Before I get to my Happy Book Birthdays, I wanted to boost a signal on a great list by BookRiot of 100 Must-Read Sci-Fi Fantasy Novels by Female Authors!  It’s not all-inclusive, but it’s a great place to start and lists, among others:

FLESH AND SPIRIT by Carol Berg

THE KILLING MOON by N.K. Jemisin

LUCK IN THE SHADOWS by Lynn Flewelling

SLAVE TO SENSATION by Nalini Singh

Highly recommended!

And now, the awesome new releases.  First up, a belated Happy Book Birthday for WHISPER OF SHADOWS by Diana Pharaoh Francis!

Whisper of Shadows WHISPER OF SHADOWS by Diana Pharaoh Francis (Bell Bridge Books, April 2016)

Book #3 in the Diamond City Magic series

Other series titles: TRACE OF MAGICTRACE OF MAGIC, EDGE OF DREAMS

“Good pacing, a complex and layered plot, and intriguing characters illustrate why the author delivers such amazing reads!” -Jill Smith, Rt Book Reviews on Edge of Dreams

“Wonderfully fun read! The perfect mix of magic, sleuthing, action, and romance—with a likeable, wise-cracking heroine in a dangerous, well-developed world. I couldn’t put it down.” —Barb Hendee, Co-Author of the Noble Dead Saga on Trace of Magic

War is coming . . .

When the FBI uses an antimagic law to arrest and torture Riley’s boyfriend, they have no idea what hell they are about to unleash. If Riley can’t rescue Clay before he breaks, the result will be a disaster of epic proportions.

With time running out, Riley and her family must rely on two people more likely to stab them in the back than actually help. And, even if Riley manages the rescue, she’s still got to deal with two kidnappings and the return of her dad from the dead-the same dad who’d been willing to see her dead to protect his secrets.

What’s a girl to do? Kick ass, take names, and protect those she cares about at all costs.

And today’s lovely new releases!

shadows blade SHADOWS BLADE by David B. Coe (Baen Books, May 2016)

Book #3 in The Case Files of Justis Fearsson

Other series titles: SPELL BLIND, HIS FATHER’S EYES

“Coe balances wit and drama, gives his female characters plenty of agency, and even throws in a bit of The Maltese Falcon via a powerful object everyone desires. This noir-tinged urban fantasy with real-feeling magic and multiple moral quandaries is highly recommended.”—Publishers Weekly

Book #3 in The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, the critically acclaimed contemporary fantasy series from fantasy all-star David B. Coe. A hardboiled, magic-using private detective fights dark sorcerers in Phoenix, Arizona.

Justis Fearsson is a weremyste and a private detective. He wields potent magic, but every month, on the full moon, he loses his mind. His battles with insanity have already cost him his job as a cop; he can’t afford to let them interfere with his latest case.

Phoenix has become ground zero in a magical war, and an army of werecreatures, blood sorcerers, and necromancers has made Jay its number one target. When he is hired to track down a woman who has gone missing with her two young children, he has a hunch that the dark ones are to blame. But then he’s also brought in by the police to help with a murder investigation, and all the evidence implicates this same woman. Soon he is caught up in a deadly race to find not only the young family, but also an ancient weapon that could prove decisive in the looming conflict. Can he keep himself alive long enough to reach the woman and her kids before his enemies do? And can he claim the weapon before the people he loves, and the world he knows, are lost in a storm of flame, blood, and darkest sorcery?

durotan WARCRAFT: DUROTAN: The Official Movie Prequel by Christie Golden, story by Chris Metzen (Titan, May 2016)

In the world of Draenor, the strong and fiercely independent Frostwolf Clan are faced with increasingly harsh winters and thinning herds. When Gul’dan, a mysterious outsider, arrives in Frostfire Ridge offering word of new hunting lands, Durotan, the Clan’s chieftain, must make an impossible decision: abandon the territory, pride and traditions of his people, or lead them into the unknown.

An original tale of survival, conflict and magic that leads directly into the events of Warcraft, an epic adventure from Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures, based on Blizzard Entertainment’s global phenomenon.

Inspired by The Knight Agency’s April newsletter and the Agents of the Roundtable prompt, I decided to start a regular thing on my blog: “How I Met My Client”. Something like “How I Met Your Mother” only a lot briefer and, sadly, without the benefit of Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris). To that end, I wrote to Christie Golden, the first author I ever sold (nearly right away and to two different publishers in the same week or very nearly!) to do a post on how we met and promised that I’d do the same. Well, she finished hers first and, as she has the tendency to do, she just blew me away.  My piece will in no way live up, so I’ll keep it short and sweet. Or, at least, I think I will.  We’ll see how it goes.

I started working for Spectrum Literary Agency practically right out of college.  When I went for the interview, I happened to be reading (and loving) a book represented by the agency written by Ken Goddard, who runs the National Fish and Wildlife Forensic Lab out in Ashland, Oregon. There were people interviewing who had more work experience, but Eleanor Wood and I just clicked, and I was lucky enough that she gave me a shot.

Less than a year later, I was learning a ton and critiquing manuscripts and attending conventions and ready to take on my first clients.  Christie talks about how we met below—through the amazing Roger MacBride Allen, who I met in turn because he was a Spectrum client and because we were able to talk forensics and freak people out at SFWA Receptions—so I’ll mix things up by telling you how I came to love and represent her work.

Step one: She set it to me.  I know, crazy how that works. Christie followed up on our meeting and sent me one or two of her Ravenloft Books to read and I was hooked.  I believe the first one I read was VAMPIRE OF THE MISTS.  I absolutely fell in love with Jander Sunstar.  I mean, an elven vampire—do you get more conflicted or tortured or awesome than that?  I think not. Plus it had everything. The writing, the pacing, the tension…

instrument of fate She also sent me her original novel, INSTRUMENT OF FATE, which I fell for absolutely. A novel of Gillian Songespynner, a young bard on the run with a magical lute and a relentless enemy licking at her heels. There’s magic, romance, suspense…and again I was hooked.

st spirit walk Step two: Networking for the win. Not only did Christie and I network at that World Fantasy Convention, but I’d spent the year networking, meeting people in publishing—on the phone, in person, at the infamous Malibu lunches (the diner, not the beach), which I miss to this day.  One of the very first people I met was John Ordover, who was editing media tie-in books, particularly Star Trek, for Simon & Schuster. (Wait, I know John, and he’s going to give me a hard time if I leave out a superlative or six for him, so hmm…. Let’s say the gregarious, voluble, unique and, okay, okay, wonderful John Ordover.) He was looking for authors for the various Star Trek series.  Christie wrote awesome tie-ins.  It seemed a match made in heaven.  I was also, of course, sending out INSTRUMENT OF FATE to other fantastically amazing editors like Laura Anne Gilman, who was then at Ace/Berkley and who made us an offer for INSTRUMENT OF FATE and its sequel, KING’S MAN AND THIEF.  We were elated!  I’m pretty certain that it was that same week (or very closely thereafter) that we sold Christie’s first Star Trek novel to John at Simon & Schuster as well.

It was an incredible start.

Step three: Lather, rinse, repeat. Christie has an amazing talent for diving into other worlds, grabbing hold of the feel and the voice and the characters and building something wonderful out of them.  Plus, she’s fast, timely, personable and all good things.  Thus she’s been continuously under contract and under deadline ever since.  Christie has now written many more Star Trek novels as well as tie-ins for Star Wars, Warcraft, Starcraft, Assassin’s Creed and others.  She’s been on the New York Times bestseller list numerous times and won the Colorado Author’s League Award for Best Genre Novel of 1999 for A.D. 999 written under the pen name of Jadrien Bell, and again under her own name for IN STONE’S CLASP in 2005.

It’s been a wild ride, and it’s not over yet!  As Christie says below, ” Here’s to the next 23 years and 47 books!”

 

And now, the woman of the hour—Christie herself!

 

Lucienne and I first met as precocious childhood playmates. She agreed to represent me at the tender age of six, which is the only possible way to explain our incredibly youthful appearances.  That, or those portraits in our attics. Which you didn’t hear from me, no sir.

On an actual (and factual) note, we met at World Fantasy Con 1993, which was super awesome not just because it was “the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” but because WFC was held in New Orleans over Halloween.  She came highly recommended by science fiction author Roger MacBride Allen, who had kind of adopted me and was diligently steering me toward doing Smart Things with my career (like introducing me to Lucienne) and thus greatly reducing my learning curve. I had recently had my first highly disillusioning publishing experience (buy me a lemondrop martini and I’ll spill more details) followed by my first highly disillusioning agent near-experience, so I was a small, suspicious, feral kitten who grilled Lucienne about pretty much everything.  Which is funny, because I generally err on the side of being super-nice.

She took it in good stride, answering and asking questions, and I had a good feeling about her.  I sent her a copy of my first novel, Vampire of the Mists, and she “got” it at once. We were a good match when it came to my writing style, and we agreed to take each other on.

The rest, as they say, is history. She’s represented me on 47 of my 50 novels, and has gotten to greet me on the phone with insanely stupid and wonderful questions like “Do you like Star Trek?”and “How would you like to write for Star Wars?” Of course I want some Cheezy Poofs. She’s advised me when to walk away, encouraged my patience, and fought hard for my fees and my rights.

She’s also just an amazing person, and someone I’m proud to call a friend.  We’ve been “together” for 23 years, and I’ve never once felt the need to look elsewhere for representation. Here’s to the next 23 years and 47 books!

BTW, the Lemondrop Martini is the secret key to successful writing everyone is always hankering to know about.  It’s the preferred beverage of the Muse. I have it on excellent authority and, hey, you’re welcome.

 

fifth season I’ve already done my *kermit flail* on Twitter and Facebook, but I don’t want to leave WordPress out, so a huge congratulations here as well to N.K. Jemisin, whose amazing novel THE FIFTH SEASON is now a Hugo Award nominee as well.  If you haven’t read this book yet…well, I really can’t recommend it highly enough!

In other news, I’m excited to be part of the Local Author Fair tomorrow at my local library from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. That’s a long time to sit and hope people stop by and see me, so don’t leave me disappointed!  And if you’re behind on either of my series, I’ll have the following books with me:

The Vamped series:

VampedReVamped FinalFangtastic finalFangtabulous

The Latter-Day Olympians series:

BadBlood300CrazyintheBlood300RiseOfTheBlood72lgBattleForTheBlood300BloodHunt300

As crazy-busy as this week has been, I can’t close it out without a huge shout out to my Scribe Award nominees!

David Mack

24: Rogue nominated for BEST ORIGINAL NOVEL – GENERAL

Star Trek Seekers 3: Long Shot nominated for BEST ORIGINAL NOVEL – SPECULATIVE

Christie Golden

 Star Wars: Dark Disciple nominated for ADAPTED NOVEL – GENERAL AND SPECULATIVE

Keith R.A. DeCandido

 X-Files “Back in El Paso My Life Will Be Worthless” for SHORT STORIES

So excited!  For those who don’t know, the Scribe Awards are given out by

The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers for excellence in the field of licensed words (tie-ins to films, television series, games, etc.).  The full list is here.

In related news, Christie Golden’s World of Warcraft tie-in The Shattering is right now only $1.99 in digital for a very limited time.  Also, Rachel Caine’s Ink and Bone, which is not a tie-in but an original novel to which I will never do justice with a brief blurb, is temporarily only $3.99.  Still time to get caught up before the sequel, Paper and Fire, releases on July 5th!

I love book birthdays, don’t you?  I only wish they came with cake.  But I suppose with the sedentary reading lifestyle, it’s probably a good thing they don’t.  Still and all, these new releases are absolutely worth curling up with a good cup of tea (or, in my case, coffee), even if you leave off the biscuits!

inkandbone_FINAL INK AND BONE by Rachel Caine (paperback edition)

In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time.…

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When his friend inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn.…

shadow-rites SHADOW RITES by Faith Hunter (mass market)

Slaying vampires is child s play for skinwalker Jane Yellowrock. But handling the complicated politics of New Orleans supernatural players is another story…

Jane is keeping the peace between visiting groups of witches and vamps in the city, but then trouble comes knocking on her doorstep. When her house is magically attacked, the wild chase to find her assailants unearths a mystery that has literally been buried deep.
A missing master vampire, presumed long deceased, is found chained in a pit…undead, raving mad, and in the company of two human bodies. Now it s up to Jane to find out who kept the vampire hidden for so long and why, because the incident could tip already high supernatural tensions to an all-out arcane war.

red flags.jpg RED FLAGS by Tammy Kaehler (hardcover & paperback)

When Kate Reilly arrives in Long Beach, California, a week ahead of the Grand Prix, she’s immediately plunged into a new social scene—as well as a murder investigation. Her cousin Billy is found dead, with Kate’s card in his pocket. The cops want to know why, and sponsors and race organizers—anxious to keep racing’s image clean—want Kate to investigate. Doubting she can solve another murder, especially that of a relative she despised, Kate reluctantly agrees.
At the same time, coaching a gorgeous and talented actress for a celebrity race brings Kate into the orbit of Hollywood’s hottest bachelor. And then a local FBI agent takes notice of more than her driving and sleuthing skills. She goes from Sony Studios to Venice Beach and from Rodeo Drive to the Hollywood Hills, attending parties, power-shopping, and dodging unwelcome paparazzi. Kate’s ballooning media exposure generates national commentary, testing her composure and forcing her to get ahead of the stories—whether critical or flattering.
Kate’s professional dreams are also coming true. The upcoming Grand Prix is her first race with a new sponsor that’s also funding an IndyCar test drive and a ride in next year’s Indy 500—along with future possibilities in NASCAR. The downside? New sponsor Frame Savings is owned by her family, and its management, outside of her long-estranged father, is unfriendly to her…even rivalrous.
Kate must stay on her toes as the Long Beach race weekend begins. She’s negotiating the next steps in her career, driving two racecars and coaching a third, discovering more about the disreputable members of her father’s family than she wanted to know, and juggling questions and suspects. On track, red flags fly to warn her of danger. Off track, Kate struggles to interpret warning signs and stay out of a killer’s grasp.

 

I’ve been neck deep in contracts/legalese and foreign tax forms this week and so am a bit slow with my happy book birthdays and congratulations, though if you follow me on Twitter (@luciennediver) you’ll already be up-to-date.  But to catch you all up here…

CRUX paperback I’m thrilled to congratulate Ramez Naam for winning the Philip K. Dick Award for APEX, the amazing conclusion to his NEXUS trilogy.  NEXUS itself, the first book in the series, won Endeavor Award along with Ken Scholes’ novel REQUIEM and the Prometheus Award along with Cory Doctorow‘s HOMELAND.  There’s other wonderful news in the wind for this series.  Can’t wait to announce!

For those who haven’t seen it yet, the new Knight Agency newsletter is out with all kinds of good stuff, including our regular Agents of the Round Table feature.

I’m very pleased to wish happy book birthdays to Susan Krinard and to David B. Coe for their paperback publications this week of BATTLESTORM and HIS FATHER’S EYES respectively!  More info below:

battlestorm BATTLESTORM by Susan Krinard (Tor Books)

Battlestorm: an all-new urban fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Susan Krinard, author of Mist and Black Ice.

Centuries ago, the Norse gods and goddesses fought their Last Battle with the trickster god Loki and his frost giants. All were believed lost, except for a few survivors…including the Valkyrie Mist, forgotten daughter of the goddess Freya.

But the battle isn’t over, and Mist–living a mortal life in San Francisco–is at the center of a new war, with the fate of the Earth hanging in the balance. As old enemies and allies reappear around the city, Mist must determine who to trust, while learning to control her own growing power.

It will take all of Mist’s courage, determination, and newfound magical abilities to stop Loki before history repeats itself.

 

his father's eyes HIS FATHER’S EYES by David B. Coe (Baen Books)

Book #2 in The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, a new contemporary fantasy series from fantasy all-star David B. Coe. A hardboiled, magic-using private detective battles dark sorcerers in Phoenix, Arizona.

Justis Fearsson is a weremyste. He wields potent magic, but every month, on the full moon, he loses his mind. He’s also a private detective, who can’t afford to take time off from his latest investigation while his sanity goes AWOL.

A legion of dark sorcerers has descended on Phoenix, wreaking havoc in the blistering desert heat. With the next moon phasing approaching, Jay has to figure out what connects a billionaire financier and a vicious drug kingpin to an attempted terrorist attack, a spate of ritual killings, and the murder of a powerful runemyste. And he has to do it fast. Because these same dark sorcerers have nearly killed the woman he loves and have used their spells to torment Jay’s father. Now they have Jay in their crosshairs, and with his death they intend to extend their power over the entire magicking world. But Jay has other plans, and no intention of turning his city, or those he loves, over to the enemy.

Interview

Posted: March 21, 2016 in Uncategorized

Hey, there’s an interview with agent and author me today at SF Signal, along with one of my most embarrassing covers (great anthology, though).  See if you can spot it!