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When Life Interferes

Me Monday

I’ve been having a rough time lately. When your only job isn’t writing, it’s easy for the other things to take over your writing time and derail your story. I edit books for other people too. And most of the time, I enjoy it, but just like with writing, I get in slumps where every word edited feels like a victory, especially if I get a particularly difficult case.

Right now, I’m in an editing and writing slump. I’m mentally exhausted between the pressure on myself to make a fantastic book 2 that lives up to book 1 of The Bearer of Truth series and my oldest child, who is in advanced math, has a teacher who does not teach them, so I’m spending an hour to an hour-and-a-half of my writing time every night teaching algebra. I’m just tired.

On top of it all, I’m going through the process of getting my youngest son diagnosed and assessed for his delays. I’ve had meetings with developmental pediatricians, assessment appointments, this week it’s the geneticist, or maybe that’s next week? I don’t know; it’s all in my calendar. My life is just a little off the rails.

That being said, I had lunch with a friend yesterday while our daughters were dancing, and we were talking about the story. She’s a fan of the books, and we were just chatting about the characters, what’s going to happen in book 2 (generally, I didn’t want to give anything away), and who her favorite characters are. (She loves Evander, funnily enough. Most people are not his biggest fan these days. She said she likes that he’s just so clueless.) It’s re-energized me as far as the story goes, so let’s hope that translates to words.

So I’m writing this with a huge cup of coffee in my hand, two books in my editing queue, and mine to hopefully finish by the end of the week and send to an alpha reader. I am close. I don’t think this one is going to be quite as long as book 1, but I tend to add words during my self-edits and alpha/beta read process. The first time I reached the end of book 1 it was 85K; it published at 95K. I already know some things I need to add in that I missed. I’m at 67K now, and I have the beats I need to hit written down, now I just have to get there.

Today, I write.

Teasers for A Blaze in the Dark

My newest release is live! I think these came out so nicely! Angsty G designed them. Leslie Copeland added the words.

Thanks for listening to me ramble!

~ Miranda

Release Day!

A Blaze in the Dark – BoT World Stories 1

The book is live! You can find it here. I hope you all enjoy Antonio and Bain’s story. I love the way they love each other.

Blurb:

Bain never thought he’d escape the prison he’d lived in for the last five years. He spent his days chained up like an animal, and his nights…they were better not spoken about. Until one day Antonio came stumbling into his darkness, lighting a fire in his soul and giving him a chance at a new life.

Antonio loved his position as a Bellator, and he loved his brother Luc; it was Luc’s friends he could do without. When he came upon an emaciated and beaten boy at his brother’s best friend David’s house, he knew he had to get him out of there. Risking his place on his team, his relationship with his brother, and even death was something he’d never regret. After all, Bain was Antonio’s sodalis vitae, and soulmates were forever.

The small problem of Bain being a member of the Tenebrix, the Bellators’ mortal enemies, was nothing compared to what could happen if David found out where he was. But Antonio won’t let anything—race, being hunted by his own kind, or Bain’s fears—keep him from finally claiming his mate on Valentine’s Day.

This novella is a standalone in The Bearer of Truth world and takes place three years before Shadowing the Light. Antonio and Bain do appear in The BoT series as side characters, but you do not need to have read those books to read this one or vice versa.

Another Announcement

I’m going to be here on the 9th from 7pm to 8pm. There will be several other authors too. Along with giveaways, we’re each offering 500 word flashfic about one of our characters on Valentine’s Day. I hope to see you there!

Fantasy Friday Ish

This Fantasy Friday will be a bit different because I’m on a writer’s retreat trying to write as much of book 2 as possible before I get hit with my very full editing schedule for February. I have four, maybe five, books on my schedule for the month, and I need book 2 of the BoT series to my beta reader on the 25th. It still needs to go to my alphas before that too. I’m trying to finish it this week. If I can get 25K more done over these next three days, then I should only have about 15 – 25K to go before I can send it off.

So, in lieu of a Fantasy Friday, you’re getting a cover and blurb reveal for A Blaze in the Dark. Antonio and Bain’s novella about how they met, and book 1 of the BoT World Stories series. Releasing February 7th and will be available in both ebook and paperback.

A Blaze in the Dark – BoT World Stories

Blurb

Bain never thought he’d escape the prison he’d lived in for the last five years. He spent his days chained up like an animal, and his nights…they were better not spoken about. Until one day Antonio came stumbling into his darkness, lighting a fire in his soul and giving him a chance at a new life.

Antonio loved his position as a Bellator, and he loved his brother Luc; it was Luc’s friends he could do without. When he came upon an emaciated and beaten boy at his brother’s best friend David’s house, he knew he had to get him out of there. Risking his place on his team, his relationship with his brother, and even death was something he’d never regret. After all, Bain was Antonio’s sodalis vitae, and soulmates were forever.

The small problem of Bain being a member of the Tenebrix, the Bellators’ mortal enemies, was nothing compared to what could happen if David found out where he was. But Antonio won’t let anything—race, being hunted by his own kind, or Bain’s fears—keep him from finally claiming his mate on Valentine’s Day.

This novella is a standalone in The Bearer of Truth world and takes place three years before Shadowing the Light. Antonio and Bain do appear in The BoT series as side characters, but you do not need to have read those books to read this one or vice versa.

This book is LGBT Romance and Urban Fantasy. Not recommended for readers under 18. Use the Look Inside feature or download a sample to see additional content advisories on the Copyright page.

Cover by Sloan’s Design Stop.

Already Screwed It Up

I know I was supposed to be starting my new posting schedule here this week, but obviously, I did not. My kids have been sick all week, and I’ve accomplished nothing during that time. I also haven’t really read much to recommend. I reread some old favorites, and that’s about it. So I’m going to combine a Me Monday post and a Watch Out Wednesday.

Me Monday on a Wednesday

News! I will be doing a cover reveal on February 1st here. This cover was hard for me because this book is still Urban Fantasy even if it does have a more standard romance bent than the series because it’s a Valentine’s Day story…sort of. You’ll have to read to see why I say sort of, but I will tell you this story does have a lot of the elements people seemed to love in the main The Bearer of Truth series.

Since it also is the story of how Antonio and Bain met and fell in love, it will be classified as a romance as well as fantasy novel. Unlike the ones in my main series that I do not market as romance because the romance is a subplot, this book has a solid HFN/HEA ending. So the cover is less Urban Fantasy and a bit more Romance.

Excerpt

Unedited Copyright 2019 Miranda Turner

Looking down at the phone Antonio gave him, Bain worried. Antonio had been called away for a mission a few days ago, and Bain hadn’t heard from him in over forty-eight hours. That wasn’t like Antonio at all. Every time he’d been called away before, Antonio had made sure to check in daily. He knew how afraid Bain was to be there alone. Bain’s brain would start playing tricks on him when he was alone. He’d hear noises, see things, become convinced things had moved, and eventually, he’d lock himself in his room to stay safe. He was proud of himself that he was still functioning. Maybe he was getting better.

Pacing the house from one end to the other, Bain tried to work out his anxiety through motion. He probably shouldn’t rely so much on Antonio. What would he do if he didn’t come back? He didn’t even know anyone else who hadn’t done terrible things to him. Where would he go? Running for the bathroom, Bain got to the toilet just in time. After the heaving stopped, he moved over to the sink and rinsed his mouth out several times. Looking up in the mirror, Bain caught sight of his drawn and haggard appearance.

What a sight he’d be for Antonio to come home to; he’d be more likely to scare the man than entice him.

Walking back out to the living room, Bain picked up his phone and checked it again. When the blank screen once again mocked him, he curled up on the corner of the couch and stared toward the front door, willing Antonio to come through it. As the hours passed, Bain didn’t move from his post, begging any god or goddess who would listen to return Antonio home to him whole.

The shadows were stretching across the room when his phone finally chimed. Picking it up quickly, Bain saw one word…

Hide

Watch Out Wednesday

Since my week has been so crazy, I haven’t had time to write any reviews. Instead, I’m going to post my favorite new-to-me book I read this last week, a fantastic PNR, and a great contemporary with the twist of being a MMMM where the relationship actually feels equal. Shock and awe, I know.


New-To-Me Book ~ I have book two for this one waiting on my Kindle for a spare moment. I love the world building here, and I even like that one of the MCs is a lovable asshole.
Messenger – The Shifter War Book 1
PNR ~ Love the characters and the concept of meeting your soulmate in your dreams before you meet them in reality, especially if they might be scary. I always enjoy M.A. Church’s books.
Night’s Fall – The Mystic Bay Series
This book managed to be both rough and sweet. There were moments of pain and beauty scattered throughout, and this very talented author managed to mix them all together to create a relationship that felt amazingly equal between four men.
Four Ever

That’s all for me for today! I’ll be back Friday with a cover reveal! Otherwise, I’m going into my writer cave for the rest of the week.

Updates and More Fun BoT Insights

Hello everyone! Sorry the post is so late this week. It’s been a wild one with a holiday Monday, snow days, and sick kids. So let’s get to it.

Updates

A Blaze in the Dark is with my editor after it was approved by both my alpha reader and a beta reader. It looks like February 7th is definitely the publication date. I’m still waiting on the cover, but as soon as it’s done, I’ll do a cover reveal. This story is in the Bearer of Truth world, but you don’t have to read it to keep up with the BoT books, though I did put some fun clues in it for those who do! You also don’t have to read the BoT books to understand what is going on in this novella. It’s more of a romance than the BoT series because the focus is on Antonio and Bain’s relationship.

I’m currently back to work on book 2 in The Bearer of Truth series. I need everything I’ve already written fixed up for my new direction before Wednesday when I’m renting a place to be alone for a few days and write. I’m really excited about this book, and I hope you guys will enjoy it as much as you enjoyed the first book. Again, this will be romance light as Gabriel and Evander are on a journey to making their relationship work, but it is not at the forefront of the story. The main story line is about what they’re trying to accomplish in the world as a team and who Gabriel is. But, for those of you who want to throat punch Evander, he is going to make some important positive steps.

Also, I’m going to give this blog more structure, so here is my proposed schedule:

Me Monday – This will be personal posts including author stuff or any subject I choose to discuss.

Watch Out Wednesday – Book Recs and Reviews

Fantasy Friday – Delving into the lore of my worlds or any other Fantasy/Urban Fantasy/Sci-Fi subject

Gabriel, Evander, & Series Direction

This is another post that was previously posted on the blog tour but I edited it a bit and cleaned it up. I wanted to share the information here too. Next week will be an entirely new post about how the immortal warriors fell from grace.

A lot of what I know about my characters and world can’t be shared yet since I’ve only released the first book and it’s a planned five book series. I don’t want to spoil anything. So, I’m going to give you a little insight into Evander and Gabriel and why they avoided each other for so long. Also, some information about the mate bond.

I think it’s hard to strike the right balance when you’re writing a series following the same two main characters stretching over several books. We often want the characters to change quickly, to get better and become better people immediately because seeing that change is so satisfying and being able to point at exactly what changed them makes us feel like there’s a chance it can really happen. But my guys aren’t so easy, unfortunately. They are, in fact, stubborn.

Gabriel is a good guy at heart, but he’s damaged. He has a dark past we don’t know anything about (yet), and it still affects his present. He’s very clearly a good person, but he’s closed off, doesn’t trust anyone, and too apt to use his tongue as a weapon. Evander is arrogant and has made the mistake of believing his own hype. He’s sheltered, ignorant of the real world, and even worse, doesn’t care to learn, and his team isn’t much better. They’ve been living in an isolated location, some of them for decades, only leaving when sent on missions individually or as a team. They didn’t even take the time to really get to know each other outside of the superficial.

Evander and Gabriel have known they were mates for a few years, but they have been very careful not to establish any type of real connection between them. You can feel the mate bond’s pull, but without acknowledgement or feeding it by getting to know each other, it can be ignored and will have very few real consequences. Or at least the one’s it did have both Evander and Gabriel were willing to put up with; though they each had their own reasons for doing so. They were still able to fight on opposing sides; Evander was still able to try to kill Gabriel, or at least he believed he could. He never really wondered why he kept coming close but never finished the job. At the start of the first book, they can no longer avoid one another and have to function in each other’s orbit. That’s when things get interesting because the pull gets stronger, and the true side effects of an incomplete mate bond start to show.  

That being said, the romantic element of this book is merely a subplot. The main focus is on their mission as a team, building relationships within the team, and the other strange occurrences that are happening all around them. They are trying to complete their mission and figure out what is happening on earth. Are all the things they keep stumbling upon just coincidences, or are they all connected? Is there a master plan, or have they been sent on a wild goose chase? What do their leaders know that they don’t? What is Gabriel truly capable of? Along with many, many more questions, some of which will be answered in this book, but most will be answered as the series goes along. I hope to answer enough of these questions in each book that they feel like a satisfying read by the end even if it’s obvious there’s more to come.

If you haven’t read it yet and would like to check it out, you can find Shadowing the Light at this universal link.

BoT World Lore & Announcements

When I was looking for subject matter for my blog tour for Shadowing the Light, I decided it would be fun to share background information that would never make it into my books. I shared small snippets on the blog tour, but I’m going to expand and further explain here in weekly posts. There will also be updates about my writing progress, publication dates, takeovers, promo, etc., but this is something that I’m really excited to share with you.

The Boring Stuff ;P

Let’s take care of the housekeeping first. Here are my updates and announcements:

I’ll be finishing A Blaze in the Dark, Antonio and Bain’s novella, today, self-edits tomorrow, and off to the beta and editor. The novellas will be published as a separate series because of Amazon’s lovely numbering rules. Tentative publication date: February 7th.

January 20th ~ I’ll be doing a takeover in Ana Newfolk’s group at 7:30. There will be takeovers all weekend in there so you should check it out. https://www.facebook.com/groups/208814836439843/

January 30 – February 3 ~ I will be completely unplugged. My kids’ dad is coming into town and I’m retreating to an Airbnb with lots of snacks and my laptop to try to reach the end on book 2 of Gabriel and Evander. I have big plans to rework the first half of the book that I’ve already written before then because I realized I don’t quite like how I was approaching it, and I will hopefully add a few more new words and be ready for the home stretch when I lock myself away.

I will not be sending out newsletters for a while because of the pesky physical address rule. While I love you all, I’m not sending out my home address to strangers. As soon as I’m able to maintain a PO Box, I’ll do newsletters. In the meantime, you can follow me here.

Part 1 – Immortal Warriors Creation

Before humans walked the earth, it was an inhospitable place. The waters boiled, the lava flowed, earthquakes shook the land, and a war raged. Daemons and Angeli were pitted against each other in an eternal battle neither side could win. For centuries they roamed the earth, destroying everything in their path, fighting on the wind and sea, devastating the planet, but neither good nor evil ever triumphed.

The Creator and Lucifer became weary over the centuries; the constant struggle for supremacy weighed heavily upon them, and they lost heart. They were ready to lay down their weapons, rest, and try to enjoy their immortal lives without the constant bloodshed. Calling a temporary truce, they met at a neutral location and made the decision to retreat from the earth and ban Daemons and Angeli from roaming there. They would bring the earth back to life and create others who would live and thrive on the surface and not require their control but be free to live as they saw fit.

To police the Earth, maintain the balance, and keep the Angeli and Daemons away, they each created their own set of immortal warriors. The Creator brought the Bellator Luminis into being, and Lucifer the Tenebrix Meam. The Bellators would defend the light, fight off the darkness, and be a force for good in the world. The Tenebrix would oppose the light and spread darkness, for without darkness, the light cannot be appreciated.

When creating these special immortal warriors, the Creator and Lucifer decided to give them traits of both celestial beings and humans. Bellators would have a mixture of the Angeli’s blind faith in the Creator and the human gift of freewill. The Tenebrix would have the same human gift and a deep commitment to Lucifer’s agenda. It was when they were sent to earth that problems began to arise.

Living among the humans, the immortal warriors began to long for their ability to create bonds with one another and have relationships and families. These were privileges that had been denied the warriors by the rules which governed their existence. This dissatisfaction led to them becoming apathetic and endangered the balance. The Creator and Lucifer met once again and decided to combat their warriors’ dissatisfaction by granting them mates and allowing the Bellators and Tenebrix to breed future generations instead of expending the energy to keep creating them. The only rule was they must stay away from the humans and any others not of their own kind.

However, in their rush to fix the problem, they had forgotten one important fact: the choice of their warriors’ mates was not up to them. Mates were under the purview of the Fates.

I hope you enjoyed the immortal warriors creation story. I’m going to go deeper into it and talk about everything from how things got twisted between them to maybe some Gabriel things that won’t make it into the books.

Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019

2018 was a year of many ups and downs for me. The beginning of the year saw me leaving a job that I enjoyed because I couldn’t make enough money to pay for childcare. But I also knew my stress levels would decrease and my kids would be happier because I almost never saw them. They were with babysitters constantly, and when I got home, it was always rushing to some extracurricular or another or a rushed dinner and homework time then bed. Plus, I was still working at my first love, editing novels, on the side. I was exhausted and grumpy all the time. Not a healthy thing for either me or my kids.

After I quit, I focused on freelance editing and grew my business; I also decided to finally seriously pursue my biggest, most secret dream of writing a novel of my own. I spent this entire year overextending myself. I’ve slept very little, I’ve lived with constant bouts of anxiety that were almost debilitating, and I’ve dealt with many blows both personally and professionally with a smile because what else could I do. (Okay, I’ll admit there were times I sneaked away and just cried.) My household went into an upheaval when a move was considered, and I ultimately decided it wasn’t healthy for my children or me. And financially things have just been messy. There were other conflicts that are just…private.

There were also some amazing highlights this past year. GRL was a huge one. I’d reached those magical words “The End” on my book by then and had completely rewritten it a second time and was feeling kind of…uncertain. Like maybe I wasn’t meant to be any more than someone who helped others fine tune their books, and I should just hang it up and stop pretending I could actually be a real author. Honestly, I still don’t feel like a real author, and I’m not sure I ever will, but GRL helped me push forward.

Being around other people who’d taken the chance and made it, meeting people I’d only spoken to online in real life, meeting the authors I worked for and hearing their encouraging words in person, all these things gave me a much-needed boost. Making friends with a big group of ladies and gentlemen that I’d only spoken to online and realizing they’re my people, my tribe was a huge highlight. I miss you guys! My clients and friends are the best, and they’ve been so supportive throughout this process; I’m so grateful for them. Sitting down with three authors who write in same genre as me and really talking about it and what it’s like to have your work out there was a big highlight too, and I’m thrilled to say I came away from GRL with closer friendships and the drive to finish what I started.

Me and some of my tribe

My book was released, whether or not it’s successful, I don’t really know at this point, but the release itself was what mattered to me. I did get the orange number 1 new release banner for about six hours which was amazing. I’m a newbie author, so the fact that I hit it at all is huge to me. And, honestly, while I do want to be able to make money as an author, I didn’t expect much from a first book, especially since I write in such a small sub genre. Your first book is most often a learning experience, and that was the only expectation I had from it. I know it takes time and hard work to get to the point where your writing is supporting you, and it remains to be seen if I’ll ever get there, but I have hope.

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who took a chance on a newbie author and read my book or helped me in a multitude of other ways on my journey. I have had a few people message me or post about how much they loved my book, and I can’t even say how much that has meant to me. If my book only resonated with one reader, it would be worth it, to have so many tell me they loved it is beyond my wildest imaginations. I appreciate every one of you who took the time to send me a message or leave a review.

Looking forward to 2019, I have many big plans, but I also have realized something since I made those plans. I have to stop hurting myself to achieve them. I need to be here for my kids for years to come and accepting any and all work that comes my way to my detriment might give us more money, but it doesn’t keep me healthy. I spent most of the time since GRL sick but still slogging through and getting things done. Sleeping four hours a night so I can fit all the work in I need to get done for people is not something I can maintain any longer. So, I’m stepping back. I’m booking less, and I probably won’t be so willing to take last minute edits that need done so quickly I don’t sleep at all. I have to take care of myself so I can take care of the most important things in my life, my kids.

I also want to be able to write more. I know I might be taking a financial hit at first, but I’m hoping it’ll even out in the end. I have plans to release three more full length novels this year and two novellas. I’m not going to say it’ll for sure happen, but it’s my plan. I also have a fourth novel in the maybe category that I have very little written on because I only mess with it when I have extra time, or I need to take a break from The Bearer of Truth world because my brain gets bogged down.

So, my 2019 plan is to be wiser, to have a schedule but realize it is going to change, to give myself a break, to live happily and with love, to be kind, to be healthier, to keep striving to achieve my dreams while remembering I am human, and to get seven glorious hours of sleep a night.