It’s HEEEEEEEEEEEERE!

My book is now officially published! Yippy! As such, I am so keen on people who would like to review it 🙂 Please contact me if you would like a free reviewer’s copy in exchange for an honest review (posted on goodreads or your blog or amazon/kobo/smashwords, whichever you like). I have pdf, epub and mobi versions so please let me know which you would like and I shall happily send it along! You can fill out the form below or email me at nogaku89@gmail.com

Please read below for the blurb & click here if you would like to read a scene.

Also, if you would like to purchase the book I currently have it up on Amazon, Kobo and Smashwords for US$0.99, although I am looking at expanding to other outlets in the near future.

Please note that this story is New Adult Paranormal Fantasy and includes:

Coarse language, violence, sexual references and one sex scene

Black Swan GOODfirst

The striking Black Swan is native to Australia, unrelated to the seemingly pure White Swan of Europe. She is found in the strangest of places – from ugly mines to cultivated farms, beautiful bushland to violent coastline.

Yet, she always shies away from humanity.

The Black Swan is always beautiful, surprisingly resilient and very, very powerful. Most Black Swans are wise enough not to use that power to challenge the status quo.

Most…

Anita had the kind of reputation in high school that no one wants to carry into adulthood, especially since she wants to be a doctor like her dad. Now at university, she is determined to be good, but one little end-of-semester celebration can’t hurt, right? Well, it can if she ends up having a one-night stand with a werewolf that triggers a dark awakening. Turns out Anita’s over-active libido has become more than something hormonal – it’s magical.

The Black Swan is a powerful legacy that brings both temptation and danger. Having now inherited the title and all that comes with it, Anita finds herself beset upon by ancient abominations that won’t take no for an answer. No wonder the Black Swan had been driven to seclusion and banishment in the past. But Anita is determined not to run away – she is here to help, whether the medieval dragon-wolf or the undead cultists want it or not.

She will be no one’s pawn. She will rise to the challenge.

If she can just manage to deal with her own flaws first. Anxiety, panic-attacks, and bouts of bitchiness does not a successful diplomat make.

Nerves & Necromancy

I have now created a page for my upcoming book, The Black Swan Inheritance and with it, a snippet of a scene from the book! Figured I’d post it as well, so please, read on:

I found the body where the werewolf had left it. Black blood stained the ground, as well as my clothes. I worried if I had stopped to shower and change I would lose my nerve. Nerves were about all I had now. Nerves and necromancy.

Kneeling down next to the dead creature, my bare legs soaked up the heat of the day from the bitumen. I swallowed audibly and picked up the head to reposition it. That done, I took the small pocketknife I had been given when I joined scouts (I left after about a month) and opened the blade.

“Blood of the Black S-swan.” I was trying to command the dead to rise, and I couldn’t manage that through chattering teeth. I cleared my throat and started again. “Blood of the Black Swan binds you to me. I call you from the grave and into the night. If you shall accept, rise.”

I sliced the inside of my left palm and blood pooled. I coated my red blood against his black, running my hand around his severed neck. Then, finally, I placed my wounded palm over his mouth.

I looked away when I heard movement of flesh against stone, but forced my eyes back upon the scene. I watched as his blood coagulated with mine and brought the head back to the body. I watched as the fatal wound healed itself. I watched as the skin and muscle knitted before my eyes. I watched as the vampire’s eyes snapped open, and he grabbed my hand with both of his and pressed it hard against his mouth.

The feeding was disgusting. The vampire rose a little but only to force more of my blood into his mouth. It reminded me of a man bucking during sex. He drank with greedy desperation, as if frightened the blood be taken from him at any moment. I let him feed, but when I felt my strength wane, I had to put a stop to it.

“Enough.”

The vampire stilled with the command.

“Release me.”

He relinquished my wrist, and I checked my palm. The clean cut was marred with hickeys – bruising from the vampire sucking so desperately he brought the blood up through the skin. My vision became spotty, so I let my hand drop to my side, hoping that if I hid the sight of it I could manage to remain conscious.

“I have claimed you, do you understand?”

He nodded, but his eyes were glassy.

“Are you still hungry?”

“Yes,” he whispered in a weak voice.

“You can no longer feed on me. Is there anything else that can be done to heal you?”

“No blood?”

“No blood.”

He didn’t answer for a moment. Then he said, “Bury me. I need rest.”

I blinked. “Bury you? Bury you where?”

“Somewhere safe.”

I didn’t even own a shovel. I lived in an apartment, after all. Where would be safe?

There was a park right next to where we were, but that could hardly be safe. There was sort of a common, a grassy back garden at the apartment block where the clothesline was. How was I to dig up the ground?

Wait, the management hired a gardener. He came every week and kept his tools in a little shed, next to the hot water systems. There should be a shovel in there.

I just hoped I wasn’t caught.

“C’mon.” I helped the vampire to his feet. “You’re coming home with me.”

The Black Swan Inheritance will be out 1st December 2014!

Copyright © 2014 Sarah Thomas writing as Marigold Deidre Dicer

Also, I am pretty bloody sure I’ll be using this cover. I definitely liked the other ones but I had to choose, and I personally prefer the Black Swan to be in all her glory.

Black Swan GOODfirst

Original cover photographed reproduced here by permission of photographer Nicholas Raymond of http://freestock.ca/animals_insects_g29-cygnus_p1486.html

The Black Swan Inheritance Covers, plus Blurby Fun

Hear ye, hear ye! Well, actually I want you to do the talking and for me to listen! I’ve got a few different concepts thanks to your input last time, so I hope these new covers are a little more exciting than the last ones. Leiah said she liked the glowing feathers and seeing more of the swan. Rosh liked the original picture the best so maybe I should just use that but I can’t help fiddling with things! Bethany advised I work on the font, so I’ve played around with a few different types as you’ll see below. Wlloydjr suggested focusing on the texture of the wings, which I definitely like the idea of as it makes it much simpler, in an ‘uncomplicated and pleasing to the eye’ sense.

I’m still loving the photo, but as far as making it a cover I can’t really commit to any of the ones I’ve made. Leiah said that I should use a cover I’m happy with, but truth be told I just don’t know anymore! Help! Do I go with dark or elegant? I like both! And I think both hint to the story within… so I’m at a bit of a loss.

So I have some covers that are complicated, some that are simple, and I’ve included the original picture too in case people still like that one and want me to stop messing with it!

Black Swan Feathers Cover

Final Copy8Feather Texture

Black Swan

And just for reference’s sake, here’s the first cover I worked on:

Book1_3_without_beakI hope I’ve improved!

 What did you like? What didn’t you like? Whole picture or zoomed-up texture?

Once again, my book should will be released December 1st! This is the current blurb, completely different from the last one I posted:

The striking Black Swan is native to Australia, unrelated to the seemingly pure White Swan of Europe. She is found in the strangest of places – from ugly mines to cultivated farms, beautiful bushland to violent coastline.

Yet, she always shies away from humanity.

The Black Swan is always beautiful, surprisingly resilient and very, very powerful. Most Black Swans are wise enough not to use that power to challenge the status quo.

Most…

And this is the blurb that I posted a while ago and got great feedback on, but like the lazy busy person I am I haven’t gone back to edit the blurb based on those comments. Well, not properly at least – I did change the last line, and made a minor change of the last sentence of the first paragraph. If you’re interested in reading that post and those comments, you can find it here.

Anita had the kind of reputation in high school that no one wants to carry into adulthood, especially since she wants to be a doctor like her dad. Now at university, she is determined to be good, but one little end-of-semester celebration can’t hurt, right? Well, it can if she ends up having a one-night stand with a werewolf that triggers a dark awakening. Turns out Anita’s over-active libido has become more than something hormonal – it’s magical.

The Black Swan is a powerful legacy that brings both temptation and danger. Having now inherited the title and all that comes with it, Anita finds herself beset upon by ancient abominations that won’t take no for an answer. No wonder the Black Swan had been driven to seclusion and banishment in the past. But Anita is determined not to run away – she is here to help, whether the medieval dragon-wolf or the undead cultists want it or not.

She will be no one’s pawn. She will rise to the challenge.

If she can just manage to deal with her own flaws first. Anxiety, panic-attacks, and bouts of bitchiness does not a successful diplomat make.

I should also mention that you can find all the posts to date related to my book under the “Black Swan Inheritance” category. Because I like to believe I have fans 🙂 Hey, you gotta be optimistic when you’re pursing a career in something creative, or anything you love.

To be fair, I will always write, regardless of what the future brings. But since I have the option to self-publish: YEAH! Of course I’m going to try that!

Shamelessness. It is incredibly liberating 😀

Messing Around with Covers for The Black Swan Inheritance

Well, I had thought I had done a pretty good job playing about with images for my cover of The Black Swan Inheritance. That was until I decided to take the result to my biggest critic – my mother. She didn’t like the beak.

Book1_1Book1_2

I liked it. I thought the cover looked pulpy and cool. But her comments were valid – I am not, after all, an artist. I don’t exactly have an artistic eye. And I can’t draw or paint or any of that. I do like to think I can write though, and I’m sticking to that idea no matter who tells me otherwise!

Anyway, to help my self-esteem and non-existent art talent, I tried again. This time, without so much beak:

Book1_3_without_beak2

And I really should stop there. I’m being helped by a friend who’s a bit more clued in than I am with the art thing so together hopefully we’ll be able to get something more professional-looking.

I had looked at lots of photos of black swans, but I do love this image (or you can see it below) which I originally found on rgbstock.com, but the photographer has asked me to reference and link back to the freestock.ca website. I think the picture is just perfect for my book. The black swan is just gorgeous and the blood-red beak and eye dominates the centre of the picture. I love the colours of black swans ^-^

So I’m kind of stuck on this image for now. Who knows, maybe I won’t even end up using it. Anything could happen.

Having said that, I have tentatively set myself a publish date of December 1st of this year. Just in time for Christmas! Maybe. Should be. We’ll see.

So, what do you all think? I know the font is rough, I just wanted to see what it looked like with all the bits attached. Anyone else hate the beak? Like the photo, don’t want to change it? Any other ideas? Let me know!