Good news first:
I have an official release date for The Sentinel's Prophesy: April 3, 2019. You can also preorder it at LT3 right now: https://lessthanthreepress.com/books... All that's left before Prophesy is ready to go is the copy edit and the galley proof, neither of which should take too long, and the cover. I haven't seen the cover yet, but I'm sure it's going to be as amazing as the rest of the series, so I'm definitely excited for it.
If A Butterfly Don't Fly also comes out in a month. If you haven't had a chance to pre-order, now's a good time: https://lessthanthreepress.com/books...
Now for the bad news:
Wounded Alpha was not accepted as part of LT3's Bound by Nothing call. They were kind enough to tell me the two reasons why: 1, I wasn't as original as I hoped and they had too many similarly-themed stories. When they had to choose which of those stories made the cut, mine didn't. 2, There was one scene that needed a bit of work, which is why mine didn't make the cut. However, they did say if I fixed that scene they would reconsider the story as a regular release.
I was originally planning to spend the entire long weekend working on the edits for The Coup and the Prince and I made a lot of progress until I got that rejection email. After reading the email, I had a good idea for how to fix the issue, so that's what I spent today doing instead of my edits. (I wanted to get it down on paper before I forgot it.) I've finished my fixing and I'm going to let the story sit for a few days, which means it's back to edits.
Of course, all of that means I haven't had a chance to work on any of my waiting stories. I was happy to have added about 1k words to Ge-Mi: Part Two, but haven't been able to get back to it since. I also started fleshing out the beginning and basic outline for the third (and likely final) book in my Wizard Wars series, but again, I haven't had time to really dig in. Hopefully once I'm done with this round of edits I'll be able to get back to it.
And that is the last of my bad news. Hopefully next week will only be good news to share.
I have two new blurbs (or summaries) to share for two of my books! First, I have the official summary for The Sentinel's Prophesy, which is a big first step in getting it ready to go up on LT3's site for pre-order. It's not too different to the temporary one I came up with while I was writing, but I think it flows a bit better. What do you think?
In ancient times, five dragons fought against an immense and powerful evil. Unable to defeat it, they imprisoned it in ice. The Oracle vowed to watch over the land and protect it from further threat. Her brother, the Sentinel, promised to oversee the ice prison and ensure the creature never escaped. Thousands of years have passed since that time, and still the Sentinel sits in his lonely tower, watching and waiting.
A simple farmhand, Corey doesn't know what to make of the way his aunt and uncle abruptly drag him into a journey across the frozen tundra, or why he's had to abandon his life to live in the tower. The only consolation from his new, strange, and confusing life is the mysterious man who lives alone in the highest room of the tower…
Second, I have finally come up with the working summary for the next (and likely last) book in my Wizard Wars series. I really like the summary, but I'm struggling with the title. I want something that either speaks to the conflict in the world, or to the potential for renewal. Those are such different options that I'm struggling to decide. I think I want to go with the former, because Ground of Resurrection already implies the latter and I don't want to be repetitive. Right now I'm leaning towards Confliction, Contention, or Dissension, but I'm not sure. Does anyone out there have any ideas? Ground of ...ction. Fill in the blank. In the meantime, here's my working summary:
Thane has always been overshadowed by his brother and his prince, and now that he's become part of the prairie, Thane can't help feeling even more adrift in the sea of grass constantly surrounding him. When Mesic sends him to investigate a strange group trying to sneak through the prairie, Thane is glad for an excuse to get away. Except, suddenly his surveillance mission turns into a rescue mission, one he doesn't know the prairie will survive.
If A Butterfly Don't Fly is back up on LT3 for preorder. Unless you got a refund, don't buy it a second time. If you didn't get a chance to preorder before, now's your chance to get it for 15% off. Check it out here: https://lessthanthreepress.com/books... It will likely become available on Amazon and all other retailers on the release date, March 13th.
All the edits for Butterfly and The Sentinel's Prophesy are back with LT3. That means Butterfly is 95% ready for release. All that's left is checking over the galley, which will happen sometime in the next few weeks. I made a lot of changes in Prophesy, but I'm not sure whether it needs to go back to the editor. It might not go through a second round of edits and instead head straight to the copy editor. I don't know what that means in terms of release dates, but the fewer edits I have to do, the better.
Just today I received more edits for The Coup and the Prince. I haven't had time to start working on it, but I glanced through and it doesn't look too bad. A couple tweaks here and there, but I didn't see any major rewrites. However, the editor did recommend I add an epilogue, which could be anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand words added (depending on how the characters speak to me). Once I get into the nitty gritty of the edits, I will have to read through and reevaluate whether I agree with that recommendation
My Truest Love and Wings of the Stars are both supposed to get a quick edit, so I'm expecting to see something regarding those two stories sometime soon as well. I am not expecting to hear anything about Ground of Resurrection for a few more months, which will hopefully allow a break between editing jobs that I would like to fill with writing instead.
LT3's Bound by Nothing call officially closed last week. It will likely be a few more weeks before I hear whether they accept Wounded Alpha, but they have started the process of going through all the submissions. I will of course let you all know when I have news to share.
I have new release dates for both of my postponed stories!
Even better news is I already know I won't miss Butterfly's new release date. I received the copy edits last weekend. My plan was to simply look through them to see what I was in for, but as I was scrolling through I started fixing. I managed to finish the edits, so all that's left is a final read-through before I send it back to LT3. If I didn't already have edits I was working on, I would have this completed today.
Speaking of those other edits, I'm making good progress on the first round of edits for The Sentinel's Prophesy. I'm about two thirds of the way through and should get that last chunk done this weekend. Then it's a read-through and back to LT3. I'm glad I'm making good progress on both sets of edits. The sooner I'm done with them, the sooner I can return to writing, which is what I really want to work on right now.
Thank you to everyone that voted in the M/M Romance Goodreads Group awards. Ground of Insurrection did not place, but I'm still really happy and honored to have been nominated. I'm hoping you all will enjoy the sequel, Ground of Resurrection, just as much.
I hope everyone had a happy holiday season and a good new year. So far, my new year is starting off well. I have lots of news to share, but first I want to tell you my new years resolution for writing: Get all my edits done on time! Conversely, if I'm struggling with the edits, contact LT3 well ahead of the deadline so we can work something out before it gets away from us both. I'm not going through that again this year, and it's not right that I put LT3 on the spot like that. 2019 is a new year with a new start where I will juggle my real life and my writing life competently.
With that out of the way, on to my news:
Edits have returned. The Sentinel's Prophesy has arrived in my inbox to start the editing process, which I'm super exited about. There's always a lot to do for the first round of edits, but nothing crazy jumped out at me after a quick glance through. I started working on it already and I hope to get a big chunk completed this weekend. By Sunday night I should know how crazy this round will be, and how many rounds of edits this particular story will need. I want to get Prophesy back to LT3 quickly because I'm expecting edits for the two postponed stories to appear at any moment. Both If A Butterfly Don't Fly and The Coup and the Prince went back for more edits. I don't know what the timeline is for either story, which means I don't know when to expect them back, and in the interest of avoiding overlapping edits (which is one of the things I had issues with last year), getting Prophesy completed soon is a high priority.
Two of my stories have had their contracts renewed. Road to Home, book two of my contemporary spy thriller series, will continue to be sold through LT3 without interruption. I will not be making any edits or changes, so if you own the book don't worry, and if you don't own the book, you have plenty of time to get your copy.
The other renewed contract belonged to Wings of the Stars, a short sci-fi story I wrote for LT3's A Loose Screw collection. Wings of the Stars is technically the second story in a series I've always loosely called Space Stars. The first book in the series, My Truest Love, was written for LT3's Rocking Hard anthology, and it went out of print a few years ago. Therein lies the dilemma. If I wanted to renew Wings of the Stars, I needed to do something with My Truest Love. I spoke with LT3 and they have accepted My Truest Love again. I would like to have new covers made for both stories that reflect the fact that they're in a series together. I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes.
The last bit of news is that the voting for M/M Romance's Best books of 2018 closed. I have to wait until next weekend to learn how Ground of Insurrection did. There was a lot of competition, but I'm still hopeful. Thank you to everyone that took the time to vote.
Today only, Magnified is .99 cents at LT3. If you haven't read it yet, this is a great chance to get a copy: https://lessthanthreepress.com/books... Magnified is a vampire story and is probably the closest I'll ever come to writing horror, and is one of my favorite stories that I've written. I think you'll like it too.
Ground of Resurrection was accepted for publishing by LT3! I'm really excited and I honestly hope this is a sign that I will be able to get back on track. I'm still waiting for word on If A Butterfly Don't Fly and The Coup and the Prince, but having this small success is definitely helping me get my confidence back. I'm hoping this week will therefore be a good one for writing. I am soooo close to finishing writing Ge-Mi: Part Two; with a couple days of focused effort I just might be able to do it. Wish me luck!
Ground of Insurrection, the prequel to Resurrection, is available to vote for at the M/M Romance Awards on Goodreads. I'm trying not to spam your inboxes with this, but I'm still so stoked about being nominated and I really want Insurrection to do well. I have recently learned you have to be a member of the group to vote, so if you are a member please consider Insurrection as your choice! You can vote here: https://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/181365-best-fantasy-you-must-click-on-the-book-you-would-like-to-vote
LT3 has confirmed receipt of Wounded Alpha, so it continues to be a game of patience on my part. I have to wait for the call to close and for LT3 to go through all the submissions before I'll hear, but the story was so interesting to write and I just want to know now. I can be patient, I promise, but it's definitely something I'm super excited about. Until then, it's back to writing!
Ground of Insurrection has been nominated in the Best Fantasy of 2018 category in the M/M Romance Awards! It's an honor just to be nominated, but now comes the real test: winning. Voting is open right now and all you have to do is click a link on their Goodreads page to participate. There's stiff competition from other authors I really respect, but I think Insurrection has a chance to beat them all! I just need your help to get there.
Please, if you have a minute, go check out the awards and vote if you're so inclined: www.goodreads.com/poll/show/181365-best-fantasy-you-must-click-on-the-book-you-would-like-to-vote
I really appreciate it!
I don't know what sort of crud I've got, but it's been a slow recovery. The fever finally broke, but I've still got a bit of a cough. The problem is, I'm still finding it hard to concentrate. My body just wants to curl up and sleep it off, while I wanted to spend this weekend writing instead. That's just not going to happen. I need this crud to go away so I can get back to a regular routine that includes getting some writing done.
I was able to get a last edit of Wounded Alpha completed and I went ahead and submitted it to LT3. The call doesn't close until the end of January, so LT3 won't take a look until then, but now it's one less worry on my plate. I can instead focus on all the other things I know will be coming, including a lot more edits. Until then, I am going to continue plucking away at all my stories to see if I can get some completed.
One thing I was able to take a look at was Thunderbird (one of the stories I'm hoping to submit with my fairy tales), and I'm concerned about it. Way back when, I submitted it to LT3 and they rejected it. They were kind enough to provide a reason why and after looking through the manuscript again, I can see that they were right. I need to add a few more scenes in order to smooth out the issue, but I'm not finding that an easy task. The problem is, as the story stands now, it flows nicely. The plot and the world building both work as they are. I just need to make a few tweaks to one of my characterizations, and one or two additions to the romance, yet I can't decide where to cut into the story to start adding those changes. Anywhere I try, I leave blatant hatchet marks in the plot and the flow immediately dies. I don't want to scrap this story as I think it's the most unique one in the bunch, but I can't resubmit it as it stands, which means I've reached an impasse. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Aside from fixing Thunderbird, I have two other stories in my fairy tale bunch to finish. A Heart's Dream started out as yet another Cinderella rewrite, but I'm trying to get it to go more of a Sleeping Beauty route. I think that will fit better with the characters, but planning that out has been really slow going. Trip Trop Trail, my Billy Goats Gruff rewrite, hasn't been worked on at all. I was trying to get A Heart's Dream completed first, which has left Trip Trop Trail patiently waiting. Unfortunately, it's going to have to continue to wait as I have a few other things I need to get done first. Only once all three of those stories have been completely worked out can I start looking at final edits and formatting, which is months away.
I am home sick today. Sore throat, low grade fever, cough. Ugh. I keep waking up from a nap and wondering when I can take another nap. It sucks. Even if I had the energy to write, which I don't, I can't use my leave from work for writing purposes. Instead, I'm hoping to read a good book. Since I didn't have edits this past weekend, I got to read Mercenaries of the Stolen Moon by Megan Derr, which just came out. I enjoyed it so much I went and reread the rest of the series...again...and bought Mercenaries in print. Now I need something else to read in between my naps today. I've got an overstuffed bookshelf in my apartment and a bunch of ebooks on my computer, so I'll figure something out.
Here's some super wonderful good news: Ground of Insurrection has been nominated in the Fantasy category in M/M Romance's 2018 Members' Choice Awards on Goodreads! The last book I had nominated was Hadash Aviv back in 2013. Given I only have two books eligible for nomination this year, having even one of them chosen is amazing. Voting opens next month and I'll post all the links you'll need then.
I don't have any news to share about my upcoming books. If A Butterfly Don't Fly and The Coup and the Prince are still in process, I know that much, but I don't know anything else about them just yet. The Sentinel's Prophesy is also going to start the editing process sometime soon. Ground of Resurrection has been submitted, but I won't hear whether it's been accepted for a few more months.
As for writing, I've had a good week. Ge-Mi: Part Two is almost there! I've had to pause actually writing in order to organize and plan the final battle scene, but that's led to good progress. I am hoping to have it completed by the end of the year. Wounded Alpha, my story for LT3's Bound by Nothing call, has been sitting for long enough. I'm thinking if I have some energy tonight, I might start giving it a final edit. I've decided it would be better to get it done and submitted sooner, just in case I get drowned in edits again. The last thing I want is for the submission deadline to arrive while I'm busy with other things. This way it's one less thing on my plate.
For now, though, it's time for another nap.
I've seen some questions regarding where If A Butterfly Don't Fly is. It was supposed to come out last week, and it has instead vanished. The short of it is, the edits were too much. I couldn't rewrite entire sections in the two week timeline before the story had to be back to LT3. Missing that deadline meant the story couldn't come out in time, so LT3 had to pull it. That said, LT3 is still moving forward with publishing, but are (understandably) not going to decide on a new release date until we are 100% certain the story will actually come out on that date. I have since returned the completed story to LT3, so I believe the next step is copy edits. I'm hoping to see them soon, and once those are done I should have release information to share with you.
Given my working flat out on Butterfly for three weeks straight pushed back my ability to complete the edits for The Coup and the Prince, that story has also been temporarily pulled. I returned the edits to LT3, where it will go on to even more edits. I guesstimate Coup will now come out sometime in 2019, possibly second quarter, but again, no release date will be decided on until we're certain Coup will actually be ready for it.
In happier news, I have had some writing success. I submitted Ground of Resurrection to LT3 this morning. I should hear whether they accept it sometime in the next few months. I have also completed Wounded Alpha, the story I wrote for LT3's Bound by Nothing call. All of my worry about whether it would be long enough or even get completed in time was apparently baseless and I'm quite happy with how it turned out. It's not due until the end of January, so I'm going to let it sit until after the new year, and then start editing and formatting it for submission. I have also added over 5k words to Ge-Mi: Part Two, which means I'm getting to the finish line. All I have to write is the last confrontation with the bad guy and the wrap up afterwards, and this story will be complete. I'm hoping to get it done in 2018, but this last section might be the hardest to write so we'll see how it goes.
If A Butterfly Don't Fly
March 13, 2019
The Sentinel's Prophesy
April 3, 2019
Cover Coming Soon
The Coup and the Prince
May 22, 2019
Mell Eight is an author writing with LT3. For more information about Mell and her writing, please visit her website: http://melleightfiction.