Alycia Christine

Enchanting Art, Encouraging Tales

Category: The Dryad’s Sacrifice

Finally, that marathon I promised you…

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything because my new day job confiscated my life during the month of January. I’ve been stealing scraps of time to write my newest pirate novella, but haven’t been able to do much else. Consequently, I had to postpone the book reading marathon that was scheduled for January. That being said, I’m excited to announce that we are finally starting The Dryad’s Sacrifice reading marathon on Facebook today. We’ll be reading and discussing the Prologue and Chapter 1 if you want to join us. If you’ve ever wanted to know how a book was created–or at least how this book was created–now is your chance. For the next 10 days, we will have daily inspirational quotes, author insights, a lot of crazy Q&A, and, of course, daily prizes. I can’t wait to see what you have to say! Come join us at!


P.S.-If you helped support author Brandon Barr in December and January, thank you so much! His fight with cancer is ongoing thanks in part to stem cell transplants. For updates on his ongoing fight, check out his YouTube channel at:

The Moments When Pictures Really Are Worth a Thousand Words

Root_Lattice-4x6AC(This blog article has been re-posted due to a website glitch.) There are photographs that I have taken—some recent, some years ago—that inform the way I imagine a certain fiction scene. One of the great examples of this was a photo that I shot when I was a teenager while on vacation with my parents in the Smoky Mountains. The image in question was of a staircase which led up the side of a hill. However, this was no ordinary staircase. It was one which was literally built out of the roots of trees as they wove their way through the earth.

Unfortunately I do not have the photograph anymore, but the memory of that image directly informed my vision of how the architecture would look on Mount Sol’ece in the Sylvan Cycle and Sylvan Prelude book series. I wanted to incorporate the tree root staircase into the dryads’ world because it really fits with their culture. In my books, dryads don’t build their buildings so much as grow them. Consequently, most of their infrastructure and architecture is based on tree roots and tree branches woven around rock.

There is only on other photograph that I’ve ever shot that comes close to capturing the feeling of that original root staircase. That image is “Root Lattice”—a photo I took two years ago while journeying with my husband through the temperate rain forest near Ketchikan, Alaska. While I have used this image to help me imagine some of my dryads’ dwellings, it mainly informs the look of the mysterious trees makes that make their appearance in my Musings short story “What Tendrils Echo”. I hope this photo provides others with as much writing inspiration as it has me.

Until next time, may we each rewrite our world for the better!


The Seared Cookie Report: one Artist/Writer’s Labored Soliloquy (SCRAWLS) is brought to you from the writing desk of Alycia Christine at Purple Thorn Press and Photography with fine art, love, speculative fiction books, and tea suggestions for all. Please let me know your thoughts about this particular post and, as always, if there is any subject you wish me to discuss, contact me. Thanks!

Wildflowers Verses Pirates

"Wild Joy" - click the image to enlarge or buy.

“Wild Joy” – click the image to enlarge or buy.

I stepped outside my kitchen door this morning and discovered a beautiful surprise. Little white and purple wildflowers had bloomed in the green grass blanketing the earth just below my balcony. I’m not sure what they are, but they look like miniature daisies. Each flower’s head is no larger than a dime! I’m quite sure others would consider them weeds, but for me, they are a colorful display of wild joy. That was something I treasured this morning.

The past two weeks have in an emotional roller coaster ride much like the rest of this summer. Now that Skinshifter, The Dryad’s Sacrifice, and Thorn and Thistle are published, I can concentrate on my other writing. I’m hard at work creating Sloop and Sword, the sequel to Thorn and Thistle. I’ve also seen the first review of Thorn and Thistle by a reader, who gave the fantasy pirate novella a 5-star review! Of the three books, Thorn and Thistle was the one that I have worried over the most because I had so little production time to spend on it compared to the others. Apparently, I stressed for nothing. The reviewer thought the story was well-written and especially loved the unique ending, which is something I adore as well. It completes the story’s plot and character arcs in a surprising way, while giving me a great jumping point to use in continuing the tale.

Thanks to all of you, Skinshifter and Thorn and Thistle did fairly well in their first two weeks of sales; however, we have a long way to go before these books can find their way into all of the right readers’ hands. If you have suggestions on that front or any questions about my stories, let me know. I’ve already had a few readers ask me if I would create world maps for each of the books, so I’ve added those to my production list. I hope to begin work on the maps as soon as I finish the rough draft for Sloop and Sword. Right now, I have a fourth of the novella written and the characters have already endured two sword fights, a kidnapping, a double-crossing, and one really creepy swamp. The full manuscript is due to my editor in mid-November. Wish me luck!

Until next time, may we each rewrite our world for the better!


The Seared Cookie Report: one Artist/Writer’s Labored Soliloquy (SCRAWLS) is brought to you from the writing desk of Alycia Christine at Purple Thorn Press and Photography with fine art, love, speculative fiction books, and tea suggestions for all. Please let me know your thoughts about this particular post and, as always, if there is any subject you wish me to discuss, contact me. Thanks!

Three New Books On Sale + Skinshifter Blog Tour Schedule!

Skinshifter_Cover_9-4x6They’re finally here! Skinshifter, The Dryad’s Sacrifice, and Thorn & Thistle are now available on Amazon! I’m so happy…and nervous…and hopeful that you absolutely love them! The books are usually priced at $2.99 or $3.99, but right now I’m offering them (as well as everything else I’ve written) for $0.99 each in celebration of this crazy multi-release!

Buy the Kindle e-books:
Skinshifter | The Dryad’s Sacrifice | Thorn & Thistle | other titles

For those of you who prefer your reading old-school style, you can pick up the print version of Skinshifter for $15.99. I love this version of the book with its elegant chapter title art and gorgeous front and back covers.

Buy the Skinshifter print book.

Readers who prefer other e-book formats besides Kindle will see Skinshifter, The Dryad’s Sacrifice, and Thorn & Thistle at Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords on December 24th—just in time for Christmas!

Pre-order on these platforms now!
Apple | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

Also, don’t miss the SKINSHIFTER BLOG TOUR! Win prizes, read interviews, check out guest blogs and more! All the fun starts on Monday and lasts until October 9!

Play my blog’s free Sylvans vs. Deadwalkers Game.

The Official Skinshifter Tour is here!


From September 28 – October 9 read reviews, author interviews, guest posts and excerpts.

Guest Post – Mama Reads Hazel Reads
Excerpt – Alpha Fangirl Book Blog
Excerpt – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too!
Review – Candace’s Book Blog
Review – The Travelogue of a book addict – The Book Drealms
Excerpt – Coffee Books & Art
Interview – WS Momma Readers Nook
Review & Guest Post – Maureen’s Books
Excerpt – Crystal’s Chaotic Confessions
Excerpt – Books and Warpaint
Review – Terry’s Book Addiction
Excerpt – CBY Book Club
Review – Alpha Book Club
Excerpt – My Love for Reading Keeps Growing
Review & Guest Post – Second Run Reviews
Excerpt – The Tome Gnome
Excerpt – Jael’s Reviews
Review – Born Bookish
Excerpt – Turbulence In The Eye Of The Storm

About Skinshifter:

Skinshifters are a curse. The Asheken deadwalkers proved that fact when they used skinshifters to spy against the Sylvan races during the Second War of Ages. Now, after three centuries of peace, the deadwalkers have found a secret way back onto the Sylvan Continent and this time they seek not just to conquer their enemies, but to enslave them body and soul.

When the Feliconas Clan suffers the deadwalkers’ first raid, one werecat—a skinshifter who has concealed her abilities—survives the massacre. Even as Katja struggles with her grief and guilt over her murdered kin, she must unite with other Sylvan refugees to defeat the deadwalkers before they can butcher and defile the other races. But can this skinshifter trust her newfound allies or will their secrets prove even more treacherous than her own?


“As involved as it is vividly eloquent, Alycia Christine’s Skinshifter…is fueled by engagingly twisted fantasy elements, vivid imagery, appealing characters, rousing adventure and terse storytelling.” –Bestsellers World

“Action is well done, tension is wonderfully detailed and maintained throughout, and fantasy readers will find in Katja an appealing, believable character whose quest and concerns drive a story line that is vivid, accessible, and involving.” –D. Donovan, Senior eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

About the Author:

AlyciaHeadShot8-2012-2x3Alycia Christine grew up near the dusty cotton fields of Lubbock, Texas. She fell in love with fantasy and science fiction stories when her father first read Gordon R. Dickson’s THE DRAGON AND THE GEORGE and Robert A. Heinlein’s HAVE SPACESUIT—WILL TRAVEL to her at age ten. Her love-affair with fiction deepened when Alycia took a creative writing course while attending Texas A&M University. After that class, she was hooked as a writer for life. Her subsequent B.S. degree in agricultural journalism not only helped to hone Alycia’s skills with a pen, but also with a camera. Today she uses her skills as a photographer to capture the beauty of the world around her and add additional perspective to her fiction and nonfiction writing.

The Seared Cookie Report: one Artist/Writer’s Labored Soliloquy (SCRAWLS) is brought to you from the writing desk of Alycia Christine at Purple Thorn Press and Photography with love, art, speculative fiction books, and virtual baked goods for all. Please let me know your thoughts about this particular post and, as always, if there is any subject you wish me to discuss, contact me. Thanks!

Writing as a Business: What Jurassic Park and Jurassic World can teach us About Writing Trends

"Squish" Click to view larger or buy.

“Squish” Click to view larger or buy.

My husband and I finally went to see Jurassic World this weekend and we loved it! The movie packed solid action and great special effects into a storyline that seemed at once familiar and surprising. I didn’t expect the plot to be terribly sophisticated, but I thoroughly enjoyed running around with the characters nonetheless.

I remember seeing Jurassic Park when I was a teenager and being so excited (and scared) to see such lifelike dinosaurs on the silver screen. After two hours of watching them interact with one another and with humans, I really did believe them to be real animals instead of computer-generated models. It was an experience I’ll never forget. Now, some 20 years later, a reboot of the Jurassic Park franchise has once again taken movie-going audiences by storm. Jurassic World boasts more of our favorite species of dinosaurs and a new set of characters to love packaged inside a man-verses-nature plot that’s a bit of a spicy, new twist on the old recipe.

The fact that Jurassic World is in theaters now excites me as a writer because it follows a hypothesis about entertainment franchise trends that I’ve had for a while now. My hypothesis is namely that sci-fi movie franchises tend to run in roughly 13 and 23-year cycles. And as a writer, 13 and 23-year cycles make my life a very happy one. Before I explain why, let’s follow my logic on trend timing for a minute. Jurassic World which released in 2015 is a reboot of Jurassic Park which was released in 1993. This dinosaur-ridden pair occurred 22 years apart, but Jurassic World and Jurassic Park III (2001) came just 14 years apart. Jurassic World is a sci-fi action movie that comes just months before another iconic sci-fi action movie is set to hit theaters: Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.

Episode VII comes 10 years after Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005) and 15 years after Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999). If we back up a bit further with the Star Wars franchise, we see the trend again. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope wowed audiences in 1977, which was 22 years before The Phantom Menace, but Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983) occurred only 16 years before The Phantom Menace.

Going even further with my theory, let’s look at Lord of the Rings. In 1978, one really bad attempt to bring J.R.R. Tolkien’s world of Middle-Earth to life occurred in The Lord of the Rings movie. Then in the early 2000s, we see Middle-Earth finally portrayed as it should be in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). Then audiences were transported back to Middle-Earth in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013), and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014). This trend sees a reboot of the original 1978 film some 23 years later with a related franchise beginning nine years after the first franchise reached its glorious conclusion.

Finally we have the Batman franchise. The original Batman movie came out in 1943 with Batman: The Movie following 23 years later in 1966. Twenty-three years after this came the franchise of the early 1990s that I grew up with: Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992), Batman Forever (1995), and Batman & Robin (1997). By the time Batman & Robin hit the theaters, the franchise had gone from dark and moody to just plain campy. If ever there needed to be a decent reboot, this franchise was it. Sixteen years after Batman and eight years after Batman & Robin, Batman Begins thundered into theaters with an image makeover so complete that the Bat Mobil was a black tank instead of a car. Following Batman Begins (2005), we saw The Dark Knight (2008), and The Dark Knight Rises (2012)—a strong trilogy that excited new fans and old.

So to recap, we see a trend of 22 years and 14 years, 10 years and 15 years, 22 years and 16 years, 23 years and nine years, 23 years, 23 years, 16 years, and eight years between movies and franchises with reboots of box-office hits coming faster than failures. Averaged out we get 13 years between more successful franchise reboots and 23 between less successful franchises.

So why do I care so much about all of this movie trend trivia? I care because these trends offer a massive ray of hope for writers like me. You see, movie genre trends often follow book genre trends. Generally speaking, whatever general types of successful movies are popular now are often the same types of books that were immensely popular about six years ago. Case in point, the movies World War Z and Zombieland both came out in 2013 just six years after the book World War Z hit store shelves. The movies found audiences just as the resurgent trend of zombie stories hit its high point. Now in 2015, we see this zombie-loving trend tapering off.

This becomes very important for genre fiction writers because we can use movie franchise success to help us understand to overall genre trends. Case in point, the last major pirate movie series began with Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl in 2003 and will likely end with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales in 2017. That is a 14-year cycle. Based on that information, I can probably assume that my own pirate-based book Thorn & Thistle has a good chance of selling well this year because we’re still in the middle of a pirate-loving trend. However, I probably shouldn’t stretch the series too long or it might outlive the hype.

I could also expect that launching a major vampire teen book series right now might be a bad idea because we’re still on the downward slope of that trend thanks to the Twilight movie series finishing just three years ago. The first book that inspired the vampire teen craze just hit its ten year anniversary. If I’m smelling the winds right, I think we’ll need another six to eight years before teen vampire books can gain momentum in popular culture again. If this is correct, then we’ll probably see another hot vampire teen movie hit theaters around 2026. Of course there are plenty of other factors to consider in my trend theory, which is why nothing is ever fool-proof. But, even if my theory is way wrong in its timing, knowing that genre trends do repeat with regularity gives me an advantage as a writer.

As an author in the digital age, repeating trends give me a chance that each book I write can have something more than a simple first-run shelf life. Because e-books and Print-on-Demand books don’t go out of print the way regular hardbacks and mass market paperbacks do, repeating genre trends mean that each book might get a second or third shot at glory in the hands of readers. It means that I might not have to be the world’s most formidable marketing genius to make a living at this crazy passion of mine. As long as my body of work is timeless in its appeal and varied in its subgenre material, I have an opportunity to impact multiple generations of people with my writing. That possibility is something to celebrate no matter when a book is published or when its same genre film is produced.

Until next time, may we each rewrite our world for the better!


P.S. – Don’t forget, Skinshifter, The Dryad’s Sacrifice, and Thorn and Thistle will release on Amazon on September 25th, and on Kobo, Smashwords, Apple, and Barnes & Noble on December 24th. Pre-order purchasing is now available for all three in all places. You can read other excerpts for Skinshifter HERE, The Dryad’s Sacrifice HERE, and Thorn and Thistle HERE.

Also, don’t miss the official Skinshifter Blog Tour starting on September 28! I’ll be stopping by several websites and giving away some awesome prizes to readers! Watch my blog and the news page for more details. Thanks!

The Seared Cookie Report: one Artist/Writer’s Labored Soliloquy (SCRAWLS) is brought to you from the writing desk of Alycia Christine at Purple Thorn Press and Photography with love, art, speculative fiction books, and virtual baked goods for all. Please let me know your thoughts about this particular post and, as always, if there is any subject you wish me to discuss, contact me. Thanks!

SKINSHIFTER Blog Tour Announcement and Excerpt #2 from THE DRYAD’S SACRIFICE

PalmFernWeave2ACS4x6My wonderful publicist at CBB Book Promotions has just announced the official Skinshifter Book Blog Tour! The link is below:

We are looking for reviewers and bloggers alike to join the fun coming September 28-October 9! Review copies are available in ebook formats worldwide.

In other news, today’s excerpt comes from Chapter Two of The Dryad’s Sacrifice (first novella in the Sylvan Prelude series). The Dryad’s Sacrifice is based in the same world as Skinshifter and actually occurs about 300 years before the events of the main book. Both books will release at Amazon on September 25, 2015 and at Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords on December 24, 2015.

If you haven’t read the first TDS excerpt that I posted last week, I suggest you do that before you tackle this one. Enjoy!

Eliza lost her balance and tipped sideways against the ropes as the bridge bucked and rolled. Before I knew what was happening, my body was tangled within the bridge’s right-side netting and the hand that had been holding Eliza’s shoulder now gripped the left strap of her pack.

“Don’t let go!” she screamed as she dangled below me, clutching the bag’s other strap with both hands.

Despite being well-sewn, the pack was not made to withstand this amount of pull. Tears stung my eyes as we heard the pop of her strap’s first seam.

“Climb!” I ordered her.

“I can’t!”

“You can! Climb!”

Another louder snap resounded above us and I felt my body lurch as a rope loosened around my captive arm. I thrust it toward my sister. “Grab hold!”

“If I move, I could break the strap!”

“If you don’t move, it will break anyway! Move!”

She nodded and began to inch her fingers up the strap toward her pack’s main flap. If she could catch hold of the opening, she could spill the pack’s supplies, lighten the load, lessen the strain on the straps, and shorten the distance between us. Her fingers snagged the bag open and Eliza ducked her head as supplies pelted her body on their way to the gorge floor. I heard a second pop just as her fist found purchase around the knapsack’s opening. The strap I was now clutching with both hands had begun to loosen.

“Hurry!” I yelled.

She gripped the bag and swung her left hand up to grab the strap I was holding. The action ripped the pack and strap apart. I screamed as I felt the strap slice against my raw palm. Our left hands clutched the same straining strap while our right hands flailed. Our hands touched, stretched, and finally locked around each other’s wrists just as I felt the second rope give way under my chest. We lurched downward and I screamed again.

We heard a forlorn howl echo across the gap. Eliza and I turned our heads in the direction and spied the werewolf elder watching us from the bridge entrance.

“Fenraz! Help us!” I yelled.

Four of Fenraz’s packmates were gripping the anchoring poles of the bridge to keep them from ripping away from the side of the ridge.

“We can hold it but for a moment more!” he shouted. “Try to reach the ledge!”

He pointed to a narrow precipice of rock near us.

“I see it!” Eliza shouted back.

She looked up at me and I saw that the fear in her eyes matched my own. “I am not going to lose you today!” I said. I squeezed my fist around her wrist. “On my third count, let go of the strap and catch my hand.”

She nodded.

“One, two, three! Grab it!”

She did. The strap followed the pack into the rapids far below us as she gripped my arms and swung in midair. A second gust of wind caught our tangle of a bridge and rocked it hard. Sweat slicked our raw hands and stung inside the welts wrought by the straps. I winced as I felt her weight shift under me.

“What are you doing?” I screamed as she twisted and kicked in my grip.

“Neither you nor the bridge cannot hold me much longer. I have to swing into that ledge!”

“It’s too far from us!”

“No it isn’t. I’ve swung between tree boughs that are much farther apart than this distance. Believe me; I can do this.”

I didn’t, but what other option did we have?

Pre-order purchasing is now available for Skinshifter, The Dryad’s Sacrifice, and Thorn and Thistle.

Excerpts for Skinshifter and Thorn and Thistle can be found HERE and HERE.

Until next time, may we each rewrite our world for the better!


The Seared Cookie Report: one Artist/Writer’s Labored Soliloquy (SCRAWLS) is brought to you from the writing desk of Alycia Christine at Purple Thorn Press and Photography with love, art, speculative fiction books, and virtual baked goods for all. Please let me know your thoughts about this particular post and, as always, if there is any subject you wish me to discuss, contact me. Thanks!

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