Author Interview with Jessica McHugh

By now, you all know that I’m a total wuss. I don’t like jump scares. I can do gore in movies/on television because I desensitized myself through a research binge on practical effects, but there’s no protective layer between the visceral on the page and my imagination. So while I desperately wanted to read Jessica McHugh’s latest novel, Nightly Owl, Fatal Raven, to support my friend and fellow Raw Dog Screaming Press author…I “noped” right out of there at about the 20 percent mark on my Kindle. This book is raw, evocative, and fabulous. You should go read it to make up for my inability to finish it!


Nightly Owl Fatal RavenABOUT THE BOOK

Since the rise of The Council, an oligarchy of despots and deviants, the legendary Capesman undertakes daily soul collections from Cartesia’s wasteland cities and battlefields. He also frequents Malay Prison, where a vigilante named Shal plots her escape. Armed with a thirst for vengeance and a sharp Shakespearean tongue, Shal must navigate a maze of trauma to save Cartesia and protect her sister from the brutal machinations of Chancellor Doa.

It will require all of Shal’s strength and cunning to resurrect her former army, battle the betrayals of the past, and avenge her father’s death. Will she survive long enough to see the Council fall, or is the Capesman coming for her next?

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | From the Publisher


This novel has a long and storied history. I know you’ve probably shared it a million times by now, but do you mind humoring me?

I was twenty when I jotted down my first notes about what would become Nightly Owl, Fatal Raven on the guest checks at a sub shop called Bubba’s. At the time it was called A Mover of Stones but still focused on the character Shal, who ultimately leads a revolution against a corrupt government. As I developed Shal and the world of Cartesia, the book changed into From the Herald’s Wearied Eye and became an ultraviolent tale about trauma and revenge. It was published by Reliquary Press in 2009, and I thought that was where the story would end. But when that contract ran out, I took another look at the story and realized there was a better way to tell it. While it’s still violent, I brought more thoughtfulness and maturity to the rewrite. In the end, out fluttered Nightly Owl, Fatal Raven, and I was so overjoyed that Raw Dog Screaming Press wanted to take it on. The concept of “home” is extremely important in this novel, so the fact that the novel itself has finally found its proper home is a wonderful feeling.  Continue reading

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Steel Time Book Launch & Excerpt!

Steel Time Jacket.inddHappy book birthday to me! Today, I’m pleased to announce the launch of the fourth book in my Steel Empires series. Steel Time is extra-special for me because time travel is one of my favorite speculative fiction motifs. Working the concept into my own expansive universe was challenging and a LOT of fun. (Unfortunately, I couldn’t just throw my characters into a certain blue box.)

I’m at FanX Salt Lake City today, giving a presentation on one of my favorite topics: alternate history! I’m sure this evening will involve lots of fun shenanigans, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate a book launch day. As a treat to celebrate, I also get my picture taken with David Tennant, my favorite Doctor, tomorrow afternoon! (Look for my con report with my full write-up of the trip on the blog next week.)

Last year, when Steel Blood came out, so many people congratulated me on finishing my trilogy. Though events can stand alone after the first three books, I have so much more story to tell. I really appreciate you coming along on the adventure.

Today, I’m happy to share some basic information about the book and then give you a sneak peek at the very first chapter! And if you haven’t met my crazy world yet, I encourage you to jump in with book 1, Steel Victory.

TARDIS


ABOUT THE BOOK

You’re never too young or too old to experience a paradigm shift.

Toria Connor is 25 when tripping over an artifact in the ruins of Nacostina thrusts her a century into the past, before the city is destroyed during the Last War. Now, she finds herself alone. Adrift in a time where she must hide everything important to her, from her mercenary career to her true magical ability.

Victory is over eight centuries old when she follows her adopted daughter. She has seen empires rise and fall, but never anything like this. She must survive alone in a city inhospitable to vampires, dodging friends and foes from her past alike.

Both of them know the clock is ticking down to the moment when the city is wiped off the map.

Now, they’re in a race against time. To find each other. To escape the past. And to save the future.

There are many ways to get your own copy of Steel Time!

Read on for the opening to Steel Time!

Continue reading

Author Interview with Shannon Eichorn

To celebrate the release of her first novel, I was delighted to interview author Shannon Eichorn about topics near and dear to both of our hearts. If you’re at DragonCon this weekend, be sure to track her down in the armory and pick up a copy of Rights of Use for yourself!

For those of us not at DragonCon, Rights of Use is now available for pre-order at the link below! The book comes out tomorrow, so there’s no time to waste!

Look for my full review on Wednesday — this is definitely one book you’re not going to want to miss.


Rights of UseABOUT THE BOOK

In the 1960s, Project Blue Book assured America that no aliens visited its amber waves or shining seas.

Thirty years later, Project Black Book knows better and has the flying saucers to prove it, but they still can’t stop the body-possessing Kemtewet from scooping their pick of young women from Earth to host an alien queen.

Sarah Anderson yearned for an escape from her new life in Pennsylvania, but not for this: being kidnapped by aliens and faced with a choice between having a Kemtewet queen erase her brain or sharing her body with a Gertewet insurgent. Unless the Air Force can rescue her in time, it’s either death or a chance to make a difference in the galaxy, because with Sarah, the Gertewet have one last shot to end the Kemtewet Empire and free billions of humans subject to their body markets.

In a war over consent, only some things are black and white.

Amazon | Goodreads


UFO sightings are one of my favorite mysteries, so your riff on “Project Blue Book” is one of the things that attracted me to your book. Do you believe that aliens have ever visited Earth?

The universe is so vast, and chemistry and life are at once so predictable and so surprising. Everything we know says it’s so unlikely that aliens have ever visited Earth. Space travel is harsh. Wide-open nothingness lies between stars, and everything we know about physics says that it’s going to take decades to get from one system to another — if there’s even life on the other side. If it’s even life that humans can communicate with.

I don’t think aliens have visited Earth, but I don’t know all the facts. Maybe I’m wrong. At the very least, I would love to see first contact in my lifetime.  Continue reading

Author Interview with Sara Dobie Bauer

There’s nothing better than when a fabulous author is also a lovely person and friend. I’ve been hooked on Sara Dobie Bauer’s writing since I first read Bite Somebody, and her darker work is just as enticing. Today, I picked her brain about her latest release, Escaping Exile.


Escaping ExileABOUT THE BOOK

Andrew is a vampire from New Orleans, exiled to a tropical island in the 1800s as punishment for his human bloodlust. During a storm, a ship crashes off shore. After rescuing a sailor from the cannibals native to the land, Andrew becomes fascinated with his brilliant, beautiful new companion, Edmund.

Edmund is a British naturalist who has sailed the world seeking new species. Intrigued by creatures that might kill him, immortal Andrew is this scientist’s dream-but so is making his way back home. Edmund will fight to survive, even while wrapped in the arms of a monster.

As light touches and laughter turn to something much more passionate, the cannibals creep ever closer to Edmund. Can the ancient vampire keep his human alive long enough to escape exile and explore their newfound love, or will Andrew’s bloodlust seal his own doom?

Amazon | Nine Star Press | Goodreads


Writing fiction set in a historical time period always requires research. What’s the coolest thing you learned while researching for Escaping Exile, whether or not that detail made it into the text?

This is going to sound so geeky, but… the clothes. Escaping Exile takes place in the years between 1820 and 1830. It was a time when fashion for men was changing, so some men still wore breeches while others wore trousers (basically Capri pants versus pants that went all the way to the floor). Although there aren’t many clothes in the first book of The Escape Trilogy (that may or may not be a sex joke), clothes become a thing later when Edmund wears more modern attire and Andrew, as an ancient vampire, is more old school. Edmund even goes so far as to avoid cravats! It was quite scandalous for a man to show so much neck … especially when he hangs out with vampires all the time.  Continue reading

Author Interview with Matthew Warner

While it wasn’t quite up my alley, Matthew Warner’s Cursed by Christ book seemed intriguing enough that I had to pick the author’s brain about it. Maybe you’ll find yourself interested in my stead.


Cursed by ChristABOUT THE BOOK

CURSED . . .

Living at her family’s rice plantation, Alice Wharton learns some disturbing news from her mother: their bloodline has been cursed. Jesus Christ punishes them for having psychic powers allegedly stolen from a Heavenly angel. He exacts penance in the form of the mother’s adulterous “communion” trysts with their reverend.

FORGOTTEN . . .

Escaping from the predatory reverend, Alice marries Major Thorne Norwick at his Georgian cotton plantation. She also meets the slave cooks, Jonah and Eliza, who show her how to telepathically eject troubling memories. When Thorne returns from fighting in the War of Northern Aggression, Alice uses this skill to hide from herself the devastating revelation that her husband now seems to serve Christ. After all, he aids a secret society—the Ku Klux Klan—that uses the symbols of her tormentor.

JUDGED.

Everywhere she looks, the specter of Christ stands in judgment. What’s more, a mysterious presence stalks her, its mind echoing with thoughts that feel all too familiar. When it reaches her, there will be hell to pay.

Amazon | Audio Book


First of all, how would you categorize the genre or genres that this book fits under?

Cursed by Christ is a Southern gothic horror novel for an adult audience.  It’s also historical since it takes place during 1860-1868.  Continue reading

Review: Beck & Call (The Billionaires #2) by Emma Holly

Beck and CallI think it’s a testament to how engrossing I found this book that I didn’t realize the title was a play on two of the main characters’ names until over halfway through reading the story.

I read this book on the recommendation of a blogger that I enjoy who talks about her romance pet peeves. In this particular case, Beck & Call was held up as an example of how to do a romantic threesome the right way. This isn’t even the case of a couple opening their relationship and falling for the third together. Instead, each character tracks a steady arc of developing feelings for the other two, which was a journey I enjoyed thoroughly.  Continue reading

Steel Blood Deleted Scene

Steel-Blood-Jacket.inddHappy New Year to all of my awesome readers! In honor of 2017 finally being over, and to celebrate my birthday (yes, I’m a New Year’s Eve baby), I’d like to share a scene that was left on the cutting room floor after my beta readers read one of the earliest drafts of Steel Empires #3: Steel Blood.

This scene takes place early during the novel, while Victory and Mikelos are traveling by ship to Jiang Yi Yue. While I had fun writing it and exploring more of Rob and Guy’s characters, it was ultimately felt that the scene didn’t add to the larger story of the book itself.

My only birthday wish is that if you have been enjoying my writing, please consider leaving an honest review of any of my books someplace like Amazon or Goodreads. A review can be as simple as “I liked it!” and leaving a rating. This is the cheapest and easiest way to continue supporting authors you enjoy after buying their books.

Thank you, party safely tonight, and enjoy this look at Victory in her element — with a sword in her hand!  Continue reading