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Sunday, 23 October 2016

Lady Raven by Louise Lake Nanowrimo 2016

Hello Everyone,

I thought I would share what I am working on for Nanowrimo 2016, so here it goes ...
Title: Lady Raven
Genre: Fantasy/Fairytale


Have you heard the tale of the Princess?

Who to the fairies sold her soul,

Playing with the devil’s dice,

To have a kingdom of her own,

But, everything comes with a price.


A single moment has the power to alter your destiny. For Lela Rose that was the moment she fell in love.

As a young girl Lela’s mother would tell her stories of adventure and bravery. But, out of all of the stories Lela’s favourites were the ones of true love. Night after night, Lela would beg her mother for another tale of true love. Eventually, Lela’s mother would let out a huge sigh and give into her daughter’s wishes.

Later, as Lela grew older, her mother had stopped visiting her with bedtime stories at night, so Lela thought up her own. She imagined tall handsome knights and heroes of great strength, rescuing a damsel in distress. And, as you can imagine Lela was the damsel, or so she thought. The truth was everything Lela imagined would most likely never happen to her, because Lela’s full name was Princess Lela Rose.

The Golden Kingdom was a beautiful sight to behold, full of golden buttercups, vibrant tulips and pastel blue forget me nots. The kingdom stood on thousands of acres of emerald green grass and the finest soil for miles around. There had never been a day when the kingdom didn’t flourish. The townspeople lived in wooden houses with plenty of fresh fruit, tasty vegetables and crusty bread to eat.

King Leonardo was the finest king to ever rule the Golden Kingdom. He would never expect his people to live in filth, without the finest food to fill their bellies. He was a just king and the people loved him for it. However, his father was somewhat of a tyrant. He had never cared about his people or his family, for that matter. King Leonardo remembered how his father used to threaten his people to get what he wanted. Even as a child, before Leonardo became king he made a promise to himself that he would never be anything like his father, and he would always do his best in every situation that he was faced with.

King Leonardo had always been proud of his daughter. After thirteen years of trying for another child, the king was surprised to learn that his queen – Tianna, was with child again. Lela was overjoyed by the sudden news of a brother or sister. The entire kingdom rejoiced in the news of the birth of a prince or princess. The celebrations continued throughout the queen’s pregnancy. Until, the day came when Princess Arianne was born. Drinking, dancing and merry making spread throughout the kingdom. Yellow lights shone into the sky like beams of gold.

A few days later a great banquet was held in honour of the new princess. The townspeople flocked into the castle, grouped together and led into the main hall, where the merrymaking commenced. They ate, they danced and laughed. Until, the king arrived on the balcony above them. His hair was thick and dark, like the waters waves at midnight. A small amount of facial hair framed his mouth. He wore a pearl white shirt and black leather pants, with a wide gold cloak that trailed on the ground behind him. The black boots that crept up his lower legs made him look taller than he actually was.

Walking slow and regal, the queen stood alongside of him. All of the kingdom’s eyes were on the queen’s midnight blue dress, with silver patterns that lined her waist, wrists and neckline. Her hair was long and golden, like the buttercups that grew all over the kingdom. Her olive skin was the face of youth, and her eyes sparkled like pools of clear blue water. Every step that she took was in perfect stride, as she moved like a cloud floating in the sky, naturally elegant. In her arms lay the new born princess wrapped inside a soft pink blanket, embellished with gold.

As the king and queen parted Lela stood between them. The people’s faces lit up in the crowds below, as she became more beautiful with every year that passed. Lela’s skin was porcelain perfection. She wore a pale blue dress that brought out the colour in her blue-green eyes. Her hair was the same golden blond as her mothers, and her frame was small and petite. She was soon to be fourteen years old, and it wouldn’t be long until she would come of age.

Lela held a bulging leather pouch between her fingers. The pouch was heavy, as Lela struggled to lift it up. Nearing the edge of the balcony Lela pulled back the drawstring on the pouch, as hundreds of gold coins showered the people below. Reaching out their arms as they thrust their bodies into the air, the people welcomed their gift. The king smiled as he reached for his daughter’s hand, leading her to stand by the throne with him and the queen. Before they sat, King Leonardo had an announcement to make.

“Welcome, I hope you have enjoyed the festivities so far. As you well know your queen gave birth to a beautiful girl. Behold Princess Arianne,” the king announced as he held his daughter high above his head, showing off one of his most prized possessions. The people cheered at their new princess. Placing the young princess back into her mother’s arms, the king continued with his speech.

“Now, I have another announcement,” the king teased, pulling his eldest daughter beside him.

“Your princess Lela is soon to become fourteen, and in as little as two years she will come of age. Until she does, I plan to hold a masque ball in her honour for the next three years.” Lela smiled in excitement, moving closer to her father to kiss his cheek. The people were just as excited as Lela, as they continued to cheer, even after the music started. Lela knelt beside her father for the rest of the night. She longed to come of age and meet her true love, ever since her mother had told her stories as a child. She knew that she could never settle for anything less. The only man she would ever marry would be her true love, or she’d end up a spinster and never marry at all. The joy commenced throughout the night, until the night was at its darkest point.

Outside of the kingdom, dwelling in the darkness were the things of nightmares. Creatures waited on the outskirts of the dark forest for their day to come. As beams of golden light shot into the sky, the creature’s moth-like wings fluttered beneath their arms and their bone like bodies swayed towards the light. Glancing towards the Golden Kingdom, their blood-red eyes glowed in the darkness, before they vanished out of sight.
Thanks for reading,
Louise Lake. 

Thursday, 6 October 2016

My latest YouTube video - Ducks Like Daisies from Poems for Kids on National Poetry Day

Hello Everyone,

I've recently been creating a few new videos for my YouTube channel. My latest video is a reading from one of the books I am currently working on - Poems for Kids. I thought I would share this with you as it National Poetry Day today. I will be posting quite a few readings from Poems for Kids prior to publication. Here is my reading of Ducks Like Daisies, enjoy.

Thanks for watching,
Louise Lake.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Life in the World of a Self-Published Author Article by Louise Lake

Hello Everyone,

Today I am going to share an article I wrote with some useful information and links for new writers thinking of joining the world of self-publishing.

Life in the World of a Self-Published Author

Do you have a book you’re looking to publish?
When I first began my journey as a self-published author, I had no contacts that could help me with the information I required in order to self-publish my first book. Instead, I learned the hard way through month upon month of research, trial and error. Now, five books later, I find myself helping other writers with advice on where and how to self-publish their books, as well as offering services in ghost-writing, proofreading and editing.
I have studied many different courses in order to progress my written work, and next year I will begin the most important of them all – a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing.
Below you will find some of the most useful resources that I have acquired along the way. I really hope this information will give you the helping hand that I never had, as you start your journey to become a self-published author.

Publishing Platforms

Amazon KDP – Amazon KDP is probably the most popular of all of the e-book publishing platforms out there. You can earn 35% or 70% of book sales, depending on your preference. And if you remain exclusive to them you can also be part of the kindle unlimited program.

Smashwords – Smashwords is an e-book publisher and distributor. With Smashwords you can opt into the distribution services and be listed on various other online retailers and libraries such as: Barnes and Noble, Apple Bookstore, Overdrive and Gardners. Smashwords also offer a coupon code generator for special offers on your books. 

LuLu Publishing – LuLu Publishing is an e-book and printed book publisher. They also offer a distribution service, to have your books listed on other online retail sites such as: Amazon, Barnes and Noble and iBooks.

Createspace – Createspace is owned by Amazon. On the Createspace platform you can self-publish print books. They also offer a distribution service, as well as conversion and publication in electronic format without the need of Amazon KDP.  

There are various online stores that I have come across where you can sell your printed and electronic books through your own website. Even though I have not used any of them yet, I thought they might still be of value to others.  

Audiobook Publisher

Whilst doing research into audiobooks, as they are becoming more and more popular. I found ACX.

Audiobook Creation Exchange – ACX brings publishers into contact with a variety of producers where you can have your book produced as an audio book. Narrators audition for the job and you can either choose to pay upfront or choose the royalty share option, where you split your royalties with your book’s narrator. You can also receive a higher royalty being exclusive to ACX’s retailers: Audible, Amazon and iTunes.

Purchase ISBN's

All of the publishing platforms mentioned above do assign a free ISBN, however if you would like to purchase your own you can do so here: Nielsen charge £149 for ten ISBN’s.

Listed to Sell in Bookshops

If you choose to self-publish your book, but you would like to try and get your books into brick and mortar bookshops, then you usually have to be listed on the following:

Premade Book Covers

A great website I came across whilst looking for professional book covers was self-pub-book-covers. Their website is full of various premade book covers created by different professional designers. Once a book cover has been sold, no one else is allowed to purchase the same cover, giving you a one-off design each time. Their service is very easy to use and you can also edit the text to your liking. Sometimes, the designer will help by giving their opinions on writing styles and sizes that will be most effective. Most covers start from as little as $69, which is for a maximum of 250,000 copies of your book being sold. When you reach the 250,000 mark you must then return and purchase an extended licence, which will then allow you to use the cover forever.

Giveaways and Reviews

Two useful sites for giveaways prior to publication and reviews are Instafreebie and Goodreads. You can also set up an author profile on Goodreads and list your books once they are published.

Online and Home-Based Courses
I have completed courses with all of the providers below. I completed courses in Creative Writing and Proofreading and Copy Editing with The Writers Bureau. I studied Fantasy Writing with New Skills Academy. I have studied a short two week Screenwriting course on Future Learn, and a few different courses on Allison, including Grammar.

Social Media / Online Presence

It is very important these days to have a presence online as well as offline. The listed platforms below are the main social platforms that I use.

Facebook –

Twitter –

Instagram –

YouTube –

LinkedIn –

Blog/Website – and

Author Central Amazon page - and

Your Book's Demographics

Before you consider self-publishing, take the time to think about the demographics for your book. This way, through research and by answering the following questions, you will have a better understanding of your target market, which will help when it comes to marketing your book.

What age category is your book aimed at?

What genre category does your book fit into?

What sex is your book aimed at, or is it aimed at both sexes?

What is your reader’s occupation?
What is your reader’s education level?

What are your reader’s hobbies and interests?

What is your unique selling point? What makes your book different?

What is the reader’s reason for reading your book?

Where are your readers located in the world?

What social networks do your readers use?

Which author’s books are similar to yours?

What are the bestsellers in your genre?

If you get stuck with any of these questions, then have a look online and do your research and you should soon find the answers you are looking for.

Work or Hire Professionals

On the following sites you can find freelance work, or find professional freelancers to hire.

Free Stock Photo’s
Pixabay holds over 750,000 free stock photo’s that you can use on your blog, website, and social media posts.

I hope you enjoyed the article if you found this helpful please leave your comments below. 
I will have a few guest posts coming soon. 

Thanks for reading,
Louise Lake.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Dusk and Dawn Faerytales and Dark Fantasy Short Story by Louise Lake

Hello everyone,

In the midst of everything else I am currently writing, I have decided to put together some of the old fairytale stories that I have written over the past few years, along with some new short stories, to create a new collection of dark fairytale and fantasy stories titled: Faerytales and Dark Fantasy. As half of the book is already complete, I have decided to publish this one first, putting The Warlock and Heaven's Curse on hold for a couple of months. Here is a taster from the Faerytales and Dark Fantasy collection. I hope you enjoy reading it :-)

Dusk and Dawn

Have you heard the story of the sun and moon?
One stays up late the other sleeps too soon,
When day was night and night was day,
Both their hearts were led astray,
And of their love, twin girls were born,
One by the name of Dusk, the other Dawn,
Now I’ll tell you the tale of the two,
Separate halves of sun and moon.

You may think that the sun and moon have always been separate, but the truth is they were once whole, just as they are when they form an eclipse. A curse was placed on them many years ago. But, this story is not about the Sun or the Moon, this story is about their offspring.
One occasion when day met night, the goddess of the moon and the god of the sun were reunited. In a moment of fleeting passion – trapped by their love for each other, the sun and the moon produced twin girls. The girls were sisters for but a few moments, until the opposing gods and goddesses of the galaxy discovered their cause for joy. They condemned the sisters to a destiny of catching but a single glimpse of each other, just as one rose with the sun, and the other with the moon. The sun and the moon had decided to keep their love a secret, so they lived separate lives, each with one of their daughters. They were named Dusk and Dawn.
Dusk and Dawn never knew they were sisters, until Dusk fell in love with a shooting star. But what Dusk didn’t know was that the star was already in love with Dawn. Although, he knew they could never be together, the star swore an oath of eternal love and devotion to Dawn. When Dusk eventually learned of the star’s love for another, she grew dark with envy, swearing to put an end to Dawn forever, but little did she know that Dawn was already dying.
Dawn had always been cheerfully bright. She basked in the light of her father, with her golden skin. After rising thousands of times, one day Dawn’s light suddenly began to fade. The more she raised the less power she held against the darkness. Dawn had never known her mother, but she found herself curious whether her problem had been inherited. On a mission to seek the truth, Dawn set out to interrogate her father of her mother’s whereabouts.
The sun was relaxing, watching all of the people go about their day on the planets, when Dawn suddenly appeared.
“It is not your time, you must make yourself scarce until it is time to rise again,” the sun lectured his daughter.
“Father, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but my light is fading,” Dawn bowed her head in shame.
The sun took one look at his daughter, trying to imagine what would happen if her light went out.
“How long has this being going on?”
“Ever since the shooting star declared his love for me,” Dawn confessed.
The sun thought about the curse that had befallen the moon and him. Could it have spread to their daughters too?
“Do you love this star?” The sun asked.
Dawn smiled at the thought of the most beautiful star in the sky, the shooting star. Dawn loved the star more than she had ever loved anything. But, she also knew that it was forbidden. Her job was to rise with the sun, not fly away with a star that travels the galaxy for fun. The shooting star had a bad reputation within the galaxy. He was relieved of his duties as the North Star - the brightest star in all of the skies, when he decided to rebel against The Almighty.
“I will consult the almighty ruler of the universe; your light must not die out. Can you take over here for a moment?” The sun asked his daughter, hoping that practice would heal her.
“But, what if I’m not strong enough?” Dawn asked, noticing the look of sadness on her father’s face. Dawn nodded her head in response, and the sun made a swift exit.
For a brief moment the world plummeted into complete darkness, until Dawn gained control of the skies. Dawn could never replace her father, as after all there could only ever be one sun. She had been taught that every time she would blink a number of fluffy clouds would consume the sky. This kept the sky lit, but full of clouds, which was a great distraction to the inhabitants of the planets, when the sun was preoccupied.
As day began to fade to night, Dusk knew it was almost time to let the goddess of the moon take over. The sun arrived back just in time, as the sun and Dawn made their exit, before the goddess could appear. Dusk caught a glimpse of Dawn as she faded into the darkness. After retreating back into the black hole where they lived, the sun decided it was time to tell his daughter the truth.
“Some time ago, before you were born, I fell in love with the goddess of the moon. We were entirely happy. But, when our relationship was revealed, the other gods and goddesses of the universe did everything in their power to stop the union between us from commencing. So, after consulting The Almighty, they cast a shadow over us for all of eternity. This shadow lingers over our family like a dark cloud, only dispersing when day is night and night is day. And only when the two become one are we reunited for a few precious moments.”
“What did you mean our family?” Dawn asked her father with suspicion.
“The last time I was with the moon, we conceived two beautiful girls. Dawn, the moon is your mother, and ...”
“And, I have a sister?” Dawn cried.
“You have a sister,” the sun confirmed.
Dawn was overwhelmed by the information she had just received. But, overwhelmed or not, she found herself full of joy with the news that she had a sister. Dawn wondered what she could be like, and what her mother was like. Dawn had seen the goddess of the moon and her sister thousands of times before, but she had never known them as a daughter and sister would.
Meanwhile, Dusk was plotting her revenge on the heart’s desire of the star she longed to love. The star had already tried to let Dusk down gently, but, Dusk wouldn't take no for an answer. She threatened the star that her love had no limits. She would do anything for him, even if that meant getting rid of the one he loved once and for all. With Dawn out of the picture, the star would be free to give his heart to Dusk, and she would accept it in a heartbeat.  Dusk had gone over the plan a number of times, as soon as she could leer Dawn into the trap, the sooner the star would be hers.
The sun met with the almighty ruler again, to discuss Dawn's situation.
“Almighty Lord, her light is fading,” the sun declared anxiously.
“I'm afraid there is nothing I can do, it seems your daughter is dying,” the almighty responded.
“But, there must be a way, there must be something we can do,” the sun said, desperate to find a solution.
“I cannot just let her die, she's my daughter,” the sun cried.
“I suggest you make your peace with it, what cannot be found cannot be undone. I grant you permission to tell the goddess of the moon in person. Your daughter may also see her mother for the first and last time. This is all I can do,” the almighty confessed before disappearing into space.
The sun rushed to Dawn's side. Dawn had gotten much worse. Her light was so dim that she could no longer be seen. Instead, a dark shadow lingered over her waiting to bestow the kiss of death.
The star, hearing of Dawn's demise, rushed to her side. But, on the way to Dawn, he was trapped by the dark-hearted Dusk.
“It's for your own good,” Dusk confessed.
“You wouldn't know love if it hit you in the face,” the star cried.
Dusk had a plan. Initially she was going to trick Dawn with an act so cruel that it would lead to her death, but, fate had intervened bringing her another opportunity instead. She knew the reason Dawn was dying was because she was in love with the star, and when he was banished from the North as a shooting star, her heart was broken. Without his love Dawn would die, and then the star could belong to Dusk.
“This is not how you fall in love; you cannot force me to love you!” The star protested.
“Would you rather I hand you over to the universal authorities? That can be arranged!” Dusk threatened the star.
“Do what you like to me. I only returned for Dawn. So, if my fate is to die by her side I accept that fate.”
Dusk felt overcome by the star’s love for Dawn. She had only ever caught a glimpse of Dawn, but she couldn't understand what Dawn had that she did not. So, Dusk decided to leave the star imprisoned, while she went to visit Dawn on her death-bed, so that she could further understand his love for her.
Dusk arrived hiding in the shadows of the chamber. On a large golden draped bed, Dawn rested. The sun sat by her side with someone else, but she couldn't see who. Just as Dusk stepped out into the light, the sun turned around stepping to the side to reveal her mother, the goddess of the moon.
“Dusk, we have been waiting for you. I know it's a little late, but I'd like you to meet your sister, Dawn.”
Dusk’s eyes widened at the fact that her nemesis was in fact her sister.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you dear sis ...” Dawn trailed off as her face turned a ghastly grey.
The sun and the moon were distraught, as they held each other tight.
Dusk was overcome by regret, realising the error of her ways, as tears flooded from her sad gaping eyes. As she looked into the face of her only sister, the storm passed and everything became clear to Dusk, and for the first time in her life she knew she had to make amends.
“It might not be too late,” Dawn confessed.
The sun and moon both looked at their daughter for an answer to their prayers. Dusk swept by them in haste, and a few minutes later, she returned with the star by her side.
The star kissed Dusk on the cheek, to show his appreciation for her sudden kindness, before eagerly joining the sun and moon by Dawn's side. But, it was too late Dawn's skin had begun to crack, as dust like particles came away from her face. The star leaned in to kiss Dawn, and as his lips touched hers, the cracks in Dawn's face began to heal again. Her corpse-like completion subsided, returning to its natural golden glow. And then, as Dawn was about to take her last breath, the first breath of new life was inhaled instead. Leaping from her death-bed, the first person Dawn clung to was her sister. Dusk cried, as Dawn held her in a tight embrace, causing an eclipse to surface in the sky. From then on the eclipse would be the sister’s way of celebrating their bond.
That was the day that Dusk discovered there was more to life than getting what you want. She had a sister, and that love was worth far more than that of any shooting star.

Thanks for reading,
Louise Lake.