Cover Reveal: THE PAPER MAGICIAN by @CNHolmberg

Happy Trina’s Day, Aledans! If you’re looking for my weekly update post, I switched it to Tuesday so I could participate in a cover reveal for a CP of a CP, Charlie Holmberg. Her debut, THE PAPER MAGICIAN, hits shelves in September, and boy does it sound good!

Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the TagisPraff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic…forever.

Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined—animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.

An Excisioner—a practitioner of dark, flesh magic—invades the cottage and rips Thane’s heart from his chest. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane’s still-beating heart—and reveal the very soul of the man.

But you’re not here for the pitch, are you? You’re looking for the artwork! And I don’t blame you, it’s freaking gorgeous!


You can add THE PAPER MAGICIAN to your Goodreads shelf here. Or learn more about Charlie at her website.

CharliePic1.1Born in Salt Lake City, Charlie was raised a Trekkie alongside three sisters who also have boy names. In addition to writing fantasy novels, she is also a freelance editor. She graduated from BYU, plays the ukulele, owns too many pairs of glasses, and hopes to one day own a dog. The Paper Magician is her debut novel and the first in a whimsical series exploring a world of magicians who animate manmade materials. She currently lives with her family in Utah.

*Actually* Back from Hiatus

Happy Tuesday Aledan Merfolk! I know I said a week and a half ago that I was back from hiatus, and then I disappeared again, but I’m actually back this time. In fact, on Thursday I’ll be hosting a Cover Reveal, which is why this update is going up on Tuesday instead of Thursday.

Although I haven’t been hanging around the blogosphere for the past month, I have made a ton of progress on StO lately. Late last week I decided to try writing a scene from Erie’s POV in first person, instead of third. That worked out so well that now I’m having to go back and change all her previous scenes to first person, which will help age her voice up a bit and make her a little more dangerous. As it is, she’s really sweet and innocent, and I just can’t imagine someone in her circumstances being that way. Plus, StO is an NA, and right now her voice is reading very much YA. I’m going to write a few more new scenes in her new POV to get a handle on it, then I’ll be going back through the first half to fix the scenes there. Then off to the CPs who haven’t had a chance to read the old version yet.

If you’re interested in reading a few short lines from StO, you can find them scattered about my Facebook page. Hopefully I’ll be able to switch the POV and finish the rest of this book before my vacation in May, but knowing me (and how often I decide to change things in this book), I wouldn’t count on it ;) Still, considering how many times I’ve had to go back and change things, and how much of a bitch April has been, I think I’m doing pretty good!

Have a wonderful week, Aledans, and don’t forget to come back on Thursday for the Cover Reveal of THE PAPER MAGICIAN by Charlie Holmberg!

Aly Grauer as Captain Joy Jones.

P.S. My BFF Aly Grauer has an awesome Kickstarter campaign going on right now for SPACE HAPPENS: “A feminist satire of contemporary science fiction developed, written and produced by women in Chicago comedy”

For just $26 you get a postcard written by your favorite character while drunk in an interstellar bar! Sounds pretty awesome, no?

Back from Hiatus!

Happy Thursday, Aledans! Two weeks ago I snuck out of the blogosphere for a while, but I’m back now. Things aren’t so crazy hectic around here, and I’m back to working on StO. Speaking of StO, I sent the first (edited) half of it to my CPs yesterday, and already received gold stars from two of them! In fact, they kind of forgot to actually critique it because they were so sucked into the story. And one of them already figured out a twisty bit, so yay for the clues working!


April 15th was National Dolphin Day!

I signed up for #WriteMotivation this month, but since the first half of the month was such a shit-meet-fan fest, I haven’t kept up with any of it, so I won’t even bother with my goals. Just know that I’m back, I’m starting to work on those goals again, and Custom of the Week will be going up like normal (and hopefully I’ll get back on track with Science Tuesday soon too, I have a couple months worth of science news to post!).

Dear Adam, You Can Have Your Rib Back (and a #WriteMotivation Update)

Happy Friday, Aledan Merfolk! My week started with my neck going out, and now I can’t keep my ribs in place to save my life, so it’s going to be a short update today because I haven’t done much this week except go to the chiropractor and lay on the couch.

I have been writing, though. I’m *this close* to the halfway mark, and finally out of that muddy middle I was talking about last week. Technically, yes, the halfway mark is in the middle, but I know what needs to happen right now :) I only have one more scene to write before that middle scene!

I also went to my one year heart check-up yesterday and got an A+ as far as my EKG goes. For those of you who were here during my crazy heart episode of 2012, you’ll know how happy this makes me :)

#WriteMotivation goals:

1. Continue writing Speak the Ocean. Still writing daily and about to hit the midpoint!

2. Start writing the query for StO. I still need to work on the middle and end.

3. Do better with visiting the other blogs. I did a little better than last week, but I have to work on this.

4. Run 2x per week. Yoga once per week. If my ribs would stay in place I’d get some traction on this one.

Have a wonderful weekend, Aledans, and come back on Sunday for a seapony custom! I’m going to go ice my ribs.

The Muddy Middle (and a #WriteMotivation Update)

I couldn't find an ocean-themed notebook, so I went for the spring theme.

I couldn’t find an ocean-themed notebook, so I went for the spring theme.

Happy Friday, Aledan Merfolk! This week the slow season at work officially ended, abruptly, and I’ve been insanely busy. Which is why this update is going up rather late, and Science Tuesday never happened. It’s also why I haven’t sent my critters new StO chapters all week long. Not that I haven’t been writing – in fact, I bought a new writing notebook at lunch :D Is there anything better than finishing a writing notebook? Other than ponies and wine, of course?

Speaking of ponies, I have merponies coming to the blog for Custom of the Week! Hopefully lots and lots of merponies, and maybe even a sea pony! Why yes, there is a difference, which I’ll explain if I’m allowed to feature the sea pony :)

As far as chugging along on StO goes, I’ve reached the muddy middle, where I’m not sure if what I’m writing is working, or if I’m going to have to scrap it and re-write. There doesn’t seem to be enough driving force in this section. I’m also not quite sure how to get to the midpoint. I know what happens at the midpoint (you’re going to love it), but I don’t quite know how to get to it without rushing everything. Once I get to the second “pinch point” as Story Engineering calls it, I have everything set and ready to go. But yeah, still climbing that hill to the midpoint.

Speaking of climbing hills, let’s check out those #WriteMotivation goals:

1. Continue writing Speak the Ocean. I’ve hit the muddy middle section, but I’m still writing daily.

2. Start writing the query for StO. I still need to work on the middle and end.

3. Do better with visiting the other blogs. Um, oops.

4. Run 2x per week. Yoga once per week. I haven’t run for my second time yet this week, but maybe tonight, since it’s so nice out.

Not bad, except for the other blogs part.

Have a good weekend, Aledan Merfolk. I’ll see you back here on Sunday for a merpony custom!

A Week of Crazy Travel (and a new set of #WriteMotivation Goals)

This week has been so crazy I can’t even believe it’s already Thursday. Trying to do any amount of traveling this winter has become insane at best, so of course my five hour trip home from Washington DC became a nineteen hour marathon of airports and shuttles. I’m still recovering.

The long weekend with my sister was great, though. The best part of visiting family is that I don’t feel the need to be a tourist, so we mostly hung out in her apartment, talking, reading, and watching a marathon of Marvel Superhero Movies (X-men: First Class, Thor 2, Iron Man, the Avengers). We did get a fancy tour of the bowels of the Capital, including a senator’s “hideaway” and the underground tunnels that link all the buildings nearby. The St. Vincent concert was amazing, and we were able to see a friend for the first time in twelve or so years because he was a bartender right around the corner from the concert venue. So, despite the unexpected overnight stay in Atlanta with no luggage, the trip was a fun success!

Hubs and I in a senator's "Hideaway" under the Capital.

Hubs and I in a senator’s “Hideaway” under the Capital.

I finished reading THE SAVAGE BLUE, which I loved, and wrote more StO on the plane. I’m super behind on critiquing though. I had planned to do that on the plane, but I couldn’t get to the printed pages because they were in my backpack in the overhead bin. So that’s tonight’s plan.

And it’s a new month! Which means new #WriteMotivation Goals:

1. Continue writing Speak the Ocean. This does not appear to be a problem so far, which makes me kind of nervous. When is this writing spree going to end? Hopefully not until I’m finished with the first draft.

2. Start writing the query for StO. I totally did this last month :) The first paragraph is SOLID, but I still need to work on the middle and end.

3. Do better with visiting the other blogs. Travel made this nearly impossible this week. I’ll do better next week.

4. Run 2x per week. Yoga once per week. Travel also screwed this schedule up, but considering how much I walked around DC and various airports in the past week, I’m going to call it a semi-win.

This weekend I’ll be recovering from the busyness of last weekend, so I plan to do a whole lot of nothing. It’s also going to be seventy degrees, so I plan to do nothing with the windows open ;) Have a good weekend, Aledans and Merfolk!