Sunday, November 25, 2012

Tweaking... an obsession? or just striving for perfection?

Once you have penned your article, novel, poem, letter, do you keep on wanting to 'fix' things?
I am a perennial tweaker. No day goes by without wanting to re do my last sentence. Today I am writing a short spiel for a newsletter. A spiel about me... the hardest thing to talk about. Do you think I can walk away from my 'finished' piece?

Other authors I know can put aside their work once the ink is dry.
Some days I wish I could do the same.
Is it lack of confidence? Is it wanting to reach perfection? In writing, or any form of art, perfection surely does not exist. Interpretation allows for imperfection. In painting as in writing. We are a channel for experiences, both visual and written. Everyone would and should relate any scene with focus on different aspects. So why do I worry?
Bottom line. I do worry and can't see myself stopping any time soon.

This week I woke from a nightmare with a new idea on how to improve the opening scene for Book One of the Chronicles.
Does it need improving?
I had some feedback that perhaps it does. So, I worried and came up with an idea.
Each of the other books in the series, so far, have a minstrel introducing the story. Bringing the reader up to speed. One review comment suggested the lack of back-story kept a younger reader from understanding where the action began.. so perhaps a minstrel opening the first book could help there?
The back story is sprinkled through the first few chapters, but if the younger reader didn't get that far, I have a problem. So, for one reader I lie awake at night wondering how to improve things.

Here is what I have come up with.. anyone who has read EXILED: Autumn's Peril, it would be great to know if you think this start helps...
LATEST VERSION  of opening scene from EXILED: Autumn's Peril

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Francene Stanley talks about moonstone magic and STILL ROCK WATER...


Francene, welcome to my blog.
It is an exciting time. The ripples from the release of 
STILL ROCK WATER 
have barely settled and your second novel in the Higher Ground series has just been released too. 

Congratulations are in order.

Today I would like to talk about Still Rock Water. I have read this book and your ability to create a believable character in Liliha impressed me. 

Her situations and the magic of her moonstone ring make a great story. 


How much of your own experience have you shared, in this novel?
Good question. My reply would be nearly every part of my life. Here's why Australia inspired the novel:

Australia formed me. Born in sunny Adelaide, I thrived warm and free. In the nineteen forties, I learned to make do with what life presented, to fit in with my peers whilst retaining my individuality. Fostered by the discipline of the classroom, Girls' Brigade and Sunday school, I grew tall and strong entertaining my younger sisters with stories accompanied by my rendition of a fitting dance. School offered my first chance of a farm holiday at age 10 yrs. Mostly, I looked forward to days on the beach and picnics in the hills.

Life is so different for children now. I sometimes wonder if they will have the adaptability to survive if faced with hardship. But I shouldn't bring my imaginings of a possible future into the discussion at this point.

Married young, my circumstances changed from a life of ease in the nineteen eighties. After three children left home, I separated from my husband to work as a nanny and left my homeland, completely alone and friendless, for the other side of the world.
I love a sunburned country. A land of sweeping plains. Dorothea McKellar's words changed for me to:  I love a foggy country. A land of compact fields. Every experience along the way provided insight and material for my novels.

Liliha writes song lyrics in Still Rock Water, struggling to make an impression in the music industry. I believe it is possible to hear the song ‘she’ wrote… Comic Book Story, inspired by Christopher Reeves and his tragic accident.

video

Thank you to Francene for making this video possible. I am thrilled to be able to share Lilitha's song with readers here. Christopher Reeves has been an inspiration to so many, this song echoes my own feelings towards a 'superman'. As Lilitha, you, Francene, have done a great job.
What inspired the moonstone magic?
 In the beginning ... I bought the ring from a woman who sold interesting items through my craft shop.

Back in the nineteen seventies, I ran the shop from my home in Robe, a tiny seaside tourist town in South Australia, inhabited off peak by lobster fishermen. The shop already existed at one side of the front door behind a long, deep veranda. I loved that house.

Anyway, back to the signet-style ring with a cabochon stone set in heavy 24 carat gold. When I first saw it and gazed into the shimmering depths, I fell in love and purchased the ring. If tilted a certain way, a fault, hidden deep within the stone, revealed a star. This flash caught the light in a magical way.

In the seventies, all things were open to possibility. I believed with all my heart that thoughts could influence real events. During that time I proved the theory to myself when a cyclone threatened friends on the Queensland coast. The storm built up in ferocity during the afternoon. I meditated and used mind-force against the threat, over and over again. During the night, the storm dropped off the radar. Authorities were stunned. That's when I knew. If a person believed, cared and used enough emotion, they could move a mountain—or a cyclone.

And so, my imagination worked on a story over two centuries. The story expanded to three more and warped into four other novels about the future of the ring.

Francene, that's an amazing story in itself. Well worth a novel or two!

Subtle but exquisite descriptions give your novel an authentic air. I can identify with the Australian scenes and love being transported to Cornwall as well. Do you feel more comfortable writing about ‘what you know’ or creating a new world, as in the Higher Ground series?


For me, a future world is more satisfying. Imagination can take over from reality. Edith Parzefall and I created realistic characters in a future setting and grew to love them with all their idiosyncrasies. The first two books released are: Wind Over Troubled Waters and Knights in Dark Leather.

Both great books, well worth reading. :) 

Still Rock Water follows Liliha’s story. Could we share an excerpt?

Today, hope rose above despair. Now, she had to wait to see if the ring would be returned to her. The moonstone ring couldn't be the only factor when she'd helped others get out of difficult situations. Surely she motivated the action. The power and strength remained in her. She must use it to find a job and achieve every goal. Desire for routine filled her with purpose.

Wrapped in her waxed coat and a soft angora scarf, hat and gloves, she braved the elements. Outside, winds chilled her cheeks and scattered leaves in her path. At the ocean, waves crashed on the sand. A few birds cried into the rush of air.

The tang of ozone brought back memories of Robe. If she'd remained in Australia, she could have stayed with her mother close to Kaelyn and Alissa. But the idea of living in Adelaide again, where she'd spent the major part of her married life and every street corner was filled with memories, made her skin crawl. 

Betrayal. 

She kicked a shell along the sand. A sharp prick of tears blurred her vision. It did no good to dwell on what might have been. Reality bit into her soul. 

She wanted to be as far away from Gareth as possible. With his need for possession, he would have found a way to make her life a misery. St. Ives had become her safe harbor, her place to heal and stand on her own.

Who is publishing your story?

Where can we get this book?
Still Rock Water is available from:
Barnes &; Noble:

How can we follow your career?
You can find more about Francene Stanley at these links:
Released:  Still Rock Water * http://tinyurl.com/8uutmjb                
My books: http://tinyurl.com/944kqxm


Francene, it has been wonderful having you here today. This is my first audio post. How wonderful to have someone make your character's song come to life. It is certainly a thrill to hear Lilitha's music.

Nominee in Global Ebook Awards...

Book One in the 
Chronicles of Caleath 
has been accepted 
as a nominee 
for 
2013 Global Ebook 
Awards.

Now to wait and see if the judges like Caleath's adventures as much as readers do. :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Review for EXILED: Winter's Curse

FIVE STARS 
The Saga Continues and It's Just as Good, 
 By Rochelle Weber

 Winter's Curse picks up where Autumn's Peril left off. Like The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Caleath reads as though Ms. Skinner wrote the whole story as one long book. Yet, each volume can stand on its own. There is enough exposition and back-story in each book so a person can catch up on what went before without bogging down the action of the current story. That is a sign of masterful storytelling.

 In addition to the cast of characters we met in Book One, new people appear in Winter's Curse to join the fray, or to detour Caleath, Gwilt and Nasith from their quest. They prepare for the battle against the Tarak, but they also encounter new challenges and face a few other battles along the way, while we explore more of the incredible world Ms. Skinner has created for us. 

Series writing is not easy. The second book is not always as good as the first. In this case, it is. I look forward to reading the next installment, and I encourage you to join me.

AMAZON REVIEW LINK

REVIEW for Exiled: Autumn's Peril


Book One (The Chronicles of Caleath), November 11, 2012

By Karen Doering "Parent's Little Black Book" 
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER) 

Game Master Caleath has been living in exile from his home planet Rampart 6 for a number of years. Like many of his kind he is haunted by his past, defined by his skills and hunted for his superior genetics. Having been captured and then set free by shipwreck he tries to keep himself hidden from those who would kill him. But he cannot escape the gamekeepers watch. They are everywhere and his chances of true freedom are small.

But limited as his chances for true escape may be Caleath still tries to find the way to freedom. With his new friends he will do all he can to save this planet from the fate that awaits it.

The world built is well defined, complex, imaginative and realistic. The protagonists compelling and believable, the secondary characters move the plot forward as needed. I found the dialog to be very good for this type of fantasy novel. It defines the characters well and helps the backstory develop easily. A very good Fantasy/Sci-Fi.

Karen Bryant Doering,
Parents' Little Black Book
Mist Blue Eeyore @gmail.com (no spaces)
REVIEW LINK ON AMAZON

Another glimpse into UNDERGROUND: The Day of the Sun


Underground: Day of the Sun
The next anticipated book in Rosalie Skinner's series:
THE CHRONICLES OF CALEATH

SNEAK LOOKSEE:

“Makes no difference what you heard or think you saw, wolf’s head. There is no going back. I need you. You took my commission and I will use you as I see fit.” Caleath watched Raff’s dark eyes change to chips of obsidian. He waited for a reaction, hoping to find an outlet for vexation.

“What if I resign?” Raff lifted his chin and smiled. His hand dug into his vest for the coin of Caleath’s commission. “Damnation, I need to know you are not capable of the evil I felt before you returned to consciousness.”

“Capable of evil?” Caleath laughed. “Better you should ask if I am capable of good.” 

“I have seen you do good.” Raff sounded like a man drowning in surf, knowing safety remained close but out of reach. “Why the doubt?”

“Why?” Caleath turned away. Vipers writhed as he asked himself the same question. How much easier would it be to unleash power and manipulate the outcome? He trembled as temptation washed through him.

Ebony’s ears snapped flat against her head. The mare tossed her head, snatched the bit and bucked while Caleath contemplated the lure of absolute power. 

His fist, damaged where Daryn smashed the dragon token with a rock to draw him back from the portal, throbbed. Merkaat’s essence leaked tendrils of threat into his mind. 

As seen on Museitup Publishing's Facebook page. :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

'An Ode to November' Guest post from Edith Parzefall

It is with great pleasure I welcome Edith Parzefall to my blog today. Edith is the multi published, best selling, author of Strays of Rio, a thriller taking the world by storm. It is great to have her here today to help celebrate the release of her latest novel, "Knights in Dark Leather" written in collaboration with Francene Stanley. The second book in the Higher Ground series based in the far distant future of Cornwall England. So, enough from me... Take it away Edith...

An Ode to November...



  I love cold and blustery November. Today, it is one year since MuseItUp Publishing offered me a contract for Strays of Rio  (link at Muse.)

 Twenty days later, on November 29, Double Dragon Publishing had accepted Wind Over Troubled Waters (DDP Link)  the first book in the Higher Ground series, I co-wrote with Francene Stanley. Only yesterday, the second book, Knights in Dark Leather (DDP linkwas released as ebook. The paperback should follow within a few weeks, likely this November. :-)

I always found autumn and winter the most productive times of the year. Spring lures me outside, and the sweltering heat of summer makes me want to hang around beer gardens and chill.

Come to think of it, my novels are either set in spring or summer, or in an 
exotic place of warmth and sunshine like Rio de Janeiro and Chile. If I ever write a novel in a wintery setting, I'll probably start in early summer.

Of course, the nice weather doesn't mean my writing isn't dark and sinister.


In the Higher Ground series, even the weather turns vicious. I'm sure I fetched a warm blanket while working with Francene on these scenes:


Excerpt: Wind Over Troubled Waters

"The house is moving," Cerridwen yelled. "Come outside." She supported Mother's frail body while they staggered to the door. Screaming and wailing in protest, mud and water carried debris down the hill. No time to dwell on fear. 
Cerridwen forced them outside into the eerie backdrop.

Clouds obscured the moon. Rain drove into their faces. She headed for the familiar large overhanging rocks in the distance. At one with the earth, the outcrop would offer safety. But could she and Mother reach it in time? Mud ran over Cerridwen's feet. "The hill's sliding toward us." Pushing against the driving rain, they struggled on. She dragged Mother with each step. A flash of lightning lit the rocky part of the hill.


"Look. Over there." Nearly to their goal, maybe three men's length away.


The slipping mud knocked Mother off her feet. Cerridwen clutched her fur, but 
Mother slid away from her grip. In panic, Cerridwen bent, grasped her arm, and pulled her from the sucking mud. After a few staggering strides, a gust of wind almost pushed her over. A thick branch hurtled toward them and struck Mother. "No!" Cerridwen screamed. Slipping and sliding, she used strength she'd never needed to call on before. With a mighty effort, she pulled Mother up and hauled her over the last few steps to the shelter of large boulders.


Excerpt: Knights in Dark Leather 


Her gaze flicked to the ocean. Cerridwen gasped. Out of the sea a monster wave 
rose, blocking out the sky. Taller than two men. She clutched Trevly tighter.

The water crashed into her. Hard. Cold. The world a blur. Tumbling twisting water everywhere.

The drag ripped Trevly's hand away. Salt water filled her nose, her mouth, 
sucked her down, down. Lifted up and churned in the wave's power, Cerridwen pictured her mangled body dragged by the monster to the bottom of the world. A clear thought struck through her fear. She'd never see the ring her mother told her about.


Hitting the hard ground, she slid over the debris and smashed into a dune. 
With a hiss and gurgle, the wave abandoned her heavy body. She sucked in a breath. Trevly! The sea washed over her again, dragged her back.

No! She reached out but found no hold on the sand closest to the dunes. At last, she grabbed a rock on her slide towards the sea. She sat up, took a big gulp of air, and looked around, wiping wet hair tangled with seaweed from her face.

She screamed, "Trevly."


Thanks for joining us today Edith, an exciting time for you and Francene. I love your writing. Strays is already hitting the best seller lists, and well deserved place for a great thriller. The Higher Ground series are also wonderful stories, told with exceptional skill. Congratulations and celebrations!! 
******

If you want to read more from Edith and Francene... and get a glimpse into the far distant future of Corn World...
When the first book was released Edith, Francene and I all collaborated with three chapters and shared characters... it was great fun. If you would like to read those adventures follow the link for the first chapter. When Worlds Collide here on Ramblings from Lady Rosalie
Then head over to EDITH PARZEFALL's blog PART TWO
Complete the adventure at Stitching Words - - Francene Stanley PART THREE

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

UNDERGROUND and the Hollow Earth Theory...

 From Wikipedia/Hollow_Earth 

"The Hollow Earth hypothesis proposes that the planet Earth is either entirely hollow or otherwise contains a substantial interior space. 

The hypothesis has been shown to be wrong by observational evidence, as well as by the modern understanding of planet formation; the scientific community has dismissed the notion since at least the late 18th century. 

The concept of a hollow Earth still recurs in folklore and as the premise for subterranean fiction, a subgenre of adventure fiction. It is also featured in some present-day pseudoscientific and conspiracy theories."

So who wants to stick to fact when writing Fiction? This hypothesis is so compelling, it fascinated me enough to include it in the Chronicles of Caleath. 

Along with the idea of terra-forming an enclave to support life underground the idea of constant daylight and how an artificial sun might be powered intrigued the author in me. Caleath's journey provided an excuse to research the hypothesis and stretch the imagination. :) 



Underground: The Day of the Sun is the sixth book in the series The Chronicles of Caleath. 

Apart from the conspiracy theories, and a race against time, in this adventure Caleath's  education and patience is on trial as he becomes involved with the feisty Gabrielle and an angry young man, Simon.


Still in the editing stage, it is fun to revisit Caleath's journey, tweaking, editing, expanding the story as it is prepared for release.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Melbourne Cup.. the race that stops a Nation...

The excitement grows as the hour draws near.
No... not the American Presidential election... we are talking
Australia's "Race that Stops the Nation" the Melbourne Cup.

The bets are on. The media is alive with speculation...
Who will win 2012's Melbourne Cup?

Last year there was only a whisker between first and second. The winner, Dunaden will be back but carrying a heavier weight.

The fashions are as much a draw card as the race program. Although watching the pretty horses is fun, as an average Aussie non punter on 364 days of the year, the only bet I will be part of today is a simple sweepstake.

Still as the champagne flows and the horses run. I hope everyone has a lot of fun.

Good luck! Hope you have a great day where ever you are!

Now, back to editing, writing, reading and all those mundane tasks associated with being an author.

Oh to be saddling up to go for a ride on a day like today.

 Perfect weather.

Perhaps those memories will inspire my writing today. :)



Saturday, November 3, 2012

KDP program results...

Thanks for the support of those who spread the word about the Chronicles of Caleath free giveaway...
Global results are in... and it's wonderful to find EXILED: Autumn's Peril still holding its own among the paid books in Germany. :)
German Amazon English Books a week after the free giveaway began.
Top Seller in Germany for English Anthologies (series)

Made it into the top ten again on USA Amazon.
Over all the program has shown a marked improvement in sales across the series. All books have increased sales. Interest in the Facebook page has increased.

We now have around 23,000 Likes there.

So, for those interested in taking a shot at the KDP program after the second 90 days and a fair bit of promotion, advertising, blogging etc, the number of books taken on the FREE days was less than the initial result back in May.

Still... if all the people who now have a copy of the book take the opportunity to read it, or mention it to others, the results will continue to pay off.

If you have a series entering the KDP program can help kick start getting your books known. The advertising, promotion and offering a FREE ebook certainly spreads the word.

Every ripple, splash, helps. Every 'comment', 'share', 'like' and visit counts.
The other day I heard that someone from a neighbouring city had heard of the Chronicles. :)

Random strangers now know of Caleath and his adventures.

It's all good!!

Thanks again for your support.

Meanwhile EXILED: Winter's Curse is still #5 in the top ten best sellers on Omnilit. :)


* Three MUSEITUP books are in the top ten. Strays of Rio and Happiness Guaranteed are keeping Winter's Curse company! Go Museitup!! :) This new publishing company celebrated two years in the business in Oct.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Glimpse into the Future... The NEXT BIG THING

Here are the wonderful authors who joined me in the Next Big Thing Blog Hop... please take a moment to travel forward in time to see what gems they will hopefully release in the near future...






Thanks to all who have grabbed a copy of Exiled Autumn's Peril 

too. We made it to #1 in 

Germany and #9 in Epic Fantasy 

on USA

 Amazon. Great results.

Now to hope people enjoy reading the story.