Sunday, June 22, 2014

euphorYA: A Speculative Fiction Scavenger Hunt - Elizabeth Wheatley Guest Post

Today I'm hosting Elizabeth Wheatley, author of Fanged Princess (we like vampire princess around here!) for the euphorYA Scavenger Hunt. Enter the competition below to be in the prize draw!

Now on with the guest post ...

euphorYA banner

Welcome to euphorYA and I’m delighted to share with you an extract from my vampire novella series, Fanged Princess. Fanged Princess revolves around Haddie, a teen vampire whose brother is in love. The only downside? The girl is human. Haddie knows firsthand the dangers of falling for a human and this loss is a large part of what drives her to help save her brother’s girlfriend. Today I’m showcasing a scene from Haddie’s backstory, the day she met Fletcher, told in his perspective. When I was writing this, I started to hate myself because I know what happened to Fletcher by the beginning of the first novella. It will probably make you all hate me, too. So check out the scene below and don’t forget to hop on over to the other blog stops today for cool extras on books you love and a shot at the scavenger hunt grand prize!

Read Fanged Princess: Extra I on Figment!


I will not let my brother suffer the same loss… Hadassah’s father, the Vampire King, punished her for her choice to love a human. Now her brother, the only person in the world who still matters to her, has fallen for a human girl. Determined to keep the girl safe, the three of them flee from their home in New England and find themselves cornered with their father’s minions closing in. If they want to escape, their only hope may be to join forces with the mortal enemies of their kind… Be ensnared in this dark tale of enduring love, loyalty, and revenge from teenage author, Elisabeth Wheatley. Find Fanged Princess on Goodreads

Find Fanged Princess on Amazon About the Author

Wheatley Pictures33_s1-cropped

Elisabeth Wheatley is a teen author of the Texas Hill Country. When she’s not daydreaming of elves, vampires, or hot guys in armor, she is wasting time on the internet, fangirling over indie books, and training her Jack Russell Terrier, Schnay.

Where to find her: Blog Facebook Goodreads Twitter Pinterest Tumblr

a Rafflecopter giveaway Here's the schedule for the EuphorYA Scavenger Hunt. Each blog stop features exclusive content from one of our authors as well as a giveaway. Collect the blue / red / pink colored words to make the daily secret phrases. Then enter for your chance to win the Grand Prize Giveaway--$75 Amazon / Nook gift card (first prize only), books and swag (first, second and third prizes). Day One Stops, Friday ,June 20 - Blue Phrase Anna Silver | Chloe Jacob's World | Elana Johnson | Books By Intisar | Ali Cross Day Two Stops, Saturday, June 21 - Red Phrase Elisabeth Wheatley | T.L. Shreffler | RaShelle Workman | Kelly Walker | Hannah L. Clark | Christy Dorrity Day Three Stops, Sunday, June 22 - Pink Phrase Rhiannon Hart | Natasha Hanova | Tracy E. Banghart | Kaitlyn Deann | Jadie Jones 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Jane Austen and the Guinness Book of Records

You know what doesn't happen enough? Wandering around Bath dressed in an empire gown and bonnet and pretending it's 1810.

I just found out there's going to be two attempts to break the most Lizzie Bennett (and Mr Darcy) wannabes all in one place, and one of them is going to be this September in Bath.

I think I have to do it. I'll look a right wally by myself because I think I'd struggle to find someone to do it with me in a country where I *do* know a lot of people, let alone here. But then everyone will be looking fabulously silly anyway. It sounds too delicious not to do it.

I'll want to make my own gown and accessories so I'll have to beg or borrow a sewing machine from someone. This pattern has a lot of good reviews:

I can see it in a textured cream-coloured fabric, or perhaps something sprigged, with a paisley shawl, teeny reticule and a bonnet. I would love to get the man done up a la Wentworth, but feel that getting him into silk stockings might stretch the relationship.

If you're planning on going, let me know and we can look fabulously silly together!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Mandatory #1Kaday

Now that hashtags have made it to Facebook they're pretty passe, right? What the hell, it rhymes.

I have a new writing schedule, and like all new writing schedules, diets, boyfriends and New Year's resolutions it simply must be talked about.

It's very simple: I have to write a thousand words per day, and if I don't I have to add whatever I didn't write to the next day's total. No excuses. No shirking. I've been sticking to this for a whole two days now and its going better than a Stark in Westeros, so that's something.

Hashtag winning.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Blood Queen, London and Life

You look away for FIVE MINUTES and suddenly nearly a whole year has gone by since you updated your blog. It was around this time last year that I started working for a publishing house instead of writing full time (it was nice while it lasted, but was always going to be temporary) and then LIFE just took over.

I moved house twice. The flat I share with my partner has a second bedroom in which I can write. There's also a balcony with potted flowers and squirrels that come up for nuts. I love it here.

Last week's blossom 

I visited Prague and Paris. Both of these cities were just gorgeous. Prague was atmospheric and gothic, and it was a beautiful sunny autumn day when we visited, and we walked and walked and WALKED. Paris was freezing cold and I was a little unwell, but we had very glam digs in Le Marais and saw lots of art, ate lots of food and bundled up warmly.


Versaille, just outside Paris

I wrote two books. Both were rejected -- yes, published authors get rejected too. I think I'm suffering from dreaded Second Book Syndrome. If you count the Lharmell trilogy as one book. But hey-ho, rejections only make you stronger, and keep you from getting cocky. 

I got burgled :( I can't stress this enough, BACK UP YOUR WORK. Sigh. I lost about 20,000 words of Blood Queen which, as you may have noticed, has put back the publication date to August. I used to very sporadically back up bits and pieces of projects but now I am using a cloud system that automatically backs things up. Automatic is good!

I flew home to Australia for my brother's wedding. OH GOSH BEAUTIFUL. What an amazing wedding it was, and it was so much fun being in the bridal party. 

The bride with a herd of deer

Me in my wedding get-up

This year I have more travel planned, more writing, more blogging and of course ....

The release of Blood Queen!

Happy Easter all.

Monday, May 20, 2013

On reading old books and being far away

I don't think I've read a book written in the last thirty years for two months now. I can't even think what the last one would have been. Oh, yes I can. A few Mills and Boon Moderns last week, because it's comforting to read romance novels when it's too wet to go out. But mostly there's been a lot of Jane Austen and the Brontes and Wodehouse and Neville Shute. The Shutes are particularly enthralling as the characters are Brits who come out to Australia and go back to London on slow boats or bunny-hop through Asia or the States to get here. Letters are send by air mail and take a week, or by sea mail and take months. The odd telegram is sent too, but you get the impression that they were terribly expensive.

These days I don't review books so I read what I like, which is the best way to do things, I think. So I wander over the Italian Alps with Emily St Aubert, not much caring that I should be "keeping up with the industry". I'll be in the mood for new releases soon I'm sure. But why am I liking these old books so much? I think it must be because I'm far from home. If a man who's lost his legs in WWII can't find a Naval Wren and chases her all over the world for years only to discover she's opted out with a bottle of sleeping pills the day before he finds her (thanks for the laughs, Neville Shute), I can't really be sad for being twenty-two hours or a Skype call from home.

I'm not a melancholy, homesick person, and I like being out of my comfort zone. I needed to be out of my comfort zone. What self-respecting writer hasn't moved to another country? Read their autobiographies in the back of their books: "Hazel has lived in Vladivostok, Tangiers and briefly in Yemen, which makes her pretty cool and smug, don't you know. No wonder she's written a bestseller based on her experiences and has a proper grip on metaphors."

But when your brother gets engaged and everyone's there at the party but you, in the house you used to live in, you might like to read a few comforting old books where they didn't even have Skype and shed a few untimely tears into your boyfriend's jacket on the main street. It was lovely to know that three of my dear friends, Shona, Megan and Ben, where there to represent me and drink plenty of champagne in my stead.

In a serendipitous booking, last night Tim and I went to see Alan Davies in a stand up show in an Islington theatre. Just love him. Tim was in tears at one point and I couldn't stop cough-laughing. (Back-to-back spring colds. Worth the extra coughs.) Cheered me up no end. Today I'm reading Rosamunde Pilcher novels from the 1970s, and this one's set in London. I'm sure it'll end up in Scotland at some point because what Pilcher novel doesn't? It opens with a girl getting a letter from Ibiza a month late saying her mother is dying. So Melbourne isn't very far away after all.

Stiff upper lip and all that. Spirit of the blitz. What ho and pip pip.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

“I promise not to oppress you with too much remorse or too much passion, though since you left us the white rose bush has died of grief.”

Who knew anyone could improve on Austen? That one line is just toooooo romantic. Do you know where it's from? The 1986 adaptation of Northanger Abbey. It's 80s-tastic with all the perms and the sax-offending soundtrack, but I adore this silly adaptation of Jane Austen's silliest book. The acting is awkward and some of the supporting cast are downright weird, but Peter Firth is the perfect quirky Henry Tilney and Katherine Schlesinger is a lovely big-blue-eyed-and-naive Catherine Morland.

*happy sigh*

I'm obsessed with books about big dreary old castles at the moment. I'm reading The Mysteries of Udolpho (halfway, but the audiobook is bugging me so may switch to an electronic edition) as well as The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

Meanwhile, say it again, Henry. Please!

“I promise not to oppress you with too much remorse or too much passion, though since you left us the white rose bush has died of grief.”

The thing is, that line is not in the book. But it ends this TV movie perfectly.

Watch it here:

Sunday, April 21, 2013

London, and Some Thoughts on Being Rescued

I've been pretty quiet on the blog, and I'll be able to tell you why very shortly. It's been a deliberate silence and nothing to do with my books and writing. I have been doing a *lot* of writing, and loving it. London is absolutely gorgeous. I've become a history nerd. The V&A, the British Library, The Wallace Collection at Hertford House, Fulham Palace and Southwark are just a few places I've been exploring in the last few months. I love it here. And now it's spring I love it even more.

Now, some thoughts on being rescued. There's a scene in Blood Song which you may remember (and spoilers if you haven't read it -- and if you haven't you can no matter where you are in the world now -- hurrah! Quick plug: the ebooks are already out for both books and the paperbacks are out in Singapore and Malaysia, on May 10 in the UK and in September  in the USA) when Zeraphina is "rescued" by Rodden in Lharmell. The thing I love best about that scene is while Rodden has every intention of getting Zeraphina and taking her back to the safety of Pergamia, it is a rescue that backfires on the him. Zeraphina's first emotion upon seeing Rodden is annoyance, because it means he's a good guy after all and she did so enjoy detesting him. And her second thought (after Rodden elucidates a few things) is absolute refusal to go home. Rather, she insists they press onwards. And I rather like her subversion of the damsel in distress trope.

It never occurred to me at the time that that was what I was writing. It just seemed to me what Zeraphina would do (the stroppy thing, any excuse to argue with Rodden, right?) But when I read a review that complained the heroine was *actually rescued OMG laaaaame* or words to that effect, I felt rather surprised. Most of my reviews have been glowing, some middling and a very few absolutely flaming. But none of the flaming ones got to me because I absolutely condone the right for someone to dislike a book. It's being misconstrued that makes me indignant.

But my indignance aside, the idea of a hero aiding a heroine is important to me. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Not something a feminist should say, right? Well, bully to that. Because conversely, there's nothing wrong with a heroine helping a hero. When two people fall in love, or set about falling in love despite the path being littered with obstinate parents, blood-sucking creatures and class divisions, they should above all else be equals. They should be stronger together than apart. Add to each other. Be a team. And that means relying on each other from time to time. And I hope that's what I demonstrated in Blood Song, and will continue to demonstrate through all my writings. Zeraphina would have been pretty stuffed if Rodden hadn't shown up, but they would have both been stuffed if she hadn't put her foot down and insisted they go on and not go back.

As for Blood Storm, well that's a bit trickier, isn't it? Because we can't talk about Blood Storm without talking about Blood Queen, and if we talk about Blood Queen you'll want a release date and I still, STILL can't give you one. I wish I could, with all my heart. But it's out of my hands for now. FOR NOW. A tiny bit more patience and it will all be worth it, I promise.

(FYI, I know some authors get annoyed when they're asked by fans when the next book will be out. I can't think of anything more ungrateful. Ask away, I'm flattered you care enough to write and ask.)

And if you see another book from me before Blood Queen, that will only be a good thing, right? I hope you'll be excited for it as much as you are for Blood Queen. Nothing is confirmed as yet (I seem to say that all the time as an author. I wish I didn't but things take an awfully long time behind the scenes). Don't be alarmed if the title sounds a little like Blood Queen, either. It's a different book and hasn't superceded the Lharmell books or anything like that.