Tour of Ever After: About My Story

Hello, and welcome back to the blog tour for the Tales of Ever After release! I have some exciting news to start off with: the ebook is now free to download on Amazon and other retailers! If you’re intrigued by any of the sixteen different fairy tales in this collection, this is a great chance to grab the whole set.

Also, there’s still time to enter the giveaways, which you can find at the end of this post. If you’re on Facebook, there’s a launch party with even more giveaways you can join tomorrow evening, 8-10 pm EST.
Tales of Ever After Facebook Launch Party

Rescue a princess, meet a mermaid, win your reward.

The authors of the Fellowship of Fantasy tackle fairy tales from once upon a time to happily ever after. Explore twists on old tales and brand new magical stories. Meet feisty mermaids, friendly lampposts, and heroes who just might be monsters themselves.

This fourth anthology from the Fellowship of Fantasy will lead you on a quest for entertainment and storm the castle of your imagination. So make a wish and enter the deep dark woods to find stories that will make you laugh, shiver, and maybe even fall in love.

Amazon Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/Tales-Ever-After-Fellowship-Anthology-ebook/dp/B07FFMHM8M/

Books2Read Universal Link: https://www.books2read.com/u/bwYKry

Goodreads Listing: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40788623-tales-of-ever-after

About “The Girl Who Talked to Birds”

 

I had a lot of different ideas for this fairy tale anthology that I went through before I finally settled on this story. I knew that I wanted to feature one of the secondary characters from my Divine Warriors series, since I released Riwenne and the Mechanical Beasts a few months ago and I’m currently working on the sequel. Since the series is told from Riwenne’s perspective, I realized that Kyra is the girl that we know the least about, because she’s aloof and doesn’t easily share what she’s feeling. When Riwenne first meets her in the temple, she thinks that Kyra is a snob who looks down on her. I wanted to share something from Kyra’s past to show how she became so isolated and why it’s hard for her to open up.

My first drafts were about Kyra learning to control her magical abilities and being sent on missions as an exorcist to banish evil spirits for the temple. I based them on existing stories in fairy tales and folklore, but they came out sounding more like ghost stories than proper fairy tales. Also, it was harder to fit the complex descriptions of how the temple worked, Kyra’s magic, and other aspects into a short story. (Maybe someday I will write a novella or even a series about Kyra’s “ghost hunting” days!)

That’s when I decided to write an original fairy tale of my own and explore how Kyra discovered her magical abilities in the first place. Since she’s been blessed with her talents by Xiso, one of the animal gods of Arkia, she has the ability to talk to animals. I drew inspiration from the numerous fairy tales that involve talking animals like Puss in Boots, The Golden Bird, and The Frog Prince. It’s often a rule in these stories that animals will talk to (and help) people who are kind to them. This inspired Kyra’s story of her feeding and talking to the birds in her city because she’s lonely.

I hope that you enjoy my story and the others in the collection.

Giveaways

There’s a comment contest which is part of the blog tour which anyone can enter. Simply comment on any of the blog posts in the tour. Here’s a question to get you started: have you ever made a new friend in an unexpected way?

Paperback giveaway (US addresses only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ebook giveaway (international readers welcome)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Tour of Ever After: My Favorite Fairy Tales

Today is the official release of Tales of Ever After, the fairy tale anthology from the Fellowship of Fantasy, and the start of our blog tour to celebrate all of our stories! If you want to see all of the blog posts from this tour, you can just follow this handy link: The Tour of Ever After

I have a short story in this collection, “The Girl Who Talked to Birds,” and there are fifteen other authors featured. You’ll get an introduction to many of us through this tour, fun discussions about fairy tales, and of course, prize giveaways that anyone can enter!

Today, I’d like to start off by telling you about some of my favorite fairy tales. It’s hard to list just a few because there are so many great stories out there from many different cultures. I’ve spent my life hunting down new fairy tales, ever since my mom shared her fairy tale collections with me as a little girl. But these are some of the ones that I’ve loved for a long time.

My Top Five Fairy Tales

“The Little Mermaid”
I love mermaids and the ocean, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows me. But there’s also a beautiful sadness in the original version of this story with the mermaid’s sacrifice. There are many trials and obstacles for her to overcome, but in the end, she has control over her fate.

“Puss in Boots”
I also love cats, and this is a fun story about a cat helping his owner. Fairy tales often include help from an animal or a magical creature for the hero, but here it seems like the helping cat is the real hero. The miller’s son just follows along with what the cat tells him to do. Fortunately, when the miller’s son marries a princess, the cat gets his own reward in becoming a great lord.

“The Twelve Dancing Princesses”
The best part of this story, of course, is that the princesses get to sneak out to a magical ball and dance every night. It sounds like so much fun! It’s nice that even after getting locked up by the king, they get to escape and enjoy themselves.

“The Twelve Wild Swans”
A princess works diligently to save her brothers from a curse. Another sweet story. It does leave me wondering what happens at the end, though, when she can’t finish all of the sweaters in time, so one of her brothers is left with a swan’s wing in place of his arm.

“The Princess on the Glass Hill”
Not one, but three magical horses? The youngest son in this story is very lucky when it comes to animal companions! Also, despite the fact that the king has set up a contest for people to win the hand of his daughter, the princess actually gets to choose the winner because she helps the son by throwing him the apples. (Otherwise, it would be a little harsh for the princess!)

Get the book

Tales of Ever After is available today at the following links:
Amazon
Books2Read

You can also find reviews on Goodreads.

Giveaways

There are three giveaways for this blog tour. The first one is a comment competition. Leave comments on any of the blog posts during the blog tour for a chance to win a collection of special sneak peeks from several authors for upcoming releases.

The second giveaway is for paperback books, some of which have been signed by the authors, and is only open to U.S. addresses.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The final giveaway is open to international readers and includes digital copies of several ebooks by the authors.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in About me, Blog Tagged with: , , , , ,

Upcoming Release: Tales of Ever After Anthology

I’ve got a short story coming out next month! I was accepted into a fairy tale anthology with other indie authors. Tales of Ever After will be available on August 3. Here’s a look at the gorgeous cover and the list of stories available in this exciting collection.

As you may be able to tell from the titles, this is a mixture of both fairy tale retellings and original fairy tales. I’ve read several of these authors’ works before through things like previous Fellowship of Fantasy anthologies (this is the fourth one), and they’re all very talented. I’m excited to be part of this collection, especially because I’m a life-long lover of fairy tales! There will be lots more info about the book coming out the week of the release, too, when we kick off a blog tour with giveaways!

Now, let me tell you about my story. It’s an original fairy tale inspired by fairy tales about talking animals. “The Girl Who Talked to Birds” is actually a prequel of sorts for my Divine Warriors series, an introduction to Kyra before she made friends with Riwenne and the others. It explains why her childhood was a little different than the other girls and how those struggles shaped who she is. This story is exclusive to the anthology.

Tales of Ever After will be available on August 3. You can preorder it now for $0.99, or it will be free to download on release. Find it at the following stores:
Kindle
Nook
iTunes
Kobo
Indigo
Angus & Robertson

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Happy Book Birthday! Get Riwenne Now!

Since 1997, I’ve been writing and talking about this book. And today, it’s officially published. (In ebook. The paperback has hit a roadbump but I’ll try to get it out soon.)

I haven’t felt prouder or more accomplished of a novel that I’ve written, ever. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

Exclusive on Amazon

When the gods came calling, she was the only one who answered.

In a utopian floating city, Riwenne dreams of serving the gods as a priestess. Then she gets a message from the sea goddess urging her to become a warrior. Mechanical beasts are attacking innocent people on the streets at night. Armed with the power of the goddess, Riwenne must learn to fight. But if she wants to save the city, she will need to decide who is a friend and who is an enemy—and the wrong choice could have deadly consequences.

Posted in Writing

Preorder Riwenne & the Mechanical Beasts!

It’s almost that time again! My new book is finally ready and we have our date:

January 24!

If you want to get the ebook downloading the minute it’s available, exclusively on Amazon, just follow this link–

Preorder on Amazon!

The paperback will be ready somewhere around that date as well. I’m sure you’d like to hear more about the book and see the Awesome New Cover, right? The waiting is over! Daniela of MV Covers has knocked it out of the park again with this awesome design.

When the goddess of the sea chooses a young girl named Riwenne to be her champion, can Riwenne fight for what she believes?

In a utopian floating city, Riwenne dreams of serving the gods as a priestess. Then she gets a message from the sea goddess urging her to become a warrior. Mechanical beasts are attacking innocent people on the streets at night. Armed with the power of the goddess, Riwenne must learn to fight. But if she wants to save the city, she will need to decide who is a friend and who is an enemy—and the wrong choice could have deadly consequences.

I’m so excited for you all to finally read this book after I’ve been writing it for literally twenty years! Book 2 is already in the works, and I’m also writing a prequel short story as an exclusive gift for my newsletter subscribers. So, if you’re not already on my mailing list, now is the time to join. You’ll get the prequel novella for A Flight of Marewings right now (which will be replaced with the story) and then the new short when it’s available.

Subscribe to the newsletter

And stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes sneak peeks at the making of the new story. It’s changed a lot of over the last two decades, so I’ve got lots of old material to share.

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Looking Back on November

I’m happy to announce that I’ve finished NaNoWriMo and my novel! The above image shows the final sentence of Riwenne & the Mechanical Beasts. This was my eleventh time participating in NaNo and my fifth time finishing. The final draft ended up being 83,270 words, of which over 50K were written during November. It’s been a great month and I’ve had a lot of fun.

In another exciting development, The Mighty Pens team has blown away our fundraising goal! We were aiming for $10,000 but as of writing, we just hit $15K in donations and the number is still rising as we finish off the final hours of November. That’s a huge amount of money for the Malala Fund, and I couldn’t be prouder of our team. Together, we wrote over 2.5 million words and raised lots of money for a worthy cause.

Thank you to everyone who helped us out and cheered us on this month: family, friends, and online supporters. Kat and Sooz of The Mighty Pens did a great job of keeping the team motivated, and there were other wonderful team members who also helped run word sprints and encouraged us online. Thanks as always to the NaNoWriMo team who run an incredible event every year. And thanks to you, my readers, who followed me on this journey.

Today, I’m already starting the editing process. I’m aiming for an early 2018 release date for the novel. Keep an eye out here for updates as I make progress. I will probably get it onto online retailers for preorders once things have solidified. If you’ve been following along with my updates on social media, you could have seen some of the lines from this novel and I hope you found them exciting. (Of course, some of them may change in editing.) I’ll share longer snippets on this blog in December.

I’d also like to share some of the behind-the-scenes info I’ve got for this novel. I’ve been working on this idea in one form or another for twenty years, so I have a lot of material. I won’t subject you to the entire (terrible) first draft, but I’ll show you some of my earlier scribblings. It’s transformed a lot over the years. I have sketches of characters, maps, a complex language, poetry–so I’ll pick through the best of these and show them here to you.

I’m really excited to finally be bringing this novel into the world. I think I started and stopped so much because I wanted it to be perfect. It’s not perfect, but all of the time I spent practicing and writing other novels, I’ve learned a lot. And I believe this is the best novel I’ve ever written. I’ve certainly enjoyed writing it the most. Hopefully, you guys have as much fun reading it as I did creating it!

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NaNoWriMo: Ahead of Schedule & Fully Funded!

Guess what, everyone! I have some incredible news. The Mighty Pens team has already reached our goal of raising $10,000 for the Malala Fund. This is amazing! Thank you so much to everyone who has donated so far! Right now, we’re helping give temporary housing to girls in Oaxaca who were affected by the earthquake in September so they can continue going to school, as well as providing tutoring and scholarships to disadvantaged students around the world. It wouldn’t be possible without your support.

But it’s not too late, since we are still accepting donations through November 30. If you believe the Future is Female and you want to help me bring education to girls around the world, please follow this link. And then don’t forget to contact me so I can send you a free copy of Riwenne & the Mechanical Beasts when it’s finished!

Riwenne is going along great, ahead of schedule. I’m 80% of the way through the first draft and having a lot of fun. I’m really excited to be sharing this book with you next year, and I think it will continue as a series. I’ll be posting more information as I nail down the schedule.

And a quick note, A Flight of Marewings is on sale this week through November 27th. Grab the ebook for 99c at any retailer.
iTunes
Amazon
Smashwords
Kobo
Barnes & Noble
Google Play

Enjoy this holiday week with your loved ones!

Posted in Blog, Writing Tagged with: , , , , , ,

6 Sentence Sunday: Riwenne & the Mechanical Beasts

I’m writing up a storm right now for NaNoWriMo! I’ve been sharing snippets on social media as I go, but I thought you might like a bigger excerpt today for 6 Sentence Sunday.

First, an update on my progress. I’m ahead of schedule with currently 22,602 words written in November and 52,602 on the whole draft. I’ve written almost every day, except for last Friday, when I was spending time with family. I’m sharing daily updates on my progress and short snippets on social media. You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and now Instagram.

The Mighty Pens have also done an awesome job in raising money for the Malala Fund! Right now, the team has raised over $7800! We are really close to our goal of $10K for this really important charity, and I can’t believe how well everyone is doing. We’re still accepting donations all month long, so if you can give anything, here’s my donation link. Remember, if you donate in my name, please let me know so I can send you a free copy of Riwenne & the Mechanical Beasts when it’s finished!

By the way, The Mighty Pens award badges for us writers as we reach certain milestones in our word count. I’m up to the Silver Pen badge for 15k words! Kat and Sooz, who are running The Mighty Pens, sent me some interview questions about my book and featured it on their site. You can read a little about my experience this NaNo on their blog here.

And finally, here’s what you’ve been waiting for, the 6 Sentence Sunday feature from my Nano novel. I usually have a hard time writing fight scenes, but I’ve been having a lot of fun with this book, even the fighting parts, so I’m excited to share part of one with you today. In this scene, Riwenne is fighting a giant mechanical bird when she sees that there’s a young man trapped in its claws, and she has to act fast to save him.

“Hang in there, we’re coming for you!” I called to him, but he was just hanging there limply.

With a cry, the bird crashed into the side of a building and plummeted toward the ground. What happened next seemed to happen in slow motion. I unslung my rifle, fired at a spring in the bird’s foot, and saw the man falling free. Somehow, I managed to drop the gun in time and opened my arms. A heavy burden landed on me and I collapsed to the ground only a moment before the bird crashed just a few feet in front of me.

What happens next? Hopefully, you won’t have to wait too much longer to find out. At this rate, I should have Riwenne & the Mechanical Beasts ready to publish early next year! Stay tuned for a publication date in January!

Posted in Blog, Writing Tagged with: , , , , , ,

This NaNo, I’m Writing For Charity

It’s that time of year where National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is about to start. This will be my eleventh time to join, but it’s going to be a little different. I’m writing my novel for charity.

I’ve joined up with an amazing group of writers called The Mighty Pens. Together, we’re working to raise money for girls’ education around the world through the Malala Fund. I’m really excited because I think education is really important to help the world improve and it’s wrong that many girls don’t have access to it. Malala Yousafzai is an inspirational young woman who works really hard to help girls get the education they deserve, and I want to help her. Writing is what I do, so that’s what I’m using–and without education, I wouldn’t be a reader or a writer.

Don’t worry, this won’t take away my focus from writing–it’s actually really simple. It’s like a charity walk, except instead of walking miles, I’ll be writing words. You can pledge to donate money based on the number of words that I write. For example, pledge $2 for every 10,000 words. If I reach my goal of 50,000 words by November 30, you would donate $10. Or you can just donate $10 at the start of November to show your support! Whatever you can give will be appreciated. I think the minimum donation might be $5, but check the fundraiser to be sure.

This money doesn’t go to me, you donate straight to the Malala Fund. You can use my donation link or donate to the fundraiser and mention my name. Then track my progress on my NaNo page or watch for updates here. And make sure to let me know, because I’ll give a shoutout to everyone who donates AND send you a free copy of my novel when it’s finished!

Important: The Mighty Pens has asked for you not to submit donations until November 1, because they want to track everyone on the team and they want us to start at the same time.

What’s the novel that I’m writing? I’ve actually already started (although I’ll only be counting words that I write in November). It’s a new series, a steampunk fantasy YA novel based on ideas I’ve been working on for decades. The current working title is “Riwenne & the Mechanical Beasts” and it’s planned as a series of at least three books. I’m really excited to finally finish this novel! Check out the temporary cover and a short synopsis:

Riwenne is an enthusiastic girl who dreams of being a priestess to serve the gods. When she discovers that the gods themselves are threatened by a new kind of power, she must become a sacred warrior and gather her friends to save everything she believes in.

Sound like fun? I hope so! Stay tuned for more updates when November starts and those words come rolling in!

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One Project on Hiatus, Another Book Resumed

Hello, everyone! I know that I’ve been a little scarce recently. I’d like to explain a little about what’s been going on.

So, last year, I finally published the second Wyld Magic book. My plan after that was to immediately write and publish the third book in that series. In fact, it was my 2016 NaNoWriMo project. I got off to a good start last November–and then came to a screeching halt after the outcome of the election on November 8.

Now, I realize I’m far from the only creative person who took a hiatus after that day. I had many friends who struggled after that event for months and some who continue to struggle today as our lives continue to be impacted by the changes in the U.S. I took some time to focus on the things that mattered the most: my friends and family. They reminded me that there will be setbacks but we will keep supporting each other and fighting to make the world a better place.

Then I tried to go back to writing Wyld Magic 3, but I couldn’t pick up the thread of the story again. I came back to it many times over the past six months. I have a substantial portion already written and most of the rest outlined, but I wasn’t making much progress. I just wasn’t having fun.

I finally realized that the Wyld Magic series is just too political for me right now. I see way too many stories about politics in the news every day–stories that frustrate, scare, anger, and sadden me. I tried to channel those feelings into my writing, but it didn’t work. Politics are the last thing that I want to think about. I don’t know when I’ll be ready to pick up Wyld Magic 3 again, but it probably won’t be for a while.

On to better news! I wanted to write a project that I could have fun with, something that sparked my enthusiasm for writing again. So I dusted off an old draft of Riwenne’s story, the most recent version of which is a YA steampunk fantasy novel. And I’ve been having fun again!

I don’t know what the title is, I haven’t written out the book blurb, and I don’t know when it will be finished. (Hopefully before the end of the year, but we’ll see how busy I get when my kid starts school again tomorrow.) But I can tell you that it involves a steampunk empire, a floating city, gods, magic, friendship, a talking animal mascot, and Saving the World from Certain Destruction. Also, there should be some tasty food along the way. If you liked Small Town Witch, then hopefully, you’ll like this book, too!

Stay tuned for more news about Riwenne’s story and future excerpts of the first draft here on the blog!

Posted in Blog, Writing Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Books

Riwenne & the Mechanical Beasts
Riwenne 1 cover Divine Warriors #1
Amazon




A Flight of Marewings
A Flight of Marewings Cover Wyld Magic #1
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords
Kobo
iTunes
Google Play

A Pride of Gryphons
A Pride of Gryphons cover Wyld Magic #2
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords
Kobo
iTunes
Google Play


Small Town Witch
Small Town Witch cover Fae of Calaveras #1
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords
iTunes
Kobo
Google Play

Witch Hunt
Witch Hunt cover Fae of Calaveras #2
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords
Kobo
iTunes
Google Play

Witch Gate
Witch Gate cover Fae of Calaveras #3
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords
Kobo
iTunes
Google Play

The Voyage of the Miscreation
Voyage cover Season 1
Amazon
Smashwords
iTunes
Nook
Kobo
Google Play

Kristen S. Walker's books on Goodreads
Small Town Witch Small Town Witch (Fae of Calaveras, #1)
reviews: 18
ratings: 30 (avg rating 3.97)

Witch Hunt Witch Hunt (Fae of Calaveras, #2)
reviews: 3
ratings: 6 (avg rating 3.67)

A Flight of Marewings A Flight of Marewings (Wyld Magic, #1)
reviews: 5
ratings: 6 (avg rating 4.00)

The Hedge Witch The Hedge Witch
reviews: 1
ratings: 2 (avg rating 4.50)

Midsummer Knight Midsummer Knight
reviews: 4
ratings: 2 (avg rating 4.00)

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