Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Book # 6 of 12: Sacrifice of Souls Book 4 of COS

Halfway to my goal! Here it is, book 6 in the COS epic. 


Sacrifice of Souls, August 30, 2011
With the Sacrifice of Souls the reader enters the world of the Barracks a training ground for Sogo's Cubes, a gladiatorial "game" in which only one survives, and the new home for Talon and fourteen friends, some new and some old. If it isn't bad enough that he will be under Tasut's watchful eyes 24/7, he knows that one of the fourteen men he trusts with his life will betray him.
While Talon fights to just survive training, Brenna is also being trained with one thing hanging over her head-if she fails to learn what she needs to know Talon will die. With the help of those around her, and a visit from the dead, Brenna strengthens her resolve to do what she must to save Talon. But only if she can survive the Forest Wife's training first.
From a land beyond time to a city with an ancient evil to Sogo, the journey of those that stand in defiance of Sogo will lead the reader through the first leg to what will be the end of Talon and Brenna's world as we know it.

Ready to kick it up a notch?, September 15, 2011
If you thought things were intense in the first trilogy of this series--think again! The ante has been upped in this dynamic beginning to the next season in the plans to destroy Sogo...but the best-laid plans of Shees and men oft go awry. This book introduces vibrant additions to the cast you knew and loved in the first three books, and they don't take away from the dynamism and depth of the established characters but simply make the fun exponential! Our heroes and heroines certainly have their work cut out for them in the trials to come!

How the book came to be:

This was originally the first part of book 2.  Again, I had to divide it into thirds and again, I had a good time expanding characters that hadn't been able to come out of the shadows.

Insider Information:

The cover of this book was very simple - light a fire in our wood stove and take a picture for front and back.  However, see how many faces you can see in the flames (we found 2).  In the book there is a constellation known as "The 3 Sisters"  There is a prophecy concerning them in the book.  The bright white one symbolizes Loni, the blue one is Mari and the red one (which, frankly, looks like a zit on one of the faces) is the notorious Hadasha.
What the book is about:

Talon is on his way to be sold at the Sogoian auction - courtesy of his father's great fist.  He has no way of letting Brenna know where he is and that he can't help her any more.  The odds of his surviving are 300 to 1 in the Barracks.  To his horror, his friends are with him - all captured in various ways explained in the last book.

Brenna is now on the other side of time via a giant hand that came out of a sandpool.  She has a new instructor - a mysterious woman known only as the Forest Wife.  Brenna is accustomed to getting her way - no matter the obstacles, but in this realm, she is the fish out of water and the woman has as much power as Brenna - almost.  Once she discovers that whatever she fails in, Talon will pay the price, her rebellious nature (which always peaks when Talon is threatened) crumbles.  For now, she must learn or Talon will die.

To Order


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Book #5 of 12: Aftermath (COS Book 3)

If you would like to order this book in Ebook or Softcover format, the links are at the end of the post.

Part three does not disappoint!, August 18, 2011
Once again the plot thickens--and readers will love every moment of it. The characters we've come to know and love in the first book face even more growing, learning--and tragedy. I am constantly impressed with the author's ability to not only tell a handful of stories simultaneously, but have all of those seemingly disparate tales connect with each other in one vast overarching narrative that never grows stale. You'll be reading about one group of characters, and then another, and another, and before you know it a hundred pages have gone by and you're still hungering for more. Absolutely marvelous work.

How the book came to be:

This was originally the end of book 1 - now greatly expanded.

Insider Information:

I expected the continuing flack I get from people about what happened in this book.  However, killing off a main character (especially one of my favorites) was not easy, but you'll have to take my word for it that it was necessary. 

The cover for this one was the toughest up to this point.  It became the most eye-catching of the first three.  I had envisioned the hand looking more monstrous than spectral and holding Brenna, ready to pull her into the sandpool.  It just didn't work so we compromised - and the swirls in the background behind the hand which I had originally envisioned being ghostly purple/green mist morphed into what we call Ketchup, Mustard, and BBQ sauce - another serendipity that happened while Strave was learning how to use Photoshop.  The colors came from the exact same flames that are pictured on the front cover of SOS - it worked!   Question:  How many of you knew the spelling for Ketchup was once Catsup?

What the book is about:

Brenna yearns for Talon's love with all the passion her 13-year old heart can muster, but she knows he sees her as a child.  She's determined to change that before her parents keep their word to take her where Talon will never find her.  No one seems to understand the depth of her love for him and that he is the core of her existence, not even Talon...yet.  She is unaware that the evil that had been searching for her has found her and if it can't take her, it will take those she loves.

Talon has read the Book of Benamii and is beginning to understand that if Brenna dies all hope perishes with her.  He will not allow anyone or anything to hurt her.  Not even Tasut.  He is determined to stand between her and what is coming.  His father is looking at him with an air of expectancy and that makes Talon nervous.  Tasut wants something from him and Talon wants to avoid whatever it is at all costs.


Softcover :

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Congratulations to the WINNERS!

If this were the price is right, the following three women would race down to the front and begin their journey with Bob Barker to win, win, and win!

Vivien from Wichita, Lisa from Springville, and Sophia from Riverside!  WOOHOO!  Congratulations on winning and watch for the book in the mail!


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Book #4 of 12: Klaus (Released November 2010)



I highly recommend Klaus for the whole family, July 10, 2011
Reviewed by Anne B. for Readers Favorite

Have you ever wondered how Santa Klaus met Mrs. Klaus? Michelle Erickson brings readers a delightful story of a princess and a human carpenter.

Eralee's father is a River King and her mother is a Queen. They live in the forest of Everaude, a world filled with immortals.... Her parents planned a marriage for her to a River Prince. He was busy sowing his wild oats, and she had no desire to marry him. When she saw a human freezing to death in the woods, she wanted to save him, although it was forbidden by her people.

The reader watches as Klaus and Eralee fall in love. Throughout this enchanted story the reader learns the answers to many Santa questions. The reader also meets several incredible secondary characters such as Dasher, Dancer and Vixen. Erickson explains why reindeer can fly and why their antlers glow. A lonely witch wants Klaus for her own selfish reasons. Eralee refused to give up the man she loves, no matter the cost.

Erickson combines romance, adventure, suspense and humor to create one of the best Christmas tales I've ever read. Eralee's antics were very funny and her innocence was extremely heartwarming. Of course Eralee was my favorite character, but Klaus and the other characters each had their own distinctive personality. This book will become a family favorite. I can see this tale making it to TV as a Christmas special. I highly recommend Klaus for the whole family.

Christmas legends come to life in a new and exciting way!, September 7, 2011
I so enjoyed reading Michelle Erickson's "Klaus." The story was heart-warming, cleverly written and full of fantasy! I don't think anyone has ever linked together such a magical story of how "Santa" came to be. It truly is worthy of being made into a movie for the holidays. I just enjoyed this book so much and highly recommend reading this enchanting tale.

How the book came to be:

I've always loved Christmas and I never got enough background on Santa's wife.  This was a book that I HAD to write because I fell in love with Santa when I was 3 and my family made the holiday so FUN! 

Insider Information:

Ironically, the cover picture was taken by yours truly out in my yard in SUMMER!  I have a line of spruces, the sprinkler was going.  The beads of water were dripping down the needles and I couldn't resist the shot.  The holly pin on the top left is an actual pin that was photoshoped in by Stravenlite who also did the heart.  The back cover picture was taken on a hike.

What the book is about:

Eralee is a misfit among immortals.  She's supposed to marry a philandering River Prince.  She doesn't want him.  She wants to save the human called Klaus.

Klaus is a woodcarver that lives alone on the edge of the Everaude Forest, a dangerous forbidden place.  Because his father disappeared, he's considered socially inferior by many in the village and lives alone.  He's convinced he'll never know love until he meets Eralee; a woman that has haunted his dreams.  Unfortunately, she's immortal.

Neither has any idea that there is another immortal who wants him.  She is Kamichen, the Winter Witch.  Legend claims she eats men's hearts.  She has plans for Klaus and they don't include Eralee.



Book #3 of 12: Lend Me Your Mind (COS Book 2) Released October 2010

I give you...

A strange journey,
Strange revelations, and
Dangerous waters...
All in the name of fun!

If you would like to order this book in Ebook or Softcover format, the links are below.


Lend Me Your Mind, October 24, 2010
"...But what I really loved about the book was the plot. Just when you think you can predict the plot, it goes into a completely different direction! Part of the fun is trying to guess where the next plot line is going to take you. So it makes me think. I crave books that make me think instead of just knowing that around the corner that the character is going to do A and follow up with B. It's nice to have a book that surprises you."

The epic continues! August 18, 2011
If you thought Michelle Erickson couldn't possibly cram any more into her world than what you were introduced to in Chest of Souls...think again! In book two the reader is introduced to even more exotic and imaginative locations and characters. And of course this doesn't stop the characters from the first book from receiving fascinating growth and development, as even more of the plot falls into place--which of course also opens up many other mysteries that keep you guessing.

How the book came to be:

This was originally the middle part of book 1. When I had to divide it into thirds, I was free to expand some of the characters - which was a lot of fun!

Insider Information:

The wave on the cover of this book was a mistake I made while learning how to use Photo Shop smuge tool - I was having a good time and it just morphed into the cover.  I did the background and wave.  StravenLite did the eyes under the wave, which symbolizes Soline, one of the 5 creators and with the wave coming over her 'head' those waves become her hair - a wild and dangerous attribute.

What the book is about:

In the last book, Brenna's powers were becoming stronger - she modified an entire species, raised the dead, and spoke with Deity.  She is becoming frustrated because even with all her power she can’t make Talon love her. 

Talon thinks of Brenna as a too-talkative sister, on he's been ordered to protect.  She's just a small part of what bothers him.  His true angst lies in the fact he has questions no one will answer.  Like why he has to keep moving when he’d rather stay with the Brenna's parents, what his father does for a living (no one wants to tell him), and what really happened to his mother (an absolutely forbidden subject).  The answers he receives aren’t comforting, they just create more questions. 

His brutal father has plans for Talon that he never talks about.  In this book, odd things start to happen in Talon's life – the ship he's on sinks, a woman from legend rises from the sea, and he has to keep a secret he never wanted to know.  Everywhere he goes, danger tracks him, from the Ammon Islands to the far western shore of Utak.  Through it all he can feel where Brenna is and her most powerful emotions, but isn’t sure what it means…




Book #2 of 12: Chest of Souls Book One (released September 2010)


The journey of Talon Ryhawk and Brenna Tybar begins...

If you would like to order this book in Ebook or Softcover format, the links are below.

A new series sure to please the pickiest fantasy readers.., August 12, 2011
Reviewed by Anne B. for Readers Favorite

Michelle Erickson has created a new series sure to please the pickiest fantasy readers. In Chest of Souls Book 1, we meet nine year old Talon and the adventure begins with a human sacrifice. The Sons of Ammon were present as the Guardian clasped the willing sacrifice tightly to protect those around them. This was their only chance to destroy the wicked city of Sogo. The scene quickly shifts to an isolated "village" in the midst of a forest. Tasut briskly woke his son Talon and sent him running into the forest with no food and dressed only in his underwear. The young boy instantly obeyed, not knowing if he was in danger or being punished. Talon and a young man named Nyk end up running for their lives. When they returned to the cottage, Talon met Brenna, a beautiful six-year-old with power beyond the imagination. Talon and Brenna were the only hope to destroy Sogo. Together they would make a formidable team...if they could live long enough to develop their powers.

Michelle Erickson does exactly what all authors should do...begin the book with a dynamic, attention grabbing scene. However, she doesn't stop there; she continues with one heart pounding scene after another. Her talent for description brought to life the strange creatures previously only seen in her mind's eye. There are plenty monsters to fear and battle in Chest of Souls: a fierce, part-horse creature, green crabs and ice monsters. Brenna was one of my favorite characters. Although only six years old, she already has self confidence and knows she belongs with Talon. Mee was a creature I could only describe as part cat and part squirrel with an appetite for crab. Tasut was easy to dislike until you realize he does love his son, but he certainly has a problem showing it. Lyon was an assassin believed to be dead, and Mari, his wife, had powers of her own. This is the first book in a new series; I can hardly wait to see what our two heroes face in the next book.

How the book came to be:

MANY years ago, I told my children stories - they liked mine better than anyone else's and my oldest child wanted something new.  I began to tell her this story, which has no connection or even a slight resembalance to what the story is now.  During the years my children were growing up, I read A LOT and among those books was David and Leigh Eddings' Rivan Codex.  I sort of followed their suggestions about how to write fantasy.

I  loosely based my COS epic on the Biblical account of the fall of Sodom and Gommorah (Sogo) as it is recorded in the Old Testament.  Few people realize most of the names of Talon's eventual friends/fellow prisoners are based on the names of the 12 apostles.  Along with these magnificent men, I had to have very strong women with enormous willpower, sharp minds, and 'to-do' lists of their own.

Insider Information:

Originally, this book was over 252,000 words long (about a 1,000 pages).  I had to break it into thirds.  My idea was to write a trilogy - I had NO idea it would become 9 books.  The original titles were:  It Begins, It Continues, It Ends (insert a snort and barking laughter, maybe some knee slaps).  I simply didn't know what to call it and then, after I really got into the books, I based the entire series on what happens in the Prologue of book one where the Chest is being summoned/powered.  I wanted the book to be 'clean' -  no sex, no swearing (although the characters do use some local terms).  Readers are aware that things go on behind closed doors, but I never enter in - I didn't find it necessary.
What the book is about:

Talon and Brenna are destined to bring down the wickedest city in the world (Sogo)
They are not told they've been hunted their entire lives by the very evil they must destroy or that if they manage to get enough training to take it down, they may not win.

Brenna is safe because she’s oblivious to everything but Talon. She doesn't know that her mother is Hi-Sha of Eyes, or that her father was an assassin and he’s supposed to be dead.  She doesn't even know her pet (Mee) is the Queen of all Shee’s (squirrel-like animals that can talk). 
Talon felt safe until he met Brenna. Once he is ordered to protect her, he's had to fight monsters he never knew existed, run away from an assassin, and escape a forest full of carnivores.  His father burned down their cottage and left him with people he just met and he isn't sure who to trust. 
The Chest of Souls waits to be powered and these children have no idea what the price will be.

My favorite character in the book?

It's like trying to choose a favorite child.  There are things I love about all of them - yes, even Tasut and Haddy (those we love to hate)

I'll just mention the Ryn sisters since they were there planning and plotting before the story begins. 
Loni (I picture Emma Thompson) is the ultimate-mother-bear figure that devotes her energy to loving her gaggle of orphans.  She is a composite of the best women I've known.

Mari (I picture a young Jane Seymour)  is the driven one - devoted to the cause (Keeping her daughter alive long enough to destroy Sogo - not an easy task given Brenna's tendency to disobey).  Organized, driven, very passionate about her family.  She is classy, but deadly.  I would not want to cross her - ever.

Haddy (Megan Fox - with curly long hair).  Haddy is selfish, impulsive, carnal-natured, defiant, disobedient, careless, often cruel, judgemental - and looking for love/attention in all the wrong places.  I decided early on to kill this character off - writing her was annoying.  Things change...  

To Order


Book #1 of 12: Five Blanks (released August 2010)


Original cover shown here - it did change before I was finished with all 12 books I wanted to write in a year.

If you would like to order this book in Ebook or Softcover format, the links are below.


Most Original Story Ever! January 21, 2011
"I find myself getting bored with the books of today, I mean they are just so predictable! I love it when I can be surprised in a book and say, Wow, I didn't see that coming! That is exactly how I would describe this book. You never have time to be bored, it is action-packed and you never know what is going to happen next. Loved it!"
5 Blanks book author Michelle Erickson, August 22, 2010
"...Usually I can predict an ending, in this storyline I had no clue until the last paragraph. Very exciting and new! Would highly recommend purchasing this book to anyone. Get ready for a thought provoking and wild ride to the WEST side of a blank's life."
How the book came to be:

A dream I had about Layton, Utah, Liam Neeson (whom I would choose to play the part of Nick) and the fact that we had to run from robots that were looking for 4's and 5's.  I didn't use the robots idea, but the rest of it is what I based the book on.

Insider Information:

Getting in this author's mind might be a scary thing for some people.  I've had more than one person ask me how I slept at night (insert chuckle).  I dream in vivid technicolor and my dreams are the fodder for many of my books. It's very realistic - plots, twists, characters...almost like watching a better-than-tv movie.

What the book is about:

Nick is a pacifist whose been killed for the fourth time. His soul was transferred into the wrong Blank. Not just any Blank, but Creed: a Combat- Ready- E-series- Elimination- Drone.

And he has to share it.

It’s supposed to be impossible. His life defines the word so that isn’t what bothers him. It's the irony that he’s to blame for making the E-series a reality. He always said it would be the death of him. He may be right.

He's homeless and being hunted by the people who killed him four times. They want to make him dead-dead before he can expose the truth. That’s if the original Creed doesn’t return from war and kill him first.

Nick has a lethal to-do list:

He needs to gain Creed’s co-operation so he can save the friends who risk their lives to hide them, find out how and why they are sharing the same Blank before the original Creed shows up, and uncover the truth about Leigh, a beautiful scary woman that claims she’s Creed’s fiancĂ©e and Nick’s friend, but whom neither man remembers.

Welcome to day one of Blank Five.

My favorite character in the book?

Christina - she's SO much more than the book explained.  She is the core of all that matters in the world between first and last page.  Without her, there would not be a story - and she morphed from the love-interest to mastermind.

If I got to choose who would play the part in a movie?

The only (living) people I thought about playing a role in 5 Blanks were:

Nick:  Liam Neeson
Creed: Chris Evans
Christina:  bunches of people - if you read the book you'll know why

Will there be a sequel?

I toyed with the idea of "First Blank" and writing about Pre-Apocalyptic Christine, but the muses didn't give me enough, so it's not in the plans at the moment (that doesn't mean it won't happen - just that it won't be right now)


Defining the Goal: 12 Books in 12 Months

Isn't it interesting that so many people who have never tried something are quick to tell you it can't be done?

I love the Chinese proverb, "The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it."
People think I'm being over ambitious in claiming I will release 12 books in 12 months. 

It won't be impossible because very little in the life I lead is actually impossible.  This is especially true when you make a living using your imagination. 

Still, the question was asked and the thought is there:  Can it be done?

That thought has an answer:  I'm going to do it.  God is good.  He will help.  Things will be orchestrated so doors open when I need them.

Which morphed into the realization:  I am doing it - but not alone, never alone.  I have faith, family, friends, and people that will come into my life because I WANT this.  Already I have had help and that means success.