Duty’s Song

Current Reading:   Winter of the World – Ken Follet

Current Listening:   World’s on Fire – Sarah Mclachlan

Business before pleasure, they say.  Forgive my radio silence,  illness and writer’s block are craptacular combinations.   Writer’s block is a rarity for me but when it arrives, it goes whole hog.  Book 6,  Guardian’s Redemption,  is wanting to start writing itself before its appointed hour. (Read: November 1 for those of you unfamiliar with my writing habits)  I’m also trying to give myself time to appreciate that I just published my –fifth- book.    I did not think in 2012  when I published Birth of Light that the series would have a longevity like this.  I published my first book just to see if I could.  Just because it sounded like a good idea at the time.  Still, here we are.  That is, in part what I think the release party is about.  Celebrating the moment as much as the new book’s release.  FIVE books, holy shit.   What is your favorite “Oh, hell, I did that” moment?

With that being said,   I hope to see the lot of you on my author page on October 1 at 7:30 EST for the Shadow’s Journey cover reveal.   We are now 21 days from release day and preparations may become a madcap hurry. Illness has a way of delaying our best intentions. I am happy to say though I’m on the mend.  I hope, also, to see you at the release party at Gathering Volumes on October 15 from 2-5.   The little bit below is for a character you all will meet Guardian’s Redemption.    By the way   readers,  brownie points to anyone who can tell me who that title MIGHT be about.  You have met her on the blog and this is a continuation of her story.  Ladies and gents,  Emma Jacobs.

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Duty’s song was as relentless as her brother’s pursuit.  Emma reflected with a forlorn smile.  Below her, fire stood stark against the darkness.  Their childhood home was gone. Through tears, she watched the house burn.  Hues of orange, white and red lit the night sky.

Her dreams as of late remained persistant. IN a way those dreams saved her life tonight.  She was awake for their assault.  The idiots tripped the wards at the edge of her land.  Those wards served to warn her  but,  in truth, she had no offensive magic in her arsenal.  Her hazel eyes flashed fire as she watched the structure collapsed.  Emma had enough time to gather her wits, provisions for her journey and her family dagger.  She knew she had to run but the thought saddened her all the same.

Her horse was saddled and she was off before the men even realized their quarry was gone. They thought to flush her out in the blaze.  Perhaps now,  Emma mused, she could finally have peace.  Emma doubted the truth to that thought. The men could report that she died in the fire but her brother would know. Her twin would know.  “Did you send them Edward?”  She whispered as her heart bled.  In her heart, she felt like her whole life had just been upended.  “Did you cause this chaos that has destroyed everything we have ever known?”  A cool night wind dried her tears. She ached to open the mental door between them.  Fate above, she missed him more than she could put word to. Yet,   that dark pulse still lingered in the south when she opened her sense.  Duty called her and, at some point, she suspected she would reunite with him. Fate could only hope he had not destroyed whatever chance they had of rebuilding their lives.

Madryn’s book bled through the Mornesse. Even at this distance,  Emma could feel it like a dark stain upon the realm.  The magic pulsed through the land. Emma scowled. Why did her fellow royals leave the book when they ended the war?  Her hazel eyes shadowed.  The answer was simple because her question belonged to a child who knew nothing of Fate’s grace.

“Because our world, like all things, must have balance. The pulse you feel through the land is because the Light has left us.” Her grandmother’s teachings rang through her ears.  Emma could almost feel the  gentle rap of a walking stick against the back of her head.  Sarina Starson  favored the stick later in life as age crumpled her slender figure.  Emma pushed the thought away and wiped her eyes.

With strength to the east; Duty will guide thee home  Duty lay to the east, her heart to the south.  “What good has Fate’s balance brought me and mine?”  She growled and turned her horse from the scene below her. The ridge had offered her cover and time to say goodbye.  Now she must get on with what the Light called her to do.  She just watched her home, her life go up in flames.  She supposed she had nowhere to go but up.  She could no longer hide so perhaps it was time to fight.  Her reluctance lingered for but a moment.  “Ignoring it will not change Fate’s requirement of you,  Em.”  Her grandmother murmured again. This time she would swear she felt the rap of that blasted stick.

Emma kicked her horse forward.  Fate guide me.  The blessing left her mind laced with the light of holy.  The power flex was minor but Edward would hear.  In that moment, the wall between them faded.  Her eyes flashed gold as his head snapped up.  Fate bless thee, Edward Jacobs.  The whisper and power’s push was minor. Enough to make him aware of her survival and to remind him of what waited.  Their mother blessed them in this manner every night.  Emma added the warmth of her love for him before she closed the door again.  Soon enough, she suspected, she would blow the wall between them to smithereens. Duty called her. What lay ahead she could only guess.

 

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Autumn Leaves

Current Reading:  The Romanovs: 1613-1918 by – Simon Sebag Montefiore (My library check out expired before I could finish it. I am a sad panda)

Current Listening: Lindsey Stirling – Something Wild ft. Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness (From Disney’s Pete’s Dragon)

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So, I have been a little shy about updating the blog these last few weeks. Life has been busy.  We have been getting back into the rhythm of life after vacation and school starting.  I blinked and we are five days into September.  My sixteen year old is now seventeen and time keeps plodding away. To me, the best news is that fall is right right around the corner.   What is your favorite season and why?

Am I the only one who prefers the crisp air of autumn and the crunch of dead leaves to summer’s heat? I love the bite of cold (or hot) apple cider and the creepy feeling that always accompanies October”s arrival.  I love corn mazes and hay rides and do not do anywhere near as much as I would like to in the fall.  Perhaps we can change that this year.

Oh and…in case you are not counting:

FOURTY DAYS UNTIL SHADOW’S JOURNEY RELEASES!!!!

If you would like to attend the cover reveal for Shadow’s Journey,  please drop into my Facebook page and the event to let me know you’re coming.   I can’t wait to share the cover with all of you.  This was a new type of design for my books and may lead to a new look for the series as a whole in the distant future.  I like the covers where they are for the moment.

I have a challenge going on right now.  My Facebook page is up to 93 likes.  Help a girl out if you like what I do and follow the blog.  I’d love to hit 100 by release day.  Release day is October 15. So please, if you could. Like my author page, share it,  comment on it. I’m always available for questions or comments. Drop me a message. I don’t bite.

 

 

Turn and face the strange.

Current Listening:  “Eternal” – Evanescence

Current Reading:    Catherine the Great : Portrait of a Woman – Robert K. Massie

So, a few housekeeping updates for those of you that have not poked around the site.  Yes,  I updated and rearranged a little.   On the right you can now see my twitter feed and click to like my Facebook page.  So I made it a little easier for those of you who follow this blog to see what else I am up to.   Also, for those of you that have not subscribed to the newsletter and may be interested in Nicholas’ story, current events and a fun little thing called Sandra’s Corner,  I have added the newsletter archives to the top menu above.  Go check it out.  If you like it, click the subscribe link up top.   Please feel free to contact me with questions or feedback on the new design.

Also,  a few countdowns of note:

3 Days until Vacation

8 days until GenCon 50

67 Days until Shadow’s Journey release party.

Now, for those of you itching for the cliffhanger with Lily Eisen,  by all means…here goes.

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“Easy Lils.”  Jaylor’s voice crooned in her ears as he caught her and eased their descent.  He shifted his body so he would protect her from gravity’s inevitable impact.  “Go for your emergency gem.  Calm…that’s my girl.” He murmured as a patient parent would to a child facing a difficult lesson.  “Focus. Trigger.”  Jaylor’s tones were gentle and soon enough the weight of her body against his was gone.   Emergency gems ,  when activated,  all were created to send the users to the same place.  With a flex of his element, Jaylor slowed his descent with the night wind and then vanished before he hit the ground.

Marcus Jade was pacing the room when Lily appeared in his sister’s chamber.  Alexandra tutted his overprotective streak and guided the shaken woman to a chair before her brother pounced upon her person to assure himself of her safety.   Alexandra settled before Lily, meeting the girl’s green eyes with her own sea-shaded gaze.  Lily trembled and before she voiced her first thought, Alexandra assured her on gentle tones. “Jaylor will join us shortly. All emergency gems are built to bring their users to me for security and healing if needed. He knows where you are.”

That soothed the woman who,  during her entire existence within the Guild, had never had someone so openly attempt to take her life.  “Good.  Let the watchdog go before I explain what happened.”  A grin tugged at the corners of the Sorceress’ mouth as she stepped aside.  As soon as she did,   Lily found herself  enveloped in the warmth of Marc’s arms.  He murmured his fears and his heart all at once.  His gentle concern broke her in the face of what was a terrorizing affair.

The force of his emotions surfaced in his eyes. That depth brought tears to her own. “I am fine, Marc.” She murmured.  “I told you I would.”  She spoke as those tears drifted down her cheeks.  “Trust, remember?”  He nodded and that was when the delicate clearing of Jaylor’s throat stilled the moment.   “I was pushed.”  She responded to the question her favorite Shadow had not voiced.  She pushed from Marc’s arms and approached Jaylor.  When his arms closed around her,  she finally relaxed.   “Thank you.”

“You’re part of the world I need to keep safe. Anytime.”  Jaylor promised then released her.   Marc felt the spike in her emotions. He understood Jaylor could get to her faster. He was in Mornesse, Marc was in the capital.  Lily’s panic was what struck him first when he reached for her.  “Tell me what you remember.”  And with that, they settled in to figure out what happened on that Mornesse rooftop.

Tick-tock

Current listening:  My husband and our friend playing DC Deckbuilding.

Well, I have a lot of nifty news to share.  Twenty four hours and I’ll get to preview the final layout!

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Shadow’s Journey has been submitted for Amazon’s review well ahead of schedule.  Make sure you check me out on Facebook Live October 1st at 7 pm for the cover reveal!   Now begins reviews to make sure the layout is right.  This part is usually the most stressful me because I go through page by page to determine if the layout is right or text needs to shift.    I get talked down from the ledge more than once during this time period.

We are THREE MONTHS from release! Three months! Stay tuned to my Facebook page for more updates and MAYBE some teasers.     I’m really excited about this book because it advances a character whose story I have always loved.  I hope you all love m favorite Shadow’s development too.   I can’t wait to hear your feedback! I wonder if other authors get as psyched as I do when a plan comes together.  Kudos to anyone who knows what 80’s classic show I’m referencing.

Five weeks from vacation! I cannot wait!  I need to be out and unwind.  See some old friends, enjoy GenCon and play some games. If any of you are at GenCon 50,  by all means,  drop me a message.   🙂  I’m excited to relax and game and just be with my husband for four days.  It will be fantastic.  What’s your favorite thing to do on vacation?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Updates!

Current reading:  Prophecy – Cassandra Morgan

Inspired by:  “Come From Away”  – Original Broadway Cast

Hello people!

So I have a major announcement.  Shadow’s Journey will be released October 15,  2017.  Please join me from 2-5 to celebrate at Gathering Volumes!  I will be raffling off a copy of the new book.  Can’t wait to see you there! Summer is here. What do you guys do in the summer?  I admit, I read.  I have never been the outdoorsy type. I like my books and my little corner of the world.   I do like walks when it’s cool and sunny.    The photo below is from one of my favorite parks in our area.  I love walking down by the river.  There is always -something- to see.

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In other news,  revisions are going well.  I should finish right on schedule.  This will be what I’m going back to as soon as I finish this blog post.   9 more files to goooo.  Then onto layout.   I have also written a little more of The Guardian’s Fall so those of you that have missed the continuation of that story will get to see more in the July edition of the Maeseloria Monthly.     So, with that being said, back to work for me.  Stay tuned to Facebook for information about the new book release.   Hope all is well in your corners of the world! Take care.

 

Storms

Inspired by:   Hallelujah – Lindsey Stirling

Current Reading:  Stephen King’s-It  (One of my favorite books,  read it for the first time when I was 16. Readers, what was your first favorite, best loved adult read?)

So forgive the radio silence for the last little while, everyone.  Life showed up and took a big old chunk out of yours truly.  My daughter has hit a major change in her health.  Not world ending, or life threatening but a new normal is how I am going to choose to put it.   So, that has taken me off the creative grid for a while, put revisions on hold,  and basically leaving me with the dire need to write or go nuts.  So here we are.

I am not going into details because well, that’s just not how I manage life. The people that need to know do.  So I have been thinking lately and came across a photo writing prompt that got the gears turning.  At this time, the photo cannot be included in this blog due to copyright and I don’t feel like tracking down the photographer to get permission to use it.   At any rate the gears got going because a the image was of a winding path and a tree set back from the road. Overhead was a beautiful storm cloud either rolling in or rolling out.  It felt like either the calm right before or the calm right after the storm. I feel like I am in the calm after and things are starting to still.  To quote Alexandra, “Light knows I’ve been wrong before.” We’ll see where the path leads.  Some times, it just comes down to weathering the storm.

So the image and the song got me going but before I get to the more creative endeavors,  I have a small announcement to make.  On April 29th,  our friends at Gathering Volumes will be hosting a massive event for Independent Book Store Day celebration featuring a whole slew of local authors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  I will be on hand with my handsome assistant (read: husband) signing and selling books.  There will also be a gift basket available for a drawing. The latter I’m still putting together. When I figure out what is in said gift basket, I will let you all know.   Also, cupcakes.  Because well,  cupcakes are awesome.

At any rate,  if you’re in the Ohio/Michigan area and fancy a road trip,  go check out the Facebook event.  That will list times and what other events will be on hand. It promises to be a fantastic time.

With that being said,  I know some of you are probably waiting on the next installment with Alex and Marc.  It’s coming. I have a character that is demanding to be developed.  But not tonight because well this little writer feels bedtime calling. To you faithful readers,  leave me a little comment below of what you think about the story arc if you’re following along.  Take care!

Disappointment and other things

Inspired by: Ludovico Einaudi -Elements

Current reading:  (Uh, nil at the moment. #amwriting and behind #reading)

Brought to you by: The Figment Writers

Oy with the thought provoking questions, hostess.  This week’s prompt is “What is something that has disappointed you?”  Happy Writing, she says.  So I looked at it Thursday and thought to myself “where the hell do I begin with that?”   I had nothin’, she stumped me again.  Until today.  I was scrolling through Twitter doing my usual author checkup and check in and came across this quote:

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Now let me preface this by saying that The Great Gatsby is one of my favorite classics.  I love this book but I have not read it in a number of years.  The quote got me thinking about that and disappointment.  Now I could go down this big dark depressing rabbit hole of disappointment but hell, we’ve all been down that particular rabbit hole.  I think if you’ve never been disappointed by something in your adult life then you have not really lived beyond your comfort zone. Disappointment is a natural part of life.  We have a choice to learn from it or let it devour us. I choose to learn from disappointment and failure.  I keep going.   A friend said I was “resilient like that.”   I think it’s what you do when life leaves you no other option. I did not like the other option so I chose to learn and grow.  Was it an easy path? Uh. No.  I am not the kind of person that takes the easy way though.  When I was young I learned the hard way that easy was not always better.  Easy might be comfortable for a minute but for long term happiness, the challenge is usually better.  You learn more. Just my thought though.  So yes, I have had my disappointments in my professional life, my writer’s life, and my relationships.  Did I learn from them? Why yes, yes I did.  The biggest disappointment that comes to mind immediately was when a well-meaning friend looked at my books and said to me “There is nothing here that would make me want to buy this if I did not know you.”

Talk about a blow!  My first reaction was immediate defense in response to that but; said friend was coming from a place of love even though she will just tell you she’s a bitch.  That stopped my defensive reaction and disappointment and gave me the opportunity to learn and look hard at the product I had produced.  I had to look at my work as more than the person who created the story.  I had to look at the way people view the product and that too took a lot of thinking.   So, when faced with that, I challenged myself to be better.  This was how the new cover designs were born, by the way.  I had to put me out there.  Yes. Me.  That itself is difficult because I struggle with that kind of exposure.  I like my privacy. Some folks can do it without hesitation.  I have to work for it.

So don’t be afraid to work for it.  Challenge yourself to be better.  Challenge your friends to be better.  The people closest to me have always been that lightning rod for change.  Sometimes the strike is subtle.  Other times, the strike knocks me on my ass but either way they get me thinking and get my attention.  To those people, thank you.

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On to news!  Maeseloria: Light’s Guide is now released.  It is available through Amazon and, just recently, all of my books are available through Barnes and Noble.  However, my friends, if you are a Toledo or surrounding area native?  I encourage you to purchase my books at Gathering Volumes.  They are the only independent book store in the area and they actually have signed copies in house.   If you wait until November 20, however, you will get to meet me and have your book signed in person I’ll be there from 2pm-5pm.  Stop out and see me would you?

 

 

New stuff!

So it’s been a busy week here.   Between getting stuff ordered for a local author fair I’m attending and getting a little miss ready for Homecoming next week.  We’ve been up to our eyeballs.   On that note, a couple of really awesome things are happening.  Things are starting to come together.  First,  these beauties arrived yesterday:

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Promotional items for the fair. Woo!  New bookmarks, business cards,  stuff to hand out. I have book stock coming Monday.  This is doubly exciting because the only book I’ve held in my hands since the cover redesign is Birth of Light.   So lots of Maes-related exciting things are happening.

On another note,  as some of you know, some don’t, I have issues with my weight.  I joined Weight Watchers in April and have had moderate success.  Almost 25 pounds down!   They were doing a promotion where if you lost 10 lbs in 3 months you got a $50.00 gift card.  Well,  I had kind of a revelation in that 3 months when it came to portions, eating habits and the like.  Long story short I lost 20 pounds.  Yesterday, I got a $100.00 gift card in the mail because I lost 20.  Talk about motivation to get going!   I have a long journey ahead of me but this excites me that I could DO that and do so much more.

So that’s the update gang.  Sound off in the comments if you would please.  Favorite bookmark design? What journeys are you struggling with?

Have an amazing Saturday!  AND if you haven’t signed up for the newsletter, October’s edition is due out in ONE WEEK!  Click subscribe on the top sidebar.  I have a great offer coming out and some Facebook live events planned for October.

Until then, take care.  Stay out of trouble.

 

 

Happenings

Too many irons on the fire make Sandra something-something grumpy…This grumpiness can be solved by coffee and chocolate. Ha!

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With that being said, things have been extremely crazy as of late so I thought I send you all an open letter with an update! Let’s see if we can get through all that is going on. Recap!

  • Final edits are progressing for The Light’s Guide.  I hope to post the Prologue here the week before the book releases October 17.  A huge shout out to fellow Figgy Mia and The Figment Writers for steering me towards the Hemingway App for help with the editing process.  Also, if you guys are looking for help with writer’s block,  check out an app called Trello.  It takes my post it idea to the next level. Or, head over to the Figment Writers and join our Facebook group.
  • Also, if you have not had the opportunity to pick up Hope’s Child,  stay tuned for a special deal with the October issue of the Maeseloria Monthly.  If you missed the inaugural edition,  you can check it out here   If you didn’t get a chance to subscribe, you can click the button on the left hand corner of the newsletter to do so.
  • Let’s see…what else. OH,  if you have not hit up my Facebook page,  you will miss a special event on September 14 at 7 pm EST. I will be on Facebook live answering questions about the books, writing process.  It will be fun and interactive and I would love the chance to meet the folks that follow this blog. Come check it out!
  • There has been an update to the contact information on my site. I apologize in advance for any inconvenience. My contact email, going forward,  will be sjhults@bex.net. Please submit any questions, concerns, feedback about my work to this address or, if you really like what you’ve read, leave me a review on Amazon.
  • The deadline for questions for Sandra’s Corner and the October newsletter is right around the corner! I need your questions by September 15 for them to be in the newsletter. Sorry for the typo!
  • Lastly,  for those of you in my local area, I will be participating in my first author fair on November 13.  If you want the information as far as dates/time/place, inbox me, hit me up on Facebook.

I sincerely hope my excitement translates.  I’ve got so much going on that I can’t seem to wrap my head around it all.  Promotions and book 5 is knocking on the back of my head.

In the meantime,  stay out of trouble guys.  🙂

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