‘Tis the Season

dragon head

Detail from the cover-in-progress for the second edition of Eolyn. Artwork by Thomas Vandenberg (copyright 2015).

Unbelievable. Fall semester has once again slipped through my fingers without as much as a by-your-leave.

This will be my last post for 2015. I’m taking a much needed vacation that will involve lots of quality time with my wonderful nieces, both of them young magas in the making.

Big projects are in store for 2016; another reason why I need my rest.

The Hadley Rille imprints of Eolyn and High Maga are being taken off market at the end of this month, in preparation for the release of the second editions, as books 1 and 2 of The Silver Web trilogy.  (Yes, this means that if you want copies of the original versions, you must purchase them now We’ve got about 2 weeks at this point before they’re taken out of print.)

The second edition of Eolyn features tighter prose, consolidated chapters, and even some new scenes. All this and more in fewer pages. There’s even a development I did not anticipate when I began the revision: Someone is going to die. That’s right; a character who survived the first edition of Eolyn will now meet their doom before the final chapter of the second edition.  (And yes, I gave an evil laugh when I realized I could get away with this!)

All the best moments that friends and fans of Eolyn have come to love will remain untouched, such as the house of sweet bread, the boy by the river, and of course, the Battle of Aerunden. And every spell-binding exchange between Eolyn and her true love/arch-nemesis Akmael has been conserved.

Depending on how things go with the reboot of Eolyn, I hope to have the second edition of High Maga out before the end of the year. Book 2 will be marketed under a new title, The Sword of Shadows, which I think reflects the mood and scope of the story much better.

The Sword of Shadows will also undergo edits before its re-release, though I don’t anticipate they will be as extensive as what I’ve done for Eolyn. I could be wrong about that, though. Wouldn’t be the first time!

Once we have the first two volumes of The Silver Web in place, the stage will be set for the release of Daughter of Aithne. I am anxious to share this book with the world, as it brings Eolyn’s struggle full circle and gives meaning to everything that happened before.

yule witch by EcoWitchI wish I could say more, but that would mean spoilers. So all I can ask is that you join me on this new adventure in 2016 as we rediscover, and at last complete, Eolyn’s journey in magic.

I’ll be celebrating the new beginning with a makeover of the web site during the month of January. So, don’t be surprised if you encounter a different look when you return next year.

That’s the news for now. Thank you for your companionship during 2015. I wish you and all your loved ones many blessings this holiday season, and a prosperous and peaceful New Year.

 

Fireside Joys

51bdjdq-xcl-_sx331_bo1204203200_The other day, as I walked across campus through the brisk morning air, I realized how very much I enjoy winter.

I love to bundle up on frigid days and snuggle beneath the covers during long, frozen nights. I have great childhood memories of snow forts and snowball fights, of sledding and ice-skating, of hot chocolate and angels in the snow. Somehow the innocent joy of those moments always returns when I get the first whiff of winter from those northern winds.

Now instead of snow forts and snowball fights, one of my greatest winter pleasures is reading. This holiday season, I will not be curling up next to the fireplace to read my books. Instead, much of my reading will probably happen during a 15-hour flight to visit my brother and his family. What I don’t read in flight might be read on a beach in Thailand, or in my brother’s apartment in Hong Kong – But there only if my 4- and 8-year 51icee0wsal-_sx331_bo1204203200_old nieces allow me to read while I’m visiting. I’m sure they’ll have other plans in mind – which hopefully will involve reading a few of their books  to them!

For this holiday season, I’ve collected four titles so far. I am avidly seeking more, so if you have any suggestions, I’d be delighted to hear them. In the mean time, here’s my line-up:

Seeking Carolina by Terri-Lynne DeFino. Long a fan of Terri-Lynne, I pre-ordered her latest novel and have had my copy since it was released back in October. But alas, this semester has been sheer madness, and I still haven’t finished my modest autumn list (The Red Queen by Phillipa Gregory and The Lost Son by Tessa Gratton). As soon as I do, Seeking Carolina is up next. I’m not sure how I’ll take to romance at the moment, seeing as my own recent heartaches have me a little more bitter than sweet, but who knows? Maybe a good romance is just what I need.

51luv610dyl-_sx331_bo1204203200_The Child by Keith F. Goodnight. I’ve got a very interesting story behind this one. It turns out Keith and I worked in the same lab together way back when, at Rice University, while he was a grad student and I a lowly undergrad. Years later, through independent journeys, we’ve both ended up writing and publishing speculative fiction. I’m very excited about reading his science fiction novel, which comes to me highly recommended. It looks like it’s going to be a great psychological thriller.

Under Heaven, by Guy Gavriel Kay. I won’t make it to mainland China on this trip, but I’ll be pretty darn close. Probably closer than I will ever be again. What better time to start an epic novel about the Tang Dynasty by one of my all-time favorite authors? I just know that reading Under Heaven is going to make this one of the best Christmas holidays ever.

415doclw7yl-_sy344_bo1204203200_The Famine of Men by Richard H. Kessin. Recommended to me by a good friend, this is another science fiction tale written by a scientist. And get this – it’s about a deadly virus that affects men, and therefore can only be studied by women scientists. How cool is that? Like Goodnight’s The Child, this promises to be a great thriller.

So, that’s my list. From distant past to speculative future, I’d say I’m set for a great journey of imagination.

I only wish classes were over, so I could start NOW!

How about you? What’s on your fireside list for this season? Inquiring minds want to know…