“The Prophet” NEW RELEASE!

Woo-hoo! It’s finally done.

Starting today, if you sign up for my mailing list (and if you’re already on my list, you should be getting a link soon) you’ll receive a free, brand new, exclusive copy of The Prophet (The Kota Series Companion Story).
This is the story of the prophets who originally wrote the Kota prophecies. It’s a prequel of sorts, so you can jump into The Kota Series world for the first time OR read for surprises if you’ve already read the series.

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Mind your own dystopia.

Hazen Stephenson grew up pampered, and he knows it.  But he’s never had it easy. Hazen’s nightmares aren’t merely products of his imagination, and he wrestles daily with guilt, responsibility, and questions of fate.  Setting off across the globe, he meets people he’s dreamed about and changes their lives…for better and for worse.

Then he meets Renny Nado, who never dreamed her Creative Writing degree would amount to much.  But a people called ‘The Kota’ say her gifts point to an important destiny, and she must convince Hazen of their purpose.

Meanwhile, the world is full of pain, hate, and political upheaval. Should they accept what the Kota say about the future and their place in it?  Or should they keep their heads out of the clouds?

Want to read it? 

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A Fairly Fairy Tale

The official page for “A Fairly Fairy Tale” is now live!
See link below. 

Source: A Fairly Fairy Tale

#TheFourFriday

Here are the results of the September Q&A about my books, blogging, reading, etc.

Thanks to those who submitted questions.  These were interesting to think about and answer.

#TheFourFriday

Here is part 2 of me reading the original version of The Kota that I found from childhood.

More surprises!  I completely forgot about the green blob alien, Counterstrike’s original identity, and that Silver Eye used to be a rebel.

It’s so trippy seeing how much this story has changed…

 

#TheFourFriday

IMG_8408.JPGEarlier this week,  I dug through a box of old keepsakes and found the first ever version of The Kota.  I hadn’t even skimmed it for a decade.  So,  I thought it would be fun to read some of it on video.  Boy, were there some surprises in there!

Trok was once our cousin? The Magi were once the Shiks who took people to the planet Frag?  What the heck were GHM and Proth X?

How did I forget this stuff?!  🙂

 

New Book Release!

The Poet Heroic is now live on Amazon!  

I really, really, really like this one.  It’s a little bit longer than The Woman of the Void and gives a bigger picture of Beathabane’s origin story.  This of course means that, as a Kota Short, it ties into The Kota: Book 1, but it also can be read on its own.

See more info on Amazon:  http://bit.ly/PoetHeroicAmazon

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“The Poet Heroic” Sneak Peek

Hey, everybody!

I’m in the final stages of prepping The Poet Heroic, the next Kota Short – releases 12/25/2015! (available for pre-order HERE)

This book focuses on the origin story of Beathabane, the telepathic twin brother of Cruelthor, and shows how he becomes leader of the Hood rebel group in The Kota.

Here’s a first look at the opening pages!

Poet Heroic Cover FandB (2)

Dominion Newsfeed
07/08/69 22:00
Paris, Crow’s Region, Mainland-Euro
– ALERT:  Unauthorized Streaming Video Upload
…Tracking coordinates…

The room is dark. A wall of windows allows faint city light to stretch into the room, but the light only reaches far enough to reveal a skyscraper’s vacant office space.

A spotlight turns on to reveal a man in his late twenties sitting in a chair. His head is lowered so that his coat’s hood shields his face from the camera. He sits comfortably, his hands in his lap.

In a chair across from him sits a stylish woman with neon green hair. This is Kaytrine Elique, known rebel hacker-turned-reporter. A Euro woman who speaks only an illegal language, she wears a headset translating device. She also holds a paper notepad presumably filled with questions. With a smirk, she turns her head and looks into the camera.

Her headset translates in her own accented voice as she says, “We know we don’t have much time before this transmission is tracked by the monitors. And I have no doubt the Dominion is very interested to know the location of my guest tonight. His name is Vale Olander. Or as most of us know him, Beathabane. The Forgotten Son. The Tyrant Twin. So, without wasting any more time, let’s hear what my guest has to say.” She turns to the man in the chair. “Sir, thank you for agreeing to this interview.”

The man now lifts his hood from his head and pushes it back to reveal his face.

Kaytrine sucks in breath at the sight of him, but she regains her composure immediately. “I’m sorry, but you look exactly-”

“I know,” Beathabane tells her with a smile. “You’re not the first to have that reaction.” He glances at the camera nervously, then to the side, where he probably has a man positioned for security.

“I’ll get right to it,” Kaytrine tells him as she examines her notes. “Everyone knows the work you’ve been doing this past decade since…” She makes a face. “Since you came to the Mainland. You’ve helped scores of refugees. Saved hundreds of lives. But this is the first time you’ve agreed to publically speak out. Why is that?”

“I thought it was about time to show my pretty face,” Beathabane jokes. Then he takes a deep breath and sits up in his chair. “Like you say, people know the work I’ve done with my team. They’ve heard rumors about me, both from the Dominion and the rebels. I want my supporters to see my face and know for certain that I’m still alive. And I want those who distrust me to know that I’m not my twin. I want everyone to know that I’ll never stop working to make this world a better place for all of us. That’s all I want. People have no need to fear me. And I hope my example will prompt others to join us in this fight for what is right and just.”

Kaytrine taps her notepad. “As the first reporter you’ve been willing to speak to, I have to ask – what about your sister?”

Beathabane flinches in his seat, and his jaw tightens.

Kaytrine glances at the camera. “Everyone is wondering, you know. Your brother brought her into the Dominion not long after you came to the Mainland. Since then, she’s been learning to fight for the very things you’re fighting against. I have to wonder if that makes you view her as an enemy. And if not, how can you live with the fact that your sister is in the Dominion’s care? I would think, sir, that you’d do everything in your power to rescue her. Or am I wrong?”

Beathabane pauses in thought. Then he looks back at Kaytrine calmly to answer.

Yay!  I’m excited for you to read this one.  See more info on Amazon HERE

#AuThorsday with Anita Kovacevic

61iIdnEKx0L._UX250_Today I’d like to welcome Anita Kovacevic, author of both an adult book, The Threshold, and children’s books, including Winky’s Colours: A Penguin’s Story.

Can you give us your quickest description of your books?

My adult books are almost always a mix of reality and fantasy, with elements of fantasy, paranormal, even horror. (This is not done intentionally, but makes editing a real challenge.)

My children’s books stem from storytelling while teaching English (my full-time job/vocation), so they always have a semi-hidden educational element in them, empowering children (and adults) to stay positive, inspire and strive for improvement.

Still haven’t published a poetry book, but it follows the same pattern.

Do you find that your children’s books are easier to write or come more naturally, since you’re a teacher, than your adult fiction?

Well, I wouldn’t say they are easier to write at all.  They are shorter, that’s for sure.  They are much easier to tell, because storytelling is driven by the children’s energy and my teaching experience and it is direct communication.  When I write children’s books, it is much more difficult to find the right level of phrasing things, to keep it challenging enough, yet not too complicated for children, and to keep the rhythm of telling more flowing.  When it is storytelling, I adapt my voice, phrasing, even noise level to suit the kids, and their interruptions do not bother me – I welcome them, because they are a sign of active listening.  When you write it, there is nobody to bounce it back from in a way.

What is definitely easier with children’s books is that they are so positive, magic comes easy, and writing and telling them is pure joy.  With adult books, as with the adult world, there is so much ugliness, negativity, stress, that it inevitably sneaks into your writing.  I cannot help but infiltrate some magic or paranormal into that, too, for balance, which makes editing awfully hard because I keep hearing ‘mixed genres don’t sell’ and ‘keep it simple for your target audience’!  But I write what I feel and because I need to.  I have never been a business person.

I completely sympathize with what you’re saying about adult fiction.  So what are you working on currently?

Teaching mostly, and trying to preserve the quality of my family life and friendships. 🙂

As for writing, I have three WIPs going on – a finished adult novel (waiting to be edited) about a family which goes through fundamental changes, moving to a small place to find peace when – lo and behold…  The second one is a chick lit book about a daydreamer looking for love in all the wrong places.  The third one is a children’s book about a little squirrel who discovers the beauty of being able to do things herself.  Editing for another author, helping some author groups and book clubs with promotion services (hi, wonderful people, thanks for having me – you all know who you are) interviewing and reviewing – these are all just ‘side gigs.’

Busy, busy.  🙂  Are you an author who makes time every day for writing?  Or do you just get to it whenever you have time around everything else?

It would be such a pleasure to be able to set a time for it every day.  I try to, definitely.  But family life comes first.  My husband is really supportive, but our kids have their needs and they come first.  Day job, too.  Then you squeeze in whatever time is left.  I suppose we all do, unless we live only off our writing, but I don’t.

What is your favorite scene you’ve written?  Can you give us a peek?

There are quite a few, even the ones that gave me nightmares.  But I will share a sweet one from a children’s book, Winky’s Colours, when a boy penguin, who (spoiler alert) almost drowns in an oil spill while searching the world for colours, wakes up and sees – her.  This scene is simply wonderful when I do storytelling – the children’s reactions are precious…

Winky wakes up.  Someone is moving in the igloo and it isn’t Sarah.  The walk is funny and kind of familiar.  He opens his eyes.  Everything is still fuzzy, but he manages to see something.
‘Colours?’ he whispers.
‘No, I’m Betty.’ The voice is snappy and it speaks fast.
‘Colours?’ he says a bit louder.
‘No, no, no, no, no. Be-tty! I’m Betty!’ She sounds a bit angry now.
‘Co-lours!’ Winky said, thinking he is still dreaming.
A fin grabs his lock of hair, pulls it upward and raises his head.
‘Oh, come on, snap out of it! I’m Betty. B-E-T-T-Y. And your name is?’
Two curious green eyes are flashing at his face like road signs.
(From Winky’s Colours)

That sounds quite cute.  Do you read to your students and try out stories on them before you publish?

This scene comes right after a cliffhanger, so I love it.

In all honesty, every story or rhyme I write for children was originally written for my lessons or my children.  I never write to publish.  Some of my teaching colleagues are actually the ones who have encouraged me to even think of myself as an author.  When I read or tell stories to my students, I never tell them they are mine, because I want honest feedback.  They don’t even know I publish.  Kids love stories; they don’t care who wrote them.  They train my ego well.

Haha.  What is one question about your books that you wish more people would ask?

‘Where can I get it?’

Hahaha… No, seriously.  That is the question.

Yep, that’s the one we all want to hear!  Haha.  Where CAN we get it?  Do you have a preferred retailer?

Not really.  My books are available on Lulu, Amazon, Kobo, iBookstore, Barnes&Noble, Nook…  Readers choose what suits them.

Who inspires you to write?

Everything and everyone, words, scents, my family, my students, my friends, images, nature, music…  The Threshold was inspired by that same word – threshold, mentioned casually in a landscape description in another book I was reading.  I had to put that book aside and wrote every night till The Threshold was finished.

There is a story in everyone and everything around us.  I teach creative writing and have a method which gets students to write a three-word sentence into a 40-word sentence in 3 minutes – it just takes focus, imagination and some empathy.  We all have that!  I never lack inspiration, only time and peace.  If inspiration comes in abundance, even insomnia kicks in, just to make time for writing.  But creating something out of nothing like that really fills me with positive energy.  I think writing makes me a better person – it makes me happy, clears my head and heart, and that makes me a better wife, mother, friend, teacher… I hope.

What a great way to look at it – creating helping us to be better people!  And it’s amazing what little things can often trigger inspiration.  Can you tell us a little more about The Threshold?  

It’s the first thing I wrote as an author – it actually kept me up till it was finished.  It’s a slightly creepy urban fantasy about a man who builds himself a house to be proud of, only to show well-hidden vanity.  In the process, he violates several laws of nature (trying to avoid spoilers), for which he pays dearly after crossing the threshold of his finished house.  The threshold hides a curse – makes you face…. No, not telling you! 🙂 The house remains untouched, infamous and owned by the city.  Many years later, another media tycoon of the modern times tries to acquire ownership rights to that same house, by striking a deal with the city leaders to organise a ghost-hunting reality show, which would draw attention and tourists to the city.  As is often the case, a completely average person, a curious student finally…
Well, read the book!  It’s really short!  And, in the words of Evie from The Mummy movie – ‘No harm ever came from reading a book!’

Thank you, Anita, for sharing! 

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WHERE TO FIND Anita Kovacevic:
Website:  Anita’s Haven
Goodreads:  Anita Kovacevic
Amazon Page:  Anita Kovacevic
Facebook:  Anita’s Haven
Twitter: @Anitas_haven

#TheFourFriday – the Mark

Here’s a new thing I’m going to start:

Every Friday, I’ll post something about how the real life “The Four” overlap with the fictional four Kota Warriors.
As some of you know, The Kota Series is based on what “The Four” (myself, my brother, and our childhood best friends Kaly and Luke) played as kids.  Each of us is represented by one of the four Kota Warriors (Bullseye, Rave, Tigris, Whitewolf).  So, I’ll be sharing personal quirks that carried over into fiction, fun/weird stories we played as kids, our childhood drawings, pictures related to The Four and The Kota, etc.
Should be fun, and it’ll give you an idea of how weird or little minds were as we created this story that, years later, turned into my book series.  🙂


First up, the Mark.
In the Kota story, each of “us” was born with a Mark on our arm/shoulder that meant we were destined to be the Kota Warriors.  In real life, I think we wanted to get tattoos of the Mark as soon as we came up with this, and when Luke (aka, Whitewolf) turned 18 we finally did it.  And since today happens to be Luke’s 28th birthday, I’m pretty sure that means our tattoos are 10 years old.
So that’s the story behind our matching tattoos.

The Four

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