Monthly Roundup: June

Last month was so intensely busy that all I want is a nap. That lasts a week.

I turned in my draft of Cell Story/Ceiling Water, got a real title for it, and immediately left my house to go on tour for MY LADY JANE, which came out June 7! The three of us — Brodi, Cynthia, and me — went to six cities over ten days, traveling first to Salt Lake City the day before the book came out so that we could yay at one another as soon as the book was officially released at midnight. We celebrated the Eastern Time zone release, though, because we were all too tired to wait for Mountain Time midnight.

We visited the amazing King’s English in SLC, then Kepler’s in the Bay Area, then B&N Idaho Falls, then Anderson’s in Naperville, B&N Skokie, then we had a day with no events just an airplane, and then we visited Blue Willow in Houston, and then we went to Books of Wonder in NYC. (You can order signed copies of MLJ from most of those stores. I recommend doing it before they run out.) Then we had a day of yarn and chocolate (and visiting with various editors and my agent). Then my flight home was canceled (a direct flight to Charlottesville was really too much to ask for), so I waited another night and then made it home.

That was the first half of June. Then I read some (yay!), and started working . . .

What I’ve been working on: Cell Story 2 aka Cellar Story aka Ceiling Water 2 aka This Book Is Harder Than I’d Anticipated.

Mostly, I’ve been trying to take it easy after such a busy few weeks, so I haven’t put much pressure on myself to make wordcount. I’m more interested in finding the right way into this story than getting a bunch of it on paper. And for a long time, I had an idea of where the story would begin, so I didn’t really worry about it . . . until I got to the beginning and I realized there was basically no tension. So I backed up, but there was still no tension — just talking — and then I backed up again, but there was still not enough tension. At that point, I was beginning right where the first book ended, which was better. But things needed to be worse, so I made them worse and my characters’ lives are in peril again.

So I’m happy.

What I’ve been reading: I actually did get some reading done this month, mostly because I refused to do anything when I finally got home.

  • REBEL by Amy Tintera – The second (and final!) book in the REBOOT series.
  • OF FIRE AND STARS by Audrey Coulthurst (ARC) – A princess travels to another kingdom to spend some time with her fiancee before the wedding . . .  and falls in love with his sister instead! I loved the inherit drama of that premise, but I was so pleased to find I loved the book as well. Great characters, interesting worldbuilding, and delightful prose. Releases November 22.
  • FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP by Sarah Glenn Marsh (ARC) – A body washes up on the Isle of Man in 1913, beginning a wonderful, dreamlike story of mythical water creatures and murder. Releases October 4.
  • POISON’S KISS by Breena Shields (ARC) – A reluctant assassin who kills with a kiss? Very, very cool. Releases January 10, 2017
  • BAD BLOOD by Demitria Lunetta (ARC) – I loved Demitria’s IN THE AFTER, so I was eager to read this book as well. It really showed another side of her writing; my favorite part, I think, was the wonderful friendships between the characters. Releases March 14, 2017
  • JANE EYRE by Charlotte Bronte – I didn’t read a lot of classics as a teen, so I’m slooowly catching up now.
  • THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES by Mindy McGinnis (ARC) – I would not normally have picked up this book, but it had Mindy’s name on it, and I will read anything she writes. This book, to say the least, is incredible. Dark, tense, and emotionally charged. Releases September 20.

What I’ve been watching: Hubs and I watched season 3 of AGENTS OF SHIELD. I’m so invested in Fitzsimmons. We also watched BITTEN, a TV adaption of the Kelly Armstrong Otherworld novels. And now we’re finishing up a show called SCREAM, loosely based on the movie. He swore it wouldn’t scare me, but bad guys using phones and computers to stalk people? AHHH!!! Absolutely terrifying to me because it’s to possible. *shudders*

What I’ve been yarning: Oh gosh. I’ve actually been knitting a lot, but I guess I wasn’t good at taking pictures. I knit a pair of orange socks for Hubs, because I’ve been threatening him with them for four years. Time to make good on that. I spent a lot of airplane time working on those.

And then I started sparkle socks, which are finished now, but I haven’t taken a picture of the final things.

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And then I knit a pair of mitts for a friend, but again . . .

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What Katniss has been up to: Sleeping a lot. She was very happy to see me when I got home, and we’ve been having lots of shoulder rides around the house, shake-the-blanket fun, and the game where I’m the stompy monster and she’s the adorable ferret.

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What the Kippy has been up to: She was Not Pleased that I went away again, but she’s forgiven me now. I can’t really sit down without a Kippy escort.

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Other things you might be interested in: MY LADY JANE was a #1 historical romance release on Amazon!

And THE ORPHAN QUEEN hardcover has had a third printing! (I didn’t even know there had been a second.) And the paperback, which just released in April, has already been in a second printing! You guys are really doing a great job of giving Orphan Queens good homes.

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And in more amazing OQ news, YOU CAN NOW BUY OQ AT YOUR AIRPORT. Stacey Lee (go get Under a Painted Sky and Outrun the Moon right now) said something first — she’d seen it at SFO (where I’d just been but hadn’t even known to look for OQ — and so I looked at LGA when I was there. Tada! Cynthia saw it at JFK, and my former editor Laurel saw it in ORD! So it seems like this is a real thing, not just some fluke.

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The Janies adopted unicorns! Here’s Double Point Janiecorn at the Flatiron.

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And that’s it. I guess I’ll get back to work on my book. No avoiding it now.