Writing Updates

Writing/Publishing Roundup: A new mystery series has arrived

This second publishing update of the month is mystery-based (in case you couldn’t tell from the title, lol).

Kira Brightwell’s cousin is on the case.

Two short novel (mis)adventures are now available in the Mackenzie Quinn Canadian cozy mystery series:

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Writing/Publishing Roundup: A New Fatal Empire prequel, plus a new mystery series

Fantasy Updates:

Keeper of Prophecy Fatal Empire cover

A Haunted Past: Prequel Fatal Empire Story ‘Keeper of Prophecy’ Now Available

The joys and challenges of writing Moriah’s secret past:

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Mystery Updates:

Photo by Dominika Roseclay from Pexels

Meet Kira Brightwell’s Canadian Cousin: Mackenzie Quinn

There’s a new detective in town. More updates about a new series in progress:

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Writing/Publishing Roundup: New Fatal Empire titles, plus Kira Brightwell deals

Fantasy Updates:

Keeper of Knowledge Fatal Empire cover Visitor's Guide to the Dharakmeni Empire Fatal Empire cover Visitor's Guide to the Shining Kingdom Fatal Empire cover

Expanding the Empire: 3 new Fatal Empire titles, including a free bonus story

Lots happening in Fatal Empire! Three new titles, plus two more on the way soon…

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Mystery Updates:

Kickstart Your Collection: Kira Brightwell deals, plus a new mystery series on the way

Save big on the first four Kira Brightwell novels and collections. Update on a new mystery series in progress…

Update: The Kira Brightwell promotion is now over.

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Posted by Jacquelyn in Promotions, Publishing Updates, Writing Updates, 0 comments

Writing/Publishing Roundup: New Legend of Lasniniar, Kira Brightwell collection updates, plus other writing news

Some updates on both the fantasy and mystery front…

Fantasy:

Legends of Lasniniar the Wanderer coverEmerging from the Rubble: A new Legend of Lasniniar, plus other writing news

A new Barlo and Iarion adventure is here, as well as updates on multiple Fatal Empire projects:

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Mystery:

Six Stitches Kira Brightwell coverKira collection updates, recommendations from lockdown, plus a crazy cat story

Paperback updates, mystery reading and TV recommendations, and, well, a crazy cat story:

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Welcome to the Dharakmeni Empire! (Writing Roundup, July 2020)

Important tomes in any adventurer’s library.

A few months ago, I had an idea. I wanted to create a freebie I could give away as a gift for subscribing to my newsletter group. But I also wanted it to include things that would appeal to both new and regular readers of my work, AND I wanted something that would provide an introduction to each of the series I write, across both the fantasy and crime fiction genres, to encourage people to dip their toes into each to see what they like.

This ended up morphing into the Back Story Sampler Collection.

The introductions to my World of Lasniniar epic fantasy series and Kira Brightwell crime fiction series were easy–I had introductory short stories that were already a perfect fit. And to provide something for existing readers, I added a bonus epilogue for each (that isn’t available anywhere else), as well as reading guides, and threw in some cool coupon codes for good measure.

But my Fatal Empire Quartet was a bit of a tricky one to figure out. I’ve only published the first volume in the fantasy series so far (Keeper of Secrets), but the others are coming out later this year, so I wanted to include some kind of representation of that world in the sampler (which will continue to grow as I sprawl out into new series).

Keeper of Secrets begins during Raziel’s childhood (the main character), so there really isn’t any room to fit in some kind of introductory short story for him. I could write one about his mother or foster-father (and I still might), but it would be difficult to pull off at this point without creating any spoilers for the forthcoming books in the series. Continue reading →

Posted by Jacquelyn in Behind the Books, Writing Updates, 0 comments

Writing Roundup: June 2020

Story time with my buddy, Doug the Sharkosaurus. (Yes, that’s a rainbow poop emoji sitting closest to the camera.)

 

OK, seriously. How is June almost over? I feel like this whole year has been a complete blur so far.

Well, this month, I worked on getting the Harbingers Lasniniar Collection ready to go for July. (This is the last bundle/collection remaining in the series until I get some new novels and shorts written, starting next year.) The latest short in the Kira Brightwell series, “Seeing Stars” is also coming out on July 2nd, and is available for pre-order.

As I mentioned in my last roundup post, I took a bit of a break from Kira to focus on a totally different project just for my newsletter group, which will be launching on July 2nd as well. (I’ll go into more detail about this in my New Releases/Promotions post in a couple weeks, once it’s already out to subscribers, but I had a fun time working on it!)

…And I started working on my seventh Kira short in this eight-story run I’m doing, “Ring Girl.” This one comes out in August, but you can pre-order now, if you’re interested. Choose Payhip from the retailer links (the blue heart icon) to buy direct from me and get your copy one week early! Trevor takes more of a leading role on this case, at least to start.

Hey, I’m finally on hoopla!

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Writing Roundup: May 2020

Xena: “Wake me up when this is all over.”

This whole quarantine thing has really blurred my months together… I mean, it’s May, but I feel like I barely remember March or April. AND it’s snowed in the last two weeks. (I know, this is Canada. But the week before, we were wearing shorts!) My sense of time and seasons is all messed up.

The only thing that helps me (sort of) keep track of the passage of time is what projects I’ve completed and what still needs to be done.

In addition to preparing the Void Walker Lasniniar Collection for release in June, I also finished writing two new Kira Brightwell shorts this month (“Puncher’s Chance” and “Seeing Stars”). Just waiting on some copy edit feedback. Even though they’re both from the same series, they turned out to be quite different stories. Continue reading →

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It’s ALIVE! When Stories Take on a Life of Their Own

So this hasn’t always been the case, but over time, I have evolved into a ‘Discovery Writer’ (AKA: ‘Pantser,’ as in, ‘writing by the seat of your pants’ [as opposed to being a Planner]). I basically come up with a concept or jumping-off point, and find out where it leads (AKA: writing into the dark).

Sometimes, this method can be terrifying. (“Where the hell is this story going??”) But I have come to find it makes the writing process far more interesting (and fun!). It also means that a lot of times your stories or characters can end up taking a turn on you that you never saw coming.

I had this happen for all three of my most recent projects:

Legends of Lasniniar Goddess Almighty coverLegends of Lasniniar: Goddess Almighty

(Click here for product description and purchase links)

When I first came up with my list of ideas for what I wanted to do for each upcoming Legend of Lasnniar fantasy adventure over the six latest installments I had planned to write and publish in a row (this one is number four), I intended to write this story from an entirely opposite point of view.

But after writing Quicksilver, which details the first meeting of Iarion and Felara, I thought it would be much more interesting to get inside Felara’s head for Goddess Almighty. And since Felara is basically a sociopath, the story turned out a few shades darker than I had originally thought it would.

Tale of the Tape Kira Brightwell coverTale of the Tape: A Kira Brightwell Short Novel

(Click here for product description and pre-order links)

When I made my list of ideas for the upcoming run of Kira Brightwell crime fiction shorts I wanted to write and publish in a row (eight in total), I basically wrote ‘high school story’ in my notebook for this one. I also had a vague idea of Kira trying to find another student’s missing car, but that was pretty much it.

I thought this story was going to be pretty straightforward before I started. But as things moved along, other complications beyond the missing car came out of the woodwork, and really, the missing car was only the beginning.

Tale of the Tape evolved from a vague, short story idea into a short novel of over 25,000 words. (Crazy, right?)

It basically ended up being a much bigger story than I would have intentionally planned. And it was fun to have just Kira and Rob running around trying to solve things again, with Trevor in full douchebag form (much like in Under Wraps).

Legends of Lasniniar Prevailing Wind coverLegends of Lasniniar: Prevailing Wind

(Click here for product description and pre-order links)

After writing the tangling mystery that ended up being Tale of the Tape, I needed a change of pace. (Back when she was in high school, Kira didn’t have any MMA skills. While Tale of the Tape has quite a bit of action and suspense, there isn’t any actual fighting in it, and I was itching to kick some ass at this point.)

Prevailing Wind is a sideways story from the World of Lasniniar epic fantasy series that focuses on Arinwyn during the time of Storm Rider. (She doesn’t actually appear in Storm Rider, but this is one of her own adventures that occurs ‘off-page’ during that novel. She first appears in Legends of Lasniniar: Without Wings, which takes place during the time of Soul Seeker.)

This story is an evolution of Arinwyn’s character after we first meet her in Without Wings. Both her magic and her secret heritage are a continuing theme that she is forced to struggle with.

…And what better way to kick things off than with a badass battle against a dragon?

This one definitely ended up having more action than I originally had planned for an internal struggle story, but the fighting actually ended up informing that struggle, so it all worked out.

 

So basically all three of these stories ended up being quite a bit different than they probably would have been if I had started with a detailed plot outline in hand. Does that make them better? No way to tell, really. But it definitely made them more interesting and fun for me to write (which is what helps keep me humming along).

And I’m hoping that makes them more interesting and fun to read as well.

 

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Posted by Jacquelyn in Behind the Books, Publishing Updates, Writing Updates, 0 comments

Lasniniar meets Die Hard?? (lol)

OK, maybe not really… But sweet click-bait title, right?

There is a story behind this, of course. It goes a little something like this:

Me: (Hands Mark the manuscript for Quicksilver.) Here’s the new Lasniniar story that’s coming out in December. Iarion and Barlo are in it. It’s about when they first meet Felara.

Mark: So it’s a Christmas story.

Me: Well… Not exactly. I mean, it takes place around Solstice, but it’s not a Solstice adventure, per se.

Mark: You mean like Die Hard.

Me: Um… yes? (Full confession: I’ve never actually seen Die Hard.)

So yeah. Quicksilver is an Iarion and Barlo, Solstice-adjacent adventure featuring Felara that might possibly be like Die Hard. (But probably isn’t. I forgot to ask Mark for a follow-up comparison after he finished reading it.) Decide for yourself! 😛

Legends of Lasniniar: Quicksilver is now available | Click here for retailer links

Legends of Lasniniar Quicksilver cover

Barlo isn’t a fan of Iarion’s new friend.

The strange, unnamed woman arrives from out of nowhere, and seems to know far too much about the legendary elf for Barlo’s taste.

Iarion is more intrigued than concerned. After all, Barlo’s suspicious, dwarven nature has been proved wrong before, and the woman seems friendly enough. But Barlo can’t help but wonder…

Who is she? What does she want?

…And why is she so interested in Iarion?

A fast-paced, fantasy adventure for both new and regular readers of the World of Lasniniar series by Writers’ Journal winning author, Jacquelyn Smith. This short story takes place between Wave Runners and GodmakerClick the link above to find this title at your preferred retailer.

NEW! Legends of Lasniniar: Goddess Almighty | Click here for retailer links

Coming January 16th

Legends of Lasniniar Goddess Almighty coverFelara is looking for followers.

…Worshipers, to be precise. She does want to become a goddess, after all.

And why shouldn’t she? All her other Unborn cousins and siblings are doing it. Besides, Felara has big plans, assuming her glimpses of the future are accurate.

All she needs is the right group of humans—and the right circumstances—to start a new religion.

A fast-paced, fantasy adventure for both new and regular readers of the World of Lasniniar series by Writers’ Journal winning author, Jacquelyn Smith. This short story takes place between Wave Runners and GodmakerClick the link above to find this title at your preferred retailer.

 

Coming December 25th-January 1st: Smashwords Year End Sale!

I’m going to be taking part in the Smashwords annual holiday sale, so if you’re missing any of these titles from your collection, this is your chance to get the ePub versions and save 50% with coupon code SEY50: Continue reading →

Posted by Jacquelyn in Promotions, Publishing Updates, Writing Updates, 0 comments

Kicking Ass for Christmas

Kira Brigthwell is back, in her first Christmas adventure with her persistent (and frequently unwanted) partner, Trevor Wright at her side. (What could possibly go wrong??)

Over in Lasniniar, Nofret is fighting for freedom from her Lion Folk oppressors, while Iarion and Barlo are meeting a sketchy, new friend–who seems to bring chaos everywhere she goes.

Check it out…

Lights Out (A Kira Christmas Short) is now available | Click here for retailer links

Lights Out Kira Brightwell coverWho doesn’t love the mall at Christmas? Kira Brightwell.

And yet, here she finds herself—looking for a last-minute gift among a bustling crowd that would make someone who hasn’t had one of the toughest years ever want to punch someone in the face—when a child tasks her with finding some missing donation presents.

Of course whenever Kira gets involved, nothing is as it seems. Especially when Trevor Wright comes along for the ride.

Looks like someone’s halls are about to get decked.

A quirky, short crime story for both new and regular readers of the Kira Brightwell series by Writers’ Journal winning author, Jacquelyn Smith. This adventure takes place after Cornered. Click the link above to find this title at your preferred retailer.

 

 

 

Legends of Lasniniar: Lion’s Pride is now available | Click here for retailer links

Legends of Lasniniar Lion's Pride coverNofret will do anything to prove herself.

A half-breed orphan raised by the rebel Cat Folk, her very existence an unspeakable crime, she longs to perform great deeds that will make her feel as though she has earned her place.

When her beloved guardian Ineni goes missing, she senses her opportunity has finally arrived.

…But is she willing to pay the price?

A fast-paced, fantasy adventure for both new and regular readers of the World of Lasniniar series by Writers’ Journal winning author, Jacquelyn Smith. This short story takes place between Wave Runners and Godmaker. Click the link above to find this title at your preferred retailer.

 

 

 

NEW! Legends of Lasniniar: Quicksilver is available for pre-order | Click here for retailer links

Coming December 19th

Legends of Lasniniar Quicksilver coverBarlo isn’t a fan of Iarion’s new friend.​​​​​​​

The strange, unnamed woman arrives from out of nowhere, and seems to know far too much about the legendary elf for Barlo’s taste.
​​​​​​​
Iarion is more intrigued than concerned. After all, Barlo’s suspicious, dwarven nature has been proved wrong before, and the woman seems friendly enough. But Barlo can’t help but wonder…
​​​​​​​
Who is she? What does she want?

…And why is she so interested in Iarion?

A fast-paced, fantasy adventure for both new and regular readers of the World of Lasniniar series by Writers’ Journal winning author, Jacquelyn Smith. This short story takes place between Wave Runners and Godmaker. Click the link above to find this title at your preferred retailer.

 

NEW! Tale of the Tape is available for pre-order | Click here for retailer links

Coming February 13th, 2020

Tale of the Tape Kira Brightwell coverKira Brightwell can’t wait for high school to be over.
​​​​​​​
Years before she becomes a local hero and kick-ass problem solver for hire, the teasing and bullying seems like it’s never going to end.
​​​​​​​
…Until distraction comes in the form of a stolen car and an outrageous bet from rich jock and chief tormentor, Trevor Wright.

A quirky, short crime story for both new and regular readers of the Kira Brightwell series by Writers’ Journal winning author, Jacquelyn Smith. This adventure takes place before Split Decision. Click the link above to find this title at your preferred retailer.

 

 

 

 

Paperback progress/blog update:

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Posted by Jacquelyn in Publishing Updates, Writing Updates, 0 comments