A breeze ruffled the trees overhead and Max swiveled her head, sniffing the air. Uncanny magic pooled thick in the canyon. It was an odd combination of bitter and sweet—like a mouthful of salt and cigar butts all drenched in honey. The Divine magic was wafted through in thin curls. It was both caustic and sweetly pungent, like lye and pachouli. Mixed in were human smells—sweat, blood and flesh. A rank wet smell coated the back of Max’s throat. It reminded her of black mold and carrion.
Archive for the 'Horngate books' Category
The winner of the title contest is Livejournal’s Roseaponi with Blood Winter. So that is now the title of book four of the Horngate books, unless my editor puts a kaibosh on it. But right now, i think it fits very nicely. Whoohoo! Thank you for all the suggestions! Roseaponi, send me your mailing info and I’ll send you a title flat. I’ve got more to give away, so shortly I will figure out another contest to let you have at them!
Here are my top choices for titles, including some that I came up with. I’m curious about what you think of them. I’m leaning toward one. Also, there was one I can’t use because it’s too much like Shadow City.
I have a huge and excellent list of titles to choose from, so I am narrowing it down. I’ll give you updates soon!
I’m still title-less for Horngate 4. But here’s a kind of overview of it if you have a suggestion. Here’s the thing, I want it somewhat in keeping with the first three books: Bitter Night, Crimson Wind, Shadow City. And if I use your title, I will send you a cover flat of Shadow City and I’ll put your name in the Acknowledgments of unnamed book 4.
here’s the blurb:
Shadowblade warrior Max’s niece is missing and it looks like she’s been kidnapped by a witch-hating cult. What should be an easy rescue turns into a deadly battle when Max finds out that the cult’s leader is far more dangerous than he first seems. He claims to be the Hand of God and his power is very convincing. A fanatic, he vows to burn all witches at the stake, starting with Horngate.
Even as the cult stirs up hatred against the covenstead, winter descends, bringing hunger and desperation. Townspeople are twisted up in a knot of ancient fear of witches, the fight for survival and a promise of God’s help. Can one crippled covenstead survive a human army led by an insane Preacher with superpowers?
Without aid from former allies, Horngate teeters on the edge of annhilation. Max’s only chance to save Horngate is to die. But she’s never been good at dying . . .
Lessee. The contest for this ends when I get a title I like? Or by Friday October 14th at noon. How’s that? And there may be runners up (more cover flats!)
Reply here to enter and enter as many times as you like!
I figured some of you might want to know just where I got the concept of Horngate as a name. At the entrance of the covenstead is an arch of antlers and horns from animals. Moose, elk, and deer all lose their antlers once a year and a lot of people go hunting in the mountains for them. Or the antlers are taken as part of the harvest of the animal. Anyhow, living in Montana, I’ve seen some of these arches. They seem kind of magical to me in a way that connects to the earthmagic of Horngate.
Here’s a picture of one from Jackson Hole, Wyoming:
I’ve been having a tad bit of trouble with the website and posting, but I’m back! Been doing things with the kids, particularly school supply shopping. The list seems to get longer each year. But they are supplied and the boy does not have new socks because he argued he didn’t need them, and then I saw today how holey most of his socks are and I expect there will sock shopping in the future. Girlie made out when grandma bought her a bunch of dresses (lovely, hugely expensive dressed on %70 off sale, so that was a good thing). Boy made out with books, since he wasn’t into clothes. Girl got books too, just he got more. And I got myself a copy of Elie Wiesel’s Night and Neil Gaiman’s Odd and the Frost Giants.
Right now I’m working on finishing the copy edits for Shadow City. For those of you who don’t know what that means, let me splain. When you turn a book it, your editor reads it and sends it back with an editorial letter. That letter will include a lot of notes on how to improve it. You revise, and if your editor is happy, it goes to copy edit (if not, repeat step one).
The copy editor goes over the manuscript to correct if for grammar, house style, consistency, and anything else she finds. It then comes back to the editor who also goes through it making a few notes, and then it comes back to the writer. I go through it and can still make changes to my work (this is the last chance for substantive revisions), and to see if I agree with the changes of the CE or E. Sometimes I don’t agree. When I don’t, I STET the change, which puts it back to the original. Now I try not to do that too often, but sometimes the changes just don’t sit right.
Here’s a for instance. It’s more grammatically correct to say “it was as if a piece of every place that had ever existed or been thought of had come to Chadare and cropped roots.” (real sentence from manuscript). Only, given that Max is thinking that, she would never say as if. She’d say like. So even though it’s correct, it’s more important to me that the voice is right, so I STET it.
So that’s what I’m doing today. I do like the process, especially when the copy editor is as good as this one is. Now, back to it . . .
I really love some of the summer TV shows. Haven, Leverage, and Eureka are some of my favorites. In fact, I dare say the programming is better in the summer than in the rest of the year for the most part. More creative, more adventurous, more character driven. I wonder why that is.
The copyedits for Shadow City have arrived and I’m diligently working on them. So all is on track for the December release. I’m also working on the fourth Horngate book, though it has no name yet.
Is summer racing as fast for everyone else as it is for me? It’s flying past. Make it go slower!
The third Horngate book is available for preorder. It’s called Shadow City and of course takes off right after Crimson Wind. Here’s a description:
From the moment she was bound by magic and transformed into a deadly warrior, Max dreamed of escape. Instead she went to war. She saved the coven she was enslaved to defend from unearthly destruction, but only at the cost of her own freedom.
Now Max has been taken captive and forced to become the champion of a demi-god in a deadly game where the losers die, or worse. She must perform three impossible tasks, each one more dangerous than the last. Alone and unarmed in a strange magical city, Max will battle creatures she’s never even heard of. If she loses, she dies. If she wins, she might just get a chance to go home to her friends, her family, and to Alexander, the sexy Shadowblade warrior whose fate is entwined with hers.
But Horngate’s own future is far from certain. The covenstead is threatened by a Fury—a creature that, once it escapes its fragile bonds, will wreak untold destruction. Will Alexander and the other Shadowblades be able to protect Horngate without Max? Or will Max discover that she doesn’t have a home to return to?
This is an awesome book and I think you’re going to love how it plays out. Here’s the shadow city Amazon link, but go ask your bookstore or order from anywhere you like. Spread the word!
I’ve been thinking about short stories. And maybe not stories . . . Maybe just scenes or vignettes. I kind of want to write some things for fun here and there. So. Here’s your chance to tell me what you’d like to read.
Stuff set in the Path universe? Who do you want to hear about? What story do you still want to hear?
Stuff set in Crosspointe? When? With whom? What do you want to know?
And Horngate? What do you want to know there?
Or something else entirely? Maybe an offshoot of the short stories on my site? Anything else?