A Companion Series for Asta and the Barbarians

Back in 2017, while my epic fantasy novel Asta and the Barbarians was in the process of being published by Tirgearr Publishing, I was also taking some creative writing classes at my community college. In my Intermediate Fiction writing class, I was challenged to write a short story every two weeks. It was difficult but also tons of fun to brainstorm and create so many stories in such a short amount of time. Some were always destined to be short stories; others I felt deserved to be expanded upon but it wasn’t the right time.

After Asta and the Barbarians was published, I began working on a romance novel titled I Dare You to Stay With Me which I ended up self-publishing, and then I quickly began preparing my science fiction/fantasy novel The Andromeda’s Ghost to be published through BHC Press. This year, I self-published a book with my sister, a urban fantasy novel titled Death’s Curses. While finishing up with Death’s Curses, I was also communicating with BHC Press because they are in the process of getting The Andromeda’s Captain (book two in The Andromeda Chronicles) ready for publication. And after Death’s Curses was published, I raced through the end of The Andromeda’s Crew (book three in The Andromeda Chronicles) after which I decided to dive headlong into the complex world of book marketing. I’ve been snatching free ebooks, and signing up for free webinars as well as relatively inexpensive marketing classes as I come across them. I’ve been emailing reviewers and organizing advertisements and other promotions for my books. I’ve scheduled cross promotion with other authors through my newsletter and social media accounts. It has been exhausting, but necessary to grow my audience and get my name out there.

With The Andromeda’s Crew in the hands of my beta readers, I can’t do any more work on it. At least, not until I get their feedback. In the meantime (because I don’t know how to be idle) I’ve moved on to the next project on my list, the short stories I created back in 2017! Whenever I had writer’s block while working on projects from 2017 up until now, I would go back to one of those short stories specifically. I shared it here on the blog at one point; back then it was titled A Match Made in the Hollow. Slowly but surely, I’ve built upon it until, just last week, I finished it. It’s not a short story anymore but a 130 page novella titled Jessa and the Lost Goddess.

This is the first installment in a series of novellas which are companions to Asta and the Barbarians. These novellas are set in the same world as Asta and the Barbarians but focus on different characters. All of these characters are chosen for a specific task by one of the Heavenly Masters (gods and goddesses) that were introduced in Asta and the Barbarians. In the last novella of this series, these new characters will meet up with Asta and her friends in order to help them achieve a very specific task. While Asta’s story was set on the Island of Holger, these novellas will be set on the “mainland” which was mentioned often in Asta and the Barbarians but never expanded upon. I’ve had numerous fans ask for a sequel to Asta’s story over the years and I’m so excited to finally be able to do so. I sincerely hope I can live up to your expectations or at least entertain you for a little while. ūüėČ

Tirgearr Publishing produced Asta and the Barbarians so they get first dibs, but they can choose not to publish this series. If that happens, I’m going to self-publish these so no matter what, you will get to read these very soon! I’ve submitted a synopsis and an overview to Tirgearr Publishing and am waiting for their response now.

More news to come!

Death’s Curses Book Blog Tour

My new adult urban fantasy novel, Death’s Curses, is going on a blog tour (hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions) from August 16 – 27th. What does this mean? It means that for the next 12 days my book is going to be highlighted on 13 different blogs. I’m including the tour schedule as well as links to each host blog because you’re going to want to tune in and enter the rafflecopter contest! A random visitor will be selected to win a bookmark, a custom made candle inspired by one of the characters in the book, and an ebook copy of the book itself (US participants only — Sorry, UK, but I’m too broke to mail anything to you!).

Why am I doing a blog tour? Well, for one, because I’m running out of creative ways to spread the word about this book without sounding like a used car salesman. But also because I’m excited to give this custom made candle away. I met this gal through Instagram and, right from the beginning, she was a joy to work with. I could tell she cared about her craft and her customers. She gave me a list of colors and scents that I could play with in order to create a candle for each main character in this book, Charlie, Esmeralda, and Jasmine. Then she sent me short Instagram reels during each step of the creation process, asking questions to be sure I was satisfied with my order. The candles came out great! Each scent is unique and portrays each character perfectly. I kept one, I gave one to my sister and coauthor, and now I’m giving the last one away to one of you!

So I hope you get a chance to visit one of these blogs and enter the contest this week! If you can, please leave a comment. I’ll be visiting these host blogs too and will answer any questions you might have. I’m looking forward to the chance to talk to my readers. ūüôā

As promised, here’s the tour schedule:

8/16: Westveil Publishing

8/17: Becoming Extraordinary

8/18: Romance Novel Giveaways

8/19: All the Ups and Downs

8/20: Literary Gold

8/20: FUONLYKNEW

8/23: Welcome to My World of Dreams

8/24: Dawn’s Reading Nook

8/25: Hope. Dreams. Life… Love

8/25: Fabulous and Brunette

8/26: Kit ‘N Kabookle

8/26: Sadie’s Spotlight

8/27: Christine Young

Death’s Curses Release Date

Editing for Death’s Curses is finished! I’ve gone over my editor’s comments and have applied some minor changes. It’s done! Now, I’m working on all the formatting involved to make the paperback and ebook look and feel like books that were traditionally published. It’s not hard work but it is time-consuming. I have even more respect for all of the wonderful people involved in this part of the publication process.

I’ve set a publication date for June 1st so anyone who is currently in possession of an eARC, please be prepared to post your review during that week. Anyone who posts a review will be receiving a custom made bookmark as a thank-you.

ARCs are still available to anyone interested in a free ebook in exchange for an honest review on Amazon or Goodreads. I have epub, mobi, and PDF versions.

In other news, the ebook and paperback will be marked down for a limited time after publication because it will be participating in the Kindle Storyteller Contest. So, if you’d rather wait until after publication to get a copy of this book, it’ll be on sale until August.

A Promotional Opportunity for The Andromeda’s Ghost

This month I was invited to participate in a roundtable discussion hosted by Fellowship of Fools, a well-respected website that features all things science fiction. Along with other BHC Press science fiction authors, I answered several interview questions centered around the current divisive political situation and how it could potentially affect speculative fiction. I also submitted a two minute video of myself reading an excerpt from The Andromeda’s Ghost.

It was nerve-wracking, recording myself as I read, realizing that the end result would be posted online for the whole world to see. I was equally anxious as I answered each question, fearing that I would offend someone. But the whole experience was extremely cool. It left me feeling like a pro. Plus, it was an opportunity to promote The Andromeda’s Ghost, for which I was very grateful. If any of you are interested in reading the interviews or watching the excerpt readings, click here to be redirected to the Fellowship of Fools website.

Aside from our interviews and excerpt readings, there are a lot of other cool things on the Fellowship of Fools website that anyone would be interested in. You’ll find interviews with producers and actors, articles concerning popular TV shows, movies, and books, as well as teaser trailers. Check it out!

On a completely different note: am I the only one who really hates the changes that have been done to WordPress recently? It took me three tries to get this post looking the way I wanted it to. There was nothing wrong with the other format! All right, I’m getting off the soapbox now…

Writing Highlights for the Month

The major revisions for Death’s Curses are finished! It was just as challenging as I thought it would be, turning this young adult story into an adult one. My publisher said that simply changing the ages of the main characters wouldn’t be enough. The themes of the story are definitely in the adult category but the situations the main characters are in are still, technically, juvenile. Changing some of the situations while also making sure they worked with the overall plot was the main issue. But I think I managed.

After talking with my sister about some of the changes I made, we brainstormed some finer details that could be altered to make the characters sound more grown up. I’m confident that this book will meet the Adult Fiction parameters once we’re done applying these new changes. My sister is looking over my edits, then I’ll give it one more read through, and we’ll be re-submitting to BHC Press. Fingers crossed that it’ll be accepted this time. If not, my sister and I are considering self-publication. More news on that later.

BHC Press has started this new thing called Staff Picks. Staff members take turns choosing their favorite titles from the books the company has already published. They write short blurbs about them and post them on the company’s blog page. I’m proud to announce that The Andromeda’s Ghost has been highlighted twice!

Chelsea (acquisitions and lead editor) said: “Taren Platinum is the perfect protagonist without being too perfect. He has a good heart, but there’s a layer of grit just beneath the surface that’s activated by those who stand in the way of his happily-ever-after and evil-doers who prey on the innocent. Becca Fox has crafted an endearing, incredibly real-feeling cast of characters, all of which are misfits in their own way. I was taken by the relationships formed throughout The Andromeda’s Ghost, from the natural progression of those relationships to the tenderness shared among the loveable and unlikely band of characters as they work together to escape a dire situation on planet Cartiss. In short, it’s impossible not to root for Taren and company while reading The Andromeda’s Ghost–a truly entertaining start to what’s sure to be a great series. Be prepared for an expert cliffhanger, and then join me in impatiently waiting for the next book in Fox’s series!”

Lana (publishing and editing assistant) said: “This is one of my new favorites! The classic forbidden romance meets outer space and aliens in all the right ways. Even with the twist beginning (yes, it’s at the beginning for a change), I loved the story and how it unfolds. I was reminded of the TV show Firefly by Taren’s growing ragtag family. Becca Fox did an amazing job unfurling the worlds of this unique solar system–the alien species, foods, customs, environments, etc. I’m super excited to find out what happens to Taren and the gang!”

If you’d like to read their blog posts and discover new titles to read, just click on each of their names.

In other news, production on the audio book is wrapping up! According to my latest communication with my publisher, they estimate it’ll be done sometime in November or December. Stay tuned because I’ll be letting you all know the precise release date as soon as I know it!

Last Minute June Announcements

 

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The Andromeda’s Ghost is available for pre-order! Links can be found on¬†BHC Press‘ website, along with the most recent reviews. Like audio books better? Well, you’re in luck! Production for the audio book is underway. BHC Press estimates this project will be complete by the end of the summer, in time for a fall release.

Smashwords sale

It’s that time of year again, folks. Tirgearr Publishing is teaming up with Smashwords to make all of their ebooks 50% off for the month of July. Check out my Smashwords profile¬†starting tomorrow¬†for a chance to purchase one of my ebooks for half price.

Death's Curses New (2)

I’m still waiting to hear back from BHC Press concerning the publication of Death’s Curses. They said they’d get back to me four to six weeks after I submitted it so I should be getting an email any day now. Ugh, the waiting kills me! (I made a new graphic for the book in the meantime. Ain’t it pretty? Only took me two hours lol.) There’s a rough draft version available for your perusal on my Inkitt profile page in case anyone is interested in taking a peek.

A Much-Needed Update

I kind of disappeared from the internet and real life during the quarantine. For that I apologize. Here’s pretty much everything noteworthy that happened during the month of April:

I was given an office phone and asked to work from home. It was an interesting time. I got a taste of the stay-at-home mom life and it was pretty great, I’m not going to lie. There were times when I’d get frustrated or depressed about the fact that I couldn’t go anywhere. It’s officially summer in Phoenix which discouraged me from taking very many walks with Bennett. But, for the most part, I really enjoyed spending all that time with my son. I witnessed several firsts that I otherwise might’ve missed if I’d had to keep going into the office everyday.

He colored for the first time. It was a bunch of squiggles with an orange colored pencil but it was beautiful to me. He started pointing at things, as if inquiring after them. Then he’d sit there and listen to me explain what they were. He started handing me books and toys on a regular basis and waiting expectantly for me to do something with them. He started standing on his own. He’s still not confident enough to take any steps, but we’ll get there. He’s growing so fast and learning so much. It’s a treat to witness.


 
 

Staying home also allowed me to rest. (For those of you who don’t know, I’m pregnant again. It’s a little ahead of schedule but we’re still excited and more than ready to meet our little girl!) My baby bump turned into a mountain seemingly overnight, sapping my strength and slowing me down considerably. Our baby girl is healthy and strong, though. There’s much to be thankful for.

Over the weekend, I celebrated a birthday and my very first Mother’s Day, which was an emotional time for me. Businesses are slowly¬†starting to open up here but we didn’t want to brave the crowds of people so my husband and I had quiet celebrations at home. May is a big month for us as far as celebrations go. Bennett’s first birthday is on the 18th and our five year wedding anniversary is on the 29th! Hopefully¬†by then it’ll be safer to venture out into the world.

Permission has been granted for some businesses to start opening again. Churches will be allowed to open later in the summer so the office is preparing. I’ll be returning to work part-time. It’s going to be an adjustment for both me and Bennett, but we’ll endure. Besides, all too soon it’ll be time to go on maternity leave!

The Andromeda’s Ghost is on NetGalley and, according to my publisher, it’s getting a good reception from¬†librarians, retailers, journalists, trade reviewers, and book bloggers. I was told the book would be available¬†for pre-order early in June and is all set to be published on July 16!

BHC Press is already preparing the publication schedule for 2021. I submitted the second book in The Andromeda Chronicles, The Andromeda’s Captain, so they could add it to the line up. It’s crazy to think that another one of my books could be coming out this time next year, but that’s totally a possibility!

In other news, deals have been made and the plan has been set in motion so that the books I publish through BHC Press will be translated into different languages! More news on that later.


My big project during the quarantine was finishing my edits for Death’s Curses and getting all the necessary documents ready to submit to¬†BHC Press. It took a lot longer than I care to admit (escaping from distractions at home proved to be more difficult than I thought!) but at last it’s done. The query letter, book description, synopsis, and first six chapters have been submitted for their consideration. It can take 6-8 weeks for them to get to the documents, review everything, and make a decision what with the enormous amount of submissions they get every day. I’ll be moving onto other projects to keep busy while I wait to hear back from them but, for right now, I’m celebrating.


There’s still the possibility of another wave of the Coronavirus hitting us. Stay safe and brave, you guys.