Back from the Dead

*whispers* Hello, yes, it’s really me.

I know. I’m as shocked as you are.

Where the hell have you been?

I’m glad you asked. I think the appropriate answer is everywhere.

Since October, I’ve  . . .

  • Become a USA Today Bestselling Author
  • Written 2 books (more on that)
  • Re-vamped this website
  • Attended a half dozen cons and book events
  • Written some ’80s short stories

And that’s just off the top of my head. No rest for the wicked, right?

So I haven’t been active on this blog, but you might’ve seen me around on Facebook or gotten my newsletter every two weeks. There aren’t enough hours in the day for everything, but hey, I’m trying.

What’s going on now?

I’m finishing off edits on The Shaded Veil, the first book in my ’80s epic fantasy mash up. It’ll be available in the Shades of Fae boxset come July 10th and you can grab it there until mid-October at which point it will come out of the set. It will be releasing as a stand alone in early 2019 once the next book in that series is ready to go. There will be three books in total in the Shaded Veil trilogy. I’m having a blast writing them so I’m eager to get back to that series once the Shining Ones is done.

Speaking of, I’m back on Destroyer next week. It’s already partially written, but I’m almost afraid to go back for fear that I’ll throw it all out. But I won’t. I know everyone is waiting for the end and it’s coming. Destroyer will be out before the end of the year. I’m hoping for October so fingers crossed. It’s later than I would’ve wanted by about a year, but I had to shuffle around due to other commitments. Life gets infinitely easier once this book goes off to the publisher next week.

And yes, I haven’t mentioned Love Like Blood and the Night Kind series. Some people have looked for it outside of the original box set it was in. It’s not available yet, but I’m hoping for sometime next year if I can get Dorian’s story written since he’s the first book in that series. I’m not good at juggling series unfortunately – I have a tendency to get world contamination – but I’m shooting for 4 books next year. Wish me luck.

Other than that, all is well at Chez Small. We survived the flooding so thank you for all your concern and prayers. We were lucky – some of our neighbors weren’t. The neighborhood still looks like a warzone, but everyone is doing what they can to get back to normal. Climate change is real, folks. The year we’ve had so far in Virginia is bringing that home. It’s been like living in a disaster movie, but humankind endures. That sums it up nicely.

I’m also desperate for a dog. I’ve now gotten to the point where my grief over Hazel is far enough in the rearview mirror that I can actually look at dog videos without bursting into tears. So yay me! Anyone with dog advice is more than welcome to chime in or drop me an email. I’m hoping we’ll be a dog family again by the Autumn.

Anyhow, back to the writing den. I’ve got a newsletter to get out and some final edits to go over.

Thanks for your patience, everyone. See you on the other side.

xo shawnee

Pages of Fear Blog Hop

There were 14 stops before mine – are you ready for Wicked no. 15? Somehow my secret word seems appropriate. LOL. All right Ladies and Gents . . .

Welcome to the first ever Pages of Fear blog hop. It’s a pre-Halloween event celebrating authors who like to fright and delight with their writing. As you progress through the twenty-eight blogs/websites you’ll learn about authors you may already know and be introduced to some new ones.

Everyone loves the opportunity to get something free. All of the authors have gathered together to give ONE lucky winner signed copies of their books (one per author). You may even find other types of giveaways on their sites so, keep your eyes open. While you’re looking you want to locate the secret word on each site. Make a list of the words in the proper order. When you reach the final destination (Authorsfbenson.com), you’ll find an email address. Send your list to it. The winner will be selected courtesy of random.org.

Ready? Get on your marks.
Get set.
GO!

DIRTY

To continue the hop, please go to D. A. Roach

Need a reminder on the story?

Here it is:

Once there was a very special _______ doll. She had been well-______ for ________. Kept on a _______ when there weren’t any young girls to play with her. And brought out and cherished when young ________ were in the __________.

Eventually, the toy was forgotten and relegated to a _______ in the attic. The house was eventually ________ and all of its belongings were either sold, given away, or ________ into a ________ at the curb.

But the doll… she __________.

Shortly before the ________ collectors arrived, a young couple comes upon the _________. Immediately, the doll’s _______ face and _________ clothes catches the woman’s _________.

“Rebecca, you can’t be serious. That’s a piece of ________,” the man points out.

She reaches into the jumbled ______ and pulls the ______ out. “This is an _______. I can _______ she’ll go for top dollar. She just needs a little love and care.”

The young ______ just shakes his head and continues walking down the _________. His wife was good for finding trash and turning it into a ___________.

Rebecca took the hem of her ________ and wiped some of the dirt off the doll’s face. “You have a _______ now.”

She _________ the _______ in the doll’s eye.

What I did on my Summer Vacation

The short answer is . . . write.

You guessed it. I’ve spent most of my summer finishing off the “Felix and Rose” project which is now titled Love Like Blood. It’s a full length novel in my brand new paranormal series, The Night Kind, and it will be available exclusively this year in Other Worlds: A Limited Edition Collection of Science Fiction Romance and Paranormal Romance releasing on October 17, 2017.

If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy, you can do so from Amazon. It’s only 99 cents for 20 books from some awesome paranormal and science fiction romance authors. It’s also available for a limited time for iBooks, Nook, Kobo, and Google Play.

So right now, Love Like Blood is with Amanda and I’m in a holding pattern while she starts her editing magic. I’ll be back in the hot seat in a couple of days, but at the moment, I’m kinda suspended in limboland. It’s a weird feeling and not one that sits well with me, but I’m trying to be grateful for the downtime because it’s not going to last long.

But as I sit here listening to the band Pink Turns Blue, my brain keeps returning to Tybee and my beloved Shining Ones characters. I have mixed feelings about starting Destroyer if I was honest. I know everyone is waiting and I’m only one step away from open revolt. I hear you. I just, well, I’m not sure I’m ready for it to end. This last book is going to be hard. In more ways than one. To say good bye to Poesy, Birdie, Haylee, and Adam will be extremely difficult for me especially knowing where it’s going to end. I’ve known since Book One how this thing was going to play out, but I’m not sure I’m ready for it yet, but the show must go on, right? That’s the reality of the situation. The Shining Ones was always planned to end after four books. So it’s time to pull up my big girl pants and get on with it. Happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts.

What else?

I’ll be at Penned Con in St. Louis September 29th-October 1st. It’s rapidly approaching and I’m soooooo not prepared, but it’s going to be a stellar event. If you’re thinking about coming, I still have some FREE tickets so email me or PM me on Facebook if you’d like one. You’re not going to want to miss this one – last year they had over 1,000 attendees and that’s not counting the authors and their assistants. It’s probably the biggest signing of my career to date. Yeah, no pressure, there. You can read more about Penned Con on the website.

I think that’s it for now. 

See you on the other side.

xo shawnee

 

 

Sultry & Sinful made it to No. 1

Hello gang,

I’ve been meaning to write up this blog post for over a week now. Unfortunately, I was rather stupid on Friday last week and picked a fight with a tree in my yard. Sadly, I lost. Big time. And ended up in the ER with a partially herniated disc in my back. So I’m struggling along at the moment on a sea of interesting drugs and ice packs still trying to stay on top of things. It’s not really working, but the drugs make it so I almost don’t care. Hahahaha.

I’m mostly lucid. Mostly.

But while I’m still upright and awake, let me share the news. After many struggles and some resistance for the romance community, The F/F Sultry anthology made it to No. 1 on Amazon and we’ve stayed pretty high in the rankings in the LGBTQ categories. We also got our BESTSELLER RIBBON. Hurrah! So thank you lovely readers for taking a chance on us.

Here’s a snapshot.

 

 

 

 

 

No other news to report right now, but I’ll be back on Friday with another round up. 

xo

shawnee

 

 

The blog post I didn’t want to write . . .

 

Hi guys,

So. This is a blog post that no author ever wants to have to write, but unfortunately, sometimes things happen in our author world that is beyond our control. And this just happens to be one of those times. And more often than not, it involves the hand that feeds most of us . . . Amazon.

The upshot is this – the pre-order for Sultry & Sinful will release tomorrow and everyone who has ordered it to date from Amazon will get the WRONG file. Yep, you heard that right. You may be asking, “Well, how does this happen?” and I’m going to tell you how:

When a box set or an anthology is set up up, often the person who is running the set will put a placeholder file in place on Amazon. The reason why this is done is that we can’t make a pre-order live without a file and traditionally pre-orders are available three (3) months prior to a book being released. 

This is standard practice for lots of box sets and multi-author books. I know it may seem weird to the outside world, but there’s lots of reasons why the final file isn’t ready until closer to release date. Authors are still trying to get their stories edited and formatted. Sometimes authors have to drop out last minute. Having a final file ready to go three months out is rare. There are so many things that can change before release date.

But again, uploading a placeholder file is common practice.

The thing is this. Lately, Amazon has been questioning box set owners (and individual authors as well) about their validity to publish a book especially if it includes the work of someone else. And when that happens, the box set owner is left scrambling trying to email Amazon all the contracts, emails, correspondence, etc. to show that they do indeed have the right to publish what they say they are going to publish. The problem is that Amazon has been waiting until the last minute to do this. This is problematic due to Amazon’s own rules about pre-orders, which is that the final file must be in place and locked down three (3) days prior to the book’s release date.

In our case, the final file was uploaded a week prior to release date and Amazon didn’t question the box set owner until four (4) days prior to our release date (which is tomorrow). By the time our box set owner got all the documents together, she got locked out of the release window and the file couldn’t be updated.

We are not the first group to have this happen to us. And we won’t be the last either. And it sucks, believe me. Every author in Sultry & Sinful has already lined up their fans, promos, parties, etc. hinging on this file.

And now we’re likely to get slammed with bad reviews because the file they are going to get at midnight tonight is not what they paid for. And there isn’t a thing us authors can do about it.

If you’re one of my fans reading this then I would like to say I’m sorry. Amazon will fix the problem, you WILL get the right file, but it might take twenty-four (24) hours or more for the right one to appear. It’s not fair and I completely understand the frustration. Right now, you have nine (9) authors who are desperately trying not to freak out. By the way, it’s not working – we’re all freaking out.

This is my personal appeal for you to have patience. We are doing everything in our power to get the problem rectified. If you have personally pre-ordered the book and are disappointed, email me shawnee@shawneesmall.com or PM me on Facebook and I will personally send you a free gift in the way of apology.

Again, I’m sorry that this has happened and I would move mountains to get this sorted before it gets to you, but my hands are tied right now.

If you did pre-order Sultry & Sinful, thank you for supporting us and for standing behind indie authors. I know it’s not a lot, but we really do appreciate everything you do for us. Sometimes bad things happen. We will get through it.

xo

shawnee