Come ask me anything about writing, myself, or working at a deli.. 😀
Originally I had aimed to have Delphinium out on August 31st. I’ve bumped the pre-order over by a month and moved it to September 30th. There have been a lot of changes in the book just this last month with me really getting into writing it in detail and I need the time to make sure it’s right (and to give my betas more time as well).
I’m sorry if this disappoints anyone, but I hope a month isn’t much longer to wait, and it helps me get the book exactly where I want it to be 🙂
(I’m guessing on the version number by the way)
I released Larkspur over 3 years ago. Since then I’ve grown as a person and an author. I can see it in how I’m writing Delphinium and in general as well.
Last night I was reading over Larkspur to double-check something and realized I had inconsistencies. Two, maybe three depending on how you count it. These were things that once I noticed I could not un-see and it bothered me greatly that I had them in a book I released so long ago. No one else had noticed them (whether because no one cared, they were hard to spot, or another reason I’m not sure) but that didn’t matter. I stayed up way too late fixing them and making them work for future readers.
Mostly it was small things- like how Aimé could in no way start his journey from where he was living, receive a message that Pierre was sick, and meet Pierre the next day (it’s a two week trip by carriage), so I added in that he had already been traveling and almost at the castle (thankfully carrier pigeons are fast little mofos and a message could go through. Also added the mention in book 2 that the pigeons were magically modified to be able to find people specifically as well, not just home, as that’s how regular carrier birds work).
I also realized I had Pierre call Pluta magically in the last part of the book, but called out to her at the start- fixed that by adding his magic wasn’t working well at the beginning (made sense too, so that’s nice).
And I made one small change in dialogue- Pierre mentioned something about fée rings and I realized that it would more likely be said by Elizabeth, so changed who said it.
That’s all (for now). For a 15K book I’m quite annoyed that there were so many issues still. None of my writer-friends who read it noticed it, and neither did the editor and copyeditor that helped me out.
We’re up to 19 pre-orders on Delphinium, yay!
And I am working on it every spare moment I can get (and given that I have two other jobs, that can be quite random). Putting it up for pre-order was a great way to get my ass in gear (I think I’ll be doing it with future books from now on), even though a good half of me is still terrified about the release. But I have myself on a tight schedule, with plenty of days set aside for editing and polishing.
So far it’s been fun and good to be writing under this deadline. Delphinium keeps expanding- getting new characters even this late in the game, new points-of-view, more backstory. This is not how Delphinium would have been written even several months ago, much less two-and-a-half years ago when I first wanted to finish it asap after Larkspur. I know it sucks waiting for books, sequels especially, but I truly think this is worth it.
In similar news- I put Larkspur and Delphinium in new categories on Amazon! It seems to be a new category on the site in general, but Gaslamp Fantasy is now something you can find both books in. That’s the 19th century-ish ‘ghosts and spirits’ version of steampunk where it’s more about the supernatural than the tech. It fits perfectly (and is what I tried to evoke when I use the term ‘gothic’ for it).
They also have their own series page now too:
You’ll notice the series is “Stories of Clandestina” and not “Larkspur” (it was actually Larkspur for a little bit until I contacted Amazon). I did this on purpose since after ‘The Larkspur Series” there are more books that will be coming out about this realm and really they will all be connected. There are stand-alones set in the past and then future series that move forward. I have two ‘past’ novellas in mind, and two more series set in the future- making it 14 books total.
But right now I’m furiously working on book 2 and we’ll work on books 3-14 after.
Fairies, disease, and the heir’s return.
Pierre Salvador and his beloved, Elizabeth Anne, travel to his childhood home for the summer. They intend to spend some time alone together before he becomes the ruling duc (perhaps with her at his side). But Pierre finds himself set to inherit a mistrusting people with an uneasy history, and duties cannot be put off any longer. A fatal illness is spreading, he is being claimed by the fée, and someone has already tried to take his life. Though, with his being a Lord of Death, it will take much more to kill him.
The book will come out on August 31st!
I love this book so much. At first it was supposed to be a shortish 30K sequel- have a few small things happen, but nothing too substantial. Now it’s going to be ~120K. So it’s 8 times the length of Larkspur and filled with a number of new characters, plots, and magics.
It isn’t entirely done yet (or else it would be out) but I am finishing it up. A hard deadline like this should help and motivate me (it seems to be helping). So far I’ve gotten several pre-orders, so I’m glad people are still interested. I WILL NOT take this long for book 3. I hope getting into a nice groove with finishing this up helps me get book 3 out a lot faster.
Lord Dorian, Steward of Piques, sat across from Duc Felicien, who had been his childhood friend so very long ago. They had been playing in a creek in the woods when the younger boy disappeared at Springfinding. Dorian himself could barely remember it, but the after-effects had been grand. The duc and duchesse had held out hope for several years, every great change in season bringing with it a wish that their only son would return, but the hope faded as time went by. The steward at the time, his father, took over more and more duties as the grieving couple found themselves unable to. With their deaths came an end to the noble line of Piques. Until now.
It seemed as if only a fraction of the time had passed for Félicien, though. He was still young, a boy, and Dorian’s own children could now be his peers.
“How long were you there?”
“Ten years. Or maybe a hundred,” Félicien replied with a shrug. That those two measurements were vastly different did not seem to bother him. “Time flows, but rarely at a steady pace. How long has it been in this plane?”
“Sixty years. Exactly. You disappeared at Springfinding and today is—”
“The first day of our Midspring, yes,” the young man interrupted. “The celebrations began last night. We escorted those out who would help prepare this plane for Spring, and I went along because I reached my majority.” He smiled and his grin broadened as he added, “I came to cause some mischief, but it seems I have brought much of it with me.”
“It is less you,” the steward said, “and more your return, that has us all..”
“In a tizzy?”
The boy was enjoying this far too much. But he was, after all, still a boy. He was too young to be an adult in Piques, but a fée’s majority was at the start of puberty. So he was fourteen or fifteen. That he considered himself fée was also disturbing.
“Well then,” Félicien said, spreading his arms and leaning back in his chair, balancing on the hind legs in a way that should not be possible. “I can always put things to right by just going back—”
“You cannot. You are the rightful Duc of Piques, you have duties.”
“I, duties?” His chair slammed down and Félicien laughed. A dangerous glint entered his eye. “You say this land is mine to do with as I desire?”
“In a way.” Dorian tried to chose his words carefully. “I have been handling the affairs since your parents deaths, but there has been no duc for many years. You have been returned to us, please, perhaps you may take some time to be here. Do this for me.”
“You? And who are you to me?”
“Dorian Louis, your steward. And a friend, from when we were young. It was on an adventure together that you were lost.”
“Dorian Louis,” Félicien repeated softly. A chill went down the steward’s back as he realized he had told someone of Faery his whole true name.
“Very well, then.” Félicien inclined his head. “On our friendship, I shall stay a time. Perhaps there is a reason I have returned after all.”
“Thank you.” Tension eased from his shoulders and Dorian leaned back in his own chair. This would be difficult. He was tempted to let the heir go back, make Ophion continue his duties as planned, but it would be wrong to deny the land its proper ruler. A steward was all well and good, but they were not the duc.
A soft knock had both looking over to the door. Dorian bade them enter and a young girl in rich clothes came in. His daughter, Ophélie.
Out of the corner of his eye Dorian saw Félicien stand and bow to her (more than he himself had gotten).
His daughter curtsied in kind, and then gave her attention to him. “Papa, forgive the interruption, but I was told to come give you aid? Brother has already left.”
“Ah, yes, well- my dear, this is His Grace, Félicien, the rightful Duc of Piques. If you would be so kind as to show him around his home.”
She turned now-curious eyes to Félicien and smiled. “Of course. Your Grace, if you would like to follow me.”
“Thank you, mademoiselle. And thank you, Dorian.”
“I am not the duc yet, am I?” Félicien asked as they left the room. “Surely there must be some sort of ceremony.”
“Well, yes, but as both of your parents are deceased, it is your title already. Though you do not seem of age, so perhaps the actual duties shall not fall to you for a while yet.”
“I am sixty-four,” the boy said proudly. “At least, I was born sixty-four years ago. But I feel not a day over fifty.” When she looked back to him, unsure of how to take his words, he laughed once more.
“And how old are you?” Félicien asked, walking beside her, focused more on her than the path they were walking.
“Fourteen years and a month,” she said. “The month is important.”
“Of course it is.”
“Now, I will show you around the domain and tell you what I know. Brother shall help you after, he knows more than I as he is Papa’s heir, but is not home right now.”
“Oui, mademoiselle, as you say!” Félicien stepped out in front of her, walking backwards while facing her. She tried to ignore him, looking over his shoulder, but it was difficult.
“Your name, my dear?” he asked, having studied her from head to foot. She was pretty, with chestnut hair that was pinned up, and almost-violet eyes.
“Ophélie, though you may continue to call me Mademoiselle.”
Félicien grinned. “Ah, but if I understand this, I am your duc. I may call you as I please.”
“And I am your guide for the day. Without me you shall be lost and confused and the cause of much trouble.”
“I like being trouble.”
She stopped at this and he continued for a few paces before hitting a stand that held a decorative vase.
“Like that?” she asked, as he whirled around to make sure it did not fall.
He turned back around a bit sheepishly. “Yes, just like that.”
“Well then, if you shall follow me?”
He returned to her side, taking her arm and gesturing with his free hand that she should lead the way.
“And your name?”
“Is that your true name?”
“Of course not.”
Pierre’s parents weren’t really characters whose stories I had in mind for a long time. But when I started to elaborate on backstory things began to come up. I am falling more and more in love with Faery and its land and people- something that I didn’t have as a part of Clandestina not that long ago. My favorite part is the messing with time- Félicien has aged only about 10 years or so, but a lot more time has passed for Piques. Time to forget what it was like to have a duc, time for the distrust of fée to simmer. And Félicien does not even care much at all for politics, and from the earlier Scene you’ll know he disappears in another nine years to leave Piques alone again with Ophélie’s death. Pierre is inheriting a lot of baggage. Fortunately he takes after his mother and finds people and politics interesting, even if sometimes he’s selfishly busy with dark magic.