Made It Monday: A Back Cover!

Welcome to #MadeItMonday, where I post something I’ve made in the previous week, and where you can join in and post something you made too! The rules are easy: post a pic somewhere of something you’ve made in the last week (ish; let’s say in the last month as the hard-and-fast) and tag it. Sit back and enjoy scrolling through all the beautiful things we’ve collectively created, and celebrate the fact that humans can be awesome! 🙂

My creative contribution this week is a shiny new back cover for Liana Brooks’ Even Villains Fall In Love. This is the first book in her popular Heroes & Villains series, and although books 2 and 3 have been in print for a couple of years (and an omnibus edition of all three stories is available), this is the first time that book 1 will be in print as a stand-alone book. Yay! I, for one, am super excited to add this novella to my print collection–and I’m super excited to have had the opportunity to create the back cover. It was an awesome learning experience for me, and represents a big step up in my photoshopping skills. Whee! So much fun!

Even Villains Fall In Love will be available in print at most online vendors mid-next week, and will hit places like Book Depository etc towards the end of the month. Yay!

What have you made this week? (It doesn’t have to be fancy!!) Don’t forget to tag your contribution, or even better, leave a link in the comments!! I love seeing what inspiring things other people have made 🙂 🙂 🙂

#MadeItMonday: A Book, A Book! I Made A Book!

Welcome to #MadeItMonday, where I post something I’ve made in the previous week, and where you can join in and post something you made too! The rules are easy: post a pic somewhere of something you’ve made in the last week (ish; let’s say in the last month as the hard-and-fast) and tag it. Sit back and enjoy scrolling through all the beautiful things we’ve collectively created, and celebrate the fact that humans can be awesome! 🙂

Pretty much the only thing I’ve made this week apart from school resources and stuff is the internal pretties for Where Shadows Rise – which, okay, this feels a little like cheating in terms of ‘making’ something, but on the other hand, VERY PRETTY AND EXCITING!

If you want to read the first chapter, you can find it right here 🙂 Yay! Pretty book!

What have you made this week? (It doesn’t have to be fancy!!) Don’t forget to tag your contribution, or even better, leave a link in the comments!! I love seeing what inspiring things other people have made 🙂 🙂 🙂

Save

Practising In Public, Or, I Have A Book Coming Out in May :3

Years ago, I read an article that prompted somewhat of an epiphany. This is not, in and of itself, a noteworthy event, as this is something that happens with rather astounding regularity in my life. I guess when you read a lot, and when you read widely, this kind of thing is also just called ‘Learning More Stuff’. Yay learning! Yay stuff!

But anyway, this particular article (which I’m sure I linked to at the time but can’t for the life of me find on the blog at present*) was about a distinguishing factor between writing and a lot of other art-forms: namely that in many art-forms, practising in public is not only permissible, it’s actively encouraged. Painting pictures? You don’t have to be a painterly genius for the school to let you exhibit your work. Learning an instrument? Recitals are generally actively required, whether you sound like you’re strangling a cat with tomato sauce or not. Writing? …Yeah, probably just better put that notebook down and not show anyone your writing until you’re *good*, okay, honey? There’s a lovely sane writer person. *pat pat*.

The article, and subsequently I, took umbrage with this notion. Why NOT practise in public? Look at The Martian, for example. It’s arguable but also pretty intuitively obvious that the book only ever became as great as it did because the author took a risk and practised in public, garnering assistance and feedback along the way that made the book what it was.

Look. I don’t want to get too hung up on this idea; I just wanted to note that you know what, writers? Sometimes it’s okay for us to share stuff with The Reading Public that we know has flaws.*****

Segue. In 2010, I wrote a book. It was a book-of-the-heart, the first book I wrote straight through without blood, sweat or tears, and it was magical, and elating, and glorious. It was a book, actually, for my sister, not because the plot mirrors her life or anything (and even less so now than in that first draft) but because, at the time, it felt important that I could give her the gift of happy escapism for a while–and it dovetailed nicely with a fragment of an idea I’d had rolling around in my head for a while.

Segue. It’s 2017. This book has gone through about 7 drafts, at least 4 of those with relatively major changes, though it’s not like it was ever gutted and torn up for parts like some of my other novels. The resultant story is still largely the same shape as the original, just better. More book shaped, less like a whimsical object from my head.

Segue. It’s still 2017, and I have an emotional collapse on Twitter at a bunch of my writing friends. The Twinny One immediately gets onto Skype; she understands what the problem is in a way that’s hard for me to articulate on Twitter, and also in a way that’s hard to articulate on Twitter, she knows the solution. It’s the goalpost, she says.

See, seven years is Quite A Long Time to work on a book, really. Especially when your goal is to make some kind of living out of this. And over those years, numerous times, people have told me (kindly, for my own sanity’s sake) to put Sanctuary down, to shelve it, to walk away.

I don’t walk away from books. I’m terminally incapable. So being told to abandon this one is heart-wrenching, and I’m scared I’ll never finish it, and I’m scared I’ll be forced by time or people or circumstance to abandon it, and secretly I’m just plain old scared that I’ll never be good enough to edit a book to The End. Editing, y’all, is HARD, HARD WORK. Taking this story, this image, this idea that you have in your head and translating it into something that not only makes sense but is just as compelling for others as it is for you? HARD.

But for the first time, Liana puts it in words that seep into my head. It’s not that I’ve changed as a writer in those seven years, though it’s also that, and I most certainly have, in leaps and glorious bounds (though some days I still stumble and crawl). It’s not, as I heard this to mean, that I could do better, that I could write better than this, that I need to be constantly revisiting Sanctuary to update it with the new skills I’ve learned.

It’s the opposite. It’s not that I’ve changed as a writer so much as that I keep moving the goalpost. Of course the book will never be DONE if I keep applying new criteria to it; no book I ever write will be done if I work like that.

There are still some flaws in this book. I know they’re there, but fixing them would mean gutting the book and starting over, and I don’t have it in me to do that yet. Maybe one day I would, but I’m faced with a choice: I can let the book go, or I can hold onto it for another seven years, picking and prodding and angsting and hoping to someday get it ‘right’. I need to let it go. But letting go doesn’t have to mean shelving it. It can also just mean at last, finally, calling it done.

Practising in public, you see.

So here it is: my glorious piece of imperfection, a tiny part of my soul carved into words and made flesh of its own. I’m calling it done, I’m writing The End, and I’m turning it over to you, my wonderful, wonderful reader. I hope you’ll love it. But if you don’t, that’s okay; I’m practising in public, and I’ve done what I needed to do. Finally, I’m letting this glorious beast go.

A teal book cover with light exploding from the centre of it. Shadowed butterflies fly out and up from the light, and the title, Where Shadows Rise, overlays the image in a serif font with decorative curly elements. It's pretty. Very, very pretty.
Where Shadows Rise
Sanctuary Book 1
Coming May 24, 2017
Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | and more 🙂
(print and ebook)
(yay)
(isn’t the cover *astounding*?)


The fairies have a secret they’re just dying to protect…

Emma knows breaking the rules can get you into trouble; it nearly got her sister killed. That’s why Emma’s stuck in backwater Nowra, Australia, under temporary witness protection with no friends—and no life.

So when Emma has to break the rules to retrieve the runaway family dog, she decides the fairy she sees is clearly a guilt-induced hallucination. Problem is, hallucinations don’t usually send you invites to Fairyland—and shadows don’t usually chase you home.

It would be easy to ignore the invite.
It would be sensible to avoid the shadows.

But when Emma’s only new friend is snatched by the shadows in the middle of the night, Emma knows she has a decision to make: stick to the rules and leave her friend and dog to die, or risk her own life to save them.

CHAPTER ONE

THE DOORBELL RANG. That doesn’t sound exciting in and of itself, but let me assure you: it was the most heart-pounding thing to happen all week. It was my birthday, I was home alone, and because of the stupid witness protection business, I’d been stuck in the house all summer. I hadn’t even been allowed out to see friends, because we’d arrived in town at the end of last year with only three school weeks to go—so I didn’t have any friends.

Well. I had friends, but they were back in Melbourne, and I wasn’t allowed to contact them for fear someone would track down our new location. Lucky me.

Anyway, it was my birthday, I was alone because Mum and Dad had gone to do something regarding birthday surprises and Anna had inexplicably chosen to go with them, and the doorbell had just rung. I stared at the closed door, heart pounding, while our chocolate Labrador, Veve, tried to chew it down. Was I going to open it?

Of course I was going to open it. The chances of it being a mobster were slim to none; for starters, a mobster wouldn’t have rung the bell.

 

A teal book cover with light exploding from the centre of it. Shadowed butterflies fly out and up from the light, and the title, Where Shadows Rise, overlays the image in a serif font with decorative curly elements. It's pretty. Very, very pretty.
Where Shadows Rise
Sanctuary Book 1
Coming May 24, 2017
Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | and more 🙂

 

* Granted it is 10pm on Sunday night and I just spent 10.5 hours of my day marking things and my brain is leaking somehow out my ears and it’s goo, all goo, everything is goooooooo.**

** The number of times I mistyped ‘good’ for ‘goo’ just then is shameful. And probably indicative of my Tired. And possibly indicative of my subconscious’s determination to be optimistic? Sure, let’s run with that.***

*** Better than running with scissors.****

**** Imma get back to the main article in a second, I SWEAR. Any second now. Aaaaaany second…….

***** Of course, just as the right to voice your opinion does not include the right to be taken seriously, so too practising in public does not shield you from having substandard work received as such. I don’t advise this course of action unless you have a thick skin, or aim to develop one.

Releeeeeease The Unicoooooooorns!!

…Wait, what? The unicorns? Why are we releasing unicorns? And honestly if you’re talking about the unicorns in the Darkness and Good anthology by Amy Laurens and Liana Brooks which is OUT TODAY, releasing the unicorns is SERIOUSLY Not A Good Idea. Like, at all. You do want to *live*, don’t you? DON’T YOU???

Besides. If you died, how would you order your copy of this amazing anthology? YOU WOULDN’T. And then you’d NEVER get to read the ALL-NEW CONTENT that we wrote JUST FOR THIS ANTHOLOGY that you’ll never, EVER get to see ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD!!

Plus you won’t get to see that we really can actually Write Kinda Good and that when we say the Darkness and Good blog is drafts only, we actually do mean it.

Look, the anthology’s actually pretty good, okay? And it has pictures. Pretty pictures. I should know, ’cause I drew them. /nodnod. And these are the fan-favourite stories from the blog, so they must have at least SOME merit, y’know? And, like, the anthology’s on sale for the next month for $2.99, AND if you buy it direct from Inkprint Press you get both the epub AND the mobi files! (Or, y’know, you can buy it in print from Amazon and get the mobi file free if that’s your thing.)

Anyway. I’d better go. Some stupid person set the unicorns loose and now the fate of the world’s uncertain. I, for one, do not want to die a unicorn related death any time today. Or, for that matter, tomorrow. So yeah. Imma go round up unicorns. You… go read a book, or something like that.

😉
A

Darkness and Good: 38 fantasy and science fiction short stories by Liana Brooks and Amy Laurens

Save

A Happy Moment

In the midst of world chaos and a personally hectic week as school returns for a new year here in Australia, a bright spot arrived in the mail today:

Oh good, my fingers are perfectly covering the byline >.< That’s Liana Brooks’s name and my name under my fingers there, to reassure you 😉

And LOOOOOOOK!! I am *SO* happy with how these illustrations turned out. Some of them are better than others, but considering they were a last-minute thing that I couldn’t spend a huge amount of time on, I’m super happy. Look, here’s my favourite one:

So there we go. The pretty, shiny, Darkness & Good anthology 🙂 Available in online stores in print and ebook in early March.

Yay!

#MadeItMonday: Cover Reveal Time!!!

Welcome to #MadeItMonday, where I post something I’ve made in the previous week, and where you can join in and post something you made too! The rules are easy: post a pic somewhere of something you’ve made in the last week (ish; let’s say in the last month as the hard-and-fast) and tag it. Sit back and enjoy scrolling through all the beautiful things we’ve collectively created, and celebrate the fact that humans can be awesome! 🙂
Whee!!! It’s COVER REVEAL DAY!!! And yes, I am totally cheating and using this as a #MadeItMonday, because our budget for this anthology was about

this big

so I did the cover 😉

Darkness and Good: 38 fantasy and science fiction short stories by Liana Brooks and Amy Laurens

Yeah, okay, it needs a thin border around it. Hmm.

ANYWAY, yay! New book! We’ll be setting up preorders in the next couple of weeks, and the lovely Darkness & Good anthology will be released March 19. I’m excited!

From the Darkness and Good blog comes a collection of fans’ favourite stories, all in one convenient volume. Come read about gods and monsters, unicorns and shapeshifters, magical worlds and galaxies far, far away!

Oh, and if you’re a regular follower of the Darkness & Good blog, never fear – there’s some new content in this anthology too 😉

 

What have you made this week? (It doesn’t have to be fancy!!) Don’t forget to tag your contribution, or even better, leave a link in the comments!! I love seeing what inspiring things other people have made 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

LOST WOLF (Cool Book) + American Travel + Giveaway

Heya! Just popping by on my way to America to–

Wait, what? AMERICA?!?!

Oh, yeah. Didn’t I tell you that? I’m pretty sure I mentioned it on Twitter at least (once, or twice – a day… O:))… SO. I’M GOING TO AMERICA. LIKE, TOMORROW.* WHOOOOOOOOOA!!! I’m visiting the glorious Krista Ball for two nights, then heading up to the freezing wastelands of Alaska to see the twinny one, Liana Brooks. I’ll also get to meet up with Thea van Diepen, newly of Darkness&Good fame, as she generously plays airport taxi for me :o) SO. MUCH. EXCITEMENT!!

But in the meantime, I just thought I’d pop by to share a cool-sounding book with you 😉 (ALSO THERE IS A GIVEAWAY AT THE END YAY GIVEAWAY + BOOKS!)

* Where tomorrow = Saturday, because I’m pre-writing this so it’ll go up at the right time for the author, which is while I’m on a plaaaaaaaaaane! So in this case, tomorrow actually means yesterday, or something something something. Time. *wavy hands*. Yeah.

Lost Wolf by Stacy Claflin

lost-wolf
Isn’t the cover glorious?!?!

She’s hiding a dark secret. It already killed her once.

Victoria can’t wait to start college, but there’s a hitch—she can’t remember anything before arriving on campus. Her memories spark when she sees her ruggedly handsome math professor, but she senses something horrific. The shock on his face affirms her fears.

Toby is an alpha wolf who never thought he’d see his true love again—not after she died in his arms. Nothing could have prepared him for her walking into his class. But to his dismay, not only has she forgotten what happened, she doesn’t even know who she is.

He’s determined to do whatever it takes to restore what they’ve lost. Can Toby help Victoria recover her memories, or will he lose her forever?

If this sounds like something that might interested you, check it out in your favourite online bookstore (Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Kobo). ALSO! If OTHER books are things you are interested in, you can enter below for a $50 Amazon gift card, open internationally! WOO BOOKS! WOO INTERNATIONAL! WOO **INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL**!!!!!!!

…Yup, I think that’s my sanity used up for the day. Sorry ’bout that. Still. Go enter the giveaway. $50 of books = yay, amirite? 🙂

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#WeeklyBookPic, The Game!

You might have noticed a couple of posts recently with the tag #WeeklyBookPics. This is going to be a regular feature on the blog, appearing every Friday (my time – Thursday evening in the US I think). Every week will feature a different category, and I’d love it if you’d join in! Take a picture of the book that best fits the category for you* and post a link in the comments and/or reblog/retweet with your picture and the #WeeklyBookPic hashtag! Hopefully it’ll be a fun and easy way to be introduced to new books that we can all love :o) Hurrah!

* Feel free to interpret as loosely as you need to 😉

(PS Link to last Friday’s #WeeklyBookPic in case you missed it. The theme is “First Book” – the first book you read, the first book you read by yourself, the first book someone in your family read, or, you know, if you need to, feel free to get creative: the first book you read in a genre, the first book you laid your eyes on after reading the post, the first book you could think you… You get the gist 😀 )

Be An Inky Awards Judge!

In recognition of the fact that there are potentially a decent handful of teens who occasionally peruse this blog, if you are Australian an aged 12 – 20, and have time to read 20 books in 3 months, you should totally consider applying to be an Inky Awards judge this year! The judging period begins in May, applications to be a judge are open now, and you can find all the details on how to apply right here.

Happy reading! :o)

Jane Doe Cover Reveal!

Yay, the twinny one Liana Brooks has a cover for her upcoming sci fi thriller series with HarperCollins! This is the cover for the ebook, which is coming out on April 28. There will be a print edition too, but not for a couple of months after that

SO! What’s the book about, I hear you ask? Well! I have a blurb for you! HOW CONVENIENT.

A body is found in the Alabama wilderness. The question is: 
Is it a human corpse … or is it just a piece of discarded property?

Agent Samantha Rose has been exiled to a backwater assignment for the Commonwealth Bureau of Investigation, a death knell for her career. But then Sam catches a break—a murder—that could give her the boost she needs to get her life back on track. There’s a snag, though: the body is a clone, and technically that means it’s not a homicide. And yet, something about the body raises questions, not only for her, but for coroner Linsey Mackenzie.
The more they dig, the more they realize nothing about this case is what it seems … and for Sam, nothing about Mac is what it seems, either.
This case might be the way out for her, but that way could be in a bodybag.

A thrilling new mystery from Liana Brooks, The Day Before will have you looking over your shoulder and questioning what it means to be human.
DayBefore coverHarperCollins | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | GoodReads

Friday May 17th, 2069

Alabama District 3: Commonwealth of North America

With an asthmatic wheeze the engine died. It figured. Stuck in a man’s craw, it did. This truck had been his daddy’s and his pappy’s, and before the Commonwealth government forced him to replace the diesel engine with the newfangled water doohickey, he was certain he’d pass the truck onto his son.

He’d been playing under the hood of trucks since he was six and now he was stranded. Embarrassing, that’s what it was. He climbed out of the cab to check the engine out of habit. The ice blue block of modern fuel efficiency stared back. Three hundred bucks it’d cost him, straight from his pocket.

Oh, there was a government subsidy, all right. A priority list. Major Population Centers, they said. Unite the countries of the Commonwealth on a timeline, they said. And what did all that mean?

It meant the damn Yankees got upgraded cities and free cars before the ink was dry on the Constitution and what about the little man? Nobody thought about the working class. No one cared about a man covered in oil and grease anymore.

He thumbed his cellphone on. No reception. Figured.

So much for the era of new prosperity. He’d hoof it. There was a little town about five miles down the road where he could call Ricky to bring a tow truck. It would have been cheaper to pay the diesel fines than get all this fixed.

Off schedule. Over budget. Son of a –

He stared at the distant trees. Well, it wasn’t going to get any cooler.

He grabbed his wallet and keys from the cab of his truck. The tree line looked like a good spot to answer a call from nature, then he’d see if there weren’t a shortcut through to town. A meadowlark sang. Not a bad day for a hike. Would’ve been better if it weren’t so dammed hot, but at least the humidity was low. He wouldn’t like to walk in a summer monsoon, not at his age with arthritis playing up.

Under a sprawling oak he unzipped his pants. As an afterthought, he glanced down to make sure he wouldn’t stir up a hill of fire ants.

A hand lay next to his boots.

He blinked, zipped his pants slowly, and turned around. “Hello?”

Cicadas chirped in answer.

“Are you drunk?” The quiet field that looked so peaceful only moments before was now eerily sinister. He nudged the hand with his foot. It was swollen and pale and crusted with blood, just like a prop out of a horror movie.

Maybe it was a good idea to run to the next town.

 

 Pre-order your copy now!

HarperCollins | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | GoodReads

 More about Liana: Twitter | Facebook | Website | Newsletter