Nice news and Whatnot

Still alive and kicking and eyeballs deep over here, but so it goes. Just wanted to come up for air long enough to smile and wave, and pass on a little bit of useful information! And maybe some pet pictures. I know what you really come here for.

First up! Brimstone is still chugging along, earning reviews and so forth – and if you’ve read it, writers such as myself are always greatly appreciative for reviews. Even quick reviews! Hasty, friendly reviews.

They’re the single easiest thing you can do to help a writer today.

With that in mind, if you want to pick up and/or review Brimstone without leaving your keyboard:

If you’re still on the fence about this one, recent chatter at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books had some very kind things to say about it. In brief, “It’s an evocative, sweet, empowering story despite the horror the protagonists face.” (Or if you’d rather read the review in full, just click that link and go poking around.

* * *

In news unrelated to my most recent release…The Family Plot is gearing up for a paperback release AND it’s been named as a Locus Award Finalist! That’s right – my weird little southern gothic ghost story is up for Best Horror Novel – and I, for one, could not be more thrilled!

This was kind of a passion project for me – one of those things I’d always wanted to write, and hoped someone would take a chance on. I’m proud of the end result, and endlessly grateful to my editor Liz Gorinsky and all the other fine folks at Tor.

* * *

And in pet news, all’s well. The eldercat is doing marvelously on her new schedule of fluids and mood stabilizers, and continues to keep the household in thrall. Here she is with her dog entourage, ruling the roost as always.

She also has decided that she likes the dog bed in the foyer, because the sun hits it very nicely in the mornings.

Quinnie continues to be enormous and silly, and prone to games of Whappity Paws around the curtains. She ropes the eldercat into a round every now and again, and even Lucy will play with her – given half a chance.

As for Greyson, he remains his adorable, gentle self. I caught him “guarding” a baby bird in the yard the other day, and thank God Lucy was indoors at the time – which is all I really have to say about that. (The little bird was returned to her parents, and all was well.)

Meanwhile, Lucy ate a squirrel.

But all in all, the household is fuzzy, happy, and healthy.
So consider yourself updated on the most important stuff :)

It’s Brimstone Day!

FINALLY. The day is upon us! Brimstone Day! Whereupon you may officially purchase Brimstone, rather than pre-order it and wait impatiently! NOW IT CAN BE YOURS.

[:: throws confetti ::]
[:: pops champagne ::]
[:: sprays boozy foam all over the place ::]

Thank you times a million to everyone who DID pre-order, mind you. Those pre-orders are important, and they are deeply, deeply appreciated. But likewise beloved are the people who pick up a book once it’s been released!

So…Brimstone. It’s a little different for me (according to some folks) – I mean, it’s a dark historic fantasy, kind of horror-y, but I’d like to think that it winds up in a different place from some of my other material. (Like, if you hated the end of The Family Plot,* you’re going to like this one much, much better.) But to be more specific, Brimstone is my subtropical (art)deco mystery about a young clairvoyant in a historic spiritualist community who teams up with a shell-shocked haberdasher with a fistful of love notes from hell…as inspired by a real place and a real set of bizarre (otherworldly?) incidents.

In addition to a groovy real-life setting in 1920s central Florida, Brimstone features a variety of fun elements – including a camp meeting full of happy mediums (wocka wocka), a massive vintage flame-thrower, a vindictive German poltergeist, high-end haberdashery, and a little white dog.

NOTE: The little white dog does not die in this book. I wouldn’t do that to you. The pooch gets a tad traumatized, but he lives happily ever after, I swear to God.

Maybe that should be called a spoiler or something, but screw it. I hate reading books/watching movies or TV shows and worrying myself to death about whether or not anything terrible is going to happen to the dogs/cats/whatever. Therefore, consider yourself advised that all the animals in this book are safe and well cared for, despite any alarming adventures.

Some of the people…not so much.

Right. Anyway. If you’d like to read an excerpt, Tor.Com has you covered! Go take a gander, and see how you feel about it. Publishers Weekly gave it a gave it a starred review, and Romantic times/Booklist also really dug it. And the B&N sci-fi/fantasy blog called it a spellbinding historical fantasy. If any of those recommendations might prompt you to give it a try.

With that in mind, let me make things easier for you – if you want to grab Brimstone without leaving your keyboard:

Thanks so much for reading, thanks for leaving reviews, and thanks for sticking with me after all this time. You guys are the best, and I couldn’t do it without you.


* Everybody either loved it or hated it, split right down the middle. NO REGRETS.

Look for the shafts of light on the road

Okay, okay. So I’m bad at this. It’s been a busy couple of months, but I keep saying that, don’t I? Well, it keeps being true. This also keeps being true: I will try to do better, going forward. The only way out is through, and I’m through…a lot of the work that’s been clogging my life since the end of last year. Not all of it, but enough to take some breathing room for blogging.

Besides, Brimstone is coming out in like, three weeks. I should probably say a few things about that. Hell, I should probably say a few things about a lot of things, but we’ll see how much focus I can muster tonight. I’m pretty sick, so it might not be…all the focus in the world. (My husband came back from a business trip with the plague, and oh-so-kindly shared it. Oof.)

FIRST. As you may recall, Brimstone is my subtropical (art)deco mystery about a young medium in a historic spiritualist community teaming up with a shell-shocked haberdasher who’s receiving love notes from hell…as inspired by a real place and a real set of bizarre (otherworldly?) incidents.

If you’d like to get a feel for what that looks like, Tor.Com has you covered with this-here excerpt! Chapters one and two, respectively! Click through for a taste, and then if you’re so inclined, you can always put a smile on an author’s face with a preorder.

In case this is the sort of information that might push you over that preordering edge – Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review (and you can click that link to read it. Go on. I’ll wait!) Likewise, Romantic Times and Booklist really liked it too. ::shuffles feet:: Just sayin’.


In un-Brimstone-related news…I’ve got just one quick link to share, re: The Family Plot! Just one. I promise. And it’s really cool. See, a very old friend of mine is a local musician…and when he heard that there was a murder ballad built into my book, well. Things Happened. Awesome things.

Namely, his band The Scarlet Love Conspiracy composed music for the murder ballad, and recorded it. (With my full and unqualified permission, natch.) So if you’ve read The Family Plot – or even if you haven’t, but you dig creepy old-fashioned music – you can click right here and select “The Family Plot” for a free listen.

As a side note, the song right above it – “Dog Party” – was inspired by these two nuts, lol :)

That’s Greyson and his friend Luna. Of course, these days the Dog Parties often include neighbor pup “Sophie” and Greyson’s “little sister” Lucy, who is a total freaking maniac.


In non-book news altogether, at the end of April (the 28-30th) you can catch me in Cincinnati, OH, for The International Steam Symposium. I don’t do many steampunk events anymore – not least of all, because it’s been several years since I last wrote any – but this should be a blast! A number of dear friends and kick-ass writers will be there, and I’m greatly looking forward to it. If you’re in the area, come out and join us!


So for now, I have to get back to work. I have two partials due to an editor next week, and another story that needs to be outlined and submitted for [redacted because it’s not official]…and I’m hoping to get all that taken care of before my Scholastic editor gets back to me for the next round of work on The Agony House and/or my Tor editor hits me with feedback for the next round of work on The Toll.

But so it goes, the plate-juggling affair which is the writer life. Wish me luck, thanks for reading, and I’ll post again soon – I promise. Even if it’s just a pet picture. We’re all on board for pet pictures, right?