#WednesdayWIP

Covers … covers … I get teased all the time about the changing of my book covers. Just as I don’t like wearing the same outfit every day, why should I have the same book cover? It’s not like I’m changing the name of the book. When my publisher says we have this great idea, arguing seems like a truly stupid plan. So yes, our beloved covers are going to be changed …

harbor2

in honor of this image’s retirement, I thought it would be fun to do a blog entry bidding it a tearful adieu.

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#ThrowbackThursday

This is from the second diary in our Haven series, Helm Abomination. Verity went from the frying pan … straight into a nuclear reactor. Enjoy!

helm

Eric, Maddox, Crane, and Talon landed and drew their weapons. For these guys all to be this uneasy we had to be on the trail of something bad. I pulled my own sword and braced my stance. Eric flanked me, “We think there’s a Snee Ne-Iq here.”

God. Bless. You.

Why do I even have to ask at this point?

Talon guessed my frustration, “She’s a cannibal. Usually she just sleeps, but we believe she snatched a kid.”

“Otherwise we would leave her alone,” Wren finished.

Then I felt it. I whirled around to the mountain face and braced my body. The others followed suit. “Why are you guys still on the ground?”

“We’re high in the mountains in British Columbia. The air can be way too thin to keep aloft. It’ll be more effective if we don’t even try. Think you can handle fighting next to us for a change?” Wren winked.

“Definitely,” I quipped, “bring it on, bird man.”

Pop goes the weasel, or the Snee Ne-Iq in this case.

Usually, the first time I catch sight of one of these things that I was created to spot for my friends, my brain reels in a desperate attempt to process the pieces of the creature, so I don’t freeze up at the whole horrific picture.

The Snee Ne-Iq just looked like a woman.

A cave woman, but nothing so out of my realm of experience that my brain did the stop and stare. Or freeze and freak.

Her hair was in serious need of conditioner and a comb. She was wearing what looked like animal hides, sewn together by a blind guy, and she had long strips of leather braided over her legs to make some kind of crude boots. I couldn’t tell what color her skin was because it was so covered with dirt.

But she was no different from any other female.

When she reached the summit and saw us, she froze. Turning to the side, the Snee Ne-Iq pulled a short dagger from her belt. This is when I saw it. On her back she had a pannier, one of those things Robin Hood uses to carry his arrows? Well, this woman’s backpack had a kid inside.

A terrified little girl.

My anger flared, blistering me past caring of any outcome or problems. I saw a flash of red, and I charged. Who did this bitch think she was? Eating little girls? There’s a McDonald’s like every five minutes in my country. We are the fattest nation in the world. Canada couldn’t be much different. There was no justifiable reason to snack on tiny people. Kids have it tough enough as it is.

Have you seen how many books they have to carry home every day from school? Most of them use rolling suitcases because they’re so heavy.

I guess I’ve been paying more attention in my training than I realized.

The guys were beside me, and whenever they got close enough they pushed me back behind them. At least they were trying. The Snee Nee-Iq was more powerful than any of us realized, and she could move like lightning when her safety was in jeopardy. Then Talon went down.

These guys were ruthless and unstoppable in the air.

On the ground, they were out of their league.

Which was when the quicksilver movements of the Snee Nee-Iq took out Wren.

Eric and Crane moved to cover their fallen comrades.

Which left Maddox and me. Oh good. You know it’s going to be a crap day when you have to fight side-by-side to save the life of a kid you don’t know with a guy who hates your guts.

And wants to marry your fourteen year old little sister.

This can’t be my life.

#WednesdayWIP

It was no small shock to come to the end of my Haven series … and discover a whole new story. Technically this isn’t a WIP, since it comes out in a week, but here’s a piece from HARBOR ABSOLUTION, hope you like it.

Eric came into the farmhouse with a hesitant step. “Verity,” he swallowed hard, “we need you to come outside.”

Ignoring him seemed like the wisest choice.

“Help us. Please?”

“I am not the ruler of Helm.”

“You are all we have.”

“Sucks to be you, huh?”

“Verity,” crouching beside me I watched from a disinterested space as he laid his hand on my arm. I couldn’t feel him. I couldn’t feel anything. “Verity, there’s a situation outside, girl. A bad one. We need you to lead us.”

“The last time I tried to lead, I got half of you killed.”

“No, girl,” his sigh made my hair move. I still felt … nothing. “The war is Cass’s fault. Not yours. No one blames you.”

“I blame myself.”

“We still need you, honey. Please come outside.”

Last time I went outside the slate tile where I stood dissolved into my bare feet and slowly moved up my legs. Looking down, I was not surprised to see that I was covered with a striped pattern, marking the places where I absorbed stone. The universe will always provide when you know how to ask. My problem was that I had asked not to feel any pain anymore. Not to feel anything at all.

So its solution was to turn me to stone.

I secretly hoped that someone would put me in the garden when there was nothing left of me but a pretty Verity statue, dressed in a miniskirt and baby doll tank.

And a great pair of heels.

Girl priorities. Get used to it.

He pulled my body from the chair where I sat staring into my Grandma’s empty hearth locked in the pain of the past. I had no family any more. Parents were gone. Grandma disappeared. Sister close to death last time I saw her, probably dead by now. Brother had been gone so long I was sure he was toast as well. Isn’t there some famous quote about being a destroyer? Oh yeah. J. Robert Oppenheimer said it at the trinity test in New Mexico. Of course, he stole it from the Bhagavad Gita. I guess I get to do some theft on him. “Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.”

That. Was. Me.

#FridayFeeling

From the final installment of Haven, HARBOR ABSOLUTION

“You lost the God-squad?”

Right. Willow’s bellow got me to refocus on the issue at hand. My sister and her friend’s pending mutiny. Tell me something. Do other teenagers have problems like these?

“They weren’t helping as much as watching.”

“Even watching is better than nothing,” Willow said.cropped-haven-opt1.jpg

Stepping in between the budding feud between Kai and the resident witch, oh, our only witch, seemed wise at that point. Crap. We need Willow. “It was the best thing to do under the circumstances. You have to understand, if they’re not willing to help all of us what good are they?”

#FridayFreebies #FridayReads

Eric came to a skidding halt next to the bed. “How is he?”

Maddox folded his arms over his chest and glared at us. “I believe this to be unwise. Haydn needs his rest.”

“I’ll rest better if I know she’s okay.”

So I blocked out everyone and everything. I moved closer to the bed and took the hand he held out to me. The smell in the air was more fire crackles, just after you tossed the autumn leaves on. I could sense no sweetness at all. What does that mean?

“How are you?”

“Recuperating,” he promised. My eyes caressed the pale drawn look on his face, the deep circles under his eyes, and lines of pain pulling at his mouth. “How are you?”

“I’m fine,” I hiccupped as I tried to keep back my tears.

“Please spare us,” Maddox drawled.

Haydn started to pull himself up, and needed both Eric and Maddox to help him. When he was settled on the cushions, he glared at his friends. “Leave us alone,” he ordered.

My happiness when they obeyed was impossible to hide.

“Come here,” he opened his arms and I managed to slide onto the bed next to him. “Talk to me, doll face.”

“I’ve missed you,” I sniffed.

His smile was clear in his voice, “I missed you as well. What’s been going on? None of my men would tell me what you’ve been doing.”

“They’re all mad at me.”

“For what?”

“I shouldn’t have let us go out without your men to protect us.”

Haven Awakening

Some things are better left unseen.
haven_final
The kids at Haven have been waiting. Legend foretold the veil-seer would lead them to victory over their sworn enemy, Helm. With her arrival comes the shocking realization that she is the one thing they never expected: a mortal.

Verity didn’t want the cornea transplant for her sixteenth birthday. She couldn’t have imagined it would make her the veil-seer, a coveted weapon in an ancient feud. Now she’s stuck trying to master her new powers, make friends, and stay alive. Having been saved by Helm too many times for comfort, Verity wonders which side she should be fighting for. The problem is something evil lurks in Haven, and the only thing it wants is for the new veil-seer to die.

Haven Awakening shows that turning sixteen isn’t always sweet.

Gryffyn Phoenix takes the YA scene by storm with the first book in the Haven Awakening series—a supernatural fantasy filled with life-threatening conflicts, heartbreaking betrayal, peer pressure, and the dangers of finding true love.

Cover whore and proud of it

coverHello. My name is Gryffyn and I am a cover whore. I loved my first cover for Seat of God and considered myself blessed to have so many amazing artists willing to create a visual statement for it. My mindset at the time was definitely explosive, and the image of the earth being ripped apart by the Ark of the Covenant and the three religions that revere it made sense. I was frustrated and disillusioned with the legacy publisher who had shattered all of my childish author dreams, stressed from the reality of starting Avalerion, and freaked out by money (a common problem for 99.99% of all authors). But my mood had nothing to do with the message of the book. At its heart, Seat of God has always been about the magic of the human spirit’s acceptance of the concept of redemption. The characters in it have all made choices most people would question, even judge, but they are always trying to do the right thing. Even if their “right thing” lies far inside a gray territory. When Charlee Harris suggested after reading the book that it deserved a different image, I loved her design. It presents the metaphor of what the seat of God is with a simple chair. Is it for a man, woman or child? Or is it for something more than these forms and that’s why it’s empty. In my long history, I didn’t realize how much thought can go into one book cover. I only hope you like it as much as I do.

Next Big Thing Blog Hop

I wasn’t sure about doing a blog, and wondered why anyone would care about my crazy, crazy world. Then Tamara Thorne, http://tamarathorne.wordpress.com/ encouraged me to join the next Big Thing Blog Hop and here we are. Please come and visit my site’s forum as well for any of those lovely little pesky religion questions people like to throw at my head. Cheers!

 

HERE ARE THE QUESTIONS

What is the working title of your book? Journey of Josephus
Where did the idea come from for the book? After people finished reading Seat of God I always got the same questions: who were the other priests at the end? where did the students in the school come from? what happened to Josephus on his journey of finding the key to the lost Arc of the Covenant … so this one was born.
What genre does your book fall under? spiritual thriller
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? I usually cast from my life so this is a rough question for me. Only actor I can think of at the moment is Mos Def would make an awesome Josephus.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Father Josephus, cast from the Ethiopian Church, sets out determined to find the lost Arc of the Covenant and solve his ancient family prophecy.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Avalerion Books will handle it.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Two months.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I don’t know many people who combine Ethiopian mythology with religion and history. I am a great fan of writers like James Rollins, Steve Berry and the incredible Stel Pavlou.
Who or What inspired you to write this book? There is a real priest who inspired Josephus, I’m not naming names for his protection.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? I try to make everything in my books scientifically possible. I’ve met some amazing scientists in my time and when they talked about God it was always inspirational. This belief that the two can’t exist together is narrow-minded thinking … and the ONE thing I’m not is narrow minded.

Now I get to hot potato this thing to the next brilliant people in line. In one week check out the amazing Q.L. Pearce http://qlpearce.wordpress.com/ and the incredible Monica O’Rourke http://www.facebook.com/MonicaJORourke?fref=ts.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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