Diana Pharaoh Francis | Diana P. Francis | Diana Francis

Archive for the 'Horngate books' Category

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010
Crimson Wind (sequel to Bitter Night)

For those of you wondering just what Crimson Wind will be about, here’s a little blurb:

Max is a Shadowblade—a supernatural warrior created to serve and protect her witch, Giselle. She was made to kill and she’s very good at it. But there are some troubles you can’t solve with a gun and Max has run smack into one. Since the devastation of her covenstead four weeks ago and the revelation of the coming apocalypse, Max has been itching to bring her family back to the safety of Horngate. The only trouble is they think she was murdered thirty years ago, a belief Max has done everything in her power to cultivate. So she’s naturally a little worried about how they’ll feel when she tells them she’s alive and never bothered to get in touch. And oh by the way, mom and dad, she isn’t human anymore. As if that wasn’t enough to worry about, the Guardians have made a major move in their war against humanity and now it’s a race to save her family before they are swallowed by a a blood storm of wild magic. That is, if Max can even get off the starting block. First she has to deal with an enraged wannabe lover who can destroy worlds, a pissed off mage, and a pig-headed witch.

ETA: I originally said this would be out in October 2011, but I was mistaken. I’m fairly certain it will be out in March of 2011. Sorry for the mixup! If that changes, I’ll let you know.

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010
Crimson Wind updatery

So today I got back into the groove of Crimson Wind, following the holidays and cold. I ended up writing 3200 words today, which makes me very happy. It means I may have found my way back into the groove. I think I even like a lot of it. Which is more than I can say about what came before, but I’m not sure if I can trust my own opinion on those other chapters since I had such a hard time with them having to draft them four different times. But I’m on track again and very pleased.

One of the things that’s been difficult is getting back into the heads of the characters. Max is easier than Alexander, especially since he’s more transitional. What I mean is that he’s undergone more changes and has to find his footing and identity again. That means he’s changing and developing, which means he’s in flux for me. But he’s about to go bad ass. More bad ass than before. It should be fun.

And now, a snippet from Crimson Wind.

She was watching him with cold implacability. Magic curled in her eyes like ribbons of smoke. Even this depeleted, she still had deep reserves of power.

“Never forget what I can do to you,” she said. “That was just a tiny tast of what will happen to you if you let anything happen to her.”

“She runs after trouble like starving sharks after blood,” he rasped.

“Yes. No doubt that will make the trip more interesting for you. Now go. It’s nearly dark.”

He hesitated then nodded respectfully and left. Outside, he found Niko at his side.

“Damn. That looked like it hurt,” the other man said with an unsympathetic grin. “Glad it wasn’t me.”

Alexander tossed him a baleful look but did not rise to the bait. “So where is Max? I do not want her to leave without me.”

Niko’s expression turned grim and a chill spidered down Alexander’s spine.

“Where is she?” he demanded.

Thursday, October 29th, 2009
The Big Idea

If you want to know more about how I came to the ideas for Bitter Night, I’m talking about just that on John Scalzi’s Whatever. So come read!

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009
last week countdown

Bitter Night will be out in one week. I’m dreadfully nervous. Herds of wilderbeasts are stampeding through my innards. Have you ordered your copy yet? So SciFiGuy has a great review up of Bitter Night today if you need more encouragement, and tomorrow he’ll have an interview with me.

Chapter 1 is up on my website, and here, just for you, is chapter 2:
Read the rest of this entry »

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009
Stewing in My Own Juices

I’m running a fever. Have been for a couple of days. Makes me cranky, makes me unable to sleep well, and makes working hard. Don’t. Need. This.

I also find myself with little to blog about because of it. Mostly I’m dazing and feel like him stewing in my own juices, except the fever makes feel frozen. Frozen stew juice.

I wasn’t able to watch the Obama speech tonight, but I read it, and frankly I found it reassuring, and I found it to be rational and balanced. I hope that there’s health reform. Goodness knows we need it. Goodness knows I do. I still have major concerns about what the final product will look like–I am very much hoping the rational, public service side wins out. I just wish the Congress Critters had to have ordinary insurance and deal with all the hassles. They’d certainly move more quickly and sensibly. One thing the speech said that I agree with totally as that the last few months have made me despise our congressmen and women more than usual. They have acted badly and I hope they straighten up and fly right. Joe Wilson would be my top example of poor behavior. Simple civility is the least of what he and everyone else in this debate should offer. I wonder when we started electing children and spoiled brats to lead us.

Here is also where I start calling attention to the fact that Bitter Night will release in just over a month and I’m asking you to preorder and tell your friends. Get the word out for me if you would. I’ll be posting chapters soon. Look for an ARC giveaway next week. I figured out what the contest will be. Start thinking about it. I am going to need a title for the next book. No, you don’t get to know anything about it. But it should be something of the same flavor of Bitter Night–dark and gritty, possibly heroic and powerful. I want a two word name. So be thinking about that. I’ll be opening up the contest very soon. Soooooo . . . . think.

Saturday, August 8th, 2009
snippet sat . . err . . sunday

Yeah, I’m late. No wait! I’m early! Sunday! Snippet Sunday! It’s still alliterative.

From Bitter NIght, since it’s coming soon:

Her gaze ran over him. He was maybe seventeen and cute beneath the ugly uniform and acne. His face was still curved with baby fat, but in a few years he was going to be a lady-killer. She felt her face hardening. In a few years, he’d be a tempting target for a witch. He blanched at the sudden violence in her expression and took a step back. She heard his heart start to race and smelled the sour scent of fear. In a minute he’d pee his pants.

Fuck. She grabbed her change and the coke cup and went to fill it. She leaned her hip against a bolted down chair and studied the floor until her burgers were ready. No danger here. No danger here. She repeated it to herself, hoping Todd would feel it and believe. When he plopped the two grocery-sized sacks on the counter, she grabbed them without a word and strode out the door.

And now, your turn. Bring it on. Show me what you’re working on.

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009
The Fabulous Ann Aguirre says . . .

The fabulous Ann Aguirre, author of Blue Diablo and Grimspace and Wanderlust (all of which I love huge, especially Blue Diablo which is why I was hoping she would agree to read it), was invited to read Bitter Night for blurb purposes. Here is one of the things she had to say:
“In the deliciously epic Bitter Night, Diana Pharaoh Francis has married the Charles de Lint-style old school urban fantasy to the new college of asskickery in a pagan-pirate handfast. I totally loved this book.”

I am a complete puddle of goo and over the moon. *bounce bounce bounce*

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
Bitter Night Revisions . . . are done

I. Am. Tired. But the revisions for Bitter Night are done and winging their way through cyperspace to my editor. I hope she likes. And remarkably, they are on time. Due today, turned in today. Okay, not be 5:00 NY time, but nothing said they had to be, and as long as it’s before business open tomorrow, it counts. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Just at the moment I’m about cross-eyed with exhaustion. I need sleep. And I need to get back to work on The Traitor King. And there are one or two other things to get done too. No rest for the wicked. Or even for me.

And the remarkable Ilona Andrews has been doing awesome things with my website. Go look. It’s got some issues, especially in IE, but I don’t care. It’s lovely. And I need to add content, I know.

I’ll post the first chapters of The Turning Tide soon–how’s that?

And now, collapsing in a heap. And trying to figure out how to cook dinner while in said heap.

Saturday, April 11th, 2009
Bitter Night Revision Update

So far I’m not nearly as far along on the revisions for Bitter Night as I should be, but I am making progress. What’s interesting is that I’ve cut at least 6K words out (and I’m not quite a third through the revisions–I did say they were going slow). I say at least because though I keep a snippet file of bigger chunks I’ve cut, I don’t include single sentences or phrases or words in there and there’s been a lot of those and trust me, they add up. Anyhow, I’ve got a file of around 6K, and the novel is about 2K longer than it started out.

So that means I’ve probably cut closer to 8K and put 2 K back in. But really, I’ve probably cut more like 12K and added back in about 4K. I’m still chopping–trying to make it lean and not saggy–and also I know of at least two scenes I need to add, and maybe a third, depending. I also have a scene I plan to cut. I’ve added one large scene already.

My goal is to make this novel about the same length as I first submitted it. That’s not arbitrary. Well, yeah, to an extent it is. But I do believe I’ve been a bit wordy and in making those cuts, I’m trying to force myself to really pay attention and streamline the prose so it’s a really good, sharp read.

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009
And now . . . The Cover of Bitter Night

I just got the cover for Bitter Night. Here it is. Isn’t it awesome?

bitternightfroncover13