Book launch + a new interactive book club!
This is going to be the most fun thing you read all summer!
It’s finally here! Starting now you can read my new serial novel, Blood and Feathers!
Blood and Feathers is a dark YA novel that blends fantasy and horror with a slow burn romance and complex politics. It’s primarily told from the point of view of Sine, a princess who’s not in line for the throne of her kingdom that borders a dangerous land of wild magic. But the wall that keeps the monsters out is breaking…and Sine has no idea the sacrifices expected of the royal line to keep that wall in place.
But, occassionally, there are chapters told from Rigby’s point of view. Rigby is one of the “monsters” beyond the wall, a boy with incredible shape-shifting magic who wants nothing more for the wall to be torn down—so he can help exact revenge on the kingdom that traps and kills his fellow magical beings.
There’s romance, there’s death, there’s blood, and there’s feathers (the monsters are huge bird-like beings, inspired partly by Hitchcock). This book was actually written before Give the Dark My Love, but I put it on the shelf for awhile, in part because I couldn’t decide between two different endings.
And that’s where you come in.
With the launch of Kindle Vella, the book is being shifted into a serial format. That means episodes are being release on a regular schedule, a bit a time. And I’ll be looking at what you want to decide how to end the book. There are several different paths for the characters—some a happily ever after, some a tragedy—and I’m going to let you pick which route the charcaters take.
You can access the story either on Amazon.com at the Kindle Vella site or you can open the Kindle App on iOS and search for the story there. (Sadly, it’s only currently available on the website and iOS, and only in America. I’m sorry! It’s rolling out in other venues soon! And for you die-hard book fans, it’ll be in paperback next year.)
Once on Vella, you can read the first three episodes entirely free—and currently Amazon is gifting people 200 tokens just for sampling any serial, such as Blood and Feathers—so logging on sooner rather than later means you may snag that deal (just read the first three free, then click to read the fourth, and Amazon offers you the option of getting the free tokens).
After the first three episodes, each of the following episodes cost a various different amount of tokens based on length—but that also means you get to add a crown to whichever serial you like the best. (Side note: if you give me crowns and/or thumbs up, I will absolutely flip out in joy, and if I get enough, ya girl’s making some swag for y’all.)
Anyway! The mechanics of reading is actually really fun and addictive, and the small bites of story mean that this becomes the perfect bedtime read (so you don’t stay up too late) or commute read. I’ve got tons of recommendations of my favorite reads so far at the end of this newsletter.
Once you start reading, let me know what you think. Remember, the key here is interaction—I want to know your thoughts, your ideas, and your hopes for this story so I can change it to be the ending YOU want!
You can reach me two ways—the first is by my various social medias. I can’t interact with everything, but I’m making Blood and Feathers my top social media priority. Use the hashtag #BloodAndFeathers and @ me on my socials, and I’ll respond!
But here’s where it’s gonna get REALLY fun…
I mentioned that I have a lot of serials that I’m already reading—and that’s in part because I have some awesome writer friends who are producing great content for Vella! And we joined together to create…
Discord is basically an organized chat room. And this one is a book club focused chat, where you can discuss the serials with the authors and with fellow readers.
Here, you’ll find an organized chat room with links to the serials, and chances to interact with each author in the club and influence their stories as well—plus just a fun, book-safe place to talk story!
You can easily join here—it’s really low-key, and we’re a friendly lot who basically just want to nerd out with you about stories—our own, and others.
And if you’re also a writer…
We also have a chat channel on the Discord server just for writing. This is going to be a great place to ask the writers you follow exactly why and how they constructed scenes and get some key insights into how stories develop. It’s the equivalent to watching an artist sketching in a museum, except you get to do it on your couch.
Also? I can’t speak for every author in the group, but I’ve put special author notes at the bottom of each episode of Blood and Feathers, pointing out where I got specific bits of information or inspiration that informed the story. Here’s an example of what that looks like:
There’s more to discover and read!
Like I said, I’m not only publishing Blood and Feathers, but I’m also deeply into reading serials. Here’s a sampling of the other authors you’ll find on the Discord and their stories that I’m devouring:
As Above is a romance fantasy serial that promises to get steamier as you read. It’s basically a combination between Lore Olympus and Sarah J. Maas—a girl is prophesied to change the world with her love, and she marries the most powerful magical god in all the realms. But when he divorces her, she must find a new love—and new magic.
Love Crafted is by YA author Scott Tracey and blends Calvin and Hobbes with Lovecraft horror—I KNOW. There’s a demon instead of a stuffed tiger, a sweet gay romance that will melt your heart, and a DOOM CLOCK.
Scarlight by Evie Marceau is for those of you who like romance with edge. This heroine is a fighter, and in repaying a life debt, she goes to a kingdom ruled by three princes…one of whom is going to win her heart.
Brooke Hatchett’s The Naturalist is a YA adventure that’s perfect for those of you who liked Percy Jackson. There are black market phoenixes, hidden identities, and an entire magical world to discover!
The Dream Heist is written by Christina Farley—a friend I’ve cherished since before we were both published! If you like The Bourne Identity or my own The Body Electric, you’ll like this serial about a world where your dreams aren’t safe and one girl must travel the world to save what she most loves.
Isle of Eden may have a beautiful cover image, but the story it unravels is a dystopian where not everything is as it seems. I’ve only just started reading it, but I’m getting The Island vibes from it, and I’m on the edge of my seat to see where this story goes—a world where the perfect island isn’t as perfect as it seems.
Queen by Night may just be the hottest story on this list—in a kingdom where power trumps all, a girl who’s selected for the royal harem must prove herself worthy of becoming queen to survive.
Join all these authors—and me!—to talk about writing, serials, and the stories we’re creating, as we create them!
Check out the list above, find yourself some new favorite reads, and then come over to the Vella Book Club so we can share together!
In Other News…
Wordsmith Workshops is hosting a live seminar on World Building with bestselling author Rin Chupeco! If you’ve read any of Rin’s works, you’ll know that she is the best at building beautiful, in-depth, astounding worlds.
Not only that, but I’ve gotten a sneak peek at Rin’s workshop, and it’s going to be interactive and highly informative—this is not one you want to miss! I am avidly going to take notes the whole time, trust!
WHEW! I feel like this may just be my longest newsletter EVER. And I’ve not even told you everything! I’ll have to save the rest for next time, but meanwhile…thank you—thank you—for always being with me on this journey. I so value you and all you’ve done to support both me and my stories. I sincerely appreciate you!