BEFORE WINTER!

img_0286-1On September 21, Harper Voyager UK is releasing Before Winter, the third book in the Wolves of Llisé trilogy. Before Winter arrives as “digital first” and Harper Voyager has also discounted both of the first two eBooks: Among Wolves and Grim Tidings, so you can acquire the whole set inexpensively!

Although I placed the trilogy in an imaginary empire, the narrative has a strong French flavor. This story has allowed me to air my political and social views about the importance of education, health care, and the plight of the poor. But there has been another thread running through all three books: my characters are not only Christian but Catholic. Perhaps, that seems like an odd quirk coming from a Presbyterian!

Catholicism has always played a strong part in my life. My father, an architect who specialized in Catholic schools, brought priests home to dinner on a regular basis. As a very small child, I knew them simply as kindly men, who brought me stuffed bunnies and promised to build me a treehouse, as soon as my father drew up the plans!

That gentle early impression led me to spend my first two years at a Catholic College. I spent my last two at a Presbyterian school but emerged as a kindergarten teacher, welcomed back to Catholicism when I was offered a job at our local Catholic School. It was the icing on the cake that my father had designed the building!

I felt completely at home with the ritual of Mass, welcomed it really because it seemed to call to something basic and traditional inside of me. I tried hard to show Devin’s love for his church. I, also, have a set of rosary beads. I found them with my mother’s jewelry after she died. I immediately wanted to keep them, but wondered where they had come from. I still don’t know, but I realize she must have cherished and valued them, too. I use Anglican Prayer Beads almost every night and I wanted Devin to cherish his rosary just as much as I did mine.

Writing books gives authors the rare privilege to tentatively show readers what matters most in their own lives. We bare our souls a bit with each new story. I hope you can find something in my characters that touches your heart, as well. I have given my heart to them to share with you.

 

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AND THEN THERE WERE THREE!!

Among Wolves final Cover Grim Tidings4  img_0286

I expected a certain amount of relief when I finished Before Winter, the last book in The Wolves of Llise trilogy. Yes, it’s nice to have finished all the edits and proofreading but I feel a sense of loss, too. I have lived daily with these characters for three years, had them brewing in my head for lots longer than that and it’s hard to shift gears to start something else.

My computer is filled with ideas – everything from full manuscripts to first sentences and catchy titles. I have one completed YA novel, a nearly finished historical novel, ideas for three middle grade novels, and about a zillion picture books just waiting for me to touch them with my magic keyboard and bring them to life! There is no lack of ideas. I’ve just lost my momentum.

When dialogue creeps in my head, as it does constantly, I hear Devin’s and Marcus’ voices. I think of new quips for Gaspard, waving his wine bottle in hand. I want to probe the depths of Angelique’s soul, and find out what really makes her tick. And where is Armand’s orange cat? That remains unresolved and I am a cat lover, so I want to know. I want to explore the other provinces of Llise! They  are still a mystery and as tantalizing as anything else I have lined up for attention on my computer.

With just under a month until Before Winter is released in eBook, I want to bask a little in the glow of having finished three novels! But I will still dream of Llise and imagine what will happen to my beloved characters next. Could Before Winter be the ending or is it just the beginning? Only time will tell!

 

 

 

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BEFORE WINTER

It’s hard to believe that I am deep into the structural edits of Book #3 in The Wolves of Llise series. The Harper Voyager team designed this gorgeous cover. It’s my favorite of the three books! I love the colors, the hint of frost on the fall leaves, and that brass button that is given to Devin in Book #2 as a token of entry to Madame Aucoin’s home. Fall is my favorite season by far and this cover epitomizes it!
 

This  book was a long time coming. Months passed with a few feeble attempts on my part to begin and then finally in December when there were dozens of other things demanding my attention and an unexpected hospitalization that only just had me home for Christmas, my head was suddenly full of dialogue, scenes, and new characters. I felt as though my head would burst before I could lay everything out on paper. Before Winter emerged fully grown on the computer screen. Words tumbled out, the count growing with each day, and I spent the next 3 months deep in the northern provinces of Llise. Four days a week, I took my breakfast upstairs to my office, skipped lunch, and emerged staring vacantly around 6:30 in the evening. I barely saw my husband and daughters, because my writing devoured most of my day. 
Writing can be as addictive as adrenaline – coursing through your mind and body until you can’t think about anything else. It becomes so important that you forget to eat or drink or sleep or pay your bills on time. The creative process provides its own energy, burning bright and true. It can also burn you out but you are unaware you are being consumed by it while you are in the throes of giving birth to a novel. It’s no secret that I usually get sick after I’ve finished a book.  It’s worth it though. It’s just the price I pay for putting my thoughts into words on paper.

Before Winter is the third book in a trilogy, but I am loath to leave these characters behind. There is still so much of Llise to explore. Already I am toying with where a fourth book might take these characters I have grown to love and have created with my own mind and hands. Creation is heady stuff! I’m not about to stop now!

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SCI FI/FANTASY GIVEAWAY

I’m happy to have Among Wolves included in this giveaway by other Harper Voyager authors. If you haven’t bought a copy yet – here’s your chance to get one free!
Family is such a comfort. There’s your blood family and then there’s the family you create through shared experiences. There’s no better shared experience than writing, and many of the authors from Harper Voyager have become close. We love to support each other.
And we love to do things together! Like chat about science fiction and fantasy books.
And super lucky for readers, we like to give away books together, too!
Please check out this collection of magnificent science fiction and fantasy books! Then use the rafflecopter below to enter to win a paperback copy. Or if a book sounds too good to miss, links are included so you can go ahead and purchase.
We will choose three winners/each winner will receive four books. (Note: Winners must provide a US address.) The contest runs from Saturday, March 4th until March 15th. Please remember to tweet about the giveaway for extra chances to win!
And be sure to join us for our monthly twitter #SFFChat at 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm EST on Monday, March 6th. We’ll be chatting about every aspect of being a writer: querying, editing, drafting, marketing, and much more. We want you to join our SFF Family.
Giveaway Books



“What on earth would I gain from that?” I asked him. “Risk my own neck by violating my banishment just to leave you? The sentence placed on me if I return is execution. If I’m entering the mountains again, I’d damn well better get something out of it.”

Exiled from the Silverwood and the people she loves, Mae has few illusions about ever returning to her home. But when she comes across three out-of-place strangers in her wanderings, she finds herself contemplating the unthinkable: risking death to help a deposed queen regain her throne.

And if anyone can help Mona Alastaire of Lumen Lake, it is a former Woodwalker—a ranger whose very being is intimately tied to the woods they are sworn to protect. Mae was once one of the best, and despite the potential of every tree limb to become the gibbet she’s hanged from, she not only feels a duty to aide Mona and her brothers, but also to walk beneath her beloved trees once more.

A grand quest in the tradition of great epic fantasies, filled with adventure and the sharp wit—and tongue—of a unique hero, Woodwalker is the perfect novel to start your own journey into the realm of magical fiction.







Following the events of Elixir, Mabily “Mab” Jones’ life has returned to normal. Or as normal as life can be for a changeling, who also happens to be a private detective working her first independent case, and dating a half-fey.

But then a summons to return to the fairy world arrives in the form of a knife on her pillow. And in the process of investigating her case, Mab discovers the fairies are stealing joy-producing chemicals directly from the minds of humans in order to manufacture their magic Elixir, the dwindling source of their powers. Worst of all, Mab’s boyfriend Obadiah vows to abstain from Elixir, believing the benefits are not worth the cost in human suffering—even though he knows fairies can’t long survive without their magic.

Mab soon realizes she has no choice but to answer the summons and return to the Vale. But the deeper she is drawn into the machinations of the realm, the more she becomes ensnared by promises she made in the past. And in trying to do the right thing, Mab will face her most devastating betrayal yet, one that threatens everything and everyone she holds most dear.






Three brilliant novellas. One fantastic story.

Collected together for the first time, T. Frohock’s three novellas—In Midnight’s Silence, Without Light or Guide, and The Second Death—brings to life the world of Los Nefilim, Spanish Nephilim that possess the power to harness music and light in the supernatural war between the angels and daimons. In 1931, Los Nefilim’s existence is shaken by the preternatural forces commanding them … and a half-breed caught in-between.

Diago Alvarez, a singular being of daimonic and angelic descent, is pulled into the ranks of Los Nefilim in order to protect his newly-found son. As an angelic war brews in the numinous realms, and Spain marches closer to civil war, the destiny of two worlds hangs on Diago’s actions. Yet it is the combined fates of his lover, Miquel, and his young son, Rafael, that weighs most heavily on his soul.

Lyrical and magical, Los Nefilim explores whether moving towards the light is necessarily the right move, and what it means to live amongst the shadows.





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Porch Swings and Spring Peepers

frogJust at dusk I walked down to put several letters in our rural mailbox. It was so lovely and warm that I sat down on the cushionless porch swing. The spring peepers were trilling their songs in our pond off the patio. They sounded really lovely like distant bells. The problem is that little froggies shouldn’t be peeping in February. My tulips shouldn’t be up and my roses shouldn’t be putting out new leaves. Today it was 70 degrees. Tomorrow’s low is supposed to be 14. If you are a plant, an animal, or a human this weather is difficult to cope with. My sweet little peepers will probably flash freeze tomorrow night and I’ll have to fish their little bodies out of the pond with a rake – yuck!

Three geese flew overhead, honking. I heard them long before I saw them and then they flapped over the porch roof and were gone, their calls growing more distant. Then one goose returned going the opposite direction. First, I thought he was lost and had missed his connection with the first group. Then, my storyteller persona kicked in and I thought “Ah, he’s going back for his mate.” I wait in anticipation of seeing the happy couple fly back to join the other geese but it didn’t happen. He must have been lost, after all. His calls faded away long after he was gone from sight. So much for happy endings. It would have made for a much more exciting blog had they been reunited! I’m sorry if you are disappointed but I was, too.

Darkness fell and the porch swing made its familiar grating sound. Suddenly, something answered it very loudly from the corner of the front yard by the fence. It was a cross between a croak and a quack and it got rapidly closer. It answered the porch swing’s every backward swing. I wasn’t sure whether to stay or run. It was dark enough by then that I couldn’t see anything out in the grass but the sound continued, getting louder and louder as it made its way step by step to the porch. I decided it was still February and I should go inside. Some days just don’t go the way you’ve planned.

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Home For Christmas

I love Christmas. I always plan my vacation for the last few days of Christmas week – time for baking cookies,  wrapping gifts, and putting the final touches on holiday decorations.

I heap the mantels of our old farmhouse in pine and holly, tucking twinkle lights and pine cones in the greenery. I swag our beautiful old railing with pine and lights from the walnut newel post, the whole way up and around the hallway upstairs. I used to decorate five trees: one each for the living room and dining room, one in front of the middle window in the upstairs hall, one in the upstairs living room, and a kitchen tree with popcorn and cookies. I’ve cut back since renovations have added a family room. The main tree goes there and I only add a tree in the living room now. When we restored our kitchen, I painted our cabinets a deep farmhouse red and eliminated the bulkheads so that I could top them with pine and lights, too. However, none of this outshines the cherished traditions we have established over the years with our two daughters.

They both spend Christmas Eve at our house where we have a very simple supper of their favorite potato soup and go to the candlelight service at our church where my younger daughter currently serves as associate pastor.  Afterwards we hurry home to snuggle into new Christmas pajamas and gather to drink eggnog and eat cookies by the fire. Finally, as midnight nears the final presents are tucked under the tree. The stockings are stuffed in bedrooms amid much secrecy. The Night Before Christmas is read (Remember I’m a children’s librarian and some traditions are sacred!) and then we’re off to bed. Sometime during the night the stockings are smuggled stealthily into our upstairs living room and hung on the mantel in the dark amid giggles and an occasional stubbed toe!

On Christmas morning, we share a breakfast of scrambled eggs, orange slices, and sweet bread topped with my mother’s traditional orange butter. Afterwards, we take giant mugs of tea or coffee, festooned with snowmen, angels, or reindeer and retire to the family room. We sit around the tree, aglow with lights and savor the unwrapping of each gift. The pace is different now. Gone are the days when two little girls rushed down the stairs to tear open their presents but Christmas is no less sweet.

We take our time enjoying each other’s company, trying on new hats and scarves and taking goofy pictures that will make us smile for years to come. When the gifts are open we put out an array of snacks on the kitchen island and work together to put casseroles in the oven for Christmas dinner. We set the table with our Night Before Christmas plates and use my grandma’s beautiful sterling silverware. We light the candles and talk over dinner, wishing the day wouldn’t end. But it does. The girls pack up their gifts, their boxes, and bags and say goodnight among hugs and usually a few happy/sad tears on my part.

I don’t know how long we can continue this cherished celebration. Eventually, distance or marriage may cause this pattern to readjust but we’re experts now at doing that. As toddlers grew into teenagers and finally into career women, our Christmas celebration changed too. The huge, extended family gatherings are gone as loved ones have passed on and siblings have moved away. Our pace is different now. The emphasis is simply on being together, setting aside this one day to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour as a family and holding onto as many traditions as we can for as long as life allows us. Merry Christmas!

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Book Two Paperback Release Day! — Among Wolves- Nancy K. Wallace

It’s publication day for the paperback of Book Two of Nancy K. Wallace’s fable-based fantasy Grim Tidings! In Book two of the Wolves of Llise trilogy,we continue to follow Devin Roche, the son of Llise’s ruler, in a land where keeping historical records is forbidden. To do so would mean imprisonment – or death. Only bards may share […]

via Book Two Paperback Release Day! — Among Wolves- Nancy K. Wallace

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