Local Reader/Writer Cons to Attend!

NegotiationLast week, to celebrate the release of THE TALON OF THE HAWK, I also released a prequel story to the series, NEGOTIATION, and set it to free. You can still download it free for a couple more days!

Our topic in the Bordello this week is Three Reader or Writer Cons/Events Near You (that you’d recommend). Love that Calendar Queen KAK tacked on “that we recommend.” I’ve bitched about cons I hated before, so it’s good to focus on the love.

Also, I’m going one step further and suggesting four!

The Talon of the Hawk Release Day!

the talon of the hawk Lots and lots going on today!

WOW.

First off…2015PrismFinalist

THE TALON OF THE HAWK IS FINALLY OUT!!!

People have been saying they’ve been looking forward to Ursula’s story since The Mark of the Tala first hit the shelves. Speaking of which, that book just finaled in Fantasy for FFP’s PRISM award

Woo hoo!!!Negotiation

In celebration of release day of The Talon of the Hawk, I’m also releasing the prequel story, Negotiation, as an ebook – and setting it free for a week!! This was previously in the Thunder on the Battlefield anthology. Download a copy! 🙂

Smashwords

Amazon

Kobo

Google Play

Finally, I’m everywhere at once today. I’m at the Contemporary Romance Cafe, talking about the intersection of fantasy and contemporary psychology. Also, I’m at Here Be Magic, talking about why we need more superheroines.

The Talon of the Hawk

A HEAVY CROWN
Three daughters were born to High King Uorsin, in place of the son he wanted. The youngest, lovely and sweet. The middle, pretty and subtle, with an air of magic. And the eldest, the Heir. A girl grudgingly honed to leadership, not beauty, to bear the sword and honor of the king.
Ursula’s loyalty is as ingrained as her straight warrior’s spine. She protects the peace of the Twelve Kingdoms with sweat and blood, her sisters from threats far and near. And she protects her father to prove her worth. But she never imagined her loyalty would become an open question on palace grounds. That her father would receive her with a foreign witch at one side and a hireling captain at the other-that soldiers would look on her as a woman, not as a warrior. She also never expected to decide the destiny of her sisters, of her people, of the Twelve Kingdoms and the Thirteenth. Not with her father still on the throne and war in the air. But the choice is before her. And the Heir must lead…

Request a digital review copy

Available May 26, 2015

 

Talon, Castle, Assassins and Sheep

Talon of the Hawk Finished Copies!Look what arrived late last night! Yes, the UPS guy came by around 7:30 with this largesse. Finished copies of THE TALON OF THE HAWK!!! I may have fondled them.

I’m over at the Contemporary Romance Cafe today, for my usual first Thursday post, talking about prickly heroines and mixing it up with Ursula from TALON and Detective Kate Beckett from Castle.

Also, I did a really fun interview with Jennifer Estep over at Magical Musings. It includes a giveaway! In my typical style, after I glommed her terrific Elemental Assassin series, I stalked her on Twitter and made her be my friend. She kindly suggested doing this post, for which we are now both grateful, being equally crazy getting ready for the RT Convention. I get to have brunch with her there and meet for reals – very much looking forward to that!

Finally, the crazy gals at I Smell Sheep also did an interview with me and are hosting a giveaway also. More than you *ever* wanted to know about me?

Possible. Entirely possible.

Top Pick for THE TALON OF THE HAWK!

The Talon of the HawkI’m just thrilled and nearly breathless to report that RT Book Reviews gave The Talon of the Hawk a 4.5 Star Top Pick review! The reviewers there are just so incredibly good to this series.

RT Top PickHere’s the review:

“The saga of The Twelve Kingdoms returns in grand style! It takes a great deal of trust for Ursula to accept that Harlan is interested in her as a woman; his position as a mercenary means he’s skilled at playing courtly games. She’s always possessed a physical strength, so it’s beautiful to watch her accept her own personal power, as a woman and as a daughter of Salena, even when her stubbornness gives you fits. Harlan is her perfect match because his talent at observation allows him to see beyond the tough warrior image she employs to avoid showing her feelings. This is a complex world full of danger, subterfuge and secrets with empowering female characters who are not afraid to fight for their future.”– RT Book Reviews, 4.5 Stars Top Pick

Hottest Heroine!

The Talon of the HawkSO excited that the cover for THE TALON OF THE HAWK totally won the Hottest Heroine Cover over on Addicted to Heroines. It’s such a great cover and for such a wonderful heroine, I’m just thrilled.

Coincidentally (OR NOT???), I received some fax pages yesterday from my awesome production editor at Kensington, Rebecca Cremonese. She wanted me to see the design and particularly the sword symbol in the line breaks. In celebration of this MAJOR WIN, I thought I’d share them here. Whee!first page

sword break Yeah, yeah – these are screen shots of a third-generation fax. Good luck making out the text. 😀 Come on – you guys know what a tease I am!

Speaking of teases, you can still register through today for my online workshop on Sex as a Tool for Character Transformation. You still have time to catch up on the first assignment, because it’s easy. We have a great group – 27 participants at this point – so come join in the conversation!

 

Almost New Year PARTAY

The Talon of the HawkAs the year draws to a close, we’re in the final round of The Hottest Heroine Cover contest. We all know Ursula is the hottest – and not because she has a big-ass sword. And she’s running second to a drowning girl. We can’t have that! You can vote and enter the giveaway or not, as you please.

Tonight – December 30 – from 7-9 pm Eastern Time (6-8 CT/5-7 MT/4-6 PT, for those of you who hate math), I’ll be hanging with some of my favorite naughty authors on Facebook for a Not Quite New Year’s Eve/Saved The Best For Last Facebook Party. The party crew includes Anne Calhoun, Tessa Dare, Megan Mulry, Miranda Neville and Maisey Yates. Expect lots of wordswag, great giveaways and plenty of saucy conversation. Stop on by and have some pre-New Year’s Eve fun!

 

Creating a Mythology

The Mark of the Tala
The Mark of the Tala

A serendipitous shot as the setting sun sent rays of light across my desk and lit up the globe that Kensington gave me with the cover of THE MARK OF THE TALA inside. If I’d been thinking, I would have turned it around to show the flip side, with the cover of last week’s release and the sequel, THE TEARS OF THE ROSE. The glow lasted barely long enough for me to grab my phone and snap. Ah well, so goes serendipity. 

One of my favorite bits of feedback lately on THE TEARS OF THE ROSE, was when my longtime friend, Kev, commented this on my release day post:

There was an absolutely gorgeous sunrise today. I looked West and the mountains were this perfectly lovely shade of pink against a slightly lighter pink sky. I felt strongly compelled to sketch some circles in the air, but my Lutheran upbringing wouldn’t quite allow it.

If you haven’t read the book yet, that’s a reference to the observances of the goddess Glorianna, which occur ritually at sunrise and sunset, when her circle is drawn in the air. And her color is pink.

There’s something wonderfully invigorating about hearing comments like this, knowing that something you wrote went into another person’s mind deeply enough to invoke this impulse. Even if it wasn’t enough to overcome that childhood programming, alas! Inventing this mythology of the three goddesses came about organically as part of writing the story. I hadn’t anticipated that would even be a factor of the world as I began writing Andi’s story in THE MARK OF THE TALA. While all three goddesses – Glorianna, Moranu and Danu – make an appearance in the first book, in the sequel, THE TEARS OF THE ROSE, part of Ami’s journey is finding her place as an avatar of Glorianna. So I ended up exploring the mysticism and influence of the goddesses much more. I even wrote an entire myth! B3xuAqfCcAA-_mq

In writing book 3, THE TALON OF THE HAWK, I found myself inventing a martial arts system for my warrior princess Ursula, one that stems from the teachings of Danu. Speaking of which, if you love the cover as much as I do, Addicted to Heroines is running contest to choose the Hottest Heroine from among eight covers and THE TALON OF THE HAWK is one. You can vote daily, even!

(As if you have nothing better to do with your life… but the option is there!)

MistletoeMadness-388399_200x200At any rate, playing with this mythology was so fun that I even wrote an extra bit for Jen Twimom’s holiday Mistletoe Madness event on That’s What I’m Talking AboutThe post is here and is told from Ami’s point of view about their observation of the Feast of Moranu on the winter solstice. That was a kick to write also. I’m sure it contains many familiar elements that you all will recognize, but it still felt special to me.

Glorianna’s blessings on you all!

 

Cover Reveal for THE TALON OF THE HAWK

The Talon of the HawkLook what appeared today!!

The cover for book 3 of The Twelve Kingdoms: The Talon of the Hawk.

It’s really just so perfect – exactly what I asked for. I particularly love the progression of the three covers, which capture so well my three sisters and their journeys.

 

themarkofthetala_300The Talon of the HawkTHE TEARS OF THE ROSE high res

 

Also, the tagline? “A different kind of battle.”

Spot on!

Serendipitously enough, I’m over at Shut Up & Read today, talking about how the three sisters are alike – and how they’re also very different.