Comes the Crimson Mist: Cover Reveal and Blurb

The sequel to my YA epic fantasy novel Chains Carried on Wings is now available for pre-order. It’ll release on February 21st. So–introducing Comes the Crimson Mist:

A girl stands surrounded by a red mist in a forest. Text reads "Comes the Crimson Mist, Marina Ermakova".

Magic and machinations collide as four teenagers race to stop an otherworldly threat…

It was the city of Halfice that had led the attack on Saig’s home of Running Water–so Halfice would be the target of Saig’s infiltration mission. Struggling to stay ahead of the subterfuge pervading the city, she must come into her own to unravel the enemies’ secrets. Meanwhile, Ande must manipulate the players into sabotaging themselves. Both of them are essential to the mission’s success–if they can figure out how to work together.

Trei embarks on an espionage mission of his own, joining the mysterious and dangerous Magsak. He’ll discover how they fit into the plots against Running Water…unless they shape him into a tool for their own use first.

Back home, Auris decides how to guide her city as the new headwoman. But Running Water’s foes won’t stay away just because one assault was repelled. Auris must safeguard her home until the others return with the knowledge they need to fight back.

All of them are running out of time, as their enemies’ well-established plans move towards completion. They can’t afford for a single one of them to fail. Because if they do…Running Water won’t stand a chance.

Available for preorder from all major retailers.

Writing Update July 2020 and Virology Podcast Recommendation

So I’m easing back into blogging, if only because so many of us need something else to focus on. Racial injustice and the global pandemic are still very much issues taking up a lot of my attention and I’m not committing to a schedule for this blog yet. Today, I’d like to do a quick update on my writing progress and share a link to a virology podcast.

Writing Updates

Chains Carried on Wings 2 – first draft ~76% complete

This is my main project at the moment. I envision this series as a trilogy and once book 2 is done I’ll be writing either Terrestrial Magic 3 or Chains Carried on Wings 3.

I also have approximately half a dozen short stories that I’m still deciding what to do with. Some of them need editing, but I’d rather work on my novels at the moment than make time for them. Maybe I’ll put out an anthology at some point?

Recommended Podcast

This Week in Virology – I recommend getting information on the pandemic from scientists. The hosts of this show are experienced virologists and microbiologists, as well as science communicators.

Writing Updates 2019

The first half of 2019 went well with my fiction writing, while it ended up taking a backseat in the second half due to graduate thesis writing. Still, I’m almost done with the first draft for the sequel to Terrestrial Magic–half a chapter left to go. This is how my 2 current projects stand:

Terrestrial Magic 2: first draft ~98% complete

Chains Carried on Wings 2: first draft ~15% complete

This is slower than my target goals for the year, but I’m not too discouraged by it–writing a thesis is something of an anomaly.

First priority is Terrestrial Magic 2, and after that comes out I’ll switch over to trying to complete the second Chains Carried on Wings book.

I do have other projects in the works (which I started before deciding to do indie publishing), but I’ve committed to completing Chains Carried on Wings (which I’m currently thinking of as a trilogy) before publishing or working on any new series. Two series running at once is a good maximum at this point.

I don’t want to commit to any dates yet, but once I finish grad school, I’ll be trying to finish up Terrestrial Magic 2 as quickly as possible. My first drafts tend to be pretty clean these days, so I don’t expect many complications in the editing phase.

Other than that, I’ve got half a dozen short stories–a few set in the world of Terrestrial Magic–that I still don’t know what to do with, but will eventually make available somehow.

 

Chains Carried on Wings is a Semi-finalist in the YA Genre of the 2019 Kindle Book Awards

The shadowy figure of a girl stands against a backdrop of the moon. The text reads "Chains Carried on Wings, Living on the edge of acceptance."

The 2019 Kindle Book Awards are ongoing, and they’ve just announced their Category Semi-finalists today–with Chains Carried on Wings making the cut in the YA genre.

So that’s pretty cool.

This book was all about being non-standard, from the way that my protagonists fit into their world (or don’t) to the fantasy cultures populating my story. Whether I pulled that off or not is up each reader to decide, but the experience of writing it really meant something to me, and I’m glad it does something for other people as well.

Roundup: Books-to-TV, Critical Role’s Animated Series, and a Book Award

Grad school is pretty hectic at the moment, so I don’t have time to write a long post. But I figured I’d mention a few recent geeky news items, and a personal update.

1. Have you guys heard about the Lord of the Rings TV show coming to Amazon? I’ve just found out it will be set before all of the action in the original trilogy and The Hobbit–which is super exciting, because I really want to see new plotlines and characters in fantasy TV.

2) Speaking of book-to-movie adaptations, Leigh Bardugo’s stories are going to have a Netflix adaptation, though I’m still confused about exactly what is being adapted. There’s been talk about both of her first two series, which have different plotlines, different characters, and take place on different continents. So are there going to be two Netflix series? Once series combining both stories? What’s going on?

Either, anything that adapts Six of Crows’ amazing fantasy heist is worth keeping an eye on.

3. Critical Role will be making an animated series. They put up a Kickstarter last week that became fully funded within an hour of launching, blew through every stretch goal (forcing them to come up with new ones), and is currently somewhere around $6.7M. Because that’s the power of a dedicated fanbase. (I backed the project too, especially since some of their rewards will be available to everyone, not just backers.)

This is pretty cool, because the format for the regular show is esoteric enough to be a bit of a barrier towards viewers who aren’t already familiar with or interested in tabletop RPGs. But an animated series will create a new possible entry point.

4.  Chains Carried on Wings is a finalist for The Wishing Shelf Book Awards! It’s in category 4: Books for Teenagers. Maybe I should have led with that, instead of burying it at the bottom. But when it comes to this self-promoting nonsense, even mentioning it is already an improvement.

7.25/10 Score from the Critic’s Report of the Booklife Prize for Chains Carried on Wings

Some publishing updates on my projects:

1. As the title of my post indicates, my YA epic fantasy novel received a 7.25 out of 10 score when I entered it into the Booklife Prize. I made the Critic’s Report publicly available on my Booklife profile such that anyone can see the critic’s comments on plot, prose, originality, and character development.

It isn’t enough to move onto the next round–it needed to rank in the top 10 in the YA/Children’s genre for that, and it currently sits somewhere around 20 (at least out of the entrants who chose to make their scores public)–but I’m pleased nonetheless. Continue reading “7.25/10 Score from the Critic’s Report of the Booklife Prize for Chains Carried on Wings”

Chains Carried on Wings Release and Upcoming Sale

I envisioned myself slowly wading into the pool of indie publishing, but now that I’ve started, I kind of want to plunge in. Which probably explains why I went ahead and published my first YA epic fantasy novel, Chains Carried on Wings, on Amazon.

A woman wielding a sword stands on a rocky outcrop with the moon looming in the background. The text reads

Saig had always lived on the edge of acceptance. Unlike a proper daughter of the head family, she longed for the freedom of the open woods over the confinement of her home. It was enough to drive away the two people who should, by rights, have been her closest companions.  Continue reading “Chains Carried on Wings Release and Upcoming Sale”