I complained a lot in the summary of the first volume that our hapless time-traveling heroine is rather grating in the first couple of volumes because of several very obvious too stupid to live moments. Luckily, volume two starts to see Yuri turning around and beginning to exhibit both bravery and sense. With Tito trapped with inside the palace with Queen Nakia’s knife-wielding goon, the consequence of Yuri’s ill-planned bid to recover her clothing, she sees that her actions have consequences for herself and the people around her.
It’s time to delve right into the meat of Red River. In fact, the first page of the story begins where another shojo manga might end. The main character, Yuri Suzuki, receives her first kiss from a classmate that she’s been crushing on for a long time. Now she and Satoshi, the boy in question, are officially boyfriend and girlfriend, and Yuri is on cloud nine.
That night she is sitting down to dinner with her family when Yuri experiences the first of several increasingly alarming incidents involving water. As she is taking her glass to the kitchen, the leftover water inside starts to burble and jump violently. Yuri initially writes this off as a trick of her imagination. The next day at school disembodied arms reach out of the class aquarium and try to grab her. Yuri shakes off the hands and shatters the fish tank, and, although no one believes her, she can’t pretend it didn’t happen. That night she is attacked again in the bathtub, and this time she hears a woman’s voice as she’s being dragged under the water. She’s only able to escape the hands’ clutches because her sisters hear the commotion and rush in.
Since I was relatively young I have loved Japanese comics aimed at girls/young women, hereby referred to by the term shojo manga. Many of my book shelves are like a time capsule of the English language shojo market from the mid-aughts to maybe two or three years ago. I decided to pull down one of my favorite series from back in the day, one that completed its run and has retreated into shadowy corner of fandom’s forgotten memories.
As I was browsing through storage, looking for an interesting contender to do a volume by volume read through of a nostalgic favorite, I didn’t know which series specifically I would pick. I only knew that I wanted to do one of the adventure-heavy titles from Viz’s Shojo line. I have lots of good memories of their titles and the stuff they licensed makes up the bulk of my collection. Ultimately, I decided to tackle Red River. Continue reading
Looking for beach reads or a book that will keep you up all night on your summer vacation?
I am teaming up with a group of authors for the Summer Time Lovin’ Book Giveaway. This is a Facebook event where all your favorite fantasy romance, paranormal, and urban fantasy writers will be teaming up to give away free stuff with a lot of activities. The festivities technically begin July 1st when we kick off with a daily scavenger hunt leading up to the main event. Then from July 11th to July 14th two to three authors will be spotlighted daily for questions and giveaways. At the end of the event one lucky person will be chosen as the grand prize winner to get mini-library of books (at least one per participating author) and other goodies.
Yours truly will be taking center stage along side Monica Enderle Pierce (Militess and Mage series) and Tiffany Roberts (Island of the Forgotten series) on July 12th. Seriously, check these ladies out if you haven’t already. If you like my stuff, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy theirs too.
And don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter. The first update will be going out in early July, just as the event is kicking off, and I will be dropping some release information for Flower on the River.
After three published novels, I feel like I am experienced enough to finally talk about something I wished I knew at the outset and could have avoided. Hopefully, this warning will keep someone from making the same mistake I did. Never tell yourself that you will never use a certain word. You are daring the universe and the universe is going to call that bet.
One of my most hated words is ‘clamber.’ I can’t explain why I dislike it so much but I react to it with the same fervor that some people reserve for ‘moist’. I’m fine with ‘moist’. I have noticed that some YA authors really, really love to have their characters clambering about that it gets to the point that I envision them crashing around the room with all the elegance of an octopus on roller-skates. Each time it appears on the page I focus right in on it and it jars me right out of whatever is happening on in the story. The crazy thing is that relative to other words I know intellectually they aren’t using it that much, but it’s like my brain says, “More than one time is way too much!”
I swore to myself that there were two things when I started writing. The first rule was: You can use lip biting as to show that character is uncomfortable once per 60,000 words. I think I’ve kept this promise. The second one was: No clambering! I just happened to go searching through my manuscripts a few days ago, so smug with the certainty that I did not use my most hated word. Wouldn’t you know I’ve used it exactly twice? Never again, man. This time I promise for real.
Let me tell you a little story about procrastination. Once upon a time, I signed up for a MailChimp account and did nothing with it for several months. I’m bad enough about coming up with stuff for my other media channels. I’m ‘Vivi Writes Books’ not ‘Vivi Writes Social Media.’ Well, I’ve finally gotten over my intimidation with learning how to set it up and integrate my mailing list with everything and today I am ready to launch it to the public.
I’ve been brain storming new things for the blog in the hopes for bring more content at regular intervals so hopefully that will get rolling within the next month. Not all of it will be book related so the newsletter will be at least monthly round-up of what’s going on with my projects. Subscribers will get a first look at any news relating to upcoming releases before it hits my other channels. I plan to keep mailings to no more than twice a month.
The sign-up form can be found in either of the header on the main page of my blog, on the side-bar of my author’s Facebook page or through this direct link. I should have more details concerning Flower on the River in the first mailing in early July.
I am giving away one free print copy of Flower in the Gale (The Tale of Remnas Book 2). This giveaway is open to U.S. residents with a Goodreads account. If you don’t have one, sign-up is free. You can enter the giveaway here. A winner will be chosen after the entry period ends on 5/10/17.
To celebrate the release of When the Crow Smiles, the first two Tales of Remnas novels are going to be discounted from 5/1/17 to 5/7/17. There has never been a better time to jump in or catch up. The first book, Flower Among the Ashes, will be $0.99 in the Amazon Kindle Store during this time. As always, Kindle Unlimited readers can read for free with their subscription.
In Flower Among the Ashes, Arshé, a future-seeing elven woman, must navigate the ups and downs of destiny and learn that fate is what you make of it. During her tumultuous early life she goes from high-born lady to beggar to gangster’s woman and then outlaw on the run. Desperate, disillusioned, and sick of the concept of destiny itself, Arshé crosses paths with Rekki the Black, a handsome ogre mercenary with an affinity for prophecy. A prophetess foretold that he would one day he would unite his people’s warring factions and become King of the Ogres. First he needs to win glory upon his name by carrying out great deeds and finding the queen that will one day rule at his side. Rekki is on a mission from his clan chief to recover the four pieces of a legendary armor scattered across Remnas. He believes that Arshé is the woman prophesized to be his queen and that her talents are the key to completing his quest. Arshé has been burnt by love before and winning her reluctant heart might be the most impossible task of all.
As I was looking at my calendar earlier this week, marking down how many days I had left to finish editing and formatting When the Crow Smiles, I realized that I was closing in on a significant anniversary. Today is the last day of April 2017. In late October of last year, I underwent surgery to remove a 3 centimeter growth of my thyroid that was slowly strangling me. It’s been six months since my doctor said the magical words, “No evidence of malignant cells in the mass.” Six months since my continued existence was no longer in question.
It was a huge shock to the system to undergo a cancer scare at 31. I’d like to think that I have a new lease on life. After all, as I was waiting in that hellish limbo of not knowing if I was sick like a cancer plagued Schrodinger’s cat, I finally got up the gumption to finally do something with the stories I’d written. My first novel Flower Among the Ashes debuted in the Kindle store on the morning I went under the knife.
What else have I done in the last six months?
- I finished a novel the second half of a novel I had to table for fourth months due to health issues. As I get handle on what is a reasonable turn-around time is for a novel, this will most likely be my first release in 2018.
- I wrote two novel length first drafts to be edited later. I feel like you ultimately get a better product if you put at least six months of distance between yourself and a project before you circle back around to it. There have been things I thought were flaming dumpster fires while I wrote them that I honestly couldn’t figure out why I thought it was bad when I came back to it later.
- I published two sequels to Flower Among the Ashes. I think When the Crow Smiles might be my masterpiece. I think I will be hard pressed to write anything even half this good ever again.
- I started learning German. There is no reason for this. I just woke up one day and decided to do it.
- Tales of Remnas Book 4, Flower on the River will be going out for beta soon so I can get a feel for how extensive the re-writing is doing to be. The cycle of editing never ends. Finish one. Start on the next.
- I have a stack of books that I am overdue to read so I am going to try to cut through my backlog. I promised myself at New Year’s I wouldn’t continue to buy books I didn’t have time to read and so far, I’ve failed to keep the TBR pile at a manageable level. Time to catch up with my favorites!
- It’s time to begin outlining the next Tales of Remnas book. Time to once again start the journey of a million words by taking a bunch of vague ideas and creating some way for them all to work together. To build the skeleton, so to say, before you start hanging the meat on it.