Thursday, December 10, 2015

December Review: WICKED PATH & DEADLY DANCE (The Daath Chronicles Book 2 & 2.5) by Eliza Tilton

I only need three words to describe how amazing the Daath Chronicles book 2 (WICKED PATH) and 2.5 (DEADLY DANCE): I consumed them. As in, couldn't put them down. As in, ignored household chores and daydreamed about what would happen next between retail shifts and stayed up into the wee morning hours to finish them. They are that good!

I don't regret a moment of it.

I searched through my blog posts for the post where I'm sure I went on and on and on about how incredible book 1 was, and *gasp* I never wrote one. So you all get a triple whopper today!

What I love Most: The characters are so vivid, so genuine, so differently voiced. Anyone who reads a chapter of each of the POV characters will easily be able to pick any random page and know exactly who's narrating. Also, I love that all angles of the situations in these books are presented so that no characters are all good or all evil. Can you say #morallycomplicatedYA? There is understanding and stakes for all of them, even if the reader doesn't like a character, there is sympathy there.

Also: The unique, epic setting and world building is STUNNING!

You Should Read Them If: You love epic fantasy, multi-POV, and a well-developed world to fall in love with.

Eliza Tilton: Please write and edit quickly so I can get my hands on book 3 ASAP!

Now, onward to the specific reviews and blurbs for all three of the Daath Chronicles books currently available.


Blurb from Goodreads: Hopeless he'll never be more than the boy who didn't save his brother, 17-year-old Avikar accepts his life as the family stable boy, trying to forget the past. But when his sister, Jeslyn, is kidnapped, the thought of losing another sibling catapults him on a desperate quest. With his best friend by his side, and using the tracking skills he learned from his father, he discovers Jeslyn has been taken, kidnapped by one Lucino, the young lord of Daath, a mystical place thought only to exist in fables.

And Lucino has plans for Jeslyn.

His shape-shifting brethren feed off the auras of humans, and Jeslyn's golden hue is exactly what Lucino needs to increase his power. The longer it takes Avikar to reach her, the more entranced she becomes with Lucino's world, and the harder it will be for Avikar to set her free.

He failed his family once. He won't fail again.

My review: It started out slow for me, but by the time I figured out how complex the characters were, and started rooting for each one (except Lucino's sister Lucy), I was hopelessly in love with the story. The racial tension and scattered foreshadowing lead me on with excitement and the ending felt satisfying despite the fact that it was the start of a series. I paid for this book after a friend mentioned it and multiple literary blogs raved about how awesome it was. I wasn't disappointed.


Blurb from Goodreads: In Wicked Path: Book Two of the Daath Chronicles brother and sister are forced to opposite sides of Tarrtainya on a fast-paced adventure where the wildlife isn’t the only thing trying to kill them.

Three months have passed since Avikar defeated the Reptilian Prince, and he still can’t remember his battle with Lucino. On the hunt for answers, he returns to the scene of the fight and discovers a strange connection between his family’s dagger and the mysterious kingdom of Daath, and it seems only his distant father can reveal the truth behind it all.

Before Avikar can travel back home, Lucy assaults him in the market and forces him to flee to Nod Mountains—a place few dare to enter, and even less return from. With Raven and her childhood friend by his side, they must survive the treacherous journey through the pass with a vengeful Lucy hunting them. If they don’t, they’ll never see home again.

Jeslyn’s new life in Luna Harbor is the perfect remedy for her confused and broken heart. But when a group of mercenaries kidnap her beloved Grandfather, interrupting her daily routine as his jewelry apprentice, she's forced to join forces with the one person from her past she tried to forget.

And his assistance comes with a price.

My review: I received an ARC of this book for an honest review. It's safe to say that I loved this book even more than the first one. I believe it comes from the varied settings. In book one, most of the journey takes place in a relatively similar setting, mostly forested or mountainous. But in book two, we see swamps, giant trees with cities inside them, a port town, the open sea and a small island, and more. Literally stunning world building. Top it off with the same #morallycomplexYA cast and you've got a heart-pounding, unimaginable plot that I couldn't put down, even though I needed desperately to sleep, to feed my family, to work, to write my own manuscript. I gobbled it up in less than weekend 36 hours which is unheard of in the month of December. This novel ranks in my top five favs of 2015. I'm so very, very excited for the final book to be released!


Blurb from Goodreads: Talk of war has reached Lakewood and Derrick is busy day and night crafting weapons and armor for his father, which keeps him from thinking of Jeslyn and how she left. When Lucy shows up at his shop, smirking, and talking about Jeslyn's mysterious disappearance, he's ready to slice off her head; instead, he decides to see if her claims about Jeslyn and Lucino vanishing together are true.

As Derrick and Lucy embark on a hunt to find Jeslyn and Lucino, their hatred will turn into mutual acceptance as the trail will lead them into Nomad's land and straight into war.

My review: Derrick is the humblest, most loyal player in this series, and he gets the worst end of the stick in the first two books. I was surprised not to have him come running back to help his ex-fiance or best friend in book two, and so happy that the novella Deadly Dance was written to let us know that he did in fact do this. The shift in both his character and Lucy's is refreshing and rounds out the plot for true fans of the Daath Chronicles such as myself.

Enough with my fangirling. Go buy these books by Eliza Tilton and check out the others in Curiosity Quills December Release Review Tour.


Monday, December 7, 2015

How to Protect Yourself Even If You Trust Your Editor (Plus, an editing service discount!)

Let's talk about intellectual property a moment. There are no exceptions when it comes to who owns their ideas. If you wrote it, snapped a photo of it, painted or created it, then its yours under federal or state laws.

So what happens when you hire an editor and there's a major collaboration during a rewrite? This is the question posed to me by a friend back in my Laramie Writers Group. He asked if there was anything he needed to be aware of or if he had to give up a portion of authorship when he won an editing package through a contest. My answer was an unsure "I don't think so." Then I went straight to my agent because I realized that this may be a question or concern for anyone that wanted to hire me as a editor in the near future. (Shameless plug: Check out my rates here.)

Turns out that while the above statement about your creation is true, a paper trail keeps things very black and white. "Depending on the depth and level of collaboration, if the ideas for character changes originate with the editor, the editor may have ground to bring suit against him if he benefits from publication. However, in all reality, any suit would most likely be won by the author. I would still recommend that they sign a contract, though so your friend has peace of mind. The biggest issue with copyright is that while the copyright remains with the author, he or she can’t bring suit to protect it. (I.E. If the editor were to go rogue and try to publish it him or herself) unless the author has filed with the U.S. Copyright Office. To me, it’s better to just have a contract that specifies that all intellectual property stays with the author," stated Jessica Schmeidler, agent extraordinaire of Golden Wheat Literary, via email.

So my friend is reworking his awesome manuscript with the help of an editor knowing his work is his own, and now I know what people may be thinking as they consider me for an editor. As a result of this awesome conversation, I've restructured my editing quoting process and written up a simple contract for my editing clients' peace of mind. I have only the desire to help great writers put out the best pieces of their creativity they can.

Have you ever been in a situation where you were concerned about your rights as an author or artist? Tell me about it in the comments below!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

NANO's over, now what?

Hire me!

Planning to take part in writing contests in early 2016? 
Hire me!

Stumped on a scene or wondering if you have a plot hole?
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The first two(2) people to hire me for editing services in December will get $5 off!*
Check out my editing services page for more information on receiving a quote. Then let's get started!

*Excludes query critiques

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

On What To Do With People's Story Suggestions

I've read many post by authors who've discussed how annoying it is when someone suggests ideas for them to write about. After all, as writers we pride ourselves on not only thinking up the best/ most marketable/ things we know ideas. We all know that at some point we're going to have to love an idea to stick with it for the long haul. Writing, editing, editing, editing, pitching or querying, editing, and then the real work begins with publishing and marketing. If it's not our idea, we may not be 100% invested, right?

I'm here to challenge these arguments. I'm one of the weird ones that don't mind people's suggestions. In fact, I embrace them. Sure, they may not come fully fleshed out or tied into my experiences, but they still have their value.

Why I Keep Others' Ideas
The bottom line for me is that at the end of it all I want to publish my work. The destination is as important as the journey for me. Taking others ideas or suggestions is a wonderful way to get a feel for what type of stories are wanted. Granted, I need to back up the demand with other similar requests or trends in the market, but suggestions almost always come in the form of something that person wants to read.

Another great use of other people's suggestions when they find out I'm a writer is for brainstorming sessions. As mentioned above, I may not be invested in their suggestions. However, if I write that scrap of an idea down or include it in brainstorming sessions later on, it may just morph into a brilliant idea or fit perfectly into a story I'm already engaged in.

How I Protect Myself
Now some of you might be saying, "But Emily, what about creative ownership?" It's true that keeping these ideas can be a short walk to a long problem later down the line. Which is why I keep a detailed notation on each idea that I'm offered. Knowing who suggested it, when they did so, and any contact info is important to protect against issues later. I don't want legal action cluttering up the already difficult publication process.

So far, I've only used family stories with the okay from my in-laws, so I'm safe there. If in future I was ever to truly utilize the dozens of story snippets I have in a file on my computer, I'd be sure to contact that person and get written permission to actually go there. This eliminates any issues later down the line, and I like to think the person would be honored that I've still been thinking about their suggestion. Instant fans via a shameless marketing ploy? Maybe. I don't mind if they don't.

At the end of the day, I'm honored that people want to share in my journey. I think of those suggestions as interest in who I am as a writer, the expertise I have in the field, and respect for what I do.

Do you find other people's suggestions for story lines annoying or do you embrace them?

Please tell me in the comments below or Click to Tweet about it!