ROSE & THUNDER release!

R&T_draft4 I am sunk in the gutting and rewriting of Blood Call, so much so that I almost missed the most auspicious (and terrifying) of things for a writer: release day! Rose & Thunder is now live in all formats!

Beauty…

Isabella Harpe, last in a long line of witches, drifts with the wind. Her tarot cards always ready to bring in enough to live on, and her instincts keep her mostly out of trouble. Unfortunately, bad boyfriends and even worse luck strand her near the most dangerous place for a witch to land-beside a cursed town, and an even more cursed man.

The roses…

Jeremy Tremont’s family built their house over an ancient place of power, turning it into an uneasy, rose-choked sanctuary for the weird and the dangerous alike. Scarred, quiet, and difficult, he’s not Isabella’s idea of a prospective employer, no matter how badly she needs the money. He’s paying well, and there’s only one catch: she has to be home by dusk. Because in Tremont City, bad things happen after nightfall.

And the curse.

Secrets hide in every corner, an ancient curse cloaks itself in silence, and Isabella’s arrival has begun a deadly countdown. Despite that, she may have found a home-all she has to do is figure out how to break the curse.

Oh, and survive in the dark…

My faithful and beloved assistant Skyla swears that her real boyfriend in this book is the Tremont house, which owes a great deal to Robin McKinley’s Beauty, holding pride of place on my favorites shelf for a reason.

I love both Jeremy and Isabella; this book is set in the Watchers/Valentine universe and was just a ton of fun to write. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairytale; I will probably revisit it again at some point. I hope my dear Readers enjoy it as well.

Now available direct or at Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and All Romance Ebooks.

Boxes

boxes

A garden is time accumulation. You work a little, then wait; work a little more, then wait. Wait some more. Then work, and wait. It’s like publishing, except with publishing you can work while you wait, and in a garden you can’t make stuff grow faster and there’s only so much weeding that can be accomplished before diminishing returns sets in.

So, right now these boxes are just in the prep stage, a cover crop of field peas and oats in them. That will grow all summer and be mulched in when it dies back in winter. Next year maybe I’ll do the monster daikon, then it will be time to plant my rue, my mugwort, and other useful things.

For right now, though…we wait.

Supportive Like Wonderbra

Carriger_Prudence-HC I’m over at the Orbit blog today, interviewing Gail Carrier for her new release, Prudence. It’s my first interview ever–asking the questions, not answering them–and Ms Carriger was very gracious. I hope you like it!

I’m happy to report that the Certain Situation with That Certain Publisher has been…resolved…now. Thank you all for the messages of support. It was an extremely unpleasant set of circumstances, but it’s behind me now.

Also in the “good news” category: I got a surprise visit yesterday from my girl C, who is DONE WITH CHEMO and CANCER-FREE. *throws confetti* It was amazing to see her on the mend, hair reappearing, and her old wicked sense of humor still intact. (I may have misted up a little.) Best of all, the kids both have sniffles but she didn’t have to avoid us, because her blood counts are recovering. When you have kids and pets, immune-compromised friends can have a rough time just dropping by.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to her medical costs, and thank you for all the supportive messages for C, too. You guys are wonderful, as uplifting as sports brassieres but not nearly as pinch or rash-inducing. I have a lot to be grateful for.

Not least on the gratitude list is the fact that I’m going to finish Cal & Trinity, if not today then tomorrow. I can feel the book boiling under my skin, and the lunge for the end has begun. It will be nice to get the zero for that shoved into a mental drawer so I can revise Blood Call with a clear conscience.

Thank you, dear Readers. You’re a wonderful bunch.

Off I go to stumble for a finish line somewhere, anywhere…

Rose & Thunder Cover Reveal!

Rose&Thunder-lg Your eyes do not deceive you, dear Reader. Ebooks of Rose & Thunder, my very own retelling of Beauty & the Beast, are now available for preorder at Smashwords, Amazon, and All Romance Ebooks! (Please note, this is only the ebook edition!)

I’m pretty thrilled; this is my favorite fairytale, and my own telling of it owes a great deal to Robin McKinley’s Beauty, as well as to a lovely Persian version that still gives me chills. Nods are given to Tanith Lee’s Estel, and the Brothers Grimm, of course.

Beauty…

Isabella Harpe, last in a long line of witches, drifts with the wind. Her tarot cards always ready to bring in enough to live on, and her instincts keep her mostly out of trouble. Unfortunately, bad boyfriends and even worse luck strand her near the most dangerous place for a witch to land—beside a cursed town, and an even more cursed man.

The roses…

Jeremy Tremont’s family built their house over an ancient place of power, turning it into an uneasy, rose-choked sanctuary for the weird and the dangerous alike. Scarred, quiet, and difficult, Tremont’s not Isabella’s idea of a prospective employer, no matter how badly she needs the money. He’s paying well, and there’s only one catch: she has to be home by dusk. Because in Tremont City, bad things happen after nightfall.

And the curse.

Secrets hide in every corner, an ancient curse cloaks itself in silence, and Isabella’s arrival has begun a deadly countdown. Despite that, she may have found a home—all she has to do is figure out how to break the curse.

Oh, and survive in the dark…

The paper edition is scheduled for a March 20 release, but in the meantime you can preorder the ebook, if that’s your thing. Thanks are due to Skyla Dawn Cameron, my own personal saint of layout, formatting, and cover design.

Real Commitment

swac Issue 21 of Fireside is out, which means more Geoff and Abby! True to form, Abby’s decided the most efficient way to get what she wants, and in this case, that means getting into a bar-brawl.

Do I even need to say how much I really like this character? Once she makes up her mind, she is ALL IN, no matter the craziness. I respect that, both in characters and in meatspace. It shows real commitment.

kin Also, tomorrow is the release day for KIN, my retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. Preorders and first-week book orders are important, so I’m going to be hitting the marketing gong for a little bit.

This is the last YA book I’ll be releasing for a good long while, possibly ever. Publishing in YA for Strange Angels was a wonderful experience, but there was a certain friction between the publisher, I think, wanting something a little more “marketable” and me in my corner, just not that sort of writer. The issues became somewhat acute during the fairytale retellings. I do not write by committee and will resist, in any way possible, any suggestion meant to take the blood and guts out of a story because “kids can’t handle that!” I refuse to “talk down” to younger readers, and while I think the fan response justifies that, it’s nerve-wracking for a publisher. I perhaps wasn’t as graceful as I could be during the whole process, either. During Wayfarer, the Cinderella retelling, I was buying a house, and we all remember how stressful THAT was.

So, yeah. The constraints of YA, and the energy spent fighting against dilution and bullshit in that genre, mean I’m tapped out and won’t return there for a good long while.

All that aside, I love the fairytale retellings with a fierce, fierce love. I fought for them, and the covers are wonderful, and I think in each of them I ended up saying what I set out to say. I think that comes through in them. I hope readers agree.

Goodies

Goodies

Goodies from the party a few weeks ago. You know it’s true friendship when someone encourages you to stick little paper parasols into EVERYTHING, because hey, you’ve got a packet of hundreds of them and you might as well.

New Watchers!

Dark Watcher Well, not quite new. More like, re-edited and re-released with a BRAND NEW COVER. Yep, that’s right–all my old ImaJinn books are getting brushed up (it’s every writer’s dream, to be able to go back and edit something after it’s been published, right?) and given fresh new covers to boot.

How did this happen? Well, BelleBooks acquired ImaJinn, and I was offered a the chance to revise and get lovely new covers. (If I keep going on and on about the covers, it’s because that’s one of the many things authors have little to no control over, and it’s really, really nice to get old ones, well, fixed.)

Dark Watcher was the first book I ever sold, over a decade ago. Getting a chance to revisit it was pretty marvelous. After weeping vigorously about the number of sins I committed in text (if you’re not looking at stuff you wrote even six months ago and cringing a little, you’re not growing as a writer, I always say) I set to work, and the result is respectable, if I do say so myself. If you like my earlier paranormal romance work, with my trademark blood and violence, this might be right up your alley.

Right now the new e-edition of Dark Watcher is available through Amazon (oh, the irony) and Barnes & Noble, but the changes should propagate out to other platforms as the year winds down. I’m told all four of the initial books will be released again by the end of the year, and I’ll announce each one here. That means Storm Watcher, Fire Watcher, and Cloud Watcher will be out by the end of the year, all shiny and new again. Next year is for the Society series, and everyone’s favourite (demon’s) librarian. Again, I’ll be announcing the new editions here, and please, if you want to buy them, make sure you’re getting the ones with the new covers! Getting the paper ones in stock might take a little longer. Sorry about that.

This bit of news has been long in the offing, and I’m so excited to finally be able to announce it I’m wriggling in my chair. (I know, that’s a mental image you didn’t need. You’re welcome!) And now I have to get back to work, making more words for you. Best job in the world, more days than not.

Another Witch’s Year

spiac-o-lantern And a very happy Samhain to you, my dears. May the year be full of happy peace and plenty. Calling the kids’ schools to tell them the Prince and Princess will be absent for a religious observance each Samhain is one of the highlights of my year, I can tell you that.

It’s a quiet morning, full of the sound of rain. When I glance out my window I can see splashes of bright-painted leaves. There’s fairy rings all over–mushrooms, springing up in circles. Given that I’m writing about the Folk, it gives me a shiver every once in a while.

shrooooooms

Of course, there are other groups of fungi, and solitary ones, but they don’t make for as good a story, now do they? (Episodes of Hannibal aside, that is.)

Today we’ll carve pumpkins, tonight we’ll burn joss paper wishes, the kids will have a marvelous time, and we’ll go over the Candy Rules one more time: none before breakfast, none after brushing your teeth at night. It only took eating themselves sick on it once before they learned to self-regulate, thank goodness. Just like it only took them one tantrum to discover that will never get you what you want from me. Smart kids.

Be safe out there tonight, chickadees. See you in a bit.

photo by: istolethetv

Audible SquirrelTerror!

Squirrel!Terror GUESS WHAT.

You can now get the adventures of Neo and the gang in audiobook form, narrated by the amazing Marci Himelson! Right now it’s just available through Audible, but in a couple days it’ll be available through iTunes as well. I’m very pleased with Marci’s work, and I hope you are too. I’m still looking for the perfect narrator for Selene, but that just may not happen.

I may have to put together the adventures of Napoleon!Squirrel, too. This backyard isn’t as crazy as the other one, but enough certainly goes on, especially with Odd Trundles around. He’s a lover, not a fighter, and he loves EVERYTHING. (Sometimes a little too much.)

Anyway, it’s amazing. I had no idea the squirrel stories were going to prove this popular. Enjoy!

From Vodka to Uncanny

Manuscript This morning I interred a dead squirrel, and other than a slightly surreal conversation with a neighbour who inquired “what’s in the bag?” (Answer: “A dead body. Wanna see?”)…nothing happened. All went smoothly, with no screaming, shoelessness, canine follies, or feline insanity.

Anticlimactic, ennit? But also strangely thrilling in its own way.

ETA: Since so many have asked, NO, it was most emphatically NOT Beauregarde. It was a lady squirrel from another territory up the street.

In other news, I’m revising the first Gallow book (again, I keep stabbing it and it WON’T DIE) and catching up on some reading.

I finished Mark Lawrence Schrad’s Vodka Politics. The basic premise–that the autocratic regimes in Russia have profited so extensively from vodka–by taxation or in other ways, like Catherine the Great’s marinating a regiment in booze as she asked for their protection, just for example–that what he calls “vodka politics” has infiltrated almost every aspect of governance and has also grown intertwined with the culture, with predictably disastrous demographic results, is intriguing and I found much to bolster it in his sources and footnotes. I especially enjoyed reading about Murray Feshbach, a kickass demographic researcher and scholar, who I had no idea even existed. There were also historical nuggets I could have read all day, from Empress Elizabeth’s ascension to Stalin’s drunken parties, and the anecdote about Nicholas II so drunk he climbed onto roofs and howled at the moon, believing himself a werewolf. Schrad’s careful tracing of the financial consequences of depending on vodka taxation for a significant chunk of the government’s budget and the various Prohibition-esque reforms blowing holes in said budgets and causing unrest was compelling.

Unfortunately, Schrad needed a better copyeditor. The homophone abuse really detracted from an otherwise stellar reading experience. My personal favourite was a passage about people so desperate for vodka they drank “break fluid.” It sounds picky, but the confused homonyms and homophones were so marked I felt like I was reading a poorly-edited college paper, full of great ideas and solid research but crippled by a lack of basic grammar study.

I’m also within spitting distance of finishing Renee Bergland’s The National Uncanny. From Barnes & Noble:

Although spectral Indians appear with startling frequency in US literary works, until now the implications of describing them as ghosts have not been thoroughly investigated. In the first years of nationhood, Philip Freneau and Sarah Wentworth Morton peopled their works with Indian phantoms, as did Charles Brocken Brown, Washington Irving, Samuel Woodworth, Lydia Maria Child, James Fenimore Cooper, William Apess, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and others who followed. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Native American ghosts figured prominently in speeches attributed to Chief Seattle, Black Elk, and Kicking Bear. Today, Stephen King and Leslie Marmon Silko plot best-selling novels around ghostly Indians and haunted Indian burial grounds.

Renée L. Bergland argues that representing Indians as ghosts internalizes them as ghostly figures within the white imagination. Spectralization allows white Americans to construct a concept of American nationhood haunted by Native Americans, in which Indians become sharers in an idealized national imagination. However, the problems of spectralization are clear, since the discourse questions the very nationalism it constructs. Indians who are transformed into ghosts cannot be buried or evaded, and the specter of their forced disappearance haunts the American imagination. Indian ghosts personify national guilt and horror, as well as national pride and pleasure. Bergland tells the story of a terrifying and triumphant American aesthetic that repeatedly transforms horror into glory, national dishonor into national pride.

So far the most interesting and intriguing part of the book has been about William Apess; Bergland makes a case for his successful espousal and development of nonviolent resistance during the Mashpee Revolt of 1833 (here’s a good source) spurring Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience. I’ll have more to say when I finish it–I am really interested to see what she says about Leslie Marmon Silko–but so far the book has been two thumbs way, way up and I have a list of texts she references that I should probably pick up for my own perusal.

And that’s, as they say, all the news fit to print today. Time to make a cuppa and settle into revisions once more, so I can get this book off my plate before the first of October.

Looking at that, I find myself wondering if wine might be a better bet, but it’s still before noon…

photo by: Muffet