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Stevie Rae Causey

Author of Ring of Fire

Dear Body: About the Birth of Our Son

A personal essay about my third child’s birth was published by Sweatpants and Coffee!

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The intricacies of character grief

I was hoping to have moved on from chapter 13 by now, but I’m wrestling with Eoma again. She is stubborn as all get-out (and you can’t blame me-I didn’t make her that way, her circumstances did).

She and Kala are in conflict again. They seem to be doing this dance of hurting one another and then apologizing. Their conflict comes from a place of grief on both sides-more so for Eoma but I won’t say why 😉

I’m struggling to write it because I hate the way they are handling it. If I were a reader I would be begging them to cut it out and just make up already. They’re going to end up needing one another more than they know. But that isn’t the way things go, in this story or in life. One of the hardest parts of writing grief in one’s characters is reflecting on the ways that you relate to their behavior.

What makes grief in writing realistic for you as a reader?

Scavengers, chapters, and sneak peaks…oh my!

Today marks the official end of the YA Summer Scavenger Hunt. Thanks to all who entered! Those of you who entered my giveaway, you should have your gift coded by tomorrow morning. I was only able to get halfway through them before my teething toddler decided the world was ending and had to be coaxed to nap…and by coaxed I mean he bit me repeatedly then cried because I set him down for biting.

A bit of an update on Anhedonia: I’m currently in the middle of Chapter 13, which is Kala’s chapter. In this part of the story she is reflecting on her parenting-sort of second-guessing herself, as mothers are wont to do. At the same time, she is worrying about her husband, who for various reasons is unable to reunite with them. (Surprise, surprise, Eoma is mostly responsible for this.)
I am finally getting some insight into how things will be leading into the next book (but wait, there’s more!‘) and fleshing out even more backstory that will likely pop up in the form of a prequel at a later date. The struggle now is not rushing into it all. The characters start to compete for attention after awhile and it is hard not to veer off course and jump ahead as they get louder. 🙂

Since The Hunt, I’ve gotten a few inquiries from readers who are anxious to see what happens next, so I thought I’d give a sneak peak.
This is a scene written from the perspective of Kala’s daughter:

The fog spun around me fast and faster. The scene changed. The ground fell from beneath my feet and the fog drifted with me, molding into clouds. I was flying!  Large wings beat against the atmosphere. My wings! I was in the body of a griffin! But how?

Never mind that, the griffin’s mind argued. It smelled something. Something new yet familiar. Something delicious. I circled a clearing and saw it! A rabbit tied to a tree. Something in the back of my mind tingled again. Why was it tied to the tree? The part of my mind that was my own warned me to stay away, but the griffin paid no attention, descending upon its pray.

Suddenly there was pain. Pain like nothing I had felt before. Almost like something had struck my arm-no-wing! Again and again it struck and we were spiraling, falling. As we fell I caught sight of the source of our pain. Several arrows protruded from our right wing. They bore the mark of the king’s army. Trap. A trap a trap a trap. I thought as we spun and fell. The ground came rushing up—”

Love it? Hate it? Can’t wait to read more? I’ll be looking for a few more beta readers at the end of June/beginning of July. Stay tuned to find out how to apply!

From Conflict to Connection: Chapter 12

Happy Monday Everyone! (An oxymoron, if ever I heard one!)

This weekend was another whirlwind for us. The girls had the district fun run, E had her last soccer game, and R had her 11th birthday party!  Somehow (I think it had to be some sort of unicorn magic) I managed to edit the first 40 pages of Anhedonia in between.

Juggling my life and the lives of my characters has always been a struggle for me. It took 3 years from the completion of Ring of Fire’s rough draft until I finally held my breath and sent it out into the world. This year I am aiming for a fall release, and that means making a schedule. Week

days are for writing, and weekends for editing.

And so, here it is Monday. I am tying up the loose ends of chapter 12. In the previous chapter, Eoma and Kala couldn’t see eye to eye in regards to the fate of Kala’s daughter.

In this chapter, Eoma begins to take the child under her wing. Eoma shares some of the surface details of her backstory and they begin to form a connection.

A lot of authors talk about the importance of conflict in a story. But today I’m going to talk about connection. How your readers connect with your characters will greatly impact their overall experience with the story. In order to write those connections in a meaningful, and relatable way, I try to find some way that *I* can relate to each character’s situation. Not just once, but every chapter. When I find myself stuck in a scene, I take a step back and ask myself what my character is going through. What are they feeling? When is a time in my life that I felt the same way? By creating that emotional parallel between my experience and my character’s, I am able to bring their stories to life in a believable way. After all, they say to “write what you know”.

In chapter 12, I relate more to Eoma, though both characters are relaying their frustration at having to give up something that they love in order to serve a more noble purpose. Here we see the responsibility shift from Kala’s shoulders to her daughter’s, though they won’t really understand the impact of that until later in the story.

 

How do you connect with characters? Either your own, or those you read about? Share below for a chance to be quoted on Twitter!

 

Oh! Also, you have 3 more days to enter the YA Summer Scavenger Hunt, if you haven’t already. HOP OVER TO THE MAIN PAGE to get started!

Let The Hunt Begin!!

Ready for some summer fun? Want to add to your TBR? Do you love winning prizes?

You’re in luck, because The Young Adult Summer Scavenger Hunt starts today! Click here for the rules

scavenger2

I will be giving away 15 free Kindle copies of Ring of Fire!

Excerpt:

What would you do if your mother died a traitor?

In a land where humans and magical creatures are at war, Kala grew up believing that Mystics were responsible for the death of her mother. After being rescued from her kidnapper by an Elf, she discovers that her mother was murdered by a human while working for the Alliance.
Her search for the truth leads her into the arms of her enemy. As her people prepare for war, her indecision threatens the lives of those she loves.

“I found this book refreshing and intriguing…The author’s voice is refreshingly unique” -L.K. Walker, author of Fire Trilogy

Available on Kindle

image

Sign up HERE before June 7th to enter.

And now, the moment you have been waiting for! The 7th word in the hunt is:

WITH

Once you’re finished head over to the next author on the map!

I hate conflict…but I’m good at it

Its a phrase I find myself saying more often than I’d like. Believe it or not, I’m an introvert. People often act surprised when I tell them this, because I have mastered the art of making conversation awkward. Really, the more anxious I am about an interaction, the more likely I am to offer up too much information.

This apparently does not transfer into my writing. Half way through chapter 11 I have hit a wall-hard. Kala and Eoma are at odds with one another. We get a glimpse of Eoma’s backstory in the second half of the book. Recent events have made her less mysterious and a little more vulnerable. She doesn’t like that, and it shows in this chapter. She struggles to maintain control of her anger…a theme that will be important in a later book.

Kala, on the other hand, has become more of an advocate for herself and her child. The girl we met in the first book who was just coming into her own, has become brave, and a tad bitter.

The problem, I think, is that I relate too strongly to both of them, and I’d really like if they could just resolve the issue and become besties. But that isn’t how this story goes. You’d think that, as the author, I’d have more control of the story line. Why can’t we write a happy ending for everyone?

Authors:

What do you do when your characters are in conflict?

Readers:

What types of literary conflicts affect you the most?

Cover Reveal for It’s Not Always Rainbows

Releasing July 15, 2017: Its Not Always Rainbows By Joey Paul

The LGBTQ rainbow covers people from all walks of life. Catherine and her friends all have to struggle for acceptance in their own lives. Parents, friends, teachers, pretty much everyone seems to have their opinion on how they should live.

The only people who don’t tell them what they should do are each other and the people inside the LGBTQ community.

So when people from that community start getting attacked and then murdered, Catherine feels she has to do something to stop it.

Dealing with her own issues with her religious parents is tough enough, but what do you do when who you are is the reason someone wants you dead?

It's Not Always Rainbows

 

Joey Paul is an indie author, exploring the young adult crime genre. She has released nine books in total so far, with the tenth and eleventh due out in the summer of 2017. Her current works include the “Dying Thoughts” series, which is eight books. She usually writes crime and mystery fiction, with a paranormal twist, but she has been known to dabble in contemporary romance and general fiction. She is writing her seventeenth and eighteenth books at the moment, having recently finished her last two.

Joey is disabled and a recent graduate from The Open University with a BA (Hons) in Health & Social Care. When not reading medical textbooks, she enjoys reading crime novels, medical dramas and young adult novels. When she’s out and about, she likes looking for Tupperware in the woods with GPS satellites, otherwise known as geocaching. And when she’s not doing THAT, she’s sleeping! She’s 35 and has been writing since she was retired from her job on medical grounds at the age of 19. She plans to write for as long as she has ideas or until someone tells her to stop!

The Aldar Dominion Cover Reveal!

I’m so excited to share this with you all! I started working on this cover literally months ago, and damn has it ever come far! The process will deserve an entire post in itself, but for now, here is the cover!

The Aldar Dominion_cover.jpg

The cover was designed by myself! Incase you didn’t know, I have a design background, so making the covers for my books has been beyond fun!

ABOUT THE ALDAR DOMINION

The Aldar Dominion saved the world.The Aldar Dominion_cover only_no tagline.jpg

Then they damned it.

After solar flares decimated Earth’s population, the alien corporation gave humans a recipe for immortality and hope for the next generation. Cloning and the technology to transport consciousness from one body to another saved the human race from extinction. But the value of human life plummeted.

In an age when animal conservation no longer exists, Selene smuggles animals to safety. While fleeing Dominion drones during a mission gone wrong, Selene suffers a debilitating head injury. The pain unlocks memories from twenty lost years: stark labs and human experiments. These nightmares could hold the key to why natural-born human children are disappearing. But worse—they reveal a sinister plot centuries in the making.

Can Selene decipher her dreams in time to avoid enslavement to the aliens? Or will she witness the end of the human race?

Read the first book in the Dominion Rising series to find out!

The Aldar Dominion will be released June 13th, and is now available for pre-order!

Pre-order on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, or Barnes & Noble

Add The Aldar Dominion on Goodreads!

Can’t wait to start reading?

Sign up for my mailing list and get the first 3 chapters of Savages NOW!

Need your dose of sci-fi in the mean time? Try The Stowaway Experiment, a tie in short story taking place before The Aldar Dominion.

The Stowaway Experiment_cover_2.jpgThe Smugglers Legion is gone.

Captain Eria is in a work camp.

Rikkard is all that’s left.

After the Smugglers Legion disbands, Rikkard Gunnar is left to captain the few remaining members. With no credits left, and only one hovercraft, Rikkard risks everything when he takes a mission to infiltrate a Dominion laboratory. He gets way more than he bargained for when he meets a young woman with no memory of who she is or where she’s come from.

Try it now for only $0.99 cents!
Get it on Amazon, iBooks, or Barnes & Noble. Coming soon to Kobo.

YA Summer Scavenger Hunt

In June, the Alliance of Young Adult Authors is sponsoring a massive young adult scavenger hunt. This is a chance to meet some new authors, grab a bunch of free books, and sign up to win a whole bunch of epic prizes!

RULES

Each author will be given a special keyword, which will be bolded and all caps like this: BUTTERFLIES.

All you have to do is visit all the author’s sites in this order, write down the special keywords to discover the short story, then enter the giveaway with the completed secret legend HERE.

There will be one main giveaway for the main prize, but most of the participating authors will also have smaller giveaways for free books, amazon credit and author swag, so make sure you read their post carefully to see what else they’re offering while you’re on their site for the keyword.

THE MAP (participating authors)

  1. Cindy Ray Hale
  2. Katherine Bogle
  3. Melle Amade
  4. David Kudler
  5. A.M. Yates
  6. Alethea Kontis
  7. Stevie Rae Causey
  8. Katlyn Duncan
  9. Debbie Manber Kupfer
  10. Meredith Rose
  11. N.M. Howell
  12. Lara Ann
  13. K.M. Robinson
  14. J.A. Culican
  15. Heather Karn
  16. Rob L. Slater
  17. Dylan Keefer
  18. Sarah K. Wilson
  19. L.J. Higgins
  20. Gina Marie Long
  21. Em Kazmierski
  22. Travis Hall
  23. Heather Young-Nichols
  24. Anna Santos
  25. J.L. Weil
  26. Jo Schneider
  27. Rebecca Fernfield
  28. Kristin D. Van Risseghem
  29. Martine Lewis
  30. Tara Benham
  31. Stacy Claflin
  32. Beth Hammond
  33. Erica Monroe Cope
  34. Nicole Zoltack
  35. Char Webster
  36. Sabrina Ramoth
  37. T.J. Muir
  38. Raquel Lyon
  39. Beth Rodgers
  40. S.L. Beaumont
  41. Eva Pohler
  42. Melanie McFarlane
  43. Cheryllynn Dyess
  44. Audrey Rich
  45. Amanda Zieba
  46. Sandie Will
  47. Elle Scott
  48. Angie Grigaliunas
  49. Ashley Maker
  50. Mandy Peterson
  51. Audrey Grey
  52. Elisa Dane
  53. Amy McNulty
  54. Melinda Cordell
  55. Monica Leonelle
  56. Claire Luana
  57. Frost Kay
  58. Preeti C. Sharma
  59. Bentz Deyo
  60. April Wood
  61. Lena Mae Hill
  62. Angel Leya
  63. Wendi Wilson
  64. Wendy Knight
  65. Chogan Swan
  66. Tamara Hart Heiner
  67. Norma Hinkens
  68. Patti Larsen
  69. Megan Crewe
  70. Jamie Thornton
  71. Jessie Renée
  72. T.A. Maclagan
  73. Lydia Sherrer
  74. Phyllis Moore
  75. P.D. Workman
  76. J.A. Armitage
  77. K.N. Lee
  78. Angela Fristoe
  79. Rhonda Sermon
  80. G.K. DeRosa
  81. Erin Richards
  82. Ali Winters
  83. Larissa C. Hardesty
  84. Kristine Tate
  85. Debra Kristi
  86. Bella Rose
  87. Cortney Pearson
  88. Jeff Kohanek
  89. Kristal Shaff
  90. Rachel Morgan
  91. Emma Right
  92. C.L. Cannon
  93. Joanne Macgregor
  94. Lindsey Loucks
  95. Farah Kuck
  96. Erin Hayes
  97. Jesikah Sundin
  98. Dorothy Dreyer
  99. Danielle Annett
  100. C.J. Ethington
  101. L.C. Hibbett
  102. Madeline Dyer
  103. Katie John
  104. Nicole Schubert
  105. Rachel Medhurst
  106. Tee G Ayer
  107. May Freighter
  108. Heather Dyer
  109. Jen Minkman
  110. J.L. Gillham
  111. Karen Tomlinson
  112. Kate Haye
  113. Megan Linski
  114. Martina Billings
  115. Jo Ho
  116. Brian King
  117. Inna Hardison
  118. Rachel Bateman
  119. Sally Henson
  120. J.L. Hendricks
  121. A.L. Knorr
  122. T.M. Franklin
  123. Konstanz Silverbow
  124. felisha Antonette
  125. Jake Devlin
  126. S.F. Benson
  127. Laurie Treacy
  128. Emily Martha Sorensen
  129. Leia Stone
  130. T. Rae Mitchell
  131. J. Keller Ford
  132. Kat Stiles
  133. Jessica Hawke
  134. Elyse Reyes
  135. Sophie Davis
  136. Bianca Scardoni
  137. Jenetta Penner
  138. David R. Bernstein
  139. Olivia Wildenstein
  140. Derek Murphy

Starts June 1st!

Just go through the “treasure map” above to find the keywords and reconstruct the secret legend. Once you’ve got it, enter for the grand prize HERE. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for other giveaways or free books as you search for the keywords, most authors will be offering their own prizes as well.

For rules, updates or trouble-shooting, make sure to check out this main post which will stay updated.

TIMELINE

Authors will post the rules and the full list of participating authors sometime in June, and have their post up and visible on their site/blog, with their keyword, by June 1st. Readers just need to go through the list, find the words, and use the story to enter for the grand prize.

 

Character Profile: Sapphire (No Spoilers)

One of my favorite part of world-building is getting to know my characters- especially the ones that haven’t fully revealed themselves to my readers yet. While Eoma’s backstory has been occupying the corner of my mind lately, another of my favorites is the nymph Sapphire.

Part of her intrigue is the mystery of her heritage. The slight deviations from the norms of her clan suggest a mixed ancestry, but as of yet no one has discovered her true lineage.

Name: Sapphire
Age: NA
Gender: Female
Race: Wood Nymph
Hair: White
Eyes: Red
Skin: Green

Sprouted from one of the oldest branches of her clan, it is rumored that Sapphire has human DNA in her blood line. This theory is supported by her advanced intelligence, an uncommon trait in her kind.

Though she does have a few human tendencies, she retains many of her clan’s customs. Among them is a complete lack of communication with her half-human son.

Sapphire has a close relationship with nature, especially in the woods. She  loves dancing in the mists. Because of her conductive nature, lightning is often attracted to her, and she is often able to channel as part of her fight-or-flight response.

Whose backstory are you most interested in?

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