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.

Borrow Now or Forever Hold Your Peace

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The Rider’s series is rolling out of KU at the end of the week. So if you’ve been reading the books through Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program and think you’ll want to finish it, borrow the books before September 8th. You don’t have to read them before then, you just need to borrow them before then.

(As long as you have your KU account you can read a book you borrow months and months after it’s out of the program. But you can’t borrow it once it’s out. And if you close your KU account you’ll lose access to any of the books you borrowed.)

That means that for those of you who wanted to read the Rider’s books in ebook format and on a platform other than Amazon that you’ll be able to do so in less than a week! As promised, Rider’s Resolve will be priced at $2.99 for the first couple weeks so you can get the same discount people on Amazon got when the book launched.

Also, there will be a sale on the entire series likely in early October. I will give dates as I know them, but at this point the plan is 99 cents for Rider’s Revenge and $3.99 for Rider’s Rescue and Rider’s Resolve. So that $2.99 release price is going to be the best you can get on Rider’s Resolve but if you still need to buy Rider’s Rescue you’ll be better off waiting until early October.

Hope you are all doing well, and for those in the U.S., enjoying a nice holiday weekend with friends and family.

That Was Fun

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A fellow author has started a new YouTube channel called The Bookshelf and she read an excerpt of Rider’s Revenge as part of the first video she did.  I really enjoyed the reading.  Makes me think I should do an audio version of the book sooner rather than later.  (But they’re not cheap to do, so no holding your breath on that.)

Anyway, check it out. There’s a brief intro to YA fiction at the start and then the Rider’s Revenge part starts around the 3:00 mark and if you stay to the end there’s a cool giveaway and some bloopers.  Overall just a fun, light-hearted video to watch.

Also, since I’m on here…

Probably not relevant to all of y’all, but I’ve started a new website for one of my other pen names, M.L. Humphrey.  You can find it at www.mlhumphrey.com.

Basically, I’m doing a presentation at my local writer’s group this year that pretty much tied the Alessandra Clarke name, M.L. Humphrey, and one other together because of the bio I provided and I decided that the pen names aren’t really a big secret to anyone who knows me anyway, so why not consolidate a bit?

If you’re interested in Alessandra Clarke books and announcements, stick with this page.  If you want to see what else I get up to, maybe check that one out.

I will be posting pictures of Miss Priss (my dog) each Monday, so for those of you who liked the photo of her I posted on FB for the release of Rider’s Resolve you can get more of her there if you want.  The rest of what I post there will be focused on self-publishing with the occasional random thoughts about non-writing issues thrown in. (Here’s the photo for those who didn’t see it already.)

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Rider’s Resolve is Live!

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Today is the day. My first fantasy trilogy is not only completed but live and available for you to read.  So if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber who couldn’t pre-order, it’s there to borrow now.  Paperback is live, too, for those who are old-fashioned like myself and still prefer to read that way.

It’s a nice feeling to have finished such a massive undertaking.  I still don’t know why I write–I’m not one of those people who lived and breathed writing from the day I could walk–but there seems to be something about it that gives me a great deal of satisfaction.

What’s next? One week to rest.  Two weeks to attend a writing workshop where I’ll learn how to make the next series even better.  And then it’s on to the next one.  Hope to see you there when it’s ready.

RidersResolve_3D

Rider’s Resolve Is Here!

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The final book in the Rider’s Revenge Trilogy, Rider’s Resolve, is here!  Well, almost. It’s up for pre-order on Amazon, so you can reserve an e-copy now and get it when it’s available for sale on June 11th.

The paperback should be live by the weekend, too. I just need to receive a physical copy of the proof tomorrow and make sure the cover looks as good in print as it does on my computer, but I trust that Kirk knows what he’s doing and it will be gorgeous just like the other two have been.

Because it is, isn’t it?

RidersResolve_3D.jpg

The reason I’m posting this today instead of waiting until June 11th is because I’m also running a sale this weekend to celebrate.  A BIG one.  So if you aren’t caught up on the series yet, now is the time to do so.

Rider’s Revenge will be FREE from June 8th through 11th. (A good chance to get a copy if you borrowed through KU but didn’t buy it yet.)

And Rider’s Rescue will be only $2.99 during that time.

That’s a savings of over $10 between the two, plus if you get Rider’s Resolve at its special introductory price of $2.99.

(And, as I’d mentioned previously, for the first three months the ebooks will be exclusive to Amazon.  If you’re one of the small number of people that impacts, reach out to me and we’ll find a way to make it right for you.)