Stories update!

Greetings, Champions, I hope you’ve had a lovely weekend!

Although I’ve been forced to take a few half-days for some unexpected things, I’ve still managed to be very productive, so Sleeping Beauty is over three-fourths finished! I should be able to wrap it up this week. Editor #1 took a peek at it last week–I wanted to see what she thought of the romantic plot because it needed a few tweaks–and Myrrhlynn (my cover artist) started reading it Friday night. Editor #1 likes the hero of the story, and Myrrhlynn really loved the heroine, so hopefully that bodes well for its reception. 😉

In other news, my short story for the fairy tale anthology I mentioned in my last post is about half-way finished. I’m doing a retelling of the hilarious Grimm fairy tale, “The Dirty Shepherdess.” (In fair warning it might not be as hilarious to others as I found it. The events are just so over-the-top dramatic I can’t help but cackle over it. It reminds me a bit of Rumpelstiltskin in the randomness of it.)

The anthology is due out in early November. There’s a lot of cool authors who are writing fairy tale themed short-stories for the anthology, so hopefully you guys will discover some new authors as a result of this. (Confession time! When we were all signing up for the fairy tale we wanted to do, I realized I’m the requisite weirdo of the bunch as I’m the only one doing an obscure fairy tale no one’s heard of and I was chortling to myself the entire time. That should be my new tagline: K. M. Shea–the designated weirdo among authors. Woohoo!)

The anthology is organized by Casey Lane. Casey, although he’s a new convert to the fairy tale genre, writes awesome kick@$$ fight scenes. Casey’s first book–Cinderella Dreams of Fire–bends towards the paranormal genre, so if that’s up your reading alley then I really recommend checking it out! (Or if you are a huge fan of good fight scenes like I am, then you’ll love it!) Anyway, poor Casey, as I mentioned, is the sucker who will be releasing and organizing the anthology. (I say sucker because organizing this kind of thing with so many authors is like attempting to herd cats.) Casey expects that the anthology will be released in early November, and is planning to have some fun launch events, so that’s something to look forward to!

Alright, that’s all for today! You guys have a great week! Hopefully the next time I post Sleeping Beauty will be finished. Thanks for reading!

Cover Reveal: Swan Lake

Good day to you, Champions! Great news: I’m hopeful that Swan Lake (Timeless Fairy Tales book 7) should be available for preorder by the end of the week! In the meantime, I thought I would hold the cover reveal!

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I think Wild Swans is my favorite cover Myrrhlynn has made for me, and I had no idea how she was going to top it for Swan Lake as the themes are somewhat similar, but she blew me away with this one! The girl pictured is, as you probably guessed, Odette. She’s a really fun heroine–perhaps a little gruff but she’s an absolute sap when you get to know her. The hero, Alexsei, who is not pictured is just about the exact opposite. He’s openly sweet, but he’s got a hidden spine of iron he busts out whenever he thinks someone important to him is in danger. (If you can’t tell, I had fun putting these two through their paces. They’re very demonstrative, unlike many of my other characters.)

Focusing back on covers! Myrrhlynn also made a new cover for the Robyn Hood books, and Rumpelstiltskin!

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I used the smaller versions so this post wasn’t huge, but you can click on them if you want to see the big versions. I’m really happy with the new covers, and with Swan Lake’s, so a big thank you to Myrrhlynn for putting them together. What do you think, Champions? Which of the covers is your favorite?

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, Champions!

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Yes, it’s a little early, but I imagine you’ll all be busy on the actual date, so I wanted to get my well-wishes out to all of you today. I hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend! My family has a tradition of making and decorating cupcakes for Easter, which really means we pile roughly the cupcake’s thickness of frosting on top of it, so I’m gearing up for an extreme sugar high. I hope you also get a chance to enjoy some special Easter treats!

Usually I try to have an Easter gift for you guys…but sadly I totally failed on that this year. Myrrhlynn, however, pulled through for me! If you haven’t noticed, this week Enchanted (book 2 of King Arthurs) got a new cover. Ta-da!

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New Covers, gotta love ’em!

Thanks, Myrrhlynn, for the beautiful new cover! It really is an awesome image–in particular I love the angle the cover/photo was taken from. (Truthfully I thought the previous cover was great, but it was really bothering her, and she has an artist soul, so Enchanted was getting a new cover regardless. 😉 )

As a side note, Sacrifice has had an amazing first month–it achieved the highest book rank I’ve ever snagged (#171) and all of your amazing and well-thought reviews have brought me a lot of joy and some great observations to take forward to new books. Thank you so much for being my Champions, and for going down this wild ride with me. I can’t wait for our next adventure! Until next time, have a Happy Easter!

Cover Art Reveal: Sacrifice

Cue the music, Champions, I have the cover art for Snow Queen book 2: Sacrifice!

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Sacrifice is nearly ready to go! Editor #1 is doing a final read through to make sure everything is in tip top condition. (She’s been an absolute doll about the final read through. Thanks to some unexpected timeline hiccups with editing, she got it very late, but she’s squeezing it into her schedule anyway. Thank you Jeri!) If all goes well I should be able to get Sacrifice launched before 2/29, but I’ll let you all know the moment I have it going up.  Okay, details aside, let’s talk covers!

Sacrifice marks the first time a male character graces the cover of a Timeless Fairy Tale! If you haven’t guessed yet, the hooded character is none other than Colonel Farrin Graydim of the Chosen Army. Myrrhlynn (my cover artist) spent a long time choosing the picture to use for Farrin–she specifically wanted a male holding a sword–but she’s known since I released Heart of Ice that she wanted to put Farrin on book 2’s cover. Sacrifice, just like Heart of Ice, has a cover made of multiple layers. (The model, the snow, and the background.) Thankfully, cutting Farrin out was much easier than cutting out Rakel for Heart of Ice. Rakel’s dress cuffs were fur lined, so she had to cut out the fur and then re-fluff it. She’s been working on this over several weeks, so it’s been a lot of fun to see the cover taking shape piece by piece. Thanks for all your hard work, Myrrhlynn!

Finally, I’m confirming early that I’m holding my usual read/unlock goodies special. If you look in my top post, you’ll see what shorts I’ll be releasing at what conditions. Yes, the last short is finished…I’m just having problems figuring out a not-lame title. Titles are very stressful to choose for me, hahah.

That’s all for today, Champions. Thank you for your patience, and thank you for reading!

Cover Reveal: Heart of Ice

I have another King Arthurs post in store for you, but I wanted to announce that starting today, The Snow Queen: Heart of Ice is available for pre-order! The Snow Queen tale will be told in two books–the first being Heart of Ice, and the second yet-to-be-named story which will be released in February 2016. You can read more about it on the newly installed “Other Fairy Tales” tab of my website, but I want to assure you all that while The Snow Queen takes place centuries before any of the Timeless Fairy Tales story, it is part of that story-world. You’ll recognize country names, and fans of Rumpelstiltskin will recognize landmarks and events that were foreshadowed. In the same way, because it’s so far in the past there are many differences. Loire doesn’t yet exist, the elves haven’t yet taken up residence in the white forests of Farset, and the biggest change….magic is feared. Okay, on to the cover!

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Myrrhlynn did a beautiful job with this cover, especially considering she’s trying something a bit new by featuring a female model. Previously we’ve shied away from that–although recently Red Rope of Fate and The Little Selkie were both given new covers in a similar style–but Myrrhlynn did a fantastic job putting this cover together. The girl, the snow, and the forest are actually three separate layers she painted together. I’m especially grateful she went through the painstaking work of doing that (the fur caused her much anguish) because it makes the cover true to the story. Being that this is a retelling of The Snow Queen, including the snow was incredibly important, and when the story starts Rakel is living in a forest on a mountain.

The Snow Queen will be released December 17–that’s a Thursday–and as it’s a pre-order Amazon will be running the show, so you can expect your copy to pop up promptly at midnight/or 12:00 am that Thursday. Thanks for reading, Champions. I’ll talk to you again, tomorrow, about King Arthurs!

Endeavor: Cover Reveal

Thank you to everyone who voted in last week’s poll that asked what kind of writing topics you would like to hear about. Writing the book won with 87 votes, and pre-writing came in a close second with 83! After that the gap widened by a lot, so coming in third was marketing with 33 votes. I’ll be sure to keep this in mind for future topics!

But if you’ve looked at the title of this post, that isn’t what you’re eagerly anticipating. Instead of prattling on, I’ll just cut to the chase:

Ta da! Coming November 24ish!

Ta da! Coming November 24ish!

Yes, it’s the cover reveal for Endeavor! Before I talk about it, I’ve had a lot of worried readers who have been concerned I’ve pushed the release date out, but I haven’t! You have just a bit over a week to wait for it! I plan to release it next week, Tuesday, November 24ish. (I say ish because Amazon’s upload times are a little imprecise if I don’t use the pre-order feature. It might appear late Monday night, or early Wednesday morning at the latest.) Okay, on to the cover!

The following is a bit spoiler-ish, but only for the first five pages of the book so I assume none of you will mind discussing it. This cover is so perfect for Endeavor, I can’t help but chuckle when I look at it. The story opens with a tournament, in which the winner of the tournament will be named the Best Knight of Britt’s court. The knight on the cover is one of  the two final contestants in this Britt-sponsored-Tournament, Mordred. The book picks up mere weeks after Enlighten, so everyone is still a little awkward after Britt’s reveal, but they are predictably stoked to have an opportunity to beat each others brains out.

Thanks again, Myrrhlynn, for another excellent cover! I’m particularly excited about this one as it is the first King Arthurs cover to feature a human! Thank you, also, for hanging in there King Arthur Champions! I’m hopeful you will really enjoy this book. Until next time, thanks for reading!

C&C is FINALLY ready!

Rejoice, Champions! One of my much delayed projects has been finished! Cinderella and the Colonel has been officially released in paperback–see below for pictorial proof!

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Sadly the book itself won’t be ready for to order for about three to four days. It takes Amazon a little while to get everything lined up and merged. In the meantime I am hard at work prepping Endeavor for publication, and working on a new fairy tale manuscript.

In a big topic hop, so far I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from readers about The Lost Files of the MBRC–which I’ve openly admitted is a bit of an experiment as it is a short story anthology that helps wrap up some of the details of Morgan’s life. Does the general consensus agree with me? It seems like everyone enjoyed the extra details, but I won’t know for sure without feedback.

It’s a short post today, but I’m on a bit of a time squeeze right now–Perfect Dog and I have dog obedience classes tonight so we’ve got to run. Take care, Champions! I’ll put up another post this weekend, so we’ll chat again soon.

Available for Pre-Order: MBRC Anthology

Announcing a new story: The Lost Files of the MBRC: An MBRC Short Story Anthology! Available for pre-order today, with a release date of October 15, this anthology contains edited and updated versions of the two short stories I have available on this blog, as well as three brand new stories: A Magical Birthday, Release the Kraken, and The Marriage Trustee. In these stories, Morgan will revisit friends like Aysel, Asahi, Hunter, Madeline, Frey, Frank, The Beer Brothers, Krad, and Esmerelda. The anthology is almost the length of a King Arthurs book, so it’s priced at 99 cents.

Surprise!

I’ve been waiting for MONTHS to discuss this project, and it just about killed me when I decided not to announce it until it was available for pre-order, so today comes as a big relief to me.

It was so much fun getting back together with Morgan and the MBRC crew, but it did hit home the reminder than I can’t write another MBRC novel from Morgan’s point-of-view. Her cast of characters is too huge, and it would only grow if I continued her story. However, that doesn’t mean I’m finished with the MBRC world and characters, as you might notice when you read the new short stories. But enough about that!

To celebrate the anthology, I’m holding another rafflecopter give away! Enter to get a chance to win one of five free ebook copies of The Lost Files of the MBRC! The raffle opens today, and it will close on October 13. The usual rules apply–you can only enter once, no purchase necessary, I’m not responsible if unfortunate circumstances like loss of internet keep you from entering, etc–and if you choose to pre-order a copy of the anthology and end up winning a free copy as well, I will gladly send your copy to a person of your choice.

Now sadly the Rafflecopter widget doesn’t work on wordpress. I can only provide a link, so here you go: a Rafflecopter giveaway
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So MBRC fans, give me a holler! Are you excited, or do you wish I would just leave the world alone? This is a bit of an experiment for me, so I would love to hear from you. Thanks for reading, Champions, and good luck to all who enter the raffle!

Meet the Inspiration

Today I wanted to talk a little bit about the cat I chose to be my model for Puss. He belongs to my parents, and his name is Chewie–short for Chewbacca.

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I used Chewie for several reasons–first and foremost being that he is such a ham, and he has several distinct mannerisms and habits I could use for Puss. (The most recognizable one, is that he is obsessed with being carried, and as a male cat he is pretty heavy even though he’s lean.) It also helps that he is male, looks distinctive with his half mustache, and is familiar to me so I wouldn’t have a problem describing his body language.

A more emotional reason, however, is because Chewie can identify with Puss. Not because he’s a talking, magical cat–although he tries pretty hard to speak–but because before my parents, Chewie was also a stray. Our neighbor who lived on the corner of the street said she saw a car stop, and a man threw Chewie and his brother out before taking off. Chewie’s brother stayed at the farm where they were initially dropped off, but Chewie roamed the neighborhood. As my family owned horses we have a big horse barn, which he typically slept in at night because it was safe and warm as it was late fall/early winter. He was frightened, beaten up, had a lot of cuts and scabs, but in spite of his mistreatment, he still wanted to be with humans.

In the end my parents decided if he was friendly enough we should catch him and take him to a vet so he could be fixed, de-wormed, and de-fleaed. Thankfully a clinic in area had a special program where they would do all of that for a very low price–particularly if you were doing this for a stray. The day before his appointment I set about capturing him because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to find him in the morning. He spent the day in a small cat carrier, and I felt really bad about that, so I locked the garage up, put a kitty harness on him, and let him out.

I think that moment was one of the saddest animal moments of my life. Chewie–after being cooped up for hours and putting up with a kitty leash–meandered out of the cat carrier, purring. He didn’t walk around, he didn’t try to escape, he just rubbed against any of my limbs he could reach. This cat had clearly been loved at some point before he was dumped just a few weeks before the winter snow started falling.

My entire family thought that after going through the horrifying experience of getting fixed, Chewie would run away the moment we let him outside. Instead, he took up residence in the garage, and apparently decided if we cared that much we must want him in our family. Now, Chewie is our best cat.

Puss is very similar. While he was loved by Angelique he was forced to leave and lived as a stray, until he found Gabrielle–whom he decided he would serve for the rest of their lives.

The love and loyalty of animals is a precious thing. In spite of the suffering they’ve been put through, most pets will put their trust in humans again and again. Because I have seen this kind of love played out, (SPOILER!!) it was important to me that it was the little, orange-colored stray kitty who killed the mouse-ogre and saved Carabas and Gabrielle!

So…thank you for loving your pets–whether they be canine, feline, equine, or other. In your pet’s eyes, you are the Gabrielle to their Puss. Thanks for reading, Champions. Have a wonderful weekend!

Cover Reveal: Puss in Boots

It’s time for Puss in Boot’s cover reveal! Drum roll, please.

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Here kitty, kitty!

As usual, clicking on the image will take you to the larger version. Anyway, this cover has been in the works for a LONG time. Usually Myrrhlynn uses stockphotos to craft covers, but this time we decided to take the photo ourselves, which is why this has been such an extended the project.

The reason for our little project is the cat. He is an exact physical representation of my Puss because I based Puss on him, and he belongs to my parents. His name is Chewie (named after Chewbacca) and he is a handsome, snuggly fellow. To get this image Myrrhlynn and I had a photo shoot with him last year. Chewie, you see, has the unfortunate tendency to get his face scratched up–in particularly the bridge of nose–and we weren’t sure what time of year I would release Puss in Boots, but the book itself is solidly placed in summer. Fearing an out of season photo, or that Chewie would get his handsome face beat up, last August we seized the opportunity and snapped over thirty photos of him. The boots are a pair of Myrrhlynn’s old riding boots. To get the grass flat we had to stomp around on it–otherwise it would have been over Chewie’s head. During the photo shoot we gave Chewie a lot of treats, so I can confidentially say he enjoyed himself but if you want some proof check out some of the blooper photos below!

While Chewie is clearly the adorable part of the cover, I continue to be a font nerd. From the fancy p of Puss to the kitty paw print dotting the i, I am so in love with this cover’s font! As I was actually hanging around when Myrrhlynn made this cover, I have to say it was surprising to see the great deliberation that goes into choosing the font. After I thought about it for a while, though, I realized that the font usually represents the tone of the book, which made me all the more thankful Myrrhlynn reads my drafts so she knows what the book is about.

I owe Myrrhlynn a big thank you for once again producing a beautiful, meaningful cover, and for taking the photos with me. This photo and cover so perfectly represents Puss it makes me really impatient for Thursday to come! (Remember, it will be available Thursday, August 6.)

Sadly, I don’t think I’ll get a chance to update again before Puss in Boots is released, but the second I learn its available on Amazon I’ll post here! Until then, have a wonderful weekend, Champions!

 

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That’s a package of cat treats Myrrhlynn is holding. Poor cat, eh?

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