30 October 2011

Getting It Together...

Winter Wonderland?

This is what it looks like in Scranton, PA this fine morning.  I'll bet the upper tier is something to see!  Just yesterday, those flowers had their blooms.  I'm sad to see them go...sigh.  Zutchka is LOVING this snow, which is his first!  He chased snowflakes, romped, plowed his nose through, and ran wildly back and forth across the yard ALL DAY yesterday.  He likes the colder weather, and apparantly downright cold weather, too.  Ha!


Fellow ROW80 Author, E.A. West, is hosting her first ever promotion!  Let's show our support!

3- My first ever promotion Trick or Treat for Ebooks is going fantastically! I politely asked the people at Authors on the Cheap on Facebook if they wanted to share the promotion (by politely, I did not just blare it on their wall. I used the Contact Us form at http://the-cheap.net). If you have a book published and aren't using this resource, you should. Read the NOTE on the Authors on the Cheap Facebook page for how to format and share you Nook and Kindle links with them once per day for one book. They use this pool to fill many walls on Facebook tailored for specific Nook reads and have blogs for Nook and Kindle users.

Stop by Deana Barnhart's blog, where she was gracious enough to have me over for an interview in her weekly theme, First Fridays...

My Photo
I am a thirty-something mom of two...sometimes three depending on how the hubby is acting:) I love to constantly think of stories to write and every once in a while those ideas make it to the computer. I have no college degree (as of yet), no special credentials--just a love of writing. Maybe lil' ole me can make it in this writing biz with just my mind and an outlet. If I'm super lucky I can help some other newbies along the way. I love, in no particular order: zombie stories, reading anything to take me out of real life for a bit, watching storms on the front porch, sunsets, making new friends and my family. I blog on Tuesday and Friday or whenever I am dying to spill the beans about something.

The typing goes on...

I've hit the halfway marker in Her Dark Baron.  Honestly, I think I've added about 5-6K, but who is counting?  I'm excited about the changes I've made, too.  I cannot wait for beta feedback on this story!  I'd probably be further along, but I've had a rough week.  The boys had Harvest Parties at school, loads of homework, I had to drive my older son to work and home a few nights (Uhhmm...I go to bed around 9:30 usually.  This required me to pick him up at 11.  Needless to say, I felt like a zombie from Wednesday on.), and my Dad landed in the hospital.  (He's going to be fine even though he's still in there - and I cannot leave him up there without a daily visit!) It's times like these that I think a laptop would be a good investment...hhmmm.

NaNo Countdown... 

I've just about completed my prep work for NaNo!  Woo-hoo!  I need to name all my secondary characters, which is a fun but daunting process - for me.  Names are so influential, in my opinion, of how we view a person or character.  Choosing the one that will convey the associations I wish is one of the greatest challenges for me.  For starters, no one is likely to have the same 'feelings' about names as I do.  Secondly, unless I work the meaning of the given name into the story, it is equally unlikely that the reader will know the name's meaning and therefore, the back story it would evoke.  Last of all, selecting a name that is 'different' or 'ethnic' can be just the right fit - or it can backfire.  It's a very fine line we writers walk in this naming business... Ha!

How about you?  Is naming characters your favorite part of 'setting your stage' or the most difficult?  How do you choose the names for your characters?

Please excuse me during November....I'm thrilled.  I'm terrified.  I'm beyond ready to get started.  I'm wishing I had another week to prepare. 
If I am slow to visit around, it's because I'm giving my all to hitting that word count for NaNo.  I always visit back, follow back, and link-back - I just might be doing it at a slower pace :}  Thanks, everyone! ~ Nadja

26 October 2011

Rule Of Three Blogfest ~ Part IV

It's The Finale!  Let's Find Out What Happens In All These Great Stories...

REN3   This is the last week of Rule Of Three ~ Through Writing, We Reveal.

Today, I conclude my version of Renaissance using the prompts:

* The final event becomes another secret for generations to come.
* There is a new arrival in town.

My final word count, including title is 597 words. 

To read my entire story, click below on each installment.
Week I ~ Atiya ~ The Gift
Week II ~ Abd-Al-Aziz ~ Servant of the Powerful
Week III ~ Lord Sayid ~ The Master
And now, the final piece...

Asrar Amelle ~ Secret Hope
Filigree crystals frosted the square panes, winter's final protest before spring's uprising. Perched before the window, staring out to glimpse the Roundeli Mountains nestled around her home, she seemed young and fragile, vulnerable.
Abd-Al-Aziz almost pitied her.
Excellent!” Aziz lavished her with praise. “You have harnessed the power well. This is your greatest weapon; you must never forget. Above all else, the sons of Adam are ruled by their emotions. Guide and direct their feelings, and gain mastery over whom you will.”
Yes, Uncle,” she answered dutifully. “When am I to face my adversary?”
Soon, niece, very soon,” Aziz assured. “Guard yourself diligently. Prince Sevdalja may wield great power - as does his father, Suleiman the Magnificent. As you seek influence over him, Almirah, princess, beware! Prince Sevdalja is cunning as the wolf! And what does the wolf do, niece?”
He circles stealthily, flanking his opponent and ambushing unsuspecting prey, Uncle.”
You have spoken well. Now heed my warnings, child, and fulfill your destiny.”
He softened, holding his arms open to embrace her.
I love you as my own child, Amelle. Never forget that.”
Abd-Al-Aziz kissed the top of her head.
Now go and oversee your packing. We descend the mountain, entering this new Renaissance when the weather breaks.”
Carrying herself with a stately bearing worthy of the princess she was, Asrar Amelle paused, turning almost imperceptibly.
Uncle,” she addressed quietly, “What of my eyes?”
* * *
Renaissance was steeped in pageantry, not its usual state, but with Prince Sevdalja's arrival, the settlers sought to impress the man likely to become their ruler. Rumor abounded that his father, Suleiman, neared the end of this life's journey.
Abd-Al-Aziz inspected the rented apartments.
These will suffice,” he consented, signaling one servant to remit the necessary coin, and the others to begin hauling in the trunks.
Aziz wandered into the walled courtyard, alive with spring's blossoms so far below the mountains. Images of Atiya and Sayid rose in his mind, the assaulting memories haunting him.
That fateful day.
Sayid and Atiya had willingly given themselves into Suleiman's power to save their daughter.
Their secret.
* * *
The reception line dragged on, each province's minister eager to enamor the prince and gain favor. Abd-Al-Aziz readied to play the piece his lord's sacrifice had saved those many years ago.
Gain the Prince's heart and by doing so, the Persian Empire, loosing the seventy Djinn Suleiman imprisoned unjustly.
It was by wielding the power of the Djinn that Suleiman had forged his vast empire; with a child of the Djinn on the throne, perhaps the tribes would at last unite, ending centuries of civil war.
But all rested on his student. And her eyes.
Half-human, Amelle was more sensitive, and when inundated with emotion, her eyes took on the otherworldly glow, proclaiming her origins.
Here, it would seal her doom.
Prince Sevdalja bowed politely.
Noble prince,” Abd-Al-Aziz greeted formally, “Allow me to present Princess Asrar Amelle.”
The breath left his body in a rush, terror and defeat threatening his sanity in an instant. Amelle lifted her gaze to meet Prince Sevdalja's mahogany stare, a strange energy thrumming through the air, unnoticed by the humans surrounding them. Aziz, however, was not human.
Welcome, Daughter of the Djinn,” Prince Sevdalja whispered near her ear, bending to kiss her cheek in custom. “I've been expecting you.”
Asrar Amelle's amber eyes flashed in awareness, a rare golden display before she buried her emotions.

Asrar Amelle ~ Secret Hope © Nadja Notariani 2011

Wednesday Madness ~ Pushing To Prepare

Today I'm featuring fellow ROW80 author Claudia Lefeve, who recently released Parallel!  Buy it on Amazon...

Destiny has a way of catching up.

Saddled with powers she doesn’t understand, Etta Fleming’s world is turned upside-down the day she meets Cooper Everett, the man who transports her to an alternate reality. A reality she was meant to be a part of.One minute, she’s an orphan living at Dominion House for Girls, an institution for delinquent foster kids, then finds herself attending the exclusive Dominion Hall Academy.

Plucked from the only world she’s ever known, Etta now has to deal with an aunt she never knew, a boyfriend she doesn’t know, and a best friend who can’t know.

PARALLEL is the first book in The Travelers Series.

Claudia Lefeve

"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." --Albert Einstein

I just love that quote!  Best of luck, Claudia!
Today's the Day!  I'm signing up for NaNo.  Biting the bullet.  Taking the plunge.  Diving in head first.  Add your pithy comment here

I've never just written - and forgotten everything else.  I guess you can't knock it until you've tried it. 

*  I've been busily typing away.  I'm in chapter four, but already passing 9K.  Why?  Because I've added..ohhh, a couple a two, t'ree t'ings.  (That's for any of you who've known a body from Scranton, PA)  Ha.

*  Still no reading for the sheer enjoyment of getting lost in a great novel.  Sigh.

*  Character profiles.  I'm about 70% finished with my male MC in the paranormal piece I'll be writing for NaNo.  I still have to complete my female MC, but I 'know' more about her already.  This means, I truly hope, that the profiling will be easier.  Although a bit of a struggle, this has been another tool from K.M. Weiland's - Outlining Your Novel that took my novel idea and carried it to a place I never dreamed I could/would go. 

*  The 12 Days Of Christmas Reading...  I continue to formulate, change, ponder, discard, and stew on the possibilities.  Here are the two ideas that seem to stand out :

  *  Gather 12 authors - and their great books to be featured on my blog in one great post that will stay up for six days (we'd have to do 'two days of Christmas each day) or 12 days (which seems a bit long to wait for a giveaway...what do you all think?), with posts, thoughts, Christmas traditions, etc added to their 'section' or 'day'.  Offer a giveaway for each day.  (I would ask participants to donate a copy of their book or a gift card...whatever.)  I would have to formulate some serious strategies for marketing.  There's no sense having a giveaway if no one knows about it.  I'm thinking the Friday Bulletin Board of the Campaign would be a nice springboard.  Hmmmm
  *  Create the 12 Days of Christmas Reading list and ask that other bloggers (in addition to the authors themselves) re-post for a day or two.  This would be quite easy to organize, and a great Christmas present for all the new authors (including me! ha!).  There is great potential to reach so many with this idea!  It's exciting.

Would you be willing to re-post the 12 Days of Christmas Reading List for a day or two in December for your fellow ROW80/Platform authors? 

The Rule of Three Blogfest ends this week!  If you've read the entires, you'll know I'm not kidding when I tell you that there are some fabulous pieces.  Take some time to enjoy great tales and share some fiction appreciation!

Have a terrific weekend - I can say that, it's hump day already! :}  See you all on Sunday.

23 October 2011

Recapping An Exciting, Exhausting, Exploring Week!

Mark Wilcox over at 'The Blood Turbine', offers a neat post about our book income!  It's a great way to break profits down to the 'nitty-gritty' and something to set our sights on!

The fabulous duo...Em & Lena have set up their NaNoWriMo Support Group, NaNo Fun Not Fear.  If you're taking the NaNo challenge, join up for encouragement and accountability.  You may even make some new friends!

Maria Zannini, author of The Devil To Pay, has a new release coming out tomorrow! 

Chain Of Souls    
This is part of the Second Chances Series by this author.  (The first, Devil To Pay, can be snatched up for $2.99!)  Buy Chain Of Souls at Smashwords, B & N.   

And Speaking Of Reading...

Fellow ROW80 J.R. Pearse-Nelson is approaching her publish date...as I am for Her Dark Baron.  Will you publish before Christmas?  Let's have a

 ... or perhaps...

12 Days Of Christmas Reading Gift List!

The idea just came to me on Friday as I was visiting around, so it's still rough.  Please drop me a comment/email if you are nearing your publish date or just published and have an idea to share or would like to join in the Christmas Cheer! 

* I'm typing away on Her Dark Baron.  I'd like to have it in my betas' hands by 01 November, but will be satisfied if it's done by 07 November.  I've - ahem - changed a few things along the way, which is slowing me down a bit.  I promised myself I would type and type only.  I guess I lied. 

Do any of you have this dastardly problem?  I cannot leave things alone! 

* I've begun chapter 7 in Outlining Your Book, by K.M. Weiland.  Wow!  I cannot say enough about this easy to read craft book.  I've streamlined my NaNo prep using Weiland's methods.

* Fiction reading - nil.  I simply haven't had the time.

* I'm working through my character profiles in the NaNo project and should be joined up within a few days.  I've accomplished enough that I feel comfortable.  I didn't want any big decisions hanging over my head within the storyline because I'll need to concentrate solely on the writing. A daily word count of 1600 words is huge for me.  I'm a natural slow-poke.  Ha!

*Meeting my outreach goal of 5 blogs per day (Mon-Fri) has continued to be a highlight in my work.  I have decided to suspend that goal during NaNoWriMo, visiting when I have time.  It's only a short break - and I'm taking it to give my best to this challenge.

Hope you are all ready for another great week!  ~ Nadja

19 October 2011

Rule Of Three Blogfest ~ Part III

Welcome To Week Three Of...Rule Of Three!

REN3  Click Here to visit the linky-list and read other entries!

If you're just reading now, visit the links below to find the first two installements of this four week long challenge.  If you're stopping back, thanks - and enjoy!

Week #1 ~ Atiya ~ The Gift
Week #2 ~ Abd-Al-Aziz ~ Servant Of The Powerful

I utilized the prompts -
* Betrayal is in the air
* Relationships unravel or strengthen
* A long kept secret is revealed
My word count is - 592, which includes the title.

Lord Sayid ~ The Master
Sayid scanned the wary faces of Renaissance, daring open protest, knowing none would be given voice. His perusal halted on Baqir's downcast gaze. Anger, not humility, emanated from the man of clay.
Foolish son of Adam. Already he plots, seeking to gain power over me.
Return to our tent with me, Atiya,” Sayid invited, delighted at her smiling consent.
Together, he and his bride would begin the unification of their two worlds through the promise that she would bring forth the half Djinn child. His child. Wrapping Atiya in his embrace, Lord Sayid donned the mantle of servitude, wooing her to passion, binding her to himself body and soul until they lay in the communion of oneness.
You have given yourself into my power, Atiya. I now entrust you with my most guarded secret, the key to my enslavement if ever revealed.” Fear in her eyes prompted him to soothe, “Do not fear; you will never fail me.”
She nodded, accepting both his assurance and his burden.
I am Sayid, True Djinn and Emir of my father's kingdom.”
He spoke the words that offered Atiya dominion over him. No child of Adam had heard them. Until now.  Atiya touched his lips with a finger.
It is locked away in my heart, my Emir.”
Rest now, Atiya. We depart at dawn.”
Am I to see Renaissance again?”
Her amber eyes peered up at him, heightening his desire to love, to lead, to protect.
We shall see, beloved,” he comforted, trailing his fingers lazily across her skin.
Torchlight flickered outside, drawing Sayid from the dreamworld where his mind contemplated the ancient words that marked his flesh.
On four pillars the Master rests,
A wandering King,
Seek the desert's Gift!
Servant hailed as lord,
Beget the half Djinn!
Destroyer brought forth from bondage,
Shepherd your flock.
Renaissance's leaders rushed inside the tent.
Lay the salt!”
Wrenching Atiya from the furs, the clan leaders surrounded him. Sayid discerned their intent, and spoke gently, hoping they would take heed.
Save yourselves, your women, your little ones, before it is too late, sons of Adam. I have no desire to make you an object of horror, nor to lay waste.”
Brittle laughter met his warning.
Empty threats! He is bound within the salt!”
Baqir faced Atiya, eyes lit with the gleam of gain.
Don't force me to hurt you, sister. Deliver the Djinn into our power! With his name, we can enslave him in the lamp and wield his power ourselves!”
Do not commit this evil!” she pleaded. “You endanger everyone with your greed!”
Tell me!” Baqir roared, raising a curved blade in threat.
The sight of her terror loosed the destructive power housed within Sayid.  The ground shook; fire rained from the heavens, throwing the clan leaders into confusion, dealing death and annihilating Renaissance. In vain, they fled. But no escape was found.
Come to me, Habiba. Look not upon my wrath.”
Atiya entered the salt ring, burying her face in his robe, allowing him to shield her from the carnage.
Acrid smoke ascended toward the heavens in the eerie quiet – all that remained of Renaissance. Sayid mounted the sleek Arabian behind Atiya, his knowledge complete, his journey come full circle. Heading for the Roundeli Mountains, he remembered his father's words.
Know thyself.”
He was Lord Sayid, Master.
King of his lands.
Shepherd of his people.
Servant of his beloved.
Warrior of the Djinn.

Lord Sayid ~ The Master © Nadja Notariani 2011

To NaNo Or Not To NaNo...That Is The Question...

Up For A Challenge? 

     ...AND...    Neutral_120_100_white

Both ROW80 and NaNoWriMo offer challenges to get you writing!  Which will you participate in?  Hmmm...Maybe both?

I've set some 'pre-NaNo' goals.  If I achieve them, I'll be joining the challenge.  Here's what I've accomplished so far:
*  written a loose premise sentence for my novel.
*  established the main and secondary characters of the story.  They are not named, nor are they completely fleshed-out.
*  begun a 'what-if' page
*  begun a 'what's expected' page
*  roughed-out between 40 and 50 scenes of the novel

I'm almost ready to begin outlining.  If I can complete a story outline and solidify my characters, I'm in!  I'm moving along a good clip right now, and I hope to carry this momentum through November.

Fun Features...

I've hit my goal in visiting 5 blogs per day (Mon-Fri) so far this week.  Here's just a few of the great things I've discovered in my travels...  

Gene Lempp posted great links to check out for those considering joining NaNoWriMo as well as those already committed.  This post is packed with information and help, so take the time to check it out.  It will probably help you prepare for this huge challenge.

Gene also features a great series, Designing From Bones, with great writing prompts, historical information, and idea producing finds.  I cannot recommend it enough.

The Daring Novelist posted 'Dare To Be Bad', which grabbed my attention.  Will you step out of your comfort zone, or continue to play it safe?  Can we, by playing it safe, ever realize our full potential? 

Pop over to Ruth Nestvold's blog to read how John Locke's How I Sold 1 Million Ebooks In 5 Months is shaping this author's marketing strategy.

Where to BelongLooking for a book to devour over the weekend?  Support fellow ROW80 author, Wendy Jane, a.k.a. W.J. Smith, by picking up her book, Where to Belong, available on Kindle and in paperback at Amazon as well as at Smashwords. 

Here's a tiny excerpt Wendy sent me to showcase...

“What’s it about?” Madison asked as he tugged at his messy hair.
He paused in his self beating and studied her. “Are you just asking to be nice or do you really want to know?"
She nodded, “I want to know.”
“Well,” he started, his expression turning serious, “that’s sort of the problem. In my head, it’s beautiful and organized. As soon as I start to sketch it out, it gets ugly and jumbled.”
“Alien? Animal? Human? Superhuman?”
Chase tilted his head as if she were speaking in a foreign language. “Human,” he answered slowly, sounding uncertain.
“Past? Present? Future? Post apocalyptic?”
“You rock!” Madison flinched and matched his wondering gaze.
“What’d I do?”
 “I’ll explain later,” he declared as he stumbled off the tall
stool and backed away from the counter. “Thanks!”

Preparing For Beta Reads...

The typing is underway for Her Dark Baron.  I have nothing fun to say about this.  I gave myself two weeks to type the roughly 24K word novella.  I'm not sure I'll hit this one, people.  I'm plugging away.  We'll see.

Reading To Gain Knowledge...

I'm beginning chapter 5 in Outlining Your Novel, by K.M. Weiland.  I'm still loving this book.  I'm also using the practices for my NaNo novel as I go.  Two birds.  One stone.  Happy Nadja.

16 October 2011

Catching Up and Considering New Challenges...

   Guess What?  I'm A Winner!  Wow!

A great big thank you to Lady Gwen  (and to the jurists, too) from the Judge & Jury Blogfest!  I can't wait to use my winnings to check off a few of those books I've been wanting!  It's very exciting, as this is my first 'winner's badge'!  It's 'suuuper-luxurious'....*I can hardly believe it!*  :)

What social trends have occurred -or are occurring – that shape my character/city/world?

Author C.M. Cipriani put up this question in an engaging write-up about the 'Meme'.  I thought it was worth re-posting, as it piqued my interest.

Sooo...The lovely and darling Em of Loves To Read - Wants To Write has nudged, temped, incited, invited, encouraged, asked me to consider joining NaNoWriMo.  I'll have to decide quick, fast, and in a hurry, as the 1 November 2011 start date is nearly here.  On the one hand, I'd love to join, and I'm just itching to attempt the challenge.  On the other hand, joining NaNoWriMo would probably delay my publishing of Her Dark Baron.  I'm not sure I could handle edits and writing 50k in one month!  (Is that even possible??)  But....
(isn't there always a but in posts like this...ugh!)  I keep thinking that if I hurry and complete two readings and clean up, then get the novella into my beta readers' hands, I could save edits for after NaNo and still publish in time for the Christmas rush.  I have to think on it.  There are a number of new things I'm excited to try, and I don't want to overload the whole system and end up accomplishing nothing.

On The Writing Front...ROW80

Her Dark Baron is officially finished!  Whoop-Dee-Doo!  I'm feeling satisfied today.  *smiles like a cat*
...Oh, wait.  That means that the typing has begun.  I'm certain to not be as happy about that.  But, typing it is!  I've allowed two weeks for the typing, but I have a little breather room in here as I finished the writing and add-ins in less time than I thought.  That's a nice feeling, too. 

Now I just have to decide on that NaNoWriMo...

On The Reading Front...

I've read three chapters in K.M. Weiland's Outlining Your Novel  Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success
I'm still working on the other title I had started, but with thinking of taking on NaNo, I wanted to see if I could glean some great outlining tips...in case I decide to tackle that difficult challenge.  This book is absolutely wonderful so far.  The beginning is mostly encouragement from the author on giving outlining a try, why outlining is a good idea, how it will help your writing, and ways to begin.  I'm itching to dig into the 'how-to' of her personal method, as I'm already sold on the idea of outlining.  Weiland's book is well worth the cost to add to your 'craft-library'.

Goals, goals, goals...

I've done well this week.  I even walked three-and-a-half miles three times.  My word count is not measured this week.  But I've written quite a bit!  I've been a plotting and planning on for my next WIP - one that I could use for NaNo if I decide to join. 

We're going paranormal, baby!  A paranormal romance will be fun to write (and write quickly), and I'm hoping the words spill out with ease.  I had outlined Her Dark Baron after pantsing Claiming The Prize, and I prefer outlining.  Now, I'm employing the techniques I'm learning in Weiland's book to better my outlining. 

I've written the characters I want (both main and secondary) in the new novel, but haven't named them or found images to put with their character profiles yet.  I've two pages filled with 'What-if's'...and I must say that I love this technique!  It allows my mind to explore all sorts of possibilities!  I've also created and half filled a 'What's Expected' page and a 'What's Not Expected' page.  Finally, I've outlined forty scenes for the novel!  Today, I'm ready for chapter four of K.M. Weiland's book!  But first...I promised myself that I'd type at least one chapter. 

Uhhmm...yeah, I waited until the end to do the typing.  Again.  Ha!  ~ Nadja

12 October 2011

Rule Of Three Blogfest ~ Part II

REN3  Welcome Back!  It's Time For The Second Scene In Our Ongoing Challenge. 

My entry today is 592 words, including the title, and is based on the prompt - One of the characters is revealed to be not who he/she is. 

To read my first scene, Atiya ~ The Gift, click the link.  Today we continue with part two.

Abd-Al-Aziz ~ Servant Of The Powerful

A rider approaches on the Villein Road,” the skinny boy announced, breathless from running.
Very well, nephew,” Baqir acknowledged, returning his attention to the man seated across from him. “I cannot explain what delays Asim and Atiya's return.”
Abd-Al-Aziz raised his hand.
Three years we have waited. What, then, is another day?”
Commendable,” Baqir flattered. “Atiya is young and well-raised. She is worth every Dolmya you offer, even more. You will be pleased.”
Ah, but remember, Baqir. It is not I who must be pleased.”
Abd-Al-Aziz had searched a lifetime, a drop in the ocean of time his lord had waited, yearned. The man before him must remain ignorant awhile longer.
This Emir you serve, will I meet him? My brothers want assurance of Atiya's being well provided for.”
Does the steep price we offer not speak for itself?”
Abd-Al-Aziz knew the real motivation behind the question. Greed. The pungent stench of evil surrounded Baqir, and Aziz, for the first time, battled to conceal his disdain and maintain the illusion of a son of Adam.
Confusion erupted outside and a moment later Fareed parted the tent's curtain.
Come quickly! A stranger brings our sister home.”
Abd-Al-Aziz followed, considering the ramifications of Fareed's statement, praying the girl was unharmed. If any other of the Six Tribes – especially the Ghul, Nekretaal, or Efreet had unlocked the significance of The Gift, they would stop at nothing to prevent his lord from laying rightful claim. Grave danger remained until the Oath of Binding was spoken.
What have you done?” Baqir roared his displeasure, raising his hand against his sister at the sight before him. “Only a whore spends the night alone with a man not her husband or relative! The Emir will never have you now; no one will...”
The stranger stopped further sound from escaping his lips, his powerful hand gripped tightly around Baqir's throat. Atiya stared, mute in disbelief, the sting of Baqir's words obvious.
I am he of whom you speak. Do you claim the ability to divine my thoughts, son of Adam?”
Baqir dropped, newly released, gulping the heated desert air greedily.
No,” he coughed. “A thousand apologies! I did not realize...”
Abd-Al-Aziz fell prostrate on the rocky ground, recognizing the one he faithfully served.
Welcome, Honored One,” Aziz greeted, eyes respectfully downcast.
Servant of the Powerful,” the stranger spoke, “give this man his due.”
Aziz arose, tossing two bags of coins before Baqir, knowing that lust for wealth would silence any questioning of the odd events.
Renounce your authority over the girl and receive your heart's desire.”
Yes, Yes! She is yours!” Baqir shrilled, eyes coveting the heavy sacks of coin he clutched.
Abd-Al-Aziz rejoiced as the wedding feast continued into the night. When the bridegroom at last led Atiya into the wedding tent, Aziz stood guard, ensuring the undisturbed consummation of two worlds. Gazing northward in the lavender dawn, Aziz saw the distant Roundeli Mountains, now vibrant against the heavens. The sons of Adam doubted their existence, the days of renown forgotten in the generations since the casting out of the Djinn. Today, they would remember.
Pride swelled in Abd-Al-Aziz, glimpsing the couple's re-emergence. Collective gasps, both in terror and awe swept the clan, the absence of veil revealing what had previously been concealed. Beside her groom, Atiya's eyes glowed otherworldly gold.
It is done,” Lord Sayid proclaimed, hand protectively over his bride.

Abd-Al-Aziz ~ Servant Of The Powerful © Nadja Notariani 2011

ROW80 ~Checking-In 12 October 2011

Welcome Back &  Happy Wednesday,

        Raelyn Barclay reminded me that it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  I'm always ready to do a small part to Save The Ta<3Ta's...

Fellow ROW80 writer Rebecca J. Fleming showcased some of her journal art this week.  It was so lovely, I decided to show it off for her!  Stop by her blog today and share some love.  Plus, you'll get to see a great 'shot' of Judgemental Dog!

Rebecca Fleming's journal art

Writer Robin McCormack put up two more links that I had to pass on!  She's taking on Holly Lisle's Create A Character Clinic as well as K.M. Weiland's Outlining Your Novel.  If she doesn't cool her heels, she'll have my TBR list doubled in a week!

Medeia Sharif, ROW80 author of Bestest. Ramadan. Ever., is hosting a fabulous giveaway!  Stop by her blog for a chance to win a copy of Robert Kroese's Mercury Rises.  The contest ends on 16 October 2011 at 11 PM.

The WIP...ROW80...Goals & Such...

I should be able to claim that Her Dark Baron is finished by Sunday!  Only the 'happy ending' remains to be written.  Whew!  It feel great to be wrapping up.  I'll be celebrating next week (fingers crossed).

Today I will read my skill building non-fiction!  No more waiting for the weekend!  I slacked last week until the very end...this week, I'll knock that out first thing.  I hate things hanging over my head.

I have met, and a few days, exceeded my goal of visiting five blogs per day.  Previous weeks had me exceeding my goal every day, but life has been busy this week.

Next week is when I'm to declare what my next WIP will be!  I have a few 'shiny-new-ideas'  ...I have to choose one.  Jiminy Christmas!  This is difficult.  Ha!  (If that's my biggest problem...I suppose I don't have a problem, eh?)

As you all can see, I've featured more than two ROW80/Campaigners in my post.  I found so many great blog posts, links, information, giveaways, etc, etc.  I could have listed more.  Don't worry, I'll have at least two more come Sunday.

On A Final Note...
Pardon the French...or should I say, Pardon the Saxon?  Is that right, Elizabeth?  Ha!
  This little number had me in stitches, as one of my boys is a sophomore taking an Honors English course.  His teacher keeps saying things just like the caption above!  My son takes things at face value.  If the author says the curtains were blue...then the guy/gal means the curtains were blue.  Thanks Stuart!  Ha!
~ Nadja

09 October 2011

Quote Of The Week...Checking-In ROW80

When I stand before G-d at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me'.
Erma Bombeck    

Revision & Self-Editing, by James Scott Bell is the newest in my Kindle TBR list dealing with writing development.  My ongoing education within the art of writing is eye-opening, indeed!  Seeing how much you don't know about what you don't know...well, it's humbling.  But...I'm on my way to 'being-in-the-know'!  Lovin' it!  Thanks Ghenet!
Write Great Fiction - Revision And Self-Editing

Indie Book Blowout - Author Sign-Up form for their Christmas Expo will be up soon.  Check in with the link to see if this is an avenue you'd like to explore in your book's promotion!

Writer, Barbara Kloss had me laughing out loud this week with her Insecure Writer's Support Group post... find it here!  Take a few minutes and be wholly entertained as you relive her (and probably one or two of your own) moments when her 'imaginarey friends' quit talking to her.

  Guess What?  I'm A Semi-Finalist!

Lady Gwen posted the results of the Judge & Jury Blogfest...at least for semi-finalists!  The winners will be announced on Friday, 14 October 2011!  Stop by Lady Gwen's and check out what's going on in her realm.  Isn't her button design the cutest?

Progress In Writing & Goal Accountability...ROW80

I have written another thousand (or two) words in Her Dark Baron, without finishing up the story!  (Novellas are hard to end on time...lol) I'm within a page or two - at least I think :).  But this ending is so packed with emotion, danger, and confession...I can't seem to fit it all in!  Delish.

I have read one...yes, the bare minimum...chapter on writing development this week.  It's shameful.  It's true.  I've struggled to make the time to sit down and read for a purpose.  I did manage to read for enjoyment without problem.  Uhhhmm, yeah.  I can't help myself.  I swear the novels call to me from the end-table.  They beg me to sneak 'just a chapter or two' before bed.  Their stories consume my thoughts until I can't take it anymore and I read clear through to the end because I have to know what happens!  Maybe my next book will be entitled 'Confessions Of A Book Addict'.  What do you think?

I visited at least five blogs per day (Mon. - Fri.), and on most days surpassed that goal.  I'm thrilled, as I'm making great connections because of it.  I've learned so much information just from clicking the links on the sites I'm visiting!  It's platform building and an education all in one.

I received my first print version proof for Claiming The Prize!  So far, I'm pleased, as the issues with the foreign characters that I encountered in the Kindle and e-pub formats are absent in the print version.  Whew!  I was going to simply change them to the closest English character if it had been an issue, but I'm glad it wasn't.  I am considering going with single spacing, as I will then have less pages.  Less pages translates into lower cost to make the book and a cheaper cost for the reader.  We'll see.

On A Personal Note...


The highest Holy Day of the Jewish year, Yom Kippur ended at sundown.  Click here to read a touching and powerful story by Yanki Tauber!  Enjoy. 

~ Nadja

05 October 2011

Rule Of Three Blog Fest - First Prompt

Rule Of Three Blog Fest -Click Here To Visit The List Of Participants And Begin Reading... 
REN3  Can you believe it's time for our first character perspectives to be posted?  This first week, I introduce Atiya.  I used the prompt 'Someone might fall in love', as well as, 'Impending misfortune'.   Hope you enjoy!

Scene 1 ~ Atiya, The Gift

Our brother, Baqir, thinks only of increasing his wealth,” Atiya answered, passing the water skin to Asim.
Atiya, what can we do? Baqir is the eldest; his word is law. Besides, Abd-Al-Aziz will make a fine husband. You will want for nothing, and your days of tending goats will be over forever,” her twin brother replied, shrugging his shoulders as he poked his staff under a rock, checking for snake or scorpion.
A welcome surprise after seven sons, Atiya's name meant gift.  A smile skittered across her mouth as she contemplated the irony, for Baqir now offered her to Abd-Al-Aziz as if she were...
Let's cut over the old mines; we can arrive home a day early if we cross at Heriot's Pass instead of skirting the edges of the Gauche Foothills,” Asim tempted, interrupting her thoughts.
Atiya stopped in shock, the dry, still heat of the rocky, Schiavona Desert pressing on her from all sides.
Baqir warned us to stay away from the mines!”
Ignoring her protests, Asim began his ascent toward the abandoned quarry. Glancing over his shoulder, dark eyes alive with mischief, Asim's rich laughter echoed off the surrounding outcrops.
You're as sure footed as a mountain goat, Atiya. Come on!  It'll mean an extra day at home before we return to the flocks.
It'll be your skin if Baqir finds out,” she grinned, following behind.
* * *
I'm afraid! This isn't right.”
Take my hand, sister.”
He reached for her.
Asim!” she screamed, her entreaty finding no ear.
Her brother's body tumbled, battered by huge stones in the sliding rock. Silence settled, Asim's body now far below. Heedless of the bruising as she scrambled down the shifting precipice, Atiya gained her brother, his eyes unseeing, lifeless. Her sobs, keening and mournful, poured into the empty sky, her tears absorbed into the arid earth without a trace. Huddled beside Asim, delusional with dehydration, Atiya mustered the last of her waning strength and attempted to free the buried water skin, failing again.
I will lie down and die beside my brother.
The morbid thought no longer frightened her. Throat burning with thirst, face swelling under the searing glare of sun, Atiya succumbed to the pounding in her head and closed her eyes.
Vague awareness of gentle swaying and a shadowy form swirled on the edges of her consciousness.
Drink,” a voice commanded.
Coolness kissed her tongue as water trickled down her parched throat. Protected under a warm blanket through the cold night, Atiya roused again and again as the voice urged her to drink.
The first rays of morning sunshine illuminated the tall, white-robed figure as she slowly wakened.
Can you sit up?”
The voice's deep timbre drew her eyes to full lips on the tanned face and startling golden eyes as she nodded.
Had an angel carried her to the third heaven?
Strong arms aided, robe sleeves falling back to reveal tattooed writing upon bronzed forearms.
What is that?” she rasped hoarsely.
A promise. It claims a treasured gift awaits me in the Schiavona," he revealed.  "But enough of me. What is your name, daughter of the desert?”
Atiya shivered at the coincidence.
I am called Atiya,” her voice trembled.
The stranger's amber eyes grew luminescent, his response a recitation of foreign verse.
For ages have I sought you, Habiba, beloved,” he murmured.
Atiya stared, captivated in the glow of his golden gaze.
* * *
Atiya ~ The Gift © Nadja Notariani 2011