Saturday, 26 December 2015

Words & Wonders (32)

Welcome to Words & Wonders, a weekly journal of writing updates, links I've found useful or interesting, and book recommendations. I hope W&W will prove to be useful to you writers out there as well as offering an insight into my writing progress for my readers. Don't forget to leave a comment with your own writing progress!

Sorry about the late update! Completely slipped my mind, with Christmas and everything :)

In the Writing Cave, this week I have:

- Written 4,006 words of PERSEYUA, my novel-in-verse and IT IS FINISHED!!! Please imagine me doing a very happy shuffle right now (my non-dancing version of a happy dance!) And since I'm so chuffed to be finished, here's an unedited snippet from the first draft:

- Planned several things I ought not to be planning

- Begun second drafting Wicked Song, a short story for release in an anthology next year.

In my life:

- Every time I read that little 'in my life' header my mind automatically goes 'there's been heartache and pain. I don't know if I can face it again...' Foreigner. Great song.

- I celebrated Christmas and it was EPIC.

On the internet, this week I found useful:

- this post about the word when in showing vs telling
- this post on Amazon KDP + Smashwords

What have you written this week? And how was your Christmas/holidays???
~Saruuh

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Words & Wonders (31)

Welcome to Words & Wonders, a weekly journal of writing updates, links I've found useful or interesting, and book recommendations. I hope W&W will prove to be useful to you writers out there as well as offering an insight into my writing progress for my readers. Don't forget to leave a comment with your own writing progress!

In the Writing Cave, this week I have:

- Written 15,755 words of PERSEYUA, my novel-in-verse. I'm AT THE END now, so it should be finished before long. By next week, fingers crossed.

- I'm in a planning mood, so I've plotted a bit more of my Fae HF and I've started fleshing out the plot of Ferocity, my spacey WIP-on-the-DL.

In my life:

- It's mostly Christmas prep and writing.

On the internet, this week I found useful:

- Nada. Sorry, folks. Busy writing.

A book I've recently loved:


I love it so so so so so much. Incredible characters, insane emotions, and the species are written and imagined SO WELL. I will never stop raving about this book.

What have you written this week?
~Saruuh

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Words & Wonders (30)

Welcome to Words & Wonders, a weekly journal of writing updates, links I've found useful or interesting, and book recommendations. I hope W&W will prove to be useful to you writers out there as well as offering an insight into my writing progress for my readers. Don't forget to leave a comment with your own writing progress!

In the Writing Cave, this week I have:

- Written 9,996 words of PERSEYUA, my novel-in-verse. I had a bad week so I haven't written as much as I'd like, but I have reached the end of another part of the book so that's something. Hopefully next week will be better.

- Planned my twelve volume Fae HF series. I absolutely should NOT be working on this, let alone plotting the stories and building the world, but when a story has taken root in my head there's little I can do... (It's still gonna be 3 years at least before anything is released in this series though - I need to prioritise finishing The Lux Guardians and The Legend Mirror!)

In my life:

- Stumbling through the month tbh. I'm excited for Christmas, and actually not too overwhelmed by everything there's left to do, but writing is going so slow lately and I want to be finished by the end of the year so it's STRESSING me out.

On the internet, this week I found useful:

- This post on indie publishing by Emma L. Adams, which made me fee a fair deal better about my shitty sales :)

What have you written this week?
~Saruuh

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Words & Wonders (29)

Welcome to Words & Wonders, a weekly journal of writing updates, links I've found useful or interesting, and book recommendations. I hope W&W will prove to be useful to you writers out there as well as offering an insight into my writing progress for my readers. Don't forget to leave a comment with your own writing progress!


In the Writing Cave, this week I have:

- Written 13,181 words of PERSEYUA, my Nanowrimo novel-in-verse, and I WON nano!! 50.2K written in November, my second best wordcount this year!

- I also started working on the first novella of a series of novels and novellas which won't be released for YEARS. But I love this series and these characters, and it's based on the first novel I ever wrote (all that remains of that long-ago first draft is the characters, and even some of those have changed in a big way.) All I can say is it's portal fantasy, features fae in a major way, and has twelve main characters. I'll refer to it as Fae HF, as I don't have, and won't have, a series title for a while.

In my life:

- Prepping for Christmas is so fun! I love doing crafts and wrapping presents and planning our menu!

On the internet, this week I found useful:

- Nothing I bookmarked unfortunately!

What have you written this week?
~Saruuh

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Words & Wonders (28)

Welcome to Words & Wonders, a weekly journal of writing updates, links I've found useful or interesting, and book recommendations. I hope W&W will prove to be useful to you writers out there as well as offering an insight into my writing progress for my readers. Don't forget to leave a comment with your own writing progress!


In the Writing Cave, this week I have:

- Written 6,147 words of PERSEYUA, my Nanowrimo novel-in-verse. I had a bad week. I'm officially in the middle of this book though!!!! It's looking like it might be a little over my predicted word count but that's easily fixable, since I've rambled a lot in parts :)

In my life:

- I've had a very bad week, not just writing wise but health wise. Sleep is shitty, mood is shitty, and my eye is constantly twitching. If you have a trick to stop eyes twitching, TELL ME AND SAVE ME.

On the internet, this week I found useful:

- Rise of The Gender Novel
- This whole twitter conversation on cis authors writing trans characters
- Love Lists, by Stephanie Perkins (this is a great idea and I'll 100% be doing this)
- Expanding Your Word Count
- This Isn't Complicated At All
(not writing advice but well worth the read for all involved in writing & publishing books)
- Opinion: Do We Honour Girls? (another must read)

What have you written this week?
~Saruuh

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Words & Wonders (27)

Welcome to Words & Wonders, a weekly journal of writing updates, links I've found useful or interesting, and book recommendations. I hope W&W will prove to be useful to you writers out there as well as offering an insight into my writing progress for my readers. Don't forget to leave a comment with your own writing progress!


In the Writing Cave, this week I have:

- Written 15,352 words of PERSEYUA, my Nanowrimo novel-in-verse. And because I've only posted one snippet from this book, and it's been a loooooong while, here's an unedited stanza.


In my life:

- I've got to the part in my book where I'm slogging through a very deep bog that's made of quicksand instead of mud.

On the internet, this week I found useful:

- Actions Speak Louder Than Dialogue Tags
- 3 Tips For Nanowrimo Success, An Agent's Perspective

What have you written this week?
~Saruuh

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Writing Everyday, a post on perseverance.


I think this is probably my first real post about writing on WFS, possibly ever. Usually I'd chicken out before posting, since I'm not exactly the best authority on writing and very few people will be familiar with the books I've written, but what the heck - it's Nanowrimo, why not?

In the last 3 months I've written 130,000 words. A whole 130K, and I was pretty darn shocked when I looked back and made that calculation. I have been writing a lot, but I didn't think it was that much, and for a while I couldn't work out why. And then it clicked - that bit of writing advice I'd seen from dozen of authors, the one that says writing everyday is essential, is actually true. And to think I'd scorned it, because I'd been writing for the past few years and had never written more than 25K in a month. I thought it was the age old thing - one man's advice is another man's nightmare. I assumed it was just one of those things that only work for some people. Nope. Nu-uh.

The thing with writing everyday, I've found out, is it takes time. You can write everyday for a month (Nanowrimo, anyone?) and produce a tonne of words, and slack off and write only a couple thousand the next month. You have to keep up the writing everyday, week after week, month after month. Writing everyday is a HUGE commitment, but it really does, eventually, pay off. It's taken me months of full time, everyday writing for it to kick in and for the words to come at the rate all those writing advice posts promised.

I say I write every day ... but I do take a few days off. I've found if I force myself to write on days where it feels like pulling teeth it just doesn't happen at all. My mood suffers, my writing is horrendous, it all goes to crap. But overall, looking at the overview of the month, I write 80-90% of the time. Maybe three or four days off, but those other twenty seven days? Racking those up, month after month, really really works. It just takes time, for the routine to settle. Maybe at the beginning you'll write 200 words a day. Maybe by the end you'll write 5,000. I've gone from taking 5 or 6 months to write a 100K+ novel to taking half that time.

So keep at it. I bet at some point it'll all kick in for you too, and you'll look back and be like 'I wrote HOW many words?'

~Saruuh

(Keeping track of progress on a spreadsheet is pretty great for this, as it lets you see your progress at a glance. Maybe at some point I'll write a post about my spreadsheet set up!)

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Words & Wonders (26)

Welcome to Words & Wonders, a weekly journal of writing updates, links I've found useful or interesting, and book recommendations. I hope W&W will prove to be useful to you writers out there as well as offering an insight into my writing progress for my readers. Don't forget to leave a comment with your own writing progress!

In the Writing Cave, this week I have:

- Written 11,001 words of PERSEYUA, my Nanowrimo novel-in-verse. I've settled into writing this book now, but I still had a pretty crappy two days and got nothing done.



In my life:

- Tipping between feeling totally awesome and REALLY KINDA STRESSED about writing this book. I'm sure building my agents spreadsheet and writing queries and thinking too far ahead isn't helping.

On the internet, this week I found useful:

- This post on voice by Kody Keplinger.
- This post on theme by Chuck Wendig. (which I 100% knew nothing about before reading this) (also warnings for swears and references to sexual acts.)

What have you written this week?
~Saruuh

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Words & Wonders (25)

Welcome to Words & Wonders, a weekly journal of writing updates, links I've found useful or interesting, and book recommendations. I hope W&W will prove to be useful to you writers out there as well as offering an insight into my writing progress for my readers. Don't forget to leave a comment with your own writing progress!

25th W&W!! Feels monumental.

In the Writing Cave, this week I have:

- Written 11,543 words of PERSEYUA, my Nanowrimo novel-in-verse. It's is WAY slower to write free verse than prose, and it's taking me three times as long to write 1,000 words than usual, even accepting everything technical about it is going to be terrible D: (not great considering I want to write a full 50,000 this month!!!) But I love the characters and the story so I'm pushing on.



- Prepped my Ghastly story, now called Wicked Song, for second drafting.

- Prepped a story about selkies I wrote last year for second drafting + entirely replotted because it needs an complete, extensive rewrite.


In my life:

- I have no time to read blog posts and keep up with what everyone's been posting, which I'm sad about, but that's the price of writing a novel in two months.

On the internet, this week I found useful:

- No time for reading blogs this week :(

What have you written this week?
~Saruuh

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Words & Wonders (24)

Welcome to Words & Wonders, a weekly journal of writing updates, links I've found useful or interesting, and book recommendations. I hope W&W will prove to be useful to you writers out there as well as offering an insight into my writing progress for my readers. Don't forget to leave a comment with your own writing progress!

Super link-heavy post this week. For writers looking for Nano resources scroll down!!

In the Writing Cave, this week I have:

- Continued plotting PERSEYUA, which is now ready for writing!! Bring on Nov 1st!



- Written 6,243 words of the demon girl short story I mentioned last week (in the anthology called Ghastly.) Hoping I won't have to leave this unfinished for months while working on Perseyua but I only have TODAY to finish it. Gah!


In my life:

- It's technically my week off but I'm pushing to finish a short story as well as planning PERSEYUA and reading a handful of books. I literally don't know the meaning of the words 'time off.'

On the internet, this week I found useful:
A BUNCH of stuff. Seriously, can you tell I have time to lurk on the internet again or what? Also, I'm actively seeking them out since I like to stuff my brain with advice from knowledgable folks when beginning a new book!

- 7 Lessons I've Learned, by Erin Bowman

- This amazing webinar about prepping a novel.
(Good advice for planning, plotting, & character building from Kami Garcia, Ellen Hopkins, Jonathan Mayberry, & Danielle Paige. It's technically for Nanowrimo but applies to all starting a new draft!)
- Barriers to Love, by Colleen Houck
- Kami Garcia's planning pinterest board, which is FULL of links
- 10 things to do before editing a first draft
- How to nail your novel pacing
- This 30 day author challenge. 
(I HAVE TO FIND TIME FOR THIS!! Looks uh-mazing. Maybe in January, with the new year?)
- Balancing Setting and Plot by Susan Dennard
- Sarah J. Maas and Susan Dennard on world building + books recs with fab world building
- Filter words 
(something I never realised I used until I read this post and was like ... oh ... yeah...)

What have you written this week?
~Saruuh

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Words & Wonders (23)

Welcome to Words & Wonders, a weekly journal of writing updates, links I've found useful or interesting, and book recommendations. I hope W&W will prove to be useful to you writers out there as well as offering an insight into my writing progress for my readers. Don't forget to leave a comment with your own writing progress!

In the Writing Cave, this week I have:

- Written 6,932 words of POWERS (TLM3) AND IT'S FINISHED!!!! 125K words later... I estimate another summer release for this.


- Begun hastily plotting my next project (Hades/Persephone WIP) for real, instead of the mess of notes and ideas I had as of Monday. Its working title is now Queen of The Halfworld but that's probably gonna change at least 3 times so I'll just call it PERSEYUA, the name of the main character. (Pronounced per.say.wa.)

- Returned to a gothic short story anthology I've been writing on and off for a year called Ghastly. I've been reading halloween-y books so they've had an effect on my writing mood. Currently writing a story about a demon girl who gets kidnapped and carted off to heaven because of a grudge between her father and an angel. The love interest is gender fluid!

In my life:

- I'm feeling pretty darn accomplished. Finished the first POWERS draft, working on the short story, and discovered my Etsy shop was featured in a Cosmopolitan web article last year about Harry Potter Christmas gifts (it's the Gryffindor bracelet!)

On the internet, this week I found useful:

- Been busy busy and haven't had much time on the internets,

A book I've loved lately:

This week I actually have TWO books I've loved, The Casquette Girls, which is atmospheric and romantic and a gothic delight; and Blood Magic, another tense, heartfelt gothic YA that I felt in my bones. Loved both of them and recommend them v much!!


What have you written this week?
~Saruuh

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Words & Wonders (22)

Welcome to Words & Wonders, a weekly journal of writing updates, links I've found useful or interesting, and book recommendations. I hope W&W will prove to be useful to you writers out there as well as offering an insight into my writing progress for my readers. Don't forget to leave a comment with your own writing progress!

In the Writing Cave, this week I have:

- Written 13,802 words of POWERS (TLM3)!!!! So damn close to being finished.

- Begun hastily plotting my next project (Hades/Persephone WIP) for real, instead of the mess of notes and ideas I had as of Monday. Its working title is now Queen of The Halfworld but that's probably gonna change at least 3 times.


In my life:

- I'm mostly stressed this week. Help.

On the internet, this week I found useful:

- nothing? again? what?

What have you written this week?
~Saruuh

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Words & Wonders (21)

Welcome to Words & Wonders, a weekly journal of writing updates, links I've found useful or interesting, and book recommendations. I hope W&W will prove to be useful to you writers out there as well as offering an insight into my writing progress for my readers. Don't forget to leave a comment with your own writing progress!

In the Writing Cave, this week I have:

- Written 18,823 words of POWERS (TLM3)!!!! That's a lot of words for me, and it's even better because I haven't got stressed or anxious and my health hasn't suffered for it like the last time I wrote this much :D

And since I fancied posting a quote, here's an unedited excerpt of POWERS:


Neither of us is exactly alright at the moment, and I don’t want to feel bad for indulging in something I want. I hold him close and I feel like I can protect him from anything—bear, Numen, horrifying pathway, whatever. Except I have no balance, zero hand-eye coordination, minimal skill with a weapon, and I tend to freeze or squeak or stare in terror when faced with something fearsome and intimidating. But I’d do it, without a doubt, for Ran.

Which is more terrifying than the idea of facing a bear.

“How is this making me feel better?” Ran asks, his fingers running through my hair. “Are you actually magic? Like, old school fairy tale magic?”

“Definitely. I’m your fairy godmother.”


“I knew it.”


In my life:

- Nothing to report, other than writing like mad.

- Oh, and I changed my Nanowrimo novel, which means I changed the novel I'm writing with a view to sending out on submission. (AND I think it'll be more difficult to sell than my other one would have been. BUT this is the book I love and want to write RN.)

On the internet, this week I found useful:

- Apparently nada. Huh. Weird.

What have you written this week?
~Saruuh

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Words & Wonders (20)

Welcome to Words & Wonders, a weekly journal of writing updates, links I've found useful or interesting, and book recommendations. I hope W&W will prove to be useful to you writers out there as well as offering an insight into my writing progress for my readers. Don't forget to leave a comment with your own writing progress!

In the Writing Cave, this week I have:

- Written 8,262 words of POWERS (TLM3) I've finished Yasmin's POVs and now I'm onto the second.


In my life:

- I'm in a more do-y mood than write-y, which isn't great when I have a deadline at the end of the month!!!

On the internet, this week I found useful:

Genre Jumping - Yes You Can, by Mindy McGinnis

What have you written this week?
~Saruuh

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Words & Wonders (19)

Welcome to Words & Wonders, a weekly journal of writing updates, links I've found useful or interesting, and book recommendations. I hope W&W will prove to be useful to you writers out there as well as offering an insight into my writing progress for my readers. Don't forget to leave a comment with your own writing progress!

In the Writing Cave, this week I have:

- Written 17,028 words of POWERS (TLM3.) I'm happy with my output this week but I'm having to sacrifice a LOT to get there (reading time, happiness, sleep, physical and mental health, all those non-essential things.)


On the internet, this week I found useful:


- This post on writing action
- Relying on Old Tropes (+ ideas for subverting them!!)

In my life:

- I have about half as much time to read as I used to have, since I'm spending so much time writing, and it's making me pretty sad. I have so many books to read, and none of them are getting read.

A book I've loved lately:



Don't even get me started on how much angst this gave me. It was horrible, but I loved every minute of it. By far one of my favourite series of all time. Perfect, wonderful, torturous romance and a unique story I won't soon forget. I cried at least 3 times.


What have you written this week?
~Saruuh

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Words & Wonders (18)

Welcome to Words & Wonders, a weekly journal of writing updates, links I've found useful or interesting, and book recommendations. I hope W&W will prove to be useful to you writers out there as well as offering an insight into my writing progress for my readers. Don't forget to leave a comment with your own writing progress!

In the Writing Cave, this week I have:

- Written 12,057 words of POWERS (TLM3), and I'm pushing myself damn hard so I have time to finish this before moving onto my next project.

- Written a random 244 words of Siorai, my NA high fantasy.

- Chosen to postpone POWERS's release for a season so I can work on a book to send out on submission by next April. I hate to do it but I have to prioritize, and I really need to do this now if I'm going to write it at all. I hope you'll all understand and bear the wait.

In my life:

- Nothing much is happening beyond writing like mad and trying to make my mad schedule work.

On the internet, this week I found useful:

- This interview with Sarah J. Maas, in which she talks about inspiration and her characters growing throughout a series.

A book I've loved lately:


It killed me but I loved every minute of it. Sarah J. Maas can never fail. (And Throne of Glass has been optioned for TV!!!! Aaaaahhhh. Please give me regular episodes of my darling Aelin.)

What have you written this week?
~Saruuh

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Words & Wonders (17)

Welcome to Words & Wonders, a weekly journal of writing updates, links I've found useful or interesting, and book recommendations. I hope W&W will prove to be useful to you writers out there as well as offering an insight into my writing progress for my readers. Don't forget to leave a comment with your own writing progress!

In the Writing Cave, this week I have:

- Written 6,143 words of The Powers of Callaire, which I will refer to in the same vein as the other books (POWERS.) I hit a stumbling block at the beginning of the week but I think I've come over that now, so we should be back on for my finish date of Nov 1. (*is foolishly optimistic*)

In my life:

- I'm reading Queen of Shadows & it's KILLING me
- Art journalling and scrapbooking are my new thing. I'm in a craft phase right now.

On the internet, this week I found useful:

Elizabeth Bear's How To Title Your Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel or Series: A Tutorial in Three Parts

What have you written this week?
~Saruuh

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Words & Wonders (16)

Welcome to Words & Wonders, a weekly journal of writing updates, links I've found useful or interesting, and book recommendations. I hope W&W will prove to be useful to you writers out there as well as offering an insight into my writing progress for my readers. Don't forget to leave a comment with your own writing progress!

This is my fiftieth post on this blog!!! I'm celebrating by announcing the (definite, final, absolute) title of the next Legend Mirror novel!!


You might have seen this on the 'other books' pages in DRYAD and BEAST if you were looking closely. The title plays into the two different story arcs of this book, one that was hinted at in the first two books, which is Yasmin making a bargain with Pluto to find his lost power in return for Fray's life. While this is happening, the Red take on their own quest to find a group of powerful lost artefacts that might give them a defense against the Numina who want them dead. Fun, happy stuff :|

In the Writing Cave, this week I have:

- Written 12,647 words. I think I've finally settled into this book now. Thank gods. 

In my life:

- I discovered the app Pacifica, which is really keeping my stress levels down. I like their soundscape, where I can listen to calming forest sounds for literal hours.

On the internet, this week I found useful:

- Sleeping With The Enemy: Writing Outside Your Comfort Zone
- Moving Forward: Writing Smooth Transitions
 - Writing Emotional Wounds
- How To Write A Sequel That's Better Than The First Book

A Book I've Enjoyed Recently:



Awesome historical world, cool witchy concept, and heartfelt characters who I absolutely fell in love with. John has my heart, and the best thing is the romance between him and Elizabeth is the slow burn kind. I adore this book.

What have you written this week?
~Saruuh

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Words & Wonders (15)

Welcome to Words & Wonders, a weekly journal of writing updates, links I've found useful or interesting, and book recommendations. I hope W&W will prove to be useful to you writers out there as well as offering an insight into my writing progress for my readers. Don't forget to leave a comment with your own writing progress!

THE BEAST OF CALLAIRE is finally free on Amazon. Find links on the sidebar! If you've been looking for a YA fantasy inclusive of POC and queer characters, grab a copy and read it.


In the Writing Cave, this week I have:

- Gotten into a sort of slump with TLM3, which I'm forcing my way through. I don't want to get stalled and not write anything for a month or three (like I did with The Wandering...) and now I think I've avoided that. Here's hoping, anyway. I want to keep to my schedule and get this book out at the very beginning of next year, with The Revelation and another (YA fantasy stand alone) book making up the rest of my 2016 plan.

- Written 2,923 words. Disappointing word count again, but at least it's some words - my mood and productivity has been so low that I almost ground to a halt.


In my life:

- I got a TONNE of craft supplies for my birthday so I'm making cards and art journalling a lot lately.



On the internet, this week I found useful:

- Weapenry, a publisher of nonfiction who write helpful books for indie authors (and, I'd say, all authors!) I/m looking to get both their books when the next one comes out.
- Cheap villain killin'
- Tangents and Subplots, by Jami Gold
- 5 Tips For Making Any Scene In Your Novel More Tense by Martina Boone

A Book I've Enjoyed Recently:



Awesome historical world, cool witchy concept, and heartfelt characters who I absolutely fell in love with. John has my heart, and the best thing is the romance between him and Elizabeth is the slow burn kind. I adore this book.
You can find my full review over at Syntax Reviews.

What have you written this week?
~Saruuh

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Words & Wonders (14)

Welcome to Words & Wonders, a weekly journal of writing updates, links I've found useful or interesting, and book recommendations. I hope W&W will prove to be useful to you writers out there as well as offering an insight into my writing progress for my readers. Don't forget to leave a comment with your own writing progress!

In the Writing Cave, this week I have:

- Written 2,588 words. I'm failing at this writing thing this month, and I'm pretty annoyed about it. I'll just have to make myself write a lot more in the next few weeks and hope I output more words. :/


In my life:

- My fourth novel released this week. I should feel pretty darn accomplished but I keep thinking about how little I've done for my next book :(

- It's my birthday tomorrow!!! I've gonna have the biggest haul of books, get caught up on some awesome new releases, and go to Scarborough for a 2-day trip. I'm hella excited.

On the internet, this week I found useful:

- Nothing. Sorry, folks. I've been really counterproductive this week.

What have you written this week? Hopefully more than me!!
~Saruuh

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Words & Wonders (13)

Welcome to Words & Wonders, a weekly journal of writing updates, links I've found useful or interesting, and book recommendations. I hope W&W will prove to be useful to you writers out there as well as offering an insight into my writing progress for my readers. Don't forget to leave a comment with your own writing progress!

Read the first three chapters of THE DRYAD OF CALLAIRE: 1, 2, 3

In the Writing Cave, this week I have:

- Written 6,214 words of TLM3. I thought it'd be easier to get into writing this, since I just finished up DRYAD, but I was dumb to underestimate this book. It's a bitch. Anyway here's a quote I like:


“Where’s the money gonna come from for this?” Steph asks. “Hotels, travel, food, whatever else we’re gonna need—there’s always something—that’s not free. How much is this gonna cost, anyway?”
“An arm and a leg,” Guy grumbles, slouching in his chair.
“Hang on.” Rowan does something beneath the table, and it looks like he’s routing around mid-air for something he’s lost. He says, “I can’t do anything about the arm, but how’s this for the leg?” He produces a camo-painted prosthetic leg and waves it in the air—and everybody loses it.

In my life:

- I'm on my sixth book for ARC August and feeling pretty proud of myself. I'm on target!

On the internet, this week I found useful:

- This hilarious compilation of tweets about the icky language in sex scenes. Don't read this if you're sensitive to ~*sexy*~ language like moist and member.
- The three point structure, by Janice Hardy


Hope you all have a great weekend!!
~Saruuh

Monday, 10 August 2015

The Dryad of Callaire chapter reveal + WIN a DRYAD paperback & BEAST ebook!!

Hi everyone! Today I'm featuring the third chapter of THE DRYAD OF CALLAIRE. If you missed the first two you can find them here:

Chapter Two

Scroll to the end of the post to get your free ebook of The Beast of Callaire!!


THE SHOCK OF SORRY

“Yasmin?”

I drag my attention from the Numen and the spell of violence collapses. The beast loses its grip on me and Yasmin comes flooding back. I remember who I am, what I’m willing to do and what I’m not. My eyes flicker between Rowan’s shell-shocked expression and the body at my feet, and I know I’ve crossed that precious line that separates me from true monstrosity. And I chose to cross it—I gave the beast permission.

Blood runs from the corners of my mouth, each drop painfully loud to my Crea-enhanced ears as it hits the floor. My heart begins to race, and I can’t wrap my head around the dead thing at my feet, the blood staining my mouth and hands. My gums ache as my teeth return to normal. A sob breaks free of my throat and I cover my mouth to keep the rest trapped—but all that does is make the scent of blood stronger. The stranger’s blood. The stranger I killed.

Did that Numen even take Fray?

I close my eyes tight and sink to the floor, chest shaking, head loud and full of denial. How could this happen? How could I do this?

“Yasmin?” Rowan repeats tentatively. I hear him step closer, over the body, and crouch in front of me. “Are you hurt? Who—holy shit,” he hisses. “Is that a Numen?”

I can’t answer.

“Yasmin?” Rowan’s hand falls on my shoulder. “Are you freaking out? Can you look at me?”

He’s brought the scent of Almery Wood inside with him, and that hint of familiarity helps me peel open my eyes. But my focus drifts past Rowan and I see the dead Numen again. My panic escalates.

“Okay,” Rowan exhales. “Shit. Okay. Just try to calm down, and I’ll deal with that.” He jerks his chin at the body. “That okay with you?”

I force my head to move up and down, a jerky agreement. Now that the adrenaline is wearing off, I’m becoming aware of my leg throbbing under the gauze wrapped around it. I must have aggravated the injury I got during the last Change. My shoulder and back don’t feel great, either.

Massaging my aches and pains, I listen as Rowan drags the Numen into the living room. He bangs into a piece of wrecked furniture and drops the dead thing, swearing the whole time. The next thing I know, he’s pressing a wet towel into my hands. I look up to find him frowning at me. The carpet has been scrubbed in an attempt to clean it, though the blood has only spread further and a dark streak now leads away from the hall where he dragged the body.

“Come on.” He puts an arm around my shoulders to help me up. “I’ll take you to the Academy and you can tell us what happened.”

I use the dripping towel to clean my face and hands, feeling sick as the cream flannel turns pink with blood. “Not yet.”

Rowan’s expression tightens but he doesn’t argue. He takes the sodden towel from me, tilts my face up with a gentle hand, and wipes the remaining blood from my chin. “Did that thing hurt you?”

“No. I’m … I’m okay.”

“That’s bullshit and we both know it.” He kicks aside a fallen key rack and throws the towel into the kitchen sink. “But who am I to question your denial?”

My face grows warm as I stave off tears, following Rowan into the kitchen. “Are you going to tell them?” I whisper. “The Red? About … what I did?”

“Do you want me to?”

“Don’t. Please.” Feeling like my head is resting on the executioner’s block, I watch Rowan debate with himself. His brows are bunched together, his eyes black and anxious. “Fine,” he agrees eventually. “If you don’t want them knowing, that’s your choice. For the record, I don’t think you did anything wrong. I’d have killed that guy too, if I could, if he’d taken my girlfriend.” He purses his lips, glancing around the bright kitchen. “About Fearne … I’ll have to tell her about this. I can’t keep secrets from her. I don’t want to.”

As he speaks the walls close around me, the shiny cabinets tilting towards me. I burst out of the room, through the doorway, and onto the field between Fray’s house and Almery. I drag in breath after breath of cold air until my head has stopped spinning and the fist gripping my chest has unclenched.

“Look,” Rowan says, “if it’s that big a deal, I can keep this from Fearne.” He trudges across the grass to stand in front of me, hands shoved in his jean pockets. “I’ll hate keeping a secret from her but I don’t want you having a panic attack every time you see her.”

“Thank you,” I gasp. The top of Rowan’s blue T-shirt is speckled with rain; I stare at the darker blots in the cotton to avoid his concerned frown. I can’t interpret the expression or understand why he’s directing it at me. Rowan can’t stand me. He made that perfectly clear at the Matronalia party when he blamed a failed ceremony on me, called me unnatural, and told everyone I kicked Juno out of a dream to turn the Red against me. “What are you doing here, Rowan?” I ask. “Did you follow me?”

“Yeah.” His voice becomes uncertain. “I wanted to apologise for the shit I said about you. And for the shit I said … to you.”

“You wanted to apologise?” That’s absurd enough that I make eye contact before my nerves can convince me otherwise. “To me?”

“Yeah.” He scratches the scruff on his jaw. “Look, I know I’ve been a complete dick to you and you’ve got no reason to forgive me for any of that shit, but I want you to know I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said any of it, and I know it was fucked up, but I was … I was freaked out. The Majick had never reacted like that before. I could feel it going wrong and I …” He shudders. “I shouldn’t have taken that out on you but you were an easy target. Truth is you scare the crap out of me, Yasmin. And I’m sorry for that.”

He watches me, waiting for something. A response? A laugh? I don’t react. Of course he’d be scared of me. I’m scared of me. I fold my arms around my damp coat like I can protect myself from his fear.

“Don’t look like that. I didn’t mean it that way. It’s my problem, not yours.” I sense him gearing up for something he’s reluctant to do, or say. “Did you know my parents are Numina? My adoptive parents, I mean—the ones who raised me.”

I shake my head stiffly, Rowan’s taut reluctance affecting me too.

“The first I heard about you was through them. I heard them talking one night about Venus’s daughter who had two kinds of Majick. That was years ago, though. What made me resent you was—” He inhales a sharp breath. “A month ago, my mums told me there was a huge fuckin’ fight going on in the Legend Mirror about us, and that you were all everyone was talking about.”

I look at the grass beneath my feet, still missing the point. “Me?”

“Venus had been bragging about you, saying you were powerful and gonna help her project or some shit. Anyway, a group of Numina heard my mums talking about it and got really pissed.” His voice morphs into something darker. “They lynched my mums and kicked them through an illegal gateway between worlds. And I had all that anger at you and Venus—and you came back to the Red three days later.”

“And it’s my fault they were hurt,” I finish. “That’s why you hate me.”

He rolls his eyes to the grey sky. “I don’t fuckin’—shit, sorry—I didn’t realise I was swearing so much.” He laughs. “Bad habit or coping mechanism—take your pick of excuses.”

I just stare at him.

Rowan scuffs the grass with his Converse. “What I’m saying is, I know what happened to my mums wasn’t your fault. I get that now and I don’t hate you. And I wanted to say sorry for treating you like sh—crap. I was taking my anger out on you and that was supremely messed up. You still make me nervous as hell, but I’m making an effort to be a better guy. When I almost died in that fight—when I literally died—I swore I’d stop being an asshole when I woke up. And I realised I’d never treated Ran or the Hannam sisters as bad as I treated you, even though they’re Crea with Majick too.” His mouth twists into a wry smile. “And now I feel extra shitty for you because you’ve lost your Earth, and I was pretty much condemning you for having it.”

“I get it. You don’t hate me anymore because I’ve lost half my Majick. I’m not as dangerous to you now.” I shrug. “Makes sense.”

“No. Fuck. That’s not what I meant.” He cards his fingers through his hair. “I’m going to stop making this worse and just apologise. So, Yasmin, I’m sorry.”

I’m not sure I believe him, not entirely, but I say, “I forgive you.” And then I make myself brave and add, “Do you think you can keep Fearne from telling everyone what I did here?”

The tension leaves Rowan. “I can. She won’t tell anyone, I promise.”

“Thank you.” I feel less inclined to break apart now so I manage to speak without wavering. “I don’t want my brother to know, or Mavers.”

“Agreed on Mavers.” Rowan begins walking, looking over his shoulder to see if I’ll follow him into the trees. There are no clues in Fray’s home, nothing that will lead me to her, so with a last look at the house, I step over the gravel Ward. “You reckon he’ll ever get over it?” he asks. “Amity selling us out.”

“I don’t know.” I pull my coat closer around me, raindrops sliding down the inside of my wrist. I convince myself I’m just walking one of Almery’s trails with a sort-of-friend. I’m not walking away from the scene of a crime. “I hope so. I don’t know what we’ll do without him.”

“We’ll figure it out.” Rowan glances at me quickly, then away. “Thanks for giving me a chance. I swear I’m not that big an asshole once you get to know me.”

“You don’t have to thank me.”

“Alright then.” He kicks a stone from the path. “I should probably tell you something though.” I look at him askance. “When I moved that guy—the Numen? I left him in the front room and went upstairs to find a sheet or something to wrap him in.”

I breathe slowly. I will not hyperventilate again.

“When I went back …” I feel Rowan’s panic and guess what happened before he says the words. “He was gone. Full on disappeared. I should’ve told you earlier but I wasn’t sure if you’d freak.” He eyes me warily. “You’re not going to freak out again are you?”

“Probably.” I laugh and the sound is wretched. “No,” I decide after a moment. “I’m not going to freak out. So the Numen disappeared?”

“Yeah. Weirded me the fuck out. Do you think he’ll come back?” He scans the woods around us and inches closer to me, the dangerous Crea that already tore out the throat of a Numen. This more than anything he’s said convinces me Rowan really is past his revulsion of me.

“Yes,” I answer. “I think they’ll definitely come back.”

“Oh, good,” Rowan laughs. “That’s reassuring.” When I don’t say anything, he takes my elbow to halt my steps. “I should have said this earlier—we’ll find Fray, Yasmin. If these Numina are still around Callaire, there’ll be a way to find her.”

I bite the inside of my cheek.

“Aw man, don’t cry.” Rowan shocks the apology from the tip of my tongue by wrapping me in a hug. He’s as warm as a furnace and so tall my head only comes to his jaw despite the fact I’m only an inch below six foot. “We’ll get her back,” he repeats. “We’ll figure it out.”

“You said that about Mavers,” I mumble.

“It’s my go-to phrase.” He steps back, holds my shoulders. “You know you’re brave as hell, right? If Fearne went missing I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed let alone come back to her house to look for her.” His mouth twitches into a sad smile. “She won’t be missing forever. We’ll find her and we’ll save her. Don’t know how but—”

“We’ll figure it out?” I laugh, wiping my tears away.

“Exactly. You’re starting to get it.” He releases me, lets his arms swing at his sides. “Ready to go back?”

I look at myself—my knees are dusty, my coat wet and hanging open over my blood-stained shirt. 
“Do I look like I just killed someone?”

He considers me for a long moment before helping me fasten the toggles of my coat. “All good. And about that, it wasn’t really a someone. It was more of a monster. And I’m guessing that was the guy who took Fray, so it was actually a girlfriend-kidnapping-monster. You shouldn’t feel bad about killing him. One—I’d have done the same and so would anyone else, and two—dead guys don’t usually get up and walk away from having their throat ripped open.”

I know he’s right but it doesn’t make me feel any more human.

Rowan’s expression is sympathetic. When he offers me a hand, I take it and close my eyes. The world vibrates around us as Rowan’s Gateway Majick takes hold. It feels like I’m made of nothing, weightless and formless, before reality surges back and spits me out the other end. I open my eyes on the Academy. Tall birch trees curve around the path up to the gothic red mansion, a sight that has quickly come to mean home again.

“Before we go in,” Rowan starts and I look over at him, dropping his hand. “We should probably figure out a cover story. They need to know a Numen is in Callaire. I’d say knowing they can’t be killed by slitting their throats ranks high in things everyone should know, as well.”

“Okay,” I agree.

“I’ll say I killed him, grabbed a knife from Fray’s kitchen or something. I’ll make sure they don’t find out about you.” He gives me a strange look. “This is probably none of my business, but are you alright? You were pretty Crea back there. I mean full on, out of control Crea.”

“Thanks.”

Rowan rolls his eyes. “You’re giving me sarcasm, now?” He squints at the narrow windows on the Academy’s second floor and says more seriously, “I don’t know shit about Changing but you have people that do. You should talk to them. You’re not on your own here. Obviously I don’t get the Crea thing but Vic does, and Ran and Cornelia.”

My mood softens. People keep telling me that—I’m not alone. It was frustrating at first but now the irritation has worn off, I feel warm and wanted. That feeling makes me honest when I answer. “I’m not completely okay. I won’t be until I find Fray. But I’m not usually so beastly. Or I try not to be.” I confess, “I just saw that stranger and I got so angry.”

“You wanted him to pay. I know what that’s like.”

I give him a questioning look but before I can ask what he means, he looks past me and his eyes light up.

“Where the hell have you been?” Fearne screeches. I watch her storm towards us, dark hair flicking through the air like Medusa’s snakes. I imagine their fangs sinking into my neck.

Rowan grins. “Fighting Numina. Saving damsels. Just everyday stuff.”

Numina?” Alarm cracks Fearne’s anger and she runs the rest of the distance. She grabs Rowan’s arm as her eyes roam over him. “You fought a Numen? Was it Discordia? How are you not dead?” Her voice breaks on the last word. I have a flashback of her curled over his body in the chaos of battle.

“Yes. No. And I stabbed him in the neck. He sorta died, sorta didn’t. I’ll explain inside.” He steers her down the path, motioning me along with a gesture.

“No,” Fearne spits, stopping dead. “You’ll explain here.”

Fearne looks like she wants to hit someone. Rowan takes her face in his hands. “I’m fine, Fe. I promise you I’m alright.”

“Was it her fault?” Fearne’s glare turns on me. “What did you do?”

“She did nothing.” Rowan redirects his girlfriend’s wrath back to himself. “She was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Fearne points at me, says, “You put my boyfriend in danger again and I’ll kill you. I mean it.” She raises a cloud of dust as she pivots on her heel and heads back to the Academy, her footsteps a battle song.

Rowan faces me. “She doesn’t actually mean it. She’s just worried about me. She gets pissy when she’s worried.”

“That’s pissy?” I trap a laugh in my throat. “I thought that was murderous.”

“Don’t worry about Fearne.” He bumps my shoulder. “She might mean you harm but she’d never actually do it.”

I’m about to say I don’t believe him when Guy comes sprinting towards us. He skids to a stop just shy of crashing into me.

“I’m alright,” I say before he can ask.

Guy and Rowan have a silent conversation of raised eyebrows, frowns, and back slapping; I think Rowan tells Guy he’s unhurt but I don’t exactly understand the exchange.

“Where did they find you?” Guy asks me. “The Numen?”

“In Fray’s house,” I reply quietly.

“Was she there? Was she with them? Was it Discordia?”

I look at my scuffed shoes. “Can we talk inside?”

Without waiting for an answer, I start for the front steps. From the corner of my eye I see Rowan shake his head at Guy, telling him what I can’t. Fray wasn’t there. Hopeless, I reach out for her, following the ribbon of our connection until I get to the frayed edge. I knew I wouldn’t find her but that doesn’t stop me trying and breaking my heart.

Rowan shouts after me, “Shit, Yasmin, I forgot what I came to tell you.”

I wait for him to catch up. “Didn’t you want to apologise for being a ‘complete dick’?”

He laughs through his nose. “Yeah, I did. But I also wanted to tell you about my mums’ cottage.”

“Why?”

“It’s creepy. It’s in the middle of a forest. It’s a cabin in the woods situation.”

“Um. Cool?”

“No, I mean my mums have a creepy cottage far from here. I know it’s a long shot but it’s drenched 
in Majick signatures; it could have drawn Discordia there. I thought we could start there.”

“Start what?” I swallow the lump in my throat.

“Looking for Fray.”

He means to actually, physically, look for her. It’s written on his honest face that he believes Fray can be found. I look at Rowan for a long, long second and then I burst into tears.


The Dryad of Callaire, by Saruuh Kelsey
The Legend Mirror, book 2
YA fantasy
Release date: 18/08/15


 The Legend Mirror series returns with more mythology, more danger, and more Majick as Yasmin Wikke sets out on a quest to find her missing girlfriend. 


Reeling from the fight with Discordia, Yasmin and the Red search for answers. Who is Discordia? Why were they stealing Majick? And where have they taken Fray and Priscilla Hannam, a Legendary swept away in the midst of battle? To get them back, Yasmin will have to ally with both Gods and strangers, and go to extreme lengths.


Fray and Priscilla have been stolen, taken to an impossible place that is slowly changing them. Their captors are monsters with venom in their teeth and bloody hands, and they want to use the girls to win a war. But armed with a terrifying and empowering new ability, Fray will die before she becomes their pawn.




About the Author:

Saruuh Kelsey is the author of several novels for young adults, including the free Lux Guardians series and The Legend Mirror series. Find her at http://saruuhkelsey.co.uk/


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