Mar 172014
 

I’ve been tagged! Tagged, that is, to participate in a blog hop for writers, which I think is actually supposed to be called “My Writing Process.”  But, you know, what fun is that?

Every Monday authors blog about their own writing process, using this format. This is definitely a multi-genre hop–so I feel like I fit right in!

(Except for the part where I somehow wasn’t included in the blog hop links, so…I guess I’m on my own.  But I did the blog, so I’m doggonit gonna put it up!)

PS We retrospectively figured that out!  Thanks to Susan Holmes, who did the hop a few weeks ago.

What am I working on? Continue reading »

Feb 112014
 

by Doranna

More of an Underwear Evolution than a Bloggy Evolution.  But it amused me.

More of an Underwear Evolution than a Bloggy Evolution. But it amused me.

Yep, I’m in a process. 

I’ve never been particularly good at saying, “Hey!  I’m a writer!  I would really like it if people bought my stuff, read my stuff, and hey, even enjoyed my stuff.”  Because it’s not just how I make my living, such as it is–it’s what drives my life forward.  Writing.  Reading.  Knowing it matters.

Consequently, I get a little shucky-darn when it comes to putting my stuff out there.  For one thing, saying, “I would really like it if…” leaves one entirely open to the crushing response of “but we don’t actually like you.”  (Ouch, right?) Continue reading »

Jan 062014
 

W00t for me! Book View Café –all indie, all authors, all professional–has launched A Feral Darkness as a lead title!

A Feral Darkness by Doranna DurginA Feral Darkness

by Doranna Durgin

Suspense, romance, and a Celtic dog bundled into a contemporary fantasy setting.

As a child, dog-loving Brenna Fallon naively invokes an ancient Celtic deity to save her beloved hound–and inadvertently anchors the new-found power at a spring on her family’s farm.

She doesn’t know she’s also left an opening for a far more malevolent force.

Continue reading »

Sep 052013
 

by Doranna

Scoop!  Scoop!  eReader News Today is featuring WOLF JUSTICE at 99c.  Since TOUCHED BY MAGIC is a Try-Me Freebie, that adds up to two books at 99c.

But only for today and tomorrow.  So go for it!

$4.49 ($.99 at Kindle, Nook, & Kobo from 9/4-9/6)
Original Release:
Baen ’98

Magic is back–and only the man who once tried to stop it can save his world from what happens next.

Magic is back in Reandn’s world–and when wizards use it to slaughter his Remote Wolf Patrol, he is left adrift in a society still reeling from the changes wrought by magic’ return.

But King’s Keep offers him a chance to regain his rank: escort the beloved Higborn woman through the rebel-torn Resioran border to King’s Keep. Soon enough Reandn is embroiled in wizard’s treachery. To make it out alive–to keep Kalena alive and prevent a catastrophic wizard war–he’ll have to face his own worst enemy.

Magic.

See Also King’s Wolf Saga Book I: Touched by Magic

Wolf Justice will delight fans… Well-rounded and widely appealing, this one comes highly recommended.”
–Hypatia’s Hoard

Praise for Touched by Magic:

“Doranna Durgin envelops her appealing characters with a rare, shimmering aura of mystic legend.”
Romantic Times

“[Durgin] has a magic touch for creating rich fantasy.”
–Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

“I loved Touched by Magic and was sorry to see it end.”
–S.M. Stirling

“Mystery, suspense, and loyalty fill out the plot, but primarily this novel focuses on the dangers of obsession. it also deals hauntingly with loss: of loved ones, of home and status, of entire ways of life…. It will keep you guessing right to the end, and there are no simple solutions to the complex problems presented.”
Hypatia’s Hoard


Aug 052013
 

Guest Blog by Tara Maya

Every once in a while, bopping around the blogosphere, there’s a pleasant little collision of chance and serendipity, and you walk away with a smile.  Such it was when I stumbled into Tara’s first installation of her indie series The Unfinished Song (note: “installation” means “be ready for a cliffhanger”).  Lovely cover–yes, it matters–intriguing world-building, interesting magic, and great character stakes.  She was interested in blogging around, so…here you are!  Pretty much everything she says here about the Five Signs…yeah, me too!

Five Signs You’re a Writer

tara maya headshot1. You read. A LOT.

You read constantly, or at least did at one point in your life. Some of us had more time to read (for pleasure) when we are kids, but are swamped with work now. For others, literature seemed boring when we were younger, but now has appeal. In my case, I devoured science fiction and fantasy when I was younger, but while I was in grad school most of my reading was non-fiction. Once I graduated, I had time for fiction again. I do still read non-fiction for pleasure and for research.

 

2. You have been coming up with stories since you were a kid.

You have way more story ideas than you could ever write down. When did you write your first “story”? Okay, maybe it wasn’t much of a story, but when did you start trying? In my case, I made little pretend “books” out of folded paper and scribbles before I could write my ABCs. I wrote my first four complete and illustrated stories in fifth grade and completed my first novel in Jr. High. Granted, they all sucked rocks. But I know I am not unusual in starting out young. Most writers I know began writing early. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they published early, or that those around them recognized their efforts.

 

3. You have a bunch of manuscripts under your bed.

It’s one thing to write stories in your head. That makes you a storyteller. But not yet a writer. If you’ve actually written down your words, that’s what makes you a writer. Not getting published. Writing is what makes a writer. Getting published, and more to the point, selling copies, is what makes you a paid writer, a professional writer, a writer who can actually eat something other than ramen noodles, and that’s a good thing. But you’ve already started writing without any idea whether you can sell those words or not.

 

4. You write for love, not for money.

Let’s face it. You know that being a writer is not as lucrative as other jobs, like doctor, lawyer or fast food employee. Screw that. You’re writing anyway. Cruel reality may force you into a day job. It happens. You write anyway. You’re jotting down ideas for your novel between flipping burgers or taking notes on your character in your office cubicle. You care enough to constantly hone your craft. You would write even if your plane crashed on a deserted island. Even if you were locked in a prison on Gamma Beta IV. Even if you had to become an accountant.

 

5. You write for money, not love.

Nah, this doesn’t really contradict what I just said. It only seems to. Because if you really love writing–or any art–enough, you’ll realize that the only way anyone will let you do it full time is if you can get good enough to earn mullah at the same time. Yeah. By selling your writing. So even though it feels like jabbing steak knives into your eyes, you send out queries, you send out review requests, you–ugh, self-promote. You sell your sweat and tears as if it were vacuum cleaner parts. And on days when the sky is grey and your nose is runny, you feel sorry for yourself because it turns out that writing is a job, and all jobs have moments that suck. The rest of the time, you appreciate–I sure hope you appreciate because otherwise why do this?–that you have the best damn job in the world.

 

Unfinished Song-Initate-100Bio

Tara Maya has lived in Africa, Europe and Asia. She’s pounded sorghum with mortar and pestle in a little clay village where the jungle meets the desert, meditated in a Buddhist monastery in the Himalayas and sailed the Volga river to a secret city that was once the heart of the Soviet space program. This first-hand experience, as well as research into the strange and piquant histories of lost civilizations, inspires her writing. Her terrible housekeeping, however, is entirely the fault of pixies. To find out more about Tara’s SF and fantasy novels, you can visit her blog, Twitter or Facebook.

Mar 212013
 

by Doranna

People can come up with all sorts of lame justifications for stealing.  I have no interest in the justifications…and no sympathy for them.  Pirating digital works is stealing, and no…no one is entitled to read my stuff for free unless I put that work on free.  And pirates, no matter what they think of themselves, are not modern-day Captain Jacks.  Also, they totally aren’t Johnny Depp sexy.

That, I guess, would be my position statement on the whole thing.  And yet…

This has been an interesting week for pirates.  There was a brazen pirate shop that popped up with a huge selection of books (including quite a number of mine)…and that charged for them, too.  Well, huzzah!  That site has already hit the dust, but of course there’s already another of that brazen sort popping up.

And then there’s scribd.

Those of us who have been around the Internets for a while remember when scribd started up, and that there was a whole big lot of froo ha ha along the way.  They’re still remiss; they still allow blatantly pirated works to be posted.  But they do take them down if you ask (in my experience).

So why am I not asking?

Because the work currently being pirated there is called Heavy Metal Honey.

Heavy Metal Honey was one of Harlequin’s early e-reads, written to a fairly exacting pattern of chapters and word count.  In this case, it was published as a supplement to the Bombshell line, and it’s a story in the world of the Hunter Agency, featuring two of my favorite characters: Kimmer and Rio.

Okay, Kimmer and Rio fans…raise your hand if you’ve even heard of Heavy Metal Honey.

Exactly.

The thing is that Harlequin isn’t doing anything with that story–and hasn’t for many years–but the rights aren’t vulnerable to reversion.  So I can’t do anything with it, and I have no control over whether they do anything with it, and no one gets to read it at all, and I like that story, darnit!

So if you like Kimmer and Rio, or if you like the Bombshells, or if you like short fiction with attitude, and you happen to go to scribd, and you happen to search on Heavy Metal Honey

Well, enjoy!  And by all means spread the word.

But pirates still suck.  Welcome to the world of the inconsistent human.

Mar 122013
 

by Doranna

Sigh.  It didn’t used to matter.

I mean, it always mattered to ME, but I could console myself that strikingly nasty or baffling reader reviews didn’t matter in the big picture.

Of course, now reader rankings matter a whole lot, and one or two ugly ones can really skew the curve and affect sales.

And they still matter to me.

A nasty review is pretty obvious, both to readers and the author.  A baffling review…not so much.  Recognizing those takes knowing what’s in the book in the first place.

It’s one where you wonder if the reader was even looking at the same book.

A Feral Darkness just got one of those.  Someone is terribly upset at me for making certain statements about religion that…

Well, that wasn’t the book I wrote. 

In fact, it was the book I assiduously steered away from writing.

It would be easy to put this down to different folks/different strokes if the Catholic religion wasn’t specifically referenced several times in the review…along with the assertion that my intent is to make fun of that faith.  To mock it.

Now watch me scratch my head.  There isn’t any true presence of the Catholic church in this book (there’s a character who’s a lapsed Catholic, on the whole because of the conflict with the pagan elements).  There’s a pastor in the story, a thoughtful guy who happens to be very protestant, in his very protestant church.  I was rather fond of him, actually–I thought he tried to do his best to handle a difficult situation.

But the truth is, the book has pagan elements and pagan magic.  That’s kind of the whole point.  I wove together enough of those historical pagan elements across cultures (never mind the book learning…I called a monastary!)–to catch the eye of a British scholar, who interviewed me a couple of years ago and included A Feral Darkness in the resulting publication.  (I was beyond excited about that, yes I was!)  There’re ancient Celtic gods, ancient Celtic dogs…and one contemporary woman who has to make it all come together in the context of her rather practical life.

I hadn’t meant to examine the interface of religions, but the character went there (she rode her bike there, actually), and I had to follow.  It was not easy writing…but maybe that’s why the book has connected with so many people over the years (and boy am I grateful for that!).

Sometimes, in order to make that connection, you have to reach far deeper than is truly comfortable.  It’s a vulnerable, vulnerable place to be as a writer.

So it does baffle (and ouch!) me that anyone could take the resulting book as a mockery of any given religion, and it makes me a little sad.  On the other hand, I think what also surprises me–a lot–is that someone who feels this strongly about the (“disturbing”) interface of religions would not only pick up the (“sickening”) book in the first place, but would read it through to the (“pathetic”) end.

It still matters to me, though.

 

 

Mar 092013
 

Because if you’re anything like me, you mean to follow through on something but don’t always get there during the busy times…

The Smashwords sale ends…today!  March 9th!  All of my books are on sale in one way or another, and they’re all clickable through my pages at Backlist eBooks.  There are a couple of freebies there, including BARRENLANDS–the first book in the Changespell Saga with Dun Lady’s Jess.

(You can find that series introduction on free at most of its retailers, in fact–the details are at the Backlist eBooks page.  Amazon has been slow to get on board, but you can report a lower price to them if you’d like to see it there).

In other news, check upstream for the Imperfect Service Dog post–today is the last day to enter for freebies in that event, also!

In other, other news, I’m featured at Laurie’s Thoughts & Reviews Blog, the paranormal side of the force.  Stop by and say hello–there’s the chance to win the entire Changespell Saga (In fact, I’m so clever (shut up!) I just figured out how to include that form here!).

In news that offers no reminders but plenty of nice grins, the current book in progress (a Nocturne in my Sentinels series, Lynx Revealed) is heading to the halfway point after its first month under way.  Whee!

In final news…I think…we have snow on the ground and still fluttering around in the air.  This is probably more important to me than it is to you.  But for this thirsty, thirsty land, it is a good thing indeed!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mar 032013
 

Got Smashwords?

Whatever your reader, you can pick up the right format at Smashwords.  And this week, you can pick up a whole buncha sales, because it’s Read an eBook Week and Smashwords makes it easy for us author folks to participate.

All of my books (26 titles!) are on sale, from 25% off to free downloads.  Given that the books are already listed below publisher prices, that makes them…well, terribly affordable.  (We do not use the word “cheap” around here!)

Most of the books are my earlier titles–some of them in updated versions, some with a bit of extra material.  There are also some original pieces (A Silhouette Bombshell that was to be released in February of that year…when they discontinued the line in January.  A couple of novellas I’ve written for the love of it.  The short story collection that quietly does its best to trickle funds toward ConneryBeagle’s vet costs).  Those are identified as such.

ePublishing does more than just get these out-of-print titles on the shelves (so to speak) again…it gives me a renewed freedom in my creativity…it gives me options.  Sales like this are a chance to give a little bit back!

My self-produced titles are all listed on my page at the Backlist eBooks site.  At one discount or another–the coupon for which is right there on the Smashwords page for each book–they’re all on sale through the 9th.  Happy reading!

 

Dec 172012
 

Back before I was published, I would turn the last page of my favorite books with the fierce yearning that one day my stories might make other readers feel as deeply as these authors made me feel.  Fantasy, mystery, romance…the genre doesn’t so much matter to me.  It’s all about the feeling, and about giving people a place to go outside their own world.

Right now, for so many, many reasons, we all need that escape.  So along with a selection of other authors–all traditionally published, but all now with the option to present our fiction our own way–I’m offering a gift to readers.

The authors playing this game believe that if we want a thriving book community, we need lots of options.  We need print, we need ebook, we need choice.  Over at Backlist eBooks, that’s exactly why we provide links to all of a book’s available retailers–including Book View Cafe, to which many of the participating treasure hunt authors belong.

But while there are a lot of book promotions out in the big wide Internets, not many of them are for Nook devices (as we Nook owners don’t need to be told!).

Today, we remedy that.  Until December 31st, we’re offering a meme game to those who would like a little bit of fun–and to earn free EPUB (the Nook format) books for playing.  (Although *cough* DRM-free EPUB files can readily be converted to MOBI for the Kindle.  Like I said, we’re all about choice!)

It’s easy to play!  Just show me a picture of you–or your four-footed friend–with a NOOK!  It doesn’t have to be your Nook, if you’ve a hankering for the book.  8)

(Keep it clean, people…no confusing “Nook” with “Nookie!”)

You can post your photo on my FaceBook Author Page.  You may have to “Like” the page, but that only takes a moment.

As soon as I see the picture (this could take minutes or an entire day), I’ll send a message to your Facebook account with the URL for a free download of Barrenlands, the first book of the Changespell Saga.

BarrenlandsFirst Released: Baen Books, 1998

Before there was Dun Lady’s Jess…

Magic, betrayal, and a twice-cursed exile–only one man’s determination can untangle the deadly intrigue that binds them together.

When Ehren’s sovereign and friend was killed, Ehren, First of the King’s Guard, was far away — sent on a wild goose chase by the First Level Ministry, whose number he now believes must contain at least one traitor.

When a First Level wizard orders him to stop searching for the assassins and instead to find and neutralize the dead king’s distant family, his suspicions deepen to near certainty.

And Ehren is determined to find those exiles – if only so that he may guard them with his life.

(The other titles in this series are Dun Lady’s Jess, Changespell, & Changespell Legacy and I expect them all to be available in mid-January.)

This link is a gift to you in Nookish solidarity, but isn’t meant to be shared.  It’s all about playing the game, right?

Also, if you’re a cross-genre reader like me, the treasure hunt goes on!  The following authors are also playing Show Me Your Nook–although the logistics may vary a bit.

  • Cat Kimbriel:  Fires of Nuala  (Science Fiction)  FaceBook & LiveJournal
  • Jeffrey A. Carver:  Eternity’s End  (Science Fiction)  FaceBook
  • Phyllis Irene Radford:  Guardian of the Balance, Merlin’s Descendants #1  (Fantasy)  FaceBook & LiveJournal
  • Mark Chisnell: The Defector  (Thriller)  FaceBook
  • Brenda Hiatt:  Lord Dearborn’s Destiny (traditional Regency romance) FaceBook
  • Phoebe Matthews:  Demonspell  (contemporary fantasy)  Web Site
  • Lorraine Bartlett: Cold Case  (Mystery)  Blog
  • Ruth Harris: Modern Women  (Fiction/Chick Lit)  Blog
  • Jennifer Stevenson:  King of Hearts  (romantic comedy)  Web Site & FaceBook
  • Vonda N. McIntyre: Starfarers, Book One of the Starfarers Quartet  (Science Fiction) Book View Cafe
  • Lise McClendon:  All Your Pretty Dreams  (Adult Fiction)  FaceBook
  • Melanie Jackson:  Moving Violation, Book 1 of the Chloe Boston Mysteries  (Mystery) FaceBook

And in case you’re wondering, this is how to sideload an EPUB file into your NOOK:

1) Download the epub file to your computer.
2) Attach your NOOK to the computer with its USB cable.
3) A “Nook” drive will appear in My Computer (PC) or Desktop (Mac).
4) Copy and Paste, or Drag and Drop downloaded EPUB (or even  PDF!) files into the My Documents folder on the Nook drive.
5) Go to My Library on the Nook, hit View My Documents, and then hit Check for New Content.
6) Choose one of the files you sideloaded into My Documents and press Select to open it.

You can also read EPUB on other devices! It’s a widely-used format with great convenience.

Be an explorer.  Show me your NOOK!

ConneryBeagle takes his reading seriously.

Obligatory disclaimer: All copyright to this free book is retained by the author. You may share this post in its entirety.  All pictures to my FaceBook page must be posted by 11:59 PM, December 31, 2012, MST. If anyone posts this EPUB to a torrent site, the URL goes 404 and we won’t have any more games.  This is a gift to those who play the game, not an invitation to set the book free forever.  If you post a picture that would be considered in bad taste, it will be deleted and you won’t get a coupon code.  Thank you for keeping things fun!