Life happened because I turned the page…~Alberto Manguel
I’m busy trying to wrangle cats. Not the cats’ fault. And yes, I mean plural felines. Or writers. You see, I’m trying to get the last edits from authors who were given too little time by me to return them. Life interfered with my schedule, therefore, it interfered with theirs, I’m sure. But ah well… It’ll all sort out in the wash. Or everything will turn out pink.
So, just because I’m in a mood tonight, how about you tell me what you think that quote means, or better yet, what it means to you…
Enjoy the rest of your night!
Your overworked, overly-stressed author-friend
P.S. Remember that in one week,PIRATES releases! It’s just $0.99 and is filled with luscious pirate booty! 🙂
This was new for me as a writer. The first thing I realized as Book One developed was that I needed a map. I started out with a couple of countries in the story, but that quickly grew, and the map kept me straight on where I was—literally.
Now, I publish it in the front of each book, because readers say it has been very helpful. My daughter has drawn it for me, and it grows, depending on where I get in the next book.
The next thing I worked on was a list of names. Many people have noted the names in my books are unique, in that they often reflect the character’s occupation. That has been fun, but it’s still hard to keep track of all these people in a whole new world.
The third thing is a compendium of new words. Again, I began to develop a list, just to keep the words and definitions straight to ensure I use them the same way each time. All of this information is in my Last War bible. Each new book adds characters, towns and villages, devolving use of languages. It’s been a lot of fun.
Prince of Jiran
A Penrhy prince caught between duty and desire. Can he win the impending battle?
Shandro, Prince of the Penrhy tribe of Jiran, disagrees with his father, Sovereign Pollack, on nearly every issue that arises between them. But his goal is to uphold the family values in spite of Pollack’s conniving moves as he deals with the hotbed of competing nations surrounding them.
Then Shandro is sent on a mission across the mountains into Khandarken to bring back Princess Chinata, a bride for Emperor Carlton’s Advisor. In exchange, Jiran and the Penrhy tribe are given a peace agreement, protection against invasion by the Emperor’s troops. This seems a good trade, as Carlton is hovering on their borders with his need for more land. However, not far into the journey, it becomes apparent someone is not adhering to the terms of the peace accord.
Near the tribal border, Shandro and his troops have come under direct attack from unknown forces. He digs deeper into Chinata’s background to find strong ties to the New Empire. Is it too dangerous to bring Princess Chinata into Jiran? Or as her escort, does Shandro become her defender against the Emperor’s troops?
When I wrote the first book of The Last War series, I expected there would be two or three books. Here we are at Book Five, and Six is just hovering at the back of my brain! It has been a lot of fun to write this fifth book. It dives into the culture of Jiran, a loose collection of tribal families that travel the plains across the mountains to the west of Khandarken. These people don’t have good relations with the other countries around them. They stayed out of the Last War, keeping to the sidelines and refusing to take part in the struggle between Emperor Aqatain and the rebel forces that finally defeated him. Thus, the Prince of Jiran is stuck with trying to mend relations at a time he is suffering an assault of his own and needs support. And of course Princess Chinata has caught his eye, and that complicates an already complicated situation!
Read an excerpt!
It had begun to snow again and the flakes were coming thicker, a steady silent fall that muffled sound and blinded them as they rode. The air was icy against China’s skin. Soon the wind picked up and it looked like another blizzard setting in. She watched Prince Shandro ride ahead to consult with his commander, then rein in and wait for Haggskyll and Boz to catch up. She studied him as he talked with the men, first gesturing toward the women and then ahead to the trail leading through the trees.
He was a handsome man in a very physical way with his broad muscled shoulders, lean frame and golden-brown skin. The attraction to him only got stronger as the days passed. What would she do when they arrived at their destination? How to concentrate on being bride of the ancient Judson Lanser when this virile young man had guarded her through the mountains, and looked at her with such focused attention her breath caught in her throat?
There was a muffled shout up ahead, then a sharp bang. The men halted immediately, all attention focused on the trail before them. More loud roars, and the guards were galvanized into action.
Everyone rushed to pull weapons from their harnesses or behind their saddles, and crowd in around the women as others galloped forward into the blinding snow. Shandro moved quickly, riding in her direction and waving at his men.
“Go back,” he yelled. “We don’t know what’s ahead.”
The men were milling in a circle now, trying to herd the women back the way they’d come. Horses neighed and reared in the confusion. China grabbed her reins in one hand and the saddle horn in the other as her mount sidestepped swiftly and plunged into the mount beside her.
Suddenly new riders appeared on both sides of the churning group. They materialized out of the trees, riding low in the saddle, weapons in hand.
Mass confusion ensued. One of the guards grabbed her bridle, dragging China’s horse around to go back down the trail the way they’d come, and she clung desperately to the horn as she swayed in the saddle. There were more sharp sounds, what must be the firing of weapons although it seemed muffled by the falling snow, and in the milling of bodies she couldn’t see where they were.
Then something hit her, knocking her sideways in the saddle. She reached for the horn but her hand didn’t work. The pain arrived in an overwhelming wave and she cried out low, unheard in the rush around her. Looking down, she saw blood bloom on her cloak and ripple in a slow wave down her arm.
She was falling and someone was bellowing in surprise or rage, a wild cry that followed her down.
About the Author
Sylvie Grayson loves to write about suspense, romance and murder and has published contemporary romantic suspense novels, all about strong women who meet with dangerous odds, stories of tension and attraction. She has also written The Last War series, a sci fi/fantasy adventure, the fifth book, Prince of Jiran, newly released.
She has lived most of her life in British Columbia, Canada, in spots ranging from Vancouver Island on the west coast to the North Peace River country and the Kootenays in the beautiful interior. She lived for a year in Japan. She has been an English language instructor, a nightclub manager, an auto shop bookkeeper and a lawyer. She lives in southern British Columbia with her husband on a small piece of land near the Pacific Ocean.
Unlike a lot of writers, I haven’t been writing all my life. I didn’t start until 2004 or 2005, so that’s either fourteen or thirteen years ago. My aunt who was in her 70s had two books published through Publish America. After her first one, I had a light bulb moment. I thought if she can do it, I can too. I always made up stories in my head about the TV shows I watch, something I’ve learned is called Fan Fiction.
I sat down at the computer and gave it a shot. I wrote a Lord of the Rings fan fiction story. I took it to the next generation, used some of the characters, did lots of research, and wrote a never-ending story. But, my aunt helped with things she’d learned in the college writing class she’d taken.
Then on a whim, a few years later, I pitched online. I almost fell off my couch when the editor said send me a proposal. I had to ask what a proposal was, because I had never heard that term before. Seems it is the same thing that used to be called a partial. Ugh, the terminology change. I submitted, and was rejected because it didn’t fit. Okay, fine, why did you ask for it? I shrugged it off and spoke to a friend about what I was writing. She explained the story disrespected men who were heroes. Oh, I never thought about that. I got busy researching, thinking, reading other books about Navy SEALs, to include those written by SEALs. I have revamped the story, entered it into some contests and taken the suggestions from the contest judges who read it. It still isn’t ready to submit.
I keep telling my friends I’m not ready to put anything out there. I haven’t reached the stage of experience that I want to pitch and submit my writing. I figure I’ll reach it one day when I feel I’m ready. I’ve learned a lot since I submitted the first two times. This time I want it to be the, excuse the cliché, third time’s the charm submission.
I need help, once I write 50k or 100k or 80k, deciding what to do next. I’m learning that process by drops. I think authors “know” when their piece is ready. They have that confidence in their writing. I will get there. I hear authors telling how they’ve been writing since they were children. Well, I wasn’t that person.
So for anyone waiting for my first book, you’ll have to keep waiting for a while longer. I’m in the toddler stage still. Like the song by the Beatles says, “I get by with a little help from my friends.”
Delilah Devlin is one of those friends. I thank her for having me on her blog today. I hope you’ll check out her books and grab a couple of them.
How do we stop our past from defining us? My latest release A DREAM OF REDEMPTION 20 February 2018 follows the journey of two people who have much to overcome in order to find true happiness.
A forbidden love and a chilling mystery tease the senses in this sensuous historical romance from the USA Today bestselling author of A Kiss of Lies and A Love to Remember.
Bookish and independent Lady Helen Hawkestone is expected to marry well. But, having grown up with warring parents, the institution holds little appeal. The trick, she realizes, is to marry for love—a task that’s easier said than done. Only while Helen is raising funds for her do-gooder sister’s orphanage does she meet a man who arouses her curiosity. Lowborn and yet so dignified that Helen can’t help but try to elicit a response, Clary Homeward is an enigma—a heart-stopping, body-stirring, forget-her-social-upbringing enigma.
A single offense against a noblewoman such as Lady Helen would ruin a man like Clary. Her sister, Marisa, rescued him from hellish poverty and employs him with her charity work. Try as he might to push her away, Helen tempts him to want things he could never have. But when girls from the orphanage start disappearing, destined for a grim fate Clary knows all too well, Helen insists on helping. And soon Clary wonders whether something more were not just possible but inevitable—even right.
Isn’t it funny how characters creep up on you? It’s one of the many joys of being a writer. When I wrote the part of Clarence (Clary) Homewood in A Whisper of Desire, I had no idea of the relationship that would develop between Clary and the sister of his savior, Lady Helen Hawkestone.
Clary has a sordid past to become comfortable with and he is full of self-loathing. Helen does not know of his past. All she knows is he is her sister’s overseer of several orphanages and a man who puts all others in the shade.
Innocent and naive of the horrors in the world for those less fortunate than herself, Helen, intrigued by Clary, begins to fall in love. Little does she know just how impossible a life with Clary would be.
But what really defines people is how we overcome the mistakes we make or those made against us. Can Clary forgive his past sin and can Helen convince her family to stand with her against insurmountable odds…
Here is a taste of A Dream of Redemption:
The women walked off toward the pond, Mary following Helen. Leaving Clary facing Fairfax and his male friends.
“Go and catch up with Lady Angela, I want a private word with Mr. Homeward,” Fairfax uttered to the other gents.
Once the others were out of earshot, Fairfax hissed, “What the blazes are you playing at? How dare you walk in the park with a lady.”
“Good afternoon, Lord Fairfax. If you excuse me I should catch up to her ladyship. Your behavior is being noted, and I don’t think you’d want me explaining how we met.”
With that threat hanging in the air Clary made to walk around Fairfax but the lord grabbed his arm and pulled him back. “You mention one word about me and that club and I’ll see you’re put back in the gutter where you belong.”
He wanted to shake off Fairfax’s hand, the feel of it on his person made him sick, but he noted Helen and Angela’s group was staring at them. “Let go of me, you are drawing attention to yourself.”
Fairfax looked over at his friends and quickly let go of his arm. “This is not over. I don’t know who you are pretending to be, but I’ll see you run out of town.”
Clary stood up proud and tall. He looked down his nose at Fairfax. “I work for the Duchess of Lyttleton and any scandal about me will impact on Her Grace and I won’t allow that. If I hear you are telling tales I shall ensure every mother in the ton understands your particular hedonistic tastes. You’ll be shunned, or worse, but without proof probably only shunned. Something you’ll care more about than I would. I have no reason, or wish, to enter Society nor any reputation to uphold.”
He glared at Fairfax whose face became very pale. “You would not dare.”
“Try me,” and Clary tipped his hat at Fairfax and made to move round him. Just as he was about to take a step Fairfax stuck his walking stick out and sent Clary headfirst onto the path. He wasn’t quick enough to put his arms out and so he rolled and let his body take the full impact. He landed on his injured side and pain raged through his body mixed with the anger and a driving need to pummel Fairfax into the dirt. Of course he couldn’t do that. Attacking a peer would carry a sentence of transportation. Probably what Fairfax wanted.
Then he heard the sound of dainty running feet and a feminine cry of outrage. “You did that on purpose, you swine.” He looked up from the ground to see Helen hit Fairfax with her reticule.
Ahoy there, matey! Have you already pre-ordered your copy? No?
This is a collection you won’t want to miss! Filled with those sexy Jack Sparrows and some modern-day raiders, even a couple of space pirates, you won’t want to miss this! There are even a couple of mm treats for those who loved Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World! Didn’t you secretly wish they were into each other? 🙂
The ebook releases February 27th, and includes 19 stories from some fabulous authors. The print version will follow soon after. For now, drool over the cover and take advantage of that next-to-nothing $0.99 price!
Pirates: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology
Sail on the high seas or into uncharted galaxies! When it comes to love…pirates risk all!
Delilah’s next delectable anthology is filled with roguish pirates! Readers who crave adventures set on the high seas–or in deep space–will find plenty of sexy bad boys, naughty alpha males unafraid to risk life and limb for treasure–or a lucky lover’s heart!
Just a few of the titillating stories inside…
In “The Treasure of Devil’s Crag” by Lisa Fox, two rival pirate captains seeking the same treasure, discover the competition isn’t the only thing that heats up between them. A modern-day pirate boards a yacht seeking revenge and captures a runaway bride who tempts him in ways he’s never experienced in January George’s “Captive Desire.” In T.D. Rudolph’s “Lust in Space”, a space criminal teams up with a fearless vamp to steal a cache of titanium–from the dark side of the moon. In “Full Fathom Five” by Rhidian Brenig Jones, a pirate captain, forced to give a disgraced young surgeon a berth, discovers a rich treasure in the other man’s arms. And this is just a hint at the sexy stories inside this satisfying volume.
These pirates will pillage and plunder their way into your hearts!
In case you hadn’t heard the news, my Plum Creek series is returning to bookshelves starting in February. This trilogy was originally published with Kensington since 2009/2010 but I got my rights back and decided to put them out there again. It’s a trilogy set in Reconstruction era Colorado. These are for sure erotic historical romance with lots of smexy scenes but also deep, wrenching emotions and an incredibly satisfying HEA. I’m excited to bring these back!
The trilogy begins with book 1, THE EDUCATION OF MADELINE. I wrote Madeline to be a tall, curvy, thirty-two year old spinster in Reconstruction era Colorado, 1872. She’s rich, hated because of her wealth, and needs to learn how to experience life.
The hero, Teague, is a big man with a dark past who enters Madeline’s life. She grabs hold of the opportunity with both hands, and they begin an adventure together, with many twists, turns, and unseen dangers.
I loved Madeline—she embodied what I struggled with as a curvy woman with low self-confidence. She discovers she’s fierce, courageous, and unwilling to settle for what the world has planned for her.
I’m happy to say THE EDUCATION OF MADELINE releases on February 27 in both ebook and print. The cover is beautiful, and I can’t wait for y’all to meet Madeline and Teague. Book 2, THE REDEMPTION OF MICAH, releases in April. Followed by the third book, THE SALVATION OF SARAH in late May. Each book has a new cover, is freshly edited, and is ready to find a whole new group of readers. If you read the original years ago, the stories themselves haven’t changed.
If you haven’t, be sure to be plum with me and visit Plum Creek!
The Education of Madeline
Plum Creek, Colorado 1872
The Right Man Comes Along…
Madeline Brewster practically owns Plum City, Colorado. But at thirty-two, she knows she has missed any chance for happiness. Until she finds a tall, strong, handsome Irishman on the wrong end of the hangman’s noose. Suddenly this unconventional woman comes up with an outrageous idea…
Teague O’Neal has rugged cheekbones, tousled black curls, and eyes as blue as the sky, even if he is caked in Colorado mud. The men insist they caught him horse-thieving, and there’s something desperate about him that says he’d do anything for a buck.
Maybe it was pure chance, or maybe it was something more that brought Madeline and Teague together. But one thing’s clear, between a woman who has just about everything she could ever want, and a man who’s lost that and more, they might find something in between worth living for.
Comment for a chance to win one of three eBook copies of The Education of Madeline I’m giving away!
The guest I scheduled to appear today is a no-show. So, lucky for you!
For just 24 hours, this book—the first in my Texas Cowboys series—is free! It’s available in Kindle, ePub, and pdf! Download your copy today and share this with a friend! Just click on the picture and enjoy!