It’s Launch Day for Ghosts and Exiles by Sandra Unerman!!!

We’re super pleased to be able to announce that Ghosts and Exiles by Sandra Unerman is now available worldwide! Whether you have read Sandra Unerman’s first novel, Spellhaven, or not, you’re sure to enjoy this quasi sequel set a generation later in historical 1930’s London, England. And now, you can pick up an ebook or paperback copy anywhere you buy books, or in our online store! 

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Spellhaven is no more, but its spirits remain…

GEcover copy

Tilda Gray hates Spellhaven, the city where her husband was born, even though she has never set foot in the place, and she does not believe in the magic it’s supposed to have held. Now her husband is dead, she would rather avoid any mention of the city. But her sons, Nicholas and James, have befriended Hugo, a young boy threatened by forces none of them understand. When Hugo’s uncle and guardian, Stephen Cole, visits the Gray family to ask for help, Tilda agrees against her better judgement. Between them, as they search for ways to banish or at least help Hugo cope with the ghosts that are driving him mad, they seek out the dubious aid of the exiles from Spellhaven. In doing so they must face new dangers and unknown magic, unlike anything Tilda could have believed possible.

 

Print Length: 300 pages

Publisher: Mirror World Publishing

Publication Date: April 17, 2018

ASIN: B07B24HY9Z

Genre(s): Magical Realism, Historical Fantasy

 

Saphs Book PromotionsFollow the Virtual Book Tour:

https://saphsbookpromotions.blogspot.com/2018/04/book-tour-schedule-ghosts-exiles-by.html

Purchase from

 

Amazon

 

Amazon UK

 

Ebook: Mirror World Publishing

 

Paperback: Mirror World Publishing

 

KOBO

 

Add to Your Shelf on Goodreads

Praise for Spellhaven: 

‘…Spellhaven is an intriguing novel with no easy answers or way out, which means you can keep rereading it and drawing different conclusions every time. Jane is never going to be entirely happy and settled in life – but would she ever have been, even without her magical summons? 

Refreshingly, it does not appear to be part of a series: that ending ambiguity is all you’re getting and it will keep buzzing at the back of your mind for days.’ ~ Ben Jeapes, author of Phoenicia’s Worlds and other SF novels, from the BSFA review.

sandraunerman

Connect with Sandra:

 

Sandra’s Website:

https://sandraunermanwriter.com/

 

Sandra’s Author Page: 

https://www.amazon.com/Sandra-Unerman/e/B0034NS9VM

 

Goodreads Author Page: 

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6566116.Sandra_Unerman

Sandra Unerman lives in London in the UK. When she retired from a career as a Government lawyer, she undertook an MA in Creative Writing at Middlesex University, specialising in science fiction and fantasy, and graduated in 2013. Since then, she has had a number of short stories published. Her latest stories are in Sword and Sorcery magazine, June 2017, and Fall into Fantasy, an anthology from Cloaked Press. She writes reviews and articles for the British Science Fiction Association and the British Fantasy Society. She is a member of London Clockhouse writers and other writing groups. Her interests include history, folklore and medieval literature.

 

 

 

 

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The Search for the Golden Feather by Elizabeth J. M. Walker – Part 6

If you’re new to this short story, I recommend starting at Part One. Once you’re caught up, read on!

Trina felt as though at least an hour had passed. Her right leg was cramped under her and had completely fallen asleep. She was pretty sure Oriella had fallen asleep; she could hear the familiar sound of her roommate snoring. But just then, her nose began to tickle! She tried not to get too excited or to accidently do anything that would stifle the sneeze.

“Achoo!” Trina sneezed and a burst of flame shot from her nose, catching the second bed sheet of the day on fire.

Trina tore at the fabric and freed herself. She tried to stand but her leg was numb and she fell over. She crawled back to the flaming bed sheet and put out the remaining fire with her hands.

“You sneezed!” Oriella shouted. “Are you free?”

“Yes!” Trina said as she pulled herself over to Oriella’s bed sheet and pulled apart the knot the boys had made.

Oriella came tumbling out. “Did I fall asleep?”

“I think so,” Trina told her, and then looked around at their surroundings. “Do you have any idea where we are?”

Oriella looked around and frowned. “Not really, but I still might be able to find a tree to take us back to the school grounds.”

One of Oriella’s elf mage powers was being able to travel through trees and take companions with her. Trina had travelled with her several times already. She watched as Oriella went from tree to tree, searching for one that would take them back to school.

“This one…I think,” Oriella said.

Trina stood, her leg now stable, as Oriella put her hand on the rough bark of the tree. Trina walked over as a black doorway opened in the tree’s side, just big enough for Oriella to step inside. Trina had to duck to follow.

Inside the tree was dark and silent. All the other forest noises ceased and all Trina could hear were her own footsteps and Oriella’s much quieter and more graceful footsteps. The doorway they’d come in through sealed behind them, making the tunnel completely dark. The opening on the next end had yet to appear. Trina’s nose began to tickle.

“Uh-oh,” Trina managed to say before she sneezed and then sneezed again and again. Flames began to lick up the tunnel’s dark walls.

“We’re not there yet!” Oriella said as she began to run forward.

“I know!” Trina said, frantically trying to put out the flames, but there were too many.

There was a white burst of light and Trina felt herself blown over. She went flying to the ground and rolled head over heels at least twice before coming to a stop against a tree trunk. Her whole body ached, but nothing felt severely injured. She pushed herself up and got back to her feet. She was surrounded by trees.

“Oriella?” she called. Her friend was nowhere in sight.

Cover Reveal: Mirror’s Deceit by J.A. Dowsett and M.Damodred

We’re very excited to finally be able to share this next cover with you! The artist is Sara Biddle, whom you may remember from such covers as: Mirror’s Hope, Mirror’s Heart, Unintended and Uncharted. She’s outdone herself again with Mirror’s Deceit and we believe has really managed to capture the essence of the character we asked her to draw. For those of you familiar with the series, we hope you’ll agree that her rendition of Tendro Seynor is dead on!

Without further ado:

Mirena Calanais is destined to change the world. 

Her rival has made a desperate flight to the past to stop her.

CoverDeceit

A gifted student of majik, Mirena is on the verge of graduating from a secret college that will give her a leg up in her political career, when her achievements are overshadowed by the arrival of a mysterious woman with an unknown agenda. Desperate to keep what she sees as her rightful place in the spotlight, Mirena goes to astounding lengths including taking it upon herself to pose as a double agent to investigate a rebel force plotting to destabilize the government. Unfortunately, her actions cost her the trust of those around her, so when she is proclaimed the Dark Avatar of the Destroyer, she finds she has nowhere to turn.

In a seeming utopia, Mirena is now a pariah with the force of Destroyer behind her and her once bright dreams have darkened, leaving her a threat not only to herself, but to those she cares about. Can she turn her life around, or will someone need to stop her before she goes too far?

Publisher: Mirror World Publishing; 1 edition

Publication Date: May 17, 2018

ASIN: B07BNY8RVF

Genre(s): Dark Fantasy, Romance, Fantasy

Page count: 240 pages

Pre-Order from Amazon

Pre-Order from Mirror World Publishing

Add to Your Shelf on Goodreads

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Justine Alley Dowsett is the author of eight novels and one of the founders of Mirror World Publishing. Her books, which she often co-writes with her sister, Murandy Damodred, range from young adult science fiction to dark fantasy/romance. She earned a BA in Drama from the University of Windsor, honed her skills as an entrepreneur by tackling video game production, and now she dedicates her time to writing, publishing, and occasionally roleplaying with her friends.

With a background in Drama and Communications from the University of Windsor, Murandy Damodred enjoys fantasy fiction with strong romantic subplots. She is an avid role-player and is happiest when living vicariously through her characters. Though she’d rather think of herself as the heroine of her next novel, in the real world she is a new mom living in Windsor, Ontario, ready to embark on a new career as a medical technician.

Connect with:  Website: http://www.mirrorworldpublishing.com

Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Justine-Alley-Dowsett/e/B004MNQAUA/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Goodreads Author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4637105.Justine_Alley_Dowsett

The Search for the Golden Feather by Elizabeth J. M. Walker – Part 5

The story continues… If you missed part 1, click here.

“What the-” she heard Oriella shout. Trina found she was able to peek out of a tiny hole in her sheet just enough to see that Oriella was also captured in a white bed sheet. She could also see who Oriella’s captor was: Nestor. Nestor was a khalkotauroi mage whose fire mage powers and strength came from fearsome mystical creatures: massive, fire-breathing bulls!

“C’mon, let’s get out of here,” she heard her captor say and felt her makeshift net get swung over her his shoulder.

“Loukas?” Trina said, recognizing the voice of one of her housemates. “What are you doing?”

“Tying up the competition until we find the golden feather,” Loukas, who was also a khalkotauroi mage, said. “We’re getting that suite.”

“By kidnapping two of your housemates?” Oriella shouted.

“We’re not kidnapping you,” Nestor said. “We’re just taking you out into the woods until we find the feather and win the suite.”

“We could work together!” Trina shouted. “It’s a big suite.”

“We’re not sharing the suite with girls,” Loukas said.

“Trina! Can’t you, like, sneeze or something?” Oriella called.

Trina tried to force herself to feel like sneezing, which she quickly realized was an impossible task. She tried to reach her magic within; it felt like a warmth inside of her, constantly burning. But she was still in the process of learning to use it at will. Most of the time things just kind of happened, such as the fire sneezes.

The two boys walked a fair distance into the woods and it was hard to keep track of what direction they were going in or where they were when Trina could only catch glimpses of foliage through the one small hole in her bed sheet prison. She hoped Oriella would have a better sense of direction in the woods once they got free.

“Here should be good,” Loukas said and dumped her on the ground.

“Ow! You are going to get detention for this for sure!” Trina shouted.

“It’ll be worth it when we win the suite,” Nestor said and Trina heard Oriella curse as she was dumped on the ground.

The boys didn’t untie the ends of the sheets. Instead, Trina glimpsed them taking ropes from their packs and could feel her sheet being tied to a tree trunk.

“Seriously?” Trina yelled.

“We’re going to come back for you as soon as we find the feather,” Nestor assured her as he finished tying his knot.

“Forget detention, I’m going to deal with these two myself,” Oriella growled.

“Oh, what’s the little elf mage going to do? Throw leaves at us?” Loukas said mockingly before loudly laughing. “C’mon, Nestor, let’s find that stupid feather.”

“It’s not a stupid feather! It’s Sir Gadison’s Golden Phoenix Feather!” Trina yelled after them, but she was pretty sure they had taken off at a run and had barely heard her.

“Anytime you feel like sneezing, just let it happen,” Oriella grumbled.

“I know,” Trina said, trying to get more comfortable in the tied-up sheet. The skirt of her dress had bunched up around her legs, which was not helping with her being able to become comfortable, and she had no idea how long it would take for her to sneeze, or if she would even sneeze fire again.

The Search for the Golden Feather by Elizabeth J. M. Walker – Part 4

We’re in the middle of this fantasy short story by Elizabeth J.M. Walker! If you’d like to get caught up, here’s the link to part one! Otherwise, keep reading:

“First we need to find the golden feather,” Oriella said. “So, have you heard anything useful or not?”

“No,” Eddy said. “I have no idea why anyone at Flora House would choose to carry out revenge on Knox House by stealing your precious golden feather of Sir What’s-His-Name.”

“Sir Gadison,” Oriella said, “and it’s the house heirloom.”

“Why do you even care?” Eddy asked the elf mage. “You’re not even supposed to live there. You’re not a fire mage.”

Eddy was right, but Trina remembered Oriella trying to fit in with the uptight elf mages at Oak House, only to feel like an outcast. Being the only dragon mage at the school had made Trina feel like an outcast, too, so the two had bonded as soon as they’d met on their first day of school. Since not too many people wanted to live in Knox House in the first place, and no one wanted to be roommates with a dragon mage, with exception of Oriella, Corbin had allowed Oriella to move in and be Trina’s roommate.

“It’s still my house,” Oriella said stubbornly.

“And whoever finds it first gets Corbin’s suite,” Trina added.

“Is it true he has his own pool table up there?” Eddy asked.

Oriella shrugged. “Only one way to find out.”

Eddy looked over his shoulder at Flora House and the group of frowning pixie mages who were still watching them.

“If you win, can I move in too?” he asked.

“No,” Oriella said. “Girls only.”

“I already live in a house full of girls,” Eddy pointed out.

“I might sneeze and burn your whole wardrobe,” Trina said.

“Forget it,” Eddy said and Trina smiled. She knew he cared about his clothes too much.

The sound of a twig snapping made them all turn in the direction of the Whispering Woods. A pixie mage with sky blue hair and a freckled nose came walking out of the forest, looking down and wiping tears from her eyes. She hadn’t noticed the trio standing at the edge of the woods between her and the path to Flora House until she was fully emerged from the foliage.

“Oh,” she said as she looked up and noticed them. “What are you doing out here Eddy?”

“Chatting,” Eddy said, nodding towards Trina and Oriella.

“Oh,” she said again, still sounding a little confused. “Okay.”

They watched as she walked up the path to Flora House, where there was no longer a band of fuming pixie mages on the porch.

“Who was that?” Trina asked.

“Chantelle,” Eddy said. “I think she’s a Fifth Year.”

“Does she usually go for weepy walks in the woods?” Trina asked.

Eddy shrugged. “I don’t see her very often.”

“Do we have our first suspect?” Oriella asked.

Eddy shrugged. “Why would a crying pixie mage want to steal your house’s stupid feather?”

“It’s not stupid,” Trina said. “Doesn’t Flora House have some kind of historic heirloom?”

“I think it’s a golden barrette…or hair comb…or…I don’t know, something girly,” he said.

“Maybe you should go and try console Chantelle during her time of obvious sadness and find out why she’s crying,” Oriella said.

“I don’t think I’ve ever really talked to her before,” Eddy said.

“But you like talking to girls,” Trina said. “Go on, find out some information and we’ll let you come play pool anytime you want.”

“Fine,” Eddy said, and went back up the path to Flora House.

“Now what?” Trina asked.

“This!” someone shouted from behind them, and suddenly Trina felt herself enclosed in a bed sheet and swept off her feet.

Cover Reveal! Ghosts and Exiles by Sandra Unerman

Spellhaven is no more, but its spirits remain.

Tilda Gray hates Spellhaven, the city where her husband was born, even though she has never set foot in the place, and she does not believe in the magic it’s supposed to have held. Now her husband is dead, she would rather avoid any mention of the city. But her sons, Nicholas and James, have befriended Hugo, a young boy threatened by forces none of them understand. When Hugo’s uncle and guardian, Stephen Cole, visits the Gray family to ask for help, Tilda agrees against her better judgement. Between them, as they search for ways to banish or at least help Hugo cope with the ghosts that are driving him mad, they seek out the dubious aid of the exiles from Spellhaven. In doing so they must face new dangers and unknown magic, unlike anything Tilda could have believed possible.

GEcover copy

Book Details:Saphs Book Promotions
Print Length: 300 pages
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing
Publication Date: April 17, 2018
ASIN: B07B24HY9Z
Genre(s): Magical Realism, Historical Fantasy

Read a Short Excerpt:

Stephen Cole would never have asked for help on his own account, not from strangers and especially not from a woman and a couple of young boys. Since his slow recovery from his experiences in the trenches during the First World War, he had devoted himself to his work at the Bar and had spent little time in the company of women or children. But the help was for his nephew, Hugo, and by the time Stephen arrived at the Grays’ house in Highgate one Sunday morning in November 1933, he did not know where else to turn.

When he was shown into the drawing room, Stephen looked round to try and gain an impression of the family. He decided that the room had been decorated about ten years ago and hardly changed since then. The yellow and grey curtains had lost their bloom and the wooden feet on the armchairs were scuffed, but the parquet floor round the carpet was thoroughly polished, as were the tiles inset into the fireplace. Mrs. Gray must have had skilled and hardworking servants, not as easy to find as they would once have been. Botanical illustrations hung on the panelled walls. Stephen had no time to notice more before Mrs. Gray entered the room.

Her appearance took Stephen aback. When he had been told she was a widow, somehow he had pictured a middle-aged woman, dumpy and depressed. Maybe he had been thinking of Queen Victoria, even though he had seen enough war widows in the early days of his practice to know they came in all shapes and styles. Matilda Gray was tall for a woman, with light eyes and a pointed chin. Her pale brown hair was bobbed and smooth. She wore a fawn twin-set and a brown skirt, not new or fashionable but shapely and trim.

‘Thank you for seeing me on a Sunday, Mrs. Gray,’ Stephen said. ‘It’s your son, Nicholas, I’d really like to talk to. He is home for the weekend, isn’t he?’

Hugo lived at school all term, and often in the holidays as well, but Stephen had been told that the Grays were weekly boarders.

‘The boys are at breakfast, Mr. Cole.’ Mrs. Gray looked as wary of him as he was of her.

‘I hope your maid gave you my apologies for disturbing you.’

‘It doesn’t matter, but you will have to explain what this is about before I decide whether Nicholas should be involved.’

Pre-Order is now available from: Amazon

You can Read About the Book at Mirror World Publishing

Or Add it to Your Shelf on Goodreads

sandraunerman

Sandra Unerman lives in London in the UK. When she retired from a career as a Government lawyer, she undertook an MA in Creative Writing at Middlesex University, specialising in science fiction and fantasy, and graduated in 2013. Since then, she has had a number of short stories published. Her latest stories are in Sword and Sorcery magazine, June 2017, and Fall into Fantasy, an anthology from Cloaked Press. She writes reviews and articles for the British Science Fiction Association and the British Fantasy Society. She is a member of London Clockhouse writers and other writing groups. Her interests include history, folklore and medieval literature.

 

Connect with Sandra: https://sandraunermanwriter.com/

Sandra’s Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Sandra-Unerman/e/B0034NS9VM

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6566116.Sandra_Unerman

 

Your Invite to the Mirror World Book Club!

Do you like to read escapism fiction? Do you like to discuss the books you’ve read with other people? Well, Mirror World is starting a book club and it might just be the place for you!

Here’s how it will work:

We have a facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/mwpub/

Each month, we’ll put up a poll where members can vote on which book we’ll be reading next. Note: They won’t all be Mirror World books, but they will all be indie titles and all in escapism genres (fantasy, sci-fi, romance, adventure, time travel, ect.) Once the book is selected, we’ll provide a link and a discount (where able) where you can pick up a copy of the book in your preferred format.

Then, we’ll all have a month to read, review and discuss. Bonus, we’ll also make sure to have the author on hand as a member of the group so we can ask them questions or give them feedback. And, for those who write a review and are interested, we’ll feature members reviews in a post on this blog each month as well.

Would you like to participate? Join the facebook group and keep an eye out in the next few days for the first poll to go up!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/mwpub/

Oh, and once you’re a member, if you want to suggest a book to add to the monthly poll, we will gladly take your suggestions into consideration. Thanks and happy reading!

 

The Search for the Golden Feather by Elizabeth J. M. Walker – Part 3

If you missed the first or second part. If you would like more information on She Dreamed of Dragons, the novel this short story is a prequel to. Otherwise, read on!
“Well, this is a first,” Trina said as she walked with Oriella to the main cluster of dorm houses. “You never ask to go to Flora House.”

“I don’t think the forest pixies acted on their own,” Oriella said. “It’s obvious they’re in league with someone and wouldn’t the most obvious group of mages for forest pixies to be in league with be pixie mages?”

“They’re not the same,” Trina said, as they walked up the pristine white steps of Flora House. The dorm that housed mostly pixie mages and female fairy mages looked like a pink and white gingerbread house. There were curlicues around the windows, pastel pink shutters and a wraparound porch painted entirely white. The front door was painted pastel pink and had a large golden knocker in the shape of a rose. Trina reached up and knocked three times.

“Coming!” they heard a sing-song voice answer before the door was pulled open.

A pixie mage with pale blue curls frowned when she saw Trina and Oriella.

“Ew,” she said disgustedly and then abruptly turned away from them to call out, “Eddy! It’s for you!” in her sing-song voice once more. She gave them one more disgusted look before skipping away and not inviting them inside.

Eddy, the only male who lived in Flora House and the only male pixie mage in existence, quickly made his way to the door. He was wearing a freshly ironed pair of grey dress pants and a lilac dress shirt. His brown curls were a mess, but that was the way he purposely styled them.

“Hey cuz,” he said as he spotted Trina and stepped out onto the porch to join them. “Elf mage,” he said to Oriella with a nod.

“We have names,” Oriella told him, arms crossed over her chest.

Trina shook her head. Her roommate and her cousin were not the best of friends. Or even friends.

“What brings the two of you here this fine Saturday morning?” he asked as he flopped down onto the porch swing.

“Sir Gadison’s Golden Feather was stolen from Knox House,” Trina said, sitting next to him on the swing. Oriella chose to lean against the porch railing across from them, arms still crossed.

“So?” Eddy asked.

“By forest pixies,” Trina said.

“And again…so?” Eddy asked.

“Forest pixies don’t steal things,” Oriella said. “They make mud pies on our front steps and they sing ridiculous songs at the top of their lungs, but they don’t enter mage dwellings and they don’t steal things. They were obviously working with or for someone. Someone who has a connection to pixies.”

“You think I hired pixies to steal your stupid feather?” Eddy asked.

“Not you specifically,” Trina said, “but maybe one of the many pixie mage girls you live with. Maybe you…saw something? Heard something? Someone mentioning the feather? Someone mentioning how much they hate Knox House?”

“They all hate Knox House,” Eddy said. “Well, maybe not hate but, you know, you set things on fire. You fire mages are scary.”

As if on cue, Trina sneezed another fiery sneeze and the wooden armrest of the porch swing caught on fire. Trina quickly smothered the fire with her hands, but it was too late. The wood connecting the swing to the chains it hung on was completely burned and it broke from the chain, causing Trina’s side of the swing to completely fall to the ground. Trina went tumbling onto the porch with Eddy rolling on top of her.

The front door of Flora House was yanked open. A pixie mage with dark purple hair stomped out, surrounded by other colourful-haired pixie mages.

“Get off our porch, dragon mage!” she shouted. “You too, elf girl!”

“I’m sorry!” Trina said as she got back on her feet and helped Eddy up. Oriella was casually strolling back down the front steps.

“I’m so sorry!” Trina called again as she quickly ran down the steps.

“Sorry,” Eddy said, glancing from the pixie mages to his cousin to the broken swing. He followed Trina down the stairs and down the path away from the house.

“What was that?” Eddy asked as he caught up to the girls. “You sneeze fire now?”

“Apparently,” Trina said. “Maybe I have a cold. Or allergies.”

“Maybe you should stay away from people, and porch swings, until you figure out why you’re sneezing fire,” Eddy said.

How to overcome obstacles in your writing

As writers we often get the advice to ‘Just keep writing.’ ‘Don’t stop until you reach the end of your first draft!’ ‘Write first, edit later!’ And while this is to an extent, good advice, sometimes your plot gets off course, or you get the nagging feeling that something isn’t going the way you want it to with the manuscript you’re working on. And when that happens it’s perfectly okay and sometimes necessary to stop, take stock of the situation, and correct the underlying issue before continuing to write. Otherwise you risk creating a whole lot more work for yourself in the long run.

So what sorts of things can go wrong?

Unfortunately lots of things. Writing is such a free-form kind of exercise that there is no one right way to do it. When you start a new project, you make all sorts of decisions, consciously or not, like what point of view you’re going to use, which characters you’re going to focus on, what the plot is going to be, what style or voice you’ll use, verb tense, and etc.

How do you tell when you’ve encountered an obstacle in your writing?

Most of the time, you have to go by instinct. It’s your project, so ultimately, you’re the decision-maker. The easiest way to tell, for me, is when I reach a dead-end of sorts. Either that’s because my passion for the project has faltered, or because I’ve ‘written myself into a corner’ so to speak, and I can’t see my way out of it. Usually this is a symptom of a larger problem with the manuscript. Either I made a wrong turn in the plot, or there’s something I don’t like about the manuscript that’s making me reluctant to work on it.

So what do you do when you come across something like this?

Take some time to think about what it is that’s gone wrong, what isn’t working for you. If it’s a matter of plot, sometimes you need to back up to the point that things changed for the worse and take a different path from there. If it’s a matter of style, is it something that changed, or is the overall style not working for the kind of novel you want this to be? Point of view can be a big game changer as well, whose story it is and whose perspective it is being told from is a huge decision. For example, if you started writing in first person limited perspective from one character’s point of view, but then determine later that you need a wider view of what’s going on, or need to include the perspective of another character to make the story work, then you might want to consider changing it. It’s hard to make these changes when you’ve already begun and the temptation is there to just simply carry on with what you have, but trust me, it’s much harder to change the entire manuscript on the second draft than it would be to correct the problem when you first detect it. Even if that means starting over, and it very well might.

My experience with Mirror’s Despair (the fourth in the Mirror World series)

As you may or may not know, Murandy and I have been working on our latest novel, Mirror’s Despair, for the #85K90 challenge. The challenge is to write 85,000 words in 90 days from January 1st to March 31st. This is our third year in the challenge and usually the pace of the challenge works very well for us. Not so this year, I’m afraid! Early enough on in the challenge (sometime in early February) we realized that we had encountered one of these kinds of obstacles with our manuscript. Specifically, we knew what we wanted to have happen by the end of the book, but we hadn’t done enough work planning what needed to happen to get us there while keeping in mind all the mysteries we had to solve before the end of the series. A big reason for this is because we weren’t done editing or getting our notes back from the third book in the series. In short, we were getting ahead of ourselves and really weren’t ready to dive into the pace of the challenge starting January 1st. So, mid-february, we stopped working on Mirror’s Despair temporarily to take some time to reconsider our decisions so far and make some changes. And despite this killing our chances at completing the challenge in time, I know it is going to make for a healthier manuscript in the long run.

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So if you encounter similar problems when working on your own writing projects, remember that it is perfectly okay to stop, take stock, and make some changes before you continue. In fact, it may make the whole project easier.

Happy writing!  

The Search for the Golden Feather by Elizabeth J. M. Walker – Part 2

Have you read Part 1? Here it is if you missed it. If you’re liking this and would like to read She Dreamed of Dragons by Elizabeth J. M. Walker, you can pick that up from our webstore in ebook or paperback form. Then, keep reading…

The roommates headed downstairs to the common room, where they suspected the commotion to have come from. Several of their dorm mates had also been awoken by the noise and had come down to investigate, some dressed, some still in their night clothes. None of them were looking at the broken window – they were all staring at the empty place above the fireplace.

“What happened?” Trina asked. “Where’s Sir Gadison’s Golden Phoenix Feather?”

“The stupid forest pixies smashed the window and stole the feather!” Heath said. He was a phoenix mage like Corbin, but paler, and with light brown hair.

“They stole the feather?” Oriella asked, looking to Corbin for reassurance. “That’s not like forest pixies. I mean, they smash windows and throw acorns at us while we walk to school, but they don’t enter our buildings and steal things. That would require too much effort, not to mention brain power.”

Forest pixies were small, about a foot tall, and usually dressed in nothing but dirt. They were also dumber than the average pixie, which was closer in comparison to a fairy. Forest pixies were their own subclass of pixie: silly, stupid and they loved to cause mischief.

“Well then, where’s the feather? There were definitely forest pixies outside after the window broke, laughing up a storm,” said Laina, a chimera mage with long red hair. “I ran in here as soon as I heard the smash and saw them myself.”

“Did you see anyone else with them?” Trina asked.

“No,” Laina said. “Just the forest pixies, at least five of them. They were dancing and cheering and then ran off into the woods again.”

“That feather is the Knox House Heirloom,” Corbin said grimly. “Our founding father Sir Gadison placed that phoenix feather above our hearth after dipping it in gold. It belonged to his phoenix companion, Palyrius. It was supposed to be our duty to protect the feather, to make sure it remained in the house for future generations. It symbolized the unity between mages and the mystical creatures who created us.”

“No one has even seen a phoenix in at least a decade,” Heath said, gazing at the empty space above the fireplace.

Trina was looking up at the same spot. It didn’t really matter that she wasn’t a phoenix mage, the feather was still her house’s heirloom. It not being there felt like part of the house was missing, like the very heart of the house had been stolen.

“We need to get that feather back,” Corbin said, and climbed up on the coffee table so he’d be standing above the rest. “It’s the weekend, so none of us have class. If we begin our search immediately we should be able to track the feather thief down and return our heirloom. Whoever returns the feather…gets…gets…”

“The suite!” a tall boy named Loukas called out.

“The suite?” Corbin said. The suite was his own dorm room, the biggest and nicest room in the whole house. The suite was the entire fourth floor of Knox House and every single window was still intact because the little forest pixies couldn’t throw their rocks that high.

“Yeah, make the hunt worth it!” Oriella said.

Trina looked sidelong at her friend and Oriella shrugged. “It’s not like we had other plans,” Oriella said.

“You should want to find the feather because of house honour, because it belongs here with us,” Corbin said. “The suite is for the house don, it’s not-”

But he was cut off by all the mages in the room all chanting the same thing: “The suite! The suite! The suite! The suite!”

“Great gryphons! Fine!” Corbin shouted, silencing them all. “Whoever finds the golden feather first can have the Knox House suite.”