Hi everyone! Today I’m guest blogging over at Steampunk Romance! I answer interview questions about Angel of Brass and Steampunk in general, plus one lucky commenter will win a $5 Amazon gift card! So hop on over and say “hi!”
To officially celebrate Mundania Press, LLC 10th year anniversay, Mundania Press is running a sale starting today through the end of the year. Which means the majority of my books are on sale for 25% using coupon code holiday on both ebooks and print, if you buy from the Mundania website.
I’m super-excited to announce that I’ve signed a contract with German publisher Piper for The Sorceress’s Orc, or Unter Golems as it will be called in Germany. This is the first translation of any of my published works, and I couldn’t be more pleased. If only I spoke German (besides being able to count to ten, which doesn’t really come up very often in normal conversation).
Unter Golems will be released in Spring of 2013. I can’t wait! In the meantime, feast your eyes on this gorgeous new cover.
If anyone is going to Balticon (May25-28), here’s the schedule of panels I’m currently on:
Erotic Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature Re-Examined
Moderator: Elaine Corvidae Friday, 11:00 PM, Salon B, (50 minutes)
Panelists: Chris Evans, Val Griswold-Ford, Helen “Cynical Woman” Madden, Steven H. Wilson
When is it erotic literature and when is it just formula porn? What if it detracts or distracts from the story line instead of enhancing it? Some of the stuff being written sounds as if the author has never actually had sex… Panelists bring and read some examples of what they think is good stuff and awful stuff and tell us why.
Publisher Non-Grata Saturday, 11:00, Chesapeake (50 minutes)
Moderator: Elaine Corvidae; Panelists: Collin Earl, Paul Elard Cooley, Brand Gamblin, John Mierau
Why authors are succeeding without a publisher of any size behind them.
Web Comics: The Creative Process Saturday, 1:00 PM, Chesapeake (50 minutes)
Moderator: Phil Kahn; Panelists: Elaine Corvidae, Chris Impink, Barb Fischer, Ryan Thompson
Going from idea to final product takes practice. Learn to be creative while attaining ‘done’.
The Wild Hunt & The Payment To Hell — Fairies Are NOT Nice! Saturday. 12 Midnight, Pimlico ( 50 Minutes)
Moderator: James Daniel Ross Panelists: Stephanie M. Burke, Elaine Corvidae, Jagi Lampighter, Jean Marie Ward
Broad Universe Readings (Ward) Sunday, 1:00 pm, Salon B (1 hr 20 minutes)
Moderator: Jean Marie Ward; Panelists: Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Roxanne Bland, Emilie P. Bush, Elaine Corvidae, J. R. Blackwell, Trish J. Wooldridge, T.J. Perkins, S. J. Tucker, Kelly A. Harmon
Rapid Fire readings from some amazing women/authors
Tips and Tricks for Creating a Graphic Novel Webcomic. PRESENTATION
Sunday, 3:00 PM, Chesapeake (50 minutes)
Moderator: Jennifer Zyren Smith; Panelists: Elaine Corvidae, Phil Kahn
Do you have a graphic novel inside your head just waiting to come out? This panel will help you! Our panelists have over 10 years cumulative experience publishing their graphic novels online and you can learn from our mistakes. Topics will include: writing, planning and storyboarding, publishing online, keeping an update schedule, tools of the trade, and marketing strategies.
Which comes first? The main character or the supporting cast?
Round Table Discussion Sunday, 8:00 PM, Parlor 3041 (50 minutes)
Moderator: David Wood Panelists: Elaine Corvidae, Barbara Friend Ish, James Maxey, David Sherman, Maria V. Snyder, Jean Marie Ward
Do you start with a main character and build the rest around them? Or do you start with a cast of characters and wait for the most compelling to “become” the main character? What do you do when you start with a main character in mind and another character steals the show?
For The Love Of Villainy Sunday, 10:00 PM, Salon B (50 minutes)
Moderator: Tad Daley; Panelists: J. R. Blackwell, Elaine Corvidae, Christoper Morse, Michael D. Pederson
What is the appeal of a good villain? Why do we love to hate them? Why are some villains indelible?
I hope to see some of you there!
Most of my regular readers are already familiar with Nocturne, as it’s an older novella only recently gone out of print, but I’m going to post here anyway. Now that the rights have reverted to me, I’ve given it a new cover and have reissued it for the Kindle. (Note: I may do other formats in the future the way I do for my new releases, but that depends on demand.) If you’d like to have it on your Kindle, now’s the time, because you can grab it for free for the next five days!
I like to think of this as my Robin-Hood-meets-V-for-Vendetta story, but the truth is I came up with the idea while messing around with an automated story generator. This one suggested the idea of a “ninja librarian” to me. Although Alaric is neither a ninja nor a librarian (although he’d probably enjoy being a librarian), I liked the idea of a quiet, diffident guy who was secretly kick-ass.
Around the same time, I was reading Sex With Kings by Eleanor Herman, because I constantly read random nonfiction. I found it intriguing that many royal mistresses had literal contracts written up before consenting to bed the king. Often, once their “service” was over, especially if they remained on good terms with the king, they were rewarded with very advantageous marriages to other noblemen. The contracts frequently specified the rights of any children; the king’s bastards were often married to other nobles within the kingdom to strengthen ties with the royal family. I thought it would be interesting to write about a character who was a former mistress, now sent away and married off. What if she had genuinely been in love with the king? How would her new husband feel about it?
What if her new husband was a ninja librarian had a secret identity he had to protect at all costs?
Here’s an excerpt. In this scene, the dashing highwayman known only as Nocturne comes to the heroine’s rescue:
A hand clamped down over her mouth from behind, too sudden for her to get out a scream. “Don’t move,” murmured a familiar, gravelly voice in her ear.
Her back was pressed against his chest, so she felt his movements as he groped for something at his belt. A moment later, he flung a small sphere away from them, toward the road. It flashed and glittered, unnaturally bright in the darkness.
“What was that?” Marston demanded, spinning around.
“Damn me—it looks like gold! D’you think the whore dropped a bauble when she ran?”
Both knights left the wood to inspect the glittering sphere. But as they leaned over it, a puff of smoke suddenly exploded out from it, straight into their faces. They clutched their throats, gagging and coughing, then slowly slumped to the ground. Of the golden sphere, there was no remaining trace.
“They won’t be waking up anytime soon,” Nocturne said, letting go of her. Anne quickly stepped away from him. “Still, I wouldn’t advise walking up the road, in case the rest of them return.”
He took a tiny lantern from his belt and pulled back the shutter. Rather than the flickering light of oil, it put out a steady, red-tinged glow that seemed to come from no source she could see.
More chymistry, she thought, and felt a shiver walk up her back.
“M-my thanks,” she forced herself to say. “But I fear that you will be disappointed—you stole all the jewelry I had, along with my dowry, at our last encounter.”
The blank mask beneath the hat gave her no indication of his mood, but she thought she heard a whispery laugh. “Indeed. I suggest, my lady, that if you wish to berate me, you do so farther from the road. As I said, the other knights may return at any time. Follow me, if you wish.”
He started off with a swirl of cloak, as if it was nothing to him whether she followed or not. For a moment, she simply stared at his retreating back, wondering whether or not to trust him. He had now saved her twice, and robbed her once, and there was no knowing whether he had any darker intentions in luring her away.
I’d trust his intentions over those of the knights. Gathering her cumbersome skirts, she hurried after him.
By the time they reached the other side of the woods, her skirts were in tatters and brambles had scraped every exposed inch of skin. I think he led me through every briar patch in the countryside. On purpose, no doubt.
The soil here was thin over the bedrock, and the moon shone on exposed outcroppings. A ring of ancient dolmens stood mournfully atop a hill that was a little too regular to be of nature’s making. The wind blew in from the sea, carrying with it the scent of brine and seaweed. Near the dolmens stood a black horse, whose head swung around as they emerged from the trees. For a moment, Anne thought it was a natural beast, until she saw the hellish red glow of its eyes.
“A daemon,” she gasped, stopping in her tracks.
“Indeed.” The rogue sounded almost pleased. He lifted his hand, and the creature ambled over. As it drew closer, she realized that the horse was made not from flesh, but of metal. “I created the shell out of brass, painted it with black enamel to make it a bit less conspicuous, and then conjured up an earth daemon to inhabit it. They aren’t as flashy as fire or air daemons, but they have a slow strength and are incredibly loyal when treated well.”
“So you admit to being a rogue chymist, as well as a thief,” she said, feeling vaguely surprised that he should be so open about it.
“Should I be caught by agents of the crown, the charge of illegal chymistry will be the least of my worries,” he said dryly. “Now, my lady, perhaps you would like to tell me why the knights were looking for you?”
Anne hesitated, watching him carefully. The blank mask gave her no clue to his thoughts. Indeed, had she not seen the faint reflection from the lantern he carried, she would have thought that there was nothing but a void beneath his hat. “After our last encounter, I wrote a letter,” she said at last.
“Really? Allow me to guess—you wrote to your dear friend, Minister Gammon, and told him that his knights had not paid you the proper respect.”
For some reason, his words made her flush. “He is not my friend, dear or otherwise,” she said icily. “I knew him only as Robert’s—that is, as one of the king’s advisors.”
“I see. I suppose you were too busy securing what gold and jewels you could get from the king, to cushion your life after your inevitable dismissal.”
The words stung, the more so because it was hardly the first time the accusation had been leveled at her. “That’s a filthy lie! I loved Robert!”
Her hands flew to her mouth, aghast. What was wrong with her, admitting such a thing to a stranger—and a brigand, no less? What did his opinion of her matter?
Nocturne stilled at her words, cocking his head slightly to one side. She thought that he was staring at her from behind his disguise, and the scrutiny made her feel as if she was no more to him than a bug.
“Then I pity you,” he said at last.
Nocturne is available for the Kindle (and currently for free!).
To celebrate the release of Hunter’s Crown, I’ve been interviewed on my publisher’s blog. Comment over there, and you could win one of my books!
Two book releases in two weeks–this is crazy!
But it’s true, the fifth book in my Shadow Fae series, Hunter’s Crown, is now available from Mundania Press. If you’ve read the previous four books…well, this is the one where everything changes. Seriously. I figure if I’m writing the fifth book of a series, it better not be a retread of everything that’s come before; it better be because this fucker needs written. So yeah, I kick over the apple cart, but I do it by letting the characters’ natural inclinations and story arcs play out. I’m interested to hear what you think.
If you haven’t read the first four books, allow me to suggest that you begin with Winter’s Orphans (Mundania | Kindle | Nook), because the character drama will have much more impact if you do. (And, yes, these links say Shadow Fae Trilogy Book One for a simple reason: I am an idiot who thought three books was the limit.)
This book kicked my ass in late 2010/early 2011, so I’m glad to finally have it out there. And, as always, I hope you enjoy, and I thank you for taking the journey with me.
My young adult steampunk novel, Angel of Brass, is now available! You can find it for only $2.99 for the Kindle, Nook , and other e-Readers. There’s also a trade paperback version–that link is to CreateSpace, but it should propagate to Amazon and B&N over the next few days, so you might want to check there if you’d prefer to buy from them.
Here’s the blurb, as I’m sure you’d like to know what the book is actually about:
Dr. Malachi made “siblings” Jin and Delilah of clockwork and spare parts—human and otherwise. They have one purpose: to assassinate Queen Rowena so Dr. Malachi can profit from the war that will surely follow. When Jin discovers Dr. Malachi’s plans, he runs away, but to his despair he must leave Delilah behind.
Life in the outside world is terrifying. Jin has never been away from his creator’s estate and can barely pass for human. And now Dr. Malachi’s other creations—mechanical men and zombies—have picked up his trail. On the run, Jin crashes through young mechanic Molly Feldman’s roof; she sees the humanity beneath the metal and decides to hide him, but soon Malachi’s creatures are after her, too.
If Jin doesn’t rescue his “sister” Delilah, she’ll be forced to assassinate the Queen or die in the attempt. He needs Molly’s help, but if she finds out he was built for the same purpose, it may be the end for Delilah and Jin both.
So I finally got off my butt, re-designed the cover for my old novella “Rain on the Mountain,” and uploaded it directly to Amazon. So, for those of you who have Kindles and want to snag it for only $0.99, you can do so here. (It’s still available through Smashwords for those who have other readers, for the same price.)
What the novella is about:
When the body of a young college student is found in a cornfield, detective Tricia Starnes’s investigation turns up more questions than answers. To begin with, how did both murderer and victim get into a muddy cornfield without leaving so much as a footprint? And why did the murderer decapitate his victim, if it wasn’t to hide her identity?
Jaguar shaman Pacal Bahlum has come to North Carolina from Guatemala, tracking a killer preying on the immigrants who work the vast agricultural fields. The murderer he pursues is no ordinary man, however, but a follower of the Mayan vampire god Camazotz capable of transforming himself in the bat god’s likeness.
When the killer targets Tricia, police detective and jaguar shaman join forces to hunt it down. Will they succeed before they become its next victims, or will they be defeated by the dark secrets of the past?
Hunter’s Crown the fifth (gulp!) book in my Shadow Fae series will be coming out on February 7th! In the meantime, here’s the cover and blurb for your perusal:
“When Pook and Alex return to Niune, they find a land in turmoil: mermaids attacking ships, plagues decimating the countryside, and the capital city of Dere completely cut off from the rest of the kingdom. A usurper has stolen King Dubh’s throne and led the Faerie Realm into an all-out war on the mortal world.
To save the kingdom, Pook and Alex must first battle their way across a land under siege by faery magic. Joining them in their quest is Ethna, a bean-sidhe with a grudge against the usurper; Bug, the faeling cat; and Fox, the mad seer.
But getting to Dere is only the start of their problems. The Wild Hunt is on their heels, determined to capture or kill everyone who opposes the usurper. And in the end, Pook may have to choose between his heart…and the lives of the mortals he has sworn to protect.”
This book is a game-changer in the Shadow Fae universe. So if you’ve been reading the series, hold onto your hats–this ride is about to get bumpy.