Sorry I've dropped the ball with updating the blog. Life has gotten a little crazier after the third baby was born and I took on more responsibility at my day job. BUT that doesn't mean I'm taking a break from writing. It just means things will be updated a little slower than usual.
I finished the last novella in the Chosen by the Masters series and have passed it along to my editor friend. The cover has been finalized and I'm so excited to share it with you!
As you can probably surmise, the country in this story was largely inspired by South America. Or, more specifically, Mexicalli. Fun fact: I was born in Mexicalli. My father is Hispanic and my mother is American. My mother's parents were missionaries and moved to Mexico when my mother was very young. So both of my parents grew up there. All of my siblings and I got my mother's skin, but my father's dark hair and eyes. Although, standing next to my dad, we all look adopted. Genetics are funny!
Anywho, we lived in Mexicalli until I was seven-ish, after which we lived in California but visited my Mexicalli on the regular. My father's father was a farmer and lives on a substantial piece of land. I attribute my love of the culture, cuisine, and farmlands of Mexicalli to my Nana and Tata. They let their grandkids run wild among their crops and trees. We terrorized the chickens and chased the dogs and trampled over my Nana's beautiful flowerbeds as we played our made up games. I fell out of the big tree that grew in their front yard because I was determined to climb to the very top. We celebrated our birthdays there, all of us, around my Nana's table. There are countless pictures stored in my mother's albums of that very scene, only the child in front of the birthday cake varied.
In my novella, the main character (Aurora) lives in a Mexican inspired villa in Vronox, a county known for its exceptional crops. Their attire is very similar to the traditional dress of the natives of Mexico. Aurora has a beautiful voice which she utilizes daily to help the crops grow. (Of course, magic is involved. Are you surprised?) While she is respected for her talents, she's also imprisoned because of them. Naturally, the Holgarian invaders are taking advantage of the people and the land, stealing every last resource they can to help their own people on their remote island. Aurora stands as a shield between the invaders and her people, which is stressful enough, but she also has an older sister who is pressuring her to start a revolt.
As is only natural, Aurora has grown to hate the Holgarians after six years of living under their rule but a chance encounter with a Holgarian soldier leaves her questioning everything she's ever thought she knew about them. As she's forced to spend more time with this soldier named Curran, she's intrigued by the mystery surrounding him and, of course, finds herself falling for him. Together, they may yet find a way to bring about peace for Vronox.
I know I always say this but I had so much fun writing this story! Grant it, it was hard to finish because of the whole sleep deprivation period brought on by having a newborn. I had the ideas in my head but I had no time or energy to sit down at the computer and get them all on paper. It was a little frustrating to be honest, but I did finally manage to finish it and I'll tell you what, it was not the ending I was planning! I don't know if you knew this but some authors plot their stories from chapter to chapter, while some authors only have major plot points planned and make up the rest of it along the way. I tend to lean more toward the latter group. But with this story, I had it all plotted out. And then I went a completely different direction....several times.
Writing is incredible. I love how I can be in the groove, typing as fast as my ideas are coming to me, and once I'm finished, I'll read what I wrote and then compare it to the outline I created at the very beginning and find myself looking at two very different stories. Sometimes the detours work out even better than what I planned. Of course, sometimes they're worse and that's why I have people to bounce ideas off of so that I know which ones are crap before I let the world see them. But, in this case, the story turned out better after I changed the outline.
Aurora and the Divine Elevation is the last novella in this series, as I mentioned earlier. That doesn't mean that the story is over, though. That just means that I'm done writing novellas. Now it's time to write Asta Among the Chosen, the full blown novel that will bring all the characters in the novellas and the main characters from Asta and the Barbarians together. I'm republishing Asta and the Barbarians before Asta Among the Chosen just to give you all a refresher on where we left Asta and her friends before they're introduced to the characters from the novellas. Also, there's a bonus short story I'm going to add to the end of Asta and the Barbarians which is told from Viggo's point of view so there's lots to look forward to!
Geez, there's so much work to do but I can't wait to get it done! The satisfaction that comes at the end of a project is indescribable. Anyway, Aurora's story is going to be published on July 11th so mark your calendars! And if any of you are interested in an eARC in exchange for an honest review, please message me. :)
Thanks for reading!