Catching Stars

A witch on the run. A boy wanted for murder. In a kingdom where  corruption and magic go hand-in-hand, Jayin and Maddix must survive each other if they want to survive at all.
A 350-page fantasy book
Reader, writer, student. Trying to give this publishing thing a whirl. 
Quill goal: 250 copies
funding
3
days left
289/750
pre-ordered
About Catching Stars

Maddix Kell is not a murderer. Unfortunately for him, all of Aestos thinks otherwise. Jayin Ijaad is a witch on the run. Hunted for her unique abilities, she hides in plain sight from an unspeakable past.

Bound together by violence, fate, and a fair bit of magic, Jayin and Maddix must set aside their prejudices if they want to survive. Witchhunters, vengeance, and a darkness that spreads like a plague... Welcome to the Kingdom of Aestos.

The idea for Catching Stars came to me during a philosophy lecture, of all places. Maddix and Jayin sucked me into their story and wouldn’t let go until I’d built an entire world (and half of a language) for them to explore. This book is the product of nearly a year of research, writing, editing, re-writing, and trying not to get sucked into the Netflix rabbit-hole.

So how can you help?

Pre-orders! Every person who orders the book gets me closer to my goal. If I hit 250 orders, Inkshares will publish Catching Stars through their Quill imprint, and if I make it to 750 pre-orders, I will be paired with an editorial and marketing team, and the book will be distributed in stores nationwide. Your interest and support means the world to me, so order if you can, and if not, please spread the word.

Read part of Catching Stars
Chapter 1
a 10 minute read

Maddix wasn’t afraid of witches. There wasn’t anything to be afraid of. Everyone knew that magic was dying out. Even the Kingswitch, the most powerful sahir in their land – in any land – was said to be losing his abilities. The stories said that something in their Oldlands, whatever gave them their magic, was losing power and sucking the witches dry. Though he had no way of knowing what was true, Maddix relished the thought that the source of the sahir’s life and vitality was killing them.

Another widespread rumor was that they were being called back into the Dark. It was common knowledge that the witches came from across the sea, but some people said that they had sold their souls in return for power. The magic had spread from generation to generation until it was a veritable plague throughout the Three Kingdoms. But now, their contract was up and all of them were being pulled into the Dark where they belonged.

How it happened didn’t much matter to him. Maddix was of age and a proud member of the King’s Guard, though he hadn’t been one for long. He had only been given his pin a month ago, but it had been the proudest moment of his life. Finally, he was free to roam Pavaal as he pleased and given the respect he rightfully deserved. With any luck he would rise quickly through the ranks, maybe even make it to Ayrie Palace. He had his whole life ahead of him and Maddix didn’t need anything as troublesome as witches mucking it up. Besides, their numbers were dwindling even within the protection of the city walls. Maddix didn’t understand why the King hadn’t exiled the whole stinking lot of them. What did witches do, except cause trouble and live better than the rest of them? For no reason but that they’d been born with magic, the witches lived in the Palace, while Maddix and the rest of the Aestosi had to fight to survive.

It didn’t matter now – witches and their privilege didn’t matter. He was a man grown, with a profession that afforded him dignity and honor. Darek, his roommate in the barracks, said that some of the Guards went their whole lives without seeing a single sahir.

Maddix was confident that he would be just as lucky. He had a star, a star that looked out just for him. Luck wasn’t easy to come by for a kid growing up in the Gull. Maddix didn’t have any family or real home, just a bed in the orphanage. He bunked with Pavaal’s strays until they were old enough to work or they ran away, whichever came first. Sometimes he used to sneak out of the Gull and watch as the Kingswitch and the other sahir from Ayrie Palace paraded through the merchant sectors, hoping that maybe if he got close enough their magic would rub off on him. He’d been young and stupid then, and hadn’t yet known that the witches were a blight on their world.

The only thing he had left of his parents hung around his neck, an amulet that had been found with him. Maddix might have ended up in the gangs or dead in a ditch like most of the other boys he’d known, but...

Discuss Catching Stars with the Author.
Q3b8dclf

Hi Aestosi!

If you’ve been hearing a ringing in your ears, it’s probably me screaming because WE MADE QUILL! 250 people believe in Catching Stars enough to pre-order in advance, and thanks to your help, we will be published.  

I am so grateful to each and every one of you for giving me a shot. I am hard at work editing and polishing my manuscript so that is the very best it can be and I cannot wait for everyone to receive their copy!

Thank you all so much,

Cayla 

Q3b8dclf

Hi Aestosi!

I hope you all are having a restful Sunday. I just wanted to pop by with some updates from this week!

We hit 200 preorders! Whoohoo! I am beyond ecstatic about the boost in sales this week and I am so thankful for everyone who went out of their way to help me make this dream a reality. Only 43 more preorders until I’m guaranteed light publication and you all will hold your own copy of Catching Stars in your hands!

Also! I was featured in my college’s newspaper, The Ram, this week! The reporter did a great job on the piece, and you can read it here

There’s a little over 60 days to make it to 250, or 750, so if any of you are still on the fence, check out the first two chapters. If you like it, tell your friends! Tell your enemies! Tell anyone and everyone!

Again, and as always, thank you all. I am lucky and grateful to have so many phenomenal people in my corner.

Best,

Cayla

Q3b8dclf

Hi Aestosi!

I don’t know about you all, but it has been a very, very long week. As always, thank you to all who followed or pre-ordered in the last few days - you all are so important to me, and without you, none of this would be possible. 

Good news! I have been working tirelessly on my most recent draft of Catching Stars, which is coming along nicely. My beta, Shiela, is an absolute godsend and the wind beneath my wings, and we’re whipping the manuscript into shape! I’ve made some progress on the sequel as well, which as of right now doesn’t have a title but neither did Catching Stars until weeks after it was completed so I’m not worried about it. 

To everyone who reviewed or recommended this week: Thank you! Your kind words are what get me through and I appreciate each and every one of you. We’re 103 away from the Quill imprint and I have no doubt that we’ll make it!

That’s all for now, but I’ll be sure to update you all with any new developments. 

Best,

Cayla

Q3b8dclf

Hi Aestosi!

I know it’s late and you heard from me literally 5 hours ago but....

125 pre-orders as of about an hour ago! I am beside myself with joy and so lucky to have so many people willing to take a chance on me and Catching Stars! You are the best support system a girl could ask for - let’s keep it going! 

Enjoy your weekend!

Cayla

Q3b8dclf

Hi Aestosi!

We’re almost halfway there! With your help we’ve hit 119 pre-orders in less than two weeks! I cannot begin to express how grateful I am to all of you. You are all instrumental in making my dream a reality. 

Also! My local newspaper did a story on Catching Stars, which is here if you’d like to check it out. The reporter was really fun to talk to and did a great job on the article. 

As always, I need your help to keep this project alive. The first two chapters are available now, so if any of you are on the fence about pre-ordering, check them out! And if you have ordered, please share with your network of friends, family...anyone who might like YA fantasy. 

Have an awesome Saturday night and for everyone in the US, enjoy the extra hour of sleep tonight!

Cayla

Q3b8dclf

Hello again Aestosi!

It’s me again. I wasn’t intending to reach out again until I hit 100 pre-orders and not only did I hit 100 today, I hit 105! I am beyond thrilled and so so so grateful. I cannot tell you all enough how much this means to me. 

In order to celebrate, I have posted Chapter 2 of Catching Stars. If you’re on the fence about ordering, please take a look at the second chapter and I’m sure you’ll be swayed onto Team Aestos! And again, reviews and recommendations mean the world to me. 

Thank you all so much and let’s keep the momentum going!

Cayla Keenan 


Q3b8dclf

Good evening Aestosi! 

As the first day of November comes to a close, so does the first week of sales! I am simply blown away by the outpouring of support. 85 pre-orders in the seven days is simply amazing and I am so grateful for each and every one of them. This represents 35% of my light publishing goal and 11% of the 750 pre-orders I need for full publication through Inkshares. 

I am so happy to have piqued the interest of so many people in the first week and I’m hoping to keep the momentum going. If you read the first chapter of the book and enjoyed it, please write a review! Feedback means the world to me, and helps to attract readers on the site. Catching Stars has been trending all week and I’m hoping to keep up the trend. 

And now, here is my call to action: If you guys liked the book enough to pre-order it, please share! Facebook, Twitter, word of mouth, everything and anything helps. Hopefully we will reach the Quill goal of 250 pre-orders in the coming weeks and I can’t do it without you, my readers. 

Finally, and most importantly, thank you. This has been my dream for as long as I can remember, and you guys are instrumental in making it come true. 

Best, and happy November!

Cayla Keenan 

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