dance of joy

Three Years Later

UNINVITED is finally here! I've been waiting for today for 3 years, guys! Three. Years! And it's today! You can finally read this book I'm so proud of!

You can buy paperbacks via Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Createspace. Digital copies are available on my website, Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Kobo and more. (The audio books for books 2 and 3 will be late, and I'm sorry.) 

Thank you all so much for your support!

Share this good news with friends. Also, in celebration, Wild Card and Unveiled (books 1 and 2 of the series) are on sale for just 99 cents each on my website. And, if you go to All Things Urban Fantasy, there's a contest to win digital copies of all the books. So check it out and help me make this book soar! <3

Step Right Up!

The_Case_of_the_Tattooed_Bride_1500Today's the day! My latest novella is out in the world. For those who might not know, I wrote a short story for last year's alternate universe Sherlock Holmes anthology TWO HUNDRED TWENTY-ONE BAKER STREETS (Abaddon Books).  That short story ("A Scandal in Hobohemia") imagined the iconic detective and his partner as carnies in an American, Depression era circus. Readers and Abaddon enjoyed Hobohemia so much that they needed more, and this novella is the first sequel! THE CASE OF THE TATTOOED BRIDE reprints the original story and launches you into the next installment, a story of blood, murder and love in the dirty 30's. Step right up and have a look at the TATTOOED BRIDE.

US: 

UK: 

(It will be available as an ebook only until early 2016 when it joins other novellas by Gini Koch and Glen Mehn in a print compilation from Abaddon. Ebooks are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, but I only have links to Amazon right now. I will update as I get the new links from my publisher.)

I'm ridiculously proud of this book. I truly hope you enjoy THE CASE OF THE TATTOOED BRIDE and take the time to leave a review on the site of your choice. The more you tell Abaddon and the world you like this, the more I get to write!!

<3 J.

Full of Squee

Apparently, this is how you do it. By Zach Reddy. So last week kicked some ass on a personal level.

First off... my brother-in-law saw a post where I said that I'd have no idea how to illustrate a Pajamazon in order to make a logo. Well, he heard that as the clang of a gauntlet.

The other kick ass thing? Well, that requires a bit of back story...

So Friday nights are Game Night in my little tribe. We get together, have dinner, and play some games. Many are the times we play Sentinels of the Multiverse. Sentinels is a deck-based cooperative game where the players are comic-style heroes fighting evil. Each character has his or her own deck with specialized powers and equipment. Together, your team uses these powers to help one another and kick the ass of a villain in a hostile environment. (Both villain and environments have their own decks that run themselves.) Each hero card has a quote of "flavor text" on it that comes from a "comic book" featuring that character. (Those comics don't, at present, exist, but it's amazing and the flavor text is really fun.)

It's a really fun game with immense replay value.

Many are the nights we play this game and speculate what it would be like to make a deck for {insert popular character here}. For example, I'd love to make a PowerPuff Girls deck, a Townsville Environment and a multi-villain deck that includes Mojo Jojo and HIM.  Because we're total geeks, we've spent many Friday nights statting out such ideas.

So last night was Friday and we got together as is usual. And we sat down for Sentinels (again, totally normal). When we sat down, though, my buddy Jeff had this idea. We were going to pick characters in a new way. The person to your right would choose what character you were going to play. Okay, that's pretty cool. Most of us have played several characters, but admittedly have favorites, so it would be nice to stretch out a bit to try someone new. So we pass the box around the table and (making sure no one can see), everyone selected a character. At the same time we all slapped down a deck in front of the person next to us.

Sean had Haka, the Polynesian Power House. Kevin had Setback, the sidekick with a bad luck streak. Jeff had the ChronoRanger, a time traveling hero. Brian had Wraith, a brooding woman with a lot of tech at her fingertips. And I had... a deck still in shrinkwrap?

Huh? And in a white box? What the hell? So I go to open it and everyone's staring at me. I'm not entirely sure why, but they're grinning like idiots. That's when I see "Nerdmaste" written on one of the cards. And the name of the character...

Cat Sharp.

Cat's deck and character card based on the new Wild Card cover.

My friend Jeff had made a deck for Sentinels based on my heroine Catherine Sharp.

Holy. Shit.

We dove into the game and I played the deck blind (meaning that I didn't immediately sift through the cards to see what each of them was, but let myself be further surprised with each draw.) Every time I pulled a new card from the deck, I let out a squee or giggle.

This doesn't appear in the books, but dude, does Jeff know me!

"Mack Truck" from Unveiled.

 

Cat's flipped character card for if she dies in combat.

Jeff did an amazing job. He used the cover art of the new Wild Card for Cat's main character card, and a zombified version of the old Wild Card cover for the flip side. (When your hero dies in game, the card flips and you as a player have a few things you can still do to help your team). The rest of the cards be built in Photoshop. He took my character and made a spectacular deck that is true to the writing, and even included a couple of special nods to me (the Technomantic Phoenix shown above) and to our friends (a tiny "Easter Egg" on one of the cards, I won't say which.) And to top it off, he used quotes from the books for the flavor text!

Not only was the deck really fun in terms of seeing my character made into a playable, Cat Sharp was effective in terms of game play. Found out that not only had Jeff built the deck, he playtested it with Brian, Kevin and other friends! (They'd been in on the surprise for months!) But they took time to play the deck and make sure that Cat could throw down as an effective character, and wasn't over-powered. She fits perfectly into the game and would be more than just a novelty item for me or a friend. For players of Sentinels of the Multiverse, she's a strong character choice.

How fucking cool is that!

If you are curious and want to see all of the cards in Cat's deck (WARNING: THERE ARE UNVEILED SPOILERS!) and even print off your own for free, you can go here and do just that.

This was an amazing surprise and may take the cake for Best Fan Art Evar! And also, now I'm thinking "what if Flynn/Marius/Karma had their own decks? And a Vegas environment. OOH! Or what about..."

Yeah, this is fun. Thank you so much, Jeff!

I'm Back!

totoro buddhaWow... it's been a month since I posted here, but I swear I have a good reason. A few of them, actually. Life has been INSANE. There's a shit ton of stuff that I can't talk about here that's been eating my time and brain space. Personal stuff. Professional stuff. Stuff. On top of ... well, that, I've been working my ass off on... well, let me put it this way. I have 3 project deadlines coming up. One April 1, another April 17 and the final one April 30. Can I tell you about any of them? Sadly, not yet. (Soooooon.)

BUT! The awesomeness? I totally discovered my superpowers yesterday. Truth be told, writing was really hard for me for the latter half of the year. I poured a lot of energy into the UNVEILED Kickstarter and production of that book. It was a true *labor* of love to make it happen and get it out in the world. While your support was astounding (and I love you all!) the situation itself took its toll. I had a lot of moments of, "Maybe I should just quit."

I tried working on a new project (Code Name: Tin Foil Ears) but that fizzled quickly (and I had to abandon it for other pursuits). When I had time to devote solely to it? It wouldn't "talk" to me. Again, "Maybe I should just quit."

And there was pressure. Pressure to get SOMETHING out quickly and in the hands of my agent. Something we could sell, something we could get out there to "salvage my sinking career". (These are all things I've thought to myself or pressures I've imposed on situations... nothing but love from the Red Sofa team. Seriously. <3)

What I'm trying to say is, for the past 6 months or so I haven't really felt like a writer. I've felt like someone who when she sits down to write can barely crank out 500 words, someone who has nothing relevant to say and will just fall by the wayside like a lot of other washouts.

So when I wrote 6855 words yesterday and finished a novella, you could say I was a tad emotional.

I am mighty.

Rawr.

anigif_enhanced-buzz-26981-1387222587-4

Now, if you're sitting there thinking, "Well, that's you, I am an ass-dragging sea creature who can't string together two words in a day."

First, unto you, I say, "back off. Ass-dragging sea creature is my self-deprication go-to."

Second... look. I don't know anyone whose career has taken the exact path they wanted/intended. We all make up our own pace, our own rules. Sure there are blueprints. There are dos and many, MANY don'ts. There are helpful hints, guidelines, suggestions and a slew of "rules" that have been shown to lead to varying degrees of success. But no one has concrete steps that lead to a pot of gold. No two careers look the same, so you can't compare your apples to JK Rowling's oranges. Shit like that just leads to sour grapes.

YOU define who you are. YOU make your path YOUR way. You write your story.

One bloody word at a time, if that's what it takes.

So write.

UNVEILED Cover Art Reveal!

Today's the day, my doves! I come to you with the cover for the second book in the Etudes in C# series: UNVEILED. To celebrate the cover reveal I am answering your questions about WILD CARD and UNVEILED (within reason, no spoilers, sweetie) on Goodreads ALL WEEK! Before I show you the glorious work, I need to tell you how much of a joy it was to work with Nathalia Suellen. Hers has been the master hand that created some of my favorite book covers. I find her work to be strikingly beautiful, evocative and downright tasty. When we started work, she asked for images I've used as inspiration and I sent her these:

Ice-Cave-in-Iceland-800x599

Blue-cave-800x533

Allison Scagliotti, Warehouse 13

Allison Scagliotti, Warehouse 13

Virginia Hankins, model

Ansuz

 

And she went through several models for Cat Sharp, sending me ideas and asking what I liked about which ladies, poses, facial expressions. We settled on a model a couple of weeks ago and now, here is the finished product.

 

Art by Nathalia Suellen. Click to embiggen.

 

Art sans text. Proper colors.

I couldn't be happier with the work she did. She took the colors I loved about the ice cave photos, and captured Cat Sharp's hard edge. And that hair! GAH! SO FUCKING AWESOME! I adore this cover. And it's mine! Muahahaha!

As for the print edition, the back cover is finished. I've written the copy, but I'm still waiting on a few last minute touches for that bit of things. (Also, the file of it is too big to post at present, so you get the front hotness.)

Still, this is almost ready. Editing is done. The cover is done. I've purchased the necessary ISBN, LCCN and barcodes. There's a Goodreads page. Right now, I'm working with CreateSpace on the interior layout and design. When that's finished, it will be time to print and ship. I'm also looking for book bloggers who wish to review UNVEILED for their sites. Any takers? ;)

We're on target to be released NOVEMBER 18, 2014. Soon, friends. Soooooon!