Tag Archives: Eclectic Bard

New Year – Even more new

As the month nears its close, I’m excited to bring you a NEW-NEW cover.
We’ve looked at updates of ones you may have been familiar with…but this one is brand new to everyone but the set partners that are in the thick with me.

May 8th Once Upon a Twisted Time will come out, a box set of Twisted Fairy Tales…my contribution is a story titled: Twelve. It’s a take on The 12 Dancing Princesses…and ooooh do I have it twisted. Wanna peek??

Can’t share too much more than that yet…but the cover might give you a clue.

Interested?? Take a chance for less than 1 Benjamin at any of these outlets.
(the Amazon links are coming soon)

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NYNE 4th and 48

I suppose I could have counted to make sure there were actually 52 Mondays in 2018. Since we began on a Monday, there could well be 53, but who’s counting?

I am.

This year has mountains of possibility, and an equal share of obstacles. I’m still working on the realignment, but I’m keeping up…so far. I know what I’m doing is good for me, and in the interest of preventing a repeat, but man is it overwhelming too. I know the gym, and the cursed treadmill, are for the good. I do. I also know that I’m full of plans before I go, and exhausted afterward, making my progress on the things I NEED to work on writer-wise exceedingly frustrating. It’s a lot like running in Jell-O…messy and lacking yardage.  (No, I’m not going to elaborate on experience to justify the comparison. Just take my word for it) 🙂

I will persevere though. I will. Quit has never really been in my vocabulary. I’m not willing to give it page-space now. Essentially, the sum of the parts right now is I’m pushing, while trying not to push myself beyond the threshold of what I should, and spending way more time than I’m used to on the tasks that up to now have been thoughtless to get through. Now, I plan more, and I was a planner before…each day, each activity, leaving room to allow myself to fall short of where I want to be. It’s aggravating to know that a month or two ago, I wouldn’t have thought twice, I’d have pushed through to the end, no matter the hours or insanity…which is how I got where I landed. I’m learning…and soon enough, I will again be where I can push to the end, without pushing beyond myself.

I will.

This isn’t NYNE whiner edition though…I’m not going to do that. This was my update on the path to success, and the last one of its kind, I hope. Barring a major curve…I am putting my head down and charging. The Rhino in me is restless.

As promised, it’s still January, which means you get to see another cover. This week is the re-mastered cover for The Custos Book 3 – Book of Mysteries. I’m in mad love with the changes. The original cover, while striking, felt too clean and polished for the set. Like it needed to have that same shadow feel to fit in with the others…and now, it does. See for yourself.

Original.

 

Reworked.

The images are still the same, but the twilight feel to the cemetery and Ramsby (Cover model Eric Jacob) on the cover waiting and watching for anything is more to the vision of it I had when that part of the story was written, and the overall series of light vs. dark and what lies between. I am so pleased with the revision and the effect.

In other news, Amazon finally acquiesced and price matched. Book of Time – The Custos book 1 is now permafree & on all channels, the big four and probably a few others you haven’t heard of. Book of Revelations, book 4 in the series, ((and possibly Book of Prophesy, book 5 & the last,)) will be out this year. If you haven’t started the journey, why not? Now is a great time as the first novella that introduces you to the world of White Diamond & The Custos…is FREE. Take it for a spin on your favorite E-reader. (Then of course, tell me what you think. It’s a bumpy introduction, but the two worlds that are colliding kind of are too.)

Next week I’ll be sharing another cover or two…from an upcoming set, or my solo work from a set…who knows what it will be – there are a lot to choose from, so stay tuned or check back for the next reveal on the 29th.

Have a great week. Read something amazing. And, as always, tell your friends.

Sav

In case you missed the others being shown in their updated statuses, here are the three Custos series books together. 🙂

 

 

 

New Year – New Everything Part the Third

The year is flying. It’s only the 15th and this is already the 3rd part in the NYNE posts. GOSH!

I was going to post over the weekend and have it pop up this morning, but life happens. An electrical fire at the daughter’s apartment had us doing rewiring work, sure…the apartment people should…but since they are already upping her rent 1 month in, and we have the ability and pieces…why give them cause to raise it further? It didn’t take long…just details. A lot like writing work is…details: They make or break the job being done.

Then there was the ongoing writing work that I’m not happy with and trying to wrap since the first of several deadlines is approaching. Those pesky things will sneak up and bop you on the head if you don’t keep at it…so, I’m keeping at it. I did a re-read of the other part of one story, to make sure I have the nuances and details straight in my head. It’s been awhile since I wrote or reviewed the first part, so again, DETAILS…they matter.

Next up is a not so new thing. A year ago I got a promotion. I became the compliance chairman for my state, which has a lot of responsibilities for managing federal reporting for a number of locations. This position was supposed to rotate to someone new for this year, but as things go, that person is no longer available, and thus I am likely retaining the job. Which translates to some two-step shuffle to my signing schedule if I can’t finesse the details early. I’m hopeful, even as the realist in me knows what is probably going to happen. 😦

All this as I’m waiting to hear on another promotion that will translate to a cross-country move. Until there is more to know, it’s a waiting game…one my recent personal challenges are making difficult to remain calm for. An answer, either way, would be good in the short course instead of the long, but we all know how that works…or doesn’t when you’re waiting. Watched pot & alla that.

So…I have lots of things in transition, and more that haven’t entered the fray of my crazy yet. I have managed to finally get the added bits into something of a routine, though they effectively manage to throw my regularly scheduled writing work for a loop several times a week. I’m still morphing. I’ll get there…hopefully before I crash & burn.

Last…as promised….here’s the next Custos Series updated cover. Book of Change, book 2, got the logo like book one, and a minor tweak to make the cover image fit the scene from the book more precisely. I’m tickled. Can you spot it?

The Book of Mysteries updated cover will be revealed next week and I hope you love it as much as I do. It feels more like it belongs with the first two and I cannot wait to see what books 4 & 5 look like, now that we have the logo and a clear sense of where the series is headed before it wraps up.

Enjoy the week. I for one will be indoors mostly I think. The snow has been falling all day and the roads are a map of ice-covered thoroughfares. Not good for prolonged travel, so I’m not. If I don’t have to be out, I won’t be…but maybe that means I’ll get ahead, or at least back on track in my word-work. It could happen.

Til next week, read something good and tell a friend!

Sav

 

New Year – New Everything continues

2018 is going to be full of changes for me, as previously mentioned. Some of it I’m planning and some things will happen as they happen. 🙂

One new thing is that my titles are going wide. It’s a HUGE learning curve for me and I have no real idea what I’m doing, but I’m going to learn as I go and hopefully, like with other things, be better for the adventure. With this, one thing that needed to happen was to get The Custos series covers adjusted so it is easier to know which one comes next. For the next couple weeks, I’ll reveal each of them in turn.

This week is Book of Time, which isn’t much different, just has the series logo identifier added…but, by Mysteries I’m excited to share the new wash over with you. I feel like the cover finally goes with the others better. I hope you’ll agree.

Once we get these shared, I’ll start sharing the new stuff. I’m doing my last 2 boxsets this spring and can’t wait to share them with you. One, coming in March is going to be a fun PNR set called Magic Rising. That set has a single cover that I hope you’ll enjoy.

After that is Once Upon a Twisted Time…a collection of re-imagined fairy tales that you know, with twists you might not see coming. My contribution is based on The Twelve Dancing Princesses and is called Twelve. I’ll reveal my individual cover soon, but here’s the overall for you to gaze upon.

Next on the crazy train of ’18 for me is a regrowth of my street team, The Zapatistas. This group is who gets to see new covers first, helps with promotion of my work and shares back with me sites, events, and other places where my work would be a good fit, but hasn’t been found yet. Do you have a few minutes each week to share my work and get the 411 early?

If you’re interested in joining my Street Team and getting the sneak peeks at what’s coming before everyone else…you can do so HERE. We’d love to add you to the group. My VPA Jennifer runs the group and keeps everything tracking, so there’s no inventing the wheel going on…just sharing and sharing.

More New Year – New Everything to come in the weeks ahead. Thanks for sticking around for the journey. Til next time, read something great & share with your friends!

Sav

 

 

 

Stirring the water

More ages ago than I could accurately quantify, a speaker made the comparative reference to personal growth as ‘all in’ or likened to a stagnant pond. I think about their comments occasionally, using them as a metric for myself, based loosely on the ‘smell factor’ for the scum on the surface.  There is a great body of water I know for the mental imagery as well…if the spring warms faster than the aerators are activated…there is a lovely green, mossy blanket that covers the surface of the water. While pretty – it is clearly out of place.

The same can be true for notions about writer things. I’d much rather have my life pond look like this…colorful, peaceful, but also…scum free.

(Image source unknown. No copyright infringement intended.)

Why do I mention any of this? Well…I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. I have a professional career outside of writing and publishing, one that I don’t always enjoy, but never fail to be proud of. The idea with that work is that we are always innovating, always growing, reaching out to serve the customer in new and different ways. For that position, I am also on a short list of folks for a chance to move up and be a deciding factor for a team, a location, a region, and my company. It’s daunting and exciting at the same time. There is no moss growing. There’s no time.

That said, I’ve often been fond of the notion that those who forget history, the past that brought us to this present, are condemned to repeat it. Consequently, I spend a fair amount of time learning, and sharing the past practices as we reach for new, better, or innovative ones to replace them for my non-author me. Interestingly enough, I’ve gotten an opportunity to do it for the writer side of the equation recently…and I’m submerged in the idea of how much publishing has changed.

Moreover, I’m shocked to see how some things have returned to the fore, often with the user none the wiser for the point. The dialogue and discourse of the industry has changed expansively, and divisively. I’m not saying anything new, I realize that…but in learning about where we have come from, to seeing what we’ve become…I understand better the confusion so many are experiencing. The sheer number of charlatan experiences is mind-boggling. And, I don’t believe that it’s on a course to turn away soon.

There’s another adage I know about filling many roles, but mastering none – I think that’s where publishing is right now. With the floodgates open to allow publication of works that have been neither edited, or reviewed, put into the mix by writers who don’t understand or know the history, the market has flooded. And, continues to run over. Unfortunately pooling in places that don’t get stirred.

There are pros and cons to this. Writers who the ‘gatekeepers’ withheld once upon a time until they were better positioned to be published, either by writing education, or storytelling instruction, etc…are out and in the market…and what early bard didn’t have a few bumps in their stories? At the same time…they are in the market without the benefit of firm guidance on those factors, nor the expanded circle that used to be the path. In my head I see a fish on land…

What I mean to point out is this…once upon a time, the work went through so many hands before getting to public consumption, the village worked together. Now, we have individuals who are author, editor, art designer, marketer, publisher, and media rep. How many hats can we wear well? I think it is far fewer than most believe. And, I would argue that running for the sake of running doesn’t eliminate pond scum, it only churns it up to smell as each task takes a turn on the bottom.

I further believe, that just because we are seeing someone do something, doesn’t make it responsible or an accurate practice. I think most of us NEED others in our circle of influence. I think it reveals a large scale problem with publishing right now…One we need to get ahead of and back down before it destroys us all. There are valuable lessons to be learned from the past. Innovation should be moving the bar farther…not bringing it down. We collectively need to be doing better. I think that includes reaching out to others, and clasping the hands of those who reach for us.

That said…we also need to know and understand when in the timeline it is time to regroup and right our own ship before we align with an armada that isn’t where we’re trying to go. At the end, balance is everything. It’s what keeps us moving forward without letting the moss grow. For me, after the recent learning curve, I’m more convinced than ever that I need to take some time to stir the water. The surface may be clear, but I’m not sure what’s lurking underneath. I can’t accept that.

Last – don’t forget about the Crossword puzzle blog hop…there have been hiccups, but I’m loving seeing so many new sites and what they have to offer. Hope you will too. Until next time, read something great, and tell your friends.

Sav

Recovery mode

What a year…SERIOUSLY, what a year??!

From the early months when we were hitting the 80’s before spring officially sprang, to the summer of rain and cool breezes… & finally the autumn of record and near record highs… It’s finally temperate, and average for the time of year, and I’m in shell-shock. 42 degrees overnight after sleeping in the upper 50s & low 60s with the windows open is a hard pill to swallow.

But, that’s only one of the whirlwinds I’m trying to wrap my head around. This year has been manic, and exhausting, and exceptional, even as it’s been ominous and scary. I haven’t found solid yet…which is a problem since next year is looking like it’s going to be similar – or worse.  I need to find a way to recover quicker. The weather going wonky just doesn’t work for me…I need something to be stable. 🙂 As if, right?

This week is the week. It has to be. This Saturday marks my final signing event for the year- GLASS CITY AUTHOR EVENT – WOOOOT!!! -so the last time to clear inventory before the crates get tucked onto the shelf for the season, or something like that. It’s not like they get buried. It’s also the final piece on my white board of doom…kind of like the white screen of death, except that everything starts on the board and slowly disappears. The notion that I’m starting November with the board blank is giving me a twitch…but I’m looking for the lining and organizing my thoughts to fill it early.

Jump starts are allowed, aren’t they?

My November Crossword Puzzle Bloghop is nearly finalized and ready…look for the details on that with my post next week. I’m so excited to play…I LOVE WORD GAMES. I can’t wait to see how this format goes. It’s a new one, so there’s bound to be hiccups…but I’m excited. I hope you’re planning to join me.

Honestly, I need a week, or a month… where the fam leaves and I can do the gut and grouse…tough love clean sweep of the house with no witnesses. I think that’s the problem I’ve got finding level. Everything around me goes up for grabs while I’m in the cave, but it keeps swirling once I emerge and I can’t get a clear shot to take it out, and keep it that way. I’d hire a maid, but this is SO MUCH MORE than maid issue…this is borderline hoarder in a couple of rooms that I can’t peek into without getting hives.

I think a track loader starting at the back, shoving it all to the curb would make me feel so much better…I just need the others to stop chaining themselves to the woobies, roller skates that no longer fit, and the lawn ornaments that migrated from other family members houses. Do you think they’d suspect cruise tickets or something?? I mean, I can’t wear this whiplash collar forever…it’s me or the stuff. I’m voting for me.

See you next week – hopefully saner. Til then, read something amazing and thank the author…leave a review.

Sav

 

Jiminy Cricket

“A dream is a wish your heart makes, when you’re fast asleep…”

Sounds good, huh? It is too…until you get to this line,

“Whatever you wish for, you keep.”

and you realize that this does not apply to writers. I cannot tell you the sheer number of dreaming moments that quilted so beautifully together, weaving the story just so…that even with intentional waking to jot it down, have become completely lost to me.  I’ve resigned myself to the truth that Jiminy Cricket was not an author. So, I’ll just plan to wake up and get my cussing done with first…I’m certain I will’ve lost something through the sleeping part.

With authorship among the many hats that I wear, I find that lucid dreaming is either my staunch ally, or my dire nemesis. Usually the latter. 2017 was an incredible year, even as it was surreal and exhausting. I made a choice to take on a HUGE production schedule. ((I kept it by the way, much to even my surprise)) And…sadistic fool that I am, 2018 is looking to be equally manic, falling essentially even on the production side, but with additional appearances on the signing/convention side. Don’t worry, I’ve already ordered a new ‘hug-me’ jacket in lime green.

What’s a girl to do?

Well, it seems to me that I need to return to a practice that I’ve sort of scooted away from over the last couple years of crazy: guided meditation for goals. I have purpose when I meditate, usually relaxation, but I’ve not used it for my writing production for a long time now. I think that’s good and bad at the same time and it’s coming full circle. To get bigger, and busier, I need to slow down.

I’m thinking this is step one of my twelve step program to personal growth. Acknowledging the problem:

Since I can’t count on a cricket to get me to the goal…it’s probably up to me. *shrug* Somehow it always has been. 🙂

Til next time, read something awesome!
((OH…and don’t forget about the crossword puzzle blog hop in November…it’s going to be EPIC!!))

 

(don’t) Let it Show…

I’m not a big dog in this race…not even close. There are some that think I’m a big deal though, and well versed too…why? Because I learned one lesson in business young and have never forgotten it – Don’t flinch…and I don’t.  That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a full-blown tornado ripping though my soul at any given moment.

I did something a week or so ago, something I never thought I’d ever consider doing again…I pitched a literary agent to go back to traditional publishing. I LOVE being an Indie…don’t get me wrong, there’s just something about the idea of traditional backing, and marketing funds, and a few other perks that are tempting…though only recently. I’ll give it to you gospel…I was shaking in my shoes and nearly yerked my lunch before I got to the door. All in all, there are some great things on the horizon though because of that meeting…and I did manage to keep lunch in. So there’s that too. I just have to re-evaluate how I’m going to travel the road I’ve endeavored to take.

I’m fully confident of my abilities to write and be in the public eye at signings or conventions. I love the energy in a signing room…not gonna lie, it’s a hard habit to break and I have a fix every chance I get. That said, I also know my limitations. Public Relations and Marketing are easily my predominant Achilles heel, and the aspect of the business I struggle forward every inch to gain ground. I have to consider that I may need to go hybrid at the least to be able to have that front get the attention it deserves. It scares me more than a little, but I know I need help.

 

I did not make the decision to leave traditional publishing lightly. Any consideration to go back must be as carefully weighed. Whichever way this road goes, one thing will hold true…you won’t see my frenzy if I can help it. Composure will be me, if I have to stand on my own feet to accomplish it.

Penned Con Re-Cap

As some of you know, a week ago I was on my way to Penned Con. I can hardly believe it has been a week already. Here is a quick pictorial recap.

The road trip started out with a game of luggage tetris.

I love that we get to set up our tables the night before, which was followed by a pajama party and game night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love meeting new readers and introducing them to my stories.

I love seeing readers who have either read Beyond the Veil of Whispered Dreams and are looking to pick up Veiled Path to Destiny, or who have read both and are stopping by to see if I have anything new since Veiled Path was released.

Nothing quite picks up your spirits like hearing a reader who has read your books recommend them to new readers.

 

The Con ended with Casino night. Dave the dealer patiently taught us newbies the rules of the game. Tickets for prizes were won, chips were lost, laughter and team work was in plenty. It was the perfect way to end a perfect weekend.

Over $14,000 was raised for Action for Autism. How cool is that? Next year’s event looks like it’s going to be amazing. If you’re in the St. Louis are this time next year, you should really check it out.

Until next week…Happy Reading!

~Jolanthe~

I LOVE a charity event!

A day late, but recovery from amazing takes time. I spent the lion’s share of the last six days in St. Louis at Penned Con. If you’ve never been…mark your calendars to be there next year for the event’s BIG 5TH!!

I cannot possibly say enough good things about this event or the staff who puts it together. Rick & Amy Miles, with their crew, pull off a phenomenal event bringing authors and readers together for charity…in support of Action for Autism Academy St. Louis. I am still jacked sky-high for the opportunity to stand with them again in the quest. THIS YEAR…with the added monies raised, they topped the 50K mark! KUDOS TO EVERYONE who helped make that happen…as an author, staff member, reader, blogger…whatever the role. You are a hero in my book!


This year, like before, I got to share table space with another of the Bard authors, Jolanthe Aleksander. She’s a rock star! I also got to share this year with the cover model for Book of Mysteries, Eric Jacob. He is such a great sport and, to me, a perfect addition to the event. Between his Care Bear pj’s and his winning ways with the younger attendees…it was a wonderful weekend to spend signing with him.

We raffled off two posters of the cover and had so much fun meeting new to me readers, while spinning the prize wheel with some great author friends from other events who made the trek to the Midwest to be part of the magic. I can’t wait to see what next year brings.

Next up is another charity signing…Glass City Author Event in Toledo Ohio. Last year the event raised money for RISE Toledo, a group that supports survivors of human trafficking. This year is to raise money for VetSports…if you’re not booked, I should have my voice back by then and be restocked. Come by and spend Saturday with the authors in Toledo…it’s going to be epic!

If you have copies of my latest releases…bring them with and I’ll sign them for you. No copy? No problem! I’ll have plenty at my table.

See you there!
Sav