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Archive for the ‘Editorial’ Category

Bone Flower Goddess – Cover Reveal

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I’m pleased to announce that the final book in my Aztec epic fantasy series, The Bone Flower Goddess, is at the editor for the final proofread and will be out for sale early in March. I’m not setting a firm release date, because I want to put it on sale as soon as I have it finished, but it will be out by March 15th, in both ebook and paperback. Read more about the book below.

BoneFlowerGoddess2Death is her gift.

Discovering the truth about her forgotten past sets Quetzalpetlatl—former Queen of Tollan and High Priestess of Quetzalcoatl—on a new journey, to rebuild her life from the ashes of the Feathered Serpent’s deception. Her top priority is to rescue her son from the underworld, but the Lord of the Dead will only resurrect him in exchange for the most powerful of the gods: Quetzalcoatl himself.

For such a dangerous mission, Quetzalpetlatl needs help. She finds allies among the gods, but the only one willing—and powerful enough—to take on the Feathered Serpent is the one god who’s responsible for so much of her personal pain these last thirty-five years. The Smoking Mirror holds the key to everything she’s ever longed for…if she’s willing to give him the one thing he’s sought for countless bundles of year.

But with Tollan’s throne and the future of the Tolteca empire at stake, is the price one that humanity can afford to pay?

OmnibusWith the trilogy complete, I’m also collecting all three books into an unabridged omnibus edition. The ebook edition will go live at the same time that Goddess goes up, and it will be sold at a discount over buying all three of the books in digital. I am making a paperback version as well, but at this point am only planning to sell it at conventions because of pricing issues  related to the sheer size of the book. You can read the blurb for it here.

Also, going forward, I’m planning on investigating options for an audio book version of the trilogy.

 

New Aztec West Novella – Death’s Good Dog

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DeathsGoodDogThe first brand new, never before published Aztec West novella, Death’s Good Dog, is now available for sale on Amazon. Because I’m trying out KDP Select, for at least the next three months it will only be available on Amazon, but if you use an ereader other than the Kindle, never fear! The file is DRM free, and so you can convert the Kindle file to the format of your choice using programs such as Calibre. Because the novella is enrolled in KDP Select, it can also be borrowed for free by Kindle Unlimited users.

So what’s the novella about? Here’s the blurby goodness:

In 1521, while the Spanish were conquering the Aztec people, the Archangel Michael defeated their gods. Three hundred years later, the fierce, bloodthirsty gods of Ancient Mexico still sit dead on the shores of the Black Lake in the underworld, watched over by the only two gods the angels spared: Lord Death and his servant, the Black Dog Xolotl.

When Xolotl accidentally resurrects the old gods and unleashes them on a world that’s long forgotten them, he must return them to the underworld before Michael finds out, or he will be the next god sitting dead on the Black Lake. It shouldn’t be too difficult to wrangle them up though; newly reborn gods don’t remember who they are, or that feeding on human blood will reawaken their powerful magic.

But he might pay dearly for that underestimation when he matches wits with a god driven by a thirst for children’s tears, and the certainty that Xolotl is a traitor against his own kind….

A little background on this story:

About four or five years ago, shortly after I wrote “The Hearts of Men”, I wrote another story set in that same milieu but following a different god than in HoM. It didn’t turn out very well, and I thought it was much too dark and Xolotl was a horrible, horrible character. I put it aside for a few years while I worked on other things, mainly finishing Bone Flower Throne, but while shopping for an agent, I decided I wanted to write a novel-length work in the 1850’s sword and sixguns milieu of HoM.

I wanted to delve deeper into the underpinnings of Mextli’s and Coyolxauhqui’s return from the dead, and thought back not only to that other story I’d written a few years earlier, but even further back to a story I’d actually published back in 2007, “The Divine Conquest of Mexico”. The basic premise of that story was Quetzalcoatl finally decides to return from exile in Europe and travels back to Mexico as a member of Hernan Cortes’s crew, but once he arrives, he finds the angels are planning the conquest of his fellow gods, to ease the way for their human followers to conquer the Aztecs and their allies. I liked the idea of bringing the two religious/mythological traditions into conflict with each other, as a kind of explanation for why the Aztec empire crumbled so quickly, and so decided to peel that element out and use it as the basic building block of the HoM milieu. I also decided that rather than creating the universe completely anew, I’d just make it a natural progression from what I was creating in the Bone Flower books. That way I could continue exploring the changing lives of characters I’d grown to love in the Bone Flower books. So I wrote the first draft of a novel that followed the adventures of the god Xolotl, the cowardly servant of the god of the dead, who accidentally raises all of the other gods from death and he must collect them all before the villainous archangel Michael discovers what he’s done. Episodic misadventure than ensues.

I ended up setting the novel aside though. My agent didn’t want to touch it, since we were having difficulty finding a buyer for Bone Flower Throne and this was more of the same, just even more uncategorizable than BFT. Eventually I stepped away from my agent to go it alone, and shortly after landed a deal with Panverse for BFT, but in the meantime, I set aside the Xolotl novel to focus on Bone Flower. But I always wanted to come back to it and see if it was salvageable, and having reread it a few months ago, I thought parts of it could easily be broken out into shorter pieces and reworked. Death’s Good Dog is the first part of that novel.

More shorter works will come in the coming months, including one telling Coyolxauhqui’s side of the side of the story, and another where we meet Coyolxauhqui and Mextli’s mother, Coatlicue, who is a two-headed snake who controls an army of the undead. I’m very excited to be working on this series again, and I hope fans of the Bone Flower books enjoy these stories while they wait for the final book in the trilogy.

Bone Flower Queen Cover Reveal

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I’m pleased to finally reveal the cover for the second novel of the Bone Flower Trilogy.

 

BFQ Cover Mock 50 percent

Very beautiful work by World Fantasy Award nominated artist Zelda Devon (who also did the first book’s cover). I love how this cover continues the stone imagery theme from the first book’s cover. I couldn’t be more pleased.

More news coming very soon!

Bone Flower Queen: Moving Forward

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Full logo whiteMuch has changed on the publishing end of things since the last update. I can now announce that The Bone Flower Queen should be out in January of next year, early February at the latest. But I will publish the book on my own, under my self-publishing press Feathered Serpent Books (under which I’d already published Night Bird Soaring and Other Stories a few years back). I’m not going to go into details about why, but I’m pleased to say that my editor is still working with me on the book in a freelance capacity, so readers can expect the same good, clean copy they found in Bone Flower Throne. I’ve also brought Zelda Devon back to create another beautiful cover, and I’m really excited to see what she comes up with. There will be print copies available the same as with BFT, done through POD, and of course kindle and epub editions. I’m not sure yet whether I’m going to make the book available through Smashwords or Apple yet–neither of which were ever producers of high sales for BFT; broader distribution is still something I’m investigating and will come to a decision about in the next couple of months.

The news that I’d have to go it on my own was a bit scary at first, and if I had faced this same decision with BFT, I probably wouldn’t have had to the guts to pursue it. But seeing positive reader reaction and support for the first book in this trilogy made the decision a bit easier and not so intimidating. As part of the deal, I also get back all my rights to Bone Flower Throne at the end of the year, so I’ll be re-releasing that under the FSB’s banner around the same time Bone Flower Queen debuts (and maybe doing some temporary price drops on it to push sales for BFQ). I’m also looking forward to learning the technical side; yes, I did self-publish NBS several years ago, but it feels very different doing a completely new, original work rather than reprinted material.

Want to help support my move to self publishing? There are several ways you can. I’ve added Bone Flower Queen to Goodreads, so you can add it to your library, and speaking of libraries, you can ask your local library to order a paper copy of Bone Flower Throne for their collection. I’m also currently looking to assemble a street team of readers who would be interested in reading advanced review copies (electronic only) in exchange for posting an honest review on Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, Booklikes, LibraryThing, or on their blog. If you’re interested, you can message me over on Facebook, or use the contact page here to let me know. Make sure you include your preferred email address and electronic format (mobi, epub, .doc, or .pdf). ARCs will begin going out in early November. And it’s always helpful to spread the word about Bone Flower Throne; tell your friends or facebook followers about it–anyone you think would be interested in diverse epic fantasy with a strong female protagonist. Word-of-mouth can really help lift little-known books out of obscurity.

Shelfies – The Research Shelf

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This thing called #shelfie is going around Twitter right now, and I thought readers might be interested in seeing my research shelf.

Click to enlarge and see the titles!

Click to enlarge and see the titles!

When we finished our basement, my husband built me a custom writing office, which includes a library that houses my many hundreds of books, but this particular shelf is in an alcove right next to my writing desk, because I wanted my research books close at hand. I used to only be able to fill one of those shelves, but over the years I’ve accumulated enough books that I’m on the verge of outgrowing the alcove (there is one more shelf above that top shelf, but I keep family pictures up there). I’ve used most all of these books at some point or another on a story, but my all-around favorite ones are the Codex Florentine (that twelve-volume dark orange monstrosity down on the left), The Handbook to Life in the Aztec World (the white and gray book sitting sideways on that bottom shelf), and Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl (the maroon colored book on the second shelf). I haven’t bought any new books in a while, but I’m always on the look out for new ones to add to this collection.

Which other author’s research shelf would you like to get a gander at? I challenge Aliette de Bodard, Jeannie Linn, and Christopher Cevasco to post pictures of theirs for reader enjoyment. 🙂