Tag Archives: CRYSTAL BONES

Crystal Bones Promo

I just found out that my YA book, CRYSTAL BONES, is currently featured in a special promo from Amazon. This novel opens a fantasy trilogy about a pair of half-fae twins, and was published under the pseudonym C. Aubrey Hall.

If you need a gift for a youngster that likes traditional fantasy, then this adventure might be just the ticket.

Here’s the link:

https://www.amazon.com/dlp/038f98ec/ref=gbps_img_s-3_bb19_038f98ec?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=41fd713f-6bfe-4299-a021-d2b94872bb19&pf_rd_s=slot-3&pf_rd_t=701&pf_rd_i=gb_main&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=34S7AJW2T3ANCN93K189.

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Ho Ho No: Holiday Deadlines

This morning, as I was surveying my bare Christmas tree that’s not yet decorated much less connected to electricity, I realized that this is the first holiday in three years free of book-deadline pressure. I can make fudge and hang baubles on my tree with no Sword of Damocles hanging over me.

Several years ago–after struggling to work on a book during a Christmas visit to my grandparents’ home, unable to convince my disappointed grandmother why I had to shut myself away to write–I swore that I would never again agree to a December/January deadline.

But book contracts are what they are. Writers can’t always negotiate an optimum delivery date. The YA trilogy that I’ve just wrapped up with the concluding novel, MAGE FIRE, due to be published in June 2013, just so happened to have February deadlines. Which meant working across the Christmas break. And although I’ve had a little wriggle room for family time and celebrations, it’s also meant coping with that inner sense of guilt for every hour spent playing instead of writing.

Not this year! The sense of freedom is exhilarating. The sense of a work well done, an accomplishment achieved, is a good feeling to have.

Of course, the itch to get started on a new novel is already in place, but I don’t have to feel guilty about it yet. I have no worries about meeting a daily page quota or whether I have enough time to smooth a problematic scene one more time.

All of that will be back with me soon enough. Say, about January 3rd. Time enough, meanwhile, to have fun.

P.S. For any of you who might be interested … Amazon is currently running a special promotion on my C. Aubrey Hall books. CRYSTAL BONES and THE CALL OF EIRIAN are hugely discounted in the hardcover, and e-versions are free to Amazon Prime members. Also, the concluding volume–MAGE FIRE–is now available for pre-order.

I don’t know how long the promotion will last, but I thought I’d spread the word. Should there be any 12-year-olds on your shopping list ….

🙂

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New Book!

The wait seems to have been interminable, but yesterday saw the publication of my latest book, THE CALL OF EIRIAN.

Book design by Alex Ferrari. THE CALL OF EIRIAN (c) 2012 is published by Amazon Children’s Publishing.

This YA book is the second of THE FAELIN CHRONICLES trilogy, coming out under the pen name C. Aubrey Hall. I’ve always found the middle books of trilogies to be challenging to write. Similar, in fact, to the soggy center of any story where it is so easy for the tale to falter, sag, slow down, or just sink.

However, I don’t believe THE CALL OF EIRIAN suffers from those maladies. My young characters–twins Diello and Cynthe (having been orphaned in the first book, CRYSTAL BONES)–are well on their difficult journey to the kingdom of the Fae. They’re in a race against Nature; winter is coming fast. They’re hindered by not being able to use their magical powers; using magic leaves a trail for the goblins to follow. And although they’re certain that if they can just reach the Fae their problems will be over, they find that the land of Embarthi is less than welcoming to Faelin such as themselves.

Politics, adventure, and magic are entwined in this book, as in most of my fantasies. I think fantasy is always a setting for a power struggle. Whether you’re in a cute Brian Jacques yarn about an evil Portuguese rat trying to conquer the gentle mice of Mossflower or a Robert Jordan epic, the political struggle is going to be there.

I have to admit, though, that quests are not my favorite plot structure. Unless it’s a l-o-n-g chase, the conflict can unravel into just one mishap after another. I prefer tightly focused antagonism. Quests also offer a challenge in that a writer has to keep topping each segment of adventure as the story builds to a climax.

And of course, being that it’s a middle book, the climax has to resolve the immediate problems of the characters without tying up the whole story.

Whew!

Despite the hard work, coming up with the magical elements of Embarthi was a great deal of fun. I looked forward to that just as I hope readers will look forward to reaching Queen Sheirae’s palace. Originally, I wanted to pay homage to some of the visual effects of the Jean Cocteau film, Beauty and the Beast, but that didn’t come across as I’d hoped and it was cut. Trying to think up the architecture for a race that can fly led to much pondering in my office chair.

The trogs are back. The goblins are back. We find out a bit more about the Samal wolves. But I confess that my favorite part of the book involves the lions of Embarthi.

Did I plan those big felines ahead of time? Nope. They just roared their way into the book and stayed there. I’m glad they did.

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The New Book’s Coming!

For the past two weeks I’ve been working like a fury on book revisions, doing those last tweaks and polishes in an effort to get the story and characters exactly right.  And the dialogue … pesky qualifiers begone!  My latest deadline is the end of this month — eek! — and next week I resume teaching at the university — double eek! — so I’m juggling a lot at the moment.

Unpacking after the Great Move continues to wait, although I have to say I’m growing just a tad weary of Braum’s cheeseburgers and have gone as far as locating the box labeled “forks.”  That box, however, isn’t yet opened because the book comes first. 

But to get back to book information:  the title is now official.  It’s CRYSTAL BONES.  I’ve seen an early scan of the book cover, and it’s going to be eye-catching.  My twin protagonists, Diello and Cynthe, are featured in profile on a burgundy background.  The title is done in ornate letters that shine like crystal — lovely!  I can’t wait until I’m able to show it to you.

Yesterday I let the computer run word searches through the manuscript while I combed my mind for better synonyms.  It’s easy to grow careless as a writer, to fall into bad habits of weak sentence structure or overused vocabulary.  Just as I can indulge in too many cheeseburgers and chocolate milkshakes to the detriment of my waistline, so can I let my prose become flabby.  And all my whining and moaning and complaining this year about revisions means nothing now, because I’m proud of where the manuscript stands at this point.  Proud and grateful to my editor who has prodded me into creating a story that’s toned and sleek.

If only I could say the same thing about my figure!

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