Novella or Novel, Trilogy or Series – decisions for writers

This post is the twenty-fifth in a series about writing a novel. You can check out the list of past topics at the end of this post.

As you write your story, you may wonder how long or how many words you need to write before it is complete.

The simple answer is as long or as many words as it takes to tell the story. Unless you are specifically looking to write a novella or a short story, you should be more concerned with telling the story than the word count.

But in case you are wondering, here is a guideline for story lengths. Note though that there is no unanimous consensus on the length of each of these.

Flash Fiction – under 1000 words

Short story – 1,000 to 7,500

Novelette – 7,500-20,000

Novella – 20,000 – 50,000

Novel – Over 50,000

Now, you don’t have to label your writing based on the above list. I wrote a short story prequel to my trilogy which turned out to be 12,200 words, which according to this list makes it a novelette. I figure most readers might not know what that is, so I market it as a short story because it is much shorter than the shortest book in my trilogy (which has 81,800 words).

But each of these classifications in more than just word count. They each bring about different images.

Short Story

Often these are meant to explore a particular situation or set of circumstances. Of course, there may be no “purpose” to the story. It could be a simple sketch of characters or situations. They are short enough to be read in a single sitting and typically only have a handful of characters.

Novella

Unlike a novel which may contain more characters and subplots, a novella focuses on a particular point or single issue. It typically does not contain the variety of subplots found in a full-length novel.

Novel

A novel is a long fictional narrative and usually involves more than just a few characters. Compared to a short story or novella, it has a complex plot.

When looking at word length, the genre of the book should also be taken into consideration. Young Adult books tend to be shorter (50,000 to 80,000 words) while science fiction and fantasy tend to be longer (up to 125,000 words).

If your story goes over 110,000 words, you might consider either cutting some words or perhaps splitting it into two books or even expand it into a trilogy.

Remember all of these are merely guides. The most important thing is telling a good, compelling story.

Writing a Trilogy or Series

So maybe you think writing a trilogy or series of books sounds like a good idea. It does have many positives. You have a built-in audience for each subsequent book. You will have already developed your world and your main characters, so there is less preparation to do before writing books two and three (or beyond if you write a series).

Here are some tips if you want to write a trilogy.

1.) A trilogy is not only a set of three books with the same characters but three books with one overarching storyline tying them together. A trilogy can be like a three-act play where each book is one act.

Act/Book 1 – The Set-up/Decision to Act

Act/Book 2 – The Confrontation (traditionally this one ends on a “dark note” – think The Empire Strikes Back from the original Star Wars trilogy.)

Act/Book 3 – The Resolution

2.) Develop a larger story for the whole trilogy. But each book in the trilogy will need to stand alone as a complete story in itself. This really is the biggest challenge about writing a trilogy.

3.) Be sure you have a strong character for your trilogy. It doesn’t have to necessarily be a likable character but a well-developed one that will be able to last through the whole series.

Here are some Dos and Don’ts of writing a trilogy.

DON’T – Write a full-length novel and divide it into three parts.

DO – Write a story that can be sustained through three full-length novels. This can be one long story broken down into three acts, or it can be three separate stand-alone stories using the same characters. In romance novels, this is often done with three sisters/friends finding love with each sister/friend being the focus of one book. The other characters are prevalent in each book, and their stories are either building or being rounded out as the current love story takes place.

DON’T – Just write a trilogy because you think it will help you sell your novel or get people to buy subsequent books. (See the message above about having a story that can support being a trilogy.) Yes, a trilogy brings with it a set of eager readers who want to read books two and three but that only works if book 1 is good. Many fantasy authors may choose to write a fantasy novel because it is popular for this genre, but sometimes they need to stick with either a long stand-alone book or pare down the story rather than drag it out over three books.

DO – Make sure the first book can be a stand-alone novel, if needed. Take Star Wars: A New Hope, the first of the original Star Wars trilogy, as an example. It ended with a medal ceremony and could have easily been the end of the story.

DO – Plan ahead for when you write a trilogy. It makes things easier, and you can plant clues to the ending throughout the books. I wrote my trilogy without planning it until after the first book was written, which actually happens quite a bit. While it worked out in my case (and others), it would have been better to have been planned from the beginning. (less rewriting if nothing else.)

DO – Keep detailed notes and a timeline to make sure that your characters stay true to form throughout the trilogy. If someone is pregnant at the end of book 2, you need to be sure that the age of the baby works out in book 3. Or if your character received a wound that scarred in Book 1, you need to make sure the scar is there in book 3 (and in the same place). You can probably catch errors such as these in many books and movies and some observant reader will probably catch your mistakes too.

The difference between a trilogy and writing a series of books is that the trilogy is that one overall story arc. A series of books can be complete stories that take place in the same location often with the same characters. Examples of series include the alphabet mysteries by Sue Grafton, the Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffery or the Jack Ryan spy thrillers by Tom Clancy.

Writing a trilogy or series of books can be a challenge. It takes planning and an overall story arc that can go the distance. But it also is great to continue to develop and work with characters you already created. It is kind of like working with old friends.

Previous topics

#1 – Deciding to write a novel – Writing Myths

#2 – Three areas to develop before starting to write a novel

#3 – Finding a Story Idea and How to Know if it “good enough”

#4 – Developing Characters for your Novel

#5 – Major characters? Minor Characters? Where does everyone fit in?

#6 – Developing the Setting for your Novel

#7 – The importance of developing conflict in your novel plot

#8 – To Outline or not to outline 

#9 – The importance of a story arc

#10 – The importance of tension and pace

#11 – Prologue and opening scenes

#12 – Beginning and ending scenes in a novel

#13 – The importance of dialogue…and a few tips on how to write it

#14 – Using Internal Dialogue in your novel

#15 – More dialogue tips and help with dialogue tags

#16 – Knowing and incorporating back story into your novel

#17 – Hinting at what is to come with foreshadowing

#18 – Tips for writing different scenes in your novel

#19 – Dealing with Writer’s Block

#20 – Killing a Character in your Novel

#21 – Keeping things realistic in your novel

#22 – Establishing Writing Goals and Developing Good Writing Habits

#23 – Using the five senses and passive voice in your novel

#24 – The benefit of research in fiction writing

#NewRelease – THE LOST by Cindy Cipriano

Author Cindy Cipriano released The Lost: Book Three of The Sidhe on May 19. Check out the excerpt below.

Excerpt – Prologue 

“I beg of you. Please don’t do this,” cried the frail man. He was gaunt and looked as if he hadn’t slept in months. “I’ve changed, give me another chance.”

“I’m in no position to judge you. Nor can I give anyone anything,” said Finley.

His gaze traveled over the man’s hunched shoulders to the green sky, searching, as always, for any way out of the Void. Finley had hoped he’d leave the Void before he had to push the next depereo into the Underworld. He always hoped this, but to no avail. There was always another depereo.

“Please, please,” said the old man, clasping his hands in front of him as if in prayer.

It wore on Finley when the depereo were awake, begging for mercy. Their pleas made his task more difficult. And, it was harder for him to forget about them after he sent them to the Underworld. Finley rubbed the bridge of his nose, wishing again for a way out.

“May I go then?” the old man asked, looking at Finley with hopeful, teary eyes.

Finley looked down at the shriveled old man. He looked like someone’s kindly grandfather. He wondered what the man could have done to wind up here.

How dangerous could this old man be?

An odd feeling traveled through Finley’s veins.

Compassion.

The feeling disappeared as suddenly as it had arrived, leaving Finley with his constant companion.

Desperation.

Finley reminded himself that the choices this depereo had made during his life had brought him here. Like the depereo who came before him, this Sidhe’s evil ways had put him onto the path that led straight to the Void. This man was already dead. His eternal fate had already been decided. Finley was just tasked with delivering the sentence.

I should have used the club like Sun showed me.

“To make sure they’re unconscious,” Sun had explained.

Finley wondered what had happened to Sun. Was his friend all right after his return to the Realm of Man?

No matter, Sun was better off. He had to be.

“May I go?” the man repeated, dusting grains of blue sand from his palms.

“There’s nowhere to go,” said Finley. He pulled the man to his feet effortlessly, as though he weighed nothing. As though the man was nothing.

Just as I am nothing.

“Please, don’t,” begged the man. “I have money. I will give you anything you want. I’ll do anything you ask.”

“Don’t you understand?” asked Finley. “I have no control over any of this. There is no bargain that can be made. I’m condemned. Just like you.”

“But, I am powerful. I can get you out of here.”

“No one can get me out!” yelled Finley. Of all the things the depereo said to him, that was the worst. If a depereo couldn’t change their own fate, how did they think they could change his?

The man stared at Finley, curiously. “How can you bear this?” he asked a touch of pity in his voice.

“I can’t,” said Finley. He shoved the man hard through the gash in the large black boulder then turned away. Finley walked back to the blood-red forest with the man’s horrified screams ringing in his ears.

Book Blurb

Calum Ranson is now closer than ever to finding his lost cousin Finley: he knows where he is, he just doesn’t know how to get there. Stuck in the Void between the world of the living and the Underworld, Finley needs to get home soon before he is changed forever. It’s up to Calum and his friend Laurel to figure out how to free him.

Adding to the challenge, Calum can no longer turn to his other cousin and best friend, Hagen, who has become mysteriously close to one of their school’s biggest bullies, Riley Sloan. Why has Hagen suddenly started treating Riley as his girlfriend when she used to be his enemy? And can Calum succeed in saving Finley without Hagen’s help?

From studying to school dances, field trips to first kisses, the third book of the Sidhe depicts a typical middle school experience, peppered with magic, faeries, and truly heroic deeds.

About the Author

Cindy Cipriano lives in North Carolina with her husband, son and their 27 pets.

 

Not really. Just three dogs who think they are children and three cats who think they are raccoons. It only seems like 27. Cindy enjoys spending time with her family and the avoidance of cooking.

 

Cindy credits The Sidhe series to an idea that came to her when she was a small child during, “one of my many “time-outs.” The characters, particularly Uilleam, were born out of her curiosity about what might be found underneath one of the tiles in the floor. It is for this reason she encourages all writers to record everything because, “There is no such thing as an ordinary life. Each of our lives are filled with stories begging to be told.”

***

You can find out more about Cindy on her website.

You can purchase The Lost on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million.

Writing a Trilogy – Dos and Don’ts

I recently read a book that was supposed to be the first book in a trilogy. But I don’t think the author knows what a trilogy should be. It turned out to be more of a short story that suddenly stopped. To find out what happened, you needed to buy the next book. No thanks.

box setA trilogy is a series of three movies or books that are closely related and involve the same characters or themes.

Writing a trilogy can be a lot of work but can also be very rewarding in that you get to stick with characters you know and hopefully build up a readership for your second and third books.

Here are some Dos and Don’ts of writing a trilogy.

DON’T – Write a full-length novel and divide it into three parts (as the author in the first paragraph seems to have done.)

DO – Write a story that can be sustained through three full-length novels. This can be one long story broken down into three acts, or it can be three separate stand-alone stories using the same characters. In romance novels, this is often done with three sisters/friends finding love with each sister/friend being the focus of one book. The other characters are prevalent in each book, and their stories are either building or being rounded out as the current love story takes place.

DON’T – Just write a trilogy because you think it will help you sell your novel or get people to buy subsequent books. (See the message above about having a story that can support being a trilogy.) Yes, a trilogy brings with it a set of eager readers who want to read books two and three but that only works if book 1 is good. Many fantasy authors may choose to write a fantasy novel because it is popular for this genre, but sometimes they need to stick with either a long stand-alone book or pare down the story rather than drag it out over three books.

DO – Make sure the first book can be a stand-alone novel, if needed. Take Star Wars: A New Hope, the first of the original Star Wars trilogy, as an example. It ended with a medal ceremony and could have easily been the end of the story.

DO – Plan ahead for when you write a trilogy. It makes things easier, and you can plant clues to the ending throughout the books. I wrote my trilogy without planning it until after the first book was written, which actually happens quite a bit. While it worked out in my case (and others), it would have been better to have been planned from the beginning. (less rewriting if nothing else.)

DO – Keep detailed notes and a timeline to make sure that your characters stay true to form throughout the trilogy. If someone is pregnant at the end of book 2, you need to be sure that the age of the baby works out in book 3. Or if your character received a wound that scarred in Book 1, you need to make sure the scar is there in book 3 (and in the same place). You can probably catch errors such as these in many books and movies and some observant reader will probably catch your mistakes too.

I am not trying to discourage anyone from writing a trilogy. I love reading them (and writing them). But you do need to plan ahead and as always, make sure you have overall story arc that can go the distance.

For additional tips, read my original post on writing a trilogy from three years ago.

 

#NewRelease – A WHITE HORIZON by Barbara Gaskell Denvil

Today I welcome author Barbara Gaskell Denvil to my blog. Her new book, A White Horizon, just came out. Don’t miss the excerpt after the interview!

Interview

Hello Susan, it’s a pleasure to be here on your blog. I am particularly delighted, because you’re giving me an opportunity to introduce my new very recently published novel, now available in ebook and paperback worldwide. (And soon to be available on audio.)

With this new book, A WHITE HORIZON, the first in a trilogy entitled STARS AND A WIND, although it is indeed set against a genuine historical background, the plot is pure fantasy.

Let me lead you into a swirling adventurous romance, with many unique and mysterious twists. Paths wind through unexpected danger, ending either in disaster – or ultimate success. My lovely heroine Skarga can never be sure.

It was a joy to write, and I certainly hope it will prove to be a joy to read.

Thanks for being here, Barbara. Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’ve led a life of so many changes and surprises that I sometimes feel like a character in a book myself. I was born in the Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, England – a perfect setting for inspiration amongst the thatched cottages, gentle rolling hills and valleys, woken by but bird song each morning, and lulled to sleep with a million dazzling stars. I began a career in literature, publishers’ editor, script- writer and author of articles and short stories – but romance stepped in with resounding effect, and my life changed. After a series of events and experiences including living on a yacht and sailing the Mediterranean for many years, I have now settled in the sunny countryside of Australia. I love the country and the climate – but there are still those romantic British roots which sometimes call me home. Yet what inspires me more than anything else is the life I lead in my head. Not quite crazy (I hope) – but certainly blessed with an over-flowing imagination.

What or who inspired you to start writing?

I come from a literary family. My great-great (and lots more greats) aunt was Elizabeth Gaskell, the classic Victorian author of Cranford, and my father was an artist and playwright. My sister is also an author, and it seemed natural as a child to write stories. Reading was as automatic as breathing, and I was never asked what I wanted for Christmas – I was asked what books I wanted. I still can’t ride a bike! Now I am writing full length novels, principally historical adventures as I have a great love for medieval history, but for the first time I have now written a fantasy-trilogy – and that is my new passion. Fantasy novels introduce a wild freedom to the imagination, and I do hope others will love to read my books as I love to write them.

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?

I have finished Part 2 of my Stars and a Wind trilogy and that will be published in approximately 5 months’ time. My heroine Skarga has many surprises and challenges ahead, and some are hauntingly dangerous. However, now she has support, and something to look forward to as well.

The third and final part of the trilogy will be published a little later. Although I shall also continue writing historical fiction, the joy of writing fantasy is proving quite a tempting and mesmerising attraction.

Please tell us more about your current release.

A White Horizon Draft 1As explained, STARS AND A WIND is a trilogy, and the first book – A WHITE HORIZON – has just been published. The story is unusual and starts where the great frozen north stretches up into the Arctic Circle, and the winter keeps its secrets hidden. There are places where humanity cannot go, and once long ago there were other creations, some celebrated, but others almost unknown. What happens beyond the glaciers is known to very few.

Skarga’s father believes she is cursed. Shunned by her family, she has adopted an orphaned child and as she battles for her rights and struggles for a better life, this child brings Skarga happiness. What he will eventually bring her in the future, she cannot possibly guess.

Taken off by the mysterious stranger paid by her father to slaughter her, Skarga sails across the northern sea to distant islands. Yet not everything is as it seems for these sailors are unusual in many ways, and can do things no human man should be able to do.

But Skarga is no victim, and she escapes. Now the mystery grows. Her adventure is only just beginning…

What inspired you to write this book?

I was actually inspired by watching a production of Matthew Bourne’s eccentric version of Swan Lake. Within a few days, I was dreaming about my own story. My trilogy has a totally different plot – and there’s not a swan in sight – but the ballet’s strange conflict and moving interaction between man and creature, with an element of alien fantasy, tragedy and humour, awakened my own ideas. The beauty and sadness of Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake (and the magnificent principal dancer Alan Vincent) really inspired me.

My book is, I believe, quite unique and combines fantasy with mystery, adventure and romance.

If this book is part of a series, what is the next book? Any details you can share?

My heroine has a long journey to travel. This first book takes her from the familiarity of her usual life, and tumbles her into terrifying chaos and the undercurrents of threatening magic. But she’s strong and she’ll fight for her life and her future.

Book 2 – (THE WIND FROM THE NORTH) will be published in a few months. This will continue the adventure, and take the heroine deeper into the ice land and its mysterious people. But then suddenly she discovers that she can stop fighting. The future is looking more beautiful than she could have imagined. But the danger is also greater.

If you could jump in to any book, and live in that world, which would it be?

I think they are all far too dangerous. And the world of A White Horizon is constantly freezing with endless night through winter, and ice and snow even in summer. My historical novels set in early Tudor and late medieval England also encompass very dangerous and uncomfortable worlds, but I admit I long for a Tardis Time- machine which could tumble me back into medieval London for a few days. I dream of those shadowed alleys, the sumptuous clothes, the glorious architecture and the very different attitudes which prevailed 500 years ago. I would adore to walk those cobbles and find out a little more of the historical puzzles which still exist due to the lack of contemporary documentation – for instance to see what Richard III and Henry VIII were really like and discover whether my own very firm convictions are correct. But I certainly don’t want to be left there too long and need a guaranteed escape. Fulfilling a dream is one thing – being abandoned to the true miseries of the past is quite another!

Do you have an all time favourite book?

I have a long list of favourite books, but perhaps Lord of the Rings was the one that awoke me to the glories of fantasy and, in spite of its few faults and failings (sorry, fans) it remains my greatest favourite. The huge variety of characters, the essence of good and evil, and the underlying and enduring sadness still move me utterly, and have always inspired me.

Which of your characters is your favourite? Do you dislike any of them?

I always adore all my characters. Even my villains. In this book, the hero – Thoddun – is my great favourite. He is a most unusual personality and by no means perfect, but he is one of the strongest of my heroes and is utterly protective. Certainly in that world and that land, it is protection which is essential.  I do also love and identify with Skarga, my heroine. Yet I have immense sympathy and understanding for my villain too. I find they all become real in my head. I can see them and hear them and if they suddenly turned up in the vicinity, I’d immediately know who they are and what to say to them. Mind you – there are some I’d sooner avoid, just to stay safe.

Can you tell us a little about the black moment in your book?

There are many black moments in this book, and I have been known to sit and cry over the computer when writing of a character’s death, or some other moment of extreme difficulty. I do not write cosy comfy stories, and some of my books are quite dark. But I also believe that in my books many of the more dangerous challenges turn out to have happy endings, whereas what seems to be an easy and pleasant event can turn out to be an attack after all. A White Horizon puts Skarga in considerable danger over and over again, but she’s courageous, and she copes with all the problems I send her.

Love, after all, conquers everything and that’s the theme of this book too.

Excerpt

A sled was hurtling across the white ground and the wind cut across. Snow crystals leapt like the sea spray. Then as Skarga turned, frightened, there appeared the beast who owned the pelt which was her blanket. The white fur was suddenly alive as a great running bear.

She had wrapped herself all night in the shimmer of it but now it chased her, huge, panting and clawed. She blinked, for the moonlight blinded her still, and the snow became liquid with glazed transparency. Through it, the dancing dolphins appeared again, leaping to the music of the chanting crew, and Skarga watched and listened as they sang. The two worlds combined. It was as if the snow had melted and the sea returned but through the dazzle of the water she still saw the frozen land, and the great white bear turned its head and stared at her, black eyes that went sharp through her heart. Utterly confused, she held her breath. And then she saw the last vision of all, the eagle eye, black and golden. Its beak, hooked and blood stained, reached for her.

Skarga began to fall. She toppled, for there was snow, and ocean, and the vivid sky’s arc of intense cobalt blue behind the eagle’s wing. Three worlds merged and she did not know which was real. Perhaps none.

She shivered and felt her blood turn to ice.

“Go back,” ordered a deep voice. “This is not your place.”

When she opened her eyes once more, she was back on the ship and the dolphins, tiring of the game, were turning aside. There was no chanting and no music, no bear, nor eagle nor snow. Only the rhythm of the rowers and the great tumult of the sea.

***

A White Horizon can be purchased on Amazon and Amazon UK.

You can find out more about Barbara on her blog or Facebook.

Today’s Featured Author: Susan Leigh Noble

For the first time in the three years that I have been hosting authors on my site, I finally had one not return their information in time. So today, I decided I would be the featured author and share an excerpt from Destiny, the third book in my The Elemental trilogy.  If you are an author and interested in being featured, please contact me.

Excerpt

Selda delighted in just holding the scepter in her hand. She caressed it as one might caress a lover. She couldn’t believe she was finally holding the instrument that would restore her magic. Movement outside the window caused her to turn. It was the red dragon, Kset, gorging on a horse. She shuddered at the sight. The abandoned farm was not her choice of places to stay, though it did provide food for the dragon. She had been all for letting him go, but Slade seemed attached to the creature. She glanced at her brother and then back at the scepter.

“How do we use it?” she asked her voice breathless.

Slade held out his hand, and she reluctantly gave up the scepter. “I don’t know,” he said turning it over in his hand. “I guess we should give it a try.”

“How?”

“Well it reveals magic. I have an amulet made by a Learner. The amulet was designed to track the wearer. We can test it on that.” He looked at her. “Of course we still need the sword.”

“We will need to find out where Val is.”

“I can use the spell Ben Dar used to track Lina.”

“We don’t need her. We need Val.”

“From what you have said, I figure they will be together,” he said as he opened his book and flipped a few pages.

Selda reached into the bag at Slade’s feet. She pulled out the book she had given to him. She opened it to a marked page. “Use this one.”

Slade read it and smiled. “Perfect.”

Selda quickly fetched a bowl and filled it with water from the pitcher on the counter. Slade leaned over the bowl, murmuring the spell softly. Selda watched him with a mixture of appreciation that he was helping her and a bit of indignation at the fact he could do magic while she couldn’t. That fact burned inside her as she watched the colors swirl in the water. A picture began to form. Selda took in the campsite that was clearly in the process of being broken down. She saw Val carrying a pack over to the black dragon. He fitted it on the beast’s back and then turned and took something from Lina. The two shared a smile. Selda pushed the bowl away. Water splashed onto the table as the image disappeared.

Slade looked at her with an amused smile on his face. “They aren’t in Harmony anymore,” he said. “Or Zena for that matter with all those trees in the background.”

Selda began to pace. “Where do you think they are?”

“They could be in Carna still looking for me.” But before she could say anything, he shook his head. “No,” he said, waving his hand to dismiss what he had just suggested. “Didn’t look like Carna. The trees were not quite right.”

“That would then put them in Altron. Where would they be going?”

Slade shrugged. “At least they will be closer to us when we are ready to get his sword. But enough of this. Let’s try the scepter.”

He walked over to his pack and fished out a tarnished silver amulet. A yellow stone set in the center of a delicate looking design. It hung from a simple silver chain. Slade set it on the table beside the bowl. He picked up the scepter and waved it above the amulet. Nothing happened. Slade lightly tapped the scepter to the amulet. Again, nothing happened.

Slade picked up the amulet. “I feel its power. But the scepter made no indication of it.”

“Try releasing its power.”

Slade looked at her. “I don’t want to destroy it.”

Selda laughed. “I know you like the amulet, but we need to make sure the scepter works.”

Slade waved the scepter over the amulet in his hand. His face was tight with concentration as he again tapped the scepter to the amulet.

“Maybe there are some words you need to speak to invoke the scepter’s power,” she suggested.

Slade sat down the amulet and scepter. He picked up the book that had led them to the scepter. “Nothing in here about how to use it.” He looked around the room. “Perhaps we should try it on something else.”

Selda sighed. “Like what?”

“I don’t know. Something else magical.”

“Create something,” she suggested as she picked up the scepter. “Or use it on the dragon; it’s a creature of magic.” Slade’s outraged look caused her to laugh.

“We are not using the scepter on the dragon,” he said as he opened his spell book. “If you want to try it on a creature of magic, I can do that.” He flipped through the pages, stopping on one.  “Here we go.”

As Slade began to work, Selda turned the scepter over in her hands, wishing she knew how it worked and wishing she already had her powers back so she could hunt down Lina. She would make her pay for everything. But not before she took The Elemental’s powers.

Book Description

DestinyFINALDestroying Quietus should have stopped the destruction to the Land. But it hadn’t. Slowly, the barren areas continue to grow destroying everything in their path. None of Lina’s Elemental powers can repair the damage while the Land remains contaminated by magic.

But there is an ancient scepter created by a Learner that they believe will lift this magical barrier. Before Lina can claim it, the scepter is stolen.  Now Lina and Val must race to find the scepter and end the destruction to the Land once and for all.

You can purchase Destiny for $.2.99 at AmazonSmashwords or anywhere e-books are sold.

In honor of my birthday – Fantasy Book Sale

My birthday is this week and I thought I would give you, the reader, a present to celebrate.

For one week, I am offering my fantasy trilogy for just $2.99! That is right – you can get all three books for the price of one book!

If you are a cat-lover, I also suggest checking out The Search, which features Tosh, a telepathic cat from my trilogy. You can get this fantasy short story for only 99 cents on Amazon.

But I will let you in on a secret – you can get The Search from Barnes & Noble, the Kobo Store, or Smashwords – where it is available in all e-book formats – for FREE! That’s right. It is FREE every day!

So for just $2.99 this week you can get FOUR fantasy stories. (Sale ends Tuesday, Sept. 16)

Enjoy!

The Elemental trilogy

Amazon                Smashwords (Coupon Code: HN44P)

box set

Summoned:

Lina was born with the power to start fires with a mere thought – a trait which died out long ago. She had no plans to leave her beloved homeland. Then gypsies kidnap her and take her to a foreign land. There a strong urge compels her to travel north.

On her journey, she reluctantly uses her innate Elemental powers as she battles mystical creatures that have not existed for 800 years. When she discovers the shocking truth behind the calling, it will change her life in ways she could never imagine.

Quietus:

In the shadow of Ben Dar fortress, Lina learned she was the center of a thousand-year-old prophecy claiming the rebirth of the Elementals – an ancient race dedicated to caring for the Land.

Now Lina and those with traces of Elemental power train in the mountains of South Point in the hopes that they can defeat this unknown danger to the Land. Will her powers be enough to stop the destruction of her homeland?

Destiny: 

Destroying Quietus should have stopped the destruction to the Land. But it hadn’t. Slowly, the barren areas continue to grow destroying everything in their path. None of Lina’s Elemental powers can repair the damage while the Land remains contaminated by magic.
But there is an ancient scepter created by a Learner that may lift this magical barrier. Before Lina can claim it, the scepter is stolen. Now Lina and Val must race to find the scepter and end the destruction to the Land once and for all.

The SearchThe Search

For over a thousand years, telepathic cats known as STACs have faithfully searched for those with power over the elements looking for the one foretold to save the Land. None have questioned their duty to fulfill this ancient task.

But when Tosh’s latest charge is murdered because of his Elemental powers, Tosh considers abandoning The Search. Will a glimpse of the future destruction be enough to change his mind?

Amazon                 Barnes & Noble               Kobo Store        Smashword  (every ebook format)

Today’s Featured Authors: Sarena and Sasha Nanua

Today, I welcome authors Sarena and Sasha Nanua to my blog. The third installment of The Pendant Trilogy, The Poisoned Emerald, will be released September 23rd.

Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself. 

We’re twin writers from Mississauga, Ontario, and we’ve been writing since the age of nine. Our favourite kinds of books are fantasy and science-fiction, and we’ve always loved coming up with imaginary characters and fantastical worlds from a young age. This year we’re entering university and we’re really excited to be pursuing a major in English & French lit. We are also really excited for the release of the third and final book in our trilogy, THE POISONED EMERALD.

Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?

As much as we would love to be full-time writers, we’re not (unfortunately). We’ll be attending our first year of university so we’ll only have time to write for class. That’s why we make the most of the summer to work on new projects! Other than writing, we like to read (only, like, all the time), and watch sci-fi shows on TV (the ones that always get canceled). We also like to go outside to get a bit of fresh air when we’re not caught up in the world of another book. Or we’ll just bring the book outside with us. (Why not?)

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

When we began writing, we would just write without fleshing out our ideas. Soon, after countless unfinished stories were thrown into our nightstand, we realized the only way we could really finish a novel was to think of the beginning, middle, and end. And it was so helpful! When we were thirteen, we began to type our story on the computer, and it was the first fully fleshed out novel we ever wrote. And guess what it was? THE GEMSTONE!

Did you base any of your characters on real people?

Not exactly. Our main character, Arica Miller, isn’t exactly like my sister and me. However, she does have twin cousins (woot!) with an older brother. Not to mention that we have an older brother. So, of course, we made the twins super awesome, and we made the older brother the exact opposite of ours–totally into books and not video games!

Which of your characters is your favorite? Do you dislike any of them?

We wouldn’t say we necessarily dislike any of our characters–of course, some of them are more likeable than others. But we’d say our favourites would be Ash Graves (Arica’s roommate at her new school) and the headmistress. There’s something very intriguing about the both of them, which you will see as you read THE GEMSTONE!

If you could meet two authors, who would you pick and why?

If we could meet two authors, they would be JK Rowling–because she wrote the Harry Potter series and is the reason for our obsession with the books and movies–and Roald Dahl. He’s been one of my (Sasha’s) writing heroes since a young age. He’s the reason I started reading. And I will be forever thankful!

If you could jump in to any book, and live in that world, which would it be?

This isn’t even a question for us. HARRY POTTER! Ever since we went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, we’ve been collecting little trinkets from the Harry Potter universe–Dumbledore’s wand, a Harry Potter-themed calendar, a pop-up of Diagon Alley, our Butterbeer cup, etc…

We just love the books and movies so much–who wouldn’t want to live in Hogwarts? It would be so awesome to go to school there. Still waiting for our Hogwarts letters!

Book Synopsis

The Poisoned Emerald.FINAL.inddThe poison is spreading….

I wrapped myself in the portal’s embrace and felt my feet land on a new surface. I stood on a sandy beach that was wet and damp, causing the ground to stick to my shoes. The portal snapped shut, and I felt misty rain dance on my shoulders.                                                                                  

Thunder sounded from overhead, and before I could comprehend the impending storm, a gash of lightning hit the hill just to the right of the river. The ground quaked below me before an explosion of sand burst from the ground.

AS WINTER ARRIVES Arica Miller is back to regular school life at Hill Valley. After resolving the disappearance of the King’s Jewel and returning it safely, Arica doesn’t expect anything else to go wrong. Too soon does Arica learn that a great evil—a poison—has spread through the Sorcerers Underworld, threatening to take away all magic. And worse, the only person who can save the magical world has been kidnapped: the king.

In order to find the king, Arica and her friends must follow an ancient prophecy in which they must defeat vicious creatures, travel through mysterious forests, and restore peace to the poisoned land—no matter how dangerous it could be …

In this final installment of The Pendant Trilogy, Arica learns of dark pasts, unknowable futures, and the truth of the pendant’s origin. Arica doesn’t have much time left—and if she fails, the mortal and the magical worlds are both at stake.

About the Authors

NaunaSarena and Sasha Nanua are teenage twins living in Ontario. They love reading books in their spare time and enjoy science fiction and fantasy novels. They have been writing books since they were nine-years-old. The Gemstone is their first novel. You can find out more about them on their website. Or you can catch up with them on Twitter or Facebook.

You can purchase The Gemstone (the first in the Pendant Trilogy) on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Indigo.