books

Update on Book IV: The Other World

I’m please to be able to report that line edits have commenced on book four, moving it along to that happy happy day where I get to share it with the world.

The tale grows ever more epic:

Here: In Demona, the Guardians go to the Dale, a place of old magyc locked away in past, in hopes of finding the Man of Tongues, a sorcerer of myth who they believe may have the power to send them across worlds. They get more than they bargain for, learn more than they asked for, and in the end, they must make a terrible choice: Aethsiths, or Ria?

There: in the Other World, Maria Westerfield’s past comes back to haunt her when one of her friends is murdered and a mysterious symbol she never thought she’d see again appears written in his blood. The Girl Who Came Back must figure out what to do before everyone she loves is destroyed by the things she thought only existed in dreams.

Everywhere: all those who wield magyc are drawn together to battle Demons, Wardens, and their own dark secrets to keep the Placer of Pieces and his Men in White from extinguishing the light of life called the Path. Assassins, Witches, princesses, Makers of Marks and even Death Himself all attempt to divert the fate of this world, but everything hangs on the choice of one girl in…

…The Other World
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I’ll probably be handing out treats like giveaways and sneak peaks, so be on the look out for those!

Until then,

May the Path keep you!

❤ DragonBeck

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Hooked

A calamity has befallen this world, an epidemic of epic proportions that more people should be aware of…

…it starts slow, no big deal, but before you know it, it grabs you in a tight grip and drags you into an unreal place that gets more and more difficult to get out of with every hit. You lose touch with reality as it consumes your mind, miss your whole life going by without you. All the good sense of everyone who loves you falls on deaf ears and all you can think is “Just one more…just one more and then I’ll quit.”

But you never do and another day comes and goes and another night passes by without your notice and you suddenly look around and wonder where you are, where did the time go, what happened to you?

Everything that mattered to you before you got hooked – your friends, your family, your future, being a rock star, doing something decent with your life, all those things like “One day I’ll go to Paris and kiss someone at the top of the Eiffel Tower” or “Camp under the stars watching the Northern Lights” or “Race a Lamborghini along the Great Wall of China” – these all fade as your life is taken over, sucked into the black-hole of insatiable craving, leaving no room for anything or anyone else…

…That’s why you should never start reading books, kids.

Also, stay away from Libraries,

And don’t befriend any Writers

And More Doors

Hello there. I have not been very attentive these last few weeks, but I have a good excuse and a longer post to make up for it. I have been very busy with the mundane functions of this world, and then I got sucked into a black hole of rearranging my furniture, and after than it was all kind of hazy. Nonetheless, I am here for you now, to serve and entertain, as is my duty and calling.

The last Ink Slingers Meeting seems like another lifetime ago. I vaguely recalling bringing cookies – chocolate chip white chocolate chip toffee walnut delectables – and according to one who doesn’t eat cookies, these were the most tempting goodies I have brought, to entice one to deviate to the dark side. They were delicious, if I do say so myself.

Erika made us tweet (all in the spirit of love, friendship, and shameless self promotion):

It was a smaller meeting, quiet, but no less fun or productive. I am going to be a beta reader (super excited about this) and I hope I prove worthy of the task.

Moving forward, to last weekend:

…and rewrites are a go! The cover will of course feature a door (hence the title of this post) and I feel as though my life is a parade of magical doors as I search for the perfect one. If any of you have a particularly spectacular picture of a particularly spectacular door, and you wouldn’t mind letting me use it, go ahead and send it my way!

And finally, as a reward for reading all the way to the bottom, here’s the first writing exercise, with (you guessed it)…more doors!

Generate, stasis, tinkle,

The three figures grouped around the towering flames clasped hands tightly to
contain the ribbons of magical energy. Three worried faces were bathed in blue
and purple light, jaws clenched, eyes fierce. Each of them had the same thought:
if the spell did not generate enough power to open the gate, they would be stuck
forever in this world. Bastion felt sweat tickle down his face, and he clenched
the others hands tighter, fighting the urge to pull his hand away and wipe his
brow. He wanted to call out to his friends, but the roaring in his ears – or
perhaps it was his own head – made that pointless. He was just going to have to
trust that everyone was doing their part and everything was going as it should.
Suddenly, a quiet descended, a stasis in which all was frozen, everything still.
Bastion’s eyes widened despite the fiercely glowing fire, and with a creak and a
whoosh, the world imploded. A black star grew in the fire, wild gusts of wind
pushing them towards the darkness. From far away, the tinkle of bells called to
them, and pushing away his fear, Bastion leapt into the opening door.
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❤ and hugs, DragonBeck

Warmup to the Great Doom – 2nd Writing Exercise

On this last day of February (that’s 1/6 of the year gone already!) I give you the second ISG writing exercise.

I like this one for a number of reasons. First, I managed to get a dragon in there! Second, I managed to get “xenophobia” in as well – one of my favorite words. Third, the title amuses me 🙂

As a grammar note courtesy of Jen: as “warmup” is being used as a noun, it’s one word. When it’s used as an adjective, there’s a hyphen, and it becomes “warm-up”.

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Gargoyle, warmup (my word), doom,

“This is just a warmup to the great doom the overlord will unleash on the
world.”
Gredden tuned out the droning words and looked around at the gathered creatures.
They had come from all corners of the known world, unicorns and centaurs from
the south, gargoyles and goblins from the north, elves from the west, dwarves
and trolls from the east. Gredden was the only representative for men, and every
time he glanced at his fellow representatives he felt more and more inadequate
and useless.
“We must unify to protect ourselves,” the old centaur continued in his booming
baritone, the silver beard falling to his navel, his front hoof punctuating his
words. Grumbles greeted his last statement, as the proud races immediately threw
up figurative walls of distrust and xenophobia. It took a long time for the
centaur to restore order and a measure of quiet for him to continue speaking,
but as he opened his mouth, a shadow fell over the gathering.
Gredden looked up along with all assembled to behold the awesome and terrifying
sight of the gleaming scaled form of a red dragon coming in for a landing.
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One final word – I should be getting book four of Guardians of the Path back from my editor any day now, so I’m really looking forward to that! I’ll keep you updated on how that’s going, when it will be released, and maybe have a sneak peek or two for you!

❤ DragonBeck

Doing a Little Author Stuff…

representin

This past weekend, I went with Jen to represent Witching Hour Publishing and the intrepid Ink Slingers Guild at an art walk (thanks to Wordier Than Thou for putting this on!).

It was very nice to get out, meet some new people, and be around books and authors. As you can see, we had an impressive array of our own books on display and for sale:

5 Ink Slingers Annual Anthologies,  including the most recent – 2016’s Serenity Rising,

The Guardians (Gargoyles Den Book One) by Lisa Barry,

My Home on Whore Island by Dalia Lance,

Klauden’s Ring by J.M. Paquette,

The first three books in the Guardians of the Path fantasy series by Nicole DragonBeck (yours truly),

and Waitress: a Memoir by Angel Woolery.

It was a little chilly, but Jen had a handy-dandy blanket she lent me, and our own very personal delivery service brought us hot chocolate and cheese quesadillas (thanks Remi!). We even got a little plug in for Stories My Friends Started – one can never have too many of those!

All in all, it was quite fun! I hope to see you at some point out there in the great wide world – I’ll remember to bring my gold pen and sign a book for you!

❤ DragonBeck

 

Disguises

chain, math (my word, inspired by, you guessed it, Alanna), petticoat (had to look that one up)

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“What is this thing?” Trina grumbled as the mounds of fluffy white entrapments
were pulled over her head and down to her waist.
“They call it a petticoat. It goes over the knickers and under the skirt,” Berra
said as she thrust a pink monstrosity with too much lace at Trina.
Trina took it and held it out as far as she could, as if she could avoid the
humiliation if she didn’t let it touch her. She preferred chain mail and
leather. What had her life come to?
“Why are we doing this?” she asked in a petulant voice as Berra found a pair of
soft slippers, and something that looked like a tadpole, with a curved tail.
“Do the math,” Berra replied, her voice patient, though her wary eyes kept
darting to the door, fearing to be found out at any moment. “This is what people
wear in this realm. If we were to stand out, or look out of place, Lord
Blackthorn and his usurping thugs would have us in an instant. Instead, we have
to blend in and bide our time. Make friends, secure our position, and then, when
it suits us, we will make our move…”
“And cut out his still beating heart from his chest and send his head on a pick
to that ogre in fair form that sits on our father’s throne,” Trina finished with
relish.
“Yes, but don’t talk like that, I don’t think they’ll like it, and you have to
wear your hair like this, or they’ll be able to see your ears,” Berra had
started fussing with Trina’s blond tresses.
“What’s wrong with my ears?” Trina demanded as she managed to unfurl the tadpole
and found it to be some sort of lacy shield. “And what is this?”
“It’s called a parasol, and there’s nothing wrong with your ears,” Berra assured
her. “But have you seen what their ears look like here?”

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That’s all for now, folks! If you’re interested in reading more, check out the Stories My Friends Started site, and if you’re into a full-length fantasy novel, check out the Guardians of the Path series!

❤ DragonBeck

New Year’s Resolutions, 2017

So here we are yet again, at the birth of another year, and as it is our goals and dreams which pull us along through continuum of time, I shall endeavor to set forth mine for 2017.

I will, of course, carry over anything which I failed to get done in 2016, but I’m going to be more concise this year, as I want to have some time left to actually go out and do these things, not just write them down.

So, here goes:

  1. Write. A lot.
  2. Read. Not quite as much as I write, but at least some.
  3. Keep Erika happy with my quota of Stories My Friends Started (if you’d like to help me with this particular resolution, go to Storiesmyfriendsstarted.com, and give us a sentence to start!)
  4. Write/publish stories in the much-anticipated sequel to The Death of Jimmy – The Purge of Jimmy (coming soon).
  5. Write/publish stories in Super Useless (coming sooner).
  6. Get my 2017 anthology in on time and within the specified word count.
  7. Publish Book IV of the Guardians of the Path series.
  8. Write first draft of Book V of GOTP (and dare to hope it will be published at the end of the year).
  9. Write a novella series (or two).
  10. Savor the coffee. Let the Force flow through me…
  11. Spend lots of time with my family.
  12. Spend lots of time with my amazing companions in the Ink Slingers Guild, drinking tea, laughing, and being awesome.
  13. Be awesome in general.
  14. Spread the awesomeness.
  15. Bake yummy things.
  16. Make some good memories.
  17. Do something that I haven’t done before.
  18. Go somewhere new.
  19. Don’t spend too much time on the internet (very important).
  20. Find that dragon, and travel the world a-dragonback (from 2016).
  21. Take over the world (also from 2016).

And there you have it. Now it’s on the internet, and I can be held accountable for it come the end of the year. I doubt that will stave off the procrastination – alas, it is in the ink which flows through my veins 😉

I do wish you all a very happy, happy year in which you flourish and prosper beyond your dreams! I look forward to sharing it with you!

❤ ❤ ❤ DragonBeck

A look at 2016…

While 2017 is loading, I’m going to take a moment to have at 2016, and what I said I would get done (as delineated in my New Year’s Resolutions blog post):

1. Take over the world. (This is in progress, will update later, because you know what they say: if I told you…)

2. Smile a lot. ✓

3. Drink lots of coffee. ✓

4. Publish a novel. ✓ (and ✓ – I published two, Ria’s Mark and Omens, available on Amazon.)
GOTP_FirstMagyc_eBook_Final_Sm ria's mark omens_ebk_sm-2

5. Get my ISG anthology story in by the deadline. ✓

6. Write some Stories My Friends Started. ✓ (and you can read them here.)

7. Maybe publish two novels. ✓ (…what I said back there.)

8. Find and tame a dragon. (also I/P)

9. Travel the world a-dragonback. (See #8.)

10. Make magic. ✓

11. Write, every day. (Sort of every day. I wrote every day in spirit, so ✓.)

12. Read, when I get the chance. ✓✓ (I read a lot this year, Harry Potter #1, #2, #3, #4, and #5, and the Sword of Truth #3, #4, and #5. Highly recommend them all.)

13. Be awesome, always. ✓ ✓ ✓

14. Spread the awesomeness. ✓ (In the form of love, smiles, and cookies, @AuthorELance, @InkSligners2011.)

15. Treat myself once in a while. ✓ (I went to the movies, ate some chocolate, took a long, relaxing bath.)

16. See Star Wars. ✓ (first thing I got done, documented here.)

17. Try some new recipes. ✓ (Sneaked that in right at the last minute: I made white chocolate macadamia cookies for the first time yesterday 😉 )

18. Make new friends. ✓ (Irina, Brandon, Spencer, Gen, Jessica, Sally, to name a few.)

19. Eat good food. ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ (there are not enough ticks that I could put next to this.)

20. and chocolate! ✓ ✓ ✓

21. Do my part to help make the world a better place, before or after taking it over is fine. (I’d like to think my existence contributed positively to the world and the lives of at least some of the people in it, so ✓.)

***

Whew! That was a year –  and not that bad, really. I still have to find my dragon, but that was a pretty stiff target.

I hope everyone got to put at least a few ✓ ✓ ✓ on their list of conquests, resolutions, to-do list, or bucket list.

Now, I can’t just rest on my laurels, got to get started on my New Year’s Resolutions for 2017…stay tuned  for that 🙂

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the parties, toast to something worthwhile, and kiss the person of your dreams at midnight! For auld lang syne, peace and love,

❤ ❤ DragonBeck

Omens teaser V – The Guardians Hall

The Guardians of the Path Omens, published by Witching Hour Publishing, IS TO BE RELEASED IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS! (I appologize for shouting, but it’s really very exciting for a writer to have a third novel out).

And here is the final bit for you to enjoy before the whole book comes out.

I have nothing to say about writing particularly, except possibly the most neglected write tip of all time: write. Write your heart out. Write at midnight. Write outside. Write listening to music (or not listening to musci) or drinking coffee (or not drinking coffee). Write what you’d like to read and have fun. If you’re not having fun, you’re doing something wrong, because trust me, writing is the easiest part of publishing a novel! Cheers 🙂

As they passed through the great doors, the chill of the rift made the hair on Jæyd’s arm stand on end, and the flute in her hand burned hotter, warming her flesh. Luca frowned and even Timo looked put out. The halls were silent and dusty.
“I have taken up residence in the East Wing,” Jæyd told them. “It is more intact than the rest.”
They nodded, glancing around at the tomblike interior, the air thick and pressing.
“How is the library?” Cedar asked suddenly.
Jæyd grimaced. “Only a little better than the Garden. Last I checked, the roof had caved in at the back, and the glass in the windows blew out. The elements have not been kind to the books. I am sorry.”
Cedar was disheartened by the news. The last project he had been working on before he was called away was the restoration of the grand library. Luca slapped him on the shoulder.
“I’m sorry too, but I am not as gullible as Chesco was, so I won’t be helping you haul those book about,” he told Cedar. “But I think the exercise will be good for you.”
He walked on ahead, ascending the stair with light steps, throwing open the double doors to the East Wing. The others crowded close behind him. Jæyd noted that he still smelled like peaches. The long passage was dim, the only light coming from tiny slits up close to the ceiling. Silver motes floated on paths of light.
“I think it would be more fitting to move to the Guardians’ Hall,” Cedar said, his face wistful and eager.
“That place is not so hospitable,” Jæyd warned. “And it holds bad memories.”
“Then let us air it out with good ones,” Timo’s deep voice chimed in from behind. “We should not delay in returning the Torch.”
“Very well,” Jæyd acquiesced, but for a reason unknown to her a heavy feeling settled in the pit of her stomach.
Her feet followed a path she did not recognize. The passages and stairways of the Crescent Temple had minds of their own sometimes. Jæyd never did remember coming this way, though she knew that she had been within the Guardians’ Hall many times. The way was unfamiliar but that did not matter. The Temple wanted her to find the way to the Guardians’ Hall, and so it took her there.
They crowded into the vast room through the narrow passage. When she stepped into the Guardians’ Hall and gazed at it stretching out in all directions, the breath caught in Jæyd’s throat. The walls and floor were blackened with Demon soot. Two sets of footprints were still in the dust on the floor from when Jæyd and Luca had come through here before going to meet Cedar in D’Ohera, lonely signs of life in a dead world. The columns were silent guardians in their own right.
“It’s so large,” S’Aris said, her head tilted back as she gazed at the ceiling. “In the writings at the Coven, it describes the Hall, but I’d never imagined it was so big.”
“Writings?” Jæyd inquired.
“Letters and such from V’Ronica,” the Witch explained. “And the journal she kept. The First Guardian sent it back with her effects, after she died.”
A moment of silence met her words as the Hall remembered the Witch V’Ronica and her deeds. Whispers of her voice flitted through the air, ghosts of her form danced among the shadows. Memories that were as tangible as the stone the Hall was built of passed through their minds, foreign and lonesome. The Guardians were accustomed to this, but the others were disquieted.
“Where did the Torch stand?” Berria asked, her voice strained.

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Look for Omens and more awesome books published by Witching Hour Publishing, available now and available soon (as in, tomorrow!).

❤ ❤ Dragonbeck

The Translator

The last ISG meeting was a load of fun, as usual. The table is getting too small – there was hardly enough room for my treats amongst the tea pot, the cups, and all the computers. But we managed somehow 🙂

Many great things are on the horizon as this year draws to a close (it’s the middle of November already!! Yikes!) and a new one opens before us. Most of it involves copious quantities of writing, so my news may be scarce and scrawny. Bear with me, and it will be worth it, I promise.

Here are the writing exercise from the meeting. A continuance was in order, as you’ll see. Enjoy!

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silky, petrify (my word), microwave,

Put under a red moon in the microwave door to the best silky. Beil looked down, and squinted at what he had just read. The others were staring at him with uncertain expressions.

“What was that?” Heidi asked, a polite frown on her face.

Haam was a more direct. “Are you sure you translated that correctly?” he demanded. “Give that to me.”

The much bigger man snatched the paper from Beil, who stood as if petrified. Beil watched Haam glare at the message, challenging it with his bright blue eyes to give up its secrets. One day, Beil told himself in a furious but silent voice, one day I’m going to prove that I’m of some use to this expedition.

He glanced around at the others in the group, and tried not to feel inferior and worthless. Heidi was a magnificent witch, whose spells could protect the whole group even if they were under goblin attack. Haam was the best warrior in the six realms, and was proficient in the sword, bow, and hammer, all of which he carried on his person. There was Dorn, the tracker, Yelda, the seer, and Jaim, the Guardian of the Talisman.

Then there was Beil, of no great talent and no apparent value. __________________________________________

dictator, roam, apple

Beil watched Haam continue to glare at the paper, feeling more and more irritated at the whole world as the big man just stood there without saying a word. Beil was more scared of Haam than he would be of any cruel dictator, but if this continued, they would be standing here for the next three days as the warrior refused to give in and refused to grant quarter.

“Um, Haam?” Beil stepped forward in timid steps. “I’ve had an idea…”

He stopped suddenly, starting at Haam. Beil expected the man’s eyes to be be roaming the paper, searching for clues in the writing, but they were fixed, glassy, and blank. A lump the size of an apple obstructed anything but a soft gurgle coming from Beil, but his terrified look and shaking finger alerted the others to the problem.

A scuffle ensued as Dorn and Jaim attempted to wrestle the paper from Haam’s frozen fingers, and Heidi cast spells of protection and exorcism, all to no avail. Somehow, in the middle of the ruckus, Beil managed to wriggle through and snatch the paper from the bigger man. At once the spell was broken, but it took a while for them to notice Haam was now fine, and that Beil was holding the paper.

“You shouldn’t be touching that,” Heidi warned. “And don’t look at it.”

“He’s fine,” Haam frowned. “And he was trying to read it for a very long time before.”

Despite the insult, Beil felt a sense of satisfaction. At last, some use.

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I’ve still got a few more sneak peeks lined up for book III of the Guardians of the Path, Omens,  now avaialble for pre-sale on amazon, and I’ll try to keep up the updates, but I’ve got a lot of work to do. No rest for the wicked, you know 😉

Until then,

Rock on!

❤ DragonBeck