The Other Side of the Fairy Tale…

This is a bit of a different post than what I usually do, but hopefully it will be useful. In the cover lover post below this one, I put up the cover for the next Jean Johnson book, Dawn of the Flame Seas. In the comments section, Stephanie copied a post that had been upped to Jean Johnson’s Facebook page about her writing status, and asked if I would do up a post…

I am going to lose my house.

For some reason, my taxes are almost 50% higher than my roommates’ combined income, when my income is at most 75% of what their total is. Unless there was some mistake in all the accounting, I owe an additional 6.5k from what I’ve already paid in quarterlies. That completely wipes out my cushion. That wipes out most of my grocery bills. That wipes out ANY funds for an emergency. That wipes out GOING to a doctor even for a standard health checkup because I can no longer afford the copay.

I am going to lose my house.

At this point, I WANT to say, “Please go support my Patreon, please!” But there are only 14 people doing that…and I can’t even get feedback from them on whose biography to post next. I thank them all for the patronage, but I don’t know what to do to get anyone to notice me.

I am going to lose my house.

Maybe, MAYBE I can get money out of my parents. But the greatest likelihood is that I am going to lose my house. That is all I can see right now. My house. My independence. I worked for YEARS to get my writing up to a skill level that could be deemed worthy of publication, struggled hard to gain my independence…and I am going to lose my house.

Pieces of shhh writing are making millions out there. I can’t even get anyone to make me a Wikipedia page. Not that it would cure my finances, but at least it would prove that I exist. I’ve asked. Nobody has done anything.

I am crying, I am sick to my stomach, and I will owe an additional 3.4k in health insurance money this year that I don’t have. Because somehow I’m just not good enough. My writing isn’t good enough.

I am going to lose my house.

I am going to run out of time to write in even a semi-timely manner all the contracts I was too ill to fulfill, because I will have to try to get a job, and I am going to lose my house. The roof over my head. The roof I still owe money to my parents for. And I have been out of the employment sector for DECADES, which means my prospects of getting a job above the shit that is minimum wage are virtually nil…and minimum wage won’t pay the bills.

(Don’t point to the “living wage” increase everyone talks about in reference to my home state; that was for specific service jobs in the Seattle/Seatac area, and that’s entirely the wrong side of Seattle from me by an hour’s drive…and I cannot afford the bus fare, never mind the gasoline.)

I am going to lose my house.

Unless a miracle happens, my roommates (who have been slammed by financial problems of their own) won’t be able to stay here for relatively cheap rent. I can’t charge them anything more because they cannot afford it.

They are going to lose my house.

I have enough money right now to make house payments to June. IF no expenses crop up. Unless a frikkin miracle happens with my April royalty cheque, I probably won’t I’ll make it to the end of the year, because the only thing between me and bankruptcy is the October cheque, and the only way that could possibly overcome everything falling down around me is if my writing DOES go viral between now and JUNE, because the pay-period ends June 30th for the October royalties…and I write better–I KNOW I WRITE BETTER–than those pieces of shhh out there that have movie deals. And I. Am Going. To Lose. My House.

I am going to lose my beautiful home, my independence, my everything. My dreams of making a living as a writer are gone.

Now, so I don’t come off as a complete hypocrite, I have to mention as I have before that I am not personally a huge fan of Jean Johnson’s writing. Nothing bad about it, but her style just doesn’t work for me (same as Pamela Palmer and Alexandra Adornetto, among others), so I am not out trying to drum up business for a favorite author. I guess I just found it…sad. I don’t claim to understand the ins and outs of the publishing world, but I figured that a quite recognizable name author would not have those kinds of difficulties (but hey, I have totally supported myself working as a waitress for over 20 years and have always rented the homes I live in, plus I am debt-free, so what do I know?).

On a side note, I don’t know if loss of income from book piracy is a factor (and book piracy really, really bugs me), but I saw a post by another author breaking down just how much income they lost due to illegally downloaded books and it was staggering. Literally thousands of dollars. I get sent questions here on my blog sometimes about where someone could find a free copy of whatever book they are asking about to download, and I don’t answer them at all. But what I do know is that the more piracy there is, the less authors make, and the less they make the harder it is for them to put out the books I love. A lose-lose situation.

Jean Johnson has started a gofundme campaign to try and raise enough money to pay off her mortgage (aaand yes, I had no clue that was even a thing). She goes into a bit more detail about her goals and what got her to the point she is at there, and if you are interested you can read more HERE.

*LATE EDITION

I went back and tracked down the post I mentioned above that broke down exactly what piracy cost a writer. The author in question was Jennifer L. Armentrout, and the post can be found HERE. To break it down quickly, she listed off a few of her titles she had found available for illegal download, plus the number of times they had been downloaded, and what she would’ve made had they been bought through proper channels…

Disclaimer: The time frame is from when the link has been available on various sites and from systems that monitor the books.

Daimon: 395 (DUDE, THIS BOOK IS FREE. LE SIGH)
Half-Blood ($3.99)  1, 109  downloads. What would I have made off that? $1327
Pure ($5.99) 1,585 downloads. What would I have made off that?  $2848
Obsidian ($5.99) 2,267 downloads. What would I have made off it? $5431
Tempting the Best Man ($2.99) 978 downloads. What would I have made off it?  $1169

I didn’t look at Shadows, because at that point I wanted to punch someone.
So the grand total there is $10, 775.
So let’s say only 25% of them were actual sale since 75% doesn’t buy anyway.
That’s $2693 dollars. Hey, that’s not pocket change.

Also keep in mind, agents are paid out of that. And this was just what I could find today. This does not include the hundreds of times the books have been taken down (download counters restart each time its removed).

Cover Lover – 6 New Titles

Just a quick cover post for today. Let’s start with Devoted in Death, the 41st book of the In Death series by J.D. Robb, which is due out on September 8th.

devoted in deathWhen Lieutenant Eve Dallas examines a body in a downtown Manhattan alleyway, the victim’s injuries are so extensive that she almost misses the clue. Carved into the skin is the shape of a heart—and initials inside reading E and D . . .

Ella-Loo and her boyfriend, Darryl, had been separated while Darryl was a guest of the state of Oklahoma, and now that his sentence has been served they don’t ever intend to part again. Ella-Loo’s got dreams. And Darryl believes there are better ways to achieve your dreams than working for them. So they hit the road, and when their car breaks down in Arkansas, they make plans to take someone else’s. Then things get messy and they wind up killing someone—an experience that stokes a fierce, wild desire in Ella-Loo. A desire for Darryl. And a desire to kill again.

As they cross state lines on their way to New York to find the life they think they deserve, they will leave a trail of evil behind them. But now they’ve landed in the jurisdiction of Lieutenant Dallas and her team at the New York Police and Security Department. And with her husband, Roarke, at her side, she has every intention of hunting them down and giving them what they truly deserve . . .

Purchase at Amazon.com

This next one is Mind Magic by Eileen Wilks. It is the 12th book in the World of the Lupi series, and it is due out on November 3rd.

mind magicThanks to the mindspeech lessons she’s receiving from the black dragon, Lily is temporarily benched from Unit Twelve—until her brain acclimates and the risk of total burnout passes. At least she has her new husband, lupi Rule Turner, to keep her occupied.

But when her mentor calls in a favor and sends Lily to a murder scene, she’s suddenly back on active status—despite the hallucinations she can’t keep at bay. With one touch, Lily knows the man was killed by magic, but her senses don’t warn her how far the conspiracy goes…

A shadowy force within the government wants to take Unit Twelve down, and they don’t mind killing to achieve their goal. With none of her usual resources, Lily is up against impossible odds–because with her mind in disarray, she can’t trust anything she sees.

Purchase at Amazon.com

I was wondering when we were going to get some info for Dawn of the Flame Seas, which is the first book in the new e-format series from Jean Johnson. It will be released on June 16th.

Dawnofthe_FlameSea.inddThey call themselves the Fae Rii, or Fair Traders. Elfin-like beings capable of wielding sophisticated forms of magic, they travel between universes exploring new worlds and establishing settlements for their people to live peacefully among the locals.

The humans of the White Sands tribe, refugees fleeing from powerful enemies, see the Fae as potential invaders stealing their newfound natural resources. Jintaya, the leader of the Fae travelers, manages to forge an alliance, promising to trade skills and knowledge—magical and otherwise—to build a lasting community.

But the Circle Fire Tribe has no desire to share those rich valleys and ravines with the people they’ve hunted to near extinction—or the supposed deities they worship…

Purchase at Amazon.com

Number four is Chapelwood, the second book in The Borden Dispatches from Cherie Priest, which is due for release on September 1st.

chapelwoodBirmingham, Alabama is infested with malevolence. Prejudice and hatred have consumed the minds and hearts of its populace. A murderer, unimaginatively named “Harry the Hacker” by the press, has been carving up citizens with a hatchet. And from the church known as Chapelwood, an unholy gospel is being spread by a sect that worships dark gods from beyond the heavens.

This darkness calls to Lizzie Borden. It is reminiscent of an evil she had dared hoped was extinguished. The parishioners of Chapelwood plan to sacrifice a young woman to summon beings never meant to share reality with humanity. An apocalypse will follow in their wake which will scorch the earth of all life.

Unless she stops it…

Purchase at Amazon.com

As I said in a previous post, you can spot a Gail Carriger cover a mile away, and Manners and Mutiny is no exception. It is the fourth book in the Finishing School series, and it is due out on November 3rd.

manners and mutinyAnd wrapping things up for today is Evolution, the third book in the Extraction series by Stephanie Diaz. Look for it on September 8th.

evolutionPurchase at Amazon.com

So, what do you think? Any stand-outs for you? I have never been a Jean Johnson fan, so that is a definite no for me. I one day plan on both the Lupi books and the In Death monster, but both of those will be a ways down the line.

Final Insurgent Trailer…

The final Insurgent trailer came out today, and I find it a bit better than the totally CGI-driven first one. For some reason, as much as I am usually totally excited for adaptation movies, I can’t seem to keep this one in my head. Maybe a re-watch of Divergent will perk me up to get ready for when Insurgent comes out on March 20th.

How much are you looking forward to Insurgent? Do you think the trailer matches up with the feeling of the book?

March’s Book of the Month…

After a decidedly lack-luster February, March is going to be a beast for great new books. The choice this time around is going to be a tough one, for sure.

The title with the most votes will then be the next giveaway book. I have listed 10 upcoming releases, but as always if your choice isn’t there just select “Other” and leave your pick in the comments section. A complete list of March’s releases can be found HERE.

I have to admit, I am going to have to put some thought into this one. I think I can narrow it down to either Dead Heat or Vision in Silver, but it is going to be a toss up.

New Series Alerts…

God, these Mondays seem to roll around more quickly all the time, and for today’s post there are two new series to take a look at. The first is the new one from Jacquelyn Frank, Cursed by Fire. It is the start of her new Immortal Brothers series.

cursed by fireSynopsis…

For centuries, Dethan has suffered eternal punishment in a fiery inferno for defying the gods and snatching the power of immortality. Condemned to have his battle-hardened body licked by flames only to regenerate and be consumed all over again, Dethan has lost all hope—until the Goddess of Conflict appears. She will release him from torment—if he’ll use his power and strength as a warrior to raise an army and defeat a fierce enemy faction of gods.

Free to live as a man once again, Dethan meets Selinda—heir to the throne of Hexis—and his thoughts quickly turn from the conquest of cities to the conquest of this headstrong beauty. Betrothed to a cruel, calculating powermonger, Selinda needs a champion, and so Dethan enters another bargain: if she will share her bed—and her body—with him, Dethan will save her city from destructive forces within and without. As the lovers ignite a searing passion, Dethan will risk all—even the Goddess of Conflict’s wrath—for a chance to make Selinda his forever.

Purchase at Amazon.com

And the second is a new young adult release from Victoria Schwab. A Darker Shade of Magic is the first book of the series of the same name.

A Darker Shade final for IreneSynopsis…

Kell is one of the last Travelers—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes—as such, he can choose where he lands.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, ruled by a mad King George. Then there’s Red London, where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne—a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London…but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see—a dangerous hobby, and one that has set him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations, who first robs him, then saves him from a dangerous enemy, and then forces him to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—and that is proving trickier than they hoped.

Purchase at Amazon.com

So, that wraps it up for this week. Are either of these on your radar? I used to be a Jacquelyn Frank fan back in the Nightwalker days, but my interest in her later series took a big hit and I haven’t even picked up the last five or six books at all. Looks like another quiet week for me – letting me get ready for the biggies of March 3rd. But I do have to admit that A Darker Shade of Magic does sound interesting…

Cover Lover – 14 Titles

These new covers have been trickling out for the last few days, but I waited until I had enough to do up a decent post. Let’s start with the redesign for the Dark Metropolis series from Jaclyn Dolamore. The paperback re-release of the first book, Dark Metropolis, will be available on May 12th.

dark metropolisPurchase at Amazon.com

And book two, Glittering Shadows, will follow in hardcover on June 16th.

glittering shadowsPurchase at Amazon.com

Leigh Bardugo‘s new The Dregs series starts up on October 6th with the release of the first book, Six of Crows.

six of crowsPurchase at Amazon.com

Even Vampires Get the Blues is the 6th book in the Deadly Angels series from Sandra Hill, and it is due out on August 25th.

even vampires get the bluesPurchase at Amazon.com

I was surprised to see that the paperback re-release of Dark Skye from Kresley Cole was undergoing a design change for its release on April 21st.

dark skyePurchase at Amazon.com

And speaking of paperback re-releases, it looks like the complete Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare is also being redone. I really don’t get it, since the original covers are absolutely beautiful, but what do I know. City of Bones should be available with the new design on September 1st.

city of bonesPurchase at Amazon.com

The 11th book in the Katherine “Kitty” Katt series from Gini Koch, Alien Separation, will be released on May 5th.

Untitled-10Purchase at Amazon.com

Next up is the cover for Ice Like Fire, the second book in the Snow Like Ashes series from Sara Raasch, which is due out on October 13th.

ice like firePurchase at Amazon.com

Gail Carriger‘s follow up to Prudence is called Imprudence, and it is the second book of The Custard Protocol. Look for it sometime in 2016.

imprudenceCrap, I didn’t realize how many covers I had to upload. This next one is The Immortal Heights from Sherry Thomas. It is the third book in her Elemental Trilogy, and it is due out on October 13th.

the immortal heightsPurchase at Amazon.com

Author Rae Carson starts up a new series called The Gold Seer Trilogy on September 22nd, and the first book is called Walk on Earth a Stranger.

walk on earth a strangerPurchase at Amazon.com

Vengeance of the Demon is the seventh book from the Kara Gillian series by Diana Rowland, and it will be out on April 7th.

vengeance of the demonPurchase at Amazon.com

Let’s wrap this up with the two Deceptions. The first Deception is from D.B. Reynolds and the Vampires in America series, and it is due out on March 31st.

deceptionPurchase at Amazon.com

I was a bit bummed to see that the Cainsville series from Kelley Armstrong had gotten a design change for the third book, Deceptions. But it turns out that the Canadian version is keeping its design, which is great. I will be able to get my matching cover on August 7th.

deceptionsWhich one of these is your biggie? Mine is Deceptions, which I can’t wait for.

Updating…

Just a couple of quick notes for today. All of the new release pages have been updated to reflect current release dates, and as always there has been a bit of shifting around (and some have disappeared all together). If there was anything you had your heart set on, take a peek and see if things are still on schedule. Oh, and I finally got quite a few new titles added, as well, which was long overdue.

I also got the author pages updated during my last storm day, and there were a couple of little things that popped up…

  • Hidden Legacy #2 from Ilona Andrews now has a title! White Hot will be released on October 27th.
  • Kerrelyn Sparks has a new series in the works. Absolutely no clue about it, but details should follow soonish.
  • I had really thought that there would be another Vampire Academy/Bloodlines world series focused on Jill and Eddie, but it looks like I was wrong. Richelle Mead has said that The Ruby Circle was the end, which was a big surprise for me. But, she does have a third Age of X book in the works called The Eye of Andromeda, along with a YA fantasy stand-alone called Soundless which is due out on November 15th.
  • Not sure if I mentioned this before or not, but the next Mercy Thompson book by Patricia Briggs will be called Fire Touched. The downside? It is due out next March.

Pick of the Week…

I think this is the first time I have actually chosen an e-format novella as my pick of the week, so maybe I am becoming less of a print book snob. Anyways, the Chloe Neill Chicagoland Vampires short story Lucky Break is released today, and who can’t use another Merit and Ethan story?

lucky breakSynopsis…

In this thrilling new novella from the New York Times bestselling author of Blood Games, vampire Merit bites off more than she bargained for when a romantic trip to a secluded Colorado town turns deadly.

Merit and Ethan are in desperate need of some alone time, far from the worries of Cadogan House, but trouble tends to follow wherever they go. Their attempt at a romantic getaway is quickly interrupted when one of Ethan’s vampire friends shows up at their door–covered in blood and accused of killing her shifter husband.

Merit and her Master soon discover their vacation spot is far less idyllic than it appears. A centuries old quarrel between local vampires and shifters has made the town a perpetual supernatural battle zone, and this fresh blood has stirred the already volatile pot. Now, Merit and Ethan must put their passion on pause to figure out who’s really responsible for the murder before all hell breaks loose…

Purchase at Amazon.com

What is your choice for pick of the week? There isn’t a ton of new stuff coming out, so it looks like a good chance to hit the TBR pile again.

Vision in Silver Review…

I am still waiting to find out if I have been approved on NetGalley for a copy an early copy of Anne Bishop‘s Vision in Silver (along with a couple of others), but Doug Meeks has already done up his review. I am looking forward to getting back into the world of The Others, but this is one that I am going to have to go back and skim over the previous books to be up to speed before I dive in. It will be available in hardcover format on March 3rd.

vision in silverWhat Doug said…

What do you say about the third book in possibly one of the most original, addictive and exceptionally written series being published?

I will try to limit my use of superlatives but my first thought was that Written in Red was one of the best books in many years, Murder of Crows while being a 5 Star reading experience was missing that elusive “I can’t put this book down” quality.  Vision in Silver has recaptured that feeling that I had while reading Written in Red.

Seldom do many books live up to their own hype; this one did and surpassed it.  You may notice I am not giving a lot of examples because almost anything I can say about this book could be a spoiler other than Meg becomes more a part of the Lakeside Courtyard and is considered by them to be more than human and almost terra indigene.  The fact is that any action against Meg would be considered an attack on The Others which is another comforting thought in this world.  We do get to know more about the world in general and it is amazing just to consider the things that are fact in this world that would be mythology in almost any other novel you ever read.

Good things happen, bad things happen and you find out more about what The Others consider important and you keep wondering how the humans on this planet get so stupid at times.  You should never forget that The Others still are the predominate predators not to mention pretty much the owners of this world, the humans keep forgetting that bit of intelligence.

Bottom Line:  This is going to be one of the Top 5 Urban Fantasy novels of 2015, it is just too good for me to describe without sounding like a slobbering fan and not a reviewer.  To use an old cliché, if you only get one book this year, this is that book!

How excited are you to get your next The Others fix?

New Series Alerts…

There are only two new series starting up this week, and the first one is from author Carrie Ann Ryan. Tattered Loyalties is the first book of her new Talon Pack series.

tattered loyaltiesSynopsis…

When the great war between the Redwoods and the Centrals occurred three decades ago, the Talon Pack risked their lives for the side of good. After tragedy struck, Gideon Brentwood became the Alpha of the Talons. But the Pack’s stability is threatened, and he’s forced to take mate—only the one fate puts in his path is the woman he shouldn’t want.

Though the daughter of the Redwood Pack’s Beta, Brie Jamenson has known peace for most of her life. When she finds the man who could be her mate, she’s shocked to discover Gideon is the Alpha wolf of the Talon Pack. As a submissive, her strength lies in her heart, not her claws. But if her new Pack disagrees or disapproves of fate’s choice, the consequences could be fatal.

As the worlds Brie and Gideon have always known begin to shift, they must face their challenges together in order to help their Pack and seal their bond. But when the Pack is threatened from the inside, Gideon doesn’t know who he can trust and Brie’s life could be forfeit in the crossfire. It will take the strength of an Alpha and the courage of his mate to realize where true loyalties lie.

Purchase at Amazon.com

The second start-up is actually the first e-format installment of the next Cassandra Clare book, Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy, which is a compilation of short stories that will focus on new Shadowhunter Simon Lewis. The first release is called Welcome to the Shadowhunter Academy.

welcome to shadowhunter academySynopsis…

Simon Lewis never thought he’d become a Shadowhunter…and now he has the chance. One of ten adventures in Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy.

After living as a Mundane and a Vampire, Simon never thought he would become a Shadowhunter, but today he begins his training at Shadowhunter Academy.

Purchase at Amazon.com

I know for sure I will be adding Cassandra Clare’s book to the collection, but I wait for them to be released in print format first. Are you checking out either of these?