GUYS

My artist just sent me a preliminary sketch for the cover of TALES FROM THE BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES.

I may have emitted girlish noises.

Possibly.

I cannot wait to share this with y’all.

COVER REVEAL: The Well Below the Valley, by Katherine Lampe

Katherine Lampe is a Twitter buddy and fellow independent author.  I reviewed the first book in her Caitlyn Ross miniseries last year and enjoyed it a lot; this is book seven.  This will be a big week for her around here, because she’s doing a guest post for me later this week too.  

The cover is by the most excellent Matt Davis, who I plan on working with myself just as soon as I find the right project.

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Six months after the birth of her daughter, Caitlin Ross’s life is in a tailspin. Still suffering from what he endured at the hands of his former lover, her husband, Timber MacDuff, has drawn away. The gods have stopped speaking, except for vague hints in bad dreams. Unwilling to face reality, Caitlin goes about her daily routine as if nothing has changed while deep inside she longs for distraction.

When the county sheriff asks for help with a puzzling situation, Caitlin believes her prayers have been answered. A rancher has drowned in the middle of a desert, and the means appear supernatural. The case is right up Caitlin’s alley, but her interest pits her against Timber, who insists getting involved is too dangerous now that she’s a mother. Neither he nor Caitlin realizes a greater danger awaits. Strange events in Gordarosa have brought the area to the attention of a group known as Shade Tracers. Mundane mortals, they’ve taken it upon themselves to protect humanity from magic—with deadly force, if necessary. One holds Caitlin responsible for a personal tragedy, and will stop at nothing to see justice done..

Past and present converge in Caitlin’s darkest adventure yet. With her own life at stake, she must journey through time to uncover the truth behind the Shade Tracer’s obsession. Success could provide the key to solving the local mystery. Failure will doom her to a life on the run, forever hunted.

The Well Below the Valley will be released in print and electronic editions August 2, 2016.

EXCERPT

Just then, some odd flickers from the BLM land adjacent our property caught my eyes. Shading them with my hand, I squinted into the distance. A flash. A beat, and then another. No regular rhythm. They seemed to originate from the low hill from which we often watched the moonrise.

Some kids dicking around with a mirror. BLM land was public property, and this section lay convenient to town. Bored local teens partied there. Timber and I combed the ground a couple of times a month, picking up the trash they left behind.

I bent to retrieve my basket. As I straightened, the light flashed again, this time with a distinctive quality hard to define. Less like a mirror. More like a flame. I’d just settled on the difference when something whizzed past my left ear, and a cluster of berries fell off the rowan tree at the center of the garden. A split second later, a sharp CRACK! rang through the air.

My jaw dropped. What the hell? I lifted my eyes from the rowan berries to the hilltop in time to see the light flash again. At the same time, panicked voice shouted not three feet behind me.

“Jesus Christ, Caitlin! Get DOWN!”

A heavy object struck my back, knocking me to the ground. My basket flew from my hand, spilling my harvest. I hit the earth with a shock that drove the wind from my lungs. AS I lay there, cheek in damp soil, the intense, green scent of bruised tomato vines clogged my nose. A foot from my head, a pepper plant exploded. CRACK! Understanding washed over me, and I began to shake.

Someone was shooting at me.

About the Series

Rural Gordarosa looks like any small mountain town, with stunning scenery and locals who enjoy gossip. Witch Caitlin Ross knows, however, that there’s more to her hometown than meets the mundane eye. The caretaker at the local theater isn’t human, for example. And her best friend’s uncle is a demon. Sometimes Otherworldly forces get out of control, and Caitlin has to step in to put things right.

Walking the line between Urban Fantasy and Magical Realism, the Caitlin Ross series is unique in being written with a polytheistic Pagan world view, in which the gods are often as flawed as humans and the other is not necessarily monstrous. The books give readers access to a world where magic is an ordinary part of life, but, for all that, never commonplace. By presenting enchantment as a given, they highlight the wonder in the every day.

About the Author

Musician, DJ, and unrepentant Iconoclast, Katherine Lampe studied at the University of Michigan with Ken Mikolowski, and at Naropa University with Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs. The daughter of an English teacher and a self-professed heretic masquerading as a Presbyterian minister, she is interested in the individual’s relationship with the divine. Her work explores the interaction of the supernatural and the mundane in the lives of real people.

OH MAN GUYS (cover reveal!)

So, the cover to The Sanctum of the Sphere: The Benevolence Archives, Vol. 2 is getting rrreal close to being done, to the point where my artist has given me permission to post this:

unnamedPretty, innit?  That’s by Yvonne Less, the same artist who created the awesome cover for Benevolence Archives 1.  The main difference is that when she did the BA 1 cover she didn’t know she was doing it, and this cover was her making my ideas look way awesomer than they had any right to be.

This is just the ebook cover.  I’ll post the whole thing when it’s done.  I love what is happening on the back side so I’m enjoying the idea of getting to do two separate reveals.  🙂

You can’t pre-order the book just yet (ebook will be $4.95; paper price is still undetermined) but you can tell Goodreads you want to read it here.

Argh blargle grumble grunt

So… Friday was awesome, what with finishing the book and absolutely massive writing output and all.  And I actually went to a party Saturday night, which really is not a Thing that I Do any longer.  And I made dinner tonight.  So I can’t reasonably make a claim that this was anything other than a good four-day weekend.  But I apparently used all my words and all my thinkytimes for the rest of January on Friday, because holy hell have I been brainless since then.

I sent money to the cover artist for the new book today, too.  I’m using Yvonne from Diverse Pixel again, who did the cover for the first Benevolence Archives book.  We’ve talked about a design that I’m pretty excited about, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the end result looks like.  I’ll share it here when I have something to share.

And… uh… that’s it.  I’ll try and have something interesting to say this week.

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Another early look at the SKYLIGHTS cover

As always, the caveat that this is preliminary as hell and is basically just a color test– my artist and I exchanged half-a-dozen emails last night about various aspects of this, including one thing I griped about (the sky’s too pink.)  But I’m still too excited not to share it.

Basically at this point there are helmets and logo work to do (I approved a helmet design yesterday) and then refining the colors until gorgeousness happens.  This is what Casey and Jamie’s final work looks like so I have no doubt that the final colors on this will be spectacular.

I’m going to restrain myself from posting any further updates until you get the final image.  Hopefully in a couple of weeks; finalizing the colors will take a bit.

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