Worldbuilding Wednesday #67: How Do I Do This Thing? (Part 6)

Welcome back! Today’s subject is uploading your ebook to Amazon and Smashwords.

Now, the important thing to remember here is that you don’t have to go to just Amazon. Or just Smashwords. Or even to either of them if you don’t want to. Amazon is a huge chunk of the market but they’re not the only place to sell ebooks by a long ways. And Smashwords, while lovely about distributing your books to other sites, isn’t the only distributor out there.

You can go direct to Kobo and Barnes & Noble. There’s another distributor that I recently found (and have yet to investigate) called DraftToDigital. You could go there. Plus virtually every place that Smashwords distributes to you can go direct with.

Where you choose to upload your books is entirely up to you. I’m describing the process for Amazon and Smashwords because those are the two I’ve used to date. I plan on going direct to Kobo and Barnes & Noble over the next year or so. I just haven’t done it yet. Choose the sites that make sense to you, though I highly recommend making sure that your books are on every single site that you can reach.

Onwards to the information!
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Novel Monday: Repair and Rebuild Chapter 3

POD Repair and Rebuild Ebook Cover 05

Description:

Rebuilding the future that was nearly lost.

When the Tourmaline Seas limped back into port, everyone in Raelin’s family was stunned that she’d made it. She’d lost a mast and had so many holes in the hull that it was only with the Goddesses’ blessings that her crew and cargo had survived. More than anything, Raelin wanted to see her back on the seas, blue Dana sails snapping in the wind as her crew sailed around the world. To her shock, Raelin got to observe Mistress Chie, owner of Sunrise Shipyard, as she rebuilt the Tourmaline Seas.

Raelin’s joy in repairing the Tourmaline darkened as the Delbhana plotted to steal the Tourmaline away. When that didn’t work the Delbhana struck straight at the heart of the Dana Clan, trying to steal all the children, Raelin included. If she failed, Raelin knew that she might never see her family and home again.

Repair and Rebuild is a fantastic coming of age story set in the Matriarchal world of Muirin.

Chapter Three: Discussion

“You’re dragging,” Mother commented when Raelin stumbled into their rooms and pulled off her boots that night. “Work too hard?”

“It’s hard work,” Raelin mumbled while rubbing her face and heading straight for Aravel’s window seat even though he wasn’t there. All her siblings were either visiting cousins in the Clan house or asleep. “Just… thinking too hard, I guess.”

Mother raised an eyebrow but she walked over and sat with Raelin. When Raelin sighed and curled against her side Mother chuckled, pulling her up into her lap for a hug and a cuddle that Raelin wouldn’t have asked for even if she’d been years younger. It was nice even though Mother’s muscles made her sort of uncomfortable to sit on.

“What’s got you thinking so hard then?” Mother asked, her lips brushing against the curls on the top of Raelin’s head.

“Mistress Chie said something and I couldn’t stop thinking about it,” Raelin admitted. She plucked at the buttons on the front of Mother’s vest as she hesitated over saying more. Mother waited without saying anything. “Um, the Tourmaline should live. She said so today. But…”

“But?” Mother asked when Raelin didn’t continue.

“But she thinks that either the Tourmaline hit a rogue wave or they… rammed into someone.”

“Bit of both, actually,” Mother said so calmly that Raelin gasped and stared at her.

Mother chuckled, kissing Raelin’s shoulder and having her sit next to her instead of on her lap. Raelin kept staring at her, tugging her vest pocket when Mother didn’t say anything else. Outside the window, the evening had turned into night. It was dark, only the gaslights in the streets illuminating the street below. Inside the house was just as quiet. Father’s voice carried from the little kids’ room, a low murmur that Raelin associated with story time.

“Mother!” Raelin hissed as she tugged the pocket again. “What happened?”

“You need to keep it quiet,” Mother said, her stern tone of voice almost destroyed by the fond smile on her lips. “We’re still talking to the captain and Kennis about the details.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Raelin said.

Instead of explaining, Mother pulled Raelin close again, tucking her under her arm so that she could rub her lips over the top of Raelin’s head. Raelin sighed and hugged Mother. Being cuddled this way was nice but she could feel the exhaustion pulling at her as the warmth and comfort overwhelmed her curiosity.

“They were inbound,” Mother murmured in a rumbly low voice that made it even harder for Raelin to stay awake. “Spotted an outbound ship. Didn’t think much of it at first according to Kennis. Even at this time of year there are ships heading out, last ones of the year that plan to come back in the spring.”

Raelin nodded. “I saw one head out yesterday.”

“Exactly,” Mother agreed. “To their surprise the other ship approached. Kennis and the captain didn’t want to slow down for a talk, not when they could see a storm approaching from the open sea, but the other ship was flying the Delbhana flag topped with the Guard colors so they felt they had to.”

That made Raelin’s exhaustion slip away again. The Delbhana had been rivals with the Dana for generations, ever since Uncle Jarmon’s days as a young man looking for a wife. He’d had two women courting him, one from the Delbhana and another from a tiny clan that did wagon shipping. She’d heard Father tell the story of Uncle Jarmon spurning the Delbhana courter so many times that she could practically tell it herself but the consequences of marrying for love instead of money had carried down in the family ever since.

The Delbhana women had held a grudge against the slight their relative had received. Raelin was pretty sure that Anwyn and Siobhan’s battles were just reflections of Mother’s battles with Lady Etain, which were in turn reflections of the battles over Uncle Jarmon when he was a young man.

“They were flying Guard colors, too?” Raelin asked.

“Mm-hmm,” Mother murmured. She glared out the window at the port as if she could see the Delbhana ship. “Kennis smelled a rat but the law said that they had to heave to and allow the Delbhana to approach. They didn’t let the Delbhana tie up to their sides but they did reef the sails so that they could sit alongside and talk.”

“But why?” Raelin asked. “If they were outbound and the Tourmaline was inbound, why bother?”

“Near as I can figure it was to slow the Tourmaline down,” Mother grumbled. Her eyes focused back on Raelin, stern and angry but not at her. “The Delbhana ship saw the storm coming. She was headed out to see where she’d probably be okay. Easy enough for her to run for another port when the storm was headed south and they were headed northwest. Different story for the Tourmaline. She only had one port she could run to in any sort of reasonable timeframe.”

“Home,” Raelin whispered.

“Exactly,” Mother agreed. “The discussion was pointless, according to the Captain. Kennis said that it was the same sort of bullying that gets Annie and Gwen’s dander up, just put in more polite terms because of the women on both sides fingering their swords. But the storm was rising faster than expected and Kennis ordered the Captain to unfurl the sails. The Delbhana’s captain gave the same order despite Lady Etain’s cousin being a little bitch about it. Just as the ships started moving, according to Kennis, there was a huge gust of wind followed by a screeching noise that she only recognized after the fact.”

“Rogue wave?” Raelin asked, both of her hands clenched in front of her face because the whole confrontation was playing out in her mind.

Mother frowned and stared out at the port again, this time more puzzled than angry. She didn’t speak again for long enough that Father came out of the little kids’ room, smiling softly as he gently shut the door. He nodded to Raelin before going in the kitchen where he hummed while pumping water. The creak of the pump sounded unbearably loud in the quiet of their rooms.

When Mother kept frowning at the port, Raelin put her hand on her stomach. Mother blinked and then smiled ruefully as she ruffled Raelin’s hair. Raelin’s grumble of annoyance as she tried to smooth her hair out again made Mother chuckle but at least she wasn’t staring into space again.

“The ships had been driven together,” Mother continued as if she hadn’t stopped. “The seas weren’t heaving, no sudden wash of water the way you’d expect. It was as if something under the water had grabbed the Tourmaline and shoved it straight into the Delbhana’s side.

“According to Kennis,” Mother said slowly and thoughtfully, “both sides scrambled and they managed to get apart but by the time they were on their way the storm was on them. The winds picked up and so did the seas. They lost the mast half an hour after that when the storm hit, according to Kennis, ‘like it was a brick wall made of water and wind’. Captain Boadicea agreed with her on that. Her description was like someone had cut a hole in the air. One side was relatively clear. Other side was the worst storm she’d seen at that time of year.”

Raelin stared until Mother ruffled her hair with both hands, wrestling gently with Raelin as she squawked and then giggled. The rough housing didn’t do much to chase away Raelin’s realization of what must have happened to the Tourmaline. But neither Mother nor Raelin was going to say that out loud. Even here in the middle of their home it wasn’t safe to say it, not after Anwyn’s visit to the City of the Ladies.

“You need to get to bed,” Mother said as she hugged Raelin, rocking her side to side while Raelin laughed. “I know you overslept, girl.”

“But I haven’t written in my journal,” Raelin protested though it wasn’t at all as strong as it should be. She really was very tired and tomorrow Mistress Chie wanted Raelin to be doing even more running around as they began to rebuild the Tourmaline.

“One missed day isn’t that much of a loss, Rae,” Mother chuckled. “Get to bed and get some sleep. If Annie has to wake you up in the morning I told her that she can dump water on your head.”

“Mother!” Raelin squawked.

“She was nicer about waking you up than I would have been,” Mother laughed. “Off you go. Sleep well.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Raelin sighed. “You too.”

The big kids’ room was quiet when Raelin slipped inside. Gavin was still awake, quietly mending one of the little kids’ clothes while Aravel hummed on his bunk. He smiled and waved at Raelin but put his finger over his mouth so that she wouldn’t say anything. When Raelin checked Gwen’s bunk directly above her own, Gwen was curled around a book, sound asleep.

Raelin grinned as she settled onto her bunk. The journal that she’d been keeping was waiting for her on her bookshelf but Raelin ignored it in favor of pulling off her clothes and putting on the sleep clothes that someone, probably Gavin, had laid out for her. Gavin made a quiet grumbling noise when Raelin just dumped her work clothes by the side of the bed but she’d be putting them back on again in the morning so why bother? Her pillow was calling.

Her curtain blocked out the little oil lamp that Gavin had lit for his mending though the flickering glow was bright enough that Raelin could see it through the fabric. She curled up under the covers and rolled so that her back was to the room. Bed felt so good after all the work she’d been doing. At least someone had remade her bed while she was gone. It would have been a bother to have to make her bed before she could go to sleep.

Not that sleep seemed to be coming.

Despite the exhaustion that made Raelin’s body feel like it weighed several tons, her mind kept skittering from Mistress Chie’s black glare to Mother’s long stare out at the port to Anwyn grumbling about Siobhan after her visit to the City of the Ladies. She couldn’t get her thoughts to stop so Raelin rolled onto her back to stare at the bottom of Gwen’s bunk.

“Annie said that the Ladies made the water solid,” Raelin mused as she counted the knots in the boards over her head. “It was just water but it was hard enough for Annie to walk on. What if the Ladies can do something like that to the weather?”

The Goddesses were powerful. They’d gathered humanity up and saved them from the Morrigan’s berthing back before the world began. According to the holy books, Tahira, Ragna and Chin had walked among the stars the same way that Raelin walked the streets of Aingeal City. Before they left the world, the Goddesses had had weapons that shot fire and pieces of paper with writing that moved. Raelin had heard all the stories in Church, not that they went all that often as a family.

But the Ladies were far more powerful than the Goddesses. When the Goddesses brought humanity to Muirin, it was the Ladies who let them stay. The Ladies did things that even the Goddesses couldn’t have dreamed of like their floating cities and changing plants and animals to suit their needs with just the wave of a hand. So what if the Tourmaline had been damaged by a passing Lady who hadn’t realized they were there?

“They live in the water,” Raelin thought as she yawned and tugged the covers up. “They might not have noticed the ships overhead. We don’t notice birds all the time, just when they’re noisy or they get close to us. What if we’re like birds to the Ladies? We’re just those creatures that live on the surface, who make strange nests out of bricks and wood.”

Raelin wiggled her toes, yawning again. Maybe tomorrow she’d ask Anwyn about it. Anwyn had more direct experience with the Ladies than anyone other than Great-Grandmother Anwyn. The Delbhana had forbidden everyone from interacting with the Ladies when they took over the crown. Only Anwyn knew anything about the Ladies anymore.

A sudden thought made Raelin blink tiredly at the light of the oil lamp on the other side of her curtain. It wasn’t true that Anwyn was the only person who’d dealt with the Ladies. Mistress Chie had known Great-Grandmother Anwyn and Great-Grandmother Anwyn had talked to the Ladies and gotten a gift from them. That meant that Mistress Chie might know things about the Ladies too. Maybe she’d know if the Ladies could have damaged the Tourmaline and maybe, just maybe, whether the Ladies could have felt bad about it and helped the Tourmaline limp its way into port too.

Find this book:

On Amazon $5.99 ebook

On Smashwords $5.99 ebook. Go to Smashwords.com and enter TL23Y to get Repair and Rebuild at 50% off! That’s just $3.00 in any format, including Kindle. :)

On CreateSpace 5″ x 8″ $18.99 TPB

I love writing. I love sharing my writing. I hope that you love reading what I share. If you enjoyed the story but can’t afford to buy the book please consider leaving a donation. It will help me keep writing and sharing my stories with you for a long time to come. Thank you!

Posted in Matriarchies of Muirin, MDR Publishing, Novel Monday, Self Publishing, Writing Thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Worldbuilding Wednesday #66: How Do I Do This Thing? (Part 5)

Welcome back to Worldbuilding Wednesday, where I’m going through in great detail how I publish my stories. Today’s subject: Uploading your book so that people can buy it.

I’m going to start with the process for CreateSpace since they take the longest to get back to you when they review your file. My process is to upload to CreateSpace, then to Amazon and then the next day do Smashwords as Smashwords posts your story immediately and then does a review for the Preferred channels.

Onwards to the tl;dr! *laughs*
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Novel Monday: Repair and Rebuild Chapter 2

POD Repair and Rebuild Ebook Cover 05

Description:

Rebuilding the future that was nearly lost.

When the Tourmaline Seas limped back into port, everyone in Raelin’s family was stunned that she’d made it. She’d lost a mast and had so many holes in the hull that it was only with the Goddesses’ blessings that her crew and cargo had survived. More than anything, Raelin wanted to see her back on the seas, blue Dana sails snapping in the wind as her crew sailed around the world. To her shock, Raelin got to observe Mistress Chie, owner of Sunrise Shipyard, as she rebuilt the Tourmaline Seas.

Raelin’s joy in repairing the Tourmaline darkened as the Delbhana plotted to steal the Tourmaline away. When that didn’t work the Delbhana struck straight at the heart of the Dana Clan, trying to steal all the children, Raelin included. If she failed, Raelin knew that she might never see her family and home again.

Repair and Rebuild is a fantastic coming of age story set in the Matriarchal world of Muirin.

Chapter Two: Skeleton

“Rae!”

Raelin groaned as Anwyn hissed and shook her shoulder. She batted at Anwyn, trying to savor a last few precious moments of sleep before she had to get up. Anwyn growled and tore the blankets off Raelin’s bunk, nearly rolling her onto the floor. When Raelin glared at her and opened her mouth to yell all that came out was a gasp of horror.

“It’s midmorning,” Anwyn huffed at Raelin. “You were supposed to be up by dawn!”

“Oh no!” Raelin squeaked as she scrambled out of bed. “I’m late!”

“I woke you up four times,” Anwyn complained, her crutches thumping against the floor until she sat on the bunk opposite Raelin’s. “You said you were getting up every time.”

“Why didn’t Father wake me?” Raelin wailed as she pulled off her sleep shirt and pants, scrambling into her sturdiest work clothes.

Anwyn just snorted. It took a moment for Raelin to remember that today was market day. Father and most of their uncles and brothers were busy selling goods, buying things and recording all the transactions. He’d said the night before that they were all responsible for getting up on their own, with an especially stern look at Raelin.

“I’m so late,” Raelin complained as she dragged a comb though her hair three times and then decided that was good enough.

“The back is all knotted,” Anwyn commented. She grinned when Raelin glared at her. “It is. Looks horrible.”

“I’m late!” Raelin groaned as she struggled with the knots.

“Yeah, and I tried to wake you up four times,” Anwyn said. “You’re lucky I didn’t give up entirely.”

The thought of not waking up at all until Father came home made Raelin whine. She tore her comb through the last couple of knots, wincing as she pulled out chunks of hair. Anwyn winced with her but she just pointed at the great room. When Raelin ran out there was a now-cold breakfast bun and a piece of fruit. Anwyn growled when Raelin ran past them to get to her boots.

“Eat them,” Anwyn huffed.

“I’m late!” Raelin said while waving one boot at Anwyn.

“You’ll only be a little more late if you eat,” Anwyn said so sternly that she seemed like a miniature version of Mother, “and you won’t be as distracted while working if you have food in your belly.”

Raelin stuck her tongue out at Anwyn but she still ate the breakfast bun as quickly as possible because she knew that Father would fuss if he came home and found that she hadn’t eaten. She ate the fruit in two big bites that had her cheeks bulging as she chewed but at least that got her back to her boots and then out the door.

She heard Anwyn call something but Raelin was too focused on taking the fastest route through the Clan house and then running down the stairs and through the hallways towards the north entrance. Several times she nearly ran into someone, male relatives that she didn’t pause to apologize to, but there weren’t any impacts so Raelin didn’t fuss over that.

“Late, late, late!” Raelin panted as she ran the six blocks to Mistress Chie’s dry dock.

“You’re late!” Befind shouted when Raelin ran in.

“I know!” Raelin yelled back at her.

Three other shipwrights called the same thing to Raelin as she ran the length of the dry dock, homing in on Mistress Chie by aiming straight for the most activity and loudest yelling. The women around Mistress Chie went silent when Raelin skidded to a stop in front of her, panting and sweating and red in the face.

“You’re late,” Mistress Chie said.

“I know!” Raelin whined. She didn’t stare at her feet like a boy about to be scolded but she did let her hands curl into fists from the sheer frustration of it all. “I’m sorry. I overslept. I got here as quickly as I could once I woke up.”

Mistress Chie snorted before turning back to the other women. “Get to work on those last timbers. I want them all down so that we can verify the keel by lunch. You,” she said turning back to Raelin, “come with me.”

“Yes, Mistress,” Raelin sighed, her dejected words disappearing under the loud, enthusiastic and amused ‘yes, Mistress’s from the other women.

She followed Mistress Chie back up the dry dock, acutely aware of all the other women looking at her and smirking. A few of the younger apprentices had sympathetic expressions but no one said a word as Mistress Chie and Raelin walked by. What could they say, after all? Raelin was horribly late and that’s all there was to that.

Once they were in Mistress Chie’s blueprint strewn office, Raelin stood in front of her desk while Mistress Chie settled into her seldom used chair with a tired sigh. She studied Raelin while rubbing her fingers through the hair on the left side of her head. Raelin waited. If it was Mother, Raelin knew that she’d get a solid scolding for embarrassing the family. If she was older, thirteen or so, Raelin knew it would have been more than that, maybe a beating. With Mistress Chie there was no knowing. Raelin hadn’t seen her discipline anyone in the week and a half that she’d been working at the shipyard.

“Do you want to be a shipwright when you grow up?” Mistress Chie asked finally, well after Raelin had started to sweat from sheer nerves.

“Me?” Raelin asked, started. “No, Mistress. I want to be a ship’s captain and a trader.”

“So why are you here?” Mistress Chie asked. She waved one hand at the dry dock on the other side of the wall.

“Because Mother wanted me to learn about how ships are made,” Raelin answered much more slowly. She wasn’t sure what Mistress Chie wanted as an answer. “And, well, it’s interesting. I like knowing how things are put together. It’s fun.”

Mistress Chie nodded slowly, thoughtfully. “You’ve been on time every single day. Never shirked, never asked for help, done everything we’ve asked of you even when you were too small to do it properly.”

Raelin nodded, sure that her face was a study in confusion. Of course she’d done as she was told. How else was she supposed to learn how ship building was done? You learned from those who did the job, practiced under their supervision, asked questions where you didn’t understand something. That’s just how learning things worked.

Apparently Mistress Chie didn’t agree with that because she snorted and stretched her arms towards the ceiling before sighing and dropping them again. When she leaned forward to put her elbows on her knees Raelin blushed at how amused she looked.

“I haven’t had another apprentice who was this diligent, Raelin,” Mistress Chie said. “Ever. Never seen anyone who worked this hard at something, either. Not since your great-grandmother swept me up and deposited me in this city. I wasn’t that diligent when I was your age. I thought that you were looking to become my heir from the way you were acting.”

“Me?” Raelin squeaked and then winced because her voice came out so high. “No, Mistress! I just…”

She looked towards the Tourmaline Seas, her heart hurting at its condition. In the fifteen days since she’d started helping, the Tourmaline had been stripped back to the keel and the ribs with practically nothing else left. It was a skeleton of a ship, just a sketch of what she had been before the storm broke her.

Raelin still hoped that they’d be able to save the Tourmaline. A lot of the boards had been stacked off to the side and most of the trim had been saved and was being restored. It was just a process of making sure that her structure was strong before they rebuilt her. The thought of her keel being broken made Raelin’s stomach churn her hastily eaten breakfast.

It was like Uncle Jarmon’s old religious stories of the Goddesses healing the ancient ship of the stars Muirin. In the old stories the ship Muirin had limped from the Morrigan’s Berthing to here but she’d died in the end, just as they made it to the world Muirin. Just the thought of a ship dying that way made tears well up in her eyes. Tourmaline Seas had done exactly the same thing, limping into port with her crew and cargo even as she died.

“The ship itself,” Mistress Chie breathed, reaching out to catch Raelin’s chin. “It’s the ship itself that you’re working so hard for.”

“I just… will she live?” Raelin asked in a quiet little voice that showed way too much of how much she hurt at the thought of the Tourmaline Seas dying. She dashed the inappropriate tears away with the back of one hand. “Can we fix her? That’s what I really want to know. Will the Tourmaline sail again?”

Mistress Chie stared into Raelin’s eyes, amusement mixing with a sort of deep emotion that Raelin didn’t recognize. There was sadness and pride and regret and a little bit of fear in Mistress Chie’s expression though Raelin didn’t know what there was to be afraid of. After a moment of mutual study that extended long enough for Raelin’s cheeks to go blazingly red, Mistress Chie nodded once, firmly.

“Let’s find out.”

She let Raelin’s chin go and stood, striding back out of the office as if the discussion had never happened. Raelin stared after her, shocked by the sudden switch, only to scramble after Mistress Chie when she barked “Dana!” over her shoulder. Befind passed Raelin the precious clipboard and its blueprint, giving her a stern look and a fond cuff against the back of her head for her tardiness.

“Is the keel fully exposed?” Mistress Chie called to her crew.

“Almost, Mistress!” one of the senior shipwrights called back, sounding and looking thoroughly harried. “Start at the bow. We’ll have the rest done by the time you get to us.”

“You better,” Mistress Chie snapped but she was grinning and the rest of the women on the dock grinned back at her. “Dana, you’re on notes. Stick by my side.”

“Yes, Mistress!” Raelin said, her voice going squeaky again despite her efforts to keep it firm.

For the next three hours Raelin clambered over the spine of the Tourmaline, taking notes on everything that Mistress Chie found as she examined the keel and the ribs. Every time she crouched to check something on the keel Raelin held her breath for fear that this would be the sign that the Tourmaline was truly dead.

Six of the ribs on the port side had to be removed and replaced. By the time Mistress Chie and Raelin had made it to the aft and the mount for the rudder Befind had a team of women working to remove the cracked ribs. Mistress Chie nodded once they stepped out of the Tourmaline’s skeleton, brushing off her pants and shirt absently.

“So?” Raelin asked quietly enough that hopefully the other women wouldn’t overhear her being a baby about the ship.

“She’ll live,” Mistress Chie said smiling at the way Raelin gasped with delight. “There’s a long road to recovery for her but she’ll sail again. Might have them take all the ribs off and laminate on another layer of wood to strengthen the keel just in case but she’ll make it.”

Raelin managed to throttle her urge to cheer but she still made a squeak of joy. Mistress Chie laughed, ruffling Raelin’s hair before striding back towards the office. She gestured for Raelin to follow with the clipboard. Once inside the office Mistress Chie carefully unfolded the blueprint and laid it out on her desk.

She started adding instructions to the careful notes that Raelin had taken. This was to be replaced. That was to be laminated. Several places needed extra cross-braces and one set of bulkheads in the hold were to be eliminated entirely to allow for larger loads but Mistress Chie added notes on strengthening the beams all around that area.

“Do we know what happened to the Tourmaline to break her?” Raelin asked as she watched Mistress Chie’s pencil. Her handwriting was much sloppier than Raelin’s.

Mistress Chie froze and then sighed as she set the pencil down, looked over her shoulder to make sure that the door was shut and then leaned back in her chair. Her expression was black and angrier than Raelin had ever seen. Raelin held her breath, abruptly worried that she’d poked her nose into something that she should have ignored.

“Two possibilities,” Mistress Chie said without meeting Raelin’s eyes, “either they ran into a rogue wave that damn near sunk them in a matter of seconds or they tried to belly up alongside another ship and broke the hull in the process.”

“…pirates?” Raelin hissed in a shocked whisper that finally made Mistress Chie meet her eyes.

“It’s possible,” Mistress Chie said. “I’ve seen the same sort of damage from your great-grandmother’s battles. Not that severe, granted, but the same sort of thing. She used to break her ships on a regular basis. That’s why I’m here. She needed someone to repair her ships after battle.”

Raelin realized that her hands ached from gripping the edge of Mistress Chie’s desk so tightly. She let go, staring blankly at the blueprint for the Tourmaline Seas. Wouldn’t Mother have said something if the Tourmaline had been attacked by pirates? She normally ranted for days whenever pirates were reported in areas that they shipped to and from.

It took Mistress Chie putting her hand on Raelin’s shoulder for her to realize that maybe Mistress Chie wasn’t worried that the Tourmaline had been attacked by pirates. Maybe she was worried that the captain and crew had gone pirate while out at sea. The sheer thought of it made Raelin’s stomach lurch.

Aunt Kennis wouldn’t have let that happen, not after all the effort the family had put into reforming the Dana Clan’s image. Great-Grandmother Anwyn was the last pirate in their family. There was no way that it had been their ship attacking another ship.

“Time to get back to work, Dana,” Mistress Chie said.

Raelin nodded, following her back outside onto the dry dock. Her thoughts weren’t on the work they did, though. For the rest of the day Raelin tried not to think about the possibility that the Tourmaline might have attacked another ship while at sea.

She wasn’t very successful at avoiding those thoughts.

Find this book:

On Amazon $5.99 ebook

On Smashwords $5.99 ebook. Go to Smashwords.com and enter TL23Y to get Repair and Rebuild at 50% off! That’s just $3.00 in any format, including Kindle. :)

On CreateSpace 5″ x 8″ $18.99 TPB

I love writing. I love sharing my writing. I hope that you love reading what I share. If you enjoyed the story but can’t afford to buy the book please consider leaving a donation. It will help me keep writing and sharing my stories with you for a long time to come. Thank you!

Posted in Matriarchies of Muirin, MDR Publishing, Self Publishing, Writing Thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free Fiction Friday: Boiling the Oceans Away

POD Boiling the Ocean Away Ebook Cover 03
Description:
Kinipela fought with her magic, strictly controlling the need to work the weather and waves surrounding her island. The broken heart left behind by Moanna, her ex-wife, made control that much harder.

Then Kinipela’s little brother arrived with news of storm clouds approaching against the wind, pulling Kinipela out of her grief and into a battle against her heart, her magic and everything she thought she was.

Boiling the Ocean Away is a story of magic, loss, life and discovering your true self that is sure to excite.

Boiling the Ocean Away

By Meyari McFarland

Wind flowed around Kinipela, slipping gentle around her cheeks, tangling in her hair like a lover’s fingers drawn slow and gentle to comfort and tease. She could smell pineapple, sharp-sweet, on the wind. Kinipela turned away, shifting in the sand so that she would not have to look up the beach to the other homes, to the one at the far end where Moanna sat.

Moanna was signing, a happy hymn of thanksgiving to the Gods for the bounty of the sea, the fruits of the land. Her long black hair, sleek as the skin of a seal freshly emerged from the ocean, hung at her back. Even at this distance Kinipela could smell the sweat at the nook of Moanna’s neck, feel the silk of her skin, the skin she’d never touch again.

Nets. She needed to fix the nets. The goddess of the sea had been angry with Kinipela the last time she’d gone out fishing. Her nets had half a dozen holes, some tiny, one huge enough for a reef shark to slip right through.

It was her fault. The first thing that Kinipela had learned as a child was that calling the magic of the sea, the wind, while angry was dangerous. Futile. Painful. She’d watched her mother waste away as the magic raged inside of her after Kinipela’s father died.

At least death was final. Kinipela didn’t get that closure. There was no ending for her pain. Moanna had moved out of Kinipela’s home, taking her sarongs and the fine wood comb that Kinipela had carved for her. There were no songs in Kinipela’s home anymore. It was empty, lonely, abandoned by the one that had given it a heart, just as Kinipela had been abandoned, cast aside for a man with a weak jaw and shifty eyes who rarely brought home enough fish for the two of them, much less for the babies that Moanna had always wanted.

Babies. That was the real problem. Kinipela had not been able to give Moanna babies, even though she had been perfectly happy to invite men into their home for that purpose. Moanna hadn’t wanted that. She’d wanted a man of her own, not a woman who fished and fought with the magic inside of her, too stiff and stern to dance and sing with Moanna when joy ran through both their hearts.

“You’ve never had an honest emotion in your life!”

Kinipela winced, barely restraining herself from ripping the net in half. Moanna’s final words still hurt. They would always hurt. She didn’t understand, Moanna didn’t understand that magic demanded control, required strength, punished emotion. No matter how much Kinipela wanted to shout her love and pain and rage to the sky, she couldn’t. It would endanger the whole island, everyone living on it.

Lie, Kinipela whispered in the back of her mind. The mental voice sounded like Grandmother, scolding with her eyes and expecting perfection no matter what Kinipela did, felt, learned. Lie. Kinipela couldn’t possibly be strong enough to threaten them all.

The wind shifted, harsh and hard, carrying now the taste of ocean salt and the dying fish that flopped and struggled in shallow hollows after being swept up and away from their life-giving water, deposited to struggle and die on baking hot volcanic rock, crabs picking at their eyes until they died blind and gasping as salt crystals formed on their quivering bodies, every flop calling more crabs to come and feast.
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Worldbuilding Wednesday #65: How Do I Do This Thing? (Part 4)

Welcome back! Today my topic is how I create ebooks for Smashwords and Amazon based off the POD version done previously.

Now, bear in mind that this is the absolutely most basic method of creating ebooks. You’re not going to get any fancy effects and there’s always a degree of uncertainty when you’re dealing with Smashwords’ conversion program Grinder. But it will get you a file that you can put up on those two sites.

Onwards to the information overload!
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Now Available: Boiling the Ocean Away!

POD Boiling the Ocean Away Ebook Cover 03
Description:
Kinipela fought with her magic, strictly controlling the need to work the weather and waves surrounding her island. The broken heart left behind by Moanna, her ex-wife, made control that much harder.

Then Kinipela’s little brother arrived with news of storm clouds approaching against the wind, pulling Kinipela out of her grief and into a battle against her heart, her magic and everything she thought she was.

Boiling the Ocean Away is a story of magic, loss, life and discovering your true self that is sure to excite.

Find This Story

On Amazon $2.99 ebook
On Smashwords $2.99 ebook
On CreateSpace $10.99 5″ x 8″ TPB

Yay! I finally got this one up! This post, that is. The story actually went current yesterdayb ut I was just too busy to get the links posted. I hope you enjoy if you choose to read! :D

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Novel Monday: Repair and Rebuild Chapter 1

Time for a new book on Novel Mondays! *cheers* And this time I decided to go with my favorite novel from the Matriarchies of Muirin series: Repair and Rebuild. I hope you all enjoy it–check the end of the chapter for a 50% off coupon at Smashwords. :D

POD Repair and Rebuild Ebook Cover 05

Description:

Rebuilding the future that was nearly lost.

When the Tourmaline Seas limped back into port, everyone in Raelin’s family was stunned that she’d made it. She’d lost a mast and had so many holes in the hull that it was only with the Goddesses’ blessings that her crew and cargo had survived. More than anything, Raelin wanted to see her back on the seas, blue Dana sails snapping in the wind as her crew sailed around the world. To her shock, Raelin got to observe Mistress Chie, owner of Sunrise Shipyard, as she rebuilt the Tourmaline Seas.

Raelin’s joy in repairing the Tourmaline darkened as the Delbhana plotted to steal the Tourmaline away. When that didn’t work the Delbhana struck straight at the heart of the Dana Clan, trying to steal all the children, Raelin included. If she failed, Raelin knew that she might never see her family and home again.

Repair and Rebuild is a fantastic coming of age story set in the Matriarchal world of Muirin.

Chapter One: Dry Dock

“It’s really broken,” Raelin said as she followed Mother around the Tourmaline Seas’ hulk.

“Beyond broken,” Mother growled. “This is a wreck for all that it made it to shore.”

They’d paid to have the Tourmaline Seas hauled up into dry dock in the hope that it could be fixed. Raelin and Gwen had been there for that process. It had been amazing; dozens of women working in teams as they hauled on ropes. The pulleys had screeched from the weight of the Tourmaline’s bulk as it moved up out of the water and along the dry dock’s special gutter. The whole process had taken under an hour though bracing the Tourmaline so that it didn’t shift or move while the shipwrights worked on it had taken another two hours after that.

Raelin knew that realistically she wasn’t ever going to be tall enough or strong enough to handle the huge sledge hammers the women at the dry dock used to set the supports in place but she wished that she would be. The heavy thuds when they swung around and pounded the supports into position had made her grin with delight.

There was less to grin about as she picked her way across the broken deck with Mother today. After drying the Tourmaline off and scraping off the barnacles that had taken up residence under the water line, the shipwrights had found more cracks and broken boards than expected. As they’d made their way up onto the deck, Raelin had seen daylight through the hull in several spots.

“Can they save anything?” Raelin asked as she peered into the gaping hole where the first mast had been.

“Maybe the keel,” Mother said with a tired sigh. “The other masts are fractured. The hull’s a mess. Possibly some trim, the interior, the kitchen. Other than that, I don’t know.”
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Worldbuilding Wednesday #65: How Do I Do This Thing? (Part 3)

Welcome back! I’m still working on explaining how I do this self publishing thing that I do. Today’s focus is on the exact process I use to create a cover for a POD book. Hopefully this one won’t be as long as the other two but… I doubt that. *sigh*

Really, I am trying to be as thorough as possible while also not overwhelming you with information. Not easy but I’m doing my best on this.

So, today’s post is all about how to create a cover for a POD book, the one that you created last week. And once again, I’m showing the process for a POD book rather than an ebook because I use my POD cover as the basis for my ebook cover. Basically, the ebook cover is just the cropped POD cover.

Onto the tl;dr! *laughs
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Novel Monday: Artifacts of Awareness – Chapter 37 (Conclusion!)

Artifacts of Awareness Ebook Cover
Description:
Being enslaved was better than dying but only barely. Kennet did what he had to in order to survive as a slave with the knowledge that freedom would risk being found by the people who drove him into slavery. Kennet saw no reason to do anything extra for the men who bought him. They didn’t care about him and he didn’t care about them.

That was true until the royal family of Penhale purchased Kennet guard Prince Didymos. Protecting Prince Didymos from the assassins seeking to kill him dragged Kennet into the world of national politics and onwards to face an enemy that threatened to destroy not just Kennet but the whole world.

Kennet didn’t want to deal with any of it, the assassins or the magic that lurked around him but if he wanted to survive, Kennet would have to not just face down the threats surrounding them but also track the assassins back to their shadowy leader.

What he found at the source of the chaos changed Kennet in ways he could never have anticipated, taking him in all new directions. Hopefully Kennet’s new skills would be enough to let him save the world, his lovers and himself.

Artifacts of Awareness

By Meyari McFarland

37: Is it Over?

Kennet woke to the now familiar-unfamiliar feeling of soft blankets over him, a warm body next to him, and a soft bed underneath him. He could feel Na’im the back of his mind, quietly controlling their shared body so that Kennet didn’t strike out and hurt… Toma.

Yes, it was Toma snoring softly on Kennet’s shoulder. Fortunately, Toma had chosen the shoulder that hadn’t been dislocated or Kennet probably wouldn’t have slept this well. He reconsidered that a moment later. His ribs felt fine. The wrist was still wrapped but Kennet could tell that it was healed up. Every injury that he’d gotten in the battle seemed to be gone. Na’im’s quiet amusement answered what had happened there though Kennet was pretty sure that he was still very low on power just from the way he lurked silently in the back of Kennet’s mind.

The next thing he noticed was the quiet sound of Dimi sharpening his knives on the other side of the room. It made him smile because somehow over the last few weeks the sound had become soothing, calming. If Dimi had time to carefully and methodically sharpen his many knives then things had to be calm and boring outside. Deep inside, Kennet knew that he could relax and allow himself to wake up slowing with Dimi on guard.

“That’s nice,” Kennet murmured quietly enough that Toma just snuffled something and sighed.

“The knives?” Dimi asked, equally quietly. He was smiling at them when Kennet open his eyes. “Toma asked me to sharpen them. He claims that the sound is comforting. I always found it quite threatening, personally. That’s why I like doing it when people are being stupid in meetings.”

“If you got time to sharpen your knives then it’s safe to relax,” Kennet explained.

Dimi laughed, shrugging his agreement with that as he continued his sharpening. His laughter woke Toma who gasped and sat up with one hand in the center of Kennet’s chest. He looked as though he expected Kennet to be beaten to shit. Seeing that he was perfectly fine made Toma blink and then run careful hands over Kennet’s chest and shoulders, one hand going down to his formerly broken wrist.

“You can take that off,” Kennet said while grinning at Toma’s excessive gentleness. “It’s healed now. I only need to stabilize it until I got enough power back to fix the break.”

“You’re sure?” Toma asked. “Really? You didn’t want it removed when you went to the bathroom earlier.”
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