One of the things I love most about being an indie author is the opportunity I have to connect with other authors. The fantasy group I'm part of has many fabulous authors and one of them is revealing her cover. Kandi contacted us to see who had time on their blog and I was all, "Me, me, me! I'd love to!" And you know what I did? I forgot clean about getting it posted yesterday. Doh! Thanks for being gracious and forgiving, Kandi! So today, readers, I'm happy to share with you the cover reveal for Kandi's upcoming novel, Dragon's Posterity. Read on to learn more and enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post!
Looks pretty awesome, doesn't it? A little about Kandi:
Even as a young girl, Kandi J Wyatt, had a knack for words. She loved to read them, even if it was on a shampoo bottle! By high school Kandi had learned to put words together on paper to create stories for those she loved. Nowadays, she writes for her kids, whether that's her own five or the hundreds of students she's been lucky to teach. When Kandi's not spinning words to create stories, she's using them to teach students about Spanish, life, and leadership.
And now for the giveaway I promised you. Entry is simple. Just follow the directions on the Rafflecopter below. Prizes include what you see pictured here. Let me tell you, that dragon pendant is looking awfully pretty! If you want to know more about Kandi and her books, just visit her social media links:
This is James. Yep, he's kooky and lots of fun and my "little" brother. Can you call someone taller than you little? Anyway, you might be wondering why I've invited him to the blog today. Other than he's just a fun, awesome guy, James needs your help. No, not that kind of help. James is hoping to get to Iceland in summer of 2017 for an amazing study abroad opportunity. And like most college kids, funds are limited. So he's my Holiday 2016 project. Half of all profits made this year will be donated to him to help cover the costs of tuition and travel. So, let's get to know him a little bit!
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is James Schofield, born and raised in Derby, Kansas. Lived abroad in Iceland for two years while serving as a church missionary. Currently attending Brigham Young University for a degree in Studio Arts with a licensure to teach as well. Avid outdoorsman and Scouter.
Where do you draw inspiration for your art?
The great outdoors! Everything in nature is somehow inspirational, the complexity found within the simplest of things is so inspiring and I love working with the fine details of flowers and leaves.
How long have you been an artist?
Since I could pick up a pen! Although I tried to stick to academics for a couple of years, that did not work for me and I quickly went back to art.
Who is your favorite artist (past or present)?
Andy Warhol. Easily. I love the way he flattens images and I love the messages behind his art.
What is your favorite medium?
I’m kind of in between mediums right now. I have a deep love for the traditional oil paint, but recently I have been exploring the world of fabric art and textiles. Not sure which will win in the end, but that is where I am at currently.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
Do it! Don’t let others let you down or tell you that you can’t do it! The world needs more artists!!
Of all the places to study abroad, why Iceland?
Multiple reasons. 1. I lived in Iceland for two years and have absolutely fallen in love with the country. 2. It is a landscape artist’s dream! The complexities of Iceland are astounding and cannot be compared to anything else. 3. I am very interested in how we can work better within our environments and Iceland is one of the best countries in terms of working with their environment.
Where can people go to view your art?
It's release day for Fellowship of Fantasy's first ever anthology: Fantastic Creatures! Twenty authors, including yours truly, got together to write short stories about various fantastic creatures from dragons, to mermaids, to goblins. It's a delightful collection with stories for every type of fantasy reader. Are you excited to learn more? Keep reading!
To celebrate our release, some of us have gotten together for a fun scavenger hunt with delightful prizes. The grand prize winner will receive a Kindle Fire along with eBooks from each of the participating authors. The instructions are simple: Visit each blog to learn about a different story and author in the anthology (nope, you won't find mine here), look for a number in the blog and remember that number when you go to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway. Links to each of the blogs will follow, so stop by each one! Easy peasy, right?
So, now I have the great honor of introducing Lea Doué to my blog.
Guest Author - Lea Doué
Hello! My name is Lea Doué, and I'm the author of The Firethorn Chronicles, a fantasy series drawn from The Twelve Dancing Princesses and other classic fairy tales. I live with my husband and two boys in Nova Scotia, and I'm so excited to have my story included in the Fellowship of Fantasy Fantastic Creatures anthology.
My story is titled Snapdragon, and it was inspired by The Frog Prince by the Brothers Grimm. It's set in the world of The Firethorn Chronicles, where dragons are as common as any other wildlife and come in all shapes and sizes. Some are fierce, some are friendly, and some are just plain annoying. (You can read more about some of the varieties in the Dragon Dictionary on my website.)
Snapdragon is set hundreds of years before the first book in the series. It gives a peek into the life of the man who later became the soldier-king and started the Dragon Wars, which cleansed the lands of ravaging razor-tail dragons and destructive sorcerers. And here's a little Easter egg for you: In The Midsummer Captives (Firethorn Chronicles 2), one of the characters can be seen reading a book titled The Soldier-King and the Lady of Thorns, which is essentially the story of Snapdragon under a different name.
The Firethorn Crown (Firethorn Chronicles 1) is currently available on Amazon. (An aside from Jessica, if you enjoyed my fairy tale retellings I promise you that you will LOVE Lea's book! It is fabulous!)
The Midsummer Captives (Firethorn Chronicles 2) will release later this month/early December. You can read the first chapter on my website.
Red Orchid: A Firethorn Chronicles Novelette (a prologue to book three, due out in 2017) is available to download for free when you sign up for my newsletter.
And Snapdragon is available in Fantastic Creatures: A Fellowship of Fantasy Anthology. Be sure to check it out, along with all the other fantastic stories!
Just for fun, Lea is hosting a little giveaway! Be sure to enter to win an eBook copy of The Midsummer Captives.
Fantastic Creatures: A Fellowship of Fantasy Anthology
Thanks for joining us, Lea! Now to tell you a little about our anthology and where to get it. The anthology is free to download from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and others. You can also add it to your To-Read list on Goodreads. Curious yet? Here's the blurb to tempt you more:
Here be dragons ... and selkies and griffins and maybe even a mermaid or two.
Twenty fantasy authors band together to bring you a collection of thrilling tales and magical monsters. Do you like to slay dragons? Or befriend them? Do you prefer to meet cephalopods as gigantic kraken or adorable tree octopuses?
Each story focuses around a fantastic creature from folklore or mythology, and they range from light and playful tales for the whole family to darker stories that may make you wish to leave the lights on. These stories carry the Fellowship of Fantasy seal of approval. While our monsters may be horrifying, you won't stumble into graphic sex and constant swearing.
Perfect for the fantasy lover who can't get enough of mythical beasts.
My dear, dear readers. It's been over a month since you heard from me on my blog. I've been spotty on Facebook and mostly absent on Twitter (which I guess isn't all that different from normal). I could give you a lot of excuses. I could tell you I've been too busy to keep up with The Sheriff and Mrs. Jannsen. I could tell you that I've been preoccupied with events and releases. But those would just be excuses and would only be partially true.
The truth is harder to admit to because it's something I don't face often. Depression. Certainly not to the point of being clinical or needing to seek professional help. But it has been there just the same. I forced myself to finish (and truly did enjoy) writing Holly and Mr. Ivy. Partially, the writing gave me an escape and since I knew exactly where I wanted the story to go, I didn't have to think to much about it. Just let the characters carry the story. The other part was having spent a good chunk of change on a gorgeous cover, the practical side of me insisted that I needed to do something with it. I put on a brave face when talking to people. I tried to get into NaNoWriMo which is one of my favorite parts of the year. But my heart just wasn't in it. I knew it, but I tried anyway.
Oh, I've gotten a few things done. Holly and Mr. Ivy released and I set up tweets and Facebook posts about it. I participated in an author open house which did great things for boosting me out of my funk. I've had tables at two local craft shows which has increased awareness of this small town author and gave me a chance to get out a little. I've painted all the horses in my inventory and they're all lovely. Christmas has definitely been on my mind, which might show just a little. I've been helping prepare for the Fellowship of Fantasy Anthology release as well.
But with the few things I did get done, there were lots of things not getting done. Mostly writing. I started Let Him Call You Sweetheart, a sequel to Holly and Mr. Ivy. I also started a project called Toil and Trouble which may end up a short story, might be a novella and may turn into a full-fledged novel, not sure yet. But I only started them. I haven't worked on them in weeks. The Sheriff and Mrs. Jannsen has been abandoned all together which is certainly not fair to you readers who so enjoyed Scarlett and Blizzard and were looking forward to helping with the next story. And we won't go into how far behind I am on my children's Christmas story.
So the question I had to answer was, "What are you going to do about it?" I've done some thinking and I think I've got the best solution for this time.
I'm giving up on NaNoWriMo, sort of. I plan on getting myself into a writing routine and setting goals that are doable and meaningful for where I am right now. With three littles at home vying for attention and homeschooling the oldest, 50K in a month just isn't practical. Especially when that month is filled with birthdays, releases, Thanksgiving, and other obligations. I definitely don't need the extra guilt and pressure of watching my word bar flounder.
Jumpstart The Sheriff and Mrs. Jannsen
I need to get back in this because I know it's something you've all enjoyed. I've linked the first chapter above. In the next couple days, I'll get the second chapter finished and posted on the blog. Then it will become part of my writing routine. Every two weeks I will write and post the next chapter, using your suggestions to keep the story flowing.
Illustrate and Write
I've changed directions on my Christmas story at least three times since September. Not good for getting things finished. So what I've settled on is a story with coloring pages instead of full-color illustrations. My children love to color and they like more challenging pages than most children's coloring books provide. I'm sticking with the Fairy Christmas theme, so there will be lots of fantasy creatures to color in, but there will also be a fun, rhyming story to go along with the coloring pages.
Release Parties and Blog Hop
Fellowship of Fantasy is releasing our very first anthology, Fantastic Creatures, on November 17th. It is available for preorder right now for $0.99, but will be free on release day. (We learned you can't set up a free book for preorder.) You can learn about it at our website and we would love to have you join us for the release party between 2:30 and 6 (CST) on the 17th. I will be putting a lot of time and energy into that for this week and the days following the release. There will also be a blog hop featuring several of the authors and stories to be found in the anthology. I will have Lea Doué on my blog as well as a list of blogs to go to for more information. The other cool thing about this blog hop: it's a scavenger hunt. Each blog post will have a clue which you can use to enter into a giveaway of a Kindle Fire and 12 new eBooks! It's going to be a lot of fun, so make sure you stop by here on the 17th.
It's November and that means it's time for me to start my annual holiday sale. Last year I donated proceeds to the Community Enhancement Foundation of Plains to bring a grocery store to our small Kansas town. This year, I'm helping my little brother (if you can call someone four inches taller than you little) get to Iceland for a study abroad opportunity. I'll be sharing an interview with him soon, but you'll notice that everything on my website it currently at reduced price and you should be watching regularly for special deals. If you prefer to do your shopping on Amazon or have giftcards to Barnes and Noble or other retailers, don't worry. I'm including sales from all of my current outlets.
Readers, I love you and I appreciate so much your patience, encouragement and love. It means a lot to me. The healing process can be slow, especially when it's your heart trying to heal. But you look for the sunshine, you thank God for the little miracles that keep you going, and you take one day at a time. Now it's time for me to rise up and shake off the melancholy. It's time to get back into the things I love doing. And it's time to show you wonderful readers all the wonderful things I've got in store for you.
Big hugs readers, and I'll chat with you again soon. I promise.
Jessica L. Elliott
Author, artist, mom and super-genius