Con Report: DogCon 5

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Steel Magic makes for lovely beach house decor.

It’s kind of crazy to think that it’s been 5 years since I’ve been involved with Raw Dog Screaming Press. There are other dates to mark that anniversary that might be more “official,” such as the date my first book with them was announced (at DogCon 3), but I quietly mark the beginning of this journey from my official invitation to the very first DogCon. That was when the Dog Star Books SF/adventure imprint was announced, and when I started to get the idea that I might have found a home for my urban fantasy/alternate history novel.

Funny story: I wasn’t even at the first DogCon! (Even though lots of people seem to think that I was.) I received the invitation after I’d already scheduled the housewarming party for my new home, and since I had not yet met John Edward Lawson or Jennifer Barnes in person, I thought it was weird that they were inviting me to their house. But that invitation started a lovely social media correspondence that has since blossomed into an amazing friendship and working relationship. I haven’t missed a DogCon since, and this most recent was definitely one for the books.

This year, DogCon was an event designed to bring authors in the RDSP family closer together and held at the amazing Broadkill Writer’s Resort in Milton, Delaware. Continue reading

RDSP News Roundup

RDSP news roundupIt’s been a while since I posted, because I’ve been a bit caught up in things like writing book 4, reading lots of books, and binge-watching Orphan Black. (No spoilers, please. I’m only on season 2.) But lots has gone on in the world of my amazing publisher, Raw Dog Screaming Press, in the meantime. I figured I’d post about all of it at once here. Read on for not one, but two amazing cover reveals and news about a contest!  Continue reading

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:

Steel Magic title image

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

Cleveland ConCoction Schedule

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Next weekend, March 11-13, I will be at the Sheraton Cleveland Airport Hotel for Cleveland ConCoction 2016. Below is my official schedule, but please feel free to say hi anytime. I love meeting new people and talking about our shared passions.

Steel Victory will be available for purchase in Author’s Alley, but I also keep a few copies on hand if you’d rather buy one from me directly (the price is the same either way, so it’s really just a matter of what is convenient for you).

Friday

1 PM (Lyra Room): Writing for YA vs Adults: Find out what is different about writing for a young adult audience, what is the same, and how to get started

7 PM (Lyra Room): Publishing Expectations: Ask authors questions that may have been holding you back and discover the expectations of the publishing industry—JL Gribble

8 PM (TBD): Dog Star Books party! We’ll be celebrating the release of Underwater Fistfight by Matt Betts and Starrie by Heidi Ruby Miller. All of the Dog Star and Raw Dog Screaming Press authors will be in attendance with books for sale.

Saturday

10 AM (Lyra Room): Growing Up Sci-Fi: No matter what generation we are, we all have grown up “sci-fi”, with many of our innovations coming from what was once considered science fiction…

12 PM (Lyra Room): Why Villains Matter: The best and worst of villains. Could we have heroes without them? Discuss your favorite character to hate with our panel of authors

Sunday

12 PM (Lyra Room): Reading from Steel Victory…or maybe from Steel Magic!

1 PM (Gemini Room): Selling and signing books

 


We provide…Leverage. (a Convention Guest’s Promise)

ConCoction does have an official harassment policy, which can be found here. Never be afraid or too self-conscious to approach me for any reason, and if someone is bothering you and I’m around, let me know. I may look like a nerd with a funny haircut, but I have experienced my share of harassment at conventions, and I am firmly committed to helping be the change.

 

Countdown to Cleveland ConCoction!

As the Dog Star Books authors prepare to invade Cleveland ConCoction (March 11-13), our fearless leader* Matt Betts is conducting interviews so that other con attendees can get to know us ahead of time.**

Go here to see my answers to some science-fiction questions*** and be sure to follow Matt’s blog to learn more about the rest of the Dog Star authors as well!

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*This a a rotating position in based on location, planetary alignment, and the opinions of our pet cats. Also, it’s hilarious to me that the majority pet in Dog Star author households is of the feline persuasion.

**Forewarned is forearmed.

***I am terrible at following instructions. Please don’t hold that against me.