Well, it's been an interesting couple of weeks, huh?
I'm talking about my books, of course. What's that you say? Other stuff's been happening in the national and international news? Huh. I thought those were just extended Saturday Night Live sketches. The line between political news and satire has gotten so blurry lately, I can hardly tell one from the other...
Look, I don't need to add another helping to your already mountainous pile of anxiety. And if you've read any of my books, I'm sure you have a pretty clear idea where I stand on matters of racism, sexism, bigotry, and wealthy, authoritarian bullies. And if perchance it has still somehow been unclear up till now, I feel confident that Bane and Shadow will lay those lingering doubts to rest. Because if you're in the mood to read about a fierce pirate lady who slices and dices her way through a tyrannical patriarchy, you only have eighteen more days before you can gets your hands on all delicious 500 pages of it. Although I should say it's not just about Hope taking on the entire imperial navy. There's also a fair bit of courtly intrigue and knavish wit, as Red navigates his way through the schemes of the nobility, gaining some surprising allies, and scandalizing a great many others.
It's hard to get middle books in a trilogy reviewed, so I'm grateful to get such nice ones:
"Step once again into the intriguing world first introduced in Hope and Red. The trilogy continues with murder and mayhem written in a captivating style that is breathtaking. Unique appellations and ingenious descriptions add flair and humor to this continuing saga." -- Romantic Times
"Another phenomenal read, Jon Skovron's sequel is riveting, and I would highly recommend this series to everyone!” —The Bookbag
If you're so inclined to pre-oder now, here's a handy set of links:
But wait! Perhaps there are some of you who haven't read the first book in the trilogy, Hope and Red! While I think you'd enjoy Bane and Shadow anyway, you'd certainly be missing out on a lot. But lucky for you, my publisher has just dropped the price in anticipation of just this concern! Right now, you can get the ebook of Hope and Red for only $1.99 on all major platforms (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Android, etc). I'm not sure how long this sale will last. Presumably until the end of the month at least.
So after talking with fellow author Kevin Hearne for a bit, I'm approaching the social media thing with renewed vigor. In particular, if you're one of those Facebook users, I will be a lot more active on my (till now) sadly neglected author Page. If you're not following me, please consider "Liking" my page.
Also, Kevin mentioned he'd had great success with creating a Twitter account for one of his characters. The protagonist's dog, I believe? And he tweets as the dog. People seem to find it hilarious. I'm not sure if this strategy would work for me, but I'm intrigued...
My UK publicist just showed me a cut of the video we've been working on, and I can't wait until it's live. I mean, it's a little weird because my hands and my desk are in it, but the way they've cut it together is pretty cool. I'll be sure to include it in my next newsletter, but if you're following me on FB or Twitter, you'll probably see it before then.
One of my current albums on heavy rotation is the new one from Allison Crutchfield, Tourist In this Town. I think I’ve probably mentioned Katie Crutchfield’s band, Waxahatchee, at least once in this newsletter. And as obscene as it is to have this much talent in one family, Allison and Katie are sisters. I first learned about Allison from my brother, who pointed me to her band Swearin’. They had a reckless, freewheeling quality while still being smart and thoughtful, and I fell in love with them. Their album Surfing Strange was hands down my favorite rock album of 2013. Sadly, the band only lasted for two full albums and an EP before breaking up.
Now Allison is doing her own thing under her own name. It’s less wild and carefree than Swearin’, trading those qualities in for maturity and polish and a bit more of a pop sound. But underneath, the authenticity is still there. This is still smart, thoughtful music. Just with more catchy pop hooks. I can hang with that.
If you’re like me, and you have a Netflix subscription, you’ve been desperate to fill that Stranger Things hole in your life. Well, look no further, because 1980’s Mystery/Scifi comic Paper Girls by Brian Vaughn and Cliff Chiang is here to help you through these troubling times. So much 80’s nostalgia. So much surreal and weird sci-fi. So much heart. I can’t give away a lot of the plot without spoiling all the many surprises in store for you, but it’s basically about four teen girls who are delivering newspapers on their bikes in the wee hours before dawn when a strange invasion of “monsters” occurs. The first two collected volumes are available in trade paperback, so you can even get them from the library. I still maintain that Vaughn’s other story, Saga, is the best comic for grownups currently on the stands. But if you like something a little closer to home than sweeping otherworldly space opera, and you prefer something not so…bawdy, this might do the trick for you. Also, what else are you going to do until Stranger Things Season Two comes out in October?