Cover Reveal: Letters in the Snow (Turning Creek 3)

I am so pleased to finally be able to show you the cover for Iris’s story, Letters in the Snow. Alexandre Rito, who has done all the Turning Creek covers, did a beautiful job, again, on this one. I was concerned Iris’s wing would come out yellow on the cover, but Alexandre managed to make the wing look luminous in the snowy winter sky. I adore it.

The story takes place, appropriately, in February when spring still seems very far away. As suggested by the title, letters are integral to the plot. Many of my favorite books use letters as a plot device. Two of them stick out in my memory. Mr. Darcy writes that beautiful not really an apology letter to Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Folie and Robert fall in love through letters in My Sweet Folly by Laura Kinsale.

Letters in the Snow officially launches February 25th. You can pre-order ebooks at these fine retailers:  Amazon, Google Play, and Kobo.

The week before it comes out, I will be giving away some free copies to my newsletter group. Sign up for a chance to win a copy before you can buy it.


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So you want to see the cover?

 

 

Do you?

 

 

Are you sure?

 

 

Here you go!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00071]

 

Release Date: February 25, 2016

Pre-order ebook now on Amazon, Google Play, and Kobo.

Back Cover:
Iris is a simple postmistress in the small town of Turning Creek, Colorado. Simple, except for being a descendant of a Greek myth, having a pair of golden wings, and possessing the ability to speak prophecy. She has had her hands so full guiding the harpies towards their destinies that she has forgotten to seek out her own.

A mysterious letter from an anonymous admirer begins a correspondence that weaves itself into Iris’s heart and awakens a longing for a love of her own. The letters keep arriving, and Iris is increasingly more aware of the charms of Jacob Wells, a newcomer to Turning Creek. She wonders if the letters are from him. But even with Jacob’s charisma and the lure of a new relationship, Iris discovers the heart can’t be contained, and that her heart’s desire might be for someone who was there all along.

Unfortunately for Iris, the letters and the resulting affairs of the heart are not the only perplexing things happening in Turning Creek. Something more than nature is burying the town in a deadly winter blanket, and a closely guarded secret that will change Turning Creek forever is revealed.

Giveaway for Storm in the Mountains

In anticipation of Letters in the Snow coming out (release date to be announced with hoopla soon!) I am giving away some signed copies of Storm in the Mountains.

Marina Ocypete is a harpy, a Remnant of the Greek myth living in a small town in the Colorado Territory She would rather start a decent fight than sit around idle. The local sheriff offers her a job as a deputy which seems like a better choice than suffering from boredom, but Reed Brant has a way of getting under her skin.

With the influx of Remnants in his town, Reed needs Marina’s skills as a harpy to keep the peace. His head knows she is not the get married and settled down type he wants, but she might be just the thing his heart desires.

When women start disappearing in Turning Creek, it will be up to Marina and Reed to find the cause behind the fear gripping their town. Marina will have to choose between a fate she never questioned and the man who makes her believe even a harpy can have a heart.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Storm in the Mountains by Michelle Boule

Storm in the Mountains

by Michelle Boule

Giveaway ends February 08, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

I Met Kevin Hearne and Life is Very Good

 

Staked is the latest book in the Iron Druid series by Kevin Hearne and this copy is ALL MINE.
Staked is the latest book in the Iron Druid series by Kevin Hearne and this copy is ALL MINE.

I went to a local bookstore, the delightful Murder By the Book, last week to see an author I liked an awful lot. It was so fabulous, I left loving Kevin Hearne (but not in a weird creepy way) (I swear).

Kevin Hearne writes an absolutely wonderful fantasy set in modern day Arizona whose main character is a witty last-of-his-kind druid. The pages are filled with interesting villains, a hilarious side-kick dog, and side characters that refuse to leave their share of the lime light. The first book is Hounded and you really need to go read it right now. I have not read all the books in the series yet. Part of me does not want to binge through them, afraid I will forget to savor them as they should be savored, like a good beer at your favorite pub. Relax, enjoy these wonderful words.

I have followed Kevin Hearne online for awhile now. He is smart, funny, geeky, and supportive of his fellow writers online. He loves craft beer and is an English teacher when he is not writing, being a dad, husband, and person in the world. I can now attest he is the same in person as he is online to people. He was worth every minute of the hour through Houston traffic (save me) that it took me to get there. If you look at his Twitter feed, you can see all the pictures he posts of fans. It’s amazing. I love it.

He answered a ton of questions, told funny stories, and admitted his writing has a higher purpose. Namely, he thinks we should all be good humans and be nice for Pete’s sake. He was gracious and obviously appreciated the crazy people who turned out to talk to him for ten seconds and buy a book. Worth. Every. Moment and Penny.

This whole post is really a love letter to authors I love that I have fawned over online and in person. Thank you for being gracious when I act ridiculous when I meet you. Words are important to me. I love to write them. I adore reading ones I did not slave over. Thank you for being good humans online and in person. Thank you for writing characters I cry over, cheer for, and think about long after the book is over.

Yours truly,

A grateful consumer of words

 

Goodreads Giveaway for Lightning in the Dark

This giveaway ends tomorrow!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Lightning in the Dark by Michelle Boule

Lightning in the Dark

by Michelle Boule

Giveaway ends January 24, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Books Read in 2015

Before I compiled the numbers, I was sure I was going to average less than a book a week. There were a couple months there I felt like I was not reading at all. Only two books a month?! Ridiculous. In a perfect world, I would just sit on the couch all day and read only getting up to make more tea or go write. Sounds fabulous.

Here are the numbers:

Total = 55
Least Read in a Month – 2 in March and November
Most Read in a Month– 7 in September

Favorite book of 2015: Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope

I hate writing this category, sometimes because I read a ton of great books and I do not want to pick one and sometimes because not very many stood out. I read a lot of meh books this year and a lot of books whose covers I remember but the details are fuzzy. Song of Blood and Stone easily stood out from the crowd.

It is set in a world that is wonderfully created. There is a strong romance arc. Penelope uses this world to discuss some extremely timely social issues: injustice, slavery, where do exiles belong, who is an immigrant, what do people’s origins have to do with the person they are/become, bigotry, racism, economic inequality, and fear (especially of the Other). The words of this book are beautifully crafted, as are the characters and, while I appreciated the fantasy and world-building, I loved her light hand on some very heavy topics. Bonus, the main character is a WOC (woman of color).

Other books of note: The author I read the most from is Courtney Milan. There are six of her books on the list and they never, ever disappoint.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is a stand out on this list. From the eighties nods to the geek jokes, I devoured that book. Anne Bishop’s Others series was a favorite of mine this year as well. I liked her take on supernatural creatures and want my hands on the last in that series yesterday. Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles are absolutely fantastic.

I have marked some of my other favorites on the list with a *.

Best Reread: I only reread five books this year and three of them, the Tolkiens, were because we are reading them to the boys and only half count. I reread an old Garwood, The Bride, and Emma by Austen. Emma gets tedious in some of the middle bits because, while I love Emma Woodhouse, she needs to be shaken a couple times, so I would have to go with The Bride.

Other notes: If you read my monthly list, you will also see that I went on a bit of a non-fiction journey starting in May on the subject matter of the church and gay people. While I did have a conservative book, a rather large one, to balance my reading, I DNFed so it did not make the list. I felt I already had a solid handle on the conservative argument, so I wanted to read the other side of the coin.

I learned a lot and would highly recommend  to anyone God and the Gay Christian by Matthew Vines. I heard an interview on NPR with him, which is what sparked my journey, and found him to be passionate about God and the Bible. I knew I needed to read his book. Besides being wonderfully researched and well thought-out, it is a passionate plea for Christians to consider another biblical view. I loved it. I think everyone should read it. 

I also read a lot of dragon shifter books, because DRAGONS. They are like crack. I tried an erotic romance (not my first one) and I want to write a whole post on it, but if erotic romance is your thing, the Kit Rocha books are fantastic. Plus the ladies that write them are hilarious online.

The very last book on the list is an indication of things to come. Mr. Rochester has decided we are opening a brewpub and is dragging me along, pint in hand, with him. Enjoy the list!

 

January – 5
Unveiled by Courtney Milan
Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
Unlocked by Courtney Milan
Unclaimed by Courtney Milan
A Kiss for Midwinter by Courtney Milan

February – 3
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater*
Beyond Shame by Kit Rocha

March – 2
Written in Red by Anne Bishop
The Trouble With Magic by Patricia Rice

April – 6
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Cress by Marissa Mayer
Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop
Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop
This Wicked Gift by Courtney Milan
Proof of Seduction by Courtney Milan

May – 6
Hexed by Kevin Hearne*
Love Is An Orientation by Andrew Marin
Trial by Desire by Courtney Milan
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church by Jack Rogers

June – 4
Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare
The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
Eagle’s Honor: Banished by Sandra Schwab*
Shadows and Strongholds by Elizabeth Chadwick

July – 6
Highland Fling by Amanda Scott
The Avalon Chronicles: Once in a Blue Moon by DeFillipis, Weir, and Vieceli
The Avalon Chronicles: the Girl and the Unicorn by DeFillipis, Weir, and Vieceli
The Bride by Julie Garwood (reread)
Emma by Jane Austin (reread)
Her Man of Affairs by Elizabeth Mansfield

August – 5
The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil by Stephen Collins Through the Woods by Emily Carroll*
Laird Wolf by Vivian Arend
The Polaris Uprising by Jennifer Ibarra
Soul of Smoke by Caitlyn McFarland*

September – 7
Medusa, a love story by Sasha Summers
The Lilly Brand by Sandra Schwab*
Wilder’s Mate by Moira Rogers
It Started With a Scandal by Julie Anne Long
Shadow of Flame by Caitlyn McFarland
Burned (Dragos, book 1) by Amber Kallyn
Rocky Mountain Heat by Vivian Arend

October – 4
Scandal: a Regency Historical by Carolyn Jewel*
God and the Gay Christian by Matthew Vines
Rebel Mind by Olivia Dart (pre-release)
Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron*
The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien

November – 2
A Heartless Design by Elizabeth Cole
Lair of the Lion by Christine Feehan

December – 5
Dragon Fall by Katie MacAlister
Avatar of a Dream by Kai Mullins (pre-release)
At Blade’s Edge by Lauren Dane*
Truth of Embers by Caitlyn McFarland
Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope
The Brewers Association’s Guide to Starting Your Own Brewery by Dick Cantwell

Finding Safe Harbours

Photo by Chad Sparkes.
Photo by Chad Sparkes.

If you talk to me long enough, you will probably know a few things about me. I am a Christian, I read a lot, and I am a geek girl to my core. My dad raised me to love Star Trek and scifi and it was the one lesson I never argued about.

I loved Joss Whedon before he directed The Avengers and non-geek people took notice of him. My movie collection contains Buffy, Angel, multiple copies of Firefly and Serenity, and a fan film (not made by me). I have books that discuss his world creation and the fandoms that have resulted from the work of this geek god.

I tell you this so you will understand that I love him with zealousness, but I realized last week that he does one thing that I do not like.

He never lets his characters be happy and he keeps a sense of realism by killing off characters we love. Main characters that are unhappy, unfulfilled, or facing the yawning portal of doom drive forward and move the plot along.

This means, as a viewer, I always knew that, while the bad guys might get caught, relationally everything could go to hell (literally in Buffy and Angel) in a moment. If two characters settled down and were happy, one of them would die, or leave, or have a pesky soul getting in the way of them consummating their relationship. If two characters had been pining for each other, the moment one decided it was time to move the relationship forward, the object of their desire would move on, tired of waiting.

It ripped out my guts. It broke my heart. I can describe all those heart-wrenching scenes from those shows because they slayed me. (word choice intended)

I still love Joss Whedon. I think he is a genius, but all that emotional upheaval without some safe harbour is exhausting.

This lack of safe harbour is one of the reasons why I broke up with the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. For the non-geek, they are the Game of Thrones books. I read three or four of them, praying they would get better, but my prayers were in vain. Nothing good ever happens in those books to the characters and if it does, they die a horrible death or want they want/need gets horrifically snatched away. It was emotionally draining and no amount of great prose and character development made up for the way it hacked away at my heart with no glimpse of it ever making a turn for the better.

Recently, I read At Blade’s Edge by Lauren Dane and I realized Joss Whedon and the Martin books scarred me. At Blade’s Edge is the fourth in the Goddess With a Blade series and I highly recommend it. Like drop everything and read this book, recommend it. In the fourth book, Rowan, the main character, has finally found a safe harbour in the midst of a very violent and responsibility filled life. Her harbour grounds her, makes her stronger and lets the reader know that things can still be going to hell in a hand basket, but there is hope.

The entire time I as reading At Blade’s Edge, I was waiting for the rug to be pulled out from underneath me. Dane has never done this to me as a reader, the way Whedeon and Martin do, but a sense of dread followed my reading. I was so caught up in my worry, I failed to let myself become emotionally attached to the relationship cementing on the pages. I was waiting for the worst to happen and for Rowan’s harbour to be smashed to pieces. I wanted desperately for that not to happen. It did get dented, but at the end of the book, Rowan’s harbour is, mostly, in tact and that made me realize something.

There is power in a safe harbour.

I want the characters I love to have one good thing even if the world around them is crumbling at their feet. I need them to be able to come back to one person they love and who loves them back. I want an HEA* or some semblance of it. I need it. Not only do the characters need a safe harbour, so do I.

I am not talking about a unicorns pooping rainbows kind of HEA. It does not have to be perfect, but I do want some hope at the end, a light that tells me all is not lost for the characters I have come to love. I think everyone deserves some peace and happiness.

I know that real life is not like that. I know many people live desperate, horrible lives filled with pain, abuse, hunger, and death. Life on this planet sucks an awful lot.

But sometimes it doesn’t and we need to be reminded that life can be good. Life can be great, fantastic, and amazing.

When I read a book, I want to be entertained by hope and happiness. You can take me to hell, but I want you to drag me back from the brink before you write The End.

As a writer, I can promise, even with only a few books under my belt, that I will never leave you without a safe harbour to dock your ship, fold up sail, and have a nice rest with someone you love.

 

*Happily Ever After

 

The Harpies go on a #LOLHop

During this wonderful Labor Day holiday, the harpies and I (and 27 other authors) are going on a Labor of Love Blog Hop (#LOLHop). From sweet to dark, divas of romance work their fingers to the bone for your reading pleasure in the Labor of Love Blog hop from 9/4-9/6. Come join me and enter to win a Kindle with new, heart-pounding titles just for you!

https://www.facebook.com/events/504365036389154/
Happily ever afters only come after heart-breaking work, and this Labor Day weekend, we are celebrating our written labors of love by giving our readers a chance to win a brand-spankin’ new Kindle with our personal bests. That’s right, you could win all of our books! Aren’t you excited? We are! So here’s your chance, just click the link below to enter our giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Turning Creek series, set in a small mountain town in Colorado in 1858, is full of the descendants of Greek half-myths and monsters. From the moment I started writing about Turning Creek and the harpies, I fell in love, with the mountains, with the people, and with the harpies themselves. What is life and adventure without a little love?

The scene I have chosen is from Storm in the Mountains, which is on the Kindle we are giving away. It features Marina, a sword wielding, whiskey slinging harpy, and Reed, an honest sheriff trying to hold peace in a valley full of monsters. Reed has heard rumors of a chimera in the area and has asked Marina on the hunt as back-up.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00071]

From the Back Cover: Marina Ocypete is a harpy, a Remnant of the Greek myth living in a small town in the Colorado Territory. She would rather start a decent fight than sit around idle. The local sheriff offers her a job as a deputy which seems like a better choice than suffering from boredom, but Reed Brant has a way of getting under her skin. With the influx of Remnants in his town, Reed needs Marina’s skills as a harpy to keep the peace. His head knows she is not the get married and settled down type he wants, but she might be just the thing his heart desires. When women start disappearing in Turning Creek, it will be up to Marina and Reed to find the cause behind the fear gripping their town. Marina will have to choose between a fate she never questioned and the man who makes her believe even a harpy can have a heart.

eBook available from Amazon, Google Play, Nook, AllRomance, and Kobo.

Print available from , CreateSpace and Amazon


Excerpt of Storm in the Mountains

Marina looked around the creek. They had been walking upstream long enough. “There are no signs of an exit here. Let’s go back and move downstream.”

They passed the spot where they had turned north and kept going. The sun was arcing towards the mountain peaks, and the decent light would be gone soon. Pressure to find some trace of the chimera, if that was actually what they were looking for, ate at Marina.

“What was your mother like?” Reed asked.

Marina tried not to think of her mother often. “I think she cared for me in her own way. Harpies are not the best of mothers. She taught me what she thought I needed to know to survive.”

Reed paused on his side of the creek and moved his gaze from the gravel to Marina’s face. “And what does a harpy need to know?”

“How to fight in my mortal form. How to use a knife and a sword. She was an old-fashioned sort, so I had to teach myself how to use a firearm. She taught me how to use my harpy skill of speed, how to be a weapon, and to love what I am.” Marina felt her harpy preen with pride at the list.

Reed chuckled and walked on. “I can see your pride shining from here. I’ll admit you’re the fastest thing I’ve ever seen. Don’t get too full of yourself.”

Marina grinned in delight. “That’s the best compliment I’ve had all day, Sheriff.”

The sun sunk lower until the bottom of the orange orb touched the peaks to the west. If they were going to find something, it needed to be now. It would soon be too dark to do any tracking.

Marina listened to Reed’s measured steps on the other bank. “What are we going to do if we find the chimera or whatever it is?”

Reed looked at the coming sunset then turned to Marina. “I know how you like to swing first and maybe ask questions at a later date. I’d like to talk to it first and see if he means harm. Most of the people around here don’t know a thing about Remnants, and I think we’d all like to keep it that way for now. So we talk first.”

Marina put her hands on her hips. “I’m the model of peace and patience. I’d never start a fight unprovoked.”

Reed snorted. “Unless you were restless.”

Marina laughed and kept walking. “Best way to shake out the boredom of a day. Followed by a stiff drink.”

The sound of Reed’s footsteps slowed, and Marina turned to ask him if he had found something. The hair on her neck rose seconds before a tan and black blur bounded from the trees and knocked Reed from his feet and into the water of the creek.

The change exploded over her in a flurry of feathers. Her harpy screamed in outrage as she dove for the chimera holding Reed under the water in the stream as he struggled. That slinking piece of filth is not going to drown him, she thought. Reed was hers to protect. Hers.


I hope the idea of Greek myths flying around the mountains and getting into shenanigans sounds as much fun to you as it does to me. The first book in the series, Lightning in the Dark is also available. The third book, Letters in the Snow, will be out early 2016.

Need something to read? Comment on this post for a chance to win an ecopy of Lightning in the Dark in the format of your choice. Answer the question: What is your current labor of love? I will announce the winner on 9/8.

https://www.facebook.com/events/504365036389154/

Thank you for join joining our Labors of Love Blog Hop. To read more fabulous stories, click the link below and work your way through our participating authors:


Indie Books, Libraries, and Intersections

My friend, Veronica, writes a smashing good blog, Wallflowers and Rakes. She recently posted a very thoughtful piece on indie books and library collections and pinged me in the post. Full Disclosure: I am going to answer this as a former librarian, as an indie writer, and as an indie reader. Hats, I have many.

As a librarian: I remember when we used to talk about the importance of having unique collections. If all you have are 100 copies of the latest Nora Roberts, but you have no Zoe Archer, Bec McMaster, or Vivian Arend, I am a sad, sad lady.* Many of the authors I love, I do not even bother to look for in the library. In my opinion, Indie books seem like a great way for libraries to build unique collections for readers, collections that many readers want, myself included.

Most libraries do not accept indies because their systems and structure (acquisition and cataloging) have not caught up with the demand and they do not have the time or budget to work out of the system. As a librarian, I know this. As a writer, it breaks my heart. There has to be a way to sift through the dross to find the good stuff. What libraries, especially public libraries, need is a Collection Development librarian who loves to read indies and genre fiction to build a deep genre collection. Somebody post that job description right now.

As a writer: My local library is great, but they do tend to only have the big indies (Courtney Milan comes to mind). I asked if they accepted donations of local author’s work and they said yes. All I have to do is drop off my books. As an indie, the hardest thing is getting face time. No matter how nice your cover and how well edited, you still have to get over the wall and it is very, very high. Getting visibility of any kind is grinding work.

As a reader: I read indie books. Most of them, I love. Some of them, regardless of high praise from others, I hate because of bad editing (both grammar and content). However, as a reader, I could say the same for books I have read from big presses too. I want my library to have a deeper genre variety and I could care less how they were published.

In my experience, most libraries tend to get big name, easily categorized books in all the subgenres. What I mean is in Romance they get a ton of contemporary romance, some of the bigger historicals, maybe a few paranormals and that is about it. Fantasy and SciFi are similarly treated. Once you start reading subgenre books, it usually does not take long to get to the edge of the collection. Anything of mixed genre, fantasy romance, steampunk romance, or scifi romance is not well represented if it is represented at all. I think one of the biggest reasons for this is that books of mixed genre also tend to be indie or small pub produced.

I think indie books have the potential to change the depth of collections for libraries. They tend to be cheaper. Most indie ebooks are in the $3-5 range. Traditional publishers price their ebooks in the $7-12 range. A library could get three indie books for the price of one overpriced traditionally pubbed ebook. I do not have any answers, but I do have hope that someone out there has a great idea that will change the conversation completely.

As a former librarian, current writer, and voracious reader, the potential for growth of indie books into libraries is an exciting opportunity, if only we could figure out a way to do it well.
*My local library Harris County Public has Archer and McMaster.

Reasons to Love an Unexpected Romance

Two weeks ago, I cleaned off some of my bookshelves because we were shifting furniture around. One of the shelves, a round table made from wire spools by my grandfather, was in sore need of dusting.

Austin, Austin spin-offs, Alcott, Brontes, and lots of other fun things.
Austin, Austin spin-offs, Alcott, Brontes, and lots of other fun things. Notice the foam sword in the foreground. That is in case of attack by pirates.

The table holds a collection of classics from my youth and adulthood that I have kept because each formed the woman you now see before you. I could no sooner part with them than one of my limbs. I did find one book I had forgotten I owned. It is a slim regency romance by Elizabeth Mansfield called Her Man of Affairs.

0721151458
What are you writing there? Let me peer over your shoulder provocatively just to make sure you know I am here.

I will give you a few minutes to absorb the beauty that is that cover. See how she gently touches his hand and leans over his shoulder? Classic! It was enough to make me squee with anticipation.

Someone of my acquaintance found this on their bookshelf and bequeathed it to me knowing what a soft spot I have for regency romance. My intention was to read it poste haste, but life got in the way and it was tucked amidst my classics. When I rediscovered it, I knew I had waited long enough.

It was predictable (every genre has some predictableness, so don’t be too judgey) but it was absolutely delightful. It reminded me of all the reasons I love romances. Here are a few I would like to share:

Reason #1 – In most romances the women are powerful. Not power in the traditional sense, though that can happen, but they have intellectual prowess, they have emotional power over themselves, they are damsels that rescue themselves, or they understand their sexuality (or they come to in the course of the book). I love a strong heroine who admits when she is wrong or when she admits she needs the hero’s help to accomplish a task. This is not to say the hero does not have power. He often does, but he does not beat the heroine down, literally or figuratively, to maintain his power. If he does start out that way, woe to him as he learns the error of his ways and then must commence with the grovelling. The best romances involve some team work between the H/H (hero and heroine). Which brings me to …

Reason #2 – Cooperation. Life is all about compromise and working together. Romances show this in romantic relationships. Too often, in real life, we think that being in a relationship is what the other person has to offer us, not what we can do for the other people in our lives. Relationships are about service to others, not what we are getting from them. In romances, this give and take is something the H/H have to negotiate as their relationship develops. Other genres show this kind of compromise and cooperation too, but nothing is more intimate than the relationship you have with a life partner. The depth of selfless giving is greater because this is a person you can not escape, even on your worst days or theirs.

Reason #3 – Everything is better with a little sexual tension, kissing, romance, and *ahem* other things. As a female reader, I have found a lot of traditional scifi and fantasy (read stuff written by men and mostly for men) as boring and dry. You know why? Because it rarely includes romance and there is romance in real life. People are attracted to each other, especially when crammed into tight quarters or in high risk situations. A book with a group of people going on a quest where none of them ever feels any emotions for the other people in the group is weirdly asexual to me.*

Reason #4 – Everything is a little more fun with kissing.

Reason #5 – I admit it. I like happy endings. I like reading about people finding peace and a partner. Who doesn’t want that?

So tell me: Do you like a little romance in your stories? Why or why not?

 

*It should be noted, that some people, my engineering husband for one, think that emoshuns ruin good stories. Your opinion is your own.

Recalculating

One of the things I have enjoyed about indie publishing is the inherent flexibility. I can say no to my editors, though I almost never do. Why would I? They are almost always right. My timelines and deadlines are imposed and kept by me. I can reschedule and rework them when life happens to me, my family, or someone on my publishing team. Everything is negotiable when you indie publish.

Including your series and how it is laid out.

One of the paths in Holyrood Park in Scotland.
One of the paths in Holyrood Park in Scotland.

Letters in the Snow, Iris’ story, was originally slated to be a novella because when I started writing about Turning Creek, I thought it was just about harpies. I was wrong. It turns out Iris has more to say and I have more to tell about what is going on in our little mountain town. At the suggestion/prodding/encouragement of my editor (remember, I said she was almost always right) I am recalculating. A new route has been acquired.

Iris and Henry are getting a full length novel!

I may not be great at writing novellas. I do not tend towards the laconic and there are things and events happening in this book that will change everything for Iris, for the harpies, and for Turning Creek. Now that Letters in the Snow is slated to be a full length novel, I can explore the full ramifications of everything in my head and I could not be more excited.

Things to be revealed include Iris’s past, her family, and what happens when you get a bunch of Remnants and mortals in one place. It is going to be a good ride.

This does mean my timeline for the release of Letters may change. I would love to say for sure I will have another book for you in 2015, but it may not happen. I have other things going on in my life besides writing (ridiculous, right?) We can always recalculate our route and choose a different path.

I am also considering doing some YA offshoots with some of the other Remnants. I promise to finish up the harpies first.

Until then, enjoy Lightning and Storm and share them with your friends. The ebook of Lightning in the Dark will stay .99 for a little longer.

Now, I better get writing.