Monday: State of the (Publishing) Union…

Personal “State of the Union”:  My lovely agent (AKA “Rockstar”) has the first 50 pages and synopsis for the steampunk proposal I sent to her a couple of weeks ago.  Rockstar is back from a business trip to London so hopefully we’ll be able to get that submitted to publishers in the next few weeks.  I really, really, really want to be able to write the rest of this book so cross your fingers!

Fury 3, Black-Hearted Betrayal, is finally flowing exceptionally well.  I am behind where I wanted to be but making up for lost time very quickly.  It’s amazing how the pieces are coming together.  I’m always fascinated by how the writer subconscious mind juggles all these balls behind the scenes and manages to interweave them all by the end of the book.  Of course, you still have to smooth edges and segues in the revision stage(s), but still.  Pretty darned cool!

Industry “State of the Union”:  So, there’s another publishing kerfluffle floating around the interwebz (big shock, right?), which appears to be a “he said, she said” sort of dispute between a Big 6 Publisher (full disclosure: I think it’s MY Big 6 Publisher) and a post-contract but pre-published-with-that-publisher author.  While I don’t feel comfortable opining on who is “right” or “wrong” here vis-a-vis the contract–because we the general masses aren’t privy to the exact details of the specific contract–I do feel qualified to make a few general observations. Continue reading

Hump Day Snippet – Black-Hearted Betrayal…

In the interests of more regular blogging, I am going to attempt to keep up a semi-regular schedule of blogging and am planning to bring various kinds of content throughout the week. So, without further ado, I bring you the Hump Day Snippet!  I’m planning for this to be either a short snippet from a work in progress, an original short story, or something I whip up special for the blog as a gift to readers.  Today we have an excerpt from Shades of Fury 3, Black-Hearted Betrayal.

SPOILER WARNING:  I recommend not reading this if you haven’t read the first two books, or if you do NOT want to know anything about Shades of Fury #3 in advance.

Note:  Adesina is the current placeholder name for a Megaera Fury newly-introduced in Black-Hearted Betrayal.

***

They nodded in approval, something that had a flush of pride touching my cheeks.  When neither interjected, I took that as encouragement to continue.  “I would personally recommend that one group head to the Palladium to check in with the Alecto, as instructed.  Having all three classes involved can only be to our advantage.  Once that’s done, I suggest going after Anubis’s weakest link.”

Adesina tilted her head, curiosity brightening her eyes.  “Which would be?”

Mom caught on to my intention.  “Which would be my mother.  Either it’s an imposter posing as her or actually my mother being magically manipulated.  In whichever case, she will be much easier to break and interrogate for information.  If she’s an imposter, we can threaten her with immediate execution for falsely impersonating a sister with the intention of stealing a Conclave seat.  If she’s actually my mother, we stand a good chance of breaking whatever magical spell holds her in thrall and gaining her active cooperation.”

“What if we can’t?”

Mom faced Adesina squarely, fingers clenched but face composed.  “Can’t break the spell?”

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Snippet: Austen Twins (Jane’s daughters) Steampunk…

This is a scene from the steampunk proposal I recently sent my agent, starring the adult children of Changeling Jane Austen and in the vein of Gail Carriger.  I very much LOVE this project and it’s a ton of fun to work on.

***

As the dirigible began descending toward the twinkling lights of midnight Paris in the distance, Elizabeth couldn’t help but sigh at its sheer beauty.  La Ville-Lumière—the City of Light—would always be her favorite city in the mortal realm for many reasons; not the least of them the breath-taking view of the city from several thousand feet above.

She flung her arms in the air and spun to face her sister.  “Oh, how I do love the sight of Paris from the air.  Isn’t it spectacular?”

Cassandra gripped the wooden railing tightly, her pale face showing none of the pleasure reflected on her twin’s countenance.  “Amazing,” she gritted out in a tone indicating the precisely opposite sentiment.

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One of These Days…

One of these days, I will morph back into a “real” blogger again.  For realz.  Srsly!  Going to try to take baby steps.  Today I am blogging about a completely inane and probably boring to most people subject:  my gorgeous hennaed hair.  Afterward, I am going to post snippets of both the steampunk proposal I just sent to rock star agent and Fury 3 (Black-Hearted Betrayal) to reward you for putting up with the hair post.  😉

I’ve been hennaing my hair for just over two years now and I absolutely love it.  I first heard about it from a lovely lady on livejournal.  She linked to a website, henna for hair, and seeing how gorgeous her own hair was got me curious enough to check that website out.  My hair is naturally a dark blonde color that lightens in the summer but is really dull for most of the year. I had done a chemical lighter blonde for a few years and got bored with it.  Red hair was really the only other color I was interested in trying since dark colors don’t look great with my particular skin tone.  I had tried to get a chemical red a couple of times, but blonde hair is the hardest to retain a vibrant chemical red on.  It just fades too darned fast. (Pretty pictures behind the cut!)

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Snippet of Opening from Black-Hearted Betrayal…

Okay, so I didn’t completely vanish off the face of the blogosphere again – we just went on vacation to visit my in-laws in Maine for a couple weeks, something I failed to mention ahead of time.  I’ve also been sick a lot lately, so I’m still recovering from that plus vacation.  I DO promise to get back to something resembling regular blogging soon.  In the meantime, as I prepare to push through to the end of Black-Hearted Betrayal, Shades of Fury 3, over the next few weeks, I wanted to go ahead and share a snippet of the opening for those interested.

Next week will be about choosing those contest winners not yet chosen, getting books out to contest winners, making a lot of progress on BHB, and working while son is at home since he doesn’t start kindergarten (and HOW is my baby starting THAT already?!?) until the 17th.  For now, the snippet!  (Keep in mind it’s in unedited draft form and may not be the final opening, blah, blah, blah.  😉 )

***

With as many people as had tried to kill me over the years, you’d think I would get used to it.  Then again, the fact I hadn’t completely gotten used to it was the reason nobody had yet managed to do me in.  Not permanently anyway.  Temporary death—there’d been a few of those; nothing I’d like to repeat any time soon—especially considering how much I’d pissed off the jackal-faced god that last time…Of course, to be fair to myself, most death threats came because I was two times a cop.  One:  Chief Magical Investigator for the Boston Police Department.  Two:  Member of the Sisterhood of Furies; a once-mortal demigoddess serving as the arcane world’s version of law enforcement.

Two times a cop.  Two times the psychos out for my blood.

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Snippet from Steampunk Novel Starring Changeling Jane Austen’s Twin Daughters…

Yes, yes, I am still hard at work on Fury Book 3 (Black-Hearted Betrayal) and have the YA vamp on the backburner.  But this steampunk story idea hijacked my brains this evening and I had to flesh out a bit of world-building and an opening.  Since I have been lax in blogging the past few days and want to get another post up, I am sharing a snippet from what is tentatively titled Plague and Pestilence.  Keep in mind that it is very rough and subject to much revision.  Hope you enjoy!

***

It was a truth universally acknowledged–at least between the Austen twins–that being the daughter of a world-famous (and immortal) novelist could be a royal pain in the backside.  Even if said mother did gainfully employ both daughters as research assistants.  Perhaps especially because of that fact.

Miss Cassandra Leigh, elder sister by precisely fifteen and one-quarter minutes, stared at the latest telegram from the venerable Mrs. Jane Austen Austen with an expression more in keeping with someone who has just ingested a goodly number of sour pickles.  Miss Elizabeth Henriette, not to be outdone despite her position as younger sister, wrinkled both forehead and nose in most unladylike fashion.  Then, in that twin-like manner with which they so often dismayed polite society, the two exclaimed in unison, “Egypt!  What can Mother be thinking?”

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Blood and Bone Excerpt…

Since I wrote up a guest blog post for a friend earlier today, I don’t really feel like writing another blog post.  Instead, I’m going to share the first chapter of the YA Vamp project I’ve mentioned a couple times.  I always swore I would never write vampires until I could come up with a unique twist–and this one qualifies.  I can’t share the unique twist without spoiling it but I did want to share this with readers who might be interested.  (I polished this up today but my active WIP is Fury Book 3, since that’s the one under actual deadline.  However I do want to get this one in proposal form, just in case!)

***

Blood and Bone, Chapter 1

“Wake up.  Come on, now.”

The blue-haired boy wakes with his face slumped onto his left shoulder and drool dribbling down his arm.  A kind-faced man seems relieved when the boy focuses unsteady eyes upon him.

“Son, you’re gonna have to get off the bus now.  St. Cloud’s the end of the road.”

“I-uh, St. Cloud?”  He shakes his head to try and clear it.  The last thing he remembers is…huh.  He remembers fading in and out of wakefulness over the past couple of days, the rhythmic motion of the bus soothing him back to sleep each time it pulled away from another no-name town.  The man standing over him–who now looks the slightest bit impatient–bullying him into brief bathroom and food breaks at stops along the way.  What he can’t remember, however, is where he actually got onto the bus.  Or where he’s headed now.  Or why.

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