Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Quiet, down time

The time between book releases always feels to me like it's full of dead space. It shouldn't be. It should be full of frantic, frenzied writing and promotion and surfing the waves of reviews and comments and planning and preparing and ...

*wheeze*

Doesn't that all sound exhausting? XD

Instead, it feels like everyone (including me) is waiting for the Next Big Thing to happen.

So, who am I to let you down?

There is a a giveaway for print copies of Of Shadow Born over on Goodreads. If you are in the US or Canada, feel free to enter. If you get lucky, a book will be winging it's way to you.


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Of Shadow Born by S.L. Gray

Of Shadow Born

by S.L. Gray

Giveaway ends March 31, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

And let me tell you: I opted for the matte finish on the book this time and I'm in love. It's, obviously, not got the shiny, glossy look many of us are used to on our books, but the cover feels almost velvety and my cover artist's work looks even better when you add touch into the mix.

Definitely worth a free entry, doncha think? :)

Hope you all survived St. Patrick's Day and that the week is going well for you. Onward to the weekend!


Monday, March 10, 2014

A weekend of fun.

This past weekend was my birthday. (I am old enough to have finally discovered the meaning of life, the universe and everything. Those of you who get the reference are truly my people.) :)

Rather than spending it doing anything heavy and important, I spent it having fun. The Engineer and I attended the inaugural Comic Con in Sacramento! And, to make it even better, I got to have my picture taken with Billy Dee Williams.

As I have related in various places, when I was little and saw Star Wars, I decided I was going to grow up to play Lando Calrissian's daughter in a future movie. Sadly, that seems unlikely to happen now, but it was a great fantasy for a little kid. So, after some debating over whether at my new-not-so-small age I should still be hanging onto that memory, I decided to go for it and bought my photo ticket.

I am sad to report that I didn't get to relate my childhood dreams to Mr. Williams himself. They rushed us through the pictures so quickly that I'm kind of surprised the image isn't simply a blur. It's actually not a bad picture, though, so when I have the digital copy I'll probably share. Until then, I'll say I'm glad I did it.

But what was even more fun was doing cosplay.

My current (well, only) cosplay is Zoe Washburne from Firefly. I love the character and the actress, and hey, if you squint, I sort of fit the part. :) So I dressed, because how better to celebrate getting older than by playing dress up?

And I had a blast. Apparently, standing out at the Big, Official Comic Con in San Diego is hard to do. When I cosplayed Zoe down there last summer, I barely got any notice at all. Here? I got stopped for pictures so many times. People had conversations with me about Firefly. They lamented the single season. They complimented me. I felt awesome and I didn't mind posing with anyone.

So will Zoe make more appearances? Yeah. Probably. :) Will she be back next year? Well. Yeah. Probably. :) I hope to have another costume (or two) ready to go by then but I think Zoe's my default.

Coz I kind of like feeling like a Big Damn Hero, you know?

----

I have to put a plug in for my books here. They're both still available, though the promotional sales are over. Thank you so much to everyone who bought books while those were going on, or bought books at all. And if you're still thinking about it, no pressure. They're not going to go off sale. :)

I did promise that there'd be a new review coming on Twitter, and indeed, it exists. It's for Immortal Lies and it thrills me. You can check it out on Electively Paige's blog. There's a giveaway for a couple of electronic copies on her site, or, you can buy either one (or both) of my books on Amazon, BN, Kobo or Smashwords. More sites to come.

Happy Monday!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Reading words before writing them.

Hey all, happy (rainy) Monday!

Having successfully released another book into the wild, I decided to take some time to relax and do some reading before diving deep into the next project. Call it a palate cleanser if you will, or giving myself time to refill the creative well. You can even just call it self-indulgent do-nothinging and I'd be good with all of that. Sometimes you just have to curl up and read.

So I've been reading, and ticking off some of my TBRs for reading challenges I signed up for at the beginning of the year. I'm happy to say that I haven't found anything that made me want to weep for wasted time thus far. Some of my reads have been more enjoyable than others, but that's to be expected, right? Fortuantely, I've trained myself out of the need to read to the very end of a book regardless of whether I like it or not. Too little time to do that if I plan to read through my entire TBR mountain range before I die or my eyesight burns out.

So that's where I've been. Reading. Well. And hanging out with my faire guildmates. Faire season is gearing up, which means fabric shopping and character development and planning all sorts of mischief. If you're in California or planning to visit during the season this year, maybe I'll see you in one of my other guises.

As I am an author first and foremost, though, the books and writing come first. To that end:

I planned to set the price on Of Shadow Born to it's regular price today. However, I forgot that Smashwords is having it's annual Read an Ebook promotion this week. What does this mean for you? Of Shadow Born stays at the lower price until Saturday, March 8th.

If you're interested and you haven't picked it up yet, grab a copy now (and use code: REW75 at checkout to get the discount)!


Friday, February 28, 2014

Release day! Of Shadow Born

It's here, it's finally here! The release day for Of Shadow Born, book 1 of the Icarus Unit series. It's now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. More retailers are coming, so keep your eyes peeled for those announcements.

This is a completely different, separate series from Immortal Lies. Tybalt lives in a world that is a mashup of pieces of this world to make something unique to him. Of Shadow Born is set in this world. in this world's San Francisco. There is a romance in Of Shadow Born.  Despite the fact that Tybalt and Violet are committed to one another and have been for a while, their romance isn't really crucial to the plot of Immortal Lies.

Two different books. Two similar genres. Two separate series.

There's a lot of debate about whether releasing two series at once is a smart thing to do, especially for someone just starting* their career. Some people say no, release at least the first three books in any series before moving on to the next. Some people say begin as you mean to go on, and if you're going to bounce from genre to genre or series to series, you should do that right up front so your readers know what they're getting.

As I have spent a not-inconsiderable amount of time saying, I'm a magpie. If I don't bounce, I get bored. So I'm going to bounce. I'm hoping my readers bounce with me. What more can I do?

There will be more of both of these series this year, barring disaster. There will possibly/probably be other projects this year, too. Not more series because two is all I will allow myself for now, but standalones? Novellas? Anthologies? All possible.

My promise is that they will all be as well-written, well-edited and well-produced as I can make them. People may like some of them and not be fond of others. That's the nature of the beast and I'm okay with that.

Because I'm going to be having fun. I hope my readers will too.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Of Shadow Born: One. Last. Taste.

Just because I post later in the day doesn't mean I don't still love you. ;)

Things are still on schedule for a release on Friday morning. With luck, it will go off without a hitch. The reality is probably that it will go off mostly all right and I will come out of it only a little stressed out. Such is the life of the indie author.

But man, I am really excited to see and hear what you all think about this book. I've had such a great reaction to Tybalt and Vi that I'm hoping you'll feel the same way about Kade and Melanie too.

But enough blathering from me, right? You all really want to see the excerpt I promised?

Well then. Here you go!

----
If nothing else good could be said about this new life, it wasn't boring. As a matter of fact, Melanie thought while she stared up at the vaulted ceiling far overhead, she might not mind a little boredom for a change.
Instead, she stood in the middle of a marble corridor that wound through a structure best qualified as "pyramid." "Temple," perhaps, she corrected herself. Or "ziggurat." Whatever the term, it clearly didn't belong in the middle of the San Francisco she knew.
Then again, she didn't belong here at all. She'd been caught somewhere between reality and a dream. They'd stepped into shadow and walked between worlds to get here. They'd been met by Officer Garamendi, who looked more intimidating in a suit than in policeman blue. She'd been handed off to Sylvie, who'd escorted her through a whirlwind tour and now stood silent at her shoulder, waiting for a response.
"I don't know what to say," Melanie admitted. "It's impressive, certainly. Like seeing history brought to life, which is a little strange." She let her gaze wander over the smooth walls and well-tended floor. Not at all like the ruins she'd wandered while traveling. "It's alien." She winced at her words. "Not that I mean to imply that any of you—"
Sylvie cut her off with the graceful movement of one hand. "You never know, we might be. There are an awful lot of people who think the pyramids were ancient spaceships and Egyptian knowledge came direct from the stars."
Melanie should have laughed. She felt the urge but a shred of uncertainty held it back. The smile she managed wobbled a bit.
"That was a joke. I promise," Sylvie said, fingers a light pressure against Melanie's arm. "Sorry, my sense of humor's a little off. It's a self-defense mechanism when you work with people like Kade all day."
"He's not that bad, is he?"
Sylvie arched an eyebrow. "You guys haven't been together that long, I know, but when was the last time you heard him crack a joke? Does he laugh a lot around you? How about smiling?"
Melanie racked her brain for a concrete example of the things Sylvie asked. "I know he smiles. I'm sure I've heard him laugh."
"But you have to think about it," she said triumphantly. "My point is made. Someone's got to lighten things up from time to time." She spread her arms and shrugged. "That means me."
      Now Melanie laughed and it came as a relief. It felt genuine, not something forced or strained. She couldn't say that about any other moment that came to mind over the last week or so. Except a few seconds of silence in Kade's company. A wave of heat swept over her and she knew she blushed. "I can think of worse jobs."

Monday, February 24, 2014

A thank you!

Just a quick, late post to say thank you to everyone who helped boost the signal on the Urban Fantasy sale this past weekend. It went well, I think.

If you happened across my blog because of the sale, hi! Welcome! Poke around, read as much as you like, and make yourself comfortable. If you've been here for a while, I'm glad you've stayed.

I had company all weekend, so I'm still revving up for the big release at the end of the week. Wednesday, though, I think I'll share a snippet from Of Shadow Born to whet your whistles, and then Friday will be the big day.

I'm excited and cannot wait to hear what you all think of the Icarus Unit!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

It's an Urban Fantasy Weekend!

Hey, all!

This is the big promotional event I told you was coming. Hope you enjoy it and find some great reads. :)

From now, February 20th until February 22nd, all of these books are on sale, either for free or for $0.99, so go pick up some new reads and support some authors you may not have discovered yet.

Enjoy!
















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