A First Look at BRIGHTENED SHADOWS (DARKENED LIGHT #2)

To celebrate NaNo (because I’m actually always celebrating NaNo), I want to give you a first look into the sequel to Darkened Light today. It’s my Camp NaNo project, so it’s fitting!

I can’t share a whole chapter or anything like that (first draft mess!), but I can share the current opening and some graphics.

Let’s start with its Pinterest board:

Brightened Shadows will be dark with light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel vibes throughout. It’s the darkest thing I’ve plotted so far, and I think its board represents that.

Here are a few things it’ll have:

Pissed-off elven gods.

A growing corruption in the worlds as well as in one character.

Death (think I’m gonna leave that vague ;))

Necromancy

The scenery of Scotland and Norway

Gay love

A not-all-happy ending

SPOILER WARNING: If you haven’t read Darkened Light yet (get it here!) and don’t want a BIG spoiler, don’t read the quote.

To finish, here’s the current opening (in its first draft messy state):

‘Darkness had fallen over Dunha. Naavah Ora looked at the city at the heart of the spirits’ haven and mourned its lost light.

She mourned the loss of herself too. It had been gradual, slow and invisible like poison, but now it was too late and she feared she’d never know the difference again. Were these her fears or Ithrean’s? She no longer knew.

Ceallach had corrupted Dunha, and whether she was herself or the goddess of the dead, she would have her revenge.

For no one disturbed the souls’ peace while she was their guardian (Naavah Ora?), and she (Ithrean?) would burn the darkness out of her creation and return its light to even the darkest corners.’

I hope you enjoyed this first glance at Brightened Shadows! Let me know what you’re most looking forward to in the comments.


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July Goals | Camp NaNo fun!

Happy July, Sparrows!

I always feel energised when it’s warm and bright outside, which is just as well this month! I’m keeping my list short again, partly because it’s a busy month with two birthdays and one graduation but also because the few goals I have set are bigger ones and will take time.

There should be lots of progress ahead!

Brightened Shadows

As of this morning, my NaNo WIP sits at just over 2k 😀

I love being back with these characters and can’t wait to share a few first insights, but it’s a little early for that. For now, just know that it’s coming along well and the suffering is about to start 🙂

I will give you a small look behind the scenes later this month (around the 17th), so keep an eye out for that!

Relics of Ar’Zac

Blood of the Dragon

I’m making the last changes before it goes to my editor. I’m trying the program ProWriting Aid for it and it’s been an interesting experience so far!

Shadow in Ar’Sanciond

As soon as Blood of the Dragon is with my editor, I’ll go over it one last time before it can join it’s older sister on my editor’s laptop.

Once my editor has finished the line edits, I should have tentative release dates for you! I’m still on track for 2019 releases, but I don’t want to jinx it.

And that’s it! Not many goals as you can see, but what I do have will take up my whole month. What will you achieve in July?


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June Recap | Wattpad and NaNo changes

Happy end of June, Sparrows!

This has been such a crazy month–I posted three times since I posted my June goals!–which makes this recap quite exciting!

There’s a summary at the end, so you get all the good bits in one place.

Relics of Ar’Zac

Blood of the Dragon

I’m pleased to say that I finished adding chapters, which means I’ve finished the dreaded rewrites! There were two scenes more (I think) than I thought I’d add, so my word count has come along quite nicely.

It’s currently just over 80k, and I’ll add a few more during my last read-through. Everything needs to wrap up nicely.

Rise of the Sparrows

In case you missed it: the paperback is available again! *throws confetti*

But even more exciting than that, you can now read the prologue and the first six chapters for free on Wattpad!

My plan is to upload the first few chapters of every series starter I have now and will have in the future, so you can see if my books are for you before you buy. I might also post early looks into new WIPs, so it’s worth following me over there if you like those special sneak-peeks.

Darkened Light

I decided on a last-minute change to my Camp NaNo project last week–instead of starting the new Dreamer novella trilogy, I decided to finish the Darkened Light duology!

I announced the title of Book 2 earlier this week, and I’ve spent all week plotting and preparing for NaNo. It’ll be dark, Sparrows. Stock up on chocolate now and you might just have enough by the time it comes out.

My Scrivener index cards are ready. NaNo can come.

Dreamer

What’s going to happen with the Dreamer trilogy, you ask?

I have spent most of June plotting it and getting to know my characters, so when I come back to it (very likely once I’ve set the first draft of Brightened Shadows to proof) I’ll have a good head-start. I introduced Esta earlier this month and have a lot more to show you!

It was starting to feel a little forced and the plot had moved away from my original idea too much, so I think letting it simmer for a little longer is best for myself and the books.

It’ll probably be my NaNoWriMo project in November, so I’ve got time to sort it out.

To summarise…

Rise of the Sparrows is on Wattpad. (Prologue – Chapter 6)

The paperback of Rise of the Sparrows is available again.

I’ll be working on Brightened Shadows (Darkened Light #2) for Camp NaNo.

I introduced Esta Anderson, the MC of my new Dreamer trilogy.

And that about sums it up! What have you achieved this month? Make a tea and tell me about your achievements <3


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Darkened Light #2 TITLE REVEAL

It’s official, friends!! 🎉🎉🎉

The sequel to DARKENED LIGHT is called BRIGHTENED SHADOWS!!! 😍

*swoons at own title*

I’ve been sitting on this one for years–I named both books at the same time–so I’m relieved I no longer have to watch what I say where this sequel is concerned 🤣

I’m making a start on it next month during NaNo (more on that change of plan on Friday) and will continue writing through August and finish it in September. All being well, it’ll be out sometime around autumn/winter 2020, which would go soooo beautifully with the cover–but that’s a reveal for another day 😉

(I haven’t booked the cover yet, so don’t expect it any time soon <3)

What do you think? Do you like it? 😍


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Meet Esta Anderson (WIP: DREAMER)

Hi, Sparrows!

*waves* I bet you didn’t expect to see me halfway through the month!

I want to share more of my writing progress with you, so I’ve lined up a whole host of things I can show you 🙂

I’m making a start this month by introducing you to my MC from my Dreamer novella trilogy, Esta Anderson. It’s my project for the July Camp NaNo, so I’ve spent quite a bit of time with Esta lately.

Some things about Esta:

  • Her full name is Estelle Anderson, but she prefers Esta because it has an edge to it and doesn’t sound like a pampered princess.
  • She’s an introvert and prefers a good book and a hot chocolate to a night out.
  • She’s allergic to cats but not dogs. She adopted a rottweiler puppy together with her BFF, Bonnie, when they moved in together, and she has a feline spirit guide in her dreams.
  • She lucid dreams at will. There’s a door in every dream that’s giving her bad vibes–so, naturally, she’s gonna open it. She gets a little (*cough* OMG understatement of the century!!) more than she expected when she does.
  • She doesn’t give a shit about fashion and wears whatever’s comfy.
  • She swears a lot and is sarcastic as fuck.
  • She wants to be an art photographer focussing on surrealism, but that industry is hard, guys. In the meantime, she works part-time in a university art gallery.
  • She can’t lie to save her life.
  • She has misophonia and what we both call Bookworm Syndrome.
  • Her greatest fears include losing Bonnie, dying with regrets, time slipping away from her, no longer knowing the difference between dream and reality, everyone hating her photography, and spiders.
  • She’s not super close to her family and has lost touch with everyone but her parents and her grandma. Her BFF since childhood, Bonnie, and her rottweiler Buffy are her real family.
  • She wants to uncover the world’s hidden secrets. The witch next door (who I haven’t named yet) teaches her sometimes.

That’ll have to be enough for now or you won’t have anything new to learn about her when the books come out 😉

I LOVE character aesthetics, so I’ve done another one besides the one above. It’s a little different:

Character aesthetic: Esta Anderson (WIP: DREAMER, urban paranormal fantasy)
Character aesthetic: Esta Anderson (WIP: DREAMER, urban paranormal fantasy)
Character aesthetic: Esta Anderson (WIP: DREAMER, urban paranormal fantasy)

I mean, what are notebooks for?

Both are early aesthetics, so I might make a new one now I know Esta a lot better. They are still accurate and very her, but they can be even more so. Neither features her dog or her BFF, for one.

While every character I (or indeed every author) write has some parts of me in them, I’ve put more of myself into Esta than any other character. There’s still plenty that’s different too, but I still feel like you’ll meet me when you meet her.

I’m excited I got to introduce her today. I hope the first impression is a good one <3

Next month I’ll be talking about the many supernatural elements I’m putting into this story. I’ll post roughy halfway through the month in addition to my monthly goals (first Monday) and my monthly recaps (last Friday), so expect new insights around the 15th.

There’ll also be new categories to go with these posts. The one for the character intros is called Meet the Characters and is now live in the category drop-down menu, which I’ve added to the News page.

Is there anything else you’d like to know about Esta? Make a tea and ask away 🙂


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June Goals | Time to look ahead and PLOT

Happy June, Sparrows!

After an extremely busy first five months of 2019, I’m excited to calm things down a tiny bit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m working on several WIPs at once while also working as a freelance editor, but the pressure of important deadline after important deadline is over.

Rather than rushing to tick things off my to-do list, I can look ahead and plan for future releases. My little plotster heart is happy and excited to bring you new books.

(And refresh my self-care routine. Maker knows that thing needs work.)

I’m hoping to have fewer goals every month from now on but focus more on the ones I do have, so I can take larger steps towards fewer goals rather than baby steps towards lots of goals.

Here’s what I have for May June:

(perhaps stronger tea should be on this list since I apparently don’t know what month it is *ahem*)

Relics of Ar’Zac

(It’s just occurred to me that we won’t be seeing plans for this series for too much longer. I’m on track for publishing both of the below late this year, so after that it’s just the box set of all four books and then that’s it. Won’t that just feel weird? Let’s enjoy it while it lasts.)

Blood of the Dragon

Last week I’ve printed my chapter list (including every chapter’s POV, important events and plot twists, and possible changes and additions) and today, I’ll go over it to see where I can add chapters and expand what I already have.

Thanks to my critique partners’ notes, I have a few ideas and I’ve already added a bit, so just another 10-15k and I’ll be happy with the length.

I’m hoping to finish adding stuff next week. Then I’ll read over it all again (although, part of me is starting to wonder if I only want to do that because I don’t want to let go) and then it’ll be off to my editor.

I’ll be asking for beta readers before you know it 😉

Shadow in Ar’Sanciond

Not much to do here. I’ll read over it again, make it darker where I can, and then it’ll be ready for my editor. One or two more weeks, depending on when I’ll start, should do it.

Get ready, oh my editor.

Dreamer

This is the one I’m by far the most excited about, because it’s still so early that anything could happen.

I love this stage, it’s full of possibilities and magic <3

With Camp NaNo just around the corner, I need to get a move on too, so I have no reason to do anything but plot!

Feels good, Sparrows.

I’ve recently read a book on outlining and it’s given me all the ideas, so I can’t wait to try all these new techniques and make this plot the strongest I’ve written to date.

The Silence of Magic

I wasn’t planning on including this project today–or any time soon, to be honest–but you know what? It’s a massive project with months worth of world building and lore creation, so I might as well get started.

It won’t be a priority, but there’s no harm in doing a little plotting here and there, is there?

Exactly.

So, that’s my June–writing, reading, and lots of plotting. It’s shaping up to be my favourite month (never mind the most creative!) this year so far.

What are your goals for June? Make a tea and tell me all about it.


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May Recap | A little lost for words?

How was your May, Sparrows? As expected, mine was packed, and most of it was re-release related. Turns out, it was so packed I can’t even think of a good title–and that’s without having done everything I wanted!

But let’s focus on what did get done, hm?

Relics of Ar’Zac

Rise of the Sparrows

The re-release went ahead as planned (you can still grab it on offer until this Sunday!) and is underway!

There’s a little issue with the paperback so that’s not available again just yet, but I’m hoping to sort it within the next week or two–it depends on when my cover designers are back from their holiday.

Until then, I’m happy to say that the new eBook version is officially out and I’m tired and I’m ready to move on. This has been a long time coming. Who’d have thought I’d still be working on Book 1 three years after the original release date? The learning curve in this business is a bitch.

(I do love it, though <3 Yay for making mistakes and learning!)

A few things around the re-release took up more time than expected, especially the new onboarding sequence for my mailing list. Some of my other goals didn’t get quite as much attention as a result, but who cares? I re-released a book this month. I did good.

Blood of the Dragon

I haven’t added the new scenes and chapters yet, but I have applied all of my critique partners’ feedback. Doing that has already added quite a few words, so the remaining wordcount I need to add doesn’t look as daunting.

I’ve also messaged my editor about the line edit *ahem*

More on that next week 😉

Dreamer

I’ve started plotting and it’s my favourite thing in the world <3 I’ve got so much planned for this little trilogy, but it’s too early to share anything yet. I can leave a few small teasers though 😉

Dreamer will have:

A sassy cat spirit guide.

Vampires and magic.

A best-friend relationship.

An old bookstore.

Pain.

That’ll have to do until I can share more. July Camp NaNo is just around the corner, so it shouldn’t be too much longer 😉

How was your May? Make a tea, find some biscuits, and tell me what you’ve achieved <3


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RISE OF THE SPARROWS | It’s (Re)Release Day!

HAPPY RE-RELEASE DAY TO MY OLDEST

*throws dark confetti*

To celebrate, you can get RISE OF THE SPARROWS for 50% off–but only this week 😉

Snatch it for £1.99/$2.99 now

Studio background with smoky effect

A cursed omen who dreams of death. A girl who calls fire with a wish. A group of resistance fighters who need the king to die.

Prophecy has brought them all together, but will it destroy them too?

As a homeless orphan, shunned for having the gift, Rachael knows how to survive. The visions of people dying are only hers to see. The shadows are her safety. When Cephy comes into her life, having a friend—a friend as feared by the villagers as Rachael—seems too good to be true.

And it is. Her visions are worse since Cephy came along, and Rachael’s gut feeling urges her to walk the other way. Alone.

When Cephy burns down her old home, the villagers respond with violence: they call on the White Guard to take Rachael and Cephy away for execution. Together they flee into a world they know nothing about. In the unknown awaits a Mist Woman, a prophecy, and a young rebel who sounds sincere –

but in Rachael’s experience, no one ever is. And how can she trust him when he believes in an ancient prophecy that seems to refer to her, and asks her to commit regicide so that people with the gift can be free?

Suddenly the cold shadows of Blackrock’s winter don’t seem so bad, and Rachael is torn between finally having food and warm shelter, and surviving on her own as she always has. The Sparrows—fighters of the resistance—believe in her because the prophecy names her. But can she be the leader they need when she can’t control her own magic?

Rachael knows the struggles the gifted endure all too well. Perhaps it’s time she stopped hiding, and fought back.

Rise of the Sparrows is the first book in an epic fantasy trilogy.

If you like surprising plot twists, kickass heroines, and dark destructive magic, then you’ll love the first installment in Sarina Langer’s page-turning series.

Snatch it for £1.99/$2.99

May Goals | Beware, there’s A LOT of excitement ahead

Happy May, Sparrows!

I always like it when there’s variety between two consecutive months, but after April’s two-goal focus, May’s excitement may be a little too much for me!

Better make tea.

(Because caffeine calms, doesn’t it??)

Let’s just take a deep breath before we dive in… (I have a feeling I’ll be doing this a lot this month)

Relics of Ar’Zac

Rise of the Sparrows

My editor messaged me earlier this week and told me that she’s almost done with the proofread, so you know what that means? I’m officially re-releasing in May.

*deep breaths*

I’m especially excited about that because I originally released it in May 2016. Clearly, this is my month to get shit done.

With the re-release so soon, I have a ton of prep to do. My mailing list’s welcome sequence needs adjusting, ad copy and images need to be prepared, new reviews need to be collected,…

*deep breaths*

You’d think that’s enough for one month, but wait, there’s more!

Blood of the Dragon

Since the Blood Wisp trilogy is with critique partners now, I can finally finish editing this. Meaning, I’ve got last critique partner notes to apply and chapters to add. Like, at least 15k.

No biggie.

Then it’ll be as good as ready for my editor to work her line edit magic, and then I’ll be asking for beta readers before long.

*deep breaths getting shaky*

Shadow in Ar’Sanciond

All I need to do here is read through it again and make it darker wherever possible. Compared to the rest, this is quite relaxed. I might do it when I need a break from the other stuff *shrugs*

Dreamer

THE PLOTTING EXCITEMENT IS REEEEEAAAAAAL

*deep breaths* *uncontrollable bouncing*

I’ve been wanting to plot this for months, but I’ve been a good kitten and waited until it’s time.

Well, Sparrows, it’s time.

Dreamer (temp. title) 1-3 is gonna get plotted this month. Also next month. As long as it’s ready for Camp NaNo in July (yes, I’m aware I’ve only just finished the last Camp, why do you ask), I’ll be happy.

What will you achieve this month? Make a tea and tell me about your goals <3


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