How to get an autographed copy + my next signing

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Janitors (Janitors, #1)

This Friday (Sept 28th) I will be signing with Tyler Whitesides (Janitors 1 & 2) at the Logan Utah Hastings from 7 until we run out of books.

I'll see you there. :)

Also, if you'd like an autographed copy of Witch Song or Witch Born but don't live in Utah (where I do 95% of my signings). I will personalize one and mail it to you. The cost is 18 for one book or 35 for both. Email me if you're interested: amberargyle at yahoo dot com

Cover Progression for Witch Born

Wednesday, September 19, 2012
*all images have been removed because people keep stealing them*
Lots of people have asked about the cover for Witch Born, so I'm posting pictures so you can see how Eve and I arrived on the most awesome cover of 2012 (does my humility astound you?).

 This was the first mock up Eve sent me. It sent me into full on squee mode. I mean, LOOK AT HER! I've been spoiled rotten in the cover department. I'm not sure I could ever use anyone but Eve. *sigh*

Still, I wanted to back up the focus a bit so we could get a little more of the story.

This was my second mock up. I loved how Eve had positioned Brusenna's hips. The hands, not so much. They kinda bugged me.

Below is the third mock up. I loved her hands like this, but I didn't want the pendant to be covered up, as it's a big part of all three of the stories. I was showing this mock up to a friend of a friend and she said, "Why does she need to wear the necklace. Why doesn't she just hold it."
Do you hear the angels singing? Cause I did.

YES! We have the hands. We have the pendant. Also, there's a part where she's wearing a dress made of fire. Can you make her dress out of fire? And can we have more variety with the moths? Also, glowing pollen all around her. Here's my pinterest link:

 Oh my *&%$! Get ride of the fire. I hate the fire! Instead, let's do a dress. I'm thinking red.

*image removed because people keep stealing the bleeping thing*

Oh. My. Gosh. Can I have that dress. Will someone please make me that dress? Also, more moths, please. 

Eve sent me a few sketches of the trees. I wasn't ever really happy, so I went back on Pinterest and found what I was looking for. I sent her a back to Pinterest. We had to mess with the size of the door a bit and add the flowers. And, viola! 
Okay, it may have been a bit more involved than that. But I'm tired of writing this blog post at this point. 

There IS NO love triangle in Witch Born

Wednesday, September 12, 2012
*note: this is a tad spoilery* People keep asking me about the love triangle in Witch Born. 

Just to clarify: there is no love triangle. In the definition in the dictionary (okay, I totally made this up. I'm an author. I make stuff up for a living) a love triangle is when a girl is conflicted between two (hot) men. One is usually the sweet guy next door type who she's known forever. The other is usually dangerous and irresistible. Honestly, love triangles kinda drive me crazy (most of the time). The girl usually picks the dangerous guy. -.- (<--this is a glare face, in case you didn't know)

To be with said dangerous guy, she has to give up/sacrifice a lot. Which is why it drives me crazy. A woman shouldn't have to give up anything important to be with a man. Instead, she should gain. Besides, who wants to live with a dangerous guy for the rest of her life. 

For Brusenna, there is no choice involved. She loves Joshen. Always have. Always will. Is Cord an option? At one point,  he's the only option. But at most, she's conflicted about whether Cord is even a friend, let alone a boyfriend. 

Cord is more like a . . . hot hindrance (have I mentioned how much I adore alliterations-even almost alliterations?). He's a good guy who's been put in a really bad spot and he does the best he can (insert author guilt-those of you who've read it know what the guilt is for). 

So there. When people talk about the love triangle in Witch Born. You can tell them there isn't one. 

Sort of. 

Yeah, I'm definitive like that. ;)

Witch Born Release Day! Read the first 5 chapters

Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Not sure whether to read Witch Born or not? Now you have the chance to read the first 5 chapters. Plus you'll have a chance to WIN a copy of Witch Born at each stop. BONUS. What are you waiting for. GOGOGO!

Start with:
Page Turners-Chapter 1  

Chapter 5 continued . . . 

Gasping, Senna tried to sit up, but blankets tangled her limbs. She fell to the floor with a thud and kicked her way free. Her shift was spotless. Lifting her shaking hands, she stared at her clean skin, her pristine bandages.
But her fingernails were torn and bleeding, and she was covered in scratches and welts. Her hand throbbed.
She hadn’t actually been there. It was just her soul. What had her mother called it—Traveling?
But if her soul had died, what would have happened to her body? Suddenly dizzy, she rested her head against her drawn-up knees. A sharp ache stabbed her chest. She felt so out of control. So helpless. It was as if the Four Sisters—the source of her power—had turned against her. Was it some kind of punishment from the Creators, for failing to convince the Discipline Heads to save Tarten?
One thing Senna knew—she needed answers. That required help, and the only person she trusted was Joshen.
What if her attacker was still watching? But there had been only two of them, and one was either dead or badly injured. One person couldn’t watch her all the time, could he?
She fumbled to dress, found her damp cloak, and wrapped it around her shoulders. Then she slipped from her tree house. She ghosted down the path at a jog, breaking all the brand-new rules the Discipline Heads had put in place—rules about Apprentices and Guardians, rules about going out alone after dark.
Twice she had to dart off the trail and wait for other Witches to pass. When she reached Joshen’s tree in the Guardian quarter, she tapped on the window. Nothing. She tapped louder. After her fifth try, he stumbled to the window and stood looking down at her, his chest bare. At the sight, a warm tingle spread from the top of Senna’s head to the tips of her toes.
Moments later, he opened the door. After she’d slipped inside, he locked it behind her. “Senna?” he said, alarm in his voice. “I told you not to go out by yourself. What if your attackers had been waiting? You’re not even supposed to be here.” He pulled the drapes shut but then peeked out the window. “I don’t think anyone saw.”
“I heard the other Witches again.” Senna wrapped her arms around herself. “Maybe I shouldn’t have risked it, but I’m tired of feeling helpless. I need to figure out what’s happening to me.”
Joshen took her hand and led her into his bedroom. His tree was short and rather fat, so everything was on the same level. “What did you see this time?”
Feeling awkward, she sat on his rumpled bed and told him of her second experience Traveling.
Joshen took a deep breath. “Senna, I want to help you, but I don’t know how. I’m not a Witch.”
“Were you watching me the whole time I was in the Ring of Power earlier?” she asked carefully.
He nodded.
“And I was there the entire time? I never…disappeared?”
He blinked a few times. “No. You just looked like you were asleep. After a while, you stood up, all graceful, like a dance. I didn’t realize at first you were even singing, it was so soft. When you were loud enough to understand, Drenelle started to panic. She shouted for you to stop, but it was like you couldn’t hear her. I almost left cover to see what was wrong, but Drenelle is one of the Heads, and they made it very clear we’re to stay away from the Apprentices. Besides, you didn’t look like you were in danger.”
He said the last bit apologetically. She bumped his shoulder with hers. “I only asked because I wanted to know how much of me really Travels.”
“Isn’t there someone you could ask?”
Senna studied her hands fiercely. “I tried with my mother—she won’t tell me. The Heads are already keeping the truth from me. It’s almost like they’re afraid of something—afraid of me.” She knew that was ridiculous. “If they were going to tell me anything, they’d have done it by now.”
Joshen rested his palm against her back. “Is there no one else?”
She grunted. “There’s always Espen…” She’d meant it as a joke, but as soon as she’d said the words, she straightened.
He shook his head. “Oh, no, Senna. We can’t trust her!”
She took his hands in hers. “But if I really can Travel…what harm comes in trying?”
He shot to his feet. “What harm? The woman would’ve had me kill you!”
“Joshen, I’m in danger now. Can’t you see that? The other Witches sang for the earth to swallow me whole.”
He trembled with rage. “What if these other Witches find you again?”
“I refuse to live in ignorance and helplessness.”
He started pacing back and forth across the room. Senna waited for his anger to fade. Eventually, he thumped down beside her. After a while, he rubbed the stubble on his face thoughtfully, and she knew she’d won.
“You’re not really with her, are you?” he asked. “I mean, she can’t hurt you, right?”
She tried to quell her fear. “Joshen, I turned her into a tree.”
 “I thought it was over,” he muttered.
Senna was grateful he didn’t seem to notice she hadn’t really answered his question. She rested her head on his shoulder. “So did I.” She was beginning to understand that her power came with a price—a burden every Witch born bore, especially one as strong as her.
He kissed her hair. “When do you want to try?”
Joshen winced. “She’ll ask for some sort of payment—just don’t give her anything that would put yourself or anyone else at risk.” His hold on Senna tightened. “It’s going to be all right.”
By the Creators, she’d missed him. “How do you know?”
“Because I’ll make sure of it.”
She smiled and tipped her face back for a kiss. He brushed his lips across hers. His lips were so soft. He leaned his forehead against hers. “You can do this.”
Senna scooted back until she sat in the center of the bed. “You won’t leave me?”
Joshen took her hand. “No.”
She took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and listened for the music she knew was there, just under the surface. Leaving her body came even faster and clearer this time, almost as if the Four Sisters had been waiting for her. Waiting to take her back.
But she shifted her destination away from the mysterious island, speeding across the ocean in a blur. Within the space of a few dozen heartbeats, she was in Tarten again, in a clearing now bereft of trees. Save one, a kind of weeping willow whose leaves formed a faultless circle. Without ever having to touch it, Senna knew the bark was as soft as flesh.
The branches shifted aimlessly in the breeze. The once-glossy leaves were now covered in a crusty blight. Half of them seemed to litter the base of the tree. Wetting her lips, Senna stepped forward, leaves crunching underfoot. “Espen?”
The tree heaved a little as if stirring in its sleep before going still again.
“Espen,” Senna tried again.
This time the tree seemed to rouse itself. Senna almost felt it looking at her. The leaves quivered as if in recognition. The branches snapped toward her.
Senna had prepared for this reaction. After all, she was the one who’d forced Espen into this form and stolen her song.
The branches struggled as if against an invisible current, but Espen was in essence a plant, and plants obeyed Witch song. Though the Dark Witch trembled with anger, she couldn’t move.
Espen retreated into herself. A clump of bark dropped from her trunk. With a start, Senna realized the Dark Witch was dying. The drought wasn’t just killing the Tartens.
Suddenly, Senna didn’t feel frightened anymore. She could still feel Joshen’s hand in her own. And for once, she was in control of the situation. “I have questions the Discipline Heads refuse to answer. As payment, I can ease your suffering. Water. A song to take away the blight.”
Her eyes never straying from the tree, Senna crouched down and brushed the ground free of leaves, revealing dark, dry earth.
Espen slowly stretched a branch forward and wrote in the dirt. “Free me.”
Anger flashed through Senna. “I can’t free you. And even if I could, I wouldn’t. The Creators took your song, remember? You have no fruit and therefore no seed.”
The leaves rustled as she wrote, “Not save from life.”
Senna opened her mouth, closed it again.
“Free me!” Espen wrote in deep gouges.
Senna stared at what remained of the Dark Witch until the tree stained her after vision. “It’s no more than you deserve.”
Espen didn’t respond.
Senna took a deep breath. “Fine. I will come to Tarten and free you.”
Espen seemed to sag in relief.
“What is Traveling?”
A branch came forward and scratched against the earth. “Obvious.”
Senna grimaced. “That’s what I’m doing—Traveling? How do I control it, stop from being attacked?”
The branch stabbed at the same word, “Obvious.”
“No. It isn’t. I could have died tonight!” Crouching, Senna brushed the word away and jabbed at the blank earth. “Tell me how to stop it, how to protect myself.”
With exaggerated slowness, Espen wrote, “Witch song.”
Senna stared at the words as the simplicity of it crashed down on her. Espen was right. It was obvious. You fought Witch song with Witch song. It wasn’t a perfect solution. Her song was strong, but not as strong as the whole of those other Witches.
“How is this possible that I can Travel?” Senna whispered.
Espen bent forward and wrote again. “Creator touched.”
Senna’s breathing came faster. She’d been right. More than just her song was changing. This was bigger than just taking Espen’s song. “What happens to someone who is Creator-touched?”
The branch scratched a single word into the ground. “Death.”
Senna’s breath caught in her throat. Was this what she’d overheard the Heads speaking of? Weighty as the rectangle of earth above a grave, the word lumbered from her mouth. “Death?”
The wind trailed Espen’s branches.
Senna’s gaze narrowed. “You’re just trying to frighten me.” Still Espen didn’t answer. “Why would I believe anything you have to say? You’d gladly see all the Witches dead.”
The tree rustled and the branch scratched in the soil. “Not dead. Rulers!”
Senna flinched. How often had she thought the Witches were meant to be more than a cluster of frightened women hiding on an island? Their songs transformed the world, and mankind hated them for it. “And the hundreds of other Witches outside of Haven?”
Espen went very still, so still the breeze didn’t seem to touch her.
Senna rose from her crouch. “I’ve felt them. On an island much like Haven.”
The tree strained forward. Espen swiped the earth blank and wrote, “Don’t know.”
Senna glared at the trembling tree. “You know something.” If Senna didn’t know better, she’d think Espen was afraid.
“Impossible,” the Dark Witch wrote.
“What’s impossible?”
Espen didn’t answer for a long time. Finally, she wrote, “Calden. Lilette.”
Senna stared at the unfamiliar words. “What do they mean?”
Espen lifted a shaking branch. “Fulfill bargain first.”
So Espen wouldn’t tell Senna anymore until she came before her. “Please,” Senna couldn’t help but ask.
Espen made no answer.
Take me home.
In the space of a handful of heartbeats, the wind carried her across the ocean, back to the room where Joshen sat waiting for her. Senna took a gasping breath.
Joshen started. “Did it work? What does Espen want as payment?”
Senna stared at him, her eyes moist. “She wants me to kill her.”
 Witch Born Links:

Witch Born Comes out tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012
*insert happy dance* 
If you're doing a review and you'd like me to post a link on my blog, send it to my email amberargyle at yahoo dot com
Here's one: 
Good review! Woot!
And 10 up on Goodreads, all 4 and 5 stars.

This is such a relief. I mean, you think your novel is amazing and special and powerful, but you never know if the majority of readers will agree with you. When a book is first released, I'm always hungry to know how it will be received. Looks like my thoughts matched up with my readers. Huge sigh of relief.

I've had a couple people ask me if Witch Born is the last in the series. It's the last of Brusenna's story, but I'll be telling another character's story in a short novella, which I've already started working on. Witch War is already on Goodreads and you can add it here:

As for what's next, we're starting edits on my next book, Winter Queen, next month. It's the first in the Fairy Queen trilogy. Winter Queen is darker and older than Witch Song, so I'm a little nervous to see how it's received.

Both books come out 2013. 

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