I received an eARC of Song of Blood & Stone (2018) from St, Martin’s Press and this swoony historical fantasy is a treat. The first in the Earthsinger Chronicles, we follow Jack and Jasminda as they race against magic, two powerful rulers, and their roles in society to save the world from war and an ancient evil. I really enjoyed the romance between the two main characters but also loved the fully-realized world and the very real tension between Lagrimar and Elsira. Read more for an interview with Leslye Penelope about bringing the Earthsinger Chronicles to life and some of her favorite reads and sources of inspiration.
I had the pleasure of reading an eARC of Between the Blade and the Heart (2018) by Amanda Hocking. It’s an urban fantasy about Valkyries whose purpose is to send immortals back to the underworld. There are secrets, tension, and really cool fight scenes galore. I especially loved how differently Malin approaches her relationship with Quinn and her relationship with Asher. Her relationship with her mother is particularly compelling.
As part of the blog tour, Amanda answered some questions about the craft and inspiration for this Scandinavian-inspired urban fantasy. The book comes out January 2nd.
Happy book day to Shan Chakraborty’s City of Brass, a lush epic fantasy about a con artist whisked off to an enchanting world to discover who she really is. There is magic, sword fights, and political intrigue sprinkled throughout and finely woven together. As the book is also Shan’s debut, I invited her to take time to talk about world-building, process, critique groups, and publishing. Shan and I are also part of the Brooklyn Speculative Fiction Writers group together, an excellent community of writers working on projects in science fiction, fantasy, and everything in between.
Horizon, the finale to The Bone Universe, comes out today! With intricate world-building, breath-taking settings, and complex characters, I was hooked on Fran Wilde’s writing from the first page of Updraft. Fran took time to talk about her writing process across formats and stories. Her novels and short stories have been nominated for two Nebula awards and a Hugo, with Updraft winning the Andre Norton and Compton Crook awards. I had the delight of meeting her at BookCon 2015 at a group storytelling panel with Tor.
Elliott and I are bona fide internet contacts turned critique partners turned best friends (who are probably the same person). He took some time to answer a few questions on self-inserts, inspiration, and when short form accidentally turns serial. You can find his work here. It’s also his birthday month.
I met Marty at a reading with Maria Dahvana Headley , Victor LaValle, and Daniel Polansky. I’m so glad to have introduced myself to him because he is so active as a writer. He does reviews and pieces for Tor.com and has several of his own short stories out for you to read. He took time to answer questions that I had about short stories and long form that might be helpful to those pursuing both styles of fiction. You can find the most recent line-up of his work here.
In the month of May, I’m participating in a read-along for The Alchemists of Loom (2017) by Elise Kova. It’s a steampunk fantasy full of intrigue, dangerous rogues, and the most fascinating magical system in a city where blood is currency. So far, I love the main characters and the world of Loom. It’s making my little gamer fan girl heart sing to its fullest potential.
As part of the blog tour, Elise took time to answer questions about inspiration and how a book evolves throughout the writing process.