My Favorite Reviews for the Akasha Series

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As a self-published author for over five years now, I have started to avoid looking at reviews. Before, I hung on every word. I swelled with pride or sunk into despair–sometimes all in the same day–depending on readers written opinions of my books. Pretty soon, the roller coaster ride of emotion began to interfere with my writing, so I stopped looking at reviews. Surfing the net this morning, I ran across a review. One thing led to the next and before I knew it I was reading them all. To my surprise, it was quite the uplifting ride, and perhaps just what I needed to get over my writing slump I am currently in with my new series. Below are my favorites for The Akasha Series, each linked to the original post on Amazon. If you haven’t finished the series already, I hope these reviews can entice you!

By Iris:
“I loved this series from beginning too end. A magical, ecologically focused adventure with a strong but human heroine and a villain you can actually hate… And then some. Between screwed up love interest, being forced into a life she’s unsure about, and surviving one attack after another, Kaitlin Alder is both relatable and someone to look up to and grow with.”

and

“I’d like to say it’s for everyone, but I don’t think so. I think it’s for women trying to find themselves or learning to be strong and brave. It deals with issues like abuse, and giving birth, and falling in love. But yes it’s all of that is wrapped up in honing magical elemental power, saving the world (from an ecological level and bringing awareness) to war.”

By Carolyn:

“I thoroughly enjoyed this series. Their mix of romance, magic and earthly powers was extremely well woven. Without each of these components, this would be just another romance without the heat and passion in a belief that we owe the Earth for our very survival.”

By Jane:

“For eco-aware folks, Wiccans, and tree huggers alike, this is an environmental aware series wrapped in fantasy and carried by our imagination into the reality of today’s world.”

By Kristi on Book 4, ‘Earth’:

“This book was my most and least favorite of the series…I always feel that way about the end… but it was so DARK! Kaitlyn goes all G.I. Jane in this book. Infiltrate and destroy. I knew the book wouldn’t be all sunshine and rainbows in the end but would have never expected for it to turn out this way… I had always hoped she would burn out her powers and her and Micah would ride off into the sunset with Bee. Fat chance of that happening I know, but a girl can dream right? Any way all I can say it the very last page brought a tear to my eye.”

As of today, here is my Amazon review breakdown:

The Akasha Series:
Water, Book One: 3.6 Stars, 200 customer review
Air, Book Two: 4.6 Stars, 53 customer reviews
Fire, Book Three: 4.4 Stars, 31 customer reviews
Earth, Book Four: 4.4 Stars, 42 customer reviews
Akasha, The Complete Saga: 4.5 Stars, 32 customer reviews

The Painted Maidens Series:
The Rising, Book One: 4.2 Stars, 72 customer reviews
The Betrayed, Book Two: 4.7 Stars, 9 customer reviews
The Taking, Book Three: 4.8 Stars, 14 customer reviews
The Falling, The Prequel: (no reviews – guess I need to start advertising this one!)

And let’s not forget my vampire indulgence!

The Kindred Curse Anthology: 4.1 Stars, 12 customer reviews

Did you know I have a few other works published in conjunction with fellow authors?

Polaris Awakening, 4.5 Stars, 2 customer reviews
The Lost Locket of Lahari Anthology, 3.5 Stars, 2 customer reviews
Forbidden Future, 3.5 Stars, 10 customer reviews

Happy Reading and please don’t forget to leave your own reviews!

 

Wrapping up the Year

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Weapenry and Patchwork Press are getting ready to make 2016 our best writing year yet, and we want all of you to dream big with us. This week, authors are coming together to start thinking about the coming year and all of the books we’re getting ready to write. If we dream big and write all year round, we can easily make this our best year yet!

What is your favorite writing memory from 2015?

 My favorite writing memory from 2015 come from recent work that won’t be published for several months yet. I am working on a follow on series to The Akasha Saga about a powerful witch who prefers to relinquish control to those who most want it, and it isn’t always the good guys. My favorite passage to explain her feelings (one that I hope to quote again and again) is:

     There was no denying it; I loved it when he gave orders. To me, it felt safe. With Greyson in control, I couldn’t be held accountable for my actions. And with powers capable of destroying everyone and everything around me, freedom from responsibility was the most seductive force around.

 What story are you most looking forward to working on in 2016?

Definitely this first book of the follow on series to The Akasha Saga. I feel like I’m getting back to the basics! The book is tentatively titled, ‘The Forever Witch’.

Are you the type of person who makes New Year’s resolutions? Why or why not?

 I have made resolutions in the past, but I tend to shy away from them. When I do make a resolution, I always make sure they are not definite goals but rather guidelines that tend to peter off sometime in February.

 What area of your writing/publishing process are you going to work on improving in 2016?

Marketing and outreach! I always say I am going to take a break from writing in order to do more marketing. But I do this for the love of writing, not for the love of marketing and my characters are constantly calling out to me. Writing is my release, my therapy, and my love – marketing can be interesting at times but it is definitely not my passion.

How would you describe a successful publishing year in 2016? What goals are you working toward?

My trend is two books per year, and I plan to keep that going for 2016. Of course I would love to finish out this series in 2016 and publish all three next year. Wish me luck on that!

If you had to guess, what do you think your biggest challenge will be when it comes to publishing and writing next year?

Finding the time! Right now I am waking up about an hour early before the kids, and that is the only time I have to write besides the 2 to 3 hours I might get in on weekends. I just need to pick a schedule, turn of all distractions (like Candy Crush) and get to work.

How far ahead do you plan your writing schedule? Do you prefer to prepare or to see where your muses take you?

I have definitely discovered I am not an outline sort of girl. When I start a chapter, I have no idea where it is going to take me and that is sort of the thrilling aspect about writing for me. It’s still an adventure. If I try to stick to a pre-determined outline, it turns into more of an obligation and I find myself quickly losing steam.

Tell us about something non book related that you’re currently looking forward to for 2016.

My family just took in two foster children that come from extended relatives. While the adjustment period has been difficult at times for all of us, I am looking forward to strengthening my own relationship with these children and watching them bloom. Can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store for our family of seven!

If you could offer up one piece of advice to other authors and writers for 2016, what would it be?

Write bold. If you are going to put the time and effort into writing a book, put it all out there! You might just find your niche, and your readers might just find their new favorite author.

* * *

What about you? What goals (bookish and otherwise) are you planning to work toward in 2016? Let us know in the comments! Weapenry will be giving away ebook packs of both Refilling Your Inkwell by Kellie Sheridan, and Surviving First Drafts by Erica Crouch to three randomly selected commenters across the posts going up this week. Be sure to either include your email address or to Tweet at us @patchwork_press along with your goals so we can get in touch if you win!

The Falling Book Release

A cover reveal, book announcement, and release day all rolled into one. Happy Friday!

Announcing my newest release, a prequel to The Painted Maidens Series, ‘The Falling’:

The prequel to eco-fantasy best selling Painted Maidens Trilogy.

Before Serena’s rise, before the betrayed fought back, and before the Undine and werewolves took their own path, Darcy—a local college student—found herself in the middle of a war between two species that she thought existed only in fairy tales.

Darcy has no family and very few friends, and is used to looking out for herself. When she meets Colin, a werewolf of clan Werich, she finds herself falling for him, no matter what the cost to her.

But when Darcy descends into enemy caves in order to save Colin’s life, she discovers secrets from her own past that link her to these creatures closer than she could have ever imagined.

***

Get your copy now!

Amazon | iTunes | B&N | Smashwords |  Kobo

And don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads reading list!

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Book Photo Shoot

Several months ago my family took a trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee – and guess what? My latest series came along with me. After we managed to walk away from the intense timeshare pitch and survived two five mile mountain hikes with a 15 year-old, a seven year-old, and a four year-old, the next goal was a book photo shoot. I think The Painted Maidens Trilogy is quite photogenic!
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An old tree trunk, a babbling brook, and the spring forest of the Appalachian Mountains made for a great setting. If you’ve read the final book of the series, ‘The Taking’, the area reminded me of the river the maidens use to heal and wash themselves during their migration. If you haven’t read it it – what are you waiting for?! Here, a few more pics might entice you:

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And of course, it can’t be a complete book photo shoot without the author!

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For those of you anxiously awaiting the next release – you don’t have much longer to wait. I promise! A short story meant as a prequel to the Painted Maidens Trilogy has now turned into a full length novel. Be sure to follow my blog for updates. Over the next month I’ll begin releasing excerpts from the book. You won’t be disappointed!

My Reading List

Sometimes, a short break in writing is needed, and taking one right after I wrap up my second series was good timing. I rid myself of any guilt I feel for not working by calling it an ‘active rest’.

I got the idea during a group exercise class at my gym. Our instructor introduced the concept of ‘active resting’ in between two particular difficult Tabata sets. Instead of just standing there trying to catch our breath for twenty seconds before the next set, we were supposed to hold a deep squat. At first, I couldn’t get over how crazy this woman was. But I did the squat, walked away from the class after it ended – feeling proud, and woke up the next morning very sore.

Fast forward a few weeks, and I decided that during a writing break I can still be creatively active. For the most part, this involves a whole lot of reading. My love of reading follows very closely on the heels of my love of writing.

So in case you are interested, here is a list of some of the books I’ve picked up in the last few months:

end of days book cover

End of Days (Angelfall Series) by Susan Ee

This is the third and final installment of this series, so no excuses. If you haven’t started it yet – go get it now! I highly recommend Angelfall to anyone who loves the fantasy genre.

 

 

 

 


unbroken book cover

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

A word of advice: don’t just watch the movie and call it done. The book has so much more to offer (as they often do). This is far from my usual genre but I would recommend this to anyone and everyone for a great read. Be prepared to learn the very real and very gruesome details about war, what really goes on at POW camps, and the aftermath every soldier carries with him for the rest of his life. But this book is so much more than that. It really gives you some insight into just how unbreakable the human spirit can be.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

This one is a very ‘literary’ book, and not quite my cup of tea. A lot of the literary references were lost on me, which I’m a little sad to admit as an author. But more than anything I found the book to be a little boring, though I did make my way through the whole thing.

 

 

 


 

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The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

This is a psychological thriller – not my usual genre, but eh, why not? If you liked any of Gillian Flynn’s books (‘Gone Girl’, ‘Sharp Objects’, or ‘Dark Places’) this one may appeal to you. I felt like I could really connect with some of the characters. Their thought processes and actions reminded me of some people I know.

 

 


 

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Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Golden Son by Peirce Brown

Hoooooooold the phone! How have I not heard about this series until now! Just to warn you, the beginning is a little rough. It is slow-paced and the writing is raw and crass. Hang in there. It’s worth it! Lots of action, heartache, politics, and character development like I’ve never seen before. Read. This. Series. Now. (Unless you like to wait until the entire series is out – because the third book has yet to be published.)

 

 


 

 

 

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All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This story follows two character arcs as they endure World War II. If you are looking for a book with really beautiful prose, you are in for a treat!

 

 

 

 


 

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Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Another teen-centered post apocalyptic book, but well worth the read! The premise of the book is a deadly disease called Love that afflicts all of society until they are old enough to get the cure. There are lots of twists and turns to keep you reading – I can’t wait to get to the rest of the series!

 

 


 

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Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

A young adult book about two sixteen year olds who fall in love. This one was a quick read for me; I absolutely loved it. It’s hard for me to pin what exactly was so good about this one – you read it and let me know!

 

 

 


 

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Winter Queen (Fairy Queen Series) by Amber Argyle and Summer Queen (Fairy Queen Series) by Amber Argle

This was a treasure find for me! I can’t even remember how I came across this series, but the writing was just beautiful and both storylines sucked me right in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

You can find my ratings and reviews for most of these books on Goodreads – be sure to friend or follow me there if you haven’t already!

 

Comment below and let me know some of your favorite reads. Once I get back into writing, I’m only able to read about two books a month so they definitely need to be worth my time! I appreciate any suggestions you guys can give me!

Got Questions about the Werewolves of Clan Werich?

girl in forestIt’s been a while since my last post. After the completion of The Painted Maidens Trilogy, I’ve taken a short break from writing. Don’t worry! I’m already back into it, but I was able to play some much-needed catch-up with my reading, watching my favorite TV shows, and well…life in general.

Right now, I’m working on a story based on two minor characters from The Painted Maidens Trilogy. Originally intended to be a short story as a bonus to the boxed set, it is rapidly developing into a full-length novel. Now we get to find out how Darcy, the only human in Clan Werich, met Colin – and we get to watch them fall in love.

So obviously we delve even deeper into the life of the werewolves, and this takes place at a time when Alaric still rules with a heavy hand….and sometimes with a heavy paw.

Now is your chance to send me any questions you still have about the werewolves, or anything you might be curious about within their lifestyle. I can get it answered in this book! Comment below or send an email to terra.harmony11@gmail.com.

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!

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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!