Archive for the ‘My Books’ Category

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Severed Veil Cover Reveal!!

September 28, 2018

I am over the moon excited to share this with you today. A cover reveal and a pre-order – because next month I am releasing a new book!

Severed Veil: Tales of Death and Dreams

A dream-traveling boy haunted by a broken girl. A cursed warrior, weary of bloodshed. A princess who battles dragons in an enchanted slumber. A treacherous graveyard in the stars.

From Bethany A. Jennings—author of Threadbare and Dragon Lyric—come twelve mesmerizing short works of poetry and prose that boldly pierce the shadows. Severed Veil contains a selection of fantasy, sci-fi, and poetry, including “Dreamskip,” the winner of an honorable mention from the Writers of the Future Contest in 2018.

Illustrated with ethereal pencil sketches by artist Julia Busko, these tales dance on the delicate rift between life and death, waking and dreams.

This cover was created by Magpie Designs Ltd. Isn’t it gorgeous?? She so beautifully captured the shadowy and luminous tones of this book, which is full of dark, fierce stories and poems I’ve pulled from the very depths of my heart.

Severed Veil will also contain illustrations by my talented friend Julia Busko, who did the cover for Dragon Lyric. Her work is a perfect fit for this collection! It’s fantastic to work with both of these artists again and to have their beautiful art be a part of this release.

Here’s a tiny glimpse of Julia’s concept sketches!

And here’s a little snippet of one of the stories inside…

Glass shatters somewhere at the other end of the house. The hair on the back of my neck stands on end. I hold my breath.

Then distant wailing. Pleading. A male voice growling back.

I creep out of the bush, dial nine-one-one, and shove the phone back in my pocket on mute. Every muscle in me is clenched in fear.

I try the rusty back doorknob. Unlocked.

Buzzing with nervous energy, I ease open the door and step into a hallway. Drops of blood stain the beige carpet. Harriet’s?

My throat tightens, but I keep moving. The sound of weeping grows louder with every step—and then the tinkle of broken glass scraping on kitchen tiles.

“Shut it, you,” the male voice mutters. Vicious. Threatening.

If only I had a weapon.

To find out what happens next, find the story “Dreamskip” in the collection when it comes out!

Severed Veil releases on October 27, 2018. But you can pre-order it or add it to your Goodreads list TODAY!

Pre-order SEVERED VEIL on Amazon

Add Severed Veil on Goodreads

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Coming in October! – Severed Veil: Tales of Death and Dreams

September 8, 2018

Publishing preparation checklist?? OH YES. 😀

I’ve mentioned it here and there on social media, but I’m excited to finally *officially* announce that, Lord willing, I am releasing a new book at the end of October!

Severed Veil: Tales of Death and Dreams is a collection of fierce fantasy and sci-fi short stories—stories that dance on the delicate rift between life and death, waking and dreams. Stories from my gut. Stories from my soul.

I am beyond excited about my plans for this book. The collection will include my short story “Dreamskip” (a Writers Of The Future Honorable Mention), “No More Blood” (a finalist from the Splickety live critique at Realm Makers in 2018), and 7+ other short stories and flash fiction pieces.

The cover is in progress right now, and oh my goodness…I am itching to reveal it already, and it isn’t even in its final form!!! 😀

If you’d like to be part of the cover reveal at the end of this month, please check out THIS LINK to sign up! 😀

I have even more exciting news about Severed Veil coming SOON. So keep an eye out! It’s going to be an exciting and intense few weeks getting this new book ready to share with the world. 😃

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July #WIPjoy and Other Exciting Updates

June 30, 2018

Hey, everybody!

Yesterday I sent out my June newsletter, which contained a whole host of exciting announcements, as well as a free flash fiction piece, Fall Like a Stone. The link below will take you there to read it all…

READ THE EXCITING NEWSLETTER HERE! (A new story may be coming out…) 😀

Also, July is almost upon us, which means another #WIPjoy is right around the corner. Here is the list of July prompts for those of you who participate!

For this month’s Friday prompts I have partnered up with my friend, author coach, editor, and fellow writer Janeen Ippolito, whose hashtag game One Random Question (#1randomques) normally goes out every Friday! Her game is so much fun, and I wanted to bring that fun into #WIPjoy. If you like her Friday prompts, be sure to follow her on Facebook or Twitter to get her #1randomques prompts year-round!

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Explore Kraesinia with the Irresistible World Building Blog Hop

May 11, 2018

My friend and author coach, Janeen Ippolito, is releasing a new book for writers! Irresistible World Building for Unforgettable Stories: A Creative Writing Guide for World Building That Sells promises to be a fantastic resource for tying my world-building to my stories in meaningful ways. I’m excited to get my hands on a copy!

To celebrate her release, Janeen’s made her blog hop into an opportunity for authors to share about their fantastic worlds. So here are some interview questions and answers about the world of my Kraesinia Trilogy. 😀

The Trusted (Book One of the Kraesinia Trilogy)

Current status: writing draft 7 (42K written!…probably about 68K to go!).

About the story:

He is the son of heroes – or traitors.

Trapped in a brutal double life between high school on Earth and war on another planet, Kevin Leansmith must discover the truth about his parents’ legacy as soldier-spies, before the forces that destroyed them come after him and his sister – and put the entire universe in jeopardy.

Name your spec-fic subgenre!

The Kraesinia Trilogy is a bit of a genre blend, so in all honesty I’m still not 100% sure what sub-genre it best fits! Most of the time I call it YA science-fantasy. It could also be considered portal fantasy or simply soft science-fiction. There’s no magic involved, just high levels of tech and a bit of “science we don’t understand yet” in a few cases. My heroes ride large, furry steeds into battle, wielding electric swords and plasma guns…so that’s kind of the general vibe. 😀 Kraesinia is simultaneously high tech and pleasantly earthy and ancient-feeling.

A Kraesinion mansion I drew many years ago. (Kraesinions have a thing for big, domed skylights.)

What about your world building messes up your main character’s life?

The world of Kraesinia is at war with alien forces. And if Kevin doesn’t agree to join the Trusted (the human auxiliary of the Kraesinion military), the Kraesinions will wipe every memory of their world from his head before sending him home to Earth…including the crucial information he’s just learned about his parents’ history there…

What was the first thing that inspired your worldbuilding?

I was initially inspired for this project one day in my early teens, when I realized that there were no female characters (that I knew of) with bionic hands, like Luke and Anakin Skywalker had in Star Wars. I wanted to write about a girl my age with a metal arm. So Thraunya came into being: a teenage teleporting station guard from another planet, with a venomous stinger on one wrist, a metal prosthetic for her other hand, and a sharp, snarky personality. Once she’d popped into my head, quickly followed by the two human teens who would stumble into her teleporting station, the rest of the world spilled out unstoppably from there.

A very old drawing of Thraunya’s prosthetic arm (in previous versions of the story, it had more extra features than it does now).

What universal feelings do you explore in your world building—and why?

I love to explore a sense of wonder in my world-building, especially through Kevin, who soaks up every new experience with fresh delight. Kraesinia abounds with danger, but there are also glowing flowers, vivid purple cliffs, kaleidoscopic interdimensional leaps, the comforting and musty scent of heth stables, towers that jut out of the sea, floating vehicles, and anti-gravity arenas.

Another big feeling I provoke with my world-building is the fear of the unknown when your fate is wholly beyond your control. One does not simply travel to another planet and get captured by aliens without feeling terrifyingly helpless. Especially when those aliens can knock you out with a single, swift jab of their stingers. Or erase your memories.

One of my more recent sketches of a Kraesinion stinger (the right hand).

What languages do the characters in your story speak? Do you have a conlang? Share a bit about it!

do have a conlang – actually a couple of them! And I may create more down the road. I avoid dumping too many foreign words on readers in the narrative itself, but I’m very fond of developing languages, so I’ve recorded hundreds of words of Kraesinish at this point, and for Drivvandi (the language of the invading aliens) around a hundred or so. Kraesinish is a very lyrical, elegant language, kind of breathy in how it’s spoken. Drivvandi is sharp and snappy, heavy on the harsher and deeper sounds.

If you’re curious to hear some, here’s a video I created awhile back with me reciting the Lord’s prayer in Kraesinish:

 

What is fresh and different about your worldbuilding that hasn’t been done before?

One element I really love about my book is how the humans are integrated into the Kraesinion army – in order to facilitate good relationships between the human and Kraesinion races, the Kraesinion military assigns each human a Kraesinion “Companion,” who they fight with as a tightly-knit partnership. As a member of the Trusted, you are given a Companion of your same gender, chosen based on a variety of philosophical and personality-based factors for close compatibility. Every battle is fought alongside your best friend. (Or so’s the idea…not every Companion pair turns out to be as compatible as intended…)

If you could take any part of your world building and make it into a giveaway item, what would it be?

HETHS. These furry beasties are huge, cuddly-soft, and will rip out the throats of your enemies. What’s not to love? 😀 Heths are used in the Kraesinion cavalry, and each one is large and strong enough to carry a set of Companions, trained to defend their riders, as agile as a cat, and as loyal as a dog. My amazingly talented sister-in-law has created and sewn a lot of stuffed animals, so someday when The Kraesinia Trilogy is published, I plan to commission her to make stuffed heths for swag and giveaway items. (And some to keep for meeee…)

A “common heth” outfitted with a double saddle.

Describe a food your protagonist enjoys in your world—and one he/she hates.

How about beverages instead? Kevin enjoys kaiith juice – a thick, green Kraesinion drink that’s both sweet and tangy; it’s made from kaiith fruit, which looks a little like an elongated green pepper, and grows on trees.

On the other hand, there is cappis milk, which looks and smells like regular cow’s milk from Earth…but Kevin finds out the hard way that it goes down like a mouthful of fire, hotter than jalapeno peppers. There’s a reason it’s served in tiny shots!

Is there any physical item from your world building that would make a big splash in our world?

Well, there’s tenatha stone, which is purple and glows at human touch (at least, some particular human touch) and can be used to facilitate teleporting. Teleportation would make a big splash on Earth if it was publicly known to exist!

Share a short excerpt from your story that shows off really cool world building.

This part features Kraesinion stingers. 😀

“You can’t fool me, Ori.” He pronounced the youth honorific as though it was an insult. “Earlier you said this human was a security threat. You said he needed to stay with his sister and you were oh-so-concerned about his safety. And now you’re running around the base together, and saying he’s a trainee sent here by mistake. If not for the lies, I’d think you were completely incompetent. What are you up to? I demand you tell me.”

Thraunya fought through the pain to suck in a deeper breath. Her mind spun, producing nothing. Think faster, think faster!

“Answer me!” He swooped forward, pinning her against the wall with his forearm across her throat.

Thraunya buried her stinger in his shoulder with a growl. A weak little spit of venom shot into his muscle. The sensation turned her stomach. I’m venomless. Defenseless. True fear, for the first time, settled into her middle like a ball of ice.

Or Laushen grinned. “Forgot you already used up your store on the humans?” He pressed her throat harder, stinger pricking against her skin. Dark spots swirled in Thraunya’s vision. “That pathetic single stinger won’t even touch me. I have almost enough in this one gland to stop your heart. So either you can tell me right now what you’re doing, or I can sting both of you and—”

Through the dance of darkness, a fist came flying at Laushen’s face.

Intrigued by what you’ve heard about Kraesinia? Follow my Facebook page for regular snippets of my writing, subscribe to my newsletter, or join my Facebook reader group for up-close and personal updates on my writing progress and more insider info. 😀

More about Irresistible World Building for Unforgettable Stories

I’m really looking forward to using this resource as I develop Kraesinia even more for this draft of the trilogy!

Here’s more about Janeen’s book:

Write stories with worlds that create lifelong fans and fandoms!

Irresistible World Building for Unforgettable Stories contains key methods and tips on how to weave your world building into every aspect of your story, from theme to plot to character arcs.

-Use writing prompts and exercises to jumpstart your creativity
-Get ideas on how to refresh world building genre tropes while still hitting reader sweet spots
-Learn to embrace your inner geek and passions to connect your world building with readers

Vivid world building is great. Vivid world building that sells? Even better!

Buy Irresistible World Building for Unforgettable Stories on Amazon!

Or add it to your Goodreads!

About Janeen Ippolito

Janeen Ippolito is two authors for the price of one! She creates writing resources and writes urban fantasy and steampunk. She’s also an experienced teacher, editor, author coach, and the editor in chief of Uncommon Universes Press. In her spare time, she enjoys sword-fighting, reading, food, and making brownie batter. She believes that words transform worlds and that everyone has the ability to tell their story. Two of her goals are eating fried tarantulas and traveling to Antarctica. This extroverted writer loves getting connected, so find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and at her website: janeenippolito.com

Sign up for her newsletter HERE!

Check out the other posts in the blog hop!

April 30 – Claire Banschbach (https://clairembanschbach.wordpress.com)

May 1 – Doug Triplett (https://dougtriplett.com)

May 5 – Sarah Delena White (https://sarahdelenawhite.com)

May 6 – C. O.  Bonham (https://cobonham.com)

May 7 – J.F. Rogers (https://jfrogers.com)

May 8 – Anna Tan (http://blog.annatsp.com)

May 9 – Shannon Stewart (https://shannonstewartwrites.wordpress.com)

May 10 – Laura A. Grace (https://unicornquester.com)

May 11 – Bethany Jennings (http://simmeringmind.com) <– You are here!

May 12 – Jebraun Clifford (https://jebraunclifford.com)

May 14 – Tabitha Caplinger (https://www.tabithacaplinger.com)

May 15 – Amelia Nichole (http://amelianichole.com)

May 16 – Amy Brock McNew (https://amybrockmcnew.com/guts-on-the-page/)

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Dragon Lyric is HERE!

July 21, 2017

At long last, Dragon Lyric has released!! *throws confetti* Yay!

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you may have seen me post awhile back that my release had been delayed. Turns it out was delayed by about a month – this story required so much more thought and time than I had initially expected. But it’s all the richer for it, I hope!

I admit that this story is a bit scary to put out there, for me. It’s dark, it’s intense, and the ending has proven divisive for beta readers. It also hits on mature themes I never imagined writing about, like spousal abuse and divorce. Because of those things I haven’t labeled it YA like I did Threadbare (it would probably be appropriate for most YA readers, but as always, I advise parents to check it out before giving to teens, especially younger teens 🙂 ).

But Dragon Lyric is a story of triumph, of fierceness, and of rebellion against despair. I believe these things and the themes the story contains are vital, and I am so excited to finally share this little book with the world.

In a couple of days, Amazon should merge these two pages into one, but for now you can buy it in paperback HERE and as an ebook HERE.

Stay tuned for more author/editor news, coming soon!