Pocket Full of Tinder (Noon Onyx #4) Newsletter Update – Last Chance!

If all goes well with Mail Chimp, I’m going to be sending out my first quarterly newsletter this week. This is your last chance to sign up before it goes out! If you don’t, you’ll miss out on all the good stuff and will have to find one of the subscribers and beg them to share it with you. 😀

Newsletter

What’s going to be in the newsletter?

  • UPDATE: Pocket Full of Tinder
  • SNEAK PEEK: Frigore Luna, a new Haljan holiday
  • FIRST LOOK: Map of St. Luck’s
  • WHO SAID IT? Match the Quote to the Character
  • BE AN AMBASSADOR: 3 Awesome Things You Can Do
  • CONTEST: Fireball Laser Cut Wood Earrings or a $10 eGC

The update will give readers an idea of what to expect from book #4. I also share my draft back cover copy (still working on it; it may change; I’m worried it might be too confusing/complicated). The sneak peek is a behind-the-scenes look at a new Haljan holiday I created for B4 based on two real world holidays. There’s also a map of St. Luck’s campus and a fun quiz where you can match characters and quotes. Finally, there are three ways you can help me spread the word about the series (do one, two, or all three!) and a contest exclusively for newsletter subscribers. Further dets are in the newsletter.

Sign up Here

What’s the difference between this blog and my newsletter? See this post.

I’ll share some puppy pics, maybe some “On the Fly” pics, and what I’ve been reading and watching soon. So stay tuned and, in the meantime, happy reading and writing!

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Page Proofs for White Heart of Justice: Sneak Peek at Prologue and Page 1

White Heart of Justice, Noon Onyx, Jill Archer, fantasy
Page proofs for
WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE
(Most of those stickies are notes for me,
not typos!)

Just turned in the corrected page proofs for White Heart of Justice! As I mentioned after turning in reviewed proofs for Fiery Edge of Steel, this is a great moment for authors. It means, from my end, the book is FINISHED! Sure, there are all sorts of things that still need to be done, but most of them concern promotion — ways to get the word out about the book. So…

What can readers expect from White Heart of Justice?

If you liked the first two books, Dark Light of Day and Fiery Edge of Steel, expect to see more of the same blend of magic, deep, dark worldbuilding, romance, and action/adventure with a whiff of mystery, all told in a youthful first person voice (except for the prologue, which is told from a certain someone’s point of view 😉 ). That said, Noon is not as inexperienced in this third book as she was at the start of the series. (But that’s half the fun of reading a series, right? Getting to see how a character grows and changes over the course of the novels.)

In White Heart of Justice, readers will also get to see more of Nightshade (Noon’s tall, dark, and handsome healer brother), Aurelia (Noon’s somewhat enigmatic, always intense, sometimes aloof mother), and Karanos (Noon’s at times distant, often imposing Demon Council executive dad), as well as some other favorites. 😀

You’ll also get to see a new type of magic… and Noon using waning magic in a different way than she did in books 1 and 2. And, of course, there will be new beasts, new demons, and new places — both on and off campus — to explore!

Sneak Peek at Prologue and First Page

Clicking on the pictures should enlarge them enough to read. If you like what you see, please pre-order and/or add it to your Goodreads shelf! Links are below.

White Heart of Justice, Noon Onyx, Jill Archer, fantasy
White Heart of Justice
Prologue i
White Heart of Justice, Noon Onyx, Jill Archer, fantasy
White Heart of Justice
Prologue ii
White Heart of Justice, Noon Onyx, Jill Archer, fantasy
White Heart of Justice
Page 1

urban fantasy, dark fantasy, fantasy, White Heart of Justice, Noon Onyx, Jill Archer, cover reveal, cover art

Since Lucifer claimed victory at Armageddon, demons, angels, and humans have coexisted in uneasy harmony. Those with waning magic are trained to maintain peace and order. But hostilities are never far from erupting…

After years of denying her abilities, Noon Onyx, the first woman in history to wield waning magic, has embraced her power. She’s won the right to compete in the prestigious Laurel Crown Race—an event that will not only earn her the respect of her peers but also, if she wins, the right to control her future.

However, Noon’s task is nearly impossible: retrieve the White Heart of Justice, a mythical sword that disappeared hundreds of years ago. The sword is rumored to be hidden in a dangerous region of Halja that she is unlikely to return from. But Noon’s life isn’t the only thing hanging in the balance. The sword holds an awesome power that, in the wrong hands, could reboot the apocalypse—and Noon is the only one who can prevent Armageddon from starting again…

Interested in reading more about

White Heart of Justice?

  • Click here for my post on the revision process and to read about what the other racers’ targets are.
  • Click here for my cover reveal post, which has my thoughts on all of my covers, including my favorite — White Heart of Justice!

Thanks to everyone who has supported this series! I hope you enjoy reading book #3 as much as I enjoyed writing it!

#Writing: Revisions and WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE Snippets #SFF

After having waxed on about my awesome posting stats just before Thanksgiving, I then dropped my posting to zero while I celebrated Turkey Day, the start of the winter holiday season, and finished revisions for WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE. So I thought it would be fun to break my posting fast by discussing revisions and then share some snippets that I wrote for book #3.

The Revision Process

I’ve heard that the revision process varies from house to house, and may even vary from editor to editor, but my experience has pretty much followed these steps:

1. Author Editing: After mentally typing THE END (how many of you actually type “THE END” at the end of your manuscripts? I don’t…), this is the stage where I go back through my manuscript and edit it myself. Although I do some editing as I write, I always have a big list of things that I know need to be fixed, added, deleted, etc. once I’ve reached the end. Also, reading the manuscript through from start to finish after it’s complete helps flesh out other areas I may not have caught before that still need work. This type of editing goes on until it’s finished. It usually takes a few passes — until I’m comfortable enough to turn it in. Until the manuscript is the best I can make it on my own.

[2. Beta Readers and Critique Partners/Groups: An invaluable part of the process for many writers. I don’t currently do this as part of my process, but I’ve often thought about trying to find some beta readers. The difference between beta readers and critique partners is that beta readers are readers (ideally someone who reads within your genre) and critique partners are writers. But the point is the feedback should be different. I would think that beta readers could help with reactions, expectations, spots of confusion, overall satisfaction, general impressions, etc. whereas critique partners will (hopefully) give you some objective comments on structure, plot, characterization, and the like.]

3. Revisions: If you are traditionally published, your editor will read and review your manuscript and suggest changes. My editor sends me an email with global concerns and en electronic marked up version of my manuscript with margin comments. Once I got used to it, I found I actually liked this part of the process. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: whether you self or traditionally pub, find a good editor. Even if you have beta readers and critique partners, a professional editor is a must. Ideally, your editor will have lots of experience editing books in your genre. At this stage of editing, any type of revision might be requested: huge structural changes, merging two characters into one, writing an alternate ending, creating a new setting for one of the scenes, reworking a set piece, etc. (I’m not saying I’ve had all of those suggestions… just that if you’re a new writer, be open to whatever changes your editor suggests. In the end, it’s your decision, but consider each one carefully before making it or rejecting it.)

4. Line edits: This is the editing stage where, instead of “big picture” problems like character motivation not working right or scenes out of order, your editor will suggest stylistic changes that will improve the flow and readability of the manuscript. (At least that’s how I think of this stage. It’s a little bit more than just grammatical corrections but a lot less than anything that requires drafting something from scratch.) If you have a strong voice, some of the suggestions might not sound right. As above, it’s your call. But I consider these carefully too. Having a recognizable voice is great, but the last thing I want is a reader tripping over my words or scratching their head. (Some of that may be unavoidable, but, hey, if I can avoid it through better word choice, I will).

5. Copy edits: Copyediting is the stage where they check everything: your grammar, your spelling, your capitalization, the quotes you used, the Latin phrases, and whatever other odd bits and pieces of stuff you may have used that need to be checked to make sure you’re using them properly. This is also the stage where your editor checks for continuity errors like a botched schedule of events or an eye color change due to writer mistake and not magic. As you can imagine, my copy editor has her work cut out for her and she’s been terrific. Along with a marked up manuscript, I also receive a Style Sheet during this stage, which details my spelling, style, and punctuation preferences (so that they remain consistent throughout the series). It also has a handy list of “author specific words” (my term, not hers). These are the words that we writers use when we make stuff up. I used my Style Sheets as a starting point for my Glossary.

6. Proofreading: This stage is pretty exciting. You get to see the typeset manuscript. So it will look almost exactly how it will look once it’s printed and bound. Your job during this stage is to (yep, once again) read through and check for errors. The good news is that there won’t be that many queries from the proofreader. But I still read it all over one more time because this is my very last opportunity to catch something before publication. And I have caught errors. Nothing big. Just hard returns that shouldn’t have been there. Words repeated. Missing periods. Little stuff. When I send my list back I almost feel foolish; it’s so nit picky.

7. Celebrate! I’m not at this stage yet with WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE, but I look forward to it. Since so much of a writer’s time is spent just putting words on a page and our butts in the chair, celebrating the small milestones along a very long path is important.

White Heart of Justice Snippets

The Laurel Crown Race and Its Targets

The third book in my Noon Onyx series involves a race — the Laurel Crown Race. To win, racers must bring back their assigned target. The targets are always (otherwise there would be no story) difficult, if not impossible, to retrieve. Participation in this dangerous, sometimes deadly, race is voluntary (Noon’s more feisty and less reluctant in B3). So why race? Because the Maegester-in-Training who brings back their target before any of the others wins the coveted Laurel Crown and the right to control their own destiny (or at least the right to choose where they spend their fourth semester residency).

Noon’s target is the White Heart of Justice, a mythical sword with a dark, mysterious, and rich history that disappeared during Halja’s middle ages. It’s a fascinating artifact that’s discussed extensively in the book… but what about the other racers’ targets? My editor was curious about what the other racers would be searching for during the race so, during edits, I came up with the list below, which I then worked into Chapter 7 as follows [alas, the neat pictures won’t be in the final manuscript]:

Every year, the finish line was held at a different demon law school. Since St. Luck’s had hosted the rank matches, we’d also been given the honor of creating this year’s Laurel Crown and placing it at a finish line of our choosing. The St. Luck’s faculty had opted for a crown made of gold leaf, which they planned to hang on one of the lamp posts at the start of the race. The first Primoris to make it back to Timothy’s Square would exchange their target for the crown and win. It was that simple. (Or rather, it was that simple on paper. In practice, the race was often lethal.)

A sampling of other racer’s targets included:

Raven in forest

† Eidolon’s Alternate Ending

Commissioned by the demon lord Nickolai as a bride gift for his inamorata, the painting is purportedly “enhanced” by the Angel artist’s botched spell. The scene in the painting changes for each viewer so no one knows what the original subject was. Anyone who gazes upon it is ever after incapable of feeling love. The painting was stolen sometime around the turn of the century by the Graeae, the trio of demonesses who were spawned from the ground together and who are now bound by their shared flesh and formidable magic.

Treasures

† 623 bars of gold bullion

This weighty amount was the grand total stolen from the New Babylon Mint over the last three months. The thieves are reputed to be hiding somewhere around Rockthorn Gorge. Liberating the gold and returning it to the mint will take not only a Guardian but a small army of magic users prepared to battle the outlaws and then protect the heavy cargo on its way back through a dizzying array of steep, narrow mountain passes full of argopelters and hidebehinds.

Mata Hari

† Gou Nan Jounen An

A.K.A. Rasha Pearl, a Hyrke courtesan and spy. Employed by the Office of the Executive since the age of eighteen, no woman is as well-educated or as well-traveled. She speaks almost as many demon languages as an Angel, she knows hundreds of exotic and erotic dances, and she’s been to nearly every regulare outpost – and not a few rogare hotspots. Problem? She acted as a double agent while doing so. Since the early 1990s, she passed all sorts of super sensitive Council information on to her rogare contacts. In 1997, she was arrested. But she escaped from her Maegester captors shortly thereafter and has been on the Council’s “Most Wanted” list ever since.

Potion bottle

† 1 oz. each of blithe and bitters

Two fabled spices highly prized by the Mederi. One is a powerful aphrodisiac, nearly a love potion for those who use it, and the other is a sedative, one strong enough to keep someone asleep for a hundred years or more. Both spices are harvested from the same legendary tree, the Saeculi Spinae, which only grows in Halja’s western volcanic mountains – an area protected by the fierce, fiery djinn. The djinn’s price for just a pinch of blithe or bitters? Helping with the harvest.

Grim Warning

† Lilith’s Last Resting Place

I’d found Lucifer’s Tomb two semesters ago, but the location of Luck’s lover’s gravesite was still unknown. History is clear that she survived Armageddon and lived for another two centuries or so. But the stories surrounding her death are wildly inconsistent. Some say she went north, beyond Rockthorn Gorge, toward Warja hoping to start another fight. Others say she went west and made a deal with the djinn to be sealed away in a room full of blithe and bitters forever. Still others say she went east and sailed off toward the Morning Star.

It would take far more than Luck’s blessing to find her remains…. or any of the other targets we racers were being asked to retrieve.

WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE can be pre-ordered here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, Powell’s Books, Book Depository, IndieBound

What about you? Do you type THE END at the end of your manuscripts? Are you in the midst of revisions now?

Are you taking any time off from work this winter? If so, what are you planning on reading? I hope everyone is having a nice December!

Fiery Edge of Steel Sneak Peek Tour is at Rabid Reads Today

The Fiery Edge of Steel exclusive excerpt tour is wrapping up. Today and tomorrow are the last days to enter to win a signed ARC and a $25 eGift Certificate to the bookstore of your choice. Check out today’s excerpt at Rabid Reads. And see below for more Fiery Edge of Steel inspirations. Happy Friday!

Jill Archer, Fiery Edge of Steel, inspirations, bonfire, urban fantasy, speculative ficion
BONFIRES = INSPIRATION FOR… BONFIRES 😀

I’ve always loved bonfires. I still remember spending one Christmas Eve with my dad, step-mom, and brother watching the bonfires burn along the Mississippi River. I also remember my high school used to let students build and burn a big bonfire for homecoming. And, growing up in western Pennsylvania and now living in rural Maryland, there have been no shortage of friends to hang out with who also love to safely burn things. Despite the picture above looking very “Lord of the Light-ish” I took it last summer at a local backyard bonfire. I took it with my cell phone so it’s a little grainy, but the timing couldn’t have been better. I was walking out to my car and I turned around and saw the moon and the guy standing in front of the fire (yes, he’s in front of the fire, not in it :-)). I couldn’t help thinking that scenes like this have likely happened throughout human history with very little change. I edited out the farm house, which really gives the picture a timeless look.

Those of you who have read Dark Light of Day know that bonfires play a minor role in the story. They do in Fiery Edge of Steel too. And I even managed to work in my idea that scenes like this have been repeated with each passing generation for countless years. (Chapter 21 for anyone who’s curious). Unless something drastic changes during edits, there will also be a bonfire in Act I of book #3. Why? To me, they are a symbol of continuity and community, friendship and warmth.

More Inspirations for Fiery Edge of Steel and Teaser Tour Excerpt Part Three

The third Fiery Edge of Steel, Chapter 1 excerpt is at the speculative fiction blog, Preternatura (Suzanne Johnson’s blog). Find out which demon they’re bringing to Timothy’s Square for the Carne Vale and enter to win one of six signed ARCs of Fiery Edge of Steel (US) and a $25 eGift Certificate to either Amazon or Barnes & Noble, winner’s choice (international). And see below for some more “behind the scenes” type stuff. Happy Wednesday!

Lady Justice, fantasy with legal fiction elements
LADY JUSTICE (AND HER MANY PREDECESSORS: JUSTITIA, MAAT, THEMIS, AND DIKE) = INSPIRATION FOR THE ABSENT DEMONESS, JUSTICA

I name all my chapters and then take the names out during edits. Some of my chapter names could probably be left in — the ones that are evocative because they play off some thematic element in the chapter. But many of them are just sign posts for me, the drafter. They help me to keep track of what the chapter’s supposed to be about. When I was drafting Fiery Edge of Steel, I had this idea to put little snippets of stuff at the beginning of each chapter. Things that would provide information to the reader, but not necessarily as part of the narrative. I decided against it. For one thing, the books have enough information for the reader to digest. But for those of you that like extras, here’s the one I drafted for the beginning of Chapter 20:

Lead investigators shall have the following duties:

1. To the Demon Council: Lead investigators shall be loyal, faithful, and respectful to the Council, and shall uphold its authority at all times;

2. To the Investigative Team: To the extent possible based on field situations, lead investigators shall keep members of their investigative team reasonably safe;

3. To the Outpost Lord: Lead investigators shall not unnecessarily offend an Outpost Lord who is under investigation. During the investigation, investigators shall cause as little disturbance as possible in outpost operations and shall take care not to diminish the Outpost Lord’s adoration; and

4. To Justica: Lead investigators shall conduct a thorough investigation, shall render an impartial and fair judgment, and then mete out punishment, including execution, as necessary.

Rule 2290.13(g) of the Maegester’s Rules of Engagement (Demon Complaints; Investigation of Outpost Lord; Duties of Lead Investigator)

Fiery Edge of Steel Teaser Tour Part Two at Urban Girl Reader

Fiery Edge of Steel Chapter One, Part Two is up at Urban Girl Reader! Click here for the 2nd excerpt and more chances to win signed ARCs (US) and a $25 eGC (international). Hope everyone’s day has been great! Mine has been wet and rainy.

MAGIC 8 BALL = INSPIRATION FOR ALBA’S BLACK ONIONS

Here’s a deleted snippet from Fiery Edge of Steel, Chapter 2. It’s the menu at Alba’s (a.k.a. “the Black Onion”), a tiny cafe on the corner of River Road and Widow’s Walk where Noon and her study mates go when they want to get off campus.

Alba’s
Bread $3.95
Soup $6.95
Fish $12.95

Black Onions $0.60
Don’t you want to know?

Fiery Edge of Steel Exclusive Excerpt Tour: ARC Giveaways and More!

Fiery Edge of Steel is releasing at the end of this month — May 28th! To help spread the word about its release, I’m doing a six stop exclusive excerpt tour through Bewitching Book Tours. From today through May 11th, one part of Chapter 1 will be posted at each of the stops below. I’m giving away six signed ARCs (US only) and one $25.00 eGift Certificate to the bookstore of the winner’s choice (international) during this “teaser” tour. I’m ALSO giving away two more signed ARCs of Fiery Edge of Steel and two signed copies of Dark Light of Day from my site (US only). All you have to do to enter to win one of those is e-mail your US address to [archer at jillarcher dot com] by midnight EDT May 13th. Subject line should be the title of the book you are interested in. (You can say “both” :-D).

Fiery Edge of Steel

Exclusive Excerpt Tour

In writing Fiery Edge of Steel, I was inspired by a number of things, among them an old French imposter case, two children’s songs, and a fairy tale. I wanted to explore the themes of love, betrayal, knowledge, death, and duty. To set up those themes I could think of no better way to open the book than to recreate a Haljan version of the 16th century execution of Arnaud du Tilh, the man who impersonated the French peasant Martin Guerre. That recreation forms the basis for Chapter 1.

May 6th: Part One at Fang-tastic Books

May 7th: Part Two at Urban Girl Reader

May 8th: Part Three at Preternatura

May 9th: Part Four at Urban Fantasy Investigations

May 10th: Part Five at Rabid Reads

May 11th: Part Six at Romancing the Dark Side

Great First Reviews!

I was thrilled and excited to see that the first reviews for Fiery Edge of Steel were positive. In fact, I love what was said about the book and the series. I’m very grateful for any interest and thankful to everyone who takes the time to read and review.

“Archer delves deeper into the enticing and magical world of Dark Light of Day in this original and clever urban fantasy… Excitement and action leap from the pages as Archer’s skill with description pulls readers fully into her magical world.” — Publishers Weekly

“The second Noon Onyx story is an astounding adventure tale. Archer’s unique world, where Lucifer’s army triumphed at Armageddon, is filled with adherence to strict laws that keep an uneasy peace between races. This is proving to be a really fresh and fascinating series!” — RT Book Reviews

Noon Onyx is participating in a

Supernatural Smackdown

Does that sound hilarious and fun or what?!? I couldn’t resist saying I’d participate even though Noon’s character isn’t as kick a$$ as the characters she’ll be competing against. If you’re interested in seeing how a Supernatural Smackdown works, stop by Dark Faerie Tales (I’ll be taking notes along with you because this is the first one I’ve ever done!). And, if you want to vote for the underdog, come check out my post there on May 16th! (Yes, I’ll be sending out reminders. ;-))

More About the Noon Onyx Series

In Dark Light of Day, the first book in the series, Nouiomo “Noon” Onyx, a 21 year old post grad magic user, had to choose between death or training to become a demon peacekeeper. In Fiery Edge of Steel, Noon faces a different question.

The Noon Onyx series is a genre-bending fantasy series. The setting is post-apocalyptic, but it’s not dystopian fiction. In fact, Armageddon is old news. Demons have inherited the earth, but goodness and love still exist. In short, the series is for readers who adore adventure, passion, mystery, and magic.

I’ll be posting info and links to various other events in connection with Fiery Edge of Steel‘s release. And I’ll be posting more guest blogs from the fabulous authors who are participating in the Spring Into Summer Romance guest blog series. Behind the scenes, I am working feverishly (sometimes literally — dang spring colds!) on book #3.

I had a lot of fun writing Fiery Edge of Steel and I hope you enjoy reading it! Have a great week, everyone!
Jill Archer's Dark Light of DayJill Archer's Fiery Edge of Steel

Next Big Thing: Noon Onyx Book #2

Noon Onyx Book #2You may think this post is a hoot, because it’s about my second book – and I’m still promoting my first! The truth is my agent, Lois Winston, who is also a writer (she writes the Anastasia Pollack crafting mystery series), tagged me in this online author’s Q&A game.  And how could I say no to her? 😉

In all seriousness though, I thought it would be fun mid-DLOD blog tour, to give everyone a sneak peek at the next book in the series. I also get to tag a few other wonderful authors who have some cool things lined up in their writer pipelines, which they can tell everyone about next week. Those authors are listed below after my Noon Onyx Book #2 Sneak Peek.

Next Big Thing Q&A

What is your working title of your book?

Noon Onyx Book #2 😀

Where did the idea come from for the book?

As with the first book in the series (Dark Light of Day) my inspirations for Book #2 came from myriad sources: a French imposter case, a story from the 1990 Tales from the Darkside movie, creepy folklore, and two children’s songs about the unlikeliest of topics — death.

What genre does your book fall under?

The Noon Onyx series is fantasy. That said, there are elements of all sorts of other genres present in the series: mystery, romance, legal fiction, post-apocalyptic fiction, even new adult.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I always demur on this question because it would be much more interesting to hear reader’s thoughts on this. If you’ve read Dark Light of Day and stumble across this post at any point in the future, feel free to answer this question in the comments. I’d love to know what *you* think!

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

New assignment, new adventures, and new adversaries. (Later this fall, I’ll have a new cover, new title, and new blurb to share.)

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I’m represented by the person who tagged me for this post, Lois Winston.

I’m currently under contract with Ace to write the first three books in the Noon Onyx series.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Probably a year in total. My “first drafts” are a lot more than working drafts. I spend the most time on the first draft stage of writing.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Uh… next question, please… [“Unique” and “different” are two words that seem to come up a lot with respect to Dark Light of Day].

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

In Noon’s second story, I wanted to explore the themes of knowledge, duty, love, and betrayal.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I’ve shared elsewhere that Noon Onyx Book #2 will have some characters who return, some who are new, and that Noon will get her first field assignment. I’ll also add that I became fascinated with the idea of divination tools and I like how that played out.

If you enjoyed this sneak peek of Noon Onyx book #2, you can add it to your Goodreads shelf by clicking here.

Or “like it” or pre-order it by clicking here.

May 28, 2013 is the anticipated release date. Okay, that’s it on book #2 for a while…

Other Authors with “Next Big Things”

Next week, these authors will post about the Next Big Things they’re working on:

Brinda Berry: Brinda is the YA author of The Whispering Woods series, which includes The Waiting Booth (“A missing boy, government agents, an interdimensional portal….”) and Whisper of Memory (“Weapons training and winter formals… a deadly combination”). She’s also the President of the Diamond State Romance Authors and she hosts the Social Media Savvy with Sanity Series at Gloria Richard’s blog. Look for Brinda’s Next Big Thing post here.

Alex Hughes: Alex is the author of Clean, a dystopian thriller (“In a dark future Atlanta, a disgraced telepath must stop a serial killer who murders with the mind. Can our hero stay on the wagon long enough to lead the police to the killer?”). For her Next Big Thing post click here (link will go live on 10/25/12).

Amy Raby: Amy is a fantasy romance author whose novel Assassin’s Gambit will be out in April 2013 from Signet Eclipse. I’m hoping Amy will tell us more about it with her Next Big Thing post: click here (link should be live on 10/22/12). She also does a “History for the Fantasy Buff” blog series, which is terrific.

Readers, thanks for letting us share our Next Big Thing with you!

Next Two Stops: Dark Light of Day Excerpt & A Monster Rally

Creative Writing Tools — First Drafts and the Scene Summary

I’m over at Writing Secrets of the 7 Scribes today discussing first drafts and the tool I use to create my scenes, the Scene Summary. There’s also a 1,200 word excerpt from the first chapter of Dark Light of Day.

Writers, how do you write your first draft? Slow? Fast? Plotted? Not? How much prep work do you put into building a scene before you actually write it? What drafting tools are in your creative writing tool box?

Readers, come share some of your favorite opening scenes. Which stories have grabbed you from that first paragraph and why? What was the opening scene for the book you’re currently reading?

The Demons of Halja — Dark Light of Day’s Monsters

Since I’m hosting a guest blogger tomorrow, I also wanted to let you know where I’ll be on 9/15/12: Happy Tails and Tales. I’ll be offering a sneak peek at Halja’s demons and will be sharing a brief excerpt from the scene where Noon Onyx, Dark Light of Day’s protagonist, meets a palm sized demon for the very first time.

Saturday’s post is also part rallying cry for those of us who love “monster stories.” If you love vamps, werewolves, demons and the like, stop by Happy Tails and Tales and let your voice be heard!! 😀

Don’t forget, I’m giving away one Ace/Roc SF/F sampler at every stop (US only due to mailing costs) and all commenters (international too!) will be entered to win the $10 eGiftCard (Amazon or B&N, winner’s choice) that I’m giving away at the end of the tour. For info on other prizes I’m offering, see my blog tour page. Hope to see you at 7 Scribes and/or Happy Tails and Tales!