Audio – I’m so excited!

Posted by on Jul 26, 2018 in audiobooks, books, epic fantasy, heroic fantasy, News, Uncategorized, writers | 0 comments

Once before I dallied with the idea of doing audiobooks, starting with one of the novellas in The Coming Storm series – Setting Boundaries – a prequel to the series. Setting Boundaries - a novella (The Coming Storm Book 3) by [Douglas, Valerie]

At best the result was ‘meh’.

The narrator was okay, but he was convinced fantasy had to be read with a ‘British accent’ – I’m not sure why. And his accent wasn’t really British. It wasn’t horrible, but there was just something… that wasn’t quite there.

I had wanted to have the whole series on audio with the same narrator but he wanted to try some of my other books. One after another, though, didn’t work out for him – he had problems with some scenes. Unfortunately, he bid on them, then turned them down, and then I couldn’t go on to other narrators.

So, I admit that I was a little leery about trying again.

Song Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004774N2S

This time I decided to try with my standalone fantasy, Song of the Fairy Queen. And, to be honest, I was scared whether anyone would be able to do the story justice.

I’m soooo glad I did. The narrator – Zak – is brilliant, he brings depth to the characters, energy to the story, and his voice is perfect. Listening is weirdly wonderful, I’m constantly caught off guard by the idea that I wrote those words that he is bringing to life. I can’t wait until it’s finished.

 

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Top Shelf Indie Book Award Nominee – Song of the Fairy Queen!

Posted by on Jun 5, 2018 in award, epic fantasy, heroic fantasy, News, strong heroine | 0 comments

Top Shelf Indie Book Award Nominee – Song of the Fairy Queen!

A Top Shelf Indie Book Award Nominee (I didn’t submit it, someone else nominated it and Top Shelf thSong of the Fairy Queen Adought it was worthwhile. I’m floored.) http://topshelfmagazine.net/index.php/sci-fi-fantasy
“Brilliant, absolutely Brilliant. Having just finished reading ‘Song of the Fairy Queen’, I have to admit that it was one of the best books I have read in a while.”

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Romance

Posted by on Feb 8, 2018 in books, e-publishing, Millersburg Quartet, novels, Romance, strong heroine, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Millersburg Quartet PromoRomance novels tell us not how men are, but how we wish them to be.

A few years back (I’m not telling how many *laughing*) I found myself in the position of watching my (previous) marriage at the beginning of the inevitable downward slide toward divorce.
It was a tough time. Worse, because I was trying to follow my dream of writing. That was what tipped over the apple cart.
What saved me was reading, of course. More particularly, reading a series of specific books – Nora Roberts Chesapeake Bay series. Knowing N.R.’s history helped remind me that second chances were possible. (Or, in my case, third or fourth.)
I would follow that dream, my dreams, in more ways than one. As many times as I tried to convince my ex to expand his horizons, to travel outside his comfort zone, he wouldn’t. (He preferred Las Vegas.)
Now newly divorced, I could. So I did. I had always wanted to visit Great Britain, to see certain literary sites – like the moors of England, Stonehenge, the horse country, and one of the lochs in Scotland – but particularly Ireland. Much of my heritage is based in the British Isles.
Although I consider myself primarily a fantasy writer, I was inspired by Nora Roberts’ books to write a series of my own.
Thus was born The Millersburg Quartet – the first of which was Irish Fling.

Irish Fling Mockup
books2read.com/u/3J0Yov

That book set the tone for all but the last, Two Up – the
only one not based in reality, although it was born of my creative process.

Dirty Politics Mockup

https://books2read.com/u/4ED1EM

Dirty Politics was based on my father’s frequent forays into politics, and what I learned of the process.  As the old adage goes there are two things you never want to see made – sausages and laws. They’re right. Even on the local level, there are dirty tricks – and dirty politics.

As with the others, Director’s Cut came from my experience with community theater – even

many of characters and events were about real people and real events. It’s also an homage to the man who inspired the character of the ‘matchmaker’.

Two Up Mockup

books2read.com/u/mKJr7V

Two Up was just fun to write. Even though my husband the motorcycle safety instructor has banned me from riding. *laughing* Bikes are more powerful than they were when I was riding in my teens and I’m too easily distracted. However, the hot bath in the hollow in the woods was real.

All the books in The Millersburg Quartet are available everywhere, and all are in print.

In honor of Valentines Day, Irish Fling is on sale for $.99 everywhere – B&N #Nook, #Kobo, #AppleBooks and #Kindle. The entire Millersburg Quartet is also available in print via Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

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Song of the Fairy Queen – New Cover

Posted by on May 8, 2017 in News | 0 comments

Song of the Fairy Queen – New Cover

When last I posted, I didn’t know what the new cover would look like. I loved the old cover and wasn’t sure what to expect from the new cover. I didn’t know if that cover I loved so much could be matched.
It was not only matched, it was exceeded, and I’m not the only one who thinks so! What do you think? Isn’t it incredible?

I said then that I would name the cover artist when I saw the new cover.

Major Kudos to the folks at Damonza.com!

You can find the new edition at
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004774N2S

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Song of the Fairy Queen – New cover?

Posted by on Apr 19, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Song of the Fairy Queen – New cover?

“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” – Toni Morrison

So, like most writers, that’s what I did. 
I love fantasy but I’d run out of books I wanted to read, stories of action, adventure, magic and – yes – passion. Something between Stardust and Game of Thrones. I love Gaiman’s mix of adventure and romance, and I loved G. R. R. Martin’s political intrigue and action. What surprises and puzzles me is the criticism I get for putting moments of positive romance/sex in my books, but no one has a problem with Martin’s incest/rape storylines. (I understand why he did it, btw.). 
What I didn’t want were helpless heroines who needed to be rescued. I wanted strong, capable heroines like the Queens in real life. No one could say that Elizabeth I was a shrinking violet, that Catherine the Great didn’t earn that honorific, or that Victoria wasn’t able to lead her country through difficult times. Or Elizabeth II for that matter. And while some did it alone, others found a partner to stand beside them.
I wanted to write about the price of rule, the sacrifices good rulers have to make for the sake of the people they serve.

I wanted to write about people who struggled to find balance, who succeeded or failed, the repercussions of their actions, and – for one character – his redemption.

In other words, people you could know or relate to, people you could care about. Or hate.

That’s what I wrote. Whether I succeed or not, I’ll let you decide.

What inspired me to write the book? The statues of Nike of Samothrace and another called Night Descending – it was as if she was coming to a landing – and suddenly the first chapter was there in my head. I had no idea what would happen next, I just followed that winged muse until the story was written.

So I gave it to an editor and went in search of cover.
Old cover
At that time, it was difficult to find a good cover artist – so I made my own. I once was and still am a portrait artist, but with so many selfies, there’s less demand. Apparently, I was a good enough cover artist, my first cover for Song of the Fairy Queen won an award. Unfortunately, it just didn’t quite convey Kyriay’s sheer badassery, her strength and courage.
By that time, the Coming Storm fantasy series and Song of the Fairy Queen were doing well enough that I could afford to invest in professional covers. So I hired a company to do one. Their covers were amazing, including a few by other writers I knew. It was a lot of money for me at the time, but once I saw what they created for me, I knew it was worth it. That cover was perfect.
Current cover

So, imagine my sinking heart when, after nearly seven years, someone told me that the same image was on another cover. I knew it was stock art and anyone can buy stock images, but mine had been chosen for this book and the other cover was almost an exact copy except for the title. In a way, it’s a compliment to my good taste in covers, but it might explain some of the confusion about elements of the book – the other author writes for a younger audience, or at least that book was.
I was heartbroken. That cover was so good. And I’d paid what was for me, at the time, a lot of money for it.

All that aside, the person who’d brought it to my attention asked if I or the cover artist knew the image had been used on another book and was it proprietary?

I thought the cover artist had the right to know so I emailed them. I explained to them that I would understand if it was a stock image.
They told me it was, but if I wanted a new cover they would create a new one for me for a discount. 
Now that’s class and professionalism. (I’ll name them with kudos once I see the new cover.)
At first, though, I have to be honest and say I resisted. I loved that cover. It’s so good, so right for the book.

The quality of their work, though, is incredible. (They’ve come up with some other covers for me since then.)

Given that quality and that they offered a new cover at a discount, made it impossible to turn down. 

Now I can’t wait to see what they come up with this time!
Song of the Fairy Queen  – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004774N2S
For all my books – https://www.amazon.com/Valerie-Douglas/e/B0036POJZI

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