The End

Today was the day, guys. Today, I sent off the last version of the manuscript of Truth of Embers I get to see before it’s all formatted and finalized. About time, too, since the book is supposed to come out on December 14th!

It’s been kind of a crazy year. When I told my agent that I could handle writing two books in a year (plus editing both of them AND the first book) I had no idea how hard it was going to be–mostly due to the fact that I’m also the full-time mother of three kids. I think books one and two turned out all right. Let’s all cross our fingers for book three, which I had less time with due to editing both books one and two while I was supposed to be writing it. Still, I think I nailed the ending. I like it, anyway.

…more or less.

I love these characters. Yeah, they’re imaginary, but they’ve become so real to me. I’m so excited for the print version of Soul of Smoke to come out this December. Also, I found out that Shadow of Flame is slated for print in February 2016. At the moment, both books are only going to be available through Harlequin’s subscription program and I *think* directly from their website–so you won’t be able to get it on Amazon. I get a whole box of each though, so stay tuned for giveaways! I’m not sure yet if Truth of Embers will make it to print, but I’ll keep you updated on that, as well.

Anyway, I wanted to say more, but my brain is kind of fried. Today Soul of Smoke and Shadow of Flame are Kindle Daily Deals ($0.99 each for a few more hours!) and I feel like I’ve spent most of my day on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram trying to tell people about it.


Oh! Another thing. My friends and I are hosting a critique partner matchmaking event. Here’s a post–an updated version of one I wrote last year–telling you why you need a CP even if your sister/spouse/friend is an English major. That’s also something I worked on today. If you’re a writer without a CP, you should definitely check it out!

Here’s a question for you guys: now that the Dragonsworn trilogy is out there (or will be, in December), do you have any questions? Would you like to see more of that world? Short stories? Deleted scenes? More information? I’m always looking for material for blog posts, so I’d be happy to talk about any of that! In the meantime, I suppose I’m on to my next project, which is set in an enchanted forest. I’m pretty excited.

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Goodbye for now, dragon friends. May the wind carry you well.

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First ever Soul of Smoke fanart!

SO. I don’t know how many of you know this, but secretly one of the reasons I was so excited to get a book was that I suck as an artist and was hoping some awesome arty person would come along and love my books enough to create fanart. Because fanart is AMAZING.

I was messaging my friend, the amazing LT Elliot, about my dreams (she’s one of my favorite readers, a fantastic writer, and an amazing critique partner). She went quiet for a while and then messaged me THIS GLORIOUS THING. You might not get it if you haven’t read Soul of Smoke (What are you thinking? Here’s the link. You’re welcome.), but if you have, it’s hilarious.


Laura's dragon comic

Thanks LT!!

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How I Write Books

The story of my process told mostly in gifs.

First draft

Immediately veer off of outline. Write events, plot, dialogue. Things are out of order or don’t make sense. Drop/don’t develop minor plot threads. Overall, though, the story is there, even if it’s skeletal. Think, “Hey, I’ve got this.”

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Second draft

Shove in ALL the backstory and do any major plot overhauling. Stuff in details and setting until draft is bloated and lumpy. Nothing flows. Think, “I hate everything because I suck.”

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This is both my draft and me.

Third draft

Pick apart the prose, smooth transitions so scenes work together. Add depth to emotion. Think, “This book is flawed, but I like it.”

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I know what I’m doing. *hysterical laugh*

Fourth draft

Polish and add tiny details. Decide I need to go over it like five more times. Procrastinate because of burn out and barely have time to go over it once. Think, “This book is ONLY flaws.”

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*incoherent weeping*

Finally, editors are like:

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Send in manuscript. Cry because I’ve survived writing another book.

Clean house. Color and binge-watch TV. Willfully forget I ever decided to be a writer in the first place. Attempt to tweet/Instagram/blog about book so as not to utterly disappoint agent.


Hide from the world.

Also: almost throw up every time someone posts a review. Obsessively check Goodreads for new ratings. Hate and love the story by turns. Make a decision.

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Come across shiny idea.

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Immediately start new book.

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Giveaway Winner!

And the winner is…



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Thank you so much to everyone who entered. If you still want a chance to win the books, my friend Charlie and I are doing another giveaway today on Twitter! All you have to do is retweet this tweet and you’re entered. Good luck!

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Shadow of Flame Release Date and a Giveaway!

I can’t believe it’s already time for book two! Would you like to own Soul of Smoke AND Shadow of Flame for free? I thought so. Keep reading.
Shadow of Flame Final

If you haven’t heard of the books, here’s the back cover for book one, Soul of Smoke:

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.

The books are technically published as adult, but they’ve got a pretty strong YA flavor. I think the series will probably appeal most to people who are fans of YA fantasy with lots of romance. Aside from that, they’re pretty clean. Shadow of Flame is the second book in the trilogy and the story is more or less continuous (though I did try to write them so people starting with books two and three wouldn’t get lost). If you haven’t read it yet, you should definitely check out Soul of Smoke first!

And now, the reason you’re all here. To celebrate release day, I’m giving away a copy of both Soul of Smoke and Shadow of Flame for free!


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And when they don’t look like grownup versions of those guys, they look like this:

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Wut? Hello. Fantasy + romance is just as good as peanut butter + chocolate.

A few things you should know:

  1. THESE ARE EBOOKS. You need a computer, smartphone, or tablet with ebook-reading software to read them.

That’s all. I’d love to give away real books, but I don’t have any yet. As soon as I get some, I’ll give away those, too.

How to enter:

  1. Leave a comment on this blog about your favorite fictional dragon.
  2. Follow me on Twitter.
  3. Follow me on Instagram.
  4. Like my Facebook author page.
  5. Retweet this tweet.
  6. Share this Facebook post.

ONCE YOU’VE DONE THAT,  COME BACK AND LEAVE A SEPARATE COMMENT ON THE BLOG FOR EACH ONE. You can do all of that stuff and get a ton of entries. I know that isn’t convenient, but I think that will be the easiest way to keep track of things on my end.

I’ll use a random number generator to choose a winner. That person can email me at (make sure you include your preferred file format for the ebooks).

This contest will run until tomorrow, September 15th, at 9am Mountain Time. I know that’s short, but I’m planning on doing a more soon!

Good luck!

If you think entering contests is too much of a hassle and you just want to buy the books (they’re only $3.49, after all) check out the links here.

Thanks for stopping by!

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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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