Tag Archives: fairy story

Call of Elespen: Excerpt

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Call of Elespen: Excerpt

 

Here’s a fun excerpt from Call of Elespen, book five of the Keepers of the Wellsprings series, to whet your appetite! I’m still putting some polish on this epic finale, but I can say with confidence that it will be available by the end of the month! November 29 is the tentative release date. I really can’t wait for you to read it!


After a long day of meetings, planning, and preparing for the Dawn’s next steps, I fall into my bed and bury my face in my pillow. The sweet, familiar lavender and rose fragrance of Mouli’s laundering soap soothes me to sleep almost instantly. I dream of pleasant, fleeting things as I burrow deep into my soft, downy bed.

“Azi,” tiny hands pat the side of my nose and Flitt’s light dances behind my eyelids as she raps on my brow. “Azi,” she whispers again, this time a little more insistently.
I groan and burrow deeper into my bed in protest, and she tugs at the unraveling strands of my braid.

“Azi, wake up!” she squeaks just above a whisper. “It’s urgent!”

My eyes fly open. I bolt upright in my bed. My heart races. Across the room, Mercy jumps in its stand. “What is it?” I gasp, flinging my warm, downy blanket off of me. “Is it the Dusk? Are they attacking?”

One bare foot touches the cold floor as my sword lands in my outstretched hand. I’m halfway to my armor stand before Flitt darts into my face.

“Shh, shh, shh!” she hisses, pressing her surprisingly non-sticky hands to my lips. “It isn’t anything like that! You’re out of sugar cubes again! It’s like Mouli’s forgotten all about me!”

I stare in disbelief at the bright fairy, blinking the sleep from my eyes. Mercy slides from my loosening grasp and floats to set itself in place on its stand. With a groan, I fall back into bed and pull the blankets up over my head.

“You said it was urgent,” I say thickly through a yawn.

“Well, it is. I’m hungry!” Her squeaky voice, muffled by the comforter, drifts closer. I feel her feet on the side of my head and pull the blankets tighter around myself. “I can’t help it if I’ve been up dancing all night while you were being lazy. A fairy has things to do, you know. Important things.”

“Sure, important things,” I yawn again.

“You don’t believe me,” Flitt huffs. I feel her land by my arm. There’s the sound of a scuffle and a tug on the blanket. She manages to get an edge pulled out of my grasp, and she peeks inside. Light bursts from her face, blinding me with sudden, twinkling rainbows. I screw my eyes shut in protest.

“Of course I believe you,” I say, poking my head out into the cold in surrender. “Could you tone it down a little, maybe?”

“Sorry,” she whispers, giggling, and dims her glow. “But you’re awake now! Hurrah!”

“Hurrah,” I mumble, scooting back to prop myself against my pillow. I glance to my shuttered window as I reach for the cup on my bedside table to take a sip of water. The light of the waning moon spills through the slats, competing with Flitt’s colors as it stretches across the floorboards.

I set the mug back on the table and open the drawer, revealing the stash of sugar cubes I’d grabbed earlier on the way back to my room.

“There,” I say, utterly annoyed.

“Yes!” Flitt squeaks. “You’re the best, Azi. Really.” She dives into the drawer and shoves several cubes into her belt pouch. To my surprise, as hungry as she claimed to be, she doesn’t eat any.

“Do you want to know who I was dancing with?” she asks, now that she’s sure I’m fully awake. She keeps her voice much quieter than usual and glances over her shoulder toward the circle hatch. The ribbons of her skirt rise and fall as she sighs dreamily, twirling in place. “Bet you can’t guess.”
My mood shifts. Maybe it’s because I was just dreaming, or maybe it’s because I’m overly anxious over the looming battle, but something about her here in my room, dancing and glowing in the moonlight, makes my heart swell with love for the little fae. My irritation over being woken up in the middle of the night is easily pushed aside by my affection for her.

Just a few short years ago, I never would have imagined a scene like this could be real. If I’d told someone there was a fairy in my bedroom, Uncle most definitely would have had my head examined.

“Hey, Dreamy,” Flitt whispers, diving toward my face. She stops short of my nose and taps it with her finger. “You’re supposed to guess!”

“Oh,” I say. “Um, Twig?”

She shushes me again, clinging to my cheek, and glances toward Rian’s room.

“Not Twig,” she whispers. “And can you keep your voice down?”

“Why?” I ask.

“You can’t answer a question with a question!” she whispers.

“I didn’t know we were play—”

“Shh!”

“For the ever-loving—” I start to growl, and Flitt squeaks and darts to my ear.

“I don’t want to wake up Stinky,” she whispers. “When was the last time we had a talk, just you and me, huh? If he comes in here, he’ll stick himself to your face all the way ‘til morning, and I just want to talk to you without him around because you’re mine and I’m yours and just this once I don’t want to share!”

Slowly, I turn my head to face her. She hovers in the air, even with my eyes, her fists clenched at her sides, her cheeks red, her eyes narrowed.

“Flitt,” I whisper, trying hard to keep the bemusement out of my voice, “are you jealous of Rian?”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” she huffs, crossing her arms. She purses her lips. Her nostrils flare out. This close, I can see the beautiful shift of color in her eyes: fuchsia, orange, violet.

“You are,” I say, biting my lip to keep myself from laughing.

“That’s not the point!” she squeaks, then claps her hands over her own mouth.


If you haven’t read the Keepers of the Wellsprings series yet, you should definitely get started before the final book comes out! You can grab your copy of all four books on Amazon.

I’ll be posting some more info and updates as release day nears, so make sure to check back often!

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Win a Print and a Signed Book!

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Win a Print and a Signed Book!

I decided it was high time I had a contest, so here ya go! You can enter to win one print of your choice (out of the two shown above), AND a signed paperback copy of Call of Kythshire! No purchase necessary, but you do have to live in the continental US.  Just click here to visit the contest on rafflecopter to enter!

The contest ends July 8 at midnight EST. One lucky winner will be announced on my Facebook page Monday, June 10. Good luck!

Missy Sheldrake-Call of Kythshire

Cover Reveal, and a Dream Come True

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Cover Reveal, and a Dream Come True

When Christina McMullen, one of my favorite indie authors and a good friend, approached me to work on the cover for her book, I admit I was a bit nervous. I mean, I’ve done commissioned artwork for years, so I’m accustomed to doing artwork for others. And I’ve even done book covers, but they were always for my own books, so it was mostly easy to know what to do.

Still, I’d read an early beta copy of the first few chapters of A Space Girl from Earth, and I was hooked. Ellie was a heroine I could really stand behind, and her story is filled with delicious sci-fi, edge-of-your-seat adventure, and heart-string-pulling romance. Admittedly, I haven’t had a chance yet to read through the final version, but it’s next on my list and I’m itching to get to it.

So, with a just a little trepidation because I felt this was a character who deserved a great portrayal, and because I wasn’t sure I was the one to make that happen, I agreed to paint Ellie for Christina. The result, to my delight, is exactly as I (and Christina, thankfully) pictured her. I’m so excited to finally be able to share the final result with you. Here’s Ellie!

ASGfEPaperback

Click the cover to preorder A Space Girl From Earth

Christina was so happy with all of the details I added to Ellie, that she created a separate cover for the Kindle edition of the book with a close-up:

A Space Girl From Earth Kindle Cover.jpg

Click the cover to visit Christina’s blog and read more!

 

I had so much fun working on all of the little details, like the doodles on Ellie’s shoes, and her blue nail polish, and of course her glowing spots!

You can read more about the book, which is now available for preorder, on Christina’s blog. Christina also has some preview chapters up for grabs, so make sure you visit her blog for more info!

Now, as for the second part of the title of this post… a dream come true. Last night when I was reflecting on the anticipation of today and this exciting cover reveal, something occurred to me. Back in my college days, I studied under a sci-fi cover artist named Abe Echevarria. He was my mentor, and he encouraged me to focus on Illustration as a career. Here are a couple of examples of his work:

At the time, I worked hard to hone my skills and emulate his style. I dreamed that one day I could be a freelance illustrator and have my artwork on fantasy book covers. This was back in a time before digital art, when covers were hand-painted with oils or acrylics and canvases were rolled up and shipped to the publisher to be processed for printing. I romanticized what the life of a freelancer would be like, and imagined myself one day in my own studio, negotiating contracts with publishers and seeing my artwork on store shelves. But abstract painting lured me away, and my focus on illustration faded. I spent my graduate studies in the fine art painting studio, and left illustration behind.

How amazing that the faded dream just ended up falling into place, and here I am twenty years later, with my artwork on the cover of someone else’s novel!. And it’s a trilogy, so I’m really looking forward to painting more covers for Christina soon!

Finally, I’d love to share a fun little video of my process. I do all of my artwork on the Procreate app on my iPad Pro, which records time-lapse videos as I work. If you watch closely, you can see all of my reference images popping in and out of the canvas, along with Christina’s suggestions and comments on some of the images. You’ll notice that I sometimes sketch over the reference images to make sure I get proportions and certain features right. This was one of the techniques Mr. Echevarria taught me, though back in college we used vellum, light tables, and projectors for the same process. I really love technology!

If you’d like to discuss cover art or other commissioned pieces, please feel free to contact me through my website: http://www.missysheldrake.com

 

Less Than a Week to Go!

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Less Than a Week to Go!

EVERYONE! I am so excited for the week ahead. Call of Hywilkin has its official release this Friday, March 3. To celebrate, I’ll be offering Call of Kythshire, Call of Sunteri, and Call of Brindelier for free for that one day only!

Are you ready to explore Hywilkin? Here’s a desktop wallpaper I made with some of my favorite illustrations from the book. Feel free to download it and use it (personal use only, please)!

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My website is all ready to go, with a face lift to match the color scheme of the new book. I invite you to read an excerpt from the book (spoiler-free) and check out the illustration gallery (not so spoiler-free).

This week also happens to be #RobotPartyWeek. I’m told it has nothing to do with robots or parties, but anyone following the hashtag on Twitter will find free books from fantastic indie authors! Check it out this week, the week of Feb 26-March 4.

Speaking of #RobotPartyWeek, my friend and fellow indie Christina McMullen has a few things planned over on her Vampires & Robots blog. Says she: “All week long, I’m featuring new releases from a variety of sci-fi and fantasy authors. We’ve got flying cars, snarky adventure seekers, pantsless elves, and an outspoken fairy. Plus, alien robots from outer space run amok and only the book world can save us!”

I’m also working on a fun interview between Flitt and a character created by author Ember Winters which she’ll be posting this Friday, and I’ll have a fun Realm Explorers by Annie Douglass Lima interview going up March 6 telling all about the Known Lands.

With all that to look forward to, it’s going to be a great week! What do you have going on? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!