Hello, anyone who is wanting to know what the heck is going on with me and my books! And the goats, too. Although, alas, I believe the goats have relocated to the mountains of Elsewhere, or else the people pretending to be werewolves howling outside my apartment building at random ungodly hours of night have gotten to them. Crunch. Oops.
So, I have not stopped writing! In fact, I have been a writing maniac (except with regard to my blog, apparently). I do nothing but work, write, eat, sleep, read, and do all the laborious labors real life makes you do in between, like grocery shopping and cleaning cat litter and actually taking care of the person who happens to be visiting from the Seychelles – alright, so my hostess skills aren’t quite up to par; mostly I just went to work and wrote while he cooked and cleaned, although one day we did stumble upon a really cool light show at Old Town Square!
And, of course, I also try to squeeze in some social interaction…
With regard to book life and what you can expect, I would like, God willing, to get two books out by the end of November / very beginning of December (three if my co-author Iris wants to self-publish our dystopian collaboration!). I’ll put some excerpts below, but first, what do you think of my new covers for Heiress of Healing and Heiress of Magic?
It’s my book my book my book!
Oh, and I keep forgetting my poor just-for-silly-fun novella, Never Trust a Prince. It, too, has a new cover!
As for the cats, here’s Zulejka looking like she’s smoking weed – or something – although really it’s just a chunk of Sep’s fur that she bit off him.
And here is Sep’s new style. Yup, Sep, I tell him, that’s what happens when you crawl under clothes in the laundry basket. You unwittingly put them on. And the dude’s just trying to be cool about it like, Yeah, I know, I meant to do this.
In other news, upon talking to my father a few months ago, I told him about putting my new book out and having a book launch (at which he was suitably impressed until I mentioned my chumming it up with the alcohol), then I told him about how the writers’ group is sort of taking off and how many writers I now know, and my dad – okay, my dad says, “Well, hey, maybe you’ll become known as a collector of authors.”
A collector of authors.
Let’s all take a moment and think about how creepy that is.
And I’m like, “Dad, I’m not a collector of authors, I am an author myself. I wrote like a 600-page book!”
And he’s like, “And moving on…”
Ha ha ha so, yeah, and in order for me to be even creepier, I’m going to put up pictures at the end of this blog post of books I’ve gotten from some really awesome authors I know personally (though so far I’ve only actually met one in person!). Guys and gals, I promise you I have no intention of ‘collecting’ you, in any way, shape or form whatsoever. Your books, however, yes!
And now, finally, excerpt time!
So, the first book I’d like to get out by the end of November is a pseudo-dystopian-fantasy-whatever called Try to Control Us about people whose government mutates them so that almost all of them have wings. Yeah, ahem, well, I did say pseudo-something, right? The book is told from two points of view.
Here’s an excerpt from one of Anzaria’s scenes:
Shoving his hands in his pocket and hunching his shoulders, Jace shrugs and gives another wisp of a smile. “Just making sure you get home alright. Some idiots saw me with you this afternoon and knew you were with the NAT and thought roughing me up a bit would send a message of what you should tell the rest of the city. The cagers took a tad bit longer to intrude than I would have liked.” His eyes slide around nervously, but hardly anyone’s left in the business part of the city after work ops ends. “I don’t see anyone here now, but still…”
He trails off and gapes a bit like a guppy, his eyes focusing on a point over my shoulder and widening – and they aren’t stopping.
“Who is this, Anza girl?”
Ted halts beside me and looms over us with admirable aplomb, a lamp behind him throwing his shadow over Jace, reminding me of a cartoon where a towering monster’s shadow covers the tiny quaking hero.
I gesture. “Ted, this is Jace, a friend from school. Jace, this is my stepfather Ted.”
“A friend, you say?” Ted smiles, rather like a lethal predator baring its incisors in a game called Just-give-me-a-reason-to-eat-you. “Come shake my hand, my boy.”
Jace casts me a slightly desperate glance as if asking where I get my relatives, then extends his hand as if he’s never going to see it again.
And here is an excerpt from one of Cascade’s scenes:
“Look.” I try for conversational. “I’m not going back. You don’t stand a chance against my fire even if you’re doused in Nurav. If you don’t let me pass, there’s only one way this can go.”
“Or another.” The cager shifts the muzzle of the gun to Lunar. Those around him follow suit.
Lunar goes rigid and the cager’s smile goes tight. “Every single gun in this room is trained on your friend, Ms. Andronica.”
I glance aside. Those behind also have their weapons cocked and their bullets set on a straight course for Lunar.
“You may be able to kill me and all of those in front of you,” the cager continues coolly, “but you won’t be able to get those behind until he’s dead from ten bullets in the back of his head.”
The world becomes an eminently strange and peculiar place for me then. It goes somehow hot and cold and distant, trapping me in a decision I don’t want to make; never thought I would have to make. I feel a million miles away and yet I notice every single minute detail. The breathing of every single cager with his weapon trained on Lunar. The angle of every single barrel, perfectly aimed.
The ice-coldness of his hand in mine. The tiny pulse of his heartbeat pumping blood through his fingers, that tiny proof of life that gives me hope that the countless dreams I’ve had of him can still take on flesh.
I shut my eyes, breathing in the musty stairwell, the stink of rotten fear seeping out of the sweating armpits of those who have pitted themselves against me and Lunar. I think of all the times I clung to his presence when I wanted to give up under some new torment my father devised. How I held tight to the fantasy of Lunar’s unyielding mouth on mine, his whispers coaxing my pain to sleep while coaxing my passion to life, his caresses closing my mind and opening my thighs, his body pushing my pain out and pushing himself in. I surrendered myself to him so often that I became his whore, used a thousand times over and made his in a million passion-breathed confessions. It was always his face, his pitiless, narrow face that held mine while I trembled and softened under him, him that watched me. He claimed my innocence so many times it can never be given to anyone else because it is already his, his in every single dream world that exists and even those that don’t.
Anza may be the thread that holds me to sanity, but Lunar is the one that holds me to survival.
My eyes open, weighing the worth of every single life around me on a balance against Lunar.
The second book I’d like out by the end of November / beginning of December is Heiress of Shadow, following two main story-lines, one of Ara, a half shadow-hungry girl, and one of Velissi, a shapechanger held captive by the shadow-hungry.
Here’s an excerpt from one of Ara’s parts:
She stared blankly at the next-to-useless letter, then scream-growled and tried to incinerate it, forgetting her magic was wrapped up in the magic-suppressing chains. Tricks and spells demanding she play assailed her, at which she snarled and instead crumpled the parchment up, tossed it on the hay, and stomped on it. Repeatedly. Shouting invectives. Growling and snarling some more in between.
Her mother wanted her to leave the city, to travel across weir territory – when weirs knew what she was and wanted to kill her – to the shadowlands and stop her father. Stop her brother. Stop the undead.
While her skull cleaved in two every time she tried to so much as prick their finger.
She could see the face-off now. Her, facing her father, brother, and moaning undead army. She tries to stub one of their toes and goes down, felled by her own magic, and all hope for humanity goes down with her. Splattering on the ground. Destroyed for her failure to stub a toe. Because, after all, that’s mean-spirited.
Dropping down on her back, the hay poking her through the material of her tunic and smelling of spores and mold, she started to laugh. Rolling over on her side, the musty hay now pricking her cheeks, she laughed even harder.
She laughed until tears streaked down her cheeks, until her jailors brought her bread and cheese and tossed it on the grimy stone floor.
Then she sat up, stopped laughing, and ate.
Because, of course, she had some toe-stubbing to do. Some skull-splitting to experience. A brother to laugh at her. Some undead to eat her.
Assuming she even got past the weirs who hated her.
Here’s an excerpt from one of Velissi’s parts:
Yuliana shifted beside her, and Velissi could sense words hovering on the woman’s lips, wanting to be set free, and yet she forcibly kept them back and denied them freedom.
And before Velissi herself waited the shadow-hungry female. Shanira. Her blue eyes so like those of the shadow-hungry that had knelt above Velissi just yesterday and forced her transformation back into a human woman.
Why wouldn’t they all just leave her alone?
Because you’re a captive, answered the cruel truth. And – her eyes skirted over the pregnant bellies the other women huddled around her – you will soon carry a half-shadow-hungry child yourself, perhaps one with the same blue eyes as the woman before you.
A sob escaped her, but Velissi choked it back. No one else here wept. She wouldn’t, either.
She could face all that they did – and more.
Before fear could cripple her again, she pushed herself up on her knees, her joints stiff and her movements jerky. The stone dug into her kneecaps and toes, but she flung her head back and jutted out her jaw. “Fine. If you must do this, then get it over with.”
With another deferential nod, the shadow-hungry female stretched out her hand.
Well, I hope some of those excerpts sound good! Let me know what you think.
And in other news, did I ever say how much I love living in Prague? Yesterday after the writers’ meetup I decided to go to Old Town Square and get a Trdelnik (this tubular doughy treat covered in sugar and cinnamon!) and on the way I passed some people dressed in ceremonial Native American Indian garb and some guys playing some drummy techno music and I thought, yeah, Prague is cool.
Then, once I had my trdelnik in hand and was munching on it and getting sugar all over my mouth, I headed back to the metro and came across this shouting group of people marching down the street with the guy in the lead dressed up as a čert, which is something like a playful demon from hell (yes, apparently these exist), only this guy might have been like the king of hell because he was big with lots of fur and a beard and he was shouting like he was the leader of the pack. All very fun.
And so I thought again, Yeah, Prague is a cool place, I should get out more.
And then: Okay, that’s enough. Let’s go home now and write.
Yeah, recluse. What can you do?
And now – drumroll! – the books I own by authors I know!
Alright, so the first book I have from a published author I know is Healer’s Touch written by the talented Deb E. Howell (see book blurb below the picture). She’s also coming out with the sequel Warrior’s Touch hopefully sometime soon! I met her on Jottify when I was drooling over the excerpts she’d put up from Healer’s Touch, so you can bet I’m happy to have a physical copy of it and would recommend it to anyone! 🙂
I also have a copy of Aprille Legacy’s Soul Blaze! (see book blurb below the picture) Soul Blaze is the sequel to Soul Fire, both amazingly enjoyable and definitely recommended. Aprille is a really fantastic girl from Australia who writes fun YA fantasy! And she’s also working on a dystopian – and others that she’s keeping secret 🙂
I also have Michael Pockley’s The Merchant’s Tale, a fun romp of a historical romance and highly recommended – especially for those who enjoy historicals with writing styles that keep your mind on its (toes?) and looking up Latin phrases! 🙂 I met him in person because, of course, we had our book launch together, and he is one of the greatest men I know! Very talented, too. He also paints and has a short book called How to Meditate on the Train.
I am also the proud owner of a physical copy of Conversations With Spirits (see book blurb below the picture), written in a lovely and elegant writing style by the extremely charming author Edward Higgins!
And so, with that, I wish everyone happy reading and fun-filled living!