I’m in the middle of editing the second book in the Broods world, and I thought as a special treat I’d offer you a peek at Marked by Odin. Here’s a snippet from chapter 1:
Gunni sniffed several times, his muzzle lifted high. The cold air tickled the labyrinthine passages of his nose. Scents of fear and pain assaulted him, even from a few hundred feet away. Brand had sent him ahead to scout the Vancouver brood, and what he had to report was not encouraging. Madness was the best way to describe the events taking place in the valley below him.
He’d been raised in a relatively modern brood that shared a city with humans and blended in with them whenever possible. The chaos in front of him reminded him of the barbaric history of their kind that he’d heard about, but never imagined still existed. One female was dragged across the dirty snow between two dwellings. Her white-blond hair reminded him of Alice. The ache of her loss was still agonizing. Gods, how he missed her.
Gunni had trouble quelling the urge to run in and rescue another female set upon by male who laughed every time she screamed. Half a dozen males fought in the central clearing in front of an old-style longhouse for a haunch of meat that was quickly forgotten amid the violence of the exchange.
Going down there wouldn’t solve anything, and he would end up in an altercation where he would be vastly outnumbered. He was supposed to observe and report back to Brand, not try to resolve the issues himself. He knew that, and yet, turning his back was one of the hardest things he’d ever done.
The first few steps were the worst, but once he got up to speed, the joy of running through the winter night spurred him onward. He covered ground swiftly, his four paws chewing up the miles almost without effort.
The land here was beautiful, and more untouched than any place he’d ever known. Located in the mountains a few hours north and west of Vancouver and tucked away at the edge of a provincial park, the brood compound was a strangely anachronistic oasis of wildness in the modern world they inhabited. Though he’d be raised in what he’d thought a rural area, the wolf within him had pined for the expansive forests and hillsides.
He didn’t slow when he crossed the east-bound lanes of the divided highway. The light coating of new snow made the blacktop slick. He traversed the median in two jumps and emerged onto the west-bound lanes. Too late, he heard the squeal of tires. He turned and saw headlights closing with alarming speed.
He didn’t feel the pain of the impact. One moment, he was aware, and the next instant, he wasn’t.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Ill Wind is the kind of book I love to read: sassy main character, interesting fantasy aspects, a sprinkling of romance. Unsurprisingly, I inhaled the book, and really enjoyed it.
In general I thought Caine’s characterizations were brilliant. Jo is fun and independent, just enough girl power but not over the line into ridiculous. I adored David. There are a bunch of great side characters, Lewis, Star, Paul, and Bad Bob.
The world building was just right for me. Enough detail to make things clear, but not so much that I feel like I’m wading through info-dumps through the first half of the book. There’s a lot I really like about this world and I can’t wait to read more.
I was a little irritated about why all the Djinn were so circumspect when they didn’t have to be. The cop out answer, of course, was that’s just how they are, but I didn’t really buy that. Why not just tell her what she needs to know? Arg!
The second book in the Broods world first draft has been officially completed. The title is now Marked by Odin. It’s currently in the very capable hands of my editor, Lynn McNamee of Red Adept Publishing. It came in at right around 59,000 words. I expect that to grow a bit in the second draft. Unlike most writers I generally add in each subsequent draft rather than remove. I think Broods fans will be happy with book 2, I know I am. I’m still targeting November 20th as the official release date for this one, the one year anniversary of the Broods release. There will be a really exciting giveaway associated with that release. I have a bunch of swag that I’ve been stockpiling for occasion, so keep your eyes peeled here for news about that.
Some other random writing news:
If you haven’t yet, go on over to the eFestival of Words website and sign up. The fun begins August 17th. Giveaways, panels, Q&As, and so much more, including a Scavenger Hunt designed by me! I also encourage you to go vote for the Best of the Independent eBook Awards in a variety of categories. *cough* You should definitely check out the Best Thriller category.
I’m diving into my next project, Songbird’s Lament, now. That’s the one I’m writing in a shared world with four other writers. I’m supposed to have that done for the middle of September. Not sure if I’m going to make it, we’ll have to see how the next few weeks goes. I have quite a bit of it outlined already, so hopefully it will come easily.
I also have an idea for a subsequent book that’s been kicking around for a couple of months and is finally taking shape. I’m really jazzed about this one. It’ll be a contemporary paranormal story concentrating more on magic than anything I’ve done so far. Also featured will be demons, a hot tattooed guy, and a surfer. Go ahead, try to figure it out, I dare you.
The thread title says it all. I’m giving away five copies of Elements on Goodreads until August 4th. Use the widget at the bottom of the post to sign up for a chance to win one!
Hmm, while I’m here, I might as well give a few more pieces of news. I know I’ve been lax in posting lately, but that’s because I’m working my butt off trying to finish the second Broods book. There are a lot of surprises in store for book two, things I didn’t even know were going to happen until they flew out the ends of my fingers. I am just about done now, just putting a final polish on the last few scenes before it goes off to my editor on July 30th. Right now I’m shooting for November 20th as the publish date to coincide with Broods’ one year anniversary.
Both Elements and Broods are on sale at Smashwords for 50% off for the month of July. Use coupon code SSW50 at checkout.
Don’t forget to sign up for the eFestival of Words in August if you haven’t yet. Prizes, Panels, a Scavenger Hunt (hosted by yours truly) and more great books than you can possibly read this year!
I’m very pleased to announce the release of my second book, Elements of Rebellion. Elements is a stand-alone fantasy novel set in a primitive, barbaric world. If you’d like to read an excerpt, click through to the website for the book. I am still sending out review copies, so if you’d like to request one just use the contact form on the About page.
Here’s the description:
After spending most of her life an unwilling captive in a brothel, Sindari is sold to Lord Devin, a man with a reputation for unspeakable cruelty. In the arms of this man who must pretend he cares nothing for her, Sindari finds compassion, making the journey through her barren homeland all the more perilous. Along the way she discovers she can channel elemental forces that compliment Devin’s ability to manipulate fire.
Harnessing this power, she battles the Dominion, an unrelenting foe that has broken the spirit of the Eldari people through twenty years of savagery. Trapped by the brutal empire that has enslaved millions, Sindari and Devin fight against hopeless odds.
Warnings: Graphic Violence and Sexual Situations
It’s been a long road, and I’m just so glad it’s finally at an end.