Wednesday, February 27, 2013

"Mock" book proof is here!

Yesterday the "mock" book proof of Punished With Destiny showed up at my house.  While this isn't anything official, I will admit it was nice to have that moment of excitement again to be holding a hard copy of the book in my hands. (It'll be even more exciting when it's official and releasing!)  For now, though, the copy is waiting on my desk for Friday -the day of the road trip.  It only contains the first 25 chapters of the book, but I've already sneaked a few glances and mentally noted edits that I need to write in.  Let's hope I remember to bring along a red pen with me.
Looking back on Cursed With Power, there were so many mistakes I made and learned from.  A majority of my desk and the half top of my closet is filled with binders containing different versions of CWP.  I'm hoping that this time around I can use what I learned to my advantage, and hopefully the editing process will move along more smoothly.  Regardless on Friday alone I believe I'll have approximately 16 hours in total to edit as much of the book as physically possible, and oddly enough I am rising to the challenge.  The sooner the editing gets done, the quicker I can apply the revisions and have our book on its way to releasing.
And in case you haven't heard, I have determined the exact date I should be finished writing the book.
So long as I complete a chapter each day I should be finished of the book by March 11th.  Unfortunately (for me at least) that's less than two weeks away, so the mental countdown has begun and eventually at some point I imagine my hand will hurt.  Most of these chapters I've been writing down on paper first before converting them over onto a Word document.  I find that keeps the writer's block away, and paper isn't as intimidating as a blank Word document can be.  And thanks to my boyfriend, I also have my KindleFire, which I can read the book on just as if it were an e-book.
There's a lot of work to be done and not nearly enough time, but for now I wanted to catch everyone up with where I am currently.  If I don't post again until later this weekend it's because I'll be caught up with editing and just having a good time out and about.  Don't worry, though, the giveaway will be coming soon!
And in the meantime I can leave you with another promo I made this morning (at 1am):

Lindsey R. Sablowski

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The story Celestria was told; the truth Leal knows.

First let me clarify that the cover you see is not the official cover.  Next Friday I'm taking a road trip down to New York, and since I won't be driving I decided the best way to keep myself occupied (and quiet) is to bring along my book to edit.  Printing out approximately 187 pages didn't seem like the most efficient (and sane) way to go about this, so I'll have a hard copy of the book in my hands for the trip.
Do you think you're ready for Leal's story?
I don't know about you, but the wait has been killing me.  I am just as anxious to release the book as you are to read it.  The good news is that regardless of how soon the book releases this spring I will host another giveaway, which will include some Cursed With Power prizes and hopefully ARCs for the sequel.  I'm planning this all out in the back of my head, but we'll have to wait until March or April to see what exactly happens.
If nothing else, though, I hope the most exciting part about PWD is that the story is told from Leal's perspective.  Leal has an entirely different perspective on the magical world than Celestria did, and when the third book comes along our third magician will also have a different view.  I like changing up the narrators, and though it does require more work, I think in the end it makes it fresh and exciting for everyone.

Now about that giveaway....
Ever since my first giveaway in the fall of 2012 (shortly after CWP released) I've been paying close attention to other authors and what wonderful prizes they give away to participants.  Now again I realize that there is still a lot of decisions to be made before I can finalize anything, but... Spring is a very special time for the Magicians series, and the release of the sequel is something I need your help to spread around.  If you participate in the giveaway I promise you won't regret it!  This time I'll work my best to make sure there are more prizes and opportunities for participants to win.
Though I have several ideas floating around in my head, if you'd like to make a suggestion you're more than welcome to.

That's all for now, since I have writing to get back to before I'm headed off to work.  Hope everyone has a lovely weekend, and remember to check back in for more exciting news.
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Behind the character: Alaire Sencler

The last Behind the Character post I wrote was about Esmour, which surprisingly received a lot of views.  I told you I'd have something special to share again, and I decided it was time to talk about the man we know and love.  Perhaps he needs no introduction, but he certainly deserves to have his story told.  I realize I've talked about Alaire several -perhaps more than several?- times in the past, but I'm going to focus on some aspects I haven't mentioned before.

Alaire is the man who has lived for many years without a family.  He lost the people most important to him, and we can see in Cursed With Power how this has changed him over the years.  Despite that, Alaire is the hero of the story in more ways than might be noticeable on paper.
You've most likely heard me tell the story of how Alaire "saved" Cursed With Power.  In the book Celestria views him as her "guardian angel," but for many reasons he was also a guardian angel to me during the time I was writing the book.  Again, I'm not going to focus on this too much, but I will stress again that Alaire was not originally in the book during the first draft.  Thankfully he became a main character before publication, and for that I am very pleased.
Perhaps one of my favorites scenes to write that included him was about the burning church.  If you haven't read the book I won't ruin anything for you, but the prologue is the first time readers are introduced to Alaire.  Him and Celestria are trapped in a burning church together, and as they're making their way out he shouts, "Go ahead, I'm right behind you."  The prologue was written and rewritten more times than I can count or remember for that matter, but as it is today is something I think that fully illustrates Celestria and Alaire's relationship.  That single line alone where he is reassuring Celestria that he'll be right behind her is exactly the way I've always envisioned him to be.  And wasn't he always right behind her in some way or another?
Recently with the upcoming sequel I've been working with a lot of new characters and trying to get a feel for Leal.  I'd have to say out of all of the Dark magicians I've dealt with so far, Alaire is the one who openly talks about not only the darkness in his magic but also the darkness he feels has consumed him in the past.
For obvious reasons I can't reveal what is to become of Alaire, but rest assured that I have a long history of notes on the Sencler family and history and no matter what there is much more to be told.  However, I can say that Alaire is present in the first part of the book since it takes place a year before the men meet Celestria.  We'll finally be able to see what work Alaire did for Esmour and also the kind of man he was before he met Celestria.  (He mentions several times that before he met her he was a different kind of person, and he wasn't exactly proud of his past.)
The sequel is almost finished and spring is right around the corner.  What do you think: Will you still love Alaire once you know his story?
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Looking back from where we started

It's brought a smile to my face to see that people have viewed the teaser I posted on Valentine's day.  For those of you who read it, I hope you enjoyed it, and if you haven't yet it's still fresh on the blog waiting for you.  Now let's get down to business...

This post I have been excited about and also a bit embarrassed about because... Well, you're about to see.  I love looking back at memories, and I think pictures more than anything really hold stories of their on.  This morning I'm sharing the very first covers that inspired the Magicians stories.  While I am willingly sharing these photos, I want you to keep in mind that this is not exactly "artwork" I'm proud of.  Two years ago on a site named "Polyvore" -basically you can design ideal clothes set ups or edit photos and turn them into art, etc.- I came across a picture that instantly caught my attention.
imageGxThis woman, as you may notice, has red hair just as Celestria does in the story.  It was this image that actually inspired her physical traits.  I loved how her dark red hair looked against her pale skin, and it also made her stand out -even with the black cloak on.  I thought about how stunning of a magician she would be to run into; her hair like fire, her skin like snow, her magic like nothing anyone had seen before.  All of this imagery and these thoughts raced through my head the first time I saw this image, and it was at that very moment that I knew it was a story that had to be told.
Yes, this is where it starts to be embarrassing....  With some editing and adding in the text I created a book cover that at the time I was actually rather proud of.  (Now I look at it and think "Who ever liked this?!") Regardless, I owe a lot to this first cover.  Unlike the books to follow, Cursed With Power never changed its title throughout the two year period before publication.  
Ah the cover for the second book... Originally -as you might remember if you've been following the blog for a while- the sequel was titled New Life.  The reason I chose that title back before I even knew the specifics was because I knew I wanted to tell the story of a man who gave his whole life to magic and had a chance to change his own destiny.  Presently the book is titled Punished With Destiny, which is a title that I believe is permanent, and truthfully I like this title much better.  Leal does indeed tell the story of how he has lived his entire life with magic, but he also has an opportunity to make a change.  Would you do it if you could?  Or what if it was written in your destiny that you could never leave it behind?
I suppose the plus to this cover is that the focus is on the man's blue eyes, which as we all know is a physical trait of Leal's.  
The third cover I don't have a lot to say about.  The image of a girl looking out into the moon is nice, but like all of these it's nothing great.  Obviously with all of the recent changes the title to this book has also changed since it was first created.  Presently the working title is Betrayed With Magic, and I'm not ready to say if that will stay or go.
The fourth cover is once again not at its finest.  For some reason at the time when I created it I thought it'd be a great idea to add sparkles for a "magical" effect, but if anything now I think it's obvious that the sparkles do not belong.  The title to this book will be changed, but I don't have anything official yet.
The fifth book has had more changes in title than I can count.  The latest one was Alaria, but I do believe that will change and as of now I have no idea what it will become.  The staircase is meaningless; it was simply something I found intriguing at the time, and now I look back and wonder what on Earth it was meant to represent.  

It's 2am, so I'm heading off to bed to catch a few hours of sleep.  The main purpose of this post was to share the pictures and look back at where the series began.  Despite the terrible  artwork, I am so glad that it all started there and that we're reaching new heights each day.  I promise to have something interesting coming up later this week... just have to decide on what.  Happy Monday! :)
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day -here's the teaser!

Photographer: Teresa BaliƱo
Valentine's Day Teaser! 
Falling in love... They say falling in love can tear a person down to flesh and bone.  I never imagined being that woman who fell so easily for one man, but I could not have been more wrong.  From the first day I met him I could feel the connection.  My body would tense up when he drew close to me, and my heart felt like it could pound straight out of my chest.  However, he never took advantage of how quickly I'd agree to stand by his side or join along for a mission.  Even if I had wanted him to notice his expectations were set much higher; his eyes wondered among other women, and I was nothing more but another in the crowd.  We were like fish in an ocean; millions to choose from, but only one could truly win his heart.
"I could never fall in love with your devilish smile," I would tell him, but alas he was too busy and too content to notice that I had indeed done the act I swore I never word.  I fell in love with him, and it actually hurt my heart.  It ached every day to watch him walk away never knowing what was in my heart, watching him amused by other women without ever knowing the words I had to say.  Secretly, though, I was always planning the perfect moment to say those three precious words.  My mother had taught me to never speak them unless I meant it with my full heart, but I was more certain than ever that the feelings I had for him were true.
It is completely dark in the room, and the only comfort I hold onto is knowing that Leal is present in the room.  His breaths were heavy and quick, but oddly enough I find it comforting.  It is the first time we are entirely alone, the first time I have him to myself and yet the timing is all wrong.  If nothing else he will be furious with what I have done, and I know that my crime has indented its mark forever in our relationship.  Even in the darkness, though, I continue to think about the connection we share.  I hold onto every moment that we have shared, and a part of me remains hopeful that we can make it out of this un-scarred.
"Can you feel anything? he asks, though his voice sounds muffled.
The air has become stale, and I choke on what little oxygen we have and mutter, "Emptiness."
It is not the answer he is expecting nor one he will know how to reply to.  I imagine he is feeling a different kind of emptiness toward me, and it is only a matter of time before he expresses his emotions.  After all of the time we have spent together I feel like I know him better than anyone else in my life.  He is the dearest person to me, but this time I risk losing him all because of a decision I made.
"Did someone force you?" he begins to shout, and he hits me with questions I had not even considered myself.  There is rage in his voice like he's ready to explode, and I fear that the remaining magic in the house is starting to affect him.  No matter how I try to calm him nothing seems to work, but then silence falls again and I try something different.  I say something I have never told him before, and I am shocked to hear them escape from the safety of my lips.
"I love you," I say.  A wave of relief rushes over me, and those three words make the darkness seem much less threatening.  Nothing can harm us now, and even though he is silent I begin to convince myself that we are only bruised from all of this and will be able to walk away together.
After choking he speaks up at last and replies, "Are you okay?  I thought I was dying and didn't hear what you were saying."
The world comes crashing down on me.  My mother's warnings from when I was a young girl ring in my mind; her voice echoes through my head, taunting me that she had been right.  I remain where I am curled up, and I feel naked and fully exposed.  The darkness is surreal; it surrounds me even more now, and I cannot bear another minute of this torture.  All I want is to escape, but I know that this is the price I must pay.  Who could have blamed Leal?  Any other man would have acted the same way.  Regardless of my feelings, the cold truth was spread out throughout the entire life.  I had betrayed Leal in a way no magician should to their partner.

Hope everyone is having a lovely holiday!  This teaser is based off of events from Punished With Destiny, but I purposely left the narrator a secret.  Looks like you'll have to wait for the release of the book to find out who it is.  Obviously it's not Leal, but I thought a change in narration would be a fun challenge, and though the dialog is directly from the book, I did enjoy writing from someone else's point of view.  
And as promised, before I go I'll leave you with a picture of Alaire.  I think there has been a picture before where I edited it to have flames in the background, and the main reason I like this is because it's very symbolic of the first introduction we have to Alaire in Cursed With Power -the burning church scene.  (I do not own the photo, so credit is given to its proper owner).

As for me, I celebrated Valentine's earlier tonight.  I hope everyone has a special someone they're spending the holiday with!  Lots of love!
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Monday, February 11, 2013

A special Valentine's Day teaser -coming to you!

It's no secret; I'm a firm believer in true love, and personally I think Valentine's Day is a nice way to celebrate the relationship we have with that significant other.
But wait...!
In celebration of this lovely little holiday, I thought we'd do something here on the blog to celebrate and that you would enjoy.  I had several different ideas, but unfortunately the holiday has been creeping up on me much faster than I realized. With that in mind, I have decided to post a teaser -or maybe two short ones- that involve romantic scenes from the upcoming books in the Magicians series.  Since I won't have much time the teasers might be strictly from Punished With Destiny, but hey... For those of you dying to know who could be romantically involved, this could be your chance.  Obviously I'll work my magic and make them spoiler-free, but all the same I hope you can enjoy them.
 And more pictures of Alaire as eye candy?  No problem; consider it done. (Regardless of what the spoilers are about I could throw in some pictures of him for the ladies who adore him.)
I will post the teaser(s) on Valentine's day, as well as a special quote I've pulled directly from the upcoming sequel.  Photo editing these days makes sharing quotes such fun :)
And before I go -to get back to work on that gift-I also wanted to share some last minute news about Cursed With Power.  Even though the book is published now, I like keeping everyone in the loop with what's happening.

First off the picture above took me hours to edit.  It's actually my new Facebook cover, so I had to rearrange the text so that it wasn't cut out.  All of the quotes about the book are directly from reviewers, and as always a huge thank you to everyone who reviews the book!
Tomorrow I'll be speaking at a middle school about my career as a writer.  I am not a fan of public speaking, but hopefully all will go well.  If I can take a picture or two I will, but lately my phone is not on me when I'm at these events.

Expect love from your favorite characters on Valentine's day.  The links to the post will be mentioned on Facebook, Twitter and so forth in case you forget to check here first.  Enjoy your night -or rather in my case, very early morning!

Coming up next: Valentine's Day -a day of love, teasers, and eye candy
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What's to come next in the Magicians series

Let me say for the record that when it comes to writing a series of five books it can be... exhausting.  At the end of the day, no matter how far you are in the current book, there's still that thought in the back of your head, reminding you that the story is far from being over.  Lately this thought has been in my mind, and as an avid reader, I can understand that readers -such as you- want to know what's coming next.  So let's look ahead, shall we?
For starters, I would love to have the support of the blogging community.  I see so many posts like "waiting on Wednesday" and so forth that talk about upcoming releases, and it's gotten me to thinking... With my upcoming book I don't want any limitations.  I'd like to spread more talk about the book, and the best place to start is here.  Bloggers, readers, friends, family, etc. are the best way to spread news about an upcoming book.  I'm mentioning this now because spring is right around the corner -or so it seems that way when you're working with a deadline.  Any and all support is welcome, and the game plan is that once we have an official cover and release date we can start blogging about it -cover releases, blog tour, the whole works.  Bring out the fireworks, if you'd like.  It's an idea running in the back of my head, so for now keep it in mind and once we have more to work with I can tell you more about the details. (We'll try to make it a win-win for everyone who's involved.)
Secondly.... the third book.
The release of Punished With Destiny also means that there is more work to be done.  The closer spring is, the more I have to ponder about the work that's ahead in the series.  And believe me there is no sooner of a time to start than right after finishing the second book.  It's a lot to take in right now, but this story will not be in the shadows for much longer.  Several readers have asked if Alaire will be the narrator for the third book, yet as of right now I'd like the identity of our third narrator a surprise and a secret.  (Imagine that, surprises and secrets... oh my!)  I am willing to admit that as of presently I'm too concentrated on PWD to even begin focusing in on our next Dark magician.  All the same, this book will be the third addition to the series and slowly nearing its way to the two final books.  The title Betrayed With Magic might not look familiar, seeing as it's relatively new, but the book was originally planned out to be titled A Greater Destiny.  (We can talk more about it in the near future.)

Anyways, it's now 2am, and I should probably attempt to sleep before the long day ahead of me.  Remember to check back in on Valentine's day; I'll be posting another quote from PWD that actually works with the holiday.  Before then I might try to sneak in some "throwbacks" at old -and by old, I mean two year old- covers for the series. (I was looking at them tonight, which is actually how I ended up awake this late/early.)  Until then...
You know you love me. Xoxo, Gossip Girl 
Oops... wrong blog.... (and poor joke)
Coming up next: Where a series begins
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday afternoon with Leal

 Last night I only had five hours of sleep because the four hours I could have spent sleeping I used to write... until my hands were very sore.  See, that's the problem with handwriting your chapters. What madness lead me to thinking I could do it?  Well it keeps the writer's block a far distance away, and pages are much less intimidating than a blank Word document.  Unfortunately, spring semester of college started this week, and I suspect that any day now I'll be placing my journal down and picking up my pen to write essays and so forth.  I can't say I'm pleased with the idea of having to place the book on hold, but college work comes first and then writing if possible.  No worries, though, I still have every intention  on releasing the book this spring.
On this particular Friday afternoon it looks like I've got the next two or three hours to type up the chapter I hand-wrote last night and take a break before I leave the house.

In case you didn't hear, I received information on my royalties and sales this month.  Obviously I have not become your next best-selling author, but it's amazing to see where readers have been purchasing my book and how many have it in their hands.  I believe there are more paperback copies floating around in the country than e-books currently (that have been purchased according to the report I saw last night), but regardless... I can't thank you guys enough for supporting me through this.  It seems like just yesterday this book was an idea in the back of my head, and now it's actually selling and in the homes of family, friends, and complete strangers I haven't had the privilege to meet.  Many many thank yous to everyone!  Love you all :)
While I expected this post to be a bit longer, I wanted to leave with a quote from Punished With Destiny.  I'm on chapter 23 at this point, and if my outlines are correct that means I have another approximate twenty chapters before it's completely finished.  Raise your hand if you're scared because this is only the first draft that has yet to be edited... *raises hand*  All the same, I wanted to share this quote with you.  It's from the first part of the book, which focuses on the year Leal and Alaire were working for Esmour in his organization called Destin.  I realize we have a lot to learn about Destin and Esmour, and I think that's the exciting part about part one in the book.  We're gaining insight into the lives Alaire and Leal lived before meeting Celestria.

If you haven't had the chance to read Cursed With Power, I'll clarify right now that the first line was spoken by Leal and the second is Alaire.  (Alaire is older than both Leal and Celestria.)  Hope you enjoy the quote, and remember there's much more to come your way... in the spring! (See what I did there?)
Lastly, before I return to writing, I was considering something we could do on the blog for Valentine's day.  I had thought of something with the characters from my book... but I haven't really decided on something yet.  If you have any ideas, feel free to share.  Enjoy your Friday, and Leal sends all of his love!
Lindsey R. Sablowski