Thursday, June 06, 2019

FEAR THE STARS available in the UK!

If you're in the UK, you can pick up Fear the Stars, book 4 in the Chaos Queen Quintet, TODAY! What are you waiting for?!

If you're in the US, you'll unfortunately have to wait until the 18th. But that's still soon! REJOICE!

The UK blurb is even better than the US blurb imo:
Many forces converge on the great city of Triah, bent on its destruction. By sea, Empress Cova of Roden sails with her armada, determined to bring the rival nation under her yoke. From land, Winter, the Chaos Queen, brings her tiellan army, set on revenge. And their advance brings a yet more terrible army still: awoken by the Chaos Queen’s powers, daemons mass on the border between worlds, waiting for a way in.
Caught between the encroaching foes, a small group holds the key to saving the Sfaera from destruction: Knot, the former assassin; Cinzia, the exiled priestess; and Astrid, the vampire-child. But the only way to do so is to step into the Void beyond worlds—from which no one can return unchanged.
You can check out Fear the Stars on Amazon UK here.

Or you can pre-order the US version here.

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

FEAR THE STARS Book Launch in Two Weeks!

This is, first of all, a reminder that the US release date for Fear the Stars has been pushed back until Tuesday 18 June! That's two weeks later than the originally planned release date (which was actually today). My publisher pushed back the release date this time around just slightly because last year there were a few issues getting copies of Blood Requiem out to bookstores on time. Hopefully, that will be remedied this year, and all of your local bookstores will have plenty of copies.

Incidentally, the UK release date remains the same--this Thursday, 7 June--so those lucky folks will get copies of book 4 before anyone else this time around!

Second of all, if you're in the Utah area, consider coming to my book launch at Weller Book Works at 6:30 PM on Tuesday 18 June!

This will be my fourth book launch at Weller's, and it's become one of my favorite events of the year because I get to see so many awesome folks I already love in my home state, as well as meet a few new ones, and I get to talk about one of my books. (Fear the Stars is particularly awesome, imo, by the way.) We'll have a grand old time, probs do a reading, definitely sign some books, might have another iteration of Chaos Queen t-shirts to hand out to folks who show up on time, etc. I may or may not sword  fight someone. You know, the usual. It'll be cool.

So if you'll be in Utah in two weeks, come! Tell your friends! Bring/invite a thousand people and make Weller's sad they didn't order more books! :-D

And, of course, here's the blurb for Fear the Stars:
All parties converge on the capital city, Triah - Cinzia and the Odenites to establish their new religion and appeal against a charge of heresy; Knot and Astrid to find answers in the vampire girl's past; and Winter has come to conquer the city, at the head of a tiellan army. But Winter is still struggling with her addictions and anger; Knot's efforts to be reunited with her can only lead to disappointment. Cinzia cannot free herself from a terrible bargain. And as the battle lines are drawn, the true nature of the goddess Canta, and the Odenites' final purpose, will soon be revealed...

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Congrats to DJ Butler!

Had a great time at the Whitney Awards Gala last night, and the award for the speculative category went about as I expected: DJ Butler's Witchy Winter won! It was his birthday yesterday, after all, so what would one expect?

I'm very happy for him--it's an amazing book, and if you haven't read his Witchy series, get on it, starting with Witchy Eye--and the award is very well-deserved. Again, I was honored to be among such finalists.

Congrats to all the winners!

Not pictured: DJ Butler.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Whitney Awards this Friday

In case you've forgotten, Blood Requiem is a finalist for the Whitney Award! It's competing with these four other phenomenal books, and we'll find out which one emerges victorious tomorrow night at the Whitney Awards Gala.

For the record, I've got my money on either Dave Butler's or Charlie Holmberg's books taking the prize home. Both are awesome books written by very talented writers. Although, to be fair, I haven't read the other two books on the list, so they might also have a strong shot. Nevertheless, based on what I've read, my money's on Holmberg or Butler.

I won't be at the Storymakers conference this year (which hosts the Whitney Awards), BUT if you'll be there and want to check out my books, head on over to the bookselling area and you'll find SIGNED COPIES (gasp!) of the first three books of the Chaos Queen Quintet! Get 'em while they're still there!

All in all I'm honored just to be a finalist for the award. I wish the best of luck to all the other finalists, and I'm looking forward to the Gala tomorrow!

Monday, April 29, 2019

FEAR THE STARS cork board

For my last few novels I've taken to writing a summary of each chapter on 3x5 notecards and laying them out on the ground or on a cork board. The following is what I did for Fear the Stars while I was going through the final revision a few months ago (smudgified to prevent spoilers):

I also use Scrivener as my writing software, and Scrivener has a cork board feature which I use extensively. That said, there's something about physically seeing all of my chapters and scenes in order, and being able to move them around in a physical space, that I find very helpful.

Fear the Stars comes out in about seven weeks! I've already started getting my advanced copies from my publisher, and I have to say I'm very excited about this book. I realize I say that every time, but I honestly think it's because of a positive trend in my novel-writing abilities as opposed to any bias on my part (I mean, let's be clear, there's that, too, but still).

If I were to rank my Chaos Queen novels, I actually think Duskfall and Dark Immolation are about on the same level. They're very different novels, with very different strengths and weaknesses, but if I had to grade them on a whole I'd say they're of roughly the same quality (which is, in my opinion, pretty good quality). I think Blood Requiem, on the other hand, is clearly superior to the first two novels in the series. It's tighter, the characterization and character voices are stronger, and overall the writing is just better.

I think Fear the Stars is to Blood Requiem what Blood Requiem was to the first two books in the series: tighter, stronger, better. That's a good thing for a number of reasons, but mainly in that I think it's displaying how I'm generally getting a better grasp on what it means to be a writer. That's a trend I hope continues throughout my career.

As far as Dawnrise goes, it definitely has the potential to be my best book yet. It might end up being more or less on par with Fear the Stars, or, perhaps, just a smidge lower (I really did like FtS, ya'll). Only time will tell, of course, but based on my outline and what I've written so far, I'm feeling very confident about the ending book of the series.

Friday, April 26, 2019

New Taylor Swift Video

So, a few things.

First of all, quick update on the writing, because I've been posting a lot of "fluff" lately and I don't want any readers to think I'm off the wagon as far as progress on book 5 is concerned. I'm not! Progress on Dawnrise continues to go well; I'm currently working through Part II of the novel (of four parts). I'm hoping to cross the midpoint threshold before May is out, and then get the rest of the book done in June. So far, I'm feeling very confident about the book. It's a bit surreal to be ending the series I've been working on pretty exclusively for the past six years, but it's awesome, too.

(Also, brief side note, I'm hoping I have some more stuff to announce relatively soon. I've got a number of balls in the air in regard to future projects after the Chaos Queen Quintet, and I'm hoping one or more of them finds a nice home very soon.)

Secondly, Avengers: Endgame was, just, WOW. I'm still sort of reeling from it, but my first impressions are that it was a worthy "ending" to the franchise. Or, at least, to the first four phases of the MCU or whatever. I'd honestly be happy if they called it here, but they're not going to kill they're golden-egg laying goose, you know? Anyway, I thought it was very good. I might post more thoughts on that here later, and it's possible my opinion will change (my opinion of Star Wars VIII went from "that was pretty great!" to "this is not as good as I thought it was" to "this is a dumpster fire of missed opportunity occasionally spattered with great moments" each time I watched it, so all bets are off I suppose). But, right now, I thought it was incredibly well done.

Ok, and now for the whole reason I'm writing this post.

Taylor Swift is back, ya'll!

Okay, slight context: I'm a reasonably hardcore swiftie. Been a fan of her music since Fearless, been a fan of her fan community (seriously they're a bunch of Sherlock Holmesian detectives over there, just spend some time in the TS subreddit if you don't believe me) for slightly less time. I'm not going to go into the details of the how's and why's as to why I like Taylor Swift and her music (I mean, is that even necessary?), but, you know, it's just an FYI thing. That's one of my corners of geekdom, if you will (the subject of a blog post I've been meaning to write for a while, actually, and one I might even get around to one day).

So. TS fans have been going nuts over the past couple weeks (past couple months, really) at all of the alleged hints and clues that TS may or may not have planted (some she definitely did), and it all led to the midnight release of "ME!," her new track and music video. (I was initially worried when I heard the track featured Brandon Urie of Panic! at the Disco--that band is hit and miss for me, and even their hits have never been that memorable imo--but he nails his part, his voice is perfect for the track, and it blends well with Taylor's.

It's pretty great, honestly.

Clearly the era of TS7 will take a brighter turn than TS6 (Reputation), which I'm okay with. I love me some darkness, and while I loved a lot of aspects of the Reputation era, this is certainly more true to form for her. My main criticism of Reputation was actually that TS occasionally seemed...uncomfortable in the darkness. When she did it well it was awesome, but sometimes it felt a bit forced. Either way it was a step out of her comfort zone, which I think is praiseworthy, and for the most part she nailed it, but I'm excited to see what she'll do as she comes back to a more familiar tone--and how she changes and innovates it, hopefully.

Yikes. This is just scratching the surface of my TS fandom, and I'm going to leave it there for now. One day I might write a big long thingy about how I feel towards all of TS' discography, but that is not this day.

Today, let me just show you this: