Do you like SPIES?
Do you also like WITCHES?
Well then, I have a treat for you! Season One of The Witch Who Came In From the Cold is now available as a massive compendium of all thirteen episodes!
Welcome to Prague, 1970: ground zero in a Cold War of spies and sorcerers. The streets are a deadly chessboard on which the CIA and KGB make their moves, little dreaming that a deeper game is being played between the Consortium of Ice and the Acolytes of Flame, ancient organizations that seek to harness elemental magic.
Tanya Morozova is a KGB officer and the latest in a long of Ice sorceresses; Gabe Pritchard is a CIA officer and reluctant Ice recruit. Enemies at one turn, but forced into alliances at the next, their relationship is as explosive as the Cold War itself.
Publisher's Weekly gave it a starred review, saying, "The installments are easy to read one at a time, but the tangles of alliances, secrets, and shocking double-crosses will have readers up all night mumbling, 'Just one more.'"
Barnes and Noble
Houston's own comic con, Comicpalooza, will be happening May 12-14 and I'll be gracing some of the literary track panels with my presence. My schedule (in lieu of descriptions you get gifffffs):
The Storytelling of Star Wars
10:00 - 11:00 AM
With Alan Cerny, Laura Liddell Nolen, D. L. Young
ETA: Reading Confirmed!
I will have a reading at the Barnes & Noble table on Friday from 1:00-1:30. Feel free to stop by and chat.
Boredom-Proofing Your Story
1:00 - 2:00 PM
with Lev Grossman (!!!), Andrea Barbosa, Holly Lyn Walrath, Stacey Berg, Laura Liddell Nolen
Creative Collaborations: How, Why, and With Whom?
2:30 - 3:30 PM
With Marianne Dyson, Ammar Habib, Marshall Ryan Maresca, Jessica Reisman
4:00 - 4:45 PM at the Barnes and Noble booth
With Marianne Dyson and Ammar Habib
Finding an Agent: When, How, and Why
10:00 - 11:00am
With Wren Michaels, B. Alan Bourgeois, Mari Mancusi, Bryan Thomas Schmidt
Star's End is out in the world today!
If you ever wanted a reminder of how sloooooow publishing can be, I wrote the first words of this novel on January 1, 2013. It was part of an experiment to see if I could juggle multiple projects--a major project, which I would spend most of my time on, and a minor project, where I would write 500 words first thing every morning. Star's End was the minor project.
Now, over four years later, you can buy it in a bookstore. Just more proof that probably the most important skill you'll ever need as a writer is persistence.
So what exactly is Star's End about? Well, I shall tell you... in gif form.
First off, there's a lot of this
By which I mean SPAAAAAAAACE. The book focuses on the relationship between four sisters...
...who have the worst dad you can imagine. Like, this guy...
crossed with one of these guys:
Only we're talking, like, dickish early TNG-era Ferengi, not adorable DS9 Ferengi. Then throw in a Xenomorph for good measure.
Yes, a xenomorph.
Curious how this all ties together? Well, you'll have to read the book, won't you! Publisher's Weekly gave it a starred review, saying “the well-developed characters enhance this novel of grand ideas, bringing relatable human motives and vulnerabilities to a world in which industry, government, warfare, and space travel are inextricably intertwined."
Here's the official summary:
The Coromina family owns a small planet system, which consists of one gaseous planet and four terraformed moons, nicknamed the Four Sisters. Phillip Coromina, the patriarch of the family, earned his wealth through a manufacturing company he started as a young man and is preparing his eldest daughter, Esme, to take over the company when he dies.
When Esme comes of age and begins to take over the business, she gradually discovers the reach of her father’s company, the sinister aspects of its work with alien DNA, and the shocking betrayal that estranged her three half-sisters from their father. After a lifetime of following her father’s orders, Esme must decide if she should agree to his dying wish of assembling her sisters for a last goodbye or face her role in her family’s tragic undoing.
And here are some purchase links:
Barnes and Noble
Thank you all for reading!
The second season of The Witch Who Came in from the Cold begins today! When last we left our heroes, they had just used magic to blow up a traitor-carrying airplane somewhere over West Germany. Who knows what arcane shenanigans they'll get up to this time around?
You can purchase the first episode of season two here, or you can subscribe to the entire season here. Either way you'll get both an e-copy AND audio copy. Pretty sweet deal. Plus, we update every Wednesday.
To celebrate the release, I wrote a guest post for The Qwillery about my experience writing a story set in Prague despite never having been there. I might slag off on Stephen King a little? Lovingly, of course.
I was also interviewed for the Houston Chronicle about Serial Box and the new season!
Both The Assassin's Curse and The Pirate's Wish have been bound together in one brand-spanking new edition called The Magic of Blood and Sea:
A pirate princess and a cursed assassin find their fates intertwined in this gorgeous and thrilling adventure.
Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an ally pirate clan. She wants to captain her own boat, not serve as second-in-command to a handsome and clueless man. But her escape has dire consequences when she learns that her fiancé’s clan has sent an assassin after her.
And when this assassin, Naji, finally finds her, things get even worse. Ananna inadvertently triggers a nasty curse—with a life-altering result. Now, Ananna and Naji are forced to become uneasy allies as they work to complete three impossible tasks that will cure the curse...
Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound, and Books a Million!
So this ungodly monster of a year is in its final death throes. Perhaps the less said about it the better, but as a writer, I do feel mildly obligated to provide you with a year-end wrap up of publications and other assorted sundries.
The Mad Scientist's Daughter was rereleased through Saga Press, as was the paperback edition of Our Lady of the Ice.
I also published a short story, "A Night in New Veroshtin," in the Women in Practical Armor Kickstarter anthology.
Probably my biggest project this year, however, was the first season of The Witch Who Came in From the Cold, a serial which I cowrote with Lindsay Smith, Max Gladstone, Ian Tregellis, and Michael Swanwick. It was released by the awesome new publisher Serial Box. I wrote three of the thirteen episodes: Episode 2, "A Voice on the Radio," Episode 8, "Cover the Silence" (which incidentally is one of my favorite things that I've written!), and Episode 12, "She'll Lie Down in the Snow". If you are a nominating sort, individual episodes are eligible for the Hugo and Nebula Best Novelette categories, and the entire season is eligible for the Best Novel category.
I spent much of 2016 working on revisions and copy-edits for my 2017 publications. I did finish a fantasy novel (which I will be revising in 2017!) and a novella (which languished in revision hell for an embarrasingly long time--but I'm finishing it before 2016 ends, mark my words).
I also started dabbling in short fiction again--not just writing, but actually sending work out! I got better about revising and submitting short fiction, and I currently have a handful of stories out on submission. In addition, I began writing poetry (!), something I haven't done since college.
Plans for 2017
I have two books coming out in 2017:
In February, look for The Magic of Blood and Sea, the omnibus edition of The Assassin's Curse and The Pirate's Wish! That's right, Ananna and Naji are back and better than ever, thanks to Saga Press. I'm also planning on releasing three related shorts (which were previously available thorugh Strange Chemistry) over on Wattpad.
And then in March, Star's End will be released into the world! Star's End is a space opera family drama that started its life way back in 2013 as Alien/Prometheus fanfiction (seriously; it was a fanfic idea that I decided to turn into original fiction). Now it's coming to you via Saga Press. PREPARE THYSELVES.
And of course the second season of The Witch Who Came in From the Cold will be starting up February 8. Come for the spies and magic, stay for the boxing and romance.
All of these publications are currently available for pre-order, if you're so inclined!
A while back I struck a deal with Saga Press to publish my Angry Robot/Strange Chemistry backlist. The Mad Scientist's Daughter was rereleased first, and it's available now. Next up is a bound edition of The Assassin's Curse and The Pirate's Wish, which will be rereleased under the new name The Magic of Blood and Sea in February 2017.
That leaves two more books to let loose into the world: The Wizard's Promise and The Nobleman's Revenge.
If you'll recall, The Wizard's Promise was released one month before Strange Chemistry closed its doors for good. Its sequel, The Nobleman's Revenge, has never been published.
That's right, Saga will be releasing both books in another bound edition, this one called The Magic of Wind and Mist! And I have a cover for you!
The Magic of Wind and Mist (or Mowam, as I've been calling it) features a new character named Hanna Euli. All she wants is to become a proper witch—unfortunately, she’s stuck as an apprentice to a grumpy fisherman. When their boat gets caught up in a mysterious storm and blown wildly off course, Hanna finds herself further away from home than she’s ever been before. As she tries to get back, she learns there may be more to her apprentice master than she realized, especially when a mysterious, beautiful, and very non-human boy named Isolfr begins following her through the ocean, claiming that he needs Hanna’s help.
But when Hannah’s fishing boat is attacked by the evil Lord Foxfollow, a failed protection spell sends Hanna and Isolfr across the boundaries into a mysterious realm known as the Mists. Now they’re trapped together in a strange new world where they have no way of telling friend from foe. Unfortunately, Lord Foxfollow hopes to gain control of Hanna and Isolfr's world, and he's getting closer and closer to gaining permanent access. The only way to stop him is to make their way through this dangerous, mysterious realm together.
The Magic of Wind and Mist will be released in 2018. Check back here for preorder information as it becomes available!
The Mad Scientist's Daughter is back! The good people at Saga Press are sending it out into the world with a gorgeous new cover and another shot at robotic greatness.
When Cat Novak was a young girl, her father brought Finn, an experimental android, to their isolated home. A billion-dollar construct, Finn looks and acts human, but he has no desire to be one. He was programmed to assist his owners, and performs his duties to perfection.
His primary task now is to tutor Cat. Finn stays with her, becoming her constant companion and friend as she grows into adulthood. But when the government grants rights to the ever-increasing robot population, Finn struggles to find his place in the world. As their relationship goes further than anyone intended, they have to face the threat of being separated forever.
MSD was originally released by Angry Robot in 2013. It was nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award and made several Best-of-the-Year lists. Io9 called it "one of the most realistic science fiction stories ever told" and the Guardian recommended it for people who loved The Time Traveller's Wife. This time around, it has made its way to a few assorted listicles as well. Check it out:
Barnes and Noble: Eight Books to Read Once You're Caught Up with HBO's Westworld
Tor.com: Ten Human Rights that Robots Deserve
BookBub Blog: Twenty-Three of the Best New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books
Barnes and Noble: The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of November 2016
The new-and-improved Mad Scientist's Daughter is now available at all your favorite bookstores, including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your preferred indie option.
Well, well, what do we have here?
What could it be?
Is that what I THINK it is?
It IS! At long last, I can show you the cover for my next new novel, Star's End!
I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS COVER. The artwork is gorgeous and I love the symbolism in it--this imagery fits so well with the story that I'm just like
Star's End is a space opera about a woman who must face the truth about her father's past. Have some flap copy:
Esme Coromina lived the best years of her life at Star’s End, the estate her father built on the terraformed moon where he grew his empire. In the tropical sunlight and lush gardens, Esme helped raise her three motherless half-sisters. But as Esme is groomed to take over the family business of manufacturing weapons for the mercenary groups spread across the galaxy, she slowly uncovers the sinister truth at the heart of her father’s company. And when those secrets are finally revealed, Esme thinks she has lost her sisters for good.
Now, after a lifetime of following her father’s orders, Esme has a second chance—and she must decide if she should agree to her father’s dying wish of assembling her sisters for one last goodbye, or if she should face her role in her family’s tragic undoing.
Star's End will be released by Saga Press in March 2017. It is currently available for preorder at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and through Indiebound. You can also add it on Goodreads!
I have redesigned my website! I wanted something a little more streamlined and a little less blog-centric, so I ditched Wordpress and went over to Weebly.
Most of the information on the site is the same; however, I did update my short fiction page to include stories that had previously only been available for purchase behind a pay wall. Exciting! Here's a list of these newly-available stories:
The Cowboy's Wife
The first story I ever published! It's a retelling of the La Llorona myth, and it was written for a Texas literature class back in grad school. The assignment was to write a Texas variation on an Australian story called "The Drover's Wife," which inspired a bunch of responses and parodies from other Australian writers.
A story set in the 1920s about a robot who learns how to work the stock market. I wrote it to express my love for The Great Gatsby.
Ursula Major, Ursula Minor
This story was the first story I ever published because an editor requested it. I actually already had it written and hadn't been able to sell it, but when the editor of the Fog Horn reached out to me after reading Mad Scientist's Daughter, I was able to check that line off my career goals list!
Blood and Saltwater
A take on the tithe of Faerie, set in Galveston.