Tuesday 11 February 2020

Spring 2020 Love and Books

Hello Readers, and welcome to 2020 the Chinese year of the prosperous metal Rat! Being in southern Ontario the land of ever winter, I’m thrilled that the groundhogs generally predict an early spring. This is happiness here J

So, over the last several weeks I’ve had a chance to finally read Lauren Kate’s, FALLEN (book 1), which I’ve been curious about for ages. Yes – I’m pretty late to the scene on this one. And I admit it, I came across a paper copy at a thrift store and decided to pick it up in an unusual act as I rarely read paper books anymore (something about de-cluttering…).

So, I’ve been watching the movie someone (thank you) put up on YouTube here over and over because like many I discovered and have ‘fallen’ for the impossibly romantic concept of the relationship between Daniel and Luce. It was time to read the real story and here was a paper copy available to me so I grabbed it. The reviews over at Goodreads are very mixed but overall not that great with mostly the fans just being very loyal. I wanted to find out for myself why.

For me, the writing style is very middle of the road, nothing special. The movie deviates a little from the book but not substantially.  Fallen is definitely a case of a book where the story itself is so interesting and captivating (to me anyways) that I didn’t really focus so much on the writing quality. The pacing of events is very well done though and Kate threads out the story perfectly to keep you going.

So why do we love the concept of a fallen angel and a mortal falling in love over and over again for thousands of years? At first glance, wouldn’t you just get tired of the same thing, as glorious as it is, just repeating forever like some laundry dryer cycle?  Nope.  There is just something about those early intense, wow - draw me into you moments between two people that fascinate us, every time. Never mind the super-paranormal aspect of the whole scenario. I guess that’s why there are so many romance novels out there! From what I’ve read about the rest of the series, I’ll probably skip onto Rapture to finish it so I’ll be on the lookout for a copy of that.

Separately, I’m working on completing my paranormal dystopian novel,  Iron Web, as a complete book rather than a series as originally planned. IW is my new adult take on an ancient evil that has plagued the earth since the beginning and geek librarian, Bryn, is just twigging on to just how insidiously it works through existing governmental controls, even out in her quiet Welsh university town, Penrith. Iron Web (complete) will be coming out at Smashwords in late 2020 or early 2021.
I’m also working on growing my Zazzle design shop, Paperie Artemisia. If you’re searching for fresh ideas for birthday party invitations and decor and wedding suites, check out my shop. Creating my own book covers has brought me to a whole new artistic endeavour at this print on demand online resource and I’m loving it! Here's a bookplate from my KristinRavelle collection which I'll be growing over time to contain notebooks, bookmarks, and more related to the books I write.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful 2020 all!

Friday 27 September 2019

Autumn 2019 Writer's Digest Plus

This year’s transition to autumn is being just divine in Southern Ontario with cooling days and the upswing to being busier with just about everything. The fall is looking to be quite amazing, especially for long contemplative nature walks to ruminate on plot outlines for books and ideas for PaperieArtemisia, my Zazzle shop. I hope your fall is getting underway too in the best way and filled to the brim with all things harvest!

As an indie self-pub writer I’ve been thinking about the best platform for me to publish my upcoming works. I’d hoped to open my own website and sell direct this year but have decided that since I’m not really established I don’t want to go it alone just yet and decided to stay with support to help in distribution. Being Indie is awesome but it also means we have to think about all the marketing and sales stuff to get our work out there and get known.
I’ve been on Amazon for a while but not having the time to make it work for me. Yes, the competition is Yuge there too, and I'm buried somewhere in the sub-basement. I’ve been a member of Smashwords for a number of years too and will refocus there. Mark Coker really puts a lot of effort into making it easier for indies to self-pub on his platform and the many distribution channels offered to writers. Check out the details here. For an author who is trying to grow a brand, Smashwords’ distribution channels I think are very important to consider. Here are a few: Apple books in 51 countries, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Baker and Taylor Axis 360, OverDrive (ebook platform serving over 20,000+ libraries), and several more! Who would even think of trying to push sales to libraries, but Mark Coker did. There is a bit of a learning curve with learning how to use Styles to make the formatting optimal for all the channels they distribute through, but Mark Coker has a free guide to learning all things indie for Smashwords.
On the writing side of it, I’m really happy to be publishing Cursed Ice Prince, on sale October 28!  Every winter I see the Christmas fractured fairy tales come out and from yearning to have my own tale, the story of Kai and Anyu was born. What if Kai and the Snow Queen really liked each other; I mean Really liked each other?

Check out the blurb! 
A love born through an evil enchantment ~ between a mortal and a powerful elemental…
Anyu has been alone since the beginning and yearns to know the passionate love of a human mortal. But they die instantly at her first kiss.
In a terrible accident, evil hobgoblin Rhaznomr’s enchanted mirror has splintered over the entire world, its dark slivers infecting mankind with evil magic.
Perhaps this black magic can shield a human male enough for them to withstand Anyu’s frigid affection and not die from it. Anyu’s trail of frozen dead loves comes to a startling conclusion with Kai who is infected with the dark enchantments and who she enthralls with the mystery of the evil, splintered mirror.
Cursed magic will exact a price and Kai’s world changes profoundly ~ will his growing love for the Sovereign of Snow survive his own magical metamorphosis to Ice Prince Consort? Anyu is determined to keep Kai even if she must enlist the aid of the wicked Rhaznomr himself.
A novella rich in the legends and lore of winter.
Clean mythic fantasy romance (though not suitable for minors).

Now available for pre-sale orders at Smashwords.
Do you have a favourite fairy tale, and what kind of twist would intrigue you? Please let me know in comments below!

Dark Angel
Spring and summer were devoted to growing my Zazzle shops, 900HedgehogBrand, and PaperArtemisia. I’ve loved Halloween forever and have new items at 900HedgehogBrand's Halloween-Gothic collection, from invitations for hosting spooky parties and Gothic themed accessories. The text are all custom and you are free to choose font style, font colour, and of course whatever text you prefer. You can also choose no text at all by deleting what is currently there. For any custom requests, please contact me!

Have a fantastic fall everyone!
iPhone Cases

Saturday 11 May 2019

Spring Update, Writing, Zazzle, and Wattpad

Welcome readers and browsers to my spring update. I’m way late and can’t believe I last posted in November – yaagh… Life is like that. 
It’s May and spring is slow to show herself despite famous groundhog Wiarton Willie’s prediction for an early one but our tree in the backyard is now finally starting to bud. It’s amazing really this renewal considering that our tree has caught I believe the emerald ash borer. This beautifully coloured but deadly Asian beetle somehow came up through the US and is now killing off trees in southern Ontario so we’re looking at eventually having to take her down and losing the lovely shade that it gives our backyard and our cars, never mind the shelter it gives birds and squirrels. 
On the positive side, a beautiful new white Rose of Sharon flowering shrub reseeded into the spot where an ageing English rose bush has finally petered out. Rose of Sharon are very hardy so I’m looking forward to seeing it flourish. 
Through winter I’ve been establishing my new Zazzle shop, Paperie Artemisia. If you’re looking for an outlet for your visual design talents, check out this growing, and free!, platform for designers to create gift items and paperie to sell online. Understanding the back end is quite complicated though so plan to put in some time figuring out how to make it successful. They’ve allowed for an entire category for everything wedding so if you’re looking for ideas for your celebration check them out. Click the link above to see some of my wedding invitation and paperie collections!
Writing for me has been taking something of a back seat for a while. Real life work stress just obliterates my muse. Has anyone else been having a wretched 2-3 year stretch struggling with maintaining decent work income recently? I’m seeing that this will finally be improving for me in a while, thankfully, and writing and publishing ideas are slowly coming back to me. 
How many of you are on Wattpad, either writing or reading? I can’t believe I joined a couple years ago but did nothing about it at the time as it just didn’t fit well with me but now am taking a re-think. I’m definitely late to the party but feel this is the next step for me. I had contemplated opening my own website to sell my novels direct to public but realized that I don’t want to be swimming alone out in the sea (though eventually I plan to do this) just yet. Can you imagine, Wattpad  has more than 400 million story uploads! That’s a lot. 
And Wattpad is continuing to expand their opportunities for both income streams for writers (via ads between your chapters, and an option for readers to pay their fave authors), book publishing deals for authors, and even a road into movie deals. This sounds like a great community to get involved with. Here's an article about some of these new possibilities at Techcrunch
I’m liking this sense of community for the support it can lend, as well as giving me literally millions of new stories to explore and authors to connect with. I’m totally indie but can see that it makes sense to commune with those of like mind in figuring out how to become a successful writer.
So here’s my reworked Wattpad landing page to check out: KRWriter.
The first work I’ll be uploading is my fractured fairy tale, Cursed Ice Prince, which is a take on Hans Christian Andersen’s, The Snow Queen. This has been my total fave forever so it was the only fairy tale I could imagine redoing and I’m filling it with lush Russian and Nordic mythology and visuals which I love.
The premise is, what if the Snow Queen (Anyu in my story) and Kai really take to each other, I mean Really like each other? To bring an elemental and a human together is a challenge but what scope for fabulous fantasy visuals and a story to take you away from the every day. 
If you’re on Wattpad, leave a comment with your link and I’ll be sure to follow you too!
 Have a lovely spring if it arrives one day, dear readers…