Turning Points Series – Stephanie Keyes

Most novels have at least one scene that is a turning point in the story. Something changes.  It could be an outer turning point where something happens to change the way the story evolves or an inner turning point where the person’s inner resolve or attitude changes. Maybe this change affects a character so that after this point, nothing will ever be the same for him or her. Some turning points are dramatic; some are more subtle.

Star Catcher

In The Star Catcher, the final installment in The Star Child series, Kellen St. James is forced to choose between staying mortal and choosing immortality that will not only save his life, but save the life of his love, Calienta. Now, warning, MAJOR SPOILERS to come if you haven’t read it. Here’s an excerpt from that point in the novel:

Excerpt From The Star Catcher by Stephanie Keyes

“You offered me immortality before. Shouldn’t I at least get points for not being self-serving enough to take you up on it?” I ran my hand through my hair. “Please, you have to help me. I can’t let Ainmire win and I have to see Cali again.”

“You truly love Calienta, don’t you?” His features softened.

Cali. Did love even begin to cover it? I stared at him for a moment. “She’s the reason behind everything I do. Please help me save her. Give me the tools I need to get the job done and get rid of Ainmire.”

Síl walked over and sat on the librarian’s desk, his legs dangling beneath him like a college kid’s. “I will do this for you, Kellen.” Rowan and I both let out a breath at the same time. “With the power of the amulet, you will be tempted to abuse it. Yes, you. You will have more control than our kind has ever amassed.”

“Except you,” I said.

Síl frowned. “The temptation will be great to take advantage of it.” Something to look forward to.

“I promise I won’t. I just want to get Cali back.”

“Also, be warned, Kellen. This choice isn’t reversible. Once you become an immortal, I won’t undo the action. You can’t move back and forth as needed. This time it’s permanent.”

I cleared my throat, wanting to move past the moment. “I didn’t expect to be able to move back and forth. Though, I have to admit I don’t understand why it’s such a big deal.”

Síl appeared to contemplate this for a moment. Then I registered he’d been considering how to explain this to me, a mere mortal. “Your government restricts things, don’t they?”

“Yes.”

“Well, I am the government for the immortals. It is up to me alone to determine what is best for all of us.” Síl brought a hand to his chest.

“It’s clearly not a democratic society.”

Síl threw back his head and laughed. “Yes and no. Life isn’t always so straightforward, even for immortals.”

“I still don’t understand. If you’re in charge, why can’t people become immortal and then change back? Not that I want that for myself, or for Cali.”

“Think of it this way.” Síl walked in a small circle as he spoke. “It goes against the natural order of things. Normally, changing someone into an immortal or a mortal—that’s not how he or she was meant to exist. It interferes with fate. It is not a wise course to interfere with a person’s destiny, mortal or otherwise.”

“And I’m supposed to be a mortal.” Síl had changed his mind. He was going to deny my request. I could feel it. If he didn’t make me immortal, how would I save Cali? Sweat beaded on my brow and I squeezed the warm stone in my hand. The amulet would kill me before I ever saw her again.

“No.” Síl shook his head as I glanced over at him. “You’re supposed to be an immortal. The prophecy ordained it, remember? I interfered with your fate when I changed you back to a mortal. I’ve already delayed the inevitable, as well as gone against my own beliefs.”

A rushing sound echoed in my ears. “I’m supposed to be immortal.”

“Your father is the rightful king of Faerie now. The power that comes with your birthright and also with the amulet is awaiting you to claim it.” Síl spoke the last sentence in a soft voice.

“If you knew all of this, why not leave me immortal?” I asked.

“You sacrificed much to help Lugh and his family.” He gestured to Rowan. “I recognized you could have walked away from Calienta, refused to help her. I never would have taken away your free will.” Part of me wanted to explain walking away from Cali had never been an option, but I kept that to myself. “It should also be known I am not a dictator. Yes, I could have forced the change on you, but you’d been through much and asked for little. It was a small matter to put off your fate for a time.” Sadness had crept its way back into Síl’s gaze.

I cleared my throat. “But now.”

“The time has come for you either to embrace your power or for your mortal life to end.”

My breath caught. From beside me, I heard Rowan react, but I blocked her out. Not only was Síl going to help me, but also, if I’d understood correctly, immortality was my fate. All this time I’d been fighting being a part of the immortal world. Yet I’d belonged to that world and had all along.

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The Star Child series

When romance and magic intertwine… The Star Child series by Stephanie Keyes

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 About the Author

Stephanie Keyes grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and spent years traveling and working as a Corporate Trainer before she made the decision to pen her first novel. As a teen, her family always accused her of having an “overactive imagination.” Now, she’s encouraged to keep her head in the clouds and share her world with readers.

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Still a resident of the ‘Burgh, Steph is now Mom to two little boys who constantly keep her on her toes. In addition, she’s best friend to her incredible rockstar of a husband. She is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), as well as a featured author for Love a Happy Ending Lifestyle e-magazine.

Keyes is the author of the YA Fantasy series, The Star Child, which currently includes The Star Child, After Faerie, The Fallen Stars, and The Star Catcher, all from by Inkspell Publishing. The Fallen Stars was a 2013 semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Awards. The Star Child has topped the Amazon best-seller list several times since its 2012 release. Steph writes YA novels because she’s a hopeless romantic who lives to believe that magick truly does exist. She is hard at work on a new YA novel.

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The Star Child

Star Child 199 Promo

From July 23-25, The Star Child, the YA Paranormal Romance from Stephanie Keyes is on sale for $1.99!

Kindle users can download from Amazon HERE.

Nook user? Download HERE.

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“Keyes very cleverly ensures the book is unputdownable by reeling in the reader within the first few opening pages.”- BestChickLit.com

“This was a wonderfully written Young Adult Paranormal Romance. The world and characters are phenomenally crafted.” The BookMaven

“Stephanie Keyes is a wonderful voice for a new generation of YA readers. She has skilfully blended mythology and faerie-tale into an original and enthralling story. Pure magick! I’m looking forward to more. – Helen Hart, author, The Black Banner

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Writing Challenges

I asked fellow writers to give us some insights into situations they face with regard to their writing. If you’re a writer, you may recognize some of their complaints and solutions. Let’s see what they have to say.

What are your greatest challenges in writing and how do you deal with them?

Sue Fortin, author of United State of Love

Sue profile pic 1I have to say my biggest challenge is The Voice of Guilt.  It’s not often I get a long stretch at writing and when I do, always at the back of

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my mind, there’s a little niggling voice whispering things like “Don’t forget that pile of ironing,”’ or “Doesn’t the bathroom need cleaning?”

To combat this, I try to plan ahead and have in my mind a set day or time I’m going to write. That way, I can make sure

everything at home is done beforehand so when I sit in front of my laptop, I have a clear conscience and can concentrate on my WIP. I know I shouldn’t really have to feel guilty but …

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Bonnie Trachtenberg

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My greatest challenge in writing is getting myself to finally sit down and do it. I wish I was one of those writers who looked forward to it, but I’m just not. Sometimes I’d rather do anything else, including laundry or cleaning! Unfortunately, what gets me to finally force myself to sit down is anxiety that I haven’t accomplished anything. I sometimes ease myself into it by having a television on while I pull up my latest pages. Once I get started reading them over and correcting any problems, I’ll mute or turn off the television altogether. Soon after, time begins to fly by and I’m back under “the spell”.

 

Bonnie Trachtenberg is the author of “Wedlocked” and “Neurotically Yours.”

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Mandy Baggot 

Author of contemporary romance, Taking Charge and upcoming romantic suspense novel, Security

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Distractions! They are everywhere! Children, pets, husband, Twitter, Facebook, You Tube music videos, TV, dancing babies, interesting blog posts, pictures of half naked men. Some days I think someone is deliberately out to get me! You will not write Lady Baggot, you will waste the day leering at the work of other people while you get nothing done! When this happens there is only one thing to do. Switch it all off! Turn off the internet, the radio, the television, the half-naked men and FOCUS. Let nothing else into your world. Remain focussed for as long as possible or at least until the children scream for attention and food. As writers we feel we need to stay on top of what’s going on at all times – constantly comment on everything that happens on social media – I know I do! But if I didn’t stamp on those distractions sometimes I’d never get a book written!

Besides “Taking Charge” and “Security,” Mandy Baggot is also the author of “Knowing Me, Knowing You,” “Public Property,” “Excess All Areas,” and “Breaking the Ice.”

 

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Stephanie Keyes Stephanie-Keyes-180x240 The greatest challenges that I face in writing…

  1. The first is editing. It’s exhausting for me! As liberating as writing and creating are, editing is a drain.
  2. The second is time. As a mother with two little ones, I find that coming up with time to write is just as challenging. When you add in public appearances and other responsibilities, pulling together a few moments to write can be challenging.

Regardless of the challenges, I don’t know that I’d change a thing. Both challenges help me grow in my writing.

Stephanie Keyes is the author of “The Fallen Stars” and “The Star Child.”

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Linn B. Halton Linn-B-Halton-180x240 Self-pub or submission? Deciding whether to self-publish or submit to a publisher is the hardest decision of all. Having one foot in both camps has made that decision even harder for me personally. Both routes work well and I do love the support that my publishers – Sapphire Star – are able to give; also their advice and guidance plus technical expertise. Being able to hand over a manuscript and only having to get involved with the edits and cover design, is easier than having to go through the whole publishing process yourself. But there’s a part of me that likes to be in control of everything and whilst it’s been a HUGE learning curve, there’s a lot of personal satisfaction in acquiring new skills. Marketing isn’t easy but the same thing applies whether you self-pub or sign a contract; no one will buy your book if they don’t know it’s out there! For the moment I hope that I can continue to use both routes to publication and enjoy honing the new skills I’ve learnt. Here’s my latest, newly-acquired skill – 3D book covers!

Linn B. Halton is the Author of “Never Alone,” “Touched By the Light,” “The Quintessential Gemini,” The Restaurant@ the Mill,” and “Being a Sceptic is Oh So Easy.”

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Darlene Jones 100-0059_IMG One often hears of “writer’s block.” It’s happened to me with each of my novels. I come to a point when I just don’t know where to go with the story or the characters. My solution is to stay away from writing for a time. I’m lucky in that any time lines are self-imposed so I have the luxury of not writing for a bit. Then, when ideas start whirling in my head, I get back at it.

Darlene Jones is the author of three novels. Her fourth novel is forthcoming.

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Carol E. Wyer

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Being left alone to type is the biggest problem I face. My husband can’t seem to understand that when I am writing, I need to be left alone, even after five novels. My age helps me hugely. A couple of years ago, I developed insomnia but I turned it to my advantage. Nowadays, I wait until he is snoring in bed, then get up and type until the early hours of the morning. Only to be recommended if you can manage being sleep-deprived for several weeks and don’t mind looking like  a hung over panda who has had a few rounds with a champion fighter. I also find that my eyes get tired more easily these days and I make quite a few typos. I use the “Search” feature in Word to ensure I haven’t made my usual mistakes of typing “form” instead of “from” and so on. It is surprising how useful that tool is.

Carol E Wyer, author of “Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines,” “Surfing in Stilettos,” “How Not to Murder Your Grumpy,” and “Just Add Spice.”

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Anneli Purchase

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When no bright ideas are blowing around the trade winds of my mind, the doldrums set in. Some call it writer’s block. I call it the doldrums. I dread them. They usually settle in after I’ve written a scene that doesn’t work and I don’t have a new idea yet. I despair of ever writing another good sentence. The solution? When I can’t stand the lack of creativity anymore, I find a quiet place. I take my pen and paper and scribble out possibilities in a brainstorming pattern, making circles around keywords and linking possibilities to them also in keywords. Eventually, a new thread appears and I can’t wait to get back to the computer to try the new scene. Saved again, until the next weather system moves in. Funny thing is, the doldrums happen when the trades are becalmed, and yet my personal doldrums are anything but calming.

Anneli Purchase is author of “The Wind Weeps,” “Orion’s Gift,” and “Julia’s Violinist.”
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Nicky Wells

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Author – Nicky Wells

Challenge #1 ~ Second-guessing myself. This is a new phenomenon that has presented itself after receiving fabulous edits and suggestions for my first two books. Now, while I write, I can almost hear the editor say, “show, don’t tell” or “can you prove that?” which means I occasionally question my writing even while I write. My response? If it’s an obviously valid point, I make an immediate adjustment (e.g. more dialogue, do the research on a particular point, etc.) If it isn’t, I follow my writing heart and keep writing, perhaps making a note of the uncertainty for future consideration. If in doubt, I’d always advise to keep ploughing on  rather than getting caught up in second-guesses!

Challenge #2 ~ Length. Or rather, limiting the length. I am a prolific writer! The first draft of my second novel came in at nearly 150,000 words. The knives had to come out and some drastic cutting took place. Now, when I write, I listen to myself and my “gut” for cutting. If I know a scene is beautiful but non-essential, I cut it out immediately or, better still, don’t write it at all. Of course it’s not a perfect process (and it ties in with challenge #1 a lot of the time) BUT my most recent WIP finished at 106,000 words ~ a perfect word count, as far as I’m concerned, and a much sharper, fast-paced manuscript from the start.

Nicky Wells is the author of “Sophie’s Turn” and “Sophie’s Run.” Forthcoming on Sept. 5, is her next novel, “Sophie’s Encore.”

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Melanie Robertson-King, author of A Shadow in the Past.

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I work full time as well as write. So juggling work, promoting my current book, and writing requires a sense of balance and sadly, I’ve not found it yet.

I try to do promotional work in the mornings before I head off to the day job.

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Patricia Sands

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My greatest writing challenges:

Condensing my thoughts into fewer words is my primary goal for future projects. Both of my novels have hovered around the 130,000-word mark and the ideal is 80,000 – 90,000. I realize now that I should have made The Promise of Provence into two books and could easily have done so.

My advice: Pay close attention to your word count from the beginning of your WIP. If you see it is getting out of hand, take a look and see how you might tighten up.

My second goal is to be more organized about thoughts and research. I tend to write notes to myself on post-its and end up with an enormous stack. My basic and most important research I keep in notes on my computer and can easily refer to them but the random ideas, words, and bits of information always end up on post-its. I have to stop doing that!

My advice: Develop an organized method of making all of your thoughts and ideas easily accessible. I like the idea shown here and am going to try to do this for my next novel which is slowly simmering as I write this!

Patricia

Patricia Sands is the author of “The Bridge Club” and “The Promise of Provence.”

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