A Drift of Quills: Fantasy eBook Giveaway!

To celebrate this holiday season A Drift of Quills has something awesome for you—We’re giving away e-books!

A Drift of Quills is giving away e-books! Enter now for your chance to win. Contest ends Dec 18, 2016The Grand Prize Winner gets a virtual stocking stuffed with all f books ivein the format of your choice. (mobi, epub, pdf)

One copy each of As the Crow Flies, OathtakersA Hero’s Curse, and Obscurely Obvious will go to 4 separate runners-up. (One book per winner.)

As the Crow Flies, by Robin Lythgoe
When a psychotic wizard traps a first-class thief—well, a man’s got to do what he’s told. Until he can think of a better plan.

Oathtaker, by Patricia Reding
Mara swears to protect her charge with her life, then discovers the price her vow will exact. Abiding by an oath requires sacrifice.

Select, by Patricia Reding
To discover their callings, and in fulfillment of prophecy, the twin ranking members of the Select journey across The Tearless where they face three challenges. To triumph, they must first believe.

A Hero’s Curse, by P.S. Broaddus
The fantastical adventure story of a young blind girl and her talking cat taking on a perilous quest to find her kingdom’s lost king.

Obscurely Obvious, by Robin Lythgoe
A collection of five short stories including In the Mirror, Dragonlace, The High Roads, Tourist Trap, and Elra’s Journey.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Holidays from A Drift of Quills!

Robin Lythgoe, fantasy author  Patricia Reding  Parker Broaddus

A Drift of Quills is giving away e-books! Enter now for your chance to win. Contest ends Dec 18, 2016

New Cover Reveal! Blood and Shadow: Part 1 of The Mage’s Gift

Today begins an event so epic, so awesome, I can hardly sit still. Ladies and jellybeans… the moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived!

Blood and Shadow, the first book of The Mage’s Gift, will be released on December 10th—my birthday! Way to celebrate, right? Continue reading New Cover Reveal! Blood and Shadow: Part 1 of The Mage’s Gift

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In the News: SALE and Upcoming Release!

I’ve got TWO exciting pieces of news for you! A SALE and upcoming release!

SALE and Upcoming Release News!To celebrate the new cover and interior formatting for As the Crow Flies, the e-book is marked down to only 99¢.

Need a Christmas Gift?

A little something for yourself?

Join Crow for a rollicking, snarky ride through a land of wizards, demons, and ghosts.

The sale is for a limited time, so hurry to get your copy!

But wait! There’s more!

My new book, Blood and Shadow, comes out in just two weeks!

Stay tuned here for the upcoming Cover Reveal and release date, or join my newsletter to hear it first!

Are you looking for adventure? Join the journey with me!

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New Cover for As the Crow Flies!

New Cover for As the Crow Flies!

It’s here. Today is the day!

I’m so excited to finally be able to show you the new cover for As the Crow Flies! TwinArtDesign did a wonderful job blending the real with the symbolic, turning my ideas into a picture that conveys a sense of magic and adventure.

New Cover for As the Crow Flies!

I’d love to hear what you think about it!

Keep an eye on this space for some special news about Crow—or sign up for my newsletter to hear the latest news about this and my upcoming release!

A Drift of Quills: Picture This (#3)

A Drift of Quills: Picture This (#3)

A Drift of Quills is bringing you their worlds—in brilliant technicolor! “Picture This” this is a recurring subject with the Quills. Why? Because it’s so darned fun! We love sharing our worlds with you, giving you a peek behind the scenes. Take a look at some of our favorites…
A Drift of Quills: Writerly thoughts by writerly folks

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

A Drift of Quills: Picture This #3—We love sharing our worlds with you, giving you a peek behind the scenes. Take a look at some of our favorites…

Making up worlds is one of the best things about writing in the fantasy genre. It’s also hard work! There’s a lot of space for the fantasy author to let their imagination run wild, but we also need to tether our settings to a reality the average reader can relate to.

My short story, The High Roads, opens in the woods as night approaches…

Foggy Redwoods—the setting for "The High Roads" short story
(mage of Foggy Redwoods courtesy of mrwallpaper.com)

Shifting shadows beneath the giant greenwood trees gave the forest an eerie appearance. Dense strands of mist from the sea intensified a sense of the ethereal. Telic Ruan waited against a tree trunk, gazing up at the branches that hung some hundred feet above his head. He refused to let the capricious ghosts of the coming night intimidate him.

That picture, that description, sets up the entire story. Well, duh, right? That’s what it’s supposed to do!

Right, but the trees and the fog are symbolic! So are the ghosts. Those four sentences lay out Telic’s problem—and his problem with the problem.

He thinks his problem is the Luzzil Ones, a race of inferior but sentient creatures who live in caves.

Luzzil Caves—setting in "The High Roads" by Robin Lythgoe
(image via Stopford_lad on 28dayslater.com)

“Not slaves — useful and productive members of society. Can’t you see that’s the best thing for them? They can’t organize themselves in any practical way. They can’t even take care of their own! You’ve been to their villages — if you can call them that. They don’t even know how to build! They live in caves full of filth and disease. All we want to do is help them lead productive, healthy lives.”

He doesn’t understand the real problem…

Have you read The High Roads? How do you picture the setting? The characters? Send me your pictures!!

(If you haven’t read the story, you can get a copy for the price of joining my email list. The link is in the sidebar! It’s also available on Amazon.)

PATRICIA REDING

Patricia RedingAuthor of Oathtaker and Select
Patricia’s website

The Oathtaker Series is set in a medieval sort of time. Of course, as it is a fantasy, it does not correlate to any actual historical age in our world. Thus, as the author, I had the pleasure of making it exactly what I wanted to be. With a fantasy, the author chooses all of the details of that world in which the tale is set. So, that world is what the author says it is—nothing more, and nothing less. There are no rights or wrongs when it comes to what technology might be available, how people dress, what they eat—or even the language they use or the way they speak. (Few of us could read the languages actually spoken in our world during the medieval period anyway, so why pretend to write in a manner exactly representative of those days?) Consequently, “medieval” is not an altogether apt description of Oosa, the land of the Oathtakers and Select.

I’ve decided to share pictures of a couple of buildings from my tales…  (See what Patricia is sharing!)

P.S. BROADDUS

“P.S.Author of A Hero’s Curse (The Unseen Chronicles Book 1)
Parker’s website

Long have images stirred my imagination. I recall flipping through dusty old classics looking for illustrations. I would sit and stare at The Chronicles of Narnia, or histories on Greek myth, entranced by the sketches within.
But images do more than keep me flipping through my tattered copy of Treasure Island–pictures are what start the whole story for me. C.S. Lewis talked about the same. When discussing how he came to write the books of Narnia, he wrote that they “all began with a picture of a Faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood.” My own storytelling is similar. I write from images in my head. For me, it was the picture of a young blind girl standing in the desert, listening to a long-awaited storm rolling in… (What will this lead to?)

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Many authors have “setting boards” on Pinterest. Do you follow any? Which are your favorites?

Let us know in the comments below!

Another Update—In Case You’re Wondering!

Hello, wonderful readers!

I just wanted to make a drive-by post to let you know I’m still breathing. I’m deep into edits of Book One of The Mage’s Gift: Blood and Shadow, and I just want to say ohmygoshhowcaneditingbesoslow?!

Yeah. Like that.

I would like to give a percentage of progress. Something concrete, like I’m 62% finished. But silly things like “consistency” have me going back and forth in the manuscript until I’m dizzy.

But… I’ve got two little snippets to share with you. First, a picture of the timeline:

Blood and Shadow timeline

Yes, it’s small. Yes, some of the words look kind of blurry. You didn’t want spoilers, did you??

Second, a corner of the map-in-progress:

Alshan Map, The Mage's Gift Bk 1: Blood and Shadow, by Robin Lythgoe

One day it will be greener, the rivers won’t look weird, and the bordering countries will have names. Won’t that be exciting?

Do you want more good news? The covers (Yes, two! One for each of the set!) are nearly done! I can’t wait to share those with you.

Stay tuned! If you don’t want to miss the release of Blood and Shadow, be sure to sign up for my Book Progress email list, which will give you nothing but information about my upcoming books.

A Drift of Quills: Lunch Date With an Author

A Drift of Quills is sitting down to a virtual lunch, each with the author of their choice. Who do you think we’ll choose and why? Read on to find out…

A Drift of Quills: Writerly thoughts by writerly folks

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Choosing a single author to sit down and have a chat with is as bad as choosing your favorite book! Or color! Or child! There is a spectacular list to choose from, and stalking up and down between my bookshelves left me dizzy with indecision.

A Drift of Quills Goes on a Lunch Date with an AuthorIf I were to choose someone from the past, what kind of language and societal hurdles would we face when we tried to communicate? That’d be a whole conversation right there, but let’s assume we’ve been endowed with translation devices so we’ll both be on the same page (pun alert!). In that case…

I still had to hem and haw, and eventually decided that I’d use the same criteria for choosing my favorite color: It depends on what it’s for and how I feel at the moment. I might change my mind completely next week.

Today’s lunch will be al fresco at The Cheesecake Factory, and Mr. C.S. Lewis will be joining me. I’m not sure how much talking I’d do—I’d be such a bundle of nerves that I’d either clam up or babble. Probably the latter—but I would be happy to listen to what he has to say!

Author C.S. LewisHow did he come to write The Chronicles of Narnia? I struggle with “length”; how did he accomplish (so beautifully) “shorth”? How did he go about the process of writing, and how did he discover what worked best for him? What does he think of the world today—and would it prompt him to write a series of dystopian novels? What did he give up to write (because we all have to give up something), and does he think now that it was worth it? Who in his past most influenced his writing? How did he feel about JRR Tolkien’s criticism of his Narnia books?

We might have to stay until breakfast…

P.S. BROADDUS

“P.S.Author of A Hero’s Curse (The Unseen Chronicles Book 1)
PS’s website

During a recent interview, I mentioned my favorite storytellers, and I even had to decide which author I’d want as company in a submarine. This go around it’s lunch with an author from the past. Over hamburgers, we’d talk about habits and describe growing up. We’d finish off with a milkshake and chat about what informed their writing.

It’s a heavy decision, obviously. I mean, you have to agree on where to eat. My pick may surprise you, but I think you’ll follow my reasoning. (What reasoning would that be, exactly? Click here to find out!)

PATRICIA REDING

Patricia RedingAuthor of Oathtaker and Select
Patricia’s website

This might be the most difficult question presented yet! There are so many logistics to consider. If I choose someone no longer living, just how would the two of us arrange this lunch? Where would we meet? On this side of the divide? Or the other? (Oh, imagine!) If I choose someone whose native language is neither English nor Sarcasm (which is to say, not one I speak), how will we understand one another? Use some instant translation program? (Oh, I can see the problems arising from that already!)

Even assuming all the “how and where” details can be arranged, I have to consider whether I’d rather have lunch with a famous historical figure/politician who also happened to have a gift for words (See where Patricia is going with this here!)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

How about you? Who will you have to lunch (or drinks, or any other meal)?
What will you talk about? Give us a peek in the comments!

Image by Unsplash via Pixabay is licensed under CC0 1.0

What’s almost as good as a crate full of chocolate?

food-1465499_640Well… nothing, but the news that I’m zeroing in on the end of Book Two of the slower-than-cold-tar Mage’s Gift series is almost as good, right?

You may (or may not!) have noticed a lack of blog posts the last few weeks. They will continue to be sparse as I turn my newly adjusted razor focus on finishing the bleepity-bleep books. RAWR.

I’ve had a particularly good week—I won’t jinx myself by quoting numbers, but suffice it to say I’m breaking all kinds of personal records. NaNoWriMo, eat my dust!

In the meantime, As the Crow Flies is getting the revised cover I’ve been dreaming about since—well, for a long time. If you’ve been following on my Twitter Feed or Facebook, you’ll have seen some of the options, and maybe had a chance to offer your opinion on which one is best. We’re still working on a few little details, so this isn’t officially official, but…

Here’s a teeny, tiny peek.

"As the Crow Flies" gets a new cover!

I’m stoked. Stay tuned for the officially official cover reveal, coming SOON!

Books We Love #6

A Drift of Quills: Books We Love #6

It’s time for A Drift of Quills and the last of the summer reads! We’re relaxing out on the deck with a nice cool drink and a few good books while the weather (here in the northern hemisphere) is still warm.

As you might have guessed from the title, we’re sharing a few more Books We Love. It’s so hard to choose! Never fear, intrepid readers—we won’t let you down!

A Drift of Quills: Writerly thoughts by writerly folks

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

After standing in front of my bookshelves tapping my chin and saying “Hmm… Hmm…” several times, I finally chose Fortress in the Eye of Time, by C.J. Cherryh, the first of her incredible “Fortress” series.

Dontcha love when there’s a whole string of scrumptiousness lined up when you get to the end of a book and wish for more? There are five books to keep you going—and marveling.

A Drift of Quills: Books We Love #6 — We’re relaxing out on the deck with a nice cool drink and a few good books while the weather is still warm. And we're sharing!Fortress in the Eye of Time begins with the shaping of our main character—a boy born of magic. And such magic it is! Complicated, terrible, and with rules separating wizardry from sorcery. The wizard who creates Tristen is beginning to fail with age, and Tristen is born fully formed, but without any knowledge of the world or his place in it.

On his journey to discover himself he makes friends with Prince Cefwyn, heir to the Marhannen throne. While he is challenged with the fractious nobles at court and learning to assert his authority, Tristen is hunted by Hasufin Heltain, an old enemy of the wizard.

The first part of the book doesn’t move particularly fast—but that’s okay, because it gives the reader time to become immersed in Cherryh’s beautiful, haunting style. She has a unique voice, and such attention to details! Her characters and settings are wonderfully complex and vivid.

There is a reason Fortress in the Eye of Time was shortlisted for a Locus Award in 1996. Read it and see why.

P.S. BROADDUS

Parker BroaddusAuthor of A Hero’s Curse (The Unseen Chronicles Book 1)
Parker’s website

We are fond of our pets. We have a dog, Indiana, (Indiana Jones reference, anyone? “We named the dog Indiana!”), who is one part funny, two parts hardheaded, but all three parts loving (Remember The Incredible Journey? We thought we were getting Shadow but Indy is really more like Chance). So when you find a tale (oh no, puns…) with talking animals, there is nothing to do but read and share. (Click here to see where Parker is going with this!)

PATRICIA REDING

Patricia RedingAuthor of Oathtaker and Select
Patricia’s website

It’s my turn! It’s my turn!

For my part, I’m going to share about the work of an author I met at the Literary Classics awards ceremony this past April. Amalie Jahn writes YA sci-fi. In her debut novel, The Clay Lion, Jahn asks young readers to consider what they might do if they could go back in time to save someone they love. I previously reviewed The Clay Lion, and would like to share some of my thoughts with you now.

You know how, when you listen to a symphony, all of your senses are engaged? You catch the sight of the furious violinists; the feel of the pounding percussion beneath your feet… (Read more!)

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Have you read something you’ve just GOT to share? Tell us in the comments!

Image by Ben White via UnSplash.com is licensed under CC0 1.0
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Five Good Things #6

I’ve procrastinated writing Five Good Things. It’s true. The other day I read a provocative (as in provoking thought—and controversy) article about the continued existence in speculative fiction of sexual violence against women. The author made some excellent points. So did the commenters.

I wandered off in a cloud of philosophical debate.

Someone in the discussion suggested reading Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. My To-Be-Read list is already huge. I can’t say what made the reading of this one so necessary, and so urgent.

_5GoodThings06_pinI read it.

It is a powerful commentary on humanity (male and female, individual and government).

It is also starkly beautiful in its prose.

I would like to take a week off to savor the language, the setting it portrayed, and the emotion it evoked.

So I’m listing it as the first Good Thing…

 

The Good Stuff

The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret AtwoodThe Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
http://amzn.to/2bN2JuM
“A radical and brilliant departure for Margaret Atwood, it is a novel of such power that the reader will be unable to forget its images and its forecast.”

3 Ways to Use Scene Cards to Help You Write Your Novel
http://www.shesnovel.com/blog/scene-cards
Scene cards usually encapsulate a summary and pertinent details of the scene. Kristen Kieffer shows how to put some muscle on those suckers by using them in your pre-writing, drafting, and editing.

100 Must-Read Sci-Fi Fantasy Novels by Female Authors
http://bookriot.com/2016/05/02/100-must-read-sci-fi-fantasy-novels-by-female-authors/
The Handmaid’s Tale features on this list, along with nine others I’ve read. Have I got my work cut out for me or what? I may have to re-think some of my choices for the A-Z Challenge I’m participating in on Goodreads—except I actually like reading books by male authors, too. In the interest of equality, is there a list of 100 Must-Read Sci-Fi Fantasy Novels by Male Authors? (I know, I’m entering dangerous territory with that question, but please, I just want a good story!)

Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch Cheesecake
http://www.thecheesecakefactory.com/menu/chocolate-hazelnut-crunch-cheesecake
Okay, I don’t actually know if this is good, but it’s chocolate (my favorite) cheesecake (my other favorite) and comes from the Cheesecake Factory. It’s a win-win-win!

Project Snowstorm by Djekspek
http://djekspek.deviantart.com/art/Project-Snowstorm-384143115
I love maps—especially fantasy maps. This one particularly appeals to my eye, from the beautiful color palette to the geographical artwork itself. Commissioned by Snowfury Studios“Project Snowstorm is the first game in a planned trilogy in which you become a character at the center of the collision of four realms.  As the barriers that separate the realms begin to break, creatures from the other realms force their way into your reality…and everything you’ve come to think of as normal begins to change.”

snowstorm_by_djekspekPurdy, ain’t it?

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What good things have you seen in your world lately? SHARE below!

Image by Blake Wheeler via UnSplash.com is licensed under CC0 1.0
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”