Gypsies After Dark!

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It has been a long time coming.

Late last year, in the August or September timeframe, I signed on to a box set that was planning on releasing in June.  It had a theme I hadn’t written a thing in before, but I could see how and where it would fit into the Anadidd’na universe, and so I went for it.

I’ve been leaving breadcrumbs to this series in my work ever since, and it makes me so excited for it to finally be ready for preorder.

Gypsies After Dark went live late last month, and we’ve been doing great.  We’re going to try to hit the USA Today bestseller list (okay, truth is that every one of us wants to go for NYTimes, but that’s a lot of luck and a lot of things working out – USA Today is something to work toward – NYTimes is something you close your eyes and hope for, when the work’s done), and there are a lot of things going on to get the word out.

First, a little about the box.

It’s Gypsy themed.  That much is kind obvious, I get it, but it was one I hadn’t thought about before.  I don’t know a lot about Romani gypsies – Esmerelda and Quasimodo are about it, really, and I scarce believe that they represent anything about gypsy culture outside of the flashy, media-distilled headlines – so I looked at ‘gypsy’ as more of a generic term for nomadic wanderers of a kindred type of culture.  In Gypsy Becca, Makkai gypsies are descended from an angel and gifted with crystal magic.  They don’t read palms and they rarely tell fortunes, and their opinion on Tarot cards is one I’m actually going to touch on at some point in a later book.  What they do is they hunt supernatural threats, living in a tight-knit group called a tribe and using their marvelous crystal magic.

They tell stories.  They play instruments.  They dance.

Of all of the work I’ve done in the Sam & Sam Anadidd’na universe, the Gypsy Queen series has the most life and color to it.  Sam and Samantha deal with some pretty dark stuff, and that leads to a grim outlook, even if it is spirited and determined.  The gypsies are more family oriented, more optimistic, and overwhelmingly more colorful in the literal sense, and it makes for a very different tone of book, even as the feel of the monster hunts remains true to the universe they live in.  I’ve *loved* these books, and I will have the sequel to Gypsy Becca – Gypsy Dawn – available on preorder right around the day the set goes live in June.

The rest of the books range across time and continents, and the authors have been so much fun to work alongside.  The covers are gorgeous and the plot concepts seem really intriguing.  I’m really excited to see what we can pull off.

Ordering is easy.  I’ve got a landing page for you to pick which version you’re interested in (and if it’s all the same to you, Apple, B&N, and Kobo increase our chances of listing much more than an Amazon order does, for drab technical reasons that I can explain in the comments if you’re interested).  There’s a free gift to preorders that you can claim here, and while you’re there, check out the giveaways.  This set has serious giveaways.  No kidding.  Think your friends might like to know about it?  Share in exchange for entries to the big giveaway.  That easy.

Want something to read before the set goes live in June?  Make sure you’re signed up to my newsletter for exclusive samples to all of the books in the set, plus prequels, deleted scenes, and tie-in short work in the same worlds.  Mine is a deleted scene from the middle of Gypsy Becca.

In all, the set has 23 brand new, exclusive novels, and it costs $0.99 for the preorder and the week of launch.  After that, the price is going to go up.

Grab it now, and wish us luck!

Justin!

My blog is a little behind my newsletter today.  One of them has to go out first, and the newsletter won.  I announced that Justin was available at InstaFreebie (it is!).

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Yay!

As with all of the prequels right now, they aren’t available to buy yet (they will be soon… I’ll talk more about this in a minute) so the only people who get to read them are the ones on my mailing list.  InstaFreebie requires that you sign up in order to get your copy.

Bonus, y’all.

But what surprised me was an e-mail I got from one of the readers I know best, who said she was really excited about this one.  And all of a sudden, I remembered how important this story is.  All of the prequels are *really* important.  That’s why I had to write them.  Carter and Samantha have all of this history, and all of these really important things that happened to them, and those were stories that I needed to get written down.

But Justin.

Justin is a big deal.  And I’d kinda forgotten that amidst all of the other stuff that I’m doing right now.

Now, this isn’t for sale yet.  It has an InstaFreebie exclusive cover, and it will probably not go on sale until the middle of January at least.  It’s possible it doesn’t make it to Amazon until February.  But it’s also only on InstaFreebie for a limited time.  So grab your copy.

Eventually, there are going to be four books in The Book of Carter: Rage, Justin, Diana, and Departure.  Once they’re all available, I’ll bundle them together and do a smidgen of editing to remove the constant explanations of who and what things are (translating angeltongue over and over again, among other things) and put them out in The Book of Carter.  Miss one of the first four?  Want to review the full set?  Let me know.  I’ll start putting together a review list for the book and get you a copy before it goes up for sale.

I’ll eventually do a full blog on it, but the long and short of reviewing for me is this: reviews are necessary for me to be successful.  Good or bad, I need them.  I will not require that you write a review in exchange for *anything*, a review copy or anything else.  I will not tell you that you should like, or review as though you like, anything I write, but I would kindly ask, if you *hate* everything I write… why are you here?  No.  My writing doesn’t fit everyone, and I have no issue with that.  Not all of my writing fits everyone, even if all of the rest of it did.  That’s okay.  The point of a review is for you to flag down other people who are thinking about reading something I’ve written and going: hey, this is what you need to know to make a good decision about whether or not to read this.

It’s not about me or my writing.  It’s about helping me and the people who would genuinely enjoy my work find each other.

So.  Contact me or comment here if you want a review copy, and I’ll get you on the list.

Yay, Justin!

Isobel – the book!

So this post is way late.  I was going to put this up Nov1, but Isobel wasn’t quite ready and then NaNo got the best of me and I ended up waiting for my Dec1 post.  And now it’s the third and I’ve been so involved in writing that I’m just getting to it.

So my apologies to her.

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Isobel went live in the middle of November.  This is a book in the Sam & Sam universe, but Isobel is not in on that, quite yet.  She’ll show up in Sam & Sam #7, but her history was one I wanted to get figured out before she turned up.

Because Isobel is complicated. Continue reading “Isobel – the book!”

#ProjectNovember

My writing calendar revolves around November.

Four years ago, I promised myself I was going to try to make a career out of writing, and that journey began at NaNo (National Novel Writing Month, in November).  While a lot of people quite legitimately feel like NaNo falls in the middle of what is already the most stressful season of the year for meeting obligations and finding time to get things done, I find it reinvigorating to repurpose a dark, cold season into the peak of the writing year.  The first few years, I intentionally took off the entire month of October, in order to be sitting on a pile of creative energy, come midnight, October 31st (not to mention a pile of leftover candy with its own kind of energy).  That hasn’t worked out for scheduling reasons, lately, but it’s still day 1 of my writing calendar, with a sense of new, with all of the shortcomings and the lots-of-work from the previous year wiped away.

November.

This is also when I take a close look at what I got done last year and what I plan on getting done next year, because anything that I don’t have on a glide path to finished by November isn’t going to get done in 2016 – it’s going to have to be next year’s project, anyway.  And this has been… an interesting year.

For reasons that aren’t worth listing out, here, I had a large break in publishing called ‘2015’.  I didn’t publish anything between Warrior, which came out Dec 30, 2014, and HDM: Miami, which was May, 2016.  (It’s worth noting that I didn’t stop writing, through this period.  I had two successful NaNos, and a few other really strong writing-challenge months, so the work is written.  I just have to get it *done*.)  They say that a gap in publishing that big is a momentum killer, but I didn’t have any momentum to speak of, anyway, so I figure it didn’t make all that big a difference to me.  Regardless, when I looked at this year, back at NaNo2015, I wanted to get books out, again, but that particular muscle had atrophied quite a lot, and it took five months to get the HDM novel organized and put out.  From there, things have rolled a bit more smoothly, but without really seeing the results I was hoping for.

So I made a deal with myself.  Writing year 2016-2017 is *the one*.  Everything I have been promising myself I was going to get around to, everything I’ve been meaning to try, all of the identified causes I have for not being as successful as I want to be – I’m going after them.  And that starts with a blitz of content all targeting – November 2016.

The things that are already done for #ProjectNovember:

-New cover for the original His Dark Mistress novel.  (The old one was a formative attempt at proving to myself that I’ve got no idea what I’m doing, designing a novel.  I’d love to say that that lesson is officially learned, but…  Quite frankly, I’m probably going to continue trying.)

-Publish and release Dragonsword.  My favorite book of the ones I’ve written to date, I’ve been sad to see it languish as much as it has, so far, and I hope that as I get further into #ProjectNovember, some of the readers who really enjoyed Sam & Sam will find that they enjoy it as much as I do.

-Release the Sam & Sam box set.  The first four books are really one story.  It has three natural breaks in it, which are where the four books come from, but this is how they were always meant to be.  I don’t know if I’ll do another Sam & Sam box set with any of the other books I have planned; perhaps a box set of Sam & Sam companions, as they come into existence, but probably not with the linear (numbered) Sam & Sam novels.  They just don’t go together the way the first four did.

-Various behind-the-scenes advertising and promotional work.  I find this a bit tawdry to discuss here, so I won’t.  Suffice to say, I haven’t done it before, and they say that in order for readers to know that your work exists, you have to tell them.  I find it difficult to argue with the inescapability of this logic.

Things that are yet to come before November:

-Sam & Sam paperbacks.  Yes.  This is happening.  The covers are done, it’s just a question of getting the layout finished, which takes time, and JJ is already underwater with the amount of stuff I’m asking him to do.  Like, you know, publish two books and a box set in two months, and a bunch of other things.  The first four books plus Dragonsword will all be ready in paperback by the end of October, though, or I promise to beat him.

-Isobel.  Oh, Isobel.  Isobel has been digging a hole in JJ’s brain for years, and he asked me to pry her out and pin her to a story, so that’s what I did.  She lives in the Anadidd’na universe – not that she knows it.  She’s the first of the Sam & Sam companion stories, and is an odd format, compared to the others.  I’ll be posting a short story (or at least, part of one, depending on how things go) to my blog here to help get a feel for how Isobel goes.  The cover is done, the editing is mostly done.  Isobel should be up by the very end of the month.

-More advertising and promotion.  I should note, here, that if you want to find out about all of the big groups of discounted books I join up with, be sure to sign up for my mailing list.  There are going to be more of these, going forward.  They’re a great way to find other authors who are writing the same kind of stuff I write, at great prices.

-Potentially the first Book of Carter novella.  In all, there will be four novellas, and my plan is to release them quickly across the end of this year and the beginning of next year, and then combine them all into a single book.  The first one is called Rage.

November.  The writing year starts in November.  And I’m going to do everything I can to make it a big one.

Wish me luck.

Rangers boxset!

So, things keep stacking up.  I’ll have a blog on it in a day or two explaining where I’m headed, but this is here so I wanted to get it posted:

Rangers Origin, books 1-4 is now available on Amazon at a 30% discount to the price of the four books individually.

All the demonic hack ‘n slash, none of the going-to-get-the-next-book.  Score one for the good guys!  Buy your copy here.

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Dragonsword: Live today!

It’s here!

I want to open with this, because it’s important to me: Dragonsword is my favorite book, of the ones I’ve written so far, including 17 novels and a basket full of shorter work.  The world of Sam & Sam continues to pick up new characters, and this is the cast that I’ve really been looking forward to.  There are also a number of continual character transformations that are really important, over the course of this book.  Makes this book, among all of my Sam & Sam books, their offshoots, and my other books, feel like home.

After the tumultuous formation in the first four books, Sam, Samantha, and Jason have hit their identities.  The problem is that there’s a reason Samantha ran away from all of this in the first place: New York and its political intrigue is messy, dirty, and violent, and the more powerful you are, the more involved you are, whether you like it or not.  And while Samantha may not like it, she’s not going to back down.

You can get Dragonsword on Amazon here.  Don’t want to dive in in the middle?  Start with Rangers, for only $0.99.  Prefer to read paper?  Watch this space: Sam & Sam in paperback is coming soon!

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Sam & Sam: Need to Know

In December, 2014, I published 4 books.  They were Rangers, Shaman, Psychic, and Warrior, the first four books of the Sam & Sam series, a plot, a set of characters, and a universe that I am persistently preoccupied with.  After that, life happened for a while and I didn’t publish anything again until King of Miami (A His Dark Mistress novel) in May of this year.  Near as matters, a year and a half without publishing.

I did not stop writing.

I’ve been promising Dragonsword, book 5 of Sam & Sam, for a long time, and we finally have a concrete plan to get it published sometime in the middle of next month.  The tentative date on the calendar is September 15.  I have a cover.  (I even have a print cover.  Zounds.)  I’ve written the blurb.  The final word-level edits are in process, and then I’ll hand it over to JJ for the obligatory button-pushing.

He’s very good at that.

And so it is time for my introductory piece on Sam & Sam, since I have not ever written anything *about* this series, other than what exists in its cover copy. Continue reading “Sam & Sam: Need to Know”