Mindee Arnett
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New Book News – Onyx and Ivory

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
  • Rime
  • 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.

Musingly Yours,

Mindee