The Mage Sister has earned another 5-Star review! Check it out!
Now I'm always reading posts and info from other authors, because there is always more to learn. And why wouldn't you want to know what worked for someone else? Anyway, some of them say you should never talk about or post your reviews, good or bad. Yes, well, first of all, who wants to talk about a bad review, right? But when you are an indie author, how is anyone supposed to see you unless you do promote yourself. It's hard to do, it's not in my nature, but do it, I must. And so I post reviews. It seems to me to be the best way to show you that, yes, really, other people have read the book and it wasn't SO bad they died from it. They didn't even throw up. Some of them even had nice things to say. Without even being asked! Reviews are actually not easy to get - I read that the rule of thumb is a 1:100 ratio, one review per 100 books read. I can't argue with that since, at least in my experience, that seems to be pretty accurate. So to me, those reviews are precious.
But do you know what I like most about reviews? Aside from the warm fuzzy that a good review will give you, I really enjoy seeing someone else's perspective. I lived with The Mage Sister and The Children of Fi in my head for so long, those stories sort of became a part of me, and I know them as if I've lived there. Being able to see what other people see when they read the stories is fascinating, and really gives me a jolt sometimes. It forces me to re-examine what I wrote, and see if I can see it that way, too. It forces me to widen my own perspective, and in some ways, it forces me to think about the way I communicate in my writing. I like that.
So, my apologies if my review-posting ways bug the cee-arh-aye-pee-ola out of you, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.
It's hard to talk about the new characters in The Children of Fi without putting out spoilers. Yep, there are new Kynllarians to get to know and love, and some questions from The Mage Sister are answered – like why did Arinda and Nathan form a mindlink? And where the heck did Jahx Rife come from? Who is his real father – the one he has nightmares about? Here are just a few of the new Kynllarians in The Children of Fi:
Praise Fiaryn! Great Fiaryn! For the love of Fiaryn! Fiaryn bless you! But who is this Fiaryn? And why has he been gone forever? Is he just a myth? A story from history to help explain the existence of Kynllaria? Nope! Fiaryn does exist, and she's been sulking for nigh on a thousand years (and no, that wasn't a typo). Fiaryn, one of the last of the Old World Fiar clan who led the Kyn by birthright, is the last High Chieftain of the Kyn. It was believed that Cristov Mac Cuin was the first mage but, in fact, it was actually Fiaryn.
Inniss is Fiaryn's son, and was born an oddity. His relationship with his mother is fractious at best, as Fiaryn bullies and smothers him something fierce. Inniss is a bit of a lost soul – forced into isolation with his mother, he hasn't had a chance to explore who he is or what he can do. There's not much else I can say about Inniss without telling too much, except that he has three children of his own, and we already know all three.
Roenan is the last King of Tenari, murdered about 400 years ago in a bloody coup against the Royal Family of Tenari. The Dunforth clan, the dirty schemers, rose against the royal Fahareth clan and murdered every last one… or did they? Rumor has it that Roenan's young son survived in secrecy, but no one knows what happened to him, if that rumor is even true. And Roenan? Let's just say he did die that night… sort of.
Asshat extraordiniare! The Dunforths, another Old World clan, has been scheming and plotting and pushing and battling with the Fiar clan to take over the Kyn since before Kynllaria even existed. They wormed their way into the Fahareth dynasty, even though Fiaryn barred them from crossing into Kynllaria in the first place, and forbid the Fahareth's to have anything to do them. Miles is the latest in a long line of asshats, and a psycho on top of that, and he's just smart enough to be dangerous. He's been abducting mages and has figured out how to control them to use for his own devices. And that's a big bunch o' trouble, no matter how you slice it. An army that can't be killed? Yikes!
King Oren of Chilharia
Descended from pirates. Would love to set the "Royal Navy" on Dunforth. Is there anything else you need to know?
Paul de Reaux
Paul is the Lead Mage of Azure Bay Keep, another of the mage settlements about midway between Tenari and Chilharia. Stone Circle Keep in Rowan was the first, and is the largest and most firmly established of the mage colonies. However, as we find out in The Children of FI, there are other settlements, as well.
The High King of Kynllaria
Guess who? It's the job Nathan hates to talk about, won't even admit to except under intense pressure. And now that he's discovered he has a verified, living, older brother, Nathan is hell-bent on handing over his crowns to him… even though he doesn't want them either. Whoops! Did I just say too much? Forget you read that! Just forget it!
What older brother, you say? Ha! You'll have to read the book and find out.
In order to better organize the website after publication of 'The Children of Fi', I have made a few changes. If you visit the 'Book' tab, you will find pages and associated information for both books. I have also added a 'Reviews' tab, so you can see what other people are saying about the books. I am very happy to say, it's all nice things, so far, but even if it weren't, you would find it there.
In saying that, I have had some feedback from a few different sources that I would like to comment on, discussing how they found certain characters unlikable at first. The two characters in question were Arinda and Jahx in the beginning of the book. Some words used to describe them were moody, bratty, arrogant, insufferable, petulant, and rude.
Am I mad about that? Heck no! It's actually really good feedback. First of all, each person who said that also said that by the end of the book, the characters had grown into much more likeable people and they cared what happened to them. It also means that they had an emotional investment in the characters, and for a writer, that's some of the best news you can get.
I designed my characters that way on purpose. And it is interesting to hear different people's perspectives on them. Some didn't like Arinda at first, others identified with her and understood why she was the way she was.
Because here's a fact – people have bad days. Some, like Arinda, have bad lives. Others are hiding secrets they are desperate to protect and will strike out at others if they feel that secret is threatened. Sorry to be the bearer of reality, but not everyone is nice all the time, particularly people who have been bullied. And I would know, because I was a bullied child. That's why I know how Arinda thinks.
For instance, a line in 'The Mage Sister' says: "How she hated them, those horrible kyn kids; how she wanted to be one of them, and have someone to giggle at, too". That is an observation I remember. It doesn't mean that she wants to be mean to someone else. It means that she wants to have the choice.
Quite likely, Arinda would be a champion to someone being bullied if given the opportunity (as she does indeed become in The Children of Fi), but she's never been given the opportunity. She's always been the target, and I can tell you one true thing – a bullied child wishes more than anything to not be a target.
If she had gone blindly along with her transition from being hidden away and terrified of the Circle of Mages to being right in the midst of them, happily accepting everything that happened to her, her character would not have rung true.
And Jahx was under a lot of pressure and having a bad day. His teacher refers to a recent bad experience with his childhood sweetheart, having thrown him over publicly. Actually, they'd been caught in compromising circumstances and her father had hauled him before King Nathan. To keep from getting in trouble, she had told her father that Jahx was the aggressor and had forced her. Fortunately for Jahx, Nathan knew him well enough to know how unlikely it was. But Jahx refused to openly deny it, hoping that somehow taking responsibility would fix the situation and he and his sweetheart would be able to be married as they wanted to. But, of course, it didn't.
Nathan made them tell their stories before a truthsayer and the real story came out. Her father didn’t like Jahx, thought there was no future for his daughter with him and had arranged for her to be married to another man. She didn't want to be married off, so she had instigated the incident, knowing they'd get caught and hoping that her father would make Jahx marry her. In the end, he didn't. She was sent away, and Jahx was utterly humiliated.
That's not in either of the books, because it's back story that is not part of the story. I may put it in a future book, but there's a little tidbit from Jahx's life for you, and the reason he was acting out so horribly. He'd always been a good kid and a gentleman, but after that, he figured, what was the point?
If he had not had his tantrum in front of his teacher, he wouldn’t have run out into the woods that night and become maged. And we find out later in The Children of Fi that Jahx was actually battling a past he could not forget, no matter how hard he tried – a past that haunted him. Those nightmares were real and terrifying.
No, real, true people do not behave nicely all the time. Sometimes they fight against changes that are good for them, because they feel threatened by them. We, as readers, can see that these changes are for the best and they will end up okay, because we have that omniscient view. But they don't. They feel their lives are in peril, and that's what makes a good story.
The fact that Arinda bites back, disagrees, answers back and doesn't always accept what she's been told is one the of characteristics that makes her unique among the mages. She has a mind of her own, and while some of the mages enjoy her spunk, some dislike her for it.
But who, in this world, is well-liked by everybody they know? I know I'm not. I am not Arinda. I cannot be my characters because they wouldn't be unique individuals. But I know her. Yes, I know her well.
The Mage Sister received a really nice 5 star review from SeriousReading.com! Thank you for the great review guys!
Check it out here! There is also an interview with yours truly wittering on about writing and such.
Hey, have you reviewed your favorite books? These days selling books is harder than ever. I'm not complaining, by any means, but I think many readers don't know the impact they can have on their favorite books AND their favorite authors. We love praise! We do. Even the ones who say they don't. They're fibbing.
Anyway, yes, selling books is not an easy task, especially for us little indies, particularly when our brand, spankin' new books don't have any reviews yet (like 'The Children of Fi', and yes, that's a hint). For instance, would you be willing to buy a book with no reviews? Most folks, including me, are more likely to buy a book if they can see that other people liked it. Because if another reader wrote a review, you can be sure that the book wasn't so awful it made them die. So you probably won't die from it, either, and that's a good start!
You can help out your favorite authors by giving their books a review! You can leave reviews on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Goodreads, and many other bookseller sites.
And it doesn't need to be a book report!
Get that out of your head right now! Just a few words - I liked it, and here's why. Or you can just say 'I liked it.' Believe me, your favorite author will be grateful. And I'm not just saying that!
Starting today, I'm giving away five signed copies of The Children of Fi on Goodreads! The drawing ends at midnight April 15th, so be sure you get your entry in. It'll be here before you know it.
I'm particularly proud of this one - I designed everything from the outside in, and I think it looks beautiful. I'm so pleased with how it turned it, I can't wait to share it with you all. And, of course, you'll get to catch up with Arinda and the Circle of Mages and join them for a brand new story!
I've heard rumors that there may be some burning questions answered and that a certain psycho with a red streak in his hair might make an appearance. Don't know. Just sayin' what I heard. You'll have to read it and find out!
Join the fun and sign up for the drawing today! And if you just can't wait, you can purchase the ebook or paperback at Amazon.
I didn't think it would happen so fast, or be so simple. I thought it would take forever with a kajillion tries at getting the format just right. But it didn't!
The Children of Fi is now available on Amazon for your reading pleasure at a bargain price of only $2.99! Check in with Arinda and the Circle of Mages in this sequel to The Mage Sister.
A great accomplishment, a dire mistake, and secrets buried long ago set into motion a volatile chain of events that will change the world of Kynllaria forever.
When Arinda’s school for female magickers becomes successful, she and King Nathan are invited to other countries to advise them on setting up their own programs. But not everyone is interested in the education of their girls, and not everyone is who they seem to be.
Happy New Year all! If you've been around here a while, you already know I don't make New Year's resolutions. I make goals, and I write them down in a list and put it away somewhere. Then next year, I'll pull out my list and see what I've accomplished over the year.
I'm always surprised by how much of the list I achieve without even realizing it. I'm very much an 'out of sight, out of mind' type of person, which is why I make lists in the first place. Every year, I approach that list with anxiety, certain that I'm the biggest loser ever, and yet, I'm always astonished at how much I've managed to achieve. And if it isn't something I've achieved, I've usually at least made progress on it, or it isn't something that matters anymore. Life is funny like that.
Whenever I'm upset, I try to force myself to think of where I will be five years down the road, and whether whatever is bothering me will matter then. In April, I will have been working on The Mage Sister website for five years. When I started I was ultra enthusiastic, and had no idea where it was going to go. Since then, I've met lots of really nice people, lots of people struggling to realize their dreams, too. I've learned a lot... enough to know that there is so much more to learn. Had a book published, and working on publishing another. A lot sure has changed in five years.
This year, I think, will be a year of trying new things, learning new things, and letting go of old things and old ideas. We'll see where it leads, but I approach this year simply with hope, and with the determination to work hard and to be what I started out to be, regardless of the outcome.
So to my writer friends and reader friends out there, Happy New Year. May 2016 be the year we all want it to be!
Hello all! It has been a while, but I assure you, I was absent with a purpose. I have been hard at work on my second book, ‘The Children of Fi’, sequel to ‘The Mage Sister’. I even have a note from my mother.
Please excuse Jeanne from her blog because she was working very hard on her book and wanted it to be really super good so you would enjoy it.
Love, Jeanne’s Mother
See there? Anyway, I’m trying something a little different this time, and you, yes YOU, can help me! Please, please help me??? I’m running a campaign on Kindle Scout to have my book published by Kindle Press (more on that further down). Here’s the link to my campaign page:
Kindle Scout is sort of a hybrid crowd sourcing/publishing program. The Kindle Press editorial team will make the final determination whether or not they will publish my book, however, you can tell them that YOU really want them to publish it by clicking that link and voting for my book. That tells them that people are really interested in reading this book.
Why should I, you say? What’s in it for me, you’d like to know? If Kindle Press decides to publish ‘The Children of Fi’, everyone who votes for it will get a FREE copy! That’s right! You’ll get to have it for your very own, for FREE! And you'll be helping an author out. Don’t have a Kindle? That’s okay! You can download a free Kindle reading app to your PC or hand held device and read it on that.
The campaign will run for 30 days, and I will keep you posted on how it’s going. So click that link! Don’t wait – do it now! You’ll have my sincere gratitude.
Mostly loony, generally harmless. Writer & professional smarty pants. Owned by an exasperated spaniel.