New blurbs and sales!

I am beginning to embrace the fact that I write romance. I’m getting an author logo made and decided that my tagline was going to be ‘Macabre Fantasy Romance’ or (when I’m being haughty) Macabre Fantaisie Romantique, as is now in the header 😉

I tended to shy away from this before, insisting it was fantasy *with* romance, and I still think so– but many of my readers go into it and then find there’s more romance than they were prepared for. A lot of reviews mention that this kind of book is not their thing. I was marketing to the usual fantasy peeps, not thinking to aim for the ‘romance’ specific group.

That said, I’m honestly not sure how to feel about this yet. ‘Romance’ seems like such a, well, women’s exclusive genre. I want my stories to be enjoyed by all. I think there’s enough adventure in it to be interesting to guys (I was quite the tomboy growing up and some of that has never left), and Pierre is the main character. His story is his love with Lizzy, but also his cræft and his being the duc. There’s more than just getting those two together.

I can’t deny that I love a romance, though. I love couples. I love couples who are awesome together and not just take the whole damn book to get together. Worse, if there are sequels, need to have stupid issues because of drama. But that’s a rant for another time…

Larkspur was probably too short to really expand on the adventure (even if I managed to get in two murders). Delphinium is much longer (still keeps getting bigger!), and there is a lot more going on. New characters, subplots, more magic…

So I have gone ahead and changed up the blurbs for Larkspur and Delphinium as well to emphases that there is a romance, but also hints to more going on.

Larkspur:

Pierre Salvador is a surgeon and the heir to a duchy, returning to court after years away at University. Now the childhood friend he left behind has grown-up–and is still not wed. But she does not know of his dealings with Mora, the Lady of Death, or what the jealous goddess wants him to do in return for her dark magic.

Note: This series began as a serial, so this book is quite short and does end abruptly with a cliffhanger. The second book grew and before I knew it became a whole novel. This series is therefor no longer a serial, but the first story remains as is.

I also added in the note that Larkspur is short and ends fast. I hope that will at least warn people and cut down on the reviews that take a star or two off for it :/

Delphinium:

Lady Elizabeth Anne does not know about the dark magic her beloved practices, and he has no intent to tell her. As they travel to his childhood home for the summer, Pierre Salvador attempts to balance his newfound love with his murderous cræft.

After they arrive the future Duc de Piques finds there is much to be done, and duties cannot be put off any longer. A fatal illness is spreading throughout his land, he is being claimed by those of Faery, and someone has already tried to take his life.

But it will take much more to kill a lord of death.

So yes, that assassination attempt in Larkspur will be looked into.

And as I mentioned before, I am still writing the second part of Delphinium. My betas have looked over the first part, mostly I’m just total shite at commas, but a few things may need to be tweaked or moved. The second part still keeps getting longer- I’m splitting chapters, then combining them, and running into new sub-plots.

The first ‘half’ was 46.6K  and the second ‘half’ is going to clock in at around 80K or so. Delphinium will therefore be about 126K! (To put this in perspective, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is 107K).

Larkspur was only 15K. So the second book will be about eight and a half times as long as the first one ❤

On that note: Larkspur is going to be FREE from September 19th to September 22nd! If for some reason you have not read it, or grabbed a copy from someone else and want a kindle edition, you get it on Amazon for free starting in about three hours!

And Delphinium’s still 99¢ until release, when it’ll go up to $2.99. I have 24 pre-orders right now, and I’m hoping to get to 100!

The Delphinium Pre-order is up! (Again!)

I am slightly behind schedule for Delphinium. But only slightly! I’ve had one Beta finish up Part 1, and another is almost finished. I’m working on Part 2, which is now 25 chapters long, but everything is settled and in the right place. A few chapters have been split up, a few moved over to Book 3, other chapters combined… but it all feels right and in sync now.

So I went ahead and set up the pre-order. Again.

I gave myself a bit of extra time, and factored in how long it’s taking my betas, and chose the release for December 1st. It gives me a month and a half to finish, a month for my betas, and then a few weeks to sew it all together. If I somehow finish early I can always move it up anyway.

I know I did this last year and things fell apart, but I am in a much better space both mentally, with my day-job, and with how I feel as a writer. And I needed a solid date because it wouldn’t put my ass in gear otherwise.

And so without further ado!:

Delphinium, or A Necromancer’s Home is now up to pre-order for the special price of 99¢! It goes up to $2.99 at release, so grab it while you can.

Personal goal: 102 pre-orders to match with Larkspur’s 102 reviews on Amazon.com. If the reviews go up, I’d hope the pre-orders do as well.


~Victoria

Working on Delphinium

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.

 

Delphinium is up for pre-order!

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.

Excerpt from Delphinium (Happy Valentine’s!)

“So what did you do this last year?” she asked as they began to walk around the clearing. They heard water and made towards the stream.

“Surgery work,” he replied. “We had corpses to practice on, to be able to know what went where, and why, and how.”

“How did you receive corpses?”

“Several people and families generously allowed us to use their loved one’s bodies after death.”

“I can not imagine that is popular. Did you share each.. Body?”
Pierre grimaced. He had not wished to inform Lizzy of this specifically. “Truthfully most were criminals whose deaths were not deemed important enough to give full funerals. At least this way they would be… of use.”

She took this in stride, nodding her head slowly though shuddering.

“A grim year, then.”

“Quite. Though it was not all gloom and horror.”

“Do tell?” While they had walked their hands had linked and she leaned against him as they found the river.

“We were students after all. Pranks were pulled, curfew ignored, alcohol drunk in excess. I was among the oldest so I mainly watched over the younger men.”

“And when you were younger?” Lizzy probed, reading into what Pierre had not said. He did not meet her eyes, staring up at the trees quite pointedly.

“Your brother and I had our fun at times.”

She laughed. They had gotten into enough trouble as children to guess the level of possible mischief Pierre and Piers could do when alone and bored.

“Anything illegal?”

I killed a man, he thought immediately. Several in fact, but one stood out to him in that moment. A prisoner taken straight from his hanging to his slab, so the students could see what was as close to a living body as possible. He had been not quite as dead as they had thought. After seeing the blood flowing and hearing the man let out a moan, even opening his eyes, many of the students turned away and one ran to alert a professor. Pierre had made it seem that he checked for a pulse, but he squeezed the very damaged windpipe. By the time someone with more authority was in the room the man was well and truly dead. It was deemed a delayed hanging. Pierre remained to finish the lesson even though he had been offered a pass at seeing a man die right before his eyes.

“No,” he told her.

“A pity. I hear from Piers that the best moments are those that might get you a night in jail for your troubles.”

“Oh, did he? What tales did he tell his dear little sister?”

“I believe there was a time when the boys in your dorm snuck in strong wine, or went out on the town. Perhaps those were actually in chronological order, it would explain much.”

“I never did such things.”

“Of course not. Though I now shall have to find myself another companion,” she said with a smile and glance to him. “I would like a partner with experience in such things so I have some guidance when I deem to try.”

Before he could answer she dashed ahead to where the stream was in view. He gave chase. At the edge of the bank she did not stop, pulling up her skirts and jumping to a rock that jetted out in the middle. She made it, arms waving to keep her balance and getting one shoe wet, but staying on the rock. With a laugh she turned and curtsied to him.

“And you think yourself safe there, Lizzy dear?” he called.

He took even less care of his attire, jumping straight into the water, mud, and stones. She gasped, looking around for another place to go, but the far side of the bank was, as named, too far.
He reached her then, grabbing her and swinging her in his arms as she shrieked.

“Pierre!”

“Hush or I shall drop you!”

“You would not!”

He pretended to, getting another shriek from her that had him laughing as he carried her back to shore.

“No, my dear, I would not,” he agreed, finally, placing her down in the grass. Not after she had been ill. Another day, perhaps.

They were the same height at the moment and he kissed her before getting out himself and looking down at his ruined clothes. His shoes were wet and the feeling was quite uncomfortable out of the water. He knelt down and began to untie the laces.

Lizzy bit her tongue to keep from asking naughtily if he would also take off his trousers, seeing as they were wet up to the knee.

When barefoot Pierre hopped back into the stream with the shoes in his hands.

“What are you doing?”

“Leaving my shoes,” he called over his shoulder, going back to the rock. He made sure they would not fall into the water before again returning. “They are quite nice shoes, but hardly my only pair. I am sure there are fée around, perhaps the gift would be appreciated. We cannot spare much food or drink.”

Her one shoe was hardly as wet as his had been but she sat and began to undo her laces as well. Without a word he bent down to help her.

“I shall buy you an even lovelier pair when we reach Piques,” he promised as he turned back to place her shoes next to his.

“Oh, you do not—”

“I insist.”


Not exactly a Scene as it’s from Delphinium and not a stand-alone, but I thought it fitting for Valentine’s. You’ll recognize Pierre’s thoughts from the Scene ‘Hanging.’

So many promos! Now back to me :)

I thought I’d check in and ramble about myself and my work for a little bit to break up the other indie folk.

That said this cross-promotion thing is amazing. All the great writers that I’m showing off are also showing off Larkspur. In October I had 160+ downloads, 101 in November, and in December I have 425 so far, and it’s only the 4th! I’m sure I have a few more promos set up for December too, and I’m not-so-secretly hoping to break 1000.

I have most of the major scenes for Delphinium written and pretty polished, now I’m just trying to tie them all together coherently. Sometimes I explain something in a chapter only to find that I wrote something similar already, so that all has to be fixed and redone. Some of the chapters take place over a day and others might be several weeks and I need to summarize, or expand, and make it flow right. I’m feeling really good about this story though- I have fewer “this sucks, what the hell am I even doing” days than I used to have. The story itself, by the way, takes place over 4 months and almost a week. I am gradually scaling up the time for each book, Aconitella should take place over a year and a half, and a few of the vaguely plotted stories for after the Larkspur series may cover five to ten years. I am working with a lot of time, generations here, so going week by week might not be the best idea in the world.

The Wolf Within has been put aside so I can wrap up Delphinium, but it will be written alongside Aconitella. I want to try dealing with more than one world at once, outside of Scenes. And even with Scenes I tend to fall back into the realm I’m working on at the moment. I’ve not been able to stick to another realm long enough for a good coherent Scene in a while (sorry about that).

I do have a pretty finished opening page to The Wolf Within though, so I’ll go ahead and share that here! 🙂

The pups were coming out of the den. They were less than a moon old and had only opened their eyes a few days past, but the alpha-mother was letting them come to meet the rest of the pack. Their alpha-father stood at the opening of the den, tail wagging his entire body as he made himself wait for his mate and puppies to appear. It was their first litter.
The other two wolves of the pack stood further back, not part of the family and not wishing to intrude, though keeping away from new puppies had proved too difficult to overcome entirely.

Alpha-mother came out first and greeted her mate. An uncertain whining was heard from the den and she yipped, telling her little ones that it was safe. Alpha-father had had enough waiting and stuck his head into the den, sniffing and licking the bundles of fur. He grabbed one by the scruff and pulled him out, setting him down before covering him again in licks.

The other two siblings ran out then and all descended on their father, licking at the corners on his mouth and pressing to him, showing him deference and love.

“Come,” the alpha-mother said to the two sitting off to the side. She nudged one of the puppies, a solid black one, in their direction if her beckoning had not been enough. “You are pack too.”

The elder, a golden wolf with suspiciously blue eyes, looked to the younger white wolf before taking a step forward.

The black puppy moved to him, tail low but swishing, shy and trying not to show her fear. The golden wolf dipped his head and licked her in greeting, and she nuzzled him back.

“Smell different.” The pup sneezed and stood back to look at the other pack members, then back to his mother. “Wolf-not-wolf.”

“Man-wolf,” his father explained. “Pack.”

The golden wolf laid down to be less intimidating and all the pups decided it would be a grand idea to tackle him at once.

Finally the black pup went over to the white wolf and sniffed her curiously. She was different than the golden wolf still, and reminded her of her parents in how she sat.

“Alpha-not-wolf?” she asked.

Her father walked over and bent his head, exposing his neck. “Man-wolf queen. She is the alpha of all the alphas. Wolf and man-wolf.”

The queen nudged alpha-father to stand and snorted in annoyance. “I am still young, and a guest of your father’s. I am not here as his alpha.”

Hope everyone is having a great Christmas season! ❤

Book 3 – How the Wolf Lost Her Heart by Sarah Brownlee

SARAH BROWNLEE
HOW THE WOLF LOST HER HEART
Displaying wolf-bookcover (5).jpg

Two hundred years in the future, the City of London has fallen to thugs and scoundrels. The once thriving metropolis is now a shadow of its former self; decent citizens cower in their homes and the streets are no longer safe. In the city lives Skye Archer, a Morpher with the ability to transform into a wolf (her spirit animal) at will. Morphers are the direct result of an experiment that took place two centuries previously. Though extremely rare, Morphers exist in all countries and from all walks of life.

 
It is on one fateful day that Skye meets Raphael Renzo, the handsome son of Lord Renzo who rules over a fair part of West London and does his best to thwart the villains and cads in the city. Raphael has a secret of his own, one the villains secretly fear and one that both intrigues and disturbs Skye. As time goes on, Skye is unable to prevent the feelings she develops for Raphael, but there is nothing to determine whether it is returned. As she sinks further into the depths of unrequited love, Skye discovers things about herself that she never thought possible, things even more incredible than being able to transform into a wolf. As an impending civil war approaches, Skye must wrestle with the fiery passion she feels for Raphael, while at the same time playing her part in protecting innocent citizens of the city. Intriguing, exciting and compelling, it is a tale of love and war, one where the heart of a city and the heart of a girl are simultaneously pierced by one man