Happy Sunday! I’ll have a scene-snippet below, but since I haven’t blogged in a few days, I’ll catch up with what’s going on in Suzanne/Susannahland.
I’m deep inside my revision cave as both Pirate’s Alley and Deadly, Calm, and Cold are in revisions at the same time. And yes, those are links–both books are up for preorder on Amazon, so I guess they’re really coming out! According to Amazon.com, which is where I usually learn these things (that’s just wrong, somehow), PA’s release date is April 21, 2015, and DCC’s is Dec. 2, 2014. Oy!
Speaking of Oy, I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but since May 2011–yes, 2011, more than three years–I have been doing a slow read of Stephen King’s massive seven-volume Dark Tower series. Oy is the name of a wonderful character who’s like a cross between a dog and a fox. Each week, I read a chapter, write a pretty detailed summary, and then write up my responses to what’s happened in that chapter. It’s published each Monday morning at Tor.com. I have really enjoyed the experience as I read this series for the first time and longtime Tower fans watch me try to guess where the story’s going. But it has been a HUGE time-commitment, much more than I anticipated back in 2011 when I was sitting around and twiddling my thumbs while waiting for Royal Street to be released.
Three years, eleven written novels, and two novelettes later, I filed my penultimate column late last night. It will run tomorrow, leaving me with only one last column to write. And it also means a big chunk of my reading time will now be mine again. Happy dancing! I don’t know what to read first!
It can’t be anything in the urban fantasy/paranormal realm since I’m about to start actively drafting Sentinels #5, Belle Chasse. That one should be underway around July 23 and hopefully finished as a first draft by Labor Day. We shall see.
What else…Oh! If you’re in the Birmingham area, I will be participating in an event on the evening of Friday, August 1, at the Hoover Public Library. It’s called “Love in the Library,” and I’ll be on a panel with Lauren Wittig, Abbi Glines, and Beatriz Williams. It’s free, and the whole thing starts at 7. I’ll post more info later as I know it.
I have several online workshops coming up. My “Serial Novel Crash Course” starts today. In August, I’ll be teaching a three-week workshop on point of view. In September, I’ll be doing “Naked and Afraid,” a workshop on setting. All of those are at savvyauthors.com. In October, my popular plotting class will be offered online through my local RWA chapter. Again, more info on that forthcoming.
Finally, as a lot of you know, I’ve been delving into the art world a bit the last few months, although “art” is probably stretching it. I started with Copic markers, but gradually have discovered mixed media art journaling. I just completed a couple of workshops, one with artist Jane Davenport and the other a “fangirl” journaling workshop with artist Tangie Baxter. I’m working on a journal for Royal Street and will eventually do all of my books, but that’s a very longterm project. Here’s the opening page from my Royal Street journal. If you have any interest in following my mixed media exploits, you can do so here beginning later today (right now there’s nothing up but that’s next on my list).
Okay, so how about a snippet? Since I’m mired in Pirate’s Alley, here you go….In this scene, DJ has lost track of her big, French, piratical babysitting charge and has returned to the Hotel Monteleone half frozen (there’s a freak blizzard going on). She takes a seat in the Carousel Bar (which slowly turns like a carousel).
Business was brisk; the tourists still in the city had wisely decided to stay inside instead of roaming the French Quarter. But I spotted a couple leaving and somehow propelled my frozen, numb feet to hurry and claim a stool.
“What’s the warmest thing you have?” I asked the dark-suited bartender.
He laughed. “Martini or cocktail?”
Martinis were too small. “Cocktail. Big one.”
“Well, you’re lookin’ kinda pale. We got one called the Corpse Reviver—gin, cointreau, absinth, Lillet Blanc.”
Ironic. Too ironic. “Maybe something sweet.” Okay, I’m a wimp.
He studied me, as if my bedraggled appearance might give him the perfect cocktail suggestion. “The French Double-O-Seven: Grey Goose, pomegranate liqueur, and champagne.”
“Now, you’re talking.” Because when I saw the Frenchman, I was going all James Bond on his ass.
By the time my drink arrived, the bar had made a quarter turn. I paid the twelve bucks plus tip with my own credit card since it seemed wrong to make Zrakovi pay for the drink I was consuming to help me forget how much I’d lied to him. Sweet heat filled my mouth and burned its way down my happy throat.
As the bar turned, I studied the changing view of patrons sitting at the tables that were scattered around the edges. There seemed to be an even mix of tourists and business people. Maybe a few locals who’d come to the Quarter to see the snow and decided to warm up at the bar.
I glanced up at the glittering mirrored display of alcohol in the center of the bar and did a double-take. Had that been Truman Capote?
I swiveled and scanned the tables looking for him and, instead, found myself capturing the gaze of a longhaired man with a vaguely familiar pair of green eyes. I couldn’t see who was with him because of a couple of businessmen who’d sat at a table between my perch and his, and I couldn’t quite place him.
He smiled at me and leaned over to say something to a companion. Finally, the businessmen moved to seats at the bar and left me with an unimpeded view. His companions, I recognized.
Truman Capote, a card-carrying member of the historical undead, and his equally undead companion.
I’d found Jean Lafitte.
At some point later in the scene, DJ reflects on the surreal nature of sitting in a revolving bar with Jean Lafitte, the undead Truman Capote, and their mystery companion who is, let’s just say, not human. 🙂
Okay, did you win a book this week? If so, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the relevant info.
DAWN CAVANEE won her book of choice from Mina Khan’s backlist. You can find Mina’s books here.
ERIN F won a copy of April Taylor’s historical fantasy Court of Conspiracy–this one’s digital. Kindle okay?
LYNN K won this week’s Reader’s Choice giveaway and picked Kiss of Deception.
Come back tomorrow for a new Reader’s Choice giveaway, and then the rest of the week, I’ll have a special blogger….me! So there’s no telling what I might do.