Tag Archives: eleanor morgan

Book Review: Shameless Begging

Hey readers…quick request. If you read either The Cardinal Gate or The Waning Moon, can you pretty, pretty please go post a review for them? I don’t care if you didn’t love them. (If your last name is Cissell, though, you can’t leave a review.)

It doesn’t have to be much. Just pick a title (This book was aces!) or (I liked it alright) or (Meh), a star-ranking, and a couple sentences that make it sound like you actually read the book. (If you didn’t read it, don’t review it. That’s weird.)

You can set up an anonymous name and I’ll never know who you are. I promise you won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t like it. I’ve heard a lot of negative things about my books (and more than enough positive things to balance it), but reviews are really awesome to help indie authors like me gain traction.

I really appreciate everyone who’s supported me by buying, downloading, and reading…and I’d appreciate you so extra hard if you’d review.

(Pssstttt…I’m gonna be doing a HYUGENORMOUS giveaway involving three signed paperbacks and a few other fun goodies as soon as The Cardinal Gate gets to 50 reviews…we’ve a ways to go, though, so don’t hold your breath.)

In the meantime, I’m trucking along with writing and editing and eating regularly and sleeping and watching too many murder shows late at night when it’s windy and the branches scrape the house and things get blown into the doors. Still working on getting to my ideal state, but I’m feeling a little better about it today.

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Writerly Wednesday: The Ruby Blade updates

Last Saturday night, at approximately 11:30 pm, I sent my revised manuscript of The Ruby Blade to my editor. I managed to add almost 6,000 words in my rewrites last week and am pleased with how it turned out.

Even though it was late AF and I was tired, I still broke out my traditional bottle o’ bubbles to celebrate.

snapchat filter to make me look slightly less tired

Fortunately I had plenty of help along the way. In addition to my first readers, new intern Rupurrt Giles was exceptionally eager to take his place as my scribe.

Is that not the best bow-tie collar in the land?

In the meantime, I’m plugging away on book 4 (and I think I’ve settled on a title…reveal will be going out in my next newsletter!), drafting the outlines for my next series, and working on such an exciting editing project that omg, you guys! I can’t wait for you all to read it!

I feel like that’s keeping me busy enough for now, but just in case that wasn’t quite enough, I have some travel planned! I’m headed to Mexico next month for a 100% non-research trip, then Santa Fe in November for a 100% research trip (to finish off book #4!), and Ireland/Spain/Portugal next spring for an at least 50% research trip (that’ll be for Eleanor books 5/7).

I’m debating on whether or not to do NaNoWriMo this year. I’ve done it every year since 2013 and dedicated it to my dad each year (he was my first NaNo friend), but I’m not sure I can balance writing 1700 words/day with editing and working and momming and traveling and spending time with the beer guy. (hahahaha…of course I can do it! 2016 was the first year I did it while not employed full-time, and this job is much less emotionally and temporally taxing than my previous. talked myself into it. totes signing up.)

Writerly Wednesday: So Many Updates!

I have almost all my beta comments back and unless they’re fucking with me, this book isn’t as bad as I’d feared. (There is a point where you’re positive the words are the worst words in the absolute wrong order. I’ve seen this with more than one author of my acquaintance.) I’ll be wrapping The Ruby Blade up over the next few days and getting it to editor extraordinaire so she can rip it apart.

The Ruby Blade has a fairly firm release date of October 31 (hooray for Halloween!). It will likely be ready to go before that, but the week before, I’m going to be lounging on the beach in Mexico, eating my weight in tacos, and drinking margaritas-refreshing my spirit. Those are not the kind of activities I want to interrupt with constant “is anyone buying my book” refreshing.

I’m getting antsy to see the draft of the cover for the book. I mean, technically I told my cover artist that early September was fiiiiine, but dammit! I WANT IT NOW!

I’m just over 13K words into Book 4. (I’m not set on a title yet, but hopefully will be soonish; titles make me happy.) I’m really liking the direction this book is going. It’s 80% new material and 20% salvaged from my first draft of the original book three (which I split in twain).

I am tentatively looking at a mid-March release date for this one. Again, it’ll likely be ready a bit earlier, but again, travel plans and release dates are tricky.

The Beer Guy and I bought our birthday trip extravaganza tickets last week. We’re going to land in Dublin on my birthday, see as many historic sites, museums, fairy rings, pubs, cideries, and gin distilleries as is humanly possible and then fly down to Spain to celebrate the Beer Guy’s 4oth birthday drinking cider in the north of Spain. I am so excited about this trip. I have TWO Pinterest boards already. One for Ireland and one for Spain & Portugal.

If anyone has any recommendations for must-see spots in Ireland (we’re not sticking to Dublin, of course), northern Spain, or Portugal, feel free to leave them here!

My only other bit of writerly news is that my editing schedule for the next few months is starting to fill up. I’ve big projects in September, November, and January. I’m not taking anything big on in October because of travel/book release, but I’m open in early February and then starting in Mid March. I do have smaller projects interspersed throughout all those other dates for my most regular gig, but my next opening for something of a larger/longer nature isn’t until December.

I have three requests if you’re willing and able.

  1. Sign up for my newsletter (sign up in the sidebar) if you haven’t already. You’ll get access to the exclusive Raj serial that comes out once a month, you get snippets of stuff from WIPs (next month will have a section from The Ruby Blade). You’ll get the updated kill count in my ongoing battle with Colleen, release dates, cover previews, and title reveals ahead of the unwashed masses. In addition, you get book recommendations for other authors I think you’ll enjoy. (You’ll also know when my books are about to go on sale.)
  2. If you read my books, please, please, please go to Amazon and review them. (Unless your last name is Cissell – that just won’t work.) I don’t care if you liked them or disliked them, any reviews are good. I’d really like to get over a 50 reviews minimum for these books because that changes the algorithms and helps my book show up sooner in searches.
  3. If you are interested in receiving an advanced reading copy of The Ruby Blade in exchange for an Amazon review, please comment below and I’ll get in touch with you when it’s time. (Please note that ARCs are unformatted and unproofed, so there will be some wonkiness.) Please include a note letting me know if you’ve read the other two books and link to any existing book reviews you’ve done in the past.

Thanks! You guys are the best readers and I can’t wait for you to dive into The Ruby Blade!

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Writerly Wednesday: Eleanor Book 4

I wrote book 3 of the Eleanor Morgan series in the fall of 2014. It wasn’t until I started looking at it after publishing The Waning Moon that I realized book 3 was actually two separate books; books that needed a great deal of work to make them acceptable.

I split it in half, but not evenly. What became book 3 was well over half of the original manuscript, and I spent most of July and early August writing in new scenes and rewriting the older ones. I have been informed by reliable sources that it’s not the worst thing I’ve ever written, and gods willing, the feedback that should start trickling in from my beta readers over the next week will give me the information I need to strengthen it even further before I send it off to my editor extraordinaire.

What that left me with was approximately 40,000 words that needed to encompass the last two gates and close the first major arc of the series. Instead of taking the tack I took with what ended up being The Ruby Blade (rewriting around what’s already there), I decided to start from – if not scratch – something as close as makes no nevermind.

Over the weekend, I finished my outline of Eleanor book 4 and got started writing. I’ll take some of the passages in part or in whole to add into the story, but it’s going in a slightly different direction than I’d imagined three years ago when I wrote the first draft.

I’ve also started my Pinterest board for this story, and you can see who I see in my head when I talk about Finn, Emma, Isaac, Petrina, Marie, Raj, Florence, and Eleanor. You’ll get a glimpse of the landscapes I’ll be writing in (and, in November, you’ll get to see photos I take as I do a location scout!), the characters you’re getting to know and some new ones that are coming along.

I’m hoping to release book 4 in late February or mid-March (to be honest, I think mid-March is going to be more likely as I may or may not have just purchased plane tickets to Ireland and points beyond for late Feb/early March), but I’m still a bit uncertain. It depends on how well this first draft comes together. I’m only about 6,000 new words into it so far, but it’s really coming together. I’m so excited about this project (at this stage)  and believe that it’s probably going to be one of the best things I’ve ever written. (Of course, when I’m doing the 2nd draft of it in a few months, I will be convinced that it’s the worst thing I’ve ever written, and will hate myself and everyone until it’s over.)

The August newsletter drops tomorrow (sign up in the side bar!), and with it, the latest Raj chapter, some news on recent/upcoming releases from members of the Illuterati (my author coven), and general news about my writing plans and release dates. (Psssttt…newsletter subscribers not only get access to my Raj serial, but will also be the first to see The Ruby Blade’s cover!)

This is how I assume my characters see me…

 

 

 

Hashtag Blessed

 

I was nervous all day. I tried to convince my author group that I was probably going to die. (Spoiler: I did not die.)

The Beer Guy and I sat at home and had dinner before heading on over to the bookstore, and I spent the last 30 minutes before we left bouncing around our home, trying to practice reading without hyperventilating, and freaking out about the possibility that I would mispronounce “geas.” (My PSM’s sage advice: “It’s not ever really used so no one will know.” She also helped me figure out how to correctly pronounce it, because she is aces.)

My other pre-reading activity:

A glass of white while practicing reading.

At one point, it occurred to me that I read aloud almost every evening. Sure, maybe it’s to my five-year-old, but that counts, right? I decided to pretend I was reading to a bunch of children, and that actually really helped.

The Beer Guy and I got to the bookstore about 20 minutes before I was due to go on, and Elisa, who is one of the nicest humans in the world, helped me get set up and gave me more wine (and a bottle of water) to calm myself.

MY BOOKS! ON DISPLAY!

The room filled up with friends (thank you all so much), Elisa introduced me, and then it was go time. I’d picked out three selections. One from The Cardinal Gate to introduce Eleanor, and two from The Waning Moon.

It wasn’t until about 30 seconds into my reading that I realized that Eleanor swears like a motherfucking sailor. I mean, I knew she wasn’t avoiding the cursing, but until I had to read out loud in front of a roomful of people, I had no idea how many times she says fuck on a single page.

This is my “what? another motherfucking swear word?” face

I think it went well. I tripped over a couple words (but not geas!), but everyone laughed when they were supposed to laugh and no one fell asleep or wandered off. After I was done reading, there were questions. A fair few! And good questions!

My captive audience mingling while I was signing…

And then it was time for signing. I signed a dozen or so books, got to catch up with people I hadn’t seen in a while, and apparently had a great time.

A few of us headed down the street to celebrate me surviving my first public reading with pink champagne (courtesy The Beer Guy, who really knows me well), snacks, and excellent conversation. The five people who joined me are five of my favorite Portlanders (I have ten favorite Portlanders…only half could make it), and it was so nice to see them all together.

A regret I often have is that I don’t take enough pics of my friends when we gather together…

It was an amazing evening, and I’m so glad I did it! I am so lucky to have so many wonderful friends who gave up their time and money to come listen, ask questions, buy books, and spend time celebrating with me. One friend brought me the perfect tote bag:

So appropriate, because my uterus hates me AND my author group has termed itself the “illuterati”

My friend and fellow illuterati author Mel Sterling brought me flowers, gave me amazing advice, took some nice photos, and asked good questions.

At the end of last evening, I posted this on my Facebook author page:

And for everyone who insisted on photos and video – you have The Beer Guy to thank for that. He’s the one who uploaded everything to FB last night. He also calmed me down, carried all the heavy books, made the reservations for the post-signing drinks, and procured the bottle of champagne. There is no way I could’ve done any of this without him. I really am #blessedAF