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Portals by Ann Christy – It’s Coming…

Before you grab a ruler and start whacking me about the head and shoulders; yes, I’m still working on Strikers: Outlands and the PePr novellas! The Strikers books are the most complex I’ve ever written, so they take time. The next PePr novellas (and one book) are also more complicated and have to sit in the back while I get stuff done.

Caveats over. You forgive me?

You might once you see this! Feast thine eyes on this cover of magnificence! (You can click to embiggen.)

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What is this? What is this dark magic? ::squee::

Portals is book one of a whole new series. You might have figured out from the cover that it’s space related and involves an invasion…and you’d be right. But like every single book I’ve written, nothing is what it seems. Nothing.

Portals – Portal Invasion Book One

Meet Lysa. She’s seventeen, a bit of a renegade, a budding artist, and currently…handcuffed to her mother. It’s not ideal.

But then again, nothing has been ideal since the Portal Invasion began four months ago. Every thirteen minutes, portals open up at random places all over the globe. From each portal an exact duplicate of a person emerges…and then that duplicate tosses the original person through the portal.

Everything about them is perfect, right down to their DNA and the clothes that they’re wearing. Every memory is intact. They are the original in all ways. Except, of course, they aren’t. No one knows why this is happening or who is doing it. All anyone knows is that if you kill the duplicate before it gets close enough to you, then you’re safe. Or you can toss in someone else before proximity to the duplicate makes you freeze. It’s not been good for relationships on Earth, this portal tossing.

Every thirteen minutes Lysa and her mom are ready. Every thirteen minutes they breathe a sigh of relief. Every thirteen minutes they begin to dread the next thirteen. Eventually, that thirteen minutes ends for one of them. That’s when life gets really interesting.

The Details

Does that sound interesting to you? Exciting? Full of danger and thrills and alien encounters? Yeah, I got that in there for you. I love the way the ending is shaping up. I think some of you will cry, which would be good.

When is this volume of deliciousness coming out? Well, assuming I get my butt in gear and sign the contract, (I’m writing! Give me a break!), then it will come out next year in a ginormous collection of new books from about 20 authors. That’s right…it will be the box set to end all box sets.

There will be no re-hashed first in series that are already free. There will be no duplicates, no short stories. It will all new books from some pretty amazing authors (plus me). I can’t give you the line-up for sure yet (though I know most) because until the contracts are signed (including mine) no one is official.

So what’s the deal with this? Well, the entire collection will be up for pre-order and for some of that time it will be $0.99. Yeah, I know, that’s insanity with a capital I, but hey, this is for a letters run (meaning we’re trying to hit one of the lists like USA Today). It will be up only for a short time live, so I’ll be sure and let everyone know when that 0.99 price hits so you can get it at that price.

After the letters run, the collection will be retired and all the authors will publish them on their own as regular books…at regular prices. So yeah, it will be the collection to end all. I’m really excited about it, and not just because of the letters run. I’m excited because it’s a new adventure and I really like this book. (Also, secretly between us, I read the first two chapters of Logan Snyder’s book for this, and I was making frantic grabby hand motions. I freaking loved it. Super saucy and I have a crush on one of the main characters that is almost unseemly.)

New Covers for Between Life and Death!

I’m a terrible updater, but here I am, updating you. First off, let me say that I loved my former covers for the Between Life and Death series. I actually made very sure that I had paperback copies of the series for my own collection before I changed a thing.

That said, they didn’t resonate with the correct market for some reason. Either because they had an Urban Fantasy vibe or because of something else I can’t figure out, the books weren’t doing what I thought they should. Of course, who is really objective about their own writing? They may just not be great books!

To try to reach the correct market and better reflect the series, the same cover artist that did the former covers embarked on a re-branding of the series with me. I have new covers for all the current books in the series plus one for Savannah Slays, which is intended for a 2017 release. That one tells the story of Savannah and Charlie from the beginning. As character favorites in the series, they deserved their own book. (And by the way, Savannah is a piece of work!)

So, here they are in all their glory! I think they capture the post-apocalyptic nature of the series well. What do you think? And yes, the first book is still free for right now, but it’s possible that I’ll be shifting it away from that in the near future. It’s undecided at this time and will greatly depend on performance. (Click image to embiggen!)

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Book Charms Supply List

Random shipment from Amazon of Crafty Author supplies.Each post on making the Book Charms will have a supply list for that portion, but for those who are like me – impatient – this post will have all the supplies that you need on it. I’ve divided it into Must Have and Better to Have.

I’m trying to source products that can be gotten online because local prices differ so much and not everyone lives in an area with lots of craft stores. Either way, I caveat all prices with the advice to check your local area in case you can find it cheaper.

Disclaimer: I use the Amazon affiliate widget, which does give me a few cents per item you order on it, but that mostly just buys me a Starbucks Mocha once a month and isn’t some huge money-maker. I’m not pointing you there for profit. I only point to Amazon if I get it there because it’s the best price (or combo of price/quality) that I can find. I get no affliliate money from any other vendor. They are on here because I use them.

Everything with a * at the end of the description can be used for multiple Crafty Author projects.

Must Have:

  • Card stock, 65lb (you can also get it at Michael’s but it is almost always cheaper to get the Neenah on Amazon in page per price)*
  • -Photo Manipulation program (or a friend who can do it for you and send you a .jpg file)*
  • Craft knife*
  • -Straight edge for cutting guide*
  • -Sculpey/Premo polymer clay in white and your chosen book cover colors (samplers work well for this) Check prices! They vary a lot. Hint: Use Sculpey Premo for the white, because the color is far brighter and use the cheaper Sculpey III for colors, because you’ll be mixing your own color if you like.
  • -Findings (eyepins or headpins depending on what you’re going to do with the charms). See advice on buying below.
  • Ranger Inkssentials: (for use as glue and for the edges to make them hard) You might find this at Michael’s locally, and if you have a coupon, that might make it cheaper than Amazon.*
  • DuraClear Gloss Varnish Sometimes you can get this at a local craft shop. For me it’s hit or miss, but currently it’s only $6.99 at Michael’s and it’s $12.34 at Amazon, so I’ve only bought it twice from Zon when I couldn’t get it at my local Michael’s. Plus…Michael’s coupons!*
  • -A small flat edged paintbrush. A craft one is fine so long as the bristles are fine.*
  • -Cookie sheets
  • -Parchment paper for the cookie sheets

 Better to Have: All of the above, plus:

  • -A good steel ruler.*
  • -Precision cutting pen for trimming books (along with craft knife above)*
  • Self-healing mat*
  • Magnifier LED lamp (life-saver, but don’t go high dollar)*
  • Plastic cutting board only for polymer clay and other crafty author stuff. (You’ll see why in that post. This was a huge #LFMF since I ruined my favorite $50 plastic board. Get one from somewhere that you’ll only use for this type of work. The one linked is a good price.)
  • Small clamps, a lot of them. (I also got some from Fire Mountain Gems here. They appear to be the same clips, though the ones from Fire Mountain seemed to be better quality, like maybe this bulk buy from Amazon was for “second” quality of the same product, maybe. All things considered, they are about the same price per unit.)
  • Small pieces of marble or other stone. This is for use during the glazing process. Super useful and they are cheap enough to toss into the bottom of a flower pot for drainage if you mess some up. Be sure to get some that are at least 17mm on one side by no less than 10mm on the other. That way the book charms will be stable while drying. Don’t get them larger than 20mm on the longest side because you’ll run more risk of sticking.
  • -Small plastic cups, like the little ones marketed for use with mouthwash*
  • -A few straight pins with sharp points*
  • -Paint brushes. I prefer Taklon and this set had enough brush sizes that I had enough for other Crafty Author projects. That said, you can find a smaller pack of them at Michael’s for less. No doubt! But it needs to have a smaller flat-edged brush in the kit.*
  • -Wax paper (#LFMF. Put this on your counter so you don’t spend an hour cursing that you can’t get the lacquer off your counter surface)*

Which Eyepins and Headpins?

Or, in other words: “Good gory look at how many there are! Help me!”

This is an entire subject on its own, so here’s the quick and dirty. You’ll need different ones depending on what you want to do with your book charms after you’re done. You can get them at Michael’s but do yourself a huge favor and don’t. I have a gallon-sized ziploc bag full of boxes and bags of pins that are utterly useless at this point. For price and quality, just go to Fire Mountain Gems and get the correct ones right way to save yourself from Big Box of Fail contents.

Materials: They come in Sterling Silver, Sterling Silver Filled and Silver Plated Brass (as well as a few others, but stick with those for now). For special things you make for yourself or for huge, grand prizes, you can get the Sterling ones. Note the price difference, you can get a hundred silver plated ones for less than the price of twenty sterling ones of a thinner gauge. For almost everything else, get the silver plated brass.

  • -For Bookmarks and Necklace Loops – Get these 21 gauge, 2 inch headpins in Silver Plated Brass. (For sterling special items, get these)
  • -For bracelets like the one in my picture – Get these 21 gauge, 1.5 inch eyepins in Silver Plated Brass. (For sterling special items, get these)

You’ll most likely go back and buy other things once you’re done with the book charms and are ready to assemble. That will include jumprings, crimps, clasps, beads, hemp, cord ends, and bookmarks, but for now, just those two things are needed.

And below is your Amazon list if you need it.

 

It’s Alive! The In-Betweener is on Amazon.

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I’m as excited as a kid on Christmas! Seriously.

Releasing a new book is hair-raising for sure, but I really like this book (all three in the series actually) and so far, the wonderful beta readers and ARC readers like it, too. That’s good news!

This morning I logged onto Amazon and uploaded a new file because…oh, yes…there was a random + sign in the text of the file that was up for pre-order. LOL…it doesn’t matter how many editors or proof-readers an author has, there will always be something.

But while I was doing that (and  muttering at the computer because of the + sign) I realized there were already reviews…and they were great ones. And then I did the happy dance around my living room. Charlie (the half basset/half beagle old man doggy of the house) actually woke up from his post-breakfast coma and made a rude noise at me. So, I stopped dancing and decided to post instead. So, this is my web-based happy dance. 🙂

Have a great Saturday everyone and happy reading!

The In-Betweener is on Goodreads

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At last, The In-Betweener finally has a page at Goodreads! It’s here.

Since the print edition isn’t yet ready, that only goes to the Kindle edition, but that means you can add it to your shelf, review it and all the other Goodreads type stuff.

Yippee! Just a few more days of pre-order and then it will be live. So far, the Advanced Review Copy readers are saying good things, so I’m very encouraged. I sure hope people will like it.

 

ARC List for The In-Betweener is Open!

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Yes, it’s that time already! Advanced Review Copies!

The In-Betweener is at the editor and I’m looking to publish in January…probably late in the month…so I’m opening the list for ARC readers.

Expect to see the book two weeks before publication and I’ll email everyone when the review capability is up, so you won’t have to stalk it.

This book isn’t huge, so you should have plenty of time to read.

Beta Readers loved it and after the editing is done, I think it’s something that I’ll be proud to put out there. (But that won’t stop me from muttering in a corner, convinced I’ll be slaughtered on reviews!)

As always, the deal with Advanced Review Copies is that I’ll send you the book (Kindle or Nook/Kobo) before it’s published and you put up a review for it on Amazon (and Goodreads if you’re feeling generous!) on release day or whenever the review capability is up.

If you want to get on the list, email me at ann.christyauthor (at)gmail (dot)com or by homing pigeon, courier or even smoke signals if you’re close enough.

If you’re curious about what it’s about, see my previous post. It’s a zombie book, but not like any other one you’ve read. I’m light on the head-bashing (though it is in there) and it is suitable for ages 14 and up in terms of language.

First Draft of “Life/Time in the New World” complete!

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I love it when I get a first draft of anything done! Seriously, it’s like a big weight gets lifted from my chest. The fear of non-completion is still big with me. Probably because I’m still fairly new at this whole writing thing. It seems a terrible waste to abandon anything I’ve worked on.

Then again, it happens all the time. Writers get an idea but have no way to know how it will work until they begin the process of writing. Not all of them will work.

I think of it like the stock market. You can’t pick a winner every time.

But, here I am to tell you that I’ve finished the first draft of a new story called Life/Time in the New World. It’s sitting pretty at just shy of 14,000 words. So, that makes it another novella vice a short story. That’s okay, though. If you want to see the initial chapter (which has since been edited and added to) you can here.

What am I doing with this one? Well, Yankari–as much as I love that novella–isn’t doing so well in the sales department, so I doubt I’ll publish this one in the same way. Instead, I’ll collect it with a few others (published and unpublished) and put them in a volume. I was thinking, ‘Hey…people don’t want to pay for a story they read in another book, so I’ll publish them on their own so people can pick and choose. That’s cheaper!’

As a total newbie, I still don’t understand all the ins and outs of this publishing thing, but it made sense. It didn’t work. So, into a book they go! Not Yankari, though. It’s already out there on its own so it will stay there with that gorgeous cover. So far, almost everyone wants the Yankari world (Talking Earth) to become a new series…maybe it will! Best to leave it out there in case that happens.

A few people saw my post last night and already raised their hands to be beta readers…got to see if the story sucks! I should be ready to send it out for betas in a couple of weeks. The James River Writer’s Conference is next week so I’ll be out of pocket and not doing any writing for four days.

And yes, I’m still working on Silo 49: Roughneck. ::big smile::

Yankari – What’s this now? Thoughts?

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Yankari has been out for almost a week and has great reviews, so thank you to those who took the time to write one! I appreciate it hugely.

Now, I wonder, what’s up in the future for the Talking Earth universe.

Originally, I wrote Yankari as a simple short story for an anthology for charity. It’s going into that, for sure, but it’s really way too long to be a short story. In terms of strict word count, it’s a novella or novelette.

That aside, it was meant to be a stand-alone. No follow ups, no new series, nothing like that.

But so far, almost everyone has either commented in their review – or flat out written and told me via email – that they either want or expect this to be a series. That sort of took me aback, because I have other stuff planned for the next year and hadn’t considered it at all.

But then I started thinking about it a little. What might this world encompass? What might be the story arc or arcs? How might the Talking Earth world unfold?

It didn’t take long to realize there is some delicious stuff I could do. Fascinating, different and most importantly, fun to write.

So, will I?

I’m not sure. Right now I’m on the fence and I think the thing that will decide it is performance. If Yankari performs well (better than it has so far!) and keeps getting good reviews, then I’ll probably do it and shuffle some other projects (ones not far progressed on or still on the drawing board) to the back in order to do so. We’ll just have to see.

The good thing is that books don’t have expiration dates. If I have to wait a year to do it, so be it. If I decide to do it for this November’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), then I can do that instead.

Now for the question! While I’m over here thinking up this new world and all the things that might happen in it, I got curious about something. What do you want to see happen in this new world? What did you imagine for it?

And finally, I’m going to leave it at $0.99 for a bit longer. I usually only do that the first week, but I’m not urgent about changing it at the moment. I love 0.99 novellas so I figure others probably do, too.

 

Two days till Yankari & ARC readers can review!

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Just one day (plus 4 hours, but I’m not counting) are left until Yankari (in ebook format) is out! 

Because the paperback is available and is live, reviews can be left for it now. All those who have ARCs can go ahead and leave them on Amazon using the paperback link here.

Goodreads also has Yankari listed here.

I’ll be sending out an email to all the ARC readers, but thought I would post it as well.

It will be priced at $0.99 until about a week after release so that regular readers can get it a little cheaper. I’m also putting it in Select, so that Kindle Unlimited users can get it under their plan for nada. So, if you’re in KU, wait until release so you can get it for free.

I’m super excited about this one. I sure do hope everyone likes it.

Like my cute image for PePr, Inc?

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I posted this on Facebook but forgot to post it here! My story, PePr, Inc., is in The Robot Chronicles. I got some really nice emails about the story and heard about a cool site to make quickie covers and images right about the same time.

So…voila…here is my ten minute “cover” for PePr, Inc. Of course, it is in another book with an awesome cover and doesn’t need one, but I like it anyway.

And, because I’m thinking of PePr, I’ll add that I’m putting together a collection of my anthology stories and some new ones. I’m not at all sure when it will come out. And it won’t have this cover. 🙂

Work In Progress

Savannah Slays (working title)

5000/ 100000 words. 5% done!

Portals - Portal Invasion #1

78000/ 78000 words. First Draft Done!

Mercy - PePr Inc novella

3000/ 20000 words. 15% done!

The Ways We End

66000/ 66000 words. 100% Done! Publishing Dec 8th! (Dark Collections 2, "And Then Begin Again" goes live on the Dec 8th too!

Strikers: Outlands

40000/ 10000 words. 40% Done!

Good News Gone Bad #1
Series of Shorts

4000 / 20000 words. Back Burner for now.

Lulu 394

60020 / 80000 words. 75% done! Back Burner for now!

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Books by Ann Christy