I cannot tell you how happy I am that the second installment of Tales of the Wovlen is FINALLY DONE and PUBLISHED! Can you believe that it's been 3 years since I published the first book??
I have been so frustrated with this book, because it took forever to get it written, edited, and formatted. And I know you've been frustrated because "What the heck is taking that author so long to get the next book done?!" and "She keeps setting a date, then pushes it back. What's up with her?"
But, the frustration is finally over. At long last, the book is published!
You can buy the paperback at CreateSpace (which gives more of the royalties back to the author).
Or you can Pre-order the Kindle ebook on Amazon.
Unfortunately, it will be a while before I can offer signed copies for sale.
If you would like to preview the story before you buy the book, that's not a problem!
You can read the prologue (chapter before the first chapter) here: Thank You For Loving Me
You can also read a snippet of chapter 9: Annaka & Arden
Please, please, PLEASE leave a review of the book on Amazon after you've finished reading it. Just a simple, honest review will be fine. Even bad reviews are helpful! Every review I get boosts my book's stats, regardless of how many stars they are.
So please, help this poor author get her belated book noticed by reviewing it on Amazon, blogging about it, making a video review, and sharing it with your friends via social media or in real life!
As a bonus, if you are a proud book worm, like to make book suggestions to others, really want to review my book specifically, and have a blog or Youtube account to share that review on, I will send you a FREE ebook of The Dragon's Due for you to review! Just send me a message on my Facebook page, and we'll iron out the details there.
You can also help out by sharing the image above! It can be pinned to Pinterest and I will be sharing it to my Twitter and Facebook pages, so please pop over to one (or all) of those and click LIKE and SHARE (or retweet... or pin it... whatever the case may be).
Thank you guys for all your help, patience, and support thus far, and please enjoy the continued adventures of Keegan and Pharrgon the dragon!
Another snip from book #2 of the Tales of the Wovlen.
For those of you who are familiar with my book, this lends you a little backstory for a couple of the characters.
For those of you who aren't familiar with my book, I hope you find it interesting and enjoy the ride (but, if I were you, I wouldn't get too attached to the characters... Just sayin').
A dense fog lay strewn throughout a thick, black forest, blanketing the trees with its moonlit skirts. Two moons looked down, faces full and bright in the sky above. One shone in the East, the other in the West, giving the nighttime world ample light to see by. A tense silence hung in the air over the forest, giving the otherwise peaceful surroundings an eerie feeling. The fog stirred around trees before an unearthly shriek broke the silence and echoed around the forest. Two shadowy forms, clutching each other’s hand, darted around the tree trunks, labored breathing and fear lacing their movements. Both had drawn swords, and one of them, a woman, glowed as they ran in and out of the shadows of the forest. They paused, ducking behind a large tree for cover.
“They’re gaining on us,” a man said in-between gasps to the woman.
“They are shadows themselves. They are much faster in the nighttime,” the woman said. “We will be forced to fight them before the dawn.” A hint of sadness strained her voice.
“No.” The man rested his hand on her cheek and looked her in the eyes. “They’ll be forced to fight us.” He smiled and twisted his sword eagerly in his hand, though his eyes betrayed great fear.
Another shriek pierced the air. The man seized the woman’s hand with renewed determination and began to run again.
In pursuit were three darker shadows. They zipped across the ground, as ghostly hounds on the heels of prey. Only the sound of their smoky garb whipping through the air could be heard. The mist, excited by their presence, grew in size as they passed by, becoming more dense and climbing higher up the trees.
The light from the woman pushed the fog back and illuminated the path as they fled, keeping them from colliding with trees or tripping over logs.
The three black shadows spread out, and two of them surged forward. They dragged the denser fog with them until, in a matter of moments, it had surrounded the fleeing couple.
The man and woman slowed as they climbed up a hill and struggled to see. Even the woman’s glow was weakened by the growing fog now. Once on the hill’s summit, they stopped and stood back to back, each readying their sword. Everything became dreadfully silent again as the fog continued to grow thicker and deeper around them.
“Elarn.” The woman’s free hand found his and gripped it. “I love you.”
Elarn gripped her hand back.
“And I you, Venain,” he said, his voice tight, strained.
They released each other’s hands. Elarn gripped his sword securely, and Venain drew a second blade.
One shadowy figure appeared through the fog, gliding toward them. He was tall, his stride long and strong. He held a claymore sword of ancient make, and a large war crown adorned his head, resting over the top of a smokey blue hood that concealed his face. He raised the claymore higher and looked directly at the woman.
“Paladain…princess…” he hissed.
With an ear-piercing shriek, the other two shadows, shorter than the first, burst from the fog with raised swords and charged the couple.
Elarn raised his sword and turned, parrying the first blow before twisting out of the way as the shadow made a swift swing for his neck. Venain skillfully and lithely executed a series of parries and blows with the other shadow, quickly overwhelming it. She kicked it in the chest, knocking it to the ground. Jumping over the top of the shadow, she parried its futile attempt to nick her with its blade and stabbed her sword into its chest. With a scream, the creature exploded into a puff of black dust. With that, Venain turned to aid Elarn, who was struggling to defend himself. Blood flowed from several wounds on his cheek, arms, and side, gleaming in her fading light. He was beginning to stumble.
“Hey!” Venain shouted as she ran toward Elarn’s opponent.
The shadow turned, ignoring the man, and blocked her blows until Elarn stabbed it from behind. It unleashed a pain-filled shriek as black mist swirled from its wound. It swung its sword backward, nicking Elarn on the side of his neck. The dark creature twisted and leaned toward him, slamming the cross-guard of its sword into his mouth, knocking him to the ground. With incredible speed it turned and swiped away Venain’s attempt to stab her blade into its chest. It parried a couple more of her blows before backhanding her across the face with such force it sent her spinning.
"Venain!” Elarn attacked with renewed energy, swinging his blade for the shadow’s neck. The shadow parried his blow and made a counter attack, forcing Elarn away from Venain.
Venain righted herself, blinking the world back into focus just as the tall shadow with the war crown stepped into her vision.
“Princess…” it hissed.
She stared with wide eyes at the tall, king shadow and raised her swords in defense.
The king shadow arched his claymore around his head and beat against her smaller weapons, forcing her to bend under his powerful blows. He finally swiped away one of her blades. Before she had time to compensate, the shadow reached out with a giant gloved hand and wrapped his fingers around her throat. He squeezed and lifted her effortlessly into the air, letting her feet dangle..
Venain gasped and struck at him with her remaining sword, but he swiped it away and continued to hold her high.
The shadow stared at her, faint red lights flickering in the empty eyes of a metallic mask covering his face, deep inside his hood. He held her up in a conflicted fashion, seeming to sway and struggle with himself, compelled to do one thing, but wishing to do another.
“Venain!” Elarn screamed from across the clearing where he continued to struggle with the shadow from before. Making a desperate move, he sliced off his opponent’s hand, then jammed his sword up to the hilt into the shadow’s chest. He jerked his sword free and bolted toward Venain and the king shadow, leaving the other to scream and disappear in a cloud of dust.
Venain wrapped her small hands around the big gloved hand holding her. She looked past the shadow to see Elarn running towards them. The tall shadow pulled her closer to his face and spoke in a strangely remorseful voice. “Please, Princess. Forgive me.”
With those words, cold pain ripped into Venain’s gut. She glanced down as her body went numb. Crimson fluid flowed down the front of her dress, streaming from around the claymore blade jammed to the hilt in her abdomen. A cry rippled from her clamped throat as the shadow jammed his sword into a tree behind her, tacking her there like a rag.
Elarn screamed in rage as he came behind the creature. He swiped his sword across the back of the king shadow’s legs, chopping half way through them.
The creature fell to his knees in silence, his face turning up toward the woman. His shoulders were slumped as if in sorrow. Streams of black mist swirled from his wounds and circled around him like inky snakes.
Elarn pulled his blade back and roared as he thrust it forward again, sinking it up to the hilt into the shadow’s chest, giving it a vicious twist.
The king shadow arched his back in pain without a sound. He exploded into a pile of black dust which fluttered silently to the earth.
“Venain!” Elarn cried sorrowfully as he let his sword drop to the ground. He looked helplessly at her, tears filling his eyes. He wrapped an arm around her legs and supported her, removing most of her weight from the sword tacking her to the tree. He closed his eyes and gripped the hilt, tears falling down his cheeks as he tightened his muscles. Taking a deep breath, he ripped the sword from the tree, crying out as he felt Venain's body shudder in agony. He lowered her to the ground, cold chills rushing through his body as he looked at her glassy eyes and blank stare.
The sword in her gut turned to black dust, leaving an empty space where it had been. Almost instantly, Venain gasped for air and blood flowed freely from her wound.
"Oh, Venain!" Elarn mournfully scooped her broken body up onto his lap and pulled her close, clutching her in his arms. Tears streamed down his face as he put a hand over her wound, trying to staunch the bleeding. Her glowing, silvery-red blood squeezed through his fingers with ease.
He did his best to restrain a sob.
“You’re losing too much blood. I’ve–I’ve got to stop it. I can’t… I’ve got to,” he stammered.
"Elarn." Venain's voice started to fade. Using all her strength, she moved her hand to her chest and grabbed a black cord from around her neck, pulling a strange golden key from under her shirt.
"The key...it must go...”
“Don’t talk! Save your strength. You have to save your strength until I can stop the bleeding and find help.”
A tear slipped from Venain’s eye. “Elarn. My body…is dying. It cannot be saved.” She pulled the cord free of her neck and pressed it into his bloody hand “The key must…must go to Walneff…until Erewhon…is old enough.”
Elarn took the key and Venain’s hand, holding them both.
“Venain, you can’t die. Erewhon and Annaka, they are so young. I can’t raise them on my own—” His voice broke and he sobbed. “I can’t go on without you, my love!”
Venain, her eyes following her own movement, slowly raised her hand up to Elarn’s face, resting her cold fingers against his cut cheek.
“My loving Elarn. You must go on. Protect the girls. You must,” she whispered.
Elarn placed his hand with the key over hers, holding her hand on his cheek. “I will. I promise.”
A soft smile came to Venain’s lips. “Of all the long years I have lived, these few with you have been my happiest.” Her eyes flickered, but her gaze stayed on her husband. “Thank you for loving me.”
Elarn clutched her hopelessly, watching his beloved fade away. “Please, Venain, stay with me. Don’t go.”
Venain’s eyes closed, and her breathing slowed until Elarn felt the life leave her. He froze and stared at her peaceful face, searching for any sign or glimmer of hope.
“Venain? Venain?” He trembled as all his faith melted away. Horrible sobs ripped at his chest as he realized she was gone. He lowered her hand from his cheek and placed it over her chest. He stroked her cold face and brushed his fingertips over her soft hair. Finally, he pulled her in close, burying his face in her neck. He rocked her, clinging as he bitterly cried.
The key she had given him dangled from his hand, reflecting the highest moon in a single teardrop that slowly ran down the golden shaft.
After several minutes, a large, winged shadow passed in front of the light of one of the two moons and cast darkness over the mourning man.
I am getting oober excited about book number 2 in the Tales of the Wovlen! It won't be long now before it hits the printing press!
Today I couldn't think of anything else to post, so I decided to share a small snippet from book #2 featuring one of our favorite and most endearing characters, Annaka.
Annaka carefully walked from the kitchen with a tray full of food in her hands. She made her way toward the stairs that would lead up to the guest quarters where she would find Keegan’s room. She saw a movement out of the corner of her eye, and she quickly picked up her feet, determined not to get caught. Before she made it to the stairwell, however, Arden darted in front of her and blocked her path, planting his fists on his sides.
“And just where do you think you are going?” he demanded.
Annaka’s mouth flew open, and her first thought was to cross her arms and stomp her foot. When the tray almost toppled from her hands, she quickly corrected her posture and pulled the tray in close to her, gripping it tightly.
“I am…going…nowhere. Nowhere of your immediate concern anyway,” she replied.
Arden crossed his arms. “You’re taking that to Keegan, aren’t you?”
Annaka gripped the tray tighter and raised her chin, looking at Arden with defiance.
Arden dropped his arms to his sides. “Aw, Annaka! You’ve taken Keegan his meal two turns in a row! It is my turn now, so hand it over!” He reached out for the tray, but Annaka swiped it sideways, almost toppling the soft-boiled egg. “Hey! Watch it!”
“Be careful now! You almost made me spill the whole thing,” Annaka said.
Arden rolled his eyes. “You can do that all by yourself. You don’t need my help. Now give me that tray before you really do spill the whole thing.” He reached out for it but paused when Annaka pursed her lips and raised her eyebrows and shoulders, moving the tray back a little further.
“Don’t touch it, or you’ll wear it!” she warned.
Arden’s shoulders slumped forward. “Aw, Annaka! Come on! Don’t be like that. You promised this would be my turn.”
Annaka stood straight and raised her chin. “I did not. I promised I would consider it, which I did, and decided I liked my way better. A girl is so much more polite and dainty when presenting someone with food. You boys just seem to drop it into the guest’s lap and expect him to hork it down.”
Arden grit his teeth. “What? You sneaky, conniving girl. See if I ever take your promises for face value again!”
Annaka’s mouth dropped open. “Calling me names? How rude!” A smug smile played on her lips. “But, you should have known better after you gave me your hard-boiled egg. They say it’s all downhill after the first boiled egg.”
Arden narrowed his eyes. “You weaseled me out of my hard earned, hard-boiled egg.”
“Which just proves you are gullible, my dear boy, of which I forgive you. Now, step aside and let me do my duty,” Annaka said.
Arden snatched out his hands and latched onto the tray.
“Give me that tray.” He pulled it sharply toward himself.
Annaka glared at him. “Never!” She yanked the tray back her way.
“It is my turn, Annaka!” Arden snarled.
“Not by my royal opinion, Arden!”
“Whoa, whoa! That’s my egg you’re threatening to flatten!” Suddenly Keegan came between them both, swept the tray up, and began walking away. “Buttered toast and fresh juice as well! How nice!”
Annaka and Arden stared at each other in shock for a moment before simultaneously turning and running after Keegan, who was sauntering straight for the stables, picking food off the tray and eating it as he walked.
“Are you supposed to be up and walking?” Arden asked.
“It’s so wonderful to see you doing so well, Keegan!” Annaka exclaimed.
Keegan took a bite from his toast and slurped down half of his juice before replying.
“Ah, thank you, Annaka. And I am not for sure, Arden, but if I can walk, then I see no reason to stay locked up in my room.” He drank down the rest of his juice and finished off his toast. Just before they reached the stable doors, he stopped and turned around, offering the tray back to the young couple. “Here you are. One of you can have the egg if you so wish. I don’t really care for soft-boiled anyway.”
Annaka blinked, taking the tray awkwardly. “But, Keegan, you haven’t even…”
“Wait! I’ll take that egg!” Arden snatched the egg from the cup before Annaka could finish her sentence. He then smiled at her slyly.
“Oh, I’m sorry I argued with you, Annaka. I stepped out of line. To show my sincere regret, you may carry the tray this time.” Arden clutched the egg close to his chest as he made a low bow with a spark of mischief glinting in his eyes.
Annaka clamped her mouth shut, her whole body stiffening as she glared at the older boy. She whisked a bowl of porridge off the tray and slapped it over Arden’s head with a messy splat.
“Here! Eat that too you uncouth scamp!” With that, she turned on her heel and stomped away with the tray.
Keegan had a coughing fit as he laughed, holding his ribs tightly.
Arden pulled the bowl from his head and wiped the dripping porridge from his face.
“Keegan, I’ve known girls who were hard to get along with, and I have known girls who were tricky and spunky, but Princess Annaka is queen of them all!”
Keegan put his hand on Arden’s shoulder, clutching his ribs with the other as the pain cut him short of breath.
“Well, Arden, all I can say is that you have finally met your match. Now, go clean up before I crack some more ribs just by looking at you.”
Arden shook his head as he walked away, holding the empty bowl in one hand and the egg in the other. He mumbled something about how unfair it was that girls could get away with being brats while boys had to be mature.
“The red dragon knows we are here...”
A witch on the hunt.
When the Princess Erewhon is taken captive, Keegan must set out to rescue her. Little does he know that he is playing into the witch’s hand.
Nightmarish monsters, dead dragons, dragon slayers, and insane warriors are nothing compared to what lies in wait – a red dragon so terrible, even Pharrgon and Walneff dread to face it. If he somehow survives, then Keegan must still face the witch who has sworn to kill him.
It seems the only way for Keegan to win this battle is to die.
He must pay –
THE DRAGON’S DUE
Wow. This is THE LAST of the Writing Challenge series. It went by a lot faster than I thought it would. Now I'll have to find a new challenge to do!
So, the last and final challenge is: You finish your WIP and an agent/publisher wants to buy the rights for it and challenges you to write a sequel. Write a one sentence summary of a possible sequel to your WIP.
Well, they wouldn't have to challenge me. A sequel - several sequels (even a few prequels and spin-offs) - are already in the works.
A one sentence summary of the 3rd Tales of the Wovlen book would be: The witch and the princess walk hand-in-hand with plans to slay the beloved dragon and curse the land.
A summary of the 4th Tales of the Wovlen book would be: Gillion, Vliron and company decide to go on an adventure and find out just what's on the other side of the White Mountains.
And the 5th Tales of the Wovlen book might be something like this: Wow. Demitreah wasn't such a bad guy after all. Especially compared to this new guy.
Yeah. Eat your hearts out, Wovlenites (<-- those are my fans - "Wovlen-ites").
And so, this concludes the Writing Challenge series! I don't know how many people have kept up with this challenge (other than my family - y'all don't count), but it was a fun and easy thing to do to keep my blog active, and it also gave the Wovlenites some great sneak peak opportunities.
On to the next challenge!
Don't forget to look at the previous week's challenges!: The Writing Challenge Series.
Today's challenge: You face off against your protagonist in everything-goes mortal combat. How long does the battle last and who wins?
It would never happen. You see, I have written myself into my own book... you know... just in case I ever get sucked into my own never ending story. (You should always have a "just in case" backup plan)
I am a mysterious, ancient, mostly benevolent, and powerful being in my world.
Walneff knows me personally.
Pharrgon has heard whispers of me.
Keegan has seen a painting of me. He doesn't realize that, but he has.
I can summon dragons, monsters, and even the elements to my aid, and never once touch a weapon. Griffons and strange beasts called Zhulong are my messengers and aids.
I could go on about myself in my world, but I'll spare you. The point is, Keegan wouldn't fight me. If he tried, he'd get knocked unconscious, or tossed into the top of a tree for a time-out.
Mortal vs. mortal, he would probably beat me to a pulp. But Dragon's Son vs. Awesome Author - author wins every time!
Before we get to the challenge, if you haven't been keeping up with this series so far, you can catch up by checking out The Writing Challenge Series category.
Today's Challenge: a character from your WIP who intrigues you.
Oooh! This will be fun.
I currently have 2 WIP (works in progress).
#1 - The Tales of the Wovlen series.
Vliron from book 2. He doesn't just intrigue me. He fascinates me. I can't really explain why, because that would be spilling the beans on the forthcoming books in the series, but let's just say that he is not what he seems. There is more to him than meets the eye. Plus, he's hot, wears black, has a tragic backstory, is rugged, and kicks butt on the battlefield. What more does a girl need to be intrigued?
#2 - Deepwood Tales.
This set of stories is being done in conjunction with a friend, and I'm not sure if they'll ever get published, but the main character of the stories will play a part in the fourth book of the Heroes of Ravenford series.
The main character of Deepwood Tales is Kalyn. Her closest friend is a middle aged woman called "Fran". Fran intrigues me. She is blind (or appears to be), has a one legged screech owl, a gaggle of "demon" geese, and lives by herself in the forest. She knows how to heal, how to create magical items, and how to fend for herself. Monsters avoid her, and she always seems to know things that she shouldn't.
I get the feeling she's a lot older than she looks too.
So, yep. Those are my two WIP, and those are the characters from them that intrigue me.
Today's challenge is going to be a fun one! But first, if you haven't been keeping up with this challenge so far, here are the previous days!: DAY ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT, NINE, TEN, ELEVEN, TWELVE, THIRTEEN, FOURTEEN, FIFTEEN, SIXTEEN, SEVENTEEN, EIGHTEEN, NINETEEN, & TWENTY.
Today's challenge: the actor you would choose to play the main character in a movie adaptation of your WIP.
Oh man! I have wasted so much time thinking about this over the years! I mean, what author doesn't dream of their book getting its own movie adaptation?
But, even though I have thought about it a lot, I have no idea which actor I'd like to see take on the role of Keegan, the main character in my Tales of the Wovlen series.
I have actors picked out for nearly every character in my series, but Keegan has me stumped. He has his own face in my mind, one that can't just be picked out from a crowd of actors. Keegan is special. I'm not even sure what actor I'd choose for his voice if I were to do an audio book with voice actors. Maybe Chris Pratt? Or Chris Pine? What about Chris Evans? Not Chris Hemsworth! No sir. No way. I'll save his gorgeous voice for a dragon! Yum!
What's your opinion? Who'd you'd like to see play Keegan in a live action movie?
Oh boy! Now that I've started thinking about this again, I should do a blog post about all the different actors I'd like to see play my characters in a movie!
Having trouble keeping up with the challenge? Don't worry about it! You can always go back and read what you've missed just by clicking this link right here --> The Writing Challenge Series.
Today's challenge: Your writing buddy
Wow. If I had taken this challenge only 8 months earlier, today's would have been a sad tale of a lone wolf author who was forced to survive the harsh world on her own, hunting down the review bunnies and surviving on the scraps of editing tips thrown to her by those passing by on the internet...
Okay, not totally.... But almost!.... But that's not the point! The point is that I do have a writing buddy!
F.P. Spirit, hands down... or up... that always confuses me... is it down or up? How about sideways?
Anyway, F.P. Spirit is my writing buddy. He has, in a way, become my dad and mentor in the author/writer dimension.
We met via a Facebook writing group in 2014 (HAS IT REALLY BEEN THAT LONG?!?). He needed an editor and I pointed him toward the one I used at the time. When he published his first book, a fantasy, I scrambled to review it (I didn't have many fantasy authors in my circles at the time and I was *cough* desperate for some fantasy to break up the western monotony... sorry! I'm not a huge fan of western.).
I was instantly hooked to his book series! I loved the color and depth of his story and his characters. I was ashamed of my own book, honestly, because I thought it paled in comparison.
He ended up reading my book as well and was equally impressed with it. In fact, if I remember correctly, he told me he was absolutely blown away by it.... but that was a couple of years ago, so I could be getting that wrong... cough, cough....
ANYWAY. After that, we kept talking. We became friends and started learning things together. Then we started bouncing ideas off each other, and we started challenging each other in our writing, and then he talked me into using Skype for meetings (always had Skype... never used it), and now I think we've shared too many of our writing secrets with each other, so we're basically in this two person cult now and will have to shred the other person's drafts if they try to leave said cult so that our sacred writing secrets are kept safe.... okay, not really, but you get the point.
I think my writing has improved 50 times more since becoming friends with F.P. Spirit. It has been great to have someone that I can bounce ideas off of, talk about author troubles to, and ask weird author questions in front of (and sometimes even get an answer!).
I honestly didn't know what I was missing out on when I was a lone wolf author. Having a writing buddy is awesome.
I only hope that I have provided as much "miracle grow" to our friendship as he has!
Author of the fantasy series, Tales of the Wovlen, Kathryn spends a great deal of time in the world of her imagination, having tea with fire breathing dragons, writing books on flying space ships, and practicing her mad scientist laugh with gusto. However, on occasion,she returns to this world just to play with her dog and blog about her fun.
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