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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

It's Harry Dresden's Birthday


It's hard to believe, but the youngest of the new kittens, Harry Dresden, turned one today. (The other two are a couple of months older, they think, but no one knows exactly when they were born because they came from a 25 cat hoarding situation.) Theoretically, this means they're not kittens anymore, but if you could see them racing around like maniacs and bouncing off the walls, you'd know that's not true.

The birthday boy today

The first day I met him. That's my coat he's curled up in.
It's hard to believe I've had Harry since January--this is a picture of him the first day I met him, when I went to where he was being fostered to see if he was the cat I asked Magic to send me. When he curled up on my lap and fell asleep, I was pretty sure he was.

He's really sweet--the most affectionate of the three, although like most cats, only when he's in the mood. He's also the only one who consistently sleeps with me, although sometimes I have to go fetch him and remind him that's his job.

To celebrate Harry's birthday, I decided to give my readers a gift. For those who haven't read it yet (gasp!), I've put DANGEROUSLY FIERCE on sale for the next week. It's normally $7.99 (to match the price Berkley set on the ebooks they put out) but for now, it is only $2.99! So if you've been waiting to get it, now's your big chance. It's available at all the usual ebook retailers.


Happy birthday, Harry Dresden!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

2 Months until Cat Magic Book! (Giveaway)


We're getting closer, people! Today marks two months from the release date for The Little Book of Cat Magic! I'm getting excited. Are you?

You might be a little more excited when you see this month's fun giveaway package. Check it out.

GOODIES!

That's right. There's a copy of the Llewellyn Witch's Coloring Book (I just love mine), which contains some images from the Everyday Witch Tarot. Plus a cover flat of my last book, A Year and a Day of Everyday Witchcraft, a fun notebook with the cover of one of my witchy novels on it, a black cat bookmark, a broom pen, a cat rubber ducky (I KNOW! How fun is that?), and my favorite, a hand-knit little black and white kitty that I got at a fundraiser for our local shelters. Such a fun bunch of goodies.



As always, all you have to do to enter is fill out the Rafflecopter form. Things you are already doing (like getting my newsletter) count. And of course, no purchase is necessary, although naturally I'd love it if you'd preorder the book.

Are we excited yet?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Release Day for Dangerously Driven!



It’s finally here! As promised, I’ve written a Broken Riders reunion novella featuring all three brothers. (And the Baba Yagas too.) It takes place after the events of Alexei’s book, DANGEROUSLY FIERCE, which came out earlier this year. The brothers have all finally found new lives, but there is still something missing—each other.


 Here is the back cover copy:


The Riders…three legendary brothers who were born to aid the Baba Yagas, until tragedy changed everything. Separated by guilt and circumstance, they will finally have a chance to come back together. But what will happen when they do?

Neither Mikhail, Alexei, nor Gregori are enthusiastic about the invitation to join the three Baba Yagas at Bella’s home in the Wyoming woods. But Bella and her apprentice Jazz have just spent a year in the Otherworld after Jazz’s disastrous attempt to cure the Riders’ loss of their immortality, so it isn’t really a summons any of them can refuse. As much as they might wish they could.
Each brother has his own reason to feel guilty, and they all mourn what they have lost despite having built themselves rewarding new lives. None of them is quite ready for a reunion. But they no longer have all the time in the world. So they get on their enchanted steeds (now a black Harley, a red Ducati, and a white Yamaha) and head out across the country, never expecting the adventures that lie ahead.
The brothers travel different roads to get to Wyoming, but they all end up on the same path. A surprise visit from an old friend might just show them that the journey is more important than the destination…especially when you travel it with those you love.


 Here are some buy links. It will be out in paperback too, hopefully within a few days. For now, you can find the ebook at most places. 
ETA: The print version is out now! Amazon--PRINT VERSION


Did I mention that the eBook version is only $2.99?

I think the ending might come as a surprise… I hope you like reading it as much as I liked writing it. Up next, maybe another Baba Yaga book? I have some ideas. Bwahahaha.

Of course, since it is a book release day, there will be a celebration giveaway! Pretty please help me to spread the word and also, if you read the novella and like it, don’t forget to take a minute to leave a quick review at Amazon, B&N, and/or Goodreads. Thanks so much!

Look what I'm giving away!
Harry Dresden thought I should give away a Fire HD Tablet, since most people will be reading this as an ebook.


Koshka, on the other paw, thought I should give away a signed copy of Dangerously Fierce, along with a bookmark and a magnet.


Then the photo shoot descended into chaos.


So I decided I'd pick two winners, and give away both!


I figured y'all would be okay with that.

As usual, all you have to do to enter is fill out the Rafflecopter form. If you're already doing something (like following the blog or following me on Twitter) you definitely get to count that. No purchase necessary, although of course I'd love it if you'd buy a copy of the book! I can only keep putting them out if they do well enough to justify it. *smooches*


Thursday, July 12, 2018

COVER REVEAL! Dangerously Driven


Here it is, the cover reveal for the new Riders reunion novella! I used the same cover artist who did the amazing cover for the third Riders novel, DANGEROUSLY FIERCE. You can find her website HERE

I think she did a great job--I hope you do too. The novella is finished and I'm just waiting for the last feedback from editors and First Readers. Hopefully it will be out in the next week or two. Watch this space!

With no further ado, I give you, the cover of DANGEROUSLY DRIVEN.


What do you think?

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Three Months Until The Little Book of Cat Magic is Out

OMG! The Little Book of Cat Magic is coming out from Llewellyn three months from today! That might seem like a long time to you, but considering that the book has been in the works for about two years, it suddenly seems darned close to me!

It was about this time two years ago that my editor Elysia Gallo from Llewellyn sent me a late birthday gift. She had already warned me that it was something I would either love or hate... And when I opened the package, I was completely baffled.

Huh?
Why, I asked myself, would Elysia send me a book of Dog Magic? She knows I'm a cat person. Then I read the card and burst into laughter in the middle of my driveway. Basically, she said, "How would you like to write the Book of Cat Magic? You know you want to. Right?" And of course, she was right. As my agent said, when I ran the idea past her, "It's the Book of Cat Magic! Who else should write it?"

So that's how I came to write what turned out to be The Little Book of Cat Magic. I'm actually pretty proud of this book. It wasn't as simple or easy to write as it seems. But I think people are going to like it. For me, it is special for two reasons. One, it is my first HARDCOVER. (Seriously, how cool is that?) And second, and a bit sadder, is that this is Magic the Cat's last book with me. I just worked on the final proof edits, which require rereading the entire manuscript, and there is lots of advice from her, and mentions of both her and her brother Mystic. I won't kid you--it was tough.

But as my lovely readers reminded me on Facebook when I posted about it, that just makes it Magic's legacy, and her last gift to the world. And to me. That's pretty cool too, when you think about it.

So I'm going to be celebrating for the next three months, as we approach the release date of October 8th, starting with today, at the 3 months and counting down mark. I have found lots of fun cat-centric swag to give away, starting with this bunch of goodies. Harry Dresden "helped" me with the photo shoot. I can see this is going to be a problem...

That stuffed black kitty seems to be moving!

And now he has fallen over.

Quick! Take the picture!

Oh, great. Now Koshka is helping too.
In case you can't quite tell because of the helpful cats, this is a black cat themed goodie bag, with a stuffed black cat, a black cat bookmark, a fun pen, and a black and white duck-cat for the bath or shower. I'm giving away three of these, although accent colors might vary. Mostly just because they are so cute, I can't help myself.

Obviously, I'd love it if you preordered the book (publishers love that too). Here are a few "Buy Links" if you're in the mood.

Buy Links

Barnes & Noble |Amazon |iBooks |Llewellyn  


But even if you don't feel like preordering the book, feel free to enter the contest by filling out the Rafflecopter form below. As always, no purchase is necessary. I'll love you anyway, I promise.

If you can't wait three months to get a look at the book, I will be putting up sneak peeks and snippets on my PATREON for those who follow me at the $5/month level and above.

So tell me, are you looking forward to this book as much as I am?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Saturday, July 7, 2018

At the Faerie Festival

Every year my friends Ellen and Robin (and Robin's kids Sophie and Nate, my goddess children) and I go to the Faerie Festival, about 50 minutes from my house, and five minutes from Robin's. This year Robin's friend Nichole and her four kids joined us, and we had a grand time, despite the insane mid-90's heat and high humidity. Although we did retreat back to Robin's house for a nice BBQ and eating inside the AC...

Here are a few pictures from the event, which is a little bit like a Renaissance Faire with more goblins and trolls...

Me and my darling Sophie

Robin and Nichole and the kids (the troll wasn't ours)

So many cute dogs! Ellen always makes new friends.

Robin and Nate

It was so hot, the hair was up. Me and Nate, looking mildly overheated but happy.

The Faerie Queen, leading the processional.

I loved the tee shirt Sophie put on when we got home.

What's a faire without goodies?  A new oracle deck (bought from the illustrator, a fellow Llewellyn person) and a cool Matrushka key chain that made me think of the Baba Yagas)

One of the artists did all these cool acorn people! Of course I got the one who was reading a book.
I'm already looking forward to next year. And hoping it is a little cooler...

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Guest Post: Elisabeth Alba, Illustrator

Hey, peeps! Most of you know Elisabeth Alba from her illustrations of our Everyday Witch Tarot deck, as well as the upcoming Everyday Witch Oracle deck we're working on now. She's sharing some advanced images and details of the work over on her brand new Patreon page, and I thought that some of you might be interested in what she's up to, so I suggested she guest post here. Take it away, Elisabeth!


Hi Everyone!
Thanks to Deborah for allowing me to be a guest blogger here.

This is a portion of a post I created for my patrons on my Patreon page at www.patreon.com/elisabethalba. It shows the process of the painting, “Listening,” for the Everyday Witch Oracle deck I am working on with Deborah (who is also on Patreon at www.patreon.com/deborahblake), published by Llewellyn Worldwide.

If you're interested in seeing in-depth step-by-steps behind my artwork, please check out my Patreon and consider becoming a patron! I plan on sharing in-depth posts about the creative process behind many of the oraclecards as well as other artwork I create, timelapse videos of painting, videos around my studio, and other goodies like holiday cards, desktop wallpapers, and monthly coloring pages. I'm really excited to have this opportunity to share my art life with you all!
Note from Deborah: I'm following her there and I LOVE watching the process as the paintings come alive! Plus, I can't wait to get the coloring pages.

Here is Deborah's initial description for “Listening”: Close-up on a witch with one hand behind her ear, eyes closed and smiling, listening to a magical wind blowing by. A bird is hovering, perhaps whispering in her other ear. The feeling is thoughtful and attentive.

The deck is divided into elemental suits – Earth, Wind, Fire, and Air. “Listening” is an Air card. My first rough sketch had a generic witch thrown in, white with long black hair and black hat, but after working on the sketches for all 40 cards, she evolved. The biggest fault with the Everyday Witch Tarot was its lack of diversity, and Deborah and I knew we wanted this deck to be the opposite, and represent the many people who use and appreciate tarot and oracle decks. In “Listening,” I painted an Apsáalooke woman. Many Native American legends of crow birds are about how they are the wisest of birds and that they have the power to talk. The Apsáalooke were given their name by a neighboring Siouan-speaking tribe and it means "children of the large-beaked bird," so it definitely seemed fitting to have this card represent a woman of the Crow Nation, as they came to be called in the English language.

Here are the two rough sketches of Listening, side by side:

After the sketch was approved I gathered reference material and also took photo reference of myself wearing a robe. The outfit she is wearing is based on traditional Crow clothing for women - the white objects sewn on are elk teeth! I didn't want her to be completely traditional though, since the deck is for modern witches, so gave it a bit of an update with hair half braided and half down, and a black skirt.

I then did a more refined sketch, figured out what colors I wanted to use, printed my sketch onto watercolor paper, inked it, and then it was finally ready for watercolor!
Here are stages in the painting process:


And finally... the big reveal! Here is the completed painting, ready to be an oracle card!


Thanks for following along on the process for this painting! I will share little bits here and there on social media, but I plan on devoting more time to these behind-the-scenes posts over on Patreon.  Please consider joining me there!
Thank you for the interest in our oracle deck. We are having so much fun working on it!

Thanks from me too! Just for fun, Elisabeth sent me a couple of packs of her new book plates, and we're going to give them away here.

I just love these!
 All you have to do is enter this simple Rafflecopter form, just like always. We'd love it if you'd check out our Patreon pages, but of course, only follow if you want to!

  

Monday, June 25, 2018

What I did On My Summer Vacation

I just got back from spending five days in San Diego. My parents live there, as does my younger sister, and I went out to visit them (and the ocean, which is my happy place). As a bonus, my daughter Jenn and her guy Ian (who I adore) came in from San Jose for a couple of days too. Ian's parents Maureen and Sean live in San Diego as well, and I met them when I was out there last September and we really hit it off. So seeing them was on the schedule too.

Unlike most of my trips, which are to conventions and conferences, and therefore mostly work, this one was just about spending time with the people I love and communing with Mama Ocean. I was really excited that Jenn and I would be together for the summer solstice, since she used to be a part of Blue Moon Circle when she lived here in Oneonta.

The flights were all long but uneventful, and my sister Becky very kindly picked me up at the airport when I arrived on Monday, and took a detour to bring me (briefly) to the beach on the way to my parents' house. So in the end, I actually made it to the ocean every day of my trip, which was great. Here are a few pictures from the trip.

I don't usually do "selfies," but I posted a picture every day of me with the sea behind me, just to prove I was really there!
Happy beach face
 Of course, I couldn't go to the beach without a good book...
Beach read!

 The day that Jenn, Ian, Maureen, Sean and I spent together happened to be both the Summer Solstice and Maureen's birthday, so we celebrated at my favorite restaurant, The Poseidon, which is right at my favorite beach in Del Mar. We shared lots of good food and all of it was delish!
Seafood feast!
 Then the guys snuck off and had the waiter bring out a giant piece of mud pie with a candle for Maureen (the glass was a trick to keep the ocean breeze from blowing the candle out before she could).

Birthday girl!
 Later, Maureen, Jenn, and I danced on the beach with cool colored flags Jenn brought, to celebrate the solstice. It was one of those rare perfect moments.

Solstice beach blessings!
 Three happy goddesses :-)
Jenn, me, and Maureen
 Here's Jenn and Ian at my parents' house. I'm probably prejudiced, but I think they're an adorable couple.

 This one is a terrible picture, but it captures how much fun we have together, so I'm putting it up here anyway. I think my sister said something to make us laugh just as she took the picture.


My parents took us out to Chili's one night. I'd never been to one, and there was way too much yummy food. Ribs. I love me some ribs. And onion rings...


Another one of the "happy at the beach" shots...
Ocean!
 On the last day, my dad and I went and hung out at the beach together, and like any good dad, he bought me an ice cream cone. It was just perfect. (Coffee, in case you were wondering.) Thanks, dad!
Beach + ice cream = happy
 You probably can't tell, but I really, really love the ocean. It's my happy place. And it has been a rough year so far, so I really needed it!


 There are no pictures of my parents or sister because they hate having their pictures taken. (I got a few, but only by PROMISING I wouldn't put them online.) But take my word for it, they are all glorious.

I was sorry to say goodbye, but happy to be heading back to my goofy cats and my own bed and my writing. Alicia, my fabulous cat sitter, went above and beyond by coming to fetch me at the Albany Airport (about an hour and a half from my house), and then it was back to reality. Hopefully the peace and joy of the ocean and spending time with family will linger a little longer than the jet lag...




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