STEEL BLOOD featured on The Skiffy and Fanty Show: A Book By Its Cover!

In a surprise blog tour spot that I knew was coming, but had no idea of when, Steel Blood has been “reviewed” as part of a relaunched monthly feature at The Skiffy and Fanty Show: A Book By Its Cover! It’s a joke column that literally makes up a book review based on what the cover alone looks like, and I was honored to be chosen. The writer has been a good friend to my publisher, and he even dropped in references to my three cats!

When novice librarian Nicki Blakougar becomes suspicious of Shadowseizer’s research activities, he begins to investigate. But this curiosity heats up into endangerment after Nicki trips some of the sorcerer-knight’s wards and his spying is discovered. Narrowly escaping alive, Nicki goes to Lucy, his kitten-hood friend and now City Chief, for help. Together with the aid of Thun-daar Constable Alex Blulynx, Nicki and Lucy set out to figure out Shadowseizer’s ultimate intent and stop her slaughter of rare dragons at any cost.

Here are the actual cats, for reference:

Skiffy Fanty cats

From left to right: Nicki, Lucy, and Alex

Thanks for supporting small press, Skiffy and Fanty!

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Writing strong female characters with Rhonda Mason: STEEL BLOOD Blog Tour Stop #6

I have kind of a love/hate relationship with the “strong female character” trope. Today, with author Rhonda Mason, I talk about the ways the main character of my series falls into this particular urban fantasy stereotype — and how I break the stereotype. A quick look:

I’ve only been participating in programming at conventions for a handful of years, but I’ve already lost track of how many times I’ve been asked to be on the “Strong Female Characters” panel. I guess the theory is that, as a female urban fantasy author who writes female protagonists, I can easily contribute to the discussion. Though not every hero of urban fantasy stories is female, it’s interesting how they’re automatically assumed to be part of that trope.

Male heroes, I guess, are supposed to be strong as a given.

Mason also writes amazing female characters, and you should absolutely check out the first two books of her space opera trilogy to meet Kayla! I’m not sure Victory and Kayla would become best friends, but they’d certainly have a hell of a lot of respect for each other.


Tomorrow, the Tower of the Archmage interviews me about how my gaming history influences my writing, and vice versa!

(Other) Excellent urban fantasy authors with Sara Dobie Bauer: STEEL BLOOD Blog Tour Stop #5

There are honestly too many awesome urban fantasy writers in the genre to name right now, but fellow author Sara Dobie Bauer asked me to write about my top 5 favorite and most influential. Instead of a sneak peak at the text, I’ll just show you a picture of a bookshelf in my living room. The entire thing is dedicated to just one of the authors on my list (though not all of the books are urban fantasy).

ML bookshelf

While you’re at her site, don’t forget to check out Sara’s excellent paranormal romance series, Bite Somebody, and maybe find a new favorite urban fantasy author of your own!


Join us tomorrow for a guest post on writing strong female characters with author Rhonda Mason!

The history of Limani with A.M. Justice: STEEL BLOOD Blog Tour Stop #4

For the next stop on the Steel Blood blog tour, I couldn’t miss a visit with my internet doppelganger, author A.M. Justice! We share a love of world-building in our fantasy novels, so she asked me to write a bit about how the city of Limani came to be. A quick look:

But while the British settlements were funded by second and third children of the werewolf nobility, and the massive Roman plantations were supported by corporations led by wealthy Roman vampire lines, the Greek colonists embodied the nature of their origins. These disparate colonists, from multiple Greek cities, maintained the ideals of equality and democracy that linked their alliance back in Europa. The major factor in their favor was that a larger proportion than expected of the original group of colonists consisted of mages from every elemental faction. These were mages schooled in the Greek magical academies held in esteem throughout Europa, looking for adventure and new beginnings.

And it was what saved Limani, in the end.

Go check out the blog post for the full story, and don’t forget to poke around the site while you’re there! A.M. writes amazing epic fantasy with just a touch of intriguing science-fiction thrown in to keep readers on their toes.


Tomorrow, I’ll share some of my favorite and most influential urban fantasy authors with author Sara Dobie Bauer!

Spotlight Round-Up: STEEL BLOOD Blog Tour Stop #3.5

As expected, someone left a toothbrush behind before we started the road trip (we’ll blame the gray cat currently purring in my lap, trying to look innocent). So, we had to swing back around to Speculative Chic for a book spotlight and short interview.

Thanks so much to everyone who spread the word on social media today, sharing links and even pictures of the books they’re preordered. I’d like to add a special thanks Breeanna Pierce and Jamaila Brinkley for also taking the time to spotlight Steel Blood on their blogs today.  Writer friends are the best!

Steel Blood sushiAnd finally, I wrapped up an awesome book birthday with a sushi dinner with my amazing husband, who dressed for the occasion. There’s even a nod to my favorite sushi restaurant in the book!

(Not shown: Copious amounts of hot tea and delicious green tea ice cream.)

 


Join me tomorrow for the next stop on the blog tour as we learn about the history of Limani at the blog of author A.M. Justice!

 

New Book Excerpt: STEEL BLOOD Blog Tour Stop #3

Steel-Blood-Jacket.inddHappy book birthday to the third book in the Steel Empires series! Steel Blood features the continuing adventures of Victory and Mikelos, who couldn’t quite manage to stay safe at home while their kids were off having adventures in Steel Magic.

Today, the book is now officially available in hardcopy and ebook form from the following retailers:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Raw Dog Screaming Press


ABOUT THE BOOK

As her children begin lives of their own, Victory struggles with the loneliness of an empty nest. Just when the city of Limani could not seem smaller, an old friend requests that she come out of retirement for one final mercenary contract—to bodyguard his granddaughter, a princess of the Qin Empire.

For the first time in a century, the Qin and British Empires are reopening diplomatic relations. Alongside the British delegation, Victory and her daywalker Mikelos arrive in the Qin colony city of Jiang Yi Yue. As the Qin weredragons and British werewolves take careful steps toward a lasting peace between their people, a connection between the Qin princess and a British nobleman throw everyone’s plans in disarray.

Meanwhile, a third faction stalks the city under the cover of darkness.

This is not a typical romance. It’s a good thing Victory is not a typical vampire.


For stop #3 of the Steel Blood blog tour, I’m happy to feature an excerpt from the book itself. How does Victory get roped into her first mercenary contract in almost a hundred years? Read on to find out!  Continue reading

State of the Empires at Raw Dog Screaming Press: STEEL BLOOD Blog Tour Stop #2

RDSP logoFor day 2 of the Steel Blood blog tour, I visited the Raw Dog Screaming Press blog for the first annual State of the Empires! Here’s a short excerpt:

In the past few months, since the official announcement of Steel Blood, people keep congratulating me on finishing my book trilogy. While many fantasy series do typically come in the three-story arc, I’ve got good news for you, kids.

The Steel Empires series is far from over.

Check out the post to learn more about what writing a regularly published series involves, and get some clues about what’s coming up next. Meanwhile, don’t forget that this is the last day to pre-order your copy of Steel Blood. It comes out tomorrow! (I have already informed my husband that he is treating me to celebratory sushi.)


Just us tomorrow, here at my own blog, for a short excerpt from the beginning of the book!