Cover Reveal! Book 2 in the Tara’s Necklace series

With Girl of Glass and Fury (Tara’s Necklace #2) arriving this August, it’s time to show everyone the cover! And add a little information about the new book along the way, of course.

Girl of Glass and Fury Cover 1/3 Revealed

The quest to save Sundown continues, this time from the inside out.

Girl of Glass and Fury occurs at the same time as the new adult dark/portal fantasy Girl of Shadow and Glass, and a little beyond it. The same themes of friendship and finding unexpected strength continue with…

Girl of Glass and Fury Cover 2/3 Revealed

…a new narrator, Kith’s childhood best friend Finchoa! While Kith is off with the shadows, Finchoa is undergoing a trial of her own. She’ll stop at nothing to uncover Sundown’s secrets if it means changing her world. Seriously, she’s a very determined girl. So determined, she’ll face the gale-force winds of Sundown’s mountains. With the help from a couple friends, of course. (She’s also extremely popular–unlike outcast Kith.)

Girl of Glass and Fury full cover revealed
That, ladies and gentlemen, is a brand new world.

Finchoa’s determination is about to lead her to a whole new world. And what comes with a new world?

New enemies.

There are worse things than the shadows.

May Updates

May 2021 Updates

Hi all!

This May, the snow is gone (for now!), the trees are flowering and my projects are slowly coming together.

At the end of last month, the first two chapters of The Fishermen’s Princess were released for subscribers to my mailing list. This month will bring a more usual single chapter. The story currently follows Drina as she grows up and steps into her role as princess. That includes an arranged marriage!

On a personal note, I am a real language hound. I studied Japanese in college and have tried to keep it up as much as possible. I just finished the first level of Duolingo’s Japanese course. It was a great refresher and filled in some content I was missing (including things I was familiar with while living in Japan but never knew quite how to say).

Fun fact: at Japanese fast-food restaurants, you must ask for ketchup when you order. I often forgot to do this, much to my chagrin (I love ketchup, it’s the perfect condiment). Whenever I forgot, I was always too embarrassed of my language skills to walk back up to the counter and ask!

Now, what will this month bring to the blog?

Playing Catch-Up

I still have reviews coming of The Road to Farringale, by Charlotte E. English, and the full review of The Empress of Salt and Fortune. And that lace-making article is still in the works!

Upcoming Reviews & more

Sometime in the next two months or so, I’ll be adding reviews for Intisar Khanani’s The Theft of SunlightTamora’s Pierce’s Tempests and Slaughter and a review of at least one of the books in The Daevabad Trilogy, by S.A. Chakraborty. And of course I have to talk about W.R. Gingell’s Between Jobs from her City Between series!

I also have another author interview in the works, which I hope to bring to you in this month or the beginning of June.

Promos

One of last month’s promos is continuing until May 10th. For the rest of the month, I’ll have two going, all through BookFunnel.

You should also be sure to watch for an upcoming 99c sale of Girl of Shadow and Glass!

Now for the promos from BookFunnel:

This new promo is for all the sci-fi and fantasy lovers out there. Find free samples and whole titles available for download.

More giveaways! Mashups are stories with a blend of two genres. In the case of Girl of Shadow and Glass, sci-fi elements are incorporated into the world building, which is more like solar system-building.

This one began April 10th and will finish up May 10th. Once again, all the listings are for free books and samples in the sci-fi and fantasy genres.

Comics on the way!

I’ve been sitting on new comics in the Growin’ Pup and Social Isolation series. I hope to get both out soon.

I also still have some partly finished episodes of Princess Disasterface to complete. With my second draft of Girl of Glass and Fury in need of finishing, I can’t give you any definites, other than that I am definitely behind on everything!

Thanks for reading! Till next time.

Cheers,

-CKB

Thanksgiving already?!

Happy Thanksgiving to all the American readers out there. I can hardly believe it’s that time…partly because I was convinced the holiday after Halloween was Christmas for a minute there.

It’s been a year. My thoughts will be with those of you who will be missing somebody, or just celebrating alone.

We’ll be having a quiet holiday, enjoying the dog show and trying to get our dog interested in the roast turkey squeaky toy we gave her last year. This is my second Thanksgiving with the delightful pupper, my first dog in almost 20 years! (Which, if you’re wondering, is waaaayyy too long!)

On to the news!

Comics – You’ll find a brand new edition of Social Isolation right here. I’d love to put more content out in this category, but with everybody home the family tablet is in VERY high demand!

Blog – For all my fellow writers out there, my 3-part series, Use Contrast to Create Depth in Your Story, concluded last week. I hope to have more posts like it soon, but right now I have a few reviews to catch up on!

Seriously.

What I’m reading – An advanced reader copy (in exchange for an honest review…you know the deal!) of Helena Rookwood’s fabulous The Thief and the Throne. A while back, I reviewed the first book in the Carnival of Fae series, The Prince and the Poisoner, and I fully expect I’ll have the same level of gushing admiration for this one. Loving it so far.

I’ve read so many books in this pandemic…way more than I ever thought I would. And that’s nearly all thanks to ebook loans from my county library. I made this little graphic to celebrate that and all the things that make such an odd and frequently awful time better. I find that on a sad day, a little WeRateDogs can still make me smile.

What I read last – Mexican Gothicby Silvia Moreno-Garcia. If you haven’t read this one yet, do NOT let anyone spoil the plot twist for you!

Till next time!

Cheers,
CKB

Girl of Shadow and Glass Cover Reveal!

Available for Pre-Order on Amazon soon!

So…what do you think?

To me, this cover is much sharper than my novella cover, and fits the New Adult genre better. I love that it reflects the sci-fi elements of Girl of Shadow and Glass, what I’d call a world-hopping coming-of-age fantasy.

I’m so excited to share it with you all…but you’ll have to wait until January 15th, 2021! 

Till next time. Cheers!

-CKB

New cover, new title…coming soon!

My first full-length novel is on its way!

Girl of Shadow and Glass will be the first novel in the New Adult Tara’s Necklace series (formerly the Open World Series). For those of you who might’ve read A Shadow in Sundown, it will sound familiar and new all at once.

The description:

Six days. Two worlds. When it’s through, Kith Canto’s life will never be the same.

Born into a world of droughts and fading magic, Kith is destined for an unremarkable life, but for one thing. Six days a week, she crosses the gate between Sundown and its neighboring world, where she breakfasts with shadows.

The shadows teach Kith, telling her stories of worlds abundant with life. But Sundown is different. There, Kith is a shade-child, a fragile-bodied outcast with no hope of finding love or leaving her parents’ home.

Then a handsome young man shakes up Kith’s life, just as the shadows begin to teach a forbidden subject. They have their sights on her world, and the girl considered too weak to do anything is suddenly responsible for everything—including saving Sundown.

Proving the worlds wrong has never had such high stakes.

Stay tuned for a first look at the brand new cover. Or, better yet, sign up for my mailing list for the chance to get an advanced copy.

A quick note

Hello.

It’s been a while.

I’m well, how are you?

That’s good/I’m very sorry to hear that.

(But seriously, I hope you are all well and getting by.)

As we all go through this oddness of what some medical professionals are calling “a baby virus” (some baby!), I wanted to drop a quick note with the following orders of business:

#1. Book reviews!

Have you seen them?  The most recent ones are of Andrew Einspruch’s excellent and funny The Purple Haze (fantasy + humor) and Helena Rookwood’s The Prince and the Poisoner (fantasy + just a little romance).  These are two books I loved.  I know I could use a trip to the Carnival of Stars right about now.

Princess Disasterface, Ep. 2.4

#2. New comics!

I’ve been lagging on Princess Disasterface, but managed to complete an episode in April (Episode 2.4).  It somehow takes me hours just to do one page.  Maybe because I can’t stop putting details into areas behind walls that will just get half-covered anyway (see image at left!).  I’m working on ways to be more efficient, but not much luck so far!

#3. NEW new comics!

Social Isolation and Growin’ Pup are my latest (much faster to draw) series…es (just updated today with Social Isolation #4 and #5, and pupdated with Growin’ Pup #3).  Social Isolation will of course be a temporary comic, which I may or may not turn into something else later using the same character.

Growin’ Pup is based on my own life with my puppy, who is a big sweetie that barks at birds for not playing with her and tries to eat EVERYTHING outside.

#4. Writing!

A second edition of A Shadow in Sundown, in which I correct the formatting mistakes of the first edition, spiff it up a little with a new cover and some little graphics, and include a preview of book 2 in the series, will be coming soon.  It’s also looking like I may need more than 4 novellas, so I might have to drop the whole “Quartet” idea.  How DO authors predict these things?  (Though I guess extending a series is pretty common.)

I’m also preparing a pair of free short stories, one set in a version of our world split between magic users and not, and the other about a rather resourceful witch.  More on that later!

#5. What I’m reading:

Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce (Book One of the Numair Chronicles).  Alas, I haven’t read her work in a long time.  I’m on a library wait list for Alanna: The First Adventure and Wild Magic, both of which I want to re-read.  It’s been wonderful to try something newer (I say newer because I’m behind the times and it’s likely only new to this Tamora Pierce fan).  So far so good 3 chapters in!  (Of course.  It’s Tamora Pierce.)

That’s all for now.  Take care everyone!

-CKB

New episode + a message about Australia

Update (2/5/20): The message from author Andrew Einspruch can now be found here.

It’s happened!  I’ve crowbarred another episode into January before it ends.  Episode 2.2 is here.

It’s been exceedingly hard to get work on Princess Disasterface done this month.  Like a lot of people, I get migraines when the weather is up and down like this.  And it has been a VERY odd January.  I find myself celebrating each time the ground freezes (very unlike me) because I don’t have to wipe mud off my four-legged friend’s paws for once.

Switching tacks to something more serious now:

One of the things I have been doing, besides trying to create new comic and website content (and editing, writing, and more editing…), is making another special episode of Princess Disasterface.  I was inspired by what I think is an extraordinary email from the mailing list of Australian author Andrew Einspruch, whose house survived the bushfires, but with some damage to the animal sanctuary he co-runs (the people and animals are all safe).  I hope to be able to share the email with you all with permission, but either way I’ll try to pass on the heart of his message and draw attention through Princess Disasterface-humor.  I do believe that humor is be a good way to help serious messages reach others, especially when so many problems and tragedies need our attention and can overwhelm us.  All I can do is try!

In the meantime, USAToday has an article from earlier this month with lots of places to donate that benefit humans (including the families of fallen firefighters), and animals (including places that have formed campaigns to replant affected areas).  As for Einspruch’s email, The Deep Peace Trust Sanctuary has a fundraising campaign here, and he also suggests BlazeAid.

The heart of Einspruch’s message, by the way, is that if you can’t donate, pass it on so that it may reach others who can.

Cheers to you all,

CKB

New (Year’s) Content

Hi, all!  First off, let me wish you all a peaceful New Year.

I come bearing content.  Princess Disasterface now has its first Holiday Special (aptly titled Holiday Special #1), and we now have an illustrated Cast of Characters.  One of the lines came out a bit blurred by our witch friend.  Gah.  Something to fix in the New Year.

I’ve been toying with the idea of creating an actual Princess Disasterface comic book.  But where will I find the time?  Another resolution, I think.

In other news, I am very slowly putting together a fantasy short story collection to showcase my writing style.  Sales of my first novella are NOT exciting (in fact they may still be zero).  Building something like a reader base takes time. I doubt I would buy a review-less book from a first-time indie author, either.  So the goal is to continue to put out accessible quality content and eventually attract readers. That is the plan, at least!

There’s still a paperback version in the works, too.  (You notice my blog posts read like a wish list of completed tasks?!)

I couldn’t be happier that you’re all here with me on my comic(al) adventure, though.  Thank you for making Princess Disasterface a part of your free time.  It’s been a wonderful year.

Cheers, and a Happy 2020 to you all,

CKB

Self-publishing A Shadow in Sundown

My new novella is almost here!  In ebook form anyway.  A Shadow in Sundown (Book One of the Open World Quartet) will be released on Amazon first.

So what’s next?  Paperback, promotion stuff, adding the book to other retailers…it’s overwhelming at times but I’m looking forward to it, too.  I’ve been trying to get this together since the summer, was sure it would happen in November and…well, here we are.  Almost at the end of the year!

A Shadow in Sundown has an even longer history than that, though.  Looking back at old files, I think this story started 8 years ago.

What I remember is that I wrote it quickly, and that I had no idea to do with it next.  It wasn’t long enough to submit to a literary agent–not by a long shot.  I brainstormed ways to make it into a longer book, tried to expand on it, tried to add perspectives of new characters and continue the story.  Nothing quite worked.

Years later, I realized, Oh.  I write novellas.

After that, some of the writing problems I’d struggled with for ages started to make sense.  But there was one new problem: unknown authors rarely get novellas or short story collections published.  So when it was time to do something with this story that started so long ago, I had to learn how to become an indie author and self-publish.

I do wish novellas were more common today.  It’s true that some of my favorite books are uncommonly brief (like The Buddha in the Attic, or The Whale Rider), but in today’s market a standard word count range, for a first-time novelist, is generally very important.  (Journals are also an option.  You can read a little bit about literary journals in yesterday’s post, Goodbye to Glimmer Train.)  So for this, for me, self-publishing was king.

And here we are.  (And here we go!)

I’ll be sharing more about A Shadow in Sundown in the coming days.  I hope you’ll take a look.

Oh, and Princess Disasterface will be coming back soon, too!  I’d say in the next week or so.  As always, stay tuned, and thanks for reading.

Cheers!

-CKB