(We’re all going to pretend I posted this yesterday like I was supposed to.)
This Month in Publishing
Angelborn is now available! Yay! It’s only $.99 for launch! Read more about it here.
This Month in Writing
Earthsinger book 2 is currently with my editor, praise gawd! The cover designer will be getting started in May, so expect a shiny cover reveal this summer! I still have at least 2 revisions left on the story, but it’s getting there. (Sidebar: At one point I had one of those progress meters on the site showing how close my works in progress were to completion. But that doesn’t really jive with my process which includes heavy revisions after an incoherent first draft and a semi-coherent second draft. I admire authors whose books come nearly perfectly formed the first or second time around, but mine seem to require major reconstructive surgery at least once before being ready for the world.)
This Month in Winning
Song of Blood & Stone won the IndieReCon Best Cover Award!
(The image links on that page have been broken since it launched, but I’m hoping one day to be able to see the actual covers.) Once again, James at Bookfly Design gets mad props. I’m super excited about diving into the cover for book 2!
This Month in Awesome
I was included in an article on Fantasy Romance in the USA Today Happily Ever After blog along with Grace Draven (*swoon*), C.L. Wilson, Amy Raby and more! It was amazing to be alongside such fantastic authors and I thank author Veronica Scott for the opportunity.
This Month in Watching
It was all about Daredevil on Netflix, y’all! I’ve been a fan of Charlie Cox since Stardust and the show was great. Extremely and grotesquely violent in the way I don’t like (I’m more a fan of the over the top, unrealistic violence of say The Expendables, rather than the gritty version on display here), but I enjoyed the show. The characters annoyed the snot out of me, but no spoilers. Hit me up if you want to hear my rant.
This Month in Reading
I took a break from the metric crap-ton of New Adult books I’ve been binging and finally checked out something that had been on my Netgalley shelf for months. I’m not often up for urban fantasy (I want my HEAs darn it!) but I really enjoyed Nicole Peeler’s Jinn and Juice. I have a jinni story percolating in the Angelborn universe (which btw is part of the Earthsinger multiverse, but that’s a story for another day) so I’m always on the lookout for another one.
This Month in Fur
|Sterlyng remains the boss and life is good as he chills on my backpack.||#TBT of Sabyl from a few years ago. Her multicolored eyes look super freaky here.|
So that was my month. I also had a birthday, ended my gym vacation (sort of) and totally forgot about Earth Day!
How was your April? Let me know in the comments!
This is how my cat sees himself in his head. I’m sure of it.
This Month in Writing
Angelborn hit the copyeditor’s desk and should be ready for an April release. Those on my mailing list got to see the early cover reveal! Want to read it for free when it comes out? Join the list today!
Earthsinger Book 2 goes to the editor in April—I’m sure she will tear it apart so I can put it back together all shiny and coherent and such. I received some excellent feedback on what may or may not be the opening chapter at the Hurston Wright workshop.
Also, Ines Johnson and I are posting a semi-secret draft of a paranormal romance on Wattpad. Shhh!
This Month in Reading
Ever since I read Grace Draven’s Master of Crows in a fantasy romance box set last year, Draven has steadily risen up my favorite authors list. I finally sat down to read her newest novel, Radiance, after seeing hype about it all over the place. I generally discount hype, some of the worst books are hyped to death, but I’ve experienced Draven’s prowess and I wasn’t disappointed this time. Radiance ticks all the boxes for both fantasy and romance. Definitely recommended!
This Month in Watching
I’ve been feeling nostalgic and discovered that all eight season of Diff’rent Strokes are on Comcast’s On Demand. I had no idea there were eight seasons! But now I feel compelled to watch them all and reminisce about my childhood as a young black boy from Harlem adopted by a kindly Park Avenue tycoon and his possibly drug-addled maid. That was my childhood right? They solved racism in each and every episode! How could we forget these important lessons?
Also, I started watching Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt on Netflix. Hilarity ensued.
This Month in Fur
Sterlyng freaked the hell out. Seriously. I’ve never heard him make these sounds before.
And Sabyl continued her artistic endeavors by rearranging the furniture so it was more to her liking.
Have you been paying attention to the evolution of the Cinderella story? If you’ve watched the Disney blockbuster, Frozen, then you have. Young girls and women are no longer waiting around for a man to come by on his horse, sweep them off their feet, and give them shoes.
Okay, I doubt any of us would turn down the shoes!
My point is that women are now taking the reins of their own stories and rejecting the Cinderella trope of changing themselves into someone new. In many, dare I say most, of these stories the prince doesn’t pay attention to the Cinderella character in her ordinary world of working 9-5pm with grime under her nails and threadbare clothes. He doesn’t look her way until she gets magicked into expertly applied makeup, a binding, shape-shifting corset, and brand new shoes.
My first notice of this was in the film Working Girl. This 80’s retelling of the Cinderella story featured a bright secretary who had dreams of entering the boardroom with a briefcase instead of coffee. When her wicked boss steals her idea, the secretary seizes an opportunity to steal into a high profile business meeting by pretending that she’s her boss, while also wearing her boss’s dress and shoes. Melanie Griffith, as the secretary, uses Harrison Ford’s charming character to get her into the board room’s door. When the business deal goes south, Griffith doesn’t wait for the knight in a business suite to rescue her. Instead, she shows off her ‘head for business and bod for sin’ in order to win a business deal, thwart her boss, and get her man.
A decade later Drew Barrymore retold the Cinderella story in Ever After. In a pivotal scene when Barrymore’s character, Danielle, has been taken prisoner by the evil Pierre Le Pieu, the audience holds their breath as the prince leaps onto his horse and heads off to rescue her. But Danielle picks up not one, but two swords, and swashbuckles her way to an escape. As she’s walking out of the castle a free woman, the prince arrives moments too late with her shoe in hand.
Nearly another decade later came another retelling with Penelope. Penelope is an heiress born under a curse that can only be broken in the face of true love. The problem? Penelope’s face doesn’t inspire sonnets and poems as much as it does a hankering for breakfast meats. Penelope’s snout nose has caused her to be rejected her whole life, including rejection from her own mother. When she finally finds a man willing to tolerate her looks and break the curse, she comes to the realization that she likes herself just the way she is. And just like that, the curse is broken and Penelope’s outside matches her glowing inside.
In today’s stories, women don’t wait around for men on horses. They take the reins, defend themselves, and declare love to their own reflections. They’re now even qualified to deliver true love’s kiss to their own sisters as we saw in the blockbuster Frozen.
In my fairytale retelling, Pumpkin: a Cindermama story, my heroine has given up on fairytale love. Single mother Malika “Pumpkin” Tavares lost faith in fairytales after she fell for a toad. Town royalty Armand “Manny” Charmayne has been searching for his soulmate all his life, whom he’ll recognize at first sight by a golden aura, that only he can see, surrounding her person. Manny doesn’t see gold when he meets Pumpkin, but the more he gets to know her the more he considers defying fate, if only he can convince her to take a chance on love again.
Single mother Malika “Pumpkin” Tavares lost faith in fairytales after she fell for a toad. Now she believes she’s not cut from the storybook, heroine cloth and searches for Mr. Good Enough amongst the sidekicks and supporting men of the town.
Love at first sight isn’t a cliche for town royalty Armand “Manny” Charmayne. For generations the Charmaynes have spotted their soulmates by seeing a golden aura the first time they laid eyes on The One.
When Manny meets Pumpkin he sees…nothing, but sparks fly off the richter scale. The more he gets to know her the more he considers defying fate, if only he can convince her to take a chance on love again.
Ines writes books for strong women who suck at love. If you rocked out to the twisted triangle of Jem, Jericha, and Rio as a girl; if you were slayed by vampires with souls alongside Buffy; if you need your scandalous fix from Olivia Pope each week, then you’ll love her books!
Aside from being a writer, professional reader, and teacher, Ines is a very bad Buddhist. She sits in sangha each week, and while others are meditating and getting their zen on, she’s contemplating how to use the teachings to strengthen her plots and character motivations.
Ines lives outside Washington, DC with her two little sidekicks who are growing up way too fast.