maybe your character has gone on and on about his aunt's cat. Something that has no real part in the story. You might be showing this to let people know a character hates cats but this can be done with a few words. You might have found wonderful historical facts you included but these facts have taken over the story. Instead of a writer you've become a teacher. I've done both these things and while it really hurts to cut all those wonderful words -- Do it.
Does the character who is relating the information know what they're talking about? You may have the character talk about something they haven't observed in a way that makes it seem they were there. Not a good idea. The reader will pick this up and wonder about all else you've put in the book. You might find them going back to see when the character observed something. Just a read through will help discover your focs character is telling things he or she can't possibly know. Take them out and if the info is really important give the scene or the telling to some character who was there.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Was reading an essay by Sidney Sheldon and one thing struck me as interesting. He began writing scripts for movies and drama for the stage. Then he had an idea that wouldn't translate in these mediums. There was too much introspection, something that suits the suited word better than the spoken. This led me to think about the convoluted path I took. I'm sure many writers never sat down and said I'm going to be a novelist.
My path began in nurses' training and what they called the care study. On everyone of parts of our experiences at the hospital, we had to write a study of a patient and their experience with the disease. I began with the technical aspects and definitions, talking about the tests and their meaning. Then something in my head said this story isn't complete so I added a part about the person as a character in my study. I even visited patient's homes and talked to their family. The papers were always longer than my instructors wanted. They also told me I didn't have to turn every case study into a story. But they were true stories, I told them. They shook their heads and gave me a grade.
Next I began writing short stories and had a few purchased and published. Poetry took over and I had some of these published and was paid. One of my short stories came back with a comment from the editor. "This sounds like the synopsis for a novel." That's when my life took a turn I'll never regret.
How about you? Did you sit down and say I'm going to be a novelist or did you take a path different and learn and practice other skills before you became a story-teller?