• Toni Cox

Setbacks won't get me down


Sometimes, life throws lemons at you and, when it does, I bring out the tequila.

Not everything has gone smoothly over the past few weeks, but I have carried on, regardless, pushing through some of the tougher things life has thrown at me.

But, every now and then, the lemon is best served with tea, instead of tequila. I set myself a deadline for FORBIDDEN ELEMENTAL and tried my best to stick to it. Life happened along the way and I had to push the release date back to June and I was well on track to meet the target. Then, my mother-in-law had to go to hospital for surgery and ended up staying longer than anticipated due to complications. A week after she was discharged, my father-in-law ended up in hospital from complications with his heart and lungs. A dear friend of mine went into hospital for an op on her stomach and is now in an induced coma due to complications. I had to go to the ENT for an issue with my sinuses, only to find out that I have a bone growing into the sinus cavity and I may need an op myself.

So, all in all, things have not been great and I often find myself taking solace in my writing. I realized that it is my happy place and, although I am not writing fast at the moment, the story is flowing and keeping me from dwelling too much on things I cannot change.

After a chat with my editor, we are now hoping for a release date of FORBIDDEN ELEMENTAL by the end of June, but that is a very optimistic target. I will try my best to stick to it this time but, judging by the lemon tree growing in my back garden, July might be a distinct possibility.

To all my fans waiting patiently for book 3 of the Elemental Trilogy - thank you for being patient and when FORBIDDEN ELEMENTAL is released, I promise you it will be the best version of it I can write.

As always, I won't leave you hanging with nothing. Here are two competitions for you.

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Featured author of the week

Melinda Kucsera

About

Melinda Kucsera writes fantastic short stories, novels, and books when not being kidnapped by dragons or chased by armies of fictional creatures. (We do, on occasion, rescue her.) She leaves the running of her newsletter to a cast of lovable characters who hog her inbox. Enough about her, it’s us you’re really interested in, her cast of characters. Join us every week for a new story.

Over 15000 readers are already enjoying our fight to survive and thrive as we straddle the often blurry line between fiction and reality. Because we do exist outside of the books Melinda writes for us. Let us take you on an adventure behind and between the scenes. Sign up to experience our weekly shenanigans. Go where no book or newsletter has gone before!

Her featured book - Curse Breaker

Blurb Magic is illegal. But an angry enchanted forest is killing people. Ghosts are frightening the unwary, and demons are plotting to take over because all the mages are dead. To save his son in a magical world gone crazy, Sarn must risk capture and execution to use a power he can barely control. Because doing nothing is no longer an option. ***This set includes: - Curse Breaker: Enchanted- Curse Breaker: Darkens- Curse Breaker: Faceted- Curse Breaker: FallsFans of Nicholas Eames, Julliet Marillier, Michael J. Sullivan, Mercedes Lackey, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman will enjoy Sarn's struggle against dark forces to save his son and himself. Get Curse Breaker: Books 1-4 today!

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New Releases

Complicated Parts: Book 1 of the Complicated Parts Duet - by Ashley Jade


They say everyone has either an addiction, obsession, or weakness in this world. Something that can penetrate you down to the core and influence you in a way nothing else can. I have all three. One happens to be her. Kit Bishop is in my veins. But unfortunately for me, she's the drug I'll never be able to indulge in and the high I can't chase. Because I'm a liar. A thief. And I've destroyed everything that's ever been mine.

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The Culling - by Sian B. Claven


Twenty Elders came to their rescue. Twenty cities across the world were established. Twenty cities across the world were safe. Twenty cities middle children went to Nirvana. In a world enveloped in darkness, where demons surround every inch of the globe. Twenty safe Zones have been set up and are protected by the Lord, and his Elders. Each year one Zone sends out their next generation of Middle Born Children to reach Nirvana and spend the rest of their lives with the Lord. Only once outside the Zone, they are left to wonder if faith alone is enough to protect them from the darkness of the world.

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Recommended reads

Bentwhistle the Dragon - by Paul Cude


Can you be heroic and naive? For Peter Bentwhistle, the answer would most certainly have to be YES! Blissfully unaware of what's going on around him, for the most part he remains fully focused on blending in and keeping a low profile. But fate and just plain bad luck have other designs on him. Not so bad, you might think. Until you discover the TRUTH! Just like his friends, Tank and Richie, he is a.....DRAGON! Thrust into a life away from the underground dragon domain, disguised in an awkward human form in an effort to guide and protect humanity, all he has to do is stay out of trouble, learn how to play hockey and piece together all the parts of the puzzle continually playing out around him. With the help of his two young friends, a master mantra maker and a complete dragon stranger with more than a little history attached to him, will Peter manage to thwart the dark, devious scheme long in the planning? Ever wondered how dragons travel below ground at almost the speed of sound? Want to know how they use magical mantras to transform their giant bodies into convincing human shapes? Learn the true story of George and the Dragon, get a dragon-like perspective on human social issues and gain insight into what to do if you encounter a giant spider grinning at you when you're wearing nothing but your smile. Lose yourself in this unputdownable fantasy adventure NOW!

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Events

Today I will only advertise one event, as it is around the corner. AlterEgo's Fantasy Fayre is happening in two weeks and, because it is a fantasy fayre, we have to dress up as fantasy creatures; or anything else fantasy related. Sooo... I would love to go as a dragon, but manning (womaning?) a stall for the entire day dressed as a dragon might become complicated, so I think I may go as a unicorn. Fancy seeing an author dressed as a unicorn? Don't miss this event!


Get your tickets here

Snippet of the week

Prologue of Elemental Betrayal

He pondered the icy wind that he had been battling for days as he stomped through the snow, his black cloak swirling around him. The spell to warm the air around him was tiring him out and he knew he would not be able to sustain it much longer. He had left home about a Moon ago, on horseback, but had to abandon the mare at the edge of the Icelands. He had commenced his journey on foot, always maintaining the magic to keep him warm. Now, so close to his destination, he was running low on food and energy. His eyes snapped open in fright as he stumbled over yet another snowdrift and his black hood slipped off his head. He would have to be more careful now; he was so close. In the evening, he set up his tent; there was no shelter to be found on the vast, white expanse and the icy wind battled with him as he unfolded the leather flaps of his tent and for a moment, it seemed it would snatch it out of his hands. Finally, he managed to drive the last peg into the frozen ground and he climbed through the opening, savouring the stillness within. His ears prickled as they started to warm up. Shrugging off his thick cloak, he settled into the tent, put down his sleeping bag and then set up his little cooking pot. He filled it with snow from outside and, once it was hot, added some dried, powdered meat and vegetables to make a broth. It took a lot of his energy to sustain the flame to heat the soup; there was no wood out here, or anything else to burn; but he knew he had to nourish his body, or else the magic would fail him completely. He felt more rested in the morning and when he climbed out of his tent he was pleasantly surprised to find that the wind had dropped somewhat. The sky was grey and overcast, but it was marginally warmer than yesterday. Once he had packed his tent, he shouldered his pack and set out once more, eating some travel bread as he walked. He was getting close now and he kept a wary eye out for the signs he knew he would find. By noon, the clouds had dispersed, leaving a bright, blue sky and the sun’s rays reflected harshly off the ice, blinding him. He squinted into the sky, cursing the bright light, and drew his black hood deeper over his eyes. Suddenly, he felt a chill travel down his spine that had nothing to do with the cold and then he heard a most terrible sound. He cringed as the harsh screeching vibrated through his body. Quickly he dropped his pack to the icy ground and scanned the vast, white wilderness around him. He readied himself as best he could; he knew his energy was low, but he had skill. He would have to draw on every bit of knowledge he had to survive this encounter; but the rewards would be more than he could ever have hoped for. His body flinched as yet another screech ripped through the still air, then, as if out of thin air, the great bulk of the Ice Dragon rose from behind a snow dune, his body almost as white as the snow. His scales, which looked like crystal shards, sparkled blindingly in the sunlight. He was an awesome, fear-inspiring sight. The dragon screamed again, exposing his red maw and a profusion of dagger-like teeth and then eyed the lone figure on the ice before him with disgust. Overcome by a feral rage, the dragon folded his wings and dived for the creature that had dared to invade his territory.

That's all for today. See you all next week.

Toni


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