Hi there! I'm Lindsey Sparks, author of books featuring hidden worlds and twisted myths. Welcome to my weekly author's notes podcast! This episode was recorded on Monday, 3/28/2022, and I would love to share some of my reflections from this past week with you.
NOTE: I read chapter 7 of Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars at the end of the episode. I read chapters 1-6 in the previous six episodes, starting with chapter 1 in episode 28.
Echo in Time (free ebook through all retailers)
Starter Library for newsletter subscribers (ebooks and audiobooks of my series starters, and more!)
Releases TOMORROW: Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars (Fateless Trilogy, book 1) - preview on my website: https://www.authorlindseysparks.com/preview1
Revising: Blood of the Broken (Atlantis Legacy, book 5)
Echo in Time by me (for Read By The Author)
Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars by me
Neon Gods by Katee Robert
KDP paperback approved and available on Amazon!
Signed copies available for preorder: https://www.authorlindseysparks.com/shop
Book release stress
LAST WEEK'S OBSESSION:
Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars playlist (newsletter subscribers will soon have access to the detailed playlist with correlating excerpts from the book)
Newsletter sign up: https://www.authorlindseysparks.com/join-newsletter
Spotify playlist: https://spoti.fi/3uzAINA
Successfully launch Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars into the world.
LOOKING FORWARD TO:
Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars release day tomorrow!
JOIN MY READER GROUP: Lindsey's Lovely Readers
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Hi there I'm Lindsey Sparks, author of books that include hidden worlds and twisted myths. Welcome to my weekly authors notes podcast. Today is Monday, March 28th. And I would love to share some of my reflections from this past week with you. And it was a crazy week. Yeah. So, first of all freebie is still Echo in Time. And also the rest of my first in series are available to my newsletter subscribers. And that includes Echo in Time, Ink Witch, Legacy of the Lost and After The Ending in ebook and audio book for all of them, except for After The Ending and the link to join the newsletter is in the show notes. Yeah. Okay. So my current work in progress is. Well, there's still the two, but this is very exciting. So, the release day for Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars is tomorrow. So, in the next episode of this podcast, I will be telling you just one project, which I am really looking forward to not to juggling the two different things, the preparing for the book release, and then also attempting to focus on writing the book. So I'll just finally be able to just focus on the. Which is the book that I was writing before, which was Blood of the Broken, the fifth Atlantis Legacy book. I have done nothing. I did nothing on that this last week. It has just been like pure, like pre-release craziness of just making sure that all of the ducks are in order and everything. So, I did get to read a little bit because I'm not writing this. this last week I read so I had been reading through Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars for multiple different reasons. I did the pronunciation guide for the audio book, so I needed to basically skim through the whole thing. Looking for the terms that are specifically ancient Egyptian or specifically. Belong to the Echo World. So there are just Nejeret to terms. So I pulled out all of those and made a pronunciation guide for my audio book narrators. And then I'm gonna, I'm going to go through like more detail, like actually reading it and I'm pulling out quotes that I can use to read on TikTok and Instagram reels. I also went through to make the playlist for Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars. Well, the playlist has already been made, but I went through the whole book based on the sections that. The different songs are tied to in my mind. And I pulled out excerpts and Mandy, my assistant is putting all of those excerpts together into a document that is going to be shared with my newsletter. Hopefully when it goes out tomorrow. So, I think she thinks she'll be able to finish it. So I'm hoping that that will go out to my newsletter subscribers tomorrow. If it's not tomorrow, it'll probably be the next day. So either way, if you want to be able to access that detailed playlist. So it's basically was just like a really long document. It's really pretty the way that she put it together, but it's a really long document that tells you. The song title and the artists and the chapter that it goes with or chapters for some of them. And then it has like an author's note, which is me explaining how the song is tied to the book for me. And then also for most of them, they do have an excerpt as well. For the. The scene or one of the scenes that the song like relates to, or really kind of like represents to me or in some of the cases I really saw them. Like, when I can see that when I see the scene playing out in my head, I hear the song as like, as if it were a movie, it's the song on the background. It would be on the soundtrack, like all that stuff. That was really fun to do. It took me, I think, three days to put that, pull out all of those excerpts and write up my notes and everything. So I'm really excited to share that that document with my newsletter. I'm really excited about that. So definitely Sign up to the newsletter so that you can get that. And regardless you don't have to sign up to the newsletter to be able to get the playlist on Spotify. The playlist is on Spotify. The songs are also listed in the ebook and the paper in all of the versions of the book. There's a list of the songs. So even if you're not on Spotify, if you're a Pandora person or like an iTunes person, and you want to put the playlist together yourself, you can do that too. But there's also a link in all of the versions of the book. Where you can go to the Spotify playlist that has already put together the songs are already in the right order. that has been my, my main focus. And I finally like yesterday got to like pull up for air and take a breath and work on the 8,000 other things that I need to do before this book comes out tomorrow. So I have also, I listened to the audio book for neon gods by Katie, Robert, which I really enjoyed. It's like, Super steamy. I want to say like dark romance, contemporary romance, maybe not dark romance, kind of darkish romance. Not so much fantasy, but it's a retelling of Hades and Persephone Annie. The series is called dark Olympus. And so it was like a very loosely. Fantasy sci-fi but not really. But it was still really good. I really enjoyed that one. We are watching Ted lasso or I say we are watching, we just finished Ted lasso last night. We watched the whole thing in a week. It's not super long. The episodes are short and we really enjoyed that. That was really fun. It was really good. Man, in the second season there was there's one character. I'm not going to say it cause I don't want to spoil anybody, but there's one character who would definitely goes through. I mean, it's like, there's like all these little hints that they drop about what's happening with their character arc, but I was like, wow, they're really going for it. And the final episode. And so, I mean, even though they had all those little hints, I was still like rooting for this character. Polar head out of there. But anyway so I'm curious to see where it goes with season three. And I'm also curious to see what we end up watching next. We are also watching severance, which is another apple. We signed up for apple TV. So we've been going through apple TV shows. And so sufferance, I definitely recommend it's like a S. I dunno, loosely scifi kind of dystopian thing. I think I talked about it last week. Really good. I really, really like it. It's definitely very thought provoking and I not sure where it's going, but I really want to find out. So I think we have a new episode of that. So hopefully we'll catch that not tonight because I'm going to be working on really stuff tonight. So. Okay. So my high this week was the, finally, this has been such a pain in the neck getting the paperback approved through KDP, which is Kindle direct publishing. They have a print arm. So that's Amazon Kindle direct publishing is Amazon's publishing platform originally for ed eBooks. Then they added Arm to the platform. So you can do print both paperback and hardcover books through KDP. Anyway I had been struggling with one part of the interior that I. Formatted improperly or sized improperly. And so they kept projecting it and eventually I figured it out and the paperback was approved. So I was able to order those for the people who have pre-ordered signed copies. And as soon as I get those from the printer, I will be sending exciting and sending those out. It looks like those are going to arrive on April 8th is what I am being told. And I was just like really stressing out. Cause I was like, I don't know how to figure out what's wrong with this. This is the first paper book that I have paper back of my books that I have done the interior formatting for, because I because I purchased software called Atticus, it's a new software, so they are still working out some bugs. And I was like, is it the software? And I was having a hard time getting. The sentence of role support tickets, and they never responded, which is weird. Cause they usually have really great support. And it was just, I think, bad timing because I just done an update. It was just like this whole big thing. Anyway, no bad feelings toward Atticus. I really enjoyed the software. And I still recommend it. It just was getting a little bit stressful trying to figure out what was going on with the paperback interior and why couldn't get it to work. It was me. I had sized something wrong. I fixed it. And It's all good to go. Now it's actually available on at least amazon.com right now, the paperback is and for like speedier, Amazon delivery, if you want that instead of a signed copy. And it should be if it's not already available on the international storefronts for Amazon that have paperbacks. That have Amazon's KDP print paperbacks which I think are like the major English speaking ones. And I'm not sure which ones it is, but I know it's UK, pretty sure it's Canada, pretty sure it's Australia. And I know there's some others in there but it's not all of their places where we can publish books through Amazon anyway, getting too much in the weeds there. But I'm just glad that that was finally approved. I was able to figure that out. Yeah, so, oh, but so I ordered the books for the signed paperback copies. So those are arriving in about a week and a half. And then for people who pre-order the hard covers, it's not going to be finished until, and being. Sent out until early may. And I did update the bookshop with those scheduled or projected shipping dates. But I, for the hardcover, I still have to wait on the illustrator for the hidden cover underneath the dust jacket. So she is working on that. And so I'm really excited about that. I am so excited about the hardcover. I think it's going to be amazing. And that might get further delayed depending on what's going on. So my, the printer that I use for everywhere else besides Amazon is called Ingram spark, and they are taking forever to look through the interior again, no hate on IngramSpark is just, my impatience is showing. They're taking a really long time to. Process the interior file, which is frustrating because it's an old interior file and I need to switch, swap it out with the current updated book interior for the paperback. So I'm already expecting the hardcover. Processing and approval process to take several weeks based on how the paperback approval process is going. So eventually, hopefully in a week or two, the paperback will also be available through all the other book retailers and through libraries and all of that, all of those amazing places. So I'm, I'm just waiting on the printer to kick the file or to kick the book back to me so I can upload the correct file updated file and get that all sorted out. So that's, what's going on there. My low this week is just like an overload of book release stress, which is totally normal. I always get lots of there's. It's just like the stack, the tasks all pile up for a book release and there's a lot of things that I can't do way ahead of time. There's things I could have done ahead of time. More. Like I just got my Facebook ads set up today. I suppose I could have done that. Yeah. At any point in the past. But it's just one of those things that kept getting pushed back and pushed back and pushed back, same thing with the playlist. But I didn't want to interrupt writing for a different book. I can't, I definitely could not listen to the Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars playlist and do the excerpts and all of that stuff. While, while at the same time writing Blood of the Broken, like those. My brain is not, my brain is able to occupy the real world and like one fictional universe, but I cannot extend beyond that. I just don't have that fractionalization of self enabled in my operating system. Anyway, so, the book release stress has been. Just stressful. I'm really looking forward to Wednesday. Book releases tomorrow, Tuesday, Wednesday, it'll be done. So I'm really excited about that. I, the other low is that I, while I did order my, the copies for the signed of the paper back for the signed copies that people have pre-ordered through my website, I forgot to order a speeding. Shipped version from Amazon storefront of the paperback that would ship in like two days until yesterday. When I realized that I wasn't going to have a finished version on release day tomorrow. And I wish that I had thought about this as soon as the book was approved. Because I would already have it in my hands. But I didn't, I don't know why I didn't think of this. But it's coming tomorrow, but with the way shipping happens at our house, it could end up coming in the evening or it could come earlier, who knows. But at least I'll be able to do some stuff on social media with that. When it does finally arrive. So, yeah. The other thing that I am frustrated with myself that I forgot to do is that I had written on my list of things I need to do. I have not set up the pre-order from book to in the fatalist trilogy, which I always try to have my pre-orders for the next book set up by the time the book releases so that people, if they want to just pre-order it while they're thinking of it, they could do that instead of forgetting about the series. So that's what I'm going to do as soon as I'm done with this, set that up. Yeah. So I guess I can announce this year the title of book two, because you'll see it. Once I set up the pre-order the title of Booktopia book two in the fatalist trilogy. So book one is Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars. Book two is Darkness Between the Stars and the covers is really cool. It's called Well, you'll see it when you see the pre-order, but very fiery. And it has a like a Serpenti thing. I think that's the one that has this. Yeah. Cause the book three has something else, scholar Serpenti thing, like a fly, a winged serpent instead of the scarab. So yeah, I'm excited to get that set up and show you guys that and okay, so last week's obsession was easily the Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars playlist that. Was everything along with all the tasks, just getting ready for the book release. That has been the only thing I've been able to focus on. I have no Google searches to talk about today because I didn't do any writing or anything like that. I can, I feel fairly successful with how I tackled my goals for this week. So I think there's only 1, 1, 2 tuition. That I did not get, but I did the pronunciation guide for the audio book. I finalized and approved the paper back finally. There there's one silly little goof, which is that the chapter header for chapter 44. Is repeated. So for chapter 43 and chapter 44, it says chapter 44, which is a goof on my part. But the chapters themselves are different. So they're the correct chapters. It's just the wrong header. So I need to fix that in the anterior file. I wrote up the playlist with the scene descriptions. I. Set up the Facebook ads for the release week. The two things I did not do are the pre-order which I'm going to do immediately. And I had written down that I was going to revise three chapters of blood with broken, but I, that was the lowest priority. And I did not think I was gonna be able to do it. I didn't even think about doing it. And so for this week, This week my goals are the book release, get that all done and finished and updated and all the little tasks, all that stuff done. And then I'm going to aim for about three chapters revised of blood of the broken this week. And I'm planning on not working this weekend, except for, but wait, there's more except for on Sunday, I am starting To do a scheduled recording time for read by the author, which has my other podcast where I read a chapter or two, well, basically where, where I read the whole book of one of my books. So, this is the first season I am in the middle of reading echo in time. And I think on, so on Wednesday, chapter 16 comes out. No on Wednesday chapters, 17 and 18 are coming out.And then on Sunday at 8:
00 PM Pacific time, I am recording chapters 19 and probably 20.And then every Sunday at 8:
00 PM Pacific time, I will be recording, read by the author in my discord server, which I will have the link in the show notes so everybody can come. It's really fun. There's like, all of the. Readers who come and listen to the live recording. They post funny memes and reactions while during the, the reading and you get my like goof ups and all that kind of fun stuff. So, if you would like a little Sunday night Storytime, you should definitely come and join us. Yeah, so that'll be every Sunday starting this Sunday and I think that's it for me. I'm looking forward to release day tomorrow and just it being done. I've got a bunch of lives set up, so there's a Facebook live from my page. There's a group live. What else do I have? I'm going to be, I CA I can't even think so. I'm just going to read, so we've got one final chapter to read as the preview for this book. I am going to read that And then that will be it for today. So this is chapter seven. So this is chapter seven from Song of Scarabs and Falling Stars, which is next chapter, chapter seven, Nick. I hung back as cat Strode toward the magical gateway, John on a sheet and pinned up on the living room wall, heading outside dressed, and only my jeans and a t-shirt felt wrong when the cabins windows provided a view of knee deep snow, but then we weren't heading outside here. Cat's hand drawn gateway would transport tons, bald cats, hand drawn gateway would transport us to the other side of the world, to the Oasis where a who's, who of the measure at world was probably already gathering. I leaned back against the edge of the kitchen island and crossed my arms over my chest. I don't think we should go. We had made a deal. If she could create the gateway without overexerting herself and passing out, then we would go to the meeting. I wasn't too proud to go back on my world. I wasn't too proud to go back on my word. Not if it meant keeping her safe cat halted, Midstate. Two paces from the gateway. She stood with her back to me for a solid 10 seconds before slowly turning to look at me, her eyebrows raised, she looked ready to go to battle in her black leather coat and combat boots. And with her sword, mercy strapped to her back. But despite her appearance and trademark fuck off attitude, I knew her nerves were eating her alive. Sorry. Language it is Nick. Yeah. So language warning, I'll reread that and delete that. Okay. Language warning. This is next chapter. So there is some language, inappropriate adult language, not safe for work language, depending on where you work, but despite her appearance and trademark fuck off attitude, I knew her nerves were eating her. The corners of my mouth tends to, as I anticipated an outburst, being with cat was like riding a roller coaster, built on emotional extremes. Every second of every day, it was fucking exhausting and exciting as hell. She wasn't just volatile. She was a fucking volcano and nobody not even me, the person who shared a soul bond with her could predict when she was going to blow. They don't need us. I said, not back in. Let's sit this one out, her scowl deepened with each word, we'll hit up. The next gathering. I went on, give you a little more time to her expression. Hardened her eyes flashing with rainbow luminescence. As she subconsciously drew on her unique connection to the soul energy, it had been happening more and more often, and neither of us knew why or what it was. The battle had damaged her soul so badly that she couldn't even feel it when she channeled soul energy. Most of the time, she didn't even know it was happening unless I told her the vibrant burning colors, filling her eyes faded almost as soon as they appeared giving way to the dark brown irises. I drowned in every night and morning and afternoon. Fuck. I wanted her right now. Always I pushed off the counter and stocked toward her. If I could just get my hands on her body, I knew I could convince her to stay. Pat widened her stance and reached over her shoulder, drawing her sword in one smooth motion. The cabin filled with the ringing of the blade. Back off Nick, this time I was the one to stop mid step. I raised my hands quietly. Surrendering slowly, deliberately. I slipped my hands into the front pockets of my jeans to let her know. I wouldn't try anything more. She wasn't beyond fighting me to get what she wanted. Even if we both knew she wouldn't beat me, she would still try we're going. She said, staring at me for a moment longer before trusting my show of defeat and shooting her sword deal with it before I could even think about arguing further, she spun on her heel and stomped through the. I blew out a breath and followed her, looking like looked like it was an eruption kind of day. The gateway transported us to the Portico outside the arched front entrance of her ruse palace cat stood on the edge of the porch and stared out at the Oasis. I stepped forward to stand beside her. There were hints of grain growing things everywhere. I looked the land was coming back to life. Now that the net chairs had ripped away the mountain of limestone, that it shielded the Oasis from the rest of the world. I angled my face upward taking in the deep purples, oranges and reds stating the sky while secretly keeping a close watch on cat. If she felt like I was hovering, or if I dared to inquire about her wellbeing, she might just deck me. It wouldn't have been the first time. The corner of my mouth tends does I suppressed a grin? Not that I minded without warning cat trotted down the porch steps and started along the paved pathway that would lead toward the gathering area at the heart of the Oasis. I begrudgingly followed her a glowering shadow. By the time we reached the small sunken amphitheater, our people had used as a gathering space for thousands of years, the curved bench seats were already packed with a mortal bodies, leaving little room for us. I spotted my mom on the far side, seated in the row behind her Rue and Lex her room was on his feet. Addressing the gathered measure. Rhett's cat stopped near the entrance to the south stairway, her hands balled into tight fists at her sides. She was losing her. No. But if she walked away now, she would see it as backing down from a challenge, something she was practically allergic to. She would hate herself for the perceived show of weakness. And she didn't need that. On top of all the other shit she was dealing with. I placed my hand flat against her lower back and guided her around the outside edge of the amphitheater heading for the east stairway. We quietly descended the stairs and slipped between the rows squeezing in beside my mom. Good to see you. Dear, my mom or my mom murmured curving her arm around cats, shoulders, and giving her a side hug. You too. A set cat said her rigid expression, warming momentarily. As she leaned into the embrace. My mom released cat and reached across her back to grip my shoulder. Her eyes locked with mine, her stare overflowing with questions about cat, about me, about how we were doing and what we had been up to. There was a silent admonition in there too for being so out of touch later, I'm out. She nodded and returned her attention to the debate happening in front of us. A Rue was still on his feet, but a woman across the Amphitheatre had joined him in defiance of whatever he had been saying. Her name was Saskia and she was the leader of the Baltic clans. I hadn't been paying attention to their debate, but her body language told me it. Wasn't a friendly discussion. I tuned in now. It's not our place to force them to cohabitate with us, her room countered vehemently. If they want to form human only settlements, we must allow them to do so. Human only Saskia snared, and shook her head. Open your eyes. Heroux. They're not human owners. There are and these so-called safe havens are little more than breeding grounds for terrorists. She sniffed and discussed. We need to snuff this problem out before it grows. How many more of our people need to be captured and tortured to convince you of that? How many more of our people need to die? Saskia flung her hand out, pointing a single slim finger straight at cat behold, our great savior sarcasm dripped from her words, all eyes turned to cat who tends to beside me, Lex glanced over her shoulder. Surprise at seeing us there melting into an apologetic smile for cat being drawn into the argument. Tension vibrated in my muscles, making my body go rigid. This was exactly the kind of thing I had been hoping to avoid. Saskia lowered her hand. We can power depleted her gaze swept across the assembly. Who's to say if the great Catarina Dubois will ever return to full power, we can't rely on her once again. We can't rely on her to once again, resurrect those of us who are slain, we are bleeding people. How many measure rats have been killed by these human purists? The situation is spiraling out of control, and we must act swiftly. And with a firm hand, before we lose our foothold in this new world, order anger, radiated off her Ru. The surrounding air seemed to thicken those nearest him could sense the change, even if only subconsciously I didn't think they realized they were doing it, but all around her room Nazarites leaned away or even scooted on their benches. I watched cat out of the corner of my eye. She seemed to shrink in on herself and I reached for her hand, gripping it tightly. Her slender fingers felt frail. So unlike. Coming here was a mistake. We had barely been sitting here for two minutes and cat had already been attacked for her current depleted state, a state. She was only in, because she had saved these ungrateful pricks. More violence will only reinforce the position of these wayward groups, Haru countered his voice low and carefully controlled. We would be feeding fuel to their fire. If you want to see a situation that is out of control. By all means Suskia launch an attack. Saskia, scoffed. Apparently she was shit at reading people because she continued her verbal onslaught on her Ru. Oh, and I suppose you want us to turn a blind eye to all these attacks, to roll over and let them push us back into the shadows. She flung her arms out to either side. This is our world to Heroux. We deserve to stand in the light as much as humans. But it is also their world. Heroux said his voice getting very quiet. It was his don't fuck with me tone, which meant shit was about to hit the fan and our war has nearly destroyed it. We made a mess and now we must clean it up, may going into hating Saskia, but out by pretending we don't exist. That is not what. Another measure at stood, joining the argument. I didn't even see who as I shifted all of my attention to Kat our body trembled beside me and a faint tingle thrummed and a fate tingle thrummed between us everywhere. We touched from hips to shoulders, to hands. My focus snapped up to her face. Her eyes were squeezed. Her eyes were squeezed to shut her expression of pain, to grimace the rising energy in the group. Awakened her connection with the soul energy. And if that connection continued, and if that connection continued for much longer, she would pass out right here in front of everyone. Only strengthening Saskia is anti-human arguments. Shit. I hissed, thankfully the attention of the assembly remained, locked on the verbal sparring match. Nobody was paying attention to. Quietly and unobtrusively, I stood and pulled cat up to her feet and out to the aisle, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. I guided her upstairs and away from the charged amphitheater. I tried to hurry her along, but it was like dragging someone who was half asleep. That's going to be all right to kitty cat. I assured her stomping stopping and turning to face her. I rested my hands on her shoulders, skimming my thumbs up and down her neck as I studied her face. No change. At least not for the better. I clenched my jaw and scooped her into my arms, cradling her body close to mine. As I jogged toward a secluded spring, hidden by a semicircular rock outcropping nearby. Once we were concealed by the barrier of limestone, I eased cat down into the bearing ground onto the barren ground. I needed to get her in the water to mute the influx of sensory inputs. That was the closest thing to an off switch we had found for her haywire connection. Well, that insects, but that only worked in the earlier stages when it was bad, like this, the sensory deprivation seemed to be the only thing that could help her regain her inner balance. And through that, her control over the connection, over her connection to the soul energy. She was shivering, unable to assist me. As I removed her sword harness and guided her arms out from her coat sleeves. I pulled her tank top off, over her head, then got to work on tying her boot laces. She hugged herself, her eyes squeezed, shut. I'm sorry. She said through chattering teeth, you were right. We should just shouldn't have. Damn fucking straight. I was right, but I wasn't about to throw and I told you so in her face right now, not while tears streamed down, her cheeks and soul energy flooded her. Every cell, the charged tingle surrounding her grew increasingly uncomfortable. And I gritted my teeth. As I pulled her boots off her feet. I yanked her socks off next, then moved higher to unbutton her jeans. I pulled my hand away. When my bare skin contacted hers, it was like touching a live electrical socket. I shook out my hand then carefully unbuttoned and unzipped her jeans. There was no way I was going to get them off her lower body with her sitting like that. I could just leave them on, but bare skin worked best lay down. Kitty cat. I told her just for a second. She seemed locked in that position and it took her a painfully long time to relax onto her back. I finally pulled her jeans off and tossed them away, kneeling at her feet. I surveyed her nearly naked body for once the site didn't induce even a hint of lust. There was no room for desire right now, not when the need to protect her, consumed everything within me. Now for the hard part, I stood and moved to her side and cried. I inhaled deeply holding my breath. This was going to hurt jaw clenched. I sucked in a breath and slid one arm under her knees. The other under her shoulders then lifted her off the ground. The shock of energy was so intense. It momentarily locked up my muscles. I pushed through the pain forcing our way forward. By the time we reached the edge of the pool, I was gasping for air and covered. An image of tossing alive, toaster into a bathtub flashed through my mind. And I paused at the water's edge. This was the worst she had ever been, but even so the water never reacted to the soul energy flowing through her. Like it would to actual electricity. I knew I would be fine entering the water with her. I had been every time before and I silently told my survival instincts to fuck up. With no further hesitation. I stepped into the pool pushing forward toward the deeper section. I formed a snorkel out of art before submerging cat under the water sinking down myself until I was immersed up to my neck, the tepid water soothed, the sting of touching her. And Hey, I hadn't been electrocuted. So things were looking. Ever so slowly, cat's trembling subsided and her body relaxed in my arms. I waited until she went completely limp. And then I eased her out of the water, holding her close. As I weighted toward the edge of the pool, she was unconscious wiped out by the battle for control within her body, her scarred soul. It would be hours until she woke. This was why I didn't want her using her powers, not when she could no longer do so without tapping into her connection to the soul. She shouldn't have to go through this, not after everything else she had already been through to save us. She deserved to rest, to take it easy for once in her damn life. So why wouldn't she just fucking do it? I closed my eyes and drew in a deep breath, then released it slow and controlled. She wouldn't couldn't take it easy because she was cat because she was either on or she was on. There was no room for a dimmer switch in her life. I knew that when I bound my life, my soul to hers, but it didn't mean she couldn't still drive me batshit crazy. Sometimes I formed a thin pillowy bed of art on the ground, near the edge of the pool, and gently set her down on the shimmering surface Kneeling. I straightened her arms and legs until she looked comfortable and brushed her hair out of her face. With a sweep of my shaking hand, then covered her in a soft blanket of art leaning forward. I pressed a kiss to her brow and rested my forehead against hers. She always woke disoriented and frightened. After one of these episodes, I wouldn't let her wake to face that confusion, that darkness alone. Upon hearing the crunch of footsteps and dry cracked earth. I straightened and looked around. I was in the mood for a fight. And if anyone, anyone even looked at cat wrong, I would rip their fucking eyes out. It's just me. Like I said, picking her way down the Rocky path to join us by the edge of the pool. Her face displayed unguarded concern. As she peered past me and a cat, how is she? She has good days and bad days. I said, standing, I walked around cats, makeshift bed to meet Lex on the other side, Lexis eyes trailed over me. As I approached her gaze assessing you're soaking wet. I shrugged one shoulder. It happens. I sink to the ground to sit and watch over cat. While I waited for her to wake. I prompt my forearms on my upturn knees and nodded toward cats, slumbering. We're going to be here for awhile. I told Lex then look to the ground beside me silently, inviting her to join me, Lex chewed on the inside of her cheek, her brow furrowing. She stepped forward and lowered herself to sit beside me, hugging her knees to her chest and resting her chin on one knee. Does this happen often she tore her stare away from cat to look at me. I nodded more of a rocking of my body than a bobbing of my. More often than I'd like that's for damn sure. Lex was quiet for a long moment. Is she getting worse? I shifted my attention from Lex to cat. She was so still her only movement, the slight expansion and contraction of her rib cage with each breath. It's hard to say. I admitted if she'd stopped pushing herself. Every time I turned my back, she might actually make some progress and heal, but I don't know if she'll ever recover from. I picked out a hangnail. If she'll ever be the cat, they want her to be Lex let out a brief, harsh laugh. They don't know what they want. She shook her head clearly annoyed by the argument in the amphitheater, Saskia and her cohort cohort. Think cat's the answer to everything. Like she should be able to wiggle her nose and fix all our problems like scoffed. Like Nazarite society. Didn't function just fine without her for thousands of years. Saying Lex reached for me placing a hand on my arm. It's barely been a month. Give her time. She's been through more than any of us can comprehend. Lex laughed again, the soft, the sound softer than before she deserves decades to recover. And if that's what she needs, then that's what we'll give her. The clan leaders be damn. I covered Lexis hand with mine and bowed my head and thanks. Her words were kind but pointless. You know, she'll never go for that. I murmured removing my hand. Lex pulled hers back as well. Again, she sighed, I know it was a mistake for us to come here. I said, my focus returning to Kat too much, too soon. Don't expect us back for awhile, Lex nodded, whatever you guys need. I'm here for. A surge of other worldly energy warned me. We would soon have company. Lex must have sensed it as well because she glanced over her shoulder at the same time. As I did, Heroux appeared in a burst of rainbow, missed my mom at his side, her fingers curled around his upper arm. Fuck. I wished I could teleport, which is sweet ability, but no matter how many times I tried or how hard I focused, I couldn't expand my shoot. The part of my soul that housed my magic to enable that. Heroux was a Thundercloud beside my mom's calm serenity, the engine God's Horace and ISIS in the flesh. They had been yin and yang as twins in the womb and their counterbalancing relationship continued to this day. Lex stood and hurried toward them. She traded places with my mom, placing her Palm on her ruse chest over his heart and murmuring saw. Some of the tension eased from Heroux, his shoulders relaxing and his Stony expression softening. They were one of the few other measure at couples who shared a soul bond like cat and me. It was so strange to see it at work from the outside. Now that I had experienced the intensity of the bond firsthand, my mom headed my way and I stood glancing down at Kat to assure myself she would be all right without my full attention for a few minutes. I Strode toward cats, discarded leather coat, and dug through her pockets. Until I found the folded up drawing, I pulled it free and turned to meet my mom. There's something you need to see. I said before she could dive into an interrogation about cats, recovery, or lack thereof ever. The healer, my mom, I lured her over toward her Rue and Lex with the mystery of the folded. She shot an endless string of furtive glances over her shoulder. As we walked her instinct to help cat wrestling with our curiosity over what was on the paper, she'll be fine. I told her as we drew near Haru and Lex, you can examine cat. As soon as we're done here, I unfolded the paper and handed it to her. I promise my mom pressed her lips together, accepting my terms and turned her full attention to the sketch of the scarab. She stumbled missing a step and I caught her elbow to keep her up. Where did you get this? She asked looking from the scarab to me, the color had drained from her face, leaving her, looking like she might be sick. A set Haru asked closing the distance between us. What is it? My mom handed him the paper Heroux studied the sketch for all of two seconds. And scowled. Is this some kind of a joke? What Lex asked craning her neck to peer down at the scat. That's a solar scarab. She said a representation, a representation of Capria tem, the rising and setting sons. She looked up from the drawing, her brows bunching together, unless it means something else to measure EDS. Lex was so ingrained into our society. Now it was easy to forget that she hadn't grown up among our kind. She was often unaware of the finer nuances of nature of nature, rat lore, like this one. She drew this Heroux asked glancing past me at cat, his hawkish gaze refocused on me. I nodded this morning. I explained she drew dozens of them. I paused before adding, while she was searching for tar set, Heroux, hissed, an ancient curse. I hadn't heard for centuries. I don't understand. Like I said, looking from her room to my mom, to me. Why would cat draw the. She glanced down at the sketch while searching for tar set tension, clouded the air all around us, fueled by our extended silence. The legend of autumn is my mom's started then paused as she searched for the right word, all eyes focused on her, but her attention was on the drawing complicated. She finally said he is far more than the mythological deity, you know, from your studies of ancient. She looked at lax, our law claims Tom lurks in the shadows waiting to emerge from Rostow to punish majorettes who strayed too far from the light rust out, like said like, oh, Cyrus's fiery realm from the book of two ways. Rostow is surrounded by fire. I said said not inflamed. It's not an actual place. Heroux added just as a Tom. Isn't a real person. He's a myth. Nobody has ever actually met him and lived, hung unsaid between our little group. Nobody. I stared pointedly at the side of my mom's face. My mom stood a little taller, which wasn't saying much with her petite stature and turned her back to us. She took several steps away, gazing out at the settings. Tom is not a myth. She said quietly, a legend. Yes, but not a myth. Her shoulders rose and fell with a deep breath. And then she turned to face us. He's real. Her eyes locked with her brothers. I've met him when her Rue demanded a very, very long time ago. She tugged on a delicate gold chain, hidden under the collar of her linen. Her linen shirt and fished the pendant free a medallion of iridescent solidified art about the size of a quarter, displaying the scarab symbol from cats and drawing and held it out for us to see, I healed him. She explained I saved his life and he gave me this token. He said that would provide me safe passage through the flames surrounding Rostow. If I ever found myself in need of sanctuary, she looked at me a quizzical smile, curbing her. You knew all along, didn't you? I glanced at the medallion. It was made of art after all. And I had sensed it from millennia as well as the symbol displayed on its face. I suspected, I said locking eyes with her. When did you heal him? Exactly. I shook my head. I can't remember when you first started wearing that. My mom tucked the pendant into the color of her shirt. It was a few decades after Lex visited us an inch. At the times, she said an arched, one eyebrow higher. I don't recall the exact year you were off somewhere. She looked away like she was annoyed with me for not telling her. I knew that was laughable. If anyone should have been annoyed right now, it was me. She was the one who had this huge fucking thing from. A couple of decades after Lexa visited her Ruth had allowed that would have been around 2160. He frowned his eyes narrowing on the drawing. What does this mean? He shook the paper, dragging our collective focus back to the sketch. Does a thumb have tar set? He looked from me to my mom and back. Or is he hunting her, her ruse throat mobbed as he swallowed roughly. Did he already. What I assumed was the word kill caught in his throat. And he crumpled the paper in his fist. His focus shift shifted past me to cat his focus shifted past me to cat unconscious on the bed of art. She has to try again. He said his voice ringing with command. Perhaps if she searches for a tem instead of tar set, he trailed off his thoughts leaping around to all the options. We can make him talk her through shouldered, past me and marched toward cat. I snagged his arm at the elbow, holding him back, leave her the fuck alone. Heroux turned partway glancing down at my hand on his arm, then slowly raised his gaze to meet mine a dangerous challenge. Glinted in his golden eyes. I took a step closer leaned in you don't scare me. That same dangerous challenge dripped. From my words, I held his stare for a long moment. Before I released his arm, Heroux took a step back, putting some distance between us every time cat draws on our connection to the universe. She backslides, I told him figuring an explanation would ease the sting of the refusal. She gets a weaker. If you want her to have a chance in hell at finding tar set, you need to give her the space and time she needs to hear. She'll help you when she's ready. Okay. That is it for chapter seven and that is the end of the previous. Of song of scabs and fallen stars, which is available for pre-order now and is going to be released tomorrow through all ebook retailers. Yay. Yeah, so that is it for oh also the, there are paperbacks and hardcovers available for Peter. And I will sign them for my website. So, yeah, super fun. And I'll put that link in the show notes too. Okay. Yeah, so that I believe is it for this week, that was a really long episode. Yeah. Okay. Thanks for listening. I am going to be releasing the full, so, I'm going to be releasing a special episode to this podcast feed that has all of the me reading all seven chapters smushed together. If you wanted to hear them all at once, so that should be coming out sometime later today, as soon as I get it all put together and listed. And I will also be listing that. If you wanted to stare at me while I read it, which is totally cool, I think, yeah. I mean, I put it up there, so you might as well see me make funny faces. Yeah. So thank you for listening. I will be back in next week to ramble some more and I will be talking about reflecting on this release day and also Hopefully, reflecting on how good it feels to just be able to focus on one book for while. Yeah. So until then, have you reading.