Monday, December 30, 2013

The Best of 2013 and New Year's Resolutions

Seeing as I will be busy on New Year's day, I'm writing my New Year's post early to make sure it's up before it is too late. 2013 has been an amazing year for me, and there is so much that has happened this year that I will remember. I wonder where the time has gone for the year to have flown by so fast, but January 1st is closely approaching and the new year will be beginning. Before I talk about my resolutions I want to look back on the best moments of 2013.
The Best of 2013 (in no particular order):
  • One Year anniversary with Eric: Eric and I celebrated our one year anniversary this year on September 26th. Now we've been together for 15 months, and it's exciting to think of the future we share together. Eric is not only my boyfriend, but he's also my best friend and hugest supporter. He's been with me at all of my book signings, and we've shared so many experiences together. I can't wait to see what adventures are ahead of us! I love you, Eric.
  • Moved in with my boyfriend: Eric and I have been living together since July, and it brings me so much joy to be more involved in his life and vice versa.
  • Publication of Shadows and Embers: My second book was released for publication July 26th and has been out for five months now. Writing Leal's book was a wonderful experience, and I am so happy and proud to see that the book is published and in the hands of readers. Thank you to everyone who has supported SandE.
  • One Year anniversary of Cursed With Power's publication: One year ago on September 7th my first book, Cursed With Power, was published and released to the public. This was Celestria Hale's story, the story that began my writing career and will forever be dear to my heart. It's been 15 months with CWP as well, and again this book means a lot to me because it was the first one published.
  • My first 2 concerts: Eric and I went to the Killers and Keith Urban's concerts at Merriweather, and these were my first two concert I ever attended. I had a lot of fun, and it was a blast seeing Keith Urban live. I can't wait to do it again sometime soon.
  • Vacation at Deep Creek Lake: Over the summer Eric and I went to Deep Creek Lake and rented our own little cabin hidden back in the woods. Deep Creek has always been a special place to me, and I am looking forward to returning their again next summer.
  • Book 3: Thicker Than Blood: This year also marked the beginning of my third book, Thicker Than Blood, which is told from Alaire Sencler's POV. It is at approximately 52k, and my goal is to reach the end of the book by January or February. Regardless, it has been both exciting and frustrating to be working on a new book again.
New Year's Resolutions:
First off my huge goal for 2014 is to finish Thicker Than Blood and begin the editing and revising process. It's been a goal of mine to have it ready for publication and release late 2014, so I won't be able to estimate a more accurate time period until the book is completely finished.
Secondly, I am in the works of having Shadows and Embers available as an audio book; all I need to do is find a narrator. This has always been a dream of mine, and I'm hoping it would expand my audience especially to those individuals who prefer listening to a book instead of reading it. (Plus, I can't wait to hear Leal's voice come to life.)
Lastly, I will continue giving my all to my relationship with Eric, and I cannot wait to reach our two year anniversary. He's the greatest guy in my life, and I can't imagine the world without him. Here's to the new adventures that await us!

Hope everyone has a wonderful end of the year and start of the new year. Expect another post from me again in the new year including progress in Thicker Than Blood. Until then, happy New Year!
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas in Neutat: Christmas special 2013

It's Christmas Eve, and I have been busy all month preparing for the big day tomorrow. I had planned on posting this Christmas special yesterday, but since I got caught up preparations I ran out of time. Nonetheless, it's finally here, and I'm excited to share it with you.
This is my first time writing a Christmas special, but I had a lot of fun writing this scene and plan on doing it next year. This year's special features the POV of Leal Irvine and Nicia Riptu, main characters from my second book, Shadows and Embers. If you haven't read the book yet or finished it, no worries because this scene is spoiler free and it happened before the story in SandE. This scene takes place during 1568, two years before the handsome Leal met the curious and innocent Celestria Hale. The reason I chose this time period in their story line was mainly because Nicia and Leal have a long history together, one that unfortunately could not all fit or be revealed in the second book. To honor their friendship and to say one last "goodbye" to them (mainly Leal) as narrators -note: Nicia was not a narrator in book #2)-I chose them as the main characters for this scene. I realize Celestria and Alaire would have been a popular request from readers, but alas Celestria and Alaire have not shared their first Christmas together and diving into the future of their lives could be dangerous for where I am now with the series.
All the same, I hope you enjoy this special. I spent all last night typing it up, and woke up early this morning to finish it and post it. I even created a Christmas oriented cover to go along with it. This is my gift to all of you for reading the series. I'll be posting again before the end of the year to look back on all that this year has brought, talk about how the holidays went, and update you on my progress in TTB.  Enjoy!
Christmas in Neutadt
A Christmas special, featuring POV of Léal and Nicia
December 25, 1568
Neutadt, Transylvania
Léal Irvine
            Christmas was my favorite holiday, though Mama reasoned that with age that would all change. After spending my morning with her and opening presents, I put on a warm fur jacket and stepped out into the snowy streets. As tradition had it, Esmour always held his own Christmas celebration at his home and invited everyone in Destin. Our organization was full with members of different races and strengths, but Christmas was one of the few times we all were able to gather together and enjoy each other’s company without the constant fear of being attacked. While the snow covered most of the street I did not mind the cold weather. The temperature was low, the winds could be harsh, but I was aware there were other places where the snow was much harsher and cruel to the citizens. I was in the giving spirit, and I could not wait to see what Esmour had in store for us.

Nicia Riptu
            I waited before I left my house and walked over to Esmour’s, dreading the fact that I would most likely be the first one to arrive. While Esmour was a great leader I did not fancy the idea of being alone with him for too long. At last when I convinced myself to walk on over, I pulled my jacket in close around my dress and rushed to the door. One knock was all it took, and then Esmour dashed to the door, greeted me, and invited me in. To my surprise Malin was already present and sitting down in the lounge room, drinking ale. The moment he saw me he stood up and offered to take my jacket.
            “A merry Christmas to you, Malin,” I said, handing over the jacket.
            “And to you, my lady,” he replied, winking.
            I sighed and sat down in a chair, knowing now the wait would seem even longer. There was no hiding the fact that I fancied Malin, but he and I both knew the flirting was innocent and would never lead to anything more. He was not the kind of man to settle down with anyone, and to be honest, I was not certain I would ever know the true story behind who he was. Once he returned he smiled at me uneasily and bit his nails.
            “I barely slept through the night, and I must admit I am glad to see you. You brighten this room, you know?” he commented, sliding over on the sofa to be closer to where I was.
            “That’s flattering,” I replied, hardly knowing what to say. Since when had Malin started a conversation with a compliment? I was accustomed to the flirting and the longing stares we exchanged, but there was something new in the way he talked and his movement. He could not sit still without fidgeting, and I could feel beads of sweat dripping down the back of my neck.
            Don’t you dare make a fool of yourself. I thought, glancing around the room for Esmour. He was standing by the window, waiting for the remainder of his guests to reply. I loved the idea of wanting someone and that person wanting me in return, though we were destined to be kept apart. It was the only romantic dream I held onto these days, and if Malin suddenly wanted to commit and admit his feelings to me I would not know how to react.

            At last I reached Esmour’s house and knocked on the door. He opened it and welcomed me inside where I saw Malin and Nicia sitting. The Christmas tree was in the middle of the lounge room with presents underneath of it, all of which we had placed under it on Christmas Eve night. I was eager for Nicia to see her gift, especially since I had yet to determine what would interest her. Though she was a few years older than me, I respected her as a magician and found her to be the most attractive woman in Neutadt. There was no one who could compare to her natural beauty, and Malin was allowing it to go to waste by not advancing.
            “Merry Christmas to all,” I said, sitting down on the opposite side of Nicia.
            “Enjoy the holiday while it lasts. Tomorrow we return to our duties,” Esmour called out from the window. There was another knock at the door and Alaire and Jacquette arrived, which meant that the celebration could begin. Other members of our organization would be arriving, but for now we could exchange gifts amongst ourselves. Esmour joined us to watch the unwrapping of gifts. I grabbed two presents from underneath the tree and handed them to Nicia.
            “I didn’t know what to get you, but hopefully one of these will suit you,” I said, smiling.
            Nodding, she unwrapped the first present: a necklace with a silver amulet and a white jewel inside of it. I rarely saw her with any jewelry, and since she preferred to wear darker colors I had thought a bright necklace would bring out her eyes more. Since I had not been certain the necklace would please her, the second gift would hopefully save me. Placing the necklace carefully down on her lap, she opened the second gift and stared down at it. It was a dagger, one I had specifically made for her.
            “The necklace is beautiful, and the dagger is stunning. Thank you, Léal; that was thoughtful of you,” she said, smiling.
            Léal’s gift were more than thoughtful; they were perfect. Though I did not waste my time covering myself in diamonds and jewels, I was glad to see that Léal recognized the kind of woman I was. He saw that I was both a warrior and a woman, not one or the other. It made me realize how much attention he had been paying to me, and I hoped my present would be as much of a success. Placing the dagger and necklace down, I grabbed my present from the tree and handed it to Léal. It was larger than the gifts he gave me, and once he opened it he revealed a light blue vest. For whatever reason he loved wearing vests, and when had seen that one it was without a doubt the perfect one. The color matched with his eyes, which made him all the more handsome.
            “This will be my favorite vest,” Léal said, feeling the fabric.
            Without thinking, I leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. Then I hurriedly returned to my original position and attempted to hide the redness on my cheeks. It was not a maddening idea to think that perhaps one day our relationship would grow even more, and the years that separated us we could make up with the time we spent together. He had a strong family line and inheritance, and more importantly he was handsome and sweet. No one here treated him like a boy; in battle he always proved himself as a man. I did not have him now, nor did I want him at this moment, but I accepted that if fate would allow it our relationship could become something unexpected and wonderful.

            There would be more holidays to come and years to pass, but I was certain this would be one to remember. As I watched my friends and fellow partners open their gifts, Nicia and I talked about a variety of subjects. All the while I realized we were not as different as I once thought when we first met years ago. Every now and then I glanced up at the Christmas tree, and when it was time to feast Nicia and I sat next to one another. Alaire sat beside me, and Malin sat on the other side of Nicia. Everyone passed around food and talked about missions and their lives, and I thought to myself that Mama had been wrong. Christmas was not a holiday for any particular age; it was a holiday that lived on and continued bringing happiness so long as you were surrounded by the people you loved. I couldn’t ask for better people to be with; these were my friends and the people I trusted to save my life.

            “Merry Christmas to all of you, and here’s to the new year,” Esmour toasted, standing at the front of the table. Everyone cheered, and I was relieved that for one day we could forget about the magical world and the battles that lay ahead.  

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Monday, December 16, 2013

Q&A with cover designer Christopher Saghy

Here's a surprise right before the holidays! The man behind the cover design of Cursed With Power, the first book in the Magicians series: Christopher Saghy. Chris agreed to do an interview with me, and I've been eager to share his answers with all of you. The first questions I usually receive from readers or potential customers when they see the book is about the cover, and I've been answering those questions to the best of my knowledge, but here with more of an inside look to it all is the designer himself. And remember to stop back in later this week for another special post; you might be in for a special holiday related scene!

Without further ado, here's Chris!

1.    Tell us about yourself: how did you become a designer, what have been some of your favorite works, etc.

About myself… here goes… I’ve been drawing since before I can remember. Seriously. All through school, Art was my favorite class. By the time I was a senior at South Carroll High School, I managed to fill my schedule with art classes from Commercial Art, Studio Art, Applied Art and even an Independent Study class. (I also had a Study Hall that – more days than not – I spent in one of the Art classrooms.) I went to UMBC and studied Fine Art but found that no one was going to pay me to sit in a field and paint pictures of flowers and such (LOL) so afterwards I ended up studying Computer Graphics/Graphic Design at Catonsville. Right now, I am working as a Graphic Designer for Kohn Creative in Westminster… That’s my steady paycheck – which is important when the freelance work dries up, but more on that later! We do everything from Business Cards to High End Museum Displays.
As a Freelance Artist/Designer I do much of the same things…  illustrations, logos, posters, and, as you know, a lot of book covers. My freelance work provides me with a second source of income, but I am careful not to rely on it too heavily… Most of the times it’s “feast or famine.” Meaning, sometimes I don’t have a cover or illo for a month or more and then I am all of a sudden hit with three covers at once, with an illo and a logo to boot. That gets back to why it’s important to have that steady daytime job!
As far as my book cover work goes, Cursed with Power definitely rates up there as one of my favorite cover designs along with The Legend of The Bully Slayer – which features my son as the model and is a rare case of me shooting photos for a cover… mainly ‘cause the model came cheap!! (LOL) Some of my other favorites include: The Jack of Many Trades, His Salvation, A Broken World and Midnight Eclipse. (All available through Old Line Publishing.) I am sure I am forgetting a bunch, but so much work has come across my desk that it’s hard to remember it all! One of my first covers for Old Line had an Elvis impersonator on it AND it was a sci fi novel… kind of a fun juxtaposition of concepts…  you don’t get commissions like that every day!

2.    How did you decide on the design for the cover Cursed With Power

SOP for a cover design is that the publisher will send me a story blurb – rarely do I get the entire text – the author’s ideas and, if I ask for it, a description of the characters if they are to be featured on the cover. So it’s usually not a whole lot of info from which to come up with one image that represents the whole story.
In the case of Cursed with Power, I got a blurb from Craig Schenning at Old Line, your ideas and descriptions of the character and your thoughts on the mood/feel that the cover should have. I also had the “working cover” which helped me get a feel for the mood for which I should shoot.
At that point it became a matter of finding an image that fit the mood and (HOPEFULLY) the description of the characters. I use a couple of stock photo sites. The reason for this is that I am working within a set budget and do not always have the time and/or money to shoot custom pics… renting costumes, hiring a model… yeah... it just isn’t there. And that is the reason I go the graphic design route on most of my covers as well. The budget just does not  - except in rare cases – support me creating a painting or illustration for use on the cover.
So, for Cursed With Power, I set out to find one pic or a couple of pics I could cobble together for the cover. (A good example of this “cobbling” is the cover for Midnight Eclipse. There are at least five different photos that were used for the vampire alone!) The description I was given was “Celestria has long red hair, green eyes, would be wearing a dress… nothing too elegant; simple and dark…” So I downloaded several thumbnails but when I found the image I ultimately used, I knew it was the one! The mood was right. She had red hair. It was a very dramatic pose… I almost instantly knew what I was going to do with the text… have her holding it and make it the source of the under lighting while making it look like it was “her power.” Only problems… she had brown eyes and was wearing a traditional witch’s hat. Solved the witch’s hat problem by careful cropping and lighting effects… and changing the eyes from brown to glowing green was not too big a deal. Really.
Actually, those changes were extremely easy compared to creating the text for the cover. To create the text, I started in Adobe Illustrator because it lets you warp and manipulate the text much easier than Photoshop. Once I brought the text into Photoshop, it took 7 different layers to get the lighting effects that you see on the finished cover and that does not include the layer I had to create so her finger can overlap the title!
I usually send lo-res comps to Old Line for approval, but with this one I was so sure I nailed it that I went for broke and did a complete hi-resolution version right from the start. (Plus, I did not want to have to create that text twice!!)

3.    What is like to design book covers for published authors and see your work across the internet and (possibly) make it into bookstores?

It never gets old… seeing your work in print is as exciting the 40th time as it was the first. It’s wild, really. Y’know, a lot of times I sit here and think, “Hey, I’m actually getting paid to do this. How cool is that?!”

4.    What's the most challenging part of your job and the most enjoyable part? 

The most challenging part is making every cover or illustration or whatever that much better than the last one. I try to make the covers look like me… my style... but still be their own thing while serving the needs of the publisher and making the author happy and proud that their name is on the book. Yeah… that can be quite a challenge… but so far so good. Having all that happen would be the most enjoyable part. (And  -- except for some very rare occasions – it usually does.)

5.    Any work in the near future we can look forward to?

Yeah… I am getting ready to shoot pictures for the sequel to The Legend of the Bully Slayer. Going to tap my son, Michael, again for the model. I figure I can pay him with the rubber band guns I had to order as props for the picture!! (LOL)

6.    Anything else you'd like to add?

I think I’ve said enough. (LOL) But seriously, thanks for taking the time and letting me talk about the cover and my work. Best of luck to you as an author! Remember, if you love what you are doing, you’ll never work a day in your life.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Thicker Than Blood: Summary REVEAL

Happy Wednesday, and here as promised is the summary reveal for the upcoming third book in the Magicians series, Thicker Than Blood. A huge thank you to everyone who has been so patient. I know there's been a lot of unveiling lately, and believe I still have lots to share as we move closer to publication day, so thanks for understanding and especially for your enthusiasm.
All right, where was I? Oh right... Summary reveal! Here it is, ladies and gentlemen:

Alaire Sencler is not the man he used to be. He left behind a foul and bloody past to be with the woman he loves, but the memories never allow him to forget what he did.
While the White magicians rise an army, their leader hides his true reasons for going to war. Meanwhile the Dark magicians seek out a new haven, one that might keep them hidden long enough to prepare for the war that is raging on outside their doorstep.
Though Alaire has a unique gift and the woman of his dreams by his side, he has yet to come to terms with Esmour's death and what the future holds for him. New faces and the revealing of the fifth Dark magician offers hope, but only the strongest will survive in the final battle.
Whoever said "blood runs thicker than water" never knew what it was like to be part of a current.

I wrote up the summary myself, so I tried to keep it as spoiler-free as possible. So far I think I've managed to pull it off while still letting you in on the journey we're about to enter into. For me what's been enjoyable is seeing each individual character's story come alive. I started over two years ago with Celestria's story in my head, and now here we are finally getting closer to hearing Alaire's own story. I'm hoping you're as excited about it as I am.
There is so much that awaits us in the third book: the revealing of the fifth Dark magician, a deeper look into Alaire's past, new settings with new faces, and the war starting up to determine which species will survive.
 Before I go I'd like to remind you that the holidays are right around the corner, and books always make wonderful gifts -whether it be for a friend, avid reader, aspiring writer, someone you don't that well, or a significant other. Now is the time to purchase copies of Cursed With Power and Shadows and Embers while they are at a discounted price. If you're interested in buying both books together and want a discount, send me a message and let me know -I have plenty of books at home to send your way (and autograph them)!
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Snow days spent writing

These past two days have been snow days for me, so I've been spending my days off writing as much as I can for the upcoming book in the Magicians series. As I have mentioned before, my goal here is to have it all finished and out for release in 2014.
Now before I get too far ahead of myself I did want to mention how everything went on Saturday at the book signing up in Hampstead. This was me and Eric's second time going to the Local Author Fair at the North Carroll Library, and you can see a lot changed since we had last been there. For one, when we went back in 2012 I had blonde hair and my only book available for purchase was Cursed With Power. This year I now have black hair and two books up for purchase: Cursed With Power and the sequel, Shadows and Embers. I love looking back and seeing how much has changed, and how I've grown as both an author and a person in general. It's also so wonderful to see that Eric has been with me through all of this, and I wouldn't imagine doing it without him.
Progress in Thicker Than Blood:
Today looks like my last snow day until more comes around, but I managed to write 3k yesterday and 1k today. Today I was slacking a bit because there was so much else I had to do around the house, but overall I'm very pleased to see the book coming along. Today that 1k brought me to the end of chapter sixteen, and now I can move onto chapter seventeen. I'm up to approximately 44k, so I expect to be reaching 50k very soon. The whole point of reaching 50k is to set up another marker, and once I do that goal will be 70k where I am assuming the end of the book might be at. Most likely it will be over 70k, but for now it's all a matter of writing it out and seeing what happens. I don't know where this book is going to take me, especially in terms of the ending, but I'm eager to find out and get an idea of what is to come for the fourth book.
Numerous fans have told me about how much they fell for Alaire, and I am hoping that with this book I can give you the story that you've been waiting for. Originally Alaire's story was not planned out to be the third book in the series, but I go where the plot takes me and at the end of Leal's book it felt only right to go to Alaire next. So as for who will narrate the fourth book, I'm in for as much of a surprise as you will be.
Coming up: Thicker Than Blood's summary REVEAL:
I've told you the third book is about Alaire, but you don't know all of the details yet. As promised, I have more to share with you. I will be posting the official summary of TTB tomorrow (Wednesday, 12/11) night on the blog. If you're afraid you'll miss it, never fear, I'll post links on Facebook, Twitter, and so forth so you don't forget or miss out. I'm excited to be sharing the summary with you; only one more night of waiting!
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Title Reveal: Thicker Than Blood (Book 3)

These past couple of months I've been talking a lot about the upcoming third book, and now that it's December I can finally give you all of the details I've been keeping to myself.
Official title: Thicker Than Blood
That's right, the third book in the Magicians series is titled Thicker Than Blood. There are several reasons why I chose this reason, but the main reason being because of the saying that "blood runs thicker than water." I'll leave you to think about the meaning of that, and I will get into more details about it later on. I am just as eager as all of you for this book to release, which means first I have to finish writing it. Don't worry, though, I have plenty more to share.
In November was the 4 month mark for Shadows and Embers, book 2 in the series. Excitingly enough, now I can also reveal the main narrator for the third book.
Main narrator: Alaire Sencler
Alaire Sencler, the Dark magician we've known since Cursed With Power finally has his chance to tell his story. This is the character I have been dying to tell you more about, and I have received plenty of requests to hear it. We've heard Celestria and Leal's story, and over the past couple of months I've been working with on a whole new level. It's been exciting to dive into his world and look further into his past and future. While some of us just can't get enough of his charm, we also can't forget about his past as Hunter. The good and the bad, I'll be covering it all.
Although Alaire is the main narrator, we will be hearing some narration from other main characters (as you've seen in the previous books. You can also expect to read certain chapters narrated from a White magician's point of view, whose name I won't reveal... yet. There are plenty of new and familiar faces we'll be meeting throughout Alaire's story.
Progress Update
So far as you can see from one of the pictures above I am in the middle of working on chapter fifteen. Unfortunately I didn't make it to the finish line for NaNoWriMo, but I'm at approximately 37k and have several pages to type up tonight. I admit I'm a bit off schedule, but winter break is three weeks away and then I will have more time to dedicate to writing. In the meantime the goal is still to reach 50k and then plan out reaching 70k by January or February. Who knows, maybe when I hit 50k I'll share a quote from the book.
After spending several hours on wrapping Christmas presents, it's back to writing for me. Enjoy your night, and I'll be back for more later this week. I will be present at North Carroll Library this Saturday for a book signing, so expect some pictures and more. If you have any questions or comments about Alaire or Thicker Than Blood, please don't hesitate to comment away!
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Escaping the darkness

Alaire and Celestria wanted to escape the darkness together, and so they started running...
The first book in the Magicians series, Cursed With Power, has come a long way when I look back at how it started out. CWP was my first book to be published, my first "baby" to be born into the publishing world. The holiday season is right around the corner, and if you haven't read the book already or have a friend you want to gift it to now is the perfect chance. Save 10% for a limited time and pay $17.06 for a paperback on Amazon.
Now if you've already read both books in the series thus far or you're just dying to know what's going on with the third upcoming book... let me fill you in with the details.
It's the 20th day of NaNoWriMo, and there's only ten more days until time runs out on that clock. I am working my hardest to reach the 50k goal, but I will admit I have some catching up to do. Presently I'm at approximately 30k, but I have chapter twelve and part of chapter thirteen to type up tonight. If I had to estimate I'd say that'll take me up to 33 or 34k *fingers crossed*. Despite how eager I am to get this book finished and written out completely so I can revise it until it's ready for publication in 2014, it's not getting any easier. With a full time job, college, and the loving boyfriend I spend time with writing is something I usually end up doing either at early hours of the morning or late hours of the night. Regardless, I remain determined to have it finished.
Good news is that I am working on the masquerade chapter and it's fun and exciting to work out what characters are wearing, how their masks look, and the dances they're doing together. Mind you all of this is happening while the tension is increasing (over a matter I cannot reveal). It's an exciting chapter and there's much more ahead to come.
The next couple of hours I want to spend typing up those chapters I've talked about, so I'll check back in again later on (before NaNo ends hopefully).
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

30k in the upcoming third book

Here we are nearing the end of day 13 of NaNoWriMo, and I'm proud to announce that I reached 30k tonight. When I first started this book I had no idea that by November I would already be this close to 50k. As I explained in an earlier post, my goal for this month is to hit 50k for NaNoWriMo, which is why if you look at my word meter on the side it now shows my progress out of 50,000 words. I'll change it back to 70k when we're in December, but for now I just want to focus on November's goal.
It's crazy to think I only have 19k more until I reach my goal, and I've been pushing myself even on days when I think "eh, it can wait another day." One of the biggest lessons you can ever learn from writing is that it needs to be done as frequently as possible until it's a daily routine to be a part of your every day. For those of you who are dying for more of an inside scoop on the third book, let's take a look....
First off, I'll say it again... The cover is to die for. You can definitely see a pattern that the books are starting to take on, which was not at all intended and I only just realized myself the other day. So far my boyfriend has been the only one to see the official cover, besides the designer obviously, but he agrees it's amazing.
Now as for the writing, I finished chapter eleven tonight and will be starting on twelve tomorrow morning. Book Three has a lot of new faces as well as familiar ones, so I'm working hard to spend time developing all of the characters. The main character has been such a pleasure to work with, and I am eager to reveal who it is next month. Remember in December you find out the official title and main narrator for the story, which will also help both you and I tweet and/or post about the upcoming book.
What has definitely been interesting in the series is seeing character develop and change over time, and in one of my most recent chapters the narrator talked about all of the changes that had occurred. There are many more intense, attack-filled chapters coming up, and I'm eager to see where the book is going to end because as of right now I don't have an ending planned out. I can, however, promise it will end like any other book in the Magicians series... leaving you wanting more.

That's all for tonight. I just wanted to check in and update everyone with the progress I made. Keep your fingers crossed I reach the 50k marker by the end of this month. Only two more weeks left, so for anyone else participating in the madness... Hang in there!
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Behind the Character: Rostland

Imagine living forever, never aging, and never having to fear death. Tonight I'm taking you behind the scenes with the Magicians series to unveil Rostland.
If you've read the sequel, Shadows and Embers, you've already had the pleasure of meeting Rostland. He didn't make any appearance in Cursed With Power, and since I haven't talked about him before on the blog I thought it was time to shine some light on new characters we're meeting along the journey with our Dark magicians. Rostland is a very unique character; he's an immortal man who has been around since the 1300s. His full back story is discussed throughout the series, but there's much more I can share about him.
Why immortality? Honestly, it was something new. When I was working out ideas for the SandE I thought how interesting it would be if there was an immortal man. Immortality has never been something I have written about before, so I was intrigued to come up with a unique way to make Rostland special. Being immortal also means he's not a Dark magician, so throughout the second book we're debating whether Rostland is friend or foe. Let's face it, an immortal man is definitely someone who should be feared.
Like everyone else, my favorites when it comes to male characters in the series so far are Leal and Alaire, but all the same I love the challenge Rostland brings as a character and also the experience and wisdom he is able to share because of how long he has lived.
Can we expect to see more of him as the series continues? We're about to find out with the third upcoming book, but in the mean time if you haven't already catch up on the first two books.

Progress in the third book:
I've made it up to 23k, and chapter nine is half way finished, needs to be typed up, and then the other half needs to be written. Again it seems handwriting the chapters helps me keep the flow moving along, and I run into less obstacles and distractions. Chapter nine will definitely be finished by the end of this week, and at the very least I'd like to reach over 25k before the start of next week. I already have chapter ten roughly outlined, and that's an action-filled chapter so it should be exciting to work through.
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Friday, November 1, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013 Begins!

Welcome November! It's the first day, and all of my writing friends have been announcing the start of NaNoWriMo. October seemed to fly by, and it's hard to believe we're already in November. I've been a part of NaNo for five years now. I started back in 2008, writing the story Enjoy the Silence, which I made the horrible mistake of typing up on a typewriter. What was I thinking? Well, clearing I was not. In my mind all that mattered was that I could sit down at my desk with this awesome, classic, old typewriter and write away to my heart's content. Unfortunately, I honestly cannot tell you how much my word count was for that first year. The chapters I did manage to type up are stored away in a folder somewhere. It was a different kind of book for me, since it focused on the story of a girl and her encounter with a ghost. At least I tried something different, right?
In 2009 my selection was a story called Shimmer, which more or less focused on a girl named Allison who discovered she had magic. It wasn't such a great success, and that's all I have to say about that one. That was during the years when I couldn't find a novel I wanted to write and actually finish.

The next year, 2010, I wrote a book titled Stronger. The cover wasn't all that bad, and if you were a follower of my blog at that time I wrote up several posts about it. The story focused on Jocelyn, who was a princess in danger of being killed. She also had her loyal knight by her side, Kerrich, and there was a major twist around the fifth or seventh chapter. 
I'm purposely skipping over 2011 because the novel was not a success at all, and there's no point in me rambling about it.
Punished With DestinyFast forward to 2012, and I wrote the first 50,001 words of what would become the second book in the Magicians series. When I was in NaNo it was titled "Punished With Destiny," but you all know it today as Shadows and Embers. I remember being extremely frustrated with finishing for that year, and I can't remember what happened once I hit 50k, but looking back on it I'm glad I reached the goal. It's amazing to see that now the novel is complete and published. 
This year...
My 2013 selection shouldn't come as a surprise. I've been working on the third book for quite some time now, and I'm entering it into NaNo because I have my goal of 70k to reach and NaNo can help push me toward it. Since I promised myself I was going to keep the title a secret until December I can't reveal any details until next month, but now that the book is in the works and I'm serious on finishing it.
For those of you who are participating this year, I wish you the best of luck. NaNo is a wonderful way to finish a novel that you can later on publish down the road when it's ready. It happened for me, it can happen for you. If I can finish book #3 this month that would be amazing, but even if I just reach 50k that's fine because I can complete the other 20k in December.
Best of luck...and let the writing and madness begin!
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Upcoming Winter Holidays Giveaway

It's been 3 months since Shadows and Embers released and 13 months since Cursed With Power's publication. How time flies! Alas I haven't had a lot of time to update the blog because I've been busy writing, working, and finishing college papers. Since I have some downtime tonight I did want to take the chance to catch you up and also give you a look at what's coming up.
Upcoming: Winter Holidays Giveaway
With October coming to an end, December will soon be only a month away. To celebrate winter and the holidays that come along with the season, I will be hosting a giveaway. This is a great chance for you to spread the word about both of my books, and for you in return to win some great prizes! I have a lot of custom-made items that are up for grabs... Let's take a look:

  • Bookmarks- Win a signed bookmark of Cursed With Power and/or Shadows and Embers
  • Custom made necklaces (small square size) -I have 3 of these; one is the cover image of CWP, another is a quote from CWP that says "If you could hear my thoughts, would you be able to save me from myself," and the third is the quote "In the darkness they are flames; in the daylight they are shadows" (also from CWP).
  • Custom made necklaces (large rectangle size)- I have two of these, which were custom made for CWP. One features the quote from Alaire that says "I have faith in you because you're the one person who can see me for who I am, not what i can never be." The second one (on the right in the picture) is the cover of CWP.
  • Custom made keychains, pendants, and bookmarks -Custom made for CWP; all of these feature the cover of CWP and are unique. Various colors are available; I will post more specific details later
  • FREE ebook format of Cursed With Power
  • FREE ebook format of Shadows and Embers
  • FREE paperback format of Cursed With Power
  • FREE paperback format of Shadows and Embers
  • FREE hardback format of Shadows and Embers - This is a very limited offer, and I would probably only being giving away one or two hardback copies, seeing as these are not available for sale on Amazon so they are unique and rare. More news to come later :)
That's enough about the giveaway for now, seeing as I need to set up a date and so forth for all of you. Moving on, I wanted to talk about the progress I've made so far in the third book. I have been trying to update the word count meter as often as possible, so even when I don't post you can still see my progress from the meter.
The upcoming third book
December will also be an exciting month because I can finally reveal the title and narrator of book #3 in the series. Everyone has been very patient waiting, and I'm so excited that in a month I can unveil it. I am a little over 20k in the third book. Each morning before work I spend about an hour or hour and a half handwriting whatever chapter I'm on. If you follow me on Instagram it's a great way to keep up with my constant progress, since I usually post a picture more than a couple times a week of what I am writing (without giving away any spoilers!). It's still a long ways from my goal of reaching 70k, but progress is progress and winter is soon approaching and I'll have more free time to dedicate myself to writing.

That was a quick look into the upcoming giveaway and the third book. Hopefully I'll be able to stop by again next week to catch you up. Enjoy the last days of October!
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Who will make it to the cover?

It's been awhile since I've had the chance to stop by here and actually write a full post, so without further ado let me catch you up to where I am. Yesterday I received the official cover for book 3, even though as I have mentioned before the expected release will not be until sometime next year (2014). Even so, I decided to jump ahead and get the cover out of the way so when the book is ready for publication there's nothing stopping me. The cover was designed by Alivia Anders, author and designer at White Rabbit Designs & Creations. I can't say a lot about the cover presently because I'll want to talk about it more when the actual cover reveal comes about -again, we have to wait-but I can say it is stunning. Covers for my books are always the final touch that makes them come to life, and I have to admit the latest addition fits in beautifully along side the previous covers in the series.
The cover reveal for the official cover will not be occurring until I have a set publication date for the book, but I encourage you to start thinking about what you'll see. Who do you expect will make it to the cover of the third book in the Magicians series? Will it be a character we've met before or a new one? How will it stand out and look unique from the others? Keep those questions in mind, and before you know it I'll be answering them for you.
Progress update in book #3:
Currently I've finished chapters 1-5 and have started writing out chapter six. We've reached the 12k mark, and if you look to the right of my blog you can find a word meter that is also keeping track of my progress. Almost 20% done! Right now 70k is just an ideal word count to reach, but for all I know the book could go well over that amount. I have a lot of new stationary material to work with, so all is well. It's hard to believe I am working on publishing my third book. Can't wait until I can release more details; remember, title and the narrator will be revealed this December!
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

You know the characters, now meet the author


You may or may not already know the characters, so this week on Friday, September 27th come out and meet the author. Baltimore Book Festival is this week from Friday-Sunday, and I will be attending as an author on Friday, the 27th from 12pm to 8pm. It's going to be a long day, and I'd love to see new and familiar faces to make the time pass by more quickly. I am very excited to talk to you about the books, characters, and if you're an aspiring writer I'd love to hear what you're writing about. Please stop by and say hello. My boyfriend, Eric, will be present with me, and I cannot thank him enough for be willing to come out and support me throughout the entire day. (Be sure to tell him how much we appreciate it!)
I've been meaning to post some more about the sequel, and now that I finally have the chance to -it's been a busy month!- I wanted to mention a few things. One of the reasons I love the cover for Shadows and Embers so dearly is because the designer allowed me to decide exactly what was going on the cover. Another reason is because Nicia made it to the cover, and even though Leal's probably a bit jealous, he's (secretly) happy for her too. Nicia's one of the characters from the book that grew on me faster than I had expected. I've talked about her a couple times on the blog, but since publication I've been meaning to say a bit more. Once the second book was done I realized she had became one of my favorite characters. I also just recently noticed that pretty much everywhere you look now on my website and other sites I'm on, you'll eventually run into her. It's great seeing her on the cover and knowing that she became a much more major character than originally planned out. She adds a lot of conflict to the book as well, seeing as Leal can't quite figure out if she's an enemy or an ally. Could she be both?
Though I can't explain why at this point, Nicia's also been a great muse while writing the third book. Every now and then she's int eh back of my head, giving me a shove to keep going. I loved working on her story and seeing the twists and turns she and Leal ran into, and now going into the third installment of the series I can't wait to meet new characters and fall in love all over again. That's the wonderful part about the writing process; you can have your favorites.
So if you're curious why Nicia is everywhere you turn and want to know more about her, pick up a copy of the book and find out what her story is.
Progress in the third book:
What I want to do more often is update the blog about what's happening with my upcoming book. Sometimes I might not have much to share, so if that's the case I might just include a little snippet at the end like I am today to catch you up with my progress. For those of you who already finished the sequel and are waiting for the next book, this will help you see where I am.
Needless to say, I am a fan of owls. Anything with an owl on it, you can pretty much guarantee I'll love. When I came across these two cute journals yesterday at Barnes and Noble I couldn't resist. (It's okay, though, I honestly needed a new journal). I'm pleased to say that the journal I'm working in right now (the one in the right picture on the right) has done wonders. The pages have unique, colorful designs, and it keeps me interested and focused in my writing. I started on chapter four today; chapters 1-3 are completely done and typed up. It's not a huge amount of progress, considering SandE released two months ago, but I sneak in writing whenever I have the free time. Once I'm on winter break and such I can squeeze in some more.

Hope to see you at Baltimore Book Festival, and if you can't make it I'll bring back pictures!
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Saturday, September 7, 2013

FREE ebook, teaser, and anniversary

On September 7th, one year ago, my first book, Cursed With Power, was published by Old Line Publishing. I remember calling my boyfriend, Eric, and telling him the news and crying when I first got accepted for publication. Here we are one year later, and though this journey has been difficult at times and the challenges continue to arise, I have loved it to the fullest. I am happy and proud to say that today I am a 19 year old author of two published books.

Seeing as it is the anniversary, I did want to give back to readers and fans for being a part of this journey. This all started out with Celestria Hale, and now it has turned into a full series about five different people all struggling for their lives, all connected in ways they haven't realized, and all telling an important story.
In celebration of this special day you can purchase Shadows and Embers for free on ebook. Again this offer is ONLY lasting today, and will be available until 11:59pm pacific standard time. Fortunately the celebration does not end there because I also have another surprise for you.
It's teaser time!
Above we have a teaser from book 3 in the Magicians series. Since I will not be revealing the title and main narrator for the third book until late December, the characters in this passage have remained unnamed purposely. (This way there are also no spoilers.) However, I can tell you that I am really looking forward to writing this scene that is in the teaser where our characters attend a masquerade. As you might recall, in CWP Celestria and Alaire shared their first dance in a ballroom, and in Shadows and Embers Leal shared a dance with Rahela at an event Esmour hosted. These special dance scenes will hopefully continue to appear at least once in each book.
Hope everyone enjoys this beautiful and sunny Saturday, and don't forget to grab your copy of Shadows and Embers today!
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Monday, August 26, 2013

Celebrating one month with the sequel and what lays ahead

One month ago on July 26th the sequel to Cursed With Power, Shadows and Embers, released. From the very start the sequel was going to be different from the first book. It was a new story with new characters, but when the book was finished and it came down to focusing on publication that too also changed. Deciding to self-publish the sequel was a huge and unexpected decision, but it is one that I am happy with. There is so much more freedom with my second book. Every day I can log into Createspace and see how it's selling and where to -and I can see the royalties I'm making. With a traditional publisher you don't see any of that until the pay periods, and that can be a long and tedious wait (believe me, it is).
It's ironic, though, because even though now I am an author of two published books I still feel brand new to i all at times. I'm still a little fish in a huge ocean. The publishing world can be overwhelming when you start thinking about everybody who's out there, and then if you add in authors who have their audio books and their books being turned into movies... Whew, it's a lot!
I learned a lot from my first book being published, but I am also learning just as much from this second one. I'm always searching for new promotion tools and different ways to get potential readers hyped up about the story. Sometimes I feel like I'm falling on my face, but somehow at the end of the day I always managed to pick myself back up.
Recently a dear writing friend of mine emailed me and told me a story about how she was sitting in Starbucks and noticed a girl reading Cursed With Power. Then she went on to say that she introduced herself to the girl and they started talking about how much they loved the book. This story really touched my heart. The fact that two strangers could sit down together and talk about a book they enjoyed is amazing, and even more amazing is that it was one of my own books. It's stories like these that remind me why I started writing in the first place and why I never want to give it up.
Giving up can be tempting when times get hard, and so I have to thank my boyfriend for always reminding me to keep trying. Sometimes in the middle of the night he'll look over at me, tell me how proud he is, and even though it usually leaves me speechless, it means the world and it makes all of the difference. He is such a great comfort, and I am happy to have him by my side.

Now before I go I will admit that lately I have been neglecting my writing. I can't think of the last time I sat down and worked on the third book in the Magicians series. Fortunately with the sequel out, I can take some time and relax. College has started back up, and there's a very likely chance that soon I'll be starting a full time job. The third book, as I've mentioned before, may have to wait until winter break. Regardless, I think once I start working on it in more greater detail I will reveal the title and the narrator. (It always bittersweet to become so familiar with one narrator and then have to change to a new one).
August is reached it's end, and we have a lot to look forward to in September with the Baltimore Book Festival and the one year mark of Cursed With Power's release. Keep checking in; I'm always updating as often as I can! Enjoy what little of the summer remains.
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Shadows and Embers: 3 weeks in and book signings lined up

Here we are three weeks into the release of Shadows and Embers, and so far it's going pretty well. I'm very happy with the final product of the book, and I'm still very excited to hear what returning fans and new readers have to say.  Fortunately, the summer discount on Amazon is still going on, so for a limited time you can purchase Cursed With Power for $18.00 (originally it's 18.95) and Shadows and Embers for $11.69 (originally 12.99).
Also, though I'm late on posting about this, this month was the 11 month anniversary for Cursed With Power's release. Next month is the big one year mark -both for my book and me and my boyfriend's anniversary- so there will definitely be a surprise on that special day.
Baltimore Bookfest LogoAs I mentioned in the title there are book signings coming up, and so far I am almost attending one every single month up until January. The exciting news is that from now on at my book signings both copies of Cursed With Power and Shadows and Embers will be available for purchase (at a discounted price). If you already have copies of the book(s) you are more than welcome to bring your copy (or copies) and I'll sign them for you. Regardless, all copies that are purchased or brought in will be autographed. You can also walk away with a bookmark -we know have ones for both CWP and SandE.

  • Friday, September 27th from noon-8pm in Baltimore, MD: Baltimore Book Festival will be going on through September 27th-29th. However, since there are such large numbers of authors attending each other will only be present for one day of the festival. I will be present on Friday, September 27th in my author tent. There will most likely be a poster hanging up or a sign with my name; I don't have all of the details yet but will post more when we get closer to the date.
  • Saturday, October 19th from 9am to 4pm in PA : This event is NOT official yet. However, I will be sending in my information very soon and hopefully be accepted to this event. More details will be coming forth later.
  • December 7th in MD: Time and date are not officially decided upon, but I'll be returning to North Carroll Library along with eleven other authors with Old Line Publishing. Make sure to come out and support your local authors. The president of Old Line Publishing will also be attending to answer any questions you may have about OLP and/or publishing in general.
This Saturday I'll be starting back at college, so unfortunately I will not have much time to dedicate toward the third installment in the Magicians series. However, I will hopefully have more free time once fall semester is over. For right now I'll keep it in the outlining stage and get all of my ideas together. Until then, there's two published books I need to promote :)
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Leal's Return: welcoming new and returning cast

It's been four days since the release of Shadows and Embers, and now you are able to purchase the paperback on Amazon as well as the Kindle edition. I also recently added SandE to Authorgraph, meaning that you can now get a FREE autograph to go along with your ebook copy. If you stop my page you'll also see that you are able to request an autograph for Cursed With Power as well (in case you didn't know before).
It's exciting to think that with this book we're welcoming a whole new cast as well as some returning cast from CWP.  One of the biggest struggles I had writing Shadows and Embers was getting along with Leal enough so that we could agree on something. By the end of it all we got together well, and now it's sad to think that once again with the next book in this series I will be saying goodbye to Leal.  I really enjoyed writing this book, had certain songs I played on repeat through certain chapters, and at the end I was eager for the next part of the story.  As I've mentioned, though, the third book is not for either Celestria or Leal to tell.  I will be revealing the main character and the title of the third book later on; I don't know exactly when yet.
For now I'd like to focus on the present.
What was surprising with this book (and not originally planned) was that a new villain came about. So besides the new cast, including members of Destin we've never met before, there is also a new villain who rises and threatens the Dark magicians.
Something else you might have noticed is that all of the promos have had the same female model, who as I said earlier represents Nicia. I realize this is Leal's story, and I'm not trying to shine the light away from him, but I think he would have liked for people to see this was as much her story as it was his. No one in Destin had an easy life, and certainly did not simplify once the downfall of Dark magicians occur.
Lastly, I leave the interpretation of the title up to the readers. For different people it will mean different things. For me personally I chose it for several different reasons, but one of the main ones being because Leal mentioned seeing himself and other Dark magicians as "shadows and flames," and in all honestly I think he was right. (Specifically the quote was "In the darkness we are shadows; in the daylight we are flames.")  He saw that the world viewed Dark magicians in a negative way, and thus the way he described them was not far-fetched. Again, though, this is not the only reasoning for the title for the sequel.

That's all for now. I'll be later on this week when I have more to share. For now enjoy the summer while it lasts, and remember to read some good books!
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Friday, July 26, 2013

RELEASE DAY: Shadows and Embers

It's June 26th, and release day is finally here! Shadows and Embers, sequel to Cursed With Power, is now available through the Createspace store. It will also be available for Kindle later this afternoon and in Amazon stores worldwide in a few days, so I'll come back in a couple days with both of those links. If you're friends with me on Facebook or liked the CWP Facebook group you can expect the update much sooner. For those of you who already pre-ordered your copy I'll be placing those orders in tonight so you can expect your copy very soon.
 Photo: RELEASE DAY is finally here!
After 10 long months a lot has changed, but the sequel is finally here to stand by Cursed with Power and have its place.

You can now order copies via my published, Createspace:

Links for Kindle and directly to the Amazon store will be posted later on. Thank you to everyone who made this possible!
I'll admit that in the ten months it took to get this book to publication I had my fair share of doubts and then some. I had originally hoped for a spring release, yet here we are late summer with the actual release. Even so, I'm actually glad that I waited and put more time into the book. A lot of fans and readers have been telling me how eager they are to read this second book, so I'm excited and anxious to hear what you guys think now that you can actually get a copy.

Anyways, a huge thank you to everyone who helped me make it this far. I dedicated this second book to my boyfriend, Eric, because he has been so supportive of my work and never stopped believing in me even when I was ready to give up. Hope everyone enjoys this book; remember to send in pictures when you buy a copy -just like we did with CWP.
We'll be talking more about the development of the book and other aspects throughout the month.
Lindsey R. Sablowski