We All Need an Escape

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I posted about how reading was my refuge when I was in college over on my non-fiction blog. Which is why I’ve decided to drop the price on my Rider’s Revenge series for anyone who hasn’t yet had a chance to read the full series. So instead of $7.99 each, you can now get the individual titles for just $2.99 or the entire trilogy for $4.99.

In addition, I have dropped the price on a number of the titles I have out under other pen names. I’m listing them below. Keep in mind here that there is a reason I use pen names, so you may have loved the Rider’s Revenge series and not like any of the other books. But if you, like me, need an escape and are always on the lookout for new authors to read, then maybe check them out.

The mystery series (the one with the dog on the cover) is the most light-hearted of the bunch. Erelia is a fantasy but it’s multiple viewpoint and has a much darker plot line. And the contemporary romance is, well, a romance. There are also a number of non-fiction titles I’ve dropped the price on, too, if you’d like to use this time to dig in on a non-fiction topic. I’d highly recommend Budgeting for Beginners if you’re feeling financially shaky right now. I’ve lived with unsteady income for over a decade at this point and I have some tips in there about how to see where you are when you’re in that situation.

Take care of yourselves and hopefully before the year is out I’ll have a new fantasy novel for you.

(Click on the images for a Books2Read page with all of the available stores, or they should be available at your chosen retailer. Only Erelia is exclusive to Amazon.)

Fiction:

Riders-Revenge-The-Complete-Trilogy-GenericThe Rider’s Revenge Trilogy: ($4.99 USD) A feminist YA fantasy adventure trilogy about a young girl who sets out to avenge her father and finds herself caught up in much bigger issues.

 

 

Erelia blue flame 20151222v5Erelia: (Available on Amazon Only, $2.99 USD and in KU) A dystopian utopia. Life seems perfect on the surface, but the reader sees just what horrible actions create that perfection. Also has a pandemic subplot. (I had unpublished this one just because I thought it needed a sequel and I wasn’t sure when I’d write that sequel, so be forewarned.)

 

A-Dead-Man-and-Doggie-Delights-KindleA Dead Man and Doggie Delights: (99 cents) First in what will soon be a six-book cozy mystery series set in the Colorado mountains. For lovers of Newfoundland dogs, Colorado, and quirky characters who like a little murder on the side. (Book 2, A Crazy Cat Lady and Canine Crunchies is also reduced to $2.99 USD.)

 

Something-Worth-Having-KindleSomething Worth Having ($2.99 USD): Contemporary romance bordering on women’s fiction. About a woman facing a breast cancer diagnosis who goes on a road trip with a man she is absolutely not allowed to fall in love with. (A related but standalone title, Something Gained, is also just $2.99 right now.

 

 

Non-Fiction ($2.99 USD each)

Excel for Beginners open sans boldv2

Excel for Beginners: A guide to Microsoft Excel for those who need to master the basics.

 

 

Budgeting for Beginners open sansBudgeting for Beginners: A book that will teach you how to figure out where you are financially, judge what that means, and give tips for how to improve. Especially helpful right now for those who are finding themselves without a steady paycheck, because it covers how to approach irregular income like that. (Also available in audio as the Juggling Your Finances Starter Kit.)

Quick--Easy-Cooking-for-One-KindleQuick & Easy Cooking for One: Exactly what it says. A guide to cooking for yourself for the absolute beginner. More concept-based than step-by-step, but it does include recipes.

 

 

Writing for Beginners open sans

Writing for Beginners: An overview of what a beginning writer should know to get started. Includes discussions of point of view, tense, as well as agents and publishing paths. (Also available in audio under the title The Beginning Writer’s Guide to What You Should Know.)

 

Dont Be a Douchebag PC version 20160803v10Don’t Be a Douchebag: Online Dating Advice I Wish Men Would Take: A snarky guide to online dating for men who aren’t doing so well at it. (Also available in audio. Some retailers may have a different cover.)

 

 

Rider’s Revenge Trilogy Now in Paperback

Just a quick note to let you know that the Rider’s Revenge Trilogy is now available in a gigantic omnibus for those who are print fans.  I suspect the individual books are an easier read, because they’re not two and a half inches thick like this behemoth, but it does make the price of the print versions more accessible. (About $30 USD for all three novels combined.)

Should be available (at least for order) anywhere you buy print books but here’s the Amazon US link.

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(Ignore the book on the bottom, that’s just another little project of mine. Unless, of course, you want to learn about Microsoft Excel…)

In other news, I think I may finally be turning to writing a new fantasy series. I detoured into non-fiction and cozy mysteries for a bit there, but I think it’s about time to return to my first love. Now to just figure out which idea to write…

Rider’s Revenge Trilogy on Sale on Kobo

For anyone who hasn’t yet read the entire Rider’s Revenge Trilogy, it’s part of a big SFF promo on Kobo now through May 15th and you can get the entire trilogy in ebook format for only $3.99.  Here’s the direct link.

Also, if you’ve already read the entire trilogy, then you may want to check out the rest of the promotion. Lots of options and some are up to 80% off.

StoryBundle Announcement

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Rider’s Revenge, the first in the Rider’s Revenge Trilogy, is currently part of a StoryBundle. You can check it out here: https://storybundle.com/fantasy

For those of you who’ve never heard of StoryBundle before it is a fantastic opportunity to buy a selection of curated books for a low price. And it comes with an opportunity to support charity if you’re so inclined.

I assume by now you’ve probably read Rider’s Revenge, but there are fourteen other titles in the bundle that I suspect you haven’t read yet, including some by huge names like Kristine Kathryn Rusch, James A. Owen, and Alan Dean Foster.

This is your chance to find a new favorite author. You can get five books, including mine, for just $5. Or you can get all fifteen books for just $15. Well worth it in my opinion. So check it out!

A Small Promo and an Update

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First, for those who haven’t started or finished the Rider’s Revenge Trilogy, it’s on sale this week. Book 1, Rider’s Revenge, is 99 cents or equivalent on all retailers and in all countries. Also, the box set of the trilogy is on sale for $4.99 or equivalent on all retailers and in all countries. So a good deal for those who have yet to try the series or finish it.

Second, for those of you who have read the series and want more…

Unfortunately, I’m not sure when that will happen at this point and don’t want to make a promise about it that I can’t keep. (Like I have previously.)

The Rider’s Revenge trilogy is complete, so no one should be left wondering how things end, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel bad not writing more fantasy novels. I know as a reader how hard it can be to find fantasy you truly enjoy, so when you find an author you like you want them to write more, more, more.

But I’ve found as a writer that sometimes that isn’t as easy as it seems.

Ideas are not the issue–I have a notebook with ten different fantasy series ideas I could write next. (Although maybe letting those ideas steep enough is part of it. For example, how do you write a novel about a grandmother who saves the world by growing roses without it being boring?)

No, my issue right now is time. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do and other things have had to take priority for now. But I will write another fantasy novel. Fantasy is my first love and most of what I read so I can’t imagine never writing it again.

It just won’t be before the end of the year and I’m sorry about that. Fortunately, there are plenty of great books out there to read in the meantime. A few I recently read and enjoyed include:

Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen by Tamora Pierce – I liked the first in the series better than the second but both were easy, enjoyable reads. My mom is reading them now and agrees.

Spellslinger by Sebastian de Castell – I could’ve done without the weird animal but I read it in a day and enjoyed it and will probably buy the next book in the series at some point.

Also, a good friend of mine recently released a fun YA vampire series that’s been doing really well. I don’t do vampires so haven’t read it myself, but if you do, then check it out: Bite Me by Louise Cypress.

(Those links are affiliate links to Amazon, just FYI, but all of the books should be easy to find with a simple search, too, although I believe Bite Me is exclusive to Amazon.)

I hope you’re all doing well. I’m here in my office with rain and yellow-leaved trees visible outside while my pup is curled up on her bed snoring softly. Not a bad place to be, if I do say so myself.

Rider’s Revenge Box Set Now Available

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Just wanted to drop by real quick and let you know that the Rider’s Revenge Trilogy is now available as an ebook box set. So if you haven’t finished the whole series yet, it might be a good option for you.

Five books with blank cover box set standing isolated on whiteRidersRevolveTrilogyFlat with black

The 3D version of the cover is available on Amazon, Kobo, Nook, and Google. The 2D version is available on Apple.

And since I don’t have a new book to offer you just yet, I thought I’d mention a couple books I just finished reading and enjoyed.

First was The Hills Have Spies by Mercedes Lackey. I’ve been a fan of hers for years but the last few books had left me a little meh. This one, though, I really enjoyed. So if you’ve drifted away from reading her in recent years, this one’s probably worth trying.

Second was the Fallen Blade series by Kelly McCullough which starts with Broken Blade. There was a little too much cussing in them for my mom and a little too many references she didn’t understand, so probably not for the more casual fantasy reader, but I really enjoyed the series. I’m on book six now and have yet to be disappointed.

Voices and Choices

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Normally as an author I would keep certain struggles to myself, but I think you as my readers deserve to know why you won’t be seeing a book from me in the next few months. And that basically comes down to voices and choices.

In January I did start on a novel. It was going to have dragons and it was going to feature a central romance and everyone was going to love it. (Or so I hoped.)

But…

The problem is, I had let outside voices into my creative process. I’d done it so I could write something more commercial. I love the Rider’s Revenge series and I’m happy I wrote it and it was what I wanted to write. But it isn’t a series that people see and immediately think, “Yes! I’ve been looking for more of that.”

So in an attempt to be more commercial and to write something where people would see the books and think that, I’d gone down the romance and dragons path. Now, there’s nothing wrong with either of those. I loved Anne McCaffrey’s dragonriders series. And I love Juliet Marillier’s books that always include some form of romance.

But I let in the other voices, too. The voices that are especially strong in fantasy right now. Voices about where you set a book and who you include or don’t include. And while I support the intent behind those voices –diversity and difference are good — it turns out I can’t write a novel that will please a million unhappy strangers.

So I let those voices in and I froze. I couldn’t move forward because every decision ran into someone who wasn’t going to like it. Or it ran into me not liking it. And who wants to spend two hundred hours writing a novel they don’t like?

I realized that to write my novels, I needed to block everyone else’s voice out except mine.

And I’m working on that. I’m on indefinite hiatus from Twitter where those voices are the loudest. And I’m giving my mind time to reset so I can write the story ideas that won’t go away. The stories that are MINE and mine alone.

Which means a delay in what I publish next as Alessandra Clarke.

 

Which is all to say, I expect you will get a novel from me this year. But it will be a little later than I’d wanted. And it may not be dragons and a central romance. (Although those covers would’ve been gorgeous…)

In the meantime, books I’ve enjoyed lately that you might as well include:

Wings of Fire by Tui Sutherland

Word by Word by Kory Stamper (that one’s non-fiction)

A Turn of Light by Julie Czerneda (skip the too detailed descriptions early on)

The Shifter by Janice Hardy

A couple of those are actually Middle Grade fantasy, but I liked them. I actually ordered the next book in all three of those series, I liked them that much.

Ah the Joys of Creation

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First, before I get distracted, Rider’s Revenge is included in a promotion this weekend that I definitely think you should check out if you’re in need of a new book. It features strong women in epic fantasy novels. (Or at least non-urban or paranormal fantasy novels.)

http://www.rinellegrey.com/deadlydamsels/

If you click through you’ll see that Rider’s Revenge is also on sale right now for 99 cents. So if you somehow haven’t bought it yet, now’s a good chance to get it on sale. It probably won’t go on sale again until I release the next book in the new trilogy.

(It’s available on all retailers right now. Rider’s Rescue and Rider’s Resolve are as well for $4.99.)

And that would be where we get to the joys of creation. Originally this next trilogy was going to be an Arthurian-inspired fantasy focusing on Guinevere. But then I realized that I wasn’t sticking close enough to the Arthurian legend to really use those names. And once I let go of Guinevere and Lancelot and Arthur the characters sort of insisted on becoming their own people.

I now have their names. That took a few days. Believe it or not, I can’t write a story if I don’t have a name for a character because names are so central to who we are. (As someone with an incredibly unique real name I can tell you this with absolute certainty. I would be a very different person if my real name were Sarah or Christine like so many other women my age.)

That was the first step. Now is the stage where the story shakes itself out. Our former Guinevere is currently transforming herself from meek princess into future Queen with her own ideas about who she wants to love. Once that’s done I can scrap the 15,000 words I already wrote and start over from scratch. (The joys…)

My goal is to get this novel done and published in the next few months, but we’ll have to see. In addition to the writing, the cover design is also going to require some effort and expense. (It’s amazing how hard it is to find someone who can do a dragon on a cover…)

Anyway. A new book is coming. Stay posted for exactly when.

And hope you’re all well in the meantime. Check out the promo. There are some pretty books in there.

And if nothing on that list interests you, I just finished reading A Turn of Light by Julie E. Czerneda and really enjoyed it. There were a few odd turns of phrase here or there that I had to reread to understand and I did skip some of the early descriptions of the place and people, but I was quite pleased to find a really enjoyable read after a long string of, “eh, okay” books. (Book 2 was decent, but not as good as book 1. I did read it in just a few days, though, so it was still worth reading.)

Some Quotes and Some Books To Check Out

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I’ve been having a little fun with GIMP lately, trying to take images from the Rider’s covers and pair them with some of my favorite quotes from the books. There are a handful more quotes that I like, but this is what I came up with so far:

First to Stand 2

Riders Quote6

RR2 quote stand alone 1

You can tell what events were happening in the real world when I was writing those novels, can’t you? Or maybe just I can.

Anyway. Those were fun to do. Feel free to share if you like them.

More importantly, if you’ve been looking for a new author or new book to read, there is a big promo this weekend: http://pattyjansen.com/promo/ that has 100 different SFFH books available for 99 cents. It’s worldwide and there should be titles available on every platform. (Rider’s Revenge is included, but I’m assuming you’ve already read it at this point which leaves potentially 99 other titles to choose from.)

(And if you haven’t finished the entire Rider’s series, this is the weekend to pick up books 2 and 3 for $3.99.)

Rider’s Resolve Is Now Available Everywhere!

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First, apologies to anyone who was reading the Rider’s Revenge series through KU since it’s no longer in KU.

But…

For all of those who were waiting for the ebooks of the series to be available on platforms other than Amazon, they are! Yay.  (I would’ve made this announcement earlier in the week but the books were hung up at Nook and, to a lesser extent, Google. Technology is wonderful and horrible all at the same time.)

And, because I wanted to make sure everyone had access to the same promotional price, Rider’s Resolve is currently $2.99 (or whatever the equivalent to that is in other currencies).

So links:

Books2Read (should take you to the books on your chosen platform in your chosen country)

Nook (B&N), Google, iTunes (Apple), Kobo, Amazon

Also, if you haven’t yet bought book 2 there will be a promotion on the entire series the first week of October and book 1 will be 99 cents and books 2 and 3 will be $3.99 during that week.

For those of you who have already read the entire series and really don’t care about any promotions on books you’ve already read…

You’re probably wondering when the next book will be out.

Hard to say. I have a weird working style that involves thinking a lot about a book before I sit down to write it and, perversely, writing non-fiction while I’m doing so.

Good news is I’m about at the end of the non-fiction portion of that process. (If you have any interest in Microsoft Excel I just published four titles related to it under M.L. Humphrey. No? That doesn’t sound as interesting as flying horses? Fair enough.)

I have one more non-fiction title to write and then I’ll turn back to novels at the end of the month. At that point it’s probably six months until I’ll have the next novel ready to publish.

But no promises. Life is tricky and unpredictable and full of curve balls.