Wednesday, January 28, 2015

HENGE - Trailer Reveal

Today is the Henge trailer reveal day! Hurray! It's hosted by YA Bounds. I hope you enjoy the trailer. (Plus there's a giveaway if you follow any of the links I retweet on Twitter!)
Here are preview screenshots:




And here's the trailer! It was created by me using my artwork for the paperback:


I wanted an epic feeling in there with a dark edge and sense of unease with Morgan le Fay highlighted. This trailer is also interesting because it doesn't just focus on Henge, the first book, it focuses on the series.

And in case you've never seen my previous trailer... this is the book trailer for my debut novel CLAN. Hope you liked!

Cheers,


--Realm

Monday, January 26, 2015

HENGE - Blog Tour Recap pt. 9!

This week I am debuting the book trailer for Henge on YA Bound on Wednesday! Hope you'll check it out! 

The Enchanted Book Tour ends next week. I hope you entered the giveaway. The grand prize consists of a signed paperback, signed "Hear Your Calling" print, signed postcard, Arthur's Round badge, and a bookmark handmade by me specially for Henge!







Review highlights:

"The characters are amazing, especially Morgan. This is easily one of my favorite books ever."--I'm an Eclectic Reader

"I loved that there was a lot of action and the book kept my attention. I definitely want to read the next book in the series."--karen writes stuff

 "Morgan is a vivid, strong character from the moment the book starts. The author has a way with character description that really thrusts you into the story."--Long and Short Reviews

Interview:
Editor Charlene interviews me on writing!

Travel:
Research trip to Avebury stone circle

Art:
Meet Lancelot!

I'm seeing a new steady trend for Henge sales and I hope that's good news for the series. (It's typically up and down spikes.) I'm really hoping to continue to find new readers and any help from you to spread the word would be highly appreciated! 

Remaining stops:


January 27th: Book Excerpt @ NaYa Books
January 29th: Book Review @ PRATR
February 1st: Book Review @ Editor Charlene’s Blog

Stay tuned for Wednesday! Dun dun dun...


--Realm

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Le Fay Series - Meet Lancelot!

So far you've met Morgan le Fay, Merlin, and Guinevere from Henge (Le Fay Series)... Next it's Lancelot!


Meet the dashing knight-in-not-so-shiny-armor... SIR LANCELOT




When I first drafted the series Lancelot was meant to be a minor background character but he quickly came to the foreground and will continue to play a key role in the series. Lancelot serves as the new High Knight in Camelot and is the only major character who doesn't use magic. 

In the Arthurian legend, he is certainly my favorite knight. I imagine him to be super badass. A lot of other versions of Lancelot feature him as brunette, a bit emotional, and a do gooder. My version is pretty much the opposite of other versions but I hope readers enjoy his character.   

Here's an excerpt with Lancelot that I think shows he character well:

A recorder is on the table. He flicks it on. He sees the bewilderment on my face and doesn’t look away as he lights a cigarette, which I’m sure is not allowed in here.
“Gorlois must be proud that you’re in Arthur’s Round to serve the King.”
His cigarette smoke is already suffocating me.
Lancelot studies me. His eyes are silver and searing. The first thing I think of is a knife. His eyes are weapons—and he knows the affect they have on people, especially women. His mouth curves into a smile, deliberate and slow.

I hope you enjoyed meeting him! We are nearing the end of the portrait reveals for this book... Last will be Vivian!


--Realm

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Le Fay Series - Research Travel: Avebury

More photos from the research trip for Henge (Le Fay Series)! On our way out of Cornwall, we decided to stop by Avebury and then Stonehenge. Our friend in London highly recommended we go to Avebury which was pretty close to Stonehenge and unlike Stonehenge, you can walk right up to the stones and touch it. Since there's a ton of stones of various shapes and sizes, there's a lot of photo opportunities and less crowds that will interfere with photo-snapping. 

Avebury contains the largest stone circle in Europe and it's pretty underrated in my opinion. Some of the stones are far bigger than Stonehenge and the stone circle is so large that I couldn't even see the full circle. 









Research-wise, I believed it's a good idea to see more stone monuments than one for reference. 

Joey and I walked through a short trail where we passed a man selling ancient maps. Then we walked along the stones that studded the grassy ground. It's a phenomenal site--some of the stones you can't help but think a super hero (or an earth magic user!) placed it there.

Here's the scale:


Yeah, huge! Avebury should inspire more stories for creatives out there.

We stopped by the gift shop and picked up a bottle of honey mead created by the bees there. (Which I saved until Henge released a year later.)




I hope you enjoyed the photos! Coming up next, Tintagel, Morgan le Fay's hometown!


--Realm

Monday, January 19, 2015

HENGE - Blog Tour Recap pt. 8!

My two books (Henge and Clan) are on sale on Amazon UK now for a few days so I went over to the site to check it out and saw this:




Henge has been the #1 Arthurian bestseller for a week. Hurray! I'm glad Henge found an audience in the UK where Henge is set in.

In other news I finished the second draft of the next book in the Le Fay Series. Whenever I sat to write it, I wrote without hardly any pause--the story coursed through me. Now I must revise it and then send it to my developmental editor.

Some new reviews:


"I loved Morgan, she’s one of my favorite characters ever. I would recommend this book to all YA fans, especially if they like fantasy."
--Bedazzled Reading



"Beautiful and fierce imagery that would make for a spectacular movie or challenge a comic book illustrator."


"Henge is a well-written, unique take on a classic story. Playing with the Arthurian legend can be a risky thing, but the author has made it just different enough to make it her own."



Interviews:
Plain Talk BM interviews me on my writing process!
Miss Little Book Addict interviews Guinevere from Henge!

Art:
Portrait of Guinevere!

Travel:
My research trip to Stonehenge!

Coming up next... photos from Avebury and a portrait of Lancelot!

This week on Enchanted:


January 19th: Book Review @ I’m an Eclectic Reader
January 21st: Author Interview @ Editor Charlene’s Blog
January 23rd: Book Review @ Karen writes stuff
January 25th: Character Interview @ The Book Daily
Cheers,


--Realm

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Le Fay Series - Meet Guinevere!

The portrait reveal continues! This week I am introducing you to Guinevere, Morgan le Fay's best friend in the Le Fay Series.


Meet the warmhearted and radiant... GUINEVERE:




I love Gwen. I would want her as my friend. She's genuinely nice. She plays a key support role in the series though she may not show up often. She contrasts Morgan and is a stabilizing person for many characters. In the traditional legend she plays as someone very queenly in personality. I made my Gwen different--humble, personable, and sweet, though still powerful.

Here's an interview with Guinevere on Little Miss Book Addict's blog! 

Here's a scene where Morgan meets Gwen the first time:

“Is that all you’re having for lunch?”
I look up. A petite girl—another Round member, judging by her badge—stands with a tray eying my lone scone dubiously. I don’t recognize her. She wasn’t in the competition or in the Magic Control Test. It’s possible that she was too short for me to notice her, but I doubt I would miss someone so stunning. Wavy, honey-blond hair frames her naturally pink and dimpled cheeks. She smiles at me, radiant. “It can’t be healthy,” she adds.
“I’m fine,” I retort sharply.
I’m Guinevere,” she replies, mimicking my tone and hostile expression.
I soften, realizing how tense I am. I clear my throat. “My name is Morgan.”
“May I sit with you?”
“Sure,” I say.
She sits across from me. Her plate holds half a cod sandwich and a salad. The light from the window brightens her face, her eyes emerald green. She exudes a warm aura— nonetheless, something about her intimidates me. Various textbooks say that magic users have a sense for other magic users. She doesn’t have the cold air of a water user, the heat of a fire user, or the calm of a wind user. Rather, she has some kind of glow, like the sun.
“Nobody should eat alone,” she says. 


I hope you enjoyed meeting Guinevere!


--Realm

Monday, January 12, 2015

Le Fay Series - Research Travel: Stonehenge

I'm excited to start sharing details from my UK travel! A couple years ago I bought plane tickets to London so that I can research for the Le Fay Series. I wanted to get a feel for the setting and venture to key Arthurian sites that will be important for Morgan le Fay's journey. The adventure involved an epic road trip around Great Britain.  

Let's start with Stonehenge! Prior to my travel, Stonehenge inspired the Henge--one of the Royal Relics in the Le Fay Series

Did you know that there's Arthurian legend associations with Stonehenge? There's a story that Merlin constructed the monument. Of course I had to add this to my Arthurian research adventure list. 

Before I added Stonehenge to my itinerary, some people who have visited Stonehenge before warned me not to go, that it was a "bunch of rocks." Regardless, it was a must visit for me! I'm very glad I went because Stonehenge left a very strong impression on me and one of the few things I remember clearly from my trip. I was a bit concerned at first that the barrier and crowds would cancel out the grandness of the stones, but for me, it did not.




My fiance and I hit up Stonehenge on our way back from a giant road trip all over Great Britain--it was on the way back to London. I could see the stones as we drove toward it. 




As Morgan noted in Henge, I was struck by how soft and organic the stones appeared--almost as if they were people standing. My theory is that it looks like elaborate gravestones for multiple people and the stones also served ceremonial purposes. The stones look much larger in person and it is truly baffling how anyone constructed it. I had a strong sense of awe as I walked around the stones. Whoever built Stonehenge... they must have had a very strong belief system, so strong, that they took lifetimes to build this and wanted it to last through centuries. I wanted to add that epic feeling into Henge. 

After we walked around Stonehenge a couple times, we sat on the grass and hung our for a while as we watched the sunset turn the stones gold. I took notes in my notebook on my impressions of the stones and the surrounding such as what kind of birds were hanging around the stones and how the grass felt. We stayed for a total of 3 hours. 

Did seeing Stonehenge in person affect my writing of the Henge scene? I did get a few ideas while walking around. I noticed that the space between the stones looked like doorways and it inspired me to make Morgan see different realities within these spaces. 




I also thought of Morgan having the Henge all to herself for an hour at midnight... that's way lucky! I hope you enjoyed my photos from Stonehenge! 






More photos of my research adventure coming up!



--Realm

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

HENGE - Book Release Party

Photos are now up from the Henge book release party! Prior to the party I was baking all day (cakes, scones, and pasties). I chose a cozier venue than the Clan book release party and it turned out great. All of my dear friends and family members showed up! It was so much fun.

All photos were taken by Maxine Toh Photography.

Me with the book:



I have a purplish shirt that had a medieval-ish cut so I chose that to wear. Necklace: blue stone necklace I got from the Stonehenge gift shop during my travels. Nails: Butter London nail polish in Black Knight.



I created honey mead cupcakes for the party and attempted to make chocolate Stonehenge on top of each one... I'm sure the real Stonehenge was hard to make but so were these little ones!



Scones that Gorlois (Morgan's father) made in Henge--marmalade & currant + lavender & blackberry:



Cornish pasties! Specialties from Morgan's hometown, Tintagel:


Drinks created by me--Morgan le Fay, Merlin, and Henge:


Merlin (garnished with a star!):


Henge (has whiskey stone in it) and Merlin:


Morgan le Fay:




Arthur's Round badge!


For paperback purchases, money was put under the wizard hat (I forgot to bring a jar):






It was a really wonderful time! I hope you enjoyed pictures from the party. I think Maxine did a fantastic job capturing the details from the party!


--Realm

Monday, January 5, 2015

HENGE - Blog Tour Recap pt. 7!

Here's a recap of the tour over the holidays! Big thanks to everyone who bought a book during Christmas week--the royalties were donated. Also thank you very much for the continued support. HENGE is very fortunate to be selling steadily the past couple of weeks and I appreciate that every day it's going into the hands of a new reader--I hope to continue to connect with readers this 2015.

As of right now, the next book in the Le Fay Series is scheduled to be out later this year. I am over halfway through the second draft of the book.

I met one of my goals and completed the Henge book trailer. It is scheduled to be revealed later this month. Other things scheduled: continued portrait reveals, book release party photos, and travel photos.

Now onto the reviews! HENGE got to enjoy great reviews over the holiday break and it filled my heart with gratitude:


"Henge is hands down the most original YA novel I’ve read all year. It’s one of my favorite books I’ve read all year, if not the absolute favorite."


I definitely recommend this to anyone and everyone and I need the sequel right now. ASAP. It’s not in my hands yet. This could be a problem."

"Fantastical, fast-paced, full of magic and suspense—Henge will appeal to readers from teens to adults, especially those with a soft spot for King Arthur.”


"If you love the legends of King Arthur, or a magical world in general, this is a great story full of plot twists and turns that will keep you interested."

Interviews:
The Single Librarian interviews me on writing, Henge, and books!

Other posts by me:
New Year post
HENGE Cocktails
HENGE Baking

(There must be a lot of cocktail drinkers in my audience because the cocktail post was the most popular post out of all the Henge posts I've written by a large number.)

Here's the schedule for the next two weeks of the Enchanted Book Tour:



January 6th: Author Interview @ Plain Talk BM
January 8th: Promo Post @ The Book Daily
January 10th: Book Review @ Bedazzled Reading
January 14th: Character Interview @  Miss Little Book Addict YA House of Books
January 15th: Promo Post @ Perks of Being a Book Nerd
January 17th: Book Review and Excerpt @ A Virtual Coffee Shop

Stay tuned for Wednesday--I will publish photos from the Henge book release party! Hope your year is off to a good start! I'm looking forward to sharing more creations with you and thank you for visiting the blog! Xo


--Realm

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy 2015!

Happy New Year 2015!





Happy New Year from Morgan le Fay from Le Fay Series--she is displaying her fire to celebrate! I hope everyone had a happy new year's eve! I went to a Venetian masquerade dinner and got to eat some delicious risotto! Through the window I saw fireworks shooting off the Space Needle.

This year is big for me:

Marriage
Milestone
3rd Book
New Project

One of my goals include experimenting with different formats. This is the first time I've attempted this so I am very interested in the results. I've been so busy becoming an author but now that I have a process for my yearly novel production I think I can expand my storytelling outlets further. 

Thank you everyone for your support! I very much appreciate it and hope you'll continue to read my work this year!

Stay tuned,


--Realm