August Update


Twenty-Seven days to go everyone! I’m so excited that this is almost out in the world. It was a hell of a book to write and I can’t wait for you to go on this next adventure of Penelope and Alexis. If you are into pre-ordering, don’t forget you can grab it from where ever they sell books. The hardcopies are going to be especially beautiful, I saw the proofs and I got all giddy over them – and I’m not someone who collects hard covers.

This past month has been crazy with the epic re-write/ structural edit of ‘The Cry of the Firebird’ (the above is some old and new inspiration for this series). If you are on my Insta, you would have seen me having a few moments of freak out over it. I tell you, trying to edit and restructure a book that you first wrote 12 years ago is quite the task…as in kind of a nightmare. It was good in a way because I saw how far I’ve come as a writer and could use all of that knowledge to bang it into a satisfying story shape. I was surprised how much I still love this weird story – and guys, it really is a weird one. Monsters and gods and mythological creatures galore.

A few of my older readers have messaged me having a bit of a stress moment on how I could be changing this book/series after it had already been indie released – I want to assure you that nothing of the original story is changing, I’m just ensuring that its executed in a better way. All your fave characters and monsters will be there. It’s just cleaned up. As a writer, I am hyper aware of releasing something like Magicians, which is my newest and the BEST of me, and then releasing older catalogue after it. The main purpose of these rewrites isn’t to ‘change’ the story but to pull it up to a standard I am personally happy with. It’s nothing like Magicians, but I am intent on producing the BEST possible version of these books. Also, I’m taking into consideration that the spin off books 4 & 5 have been written in the past two years and I want the tone of the books to be consistent and at their current state they aren’t. They will be though. The first new draft of ‘Cry’ has already gone back to my structural editing team to get their feedback and see what they think, and I’m really happy with how it came together. SO much of the changes is to deepen the characters and their backstory, to add some personal scenes back in that had been cut…and so there will be something new for older readers to enjoy too.

In other ‘Amy’ news, I have quit my day job. If the above editing job has taught me anything, it’s that I’m getting to the point that working a full time day job and trying to build a full time writing career is no longer viable. It turns out, even I have limits. I hate to admit it, but it’s true. I will look at taking some short work contracts in the future if I feel like I need to, but I’m going to try and find a way to work smarter and not harder, to ensure cash flow and not lose my mind by working myself to burn out. COVID has fucked me a bit this year, like everyone, and being locked up since March has used what is left of my emotional storage bank. Something had to go – the day job was it.

What have you guys been reading? I am hanging out for ‘Piranesi’ by Susanna Clarke, that’s due to launch in September as well. She’s a fave author of mine, and it’s been a long time since ‘ Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell’ so I can’t wait to see what her magical mind creates this time around.

ALSO, because you know I love my indie romance, Nikki Kardnov is gearing up to release her next sexy Blackwell Djinn novel ‘That Forbidden Life’ is due to come out TOMORROW. I have been dying for Mads Blackwell’s book and I’m trying to clear my writing schedule a bit so I dive head first into it. I really can’t recommend this series enough, it’s such a cool take on Djinn and they are sexy as hell.

Nikki is also doing this really fun Greek Myth series at the moment, called’Games of the Gods‘ that I also recommend, if you are like me and NEED Greek myth retellings in their life.

Speaking of Greek Myth, another series I’m recommending is Alessa Thorn’s ‘The Court of the Underworld‘ series.This is a paranormal romance series that follows Hades (my boyfriend), as he and his Court run a new city called Styx in modern day Greece. It’s not just romance, it has loads of action and kick ass female characters and is all about the ‘villains’ getting their HEA (bonus – its in Kindle Unlimited). What’s not to love about that? ASTERION is book one, and you guessed it, is a re-telling of the Minotaur myth, AND it’s on sale at the moment for only $0.99…so TRY it here.

This blog is getting a bit out of control, but I want to update people wanting to know what’s happening with my new series ‘Tarot Kings.’ I submitted a short story of about 5k words to a 1001 Dark Nights comp recently, and while they didn’t ultimately pick it up I’m still thinking of releasing it later in the year. I’m going to make it a bit longer, because I can, and it would be a great way to have a teaser into this new, sexy, complex world. It would be like a 0.5 King of Swords, as the events in it happen a year before the events of book 1 and have the main characters having an encounter. What do you think? Would you be into that? I’m still mulling over it, because I would want to ensure that you wouldn’t have tooooo long to wait before the release of ‘King of Swords.’ Watch this space!

I hope you are all keeping well and safe and reading lots of good things that make you happy,

Ames x

 

March Update: Writing in the Time of the ‘Rona

How are you all? Keeping sane as much as possible?

Like many of you, I’m now working from home and trying to keep away from the public in general. I keep seeing all these posts everywhere about what famous writers wrote while they were in quarantine and all I can think is…please fuck off. Chuck Wendig recently did a blog called “It’s Okay that you’re not Okay” and it really hits this COVID19 situation on the head as a creator and discusses the weird drive to create a masterpiece on one hand while completely having a slow moving break down at the same time.

I’m one of the ridiculously lucky ones in that I’m okay being at home and not going out to work everyday. I’m usually stuck in a cubicle so I’m looking on the bright side here of being in my own space and being able to manage my anxiety. I don’t have people on a freak out around me, I can keep updated on the government health websites and not the mainstream media hell loop.

In my writing space, I’m in research and planning and dreaming mode. I’m trying to figure out where I go from “The Magicians of Venice” and my research always dictates my writing and not the other way around. So I’m giving myself permission to not put pressure on myself to write everyday, but to start absorbing non-fiction history and classics and refilling my well. I was really empty at the end of last year after finishing “The King’s Seal” so I feel like I have a lot of well to refill. Maybe there is blessing in having a slower year all round.

Speaking of “The Magicians of Venice”…I have good news. At this stage, “The Sea of the Dead” is still going to be out on the 17th of September. I know a lot of book dates have been changing but so far, mine isn’t. I don’t have cover reveals to do yet (although they won’t be far away) but I do have a description. Beware it contains spoilers for “The Immortal City”:

The battle for Venice might be over but the war is just beginning…Penelope and Alexis’s adventure continues in the second instalment of The Magicians of Venice series. 
Penelope accepted her role as the new Archivist for the magicians, but with war brewing with the priests of Thevetat and the tide of magic on the rise, she’s going to have to learn her way around her new and dangerous world if she has any hope of outsmarting their enemies. 
When her friend and fellow archaeologist Tim uncovers a scroll containing a magical secret, lost in the Dead Sea for two thousand years, Penelope and Alexis will travel to Israel to find him before Abaddon and Kreios do. 
To defeat Thevetat and his followers, they’ll need to find a weapon capable of ending him for good, and as her old life collides with her new, Penelope will pay the ultimate price to keep the secrets of the magicians safe.
Fuck. Yes. Dead Sea Scrolls are where its AT. I will write about inspirations and reference books and all sorts of goodness in the next coming months. I really loved writing this one. It was research heavy, despite doing a unit about the Scrolls at Uni, and was so much fun to write my own spin on them. Also, there is loads of Magicians and Alexis and Penelope.
Speaking of Alexis. I commissioned the AMAZING @SNCINDERART on Instagram do a commission of him in his tower! I was so not ready for the finished product. ARE YOU READY? (you aren’t).
Stay safe everyone…I’m going to go and stare at this until I feel better about life.

 

February Update a.k.a. Atlantis is my Kink

Hey Everyone! I’m back!

If you saw my social media posts (fyi I tend to only hang about Instagram these days) you would’ve seen I went on a much needed social media hiatus and went full Hermit mode. The constant bad news stream was messing with my word count and anxiety too much so I had a big break to get my head back on straight. While away I had a big ‘Atlantis’ binge. You would think I would’ve had enough after writing 300 k words of ‘The Magicians of Venice’ series, but no, Atlantis is still one of my fave kinks. Also, because I was writing so much of my own interpretations of Atlantis I kind of forced myself to steer clear of any other Atlantis media as much as possible. So here is a round up of my fave Atlantis stuff from the binge-fest.

Okay so it’s no secret that I love Disney’s ‘Atlantis’ movie…so much so I went to buy it on Blu Ray only to discover THERE IS A SECOND MOVIE. I was shook that I had no idea of it’s existence! And its so freaking good. It has relics, sass, a freaking Kraken, Odin and lost cities. I loved it and watched these back to back more than once. And will again because Milo is just so nerd hot and its got everything I love.

I finally started watching BBC’s ATLANTIS, which is a really cool take on famous Greek myths like Herakles, the Minotaur, Medusa etc. I am almost finished season 1 and have season 2 lined up because its so much fun, the same way MERLIN was so hilarious and full of really good looking dudes. I love Greek myth retellings so highly recommend.

I watched ‘Aquaman’ again and still really enjoyed it despite the ‘Atlantis still being under the ocean’ trope isn’t my fave in the Atlantis tropes. I love the DC universe and Jason Momoa is just perfection and brought something extra to the character of Arthur. I’m not fussed on Amber Heard but its still a fun movie and love the idea of lost Atlanteans colonies in other parts of the world.

Moving into books, my absolute fan Atlantean myth retelling is without a doubt, Stephen Lawhead’s Taliesin. It’s book one of his Pendragon Cycle (my fave Arthurian myth books) and the first half is about Charis, a princess of Atlantis, it’s destruction and her being a refugee to Britain. Stephen Lawhead is next level with his Celtic Historical fiction and his take on Atlantis will always be my favourite. I got onto this series when I was 14 and very angry at the world and it pretty much inspired me to stop fucking about and get serious about writing fantasy. I could literally talk about this series forever so I’m going to stop here, but you’ll never regret picking up a Lawhead book.

I’m a sucker for indie romance and I love Domino Taylor (loved ‘Daughter of Fortune Series’), so when Amazon threw ‘Return to Atlantis’ at me I had to give it a shot. It follows the ‘Underwater Kingdom of Atlantis’ trope but also tied in alot of cool fantasy stuff like mermaids and shark riding and underwater battles. It has romance streak in it but it isn’t dominant, it really follows the main female character Kai and her journey so its more a fantasy with romance as opposed to romance fantasy. There is another book out so mind the cliff if you decide to pick it up. You can check it out here.

The next book on my to read list has been on it FOREVER is ‘Atlantis’ by David Gibbins. For obvious reasons, I’ve held off on reading a book about an archaeologist who is looking for remnants of Atlantis. Now that I have a draft of ‘The King’s Seal’ that I’m really happy with, I finally feel comfortable giving this one a go. I’ve been a bit reluctant too because of the male archaeologist/ historian/adventurer and ladies man trope isn’t my favorite (apart from Indie because INDIE PUNCHES NAZIS) … I’m willing to give it a go though because I haven’t read David Gibbins, and maybe I’m in for a pleasant surprise and not a cringe fest on how the main character describes and treats smart women in the story.

So that’s my Atlantis media round up. 

In other news I am busy trying to get my head in gear and write something that’s not ‘The Magicians of Venice’ but I haven’t settled on a project as yet. I have a lot of fun ideas and a few that scare the shit out of me, which is pretty usual for me. Also, I know that I’ll start receiving final edits and galley proofs of ‘The Sea of the Dead’ book 2 of ‘The Magicians of Venice’ that I’ll need 110% brain power for. I can’t WAIT to share this book with you. It was such a next level book for me in all areas of research, plotting, character development etc. It tried to kill me and I love it because of it. I really love Atlantis and magic and Venice, and I’m so proud of how the series has come together. I’m still getting people messaging me about how much they enjoyed ‘The Immortal City’ and this sparks endless fucking joy for me because I know how much it ramps up from there. You can read more about ‘The Immortal City’ here, and if you are reading it and enjoying please leave a review, as they help other readers find my books.

Cheers

Ames x

 

 

Oh hell, it’s December

Hey Everyone!

I can’t believe it’s December already…honestly, it’s been kind of freaking me out. If you’re on my social media you would’ve seen I’ve been in Venice recently and also the reasons why I haven’t done a blog in while are as follows:

Since September 1st, I have:

* Delivered the final version of ‘The Sea of the Dead’ to my publishers (book 2 of Magicians of Venice)
* Finished the first draft of ‘The King’s Seal’ (book 3 of Magicians of Venice)
* Launched ‘The Immortal City’
* Finished 2 short romance books of secret project (about 55k words each)
* Line edited all 8 books of ‘The Firebird Fairytales Universe’ (the 6 that were already out and 2 never released books)

That’s….a lot. I’m not having a brag, I’ve been having a burn out, and the blog is always the first thing to drop off when shit gets hectic. I didn’t expect the end of my year to be this crazy but the writers life/ publishing in general can be nuts at the best of times. Expect announcements and all sorts of good stuff coming in the New Year.

The other good news is…Venice was amazing and I feel so blessed to have had a chance to go back. I spent a lot of time walking and writing and editing the first draft of ‘The King’s Seal.’ I can say this with all honesty, it is the best book I’ve ever written. Maybe because I’ve gone through and edited my whole back catalogue recently (and I wrote ‘Cry of the Firebird’ ten years ago – yikes), but I have had an opportunity to look how much I’ve grown as a writer and see my style change and evolve. I’m always going to strive to be a better writer, but I’m so happy with how ‘The King’s Seal’ has turned out. It was also the most research heavy book I’ve ever written so it was a challenging beast that tried to kill me more than once, but I love the hell out of it.

I wrote the Prologue for it when I was in Venice last year, and I wrote the Epilogue there this year… It was a ridiculously beautiful day so I sat outside the lovely Palazzo Stern, there was Spritz and ALL the tears because I’m soppy and romantic like that. Penelope and Alexis have been such a huge part of my life in the past few years, and while I never say never when it comes to closing off a world, for now their story has ended. I’ve got the worst writer hang over, and I’m weirdly emotional but as I said, really proud of how it all pulled together. While I don’t have an actual date yet for book two, ‘Sea of the Dead,’ I know it will be sometime Autumn next year. I’m so excited for you all to read it! Okay..time for some beautiful Venice pics (I found the Banksy! And a library that I’d like to just live in all the time)

So what else has been happening? I’ve read some great books recently…

On my holidays I read ‘The Starless Sea’ by Erin Morgenstern. I’ve been a huge fan of Erin’s for ages so this was one was my most anticipated reads of 2019. It’s a tricksy, winding, beautiful fairy tale that I immediately started a re-read of because like many of my fave books (looking at you, ‘Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell’) the second reading is all joy as you pick up on all the clues. I loved it..it made me buy solar power bee lights for my office because I’m like that.

The other series that has been super good for my tired writer brain is Nikki Kardnov’s ‘Blackwell Djinn’ series. I’m super obsessed and I love the world building and the new take on the djinn. I could fan girl the shit out of this series for ages but go and check them out here!

 

My current read is ‘Call Down the Hawk’ by the amazing Maggie Steifvater and its making me have ALL of the feels. She’s one of my fave writers especially the way she writes magic just makes me ache in my heart.

 

Before I go, ‘The Immortal City’ paper back and hardback are on an awesome 15 % off Holiday promo between now through to the 31st of December at the BHC online store! It would make an awesome stocking stuffer and will be an excellent escapism read for when your family is driving you insane 😛  Check it out here!

That’s all for me for now, I hope you have an awesome and safe holiday!

Ames xo

July Update and Big Changes

Argh! 1 month and 26 days until ‘The Immortal City’ release! I thought I’d be less excited by now but the opposite is proving true – I AM PUMPED. I can’t wait until this baby is out in the world. It will be my first release with a traditional publishing house so I feel like everything is new and strange again – but in a really good way with supportive people around me. Speaking of support Thank you thank you thank you to everyone who has left reviews on NetGalley (omg you guys it’s hit 95 reviews) and any other blog/social media platform etc. I’m sharing the ones I see on Instagram and including them in my ‘Immortal City’ highlights because bookstagramers make the BEST pics. I can’t NOT share them. Seriously, I appreciate every single one. While ARCS are now closed don’t forget you can pre-order it here.

In other news I’m just about to hit 70k words of book 3 of ‘Magicians of Venice’ I’m trying not to freak out at how far I still have to go with it or rush through it to get that pesky draft 0 done. I have the time to go slower with this one and I’m really forcing myself to take the time to enjoy the ride. This series always takes so much more from me than any other books I’ve ever written but I’m already ridiculously in love with it and crazy proud how its coming together.

Here are some pictures of the street that my Magicians live on to celebrate. There will be location videos that I’ll also be sharing once the book is out as well. I hate the sound of my voice on camera but the places are far too pretty and awesome not to share.

While I was in Venice in November I really took the time to sit back, look at my plaftform and my writing process and I vowed to slow down in 2019, to take out the things that were stressing me out and not serving me. Some of the things was focusing on writing ONLY one book this year without killing myself to hit a dead line, cleaning up my brand, doing no university units, and in general taking out the things that stress me out.

On that note, you may have noticed a few changes around my site and Amazon etc. I have taken down ‘The Eagle Key’ and both of the ‘Western Wars’ books. Why? Mostly its because they aren’t really on brand. They are epic fantasy series experiments that I put up to see if they sold okay and if they did, I’d write more in those worlds. While I did have some enthusiastic fans, they never really sold, and I don’t really feel the need to keep writing in those worlds or growing / marketing them. I’d rather focus on The Firebird Fairytales Universe and other unannounced projects. I love writing contemporary fantasy / paranormal so they are the genres I’m going to write and focus on.

Another change is I’ve taken down my paperbacks from Createspace and Ingramspark. Why? Okay there are a bunch of reasons but mainly cost. Ingramspark are about to rise their prices again and because my books are large, and they charge per page, the cost of them were $18 USD as a base sales price, which means retailers were going to have to charge about $40 (for ‘Rise of the Firebird’ my biggest) to make any profit on them. That is insane. It comes down to me being an indie and not having the distribution discounts that other publishers have. Also there has been US Tax legislation and whole swag of other changes that have come in and to be honest? I literally can’t keep up with it all. Maybe in a few months if I’m swamped with requests for paperbacks, I’ll put them back up on Createspace so at least Amazon will have them, but I’m not planning on it. I’ve never really sold paperbacks, I’ve never promoted them either, so its going to be one less stress for me to worry about. This is not even mentioning the extra costs of covers and formatting that come with producing a paperback – money I could be using to get other books out digitally. Its a bummer but at the end of the day, I’m flexible to putting them back up again if there’s a need for it.

Enough boring bummed out stuff – I went to see The Cursed Child this month and it was INSANE. I’m one of the few people that didn’t read it and have managed to avoid most of the major spoilers because I really wanted to see the show. I was NOT disappointed. I was blown away. I go to a lot of musicals and theater and this was one of the best productions I’ve ever seen. The stage effects alone were fucking insane. I’m keen to keep the secrets but omg that shit was magical and I swear I almost peed a little when a frickin damn Dementor floated out of no where. I also got to go FULL Slytherin, I’m a 100% in love with old man Draco, I ship the hell out of Scorpious and Albus, and none of that should surprise anyone. It was the best day, and I really recommend anyone who has the opportunity to go to do it.

BECAUSE I watched Cursed Child and was in the mood for magic schools and fucked up chosen ones, I finally picked up ‘Carry On’ by Rainbow Rowell. I KNOW I’m the last person to reach this and fall in love but dudes…I AM SO IN LOVE. It was so much fun. I love the reluctant kind of crap chosen one trope and just ALL of it. Baz…do I need to say it? BAZ. I’m in love. I literally felt queasy when I was finished because I havent loved a book this hard in a really long time. I pre-ordered the hell out of ‘Wayward Son’ and counting down until November to get it in my hot little hands.

I haven’t had a huge amount of reading time this month because I’ve been wrecked (mid-winter darkness kicks my ass so hard) and also been using my spare time to focus on writing and researching (Gods Below so much research) but the other two books I’m keen as hell to finish off; ‘War’ by Laura Thalassa and ‘The King’ by Jennifer Armentrout. I have been waiting about a year for both of these so I’m trying not to go full crazy and read them all at once. There are a lot of mixed feelings out there by the Horseman series of Laura’s but I personally love them and the morally grey characters and fucked up situations they find themselves in. The world building and whole vibe of the books are insanely good – she has gone next level as a writer with them and I’m ecstatic and blown away. I really could rave about it for a good long while but I won’t because spoilers. But seriously…how hot is this cover? Probably my fave hot cover of the year so far. I rave about my love for Jennifer Armentrout a lot on this blog but I seriously LOVE her ‘Wicked Trilogy’ world – fae, hunters, New Orleans – how can I not be obsessed with it? ‘The King’ is a sequel to last years ‘The Prince’ and I nearly sobbed with happiness when I saw it arrive on my Kindle this morning. It’s like one novel split – just to warn you. I can’t wait to keep reading – Brighton is a great character and a lot of fun to read.

That about wraps me up, guys, this blog has gotten sooo much longer than I expected. Assassin’s Creed has released its final DLC and I’ve FINALLY got to Atlantis. I haven’t finished it yet so I’ll save my hard core fangirling until  next time.

Ames xx

 

 

Early May Update

Holy crap it’s May already – HOW did this happen?

There hasn’t been a proper update on this blog for a while so here I am to give you all the news. Firstly, thank you thank you thank you to everyone who blogged, liked, re-tweet or requested an ARC for ‘The Immortal City.’ The response to the cover and the book itself has been amazing and over whelming and I’m so happy and excited for my book baby. It really was a passion project from the start which goes to show you should always write the shit that sets your heart on fire because that love and enthusiasm will shine through.

I’ve kind of been underground the past few months, except to make noise about ‘The Immortal City’, because I’ve been neck deep into writing the third book in the series. Seriously its the biggest book research wise I’ve ever attempted and it’s taking me a while to write because even though I researched everything to plan it..niggling things keep coming up that’s forcing me to go back and double check or dig deeper. I love the process and I have to remember not to freak out if the word count isn’t as high as it normally would be because its going to be big and I don’t want to rush it. It’s taken me two months to write part one which was only 32k words, and I feel like I’m only just getting into my groove.

Some cool stuff thats happened in the past month not Magicians of Venice related? I went and had an afternoon with Sarah J Maas and Lynette Noni as apart of the ‘Kingdom of Ash Tour’ here in Melbourne and yes I did freak out with excitement.

Guys you know how much I love Queen Maas, and afterwards she went to the top of my ‘Writers I Most Want to Have Drinks With’ list. She was rad and funny as hell, and it was one of the best writer events I’ve ever been to. I have photos but look…they are a bit shit because of lighting. I was there as a reader but also as an author because the idea of one day being on a stage really freaks me out so I’m always interested it seeing it done well.

I’m dying to read her new Urban Fantasy that comes out in Jan 2020 ‘Crescent  City.’ I mean, LOOK at that teaser. How pretty is that? I want. Also it will be cool to see her step over from epic fantasy into urban and give it her particular touch. 

OKAY. Fangirling Over.

Well, not quite over because I’ve read some freaking AMAZING books since I last did an update and I need to share.

First of all I got a copy of ‘The Immortal’ by Krishna Udayasankar. I have huge complicated feelings about this book. Here is a short description :

Professor Bharadvaj is more than just another whisky-loving, gun-toting historian-for-hire. Behind the assumed identity of the cynical academic is a man who has walked the earth for scores of years. He is Asvatthama – the cursed immortal, the man who cannot die. When Professor Bharadvaj is approached by the enigmatic Maya Jervois to search for a historical artefact unlike any other, he is reluctant to pursue it. The object in question, the Vajra, is rumoured to possess incredible alchemical powers, but the Professor does not believe it exists. After all, he has spent many lifetimes – and identities – searching for it, in a bid to unearth the secret to his unending life.

This book has the most amazing research I’ve come across in ages. As someone who has spent the past four years reading about magicians and alchemists and history for a book series, I was really excited to 1: be getting all the references and 2: being blown away how Krishna weaves them into plot. Throughout the book the protagonist keeps reiterating that he’s not a hero and he’s really not. It’s one of the rare times I’ve read a book where a character says that and doesn’t turn around and BE a hero. Its well worth the read but it will leave you thinking and processing it for ages afterwards. I still think I need to do another re-read to fully appreciate just how good and tricksey the plot and writing was.

The next book to blow me away in the passed month is ‘Wicked Saints’ by Emily A. Duncan.

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings. 

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light.

I cannot express fully in wordage how much I love this book. A goth Slavic fantasy full of saints, monsters and magic. Holy shit. This book has everything I love. It’s about villains and anti-heroes and complicated beautiful monsters. I know its book one of a series and I can’t wait for the next installment. It’s no surprise it hit the NYT Best Sellers list because unlike my complicated love/hate relationship with Holly Black’s ‘The Folk of Air’ series (which is also about villains), Wicked Saints I connected to all of the characters and their motivations and fell in love with them and their world. 

Now this last one is not a book but Assassin’s Creed Odyssey launched their Fate of Atlantis DLC last week and I’m blown away by it. Usually I will rave for hours about AC as it is (especially Odyssey) but to give me Atlantis and the Underworld ON TOP of it all? I cannot deal. The story telling is so good I’m freaking out every time I play it. AND ITS ONLY PART ONE. Just look at how pretty it is!! Its so cool to have the Greek Gods come into play and I swear if I don’t a chance to make out with Hades when I reach the Underworld I will riot. It makes my nerdy heart so happy to see Atlantis popping up right in time for ‘The Immortal City’ because yay Atlantis is the BEST.

Okay so thats all I got for. My life is all about writing ‘The King’s Seal’ and not much else. It’s awesome.

Ames x

 

The Immortal City Cover Reveal Day

*ANNOUNCEMENT*

The Immortal City, Book 1 of The Magicians of Venice, is going to have its official cover reveal on the 9th of April!!! Eek! Cover party hurray!

Also, if any of you are book bloggers and would love to help me out, my awesome publishers, BHC Press, are hunting people to be a part of the Cover Reveal Day. They are also using it as an early call out for ARCs if you are interested in getting a copy. The Immortal City is about a female archaeologist and a magician hunting a serial killer in Venice. Theres murder, magicians, mystery, serial killers, Venice..all the good things in life (also a full description is below). If you are keen to help and get a sexy marketing package and an early ARC click on this link:

https://www.jotform.com/form/90795915…

Full Description:

In the heart of Venice, a woman is sacrificed to a forgotten god, sparking a mystery lost for thousands of years.

Dr. Penelope Bryne is ridiculed by the academic community for her quest to find the remnants of Atlantis, but when an ancient and mysterious script is found at a murder site, she flies to Venice determined to help the police before the killer strikes again.

Penelope has spent her entire life trying to ignore the unexplainable and magical history of Atlantis, but when she meets the enigmatic Alexis Donato, everything she believes will be challenged. Little does she know, Alexis has spent the last three years doing his best to sabotage Penelope’s career so doesn’t learn the truth—Atlantis had seven magicians who survived, and who he has a duty to protect.

As Alexis draws her into the darkly, seductive world of magic and history, Penelope will have to use her heart as well as her head if she is to find the answers she seeks.

With the new MOSE system due to come online, and Carnivale exploding around them, Penelope and Alexis will have to work together to stop the killer and prevent dark magic from pulling Venice into the sea.

 

 

 

December Update and a 2018 Roundup

Hey Everyone

It’s December already… how did this happen?

I’m feeling a bit off track after having two weeks holidays and a digital fast in November but I am back and (mostly) refreshed and ready to go again.

KINGDOM is out! Hurray! Thank you to everyone who is buying and reading The Blood Lake Chronicles at the moment, it was such a fun series to write. Make sure you leave a review so I know how you liked it.  If you haven’t checked it out, and you love gothic fae stories with a dash of Arthurian myth you can grab book one for free right here.

 

As I mentioned above I’ve just come back from a holiday in Venice. I say holiday, but I was really there to put in some immersive research time for my next series The Magicians of Venice. I have to tell you, walking around the physical streets where I have spent so much time in my head was a surreal and special experience. I’ve taken a bunch of videos of key places in the story so that I can share them with you once the book is out. Venice is as incredible as people say, especially in Autumn when it wasn’t hot and there was next to no tourists. It was the perfect time for me to wander and write and chat to locals – and of course consume ridiculous amounts of delicious local cuisine, wine, espresso and pastry! If you haven’t already guessed I’m ridiculously obsessed with the new series. It has everything I love best; myth, magicians, murder and mystery.Here is the blurb for book one, The Immortal City :

In the heart of Venice, a woman is sacrificed to a forgotten god, sparking a mystery lost for thousands of years.

Dr. Penelope Bryne is ridiculed by the academic community for her quest to find the remnants of Atlantis, but when an ancient and mysterious script is found at a murder site, she flies to Venice determined to help the police before the killer strikes again.

Penelope has spent her entire life trying to ignore the unexplainable and magical history of Atlantis, but when she meets the enigmatic Alexis Donato, everything she believes will be challenged. Little does she know, Alexis has spent the last three years doing his best to sabotage Penelope’s career so doesn’t learn the truth—Atlantis had seven magicians who survived, and who he has a duty to protect.

As Alexis draws her into the darkly, seductive world of magic and history, Penelope will have to use her heart as well as her head if she is to find the answers she seeks. 

With the new MOSE system due to come online, and Carnivale exploding around them, Penelope and Alexis will have to work together to stop the killer and prevent dark magic from pulling Venice into the sea.

Eeeek! Can you see why I’m so pumped?? I’m currently polishing off my final edits to book two and getting it ready to send off to my editor, as well as finishing off my structural plan for book 3. I have seriously never micro planned a book series like I’ve planned this one. Every series and book is different but oh boy, has this one pushed my writing, planning and research to new and exciting levels. I really can’t wait to share it with you all.

While away in Venice I also went on a digital fast and tried to get some valued headspace to think about the ‘Big’ things surrounding my writing goals and career. It’s easy to get swarmed by all the THINGS  that you are meant to do as a writer that has nothing to do with the actual act of writing. As an Indie, I’m also a publisher and a marketer and have that business arm to deal with. Next year, BHC press will be taking some of that responsibility with my next series but I still have my business to grow and market and you can bet your ass I’ll be doing everything I can to make sure The Magicians of Venice is a success.

2019 is going to mean less deadlines for me, so I’m going to be focusing on completing marketing for authors courses and hopefully throwing some university units into the mix. I’ve got some other writing projects I’m also working on; I’ve almost finished the first draft of the Aramis and Soren spin off book and then I’ll be jumping into the third Magicians of Venice book. Then there is a fun fantasy based in Melbourne that’s kind of like a cross between Chocolat, Night Circus  and All the Crooked Saints, aswell as a new epic fantasy that’s growing in my brain ether that will hopefully be a bit like the love child of Game of Thrones and The Black List. They are exciting projects, but are big, ambitious ones that will require me to carve out a lot of space to work on so I’m going to try and implement some changes around time management and self care.

On that note…if you are on Twitter, you might have noticed my account has pretty much been in an admin mode for the past eight weeks. I’ve deleted my Twitter app and I’m only putting up the occasional update. This is because I’ve found Twitter to be a time suck that usually makes me feel shittier for going onto it. I’ve met some great people on there but for my own mental health state I’m letting it go and will keep it in its current admin mode. I always tell people to subscribe here on the blog for all the super important information but I am still very active on Facebook because I find the community more positive and I can do more with it as a platform, so if you really want to catch up with me on social media that’s the place to find me.

Okay, okay. Let’s talk about some other books, specifically what I’ve been reading since I was last here. 

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty has been on my TBR for a while and it rocked my fucking socks…this is probably the BEST epic fantasy I have read in a long time. I love, love, loved this story and world that it actually undersells it by saying its a reworking of an Arabian Nights stories. I’ve always loved djinn and King Solomon stories and this book delves into both, and recreating a fabulously rich take on them. Dara is by far my fave character but I can’t gush on the character and world building enough. I’m hanging out for book 2, Kingdom of Copper because the cliffhanger was an absolute kick in the ovaries. Check out The City of Brass here…but be warned you won’t be able to move until it’s done!

And because The City of Brass kick my ass so completely and left me with the worst of book hang overs ever, I went in search for more djinn / Middle Eastern mythology fantasy to try and soothe my RUINED heart and found these gems:

A Dead Djinn in Cairo is a the kind of novella that is so crazy good, rich and wonderful that you instantly want a six book series based in the same world. This is an insanely good story that’s a detective mystery based in a magically alternate and terrifying Cairo. Special Investigator Fatma el-Sha’arawi is such a BAD ASS of a character as she navigates bloody crimes and patriarchal bullshit with grace, wit and a well cut suit. P. Djeli Clark is a fucking amazing writer and I can’t wait to consume the rest of his catelogue. Grab a copy  and settle in for a glorious ride.

In honorable mentions, and because I’m still hellbent on my Middle Eastern fantasy love at the moment…I’ve just started The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh.  It’s a new take on the Shahrzad story from The Arabian Nights and and even though I’m only a few chapters in, I know I’m going to enjoy the hell out of it.

 

 

One of the few books I’ve read that has been a departure from the above obsessions, is Make Me No Grave by amazing writer and editor extraordinaire Hayley Stone. I was lucky enough to be given an ARC of this beauty of a weird west novel and this is what I wrote about it…

“Filled with morally grey characters this story has it all; mistaken identities, bank heists, mayhem and magic. Stone’s storytelling is in turn lean and lush, as this adventure of violence and revenge is played out through the eyes of Apostle, a marshal fighting his demons while trying to be the last decent man in the West. Tough as nails, flesh magic wielding,anti-heroine, Almena, gives Apostle a run for his money as the unlikely pair get thrown together in an attempt to enact their own ideas of justice. Apostle’s moral judgement is challenged every step of the way as he begins to realize that doing what’s right and obeying the law isn’t always the same thing.

Make Me No Grave is a rollicking Wild Weird West adventure perfect for fans of Red Dead Redemption, the Quick and the Dead and Wynonna Earp.” 

If it sounds like your jam, I can’t recommend it enough for a good Christmas read when the relatives are driving you crazy. Get a copy here!

This blog has gotten huge so I’m going to  get out of here and continue tinkering with my draft of Book  2 of Magicians of Venice and try and get over my post-holiday cold.

Have a great Holiday period, read lots of books and drink lots of nice wine,

Ames x

 

 

 

 

 

Late September and October Update

Hey Everyone!

I apologise for the update being so late this time around but I have been writing non-stop to keep myself on these deadlines that keep popping up to shout at me.

First of all, if you didn’t see my previous post, I have a new series out next with BHC Press! This is the Secret Project that I’ve been working away on in the background for the last year and a half, and the trilogy is called The Magicians of Venice. I worked really hard to find it a home, and guys, seriously, it’s in great hands with BHC and I couldn’t be happier. I’m so pumped about this project as they are the kind of books I’ve always dreamed about writing; archaeology, magic, Venice, ancient history, romance, creepy Hannibal field kabuki style murders…it really has it all. It’s also given me  a chance to play around with my fave archaeology mystery of all time…Atlantis. Yep, it’s going to great. I’m currently doing drafts and edits of book two so I’m not around on social media much…it’s all head down butt up to knock it into shape. I’ll be posting loads more about it soon but in the mean time, you can go here to the BHC Press website and read more about book one, The Immortal City.

In other news for Blood Lake Chronicles fans, I have just this morning, finished a final draft of Kingdom. It’s going to be sent off to my editors soon so expect a pre-order announcement by the end of the month. This book guys, it’s been crazy hard to get together and I had to delete 70% of the first draft I wrote back in April and rewrite it in the last month. I won’t go into spoilery details but it’s been a hell of job to work with three main character story lines and not have the whole thing dissolve into a mess of faerie you know what. In my mind I’ve kind of been calling it Rosa and Merlin’s Awesome Adventures in Faerie, but you will also see Bleddyn step up and play a big role in this one.

That being said…here is a cover and a blurb for you to oggle! HURRAY!

Bleddyn is a man with secrets, but he can’t outrun his past any longer. With Balthasar and Nimue in the clutches of his greatest enemy, he’ll have to reclaim his birthright as the King of the Unseelie to save them. First, he’ll have to recruit the formidable general Eirianwen to stand by his side, but his ex-fiancé isn’t going to be won over so easily.

Eirianwen never thought she would see Bleddyn again and the woman he remembers died centuries ago. Only he can unite the scattered Unseelie in a final battle against the Autumn Queen, and as much as she hates it, Eirianwen knows she can’t keep fighting alone. Bleddyn promises to get revenge for everything that was taken from her, but when the doors to the past are opened, neither one will be prepared for what comes out.  

Rosa will do anything to get Balthasar back, and when Merlin makes a plan to recruit the Wild Hunt to their cause, there’s nothing she won’t do to secure their alliance. Making a bargain with a god is never a good idea, and her deal with Gwyn ap Nudd might end up costing Rosa more than she’s willing to pay.

Oh yeah…this one has it all happening. I’ve been super excited about writing about Gwyn ap Nudd and the Wild Hunt as they have always been favourites of mine. There is also quite a lot of a good looking, sweet as hell guy called Arthur who tags along for some adventures. You will also get a sneak peak at the end of the Aramis and Soren book I’m drafting between other projects. Also, soooo much fun to be writing.

Speaking of books, I’ve read some great ones in the past month. I feel like I have a never ending battle with my To Be Read pile while I try and draft but these ones have crept through.

Stars of Fortune- Nora Roberts

Full Disclaimer: I only read Nora Roberts paranormal books and I’m always surprised how much her covers never  look like they are paranormal. In saying that I loved this book. A bunch of supernatural strangers thrown together to hunt stars hidden by Celtic Goddess? Yeah sign me up. It has a bevvy of paranormal goodies including a magician and a seer and I won’t tell you what else because I’ll spoil it. But seriously, if you love a good treasure hunt with a supernatural twist, check it out!

The next one I’m going to try not to gush all over you about is Grace Draven’s newest, Phoenix Unbound. Okay, you guys know how much I love Grace’s books but I’m absolutely loving this book. Fire magic? Hot take on fantasy Huns? Gladiators? Dragon myths? There is so much that is awesome about it. Grace writes the best fantasy romance because her world building is always so stunning and believable that the romance compliments the story, but it’s by no means the only thing going on. It’s a great epic fantasy and you can check it out here.

The final book I’m currently working my way through is The Tigress of Forli by Elizabeth Lev.

This is a non-fiction work about the Renaisance Bad Ass Lady, Caterina Sforza. You might recognise her as the woman who takes on the Borgias in the TV series but the truth is always more fascinating than fiction. Elizabeth Lev is a lively writer so it’s by no means a dull history book.  If you are after a read about a woman taking on the patriarchy of  the day, and beating them like a drum, look no further. Grab a copy here.  

Okay, this blog is huge so I’m going to get out of here. A final heads up…The Blood Lake Chronicles box set is going to be free this weekend here on Amazon so if you have been thinking about giving it a go, the time is now.

Ames x

August Update

Hey Everyone,

It’s been a while since I’ve done an update so I’ll try not to make it too long.

The reason I’ve been so quiet on the blog and social media is that I’m under the pump to get a book finished and edited by November. It’s a part of the Secret Project series that I can’t talk about just yet (announcement will be soon I swear), so I’m up to my eye balls in research and drafts and generally trying to pull it together. For those who are like WTF I thought you working on a Aramis and Soren/ Firebird Fairytales World spin off book… Yes, I am. I’m about 40k words into it but its had to take a back seat while I finalise the other book. I’ve been able to write two books at once before, but the new series is different. It requires more space in my brain and more research to get right so I’ve put other books and uni  on hiatus for a few months. It’ll be worth it I swear!

If you follow my Facebook you would have seen that I’m currently at the Cover Design phase of KINGDOM, the third Blood Lake Chronicles book, and if all goes to plan it should be out in October/November. I’ll make a more official announcement once I have a pre-order page up and passed the final edit/stressing stage. I’m really happy and excited how its come together!

What else?

I’ve managed to be dragged out of my writer cave and have been to two great exhibits in passed month; Wonderland at the ACMI and Vikings: Beyond the Legend. Both were fantastic and seeing how I’m obsessed with Alice (omg the costumes from Burton’s movies were there and I almost died) and Vikings I was in heaven.

 

Also, check my freaking awesome Loki statue I got from the Vikings Exhibit as well as Rune Swag!

I highly recommend both exhibits if you happen to be in the Melbourne area.

Apart from working on the book, I’ve been taking the time (ie forcing myself) to self care and refill the creative well. A looming deadline can really throw out my creative process, work my anxiety into a frenzy and generally stir me up to a point where I can’t focus on actual writing. This particular series is research heavy so I’ve spent some delightful hours on JSTOR, reading articles, following leads and making connections I never would have thought of without taking the time to immerse and enjoy myself.

In the reading department I finally finished my Sarah J Maas pile! I was actually really surprised how much I enjoyed Tower of Dawn. The world building was great and I really enjoyed the fantasy twist on the Huns that Maas created. Also yes, I AM in love Dothraki- Bae of the Skys a.k.a. Sartaq The Winged Prince.  Hell, I even stopped hating Chaol in this one which surprised me. Catwoman has just come out and I’m already about half way through and enjoying Maas’s take on Gotham.

The other series I’m obsessed with at the moment is Thea Harrison’s Moonshadow series. If you like my Blood Lake Chronicles, and you are after more Celtic paranormal with an Arthurian twist I really recommend you check them out. To be honest you could go for any series of Thea Harrison and it would be worth it. I’m working my way through her whole catelogue at the moment and have loved everything (though Moonshadow and Dragon Bound have been my favourite).

OH. And I feel like I should mention here that I demolished ‘Spinning Silver’ by Naomi Novik. I have FEELINGS about this book. Like any book of hers, she just slays me. Her new takes on Russian mythology with this book and ‘Uprooted’ continues to leave me in awe and with serious impostor syndrome. I am shamelessly in love with the Staryk King, but seriously, a Winter Elf King who can do magic…its like it was made just for me to obsess over. I could write essays about this book but I wont. Please read it, and ‘Uprooted’ if you haven’t already.

Okay guys that’s about all I’ve got for you. I’m all head in the books at the moment and very unexciting. Fingers crossed I can break some awesome writing news to you all soon and then you get full enthusisatic Amy about the new series I’m so obsessed over that I’m literally incapable of thinking about anything else at the moment.

Ames x