Monday, August 24, 2015

GUEST BLOG/PROMO POST: "Riot Of Storm And Smoke" by Jennifer Ellision

(Threats of Sky and Sea series, Book #2)
YA High Fantasy
Date Published: August 18, 2015

War draws closer, like a tide to the shore.

Bree and her friends have escaped the clutches of the Egrian King, but their troubles are far from over. Still reeling from the secrets that drew new breath when her father took his last, Bree sets off for the safety of Nereidium-- the kingdom she's just learned is hers.
But with the King's ire at its peak and war a certainty, Nereidium is no longer safe. As Prince Caden rallies the Egrian people against his tyrant father, Bree, Princess Aleta, and Tregle race to the Nereid shore to warn them of the incoming dangerand to put the Nereid Princess on the throne.
The only trouble there: Bree cant bring herself to reveal that the Princess is her.

Its not a dilemma she can waste time pondering. With a new weapon in his arsenal, the King's strikes are sure to be bolder than ever before. And Bree may not be ready to wear a crown but she won't let her kingdom down without a fight.


We leave the body in the tunnel, and I try not to imagine my father lying there, alone and rotting away.
My hands skim the rough stone walls of the tunnel, and I dodge worried glances from Aleta and Tregle, flinching away from the flickering flames in their hands. Both of them Fire Torchers, they light our way through dust and dirt. I don't go too near them. I can't—not right now. The memory of fire consuming the room around me while trapped inside with a madwoman who wanted me dead is too fresh.
The air is thick as we descend beneath the castle. We're quiet, partly to avoid detection by the guards, who are surely still tearing the halls apart in their quest to find us. Our footsteps echo softly in the dark, scritch-scratching along the smooth stone ground. I'm silent for a different reason: I don't trust that when my mouth opens, a sob won't escape. Dragging myself away from Da—leaving him behind like yesterday's trash, the knife wound in his chest caked with dried blood—it's the most difficult thing I've ever done. My eyes sting with the salt left behind by tears, but I force my mouth to settle into an emotionless line.
Da's not all I left behind. Two sets of gray eyes haunt my thoughts.
Prince Caden came back for us after the initial search died down, arms laden with clothes, sacks of food, a bit of coin, and jewels for trade. My eyes met his for the scantest of seconds before I had to look away.
Come with us, a distant part of me implored. My hand was still warm from the knife he'd pressed into it when we took shelter in the hidden tunnel.
Stay away from me, the other part of me—the louder part—snarled. My first instinct about Caden when I'd met him in a jail cell had been right. His sort courts trouble, whether or not they mean to.
Maybe Caden saw some of that tumult in me because his voice was soft when he spoke. "Look for The Soused Turkey pub," he instructed. I kept my eyes locked on a shadow that Aleta's flames sent dancing against the wall. "It's a bit of a hole-in-the-wall, but the barkeep there's a good man. Clift. Tell him…" He hesitated. "Tell him Rick sent you."
Rick? He wants us to use his alias? My eyes snapped to his. I'd thought it was a joke, told to me in those first moments in the cell with Da to pretend away
his problems as the crown prince. With my eyes on his, it was like he couldn't help himself. He reached toward me until I shrank away.
The small movement was enough. His hand fell back to his side, and he left with the facsimile of a smile, wishing us well.
"Be safe, Bree."
I trudge on, the echo of his voice melding with the cacophony of flames in my memory.
The other set of gray eyes that press into me belongs to Caden's father, King Langdon of Egria. My fist clenches, nails digging into my palm. The king waits in his comfortable throne room as he sets to conquer any nations he can get his greedy hands on.
My vengeance waits with him.

Jennifer Ellision spent a great deal of her childhood staying up past her bedtime with a book and a flashlight. When she couldnt find the stories she wanted to read, she started writing them. She loves words, has a soft spot for fanfiction, and is a master of the fangirl flail. She resides in South Florida with her family, where she lives in fear of temperatures below 60 Fahrenheit.Website:


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How to Identify Your Writing Problems
I have two major pieces of advice when it comes to reading your own writing critically to identify the problems with your writing. It’s something that all writers need to do when they’re writing with the intent of publishing it. You put yourself in the reader’s shoes and try to imagine how they’d react.
But that can be hard when you’re close to your own writing.
So, advice #1: read widely within your genre and think critically about what you read. What did you like about the book? What didn’t you like? Why do you think made you feel that way? What would you have liked to see done differently? What makes the book work or fail?
Writing these thoughts down can be helpful, whether or not you post such a review anywhere. But getting into that sort of constructively critical mindset can help you apply it to your own work and make it stronger.
And making your stories as strong as you can is a good thing, but it’s not always enough. At least, it’s not for me.
Which is why my second piece of advice is that writers and aspiring authors get other eyes on their work. Like beta readers and/or critique partners. I don’t recommend family members, unless all you want to hear is praise— which is nice, don’t get me wrong. But ideally, a beta reader or critique partner will be someone else who either reads your genre critically, or writes themselves.
By working with a critique partner, someone who isn’t as close to the work as you— the writer— are, you’re bound to identify problems with the work that you may have missed yourself.
Without my critique partners, or learning critical reading skills, I’m not sure that I ever would have published a book.

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