As Veronica hinted in her post yesterday, I have similar exciting news! The duology that Grace Draven and I did together, FOR CROWN AND KINGDOM, was picked as one of the Best Books of 2016 by Library Journal!! We are over the moon. What tremendous validation for our joint effort.
Which means, of course, that we’ll have to do another!
I think the others of the SFF Seven are trying to drive me mad, because this week’s topic is Flash Fiction Based on Your Favorite Holiday/Festival Carol/Song/Hymn. Since I’m looking at the December 27 release of THE EDGE OF THE BLADE, I decided to riff on Jepp’s Twelve Days of Christmas. Now, the world Jepp lives in doesn’t have Christmas, and if it did, she’d probably loathe this song, but she still can give it her own particular spin. Come on over to see what I came up with!
When I was in grad school, I drove this old Honda Accord that my folks passed on to me. It was a great car and I loved it. Got me everywhere, always started, great zippiness and gas mileage. At one point, I needed to replace the windshield and also some wheel bearings. I can’t recall why I did it this way (this was probably 25 years ago), except that I was poor, but I sourced a new windshield and the wheel bearings at a salvage yard in Greeley, Colorado. I lived in Laramie, Wyoming at the time – about 1.5 hr drive north of Greeley – so I drove down, picked up the parts and drove them down to Denver (another hour) to my mechanic to install. Denver is where I grew up and where my folks were, so I’m sure this made logistical sense at the time, timed with a visit to them. Why I wanted to go to that mechanic has totally escaped me.
Why I remember it at all is because, when the salvage guys loaded the windshield into the back seat, I helped position it. I closed the door on my side, then one of them closed the door on the other and I heard a crunch. I opened the door on that side and, sure enough, he’d closed it on the corner of the windshield and crushed it. I pointed this out and they pulled the windshield out again. The owner met with me in his office and said how I’d broken it. He was full of noise and bluster. I said it was crushed on the corner where his guy shut the door and he said, oh no, it broke down the middle. I said, no way! He looked me in the eye and said, “it’s in the Dumpster out back now, cracked down the middle.”
And I realized he knew he was lying and meant to bully me.
He offered to split the cost of the windshield with me – which meant I paid half for something I never even got – but I needed the wheel bearings, so I finally agreed. I drove off, fuming with rage and impotence, entirely uncertain what else I could have done.
Still makes me mad.
The point of this story is that it happened before smart phones and social media. I could – and did – tell everyone I knew what a crap operation that guy ran. But, if I’d had a camera phone then, I would have snapped a picture before they took the windshield away. I would have posted it to hell and gone on social media if they’d still tried to cheat me. I would have left a nasty review everywhere I could find.
As it was, I had no way to hold them accountable.
I see this as a vast change in the world. So many people are questioning why we see so much terrible stuff happening – cops beating innocents, protesters being bullied, bigots and racists spouting horrifying opinions – but I think that shit has been going on all this time. We just didn’t see it.
Instead we were all stuck with fuming in impotent rage, sucking up the hit, and moving on. We told our small circles, sure, but we had no way to broadcast the injustice to a larger world. In this day and age, that guy would never have gotten away with doing that to me.
All in all, for all its evils, I think the transparency is better.
I got this a while back and saved it for you all. Fabulous reader Julie Fine texted it to me upon receipt of an ARC of THE EDGE OF THE BLADE. I think she was pleased. 🙂
I’ve been getting bits here and there about EDGE, which releases in a month on December 27, so I’ll start sharing them. The most important bit of info, it’s on Net Galley now!
Booklist gave it a lovely review:
Kennedy (Pages of the Mind, 2016) continues the Uncharted Realms series with Jepp, a member of the queen’s guard more comfortable on a mission than in society, being named as an ambassador. Luckily, Jepp has Prince Kral, once her lover, to help her along. Jepp’s view of how women are to behave clashes with the norms of the Dasnaria hierarchy. She chafes under Dasnarian restrictions until she is summarily banished from court. She just wants to sleep with whomever she wants, whenever she wants. And she wants Kral—again. That’s not too much to ask, is it? Despite her ejection and reluctance to embrace her new role, Jepp ultimately takes to it in her own way, earning respect from the royal family. Fantasy adventure, snarky dialogue, and hot sex help Jepp find her way back to her beloved queen for her next assignment. Readers new to Kennedy’s series will do well to read it from the beginning, though this book can be enjoyed as a stand-alone.
— Ilene Lefkowitz
In other news, if you hadn’t heard, two novellas originally only available in collections are now out as stand-alone buys! EXACT WARM UNHOLY, which originally appeared in THE DEVIL’S DOORBELL anthology, is a contemporary erotic romance, with characters unrelated to any of my other series. Kristen Ashley really liked it, saying on her Goodreads blog:
And I was again stunned. Stunned by the originality of the concept of this story. Stunned by the emotions it made me experience in such a short expanse of time. Stunned by the beauty of the romance in it that ran parallel to the overwhelming sadness throughout.
The other, THE CROWN OF THE QUEEN, is a novella set in the world of The Twelve Kingdoms, involving most of the main characters from the initial trilogy and setting up the story that starts up in The Uncharted Realms.
Also, a bit of exciting news I think I haven’t yet mentioned elsewhere, I’ll be bundling the first three Sorcerous Moons books into a print volume, using the fabulous cover for THE TIDES OF BÁRA. Will have a release date on that soon! Maybe a good holiday gift! *nods* *flutters lashes*
Our topic this week at the SFF Seven is “The part of the writing process when I freak out.”
Which… it would be easier to pick a part of the process where we DON’T freak out. Writing seems to depend on freaking out in the same way stage performances feed on nerves.
THE CROWN OF THE QUEEN will be available as a stand-alone novella on November 22! (You can preorder now at Amazon, Kobo and Smashwords.) If you already have FOR CROWN AND KINGDOM, this is the exact same novella in that duology with Grace Draven. You can get mine alone for $2.99 or both of us for $3.99. A deal, either way!! If you haven’t read it, THE CROWN OF THE QUEEN takes place between THE TALON OF THE HAWK and THE PAGES OF THE MIND. It’s told from Dafne’s point of view and bridges the events in the aftermath of TALON and sets up her book, which is PAGES.
Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is “The person(s) most influential on my early writing career.” Come on over to find out who made all the difference for me when I needed it most.