Jewelry Giveaway

The Painted Maidens Trilogy is a three book, young adult fantasy series. Eco-fantasy, actually. There is plenty of action, some gore, some romance (which gets steamier as the series goes on), and it is definitely unique to anything you’ve read before. A young maiden (the youngest of her species, actually), Serena, is caught going beyond the borders of her kingdom to The Dry. As punishment, she is assigned to be the Werewolf Liaison which puts her in The Dry semi-permanently. She must contend with the hostile werewolf clan that has a long-standing, bloody history with the maidens. There are plenty of twists along the way – I hope each of you give this series a chance!

I have a great giveaway planned for anyone who posts a review for each of the books. In the final book, ‘The Taking’, two pieces of jewelry play a big role. Here are excerpts from the book describing the jewelry:

mermaid necklaceMermaid Necklace:

When Danny extends his hand and opens his palm, a silver-chained necklace with a small charm rests on it. Leaning in for a closer look, Serena and Liam both emit an awed sigh. The charm is a tiny mermaid, her tail curved up so the entire shape makes a small ‘U’. Her upper body is bare but only her back shows. Serena runs the pad of her thumb down the long locks of hair cascading down the mermaid’s shoulders almost to her scales at her waistline.

“You made this?” whispers Serena.

“Out of them poles you let me have.” Danny nods. “Except the hair. That comes from a special stone.”

“What is special about it?” asks Liam.

“It has luminescence.”

“Like our hair?” asks Serena.

“Of sorts,” says Danny. “But this one lights up only when another type of stone is close. The energy of the both of them together creates the light. Look…” Danny motions down the dock and another man with two large boxes comes forward. As he walks closer, the hair of the mermaid in Serena’s hand begins to glow. At first, only subtle glimmers are perceptible, but by the time the man with the boxes is next to them the charm is at full radiance.

Danny reaches into one of the boxes pulling out several more mermaid charms. “These are for your maidens. They won’t glow—that quality is unique to yours, meant to help you find a maiden if she gets lost along the way.”

“Danny,” says Serena. “Thank you. I don’t… I mean…”

“The least I could do,” says Danny. “You are the best thing that has ever happened to the clan, well, since Liam here anyway.”

werewolf braceletWerewolf Bracelet:

“I’ve got somethin’ for Mr. Second Best too,” Danny reaches into the next box.

Liam crosses his arms. “I ain’t wearin’ no necklaces.”

“What about a bracelet?” Danny smiles. He pulls out several silver bracelets. The twisted band ends with a wolf head on either side. “Don’t worry, yours is just as special.” Danny pulls out an envelope, emptying the contents—one of the wolf bracelets—into Liam’s palm. “In yours, the eyes light up when one of your wolves is close.”

Turning his arm, moonlight flashes along the ridges of the bracelet until Liam’s wrist is pointed toward the heavens, and the eyes of each wolf glow red.

“Brilliant,” Serena says the same time as Liam says, “awesome.”

So I am giving away one mermaid necklace and one wolf bracelet. (Unfortunately, my giveaway jewelry does not have any glowing elements.) But they are so awesome I even ordered one of each for myself.

Enter the contest by clicking here to vote for either Team Mermaid or Team Werewolf. Don’t forget there are extra entry options, and five entries if you post a link to your review of any of the books in the series. Remember, the first e-book is free across all platforms – go and get it now! The contest is over in two weeks. Good luck!

 

Painted Maidens Book Trailer and Giveaway

I am so excited to reveal the book trailer for The Painted Maidens Trilogy. I waited until all three books in the series were complete to get started on it, and I am pretty proud of the results! Take a look for yourself:

Please, please comment below and let me know what you think! Although this series is YA, it borders on dark fantasy, and I think the book trailer really helps portray that. The intense musical score, the color scheme, and the descriptions of the book (which really focus on the first book only) all let the viewers know this isn’t your typical mermaid book.

Some details on what it took to pull it together:

Creators: Me, myself, and I

Costs: $80 for royalty-free images, $40 for royalty-free music for a total of $120.

Time: I didn’t track it very well but probably at least sixteen hours, from researching images and music straight through to completion.

Program: Final Cut Pro for Mac (not included in the costs because I already had it, but typically it will run you about $300). I also used Gimp for image manipulation which is a free download.

Putting the video together was a lot of trial and error. At first, I was speaking the lines out loud instead of having them written across the screen. My intent was to hire a narrator, but I quickly found out that expense was out of my range, so I recorded my own voice. Next, I spoke to my piano teacher about using his professional studio to create my own, simple music. I quickly found out that expense was out of my range too. *sigh* So once I found my own music, I realized my voice on top of that was sensory overload. And that is when I learned to use all the cool text features of Final Cut Pro.

But before I even got started downloading images, writing the script, and finding the music, I had to do my own book trailer research. What kind of trailers did I like best? Which style would fit The Painted Maidens Trilogy?

Here are some of my favs:

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater:

https://vimeo.com/11381304

Still Wolf Watching by Maggie Steifvater:

https://youtu.be/QX82ggGCF7c

The stop motion feel (especially in Still Wolf Watching) is sort of what I was shooting for, though a full stop motion video requires a lot of work. Way more than 16 hours. J

Family Magic by Patti Larsen:

https://youtu.be/ZOZwihr9MuU

This has been my top favorite book trailer for a long time now (but honestly I never read the book *sheepish shrug*). This is what I was shooting for when I first wanted to use a narrator and simple music. Although my trailer turned out very different from this one, I think if you compare the two scripts they are similar in nature.

So that is about it! Please be sure to like, share, or comment on the trailer via YouTube.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNER, JOSEPH H.!

Now on to the fun stuff – the giveaway! I am giving a $20 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner. Enter via rafflecopter (click here) there are plenty of opportunities for extra entries. Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

Painted Maidens Boxed Set Cover Reveal

I am so, so excited to share with you the culmination of The Painted Maidens Trilogy, the boxed set and the awesome cover. As an omni-cover, it is a bit simplistic, but I think it represents the series as a whole very well. And check out the 3d version of the boxed set. Just too cool! All three covers, the omni cover, and the 3d image were created by Keary Taylor (www.indiecoverdesigns.com). This is the tenth cover design Keary has done for me and I couldn’t be happier!

Let me know what you think:

 

boxed set cover

 

Boxed set 3DThe Painted Maidens Trilogy
By Terra Harmony
Includes: The full three book set (The Rising, The Betrayed, and The Taking) plus a bonus short story, ‘How I Met Your Mother’
Publisher: Patchwork Press
Genre: Eco-Fantasy
Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Serena is the youngest member of a dying race. The increasing acidity of the ocean is destroying her home, slowly eating away at the once thriving underwater landscape. But since the night of Serena’s birth, it is an outside force that most threatens their dwindling population. Werewolves, who once served as protectors for mermaids in the Kingdom of the Undine, now seek to eliminate all who dwell in the ocean—and Serena is about to find herself right in the middle of the deadly conflict.
Given the title of Werewolf Liaison, Serena is determined to make things right for her people. When she ventures to The Dry, she meets Liam, the werewolf with hazel eyes, and her whole world gets turned upside down. As Serena discovers the real history between werewolves and mermaids, she is left wondering who her true enemies are.

Please be sure to like, share, or comment on the cover.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. CONGRATULATIONS TO THE FOLLOWING WINNERS; NATALIE C., KATHIE D., MARY P., NIKKI J., AND READING AWAY THE DAYS!

Now on to the fun stuff – the giveaway! I am giving five lucky winners the e-book version of The Painted Maidens Trilogy. Enter via rafflecopter by clicking this link; there are plenty of opportunities for extra entries. Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

 

Tour Time!

Painted Maidens tour banner FINAL 700x250

 

Welcome to The Deep, indeed. With my full series out, I am hitting my advertising stride. Which means giveaways and freebies for you!  Be sure to visit here lots this week to sign up for each of the contests – there will be five altogether, one posted each day!

We are going to start today out with my favorite – the playlist!

I had so much fun throughout the creation of The Painted Maidens Trilogy, and music was a big part of that. I don’t listen to music while I am writing (too distracting), but I love to listen as I am driving or running, which is really my time to brainstorm. There are five songs that really set the mood of either the entire trilogy or a specific scene or character. Take a listen:

Scene/Character: Beginning of the Maiden and Wolf Migration, ‘The Taking, Book Three’
Song: Come with me now
Artist: Kongos
Favorite verse:
“I was born without this fear
Now only this seems clear
I need to move, I need to fight
I need to lose myself tonight.”
Whoa, come with me now
Whoa, come with me now
I’m gonna take you down
Whoa, come with me now.”

 

Scene/Character: The King, ‘The Rising, Book One’
Song: Pompeii
Artist: Bastille
Favorite verse:
“Oh oh where do we begin?
The rubble or our sins?
And the walls kept tumbling down
In the city that we love
Great clouds roll over the hills
Bringing darkness from above.”

Scene/Character: Serena (main character)
Song: Darkhorse
Artist: Katy Perry
Favorite Verse:
“So you want to play with magic?
Boy, you should know what you’re falling for.
Baby do you dare to do this?
Cause I’m coming at you
like a dark horse.
Are you ready for, ready for
A perfect storm, perfect storm
Cause once you’re mine, once you’re mine
There’s no going back.”

 

 

Scene/Character: The Wolves
Song: Do I Wanna Know?
Artist: Arctic Monkeys
Favorite Verse:
“Have you got colour in your cheeks?
Do you ever get that fear that you can’t shift
The type that sticks around like something in your teeth?
Are there some aces up your sleeve?
Have you no idea that you’re in deep?
I dreamt about you nearly every night this week
How many secrets can you keep?”

 

Scene/Character: After storm and shipwreck, maidens and wolves recovering together, ‘The Taking, Book Three’
Song: Team
Artist: Lorde
Favorite Verse:
“We live in cities you’ll never see on screen
Not very pretty, but we sure know how to run things
Living in ruins of a palace within my dreams
And you know, we’re on each other’s team.”

 

I absolutely love Lorde – I imagine a lot of their music is something my Painted Maidens would sing. I hope you enjoy each of these songs as much as I do, and that they motivate you to try out the series!

We have a great giveaway you can enter via rafflecopter below, with plenty of chances for extra entries. Good luck!

CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED – CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNER, SHELLY H.!

 Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway of the complete Painted Maidens Trilogy in hard copy!

Release Day – ‘The Taking’

It’s here! I am very excited to announce the official release of ‘The Taking’. This is the third and final book for The Painted Maidens Trilogy. Grab your e-book copy now (print books will be available March 16th). And please, please, please let me know what you think!

THE TAKING cover The Taking, Book Three of the Painted Maidens Trilogy

Eighteen-year-old Serena reigns as queen of both the Undine of The Deep and the wolves of The Dry. The alliance between her maidens and the werewolves is shaky when all at once the basic necessities of food and shelter are taken away and both their worlds fall apart. After decades of war, the two societies must work together to face what lies ahead. A promised land is theirs for the taking, but first, they must survive each other.

Purchase it now:

AMAZON | B&NiTUNES | KOBO | SMASHWORDS

I have to admit – this is a little bittersweet for me. It wraps up my second full series and while I am already looking ahead to my next projects, I’m not quite ready to leave The Deep just yet!

From March 16th through March 20th I will host a massive blog tour that celebrates the release of the boxed set. We will be doing a cover reveal for the cover of the boxed set, a play list, the book trailer reveal, an Amazon gift card giveaway, and giveaways of Painted Maiden print and ebooks. I am also working on a short story about how Darcy (the only human in Clan Werich) came to be involved with Colin and the rest of the pack titled ‘How I Met your Mother’. This will be included as part of the boxed set, but you can also earn your free copy by emailing me links to your reviews on each of the books.  Get started now!  Here are the links:

The Rising

The Betrayed

The Taking

Bloggers please email me at terra.harmony11@gmail.com if you want to be involved with my book tour!

New Book Announcement

Happy New Year! I hope 2014 was a blast for everyone but that 2015 will prove to be better. I want to start 2015 with an exciting announcement – the third and final book of The Painted Maidens Trilogy titled ‘The Taking’ is nearing completion! We are working on the cover art now as the book is in the first stages of editing. I’m aiming for a release on or before Valentine’s Day.

For those of you who are anxiously awaiting the release, it will be here soon – I promise! In the meantime, I plan to tease you with excerpts from the book (see the first one below).

For those who haven’t had a chance to read the first or second books, now is your chance to catch up as the first book ‘The Rising’ is still listed as free across all e-platforms!

THE RISING-final cover

The Rising

Get it now, FREE at:

Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Smashwords | Kobo

Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Serena is the youngest member of a dying race. The increasing acidity of the ocean is destroying her home, slowly eating away at the once thriving underwater landscape. But since the night of Serena’s birth, it is an outside force that most threatens their dwindling population. Werewolves, who once served as protectors for mermaids in the Kingdom of the Undine, now seek to eliminate all who dwell in the ocean—and Serena is about to find herself right in the middle of the deadly conflict.

Given the title of Werewolf Liaison, Serena is determined to make things right for her people. When she ventures to The Dry, she meets Liam, the werewolf with hazel eyes, and her whole world gets turned upside down. As Serena discovers the real history between werewolves and mermaids, she is left wondering who her true enemies are.

The Betrayed MOCK UP 2

The Betrayed

Purchase it now:

Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Smashwords | Kobo

Summary:

Two separate worlds; the Undine of The Deep and the Wolves of The Dry. A history muddled in war but thick with family bonds blur the lines of right and wrong. The youngest members of each race unite, trying to steer their people away from the brink of disaster. Serena and Liam must work together to resolve the problems of their people before the pressure tears these twin siblings apart. But the betrayed are angry, and are out for revenge.

Over the next month, there will be several fun events as we ramp up to the release of ‘The Taking’, including more excerpts, a playlist (I cannot wait for this one), announcements for my next projects, giveaways, and the cover reveal!

For now I leave you with an excerpt (unedited) from ‘The Taking’. Enjoy!

‘The Taking, Book Three of the Painted Maidens Trilogy’ Excerpt: 

male and female mermaidThe waves grow rough as the wind picks up.

“Come on,” says Kai. “I have an idea.” He takes Serena by the hand and swims them both into rougher surf.

“Kai, what are you—” Serena is cut off by the next wave that crashes over both of their heads.

Tossed and turned, colliding into each other and pulled apart just as quickly, they flounder like guppies in the water. Serena straightens herself out, finding the surface and popping above just to be pushed below again by the next wave. Kai rolls by in front of her sticking out his tongue while his tail is tangled in kelp.

Serena laughs as she breaks it apart for him. As soon as he is free, he pulls her up. Picking up speed, the pair glide along the surface, angling in to join another wave. This time, they slide in front of it just as the crest folds forward, wrapping them in a secluded tunnel of brackish blue. Kai continues to jut forward, but turns on his back and dips below the surface. He pulls Serena on top of him so her chest rests on his stomach. She rides the wave just as she has seen the Ungainly surfers do, laying down on their boards.

Kai pushes her hands up and out, then releases them. Spreading her arms like wings, Serena’s fingertips skim the watery tunnel on each side. Here in the ocean’s breakers, between The Deep and The Dry, Serena is finally afforded a little privacy from both worlds and her title as queen.

A wide grin spreads across her face as she looks down at Kai in gratitude. She pulls him up just as the tunnel condenses, then collapses in on itself. They endure the chaotic aftermath, tickling each other as they roll into calmer surf.

Catching their breath as their heads bob above water, pure delight dancing across their faces with the last light of the sun, and Serena looks at Kai. “I want to pair with you,” she says. The words are out of her mouth as the thought enters her head. Her eyes go wide—she can’t believe she said that out loud. She looks at Kai, who looks just as stunned.

“Are you sure?” he asks, giving her a chance to retract her statement.

Serena bites her lip, her eyes falling to the frothy water surrounding them. The time between waves lengthens, as if the ocean herself awaits Serena’s answer. Finally, she looks up to Kai. “No more waiting, Kai. I’m ready, and I wish to pair with you—if you’ll have me.”

His eyes light up and he squeezes her face in between his hands, drawing her lips into his. A breath she doesn’t know he was holding escapes as his lips relax open. He tastes of salt. Another wave finally breaks, taking them both by surprise. He wraps his tail around hers as their arms snake around each other.

The wave pushes them under in a tumultuous celebration, and they hold on tight as the world spins around them. Hitting the sandy sea floor, they break apart. Serena’s hair has escaped her braid and black tendrils reach out, brushing Kai’s cheek.

Right here, right now, there are no worries in the world. There is nothing but Kai and all the fun, the security, and the affection he brings. Serena can’t pretend the moment will last forever, but she knows if Kai is by her side she can face anything.

* * *

Hope you enjoyed the excerpt! Let me know what you think in the comments below and please be sure to like me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to keep updated on my progress!

New Release: The Betrayed

Happy Release Day to my Painted Maidens!

The Betrayed MOCK UP 2I am so excited to reveal ‘The Betrayed, Book Two of the Painted Maidens Trilogy’! It has been a looooong time coming. I won’t bore you with a long post, but I will give you what you need – the links!

Amazon Smashwords | Goodreads | B&N | iTunesKobo

Please help spread the word!

Synopsis:

Two separate worlds; the Undine of The Deep and the Wolves of The Dry. A history muddled in war but thick with family bonds blur the lines of right and wrong. The youngest members of each race unite, trying to steer their people away from the brink of disaster. Serena and Liam must work together to resolve the problems of their people before the pressure tears these twin siblings apart. But the betrayed are angry, and are out for revenge.

 

Sex in Young Adult Books

THE RISING-final coverI am currently writing my third and final novel for ‘The Painted Maidens Trilogy’. The first book ‘The Rising’ is available now on Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, and iTunes. The second book ‘The Betrayed’ will be available this fall.

Without giving too much away, in the third book (tentatively named ‘The Taking’) the main character, Serena – who is 18 – makes the decision to share herself with her boyfriend. This is not within the confines of marriage because well, they are mermaids and they don’t get married.

I’ve done my fair share of research on sex in young adult books and am admittedly nervous to include it. I want to do it right. The best article I found so far is by ‘Writing Teen Novels‘. Advice in writing sex in young adult novels includes “how important it is to be honest, to be sober and to be in a committed respectful and loving relationship before you take the leap” and “girls should decide that they are in control of their bodies and of their decision-making”.

Another great article I found is by Amber Skye Forbes. Here the author says “Sexual experiences vary widely among teenagers, which is what is so great about YA literature. It encompasses experiences from a myriad of teenagers from all different walks of life” (like mermaids – LOL) and “sex between two teenagers doesn’t always have negative consequences”.

These are exactly the points that I want to portray in my book. My work up to the scene does include a lot of soul-searching for the main character as mermaid 2to why she is choosing to do this.

My next conundrum is how graphic should I get? I have to keep it PG-13 but I don’t want to completely gloss over the event.

One big benefit I have to this is my oldest son just turned 15 – and he reads this series. I can keep myself in check knowing he will be reading the book, but I can also include everything I want him to know about it wrapped into an entertaining fantasy story.

I would love to hear your advice on the subject – especially coming from avid readers, other YA authors, parents, and even teens. What lessons should I preach (without sounding too preachy, of course)? How graphic can I get? What were some of your favorite YA books that touched this subject?

World-Building with Werewolves

werewolf skullFollowing my World Building with Mermaids Blog Post about nine months ago, I thought I’d give the wolves their fair share of the spotlight.  I’m currently writing the second book in ‘The Painted Maidens Trilogy’. In this book, tentatively titled ‘The Betrayed’, we rise up from The Deep and explore the world of The Dry a little more. I have to admit, I’ve not done a lot of research on werewolves, possibly because I don’t want my ‘wolf world’ to turn out too cliché.  So here is what I’ve come up with so far, comparing commonly accepted facts about werewolves to the wolf clan in ‘The Betrayed’:

  1. A person becomes a werewolf by being bitten or scratched by another werewolf. Not true in ‘The Betrayed’.  I definitely don’t want to give anything away for those that haven’t read ‘The Rising’, but werewolves come from somewhere else entirely.
  2. Silver will kill or slow down a werewolf. Haven’t touched on the subject in ‘The Betrayed’, and I’m not sure if I will. They are, however, extremely afraid of wolfsbane, a small, yellow and poisonous flower.
  3. Werewolves communicate through a form of telepathy. Absolutely not true in ‘The Betrayed’.  I didn’t play that card with mermaids and I certainly won’t do it with the wolves!  Good old fashioned growls, scents, and body gestures will have to work.
  4. Werewolves in the same pack or clan have a link that binds them together. True in ‘The Betrayed’. This is why Liam, the good Werewolf, can’t part from the pack no matter how hard he tries.
  5. Werewolves are afraid of the water. True in ‘The Betrayed’. However, they feel bonded to it, unable to go far from the shores just as they can’t part from the pack.
  6. Werewolves only transform with the full moon. Nope! But their transformation in ‘The Betrayed’ is not always under their control, and it does occur as a response to the energy around them (again – don’t want to give too much away).

So what are some of your favorite werewolf myths or facts? What are some of your favorite werewolf books?  Comment below and help an author with her research!

‘The Rising’ Now Available

THE RISING-final cover

Finally available across all channels for purchase! ‘The Rising, Book One of the Painted Maidens Trilogy’ has been described as a wonderfully unique story. I guarantee this young adult series sets apart from any mermaid story you’ve read, or what you might come to expect.

The ebook is $4.99 on Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, and iTunes. For the rest of November, I’m willing to send out a free copy of ‘The Rising’ for anyone who agrees to post a review on either Amazon or Goodreads, or both. Send me an email at terra.harmony11@gmail.com or comment below. And don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads TBR List. I encourage you to take the plunge – you might just love what you discover down in the deep!

THE RISING-final cover“It was a great ride. I devoured every page and loved the whole thing through.” by Ariel Avalon, Book Blogger

“This is a wonderfully unique story.” and “I recommend this if you enjoy mermaids or werewolves with some great action, mystery and a bit of romance.” by Darker Passions Book Blog

The book is fast paced filled with action that keeps you on the edge of your seat till the very end, add in a little romance and mystery for the perfect balance. The author has written a beautiful story that sparks the imagination. I loved everything about the story and can’t wait for the next one to see what happens to both Serena and Liam as their stories unfold.” by The Reading Diaries Book Blog 

Amazon Smashwords  |  B&N  |  iTunes  |  Goodreads