The Circle of Talia Book Two Update—Epic Fantasy

So here we are with three days left of my book sale and I’m happy to report that it was a success! I’m not here to celebrate though; I’m here to give some information about the series :). I’m excited that after a week I’ve had a few enquiries from people wanting to know a) is there a book two? and b) when is it coming? They are questions we writers love, love, love to hear!

How cruel would it be if I only wrote one book in the series? Actually it would be downright evil and I’m not evil, well only when it comes to killing off my characters. So to assuage my readers’ fears I can say I am writing book two in The Circle of Talia series and am one quarter into the first draft. I’m hoping it will be ready for editing in February and released at the end of March. I can’t wait to contact Rob—the talented artist who did the first cover—to discuss my ideas. He blew me away last time and it will be so exciting to see more of my characters come to life on the next cover.

The writing has been emotional as I’ve found out that more than one of my characters will die by the end of the series and I’m mourning them early. If you are saying to yourself “Ok, she’s a total nutter,” I agree, I probably am, but my characters are like family and I know them so well.

I want to say thanks to those readers who have bought the book and especially to the encouraging readers who let me know they’re eagerly awaiting the next book. As soon as book two is out I’ll start writing book three, so never fear, the story will get finished, maybe even by the end of the year, unless there is more to tell and then you’ll have to wait for book four.

I’d better go back to work now, but I’ll leave you with an unedited (forgive me if there are mistakes) snippit from my second epic fantasy novel (which I still haven’t named) —the sequel to Shadows of the Realm.

***

Agmunsten stood taller, bracing himself to take the news on the strongest shoulders he could offer. “Tell me the price so we may get on with this blessing.” Blayke wondered what the price would be, and knew, from the Head Realmist’s voice, it would be a big one. He shut his eyes and drew a deep, calming breath.

“Listen carefully, and repeat this to no one. When the price is asked, you will have one chance to act. If you hesitate, the chance will be lost and so will Talia. The two you must sacrifice are….”

All three realmists paled, and Blayke blinked tears back. When Drakon finished speaking, the energy flows to the channels ceased, and as Blayke reached down to gather the quartz in his shaking hands, he wished he were an innocent child once again. He didn’t know how to carry this new burden and thought death would be so much easier. His fingers touched the pendant and he fell to his knees. Agmunsten and Arcese stood in silence as Blayke knelt on the floor and wept.

Agmunsten covered his face with his hands. They had survived the blessing of the quartz; so why did it feel like they had failed?

When a Good Book Goes Bad—Shadows of the Realm has Stripped!

Ok, I know I’m going on about it but my book is now on sale! I’ve really put the price down to $1.99. I know it’s not free, but this is as far as I go for now, kind of like playing strip poker—I’m the prude wearing 50 layers of clothing. I’ll only take off so much before I put it all back on again. Although, it is a bit nerve-wracking: what if no one buys it, even when it’s cheap? Maybe that’s why stripping off scares me: what if I take it all off and people look for a moment then look away in boredom, or even worse, disgust—what do I have left? Nothing. And please nobody hold up cards with one star on them. Oh dear, I’ve given myself away and people are telling others about how unimpressed they are. Ok, maybe I’m going too far. I’m sure you’ll love me naked, ah, I mean my book, you’ll love my book, and I’m sure you’ll buy it at $1.99 because you wouldn’t want it to get depressed would you? Rejection is so hard to take.

So, show my book some love and tell your friends, tell your family, even tell that weird old lady who sleeps at the bus stop—she’s probably secretly a millionaire and can’t wait to read my epic fantasy novel. Shadows of the Realm, or SOTR as it’s becoming known because of the ease of fitting into a tweet, is perfect for teens and adults—it’s an awesome crossover/family read. You’re always complaining that you have nothing to talk to your teenagers about, so buy this, both read it and get talking!

You can purchase it at Amazon US, Amazon UK and Smashwords. Happy reading :).

A Crumby Christmas that Ended with a Fantabulous Dragon

Vacuum the hall with the Dyson cleaner, fa la la la la la, la la la la, tis the time to try and get leaner, fa la la la la, la la la la. So that was Christmas. Did I enjoy the leap from pre-Christmas to after Christmas? Well, read on and find out. Christmas Eve started with the line for the seafood—an Aussie thing as it’s hot here at Christmas. My thirty minutes in the line wasn’t so bad, though, as I had my iPod and Twitter to keep me amused. I don’t think I bothered anyone too much with my dance moves, well not until I smacked the guy in front of me with a flailing arm at which point one of the bouncers on the door gave me a warning (ok, I might be exaggerating just a little, but there were bouncers, hence the need for me to treat it as if it were a nightclub).

The line
The line

So, having survived buying the seafood, I moved on from Christmas Eve to Christmas morning, which I spent mopping and vacuuming, bleaching the toilet blah, blah, blah, only to have the place dirtied within five minutes of people arriving, as crackers were munched and crumbs fell, peppering my carpet like cat litter at a demented cat-lady’s house. After I scooted around on the floor picking up the bits, while other crumbs rained down on my head from ignorant family members, I managed to get lunch on the table. Everyone ate their weight in seafood and ham, and following Newton’s law of no action without an equal and something-or-other reaction, I’ve put on a couple of kilos. One of the culprits of my increased buxomness was the staple of Aussie cakes, the pavlova—or, as we like to call it, the pav (see below and try not to drool).

The Pav
The Pav

 

After the family rolled to their cars, and the kids were in bed, I opened my present from one of the most awesome friends I’ve made on Twitter. This person wants to remain anonymous, but I say thank you all the same. I was gifted with a handmade t-shirt of one of my favourite books of all time. Can you guess? Ok, I’ll tell you. It’s Shadows of the Realm, my best-selling (ok semi-best-selling) fantasy book with dragons (I have to put in those words for the SEO, you know how it is). Behold me in all my dragon covered glory…

Me looking snazzy in my book cover
Me looking snazzy in my book cover

But, alas, today the pav is all gone, the crumbs have been banished and the diet has started. I did enjoy Christmas and look forward to doing it all again next year. I want to wish everyone an awesome year for 2013 and thanks for visiting my blog :).

The Next Big Thing Blog Tour Thingy Majiggy

I’ve been tagged for a bit of a blog hop thingy by good writer friend Tima Lacoba. I’m required to answer the following questions and I promise to do so to the best of my ability (so don’t expect too much). I currently have a fantasy novel out (in case the dragon on my website was not a dead giveaway), a book of suspenseful, and somewhat dark, short stories, Dark Spaces, and I’ve just released a little short story, all on it’s own, called Divine Intervention. The one I’ll be referring to today is Shadows of the Realm—my first, and most loved, baby.

  • What is the title of your latest book? Shadows of the Realm.
  • Where did the idea come from for the book? Not sure. Just wanted to write a fantasy book and that’s the one that was there.
  • What genre does your book fall under? Young adult, epic fantasy, with dragons. I don’t think ‘with dragons’ is a genre, but, if erotica can have tentacle sex as a sub-genre, I can have dragons.
  • What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? Oh goodness, gracious, mwah (I just wanted an excuse to blow you all a kiss), OK it’s moi. Hmm, this is a tough one because I don’t watch a lot of movies so I’m not totally up with who is around. I’ll leave it to the casting agent.
  • What is the one sentence synopsis of your book? With their world under threat of invasion, Bronwyn and Blayke, two young realmists, are forced to leave all they’ve known to undertake a dangerous journey to discover the magic of the realms before all they love is destroyed.
  • Is your book self-published or represented by an agency? Bwahahaha. Oh, excuse me *straightens shirt and smooths hair.*  I’m self published.
  • How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? I can’t remember specifics, as it was eight years ago, but I’m thinking it was two or three months.
  • What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Anything by David Eddings with a hint of Stephen King at times. (Note here that I’m not saying it’s as good as theirs, but they have been my influences and I can only aspire to their great skill. Just wanted to make that clear so there’s no massive expectations when you buy my book. Although, you can have some expectations, just don’t go overboard—it wouldn’t be good for either of us).
  • Who or what inspired you to write this book? I inspired myself (I’m very inspirational you know). I’d always wanted to write a book—I don’t know why—and so I did.
  • What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Hmm, the characters are varied and well drawn (I have it on good authority), there’s dragons, a splatter of horror, much adventuring and visiting different realms and of course, my unique brand of humour, which probably isn’t that unique and I’m sure not everyone finds it funny. All I can say is that I enjoyed writing it and reading it the two hundred times I went through it in editing, so I’m sure you can brave it just once, please? (This isn’t begging, I’m just being polite).

Not sure if I’m supposed to tag anyone or if it’s supposed to die a natural death. I’ll keep it going for one more time and tag my podcast partners in crime, Amber Jerome~Norrgard. Take it away Amber :).

Oh and I wouldn’t be doing this properly if I didn’t have a call to action at the end. Go and buy the book, now, quick, before … before … well, before you forget.

OMG, If You’ve Read Shadows of the Realm, You Have a Chance to Win!

Hey Everyone :). As a Christmas ‘thank you’ to all my wonderful readers, I’m running a competition. It’s been so amazing to have people read my book and let me know they’ve enjoyed it, and I wanted to return some of the love. I’m asking you to post your favourite quote from Shadows of the Realm on my Facebook author page or on Twitter (don’t forget to tweet it @DionneLister or I’ll miss it). The quote must come from Chapter 8 onwards. Each person can only enter once, as I don’t want it to turn into some crazy quoting of the whole book lol. There will be two winners—each will receive a $20 (US) Amazon gift voucher. The competition starts on 14th November, 2012 and I will draw the winners on 16th December 2012 (my Grandmother’s birthday), wherein I’ll announce the results on my Facebook Page. So, if you haven’t yet bought your copy, go now. Good luck you Awesome Peeps!

Shadows of the Realm Reviews and Thank-Yous

My fantasy adventure book has been getting a few reviews lately, which I’m very excited about. Of course they’re not all fantastic because we all have different tastes. However, in my bests interests, I have included the ones I think give you a sense of my book and yes, they’re by the people that really enjoyed it (well what do you expect?). I’d also like to thank everyone who has read my book, and in particular those who have taken the time to review it. Reviews are the best way to support authors if you have enjoyed their book. So thanks to the generous readers who have taken the time to support me. I’m blowing kisses and sending virtual chocolates, you have all made me a very happy writer.

Helen says:

I picked up this book knowing a little of what to expect, dragons, adventure, good vs evil. I started reading and then could not put the book down until I had finished. I lost track of time reading it.

The book centers around a secret group called Realmists, possessed of magical powers who are sworn to protect their world, Talia, from the evil race that exists in another realm. This race once lived on Talia and were banished, but are determined to return.

The book contains a surprising variety of characters, ranging from teenagers through to adults and magicians of advanced age. And of course the dragons, who in this case are portrayed as being on the side of the realm. The dragon characterisation is fascinating. The words used to draw a picture of their intelligence, strength, and their nature are so powerful that the reader has absolutely no difficulty in accepting them as part of the world we are drawn into. Equally the human characters are drawn as individuals, each with their own backgrounds, faults, opinions and reactions. Again it makes it very easy to find yourself drawn into their world.

Realmists can bond with one selected animal, a creatura, and even these are well drawn with a great variety of animals used. I found it a pleasant surprise to be able to read about , as it were, familiars who range from rats to panthers. Another pleasant surprise is the way that the Creatura’s point of view is also presented.

All through the book I felt an odd sense of familiarity. I could not pin down why at first, it was not that I had seen the plot or any major plot devices used before. Some elements of the world drawn can be found in other fantasy novels, for example familiars, but that was not it either. In the end I simply had to conclude that it was due to the way the writing drew me in and made me feel a part of the book from start to finish.

Wxmouse says:

4.5 stars for this beautiful high fantasy book by Dionne Lister. From a nightmare awakening, to mythical and magical creatures, this book comes together with well laid out characters to deliver a fun escape into a fantasy realm. While the book comes to a resolution, it leaves you edgy and wanting for more. I personally can’t wait until book two is out.

Amber says:

Dionne Lister’s Shadows of the Realm starts out with a scene that grabs you, and does not let go, even after you’ve finished reading. Exceptional in the fact that it is a completely unique novel, Lister creates a new world that is so realistic, it makes the reader want to grab a ticket and head over for a nice permanent vacation. I fell in love with the characters, and was disappointed when the novel ended, and am ready for more. I will be impatiently waiting the rest of the books in the series, and am desperate for more!

So if these reviews have aroused your interest, head over to Amazon or Smashwords and prepare to be drawn into a fantasy world you’ll want to call home.

Shadows of the Realm Earns its First Badge

In the big push to get my book out there, I found a great website, Grub Street Reads. These girls have come up with a great idea for recommending indie books. They have a sound criteria of what makes a good book—rounded characters, consistency in plot and character actions, pace, grammar, spelling, overall plot (you get the picture). When they recommend a book, the reader knows it is going to be of a certain standard.

I applied to them and waited, only a couple of weeks, for the outcome. I must admit, my nails are shorter; it’s always nerve-wracking when someone is ‘judging’ your work.

I am so pleased to announce that I passed the test. My fantabulous book (if I do say so myself) Shadows of the Realm, is now recommended on their website and I get a cool badge to display on my cover and my website. The badge reminds me of the little medals they stick on wine bottles. They also had this to say about my book which makes me smile every time I read it:

You have done a great job of creating characters with distinct voices and personalities. It was a pleasure to go on this epic journey with them. 

So if you’re a reader looking for a good book, visit their site, they obviously have good taste ;). Ok, well I’m off to continue my happy dance then I think I’ll need a little nap.