Book Two Release Date: Nothing Worth Having is Easy

Book Two Release Date: Nothing Worth Having is Easy

It’s been a while since my last update. A lot has been happening personally and professionally, which has made blog updates challenging—but in this case, no news is good news!! I am thrilled to say that Triangle: Book Two of the Azellian Affairs now has a release date! We will be learning more about the continuing adventures of Tamara, Merran, Alarin and the rest of the Azellians and their supporters in the late summer of 2018 (very likely September). A sneak preview of the new cover is attached to this blog post, and I will be updating my website to reflect the new book (plus release date) in the next few weeks, as we start to finalize everything.   

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Visit From a Bird of Prey

Last week, as I walked out of my house, I had a very powerful nature experience: a magnificent bird of prey hovering over a freshly killed rabbit. Dogs and I both froze in the doorway, my brain racing to figure out what I was looking at, the dogs frozen because that’s when they do when faced with something new.

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The Fantastic Everyday: Cars and Empathy

This weekend, I got a chance to enjoy an annual ritual: attend the Denver Auto Show. Dealerships from all over the Denver metro area trot out their flashiest and best cars. You get to view, handle and sit in everything from a Ford Fusion to a Lamborghini. I didn’t realize I enjoyed nice cars until I had a boyfriend who was a motorhead, but once having discovered it, I learned that cars are fun.

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New Beginnings: Here We Go Again!

Today is the start of new things: a beautiful new website and the beginning editing process on book 2 of the Azellian Affairs. I celebrate the new beginning, even as I approach the idea of editing Book 2 with a distinct feeling of nerves: yes, even having been through the editing process once before, with one published book under my belt, I feel nervous. 

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Azellian Affairs: Diary of Ambassador Merran Corina #5

Has your life ever changed suddenly and everything you thought you knew is different? Merran is about to embark on the life he will have in Alawahea:Book One of the Azellian Affairs: he is to become assistant to the Azellian Ambassador, a post that will change the entire course of his life.  

Merran Corina - about seven months after he first arrives on Earth

Finally got a chance to talk to the ambassador. He told me he’s had his eye on me for the past few months. He was impressed with how I’ve managed to work my way from waiter to manager in two months at the cafe. And that was without using my psi or my body. Mostly. Well, at least not on purpose.

My influence over human woman continues to grow. For some reason, they find me extremely attractive. It’s rather a mystery to me. I have to be very careful not to show them everything I can do, though. They are terrified of my mental abilities…just the suggestion that I might know more than they think I should know about what their likes or dislikes are, or echoing too much what they’re thinking…I have to be very, very careful not to reveal myself fully to them. I’m just glad I have no interest in a relationship. Keeping my partners rotating through and only for a few days at a time helps, but it’s been something of a challenge. There are women out there who would, consciously or unconsciously, attempt to trap me into legally linking myself to them. Pregnancy is apparently a popular way to create this kind of legal linking, which doesn’t make sense to me, but I’ve steered clear of a few women with thoughts like that. Apparently, the father is required to support his child on Earth, whether or not he had any say in the child’s conception.  Good thing I can prevent conception with or without the woman’s complicity in the matter. No way am I a going to ever be a father.

Oddly enough, it’s my…notoriety and popularity with human women that brought me to Saren’s attention. He has been watching me juggle humans on my own for the past three months and I’ve apparently impressed him. Assistant Ambassador. It feels like my life is on the cusp of a huge change. I wonder what’s next?

Want to find out more about Merran Corina and his experiences on Earth? Read an excerpt from Alawahea: Excerpt of Book 1

Azellian Affairs: Dairy of Merran Corina #4

We all go through a period of time of searching for ourselves, for a direction, maybe even a purpose. Merran is seeking to find that piece of himself and a direction that will shape his life for years to come. But like many things in our lives, it doesn't come easily. 

Merran Corina - about four months after he first arrives on Earth

Applied for a job with the embassy. I’m told my chances of getting in at the embassy are zero to none, but if I want to stay on Earth, I have to get some kind of employment soon, or they’ll be shipping me back to Azelle.

Merran Corina - two weeks after he submits his job application

The embassy rejected my application. I’m not giving up. They say the ambassador spends hours a day at the human-run coffee shop around the corner, spending time with Azellians and humans alike. I’ll get to see him eventually…I managed to land a job at that coffee shop as a barista. It's a busy coffee shop, but that means I get to meet lots of humans. Such interesting lives they lead! So many differences...but some similarities, too.

It’s hard to believe, but I’m having more sex now than I did when I was with her. It's very weird to me, that human women find me so attractive. Is this the same Merran Corina who spent his whole life being hated for his caver roots? It is totally unreal. Surreal, perhaps, but also very pleasurable. And, by the aarya’s eyes, human women are something else! They have no shields, no way to hide what they’re feeling or thinking from me. Reading a human woman’s mind while I’m stimulating her body….We’ve always been taught humans are uptight, controlled and lack sexual appetite. That’s not been my experience. Even though they can’t link with me during sex, I can certainly read their physical sensations and it’s quite a rush. There is a sort of unrestrained, unflagging joy they have in who they are that I find quite stimulating. 

Sometimes it can be overwhelming and unpleasant, though. I never let my interactions go on for very long. It's better that way. Relationships based on a lie? Even I know better than that.

Want to find out more about Merran Corina and his experiences on Earth? Read an excerpt from Alawahea: Excerpt of Book 1

Azellian Affairs: Dairy of Merran Corina #3

Change comes to all our lives, taking us down roads we would never have expected. Sometimes, those side paths are dramatic enough to completely change our direction. In Merran’s case, he went from being a fairly typical young Azellian man briefly visiting Earth to becoming the youngest ambassador ever. He also accomplished something none before him ever had: human/Azellian cooperation and active collaboration. But, before finding that path, he lost himself for a time, wandering and creating a sexual legacy for himself that would continue to haunt him years later.

Merran Corina - about a month and a half after his arrival

She left me. Kaelynn left me. Says it’s because she’s not ready to settle down, that she came to Earth to get away from me and she didn’t expect me to follow her. They all know I am Liporinn and even my Corina blood can’t balance it out. The aarya damn them all. 

Humans have some very colorful language for times like this that I didn't learn in school. One of the women I went out with last night gave me quite a list, in between our other activities. Taught me quite a bit, too. Who would have thought humans could be as talented and innovative as the acolytes when it comes to sexual exploration? Women seem quite fascinated by the question of whether or not my resemblance to human males is from head to toe...Apparently I do resemble human males in all the particulars: the physical ones, anyway. The mental ones are another story. They don't know about those, and I'm not going to enlighten anyone.

Of course, no one seems to care that my mother was a Liporinn...they just seem quite enamored of my body and what I can do with it. I suppose I might as well distract myself for the moment.

Want to learn more about Merran Corina and his experiences on Earth? Read an excerpt from Alawahea: Excerpt of Book 1

Azellian Affairs: Diary of Merran Corina #2

We continue our view of Merran’s early life on Earth. Only twenty years old, just stepping into adulthood, Merran has followed his girlfriend from Azelle to Earth. He's exploring Earth with all of the enthusiasm of someone who has never been away from their home before. Excited about what is coming his way, he's learning as much as he can.   

Merran Corina—about a month after he first arrives

Kaelynn wants to talk tonight. I wonder what she wants to talk about? We’ve been together for a couple of years now, we moved to Earth together. Maybe she wants me to move in with her? Right now, we’re keeping separate domiciles. It seems silly to me to do that. I love her, she loves me. We could declare it publicly and live together. If she does, I’m ready for it. I’m so glad I met someone who doesn’t care what my mother’s family name was. I love her so much.

Humans have a concept of exclusivity, too. They have another name for it. I learned about it when I met my first human this week. She is married. Interesting concept, to spend one’s life legally obligated to someone else. Even the Raderths, who are pretty archaic in many of their practices with their families, don’t legally link themselves to their mates. Seems odd to do that.

There’s got to be a history of marriage on the internet. It’s really helpful that humans have computers and track their history so easily where anyone can access it. It doesn’t even require a trip to the Temple or a talk with the Keepers to get access to it. Maybe I’ll do some research. Humans are really rather fascinating beings. Such a rich, complex history. I’m so glad I came with Kaelynn to Earth.

Learn more about Merran Corina and his experiences on Earth. Read an excerpt from Alawahea here: Excerpt of Book 1

Azellian Affairs: Diary of Merran Corina

Merran Corina has always been one of the characters who speaks the most loudly to me. In early versions of Alawahea, he was meant to be a minor character, someone distant and uninvolved. That didn’t last very long. From early on, he sauntered onto the stage in my head and proceeded to take over. Who is Merran Corina? What makes him tick? Why does he act the way he does? I asked those questions of myself and of him, and I got the next several blog posts of “diary” entries: an intimate peek inside Merran Corina’s head.

Merran came to Earth as a young man, just out of acolyte training, wary, but still willing to hope for the best, before he learns that there is something beyond both hope and fear. 

Over the next several posts, we will be playing inside Merran’s head and getting a peek into the man we first meet in Alawahea: Book One of the Azellian Affairs. If you're meeting him for the first time, welcome! If you have already read Alawahea, have fun learning more about Merran...I certainly did! 

Merran Corina—one week after his first arrival on Earth, fifty years after the first Azellian embassy was established on Earth.

Interesting planet, Earth. Full of people who are so wide open. No barriers to their thoughts at all. It's like standing in the middle of a party of people talking and shouting at once....overwhelming and nothing more than noise, unless I stay shielded all the time. I don't know how other Corinas do it. I don't think a Healer, sensitive as they are, would ever survive here. If I hadn't had extra training from the aarya, I'd be a mess and heading home as fast as my feet could carry me. Even if it meant Kaelynn left me.

Speaking of Kaelynn, we had really great sex last night. I'm really glad both of us were acolytes. They taught us stuff that I'd really miss if she ever left me. I wonder if she thinks the same thing?   I mean, I might be Corina on my father's side, but my mother...I'm not going to think about that. Kaelynn isn't from a High Council family. She’s an acolyte, like me. Surely she doesn't care if I'm...never mind. She doesn't care.

Want to read more about Merran Corina and his experiences? Read an excerpt from Alawahea to learn moreExcerpt of Book 1

Get to participate in the look of an entire series!

Creating a look for a series has a whole different set of challenges and joys to recommend it. When I first started, I was looking for some symbolic and interesting art that suggested what was going on in the book. It’s taken me several months to realize that a series is a different set of thought processes than a single book and that having the input of other people is very important.

I’m beginning to launch the process of starting the second book and am taking a moment to review the first one and what I’ve learned so far. Where do I want to go with the series? What look do I want to create? What would be fun on the cover, giving hints about the story behind it, but also is eye-catching? I recently discovered 99 Designs, which runs a contest for designers all around the world to compete for a chance to design a cover. I’ve seen some beautiful artwork based on a short paragraph I gave them about the story…and they responded. And best of all, it’s led to some really great concepts for covers!

For the next four days, I’m going to be running a poll to help me decide the direction of the covers for my series. I want to know what you like! And of course, I’m showing the work of some very talented designers in the world of 99 Designs. Some of these designers have really floored me with their talent and insight—they all created these pictures from a description I wrote about the story. There are some really amazing artists listed here. Which is your favorite? 

The voting link is here:

https://99designs.com/book-cover-design/vote-bkwok5

Tell me what you think!

Top Five Reasons I love the Karen Chance Cassie Palmer Series

Karen Chance just recently released her newest novel in the Cassie Palmer series: Reap the Wind. I read the book and found myself re-reading the entire series (again). That’s the way the best books go: you read them over and over and they splash their magic every time. Yummy!

  1. Intricate, interesting plot line that goes in totally unexpected directions. I certainly have my preferences for where the story will go…and so far, it hasn’t. Yet the way it turns out is always perfect and leaves me wanting more. 
  2. A time travel story that links back to itself. There have been scenes with a later Cassie that have happened in the story (but occurred in earlier books with an earlier Cassie, just from a different perspective). I always try to dig up the one scene I’m looking for to see how it went the first time and compare…ebooks are great for that, although most of mine are now littered with bookmarks where I’ve earmarked a scene to go back to.
  3. Madcap action. These books are quickly paced, and MOVE through their plot lines. Yet they’re not simple plots. Some of them are downright…Machiavellian in their complexity and twists (worthy of the vampire society she creates in them). But they are delightfully entertaining as they do it. I can read them over and over and find something new every time.
  4. Wonderful, robust mythology. My favorite books always have what I call a “mythology,” a backstory that is rich and varied and delivers all kinds of surprises and discoveries. The more internally coherent they are, the better I like it. It’s challenging to write out a coherent culture and history. I’ve done it myself and have lots of admiration for those who manage it. Karen Chance does it beautifully.
  5. Funny, engaging humor. The books have a dry, sometimes sarcastic, sometimes silly sense of humor. Yet for all that they explore some very dark subjects (some pretty intense stuff happens), they aren’t dark. I love the goofy and the sarcastic characters and the rich depth of them all....even the ones intended as comic relief, since they perfectly balance the violence of the fight scenes.
  6. Pritkin. I have my preferred character and my favorite “romantic” lead. As I mention in item 1), I have no idea WHERE she is taking this character or his story arc, but I wait in breathless anticipation to see where it goes. 

Yes, there are only five reasons in the title, and I’ve added a sixth, but like the war mage Pritkin says, do the unexpected. It keeps you unpredictable, just like the Cassie Palmer stories themselves. Well worth the read! Even after the 101st time I’ve read them….

Here is a link to her site and a list of her books. I'm always looking for a new read, so if you know of any other quality authors with fun characters and a great storyline, please comment below!

www.karenchance.com

The Cassie Palmer Series:

Touch the Dark

Claimed by Shadow

Embrace the Night

Curse the Dawn

Hunt the Moon

Tempt the Stars

Reap the Wind