Weekly Update – April 21, 2020

Cover art reveal time!

The “first draft” of the audiobook version of The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Blades of Glory: by Heather Auden is all done, so now it’s a matter of doing the pickups, conducting my final review, and pulling the trigger. The final processing usually takes a while, so look for this on Audible in early May.

In other cool news, I’ll be participating in the upcoming Quarancon 2020, a virtual pop culture convention for those craving a con fix from the safety of their homes. I’ll be sitting on the Superhero Stories discussion panel, moderated by my fellow superhero fiction author and general cool person Trish Heinrich. The panel is scheduled for April 28, time TBA, so stay on top of the website for details on how to sit on on the discussion.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook recording continues with narrator Jennifer McPherson. Tentatively set for late spring/early summer release.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: First draft underway, tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One: This collection of books one through three — Secret Origins, Black Magic Women, and Pasts Imperfect — with new cover art by Tricia Lupien, is set for a mid-2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Manuscript in final editing, cover art in process. Tentatively set for an early 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Book five is in the plotting stages. Tentatively scheduled for a late 2020 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – A Series Overview

What’s it About?

Derek Strongarm and Felix Lightfoot are a pair of hard-luck adventurers for hire with an unfortunate knack for landing jobs that pay too little and threaten their lives too much. Erika Racewind is a hardened elven warrior who doesn’t like people, except maybe when she’s killing them. Winifred Graceword is a kindhearted elven priestess skilled in the healing arts. David is a young sorcerer on a path to discover who he really is – and whether that person has a last name, because going by just David is getting old fast.

Together these companions travel across the land of Asaches looking for adventure and the glory and riches that come with it. Mostly the riches, though, because you can’t buy food and beer with glory.

Who is this Series For?

Sword-and-sorcery fantasy fans looking for something a little lighter than most of the fare currently on the shelves. If you want heavy, dark, serious stories with lots of death, destruction, torture, rape, and political intrigue, go read something else because you won’t find it here.

What you will find is a fast-paced adventure filled with colorful characters, rip-roaring action, humor, and gentle jabs at the classic elements of fantasy fiction.

Which is not to say this series is a comedy or parody. There is still drama aplenty, but as a rule I don’t take things too seriously. You can read these books and not feel like you need a hug and a room full of puppies afterward.

Is it Suitable for Young Readers?

Not really. The series is a hard PG-13/light R for violence, language, and sexual content. It is suitable for older teens, but not for the YA crowd.

What are the Books in the Series?

Scratching a Lich: Derek and Felix find themselves entangled in an urgent quest to slay a legendary lich before he can trigger a world-ending apocalypse – as insane undead sorcerers are wont to do. Together with Erika Racewind, bodyguard for a mysterious young wizard named David, and Winifred Graceword, they head out to discover lost cities, recover long lost magical artifacts, and slay great evils in order to fulfill curiously specific prophecies – as mismatched, ragtag groups of adventurers are wont to do.

Assassins Brawl: The companions are hired to safeguard a spoiled brat of a princess targeted for death by the assassin Ruined Isys, but as is often the case, there’s more going on here than meets the eye. Now all they have to do is determine who is behind the plot before they get caught in the crossfire.

Blades of Glory: Derek, Felix, and company are up for a job that seems a little too simple for a payday that seems a little too generous – but unfortunately, so are the famed adventurers of fortune known as the Noble Blades. Which of them will be the first to find a stolen ceremonial mask that is absolutely positively completely normal and not at all some lost artifact possessed of dark power?

Sworded Affairs: The heroes take a job to dispose of a potentially dangerous magical artifact only to become snowbound in an isolated city besieged by flesh-hungry beasts — and under assault from within by a dark conspiracy. Early 2020 release.

Elfish Motives: Tentative late 2020 release.

How Long Will the Series Run?

Unknown, but tentatively ten books.

Are They Available As Audiobooks?

Scratching a Lich and Assassins Brawl are currently available on Audible. Blades of Glory and Sworded Affairs will be available in early 2020.

Where Can I Learn More?

Read can read sample chapters from Scratching a Lich, buy signed copies, connect with me through social media, and get regular updates at my website: innsmouthlook.com

Weekly Update – April 14, 2020

I wish I could tell everyone that I had a great week last week and got a lot of writing done, but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

My wife and I lost our cat Panther on Wednesday. He was an old man, but was in good health, or so we thought until he started having bad seizures last Tuesday night. Long story short, he’d developed a brain tumor. The cost of treatment was beyond our means, and would have been dangerous on a cat his age, so we made the hard choice to let him go.

We got Panther as a wedding present, so losing him hit us especially hard and took all the wind out of my creative sails for the week. Hopefully this week will be better.

Sorry to be such a downer.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook recording continues with narrator Jennifer McPherson. Tentatively set for late spring/early summer release.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: First draft underway, tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One: This collection of books one through three — Secret Origins, Black Magic Women, and Pasts Imperfect — with new cover art by Tricia Lupien, is set for a mid-2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Blades of Glory: Recording of the audiobook edition has begun, with Heather Auden returning to narrator duties.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: The manuscript is with my editor, and my cover artist is hard at work and the early drafts look pretty cool! Tentatively set for an early 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Book five is in the plotting stages. Tentatively scheduled for a late 2020 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None scheduled.

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – April 7, 2020

Hope everyone is staying inside and staying safe — and sane. I know for me the surreal sameness of every day is disorienting, and I’m kind of used to it.

In addition to writing, I’m helping my wife Veronica keep her embroidery studio running while she’s working from home, and that leads me to a bit of shameless (semi-) self-promotion. When the coronavirus pandemic started to rear its head here in the US, sales of Storied Threads’ Plague Survivor Geek Merit Badge started going through the roof — for which we’re grateful, because her business literally pays our mortgage.

We’ve since added a couple more patches for the Covid-19 crowd with their dark senses of humor. First up is the Social Distancing Geek Merit Badge, featuring the social distancing (and hide-and-seek) world champion, Sasquatch. This one’s just catching on, and a lot of folks have been ordering this along with a Plague Survivor patch.

And for the literary shut-ins, we added this embroidered bookmark inspired by Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death, a story about a group of people partying the night away amidst a runaway plague. Topical, right?

Oh, yeah, and I have a bunch of books you might like. Just sayin’.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook recording continues with narrator Jennifer McPherson. Tentatively set for late spring/early summer release.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: First draft underway, tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One: This collection of books one through three — Secret Origins, Black Magic Women, and Pasts Imperfect — with new cover art by Tricia Lupien, is set for a mid-2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Blades of Glory: Recording of the audiobook edition has begun, with Heather Auden returning to narrator duties.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: The manuscript is with my editor, and my cover artist is hard at work and the early drafts look pretty cool! Tentatively set for an early 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Book five is in the plotting stages. Tentatively scheduled for a late 2020 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Worcester Book Festival – Although I’ve yet to receive an official cancellation notice, state orders and advisories currently in place in Massachusetts have pretty much guaranteed it’s not happening. I’m disappointed, naturally, but safety comes first.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Station Identification Time

Who Am I?

I’m a writer originally from Falmouth, MA who now lives in Oxford with my awesomely talented wife Veronica, who runs a business called Storied Threads.

After 15 years with the Falmouth Enterprise, where I worked as a general and political reporter, blogger, and editor, I left the news industry to focus on my creative writing.

In addition to my novels (more on that in a minute) I’m a freelance writer, and I’ve produced scripts for Pastimes Entertainment of Revere, MA and the Connecticut Renaissance Faire.

What Do I Write?

Action Figures is a YA superhero adventure series featuring a team of young superhumans who set out to make a name for themselves in the superhero world and quickly find themselves in over their heads. Fun, full of humor and action, populated with likable characters (including some of the villains), and suitable for teen readers and adults who still love superheroes. Oh, and no love triangles. Ever. The first book, Secret Origins, reached the #1 spot on two Amazon best-seller lists.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot is my response to all the overly serious fantasy novels out there that have forgotten how to have fun. The series follows two hard-luck adventurers for hire with a knack for biting off more than they can chew and their friends as they explore ancient ruins, fight deadly monsters, go on epic prophecy-driven quests for artifacts of great power hidden in highly inconvenient locations, and cross a lot of rickety rope bridges along the way. The first book, Scratching a Lich, received a gold medal for fantasy fiction from BellaOnline, a resource for women in writing, which also recognizes feminist writers and their work. The first two books are available in audiobook format.

Cheap Thrills Digest is a short story collection featuring introductions to my two series, plus an original novelette-length horror story, Lost Souls, which is exclusive to CTD. If you’re curious about my writing, you can grab this for just $6 in print or 99 cents in e-book format.

Copyright 2018 Tessa Beatrice/Underdog Comics

Freedom Winds is a mini-comic I wrote for Underdog Comics, and you can read it for free at any time here, here, or here.

 

 

Well-Behaved Women is an urban fantasy trilogy for feminist audiences. After returning to work following a near-fatal shooting, Sergeant Rose Booker encounters a woman claiming to be the reincarnation of Julie d’Aubigny, the infamous 17th Century French swordswoman. Things only get stranger from there as Rose and Julie cross paths with a crime boss with a knack for exacting bloody revenge on his enemies. This is more serious and mature than my other projects — not recommended for young readers. Book one, Awakening, is now available. Book two, Transition, was released in April 2019, and book three, Endtimes, was released August 2019. The entire trilogy is available in audiobook format.

The Final Summons is the first anthology from the New England Speculative Writers. The collection features 14 fantasy, horror, and science fiction stories by NESW members, including my story The Going Rate for Penance, which is set in the world of Strongarm & Lightfoot.

What Will I See Here?

I post weekly updates that include progress reports on various projects, cover art reveals, new release announcements, a schedule of appearances and book-signings, the occasion essay on writing, and whatever random bits and pieces capture my attention.

Where Can You Find Me Online?

Official website

Weekly newsletter

Amazon author page

Facebook

Twitter

BookBub

Instagram

Goodreads

LinkedIn

Weekly Update – March 31, 2020

Looks like a lot of people have time to read on their hands. During my five-day Cabin Fever Relief promotion, more than 1,300 copies of Action Figures – Secret Origins, The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich, and Well-Behaved Women – Awakening went out to Kindle users!

If you’re among those who grabbed a copy of any (or all) of these books, I hope you enjoy them — and if you do, please remember to leave a review!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: After being in limbo for several months due to various unforeseen circumstances, the audiobook version is back in production! Like a lot of us, my narrator, Jennifer McPherson (who you might recognize from the Awakening cover) is stuck inside with time on her hands, so she’s back at it.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: First draft underway, tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One: This collection of books one through three — Secret Origins, Black Magic Women, and Pasts Imperfect — with new cover art by Tricia Lupien, is set for a mid-2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Blades of Glory: Recording of the audiobook edition has begun, with Heather Auden returning to narrator duties.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: The manuscript is with my editor, and my cover artist has begun her work. Tentatively set for an early 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Book five is in the plotting stages. Tentatively scheduled for a late 2020 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Worcester Book Festival – Friday, April 17 – Saturday, April 18: The event features panel discussions on Friday evening and a daylong book sale on Saturday. As of right now this event has not been cancelled, but I would be surprised if it went on as planned.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – March 23, 2020

I’m dropping this week’s blog post and newsletter a day early to announce a special Cabin Fever Relief promotion!

Beginning tomorrow, you can get the Kindle editions of Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins, The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich, and Well-Behaved Women – Awakening for FREE!

That’s right, the first books in my three series will all be available as free downloads through Amazon for the Kindle, tomorrow through Saturday.

But that’s not all! I have a limited number of promotional codes for the Audible versions of Scratching a Lich and its sequel, Assassins Brawl, as well as the entire Well-Behaved Women Trilogy available, and all you have to do is ask me for one!

(And by “one” I mean, one code per book per person, so I can spread the love around as much as possible.)

To get free Audible codes, use the “contact me” link to shoot me an e-mail, let me know which codes you’d like, and I’ll send them to you along with redemption instructions. And if you’re not a current Audible customer, tell me, and I’ll provide a special link so you can redeem your code and give Audible a try.

Please share this info with fellow readers and let them know, too! Thanks!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: First draft underway, tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One: This collection of books one through three — Secret Origins, Black Magic Women, and Pasts Imperfect — with new cover art by Tricia Lupien, is set for a mid-2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Blades of Glory: Recording of the audibook edition has begun, with Heather Auden returning to narrator duties.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: The manuscript is with my editor, and my cover artist has begun her work. Tentatively set for an early 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Book five is in the plotting stages. Tentatively scheduled for a late 2020 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Worcester Book Festival – Friday, April 17 – Saturday, April 18: The event features panel discussions on Friday evening and a daylong book sale on Saturday.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.