I’ve been happily married for a few years, and while I could wax poetic about my amazing husband, when it comes to real life, we’re not the most romantic couple. He doesn’t work on Mondays, so our Valentine’s Day plan is to get some take-out Indian food and catch up on the DVR tonight. Honestly, we can’t be bothered to do anything tomorrow since he gets home late.
I am more than happy, however, to gush about the fictional couples in my life. Today, I’ll be discussing Kane Nalamas and Archer Sophin, who meet in Steel Empires #2, Steel Magic (now available in ebook or hardcopy). Tomorrow, in preparation for Steel Empires #2, Steel Blood (available July 2017), I’ll highlight Victory and Mikelos, whom you met in Steel Victory.
Some of the information below will be familiar from Steel Magic, though I’ll avoid overt spoilers. I hope you enjoy the rest as a mixture of delightful background information and a glimpse into their future within the series!
How and why did they meet?
With his warrior-mage partner, Kane was on a mercenary job to investigate the disappearance of mages in the world. Though the head of New Angouleme’s mage school assures them otherwise, Archer reaches out to reveal that not all is well. He has been functionally imprisoned, exchanging his physical safety for access to his magical power. Archer throws in his lot with Kane and Toria, following them to the other side of the world to save magic. Continue reading
I had a bit of a SNAFU earlier this year with professional review sites, so I hadn’t been paying that much attention to them since the release of the second book in the Steel Empires series, Steel Magic. Therefore, I’m about half a year late in telling you all the fantastic news!
Steel Magic received a lovely shout-out in Library Journal earlier this year, and I’d love to share it with you here:
Gribble, J.L. Steel Magic. Dog Star: Raw Dog Screaming. (Steel Empires, Bk. 2). Jul. 2016. 188p. ISBN 9781935738855. pap. $14.95. FANTASY
Newly graduated Toria Conor and Kane Nalamas discover they are the last warrior-mages in Limani after the strange death of one of their teachers. Yet they are set on becoming professional mercenaries after their 18 months as contracted journeymen. As a bonded pair, Toria and Kane understand their elemental powers work even better than most, but it does not solve the mystery of disappearing mages. Hired by a city elder to resolve the matter, they travel to New Angouleme with their elven friend Syri to investigate the local mage school. When Syri is kidnapped, Toria and Kane must find and save her as well as magic itself. In this excellent follow-up to Steel Warrior, Gribble brings the newest generation to the forefront with an adventure reminiscent of Tamora Pierce’s “Alanna” series. VERDICT Strong plotting and captivating characters will please fans of fantasy quests.
Direct link to post here.
I mean, there’s a minor quibble in the fact that I’m hoping they meant Steel Victory rather than Steel Warrior, but otherwise I’m humbled and pleased by that succinct review.
I’ll be back later today for my monthly roundup, but I wanted to share this delightful news first.
Thank you so much to everyone who came out to East City Bookshop in Washington DC last night for the official launch party for my second novel, Steel Magic!
Photo Credit: Sarah Zullo
The final installment of my interview series at Calico in Conversation is now live! Go check out my thoughts on attending conventions, a few book recommendations, and other projects percolating in my brain.
Don’t forget, there will be a quiz next week.
I hope that all of you who are local to the Maryland/Virginia/Washington DC area will consider joining me for the launch party for Steel Magic!
Date: Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Time: 6:30-8:30 PM
Address: East City Bookshop
645 Pennsylvania Ave, Ste 100
Washington, DC 20003
This is the link to RSVP for the event. Admission is FREE.
There will be a reading and signing, along with a raffle giveaway with a bunch of cool prizes. And most importantly: delicious cake!
Many thanks to the Easy City Bookshop for hosting this event. I’m looking forward to seeing you there!
Every Wednesday night, or at least as many as I can manage, I meet with three friends for what we call “Writing Group.”
Most of the time, we meet at an independent coffee shop in Historic Ellicott City, Maryland. The funniest part about it is that sometimes we don’t get much writing done (we went to a baseball game a few weeks ago). In fact, only three of us are actually writers! But what’s important is that it’s a great time to be social with some of my favorite people. They’ve been incredibly supportive of my fledgling writing career, so I wanted to thank them publicly. Continue reading
For the final stop on the Steel Magic blog tour, I swung by the online home of YA Dark Fantasy author Andi Adams! She asked me to talk a little bit about the origin of the Steel Empires series. Read my post, “Evolution of an Urban Fantasy Series” to learn how Highlander inspired my love of urban fantasy, swords, and hot Welshmen!
(There are no hot Welshmen in the Steel Empires series. Yet.)
My best friend Julia (the Kane to my Toria, as it were) regularly makes goofy comics of our friend group using ridiculous stick figures of us. Today, in honor of the release of Steel Magic, she made fan art for me! I’m sure it is the beginning of much more to come, and I will be sure to inflict–I mean, share them all with you. Continue reading
It’s finally book release day! The Steel Empires series now has two books, making it officially a series!
I know I’ve been spamming it a lot, but here’s the link to purchase your print or ebook copy of Steel Magic, just in case you’re new to my little corner of the internet. If you are, welcome! Help yourself to tea and don’t mind the cats loudly demanding attention.
I’m also pleased to announce today’s stop on the blog tour. I visited fantasy author Cara McKinnon and shared the step-by-step process that I go through for revising my books: So You’ve Finished Your Novel. What Next? I hope that this is a handy guide for all writers, regardless of whether you have any sort of additional editing experience.
I’m planning a celebratory dinner with my writing group tonight (well, treating myself to ice cream at our usual Wednesday-night writing spot), but alas, the work doesn’t stop. I’m currently on step 7 of my revision process for book 3, and if all goes well, we’ll be right back here in a year to celebrate the publication of Steel Blood!
It’s my turn on the grill today for the Steel Magic blog tour!
First up: I answer some questions about the writing life on contemporary romance author Jennifer Loring’s blog!
Do you have a special writing place? What’s in it? What can’t be in it?
I have an amazing home office that I practically live in for editing and marketing work. But for some reason, it’s really hard for me to actually produce words there. It’s not even an access to the internet thing, because the first thing I do when I get to one of my multitude of local writing spots (coffee shops and cafes) is turn on the WiFi. Perhaps it’s just knowing that I can’t go home until I get my daily word goal finished!
Elsewhere on the interwebs, the beginning of my three-part interview at Calico Writes was also posted today! This is part of a feature called “Calico in Conversation,”so join us for a bit as we talk about things like how my day job affects my writing and who some of my biggest inspirations are.
Can you talk a bit about editing? You say you freelance: is that fiction or medical or both? I can see how editing fiction helps you as a writer, but what about the medical side of things? Do you utilize medical research for your fiction?
While I enjoy medical editing, it is definitely what I do to pay the bills. Fiction editing is my first love, so those are the sorts of freelance jobs I take. However, I feel like the basic knowledge set I have acquired after editing journal articles about everything from spinal cord injury to traumatic brain injury to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has improved my storytelling, especially as a fantasy author. Too many times, injury (both physical and mental) is either not portrayed realistically or completely brushed aside. I cringe when I see characters receive blows to the head and wake up later with no ill effects, both on screen and on the page. I am also challenging myself with a PTSD storyline later in the Steel Empires series because I am constantly amazed when heroes are put through the wringer book after book with no lasting effect stronger than the occasional nightmare.
Don’t forget that today is the LAST DAY to take advantage of the Kindle 99 cent sale for Steel Victory! You’ll definitely want to be caught up before Steel Magic is released tomorrow.