Editor is taking a look at the Shadow story over break - doesn't seem to be a lot of work to be done, but we shall see. In the midst of this, the issue of the actual title came up again.
Shadow Run, the original title, is out of the question.
Shadows' Hunt, picked by readers from my poll of possible options in the FB group, unfortunately, also runs into issues of discoverability because of existing franchises/products, and has the additional "what part of speech did you intend?" problem. Confusion is not the goal here.
Editor made the editor face. I could see it through the chat. And said, you want a different title. Brain churned for a bit, I threw a couple of things out as possibilities, but we've settled on:
Yay! More news on the novelization coming soon. :D
Hello and Happy Holidays! This week, Ellie Thomas joins us with a timely excerpt for the season - A Christmas Engagement. A lovely m/m Regency to snuggle up with by the fire or space heater or electric blanket! Come have a listen :)
A Christmas Engagement
by Ellie Thomas
In 1805, Charles Denham’s comfortable life in Regency London with his long-term partner Avery Mallory is disrupted by the sudden death of his father. As the heir to a modest country estate in Gloucestershire, Charles returns home to care for his bereaved family and take up his new responsibilities.
Overwhelmed with grief, rather than leaning on Avery, Charles rejects his love and becomes fixed on the idea of taking a wife for reasons of family duty alone. With this plan in mind, during early winter, he travels the short distance to Bath only to find that Avery and his family have already arrived at the resort.
Will Charles follow through with his ill-conceived plan for a hasty betrothal by Christmas? Or will he come to his senses and resume his relationship with the nicest man in England?
Ellie Thomas lives by the sea. She comes from a teaching background and goes for long seaside walks where she daydreams about history. She is a voracious reader especially about anything historical. She mainly writes historical gay romance.
Ellie also writes historical erotic romance as L. E. Thomas.
Friday Reading Day - Resistance
Happy Holidays Friday, everyone! This week, I have a space opera treat for you - the new offering in M.D. Grimm's Saga of the Bold People series, Resistance. Aliens, bi characters, poly romance, more aliens! Come have a listen :)
Saga of the Bold People 3
by M.D. Grimm
Universal Buy Link
Can a retired assassin be the savior his people need?
How does a former assassin save his fellow humans from extinction? By allying them with mrrogs of course!
But that’s easier said than done as humans are understandably distrustful and suspicious of sescurei, the official species of the InterGalactic community. Leopold must convince them that Mastrodai’s offer of alliance isn’t a trick, which means diplomacy, patience, and tenacity. Times like this make him grateful that he has two strong mates to lean on. And when it comes to understanding his own people, he’d be wise to follow Alex’s lead.
Alex has been too long away from her family and is thrilled to see them again. But with reunions come old pressures, old doubts, and old wounds. She must negotiate who she was with who she is, while helping her mates and her colony come together with the shared goal of freedom.
Mastrodai, meanwhile, finds himself in the minority for the first time in his life, and the constant hostility has him doubting the wisdom of their choices. But he’s devoted to his human mates and determined to see things through no matter the discomfort… or danger.
Not everyone wants what Leopold and his mates have to give, and he needs to break through the resistance humans have built up after generations of degradation, humiliation, and fear. He must win his people’s trust, solve the riddle of his parents’ rings, and navigate the new complexities of his love life.
Being an assassin was so much easier.
M.D. Grimm has wanted to write stories since second grade (kind of young to make life decisions, but whatever) and nothing has changed since then (well, plenty of things actually, but not that!). Thankfully, she has indulgent parents who let her dream, but also made sure she understood she’d need a steady job to pay the bills (they never let her forget it!). After graduating from the University of Oregon and majoring in English, (let’s be honest: useless degree, what else was she going to do with it?) she started on her writing career and couldn’t be happier. Working by day and writing by night (or any spare time she can carve out), she enjoys embarking on romantic quests and daring adventures (living vicariously, you could say) and creating characters that always triumph against the villain, (or else what’s the point?) finding their soul mate in the process.
Author Website: https://www.mdgrimmwrites.com
Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001710645622
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4574220.M_D_GrimmAuthor
Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com): https://www.limfic.com/mbm-book-author/m-d-grimm/
Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/m-d-grimm/
Author Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/M.D.-Grimm/e/B00I0KZMY6/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
A lot of authors do their year in review around this time with the general theme of "I felt like I didn't accomplish much, but, wow, look at all the things I did!"
I would like to do that sort of wrap up, but, hmmm... I really didn't accomplish much. It's sort of a year that wasn't in many respects. Not all doom and gloom, though! There were some things!
My serialized fantasy Shadow Run (now Shadows' Hunt) wrapped up in June. Thirty-eight episodes and an epilogue - I hope to get Zie, Davitts and Essenin out in the world in novel form in 2023.
This was, I realized to my own rather enormous shock, my first serious high fantasy. I've written so much urban fantasy, but the only other high fantasy was fantasy humor. Huh. Odd that.
The fourth AURA novel came out in March - urban fantasy written with the lovely Bellora Quinn. So much fun to return to this world - I'd missed everyone, especially Kai. Yes, yes, I know he's not everyone's favorite, but he's mine. :D
Ryld's Shadows is in ebook, paperback, and we hope to see audio from the publisher coming up!
Most of my efforts went into the Variant Configurations series - and some of this was, indeed, difficult. The first book, Rarely Pure and Never Simple, needed serious, substantial rewrites and additions requiring the entire re-ordering of the plot, adjusting of character focus, and the whole ending was tossed out the window and rewritten.
Also, a beautiful new cover by the amazing Natasha Snow. :)
And finally, the second Variant Configurations book, From The Noblest Motives. The book that took ten years to write. To be accurate, I wrote the first chapter, hated it, and put it in the drawer for ten years. It took rewriting the first book to realize why I hated that first chapter and why I had to start over with an entirely different idea and direction. Hooray!
OK, so 2022 wasn't a year of lots of things. But there were some things! On to 2023. Yeesh. I'm still stuck in 2020 somewhere.
Hello, Friday! This week, I'm reading to you from Stephen J. Wolf's new fantasy, Kershin the Fire Mage. Uncontrolled magic anyone? Come have a listen :D
Kershin the Fire Mage
by Stephen J. Wolf
How do you control a power you hate?
Kershin's attempts at a normal life have always been fruitless, but now he's sure he'll be cursed forever. After shunning his fire magic for years, he's now forced to either tame it himself or be tamed by a persistent mage hunter. The harder he tries, the worse the situation gets, and as he's hunted across the land, he leaves destruction in his wake.
Hessia has been scarred by a fire mage before, but she's determined to never be helpless again. On her mission to tame the destructive fire mage, she faces trials that shake her to her core. Trials that test her mettle, threaten her beliefs, and decimate the villages she's trying to protect. Will she fall prey to her own hunt?
The fire takes. The fire consumes. The fire kills.
These two know that very well. As they clash, they discover that the threats they face may be greater than either of them imagined.
Stephen J. Wolf is a science teacher with a PhD in science education and a penchant for fantasy books, movies, and video games. Growing up, he loved learning how things worked. When he saw Mr. Wizard's World for the first time, he knew then that science was his place to be. From learning about how fireworks light up with different colors to understanding the mechanics of an acid-base reaction, chemistry and physics became his passion.
Stephen started writing in eighth grade when his English teacher challenged the class to craft three different scenes. One scene focused on a person. A second highlighted a location. And the third detailed an object. In the moment of the quick-fire writing prompts, Wolf linked all three tasks together and created his first short story. The following year he created his first novel, then expanded it to a trilogy, growing as a writer along the way.
Stephen lives in New York with his husband, Kevin, and their cats, Merlin and Monty.
Author Website: https://red-jade.com/
Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/firemages
Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/StephenJWolfAuthor
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/firemagekershin
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/260634.Stephen_J_Wolf
Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Stephen-Wolf/e/B017AVKJHU
Friday Reading Day - Wrong Hunt
Happy Friday, all! This week, I have an excerpt to read to you from JS Harker's new paranormal, Wrong Hunt. Vampires? Check. Monster hunters? Check. Confident, experienced hero? Maybe not so much... Come have a listen!
Fang and Dagger #1
Years after becoming the black sheep, Zack Wright struggles to prove he's worthy of his family's monster hunter legacy. While the family is busy, intel on a new hunt crosses Zack's desk. He imagines slaying evil, defending the innocent, and joining his family on their dangerous travels. All he has to do is kill a vampire.
For three hundred years, Roger has survived his sire's cruelty. He conspires with friends to put an end to their torment. But one night in 1989, he falls into a magical coma. He wakes over thirty years later as a hunter attempts to shove a stake in his heart. Confused and weakened, he needs every advantage he can grasp. The hunter has the potential to make Roger's goal a reality---provided he can convince Wright not to kill him.
Taking down a legendary vampire would catapult Zack's reputation. But to get close to his prey, he'll have to blend into vampire society. That means pretending to belong to Roger. And that means spending enormous amounts of time with the seductive gorgeous vampire and facing hard truths about his family. None of which will be easy in a supernatural safe haven with a killer hunting him...
JS Harker loves stories. She was one of those kids who constantly had a book in her hands and spent countless hours adventuring with her siblings. These days she wanders into her imaginary worlds and conjures up tales of magic, passion, and happily-ever-afters. She currently lives in the part of the Midwest that makes Tatooine look interesting by comparison (not that she’s ever obsessively thought about becoming a Jedi or anything).
Or several thoughts, maybe. :D It's December, and a lot of folks are gift buying for various holidays - friends, family, frenemies, and so on.
The corporate world is, in general, pretty awful these days and it's tough sometimes to give your money to awful people. This year, consider buying from smaller businesses, from family and single-owner ones.
Like to order chocolates? Consider shopping at your local chocolatier or ordering from smaller, family owned businesses like Gertrude Hawk or Nuts.com.
Looking for queer-friendly things like stickers, notebooks, and plushies? Order from queer creators like Rainbow Glade or Queer As They.
Want some art? Find queer artists to buy from like Felix D'eon or Ludo (for a more goth aesthetic).
However you do it, use your buying power this year to support the non-corporate everything!
Angel writes (mostly) Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around queer heroes. Currently living part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware and full time inside her head, she has one husband, one son, two cats, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate.