Happy New Year to all of my awesome readers! In honor of 2017 finally being over, and to celebrate my birthday (yes, I’m a New Year’s Eve baby), I’d like to share a scene that was left on the cutting room floor after my beta readers read one of the earliest drafts of Steel Empires #3: Steel Blood.
This scene takes place early during the novel, while Victory and Mikelos are traveling by ship to Jiang Yi Yue. While I had fun writing it and exploring more of Rob and Guy’s characters, it was ultimately felt that the scene didn’t add to the larger story of the book itself.
My only birthday wish is that if you have been enjoying my writing, please consider leaving an honest review of any of my books someplace like Amazon or Goodreads. A review can be as simple as “I liked it!” and leaving a rating. This is the cheapest and easiest way to continue supporting authors you enjoy after buying their books.
Thank you, party safely tonight, and enjoy this look at Victory in her element — with a sword in her hand! Continue reading
Happy Halloween! I’m traveling tomorrow, so getting a jump on my monthly round-up post today. Please enjoy this picture of a vampire writer in her natural habitat from a Halloween party I attended this weekend. Apparently Waldo has gone to the dark side. Tonight I’ll be packing for my trip and giving out candy to the kids in my neighborhood. What are your Halloween plans, and what did you dress up as? Pictures encouraged!
Overall, I consider October a success! I ended up adding a weekend retreat with some awesome writer friends to my trip out of town to Seattle, but still managed to have a productive writing month. Let’s see where things fell, shall we?
- I did not catch up on September’s writing deficit, but I did meet my back-up goal of reaching 55k words in the first draft of Steel Shadows this month, for a total of 13.5k words written in October.
- I had a fantastic time visiting Seattle for a conference related to the day job, but got to catch dinner with a friend from high school as an added bonus!
October Book Reviews
October Speculative Chic Contributions
- I won’t be participating officially in NaNoWriMo this year, but I am looking forward to joining my local chapter for many of the evening write-ins! My goal this month is another 15k words on Steel Shadows, for an end goal of 70k words of the first draft completed.
- As I mentioned above, I’m going to out of town again tomorrow for a set of workshops for the day job. Don’t feel too sorry for me, though — this conference is at a Disney World resort, and I planned a free day to visit the new attractions at Animal Kingdom while I’m there!
- Later in the month, I’ll be a returning panelist at a local SF/F literary convention, ChessieCon, which takes place in Timonium, MD, the weekend after Thanksgiving. I’ll be sure to post my schedule soon. Will I see any of you there?
I have to wrap this up, because my husband is anxiously awaiting me to get back to our binge-watch of Stranger Things season 2. In the meantime, here’s a great shot of RDSP authors tackling an escape room together, which was easily one of the highlights of my month!
How many authors and editors does it take to escape a locked room? Featuring John Edward Lawson, J.L. Gribble, Jennifer Barnes, R., Heidi Ruby Miller, Jason Jack Miller, and Stephanie M. Wytovich
Like The Magicians, I’m glad that I watched the television series version of this story before picking up the books. However, unlike The Magicians, it wasn’t because the screen version fixed things that I hated about the books. In this case, it was purely because writing for screen is different than writing for the page. Continue reading
Author Jennifer Loring asking me the ever-important question about writing in the fantasy genre. What makes my vampires and other supernatural creatures stand out from the crowd? How did I put my own spin on the mythology while still making my characters recognizable? Take a quick look:
My vampires fit the mold in that they’re essentially immortal creatures who drink blood to sustain themselves and can’t be out in direct sunlight. They are apex predators who have evolved to be humanity’s greatest hunter. But rather than slathering monsters, for the most part my vampires are part of a civilized society that would much prefer a cold beer to the hot blood of an unwilling victim.
Along with vampires, I also discuss werewolves, who have been a part of this series since the first book, and weredragons, a recent newcomer to the pantheon on the Steel Empires. I hope you check it out.
While you’re there, take a look at some of Loring’s available work! She’s a prolific author who writes in a variety of genres, so there’s sure to be something for everyone.
Tomorrow is the LAST STOP of this blog tour!! It’s been a wild ride, and I appreciate everyone who’s joined for the fun. We’re closing things out at Weston Kincade‘s blog, with a final book excerpt. Obviously a Romeo & Juliet pastiche has to have the requisite “No, sir, but I do bite my thumb, sir” scene!
Because our books are being released a week apart, I teamed up with fellow RDSP authors Lee Murray and Dan Rabarts to do a bit of cross-promotion. This morning, I interviewed the main characters of their upcoming novel, Hounds of the Underworld, on my blog, and they were kind enough to do the same! A quick look:
Master Victory, which of your roles would you say makes you feel most alive? Mercenary, mediator, or mother?
Alive is an interesting word choice there, isn’t it? I spent the majority of my life as a mercenary, fell into the mediator role when I retired and accepted the mantle of Limani’s Master of the City, and became a mother to a child in need. Through circumstance rather than premeditated choice, but I have no regrets there. Certainly, all of those roles have moments that can elicit extreme emotion. But life isn’t just the exciting or dangerous bits. Life is what happens in between. So, I think I’d have to go with hanging out with my family, sharing some drinks and laughs, as the time when I feel most alive. My roles are part of that because they are what led me to this point in my life, to have those experiences.
For the full interview, please visit the blogs of either Lee Murray or Dan Rabarts. While you’re there, make sure to check out some of their other work to get you hyped up for Hounds of the Underworld!
Tomorrow, I’ll be participating in the author Jennifer Brozek’s “Tell Me” feature on her blog!
For the next stop on the Steel Blood blog tour, I couldn’t miss a visit with my internet doppelganger, author A.M. Justice! We share a love of world-building in our fantasy novels, so she asked me to write a bit about how the city of Limani came to be. A quick look:
But while the British settlements were funded by second and third children of the werewolf nobility, and the massive Roman plantations were supported by corporations led by wealthy Roman vampire lines, the Greek colonists embodied the nature of their origins. These disparate colonists, from multiple Greek cities, maintained the ideals of equality and democracy that linked their alliance back in Europa. The major factor in their favor was that a larger proportion than expected of the original group of colonists consisted of mages from every elemental faction. These were mages schooled in the Greek magical academies held in esteem throughout Europa, looking for adventure and new beginnings.
And it was what saved Limani, in the end.
Go check out the blog post for the full story, and don’t forget to poke around the site while you’re there! A.M. writes amazing epic fantasy with just a touch of intriguing science-fiction thrown in to keep readers on their toes.
Tomorrow, I’ll share some of my favorite and most influential urban fantasy authors with author Sara Dobie Bauer!
Happy book birthday to the third book in the Steel Empires series! Steel Blood features the continuing adventures of Victory and Mikelos, who couldn’t quite manage to stay safe at home while their kids were off having adventures in Steel Magic.
Today, the book is now officially available in hardcopy and ebook form from the following retailers:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Raw Dog Screaming Press
ABOUT THE BOOK
As her children begin lives of their own, Victory struggles with the loneliness of an empty nest. Just when the city of Limani could not seem smaller, an old friend requests that she come out of retirement for one final mercenary contract—to bodyguard his granddaughter, a princess of the Qin Empire.
For the first time in a century, the Qin and British Empires are reopening diplomatic relations. Alongside the British delegation, Victory and her daywalker Mikelos arrive in the Qin colony city of Jiang Yi Yue. As the Qin weredragons and British werewolves take careful steps toward a lasting peace between their people, a connection between the Qin princess and a British nobleman throw everyone’s plans in disarray.
Meanwhile, a third faction stalks the city under the cover of darkness.
This is not a typical romance. It’s a good thing Victory is not a typical vampire.
For stop #3 of the Steel Blood blog tour, I’m happy to feature an excerpt from the book itself. How does Victory get roped into her first mercenary contract in almost a hundred years? Read on to find out! Continue reading