Dog Star Books Author Spotlight: K.W. Taylor

This Saturday in Xenia, Ohio, Bluejacket Books is hosting three Dog Star Books authors for readings, signings, and a bit of Q&A!

13072850_1035666533171331_8028260265636519397_oToday the spotlight is switching over to the newest Dog Star Books author, K.W. Taylor. (Note the way the air seems to shimmer and glow about her. But don’t let the halo fool you! K-Dub may have us all dazzled by her awesome steampunk time-travel book, but the woman has also written some creepy horror in her day.)

K.W. and I met about two years ago the 2014 Pennsylvania Lit Festival, where we shared a table to sell books, discovered we had Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction program in common, discussed shopping malls, and then discovered we had the hometown of Dayton, Ohio, in common, too! We’ve been fast friends ever since, and I was delighted when her novel The Curiosity Killers was selected for publication by Dog Star Books. (I may have done some behind-the-scenes manipulation there, for which I am completely unapologetic.)

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I have previously reviewed The Curiosity Killers, The Red Eye, and We Shadows Have Offended, and I look forward to reading more of Taylor’s work in the future! (Especially if it happens to be a second book in the Jonson’s Exotic Travel Series. Not that I’m hinting or anything.)

(Okay, I’m totally hinting.)

Dog Star Books Author Spotlight: Matt Betts

This Saturday in Xenia, Ohio, Bluejacket Books is hosting three Dog Star Books authors for readings, signings, and a bit of Q&A!

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By now, you should all be pretty familiar with me and my work, so today I’d like to shine the spotlight on fellow author Matt Betts. (This is where he starts claiming that the light burns, but he’s being silly. He can totally handle daylight-spectrum UV rays. Just ignore the sizzling sound.)

Betts and I met a few years ago when I started doing volunteer work for our publisher, Raw Dog Screaming Press (of which Dog Star Books is the science-fiction/adventure imprint). In fact, one of my first volunteer stints for them was proofing the final layout version of Odd Men Out under a massive time crunch. I fell in love with Betts’ crazy steampunk/Wild West world before I actually met him in person. But since we have a shared passion for taking traditional genre fiction and twisting it to the extreme, of course we hit it off like wildfire the first time we did get together!

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Though I’m not one for poetry, I have previously reviewed Indelible Ink.

I’m not quite sure what project Betts is working on next (though I’ve been poking at him about an Odd Men Out sequel for ages now), but whatever it is, it’s sure to be good!

STEEL MAGIC cover reveal coming next Tuesday!

Next Tuesday I will be featuring the full cover for my second novel, STEEL MAGIC, along with a link where you can pre-order it!

Here’s another teaser image:

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I’ve created a Facebook event for the cover reveal here, where I’ll be featuring odds and ends for the next few days. Please check it out and spread the word.

If you would like to get a sneak-peak at the cover by volunteering to host it on your blog and/or other social media accounts any time on Tuesday, May 24, please email me at johanna.gribble@gmail.com!

Steel Magic is the second book in my Steel Empires series published by Dog Star Books. Check out the back cover text below:

Funerals are usually the end of the story, not the beginning.

Newly graduated warrior-mages Toria Connor and Kane Nalamas find themselves the last remaining mages in the city when a mage school teacher mysteriously falls ill and dies. But taking over the school themselves isn’t in the cards. They’re set to become professional mercenaries—if they make it through the next 18 months as journeymen first.

The debate over whether to hunt mutated monsters in the Wasteland or take posh bodyguard jobs is put on hold when a city elder hires them to solve the mystery of the disappearing mages. Toria and Kane’s quest brings them to the British colonial city of New Angouleme, where their initial investigation reveals that the problem is even greater than they feared.

But when a friend is kidnapped, they’ll have to travel to the other side of the globe to save her, save themselves, and save magic itself.

Review: THE CURIOSITY KILLERS by K.W. Taylor

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THE CURIOSITY KILLERS by K.W. Taylor

Today I’m celebrating the launch of K.W. Taylor’s first science-fiction novel, The Curiosity Killers! This book is close to my heart because I have been friends with the author since she was still writing it, cheered her on as it passed as her thesis for Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction graduate program, and then threw her together with my publishers at Raw Dog Screaming Press/Dog Star Books and cackled to myself as the sparks flew. This phenomenal book is the inevitable end result.

In the twenty-second century, a second Civil War is decades past. The states of the New British Empire have been reduced to working with Victorian-era technology–that is, except physicist Edward Vere, who invents time travel with a little help from aviation pioneer Wilbur Wright.

Vere partners with historian Ben Jonson to monetize the invention, founding the first time travel agency. Unbeknownst to them, a serial killer is using the technology to murder without detection. When Ben discovers the killer has targeted the woman he loves, the mild-mannered academic must become brave enough to change history rather than merely observing it.

Continue reading

STEEL MAGIC cover reveal coming soon

The official release date for Steel Magic, book 2 of the Steel Empires series and direct sequel to Steel Victory, is July 2016! This novel features the first solo adventure of Toria and Kane, journeymen mercenaries of Limani, as they embark on a magical quest.

Soon I will be hosting an official cover reveal to coincide with the announcement of the pre-order link. If you would like to participate by featuring the book cover image and pre-order link on social media (blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), please like this post or leave a comment and I will contact you with details soon!

Brad Sharp is the cover artist for Steel Magic as well, and I didn’t think it would be possible for him to create a cover I like more than the first. The two are very similar stylistically, while also bringing into focus the different elements and locales that make my second novel dramatically different from Steel Victory.

Here’s the gorgeous Steel Victory cover:

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Here’s a teaser for Steel Magic. The colors are different! There’s no moon at the top! And…is that the tip of a sword peaking up next to the R?

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I figure my name itself isn’t much of a spoiler.

Please consider volunteering to help in any small way. As an indie author, my marketing team consists of me alone, and any assistance means potentially reaching readers that I might not have found on my own. I am always happy to return the favor and do the same.

Con Report: Cleveland ConCoction 2016

I was excited to be part of the Dog Star Books invasion of Cleveland ConCoction this year, and I’m happy to report that this was one of the best conventions I’ve ever attended. I hadn’t been to a full media (versus strictly literary) convention in a few years and this was a fun way to jump back in the fray. It was also fun to see the great cosplay and mixture of people attending the rest of the convention.

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I promise I am not actually a tiny adorable puppy.

As I told as many of the staff as I could, it was hard for me to believe that ConCoction was only in it’s third year. Everything was very well run and I had zero problems as a guest and panelist. I highly recommend ConCoction to everyone in the Ohio area, and even from farther away. Continue reading

THE CURIOSITY KILLERS Cover Reveal!

I had the honor of proofreading the science-fiction (time travel/steampunk/murder mystery) novel THE CURIOSITY KILLERS by fellow Dog Star Books author K.W. Taylor late last year. Hands down, it is one of the best novels I’ve read within the past few years, and I’m really excited for the rest of you to get to read it soon. But for now, feast your eyes on the amazing cover by artist Brad Sharp (who also did the art for my novels, STEEL VICTORY and the upcoming STEEL MAGIC).

The blog SF Signal is hosting the exclusive reveal today, so click here to see the full cover!

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For more information about K.W. Taylor and her upcoming novel (and other works), you can visit her blog here.

For more information about cover artist Brad Sharp, including other book covers and works of art, you can visit his website here.

STEEL VICTORY sequel coming in 2016!

And now for the good news that I teased yesterday!

I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve signed the contract with my publisher, Dog Star Books/Raw Dog Screaming Press, for the sequel to STEEL VICTORY. STEEL MAGIC will be released in 2016, and follows the adventures of warrior-mages Toria and Kane as they set off on their first contract as professional mercenaries.

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You can find the official press release here, but here’s the teaser blurb:

“In Steel Magic, warrior-mages Toria and Kane are finally ready to begin their mercenary careers and debating between monster hunting and cushy bodyguard jobs. Instead, they are hired to investigate a much more serious problem—the world’s mages are disappearing. But when a friend is kidnapped, they’ll have to travel across the globe to save her, save themselves, and save magic itself.”

I started writing this sequel pretty much immediately after signing the contract for STEEL VICTORY. I know one of the greatest frustrations of fantasy/science fiction readers is having to wait years between installments in a series, and I am determined to buck this trend. In fact, I had the first draft of book 2 in the hands of RDSP only a few days after the launch of book 1! And if you’re keeping track of my NaNoWriMo progress, you know that I’m already hard at work on book 3.

Thank you so much to everyone who has read and reviewed STEEL VICTORY so far. Starting the sequel before the first book saw the light of day was a real leap of faith, and I’m thrilled by all the positive feedback I’ve gotten in the past few months. STEEL MAGIC is definitely written for you.

As a special treat, the first scene is included here behind the jump. (Please note that this is not the final version.)

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DogCon IV this weekend in Philadelphia!

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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!