Cats make me weird(er).

We have somewhere between five and seventy cats. I don’t know the exact number, but it seems to fluctuate based on things like “holding a can of tuna” and “trying to write a book while using a laptop”.

Outwardly, I appear to be a dog person. We have five dogs. I love dogs. I talk to them in silly voices, or as a colleague when they appear to be listening. I run with them, nap with them, and have not gone to the bathroom by myself in nine years. (True Story)

But it’s my cats that really bring out the weird in me. Granted, I’m a writer, so that wasn’t exactly a difficult task.

(side note: every writer lives in fear of dying without clearing their web browser. we call it research, but in truth, it’s generally unhealthy fascinations with things as varied as skin conditions, hiding bodies, and why a tiger might only eat half of a person. stuff like that.)

So when we have yet another litter of rescued kittens, they begin to attach themselves to us like adorable parasitic floofs, worming their way into my daily routine with shocking speed. Naturally, I have my favorites, and naturally, some of the cats only tolerate me– after all, they’re cats. It’s what they do.

Which brings me to my recent conversation with my friend and book advisor, who is also a cat person and thus understands what life is like with miniature, disdainful lions who poop in proscribed locations throughout the house.

“Jess,” I said, not thinking that I might be weird, “I like to nibble my cat’s ears while he sits on my lap.”

There was no recriminating gasp or shock on her end of the phone call, merely, “OH MY GAHD I DO TOO.”

So, there’s at least two of us, thought I think other people will admit it once they know OTHER people are willing to come forward. It’s a circle of affirmation for Cat Nibblers, or whatever the inevitable meetings will be called.

And despite, the efforts of Sugar (he’s the white one, getting fed by my bride, The Cat Whisperer), I can now proudly announce that my tenth novel, Moonborn, is complete. I’ll share the cover soon, and more sample chapters as well.

Cat hair and all.

 

Young Adult Fantasy: Moonborn

Without further ado, allow me to introduce you to the next chapter in Livvy Foster’s life. If you haven’t read Heartborn, you can catch up here: Her guardian angel was pushed: Heartborn

Ready? Let’s go. Here’s a taste of Moonborn.

Livvy Foster has a new heart, home, and a place in the powerful halls of House Windhook. The fall of Sliver was only the beginning of a civil war that sees angels from across the sky challenge each other to lead a world in which the past and the future are connected by a storm crafted from time, ambition, and power.

When House Selinus attempts to bend the light of days in order to become the supreme power in an apocalyptic future, they confront a goddess who is older than time itself– and she’ll stop at nothing to get the one soul who escaped her through the years: Livvy.

With deceit, war and love swirling in the clouds above a shattered world that was once Livvy’s home, she’ll be asked to do something a girl with a broken heart never thought possible.
Fight for Windhook. Fight for her world.
Take wing with Livvy, one heartbeat at a time.

 

What do you think?

Cheers!

Terry

Being Royal Is a Headache

It’s hard to be royal.

Being a queen means not belonging to yourself, I think. After studying royalty for years, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a job one should consider carefully before taking the crown.

Crowns are heavy, and they have a way of leaving the body with the head still attached. History is filled with the vain, stupid, greedy, and lustful regents who found themselves at the end of a sword. The wrong end.

But history is also filled with good, just, intelligent royals who also found themselves relegated to the past by violent means, often in a spectacular, horrid fashion.

I write this because I’ve been giving a lot of consideration to where Livvy, from my novel Heartborn, will go in the future.

It’s true that writers use our characters as voodoo dolls, making them endure the very worst that our imagination has to offer.

I really like Livvy, and for seventeen years she struggled from breath to breath with a defective heart. I don’t want the rest of of her life to be a mockery of that, but I also want her to ascend to the heights she’s meant to be at when the world comes calling– and make no mistake, Livvy has greater concerns than she can imagine. Or, she will have, but that’s an issue for book two and three in the trilogy.

I think the question of whether Livvy is meant to be a queen is out of her hands, and in a sense, mine. The story goes where it will, especially when characters show the kind of steel that Livvy has within her. Still, in her own words, “Weapons were meant to be used.”

I think that royalty is a weapon, but for Livvy, I want to believe she’s the one holding the sword.

 

Pushups are the Devil

I’m on this stupid health and exercise kick, and it means giving up things like pie and cake for a while. As a man of a certain age, I have certain fears, which include (but are not limited to):

  1. Pleated khakis.
  2. Losing my hair.
  3. Belly.
  4. A larger belly.
  5. Chewing food like I’m a beetle.
  6. A compulsion to use coupons at dinner.
  7. Socks and sandals together.

Thus far, I’ve avoided most of that. Teeth are still good. Mind still feels sharp, unless it’s car keys and then I act as if every day is an archaeological hunt. I’m writing more emotional, lurid scenes that ever before, so I feel that (professionally), I’m better than ever. Writing is a muscle, but you know what else is a muscle?

Muscles.

I totaled last month’s pushup total from my Exercise Log of Doom, and the number was 2805.

That’s a lot of pushups for a middle-aged guy, or at least it is for me. It’s having an effect. I feel like my mind is slightly clearer, with less tendency to be dreamy when I’m writing. Does that make sense?

It’s also vanquishing fear number nine from the above list, which I saved for here: Moobs

I don’t want to have the chest of an American Buddha, so this whole nightmare of pushupageddon is actually working out rather well.

I still hate it, though. It’s like work, but with your face on the floor and lots of wheezing.

The goal for this month is 3000. Oh, and no bra. Ever.

New book is at 60,000 words. Done in a week. you’re going to love it. I’m over the moon for Livvy and a new character, Danila. She’s amazing.

Cheers.

 

Carrots. Fuel for adulting.

Where I’m at in life today:

I plan on writing in the car at the pickup line. I arrive about an hour early to get Optimum Line Placement, assuring that my son gets in and we take off with near military precision.

Side note: If you told me to invade a country and gave me whatever resources I’d need, I would select the teachers who supervise the pickup line. I could have my forces in Moscow by noon. They do not play around when it comes to getting the kids on their way.

Ok, so I’ll write a chapter today– around 1500 words. The fuel I’m choosing is white carrots, purchased from the Hendersonville Produce Stand. It’s the kind of place that has fruits and vegetables that look real, rather than the polished, waxy approximations of food in some stores. I like the irregularity– it’s the same in people, I think. It’s the cracks that make us good, to quote Dozer from the book Heartborn.

Why white carrots, Terry? Welllll, glad you asked. I really dig parsnips, and these are rather like them. Add a touch of butter, salt, pepper, thyme. Roast until tender. Add protein of your choice. Boom. Writing fuel, or fuel for whatever you’re doing.

In my case, it’s writing. I’ll report back on the efficiency of carrots as Fictional Fuel.

2017: The Bells of Wonder

Let’s talk about our goals.

I have a few. Some are likely, some are certain, and some are an outright challenge to myself. I like those. They assure me of taking my craft seriously, as well as continued growth.

They are, in no particular order:

  1. Write three books.
  2. Write three short stories for anthologies.
  3. Produce three audiobooks.
  4. Drink a lot of coffee.
  5. Whiten my teeth.
  6. Repeat as needed.

Specific characters: what’s next?

The sequel to Heartborn will arrive in March. Livvy is going to learn a lot more about her new world, and more to the point, what happened to her old world. Angels aren’t always agents of good, and their presence walks the line between war and wonder. Sometimes, their world might seem too brutal for someone like Livvy, but I think the angels should worry about how they fit into her plans.

She’s tough, and smart, and her heart is pure. That goes a long way, even in a world filled with war and lies.

What about Carlie?

Excellent question!

Carlie has a big year planned. I started wondering about her next challenges. Are they internal? External?

How about both.

Carlie needs pressure to grow, and I’ve found the perfect way to let her explore her magic, love Wulfric, and grow into the witch who will ultimately cradle Halfway in her protective grasp. Halfway Drowned will arrive in late summer, and the villains are fantastic. One of them even wears gym socks with rings, so you know he’s a terrible person.*

*If you really like gym socks with rings, and do it in a retro way, that’s cool.

Ring. Wally. Risa. It’s time.

I’ve thought long and hard about The Fearless and their path.

And now, I have it. I will be repackaging the entire series to introduce a project I’ve wanted to write for three years– book five of The Fearless is well underway, but the side project is near and dear to my heart.

It’s no secret that I love Delphine, but her backstory hasn’t been explained enough to match the depth of her intellect, will, and sexuality. I’ll fix that in 2017. I’ve got a stack of research and a keyboard, and Delphine will have her own story. Soon.

Yes Terry but pie.

Naturally, I’ll be heavily engaged in the following activities as well:

  1. Eating
  2. Eating pie.
  3. Eating cake, pie, and other bakes things.
  4. Running.
  5. Pushups.
  6. Wondering why my weight stays relatively level.

New Team Members

I’d like to introduce Jessica Herring as my web designer. She’ll be bringing the site up to speed in a clean, friendly format. I hope to interact with a lot more readers this year– my calendar is full, but still growing. Hope to see you at an event!

Najla, Amalia, and my Bookish Circle of Trust (You know who you are!) will continue to produce the cover art I love, with a special shout out to Staci Hart for her brilliant imagery on Heartborn.

More to come. I’d love to hear from you about great books, food, events, or whatever. Let’s chat.

Here’s to your best year ever. Thanks for reading.

Cheers,

Are you in Kindle Unlimited? I need your help.

Reach out to me at terrymaggertbooks.com, I have a favor to ask.

It seems that there’s a glitch in the Amazon features and I’d like to run a test— it won’t cost you any money, but it would help me out tremendously. All you have to do is get one of my titles (most are in KU), read a few pages, and tell me how many. That’s it.

Thanks in advance!

Terry

My titles: My Amazon Page

Release Day: $25 Gift Card and Jewelry Giveaway.

Today is the big day. Heartborn is here.



Her guardian angel was pushed. Get it here: Heartborn

As a thank you from me to you, enter this rafflecopter to win one of three gifts: a $25 Amazon Gift Card, and E-book of Halfway Dead, or jeweled bangles I had commissioned just for this event. It’s worldwide, and it’s free to enter. Share with a friend or three, buy Heartborn, and join Livvy and Keiron as they find out that love is a lot more than just sacrifice.

Your prize awaits. 



Enter here: 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Her Guardian Angel Was Pushed. YA Fantasy. Soon.

Introducing the cover for Heartborn, available September 1st. Design and art by the amazing Staci Hart. Advance proofs are available for #booktubers, #bookstagrammars, and #bloggers. Ask, and it’s yours.

This one’s going to get you right in the feels. Share with a friend or three!

Annnnnnd– the blurb:

Her guardian angel was pushed.
Keiron was never meant to be anything other than a hero. Born high above in a place of war and deception, he is Heartborn, a being of purity and goodness in a place where violence and deceit are just around every corner.
His disappearance will spark a war he cannot see, for Keiron has pierced the light of days to save a girl he has never met, for reasons he cannot understand. Livvy Foster is seventeen, brave, and broken. With half a heart, she bears the scars of a lifetime of pain and little hope of survival.
Until Keiron arrives.
In the middle of a brewing war and Livvy’s failing heart, Keiron will risk everything for Livvy, because a Heartborn’s life can only end in one way: Sacrifice.

Fall with Livvy and Keiron as they seek the truth about her heart, and his power, and what it means to love someone who will give their very life to save you.


Can’t wait to share it with you!

Cheers,
Terry