Yesterday we officially typed The End on the first draft of SAPPHIRE FLAMES and sent it to our long-suffering editor, Erika Tsang. The manuscript is a bit long, almost 110, 000 words. so about 7,000 words longer than WILDFIRE. It was a big book, and it had to start the relationship and the trilogy arc. It was also a bit of a departure, because Catalina is a very different character from Nevada and her powers are non-combat.
But we are done. ::exhaling:: We are going to take a small writing break for a couple of weeks, because we are very worn out. Beta invitations are going to go out sometime today. I am debating whether or not I am actually going to inflict this mess on Jeaniene Frost.
Meanwhile, I can actually concentrate on things like finishing the website, sorting through piles of paperwork mysteriously accumulating everywhere, and fin having. And doing nothing. Doing nothing is so nice, at least for a little bit. Expect blog updates about pressing topics like tea and Russian knitting hat patterns.
If you are looking to have a writing/industry question answered, now is your window.
Awesome. Enjoy your time off!
Hooray and thanks! cold wet miserable stress filled scary sick day last week totally saved because a pre ordered new release dropped in. Made my day improved my week. Book merely o.k. and sent me away from long time fav author because our paths are changing BUT never forget how VITAL AND SIGNIFICANT the work you all do is.
Woo hoo! Congrats to you both!
Enjoy your time off. Rest your hands and your “little grey cells”.
That manuscript will be back before you know it.
(We, of course, are rubbing our acquisitive little paws, telling each other “Soon, yes, very soon, my dear, it will be ours.”)
Sorry, but we are the BDH, after all.
Just remember – we love your books. We wouldn’t be this weird otherwise.
Looking forward to reading it, it has been a long hard dry spell without our reading fix! Enjoy your very richly deserved time off .
Susan Ivey says
Wait! She’s the head of House Baylor!!??
Michelle K says
Did Nevada become part of House Rogan when they got married?
Read the new bookie and you’ll find out. 😉
Devious little authors….
Thanks for the assurance! Can’t wait to find out what’s happening.
Patricia Schlorke says
Oooo…them’s fightin’ words (or reading words). 😀
Michelle K says
I bet Gordon would tell me!? But that’s ok, I am content waiting for the book.
I picked up on that too so I am a bit confused about how that would happen.
Doot-de-do! ? Congrats, and enjoy your very well-earned time off!
It is SO true…never believe that your work is not necessary & of value!
I can’t speak for everyone else, but being able to read a book that sucks you into another place & time in such a way that you are no longer aware of where you are even at…that’s a GIFT!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for creating a world(s) that allows me to escape the sometimes difficult times that life throws at all of us. You both rock!
Congratulations! Have some fun now!
Sarah Wynde says
Congratulations! I’m sure I’m not going to be the first to say this, but I can’t wait to read it! I love Catalina.
Sarah Wynde says
And in a high level of neuroticism, I had to come back to say I can wait, of course. I didn’t mean that in a pressure-write-faster sort of way. I just meant that I’m really looking forward to it. 🙂
Excerpt or didn’t happen ?
No but seriously, congrats and hope you can now get some rest! ?
Congratulations! I hope you enjoy your break.
What a wonderful achievement! Hope you enjoy your downtime and the Texas spring. I’m excited the book is a little long. I’ll read it!
Congratulations enjoy the break!!!
Congratulations! Enjoy your well deserved break!
That’s good news! Excited to see the final product. But it’s in own time. Enjoy your break!
Rita Webb says
Congratulations! I’m looking forward to reading it.
Katie Mackey says
Squeeee! So exciting! I’m really looking forward to this book! I also hope that you get some good rest time!
Cheryl M says
Hooray! Congratulations! Now, rest. Enjoy the rest. Have fun, and subject Jeaniene to whatever you throw at her.
After the grueling writing schedule, doing absolutely nothing sounds fabulous 🙂 Enjoy your time off.
Congrats!! Looking forward to reading it ?
I have a question I’ve wanted to ask for a long time. **Major Spoiler for Nevada Baylor series**
Was Kelly Waller always intended to be the bad guy from the beginning? While I liked the plot twist, the writing for that never struck me as convincing. Or rather she felt well written as being sincere in the opening scenes.
She was always the bad guy. Rogan is a tactile, which gives him some sensitivity. She had to be very convincing. If you read the first part, you can pick up a couple of places where she is psyching herself up trying to sink into the role.
Ellen D. says
Congratulations! Take a deep breath and enjoy your break!
Knit some socks.. always a great stress reliver
Margaret K says
I can’t speak for the authors, of course. But when I re-read the introductory chapter with Kelly Waller after she was revealed as one of the evil conspirators, I saw that she WAS sincere. She was sincerely concerned that she wasn’t going to be able to suck Connor into her plans, and was hugely relieved when she succeeded. We just didn’t know at the beginning what her sincere concern and relief were actually about.
Take care of you. Enjoy! We eagerly anticipate the future wonderfulness of your work.
Congratulations! Enjoy your break!
Fan in California says
Congratulations!! Looking forward to Russian knitting hat patterns!!!
PS really like the new website format!!
Lenore A. Villa says
Just wanted to say….(SCREAMING!!!!)
Thank you so very much.
Enjoy your break!
Diane Drayson says
Well done! I look forward to reading it when it comes out in paperback. I’ve decided hardback books are too heavy for me.
That word count doesn’t sound too long to me. Too long was the final book of five that I recently finished with about 950 pages! It was heavy to hold, even in trade paperback. My thumbs suffered. (The previous books were long, but not that long.)
Billie Dee says
Enjoy your time off!
Enjoy your down time. Don’t fall down the yarn rabbit hole and may the paperwork pile be a quick ascent! (Sorry I’ve spent 5 hours driving to and from a meeting so my brain has weirdness.)
Lynda MS says
Congratulations! I have ordered both Kindle and paperback editions already. May I ask though, why is the graphic in the banner above not the paperback cover? It is awesome.
Because I was too lazy to crop the cover in Photoshop and this one was already the right size.
Congratulations!! Enjoy your down time the edit will be back before you know it.
R Coots says
Congrats! Have fun relaxing! (And definitely share the knitting!)
I can hardly contain my enthusiasm about this new book. Yeah! Love anticipating your books. Thank you so much for all the effort you and your husband put into your wonderful books.
Roseanne Lobbezoo says
Yay! You always do such an awesome job of creating your alternate worlds we forget how hard the work is. Take the time to enjoy life and lift your spirits.
It’s so great to be able to connect with you and Gordon on this site. It helps us see inside the process not just the final product.
Here’s wishing you health and happiness
Becky Helton says
I’m so glad I found your books & so happy for new books coming. Just wish the weather was worth being off for. Thank you so much for providing distraction from the world.
Congrats! Enjoy your downtime and the mental health break. I’m sure the pets will revel in your downtime too.
I LOVE long books! With a good book, I never want it to end.
Congrats! Doing nothing, except maybe cocoa and reading, is a great way to pass the time. I do keep checking Amazon every announcement and am reassured that I already have preordered any pending books. Will continue to check, because this member of the BDH……. Will still be waiting until finally publish.
Yay for meeting the deadline!
Even more cheers for some down time!
One of my favorite down time things is to go out with a couple of friends to a place offering high tea. Relaxing and social. Maybe one of the kids has an afternoon free?
Wonderful news, you both deserve a break!
Have fun & I’m looking forward to the yarn & patterns & the tea & teasing of JF 😀
Yay for finishing the first draft and I hope you both enjoy some proper rest and relaxation before the editing starts! You’ve definitely earned it 🙂
Jeaniene Frost says
There is nothing to debate. You HAVE to give it to me! You promised!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(and congrats on finishing, of course :))
Dianna Gibbs says
What about Leon? Is he going to be acknowledged as a son and inherit his father’s billions?
Do you need any additional beta readers?
Cindy H. says
I always have to have time to adjust when a series moves from one set of characters to another, that’s why I enjoyed the novella about Nevada & Rogan’s wedding. I like Catalina but will miss Nevada. I hope the latter will make at least a cameo appearance in this new book. ? Otherwise, I am looking forward to Catalina’s story. I have a feeling that Italian guy (sorry, can’t remember his name) is going to turn out to be very interesting, lol. Congrats on finishing the draft!
I’m so happy you’re going to get a break. I hope you and Gordon just veg for a while. Sleeping, playing games, sleeping, knitting, sleeping. Whatever strikes your fancy. Shoot, go wild and order your groceries for delivery again!
Looking forward to the book.
What wont said! Take your time and relax!
Congratsulations on finishing the book!!
Gail G says
Really looking forward to read more of Catalina’s story, especially since she is such a different personality than Nevada. Congratulations on finishing the first draft. Hope you two enjoy the break and come back feeling refreshed to tackle the next project.
George Bailey says
PS: Reading the ‘I’m looking for’ page on your website made me smile
Maria R. says
Yah soon to be mine (book)
Judy B says
Gloria Magid says
I can’t wait for this book. I have missed the Baylor/Rofan families so much. Hope you have a relaxing break now that the first draft is done .
All my best to you both,
Gloria Magid says
Rogan, not Rofan!!!
Breaks are good,they put to much pressure on writers to finish deadlines when writing is art,it’s just hard!
Rest your typing fingers!
So much love to both of you! Yay! Break time! (Which is, as you said, just a chance to tackle that pile of to-do’s.) Hugs and kisses all around!
Have a good break!
Congratulations on the completion of your newest book. You and Gordon are wonderful. Thank you so much for feeding my addiction for great storytelling.
Lynne Binkley says
Michelle Soporito says
Congratulations! I look forward to giving you my money as soon as I can!
Yippee! So looking forward to this. I recently re-read Diamond Fire for the..5th time? And realized yeah, that means I have to go back and re-read the first trilogy for the Nth time. Because it reminded me how much I love these characters.
I have a question for the BDH which is kinda a parenting question, honestly. I have a 12 year old daughter who reads far above her grade level – she just finished reading Dracula (the original text) and is very mature in a lot of ways. I honestly think she would love the Hidden Legacy and Innkeeper series. But she hates the “relationship” parts of some books she has read (she liked Hunger Games up to the boyfriend part and I’m actually with her on that, she says Katniss turned into a wimp with the boys) and I’m fairly sure she has never read a book that has anything more sexually explicit than kissing and perhaps vague allusions to anything more. Have you shared these series with your tweens and teens? Were they ok with it or did you or they have issues? I read some explicit stuff (James Bond novels) when I was youngish and I remember mostly kinda skipping the sex parts like “yawn, whatever.” Just curious if anyone has experience with this, although I know every kid and every family is different.
Kathy Spencer says
Try the first innkeeper book. Hardly any kissy stuff and a great intro for your 12 year old girl. If she can handle the blood in dracula she can handle the guts in clean sweep. Lol yours Kathy
I think most kids would skip those parts, especially if they “hate” those scenes. I used to read Harlequin romance books when I was younger (third, fourth grade) and I would skip any sex parts because they bored me (and I was not able to properly visualize those scenes anyway). Also, there is not much sex in the Innkeeper series anyway (just toward the end in the third book, and I believe there is a scene or two in Maud’s story). There is more sex in the Hidden Legacy series (maybe 1-3 per book?), but Nevada never turns into a wimp with Rogan…
Inga Abel says
I have a teenage boy (15) and he is not into the sex scenes yet, but he thinks the Innkeeper series is great fun, very well written and diverse!
He usually reads fantasy and modern scifi, german and english.
By the way, I think your daughter is totally right with Katniss!!
Greets from Switzerland
At age 12-13, I started reading Kate Daniels and The Edge Chronicles. In general, the romance parts of books were my least favorite so I used to skim anything that was close to a sex scene or even romantic declarations (depending on my mood, I sometimes do this now too). I skimmed instead of skipped because I was paranoid I would miss part of the plot. I really enjoyed the Hidden Legacy series when I read it at 15 but by that time I was reading more romance. If your daughter likes books with a very well developed magical system/world building, I would recommend Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series. It’s pretty long and can get a little dark, but there’s not a large emphasis on romance.
I’m really happy to know of someone else who discovered both the AuthorLords and the site who’s younger(I’m 17).
Anshu and Sophie, apologies, it didn’t even occur to me that the BDH would include teens as well. Thanks so much for your input. It didn’t occur to me because I didn’t have access to such great books when I was a teen- and of course back then the only way to connect with authors and other readers was through writing paper letters!
My main interaction with the romance/urban fantasy community is online. I actually don’t know anyone who reads these genres in real life. For some reason I’m surrounded by non-readers, non-fiction, young-adult and high fantasy readers. I’m a little curious about how to connect with other readers without blogs. Would it be through local meetups or book clubs?
If you have an independent book store near you, check with them. My local book store helps maintain several book clubs, catering to several different genres. Libraries also support various book clubs.
If she’s not into the relationship (sex) stuff, you could always bookmark the requisite scenes to make skipping them easier… I’m not a parent so that’s my only piece of advice.
Susie Q. says
Tamora Pierce has several series set in Tortall. Her main characters start as teens who grow into strong independent women. There is generally a love interest by the time the characters are in their 20s, very pg and show that a relationship between equals.
The Mercedes Lackey books with Nan and Sarah are good adventures; the adults (Sahib & Memsahib Horton and Dr. & Mrs. Watson) are affectionate but discreet – owing, I think, to the setting being a version of Victorian London.
Shannon from Texas says
If she hasn’t read Tolkien, I loved those at her age. For more recent authors, I’d suggest Patricia Briggs Huron series, Lois McMaster Bujold (Vorksogian series), Ender’s Game, Anne Bishop (The Others series), mcCaffey’s dragon riders of Pern series might all interest her.
I’d say yes to Innkeeper, the Edge, Kate Daniels (the sex is easy to pass over and starts late in the series).
I second The recommendation of Tolken, Enders Game, The School for Good and Evil by Chainsni, and a really wonderful series that starts off with a book called Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor. None of them have any sex. My concern as a parent with a child the same age as yours is that by encouraging her to read sexual scenes, she will think this is a normal thing that kids her age should do on a date. This filters through my own life and values, so take my opinions with a grain of salt ! But do read Akata Witch!
Barbara Erwin says
My kids loved the first Eddings series when they were tweens. No sex but a little budding interest between boy and girl, good writing and characters. It’s an older series but still good. The first series is the best. Umm, maybe titled The Belgariad? It’s fantasy, not UF.
What a great community. Thanks everyone for the thoughtful replies and recommendations. And thank you Authorlords for writing fun, interesting, thought-provoking stories with strong female leads- exactly the kind of books I love and want my daughter to have. Cheers everyone!
Book 1 is Pawn of Prophecy.
Wasn’t an Eddings book referenced in one of the AL’s novels?
My daughter read way above her age level, and read the Belgariad in first grade. She loved it, and loves it still. She’ll read the series once a year just because, and she’s nearing 40! It’s a great read.
I loved the Belgariad until the day (way, WAY, later than it should have been), that I realized there was a marital rape scene that was justified because Wife bore a son and THEN realized that Husband was “really very gentle”. Uhm. Except for that time when he bashed through your locked door and insisted you “perform your duty”?
Just… be aware it’s there so you can discuss it.
As an aside, my younger brother, who ALSO grew up with and loved the Edding’s books still has not forgiven me for pointing out that scene to him. “I can’t unsee it now!”
Yes, it’s called The Belgariad!! Read it many years ago the first time, and enjoy revisiting it every so often to this day.. You, as the parent, have a much better idea of your daughters maturity level, and what she is ready for. Go with your gut feeling..
Why would a 12 year old think they should be doing sex when much older characters in the books are doing it? This is the thinking that gets abstinence-only sex ed taught. And abstinence-only sex ed is PROVEN to get more babies. Even Texas is finally recognizing that.
This will be the next blog post.
Hey BDH, thank you so much for all of your insight and recommendations. This is such a great community and I thought one or two folks would respond, but I didn’t expect so much input! I think my daughter would love Innkeeper and Hidden Legacy (and probably The Edge and Kate Daniels, but I think the first two would appeal to her more right off) because of the intense world building, humor, and great characters. I’ve already read her all the animal mage sequences. And as a mom, I want her to have books that have strong female leads who have a strong moral code, power of their own, and don’t faint when a man is nearby. Thank you authorlords, and cheers everyone!
If your daughter hasn’t found her yet, Tamora Pierce has a couple of amazing YA worlds with strong female characters. I read them in high school, and will still read them from time to time.
+1 Alanna is wonderful.
I love the Immortals series
What a great community. Thanks everyone for your thoughtful replies and recommendations. And thank you Authorlords for writing interesting, fun, thought-provoking books with strong female leads – exactly the kinds of books I love and want my daughter to have. Cheers everyone!
I agree with the posters above. My daughter also read way above her age level. Some books I read first some I consulted other adults that may have read them. I would suggest along with the other authors listed try some of Tamora Pierce’ books.
I remember loving the the dark angel trilogy by Meredith Ann Pierce and recently enjoyed the YA Lili St. Crow Dark Angel series and her three takes on fairie tales: Wayfarer, Nameless and Kin.
Helena Pohl says
I relate to this! When I was twelve it was hard to find good books that were considered “age appropriate”. I recommend anything by Tamora Pierce, Terry Pratchett, and Mercedes Lackey along with the Authorlords’ works. You might also try His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik. Maybe the Chronicles of Elantra by Michelle Sagara. Elizabeth Moon and Martha Wells might also catch her interest.
I adore Terry Pratchett’s books, and his Tiffany Aching series would be a great place to start for a young girl. Also try Nation, and Equal Rites. Another good author would be Robin McKinley, who has awesome strong female lead characters. Ooh, and Sharon Shinn and Sheri S. Tepper, they both write great women and have relationship stories without sex scenes, but the emphasis is on action and story. It’s been a long time since I was reading far above my age level, but my mom always let me read anything and then discussed it with me. Good luck !
+1 to Robin McKinley, but I don’t see any reason to start her on Tiffany Aching just because Tiff is younger. I would actually think she should already know Granny Weatherwax going in to Tiffany. And her books aren’t any easier than the “grown up” books.
I would argue that you need to start with the Tiffany books not because they’re younger, but because they’re better.
Concerning fantasy started my 9 year old son with Harry Potter when he was 6 years old and sinds then has been reading Percy Jackson, the Mazerunner, David and Leigh Eddings, and is waiting for the Hobbit so he can start with Tolkien. I asked him about the romance/ sex stuff and as long it’s not the focus of the story he’s ok with it. He reads it because it is part of the whole story and he doesn’t want to miss anything. As he is a boy I asked him also if he would read books with a female main character and he said he might ? So I wouldn’t mind if he wanted to read Ilona Andrews books.
I read a long way above my age all through school. To the fantastic suggestions you’ve had, I’d add Tanith Lee, Angela Carter, Guy Gavriel Kay and Thomas Mallory.
Mary Cruickshank-Peed says
Having been a kid who read way above my age and having raised 4 (well, still working on 2), if these are the types of stories she likes, let her read what she likes, but encourage her to come to you with questions. The relationships in these books are certainly more realistic than those of the Disney Princesses, which would certainly not be happening in real life.
I’m not a parent, but it seems to me that letting young teens read books with sex in it gives them another information source than parents, teachers and friends about what is acceptable once they become interested.
Lucy, kids self-censor. Let her try things. If she doesn’t like it, she will either move on or skip the steamy scenes. 🙂 Also, I highly recommend purchasing a decent book about sex for teens that goes into the details on sexual positions, sex safety, and other things and leaving it on a shelf somewhere. If it disappears at some point for a little while, don’t point it out. Otherwise, the kids end up looking for information on the internet and often end up with nonsense.
What a lovely question, in so many ways….
OK: as someone who, as a child, always read voraciously and way above my reading age from aged 6 – my experience was also that I ‘skipped’ or did not really focus on the detail and nuances of adult and sexual relationships in the books I read. Obviously, everyone is different, and you know your own child (‘age appropriate’ is a guideline, after all), but to an extent you process the contents of books according to your emotional references and maturity. Of course, children also have to process the difficulties of ‘real life’ and what they see or experience (school, social media etc) that any parent cannot control. In my case, I certainly found that reading so-called ‘adult’ books helped me process some of the difficult ‘real life’ things that I was exposed to…books were a ‘safe space’ as well as a refuge for me: I don’t know of that helps?
Some of the recommendations of more adult (but not explicit) books already given are great. Personally, I found the adult books that I read that focusing on the vagaries of people more useful to me than those that those that specifically focused on sex…although as a curious child, as I got older I was was also very interested in that! I would add Lois McMaster Bujold’s ‘Penric and Desdemona’ books to the list of books you might consider: adult books, certainly, with minor mention of sex and sexual relationships (not explicit or misogynistic, and, well-written, but minor elements of the books and very ‘skippable over’, if necessary): character-driven, interesting books in a SF/Fantasy world that also happen to involve important themes.
As noted in earlier posts, being a parent who was available and reasonably non-judgemental to their child about talking through confusing/difficult things raised in books (and IRL) is such a good thing….but it can be such a bruising thing to seek advice online about any (no matter how minor) aspect of parenting. I hope that you find the BDH a useful source of advice!
I still skip! Or at least skim, in case there’s conversation. But at 44, it’s more that I’m just bored of reading about it, and would rather be doing it 😉
When I was 12, I read at an extremely advanced level. Coming from a family of voracious readers, I was NEVER told I wasn’t allowed to read something (I actually think my parents would still find this an odd concept, 30+ years later).
I was a pretty obsessive & read all kinds of genres – anything on the shelf that appealed… science fiction, fantasy, romance (all of the different eras, although I loved pirates), mystery (including the murder mysteries), & even the occasional western. The local library didn’t really limit anything I checked out either (they may have asked my parents if I had restrictions, but I wasn’t aware of it). If I didn’t have my preferred (aka ones I had picked out) books, I would delve into my Dad’s 10 foot tall bookshelf, which broadened my genre selections.
At 12, I read “Clan of the Cave Bear” by Jean M. Auel, borrowed from my Grandma & a few months later my Mom read it. It has some pretty graphic sex (including rape) & other violent scenes.
My Mom is a nurse, so I always had more than the average amount of sex education & she would answer any questions about anything (health, sex, social issues, relationships, drugs, etc.) that I (or even my friends) had.
After reading the book, my Mom said to me, “Well, do you have any questions about anything? That was a bit more violent than I thought it was going to be.”
I answered, “No, no questions. Yes, it was pretty violent & I found it really awful how badly she was treated for being different.”
The lesson I received from that book has always stuck with me… being treated horribly for something you can’t control (in the character’s case for being blonde haired & blue eyed… just like me). I was much more aware of how love isn’t synonymous with sex, what rape is, & overall that life can sometimes be cruel & unfair, even when you make the best choices you can.
I’ve always been very thankful to my family for being willing to let me read whatever I wanted, as the lessons I learn continue to help me navigate life. I’m glad to see that most people feel the same way!
To The Person Who Thinks Sex in Books Make You MORE Likely to Have Sex:
If anything, reading gave me grandiose ideas (per my Mother) about what a relationship should entail BEFORE I should even consider an intimate relationship. I wanted a fairytale! (Thanks to all the Harlequin romances I devoured!)
I was much more aware of consequences (pregnancy, STDs, your partner deserting you, & your peers shunning you) & all of the bad things that could/might happen, so I was much more cautious. I waited years longer than the majority of my friends to even consider it.
Did I have sex prior to marriage? Yes, but I was responsible & safe when 85% of my friends were not (due to fear of judgment & stigmas that came from people like you). The friends that were taught to practice “abstinence only” were always the ones who ended up pregnant (alone & miserable) very young.
When they all got married (& divorced/married/etc.)? I waited for the right (fairytale) person to marry. My life doesn’t exactly qualify as a fairytale, as there is no castle, no wildlife that dresses me in ballgowns every day, & I have to work… but since I was more self-aware instead of following the judgment/arbitrary rules, I ended up a whole lot more content with my choices, instead of struggling to survive with a couple of kids & an a husband who was irresponsible or just left. Being married isn’t any kind of guarantee of being ready for a relationship (sexual or not) or being prepared for the consequences of unprotected sex (like children).
I kind of agree with earlier responses – younger (& not so young) readers get out of a story what they are ready for. I read “Thornbirds” at ~14 and later (after a parent at my prior school had a fit after a student was reading it) told my mom it wasn’t very good when she asked — think I told her the characters & plot weren’t very well developed. Point was the parent(s) were upset a student was reading about an affair with a priest and I was upset the plot wasn’t good.
Tamora Pierce writes very good YA books without an overdose of teenage angst – good plots, characters who grow & face challenges, but remain youths. Tolkien is also good, despite his reluctance to write in very many female characters. Robin McKinley also remains on my self (have had to replace “Blue Sword” twice. Oh, also the entire Valdemar series (and related anthologies) by Mercedes Lackey!
I would have read Kate Daniels or any of the authorlords books at that age, but each child is different.
There’s an amazing series by L. E. Modessit called the Soprano Sorceress that is set very much around a fantasy world and a woman from modern earth who is accidentally called there through music. The relationships are important but there is no physical contact.
The other series that I think are amazing are any books by Amy Bartol. They verge on YA, are all FTB in the relationships, but have epic modern day sensibility as well as the paranormal or Urban fantasy vibe.
It’s sci-fi so may not be as much what you are looking for, but I often recommend the honor Harrington books by David weber. Has a nice strong female lead, I don’t think there’s any sex until maybe the fifth book and even then it’s a small passage/easy to skip.
Very happy to hear about the book, and hooray for upcoming relaxation! Enjoy!
?Yay for draft done!!
Tea should be a major food group like chocolate!
I have no skill at knitting, crocheting, needlepoint, embroidery, etc., so looking forward to the beautiful artwork pics that you share on the blog! The cowl is so cool – very Ren Faire!
Hey Ilona! Clearwater Beach was named the #1 beach in the US. Wasn’t that where you had a vacay a few years ago? Maybe you could hit the beach – when the book is done.
Patricia Schlorke says
Congratulations on finishing the first draft. Woop, woop!
Enjoy doing nothing (until the edits come in).
Stay warm…it’s cold here in the DFW area.
Russian hat knitting??? Intrigued. I’m working on a set of very soft cotton organic washcloths for my eye doctor who also has dry eyes. Then it’s on to a lace colorwork hat for me.
Anyway… I do have a question. Where do you start when you have people and stories in your head and you’ve never written fiction a day in your life. Non-fiction? Loads. Fiction? Nope.
I see there is the writing fiction for dummies book but are there better books to start with? I have absolutely no idea if I’ll ever go anywhere with this but I’d at least like to entertain myself (and stop these people from yelling at me in my dreams, no, no crazy, just imaginative).
“Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy” by Orson Scott Card is good and informative.
Any book about writing whether it is for fiction or journalism will have some gems in them. Oddly, don’t ignore ad writing (copy writing) where you only have 70 words to get your message across about an object. Each numeral in a phone number is counted separately. Teaches you to be brief and exact in your wording.
Hit post too soon, thank you for that rec. I’m not interested in writing that genre but rather a different one, however, I suspect it might be good nonetheless.
Kick back and relax.
Sooo excited for this – I have yet to not love a book by y’all, and while Catalina and Nevada are very different personalities, I loved Catalina, and so am really looking forward to reading her story!
Bill g says
Kathy Spencer says
Enjoy your rest xxxk
Congratulations to you for a job well done . And I just read comments which is always so great to realize that there are other crazed fans out there , and I saw Leon, father and billionaire??? How did I miss this? More important ,where do I go to find out what I missed?
It’s cold and miserable on the east coast and snowed yesterday , today and expecting lots of snow Sunday night. So I need a diversion ,anything else than snow and wind chill factors .
Again super happy you can rest your mind and more important your hands.
Drink tea, bake some cookies, and play with doggies.
Enjoy your very well deserved break.
Sweet! Have a great vacation from the writing world. Breaks are good.?
I’m not sure if you answered this before, but here’s a question:
Before you were an established author, how did you balance/make time for both writing and your (previous) career?
Elizabeth Chapson says
What kind of tea are we talking about? ?
I feel like answering you like Lady Illema;
Alecia Register says
I like posts about flowers and knitting patterns. I can’t knit, but I enjoy the posts anyway. Have fun, and enjoy your mini-vacation.
Mary E Landers says
You deserve the break! Hope you get some good relaxation in.
I thought of you and a possible knitting project when I saw the pattern for this beautiful Willowwork Cowl.
Wow, that’s really beautiful!
Gale D says
Congratulations, enjoy your break.
Barbara Erwin says
Hooray! And thank you for hours of enjoyment with all your writings. Relax. Have lovely tea and enjoy some time off!
2 weeks of well deserved “rest” but for some reason (possibly bc your to do list included finishing the website and paperwork) I doubt you’ll be idle.
I downloaded a game on iOS called OPUS. It’s part scifi (getting a spaceship off the planet), part dystopian (post “incident”), part urban fantasy (female main character is a witch), and is a rpg. It was not my cuppa bc I lack the patience required to complete the tasks, but it felt like something you might like. Since you have 2 weeks off and all ??♀️
“If you are looking to have a writing/industry question answered, now is your window.”
Well, since the master offered…?
How did you find your “voice”? I write for fun (used to write vampire fanfic to pass the time [it was for the love, attention, and adulation, who am I kidding] when I was pregnant with my oldest but now I write romance that never gets completed and therefore never published) and my stuff is 80% humor.
Lately, I’ve been working on a story that’s supposed to be lighthearted as usual but the main character is just not turning out to be a nice person. But I find I don’t want to change her because she seems more authentic and interesting this way, and yet it changes the tone of everything.
Silly question, probably, but how did you find your voice? How did you decide on the tone of your stories? How flawed, in your opinion, should a contemporary romance heroine be before the pitchforks come out? Why do you think we, the readers, hate Mary Sues yet are also such gigantic assholes when the heroines are even the slightest bit flawed?
Thanks for the hard work, enjoy the break!
Congratulations! Enjoy a break.
Congratulations on finishing! Enjoy your break.
Amanda P says
Yes, Congrats for working so hard to meet your deadlines.
Hopefully you will enjoy your 2 weeks break to have fun.
I knit holes so I love seeing all your creations?
Alison Duncan says
Well done for finishing! Have you seen this knitting blog? She makes crazy but amazing things which I basically just blink at – a knitted seat cover in the style of a complete country garden, a skirt (!), a ginormous blanket in book form! Well worth a look if you’re looking for something completely different:
Katherine Meservy says
Oh! I hope y’all get gaming fun time in with the yarn and book vegging. I’m playing Divinity Original Sin 2 and highly recommend it if you haven’t tried it yet. Enjoy your break.
Yes, please do discuss your tea and what you like (any and all people who drink of the tea). I am branching out and finding some teas and would welcome input. I don’t like sweet tea. So far, that’s the only tea that was a no go for me.
Gaëlle from France says
I am totally voting in favour of imposing the beta role on Jeaniene Frost !! Héhé !!
Try playing Metro Exodus, because honestly this might make game of the year.
“People say nothing is impossible. But, I do nothing all the time. “
-Winnie the Pooh
Nothing is my favorite thing to do! I don’t get to do it nearly as much as I would like. But, as an introvert looking to recoup…2-3 days of nothing does amazing things for me mentally after I’ve been really busy.
Here’s to nothing! Or some somethings!
I have the Winnie the Pooh mug that says “Nothing to do…what a wonderful day!” It’s my lazy Saturday mug and it makes me smile every time!
I hope your break is both restful and restorative. 🙂
Congrats! Now the real fun begins, right? So about a month from now the “Die book Die!” Posts start? Lol can’t wait.
Congratulations on finishing the first draft!
Have you heard about “knitting the card game” currently on Kickstarter? I’m very excited for it
Other Barbara says
Does anyone edit with an audiobook version in mind? My vision is off..I used to buy ebook and audio both but now mainly audio so..
Hugh! Can You See the Ewe lying by the Yew tree you were going to Hew down?
Ps do these sound same or not? I have reverse slope hearing loss and miss low sounds. My kids could not teach me marry merry Mary differences.
Have a Mary Christmas!
Ps I was 16 and babysitting when the Mom gave me a sex intro book (1965) . I knew nothing not even reproduction or body parts. Educate kids!!
I was blessed no one took advantage.
I’ll address your “sounds like this” question. I am American, with a generally mid-Atlantic neutral accent.
Hugh, You, Ewe, Yew, and Hew all rhyme. — they have the same final ending sound of “eew” (the sound you make when you step on a worm).
However, there are two different starting sounds there.
– Hugh and Hew start with a huffing “h” sound. Same sound as “horse” and “however”.
– You, Ewe, and Yew start with a voiced “y” sound. Same as “yonder” or “yet”.
AFA as Marry, Merry, and Mary: most Americans pronounce those the same. You know which is which only by context.
HTH or is at least interesting 🙂
Congratulations! I hope you have a well deserved break and I’m very much looking forward to the book.
Same problem with my granddaughter, currently 9th grade. Last year (8th grade) she broke the state record for reading level, college senior +. She really likes Sarah J. Maas, a YA author. Tolkien and Rowling of course. I have noticed she doesn’t enjoy “adult” writers such as Anne Bishop, Patricia Briggs, and Ilona Andrews yet. Fortunately there are lots of good YA writers; talk to your local bookstore. There is an emerging writer both my granddaughter and I are enjoying together, Forthright. Hope this helps.
Sarah J. Maas’ books are on my list. Two of my (adult-aged) reader friends have recently recommended her to me.
How about a random (bad) joke as a distraction?
What do you call a Frenchman who only wears thong sandals?
Alison Parker says
Yay! Thank you! Enjoy your downtime!
Great news! Writing question:. How do you identify and address pacing issues in your writing, like you mentioned about needing to address for Maude’s book. I think this is really common and I struggle to write freely because I’m always stressing about controlling the pace workout really knowing how.
I’m squealing like a kid at Christmas. Just the thought of another Hidden Legacy novel leaves me giddy. Seriously, thank you, thank you, thank you, for this wonderful series and all the books you two do. I can’t wait to read Sapphire Flames. Your writing is always awesome. You are awesome. Knitting is awesome. Enjoy your down time!
The more words the better! I just love your books! Hope you both enjoy a well deserved rest.
I know you look for interesting books to read and I can’t recommend the Blackthorn series by Lindsay J Pryor enough . The final book in the eight book series comes out in May. I was gripped from the first book and can only say the pace and intrigue increases with each subsequent book – they need to be read in order. There are only three authors that light my fire when it comes to paranormal and they are Ilona Andrews and Lindsay J Pryor. Blood Broken (Book 8) Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Begd8nPO3xU
Rest well xx
How do you turn your brain off for just writing?
Sometimes after a project is complete, I do my best to put it away, but it’s like my brain learned to run at that project too well. It takes forever to unhitch the wagon, get it off the tracks. And usually by then it’s time to get on some other tracks.
If I wanted to completely check out, I could game or read a book. But to stay mostly present, do useful things still, and not work? I need a change of physical space. Since you work from home, what are your techniques?