I haven’t blogged in a while, because I have been trying to finish Secret Magic and the combination of actually finding my groove with the story and NaNoWriMo in November meant that I didn’t want to spend any of my free time on blogging when I could be writing the book.
But it has been a while, and I figured I’d better check in, especially since I won NaNo (yay!) and am nearly finished the book.
I’m still pushing hard to get the book out by the end of this month, but you’ll notice that I haven’t put up a pre-order link yet. I’m not going to set an official date until the draft is done. Once it’s finished, I can plan for how long it will take to do revisions, copyedits, and proofreading/formatting.
I will announce the pre-order as soon as I can, and thank you for your patience! This book is going to be good, I promise. My editor has already read the first half and in addition to all of the things I need to tweak in revisions, she had some great things to say about the story and characters. I hope you love it as much as she and I do.
I will have two episodes of the Feminist Romantic going up this month. The first one, on December 6, will be about revision–not that I’m quite there yet with Secret Magic! The second, on December 20th, will be about holiday-themed romances. In addition to the usual Christmas romances, I’ve found a number of Chanukah romances and one Yule/Solstice romance, but I’m still looking for other holidays around this time of year (Diwali, Kwanzaa, etc.). If you know of any titles, send me an email (email@example.com) or leave a comment and let me know!
I couldn’t be more pleased to reveal this new cover.
You’ll notice that it is different from the previous three covers in style and design. That’s a conscious choice. With this book, the series is moving in a new direction, both geographically and historically.
(Some spoilers for the first three books will follow)
After the events of Memories of Magic, Percy Seward, youngest son of the Marquess of Hazelby, and Evie Finn, adopted sister of Ronan McCarrick, head to the Continent in search of proof of who currently holds the Aegis Spell–and who is receiving the power the spell is draining from England.
Their search will lead them from the mountains of Austria to the glittering world of turn-of-the-century Berlin–and then into unexpected territory: the Realm of Faerie, where Evie’s past–and her future–will be fully revealed.
Secret Magic will be available in time for the holidays, on December 12, 2017. Pre-order is coming soon!
My kids are finally back in school, huzzah!
That means it’s time to start the serious business of writing the fourth book in the Fay of Skye series, Secret Magic.
I hope to finish the bulk of the book this month, with mid-October as my deadline to have it to my editor. Since I also have an anthology coming out in November to write a short story for, that’s on my plate as well.
If you’re subscribed to my newsletter, you know that I’m asking for help to pick a title for that story. Subscribe here and I’ll send you the choices so you can help me decide!
I will also be revealing the cover to Secret Magic later this month, so keep an eye out for that. But I will otherwise be going “dark” on social media while I write, so other than my scheduled blog posts here (which are already written) and live-tweeting episodes of Outlander season three, I’ll see you all sometime in October!
For Memories of Magic’s release day party, I made a special YouTube video of me reading the first chapter of the book. I am not actually on the video–I recorded the audio and then used the book’s cover as a still image. So it’s almost more like a podcast.
I didn’t do any accents (I am intimidated by accents!), and there are some coughs and fumbles that I didn’t manage to edit out, plus a weird buzzing that I assume has something to do with an equipment problem but I don’t know enough to figure out what. Otherwise, though, I think this turned out fairly well. I’m even talking with A.E. Hayes (who did the live video with me on Facebook for the Crazy Little Spring Called Love release) about starting a monthly podcast.
Check out the video. I hope you enjoy it!
PS–tonight, several of the authors of Crazy Little Spring Called Love will be interviewed by Focus on Fantasy Romance, a weekly vlog about all things magical and romantic!
Check it out:
While doing revisions on Memories of Magic, I had an epiphany.
Several of the songs on Lindsey Stirling’s new album Brave Enough caught my attention and went into my favorite song playlist, but the one in particular that I’ve been listening to on repeat is “Where Do We Go?”
Note–Lindsey Stirling makes epic music videos. If she makes one of this song, I’ll replace this with the official video. Until then, this is just the audio with her album cover.
Anyway, I couldn’t figure out what it was about this song that was getting inside my head until I was working on my revisions and trying to “up the stakes” for Olivia. There was already a thread in the book that things are not going well for her in her career, but the way I’d written it, she still had steady work and expected to turn things around any day. And then I realized that I was going too easy on her, and so I changed things. Now, the project that she’s working on is her last chance at making a go of her career. If this fails, she’s going to have to give up.
And that’s where the song comes in. Because now, it fits. Early in the book, circumstances force Olivia away from the project, tearing away her last chance, and now she has to ask herself: Who am I without my career, and where do I go now?
“Where do we go when our prayers are answered but the answer is no?”
Memories of Magic is now available! Buy it here:
One of the reasons that I needed to redesign Essential Magic‘s cover was because of this cover. I spent an inordinate amount of time searching for a model that looked like Olivia. After you read the book, you’ll know that even this one isn’t an exact match–but the emotional expression is a perfect fit.
Once I’d decided on this model, and this particular image, I knew I would have to do something different with Essential Magic. A Theft of Magic still worked, for the most part. I tweaked it a little for the redesign, but it already used the same visual language. Essential Magic didn’t–but it does now!
Here it is, the cover for Memories of Magic:
The print version isn’t 100% done. I’m still tweaking the back cover copy and some of the minor details. But this is pretty much what it will look like:
What do you think? Are you excited to read Olivia’s story? A firm release date for Memories of Magic is coming soon–just as soon as I get my edits back and can estimate the time needed to revise, have copy edits completed, and do the final proofing/formatting.
AVAILABLE MAY 23 2017 – PRE-ORDER NOW
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Here are all of the covers together. Don’t they look great?
My entire series is set in an alternate world where magic is real, but the changes I made to accommodate that magic have only played a minimal part up to this point in the books. In Memories of Magic, alternate history has a starring role.
In this book, my main characters are both historians. Olivia is an archaeologist, preferring the hands-on and strictly scientific aspects of discovering the past. Savit is an anthropologist, looking beyond the facts of what was found where and when it was used, to the cultures and people that created the artifacts.
I’ll post another blog closer to the book’s release about the history of anthropology, and where Savit fits in the evolution of the subject, but within the context of Memories, Olivia and Savit are at odds over the scientific rigor of anthropology. Olivia calls it “informed fiction” and Savit thinks of it as giving a narrative to her data.
But now Olivia is actually seeing the story–having visions of the past. And of course, Etta wants to make use of that gift to find out more about the spell draining English magic.
I’ve chosen 1688 as the origin of the drain, and Olivia and Savit quickly learn that it is ancient magic, known as the Aegis Spell. The reason for it to be cast in 1688 is an event known as the Glorious Revolution.
In the real world, the Glorious Revolution came about because James II opposed many of the things that his Parliament wanted. With some exceptions, he wanted more religious tolerance and more power in the hands of the monarch. But the big issue that would eventually see him overthrown was his conversion to Catholicism and the birth of a Catholic male heir.
In my world, the politics are similar, but on magical lines (with their attendant deities) rather than religious. James II is for the Magisterium and chooses his Sorcerer accordingly. His daughters adhere to the Academe, but a son would not. So his eldest daughter Mary and his nephew William arrive from the Netherlands to seize power.
In the real world, there are some mild skirmishes, and James first flees, throwing the Great Seal of the Realm into the Thames. He is then captured by William’s forces. Eventually they allow him to escape to the Continent, and despite an attempt to regain the throne afterward, William and Mary had relatively few problems taking over. That is why it’s called the Glorious Revolution.
In my world, the events follow the same course, but the Great Seal is a magical artifact of kingship and not just a mundane seal. After its loss, William and Mary resort to a different magical recourse to legitimize their rule: the Aegis Spell.
The spell is still in place in 1897. But instead of taking English magic and channeling it through the monarch and then back into the land and people, the spell has been diverted elsewhere. Finding out where and when the change happened will take all of Olivia and Savit’s skills as researchers, and Olivia’s newfound talent of seeing into the past to discover secrets never committed to paper.
The problem? Olivia’s visions are dangerous, and none of the Fays can teach her how to control them. And while Savit has the knowledge needed to help her, his attraction to her gets in the way of his own magic.
Memories of Magic is coming soon!
The book soundtrack posts are some of my favorite to do, because I get to dig deeper into my reasons for choosing particular songs for my writing playlist. Sometimes I don’t even realize why I chose a song until I sit down to write about it!
First on the list for this book is “Shatter Me” by Lindsey Stirling. In a weird way, this song is relevant to both Olivia and Savit. I say weird, because they are very, very different people who (at least at first) see the world in vastly disparate ways. But on a deep, emotional level they both want the same thing. Although neither of them would admit it at the beginning of the book, they’re both unhappy, dissatisfied with the state of their lives. It’s going to take a leap into the unknown, and a reliance on each other, to find fulfillment and feel alive.
Next is “Gravity of Love” by Enigma. This one has gone in and out of my writing playlists for a while, but only for its more atmospheric qualities. This is the first time I’m really connecting the lyrics to one of my characters. Savit has always chosen the path of restraint and detachment, so this song speaks directly to him, reminding him that there are other ways to wisdom. Perhaps he and Olivia will only survive if they give in to the gravity of love…
Unfortunately I couldn’t find an official video for this, so I picked one that has the lyrics on it.
There are lots more songs on there, but here’s one that I found recently while surfing through Bollywood music. Although the film this is from would work well for Olivia, this is kind-of a Savit song, too. It’s this bewildered journey through a world that is suddenly alive with sensations and feeling–exactly the way he feels when he’s with Olivia. Translation here at Bollynook.
Last one, this time an Olivia song. Again, I found this by looking through Bollywood playlists. I’m not sure what the movie is about, but the lyrics fit for Olivia. She’s well-traveled, and has experienced much in her life, including other loves. But she’s never met anyone like Savit. My favorite is this line:
Na Toh Pyaari Si Nadani Kahin
I didn’t find that lovely innocence anyplace
(Translation, again, from Bollynook)
It’s so perfect for Savit, who despite his position as her mentor in magic, is an innocent in ways of the heart. This is not Olivia at the beginning of the story, but it is where she finds herself by the end.
I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into my writing life! Now I’m going to get back to it!