Dragons in the Deep: Novel Announcement

Last month, before the craziness of NaNoWriMo descended once again, I finally completed 2014’s NaNo-novel. The fourth in the Stone Dragon SagaDragons in the Deep is currently with my proof and beta readers before the next round of editing begins. In the meantime, I wanted to share a little excerpt from the book with you. (if you would like to see the other books in the series, my author page can be found here and the first book in the series, Dragon on My Neck, is available here)

Let me catch you up: It has been a while since the end of Dragon on the Green. Passiona has folded herself into society life, Anna and Jane have graduate college and become ‘real adults’, Al and his siblings have continued to live with their humans, and a new discovery has shaken up their existence. There is a ship, a pirate ship, that sank in warm Caribbean waters 400 years ago. This pirate ship, mentioned in a king’s holdings and suspiciously otherwise invisible, just may hold the key to finding Al’s parents, and ending Passiona’s bid on domination. There are new characters, new settings, and a different style of writing in this book that I hope you will enjoy…and that will seamlessly flow with the previous 3.

Without further ado…I give you Dragons in the Deep: an excerpt – 

“This can’t be real,” Zachary whistled in appreciation, “I’ve never seen anything like it!”

“I don’t think anyone has,” Garron breathed the words out almost reverently, staring in amazement at the scene spread before him on the screen and itching to suit up and dive down to the real thing.

“She looks like she could be on the water, instead of under it,” Lance leaned around Garron’s seated figure to get a better look, “Oh boy, what is that girl doing?”

“Nickel,” Garron hit the call button and startled her out of a staring match with a clown fish, “Have you found something of interest?”

“Well I don’t know,” Nickel admitted, turning back to her perusal of the railings. “I haven’t ever seen ship railings covered in designs like this. I think they’re ancient runes and possibly base Latin words but I’ll have to scan these pictures in to be able to translate anything.”

“I’ve seen a few ships with decorative railings,” Flynn drawled, swimming up beside his partner, “But never ones with decoration on every railing and doorway. Even that mast has some marking at its base.”

“What really gets to me,” Nickel added, “Is that we can make out words. After all of this time under the water the marking should be worn down to an almost indistinguishable smoothness. Instead, the relief is as deep and well defined as if it were carved yesterday.”

“Look at this figure head,” Flynn whistled between his teeth, reaching out a tentative hand to feel the woodworked body. “Normally you find women at the head of a ship, but this…this is something amazing. Almost like a Viking ship, but with a Latin flair. Nickel, take a picture!”

“Hurry up you two,” Lance piped in over their earphones, “You’ve been down there almost an hour and that’s plenty for a first dive!”

“Nickel, snap the picture and come on back,” Garron added, “And bring my bone headed brother with you please! He’s starting to wander off again.”

“Aye aye Captain,” Nickel laughingly agreed, quickly swimming out to take a picture of the astounding figure head before catching Flynn, who was busy attempting to open an apparently locked door to a deck cabin. “You heard the men Flynn,” she giggled at her own rhyme, “Time to go on up to our ship man. We’ll come back down soon.”

“Yes we will,” Flynn agreed, noting the low oxygen in their tanks, “We will be back with tools and time.” This promise was more to the ship than to themselves and, as the duo slowly rose to the surface, the ship seemed to watch them and in watching them, the ship knew that it was time too for long kept secrets to be revealed.

excerpt: Chapter 9, Dragons in the Deep by Elizabeth S. Tyree, copyright 2015

Novel Plotting – NaNoWriMo and Writing Advice

This is a video I posted to my YouTube channel a few days ago concerning the ideas of pantsing vs. plotting. I like to call this approach plotlining by the seat of your pants…but that’s just me!

I hope that you enjoy the video! Let me know what you think in the comments, either there or here, and if you like it let me know with a thumbs up as well! (My channel isn’t very old or popular yet so I’m shamelessly begging now! 😀 )

Have a great day!

Dragon on My Neck – For Teachers!

I am very excited to let you all know that, along with writing, I have now started a TPT seller’s page. This page currently includes reviews and quizzes for Barbara Hay’s The Ill-Gotten Catfish, and Tim Tingle’s How I Became a Ghost, as well as Quizzes, Pronunciation, Writing Prompts, and Lesson ideas for the first 3 chapters of Dragon on My Neck. 

While you can find all of these things on my TPT site: HERE, and find the books on Amazon.com: Here, Here, and Here; I have a special offer for you teachers.

I am well aware of how much money we make, and how much out of pocket most teachers spend to make the learning experience more fun and easier for all those involved. So here’s the deal: If you are a teacher looking to purchase one or more classroom copies of Dragon on My Neck, or an entire set of the Stone Dragon Saga, you are invited to contact me here, or message me via our Facebook page Tyree Tomes. I will give you a large discount on the books and, if you would like, will even have them shipped to my house, where I will autograph them for you before sending them on your class.

If you would like to utilize the quizzes, lesson ideas, and suggested vocabulary sheets I have set up, I will also provide those at a large discount for you! I am really not looking to make a fortune off of these things, I just want to get the books into hands that will enjoy and use them, and hopefully learn something in the process!

If you, or someone you know, might be interested, Please let me know! You can look at a few preview pages on TeachersPayTeachers if you’re curious about the set up.

**UPDATE** I forgot to put this in originally but I am willing to visit your classroom, either in person or through Skype/Facetime calls, and discuss writing, ELA, my books, and even the connections with other topics, such as Science or Social Studies. Possible activities include a ‘special’ lesson for me to teach (corresponding to your content area and current lessons of course), writing with the students, discussing books, discussing Dragon on My Neck (or the other books in the series), and so on. I would like to think that this could be considered a great reward for students who work hard or a classroom reward for everyone making a certain percentage on their quarter grades etc.

Thank you and have a marvelous Day!

Character Love

I know that I am a mere character in someone’s book. I have suspected for some time now that I might be; all the signs point in that direction. No memories of my early life until, SUDDENLY, it appears…a perfect flashback. Mainly, though, I seem to cease for long periods of time. I just hang there, suspended in the middle of whatever activity was going on at the time. I once lay in the grass and looked at stars for 86 hours. How in the world do you explain that? No bathroom breaks, no conversations, no changing of the light and fading of the stars, and no movement of the earth on its axis: just me, laying in the itchy cold germ infested grass for 3 ½ days. That’s just not natural.

One day, though, it ended. I was buffed and polished and given my own version of happily ever after…or as happily ever after as the best friend gets (seriously, she got the man of her dreams, a huge wedding, and a new castle-like home, I couldn’t even get a bridesmaid to look at me, the emotionally damaged best man). So I went on, living in the pool house, working a wonderful job, and they all lived… Until it started over. Dozens of ‘me’ are jotting around being read by random people. Sometimes a few pages and then shelved and started over days later by someone else, sometimes more, sometimes much less.

I learned to survive with my own company, sometimes even being so lucky as to be suspended in time while with my friends so that we could at least converse and make faces at each other. But then, she arrived. The woman who would change my life and allow me to soar…the woman who bought my book.

She is beautiful, with long dark hair that softly tickles my story as she reads and glintingly golden eyes that shine with her emotions each and every time she pores over the tale. The first time she read the book, my woman (who I would later learn is named Alicia) immediately called her own best friend to share her find. “You have to read this Sar,” she gushed, “I think I’m in love with Carl, the best friend. I wish I could find a funny man like that!” I smiled, sitting in my end position of pool side bliss, and thought “I love you too my dark haired beauty.”

The second time she read the book she called her book club president to beg for a discussion on my story, the next month there were 8 women and 3 men who clutched their own shiny new copies of the book, 11 people sighing over the story and touting the characters; Alicia the most vocal.

The last time she read my book, she had just broken up with a horrendously boring and sarcastic man. Alicia poured over the book, slowly reading any scene that I was in and crying in all the levels of sound possible. I wanted to reach out and wipe her tears, I was desperate to tuck her hair behind her ears, I stretched and pushed….I would be this close and then a page turn would happen. So I wished, and hoped, and tried, and prayed. Late that night, as she was finally snoring peacefully, I realized that the book had been left open beside her. I wasn’t in that part of the story, having gone away for the chapter, but I just KNEW that if I could there; well, I could get to her.

I was right. It took most of the night and all of my concentration, but I finally felt a pop in the thin veil that keeps our worlds apart. It was like moving through Jello, but I made it just in time for Alicia to punch me out.

When I came to, Alicia had me hog tied and covered by a police man…but she was more concerned that half of her book seemed to have been blanked out. That was all this morning, and I am now sitting in a tiny cell, in a tiny jail, waiting for my love. We’ll see how long it takes her to believe me. All because I fell in love with the woman who read my story, instead of my best friend’s.

 

Tyree Tomes Friday

WooHoo! Dr. Wilson Jay Tyree’s book o’ the week, Ministerial Musings, has surpassed the 200+ mark in this week’s giveaway! If you have not downloaded your free copy yet, please hurry. The giveaway ends at midnight tonight. Never fear though my friends, his new children’s book, Monsoon McKreel and the Rose, will be available for free download beginning Monday, May 19th!

Also beginning on Monday, May 19th, will be a three day give away for the third book in my Stone Dragon Saga, Dragon on the Green.

We are both constantly working on new articles, short stories, and books so don’t forget to follow us on Facebook at Tyree Tomes for updates, debates, and big news from the Tyree family authors. We’re ten ‘likes’ away from someone winning a free hardback, personalized copy of one of our books. Hurry over so you can be in the running. And please don’t forget to tell us what you think about our books. Good or bad, all comments are appreciated….otherwise we can’t fix whatever isn’t working for you!

Have a Blessed Weekend!

My House

Well folks, Mom is sick so I got drafted into teaching the second grade today. I may come up with some brilliant stunner of a post while I’m gone, but until then I will leave you with the first chapter of My House. My House is a novel I wrote years ago, back when I first hit college I believe. I’m thinking of using it as an outline and revamping the piece now that I know more about writing.

Let me know what you think?? Have a great day!

 

Chapter One

        Three small children are playing on a trampoline in the front yard while a woman (their grandmother?) watches from a walker on the front porch. A bird calls, a dog barks, cars go by…it’s a perfect picture of suburbia, but all I see is the house next door. A little more run down than the rest of the houses on this particular street, with its peeling blue paint, rusty gray porch, and light yellow door faded to a streaked dirty brown. Oh how I remember that door and the year we painted it. Billy was home from college and Dee had no summer school classes (for the first time that any of us could remember) the younger kids were at summer camp so it was just us three oldest. That was a great summer! With the three little brats out of the way at camp we got all of the attention that mom and dad had been wasting on them. They played ball with us, cooked our favorite meals, took us swimming and let us choose the new colors for the house. My brothers picked the blue of the house and the silver of the porch, making it look like a warm summer’s night, but I – I got to choose the color of the door. Everyone else on the block had boring doors, all different shades of brown and black, but our house was going to be different, pretty. It should, no HAD TO match the feel of the rest of the house. I spent hours contemplating that door color. As the boys painted the house and the porch, I would watch all of the colors of life go by in the form of birds, butterflies, flowers, people’s clothes, and whatever else I could see. Finally, I chose a warm, buttery yellow because of its happiness. It reminded me of sunflowers and those truly happy smiles that light up a person’s entire face. I thought it was the perfect color to remind us of the sun and summer during the rain and snow of the upcoming seasons.

            After spending so much time choosing just the right shade for our front door, it seemed like the painting was finished too quickly. A mere four hours after I told my father the final color choice, the door was painted and drying. My brothers made fun of me for taking so long in my decision, but I didn’t care, the color was absolutely gorgeous and just perfect for the blue house.

            I hadn’t realized that I had crossed the street and was touching the door until the deep voice behind me startled me back to reality.

            “Can I help you” he inquired, sweeping his gorgeous green eyes over me and taking in everything he saw quickly and efficiently. “I’m the realtor if you have any questions or want to take a look inside.”

            That caught me off guard, no on had told me he was selling our house.

            “It’s for sale?” I asked, stupidly stumbling over the surprise as well as the intense look on his face.

            “Yeah,” he replied, looking bewildered, “Didn’t you see the sign, its right over there?”

            Now I felt really stupid, the sign he pointed out was directly in front of me.

            “Oh, no I didn’t see that and Billy didn’t tell me about it either.” I sounded more upset than I really was, but then I did have a lot to be upset about.

            “Billy? Your husband?” He asked quickly, furtively glancing at my left hand for any telling rings.

            “Billy? No” I laughed as I took in his relieved expression. “He’s my big brother, and the owner of this house.”

            “Oh, OH you’re Kit McKlain” he exclaimed, stumbling over his words. His body language became shy, almost scared. No longer was he the bold, sexy realtor hoping to make a sell, but a small, scared little by, hoping the neighborhood bully wouldn’t take his lunch money. I’m so used to this reaction that I barely notice it anymore. When people find out my name, they have a tendency to react in a very similar fashion. My family has the ability to scare the pants off most people.

            “Don’t worry” I rushed to assure him, “Billy hasn’t told me because we rarely speak anymore.”

            “Really?” he asked, “I’m sorry.”

            “It’s okay, not something I usually talk about with strangers, but still okay. Any yes, I would love to take a look inside.”

            “Great!! I’ll get the keys, and by the way, my name is Nikolas.” He said as he jogged down the street toward his glossy black truck.

            As I stood there waiting for him to return with the keys, I let my mind drift back to that summer.

Aside

What are you “Writing” Wednesday

Since my decision to be a part of Camp NaNoWriMo this month, writing has taken up most of my usual reading time. Since I know that several of you are in the same boat, or should be anyway *hint, hint*, I have decided to dedicate my usual reading Wednesday to writing.

What are you writing about? If you aren’t writing, what do you wish you were writing about?

Are you taking part in Camp? If so, have you attended any virtual write ins or weekend writing sprints?

So far, I have written almost 3,000 words…I need to step up my game! But I am finally about to introduce both factions of characters (old and new) to each other in what should be a rollicking good time for everyone reading who isn’t an actual character! I am really looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Join us at http://www.campnanowrimo.org

(please excuse the long links…I haven’t quite figured out how to make hyperlinks work!)

I would love to hear what you are working on right now! Or even what you are reading, if you aren’t a slave to the pen and ink at the moment, so leave me a comment and let me know what goes on in the real world 😉

 

Aside

Note Cards and Outlines

I have a very simple and complex way of writing. Simple because I sit down with pen and paper and just write. I write what is flowing through my mind, it streams down the nerves and muscles into my hand, where the words drain into ink form and splatter across the page. Nothing convoluted about the process. However, the complex part begins soon after.

Many of the other writers I know, including those who teach the subject, tout the almost sublime attributes of a good outline. Most use a distinct outline format of flow charts, bulleted lists, painstakingly drawn out maps of characters and places, and the occasional snap shot. I don’t do that. If I begin an outline, I invariably forget the part about ‘outlining’ and begin the actual story. I sometimes make it as far as a second bullet on the list before sentences start spurting out, but not often.

No, the complexity of my work begins somewhere in the middle of a first draft. My characters are in the midst of a big action sequence (or a long, drawn out flight) and I suddenly can’t remember who stayed in England to begin with; and that is where the notecards come in. I have stacks upon stacks of notecards for each book. Cast of Characters in a conveniently numbered and color coded pile, followed by important places, car/house/business/ship names, pet names, and every once in a while, a quote so that I don’t forget to put it in.

Line after line scrawled on 3×5 squares in varying shades of bright ink with little numbers circled in the upper right hand corners so I don’t get them out of order. TWO note card holders busting at the seams in an attempt to contain them all, and I still forget a name from time to time. I suppose even notecards do not make my brain perfect (although I am close to it…if I do say so myself!).

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My actual notecards for the newest Stone Dragon Saga book. Begun around midnight last night…I don’t think they’ll fit in the green holder.

Do you have any certain ways of keeping yourself organized? I would love to hear how you do it!

 

 

 

 

Reading Wednesday

I honestly don’t know what it is about Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief that causes me to be so slow in reading it. For some reason, I just can’t seem to make myself sit down and dive in. I am enjoying the odd narration style and the plotline, however, and hope to wade in a bit more deeply over the next few days.

Also on the docket this week is City of Glass, the third book in Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series. Having read the first two (City of Bones and City of Ashes) I am crossing my fingers that this book will help me sort out my feelings toward the characters.

I do have several other books in line, vying for my attention, but those two are my only ‘firm’ choices for the moment.

So what is on your list? Are you currently reading something that has you on the edge of your seat? Do you have a novel that is giving you trouble? Or perhaps some articles you just can’t seem to quit scrolling? I love to hear from you all so please comment below!

Just Sleep!

I went to bed almost two hours earlier than usual. Exhausted, I hoped to get settled down fairly quickly and at least gain a little extra sleep time. I cleared my bed of all the usual notebooks and colored pens that litter almost every surface I spend any time around and reached to turn of the light…BAM!

I spent the next hour writing a chapter and half (or so) of my newest novel. Finally at a point where I had nothing more to say for the moment, I quickly put all away, crawled under my fluffy comforter, snapped off the lamp and thought…maybe I should blog about it.

REALLY? REALLY ELIZABETH??

JUST SLEEP ALREADY!!

 

But I can’t sleep, at least not until I write it all out. Laying in the dark, tortured by my beloved words doesn’t do me any good. I can’t get any sleep with them clogged ad stagnating, choking me, almost angrily waiting for me to get up and allow them to be written. What right do I have to sleep when such mad forces are awaiting my hand?

Oh well, at least I’m not just binging on Netflix again!

(This picture of I took of Pickles, a rescued sea turtle who lives at the Corpus Christie Aquarium {one of my most favorite places to while away the time} has absolutely nothing at all to do with the post…EXCEPT that I wrote a scene last night including an angry sea turtle, and she seems to fit the bill. Enjoy! )