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Broken Melody is Out Today!

Broken Melody Book Graphic

Broken Melody Book Graphic

Broken Melody is out today, which means that you can now get it as both ebook and paperback!

Happy Release Day to me!

I’m celebrating on a beach on Crete right now, but that does not mean it wouldn’t make everything just a little better if I see some numbers on the sales report when I get time to check in.

Is that enough of a hint or do I need to try harder?

Go buy the book.

You can get it at Amazon and a lot of other places. I expect even more vendors will follow in the coming days, so there should be plenty of options.

For now, I will enjoy a well-earned break in the Greek sun. But I look forward to coming back to the online community I have grossly neglected over the past couple of months, so don’t completely give up on me!

…Now go buy my book.

 

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Broken Melody Releases on 10th September

Broken Melody Book Cover Graphic

Yep, Broken Melody will be out on 10th September as both ebook and paperback.

Hopefully some of you out there are looking forward to reading the fifth book in the Angel’s Voice series… because someone has to pay for all the caffeine that’s gone into writing it. Really, I was basically vibrating through the last few chapters.

Dangerous caffeine levels aside, I’m really excited to get this book out there. I’m on a roll and already halfway through the first draft of the aixth book in the series, and spoilers, I somehow managed to sneak a dragon into the plot.

I really love dragons, guys.

Anyway! 10th September, mark your calendars. Dragons, people.

 

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Editing at the Louring House

Editing Owl

As you might be aware, I’m currently hard at work, either editing Broken Melody or procrastinating from editing Broken Melody.

My editing process usually involves three rounds of going through the book myself before handing it over to beta readers.

Each time I read the draft I change the font and font size of the book. If the text looks different every time, you tend to catch different mistakes on each read-through. This time around I even went as far as to betray everything I stand for as a web and graphic designer and did one round of editing in Comic Sans.

Shudder

No one can say I haven’t suffered for this book.

But I also change the way I edit every time.

The first round is basically just a read-through where I replace all the placeholders and go through my editing notes on what to fix. It’s the round that takes the draft from a complete trainwreck that only I understand, to something actually resembling a book.

The second round (where I’m currently at) is where I read the entire book out loud to catch weird phrasing. This would be very simple, if I didn’t live with a tiny, judgmental owl that insists on giving his input. My reading today has sounded like this:

“Orrell tackled her to the gound as the explosion went off — shut up — shielding her with his body as the ceiling — shut up — above the door blew to pieces and — jesus christ, Artemis, mind your own business!”

My window is open, so I’m fairly certain my neighbors think I’m insane.

Editing Owl

The third and last round before throwing the damn book at the beta readers is simply running it through grammar software like Grammarly and ProWritingAid, and have a computer tell me how crappy my writing is. But unlike with Artemis, these judgmental bastards at least give me suggestions on how to fix it.

That’s a general overview of my editing process.

And, of course, it’s important to remember to procrastinate by stopping in the middle of editing to write a blog post about editing!

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Broken Melody – Excerpt (Chapter 11)

Excerpt Book

A few rays of morning light fell on her face and Selissa reluctantly returned to the land of the conscious, just to immediately regret this development once she became aware of the violent pounding in her head.

Some distant part of her mind noted that she usually slept in a windowless room. She reluctantly opened an eye, fearing what she might see.

The goat staring at her wasn’t the weirdest thing she had ever woken up to, and judging from the look on the goat’s face, an unconscious mercenary wouldn’t have attracted much interest if she hadn’t been laying in its feeding trough.

“I’m never drinking again,” Selissa groaned as she pushed the goat away and gracelessly dragged herself out of her makeshift bed. She wasn’t exactly sure how she had ended up in the stable, but at least it beat passing out in the snow and waking up after losing a couple of toes to frostbite.

The goat was still staring at her, its strange slitted eyes unblinking.

“Don’t judge me,” she told it sullenly.

Her head was killing her and her memories of the previous night were fuzzy at best, but she was pretty sure she hadn’t achieved much in the way of information gathering. Unless you counted the fact that some of the mousy little mage researchers were far better at handling their booze than she would have given them credit for . . .

The last thing she remembered was challenging the Professor of Archaic Artifacts to a drinking match, and while she would already have been pretty inebriated before suggesting such a thing, she had clearly underestimated the spindly, bespectacled mage.

‘You also tried to pick a fight with a hat stand later,’ Cadeyrn informed her helpfully.

“Shut. Up,” Selissa said. The hangover was bad enough; she didn’t need the voices in her head right now.

Fighting the urge to stay on the nice cold floor, Selissa decided she better get moving before the owner of the stable showed up to chase her out with a pitchfork.

It wouldn’t have been the first time.

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Broken Melody – Excerpt (Chapter 19)

Excerpt Book

“Look around,” Orrell said. “He’s usually here somewhere.” 

The room appeared deserted, but there was no telling what might hide behind the heaps of rubbish balanced on every surface. Selissa walked past a pile of old laundry on the floor and, on second thought, gave it a prod with her foot.

“Sod off!” it yelled angrily. 

“I think I found him,” she called to Orrell. 

The pile squirmed angrily and a head poked out from between the folds of the dirty clothes. It was small, scarred, blind in one eye, and probably human, but Selissa didn’t want to jump to conclusions. 

“What’s ya deal, ya great big lout, kicking sleeping people in their own home?” it said, untangling a set of scrawny arms from somewhere inside its robes. Selissa watched in fascination. 

“You the alchemist?” she asked.

More squirming, and a pair of legs in crumbled breeches appeared. “‘Course I’m the alchemist, ya idiot. Who else would I be?” 

Her first thought was ‘leprechaun’, but Selissa wisely kept that to herself. 

“Get up, Ebeus, you old kook,” Orrell said gruffly. “We need your help.” 

“What’s so important that ya burst in here at the crack of dawn?” the alchemist said, getting to his feet. Considering he wasn’t that much taller standing up, he might have saved himself the struggle. 

“It’s nearly dinner time,” Selissa said, slightly puzzled. 

“What’s ya rambling about, woman?” the man – Selissa was now pretty sure that it was, in fact, a man – said irritably. 

“Don’t even bother,” Orrell said tiredly. “All the fumes have melted his brain. I would be surprised if he knew what year it is. Hey, Ebeus—” he tapped the alchemist, who had wandered over to a table to inspect something simmering in a flagon, on the shoulder “—pay attention. We need you to identify some powder for us.” 

The stuff in the flagon made a loud hissing sound as it bubbled, and Selissa politely took a step back. 

“What powder?” Ebeus said distractedly, grabbing something from the vast pile of rubbish on the table and adding it to the flagon. 

“This powder,” Selissa said. She put the pouch down on the table, then hastily retreated as the mixture in the flagon released a puff of steam. 

“We think it’s some kind of explosive chemical,” Orrell said, watching the alchemist dispassionately. “How long do you need to figure it out?” 

Ebeus opened the pouch and held it up to his good eye for inspection. 

“Three days,” he said brusquely, then went back to his potion. 

Orrell bristled. “Three days? Half the city might be blown to pieces by that time! Can’t you do it faster?”

Ebeus glared at him as only a man with one eye can glare. “When I say three days, I mean three days, ya pansy! Ya just earned yourself the honor of paying an extra fee.” 

Selissa grabbed Orrell’s arm before the captain could strangle the smaller man. 

“It’s fine,” she said. “We’ll just have to make do.”  

Orrell clearly wasn’t happy about it, but he let the matter drop, even though he continued to glare at Ebeus as if he wanted to give him a good kick. 

“Anything you can tell us about the substance without testing it?” he asked through gritted teeth. 

“Smells explosive,” the alchemist said simply, not looking up from his work. 

“We already told you it’s an explosive!” Orrell said, clearly about to lose his temper again.  

“Good for ya!” Ebeus said sarcastically. “Since yar so smart, there’s no reason to stick around, is there?” 

He began hustling them toward the door with surprising ferocity, ignoring Orrell’s spluttered protests. Opening the screeching door, Ebeus quite literally kicked them out of the shop. 

“But—” Orrell started.

Ebeus wasn’t listening. “See ya in three days, ya bastards!” he said and slammed the door in their faces. 

Selissa blinked at the closed door, before turning to Orrell. 

“I sort of like him.”