Release Day, Giveaways, and an Excerpt!

I’m so excited to celebrate my book birthday with all of you! This YA Dark Fantasy novella is now available in ebook, paperback, and audiobook. You can find it at:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

iBooks

Google Play

As part of the Launch Party over on Facebook today, you can read the first section of The She-Wolf of Kanta below. Be sure to drop by, we’ll be doing giveaways and talking about werewolves all day – including a beautiful She-Wolf bracelet, a wolf paw print pin, and a signed copy.

If you enjoyed reading this, please let me know and share with your friends! It’s the release day and I hope to get this novella out to as many werewolf-loving YA readers as possible.

 

First Section from

The She-Wolf of Kanta

 

I

 

The crickets were deafening as moonlight streamed down through the branches. Mercy’s pulse rang in her ears and her entire body was tense. Her left calf kept cramping up, but she ignored it. A moment’s delay when the beast showed its face could mean a gory death. She couldn’t fail tonight, not after months of practice. Behind her she knew Father was watching, and she wondered if he felt as nervous. The forest was deceptively peaceful, but Father said they were close, and that if she remembered her training, she could hear them, too.

She got into position in the middle of the clearing with her foot poised above the pedal switch. She tried to calm her mind and focus. The clamor of crickets surrounded them, but that was merely wrapping the noises beneath. She tried to listen closer. She heard an owl in a tree, her father’s raspy breaths, and the heavy, padding paws of the beast stalking her. Her mouth was dry and her body began to tremble. Father had said she would panic, that it was a normal reaction to facing one in the wild for the first time. That was the deciding moment, he had said. She needed to keep control of herself, but that was so much easier when she knew they weren’t near, when she knew it was safe.

Then she saw it. Through a thick patch of bushes, a pair of yellow eyes caught the moonlight and locked on to hers. Mercy froze. It was said when you looked into a werewolf’s eyes, you felt how easy it would be to become its prey. Facing one required both a strong mind and a strong body. It was as much a mind game as a physical one, and never had Mercy felt so small and insignificant. She had a very sensible and primal urge to run away. There was no way to prepare for that moment, Father had told her. That was the gamble of going trapping to begin with, whether or not you would be able to contain the urge to flee. She felt her legs shake but forced herself to stay rooted to the spot. If she ran, both she and her father could be torn apart.

When the werewolf lunged forward, the only thing Mercy could think of was how big it was. The careful planning she and Father had done over the past months was suddenly forgotten, and her mind went blank. When the creature leapt into the air, its arms out to its sides and its black claws extended, she went rigid with terror. All she could do was stare and gape and be fascinated by the size of it. She forgot the warnings, she forgot everything, until her father cried out behind her.

“Mercy!”

He cocked the gun and pulled her free from her trance. If he shot it, the beast was useless, and their work wasted. She slammed her heel down on the switch and jumped backward just as the beast landed. Four long black claws sliced at her back as she turned on her heel. She winced but didn’t slow down. Five seconds, Father had said. That was all the time she had before she was caged in with the beast. She locked her eyes on the branch she had put down as a marker and forced her legs to move. It was actually easier when she didn’t have to look the beast in the eye. Mercy leapt at the last moment, clearing the branch. Behind her she heard the cage hit the ground and the metal pin lock into place.

The werewolf was snarling, biting at its cage, its teeth making tiny indentions in the metal. The cage always made them hunch down so they looked smaller.

She turned to her father. “I’m glad you didn’t shoot.”

He was standing with his rifle held out, still aiming at the frantic, caged werewolf. “You were slow.”

She took a deep breath to get her body to stop shaking. “I panicked.”

He nodded and finally relaxed his arms and lowered the gun. “I warned you about that.” He went to the front of his truck and pulled out a long tube and a metal dart. Mercy had crafted many of them over the years, from whatever metal scraps they could find. The dart’s long metal tip was about three inches long, made to penetrate any part of the beast’s body. He loaded the dart and walked up to the cage. The werewolf within snarled and backed away, almost as if it knew what was coming. Father held up the tube, and with a single puff of air struck the beast in the leg. It let out a long, lonely howl and slumped to the floor. Its eyes drooped and a bit of saliva dripped down between a pair of sharp canines.

“It works fast, doesn’t it?” she whispered.

“You move that slow again, you’ll get worse than a few cuts on your back. You’ll be dead, or worse, one of them.” His blue eyes were hard as he glared at her. “I’d hate to have to hunt you down, Mercy.”

She didn’t look away or flinch under his gaze. “I know. It won’t happen again.”

He walked around the cage until he was near the beast’s rear then cursed under his breath.

“What is it?”

“It’s a female. I thought for sure you would have attracted a male, but I guess you’re too young for that still.”

Mercy felt a pang of frustration at her father’s words. She wasn’t technically a woman yet, and that would hamper her usefulness as bait. Male werewolves were drawn to women, not little girls. She didn’t understand why a female werewolf would come for her, though she supposed that considering how the males were preferred, there were probably more females left in the forest. Females were worth far less though.

Father slammed the side of the cage and crouched down to eye the beast with a curl of his lip. “If I had known it was female, I wouldn’t have wasted a dart on it. I should have checked first.” The werewolf rolled its eyes lazily to look in his direction.

Mercy put a hand to her father’s shoulder. “It’s alright. Maybe we can still bring her in. Surely somebody can use her.”

He sighed and got to his feet. “I doubt it, but I guess since I’ve already wasted the money, it couldn’t hurt to try.” He motioned to the leather straps hooked on to the tail end of the truck, and the ramp they would use to pull the beast into the truck bed. “Strap her up. We’ll drag her worthless ass in.”

Mercy nodded and set to work.

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The Finish Line!

Oh my gosh, you guys. I can’t believe I’m writing this. I just finished the first draft for my YA Horror novel The Seeking!

I had to look back over my blog to see when exactly I had started writing this piece, and it was back on September 11th of last year – so about six months back. That’s a wonderful rate for me – The She-Wolf of Kanta took multiple years to finalize. This draft on the other hand needs work of course, but I generally know where it needs to be fixed and tweaked.

The Seeking was a novel purely inspired by a dream I had. I was Dahlia in that dream and I had a position of power in a society. I saw the Gray People lurking in the trees and had this horrible feeling of dread. It was poignant. When I awoke that feeling lingered with me for just long enough for me to scratch out the scene I had witnessed – and that’s how this novel was born. I guess you’ll have to read it if you want to find out what that scene was.

For now though, this book is being put aside so that I can take some time to celebrate and forget the novel so I can tackle the edits with fresh eyes next month.

Project: The Seeking

Each Seeking, the magic that protects the city of Carra must be renewed, which means the children of the High Family must go into hiding. Whether it be through disguise or bribe, through trusted friends or perfect hiding places, every child of the Priest family must avoid capture for the full day.

When things go wrong with the renewal, it’s up to seventeen-year-old Dahlia, the middle child of the Priest family, and her girlfriend, Bisa, to escape Carra and find the magical beings responsible for the protection. They must learn who would require such a cruel game to be played every year and if the protection of the Gray People is really worth such a deadly cost. What they will discover is far worse.

THE SEEKING is a YA dark fantasy novel

Words Written:
3/8 – 924
3/14 – 5,538 (OMG muse, calm down! haha)
3/26 – 2,058

Current Word Count: 67,102

Progress:
DONE!

Next Up:
Putting it aside for edits next month!

Commentary:
I can’t believe the progress I made on this book on the 14th. It was one of the final big scenes, and I had been putting it off for days because I knew it would be difficult to tackle. I kept finding other things to do instead of work on it, then on Wednesday my sister was like: “Why don’t you just work on it now?”

It seems simple, but damn. I was like, why not? Next thing I knew I had churned out 5.5k words and it was dark outside. I feel so good getting this novel finished. I already have some ideas of where I want to try to find a home for it. Meanwhile I can go play some video games for a bit and let my brain step out of the sauna for a little while.

Progress Is Not Easy

As you could probably guess from my last post, moving forward on this novel was a difficult process. I had to squeeze out a few hundred words here and a few more there. Much like Dahlia is in this piece, I felt like I was having to find my way around in the dark. I knew where the story needed to go, but I wasn’t 100% sure how it was going to do it. (I suppose that’s a drawback of being a pantser at heart.) That said, walking a mile requires taking lots of little steps, and I finally got this bunch back on track toward the finish line.

Project: The Seeking

Each Seeking, the magic that protects the city of Carra must be renewed, which means the children of the High Family must go into hiding. Whether it be through disguise or bribe, through trusted friends or perfect hiding places, every child of the Priest family must avoid capture for the full day.

When things go wrong with the renewal, it’s up to seventeen-year-old Dahlia, the middle child of the Priest family, and her girlfriend, Bisa, to escape Carra and find the magical beings responsible for the protection. They must learn who would require such a cruel game to be played every year and if the protection of the Gray People is really worth such a deadly cost. What they will discover is far worse.

THE SEEKING is a YA dark fantasy novel

Words Written:
3/6 – 712
3/7 – 1,330

Current Word Count: 58,503

Progress:
Moving into the final stage!

Next Up:
There are too many eyes on them, but they can’t let that stop them.

Commentary:
I’ve almost hit the 60k mark! It’s hard to get much writing in during the week since my job takes up so much time, so I’m proud to have gotten so much done this week.

To Forgive or Punish

It’s easy to say that forgiveness is the right thing to do when it’s a small problem. Don’t be angry at that child for stealing your candy, just forgive them and share next time. It’s a mentality that works great when you’re a child, but when you get up into the complexities and cruelties of the adult world, you learn that logic is too simplistic to really float anymore. Sometimes the insult or injury is too great to forgive. Sometimes forgiveness should come at a price. Regardless of your feelings about the topic, it is never an easy choice. The worse the injury, the harder it becomes to say that forgiveness is the best path.

Needless to say, that’s the difficult decision I’m facing right now in my novel. Dahlia has a decision to make, and it sucks that she has to make it at all.

Project: The Seeking

Each Seeking, the magic that protects the city of Carra must be renewed, which means the children of the High Family must go into hiding. Whether it be through disguise or bribe, through trusted friends or perfect hiding places, every child of the Priest family must avoid capture for the full day.

When things go wrong with the renewal, it’s up to seventeen-year-old Dahlia, the middle child of the Priest family, and her girlfriend, Bisa, to escape Carra and find the magical beings responsible for the protection. They must learn who would require such a cruel game to be played every year and if the protection of the Gray People is really worth such a deadly cost. What they will discover is far worse.

THE SEEKING is a YA dark fantasy novel

Words Written:
2/23 – 628
2/28 – 453
3/3 – 2,262

Current Word Count: 56,466

Progress:
Making difficult decisions yet again. Poor Dahlia.

Next Up:
Mother’s decree.

Commentary:
I’ve hit that gorgeous 70% mark! I’ve said in multiple places that I think this book is going to get finished this month, and I’m still determined to make that happen. Oh and don’t worry, I have a number of writing projects on the back-burner waiting to get moved to the front once this one is finished. It seems like that’s how this being-an-author thing is supposed to go. I guess I ought to get on board.

New Review for SWoK!

A big thanks to BookDragonGirl for the amazing review for The She-Wolf of Kanta. I’m so thrilled that she liked it so much! Go by and check out what she had to say, and I highly recommend subscribing to her site. Her book reviews are always so detailed!

The She-Wolf Of Kanta by Marlena Frank Releases April 17, 2018 Summary: “A pair of yellow eyes caught the moonlight and locked onto hers.” Mercy has always dreamed of becoming a werewolf trapper like her father. In Kanta, one must learn how to survive one way or another. A […]

via My Review of The She-Wolf Of Kanta by Marlena Frank —