dark fantasy

NEW RELEASE | OUT NOW: NOCTURNE (Insomnia Saga 2) + The Insomnia Files paperback edition

NEW RELEASE | OUT NOW: NOCTURNE (Insomnia Saga 2) + The Insomnia Files paperback edition

I have changed.
Castle Insomnia has broken something deep inside of me.
“Jodi,” I can still hear her drawl, “my precious, little Sleepwalker.”

 

Jodi Collins and Kay Somnus return

 

Hey there! Indeed, Jodi Collins and Kay Somnus return in today’s anticipated release: NOCTURNE, the second full-length installment to the Insomnia Saga, in which the story continues three months after the events of INSOMNIA.

 

• NOCTURNE is available on Amazon worldwide in paperback edition for $14.99

 

• NOCTURNE is available on Amazon worldwide in ebook edition for $3.99

+ NOCTURNE’s ebook edition is also available through Kindle Unlimited!

 

Watch the official book trailer:

 

• NOCTURNE (Insomnia Saga #2)

I have changed.
Castle Insomnia has broken something deep inside of me.
“Jodi,” I can still hear her drawl, “my precious, little Sleepwalker.”

 

Jodi Collins and Kay Somnus return.

 

Three months ago, they defeated the strongest Nightprowler the world had ever seen; three months ago, they were accused of conspiring with Annabelle, and had to run for their lives; three months ago, they decided to raise their own army: Insomnia.

Jodi and Kay, still living in hiding, secretly travel from city to city to exorcise Nightprowlers and spread the name of Insomnia. Their army is growing, but so is the hatred towards Sleepwalkers—new laws have been passed, rights have been stolen, and the world is becoming a divided place.

But Jodi has changed. While fighting them, she fears the demons of the Night in a way she never did before, and she might be on the verge of losing the only weapon she has: her Light.

Meanwhile, both Kay’s family and his own dark past catch up to him, forcing him to fight the hardest battle he has ever fought in his life: opening up to those around him, while he knows a piece of the Night is still clinging to his soul.

With the arrival of the mysterious but violent Soulless Army, Jodi starts to believe Annabelle might very well be alive—and as the world grows darker, enemies gather, and Jodi’s and Kay’s paths divide, any-thing seems possible.

Jodi will have to fight for her Light, Kay will have to save her, and together they will have to accept they are both soldiers in an inevitable war.

They might have defeated Annabelle.
But the fight is far from over.

 


 

Writing NOCTURNE has been intense, and the book has gone through many changes; as some of you probably know, I actually started writing the Insomnia Saga books in Dutch, and at first I had planned to write only two books since it was supposed to be a duology.

The story kept on evolving in my head, however, the characters began to grow and turned out to have many more sides to them and secrets that had to be unraveled, and I soon realized I simply couldn’t fit all of this into just two books — which was why I began writing the second book time and time again, until I finally realized what I had to do:

If I wanted to do this story and my characters any justice, I had to add more books to this series 😉

After that decision, I began working on book 2 once more — and this time, everything just flowed. And that has resulted in the book I’m releasing today: NOCTURNE.

As I said, writing NOCTURNE has been an intense experience, not just because I had to start over several times, but also because it felt a bit darker than INSOMNIA and because I got to know Jodi and Kay a whole lot better… and discovered some painful moments in their pasts, yet also in their present life: as the blurb says, Jodi has changed, and I could truly feel her struggling with that while writing.

I sincerely hope you, my readers, can feel it too — and will keep on rooting for her along the way 🙂

 


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• The Insomnia Files (Insomnia Saga 1.5) paperback release OUT NOW

As I released the Insomnia Saga‘s first short story collection back in April, entitled The Insomnia Files, COVID-19 had just broken out all across the world a few weeks prior. We all experienced a certain amount of anxiety — and, well, so did I, which made me feel a little uncomfortable ordering physical copies of books, etc., online. Which was why I postponed the release of The Insomnia Files‘ paperback.

In hindsight, I might’ve been a bit (well, VERY) overly cautious and let my anxiety talk a bit too loudly — I apologize for that! ^^”

However, to make it up, I’m releasing The Insomnia Files in paperback today! It’s available on Amazon worldwide 🙂

 

• You can order your copy here for $8.99!


 

 

Don’t want to miss a single Insomnia Saga future release? Then please subscribe to my blog (scroll all the way up, and you’ll find the subscribe button to your right. All you have to do is enter your email address, and then confirm your subscription).

or

If you’d like to stay updated and see more of what’s happening behind the scenes on a daily (hourly, even!) basis, please follow me on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook. I recommend Instagram for a steady amount of updates, since I’m sharing everything I’m working on in my stories; feel free to follow!

 

Thank you for reading, subscribing and following ?

 

Last but not least, I want to thank you all for supporting me as an author by buying my books and reading my stories; your kind messages light up my every day 😉

I hope you will also enjoy NOCTURNE! I’m so excited to finally be able to share this Insomnia Saga installment with the world; I’ve been looking forward to this day for months!

If you have any questions or just want to leave a message, please feel free to do so! ?

 

— Lynn

Posted by Lynn Robin in Insomnia Saga, 6 comments
APRIL 2020 Writing Update: Another INSOMNIA SAGA release, writing ORIGINS & indoors living awesomeness

APRIL 2020 Writing Update: Another INSOMNIA SAGA release, writing ORIGINS & indoors living awesomeness

Hey there, Sleepwalkers!

How are you all doing? How is your quarantine life going? Whenever I’m on social media (which is at least a few times a day, haha), I see so many different people and reactions. Some are terribly anxious and struggling to get anything done, others are angry and frustrated because they can’t go outside, and then there are those who truly seem to enjoy themselves at home and are even improving their lifestyle.

I’m one of the latter, actually — to be honest, being a writer and a rather “indoorsy” person, not much has changed for me, except for the fact that I can’t go outside for my runs and walks, which is a shame really, because I enjoy being outside and feel the sun on my skin. However, the mere thought of catching this virus is enough to keep me indoors. I know that I tend to add horror elements to my books, but that doesn’t mean I want to experience something horrific either, y’know? 😉

But how am I improving my lifestyle and how is this affecting my writing? I’ll tell you all about it in this April Writing Update:

 

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• NEW RELEASE: The Insomnia Files (Insomnia Saga 1.5)

This month kicked off with a great start — on April 7th I released the second installment of the Insomnia Saga: The Insomnia Files, a short story collection that allows the reader to dive deeper into the Insomnia Saga‘s universe, world-building, and the characters’ lives and histories.

The Insomnia Files includes three short stories about Jodi, Kay, and Alain Somnus — the third a key-character introduced during the last few chapters of INSOMNIA. Not much information is given about him in the book, but this short story will certainly explain a few things about Alain 😉

If you’d like to find out more, check out the RELEASE BLOG POST or visit the official INSOMNIA SAGA page ?

 

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• ORIGINS: writing book 3

Ooh yes, you read that right! This month I began working on ORIGINS, book three in the Insomnia Saga 🙂

I wrote the plot outline for the first half of the book back in March, but had been wanting to work on this project since December — ever since I finished writing book 2, NOCTURNE, actually 😀 So when I finally began writing ORIGINS this month, I didn’t hold back at all and wrote like hell.

I even started adapting a new writing “technique”, so to speak: I keep on writing without reading anything I wrote. Yep. Even when I sit down again the next morning, I don’t even bother reading what I’ve written the previous day. After all, it’s not like I’ve forgotten what I wrote, now did I? 😉

No, in all seriousness, this saves an incredible amount of time and really ups my productivity. During the first couple of weeks, I think I wrote about 3 chapters a day. I’m on 2 now, because I’ve started editing a manuscript in the mornings (more about that below!), but it still works really well for me.

Which is why I’ve already written the first 254 pages of ORIGINS — which also happens to mean that the first two parts of the book are finished. Whenever I finish an entire part, I do take the time to read back what I wrote, though!

Anyway, only three more parts to go; and since these last three parts aren’t going to be that much work (I think; it’s pretty straightforward), I wonder whether I’ll manage to finish the book in May… Who knows, right? It would be cool, because that means I have some time before the publication of NOCTURNE (Insomnia Saga 2; coming June 23rd!) to work on some smaller projects ?

I’ll be spending the rest of this week writing the plot outline for the remaining 3 parts of ORIGINS ?

 

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• NOCTURNE: editing book 2

Last week I began editing the second full-length installment in the Insomnia Saga, NOCTURNE, after working through the amazing notes I got from my beta readers, who have been reading the manuscript during February/March.

I’m actually really enjoying the editing process! To be honest, I was kind of dreading it at first — not because I hate revisions that much, but because I was worried it would cut down my productivity/speed while working on ORIGINS. But I’ve kind of been living by schedules since last week, and it truly helps; editing goes smoothly because I’m breaking it apart in smaller portions (this keeps me focused), and writing still goes well because I have plenty of time left for it.

So, all is going well; I’m really looking forward to NOCTURNE‘s release in June! By the way, in May I’ll be sharing a really cool teaser trailer for the book, so if you haven’t subscribed to my YouTube channel already, please do!

 

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• High productivity and improved lifestyle

Like I said, because of everything that’s going on with COVID-19 and being forced to stay indoors constantly, I have made some (minor) changes to my lifestyle. Minor, yes, yet I feel they’re having a huge impact on me — in a very positive way, that is ❤️

Usually I’m not one for living by schedules. I think it actually sounds rather neurotic. AND YET. Because I wanted to keep my productivity high while writing ORIGINS and I had to start editing NOCTURNE, I decided to give it a try.

And I’m loving it.

Next to bookish things, I’m also scheduling my workouts. I used to go out for runs and walks, mostly in the mornings, but ever since I can’t, I caught myself slacking off a bit. I still did my indoor workouts in the evenings (I already did those before all this), but my “daylight training” (for a lack of a better description, haha) was kind of non-existent… and I didn’t like that, because my health is important to me, and I actually LOVE working out. On top of that, I always notice that working out regularly not only makes me stronger physically but mentally as well; it makes me feel fit and alert and focused, which increases my productivity in, yes, writing!

I’ve been sharing my schedules for fun in my Instagram stories, but to give you an idea, here’s what yesterday’s looked like:

 

MORNING

— edit 15 pages of NOCTURNE

— WORKOUT: 30 minute HIIT

— edit 15 pages of NOCTURNE

— write blog post

AFTERNOON

— work on plot outline ORIGINS

EVENING

— WORKOUT: 50 minute cardio kickboxing + strength training

 

…Well. That looks rather nice, doesn’t it? ?

It’s also really satisfying to check off those boxes — it makes me feel productive and pretty dynamic actually 😀

 

However, like I said at the beginning, not that much has changed for me. I’m already used to being at home a lot, which has made me think about sharing an actual blog post about it with some tips I could give other people… but then dozens of other posts shared by other “experts” ( 😛 ) already popped up all over the internet, making me wonder what I could possibly add to all this?

 

What do you guys think? Would you like to read my tips and tricks for a high-productivity-indoors-lifestyle? Let me know!

 

All right, no matter how much fun I’m having writing this update, I guess it’s time for me to wrap this up (THE SCHEDULE SPEAKS).

I’ll be working on the plot outline for ORIGINS this week, and in May I’ll be focusing on editing NOCTURNE, writing ORIGINS and possibly work on some small side-projects, though that’s still to be seen 😉

I’m feeling healthy. I’m feeling great and energized and focused. I hope the same goes for you guys, or that you’ll feel better and inspired very soon ❤️

 

Stay home, stay safe. For you, your family, and every single person out there. We all share this space on Earth, so let’s make the most of it and show respect. (I know many of you do, though 😉 )

 

Thank you for reading! Please feel free to leave a message below 🙂

 

Don’t want to miss a single Insomnia Saga future release? Then please subscribe to my blog (scroll all the way up, and you’ll find the subscribe button to your right. All you have to do is enter your email address, and then confirm your subscription).

or

If you’d like to stay updated and see more of what’s happening behind the scenes on a daily (hourly, even!) basis, please follow me on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook. I recommend Instagram for a steady amount of updates, since I’m sharing everything I’m working on in my stories; feel free to follow!

 

Thanks so much for subscribing and following ?

 

 

BE CREEPY. STAY FREAKY.

— Lynn

 

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Posted by Lynn Robin in Writing Updates, 2 comments
NEW RELEASE | OUT NOW: The Insomnia Files (Insomnia Saga 1.5) — eBook edition

NEW RELEASE | OUT NOW: The Insomnia Files (Insomnia Saga 1.5) — eBook edition

Dive deeper into the Insomnia Saga universe

 

Out today — the very first Insomnia Saga short story collection: The Insomnia Files.

The Insomnia Saga is an action-packed Upper Young Adult Dark Fantasy Romance series, set in a fictional modern world, where people can wield actual Light as a weapon which they use to fight the greatest enemy of mankind—demons, called the Nightprowlers.

The Summoners, the Nightprowlers, Jodi, Kay, we’ve all met them in the first official installment of the series, INSOMNIA — but there is a story behind everything and everyone, and that’s what this collection is all about.

Released as book 1.5 in the series, The Insomnia Files allows the reader to dive deeper into the pasts of Jodi, Kay, and that of the very first Summoner who, a few centuries ago, rose to fight the Nightprowlers: Alain Somnus.

 

The Insomnia Files is available worldwide in eBook edition; visit this page to find the direct link to your store of preference!

 

Watch the first official teaser trailer:

 

 

• The Insomnia Files (Insomnia Saga #1.5)

The Insomnia Files contains three short stories written from three different perspectives, diving deeper into the Insomnia Saga universe.

FILE #1 tells the story of Jodi Collins and takes place four years prior to INSOMNIA: Thirteen years old, Jodi has just started working for the Miller Academy. As she’s sent on a mission on a dark, wintery night, she has no choice but to confront the demons of the Night—and fight them.

In FILE #2 fifteen-year old Kay Somnus is about to take his final exam to become the youngest Summoner in history… but in order to succeed, he will have to pretend—and believe—he is someone he’s not, and forever deny himself his true power.

Alain Somnus, the very first Summoner of Light, is the voice of FILE #3. Hundreds of years ago, he opened a gate and allowed dark powers to spill in that would change the world forever… creating the darkest secret ever kept. Haunted by nightmares and his failure to protect the only girl who had ever managed to touch his heart, he opened the Somnus Academy—but could he live with the lies?

 


 

• Paperback release coming later this year

The paperback edition of The Insomnia Files was initially scheduled to be released today alongside the eBook, but because of the current circumstances, the paperback has been postponed. Read all about it here!

I hope to see the paperback released later this year, but… one step at a time 🙂

 


 

I’ve really enjoyed working on The Insomnia Files. It allowed me to understand my characters even better, especially Kay and Alain — and Alain’s story, since it takes places literally centuries ago, opened up new possibilities for the series’ future releases: there are more Insomnia Saga short story collections on the way, in which I’ll explain even more about the series’ past, about the very first Summoners who opened their academies and began fighting the Nightprowlers, and especially more about the enigmatic Somnus family.

If you’ve read and liked INSOMNIA, I hope you’ll pick up The Insomnia Files as well and that you’ll enjoy it — and, after reading it, have an even better understanding of the characters’ deepest thoughts and desires, and also the world-building.

 

The Insomnia Files is available worldwide in eBook edition; visit this page to find the direct link to your store of preference!

 

Also…

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Are you new to the Insomnia Saga and would you like a sneak peek? There is also a short story available, written especially for first-time Insomnia Saga readers, introducing Jodi Collins and the world of Summoners, Sleepwalkers and Nightprowlers.

It’s a FREE download and includes the first few chapters of INSOMNIA. Go ahead and check out this page to find your preferred download link!

 

And…

• INSOMNIA participates in #AuthorsGiveBack: 60% discount on Smashwords!

“Stay home, stay safe” — is has become quite the mantra on social media, as we all encourage each other to stay indoors during these crazy times with COVID-19 on the loose.

To help people find new books to read as they have much more free time on their hands, Smashwords has organized a special discount to do just that, allowing authors to enroll and discount their books.

Because I believe that INSOMNIA is able to help people get through this craziness (and not to be dramatic, but it seems like it’s going to be like this for a while longer), I also enrolled the eBook into Smashword’s Authors Give Back discount; until April 20, I’m giving 60% off on INSOMNIA!

 

Find it here.

 

I’m aware that several of you already own the book, but if you happen to know someone who hasn’t read it yet and might like it, please feel free to share this 🙂

I hope that Jodi’s courage will inspire you and give you strength — it certainly helps me ?

 

 

Last but not least!

Don’t want to miss a single Insomnia Saga future release? Then please subscribe to my blog (scroll all the way up, and you’ll find the subscribe button to your right. All you have to do is enter your email address, and then confirm your subscription).

or

If you’d like to stay updated and see more of what’s happening behind the scenes on a daily (hourly, even!) basis, please follow me on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook. I recommend Instagram for a steady amount of updates, since I’m sharing everything I’m working on in my stories; feel free to follow!

 

Thank you for reading, subscribing and following ?

I hope you will all be able to escape reality for a bit while you’re reading The Insomnia Files. Tell me: which story included in this collection are you the most curious about?

If you have any questions or just want to leave a message, please feel free to do so! 😀

 

BE CREEPY. STAY FREAKY.

— Lynn

Posted by Lynn Robin in Insomnia Saga, 6 comments
The Insomnia Files TEASER | File #3: ALAIN SOMNUS (Prologue)

The Insomnia Files TEASER | File #3: ALAIN SOMNUS (Prologue)

“The darkest secret ever kept”

 

Hello my dear Sleepwalkers, and welcome to another Teaser Tuesday!

In anticipation to the April 7th release of The Insomnia Files (Insomnia Saga #1.5), a short story collection, I’ll be sharing a teaser today of the third file, ALAIN SOMNUS.

 

The Insomnia Files contains three short stories written from three different perspectives, diving deeper into the Insomnia Saga universe.

FILE #1 tells the story of Jodi Collins and takes place four years prior to INSOMNIA: Thirteen years old, Jodi has just started working for the Miller Academy. As she’s sent on a mission on a dark, wintery night, she has no choice but to confront the demons of the Night—and fight them.

In FILE #2 fifteen-year old Kay Somnus is about to take his final exam to become the youngest Summoner in history… but in order to succeed, he will have to pretend—and believe—he is someone he’s not, and forever deny himself his true power.

Alain Somnus, the very first Summoner of Light, is the voice of FILE #3. Hundreds of years ago, he opened a gate and allowed dark powers to spill in that would change the world forever… creating the darkest secret ever kept. Haunted by nightmares and his failure to protect the only girl who had ever managed to touch his heart, he opened the Somnus Academy—but could he live with the lies?

 

Did you know? The first story, JODI COLLINS, is available as a free eBook! Find out more.

 

Today I’d like to give you all a sneak peek to the third story, written from Alain’s (Kay’s forefather who lived literally centuries ago) perspective — so hereby I’ll be sharing PROLOGUE: SUMMONING GHOSTS.

 

[SPOILER WARNING: If you haven’t read INSOMNIA (Insomnia Saga #1) yet, the following chapter will contain spoilers that could affect your reading experience. So… read on at your own risk — or quickly close this tab 😉 ]

 


 

FILE #3: ALAIN SOMNUS

 

PROLOGUE

SUMMONING GHOSTS

 

Past

 

Ghosts, demons, devils, angels—they were all out there, in other realms, some close, some distant.

    Of that, even though he was merely twelve years old, Alain Somnus was certain.

    One of his books splayed open beside him, he ran a hand over the wooden board he’d acquired only yesterday. There were numbers on it, the entire alphabet, and the words “yes” and “no” and “goodbye”. There was a skull-faced sun in the left-hand corner, and a crescent moon with a stitched smile on the right.

    A Ouija board, and a rather rare edition at that, he’d been told by the shop owner.

    Sitting on the floor, Alain glanced at the book, reading the instructions that carefully explained how one could summon those deceased and passed on to the Next World. It was quite a ritual, involving candlelight, incense, and this mysterious slab of wood that apparently enabled spirits to communicate with the living.

    Alain felt a tingle of excitement—but stiffened when there was a rap on his door.

    He deftly shoved his book and Ouija board under his bed, sprang to his feet, and then paused—just for an instant—before opening the door of his room.

    A boy his age gazed back at him, dark-eyed and fair-skinned. He was one of the child servants working for his family, barely a year older than Alain. They used to play together when they were younger, but Alain’s father had made clear to him that they couldn’t be friends anymore. They were from two different worlds.

    Actual worlds, his father had said, making Alain wonder whether he believed in other universes as well, where unearthly creatures roamed and humans didn’t live. Still, he’d never dared to ask him.

    “A message for you,” the servant boy mumbled, casting a stealthy look around the wide hallway with terracotta-colored walls, while pressing a piece of paper into Alain’s hand.

    Alain’s face brightened. It had to be a message from Frankie, his best friend—his family would come to visit today. Resisting the urge to fold open the piece of paper and read it immediately, Alain instead dug up a coin from his pocket and gave it to the servant boy. “Thanks,” he grinned.

    The boy merely nodded and then darted away, quick as a rabbit.

    Closing the door behind him, Alain unfolded the wrinkled note.

 

    Our secret spot. I’ll wait for you.

    F.

 

    Alain’s grin widened, and he bent down and pulled his book from under his bed; he couldn’t wait to show Frankie, and—

    Heavy footsteps neared his room, and before Alain could even turn around, the door was wrenched open.

    He startled when his father swept inside.

    His blue eyes were blazing.

    “We need to talk,” he said, his voice tight.

    Alain tried to recover and looked at him innocently. “What is it, Father?”

    His lips pressed into a thin line—which became even thinner as his gaze fell on the book Alain was still holding. It suddenly grew heavy in his hand.

    “It’s one of those books, isn’t it? Give it here. Now, boy,” he snapped, snatching it from Alain’s fingers.

    Alain swallowed and remained silent. He knew better than to speak when his father was in this kind of mood. He winced as the tall man leafed through the book, handling the old, yellowed pages in such a rough manner that Alain braced himself for the tearing sound of paper.

    “What is this nonsense?” he muttered, glancing up at Alain. “Speak, boy!”

    Alain stammered: “It’s—It’s about other worlds. Ghosts. The deceased aren’t truly dead; they’re still alive, but in another form and place. Some are good, but some are bad; they’re called demons, and—”

    “Devilry and witchcraft,” his father rumbled, snapping the book shut with a single motion; Alain winced again. “Mr. Miller was right, then.”

    “Mr. Miller?” Alain repeated, confused.

    “He just told me about what you’ve been up to,” his father began, his eyes narrowed with anger. “Reading strange books, entertaining dreadful theories about devils—at first I couldn’t believe it, because I thought no son of mine would waste his time on this absurdity. But here we are.” He lifted the book as if it were a vile thing. “Who started this? You? Or Frank Miller Junior?”

    Alain hesitated, then drew a steadying breath. “I, Father.”

    He regarded Alain. “So, you dragged Frank Jr. into this.”

    Well, he supposed that was true, in a way—but Alain and Frankie had been friends for as long as they could both remember, and Alain never had to force Frankie to play along with any of his games.

    But something told him now wasn’t the time to point that out, so he meekly lowered his eyes. As his father muttered a word Alain was fairly certain he wasn’t supposed to say—the kind of word that would make his mother gasp in horror—Alain kept his gaze to the floor as he felt his pulse flutter nervously in his throat; silently, he asked the gods or demons or whatever was out there to keep his father from asking him whether he had other books, whether he was hiding more things.

    “Mr. Miller has already disciplined Frankie, who has promised to stop this nonsense,” said his father eventually. “Could you promise me the same, Alain? Look at me, boy.”

    Alain jerked his head up, blinking.

    His father raised his eyebrows. “Well?”

    “Yes, Father,” Alain rushed out. “Of course.”

    “So you can assure me that your curiosity has been satisfied?” He held up the book.

    Alain gazed at it with a sense of longing, then caught himself. “Yes, Father,” he repeated.

    It actually surprised him, how easily the lie slipped from his tongue.

    “Very well,” said his father darkly. He tucked the book under his arm. “I expect you to be on your best behavior during dinner tonight; not only the Millers, but also the Maina and Grant families will be present, and we have some important business matters to negotiate.”

    “Yes, Father.”

    His father eyed him one last time, then turned on his heel and left—the book still tucked under his arm. Alain released a sigh and ran a hand through his hair, disheveling the dark, wild locks his mother had made the maid brush down so neatly this morning. He felt a pang of loss as he thought about the book his father had taken away from him, but he smiled faintly as he glanced to his bed.

    Underneath, in the shadows, were many more books, a collection that had been growing drastically the past year—he kept them in a locked chest, so the maids who came to clean his room wouldn’t find them.

    Besides, he comforted himself with the thought that he didn’t need the book for the ritual he wanted to try; he’d read it so many times, he could recite the text from memory.

    The note crinkled in his hand as he tiptoed toward the door of his bedroom. Peeking out, he scanned the hallway. It was large and wide and, above all, empty of people.

    After leaving his room and sneaking down the stairs, Alain slipped out of the mansion undetected, and once outside, he started running, dashing through the city’s streets and alleys. It was a dreary afternoon, the sky a peculiar mix of grays and sickly yellows, and he didn’t even slow down as he stomped through the rain puddles. Soon his shoes and clothes were smudged with mud, but he barely noticed—and hardly cared.

    He reached the nearby park within minutes, a quiet place on a wet day like this. In the distance, the city’s Gothic architecture dotted the horizon, tall, proud buildings with stained-glass windows and majestic towers that rose into the sky, all resembling the same features of his own house, the Somnus Mansion.

    His breaths came out rushed once he slowed down near the bridge that crossed over the park’s pond filled with koi. He hurried down the sloping patch of grass and then ducked under the bridge.

    Crouched down near the water’s edge sat a boy his age.

    “Frankie!” Alain beamed.

    He barely glanced up. “Hey, Alain,” he said, his fingertips hovering over the water, as though he couldn’t decide whether he wanted to try and touch the fish or not.

    “I received your note—it’s so good to see you. I’ve discovered so many things in the month we haven’t seen each other, and I’m very glad you’re here again so I can tell you all about it,” Alain went on, sinking into a crouch beside him, smiling broadly.

    Frankie turned away a bit, his gaze trailing one of the koi. “I’m glad to see you too,” he murmured.

    Alain’s smile grew fainter. “Are you all right?”

    “Yes.”

    “Then why won’t you look at me?” Alain took in his friend; where his own hair was a deep, dark shade, Frank’s was a dull brown. He was lanky, skinnier even than Alain, and he seemed smaller even though they were of the same height. “Frankie?”

    Finally, Frank turned and looked at him.

    Alain froze.

    His friend’s face—it was ruined. A dark bruise bloomed around his right eye that was slightly swollen, and his lip was split.

    “What happened?!” Alain hissed, grabbing his arm.

    Averting his gaze, Frank shook him off by rising, keeping his neck bent so his head wouldn’t hit the underside of the bridge. Alain rose as well, staring at him and waiting for him to say something. Frank swallowed, hard. “My father, he—found my books. He wasn’t… happy.”

    Alain blinked, suddenly remembering what his father had said; about Mr. Miller having disciplined Frankie.

    His face tightened and his hands curled into fists.

    Frankie’s gray eyes turned moist as he met Alain’s gaze. “I—I’m sorry for telling on you, Alain,” he choked out. “My father will tell yours now. I didn’t want to get you in trouble, I swear, and I didn’t say anything at first, but then—”

    “It’s fine, Frankie,” Alain quietly cut him off. “My father already talked to me.”

    Frankie’s eyes widened and then searched his face, finding nothing, not a single trace of violence. “He didn’t…?”

    “No.” Yes, his father was angry, but he would never hurt Alain. “He only took my book away. Just one, though—he hasn’t discovered the others.”

    Frank’s shoulders sagged in relief.

    Alain hesitated. “Does it… still hurt?”

    “It’s fine.” Frankie shrugged, but didn’t quite meet his gaze.

    “During dinner, make sure you stay close to me,” Alain said, putting his hand to Frankie’s shoulder. “I’ll make sure your father won’t hurt you anymore.” He said it bravely, and yet, he couldn’t suppress a sliver of unease coiling in his stomach; he wasn’t exactly scared of Mr. Miller, though Alain had never been very fond of him either.

    And now he knew for certain that his instincts had been right: Mr. Miller was an irritable, short-tempered man—and violent.

    A careful smile tugged on Frankie’s mouth, and he nodded.

    They both crouched down again, and Alain slowly lowered his hand into the water, lightly running his fingertips across one of the fish’s scales who swiftly yet gracefully slithered away from his touch.

    “Will you… stop? Now that your father has found out?” asked Frankie after a silence. The rainfall grew heavier, disrupting the quiet pond, drawing circles in the water.

    Alain shook his head. “No.” He grinned when Frankie glanced up in surprise. “I love my books too much—and the idea of other worlds… it’s so fascinating.” Especially the dark ones; the stories of realms where devils resided intrigued him the most, as he craved adventure in this dull life of his, filled with rules and politeness and money and endless dinners and expensive clothes and tidy hair. It was painfully boring.

    Frankie nodded slowly. “I wish I could keep reading those books too…”

    “You can,” Alain said after a beat, making Frankie frown at him. Alain smiled. “Whenever you come to visit, you can read them in my room. If you want books of your own, I can even keep them for you. I’ll make sure nothing happens to them.” It wasn’t an empty promise; their families were close, for their parents were friends and their fathers did business together involving pieces of land, people working for them, and other things Alain didn’t really understand or cared about—and so, the Somnus family and the Millers visited each other often; Alain and Frankie would be able to meet frequently.

    Frank’s face lit up. “Would you?”

    Alain nudged him with his elbow. “Of course.”

    “Thank you,” he murmured, gazing at the koi swimming by. “I wish,” he then started, “I could literally go to another world. Away from my father. Away from… everything.”

    His voice grew husky, and Alain could hear his tears. He stiffened, slightly panicking on what to do if he’d started crying, but then— “Well, I don’t know about going to other worlds,” Alain began, “but we could always get those worlds to come to us.” He explained at seeing Frank’s puzzled expression: “I’ve read about this ritual that can help you summon ghosts—you know, the actual spirits of the deceased. It involves what they call a Ouija board, and as a matter of fact, I bought one yesterday. I actually wanted to ask you—”

    “Somnus!” a voice suddenly hollered.

    “Miller!” another one joined the first.

    Before Alain and Frank could even look up, two boys rushed up to them and crouched down, slinging their arms around their shoulders. Alain blinked and then his face brightened: Salvador and Casper—Sal and Cas for short—, their other friends whose families also came to visit the Somnus Mansion today.

    Salvador, sitting next him, grinned widely. His teeth were straight and a brilliant white against his ebony skin. “You know,” he said, “you two really need to find a better hiding spot.”

    “You are as easy to find as birds in the sky,” Cas added, tightening his arm around Frankie’s narrow shoulders—but then he drew back, surprised, his straight blond hair falling away from his face as he studied Frankie. “Frank Miller Junior? Who have you been fighting with?”

    He sounded positively perplexed. After all, it was Casper who often got into fights, especially with older boys—as he hated to be made fun of, and that’s what older boys do—but Frankie… he was the quiet one, the boy who never got into trouble, gentle-hearted and sweet-faced.

    Frankie wavered and his gaze flitted from Cas to Sal, who was now also staring at him, though Alain sensed that he might have already put two and two together. Still, Casper was eying him with eager expectation.

    Alain could tell Frankie didn’t want them to know.

    “As a matter of fact,” Alain spoke up, “Frankie has been in a fight with a dreadful demon from the underworld. It had eleven heads, a thousand teeth, and nails sharper than a soldier’s sword.”

    Salvador snorted, and Casper arched an eyebrow. “Is that so? Who won, then?”

    “Frankie, naturally,” Alain replied, not missing a beat. “He’s still here, isn’t he? I can’t say the same for the demon.”

    “I suppose I should congratulate you then,” said Cas to Frankie.

    Frank merely smiled—though not too broadly, mindful of his split lip—and shot Alain a grateful look. Alain gave him a slight nod.

    “Not that I feel like going to this dinner tonight,” Sal began, “but I think we should go back. Your mother was looking for you, Alain. And she was a bit…”

    “Psychotic,” Cas offered.

    “That’s rude—it’s his mother, Cas,” Salvador chided. “What I wanted to say was worried.”

    Alain heaved a sigh. “She’s always worried,” he muttered, but he rose from his crouch anyway. His friends immediately followed suit, trailing him out from under the bridge into the rain.

    Suddenly, Cas let out a roar. “Race you to the mansion!” he shouted, barreling past them, nearly shoving Sal into the pond. Salvador yelled his name and hurried after him.

    Alain laughed, ready to join them, but paused when he glanced back at Frankie. He walked slowly, looking miserable now that he thought that nobody was watching him. “Frank,” Alain said after a hesitation, feeling a twist of pity, “would you like to try that ritual tonight? We could sneak away after dinner.”

    Frankie’s face immediately brightened. “I’d like to see what happens.”

    Relief flooded Alain’s chest, but before he could respond, their friends hollered at them from a distance.

    “Come on!” Cas was shouting.

    The thoughts about rituals and ghosts slipped from Alain’s mind then, as he and Frankie both broke into a sprint and simply became two boys running through the rain, unaware of what the future held in store for them.

    For it would be the very first summoning Alain Somnus ever did.

    But most certainly not the last.

    Back then, he would never have suspected, let alone have known, that he and his insatiable curiosity would one day change the world—forever.

 


 

— ALAIN SOMNUS contains 6 chapters in total. Want to read on? Pre-order the eBook on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes&Noble or Smashwords, and start reading on the day of the release! (JUST ONE WEEK LEFT! Let the countdown begin!)

 

As you can read, Alain is a twelve-year old boy in this prologue; in chapter 1, however, we’ll jump 9 years ahead in time, and Alain will be a 21-year old young man… and that’s when the real trouble starts 😉

 

I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek!

 

>>> The Insomnia Files will be released next week on April 7th! Stay tuned! <<<

 

 

Thank you for reading! ?

 

BE CREEPY. STAY FREAKY.

— Lynn

 

Don’t want to miss a single update or release? Then please subscribe to my blog (scroll all the way up, and you’ll find the subscribe button to your right. All you have to do is enter your email address, and then confirm your subscription).

or

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Posted by Lynn Robin in Insomnia Saga, 0 comments
MARCH 2020 Writing Update: Writing & Craziness

MARCH 2020 Writing Update: Writing & Craziness

Hey there, Sleepwalkers!

Whoa. March. Well. What can I say? This sure has been a crazy month — and I tend to say this about many months, because, well, let’s face it, I write crazy stories and am a bit of a crazy person myself, giving myself tons of deadlines to reach so I can write as much as possible each year.

But this month took “crazy” to a whole new level: countries are in lockdown, everyone is in (preventive) quarantine, the streets are mostly empty, and people have developed a sudden obsession with toilet paper (seriously, what’s that about?).

Everything feels so… surreal. Like this is actually a really crappy script of a really crappy movie, and we all somehow got stuck with a part in it.

However — apart from all this, life still goes on, and as an author I’m lucky to be working from home anyway, which means not much has changed for me (except for the fact that I have developed a bit of a phobia from going outside, but oh well). So let’s focus on the fun things I did this month, yeah? Let’s get this writing update started!

 

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• Editing: The Insomnia Files

Well, okay, perhaps this isn’t the most exciting thing I’ve done in March, since editing is actually the slowest, least interesting part of the writing process (in my opinion), yet it’s important and has to be done!

So, my team and I have been editing the short stories included in The Insomnia Files (Insomnia Saga #1.5) this month, since the book’s release on April 7th is rapidly coming closer! The thing I absolutely love about editing, though, is the way I get to see my manuscripts getting better and better with each round of revisions. It always makes me feel like I’m polishing this rough stone until in the end, I’m holding this shimmering jewel in my hands — something to feel good about, a manuscript that is ready to become an actual book, after all the quirky sentences and typos have been smoothed out into something ready to be read by others.

And that’s pretty cool ?

 

• The Insomnia Files publication update

I posted this last week, but for those who may have missed it: concerning the world’s current… situation, so to speak, I have decided to postpone the paperback release of The Insomnia Files; the eBook, however, will still be released worldwide on April 7th!

To read my lengthy explanation of why I made this decision, please check out this post 🙂

And if you want to know more about The Insomnia Files (Insomnia Saga #1.5) and which short stories this collection includes, visit the official Insomnia Saga page!

 

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• Writing: The Nocturne Files

At the end of 2019 I finished writing NOCTURNE, the second full-length installment to the Insomnia Saga and so the direct sequel to INSOMNIA — so my latest project to write for the Insomnia Saga was The Nocturne Files, book #2.5 in the series.

I started working on this project in February, and finished it in the second week of March! I can’t say too much about this, because NOCTURNE isn’t even published yet and I don’t want to give away any spoilers — what I can say is that The Nocturne Files (#2.5) have a connection to the third and last story of The Insomnia Files (#1.5) of Alain Somnus, which means that I dove even deeper into the Insomnia Saga’s history.

The Nocturne Files contains two stories, one novella and one short story, and I think it’s safe to say that these in-between story collections will become a bit of a sub-series within the Insomnia Saga, in which I tell about the history of the very first Summoners and the arrival of the Nightprowlers in great detail.

All right, I guess this all sounds pretty vague to you guys for now, but I promise things will get clearer once you’ve read The Insomnia Files 😉 In any case, I’m very excited about The Nocturne Files and enjoyed writing it so much. It was another great experience!

And, after completing The Nocturne Files, I already finished my 3rd writing project of 2020! I’m feeling pretty awesome about that.

 

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• Writing: KISSING SHADOWS

Wait, what? KISSING SHADOWS? But, you published a story last month called KISSING MONSTERS, right…?

Yep, that’s right! In last month’s writing update I already told you guys that I was brainstorming for a sequel to KISSING MONSTERS, but this month all of my ideas really started coming together and before I knew it, I had the entire story plotted out.

So, last week I decided to dive right in and write this story — and, whoa; I loved working on this. I think I’ve actually fallen in love with the characters, the world, the atmosphere. Strangely enough, even though it’s filled with monsters, this is actually a rather relaxing project to work on. Perhaps because it’s less action-packed than the Insomnia Saga, and focusing more on romance.

Since it’s a shorter project, I already finished the manuscript last Sunday morning (I got up early especially to finish it; those who follow me on Instagram have probably seen that in my story!). So, that’s project #4 of 2020!

I’m on a roll.

 

• The KISSING MONSTERS series

Yeah, you read that right:

Although I’d originally planned to only write one sequel to KISSING MONSTERS, that thing that always happens to me happened again: my imagination got a bit over-active and before I knew it, the story began to grow, the characters started to develop, things became complex, and there you have it: a whole new series is born.

I’ve decided to add more sequels to KISSING MONSTERS and turn it into a series, consisting of short but sweet installments. They’ll all be around the length of the first book (though book two has already crossed the word count… 😀 ), and I’m planning to release all installments as eBooks for a nice 99 cents — they’ll be quick reads to enjoy and finish within the night (or morning, or afternoon, or whenever it is you read)!

So, for now I’ll be working on two projects: the Insomnia Saga and Kissing Monsters ?

 

By the way, have you read KISSING MONSTERS yet? It’s available as a free eBook, in any format you like! If you’re a Kindle reader, you can find the .mobi format on Smashwords.

Find out more about KISSING MONSTERS here! ?

 

• Preparing to write ORIGINS

Oh yes, another thing I did in March: I made preparations for ORIGINS, the third full-length installment of the Insomnia Saga.

Throughout the months, I had taken lots and lots of notes (I swear, my notebooks scare me sometimes), and it has literally taken me hours to get them all organized in a Word document. After that, I’ve spent several days working on the plot-outline, and I’ve summarized the first 26 chapters of the book.

I plan to officially start working on ORIGINS in April! Really excited about that 😀 (And looking at everything that’s happening right now, it’ll be a great distraction.)

 

So… I suppose that’s it. I actually did even more this month than I thought! 😉

This week I’m working hard on making The Insomnia Files publish-ready; the eBook is finished and uploaded to the publishers, and yesterday my designer and I worked on the paperback! It won’t be published yet, but at least we’ll have the files ready once I feel comfortable releasing it 🙂 Today, however, we’re going into movie-mode to make some really cool teaser trailers! You can expect to see them on YouTube in April and May.

Well, everyone. What else can I say? These are strange times, and I know many of you are struggling. I must admit, I’m pretty anxious too, but I’ve decided to focus more on my writing — because, you know, freaking out and panicking is not going to help anyone and certainly not going to change our current situation. I’m just trying to make the best of it. My family and I have placed ourselves in preventive quarantine, just to be extra safe, so I’m not going out anymore, not even for a run. To make up for it, I’m doing more indoor fitness and yoga workouts ?

What are you doing these days?

Wishing you all the best of health; be strong, be happy, be positive.

 

And don’t forget—

BE CREEPY. STAY FREAKY.

— Lynn

 

Don’t want to miss a single update or release? Then please subscribe to my blog (scroll all the way up, and you’ll find the subscribe button to your right. All you have to do is enter your email address, and then confirm your subscription).

or

If you’d like to stay updated and see more of what’s happening behind the scenes on a daily (hourly, even!) basis, please follow me on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook. I recommend Instagram for a steady amount of updates, since I’m sharing everything I’m working on in my story; feel free to follow!

 

Posted by Lynn Robin in Writing Updates, 4 comments
The Insomnia Files TEASER | File #2: KAY SOMNUS (Chapter 1)

The Insomnia Files TEASER | File #2: KAY SOMNUS (Chapter 1)

“Control. Focus. Be the master. Not the puppet.”

 

Hey there, Sleepwalkers, and welcome to Teaser Tuesday!

In anticipation to the April 7th release of The Insomnia Files (Insomnia Saga #1.5), a short story collection, I’ll be sharing a teaser today of the second file, KAY SOMNUS.

 

The Insomnia Files contains three short stories written from three different perspectives, diving deeper into the Insomnia Saga universe.

FILE #1 tells the story of Jodi Collins and takes place four years prior to INSOMNIA: Thirteen years old, Jodi has just started working for the Miller Academy. As she’s sent on a mission on a dark, wintery night, she has no choice but to confront the demons of the Night—and fight them.

In FILE #2 fifteen-year old Kay Somnus is about to take his final exam to become the youngest Summoner in history… but in order to succeed, he will have to pretend—and believe—he is someone he’s not, and forever deny himself his true power.

Alain Somnus, the very first Summoner of Light, is the voice of FILE #3. Hundreds of years ago, he opened a gate and allowed dark powers to spill in that would change the world forever… creating the darkest secret ever kept. Haunted by nightmares and his failure to protect the only girl who had ever managed to touch his heart, he opened the Somnus Academy—but could he live with the lies?

 

Did you know? The first story, JODI COLLINS, is available as a free eBook! Find out more.

 

Today I’d like to give you all a sneak peek to the second story, written from Kay’s perspective — so hereby I’ll be sharing CHAPTER 1: BLOOD AND BROTHERHOOD.

 

[SPOILER WARNING: If you haven’t read INSOMNIA (Insomnia Saga #1) yet, the following chapter will contain major spoilers that could affect your reading experience. So… read on at your own risk — or quickly close this tab 😉 ]

 


FILE #2: KAY SOMNUS

 

CHAPTER 1

BLOOD AND BROTHERHOOD

Standing on the altar is a black cross, its surface inlaid with blood-red stones. It’s for my mother. Although she had been raised in Somnus, she was originally from Miller, our neighboring city filled with churches that tower into the sky. I had been there a couple of times with my parents, back when they were still alive. I can still vividly remember my mother telling me she enjoyed visiting Miller because she knew her father and mother had always been fond of the city—yet that to her, Somnus had become her true home.

    I swallow, recalling her face. It’s easy; next to the cross, there is a picture of her and my father.

    Recalling her voice, however, is getting harder.

    Two years. It’s been two years since I watched her and my father die.

    The blood—I can still smell it. Their screams—I can still hear them. The pain—I can still feel it.

    The scars—

    They’re still there. A part of me. No matter where I go, I carry them with me.

    I briefly touch my right shoulder, and I can feel the thick, raised edges of my scars, hidden beneath my shirt. Stiffening, I lower my hand. My gaze hardens as I look away from the cross, away from the picture of my parents—instead, I narrow my eyes as I watch the flames of the lit candles, shivering as though they can feel the November cold creeping in through the cracks of the rose window.

    Shivering, as though they’re afraid of something.

    Of me. The monster.

    I inhale deeply, but my lungs feel tight. I wrench my gaze away from the candles, blinking a few times to get the colored spots out of my vision, and stare at my reflection in the window instead.

    I’m at the top floor of the Somnus Academy, where I’ve been born and raised. It’s my home. My parents started living here after my father took over the role as principal from my grandfather, a man I can barely remember for he died when I was still little. My brother and I have never known anything else but this.

    It seemed fitting, after our parents’ deaths, to build this small, personal shrine right here; in the living room, where we once came together to eat, to… To be a family, even though a part of me has always felt removed from that concept, like I was an island all on my own. Although my parents and Aiden wanted me to come to theirs, I simply couldn’t cross the sea, no matter how hard I swam. All I did was drift farther and farther away from them.

    From my family. From everyone.

    I can’t remember anything else than that I feel different. Different, from everybody else. And I know it isn’t them. It’s me.

    And this feeling, this knowledge has only grown stronger ever since what happened two years ago. Since I got scarred.

    I am the monster that’s hiding in the shadows. The monster that pretends to be human by fighting the other demons. The monster that lies, every single day, not just to others, but to himself as well.

    You can be more than this, I tell myself over and over again. Deep down, you haven’t changed. You are still their son. You are still Kay Somnus.

    And that name—Kay Somnus—is the sole reason I’m standing here tonight, two years after becoming a Sleepwalker, readying myself for my final exam to become a Summoner, even though I am only fifteen years old. Students are supposed to take their finals at eighteen, but I am not an average student.

    And I will never be an average Summoner either.

    Again, my eyes stray to my right shoulder in the window’s reflection—and that’s when I see him standing there, watching me.

    I turn around to my brother.

    His hair is dark like mine, but where mine’s unruly, his is long and slicked back into a tail at the nape of his neck. He wears an impeccable white collar shirt, black pants, and his shoes are polished to a shine. With twenty-seven he’s twelve years older than I am—the youngest principal of all Summoner academies, and one of the best and youngest Summoners known to the world.

    The way he took over our parents’ role, the way he’s leading the school these days, would’ve made them proud.

    Sometimes, I wish I could tell him that. I know I should. And any other brother would have done that. But I am just his brother by blood—apart from that, I am an island. And no matter how hard I swim, I can’t seem to reach his.

    It’s not his fault. It’s me. All me.

    “It is almost time to leave, little brother,” Aiden says, his voice soft and familiar. He runs a hand over the back of one of the chairs in the left corner of the room, the brown leather soft and worn through time and use. “Are you ready for this?”

    His dark-blue eyes watch me carefully, as though he’s truly concerned, but I know which answer he expects to hear—and he should, since it’s the only answer I’ll ever give him: “I’m ready.”

    I am. Despite the nerves running through me, the unrest buzzing in my body even as I went for a run this morning, even while I was training this afternoon, finding my rhythm as I swung and caught the nunchakus, the chains ringing softly. I am ready.

    “Good.”

    “I should go,” I say, walking over to the coat rack next to the door to get my jacket. I reach for it, but pause as the wooden floor creaks and Aiden suddenly puts his hand on my arm. I look at him, frowning slightly.

    He reaches for his neck and pulls something out from under his shirt. I stare at the silver necklace with its small, gleaming cross that he’s holding out to me. My mouth turns dry. My stomach feels hollow and it’s not just because I barely ate anything tonight.

    “Take it,” Aiden murmurs.

    I stare at it for a long moment, unable to move. It was our mother’s. She always used to wear it, tucked beneath her clothes. For luck, she claimed.

    She also wore it the night she died.

    Luck.

    Such a useless word.

    “No,” I say tightly.

    “She’d want you to wear—”

    “I don’t believe in lucky charms,” I grind out, my voice suddenly rough, unable to look away from the gleaming thing. “You know that.”

    “I do.” Aiden doesn’t lower his hand though, and keeps holding it out to me. “But she gave it to me the night I took my final exam. And I know she would have given it to you too, tonight, if she were still here.” His words are spoken quietly, sounding brittle.

    The death of our parents is a wound. A wound that won’t heal.

    I suddenly feel cold.

    “Let’s continue the tradition, no matter how you feel,” Aiden goes on after a silence. “Please.”

    Please. He hardly uses that word. Aiden is proud. He never begs.

    I tear my gaze away from the necklace to look at him. These days, I’m nearly as tall. His eyes, however, are darker than mine. I can see and feel them scanning every inch of my face.

    “This is your final, Kay,” he says. “Make them proud.”

    His words make me glance over at the altar. Something rises up in me, something that’s cold and hot at once, and there’s a sudden ache in the back of my throat. I reach for the necklace and put it on. The small metal cross still feels warm as I tuck it beneath my shirt.

    I tug my jacket from the coat rack, shrug it on, and move to open the door. Yet before I can, I sense Aiden stepping closer. His shadow falls over me. “Watch yourself tonight,” he quietly warns me. “Don’t expose yourself. What happened last time during your mock exam—you can’t let that happen tonight.”

    I tense, my fingers tightening around the doorknob. “I know,” is all I say.

    “All right.” Aiden pauses. “Good luck, little brother.”

    For a moment, I don’t move. Perhaps I should thank him. Perhaps I should turn around, clasp his hand, or embrace him.

    That’s probably what anybody else would’ve done in a situation like this.

    But I—I simply can’t. I don’t know how to.

    I know what’s expected of me, a person, a human being. But it’s not who I am. I can’t take this step. I can’t cross this bridge, I can’t close this distance.

    Blood and brotherhood. I know what it means, and yet, somehow, it’s out of my reach.

    When I was little, Aiden used to pick me up, carry me on his back, and embrace me. Our parents, too. My father patted me on the head. My mother kissed me on the cheek. But I never hugged any of them back. I never went over to them myself to hold their hand or snuggle up to them, like I saw other children do. It never felt natural.

    Maybe my heart is a closed-off thing.

    I don’t know. I don’t know any better than being this way—and still… I do feel like, sometimes, I’m missing something everybody else seems to have.

    But I’m different. I lose myself in books; fiction and non-fiction, it doesn’t matter to me. I lose myself in endless hours filled with training. I lose myself in sparring fights, I lose myself in perfecting every Light spell I’ve been taught and those I taught myself. I lose myself in practical things, and not in emotions.

    I’m different—and so, I don’t say anything to Aiden as I open the door, and leave without looking back.

 

+ + +

 

The Somnus Academy is never truly quiet. The students are in bed, and so are the Summoners who are off-duty, but all the others are still out and about to either make their rounds in the city, or to sit in vigil when it’s their watch, awaiting the ever-possible emergency call that signals a Nightprowler attack.

    The same goes for tonight—but now, for the first time, I truly seem to notice how many people are still milling about.

    I slow to a halt at the foot of the wooden stairs. The entrance hall is large, with a Gothic rib-vault ceiling, and a large clock with Roman numerals. Earthenware vases line the terracotta-colored walls, though I can barely see those—there aren’t supposed to be this many people here.

    My frown deepens as my gaze skips over their faces, until I finally find the two I’m looking for:

    Martha Bates, forty years old, dark-blond hair that frames her face. Unmarried and no children. Former student of the Somnus Academy, who then became a Theory-lesson teacher. A strong soldier and also a mentor; every single student she takes under her wing grows out to be a great Summoner.

    Owen Radcliff. Seventeen years old. Short-cropped hair, broadly built, jeans stuffed into his army boots. Has already passed several mock-exams with flying colors, and is waiting for his eighteenth birthday so he can take his final, as are the rules. Has been scouted by one of the Somnus Academy’s talent scouts at twelve, when he apparently stood up for a boy who got bullied by defending him when he got attacked. Wants to be a teacher at the academy once he graduates, and these days he’s trying out for becoming a martial arts instructor. He’s Martha Bates’ best pupil.

    I know all about everyone who works here, as well as the top-students.

    Bates and Radcliff will accompany me tonight, to oversee my final exam.

    I want to walk over to them, but hesitate. Aiden and Abel Anderson—family friend and the school’s vice principal—came with me during my mock exam last September. That has been the last time I’ve been up against a Nightprowler. I did pass the exam, but not the way a Summoner is supposed to.

    I can’t let that happen again tonight. I can’t afford to slip up.

    Not tonight. Not with them.

    Drawing in a steadying breath, I make my way over to Martha Bates and Owen Radcliff.

    “There you are.” Bates smiles. “Are you ready to leave?”

    I nod.

    Her smile widens before she steps away, leading us to the back exit to leave the building.

    Radcliff falls into step beside me. “Just ignore everybody else,” he murmurs to me.

    I frown at him.

    He raises an eyebrow and gestures around the entrance hall. “Haven’t you noticed all these people? They’re all here to see you off—if you pass your final tonight, you’ll be the youngest Summoner in history.”

    Normally, it’s not allowed for someone younger than eighteen to become a full-time Summoner—but since I am Kay Somnus

    I quickly scan the hallway, again noticing the absurd amount of people gathered here. But now I actually feel their eyes linger on me. Some offer me a smile, while others fold their arms and shoot me skeptic looks.

    I stiffen under the attention, but then Martha Bates has already opened the door of the back exit and we step outside. We cross the parking lot, lit by multiple streetlights, passing dozens of black, gleaming academy cars. It’s late November and cold air bites into my cheeks, but I barely feel the chill. Nervous energy courses through me, and my jacket feels too warm. Stifling.

    Sliding into the backseat of the car Martha Bates has just unlocked, I briefly wonder if Aiden is watching me from the rose window on the top floor; I can feel the metal of the cross rest against my skin.

    But it does not feel like a wish for good luck.

    It feels like a warning.

 


 

— KAY SOMNUS contains 5 chapters in total. Want to read on? Pre-order the eBook on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes&Noble or Smashwords, and start reading on the day of the release!

 

I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek!

Coming up next week: the first chapter of FILE #3: ALAIN SOMNUS

 

Thank you for reading! ?

 

…Hey! Did you notice? The cover for The Insomnia Files has had a tiny update! The title is now red instead of white, so it’s more in line with INSOMNIA — I think it looks even cooler this way 😀

 

BE CREEPY. STAY FREAKY.

— Lynn

 

Don’t want to miss a single update or release? Then please subscribe to my blog (scroll all the way up, and you’ll find the subscribe button to your right. All you have to do is enter your email address, and then confirm your subscription).

or

If you’d like to stay updated and see more of what’s happening behind the scenes on a daily (hourly, even!) basis, please follow me on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook. I recommend Instagram for a steady amount of updates, since I’m sharing everything I’m working on in my story; feel free to follow!

Posted by Lynn Robin in Insomnia Saga, 2 comments
Mad World | The Insomnia Files paperback release postponed

Mad World | The Insomnia Files paperback release postponed

Hello everyone,

It’s a mad world out there, isn’t it?

Schools and universities have been closed, people who can are supposed to work from home, and even restaurants, cinemas and other shops and places had to close their doors. Barely anyone uses public transportation, and the streets are eerily quiet.

Really, I had no idea the world could be this silent.

When I woke up this morning, all I heard was birdsong — while I’m used to hearing people, mainly parents yelling at their kids to get a move on. This morning? Nothing.

It’s scary to think that a thing like a virus can shut down our world and lives like this… and meanwhile, nature doesn’t seem to care; the sky is blue, the sun is shining, the weather is lovely. And yet, I hardly dare stepping outside, because suddenly the outside world seems menacing to me, every person you meet a hazard.

Like I said on social media last weekend, my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feeds are filled with anxiety, people panicking, and others arguing whether we’re overreacting or not. I myself am a rather cautious person, so I must admit I feel a sense of anxiety as well — and while I’ve always been a bit of a hermit, it’s even worse now. I’m staying indoors as much as possible, and don’t even risk going out for a run. I did last week, though, but the atmosphere was strange; everyone was watching the other, and I got the sense everyone just wanted to get indoors as soon as possible. Myself included, to be honest! 😉

And on that note…

 

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• The Insomnia Files paperback release postponed

Some might think I’m overreacting and that this precaution isn’t necessary, but I’ve made my decision anyway: on April 7th the short story collection The Insomnia Files (Insomnia Saga 1.5) would be released in both paperback and eBook edition, but I have decided to postpone the paperback release to later this year.

I publish my paperbacks with Amazon, and looking at the fact that my latest book, INSOMNIA, was first printed in Poland, then shipped to Germany, and then again shipped to the Netherlands to get it to me, I simply don’t feel comfortable placing any orders online for the time being.

 

>>> The eBook release of The Insomnia Files, however, will still be published on April 7th! <<<

 

I even thought of postponing the release entirely, but I read a Tweet last weekend in which someone said that the world needs creative people the most right now, and so I realized that publishing a new eBook would actually be a nice thing since everyone is mainly staying indoors these days 🙂 (In any case, I know I am really enjoying reading and other indoors activities at the moment, now more than ever.)

So, if you really want to get your hands on The Insomnia Files paperback edition, I apologize for the delay in the release, but I believe you should do whatever you feel comfortable with, which is why I made this decision. As soon as things normalize again (and I really hope that’s sooner than later), I will publish the paperback ASAP — however, the eBook will be available in any format you prefer in many online (book)stores ?

In anticipation to the release (which will be in 3 weeks!), I’ll be sharing sneak peeks of both Kay’s short story as well as Alain’s, which are both included in this collection! To find out more about The Insomnia Files, check out this page! (Third in list!)

 

• Stay well, stay safe

With this post I also wanted to check up on you guys; how are you doing, and how are you experiencing everything right now? I hope you’re well and in good health 🙂

Stay well, stay safe.

(I even came up with a cool mantra for myself: KEEP CALM AND WRITE ON. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?!)

 

Wishing you all the best of health ❤️

— Lynn

 

Don’t want to miss a single update or release? Then please subscribe to my blog (scroll all the way up, and you’ll find the subscribe button to your right. All you have to do is enter your email address, and then confirm your subscription).

or

If you’d like to stay updated and see more of what’s happening behind the scenes on a daily (hourly, even!) basis, please follow me on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook. I recommend Instagram for a steady amount of updates, since I’m sharing everything I’m working on in my story; feel free to follow!

Posted by Lynn Robin in News, 6 comments
FEBRUARY 2020 Writing Update: INSOMNIA + KISSING MONSTERS + a lot of everything

FEBRUARY 2020 Writing Update: INSOMNIA + KISSING MONSTERS + a lot of everything

Dear Sleepwalkers,

February is coming to an end and I don’t think a month has ever passed by this swiftly, yet felt so long — not to me, anyway 🙂

The past few weeks were crazy:

 

• INSOMNIA publish-ready + writing KISSING MONSTERS

During the first week of February, I finished the preparations for INSOMNIA‘s release. To read about this in detail, be sure to check out this blog post!

I used the remaining days until the release to work on KISSING MONSTERS, a short story I’d decided to write for Valentine’s Day (I already started working on it in January). I finished it during the weekend and then sent it out to my beta-readers, who were awesome and enthusiastic enough to want to help me with this last-minute project 😉

Also, this weekend the postman came to deliver my own copy of INSOMNIA’s paperback; and wow. Even though INSOMNIA isn’t the first book I’ve published, it still is a roller coaster of feelings once you hold the actual book in your hands; to me, it’s pure magic. Every single time ?

 

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• INSOMNIA release; book birthday

Finally, INSOMNIA released in eBook and paperback edition on February 11th, the date I’d been working toward for months!

They call the day of a book release also a book birthday, and to be honest, it felt like an actual birthday! Once I put the news out there, I received truly lovely messages from readers and fellow writers, congratulating me with the release and telling me they were excited to read INSOMNIA 😀 It was great, and I swear I was grinning like an idiot the entire day 😉

 

This is the official book trailer for INSOMNIA! Be sure to check it out, and don’t forget — volume up! It has a really cool track.

 

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• KISSING MONSTERS release

I don’t think I’ve ever had two separate releases in one week, but I guess there’s a first for literally everything, right?

On February 13th, the day before Valentine’s Day, I officially released the short story KISSING MONSTERS, which happens to be a free eBook download. Check it out here!

I really enjoyed working on this project — it was a rather spontaneous one, and even though it’s only about 50 pages long, I really got to connect with my characters. To be honest, I miss them already; I absolutely loved writing about Kiss, Zane, and the Collector.

Which is why… I’m secretly (well, it’s no secret anymore now, is it? :P) working on a sequel behind the scenes. I’ve been taking lots of notes, and hope to be able to start writing in the following months, possibly as a weekend-project, so I can focus entirely on the Insomnia Saga during the week ? (Yep, there’s a lot of planning/scheduling going on here!)

 

• INSOMNIA SAGA cover reveals and release date announcements!

Yes, indeed! Last week I officially revealed the covers and release dates of both The Insomnia Files (Insomnia Saga 1.5) and NOCTURNE (Insomnia Saga 2), the sequels to INSOMNIA. Be sure to check out this blog post for more info!

I’m really excited about all this 😀

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• Back to writing and editing the INSOMNIA SAGA

The last couple of weeks I returned to my laptop, to write as well as to edit.

To be honest, I’ve actually done more editing than writing; it’s time to prepare The Insomnia Files and NOCTURNE for publication, and I always like to start on this early on, so my beta-readers have enough time to help me and also so there’s more time in between me reading the manuscripts; I find it works better when I’m able to take some distance from my work and look at it again all “fresh” 😉

However, I’ll be finishing the revisions next week, which means I’ll have several weeks to simply write.

I can’t wait, because I’m working on a project I really enjoy — The Nocturne Files, to be exact, which will be released as the Insomnia Saga 2.5 book, expected later this year. It’s another short story collection, just like The Insomnia Files, in which I’m diving deeper into the series’ history (literally centuries!), about how the Nightprowlers came into the world and the very first Summoners. It’s fun as well as challenging, because I normally write modern fantasy. I’m loving these projects, because it allows me to try out different kinds of voices and angles ❤️ It’s rather refreshing, actually.

 

Well, I suppose it’s all right for me to wrap up this update right here. As you guys can read, I’ve done a lot this past month. I said it on social media lately, but I feel like I’ve been doing six months’ worth of work in about two 😉 I feel absolutely great though, and it makes me excited for the rest of 2020; I can’t wait to see what this year will bring me creatively 😀

How about you? Are you doing well? I hope you’re in good health — we’ve all heard and read the worrisome things that are going on in the world right now, yet all I can do is hope that no harm will come to most of us.

 

In March…: I expect to finish writing The Nocturne Files, it’ll be time for me and my team to prepare The Insomnia Files for its April release… and I actually also hope to start working on ORIGINS, the third Insomnia Saga installment! Well, let’s see whether I’ll manage to reach all these goals 😀

Do you have a question? Just feel like dropping a line? Feel free to leave a message below! ❤️

 

BE CREEPY. STAY FREAKY.

— Lynn

 

Don’t want to miss a single update or release? Then please subscribe to my blog (scroll all the way up, and you’ll find the subscribe button to your right. All you have to do is enter your email address, and then confirm your subscription).

or

If you’d like to stay updated and see more of what’s happening behind the scenes on a daily (hourly, even!) basis, please follow me on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook. I recommend Instagram for a steady amount of updates, since I’m sharing everything I’m working on in my story; feel free to follow!

 

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Posted by Lynn Robin in Writing Updates, 4 comments

The Insomnia Files & NOCTURNE (Insomnia Saga #1.5 + #2): Cover reveals and release dates

Dear Sleepwalkers,

Today is an exciting day (well, I sure think so 😉 ), because I’ll be officially revealing the covers of the next Insomnia Saga releases, The Insomnia Files and NOCTURNE, as well as announcing the release dates!

Read on for more ?

 

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• The Insomnia Files (Insomnia Saga #1.5)

As you can see, the cover for The Insomnia Files is based on the cover created for the short story JODI COLLINS, as that is one of the stories featured in this collection!

 

The Insomnia Files contains three short stories written from three different perspectives, diving deeper into the Insomnia Saga universe.

FILE #1 tells the story of Jodi Collins and takes place four years prior to INSOMNIA: Thirteen years old, Jodi has just started working for the Miller Academy. As she’s sent on a mission on a dark, wintery night, she has no choice but to confront the demons of the Night—and fight them.

In FILE #2 fifteen-year old Kay Somnus is about to take his final exam to become the youngest Summoner in history… but in order to succeed, he will have to pretend—and believe—he is someone he’s not, and forever deny himself his true power.

Alain Somnus, the very first Summoner of Light, is the voice of FILE #3. Hundreds of years ago, he opened a gate and allowed dark powers to spill in that would change the world forever… creating the darkest secret ever kept. Haunted by nightmares and his failure to protect the only girl who had ever managed to touch his heart, he opened the Somnus Academy—but could he live with the lies?

 

>> The Insomnia Files (Insomnia Saga #1.5) releases in eBook and paperback edition on April 7th 2020! You can preorder the eBook on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords <<<

 

 

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• NOCTURNE (Insomnia Saga #2)

Here it is! The cover for the second installment in the Insomnia Saga, NOCTURNE; I already saw it last month, and I’ve been in love with it ever since ❤️ It perfectly captures the mood of the sequel to INSOMNIA, and I absolutely love the colors. My designer rules 🙂

If you want to read the blurb, please visit this page (scroll down, and then you’ll find it!); I’m not sharing it in this post, because it contains various spoilers regarding the ending of INSOMNIA. So, for those who haven’t read or finished INSOMNIA yet, please tread carefully 😉

 

>> NOCTURNE (Insomnia Saga #2) releases in eBook and paperback edition on June 23th 2020! You can preorder the eBook on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords <<<

 


 

That’s it for now! I hope you enjoy, will enjoy, or have enjoyed reading INSOMNIA, and that you’re looking forward to these next installments!

The Insomnia Files is great for those who’d like a bit more background information about Jodi, Kay, and Alain, whose name is mentioned various times in INSOMNIA. By writing these stories, I, as a writer, felt like I got to understand my characters even better, especially Alain Somnus ❤️

NOCTURNE, the sequel to INSOMNIA, picks up the story about three months later, and is written from dual perspective — Jodi’s voice returns, and is joined by Kay’s, as we dive even deeper into his past and personality. Also, Jodi has some things to deal with, and I think I got to flesh out her character even more in this book, especially by adding Kay’s point of view and the way he perceives her and everything else.

I’m already looking forward to releasing these installments!

 

Don’t want to miss a single future release? Then please subscribe to my blog (scroll all the way up, and you’ll find the subscribe button to your right. All you have to do is enter your email address, and then confirm your subscription).

or

If you’d like to stay updated and see more of what’s happening behind the scenes on a daily (hourly, even!) basis, please follow me on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook. I recommend Instagram for a steady amount of updates, since I’m sharing everything I’m working on in my story; feel free to follow!

 

As always, thank you all for reading ? Do you have any questions? Just got something to say? Feel free to leave a message below; I love to hear from you!

 

BE CREEPY. STAY FREAKY.

— Lynn

Posted by Lynn Robin in Insomnia Saga, News, 6 comments
NEW RELEASE | OUT NOW: KISSING MONSTERS — free eBook!

NEW RELEASE | OUT NOW: KISSING MONSTERS — free eBook!

“You can be more — so much more than a demon’s servant; so much more than an instrument of shadows.”

 

Today is the official release of KISSING MONSTERS, a dark yet romantic short story written for Valentine’s Day — and best of all? It’s a FREE download ?

Find out what it’s about…:

 

“When you kiss a monster, you turn them into angels.
If you’d kiss the Collector, he would turn you into a monster.
So… what happens if you would kiss a human?”

Her name is Kiss.

She travels the world to find monsters to kiss and turn them into angels—for the world has too many monsters and too few angels, she believes; too many shadows and too few stars in the sky.

But then she crosses paths with Zane, a young human man, a lost and lonely cello player, who tells her about the Collector—a monster who would turn her into a demon if she’d kiss him.

The Collector wants and claims everything that catches his attention.
And so, he starts hunting for Kiss.

Will she run? Will she stay and fight?
Or could Zane, a mere human, save her instead?

 

>>> KISSING MONSTERS is a free eBook! Find your preferred download link here <<<


 

The concept for this story had been in my head for several months, and early January I suddenly realized that Valentine’s Day was coming up and that this story would be perfect for it 🙂 Perhaps it’s not your usual Valentine’s tale, because no, it’s not a sugary story filled with roses and blushes, and yes, it involves actual monsters. But don’t worry, plenty of kisses are shared ?

 

I hope you all enjoy reading KISSING MONSTERS! I had a great time writing it, so I hope it’ll bring you joy as well 😀

(Don’t worry if you don’t have the time to read this on Valentine’s Day — you could read it any time, really, because monsters and romance are never out of season, right?)

 

Don’t want to miss a single future release? Then please subscribe to my blog (scroll all the way up, and you’ll find the subscribe button to your right. All you have to do is enter your email address, and then confirm your subscription).

or

If you’d like to stay updated and see more of what’s happening behind the scenes on a daily (hourly, even!) basis, please follow me on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook. I recommend Instagram for a steady amount of updates, since I’m sharing everything I’m working on in my story; feel free to follow!

 

Thanks so much for reading everyone ❤️

 

BE CREEPY. STAY FREAKY.

— Lynn

Posted by Lynn Robin in News, 6 comments