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 »

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.

 

 

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!

Jun 052012
 

In deference to my To-Do List, and to the “shoulds” and “ought-tos” that keep cropping up there…

I should mention that it’s easy to subscribe to this blog in email.  There’s a link over on the side, and then there’s this link that I’m putting here just for that purpose.

This link here.  For subscribing to the blog in email.

I should mention that I have a newsletter.  It’s delightfully sporadic, and it’s easy to subscribe to, also.  See, here’s a link for that, too.

This link here.  For subscribing to my newsletter.

There’s a free story at the end of the process, by the way.  (Current subscribers will get that in my next newsletter.  Only because I kinda forgot to put it in the LAST newsletter…).  And there’s a sample of the newsletter here, if you’re curious.

I ought to mention that Touched by Magic and Wolf Justice are now available through Kindle and Smashwords as well as Nook, and other retailers will be coming along soon.  See?  Like this.

Touched By Magic $4.49 Nook Touched By Magic

One man loses everything to magic–and will do anything to prevent it from taking over his world.

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

Romantic Times

Wolverine's Daughter $4.49 Nook Wolf Justice

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

“Durgin has a magic touch for creating rich fantasy.”

–Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

And then I should mention that tomorrow’s blog will be way cool, an agility blog that’s part of the Dog Agility Blog Event.  I hope you stop by to read it!

There.  I am so virtuous.  And how are you doing on the ought-to front?

Feb 162011
 

The excitement of the day! My Backlist eBooks are being featured on Daily Cheap Reads today!

If you have a Kindle, Daily Cheap Reads is a great place to find inexpensive books of all kinds–indie, sales, and repubs.  This month features many of our Backlist eBooks writers, so…way cool!

And I’m still blogging around, all excited about the release of Storm of Reckoning.  You can find me:

(previously)

Terry Odell’s Place — The Vicarious Wallow
Tor Newsletter — Beyond the Woo
NovelThoughts – The Happily Ever After
The Knight Agency Interview — Twenty Questions

(now!)
Daily Cheap Reads

(next!)
Thursday 17th: Rom Con — Storm of Reckoning: On the Road
Friday 18th: The Knight Agency Free Friday!
Saturday 19th: Fresh Fiction — On Being the Evil Overlord

And in the meantime, I offer this recently unearthed little ode, penned while I was grooming.  You’ll figure out the tune, which fully reveals my sophisticated music muse:

Me:

I’m a Cocker Spaniel
Short and stout
Here is my piddle
Here is my snout
If you try to brush me,
Watch out–OUCH!
Big eyelashes
I’m cute, no doubt

ConneryBeagle: BAWHSOME, mymom!  Do it again!

Dec 292010
 

Making the Rules

Hidden Steel

A Feral Darkness

Deep River Reckoning

bookmarks

Unbelievable!  The Coolness goes on and on! This week it’s something for everyone–ebook readers and hardcopy readers alike.

So guess what!  Backlist eBooks is having an “It’s Still the Season” Sale! So to all those hungry new e-reading devices, it’s feast time!  All formats, all DRM free.

With 25% off out-of-print books already priced low by the authors… Yeah, you bet I went shopping!

Anyway, it’s easy. It’s a coupon sale, and the directions are right on the sale page:

RIGHT HERE GO AND BUY BOOKS

See all mine? They’re all $2.99 books before the discount:

“Another trademark Durgin, full of realism, deft strokes of humour (and pop culture), plenty of sizzle, compassion, action, and a heroine you not only believe, you want to be. Grab this one.” –Julie Czerneda, Stratification series

“HIDDEN STEEL is a pulse-pounding suspense…Full of mystery and interesting characters, HIDDEN STEEL will grab readers from the beginning and is a book you don’t want to miss.”

–Jennifer Bishop, Romance Reviews Today

“I’ve been a Doranna Durgin fan for years, and she consistently delivers all the things I like in a book…she doesn’t disappoint in this, [MAKING THE RULES], either.” –Karen Gould, reader review

“The mystery and fantasy slowly draw together, bonded by supreme characterization, to make for a story which is almost impossible to put down.”

–Reviewers Bookwatch

There, see? Aren’t those nice?

What?

What do you mean, I’m biased? Surely not.

Besides, there are books by all THESE authors to choose from, too!

MYSTERY & SUSPENSE
Patricia Ryan
Deb Baker
Lorraine Bartlett/L.L. Bartlett
Lillian Stewart Carl
Libby Fischer Hellmann
Mary Ellen Hughes
Michael Allan Mallory
Maryann Miller
Terry Odell

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Julie Ortolon
Judith Arnold
Fran Baker
Pamela Burford
Marsha Canham
Christina Crooks
Lori Devoti
Patricia McLinn
Terry Odell
Kathryn Shay

HISTORICAL ROMANCE
Patricia Ryan
Marsha Canham
Melanie Jackson
Patricia McLinn
Laurin Wittig

PARANORMAL ROMANCE
Doranna Durgin
Lillian Stewart Carl
Lori Devoti

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

Doranna Durgin
Patricia Rosemoor

SF/FANTASY
Doranna Durgin
Lillian Stewart Carl
Jeffrey A. Carver

WOMEN’S FICTION
Patricia McLinn
Maryann Miller
Susanne O’Leary

*infomercial voice* But wait! There’s MORE!

That’s because I’ve got bookmarks on the way, and I’ll be mailing them out soon.  See?  There it is at under the book covers, front and back.

It’s terribly terribly hard to get one of these nice glossy, sturdy long-lasting beauties.  Are you ready?

Email me.

Okay, yeah.  Include your snail mail address. Until I perfect the “Beam me up Scotty” school of mail delivery, I’m sticking with envelopes and the USPS.  But the good thing is, once you get a bookmark, you’re on the list for any new goodies that come out, too!

Oh, happy sigh. It is a week of bookie goodness!

Sep 012010
 

A Feral Darkness, Me

This Wednesday Behind the Scenes, it’s total indulgent gratitude.

What the (insert word of your preferred emphasis here), you may wonder, is that?

Well, that’s when you wallow in gratitude for something you didn’t plan but find truly comforting.

It’s a coincidence that the first released Backlist Ebook was A Feral Darkness, which contains a dog who carries traits, physical and behavioral, from two of my dogs–the first and only time I’ve done that. (Contrary to what many people think, mostly authors just make this stuff up.) The dogs? Jag and Jean-Luc Picardigan.

Jag came to me as a pet and with behavioral rehab needs: a developing and inexplicable fear of…well, no one was quite sure what, only that it happened unpredictably and otherwise didn’t suit his personality. He was an incredibly sweet dog, and I had fallen for him on sight, some months earlier, during a cross-country visit with Cheysuli breeder Jennifer Roberson. (Sometimes you really can almost hear that *click*…). He arrived, fit instantly into the household, and was much adored.  I began trying to understand what drove his problems.

Never actually had the chance. Six short weeks after his arrival, a neighbor child released him from my yard. He panicked straight into traffic.

I wanted to write him a better story than that. Eventually, I did.

By then, I had another Cheysuli dog. Jean-Luc’s special child issues were no mystery; he was injured at birth, made vulnerable by an open fontanel, and as a result developed into a deeply autistic dog in nature. Not to mention his subtly asymmetrical forehead!

So pieces of Jean-Luc Picardigan also helped inform Ch. Nuadha’s Silver Druid. Two special dogs, being shared in their own way.

As it happens, I chose A Feral Darkness as the first Backlist Ebook for many reasons.  Then, when I couldn’t find a stock photo I liked for the cover, along came another unplanned development–Jean-Luc’s appearance there (there were no good ones of Jag, and Jean-Luc isn’t actually too far off in coloring).

It’s the total lack of intent behind it all that makes the situation all the more meaningful to me this week. To know I didn’t plan the timing, the cover…the circumstances…and yet I can still look at the book and smile.

So yup. Today I’m feeling grateful for such comforts.  And the indulgence is talking about it, because some of this you’ve already heard, and none of it is probably truly meaningful to anyone but me.

And in that vein, here’s a totally indulgent snippet from A Feral Darkness!  From a book about forgotten gods and rising powers and modern-day potential for plague and one woman trying to figure out exactly what she started with her childhood wish at an inadvertently anchored place of power…this time it’s all about the dog!

Smashwords
Kindle

===========================


“He’s got a lot more white on him than I thought,” Elizabeth admitted, pausing in her own work.

Or than Brenna had thought. No way, under the mud, to see how broad his blaze was, how symmetrically it encompassed his muzzle, narrowed just enough to miss his eyes, and broadened again at his forehead. Or to see the dark freckles on the bridge of his nose, or how richly his brown cheek patches stood out against the black on the rest of his head. He had a white bib and undercarriage, and except for brown points, a white tail tip, and a jagged white collar, the rest of him was sleek black. Black, aside from his ears. The interior of one was stark white; the other light brown.

But it was the backs of those huge ears that were so beguiling, mostly white with thick brown freckles. Utterly unexpected, utterly charming.

And his eyes. Coming from a clean face, they looked softer, more open. Big love-me eyes that followed her every movement.

But he’s somebody else’s dog.

Aug 252010
 

Touched By Magic--Baen

It’s first draft mode around here (Nocturne Demon Blade series, book 2!), but I’m still poking away at the Backlist Ebook projects.

<= Bet you’ve guessed what I’m working on now.

Touched by Magic was my third book sold,  and the second to see print.  I had a really, really  clear idea what I wanted to do with this book–and no idea at all of how ambitious it was.

I’m glad, actually, that I just barged right in way back then.  I might not have the temerity, now that I’m more eddie-cated about the craft and about publisher expectations.

Anyway, I’m taking the opportunity to give it a good updating.  (More on that in another blog, I think.)  And since it’s the oldest book file on my system, the conversion process itself is…challenging.  This gives me time to ponder the cover.

Let us take a moment to gaze upon that first cover.

*moment of silence*

I can readily forgive the elaborate dress on my country character–the artist had a known fondness for such things.  I can forgive the dark brown instead of pale blond hair…sometimes such details give way to compositional needs.

I cannot forgive the unicorns.

My unicorns are fearsome beasts. Draft-size, draft-weight.  Magnificent, of course, because I deserve magnificent unicorns.  And the colors?  Clearly described as unusual, but simply as pertains to horses.  Brindle and walnut and sable and merle.

They were not pastel.

NOT.  PASTEL.

Nor were they weenie little ponies. Short-necked, loaded-shouldered, sway-backed, static-haired, girly-assed little ponies.

WERE.  NOT.

At the time, this artist’s work generally sold books.  But oh!  So many readers came to me and said, “I almost didn’t pick up this book because of the cover, but I’m really glad I did.  It’s not about pastel unicorns at all.”

It’s really not.

So here I am, about to compose my own cover. I’d sure like to do better!  I have some ideas, but…what do you think?  What would you try to say about this book on the cover?

(Hey, it’s an open book question, so…have a blurb!  Have an excerpt!  Notice what the unicorns are doing, in said excerpt.)

Magic has never been a part of Reandn’s life. Almost gone from Keland when he was born, there is no trace of it left by the time he enters training with the King’s Wolves, the elite force that patrols the king’s lands.

Magic has never been a part of Reandn’s life. Until the people under his care start dying. Until the threat extends to his family, and until he finds himself struggling through disorienting attacks of weakness that turn the very act of going out on patrol into an unacceptable risk. Someone, somewhere, is trying to draw magic back into Keland, and they don’t care what–or who–is destroyed in the process.

But Reandn does.

===========================


Six-year-old Rethia woke to wild hoof beats.

Frightened, she pressed herself against the ground. When she gathered the courage to peer up, she could make out only flashing legs and leaping bodies–and all the while, the unmistakable tingle of magic coursed through her body.

Imperceptibly at first, the pounding diminished and the tickling magic intensified. The creatures were leaving–and they weren’t just running away.
They bounded into the air without landing. Disappeared. Vanished in a flash of not-being.

And when there was only one set of hoofbeats left, solid and deliberate and walking toward her, Rethia trembled with the knowledge that she witnessed great magic in a world that was drifting free of such things, and forgot to be afraid of the beast itself.

The hooves stopped in front of her basket, strong round hooves with heavy-boned, clean-lined legs rising from them. Not a horse. She knew that even before she looked up to see the horn.

She pulled herself upright and looked straight into the face of the unicorn, her deep blue gaze unflinching. It was a heavy-boned face, with ridges etched in darkest walnut instead of gleaming highlights, and with odd, icy eyes that abruptly reminded her that unicorns were not Tame. Wild magic, free always, of what man might intend or wish for it. When the beast did not react to her impudence, she lifted a small trembling hand to touch the thick, tangled mane and forelock, so long they brushed her face even as the animal raised its head. It looked around the trampled, abandoned meadow, blew out a huff of air. When it looked back down at her, its icy gaze warmed, catching the blue of her eyes, staining them with the reflection of its walnut features. It dropped its head to again accept her touch.

She had no idea it would be a trade.