Apologies for the radio silence, readers. I went on holiday, and somehow all my plans to get ahead of myself and schedule posts before I went didn’t work out.
I suspect they didn’t work out because I was sadly behind on deadlines. I’d intended a week completely free of writing to unwind entirely, but that didn’t go to plan, either and I ended up writing the last 4,000 words of the middle book of my fantasy series while I was there.
Don’t feel too sorry for me, however, because this was my view. It was so relaxing and so inspiring that the last 4k words flowed (fairly) effortlessly.
Now I’m back in the real world it’s time for the proper work to start: revisions! And in the meantime, my designer is hard at work and I hope to have a cover to share with you soon – watch this space.
Excuse the shameless self-promo today, readers, but I’m wildly excited to report that not only is my series, A Clockwork War, complete, but it’s now also available as a bargain-priced boxed set.
Bingeing a series once it’s all available is apparently THE way to consume fiction these days. I feel out of step since I don’t tend to binge read books (I mean, I read constantly, natch, but jumping from one thing to another). I do tend to record TV series and watch them once they’re all out, but I think that’s a shortage of time more than a deliberate choice.
When it comes to books, however, I’ll grab them as soon as they’re out if I like them (case in point, I’m foaming at the mouth for two instalments in novella series I’m midway through that won’t be out until the end of the month, alongside a more distant yearning for the next Tides novel by Alex Lidell which doesn’t yet have a release date).
But, if you’re a binge reader (or even if you’re not!) and you like steampunk, genius heroines, gutsy heroes and dastardly antagonists, do try A Clockwork War. I had terrific fun writing about Clara, her friends and her fabulous brothers (she has five) in a world where England and Scotland remain at war in the 1840s.
Another tricky week, this week, readers. The Shattered Worlds Read Along finishes today with Miranda Hardy’s Death Knocks, except that I’d already read that, having got myself a bit out of order (it’s fabulous, btw). So there wasn’t a book from the collection that I felt as though I needed to read.
So, I haven’t read a Shattered Worlds book this week. That doesn’t mean I’ve stopped reading. I hope that will only happen when I’m no longer breathing! But this has been a week where I’ve focused entirely on myself.
As well as busily writing my nano words (I’ve hit 42k – OMG, crack out the choccie brazils, I have never written this consistently fast before in my life!) I was also on deadline to get my final clockwork war book to my editor ready for her to start work on Monday. So that’s what was on my Kindle, having a final read through to make sure that any plot holes big enough for me to see were filled in before it was sent off for a professional assessment. There will, sadly, be other plot holes that hid while I was reading, but that’s why I use an editor.
Being at 42,000 words when I’m aiming for a 50,000 word first draft means I’m actually on the home straight. I want to finish by next weekend, so I can actually slow down a lot and still hit my target. I hope that’s going to give me time to read, because I really want to lose myself in someone else’s worlds.
First off is the new release by one of my favourite writers – Kelly St Clare. Blood Oath (co-written with Raye Wagner) came out this week and I’ve only made it into chapter two so far (it’s great; Kelly’s books always are). With a bit less time writing and more reading going on in my life, I hope that will also be finished by next weekend.
Check back next week to see if I’ve met either or both of my new deadlines!
Well, it was looking like I might not manage a Shattered Worlds book report this week. Life’s been manic and I haven’t had as much time for reading as I would have liked.
However, I’m delighted to report that I reached THE END of The Magic or the Rulership by Emily Martha Sorensen while I was waiting for my takeway last night.
I loved it. It’s set in a fantasy world and had some glorious touches – I adored the idea that being a mathematician was a surefire way to poverty, and the system for power in the world was absolutely fascinating.
The other thing I truly adored was the humour that infused the story. Tevan’s feelings about his intended, Ainlinn, were extremely wry and amusing, and their meeting with the Ruler was laugh-aloud.
And the reason I’ve been so busy this week? Well, I was racing to finish revisions on the final clockwork war book so I could clear my desk ready for Nano. I am joining that mad band of authors aiming to write 50k words during November. So far, I’m at 16k on day 5, so I’m pretty happy with progress so far. I’ll keep you posted!
This week I read A G Henley’s The Scourge. This took me by surprise in a lot of very good ways. What seemed at first to be a pre-industrial fantasy world turned out to be set in a post-apocalyptic future. There were other twists like that, but I don’t want to give away any spoilers. But in short, very little was quite as it seemed. Narrator Fennel was ideal to experience this story with us, because you really couldn’t always believe your eyes (Fennel is blind, so doesn’t have the option to trust her eyes!).
And that’s the only reading-for-pleasure I’ve managed this week. I have been busy with my own books, though: proofing the paperback of The Clockwork War, the Kindle version of An Airship from Ashes, and revising The Tinker Queen ready for editing while working on the first draft of finale The Immortality Device, so it’s all go in my house!
If you’ll forgive me a bit of self-promo, I’m delighted to say that The Clockwork War is now available as a real life ink-and-paper book. If that’s what floats your boat, check it out.
I’m looking forward to next week when I should have more time for reading. Check back next week to see what I’ve picked from Shattered Worlds.
Oh my goodness, I thought I might slacken off when I didn’t have my Alphabet Reading Challenge to keep my nose in a book. I’m delighted to say that hasn’t happened at all!
Since blogging last I’ve had a lovely week off, taking a holiday by the seaside. I also caught up on some of the books I wanted to read “just because” rather than because they start with the necessary letter of the alphabet to fit my challenge.
I got through the whole of Rachel E Carter’s Black Mage series (terrific – the list of imaginary worlds in which I want to take a holiday grows exponentially!). I read an out of left field 5* book that just happened to catch my eye in a Facebook group I’m a member of. Ember Burning was unsettling in the best way – creative, eerie and populated by fabulous characters.
And finally, I read a book by a fellow author in the Shattered Worlds collection. I decided to start with Cortney Pearson’s The Perilous In-Between to check out her take on steampunk, and it’s glorious – delightfully fantastical and beautifully written.
I’m now back to work and writing hard on my clockwork war series – book two is about to go to my proof-readers, and I’m on the home straight to complete the writing of book three. While I’m doing that, my reading is research for what I’m going to write next (ideas are coalescing, but I’m not certain which story I’m going to pick just yet). I’ll keep you posted!
If you’ll excuse me a plug, Shattered Worlds is out now and today is the last day to get it at launch-day-bargain price of .99. Next week it will be going up to the regular price of $2.99, so if you’re dithering, dither no longer and grab a copy!
Summer is nearly upon us. Have you got your summertime reading lined up? If not (and even if you have), check this out.
In June, the Alliance of Young Adult Authors is sponsoring a massive young adult scavenger hunt. This is a chance to meet some new authors, grab a bunch of free books, and sign up to win a whole bunch of epic prizes!
The whole thing is going to be fabulous fun. So, please, check back on June 1st and join us!
Each author will be given a special keyword, which will be bolded and all caps like this: BUTTERFLIES. All you have to do is visit all the author’s sites (below) in this order, write down the special keywords to discover the short story, then enter the giveaway with the completed short story HERE (not yet live – check back as the link will be posted soon).
There will be one main giveaway for the main prize, but most of the participating authors will also have smaller giveaways for free books and author swag (three lucky readers can win a signed copy of Discord from me, for example), so make sure you read their post carefully to see what else they’re offering while you’re on their site for the keyword.
Authors will have their post up and visible on their site/blog, with their keyword, by June 1st. Readers just need to go through the list, find the words, and use the story to enter for the grand prize.
I am so excited to share this with you – my next release will be part of a set with 22 other novels by a group of uber-talented YA writers: Shattered Worlds
Escape into twenty-three epic worlds that will leave you breathless.
.99 for a limited time!
From dystopian nightmares to gorgeous steampunk and fantasy settings to fairy-tale retellings and beyond, SHATTERED WORLDS has every story you’ve been dying to get your hands on!
This unique Young Adult/New Adult collection, inspired by the creative minds of today’s New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling authors, promises to satisfy your cravings for action and adventure as you experience rune magic and time-travel, overthrow corrupt governments, meet reapers and aliens, battle dragons, fall hopelessly in love, and break ancient curses, right alongside some of the bravest characters in fantasy fiction!
Each book within this collection is exclusive to the set and can’t be found anywhere else.
Preorder now for your passport to SHATTERED WORLDS!
USA Today bestselling
author J.L. Weil USA Today bestselling authors Armitage & Culican New York Times bestselling author N.R. Larry Rebecca Rode Kristy Tate A.G. Henley USA Today bestselling author Jane Redd Miranda Hardy and Jay Noel Ali Winters Audrey Grey Elana Johnson Megan Linski Elizabetta Holcomb Cindy M. Hogan Liz Long Julie Hall Cameo Renae Jen Minkman Cortney Pearson Ainsley Shay Katy Haye USA Today bestselling author Emily Martha Sorensen Nichole Giles
I’m so sorry! My blog this week should, of course, be all about my Q book. However, it’s gone a bit pear-shaped. I had it all worked out: on holiday I was going to finish my P book (managed that) and find and read my Q book.
A nice plan, but I hadn’t realised how rubbish Amazon is when you’re trying to find a book instead of buying one you already know you want. (Tara Sparling blogged about how frustrating it is to browse Amazon recently, and I quite agree).
Q book in the YA genre… Well, let’s face it, every other title is “Queen Something”, so that’s a good place to start … except that Amazon offered me 3 Queen titles, none of which grabbed me, and then that was it: have the top 100 books to scroll through. Pah. And because I was in foreign climes I couldn’t even go to a physical bookshop and ask someone (well, until I got back and that’s what I did).
I’ve also been busy as I launched a new book this weekend (yippee!). If you like my writing, please check out Dissent – and grab a copy this weekend while it’s .99 for launch (it’s also in KU if you have a subscription). If you haven’t read Discord yet (where have you been?!), it’s on a free promo, so you can get both the Echoes of Earth books for a paltry .99 (try getting that from your local Waterstones!).
Next week, I promise normal service will be resumed. I’ve started Shadow Queen (yes, I know that’s a cheat for a “Q” book, but I was getting desperate and it’s close enough) so I’ll be able to tell you all about it by then.
And if you want to know what I read on holiday when I couldn’t find a Q, check out The Good Riddance Project, which was tremendous fun. Can you project manage a murder? Read it and find out!
I’m not going to write about my free reading challenge today because I’m too excited about the launch of Discord next week.
Most of my head-space has been taken up with marketing stuff: graphics and promotions and adverts and blog posts.
The part I’ve truly enjoyed is creating a video trailer for Discord. I found the music first, then the script came to me one sleepless night. I found suitable images (thank you unsplash.com) and then software from Movavi let me put it together. I’m not in the least technical, so I’m really pleased that I got it to work with no screaming and shouting or hair-tearing-out!
Here is the final result, I hope you enjoy it:
Oh, and if you like it enough to want more, Discord can be found on Amazon. It’s available for pre-order now (at a special, pre-launch price of 99p/c), and will be delivered to your Kindle on December 8th (this coming Thursday).