Second, the cover reveal will take place this Friday, April 17! Be sure to come back then to see the gorgeous new artwork.
Third, as the headline says, you can read the first chapter of the book right now, right here.
If you bought the paperback version of Until All Curses Are Lifted, you might have already read this as a preview, and you’re wanting more. Don’t fret. Chapter two will be posted next Monday! But if you’re a member of the mailing list, you’ll see it several days early! So join the mailing list already!
So what’s this book about? Here’s the back cover blurb:
“When one curse is lifted, we will be on a path to the lifting of all curses.”
Though his life has been dramatically altered, Marshal can find no way to advance his new cause. His half-brother Volraag begins a war that could have ramifications for two worlds. Caught up in the fighting, Marshal finds nothing but despair. His best friend, bonded to Marshal since childhood, may be the only one who can save him… from the war and from himself.
Seri searches for Marshal, but suffers a devastating loss almost immediately. Then she meets a mysterious magic-user who wields power unlike any she’s seen before. Who is he and what does his coming mean for the six lands of Antises?
Together, Seri and Marshal may be able to stand against Volraag’s growing power. But they will need much more help if they are to fight against a plot that spans ages, a plot instigated by mysterious dwellers of the Starlit Realm.
The epic story begun in Until All Curses Are Lifted continues…
After discussion with my beta readers and some friends, I have decided to give these books a series title. I didn’t think it was necessary with the first book, but everyone seems to agree now that it is. Therefore, Until All Curses Are Lifted is officially the first book in the Heart of Fire series.
One of the advantages of independent publishing is that I can make changes to the cover or the interior of the book any time I want. In this case, I added the series title at the bottom and added a couple of review comments on the front and back.
What does this mean to you? Well, if you’re a completist, you should run to Amazon and buy a new copy. I won’t discourage you. But what about all those copies with the original cover? Who knows? Maybe they’ll be worth something someday. Set them aside. Carefully.
Of course, this means the cover of Until All Bonds Are Broken will have that same series title. Which also means: it’s getting close. Very close. Stay tuned.
Like most people, I’m sitting at home. Unlike most people, I’m used to it. I’ve been working from home (freelance) for ten years. Unfortunately, the virus has impacted the industries from which I get my work, so… like many people, I have more time on my (carefully washed) hands.
You’d think this would mean I’m getting more writing done. And I am making significant progress. When I’m not doing yard work, playing games with the kids, or any other of a myriad of things that just keep popping up.
At the moment, I have two scenes left to consider and re-write. And then… I think this book (Until All Bonds Are Broken) might be done. I still have to decide what else I’m including in this book – afterword, preview, etc. And I am hoping to hear from two other beta readers (I need to email them!). But, barring any other setbacks, this book should be ready to publish by the beginning of Summer. I think. Could be sooner. Could be later.
I’m working on another book. Brainstorming a couple more. Dreaming a few more.
Sometimes we writers use words too much. Wait. That’s not what I meant.
Sometimes we use the SAME words too much. All writers do. We have our pet words or phrases we use all the time. Sometimes, we’re aware of it and work hard to avoid it. Sometimes we’re blind to it until a reader points it out.
The most pernicious of these words are filler words like “that,” or being verbs like “was” and “had.”
As part of my revision process, I’ve been doing searches on those particular words and doing what I can to cut them down. Sometimes, especially with a word like “that,” I can just delete it. Sometimes, I need to re-write entire sentences or even paragraphs.
So far in the last week or so, I’ve eliminated 174 uses of “that,” 345 uses of “was,” and 77 uses of “had.” (Just getting started on “had.”)
This may seem crazy to non-writers or editors. Why bother with all of this? Why not just get the story out?
The end result is much stronger writing, which benefits readers, whether you realize it or not. Poor writing, while it may not be immediately noticeable to the average reader, works on you over time. An entire book of it? It will diminish your enjoyment of the story itself, leaving you a little unsatisfied, even if you’re not entirely sure why.
So be patient, dear readers, as I go through this mind-numbing process. (Because it is. I’m sick of these words.) It’s important.
And then after this, I need to work on adverbs. Wheee.
I had a very different plan for what I was going to post here today. Weird things happen.
In this case, my washing machine broke. Thanks to the internet (yay internet!), I figured out that the drain pump was clogged. This morning, I took it all apart, cleaned it up, and put it back together.
And then it happened. I dropped the very last screw down into an eight-inch deep, one-inch wide shaft. Ugh.
For the next hour, I felt like the kids in the movie The Sandlot. I tried scheme after scheme to get to that stupid screw. Nothing worked. Vacuum. Magnets. Wire. Sticky-tack. Hot glue.
In some ways, I realized later today, that madness is not unlike what I’m going through in this editing process.
I know a particular scene can resonate. But it’s missing something. Let me try this… no, that doesn’t work… how about this… no, still doesn’t work… And on and on it goes. It may be just one word that solves everything in a particular scene. But I have to keep trying.
The good news is that eventually, I did solve the screw problem. I attached a narrow piece of PVC pipe to the vacuum cleaner with duct tape and sucked the screw out. But then I had to dig through the vacuum’s bag to find it. Pro Tip: if you’re vacuuming up a screw that you need, put in a fresh bag first.
And eventually, I’ll solve all these editing problems. It’s actually coming along quite well. I’m pleased with what I have, but I know there are still many things that could be better. I’ll be sending it to some alpha readers very, very soon for their feedback.
In related news, my continuing studies in writing have convinced me that I’m just not working hard enough. I’ve written out a four-year writing plan. If I stay motivated and do the work, I’ll have 5-6 books out by the end of this period. That’s good news for you if you actually like reading what I write.
If you’re stuck on something, keep trying. You never know when just one word – or a strip of duct tape – will solve the problem.