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Cover Reveal

Exile Bound – Cover Reveal!

Exile Bound

I’m so excited that I finally get to reveal the cover for Exile Bound, the fifth book of the Fates of the Bound series. I do not yet have an official release date, but it is due out in NOVEMBER! I’ll let everyone know when I plan to put it up for pre-order.

If you want to get news like this first, make sure to sign up for my newsletter!

-Wren

World War II – Week Two

World War II – Week Two

World War II Banner

Once a day, I check the news from the @RealTimeWWII Twitter feed.

Okay. Fine. I refresh it multiple times a day. Each tweet fascinates and horrifies me. It’s unnerving to see how quickly hostilities escalated in Poland. During the second week of the war, more cities (like Krakow and Lodz) fell to the advancing German army. Even after so much destruction, I find it amazing that the UK Ministry of Information thought the war wouldn’t more than last three years. Maybe they thought the Germans would run out of cities to bomb? Or maybe they thought the Germans would stop, since the Nazi Party had chosen the theme “Rally of Peace” for their annual rally (before canceling it due to the invasion).

In any case, what are my thoughts on the war this week?

1) A nation’s military may fall quickly, but groups of soldiers can prove far more resilient.

I already “knew” this from reading about guerilla warfare and just being alive during the various conflicts in the Middle East. But to see a tweet that talks about the Polish Air Force “ceasing to exist” to the point where the Germans can just bomb cities at will? Wow. It took two weeks. That’s it. And then they had no planes at all.

Contrast that with how long pockets of Polish fighters held out against the German army. For instance, a Polish garrison of 209 soldiers (in Westerplatte) held out for seven days. In Wizna, 720 soldiers kept 42,000 soldiers and 300 tanks back for three days. Yes, they did fall, but so few held back so many for a relatively long time.

2) Everyone must band together, but do you really know your friends and neighbors?

I saw a tweet about people fleeing Warsaw in droves. However, thousands of people who remained behind dug defensive trenches around city to slow the German Panzers down. Contrast that with one boy’s observations in Lodz. After the Germans took it, ethnic Germans waved the flags of their captors.

It’s a bit naive to think that could never happen again.

3) Shortages. Shortages Everywhere.

The UK government might have thought the war wouldn’t last more than three years, but they certainly prepared for the worst. They actually persuaded their citizens to kill their pets. 750,000 cats & dogs died in the slaughter. The government stressed it would be more humane to kill them, rather than let them die in air raids or starve during rationing.

I’m not going to judge. It was a different time and a lot of people sent their own children away to avoid the air raids. However, a lot of pets died. I had never before thought about what happened to pets in a war zone.

Also, food shortages didn’t just affect pets. They impacted Polish troops as well, forcing them to surrender in some locations when food and medical supplies ran out. Even Germany began to ration its citizens.

4) Friendly Fire

Last week, a German sub shot down a passenger liner on accident (though they sank three armed merchant ships this week on purpose). The Brits had similar cases of mistaken identity, as one of their fighter planes shot down their own aircraft and one of their subs torpedoed another British sub, mistaking it for a German U-boat.

5) More Propaganda

As mentioned before, a German sub sank a passenger liner last week. How did Germany answer? They alleged that the British sank the boat (filled with over a hundred of their own citizens). They also broadcast a radio program, claiming that Warsaw had fallen to Germany. Panic ensued in Poland until the citizenry realized it came from a portable German transmitter.

Noted Propagandist Goebbels also began releasing his first “newsreels.”

6) Politicians Gonna Politick

I sometimes forget how politicians can inject unnecessary drama and politics into any situation. Apparently, when Canada declared war on Germany, their parliament waited a week after Britain’s announcement to prove they were independent from the Crown.

It’s amazing the stuff you learn by following (and commenting on) projects like this. People are people. They bring their crap with them, and they do not always behave in a rational manner.

Just more stuff to keep in mind while I’m writing.

-Wren

A Closer Look: Fates of the Bound

Where Did I Get the Idea for the Fates of the Bound Series?

A Closer Look

Many moons ago, I wrote down a backstory/flashback sequence that had gotten stuck in my head. It began with armed men, barging into a young family’s home. The parents hid their daughter, a five-year-old girl who had been blessed with the sight. She would have become the oracle one day for her city.

In the world she inhabited, oracles didn’t have normal childhoods. They served their villages as some sort of mix between a pastor, leader, general, and judge. They also didn’t have much freedom. Think of child stars. We’re talking about that level of craziness and press. Since her parents wanted her to have a normal childhood, they had taken her away and hid her, electing to have her decide if she wanted to take up the oracle’s position after she came of age.

The armed men had other plans.

That was the first writing I did on Fates of the Bound. After a few chapters, I stopped to flesh out the world this character would inhabit, jotting down about fifteen pages of typed notes. I knew I wanted a matriarchal society because I wanted to populate the story with a lot of confident female characters. I also wanted to flip some of the stereotypes/tropes we have about men in romance novels. At some point, I had this image of one character in particular I wanted to add, a militia chief who gets thrown into the oracle’s world. I knew she would be the bridge between the families and the oracles, I just didn’t know how.

Then I realized I was way more excited about Lila Randolph than my original idea.

-Wren

World War II – Week One

World War II – Week One

It’s rare when two things you like come together to make something even more awesome, like peanut butter and chocolate, tea and milk, cats and boxes…

Or Twitter and history?

Last week, I had the good fortune of seeing a tweet like this one, extolling the @RealTimeWWII Twitter feed:

ww2tweet

Curious, I went to take a look.

I’m kind of obsessed now.

What is the @RealTimeWWII feed about? Six years ago Alwyn Collinson decided to live tweet World War II. The entire war. He finished up a few weeks ago and decided restart the project on September 1st. I greatly recommend the feed to anyone who enjoys learning more about history. I’ve been following it partly because it’s interesting and partly because I tend to write stories with shades of dystopia (whether I want to or not). As such, I’d like a better understanding of how wars start, how they progress, and more importantly, how do people react when things start to go sideways.

What are my thoughts on the first week of World War II?

1) Propaganda is a powerful tool.

We all know this, but I didn’t realize that World War II began with propaganda and a false flag operation.

ww2tweet

German soldiers attacked a German radio station, then blamed Polish citizens. Germany even took people from their concentration camps (already in operation), killed them as invading Poles, and used their corpses as — for want of a better word — props. Hitler called the “attack” a “border violation” and referred to his attacking army of 1.5 million soldiers as a “defensive force.” A defensive force, I might add, that seemed ready and well-provisioned immediately after this “random” attack. As an extra little !#@$ you, Hitler also claimed the Poles had “mistreated minorities.”

Seriously.

2) Things moved QUICKLY.

The same day that the Germans attacked their own radio station, they flew over a Polish town and began bombing civilians in retaliation. They also used a battleship to destroy a second Polish town, one the ship “just happened” to be near. The next day, they began destroying an additional three towns. In less than a week, the Germans had bombed over twenty Polish cities.

I was trying to sort out what that would be like, if the same thing had happened in the United States. That’s like Austin, San Antonio, Brownsville, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Waco, El Paso, pretty much every large Texas city getting bombed and invaded in a few days. It just seems crazy, especially since this took place in 1939. I think we have this sense that everything happened at a much slower pace back then.

Obviously World War II didn’t get the memo.

Also on that first day, Britain began evacuating children from large cities since they had a defense treaty with Poland. Within four days, Britain and France (among others) had declared war on Germany. That seems so fast. It just boggles my mind.

3) Logistical problems are a serious concern.

In Poland, reservist had trouble getting to the front lines (or had trouble retreating from them) due to fleeing civilians. They also had a huge press of men wanting to enlist, but they had no equipment for them to use. Their outnumbered and out-of-date air force couldn’t compete against the Germany forces, either.

One army was prepared. One wasn’t.

4) Fear makes people do terrible things.

Shortly after Chamberlain addressed the British citizenry, an air raid siren went off in London. People panicked and fled to the bomb shelters, thinking it was a real attack. In Poland, pro-Nazi snipers (not German military) in a Polish town started shooting at retreating Polish soldiers. The Polish soldiers murdered hundreds of “ethnic German civilians” in retribution. On the other side, Germans rounded up thousands of Polish citizens after they’d taken their town, then shot any men who had any sort of weapon. When Polish citizens tried to flee, soldiers turned their machine guns on the crowd, killing hundreds.

Maybe it’s naive, but the number of people who died in the first few days surprised me. Thousands. The number of towns destroyed by the Germans surprised me, too.

5) War is Profit.

This tweet speaks for itself and turns my stomach.

ww2tweet

I plan to keep reading through these World War II tweets and posting my thoughts about them in the coming months.

-Wren

Flying Monkeys Ate My T-shirt

Flying Monkeys Ate My T-shirt

forged absolution

With every finished draft or new release, comes a new present from ME to ME – a coffee mug, a wine glass, a fun t-shirt. It’s how I stay motivated. Earlier this week, I bought myself a new t-shirt to add to my rotation.

Alas, the flying monkeys that usually deliver my prezzies (Amazon) got hungry along the way.

LADIES, THEY ATE MY SHIRT!

Okay, maybe they didn’t eat it, but apparently something happened. I was told the package was damaged in transit, and they refunded me for my purchase. I didn’t even have to do anything.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds like flying monkeys to me. I think they must have gotten into even more trouble along the way since I didn’t have to do a thing.

Maybe they had a rumble with a bunch of storks?

In any case, Forged Absolution is finally OUT. Book four has been released!

Click on the cover to find out where you can pick up a copy!

Works in Progress for August 2017

Works in Progress for August 2017

Work in Progress Banner

I’ve spent most of my time doing three things this August: hiding from the Texas sun, imbibing copious amounts of fruit smoothies whenever I could not, and converting five short stories into a novel. The genre is paranormal romance, and it’s set in the Old West at the turn of the century.

Mages and demons and revolvers abound!

So do gorgeous Victorian dresses, corsets, petticoats, and *gasp* bloomers (obviously, I mean, it IS a romance).

At least this time I have narrowed my genre mash to TWO genres, rather than four. :p

The novel follows the fashionable Rose Jessup and her sister Lilian, two powerful mages who travel through the South capturing demons as familiars (so long as they aren’t too dangerous) or banishing them to the demon realm. This trip, they meet their match when another demon hunter stumbles across their path.

A handsome demon hunter, of course.

When will I publish this one? Hrmm…good question. I do have a slot free in October if my fingers unclench from the draft by then. Otherwise, I might just release it early next year. I’d like to turn this one into a series of short novels, but I’m not sure about the interest level in such a weird mix of genres.

In any case, I also finished a last read through of my new science fiction romance novelette, “The Becoming of the Twenty,” and published it earlier this month. I plan to write more novelettes and novellas about Magnolia Station, the Ecliptic, and the fallout from Lune’s choice. If all goes well, I’m going to start a new one either this weekend or early next week!