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rlwagner

The Sphinx #4 Update- Fates and Furies and other writing news…

I’ve been deep in the writing cave the last couple of weeks finishing the draft of book 4 in the Sphinx series. I’ve played with lots of titles, but with everything happening with Hope, Athan, and Xan, I’m really loving Fates and Furies.

However, the questions I get most have less to do with the title, and more to do with the release date. That being said, I’m hesitant to announce a date until I know that the draft I’ve submitted to the editor isn’t going to have any major revisions. But just so we’re all on the same page: I’m expecting to announce a release date by late March, and if there are no major revisions, I’ll release Fates and Furies in June 2017.

As for other writing projects… I have quite a few!

Xan is a fan-favorite, and I had an opportunity to write a short prequel story from his point of view in December. Son of War will be released sometime before June. I’m working with my marketing partner to pursue the best route for publication of this short story.

I also got the rights back on a short story titled, Narcos. This is more contemporary political thriller, and it’s very different fare than my Sphinx series. I’m debating expanding it, but I may leave as is, and just have it formatted and release it soon.

And I’m working on a super secret project, too! Hint, it’s another short story. I’ll be announcing info on it in the next couple of weeks.

Finally, I’ve got a draft of Legends of the Sphinx that is sitting on my hard drive that I’ve decided needs to be shared. It’s going to need a bit of polish, but the story of Phaidra (the original Sphinx) is a beautiful tale of self-acceptance, redemption, and mostly love.

So much good stuff that I can’t wait to share!

And now back to my cave so I can get some stories out to you!

Happy reading!

 

The BIGGEST book-release party EVER!! Come jointhe8!

 

I love doing Facebook parties. I think it’s such a great way for authors and fans to come together and chat books, play games, and do fun giveaways. ALL good things, right?

My good friend, and fell author, Kelly St. Clare and I were talking about our upcoming releases and we had an idea. A crazy, brilliant, idea. And with of a few of our friends (and fellow authors) we came up with #jointhe8. It’s more than just a release party. Although there is that, too. The website www.jointhe8.com has a list of our featured authors, and their upcoming releases. There’s Elise Kova, Siobhan Davis, Norma Hinkens, Joanne Wadsworth, J.L. Weil, Holly Hook, and me! If you check out the site, you’ll see that all of us are giving away freebies for joining our newsletters. There’s a kindle fire giveaway, and the big FB event is tomorrow!!

I hope you’ll take a bit of time out of your day to come join us. I’ve got several one of a kind giveaways (Xan inspired tank top, Charon inspired bracelet), and there is a massive first-in-first giveaway at the end, as well as a grand prize giveaway of signed books by each of us!

Come!! Join the 8!!

New Release! Myths of Immortality is LIVE!

I’m so *freaking* excited to announce that Myths of Immortality is now available on Amazon! Woot!

This is the third book in The Sphinx series, and Hope, Athan, Xan, and Dahlia are off on a new adventure… Any guesses? I’m pretty sure that tag above gave it away, right?

If you’re a fan of Greek mythology with nice dash of romance, you’ll g(r)eek out with this latest installment.

Here’s the blurb:

In the realm of the dead, there are no lies.

Hope Nicholas is desperate to believe that the truth will set her free from the bindings of Apollo’s curse. But to get the truth, she must travel to the Underworld, a feat near impossible for the living. The gods there have their own agendas and, forced to forge alliances with the most unlikely allies, Hope will find that death is not the worst torment of the Underworld.

Athan Michael spent months chasing Hope, only to have her disappear once again. And when he discovers her destination, he knows the treacherous journey to the Underworld is one he cannot take alone. Forced to put aside his past with Xan and Dahlia, the three demigods embark on their own quest. But the past will not stay buried, and Athan must decide how much he’s willing to sacrifice to help Hope break the curse.

Told in dual points of view, Myths of Immortality is a tense, action-packed story that will leave you begging for the next installment of The Sphinx series.

The Sphinx series is perfect for fans of urban fantasy with a mythic twist!

Myths of Immortality is specially priced at $2.99 for the Kindle edition for the next week, and then the price will go up! And, as always, it’s FREE if you’re a part of Kindle Unlimited!

Here’s your linky-link to get it: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NACO722

Have you grabbed your copy? What are you waiting for?

Curse of the Sphinx Read Along

Come join me and the MYTH 101 FB group as we read Curse of the Sphinx together.

I’ve got so much fun planned for this with questions, teasers, and GIVEAWAYS! And if you don’t have a copy of Curse of the Sphinx, you can grab it just to the right of this post for free if you sign up for my newsletter!

OR grab an ecopy of Curse of the Sphinx on the ‘Zon HERE for only $.99 (USD)

*click, click, click*

Do you have your book? Excellent!

Now, click HERE to join MYTH 101!

I look forward to chatting with you soon!

Myths of Immortality- Release Date Jan. 12, 2017

Book 3 in The Sphinx series is entitled Myths of Immortality, and is now available for pre-order on Amazon!

myths_cover_112616

In the realm of the dead, there are no lies.

Hope Nicholas is desperate to believe that the truth will set her free from the bindings of Apollo’s curse. But to get the truth, she must travel to the Underworld, a feat near impossible for the living. The gods there have their own agendas and, forced to forge alliances with the most unlikely allies, Hope will find that death is not the worst torment of the Underworld.
Athan Michael spent months chasing Hope, only to have her disappear once again. And when he discovers her destination, he knows the treacherous journey to the Underworld is one he cannot take alone. Forced to put aside his past with Xan and Dahlia, the three demigods embark on their own quest. But the past will not stay buried, and Athan must decide how much he’s willing to sacrifice to help Hope break the curse.
Told in dual points of view, Myths of Immortality is a tense, action-packed story that will leave you begging for the next installment of The Sphinx series.

Demigods and Monsters… and Josh “The Punk” Thomson

Whe1480317692_tmp_demigods_and_monsters_front_cover-600pxn I looked at rebranding my covers so that they looked like a series (newbie error!!), my husband brought up his friend Damon Gee at Knoxx Gym and said he knew some MMA fighters that might be willing to be a cover model.

My first thought was “How cool would it be to have Xan represented by a real fighter!!” But for those of you that follow MMA (UFC and BellatorMMA are the two I follow), you know that most fighters aren’t necessarily attractive.

But lookie-lookie!!

Damon was super kind and asked his friend Josh “The Punk” Thomson if he would be willing to model. Josh is AMAZING! He’s the only fighter to knock out Nate Diaz which is crazy! But what made Josh perfect is the way he is in real life. It’s his talk of the importance of lifting others on your path to success, the importance of respecting your training partners, and valuing your team. The way he moves is very much like Xan. And the fact that he is just as precise in his fighting skills as in his life skills… I suspect there will be several readers stalking Josh’s social media pages. lol

Have you met Xan? Have you read Demigods and Monsters?

What did you think?

The Sphinx, Series title added to cover for 2nd edition

curse-front-cover-with-series-title-for-kindleCurse of the Sphinx was my first novel, and I was so, so in love with it. When I first finished writing in 2013, I’d written 180,000+ words. I was so naïve I queried it. I had an agent request a sample, and then the full MS. Which in and of itself is astonishing. But she gave me feedback about structure, pacing, and arcs that left me scratching my head (I told you I was naïve).

A few months later, I went to Utopiacon. I learned so much, and I realized I needed to do a lot of work with my manuscript. Then I got into a critique group, and realized there was a lot more work to do. I hired an editor, and did a boat-load of revisions. In June of 2015 I was ready.

Or so I thought.

I’ve heard of authors looking back at their first books (especially in the indie world) and recognizing how much they’ve improved as writers. I just didn’t expect it to happen to me… in less than 18 months.

Much of my dissatisfaction likely came from seeing how much better Demigods and Monsters was comparatively. Some of it was the realization that three editors just do a better job than one. And my writing really is getting better. Which is a good thing. 

I debated letting it go, but I just couldn’t. So I sent it off to an editor, and then another. By the time I was done with revisions, I felt much better about Curse of the Sphinx and the beginning of Hope’s story. Better about the pacing, the world-building, and the anchoring of the scenes. I felt better about my characters and their arcs. I cut over 5,000 words. I added one scene that was approximately 500 words, but I tried to add more details, too as I was reviewing it. The second edition has 7,000+ new words (don’t ask me how that happened). And I love how the ending sets up for Demigods and Monsters.

I’m fairly confident there will be some backlash for the changes. Although *fingers crossed* hopefully, readers will love it as much as I do.

I’m also learning I can’t please everyone, regardless of how much I want to. But this story is one I am very proud of. And I’m going to leave it at that.

**Deleted scenes will be added to the Read for Free section in the next couple of weeks. These will be unedited from the first edition manuscript.**

Had a FABULOUS time…

In OCK.  Who knew that there were gods, demigods, and a few other immortals there…

Had cupcakes with the Fates and Aphrodite

at sara sara cupcakes

Inside the Actors’ studio with demigod Matt Hunt

pic w matt 1pic with matt 3 He does magic.  Hmmm.  I wonder who his god parent is?

And I plotted with Artemis after a run in with her brother.

with artemis

Quite a fun trip!  Now…

BACK TO WRITING!

 

Guest Blog with Kaitlin Bevis

So… You know THAT person… the one you look up to in your field (be it in work, school, or even your hobby)?  They’ve done something fabulous, and you lurrvvv it.  It’s marvy, cool, and tré magnifiqué!  Well, Kaitlin Bevis is THAT person.  She has taken the Persephone myth and made it into a story that is incredible!  Here’s a bit from Kaitlin about Persephone the first book in her Daughter’s of Zeus series.

persephone cover

*Myths were passed on and adapted through oral retellings through multiple cultures, and retold by a variety of authors. Homer, Ovid, Virgil and many other classical writers each put their own spin on the myths to suite their stories, just as I altered the myths to fit the plot of Persephone. I pulled from a variety of sources, combining the elements of multiple versions, so please be aware that the myths you read below are by no means the “official” or definitive versions of the myth. If you hear or read an alternate version somewhere else it is not wrong or inaccurate. It is simply a different telling.

The rape of Persephone:

Kore, the goddess of Spring, was a beautiful goddess and would have had many suiters had her mother, Demeter, goddess of agriculture, not kept her hidden away from the other gods. One day Kore went to a meadow to pick narcissus flowers, lilacs, poppies, or some other flower depending on the source with some nymphs when Hades, God of the Underworld spots her and decides he wants her for his wife. He bursts through the earth (in some versions, Gaia, goddess of Earth assists him) in his creepy black chariot of death, and drags Kore into the Underworld. After her rape/marriage, Kore becomes known as Persephone, the Queen of the Underworld.

Demeter, goddess of Agriculture and Persephone’s mother, searches frantically for her daughter, neglecting her duties as a goddess and plunging the earth into famine. Helios, god of the sun, or in some versions Persephone’s nymph friends, tell Demeter what happened and she begs Zeus to rescue her daughter.

At first Zeus tells Demeter she should be pleased to have such a high ranking son in law, but eventually relents since too many people are starving to worship him properly, and sends Hermes to liberate Persephone so long as she has not consumed food or drink in he Underworld.

Meanwhile, Persephone is tricked into eating 3-7(depending on the version) pomegranate seeds by the god Ascalapus, Hades’ gardener. He is turned into a screech owl in retribution for his crime, and Persephone is forced to return to the Underworld for a month every year for each seed she ate. While she is home with her mother, plants grow, but during her time in the Underworld every year they die. This myth is considered an explanation for winter.

Why did her name change?

Changing a gods name to reflect a change in their divine role was not uncommon. In Persephone’s case she doesn’t even get a name until she’s important. Kore translated to girl, or maiden.

Persephone has a variety of other names and titles within her cult the Eleusinian Mysteries.

Why a pomegranate?

The pomegranate is known as the fruit of the dead as well as a symbol for fertility, and thanks to the little crown on the top of a pomegranate is a symbol of royalty. So it’s easy to see why it was chosen as symbol in the Persephone myth. You’ve got royalty for the new Queen of Spring/fertility of the dead. When you cut it open is naturally divided into three to six sections depending on the fruit. It is full of tiny little seeds covered in a blood red juice.

While the Persephone myth is the most well known example of using a Pomegranate for symbolism, way back when, this weird little fruit found its way into a variety of stories across cultures.

Why does it matter what flower Persephone was picking?

The flower chosen in the myth kind of sets the tone for the whole story. The narcissus  flower for instance is commonly seen as a phallic symbol, and a symbol of unrequited love, and as a portent for death, so you’ve got some foreshadowing, and loss of innocence going there. Other flowers symbolize different things that the story teller may be trying to get across.

Why did I change it?

In my version of the story Hades was actually rescuing Persephone. The idea that Hades may not have been the bad guy has been toyed with in popular culture throughout my entire life (Beauty and the Beast anyone?) so it’s logical, and certainly not original, to consider that Hades may have just been misunderstood.

That myth has never really vanished or fallen out of fashion. It resonates with us for some reason. If you studied any mythology at all in school, you learned the Persephone myth. I think part of it is if you take the myth at face value, it’s unspeakable, so we want to fix this poor girls fate. But another part of it is that it seems incomplete. In most myths you get a bit of characterization. Zeus’s personality and wants and needs come across crystal clear in every single myth he’s a part of. Hades and Persephone both are ambiguous in this myth. Instead we learn a lot about Demeter, and her devotion as a mother. I wanted to know what happened down there. So I wrote my own version.

kaitlin

Bio:   Kaitlin Bevis spent her childhood curled up with a book, and a pen. If the ending didn’t agree with her, she rewrote it. She’s always wanted to be a writer, and spent high school and college learning everything she could so that one day she could achieve that goal. She graduated college with my BFA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, and is pursuing her masters at the University of Georgia.

Her young adult series “Daughters of Zeus” is available wherever ebooks are sold. She also writes for truuconfessions.com and Athens Parent Magazine.

Here’s the blurb from Persephone:

There are worse things than death, worse people too.

The “talk” was bad enough, but how many teens get told that they’re a goddess? When her mom tells her, Persephone is sure her mother has lost her mind. It isn’t until Boreas, the god of winter, tries to abduct her that she realizes her mother was telling the truth. Hades rescues her, and in order to safely bring Persephone to the Underworld he marks her as his bride. But Boreas will stop at nothing to get Persephone. Despite her growing feelings for Hades, Persephone wants to return to the living realm. Persephone must find a way to defeat Boreas and reclaim her life.

I feel like a rock star…Yep a review can do that!

http://bookdictivereviews.blogspot.com/2013/06/origin-of-sphinx-novella-by-raye-wagner.html

It is an AWESOME thing to get a 5 star review.  Actually, as a writer, it is the THING!  I was at UtopYA this weekend (totally AMAZING-ooh look, this post is going to be brought to you today by the letter A), and in one of he sessions the moderator asked the panelists, “In one word, how do you feel when you get a 5 star review?”

AHH- FREAKING-MAZING!!  (not my word, but I wish I could claim it).

Here’s my take on it.  Amazon ranks books on sales AND reviews, so as an author we need both if we are going to be successful.  And a positive review (4 or 5 stars) gives us authors that warm, fuzzy, lovey feeling… No, actually it makes me giddy.  Giddy like a giddy thing from giddy-land on planet giddy! Like, “AHHHH! DID YOU SEE… OH MY GOSH…WOW…THIS IS….AHHHH!!!”  This is how I speak when overwhelmed, I can’t finish my sentences.

Mollie followed me on GR (probably my first follower) and when I noticed this I contacted her to solicit a R2R (read to review).  But she had already bought the novella, and she cordially agreed to review it after she had finished.  Her review on GR was quite gracious, but the review on her blog BOOKDICTIVE REVIEWS (http://bookdictivereviews.blogspot.com/) made me scream with joy and excitement.  Honestly.  I woke up the sleeping kiddos in the house.  I love sass. Sass and spunk.  I love them even more when their on my side.

Guess who will be getting an ARC of everything I write?

The power of a review?  Be it reader or reader/blogger- Reviews are our life.  They help us sell books.  They help us write books (a good review is great motivation). They help give us feedback (the constructive feedback can be painful, but is still good to hear).  AND when someone LUURRRVVVS your work…

AHH-FREAKING-MAZING!!