Don't miss From Asgard, With Love, available now!!
The Queen and her Brook Horse, An Orc Saga Novella, Book 2.5, is here to tide you over until Orc3!
Enduring Fate, a new Fate of the Gods novella, is available now! And Concealing Fate can be pre-ordered now!
And don't forget to subscribe to THE AMALIAD, to stay up to date on Authors!me. Or become a Patron of my work over on Patreon!

Saturday, November 02, 2019

Honoring Aunt Lottie

When my grandmother was sick, too ill to remember me or really to even know me at all between one visit and the next, it was Aunt Lottie who fussed over how tall I’d grown or how old I’d gotten, who was eager to hear about what I’d accomplished and express concern for my health or struggles, and even gave me small gifts to mark my special occasions growing up. It was Aunt Lottie who helped me find just the right necklace to wear with my senior prom dress, sitting around the dining room table on the hill, and Aunt Lottie for whom, as her namesake, I always tried to look my best, even when I didn’t care enough to make the effort for myself or anyone else.

It was Aunt Lottie who, when I brought my boyfriend home for the first time, sat him down at the kitchen table at Cousin Bobby’s and alternated between stuffing him with good food and interrogating him, to be certain of his character. Aunt Lottie presided over my bridal shower, and gifted me with a token of my grandmother’s—a forgotten handkerchief she’d kept all those years, so I would have something of hers to carry with me on my wedding day. And it was Aunt Lottie who, while everyone else told me how lucky I was to have my husband, instead told Adam (her handsome viking) how lucky he was to have me, enjoining him, always, to take good care of me.

Aunt Lottie had a sharp tongue, and wielded it like a knife, at times. She was outspoken and critical in her opinions, never hesitating to tell us how it was or if we were doing something wrong, something she disliked. But as a result, winning her praise—a compliment instead of a well-meant critique—was basically the highest honor you could hope to achieve. I think her example, not necessarily of criticism, but the fearlessness with which she always spoke her mind, influenced all of us, gave us permission in our own lives and relationships to be (perhaps in my own case even recklessly) forthright.

And while in her last years, it may not have been so clear, Aunt Lottie loved us. Loved the family over which she presided as matriarch, and took an avid interest in all our lives. Loved when the separate branches of our family tree recombined, and wanted desperately for us to share the closeness she had with her cousins—even going so far, once, at Uncle Lewis’s funeral, I think, to grab me by the arm and tow me across the room, exasperated by the fact that we (myself and my siblings who were present) weren’t properly intermingling with her grandchildren, determined that we should be made to talk!

It’s been in that spirit, knowing how important those family gatherings were to Aunt Lottie, that I have always done my best to come home. That I found a way, with the help of my family, to be there for her funeral. And maybe I haven’t always been great at mingling with everyone, but I’ve tried to do my best to be open, to be inclusive when the opportunity was presented, and to keep Aunt Lottie’s admonishment, that day, in my mind.

We’re family, Carosellas and Wincowskis, both. Pasquarellis and Trolios and branches I don’t even know. We’re family, and for my part, in honor of Aunt Lottie, I want you to know—my door is always open, my table will always have an extra place and room for more chairs to be squeezed in, and no matter how far we drift in this life, you will all, always and forever, be welcome in my heart, hearth, and home.

Forged by Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1) Tempting Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1.5) Fate Forgotten (Fate of the Gods, #2) Taming Fate (Fate of the Gods, #2.5) Beyond Fate (Fate of the Gods, #3) Facets of Fate Honor Among Orcs (Orc Saga, #1) Blood of the Queen (Orc Saga, #2) Postcards from Asgard
Amazon | Barnes&Noble 

Helen of Sparta By Helen's Hand Tamer of Horses Daughter of a Thousand Years A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus
Amazon | Barnes&Noble

Thursday, October 10, 2019

A Note about the "Present Day" Timeline of Fate of the Gods

It occurred to me while writing Concealing Fate (Pre-Order Now!) that I probably needed to clarify the when of Eve and Garrit's courtship a little bit more precisely. Things have changed so much, so quickly--the way we meet one another, the means by which we communicate. Even five or ten years makes a huuuuuuuuge difference to a story set in the now. And the now of when I wrote something and the now that is NOW, when it is released into the world are--well. Always going to be different. A lag of between a few months and several years, at least.

Goodreads | Kindle Pre-Order!
I started writing Forged by Fate in MY present day of 2002/2003. Garrit and Eve would have been a handful of years older than me, then, because they'd both graduated from college and were living their Adult/New Adult lives. That was when I STARTED it. But when I FINISHED it, finally figuring out how all the pieces should fit together into a whole novel, and then a whole trilogy, it was 2009.

There is a lot of difference between those two sets of years, technologically, socially, maybe even culturally. The biggest one being that I'd caught up to Eve and Garrit, age-wise. And since they were my contemporaries then, I just went with it, and kept the book in what was ostensibly a present-day setting--contemporary to me.

Of course Forged by Fate didn't release until 2013, several MORE years after that. I fudged some of it with Eve being, by nature, more of a traditionalist. When you've lived however many thousands of years, adapting to technological change probably gets a little exhausting--and both she and Adam show a preference for the physical over the ethereal of the digital in a way that's not so different from the gods who cling to the trappings of the times and periods when their power was at its height. (But now I digress.)

Fast forward to the year 2019, and I'm writing Concealing Fate, a prequel to the "Present-Day" timeline of Forged by Fate, which probably actually begins in 2009, four years prior to its publication. This is the story of Garrit and Eve in college together--at University, in Paris--and, if Forged by Fate starts somewhere around 2009, that means Concealing Fate begins at least two years earlier, in 2006/2007 or so.

More than a decade ago.

I don't know about you, but by that time in my life I'd gotten a cell phone finally, but only just, and after fighting with my parents about the need for one--to put behind me the endless gifts (and purchases) of phone cards for long-distance calls to avoid having to worry about paying for long-distance service in my dorm room (I can't tell you how many times I would call one of my siblings and after they answered, we'd hang up, and they'd call me back on THEIR long-distance service to save me the minutes) and then to avoid having to have a landline in the apartment I shared with my roommate, who had embraced the cell phone life years prior. I was late to that game, and Eve is slightly later, still--too poor in Paris to afford a cell phone even if she'd wanted one.

(Remember when we paid for long-distance calls by the minute? Now it's all bundled into your service unless you go out of your way to refuse it, even on a landline.)

There's no texting in Concealing Fate. No Facebooking--though there could have been, I suppose, since Facebook opened to anyone in late 2006 (it isn't clear that French Universities were included before then from my research), but if you're Garrit DeLeon, you probably went out of your way to NOT be on it, regardless, and Eve being Eve... I think it's fair to say she probably wasn't an early adopter.

In Concealing Fate, the question of identity--and revealing one's self to a romantic partner--is pretty central to the story. Could Garrit have attempted to Google Eve as Abby Watson in 2006? Looked her up in some student directory? Sure. And probably he did, giving into temptation at some point--off-page.

If the events of Concealing Fate had happened TODAY, it wouldn't even be a question. The history of their lives would have been all over the internet to be found by one another. They'd both have cell phones, almost certainly, and texting would probably be a foundational pillar of their communication and engagement with one another--or at least Garrit would make the attempt even if Eve wasn't entirely all in on responding. They'd be connecting on Instagram and Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook. And that's the difference more than ten years makes. The reason why I needed to write this post to clarify--

In Concealing Fate, the "Present Day" isn't now.

It hasn't been for a long time.

Forged by Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1) Tempting Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1.5) Fate Forgotten (Fate of the Gods, #2) Taming Fate (Fate of the Gods, #2.5) Beyond Fate (Fate of the Gods, #3) Facets of Fate Honor Among Orcs (Orc Saga, #1) Blood of the Queen (Orc Saga, #2) Postcards from Asgard
Amazon | Barnes&Noble 

Helen of Sparta By Helen's Hand Tamer of Horses Daughter of a Thousand Years A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus
Amazon | Barnes&Noble

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Concealing Fate Cover Reveal

It's Here, It's Here!!!! CONCEALING FATE's Cover!!!!! I have been DESPERATE to show this one off for MONTHS and MONTHS and I'm so excited!!!!

I also have a Kindle Pre-Order link for you AND a Goodreads link! It releases NOVEMBER 7th! WITH a Paperback Edition, too, because it is NEARLY 45,000 words long!!! I refuse to apologize!

Please do Klikk Klikk and/or pass the word along, and give Concealing Fate some love!

As I may have mentioned before, Concealing Fate begins about two years before the events of the "Present" timeline of Forged by Fate--and next week-ish, I'll have a little bit more to say about the present timeline itself, so tune back into the blog for that!

Here's the back cover copy:

The only peace Eve found in her last life was the time she spent with her family, her House of Lions, so it's no wonder that in the modern world she'd choose to return to France, eager to live her new life honestly among the only people she can trust.

Until she meets Garrit, a man she has no business falling in love with, and finds herself building a relationship on a foundation of secrets and lies.

Because of all the men in the world she might meet, Garrit is the only one who knows the truth of her Creation, of her entire history from the dawn of time--but heir to the House of Lions or not, he absolutely refuses to believe in it.

Even when the proof is standing right in front of him.


Kindle Pre-Order | Goodreads
Cover designed by me!
(Which maybe accounts for my enthusiasm.)

Forged by Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1) Tempting Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1.5) Fate Forgotten (Fate of the Gods, #2) Taming Fate (Fate of the Gods, #2.5) Beyond Fate (Fate of the Gods, #3) Facets of Fate Honor Among Orcs (Orc Saga, #1) Blood of the Queen (Orc Saga, #2) Postcards from Asgard
Amazon | Barnes&Noble 

Helen of Sparta By Helen's Hand Tamer of Horses Daughter of a Thousand Years A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus
Amazon | Barnes&Noble

Sunday, September 22, 2019

A Taste of Concealing Fate

(Cross-posted from Facebook)

We're not that far out from Enduring Fate's release, I know, but I'm editing Concealing Fate (available for pre-order!) right now, my next Fate of the Gods Novel(la) and just falling completely in love all over again with Garrit and Eve.

Patreon Patrons have already gotten a sneak peek of this one, which tells the story of how Garrit and Eve met BEFORE the events of Forged by Fate, but it's time to give you all a taste, too, I think! So how about a #WiPpet?

The wine arrived, and her breath caught at the lion’s head on the label. She barely held herself back from tearing it from the waiter’s hands, forcing herself to wait until he had poured them each a glass and Garrit had placed their order. Until they were alone again, and she reached out, only allowing herself to trace her fingers over the golden embossing. The mark of the House of Lions.

“You’re familiar with the label?” Garrit asked, pleased again—just as he had been when she’d approved of his wine choice at the café, before. She could well imagine that her taste in wine might influence his opinion of her, all things considered.

“It’s beautiful,” she said, deflecting. She would have to lie, otherwise, and she couldn’t bring herself to do it. “A lion’s head on a cross.”

“It was meant to look like one, certainly,” he said. “But the story goes that the DeLeons were pagans of a sort, disinterested in the Christian faith that had spread. But of course, after France became Catholic and their lands annexed, they could not defy the Church so openly without courting trouble, and their hammers, placed four together, formed crosses instead.”

She laughed, not only at the cleverness of the design, but at the absurdity of the conversation. That she might be sitting across from a man who thought he knew more about her family than she did. Perhaps he did know more—of how they were seen by their neighbors, at least, if nothing else. “I almost forgot you’re from that same part of France.”

“Quite near,” he agreed.

“Do you know the family?” she asked, unable to help herself. “One vintner to another?”

He made a soft sound, not quite an agreement or a denial, and raised his glass instead. “À ta santé.”

“À la tienne,” she replied, lifting her own glass and meeting his eyes.

He grinned, taking a drink, and she had no choice at all but to do the same, or risk offending him. The wine—her eyes fell closed, the familiarity, the complexity of flavors and aromas just as she remembered. How much of this wine had she drunk in her last life? How much five hundred years before? She would never lose the taste of it, never fail to recognize its character. No matter how it changed, season to season, good year or bad, she knew these grapes. Had brushed her fingers along every vine.

“I knew you’d like it,” he said quietly, and not without a certain amount of pride. “You have a taste, I think, for good wine, for all you cannot have had much of it before coming to France.”

She snorted at that, opening her eyes. He was watching her with naked delight, as if he’d shared some portion of her pleasure in the tasting just by seeing it on her face. “Because there’s no such thing as good wine in London?”

He lifted a shoulder, dismissive. “It isn’t the same, drinking it abroad. Some wines travel well across the channel, but the DeLeon wines are best enjoyed here, in France.”

“Are you sure that isn’t just clever marketing?” she asked, laughing. “In my experience, there are very few wines that don’t travel perfectly well, regardless of where they’re made and with what grapes.”

“Ah, but you do not have access to their best pressing,” he said, smiling now with just a hint of teasing condescension. “Those wines do not leave the country, bought up too quickly by our own countrymen—which of course drives up demand for the lesser table wines that do. Clever marketing and truth, both, for the finest DeLeon wines do not travel across the channel at all.”

Cover Reveal and Pre-Order link are coming soon! I can't wait to share this Forged by Fate prequel with all of you!!

Forged by Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1) Tempting Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1.5) Fate Forgotten (Fate of the Gods, #2) Taming Fate (Fate of the Gods, #2.5) Beyond Fate (Fate of the Gods, #3) Facets of Fate Honor Among Orcs (Orc Saga, #1) Blood of the Queen (Orc Saga, #2) Postcards from Asgard
Amazon | Barnes&Noble 

Helen of Sparta By Helen's Hand Tamer of Horses Daughter of a Thousand Years A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus
Amazon | Barnes&Noble