So many book birthdays to celebrate this month!  Some you’ve already heard me talk about, like the mass market release of Chloe Neill’s TWICE BITTEN.  Others I’ve crowed about on Twitter but have been a bit too crazed to post here…yet.  Today that changes.  I know, I can sense your excitement from here!

So, happy book birthdays to N.K. Jemisin for the omnibus of her INHERITANCE TRILOGY (plus and all-new novella!), to Molly Cochran for SEDUCTION, and Beth Cornelison for her Mansfield Brothers book, THE MANSFIELD RESCUE.  Covers, quotes and book blurbs are below!

Also, happy sort-of birthday to me.  I’m celebrating the holidays over on Sharing Links and Wisdom with a very short Latter-Day Olympians story with a special secret Santa.

inheritance trilogy INHERITANCE TRILOGY by N.K. Jemisin (with all-new novella The Awakened Kingdom)

“Ah N.K. Jemisin, you can do no wrong…The blend of cultures and lore she draws on to make this very unique world is just stunning, and the fact that she inhabits it with such 3-dimensional characters is even more impressive…If you want to get away from traditional fantasy world-building, but keep the compelling characters and deep lore, definitely pick this up!!”—Felicia Day on The Killing Moon

“Jemisin’s engaging debut grabs readers right from the start…a complex, edge-of-your-seat story with plenty of funny, scary, and bittersweet twists.”—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) on The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

“An offbeat, engaging tale by a talented and original newcomer.”—Kirkus on The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

“An astounding debut novel…the world building is solid, the characterization superb, the plot complicated but clear.”—RT Book Reviews (Top Pick) on The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

“A delight for the fantasy reader.”—Library Journal (Starred Review) on The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

Book Blurb: The Inheritance Trilogy omnibus includes the novels: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Broken Kingdoms, The Kingdom of Gods, and a brand new novella set in the same world: The Awakened Kingdom.

A REALM OF GODS AND MORTALS.

Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle.

SEDUCTION SEDUCTION by Molly Cochran (sequel to LEGACY and POISON)

“Cochran (Legacy, 2011) cleverly interweaves Katy’s first-person, present-day narrative with flashbacks revealed through the pages of an ancient book to bring readers along for an exciting, sexy and sometimes-heartbreaking ride as Katy struggles to uncover the secrets of the mysterious women of the Abbey of Lost Souls…a layered and well-told story with an unlikely and endearing heroine.” —Kirkus Reviews on Seduction

“Cochran revisits Arthurian legend while continuing the adventures of powerful, young witch Katy Ainsworth. . . . Fans will be poised for the next installment.”—Booklist on Poison

“Fans of Arthurian legend will appreciate this alternative view of the infamous Morgan le Fay.”—School Library Journal on Poison

“A fast-paced, electrifying read! My heart throbbed for the tender romance trapped in a world of boarding-school backstabbing. With a courageous yet achingly human heroine, Molly Cochran made me believe in magic!”—Jeri Smith-Ready, award-winning author of the SHADE trilogy on Legacy

“an exciting and well-written tale of contemporary witchcraft and romance…should please the legions of paranormal fans looking for a sophisticated supernatural thriller.” —Publishers Weekly on Legacy

Book Blurb: The Darkness follows Katy to Paris in the final book in New York Times bestselling author Molly Cochran’s Legacy trilogy, rife with paranormal witchcraft and romance.

Katy can’t stand the fact that her boyfriend, Peter, has changed so much since his wealthy uncle Jeremiah took him under his wing. In a fit of rebellion, she flies to Paris to attend cooking school. Lonely, she visits a schoolmate, Fabienne, who lives in a beautiful mansion in Paris. But it’s Peter who answers the door.

Katy is devastated that Peter is in Paris—on business for his uncle, he claims—and didn’t tell her. Soon Katy is wrapped up in the mysteries of the strange house, which is occupied by only beautiful, shallow people. And they don’t seem to age. Then an accidental trip through the underground passages of Paris leads Katy to the discovery of an ancient book that just might hold the secrets to the mansion…

mansfield rescue THE MANSFIELD RESCUE by Beth Cornelison

“The flirtatious banter between Grant and Amy shines and emotionally complex characters complete a well-developed, heartfelt plot.” —Romantic Times Book Reviews, 4 Stars

“Readers won’t want to miss this emotionally driven book by Beth Cornelison.” —Night Owl Reviews

Book Blurb

A single father discovers the price of revenge and the power of love

After his wife’s murder, Grant Mansfield vowed to stay true to her memory and to protect their children. But fate has other plans. His temporary houseguest, injured smokejumper Amy Robinson, has him burning with a white-hot attraction, and the single dad’s nightmare comes true when his older daughter is kidnapped.

Grant is just the man the adventurous Amy never knew she needed, his children the family she never knew she wanted. Before she can rescue his lonely heart, the handsome widower must become a hero. Only Grant can rescue his little girl. But time is running out…

How’s the writing going?

Posted: December 7, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

How’s the writing going today, you ask.  Well, actually, you didn’t, but I’ll tell you anyway.  Remember that old campfire/scouting song about the swimming hole (lyrics below)?  Well…

(My version)

Stalling, stalling…the writing’s not going well.

Some days are hot, some days are cold, some are just plain hell.

Plotting, pacing, get the voice right too…

But there’s dishes and vacuuming, laundry and e-mail and so much else to do!

(Original lyrics)

Swimming, Swimming, in the swimming hole,

When days are hot, when days are cold, in the swimming hole.

Breast stroke, side stroke, fancy diving too…

Don’t you wish you never had anything else to do?

(BTW, if you can’t imagine how it sounds, here’s a YouTube video.  Or an even cuter, but less musical video with an adorable little boy.)

A Couple of Quick Things

Posted: December 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

Happy belated Thanksgiving, everyone and absolutely the best of the season to you all!

Those who follow me on Facebook and Twitter may already know I’ve been under the weather for a bit with a respiratory infection.  So what I’m most thankful for at the moment is to be feeling better!  I may not be ready to run marathons – I leave those to Christina Henry and Chloe Neill – but I have something of a voice again and I’m no longer trying to cough up a lung, so I call that a win!

Twice Bitten.final Speaking of Chloe Neill, her third Chicagoland Vampires novel TWICE BITTEN comes out tomorrow in its mass market edition.  To celebrate, Chloe is giving away five signed sets of the mass market editions of SOME GIRLS BITE, FRIDAY NIGHT BITES and TWICE BITTEN.  Check out her website for the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Shortly before the holiday, Tor.com did a cover reveal of Genevieve Cogman’s upcoming debut THE INVISIBLE LIBRARY.  I can’t wait until the reviews start rolling in so that I can crow even louder about this new series, but for now, just let me say that it has everything.  EVERYTHING.  It’s a must read.

Okay, all, I have to catch up on everything that piled up over the Thanksgiving break, but I expect that I’ll be back as the day or week goes on when I spot special book-related Cyber Monday deals and the like.

Enjoy!

 

TESTING THE LIMITS some like it hotter The good news keeps on coming!  Huge congratulations to Kira Sinclair and Isabel Sharpe for their Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice nominees TESTING THE LIMITS and SOME LIKE IT HOTTER (Harlequin Blaze)! For a full list of our nominees (The Knight Agency has 17 authors  up!), check out the TKA blog.

A couple of quick personal squees before I move on to pics, etc. from the World Fantasy Convention this past weekend in Arlington, VA…  If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you may already have seen my breathless, tearful OMGing about my Dear Author review for BAD BLOOD.  They’re tough cookies over at Dear Author, and the review, particularly at a time of self-doubt, meant the world to me.  Reviewers, please note: authors are more thankful to you than we can say, though we should certainly try, especially since this is the season for Thanksgiving!  On that note, a huge THANK YOU to Jessica at A Great Read for reviewing and loving BATTLE FOR THE BLOOD, the latest in the Latter-Day Olympians series! I’m humbled!

This leads me into the World Fantasy Convention.  Normally, I take about a zillion pictures that I can post to make you all feel you were there.  Unfortunately, this year my camera, for the most part, stayed in my bag.  I’m not sure I was any more crazy busy than in past years, but there it is.  But I’ll try to paint some word pictures where I lack photos.  First, while Crystal City in Arlington, VA isn’t exactly in the midst of things, it’s a nice, short plane ride from home, which I appreciate immensely after all the traveling I’ve done this year, and the view form my hotel window was pretty great.

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But as all con-goers know, we’re not there for the view.  We’re lucky if we get out of the hotel a time or two for meals.  It’s all about the people.  Because of timing, I haven’t been to one of the major sf/fantasy cons, besides DragonCon, which is a madhouse, in a couple of years, which is a crying shame.  Coming to World Fantasy was like coming home.  First, I was able to see three of my fabulous authors, R.S. Belcher (THE SIX-GUN TAROT, THE SHOTGUN ARCANA), Carol Berg (most recently DUST AND LIGHT, which is a current finalist for Best Fantasy in the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards) and David B. Coe/D.B. Jackson (oh so many titles, including a new urban fantasy series starting in January 2015 with SPELL BLIND as David B. Coe and the Thieftaker series as D.B. Jackson).  So many other authors who fall along the spectrum from friends to family, including Esther Friesner, Laura Anne Gilman, Meg Turville-Heitz, F. Paul Wilson, Brandy Schillace, Brenda Clough… Oh, look, I did manage two whole pictures!  (On left from L to R: Steven Leigh, Andrew Miller, me, Brandy Schillace, David B. Coe and Ed Schubert; on the right: Esther Friesner in her fabulous pterodactyl sweater and me without one.)

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There were also many awesome agents gathered that we had to come up with a word for it.  We settled on a “negotiation of agents,” although my husband says that he always thought a congregation of agents and editors was called a “Happy Hour”.  He’s not necessarily wrong.  Just look at what such a congregation was able to do to the White House:

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(Chocolate courtesy of Joshua Bilmes, JABberwocky)

As you can probably tell, a fabulous time was had by all.  There were many productive meetings, many wonderful reunions and so many memorable moments.  I can’t wait until next year!

nexus First, a HUGE shout out to Ramez Naam for winning the Endeavor Award for his novel NEXUS along with Ken Scholes for his novel REQUIEM.  For those playing along at home, Mez has also won the Prometheus Award (tying with Cory Doctorow for HOMELAND) and been shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clark and Kitschies Golden Tentacle Awards.  Mez has been shortlisted for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer as well.  So proud!

DustAndLight Trace of Magic cover brokensoul_hi-res princeofshadows_lores

This just in, more huge congratulations to my Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award nominees!

DUST AND LIGHT by Carol Berg (Roc Books) for Fantasy

TRACE OF MAGIC by Diana Pharaoh Francis (Bell Bridge Books) for Best Indie Press/Self-Published Paranormal/Urban Fantasy

BROKEN SOUL by Faith Hunter (Roc Books) for Best Urban Fantasy

PRINCE OF SHADOWS by Rachel Caine (NAL) for Book of the Year!

ac unity Also, out today is a really fun book from Ubisoft, written by Christie Golden, illustrated by Andy Belanger and Karl Kerschl: Assasin’s Creed Unity: Abstergo Entertainment: Employee Handbook.  From the copy:

Agent:
At Abstergo Entertainment, history is an experience. Our work not only enriches lives, it brings out truths that time has forgotten. But as many of our analysts have learned, testing these experiences is not easy. These files represent the work of the first analyst to take on the case of Subject 44412—Arno Dorian. Living through the bloodiest days of the French Revolution, Dorian’s life certainly took many dark turns, but those memories and choices are his own.

Up until now, Dorian has proven to be one of the biggest challenges for our research team. We believe that there is valuable information to be gleaned from this subject, and our hope is that you will succeed where others have failed. Familiarize yourself with your predecessor’s file as you make your way through this case. Steel yourself, and stay focused. Don’t let us down.

Your work so far has not gone unnoticed. Here is your chance to prove yourself.

touch of evil Something else to be thankful for? TOUCH OF EVIL, the first novel in C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp’s stunning, USA Today bestselling Thrall series is now out in paperback!  From the copy:

The alien vampires known as the Thrall classify most humans as Prey, save for a few who survive the bite of the parasite. People like Kate Reilly, whose latent psychic powers were activated by the vampire’s venom when she was attacked a few years ago. Kate is Not Prey, and safe.

Or is she? The Thrall Queen intends to make Kate her successor, despite Kate’s hatred of the vampires.

All is not bleak in Kate’s world. Her downstairs neighbor, Tom, is a hunky firefighter who arouses her senses…including the ones that tell her he’s not human. Tom’s a werewolf—and his pack knows how to protect Kate from the Thrall Queen. The problem? The last time Kate trusted a man she loved, he betrayed her to the Thrall and nearly got her killed.

Action, adventure, romance, and thrills—everything readers want from the USA Today bestselling authors who are also Cat Adams, creator of the Blood Singer series—are all on display in Touch of Evil.

Want more?  THE EXILE by C.T. Adams, first in an all new Fae series, is scheduled for release March 10th of next year and already available for pre-order.  Check out this stunning cover:
THE EXILE And this great quote from Publishers Weekly: “Adams does an admirable job of breathing life into Faerie and its creatures before ending on a game-changing cliffhanger.”
Okay, all, I’ll sign off for now.  I hope to have a few pics to post (I didn’t take many this year; too busy running around) and a write up of the World Fantasy Convention on the morrow.  Spoiler alert…it was awesome.

Statement the First: Agenting is a way more than full time job, and I’m far more than a full time agent.

Statement the Second: Writing is not something for which you find time, it’s something for which you make time.

The math: As an agent, I work with over forty authors of fantasy, science fiction, romance, mystery and young adult fiction (full list here). As an author, I work with one person: me. (Okay, and all the voices in my head, but they don’t eat much and they never call, they never write.)

Impetus for this post: I get asked all the time, “What do you do more of these days, agent or author?” So, you know that math above…

Conundrum: I’m a hyper-responsible workaholic. Just ask my poor, long-suffering family. This means that I attack everything full-on. As an agent, I work 9:30-5:30 at my desk—providing editorial and other feedback to my writers, sending out submissions, working on subsidiary rights, reaching out to editors, negotiating contracts, chasing down payments, reviewing royalty statements, putting out fires, which can cover such a wide range of issues it would take another entire blog post to cover, doing promo work, etc. In the evenings and on weekends, I’m reading partials by queriers or by clients to prep them for submission, or reading full manuscripts that have been turned in, or doing market research… I’d say that all told, my agenting takes at least a sixty hour week.

Finding time to write? Not going to happen. I make myself write every single morning, before my agenting day starts, before my critical self has woken up—which helps me get out of my own way and not second guess myself all the way down the line. It lets the words flow. I only get an hour for it, which helps me fight dithering and writer’s block. When I only have an hour, I use it. It doesn’t mean I’ll keep what I’ve written, but it means that I don’t dare stare at a blank page. Those few hours I have are too precious. On weekends, if I’m not traveling like crazy, usually as an agent, networking and promoting my authors’ works, I might find two whole hours on Saturday or Sunday to write. Maybe. But I’m also a mom and a wife, and I take those jobs pretty seriously as well.

So I get a little frustrated when I get that question over and over. I want to think that if I’m being asked whether I’m doing more agenting or writing, that means I’m doing both so aggressively that people can’t tell. But I hear it as, “So, you’re writing. Does that mean you’re less committed to agenting.”

The answer is such a resounding “no” that I think I’ve just set off all the dogs in the neighborhood. I love agenting. I love writing. If I could choose one over the other, well, I would have. There are so many amazing highs as an agent—when you read something that just blows you away and you feel amazing by association, when an offer comes in (even better if there are multiple offers and the book goes to auction), great reviews, bestseller lists, award recognition for those books you love… As an author there are huge highs as well—offers, foreign rights sales, the first time you see your new cover art, hearing from readers, great reviews… There’s also, certainly in my case, neuroses. I can promote my authors all day long and tell you how fabulous they are. As an author, I feel a little like Oliver Twist asking the Beadle, “Please, sir, can I have some more?” Only it goes, “Please, good people, won’t you buy my books? And maybe love them just a little, flaws and all. Oh, I know they’re not perfect. By the time they hit the proof stage, I kind of hate them myself, but I thought there was something good there once, so just maybe…” (Ahem, sorry about that. I got carried away. You can read all about my neuroses in my article Self-Doubt and Perspective for Magical Words.)

You can probably guess which I’d rather be full time—calm, cool and collected vs. a bundle of nerves.

It’s not that simple of course. I couldn’t stop writing if I tried. I’ll never forget in Robert Heinlein’s The Cat Who Walked Through Walls his hero, who’s a writer, trying to explain it to the heroine. She asks, “If it hurts so much, why do you do it?” To which he responds, “It hurts more not to.” And that’s exactly it.

I’ve been writing since I was eleven years old.  Any day that I don’t write feels like a day without the warmth of the sun. It feels pointless. I feel pointless. No matter what else I do that day, I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything. I need to write. These characters and stories that pile up…if I don’t get them out of my system, I sometimes think I might explode. Sound crazy? Well, you have talked to writers before, haven’t you?

But that’s not the problem. I need to write, so I make the time.

The problem comes from people’s perceptions, which is why when my first short stories and novel came out, I used a pseudonym. I didn’t want anyone to question my commitment. But it didn’t feel right. It felt a little cagey. I didn’t want to be on an author loop as “Kit Daniels” and have someone find out that I was an agent and feel I’d been lurking or there under false pretenses or anything of the sort. And so, largely, I wasn’t very present. It’s a terrible way to promote. With the Vamped and Latter-Day Olympians series, I went to using my own name. So now whenever I promote, people think I’ve gone over to the authorial side of the force.

You see my conundrum. As mentioned, I’m hyper-responsible. Even if radio silence wasn’t a piss poor way to sell books, I couldn’t do it because a) that’s not who I am, and b) I’d be falling down on my responsibility to my publisher, who showed faith and put resources into my work, and to myself. Do I sometimes tweet my books during the day when there’s the most volume on social media. You bet. Do I even more often tweet about my authors at odd hours of the day and night, on weekends, holidays, etc. Absolutely.

I understand the question coming, particularly right now when I’ve had two new books out within the last couple of months and one special price promotion to crow about. (New books: RISE OF THE BLOOD in print, BATTLE FOR THE BLOOD in digital; promotion: BAD BLOOD, the first in the series, for only 99¢.) But rest assured, I’m still a more than full time agent and a part time writer, though I’m good if it comes across as though I can do it all.

For the record, I have looked into cloning, but it’s not really an option just yet and, anyway, I know me. I’d be all competitive with myself and I’d end up more crazy rather than less.

Don’t know if you’ve all been following along, but the webseries for Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires has been running all week on Geek & Sundry!

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5

Episode 6

It’s hard to get the full scope of things into ten minute episodes, but – happy day! – you can go right to the source! In addition to the webseries, Rachel Caine has launched a new website which will tell you everything you need to know, including the reading order for the books.  You can check it out here!