Secret Reading Stash

I’ve been hanging out for the last three weeks to go raid the school library for a holiday reading stash. Now that students are gone, I feel like I can clear the shelves of popular options without impunity, so on Friday I brought home a stash… which OF COURSE I then topped up today. Hey, I already had to return two books (John Green’s Turtles All The Way Down and Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss, both of which I enjoyed) and OF COURSE it made sense to replace them… and pick up just one or maybe two others… O:)

So this is my holiday reading stash, ‘secret’ because they’re all piled up under the desk because I literally don’t have anywhere else semi-convenient to put them. Ain’t they purdy? :3

I’m so not going yo get through 41 books, even if I do have the next 7 weeks off (WOOHOO!!), but I’ll certainly givr it my best shot.

How about you? What are your top planned reads over the holiday season? 🙂

Meeting Authors Is Squeeful!

Even though we are, like, the capital of the country, it’s surprising how few Big Name Authors we get stop here. So when I discovered about six weeks ago that Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner were coming to town, I was EK-SIGH-TED!! Very.

They did an ‘in conversation’ talk and signed tonight at a local indie bookstore, and you guys, it was fabulous B-) Amie and Meagan are witty and charming and passionate and enthusiastic and smart and just generally pretty darn awesome people. Listening to them was a delight 🙂

I got my Starbound Trilogy books signed (which, if you haven’t read yet and you’re into YA, I don’t care if you think you’re into sci fi or not YOU SHOULD READ THESE BOOKS because they are GLORIOUS! The first one in the series won the Aurealis in 2014 for Best Young Adult Novel) and picked up a copy of the first book in their new duology, Unearthed. Super looking forward to holidays in a week’s time so I can clear my schedule and read.

Also, Amie and I happened to be wearing identical dresses. Modcloth, #ftw! 😀 hee.

You can find Amie on Twitter or at her website, and Meagan is also on Twitter, and here’s her website. Go check out their books; they’re lovely humans and excellent, excellent writers. <3

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Come Join The Fun!

Soooo, oops, I did a Thing.

What Thing, I hear you asking?

A Patreon. I made a Patreon.

Now, in case you have no idea what Patreon is, a quick explanation: It’s basically like Kickstarter, but on an on-going basis. People can sign up for a small amount per month (some creators make it per Thing, but mine is per month) and depending on the level of commitment, get certain rewards.

For me, this is a way to prioritise writing against the many competing demands on my time. I can do it as a hobby no worries, but in order to get books out at a decent pace so you’re not left hanging between instalments, I need to write faster, and that means writing has to pay its way.

So why Patreon? Because it’s a shiny, awesome, on-going way to give you guys super awesome patron-only content!

Everyone on my Patreon will get access to the Patron-only feed, where I discuss stories I’m working on, put out casting calls for people to donate names for characters or places (there’s a call out at the moment to name some restaurants in my current work-in-progress), and over time, it will build into a lovely, happy lil community of like-minded people where we can just generally hang out and talk cool books together, whee! There will also be occasional bonus scenes for everyone, random sketches, and generally fun Amy-themed stuff (ah ha ha).

Head over! Check it out! 

This is what’s currently available, though if you check out the goals section, you’ll see I have a lot more shenanigans fun in the pipeline for you 😉

Unicorns

$1 or more per month
It’s never been easier to be a unicorn! For just $1 a month, you get a special welcome unicorn (digital) and a thank you on the supporters page of any books I write while you’re here 🙂

Storm Foxes

$2 or more per month
Do you wish you could sweep through the skies on the wings of storms, causing chaos and destruction wherever you go?…No? Oh. Well. Okay then.

How about everything from the Unicorns level, plus my favourite line/s from every writing session I do? Yes? Better? Okay, good. Welcome to Storm Foxery.

 

Space Witches

$5 or more per month
Ever felt like deep down inside, there was something super special about you? Ever just WANTED to feel like this? Do you see BLUE everywhere you go? You might just be a space witch!For just $5 a month, you too can soar through space on the back of a space whale (or shark*)!

…Wait, I probably shouldn’t promise things I can’t deliver, should I.

Okay, how does everything from the Storm Foxes level PLUS final ebook copies of any books I write while you’re a supporter sound? Better? Good.

* No liability taken for accidental injury, up to and including imploding in space vacuums.

Evil Overlords

$10 or more per month
You are suave, you are in control, you rule the world with glitter and an iron fist: you are the supreme Evil Overlord!Congratulations. Your attainment of certified Evil Overlording status entitles you to everything from the Space Witches level (including ebooks!), plus paperback copies of any books published while you’re a supporter (though you need to support at this level for at least two months per paperback; Evil Overlording takes COMMITMENT, Y’ALL).

Things to be added when certain milestones are hit include regular bonus material like deleted scenes, sketches, maps, character profiles, Q&A sessions, and more; more sketches of random mythological creatures for everyone; thank you videos; regular writing updates; and eventually, if we make it all the way to the top of the goals, Patreon-only editions of every new book, both ebook AND print, with special Patron-only content. I’d LOVE to get to this level, you guys.
So! Go read the official descriptionand join the fun! And let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see (including, idk, cake recipes/tutorials or a recorded writing session or me singing ridiculous songs to you, or whatever it is you’d like :)) :3

In Which I Am A Terrible Person, OR Why The Right Book Makes a Difference

(Also: Why I Decided To Publish My Own Books.)

This was supposed to be a lot more coherent that I suspect it’s going to be, because I have a throat cold* and this is the busy point in my two-week timetable and my sanity has pretty much fled, but anyway. I’m doing this blogging thing, yes I am, see me do it.

* Not sinus stuffy, just coughing and hacking and GUNK, ew, glerk.

Confession: I am a terrible person.

I mean, I’m not *actually*, not for the reason I’m talking about today, but it sounds satisfyingly melodramatic to say so, so you know.

Why am I terrible?

I am not working on Sanctuary 3. 

My original deadline was the end of the year for the content-edited book, so I could pull a late Feb/early March release, because that’s what I’ve been telling everyone. Which means I was supposed to start the draft at least 2.5 weeks ago.

Dear readers, This Was Not A Pleasant Experience.

I tried. I really did try.

I spend a week trying to scrape together an outline from the notes I’d made. I skyped the twin, who is Expert at Plotting. I made notes of all the threads I needed to tie up from books 1 and 2 (that’s them in the background of the picture below).

I had an outline – of sorts.

I had an idea – of sorts.

And then the second week, I sat down to force myself to start writing it. You want to be a writer, I reminded myself. That means actually writing. You know. Words. On pages. But it was like the proverbial blood from the proverbial stone, and it was Not Fun.

Look, I have a day job, okay? And two small businesses aside from writing. I don’t NEED writing to earn money for me, I don’t NEED to publish… So if it’s not going to be fun? Ick. Just, ick.

Also, I hadn’t written a novel in over a year, and honestly I haven’t done much writing at all this year so far, it’s mostly been formatting and editing and proofing and so much more formatting. So I was worried that maybe I’d just forgotten how to write easily, that maybe this was a Me Thing.

Then, on a whim, I opened an older novel, one that was supposed to be next in the queue after Sanctuary 3, which I’m basically rewriting from the ground up now that I am a seriously better writer than I was in 2011 (THANK GOODNESS) but which I passionately love and adore and which early readers back in the day did too. Oh, look, you can go read about it here.

So anyway, yeah, I pulled that out to *ahem* look at. And, uh, oops. I’ve written 9k on it in the last 3 days. o.O

I mean, granted, a lot of that is totally blocked out, so the shape of the action is all there for me, and I’m just adding character and voice and setting, but whoa. 9k in 3 days? Ain’t never written that much so quickly, except maybe the week I was finishing up Through Roads Between when I drafted it last year.

So: clearly the problem is not that *I* am broken, but that something with Sanctuary 3 is just not gelling yet. I’ll write it, obviously I will – it’s not a runaway best seller (AH HA HA) but I do have a tiny, encouraging core of fans for the series (*waves*) and I’m not going to leave them/you in the lurch.

Just… not yet.

I could force it, but honestly, this is one of the main reasons I decided in the end to go with indie publishing: complete flexibility. HNOT is *working* right now, by golly is it working, and Sanctuary 3 is *not*. I’d meant to point out a whole bunch of metaphors here for the fact that sometimes, when you’re trying to hard to force something in life to work, it’s a pretty good signal you’re going in the wrong direction – but I’m lacking brain and my throat’s now sore too :\ So instead, Imma wrap this up and find a handy bed to collapse into, because yay + sleep + yay. Then I’ll probably get up and write some more of HNOT, because it’s totally captured my creativity, and I don’t feel like doing much else except writing it.

And I’m going to be grateful for that, and enjoy it, because this? This is what I signed up for.

Bring it on.

 

I’m Only Doing This Because I Promised Myself

See? Streak power at work right here. I had posts for every day last week, so now I want to maintain that. I noted last week that posting once a week was too infrequent for streak-motivation to kick in, but apparently this week-daily bizzo is doing the trick (and let’s face it, the Monday/Friday posts are all prescheduled anyway :D).

So I have things to say and things I thought I’d blog about, but tbh I had like 4.5 hours of sleep last night and I’m fighting off the plague and I’m really all just

right now. So instead you get a random, short, rambly update, I guess about books because… I have nothing else interesting to update you with?

So Sanctuary book three, When Worlds Collide, is officially In The Works. I’ve done a bunch of planning and outlining* and trying to fit together the jigsaw puzzle pieces I’ve left myself in the first two books, and tomorrow I get to actually dive into the writing – assuming I’m up to date with my marking by the time I get home, anyway 😉 At the moment I have it scheduled for release at the end of Feb, but that will depend on me maintaining a moderately gruelling schedule for the next 2.5 months, so it may end up tipping over into March. We Shall See.

And then that wraps up the Sanctuary series, and WHOA OH MY GOSH I WROTE AN ENTIRE SERIES. o.O Y’all have no idea how WEIRD that concept is.

But I’m SUPER excited about what’s coming after that. You might remember that last year I went and stayed with the Twinny One in the US, which was AWWWWWESOME, and that we spent a large amount of time Plotting All The Things, and that one of said Things was the big and tangled novel I have drafted that we detangled, reoutlined, and generally tidied up, filming the whole experience because… why not?

Anyway, yeah, that one. Ferrets and sarcasm and enemies-to-lovers and Mercury, the super-smart, super-possessive, super-snarky, super-SLYTHERIN main character. A bunch of people have read early drafts of this one, and you guys, you are going to love it. Promises. So. Much. FUN.

I’m really looking forward to getting it done and out :3

I’m also super looking forward to some writing courses I’m doing over Christmas, but that’s probably of less general interest! 😀

Anyway, the gloriously savoury scent of roasting potatoes and rosemary is letting me know my dinner is finally cooked, so Imma go deal with that. Food. I hear it’s good to eat.**

Hope you’re having an okay start to your week! <3

 

* I’m not an obsessive outliner, I don’t outline All The Things in comprehensive detail, but I do appreciate a road map.

** This, friends, is called irony, because I have recently learned that I am literally, actually, 100% medically confirmed food intolerant. More on that possibly later this week. *sigh*.

Happy Release Day!! Bodies In Motion

Breaking radio silence to wish the Twinny One, Liana Brooks, a happy release day 🙂

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Inkprint Press | List on GoodReads

Selena Caryll lost everything in the war: her ship, her crew, her family. The only thing keeping her going is the hope that somehow the feuding, ground-bound settlers and the fuelless space fleet can set aside their differences. But getting the politically-fractured fleet moving again is more than she can manage alone. For now, she has to settle for working undercover with the planetary police force.

When someone tries to reignite conflict between the planet-siders and the fleet, there’s only one person who has the rank and ability to help Selena protect the fleet: Titan Sciarra, Fleet Guardian—the one man she’s tried hardest to avoid since the war destroyed her life.

In a world where the stagnant weight of tradition can be as deadly as any knife, the only way to survive is to keep moving.

 

Behind The Title: Newton’s First Law of Motion states “A body in motion will stay in motion until acted on by an outside force”. We usually think of this in terms of physics, physical objects, and friction but it applies to choices and lives too. Often a person will set their course and stay on it unless acted on by something external force, even if the destination is catastrophic. For Selena Caryll her course is a downward spiral, she’s lost everything and has no future to look forward to. For Titan Sciarra his life was headed for an early death until he was shot down in the war, the subsequent injuries and his absence from the battle lines allowed him to change direction.

In a world where two stagnant cultures are on a collision course with mutual destruction it will take something extraordinary to change the world. And what’s more extraordinary than love?

 

For readers who enjoyed the Time and Shadows series, what does BODIES IN MOTION offer? The Time and Shadow series (The Day Before, Convergence Point, Decoherence) with Sam and Mac was SF-lite. Clones and the multiverse, but less high-tech space exploration. Still, it shares a theme of choices with BODIES IN MOTION. Sam realized she was an einselected node and that even her smallest choices affected the fate of the multiverse. In BODIES everything is post-war, people are dealing with the trauma of having lost people they loved, of having killed people they once considered friends, and there’s no one in Selena’s age group who wasn’t effected. They didn’t get to opt out of the war. When a society is that fragile, every choice matters. Every word, every action, every inaction has a long-term consequence. This is only the start of the series so we don’t get to see everything yet, but you get to see the start.

 

For readers who enjoyed the Heroes and Villains series, what does BODIES IN MOTION offer?

One of the big draws of the Heroes and Villains series is the super powers. Being able to fly, or use telekinesis, or manipulate emotions were all part of Dr. Charm’s family’s charm. It’s fun to see ordinary people using powers most of us don’t have. In BODIES IN MOTION science allows anyone to have it (with some notable exceptions) and we get to see what a world full of superheroes looks like. What makes you special when everyone is superpowered and able to teleport?

And while BODIES IN MOTION isn’t as intentionally comedic as EVEN VILLAINS FALL IN LOVE there is the same sense of warm humor and family that you get from the Heroes and Villains books. Plus: happy endings! Who doesn’t love a happily ever after?

 

You really like choices as a theme, don’t you? I do! I think one of the biggest lies people believe is that their choices and actions don’t matter. And maybe some of them don’t. Maybe the color of your shirt or whether or not you wear make-up won’t have a long-term consequence. But how you treat other people, how you interact with them, that always has life-long consequences.  When you look at the patterns of history you can often pinpoint the one rash decision that brought a culture tumbling down. Even on an individual scale, from day-to-day, choices matter. And sometimes you don’t know what the right choice is, you just have to choose and hope for the best. But, yes, I love this as a literary theme. I love exploring what happens when one person makes a choice that changes everything.

 

This is a really fantastic novel, you guys. Mystery, murder, intrigue, cool science, flirting and adorable relationships… And you can try before you buy for free – Liana’s been serialising the draft version of the novel over at her blog all season 🙂 Check it out today!

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Inkprint Press | List on GoodReads

Made-It Monday

Welcome to #MadeItMonday, where I post something I’ve made in the previous week, and where you can join in and post something you made too! The rules are easy: post a pic somewhere of something you’ve made in the last week (ish; let’s say in the last month as the hard-and-fast) and tag it. Sit back and enjoy scrolling through all the beautiful things we’ve collectively created, and celebrate the fact that humans can be awesome! 🙂

Well, I haven’t made much lately that’s really ‘arty’ since my ‘spare time’ has mostly been consumed with book edits and formatting and such like. And whatever energy is left over after all of that has to be devoted to food, because I’m on an extremely strict elimination diet and finding ways to eat the same 20 foods for every meal without going mad is pretty much using up any leftover creativity. Ha.

So today, for Made It Monday, you get book formatting. These are some of the opening pages of Liana Brooks’ forthcoming novel, Bodies In Motion; you can read the draft chapters on her website for free – they’re releasing two per week and I think at present we are about 2/3rds of the way through the book.

The novel comes out on Sept 19 (20 in Aus) and you can preorder through all the usual suspects – or if you want to preorder a print copy and you live in the US, you can do that here.

Yay! Pages!

What have you made this week? (It doesn’t have to be fancy!!) Don’t forget to tag your contribution, or even better, leave a link in the comments!! I love seeing what inspiring things other people have made 🙂 🙂 🙂

General Updateriness, New Releases, That Sort of Thing

It’s been a while since I did a generic ‘HEY HERE’S AN UPDATE ON ME AND LIFE’ kind of post (it’s been a while since I did any sort of content-heavy post, shh) so HA, that is what we are having today. And I’m probably going to ramble, because the brain, she is rambley today.

So. If you are following my books with rabid fervour (ha) note that it will be harder than usual to track a print copy of Where Shadows Rise in the next six weeks, because the files were updated with a bunch of typos corrected. (I just typed ‘typos correctly’. Clearly this was a Necessary Thing. >.< Oy, and also vey.) Amazon should have the update by the end of the week, and you can always grab a copy through Inkprint Press immediately (in the US) or from my site here (for Aus).

In more exciting news, Book 2 in the Sanctuary series (Through Roads Between) is up for pre-order!! You’ll get to know more about both the magics of Sanctuary/the Valley, AND about Scott in this book – which I know a lot of people will be excited about :o) You can pre-order the ebook anywhere pre-orders are had, and you can pre-order the print copy here in the US and here in Australia – and buying through me or Inkprint entitles you to the ebooks in BOTH mobi AND epub for FREE! Woohoo.

Yay book! It is pretty!

ALSO in related news (and speaking of related LOOK THERE ARE TWO MATCHING BOOKS SITTING TOGETHER LOOK THEY ARE SO PRETTY), I’ll promo this more in the coming weeks BUT there will be a giveaway for anyone who has left a review of Where Shadows Rise to win one of multiple ebook copies of book 2, or one copy of the print book. Reviews on GoodReads, Amazon, or any other book retail site all count, you can probably have multiple entries for posting your review in multiple places, it’s open international, and your review doesn’t have to be 5 star, just fair 😉

And also coming soonish is a novella about tigers, religious prohibitions, eating people, and inter-species war – but mostly it’s about redemption, and how no matter how much you think you’ve screwed up, you’re worth redeeming. More details on this in a month or two – it should be releasing around late October/early November, all things going well*, so keep an eye out.

* All things not going well it’ll be out Q1 next year 😉

I think that’s about all the updating my brain can handle right now. I’m doing this super-stringent elimination diet because Health Reasons, and I’m in the middle of withdrawal funk, and although the fog is clearing slowly, I’m really, really sick of the approximately twelve foods I’m allowed to eat 😛

Yay books! Woohoo!

 

Shiny New SFR Release – Free!!

Ready for a new book? My partner-in-crime Liana Brooks is away from the computer over her summer (July-ish), so she’s releasing the first book in her new series, Bodies in Motion, as a serial to keep the blog running while she’s gone. I’ve had the privilege of seeing this book in early drafts, and if you’re into space politics, witty flirty romance, and awesome worldbuilding, you’ll love this 🙂 Scroll down for the blurb!


BODIES IN MOTION
Coming June 13th (USA dates)

A body at rest stays at rest unless acted on by an equal and opposite force.
– Newton’s First Law of Motion

Selena Caryll lost everything in the war: her ship, her crew, her family. The only thing keeping her going is the hope that somehow the feuding, ground-bound settlers and the fuelless space fleet can set aside their differences. But getting the politically-fractured fleet moving again is more than she can manage alone. For now, she has to settle for working undercover with the planetary police force.

When someone tries to reignite conflict between the planet-siders and the fleet, there’s only one person who has the rank and ability to help Selena protect the fleet: Titan Sciarra, Fleet Guardian—the one man she’s tried hardest to avoid since the war destroyed her life.

In a world where the stagnant weight of tradition can be as deadly as any knife, the only way to survive is to keep moving.

BODIES IN MOTION will be serialised at www.lianabrooks.com this summer with new chapters every Tuesday and Friday, starting June 13th (that’s Wednesday and Saturday in Aus-land).

The full novel will be available in print and ebook September 19th, 2017.

Dresden Files Film Clip – SO MUCH LOVE

Okay in keeping with the somewhat fannish theme of our Friday posts this term, something else I’m fannish about: The Dresden Files books by Jim Butcher. YOU GUYS. These books are ASTOUNDING. I love them SO. MUCH. They’re dark and gritty but hopeful and glorious, the plot is deep and complex while providing action and pace, the mythology is glorious (did I use that adjective already?) and just … *wavy hands of inexpressibility*. I love them. If you like urban fantasy (or even if you just like action movies, probably, and can stand your action movies with some magic thrown in) and you haven’t read these yet, go check them out. Immediately. <3