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Archive for the ‘Emerald Fire’ Category

It is now the 1st of March 2019. What happened to two months? I know I’ve been occupied with the new granddaughter, but really? I’ve let my blogging lapse and and have really slowed down on other things.

However, I will focus on the good things. I’ve been baking. Yeah, I know weird.

I am fascinated by yeast breads cooked in pans so I tried crumpets (delicious) and English Muffins. I also made hot cross buns (oven). The English muffins, though, were a winner! None were left for freezing or toasting.

Here are some pictures of the muffins and the crumpets.

These are the crumpets.

 

I’m not sure what’s happening with my display options on WordPress. Sorry about that.

Yesterday, I had a ‘me’ day and I tried sourdough bread (oven based). I’d been working on the starter for about five days and tried out a recipe. It takes a long time to make sourdough bread according to the recipe I used. It’s an American method — long and complicated. I’m going to try it again as I ended up with two smallish loaves. I’ll make one big one instead.  Delicious by the way. I probably stuffed it up somewhere but so delicious. Worth the effort. The first picture is of the loose dough, which has to be folded every 30 minutes, six times. The second shows the dough getting tougher as it is folded and the last is my first loaf, which was a bit small and pancake like. I had an issue transferring the dough to the hot dutch oven. I tried a smaller casserole for the second loaf and it turned out great.

I also subscribed to a You Tube channel on sourdough bread making and I might try that method too. I’ll put the links below in case you are interested.

I’ve been playing around with the 100 day goal approach to things. My insights so far is that I have way too many goals. I think it is useful though, I’m just not good at doing a little bit each day. And having a newborn baby around certainly kept me distracted. I’m more like–today I will do X and only do that. Sort of binge goals!

Other things I’ve managed to do so far. I finished my Kimono quilt, which was one of my goals. I had another quilting goal that I have not moved, but I did do some sewing. Baby hats to be specific. The shops did not have new born sizes.

The house is a little tidier and I’m working on the motto of a place for everything. At present everything that doesn’t fit goes in the garage and that’s now full of guff!

My phd progress is slow. I won’t say zero but close to. I’m on a break so that’s okay. I was planning on keeping the fires burning and the novel ticking over. I’m also tutoring again. Just a few hours over two days.

I managed to get Ruby Heart in print and Emerald Fire published and also in print. I have one more book to do in the Silverlands series and I can get them printed, too. I am doing a book signing in Sydney in March so time is going well. My job for the next few months is just to keep the indie publishing stuff ticking over as I need to focus on the PhD novel–the next draft. Then I’m free to write what I want. Yay! Or polish something I’ve already written.

I tried the Kindle Unlimited route with Ruby Heart and Emerald Fire. I did all the things, advertising and cross promotion but I don’t think it’s worth keeping the series in Kindle Unlimited only. I will be putting the books out on other platforms when time has expired.

I recently had a promotion of Argenterra (England, Canada and Australia) with the new covers and I’m pleased to report that a good percentage of people are buying the rest of the series. That’s such a good feeling. I love the Silverlands series but I was beginning to think I was the only one.

I am also trying a ACAP machine for sleep apnea. It appears to be working. I don’t feel as tired and my cognitive ability has improved. I am also getting longer periods of undisturbed sleep. It’s only been a few days. Apparently in another couple of days I will feel the full benefits.

I had a lot of other things to blog about but a can’t think of them right now.

Here are the links.

I love cooking (Ireland)

The Kitchn- sourdough starter recipe

Sourdough bread recipe

Many thanks to Emma from Kitchn.

I also used this recipe for English Muffins for the Thermomix!

English Muffins using the Thermomix

And the crumpets using the Thermomix

Crumpets using the Thermomix

And if you are interested in Ruby Heart or Emerald Fire, they are steampunk themed, with gothic horror and a bit of romance. Think-manners, magic and mayhem.

Currently only on Amazon.

Ruby Heart

Emerald Fire

 

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I am happy to report that Ruby Heart is currently free on Amazon until February 4.

A book of manners, magic and mayhem.

I have also put Emerald Fire up for preorder, with a release date of 28 February. I am slightly behind schedule but it’s worth it.

I am helping my daughter with her new baby and have been distracted. So pop on over to Amazon and get your free copy.

Ruby Heart for free                                                                               Emerald Fire for preorder

 

amazonamazon

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Time seems to fly by so quickly these days. Some kind of inverse perception. When I was a child time passed slowly. Now, I can’t believe how fast.

I wish it would slow down.

For me, 2016 was an interesting year. Lots of changes in my life. I left the work force and started a PhD in Creative Writing. I had done my sums, and of course, things change so sums are often being trimmed and rearranged. Do I regret leaving work? Hell no! It was the best thing for me physically and mentally. Of course I miss the huge $ I was making but there was a cost involved. I’m content.

I started the PhD with a vengeance–long days and it hurt too, but now I’m better at balance and I hurt less as a result. I actually felt good for many, many months and I was happy. I realise I can stay home and read and relax while studying instead of in a chair in the study centre everyday. I tried twice this year to get an APA and was unsuccessful, (APA is a stipend/grant for studying) and I have to give up applying now. It was a lot of work putting the application together. Hint do honours and you’ll be a shoe in, they are worth more than a Masters by coursework).  Now I have to look for part time work to fund me. I was hoping for some tutoring at uni but there are no guarantees.

One the writing front, I put out Argenterra in late April. It’s my epic, portal fantasy, that’s not dark (like Dragon wine) and is suitable for YA readers. It’s romance themed too. I thought I’d get the next two in the series out this year but that was a lot harder than it seemed to be when I thought it up. Book 2, Oathbound is with the editor (some delays there with editor moving house) and Book 2, Ungiven Land is awaiting one beta reader comments before being revised and sent to the editor. I’m thinking they will be out in the first half of 2017. I was so thrilled to get those books written. Finish drafting my first trilogy!!! (15 years in the making) Wohoo! Next year, when the books get published I’ll see how the hybrid, indie, self-publishing gig works for me.

Under the name, Dani Kristoff, I was published again by Escape Publishing, this time with Invoked. It’s the third and last book in the Spellbound in Sydney series. I thought this book was coming out next year so I was so happy to have it come out in December. I have one more book to write under Dani Kristoff and then Dani might retire. I enjoy writing the sexy paranormal books, but you have to have a big enough audience to make it worth your while and frankly, I don’t. I’m proud of those books. Invoked was the hardest thing I’d ever written. Nearly chucked it out. Rewrote it almost completely. It taught me a lot about writing. Although it is dark, especially compared to Spiritbound which was light and bright and lovely.

So for Nanowrimo I wrote another Space Pirate book. This time starring Opi, Rae and Essa’s mother. It’s fun and I like it a lot. I’m going to publish this myself.  Escape aren’t selling enough of the other books, Rayessa and the Space Pirates and Rae and Essa Space Adventures to acquire it. But I’m totally cool with that. I want to publish it myself. It’s a bit of light fun. I’ve kept it sweet level in case any YA readers happen on it, but it’s longer 55,000 words and features older protagonists and space pirates….

Also in December, I dusted off the draft of Deathwings, book three in the Dragon Wine series. I’ve booked it in with the editor that Momentum used for the first two books and I’ve got book 4 booked in too. So fingers crossed I’ll have them out in 2017 too. I have to meet the editor’s deadlines!!! Both books are mostly written. I had to dump about 10,000 words from book 4 and I did that over a year ago (then Phd happened). It was starting off too slowly according to beta readers. I have not written a word of the last two books  (5 & 6) and that will be my side project for the rest of 2017. Around other writing and the PhD and part time work if I get any.

I have three other books in completed draft form. Into the Dark Glass (YA fantasy) is currently with a skilled beta reader. It’s the most ready to go somewhere. Cold Soldier (SF Romance) – I haven’t touched this in nearly a year. Needs a new beginning and a revision. The Tainted Lady, my attempt a Regency romance needs a revised beginning and a revision then polish, then beta readers etc. Ruby Heart is still looking for a home but I’ve a mind to write Emerald Fire (the sequel) or actually finish writing it. Half written I think. I have a couple of other things started but may have to wait years before I revisit them.

I have my PhD novel to write too, which will get drafted during 2017. I think all this other writing helps me refine my craft so the PhD novel will benefit.

I have to prepare for my confirmation seminar in March so I’ll be busy with that in January and February and maybe before New Year. It’s my first piece of work that gets assessed and the foundation for the PhD. I will then be officially one year into the PhD too. My surveys that are part of the PhD are going great guns. Need more responses though.

Along with the rest of the world, I’m processing terrorist attacks, the US election, Brexit, war in Syria, Australian bloody politics and views on refugees, deaths of fav actors and musicians. May we weather these things and find 2017 a better time to live in. Highlights, Jane Austen Festival in Canberra, RWA Conference in Adelaide, Shanghai visiting my son in October and presenting a paper on Twitter poetry in November. Also, I am standing for GUFF ( Going Under Fan Fund), which is a fund to send people from Australia to Europe from SF conventions or a European fan to Australia) and there are some great candidates this year all vying to get to the SF World Con in Helsinki in August. (link below)

Downside some work injury related stuff that I won’t blog about until resolved. Worst thing ever!

I’m still addicted to Twitter and Facebook. I’m the world’s worst gardener, besides the Dweeb and I totally failed at sending Christmas cards this year. I’m pleased to say that this year  for me Christmas isn’t about excess as it usually is. My two daughters are vegans and we are having a small gathering this year so less meat, less waste, less money spent. I kinda feel good about that. I will miss my son, who is in China and two of my grandchildren and their mother who are in Perth this Christmas.

Most of all I want to say, I wish you well and happy and prosperous this Christmas, end of year, New Year. I am grateful for my health, my wonderful family and friends. My excellent partner Matthew (the Dweeb) and for those of you to interact with anywhere in the world and on the internet.

Maybe I’ll see some of you at the ARRA convention in Melbourne in February.

 

More info on GUFF

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Emerald Fire is the sequel to Ruby Heart (currently looking for a home with trusty agent). This is a young adult (maybe) steam punk, Victorian gothic horror, romance (yeah!). I don’t normally posts bit of my work, particularly first drafts, but I’ve just opened up Emerald Fire, which I started two years ago. After  that long a break, I still love the opening.

Edit: Ah alas. I had to take it down. I realised that it contains spoilers. So sorry.

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