This isn't going to be a normal thing. I had so much issue trying to find the right/best thing to say for this book, and each attempt had one part of what I was trying to say. So...
I'm putting them ALL on here.
There might be a few repetitive bits, but I like to think that maybe, at times, the struggle is equivalent to how much something means to you.
Saying the right thing about this was/is VERY important to me. So, here are all the things.
The Ten Kingdoms was the first adult-aimed series that I ever wrote, one of the first in general that I ever wrote. It’s an interesting thing. The first few were Young Adult, though one I feel was in some ways ‘worse’ content-wise and the other was equally if not more so difficult with mature themes (if not sexual content). (Let’s not speak at all about that first series I ever wrote and will surely never release!)
I read a lot of YA before beginning to write my own books, so in a sense, this was like stretching myself in a new way and moving into a new place internally. In a sense, it was like transitioning into adulthood myself, in ways—difficult and uncomfortable bits and all. (Not that I did ‘turn into an adult’ when writing this book, simply likening it to.)
It’s interesting the way life moves, how you can have the same or similar experiences at one point of it and another, and yet they just feel different.
Alain might’ve been inexperienced in some ways, with some parts of life, and she might’ve been a young adult, but she was the first character I wrote who was already a woman starting out rather than turning into one throughout the course of the book/series. She was one; she just grows as one.
When I wrote this series, it was a clear-cut trilogy. Something just didn’t sit right with me, though. So, a few years later, I sat back down and opened a new document. Started writing.
With all the talk on paths, options, things seen and not . . .
I wrote from a starting point someplace in the third book, with the mentality of . . .
What if a different choice is made right here?
That threw me down a hole of possibility! I discovered things. I saw beautiful things. I saw horrible things. And I couldn’t look at any of it the same after.
So it sat. Every so often, I would get internally torn, wondering . . .
Which way is/was the right way? Each has their good sides. Each has their bad.
Which way was/is the way it actually goes?
Lameria’s Gift, in its ways, is kind of just fine on its own. You as a reader can know what I knew when I finished it, before I started the others—they’re going to work, some things are going to happen. But it always kind of felt good to me where it sat.
The problem was, when I was going back through the second book to get it potentially ready for release, it as a whole didn’t sit right with me again!
So there I was, ‘fixing’ the epilogue, leaving me with an entirely different story than the third or the alternate would align with, which told me . . .
I’m going to have to write another book, if this is the way things go. And yet still . . .
Which way is the right way?
I’ve never really been one to feel that way with my books. The characters tell their stories. I can’t change them. I can add to them, very much like someone telling you the same story twice—you get different bits each time that make the moment(s) of their life more complete. I can’t remove parts of their lives. I can’t make their choices. (I can on very rare occasion make a decision about one thing or another.) But with all the talk on ‘paths’ in this, it only seemed natural to explore.
I like the thought of potentially releasing all of them, so you as a reader can know most of what I know about what’s going on or ‘could be’, and maybe you can make the choice of which you like best. I very much like the thought of showing . . .
Sometimes our entire life can change in one, seemingly insignificant decision. This series taught me so much about the significance in every step one takes on their path.
What an interesting thing to explore!
I always do my best in life to do what feels right. There may come a day where it strikes me that one way is the way the story actually does go. I don’t think it’ll happen, though. I think that was kind of the purpose of this series, unbeknownst to me until after the fact.
‘The right way’ is a complicated, complex thing. And everything is significant. The most interesting thing about what caused/created alternates?
Every single thing is down to whether a husband and wife communicate with one another. Absolutely everything.
How beautiful a thing!
Lameria’s Gift, in a lot of ways, has been a long time comin’. That doesn’t have much at all to do with when I wrote it. (I have several written around the same time, some before, and some with no intention for them to be coming or going anywhere.) It’s far more to do with the fact that I almost published it years ago. If you happened to look at my GoodReads before, you likely saw it up, with its different cover and maybe the reviews from people who read it then.
Everything was ready to go with it. The cover was done. I drew a map that I sent to a friend, and he drew a (better) map that I put in the book, along with section break images of the same blade on the cover. (Which I took the picture of myself, of a blade that my cousin had, then sent to the cover artist.) The print book was formatted. The ebook was formatted. Everything was legitimately ready to go.
Then there was an issue (or multiple issues) with uploading the ebook. I worked hard, trying to get that fixed (around the time I took my ‘short break’ that turned into a VERY LONG break). But things start kind of being blessings in disguise, sometimes. All the frustration of I can’t get this to work. I am borderline technologically inept, and I can’t fix this no matter what I look up or how hard I try. . . . ? It turns into . . .
You know . . . I just don’t like that. It has everything it’s 'supposed to'. But it just doesn’t feel right.
Things don’t feel right.
Things in general didn’t feel right with and for me, around that time and for a long time after, this series included.
This series as a whole taught me so much about the significance of seemingly insignificant things. ‘You make this tiny decision, and your entire life can change.’ That very thought has thrown me down hole after hole with these books! And every hole I fall into with it/them teaches me more, in a sense not just about the book(s) but about all the things we miss in life—some good, some bad. It’s taught me that there are some things you can walk right past and never know the possibility and potential of, unless you were to go a certain way, and yet going that way causes loss on the other end.
It’s funny, because one of the only poems I really like is the one about roads and traveled or not. You know the one, I’m sure. . . . XD But funny, because that wasn’t my intention. Then again . . . Things just happen with the books, and in most every sense? There ARE no intentions. Apart from getting them out of myself, observing, empathizing, learning, and trying my hardest to ‘do justice to their lives’.
One of my jobs, I feel, is to look at EVERYTHING, whether it’s shown or not. Not in the sense of plotting all things out, but turning over every stone inside a person, figuring out what makes a person a person, what makes a life lived a life lived. I believe this series coming early into my writing truly opened this up for and to me—to not only observe and write but understand and see.
I’m grateful for these books for all they’ve taught me, very difficult things included.
The kind of funny thing is that Lameria’s Gift, I’ve always felt, is just fine on its own. It can just be left as it is, no mess, no alternates, no this road or that road. But I do like the thought of releasing all the ones in this series so people can potentially decide which they like best. And, in that sense . . .
Isn’t that a beautiful thing about life? Having the choice to follow your heart, mind, spirit to what feels right to and for you.
I think it’s a beautiful thing.
This series taught me what it did about life, about writing, about what my job is, about what it can be.
Trying to release this book was a large lesson on trying to force things when it’s not the right time. And sometimes?
You just have to wait a while. Get some more learnin’ in. Get the things that don’t feel right fixed.
Sometimes, ‘the right time’ isn’t forced or when you think it is, certainly not when you think it should be or has to be. Sometimes?
It just is. And you have to wait for it.
Some things are worth waiting for.
(I just want to say: The blade I took a picture of was the one used on the old cover. I did not take the picture on the new cover. But I DID MAKE the new cover. And I'm so glad I did.)
It’s time to move things down a ways, to make room!
As you can see up there, Lameria’s Gift is available now! I wouldn’t normally refer to books I write as ‘spicy’ (if only because it’s not a word I use in that context, and I just wouldn’t put it that way, but sometimes the word to use is the word to use). Don’t let that cover or the description fool you! This book has got some heat in it. (In varying forms. Some quite literal in the form(s) of fire. Hahaha I just cracked myself up a little. I probably need to go to sleep. I also probably shouldn’t ramble this much here. . . . I also probably shouldn’t write these important things when I’m not entirely coherent, but I might leave it up for a little while, and if you catch it before I replace it, we can just pretend it never happened. . . . If it’s still up after a month or something? I’ll just be hoping someone gets a chuckle or smile from it. Maybe that’s enough reason to leave it up. Digressing!)
I’ll say probably for the hundredth time that if you knew how difficult writing that sort of stuff was/is for me, you’d be super proud maybe.
I always worry about the content in my books (and I of course still am worrying/do worry), but I’m accepting that maybe sometimes the things I worry about are/could be the things people might like/appreciate. So I’ll say (maybe blushing and maybe sort of shaking my head at myself) . . .
If you’re looking for a fantasy romance novel with some heat to it?
Lameria’s Gift might be for you.
(Maybe I really SHOULD’VE put the fire on the cover. . . . (Literal fire.))
(I hope that if you read it and see how much literal heat/fire and such is in there, maybe you’ll have a couple of good laughs with me! But you’ll see what I was talking about here, for sure.)
But in all seriousness?
I hope that if you read it, you enjoy it, and that you find something good in it. Because it genuinely, all joking aside, has some really beautiful stuff in it. I initially listed some of the things, but it felt like in some ways 'ruining' the book.
I never really know what other people will take from my books or find there (sometimes it’s things I never would’ve thought or imagined), and if you ever want to talk to me about it, I would love to hear from you!
I in a half-coherent state wrote up something to post on here to announce that Lameria’s Gift was out.
I did some laughing about the heat in the book (in part because of literal fire and such in it), and I was even contemplating leaving everything I said up for a while because I thought it was funny and hoped maybe someone would laugh.
But I feel that, even though some people might read the book and see nothing but the ‘spice’? That is in NO way what that book is about.
I feel quite strongly that sex/sexual content only be ‘shown’ in my books when it’s legitimately relevant to the story/character(s)/growth/so on.
One very important thing about the main character in Lameria’s Gift, Alain, is not only not ‘giving (really any part of) herself’ to a man/men but not trusting them and, in ways, believing certain things about what extents of good can exist within them. Sure, this book has a lot of big plot things, events, situations, things—soldiers fighting, magic, dragons, visions of the future, so on. And those might be what people focus on, and if that’s the case?
I hope it’s enjoyed.
That story is about a young woman learning to trust someone’s hand. At some points, that means mentally, at some points emotionally, at some points, yes, physically. (And I'm adding after the fact that 'physically' does NOT strictly mean sexually.)
So, I in some ways feel it was inappropriate to her struggles to have laughed about it. But I do also understand that the ‘heat’ in that book might be what some people like.
I didn’t write it to be ‘spicy’. I wrote it, STRICTLY, because it was a necessary thing that her character needed to go through in order to grow, in order to love, and in order to allow light and life. (And it made me EXTREMELY uncomfortable to write. It makes me extremely uncomfortable to read. It feels like intruding on a private moment. It always does for me.)
But there is, literally, fire in the book. And it mostly takes place during ‘summer’ of the world, so there is literally heat. And, yes. There is some of the other sort.
I hope that, if you read it, you feel it and the book as a whole is beautiful in its ways. I also hope that NOBODY can tell how uncomfortable that made me to write. (Because if my issues get in the way of telling the characters’ stories, I don’t feel I’m doing my job well.)
I hope you enjoy it, for whatever reasons you might and no matter what aspects are the ones that stick out to you.
It’s got some beautiful bits, I think. But I think they all do, in their ways.
Trying to find the right thing to say about Lameria’s Gift is kind of like the series itself—full of options and not being entirely sure which path is the ‘right’ one to take. But I’m trying to tell myself that’s kind of a neat little thing that ties me to it (how this is turning out like the series itself). And yet, in some ways, that’s not fair to Lameria’s Gift on its own! While a large point of the book is about the paths one has as option then chooses to take, some part of me feels it’s JUST FINE on its own.
One of the things I’ve planned on doing is releasing the alternates to the storyline and allowing people to choose which way they ‘like’ the best. You like it going this way, you can feel it goes this way. You like it that way, you can feel it goes that way. (And yet it’s truly so nice where it sits!)
What I’m going to do with this ‘release notification’ is put all of the different ‘reviews’ and such that I wrote on it, along with the two differing (previous) release notifications on the site together on the ‘Review’ page. There might be some repetitive bits, but they were each intended to be their own thing, yet none of them on their own said what I wanted/felt I needed to say. I hope that, maybe, all of them/it together will say what each thing on its own couldn’t.
And maybe that right there is enough reason to release all of the series, alternates included.
I do love this book a whole lot, and I hope that, if you read it, you love it as well!
(This is a book I feel I need to say everywhere I’m posting things about it, in case someone might only read the one thing: The door is not closed.)