Giveaway!

My new YA Romantic Fantasy amazon link http://tinyurl.com/qftoasz
My new YA Romantic Fantasy amazon link http://tinyurl.com/qftoasz

Stop by Daphne finalist Abbie Roads’ awesome blog. Learn about my deepest neuroses as she shrinks my head on her couch.

http://abbieroads.com/2015/04/author-on-the-couch-karin-shah

Comment to get a chance to win an e copy of HALFLING, my new YA Romantic Fantasy!

And if you’ve come here from Abbie’s already. Please scroll through my old blogs to find extra goodies about HALFLING and my adult Paranormal Romances.

I also have a blog called Shiny Things where I speak about random things that are distracting me this week. Sometimes it’s personal, or about my books, sometimes it’s pop culture or social. Today, it’s Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. I get all excited about the triple crown races! And Marvel’s Avengers Age of Ultron opens this week. Hurray for May!

Halfling Extras

With Halfling away in the world, I thought I would mention my reader extras. I’m working on the Halfling page, but I thought I would show new items here first.

A Valayan soldier from the front, wings out. I am drawing some concept art for Halfing. My process involves drawing the figure on paper, then manipulating it on the computer. This illustration is before color has been added.
A Zidaran soldier from the front, wings out. I am drawing some concept art for Halfing. My process involves drawing the figure on paper, then manipulating it on the computer. This illustration is before color has been added.

Valaya and Zidara were once one country. The story of how the country spilt into two, and how the Zidarans got their wings is integral to Deyna’s story.

In the next illustration you can see that the soldiers wear chain mail. Deyna does as well on the battlefield.

Other projects I’m working on are schematics of Morlor’s palace and a map of Valaya and Zidara. The two countries that were once one called Amirhu.

Originally, I named the old country Amirhat, but my 10 year old son said he liked an alternate, Amirhu, better.

A Zidaran soldier from the front wings closed. I've colored this one in. He's in Morlor's colors, pale green and black with a crescent moon emblem to symbolize the Zidarans' worship of Radia, the moon goddess. Morlor's colors were inspired by Maleficent from the original Disney version of Sleeping Beauty.
A Zidaran soldier from the front wings closed. I’ve colored this one in. He’s in Morlor’s colors, pale green and black with a crescent moon emblem to symbolize the Zidarans’ worship of Radia, the moon goddess. Morlor’s colors were inspired by Maleficent from the original Disney version of Sleeping Beauty.

Oh, the glamour

My newest book baby is born today!

I suppose you’re wondering what exciting, glamorous events I have planned for release day? A party at a fancy restaurant with my friends and family, followed by a book signing? Lounging around savoring the accomplishment of having my fifth book published? Spending my day kneeling in prayer that when reviews are posted they’re good?

Not so much.

Actually, I was kneeling a moment ago, but only because I was getting clothes out of the dryer.

I have a full day planned of helping my son with his homework, taking him to school (I already carted my daughter off to middle school), applying for reviews from review sites, and maybe working on my next Chimera book, which is about four scenes from “the end.” Afterward, there will be much dragging of children to Tae Kwon Do and picking up children at Drama club, making dinner, and more! I know, not everyone can stand a life of such glamor (although, I’m sure many of you swan through your days in exactly this opulent manner), but I assure you I am up to the task.

The important thing is that Deyna and Ahran and their comrades will be born in someone’s imagination today. They will, (I hope) inspire smiles, and nail-biting and maybe, if I’m lucky, some happy tears.

My new YA Romantic Fantasy amazon link http://tinyurl.com/qftoasz
My new YA Romantic Fantasy amazon link http://tinyurl.com/qftoasz

That’s all I really hope for, that my characters will live for my readers, that you might be moved emotionally, and if you are, I hope you’ll let me know with a review or by mentioning HALFLING to a friend as a great read.

Happy Birthday to the characters of HALFLING and happy reading to you!

Karin

HALFLING is available for pre-order! I also have PDF ARCs for readers willing to review!

I’m so excited to venture into new territory! I’m still working on my adult book, number 3 in the Chimera Chronicles series. Twins Connor and Tyler, Army Recon Rangers get swept into a bank robbery through no fault of their own, and worse timing, Con meets his mate Embry, an FBI agent, whoops!

HALFLING is my first foray into YA. As a School Librarian for several years, I always wanted to write YA, but was daunted by the market, so I started with the more entry-friendly Romance market.

My new YA Romantic Fantasy amazon link http://tinyurl.com/qftoasz
My new YA Romantic Fantasy amazon link http://tinyurl.com/qftoasz The crippled reject of a scorned people, seventeen-year-old Valayan wanderer Deyna has never eaten, owned, or used anything she didn’t scrounge or steal. She’s used to life at rock bottom, but when her father sells her to be the annual Sacrifice to their enemies, the winged darklings, she discovers a new low. Marked for death at the hands of the darkling king, only the discovery that she’s half darkling saves her life. As a servant in the darkling palace, Deyna thinks she’s landed on her feet. She has fresh, clean food, a real bed, and people, like young Lord Ahran, the handsome captain of the king’s guard, who might actually care if she lives or dies. But all is not well in the darkling lands. The mysterious Jackal-Wolf is stealing grain shipments and raiding armories. A civil war is brewing, the gods have plans for her, and Ahran may not be exactly what he seems. Will the girl who’s spent her whole life running take a stand—even at the cost of her own life?

image

What’s a Halfling?

Ahran, sans wings.
Ahran, sans wings.

Editing on my upcoming release, Halfling, is mostly done, I’m just waiting for my editor’s final thoughts. Now is when my brain turns to the trailer.

Problem. Since I usually write contemporary Paranormal Romance, a pretty close representation of my characters can easily be plucked from from the depths of a stock photo website.

But Halfling is a Young Adult Romantic Fantasy. It takes place in a setting with magic and swords (OK, it’s a sword and sorcery world, but I was trying not to say that).

Moreover, my hero has wings, and not feathery angel wings or exactly bat wings, either. (Though they come closer to bat) The tips of his wings are visible at all times behind his head. He also wears chain mail armor and wields a sword.

My heroine is seventeen, super thin due to near starvation, and has dark red hair that’s been hacked off.

These images are not easy to find and really I could only approximate or use a paint program to alter them.

Often, I have to compromise and get the best I can afford. (I usually have good luck with istockphoto, but their prices have gone up and a struggling writer, just can’t afford them anymore.)

Here’s what I’ve got so far. I’m not hugely happy with Ahran, he looks a bit older than I’d like, but the hood has a chain mail look, and Ahran is not exactly who he seems to be, so I think it works. The challenge will be adding those wings.

I am more satisfied with Deyna. I think this model more accurately shows her outward vulnerability and inner strength. Deyna’s journey is the main focus of the book, so I was really lucky to find this photo.

Deyna, after some manipulation in paint. Also sans wings, as yet.
Deyna, after some manipulation in paint. Also sans wings, as yet.

The blurb:
What would you forfeit to save your friends?

The crippled reject of a scorned people, seventeen year-old Valayan wanderer, Deyna has never eaten, owned, or used anything she didn’t scrounge or steal. She’s used to life at the bottom, but when her father sells her to be the annual Sacrifice to their enemies, the winged darklings, she discovers a new low.
Marked for death at the hands of the darkling king, only the discovery that she is half darkling saves her life.
As a servant in the darkling palace, Deyna thinks she’s landed on her feet. She has fresh, clean food, a real bed, and people, like young Lord Ahran, handsome captain of the king’s guard, who might actually care if she lives or dies, but all is not well in the darkling lands, a civil war is brewing and the gods have plans for her. Will she risk it all to do what’s right?

Final trailer coming soon!

Is this TMI? Shiny Things 1/13/2015

My daughter born the last time the bucks won the championship.
My daughter born the last time the bucks won the championship.

Shiny Things 1/13/2015

Things distracting me this week–

Congratulations, Ohio State Buckeyes on winning a true National Championship!

I’m not really a football fan, but the Buckeyes are special to me for more than just geographical reasons (I live in a suburb of Columbus).

The last time the Buckeyes won a National Championship was the 2002 season. I remember it very well, because I was in the hospital having my first child.

(Warning labor story) she wasn’t due until February 6th, so it was quite a surprise when my water broke on January 3rd! I’d just been to the doctor the day before and been told everything seemed fine for her original delivery date, for goodness sake! But at seven am it happened. Because it happened so early, I acted like a total moron. (Me: It can’t be my water! It’s too early! DH: Call the doctor. Me(the moron): but no one will be there yet!) I finally got my brain together, called and was told to come to the hospital, back then it was called the Ohio State Medical Center, or OSUMC.

Skipping ahead, I am not a hero and was soon drugged up and attached to so many devices I told my sister over the phone that I felt like a Borg. Twelve hours later, around ten, the serious work began, but no luck. Meanwhile, OSU was busy playing in the Tostidos Fiesta Bowl.

I swear to this day, my doctors dragged their feet getting the OR ready so they could finish watching the game. My proof? At one in the morning my daughter was delivered and as the OB handed her over he said (and we have this on DVD), “and by the way, OSU won.”

So when you say, O-H and my kids return I-O, they come by it honestly.

Anybody else have kids born on “special occasions?”

Other things–

(Warning excessive whining) I’ve been fighting a cold/sinus attack from Hell/migraine since Saturday, so my edits for my New YA Fantasy Romance are going very slowly. Part of me says, “come on, push through you wimp!” But the other professional writer part says, “you’ll start to skim and miss things.”

Have you seen that commercial where the guy opens the door and says, “I’m really sorry, I’m going to have to call in sick tomorrow and he’s talking to a baby in a crib?” I feel the same way about edits, unfortunately, NyQuil (or any number of drugs) hasn’t made any difference.

My tree is still up. Yes, it’s artificial. You don’t have to picture a pathetic stick, dropping needles all over my hardwood floor. We always keep our tree up until after my daughter’s birthday, but I’m pleading edits. I have a history, though of getting it down late. One year, it was still up when my Mom came to visit in February (she’s never let me forget it!) Still, as I get older I’m trying to do better.

What’s the latest you’ve had yours up?

Wish me luck!

Karin