Red and Black is on sale!

In honor or Black and Blue being up for preorder, I thought I’d host a sale for the first book in the series, Red and Black. This superhero-focused story is perfect for your summer reading.

Head over to amazon and pick up a copy for 99 cents. It’s also free for kindle unlimited readers!

Another reason why Red and Black is on sale this particular week is because it’s part of a wider promo focused on speculative works. The awesome Emerald Dodge has put together a promo which consists of dozens of sci-fi, horror, and fantasy books (including superheroes!). Every book on the promo is 99 cents or free on kindle unlimited. The sale will run from the 16th-the 21st. I hope you’ll check it out.

 

 

 

 

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Black and Blue Chapter 2

Did you know that Black and Blue comes out in just 13 days! And you can make sure that it automatically shows up on your kindle, by preordering it right now. But for those looking for an advanced look, I figured I’d put up a second sample chapter. You can find chapter one here. For chapter two, read on.

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Quarterly Goals: Summer 2019

It’s time for summer, which means checking in on my quarterly goals. If you’ve new, this is where I examine my projects and see if I have completed all of my goals from the previous season (April/May/June), as well as set new goals for the next one (July/Aug/Sept). Let’s see how this past spring went.

Project #1- Black and Blue

This past spring I completed all of my goals for my second novel (including one stretch goal!). This included completing copy edits, submitting the manuscript to a proofreader, completing edits from said proofreader, commissioning cover artwork, seeking out ARC readers and then submitting the completed book to my new ARC team. I didn’t always get these tasks done on the time table I set, but they certainly got done. I also commissioned and received cover art, formatted the ebook, placed it up for preorder, and did a lot of work on the blog tour to promote Black and Blue‘s release.

So what are my goals for the summer quarter?

  • Publish Black and Blue (July)
  • Complete a seven-stop blog tour (July/August)
  • Complete newsletter swaps (July)

Clearly I don’t have quite as many goals this time around. This one is all about sticking the landing, wish me luck.

Project #2- Mailing List and Riley’s Story

Okay, so I wasn’t 100% successful on this goal, but I still think I did pretty well. During Camp NaNoWriMo, I completed the first draft of Riley’s Story, a 15,000 word novelette which I plan on distributing to my mailing list as a reader magnet. I also put the story through a round of revisions, and kept up monthly contact (more or less) with my mailing list. I did not finish reading Newsletter Ninja, so that one’s a fail.

With Black and Blue completed, this will make Riley’s story my next priority, writing wise. What will my goals be like for the summer?

  • Complete second round of revisions during Camp NaNoWriMo (July)
  • Seek out beta readers (August)
  • Submit to beta readers (September)
  • August newsletter swaps

Project #3- Red and Black 3

This spring. my goal was to keep up communication with beta readers, and I pretty much forgot to do that. Fortunately, I received my first completed sets of beta reads, so we’ve at least achieved some movement in that area. But let’s try and do a little better next quarter!

  • Keep up communication with beta readers
  • Begin beta edits (September)

This last one is tentative because I asked my beta readers to have their thought done by the end of the summer, which can be interpreted in a few ways. Regardless, I hope I’ll be able to dig into those during September.

Project #4- Red and Black 4

My goal for the fourth book in the Red and Black series was simply to begin my first round of revisions this spring, which I did, getting about 50% of the draft taken care of. So it makes sense that my goal for summer would be…

  • Complete first round of revisions during Camp NaNoWriMo and beyond (July-August)

Now, this one might take a little longer then then I’ve predicted, because the second half of the book is where most of the problems lie. Regardless, getting this draft completed this summer is key, as the fall is going to be pretty dominated by other responsibilities.

Other Goals

As far as my other goals go, I managed to hit a bunch of them, but not all (nobody’s perfect!). I decided against running a sale on Red and Black during the spring months in favor of a better timed one this summer, I updated my blog here at least once a week (often twice). I managed to submit one solo post and one group post to Speculative Chic two out of three months (although I did make up for that by contributing to three group posts in May). I fell just short of my reading goal (I read 24 books, not 25), and am falling slightly behind on my goal of reviewing 2/3rds of what I read (I’m closer to half). And while I wasn’t perfect about my diet/tracking my food, I did better than usual.

So what are my other goals for the summer?

  • Publishing- Run a 99 cent countdown sale on Red and Black this July
  • Blogging- Update the blog once a week for a total of four posts a month
  • Speculative Chic Blogging- Submit a solo post and contribute to a group post once a month
  • Reading- read at least twenty-five books or graphic novels
  • Reading- review 2/3rds of what I’ve read
  • Health Goal- get back to tracking my meals, and eating fewer sweets
  • Health Goal- schedule a vacation (August/September)

Only want to highlight one thing here, after July, I foresee myself backing off of blogging a little while. To be frank, I’ve found the task to be pretty overwhelming lately, especially with Black and Blue’s blog tour. So to prevent burning out, I’m going to post closer to four times a month, as opposed to the six or seven I’ve been doing

So there you go! Summer looks to be quite a transition season. Allowing me to finally put Black and Blue to rest, as well as move other projects forward. Will I manage to juggle at all? We’ll see.

Top Books of Spring 2019

Another season behind us, and means another list of awesome books that I’ve enjoyed. This spring, I read twenty-four books. This includes nine fantasy books, six superhero, five science fiction, two romance, and two mystery. Interestingly, while I don’t revisits a lot of books, five of the titles from this past seasons where rereads, which includes a complete series that I first fell in love with as a teenager. Without further ado, let’s get to the list!

Watcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong (Mystery/Thriller)Watcher in the Woods is the fourth Rockton novel, a series of mystery novels that take place in an isolated community where everyone has a secret, and it’s one of those secrets that draws in the US Marshal. Detective Casey Duncan and her partner/boyfriend Sheriff Dalton can’t help but be concerned. Rockton is supposed to be a secret, only known to a select few. Perhaps if they can figure out what drew the marshal to the town in the first place, they can continue to keep their home hidden.

Watcher in the Woods delivered all of the suspense, and complex characterization that I’ve come to expect from the Rockton series (and the romance is really great too!). But what helps set this book apart is the presence of Casey’s sister, a neurosurgeon who arrives to help an injured member of Rockton. Their complicated past puts Casey’s in a more vulnerable mindset then we’re used to seeing from her lately, which makes for an interesting read. The mystery elements are really good this time around, and I finished the book eager for more. Bring on book five!

Dreadnought by April Daniels (Superhero/Young Adult)– Danny Tozer is a transgender teen that struggles to express her true gender. Then she inherits the mantel of the superhero Dreadnought, an action which also grants Danny her greatest wish: a female body. But that doesn’t solve her problems at home, problems that Danny must now balance with tracking down Dreadnought’s killer. But how will she manage to defeat the woman who the world’s most powerful superhero?

Dreadnought is an impactful young adult superhero novel. What makes it stand out is how well it’s able to balance both the superhero elements, and the more real-life challenges of being a transgender teen. In fact, the real-life aspects were handled so well, that there were times when I had a hard time listening to the audiobook, as Danny struggles with an abusive father, and the other people that refuse to accept her for who she is.

Dreadnought also isn’t afraid to pull the punches in the superhero department, with a powerful finale that leaves New Port City changed forever. I look forward to seeing where author April Daniels takes both these heroic elements, and that of Danny’s personal life, in future installments of the series.

The Immortals Quartet Tamora Pierce (Fantasy/Young Adult)– I first fell in love with Tamora Pierce’s work when I was a teenager, and the books had such a strong impact on me that I still consider her to be one of my favorite authors. The second set of books to take place in in Tortall universe is The immortals series. The Immortals tells the story of a teenage girl named Daine known for having a “knack with animals.” Daine soon discovers that this ability is actually “wild magic” which allows her to speak with animals mind to mind, as well as a host of other abilities. All of Daine’s wild magic will be needed if Tortall is to survive it’s latest invasion: ancient magical creatures from the realm of the gods.

I’m not going to lie, it’s been a pretty stressful spring. So getting to escape back into the world of Tortall with Daine and all of her animal companions was just the escape I needed. I was also pleased to see that the books, written in the mid 90s, hold up surprisingly well to today, and I have such an affection for the old hand drawn cover art. I’m really happy I chose to revisit this series.

The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi (Science Fiction)– The intergalactic empire known as Interdependency is about to die. The flow, the channels which allow people to travel from planet to planet, is in the process of collapsing, and Emperox Grayland II must prepare her people. But in an empire made up of schemers and skeptics, how will Grayland convincing her people that the collapse is real?

I’m not going to lie. I fucking love this series. John Scalzi is wonderfully gifted with it comes to creating witty, highly capable characters. I could just sit and watch them attempt to undercut each other for pages on end. Which, fortunately, this book has a lot of. Beyond that, we have Marce’s quest to discover more about the flow’s collapse (which results in the introduction of a wonderful new character), and one of the most satisfying endings I’ve seen in a novel in quite a while. Book three isn’t set to come out until April of 2020, and I can’t wait to pick up a copy.

Honorable Mentions: Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn, A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, vol 10: Life is Too Short Squirrel by Ryan North, Zero Sum Game by SL Huang

Black and Blue Chapter 1

In case you missed it, Black and Blue, the sequel to Red and Black, is coming out at the end of this month, and it’s available to preorder! But if you’d like to take a look at it early, you have a couple of options. For one, you can apply to be part of my ARC team where you can get a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. In addition, you can read the first chapter right now.

Obviously, there will be some spoilers for Red and Black.

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Black and Blue Cover Reveal and Preorder Link

I am so proud to present the cover to Black and Blue.

The masks are off.

Dawn Takahashi has achieved her dreams by becoming Bailey City’s first superhero, but is it worth the cost?

After the fall of Calypso, Bailey City has been shaken. An anti-superhero movement is starting to rise. Most people are on Dawn’s side, viewing her superhero persona, Hikari, as an asset to the city, but will local politician Edison Kent manage to turn the city against her?

Former supervillain Faultline is seen as a threat. The man behind the helmet, Alex Gage, spends his days keeping his head down, until his efforts to keep his identity a secret lead him straight to Dawn, and their unresolved feelings for each other.

On top of that, new players have arrived at Bailey City in the form of a secret organization that gathers information on empowered beings. Plus a mysterious figure that dresses in black and blue.

If you enjoyed Red and Black, see how Alex and Dawn’s story continues in it’s sequel, Black and Blue. The book is set to be published on July 29th, but you can preorder the ebook version today. Unfortunately, amazon doesn’t let indie authors do preorders for print books, but that will be available to purchase on the 29th as well.

This book has been a long time coming. I can’t believe that I’ll get to finally release it to the world by the end of the month!

Preparing a Book Launch: June in Review

June Posts

  1. Would you like a free copy of Black and Blue? Join my ARC team
  2. Nerdy Women and Magic Schools: What I Read Over My Vacation
  3. Why Travel? The Benefits of Taking A Staycation
  4. My Summer Reading TBR
  5. How Long Does it Take to Write a Novel From Start to Finish?
  6. Most Anticipated Reads of 2019: Part Two

Speculative Chic Posts

  1. Roundtable: Speculative Beach Reading
  2. Super Powered Mathematics + Morally Complex Characters = One Really Good Read: A Review of Zero Sum Game

So at the end of each month (as you probably know) I sit down to write these Month in Review posts, which reflect on the big goings on in my life and writing. And I’m embarrassed to admit that when I sat down to think back on this month, my mind pretty much blanked out. And this wasn’t a slow month. In fact, it’s been quite the opposite.

So what was the all consuming task for the month of June? Preparing for Black and Blues release of course. This involved setting up newsletter swaps, booking stops on a blog tour and beginning to create content for that. I completed the final edits on the novel, formatted the book, and set up the pre-order on amazon. I commissioned cover art, and reached out to potential ARC readers (would you like to be one of them? There’s still time!). And of course there was my own blogging responsibilities, both here and at Speculative Chic.  Given that next month is expected to be quite crazy, I wanted to make sure that I prewrote as much as I could, so I wouldn’t find the book launch delayed by needing to write blog posts. On top of all of this, I decided that next month would be a great month to set up a sale for Red and Black, which I needed to schedule advertising for.

Now, if you’re thinking, Nancy what about writing? The answer is I didn’t get too much of that done, which I knew was the case going in. I was able to complete a round of beta edits on book three, which was a nice reminder that as much as Black and Blue is consuming my head space right now, that the series does have a future beyond that.

And that future is one of the things I hope to focus on next month by participating in Camp NaNoWriMo. Of course, my traditional goal (30 hours) for editing-focused Camp NaNoWriMos seems a little ambitions, given that I also need to put the final pieces into place for Black and Blue’s release, but we’ll see how things go. Here are my plans. First off, I want to get my second round of revisions of Riley’s Story taken care of (this being the newsletter exclusive side story that I hope to release around the new year). Once that’s done, I want to dive back into my revisions for book four.

If you’d like to follow along my various writing projects, make sure to keep an eye on my WIP page, which I try and update a couple times a month.

Beyond writing life, June has had it’s own set of challenges (mostly too personal to blog about), but it is ending on a good note. The day after this blog entry is set to go up, Tanner and I will have a house guest. One of Tanner’d oldest friends (and the best man from our wedding!) will be visiting us. We’re both looking forward to it. Sometimes, you can get so buried in your work that you forget that the rest of the world exists. A visit from an old friend seems like the nicest way to remind you of that.

That and after that, we get a new Spiderman movie, which I am already super-jazzed about.

Let’s hope I manage to pull all of this off next month!