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?

Come out of the garden, baby – you’ll catch your death in the fog

Well, I’ve written about 4300 words today – filler stuff, Logic Spackle (so to speak) as I try to stitch back together this book that I’ve pulled apart. Some structural re-ordering needed to occur, and I can do it – but it’s tricky. It means leaving myself a million and one notes in Track Changes, trying to keep the continuity from going sideways.

It’s not the most exciting part of the process, but this is what’s on deck. I’ve got at least one more day of patchwork lined up, and after that…I can start smoothing it all together. I really think this is going to be a solid draft of a very fun book, if I can pull it off.

We’ll see, won’t we?

* * *

Training with Lucy continues apace. She is not too charmed with the structure, and doesn’t like the work yet; but we have to spend at least thirty minutes a day, reinforcing the trainer’s lessons. For now, they’re kind of boring – reinforcing basics like “sit” and “come.” She’s very smart and she understands just fine (trust me), but she doesn’t like being told what to do. Even if she wouldn’t mind doing it, otherwise.

Next week, the trainer says it’ll be more fun – learning some things that are more dog-interesting. I hope so, because right now I feel like I’m mostly just annoying the crap out of her.

* * *

Tomorrow I’m going to lunch with my cousin, and I might drive out to the big used book store to unload a bunch of stuff I’m not likely to read again. It’s always a little weird when I go there – I worked there nearly twenty years ago, and it ended badly. Let me put it this way: Toxic working environment x1000.

But it’s nice to sell redundant books and get money. I have three big bags, and my insider knowledge suggests it’ll be enough to cover lunch and then some. Hey, we’ve gotta do something to offset the cost of Dog School.

No, I never look for my own books there.

Speaking of, I found a box of I Am Princess X paperbacks in the garage. No idea what I’ll do with them. Maybe I’ll put them up for sale here – with signatures and whatnot. Maybe I’ll move them to the attic and forget about them for another six months. Hard to say. I’m very tired right now.

* * *

Quinnie is super IN to shoes.
Like, she won’t let you have them back.

She’s also been stealing my makeup, lately.
I don’t know why.

* * *

Anyway, that’s enough of me for tonight. I need a drink and some downtime.
Thanks for reading…