Oh nelly, October was a whirlwind of a month. I had a few very exciting things happen that I can’t wait to share with you all! In this month’s newsletter, check out:
The Queens take on France (and I turned 30, flirty and thriving)
The Genre LA Creative Writing Conference
September/October’s hype train draw
The Queens take on France (and I turned 30!)
In two weeks, Katie and I went coast to coast and everywhere in between in France. I could fill books (and I did) about our adventures, but that is for another time. So instead, enjoy the pre-published French book tour we took with Contest of Queens!
The Genre LA Creative Writing Conference
Let me tell you, it is a surreal feeling to see your name and photo next to all of these incredibly talented writers/authors/publishers!
I was lucky enough to speak on three different panels across the week, I’ve included their summaries below.
On the Speculative Fiction Panel (description below), I joined my fellow CamCat authors to talk about the “What If” factor as well as debate the value of escapism and story outlines, with Dungeons and Dragons popping up for an honorable mention. I was armed with a cup of tea, and if it weren’t for the screen, could have mistaken the panel for a chat with old friends.
Thanks to Josh Chamberlain for moderating, and to my fellow panelists: Elijah Menchaca- They Met in a Tavern Bryan Prosek- The Brighter the Stars, Measure of Serenity Christian Klaver- Shadows over London series Jason Offutt- The Girl in the Corn
To find out more about any of these authors, please visit their websites or even better, find their books at https://camcatbooks.com/
Last but not least, congratulations to Hayley (@these_damn_fools on Instagram) for winning this months’ hype train draw! She will be getting a Contest of Queens goodie bag sent to her 🙂
If anyone would like information on how to get on the hype train and how to enter to win cool swag, please jump over to my contact page and send me a message!
Welcome to my third Book Nook! Today I had the absolute pleasure of talking to Elizabeth Chatsworth, author of The Brass Queen, an incredible steam-punk fantasy with the best dialogue and metaphors I’ve read in a while. One of my favourite lines being: I do so love a story well told, and if you agree with that sentiment, you will love this book!
So boil the kettle and settle in for this interview where Chatsworth and I discuss narrative voice and all things steampunk.
Live most magically x
The Brass Queen
She knows a liar when she sees one. He knows a fraud when he meets one.
In a steam-powered world, Miss Constance Haltwhistle is the last in a line of blue-blooded rogues. Selling firearms under her alias, the “Brass Queen,” she has kept her baronial estate’s coffers full. But when US spy J. F. Trusdale saves her from assassins, she’s pulled into a search for a scientist with an invisibility serum. As royal foes create an invisible army to start a global war, Constance and Trusdale must learn to trust each other. If they don’t, the world as they know it will disappear before their eyes.
If you like the Parasol Protectorate or the Invisible Library series, you’ll love this gaslamp fantasy—a rambunctious romantic romp that will have you both laughing out loud and wishing you owned all of Miss Haltwhistle’s armaments.
Can’t wait for January? Neither can I! And luckily for us, neither could CamCat. They have now uploaded the first two chapters of Contest of Queens to their website for you to peruse to your heart’s content! That’s the first 50 pages! Click the black “LOOK INSIDE” button for a preview. Don’t forget to check out the map while you’re there! Can you find Jacs’ farm?
Don’t forget to preorder your copy and add it to Good Reads!
August Hype Train Draw Winner
Every month, the people who have contributed to hyping Contest of Queens up will go in the draw to win some goodies.
This month’s draw was for a Contest of Queens swag bag! *cue trumpets* including: a message in a bottle, a book bag, two postcards, a fridge magnet, a bookmark, and an autographed book sticker.
Congratulations Dylan (@dylankewball on Instagram) for being this month’s winner of the hype train draw! Thank you so much for all you did this month to share the Contest of Queens love!
For more information about the hype train, or if you would like to join, please jump over the the contact page and send me an email 🙂
Contest of Queens Giveaway Winner
This month I also had an Instagram contest to celebrate the cover reveal for Contest of Queens. Congratulations to Ally (@nuggets_allison) for winning all these goodies!
The prize was a Contest of Queens swag bag, and a signed copy of The Rose Petal Princess and other fairytales!
August has been a wild and wonderful month, namely because I was able to reveal the cover of my upcoming novel, Contest of Queens! It was such a magical and humbling experience, and it just kept on going!
The day was spent out at Two Jack Lake with a group of wonderful humans who all took time out of their Saturdays to come celebrate. We had champagne and nibbles, and laughed in the face of the orange smoke that turned all our photographs sepia tone. Billie Marlow captured the day perfectly (check out her photography on instagram: @marlowb).
On top of the in person magic, the cover was also released online through The Nerd Daily, and the story was covered by the Rocky Mountain Outlook (keep scrolling to see what they had to say). I know this journey is truly just beginning, but I honestly cannot believe how lucky I am to be on it! Thank you to everyone who came out and supported the release in person, thank you to everyone who is showing their support from afar, AND the pre-order link is up, so if you want to be the first to read Contest of Queens, please pre-order your copy now!
So get a cup of tea ready, and settle in to watch these talented authors and I discuss the roles mentors play in our respective novels as well as in young adult fantasy as a genre. It was such a privilege to speak with these incredible humans, and a huge thank you to Josh Chamberman who was our moderator for this event!
Most of us have been lucky to find positive role models and mentor figures either in our lives, or in books, shows, and movies. Some of my favourite mentor figures in media include Uncle Iroh from Avatar the Last Airbender and Bromm from Eragon. I’d love to hear about the mentors that have made a difference in your lives! Leave a comment, or pop me a message 🙂
Live magically x
Be sure to pop over to CamCat Books for more information about these authors and their upcoming (or released) novels. https://camcatbooks.com/
Welcome to my book nook! A place where I get to indulge my nerdy side and talk books with amazingly talented authors. Today’s guest is Aamna Qureshi, author of The Lady or the Lion which is coming out July 20th, 2021, and When a Brown Girl Flees which is coming out in 2023.
It was such an honor to speak with Aamna today, so I hope you all enjoy our discussion about fairytales, retellings and their place in YA fantasy (with a little romantic intrigue thrown in for good measure!)
Live magically x
Aamna Qureshi is a Pakistani, Muslim American who adores words. She grew up on Long Island, New York, in a very loud household, surrounded by English (for school), Urdu (for conversation), and Punjabi (for emotion). Through her writing, she wishes to inspire a love for the beautiful country and rich culture that informed much of her identity.
For more information, check out Aamna Qureshi’s website: https://www.aamnaqureshi.com/ Follow her on instagram: @aamna_qureshi or Twitter: @aamnaqureshi_
On May 27th, 2021 I was lucky enough to be one of the authors featured on CamCat Books’ panel Writing Debut YA at the PW US Book Show. It was such a surreal and wonderful experience chatting with these amazing women, learning more about their worlds, and how they wrote their inspiring female leads. If you have a cup of tea ready, watch the full thing below and enjoy the show!
Also, if you look really closely, you can see a sneak peak of my book cover for Contest of Queens!
For your second cup of tea, check out these two wonderful authors:
The Lady or the Lion
He sunk his teeth into her heart and she let him.
As crown princess of Marghazar, Durkhanai Miangul will do anything to protect her people and her land. When her grandfather, the Badshah, is blamed for a deadly assault on the summit of neighboring leaders, the tribes call for his head. To assuage cries for war, the Badshah opens Marghazar’s gates to foreigners for the first time in centuries, in a sign of good faith. His family has three months to prove their innocence, or they will all have war.
As Durkhanai races to solve who really orchestrated the attack, ambassadors from the neighboring tribal districts arrive at court, each with their own intentions for negotiations, each with their own plans for advantage. When a mysterious illness spreads through the villages and the imperialists push hard on her borders, Durkhanai must dig deep to become more than just a beloved princess—she must become a queen.
To distract Durkhanai from it all is Asfandyar Afridi, the wry ambassador who tells her outright he is a spy, yet acts as though he is her friend—or maybe even something more.
If Nor can’t spin gold, she can always spin lies.
When seventeen-year-old Nor rescues a captured faerie in the woods, he gifts her with a magical golden thread she can use to summon him for a favor. Instead, Nor uses it for a con—to convince villagers to buy straw that can be transformed into gold. Her trick works a little too well, attracting the suspicion of Prince Casper, who hates nobody more than a liar. Intent on punishing Nor, he demands that she spin a room of straw into gold and as her reward, he will marry her. Should she refuse or fail, the consequences will be dire. Desperate for help, Nor summons the faerie’s aid, launching a complicated dance as she must navigate between her growing feelings for both the prince and faerie boy and who she herself wishes to become.