There’s a bit of a theme going on between my author friends and myself. Some call it Summertime Slump. Our brains seem to turn to mush in the summer, and the ideas and stories just don’t flow. I’m right on that bandwagon, but this morning I’ve decided to change my perspective and call it the Summertime Switch. Read the rest of this entry
Getting ready to launch book three, which is set to release this Friday, June 10, I’m spending this week fixing up all of the little things that have been shelved in favor of writing, illustrating, and editing. One of those things was my website, which was in dire need of an update.
Now, without further ado, I’m excited to share the newly updated missysheldrake.com with you! There, you can browse the illustration galleries for Call of Kythshire and Call of Sunteri, read excerpts from all three books, tiptoe through my fairy art doll gallery, download my new Marketing Kit, and even send me a message! I hope you do. I love hearing feedback. So, go on over and take a peek!
Okay, I am going to try to keep this short. I’ve been so hard at work getting Book Three ready for all of you that I’ve otherwise been a Very Bad Author and haven’t been updating my blog! I hope you can forgive me.
June is promising to be an exciting start to an even more exciting summer as I delve into a new writing project that I hope to share with you very soon. Don’t fret, though, I’ll still be working on the Keepers of the Wellsprings in the meantime!
Call of Brindelier is the third full book in the series, and I’ve decided there will be at least two more books to round the series out after this one. Azi and Rian have a lot of adventures left to face, along with Tib and a new character who’s introduced in Book Three: Celli! Celli is a scrappy street fighter with a penchant for pick-pocketing, who gets caught with the wrong crowd in a major way. She’s sort of like Tib, but with fewer morals.
Here she is sneering at Dub, an assassin who you might remember from Call of Sunteri. Dub plays a much bigger part in this book. I’ve grown pretty fond of that guy.
Celli and Dub had a fun first meeting.
Here’s an excerpt from Chapter One of Call of Brindelier:
This room is strange. It’s dark, and the floor is covered with gold tiles in the shape of a sunburst that starts in the center and goes out toward the walls. Each point of the sunburst creeps up to an alcove in the wall, and each alcove holds an empty pedestal. I think about going to look at one closer, but before I can move, Quenson appears in the doorway.
He’s flanked by two guards: a woman and a man both wearing heavy chain mail. They post themselves just inside and eye me with caution while the Sorcerer approaches me. I don’t let them intimidate me. With him standing as close to me now as we were in the alley, they don’t matter, anyway. He’s even more handsome than I remembered.
“Sybel has outdone herself,” he says as he circles around me, looking me over.
His tone makes my cheeks go hot. He’s dangerous, I know, but that excites me. All I want is his approval. I want him to admire me. I want to always be close to him. I want to show him that I can do anything for him. Whatever he needs me to do. I watch him come around to face me again, where he stands and looks at me without a word. He’s not wearing his veil here. His face seems older than it did in the street, wiser and more impressive. With his eyes on me, suddenly I feel like a child about to be scolded.
“I’m sorry,” I blurt out. “I won’t fail you again.”
“I believe you,” he says. “You will begin by never speaking unless spoken to.”
I nod my agreement and he smiles at me. I want him to keep smiling. I want to be his favorite. I never want to make him scowl.
“This is Dub,” he says after a long pause. It takes me a moment to realize there’s someone else here. He’s been lurking against the wall all this time. He steps out of the shadows as Quenson introduces him.
He’s in his twenties, maybe, lean and strong, and dressed all in leathers like me, except they’re black. His face is coarse with whiskers, and one eye is covered with a patch. The most remarkable thing about him, though, are all the knives. I can count at least a dozen strapped to his torso, his belt, his arms, and his legs. I wonder how many others he’s concealing.
His one good eye looks me over like Quenson did. Except when he does it, it makes me uncomfortable. I square my shoulders and cross my arms and raise my chin, trying to seem bigger. Tougher. He smirks, but doesn’t say a word.
“Go.” Quenson says.
Before I have time to think, Dub leaps at me, his knives flashing. He swings and I duck and roll away. He throws a blade, and I somersault and narrowly dodge the attack. His knife clatters and skids across the floor. I tumble to grab it and another one of his blades slices my sleeve as it whizzes past. I don’t know why, but this guy is serious. He means to kill me.
With Dub’s knife tight in my grip, I charge him. He’s nearly twice my size but I don’t care. If he wants to kill me, I’m going to make it difficult. He’s ready for my attack though. As I swing to stab him, he sheaths a knife and grabs my arm, twisting it painfully behind my back. He’s strong, but I’m a fighter. I elbow him hard in the ribs and kick him between the legs until he doubles over. That makes him loosen his grip on my arm, so I spin and punch him hard in the face. His nose cracks and he curses.
Quenson’s laughter somewhere to the side of the room is a musical sound that echoes up to the high-domed ceiling and back down again. It reminds me of how much I want to please him. It makes me fight harder.
If you like what you’ve read, you can click here to preorder Call of Brindelier! Thanks!
Writing is a funny thing. For me, it comes in bursts. There are days when I wake up early and write well into the morning, and days when I sit restlessly at my keyboard, desperate for an idea.
I finally broke through my snowday-related writer’s block and wrote two chapters yesterday. I’m really hoping to keep my momentum despite a busy weekend coming up, and a busy beginning of next week, too.
Here’s the current status of Call of Brindelier, Keepers of the Wellsprings Book Three:
Percent Complete: 80-85%
For me, a long nature walk helps me get through a block. I find myself inspired by music, art, and television. How do you break through your writer’s block? Feel free to comment. I’d love to hear from you!
Every once in a while I offer my ebooks for free to give readers a chance to jump into the Keepers of the Wellsprings series. I’m excited to announce that Call of Kythshire is FREE from 2/23-2/25 on Amazon!
My debut novel is a five-star fantasy series hailed for its thoughtful and detailed world, its entertaining twists and turns, and its strong female protagonist.
A swordfighting squire must unravel a sorcerous plot which threatens the peace of her country, Cerion, and the existence of its allies, the mysterious and secretive fairies of Kythshire.
Here’s a fabulous review I received on Goodreads from Owen O’Neil, author of the Loralynn Kennakris series:
I found this to be a quite enjoyable fantasy novel with an engaging main character and an intriguing plot that developed nicely. The world was introduced in enough detail to keep me informed without being burdensome, and the story is a good mix of lighthearted elements with more serious action. The prose is uncluttered and avoids straying into otiose verbiage in an attempt to achieve a “fantastical” effect.
The story is told in first-person, present-tense, which is not my favorite narrative style as it often leads an author into distracting circumlocutions to overcome this style’s inherent limitations, but it works here. For me, this choice did not add a great deal to the story; I think it could have been told as effectively in another style, but it flowed well and kept me engaged. The only drawback—and it is a minor one—is that as the narrative progressed and the cast of characters grew, the limitations imposed by the POV resulted in me finding some the secondary characters a bit indistinct, which made them a little hard to keep track of at times. But I wasn’t unduly bothered by this, and I feel this was probably better than introducing potentially awkward elements to give additional context and background.
Overall, I found this story to be an superior effort, especially for a debut novel, and I would recommend it as an enjoyable fantasy that leans to lighter side. I will be reading the next book.
I had so much fun creating Azi’s guild hall that I decided to do a close up view of her house, too. This house is where Azi grew up, and it’s a small part of the larger guild complex. She spends much of her time here in the first book of the Keepers of the Wellsprings series: Call of Kythshire.
Many scenes have played out within these walls. I even added Flit’s pitcher to the drawing. Do you see it?
Read all about Azi, her house, and her adventures in Call of Kythshire, available for free on Kindle Unlimited at Amazon.com.
A lot of the first book of the Keepers of the Wellsprings series, Call of Kythshire, happens in one setting: the guild hall of His Majesty’s Elite. This setting is one of my favorites in the books, because it’s a place that I feel like I’ve actually been to. I can picture the splintered wood benches in the sparring square, hear the ring of Benen’s hammer from the forge, and smell the wood smoke from the great hearth in the meeting hall.
For Christmas, I’ve decided to treat my readers to a holiday story featuring Azi, Rian, and their friends in Cerion. Follow them as they quest through a treacherous snowstorm to retrieve the perfect gift for Midwinter’s Eve. Read the rest of this entry
Writing is well underway for book three of the Keepers of the Wellsprings series. I’m already up to Chapter 13, and as often happens, my ideas have inspired me to sketch. Here are a few scenes with some new characters and some familiar favorites.
I have a long road ahead, but I’m looking forward to continuing the story and spending more time with Azi, Rian, Flit, Tib, and so many others as the story of the Wellsprings progresses. 🙂