First, I want to thank you for your kind words about Breaker and the Ondine Quartet. Completing the series has been quite the journey and I’m thrilled that so many of you have enjoyed the ride alongside Kendra.
This post is a brief update on what’s coming up next.
Membership to my amazing street team, Emma’s Elites, will be opening up at the end of this month. If you’re interested in joining a fun, unbelievably awesome group of people with exclusive access to excerpts, covers, ARCs, giveaways, and goodies before anyone else, then be sure to drop by this blog on March 24 to apply.
There have also been changes to my upcoming release schedule. First, I will not be releasing LOST BLOOD as was originally planned. I will also not be releasing the adult Steel Magic series, at least for now.
I currently have no plans to write another young adult book in the near future. I also won’t be starting a new series this coming year.
There are many, many reasons for this, but the main reason is that I’m exhausted. Writing a series is a huge commitment that spans several years. Finishing the Ondine Quartet felt like ending a four-year relationship. I need time to creatively explore other ideas before committing to anything so long-term again.
My next work, which will be released later this year, is an adult stand-alone novel (currently still untitled) and I’m very, very excited about it. 🙂
I don’t want to say too much about it yet, but I’ll share images/ tidbits soon. If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you’ll get first look. I’ll also have a title and blurb to share with you soon.
Other changes on the horizon: I’m in the process of updating/changing my website and I plan to incorporate this blog within my website (rather than keeping it separate). I’ve been working on it for awhile and the project is taking me far longer than I intended, but I’m hoping to get it done soon. I’ll let you know what’s going on with that as things progress.
Sale and Release reminder
In other news, a quick reminder that Ondine Quartet Collection: Volume 1 is still on sale at $2.99 (reg. price $5.99).
AMAZON – BARNES & NOBLE – IBOOKSTORE – KOBO
And if you haven’t read Crest or Breaker yet, the digital box set (ONDINE QUARTET COLLECTION: VOLUME 2) is now available.
AMAZON – BARNES & NOBLE – IBOOKSTORE – KOBO
Have a great week!
I promised you the first extended excerpt from Breaker once we reached 1000 adds on GoodReads…and you guys did it!!
I got so excited I even decided to hold a special Halloween giveaway 🙂
Before I share all of that, a quick reminder:
Now, here’s that excerpt you’ve been waiting for – enjoy! 🙂
We turned down a dirt trail that wound into Acadia National Forest. Maple and spruce trees cocooned us, their straight trunks casting shadowy masts in the moonlight. The car’s lights flashed across several abandoned cottages. Darkened windows stared at us like empty eyes.
Frances took another left and the pull of the ocean strengthened as she cut toward the coast. Soon, the dirt trail smoothed into paved asphalt and the tree density lessened until the forest abruptly ended.
According to Jeeves’ debriefing, Merbais had been here for hundreds of years, long before the French arrived and named the island île des Monts Déserts because of the craggy cliffs towering over the sea. While it wasn’t the wealthiest or most populated community, it possessed a striking landscape of mountains, rivers, lakes, and bluffs against the powerful Atlantic ocean. Winters were harsh, but the community lived in perfect balance between nature and sea.
No boundaries or gates separated it from the surrounding beauty. Even the paved road sloped and lilted, meandering as if following an invisible course laid out by the island.
Merbais almost seemed to have sprung, perfectly formed, out of the ground.
Frances slowed the car. Shards of glass littered porches and front steps. Smashed doors hung off frames. Broken windows and damaged wood marred once pristine cottages.
To our right was a small, boxy building with a crimson handprint smeared across the bright white siding. The sign above the door read “Merbais Sundries” in neat letters.
A small exhale from behind me. “Oh.”
Ahead, a cluster of cars and buildings indicated the town’s main junction. Frances pulled over and parked a few blocks away.
“The losses…” Her fingers tightened around the wheel. She cleared her throat. “The losses are high.We had to covert our Academy’s cafeteria into a makeshift morgue.”
Hesitant, she glanced at me then at the rearview mirror. “You need to know.”
The warning wasn’t for me.
Patrice sat still and tall, pale hands folded on her lap. Her perfectly pressed teal designer suit appeared starkly out of place against the ripped fabric of the truck’s back seat.
The usual haughtiness hardened her face into ice. But what reflected in her eyes was a fear I’d once seen in a glittering white palace cradled on a bed of rugged cliffs.
Just as I was about to suggest she remain behind, she spoke. “I understand.”
She opened her door and I slowly exited the car after her. Maybe Julian’s mother had a stronger spine than I thought.
Patrice straightened her suit, expression smoothing into the kind of professional blankness you saw in career politicians.
Wariness quickly replaced my surprise.
Maybe she had something else planned.
Frances led the way. Patrice’s heels clicked against the sidewalk, the precise rap echoing down the empty street. The area had already been cleared, but stains of violence remained. An overturned garbage can. A bloodied hammer. A child’s shoe.
Stifling, overpowering currents of emotions surged against my Virtue as we neared the town square. I slammed my filters down, steeling myself for what lay ahead.
Worst of all was the silence. A thick blanket of grief suffocated the night, punctuated only by the occasional cries of utter despair.
This wasn’t an attack.
This was an annihilation.
Bodies lined the side of the road, covered in sheets and tablecloths. A few residents, their faces gaunt with shock, aimlessly staggered between corpses. Others collapsed beside cloth-covered shapes, haunted eyes blankly staring at the lumps and contours of the dead hidden beneath.
An ondine lay sprawled on the ground outside a café, her neck twisted at an awkward angle. She couldn’t have been older than twelve or thirteen. Her hair, a beautiful shade of flaxen gold, spilled across the sidewalk beside her, the tips tinged crimson from the blood pooling beneath a nearby body.
Nausea rose, flooding my mouth with an acidic taste.
She looked like Helene.
Someone hurriedly covered her with a cheerful, floral-patterned curtain.
Chevaliers and gardinels moved among the carnage, movements efficient and expressions numb. Blaise’s white-blond hair gleamed under the streetlamp beside a sign for the Merbais library. He and Ethan dragged a body toward a waiting truck.
A chevalier ran to Frances and whispered. She frowned.
“Is everything all right, Marquisa?” Patrice asked.
“An infrastructure problem I need to deal with.” Uncertainty flashed across her face. “Maybe you’d like to —“
“I’ll join you.” Patrice tilted her chin. “I’m sure my experience on the Council can prove useful in some way.”
Frances looked at me and I shook my head. “I’d like to take a look around.”
Patrice shot me a pitying glance. My political diplomacy skills clearly left room for improvement.
Frances didn’t take offense. “Come by my office when you’re done.”
After they left, I slowly picked a path through the debris. Here, in this vicious destruction of beauty, the Shadow had left something for me.
It was a certainty resonating deep in my bones, an instinct as strong as the stench of coppery blood, salty sea, and loamy mud assaulting my nose.
I stepped around chunks of wood, the edges jagged as if they’d been clawed off. On my left, long scratches marked the front door of a two-story home. A demillir’s head lolled on the porch near the front steps. The rest of him slumped by the door a few feet away, fingernails bloodied from his attempts to get in.
A slight movement came from the window. Ivory lace curtains shifted and a pale, wide-eyed child stared at me. What was etched into his face was a scar that would eventually fade over time. But it would never completely disappear.
He released the curtain and sank back into the darkness.
I pulled aside a nearby chevalier and gestured. “Kid’s in there.”
And because his job demanded it, the chevalier entered the bowels of the house and pulled back from the abyss yet another child who’d experienced something that never should’ve happened.
Stopping a recurrence meant ending this war.
But how do you find reason behind senselessness? How do you uncover logic behind depravity?
Where are you?
I scoured the eight blocks of the town center, desperate frustration mounting with each passing minute.
Nothing spoke to me.
No iris, no cryptic message, nothing I could use to understand what had happened here.
There was only death, raw and potent, an unadorned, merciless display of what he was capable of.
A SPOOKTACULAR GIVEAWAY
Halloween is just around the corner. In celebration of the season and as a thank you to my readers for getting us so quickly to our goal, I’m holding another giveaway!
One winner will receive the following prize pack:
- Signed paperback copies of Whirl, Billow, Crest, and Ondine Quartet Companion Works
- Signed swag
Contest is open US only and will end November 1, 2014. Winner will be announced here on this post and will be notified by e-mail. Winner will have 48 hours to contact me or another winner will be chosen. Author is not responsible for lost or damaged prizes.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
It’s been crazy busy around here. But a lot of exciting things will be happening over the next few weeks – can’t wait to share them with you!
Here’s your BREAKER snippet for today:
A tall, thin shadow separated from the line of trees and emerged from the darkness. Coarse, dark hair was messily tied back and a full beard now concealed his jawline. His leathery, tanned skin blended into the night.
“Why the hell are you following—“
He moved fast. I caught a streak of silver before cold metal pressed against my forehead.
Ray cocked his gun. “How do I know you are who you say you are?”
Moonlight shifted, catching the paranoia flashing through his eyes. Sudden moves were clearly out of the question.
The ground shuddered and groaned. Concrete continued splintering under the weakened structural integrity and slabs broke off the main foundation in rapid succession.
Another gust of wind cut across the bridge, howling through the yawning gap now separating me from the others.
The blue-black depths of the ocean beckoned a hundred yards below.
A cold lump of fear settled in the pit of my stomach.
I wasn’t going to make it.
Have you signed up for my newsletter? A never before seen short scene (from a surprise character’s point of view) will be sent out to subscribers tomorrow.
The scene won’t be shared on my blog or website for another three months – newsletter subscribers always get the first look! If you haven’t signed up yet, you can do so here.
And here’s your BREAKER snippet for today:
I smiled against his mouth. “You’re going to get me worked up.”
“I like you worked up.”
Something fun I’m working on for next week. More info posted here on Tuesday 🙂
He’d lost weight, the ravages of grief and rage evident in the slash of his cheekbones and sharp line of his jaw. His hair had grown longer. Rain had drenched the mahogany locks, the wind whipping them into a wild, tousled tangle around his face.
Some might see the tightened mouth, haunted eyes, and harsh lines of his expression and call him cruel. A dark warrior, relentless in his revenge and rage. Others saw a hero, a prince and soldier mercilessly meting out justice for his people.
She saw neither.