There’s An Epilogue In This Freaking Book

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When I started writing about Serengard six years ago, I would have laughed if you told me it would lead here: to a four-book series, the last of which is 430 pages long, and the launch of an audiobook.

It started as a dare. At 22, I’d been writing for most of my life, but kept every one of those writings under lock and key. Friends and family would glimpse an abstract chapter here or there, but read a whole draft? Nope.

I blurted out Coldness of Marek during NaNoWriMo 2011 with the intention of finally letting people read something I had written. I wasn’t sure if I’d be posting it on WattPad, a blog, or letting a dog-eared printout circulate at Thanksgiving, but I decided I would be emotionally uninvested in the outcome enough to not care who on the planet got their hands on it.

What could possibly go wrong, if I didn’t care? Well…a local press-for-hire told me it was one of the most well-written manuscripts they’d ever had submitted, and it went to my head a bit. Cool, I can churn out good writing in my sleep? Okie dokie. Self-publish that thing, make it a paperback, I don’t care. Let everyone in the fam have a copy, I don’t care. Good reviews and bad didn’t dent me much, because I’d seen the whole investment as merely a fun jaunt.

But something happened. I was asked about the sequel. There definitely was a sequel just screaming to be written. Hey, I had fun with NaNoWriMo last year, let’s do it again!

Problem: I got invested. Almost as invested as I had been in my lock and key stories. Dammit. Now I owed myself something. Now I owed my readers something. Now I had to let the whole world in on the little secret that, yes, I can write passionately…I just like to hide it. Knights of Rilch wasn’t a story that I could relate to, or that anyone else could likely relate to, but it came from deep in my soul and carried themes dear to me. Loyalty. The friendship between a brother and sister. Tough love. Mentors. Things I couldn’t just shrug a shoulder at.

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Darci Cole, Narrator

Then came the weird and awkward task of revising Coldness of Marek to actually work within a series — a series I cared about, with a debut that I didn’t? Fun fun. The only thing to be done was to pepper in bits of story that I did care about. Deepen the villains. Hint at the many layers of the washed-up, bitter characters. Weave the two books together so they shared a bit of a bond. Saving Coldness was tricky, and it felt like making a patchwork quilt, but this was also the point in the game where I had several amazing critique partners and beta readers giving me invaluable feedback. I also found an awesome editor who helped it flow and make a bit of sense. Its second release in 2013 garnered a positive response that rather shocked me (is still shocking me!), and eventually led to the creation of the audiobook, narrated by the incredible Darci Cole.

The release of Knights of Rilch was one of the most exhilarating events of my writer life. The year it came out, 2014, I had two kids, and two books. I was doing the two things I loved the most: hugging my babies and writing. (I was also knee-deep in the online book world, which was already felt like it was changing too fast for me to keep up.)

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Knights of Rilch Review Copies

The trouble with Knights of Rilch was that it was too long. I had to split it in two, into another book. (That other book became Rise of Orion and took on a life of its own.) I poured so much effort into getting Rise out there the same year so that Knights wouldn’t be left dangling, I burned right out. I’m not sure why I pushed so hard. It wasn’t smart. I didn’t even have the morale to properly promote it.

What floored me, though, was that Rise sold even better than Knights did. (And Knights did well, for the modest expectations of the amateur self-publisher I was.) I mean, I didn’t even email my friends to tell them I had a book coming out. I forgot to inform my local bookstores that Knights had a buddy. (The day I found Rise of Orion chilling on the shelf of Bull Moose anyway made me cry. I mean…they had my author name on auto-order?) I still run into people who say, “Wait, there’s a third one?” Yeah. And…the other trouble was…I had ended the third one on a cliffhanger. There wasn’t enough space in that book, either.

At this point, I realized I’d finally dug in and created a story with characters that had long, slow arcs. I’d put a fast pace on the plot and a slow burn on the timeline. I liked it that way…maybe even loved it that way. Rise of Orion certainly didn’t contain any neat little bows. The story must go on.

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(Aside: who likes neat little bows, though?)

Blood of Ashlin was gnawing gently at my consciousness for all of 2014, while I was releasing two books and chasing two toddlers and wondering if I’d ever go to the beach again. I drafted it, revised it for a couple of years, and really, really took my time. The amount of frustration that went into it is hard to even quantify. It’s a story that’s a little too complex for me to summarize. (It’s supposed to be a summary in and of itself, actually.) It doesn’t explain everything — I don’t know that there is a way to explain what Serengard is or has become — but there’s a lot more paint on that canvas than I’ve flung at my past canvas’. And there might even be a neat little bow or two. I mean, this series is done, done. There’s an actual epilogue in that freaking book.

That brings me to today. A completed project. A series under my belt. Blood of Ashlin on the shelf next to the other three, where it belongs. Coldness of Marek beginning a new life on Audible and iTunes. I don’t know what this means for my writing career going forward, but I know I loved making this art, and I enjoyed sharing it way more than that lock-and-key-writer in me would have ever imagined.


BloodOfAshlinCoverAfter the death of notorious Seren king Altrun, Izannah Orion ascends the throne in Serengard under less than traditional circumstances. Ten years younger than she should be, and with questionable parentage, she is merely a stand-in for an heir that murdered his siblings and threatened to eclipse the kingdom in dark chaos. Against bad odds, Izannah quells unrest, forges treaties, and engenders trust where it is least expected…even in the thick-skinned, deeply scarred Captain of the Guard. more

Blood of Ashlin (Serengard, Book 4) Paperback/eBook
Amazon | Barnes & Noble |Books-A-MillionKindleKobo | iBooks | Nook


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Coldness of Marek Audiobook

Serengard has been under Orion rule for centuries – centuries of insufferable adherence to laws and traditions that its people no longer believe in. Raised by her scholarly grandfather in the fiery southern city of Neroi, Trzl is dedicated to turning the monarchy into a free society where knowledge is king and no one has to be subject to the whims of an Orion. more

Coldness of Marek (Serengard, Book 1) Audiobook
Amazon | AudibleiTunes

 

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Serengard: Book Four Title Announcement + Dream Cast

Last week I finished the first draft of the fourth Serengard novel. It was a really hard book to write (what book isn’t, right?), partially because I was exhausted from pushing so hard to launch Rise of Orion, but also because it’s the final novel in the series. There’s so much resolution that absolutely has to take place, and it’s tricky. A finished draft is still a rough and ragged thing, but while this novel definitely has a lot of evolving and wrangling and rewriting in store, I finally feel I’m to the point I can start treating it like a real book.

SO.

I’m pleased to announce that there will be one more Serengard novel, and one more only; Blood of Ashlin will release in Summer 2016, and will be the final book in the series.

I’m now going to be entirely indulgent and post my dream cast for the entire series. A lot of these actors were a toss up between two or three possibilities, and I’m still not entirely decided (what else is new, lol), but here is the best cast I could conjure and it was ridiculously fun.

P.S. Even though it’s going to be a whole year before you can read this book, I intend to make it up to you by holding some epic giveaways this summer. Because you’re awesome.

           Kierstaz  :  Alona Tal    |     Mikel  :  Tahmoh Penikett    |    Trzl  :  Amy Acker

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 Malcom : Colin Ford  |  Colstadt: Manish Dayal   |   Gernan: Daniel Henney  

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   Sark: Sendhil Ramamurthy      |       Aura: Erica Tazel        |       Pier: Khaled El Nabawy

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Izannah: Molly C. Quinn   |   Rendl: Eric Bana  |  Andrei : Steven R. McQueen

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Sunn: Jamie Chung  |  Gavriel : Djimon Hounsou  |  Hodran : Daniel Gillies

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Otreya : Kevin Costner   |   Riyev/Tanya: Gemma Arterton   |   Tierrof : Chadwick Boseman

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Nerri : Kat Graham   |    Ric: Timothy Olyphant  |   Natalya: Mackenzie Aladjem

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Behind the Scenes Release Week Blogginess

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Hey there fellow book lovers! Once again I emerge from my writing cave with excitement from the book world. This time it comes in the form of a release week blog party for a Young Adult Contemporary Romance I’ve been anticipating since forever. Why? Because Dahlia Adler is one of my favorite people in the publishing world, thus I am ridiculously excited to read her words. Not only is she extremely knowledgeable about all things involved in and related to books in general, and an excellent source for recs when you’re feeling stuck, but she’s one of the nicest, funniest, most incredible people you’ll ever meet. Seriously.

behind-the-scenes-adler-coverHigh school senior Ally Duncan’s best friend may be the Vanessa Park – star of TV’s hottest new teen drama – but Ally’s not interested in following in her BFF’s Hollywood footsteps. In fact, the only thing Ally’s ever really wanted is to go to Columbia and study abroad in Paris. But when her father’s mounting medical bills threaten to stop her dream in its tracks, Ally nabs a position as Van’s on-set assistant to get the cash she needs.

Spending the extra time with Van turns out to be fun, and getting to know her sexy co-star Liam is an added bonus. But when the actors’ publicist arranges for Van and Liam to “date” for the tabloids just after he and Ally share their first kiss, Ally will have to decide exactly what role she’s capable of playing in their world of make believe. If she can’t play by Hollywood’s rules, she may lose her best friend, her dream future, and her first shot at love.

Buy the Book:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Indiebound

Sounds amazing, right?! I’m still waiting for mine to arrive (hurry up, UPS!), so I have absolutely no review as of yet, but if you want to read a pile of those, check out all the stars on Goodreads, or just, you know, grab it at your local bookstore because it releases today!

As a part of Dahlia’s big bloggy celebration, I’m sharing aDierks little “Behind the Scenes” into my life. The shadiest thing I could pinpoint about myself is that my secret alter ego is a songwriter. (Don’t tell anyone, m’kay?) Novels have always been my first love. Not a means of getting my feels out, but more of a an actual extension of me. With music, I usually grab someone else’s lyrics and hold them close. “This is what I want to say right now!” But I do have a few hundred songs of my own, so when you see me freaking out on Twitter because I’m obsessed with a certain songwriter and I’m literally gushing, it’s because there’s a huge part of me that intensely connects with those music people.

Here’s a song I wrote on the road when I was seventeen and only performed in public twice (the second time was at a barbecue, so it hardly counts).

Gas Station by Rachel O’Laughlin

are all gas stations this quiet
are all walls this blank
does anybody really have a destination
or are they just filling up a tank
sunlight beats on the asphalt but it can’t change the color at all

was this corner of the world created lonely
or did the wind strip it bare
did a flood wash it clean and empty
or is it just that you’re not there

are all mirrors this dirty
are all faces this tired
does anybody really want to be here
or are they just robots rewired
I’ve got a purse on my shoulder
and some high heels to make me look sharp

was this corner of the world created lonely
or did the wind strip it bare
did a flood wash it clean and empty
or is it just that you’re not there

are all gas stations this quiet
are all faces this tired
was this corner of the world created lonely
or is it just that you’re not there

I’m going to run to the corners of the world and find you
because it’s just that you’re not here

You’ve officially seen me backstage now! Before I go, here’s a bit about Dahlia. Check out her website and follow her on Twitter, and grab BEHIND THE SCENES as soon as you can!

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About Dahlia Adler:
Dahlia Adler is an Assistant Editor of Mathematics by day, a Copy Editor by night, and a YA writer and blogger at The Daily Dahlia, YA Misfits, and Barnes & Noble at every spare moment in between. Her debut novel, BEHIND THE SCENES, releases from Spencer Hill Contemporary on June 24, 2014. She is represented by Lana Popovic at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth.

Connect With Dahlia:
Website | Blog | Twitter

 

 

Mood Board for Knights of Rilch

Today on the Knights of Rilch Blog Tour:
The Playlist Reveal on Darci Cole’s Blog
Writing Craft Guest Post on The Great Noveling Adventure
Review at Madwoman with a Writing Box
{ Full Blog Tour Schedule Here}

I know I haven’t ever done one of these, but with the second Serengard novel coming out tomorrow, I’m kind of crazy pumped and excited and it all just turned into a feels binge. Behold, a Knights of Rilch mood board.

Though she be but little, she is fierce. –Shakespeare





Image credits:
 Beebichu at womenfighters.tumblr.com
iloveeddieredmayne.com
le-petit-francais.blogspot.com
mintysushi.tumblr.com
inspiredromance.tumblr.com
medievallove.tumblr.com

Some Books I’m Looking Forward To

I know, I never blog anymore! I’ve turned into a hermit. When I do peek out of the Scrivener doc, it’s to tweet or text a CP and freak out yet again over a missing plot point — which of course wouldn’t be missing if I wasn’t constantly rearranging the events in KNIGHTS OF RILCH. (More on my wild and crazy revisions in this post I wrote for There and Draft Again.)

But today is release day for a book I’ve been excited about, and I thought I’d seize the moment and mention some others I’m looking forward to (once I dig myself out from under all these millions of edits *headdesk*).  And yeah, I realize most of these are Young Adult Sci-Fi. It’s a Sci-Fi year. I’m grooving with it. Because seriously, it’s freaking awesome.

First, Young Adult Sci-Fi ULTRAVIOLET CATASTROPHE by Jamie Grey is out in the world today! I just ordered my paperback and I cannot wait for it to get here. Not that I’ll have time to read something for fun for awhile (nervous laughter), but when I do, eeeekkk!!

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Ultraviolet Catastrophe by Jamie Grey

Quantum Electrodynamics. String Theory. Schrödinger’s cat. For sixteen-year-old Lexie Kepler, they’re just confusing terms in her science textbooks, until she finds out that her parents have been drugging her to suppress her outrageous IQ. Now Branston Academy, a school run by the world’s most powerful scientists, has tracked her down and is dying for her to attend – as a research subject.
She takes refuge at Quantum Technologies, a secret scientific community where her father works as a top-notch scientist, and begins her new life as girl genius at Quantum High. But the assignments at her new school make the Manhattan Project look like preschool – and Lexie barely survived freshman algebra.
Her first big assignment – creating an Einstein-Rosen bridge – is also her first chance to prove she can hold her own with the rest of QT’s prodigies. But while working with the infuriatingly hot Asher Rosen, QT’s teen wonder, Lexie uncovers a mistake in their master equation. Instead of a wormhole, the machine they’re building would produce deadly ultraviolet rays that could destroy the world. Now Lexie and Asher have to use their combined brainpower to uncover the truth behind the device. Before everyone at Quantum Technologies is caught in an ultraviolet catastrophe.
Next, the sequel to Leigh Ann Kopan’s debut, ONE. I don’t even have to tell you how much I enjoyed that book. I’m even more excited to read the sequel because it’s from Elias’s perspective! Only two more weeks!!!
Two

Coming October 8th, 2013

Two by Leigh Ann Kopans

Elias and Merrin are on the run.
After escaping the Biotech Hub, they thought they could breathe easy, or at least a little easier.  But when bombs slam into the Social Welfare Hub only hours after their arrival, it becomes clear there’s nowhere to hide – and no end to what Biotech will do to get them back.
Their last chance for safety and answers is the Clandestine Service Hub. CS has intel on the real, broader purpose behind Fisk’s experiments , and the newfound knowledge of  the  horrors  hidden  deep within Biotech’s walls sends Merrin back to  recover a secret formula that could ruin the Supers’ world forever—and might just save the lives of the Biotech victims spiraling out of control.
Elias’ sisters are counted among the victims of Fisk’s experiments, and if Elias can’t find and help them, their powers will destroy them–sooner rather than later. Returning to the place it all began terrifies him, but with Fisk ready to make an example out of Merrin, and his sisters’ lives –and the lives of all Supers–hanging in the balance, he might not have a choice. If he can’t find the courage to face his worst fears, Elias might lose more than his newfound powers.
He might lose everyone he loves.
I’ve been following Sarah on Twitter for awhile and I basically love everything she ever says. I’m convinced her book is going to be a treasure trove of all her usual wisdom and wit. Basically, I’m crazy pumped. *grabby hands*
Reclaimed

Coming October 15th, 2013

Reclaimed by Sarah Guillory

Jenna Oliver doesn’t have time to get involved with one boy, let alone two.
All Jenna wants is to escape her evaporating small town and her alcoholic mother. She’s determined she’ll go to college and find a life that is wholly hers—one that isn’t tainted by her family’s past. But when the McAlister twins move to town and Jenna gets involved with both of them, she learns the life she planned may not be the one she gets.
Ian McAlister doesn’t want to start over; he wants to remember.
Ian can’t recall a single thing from the last three months—and he seems to be losing more memories every day. His family knows the truth, but no one will tell him what really happened before he lost his memory. When he meets Jenna, Ian believes that he can be normal again because she makes not remembering something he can handle.
The secret Ian can’t remember is the one Luke McAlister can’t forget.
Luke has always lived in the shadow of his twin brother until Jenna stumbles into his life. She sees past who he’s supposed to be, and her kiss brings back the spark that life stole. Even though Luke feels like his brother deserves her more, Luke can’t resist Jenna—which is the trigger that makes Ian’s memory return.
Jenna, Ian, & Luke are about to learn there are only so many secrets you can keep before the truth comes to reclaim you.
I’ve been hog wild about Cait’s writing ever since I read her debut NA Gothic Romance, Eyre House. I’m not really crazy about New Adult (yet), but I can tell you this: You do NOT want to miss one of her books. You MUST experience her incredible imagination, her knack for nailing descriptions, for amazing characters and beautiful settings.
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Coming October 15th, 2013
Parawars: Uprising by Caitlin Greer

The Paranormal Uprising brought myth and legend out of the shadows and into real life. The war that followed tore the world apart. Two years after the Uprising, twenty-year-old Kendry is learning the hard way that the battle lines aren’t as clear-cut as human versus para. And the hard way means being hunted down by both human militants and para separatists. Trouble is, she has no idea why.On the run with only her mysterious gargoyle guardian, Kendry knows that finding out why she’s on everyone’s most-wanted list will be no easy task. It means charging headlong into a war she’d hoped to avoid, and is woefully unprepared for. So when she realizes that everyone in her life has been lying to her, discovering that she’s somehow the key to ending the war is the last thing she needs. With both sides tearing up the world to find her, it’s decision time for Kendry—keep running, or stand up and fight.

Add to Goodreads | AuthorCaitlinGreer.com

 

And THIS ONE! I’m lucky enough to have an ARC sitting on my Kindle at this very moment, and it’s taking all my willpower not to tear through it.  I need to finish about a kajillion other things before I start a new book, but I read the first two chapters. And ZOMG. You want this book. YOU WANT IT.
Unbreathable

Coming October 29th, 2013
Unbreathable by Hafsah Laziaf

One hundred and fifty years ago, Earth was destroyed, and the remaining humans fled to the dusty red planet of Jutaire, where the only oxygen is manufactured, food is scarce, and death strikes often.
When Lissa’s father discovers Earth still exists, she accidentally inhales the toxic air of Jutaire, and in one breath, discovers she isn’t quite human.
Her father hangs for his discovery, and Lissa knows the Chancellors will come for her, for she saw the Earth that night too. With nothing to lose, she sets out to expose the truth. It isn’t long before she meets Julian, a beautiful boy who can breathe the toxic air like she can – and shows her that the Jute, the original inhabitants of the planet, are more tangled in their lives than she knows.
But the Chancellors are only pawns in a greater game – one where the Jute control everything. Worse, the Jute plan to leave Jutaire for Earth, but to get there, they need her. And they’ll stop at nothing until Lissa is in their clutches, even if they kill every human in the process.
The race for Earth has begun.
Annnnd that’s all for today! But before I go I have to congratulate one of the sweetest, most lovely writers ever, Andrea Hannah, on her book deal! Her Young Adult Mystery, OF SCARS AND STARDUST, sold to Flux yesterday. Gahh, I’m so thrilled for you, Andrea! I’m just…I’m just…THIS MUCH HAPPY:
All right. Enough with the flails and back to revisions. I promise to blog again in the next month. Truly!
–Rachel

Final Comic Teaser for ONE

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ONE by Leigh Ann Kopans

If you’ve read my review of this lovely YA novel, you know how much I love it. And how unusual this is for me, because I don’t read a lot of YA. Tomorrow this book hits the stands and will be available in paperback and eBook on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes. Today I’m posting one last comic teaser, just to let y’all know what kind of awesome we’re talking about. Then I promise to stop squeeing over it for awhile. Until the sequel comes out, ha! Check out Leigh Ann’s Blog for a full list of the comics so you can read them in order. And keep an eye out for release links tomorrow, because you don’t want to miss this!

Part6-2

 

Comic Teaser Installment for ONE!!!

Two weeks till One

Okay, so I’m sure you guys have been hearing all kinds of buzz about ONE, the YA Sci-Fi (superhero!) novel by Leigh Ann Kopans. I reviewed an advanced reading copy and I can attest that it is AMAZING. And I’m so excited for release day in 6 days! Yup, ONE comes out on June 11th. Wheee!!

In honor of release day, Leigh Ann’s friend Francesca Zappia created these incredible comic teasers and I’m thrilled to be included in the group of bloggers revealing them. For the full schedule with links to the previous and upcoming installments, visit Leigh Ann’s Blog. Without further ado…

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Add ONE to your TBR on Goodreads

Coldness Kids STREET TEAM Launch

StreetTeam

Hiiii everyone! I know I’ve been doing a lot of promo for other books lately, and consequently haven’t mentioned my own very much, but here’s a post that’s all about what I’ve got upcoming. I’m launching a Street Team for my epic fantasy novel Coldness of Marek (coming out August 6th, 2013)!

Here’s why I’m desperate for help:

I’m just one person. I can’t get the word out about this series on my own. Plus, it’s a little hard to tell everyone exactly what they’ll like about something I wrote. “It’s lovely and heart-wrenching and has tons of emotion and danger,” is naturally what I think on good days, and “this whole story is so dumb,” is what I think on bad days. You see? I’m not cut out for doing this by myself.

Here’s what I need from you:

A bit of reading time, and a lot of noise. All I ask is that you spread the word in any ways you enjoy. Review my novel on Goodreads, Amazon and B&N, talk about it on Twitter, drop a copy at your local library, chat it up to a bookstore, or just tell a friend if you enjoyed it.

Here’s how I repay you:

TONS OF HUGS!!!! Faces like this:

Surprised and this:

Thrilled

Okay, but as far as actual stuff? Swag!!! Blog buttons and wall art, special and secret content, and other cool morsels I can conjure to express my gratitude!

If you’re interested in joining the Street Team or helping out in anyway, please fill out this form to let me know. THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart! I love you guys.

About:
COLDNESS OF MAREK is the first in an epic fantasy series about the kingdom of Serengard in the midst of the rebellion that overturns it…
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