Fandom Merchandise

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This Friday, I’ll post the cover reveal and release date for Destroy (The Blades of Acktar #3.5), but until then, I have another announcement.

I set aside the first week of December and put together a few designs for Blades of Acktar fandom merchandise. I’ve seen other authors do this (and I’ve bought several things as a result because, let’s face it, fandom merchandise is so much fun).

I thought about making the merchandise only available as part of a street team. I’ve seen other authors do this. But, I decided I don’t have the time right now to run a street team, not without taking away from the little writing and editing time I have. Besides, all of you essentially ARE my street team. You do such a great job of getting the word out. You all deserve a way to shout your love of the Blades of Acktar fandom.

Right now, I have two sites where you can get Blades of Acktar merchandise.

  • Zazzle.com – this one has more designs available since its rules on picture sizes are less strict and I had less trouble uploading designs. I believe I left most of the items as open as possible so you can customize colors and sizes. For the clothing, the women’s version is pictured, but they should all be available in youth and men’s sizes if you customize them.
  • Society 6 – this one has more options for housewares items (such as pillows and clocks), but fewer designs available at the moment since this site demands higher pixel counts than Zazzle. Currently I don’t have any apparel set up, but I will be working on that in the future.

Here’s what the Zazzle site looks like and a few of the options:

I have personally purchased items from both of these sites before and have been pleased both times. Currently, both sites are running a lot of promotions for the holidays, which is always nice for saving money if you would like anything (or you can convince a family member to get it for you for Christmas).

Have fun looking through the designs and options!


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Upcoming Publishing Schedule

It’s been a while since I’ve updated you all on a few things. I apologize in advance because there is going to be a flurry of activity this week, but it all good stuff and I think you’ll be excited.

Deliver Update

I have had a lot of people ask me when Deliver (The Blades of Acktar #4) will release.

The short answer: I don’t know yet.

Sorry. *wince* *ducks flying books*

The long answer: The first draft is written. That’s the first big step. Now that November is over, I plan to spend December revising. The revised draft should go out to my editor and early readers in late December or early January. Then it all depends on how long it takes for my editor and early readers to go through it and send it back to me, and how many changes I have to make in the second revision. Then all the publishing stuff and proofreading. Right now, I’m hoping for a March release, but I’m making no promises. I don’t want to rush and give you a sub-par book.

Before you despair too much, keep reading for an update on everything I plan to publish in the next few months.

I Won NaNoWriMo!

In case you don’t know what that is, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. In November, authors all over the world commit to writing 50,000 words in 1 month. Yes, it is as crazy as it sounds, especially for writers like me that also work a day job. To put this in perspective, since working my current full time job, I have never written 50,000 words in a month. My highest word count was roughly 30,000. Somehow, I needed to find time to write an extra 20,000 words.

I did it. Not really sure how. Actually, I do know how. I pretty much did nothing but write and work the entire month of November. But, it was worth it.

What does this mean for you, my amazing readers?

Well, obviously, I wrote 50,000 words of new Blades of Acktar stuff. That’s a lot of words that will be coming your way.

Stuff I wrote during NaNo:

  • I finished the novella about the Leader titled Destroy
  • An extended ending short story for Deliver
  • A short story about Shad and Jolene
  • A few backstory scribbles of scenes in Dare from Shad’s POV
  • A short story about Laurence & Annita Faythe, Renna and Brandi’s parents
  • A short story set 10 years after the end of Deliver
  • A few scenes set 8 years after the end of Deliver that could turn into a novella down the road (but not right away.)

Publishing Schedule

If you’ve been keeping track, I have first drafts of Book 4, a novella, 4 short stories, and a few random backstory scribbles waiting in line to be published. You might be wondering when in Acktar all this cool stuff will finally make it your way.

Here’s the tentative schedule. Things might change, and I’m making no promises.

Late December

  • Destroy (The Blades of Acktar #3.5) releases as Kindle only – this is the novella on the Resistance Leader that gives both backstory for when Respen took over and some new information on what happens immediately after Defy ends. This novella is something of a prequel-sequel that spans about 6 years of time. It isn’t necessary to read this book before Deliver, but it gives more insight into certain characters.
  • short story about Shad and Jolene (to be titled yet) – this will be posted as a freebie on my website as part of launch stuff for Destroy
  • short story about Laurence and Annita Faythe (to be titled yet) –  this will also be posted as a freebie on my website as part of launch stuff for Destroy 

March

  • Deliver (The Blades of Acktar #4) releases – remember, this is a tentative release date. Subject to change
  • extended ending short story for Deliver (to be titled yet) – this will be posted as a freebie on my website as part of launch stuff for Deliver
  • short story set 10 years after Deliver  –  this will also be posted as a freebie on my website as part of launch stuff for Deliver

April 

  • Destroy releases as paperback with all the short stories released as part of the launches for Destroy and Deliver included as bonus content.

Some of the other random backstory scribbles will probably also be released during one of the launches as freebies on my website.

Yes, you read that right. The next Blades of Acktar release is planned for the end of THIS MONTH. It’s a novella (though technically long enough I could call it a short novel) and releasing as a Kindle ebook only at this time, but still. That’s only a few weeks away. I might be kinda freaking out at this point.

Later this week, I’ll have a cover release for Destroy and give out an official release date so you can count down the days. There will also be more information about Destroy then.

So stay tuned. 😉


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Outlaws and Redemption Stories

Outlaws & Remption

I absolutely adore the movie Tangled. Not only is it an all around sweet movie, but it has a big white horse that acts strangely like my own horse, but it also has an outlaw-turned-good-guy in it. I’m a sucker for those stories. Whether it is Flynn Rider in Tangled or Killian Jones/Captain Hook in Once Upon a Time, the outlaws with a soft heart get me every time.

But I can’t blame my obsession with this type of character on Flynn Rider or Killian Jones. I don’t even blame Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, even though that was my favorite Disney movie growing up.

Nope, I blame Renn Frayne.

Tall, dark, handsome. Steps into a bad situation and saves the girl and her land while also being stuck in a crazy love triangle.

Never heard of him? Well, you must not read Zane Grey Westerns. Zane Grey was an American writer who wrote a number of adventure stories and Westerns in the early 1900’s. Yes, the writing is early 1900’s style and the descriptions can sometimes drag on for pages.

I started reading Zane Grey in my teens, and my first Zane Grey was Knights of the Range. Holly Ripple is left alone on her ranch when her father dies. Before he died, her father gathered a group of loyal cowboys and dubbed them Holly’s Knights of the Range. When the ranch is in danger, the outlaw Renn Frayne accidentally saves Holly and reluctantly joins the fight to save Holly and her ranch. I might have had a little crush on Renn Frayne in my teens.

DSC09523A shelfie of one of my shelves of Zane Grey books. Knights of the Range is second from the left. Twin Sombreros, its sequel, is the scuffed cover next to it.

Why am I drawn to the outlaw-turned-good-guy so much? Perhaps it is the depth of the struggle that these characters face. Maybe it is the reminder that, as a Christian, my story is a redemption story.

It’s probably no surprise that my upcoming release Dare features a conflicted assassin.

What about you? Are you drawn to outlaws-turned-heroes?


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Cover Reveal!

*Drum Roll*

I’m super excited to reveal the cover for Dare: 

Dare Ebook Cover

My friend Ashley did the cover for me. She’s a graphic designer and illustrator, and it’s a mark of a good friendship when she can design a cover for a picky author and still remain a friend. 🙂

Her email is ashleyjoyillustration@gmail.com if anyone is looking for a designer or illustrator.

So what do you think? Isn’t it stunning?


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Blog Tour

To participate in the blog tour for Dare, please fill out the below form before May 1:

This sign up has now closed.


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Publication Announcement!

A year ago, the characters and basic plot line for a three book series dumped into my head all at once. Looking back, I don’t even know if I thought of a character or the premise or the plot first. It showed up all at once and demanded to be written.

I wrote it. All three books, one after the other. They were messy drafts. Quick drafts. But special.

I edited, rewrote, edited, and rewrote book 1, Dare. When it was ready, I worked up the courage to send it to Nadine Brandes, who sent it back with a bunch more edits and helpful comments.

I’m putting on the final polish and can announce: ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????After researching my options for a over year while I was writing and editing, I decided to publish Dare with my own Indie publishing label Sword & Cross Publishing. Roseanne White designed the logo, which I’m so excited to see on the spine.

About the Book

Courage could cost him everything. 

Third Blade Leith Torren never questions his orders or his loyalty to King Respen until an arrow wound and a prairie blizzard drive him onto the doorstep of the girls whose family he helped destroy.

Survival depends on obedience, but freedom beckons. How far does he dare go to resist the king and his Blades?

No matter what Leith chooses, one thing is certain.

Someone will die.

Dare will be available in ebook and paperback on June 6, 2015. I’m planning to eventually add an audiobook version as well. The cover will be revealed on or after April 15. I’d also like to have a blog tour from June 2 through 16. If you’d like to participate in the blog tour, please fill out the below form before April 25:


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