I had really high expectations for this book since it is the end of a 15-book saga by one of my favorite authors.
Vaughn exceeded every single expectation.
Bring together a bunch of old allies: Characters from every major adventure show up to help Kitty through this final battle. All of them play a significant role, so they are not just brought in for fan service. (Minor critique: I would have been okay with more bad things happening to the side of light, but that’s probably because I’m a darker author.)
Answer major questions: We’ve known all along that Roman was the general, and it was teased a few books ago that a Caesar was pulling his strings. I was pleased that we do learn who the Caesar is, to good effect.
Escalate the world building: The author has introduced us to a lot of the supernatural in her world, with a final major reveal here that was done very deftly. (Minor critique: I greatly appreciate the inclusion of Chinese mythology in this world, and I would have been happy to learn if/how the Caesar was also their Big Bad rather than remaining firmly in the Judeo-Christian mythos.)
While I would happily read more about Kitty, I feel satisfied by the end of her and Ben’s story. The author definitely still has plenty of room to play in this world (What do Cormac and Amelia do next? Is Grant really guarding Cthulu in Las Vegas? What about the other mythologies in the world and their supernatural creatures?) and I would enjoy going along for the ride!
I am so excited to be attending DogCon IV this weekend, the annual convention hosted by my phenomenal publishing company, Raw Dog Screaming Press. This will be the third DogCon I’ve attended, and both previous events have been a blast. With the fantastic line-up of activities planned for this weekend, this DogCon will be right up there in terms of fun and merriment.
The full schedule of events is here, and includes a lecture by Michael Arnzen on the uncanny valley, a tour of (supposedly haunted) Eastern State Penitentiary, a tour of Laurel Hill Cemetary, and the book launch of D. Harlan Wilson’s BATTLE WITHOUT HONOR OR HUMANITY. You’ll be able to find me at pretty much everything! The major highlight is Saturday night, The Nightmare Before Halloween. This is a free event at the Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art that will feature readings by many RDSP authors (including me) and a show by Stoneburner (Steven Archer of Ego Likeness). About a dozen RDSP authors will be on hand to sell and sign books, so this is your opportunity to get most of us in one place (where usually hijinx ensue).
Huh, that’s a lot of horror-themed stuff. Maybe next year the Dog Star Books authors can get some sci-fi activities going!
Will I see you there? Do you have a request for me to read a specific passage from STEEL VICTORY? Let me know in the comments!
Some facts you might not know about speculative fiction writer K.W. Taylor:
Like me, she is from Dayton, Ohio. By law, all Dayton writers must go by their initials for publication.
Her adorable tabby cat Dharma and my blue-point Siamese Alex are having a sordid long-distance romance.
In our spare time, we front a postmodern industrial synth band as K-Dub and DJ Scribbles, featuring all of the Dog Star Books authors (with Matt Betts on bass, Albert Wendland on key-tar, and K. Ceres Wright on drums).
Okay, that last one might not be entirely true.
So, here’s the good news! K.W. Taylor is now officially part of the Dog Star Books/Raw Dog Screaming Press family! From the official blog post: “RDSP is happy to announce that we’ve signed K.W. Taylor’s time travel novel The Curiosity Killers for release in 2016 under the Dog Star Books imprint.”
Like my own Steel Victory, it was her thesis novel for Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction graduate program. I first heard K.W. read the first chapter of The Curiosity Killers at a writing retreat last spring, and I have been dying to read more ever since. I’m a big fan of her protagonist Sam Brody (of The Red Eye), and I know that I will be just as entertained by Ben Jonson!
Please join me in congratulating K.W. Taylor! You can find her online at her blog and on Twitter (@kwtaylorwriter) and Instragram (@kwtk).
I was tagged by Breeanna Pierce, my amazing critique partner, to complete a 20-question survey designed to get to know authors in the blog-o-sphere. For the original post on the tag and the participation guidelines, go here.
BELLE BY NIGHT, the latest novel by erotica writer Rachell Nichole came out yesterday! I am faced with the daunting task of writing my first sex scene in STEEL BLOOD, so I invited her here to pick the expert’s brain a bit.
Reach 20,000 words in book 3, STEEL BLOOD. Progress: Better than August! After a few rounds of scene edits with my criqiue partners in which some narrative vomit was thankfully cut, I ended up with approximately 9,000 words written for the month, and I’m hanging out at about 14,000 words right now.
Goal: Finish re-reading Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty the Werewolf series before reading the final book. Progress: I was cranking through them at a good clip (according to my Instagram posts), but I got distracted about two weeks ago by trying to re-watch the original Heroes before checking out the new Heroes Reborn. Three books left until the final KITTY SAVES THE WORLD!
Goal: Weekly book reviews. Progress: Uh, I wrote one. Oops.
Goal: Get prequel short story copyedited. Progress: Got sucked into book 3 and still have to email copyeditor to check his schedule. Oops.
Goal: STEEL VICTORY book promotion. Progress: On track! Lots of work has been started with my lovely publicist, and things should start appearing soon!
10,000 words of book 3. I’d like to have 25,000 done before NaNoWriMo starts.
Finish Kitty the Werewolf series and tackle my next reading project: The five new novels that take place before Star Wars: The Force Awakens. My husband has finished them already and is impatiently waiting to discuss them with me.
Get something rolling with the prequel story. Find a new name for the prequel story since the original name no longer fits after the rewrite!
Weekly book reviews.
STEEL VICTORY promo!
In other news, my Friday-night Dungeons & Dragons campaign has come to a close. Half the group is moving out of state, and they will be sorely missed. This was actually the first time I’ve ever been able to complete the conclusion of an adventure like this–most campaigns tend to fizzle out mid-quest. For the complete write-up of our adventures, check out the 5th edition “Weird New World” (5e WNW) campaign notes featured over at the Tower of the Archmage.
That’s it for now! Check back later this week for an interview with an erotica writer (because I’m looking at writing my first sex scene in book 3 and I needed some professional advice) and (hopefully!) a review of Gail Carriger’s ETIQUETTE & ESPIONAGE!
Requisite picture of an adorable cat (selfie taken yesterday with my mother-in-law’s seal-point Siamese Boris):
My husband and I took a short trip up to New York City this past weekend. We met two guys from Israel on a cruise last year, and the amazing power of social media allowed us to keep in touch! When both of them were back on our side of the globe, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit them.