NaNoWriMo 2020 is officially underway! I haven’t had a fantastic start as I was busy yesterday and unable to write much, but I had a positive first day so I’m 2653 words in. I’m very pleased with the opening chapter which was a lot of fun to write (a demon hunter makes for some fun scenes!)
A little more information about the project:
The novel is called the Ballad of Benedict, which is another story in The Light and Shadow Chronicles. A Chronicle of Chaos featured two protagonists (Chaos and Anathema) and told the story from both points of view. This novel is the same – featuring both Benedict Thialdor (A Children of Light diplomat) and Favian (An orphaned demon hunter).
Benedict’s story is already 45,000 words in but I’ve been on a break from it for a while to work on The Sins of Silas. So my NaNoWriMo project is to write Favian’s side of the story. The Sins of Silas has been getting me down lately, so being able to create something new, and just write to my heart’s content has been like bliss to me.
Whether or not I’ll hit the 50,000 words mark (probably not), I’m having a great time and it’s very good for my soul.
For the past year, I have been slogging away at The Sins of Silas, taking feedback from my completely amazing beta readers and occasionally just wanting to burn the damn thing. I think it has potential, but it is causing me so many issues! Since I began writing it, I have completed courses, and read plenty of books on writing craft. So my style has matured and I learned many things that I just wasn’t doing before. So this book needs a HUGE amount of editing and rewriting. After hacking away at the thing for a year, I am still only on Chapter 13… of 34…
Though I love the story and the characters (especially Silas – he’s a lot of fun to write) I am suffering some major burnout on the book now. It’s time I put it aside and focused on something else, just for a short time, to clear my head, and my nerves.
Which brings me nicely to…
For the month of November, I shall be casting aside The Sins of Silas, and continuing with another work-in-progress, The Ballad of Benedict. This novel has two point of view characters and one of them is halfway completed. The other, I haven’t even begun yet. That storyline shall be my NaNoWriMo project.
For those of you who don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. Writers pledge to write a 50,000 book in just one month.
Terrifying. Insurmountable, some might say.
They’re probably right.
But I managed a 25,000 word camp NaNo project a few years ago (which became my novella Genesis of Light) and I have a lot more free time now between teaching my online students. So I’m just going for it.
A Little About My NaNoWriMo Project
I shall be writing the secondary plot arc of a character named Favian – a demon hunter with a peculiar weapon, and an even more peculiar mentor…
Book: The Ballad of Benedict – a novel in the Light and Shadow Chronicles. Temporary Blurb: In the forests of Thos, Benedict Thialdor – an ambassador with the Children of Light – must uncover myths of old to reclaim a legendary weapon believed to hold the key to defeating Hell’s most dangerous demons.
For the other writers out there, are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? If so, I’d love to hear from you. Support from other authors is the way we all get through this!
Here are some helpful resources for NaNoWriMo and getting that novel finished!
And here’s the exciting news: I am giving away FREE review copies to the first 20 people to request a copy! So, if you’re interested in experiencing this award-winning novel, drop a comment below and you could be in for a chance to receive a free copy.
Kindle Book Review – Winner, Best Science Fiction Novel
In a world that has descended into chaos, Raven Kennedy becomes a part of the Phoenix Project. Across the country, prison inmates fight to the death while the nation cheers them on.
While struggling with his past, Raven faces the prison’s most ruthless killing machines. With the real war raging inside him, Raven fights for redemption.
But can he survive long enough to unravel the anger and regret that shackle him – and find the forgiveness he seeks?
Also available in ebook, paperback and large print from Amazon:
Fantasy novel The Shield of Soren by D.M. Cain is only £0.99/$0.99 for four days: 23rd – 27th August 2020.
Young Soren is the apprentice of legendary warrior, Raven Lennox. At the age of sixteen, Soren is expected to fight in the eternal war against the Brotherhood of Shadow – but he seems to be more interested in mischief than battle.
When one of Soren’s adventures goes off course, he accidentally unleashes a deadly threat. As an age-old prophecy comes to pass, Soren must take a perilous journey deep into enemy territory.
But does he have what it takes to save the realm, or will the Brotherhood destroy everything he loves?
Fantasy novella Genesis of Light by D.M. Cain is FREE for four days: 16th – 20th August.
Warring countries, fantastical creatures, beings of terrible power and journeys of epic scale. The legendary Book of Alcherys tells wild and unimaginable stories. But they are not mere fairy tales. They are true, every word.
Callista Nienna is strong and independent, but nothing could have prepared her for civilisation being brought to a violent end. Now, she is forced to stay alive in a desolate wilderness with only her closest friend for support.
She has two choices: give up and die with the wilting world around her or seize her destiny and make it to the only sanctuary left unscathed. At the end of her journey, something awaits Callista, something both terrifying and unbelievable.
***** WOW! Read the whole book in one sitting. Just couldn’t put it down. Would love to know how you manage to keep coming up with these terrific books. Personally I think this is the best one yet – Anne Harris, Avid Reader
Award-winning psychological thriller The Phoenix Project by D.M. Cain is priced just $0.99 for four days (from 17th July to 21st July).
Winner of the Kindle Book Review Best Sci-Fi Novel of 2016
How can you fight to the death, when you’ve given up on life?
As violence and terrorist attacks become more prevalent, the world descends into chaos. Outraged by the lawlessness, citizens demand a harsher penal system, and the Phoenix Project is born.
In prisons across the country, inmates fight to the death in a weekly bloodbath while the nation cheers them on.
Raven Kennedy, a prisoner who has never forgiven himself for his unspeakable crime, struggles against his own guilt and self-loathing. But even as the real war rages on within himself, Raven is forced to battle some of the prison’s most ruthless killing machines.
Fighting for his life and a chance for redemption, can Raven survive long enough to unravel the anger and regret that shackle him – and find the forgiveness he seeks?
★★★★★ In my humble opinion The Phoenix Project is a masterpiece in every sense of the word. – Stewart Bint, Author
★★★★★ A not-so-gentle reminder to check our own morals, our beliefs and our system of justice. To repeatedly ask ourselves, am I okay with what I see in the mirror? – Lisa Veldkamp, Author
★★★★★ The Phoenix Project is a compelling read, beautifully written in a way that totally captivates your imagination. Dark and sometimes uncomfortable, this book gives a disturbing insight into a postmodern world of anomie and repressive state force. – Amazon Reviewer
GIVEAWAY: (7 winners) Each will win a copy of one of her Sir Chocolate Story and Cookbooks. For your chance to win, please leave a comment below!
Welcome to part 7 of the fondant cat parade
The fondant cat parade tells the story in limericks of Dinah the Kitten, daughter of Daddy Grey and Mommy Cat, who likes to sleep and escape to Wonderland in her dreams. While in Wonderland, Dinah meets a variety of brightly coloured and fun fantasy kittens. The fondant cat parade illustrates some of the wonderful fondant art that appears in all the Sir Chocolate books.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 356 degrees Fahrenheit.
Beat the egg whites until stiff. Beat in 2 tablespoons of sugar at a time until the mixture is stiff and glossy. Fold in the sifted cocoa powder, chopped chocolate, vinegar and cornflour. Line a Swiss roll tin with wax paper. Spoon the mixture into the tin and place in the centre of the oven. Turn the oven down to 150 degrees Celsius or 302 degrees Fahrenheit so the meringue cooks slowly and becomes chewy. Leave for 40 minutes and then turn off the oven and slightly open the door of the oven until the meringue is completely cool.
Loosen the meringue from the wax paper and spread with the cream and blackberry filling. Use the wax paper to roll the meringue. It will crack a bit. Sprinkle with cocoa powder.
Join Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet on a fun adventure to discover why the milkshake rain is pale and white.
Contains five recipes that children can make under adult supervision
Hello, my name is Robbie, short for Roberta. I am an author with seven published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with my son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about my mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with my mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of my children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications.
I also have a book of poetry called Open a new door, with fellow South African poet, Kim Blades.
I have recently branched into adult and young adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential my children’s books from my adult writing, I plan to publish these books under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. My first supernatural book published in that name, Through the Nethergate, is now available.
I have participated in a number of anthologies:
Two short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Dark Visions, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre under Robbie Cheadle;
Three short stories in Death Among Us, an anthology of murder mystery stories, edited by Stephen Bentley under Robbie Cheadle;
Three short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Nightmareland, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre under Robbie Cheadle; and
Two short stories in Whispers of the Past, an anthology of paranormal stories, edited by Kaye Lynne Booth under Roberta Eaton Cheadle.
To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site. If you’d like to schedule your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE. Thanks for supporting this author and her work!
Fantasy novella Origin of Shadow by D.M. Cain is FREE for four days: 2nd July – 6th July 2020.
The voice broke into his thoughts, everywhere and nowhere at once, deafening, yet somehow a whisper. “Are you ready to learn the truth?”
Heir to a notorious crime syndicate, sixteen-year-old Vincent Wilder is determined to live up to his father’s intimidating legacy, and expand his violent empire. The Wilders have terrorised the city of Pabell for decades and Vincent knows the business inside and out – and has dirtied his own hands more times than he dares to count.
But no matter how ready he thinks he is, nothing could have prepared him for life at the helm. His father was a man of many things, but secrets wasn’t one of them. Or so Vincent had thought. The deeper Vincent gets into his leadership role, the more terrifying and inexplicable skeletons he uncovers.
With the threat of a revolution, a mysterious and intrusive voice in his head, and a long-lost history he knew nothing about, is he really up to the challenge?
★★★★★ – “I have not seen this type of book writing before, and it looks very promising. I found it very interesting and cannot wait for more.”
★★★★★ – “A gripping and intriguing short story, and a great introduction to this series.”
In the majority of fictional worlds we consume, we see people who are different than those around them. Harry Potter was a wizard living amongst muggles. Gandalf has lived for thousands of years, using his fantastical abilities to great effect.
As you can probably tell, many special powers come down to simply “magic”. Someone was born a witch or wizard or with the gift of flight or whatever it may be, and that’s that.
But if this is overdone, how can a potential author separate themself from the crowd. How can you make your characters special without simply giving them an overused magical quality and a weak explanation?
Simply put, you need to make the special abilities in your world unique. Create a backstory that goes deeper than “He is magical because I SAY he is magical!” Now more than ever, readers and viewers want to dive deep into fantasy worlds, and creating a unique reason for special abilities helps them do just that.
Let’s take a look at a few samples.
X-MEN: Genetic Mutations
Wolverine heals and has blade-like claws sprout from his hands-on command. Cyclops fires beams from his eyes. Jean Grey controls things with her mind. Each character has a unique special ability, but each ability is tied to a common cause: freak genetic mutations.
So-called mutants have mutations in their genetic code that give them radical powers; but, like most mutations, these also come with downsides. Wolverine feels the pain every time those claws come out. Cyclops needs special glasses to hold in his beams.
By giving them a scientific backing, the X-Men went from simply being superheroes to being a unique relative, the Mutants.
The Stormlight Archives
Written by Brandon Sanderson, the Stormlight Archives are set in a mystical world much like Middle Earth. Highstorms sweep through the land with mystical energies swirling around in them. The rich and powerful own shardplate and shardblades, powerful pieces of armor and weaponry that charge through the highstorms.
Likewise, Surgebinders are the closest there comes to magicians in this fantasy world. They can bind different ‘systems’ – such as gravity and adhesion – and manipulate them. Users do this through binding with a spren, a small mystical creature. Like shardplate, Surgebinders need to recharge in highstorms.
By creating a storm system that really fuels almost everything mystical in the Stormlight world, Sanderson thought up a unique way of giving his characters special abilities.
Star Wars – Jedi/Sith Abilities
Although it annoyed a lot of fans in the process, the Force got an explanation. Midi-chlorians – microscopic organisms – live in every race in the galaxy and give them the powers of the force. Some people have more, some people have less.
From there, through focus and meditation, users can increase the potency of the Midi-chlorians, therefore increasing their powers.
All three of these are great examples of different ways to introduce magical powers into your universe. People latch onto unique ideas, so if you can discover a different approach to what you want to achieve, you’re on your way to success.
What are your favourite uses of power or ability in film or literature? Comment below or message me with your ideas!