Happy and Sad

 

 

Morna-1

 

 

Happy!

Happy is that Morna—-final title for Song of the Sea and Twilight—-is heading for the finish line and getting nice and tight at the same time as more layers. I find the longer I take with a book, the richer it becomes because the layering ideas come to me in layers. lol! And I juggle multiple books at the same time. I’ve read the first pages at the open mic I go to when I can, and have received lots of compliments on it. I guess its not as “too out there” as I thought!

 Sad…

Sad is that one of my top 5 authors, Tanith Lee, died in May and I didn’t even know it.  Her writing, especially her short stories, were the greatest inspiration for me. She and the late Angela Carter, made me want to write. Breast cancer got her at age 67. I wonder if I can dial her up for advice now, when I’m stuck. Muses are immortal, are they not?

Here’s a critique of her work from The Guardian:

“Lee’s style is frequently remarked upon for its use of rich poetic prose and striking imagery. Critics describe her style as weird, lush, vibrant, exotic, erotic, rich, elegant, perverse, and darkly beautiful. The technique she uses is very descriptive and poetic which works well with the themes she uses in her mythical stories. She has been praised for her ability to balance her weird style with the challenges of writing a faraway world,  but some critics counter that her style is not always easy on the reader; she sometimes leaves the reader with unanswered questions that could have easily been answered if she had gone into greater detail.”

If you have read my stuff, you will see these influences…it’s the spirit of Tanith Lee.

600full-tanith-lee

Here’s the link to her obituary at TOR Books: http://www.tor.com/2015/05/26/tanith-lee-in-remembrance/

I feel very lucky to have discovered her lush horror and science fiction writing while  I was living in London. Her brilliant story Red as Blood , based on Snow White, was in an anthology of Women’s Fantasy. I have since collected her short story collections, some novels and novellas that are now collectors items. At one time, I was so excited by her work that I bought all these yearly anthologies of fantasy fiction edited by Ellen Datlow and Teri Windling, just to get a story by Tanith Lee. The quality of her prose was a huge draw for me, so don’t let anyone tell you that style doesn’t matter.

Tanith Lee’s death was on May 25th, 2015. Her passing was no doubt eclipsed by that of the famous actor Christopher Lee on June 7th. Two Lee’s in two weeks! In Gemini for you.

RIP

I shall miss both of them.

If you would like a list of suggestions from Tanith Lee’s books, leave me a comment and I shall compile one for you.

 

Christopher Lee as most people know him:

3-hobbit_saruman

If you are into Astrology, it is fascinating how they both died during Gemini, ruled by Mercury–excellent for writers as it rules communication. Christopher Lee was a Gemini and Tanith Lee a Virgo, also ruled by Mercury. Both are associated with tales of horror. Christopher Lee was known for playing Dracula for Hammer House of Horror in the 1960s-70s, as well as other horror genre films such as Crypt of the Vampire and Wicker Man. He was also in Dark Shadows with Johnny Depp. Anyway, he had a long career and died at 93.

The Guardian has a nice overview of his work: http://www.theguardian.com/film/christopher-lee

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

Where Have I Been?

My dear friends, sometimes life happens. Despite my best efforts, writing has been slowed down and was downright stalled for a while because of various adventures in my life. But! I do have something coming out soon!

A Tale of the Selkies called The Twilight Sea is almost ready to go. I have been unhappy with the male models I tried on the cover—they were just too modern looking— and finally figured out what to do about it. I will share that as soon as I get it.

 

Morna-1

Here is the cover for the sequel. I thought I would use it, but that was a response to frustration with my progress. Morna is not the main character in The Twilight Sea–her mother, Lady Rowan is. Lady Rowan is a Scottish aristocrat whose husband, Lord Hugh, sends her and his two little daughters out of Scotland to remove them from the violence of the War for Scottish Independence in 1296.  Lady Rowan and her daughters take a ship to far off Norway, but after a shipwreck, they are accused of witchcraft and thrown overboard. They find land on Fair Isle, the furthest north of the Orkney Islands.

Having lost everything and  Lady Rowan and her tiny band of children and servants move into an ancient ruined castle at the edge of the sea, Dun Usgar. While, there Lady Rowan spies a strange ship coming into the harbor, piloted by a spirit, a mysterious lover, the Selkie…

Please enjoy the magic!

lunar-night-1862

A Work in Progress: The Twilight Sea

SCENE:

As she stepped down the path to the shore, Lady Rowan knew she was risking her very soul, for spilling over with infernal desires, her gown and her hands and her feet, the path running down before her, shimmered with radiance of pure gold.

She’d always had a weakness for gold.

But this realization did not stop her. Surely one night of adventure in all her long months of privation, could not be held against her. She would repent. God was meant to forgive, after all, her sins.

And if the Selkie were real, perhaps, once he knew that she and her little band of Scots meant no harm, he would help them.

A small currach bobbed in the surf as if it were waiting for her. She’d never seen it there before. The two troughs from the Merrow had drifted further down the shore, their long ropes keeping them just within sight. She glanced up at the ship glimmering far out on the low tide, and wondered if the currach had been dropped from that otherworldly vessel to fetch her. But who could have piloted it over the waves and anchored it here? One swift look around told her she was alone on the shore.

It was obvious the currach had been sent for her. What would it mean if she stepped into it? She knew it would take her to the ship. Would she be able to come back? She had her daughters to consider.

But this is not really happening, is it? It is naught but a night vision sent by spirits of the sea. One that will dissolve at daybreak and leave me waking in my bed… .as it has before.

Careful of her shoes, she stepped into the currach. There was no need to row; there were no oars. Before she could sit down, an otherworldly wind blew up. Filling her golden mantel like a sail, it carried her over the water to the gangplank. She saw waves washing through the hull of the ship as if it were nothing more than a mirage, or a phantom, or a dream. The plank, upon which she was to ascend to the deck, was barely visible: a mere line of light.

How could it bear her weight? It was not possible!

Let it be a dream, she thought. She rose up the gangplank to the deck of the ship as if she, too, were a spirit. A wispy bit of nothing….

Was it possible for the soul to leave the living body and wander away on its own?

This notion set her heart pulsing.

Arriving at the top of the plank, she was instantly transfixed by the shadowy figure that awaited her.

Powerful yet insubstantial, like a pillar of smoke or cloud, the young man stood at the prow of the ship. The bright color of his scarlet robes bled through the dark like his own heart’s blood. His face was pensive, his eyes haunted. He took Lady Rowan’s hand in a clasp like ice, and spoke with the low, whispering voice of the sea.

Well met, my love.

“Well met,” said she.

He bowed almost to the ground before her.

“How did we meet?” Lady Rowan asked. “I have no memory of it.”

I saw you at the prow of a ship, a vision of beauty coming through the mist.

So this was indeed the man whose face had appeared before her when she’d bared her breasts on the Merrow, gazing at her through the mist with the black, glistening eyes of a seal.

And as one recalls a fleeting vision, she remembered the first time she’d seen the ship drifting slowly out of the fog appearing among the dolmens of the sea, and unfurling its bright red sail. She remembered her vigil at the narrow window, sensing the presence of a tall, dark figure in the prow, how he’d come to her that night and declared his love.

It seemed the ship, and its enigmatic helmsman, had never been, had always been, just at the edge of her consciousness, for as long as she could remember.

His soft, dark eyes spoke to the ache in her heart. She allowed him to lead her to a pavilion of violet hangings lined with scarlet.

Inside, was a table set with tall, flaring candles, goblets of gold, a cask of wine, and fine platters of oysters and fishes fresh plucked from the sea. There was also a bed hung with red silken veils spattered over with pearls. And folded over the end of the bed was a sealskin as brown and soft as the finest cloak, or the furred raiment of a king.

Taking in the sumptuous surroundings, Lady Rowan sat in the high-backed chair and spread her skirts out around her. The stranger was pouring wine into two golden goblets. His long fingers, flickering with costly rings, were thin and pointed at the tips. What this magical creature wanted of her was clear, but the voices of her children echoed in her mind, warning her to wake and flee this marvelous encounter.

Not yet. Not yet… She would never abandon her girls, but she had a right to a bit of indulgence having been so long deprived.

The man’s face, in the candlelight, was finely composed of high cheekbones, a straight nose and pale, curving lips above a strong chin. The green lights in his deep-set eyes scintillated like embers sinking back into darkness.

He held one of the goblets up for her to take.

Please.

She took it. The wine was richly red and charged with lights. She held her goblet up and joined its edge to his, pledging her love for just this night.

She drank. The taste was unpleasant, salty, like the sea, slightly metallic, heady. She wouldn’t need much to dull the inner voices urging her to run.

“What is your name?” she asked him.

I have no name…

“Where do you come from?”

Sule Skerry…

Sule Skerry was in the far north, a sea within the sea, and no place on earth. The island that, for wickedness, had sunk below the waves. So Fia had told her.

“Who are your people?”

He looked at her with hunger.

My people are dying, vanishing from the world…

Before she could protest, he took her in his arms, and to the strains of distant echoing drones, whirled her round and round. Every beating measure filled her heart with ecstasy; every glance of the stranger’s eyes unlocked desires long denied…

Viking-Ship-Wallpaper

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

Winner of Signed Paperback of The Lady on Yellow and More…

The_Lady_in_Yellow2-2

 

At last! The luck of the draw gets a book to Nancy Hammons! I hope she enjoys it and is not too shocked to see what a doorstopper it is. Kindles and other e-readers are so decieving. You can hide thousands of pages inside these tiny gadgets and have no idea how much you’ve read.  But just think—-with a Kindle, you can prop up the short leg the table with War and Peace!

 

NEWS

I went into 2015 thinking of all the books I would finish, and how quickly, since I have 5 first drafts to work on. But things have slowed down this year. Life has interverned—not least, the need to take care of a health issue that requires several chiropractic ajustments per week and lots of exercise. The good news is that I am recovering very well and hope to get my time and energy back soon, and get these books done for you.

All is not lost, though. Having these first drafts means that when the new books do come out, they will come out fairly shortly behind each other. The first will probably be the Selkie story as it closest to being done. I was thinking of writing 2 of these books, but plan to just write the one now so I can focus on potentially popular series, like the Poppy Farrell Mysteries.

The second Poppy Farrell Mystery, Taller Than Our Souls, will probably be next because of high reader interest. It’s a weird one with Elizabethan magic, a haunted lake, and a black house on the grounds of the boy’s boarding school, Bogg’s House. It may be a bit erudite for YA, but who says teenagers can’t enjoy a bit of history? Think of some of the material Deborah Harkness uses in A Discovery of Witches. 

 

15156

The Sovay book will vie for completion with The Vampire’s Bride whch is meant to be a novella and may still succeed in staying short. If it does it will win the race to publication. I want to see if this series of erotic vampire novellas will take off. I may hold it back until I have a few written, then set them loose in 2016. We shall see how the cookie crumbles.

Dark Reliquary will be last. It will have to double in size, making it another 100,000 word book.  The story is extremely powerful and dark. Think Game of Thrones with vampires. I really want to develop this book. It has tons of potential.

A side effect of recovering from my injuries is that my mood has lightened up and I am finding it difficult to go to the very dark  emotional space that Dark Reliquary requires. I used to be a actress, and I write like a Method actor in that I must really sink into the scenes and experience the deep emotions they call for in order for the characters to come alive on the page. I just can’t go there at the moment.

I’m sure this newfound happiness is only temporary—so do not despair! I will not change to writing Romantic comedies—-yet.

We can inhabit all realms….good and bad. lol!

Romance pays well.

But, hey! Who needs money?

I’ll be working toward getting The Shadows into print and onto other platforms as well, this year. I can’t believe we’re pushing the end of March already! Look for the a book this spring and the rest in the last 2 quarters of 2015.

tumblr_naqfk7zoHQ1smhhsvo1_250

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

The Shadows Still FREE January 10-13!

The Shadows WEBSITE USE

 

The first Poppy Farrel Mystery is FREE January 10-13 NOW!

Go here to get a copy!  http://amzn.to/1sSIpLJ

There’s a nice review of The Shadows on Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1090642439

 

And don’t forget to check out my interview with Miss Stacy at Gothic Romance Reviews: Interview !

If this book sells well and gets lots of reviews, in other words: if you want it, I will focus on the second Poppy Farrell Mystery, Taller Than Our Souls, for 2015.

AlyneDeWinter_TallerThanOurSouls

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

2015—Don’t Make My Head Hurt!

 

arty-girl-typing

I say this because in my quest to write two short stories, one for the Dominion of Dreams collection and one for fans of The Lady in Yellow, I began stories that are so multi-layered, and the characters are so compelling, that they have to be developed into novels.

I have 5 of these. Unlike some Indie Authors, I have a B-type personality and can only write a new book every 3-4 months if all goes well. I wish had some that Alpha juice, but I realize every day that I don’t.

The battle for power between Dragon Queens in ancient Hungary, a Scottish noblewoman lost at sea who comes under the spell of a Selkie, a woman  who wakes in the bedchamber of the most powerful vampire who ever lived and finds herself unable to escape, an ancient bestial family curse is re-ignited with dire consequences , four British teenagers confront the mysteries of the House of Silence and the School of Night.

Whew!

These themes are woven of strands of light and shadow, secret and forgotten histories that carry you into realms you might wish you had never entered…..but you do because you cannot resist the weaver’s spell…. and you’re not scared, are you?

Dark Reliquary may take all year.

Song of the Sea and Starlight could go faster now, but it needs a drop-dead cover to entice readers to such an unusual story.

The Vampire’s Bride may take a couple of months.

Sovay–-I wanted to have this out by now, but it is going too deep. Still, if it would wrap up by the end of February, I will get free copies to fans of The Lady in Yellow.

The second Poppy Farrell mystery, Taller Than Our Souls will go last and will hopefully write itself like The Shadows did.

Shall I chain myself to my word processor? I might have to.

Anyway:

The Shadows will be FREE from January 9-13th!!!

The Shadows WEBSITE USE

 

http://amzn.to/1sSIpLJ

“Don’t go! Don’t go to Blight’s Academy!”

From the moment she enters the hallowed halls of her new boarding school, Blight’s Academy, teenage sleuth, Poppy Farrell, finds danger. From a strange encounter on a train platform, to evidence of a murdered student in the woods that surround the ancient, Gothic buildings, life at Blight’s Academy grows more menacing by the day.

Poppy and her friends, Clair and Georgie, must outwit their Shadows, older girls assigned to mentor them, but who coldly follow them wherever they go. There is a dark secret at the heart of Blight’s Academy: disappearances, deaths, and conspiracies pervade the wooded grounds, flicker in the stained glass windows, tinkle like a music box lullaby through the turreted halls…

Now I have to move a few 2014 projects to the 2015 folder. Jeeze!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin