Practising In Public, Or, I Have A Book Coming Out in May :3

Years ago, I read an article that prompted somewhat of an epiphany. This is not, in and of itself, a noteworthy event, as this is something that happens with rather astounding regularity in my life. I guess when you read a lot, and when you read widely, this kind of thing is also just called ‘Learning More Stuff’. Yay learning! Yay stuff!

But anyway, this particular article (which I’m sure I linked to at the time but can’t for the life of me find on the blog at present*) was about a distinguishing factor between writing and a lot of other art-forms: namely that in many art-forms, practising in public is not only permissible, it’s actively encouraged. Painting pictures? You don’t have to be a painterly genius for the school to let you exhibit your work. Learning an instrument? Recitals are generally actively required, whether you sound like you’re strangling a cat with tomato sauce or not. Writing? …Yeah, probably just better put that notebook down and not show anyone your writing until you’re *good*, okay, honey? There’s a lovely sane writer person. *pat pat*.

The article, and subsequently I, took umbrage with this notion. Why NOT practise in public? Look at The Martian, for example. It’s arguable but also pretty intuitively obvious that the book only ever became as great as it did because the author took a risk and practised in public, garnering assistance and feedback along the way that made the book what it was.

Look. I don’t want to get too hung up on this idea; I just wanted to note that you know what, writers? Sometimes it’s okay for us to share stuff with The Reading Public that we know has flaws.*****

Segue. In 2010, I wrote a book. It was a book-of-the-heart, the first book I wrote straight through without blood, sweat or tears, and it was magical, and elating, and glorious. It was a book, actually, for my sister, not because the plot mirrors her life or anything (and even less so now than in that first draft) but because, at the time, it felt important that I could give her the gift of happy escapism for a while–and it dovetailed nicely with a fragment of an idea I’d had rolling around in my head for a while.

Segue. It’s 2017. This book has gone through about 7 drafts, at least 4 of those with relatively major changes, though it’s not like it was ever gutted and torn up for parts like some of my other novels. The resultant story is still largely the same shape as the original, just better. More book shaped, less like a whimsical object from my head.

Segue. It’s still 2017, and I have an emotional collapse on Twitter at a bunch of my writing friends. The Twinny One immediately gets onto Skype; she understands what the problem is in a way that’s hard for me to articulate on Twitter, and also in a way that’s hard to articulate on Twitter, she knows the solution. It’s the goalpost, she says.

See, seven years is Quite A Long Time to work on a book, really. Especially when your goal is to make some kind of living out of this. And over those years, numerous times, people have told me (kindly, for my own sanity’s sake) to put Sanctuary down, to shelve it, to walk away.

I don’t walk away from books. I’m terminally incapable. So being told to abandon this one is heart-wrenching, and I’m scared I’ll never finish it, and I’m scared I’ll be forced by time or people or circumstance to abandon it, and secretly I’m just plain old scared that I’ll never be good enough to edit a book to The End. Editing, y’all, is HARD, HARD WORK. Taking this story, this image, this idea that you have in your head and translating it into something that not only makes sense but is just as compelling for others as it is for you? HARD.

But for the first time, Liana puts it in words that seep into my head. It’s not that I’ve changed as a writer in those seven years, though it’s also that, and I most certainly have, in leaps and glorious bounds (though some days I still stumble and crawl). It’s not, as I heard this to mean, that I could do better, that I could write better than this, that I need to be constantly revisiting Sanctuary to update it with the new skills I’ve learned.

It’s the opposite. It’s not that I’ve changed as a writer so much as that I keep moving the goalpost. Of course the book will never be DONE if I keep applying new criteria to it; no book I ever write will be done if I work like that.

There are still some flaws in this book. I know they’re there, but fixing them would mean gutting the book and starting over, and I don’t have it in me to do that yet. Maybe one day I would, but I’m faced with a choice: I can let the book go, or I can hold onto it for another seven years, picking and prodding and angsting and hoping to someday get it ‘right’. I need to let it go. But letting go doesn’t have to mean shelving it. It can also just mean at last, finally, calling it done.

Practising in public, you see.

So here it is: my glorious piece of imperfection, a tiny part of my soul carved into words and made flesh of its own. I’m calling it done, I’m writing The End, and I’m turning it over to you, my wonderful, wonderful reader. I hope you’ll love it. But if you don’t, that’s okay; I’m practising in public, and I’ve done what I needed to do. Finally, I’m letting this glorious beast go.

A teal book cover with light exploding from the centre of it. Shadowed butterflies fly out and up from the light, and the title, Where Shadows Rise, overlays the image in a serif font with decorative curly elements. It's pretty. Very, very pretty.
Where Shadows Rise
Sanctuary Book 1
Coming May 24, 2017
Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | and more 🙂
(print and ebook)
(yay)
(isn’t the cover *astounding*?)


The fairies have a secret they’re just dying to protect…

Emma knows breaking the rules can get you into trouble; it nearly got her sister killed. That’s why Emma’s stuck in backwater Nowra, Australia, under temporary witness protection with no friends—and no life.

So when Emma has to break the rules to retrieve the runaway family dog, she decides the fairy she sees is clearly a guilt-induced hallucination. Problem is, hallucinations don’t usually send you invites to Fairyland—and shadows don’t usually chase you home.

It would be easy to ignore the invite.
It would be sensible to avoid the shadows.

But when Emma’s only new friend is snatched by the shadows in the middle of the night, Emma knows she has a decision to make: stick to the rules and leave her friend and dog to die, or risk her own life to save them.

CHAPTER ONE

THE DOORBELL RANG. That doesn’t sound exciting in and of itself, but let me assure you: it was the most heart-pounding thing to happen all week. It was my birthday, I was home alone, and because of the stupid witness protection business, I’d been stuck in the house all summer. I hadn’t even been allowed out to see friends, because we’d arrived in town at the end of last year with only three school weeks to go—so I didn’t have any friends.

Well. I had friends, but they were back in Melbourne, and I wasn’t allowed to contact them for fear someone would track down our new location. Lucky me.

Anyway, it was my birthday, I was alone because Mum and Dad had gone to do something regarding birthday surprises and Anna had inexplicably chosen to go with them, and the doorbell had just rung. I stared at the closed door, heart pounding, while our chocolate Labrador, Veve, tried to chew it down. Was I going to open it?

Of course I was going to open it. The chances of it being a mobster were slim to none; for starters, a mobster wouldn’t have rung the bell.

 

A teal book cover with light exploding from the centre of it. Shadowed butterflies fly out and up from the light, and the title, Where Shadows Rise, overlays the image in a serif font with decorative curly elements. It's pretty. Very, very pretty.
Where Shadows Rise
Sanctuary Book 1
Coming May 24, 2017
Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | and more 🙂

 

* Granted it is 10pm on Sunday night and I just spent 10.5 hours of my day marking things and my brain is leaking somehow out my ears and it’s goo, all goo, everything is goooooooo.**

** The number of times I mistyped ‘good’ for ‘goo’ just then is shameful. And probably indicative of my Tired. And possibly indicative of my subconscious’s determination to be optimistic? Sure, let’s run with that.***

*** Better than running with scissors.****

**** Imma get back to the main article in a second, I SWEAR. Any second now. Aaaaaany second…….

***** Of course, just as the right to voice your opinion does not include the right to be taken seriously, so too practising in public does not shield you from having substandard work received as such. I don’t advise this course of action unless you have a thick skin, or aim to develop one.

Releeeeeease The Unicoooooooorns!!

…Wait, what? The unicorns? Why are we releasing unicorns? And honestly if you’re talking about the unicorns in the Darkness and Good anthology by Amy Laurens and Liana Brooks which is OUT TODAY, releasing the unicorns is SERIOUSLY Not A Good Idea. Like, at all. You do want to *live*, don’t you? DON’T YOU???

Besides. If you died, how would you order your copy of this amazing anthology? YOU WOULDN’T. And then you’d NEVER get to read the ALL-NEW CONTENT that we wrote JUST FOR THIS ANTHOLOGY that you’ll never, EVER get to see ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD!!

Plus you won’t get to see that we really can actually Write Kinda Good and that when we say the Darkness and Good blog is drafts only, we actually do mean it.

Look, the anthology’s actually pretty good, okay? And it has pictures. Pretty pictures. I should know, ’cause I drew them. /nodnod. And these are the fan-favourite stories from the blog, so they must have at least SOME merit, y’know? And, like, the anthology’s on sale for the next month for $2.99, AND if you buy it direct from Inkprint Press you get both the epub AND the mobi files! (Or, y’know, you can buy it in print from Amazon and get the mobi file free if that’s your thing.)

Anyway. I’d better go. Some stupid person set the unicorns loose and now the fate of the world’s uncertain. I, for one, do not want to die a unicorn related death any time today. Or, for that matter, tomorrow. So yeah. Imma go round up unicorns. You… go read a book, or something like that.

😉
A

Darkness and Good: 38 fantasy and science fiction short stories by Liana Brooks and Amy Laurens

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My Best Books of 2016

At some point I want to do a quick wrap-up of 2016 (good points, anyway, I think we’ve all had enough of the bad points) and sketch out some things you can expect in 2017, but today I was looking at my list of books I’ve read this year and I realised that some of them I really truly have not crowed about enough. I read some really excellent books this year. You clearly need to read them too! 😀 So, my best books of 2016 – with the clarification that these are books I read in 2016, not books that were published in 2016. The list is kind of long, so I’ve split it up by age/genre to make it a bit more manageable! Links are to Amazon for ease of blurb access.

My Favourite Middle Grade Books of 2016

Pip Bartlett’s Guide To Magical Creatures ~ Jackson Pearce & Maggie Stiefvater
This is a super cute middle grade mystery with glorious world-building and not a wasted word. A genuinely delightful, whimsical story. I’ve already pre-ordered the second book.
My Seventh Grade Life In Tights ~ Brooks Benjamin
I tweeted the author after reading this to say that this was the most tightly plotted book I’d read in a while. A heartful and glorious contemporary middle grade about a boy who just wants to dance. Love it. Tight plotting, great voice.

My Favourite Young Adult Books of 2016

The Raven Boys ~ Maggie Stiefvater
This is a yearly reread of one of my all-time favourites. As ever, Stiefvater’s characters are rich and real, her world is magnetising, and her prose lush and dreamy. Private school boys + public school girl, all with Issues, seek dead Welsh king in back-country Virginia. Everyone is a little bit in love with everyone else.
Saving Francesca ~ Melina Marchetta (Link to Book Depository because Amazon only has the grotesquely white-washed reprint cover)
Another reread. One of my fav YAs as an actual YA person growing up. Francesca is part of the first female cohort in a previously all-boys school. Dealing with that, the issues of her extended Italian family, and her mother’s depression provide obvious conflict. Glorious, authentic voice, fun characters. Felt slightly dated on this reread, but I still recommend and love it.
These Broken Stars ~ Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
##$(*%&$$%)**&*!!)*!!!! LOVE this series. This is epic YA sci-fi romance at its absolute superlative. This installment is wilderness fic, and you can tell the authors have actually done research. Events are authentic, voices is great, plot is gripping, and the romance is perfectly steamy. (Sweet on-page, clear indication of off-page developments.)
This Shattered World ~ Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Another fantastic installment, featuring some A+ worldbuilding, a POC female main lead, and another story that reeled me right in DESPITE the fact that it’s from the perspective of new characters. I was disappointed about that initially, but the reasons for it become clear and the same fast-paced, page-turning plotting and A++ command of voice reel you in regardless.
Their Fractured Light ~ Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Conclusion to the series, again from different perspectives, but again just as richly nuanced and well justified. The over-arching mystery deepens, the good guys team up, things go boom, people go smooch. This series is just perfect, perfect YA sci-fi romance. Love it.

My Favourite Adult (Genre) Books of 2016

Clean Sweep ~ Ilona Andrews
A great new series from the Ilona Andrews team. Urban fantasy with hints of science fiction, sassy dialogue, alpha males, women who know how to handle them, great magic, family mystery–just a great book all round.
Sweep in Peace ~ Ilona Andrews
Awesome second installment in the series, introducing some fabulous new characters and really upping the ante as far as both the stakes and the mystery are concerned. I am SERIOUSLY looking forward to getting my copy of book 3 in the mail in the next few weeks. You can read this whole series for free on Ilona Andrews’ website if you’re keen, but I don’t like screen reading, so I’m eagerly awaiting the post…
Limelight ~ Krista Ball
A fantastic, well-plotted, authentic contemporary romance, featuring a female lead with mental illness (severe panic attacks brought on by social anxiety) who falls for a superstar (and super hot) actor. Great dynamic between the two, good sense of voice, realistic plotting and conflicts–a great romance.

My Favourite Adult (Lit Fic) Books of 2016

A Beautiful Life ~ Michael Futcher and Helen Howard
A play I had to read for school, which I promptly fell in love with. Set partially in Canberra, Australia, in the Iran embassy, and partially in Iran during the main character’s past there, this play deals sensitively with the idea of migrants, refugees, politics and culpability. Just gloriously plotted; watching the story unfold and the mystery slow reveal is immensely satisfying and deeply thought-provoking.
Jasper Jones ~ Craig Silvey
A fab Australian novel about growing up, losing your innocence, and doing the right thing even when the whole town/system is against you. Don’t let the relaxed, talky pace of the first few pages deceive you: there’s a Big Deal coming, and when it does, it lands with a thud. A glorious exploration of morality, sexism and being a hero that’s extremely easy to read. It’s kind of like a contemporary Australian To Kill A Mockingbird, and there are a lot of intertextual references there to support that.

My Favourite Writing Books of 2016

Rise of the Machines: Human Authors In A Digital World ~ Kristen Lamb
If you’re a writer and you’re not signed up to Kristen’s newsletter, I suggest you get on that now 😉 She has fab advice to dispense and does so with intelligence, wit, humour and candor. This is one smart lady and you can’t afford not to hear what she has to say, especially about using blogs and social media effectively to build your brand.

My Favourite General Non-Fiction Books of 2016

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up ~ Marie Kondo
If you’re a practical soul like my mother, the idea of a book on how to tidy might seem somewhat absurd to you. But if, like me, you’re a somewhat whimsical soul at heart, you’ll appreciate this lovely take on how to effectively declutter your home without breaking your heart in the process.
Big Magic ~ Elizabeth Gilbert
Gilbert herself is an author (see, e.g., Eat, Pray, Love), so her book on creativity is naturally slanted towards writing, but it’s equally applicable to any other kind of creative. It’s sweet and romantic and whimsical, and I whole-heartedly loved it. There are parts of it that are totally unscientific, but if you can buy the Pratchettian idea that “[i]nspirations sleet through the universe continuously. Their destination, as if they cared, is the right mind in the right place at the right time.” (Pratchett, Men at Arms), then you’ll appreciate this entirely inspirational take on the creative process, and how to honour it in your life.

 

Have you read any of these? Leave a comment and let me know what you thought! Or, if you haven’t read any of them, leave a comment and let us know what *your* best books of 2016 were! 🙂

LOST WOLF (Cool Book) + American Travel + Giveaway

Heya! Just popping by on my way to America to–

Wait, what? AMERICA?!?!

Oh, yeah. Didn’t I tell you that? I’m pretty sure I mentioned it on Twitter at least (once, or twice – a day… O:))… SO. I’M GOING TO AMERICA. LIKE, TOMORROW.* WHOOOOOOOOOA!!! I’m visiting the glorious Krista Ball for two nights, then heading up to the freezing wastelands of Alaska to see the twinny one, Liana Brooks. I’ll also get to meet up with Thea van Diepen, newly of Darkness&Good fame, as she generously plays airport taxi for me :o) SO. MUCH. EXCITEMENT!!

But in the meantime, I just thought I’d pop by to share a cool-sounding book with you 😉 (ALSO THERE IS A GIVEAWAY AT THE END YAY GIVEAWAY + BOOKS!)

* Where tomorrow = Saturday, because I’m pre-writing this so it’ll go up at the right time for the author, which is while I’m on a plaaaaaaaaaane! So in this case, tomorrow actually means yesterday, or something something something. Time. *wavy hands*. Yeah.

Lost Wolf by Stacy Claflin

lost-wolf
Isn’t the cover glorious?!?!

She’s hiding a dark secret. It already killed her once.

Victoria can’t wait to start college, but there’s a hitch—she can’t remember anything before arriving on campus. Her memories spark when she sees her ruggedly handsome math professor, but she senses something horrific. The shock on his face affirms her fears.

Toby is an alpha wolf who never thought he’d see his true love again—not after she died in his arms. Nothing could have prepared him for her walking into his class. But to his dismay, not only has she forgotten what happened, she doesn’t even know who she is.

He’s determined to do whatever it takes to restore what they’ve lost. Can Toby help Victoria recover her memories, or will he lose her forever?

If this sounds like something that might interested you, check it out in your favourite online bookstore (Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Kobo). ALSO! If OTHER books are things you are interested in, you can enter below for a $50 Amazon gift card, open internationally! WOO BOOKS! WOO INTERNATIONAL! WOO **INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL**!!!!!!!

…Yup, I think that’s my sanity used up for the day. Sorry ’bout that. Still. Go enter the giveaway. $50 of books = yay, amirite? 🙂

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Read These Books!

I’ve been meaning to do a reviewy sort of post forever, but as ever, I have this talent for loading myself up with too many projects all due at once and the post… yeah. O:)

So today, sort of a substitute: Covers of books I think you should read/will enjoy, with a one-sentence reason why. These are all books I’ve read this year. I’m planning to do this every fifth Monday of the month (yes, that makes sense) and showcase my favs from the books I’ve read since the last post, so. Order. Logic. Hurrah.

And now! BOOKS!

2k to 10k
Look, I’m not promising it’s going to guarantee that you write 10k in a day, but I found the idea of figuring out your most productive times and methods and working with those really helpful.
500 Ways To Be A Better Writer
Most of which boil down to, Sit your damn arse in the chair and write. Except with more profanity. 😛 Still, it gave me the kick in the pants I needed to restart writing after a long break. Yay.
ballad
Glorious Stiefvaterness. I liked this a lot better than Lament, which is her first pubbed novel, and although this doesn’t have the glorious complexity of language and imagery of her later work, this is already classic, quinessential Stiefvater in terms of characters so real you expect them to step off the page 🙂 #fan
inspiration and incarnation
A religious one. A new (for me) way of looking at the Old Testament and reconciling some of the inconsistencies therein. Very satisfying and logical. I highly approved.
Love That Dog
A gorgeous little MG full of spunk and personality, this is a verse novel that will take experienced readers maybe 10-15 minutes to read. It’s a collection of poems by the MC, starting essentially with ‘I hate poetry, poetry is stupid’ and charting his journey all the way through to ‘Okay so maybe it’s not so bad’. Extremely kid friendly, great for non-readers and readers alike 🙂
quotidian mysteries
Another religious one, this time about how to celebrate and worship in the daily drudgery of life, and looking at the way ‘women’s work’ has traditionally been undervalued. Very inspirational. I finished this and wanted to go out and buy a copy for all the busy mothers in my life. <3 (I did, in fact, buy my own mother a copy for Mothers’ Day.)
raven boys
I reread this not once, but twice this year. I reread books 1, 2 and 3, and then flipped over to the beginning and reread book 1 again O:) It’s possible that I adore the pants off this series. Classic Stiefvater: characters so real you start thinking of them as friends, setting so vivid it breaths, language so lush it’s like thick-pile velvet, with a rawness and realness that only comes from someone who’s deal with mental crap in their life, stared it in the face, and came away unafraid of their own darkness in the end. Gah. ALL THE INCOHERENT LOVAGE.
Squish- Super Amoeba
Another super-cute MG read. This one’s a graphic novel and my sciencey side stamps this HIGHLY APPROVED. Follow Squish the Amoeba as he attends school and deals with bullies and tries to save his friends, all with Real!Science and Genuine!Facts. At some point I plan to buy the rest of the series for my classroom 🙂
The Shoe-Horn Sonata
I read this in preparation for teaching it – and then ended up on maternity leave for that unit 😛 But I really enjoyed this two-person drama about nurses in POW camps in WWII. Masterfully executed (er, no pun intended o.O). It’s hard to do minimalist drama well, but although there are only two roles in this play, nothing is missing in the slightest. Absolutely masterful.

 

Okay, so I know I said one sentence each, but never mind O:) Hopefully this spurs you to go out and pick up some new reads! Let me know in the comments/reblogs/etc – what have been your favourite reads so far this year? What do I absolutely NEED to read?

#WeeklyBookPic, The Game!

You might have noticed a couple of posts recently with the tag #WeeklyBookPics. This is going to be a regular feature on the blog, appearing every Friday (my time – Thursday evening in the US I think). Every week will feature a different category, and I’d love it if you’d join in! Take a picture of the book that best fits the category for you* and post a link in the comments and/or reblog/retweet with your picture and the #WeeklyBookPic hashtag! Hopefully it’ll be a fun and easy way to be introduced to new books that we can all love :o) Hurrah!

* Feel free to interpret as loosely as you need to 😉

(PS Link to last Friday’s #WeeklyBookPic in case you missed it. The theme is “First Book” – the first book you read, the first book you read by yourself, the first book someone in your family read, or, you know, if you need to, feel free to get creative: the first book you read in a genre, the first book you laid your eyes on after reading the post, the first book you could think you… You get the gist 😀 )

Jane Doe Cover Reveal!

Yay, the twinny one Liana Brooks has a cover for her upcoming sci fi thriller series with HarperCollins! This is the cover for the ebook, which is coming out on April 28. There will be a print edition too, but not for a couple of months after that

SO! What’s the book about, I hear you ask? Well! I have a blurb for you! HOW CONVENIENT.

A body is found in the Alabama wilderness. The question is: 
Is it a human corpse … or is it just a piece of discarded property?

Agent Samantha Rose has been exiled to a backwater assignment for the Commonwealth Bureau of Investigation, a death knell for her career. But then Sam catches a break—a murder—that could give her the boost she needs to get her life back on track. There’s a snag, though: the body is a clone, and technically that means it’s not a homicide. And yet, something about the body raises questions, not only for her, but for coroner Linsey Mackenzie.
The more they dig, the more they realize nothing about this case is what it seems … and for Sam, nothing about Mac is what it seems, either.
This case might be the way out for her, but that way could be in a bodybag.

A thrilling new mystery from Liana Brooks, The Day Before will have you looking over your shoulder and questioning what it means to be human.
DayBefore coverHarperCollins | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | GoodReads

Friday May 17th, 2069

Alabama District 3: Commonwealth of North America

With an asthmatic wheeze the engine died. It figured. Stuck in a man’s craw, it did. This truck had been his daddy’s and his pappy’s, and before the Commonwealth government forced him to replace the diesel engine with the newfangled water doohickey, he was certain he’d pass the truck onto his son.

He’d been playing under the hood of trucks since he was six and now he was stranded. Embarrassing, that’s what it was. He climbed out of the cab to check the engine out of habit. The ice blue block of modern fuel efficiency stared back. Three hundred bucks it’d cost him, straight from his pocket.

Oh, there was a government subsidy, all right. A priority list. Major Population Centers, they said. Unite the countries of the Commonwealth on a timeline, they said. And what did all that mean?

It meant the damn Yankees got upgraded cities and free cars before the ink was dry on the Constitution and what about the little man? Nobody thought about the working class. No one cared about a man covered in oil and grease anymore.

He thumbed his cellphone on. No reception. Figured.

So much for the era of new prosperity. He’d hoof it. There was a little town about five miles down the road where he could call Ricky to bring a tow truck. It would have been cheaper to pay the diesel fines than get all this fixed.

Off schedule. Over budget. Son of a –

He stared at the distant trees. Well, it wasn’t going to get any cooler.

He grabbed his wallet and keys from the cab of his truck. The tree line looked like a good spot to answer a call from nature, then he’d see if there weren’t a shortcut through to town. A meadowlark sang. Not a bad day for a hike. Would’ve been better if it weren’t so dammed hot, but at least the humidity was low. He wouldn’t like to walk in a summer monsoon, not at his age with arthritis playing up.

Under a sprawling oak he unzipped his pants. As an afterthought, he glanced down to make sure he wouldn’t stir up a hill of fire ants.

A hand lay next to his boots.

He blinked, zipped his pants slowly, and turned around. “Hello?”

Cicadas chirped in answer.

“Are you drunk?” The quiet field that looked so peaceful only moments before was now eerily sinister. He nudged the hand with his foot. It was swollen and pale and crusted with blood, just like a prop out of a horror movie.

Maybe it was a good idea to run to the next town.

 

 Pre-order your copy now!

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Exciting Booky Things!

You guys! I got my copy of Liana Brooks’s Even Villains Go To The Movies today! In print and everything! There’s one thing about having an ebook released by a publisher other than yourself – but a print book? That’s another level of cool again. And I am so stoked to be able to hold a copy of this book in my hands. It’s not mine, but Liana and I are crit partners, and I think I must have read through the draft of Movies at least four times before it went to the publisher, and I am disproportionally excited to see that my cut of the back cover copy is the one that ended up being used :o) It’s not my book, but I still feel a sense of ownership over it, and a proportionate (or maybe, let’s face it, way more than proportionate :D) sense of satisfaction, glee and general squeeful excitement to be holding a physical copy.

If you like superheroes and/or flirty romances, I totally recommend you pick up a copy of Even Villains Go To The Movies. It’s Book 2 in Liana’s Heroes and Villains series, BUT it stands alone from Book 1, so you can read it with exactly zero problems if you haven’t read the first 😉

And of course, if you do happen to read a copy – do the author a favour, and leave a review 😉 <3

Even Villains Go To The Movies eCover

Direct from publisher | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Book DepositoryGoodReads | Kobo | Smashwords

The Raven Boys Fanart :)

Whee! I made the arts! (click to embiggen)

The Raven Boys

Some context. For quite a while now (read: the last few years), I have been sorely lamenting my lack of time for hobbies that I enjoy. Mostly this applies to writing, but I’ve also been itching to get back to drawing and arting. Maggie Stiefvater has been a useful motivator in this regard, mostly because she arts on a regular basis, having been a professional artist before becoming a writer, but also because she holds semi-regular art contests for random things on her blog/tumblr. Usually, these make me wistful because I would love very much to enter them, but it is Term Time, which means exactly negative five units of free time. So! Imagine my joyous joyfulness this time when she held an art contest IN MY HOLIDAYS!! All the joy and happiness.

Anyway, la la, explanations, I made art, YAY. Pastel pencils on black card stock – I haven’t used my pastel pencils in nearly ten years, and it was awesome, if supremely clumsy at times. The result, though not quite as pretty as intended in my head, is still better than I expected, given how little practice I’ve had recently, so this is pleasing.

And obviously, the image is inspired by Maggie’s The Raven Boys series, which if you didn’t pick up immediately from the image clearly you haven’t read the books and must DROP WHAT YOU ARE DOING and rush out IMMEDIATELY to RECTIFY THIS SITUATION. Seriously. They are that good.

To summarise: Pretty picture, art contest, Raven Boys, giant billowing raven-probably-of-smoke, and obnoxiously orange car-that-is-definitely-supposed-to-be-a-camaro.* YAY *\o/*

 

* I pretty much suck at drawing cars that are required to be recognisable as particular makes/models. Moving on.