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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway with Susan Leigh Noble, author of Summoned

Hi, everyone!

I am pleased to participate in Susan Leigh Noble's Summoned Virtual Book Tour hosted by Goddess Fish.

About Susan:

Susan Leigh Noble has always loved dragons and magic so it is no wonder that she became an author of fantasy novels. As a cat lover, she also threw a telepathic cat into the mix for her The Elemental Series. The first two books, Summoned and Quietus, have already been released in e-book format. She is currently working on the third and final chapter of the trilogy.
When she isn’t writing, Susan is an active volunteer in her neighborhood and at her children’s schools. She lives with her husband, two children and three cats in Texas.

She loves to hear from readers.


Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Susan! 

Susan has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to her.

Finding Time To Write

I love being a writer. I love putting words down on the page, creating characters and scenes and almost everything connected to writing. But the one thing that I find the hardest is finding the time to write. There are tales of other writers such as JK Rowling that wrote in the evenings while their kids were sleeping. I don’t know how they had the energy for that! By the time the kids are in bed, I am exhausted. My creative juices are running low.

Sometimes I pop awake before the alarm goes off in the morning and rather than go back to sleep and be groggy when I am forced to wake up, I choose to get up and write. In those few minutes (okay, sometime it is more like an hour) I can get so much more done. I am refreshed. The house is quiet. I can write uninterrupted. Well, as uninterrupted as one can with a cat who thinks the best place to stand is in front of the monitor.  
However, those uninterrupted morning writing sessions are not enough.  I try to write while the kids are in school but since my daughter only goes half days three days a week that just leaves about seven hours a week to sit at the computer when you take out the driving time. But then add in errands and appointments that you want to do child-free and that number diminishes rapidly.  

With two children under the age of 7 and a full schedule of taking them to activities, parties and events plus volunteering at their schools and in my neighborhood homeowners association (yes, my husband has told me that I have a problem saying no to people), I find it hard to work in the precious uninterrupted time to write. That means I have had to find ways to write with the constant activity, distractions and interruptions. (Even as I write this, my son is trying to tell me about a video game he is playing.)  

I now carry with me a small notebook that fits into my purse. So when I have a few minutes waiting in the pickup line at my daughter’s school or am waiting for my son to get out of karate, I can work. I sometimes just jot down questions I need to address or possible future scenes. Or if I have enough time and inspiration has hit, I hand-write out the entire scene.  

I wrote my first novel, Summoned, before I had kids. I remember having the blissful, free time to concentrate on my writing. Now that I am working on the third book in the trilogy, I have resolved myself that it will take longer. I may not have those uninterrupted blocks of writing times that I did before, but I know piece by piece, stolen moments here and there, and many early mornings, I will get this book completed too.        

Thanks so much for joining us today, Susan!

Susan will award a $15 Amazon Gift Card to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour and a $10 Amazon Gift Card to the host with the most comments (excluding Susan's and the host's). 
Follow the tour and comment! The more you comment, the better your chances of winning! The tour schedule can be found at the bottom of this post.

Lina wants an ordinary life in the Grasslands of Zena. But she isn’t ordinary at all. At the age of four, she discovered she could start fires with a mere thought - an ability believed to have died out long ago. Cautioned by her telepathic cat, Tosh, she keeps this Elemental power a secret in fear of how the outside world would react. There is something else different about Lina - she feels a strange force compelling her to go north.

Before she can decide whether to give into this mysterious urge, she is kidnapped by gypsies and wakes in a foreign land. The desire to travel north is as strong as ever. When a strange raging fire prevents her return home, Lina realizes she must find out once and for all what or who is summoning her.

On her journey, she befriends an odd assortment of allies including the son of a High Council member, a thief, a former guardsman and a large sarcastic black dragon. Together they battle mystical creatures and unnatural forces, although such magic had ceased to exist over 800 years ago. During each battle, Lina must use her innate Elemental power as she becomes more certain that someone is using magic against her. When she discovers the shocking truth, it will change her life in ways she could never imagine.

Book Excerpt

The cold surrounded her, chilling her bones. She woke slowly, rubbing the sand from her eyes. Only a thin sliver of light from the narrow window barely illuminated the small room. Lina sat up, her boots scraping across the stone floor. Where was she? She glanced around; her fingers reaching out to brush the damp stonewall. She wrinkled her nose at the musty odor. A scratching sound came from the far corner of the small room. She thought of rats and quickly pulled her feet back onto the narrow cot.

As her eyes grew accustomed to the darkness, she saw the door on the other side of the cell. She pushed the thoughts of rats out of her mind and stood up. The room spun. She grasped the wall. Her body felt weird as if it was not fully hers. She vaguely remembered a man knocking her to the ground and the sweet smell of the cloth over her face. She had a faint memory of being thrown on the back of a horse and being forced to drink something with a strange aftertaste.

She leaned against the wall until the room stopped moving and then hesitantly, Lina shuffled toward the door, her arms outstretched until she felt the cold metal door. She pushed and pulled at the handle but the door did not budge.

 “Tosh?” she called. Her voice echoed in the stone cell. She pounded on the door. “Val? Anyone?” She pounded on the door again but no sounds came from the other side. “Tosh? Tosh where are you?”

There was no answer. She glanced around the tiny room. It was bare save the cot. She edged away from the dark corner where she had heard the scratching. The lone window was too high for her to reach, and even if she could, it was barely a slit. Her only exit was the door. But even as she turned to consider it, she knew that her Elemental powers couldn’t help her. Maybe if the door had been wood, then she could burn her way out, but not metal. She would incinerate herself before the door would begin to melt. The walls were made of thick stone. There was nothing she could do. Wearily, she climbed back onto the cot. Cold and hungry, she curled into a ball. She wondered where her friends were and if they had survived the battle.


  1. A Canadian in Texas? What part if I may ask?

    I'm in Manila working as a teacher. We Canadians get around! lol Now following your blog.

  2. I wonder how difficult must be to keep the flow of your writing going working in short bursts? I like early mornings too. I've often finished my chores before the family wake up. That frees me up no end.


  3. Darlene - Thanks for having me here today.

    Marybelle - Yes, sometimes it is hard to keep the flow going or remember what I am doing but I usually have a list of scenes/ideas I need to work on and just pick one of them. And then later piece them all together.

    Jeremy - Not from Canada at all but am living in San Antonio right now.

  4. It's always interesting to read about someone's writing process. Great interview!


  5. This book definitely sounds interesting! Thanks for posting the interview.


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