Moved and back to PRIDE’S CHILDREN NETHERWORLD

HERE IS THE LINK for a public post on Patreon which you can read to see progress toward finishing NETHERWORLD.

It’s been almost six months since I was able to write, due to us taking our whole life apart and moving from New Jersey to California.

I was not able to continue living in a house with stairs, and the whole place was too big for just the husband and myself,  as the last child is pretty solidly fledged. And taking care of a house and yard is for people who enjoy that – or need to.

With our options, we chose a retirement community in Davis which suits our needs, and where we will probably stay the rest of our lives. Shivers to say that, but people move into Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) Independent Living units with precisely that intention; advanced levels of care are available in the same building for if/when we need them, and we have the company of fascinating people, facilities for exercise and other activities, and dinner. And housekeeping. And no mowing or pruning…

You get the picture.

And we are closer to our oldest child which, since the others are geographically scattered across the whole USA, is a choice we made.

Putting a life back together takes time and effort. For one, you have to replace all your doctors! We are seriously considering not even buying a car. There is Uber and Lyft and Zipcar, we have transportation here to many things, and may decide to get bikes and store them in our parking spot.

So stop by the Patreon page and read all about me picking up the writing again (and there are a whole bunch of public [free] posts there which might interest you as well).

This move is my way of reducing a lot of the unnecessary time-wasters in my life so I can write.

Plus pools for this water baby.


 

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Good reviews from readers hearten writers

WRITING IS A SOLITARY BUSINESS

I’m writing, I’m writing. Except for this week which has been very tough for my family. And, since I started the draft of this post, the flu – which hit me like the meteor that extinguished the dinosaurs, and which I seemed to manage to catch at the EYE DOCTOR’S office, the only time I left the house in forever; waiting with husband, while all around me before and after that remained healthy. ‘To those who have, more is given.’

I spend time every month looking for ways to reach new readers, and connected with D. R. Rose on Goodreads. He was kind enough to write a review I’m still catching my breath from.

He’s recommended Pride’s Children to people who might like it, and also suggested other people to approach.

Because he seemed to understand it so well, and because he gave me permission to use his words, here is the latest review, from D. R. Rose (italics his):

“It was amazing

How highly can I praise this book without looking like a sycophant?

And, why are we having to wait for the next part of the story???

Elegant literary fiction which is also literate, modern, gripping, and extraordinarily entertaining, to label the subject matter a ‘love triangle’ would be like daubing the Taj Mahal with graffiti.

Alicia Ehrhardt takes the reader into the persons of Kary, Andrew and Bianca by turns, and uses this approach with consummate skill to construct characters whom one comes to know, dare I say this? rather better than one knows one’s spouse, or significant other. She does this better than any other author I have yet read. The plot is more than character-driven; there is a sense in which the plot is the characters.

The pace is unhurried, almost meditative at times. By contrast, the tension is considerable, and the reader is kept in suspense all the way to the disappointing end. I have to call it disappointing because Ms. Ehrhardt has clearly planned the whole story across a trilogy, and this is therefore only the first part. Disappointing, because by the time one reaches the end of this first book, one is aching for resolution. Well, I was, at least.

The writing itself is beautiful, witty, and considered. I felt at times that every word had been weighed. Ms. Ehrhardt has created characters of rare power and beauty, whose natures result in relationships of living, breathing complexity. Beside the central three, other characters look quite flat – and yet, they are as developed as most good authors’ central protagonists. The settings and situations are fully realised, being founded upon either the author’s own experience or diligent, exhaustive research. I can’t tell which. Ha!

I cannot recommend this book, this trilogy, highly enough – but not to everyone. This is a book for readers who appreciate literary fiction and a very deeply developed romance with a thoughtful debate on ethics. I believe the pace and the delayed gratification will frustrate many modern romance readers who look for fast-burning romance, titillation, and simple love stories. However, if you are a reader who will appreciate a modern ‘Jane Eyre‘, this trilogy is for you.”

On GR:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2272016993

On Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R1JOC3NYAYZAL3/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B017AZLTLG

Thank you so much, David in South Africa.

2018 Sale on Pride’s Children

Special sale to start the year right: $2.99 (or equivalent worldwide) for the rest of January. Post on my other blog has more details.

Direct link to Amazon US.

Makes a nice long read for people with new Kindles.

My apologies for the slow progress, but I can’t not write the scenes the way I want them to be, and it takes time – I hope you will like the results. A new chapter has been sent to my beta reader Rachel, and the one after that is ready to go when she’s ready, and the one after that is well over half written.

Here’s a tiny taste from the epigraphs:


More sorrow is there
Than joy to she who will not
Marry her own kind?

Tahiro Mizuki,
trans. by R. Heath


If I didn’t love this story, I would have stopped this nonsense writing after I finished Purgatory. It won’t let go.

Pride’s Children is on sale now

NEW REASON TO CELEBRATE

There is a reason: milestones should always be celebrated, and PC has several today (must be the eclipse): a Guest Post, a book blogger’s review, and a new Amazon review.

Please click through to Sale honors Guest Post, new Reviews, for the details, or go directly to:

Amazon UNITED STATES

Amazon UNITED KINGDOM

Amazon GERMANY

Amazon FRANCE

Amazon SPAIN

Amazon ITALY

Amazon THE NETHERLANDS

Amazon JAPAN

Amazon BRAZIL

Amazon CANADA

Amazon MEXICO

Amazon AUSTRALIA

Amazon INDIA

And yes, I am writing. And yes, it is going well. I’m biting my nails.

Progress report on Pride’s Children: NETHERWORLD

Hands holding a clump of soil with a baby plant. Text: We have survived the winter. The goal has not changed. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

ARE GOALS A TEMPTATION TO FATE?

First, a shoutout to Caleb and Linda Pirtle’s new website, Here Comes a Mystery, which is featuring Pride’s Children: PURGATORY this morning. Caleb nails small town America, among many other things, and Linda writes cozies, also among many other things. A real power couple with a wonderful backlog.

Bird in hand: PURGATORY

Pride’s Children continues to slowly find its tribe as I navigate the waters of marketing and advertising and publicity in my slow way – via Amazon ads, a fascinating can of worms. Who knew (okay, I really did) that writing ad copy is trickier than writing 167K novels? But it is the only SURE way to make progress among strangers, and that’s what PC needs: to come to the attention of people who read similar books, and who may give it a chance.

Being in Kindle Unlimited has been good – about half the people who read PC nowadays do so via KU. Sometimes, on a slow week, I get the fun of watching a single reader start – and finish – within a day or so, because Amazon gives me a graph which literally shows pages read.

Bird in egg: NETHERWORLD

The first chapter is finished. The way I write, when I get to that point, the story on the page is as close to the story in my head as it will ever be, full 3D staging and moving actors. When the next chapter is finished, Chapter 21 (I’m keeping the chapter numbering, of what is ONE story, sequential) will go to my beta reader to make sure I haven’t missed something, and, in my attempt to keep the word count down, I haven’t been TOO elliptical.

I have been stalled for a while at the LAST scene in Chapter 22 – the reasons have been physical, and are well documented in my writing blog, and should be of little interest here except that I require use of my fiction writing brain for a usable period of time every day, or progress doesn’t happen.

If you want to make God laugh, tell Her your plans?

That’s where the question about goals comes from.

I sincerely pray the stall is temporary, and on its way out. I wouldn’t be writing this post – which is a promise – otherwise: there are no other goals before me (except one tiny one, almost finished). This is it.

Kind fellow writers have suggested I try writing other things as a way back in to NETHERWORLD’s complex storyline, but that’s not how it works with me. I am not blocked; I am stalled.

I am waiting for the return of my head writer. Me.

Thank goodness there are flashes. Unfortunately, the ability to write coherent blog posts (if you read them, you may actually notice the progress of that coherence returning) does NOT mean I can write fiction. Fiction is the Queen of writing, and requires the very best you have. I hope she comes back to stay.

And no, I don’t really believe that making plans and having goals is tempting Fate. I think they are just necessary to Life.

Thanks for your patience.

On the other hand, when all this started happening that I’m NOT talking about here, I had figured out how to produce finished scenes about an order of magnitude faster – whew! So it won’t take fifteen years this time.

Recommend Pride’s Children: PURGATORY to all your friends – it’s very encouraging to see sales, and borrows from KU.

Peace out.


Thanks to Stencil for the ability to take a few thoughts and produce a graphic – it’s become a haiku-like experience.

Pride’s Children: PURGATORY Finalist in 2016 UK Wishing Shelf Award

2016 WSA Finalist Logo BW

Pride’s Children is a 2016 Finalist for UK Wishing Shelf Award.

I’m thrilled.

Thanks to British Children’s Book Author Billy Bob Buttons, who initiated the Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards for children’s and adults’ books.

There are few Awards designed specifically for indies, and most other awards don’t allow indies to apply or put onerous requirements on them (such as publishing other authors as well as themselves in their imprints).

The WSA doesn’t – and you also get to be read by a London and a Stockholm group of readers, and get their feedback – a lovely side benefit.

What about traditional awards?

Most are not open to indies. Period.

Most are also pricey to apply to – the publishers pick which of their ‘sure things’ should be submitted.

Traditional publishers are also very rigid in their requirements for application deadlines, geared toward their very long process of getting a book out. From the time final approval for an accepted book is given, through editing, and galleys, and getting into the publisher’s catalog for the season, can be over a year. Part of that year will fall within the deadlines for the traditional awards, which will accept galleys or advance reader copies in lieu of the finished product.

How is the Wishing Shelf Award different?

Instead, WSA has a rolling three-year application period which makes far more sense for self-publishers – allowing time for proper editing and formatting, and figuring out the ‘ropes’ of publishing.

Authors can wait to see how a book is doing, or re-edit and try again.

In addition, real readers are involved in the process, which started with children’s books being evaluated by real children in schools. The feedback provided by the readers is a valuable part of the submission.

There are no country limitations, either, a  plus in the digital age.

When are the winners announced?

That’s the only part that bothers me: April Fool’s Day in the US.

Cross your fingers with me.

If you liked Pride’s Children, spread the word

easy-xmas-pc

A SALE TO END 2016

If you’ve always wanted to try Pride’s Children – now is the time.

If you’ve read Kary’s story, and wanted to recommend it – now is the time.

If you want to give it to a friend – now is the time.

If you’ve hesitated because it’s long, and you’re not sure, and it seemed too big a commitment – now is the time.

The latest reviews have been amazing

Sam Umek said,

The characters feel like real people that you meet everyday

…One reviewer complained about the length, but I found it too short. I am used to reading BIG books. Alicia has written a book that is spellbinding and you don’t want the story to end.

Pat Patterson, a self-identified ‘simple man, a Southern redneck,’ said,

This book was a feast, and I am quietly stepping into the line for the next one

…Kary is CLEARLY a hero, by any criteria you want to apply apart from armed combat, and she is the center of the book.

…I found myself turning page after page, and DEVOURING the words, licking my lips figuratively at how delicious they were, and thinking: SHE CAN’T KEEP THIS UP! There is no way she can continue to let me walk around and see and hear and feel what the characters are experiencing; except she did.

A Top Reviewer, I am told, said that Pride’s Children was the best 0.99 novel she’d ever read.

If all you want is to know when Prides’ Children: NETHERWORLD comes out

The easiest way is to Follow me on Amazon – you will be notified ONLY when a new book is available.

I plan to write more here about the books, and some followers may prefer to not have that background; if you are not interested in the extra material, unsubscribe from this site, and Follow on Amazon.


Thanks to Stencil for holiday images and the ability to make quick images that look professional, to illustrate posts. If I needed more than a few images a month, I’d get the paid version in a flash.

Especially thanks to those who have written reviews since Pride’s Children came out – I am reliably informed it is doing quite well in that department (27 reviews, 24 of them positive!)