Covencraft

Uncontrollable Burn (Covencraft #5) – Blurb and cover!!!

LOOK WHAT I HAVE HERE!!!

I’m still on target for an early June release. I’m aiming for June 6 or 13th!

You can face your past, but it doesn’t mean you’re free…
Jade thought facing a Gorgon and her past demons (including the one that shows up in her pantry on occasion), meant she’d get over stuff. Auto-magically, so to speak. It turns out, it’s not that simple. Still recovering from her time in the Dearth and her meeting with Medusa, Jade tries to understand her feelings for Paris. Is she ready to deal with her past as an assault survivor and move forward? Or is she perpetually stuck where she is?

Jade also struggles as Lily pushes for them to be independent. Now that they’re no longer sharing a body, they can lead separate lives. It should be everything Jade ever wanted.

Sometimes for the future, something has to burn…
While Jade struggles with her personal life, the Coven is called upon for magical assistance. A forest fire rages out of control, unable to be stopped by mortal forces. Any witch proficient with fire is called to help. If there’s one thing Jade is certain about, especially now when nothing else feels right, it’s fire.

Out of the frying pan…
If Jade can’t get the fire under control then landscape, houses, cities, people are in jeopardy. It’s gotta be easier than dealing with her feelings, right? Or has she just made the biggest, most fatal, mistake of her life?

Edits – and some notes on book 5 (Covencraft)

I’m editing book 5 (will have blurb up shortly) and sometimes, a particular song sticks with me through a book. For this one, it’s ben The Razor’s Edge by Digital Daggers.

This one really speaks to me for Jade and her struggles.  Here are the lyrics. Bold emphasis is mine.

“The Razor’s Edge”

I think I’m lost
I think I’m broken
It’s not what I wanted
The verdict won’t change
I’ve gone off the razor’s edge
Thought it would be different
Was treading the water
‘Til it took me under

Quick retreating
So stuck in these feelings
I’m taking the beating
It won’t let me go, go, go

I’m scared ’cause the past
Keeps pulling me back
Distorting the future
It’s holding me close
It loves me the most
It’s tearing the sutures

It won’t let me heal
It tells us what’s real
There is no truth there
My vision’s gone black
I’m scared ’cause the past
Keeps pulling me

Seems I forgot
Which way I was going
Echoed mistakes (mistakes)
Repeating again

Quick retreating
So stuck in these feelings
I’m taking the beating
It won’t let me go, go, go

I’m scared ’cause the past
Keeps pulling me back
Distorting the future
It’s holding me close
It loves me the most
It’s tearing the sutures

It won’t let me heal
It tells us what’s real
There is no truth there
My vision’s gone black
I’m scared ’cause the past
Keeps pulling me

I’m scared ’cause the past
Keeps pulling me back
Distorting the future
It’s holding me close
It loves me the most
It’s tearing the sutures

It won’t let me heal
It tells us what’s real
There is no truth there
My vision’s gone black
I’m scared ’cause the past
Keeps pulling me back
I’m scared ’cause the past
Keeps pulling me

 

I also have a song that I’m listening to for book 6 [Untitled as of yet] by Digital Daggers, BUT I CAN’T TELL YOU BECAUSE OF SPOILERS.

BUT IT’S THERE. AND I KNOW IT.

A Personal Post

Internets. I’ve always struggled with how much personal ‘life’ to share. On the one hand, I like blogging and I like putting stuff out there. On the other hand, I’m well aware that in our digital age, we are judged on our online content, and that’s often a tough pill to swallow.

Many times I’ve drafted posts about my struggle with depression and mostly all of those times, I’ve ended up deleting what I’ve written, too scared to hit the publish button. I feel there’s a stigma attached to mental illness. Not as much as there used to be, but it’s there nonetheless. It’s in causal jokes and conversation and as an undercurrent to society. Perhaps I’m more sensitive to it because I struggle with it.

Perhaps not.

At any rate, I’ve made a personal commitment to talk more about mental health. I’m in a really good place right now and that wasn’t always the case. And if this post, or perhaps my subsequent posts on it [as I hope to blog more about this in future] help or reach even one person, then it will be worth it. I worry, though. I worry I’ll put this out there and somehow, sometime, it will come back and bite me in the ass. You know? It’s okay to JOKE about being crazy, but to actually say you struggle is still inviting criticism, scorn and misunderstanding

I’ve been on the same medication for sixteen years and recently, I had to face the facts – it wasn’t working anymore. I was terrified of changing and terrified of not changing. I got lucky. I changed my meds and the new one my doctor put me on is… WOW. IS THIS HOW THE REST OF THE WORLD FEELS? To quote hyperbole-and-a-half, “Maybe everything isn’t hopeless bullshit!” [and if you’ve never read her blog post on depression  and you’ve suffered from depression or know someone that has/is, I highly recommend it.]

I can DO THINGS now. THINGS AND STUFF. STUFF AND THINGS. I don’t have to make a list or have a two hour pep talk. I’m writing book 5 and it’s ACTUALLY PROGRESSING. Book 4 was written in the midst of a depressive spell and every 250 words was like.pulling.teeth. But that book taught me you CAN write something 250 words at a time. The process WILL SUCK. But it’s possible.

But now, I have to write 1000 words a day if I want to meet my personal target for book 5 AND THIS IS HAPPENING!! I can’t tell you the last time I was able to write 1000 words a day FOR A SUSTAINED PERIOD OF TIME. WHAT??? I KNOW!!! no one is more excited than me! [because I always write for me first. Sorry, not sorry. It’s true. I write because I like to tell stories and I like to see them written out. If the internet cancelled indie-publishing tomorrow, I’d still be writing].

I hope to talk more about this in the future. I actually want to write a book about being creative and trying to honor that while also struggling with mental illness. But for now, I’m very happy to be back writing Covencraft and poking at the multitude of ideas that strike my fancy!

So yeah. If you’re the one person in the world that reads this and takes something from it…. Hi. I’m Margarita. I have a major depressive disorder. And I’m living my life and making it work.

 

 

 

 

Status Update – Covencraft, Historical romances

Hi all!

To keep the momentum of my writing, I decided to jump right into the next Covencraft story as soon as I finished book 4, Dry Spells. The next ‘story’ is Uncontrollable Burn and it deals with Jade’s feelings for Paris and a wildfire burning out of control.

OH THE SYMBOLISM

Le problem is I don’t know if Uncontrollable Burn will be a full length novel [80-110,000 words] or novella length [45-75000 words]. I thought it would be a novella, but as I work through the beginning, maybe it will be long, IDK.

Le struggles.

It will be done, no matter what the length. I just don’t now if it’s a novel or a novella. You’ll find out as I do!

That also means, I don’t know when I am returning to Margaux Gillis realm of historical romances. The next story will either be a sequel to Ravenwood, featuring Charlotte, or a new story – either a ghost story or a Jekyll and Hyde bit. STAY TUNED.!!

 

 

Dry Spells [Covencraft #4] releases June 7!

Dry Spells will be released June 7! It’s up for pre-order at the moment and will be ready to download on June 7th! I’m very excited [as always!]

DrySpells_Cvr_MED
I struggle with each book in its own way and then when I get to the end I’m like, ‘huh. Why was that so hard?’ I didn’t know the ’emotional heart’ of this book for a long time, and then when I did figure it out, it was SO OBVIOUS I wondered if I had purposely been blind to it for some ‘as yet still unknown to me’ reason.

I’m always proud of my work. *pats self on back*.  Maybe it’s egotistical or narcissistic, but I work hard at my writing and hope I get better with each book. I’m always grateful I have the opportunity to write and that I finished another story – getting it out of my head and into the computer. The transition from brain to fingers to keyboard to actual-readable-book is a tumultuous one, but I find it rewarding.

I’m already working on the next installment of Covencraft, Uncontrollable Burn. I just don’t know yet if it will be a novella or a full length book. We’ll see how Jade and Paris [and Lily and Bruce and everyone else!] feels about it!

 

 

 

Dry Spells Cover Reveal!

LOOK WHAT I HAVE HERE!!

DrySpells_Cvr_MED
I’m just wrapping up the end of the first draft, and then two things happen – I go back to the beginning and start editing and it also goes out to my BFF/editor Donna for the “Yo, does this make sense mostly or is it a hot mess” initial read though. Usually, my first draft is rough, but I tend not to have too many plot holes or missing items – I don’t like to write out of order. I skipped over two scenes in this book and wrote one out of order, but other than that, I write from start to finish, so I shouldn’t have a hot mess when I’m done, but… I feel like I never know. I’m too close to it when I finish it to tell.

 

I’m still tweaking the book blurb [aka book jacket, aka the hardest thing I write, aka my least fave thing to do] but it should be ready shortly and then book 4 will go up for pre-order. I’m thinking a release date of June 7.

Unless it really IS A HOT MESS, lol. I will be eagerly awaiting Donna’s feedback.

But if Less is More, just Think How Much More ‘More’ will be!

Wow.

Internets, I’m a woman on fire.

My day job has been non stop for about 18 months and I swear to god, I keep thinking I can’t get any more busy, but I do. I am BLESSED WITH WORK. I don’t like to complain about it because there are a lot of people out there who don’t have work right now. So yes, blessed with work. And I do like being busy and feeling useful. and TBH, I think I’m KILLING IT. no really! I feel very productive and like I’m doing a good job! and I’m getting some super nice and appreciative feedback.

so yes, blessed with work.

But that also means it’s tough to come home at nights and write. I’ve been trying to push it lately because I’m just barely still on target for Book 4, (Dry Spells, Covencraft #4). If I lose any momentum, I’ll start falling behind. I’m already behind where I wanted to be, but I planned for an early finish so there is wiggle room in my goal.

All that to say, I’m running at top speed lately. It makes the days/weeks/ months go by fast and I realized this month is six months since Portia passed. Sigh. I can’t believe it. Half a year already. I still have her pick on my screen saver on my phone. It took it when she was at the puppy hospital. I miss her tons.

IMG_3800

It does help to be busy. I’m at 65000 ish words for Dry Spells, and I project about 95000 usually for a book. so 2/3rds done. I feel like I’ll be pretty close to that word count, but then I always say that and somehow end up going over. We’ll see what happens! I’ve been in touch with the Cover Artist and have him booked for about March so I’m excited to see some cover art and get that motivating me even more.

After Dry Spells, I have the next story idea, but I think it will be a novella length. So, Dry Spells will be a full novel, then Uncontrollable Burn will be novella length, and then the next book will be back to full length.

And that’s all the shrimp there is.

Dry Spells [Covencraft #4] – update

So, I complained to my sister a few months ago that book 4 of Covencraft (Dry Spells) was the hardest book I’d written.

SISTER: “you say that about all your books”

Me: I DO NOT

SISTER: Yep. You do.

Me: *thinks about it. grumbles because it might be true* “BUT THIS TIME I MEAN IT.”

The thing is, I do mean it every time. Each book has a clear plot to me and a clear emotional feel AFTER I’VE FINISHED IT. but before,  I’m kind of fumbling around in the dark. I thought I’d done enough pre-planning on book 4 that I knew what it was about. And I did, on the surface. But I hadn’t explored what it was underneath. I knew the plot points I wanted to hit, but I didn’t know or understand how I wanted it to emotionally resonate.

It may be that no one but me ever feels those deeper emotions in my books, but I NEED THAT connection to understand the plot. Book 1 was about belonging for Jade. Book 1 for Paris was about learning more about his Coven. Book 2 was about both Paris and Jade learning what belonging meant and how they both responded to that emotionally – how far will you go in response to a feeling of belonging? for Jade it meant she’d be willing to protect the Coven even if she didn’t’ feel she truly belonged.  Book 3 was about recognizing your past and trying to come to terms with it – both with Jade with respect to Lily and Paris with respect to the Coven and his mother. Book 4… I only recently realized book 4 is a continuation of that – recognizing your past and OWNING it. How do you come to terms with things you didn’t want to know? Or wished you didn’t know? or things you knew but wanted to ignore?

I thought I knew what book 4 was about but as I started working through it, it became clear I didn’t until recently. I finally feel I know where I want to go with Jade and Paris emotionally. That doesn’t mean that the reader will see it or that I’m even adept at conveying it or I know exactly what plot points I want to hit. But, I feel I know what I want Jade and Paris to FEEL when I work on this book. I feel like my ‘craft’ as a writer is uncovering these things and trying to convey it. I might not be successful. People might read books 1-4 and not see any of the deeper emotions I’m working toward. but…. I know they’re there and I’m trying.

Covencraft – Jade and Paris – Jade’s Demisexuality

I’ve been thinking a lot about something and I’d like to address it. I know that some of my closer readers [friends and family] have expressed a notion that Jade and Paris really should be getting it on by now [they have said it in a nicer way/classier way, but that’s essentially what it boils down to]. This leaves me feeling like I need to address or discuss Jade/Paris and their interactions, or lack thereof. [those of you in fandoms will recognize the SLASH ‘/’ as used when people are in a romantic and/or sexual relationship and isn’t to be confused with just general interactions. If I wanted to talk about their friendship, I would type Jade-Paris, but when I use the slash, there is something ‘more’ implied about their relationship].

Yes, I know, Jade and Paris haven’t so much as kissed in my books but I feel there is definitely an attraction there on both sides. Whether it’s something the readers are in support of or notice, I’m not sure. But, for me, as an author, it’s there. Jade feels *THINGS* with respect to Paris. She’s just not sure how to articulate them or even address them. And I think that in as much as Paris ‘lets’ himself feel an attraction to Jade, he does.

Let’s look at Paris first, since he’s the easier of the two. There are spoilers for book 2 below this sentence……

 

Paris is obviously a guy and feels an attraction to Jade on a simple/visceral level – she’s attractive. I wouldn’t say Jade is drop-dead gorgeous, but she doesn’t have to wear a bag over her head either. She’s also the kind of person I imagine gets better looking as you know her, because at first [and most of the time, still] she’s kind of bratty. But, Paris is also Coven Leader and I feel that he’s had to sacrifice a lot of his personal life at the alter of Leadership. I think he’s keenly aware of his position in the Coven and how, if he did feel an attraction to someone, his position as a person of authority colors that. I think it’s why he had a history/relationship with Veronica – she was also in a position of authority as a Coven Leader of her own Coven and he didn’t worry so much that he may be abusing his ‘authority’ while in a relationship with her as she had a similar position herself. I think that Paris is always hyper-aware that anyone he may show an interest in may have a hero-worship complex for him because of his power and his authority. It was always known since he was young that he would be Coven Leader an in that sense, he’s not just a ‘regular person.’ People have pre-evaulated judgements/feelings toward him. I think that he’s also so busy that he’s turned a blind eye to that aspect of his life. It’s one of the reason that Callie and Paris are so close as FRIENDS. She’s always been in his life since they were both young. She’s able to be there for him as a friend, but not as a romantic interest. She has a boyfriend [Nick, who we don’t really see ‘on screen. I feel like I know him rather well because of scenes I’ve written for him in drafts that didn’t make the cut or alternate universes that haven’t happened]. So Callie has NO romantic interest in Paris and neither does he have an interest in her. While Paris may feel attracted at times to people [I’m not TOTALLY sold on him being STRICTLY heterosexual. I feel like he could be a 1 or 2 on the Kinsey Scale and not exclusively a 0], it’s not something he focuses on because he has his work and that takes up almost all of his time. But to be honest, I don’t worry/think as much about Paris’ sexuality as I do about Jade’s.

 

HERE THERE BE SPOILERS FOR BOOKS THREE AND FOUR – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

 

 

In my mind, I clearly identify Jade as a demisexual and she just always has been.

demisexual flag

Demisexual Flag

While I’ve not explicitly stated it in the books, Jade is also sexual assault survivor and that definitely has an impact on her current relationships and how she views interactions. To be clear, she was demisexual before she was sexually assaulted. It’s not a response to her trauma, it just IS the way she IS. Lily, on the other hand, is not demisexual. She experiences sexual attraction a lot easier and more freely than Jade. I may explore that in a later book, I’m not sure. Lily might get her own series. It’s all… kind of up in the air. But I do clearly see Jade as demisexual. She has to have a STRONG connection with someone BEFORE she even thinks of them in a sexual manner. At times, it may appear that she is asexual or repressive, but it’s just that she takes a long time to process things and she can’t even fathom being sexually attracted to someone without having a connection and she DOES NOT connect with many people. At all. I’ve no doubt that she IS attracted to Paris, but that attraction really took time for her to grow into. She has to get to know him but also, has to be in a place where she feels more secure and safe in her environment. When she first joins the Coven, she’s not in that place. She’s nowhere near the head space she needs to be in to address those feelings. When that’s coupled with her past as a sexual assault survivor, it takes her a long time to EVEN acknowledge her attraction to Paris, which is where we see her, I think, at the end of book3, Double-Sided Witch. The arrival/appearance/return of Lily is a catalyst for Jade in more ways than one. Lily can point things out to Jade that Jade cannot see herself, but also, with Lily no longer being ‘gone’ or ‘dead’, Jade is finally able to move forward.

So, where do I see that going? Well, I’m not sure! I’m sort of watching them [Jade and Paris] to see how it goes. It’s very important to me that Paris respects Jade’s boundaries and I think he’s keen enough as a leader and a person to see and recognize those boundaries even when she doesn’t explicitly state them. The fact that at the end of book 3, Jade willingly, WITHOUT REAL THOUGHT, reaches out and touches Paris is a big thing for her. I’m sure in this time/age/world of sex-sex-sex, it’s considered a non-event, but for Jade, that’s a real moment. One that I’m not sure either Jade or Paris may recognize. Lily would be able to see it for what it was, and I may have her address it. The other way we ‘see’ Jade’s feelings for Paris is through Bruce – Jade’s familiar. Bruce’s feelings are a mirror or a composite of Jade’s and, being a LIZARD [lol], he’s a lot more free in expressing them. We see Bruce in book 3 SEEK PARIS OUT to let him know there’s a problem [Bruce’s scaly patch] and we also see Bruce showing a fondness for Josef – something Jade feels as well. In book 4, I’m hoping to explore that, and maybe have Paris tune in a bit more to it. He knows familiars have the same/similar emotions as their witches, but I feel like he may need to be hit with a Clue-by-four and really have that, OH WOW moment in book 4.

I’m still working out what this all means for them as I write book 4 and tentatively sketch out book 5! But, those are my thoughts. Do with them what you will.