Enchanted Forests cover reveal!

Today, I’m super excited to share the stunning cover of Enchanted Forests with you!

Enchanted Forests is the follow up to my 2021 anthology, Enchanted Waters, which features eight authors telling ten stories of mythical water creatures and magic, whilst also raising funds for an ocean conservation charity.

Enchanted Forests will follow in EW’s footsteps by raising money for woodland conservation by featuring stories by eleven authors that focus on the magical creatures and folk who inhabit the woods.

Ready to see the cover?

What do you think? Didn’t Emily’s World of Design do an incredible job? It was a really collaborative process in which we all got to make suggestions and give feedback, which was really fun. And I’m so happy with the final result.

In addition to the EW gang of me, Astrid V.J., Alice Ivinya, Jennifer Kropf, N.D.T. Casale, Sky Summers, Elena Shelest and Ben Lang, we’ve been joined by a few more authors for this next anthology, including Ashley Steffenson, Xander Cross and Fox Rogers. I’ll be introducing you to these awesome indie authors soon.

I’m so excited to share more about my story and the rest of this collection with you over the next ten months! If you’re already sold, you can preorder the book now for the special early bird price of 99c/77p, just click here or on the cover to go to Amazon and prepare to find EF in your Kindle on 1 July 2022.

Not quite sold yet? Here’s the official blurb:

If you go down to the woods today…
You’d better not go alone…

Discover the secret world between the trees where fairies, unicorns and even monsters dwell. Take a stroll through enchanted woods and dance with pixies and dryads by the light of the stars. Escape Baba Yaga and fall in love with a prince in disguise. Taste the fruit at the goblin market and be whisked away on a magical adventure.
Between ancient trees, find beauty, danger and adventure in these enchanting short stories by award-winning, best-selling, and up-and-coming fantasy authors.

Enchanted Forests is fully illustrated by the talented Elena Shelest.

All profits from this anthology will be donated to charity to support woodland and forest conservation.

Alternatively, if you’d love to get an advance review copy, you can join our Facebook fan group and sign up to be on our review team! The form for ARCs will be released a little closer to release day, so join us now and we’ll keep you in the loop.

Thanks friends! We’re excited to share these stories with you and the incredible illustrations Elena is creating to complement each story.

Lyndsey

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P.S. If you haven’t snapped up your copy of Enchanted Waters yet, hang on a couple more days, because it’s going to be on sale from 18 Aug!

Beautiful People – August Edition

Well, hello there beautiful people! (Geddit.) My July Beautiful People post was pretty late so, lucky you, here’s another one in very short succession.

If you’ve never heard of Beautiful People, it’s a linkup for writers where we delve into our characters’ minds and answer ten questions set by the lovely and magnanimous Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further up and further in. Hop over to these fabulous ladies’ blogs if you want to join in!

Beautiful People linkup for writers

As my finished MS is currently waiting in the wings for a Pitch Wars mentor to fall in love with it and choose me as their 2017 mentee, I’ll be using my new WIP, Cockle Shells and Silver Bells for BP.

My MC’s name is Em, she’s an orphan who grew up on her great uncle’s farm in North Yorkshire before inheriting a seafront mansion on turning 18. Cockle Shells and Silver Bells is a YA magical realism reimagining of The Secret Garden.

 

 

What are they addicted to/can’t live without?

Books! As an orphan who was home schooled because the nearest school was miles away, Em lives to read and uses them as an escape from her sheltered, quiet life in the remote Yorkshire moors. It’s all very Bronte.

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Name 3 positive and 3 negative qualities about your character.

I’m not sure I can really separate them into columns of positive and negative, but I’ll give you a few of Em’s personal traits.

  • She’s shy and hates big crowds, she much prefers solitude after years roaming the moors alone.
  • She’s very closed off from others after losing her parents in a car accident ten years ago, she doesn’t open her heart easily, only her great uncle Archie has found his way in and even that took years!
  • She loves animals and wanted to be a vet when she was younger, she’d still love to work with animals, but in a career that doesn’t involve having to put them down.
  • She has buckets of creativity and always has a project on the go, whether it’s her gender bent Pride & Prejudice fanfic on Tumblr, redecorating the family estate, or tending to the garden.
  • She’s lead quite a sheltered life so far, but she’s open to new experiences and just needs someone to show her the way.
  • She loves learning and was a very keen student when she was being home-schooled. She did exceptionally well in her exams and would still like to go to university one day, but she decided to take some time out to experience life and accept her inheritance first.

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Are they holding onto something they should get rid of?

Only fear and grief, nothing physical. She lets the pain of losing her parents as a child stop her from making new friends or really letting anyone in. Hopefully by the end of the book she will have learnt from that!

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If 10 is completely organized and 1 is completely messy, where do they fall on the scale?

Like 9 maybe, she’s not perfect and can still be a normal, messy teen at times, but she’d definitely more sensible and organised than your average 18 year old.

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What most frustrates them about the world they live in?

That bad things happen for no reason at all, and often to good people, while great things happen to terrible people too.

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How would they dress for a night out? How would they dress for a night in?

She’s a big lover of comfy pyjamas and onesies for nights in, preferably with animals all over them and fuzzy slippers. She’s never been on a night out, but she does have some pretty cute tea dresses from the vintage shops in York and Harrogate.

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How many shoes do they own, and what kind?

Not many, and most are wellies or walking boots. She’s got a couple of pairs of Mary-Janes for special occasions, but she’s not a big fan of heels.

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Do they have any pets? What pet do they WISH they had?

She has the farm animals, and when she moved to the Haigh Manor she discovers a white cat who visits regularly and prowls around the gardens. Em names her Clemence and put water out for her.

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Is there something or someone that they resent? Why and what happened?

She doesn’t really know who to direct her anger at from her parents’ deaths, but she wanted to stay in France where they lived, she didn’t want to be taken away from their home and her friends. She was mad at Archie at first when he picked her up and brought her back to Yorkshire with him, but really she knew it wasn’t his fault. She’s just mad at the world for what happened, she can’t understand the random chaos that is life and prefers to protect herself from ever getting hurt again.

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What’s usually in their fridge or pantry?

At the farm the kitchen was well stocked with their own produce – dairy products, eggs, freshly baked bread and various meats. At the manor, the pantry is similarly filled (shipped over from Archie’s farm before she arrives), with added jams and preserves, handmade by the housekeeper Maggie. Em isn’t a huge eater, but she is partial to a spot of tea with bread and jam.

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And that’s all folks! Did you enjoy learning more about Em and my new WIP? She’s a salty one, I’m really looking forward to spending more time with her while I write this novel, it’s been on  hold for a few weeks while I prepped for Pitch Wars, but I think I’m ready to dive back in.

Watch this space!

 

Lyndsey

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Beautiful People – Author edition

Welcome to the latest edition of Beautiful People, hosted by the fabulous Sky at Further up and further in and Cait at Paper Fury! Beautiful People is a monthly link up for writers that helps us get into our character’s heads by answering ten different questions about them each month. This month’s questions are a little different, though. In July, we’re zooming in on the author with ten questions about our writing process.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Beautiful People linkup for writers

How do you decide which project to work on?

So far I’ve written one novel and started another, and I keep my plot bunnies saved in OneNote for when I’m finished with the project I’m currently working on. I actually combined a few ideas from my notes to create the second MS, so I guess it was a case of choosing which plot bunny felt the most intriguing and trying to flesh it out by interweaving other ideas. Luckily, several of my plot bunnies could be combined, which made my choice so much easier!

My first novel is fantasy, and the second is a sort of contemporary with elements of magical realism/fantasy. I want to try a few different genres until I really find my niche. I might try horror next!

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How long does it usually take you to finish a project?

As I’ve only written one novel so far, I’ll say about nine months, because that’s how long it’s taken me, but to be honest it isn’t finished yet. I’m submitting it to Pitch Wars in the hopes a mentor will work with me to edit and revise my MS until it’s near perfect, and that will take until November. Even then, an agent or publisher might require more edits. So a long time. But I’m hoping that with each project I’ll get faster and faster at drafting and revising.

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Do you have any routines to put you in the writing mood?

I make a cup of tea, make sure I’m comfortable and have everything I need at arm’s length so I won’t have to get up for a while, and I’m one of the odd people who need background noise so I put something on Netflix. If I’m struggling with a scene or plot point I like to take the dog for a walk and think about it while I get some exercise and appreciate nature. Maybe that’s strange, I need silence to think about my story, and noise to create it.

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What time of day do you write best?

I am such a night owl, I don’t even function early in the morning, and if I’ve had a bad night’s sleep forget it. I love long and quiet weekends to just sit at the laptop for hours on end (with breaks to walk the dog and eat, of course), but generally I don’t get into a groove until late afternoon, early evening, and then I can keep going until the early hours.

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Are there any authors you think you have a similar style to?

I honestly couldn’t say! I’d love to be compared to a famous author, it would be the greatest compliment, but I’m not sure who I think my writing is similar to.

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Why did you start writing, and why do you keep writing?

I’ve always written, whether short stories or poems as a kid, blogs and essays as an adult. Novels have always been one of my favourite things in the world, but I never imagined I could write one until about a year ago. I started to get an idea for a story, and the more I thought about it (while walking the dog, doing the dishes, waiting to fall asleep) the more I knew I needed to write it. I realised I can Google absolutely anything when I need an answer to a question or a tutorial for fixing something, so surely there must be blogs and articles about how to write a novel. I was right, the internet is full of amazing bloggers and writers sharing the craft. So I started to read everything I could, using it to outline and plot my novel, and eventually I stumbled upon the writing community on Twitter, discovered NaNoWriMo, and all the other online competitions for writers.

In a nutshell, I started writing because I got an idea for a story that nagged me every waking minute and wouldn’t go away, and I keep writing because I’ve fallen in love with the craft and found my tribe.

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What’s the hardest thing you’ve written?

It would have to be something about myself, my Uni application personal statement or a job application, because I’m absolutely horrible at selling myself, I’m so shy and anxious. Writing fictional stories is easy in comparison to writing something true and honest about myself.

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Is there a project you want to tackle someday but you don’t feel ready yet?

I’d absolutely love to write a multi book series, but it’s so daunting. The way authors like J.K. Rowling and Sarah J. Maas weave hints and foreshadowing through early books about what will happen much later into the series, it’s an art form and I’m nowhere near skilled enough to plan that far ahead and execute it well at the moment. One day, hopefully! At the moment, I’m thinking one book at a time, as debut authors almost never get multi book series deals, so my MS The Fair Queen is ‘a standalone with series potential’ and I’ve got a few ideas for the sequel(s) up my sleeve.

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What writing goals did you make for 2017 and how are they going?

I only started writing this time last year, so my goals weren’t really conscious or set in stone, but I wanted to complete my first novel, revise it, and start querying by the end of 2017. I’m entering Pitch Wars next week (submission window opens in 3 days!!!) so I’m a good way to achieving my goals, as if I get in I’ll get to work with a mentor for two months and then pitch agents in November. If I don’t get in, I’ll work on my MS for a couple more months anyway and start querying before Christmas.

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Describe your writing process in 3 words or a gif!

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If you’re just starting out as a writer or looking for blogs to help you improve your craft, check out some of my favourite writer/bloggers and their amazing words of wisdom:

If it weren’t for these three awesome ladies I wouldn’t be anywhere near ready to enter Pitch Wars and I’d probably have given up writing after 10k words.

I’m hoping to have more time to post once my Pitch Wars submission has gone, but if I get in I might be a bit AWOL for most of September and October too (plus I’m going to Asia for ten days in September! So excited :-D)

Lyndsey

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