Back cover for Winter Queen

Monday, April 29, 2013
Pick which section do you like better for the back cover for the hardcover:

Option 1: 
“I know you, Ilyenna. Know you as I know the language of the storms, the frost flowers that bloom in the ice, the sleeping sighs of the bears in their caves. You think of yourself as a healer. But as a winter queen, you will become a destroyer.”

Ilyenna could only stare at the terrible beauty of the fairy.

Chriel fluttered her wings. “The powers of winter will allow you to save yourself and the ones you love. But there is a price. Before, you hadn’t become winter yet. To do so is to be reborn. And after that, you’ll never break free.”

“I’ll no longer be human?” Ilyenna asked.

Chriel cocked her thimble-sized head to the side. “You will give up your humanity. All of it—your memories, your emotions. You will be shattered, melted down, and reformed into something new.” The fairy paused, looking sad. “To save yourself and the ones you love, you will have to lose them.”

Option 2: 

The water was so cold it drove the breath from Ilyenna, sending her whole body into a cramp. Her lungs burned with fire. Trapped beneath the layer of ice, she slammed into the riverbed before hurtling into the ice. The water dragged her along its jagged surface—so close she could see the pale winter sky, the dark trees framing it like lace. She clawed at the ice, numbly aware of the sting as one by one, her fingernails were ripped off.

Then, by some miracle, the ice broke above her. She bobbed along in the water, too weak and cold to fight the current. She bumped against another sheet of ice, and the water started sucking her down. Clawing at the icy snow, she bent herself in half over the ice. She couldn’t pull her legs from the river. She dug into the crystallized snow with her blue hands, trying to call for help. Her voice refused to work.

This is how I’m going to die, she thought.

I just typed "The end"

Friday, April 26, 2013
The first draft of Witch Fall is done! And the ending is so beautifully heart-wrenching.

This deserves a blog post in and of itself. 

That's not to say I'm done with the book. I don't even know if I'm halfway done. I still have to flesh the story out-I'm missing at least three chapters that I need to go back and add (I bet I need to add 20K words). And the story is kind of a mess. I have LOTS of editing ahead of me. 


BTW, have you added Witch Fall to Goodreads yet

Help me brainstorm Witch Fall's cover

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Witch Fall is due out this October, which means it's about time to get started on the cover. I plan to have Laura Sava, who did Winter Queen, finish the last cover in the series. 

I want all the books to look like they belong together, so we'll utilize the same tones and feel. There are two-ish options I'm considering. Let me know which one you like best in the comments.

Option 1: the pendant featured in the center with plant leaves and curly vines around the outside. Featuring a magical object is something that's done a lot in high fantasy novels. Some examples: 
The Gray Wolf Throne (Seven Realms, #3)
The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy, #1)Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)

The magical item signals to the readers that the book is a high fantasy. Some of them are simpler than others, but one of the main jobs of a cover is to give you a visual story about what the novel is about. 

Option 2: Feature Lilette, much as Senna is featured. Because Witch Fall is a prequel, I thought I'd have her looking back toward us. I'll keep some of the same elements--namely, the warm earth tones, the pendant, one of my fantasy landscape on the back cover, the eyes that follow you. In each shot, the "camera" is further back, so Lilette's whole body would be featured. I'll try to incorporate one of the scenes from the book, I'm not sure which one yet. 

Option 3: Something different all together. Feel free to throw your own ideas out there!

YOU are beautiful

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I've been meaning to write this post for a long time. So when my fellow writer, CJ Redwine, posted the above video along with her own person journey to beauty, it finally propelled me into action. 

I'm going to start with an observation: Women like beautiful things. It's built into our makeup. It allows us to be artists and lovers and nurturers.

But the ability to see beauty can easily be twisted into a search for flaws, which turns our natural gift into a curse. But only if we let it.

Real, true beauty is something to be searched for. Something to be found.

So when you look into the mirror, do you search for beauty or flaws? I promise, you have both. Everyone does. But finding the flaws can only lead to unhappiness, while discovering the beauty will only add to your beauty.

So your homework, look in the mirror, and tell me how you are beautiful. 

I'll start with what I see: Surrounded by thick, long eyelashes, my beautiful brown eyes pop with hints of green when I wear the right colors. My hair is long and soft. My features are dramatic and bold, much as my personality is. My ears are cute. My lips full and smiling. My figure is long and lean, with just a hint of curves. 

Witch Born's fancy new description page

If you like books like The Iron Fey seriesBorn Wicked or The Girl of Fire and Thorns, I'm sure you'll enjoy this one. ~Deea from Deea's Journal

It was so refreshing to read high fantasy that's still accessible. ~Melanie, Goodreads reviewer

Amber Argyle has again put me under her spell with the truly beautiful and lyrical way in which she writes. ~Cath from Book Chatter Cath

Witch Born completely blew me out of the water. I LOVED it. Honest to goodness, love. The writing is beautiful and it put all kinds of gorgeous pictures in my mind.The cover of this book is just perfect for one of the best most beautiful scenes in the book. ~Aimee, Amazon Reviewer

Product Description:
Brusenna thought it was finished. 

She defeated the Dark Witch, saving the Haven Witches from imprisonment and death. She found love and a place to belong. 

She was wrong. 

Haven is not the sanctuary it appears to be. Even love is in danger of slipping away like water through cupped hands. 

Some things can't be saved. 

A new threat merges with the old as the Witches' dark history begins to catch up with them. Only Brusenna knows the extent of the danger and how to stop it, though doing so might cost her everything. Including her life. 

Will Brusenna be required to make the ultimate sacrifice?

Winter Queen and sex

Thursday, April 11, 2013
I'm always nervous right before a book is released. I pour my heart, soul, and sweat into a book, and I hope people love it as much as I do. 

Winter Queen is a little different than my previous two books though. The tone is much darker. There's more violence. And there's one sex scene. *cringes* Let me be clear: THE SEX IS "OFF SCREEN". But it's still there. Because it has to be. 

You see, one of the themes in Winter Queen is the treatment of women. It wasn't very long ago that women were thought of as a commodity (we still are, in some places/situations). I wanted to explore that in Winter Queen. So Ilyenna, cherished daughter and leader that she is, is basically thrown to the wolves to save the majority of her people. 

So why the sex? Well, rape was and is one of the ways women are controlled. Ilyenna gets tired of having the threat of that thrown in her face and decides to take control of her own body in the only way she can. By choosing how and with whom. 

I explore the consequences of that decision, but I can't get into much detail without spoiling parts of the book for you. 

So why choose to write this book in the first place? 

I remember watching Last of the Mohicans as a young teenager. One of the characters, Alice, watches her love interest die, and then is faced with a choice: kill herself or be forced to marry--be raped by and bear children for--her father's murderer. That theme--that choice--tore at the core of me, at what it meant to be a woman (note, the movie/book also explores what it is to be a man--a theme I also play with in the novel).

And I had to wonder, were those really the only two choices Alice had? What if she'd just waited few minutes longer? What if she'd survived that moment? What would have happened next?

That's what Winter Queen is about. I hope that girls, women, and mothers can see past the "oh my gosh! There's sex in this book, ban it!" and see the themes woven throughout are there for a reason. I hope young girls can read this book and realize that the only person who owns their body is themselves. 

And they ALWAYS have a choice--one that doesn't have anything to do with a cliff.

Just a little hint, Winter Queen's ebook has gone up for sale early. *nervous!* We've been having problems with the print version, but hopefully the paperback will follow soon.

Winners! Lots of them! + Support David Farland

Wednesday, April 10, 2013
I've had a lot of contests on my blog lately. Thanks to all those who have participated in any way. I'm sorry to say that at some of the winners didn't actually complete their entries (if you weren't notified, you weren't one of them), so alternates have been chosen (FYI, I always check to make sure people have actually completed the task).

And on to the winners:

Signed paperback copy of Witch Born:  Alisha M Blanchard
eBook of Witch Song: Atmika
eBook of Winter Queen: Jen 

ARC of The Elite by Kiera Cass: Crystal Woodmancy

Winner of a signed ARC of Winter Queen from Goodreads: Sallee Ellen Glickler

Winner of a signed ARC of Winter Queen: Julia Rain 

On another note, my friend and mentor, David Farland, has a son who is in a coma. The medical bills are adding up. To show our love and support, we're holding a book bomb. More on that below: 

A Book Bomb is an event where participants purchase a book on a specific day (in this case, Wednesday, April 10th) to support the author, or, in this case, a young person in serious need: Ben Wolverton. 

David Farland’s young adult fantasy thriller NIGHTINGALE has won SEVEN awards, including the Grand Prize at the Hollywood Book Festival--beating out ALL books in ALL categories. It is available as a hardcover ($24.99), ebook ($7.99), audio book ($24.99), and enhanced novel for the iPad ($9.99). 

My review: Once again, David Farland proves himself a master of words. Nightingale is a book to read slowly, savoring the delicate balance woven between beauty and despair, hope and hopelessness. 

The main character, Bron, seems to be teetering on the edge between master villain and hero, showing the reader how fine the line between good and evil really is. 
You can see the full review for Nightingale here

Or for my fellow writers, I can attest to the awesomeness that is Dave's book on writing: 


You can donate money to Ben here: 

(Or you could purchase a book as a gift for someone else.)


The best way you can help is by spreading the word of Ben’s donation page, and/or this book bomb. Share it on facebook, twitter, pinterest, your blog—anywhere you can. Invite others to the event. 

Thanks for supporting Dave and his son, Ben. 

Witch Song new description

Tuesday, April 9, 2013
~As the seasons crumble, the last witch must fight to save a world that hates her.~

In WITCH SONG, Amber Argyle makes a riveting debut, creating a fresh new world full of wonder, peril, and splendor. I found WITCH SONG to be positively engrossing from the first page to the last. I'm convinced that this is just the first book in what will be a long and prosperous career! ~David Farland, NYT Bestselling Author

I can honestly say that I haven't gotten this lost in a fantasy world since the Harry Potter series. . . . Amber Argyle for me, has earned herself a rank equivalent to the best fantasy fiction authors of this decade. ~Cory, Antidrug Reads 

Product Review: 

The Witch's songs control nature--everything from the storms to the shifting of the seasons. Or at least they did before the witches were all captured by a traitor. As the echo of their songs fade, the last witch must find the traitor, fight her, and defeat her before nature completely descends into chaos.

Witch Song is a debut with an engrossing world full of magic, adventure and romance. It's a story that fascinated me with its unique witch lore and rich world building, and introduced me to some great in-depth characters. ~Katie, Mundie Moms

Argyle's ability to create a world in which the power of song is used to create magic, is not only masterful but brilliantly clever. ~Suz, Soul Unsung 

***Brusenna's journey continues with Witch Born, available now.***

What do you guys think? 

{Review} Sweetest Dark (Shana Abe)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Review from Amazon:
Lora Jones has always known that she’s different. On the outside, she appears to be an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl. Yet Lora’s been keeping a heartful of secrets: She hears songs that no one else can hear, dreams vividly of smoke and flight, and lives with a mysterious voice inside her that insists she’s far more than what she seems.

England, 1915. Raised in an orphanage in a rough corner of London, Lora quickly learns to hide her unique abilities and avoid attention. Then, much to her surprise, she is selected as the new charity student at Iverson, an elite boarding school on England’s southern coast. Iverson’s eerie, gothic castle is like nothing Lora has ever seen. And the two boys she meets there will open her eyes and forever change her destiny.

Jesse is the school’s groundskeeper—a beautiful boy who recognizes Lora for who and what she truly is. Armand is a darkly handsome and arrogant aristocrat who harbors a few closely guarded secrets of his own. Both hold the answers to her past. One is the key to her future. And both will aim to win her heart. As danger descends upon Iverson, Lora must harness the powers she’s only just begun to understand, or else lose everything she dearly loves.

Filled with lush atmosphere, thrilling romance, and ancient magic, The Sweetest Dark brilliantly captures a rich historical era while unfolding an enchanting love story that defies time.

{My Review} 

The Sweetest Dark has some unique lore. The world is very well detailed and I was completely transported. 

The love is a love triangle--but it's not the usual trope of two boys who love me/want to eat me/fight over me, etc. Instead, this story had a unique twist that I absolutely loved. I can't tell you what it is, because that would ruin it. Suffice it to say that what Abe did is very hard to pull off, and she did it beautifully.  

Abe's voice is very poetic and beautiful. I really enjoyed how quickly Lora grew from a waifish character to someone who knows what she wants and who she is, and is completely willing to fight for it. 

I recommend you add this to your reading list. 

PS I love historical fantasies--being transported to a time in history has always fascinated me. Adding magic is just the icing on the cake. We're going to be seeing a lot more like them in the near future. 

YA Scavenger Hunt Spring 2013

Thursday, April 4, 2013

YA Scavenger Hunt
Welcome and hello all you treasure seekers! 

I'm Amber Argyle, author of the Witch Song Trilogy, and my new trilogy which starts this June with Winter Queen (you can sign up for the blog tour on the tabs bar above). 

In addition to the amazing prizes offered by the hunt, I'm also offering another signed copy of Witch Born + an ebook of Witch Song + an eARC of Winter Queen + an ARC of The Elite by Keira Cass (keep reading to find out how!). That's 4 books on my blog alone!

Also, Witch Born is on sale for $3.99 the hunt. On a personal note, I turn 33 next year, which I'm pretty excited about!
Confused about anything hunt related? Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. Basically, there are TWO contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or both! I am a part of the BLUE TEAM--but there is also a red team for a chance to win a whole different set of twenty-five signed books!


Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the blue team, and then add them up (don't worry, you can use a calculator!). 

Entry Form: Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by April 7th at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

Whew. Now we're done with the rules, let me introduce you to Diana Peterfreund! 

Diana is the author of eight novels for adults and teens, as well as several critically acclaimed short stories and a handful of essays on popular children's literature. She grew up in Florida, and lives with her family in Washington, D.C. When she's not writing, Diana enjoys taking long hikes with her dog, Rio, reading, working in her garden, watching far too much Netflix Watch It Now, and being addicted to Twitter. Her website is

For this hunt, Diana is featuring her newest book, For Darkness Shows the Stars. Here's a little more about it:
Fans of Divergent will love Diana Peterfreund’s take on Jane Austen’s Persuasion set in a post-apocalyptic world.
In the dystopian future of For Darkness Shows the Stars, a genetic experiment has devastated humanity. In the aftermath, a new class system placed anti-technology Luddites in absolute power over vast estates—and any survivors living there.

Elliot North is a dutiful Luddite and a dutiful daughter who runs her father’s estate. When the boy she loved, Kai, a servant, asked her to run away with him four years ago, she refused, although it broke her heart.

Now Kai is back. And while Elliot longs for a second chance with her first love, she knows it could mean betraying everything she’s been raised to believe is right.

For Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking YA romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.

Sounds like a fantastic book! Find out more about Diana Peterfreund here or purchase her book here!

Diana's exclusive content is an excerpt from the companion novel (out in October) called: Across A Star-Swept Sea. Go here: and use the password Helo to get in!

For the hunt, add up all the favorite numbers of the authors (mine's hidden somewhere above!) on the blue team and you'll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize! And don't forget to enter the two giveaways I'm hosting here
First, enter to win a copy of Witch Song, Witch Born, or Winter Queen below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Next, click here: to win an ARC of The Elite by Kiera Cass.

Lastly, keep going on the hunt by checking out the next author: MAUREEN MCGOWAN

Cast saws CAN cut skin

Monday, April 1, 2013
On Feb. 19th, my seven-year old son broke his femur due to a non-ossifying fibroma. The whole experience was rather traumatic for him, so he was understandably nervous about having the cast removed (he's come to associate doctors with pain). We assured him that cast saws are specially designed not to cut skin. Still, he refused to let the tech near him, and we had to hold him down.

He kept crying out that it was cutting him. The tech assured us that wasn't possible, but I insisted on checking. There were cuts on his leg--like very deep scratches.

She claimed she'd been doing this for 18 years and never cut anyone. It must have been some fluke. When she switched to the other side of the cast, she cut him again. By then, she was to the point she could insert the guard again, or I wouldn't have let her continue.

All the research I did indicated that cast saws couldn't cut skin. That is simply not true.

*edit 8-29-13: I've been told that these are actually burns because the saw became too hot. I'm not 100% sure I believe that, because it didn't look like burns. Also, he did scar.

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