Posted in News

NOBODY’S PAWN Release Day! (The End of The Never Veil Series)

NOBODY’S PAWN Is Out in the Wild!

Men can love, but they can also hate. Noll knows too well that the men in her village have adjusted poorly to the freedom of their hearts, but she hopes to bring peace back to her community. With the lord’s return, Noll feels confident that together, they can work to settle down the villagers, but in his rebirth, he remembers only one thing about her: that she caused the curse that tortured him for a millennium in the first place.

Determined to start anew, Noll must accept that, romantically, she and the lord are better without one another, but she’ll need his help to uncover what’s really behind all of the suffering in her village. Escorted to a land beyond the mountains, Noll uncovers the truth about her village and the strange occurrences in which she’s had a hand. When someone who loves her discovers the same things and betrays her, Noll feels powerless to stop her village’s fate. By learning to forgive and seek forgiveness, Noll finally understands true love of a free heart—along with true sacrifice.

It’s important that Kobo and Nook readers act fast, as the book will only be available for the foreseeable future on these platforms for about a week! Why? Learn more below! But first, a LONG look back at the evolution of this series.

It’s bittersweet to see The Never Veil Series come to an end. The seedlings of Noll’s story began 13 years ago in 2003 when, determined to make my life-long dream of being a published author come true, I decided to actually put words to paper (or digital screen) and try to get it done. I was a sporadic writer at best, and I could never quite get a handle on the story I had in mind. I knew one thing, though–I wanted to write a fantasy story with a willful heroine and a Byronic hero, my homage to my favorite film of all time, Jim Henson’s Labyrinth. By 2012, it was a ridiculous 129,000 words and only “halfway” finished in my mind. I didn’t have the drive or the follow-through to plot a full story. Then I read The Hunger Games trilogy (late, I know) and fell madly in love with the series. I hadn’t felt that way since Harry Potter. I wanted so badly to try again–to be an “author” for real, to write stories like those I loved.

One night, shortly after I finished Mockingjay, I thought about my meandering, endless story and how I could make it shorter and make it work. I thought about the elements I loved the most–the stubborn heroine, the moody hero hiding himself behind a veil, and the two of them forced to co-habitate in his castle–and how I could make a more compelling story out of them. I was in a dystopian mood (this was long before “dystopian fatigue” set in), and I wondered why more dystopians weren’t set in medieval-like settings instead of always grim futures. It hit me that maybe the lord shouldn’t be the only one in town forced to cover his face–maybe every man in town should. Maybe, in a reversal of popular dystopians where women are forced to marry men and have their children, men should be forced to fall in love and be subjected to women’s whims. Maybe, then, Noll (then called Feilia!) wasn’t the only “special snowflake” in town. Maybe all the women were loved like a special snowflake–maybe every woman was a goddess. (Of course, in the end, Noll was still far more of a special snowflake than the average goddess after all.)

I set aside my favorite scenes from that meandering draft and wrote like mad for nine days. “It won’t take me long,” I figured, thinking I could salvage more from that draft than I eventually could. It was a light work week for me and somehow I managed to write 50,000 words in those nine days, although I had trouble sleeping and eating–I had to keep writing. I changed those few scenes I was able to salvage and added an additional 5000 from that draft. 5000 words out of 129,000. But still, those words I wrote so long ago made it into NOBODY’S GODDESS today. (I remember actually playing the chess game way back in like 2005 to see if it could work out the way I wrote it did!) When I was finished, I had The Veiled Man’s Goddess, my first completed manuscript and the first book I could ever try to get published.

It was a long, crazy road after that. Eventually, through countless edits and revisions, the book grew from a too-short 55,000 words to a just-right 85,000. I got an agent, who was amazingly enthused about my work and made me think there might be a day when I could share Noll with the rest of the YA community and hold my book baby in my hands. I plotted out the two sequels shortly after I signed, so eager to work on them, I even wrote three sample chapters of NOBODY’S LADY. (Then called something dull like Behind the Veil.) But there was no guarantee anyone would buy the book, so there was no point in writing the sequels, as much as I wanted to. Every time a publisher expressed interest, I got my hopes up! Several “big 5” publishers shared kind words and one even asked for a revision. (Several others were not impressed, naturally!) Ultimately, the revision notes didn’t feel like the right direction for my story, but I tried rewriting it anyhow, feeling traditional publication within reach and eager to get there. In the end, that editor passed, as did many, many others.

We decided to go the indie route by 2013, which led to finding the book’s first publisher and to finding many of you, my readers! That opportunity raised my spirits and gave me hope. My book babies would get published and I had the go-ahead to finish Noll’s story! I wrote both NOBODY’S LADY and NOBODY’S PAWN in 2014, struggling more with the smaller second installment than the longer third. All three books were written by the time the newly-renamed NOBODY’S GODDESS was published in 2015 and I was finally able to share my strange little story with so many readers. So many reacted so positively, I was overwhelmed! I know there are a lot of people who hated Noll, my poor main character (I love her, stubborn or not!), but I hope a number of them stuck with the series all the way through, as it’s been so much fun to have her grow as a person and mature. Look up reactions to Labyrinth‘s Sarah, who loosely inspired her, and you’ll find they’re much the same! I just feel that Noll is a flawed person who seems stubborn and selfish to a fault–but she lives in a world where that’s one honest reaction to everything going on around her, especially in a young adult. She learns how to be more selfless over time, just as the lord learns to correct his faults.

Things have changed. My agent and I parted ways (although I still think he’s amazing and helpful), as did my first publisher and I. I found a new publishing home at Patchwork Press, which has offered to take on more of my book babies and gives me a level of control I don’t find outside of co-op publishing. I don’t know if I’ll ever find an agent or get that close to “traditional publishing” again, but I’ve decided that’s okay. When I tried for traditional, I was faced with the prospect of shelving NOBODY’S GODDESS and writing something new to be my YA debut. I really didn’t want that because I really believed in this story. If that means I’ll be an indie author from now on, then that’s fine with me–because being an indie author let me find a way to keep my stories from gathering digital dust on my hard drive. It’s let me make my dream a reality. And it’s let me share those dreams with you. I hope you’ll stick with me and check out the other worlds and stories I still have to share with you.

The Never Veil Series on Kindle Unlimited and New Paperbacks!

NOBODY’S GODDESS and NOBODY’S LADY are now available on Kindle Unlimited, which means that for one low monthly subscription fee, you can read both books and countless others for free! If you’re already read them, please spread the word to your friends and family with Unlimited access!



The books have gained even more readers by becoming available via this subscription service, so I’ve decided to keep the entire series there for the foreseeable future. That means the e-books won’t be available on any other platform besides Amazon. However, I realize a number of fans first found the books on Kobo and Barnes & Noble, so I want to give them a chance to pick up NOBODY’S PAWN before I pull the book from these outlets and offer NOBODY’S PAWN via Kindle Unlimited as well. If you’re an Unlimited reader, hang on a few more weeks and you can read the third book for free with your subscription.

For those of you who love the new covers, thank you! I love them, too. *-* I’m happy to report the paperbacks for all three are available as well! They’re the same height and width as the old versions, although the new formatting makes them a tiny bit thicker. However, if you already own the old versions and you only want the third book, which is available for the first time, they shouldn’t look wrong together on your shelf!

NOBODY’S GODDESS Paperback New Cover:
NOBODY’S LADY Paperback New Cover:
NOBODY’S PAWN Paperback:

Remember, these new editions include bonus material, such as a scene written from the lord’s point of view, and previews of my other work. Look for them at other retailers such as CreateSpace and Barnes & Noble as well–or even ask your local bookstore to order them!

Posted in Uncategorized

New The Never Veil Covers! NOBODY’S PAWN Pre-Order

I’m excited to finally reveal the new covers for The Never Veil Series books and to announce that the e-books for the first two are back up for sale. (Watch for them at B&N and Kobo soon.) Nobody’s Pawn is also available for pre-order! (The paperback will be available soon.)

Credit goes all to  Meet Cute Photography for the amazing photo shoot and Makeready Designs for putting it all together!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000037_00032]

Order now on Amazon!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000037_00032]

Order now on Amazon!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000037_00032]

Pre-order now on Amazon!

Posted in Uncategorized



The blog tour for NOBODY’S LADY has begun! Watch this page for daily updates throughout the tour or bookmark the Chapter by Chapter site for the latest changes to the schedule. There will be reviews, interviews and guest posts galore. Thanks to everyone who signed up.

Week 1:

April 11, 2016 – Julie Antonovich Reece – Guest Post

April 11, 2016 – Reader Girls – Guest Post

April 11, 2016 – The Recipe Fairy – Review

April 12, 2016 – Books Are My Fandom – Guest Post

April 12, 2016 – The A P Book Club – Review

April 13, 2016 – Chapter by Chapter – Guest Post

April 13, 2016 – Black Cat Blog – Interview

April 14, 2016 – Two Chicks on Books – Guest Post

April 14, 2016 – Simple Wyrdings – Review

April 14, 2016 – Diana’s Book Reviews – Guest Post

April 15, 2016 – Author Nicole Conway – Guest Post

April 15, 2016 – Dani Reviews Things – Guest Post

April 15, 2016 – The Book Adventures of Annelise Lestrange – Review

Week 2:

April 18, 2016 – Larissa’s World – Review

April 18, 2016 – A Book Addict’s Bookshelves – Interview

April 18, 2016 – Just One More Chapter – Guest Post

April 19, 2016 – deal sharing aunt – Interview

April 19, 2016 – A Dream Within A Dream – Guest Post

April 20, 2016 – WS Momma Readers Nook – Review

April 20, 2016 – Twinja Book Reviews – Review

April 21, 2016 – Books and Ladders – Review

April 21, 2016 – Hidden Worlds Books – Review

April 22, 2016 – Off the Page – Guest Post

April 22, 2016 – Realm of the Sapphired Dragon – Review

Posted in News

NOBODY’S LADY Cover Reveal! Blog Tour Sign-Ups!

The NOBODY’S LADY cover is here at last! Designed by KimGDesign, like the first cover in the series, NOBODY’S LADY reflects a less glamorous time in Noll’s life. After the events of the first novel and a disastrous meeting with the lord, Noll wants nothing more than to live a quiet, uneventful life, but her fellow villagers have other plans. Men are learning what freedom is like for the first time, and they’re not happy about how things used to be.

Nobody's Lady
Plus, you can read the first chapter (at the end of the post), which picks up IMMEDIATELY where NOBODY’S GODDESS ended! There are SPOILERS for the first book right from the very first page, so be sure to check out NOBODY’S GODDESS first (sample here or here) if you haven’t read it already.

Add NOBODY’S LADY to your Goodreads to-read list and preorder the paperback on Amazon or at The Book Depository. More outlets and an ebook preorder should be available soon.

The Book Tour and ARCs

nl book tour
Chapter by Chapter is once again hosting my Never Veil book tour and is seeking bloggers to post interviews, guest posts or reviews of NOBODY’S LADY from April 11th through the 22nd. This is one way to maybe get your hands on a (digital) ARC! If you haven’t read the first book yet, you can still request to review the sequel, and you may be provided with a digital copy of the first book for review as well. (I don’t choose the hosts, but I hope you are all picked!) Click here to sign up!

Month9Books is also offering digital ARCs to those who want to review but don’t want to participate in the tour or who aren’t selected for the tour. Click here to sign up! There are a lot of other Spring Month9Books title up for grabs there, too.

Chapter One

When I thought I understood real friendship, I was a long-lost queen. When I discovered there was so much more to my life than love and hate, that those around me were just pawns in a game whose rules I’d unwittingly put in place, I discovered I was a long-forgotten goddess. But goddess or not, powerless or powerful, my feet were taking me someplace I wasn’t sure I wanted to go. What did I hope to find? Did I truly believe I could hear him call me—that he’d want to call me? Yes, I did. I wanted to see him again. I wanted to hope, even if I wasn’t sure I was allowed. If I deserved to. I headed down the familiar dirt path beneath the lattice of trees overhead, pausing beside the bush with a partially snapped stem that jutted outward like a broken limb. The one that pointed to the secret cavern.

Only, it’s not much of a secret anymore, is it?

My feet picked themselves up. Glowing pools would never again tempt me.

I reached the black, towering fortress that had for so long shaken and screamed at the power of my glance.

For the first time in this lifetime, I stared up at it, and nothing moved. My legs, unused to such steady footing while in the sight of the lord’s castle, twitched in anticipation of a fall that never came.

There was no need. My feet dragged me forward.

At the grand wooden door, I raised a fist to knock.

But I stopped. I felt like if I touched it, the entire castle might crumble. It had done so once before. Not at my touch exactly. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was responsible for whatever destruction I’d find in this place. But that was presumptuous of me. He was strong-willed, and he wouldn’t crumble at the prospect of freedom. If anything, he’d be triumphant over it.

You can’t stop now. I pulled my sleeves over my wrists and propped both elbows against the door, pushing until it gave way.

The darkness inside the foyer tried to deceive me into thinking night had fallen. The stream of light that trickled from the familiar crack in the garden door called the darkness a liar.

I gripped the small iron handles, the material of my sleeves guarding the cold metal from my touch, and pulled.

My touch had come to the garden before me.

The rose bushes that surrounded the enclosed circular area were torn, ripped, trodden, and plucked. The blooms lay withered, scattered and turned to dust, their once-white petals a sickly shade of yellowish brown, smooth blooms turned coarse and wrinkled.

The fountain at the center no longer trickled with water. Its shallow pool was stagnant, piles of brown festering in mildewing green liquid. Dotted amongst the brown was pallid stone rubble. The tears of the weeping elf child statue, which belonged at the top of the fountain, had ceased at last. But the gash across its face told me the child’s tears had not been staunched by joy. I wondered if Ailill had had it carved to represent the pain I’d inflicted on him as a child. And I wondered if now he could no longer bear to remind himself of what I’d done.

I hadn’t done this. But I felt as if I had. If Ailill had gone on a rampage after he came back to the castle, it was because of what I’d done to him. Everything I touched turned sour. I yanked and pulled, trying to draw my hands further into my sleeves, but there wasn’t enough material to cover them entirely.

“Well, what a surprise.” I gazed into the shadow beside the doorway. How could I have not seen? The stone table was occupied. The place where I’d sat alone for hours, days, and months was littered with crumpled and decaying leaves, branches, and petals, obscuring the scars left by a dagger or knife striking time and time again across its surface. The matching bench that once nestled on the opposite side was toppled over, leaving only dark imprints in the dirt.

“A pity you could not make yourself at home here when you were welcome.”

My breath caught in my throat.

The man at the table was clad entirely in black, as I knew he would be. The full-length jacket had been swapped for a jerkin, but I could see the embossing of roses hadn’t been discarded in the exchange. He wore dark leather gloves, the fingers of which were crossed like the wings of a bird in flight. His pale elbows rested on the table amongst the leaves and branches and thorns. He wore the hat I was used to seeing him wear, a dark, pointed top resting on a wide brim. Its black metal band caught a ray of the sunlight almost imperceptibly. But I noticed. I always did.

His face was entirely uncovered. Those large and dark eyes, locked on me, demanded my attention. They were the same eyes of the boy I’d left alone to face my curse—not so long ago from my point of view. He was more frightened then, but there was no mistaking the hurt in those eyes both then and now.

“You are not welcome here, Olivière.”

His words sliced daggers through my stomach.

“I … I thought I heard you call me.”

He cocked his head to the side, his brown eyes moving askance. “You heard me call you?”

“Yes … ” I realized how foolish it sounded. I was a fool to come. Why had I let myself fall for that sound again, for my name whispered on the wind? Why was I so certain it was he who’d said my name?

He smiled, not kindly. “And where, pray tell, have you been lurking? Under a rose bush? Behind the garden door? Or do those rounded female ears possess a far greater sense of hearing than my jagged male ones?”

I brushed the tips of my ears self-consciously. Elric had been so fascinated by them, by what he saw as a mutilation. This lord—Ailill—wasn’t like that. He’d touched them once, as a child. He’d tried to heal them, thinking they were meant to be pointed.

The boy with a heart was the man sitting there before me. Even after all we’d been through, he’d still done me a kindness by healing my mother. “No, I just thought—”

“No, you did not think, or you would not have come.”

I clenched my jaw. My tongue was threatening to spew the vile anger that had gotten us into this mess to begin with.

He sighed and crossed his arms across his chest. “I gave explicit instructions that I not be disturbed.” He leaned back against the wall behind him, his chin jutting outward slightly.

I wiped my sweaty fingertips on my skirt. I wouldn’t let the rest of my hands out from the insides of my sleeves. The sweat had already soaked through them. “I needed to thank you.”

He scoffed. “Thank me for what? For your prolonged captivity, or for not murdering both your mother and your lover when I had the chance?”

So you admit you took Jurij to punish me? You admit they were both in danger in your “care”? Quickly, I had to clench my jaw to keep down the words that threatened to spill over. He’s not who I thought he was. He wouldn’t have harmed them.

I loosened the muscles in my jaw one hair’s breadth at a time.

“For healing me when you were a child. For accepting me into your castle instead of putting me to death for trespassing in it. For … For forgiving me for cursing you, even though you were innocent.” My voice was quiet, but I was determined to make it grow louder. “For saving my mother’s life.”

He waved one hand lazily in the air. “Unfinished projects irk me.”

“But you didn’t have to.”

A shrug. “The magic was nearly entirely spent on the churl anyway.”

“I beg your pardon?”

He leaned forward and placed both palms across the rotted forest remnants on the table. “My apologies,” he said, his lips curled into a sneer. “I simply meant that I wasted years and years and let the magic wither from my body to save a person of no consequence. You may thank me for that if you like. I would rather not be reminded of it.”

How odd it was to see the face I’d imagined come to life. The mocking, the condescending—it was all there. I just hadn’t known the canvas before.

And what a strange and beautiful canvas it was. That creamy peach skin, the brownish tint of his shoulder-length tresses. He was so much paler than any person I had ever seen. Save for the specters.

Despite the paleness, part of me felt I wasn’t wrong to have mistaken one brother for another. Elric had been dark-skinned, but they seemed almost like reflections of the same person; they shared the same brows, the same lips, and even eyes of a similar shape if not color. Perhaps the face before me was a bit gaunter, the nose a bit longer. It was easier to focus on the differences. Thinking of the similarities made me want to punch the face in front of me all the more—and that would undermine everything I had set out to do when I made my way to him. I wanted to see if you were really restored to life. Say it. I wanted to know if you really forgave me. Say it. I wanted to know why I … Why I feel this way about you, why I keep thinking about you, when I used to be unable to stand the sight of you. Say it, Noll! I dug my nails into my palm and shook the thoughts from my head. He’d called my mother a “churl.” I couldn’t just tell him everything I was thinking. “Have you no sense of empathy?”

“What a coincidence that you should mention that. I am sending Ailill to the village with an edict. He can escort

you there.” “Ailill?” But aren’t you him? Could I have been mistaken? Oh, goddess, help me, why do I do this to myself? Why do I think I know everything?

He waved his hand, and one of the specters appeared beside me from the foyer.

The specters. There were about a hundred of them in the castle. Pale as snow in skin and hair with red, burning eyes. Mute servants who seemed to anticipate the lord’s every command. Only now I knew who they really were.

Oh. “You call him by your own name?” I asked.

He raised an eyebrow. “I call them all by my name. They are me, remember?”

His icy stare sent another invisible dagger through my stomach. “Yes, but—”

“A shame you never cared to ask my name when you were my guest,” he said. “I have a feeling things might have turned out much differently—for all of us.”

“You knew what would happen! Why didn’t you warn me?” I had to squeeze my fists and teeth together to stop myself from screaming. This wasn’t going at all like I had hoped. But what had I hoped? What could I have possibly expected? I thought I’d be forgiven. I thought that Ailill and I might start over, that we could be friends, perhaps even … What a fool I’ve been.

Ailill turned slightly, his attention suddenly absorbed in a single white petal that remained on a half-trodden bush beside him. “I was not entirely in control of my emotions,” he said, “as you may well know.”

“I tried to give you a way out!” My jaw wouldn’t stay shut.

Ailill laughed and reached over to pluck the petal from its thorns. “Remind me exactly when that was? Perhaps between condemning me to an eternal life of solitude and wretchedness and providing yourself with a way to feel less guilty about the whole affair? And then you just popped right back to the present, I suppose, skipping over those endless years in a matter of moments.” He crushed the petal in his hand.

“A way to let myself feel less guilty?” He wasn’t entirely wrong. But it wasn’t as if he had done nothing wrong.

Ailill bolted upright, slamming the fist that gripped the petal against the twigs and grass on the table. “Your last words to me were entirely for your own benefit, as well you know!”

If, after your own Returning, you can find it in your heart to forgive me, the last of the men whose blood runs with his own power will free all men bound by my curse.

“How is wishing to break the curse on the village for my benefit?”

“Perhaps because the curse was your doing? Perhaps because you only wanted the curse broken to free your lover from it in the first place?”

“Stop calling Jurij my ‘lover.’ He’s not—”

“And you did free him with those words. You knew I would forgive you.”

“How could I have known? I didn’t think it possible you’d forgive me, not after all we’ve been through.”

“You knew because you knew I wanted to be free myself. That I would do anything—even forgive you for half a moment—to earn that freedom.” His voice grew quieter. “You never wanted anything from me, not really. I was just a pawn in your game, a way to free the other men in your village, a way to punish the men from mine.”

I fought back what I couldn’t believe was threatening to spring to my eyes. No tears, not in front of him.

“The men of the old village deserved everything they got,” I spat at last, knowing full well that wasn’t the whole story.

Ailill scoffed and put both hands on his hips, his arms akimbo. Oh, how I tired of that pose. The crushed petal remained on the table. Its bright white added a bit of life to the decay.

“There were plenty of young boys not yet corrupted,” he said. “And some that might have never been.” He took a deep breath. “But, of course, you are not entirely to blame. I blame myself every day for ever taking a childish interest in you. That should not have counted as love.”

I swallowed. Of course. Before the curse of the village had broken, a woman had absolute power over the one man who loved or yearned for her. When I visited the past through the pool in the secret cavern, I discovered a horde of lusty men who knew nothing of love but were overcome with desire. Since so many had lusted for any female who walked before them, and I had carried the power from my own version of the village with me, it had been child’s play to control the men. But why had that power extended to Ailill? He had only been a boy then, broken, near silent—and kindhearted. He couldn’t have regarded me with more than a simple crush on an older sisterly figure, but it had been enough.

“But you did forgive me.” Why couldn’t I stop the words from flowing?

Ailill shook his head and let a weary smile spread across his features. “Forgive you? I could never forgive you. No more than I could forgive myself for daring to think, if just for a moment, that I … ” He stopped.

I shook my head. “The curse wouldn’t have been broken. The men in the village wouldn’t now be walking around without masks. Nor you without your veil. If you hadn’t forgiven me.”

Ailill tilted his head slightly. His dark eyes searched mine, perhaps for some answer he thought could be found there. “I would still need the veil even now?” he asked, his voice quiet. “Are you certain?”

Removing the veil before the curse was broken would have required the Returning, a ritual in which I freely and earnestly bestowed my heart and affection to him. It would have never happened, not with the man I knew at the time to be mine. So yes, he would still need the veil to survive the gaze of women. I was sure of it. He’d been arrogant, erratic, and even cruel. Perhaps not so much as Elric, Ailill’s even more volatile older brother, the one who wound up with a mob of angry, murderous women in his castle and a gouge through his heart. But even so.

It was my turn to cross my arms and sneer. “I said you could break the curse after your own Returning, and I specified that you didn’t need my affection to have a Returning. All you needed to do was crawl out of whatever abyss I’d sent you to.” I shifted uncomfortably in place. “And I suppose I should be grateful—for my mother’s sake—that you did.”

Ailill waved a hand at the specter beside me and brushed aside a pile of clippings on the table to reveal a hand-written letter. It was yellowed and a tad soggy. “Yes, well, the endless droning that made up your curse gets a bit foggy in my mind—assuming it even made sense in your mind to begin with. I am afraid I lack the ability to retain exact memories of an event that took place a hundred lifetimes ago when I was but a scarred child terrified of the monster before him.” He looked up to face me as the specter retrieved the letter from his extended hand. “But I suppose it was not all that long ago for the monster, was it?” He turned again to the table, shuffling brush about aimlessly. “Take her with you to the market,” he said.

The specter made to grab my arm as he passed. I slipped out of his reach only to back into another specter who had appeared quick as lightning from the foyer. He grabbed one arm, and the first specter seized the other.

“Let go of me!” I shouted as they began to drag me away.

The specters didn’t pause, as they once would have.

“Stop!” called Ailill from behind me. The specters did as they were told.

Ailill spoke. “I forgot to inform you that my retainers lost all desire to follow your orders when I did.” He waved his fingers in the air. “Carry on.”

I struggled against the grip the specters had on my arms. Again. He has me under his thumb again. “I can walk by myself!” I screamed as my toes slid awkwardly against the dark foyer floor. “I don’t need to go to the market!”

A black carriage awaited us outside the castle doorway. A third specter opened the carriage door, and my captors heaved me up into the seat like a sack of grain. The one with the letter slid in and took the seat across from me. He stared vacantly at the top of the seat behind me.

I leaned forward, whipping my hand out to stop the carriage door as one of the specters moved to close it. I didn’t care what I touched in the castle anymore. Let the whole thing crumble.

A black-gloved hand covered mine. I jumped back. Ailill stuck his head inside the carriage. His face stopped right before mine, the brim of his hat practically shading me under it. The sight of his face so close to mine, unveiled and painted with disdain, caused a thunderous racing of my heart. It was as if I’d just run the length of the entire village.

“You kept your hair short,” he said. He reached his free hand toward it, then pulled back.

I’d once let the bushy mess of black hair grow as long as it wanted, but once I cropped it closely to my scalp, I found it easier to deal with. “There hasn’t been enough time for it to grow, anyway. Not for me.”

He snorted. “Of course. But it makes me remember you as you were, long ago. When you cursed me and every man whether he deserved it or not.” He leaned back a bit, putting more space between our faces. “I think you will be most interested in going with my servants to the market,” he said. “But there will be no need to thank me in person afterward. I would rather not see you again.” His eyes drifted upwards, thoughtfully. “In fact, remind the villagers that I am closed to all audiences. My servants will be out there to see that my edict is obeyed.”

Before I could speak, he leaned back and let my hand fall from his. He reached around the door to close it.


And slammed it in my face.

Posted in Writing

WIP Marathon 24

Has it really been two years since we started these monthly updates for the WIP Marathon group?

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:


NOBODY’S LADY: 70,746 words, 28 chapters (waiting to get final edits)

Current report WC + CC/ SC:

YA FANTASY FAIRY TALE RETELLING/PREQUEL: 36,153 words, 14 1/2 chapters

NOBODY’S LADY: 70,881 words, 28 chapters (revisions turned in)

WIP Issues This Month: I was doing really well with the new WIP toward the beginning of the month. I managed to write at least 1000 words a day for a while. Then I got caught up with a lot of work and kind of hit a “meh” part of my manuscript and I stopped working on it every single day, or only wrote a few hundred words a day. I had revisions to do as well. Still, I wish I could write faster. I know it’s not a race (no deadline for this), but I hate drafting. I love everything else about writing (revising, marketing, even querying) much more.

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. You can run out of steam on a book even when you don’t think you will at first.

2. Pushing through and working on the manuscript anyway is painful, but every writing session takes you closer to the end.

3. After stepping away from a manuscript for a long time (NOBODY’S LADY), some of it can seem brand new when you read it.

4. Reading your work a year and a half after you initially wrote it is a strange experience.

What distracted me this month while writing: It’s been cold, so I’ve mostly stayed home this month. I’ve been busy and stressed with work and life, but I do have some news to share. The short story that I wrote back in April (I reported the word count on these updates) can finally be announced! It’s going to appear in a charity anthology later this year. I was also allowed to reveal the blurb for NOBODY’S LADY and you can pre-order the paperback. (The e-book will be available but isn’t up for pre-order yet.) My cover reveal is scheduled for February 26th, and you can sign up here if you want to participate!

Goal for next month: I might have NOBODY’S LADY proofs to look over and then it’s probably ready to go to the printer! *-* Meanwhile, I want to keep working on my YA FAIRY TALE. I’d love to finish it in February, but I’ll try not to set the goal only to be disappointed.

Posted in News, Uncategorized

The Nobody’s Lady Blurb Revealed!

I’m excited to reveal the blurb for book 2 in the Never Veil Series, NOBODY’S LADY! It’s a tad spoilery if you have yet to read book 1, so proceed with caution if you care about spoilers:

For the first time in a thousand years, the men in Noll’s village possess the freedom to love whom they will. In order to give each man the chance to fully explore his feelings, the lord of the village decrees all marriages null and void until both spouses declare their love for one another and their desire to wed again. What many women think will be a simple matter becomes a source of village-wide tension as most men decide to leave their families and responsibilities behind.

Rejected by the lord and ashamed of her part in the village’s history, Noll withdraws from her family and lives life as an independent woodcarver. This changes when her sister accuses her of hiding her former husband Jurij from her—and when Jurij eventually does ask to move in. Determined not to make the same mistakes, Noll decides to support her male friends through their new emotional experiences, but she’s soon caught up in a darker plot than she ever dared imagine possible from the men she thought she knew so well. And the lord for whom she still has feelings may be hiding the most frightening truth of them all.

What do you think? Some readers have asked me HOW Noll’s story could continue, but believe me, there’s plenty more to go! You can’t pre-order NOBODY’S LADY yet, but you can add it to your Goodreads to-read list.

Posted in Writing

WIPMarathon 17

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:

1. Short story: 9988 words (first draft done and turned in to editor)

2. NOBODY’S LADY (NEVER VEIL 2) was returned to me this month and is ready for round one edits, but…

Current report WC + CC/ SC:

1. Short story: 9996 words (first round of revisions done and turned back in to publisher–I know, it seems like it barely changed, ha)–btw, I still haven’t been able to spill the beans on what this project is, but I hope I will be able to by this time next month!

2. …I haven’t even touched them yet.

WIP Issues This Month: Managing to work on my fiction writing or editing AT ALL.

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. I love celebrating a finished project! It was fun to have my book on display at BookCon and feel a little like a “real author.”

2. Editing other authors’ manuscripts is so rewarding and I wish I could do it more often. (I mean, I could OFFER to do it, but I can only afford to take on my beta readers’ for free. The rest I have to take on as clients, and I wish I could find more.)

3. You can go a LONG time without drafting a new project somehow. 😦

4. I can never manage to figure out how to cram in a lot of business writing work and fiction writing work in the same day. Even taking breaks, I’m just spent by the end of each day.

What distracted me this month while writing: So much! First off, you can read about my first author signing and my NY/BookCon trip here. After I got back from that, I had non-stop work writing to do, for better and for worse. (Seriously, I’m so tired out each day from work writing, I don’t have the brain power to work on fun writing.) I got to share some good news for my NEVER VEIL SERIES (read here). You’ll also notice the fabulous art I commissioned in my new banner. (Read more about that here.) I’ve also been to the cinema a lot this month, and it was my mom’s birthday and some things were really stressing me out. Just… Yeah, next to no fiction work done. (I did finish editing another author’s manuscript, but that was a paying job, so I was able to make time for it. At least that was fun, though!)

Oh, my comic spec script I worked on last month got rejected. I’d keep trying to submit it places, but finding a comic book publisher that takes spec scripts from authors without an artist is nigh-impossible.

Goal for next month: I do not see myself drafting at all this month because my time is limited and I have NOBODY’S LADY (NEVER VEIL 2) round one revisions due at the end of the month. So whenever I actually have the time and brain power to work on my own projects, that will get my full attention. I also want to edit my friend’s manuscript whenever I can, so I’ll at least be working on that, too. I might get my second round of edits for my short story this month, too, although I don’t anticipate those being major changes. Still, alas, this summer may not be the time when I finally write another manuscript after all.

Posted in News

NEVER VEIL Announcements!

I’m pleased to announce that the second and third book in THE NEVER VEIL SERIES now have official titles and tentative release dates. I’d love it if you added it to your to-read list on Goodreads! Watch for the NOBODY’S LADY blurb to appear soon.

Nobody’s Lady (Book 2 in the NEVER VEIL SERIES), Tentative Release Date: July 2016


Nobody’s Pawn (Book 3 in the NEVER VEIL SERIES), Tentative Release Date: February 2017


Also, I just got word that NOBODY’S GODDESS was selected to appear in Barnes & Noble stores nationwide! You can now search the “Pick Up in Store” option (next to the “Add to Bag” button) to see if it’s stocked in a store near you. If it’s not there, wait a few weeks, or better yet, ask your local store to stock it for you to make sure you can find it.

Click here to look for NOBODY’S GODDESS at a B&N near you!