New Covers!

First off, I’m sorry I haven’t been around here and posting new Bacon Typo posts. It’s been a really rough winter, and as my self-confidence seems to have taken a permanent vacation, I haven’t been able to write or edit that much. However, I’ve scraped myself up off the ground and I’m now working on a few exciting and secret things involving visual novels, podcasts, graphic novellas, and more, so I’m sprucing up the site! Which includes, without any further ado, new covers for both Prompted and The Curious Tale of the Starry-Eyed Princess!!!

Prompted’s illustration done by the wonderful Telariwho I’ll be working with more, and soon!

 

So, what do you guys think? They were a blast to make, and I really like how they came out! My next project announcement should be coming soon… ;)

Bacon, out.

Bus

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Cover Reveal: Steadfast by Michelle Hauck

I’m so excited to share the cover of this amazing book! But first, let’s have a few words from the author herself:

It all starts, of course, with getting hit with the writing bug. You have an idea for a story. You bravely sit down and write it. You learn that you don’t know how to write quite yet and you begin to gather experience plucked from other writers farther down the road.

A manuscript or four later your craft has improved enough to land an agent. Your brilliant story goes out to the scary land of editors and may or may not sell. But you persist. You write other stories if the first one fails. And eventually you make your first sale for, say, three books.

Now you are faced with the scary fact that you need to write your first sequel and carry on a story line. You get the wonderful news that the characters you adore will live on. At the same time, you are full of anxiety that a sequel is a daunting thing and you’ve never tried one before. Bravely you forge forward and write a sequel that meets your editor’s approval.

A new first appears now that you conquered the other challenge. You now have to write the ending book of a series. You have to take all the characters and all the obstacles you created and bring them to, not just an end, but a highly exciting end. Once again you doubt your talent and ability. You plunge forward nonetheless. And you succeed.

Cover reveals. Release days. Publishers Marketplace announcements. All those days are great days, but they are blips on the actual journey. The true test is the challenge you meet everyday to go out and do what scares you because you might fail– and see yourself instead succeed.

So a cover reveal is not so much a celebration of art as it is a celebration of spirit. Another test passed. Another doubt proved groundless. A forging forward on the journey of you, whether you are a writer or something else.

Proof I climb this mountain in the form of a third cover for my Birth of Saints series. Thank you for being a witness and may you climb your mountains.

Do what scares you my friends and face those challenges.

Against an angry god whose only desire is to wipe out all life, what hope is there to survive?

The army from the north has left a trail of burned and captured cities. In trying to stop them, Claire and Ramiro unleashed the northern god, Dal, but now they face two monstrosities and no amount of honor or hope can stop the killing as Dal grows in power.

Searching for a miracle, Claire finds the elders of the Women of the Song, who might teach her a thing or two about using her voice magic to fight back—if they can put aside their own problems first—while Ramiro searches for truth in his dreams, leading him to the northern priestess Santabe, the only one who could share her knowledge of Dal and the mysterious magical Diviners.

Claire must unite the Women of the Song in the face of utter destruction, and Ramiro must decide how far he will go to get the answers he needs to defeat the rampaging god.

It will take nothing less than a saint to rise and face the leviathan before they all become martyrs. (unofficial blurb)

Steadfast releases December 5, 2017

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Goodreads

Enter Giveaways to Win Signed Copies of the First Two Books in the Series:

A world of chivalry and witchcraft…and the invaders who would destroy everything.

The North has invaded, bringing a cruel religion and no mercy. The ciudades-estados who have stood in their way have been razed to nothing, and now the horde is before the gates of Colina Hermosa…demanding blood.

On a mission of desperation, a small group escapes the besieged city in search of the one thing that might stem the tide of Northerners: the witches of the southern swamps.

The Women of the Song.

But when tragedy strikes their negotiations, all that is left is a single untried knight and a witch who has never given voice to her power. And time is running out.

A lyrical tale of honor and magic, Grudging is the opening salvo in the Book of Saints trilogy.

Enter to Win a Signed Copy of Book One, Grudging, Here.

 

A world of Fear and death…and those trying to save it.

Colina Hermosa has burned to the ground. The Northern invaders continue their assault on the ciudades-estados. Terror has taken hold, and those that should be allies betray each other in hopes of their own survival. As the realities of this devastating and unprovoked war settles in, what can they do to fight back?

On a mission of hope, an unlikely group sets out to find a teacher for Claire, and a new weapon to use against the Northerners and their swelling army.

What they find instead is an old woman.

But she’s not a random crone—she’s Claire’s grandmother. She’s also a Woman of the Song, and her music is both strong and horrible. And while Claire has already seen the power of her own Song, she is scared of her inability to control it, having seen how her magic has brought evil to the world, killing without reason or remorse. To preserve a life of honor and light, Ramiro and Claire will need to convince the old woman to teach them a way so that the power of the Song can be used for good. Otherwise, they’ll just be destroyers themselves, no better than the Northerners and their false god, Dal. With the annihilation their enemy has planned, though, they may not have a choice.

A tale of fear and tragedy, hope and redemption, Faithful is the harrowing second entry in the Birth of Saints trilogy.

Enter to Win a Signed Copy of Book Two, Faithful, Here.

About the Author:

Michelle Hauck lives in the bustling metropolis of northern Indiana with her hubby and two college-going kids. Besides working with special needs children by day, she writes all sorts of fantasy, giving her imagination free range. She is a co-host of the yearly contests Query Kombat, Nightmare on Query Street, Picture Book Party, and Sun versus Snow. Her Birth of Saints trilogy, starting with Grudging (November 17, 2015) and Faithful (November 15, 2016) and Steadfast (December 2017)  is published by Harper Voyager. Another epic fantasy, Kindar’s Cure, is published by Divertir Publishing. Find her on twitter at @Michelle4Laughs or at her blog.

2017 Pitch Wars Intro!

Hello Pitch Wars hopefuls! Before you go browsing for my genre: I’m already working with my lovely mentee from TeenPit, so I will not be accepting slush in PW 2017. (Though perhaps you might find a piece of the scavenger hunt here!) I’ll also be hopping around the hashtag, and am more than happy to answer Pitch Wars questions! I was a mentee in 2014, 2015, and was in quite a few other contests, so I’ve been around the block. (Evidence here.) If you have any questions you don’t quite want to ask a mentor you might sub, or anything for a veteran to answer, hit me up here, on Twitter, anywhere.

I’ve been a writer for many years, written too many books, and way too many short stories. I work primarily in fantasy, mostly of the YA variety. Give me dragons and diversity any day of the week! My two favorite authors (who can ever pick one?) are Laini Taylor and Diana Wynne Jones, and you’ll find a lot of their influence in my work. As I mentioned above, I’ve been through the wringer with contests and agents and writing in general, so it’s still a little surreal to say I’m agented by my amazing agent, Samantha Wekstein of Writers House, and that I have a graphic novel out, Sacrifices of Shadow. Having come so far, being able to give back to the community as a mentor is living the dream! Especially my experience as a mentor in TeenPit, and getting to continue mentoring Sophia into PW. If you’re curious about her novel, here’s the pitch from her entry, a YA fantasy:

Scout enrolls in demon hunting school for one reason: to destroy the devil that killed her. But her second life is cursed. Part of the devil is inside her, keeping her alive, and it wants to wreak havoc. To save the world – and her new love – Scout must destroy the devil, but if it dies, so will she.

Sophia’s a Vietnamese American writer who was adopted when she was just a baby. She’s enrolled at an early entrance to college program but is still technically a high schooler. Upon graduating she’ll receive her high school diploma plus an associate’s degree so she spends most of her time writing on breaks. She writes really weird dark fantasy and A Pool of Dead Butterflies is her fifth novel!

She’s been hard at work with some pretty heavy revisions, and is taking the new direction (blue) with more enthusiasm and talent than I ever would have dreamed. Seriously, I can’t wait for the world to be able to read her book!

Now that I’m done rambling, here’s a link to all the wishlists if you want to check them out!

Good luck in your Pitch Wars stalking, hopefuls! You’ve got this!!! And like I said, if you have any questions, feel free to hurl them at me.

Bacon, out.

Weekend WIP: A Little Bit of Broadtrip

Since I’m jumping back into drafting, when I saw the #8sunday bloghop on Weekend Writing Warriors (check out the rest of the authors on the hop!), it seemed like perfect motivation to keep me going. I’ll be posting a few sentences from whatever I’m working on to keep me accountable, and show you guys what I’m up to.

This week, here’s the opening sentences to Broadtrip (bro-roadtip or broad-trip, either words–and yes, it needs a better name):

People always warn not to get involved with wild serpents.

Thing is, those people have obviously never met me.

A black streak floats lazily in the distance, a serpent sunning itself. I’ve never seen a black serpent. The serpents at home range from all sorts of blues and greens — like mine, Nuci, pale green scales with deep blue stripes — and wild ones are sometimes paler, the color of sand and seafoam. But never black.

Which means I have to have it.

I pat Nuci’s side twice, and they slide quietly down into the water, me clinging tight to their back. The thing with wild serpents is that they will always see you coming from the side. It took about a dozen attempts to find their weakness — not like I’ve ever really succeeded in getting on one, per say, but this time is going to be different.

So, what do you think? What are you working on this weekend—writing or otherwise? If you have your own excerpt, feel free to share so I can check it out!

Bacon, out.

The Curious Tale of the Starry-Eyed Princess: Chapter Four

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The sorceress’s house could be called “eclectic,” if the person talking about the place was kind. Bits and pieces of old enchanted and cursed homes are all stuck together with precarious pieces of magic, looking more like an abstract illustration than something someone could live in. And that’s only on the outside — the sorceress’s collection of enchanted items is even more impressive, ranging from a spinning wheel that gives mundane blessings rather than curses, a large hoard of tangible colors, to candles that sing when you light them. If you wander out to the barn that houses a small sanctuary of abandoned enchanted and magical pets, you’ll find the very unwise own wearing its cummerbund as incorrectly as possible, the party ants, and a duckbilled platypus.

She is currently in the back yard, locked in a debate arguing about the impracticality of glass slippers with the owl when a great sneeze and a chorus of barking announces a visitor.

With a great sigh, she tells the owl that the discussion will have to wait until later, and walks out of the barn, around the house, and into the front yard.

There are a great many things she expects to see when she comes to the front yard. Maybe another young man with a dragon hatchling he can no longer care for, or a couple with cursed marriage, or maybe someone wanting to give a hex onto their rival’s bowels.. But the fair-haired man shielding his body behind two boys and his face with an enchanted mirror is not one of them.

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The Curious Tale of the Starry-Eyed Princess: Chapter Three

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“If you really didn’t want to kidnap me, why not just say so?” Maryn sighs, plopping down on a mossy rock.

The dragon shifts. “You were so… insistent. It’s hard to say no to an insistent princess.”

Maryn scowls, tapping her cane on the ground as little, furry sprites scurry around her feet. The dragon’s cave isn’t high up in the mountains like you’d expect with a beast who has affiliation with the weather, but rather nestled a little above the valleys of the mountain range. The caves are warm (“Always comfortable,” the dragon was eager to boast), and awfully sponge-y with moss. As far as Maryn understood, that’s how the caves got their names — “Marshmallow,” after the gooey candy that comes overseas from the east, though gooey isn’t a word she’d like to use to describe the soft layer she sits on.

One of the furry sprites pushes into Maryn’s hand, dropping something into it. It’s firm, but she can press into it a little, almost like a grape that won’t pop. “What…?”

“They like to give gifts,” the dragon practically purrs, proud of the inhabitants of its caves. “That’s a sort of toy, a ball that can bounce to extreme heights if I understand the sprites correctly. It also has magical power infused into it by… Oh. Well, maybe we’d best leave that part out.”

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The Curious Tale of the Starry-Eyed Princess: Chapter Two

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Prince Garytt of Stuwart woke the entirety of the castle with his screaming.

The servants down the hall all look around at each other, none of them wanting to go and assist the prince. The woman with the most seniority among the servants eyes the boy with the least. “Weren’t you about to say, ‘It can’t get any worse?’”

The others murmur in agreement.

“Hey, he didn’t know the prince would react to the flooding like this!” The boy’s friend says, puffing out his chest. “It can’t be that bad on the top floor of the castle, anyhow.”

The woman rolls her eyes. “Fine. If it’s not that bad, why don’t you two dumb sheep go and assist the prince with his wailing?”

The first boy glowers at the second, but they both leave the room in a rush — better to not have to deal with an angry boss and a prince’s temper tantrum.

With much hesitation and even more dread, the boys follow the screaming down the hall and to the ornate doors that they practically have to push each other through.

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The Curious Tale of the Starry-Eyed Princess: Prologue

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This isn’t really an adventure story. But it sounds like one, you think. This is a trick, you say. You’re getting annoyed I’m trying and failing to read your thoughts, you huff.

But it isn’t an adventure story. This isn’t really anything, yet.

Right now, it’s a princess in her tower, fiddling with working secret messages into her embroidery. She spent long hours mastering the art of embroidering with her blindness, though her hands weave a unique perspective no one else sees. She wishes for something more important for her deft hands.

It’s a prince galavanting out in the night to show off his prize horse. He’s proud of the horse, of course, but the prince secretly longs to be wrapped in his hand-woven exotic unicorn shawl, appreciating his abstract portrait with his prize pet in his arms. The prince gives a dramatic sigh, wishing he could find someone foolish enough to appreciate him like he does himself.

A dragon sleeps in its cave, diamond scales glittering in shafts of stardust as it snores out clouds of frost. In its head it battles knights and other monsters, paws twitching. It doesn’t fight, however. These aren’t dreams for the poor dragon. Night terrors creep along the beast’s thoughts.

The lone sorceress sits in a field, reciting enchantments in a whispering voice.  Her dark hair falls in front of her face, her voice rising and rising until it reaches a crescendo and booms through the sky and… nothing happens. Her lisp thwarted her enchantment again. One of the most powerful magic workers of her time, all the masters said. But she’ll never be able to use it.

These people have never met. They have no reason to. Their stories are small, insignificant things that will only mean something to themselves.

Until you tell their story.


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Table of Contents

Prompts Used:

  • A friend named Leslie gave me the basic characters for this (so it’s her fault). No other prompts — yet.

Author’s Note:

And it finally begins again. Every Monday a new chapter will be posted that will work in prompts that you, the reader, give. Stealing the prompting guidelines from the project’s about page:

Prompt by Tweet, Facebook, Tumblr, or just comment on any of the chapters posted! The prompt window is open all the time and there are no limits on how many promptsPlease keep it within reason, though! If things get overwhelming (highly doubtful), I’ll be putting stricter guidelines up. Also try to keep prompts relatively PG-13. I reserve the right to say no to a prompt, but I’ve never done so even with two other prompt projects under my belt.

If you’d like to see the story continue, please give a prompt! They can be anything, even just a word. But things like music, and pictures, and poetry, or videos, or Tweets, or whatever work!

So, let’s see how far this insanity goes, shall we?

Bacon, out.
Bus

Random Writing: A Man and His Beans

(Inspired by this post and forced to write the story by eveningrelics, who I am annoyingly tagging again.)

    Magic exists.
    Unfortunately, that’s only true if you believe in it.
    Which doesn’t exactly help on my own quest. Ah, yes, spend all my money and resources crafting priceless beans and I get nothing for them. I can’t prove they work, there’s no reverting the beans to what they were. There’s no undoing that kind of damage.
    And all I wanted was a damned cow.
    The last town even tossed me out as being a heretic. Now I’m stuck in the middle of the country, no one to even attempt to sell these things to. Just my cane and the rough ground irritating my ankle. If they only knew. What ignorant, lowly —!
    My ankle twists as it lands on a stone, pain jolting up my leg as it crumples beneath me. I grab out, knowing my arms are too weak to catch me, knowing my skull will smash along the rocks and all of my work will come to an end.
    A hand grabs my shoulder, supporting me.
    “Are you all right, mister?”
    A boy, maybe ten or twelve stands before me, mousy hair nearly grey, more skin and bones than I am. How on earth is he the one holding me up?
    I straighten up, brush myself off and eye him. Has word of me not traveled this far? And… he has a cow with him.
    “Where are you going, boy?” I shake off his arm, take a step back. “And what’s your name?”
    “Jack’s the name,” He takes off his ragged hat, giving a small bow. “Are you all right?”
    I wave my hand, “Yes, yes, but what are you doing with that cow of yours?”
    His eyebrows bull together, glancing between me and the cow. “Well, I’m heading off to market to sell her. She isn’t producing milk anymore, she’s useless —”
    “Never call a cow useless, Jack. It’s lucky I’ve met you, I may save you the trip into town. Now,” Trying to keep the grin from spreading across my face, I reach into my pocket, grab the small lump there, “do you know what this is?”
    He glances at my palm, those worry wrinkles dug deep into his young face growing. “It’s…  a bean, right?”
    Resisting the urge to roll my eyes into my head, I say, “Smart boy. Yes, beans, but they’re the most wonderful beans that ever were known. If you plant them overnight, by the next morning they’ll grow up and reach the sky. But to save you the trouble of going all the way to market, I don’t mind exchanging them for that cow of yours.”
    Finally, something breaks through his worry. His eyes light up, widen. “A magic bean?”
    “Yes, dear boy.” The last one from my last experiment. “All for an elderly cow. That’s it.”
    “Done!” He nearly jumps as he hands over the cow’s lead, grabbing the bean. “Thank you mister!”
    And just like that, he skips off. Really? Not so much as a question? No matter. A boy couldn’t do that much damage with one of those beans. No, not like all the stalks in my field, not like the field of universes and worlds that they all lead to. But not to the one I want.
    Patting the old girl on the head, I start to lead her back, away from Jack and his one bean. There’s a slight guilt for what I’ve done, yes, but not enough to stop me. I’m so close to finding the right stalk, so near to opening that door again. This cow will be pampered and primped, fed the leaves of my stalks and, a fortnight from now, she’ll be ready. I’ll take my clippers, and I’ll shave her hooves, and in that overgrown nail will be a bean, tough as iron, that may finally lead me to the right place.
    To my giant.