So much new stuff!

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Before I get to ALL THE NEW STUFF to read, I wanted to thank you guys for one of my best release days ever for ALL THE STARS LOOK DOWN, the new duo of Christmas novellas I released yesterday with Grace Draven. Grace and I both wanted to thank you guys for reading (and hopefully reviewing!) the book. It was so fun for me to be back with Gio and Beatrice for the holidays, so I’m glad you enjoyed visiting them, too.

Now, onto the new stuff!

You wanted to read today, right? Because there’s LOTS of new stuff to read and Shadows and Gold Chapter Ten is only one of them. You can read the new chapter HERE.

A quick word about Shadows and Gold publication: The last chapter will post next week. And that’s really the end of the novella! But there will be an additional epilogue for those of you who want to buy the book once it’s published, which should be on December 15th. I don’t have a cover yet! I’m so sorry. They’re working on it. Also, I will be doing a paperback copy of this little book, and that will also be available on or around December 15th.

Nether_UpdatedCover_700In addition to ALL THE STARS, the excellent Colleen Vanderlinden published the fifth and final book in her Hidden Series last week. If you haven’t been paying attention, Hidden is an indie-published Urban Fantasy series that’s been garnering a LOT of attention from critics. Vanderlinden was even nominated for an RT award. NETHER is the last book in the series, so for those of you who like reading series when they’re all finished, now is the time to check this author out! LOST GIRL is the first book (which I read and loved) and you can buy it here. And NETHER is available here. Happy reading!

Night_Shift_260Also available today is an anthology from some of my favorite authors, NIGHT SHIFT. This anthology has Ilona Andrews (a Dali and Jim story!), Nalini Singh (a new Psy-changling story!), Lisa Shearin (who is new to me), and Milla Vane (super-secret pen name of Meljean Brook, who is awesome.) I haven’t read it yet, but it’s on my Kindle for when I get a spare minute or twenty. You can buy it on Amazon, or I’m sure it’s available at your favorite retailer.

I probably won’t be posting again before Thanksgiving, so for my American readers, Happy Thanksgiving! And to my international readers, try to find some corn bread stuffing and turkey if at all possible. They’re delicious.

Have a great week and thanks for reading,

Elizabeth

An all-new Elemental Mysteries novella is now available!

Hey! You know how I’ve always said I was never going to write another Gio and Beatrice book? Well, I haven’t… exactly.

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I have, however, written a very fun Christmas novella for them that is now available to purchase in ALL THE STARS LOOK DOWN, a pair of Christmas romances that I wrote with Grace Draven.

WHAT???

974420_10203580335841794_462988901_nYep! It’s available right now. No waiting. No preorder.

SURPRISE!

Grace Draven has contributed an amazing novella called SUNDAY’S CHILD, a beautiful story that combines modern day romance, Norse Mythology, and a whole lot of Christmas wishes. I have contributed LOST LETTERS AND CHRISTMAS LIGHTS, a novella that features Giovanni Vecchio and Beatrice De Novo in an all new mystery (don’t worry, this one is resolved in one book) joined by some new characters in the Elemental world.

And you can get both stories for only $2.99! (Which is what I usually charge for ONE novella, so this is a real bargain.) Take a look at the synopsis for LOST LETTERS here:

Christmas in Rome wasn’t quite what Giovanni and Beatrice had in mind, until a set of misplaced letters leads them back to their library in the heart of Italy in a brand-new novella for ALL THE STARS LOOK DOWN.

Serafina Rossi wasn’t expecting vampires for Christmas. But as the director of the Vecchio Library, she couldn’t refuse to help. And if part of that help was spending the holiday in Rome examining mysterious letters at the Vatican… Well, she couldn’t exactly refuse.

Zeno Ferrara was an immortal whose eternity was dedicated to examining historical correspondence. But it was letters from the lovely director of the Vecchio Library that occupied his thoughts. Two years of correspondence has made Fina Rossi more than a mystery to be discovered. She’s become his fascination.

When Fina shows up at Zeno’s library just before Christmas, will they both discover an unexpected gift? And will a centuries-old mystery finally be resolved as Giovanni and Beatrice track down a clandestine romance lost in time? Return to the Elemental Mysteries in Lost Letters and Christmas Lights, a special Christmas novella.

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I HAD SO MUCH FUN WRITING THIS!

Seriously, this is a dose of pure holiday happy. I pretty much grinned the whole time. I loved being able to visit Gio and Beatrice again, and the new characters, Zeno and Fina (who you met at the end of A Fall of Water) I’m just kind of in love with. A lot.

And SUNDAY’S CHILD is just as good! But then, everything that Grace writes is great, so that’s not really a surprise.

So fly to Rome (in your mind, if not on a plane) and grab ALL THE STARS FALL DOWN today.

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(It will eventually be available at iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and all the usual suspects, but it has to distribute through Smashwords first, so it may be a few days.)

Hope you enjoy! And spread the word. Happy early Thanksgiving, everyone!

Best wishes, Elizabeth

Tenzin Tuesday: Chapter Nine of Shadows and Gold is now available.

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“I’m tired of talking about Stephen,” she said. “Touch me and don’t speak, or I’ll go back to the house.”

He chuckled. “So bossy. I’m not the one who angered you. Don’t take it out on me.”

“Fine. You may speak. But not about Stephen.”

“Benjamin Vecchio, then.”

She scowled and called up a gust of wind, knocking him out of the boat and into the water. When he rose above the surface, he was laughing.

“Oh, I missed you, cricket.”

IMG_7464Another chapter of Shadows and Gold is up! You get to meet Cheng. Do you hate him? Hopefully you won’t after this chapter. He’s an interesting character, and I have plans for him. I’m also waiting on the cover for Shadows and Gold. When I have it, I’ll send it out to the VIP Reader list, so if you haven’t signed up for that, please do!

Hopefully, you all caught the news about the new covers for the Elemental Mysteries. (If you didn’t, the post is HERE.) The brand new novella featuring Gio and B, Lost Letters and Christmas Lights, will be published soon in the ALL THE STARS LOOK DOWN collection. No preorder, but I’ll be sure to blast it when the links are live!

Other news…

I think that’s it! For now. Enjoy the new chapter. Two more to go, and then you’ll get the epilogue when it’s published. Not long now!

Have a great week, Elizabeth

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Everything old is new again. (Especially Elemental Mysteries covers.)

YOU GUYS!

So I’ve been holding on to some news for… a while. But if you were very sneaky over the weekend and read Ilona Andrew’s blog, you might already know what I’m going to say. I’m so excited. And nervous. And excited!

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The Elemental Mysteries have gotten a facelift!

I KNOW! Do you love them? I love them. I’ve been wanting to give the series a revamped (ha! no pun intended) look for a while now. A HIDDEN FIRE has been out for over three years now. Did you even realize that? I feel kind of old typing that. So, yes. New look. Fancy dress for Christmas, if you will.

So—wait, what?

Ooooh, that. Okay, okay, I know. Everyone calm down. You were looking. You were all excited. They’re so pretty! And then…

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“But Elizabeth, there are… faces.”

You’re right. There are FACES.

“But Elizabeth, you don’t do faces! That is clearly NOT Beatrice OR Giovanni on the cover of A Fall of Water!”

Well, um, no. It’s not. Because of course, Beatrice and Gio are fictional characters who exist in our imaginations and on the page. I’ll admit, I was… a little unsure when I first saw them myself. In fact, quite unsure. I mean, it was a gorgeous cover, but…

FACES.

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In fact, I sent it back to the cover artist (Damonza, in case you were wondering. They did an AMAZING job, as they always do. They’re awesome.) and I said, “Send me another with no faces!”

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(Okay, I didn’t smash any coffee cups, but you get the idea.)

So, being the awesome cover artists they are, Damonza sent me one with no faces! And…

I didn’t like it as much.

See, the more I looked at that cover, the more it drew me in. In fact… I kind of loved the whole thing. I love the library (of course), I love the strong water element, and I love the columns. And those models… well, they’re actually pretty close to what I picture! (But of course, it’s okay if they’re not what YOU picture. Because yay books! They’re awesome that way.) I love how amazingly badass Beatrice looks without being in one of those really awkward cover model poses. I love that Giovanni has an expression on his face that says “I’m an intelligent individual and not just pretty.” (He also has clothes!) And I love that it’s the last book of the series and we get to see… FACES.

So, in the end, I did what I was not expecting and I put faces on the covers of one of my Elemental Mysteries books. In fact, A Fall of Water may be my favorite of the four new covers. But really, I love them all. I love the colors. The depth. As much as I loved the old covers, I feel like these really reflect the series very well.

So, if you don’t like it, that’s cool. But I do! And since they’re my books…

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The paperbacks will soon hit all the usual places to buy if you want to get paperbacks. Same prices and all that. Might take a few days to show up, though.

Now, for those of you who really, really love the original covers, good news! The original Elemental Mysteries covers are still available from Createspace. They’re not in distribution, because I wanted to maintain a unified look for the series, but they are available in paperback. You can find the links here.

Tomorrow is Tuesday! That means I’ll have another chapter of Shadows and Gold posted for Tenzin Tuesday. And that is all. So lay it on me in the comments! What do you think? Do you have a favorite new cover?

Chapter Eight of Shadows and Gold

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There is a new chapter of Shadows and Gold posted over on the Elemental World fan site. If you missed it on my Facebook page, the novella now has a synopsis!

Failing grades. Misleading wind vampires. And a fortune in forgotten gold.

Traveling to the most remote region of China certainly wasn’t what Ben Vecchio had in mind for his summer vacation, but when Tenzin suggested a quick trip, he could hardly turn down a chance to keep her out of trouble and practice the Mandarin he still struggled with in class.

Of course, Tenzin might not have been clear about everything travel entailed.

Driving a truck full of rotting vegetables and twenty million in gold from Kashgar to Shanghai was only the start. If Ben can keep the treasure away from grasping immortals, the reward will be more than worth the effort. But when has travel with a five-thousand-year-old wind vampire ever been simple?

“What’s on the agenda for tonight?”
“I thought we’d go into Shanghai. Eat some fish. See the lights.”
“Okay.”
“Then maybe lure a traitor into the open before he steals my gold.”
Ben paused, thought, then gave her a nod. “Sure, sounds like fun.”

At least he was practicing his Chinese.

Right?

SHADOWS AND GOLD is a prequel novella in the Elemental Legacy series. That’s right, I said the Elemental Legacy series. I’ve said for years now that Ben and Tenzin would have their own series and this novella is sort of a sneak peek into what that series will be like. It’ll be a little more urban fantasy. A little more mystery and adventure. And a whole lot of fun.

Don’t start jumping around and asking for release dates! I’ve still got quite a bit of work to do in other series, and I’m still writing in the Elemental World. So no story arcs are getting dropped. But for those of you who are big Ben and Tenzin fans, know that this is definitely in the planning stages.

As for a release date for Shadows and Gold? That will be the beginning of December, but I can’t say exactly when. It’ll follow Lost Letters and Christmas Lights, the Elemental Mysteries novella in ALL THE STARS LOOK DOWN. And that will be out the end of this month. So lots of new stuff to read! Just be watching here or on my social media accounts for news. OR, sign up for my new release mailing list over on the right there and don’t ever miss a release again!

Hope you enjoy the new chapter!

Elizabeth

New chapter of Shadows and Gold has posted.

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There is a new chapter of Shadows and Gold posted HERE.

~

She settled into the seat across from him and Ben kept driving. By his calculation, they had a little over two hours of full night left. Then, Tenzin could crawl in the cubby hole for the rest of the trip, as far as he was concerned. He had half a mind to leave her in the middle of Xinjiang and fly home. Only the lure of the gold and garnet Thracian necklace carefully packed with the rest of her cache and surrounded by wilted vegetables made him stick with the truck.

Mercenary? Maybe. But then, he was traveling with a mercenary. Tenzin didn’t lie about that. Why would she when she enjoyed it?

Ben glanced at her, but her eyes were closed and she was doing the meditating thing she did when she was tuning the world out.

The question of Tenzin’s mental state was one Ben had thought long and hard over.

She was crazy. That had never been in question. Ben figured that anyone who’d lived as long as Tenzin and seen a fraction of what he imagined—and Ben had a vivid imagination and a good grasp of history—would be unbalanced. She had moments when he could swear she wasn’t even in the room with him. Moments when she’d turn to him and a second of insanity was caught in her eyes. Cold. In that second, Ben knew she didn’t know him. Didn’t know anything except whatever inner rage forced her to keep living as long as she had.

Then she blinked and she was herself again.

Crazy? Yes. And funny. Sarcastic. Caring. Pragmatic. The oddest combination of child and ancient he’d ever seen or ever would see.

Ben could accept it, because it was just… Tenzin. If he didn’t want to deal with it, he wouldn’t spend time with her.

He knew his anger would wane eventually, and she’d have him again. The next time she had some scheme or adventure, she’d lure him into it and he’d go, knowing it would all go to hell at some point and he’d deal.

Because it was Tenzin.

Next to him, she pulled her legs up onto the seat and wrapped her arms around them, settling her chin on her knees as she gazed at the moon. He could see the slight smile curve her lips from the corner of his eye.

“You like the rush,” she whispered.

“Tenzin—”

“Someday, you’ll stop lying to yourself about it. It doesn’t make you a bad person, you know, to like the rush. It makes you feel alive. Reminds you that you are the one who survives.”

Ben tried not to think about it. Because then he’d start questioning his own mental state.

~

I also wanted to post the trailer for a new show that looks like a total blast. I think Elemental Mysteries fans will love it.

HOW MUCH FUN DOES THIS LOOK LIKE???

Yeah, I’ll totally be watching.

Have a great week, everyone!

Elizabeth

Writing news: Read the prologue to THE SECRET: Irin Chronicles Book Three

Happy Halloween!

For those of you not on the VIP Reader list, I have posted the full prologue to THE SECRET: Irin Chronicles Book Three here on the website. Again, I can’t give you a release date (because I’m still writing the book!) but I am fairly sure it will release early next year.

974420_10203580335841794_462988901_nI’m not going to lie, it’s a lot easier to work on a fun new Elemental novella for Christmas (What? I didn’t tell you about my secret project with Grace Draven? Surprise!) or keep writing on Shadows and Gold with Ben and Tenzin. Ava and Malachi are hard to write. The mythology of the Irin series is complex. So I really do appreciate your patience while I take my time writing the best book I can to conclude Ava and Malachi’s story.

After that? I do see more books in the Irin Chronicles. Though like the Elemental Mysteries, Ava and Malachi’s story arc will be concluded at the end of The Secret. But there will still be many stories to tell in that world. So Irin fans, take heart!

And to tide you over, have a peek at what Jaron is up to:

He watched from across the crowded street. Jaron had taken the face of an old man, holding a newspaper and watching the humans pass in front of him as they strolled the ocean promenade with family and friends. The winter wind gusted on the Ligurian coast, but it did not bother the angel, only flapped the threadbare overcoat that covered his narrow shoulders.

Another old man came to sit beside him, holding a bag of warm chestnuts.

“Does she know yet?”

“She’s intelligent. She’ll find the answers soon enough. And the scribe is keener than I expected.”

Barak lifted the steaming bag of chestnuts to his nose and inhaled, but did not reach for one. “Mikhael’s offspring are often underestimated,” he said. “Seen more for their physical prowess than their strategy. This is a mistake.”

Jaron nodded. “Mikhael is a great strategist. His prowess rivals Yun’s.”

“Only when Yun is not working with you. Is her father still hidden?”

“As much as I can make him. In some ways, his public life has made it easier. He doesn’t often remove himself to places where he could be vulnerable.”

“True.” Barak tugged on the grey beard that covered his face. “I prefer the human eras that favor facial hair.”

Jaron lifted an eyebrow at his friend. “Do you? I detest them.”

“You detest every human era anymore.”

“Why do you think I’m doing all this?”

The corner of the old man’s mouth lifted behind his beard. “Why, indeed?”

Reading Matters: A plea to Book People everywhere

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Another week, another round of authors and agents and publishing type people telling the world that everything is bad. Our future is doomed because children aren’t reading the right books. Self-publishing is ruining our culture. And anyone who doesn’t have a degree in something that someone else deems important should probably just shut up.

Oh, for heaven’s sake, everyone.

Am I generalizing? Yes. These are a random sample of headlines pulled off The Passive Voice (who also posts good stuff, I’m just talking about the negative to make a point.) This is an almost constant refrain in Book World.

Can we stop? Can we just stop now? All of the writers, traditionally published or self-published. All of the agents. The publishers. The editors and talking heads. The bloggers and journalists.

Dear Book People, can we stop arguing about SHIT THAT DOES NOT MATTER?

The market is going to do what it’s going to do. I don’t control it. You don’t either. Know who else doesn’t? Publishers. Distributors. Book stores.

Know who does control the market? Readers.

So let’s talk about readers. Because the really big thing we often forget is that, beyond all the hand-wringing, I imagine we all got into this business because we really love books! So there should be one thing we can all agree on.

READING MATTERS.

It’s a vitally important part of our emotional, intellectual, and cultural development. It matters. To the individual. To the greater world. The act of reading matters. And the promotion of reading, particularly for children, is one of the single greatest causes we can support.

Everyone. Every single one of us should be focused on this.

13272923_sReading matters.

Because I was a child who read voraciously, I was never bored. I was never lonely. I was never the only kid like me. I could travel anyplace. I could be the hero of the story. I could be brave. I could be afraid, too.

I learned empathy for those who were different than myself. I explored placed that only existed in my imagination. I flew with dragons. I fought with swords.

I won. I lost. I learned.

I learned who I could be if I dreamed. That what I imagined could be made real, if only in my mind. I learned that ordinary could become extraordinary. And maybe “ordinary” didn’t really exist in the first place. Because everyone has a story, whether it’s told or not.

And finally, I learned that maybe it was my job to tell the stories that would touch another person who loved to read. I was one child, but I was every child who reads.

That’s why reading matters.

Because there are a lot of people who don’t have that. They don’t have that much-needed escape. They don’t have that eye-opening relationship with the written word. They don’t have connection with something simultaneously greater than themselves and achingly personal.

If we really care about the book business, then we need to start focusing on that. We need to start focusing on how to make MORE READERS in a world inundated by information. There are videos and games and interactive everything you can imagine. The world of our minds is changing. Stretching. And this should create opportunity. But reading culture as a whole will not grow if we keep fighting about the right or wrong way to do it. This should be a cause greater than petty squabbles.

You want to expand your market?

Make more people fall in love with reading. And let them access it however works best for them. Paperback. E-Book. Audiobook. Web serial. Formats and avenues that haven’t even been imagined yet! Let them get it at libraries. Bookstores. Corner stores. Online stores. Facilitate it. Feed it. Let it run wild and see what happens.

17665598_sWe have no idea what the possibilities are. I want to find out. We should all want to find out. All of us. All the book people. The readers and bloggers and writers and publishers and agents and journalists.

Make people fall in love with reading. Reading matters.

Review: Burn For Me by Ilona Andrews and a new chapter of Shadows and Gold

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Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile situation. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.

Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run and wanting to surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.

Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.

People ask me all the time what to read when they’re done with my books. I usually ask, What do you like to read? Do you like action? Fantasy? Romance? Humor? The nice thing about a writer like Ilona Andrews (who is actually husband and wife writing team Ilona and Gordon Andrews) is that I can comfortably recommend them to readers who like all or any of that.

Action? Yep.

Fantasy? Some of the best world-building out there.

Romance? Um… hiiiiiii. Yes. They can write romance.

Humor? I have literally snorted reading their books. (This is part of the reason that reading is a solitary activity. So when you read Ilona Andrews you can snort-laugh without anyone seeing it.)

I was incredibly excited to hear that they were writing a new series. I love the Kate Daniels series. Loved The Edge series. Love their Innkeeper Chronicles. But, I’m going out on a limb and saying that Burn For Me, the first book in their Hidden Legacy series, may be the start of my favorite series yet. The writing is tight and the pacing leaves you breathless. This is a do-not-skip-a-word book. The characters are well drawn and the world-building is lush and complex, but they’ve framed it in an alternate history that’s also very accessible. Read More

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