STEEL VICTORY excerpt!

STEEL VICTORY comes out in less than 48 hours. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.

I should be packing for Seton Hill University’s In Your Write Mind conference right now (where STEEL VICTORY debuts at the mass book signing on Friday night), but I’m exhausted from the gym and have a cat in my lap, so I’m not moving anytime soon.

In the meantime, please enjoy this partial scene from the beginning pages of the novel.


Victory led Asaron back around the side of the boat. All the noise came from where she’d left Mikelos. They ducked between cargo containers, dashing through the maze toward the opposite end of the boat.

“Move, and we’ll cut your line. Where’s your friend?”

When she heard the voice ahead of her, she halted Asaron with an arm across his chest. She crouched and poked her head around one of the containers, not wanting to attract attention quite yet. Three men stood at the deck railing with their backs to her. She couldn’t tell whether they were armed.

Then she heard Mikelos. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She recognized that tone of voice. Her daughter used it on her all the time when she tried to act the innocent. Now she knew where Toria got it from.

Mikelos continued, “Your captain made the arrangements for me to ferry a friend out here for him since you weren’t stopping in Limani.” Oh, she knew where he was going with this. She would smack him later, after she thanked him
for stalling so well. “Guess he didn’t want to share.”

Her cue. Straightening, Victory strolled out from between two of the metal containers wearing her best innocent look. “What seems to be the problem here, gentlemen?” She flashed them a charming smile and sauntered toward the railing.

The center sailor sneered at her, revealing few teeth. “Who’re you?”

“Just a visitor. You can check with your captain. He should still be in his bunk.” Ignoring the men, she looked over the edge of the deck down to Mikelos. “Ready to go?”

Mikelos gave a curt nod before pulling loose the rope knot tied to their little boat. When Victory swung one leg over the railing, the man of poor dental hygiene grabbed Victory’s arm. “Not so fast, girl.”

She smiled again at the man holding her arm, this time flashing a bit of fang. He yelped and jumped back. “I’m quite fast, thank you,” she said before dropping down to the boat, landing with a small rock of the vessel. “Take that as you will,
but my husband might be a bit insulted!”

Asaron appeared next to the men at the railing above her. He tossed his rucksack and both swords down to her, then pitched himself over the edge of the boat to dive headfirst into the water.

“See ya,” Victory said up to the gaping sailors. She shoved the boat from the side of the barge when Mikelos revved the engine.

One of the sailors above her drew a pistol from his belt and took aim. “Get down!” Victory dropped to the deck, and a bullet whizzed past her head.

More bullets hit the water around them. Good thing Asaron didn’t need to come up for air.

The small fishing boat drew away at top speed, such as it was. There were a few more shouts from the crew, but they weren’t being paid to keep vampires prisoner. Victory was not inclined to complain when the shots ceased. Water lapped at her fingers, and she raised her head.

“This isn’t good,” Mikelos said.

Dog Star Books Interview, part 2!

The second part of my interview series with Dog Star Books was posted on Friday! This focused more on my writing style and habits.

Click here to learn about what made me want to become a writer, how I balance writing with real life, and where my favorite writing spots are!

PS. We are at less than 5 days until the STEEL VICTORY release! Who else is excited?

Publishers Weekly reviews STEEL VICTORY!

I am honored to receive a review from Publishers Weekly for my debut novel, STEEL VICTORY!

I know writers are supposed to adore every inch of their babies and think they are absolutely amazing, but I’m enough of an editor and I’ve taken enough literary criticism courses in my life to 99% agree with the review as a whole. STEEL VICTORY isn’t perfect, but it’s a good, fun read, and I’m glad PW seems to agree with me on that point.

“The innovative combination of genres is appealing, and Gribble’s multiple story lines—invasion, anti-creature bias, and intercity politics—mesh very well together….This is a solid first effort that sets the stage for more installments in an intriguing world with complex characters.”

Honestly, if they’re this happy with STEEL VICTORY, then they are going to love book 2, STEEL MAGIC!

The full review is here.

(By the way, the 1% of the review I don’t agree with is the year mentioned. There’s actually no year mentioned in the book whatsoever, but I’ll take 2094 CE as a pretty good guess.)

(I’m going to go dance around with my cats some more about the fact that I got a review from PW.)

Dog Star Books Interview, part 1!

My imprint, Dog Star Books, posted part 1 of an interview series with me today!

Click here to learn about some of the influences for STEEL VICTORY, find out why you will adore my leading ladies, and read a short excerpt from the novel.

Stayed tuned for part 2 of the interview, which will focus more on my writing style and habits in general, coming up next week.

COVER REVEAL: The Underside of the Rainbow by B. E. Burkhead

UndersideCover

UNVEILING THE RAINBOW

Artist Steven Archer has created a raw, textured cover to match B.E. Burkhead’s gritty, and unapologetic realism. In this poetry collection Burkhead shows readers what happens when they take off their rose-colored glasses and look at the world around them.

Instead of fields of freshly grown flowers, he writes of alleys with broken bottles and hypodermic needles, no happily-ever-afters, just blunt and honest truths, sometimes with endings, sometimes without. Just as life doesn’t hand out answers, Burkhead doesn’t sugarcoat its truths.

COMING IN JULY

You can pre-order this collection now!

“Underside took me on an unexpected emotional journey I relished long after reading. To me that’s the mark of a damn fine collection–and one that will remain in my library forever.” —Jessica McHugh, author of The Green Kangaroos

“There is a blatant honesty, an abject truth in B. E. Burkhead’s words, which is not buoyantly hateful, but bleakly hopeful.”—G. Arthur Brown, author of Kitten

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Steven Archer is an artist and musician living in Baltimore, MD. When not recording, DJing, or producing art, he and his wife, author Donna Lynch, tour with their dark electronic rock band Ego Likeness. He has a BFA from the Corcoran School of Art in Washington DC and has shown his work at galleries and other venues throughout the east coast.  His work has also been shown internationally in the form of album art and magazine illustrations. He is the author and illustrator of the children’s book Luna Maris. For more information about Ego Likeness, please visitwww.egolikeness.com. Steven’s solo electronic project can be found at www.hopefulmachines.net.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Born dead to a barren woman, B. E. Burkhead is a poet, writer and artist. He lives on the vestigial tail of Maryland with his wife, son and an army of starving cats. The Underside of the Rainbow is his first book of collected poetry.

I answered Five +1 Questions over at Herding the Dragon!

I participated in the Five +1 Questions feature on author Samantha Holloway’s blog, Herding the Dragon! Go there to learn what words I want stricken from the English language, how I would turn STEEL VICTORY into a television show, and which fantasy series I think everyone should read.

Thanks for having me, Samantha!

In Which We Discuss Why We’re All Really Here

Thanks for joining me as I continue the tour of my new Web site! The next tab at the top of the page I’d like to discuss is named “Books.”

I only have two fiction publications so far. But they’re both pretty epic, so you’ll have to excuse the short list.

In 2014, a friend from college reached out to me. He had previously put together two anthology collections hosted by a fiction writers forum he participated in. One of the major critiques both anthologies received was the lack of gender diversity in the author list. So for the their third outing, Fadeley reached out to me and invited me to join the “editorial board” and use my connections to solicit greater female participation. I’m not sure what the percentages were for the first two anthologies, but I’m pleased to say that the third anthology was almost 30% female written, which isn’t bad for a straight-up speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, and horror) collection. I participated in reviewing synopsis submissions, performing substantive edits of invited first drafts, and copy-editing the hell out of the final drafts. I declined the opportunity to submit a short story of my own, but I’m very pleased with the two flash fiction stories I did write for inclusion, especially since I had very little experience with flash fiction previously.

You can find out more about FAR WORLDS, including where to purchase your copy, here. It’s still in print for another year, so don’t miss out!

In 2015, in 2 short weeks (cue the panic), I’m thrilled to introduce my second publication to the world.  STEEL VICTORY was my thesis novel while I was a graduate student at Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction program. Two years and 103,000 words later, I completed my first (original fiction) novel and received my MA.

Except I made the mistake of writing an urban fantasy with a vampire main character and not one lick of romance to be seen. During the height of the Twilight craze.

So I put it in a box for a few years and played video games and had a great time editing fiction for other people and generally enjoying life not being in school. Eventually, a former fellow student (Heidi Ruby Miller) became the managing editor of the science fiction/adventure imprint of a small press known for breaking genre barriers. She remembered my thesis novel and encouraged me to submit it.

After I cut 13,000 words.

Right after I had agreed to take on the FAR WORLDS project.

Oh boy.

So I stopped playing video games (much to my husband’s dismay) and worked like crazy for 6 months. Trimming some dead weight from STEEL VICTORY ultimately made it a better book (look for the deleted scenes in over the next few months), and I was pleased with my final submission.

So was Raw Dog Screaming Press, which was even better!

Since last summer, STEEL VICTORY has gone through another few rounds of edits (cutting another few thousand words) and I’m thrilled to be able to share the final draft with the world in a few short weeks (cue more panicking).

You can find information about how to order STEEL VICTORY here, along with the back cover text and some great reviews by other amazing authors (such as Maria V. Snyder, author of POISON STUDY!). It will also be available on Kindle on release day.

June 26 cannot come soon enough!

Delicious, delicious social media

Okay, so the title of this post is a lie.

I’m not that huge of a fan of social media.

Wait, that’s a lie, too. Let me back up.

I love Facebook. I’m not really good at talking to people, so it’s a great way for me to keep up with all of my friends’ lives and adventures. While I keep my personal page limited to people I have met in real life, I love to chat with people who follow and comment on my professional author page. That’s where you’ll find random thoughts about writing in general and current projects specifically that are not long enough for or don’t really warrant a full-on blog post.

I love Instagram. It’s where I can safely spam the world with pictures of my adorable cats, and look at pictures of many, many more cute cats in return (I’m pretty sure I follow more cats than actual people at this point). One of my sillier hobbies is taking selfies with Alex, my ridiculous blue-point Siamese.

Oh, Twitter. I will never understand you. It’s all a bit like shouting into the ether for me, but I realize that I need to have some sort of presence as an author. Finally, I settled on two strategies: (1a) Post each book that I start reading, (1b) Link to the reviews I write on each book read, and (2) live-tweet my Friday night RPG sessions. The two current games I’m involved in are a 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons campaign, in which I’m playing a melee ranger named Riia who really, really doesn’t like plants and an old-school Star Wars game in which I play Teyla, a minor Jedi who never got much training, has issues with seizures, and often gets her way thanks to her crime lord father. But I do promise that if you drag me into a conversation on Twitter by tagging me that I will always happily participate. It’s the instigating things I don’t really understand.

Buttons to my social media accounts can also be found at the top of the right-hand column of this page.

I hear rumor that another blog is featuring me at some point this weekend, with special interview questions. Stay tuned!