Category Archives: Book Promos

Fantasy Friday 2-12-2021

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Fantasy Friday 2-12-2021

Happy Friday! Here’s an excerpt from “His Majesty’s Elite: Elliot” which I’m still writing and hoping to have out by the summer!

The forest surrounding me is familiar but strange. Moss covered tree trunks twist unusually from the forest floor, curling in and around themselves like writhing serpents frozen in time. Obscured by clouds, the moon casts no shadow. The forest itself is shadow. I turn in place, searching to find light to turn toward, and a glint of it shines beneath the brush in the distance. When I reach it, I see that it’s not a light at all, but the reflection of candles stretched across a polished stone path.


I know this path immediately. It leads to the palace.


As soon as I put my soft boot down on it I spin out of control, swirling like I’m caught up in a whirlpool. I try to call out, to reach out and grab something, anything to stop the spinning, and when I can’t, I squeeze my eyes shut and pray to wake up.
Surprisingly, the spinning stops and I land with a thump on something that feels like the seat of a cushioned wooden chair. At first I think it works, that my pleas have woken me, but then I remember I was in my bed at home, and now I’m sitting, and the sounds and smells that close in around me don’t fit with the ones at Amma’s house.


Strange, beautiful music played on instruments I’ve never heard before sounds in my twitching ears, and when I find the courage to open my eyes again, I can’t believe what I see. The vast room could fit Grandymum herself, leaves and all, all the way up to the ceiling. Its stonework, sturdy and expertly carved, seems almost weightless as its pillars and arms push the ceiling to an elegant, glass-paned peak.


I follow the line of the pillars down from the ceiling just as I follow the tree trunks at home with my eyes, listening to laughter and voices as they blend with the music and echo across the vast space. Scattered across the polished marble floor, a crowd of dozens of interestingly dressed people weave about, mingling and dancing, gesturing gracefully with their arms while their silky gowns and velvet capes sway dreamily to the music.


At first I feel far away from it all. All I can do is stare in awe as the salty sea air tickles my nose.


Eventually, I push out of my chair to wander among them. Those at the edge of the room where I appeared stand in small groups, talking and laughing together, drinking from jeweled goblets that flash in the light.


I squint past the light that reminds me of wisps falling from trees into the throngs of dancers who move together, their steps keeping time with the beat of the music. I’ve never seen anyone dance this way before. At home when we dance, it’s wild and chaotic. Here, it’s so controlled it almost seems like they’re bound to each other. Their synchronous movements entrance me. It’s unreal. Beautiful.


I can’t tell if this is a dream or if I’m Scouting. It seems too strange to be real, but I can’t imagine it’s something my mind would have conjured up. The ladies’ gowns and lords’ jackets and hose are the rich colors of summer butterflies, shining beetles, and meadow blooms. The women sparkle with jewels adorning their hair, necks, and wrists. The men wear metal buckles and studs. Their metal sword pommels catch the light like flames.


Dazzled by the scene, I weave through the dancers and the gathered crowds, careful to avoid bumping into or walking through anyone.


“Your Majesty, I must admit this is the most impressive Springswan Ball I can remember,” says a nearby lady.


“Majesty,” I whisper and follow the voice, curious to see a king for the first time. I remember the young prince’s whispers in the night about his father, and that makes me even more curious to put eyes on him.


Ducking through a pair of dancers who gallop past, I’m momentarily distracted by the sheer amount of fabric it must have taken to make the lady dancer’s dress. I reach out for it, just to see what the shimmering skirt feels like, but my hand dips through her skirt just as I knew it would.


“Ah, your flattery is misguided,” an old voice croaks in reply. “I had nothing to do with it, except signing a thing here and there. It was mostly Master Rand’ell, of course.”


“Oh, Majesty,” purrs the lady, “You’re just being gracious as always. Shall we dance?”


I dodge around another pair of dancers and finally arrive at the talking pair. The woman, incredibly beautiful for a human, wears her raven-black hair arranged in intricate braids on top of her head, which sparkle with golden jeweled pins. Her dress is as red as a woodpecker’s crown, and so tight at the waist it seemed to push the rest of her out of it at the top. When she leans nearer to the king, I follow her gaze and step closer, fascinated by the contrast between the two humans.


The king is the oldest looking man I have ever seen. Older even than Feren, the grove’s eldest druid who has recently celebrated his hundred and eighty-seventh birthday. Dressed in a purple tunic that looks as soft as spring moss, his shoulders draped in the fur of white rabbits, he seems to compress under the weight of the crown on his head, a golden circlet that shines like midday sun in the lamplight.


“Now, now, my dear,” the king chuckles, patting the lady’s hand, “these old feet would make a fool of me. Sir Josten!” he calls to a man passing by, who pauses and bows to the king. His broad shoulders and strong fighter’s stance remind me of Father, and a pang of guilt charges through me. Don’t wander, he’d said, yet here I find myself again in the palace of Cerion.


“Majesty,” the man says with a genuine smile. “I was looking for my daughter. Have you seen her?”


“Not since we dined,” answers the king, patting the arm of the black-haired woman. “Here,” he lifts her hand gently in the knight’s direction, and she eyes Sir Josten with hint distaste. “Ciri would like to dance.”


“Of course, Majesty,” says the knight dutifully, even though he looks just as reluctant as Ciri to follow through with it. Still, she accepts his offered hand and they fall into step with the rest of the dancing crowd.


“Another cup, good page,” the king calls to a boy my age dressed in the same purple color as the king himself, who runs off eagerly to fetch it.


I follow, interested where he’ll go, but end up losing him in the crowd. Sir Josten and Ciri sweep past me and I wonder why the king would ask them to dance together when it’s so obvious they hate one another.


A breeze drifts past carrying the scent of sea salt, and I follow my nose to a grand balcony overlooking the ocean. The sun is just beginning to set in the sky, splashing pinks and oranges across the water. I’ve never seen a sunset over so much water before, so I stand watching it for a long time until a ripple of laughter steals my attention.


It’s a familiar laugh. One I have heard before.


“Only you.”


I recognize it immediately as the prince whose bedroom I ended up in the last time I followed the polished path. Tirnon.
“What?” asks a second voice, which I’m sure it’s the girl I saw earlier in the marketplace. Lisabella.


“Are you sure you wouldn’t rather dance? You aren’t dressed for a spar,” the prince chuckles.


I creep closer and find a narrow ledge leading to a second, smaller terrace with a column I can peek around to watch them.
“I might need to fight in a dress at some point.” Lisabella faces the prince, holding a wooden training sword out to him. “You never know.”


“Lisabella,” Tirnon laughs, “where did you get a training sword?”


“A lady never tells her secrets,” she replies with a dainty curtsy. Their eyes dance with a warm familiarity that makes me think of Hana. With a mischievous smile, Lisabella shakes out her skirt and jiggles her foot, and a second wooden sword clatters to the stone floor.


The prince’s laughter echoes across the terrace. He holds his stomach, and I can’t help but laugh along with him. His amusement infects Lisabella, too, until they’re both hugging their stomachs, doubled over. The idea of a girl dressed so splendidly smuggling wooden swords into an elegant dance like this is ridiculous, even to me with no knowledge of this land’s customs.


I stop laughing, though, when the prince turns to look straight at me.


“Did you see? Did you see that?” he asks, still laughing.


I take a step back, certain he’s seen me but unsure how he ever could, until from beside me, a third person I hadn’t noticed clears his throat disapprovingly. Relieved the prince didn’t spot me after all, I relax a little and lean forward to look. Hidden on the other side of the pillar, the throat-clearing man holds the side of his fist to his lips, clearly trying hard not to join in laughing. It only takes a moment for me to realize he’s a warrior, too. A guardian of some kind, I gather, from the way he glances around to watch for threats.


“Leave Finn out of it.” Lisabella says. She collects herself, holding up her sword in a salute. “Wait, maybe you’d rather go in and dance?”


“Now you’re just taunting me,” answers the prince, still grinning as he returns her salute with his wooden weapon. “There’s far too much red in there for my taste.”


Red, I think to myself. Too much red.

Excerpt from “His Majesty’s Elite: Elliot” a “Keepers of the Wellsprings” prequel.
Copyright 2021 Missy Sheldrake


Have you read Mya yet?

When she discovers her screams can bring men to their knees, will one young woman stay silent or give voice to righteousness?

Find out! Get your copy today!

Writing Wednesday 2-3-2021

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Writing Wednesday 2-3-2021

Happy Writing Wednesday! I’m spending today writing chapter 17 of Elliot, which is a nice, juicy chapter involving a midnight hunt and a wicked Sorcerer who went too far.

While I write, why not enjoy a free short story? I recently released The Princess’s New Poppet to my newsletter subscribers in ebook form AND in audiobook format, narrated by the incomparable Penny Scott-Andrews! Sign up and get yours here!

Penny and her husband Andy are currently working their way through narrating the entire Keepers of the Wellsprings series for Audible, and I’m thrilled with how it’s turning out! I can’t wait to share it with you!

You can listen to Call of Kythshire here!

Throwback Thursday 1-7-2021

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Throwback Thursday 1-7-2021

Slide the slider to see Call of Kythshire’s old cover compared to the new version! Did you know the Keepers of the Wellsprings series was originally called the Half-Realm Saga? I chose the original swirly cursive font because it reminded me of Mage Mark. But I love the newer version so much more, with Azi’s silhouette on the cover and the actual Mage Mark vines ominously curling into the brighter areas. Which do you like better?

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Mya: A Half-Siren Coming-of-Age Fantasy wins Book of the Year!

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Mya: A Half-Siren Coming-of-Age Fantasy wins Book of the Year!

From Book Squirrel:

“In an entirely different category, rather than competing with those in other categories, Book Squirrel wanted to recognise the book that he enjoyed reading the most. For its combination of original story line, characterisation, relevance to the 21st century and and excellent writing, the award for BOOK OF THE YEAR 2020 goes to…‘Mya’ by Missy Sheldrake”

Read the full review here.

To celebrate, Mya is free today on Amazon!

2021-2022 Fairies Calendar

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2021-2022 Fairies Calendar

Do you love looking at beautiful, bright artwork of fairies? Would you like to look at fairies for 18 whole months? If so, you should get my brand new 2021-2022 18 month FAIRIES Art Wall Calendar!

Oh, and by the way, Call of Kythshire, the first book of my epic, award-winning Keepers of the Wellsprings series is FREE today only! Saturday, 12-12-2020!

Click the pic to get your copy!

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2021 is Gonna be GREAT!

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2021 is Gonna be GREAT!

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Call of Brindelier is Free Today!

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Call of Brindelier is Free Today!

Call of Brindelier is free today only: July 5, 2018

“There is a place of legend and lore, a tale passed from mother to son and father to daughter and written here for the eyes of innocents. Once carried in whispers on the wind, it speaks of a city like no other. It is the tale of Brindelier, a kingdom obscured by mist and cloud. A palace out of reach, golden and bright. A land of promise and peace, where no wish goes ignored, and no desire is unfulfilled.”

Get it Now!

brindelier

Are you following me on Facebook yet? This month I’m participating in #WIPJoy, a sharing hashtag which gives authors prompts to share interesting things about their current works in progress. I’m having fun sharing all kinds of things about Mya and her story that I’m working on for the first prequel to the Keepers of the Wellsprings series! You should check it out, and while you’re at it, follow me!

 

 

 

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Here’s just a small sample of what you’ll find over there:
Day 5: 3 side characters you love:
Cort, Paewyn, Pa

Like all of my books, this one is full of all sorts of characters. Characters always drive my stories, and I love making up different people with elaborate back stories and interesting personalities. My current favorites at this point in the book are (No spoilers, I promise!):

Cort Daborr, a “privateer” (uh, PIRATE!) who befriends Mya aboard the Mark, a privateer’s ship en route from Elespen to Cerion. Cort is a bos’n with a soft spot for young Mya, and watches over her like a big brother aboard the ship. He’s a swashbuckler as well, and hopes to show off his skills at the trials on Cerion Day.

Paewyn (just Paewyn) is Mya’s pa’s current love interest (of which there have been countless others). She’s currently Mya’s guardian while her pa is off doing who-knows-what. A shady character with very few scruples, Paewyn’s main motivations seem to include money, liquor, and getting Mya into trouble.

Pa: Mya’s father is a fun character to write, because 14 chapters into the story, there hasn’t been a single scene with him in it! She writes about him in her journal and talks about him to others, and I feel like at this point in the book he’s a pretty well-established character,  but he’s an elusive fellow. He’s a charlatan and a trickster, and often makes promises he doesn’t intend to keep. Mya loves him dearly, but a part of her really resents him, too. He’s been a great tool to show her personality.

 


bookwormIf you want to find out about even more free books, you should visit a friend of mine: Bookworms Discover

Discover great new reads by indie authors on the first Thursday of every month!

 


 

 

I’ll keep updating you in the progress of my latest book, and I hope you’ll keep checking back for news. See you soon, and Happy Summer!

 

A Forgotten Treasure

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A Forgotten Treasure

I don’t know about you guys, but I am so ready for Christmas this year! With the Keepers of the Wellsprings series finished, it’s my first holiday in a while that hasn’t had me partly distracted by Azi, Tib, or Celli. In fact, the group is so far from my mind that I nearly forgot about Snowberry Blossom!

Snowberry Blossom is a short story which takes place in between books 2&3, on Midwinter’s Eve. I wrote it as an introduction to the characters and world they live in. It’s always free, and it’s available wide, including iBooks, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, and other platforms: https://www.books2read.com/u/4X9XNb 

Author V.M. Sawh had this to say about the story:

This little story by Missy Sheldrake is the literary equivalent of having a warm cup of Spiced Apple Tea in front of a fireplace while watching the Neverending Story on a snowy winter’s afternoon.
Got that?
Good. Now go pick up this short story. It’s gorgeous new cover art is Christmas-decoration-pretty and the writing is rich and inviting with clear descriptions, surprisingly well-rendered characters (for such a short length) and an engaging little story.

Snowberry-Blossom

 

It’s Finally Here! Release Day!

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It’s Finally Here! Release Day!

I’m so excited to announce that Call of Elespen, the fifth and final book of the Keepers of the Wellsprings series, is now available on Amazon!

All of your favorites are back in the epic conclusion of the series, including:

Call of Hywilkin illustration

Flitt

 

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Azi and Rian

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Tib

 

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Celli

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Margy and more!

Check out all the illustrations from Call of Elespen here.

Today only, November 29, 2017, in celebration of the completion of the series, I’m offering books 1-4 for free!

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Click the pic to visit the series page on Amazon

When I wrote this series, my hope was to capture a world that would enchant my readers and bring them to a place they’ve never been before. To me, the joy of reading is the escape of it. Growing up, I had few friends. I imagined them in the forests where I wandered, as fairies, and I imagined them in the pages of books.

In the Keepers of the Wellsprings, my hope was to create friends that would capture my readers’ hearts, just as those in the books I’ve read have done for me. Finishing the series has been bittersweet. I’m relieved to have been able to tie up to so many strands of the story so neatly, but it’s sad to say goodbye to these characters who seem so real now.

Rest assured, though, I don’t think I’m finished with these folks just yet. I intend to take a break, but there are so many stories to write, yet, from the world of the Wellsprings.

Blog Tour

Special thanks to my friends who have agreed to participate in my blog tour! Please swing by and check out these fabulous authors:

Daniel Layfield, author of The Spellstone Legacy series
https://youlookconfused.blogspot.com/2017/11/call-of-elespen-epic-conclusion-to.html

Owen R. O’Neill, co-author of the Loralynn Kennakris Series
http://www.loralynnkennakris.com/keepers-of-the-wellsprings-new-release/

Joshua Blum, author of The Thirteenth Hour: A Retro 1980s Illustrated Fairytale Fantasy Novel
https://13thhr.wordpress.com/2017/11/27/the-thirteenth-hour-podcast-120/

Meg Welch Dendler, author of the Cats in the Mirror series and more
https://megdendler.blogspot.com

Jenelle Schmidt, author of The Minstrel’s Song series
http://jenelleschmidt.com

Joanne Van Leerdam, poet of The Passing of the Night
https://bookssquirrel.wordpress.com/2017/11/29/announcing-the-epic-conclusion-to-the-keepers-of-the-wellsprings-series/

Joshua Robertson, author of the Thrice Nine Legends Saga
https://robertsonwrites.wordpress.com/2017/11/29/featuring-keepers-of-the-wellsprings-call-of-elespen/

M. Ray Holloway, author of Let No Word Be Spoken

https://mrayhollowayjr.blogspot.com

I’ll be adding even more posts to the list as they go  up, so please make sure to check back!

 

Call of Elespen Cover Reveal

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Call of Elespen Cover Reveal

The epic conclusion to the Keepers of the Wellsprings series is almost here, and you know what that means: It’s time for a cover reveal!

If you’re familiar with the series so far, you know that I have illustrated designed all of the covers myself. It has always been important to me to make sure each cover is unique enough to be attractive on its own, but consistent enough with the rest of the series that it looks like a series when all of the books are displayed together.

To do this, I  really thought about color, giving each book its own unique palette and tone. I knew Kythshire, for example, would be blue and gold, because those colors appear prominently in the book. They’re the colors of Azi’s guild, and the colors of the golden field she visits in Kythshire.

 

For Call of Sunteri, I chose red for the dye fields Tib escaped, and gold for the wings of a prominent fairy in the book. I won’t say who, just in case you haven’t read it yet!

 

For Call of Brindelier, it had to be purple for the mystery and majesty of the hidden kingdom of Brindelier, and gold, of course. This time, for Azi.

 

For Call of Hywilkin, I knew I wanted flame orange and yellow to represent the fiery mountain of Kerevorna, and the wings of its Keeper had to be very distinct. I also wanted it to feel quite ominous because of the dark, dramatic tone of this book.

Finally, here we are at Elespen! As the final book in the series, I hoped to make this cover really stand out. This book and its cover had to feel like a triumph. I wanted it to feel mysterious and creepy, but also bright and hopeful. I painted the wings to seem like they could be a butterfly in a rain forest jungle, and gave them eyes to make them curious and interesting. It was important that the green felt like a jungle, with all of the wonder and danger that the idea of a jungle invokes. I wanted it to feel ambiguously good and evil, beautiful, and unnerving. My favorite part about this cover is how the area beneath the wings feels like a portal into a strange blue sky or tropical water, which happened accidentally as I was painting it.

Without further delay, here it is, the cover reveal of Call of Elespen!

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books bannerI’m still planning on releasing the book in the later part of November. I promise to keep you updated! In the meantime, you can download Call of Kythshire for free today, in celebration of my cover release! Enjoy!