Now for something completely different - a cover reveal for The Warrior Prophet

I don't often have guest authors on my blog so I’m delighted to welcome back the talented Lisa Voisin. Today is the big reveal of the dramatic cover for THE WARRIOR PROPHET, the third book in Lisa's The Watcher Saga.

There is also an excellent giveaway included. You could win THE WATCHER and THE ANGEL KILLER, the first two books in the series, and an angel wing key chain.

Before we go any further, let’s look at that fantastic cover:

DESCRIPTION:

Mia Crawford is a prophet.

She can see angels. She also sees demons. Everywhere.

She knows the angels are preparing for war to get her fallen angel boyfriend, Michael, back.

A war that could take years.

Haunted by visions of Michael’s soul being tortured, Mia can’t rest until she knows he’s safe.

To save him, she must make an impossible journey through Hell. Her only guide is the one person she prayed she’d never see again.

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THE GIVEAWAY

Go to Lisa’s website to find out how to win the first TWO eBooks of The Watcher Saga: THE WATCHER and THE ANGEL KILLER PLUS this wonderful key chain.

Excerpt

While the angels battled outside, a ghoulish female demon pounded a crack in the protective structure around Michael’s hospital room with her fist. Her long, stringy black hair whipped over her face with each blow. She struck and struck until she hit the perfect angle. The structure cracked.

Her eyes glowed red and her skin was the color of black polished granite, wet with black slime. With a tearing sound, like ripping silk, the crevice grew. Her form as ragged and filmy as liquid smoke, she slipped into the crevice and poured herself through. I struggled to make a sigil of my own and managed to make the first cone. By the second, she was in my face. Her cold, dead stare mesmerized me and her shrieking pierced my eardrums. But when she reached a bony arm for Michael, I reconnected to the network and ignited the room, throwing her beyond my reach.

She picked herself up and circled the outer edges of my halo, inching closer to test it. I dropped Michael’s chart on the bedside table and flared my energy out further. My halo wasn’t as big or bright as when Michael and I had been connected, but I could hold her off. I had to.

***

Available April 13, 2016

Pre-Order it now:

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Print

Kobo (epub)

Barnes and Noble   

Add it on Goodreads 

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About Lisa Voisin

A Canadian-born author, Lisa Voisin spent her childhood daydreaming and making up stories, but it was her love of reading and writing in her teens that drew her to Young Adult fiction.

Lisa is a technical writer, a meditation teacher, and the leader of the Lynn Valley Literary Society’s Young Writer’s Club, a writing group for teens. A self-proclaimed coffee lover, she can usually be found writing in a local café. When she's not writing, you'll find her meditating or hiking in the mountains.

Though she’s lived in several cities across Canada, she currently lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her fiancé and their two cats.

Find Lisa on Social Media

Twitter:  @lvoisin

Facebook  

Blog 

Website  

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THE FIRST TWO BOOKS IN THE WATCHER SAGA

The Watcher:

Series: The Watcher Saga #1

DESCRIPTION

Millennia ago, he fell from heaven for her.

Can he face her without falling again?

Fascinated with ancient civilizations, seventeen-year-old Mia Crawford dreams of becoming an archaeologist. She also dreams of wings—soft and silent like snow—and somebody trying to steal them.

When a horrible creature appears out of thin air and attacks her, she knows Michael Fontaine is involved, though he claims to know nothing about it. Secretive and aloof, Michael evokes feelings in Mia that she doesn’t understand. Images of another time and place haunt her. She recognizes them—but not from any textbook.

In search of the truth, Mia discovers a past life of forbidden love, jealousy and revenge that tore an angel from Heaven and sent her to an early grave. Now that her soul has returned, does she have a chance at loving that angel again? Or will an age-old nemesis destroy them both?

Ancient history is only the beginning.

Buy Links:

Amazon Kindle 

Amazon Print 

Barnes and Noble Print:  

Kobo  

***

 

The Angel Killer

Series: The Watcher Saga #2

DESCRIPTION

Now that she’s found him again, all Mia Crawford wants is some downtime with her fallen angel boyfriend, Michael. But the call of duty keeps him away—from school and from her—with more demons to smite than ever.

When Michael is mortally wounded by a cursed sword, Mia must perform an ancient blood ritual to save him. But the spell exacts a price. Haunted by visions of war, torture, and despair, Mia discovers the world is in more danger than she ever imagined. Behind the scenes, an evil adversary pulls all the strings.

After redemption, there’s Hell to pay.

Buy Links:

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Print 

Barnes & Noble print

Kobo 

 

Are You Resolved?

How many things did I plan to do and not get done in 2014? Lots. But I’m not going to dignify those missed targets by listing them here. Okay, I’ll admit to having let my blog slip into erratic intervals. Maybe I didn’t advance my work-in-progress novels as much as I would have liked. It’s also possible I spent far too much time on the internet.

Word count: 451                                                                                      Reading time: 1-2 minutes

A person can feel quite defeated by only looking at what didn’t happen, so I decided to concentrate on the things I did do:

  • Packed up part of our North Vancouver house to make it pretty for selling.

  • Completed the purchase of our Victoria home.

  • Sold the North Vancouver place.

  • Shipped most our possessions into storage and found temporary accommodation for the five months of renovations.

  • Led the Young Writers’ Club of North Vancouver until March, when I handed it over to the talented Lisa Voisin.

  • Launched my debut novel Lockdown.

  • Worked with builders and tradespeople through the demolition and renovation. Every day at the job site I sat at a folding table in the middle of the dust, noise, and disruptions, and wrote something.  

  • Travelled back to the mainland to read with the gracious Steven Galloway at the North Vancouver City Library.

  • Participated regularly (mostly by phone) with my critique group in North Vancouver.

  • Moved into the new home and settled in (this seemed to take forever).

  • Took a YA writing course at UVic, taught by the fabulous Robin Stevenson.

  • Attended meetings and seminars hosted by mystery writers, romance writers, and all-purpose writers.

  • Promoted my book through social media and local contacts.

  • Assumed the position of Treasurer of the Lynn Valley Literary Society.

  • Went to the Victoria Writers’ Festival.

  • Wrote twenty-eight flash fiction stories.

  • Read over fifty books and dozens of short stories.

Looking at things that way, maybe keeping a regular blog wasn’t such a priority after all. As Steve Jobs said, “Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.” If I’d tethered myself to regular blogs, maybe other important things would have gone.

So now I’m going to take my cue from the Roman god Janus, whose two faces look to the past and to the future at the same time. Much more might have been accomplished in 2014 but I laid the groundwork for 2015’s goals. I won’t shoot for too many though. Too strict an agenda can exclude the joy of serendipity and new paths that open before us.

As the year draws to a close, have you taken time to reflect with satisfaction on the things you did? What do you plan to accomplish in 2015, in writing and the rest of your life?

Photos from Wikimedia Commons: Red colour flowing into the waters of Sydney by Rajwinder Singh and Bust of god Janus, Vatican Museum by Fubar Obfusco

 

What does your reader's eye behold?

In The Canterbury Tales the Wife of Bath lectures on gentility: “To do the gentil dedes that he kan; taak hym for the grettest gentil man.” (Gentility in Middle English meant  nobility of character, refinement.) Over the centuries this morphed into the homily handsome is as handsome does, which first appeared in Oliver Goldsmith’s novel The Vicar of Wakefield (1776).

Word count: 386                                                     Reading time: 1-2 minutes

Stephen King says Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader's. It’s the writer’s job to make the reader feel the heat of attraction. Flat adjectives like handsome, beautiful, sexy, lovely mean the writer is making the reader do his job.

The day my husband and I met, I carried my own scuba gear – all eighty pounds of it – to and from the beach. It never occurred to me to ask for help because my usual dive buddies didn’t offer it. My husband had only dived with women who thought he was there to make their experiences easier. Then he met me: I drove myself to the dive site, unloaded my own gear, and dived in the frigid water of the Pacific Northwest in a forty-pound dry suit. Where other men might have seen someone unappealingly independent, my husband saw the most attractive woman he’d met in months. How lucky we found each other.

So if a character finds another sexy and attractive, I want to know why. The reasons say as much about the attractee as they do the attractor. Does the hair on his neck stand up when he hears her low throaty voice? Does she have a foot fetish and adores him in Blundstones?

Like so many rules of craft, it’s simple in principle and much, much harder in execution. Here are some points that I try to remember:

  • If food is delicious, will the reader’s mouth water?
  • If the character is crying, is the reader’s heart breaking?
  • If the character is beautiful, is the reader captivated?
  • If a fire is burning, can the reader smell the smoke?
  • If someone is singing, can the reader hear the tone of the voice?
  • If a character picks up a cold drink does the reader feel the sweat of the glass?

How do you draw a reader into your world?

***

Pictures from Wikimedia Commons: Four Great Beauties by Xi Shi, Wang Zhaojun, Diaochan, Yang Guifei

Learning through leading

Word count: 484    Reading time: 2 minutes

About a million years ago when I was immersed in all things karate, Sensei Wong told the intermediate class if we wanted to get our black belts then we had to teach the lower ranks at some point. He said that teaching developed a deeper proficiency. I recently read a similar sentiment expressed by Yogi Bhajan, “If you want to learn something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it. If you want to master something, teach it.”

I’ve been reading about the craft of writing fiction for years now. I’ve blogged about it for the past 18 months. When I took on the Young Writers’ Club, I wanted to give something back to the community. I didn’t know what a rich two-way process it would be.

Some of the early benefits have been:

  • Focused research. Each time I set a new exercise, I analyze what it entails and how to best approach it. This week I set a poetry-writing challenge so I had to clarify the techniques for my own understanding. Then I had to whittle that down to a few digestible sentences.
  • Improved organizational skills. Not only do I have to prepare enough material for the two-hour workshop, I also have to make sure I have a cheque for the facility rental, payments from the drop-ins, permission forms from all the parents, extra pencils, pens, and paper just in case, and snacks to perk everyone up at the end of the long school day. I have to set up the room in fifteen minutes. At the end of the session I have to quickly return it to its pre-YWC state.
  • Improved interpersonal skills. I’m really interested in the kids’ writing and love what they produce. However, they need to learn how to critique and encourage each other. In order for them to take the rudder, I have to step back a little.
  • Validation. I don’t ask the members to do anything I haven't tried myself. When they follow my methods and produce wonderful writing, it’s proof of the pudding.

I’m looking forward to a long association with the Young Writers’ Club. These kids cram the monthly meetings into their hugely crowded timetables because they love writing. They deserve all the encouragement they can get. Writing isn’t like dance, music, or sports. There are few if any public displays of accomplishment. There are no bright canvases or shiny sculptures to show off. As many writers know, recognition can be a long time in coming.

So the YWC members come only because of their commitment to write and then write even better. In return, I offer the commitment to help them follow those dreams. How lucky I am to master so much more about the craft of fiction (and now poetry) along the way.

Where and how do you share your love of writing? What are you learning as you do that?

 ***

Photo by: strixcode

 

A horse of another colour

Word count: 424             Reading time: 1-2 minutes  

Early last month I went to borrow a cup of milk and came back with a cow.

By a cup of milk I mean I went in search of an answer to a simple question: where, locally, might a young writer hone her skills and get some encouragement?

Bad news: I couldn’t find such a place. Good news: I found the Lynn Valley Literary Society (LVLS) who, for five years, ran the highly-productive Young Writers’ Club (YWC). When other commitments began to conflict with the dedicated efforts of Peggy Trendell-Jensen and Laura Hoffman, the club went into hiatus. They asked if I’d like to revive it. For months I’d been thinking of ways to give something back to my community, the writing community in particular. I said yes. A nervous yes, but yes all the same.

Of course, before I could do anything, I needed a criminal background check. That was both free (LVLS is a registered non-profit organization) and fast through the local RCMP office. First hurdle cleared.

Then I read some of the work of the YWC members from prior years. Their poetry and stories showed a love of writing, skilful use of language, and good imagination. In other words: real talent.

Next there was the challenge of spreading the word that the YWC was starting up again and I had to decide what my version of the club would offer. I looked at the old format and decided against producing monthly newsletters. The thought of designing, editing, printing, and then trying to sell anthologies was also daunting. Similarly, I was disinclined to assemble large writing kits like the ones given out in past years. As admirable as those projects were, they clearly demanded a lot of administrative time. Too much for one person. An awful lot even for two!

Where did my experience lie? In recent years I’ve taken a number of writing classes. To me the greatest benefits came from:

  • finding a supportive environment in which to explore new ideas and techniques
  • breaking the isolation of writing
  • sharpening the skills of observation
  • working through writer’s block
  • trying creative exercises that help reach through conventional language to gain a fresh perspective on words and meanings

So, once a month, starting November 14th, the YWC will be doing some of those things. My cup of milk has morphed into a large, soft-eyed project that will keep me well-occupied for the months to come.

Have you ever run a young writers’ workshop? What hints or suggestions can you give me?

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Photo by: basmeelker