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Archive for the tag “Selkie Moon”

Cover Reveal – ‘The Third Note’ by Virginia King

book-cover

I am absolutely thrilled to be revealing the gorgeous cover of Virginia King’s new book, ‘The Third Note’, which is due out towards the end of this month.  Read on to find out more.

 

Book Blurb

A mysterious parcel. An unsolved crime. A spell from beyond the grave.

After returning from her last strange quest, Selkie Moon is more than ready to settle down. So when she receives a parcel from her great grandmother 35 years after her death, opening it seems like such a bad idea. But curiosity wins and the objects it contains plunge her into long-buried family secrets. Suddenly an old mystery begins to echo with the present and Selkie is wrapped in a spell that won’t let go: frightening visions, deadly encounters and a pull from the past that she can’t ignore. Armed with only her wits and psychic twinges that are hardly reliable, Selkie is drawn into a web of cryptic clues that delve deep into the folklore of Ireland where superstition still weaves a powerful – and fatal – spell.

If you love mysteries with lightning pace, twists and turns you never see coming, quirky clues and a sprinkling of the supernatural, then you’ll love The Third Note.

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Who is Selkie Moon?

Selkie Moon is a modern woman with a mythical name. One of her dead mother’s extraordinary ideas. The selkies are the seal people of Celtic folklore who peel off their skins and dance in the moonlight in human form. With a name like that, Selkie can’t help getting tangled in mysteries that spring from the haunting elements of mythology from around the world.

 

The Selkie Moon Mystery Series

Laying Ghosts (prequel)

The First Lie

The Second Path

The Third Note

 

Download Your Free Prequel

Get a taste of the Selkie Moon mystery series with your free 60-minute adrenaline rush, Laying Ghosts – and be notified of the special launch price of The Third Note when it’s published at the end of March.

http://www.selkiemoon.com/

 

About Virginia King

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When a voice wakes you up in the middle of the night and tells you to write a mystery series, what’s a writer to do? That’s how Virginia King came to create Selkie Moon, after a massage from a woman with gifted hands was followed by this nocturnal message. Virginia sat down at the keyboard and waited until Selkie Moon turned up. Soon she was hooked, exploring far-flung places full of secrets where Selkie delves into psychological clues tangled up in the local mythology.

Before Selkie Moon invaded her life, Virginia had been a teacher, an unemployed ex-teacher, the author of over 50 children’s books, an audio-book producer, a workshop presenter and a prize-winning publisher. These days she lives in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney with her husband, where she disappears each day into Selkie Moon’s latest mystery. Bliss.

 

Links

Website: http://www.selkiemoon.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/selkiemoonmysteries

Retail Links: http://www.selkiemoon.com/buy-the-books/

 

Fellow book blogger, Linda Hill reviewed ‘Laying Ghosts’ for Virginia King.  You can read it here:-

https://lindasbookbag.com/2016/09/18/short-story-laying-ghosts-by-virginia-king/

 

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One Cover Poll, Two Authors and a World of Fairy Tales

The First Lie - Book Cover

Short Blurb

When Selkie Moon escapes her life in Sydney to start over in Hawaii, she triggers a series of events so bizarre that she’s forced to delve into the murky depth of the past and face the shocking truth about herself.

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When A Lover of Books hosted a cover poll earlier in the year for the psychological mystery/thriller The First Lie, one of the two winners was Kendra Olson. Kendra’s winning comment was: I chose the cover with the water and reflection of two different faces. I found this image both disturbing and intriguing, which is how I expect to feel when reading a psychological mystery/thriller. Good luck!

Author Virginia King sent Kendra her ebook prize of The First Lie and got on with the final drafts of The Second Path, the next book in the Selkie Moon Mystery Series.

From Virginia: When you give away a book you’re always hoping the winner will love it and perhaps write a review but I was blown away when Kendra sent me the following email:

Just a quick note to say thanks so much for an amazing and wonderful read. I genuinely enjoyed The First Lie, A Selkie Moon Mystery. Your characters and storyline meant that I could not put it down until I finished it, and when I did I wished that I had the second book in the series so I could keep reading. It has been awhile since I’ve enjoyed a novel that much. I loved how you combined the mythological and an element of supernatural mystery with the psychological unknown. I’ve read a bit of Freud and felt that your depiction of someone at the brink was particularly apt, and frightening. Selkie was so well drawn that I could easily put myself in her shoes. 

The symbolism of fairy tales has been a passion of mine for a long time – the way the magical elements reveal the mystery behind modern life – and the Selkie Moon mysteries are heavily influenced by psychology and mythology. In The First Lie, Selkie gets tangled up in Celtic and Hawaiian mythology as she unravels the mystery of her own history. It turns out that Kendra is an author too and she also draws inspiration from fairy tales in her own writing.

 

From Kendra: I’ve always loved fairy tales and their ability to transform the everyday into the magical. For anyone who has ever visited a remote place of natural beauty and suddenly come across a wild animal alone, you’ll know the strange, almost mystical, feeling you get of being ‘at one’ with nature. It’s both frightening and amazing at the same time.

My novel, The Forest King’s Daughter, is set in nineteenth century rural Sweden and is about a young woman named Ingrid who emigrates to America, and the events that propel her towards making that decision. Swedish folklore is filled with tales of mischievous tomte (elves), witches and other creatures which play a role in the culture to this day. This is why Ingrid’s story is told through the lens of a fairy tale which her father tells her.

The story itself was inspired by my imagining what life may have been like for my great-grandmother who emigrated from Sweden to America in 1891 alongside many other young women of her generation. In 2011, I took a trip to Sweden and met my relatives there. They took me to see the house my grandmother had lived in, deep in the Swedish forest. I was enchanted by the beauty of the area; with its deep thickets, secret clearings and unfamiliar wildlife.

I’ve always enjoyed reading, and grew up in a house filled with books. From reading I made the natural jump to writing my own stories. Writing allows me to visit new places I might not otherwise have the chance to—both in my imagination and through research. As Katherine Mansfield once said: ‘Would you not like to try all sorts of lives—one is so very small—but that is the satisfaction of writing—one can impersonate so many people.’

TFKD cover

Short Blurb

An epic, coming-of-age journey told through the lens of a Swedish fairy tale. Set initially in 19th century Sweden and ending in the American state of Minnesota, The Forest King’s Daughter tells the story of Ingrid, a teenager, who lives with her family in rural Värmland.

Ingrid has finished her schooling but when she becomes friends with the new schoolteacher, the village church is angry and her parents forbid their meeting.

Ingrid’s desire to stand up for what she believes in leads her far from her home. While this is the story of a single young woman, it is also the story of hundreds of women like her who emigrated to America in the 19th century.

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What’s next for Virginia and Kendra?

The cover poll has led to a long-distance e-friendship between the two authors.

Virginia has just published The Second Path, where Selkie Moon unravels a labyrinth of clues inspired by a French fairy tale (cover reveal coming soon).  She’s already “composting” ideas for Book Three in the series and has a mad idea to involve readers in this wild mythical process. Email her if you’d like to know more: selkiemoonmystery@gmail.com

Follow Selkie Moon’s mysteries, read an extract and download the free guide Messing with Mythology: http://www.selkiemoon.com/

Follow the series on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/selkiemoonmysteries

Buy the books for the discount price of £1.99 or US $2.99:

Amazon UK: www.amazon.co.uk/Virginia-King/e/B00K2N9AGK/

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Virginia-King/e/B00K2N9AGK

 

Kendra has just finished her Master’s Degree in Creative Writing and is working on a new novel. She blogs about her writing journey at: https://kendraolson.wordpress.com/

Follow her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kendraolsonwriting

Buy her book for £3.99 or US $6.28:

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Forest-Kings-Daughter-Kendra-Olson-ebook/dp/B00UBTSNBI/

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Forest-Kings-Daughter-Kendra-Olson-ebook/dp/B00UBTSNBI/

#iBooks https://itun.es/gb/N5Fh6.l

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A few words from me……

When Virginia King first contacted me regarding doing a cover poll for her on my blog, I was more than happy to do so.  Little did I know that this would lead to a long-distance e-friendship between her and Kendra Olson.  This just makes me so happy.

I have since then posted a few things for Virginia on here and I am so pleased to have had the privilege of getting to know such a lovely author.  Virginia very kindly sent me a paperback copy of ‘The First Lie’ all the way from Australia with a beautiful message inside it.  A wonderful lady with such a kind heart.

 

Guest Post by Virginia King

Virginia_King_Author_Portrait

The lovely Virginia King is back on my blog with a guest post.

 

Getting Inside her Head

How a Group of Real Women Became One Feisty Heroine

Reviewers are describing Selkie Moon as a character they can relate to – “charming, spirited, intelligent” as well as “enchantingly honest” with “a fine sense of humour”.  In ‘The First Lie’, Selkie’s got to dig deep to “take on the challenges that are literally haunting her steps.”  One reviewer says: “King gives the reader a perfect story on a silver platter that ties us tightly to the fate of this remarkable woman.”

As the creator of Selkie Moon, I’m delighted that readers are finding her fascinating and real.  I’d like to say she’s just like me, but for a start she’s thirty-four and I’m “somewhat older” 🙂  Here’s a glimpse into how I created her.

 

Food, Wine, Secrets

To make Selkie a multi-layered character, I needed to get into the heads of more than one modern woman.  I invited a group of thirty-something singles to have lunch with me.  I plied then with food and wine and got out my notebook!

They talked about their lives.  I got insights into different careers – from life coaching to copywriting.  They explained the challenges of short-term contracts and a freelance life.  I learnt about the meaning of ‘friends with benefits’ and the need to use your ‘gaydar’ with potential lovers.  We talked about the biological clock and their desires around career and children.

“If Selkie meets a guy she likes,” Emma told me, “she’ll definitely google him before dating him.  She doesn’t want any surprises.”

“She’ll have at least one gay friend,” Sally said. “Someone she confides in.”

 

Soul Mates Suck

“I’ve changed my profile on RSVP,” Kate shared, “to cut out the men looking for their soul mate.”  She pulled a face. “You’d be surprised how many arrange to meet you and when you walk up you can tell they’re waiting for lights to flash and an orchestra to play or they’re out of there.  I put ‘forget the fireworks and the violins’ on my profile and my responses dropped by fifty percent.”

 

Committed to Non-Commitment

As the afternoon wore on secrets were revealed.  Jules lived with a guy on and off and he was the one who wanted more.  “I was the girl who didn’t commit.  Life was frivolous and fun.  No strings.  I found out later that he married someone just like me – she even looks like me.  I’d treated his love way too casually.  I was … afraid.”

 

Not Passion, Control

Prue told us about her ex.  “I didn’t have any concept of emotional abuse until I met Ben.  I was smart, with a great job and a flat, and he was in a band, penniless and couch surfing.  I know now that he knew the only way he’d keep me was to control me.  He was ‘into me’ big time – telling me what to wear, getting insanely jealous over nothing, putting me down in a twisted way.  He systematically isolated me from my family and friends until I lost all my confidence.”  It was only when Ben went on tour with his band, that Prue suddenly saw his ‘passion’ for what it was.  “While he was around I believed it,” she said.

 

A Scream across the Table

The wine was doing the trick.  “I was so lonely one night,” Rosie said, “I actually took JJ back to my flat.”  “Oh God,” Sally screamed. “I’ve slept with him.  I didn’t want anyone to know.”  We dissolved in tears of laughter.

 

A Woman under Pressure

These real women gave me the background to make Selkie Moon a complex character.  If you read ‘The First Lie’ you’ll recognise snippets from that lunch.  It’s the qualities of her relationships that interweave to create this multi-dimensional story about a modern woman under pressure to unravel a frightening psychological mystery – to find out the truth about herself.  I’m very grateful to my lunch partners for their generosity and honesty.  Selkie is ‘real’ because of them.

 

 

About Virginia King 

Virginia King lives in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. She’s been a teacher, an unemployed ex-teacher, a producer of audio-books, a writer of 50+ children’s books, a writing workshop presenter and an award-winning publisher. “The First Lie” is her debut novel for adults, the first mystery in the Selkie Moon series.

In The First Lie, Virginia combines her love of psychological mystery/thrillers with her fascination for mythology and fairy tales.  Her writing process is to work without a plot and let the book evolve and gain depth from the ideas and serendipitous happenings that turn up along the way.  She believes that if the writer is surprised by the twists and turns in the story, the reader will be too.  Book Two in the series will be published in early 2015.

‘The First Lie’ Cover Poll – Thank You from Virginia King

The_First_Lie_Medium-Large

Last month I did a poll for Virginia King to see which book cover people preferred.  To see the original post please click on the link below:-

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2015/02/18/the-first-lie-by-virginia-king-cover-poll-competition/

The overall winner was the second cover (above).  I also ran a competition in which one person who commented would win an ebook copy of ‘The First Lie’.  Virginia has written a thank you post for everyone who took part in the poll.

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A warm thank you to everyone who voted in the cover poll for The First Lie – and a very special thank you to Sonya at A Lover of Books for hosting and managing the poll.  Sonya continues to support authors like me in very practical ways.

The quality of the responses to the cover poll was very high, so I have chosen two winners to receive a copy of the ebook (see below).  Authors really need honest feedback from readers and other authors about such elements as book covers, because they are so important in attracting new readers.  A quality cover is the first indication that the book is well-written and worth investing time and money in.  I’ve written a little about my cover journeys below.

 

Does the Cover Tell a Story?

I love the old cover of The First Lie, which is a section from a painting called Watching by artist Lindena Robb (http://www.lindena-robb.com.au).  Some voters noted the quality of this image as a work of art – I agree.  I thought it would be a winner at attracting readers.  But when The First Lie hit the bestseller list in Psychic Suspense and there was no spike in new sales, I wondered if the cover was the problem.  The First Lie has a lot of positive reviews but if readers don’t click on the cover they won’t get to read them.  I got feedback from book reviewers that this cover doesn’t “tell a story”, so doesn’t invite the reader to explore further – and get to the book description and reviews.  Boo hoo!

Reflecting the Genre without Being Clichéd

The new cover is the result of an exhaustive design process by Julia Kuris at Designerbility (http://www.designerbility.com.au).  The First Lie is a psychological mystery/thriller with a touch of the mythical, set in Hawaii.  Julia took note of many of the elements in the book and its genre and produced nine cover concepts – an awesome choice!  We rejected some as too YA and others as not mystical enough or too clichéd.  Others didn’t communicate the island setting.  By gauging the WOW response from readers and feedback from my editor, I selected the concept that has become the new cover.  Thank you to people who commented that it might be a little clichéd.  It’s difficult to place a book firmly in its genre and keep the image fresh.  The limited colour palette catches the eye and, as other voters noted, it reflects the psychological and mystical elements in the book, as well as the setting.  Julia was also working with a series “look” in mind – she’s creating concepts for Book Two at the moment.  Exciting!

 

Winners

I’ve chosen Paul and Kendra to win an ebook copy of The First Lie.  Their comments reflect thoughtful consideration of the issues I’ve grappled with.  Many thanks.

 

Paul

I think the second cover, which I voted for, is the most commercial. i.e. most likely to entice people to buy. But I still like the original cover for its own sake and think it is the most interesting artistically.

Kendra

I chose the second cover because of the water and reflection of two different faces. I found this image both disturbing and intriguing, which is how I expect to feel when reading a psychological mystery/thriller. Good luck!

 

‘The First Lie’ is available from Amazon.

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/First-Lie-Selkie-Moon-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00K1VC20Y/

Amazon UK: http//www.amazon.co.uk/First-Selkie-Moon-Mystery-Series-ebook/dp/B00K1VC20Y/

 

Website:  Virginia blogs about writing and book matters at http://www.selkiemoon.com/

You can also follow Virginia and Selkie Moon:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/selkiemoonmysteries

Twitter: https://twitter.com/selkiemoonbooks

‘The First Lie’ by Virginia King – Cover Poll / Competition

the-first-lie-cover_small_rszd

or

The_First_Lie_Medium-Large

Virginia King is the author of ‘The First Lie’.

Book Blurb

What if the truth was hidden where you’d never ever find it?

When Selkie Moon reclaims the name her mother gave her, she unwittingly triggers a series of events so bizarre, she’s forced to delve into the murky depths of the past and face the shocking truth about herself.

 

Poll and Competition 

‘The First Lie’ is a multi-layered psychological/mystery thriller.  As you can see above two covers have been designed for this book, the second one being the new one.  Virginia King would love to know peoples opinions of the covers.  Which cover image best reflects this genre and would make you click on it to find out more?

Vote in my poll below:-

 

Virginia King is offering a copy of her book (ebook) to one lucky person.  To enter this competition just leave a comment below about the covers, i.e. the designs, why you prefer the one you do etc.  Virginia will then pick a winner.

This competition is open worldwide and it closes on the 25th February 2015 at 11:59 p.m.

 

Visit Virginia’s website – http://www.selkiemoon.com

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