Author: Mirror World Publishing

The Arranged Marriage – Part 4

Find Part 1, 2, and 3 here. Or check out the novels set in the same world; Unintended and Uncharted. Otherwise, read on!

***

There was no more time to dwell on the issue of the dagger though. At that very moment, the musicians began to play the wedding march and Cielle twirled in her seat to look back at the start of the aisle. Sure enough, there was a bride there, radiantly dressed in the widest white dress Cielle had ever seen.

Cielle’s breath caught in her throat as her best friend drifted closer as if she was walking on a cloud. The white fabric billowed around her, flowing like the waves in the bay and the intricate lace of the bodice creeped upwards and gently caressed her soft curves. Cielle swallowed with some difficulty and forced herself to breathe as normally as she could.

Damn, she’s beautiful.

Her gaze followed Larissa as she made her way up the length of the aisle until she came to stand beside Lord Branton. Cielle’s expression shifted rapidly from awestruck to livid within seconds. The flush in her cheeks remained the same, though, so outwardly there was nothing to alarm Cyril or anyone else.

Halfway through the ceremony, Cielle finished solidifying her plan in her mind. It was difficult from that point onward to remain seated and to keep the determined grimace from her face.

“Whoa there,” Cyril commented sometime later, after dinner had been served. “You look like you’re going to run someone through with that fork. Are you that hungry?”

Cielle had to force herself to lower the fork slowly back to its place on the table. “Yeah, actually, I’m starved,” she lied. “They look about done now… I’m going to go see if I can find some appetizers.”

“Yeah, ok,” Cyril agreed, oblivious to her true intentions. “Grab me a few of those pastries I smelled on the way in, would you?”

She plastered the most convincing smile she could onto her face. “Sure thing, bro. Be right back!”

She made her way to the hors d’oeuvres table before she banked sharply to the right and scooted into the kitchen. Weaving between bustling servants preparing to haul the feast out to hungry guests, Cielle made quick work of crossing unfamiliar territory until she found herself in a silent hallway. Whew… She allowed herself a moment to catch her breath as she looked first down one long hallway and then another. I should have thought to ask someone where the Lord’s bedchamber was! She cursed her lack of foresight. But then I might have raised suspicion… No, better to find it on my own. Besides, I should have plenty of time before the Lord and his new Lady ‘retire’ for the evening.

The thought of Lord Branton Wilkes putting his hands on Larissa was almost enough to make her gag. He won’t touch her! Cielle avowed. Not if I have anything to do with it!

***

As usual, please leave your thoughts and comments below and subscribe or check back for parts 5 through 7!

The Arranged Marriage – Part 3

Find Parts 1 and 2. Or check out the novels set in this same world; Unintended and Uncharted. Otherwise, keep reading!

***

Cielle fought back the urge to punch her twin brother as their boat came to rest alongside the port. Using the disembarking of the ship as her chance to fade back into anonymity again, Cielle ducked behind Cyril in the crowd and hoped for one that the similarities in their appearance would cause people to think her brother had been the one to make a fool of himself instead of her.

They’d cut it close. With the risk of storms on the bay so late into the season, their boat had only made it across on the day of the wedding. By the time Cyril and Cielle reached the port, Lord Branton was already lost in a crowd of well-wishers and being whisked back to his castle on the north coast of the small peninsula. Cielle let out her breath in relief. At least I don’t have to face him… yet.

Cyril tugged her by the arm and made her keep pace with the throng. “Come on, we don’t want to be late!”

But her mind was not on current events or her surroundings. She ignored the sights and sounds of Wilkesport and was distantly grateful for her brother’s sure grip on her arm as he led her through the city. Internally, Cielle was furiously plotting. Lord Branton not being the lazy fat man I was expecting is going to make things a lot more difficult, she reasoned.

Between one thought and the next, Cielle reached out and pilfered her brother’s dagger. She’s always been quick with her hands and Cyril didn’t even notice the blade’s loss. Cielle grimaced at herself as she tucked the sheathed blade between her breasts before Cyril thought to glance back at her. With luck, he won’t realize it’s gone. And if he does, he’ll think someone on the boat or in the crowd took it. Well, that’s true enough, anyways. I was on the boat and in the crowd.

Their seats were far enough away from the front that Cielle felt safe enough that Lord Branton wouldn’t spot her and identify her from the boat, but she also felt kind of insulted at the distance. I know I’m not a member of her family, but I’m still one of the few people here in support of the bride! Cielle silently fumed. Other than Larissa’s immediate family, the rest of these people are all snooty Wellish nobles. What gives them the right to sit closer to Larissa on her big day than me?

“This is really hard on you, isn’t it?” Cyril questioned, noticing the pout that was forming on her face.

Cielle wanted to retort, but she sensed that her twin was being genuine this time. “Well, you’d be just as pissed if you were stuck at the back of Garron’s wedding, wouldn’t you?”

“Touche,” Cyril murmured in response, absently reaching for his belt and the dagger that was no longer there.

Shit! I shouldn’t have brought up Garron D’Arbonne! The dagger that’s been making me uncomfortable for the last hour was a present from him and Cyril never goes anywhere without it!

Cyril’s hand fumbled around his belt a moment before his expression became alarmed. “Cielle, have you seen my dagger?”

Cielle winced guiltily, but she’d come too far now to admit her crimes. “Who brings a dagger to a wedding anyways…?” She said by way of a diversion and then immediately felt terrible for making Cyril worry that he’d lost his prized possession. The clever explanation she’d come up with fizzled on her tongue. “Are you sure you brought it? Maybe you left it at home, or forgot it on the boat?”

“Maybe…” Cyril answered, unconvinced.

***

Thanks for reading! As always, leave your thoughts and comments below and subscribe or check back next week for parts 4 through 7!

Lost and Found: Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls #1 by Sharon Ledwith

Fairy Falls was bores-ville from the get-go. Then the animals started talking… 

CoverLFtest2

The Fairy Falls Animal Shelter is in trouble. Money trouble. It’s up to an old calico cat named Whiskey—a shelter cat who has mastered the skill of observation—to find a new human pack leader so that their home will be saved. With the help of Nobel, the leader of the shelter dogs, the animals set out to use the ancient skill of telepathy to contact any human who bothers to listen to them. Unfortunately for fifteen-year-old Meagan Walsh, she hears them, loud and clear.

 

Forced to live with her Aunt Izzy in the safe and quiet town of Fairy Falls, Meagan is caught stealing and is sentenced to do community hours at the animal shelter where her aunt works. Realizing Meagan can hear her, Whiskey realizes that Meagan just might have the pack leader qualities necessary to save the animals. Avoiding Whiskey and the rest of shelter animals becomes impossible for Meagan, so she finally gives in and promises to help them. Meagan, along with her newfound friends, Reid Robertson and Natalie Knight, discover that someone in Fairy Falls is not only out to destroy the shelter, but the animals as well. Can Meagan convince her aunt and co-workers that the animals are in danger? If she fails, then all the animals’ voices will be silenced forever.

 

Book Details:

Kindle File Size: 667 KB

Print Length: 203 pages

Publication Date: June 17, 2017

ASIN: B0713S1DCR

 

Saphs Book PromotionsPublisher: Mirror World Publishing

http://www.mirrorworldpublishing.com

Goodreads Link:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35017082-lost-and-found

Follow the tour to read reviews, excerpts, and guest posts!

http://saphsbookpromotions.blogspot.com/2017/06/book-tour-schedule-lost-and-found.html

 

Purchase Your Copy:

Mirror World Publishing:

Paperback: https://mirror-world-publishing.myshopify.com/collections/poetry/products/lost-and-found-paperback

Ebook:https://mirror-world-publishing.myshopify.com/collections/poetry/products/lost-and-found-ebook

Other Retailers:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2q2Alfv

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Found-Mysterious-Tales-Fairy-Falls-ebook/dp/B0713S1DCR/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1493565088&sr=1-1&keywords=Lost+and+Found+Sharon+Ledwith

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/lost-and-found-175

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lost-and-found-sharon-ledwith/1126287196?ean=9781987976281

 

Sharon Ledwith and pets #3

 

Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/young adult time travel adventure series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and the teen psychic mystery series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.

 

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her WEBSITE and BLOG. Look up her AMAZON AUTHOR page for a list of current books. Stay connected on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, GOOGLE+, and GOODREADS.

 

Join us Monday, June 19th from 7pm EST for a FACEBOOK LIVE Launch Party! RSVP here. 

Welcome to Fairy Falls… Expect the Unexpected.

As you may know, the author of the beloved Last Timekeepers Series is launching her next book, Lost and Found this weekend. Lost and found is the first of her new series, Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls, and a YA series full of mystery and mayhem as well as teenagers with cool psychic abilities. 

We won’t spoil it for you, though. Here’s what Sharon Ledwith has to say about her upcoming book launch:

M|W: So Sharon, for those who don’t know, what was your ‘journey to publication’ like?

Sharon: How long have I got? LOL! Seriously though, my journey to publication started in the mid-90s. One evening while I was reading, I thought how simple the structure and dialogue was in a particular romance novel I was reading. You can write, you can do this, a voice urged inside my head. Let me tell you, I almost fell off my chair! But the words rang true for me. So, I decided to act on this truth, and took a writing course—Writing your Novel—where I met a couple of like-minded would-be writer gals. Together we started a writing support group, and I wrote my first novel—a paranormal romance. This manuscript caught the eye of an agent, but I was hardly ready, and I see that now. What I needed to do was to hone my craft and get better and better with the process of writing. And that takes making a lot of mistakes at the expense of your ego. In other words: lots of rejection, rejection, rejection! Ouch!

Then one night, during my writer’s group session, one of my friends said something that floored me. She mentioned that I hit my twelve-year-old character’s voice bang on. So, this got me to thinking—how hard would it be to write a young adult novel? It was a stupid question. Of course it was hard! After thinking about what my friend had said to me, I decided I’d challenge myself and write not just a novel—but a series—that would appeal to my son, who at the time was the target age of my audience. Since I’ve always loved the time travel genre, it was a no-brainer for me, and The Last Timekeepers time travel adventure series was born.

M|W: The Last Timekeepers Time Travel Series is great! Why don’t you Tell us about your new series!

Sharon: Thought you’d never ask! Here’s the premise for Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls series:

Imagine a teenager possessing a psychic ability and struggling to cope with this freakish power, all the while trying to lead a normal life. Now, imagine being uprooted and forced to live in a small tourist town where nothing much ever happens. It’s bores-ville from the get-go. Welcome to Fairy Falls. Expect the unexpected…

Set in a small northern cottage community, Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls, speaks to many of the important issues facing teens today. With Fairy Falls as the backdrop that glues the series together, each book is a stand-alone project with a different cast of characters, one of whom possesses a unique psychic, supernatural, or prophetic ability.

Lost and Found, the first of the five-book Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls series, finds the Fairy Falls Animal Shelter in trouble. Money trouble. It’s up to an old calico cat named Whiskey—a shelter cat who has mastered the skill of observation—to find a new human pack leader so that their home will be saved. With the help of Nobel, the leader of the shelter dogs, the animals set out to use the ancient skill of telepathy to contact any human who bothers to listen to them. Unfortunately for fifteen-year-old Meagan Walsh, she hears them, loud and clear…

BTW—Lost and Found is near and dear to my heart and a true labor of love, since I wrote this novel after my experience with working at a local animal shelter as an animal care attendant. Every dog and cat featured in in this story is based on an animal which I cared for or handled in some capacity. This is a novel that truly speaks for the animals!

M|W: So what made you choose a small tourist town like Fairy Falls in particular?

Sharon: The truth is that I wrote what I knew based on the area where I was living in at the time. You see, for over eleven years we lived on a small/medium-sized lake in the heart of cottage country. So I took in the sights, smells, sounds, tastes, emotions, and feelings of this beautiful place, and added the challenges and obstacles of what it would be like for an uprooted teenager possessing a psychic ability to adjust to the day-to-day living in Fairy Falls. Meagan Walsh, the protagonist from Lost and Found tells us what she thinks of Fairy Falls right off the bat: “This town sucks!”, and she goes on to describe it as ‘a small, boring northern tourist town’. If only Meagan knew what life had planned for her in this magical place!

I actually envisioned Fairy Falls from what I remembered of a tourist town during the early 1970s, while we were visiting a friend’s cottage in northern Ontario, Canada. This town has since grown, but some small cottage towns never grew much, and when major highways were built to take on more traffic, these towns were bypassed, and much of their economy suffered. Call it the pros and cons of progress, but I think much of the innocence was lost to those quaint, tourist towns when change was forced upon them. That’s why I didn’t want to lose that ‘small, tourist town feeling’ when I created Fairy Falls. True, change is good, but there’s something about going to a tourist town and connecting with the people living there that somehow leaves you feeling better than you did before you arrived.

M|W: We’re excited to say that your launch is coming up; can you tell us what you’ve got planned?

Summer Craft Show

Sharon: I’ve been scrambling to get things prepared and ready to go. Honestly, with the stuff authors have to do nowadays, it feels as if I’m birthing a baby, rather than launching a book! Some of my tasks include creating posts for my upcoming book blog tour (June 17th to 23rd), working with my web designer to make the necessary additions to include my new book and buy links, and making plans to attend the Summer Craft and Gift Show with an author friend on June 26th in Windsor. I’ve scheduled a Goodreads Giveaway for Lost and Found, Book One of Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls starting on June 17th and ending July 4th so the winner will receive his/her book during the summer months.

Second Chance Animal Rescue event

I’ve also been busy contacting animal shelters and animal rescue organizations to offer them a fundraising opportunity to sell my book, Lost and Found on consignment at their events and fundraisers. I proposed that $4 from the sale of each book goes to their organization to help care for the animals. The intent for this fundraising idea spawns from creating awareness for animal shelters and the continuing challenges to keep their doors open, and care for the lost, abandoned, or surrendered animals. We must remember, without the backbone of volunteers and community support, animal shelters and rescues would not survive. I know this, and unfortunately have seen it firsthand. My persistence paid off when Second Chance Animal Rescue of Windsor/Essex County asked me if I would join them at two of their fundraisers, one of which lands on my launch date. I’ll be at their ‘Shampooch’ event with books to sign and sell! If you’re in the area, I hope to see you there, it’s for a worthy paws…er cause!

Finally, I plan on doing an online launch via Facebook Live with Justine Alley Dowsett at Mirror World Publishing on Monday, June 19th at 7-8 pm EST. I’ll be answering questions, chatting it up with the audience, going head-to-head with Justine, and reading from my book, Lost and Found. I’m looking forward to trying out this new way of reaching and engaging with readers, so I hope you can join me!

M|W: You heard her! If you can make it out to any of these events, please do! And if not, please consider joining us on Facebook to participate in our Facebook Livecast on Monday! Thanks for reading! 

The Arranged Marriage – Part 2

If you missed Part 1, find it here. Also, this story is set in the world of Ismera, the same as both of my latest novels, Unintended and Uncharted, which you can find in our bookstore.  Cyril’s even a character in Unintended!

***

Cielle was not going to miss her best friend’s wedding, not for anything. Even if that fat lord paid me a thousand gold Wellish ingots, he couldn’t get me to stay away! And the Arbors don’t even have the money to bribe me with….

Hey, there’s a plan! I bet the Arbors don’t want it getting out that they need this marriage for financial reasons. They’re supposed to be an old and powerful house with lots of money to back it up. All I have to do is…

“Hey, grasshopper, look alive!” Her brother elbowed her more sharply than he probably intended, causing her to wince and rub the part of her arm he’d struck while shooting daggers at him out of her piercing blue eyes.

I hate when he calls me that! She fumed silently. We’re not kids anymore, Cyril…

Identical blue eyes looked guilelessly back at her, before Cyril grinned, knowing just how to get under her skin. “What?” He demanded. “I thought you wouldn’t want to miss your first glance at the fat lord. Get in all your jibes while we’re still far enough away that he can’t hear you.”

From her vantage point at the small ship’s rail, Cielle scanned the port for which the land they were going to was named, trying to follow Cyril’s gaze. After a moment of searching she gave it up. “Okay, which one is he?”

“Uh, there,” Cyril gestured, “third noble in from the left. The one with all the gold tassels on his sleeves.”

Sure enough, Cielle spotted him and as her eyes locked on her new arch nemesis, she instantly felt one of her infamous pouts coming on. He’s not fat at all! Rich, yes, and a terrible dresser, but he’s actually kind of regal looking… Damn him!

“There, there.” Inexplicably she felt her twin’s hand on her shoulder. “It’s okay to feel jealous.”

Cielle’s jaw fell open as she rounded on Cyril. “Jealous? Jealous of…. of that?! Never!”

Cyril’s returning grin was full of mischief. Cielle felt a number of sets of eyes on her before she felt her fair skin heat to an uncomfortable shade of red. “He’s looking at me, isn’t he?” She questioned of Cyril through clenched teeth.

“They all are,” he answered mercilessly. “Nice first impression, Sis.”

***

Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts, which you can leave in the comments below! Subscribe to this blog or check back next week for part 3~7!

How many words is too many words?

For me, there’s nothing more cringe-worthy than when a first-time author announces that their manuscript is over 200,000 words, or worse yet, 300,000 words. The worst part is that they usually say with pride, like they’re looking for praise. I’ll admit, writing that many words is quite an accomplishment and for that reason, they should be proud, but announcing a single volume manuscript that long tells me that the writer has not done their research in regards to how long their novel should be to fit established guidelines.

Now, most word count guidelines are just that; guidelines. That said though, there are practical reasons why those guidelines exist. That’s not to say that a 200,000 word manuscript can’t be published that way, but it’s less likely to be and it will run into a few problems trying to get there.

First, let’s look at traditional publishing. First, a publisher (or agent) is going to be looking within a certain range for the length of books they’re willing to work on. One reason for this is that the longer the book is, the more effort and time it takes to get it ready for publication. A second reason is that for marketing purposes, each genre has an established word count range which readers expect to find when they pick up a book in their preferred genre.

According to ‘The Write Life’, here are the guidelines for most genres:

too-many-wordsFiction Genres

  • Mainstream Romance: 70,000–100,000 words
  • Subgenre Romance: 40,000–100,000 words
  • Science Fiction / Fantasy: 90,000–120,000 (and sometimes 150,000) words
  • Historical Fiction: 80,000–100,000
  • Thrillers / Horror / Mysteries / Crime: 70,000–90,000 words
  • Young Adult: 50,000–80,000

Now, what about self-publishing? You might think that if you’re not trying to get the attention of a publisher or an agent that word counts don’t matter, but you’d be wrong. Readers also have expectations and it is easier to market to people if they know what to expect. Not only that, but printing costs come into effect. If you’re book is monstrously long it’s going to cost waaaay more to print than your average book that that’s going to impact what price you set and therefore your bottom line.

So if you have a manuscript that’s way over or under the word counts suggested for your genre, I recommend taking a closer look to see if you can add or remove sections, or consider making your monster of a manuscript into several volumes. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.

keep-calm-and-edit-later

Here’s another handy breakdown:

General

  • Flash Fiction: 300–1500 words
  • Short Story: 1500–30,000 words
  • Novellas: 30,000–50,000 words
  • Novels: 50,000–110,000 words

What about you? Do you think about word counts when preparing your manuscript? Thanks for reading and please leave your thoughts below!

The Arranged Marriage – Part 1

If you haven’t read my first serial fiction, you can find The Eye of the Storm, here.  Whereas The Eye of the Storm was a science-fiction/horror, The Arranged Marriage is fantasy/romance story told in seven parts and set in the world of Ismera, like my novels Unintended and Uncharted. 

Without further ado:

Larissa,

How dare they! Her letter began. I’ll never forgive your family for this! You know, I have half a mind to write to the D’Arbonne House to see if they will intercede on your behalf. It’s not right what the Arbors are doing and I won’t stand for it and neither should you! This is an outrage! It’s practically criminal!

Cielle continued in the same vein for a few paragraphs, making sure she got her point across. Eventually she ran out of ways to say she was angry about the arranged marriage and subsequently she felt her anger fade until only sadness remained in its place.

It’s just… It’s just not fair, that’s all. Marrying this stuffy Lord means you’re going to be all the way in Welland! I know what you’re going to say; ‘It’s just across the bay.” But that’s not the point! I’m sure once you’re married and tucked away in ‘Lord Branton’s’ castle that we’ll hardly ever see each other anymore. It’s not like you’ll be able to join your family when they come this way, you’ll be stuck in Wilkesport fulfilling your duty as ‘Lady Wilkes’… whatever that means!

I hate this! She admitted finally. You’re worth so much more than that fat man’s gold. (I bet he’s fat. You just know those rich lazy lords are all fat. Probably drinks too much Wellish Red too.) He doesn’t deserve you and your family should know better than to sell you off. If you were a Doucet, or even a D’Arbonne, this would never have happened.

I miss you already and I’m angry and sad enough that I’m not even able to look forward to coming to your wedding in a couple of weeks. Cielle paused, pouting. She knew how to put on a good pout when the mood struck her.

Either way, I’ll still be there. She avowed. And when I do, we’ll need to put our heads together and see if we can’t find a way for you to escape this! It’s just got to be possible!

Your Friend Forever,

Cielle Doucet.

Cielle fought back tears as she folded the thick parchment and sealed it with her family’s crest. I mean it, she added silently promising her best friend. I’m coming for you and we will find a way out of this… together.

****

Check back next week or subscribe for parts 2 through 7!  Leave a comment below to let me know what you think of the story so far!

 

Where do ideas come from?

I get asked this a lot: Where do you get your ideas? The answer is not very simple, I’m afraid. When writing or planning a novel, there are always things that influence the style, plot, characters, and ect. More often than not, those influences are subconscious ones. In the case of my latest novel, Uncharted, I’m aware of a few of the things that influenced me and I thought I would share them with you.  Oh, and you can read all about Uncharted and get your copy here. 

SherlockSherlock Holmes

When I first conceptualized the concept for Uncharted so I could pitch it to Murandy, my co-writer, I dubbed it a ‘Sherlock Holmes adventure on the high seas.”

My reasoning was that I had loosely based the relationship between my two male characters on Sherlock and Watson. And though the characters retain some of those characteristics, the novel as a whole didn’t end up being as I had initially envisioned it, so much. We dropped the detective angle and made Meredith the main character instead of Grey and Reginald and we added in a romance plot, because that’s just what we do.

Skyrim

I’ve played a lot of Skyrim as anyone who’s picked downloadthis game up likely has. One thing I thought was really neat about the game is that it is very open-ended. You can go wherever you’d like, whenever you’d like and tackle whatever quest happens to interest you, or leave something well enough alone if it doesn’t. In addition to that, there are a number of romance options, both male and female, and what gender you choose to play doesn’t limit you romantically. In Skyrim, it’s perfectly normal for characters to fall and love and marry regardless of their race or gender.

My point? I wanted Meredith’s journey to have a very open-world feel; that she could go anywhere or do anything and that it was her choices that made the plot move forward. Secondly, I wanted the culture of Saegard to be as open and egalitarian as Skyrim. Love is love.

Indiana Jones/Tomb Raider

There’s a small aspect of this type of adventure in Uncharted. In short, I envisioned a valuable ancient artifact on a stone pedestal in the center of a mountain temple. This artifact is stolen and the hunt for it begins.

1234867_10151837872384684_419366053_n10 Nations Roleplaying Game

This isn’t pop-culture, this is my own culture. A few years ago, I ran a roleplaying game I called 10 Nations which became the basis for the world where Uncharted and Unintended take place. In the game, there were ten nations and each was required to send an Ambassador and a spare to the High King to form a council to protect their nations’ interests.  One of these ten nations became the influence for Saegard, and the Ambassadors, Grey Rhodes and Reginald Lawrence, became the influences for their characters in Uncharted.

What about you? Where do your ideas come from? Let me know in the comments below!

The importance of being organized

I’ve always found scheduling and organizing to be a challenge. It’s probably because I’m really not a planner. Most things, including my day-to-day schedule exist in my head, or on little scraps of paper when I choose to jot something down. However, since I became an entrepreneur I’ve had to do more in the way of keeping myself organized.

Here are two methods I’ve taken to using that really work for me.

906e13Professionally, I’ve grown to love Asana. It’s a free web-based program (which also includes a phone app). It’s a wonderful tool for project management and it really helps to keep everyone on the same page when working in team environment. We use it here at Mirror World to keep track of the progress of each book and also our submissions. Each member of the team gets an account, then you create projects and can assign them to people along with due dates. You can see them as a list, or on a calendar, and there are progress bars and check-ins so you can see how everyone is keeping up as well as leave notes and files for each other. You can check it out for yourself here: https://asana.com/

IMG_57351The other system I’ve very recently taken to using is Bullet Journaling. This method is manual and the cool thing about it is that you can use any notebook you have lying around to get started, so again, it’s free. The premise is that there are a series of symbols you use to track your tasks, notes, and events, and you add and change them as you go, marking when something is complete, or still needs attention. It’s very simple and doesn’t involve me remembering to access some app or website to use it. If you want to learn more about this system, check out their website: http://bulletjournal.com/

With how busy my life is between running a company, writing and publishing books, and working part time, these two systems have been a life-saver. What about you? Do you have trouble staying organized? Would you consider one of these systems or do you have your own? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

 

 

We’ve got a title!

A little while back we posted a poll to help us decide on a title for the next book in the Mirror World series. To all of you who voted, discussed ideas with us, and suggested new ones, thank you so much for your help. Murandy and I greatly appreciate it. Also, a big thank you to Luke Davis for his input and winning suggestion. You really hit the nail on the head. 

And the title is….

Mirror’s Deceit

Mirror’s Deceit is the third book in our Mirror World series, but it is also a prequel to Mirror’s Hope and Mirror’s Heart. (Gotta love time travel stories?)  It is set in the parallel world that Mira and Hope discovered and focuses on the lives of their doubles.

coming-soonHere’s the blurb:

Mirena Calanais is destined to change the world. Her rival has made a desperate flight to the past to stop her.

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?

MH2Read an excerpt:

Stop fidgeting! Tendro had to remind himself for about the hundredth time. The application between his hands was beginning to show signs of wear. How much longer is this going to take? He asked himself again, looking around the semi-circular waiting room and absently re-counting how many people were still to go before him.

When he realized that number was zero, he felt a lump rise in his throat.

“Tendro Seynor?” The secretary called his name from behind a massive oak desk at the far end of the room. He stood, a little too quickly, and quickly tried to right himself so he didn’t appear as nervous as he felt. The secretary nodded at the sight of him. “Right this way, Tendro. The Panarch will see you now.”

He nodded and started forward. The only thing beyond the secretary’s desk was a round-topped solid wood door. It was unlabelled, but Tendro was fairly certain there wasn’t a person in the entire Capital city who didn’t know what lay beyond it; Terrence Lee’s office.

Tendro realized his palms were sweaty when they slipped on the door’s brass handle. It took him two tries to get the door open, but he did it. In the room, Terrence Lee, the most famous Panarch in recent history, sat calmly behind his somewhat cluttered desk, his eyes raised to meet Tendro’s and a friendly smile on his perfect features.  

“What can I do for you, Tendro?”

“Uh…” Tendro was caught off guard by the Panarch’s casual use of his name. Get it together! he admonished himself. The secretary probably told him. It’s not like the Panarch has the time to learn the name of every single student at the Collegium!

Terrence Lee waited patiently for Tendro to speak, his open expression and kindly blue eyes showing no impatience, though there was no way he didn’t know about the long line of people waiting to see him in the lobby.

“Uh, yes, well…” Tendro cleared his throat. “I’m here to.. uh… drop off my application for frontMW1copythe apprenticeship you advertised…”

His voice sounded lame to his own ears, but there was nothing he could do about that. Hopefully my essay and application will be strong enough to speak for itself. I’m just here to drop it off. If I get selected for an interview, I can worry about my speaking skills then.

Tendro held out the somewhat crumpled application, but Terrence Lee made no move to take it from him. Instead, the kind-yet-intimidating Panarch seemed to look Tendro up and down from his standard issue black Magi robes to his eyes and back again.

“So, what do you have to offer me, Tendro Seynor?” He finally said, his mouth quirking up only slightly on the left side.  

“Uh…” Tendro was completely caught off guard by the question. Wait… is this my interview?!

Terrence Lee waited patiently, the small signs of amusement still evident.

“Well, Sir…”

“Lee,” the Panarch corrected him.

“Yes, well, Lee… I,” Tendro wracked his brain for something intelligent to say. “…I suppose what I can offer is… well, my eagerness to learn and um… my complete loyalty.”

“I see,” Lee said, frowning slightly now. “Is that all?”

Tendro felt the floor fall away beneath his feet. That’s it… he told himself. I’ve completely blown it. The Panarch probably thinks I’m a half-wit. He’ll never select me as his apprentice now, no matter how good my credentials.

“I’m a strong student, Sir,” Tendro swallowed and tried to regain his verbal footing. “I think my marks and my essay will speak for themselves.” He tried to hold out the crumpled piece of paper again. “I promise I will prove my worth if you select me for this program.”

Lee frowned. “It’s not a program, Tendro. I’m looking for someone to be my right hand man. There would be training involved, lots of it, but I’m looking for someone who has the confidence to aspire to be Panarch after me, or at least to stand in my place if it is ever needed. I’m sorry, but I just don’t think that you have what it takes.”

Tendro hung his head, fighting back the tears of frustration that stung his eyes. After such brutally honest assessment of his lack of abilities, he didn’t want to chance further discrediting himself in his idol’s eyes. “I understand,” he managed. “I’m sorry for wasting your time…”

“To try is never a wasted effort,” Lee spoke softly. “You’ll find the role that suits you, Tendro. Of that I have no doubt.”

“Thank you, Sir – I mean, Lee.”

With that, Tendro saw himself out and didn’t look back at the kind blue eyes he knew to be watching him go.