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

A new chapter of SHADOWS AND GOLD and a rough writing schedule

I wanted to highlight a few things on the blog today.

It’s Tenzin Tuesday, so there’s a new chapter of Shadows and Gold HERE.

I also wanted those readers curious about what I’m writing and planning over to the new Upcoming Work page. On it, I’ll give you a rough idea of what I’m writing, what I’m planning, and what I see long term for all three series I’m writing. I’ll try to keep things updated, but keep in mind that life happens and schedules change! This is only a rough approximation of what my future work will be.

I also want to send a sincere thank you to everyone who made the release of DESERT BOUND successful! A special thanks to everyone who took the time to review the book where you bought it. I hope you’re enjoying or have enjoyed the book!

I’ll be posting the full prologue to THE SECRET on the website later this week, so look for that and remember, those readers who sign up for my VIP Reader list get exclusive first looks at teasers, covers, and even early chapters of serial work! You can SIGN UP HERE to become a VIP Reader.

Thanks, everyone! Enjoy the new chapter.

Elizabeth

It’s heeeeere! DESERT BOUND is now available.

“I like that you interrupt me calling you sexy to tell me the scientific name of what I’m kissing.” He nipped her throat. “It’s hot.”

~ Desert Bound, Available Now

Amazon: http://bit.ly/AmazonDesertBound
iBooks: http://bit.ly/AppleDesertBound
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/SmashwordsDesertBound

DesertBound_3D

Today is release day for DESERT BOUND: Cambio Springs Book Two. Thanks to everyone who is participating in the promotion for the release. So many of you have blogged about this, reviewed it, and preordered the book. And I want to thank you so sincerely. Early reviews have been great!

Typical Distractions

“Elizabeth Hunter is a paranormal writing genius. She takes unique themes and elements and creates a world that I never want to escape! I have read few shape shifting books that I truly enjoyed (for some reason the theme has never been well written when I try to dive in), yet this series has raised the standard to the highest level and I will never be able to go back!”

Jeannie Zelos

“[Desert Bound] is a great story, fabulous setting, a range of shifters from birds to wolves and cats to snakes…and each have their own part to play.”

And here’s a short video message for you guys.

Much love, everyone.

Elizabeth

DESERT BOUND: Playlist and Giveaway

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00049]I skipped “What I’m Writing Wednesday” because, well, I’m not writing anything this week. Or not much anyway, because I’m focusing on putting all the release stuff together for Desert Bound, which is only FIVE DAYS AWAY! It’s kind of snuck up on me.

You can preorder Desert Bound

at these retailers for release on 10/14:

Amazon

iBooks

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

I wanted to share the playlist for this book because a. I love it. and b. it played a really big part in writing. Music always plays a big part in what I’m writing, and this playlist is a personal favorite.

DESERT BOUND is a second (third?)-chance romance. Much of that history was explained in “Five Mornings,” Alex and Ted’s short story. But the meat of this story deals with the complicated dance of two headstrong people who love each other very much. They also recognize that sometimes love isn’t enough to build a life. The music reflects that. And it has a lot of Bonnie Raitt, who is one of my all-time favorites.

First love is beautiful. The energy, the passion, the romance. But I think there’s a special kind of depth and beauty to this kind of love story. Because the love—the decision to love and trust and give yourself to someone who you know can hurt you—becomes about so much more than passion.

Don’t worry. This book is hot. Plenty hot! (Thanks, Alex.) But there’s a lot more going on. Not just with the murder that hits Cambio Springs, but also within the friendships and family relationships for both characters.

I hope you enjoy it. I really do. Five more days until it’s burning up your e-reader. Until then, listen to some music.

Beautiful Dawn—The Wailin’ Jennys

Rain—Patty Griffin

With a Little Help from my Friends—Joe Coker

Right in Time—Lucinda Williams

Turning Tables—Adele

You—Bonnie Raitt

Take It Down—The Wailin’ Jennys

Still I Long for Your Kiss—Lucinda Williams

Something to Talk About—Bonnie Raitt

Step Inside This House—Lyle Lovett

Make You Feel My Love—Adele

Love Me Like a Man—Bonnie Raitt

Gone, Gone, Gone—Philip Phillips 

Dimming of the Day—Bonnie Raitt

Shifting Dreams coverAlso, look for a sale over the weekend on SHIFTING DREAMS! I’ll be lowering the price of the first Cambio Book to just $0.99 to celebrate the release of DESERT BOUND. If you haven’t started this series, now’s your chance!

I’m also running a Giveaway for a signed paperback of Shifting Dreams over on the Facebook page. (Unfortunately, I can’t run it from my WordPress site.) Just click HERE to enter.

Keep well, Elizabeth

Tenzin Tuesday: New chapter of Shadows and Gold

I finally decided on a title for the novella that I like! SHADOWS AND GOLD will be the title of this Elemental World novella. So many thanks to the readers who offered suggestions and ideas. I wanted to include something about the gold they’re going after, and while “Shadows and Gold” wasn’t a direct suggestion, many thanks to reader Amy Schmidt Martin for her idea of “In Shadows” which led me to the eventual title.

Titles are a funny thing. Some of them I slave over. Some of them hit me very quickly. I tend to like short titles for two reasons. They’re easier for me to remember, and they also look cleaner on the cover. It’s a personal thing. The titles for the Elemental Mysteries all came from classic philosophical or poetic works. Some of them simply have an element that “feels” right. It’s a weird process sometimes. But Shadows and Gold feels right for this story, so I’m sticking with it.

The next chapter of Shadows and Gold is HERE. Please enjoy. Once again, I have no idea how long this novella will be! It may be more of a short novel. Who knows? We’re still in the first act with four chapters down, so it may be longer than I expected. Still doing one chapter a week as I’m getting into promotion for final formatting for DESERT BOUND while working on drafting The Secret, as well.

ALSO, I wanted to highlight a new feature for readers, which is the VIP Reader mailing list you can sign up for over on the right there. (See it? There’s a link.) I’ve had a new release mailing list for a while now, but the VIP Reader newsletter will be for more than just new releases. These are going to be newsletters filled with extras like first looks at new work, exclusive teasers and contests, and bonus shorts and scenes. It’s going to be more “bonus features” than new books or sales. So if you want to be on that list, please sign up today. I probably won’t do more than one a week or so (if that) so I can promise I’m not going to flood your inbox.

I think that’s it! Hopefully, I’ll get more written on The Secret tomorrow, but for now, I need to go do the final formatting for the paperback edition of DESERT BOUND, which releases A WEEK FROM TODAY! (Yay formatting…) So excited for you guys to read it!

Have a great one, Elizabeth

What I’m Writing Wednesday: THE SECRET

AngelsI missed it last week, but here’s a snippet of what I’m writing right now. Who wants to hear something from the mysterious Jaron? I’m also including a photo I took in Vienna of Michaelskirche, St. Michael’s church in Vienna. This is the amazing Rococo sculpture “Fall of the Angels” by Lorenzo Mattielli.

~~~

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 strength 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?”

~~~

I’ll have some exciting news later this week about DESERT BOUND! Until then, have a great day, everyone.

Elizabeth

Tenzin Tuesday: New chapter of the Elemental World novella has posted!

Night market in Urumqi.

Night market in Urumqi.

Thanks for your understanding last week while I was in Vienna doing research for The Secret. I had a great, very productive trip which I’ll post more about later this week, along with some exciting release news about DESERT BOUND which comes out in 15 days. FIFTEEN DAYS! I hope you’re ready for Alex and Ted! I love that couple.

Until then, this should tide over readers looking for an Elemental fix. A new chapter of the Ben and Tenzin novella! By the way, I’m still taking suggestions for titles on this one. I can’t decide. So feel free to offer suggestions in the comments. If I pick your title, I’ll send you a copy of the novella when it’s published.

Here’s the link!

A short teaser from Chapter Three…

They walked through the market after the sun set, enjoying the smell of spices and cooking oil that filled the air. The night market in Ürümqi was a melange of faces, scents, and colors. Children ran about in brightly colored dresses and shirts. Stylish Uyghur women in intricately embroidered hijab surveyed wares with a critical eye. Caps and scarves. Bread and fruit. Everything was for sale in the market that night.

“You fit here,” he said, looking around.

“I fit where? China?” Tenzin asked.

“Here. In Xinjiang.”

It was true. He’d never been able to place Tenzin’s appearance. She was Asian, for certain, but didn’t have the typical features of the Han Chinese who dominated the Western view of China. Tibetan? Mongolian, maybe? He didn’t suppose those kind of labels existed in her human years.

Her complexion was pale, but much of that had to do with her vampiric nature. Her eyes were a cloudy grey, but that could have happened during her transformation however many thousand years before. There was no way of knowing what she’d looked like as a human, but she’d been turned in her late teens or early twenties. Of that, he was fairly sure.

And in Central Asia—with its fascinating mix of people—she did, somehow, fit.

Tenzin shook her head, lifting the corner of her mouth in a smile. A hint of her ever-present fangs peeked out. “I don’t fit anywhere, Ben.”

“Whatever, oh ancient and mysterious one.” He nudged her shoulder to head down an alley that smelled particularly savory. “You fit with me.”

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