The Aligerai series

Cover Reveal!

I’m very excited to announce the redesigned cover for Book 1 in the Aligerai series! I had done the original cover myself, but I’m not anywhere near as good as a pro (which is obvious if you compare Book 1 original to Book 2). So I asked Regina of Mae I Design to redesign the cover for Book 1 and HERE IT IS:

Rise of the Aligerai full paperback cover art

Rise of the Aligerai ebook cover art

Please feel free to head to Regina’s Facebook page to tell her how fabulous she is!

Writing Process

Writing Process Blog Tour

For a second when I was writing the title for this post, my brain thought I’d written “Writing Princess”! Oh, goodness.

Anywho, I’ve been a terrible author friend. I was supposed to get my post out this past Tuesday. Unfortunately, I hurt my back while helping my mom move a bunch of furniture and boxes, and I forgot a lot of things this week due to my predicament. I’m all better now (well, mostly), so I’m sitting down to write my post now! Only a couple of days late . . .

Two weeks ago, I was asked by T. J. Alexian if I wanted to participate in a blog tour. It sounded easy and fun, so I agreed. This is the Writing Process Blog Tour, which is a series of linked posts by various authors about their writing process. T. J. says the tour originated with fantasy author Heidi Garrett. The idea is that each author answers four questions about their writing process and then begs and pleads with other authors to join the tour the following week and link back to everyone. So in theory, you should be able to follow the link of the previous authors to trace the tour all the way back to the beginning.

A big thanks to T. J. for thinking of me and asking me to participate! I’m just sorry I wasn’t able to get it all together as planned. =(  Who is T. J. Alexian?

T.J. Alexian lives in Attleboro, Massachusetts in a renovated green Victorian, along with seven ghosts and his long-time (and long-suffering) partner. He also has three kids and one spiritual kid, and their stories and their spirit form the heart and soul of his novel, Pictures of You.

A profiled author in the Writer’s Digest book Writer with a Day Job and an award-winning communications specialist, Pictures of You is Alexian’s first novel, although he has two more being prepared for distribution: The Late Night Show and Confessions of a Diva Rotundo.

And you can find his blog/main website at:

And now for the questions! DIG IN!

What am I working on?
Well, right now I’m working hard to put the final touches on A Shadowed Soul so it can be released TOMORROW!! I am so excited for that. It’s taken two years since Rise of the Aligerai to get the second book in a state of readiness, and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family and friends and one fantastic beta reader (ahem, Kylie, that’s you!).

After that’s finished, I’ll be working on book 3 of the Aligerai series as well as a novel I started for Camp NaNoWriMo in April this year. The working title is Eleanor and Elizabeth, though that is definitely going to change. This one is not set in the same universe as Aligerai and it’s going to be very different from my debut series. I’m actually very much looking forward to finishing this one and getting it out because I’m so excited about what I’m writing! I hope to finish the first draft of E&E this summer and maybe, if all goes well, release by the end of the year.

With E&E, Elizabeth is a merchant’s daughter and Eleanor is the princess of the realm. The king comes up with a contest to win his daughter’s hand in marriage. But when the royal courier delivers an incomplete message and Elizabeth hares off on an adventure for fame and fortune, she thinks she’s going to win a prince’s hand! What happens next is sort of a comedy of errors with a twist at the end.

And then I’m working on and off on another novel set in the Aligerai universe, but focusing on a young woman named Jaelyn Cythri who is a member of the Tainted . . . a story of tragedy, sorrow, and danger.  This one has been difficult to write and so it’s going rather slowly. But anyone who reads A Shadowed Soul will find out more about the Tainted, so be sure to check it out!

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My series differs from others because my characters are in college and pursuing a college education. I see a lot of books set in high school (or a high school-like setting) or after the main education years, but very few in which the characters are in higher education and dealing with the different sets of problems that college poses. Throw magic into the mix and you’ve got an almost explosive situation.  I’m not sure why college isn’t explored more in fantasy, but I have seen it only rarely used. I can think of only one other book that sort of uses college as a backdrop.

As for my other book projects. . . I can’t think of a good way to talk about their differences without giving something away, and I definitely do not want to reveal spoilers before the books are even out! I will say that I do my best to focus on female characters and write characters that could be real people.

Why do I write what I do?
I find it interesting.  I like to ask “what if” and I think that works its way into my imagination and things go from there. Fantasy is one big What If playground.

But I’m also deeply interested in mythology, and have been since I was a kid. I can remember devouring books about Greek and Roman mythology in elementary school and for the rest of my life I’ve been hooked on myths and legends. They’re fascinating. It’s not a big leap from reading mythology to writing fantasy, and I think mythology has had a very big influence on why I write fantasy instead of another genre.

How does my writing process work?
It tends to vary depending on how I’m feeling on a particular day. But usually an idea pops into my head. I write the idea down in a notebook or in my Ideas doc on the computer. Sometimes I’ll get whole scenes written down based off that one idea and then I just let it sit.

Sometimes the idea goes nowhere. I have about fifteen ideas sitting on my flash drive and they may never get off the ground. But other times, the idea turns into a bigger idea and I start living in that world when I close my eyes. I start fleshing out characters, or characters come to me.

Personally, I think most authors start to sound insane when they talk about their process, especially when they talk about how their characters are formed. It’s like the characters are real people and take on a life of their own. Sara Douglass, an Australian fantasy author, used to say that she felt like her characters were real people and she sometimes imagined them sitting around looking over her shoulder as she wrote. They would go off in a completely different direction from where she intended, and whenever she was about to kill off a character, they would say “Oh no, not again.”  I loved reading that because that happens for me sometimes, too. [I paraphrased what Sara said. To my great sadness, Sara Douglass passed in 2011 and her website is no longer active.]

I’ll either write longhand in a notebook I keep specifically for writing or I’ll type on the computer. I’ve recently started using Scrivener and have used it for Eleanor and Elizabeth. I’ve found it helpful and like a lot of the features.

Then I just take it from there. I try to write every week, since some days I have too crazy a schedule to write daily. I try to participate in NaNoWriMo since it’s a great motivational tool.

The next author . . .

Unfortunately, the folks I contacted either weren’t available or weren’t interested in participating. I haven’t found anyone to pass the torch on to! Eeek!  If you’re an author and you think you’d be interested in doing the next post, contact me. I’m not sure that’s really how it’s supposed to work, but since I couldn’t find anyone in time . . .

Happy reading!


Opinions and Feedback Needed

Hi everyone! Happy Sunday!  I have a couple of questions for you all.  I’m preparing to start on cover art for Book 2 (still untitled so far, sadly) and am also doing prep work to put Rise of the Aligerai into paperback.  So I have some questions for you all and I hope some or all of you will leave a comment with your thoughts!

  • Book size: Mass market paperback or trade paperback?  Mass market is the smallest size available while trade paperback is that sort of in-between size between mass market and hardcover.  I have both options and while I prefer mass market for the books I read, I know others sometimes prefer the larger book as it’s skinnier and sometimes easier to hold.  Thoughts?
  • Cover art for Rise of the Aligerai: Change or keep?  I did get some feedback before deciding on the final design for Book 1, which I designed myself, but now that I’m going to a pro for cover art for Book 2, should the art for Rise of the Aligerai be updated?  Do you like it, or would you rather see something different?  If you want to see something different, do you have anything specific in mind?

Thanks to everyone who contributes!

Book 2 is currently in beta reading.  My goal is to release in October.  Stay tuned!


New Extra!

Hi everyone!  I’ve just added a new extra to the site!  If you’ve read Rise of the Aligerai, you know there’s this strange country called Gennaios on a world called Corá . . . well, I’ve added a shiny map of Gennaios and other countries! Now you can get a visual of what things look like and how areas relate to each other.

Any misunderstandings of how geography and cartography work are entirely my own. I did my best to maintain accuracy in such things as where mountains could be placed and where islands might naturally appear. Also, do note it is NOT drawn to scale, as I am rubbish at math and can’t measure properly on paper.

Check out the map under the Extras section or just click here!

(Short stories are the next extra, and I think the first story will be posted next week!  So stay tuned!)


The Joyful Amazon Adventure

Yes, that title is sarcastic.

As many of you know, my book Rise of the Aligerai was available on Amazon for free, and had been since March. However, for about 2 weeks now it has been listed at the price of $.99. Amazon reverted to the original price without direction from me.

This is quite frustrating, I must say. I have been trying to change the book back to free since I realized the price was again $.99. I’ve had no luck so far. So if you’ve been waiting to download the book because it’s supposed to be free and Amazon is not allowing that, you may have to wait a little while longer. Or you can download for free through the Smashwords page linked to below.

Sorry about the mix-up with the prices!  Like I said, I’ve been trying to change the price back to free but have had no luck yet.  If you’d like to help, you can go to the Amazon page below and under the Product Details section, there is a piece of text saying “tell us about a lower price”. Link to the Smashwords page and click the submit button.  Every report to Amazon helps! (Or it should . . .)


Want to know how frustrating this is for me? The below GIF illustrates my feelings quite well:

Stitch from Lilo and Stitch



Hi all!

I’m looking for feedback on Rise of the Aligerai. If you’ve read the book, please let me know what you think! I genuinely want your feedback! I want to know if you have any suggestions, or thought something was weird, or if you really liked it and want more.  Tell me if you think a character is funny or the plot is goofy or if you ship any characters.  And I want to know if you thought it was bad, but if you think it’s bad, I do want to know why so I can improve my writing and storytelling.

Rise of the Aligerai is free.  You don’t even have to buy a copy to read it!  Just read and send me an email or private message or find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, or Shelfari.  I really do want feedback from readers, it would be the highlight of any day!

Link to the book on Amazon:


Extras on the Site

Hey there everyone!  Question for you all.  I’m working on developing some extras for the site here.  Some of my ideas are pretty cool, in my opinion.

  • Map of Corá
  • Character journals
  • A few short stories
  • Artwork (if I can figure out how to draw one day…)
  • A glossary of unusual terms I use in the books
  • Chronology of events that take place in Corá

What I want to know is, would people be interested in looking at/reading this sort of stuff?  The character journals, for instance.  My idea is to write “journals” from the point of view of the characters about their lives and what they see and think.  But my concern with this is, the journals may only make sense if you’ve read the book.  They wouldn’t be very good as introductory material for new readers, and may contain spoilers if someone hasn’t read the book yet.

What do you all think?  Do you have any other suggestions of things you would like to see?


Rise of the Aligerai in the top 100 on Amazon!

So I’ve gotten some pretty good, upbeat news recently.  My book, Rise of the Aligerai, is now listed in the top 100 of Amazon’s contemporary fantasy list!


I should add that the book is now free.  I was going to make it free when Book 2 is released, but I decided to just go ahead and make it free now.   Why not?  It works in my favor (and the readers’) to make it free, so here you all go!  A free book as a little February treat.

Enjoy!  And if you read, please please please leave a review on Amazon, GoodReads, Shelfari, or anywhere else you rate or review books.  It’s very much appreciated.  Thanks!


The Most Exciting Update In The World

So I finally have some updates!

First off, Rise of the Aligerai is now available for free on Smashwords.  I had planned to make the first book free when I released the second book in the series, but on a whim I decided to make it free a bit earlier than planned.  I’m still working on making it free on Amazon.  It’s apparently a bit more complicated than you would think to sell a book for free through Amazon’s system.  So, for the moment, it’s still on sale for $.99 through Amazon but free through Smashwords.

The second book is planned to be released this coming April.  Stay tuned for more updates on this as we get closer!

I missed the last Booking Through Thursday post.  Sorry about that!  Last week was pretty crazy for me and it just didn’t get done with everything else going on.

I started up my book review blog Fantastical Reads again.  You should check it out!

Hrmmm, I think those are all the updates for now.  Everyone enjoy your week!