Diving in Deep- Challenge Complete!

Thank you so much to those who commented on my post on Saturday and other days, and I’m really sorry for not replying, but I have been busy trying to get ready for releasing my visual novel. Which is now completed! 😀

I did it, I finished it in a month!

I won’t re-post all the information again, as I know many of you have seen it twice already! So for those interested in finding out more, please visit the links below.

https://awriterslifeformeblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/14/a-new-challenge/
https://awriterslifeformeblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/romance-writers-weekly-lovewritechat-2/

Diving in Deep is a visual novel featuring:

– 6 Possible Endings (3 ‘Good’, 3 ‘Bad’)
– 19, 500 words (which averaged about 45-60 mins depending on reading speed)
– Personality defined by the player
– Romance and Friendship path
– When an ending is unlocked, the picture will show on the start screen so as you can easily see which endings you have completed if you want to get them all.

This is my first visual novel, and my first time ever putting up something for download and, even though I got a few people to test it out, there might still be a couple of errors.
I also couldn’t test on Mac or Linux systems, so any feedback on those would be much appreciated.
If you experience any problems please let me know and, hopefully, I will be able to sort them and re-release if needed 🙂

This visual novel is FREE in the hopes of encouraging people to try out this format if they haven’t done so before. Who knows, it might inspire you to try out some more? 😀

If you need any help, then just let me know through the comments, or you can email me – harliqueen at hotmail dot co dot uk

Download Links:

Windows:
http://www.mediafire.com/download/9ypxqb4cqzdy0b7/DivinginDeep-1.0-win.zip
Mac:
http://www.mediafire.com/download/sym8wqxcl3a0jpk/DivinginDeep-1.0-mac.zip
Linux:
http://www.mediafire.com/download/b2opz9y1y9opeco/DivinginDeep-1.0-linux.tar.bz2

Instructions:

1. Download .zip file.
2. Unzip the file to a destination of your choosing (your desktop is usually easiest).
3. Open the folder you extracted, and click on the application (there should be a little shell next to it, to indicate the correct application you need to click on).
4. Have fun! 😀

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A New Challenge

Part of the reason I wanted to finish the first draft of my current novel by the end of February was because I knew I was participating in a challenge in March.

The challenge is NaNoRenNo.

It’s kind of like the normal NaNoWriMo, but instead of producing a 50,000+ novel, you produce a completed visual novel.

For those that don’t know what a visual novel is here’s the Wikipedia definition-

‘A visual novel is an interactive fiction game, featuring mostly static graphics, most often using anime-style art or occasionally live-action stills (and sometimes video footage). As the name might suggest, they resemble mixed-media novels.’

It’s a different kind of storytelling that instantly caught my interest for a few reasons:

1. Any form of storytelling is good with me 😀
2. I adore Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books.
3. I love gaming, so being able to take some aspects of it and add it to my own story is awesome!
4. Really being able to bring the story to life through both writing and art.

I’ve always had a dream of creating a comic, because of the mixture of writing and drawing- I love the two!- But I was never patient enough to complete a whole comic.

With visual novels I get to draw the art (though not anime-style as is usual), and also add more writing than I would in a comic. I am not even kidding about how perfect a medium that is for me 😀

So my project this month is to complete a visual novel, and see how it goes. Also, I will say that visual novels are something I hope to look into producing and selling along with my novels in the future.

For those interested, I will detail the visual novel I am producing below 🙂

Sorry for the white backgrounds on the art, WordPress apparently doesn’t like transparent images!

TitleForum

When underwater archaeologist, Quinn, discovers an artifact in the ruins she is exploring just offshore, she doesn’t realise the significance of it.
At least, not until she comes face to face with the owner of the artifact… who happens to have a tail.

Introduced to the world of the Merpeople, Quinn must keep the exciting discovery quiet in order to protect their secrets, all whilst dealing with new feelings that are stirring towards her merman guide, Merrik.
If that wasn’t difficult enough, she must contend with the persistent interference of a dangerous treasure hunter searching for his next big prize.

And Quinn is all too aware that the Merpeople would be his perfect target.

Characters

quinnquinnuw
Quinn Lanton
The main character of this tale, a woman whose curiosity helps her to find the biggest discovery of all time, only to realise she must keep it a secret.

Her personality can be defined by the player through dialogue and action choices, which will affect the way characters react to her and the outcome of the ending.

merrik
Merrik
Merrik is happy to live his life in the safety of the sea, but meeting Quinn changes things.
Now the merman finds his position as Guardian of the artifact tested as he navigates through the world of humans and their greed for what does not belong to them.

waltonspritesg
Walton Huntley
An ex-archaeologist turned treasure hunter. His only interest is the next big prize and the fortune he could get for it.

The Artefact

Artefact

Diving in Deep is going to focus on romance (obviously 😀 It’s what I write!), but will also have a good amount of excitement and action so hopefully all can enjoy it! It will be FREE, so I’m hoping lots of people will be willing to try it out.

Though I realise this may not be the kind of thing some people would go for, I am hoping to open up this form of storytelling to those who might not even have known about it, and maybe get them to try out something new 🙂

Is this something you’d be willing to try out? Does this interest you as a different form of story?

*This is a scheduled post, I will be back on Tuesday. Hope everyone has a brilliant weekend! :D*

Romance Weekly Blog Hop #lovewritechat

Just before I hop to the Romance Weekly blog hop, I just wanted to say sorry for the lack of blog posts last week! I was pretty ill, and couldn’t get onto my computer, but thank you to everyone who commented, I’m sorry again for not replying! 🙂

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Welcome to all those joining me from the lovely Elizabeth Janette’s blog, author of Redemption for Liars.

This week’s question is- What would you say your writing strengths and weaknesses are?

It’s kind of difficult to decide my strengths to be honest, because I’m very critical of my own work 😀

But I do think character interaction might be one of my strengths. I’ve had quite a few comments from people who’ve read my books and enjoyed the way I write dialogue and interaction between characters, as I’m able to show their relationships well and in a way that is easy to read.

As for weaknesses, well, probably my top one has to be description, or lack of it 😀 When I write I tend to see it like a movie in my head, and sometimes I forget that the reader doesn’t see what I see, that they don’t know the scene is set in a dank forest or a bright room. So yeah, I need to work on that!

Also, my over use of commas, but thankfully my readers do pick up on that in editing!

What would you say your strengths and weaknesses are?

Now hop on over to the amazing Jeana E. Mann and see what she has to say about her writing and maybe check out her latest release, Vindicated 🙂

Progress Report:

Status of sixth manuscript: Writing first draft.
Word count: 16,846 (+14,323 since last check-in).

Books read towards challenge: 2/50
Currently reading: Thyme in a Flask by Glen Quarry

Character Sketch: Cosmas

Thought I’d do something a little different for today’s post. I recently got a graphics tablet and have been having great fun playing around with it.

I was inspired to draw a younger, care free version of Cosmas, who is a character from Prophecy of Stones.

Cosmas

Cosmas was one of my favourite characters to write, along with her bond mate Otto. There’s something really gentle but at the same time strong about her.

Excerpt:

“Will you not join us in celebration?” the man asked, spreading an arm behind him to gesture at the joyful crowd. “Will you dance?”

“Does she look like a woman who dances? Really?” Sindrin scoffed, leaning close to the man and jerking a thumb in Milana’s direction. She shot him a glare and put a hand on her hip. He took an instant step back, raising his hands before him in mock innocence.

“We will join you.” Cosmas’ soft voice flowed from Milana’s side, and she flicked her glance to her.

“Cosmas, we can’t-”

“Oh, come Milana, just for a moment,” Cosmas interrupted. She tugged Otto towards the crowd, the two of them spinning around, their laughter merging with the music that drifted over the area. Otto jigged on the spot whilst Cosmas’ agile, fluid moves made her the envy of the other dancers as she swirled and dipped with graceful ease around her bond mate.

If you’d like to find out more about Cosmas, why not check out Prophecy of Stones?

Prophecy of Stones

The bond of love can conquer all, but only if it is accepted.

Prophecy states that three champions imbued with the best virtues of the mortal race: heart, strength and soul, will be the ones to save them all from an enemy which threatens to steal the life from their world and those who live upon it.

These three, along with their scribe, his bond mate, and an overly sarcastic oracle, must set off on a journey which will take them through forest, city, swamp and mountain. On this quest they activate the magical stones which charge the only weapon powerful enough to defeat Tildar and his cult of Dwell.

Yet the closer they draw to journey’s end, the more it seems that it is not the evil which will be their downfall, but the fear of a champion unwilling to accept the bond of their destiny.

Prophecy of Stones is a tale of adventure, love and magic.

Links:

Goodreads
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Barnes and Noble

*This is a scheduled post, I will be back on Monday to reply to comments and emails. Hope everyone has a brilliant weekend!* 🙂

Romance Weekly Blog Hop #lovechatwrite

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It’s Romance Weekly blog hop time!

If you’ve hopped over from A.S. Fenichel’s wonderful blog, then welcome!

So, this week, we’ve been asked- What quirky habits (superstitions, must haves, etc.) do you have while writing?

It’s an interesting question as I’m quite a compulsive person. A lot of the time I do need to have things certain ways in order to do them.

But I have to admit, I’m pretty easy going when it comes to writing. I will write pretty much anywhere and on anything 😀

I suppose it’s possible because my brain is constantly on writing, so it has to explode out no matter where I am or what I’m doing as it can’t contain it anymore!

Though, now thinking about, I do generally always have to have a cup of tea nearby!

Now pop on over to see what habits and quirks Eden Ashe, author of Ever Mine, has whilst writing!

Do you have any oddities or must haves during writing or the creative process?

Progress Report:

Status of sixth manuscript: Writing first draft.
Daily word count: About 400 – Handwritten.

Books read towards goal: 1/50
Currently reading: The Creative Writing Workbook by Matthew Branton.

The Magic Spark Release Day!

I’m so excited! 😀 The Magic Spark is out now!

MagicSparkCS

Blurb:
Successful businesswoman Alex is content with her life in London, and any ideas of romance have been left on the back burner. But when her fairy godmother, FG, waltzes into her office one morning announcing she has come to help Alex rekindle a passion for life and love, she is about to check herself into therapy!

The fairy godmother’s incessant wand-flicking soon lands them in the isolation of the Scottish highlands, where Alex’s next client, Mal Ross, not only stirs her professional interest but her romantic ones too.

Tasked with the enormous challenge of turning a historic castle into a flourishing hotel, the pair must work closely together whilst attempting to avoid the awkward situations the rom-com obsessed fairy godmother keeps forcing them into.

But the path of love is never smooth, no matter how much magic you throw at it.

The Magic Spark is a light, enjoyable read, full of fun and romance.

Favourite Quotes:

“What happened?” FG asked, scooting forward, her eyes wide with curiosity.

Owen seemed more than willing to participate in gossip. “Nobody really knows, not even me and I’ve worked for that family all my life. Me and my hen live not far from here, and there was a big commotion about it all in the village, though it was all very hush-hush. Didn’t please the locals not to know what was happening, that’s for sure.” He bellowed with a laugh so loud it filled the entire car with its jolly sound.

FG furrowed her brow. “Why does he live with a chicken?” she whispered.

“I think he means his wife,” Alex replied in just as much a hushed tone, whilst trying to stifle a chuckle.

They stood for a moment in silence before Paul’s blue-eyed gaze shifted to FG and his brows rose. “Oh, I’m sorry.” Alex jerked into action, giving introductions. “This is FG, she’s my-” She choked on her words. What was she meant to say? ‘Oh, this is just my fairy godmother who’s trying to set me up with your gardener?’ She bet that would go down real well.

“You’ll get cold, come on.” He stepped forwards and, before Alex had time to protest, he scooped her into his arms and cradled her to his chest.

“Because this isn’t at all embarrassing,” she said, flushing red and hoping he would think it was from the alcohol and not the fact she enjoyed being pressed up against him like some damsel from a fairy tale.

FG would have a field day if she found out about this.

For a full excerpt, click here to see the cover reveal post!

Links:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Createspace (Paperback)

Smashwords

Goodreads

I really enjoyed writing The Magic Spark, it was a great book that I got to have some fun with, especially FG. That fairy godmother certainly made me chuckle!

The Magic Spark Cover Reveal!

Here it is! The title and cover reveal of my next book, The Magic Spark! 😀

TheMagicSparkCover

Blurb:

Successful businesswoman Alex is content with her life in London, and any ideas of romance have been left on the back burner. But when her fairy godmother, FG, waltzes into her office one morning announcing she has come to help Alex rekindle a passion for life and love, she is about to check herself into therapy!

The fairy godmother’s incessant wand-flicking soon lands them in the isolation of the Scottish highlands, where Alex’s next client, Mal Ross, not only stirs her professional interest but her romantic ones too.

Tasked with the enormous challenge of turning a historic castle into a flourishing hotel, the pair must work closely together whilst attempting to avoid the awkward situations the rom-com obsessed fairy godmother keeps forcing them into.

But the path of love is never smooth, no matter how much magic you throw at it.

The Magic Spark is a light, enjoyable read, full of fun and romance.

Excerpt:

Forking over a flowerbed by the castle walls was Alex’s supposed perfect match, his plain grey t-shirt stained with mud and his ripped jeans just as dirty. His face was hidden behind a thick curtain of dark brown hair, layered and falling to the base of his neck.

“That’s him?” Her voice choked.

FG beamed a grin. “Look at him!” She spread her hands out in emphasis, apparently proud of the man she’d found for Alex. He stood up, running his muddied hands through his hair, excitement bubbling within Alex as the hint of a chiseled jaw line shadowed with heavy stubble became visible.

Alex rolled her eyes and folded her arms at FG’s enthusiasm. “He’s lovely, but that’s not the point-”

“Lovely? That’s all you’re going with?” FG cocked an eyebrow and they both turned back to the man who dug his hands into a pile of compost, the muscles of his arms flexing as he did so. When he leant his head back, his face became visible.

Alex wished he hadn’t been so damn handsome, it only made attempting a blasé attitude that much harder.

“He’s very nice.” Alex tightened her lips, but FG kept her brow raised, the expression battering against Alex. “Fine! He’s gorgeous.” It wasn’t a hard admittance to make.

“You got that right.” They both looked at him again, the man thankfully too far away from them to hear the conversation. Her only consolation was that he was the gardener and not the owner, at least he could be avoided.

Alex ripped her focus from the man back towards FG as she pulled her wand out of thin air. The woman flicked the star end towards the gardener and a sudden ray of sunshine burst through the heavy cloud cover and lit the man in a spotlight.

Again FG flicked her wand, but this time directly at the man. A stream of gold glitter smashed against him, but he didn’t seem to notice it. Instead, he blew out a heavy breath as though growing hot under the beam of sun that shone only on him.

He gripped the edge of his shirt and yanked it up to wipe the sweat forming on his brow, revealing a lithe, well-toned body beneath that Alex couldn’t seem to rip her gaze away from.

It took quite a bit of mental strength to finally tear her attention away and avert it to the grass beneath her boots. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” she groaned. “Stop it!” She slapped FG’s hand, the wand now directed at the ground.

The sun disappeared and the man went back to working, instead of posing like a model in a Diet Coke ad.

“Don’t tell me you didn’t enjoy it,” FG said with a sly smile and a wiggle of her brows.

Alex gritted her teeth. “Let’s just find the owner and get this business over with.” She turned away, ignoring FG who was staring at the gardener once again with a dreamy gaze. “Shall we find our rooms?”

“Only if I can take him to mine,” FG replied and Alex rolled her eyes, nudging the woman back to the front of the castle.

I was pretty pleased with how the cover turned out, which once again I did myself, including drawing out the silhouettes!

The Magic Spark is out on Tuesday 30th September!

Hope you enjoyed the preview!

Have a great weekend everyone 🙂