A New American Faerie Tale Story: Pre-Order

#SFWAPRO

I know it has been especially quiet for the last several months. In honesty, I’ve always struggled with the idea of maintain a blog. I just don’t feel as if my day to day activities are interesting enough to warrant being blogged about. As such, I like to think I post more quality than quantity, though I’m tossing around an idea that might achieve both goals (more to come). I also, of course, post news and information about my writing and the like. As such, I’m delighted to announce a new American Faerie Tale story.

When I was invited to participate in this collection, I knew I wanted to write a Wraith story. It easy in the madness of the holidays to forget a lot of people are struggling, sometimes just to make it another day. I never like to preach, but I think there are stories that need to be told and Wraith makes it easy to share the rougher side of life, a reminder about the forgotten of society. However, when I set out to write this story, I wasn’t sure I could do it. The deadline was tight, as I was just finishing the first draft of my latest novel, and I didn’t want the story to feel forced. To my delight, once I sat down and started writing, the pieces of the story fell into place. This was going to be a story about hope, something that can be hard to hold on to, especially when it seems everything around you is burning. In the end, I think I did right by Wraith in this story, and the AFT universe. I didn’t expect it, but Wraith grew as a character in this story, and that’s all I could’ve hoped for. To make it even better, it’s only nintey-nine cents!

In terms of timeline, Greatest Gift takes place after The Returned.

The Greatest Gift of All: Wraith is a spell slinger, able to manipulate reality itself, but she’s been on the streets since losing her parents and her life has never been easy. Through all the darkness, she’s always tried to help the other children living at the fringes of society; the dejected, the ignored, and the forgotten. Now, the Fae court needs her help in finding a solstice child. If Wraith succeeds, the child will become a beacon of hope. If she fails, the child will become a monster, inspiring anger and rage. Wraith has faced all manner of terrors, both mundane and supernatural, and has never backed down from a fight. Can she save this solstice child and bring hope to the hopeless when she’s never had much of that even for herself?

A Very Faerie Christmas: Six Holiday Inspired Novellas. As the title suggests, it’s a collection of six novellas; all faerie stories, and all inspired by the holidays. It’s a great collection with stories that span the gamut of faerie stories, from the traditional to the modern. I think it will hold something for everyone and a couple of my friends are also in it: Ruth Vincent, and Jack Heckel (officially John Peck and Harry Heckel).

You can also enter to win an Amazon gift card by going here!

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Cover Reveal – The Returned

Are you waiting patiently (or impatiently) for The Returned? Have you thought that if you could just see the cover, or know what it’s about, that your wait would be that much easier? Well, I’m here to help.
Here is the (truly beautiful) cover and copy!
THE RETURNED_Cover

Almost a year after their wedding, and two since their daughter Fiona was rescued from a kidnapping by dark faeries, life has finally settled down for Caitlin and Edward. They maintain a façade of normalcy, but a family being watched over by the fae’s Rogue Court is far from ordinary. Still, it seems the perfect time to go on their long-awaited honeymoon, so they head to New Orleans.

Little do they know, New Orleans is at the center of a territory their Rogue Court guardians hold no sway in, so the Court sends in Wraith, a teenage spell slinger, to watch over them. It’s not long before they discover an otherworldly force is overtaking the city, raising the dead, and they’re drawn into a web of dark magic. At the same time, a secret government agency tasked with protecting the mortal world against the supernatural begins their own investigation of the case. But the culprit may not be the villain everyone expects. Can Wraith, Caitlin, and Edward stop whoever is bringing the vengeful dead back to life before another massacre, and before an innocent is punished for crimes beyond her control?

I’ve been continually impressed with the cover designs Harper has produced for each book in the American Faerie Tale series. I truly feel they nailed it once again.
This was the first book I’ve written where I had an outline and it survived till the end of the book. I have no idea if there is a correlation, but I also think it’s perhaps my best writing to date. Which is good because I always try to improve with each book. New Orleans is a city I really enjoy visiting, even if it gets too hot and humid for me to ever live there, and it was so much fun filling this book with the small details I’ve collected on my visits. Caitlin and Edward return as central characters (yes that is part of the many layered meaning behind the title) and I really enjoyed writing them again, and getting to write them interacting with Wraith! There are also other returning characters who you’ll learn more about, and of course some new faces as well.
The ebook is scheduled for release July 12th, 2015, with the paperback shortly there after. Like the previous books, I was careful to make this installment stand on it’s own, so you don’t need to read the preceding books to enjoy any other. It goes without saying though that you’ll get more out of the books if you do read them in order. So, if you haven’t already, there is time to read The Stolen, The Forgotten, and Three Promises before The Returned arrives. Click any of the links to pick them up from your favorite retailer, or signed/personalized copies from The Fountain Bookstore (who ships worldwide).

Merry Christmas

Today’s post is short and sweet. If you know me, my song choice for Christmas day is no surprise. Fairy Tale of New York by The Pogues has been voted one of the best Christmas songs of all time. It’s sad, but still filled with it’s own kind of hope and love. I’m of the belief that without Kirsty MacColl’s contrast to Shane MacGowan’s this song wouldn’t be nearly as magical. Even when things are dark, there is light and hope in the most unlikely places. There is gold in the darkness if you look for it.

Got on a lucky one
Came in eighteen to one
I’ve got a feeling
This year’s for me and you
So happy Christmas
I love you baby
I can see a better time
When all our dreams come true

Super Deal on The Stolen (ebook)

THE STOLEN

To celebrate a great time at the New York ComicCon (a summation of which is forthcoming) for a limited time, two weeks to be exact, you can get The Stolen on ebook for only $.99 everywhere that sells ebooks. I’ve included links below so you can get it in your preferred format for your device of choice. Have a copy? Buy one for a friend! Buy one for someone you want to be your friend! Buy it for a stranger and make a new friend! Or just keep a copy handy to read so you can save the signed copy you picked up pristine on your shelf. Don’t have a signed copy? Gibson’s in Concord NH can help with that here! Pick it up now and you’ll be ready for the next book in the series, The Forgotten.

HarperCollins
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Google Play
iTunes
Kobo
OverDrive

Meet My Main Character Blog Hop

Welcome to the Meet My Main Character blog hop!

I want to thank Katherine Harbour, author of Thorn Jack for inviting me. Her novel is also a modern faerie tale, and one I really enjoyed. I reviewed it here, interviewed Katherine here. You can find Thorn Jack online at the usual providers: Barnes & Noble, direct from Harper Collins, Amazon, iTunes, Google, Indiebound, and Audible.

First, some context:

My novel, The Stolen, began as a short story based on the poem “The Stolen Child” by W.B. Yeats, but with a twist. My initial backdrop was a world where all of the monsters we knew were real, but not quite as we believed. Vampires, werewolves, demons, and zombies were, in fact, faeries. The passing of time had warped our collective human memory of them into the pantheon of urban fantasy monsters that we know today. That idea didn’t last. I didn’t want to make another vampire book. I wanted something of my own. My short story’s plot was sound, but the child-stealing faeries needed some kind of transformation, and that was when I decided the key would be change.

Faeries are static in most stories, never developing or growing past their mythic origins. It made sense to me that if they lived alongside humanity—which mine would, though hidden in plain sight—they’d be impacted and shaped by our influence. For example, why use magic when technology is easier and readily accessible? So, my faeries became urban faeries. They didn’t ride horses or carry bows. They drove sports cars; had guns, cell phones, and stock portfolios; and owned night clubs.

For the characters in The Stolen, I knew that I wanted to keep, at least somewhat, to tradition. That meant archetypes and I settled on a wizard, a warrior, and a princess. Like my faeries though, I wanted them to be real, not stuck in idealized notions.

For the warrior, I took the myth of the Fianna and brought it to the modern age. Brendan is strong and fast. But, after a living a long life of violence, he’s also scarred and haunted. It would be impossible to not be. He’s a good man, but the shadows from his past continue to haunt him. He serves a guide to the hidden world, aware equally of the wonder and the danger it presents.

Now the wizard: not inept, not all-powerful, but fully, utterly human. Edward would be a stand-in for me and my fellow fantasy geeks; the answer to our wishes of being a hero in a fantasy book. Be careful what you wish for! He knows magic exists, as do all kinds of fantastical creatures, but he’s never encountered them outside a book. He quickly learns that reading about grizzly bears is one thing, standing in front of one in the wild is quite another. That meant he would need a reason not to run away screaming like a squeamish kid being chased by a bully with a slug.

Enter the princess. And then forget everything you know about princesses, because Caitlin certainly isn’t one. Caitlin is a single mother whose knowledge of faeries and magic extends as far as Disney movies and the stories her immigrant grandparents told her. She can’t hurl magic or wield a sword, and she isn’t “the one” mentioned in any prophecy. Her only super power is the ability to make a little girl laugh, and give that child a good life. When Fiona is kidnapped, Caitlin has a reason to face a dark and terrifying reality, but she’s lacking in the skills to survive it. That means trusting others, which seems like a simple thing, but is it really? Even parents of a child kidnapped by a human monster must bristle at the thought of trusting the authorities to rescue their baby. And those are entities we’ve been taught to rely on in desperate situations. Trusting strangers and a friend who hasn’t been honest would be a nightmare of its own.

These are my main characters. I didn’t choose just one as the main character because each of them depends on the other. With any of them missing, the story would not only fail, but so would they in their goals. I didn’t intend to write a story with multiple main characters, but those kinds of surprises are what make writing so much fun.

The God HunterI’m inviting Tim Lees, author of The God Hunter: A Field Ops Novel. Tim is a British author now living in Chicago. He is a regular contributor to Interzone, Black Static, and other titles. He is the author of the much praised novel, “Frankenstein’s Prescription.” See more of Tim Lees here.

New York Comic Con

I’ve been invited to the New York Comic Con as a panelist! I’ll be part of the “Not Your Mother’s Fairy Tales” panel on October 11, 3pm. I’ll be sure to have plenty of swag for anyone who wants it, and will be happy to sign any copies of The Stolen. To be safe, you should probably get a paperback now, you know, so you’ll be sure to have it in time.
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
You can also order it from your local bookstore, (Indiebound Link) which is good on several counts. First, it’s always good to support your local bookstore. Second, it will help me get the book on the shelf.
If you do have a copy to sign, I’ll have some extra swag for you. Just saying. That being said, I will sign an e-reader if you want, but a book would probably be better.
See you in October New York!

Read an Interview and Win a Signed Copy (And a Surprise Gift)

Ingrid Seymour was kind enough to interview me for her blog, Fiction Bound, and host a giveaway. You can find both here. Do check it out as it was a lot of fun and you can sign up to win a free signed copy of The Stolen.

Did I mention it was free?

Did I mention it was signed?

But wait, there’s more!

Act now and I’ll include a special bonus gift!

No, I won’t tell you what it is, you’ll have to wait and be delighted in surprise when it arrives.

For those who prefer the full link, here it is: http://fictionbound.com/2014/09/06/meet-bishop-oconnoll/