Holiday Romance Special Part 2: Victory & Mikelos

SteelVictoryARC_cov.inddAs promised, the husband and I shared a delicious meal of Indian food in front of the TV last night to celebrate Valentine’s Day. We watched another few episodes of The Grand Tour and then went to bed early.

Today actually marks 8 years since we officially started dating! Not because of the holiday, but because in 2009 I had agreed to pick him up from the airport after a 2-week class in California, and he had a Valentine’s Day bouquet delivered to my apartment that morning as a thank you.

But you’re not here for my sappy love story. You’re here for the much more interesting one between Victory and Mikelos, who were introduced in Steel Victory. Vampire and daywalker will return for their own adventure this summer in Steel Empires #3: Steel Blood, but for now, here’s some backstory and behind-the-scenes info to tide you over.

How and why did they meet?

After the drama (and trauma) of the Last War, Victory settled in Limani with her progeny Jarimis. She helped Jarimis’ daywalker open a bar, supporting Allesdandra’s dream. One day, in walks a human man she recognized from back in Europa, a former concert violinist.

For 200 years, Mikelos had lived as the daywalker to his musical partner, the vampire and cellist Connor. When Connor disappears without a trace, he leaves his old life behind, escaping into anonymity in Limani. Or so he thinks.

When Mikelos is mortally wounded defending Allesandra, Victory turns him back into a daywalker to save his life. Continue reading

Steel Empires Fan Art!

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

STEEL MAGIC Blog Tour, Stop 3: My turn!

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!

An excerpt:

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.

Another excerpt:

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.

last day

STEEL MAGIC Blog Tour, Stop 2: Let’s Get Meta!

Happy Independence Day to everyone else to who lives in the United States! (Please don’t blow yourself up.)

Or, if you live in the old country:

treason day

Today, I’m still enjoying my beach-side view for a final day in the company of my awesome husband. I think there are brunch plans in my immediate future.

If you are not having brunch today (or even if you are), make sure to take a few moments to stop by the online home of YA paranormal author Jessica Knauss to check out my interview with Steel Magic protagonist Toria Connor! It’s a little bit weird to interview someone who is functionally part of my brain. But that’s the cool part about being a writer. Imaginary friends become totally acceptable! Here’s a small taste:

Your mom is a vampire? What is the rest of your family like?

Just as epic. Grandpa is also a vampire. He found me as a baby after my parents died, but didn’t really want the responsibility of a kid, so he took me to his progeny. Mama also had no interest in a kid, but that’s where Dad stepped in. He’s a daywalker—a human bonded to my mom, which grants him long life, too. Kane, the guy I consider my brother, is my partner in all things magic and mercenary, since we’re a bonded warrior-mage pair. And Syri, my best friend, is an elf. We’re definitely not a normal bunch around the dinner table. Especially since it’s breakfast for half of them.

Click on the link above for the rest of the interview!

If you’re not yet familiar with Toria, make sure you take advantage of the 99 cent sale currently going on for book 1 in the Steel Empires series, Steel Victory!

And don’t forget to stay current with Toria’s adventures by pre-ordering Steel Magic, available this Wednesday!

STEEL VICTORY deleted scene!

SteelVictoryARC_cov.inddIn honor of the final days of the Steel Victory 99 cent sale, I wanted to post one of the deleted scenes I have from this book.

This is a Toria and Syri scene from the middle section of the novel that shows a lot of fun interaction between the two girls. It was ultimately cut because it didn’t do anything to forward the plot or provide any information that had not yet been covered. I also changed a bit of their characterization in my final rewrites, so some details aren’t relevant to the rest of the Steel Empires series anymore.

To check out the further adventures of two of my favorite leading ladies, remember to pre-order Steel Magic, which will be released this week on July 6! Continue reading

STEEL MAGIC Blog Tour, Stop 1: Werecreatures Galore!

YA humor and paranormal author A.J. Culey hosted me on her blog today for the first stop on the Steel Magic blog tour. To tie in with her newest release, The Trouble with Antlers (a.k.a. Melvin’s Rampant Rack), I introduced some of the werecreatures in my Steel Empires series as new students at Shifter High. This includes a new werewolf featured in Steel Magic, Earl Henry “Hal” Delacour!

Stop by to meet Hal before pre-ordering Steel Magic and enjoy a visit with some old friends (and enemies!) from Steel Victory. Haven’t met them yet, either? Steel Victory is still 99 cents until Tuesday, so there’s plenty of time to catch up.