Crook and candy

Crook of the Dead
Look at that spooky cover, just in time for Halloween!

Lydia Trinket is all adventured out for the time being. CROOK OF THE DEAD is now available in both Kindle and paperback editions, completing the trilogy. I’ve got mixed emotions about finishing, because Lydia has been so fun to write. And I’m so appreciative of the emails from folks who’ve also found her fun to read!

As is often the case with new releases, my mailing list subscribers have been enjoying a 99¢ sale on the Kindle edition of Crook. Now that there are less than 24 hours remaining on that special price, I’m letting you fine folks in on it as well. It goes up to $3.99 on Tuesday 10/20, so don’t wait!

GHOST IN THE CANTEEN and PEAK OF THE DEVIL are celebrating Lydia’s sunset ride with Kindle Countdown deals, and are priced at 99¢ all week. It’s a great time of year to get into the series, if you haven’t already.

Speaking of a great time of year, who’s doing NaNo? I sort of am, but I’m cheating. I’m drafting a project right now and can’t sit on it until November 1, so it’ll be partly done by the time NaNo arrives, and the draft will be finished somewhere around mid-month. I may or may not use the latter half of NaNo to play around with something else, depending on how rigorous my revision looks to be.

Either way, I’ve already broken into the Halloween candy. Obviously. I’m kind of into the Three Musketeers this year, which is unusual for me. What’s your position on the best fun-sized candy bar?

My newsletter subscribers are more awesome than you

Because they got to read the first chapter of book two in the Lydia Trinket series, Peak of the Devil, last week. Now you can read it here and be awesome too. (Warning! Contains adult language. Reader discretion is advised.)

The Kindle edition of Peak of the Devil will be 99¢—that’s 75% off regular price—April 28-30 only. All editions, including print, will be widely available at major online retailers the last week in April.

Newsletter subscribers will get a release announcement, so you can both safeguard your awesomeness and make sure you don’t miss the sale by joining my mailing list.

And don’t forget that all eBook editions of Ghost in the Canteen have been permanently priced at 99¢, so as to be sure there are no barriers to entry into the series. If you aren’t awesome, I’m afraid you have nobody to blame but yourself.

And I think that’s about all the shameless self promotion we’ll be having around here, until I’ve got the cover to show you all.

O Hai!

My apologies for my lack of attention to your blogs and such. I’m trying to catch up. I’ve been in and out of it, and I’m not going to whine too much, but man, the flu is BAD this year, peeps. It’s a lot like World of Warcraft, actually. Just when you think you’ve put it behind you for good, it sucks you back under.

As a result of my hermitizing (sure it’s a word) I haven’t even seen the last Hobbit movie yet. DON’T TELL ME. But I’ll be reviewing it here once I do.

I have been reading, but I never did finish Revival. I’m sure I will at some point. I like curling up with a good historical love story in the winter time, although I shy away from the erotica end of things, and that is all the rage in romance these days. I’ve read the first couple of Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series, and it’s pretty darn graphic, but enjoyable nonetheless because it’s a cool period and I like her weaving in of the gin trade in London. It adds meat to the story, but isn’t so preachy that I have to roll my eyes and go read something else. The books aren’t entirely historically accurate, but what historical romance is? At least these heroines are products of their time and conflicted about sex, which is a dimension I like.

I keep trying, and failing, to finish the second Outlander book too. I guess I’m showing a lack of commitment these days, but what can I say? Too many books, not enough time. Even the likes of Stephen King and Diana Gabaldon have to stay sharp and keep me interested, because I have so many other choices to move on to if they don’t.

Exception: George Martin, you don’t have to be sharp or interesting. Seriously, I promise, it’s okay. Just send them the draft. We don’t mind. Statistically speaking, I’m past the halfway point in my life now, and I need to know who Jon Snow’s mother is before I die.

Actually I take that back. You can take your time, George. If you don’t tell me soon, HBO will. But is that really how you want me to find out?

Astute readers will note that the cover for Ghost in the Canteen has changed. (Yes again, but only once since publication, so that makes it okay.) The change is populating around all the many nooks and crannies of Amazon and the interwebs that book covers live in, so it may be inconsistent for a bit. (For example, the Amazon widget in my sidebar is still showing the old one as of this writing.)

While working on the cover for Peak of the Devil, we decided on a slight change to the look and feel for the series as a whole. One of the challenges with dark snark is that it’s by nature contradictory. Conveying that it’s bloody and scary but in a totally funny way can be difficult, but I think the new look strikes that balance better.

Peak is moving along on schedule for a release the last week of April or first week in May. After that the remaining three books in the series will be coming along faster, three to four months apart.

Nonetheless, I want HBO to know that if they’d like to offer up some spoilers by buying the television rights and producing it faster than I do, that’s totally okay.

Pie, Revival, and telling me my butt looks fat

Finally coming up for air after all the holiday festivities. I hope all my American peeps had a great Thanksgiving! Do you still have pie? I still have exactly one piece of pie, which I’m strongly considering having for breakfast. But that’s just because I made my mom make another pie right before she left. Was that mean? Otherwise I’d have been out, despite having a 2:1 person:pie ratio at the table last Thursday.

Thanksgiving was late this year, which means if you celebrate Christmas and left it until after like I did, you’re already behind on your holiday shopping. Luckily for you, Kindle books are so easy to buy and give, and Ghost in the Canteen is just 99 cents all week long!

Speaking of which, I’m not that author who lets her mom write a review. Or her sister, or her best friend, or even her beagle. I do know some of the people who’ve left reviews so far, but they’re real people who’ve really read the book. (Or at least I’m pretty sure they’re real, although I’ve only ever met them online.) And they are not those people in your life who would hesitate to tell you your butt looks fat, you know? The upside is that I know, and you can rest assured, that my reviews are legitimate and honest.

The downside? I don’t have enough reviews. So if you’ve read Ghost and enjoyed it, please consider leaving an honest reader review on Amazon.

My own honest reader review, thus far, of Stephen King’s Revival is this: Revival is on my Kindle. The new WoW expansion is on my PC. In my scant bit of unwinding time before I go to bed each night, I look from one to the other. And I choose WoW pretty much every time.

I’d say I can’t remember the last time I was this unengaged in a King book, but I can: it was the last one, Mr. Mercedes, which was, if it can be believed, even worse than The Tommyknockers. So a bad streak here. Revival is better written than Mr. Mercedes, and the characters are interesting, but maybe I’m just not clicking with it. I’m about 35% in and it just lacks momentum. There’s nothing keeping me coming back. If it was almost anyone else’s book, I’d have put it down by now. But since it’s King I’ll probably tough it out. It is creating a backlog in my TBR pile, though.

So that’s my update. I KNOW YOU WANTED AN UPDATE. You can go back to stimulating the economy now.

The Ghost has landed

ebooksmGhost in the Canteen is now available in ebook and paperback formats, exclusively at Amazon. Click here to find out more, download a sample, or buy the book.

Thanks to all my peeps who’ve been so kind, helpful, and supportive while I was getting this book ready for release.

This also seems like a good time to publicly express my gratitude and admiration for Passive Guy, David Gaughran, Hugh Howey, Data Guy, Joe Konrath, and all the other indie trailblazers who’ve thrown their cloaks over the mud for those of us coming after, and generously given their time and energy to educate us on the business.

I want my book to be fun for you. I don’t want you to buy it because I gave you a desperate scary hard sell, like that lady in the store who’s all “Can I help you? Huh? Huh? Can I? Pleeease? Help you?” I hope you’ll check it out and, if it seems like your kind of thing, I hope you’ll buy it and read it.

And hey guess what? The holiday season is coming, and Kindle gifts are cheap and easy! So if you know someone else who enjoys supernatural stories, I hope you’ll keep my book in mind.

My final hope is that if you do read it and enjoy it, you’ll consider leaving a review on Amazon. This need not take long. Just a sentence or two makes a huge difference, because reviews are the tasty snacks that feed Amazon’s magical algorithm dragon.

Now if you’ll excuse me, there is a celebratory rye and tonic calling my name.

Liar liar pantser

First, I lied last week about that being the final book cover. It seems CreateSpace does not work and play well with dark colors, and we’re having to make some compromises. Of course I could just use a different cover for the paperback than the ebook, but I’m leaning toward consistency.

Second, NaNoWriMo starts in, what, ten days? I’ll be pantsing it this year, by necessity rather than choice. I’m a really big planner by nature. I’ve only tried pantsing once before and it was a disaster. It’s okay, I’ve got time built into the workplan for ignoring everything I do during NaNo if I have to. But who knows, maybe it’ll allow some brilliant ideas to spring up from the dark recesses of my brain, where the things lurking are… usually not brilliant.

So, wish me luck, even though I’m a liar? I guess is the point.

Ghostly cover art

final cover smaller size

Here is the really final (we’re pretty sure) cover for Ghost in the Canteen. Let me know what you think!

Observant subscribers to my newsletter may notice that it doesn’t match the one I sent out last week–same artwork, different visual effects and layout. My cover designer did this one in the interim, and although I really love both, we agreed that this one gives better thumbnail.

November 6!

Everything is awesome

So here is the website redesign. What do you think? Super exciting and super awesome? I can’t link you to the artist because she hasn’t got a site up and running yet, but the rook drawings were done by hand and scanned. I know zilch about graphics so the process was fun to learn about. (The guy who did the scanning asked me if I needed a vector image. I don’t know what that is, so I said I didn’t think so. Do I need a vector image?) The same artist will be doing my book cover, and I’ll have some of that artwork going up soon.

Speaking of which, I know you already know all about my book, because I give you no choice when you come to my site but to LOOK AT MY BOOK PAGE. But I can’t expect you to remember it all the way in November, so be sure to sign up for my newsletter and you’ll get a reminder. I’ll post a sample here when the final proofreading is done.

And speaking of that, I am so happy to have found a proofreader I’m looking forward to working with. Be sure to check out her site if you’re in the market for one, because that was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I’ve done some proofreading myself and I intend to start picking up some freelance proofreading later this year, so maybe I’m picky, but isn’t being picky sort of the point? Of proofreading? So you shouldn’t have half a dozen errors on the same page where you suggest I pay you hundreds of dollars to proofread my book. Also protip: if you think proofreader is two words, you aren’t one. I’m not naming names. I’m just saying.

(Now that I’ve said that, someone will be along to point out half a dozen errors in this post or on my site somewhere. Which is why everyone needs a proofreader. It doesn’t matter how well you know your stuff. You can’t see the stuff in your own stuff.)

That brings me to my last speaking-of-which, because I like to end my posts on an angry and snotty note whenever possible:

Hachette, people.

There is no t in the middle. This is driving me completely bonkers. If you’re a writer, spelling things right is part of your job. So if you expect me to take your opinion on this whole thing seriously, you need to learn to spell the names of the parties involved.

*Post title ripped off from The Lego Movie, which is indeed awesome.