Christmas has come early, at least for me! These pretties arrived the day after Thanksgiving, and that means it’s time to give one away. I’m not sure how many of these will be available, so if you want a printed arc, now’s your chance. As always, the giveaway is easy to enter—the only requirement is that you add the book on Goodreads and mention the giveaway at least once on any social media platform. This giveaway is opened Internationally and runs until Wed December 6.
In case you need a reminder, here’s the scoop on the book out May 15, 2018, first in a planned dualogy.
They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king of Rime. Cast out of the noble class, she now works for the royal courier service. Only those most skilled ride for the Relay and only the fastest survive, for when night falls, the nightdrakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: she is a wilder, born with forbidden magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals.
And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan mysteriously massacred by drakes in broad daylight—the only survivor Corwin Tormane, the son of the king. Her first love, the boy she swore to forget, after he condemned her father to death. With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin must uncover secrets, both past and present, to face this new threat of drakes who attack in the daylight and the darker menace behind them.
Big news! The cover for my next book, Onyx & Ivory, was released into the world last Wednesday by the awesome folks over at Happy Ever After. You can check out the post here. Or you can scroll down to see it in this post. I’ll wait until right here until you’re done…
So…what do you think? Awesome, right? When I first saw this I simply had no words, which is saying something for a writer. Seriously, though, I love it. The artist is Santi Zoraidez and you can check out more of his awesome work on his website. The team at Harper behind the overall design is the art directer, Alison Donalty and the designer, David Curtis. I have David to thank for the surprising direction they took on the cover. He read a draft of Onxy & Ivory and zeroed in on one particular scene as the inspiration for this. I would love to tell you all about that scene, but I’m afraid it’ll have to wait.
What I can tell you is that Onyx & Ivory is out May 15, 2018, and you can preorder from any of your favorite places. You can also add it on Goodreads here. And did you know that every time someone adds it a baby unicorn is born? It’s true…I swear! So be sure to tell a friend.
Oh, and just an early heads up that I’m preparing to launch a street team for the book sometime in January. Anyone who wishes to join the street team will be guaranteed a chance to read the book early. You’ll also win swag and prizes and be able to compete for some fabulous giveaways. Be sure to check my website as we get closer if you’re interested in joining.
About the book:
They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king years ago. Now Kate lives as an outcast, clinging to the fringes of society as a member of the Relay, the imperial courier service. Only those most skilled ride for the Relay, and only the fastest survive, for when night falls, the nightdrakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: she is a wilder, born with magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals. But it’s this magic that she needs to keep hidden, for being a wilder is forbidden, punishable by death. And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan mysteriously massacred by drakes in broad daylight—the only survivor Corwin Tormaine, the son of the king. Her first love, the boy she swore to forget, the boy who broke her heart when he condemned her father to death.
With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin must put the past behind them. The threat of drakes who attack in the daylight is only the beginning of a darker menace stirring in the kingdom of Rime—one whose origins have dire implications for Kate’s father’s crimes and will lead both Kate and Corwin into the middle of a brewing civil war.
Acclaimed author Mindee Arnett’s stunning new novel thrusts readers into a beautiful, expansive, and dangerous new world—one where trust is rare, magic is commonplace, and little is as it seems.
Welcome to Rime, the world of Onyx and Ivory, where dragons rule the night and magic rules the day.
Yes, that’s right. It’s here; it’s finally here! The book news I’ve been sitting on for a year. Seriously, a whole year! Think I deserve the gold star for patience. But before I get into the details, first let me share the details:
Pretty straight forward, right? But to be honest, this description doesn’t come close to scratching the surface of what this book is about. At its conception, more than two years ago, I thought of it as Pitch Black meets the Pony Express, and that description is still applicable, in part.
Kate Brighton, one of the two main protagonists, works for the Relay, the royal courier system connecting the twelve united cities of the kingdom of Rime. Her job is both important and dangerous. For when the sun sets in Rime the nightdrakes come out to hunt. These flightless dragons, ranging in size from pigs to elephants, will devour any living thing they can find. The only safe place is behind the magically fortified walls of the cities and Relay towers. Basically, Kate has to ride fast and true to make sure she completes her run before night falls. Fortunately for Kate, she was born with a magical (and forbidden) gift of wild magic—one that allows her to talk to animals, including the horses she relies on to keep her safe.
That’s all I’m going to reveal about the book itself for now, but I promise more in future newsletters. Oh, but I do want to tell you the reason why we’re only now announcing the book even though Harper bought it last April. In a singe word, the title. It’s taken us nearly a year to finally decide one.
As you might not know, titles (and covers) are two of the biggest marketing aspects of a book, one that the publisher has final say on it. Originally, I called this book. Traitor Kate, but as the book progressed and the second main character, Corin, grew more prominent, the story also outgrew that title. Before taking the book to acquisitions, my editor and I came up with a new one—Of Flame and Stone. Unfortunately though, the folks at Harper later decided that this title was too much like another upcoming book, and we were asked to find a new one. That process took months and months. It also took until the last minute. If you follow me on social media, you know I said we’d announce the book on Tuesday. That was plan, but because we were still scrambling for a title it didn’t happen until Friday. Such is life in publishing. Not that I’m complaining. To be honest, I’m thrilled just to still be in the game! More books! Hooray!
If you’re curious, here are some of the other almost-titles for this book:
Shades of Fate
Through Shadows Falling
The Book That Must Not Be Named
I might be kidding on that last one. But finally we decided on Onyx and Ivory. These words refer to something specific in the book, like a proper noun, but it also invokes some of the themes. Anyway, I hope you like. And I really, really hope it gets to stay (keep your fingers crossed on that one).
In the meantime, I’ve got all kinds of giveaways and fun events coming up to introduce you to the book. One cool thing I’m planning is a vlog series designed to help writers write accurately about horses. Yep, you heard that right. It’ll be me, on camera, talking about horses. And riding them and giving them treats. You know. Fun stuff. I’m also working on a series of posts that detail my writing process from start to finish. Those will appear both on the blog and in upcoming newsletters.
But the one thing I’m most excited about is the street team I’m hoping to launch, assuming, of course, people are interested in joining. It’s going to be called the Relay, and I’m hoping some of you might sign up as “riders.” The exclusive giveaways for members are going to be epic. I’m going full out on this one. If you’re not familiar with street teams, basically you sign up to help me promote the book throughout the months leading up to the release in various on-painful, hopefully fun, ways. And in return you get exclusive goodies, both in terms of sneak peeks but also awesome swag. I’m going to be honest guys, I’m really hoping to make a splash with this book. But I won’t be able to do that without help from readers like you.
Okay, that’s all for now, but more coming soon. Including some pretty amazing Avalon news. Oh, and if you won’t to read a brand new Avalon short story, be sure to sign up for my newsletter.
Warning, this is not a happy post. It’s also very personal, something I rarely do online and don’t feel very comfortable with doing.
But it’s also a post I have to write. It’s a weight I need to unload into these words and onto this page. Even if no one else read this, I need to get it out.
It’s no secret to those who know me that one of my biggest wishes is to be able to quit my day job and write full time. Okay, who am I kidding? If I’m being honest and unfiltered, it really is my single biggest desire, even over all the other way more important things I should long for, like a way to heal our shattering nation.
The desire to be unfettered by the daily, and often creatively-draining demands of my day job is one I think about often, even though I try not to. For the record, I have a great day job, and I’m supremely grateful for it. My job is good to me. My employers and coworkers are supportive and giving and wonderful, and nothing in this post is a criticism about any of that. I like my job. I really do.
But I love writing more.
It’s that simple. Writing stories, having them be made into books—that is what fills me up. That’s what satisfies me in a way the day job never could. Writing pays me in a lot more money. And I’m very fortunate that I get to do it at all. I’ve had five books published so far, and I’ve a new series coming. I’m blessed in so many ways
Except for one.
I live my life in a constant deficit of time. Have you ever not had enough money to pay your bills? You know that sickening, hopeless feeling you get that you’ll never catch up? Never have a reprieve? That’s often what it feels like for me, except with time instead of money. The thing is, I publish and write by choice. It’s a willful commit and sacrifice, and as much as I love it, it can be so so very hard to do both.
Like this past week.
Because keeping my day job isn’t a choice. It’s a requirement. I have to keep it. I need to be able to support my family. At least, I have to for right now. It’s possible in a few years that might change. I’m trying to put myself in a position where I have more choices about my working life, but that times time. (Debt, debt, debt, never enough time). Or maybe I’ll have a book hit big enough that I can afford to quit (and for the record, most writers don’t make enough to support a family on. We just don’t. It’s the nature of the business, and if you’re a writer who has to work, don’t feel like you’re somehow less. You’re not. You’re not, Mindee. You’re not. I swear).
Yet it always feels like less. The thing is, in my life, the writing never gets to come first. The day job does. Always. That’s how it should be, of course. It’s just not how I want it to be. And the thing is, even though I have a day job, I still have the same demands on me as a fulltime writer. I do book events. I market and promote. I have deadlines and edits and everything else. I’ve got huge plans for this upcoming book, and I’m excited about them, and I eagerly want to put time and energy into doing them. But no matter what, those activities will always be second.
Anyway, the point I’m trying to make here, the thing I wish the non writers in my life understood, is how hard it is when I have a week like this past one, where I didn’t get any writing done. At all. I’ve been trying to find a metaphor that works. The best I’ve come up with is this:
Imagine that you were a bird born in a pet shop. You have wings, but you’ve never used them because you’ve lived all your life in a cage. But that’s alright. The cage is comfortable and safe, and for the most part, you’re happy there
But then one day you get out of the cage and learn to fly. You realize you were made to fly. It’s the best thing ever. It’s your heart desire. But because you are a bird born in a pet shop, you’re only allowed to fly for small periods of time. Most days, you can live with that, the couple of minutes you get to soar free are enough to sustain you the rest of the time, enough to hope and to dream that maybe one day there’ll be more time. The cage doesn’t feel so much like a cage if you can escape it for a little while.
But then there are days, and sometimes even whole weeks, where you don’t get to fly at all. Those are the times you resent the cage, when you feel it all around you, closing in and getting smaller by the second, and wish you could be a bird that wasn’t born in a pet shop. That you could be a bird who could fly all the time. Whenever you wanted. Whenever you needed.
There. That’s what it feels like. Fortunately it’s not all the time. Most days, most hours, I’m happy and content, but sometimes I’m not. It’s no one’s fault. No one’s problem to fix or to heal. Really, all that any of us can ask when we’re hurting or struggling is simply for understanding. That’s all.
And I do feel better now, having said it. So long as I get to fly a little, I can keep on living in the cage. Thank you for reading, and for understanding. Happy fun times will be coming back soon. I promise.
In the meantime, I want to leave off with this quote. All my writer friends and readers, this is how you make me feel:
Today I’m super happy to help co-host the cover reveal for Valia Lind’s RUINED IN RETRIBUTION, book 3 in the Titanium Series. You can see it below–and trust me, it’s amazing! Also, if you haven’t read this series yet, you’re in luck. Book 1, PIECES OF REVENGE is currently free. You can download it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords.
Gone. Gone. Gone.
For the past two months, it has taken all of Logan’s determination to just keep going. Losing Tasia to Kallos Enterprises shattered his world, but he is not about to give up on what she had started.
Together with her family, Logan works to destroy the company that ruined their lives. The corporation is growing bigger and stronger by the minute, weaponizing the drug and selling it to the highest bidder. But that’s not the only hurdle to overcome. Logan’s past is catching up to him, and the time has come to pay. His family’s secrets are unraveling everything he has built for himself and now, Logan is fighting on multiple fronts.
Save Tasia. Destroy Kallos Enterprises. Stay alive.
Such a simple list, such an impossible mission.
Time is running out and Logan is left with one question: can he save them all?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Author. Photographer. Artist. Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, Valia Lind has always had a love for the written word. She wrote her first full book on the bathroom floor of her dormitory, while procrastinating to study for her college classes. Upon graduation, she has moved her writing to more respectable places, and have found her voice in Young Adult fiction. You can visit her online at http://valialind.wordpress.com or follow her on twitter, where she spends way too much time, @ValiaLind
Awesome right? The book is out December 7 and you can preorder it on Amazon here.You can also add the book on Goodreads and get to know Valia over on Twitter, Facebook, and her webpage.
It’s almost September, and that means I’ve almost got news, as in the title for my next book! We’re zeroing in on a title right now, and I hope to get to share it with you soon.
In other news, I’m heading to Dragon*Con next week. I’ve got two panels lined up:
Writing YA–The Craft on Saturday at 4:00 in A707
YA Lit After Dark on Saturday at 8:30 in A707
Hope to see you there.
Now onto the giveaway! You know what’s awesome? Books. New books are awesome. So are friends, especially awesomely, talented writer friends. And that’s why I’ve decided to celebrate a few of my friends who’ve got new books coming out. All four of these books are amazing, and you’re going to want to read each one!
What’s up for Grabs?
A signed arc of One Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards – read about it here
A signed hard cover of A Million Times Goodnight by Kristina McBride – read about it here
A preorder of Gilt Hollow by Lorie Langdon – read about it here
A preorder of Metaltown by Kristen Simmons – read about it here
Who can enter and for how long?
The contest starts right now and will end at midnight EST on Wednesday September 7. The contest is open to US only. Apologies to all my international friends. You all are great, and I promise more international contests will be coming soon. (Maybe with my actual news???)
To celebrate this awesome event, I’m giving away the entire Arkwell Academy series on Audio CD. This is open Internationally and will run until midnight March 30st. Also, you’ll see that the most weighted option is to sign up to beta read my new book and help test out the brand new Mori app. Sign up is here. Right now the testing is only for Apple users; however, the Mori people are keeping track of Android users, too, so the option is available to everyone! Best of luck and thank you, thank you, thank you!
Are you interested in reading a one of my books for free? A book that’s never before been published? Well now’s your chance. Here’s the skinny. I’m helping out an app developer who’s getting ready to launch an app that helps readers and writers connect with each other during the writing process. If that doesn’t make sense, trust me, it will. But basically, they’re looking for people to read my book through the app and to just play around and explore some of the features. You’ll get to make comments on it, highlights, notes, anything you want–and it’s going to go straight to me. We’ll even chat about it later. Space is limited, though, so don’t wait!
About the book: This is my pre-Nightmare Affair novel. This is the one that was almost my break-through novel. It was so, so close. It’s near and dear to my heart, and now I’m sharing it with you–flaws and all. And yes, there are flaws. Remember this was never published and it’s never been through the editing process. So bear that in mind. But if you’re an aspiring writer, this might be cool insight into an almost-there novel. Or if you’ve enjoyed my other books, you just might like this one, too. It contains one of my favorite ending scenes of all time (just saying).
Here’s the original pitch I used in query letter for this novel. Please note that it’s technically a New Adult (a category that didn’t exist when I first wrote it back in 2009):
I am seeking representation for my urban fantasy, SUNRISE, and thought you might be interested. It’s complete at 97,000 words and contains elements of both romance and horror. While on the hunt for the vampire who murdered his friends, Dylan Caine sees the one person he must avoid at all costs–Penny Larue, his soul mate, and the woman whose life he’s destined to ruin. Dylan is a shape-shifter able to assume animal form at will, but the power comes with a terrible price: death at 24 from a curse handed down in his family from father to son. Resigned to his fate, Dylan is determined to be the last to suffer the curse by denying the magic which compels him to be with his soul mate. But when Penny becomes the focus of the vampire’s deadly games, he must risk temptation to keep her safe.
Determined to get into vet school early, 21-year-old Penny Larue has no plans to fall in love. She has better things to do, like studying and competing her horse in the extreme sport of Eventing. Yes she can’t resist her attraction to the elusive Dylan Caine. The closer she gets to him, the more frightening life becomes. People around her are drying at the hands of a serial killer dubbed the Wolfman from the bite marks he leaves on his victims. As she learns Dylan’s connection to the killer, she realizes the danger is greater than she ever imagined. In a world where vampires cannot be made by force, but only by choice of the one whose soul is at stake, she will face the hardest decision of her life, one which will determine both her fate and Dylan’s.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the other side of the story!
Welcome to my new and improved website and the launch of my brand new, first-time ever newsletter! I’m super excited about the new look and feel of the site. The lovely people at CueCamp did a fantastic job (pssst, if you’re a writer and need a website you should check them out).
My newsletter is going to be a work in progress, but as of right now I promise the first issue will contain the alternate ending to The Nightmare Charade. This is the ending I would’ve gone with if I’d decided to write that 4th book. I plan to post the letter no more than once a month, and it will include both a For Readers and For Writers section. Have ideas about what you want to see in it? Sound off below.
To celebrate all this new stuff, I’ve decided to hold a giveaway. As of right now I’m offering the winner their pick of any 3 of my books OR a $50.00 gift card from Amazon–if the winner is from the US. For my international friends, if any of you win you’ll get the gift card and some signed bookplates, if you want them. So yes, the contest is open internationally! If I get enough entrants, I will probably add some extra books and gift cards. So tell your buddies and bring a friend 🙂
Well, I suppose I should call this a quick recap. But I had a blast at GRCC this past weekend. I got to meet so many wonderful people and hang out with the lovely Susan Dennard, whose upcoming book Truthwitchis one you’re going to want to check out.
My presentation on Worldbuilding started off a little rough due to some technical difficulties but went well once we got going. Thanks so much to everyone who attended. As promised, here is the presentation in outline form for your convenience: worldbuilding.
Unfortunately, I didn’t take that many pictures, but here are a couple. Also, you might have noticed my website has been redesigned (hope you like it). I plan to do a formal reveal soon that’s going to include a giveaway. So be sure to come back!