Writing the Daughter of the Zel trilogy was hugely empowering for me. I’d always enjoyed writing and dreamt of having something published, but I never had the confidence to put my work out there.
Then, a few years ago, I was having a rather tough time personally, which led me to quit my job and move back home. Even with everything going on, I found myself with a load of free time I hadn’t ever had before.
As a distraction, I set myself the challenge of writing a novel in a month. I’d always wanted to do NaNoWriMo, but November was never convenient. Every day after work I’d sit down and type until my brain ran out of scenes. The rapid progress towards a final word count slowed towards the end, and I had to go back and carefully stitch together key scenes to make a complete story.
I had an idea for where the book was going and every time I wrote it felt like clearing space in my head. Making this mental room meant I’d get an idea for a new scene, usually when I was trying to get to sleep.
Now, like then, in the early days of a story, I get these rather annoying moments where I’m unable to go to sleep because of new phrases, places, people that pop into my head. There’s a process I’ve learned to follow by turning the bedside light on, writing the thought down in my notebook, and turning the light off again before immediately having another thought and repeating it. Eventually my brain lets me sleep.
I have found that the first draft is always shocking. I’ve come to terms with that. One of my betas recently said how she’d love to write a novel, but was worried it’d be awful. I explained the number of drafts my work passes through before she even sees a beta version. I hope this encourages her to get something down on paper. That’s the hardest bit.
If you are looking for an incredible adventure of romance, steampunk, and a strong female lead this is a great read! I really enjoyed my time with this book, and was pleasantly surprised with some of the twist and turns. But the one thing I enjoyed the absolutely most about this book was the toughness and grit of the female lead Miss Cara Devon.
Set during the Victorian age in London, Miss Cara Devon is determined to settle her newly departed father’s estate so she can close that harrowing chapter of her life forever. But things don’t go quite as planned as she meets a villainous Viscount and becomes sucked into an investigation to uncover the killer that’s been murdering the daughters of the wealthiest families of England.
As she seeks out all the ancient artifacts her father accumulated in his lifetime and then secretly stashed all over London, she is also forced to face the ghosts of her past. The kind of ghosts that leaves a female member of high society shunned and in disgrace. She finds herself in uncomfortable waters as she attracts the attention of a dangerous Viscount, and comes under suspicion as the murdered daughters body count grows.
This is the first book of the Artifact Hunter series, which currently has five books and two novellas. You can find out more at A.W. Exley’s author site. I, for one, plan on reading them all. I am hooked!
This is a fun science fiction novel that follows a Verkinn named Craze who is abruptly forced off his home world by his dodgy father. In shock, and with little to his name, Craze must fend for himself and find a way to make his fortune.
What makes matters worse is he’s never been away from his home world before, and because of the Verkinn’s sensitivities to environment, he’s not even sure he will be able to survive on other planets. Overwhelmed by all the new places, species, and situations, Craze finds himself adjusting to his new circumstance by doing the only thing he’s really good at––wheeling and dealing in shady business practices just like his father taught him. Along the way, Craze stumbles across good fortune and bad, but also makes some good friends along the way.
This is a straight up space opera novel on the amazing backdrop of lots of creative world building. It’s obvious this is meant to be the first of a larger series. I believe there are seven total right now. If you like lots of excitement and color, then get ready to follow Craze from one world to the next in this adventure!
Elina Vale contacted me through this blog, asking if I would read and review her upcoming novel. I was happy to do so. I’m so glad I did, because I discovered a really lovely story.
This story follows the life of Gina Mansfred, a merchant’s daughter by day, and a thief named Lily by night. She’s struggling to find her place in a man’s world, as she decides where her heart is leading her. She feels obligated to continue the family business as a merchant, but during one of her nightly escapades, a mysterious locket lands in her possession that leaves her unsettled.
Gina’s life becomes even more complicated when she suffers a terrible loss that has her traveling across the sea to visit a family relative for answers about what she should do next. During her travels, she meets a mysterious man she can’t stop thinking about, and who leads her into dangerous waters. She also runs across alarming secrets connected to the locket that sends her world into further chaos.
The Charmed Locket kept me on the edge of the seat almost the entire read (I finished the novel in two days). Elina Vale does a great job in plunging the reader into external and internal conflict that keeps the reader hooked. If you love adventure and romance with a twist of darkness, then this book is definitely for you!
This is the first book in The Treasure Hunter’s Heart series. There is a prequel novella called FireHeart available now, and the second book of the series Hidden Truths is available for preorder.
I have been wanting to expand into book cover designing for awhile. I have enjoyed making my own book covers, and helping friends with their designs over the years. Now I am offering these services to any who want them.
Recently, I sat down and came up with four cover design packages that I think will fit a variety of cover needs, but I am also open to customizing depending on a clients needs. Here are the four packages.