Caught in the Crossfire! Clockwork Enterprises book 3 is here!

It's been a long time coming and I am so excited to finally announce the release of The Girl and the Clockwork Crossfire, the third book in the Clockwork Enterprises trilogy. Thanks to all the fans who patiently waited for this book and to the friends and family who encouraged me through some hard times along the way. You are all amazing.

If you'd like to pick up a signed copy, I'll be vending at Airship Pirates: Port Townsend Steam 2017, June 9th through the 11th. This is a fantastic steampunk event put on by The Brass Screw Confederacy in Port Townsend, WA. I'll also be doing a reading on Saturday at 1:30. For more information, visit one of the links above or my events page

Here is the fantastic cover art by Mark Reid and you can read the first chapter here.

Maeko only wants to protect the people she cares about. Somehow, that goal has taken her from living a life as a pickpocket on the streets of London trying to pay off her mum’s debt, to becoming deeply enmeshed in rising hostilities between the Pirates and the Literati.

Now she has offers from both sides to help protect her loved ones. But things have gotten more dangerous. All around her the Pirates and Lits are hard at work on ways to destroy each other. Meanwhile, things are spiraling out of control with Chaff and Ash.

With Macak as her one constant companion, Maeko is going to have to decide for herself who she will trust. She needs to be at her most clever to survive this and she’s going to need someone’s help to keep from getting caught in the crossfire.

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Clockwork Cat, New Beginnings, and Moving Forward

Today, I am happy to announce the re-release of The Girl and the Clockwork Cat, Clockwork Enterprises book one, in print and eBook editions. After much consideration, I decided to part ways with the original publisher, so now, with some errors corrected, it is back out and ready for the world.

But where is Clockwork Enterprises book three?

This has been a year of many changes for me. It started early in the year with the end of my marriage. I believe, based on the ways we both have changed, that this will be better for both of us in the long run. Believing that didn't make it easy to walk away from the life I had known for so many years. I moved into my own place and got a new day job while trying to keep up with writing and promoting my books. I have been rebuilding my life and that has taken the majority of my focus this year.

In the midst of all this change, I have managed to release Apostate, the final book in the Forbidden Things series, and The Keeper, the first book in The Endless Chronicles, as well as the audiobook edition of The Girl and the Clockwork Cat with the audiobook for book two in that series coming out soon. I also got the rights back for The Girl and the Clockwork Cat print and eBook editions that I released today.

One of the unfortunate victims of all of this is the third book in the Clockwork Enterprises series, which I had planned to release in September 2016. I am happy to say that it is progressing and I do hope to have it out by early next year at the latest. I apologize to any of the fans who have been waiting on this release. I will get it out soon, but will take the time necessary to make sure it is worthy of the time you put into reading it. Please bear with me.

When I look back at all I have accomplished over the year and all the incredibly hard things I have made it through, one thing stands out above all else. I didn't do it alone. I had an amazing group of people who stood by me, even when I was at my lowest and probably not that fun to be around, and helped me move forward. So, for everyone who, like me, has found it hard to get out of bed, hard to smile, hard to breathe, remember, this is when we need each other most. This is when we need to reach out to each other and come together. We are not alone and that is our power.

Happy reading!

The Start of Something New: Exile Blog Tour and Giveaway

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In a lot of ways, 2015 was a hard year for me. There were some health scares with people close to me. I spent a large part of the year dealing with prolonged injury recovery for my horse and adjusting to live in the city after 14 years living in the country. I have also spent the last several months handling my own injury recovery thanks to my dog, Teagan (I love him, really I do) feeling it necessary to leave his bone on the top step in the middle of the night.

On the up side, I started 2015 with the lofty goal of getting another book published. I ended the year with three more books released into the wild. Dissident (Forbidden Things #1), The Girl and the Clockwork Conspiracy (Clockwork Enterprises #2), and Exile (Forbidden Things #2) have all joined my debut novel, The Girl and the Clockwork Cat, out in the world. In 2016, I'm planning the released of the next two books in both series along with the introduction of something new that I'm very excited about.

To kick off the new year, I'm taking Exile on a virtual tour coordinated by Masquerade Book Tours. The stops are listed below. Join me and get involved for the glorious fun of it and for chance to win one of two $25 Amazon/Barnes & Noble gift cards.

May your 2016 be amazing (and full of books)!

Exile Tour Schedule

January 4th
Natural Bri @ Masquerade Crew (Review)
Charline's Blog and More... (Guest Post)
Hope. Dreams. Life... Love (Pick a Playlist)

January 5th
Foofy * Not Foofy (Review)
Boom Baby Reviews (Author Interview)
Teatime and Books (Spotlight)

January 6th
The Plotting Field (Review)
Girl of 1000 Wonders (Spotlight)
The Book Bag (Spotlight)

January 7th
DJ's Book Corner (Guest Post)
Celticlady's Reviews (Spotlight)
Paranormaly Yours (Author Interview)

January 8th
Moonwalker @ Masquerade Crew (Review)
Ogitchida Kwe's Book Blog (Pick a Playlist)
Indy Book Fairy (Spotlight)

Exile (Forbidden Things #2) Cover Reveal and Another Con

Tis the season for being thankful, so I'd like to express a great deal of thanks to my cover artist, Raquel Neira, for producing yet another fantastic cover for me. Exile is the second book in the Forbidden Things series, scheduled to come out in December (the season of giving - *wink*). The fantastic folks at Masquerade Book Tours are hosting this tour. Stops are listed lower down, just above the amazing cover reveal!

Before I reveal the cover, if anyone is in the Portland area the 20th through the 22nd, I'll be down there with my books at OryCon at the Waterfront Portland Marriott Hotel. Feel free to come by and say hello. 

Cover Reveal Stops

The Shadow Portal
Paranormal Sisters  
Boom Baby Reviews  
Girl of 1000 Wonders 
Hope. Dreams. Life... Love 
Book About 
The Book Bag  
Moonbeams over Atlanta 
Celticlady's Reviews    
E-BookBuilders  
abookwithbea 
Indie Author How-to
Crystal's Chaotic Confessions  
Masquerade Crew 
DJ's Book Corner  

And now... Exile.

Happy reading!

Clockwork Enterprises Book Two: The Girl and the Clockwork Conspiracy Grossly Under-hyped Cover Reveal

With all the craziness around getting The Girl and the Clockwork Conspiracy (book two in the Clockwork Enterprises series) ready for publication before Steamposium, there hasn't been time to set up fancy cover reveals and such, so I'm doing a little under-advertised cover reveal of my own for you here today. If the rest goes according to plan, the book will be available in print and ebook on September 14th. I will be signing copies of the first two Clockwork Enterprises books and doing a reading from both at Steamposium, September 25th through the 27th at Seattle’s waterfront Bell Harbor International conference center. Come join me if you're in the Seattle area. Copies of Forbidden Things: Dissident will also be available for purchase.

Once again, I must give thanks to my excellent cover artist Raquel Neira, and also to Michael McCormack for his photography, Ann Forseth of Romany Rapture for the lovely jacket on the model, and my cat Neko for his fantastic modelling work.

Feel free to comment below and let me know what you think!

Happy reading!

Selfies: The Process of Self-publishing

With the first book in the Forbidden Things series coming out soon (July 9th! So excited!), I thought it might be worthwhile to talk a bit about the adventure of self-publishing. This isn’t going to be about writing the book or about editing it. Rest assured, it has been edited extensively by myself and others and was accepted by my agent just like The Girl and the Clockwork Cat. I’d like to think the book is the best it can be, but I’m sure something was missed. I’ve yet to read a book edited professionally or otherwise where something wasn’t missed. I just hope it was a small something.

Moving on. This series is epic fantasy and epic fantasy is a hard sell to publishers these days. Since I’d given traditional publishing a try, I decided, with the approval of my agent, to try self-publishing the series. This post is to give readers a little bit of insight into what it takes to self-publish a finished book and to offer other writers starting that journey some assistance. I will probably forget some things, but I’ll try to cover all the major items.

Select a publishing format

The first decision I had to make was that of format because it has considerable impact on many other decisions. I don’t think any author publishing in today’s market would chose to do print without eBook, but eBook without print isn’t uncommon. I love the feel, smell, and weight of a print book. I also love the ability to do public signings at events. For me, having my book available through print on demand as well as eBook was an obvious choice, but it does increase the cost of the process in several ways.

To ISBN or not to ISBN

Many publishing platforms (Kindle, Nook, iBooks, etc. – I haven’t researched this for all of them, so you may want to double-check if you’re publishing a book) will provide an ISBN for free. I think this is a fine way to go for eBooks. However, if you’re doing print on demand through, for example, CreateSpace, and you use their free ISBN, they will be listed as the publisher for your book. You can decide if this matters to you or not, but I wanted my books to be published by me, so I purchased my own ISBNs from Bowker. It’s more expensive than it should be, but it was worth it to me. As a side note, for print books you can get a barcode for the cover on Bowker as well.

Copy-editing

This could be set aside as part of the editing process, but I did want to mention it as I feel having a dedicated copy-editor go over the final draft is necessary. I’m somewhat embarrassed by how many misused or simply missed apostrophes my copy-editor found (thanks Brian). I tend to ignore them a bit when I’m writing. A bad habit I’m trying to fix.

The search for great cover art

Cover art can get expensive, but having a good cover is critical. If you don’t know anyone with the necessary skills, there are many resources including online forums (Writers' Cafe, Goodreads, etc.) and art sites (such as DeviantArt, where I found Raquel Neira, the cover artist for The Girl and the Clockwork Cat and Dissident, and Fiverr, where I found Victoria Davies, the cover artist for In Silence Waiting and Making Monsters as well as several other shorts I haven’t published yet) that can help you find what you’re looking for. You need people to look at your book cover, usually in thumbnail form (thank you Raquel for pointing out that my original idea would be too busy for a thumbnail), and know if it’s something they’ll be interested in. A good cover also shows that you cared enough about your work to represent it well. If you are doing eBook and print, you will need a cover that works for both.

Interior design and formatting

Often overlooked, but critical for reader enjoyment and another place where doing both eBook and print can lead to more work and expense. Good interior design and formatting will determine how easy the book is to read and how people will feel while reading it. It’s easier to get more elaborate with print, but both versions should be attractive and easy to read. I strongly recommend reading through a print proof and looking over the eBook in all platforms you intend to publish on if possible. For one thing, reading through the print version, I found a few embarrassing content errors that were missed in all of the editing.

Getting the word out

There are a lot of ways to market online and a lot of people happy to tell you how to do it. After considerable research, I selected Goddess Fish Promotions to help with my cover reveal and with the post-release blog tour. So far, I’ve been very happy with my choice. If you plan on paying someone to do your promotion, research the options and find someplace that fits your specific book and your budget. Otherwise, you can try to go it alone. I didn’t take that route because, right now, I have more budget than I do time to write and edit.

 

So many platforms

There are a lot of platforms out there. If you want to make it simple, you can go with KDP Select and call it good. There are a lot of authors who say that has worked well for them. There are also a lot of authors who say diversifying has worked well for them. For my purposes, I decided to go with Createspace for the print on demand version. For the eBook, I’m going direct through Kindle and Nook then using Draft2Digital for some additional distribution. I may narrow or expand this as time goes on. Do your research and make the decision that is right for you and your book(s).

Those are the major items. I don’t doubt that I’m forgetting some things, so I may revisit this in the future. If you have questions or additions, feel free to comment.

Happy reading and/or writing!



Breaking the Silence & Book News

It’s been quiet here since early February (cue crickets). February itself was simply lost time due to a bad bout of flu that turned into pneumonia and put me in the ER a few times. Three actually, but I'm better now.

Now I’m making up for lost time with several book projects, two of which I’d like to share with you now.

More Clockwork Cat!

The sequel to The Girl and the Clockwork Cat should be coming out this year if all goes according to plan. Due to the red tape of traditional publishing, I don’t have a release date yet, but I promise to share as soon as I have something solid to offer (including an official title).

Something New!

Having experienced the world of traditional publishing with all its ups and downs and learned a great deal in the process, I am now exploring the world of self-publishing with my Forbidden Things fantasy series.

Taking this project on has sucked up massive quantities of time. Even with all the things I learned working with a publisher, the learning curve for self-publishing is steep. There are many things that I was aware of and even had a hand in with my publisher that I am now managing myself. Quality writing and editing are critical, but there are so many other things necessary to make a book that will draw people in and keep them coming back for more. You need great copyediting, cover art, interior design and formatting, promotion, and much more. You even have to get your own ISBN and bar codes! Every time I accomplished something, there was something new I hadn’t thought of yet waiting around the corner.

I’m happy to say that I am finally far enough in the process to announce that Forbidden Things book one: Dissident will be coming out in early July. Watch for a cover reveal in June. I am now deep into edits on books two and three and hope that taking these on myself will allow me to keep a more aggressive publishing schedule.

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more books

In other news:

We saw Mad Max: Fury Road the other day. As long as you aren’t offended by violence, I strongly recommend this move. If nothing else, it is worth seeing for the amazing visuals and the creepy way it sucked me in so I didn’t know how ice cold my toes were until it ended. It’s a non-stop action extravaganza with almost no dialogue that somehow fits in some compelling emotional moments.

Now to finish some promotional work on Forbidden Things book one before I succumb to the temptation of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt again.

Happy reading, writing, watching, playing or whatever tickles your fancy!

A Little Stocking Stuffing

Christmas is coming and we all know everyone wants a little something catty or a touch of clockwork in their stocking, right? Well, maybe that wasn’t what you were planning for a stocking stuffer, but now you’re thinking it’s a great idea I bet. I’m here to help with a fun giveaway for your holiday or just for the heck of it if you don’t happen to celebrate Christmas. So what’s in this stocking stuffer giveaway?

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You get this fantastic set of magnets...

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...and some fun swag from The Girl and the Clockwork Cat.

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Enter to win by December 23rd.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Holidays!