Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is our three favorite… anything!
Since I’m down to the last few days of coordinating the upcoming FIRE OF THE FROST midwinter holiday fantasy romance anthology, I’m thinking about my three favorite aspects of putting together this annual project.
The anthology releases next week on December 22, 2021 and you can still preorder it for the special sale price! The price goes up on release day.
Working with My Friends
I always say one of the perks of being an author is getting to be friends with your favorite authors! While I love chatting with them online, putting together these group projects is the most fun. We get to collaborate in the best of ways. This year, working with Darynda Jones, Grace Draven, and Amanda Bouchet has been a real treat.
Getting to Read the Stories
Did I mention these friends are all authors I love??? I just finished Amanda’s delightful Of Fate and Fire, and am diving into Grace’s The King of Hel. I can’t wait to read Darynda’s foray into fantasy, A Wynter Fyre.
Sharing the Cross-Promo
What makes this project so great, too, is that we share the promotion and cross-pollinate with our readers. It’s super fun to see readers say “I discovered this author through your anthology!” It’s a celebration of each other and something lovely to share with our readers.
Only a week away!
This week at the SFF Seven we’re doing a little winter holiday self-promo! Many of you know we had to push back the release of FIRE OF THE FROST, but it’s coming soooooon! We are on target to release on December 22. So if you are someone who celebrates Christmas, this should hit your eReader just in time to relax and enjoy some holiday downtime.
And if you don’t celebrate Christmas, there’s lots of midwinter, romantic holiday goodness for you, too! Only Amanda’s story is literally Christmas. Everyone else’s is a fantasy midwinter holiday. Mine includes a magical sleigh race and elemental festive lights. It’s a story that takes place in the Bonds of Magic world, roughly after DARK WIZARD and semi-concurrent with BRIGHT FAMILIAR. It takes place at Convocation Academy and you just miiiiigght see some of the characters in GREY MAGIC.
The delay means you have just that much longer to preorder the anthology for the special preorder price, before it goes up on release day.
Here’s the official (still in progress) blurb:
A midwinter holiday fantasy romance anthology…
From Darynda Jones, a standalone novella set in a world where vampyres are hunted for sport. The only thing standing between them and total annihilation is Winter, a warrior bred to save them from extinction. Forbidden to fall in love, Winter cares only about her oaths… until she meets the devilish prince of the underworld.
Of Fate and Fire by Amanda Bouchet
The Kingmaker Chronicles meets modern-day New York City! Piers, an exiled warrior from Thalyria, finds himself in the Big Apple just before the holidays. The world and everything in it might be utterly foreign to him, but that won’t stop Piers from helping to complete a vital mission for Athena and protect Sophie, a French teacher from Connecticut who’s suddenly knee-deep in inexplicable phenomena, danger, and henchmen after an Olympian treasure that should never have ended up in her hands—or remained on Earth after the Greek gods abandoned it.
The King of Hel by Grace Draven
A novella-length expansion of a stand-alone short story in which a cursed mage-king from a frozen kingdom is obligated to marry a woman of high-ranking nobility but meets his soulmate in a lowly scribe.
Familiar Winter Magic by Jeffe Kennedy
It’s holiday time at Convocation Academy, but best friends Han and Iliana are finding it hard to celebrate. As a familiar, Iliana is facing her assignment to a life of servitude to a wizard, very soon. And Han… despite being tested by the oracle daily, he is still uncategorized. As Iliana and Han face being separated forever, they at last find the courage—or desperation—to break the rules and acknowledge their deeper feelings for each other. But it will take more than true love to save them from the laws of the Convocation…
And here’s a little snippet from my story, Familiar Winter Magic:
Once the races finished, Iliana let Han talk her into more dancing. With the excellent whiskey warming her blood, not to mention the heady glow of Han’s undivided attention, she could hardly resist. She loved him so much and he was right: this was their last Founding Festival together. Rather than try to hold him at arm’s length, in anticipation of their imminent parting, she decided to enjoy his company while she could.
Han at his most charming was impossible to refuse. Which would be a major problem when he manifested as a wizard, but she wouldn’t think about that tonight. Since it was a holiday, the thought-seekers gave everyone a break—and were celebrating themselves. The festival was a rare excuse for everyone to loosen up.
A little bit tipsy, the lights and dancing making her feel giddy, she danced with Han until she was so warm she had to shed her cloak. Among his many skills, Han was also an excellent dancer—far better than she, but he was so skilled that he made his partner look good—and they found themselves more than once in a circle of cheering spectators as he whirled her through the vigorous dances.
Then the music slowed, and she fanned herself, blowing out a breath, and headed off the dance floor. Han caught her hand. “Hey, where are you going?” Expertly he twirled her under his arm, then snugged her close, a hand on the small of her back as he led her through the dreamy rhythm.
Iliana braced one hand on Han’s chest, his heart thumping rapidly beneath her fingertips, his blue eyes lambent in the starry light. “We never dance the slow dances,” she breathed.
“A grievous lapse of judgment on my part,” he murmured, gaze traveling over her face. “You feel perfect in my arms, lovely Iliana. I want you here forever.”
She tore her gaze from his heartbreakingly beautiful face, focusing on his throat instead. That wasn’t much help, as his skin begged to be kissed and nibbled. “I don’t understand what’s changed between us, why you’re being so…”
“Seductive?” he suggested in a warm purr. “Devastatingly handsome and charming?”
Snorting, she made a face at him. “Aggressive. And annoyingly persistent.”