Release date for Waterspell Book 4 is March 18, 2022. Which means I’m now officially in the six-month pre-release window. I’ve got a plan and I’m working it.
Today I made Waterspell Book 1: The Warlock free at every bookseller that will let me: B&N, Apple, Kobo, Smashwords. Amazon is resisting going lower than 99 cents, and I can’t figure out how to “tell them about a lower price.” I thought there would be a button or something to click on the book’s Amazon page, but I’m not seeing it. Maybe Amazon’s zealousness about not being undersold will soon work to drop the Kindle price to free. Google Books also seems slow to respond to my price drop; I’ll keep checking back until the Google page shows it for free.*
*9/21/21 Update: Amazon and Google have caught up. The Book 1 ebook is now free in ALL ebook formats. Price-matching triumphs again. 😀
Most of the rest of today, I’ve spent making Instagram posts to get the word out about a free ebook. I’m not quite ready to post either of these yet, preferring to feature a few more Reader Reviews first, but these graphics are ready to go when the time seems right:
I’ve also reached out to some book reviewers with whom I’ve connected on Instagram. I have review copies (print and ebook) ready to send out in exchange for honest reviews. (Fantasy fans, you need merely ask, and you shall receive.)
The Book 4 manuscript has gone out to a trusted beta reader who is herself an author. I know that I (and the book) will greatly benefit from her feedback. She’s showing me the great kindness of reading the entire original trilogy to refresh her memory of the backstory before diving into Book 4.
Now it’s quitting time for today, and my neck is stiff from too many hours at the computer. I’ll need to learn to pace myself as the clock counts down to December 18, 2021, the first day of pre-orders, and then to March 18, 2022, the Book 4 release day. I’m trying to figure out when and how to do a Cover Reveal in there somewhere.
Which reminds me: I must also see to a new paperback cover for Book 4. To do that, I’ll need to determine how many pages the book will occupy in print. No point doing that, though, until I hear from my beta reader. Almost certainly her comments will lead to a final round of edits.
It’s going to be a busy Fall and Spring. I’m ready. I have a plan and I’m working it.
A good day’s work. Got my errands done in town this morning, then drafted a heartfelt Author’s Note for the back of Waterspell Book 4 and tweaked the blurb into something I’m almost happy with. Thoughts are welcome. Does this give too much away?
In the House of Verek, it’s five years later. The waters are troubled. Memories are darkening. If the story is to end “happily ever after” for Carin and Verek, old demons must be laid to rest.
Readers of the Waterspell fantasy series will welcome this long-awaited fourth book for the answers it provides to questions raised in volumes 1 through 3: Does the wysard Verek regain his powers, and will Carin make her way back to him? Have Carin’s parents survived the plague that devastated their world, and will she ever see them again? Did Lanse survive the attack by Carin’s defender? Is Lord Legary really dead? And not least: Did the necromancer die in the jaws of Carin’s conjured dragon? Remember: there was no blood in the water. These questions and more are answered in Waterspell Book 4, which picks up the story of the lovers, Carin and Verek, half a decade after readers saw the pair separated in the closing chapters of the original trilogy.
By the blood of Abraxas, it’s about time we learned what happened next.
When I sat down to write a fourth book in my Waterspellfantasy series, I wondered whether I still had enough to say about my characters and their world to produce a novel-length work. Turns out, I needn’t have worried. I got Drafts 1 and 2 down on paper in record time: started May 6; had a nearly complete second draft by September 6. After leaving the manuscript sitting for a couple of weeks, I started again at the beginning of the story, checking it against my stacks of notes, looking for loose ends and adding material to address every thread that I wanted to bring forward from the original trilogy. The result is a third draft that’s very nearly complete at just shy of 90,000 words. Book 4 will be the shortest in the series. The previous record-holder for “short” was Book 3, at about 115,000 words.
Book 4’s conciseness stems partly from my not needing to include so much description. The story takes place in settings that readers already know from Books 1 through 3.
I’m aware, however, that I’m relying more on narration in Book 4 than I did in the previous volumes. Between now and the early months of 2021, I plan to let the story sit largely untouched as I hear back from my beta readers and get some distance from the narrative. I’m a bit concerned that this story lacks the immediacy of Books 1 through 3, which were built on you-are-there, “real-time” scene-and-sequel with lots of dialogue and limited narration. Detailed scenes take more words to lay out for the reader than narration requires.
As a writer (and as an individual) I’m in a very different place from who and where I was when I finished the trilogy. It’s no surprise, to me, that my approach to Book 4 differs in tone from the original books. I’m trusting my beta readers (and my gut, once it has gained the necessary distance) to tell me whether my approach to Book 4 will satisfy readers who enjoyed the original story of Carin and Verek, or whether the “new me” is straying too far from readers’ expectations.
In the meantime, here’s the working draft of the book blurb. Any and all comments will be appreciated:
It’s five years later, Carin and Verek are married with children, and the grandparents are calling. Readers of the Waterspell fantasy series will welcome this long-awaited fourth book for the answers it provides to questions raised in volumes 1 through 3: Does the wysard Verek regain his powers, and will Carin make her way back to him? Have Carin’s parents survived the bleeding disease that devastated Earth, and will Carin ever see them again? How is the woodsprite faring in its new world? Has it forgiven the treachery committed by its greatest friend? Will Carin ever forgive herself for abandoning the creature? Does Megella get her wish, to be the wisewoman who midwifes Carin’s children into the world? Will those children bear the mark of their ancestry, or are they fated to be disappointingly ungifted? Did Lanse survive? Is Lord Legary really dead? And not least: Did the necromancer die in the jaws of Carin’s conjured dragon? Remember: There was no blood in the water. These questions and more are answered in Waterspell Book 4: The Witch, which picks up the story of the lovers, Carin and Verek, five years after readers last saw the pair separated in the closing chapters of the series’ third book. By the blood of Abraxas, it’s about time we learned what happened next.
Making a place for yourself in a world where you don't belong takes courage. So does moving in with a warlock.
“I was hooked instantly. I willingly gave up sleep and could not wait to get up to read more. I’m reading the whole series, and absolutely loving it.” —Sarah, Amazon
“Jane Eyre meets Beauty and the Beast. Amazing story, very original. Great series.” —Emma, Amazon UK
“I absolutely loved all four books! You kept your storyline throughout the four books brilliantly. The characters were all genuine and relatable.” —Carol, Goodreads
“Lightfoot has a sure touch with regard to characterisation. Each of her characters has their own authentic and convincing voice. Narrative, description and speech are exceptionally well-balanced.” —Martin Dukes, author of the Alex Trueman Chronicles
“Complicated characters, plot twists, romance, adventure, and magic — all written in a voice that immerses you in a fantasy world both foreign and familiar. Get the box set because you won’t want to leave this world.” —Beck Digs It, Amazon
“Such a joy to narrate this. It didn’t feel like work. The story and characters take flight so naturally and then soar.” —Simon de Deney
“A riveting series. Well written, excellent world-building with an engaging plot in each book and well-developed characters. I was gripped right from the start with twists I didn’t see and unpredictability.” —Aria, NetGalley
“I was HOOKED. I read until 3 am two nights in a row to finish this. The magic system is unique and the characters are as morally gray as they come.” —Megan, Goodreads
“A great read that features world building with drama and magical characters. Highly recommended.” —Neil, Amazon
“An extraordinary book, four in fact! I read these over a five-day period and found the storytelling fantastic. See for yourself!” —Michelle, NetGalley
“Addictive epic fantasy, with drama and adventure. I binged through the books, eager to see how the story unfolds. Great book. 5 stars.” —Di, NetGalley
“In this four-book saga, the author has created an epic fantasy world full of magic, danger, romance, and travel through time and space. The characters are vivid and complex. This is a most enjoyable read for fans of fantasy and fine writing.” —Shirley, NetGalley
“An entertaining, fast paced, and well-plotted fantasy series. The world building is fascinating, and the characters fleshed out. Highly recommended.” —Anna Maria, NetGalley
“Captivating. I loved this series from beginning to end. Complex characters who mature through the series and unexpected plot twists kept me reading far too late into the night.” —Amy, Amazon
Castles in the cornfield provided the setting for Deborah J. Lightfoot’s earliest flights of fancy. On her father’s farm in Texas, she grew up reading tales of adventure and reenacting them behind ramparts of sun-drenched grain. She left the farm to earn a degree in journalism and write award-winning books of history and biography. High on her bucket list was the desire to try her hand at the genre she most admired. The result is Waterspell, a multi-layered, intricately detailed fantasy about a girl and the wizard who suspects her of being so dangerous to his world, he believes he’ll have to kill her … which troubles him, since he’s fallen in love with her. Deborah is a professional member of The Authors Guild. She lives in the country near Fort Worth, Texas.
Magic, mystery, murder, and romance. Waterspell: An intricate save-the-world fantasy adventure with complex characters, cosmic calamities, and the gothic sensibilities of Jane Eyre.
Mix environmental fantasy with magic, mystery, and a little slow-burning romance, add dystopian undercurrents, and that’s the Waterspell series—a cross-genre story with too many layers for a single label.