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Necronomicon is a local science fiction, fantasy and horror convention my family and I go to every year we don’t have a conflict. I’m very excited that we’ll be back this year and to see the special guests Shanna Swendson and Ken Mitchroney. For those interested, the conference is being held this coming weekend at the Holiday Inn Tampa Westshore and has a host of interesting events including the masquerade, where it’s just possible I’ll be sporting a classic Wonder Woman costume I put together myself. Aside from that, here’s my schedule, the better to find me, hopefully with scads of my books to be signed! (Although I’ll have some with me for the noon signing on Saturday.) I look forward to seeing some of you there!

Friday
5:00 PM: How to Know When You Need An Agent; Panelists: Ire, Diver, Labud
Saturday
11:00 AM: Steampunk Cosplay panel
12:00 PM: Signing (along with Elle E. Ire)
5:00 PM: Getting out of the Medieval Fantasy Rut; Panelists: Wilkerson, Hogarth, Swendson, Byers, Iriarte, Diver
Sunday
11 AM: Care and Feeding of your Creative Process; Panelists: Zelinski, Diver, Stark, Iriarte, Michroney

Sadly, I’ve been neglecting the blog recently. Partly, it’s because I’ve been insanely busy with everything else work-wise and not able to carve out the time from my personal life that I might have otherwise due to some family health issues I’ve been keeping off of social media. Partly, it’s because by the time I’m through crowing about everything on Twitter and Facebook, blogging feels redundant. And far more people follow me in those two arenas than read the blog, more’s the pity.

However, I can’t bring myself to abandon it. There are things that I can say here that I don’t have the space to say on Facebook or Twitter, and it’s crucial to me to have the forum should I need it.

So, I’m back, baby! And hoping to keep things up a little better now that we’re headed into fall and publishing tends to quiet down between Thanksgiving and the new year. Or would have, if I hadn’t just jinxed it. But that’s okay. I don’t really enjoy the quiet. I like things dynamic, exciting, busy!

Today I’m excited to post about two new releases out already this month, one as recently as yesterday: BRIMSTONE PRINCE by Barbara J. Hancock (Harlequin Nocturne) and BAYOU BORN by Hailey Edwards (Piatkus). Check them out!

 brimstone prince BRIMSTONE PRINCE by Barbara J. Hancock (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Harlequin)

A match made in hell 

The adopted daughter of the daemon king, Lily Santiago has lived her life in darkness. After one glimpse of desert sunlight, she begins to understand what she’s been missing.

Michael D’Arcy Turov might be heir to the throne of hell, but he has firmly rejected that legacy. All he wants is to play his guitar… Until he meets Lily, and her kiss awakens the Brimstone burn he’s long suppressed. A pawn in the war between her foster father and rogue daemons, Lily is determined to let Michael keep his freedom. But what if his desire for her is enough to take him back to hell?

Bayou born2 BAYOU BORN by Hailey Edwards (Piatkus, Barnes & Noble, Amazon)

Her beginning may be our end . . . 

Deep in the humid Mississippi bayou, a half-wild child is dragged from the murky waters. She has no memories, no family and is covered in mysterious markings. Adopted by the policeman who rescued her, Luce Boudreau follows him onto the force, determined to prove herself in the eyes of those who are still suspicious.

However, there’s more of a battle ahead than Luce could possibly imagine. She may be an orphan without a past, but no one – including Luce herself – could ever be prepared for the truth of her dark, powerful destiny . . .

Brand new urban fantasy series by Hailey Edwards, bestselling author of the Gemini and Black Dog series. Perfect for fans of Jennifer Estep, Darynda Jones and Ilona Andrews.

fifth season I keep wondering where on earth to start with all of the exciting news for N.K. Jemisin, and decided I couldn’t go wrong with the author’s own words. From Twitter, “OhdearGodIthoughtIwasgonnablowagasketholdingthisin. Big news re THE FIFTH SEASON! https://t.co/FslJC4OrpM“. If you followed the link (or have already seen the news all over social media), yup, you’ve read that right: “N.K. Jemisin’s Hugo Award-winning sci-fi fantasy novel The Fifth Season is getting the drama series treatment at TNT.” (Read the whole article from Deadline.com.)

obelisk gate So, HUGE congratulations to N.K. Jemisin for the option and development. HUGE congratulations to her on her second Best Novel Hugo Award win last week for the sequel to THE FIFTH SEASON, THE OBELISK GATE, and HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY for her Tuesday release of the conclusion to the Broken Earth series, THE STONE SKY! For those of you who haven’t dipped into this incredible, riveting series yet, that means you can binge read the whole series. No waiting!

stone sky THE STONE SKY by N.K. Jemisin

The shattering conclusion to the post-apocalyptic and highly acclaimed bestselling trilogy that began with The Fifth Season, winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2016, and The Obelisk Gate, winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2017.

 

The Moon will soon return. Whether this heralds the destruction of humankind or something worse will depend on two women.

 

Essun has inherited the power of Alabaster Tenring. With it, she hopes to find her daughter Nassun and forge a world in which every orogene child can grow up safe.

 

For Nassun, her mother’s mastery of the Obelisk Gate comes too late. She has seen the evil of the world, and accepted what her mother will not admit: that sometimes what is corrupt cannot be cleansed, only destroyed.

THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS… FOR THE LAST TIME.

“Extraordinary.” – New York Times on The Fifth Season

For more from N. K. Jemisin, check out:
The Inheritance Trilogy

 

The Inheritance Trilogy (omnibus edition)
The Awakened Kingdom (e-only novella)

Dreamblood Duology

I was out of the office a couple of days last week, one for a fun day at Epcot with a few other #publishingprincesses in town for the Romance Writers of America National Conference, and one for meetings and publishers’ parties at RWA National.

(“London”: (top) Louisa Bacio, Tera Cuskaden Norris, Kathy Williams, Lexi Post, (bottom) Heather Long and me; “France”: (top) Me, Tera Cuskaden Norris, Heather Long, Louisa Bacio, (bottom) Lexi Post; “Germany” Saharra Sandhu and me)

Thus, I did not get to post my usual Happy Book Birthday blog last Tuesday. I am remedying that now! For your reading pleasure, I’m so happy to announce these new releases:

Under the Parisian Sky UNDER THE PARISIAN SKY by Alli Sinclair

(Kensington Lyrical Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound)

In the City of Light, one dancer must confront her fears about love and loss before she can step into a brighter future . . .

Lily Johannson has returned to Paris, the city that broke her heart and destroyed her ballet career, with two goals in mind: to overcome the grief surrounding her fiancé’s death, and to make amends with her estranged sister, Natalie, also a ballerina. But when Lily meets charming composer Yves Rousseau, he is convinced she has a third mission—as his muse . . .

Struggling to finish a score about an infamous Ballets Russes dancer from 1917, Yves believes Lily is meant to help him. Despite her resistance, she is swept once more into the exhilarating arms of the dance—and into Yves’ passionate embrace. But when her sister is cast as the infamous dancer and begins to imitate her tragic life, she soon goes missing. Now Lily and Yves must set out to find her—and along the way face their own demons, while also discovering that art, like love, should not be abandoned so easily . . .

Check out Alli’s profile as AusRom Today’s Author of the Month for July!

And her blog tour and giveaway for UNDER THE PARISIAN SKY! (Today’s stop: Jazzy Book Reviews.)

inferno squad STAR WARS: BATTLEFRONT II: INFERNO SQUAD by Christie Golden

(Del Rey, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Indiebound)

Set in the aftermath of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, this action-packed prequel to the hotly anticipated videogame Battlefront II introduces the Empire’s elite force: Inferno Squad.

After the humiliating theft of the Death Star plans and the destruction of the battle station, the Empire is on the defensive. But not for long. In retaliation, the elite Imperial soldiers of Inferno Squad have been called in for the crucial mission of infiltrating and eliminating the Partisans—the rebel faction once led by notorious Republic freedom fighter Saw Gerrera.

Following the death of their leader, the Partisans have carried on his extremist legacy, determined to thwart the Empire—no matter the cost. Now Inferno Squad must prove its status as the best of the best and take down the Partisans from within. But the growing threat of being discovered in their enemy’s midst turns an already dangerous operation into a do-or-die acid test they dare not fail. To protect and preserve the Empire, to what lengths will Inferno Squad go . . . and how far beyond them?

The Rebellion may have heroes like Jyn Erso and Luke Skywalker. But the Empire has Inferno Squad.

Valerian VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS, novelization by Christie Golden

(Titan, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound)

In the 28th century, Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are a team of special operatives charged with maintaining order throughout the human territories. Under assignment from the Minister of Defense, the two embark on a mission to the astonishing city of Alpha—an ever-expanding metropolis where species from all over the universe have converged over centuries to share knowledge, intelligence and cultures with each other.

There is a mystery at the center of Alpha, a dark force which threatens the peaceful existence of the City of a Thousand Planets, and Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.

All five books in the Vamped series (think Clueless meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer) are now out, so the whole series is available for binge-reading! In celebration of the all new fifth book, the conclusion to the series, Let’s Talk! Promotions is running a FANGDEMONIUM blog tour with a tour-wide giveaway of four copies of FANGDEMONIUM or a 20 dollar gift certificate! (Open to US residents only.) I hope you’ll check out the tour and enter to be part of the giveaway! Just four days left!

The stops thus far:

7/17/2017  I Smell Sheep (Character Court and Excerpt)

7/17/2017  The Million Words (Q & A and Excerpt)

7/18/2017  Fang Freakin Tastic Reviews (Review & Excerpt)

7/20/2017  Ctrl, Alt, Books!  (Q & A and Excerpt)

7/21/2017  YABooksCentral (Q & A and Excerpt)

7/22/2017  Faith Hunter (Guest Post by Gina Covello, fashionista of the fanged)

7/23/2017  Ken Schrader  (Q & A and Excerpt)

7/24/2017  Fantasy Fun Reads (Review and Excerpt)

Huge congratulations today to Rachel Caine, whose amazing suspense novel STILLHOUSE LAKE is not only a Kindle bestseller, but a USA Today bestseller as well!

Happy Ten Year Anniversary to Orbit Books in the US! To celebrate, they’re making the e-books for ten of their most popular titles, including N.K. Jemisin’s award winning SFF novel THE FIFTH SEASON, available for only $2.99 for a limited time. There are other amazing options from Ann Leckie, Brent Weeks, Joe Abercrombie, Mira Grant, Gail Carriger, M.R. Carey, Kim Stanley Robinson, James R.A. Corey and Andrzej Sapkowski!

Big happy book birthday to a novel close to my heart, NO GOOD DEED by Kara Connolly, quotes and cover copy below!

no good deed NO GOOD DEED by Kara Connolly (Delacorte Press)

“This cheeky take on the Robin Hood legend is pure fun. Connolly’s swashbuckling debut will satisfy any adventure fans, and Ellie’s struggle to come to terms with her brother’s decision gives added depth.” —Booklist

“Robin Hood fans will enjoy Ellie’s escapades as she runs around Sherwood Forest, bumping into bad guys, and teens interested in historical fiction with a generous mix of action/adventure will appreciate this page-turner. Read-alikes include fairy-tale and myth retellings such as Renée Ahdieh’s “The Wrath & the Dawn” series, David Almond’s A Song for Ella Grey, and Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora.” —School Library Journal

Cover Copy:

Fans of Dorothy Must Die will love this reimagining of the legend of Robin Hood. Girl power rules supreme when a modern girl finds herself in the middle of a medieval mess with only her smart mouth and her Olympic-archer aim to get her home.

Ellie Hudson is the front-runner on the road to gold for the U.S. Olympic archery team. All she has to do is qualify at the trials in jolly old England. When Ellie makes some kind of crazy wrong turn in the caverns under Nottingham Castle—yes, that Nottingham—she ends up in medieval England.

Ellie doesn’t care how she got to the Middle Ages; she just wants to go home before she gets the plague. But people are suffering in Nottingham, and Ellie has the skills to make it better. What’s an ace archer to do while she’s stuck in Sherwood Forest but make like Robin Hood?

Pulled into a past life as an outlaw, Ellie feels her present fading away next to daring do-gooding and a devilishly handsome knight. Only, Ellie is on the brink of rewriting history, and when she picks up her bow and arrow, her next shot could save her past—or doom civilization’s future.

________

FANGDEMONIUM - ebook In other news, my FANGDEMONIUM blog tour continues today at CTR, ALT, BOOKS! with a Q&A, excerpt and a link to the #giveaway! Looking for the full Vamped series? You can find blurbs and links here.

Back on my birthday, I posted a special message on Facebook, because I wanted to start with friends and family, but after talking with my husband and daughter, I’m going to post it here as well, because I have a bit more to say on the matter and if I’m going to be an advocate, I can’t limit it to my own circle of friends.

The Post:

On my birthday, what I want most is love and understanding…for my daughter. Some of you are scratching your heads because you’ve known Ty, perhaps since he was born, perhaps through pictures or stories—and there have been a lot, because my child is a sweet, smart, funny, amazing person who I love bragging on. That is not going to change with her form.

Yes, I said her.

For the past few years, Ty (who now goes by Abby, so that’s the name I’ll be using going forward) has been working through issues of identity in counseling and in her day to day life. It’s become clear that Abby is not in the form with which she identifies. She’s been so much happier since she’s made it clear that she wants to transition and since she’s begun telling people and living externally as she feels internally.

Some of you will think it’s a phase. We thought this for a long time—or maybe hoped, not because we’re not supportive, but because we know what a difficult road this will be for her, in terms of the bias and hate she’s likely to encounter and in terms of the actual process—but we’re past that point.

We hope that we’ll have your love and support. We’ll all understand if this takes some adjustment and if you sometimes slip up on the name or pronoun; we still do, though we’re getting better.

If you have negative thoughts on this whole thing, we hope you’ll keep them to yourselves. Please feel free to unfriend. I will feel free to do the same.

Now:

As a comment on that post, a long-time friend asked if I had suggestions for how to talk with her kids about Abby’s transition. I liked the comment at the time, but I didn’t respond, because I didn’t really have an answer then. I think everyone’s approach will be different based on kids’ ages and references. But today we went to see the stage show of The Little Mermaid, and it occurred to me that in many ways it references the transgendered experience. (Disney’s mileage may vary.)

Think about it. The heroine, Ariel, is a mermaid who is obsessed with all things human. She’s never felt like she belongs swimming under the sea; she’s not happy there to the point of self-sabotage—missing practices and ultimately the concert at which she’s the featured performer, etc. She’s not happy with her body or the place in the world she was born into (ex. “Part of Your World”). She wants legs. She wants another life than the one she has. Her father and sisters don’t understand her. No one understands her. She has to sacrifice things to achieve her dreams. In the movie and play, it’s her voice (and her freedom if she can’t get the prince to kiss her within the three day time frame). Ultimately, she achieves her dream form and finds love despite what she’s sacrificed. No, not despite…because of it.

She doesn’t change sex; she changes species—mermaid to human. But for some reason, this is something everyone can accept. Everyone can identify. There’s no problem. Male to female or female to male many people don’t get. Why? We change our hair color and cut without thinking. We wear clothes or make-up or piercings or ink to change our appearance, to say something about ourselves. Yes, gender reassignment is more intensive, but it’s all in line with showing ourselves to the world in the way that makes us happy and valued and that feels true to who we are inside.

That’s what the transformation is about, in Ariel’s case and in Abby’s. It’s about being the way you need to be in order to be happy, and in the end it’s about the family and community’s support for that transformation.

Another friend on that birthday post said something really wonderful to the effect that most major religions agree that the body is just a vessel for the soul, so it shouldn’t matter what form that vessel takes. I thought that was beautiful. It meant a lot to me, as did everyone’s comments that day and everyone’s support since.

Anyway, I wanted to share all of this while it was fresh in my mind. If you’re working to understand gender reassignment or trying to figure out how to talk to your kids about it, maybe watch or rewatch The Little Mermaid and discuss. Ariel was always my favorite Disney princess. Now I get why.