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.
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.
You've got to be tired of hearing about my edits by now. I know I'm tired of talking about them. I think the last twelve plus months have been almost exclusively edits, with zero progress on writing. The good news is, I am definitely seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I am very much looking forward to a break in editing so I can finally spend some real time on writing. Here's where everything I've been working on lately stands right now.
I was finally getting to the end of the second round of edits for The Coup and the Prince when I had to stop. LT3 sent me the third and final round of edits for If A Butterfly Don't Fly and, given it comes out in just over a week, I have to get Butterfly done ASAP. I would say this set of edits are easier than the previous two rounds, but a lot of it is time consuming. For example, every time a space is changed to a dash, a deleted comment and a red insert appears in my manuscript's track changes. That requires I accept the change for both, which is an extremely tedious and time consuming adventure in mind-numbing boredom. There's a dozen changes like that on each page and for a 40k word story... You can see where I'm going with this. Of course, there's also a few changes that will require a bit more effort as well. My goal is to have all the changes fixed by the end of today, so I can spend tomorrow giving the story one last read through. If I can get it back to LT3 tomorrow, Butterfly will be in good shape for release on November 14th.
Which means I get to return to working on Coup tomorrow too. I fully admit that if I had gotten Coup back to LT3 early, or even by the exact due date, there wouldn't be this overlap. It's my own fault I'm stuck like this. That said, I do need to get Coup back to LT3 also ASAP. There's a little over a month before Coup is supposed to be released and I don't know if that's enough time for editing round three. It's a little nerve wracking, but I'm hopeful.
Writing, as I said earlier, has been sporadic and far between. However, when my brain starts hurting from all the editing, I have been switching to work on my currently untitled story for LT3's Bound by Nothing call. The story currently stands at 18k words, which means I will get to the minimum 20k word count required by the call. It's a lighter story without a lot of twists and turns, which makes it easier to write and a nice change from the tangles my brain has been stuck in from the edits. I have not had time to give Ground of Resurrection the final edit it needs before I submit it, so when I get free time again that story will have to be completed first, but my Bound by Nothing story is a close second. Only when the edits are done and those two stories are off to LT3's submission box will I have the time and energy to return to tackling the bigger stories patiently waiting on my to-do list.
As usual, I am behind on edits. The second round for The Coup and the Prince are stuck. I can't figure out how to do what the editor has recommended, so I think the unfortunate solution is I won't be doing it at all. I can see how the change would benefit the overall story, but it requires 15k words added in such a way that it doesn't disrupt the overall plot. I just can't figure out a way to finagle it without essentially destroying the story. I've tried and failed, and, given the edits were due yesterday, I think it's time to move on. I do think Coup is still good without the change and am really looking forward to December 12th when it finally reaches my readers' hands.
Another reason I want to get Coup back to the editor is I'm expecting the next (and final) round of edits for If A Butterfly Don't Fly. We're under a month to release day, so it's getting to be crunch time. I'm actually looking forward to seeing Butterfly again, as this round of edits is the culmination of a lot of work. Seeing the story finally come together is going to be amazing. I already know you're all going to love it, so mark your calendars for November 14th, or simply pre-order it from LT3 ahead of time.
Ground of Resurrection, the story that has been patiently waiting for me to give it a last edit so I can submit it to LT3, will have to continue waiting for just a little longer. All of my focus has to be on getting Coup back to the editor ASAP. Only once that is done can I pull out Resurrection again. I'm hoping this time next year I'll be complaining about editing it while eagerly looking forward to it being published!
Due to a number of reasons (edits, holidays, real life intrusions), I haven't been able to get a lot of writing done this last month. I have added a bit to the story I'm attempting to write for LT3's Bound by Nothing call, but I'm still not sure if, A) I'll have it complete by the deadline, and B) it will reach the minimum length requirement. Still, the story is cute and fun to write, so I'm going to plug away at it for as long as possible. Wish me luck!
Ground of Insurrection is 99 cents at LT3 this weekend only! If you don't have a copy, now is the time: https://lessthanthreepress.com/books... Insurrection has been getting truly wonderful reviews and it has one of the prettiest covers I've seen. I'm sure you'll enjoy it too, so get your copy today!
Heartbeat is now available on Goodreads. Feel free to add it to your to-read list if you're interested: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41830430-heartbeat
I have completed writing Ground of Resurrection, book two in my Wizard Wars series. I have set it aside to marinate for about a month, so sometime in mid-October I'll get it edited and formatted for submission. I'm excited about how it turned out. It answers some of the questions I know you had from book one and expands the world and the story. I'm hoping you like it too! Next for this series is book three, which I have the barest outline for. I'm not planning on starting book three for a while (I have a few others I want to finish first), but I'm looking forward to it.
Otherwise, I haven't done much the past few weeks. I had a good new year celebration with my family, which was nice. I'm behind on the edits for The Coup and the Prince. I'm hoping to make some progress on it this week around Yom Kippur, but it's going to be difficult. There will be more time to focus on the edits next week. Once the edits are done I'll return to writing and will hopefully begin to make real progress on some of the other stories I know you're waiting for.
I've have been making some more progress on my to-do list! There's still a lot left for me to get done, but I like what I've been able to accomplish so far. Here's what I did:
First, I was able to complete the edits for Heartbeat and get them returned to LT3 on time. (Okay, one day late, but that hardly counts when you consider how late I returned some of my previous edits...) Heartbeat is therefore complete and ready to go for October 3rd. It is available for pre-order at LT3 and should be out to other retailers soon. Heartbeat is a reprint, so only go get your copy if you don't own the original.
Another big ticket item on my to-do list is finishing writing Ground of Resurrection, which I have almost completed. The story itself is done, but I'm only halfway through the epilogue. I'm of two minds when it comes to the epilogue. On one hand, it's a cute bit of fun extra that I want to give to my readers. On the other, it really serves more as a vignette rather than a full epilogue. I'm still going to write it and include it in the submission, and then I'll see what the editor says. If they think it's okay to keep it in, I will, if not I'll release it on my blog as a deleted scene. Either way, you'll get to read it, which means I need to finish writing it. Once the epilogue is done, Ground of Resurrection will be complete and all I'll need to do is edit and format it for submission.
I have also written a few hundred words in Gi-Mi: Part Two. I had the day off this past Monday, so I was able to spend a good chunk of time focusing on this story. I really want to get it complete this year, but I still have approximately 15k words to write, so I'm not sure that's possible. Hopefully I can get it done by early next year.
Lastly, The Coup and the Prince. The second round of edits arrived and are sitting on my computer waiting for me. Now that Heartbeat is done, I've decided to take a few more days to complete Resurrection, and then all focus has to go towards getting Coup done. I've read through the edits already and I know they won't be easy. There's still a few things to rewrite and a couple of other things to tweak. It's going to take time, which means I need to get cracking. Wish me luck!
Despite the constant edits, I have managed to squeeze a little writing in. There are so many stories I want to get complete, but finding time to work on them has been difficult, especially when so much of my writing time has been stuffed full of editing. Here's what I've been able to accomplish the last few weeks:
I added a few more drips and drabs to Dragon Spy, book seven of my Supernatural Consultant series. Mostly I'm trying to figure out the balance between Nickel's role and Lumie's role to the overall plot. They're both big personalities that demand focus and attention, and giving it to them both without losing the essence of the series is going to be an interesting task for this particular book.
I also added about 1.5k words to Ground of Resurrection. I've said this before, but all I need to finish writing this story is time. There's about 4k more to go and it's all planned out, so it's really just about finding a few stolen moments to work on it. As soon as I'm done with edits, I expect this story to be the next add to my completed list.
LT3 also posted a new collection call named Bound by Nothing. It's about shifters and injuries that I thought was really interesting. I've got an idea for it and I managed to write about 3k words, but I don't know if I'll be able to complete the story by the deadline. It's due at the end of January and it's only asking for a minimum of 20k words, but I have so much else to do that this story might unfortunately not get there in time. Which doesn't mean I'll abandon the story, of course. It wouldn't be the first time I've missed the deadline for a call and later published the story anyway, but I would like to try. You can check out my tentative summary on my current projects page and I hope to have a title to share soon too.
But what about Ge-Mi: Part Two, or the fairy tales I keep insisting I'll work on? I fully admit, I've gotten distracted from these two endeavors. Ge-Mi is another story that I just need to find free time to work on, but because the story is so involved, it's got to be more than a few brief moments stolen here and there. Usually that's all I have, which is perfect for all the other stories I've mentioned so far, but not for Ge-Mi. That's going to take a few weekends of no other distractions to really get into and right now that time is being spent on edits instead. As for the fairy tales, I've got two left to complete and one still to rework. I can work on them in the stolen moments, but I'd prefer to finish Resurrection first, so once that story is done I know I'll return to my fairy tales.
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.