Fun things from the last month

Hey guys!

Sorry that I abandoned the blog for a month. I was INSANELY busy writing book three. Basically I had six months to write it (January to June of this year) but stuff was NOT coming together. It took me until I finished the developmental edits for book two to really be able to see where I felt book three should go. However, since it was the end of July by then and I still hadn’t turned the book in (my editor generously gave me some extra time, then that time got eaten by edits for book two), AND because book three is supposed to release in November–insanity–I had very little time to produce this new vision for book three.

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I can honestly say that I have never been so stressed in my life.

Thankfully, I was able to finish and hand it in to my editor. I know it still needs work, but I’m crossing my fingers that the story is pretty good and all I’ll need to do is deepen what’s there instead of change stuff, you know?

However, I did write SOME blog posts, just not here. I should’ve posted links to these weeks ago, but yeah. I was being crushed under the weight of my overzealous deadline-related promises. Probably I won’t be agreeing to write 95K fantasy novels in six months anymore.

ANYWAY. Here are some Dragonsworn-related posts I did for the Carina Press and Harlequin blogs, in case you haven’t seen them.

Here are eight things Kai learns about dragons!

And here I introduce you to MY version of the men of Dragonsworn. Seriously, casting my novels is my favorite. But keep in mind that my version doesn’t have to be your version just because I’m the author, okay? You can picture these guys however you want.

Tee hee.

Also, if you like Soul of Smoke, don’t forget that Shadow of Flame is coming out on September 14th, two weeks from today! (Assuming you’re reading this Monday and not Sunday night when I’m actually posting it.) All the links for buying my books can be found by clicking here.

Some other fun things: the glorious Charlie N. Holmberg, my agency sister and love of my life friend was on Writing Excuses (that’s a big deal)! She is hilarious and gives good advice, so check that out if you’re a writer. Or if you aren’t but you want to hear Charlie and Brandon Sanderson being sassy together.

Sadface for you all that the giveaway she was doing for her new book, Followed by Frost, is over as of the 31st. But you should definitely check it out on Amazon and follow Charlie on social media like her blog and Twitter and Instagram because she does giveaways a few times a year. Yay!!

Anyway I have a cold and a headache and kids to get to school in the morning so goodnight!

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I’m an AUTHOR! And guess what…

Holy crap, guys. THIS IS IT. Soul of Smoke is officially available for you to own! You know you want it because DRAGONS!

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Oh, yeah! Dragons and romance are awesome and you should buy my book! HERE ARE SOME LINKS:

Carina Press


Barnes and Noble

Google Play

Keep in mind that you are NOT ordering a print book. As of this moment, the Dragonsworn books are only available as ebooks.

But that brings me to my announcement…

Harlequin has chosen Soul of Smoke for their DTC (Direct to Consumer) program in December!

Do you know what that means?


When I got the email I was like

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Yeah. I pretty much still am.

I can’t even say how grateful I am to everyone involved in this. My family, agent, editors, publisher, CP’s. EVERYONE. This was a dream of mine before I even realized it could be. THANK YOU!

So, even though the ebook is coming out today, the print book won’t be available until December of this year. Once it is available, you’ll still only be able to get it on Harlequin’s website. So I’ll definitely post links for that when it happens. As of right now, it’s not a sure thing that books two and three will be printed. I’ll also keep you guys updated on that.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have an awesome day! If you’re interested in hearing me talk about the book, feel free to drop by my husband’s livestream, where I’ll be around chatting about the book and answering questions for most of the day (unless I can convince him to take me out to dinner instead).


And pardon me. I’m off to finish book three.

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This is it! The reveal for the last book of the Dragonsworn trilogy!!

Okay, if you’ve looked at Amazon or the Nook store or Goodreads they’ve had it up for a while. BUT THIS REVEAL IS THE OFFICIAL ONE!


Are you sure?

It’s the last time I’ll get to do this until I sell another book (which hopefully won’t be very long…)



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HONESTY MOMENT. This one is my favorite! *happy sigh*

Well, I would linger with you my friends, but I’m actually still writing this book and time grows short. Thanks for stopping by!

Which cover is your favorite?

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How to Be a Wizard and Write a Fantasy Novel

Yeah, this artist is drawing. But creative endeavors are creative endeavors.

You’re welcome.

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On Being Reviewed

Soul of Smoke comes out one month from today! I’m so excited!! I’ve been lucky enough to have my publisher make the book available on NetGalley, which means I already have some reviews. I’m so grateful to everyone who has reviewed or rated my book. Even if they hated it, they gave me their time when they read it, and that’s a generous thing.

Being reviewed is at once strange, fantastic, and terrifying. Strange, because I’ve always been more or less invisible. Fantastic, because obviously it’s great to have people say nice things about you. Terrifying, because not all people like the book. And it’s really, really hard to sit there in silence and let them point out flaws in something I poured my soul into.

My friend Charlie (buy her books!) told me never to read anything but five-star reviews. I think I might agree with her. Even skimming polite three-star reviews leaves me in a sort of sick panic, because of course I’m a mediocre hack and why did I ever think I could write novels in the first place?! (Note: I don’t usually think I’m a mediocre hack–it takes a certain amount of narcissism to attempt to publish a novel’s worth of your own words.) But it’s also been good for me, because now I know that this is what I want to do. Regardless of my ratings, I like writing novels and I’m going to keep doing it. With all the stress of meeting my deadlines while trying to take care of my family and be a person, I’d sort of forgotten that writing is something I enjoy.

So, yes. Being reviewed is simultaneously one of the coolest and most difficult things I’ve experienced. But I’m excited to get my reviews–all of them–because it means I accomplished something big and difficult that I set out to do.

If you like fantasy and romance, I hope you’ll check out Soul of Smoke when it’s released on July 27th. It’s technically an adult romance, but I think (and my reviewers agree) that it has a ton of older YA appeal. If you do read the book and like it, remember that the best thing you can do for an author is to tell ALL your friends!

The second-best thing you can do is leave a good review. 😉

Stay tuned. I’m going to try and think of cool things to do to lead up to my book release. If you have any ideas, feel free to let me know in the comments!

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Hey guys! It’s been a crazy week. Not only am I working on my edits for book two of my trilogy, Shadow of Flame, I got the cover! Things are happening very quickly. I was going to wait a little while to post it, but it’s already on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, so I thought I might as well reveal it here, too!

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YES IT’S PRETTY! Thank you again to the artists and Carina Press and everyone who’s helped make these books a reality! I would post the blurb for this one, but it has book one spoilers, so I’m going to hold off for now. Sorry! Just know that everything gets worse. 😀

You can find book one, Soul of Smoke, on Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. In fact, you can find Shadow of Flame on GoodreadsBarnes & Noble and Amazon.

I’ll tell you guys a secret. I already have the cover for book three. And it’s my favorite.

But you have to wait. *evil laugh*

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SOUL OF SMOKE Cover Reveal!

This is it!

Are you guys ready to see the cover for Soul of Smoke?!

Here it is!


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Wooo! I LOVE IT! Thank you so much to the Carina Press team for this awesome design!

For good measure, here’s the back cover copy:

On a hike deep in the Rocky Mountains, Kai Monahan watches as a dozen dragons—actual freaking dragons—battle beneath a fat white moon. When one crashes nearly dead at her feet and transforms into a man, Kai does the only thing a decent person could: she grabs the nearest sword and saves his life.

As the dragon/man, Rhys, recovers from the attack, a chance brush of skin against skin binds him inextricably to Kai. Becoming heartsworn to a human—especially such a compelling one—is the last thing Rhys wants. But with an ancient enemy gathering to pit dragons against humanity and his strength nearly depleted, Kai has just become the one thing Rhys needs. A complete bond will give him the strength to fight; a denied bond means certain death.

Kai is terrified at the thought of allowing any dragon into her mind…or her heart. Accepting the heartswearing and staying with the dragons means sacrificing everything, and Kai must decide if her freedom is worth risking Rhys’s life—a life more crucial to the fate of humanity than she could possibly know.

If that sounds good, here’s the Goodreads page. Feel free to add it to your “want to read” list! Remember, this is the first installment of a trilogy. BUT book two is coming out in September and book three in November of THIS YEAR, so you won’t have to wait long to see how it ends.

Soul of Smoke will be available for pre-order in a few weeks. I’ll post again with links to let you know when. Thank you all so much for stopping by!

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Coming Soon: SOUL OF SMOKE Cover Reveal!

Guys. I got my cover. My first cover for my first novel.

And it is awesome.

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I wish I could show it to you now, but I’m not allowed yet. Come back on Monday to see it!

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#PitchSlam: Revenge of the Entrants

Hey PitchSlam friends (and everyone else)!

Here’s the deal. The PitchSlam entrants have been so collectively AWESOME in taking feedback that I figured they deserve a little revenge. So I’m presenting you with two of my own pitches/first 250 for you to comment on, and so are some of the other judges! Confession: I wrote my pitches superfast and they aren’t that great. 😀 Here we go.

This first one is  from the story that got me a PitchWars mentor, landed me an agent, and ultimately got a publishing contract. It’s the first in a trilogy and THEY’RE ALL COMING OUT THIS YEAR (in July, September, and November)! That’s right. So if you love romance, fantasy, and trilogies but hate waiting, you should check it out. 😉

Name: Caitlyn McFarland

Genre: Adult Contemporary Fantasy/Romance


Word Count: 95,000

Pitch: Kai Monahan’s hike in the Rockies ends with her kidnapped by dragons. When one bonds to her, she must complete the bond or risk unleashing dragons on humanity in a war that will decimate both.

First 250:

Kai stood at the brink of the precipice, the toes of her worn hiking boots hanging over the edge. One wrong move would plunge her down the sheer cliff face to the rock-strewn valley two hundred feet below. A shiver of adrenaline thrilled from the bottom of her feet to the base of her neck.

She threw out her arms and inhaled the pine-spiked autumn air. It was late September, and the higher elevations of the Rockies were a motley mix of yellow, orange and deep, dusty green. Snow capped the high peaks in the distance. Not far off, a stream laughed in its rocky bed.


Grinning, Kai stepped back from the view and sauntered to a boulder ten feet from the drop-off. She shed her pack and leaned against the sun-warmed surface of the stone. Haphazard flyaways the color of soot had escaped her messy bun, and she smoothed them down with callused fingers.

Gravel crunched behind her. Kai turned. “About time.”

Juli emerged from behind the tall, tumbled boulders that hid the path, looking cool and composed. Her pink jacket, which precisely matched the accents on her black pants, was worn but obviously cared-for. She eyed the cliff, then Kai, brushing an escaped strand of short, white-blond hair behind one ear. “We’ve talked about this.”

Kai shrugged away a buzz of annoyance. “I promised, didn’t I? No more almost falling off cliffs.” And she hadn’t. She’d been careful. “Where’s Charlotte?”

That’s it! You can find more info on the trilogy here and check out the Goodreads page for Soul of Smoke here. The book releases online on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and on the Carina Press website on July 27th, 2015.

And now for the second one. This one is drafted, but I haven’t revised yet, and it needs a new title. It’s going to be my next project after the Dragonsworn trilogy is finished… if my agent likes it. Like I said on Twitter, guys, even when you’re published, you never stop pitching.

Name: Caitlyn McFarland

Genre: Adult Fantasy/Romance


Word Count: 103,000 (will be lower after revisions)

Pitch: Dani “fell” from our world into another and gained healing magic. When allies abuse her power and a malicious king seeks her, Dani must rely on Hadrian–the king’s assassin son–or lose her life.

First 250:

Dani leaned over the platform’s edge and yanked the rope of the warning bell. The resulting bong reverberated through her skull and echoed among the vast trunks of the giant, oak-like trees of the Greening. She stumbled to the wooden rail of the glorified tree house and looked down, searching for evidence that the bell had done its job. It was nearly a two-hundred foot drop; her view of the village blocked by the deep, saturated green of the giant leaves, each the size of two open palms.

Air whooshed, and Dani spun toward the quiet sound. Natsume stood in the center of the previously empty platform, her round, high-cheekboned face concerned.

Dani pointed to the sky. “It’s there, right? I’m not seeing things?”

Natsume squinted tilted black eyes at the canopy, thin here in the heights of the ancient trees. The pale light of the aurora spread wavering fingers across the star-studded black of the sky; glimmering streamers of green, blue, and pink.

Natsume let out a low whistle. “You aren’t seeing things. Some poor idiot just woke up to the worst night of their life.”

Dani winced. The gut-twisting feeling of hurtling through a void. Waking dizzier than a kid spinning and spinning just to make the world turn upside down. “We’d better go. We’ve got to get to them first.”

Natsume snorted. “The king’s ‘porters couldn’t jump a small pond in one go. We’ll get there first.”

Dani crossed to her friend. “We can’t lose another one.”

And now you’ve seen my writing naked, ha ha. If you’d like to crit/comment/ask a question, do so in the comments! Thank you all again for being so great! Here are the links to the other judges’ posts!





Mary Ann


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Hey guys!

These next couple of weeks I’m participating in Old Hollywood-themed #PitchSlam as part of team Tempo Tantrums! YAY!! The Director of the Tempo Tantrums, the lovely Kim Vanderhorst, has chosen me as her Assistant Director.

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I know, right?

For those who haven’t heard, here’s how Pitchslam works.

1. Send in your pitch. We critique it and send it back to you.

2. Send in the first 250 words of your manuscript. We critique and send it back to you.

3. Send your REVISED pitch/250 back.

4. The Director of each team, with the help of their Assistant Director, chooses several pitches to showcase on their blog.

5. AGENTS look through the pitches. If something catches their eye, they request pages.

Find the dates and other nitty-gritty stuff here.

As for team Tempo Tantrums, Kim has already done a blog post covering all the basics, so check that out if you want to know more. For more about me, click around the blog and check out the page about my books!

A lot of chatter about the contest happens on Twitter, so don’t forget to check out #Pitchslam and follow Kim, @Kymburleev, and me, @CHMcFarland!

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