Broken Now Listed on Goodreads

I’m thrilled to announce that Broken, the sequel to Stolen, is now posted up on Goodreads! Due out in Spring 2020, this is Book 2 of the Stolen series trilogy. Get a glimpse of what’s to come in the unofficial blurb below.

Add it to your To-Read list! I’m in the middle of editing this one, and trust me when I say you won’t want to miss it!

Broken
by Marlena Frank

A land has fallen. An escape was made. It’s a victory of sorts, but at what price?

Shaleigh has made a terrible mistake, one she may not ever be able to fix. Lost and in a strange land with anger and death all around her, she must navigate her way through treacherous lands on her quest for redemption. Along the way she’ll have to negotiate with the mercurial Queen of the Fae, survive the dangers of the Masked King’s realm, and seek out a terrifying fire dragon.

With two powerful beings hot on her trail, Shaleigh has no choice but to keep moving, or else face the dangerous magic of the Madness that has already caused so much pain and heartache. With her sights on helping her friends and her heart longing for home, Shaleigh is determined, but will it be enough?

Coming Spring 2020

Draft 1 of Broken Finished

Wow, you guys! I can’t believe I finished up the first draft of Broken! This was a tough book to write, both emotionally and logistically since it’s book 2 of a trilogy. On top of that there have been some very emotional events going on in real life which have only made concentrating on this book more difficult. A week or so ago I had to request an extension from my (amazing!) publisher and they were happy to grant it. I hate having to do that. I’m one of those students that always liked to have their work in early if possible.

Now I have a month and a half to get the edits done, which I think is no problem. I know the beginning especially needs some serious work, but I’m very pleased with the ending. One of the troubles of writing book 2 is that it’s tough to know where to end the book. That’s certainly been the problem here. I can’t wait to share this rollercoaster ride with you all! Now I just need to fix some places, fix some characters, and get this beauty delivered to my publisher!

Project: Broken

A land has fallen. An escape was made. It’s a victory of sorts, but at what price?

Shaleigh has made a terrible mistake, one she may not ever be able to fix. Lost and in a strange land with anger and death all around her, she must navigate her way through treacherous lands on her quest for redemption. Along the way she’ll have to negotiate with the mercurial Queen of the Fae, survive the dangers of the Masked King’s realm, and seek out a terrifying fire dragon.

With two powerful beings hot on her trail, Shaleigh has no choice but to keep moving, or else face the dangerous magic of the Madness that has already caused so much pain and heartache. With her sights on helping her friends and her heart longing for home, Shaleigh is determined, but will it be enough?

BROKEN is Book 2 of the Stolen series

Words Written:
2/12 – 1,711
2/13 – 2,163
3/2 – 4,692 (!!!)
3/3 – 2,846 on Broken, 560 on Chosen

FINAL Word Count for Draft 1 of BROKEN: 67,485

Progress:
My goodness, this has been an emotional roller coaster for these poor characters. Then they end up facing one of the most ruthless and terrifying creature in the land, so you know it won’t get easier.

Next Up:
Starting Chosen with a very surreal encounter and some long-lasting decisions.

Commentary:
My gosh, you guys, I can’t believe the first draft of Broken is finished! I’ve been plugging away at this book since August 10, 2018, which means it took me 7 months to finish it. Considering that it’s the middle book of the 3-part sandwich of Stolen, I knew it would be a difficult project, but I didn’t realize how tough it would be. I’ve had a great time writing it, and I’m stoked to continue on in book 3, Chosen.

I can’t wait to share this book with you all! It’s definitely different from book 1, but it shares a lot of the same themes and ideas of course. That’s what you want in a trilogy, right? I’m so dang excited to finish up with fixing the structure so I can get it into your hands sooner!

Writing Emotional Scenes

Working on a really emotional scene right now and it always takes a lot of focus and prep time to really get into the right feeling. It takes prep work, it takes listening to the right music, it takes planning and being willing to dive into your emotions. For people who write, they understand how difficult this can be. It’s taken me about a week to find the time and ability to dive into this scene again because it can be so taxing. When it’s done though, that feeling of relief is amazing.

Project: Broken

A land has fallen. An escape was made. It’s a victory of sorts, but at what price?

Shaleigh has made a terrible mistake, one she may not ever be able to fix. Lost and in a strange land with anger and death all around her, she must navigate her way through treacherous lands on her quest for redemption. Along the way she’ll have to negotiate with the mercurial Queen of the Fae, survive the dangers of the Masked King’s realm, and seek out a terrifying fire dragon.

With two powerful beings hot on her trail, Shaleigh has no choice but to keep moving, or else face the dangerous magic of the Madness that has already caused so much pain and heartache. With her sights on helping her friends and her heart longing for home, Shaleigh is determined, but will it be enough?

BROKEN is Book 2 of the Stolen series

Words Written:
2/10 – 2,441

Current Word Count: 56,131

Progress:
Sometimes things don’t go at all like you plan. In fact they turn so much worse just when you think things will get better. The shock is tough to adapt to.

Next Up:
A journey to a very dangerous place with a very horrific companion.

Commentary:
Yay, I hit that 70% mark on my wordcount! This was easily one of the most intense scenes of this book, which is right where it needs to be in around the middle of book 2 of my trilogy. I always feel like my first drafts suffer from too little detail, but I’ll be coming back through in later drafts to add more meat to these scenes. This one in particular almost has all the detail it needs, but I’m sure I’ll see more when I come back to it with fresh eyes

I wanted to have this book done by the end of January, but that hasn’t happened. I want this book to be as powerful as I have it in my head though, and sometimes that takes time – more time than we expect. I’m pleased with where I am for now, but I can tell it’s going to take longer than I anticipated.

I know folks who have finished Book 1 of the Stolen series are clamoring for a Book 2, but I want it to be right too. Oh, the struggles of being an author! I think you all with enjoy this one though! It’s definitely darker than Book 1 though, so just be prepared!

Intense Scenes

It’s amazing when you finally get to write a scene that you’ve had rattling around inside your head for years. It’s also terrifying because you hope that you’ve done the scene justice to what you see in your head. It’s definitely a love/hate relationship because on one hand you can’t wait to share with people what happens, but on the other you’re nervous the whole time.

I guess I’m going to have to get used to these sorts of conflicts as I write books, cause more than likely they’re only going to get more common haha. Slowly coming off a writing high this evening where I tore through a ton of words. I’m very proud, but I also realize that there’s still the rest of the scene to go. It’s nowhere near done yet, and the roller coaster has just gone over the highest peak. This book is going to be all downhill from here, and hoo boy, what a ride it’ll be!

Project: Broken

A land has fallen. An escape was made. It’s a victory of sorts, but at what price?

Shaleigh has made a terrible mistake, one she may not ever be able to fix. Lost and in a strange land with anger and death all around her, she must navigate her way through treacherous lands on her quest for redemption. Along the way she’ll have to negotiate with the mercurial Queen of the Fae, survive the dangers of the Masked King’s realm, and seek out a terrifying fire dragon.

With two powerful beings hot on her trail, Shaleigh has no choice but to keep moving, or else face the dangerous magic of the Madness that has already caused so much pain and heartache. With her sights on helping her friends and her heart longing for home, Shaleigh is determined, but will it be enough?

BROKEN is Book 2 of the Stolen series

Words Written:
2/2- 3,08

Current Word Count: 53,166

Progress:
Everything just got a lot hotter, and um, not in a good way.

Next Up:
There is definitely going to be fall-out here. There is so much to finish with this scene, so much to explain, so much detail to go into. But that’s for tomorrow.

Commentary:
I really wanted to continue this scene, but I’ve been writing for a good 2-3 hours now and I’m feeling cramped and tired. It’s after 1 AM here at the moment, but the creativity just kept flowing. A few days ago I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to figure out how to continue this scene properly to give it justice, and yet here I am halfway through it. I’m leaving right in the middle of the action for now because that’s the best way to make sure the words come just as smoothly tomorrow as well (I forget who I got that trick from).

At this pace it’s not going to take me long to hit 60k words, and I’m really pleased about that. I didn’t hit 55k words like I wanted today, but it’s close. Sometimes the important part with writing is knowing when to take a break, knowing when to let your mind rest for a bit, and knowing when you should probably come back with fresh eyes. This is definitely that time.

Wish me luck for the next scene! Er, you may want to wish my characters luck too… they’ll probably need it more than me…

So Much Red Tape

I feel so bad for Shaleigh. It’s not just the terrible events and situations she has to deal with, but my goodness does she also have a lot of red tape to cut through! It doesn’t matter if she’s talking with Dean Hammond or a leader of a land, there always seems to be some red tape to tear apart before she can get anywhere.

I’d like to say that this was something completely pulled out of my imagination and that I’ve never had to deal with anything like that in my life, but I think everybody would see right through that one.

Red tape is part of life, regardless of where you encounter it. Even if it’s in another world and you have no idea that it’ll be there until you walk right into it. Like I said, I sure do feel bad for Shaleigh, but isn’t that what writing is all about?

Project: Broken

A land has fallen. An escape was made. It’s a victory of sorts, but at what price?

Shaleigh has made a terrible mistake, one she may not ever be able to fix. Lost and in a strange land with anger and death all around her, she must navigate her way through treacherous lands on her quest for redemption. Along the way she’ll have to negotiate with the mercurial Queen of the Fae, survive the dangers of the Masked King’s realm, and seek out a terrifying fire dragon.

With two powerful beings hot on her trail, Shaleigh has no choice but to keep moving, or else face the dangerous magic of the Madness that has already caused so much pain and heartache. With her sights on helping her friends and her heart longing for home, Shaleigh is determined, but will it be enough?

BROKEN is Book 2 of the Stolen series

Words Written:
1/29 – 2,096

Current Word Count: 50,181

Progress:
The negotiations have ended, and it seems like there is a lull.

Next Up:
There is never really a lull. You would think my characters would get used to that by now. And everything is about to get turned upside-down. I’ve been gearing up for months (years?) to write these scenes. I’ll feel so good once they’re finally put down on paper!

Commentary:
It felt so good to hit that 50k mark! That puts me over 60% through the book and even though it’s not as far as I’d like, I’m really pleased with the big chunk of 2k words I wrote today. Once this next action piece hits, things are going downhill quickly from there. This is probably the last lull of the book and I’m buckling up for the rest.

That said, am I on track for my March deadline for this piece? I’m not sure, but I sure hope so. Fingers crossed, folks, and I hope you enjoy these updates cause there will certainly be a lot of them coming soon!

Oh and by the way I’ve been working on finalizing the events for this year and there will be several! Expect to see a big update for the Appearances page coming soon. So far I have 3 events finalized, 1 finalized and not yet paid for, and many more in the planning stages. Lets just say April through June are going to be some busy months!