yafantasy

DECEMBER 2020 Writing Update #2: Google Play Witchcraft

DECEMBER 2020 Writing Update #2: Google Play Witchcraft

He’s not just handsome. He’s striking in a way that causes a heart to trip and a breath to catch.

    Alice never realized before that beauty could be threatening.

    Until now.

— quote from secret project —

 

Well, this update sure starts out rather mysterious, huh? Suddenly Google Play has been linked to witchcraft, and I’m sharing quotes from a “secret project”…

If I still haven’t grabbed your attention by now, I’m not sure anymore what else to to 😉

 

• All of my ebooks are now also available on Google Play

They are!! I’m pretty excited about this, because I noticed there is quiet a number of people who buy their ebooks on Google Play instead of Amazon or Kobo — and since I want my books to be available for as many readers as possible, worldwide, this feels like a rather important step 🙂

So, if you’re interested, you can check out my catalogue here.

But… what does Google Play have to do with witchcraft?

Absolutely nothing.

But read on for a witchy update…

 

• Secret Project

As I said in my first Writing Update of December, I’ve started working on a fun side project this month, just to get my mind off the Kissing Monsters series and the Insomnia Saga for a bit. Without giving much away of the story (we’re speaking early phases here, so I really can’t share the plot with you guys yet; I’m so sorry!!), it has elements such as witchcraft, magical — but poisonous — spiders, and an intense and broody romance (the guy’s name is Dante. Need I say more?).

However, a week ago I still believed it would be a stand-alone book.

That changed drastically last weekend.

I don’t know anymore why I even bother to try and write stand-alones; I seem to be incapable of it. I wrote the plot outline for this book about 6 months ago, during the summer, and then it felt to me the story would make a solid read. And it probably would have, but… as I began working on the manuscript last week, I started seeing all these opportunities to flesh out the characters, to improve the world-building, that would make the story so much deeper and more meaningful… Also, I’ve totally fallen in love with the main characters, Alice and Dante. They’re so different from Kiss and Zane, for example, yet to me their connection feels just as strong ♥️

All of this made me decide to turn it into a series after all.

At the moment I’m thinking it will be a 4-part series, every installment slightly longer than a Kissing Monsters book — the plan is between 150 – 180 pages.

SO. This means 1) I am giving up on stand-alones, because apparently I am a pathological series writer or something (is that a thing?), 2) I’m currently working on a THIRD series… I must be mad. I mean, I’m not even sure yet how I’m going to be working on three series at once, but, uhm… yeah. I’ll probably make it work, knowing me. Because I’m utterly mad. (But glad to be 😀 )

 

As for non-writing daily life updates…:

 

• Lockdown

The Netherlands officially went into lockdown yesterday, and today all schools that were still open have closed. I remember when this happened the first time in March, I felt terribly restless and anxious. I actually feel nothing of that now. Maybe I’m just kind of used to the thought that things are no longer the same?

In all honesty, it really doesn’t make a difference for me. I’ve been in preventive quarantine for nine months now — to protect my family and myself —, meaning I have been living inside constantly. I haven’t gone out once (okay, apart from a bike ride and a short walk). I see others complain on Facebook and Twitter that they can’t go anywhere, and that their inspiration for creative endeavors is blocked because they can’t go out and get a cup of coffee… and it’s just so strange to me. Sure, I do miss going out for my runs and walks, and I really enjoyed visiting my city’s botanical gardens and I loved going to the cinema, but to me it doesn’t feel like the end of the world if I can’t do it anymore.

Don’t get me wrong, I am looking forward to when things will settle down a bit and I can at least go for a run (I miss those terribly), but I’ve always loved being at home ♥️

I hope, if you’re also living in quarantine and/or your country has gone into lockdown, that you’re doing well and still enjoying life 😉 Stay healthy, stay safe!!

 

This wraps up the second December update! I’ll be back later this month with the release of KISSING NIGHTMARES (next week!!) as well as the annual blog post some of you are already familiar with, in which I look back and reflect at the past year 🙂 Hope to see you there!

 

— Lynn

 

Don’t want to miss updates on my book releases? 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 ❤️

Posted by Lynn Robin in Writing Updates, 6 comments
NEW RELEASE | OUT NOW: Kissing Monsters Collection #1 (Kissing Monsters 1—4)

NEW RELEASE | OUT NOW: Kissing Monsters Collection #1 (Kissing Monsters 1—4)

“Her name is Kiss”

 

My dearest Monster Kissers,

Today I am celebrating the official release of the very first Kissing Monsters Collection, which includes books 1 to 4 in the Mature YA Romantic Dark Fantasy Kissing Monsters series!

The book is available in both paperback and ebook.

 

Kissing Monsters Collection #1 is available in paperback for $11.99 on:

Amazon

 

Kissing Monsters Collection #1 is available in ebook for $4.99 on:

Amazon
Kobo
Barnes&Noble
Google Play

 

Watch the official book trailer:

 

 

• Kissing Monsters Collection #1 (Kissing Monsters 1—4)

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?

Follow the love story of Kiss and Zane in a world of monsters and angels in this collection of the first four books in the Kissing Monsters series…

 


 

I’m so happy to see the first four books in a collection, and especially in a physical edition ❤️ It’s pretty special to see the words of Kiss’s and Zane’s story printed on paper…

Do you have any questions? Just have something to say? Please feel free to reach out to me on my blog, on social media, through email; I always love hearing from my readers! Also, I’d appreciate it if you’d consider adding the book to your Goodreads!

 

— Lynn

 

Don’t want to miss updates on my book releases? 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 ❤️

Posted by Lynn Robin in Kissing Monsters, 6 comments
Kissing Monsters Collection (KM Col. #1) & KISSING NIGHTMARES (Kissing Monsters #5): Official cover reveals and release dates

Kissing Monsters Collection (KM Col. #1) & KISSING NIGHTMARES (Kissing Monsters #5): Official cover reveals and release dates

“Her name is Kiss”

 

Dear Monster Kissers ♥️

Today I am excited to reveal the covers and announce the official release dates for two new additions to the Romantic Dark Fantasy Kissing Monsters series!

 

• Kissing Monsters Collection #1 (PAPERBACK EDITION)

As all Kissing Monsters books are being released in eBook format only because the titles are simply too short to be published in print separately, I’m happy to announce that the first four books have been put together and now make up the very first Kissing Monsters Collection! My designer has done a terrific job designing the cover as well as the interior of the book — I honestly couldn’t be happier with the way this book has turned out, and it’s so surreal to see the words of Kiss’s and Zane’s story now printed on actual pages 🙂

 

Kissing Monsters Collection #1 releases in paperback edition for $11.99 on December 8th, 2020 on Amazon

 

Also, mainly for readers who are new to the series, an eBook edition of the Collection will also be released on December 8th and can be pre-ordered:

Amazon for $4.99

Kobo for $4.99

Barnes&Noble for $4.99

 

• KISSING NIGHTMARES (Kissing Monsters #5)

“Half-dreaming, Zane reaches out expecting to find Kiss’s body next to him, to let his hands roam over her soft, round curves and satin skin, his arms aching to pull her closer so he can bury his face in her hair and then sink back into sleep, into a dream in which he can kiss her shoulder, her collarbones, her neck, her cheek, her lips.

He reaches.
But the bed is empty.”

 

The love story of Kiss and Zane continues in this fifth installment of the Kissing Monsters series. On the run from Nyokah and the other angels and trying to find a way to tame Lady Scarlet, they soon cross paths with Skylar… and creatures so dark, the world has never seen them before.

 

KISSING NIGHTMARES releases in ebook edition for $1.99 on December 22nd, 2020

 

• PRE-ORDER NOW:

Amazon for $1.99

Kobo for $1.99

Barnes&Noble for $1.99

 

 

These two books will be my final publications of 2020 — all other sequels of both the Kissing Monsters series and the Insomnia Saga are scheduled for 2021 (possibly even 2022, but let’s not think that far ahead yet, lol).

I hope you’re all looking forward to KISSING NIGHTMARES and/or the Collection ♥️ If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line!

 

— Lynn

 

Don’t want to miss updates on my book releases? 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 ❤️

Posted by Lynn Robin in Kissing Monsters, News, 6 comments
NEW RELEASE | OUT NOW: The Nocturne Files (Insomnia Saga 2.5)

NEW RELEASE | OUT NOW: The Nocturne Files (Insomnia Saga 2.5)

First, the Nightprowlers brought them together.
Then, they divided them forever.

 

Hi there, Sleepwalkers! Today we’re celebrating the official release of The Nocturne Files, book 2.5 in the Insomnia Saga and the second short story collection to be featured in the series!

The Nocturne Files contains a novella and a short story written in dual perspectives, diving deeper into the series’ past and the lives of Nilisa Solovey and Alain Somnus, whose names we’ve encountered in NOCTURNE (Insomnia Saga #2)…

 

The Nocturne Files ebook edition is available for $1.99 on:

Amazon
Kobo
Smashwords

and can be found in paperback edition for $8.99 on:

Amazon

 

 

Watch the first book teaser:

 

• The Nocturne Files (Insomnia Saga #2.5)

The Nocturne Files contains a novella and an accompanying short story, told from the perspectives of Alain Somnus and Nilisa Solovey; a young man who became the world’s savior when he discovered powers with which he could battle the darkest creatures ever known to man—and a girl who believed them to be angels instead.

First, the Nightprowlers brought them together.
Then, they divided them forever.

File #1, told from dual perspective, revisits the night Alain Somnus performed a ritual of shadows, opening a gate to the realm of Night and accidentally inviting the demons to spill into his world.
The Masters of Night, the monsters are called—yet Nilisa Solovey, Alain’s unwilling fiancée, knows them as the Night Angels instead, for her secret lover, Orion, has been able to see them since he was a child.
And the moment Alain starts fighting them, Nilisa knows it is up to her to protect them—even if it means losing her family, her wealth, her life. Everything.

Nilisa’s story continues in File #2, as she struggles to live in a new world where angels are viewed as devils. Alain has opened the Somnus Academy and is teaching the people how to become Summoners of Light, making Nilisa realize she needs to gather like-minded men and women to stop the slaughtering of divine creatures.
As she crosses paths with the Queen of the Night Angels, an opportunity presents itself for Nilisa that enables her to become a soldier in this war of Night and Light, and save all that she loves:
A man, broken in the eyes of others. A child, who she believes deserves a better world. A queen, destined to rule.

 


 

Writing this short story collection has been a lot of fun and rather interesting, as it allowed me to explore the history of the Insomnia Saga‘s universe even deeper — and writing from Nilisa’s perspective was especially intense, considering she’s on the side of the Nightprowlers and regards them as actual angels (!). Let’s just say it was freakishly cool to live in her head for some time 😉

If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line here on my blog, on social media, through email; I’ll get back to you ASAP ❤️ Also, I’d appreciate it if you’d consider adding the book to your Goodreads!

 

— Lynn

 

Don’t want to miss updates on my book releases? 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 ❤️

Posted by Lynn Robin in Insomnia Saga, 8 comments
KISSING GHOSTS (Kissing Monsters #4): Official cover reveal and release date

KISSING GHOSTS (Kissing Monsters #4): Official cover reveal and release date

For a wild moment Scarlet considered brushing her mouth against Julian’s—something urged her on, a need she couldn’t say she ever felt before.
Perhaps it was his beauty.
Or perhaps it was the mystery that surrounded him, something that told her there was more to him than met the eye.
Something broken.

 

 

Hi there, monster kissers~

I hereby present to you (once more, in case you are reading this blogpost through email, which doesn’t show the post’s featured image, sadly)… the cover for book 4 in the Upper YA Dark Fantasy Romance Kissing Monsters series, entitled KISSING GHOSTS:

 

 

If I say so myself, I am completely IN LOVE with it. The color is absolutely gorgeous and I just love how this cover’s atmosphere perfectly fits the book. It somehow looks both a bit spooky and melancholic, which is exactly how writing KISSING GHOSTS felt to me ❤️

 

KISSING GHOSTS releases in ebook edition for $1.99 on November 17th, 2020

 

• PRE-ORDER NOW:

Amazon for $1.99

Kobo for $1.99

 

In case some of you haven’t read book 3 yet, I’ve decided not to share the blurb in this blogpost — but if you already have and are curious, check it out here! (Simply scroll all the way down~)

 

This is it for now! I hope you’ll all look forward to book 4 — I think it’ll help us all remain in a Halloween-ish mood for a bit longer 😉 If you have any questions or just have something to say, feel free to drop me a line!

 

— Lynn

 

Don’t want to miss updates on my book releases? 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 ❤️

Posted by Lynn Robin in Kissing Monsters, News, 6 comments
SEPTEMBER 2020 Writing Update: A Month of Nostalgic Madness

SEPTEMBER 2020 Writing Update: A Month of Nostalgic Madness

Hello there, dear monster kissers~

September has sure been a crazy month! It actually started out rather slow and relaxed. I was enjoying the change in seasons, watching summer slowly making way for autumn; there’s a certain nostalgia to September which always manages to inspire me, and this year was no different.

But I also did A LOT, hence the “madness” in the title 😉 Let’s dive right in…

 

 

• Brainstorming for a new/old book series

Like I said, September makes me feel nostalgic and that made me think about a book series I wrote nearly 10 years ago (yes, seriously. Gosh, this makes me feel so old — I’m only 28 though!!). The characters and story never entirely left my mind and most certainly not my heart, and I’ve been wanting to rewrite it for years. I didn’t, however, because I went through some disappointing and bad experiences with this book series regarding a publisher. I won’t go into details now, maybe in the future, but in short: I couldn’t work on this book series anymore without feeling physically ill.

This month, though, I discovered those feelings have entirely left, and now I feel free and at ease enough to work on it again. This is super exciting for me, and although I only planned to jot down some vague notes in my Word document, it soon turned into a pretty detailed plot outline for the first book! WHOA. My mind was blown 😉

I haven’t worked on it in the last couple of weeks, but it’s still on my mind on a daily basis and it looks like it could very well be a project I’m going to work casually on during the coming months. I’m not going to tell you guys anything yet (YES I KNOW I’M EVILLL), apart from the fact that it’s a Upper/Mature YA Fantasy series with loads of romance and a tiny bit of a fairytale-feel although set in a modern day world!

 

• Writing KISSING FLAMES

Still, nothing could distract me from my other obsession, which is my Kissing Monsters series~ I love working on these books SO MUCH. With every installment, I actually manage to surprise myself with a plot twist even I didn’t see coming! xD

That’s also the case with book 6, KISSING FLAMES, which I finished last week! In this installment I’ve introduced another story line that helped me end the book with a nice cliffhanger (as I stated above, yes I know I’m evil *insert villain-laughter*); it’s something I came up with while drafting the book’s plot outline. Now that I can start working on book 7, I’m really excited to explore this part of the story while things build up to a climax; as I’ve said before, the series will consist of 8 books total, which means…

I’m almost done writing the entire series.

Kind of makes me sad, actually. I love spending time with Kiss, Zane, Skylar and the others~

 

• Editing Kissing Monsters series + Insomnia Saga

Besides writing, I’ve been busy editing several manuscripts. KISSING SCARLET (Kissing Monsters 3) needed to be prepared for its September release, and as The Nocturne Files (Insomnia Saga 2.5) will release next month in October, those manuscripts needed some work as well. Also, last week I started editing KISSING GHOSTS, book 4 in the Kissing Monsters series which will also be published soon — very, very soon 😉

The revisions have been fun! While editing, I noticed that while writing my manuscripts I have the habit of making unnecessary long sentences, using MANY words for descriptions and actions that can be described a lot simpler. It’s always nice to reflect on my writing and take those lessons along with me for the next project (saves more work editing in the future, lol).

 

• New release: KISSING SCARLET

Well, it’s only been yesterday, so I’ll keep it short and sweet for this update:

Book 3 in the Kissing Monsters series, KISSING SCARLET, has been released in ebook! I’m so excited for this part of the story to be read by you guys!! I enjoyed writing this installment so much, especially because some scenes take place in a somewhat-tropical-beach-setting and I actually wrote this at the start of the summer — the final chapters were written during a heatwave, as a matter of fact; really suited the setting, lol~

Oh, don’t forget to check out KISSING SCARLET‘s book trailer if you haven’t already!:

 

 

• Coming up in October: some changes on my blog

Yes, that’s right! During the last few months I wasn’t entirely happy with my blog — that is, with the (lack of) consistency of my posts. I actually want to post more often so the blog will have a more lively feel to it. Also, I’m going to change my writing update posts:

As you’ve probably noticed as you’re reading this, my writing updates tend to go on for a bit… and then some more. I feel like they’re simply too long, and even though I know I have some AMAZING readers (I love you guys, you all rule) who do read them and even regularly leave comments, I’ve also noticed lots of people tend to stop reading after a bit because of the lengthiness.

In all honesty, even I tend to skip really long blog posts myself occasionally, simply because they’re a bit tiring to read — it’s different from reading a book; in that case I don’t mind lengthy stories at all 😉

So: In October I’m going to try out a new formula, so to speak; I’ll still post writing updates, but they’ll be shorter updates, sometimes maybe even weekly. That way I can also share more personal thoughts and things that happen to me during my daily life, giving it a more personal feel. Like a writer’s diary, or something! I think that sounds pretty cool and cozy.

It’ll be easier for me, too; to be frank, when I sit down to write these updates at the end of each month, I sometimes struggle to recall all of the things I’ve done and then often choose not to mention some things because it will make the post way too lengthy. It’s going to be an experiment for now, both for myself and you guys! I hope we’ll all enjoy the shorter blog posts from now on 🙂

 

All right; it’s time to say good-bye to September and hello to October! I LOVE October; I’m a real Halloween enthusiast and really enjoy the spooky atmosphere 😀

This month I’ll be working on book 7 of the Kissing Monsters series, doing some more editing, and my lovely book designer and I will get together to prepare some book publications for October, November, and December! Super excited!

 

COMING UP NEXT MONTH: On October 27th we’ll be celebrating the book birthday of The Nocturne Files, book 2.5 in the Insomnia Saga! It’s the second story collection in the series, including a novella and a short story that dive deeper into the past and lives of Alain Somnus and Nilisa Solovey; the Summoners and the Cult of Night Angels. It’s going to be rather creepy, I can tell you that. Some parts of this book are rather… well. Unnerving 😛

 

— Lynn

 

Don’t want to miss updates on my book releases? 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 ❤️

Posted by Lynn Robin in Writing Updates, 6 comments
KISSING MONSTERS & INSOMNIA SAGA: Official Release Date Announcements and Cover Reveals

KISSING MONSTERS & INSOMNIA SAGA: Official Release Date Announcements and Cover Reveals

Hey there, my shadow darlings! ?

In this post I’ll be sharing the official release dates as well as the covers for not one, not two, not three, but FOUR new titles!

OMG! FOR REAL?!

Yes. For real.

Two of them are new Insomnia Saga titles and the other two are brand new installments to the Kissing Monsters series. I’ll list them here below for you in the order of publication ❤️

Let’s begin with…:

 

2000_MU_KissingShadows

• KISSING SHADOWS (Kissing Monsters 2)

KISSING SHADOWS, the sequel to KISSING MONSTERS which released Valentine’s Day this year, is releasing in ebook edition this summer!

You’ll be able to buy the ebook for $0.99 on Amazon worldwide, and it will also be available through Kindle Unlimited.

 

KISSING SHADOWS releases in ebook August 18th, 2020

 

Pre-order KISSING SHADOWS on Amazon (ebook edition) ❤️

 

2000_MU_KissingScarlet

• KISSING SCARLET (Kissing Monsters 3)

KISSING SCARLET is book 3 in the Kissing Monsters series, in which the story of Kiss and Zane continues… and even a brand new story line and character will be introduced. Love comes in all kinds of shapes — some sweet, some wicked…

You’ll be able to buy the ebook for $0.99 on Amazon worldwide, and it will also be available through Kindle Unlimited.

 

KISSING SCARLET releases in ebook September 29th, 2020

 

Pre-order KISSING SCARLET on Amazon (ebook edition) ?

 

2000_MU_TheNocturneFiles_PINK

• The Nocturne Files (Insomnia Saga 2.5)

The Nocturne Files is the second short story collection to be released in the Insomnia Saga series, and will accompany the story lines of NOCTURNE (Insomnia Saga 2). It contains a novella and a short story written in dual perspectives, diving deeper into the past and lives of Nilisa Solovey and Alain Somnus.

You’ll be able to buy the ebook edition for $1.99 on Amazon worldwide, and the ebook will also be available through Kindle Unlimited.

 

The Nocturne Files releases in ebook and paperback October 27th, 2020

 

Pre-order The Nocturne Files on Amazon (ebook edition) ?

 

2000_MU_Origins

• ORIGINS (Insomnia Saga 3)

ORIGINS is the third full length installment in the Insomnia Saga — Jodi and Kay return once again to battle the Nightprowlers. ORIGINS also introduces Damian’s voice, featuring several chapters written from his perspective.

You’ll be able to buy the ebook edition for $3.99 on Amazon worldwide, and the ebook will also be available through Kindle Unlimited.

 

ORIGINS releases in ebook and paperback February 23rd, 2021

 

Pre-order ORIGINS on Amazon (ebook edition) ?


 

And that’s it for now! There’s a lot going on here behind the scenes, I’m working on MANY projects, and I’m so excited to release most of them so soon and share them with you!

I hope you are looking forward to these releases 🙂

If you have any questions, or just have something to say, please leave a message below! I love hearing from my readers ❤️

 

— Lynn

 

Don’t want to miss updates on my book releases? 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!

Posted by Lynn Robin in News, 6 comments
5 Tips & Tricks for a high-productivity-healthy-indoors-lifestyle from a YA Fantasy Romance Author

5 Tips & Tricks for a high-productivity-healthy-indoors-lifestyle from a YA Fantasy Romance Author

Hey there!

Last month I posted April’s Writing Update, in which I told you about the changes and improvements I made to my lifestyle — being an author, I’m already used to living indoors… and yet, our current world has forced me to make some changes in order for me to stay healthy, fit, but also productive creatively.

I’d been thinking about sharing my tips and tricks for several weeks now, but wasn’t sure whether I should; I had already seen many similar posts pop up all over the internet, and wasn’t entirely convinced that I could add something new to that.

However, I decided to run a poll in my Instagram story to ask you, my readers, this very question — and, well, after I got a 100% “yes” from several votes, I figured there are people interested out there after all 😉

So — are you ready? In this post I’m going to talk about schedules (nothing neurotic, promise), at home workouts, things that can motivate you and improve your mood, AND, especially, how to maintain a high-productivity.

Let’s go! ❤️

 

• Indoors High-productivity TIP #1: Schedule your day

To be honest, this is still pretty new to me. 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 one book and editing another one simultaneously, I decided to give it a try.

Turns out I’m loving it! Besides all-things-bookish, I have also started scheduling my at home workouts. I used to go out for runs and walks (mostly in the mornings), but ever since I can’t anymore, 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) 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! (Or any other [creative] profession or hobby you do)

To give you an idea, here’s how such a schedule looks like for, let’s say, a Monday:

 

• MORNING

— house chores

— edit 15 pages of manuscript

— BREAK: social media check/replying to messages/post something new

— edit 15 pages of manuscript

• AFTERNOON

— write on new manuscript

• EVENING

— make dinner

— 15 minute meditation

 

And here’s a random Tuesday’s:

MORNING

— edit 15 pages of manuscript

— WORKOUT: 30 minute HIIT

— edit 15 pages of manuscript

— write blog post

AFTERNOON

— write on new manuscript

EVENING

— WORKOUT: 50 minute cardio kickboxing + strength training

 

Every day is different, so it’s okay to mix it up a bit and make different schedules for each and every day of the week. As you can see, however, I tend to do my editing in the mornings and my writing in the afternoons. This is because A) I’m more focused earlier in the day, and B) writing is more fun for me, so I have something to look forward to later that day 😉

 

• Indoors High-productivity TIP #1.5: Making a schedule

The first thing you need to figure out is what you want to get done that day. Be realistic, though — don’t plan too much, or you’ll only put yourself under an immense amount of pressure that won’t make you or anyone around you happy.

Try to estimate how much time you need for a certain task. An hour? Several? The entire morning or afternoon?

Once you’ve figured that out, try dividing it into three parts; morning, afternoon, and evening. Of course, you could also consider making some kind of time table — for me, however, that’s a little bit too much. I don’t mind putting some pressure on myself (in fact, that only stimulates me to work harder and get more results in a short amount of time), but to feel like I’m racing against time and having to keep an eye on the clock while working, isn’t really the most relaxed atmosphere to me. BUT: in the end, it’s all up to you as an individual. Find what works best for you ❤️

It’s better to schedule too little for your day rather than too much; that way, you get to have this feeling of accomplishment because you’re able to check off all of those boxes, and maybe even get some extra work done. That feels a whole lot better than ending up with unchecked boxes and feeling like you haven’t done enough, right?

 

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• Indoors High-productivity TIP #2: Keep your energy level high — at home workouts

I love writing. I also love to write A LOT — as much as I can each and every day. I love being able to finish not one, not two, but even three chapters a day. It helps me stay in my story’s flow and it keeps the creative process fun.

In order to keep that up, however, I’ve found out some time ago that you need to do some things to keep your energy level high. One of those things is being fit yourself. I’m not saying you need to be some kind of athlete, but science has proven multiple times that exercise helps reducing stress. And what does stress do for you? Absolutely nothing, except making you feel like crap and low on energy.

To get a good workout you don’t need to go to a gym and be surrounded by dozens of sweaty, red-faced people (during these times that’s a bit of a horror scenario, isn’t it?). Actually, you don’t even need to go outside.

Really, you can do it all at home. Don’t worry if you don’t have any fancy equipment; cardio and body-weight workouts, for example, don’t require any equipment at all.

My go-to YouTube channel for this is FitnessBlender. I am a HUGE fan of this channel. It’s run by the couple Kelli and Daniel, and I believe they have 600+ different workouts, as well as warming up and cool down exercises. During the videos, they give many tips for each and every exercise, explaining what to do, and what NOT to do to prevent injury.

One of my favorite no-equipment workouts is most certainly this one:

 

I know, this is a rather intense workout — but no fear! If you’re not used to working out or just don’t feel like jumping around the room for 50 minutes, there are also some neat low impact workouts out there.

This is a fun one and a great workout (you don’t need to bounce around to get some decent exercise; this works just as well):

 

 

If, for whatever reason, you absolutely HATE fitness workouts, there’s always yoga to consider! It’s another great way to stay healthy and keep the energy flowing — I actually love using it as a mid-morning break in between editing manuscripts.

My all-time favorite yoga YouTube channel is most definitely Yoga With Adriene:

 

 

This is a video I especially love — it’s called “detox flow”, but it’s actually not just a detox for the body, but for the mind as well. When I feel like too many thoughts and ideas are crowding my head, this is my go-to video 🙂

Or have you ever considered pilates? (Which is my latest fascination):

 

 

Or perhaps tai chi?

 

• Indoors High-productivity TIP #3: Healthy mind; happy mind

Even if you’re living indoors where there’s little influence from the outside world and even if you don’t have a lot of contact with other people, sometimes your mind can still take a wrong turn and drag you down a road of darkness filled with hungry demons eagerly waiting to tear your heart out.

Okay, so maybe that sounds a bit dramatic, but it CAN feel like that. We all know mood swings. We all know depression, even if it’s only a tiny little bit. The advice you normally get whenever that hits you, is to go outside; take a walk; breathe in some fresh air.

But what if you can’t go outside?

Well, I believe meditation can be a solution — sometimes all you need is to be still for a bit, to reorganize your thoughts, open the drains and let the dirt out, and do some breathing exercises.

Meditation is also great when you’re feeling happy and you’re in a good place, of course! Personally, I’m doing absolutely awesome lately, yet I still like to practice meditation from time to time because I like the sense of calmness it gives me (especially because my brain has gone into overdrive and I have too many new book ideas floating around).

I gotta be honest, I’ve just started doing meditation a bit more seriously since this year, and that’s why I really like guided meditations — you know, in which you’re reminded to not let your brain go monkey-mind on you while you’re actually supposed to empty it.

For that, I turn to Yoga With Adriene once more! This is a video I quite like (it’s a recent one, actually):

 

Other ways I sometimes use to clear my mind is to simply listen to some music (can be anything), read a book, play a video game, draw something. You just need to find what works best for you at that moment, until you’re feeling grounded and balanced again.

 

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• Indoors High-productivity TIP #4: Stay motivated; remember WHY

This, of course, is an important one.

To me writing is my absolute passion, so I actually don’t need much to stay motivated and keep on doing it — the fresh ideas my mind comes up with constantly are doing a fine job. Next to that, I don’t find it too difficult to stay motivated for my workout routines, because I enjoy them.

I guess that’s the trick to staying motivated for whatever it is you’re doing: simply loving it.

Of course, other people can help inspire you. To me, there are many people in this world who inspire me on a daily basis. One of them, again, is Yoga With Adriene. (I swear I’ve not been hired to advertise her, lol.) The reason she inspires me, however, is her honest, positive attitude; she practically seems to exude happiness, and I guess that’s why she’s so popular. Everyone likes and is attracted to positivity — negativity only drags you down. Her way of living has inspired me and reminds me often to see the good in things, even in the bad, and to be grateful for everything I have rather than be frustrated with the things I don’t have (yet).

This is just one example — there are many more people who I find an inspiration, like some of my fellow indie authors who have published over a 100 books, have an amazing fanbase, and make other people happy with their stories on a daily basis. Seeing and reading about those things motivate me immensely; it literally sends my heart racing, and gives me a boost and the courage to chase my dreams as an author.

However… while others can inspire you, the BEST way to stay truly motivated for whatever you’re working on every single day (while at home and indoors), I believe that your true motivation and inspiration has to come from yourself.

Huh, what?

Yes.

All you have to do is remember WHY.

Why are you doing this? Why have you begun working toward your goal? Why have you decided to start chasing your dreams?

That answer alone should be enough to keep your fire burning — and stay productive 😉

 

NOV19_LynnRobinGoesEnglish BLOG

• Indoors High-productivity TIP #5: Give yourself a break

We’ve reached the final tip, which is going to be a very short, very simple one:

While being indoors all (or at least most of) the time, it can be very tempting to keep going constantly. To keep up the productivity. To not stop working, because home is where the work is happening, and you have to keep on going—

Well, yeah, to achieve your goals, working hard is important. But to keep up your productivity and to stay healthy — physically and mentally — sometimes you need to give yourself a break.

Some days you have to tell your schedules to go to hell. Some days you have to allow yourself to slump down on the couch and read a book, play a video game, or watch a movie or series.

And that’s okay.

It took me a while to realize this. The first few years of my author-life I kept on going 24/7, and felt bad and even guilty whenever I took a bit of time off, feeling like I wasn’t doing enough to achieve my goals, like I was wasting my time. That’s why I even had a hard time doing regular workouts, because as long as something didn’t have anything to do with my writing, it felt like a waste of time.

The thing is, though — it isn’t.

Because you only live this life once and you’re allowed to have fun with things that don’t have anything to do with your passions or dreams. Because working out doesn’t merely make me stronger physically, but mentally as well, which also makes me a better writer, because it makes my mind clear, which helps me work faster.

Give yourself a break sometimes. Allow yourself some rest. You’re not a machine — no matter how productive you wish to be, you’re still just a person, and some days you’ll feel better or stronger than others. And that’s totally cool 🙂

 


 

All right! With this, we have reached this very lengthy blog post, in which I’ve explained my top 5 tips and tricks for a high-productivity-healthy-indoors-lifestyle.

Of course, everyone is different. What works well for me, might not work at all for you. Still, I hope you may be able to get something out of my tips, or at least got inspired to improve your own way of living.

Or perhaps it’s already totally awesome and you don’t need to change a thing. In that case — keep it up! 😉

I hope you guys enjoyed reading this! Tell me, have some of my tips inspired you? Or do you have a trick of your own that works well? Feel free to leave a message! Red heart Also, if you think a friend might benefit from this post, please share~!

 

BE CREEPY. STAY FREAKY.

— Lynn

 

PS. Just to be clear — although I stated that you don’t even need to go outdoors to get some healthy exercise done, I didn’t mean that you shouldn’t ever go outside. After all, in normal circumstances, being outdoors is good for your health as we all need sunlight and vitamins. So, as soon as it’s safe to venture out again… please do 😉

 

Don’t want to miss updates on my book releases? 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 ?

Posted by Lynn Robin in Lifestyle, 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…

2000_MU_InsomniaFile_Jodi

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

 

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Posted by Lynn Robin in Insomnia Saga, 0 comments