Thursday, August 21, 2014

End of the Summer

Alas this is my last week to enjoy the summer before returning to work. In many ways I'm eager for summer to end, and I've certainly been waiting for much cooler weather. So let's talk about the plans I have for the next several months, shall we?
You can definitely expect a giveaway very soon. I've been patiently waiting to have all the materials available so that I can start the giveaway, but hopefully it will take place in either September or October. This will also be the first giveaway to feature signed copies of Thicker Than Blood. If you want to see the bookmarks that will also be featured in the upcoming giveaway take a look at my extras page.

I am also awaiting to interviews I participated in to be posted, which I'll be including the links to as soon as I receive them myself. One will be posted within the next day or two, and the other one I mentioned before will be posted on September 11th. In both of these interviews I talked about what it's like being a published author, my published books, and what you can expect next. 
As far as requesting review copies, contact me and let me know you're interested. If you are interested in reviewing any of the books in the Magicians series I am certain we can work something out. I would especially love reviews on Thicker Than Blood, since it is a new release. 

Now what are you expecting from me? Well more writing of course, and that's exactly what I intend to do. I have reached the 20k mark and am moving past it in the fourth book, Bloodline Inheritance. I still feel it is too early to reveal the details about the book, but I have a lot planned for when I do feel ready. I made a "mock" cover for the book that I will share on the day I make an announcement about the book. In the meantime I will try to post now and again about how the writing process is going. Somehow I've made it to 20k and did not realize how quickly the words were adding up. 

Let's make the most out of what's left for the summer, and don't forget to grab a good book and read.
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Character Trading Card: Nicia

Designing a trading card relating to characters in my books has been a dream of mine for quite some time now. Finally I came across a blog that reminded me I still had yet to make one. I'm very pleased to reveal the first trading card I created. I combined both front and back into a collage so you could see the final result.
The front:

On the front of the trading card is the cover for Shadows and Embers, which is the book where Nicia played a major role and also had her first appearance. I really took a look at the colors and the calmness of the color and worked to bring that over onto the flip side.
The back:
The backside of the card required more work, but I really enjoyed working on it. The model image is one I purchased previously about a year ago from Shutterstock. I love using this model to represent Nicia or help promote SandE. Anyways, as for the design I came up with it on my own. I chose light blue colors and a white background because it fit along with the cover image of the book. It also matched nicely with the image of the model. At the top we have the series, book number, and below is Nicia's name fully written out. To the right of the model's picture is Nicia's role, her species, and her hometown location. On the bottom is a quote Nicia said in Shadows and Embers, and underneath of that is a link to my website. The black designs around the corners was an additional item I added because I felt it made it look fancier and still not too hectic.

As for where I downloaded the template for the trading card, you can visit Romance Trading Cards. I downloaded the template from there to have the correct size image to work with, and then cleared it all out to start from scratch.
I have more ideas of characters I'd like to design trading cards for, and who knows maybe I'll bring these along to book events or offer them during giveaways. I do plan to make more for the entire series, so if you have a request just leave it below in the comments. I'll be updating my Extras page to include the trading card (and future ones) for anyone who is interested. 
What do you think of the trading card? It is my first, and I have many more ideas, but I really love that this can also be a promotional tool for authors to use.

Bloodline Inheritance Update:
As for my newest project I am 19k into the book and still working hard. Now and again I run into a few moments where I need to plan what comes next. Ideally I think by September or October I will release more news about the book. Once I decide on a date I will post it on here.
Until next time, enjoy your summer and grab a good book to read.
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Leal's third return

Since the release of Thicker Than Blood the fans and I have talked a lot about Alaire. I couldn't help but be excited that he would finally be telling his story to the world. Who haven't I talked about that has also been major in the series? Handsome Leal, of course.
If you read the teaser posted during the cover reveal a while back you found out Leal returns for a third time in the series. This isn't a spoiler; I decided Leal's return was something I did not want to hide from the audience. Also, that particular scene shared in the teaser is a favorite of mine, so I decided it was worth revealing his identity. 

Leal's first appearance in the series was in book one, Cursed With Power. In the first book Leal was the first Dark magician we met (not including Celestria). I must admit he's grown a lot since that first appearance. By book two, Shadows and Embers, Leal took control of the story and gave us insight into Destin, the Dark magician organization. This was a huge moment for him; he finally narrated the story and told us about past events Celestria never knew about. He lived through some shocking and tragic events, but in the end his true colors showed through. In the third and newest installment, Thicker Than Blood, Leal returns for a third time. He returns with his clever remarks, good looks, and those stylish vests. What's more to love?
In all honesty, deciding to bring Leal back was never a difficult decision to make. He's grown on me, and especially after SandE I've learned more about the man he is. Now when I look back at the books I can see his development and how he has strengthened as a character. And to think when I first started this series in 2010 I had no ideal what influence Leal would have on the story. Fortunately, there have been many characters who have effected the story. Leal's story changed significantly from what I originally had planned out for him to what he experiences now throughout the series. 

What are your thoughts on Leal? Between Leal and Alaire who is your favorite? And what might Leal's third return mean for the other characters?
Hopefully later this year we'll see the possibility of Leal's story coming to life via audiobook. Until then let's see where the third book takes Leal.
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Q & A and upcoming teaser

Yesterday I answered Q & A's on Reddit via the r/Fantasy subreddit. This event lasted from 6:30am-8:30pm, and I received a lot of great questions. In case you missed it, you can view it today. Remember that if you have any further questions that haven't already been answered, leave one for me on Goodreads or leave one below in the comments. I answer questions as often as I can.

Now while summer is reaching its end I admit I'm almost looking forward to it. I'm not a fan of the hot weather, and we've been experiencing a lot of it in Maryland. Even so, the end of summer also means I'll have less time for writing. (And I'll need to be more strict with myself.) To celebrate the end of summer I'm proposing a teaser post. I have several different ideas of what this post could be about. I've done posts in the past around Christmas where I type up a short story with characters from my books. This one I'd like to somehow relate back to summer, so maybe it will be a humid day the characters are living through. Regardless, I want to hear your thoughts. Who do you want to be involved in the upcoming teaser/short story?
  • Characters from the Magicians series -may or may not be main characters
  • New characters -just make it up on the spot!
  • Potential characters to be in a future book -these would be two characters I'm potentially writing the story of after the end of the Magicians series
This post would be going up before August 25th, since that is when I return to work. Until then, feel free to tweet me @LindseyReneeS or via Facebook or the comments here on the blog. I would love to have your feedback before I go ahead and decide.

Now as for updates on Thicker Than Blood I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has purchased the book. There is nothing that makes me happier than checking in on my sales and royalties to discover another purchase has been made. That also includes a thank you to my mom, who purchased the book as soon as it went live. Remember you can find purchase links to the entire series so far on the Books page.
As for writing I've been doing a fair amount of it. As you can see from the word count widget on the sidebar I've reached 18k in Bloodline Inheritance. I'm still waiting to determine when I should release more details about the book, but again for now this is Alaire's month and I'm giving it to him. Expect news within the next month or two. (I can't hide it for too long or I won't be able to blog more specifically about my progress. I really want to tell you about what it's been like so far.)
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Thursday, August 7, 2014

How I write

One of the most commonly asked questions I receive is about my writing process. Lately my posts have been really focused on Thicker Than Blood, but I wanted to take the time to talk about what goes on behind the scenes. Every author has a different time when they write, different programs they use, and etc. So let's see how I've been writing my books.
Time for writing
I have very specific times when I can dedicate a lot of time to writing. I usually write in the mornings and late at night. This is especially the case when I am working full time, so that will go into strict effect once summer ends. I like this time schedule I have for myself because it allows me to take a break from writing and gather my thoughts. Then when I return at night and write again I have new ideas.
Also I always have a pen and journal next to me for taking quick notes. Especially with the writing a series, I always find myself having to remind myself of certain facts or recall memories.
In the mornings I have a cup of coffee to keep me awake, and at nights I usually will have a bottle of water. Nighttime is sometimes a hit or miss; if I'm too tired I will not force myself to write. However, if I have ideas floating around in my head I will stay up for a while and write.
The devices
I own a MacbookAir and an iPad mini. So while I know my iPad mini is not the newest edition, I bought a keyboard for it many months ago. It is the most convenient to use when I'm in bed and don't want to drag my laptop out. (And sometimes I'm just lazy...) On the other hand, though, I don't prefer typing on it for too long because of the keyboard being so small.
Now as for my MacbookAir I love using it. It's especially convenient with the light-up keyboard, and overall I am happy its in great working condition. Before the MacbookAir I had an Asus laptop, which is still in our house, but that thing is old and slow. I definitely prefer the MacbookAir, and I'm fully adjusted to it now since making the switch.
On very rare occasions I will use my boyfriend's Razer laptop. Now that laptop is a lot larger and heavier than my MacbookAir, but I do have to use it when I need Microsoft Word. Even so, no complains about that either. Word works great on it (again a lot better than my Asus), and that's really all I need.
Writing programs
There are a variety of programs I use when it comes to writing, so I'll try to place them in the order I use most.
The one at the top of my list is Ommwriter. Whether you're using Mac, PC, or an iPad Ommwriter covers all the bases. Unfortunately I don't have Ommwriter downloaded on my iPad, though I've heard it has some minor issues. However, I do have it downloaded on my Mac. Ommwriter is honestly my favorite program to use. There are a lot of programs out there that will claim to be distraction-free, but I think Ommwriter tops them all. (And I say that because I've used those other programs and have not been as pleased.) When I am writing in Ommwriter it fills up the whole screen, so if I want to browse the internet or do anything extra you have to minimize or close out.
The best part about it is the ability to change the background theme, music, keyboard sounds, and more. Now the themes aren't crazy; they are simply and calming to look at. I prefer this over the hectic and distracting ones I've seen on other programs. Next, there are seven options to keyboard sounds and music. Again the theme being calm and relaxing, and I've never found any of these distracting. Lately while I've been writing Bloodline Inheritance I have used number 5 for both. While I keep the volume fairly low I like the music playing softly in the background.
Overall, I use this program the most because afterwards when I'm done I can save it and email it to myself. (There's many more options as well.) I can spend hours writing in Ommwriter, and if I need new ideas or I feel the scene has changed drastically I choose a new background and new music.

Pages is the program I use because I have a MacbookAir. I recently learned the hard way that if I use Pages I need to do as little of formatting as possible. When I was converting Thicker Than Blood for paperback format I had to re-do all of the formatting in order for it to turn out correctly on Word. Lesson learned, and I won't be doing that again.
Mainly pages is where my entire book goes, and then afterwards once everything is said and done it moves over to Word. Word is where I actually start formatting and so forth.

Lastly I thought I would share the apps I use on my iPad to write:

  • Werdsmith - this is a new one I've downloaded to my iPad, but I like it a lot. The interface looks really nice, and it's easy to use. You can have several projects, name each one, and just get down to writing. More importantly you can also set up goals and rituals to ensure you remember to write and make progress. I have only just begun using it, but I'll definitely be using it more at night when I write.
  • Writing- I can't find the link to it at the moment, but the app is white with a black quill. I used this one to write up several chapters of TTB at night, and once again it worked very nicely. 
  • Word Tracker - you can't actually write on this app, but it helps you with achieving goals. (This would also help a lot during NaNoWriMo.) You start a project, set a goal, and then start the time when you start writing. Once you're finished writing add you word count and see how far you went during that amount of time. You can also see your overall progress with previous days, and this has helped me a lot with trying to write more in a certain amount of time.
This was definitely a lot to write up, so that's all for now. If you have any questions or comments about what I mentioned, leave them below in the comments. Also feel free to share how you write. In the meantime I have writing to do. Expect another blog post before the end of the week.
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Post Release Day

First of all I want to thank everyone who participated in the release. I submitted everything the afternoon of July 31st, so if you see that as the publication date don't be surprised. I did this so that the book would go live on other websites (such as Amazon and so forth) much faster. I am also very happy to say that Thicker Than Blood is now available on all of the websites I mentioned. (I'll be listing them again later in this post.)
Now Alaire's story has made it's way around in social media, and I wanted to share some of the sites it's appeared on. The news of the releases was included on several blogs, websites, Twitter, and more. Let's take a look:
Just Playing Dress Up blog -a dear friend of mine and a fan of the series has turned up the creativity once again. This time she made a set of collections where she included outfits that match along with the covers of the books.
Watch Her Write blog -another friend and fellow reader shares the release of the book on Wordpress
the Magicians series blog  -I've included the release on the Magicians series blog. If you haven't already check it out and see the new appearance on the blog. 
Shelfari -wanting more of Alaire's story? Once you read the ebook you can see what I added to Shelfari about the book or go there yourself and see what's been added. I'll add more later on, but don't worry spoilers are hidden.
FictFact -see the details about the release of the book and also included are the remainder of the series

It's certainly been a crazy couple of days, but now that the book has released I can sit back (slightly) and breathe. I will still be making up promo material and sharing more about the book via this blog and other social media. All in all, though, I'm glad Alaire's story is released. If you want to read "From the Author" on Amazon, in which I talk about what it was like writing the book it's now available. (Scroll down to where it says "editorial reviews.") I have loved talking about this book, and it breaks my heart knowing that Alaire's story is done. I really enjoyed working with him, but as with every book in this series the narration must change again. 
Alas summer is reaching its end, and I plan to split up my time doing housework, promotions/marketing, and believe it or not... writing. That's right, if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you might have seen I've started on the next adventure.
Bloodline Inheritance: brief news
Brief... I'll make it brief. I know I said I won't talk details about the fourth book, and technically I'm not discussing details. There is so much more I have to share about Thicker Than Blood that I cannot begin to talk about book four. However, I have started writing the fourth book and thought I would share.
On the right side bar you'll see a word count, showing my progress in the book so far. I've set the goal for 80k, which might be a bit overkill for now. Even if I finish the book at 80k during revisions anything can happen, and the word count changes drastically. I rather set my goal high and not reach it than too low and need to change it. I'll try to update that as often as I can, especially since I want to write as much as I can before returning to work. And I know NaNoWriMo is coming up in November, but I need to keep writing while the story is in my head.
The picture above might be hard to see, since I posted it on Instagram and took the picture with my phone. That was my word count on Ommwriter, which I've been using a lot because it gives me a calm and distraction-free zone to write. I've nearly reached 7k already, and I've been trying to write nearly everyday. 
Again no details to be released yet, though I do have them ready. I'll set a date for when I want to share them and let you know. In the meantime keep in mind I'm hard at work and drinking a lot of coffee.

Ready to read Alaire's story?
All the links to purchase Thicker Than Blood can be found in my release post or on the Books page. By now I believe I have updated the majority (if not all) of my websites with the links and further details. You can also find links to purchase the previous books on the Books page as well, so stop on by and see what you find. 
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Friday, August 1, 2014

New Release: Thicker Than Blood

When I met Celestria she was an innocent girl, fighting to save her life.
Saving her was something I never intended to do, but it changed me.
Thicker Than Blood is the third installment in the Magicians series. In the third book, we follow Alaire Sencler's story as he struggles with his unique gift and the coming war. We've known Alaire since the beginning in Cursed With Power when he first saved Celestria. He returned again in Shadows and Embers, seeking to help Leal calm his lust for vengeance. Now he is returning for a third time to share his adventure and tell the story from his point of view.

I am very excited today to be sharing the release of Thicker Than Blood with you and hope you'll help spread the word too. Let's get this party started!
Purchase links:
Paperback (US): $12.99
Ebook (US): $3.99
Ebook (UK)£2.42 
*Prices may be different in other countries
Autograph available at: Authorgraph  *send in a request to have a digital autograph for any/all three books in the series
Both paperback and ebook formats are available for purchase, and ebook is available worldwide. If you don't see a link available this means it will take a few days before the book goes live on that website. Please be patient, and I will continue to update the site with links as they become available.
Official summary:
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 raise 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 magicians offers hope, but only the strongest will survive in the final battle.
Whoever said "blood runs thicker than water" never knew what it is like to be a part of the current.
New Author Bio:
Lindsey R. Sablowski is a fantasy author who lives in Maryland with her boyfriend and two cats. 
Lindsey has always adored reading and writing. Some of her favorite authors include John Green, Phillipa Gregory, Michael J. Sullivan, Tamora Pierce, and Mary Stewart.
She has three books published: Cursed With Power, Shadows and Embers, and Thicker Than Blood. These books are a part of the Magicians series, which follows the lives of five Dark magicians. The fourth installment, Bloodline Inheritance, is expected to release late 2015.
Follow her books and learn more at her website: 
Share the word and tell your friends about Alaire's story. Want to mention him on Twitter? Use the hashtag #ThickerThanBlood or #ThickerThanBloodRelease
There's been a lot of talk about Alaire, and I hope this book can serve him justice. It was a great experience to work one-on-one with him and know him better. Don't forget to send in pictures of when you receive your copy of the book.
In case you haven't read the previous two books, here's the links:
Cursed With Power -Celestria's story
Shadows and Embers -Leal's story

Even though Alaire is a fictional character, I'm sure if he was real he would want to thank everyone for the amazing support and positivity. So on his behalf and mine, thank you for supporting the series. I hope you'll read the book and join in on his adventure. 
Lindsey R. Sablowski