Ah, Book Three…

Happy holidays!  Hope you’re enjoying the season and getting to spend time with your favorite people.  Also, a quick reminder for anyone who reads the Rider’s books through Kindle Unlimited that they’ll be rolling out of KU at the end of the month, so borrow them now or wait another six months or so before they do another spin through KU.  (And if you don’t like that, tell Amazon to not make authors be exclusive to Amazon just to list their books in KU.)

On Twitter today I saw someone giving Patrick Rothfuss (a great author, you should read his books), a hard time because his third book isn’t out yet.  Granted, the last one came out in 2013, so I get it as a reader, you want to read that next book.

(Poor George RR Martin gets a lot of that, too, and he’s written about how that kind of pressure can just shut him down in his writing process which just makes it worse.)

What I’ve come to realize as an author that I never understood as a reader is that sometimes it’s not that easy to just write the next book.

I usually alternate between pen names so after I finished the last Rider’s book in July I turned to a romance I needed to finish.  It was a second-in-series book about a woman who lost her husband and is now finding love again.  I thought it would be easy to knock out and I’d have it published by September at the latest.  I knew the character, I knew the world, I even knew the story and who she falls in love with.


Writers, or at least the type of writer I am, plumb our own emotional experiences to fuel the emotions of our characters.  So, I, for example, draw upon the death of my father to fuel the scenes I write about losing someone you love.  And sometimes going to that same emotional place too many times in a row is just too hard to do.  Most people experience a loss like that and then find a way to shove it aside so they can keep living.  They don’t keep going back there and revisiting those feelings over and over again.

So after writing about grief in Rider’s Rescue, it turns out I wasn’t able to write about it again in this romance novel.  Which means I stalled out with my fiction writing and ended up writing a cookbook instead.  (Seriously.)

I’m now setting aside that romance that just doesn’t want to be written right now and turning to RR#3.  There’s some heavy lifting to do there, too, but not of the same kind.  Book 3 will have conflict but it’s about resolution and triumph this time around, so yay.

But given my process we’re probably looking at June for release of that one.  (I know, sorry.  But it’ll be worth it, I promise.  Or at least I hope.  A little early to promise anything, although I’ve been thinking about book 3 since I finalized edits on book 2 and from what I know of it, I think it’ll be enjoyable if you liked books 1 and 2.)

I’m sorry it isn’t going to be out sooner but at the same time that should still be less than a year after book 2 came out, which is better than Rothfuss, right?  Right.

And I know you’ll still have plenty to read in the meantime, because there are so many other great books out there.  (You should see my kitchen table right now.  I keep buying them even though I don’t have time to read them!  If my next story is about cloning, you’ll know why.)  For example, I recently enjoyed Thunderlord by Deborah J. Ross.

And if you are still at a loss for things to read (how is that possible, please let me know), you might want to check out this list here.  Through the end of the month it includes links to SFF books from authors who donated to help out their follow authors this holiday season so you can find a great author to read and help out someone you know helped out others.  Sort of a win-win-win.  Right?  Right.

Now.  Back to RR#3.  Because if I don’t write it, no one else will.


News: KU and MileHiCon


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Rider’s Revenge and Rider’s Rescue will be available in Kindle Unlimited for the next three months, so if you have a subscription and haven’t had a chance to read one or the other now is the time to do it.

And for anyone who’ll be at MileHiCon in Denver at the end of the month I’ll have a table in Authors Alley, so drop by and say hi.  There may even be candy, but no promises.

Rider’s Rescue is out!


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Available now at: Amazon, Google, Kobo, iTunes, Scribd, Page Foundry (Inktera), Barnes & Noble (Nook), and Tolino, and coming soon to 24 Symbols.

I’m pretty happy with it although it does a few things others might think is strange.  (Can’t say what exactly without spoiling it, just suffice it to say my world view is a bit different from that of others and so my characters make choices others might not.)

I was telling a friend the other day that Rider’s Revenge was about learning to appreciate what you have whereas I think Rider’s Rescue is very much about grief and how people handle it.  Of course, at the same time both are also meant to be fun, fast reads with lots of action and adventure, so don’t think it’s a depressing book by any means.  That’s just the deeper theme that came through for me.

I hope you enjoy it.  And, as I mentioned before, the ebook is priced at $2.99 now through the end of the month as a thank you to all you fine readers who took a chance on an unknown writer.  (And liked her enough to read the second book…)

Paperback is not out yet, but should be by month-end.

Release Date Has Been Set!

Alright!  Later than I wanted it to be, but had some cover designer woes and the book is currently being reviewed by others to make sure that it isn’t the pure dreck I always think a novel is right before it releases.

The sequel to Riders Revenge will be out on…drumroll…July 12th.  It’ll probably go up for pre-order on a few of the sites before that day, although not Amazon.  (They make you lock down the book ten days before release and I don’t want to do that.  Otherwise it would’ve gone up today.)

Should be available on all the major sites (Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, B&N, Google, etc.), but it won’t be available through KU, at least not initially.  (Sorry any KU readers, but the readers on the other sites have been waiting longer so they get first dibs and the only way a book can be in KU is if it isn’t available anywhere else.  At least, if you aren’t J.K. Rowling.  Sucks that Amazon does that, but they do.)

Also, as a thank-you to those of you who tried out an unknown writer when you bought Rider’s Revenge and are still willing to hang in there to read book 2, the sequel will be $2.99 through the end of July and then go up to a regular price of $4.99.

I will post here when it’s out, just letting everyone know where things stand at the moment.

About Reviews


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So, first, in case anyone is wondering, book two in the series is coming along amazingly well.  Cover artist is hard at work on the new cover which I hope will be even better than the first one and I’m chugging along on edits.  Well, writing and edits, because I did a pretty significant overhaul of the first draft.

Also, Rider’s Revenge is in the self-publishing fantasy blog-off and it made the first cut in its group of thirty being reviewed by Pornokitsch.  So, yay!

But that’s not what I’m here to talk about today.

I’m here to talk about reviews.

A couple weeks ago I had a lovely woman reach out to me about Rider’s Revenge.  She’d just finished it and loved it and wanted to tell me and ask when the sequel would be out.  Which, by the way, MAKES MY DAY every single time it happens.  To think that someone read something I wrote and liked it enough to tell me about it is just wonderful.

Never hesitate to reach out to an author if you loved what they wrote.  Sometimes those little moments of encouragement are all we have to keep us going through until the release of the next novel.

(Having said that, I’m not that kind of reader, so never feel obligated.  But if the urge hits you, do it.)

Anyway. I wrote her back and thanked her and said I’d noticed that she’d left a wonderful review of it and I was so pleased with that.  She responded with a comment that sort of pooh-poohed her review because she wasn’t as good a writer as me.

So I wanted to address that for her and for anyone else who ever doubts themselves.

First, when it comes to a review, I, as a reader  and as a writer, am never going to judge anyone by how they construct their sentences or what words they choose or whether they place their commas in the correct place.  And anyone who does do that is not someone you should spare a moment’s thought for.

Because it’s not the words you choose that matter to me, it’s the sincerity of the emotion behind what you say.  Good or bad, love it or hate it, if how you really felt shines through in what you say, that’s the best possible review.

We may not agree.  I’m sure there are people who’ve hated books I loved. (War and Peace, anyone?)  But I’d rather we disagree and you put out there something real and authentic than that you don’t speak at all or write something forgettable but agreeable.

Let me also say that, as a writer, I’m not going to judge a review by the number of stars you give. You can like a book enough to review it and not think it’s five-star worthy and that’s okay.

As a matter of fact, sometimes people don’t trust a book that has all four or five-star reviews.  They think it’s just the author’s friends putting up reviews.  So put up whatever rating you want.  It’s your opinion and that’s what counts.

And for anyone who does review my book, thank you.  Not only for taking the time to read something I wrote, but for taking even more time to share what you thought about it.  I don’t directly respond to reviews, because I think that’s something for readers to share with one another, but I do appreciate every single one.

So if you ever are motivated to review a book, don’t hesitate.  Do it.  It’s valuable to the author and it’s valuable to other readers.

Where’s The Next One?


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So I figured it was time for a bit of an update on the sequel to Rider’s Revenge.

First, yes, there will be a sequel.  (I think if there weren’t a couple of my friends might disown me for the cliff-hanger at the end of book one that I didn’t realize was a cliff-hanger when I wrote it).

Second, when?

While I was originally shooting for April, life got in the way.  I was lucky enough to write full-time last year, but in November I took on some paid work and that work turned out to be more demanding of my time than expected.  Life.  It happens.

And my perfectionist nature won’t let me put out the book until I like it.  (And my mom does.  Believe it or not she’s my toughest critic, but also biggest supporter.)

So the new goal is to get the book out by the end of June.

Why then?  Because that’s when I have one of those “what am I doing with my life?” birthdays and saying “publishing a book” seems like a pretty good answer to that question.

Sorry for the delay for anyone who was hoping it would be out sooner, but hopefully it’ll be worth the wait.


More of a Reader than a Speaker


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Yesterday one of my co-workers suggested that I narrate the audio version of my book.  (I mentioned how I don’t have one out yet because it’d probably run me $2,500 or so to pay for a good narrator and I’m too selfish to go the free revenue share route.)

My immediate reaction was no, because it’s challenging to get the right quality.  And it takes time.  I recorded a short story I have under another pen name about two years ago and have yet to finalize editing on it so that it can actually get published.  Recording it was fine, but going back in and getting rid of any random background noise is the challenge, and it’s a new skillset to master on top of all the others.

But there’s another reason I’d hesitate to record a 90,000-word novel.  And that’s because I’m really more of a reader than a speak.  I’m actually fairly good at talking in public, so it’s not a shyness issue, it’s a pronunciation issue.

See, I know lots of words, but most of the  fancy words I know I learned through reading not speaking.  Which means that my personal pronunciation of those words is probably very, very different from what the dictionary says it should be.

I remember when I was younger that I would read the word facade, but I never connected it to the same word I’d heard people say because my interior pronunciation was so different from the real world version.  (Think fa-kade vs fa-sade, although I’m sure a dictionary would write that differently.)  Took me about five years to realize they were the same word…

It’s rarely an issue.  Honestly, how many times do you really use oeuvre in normal conversation?  Or bon mot? But some of those words do creep their way into my writing.  And I’d hate to have some listener out there happily listening to my story and then cracking up with uncontrollable laughter when I mispronounced patois.

(Random story time.  I used to go to New York often for business.  One night I wanted to order room service.  There was a pasta on the menu called farfalle. Not pronounced far-fall as it turns out.  I asked for it and heard this dead silence on the other end of the line, so I knew I’d pronounced it wrong and the guy was just trying his hardest not to lose it.  I asked him how it was really pronounced, laughed when he pronounced it for me, and then told him I was also about to butcher the name of the glass of wine I wanted to order with it. *shrug*  Perfection really is over-rated.)

I know there’s a variety of pronunciations in the world.  Just have a New Zealander say the word six three times really fast and you’ll see what I mean.  But, really, the world does not need to be subjected to my creative interpretations of words I’ve really only ever read or written.

Writing As Weaving


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So the first draft of the sequel to Rider’s Revenge is done and sitting for a while so I can come back to it fresh, hate everything about it (or maybe just half of it), tear it apart, fix it, and send it out to my betas for a reaction.

It’s hard to write a sequel, because I know that anyone who reads it will be coming from Rider’s Revenge and expect some continuity and a smooth flow from the first story.  Which means I can’t exactly rip the book apart and go off in some completely new direction.  There is an issue that needs to be resolved and that has to be the focus of the book.

While the draft is sitting, it’s by no means fully out of my mind.  I keep thinking about the story lines and how they flow and work with one another.  (SPOILERY TALK FOLLOWS)

Like Badru.  He’s lost everything now.  His entire identity is gone.  And he has to deal with that.

But at the same time K’lrsa is moving forward because she needs to save her family.

And then there’s the politics running through the story.  Just because K’lrsa can see the harm that comes from trading with the Daliphana doesn’t mean that everyone agrees with her.  Some think that the benefits of trade–like medicines and metals–outweigh the decay in their old way of life.

And then there’s Herin and Lodie seeing one another for the first time since Herin sent Lodie away.

And K’lrsa’s mother and brother reacting to her taking off with no word about where she was going or why.  (Turns out maybe it wasn’t as obvious to them what happened…)

All these separate threads have to come together to make a cohesive whole.

Every time I write a novel I think of it as weaving the various story threads together.  If you think of them as different colors, then there has to be a balance between the different threads.  You can’t have a batch of blue in the top left and then never see it again.

But at the same time the colors all have to work together to form something beautiful and worth reading.  So not only must there be balance but they also all have to create a whole that is more than each individual piece.

So as I sit here waiting for enough time to pass until the next draft, I mentally weave the different threads of story together in my head and ask myself if I like what they create.  After a first draft, the answer is almost always no.  But that’s what revision is for.

Rider’s Revenge Now in KU


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For any Kindle Unlimited subscribers out there, Rider’s Revenge will be available through KU for the next three months.  So if you haven’t read it and want to borrow it, now’s your chance.

And if you aren’t a KU member, might be worth checking out.  There are a ton of great speculative fiction books available.  You can see some of them by checking out this promo:81149b3d-38c5-4807-b5aa-a2c03ccca808

She runs them once a month if you want to sign up and see what she comes up with each month.  She’s also running a free first in series promo on Kobo this month.

Both promos includes links if you don’t have the Kobo app or haven’t signed up for KU yet.

Plenty of good books to read while you’re waiting for the sequel to Rider’s Revenge…