Jan 102014
 

Tour-Button-Valerie

Welcome to Valerie Douglas’ The Coming Storm Blog tour.  Check back to The Finishing Fairies daily to find out where she’ll appear next.

swish

Excerpt from The Coming Storm

 

At the end of the causeway she turned toward the Hunter’s and Woodsmen’s camp which was nestled between the castle and the river itself. Some were about the chores that such folk needed to do when they were at home – mending tack, honing weapons or training new recruits.

“Hai, Ailith, fairest of the fair, sweet rose of Riverford, a delight to the eye and the heart,” a voice caroled. “Were it not for my own fair lady, my heart would be yours.”

Restraining a smile and rolling her eyes, Ailith turned in the direction of the voice.

“Oh, Gwillim, go on with you,” she said in mild exasperation.

The leader of the Hunters grinned, sweeping off his hat in an elaborate bow, difficult to do in the saddle. Tall, lean and rangy, as happily mated as any she knew, Gwillim flattered every woman he met, but her in particular, teasing her as always. She was neither fair nor anyone’s definition of a sweet rose. Which he well knew.

Well used to it, the other Hunters in the party laughed or grinned.

“Ah, were I not mated…,” he began.

“Leave off, Gwillim!” she exclaimed, restraining a grin.

She was blushing. Again.

Between the others, coin changed hands.

Sighing with resignation, she guided her horse to Gwillim’s side.

“Really Gwillim?” she said, but he simply smiled and finally she had to laugh. “All right, are we about this?”

With a quick glance at the others, he nodded, grinned unrepentantly, and led them out to the north and east, sobering somewhat as he got down to business.

“The reports we have,” he said, “now speak of more than one boggin. So you know.”

He would’ve briefed the others as they waited.

Frowning a little, she nodded acknowledgement. “My father pointed out you were off after a boggart just last week.”

She hadn’t ridden out with them then, having been busy in the town hearing a complaint between two merchants. It had been a tedious and foolish argument, but difficult to find common ground between the two to settle. If she’d had to choose between the two, listening to the querulous people involved or hunting the notably vicious boggart, she’d have chosen the boggart over the boredom.

Gwillim said grimly, “Aye and a nasty one it was. We chased it back into the borderlands, but it gave us a difficult time all the same. It turned on us, going after Vi’s horse. She nearly went down.”

Startled, Ailith said, “A boggart? That’s not like a boggart.”

Mean and vicious, roughly man-shaped and going about on two legs, a boggart would attack a lone man with no fear but run from a group unless it was cornered or in a pack. Cornering a boggart was a highly dangerous thing to do, as they were quick, had nasty claws, and even nastier teeth. Gwillim was too canny to corner a boggart in such a way it would turn on them without having everyone’s bows at ready. A dozen arrows would’ve pierced the thing before it could have turned on them. It had turned on them, then, during the chase.

“Well I know it. Nothing’s like anything of late,” Gwillim said, worriedly. “Such things are becoming common. I don’t like it, but I can put no name to it.”

Ailith didn’t like it either, something about it made her uneasy. It seemed as though, lately, a great many things left her unsettled and she didn’t know why.

Of a lighter and merrier nature than either of her parents, such disturbance wasn’t her nature. As with her misgivings over the man who’d ridden in that day. There was nothing overt to give her pause, yet she’d taken it. That bothered her. Still, there was little she could do about it, save wait to see if a reason presented itself. For now, she had boggins to consider.

 

about-the-book-valerie

Elon of Aerilann, Elven advisor to the High King of Men, helped negotiate the treaty between Elves, Dwarves and men. He suddenly finds that fragile truce threatened from without by an unknown enemy and from within by old hatreds and prejudice. With the aid of his true-friend Colath, the wizard Jareth and the Elven archer Jalila, he goes in search of the source of the threat.

Ailith, the Heir to Riverford, fights her own silent battle. Her father has changed, but her quest to discover what changed him puts her life and very soul in danger and leaves her only one direction in which to turn. Elon.
To preserve the alliance, though, Elon will have to choose between his honor, his duty and everything for which he fought.

Amazon | Goodreads

series-buy-links

A Convocation of Kings (The Coming Storm, #2)

 (The Coming Storm, #3 (Novella))

 (The Coming Storm, #4(Novella))

meet-valerie-butt

valerie-douglas-001Valerie Douglas is a prolific writer and a genre-crosser, much to the delight of her fans. A fan of authors of almost every genre from Isaac Asimov to Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, she writes classic fantasy, romance, suspense, and as V.J. Devereaux, erotic romance. Who knows what will pop up down the road!

Happily married, she’s companion to two dogs, four cats and an African clawed frog named Hopper who delights in tormenting the cats from his tank.

You can find more information at Valerie Douglas Books, or at Alexandria Publishing Group.

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Jan 072014
 
2014

2013 was a topsy-turvy year.

I did a lot of things wrong.

I didn’t release a new book.

I didn’t write consistently.

I didn’t utilize my time wisely.

I spent far too much time on Facebook.

I didn’t complete NaNo…all three times I attempted it.

But I also did some things right as well.

I finished a short story for The Alexandria Winter Anthology 2013 (it’s about a werewolf, you should read it!)

I read lots of books on writing theory.

I reconnected with some longtime friends and made some great new ones.

I moved into a great new place in a wonderful neighborhood.

I started back to school.

Yes, you read that last item correctly.

I, a *mumblety-five mother of 3, have started college. Not only that, but I’m pursuing a double major. So maybe with the move and the start of classes I have some excuse for not getting much writing done this year. But I don’t accept that.

Quite frankly, I floundered. I let myself get stifled by fears of not being a good enough writer and the stress of having to produce something publishable.

So looking forward, I give myself permission to suck. I give myself leeway to produce unimaginable garbage only fit for the litter box. I give myself permission to write what I feel like and not what I think I ‘should’ be writing.

What I do not allow myself is permission to not write something. Every.single.day. Even if it’s just a blog post like this. I’m writing again.

And it feels good.

 Posted by at 9:25 pm
Dec 132013
 
Image via Morguefile

Lately, I’ve been reflecting upon the past year. Things I have done, things I haven’t, things I definitely should have done better.

One of those things is this blog. I need to add content more often. I need to write more short stories. I need to…engage.

I struggle with what to say. There’s only so many times you can whine about stuff before you get sick of yourself. And if you’ve reached that point you’ve already alienated most of your audience.

I see bloggers who post everyday and their posts are so lively and entertaining, and I have no idea how they do it. Most days I’m too tired to do more than stare blankly at the screen while trying desperately to think of something….anything…to say.

So, today I decided I’m going to make a list. It’ll be as long as I can make it with as many ideas for posts I can come up with. And I’ll post at least one them a week.

Does anyone want to help me come up with some? :)

 Posted by at 1:48 pm
Sep 072013
 

 

It’s funny how things can go. Even with my lovely new office space (which I FINALLY got set up) I haven’t gotten much writing done. *sigh

I’ve tried all sorts of things: exercising, meditation, taking a complete break from writing, forcing myself to sit and stare at the blank screen, reading books on theory or characterization or how to write the bestest.book.ever, etc. I’d get a couple hundred words out and then….nothing. Every story I tried…and I’ve tried 4 or 5 this summer…have petered into nothingness.

Now, if you’ve read my other posts, you know that I’m a sporadic writer at best. I don’t think I’ll ever be what you call prolific. But I always managed to get SOMETHING down, even if I did switch projects. But not this summer.

I could offer excuses. We just moved and were still settling in. We acquired a new puppy soon after moving in. This house is a lot more ‘active’ than the old one. Et cetera. Et cetera. Et cetera. But it’s all sophistry. If I really WANTED to write, that’s what I’d do.

So I need to delve into the reason why I don’t want to write. Is it fear of failure? Fear of my second story not being as good as the first? Is it fear that the first one wasn’t really that good and the more books I put out the more people are going to find out I’m a fraud?

Seeing a trend here? It’s fear that’s stopping me. Fear of disappointing people. Fear that I really can’t write.

So what do I do? Well, I can either hide in my Cancer-crab shell or I can force myself to face my fears. So far the shell is VERY cozy but I’m working my way out.

What about you guys? Anyone have any tips on overcoming fear?

 Posted by at 12:08 pm
May 312013
 

Guess what! In June, APG (http://alexandriapublishinggroup.com/) is one! We’ve had a blast for this first year, bringing you some of the best indie writing out there, and next month, we’re going to do some really neat promotions and share some really nice things. And there’s a surprise competition with kick-ass prizes! Won’t you join us? Kick off our first year into our second and watch us go from strength to strength.
And with a wide range of authors and service providers, Alexandria Publishing Group really does have something for everyone!
https://www.facebook.com/events/358470317598416/?ref=14

 

Nike’s Wings by Valerie Douglas

Nike’s Wings is on sale! For a limited time, only $0.99!
Five Stars! Wonderfu

l, March 20, 2013
“Want more. When is the next book coming out? Good start to a continuing series that has wonderful potential for many more.”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005GHE94K
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005GHE94K

 

onesmalltouchfinalAlso, One Small Touch will be FREE for the VERY LAST TIME starting tomorrow. You won’t want to miss this!

http://www.amazon.com/One-Small-Touch-ebook/dp/B00ANNRK66/

 Posted by at 6:14 pm
May 222013
 
935285_10152844074805198_749075325_n

April held an unexpected surprise for my family. We got a terrific opportunity to move into a much larger house in an extremely nice neighborhood for roughly the same amount we had paying at the old place. No brainer right?

So my April plans for doing Camp Nano were derailed while we packed and cleaned and moved and unpacked and settled into our new area.

May, I thought! May I can do my own Camp Nano! So far that hasn’t worked out in my favor either. I have gotten some writing done but it’s really been sporadic. There’s just so much to do around the new place, new locks, new light fixtures, hanging things up, more unpacking, and all the cleaning. Plus, while the house is bigger it’s also noisier so I have a hard time getting into the ‘zone’.

But yesterday things changed. Our longterm houseguest left (he’d been staying with us since December) and I now get his room as my writing space. I can go in there and close the door and write to my heart’s content. And I only have to share my space with the cats, who’ve also laid claim to the space.

This should up my word count considerably. At least until the next guest arrives. :)

 

 Posted by at 12:03 pm
Mar 132013
 

Writing is a different experience for each author.  And you find your expectations for your book can change many times. While writing, while editing and even after you’ve released it on an unsuspecting public……err published it.

With One Small Touch I didn’t know what to expect. The story changed every time I wrote. It started as a mystery. Morphed into a romance. And then morphed again to touch on the paranormal. So I’ve never really been sure what it was. Is it a romance? Is it a suspense/mystery? Can I properly call it a paranormal when it makes up so little of the story?

This lack of a clear definition disturbs me and makes marketing it difficult.

I also had expected it to contain a full-blown sex scene (or two or ten) at some point. But the story didn’t lead to that.

Part of the issue is that I ‘pantsed’ the story. Meaning I had no clear idea of the story before I started. All I had was a scene in an alley. An epilogue to the story that was at the very beginning. The rest of the story was supposed to lead to that point. But again, my expectations weren’t met and I wound up scrapping that initial start to my story and going in a completely different direction.

I had thought my heroine would be tough. Able to handle herself in a sticky situation. She wasn’t. She folded like a cheap suit when things got rough.

But you know what, all that’s ok. I’m proud of One Small Touch. It may not have been the story I had expected to write. It may not fit into any neat peg and the heroine may not kick anyone’s butt. But the story is engaging and the writing’s top notch.

Sometimes expectations aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

Feb 182013
 
DCF 1.0

I read a book this week that was the third in the series. I don’t normally start a series with the third book, but this was a mystery series about a private detective so I didn’t think much of it. I should have. While the plot was interesting and the characters unique, the author didn’t feel the need to give any background on said characters.

One character I only know two things about, the main character trusted her enough to leave her pet with (I’m not even sure if it was a dog or cat) and this same character likes pictures of dead people. You can imagine how confusing this was to me.

Another character could have been an FBI agent or a mafioso. Again, I couldn’t tell you for sure. I thought he was one at the start of the book and the other by the end.

I did finish the book, the story was sufficiently interesting that I didn’t give up in disgust. But I’m very glad I picked it up as a freebie, if I had paid for it I’d be pretty peeved.

Still I must thank this author. It was a timely reminder to consider my audience and not just assume they’ll have read One Small Touch when I start working on Nicki and Kyle’s story.