Charlaine Harris: Night Shift

Charlaine Harris_Night ShiftThe third (and maybe final) book in the Midnight, TX series is out! We have the distinct privilege of continuing our relationship with the island of misfit toys that is Midnight, TX. There is a huge evil brewing and it is calling people to it and murdering them by their own hands — forcing them to commit suicide.

The relationship between Fiji and Bobo  creates a lot of tension and I was almost tempted to jump to the end to find out what happens because I was so worried about them. I didn’t, but it was a close one. Fiji really comes into her own in this book and does something toward the end that I know I could not do, even to save the world.

I love this community and all of the characters in it. In fact, it is my favorite of all Harris’ series.  While I must admit that number 3 wasn’t my favorite of the series, it still sets a high bar for other writers of fantasy/mysteries. Charlaine Harris is a gifted writer and deserves all the success she gets.  Total recommend, but read numbers 1 and 2 first.

Book Birthdays–Barb Hendee and David B. Coe; Returning Ebooks Commentary

A couple of book birthdays to announce for May 3rd. David B. Coe’s Shadow Blade, the third in the Justin Fearsson series, and Barb Hendee’s To Kill A Kettle Witch, the fourth in the series.

I have read To Kill A Kettle Witch and found it delightful. Full of magic and intrigue, but also really wonderful in the way the relationships between the characters are portrayed. The romance part is not overdone, nor underdone. It is just right. Although I did read this book as a stand-alone, I highly recommend that you start with the first one. When you buy them in a bundle on Amazon, you can get a really good price. Go check it out, and while you are there, notice that Hendee has a number of other books. If you like to find an author and hang on, reading everything they write, you’ll get a lot of pleasure from Barb Hendee’s catalog.

Much like Hendee’s novel, David B. Coe’s Shadow Blade is part of a series that is best read from book one. I haven’t read this third book yet, but the first two were exciting, fast reads. To give you a sense of it, the recommended book underneath Shadow’s Blade on Amazon is for Charlaine Harris’ Night Shift, which I love. In fact, I will be reviewing the third in Harris’ Midnight, TX series very soon.

Books-ebooks-photo-76942-mediumI would be remiss if I did not comment on an issue that is making the rounds in writing circles and on Facebook. I was completely unaware of this, but it seems there are readers out there that buy an e-book and then return it, even if they’ve read the whole thing or a significant part of it, and Amazon allows it. Team: this is theft. Writers spend months, even years, writing, editing, anguishing over their prose and then cross their fingers that the book or story will see the light of day. Sales are what pay the bills and ensure that more books and stories are published.

I think the most offensive comment was from a reader who commented that “I shouldn’t have to pay for stories in your head.” Sorry, that is exactly what you are paying for, because getting those stories our of our heads and onto paper is exceedingly hard. Acts of creation, like composing, writing, sculpting, painting and dancing, are just as valuable as computer programming. You are paying for the time, expertise, blood, sweat and tears that went into the creation of that art. If you don’t want to pay for the book, go to the library. That is a perfect way to support the author and not have to shell out cash.

If you agree and want to support writers, especially indie writers and small press publishers, you can sign this change.org petition here.

 

Headaches

gallery-thumbnails-headacheHeadaches.  I want to talk about headaches today. Mostly because I have one that started yesterday and has the stamina of the Energizer Bunny. I’ve learned by now that my headaches come in many forms. The physical ones that come from stress, like the one I have now; the migraines that come from my injuries to C2 and C3 in my neck that are crushers and leave me incapable of thought, and the third kind, a more metaphorical version — the things in life we have to deal with that are unpleasant and get in the way of forward progress.

Today is Thursday and the last time I wrote was Saturday. I usually write every day, but the last several day became headaches in all sorts of ways.

  1. Travel. My family and I traveled back to Maryland for Pesach and we got our routines all out of sorts. (Loved being there though.)
  2. Work, which isn’t itself a headache, but we’ve had some weird complaints and situations that needed to be resolved this week.
  3. Death. Followers on Facebook will know that I attended a viewing yesterday for a 31 year old woman who died of cancer, leaving a 2 year old son behind.  That’s a showstopper.
  4. Frustration. Frustration with myself for not being better (whatever that means), for not writing more, for not losing weight no matter what I do, and frustration with the waiting, an inherent part of writing and submitting. Frustration with not being able to make my writing career (loosely defined) move FASTER.
  5. And one more added to the day. The small photo I am using above, within the text, is titled “Chubby Woman with a Headache.” Screw you, whomever named that one.

I’ve been in this spot before for different reasons and I keep reminding myself that advances don’t always come in a straight upwards, gradually improving line. Sometimes forward motion comes in spits and starts. Plateaus followed by leaps. That is what I am counting on.

What are your headaches? What do you do to manage them?

 

 

 

Thief of Shadows by Jay Requard: Epic Fantasy in Bite-Sized Chunks

He’s a thief called the Panther and he steals from the grossly rich — and the gross — conquerors of the Savannah. In a series of stories reminiscent of the British occupation of India, we get to know Manwe, our main character, and begin to understand his morals and weaknesses. Requard is clearly setting us up for more stories so we’ll have to settle for learning a bit at a time. It’s a tease, let’s be honest.

One thing to note: Requard uses sex openly and without apology, making an orgy seem like just another day among the rich and famous. I was unsure of how I felt about some of the scenes, and then delighted at the open acceptance of sexuality in all its forms.

Available for only $2.99 on Amazon, its a modern take on an epic fantasy, broken into bite-sized chunks. I am excited to see how the revolution begins.

Shadow Rites: The Best Book Faith Hunter Has Written (so far)

shadow rites_book coverI’ve read every Jane Yellowrock book, short story or novella that Faith has ever written.

This is the best one (so far).

The writing is tight and the book is action packed. You almost never have time to breathe, and most of all, we are finally leading up to the visit from the European vamps. It is so close you can almost taste it…ooh, sorry, maybe not a great analogy when we are discussing vampires.

ENTER FOR A FREE COPY of SHADOW RITES: Comment below and I will send one lucky winner a copy of Shadow Rites.
ALSO: The publisher will send one lucky winner a copy as well…so make sure to comment so I can pick TWO people.
LAST: go here to enter a full 10 book giveaway! Scroll down to enter the Rafflecopter.

INTERVIEW: I got a chance to ask Faith some questions, and while she wouldn’t give anything away (grrrrrr….) she did give some tantalizing information.

SW: Why does Jane’s stomach get ripped up when she bubbles time?

FH: Excellent question! I am playing with the effects on matter, time, and space. Time and space are two sides of the same coin. When Jane bends and bubbles time and space, it seems to me that (physics speaking) it would also effect matter, especially matter that is near the time-space alteration. I could have created other potential problems from this modification, but I picked one that might also damage her body and her genetics. Because I’m evil that way. Jane bleeds internally, first in her stomach, and blood in the stomach makes people nauseated. And, Voila!

Oh! The reason for, and solution to, all this is part of the next question!

SW: The Goddess is an early incarnation of Artemis. Are we going to learn more about her and what being her offspring means in the next book?

Yes. And maybe no, depending on how much the readers want. But we really get a lot more about this “little goddess” thing in the shorts and novellas I am writing this year. So stay tuned! I will do my best not to leave it hanging.

SW: Is it possible that Jane will ever give birth to a child? Beast wants kits so badly.

FH: Probably not in the series. Maybe after the series. We’ll see.

SW: I believe that Edmund’s fall is a calculated part of the long game. Any hints about this? 

Good conclusion! Yes. IT is part of Leo’s long game. But I have a feeling that Edmund might be playing his own game too, one hidden by the parameters and goals of Leo’s game.

You asked great questions! Thanks!

Thanks for being with me here on Slippery Words, Faith!

About Shadow Rites
SHADOW RITES (Jane Yellowrock #10) | Mass Market Paperback | $7.99 | 368 pages | April 5, 2016 | ISBN: 9780451465979
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.
 
About Faith Hunter

Faith Hunter, fantasy writer, was born in Louisiana and raised all over the south. She writes three Urban Fantasy series:  the Skinwalker series, featuring Jane Yellowrock, a Cherokee skinwalker who hunts rogue vampires. The Soulwood series, featuring earth magic user Nell Ingram. And the Rogue Mage novels, a dark, urban, post-apocalyptic, fantasy series featuring Thorn St. Croix, a stone mage. (There is a role playing game based on the series, ROGUE MAGE.)

Under the pen name Gwen Hunter, she writes action-adventure, mysteries, and thrillers. As Faith and Gwen, she has 30+ books in print in 29 countries.

Hunter writes full-time, tries to keep house, and is a workaholic with a passion for travel, jewelry making, white-water kayaking, and writing. She and her husband love to RV, traveling with their rescued Pomeranians to whitewater rivers all over the Southeast.

 

 

What Myke Cole Does Really Well

javelin rain coverMyke Cole writes military fantasy and I just finished his latest, Javelin Rain.

I am not an avid reader of military fantasy or science fiction, but Myke makes me want to read his series and he does this in two ways.

  1. He bases the story in something real and human. In this case, the love of a husband and a father for his wife and son. I can relate to this emotional element.
  2. He uses military terms carefully and in such a way that even newbies can understand what the heck he means. Not always so easy. I’ve bitten into other military based books and not understood fifty percent of the words in the first paragraph.

I do recommend reading this series in order by starting with Gemini Cell and you can learn more about Myke and his novels at Myke’s website.

Cover Reveal: Curse on the Land

Can I just say how excited I am for the new Soulwood books? They are going to be amazing, and here for the first time is the cover of the second book, Curse on the Land! The first book, Blood of the Earth, is out August 2nd. This one, Curse on the Land, is out November 1. 

Before Nell Ingram met skinwalker Jane Yellowrock, she had no one to rely on, finding strength only in in her arcane connection to the dark woods around her. But now she has friends in the newly-formed PsyLED team to keep her grounded—even if being part of the agency responsible for policing paranormals presents dangers of its own…

After training at the PsyLED academy, Nell returns home to her woods to find the land feeling sick and restless. And that sickness is spreading. With the help of her team, under the leadership of agent Rick LaFleur, Nell tries to determine the cause. But nothing can prepare them for the evil that awaits: an entity that feeds on death itself. And it wants more…

Displaying CurseonLand_Web.jpegCurse on the Land cover reveal

Perseverance: Understanding the business of writing

Hey y’all. For those non-writers, have you ever wondered what writers think about? What they worry about? How we talk to one another? If you try a visit to www.magicalwords.net, you can get a crash course and it all very entertaining. Written by well-published, thoughtful genre writers, it is a tremendous resource for those interested in writing or those who want to peek behind the curtain.

Here’s another good blog post by a personal favorite author of mine, Patricia Briggs.  She talks about the financial issues of writing and it might surprise non-writers how tough it is and how challenging it is to get published, much less make some money. With a few exceptions, most writers I know have full-time jobs outside of writing.

Publishing is partly luck, skill and craft, but mostly it is perseverance. Every author I have ever spoken to emphasizes this point. No matter how tough it is, you either do it or you quit. That’s it. So when I get discouraged, I just remember that I only have one other option–stop writing, and since that is going to happen, I may as well keep trying.

By now I have one short story accepted to an anthology and another editor who loves a story I’ve submitted and we are keeping in touch to see where it could live. Both of these editors are generous with their time and willing to discuss my writing with me and even review stories before they are submitted to other publications. And I have two professional editors that I can hire to review my work and give me honest critique.

A year ago, I had none of this. So it is good to take a step back and realize that perseverance is making a difference, even if it sometimes seems achingly slow.

So, for my friends who are writers, and my friends who are artists, and my friends who just love good writing, let’s cheer each other on and raise a glass to freedom (oh, sorry, was that a Hamilton reference–why yes, it was)…er, raise a glass to perseverance.

Gail Martin’s New Flame and Shadow Is Out Now; Good deals on the series for a short time

Shadow-and-Flame-US_COVER-Med-Res-213x300Blaine McFadden and his allies have brought magic back under mortal command and begun to restore order to the beleaguered kingdom of Donderath. Now, new perils and old enemies gather for a final reckoning. Foreign invaders, a legendary dark mage and vengeful immortals fight Blaine’s battered forces for control of the continent, and Blaine’s weary army is the only thing standing between a kingdom struggling to rise from the ashes and a descent into fury and darkness.

So here’s what’s REALLY cool!  Right now, the paperback copy of Shadow and Flame is just $10.24 (save $5.75) on Amazon! AND Orbit has done a price drop on ALL of the Ascendant Kingdoms books for a limited timeIce Forged, Reign of Ash and War of Shadows arejust $4.99 on Kindle (save $5 on each)! That makes is really easy to catch up on your reading or binge-read the series. Grab them quick!

Arctic PrisonAnd to sweeten the deal a little more, if youbuy Shadow and Flame (ebook or paper) before 3/31, you get Arctic Prison (a Blaine McFadden prequel novella) free! (That’s a $2.99 value!) Need to catch up on the series? Buy 2 or more Ascendant Kingdoms novels (any format) by 3/31, and get King’s Convicts (three Blaine McFadden prequel novellas) free! (That’s a $9.99 value!) Details here: http://conta.cc/2293EXk